Local Beat: West New York Mayor Felix Roque found not guilty in bribery trial

Local Beat is the NJ News Commons’ weekly roundup of the best reporting by community news sources.

WEST NEW YORK MAYOR FELIX ROQUE FOUND NOT GUILTY OF COMMERCIAL BRIBERY
A jury found West New York Mayor Felix Roque not guilty of one count of commercial bribery. John Heinis of Hudson County View says Roque was acquitted at “approximately 4:40 p.m., just when it seemed all but certain the jury would need a day to sleep on it.” Heinis’ story includes a video showing reaction to the verdict and a video interview with Roque.

AS FERREN MALL DEMOLITION CONTINUES, NEW BRUNSWICK LOOKS TOWARD FUTURE
Jack Murtha of TAP into New Brunswick brings us the latest story in an ongoing series about the Ferren Mall redevelopment project in New Brunswick. As the demolition of the crumbling Ferren Mall parking deck continues, the city is still working toward finalizing designs for the forthcoming complex, which will be known as “The Hub @ New Brunswick Station.”

EAST BRUNSWICK COMMUNITY POLICING: EBPD JOINS FORCES TO FIGHT OPIATE ADDICTION
As many in New Jersey and around the country are learning, the common mantra, “not my child,” just doesn’t measure up as an effective response to the growing opioid epidemic in New Jersey. TAP into East Brunswick says the EBPD are joining forces with members of the community to tackle the troubling issue that continues to plague local communities.

MORE THAN $50,000 RAISED FOR DEMOCRAT PHIL MURPHY AT NEWARK FUNDRAISER
A group of business, union and political leaders who call themselves the “Dream Team” managed to raise more than $50,000 for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Phil Murphy at a recent fundraiser in Newark. Mark Bonamo of NewarkInc says the “Dream Team” is the same group of Newark power-players who “endorsed Murphy long before his potential rivals — Senate President Steve Sweeney and Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop — announced they were not running.”

MORRISTOWN MAGIC: MATTHEW BRODERICK AS KING HEROD IN ‘CHRISTMAS ORATORIO’ PODCAST
Matthew Broderick, known for his roles as Ferris Bueller in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Leo Bloom in The Producers, took on a new role as King Herod in a podcast reading of W.H. Auden’s For the Time Being: A Christmas Oratorio at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Morristown. Kevin Coughlin of Morristown Green says the reading took place on Dec. 9 and is now available to the public.

NEW JERSEY TECH WEEKLY STORY OF THE YEAR 2016: NEWARK’S TECH RENAISSANCE
Esther Surden of New Jersey Tech Weekly is asking the question: “What have been some of the most important developments in tech in Newark in 2016, and why?” NJTW will begin publishing the answers over the next several days.

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