CYAN YELLOW MAGENTA BLACK usually physicians.
Mendoza, having assumed the identify of a checking account customer at Fleet Bank’s Brooklyn branch, opened a Money Market account at the bank’s Mountainside office, then cashed a $4,500 personal check and obtained a $15,000 cashier’s check against the customer’s New York account, according to the original indictment.
Irvington Man Sentenced To 40 Months in Prison
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 3
Mendoza caused approximately $200,000 in electronic transfers from the New York customer’s Brooklyn account to the unauthorized New Jersey account, according to the indictment.
Mr. Esposito said that Mendoza had worked with the doctor in a New York Hospital and it is suspected that is where authorities believe Mendoza had access to the physician’s records.
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 3
sure it doesn’t show up anywhere else.”
Sergeant Rowe confirmed that counterfeiting of this sort is prevalent today, since someone “with a good computer and a laser printer and scanner” can potentially produce such bills.
He said authorities believe one of the two students involved in the case at Westfield High School did produce the false $20 bills in this manner. Sergeant Rowe said the incident is being treated as a juvenile complaint.
WHS Students Face Charges Of Passing Counterfeit $20 Bills
He noted that all new $20 bills contain a watermark woven into the fabric. Regarding ways to identify forged bills like the ones recovered by Westfield police, Sergeant Rowe said the ink on the bills will run if the paper becomes wet, and that dots will be visible where there are supposed to be fibers.
Senator DiFrancesco to Speak At Legislative Breakfast
MOUNTAINSIDE — State Senator Donald T. DiFrancesco will be the guest speaker at the Union County Chamber of Commerce Joint Legislative and Health Care Group breakfast on Wednesday, May 19, at 8 a.m. at L’Affaire in Mountainside.
The Senator will review recently proposed regulations that would lay the foundation for an early warning
system regarding healthcare issues. Senator DiFrancesco will review state initiatives that will work to keep a check on the financial conditions of managed care providers while also addressing the needs of consumers and physicians.
For reservations, please call the chamber office at (908) 352-0900. The fee is $15 for members and $20 for non-members.
Fanwood GOP Slates Lecture on Child Safety
FANWOOD — The Fanwood Republican Club is sponsoring a lecture, slated for Monday, May 10, on child safety.
“Child Safety Ways of Protecting Your Child from Strangers” will be presented by Fanwood Police Chief Robert Carboy at 7:30p.m. at the Community House located at the Fanwood Train Station on North Avenue in Fanwood.
SP Police Moving Away From Desks Under Community Policing Program
By FRED ROSSI
Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times
SCOTCH PLAINS – Look for less police behind their desks at police headquarters and more patrols out on the streets in Scotch Plains, under a new federal grant program that utilizes computers to do much of the administrative work that currently
takes up valuable “street beat” police time.
The “Cops More” program, administered by the U.S. Department of Justice, helps “put more officers on the street by using technological equipment to take time away from administrative work and put police on street duty,” explained Captain Joseph Protasiewicz of the Scotch Plains Police Department.
The $212,000 grant 25 percent of which is funded by the Township, with the remainder financed by the Justice Department — will go towards the purchase of a new computer system, called Computer-Aided Dispatch (CAD), that will link police headquarters with computers in individual patrol cars.
The goal, Captain Protasiewicz told The Times, “is to communicate back-and-forth silently.”
The CAD system will allow police officers to complete written reports from their patrol cars and electronically transmit them back to headquarters rather than having to return to the station to do so.
This way, “we’ll keep officers on the street,” he said.
Presently, the police station operates three separate computers: a court system, a state system and an in-house computer system. CAD will combine them and run all three from one computer. The equipment is being delivered now, and initial start-up for the program is expected next month, with the system being fully operational by the end of this year.
No decisions have yet been made as to how the added available police will be deployed. Captain Protasiewicz said, “we’re re-evaluating how we provide police services,” and promised that the community will be involved in the process.
Currently, questionnaires are being sent to the business community asking them to evaluate police service and provide input on what more could be done. Captain Protasiewicz said the answers will be reviewed and “we’ll see what can be done better.”
