20 Hoboken + Jersey City News Stories You Missed This Week

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Staying away from the news amidst the coronavirus outbreak? We don’t blame you; it can be super overwhelming and frankly, bleak, to stay up-to-date all week long, which is why we’re doing our best to give you a weekly dose of the most important headlines every Sunday.

We’re rounding up the most critical COVID-19 related headlines as well as some other local news that’s worth catching up on. Let’s start with the latest COVID-9 updates in Hoboken + Jersey City this week:

  • – As of April 11th, Hoboken now has 293 positive COVID-19 cases according to the latest Nixle alert.
  • – Jersey City has 2,284 total case as of April 10th — stats have not been released for April 11th as of yet.
  • – New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signs executive order to stop all non-essential construction as of 8:00PM on Friday, April 10th.
  • – Jersey City has started a coronavirus relief fund to help the city’s most vulnerable residents and small businesses, according to NJ.com.
  • – There are two testing locations in Jersey City — a walk-up testing center at 465 Marin Boulevard, Jersey City and a drive-thru location at the former DPW Complex 575 NJ-440, Jersey City. In order to be tested, you must have symptoms + proof of Jersey City residency or ID; call 201-547-5535 to schedule an appointment.
  • – Riverside Medical Group has opened an appointment-only testing center in North Hoboken for all of the city’s residents — call 201-863-3346 to book an appointment.
  • – Find more of the latest local + statewide updates on our daily updates page.

Beyond coronavirus news, however, there’s still a lot of other stuff to catch up on. Ready to read up on the most crucial local headlines from earlier this week? Keep reading!

2nd @TheHobokenGirl Instagram Live DJ Party Raises Over $5000 for FLAG HBKN in Just 60 Mins

flag hoboken girl dj cam benefit

Last night, we hosted an Instagram Live for the 2nd time for FLAG Hoboken + JC. Our team teamed up with DJ Cam in Hoboken to host an IG Live virtual dance party on @thehobokengirl from 7:00-8:00PM during our nightly cheer for healthcare heroes. Anyone could tune in, and to request a song, you just had to donate $ {any amount, honor system} to FLAG Hoboken + JC {the Frontline Appreciation Group in Hoboken and Jersey City}.

In just 60 minutes, we raised over $5000 for the local group, which takes all donations and purchases meals and supplies from local businesses for first responders. It was such a successful evening, that we’ll be doing it next Saturday as well. Big thanks to DJ Cam for being our host on Instagram! 

How It Will Work on Saturday Nights {but you can donate to FLAG at any time — info below!}:

1. Donate to @FLAG_HBKN_JC on Venmo with subject line “HG Dance Party and then head to our IG to request a song from DJ Cam {@thehobokengirl}.

2. On Saturday night at 6:55PMish {or right at 7PM!}, sign on to Instagram and head to our @thehobokengirl feed and click our LIVE to join the party – where DJ Cam will be spinning live at 7:00-7:30PM. Do your normal cheer at 7PM, and then enjoy a little in-house dance party via your phone/tablet/laptop on Instagram.

Song Requests {for a Cause!}

Last night’s song was Alesso’s “Heroes” for everyone to play from their windows and balconies, and then after that DJ Cam took requests and spun some tracks for the next 60 minutes for all to enjoy on our Instagram Live. We’ll be doing that again on Saturday night, 4/18. Find more info here.

Thanks to all who joined in and participated — and especially those that donated — and we’ll see you nightly at 7:00PM to cheer on our local healthcare heroes in the fight against COVID-19.

Jersey City Offers Buy-Out to Over 400 Eligible City Employees to “Voluntarily Quit”

calculator taxes

As coronavirus continues to hit Jersey City pretty hard — with almost 2,000 cases reported — Mayor Steven Fulop has announced a buy-out to more than 400 city employees. According to Fulop, any municipal employees with over 15 years of experience will be offered either $20,000 or 25% of their salary {whichever is the greater amount} if they “voluntarily quit.” City employees with more than 15 years under their belt are asked to voluntarily quit, making more than 400 workers eligible. Any employees interested in accepting the $20,000 deal {or 25% of their salary}, should respond by April 20th, 2020. These employees will “voluntarily quit” by May 1st.

The buy-out is announced amidst the city’s projected loss of $70 million — $50 million in revenue and $20 million in emergency expenses — in large part due to coronavirus.

