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Acting Superintendent Appointed, Student Arrested For Threat, Assemblyman Indicted This Week

Here's a look at the past week in Westwood, Hillsdale and Washington Township.

Westwood School Board Appoints McCourt as Acting Superintendent

Rory McCourt will lead the Westwood Regional School District for the rest of the school year.

McCourt, the district's director of elementary education and technology, was officially appointed the acting superintendent by a unanimous vote from the school board during their meeting Thursday.

Westwood Student Who Made Threat Charged With Fake Weapon Possession

Police arrested an 18-year-old Westwood Jr./Sr. High School student who allegedly made threats against another student Wednesday.

The Westwood resident was charged with possession of an imitation weapon.

As of Friday, the student's identity was still being withheld because he was undergoing an evaluation at an area hospital, Regino said.

A grand jury indicted State Assemblyman Robert Schroeder Friday on charges that he stole $1.8 million and wrote bad checks valued at more than $3.4 million, according to Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa.

Schroeder, 52, was charged with issuing bad checks, theft by deception, and misconduct by a corporate official. He faces five to 10 years in prison and fines of up to $150,000 for each of the three offenses.

Ridgewood police claim a Westwood man was high on heroin when he failed to navigate a turn and violently slammed into a tree on Lincoln Avenue Wednesday afternoon.

At around 2:30 p.m., emergency responders pulled Kyle P. Swiatlowski, 24, from an Acura sedan crushed beneath an oak tree on the 200 block of Lincoln Avenue.

Police said they believe Swiatlowski shot up heroin just minutes before he crashed into the tree. He was traveling at a high rate of speed, Bolten said.

Washington Township Man Sentenced to Seven Years in State Prison

Washington Township resident Fernando Barrese was sentenced to seven years in state prison this week, according to a press release from New Jersey Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa.

Barrese, 40, and his business partner, Christopher J. Montana of Chester, both pleaded guilty last month to receiving illegal kickbacks for referrals from their businesses.

The men referred about 100 patients who had been in car accidents for kickbacks of $500 per patient, according to Chiesa.

The men also failed to report income totalling more than $1 million on their tax returns.

Seven Towns Respond to Westwood Fire

Firefighters from seven towns worked together to quickly extinguished a fire in Westwood Tuesday afternoon.

The fire "of fairly good volume" started shortly before 3 p.m. in the ceiling of a building on Woodland Avenue used as rental offices and storage, according to Westwood Fire Chief Jaymee Hodges. 

The Westwood Fire Department was joined by firefighters from Emerson, Oradell, River Vale, Woodcliff Lake, Hillsdale and Park Ridge. 

Washington Township Councilmen Concerned By Financial Records

Washington Township councilmen and residents questioned the way the town has been run for years during a council meeting Monday.

The township is looking for three new employees to replace former CFO, treasurer and finance director Jacqueline Do, who retired at the end of October.The three positions are typically held by different people, with the treasurer acting as a "control function" in the township's form of government, according to township attorney Kenneth Poller.

The township's financial ledger was not updated for 10 months prior to Do's retirement, officials said.

Building a proposed CVS would increase the wait for drivers at the intersection of Pascack Road and Washington Avenue by less than a second if an intersection improvement were completed, according to traffic engineer Gary Dean.

According to Dean, the average delay at the improved intersection would be 28.5 seconds without the CVS. The delay would be 29.3 seconds with the CVS, Dean said. 

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