Town Republican Committee To Hold Spring Fling Event
WESTFIELD — Food, music and a live auction will be featured at the Westfield Town Republican Committee Spring Fling at the Twin Brooks Country Club on Friday, May 14, from 7 to 10 p.m.
In addition to dancing and socializing, the evening will be enlivened by the auction of a number of one-ofa-kind items. Among the items up for bid are antiques, tickets to local sporting events, golf outings and goods and services from Westfield merchants and restaurants.
Among the items to be auctioned is three months worth of fresh, homebaked cookies, which will be delivered right from the oven to your door through the end of summer.
The night will also provide an opportunity to honor the service of former First Ward Councilwoman Gail S. Vernick, who recently completed four years of service on the council.
For advance reservations, please call Patricia Bramnick at (908) 2333313.
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In the past four years, there have been 33 collisions at NJ Transit grade crossings, resulting in 19 deaths from train collisions involving motor vehicles or pedestrians.
“All of these incidents resulted from people disregarding downed gates,” Mr. Rosenblum maintained. “These senseless deaths and injuries should not happen.”
To combat trespassing on NJ Transit tracks, the agency’s police force issued 194 summonses in 1998.
Carmine Bianco, Assistant Vice President of Safety for Amtrak, stated that the railroad operates through 45 states, and carried 75 million customers in 1998 alone. The railroad owns some 460 miles of track from Boston to Washington, D.C., a distance that includes just 11 grade crossings, none of which are in New Jersey.
Nationwide, Amtrak had 165 grade crossing accidents in 1998, resulting in 54 fatalities and 124 injuries. Another 70 persons were killed and 69 injured when hit by trains while trespassing on Amtrak tracks. Since 1990, 18 people have been killed in this state while walking on the tracks.
Amtrak is testing a new technology known as “full quadrant gates” in Connecticut, whereby the entire crossing is blocked, thus preventing vehicles from trying to pass after the gate is down. The system will be implemented at more locations as Amtrak begins using its new high speed trains.
Craig Curry, the new Chief Environmental Safety Officer for Conrail, recalled that on his first day on the job as an 18-year-old in the train and engine service, he hit a car at a grade crossing.
He said that Conrail, which operates in 12 states, had only five grade crossing accidents in 1998. He said as the different rail lines operate in
Rail Safety Officials Discuss Efforts to Avert Tragedies
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2
some of the same regions, their safety and education efforts work as “an added advantage” to reduce accidents.
In the first four months of this year, Conrail, he said, has issued warnings to over 340 people, while arresting 107 for trespassing on its tracks.
Conrail, as of Tuesday, June 1, will be spun off as a subsidiary of freight carriers CSX and Norfolk Southern, which are about to a acquire Conrail. Under the new Conrail system, the railway will provide freight delivery service through Northern and Southern New Jersey, as well as the Detroit areas for CSX and Norfolk Southern.
Geri Hall, the President of Operation Lifesaver, explained that the highway-rail grade crossing safety organization was founded 27 years ago in Iowa, originally as a six-week program for children and school bus drivers. Today, the organization operates in 49 states, including New Jersey.
She said Operation Lifesaver is intent on educating people about highway-rail safety.
In 1997, for the first time in the program’s history, there were more people killed as railway trespassers than at highway-rail intersections.
Since 1972, highway-rail crossing collisions have dropped 67 percent. Trespassing incidents have risen slightly in the past few years.
While New Jersey is 38th in the number of highway-grade crossing collisions, it is fifth in trespassing incidents.
“So we really need to be working on that,” Ms. Hall said. She urged pressure on the media to stop glorifying walking on tracks.
She said half of the highway-rail crossing accidents occur where there are active gates.
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AN OATH OF SERVICE…Newly-elected members of the Westfield Board of Education were sworn in at a ceremony preceding the board’s April 27 public meeting. Pictured pledging to serve a three-year term on the board are Arlene Gardner, far right, who was elected Board Vice President; William Wallace, and Annmarie Puleio. Board Attorney Richard Kaplow, far left, reads the oath of office, while Board Secretary and Business Administrator Robert Berman witnesses the ceremony.
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