Union County News

Rahway's Rayford Charged with Distributing Fentanyl-laced Crack Cocaine that Killed 3 Rahway Residents

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George Rayford of Rahway has been charged with dealing drugs that led to overdose deaths Credits: Union County Prosecutor's Office
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RAHWAY, NJ - George Rayford, 38 of Rahway, has been arrested and charged with distributing crack cocaine that led to the death of three people and sent others to the hospital, it was announced Friday by Union County Prosecutor Michael A. Monahan.

“Considering the high levels of purity found in illegal drugs being sold throughout Union County and New Jersey, as well as the potential for those drugs to be laced with varying amounts of deadly substances such as fentanyl, purchasing and using them can be tantamount to playing Russian roulette,” acting Prosecutor Monahan said. “Thankfully, through the State’s strict liability statute, we have the means to ensure that those caught selling drugs that kill people face lengthy prison terms commensurate with their reckless actions.”

Rayford, who resides on the 1200 block of Whelan Place, is charged with dealing the fentanyl-laced crack cocaine that led to the deaths of three Rahway residents and numerous people being hospitalized during a 24-hour period last December.

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Monahan announced that Rayford is charged with "three counts of strict liability for a drug-induced
death, a first-degree crime, as well as four counts of second-degree drug distribution within 500 feet of a public park and five related third-degree drug distribution and possession offenses."

According to the Union County Prosecutor's Office, a six-week investigation discovered that Rayford distributed "deadly quantities of the drugs out of his home on Friday, Dec. 22, 2017."

Union County Homicide Task For Supervisor Michael Henn, who is prosecuting the case, reported that 
Rayford distributed the deadly quantities of drugs. By the end of the night, 41-year-old Nicole Taylor, 53-year- old Kacina Vanderburg, and 67-year- old Harold Johnston, all Rahway residents, had overdosed on the drugs and died, Henn said.

The investigation was initiated by the Rahway Police Department and Detective James Crowell, and expanding to include the Homicide Task Force, Union County Sheriff’s Office, and Woodbridge Police Department. The investigation revealed that an unknown number of others also overdosed on the drugs that night, but survived.

Rayford was arrested at his home early Friday morning without incident and lodged in Union County Jail pending a first appearance today and a detention hearing to be held next week.

Convictions on first-degree criminal charges are commonly punishable by 10 to 20 years in state prison.
These criminal charges are mere accusations. Each defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Anyone with information about this matter is being urged to contact Detective Crowell at 732-827- 2115 or Prosecutor’s Office Detective Nicholas Falcicchio at 908-721- 8186.

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Union

Union Rec to Host Instructional Co-Ed Basketball Clinic

July 15, 2018

UNION, NJ - The Union Recreation Department will host an instructional, co-ed basketball clinic Wednesday, Aug. 15 and Wednesday, Aug. 22, at Davis Park, 940 Arcadia Place.

The clinic, featuring fun drills and games, will run from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. for participants in third- through fifth-grade and 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. for sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders.

Participants must be Union ...

The Week Ahead in Union

UNION, NJ - Happenings in Union this week:t

Monday, 7/09

Union Township Active Retirees (Monday Club), 10:00 a.m., Senior Center
Let's Create: Perler Parlor, 1:00 p.m., Union Public Library
Adult Prize Bingo, 2:00 p.m., Vauxhall Public Library
Construction Zone, 3:30 p.m., Union Public Library
Career Coach, 5:30 p.m., Vauxhall Public Library
Beatles: The BeAginnings, 6:30 ...

The Week Ahead in Union

UNION, NJ - Happenings in Union this week:

Monday, 7/02

Union Township Active Retirees (Monday Club), 10:00 a.m., Senior Center
Let's Create: Sharpie Watercolor Canvases, 1:00 p.m., Union Public Library
Adult Coloring, 2:00 p.m., Vauxhall Public Library
Construction Zone, 3:30 p.m., Union Public Library
Career Coach, 5:00 p.m., Vauxhall Public Library
Connect, Explore & ...

Upcoming Events

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Mon, July 16, 2:00 PM

Vauxhall Public Library, Union

Lunch and a Movie: The Glass Castle

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Mon, July 16, 7:30 PM

Ehrhart Gardens, Union

Union Municipal Band Concert

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Tue, July 17, 10:00 AM

First Baptist Church of Vauxhall, Vauxhall

Free Diabetes Self-Management Workshop Series

Education Health & Wellness

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Tue, July 17, 12:30 PM

Vauxhall Public Library, union

Tai Chi - Free Exercise Program For Mature Adults

Union's Mayor Talks About Streetscapes

The Township Committee and I are excited to announce that the second phase of the Streetscape Project has begun.  After the successful completion of phase one that yielded great results, we have already seen an increase in foot traffic, which is essential in jump-starting Union Center and bringing in the higher caliber retailers that residents are looking for in the Center.

