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New Year's Eve Crash, Storm Damage Lawsuit, New Police Top This Week's News

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

New Year's Eve Crash Sends Four to Hospital

A three-car accident injured four Hillsdale residents New Year's Eve, according to Police Sgt. Dan McLaughlin.

The accident occured at about 6:17 p.m. on Hillsdale Avenue between Saddlewood Drive and Yessler Way, according to McLaughlin. A 77-year-old man rear-ended another car driven by a 17-year-old girl. The car then crossed into the opposite lane and collided head-on with a third car.

The drivers of all three cars, as well as a woman who was a passenger in the third car, were hospitalized after the crash, McLaughlin said. The woman was transported to Hackensack University Medical Center by a medevac helicopter which landed at the field across from George G. White Middle School.

Hillsdale Resident Sues Borough Over Storm Damage

A Hillsdale resident is seeking $33,000 in a lawsuit against the borough for damage caused by a storm in August.

Yourik Atakhanian said that a heavy rainstorm last August caused storm drains to overflow and sent water streaming down his hillside property, damaging retaining walls, a walkway, trees, a fence and the interior of a poolside cabana.

Westwood Hires Three New Police Officers

Westwood hired three new police officers this week after officials narrowed down a pool of more than 200 candidates.

The council officially voted to hire the new officers during their sine die meeting Thursday and the officers were sworn in during an informal ceremony Friday afternoon so the can begin training at the Bergen County Law and Public Safety Institute.

The new officers are Kevin Mullaney, Tristan Ganter and Keith Bott.

Westwood Officials Seek to 'Continue Progress' in 2013

Westwood Councilmen Peter Grefrath and Ray Arroyo took oaths of office for their new terms and John J. Sciara was unanimously elected as the council president during the borough's annual reorganization meeting Thursday.

Sciara has previously served as the council's president several times. Grefrath is a long-time member of the council who was re-elected in November. Arroyo is serving in his first term on the council but has prior government experience on the zoning board, on which he will continue to serve as the council's liason.

Officials were positive about 2012 and hopeful for some big changes expected to come in 2013, including the official opening of HackensackUMC at Pascack Valley at the former Pascack Valley Hospital and improvements to intersections along Broadway, which are expected to relieve traffic in the downtown area.

Cascio Picked As New Washington Township Council President

The Washington Township Council elected Dr. Steve Cascio as its president and Fred Goetz as its vice president for 2013 during their annual reorganization meeting Wednesday.

Council members and Mayor Janet Sobkowicz said they believed they had made progress last year toward making the township's government run more smoothly.

"This year, I think we've layed the groundwork in establishing good communication," Councilman Richard Hrbek said.

They were also positive about the upcoming year, saying that they hoped to continue to build on what they accomplished last year.

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