The Top Stories in Nutley and Belleville in 2012
Hurricane Sandy, lawsuits filed against Belleville superintendent and Roche leaving Nutley for good
Belleville and Nutley residents were among those who mourned the loss of 16-year-old Christina Lembo, who was buried Oct. 5 after dying in a car accident. Both communities held tributes to the Bloomfield resident and soccer player.
Belleville officials voted Nov. 1 to institute even-odd gas rationing in response to shortages caused by Hurricane Sandy. The state of New Jersey ordered a similar scheme in 12 counties the following day. The storm left much of Belleville and Nutley without power. The storm also compelled officials to close the bridge between Nutley and Lyndhurst and to take other precautionary measures.
Deena Cortese, a cast member of the reality show “Jersey Shore,” was arrested on a disorderly conduct charge in Seaside Heights.
Belleville’s Superintendent of Schools, Joseph Picardo, took a leave of absence in September after a former employee filed a lawsuit against him charging Picardo with sexual misconduct. An interim superintendent was named shortly afterward to replace Picardo, who was placed on paid leave. A second employee filed suit against Picardo in November.
A new restaurant, Porto, opened along Washington Avenue in Belleville in early October.
Officials at drugmaker Roche announced in June they would be shuttering their Nutley facility by the end of 2013. The company, by far Nutley’s largest employer and source of tax revenue, has had a presence in the township for generations.
A Nutley woman reported missing in early December was found unharmed by law enforcement the following day.
In February, a Belleville man was charged with attempted murder after he allegedly stabbed another man at a Lake Hiawatha apartment more than a dozen times.
Officials in Belleville said a ShopRite supermarket will be opening in the space formerly occupied by the Pathmark on Washington Avenue. Councilman Kevin Kennedy said the new supermarket could open as soon as 2013.
Nutley police arrested a Pompton Plains man in September on assault, weapons and other charges stemming from a road rage incident in which the man allegedly chased down another motorist, then attacked him with a knife after the victim pulled over.
A phony bomb threat was called in to Belleville High School in January.
A former board of education candidate was escorted from a February Belleville Board of Education meeting after creating a disturbance. He was not arrested.
A quick-thinking 15-year-old girl in Nutley hid in a closet after hearing a burglar enter her home in August. Nutley police received a call from the girl’s mother, whom the girl phoned at work upon hearing the intruder, and captured a suspect shortly afterwards. The girl was unharmed.