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Getty Closing, Car Crash, Child Porn Arrest Top February's Popular Stories

Here's a look at the most popular stories from the past month in Westwood, Hillsdale and Washington Township.

Washington Township Getty Closing This Month

A corporate bankruptcy has brought the end of the Washington Township Getty gas station and garage. The business will be shutting its doors by February 25, according to Ted Foundopoulos, the owner.

Getty Petroluem Marketing (GPMI), the company which Foundopoulos had contracted with to operate the gas station, declared bankruptcy December 5. As a result, he lost a $58,000 security deposit on the site.

Getty Realty, a separate company from GPMI which owns the property in Washington Township, signed a 15-year lease with BP for the site and 27 other Getty gas stations in New Jersey and New York.

Washington Twp. Woman Hospitalized After Hitting Tree

A 30-year-old Washington Township woman drove off Pascack Road and hit a tree at about noon Thursday, according to Police Lt. Rich Skinner.

The woman had been driving southbound on Pascack Road and had just passed through the intersection of Ridgewood Road when she veered off the road and hit a tree, Skinner said.

Firefighters responded to the scene to cut open the car to free the driver.

Hillsdale Man Arrested in Statewide Child Porn Bust

A Hillsdale resident was one of 24 men and one juvenile arrested in a statewide child porn bust, Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa announced Wednesday.

David Laidlaw, 36, was charged with second degree distribution of child pornography and fourth degree possession of child pornography. 

Dunkin Donuts Returning to Washington Township

An applicant has filed to open a new Dunkin Donuts in the Washington Town Center strip mall, replacing one which previously closed.

Keith Rasquinha, who originally ran the Dunkin Donuts there, has proposed to open a new Dunkin Donuts in the 1,332-square-foot space between BK Tae Kwon Do and Wing Lee Kitchenin the mall, near its former location between Subway and Dairy Queen.

Chicken Law Considered For Westwood

Westwood officials are considering creating rules for raising chickens because there are already at least 36 properties in the borough with the birds, Councilman Ray Arroyo said Tuesday.

The borough has received some complaints about properties with chickens, Arroyo said, but the zoning officer has not taken any action because there is currently no law. Mayor John Birkner also said one resident had brought concerns to him that they could attract rodents.

"If we introduce this to the public, I expect some feathers to fly," Arroyo said.

Westwood Ambulance Collides With SUV

A Westwood ambulance and a SUV collided on Broadway near the Westwood Plaza late Thursday morning.

The ambulance was headed north to a mutual aid call in Hillsdale, Police Chief Frank Regino said. A River Vale resident in a Nissan SUV was driving down Lake Street toward Broadway and reportedly accelerated to make it through the intersection before the traffic light changed, he said. The ambulance had slowed down at the intersection and had just begun to move forward again when the vehicles collided.

The driver of the SUV was hospitalized with minor injuries, Regino said. No one in the ambulance was injured.

Westwood School Board Searching For New Superintendent

The Westwood Regional Board of Educationmade their first step in the search for a new superintendent during their meeting Thursday night.

The board decided that they would seek quotes from both the New Jersey School Boards Association and some private firms for assistance in their search, according to Board President Roberta Hanlon.

Westwood Hospital Holding Presidents Day Job Fair

HackensackUMC at Pascack Valley is holding an employment open house for anyone interested in applying for jobs there from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday.

The hospital has hired about 50 employees so far and will fill about 300 positions by the time they open June 1, according to hospital rep Lauren Zaccardi Samman.

Dog Killed in Washington Township Fire

A Washington Township family lost their dog in a fire Wednesday, according to Fire Chief Jamie Powell.

There were no other injuries. 

Firefighters from the township, Westwood, Hillsdale and Woodcliff Lake were able to quickly extinguish the fire, but the home was already so filled with smoke by the time they arrived that the windows were totally black, Powell said.

Sarabou Bakery Owner Living 'The American Dream'

Sarabou Bakery, which specializes in French-style breads and pastries, recently opened on Center Avenue in Westwood.

The shop offers pastries, cakes and French and Italian bread made fresh daily. They also have lunch items like soup, salad and sandwiches.

The journey to opening his own shop has been long for baker Aboudacar Kone, who opened it with his wife last month. Kone, who is originally from Ivory Coast and trained as a baker in France, moved to the U.S. 13 years ago to be closer to his sister.

When he arrived, he couldn't speak English.

"It was very difficult for me," Kone said.

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