“As local governments nationwide face devastating financial fallout, here in Jersey City we’re working to mitigate the community impacts as much as is possible, but the help needed at the local level from state and federal government is significant,” Fulop said. “The more proactive and aggressive we can be now, the better off we will be in the long term.”

Jersey City Councilman Michael Yun Dies of Coronavirus, Imposters Pose as His Relatives and Solicit Donations

Councilman Michael Yun has sadly passed away from coronavirus. The 65-year-old had been hospitalized with COVID-19 symptoms since March. In the wake of his passing, online imposters have been taking advantage of his death by posing as his relatives and soliciting donations online. The information comes from Yun’s aide, Vernon Richardson.

“I was angry beyond belief and I was even more sad that there are these types of unscrupulous people out there that would do something like this,” Richardson said in a statement.

Richardson maintains that Yun’s family has not made any public requests for donations and warns people not to buy into any fake Facebook pages or fundraising campaigns. One Facebook page, in particular, giving the Yun’s an issue is one made to look exactly like Jaclyn Yun’s actual Facebook page. This page is fake and published a fraudulent fundraising campaign.

If people want to donate on Yun’s behalf, his family will make an official announcement of where donations can go, likely to a charity or organization.

Genuardi Tailor in Hoboken Making Cloth Masks By Request

genuardi tailor face masks

{Photo credit: @genuarditailor}

Genuardi Tailor, a master bespoke tailor of Hoboken, is taking requests for cloth masks. The masks are going to members of the Mile Square community. Both children’s and adult sizes of cloth face masks are available.

“To our local #hoboken customers and community, we’ve put making suits on hold for the moment and have started a cloth mask-making project to try and contribute to what we foresee will soon be a need in our community,” Genuardi says on their official Instagram page. “Please check our website in bio for details. Stay well! #staywellhoboken.”

You can put in your own request at GenuardiTailor.com or on Instagram.

Corgi Spirits in Jersey City Offers Curbside Pick-Up

corgi spirits hand sanitizer

{Photo credit: @corgispirits}

But not just any pickup. Corgi Spirits, located at 1 Distillery Drive in Jersey City, is offering curbside pick-up with a side of advice. On a recent post to their official Instagram account, the liquor company announced they are also selling hand sanitizer and that they recommend filling an old spray bottle with it to help combat COVID-19.

“Save the environment and refill an old spray bottle with our hand sanitizer,” the post reads. “Curbside pick-up starts again tomorrow at 11am. Link in bio for orders.”

Primary Election Day Has Been Postponed

thats over its cancelled

No, it hasn’t actually been “cancelled,” but Election Day throughout New Jersey has been postponed. Primary elections have been moved to July 7th amidst coronavirus concerns and social distancing guidelines. To request a mail-in ballot in order to avoid having to go to the polls in person on July 7, visit Hudson County Clerk online.

Jersey City Enacts Local Relief Program

support community

Jersey City has officially implemented a local relief program featuring grants that strive to support local businesses facing hardships amidst COVID-19. The first phase of the program focuses on small businesses, with the City of Jersey City matching 100 percent of any state grants awarded to Jersey City applicants of the NJ Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program. The NJEDA program is open to applicants from Friday, April 3 to April 10.

“We’ve been working to stay ahead of the curve by anticipating our residents’ and business owners’ needs to survive this pandemic not only from a health standpoint, but also economically which could further devastate our community,” Mayor Fulop said. “We decided to structure local programs that fully complement the state and federal program so that our local businesses can get a much needed advantage. We are achieving that here with short term grants up to $10,000 per business.”

If you’re a small business that has been financially affected, you can apply for the grant on business.nj.gov.

“The money we match will be used to help with payroll and provide working capital with the goal of retaining employees,” Vivian Brady-Phillips, Vice Chair of the JCEDC, said in an official press release. “The business owner must certify as to the COVID-19 related need for financial support and be committed to retaining employees. This is key for both businesses and the workers who also live in our community.”

Rutgers Says New Jersey’s Air Has Never Been Cleaner

air pollution

The Rutgers Center for Advance Infrastructure and Transportation confirms that New Jersey’s air is the cleanest it has been it years. Because so many people have been forced to stay indoors, isolating, due to coronavirus, self-isolation has restricted the amount of greenhouse gas emissions and other types of air pollution during the months of March and April. It’s only been two months, but this has resulted in some of the freshest air NJ has seen in years.

“It’s basically the effect of shutting down our economy,” said Monica Mazurek, the resident air quality expert at the Rutgers Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation. “Everything that we’d normally do that requires energy production is vastly attenuated. This is a short-term effect. As long as our economy is shut down, we’re going to see better air quality.”

Rutgers found that levels of air pollution were generally 2.5 lower in Elizabeth in March 2020 compared to March 2019.

City Council Votes 6-3 to Suspend Parking Meters, but City of Hoboken Keeping Meters Running

The Hoboken City Council voted to temporarily suspend parking meters throughout Hoboken during the Covid-19 pandemic. The resolution would suspend parking meters throughout Hoboken, except on Washington Street past 8th Street, on 1st Street, and 14th Street.

Although recommended by the City Council, meters still remain in effect, according to City Hall and the Hoboken Parking Authority. This decision, the Mayor shared in his Nixle alert, is due to the Office of Emergency Management having the ‘final say.’

While street cleaning is currently suspended through April 17th as of now, “all other parking regulations, including meters, continue to remain in effect throughout the entire City to help turnover in front of essential businesses,” Mayor Bhalla shared in his April 2nd Nixle alert.

In Jersey City, parking meters are, in fact, suspended.

Fatal Shooting in Jersey City Marks Fourth Shooting This Past Week

crime scene police

A fatal shooting in Jersey City on Monday marks the fourth shooting in town in the past seven days. The incident is currently being investigated by the prosecutor’s homicide unit as well as JCPD. The shooting occurred around 6:30PM on Monday near Martin Luther King Drive and Myrtle Avenue. The victim, an unidentified male, was shot several times.

“It’s unfortunate that these actors view this current crisis as an opportunity to commit crimes and carry out attacks on one another as we’ve recently seen,” Jersey City spokeswoman Kimberly Wallace-Scalcione said in an official statement. “Our police officers continue to put their lives on the line to keep our community safe despite the additional COVID-19 concerns.”

Earlier on March 31st, 25-year-old Damone Smith was killed near Rose and Cator Avenues. The next night, 17-year-old Stephanie Jacques was also shot and killed between Martin Luther King Drive and Forrest Street. Twenty-one year old Akim Ward was shot and killed on Saturday near Ocean Avenue between Bidwell and Bayview.

Court Reverses $100,000 Reward in Punitive Damages Against Hoboken CrossFit

crossfit gym exercise workout

According to Law.com, a state appellate court has officially issued a reverse on a decision that previously awarded $100,000 in punitive damages against the Hoboken CrossFit gym. Neighbors complained the gym blasted music, that the sound of the weights dropping and clanging was overwhelming, and that gym-goers screamed obscenities, citing that the CrossFit was breaking a local noise ordinance.

The opinion of the court said, “The court cannot delegate to plaintiffs the ability to trigger the automatic entry or modification of an order. The trial court erred in delegating this authority to [the] plaintiffs.”

Doctor at Christ Hospital Dies of Coronavirus

doctor coronavirus

A doctor at Christ Hospital in Jersey City has, unfortunately, passed away due to complications of coronavirus. Dr. Leo Dela Cruz died at Holy Name Hospital on Wednesday. Dr. Dela Cruz did not treat coronavirus patients before falling victim to the virus himself.

Nursing Home Registers 11 Deaths in the Past Month

nursing home standards

Concerns about the conditions senior citizens are being kept in at a Jersey City nursing home are causing healthcare employees to come forward. The Alaris in Hamilton Park has seen 11 deaths in the past month, five of which are thought to be coronavirus-related, the Jersey City Department of Health and Human Services says.

Workers say that nursing home adminstrators put pressure on employees to continue working, even if they were displaying tell-tale signs of COVID-19. Furthmore, employees allege that sick patients were not separated from healthy patients at the home, as both were kept in the same quarters with no quarantines or isolation policies in place.

The Director of Health and Human Services in Jersey City, Stacy Flanagan, tells NJ.com that representatives from her office made at least two visits to the nursing home to investigate claims and have another visit scheduled for tomorrow.

Earlier this week, the City ordered Alaris to create a clear isolation area for patients exhibiting coronavirus symptoms. The City also mandated that Alaris must protect its healthcare staff, providing peronal proctective gear.

Some healthier patients may also be discharged early in the hopes of keeping the healthy and the sick separated.

PATH and NJ Transit Reduce Service as Ridership Declines

path fare increase

PATH and NJ Transit buses are facing a 90 percent decline in ridership, forcing both public transportation services to cut back. Rush hour train service is running on a 20-minute schedule on all lines as of March 29. Weekday trains will run every 10 minutes during the daytime and evening time slots on the 33rd Street and Newark to World Trade Center lines.

As of March 30, NJ Transit buses have suspended service from Vince Lombardi Park & Ride off the New Jersey Turnpike. The North Bergen Park & Ride facility near Route 3 and 495 is still availabel for service. Bus timetables are available on NJTransit.com.

Burglar Resists Arrest and Disarms Hoboken Officer Leaving 3 Injured in His Wake

hoboken police patch

A Jersey City man has been charged with burgulary, theft, obstructing by flight, resisting arrest by force, disarming a law enforcement officer, and aggravated assault of law enforcement officer after an incident that took place at 2:21 AM on Friday, April 10.

It started when Hoboken Police Sergeant Donald Rosso was patroling Observer Highway and Henderson Street on the Hoboken and Jersey City border when Rosso witnessed a suspect break into the trunk of a parked 2019 BMW.

According to an official press release from Hoboken Police Chief Ken Ferrante, “As Sergeant Rosso approached the individual, he fled north towards the Observer Highway Firehouse. After a four block foot pursuit, Officers Christopher Barral, Josh Campoverde and Sgt. Rosso, stopped the suspect at 56 Jefferson St. At that time a violent struggle ensued as the suspect fought the officers. Lieutenant Mike Costello, Sergeant Anthony Russo, and Officer Jesse Castellano arrived to assist with the attempted apprehension. As the officers attempted to handcuff the suspect, he continued to push them away, grab them and to use his arms and legs to forcibly evade this arrest.”

The suspect, Lonnie Clark, 38, of Jersey City, then allegedly continued to fight, resisting arrest, and removed Officer Barral’s gun from his holder.

“Barral began to yell, ‘He has my gun,’ repeatedly as Barral used all his strength to keep the suspect from gaining sole control of the firearm,” Ferrante continues. “Sgt. Russo and Officer Campoverde struggled to try to keep the suspect from gaining full possession of the weapon. After a long struggle and the use of mechanical force, the officers were finally able to secure Barral’s weapon but the suspect continued his fight, attempting to grab the holsters of Sgt. Russo and Officer Campoverde. The officers were finally able to get the suspect handcuffed. During the handcuffing, the suspect bit Sgt. Russo on the shin.”

All three officers sustained some form of injuries during the arrest, none of which were considered life-threatening. Officer Barral is currently out with a hand injury, which will be looked at again in three weeks.

“I cannot find the exact words that can adequately describe how proud I am of the valor, courage and professionalism showed by these officers during this scene,” Ferrante adds. “They all showed the true restraint from using deadly force, and they deserve the utmost credit for being able to accomplish this apprehension without using it, and without seriously injuring the suspect. Everyone needs to realize this criminal act, during a pandemic and State of Emergency, not only threatened the lives of the officers involved, but also brought extra exposures to those officers, the EMS workers who had to treat the suspect and officers, the Emergency Room staff who had to tend to them when there is so much more going on in there, the officers who then had to secure the suspect at the hospital, and then the officers who had to transport the individual to the Hudson County Correctional and Rehabilitation Facility in Kearny, and then those Corrections Officers who had to process him at the Jail’s Intake.”

Clark is charged with multiple counts including aggravated assault of a law enforcement officer and disarming a law enforcement officer.

NJCU May Be Getting an Expanded Performing Arts Center

njcu upac jersey city

{Image rendering courtesy of Strategic Development Group via Jersey Digs}

New Jersey City University {NJCU} is looking to expand with a 22-acre University Place project, which could finally become a reality. Plans for the expansion were first introduced in 2016 — including a 163-unit apartment complex, a residence hall that can accommodate 400 students, and a Performing Arts Center with 490 seats and a center for music, dance, and theatre.

Since the Performing Arts Center first joined the plans back in 2018, it’s doubled in size. The plans for the project was supposed to head to the planning board for approval on April 7th, but was postponed because of COVID-19.

Easter Bunny Brings Holiday Happiness to Hoboken Despite Social Distancing

happy easter bunny

Not even #socialdistancing can stop the Easter Bunny! The Easter Bunny made his {or her?} rounds throughout Mile Square on Saturday, waving to families and children from their windows and balconies. Special thanks to the Hoboken Police Department and residents Diane Sanches Branco and Darby Vinciguerra for making this happen for Hoboken’s youngest residents.

Hoboken Hires Special Counsel for the Sale of HMCU

hospital 2

The City of Hoboken is looking to hire a special, outside attorney from Windels Marx Lane + Mittendorf to help with the sale of Hoboken University Medical Center {HUMC}, NJ.com reports. CarePoint Health is supposed to be selling the medical facility to RWJBarnabas Health.

“You might not go to the hospital on a regular basis but to have it there in the case of an emergency like this is absolutely critical,” city spokesperson Vijay Chaudhuri said. “I think the coronavirus absolutely underscores the critical need of this facility.”

Negotiations between RWJBarnabas and CarePoint have been going on for a while and have been tenuous to say the least. If the City Council votes for the resolution for legal appointment of an outside lawyer, it would result in a one-year, $50,000 contract with Windels Marx Lane + Mittendorf.

Jersey City Woman Charged After Purposely Sneezing on Someone in Target

jersey city target

{Photo via Google Maps}

A Jersey City woman has been charged in a dispute that happened at Target last week. The verbal incident between two women culminated with Bernadette Bisogno, 49, being charged with harassment, simple assault, and violation of emergency orders after  Bisogno allegedly sneezed purposefully on another Target shopper.

This is not Bisogno’s first run-in with the law, as back in September 2019, Bisogno made headlines for keeping her two children, mother, and nine dogs in a home infested with dog feces, fleas, and flies.

Sources say that the woman Bisogno spit on wasn’t just a random Target shopper. She may have been the person who called New Jersey Child Protection and Permanency on Bisogno last year.

Bisogno faces a sentence of up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine for the violation of emergency order charge alone.

Hoboken Police and Firefighters Help Resident Celebrate 97th Birthday

It’s a birthday she won’t soon forget. Amidst coronavirus concerns, lifetime Hoboken resident Rose Spina turned 97 years old, but was unable to celebrate with her family due to current social distancing restrictions. However, she found birthday party-goers in the Hoboken police department, fire department, and local government officials — all of whom stopped by to visit Spina from the sidewalk.

They sang “happy birthday” and gifted Spina a birthday banner signed “Love, your Mile Square City friends.” Spina watched from the window as everyone gathered outside on her Bloomfield Street sidewalk — still while practicing social distancing.

Steven’s Institute of Technology Student 3D Printing + Delivering Face Shields to Front Line Workers

{Photo via @followstevens}

Student Dom Dell Antonia has been 3D printing face shields and already donated over 750 of them to healthcare workers. “I’m not getting a whole lot of sleep,” says Dominic, class of ’21 and a chemical engineering student who has done multiple co-ops and hopes to work in the energy field after graduating next year. “But we are really chugging on the face shields. We have printed and delivered more than 750 already.” A school fraternity is helping him raise money to buy the materials necessary to keep making face shields.

If you want to donate money to help purchase supplies, you can send a Venmo payment to @GT-RhoOmega. Donations of face shields have been sent to Montefiore Medical Center in New York City and Morristown Medical Center, Saint Barnabas Medical Center, St. Mary’s General Hospital, and Victoria Mews Assisted Living in New Jersey.

Jersey City Man Delivering Wings and Pizza Robbed at Gun Point

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A man in Jersey City making a delivery of pizza and chicken wings was robbed at gunpoint last Sunday near Lincoln Street. The incident occurred around 9L00PM. According to the police, the delivery man said the robber showed him a gun on his hip, then stole the pizza and wings. No one was injured in the incident.

 

Stevens Institute Opens Dorms To Hoboken Frontline Workers

{Photo via @followstevens}

Hoboken-based Stevens Institute of Technology has offered Jonas Hall Dormitory rooms to Hoboken University Medical Center workers and Hoboken firefighters. Governor Phil Murphy thanked university president Nariman Farvardin during Friday’s briefing.

Got a news tip? Let us know — email us at hello@hobokengirl.com! We appreciate it.

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Written by:

Stephanie Osmanski writes honest things about health, the planet, and being a woman. Her words have appeared on Business Insider, Parade, Eat This Not That, Dogster, Scary Mommy, Green Matters, Parents, Seventeen, Life & Style, InTouch Weekly, and more. Her articles have been syndicated on World Economic Forum, MSN, MSN UK, and MSN Canada. In her free time, Stephanie and her registered therapy dog, Koda, volunteer at local hospitals, nursing homes, and other healthcare facilities.