Following the ...

Stacy Fortes of Union Graduates from Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child

July 5, 2018

SUMMIT, NJ,  — Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child held its 90th commencement ceremony on Sunday, June 10, on its 11-acre campus in Summit. The 63 graduates kept with school tradition and donned white gowns and gloves, and carried pink roses.

Union graduate Stacy Fortes will be attending Kean University in the fall.

Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child is a ...

Union Native Jaclyn Yoselevich Named to Dean's List at Ithaca College

ITHACA, NY -- Jaclyn Yoselevich, an Ithaca College student from Union was named to the Dean's List for the spring 2018 semester.

Founded in 1892, Ithaca College is a residential college dedicated to building knowledge and confidence through a continuous cycle of theory, practice and performance. Home to some 6,500 students, the college offers more than 100 degree programs in its ...

Herbert F. Orbann, formerly of Union, Passes Away

Herbert F. Orbann Jr. 82, formerly of Union a resident of Union passed away on June 27.

 

Herb was very active with the Republican Party, Masonic Lodge, Community, and Connecticut Farms Church in Union. After moving to Toms River, Herb also served as a Sergeant of Arms for Trenton’s Senators until his passing.

 

Services for Herb will be on Monday July 2 from ...

Roselle Man Charged in Animal Cruelty Case      

July 11, 2018

ELIZABETH, NJ — The Roselle man found with more than 40 dogs living in severely unsanitary and inhumane living conditions in his home last month has been charged with more than 30 criminal offenses, acting Union County Prosecutor Michael A. Monahan announced Wednesday.

Evelio J. Calderon, 40, is charged with two 3rd-degree animal cruelty offenses, 14 counts of 4th-degree animal ...

Rahway Mayor Giacobbe to Attend Grand Opening of First Wawa Store in Rahway; Free Coffee Offered Through July 16

RAHWAY, NJ - Rahway Mayor Raymond A. Giacobbe will be on hand to cut the ribbon at 10 a.m. Thursday. July 12, for the new Wawa store's grand opening at 280 St. Georges Avenue in Rahway.

The 24-hour Wawa store will officially open at 8 a.m. on Thursday, with the grand opening ceremonies to follow. Free coffee will be offered at the store through July 16. Wally Goose, the ...

Former Linden Police Chief to be Appointed as Union County Undersheriff

LINDEN, NJ - Former Linden Police Chief Jonathan Parham is set to be sworn in as a Union County Undersheriff, this Friday.

As a member of the Linden Police Department for nearly 25 years, Parham has served in each rank from Officer to Captain before his promotion to Chief in September of 2016. 

During his first month as Chief, Parham along with other Linden Police ...

Westfield to Hold 3-Day ‘AddamsFest’ Celebrating Charles Addams and His Creations This Fall

July 14, 2018

WESTFIELD, NJ — It’s creepy. It’s kooky. And it’s taking over Westfield from Oct 26 to 28. AddamsFest, a town-wide celebration honoring Westfield native Charles Addams and his most famous creations, The Addams Family, will be a destination event this fall with family-friendly activities, lectures, exhibits and film screenings, the town announced Thursday.

Watch the ...

15th Annual Maplewoodstock is this Weekend: July 14 and July 15

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The 23 bands performing were selected from a record-high 109 applicants in 2018, who radiate from Maplewood/South Orange to other musical ...

Video: Mail Truck Careens into Warinanco Park Pond

ELIZABETH/ROSELLE/LINDEN, NJ - Police, Fire, and Rescue units responded to a U.S. Mail truck that drove head-on into the pond in Warinanco Park on Thursday afternoon. 

Sometime after 2 p.m. responders were called to the scene to find the mail truck in the water. A park worker said that while he did not see the truck go into the water, he did arrive just in time to see who he believed to ...

Springfield's Meisel Field Turf Project Almost Complete

SPRINGFIELD, N.J.- Over the last several weeks, the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders have started construction on a new turf surface at Meisel Field. Freeholder Bruce Bergen talked with TAPinto and answered questions about the project.

In a phone interview, Bergen, who is also a Springfield resident said that the decision to turf the field came as part of a larger plan to turf multiple ...

UPDATE: Scotch Plains Woman Injured in Plainfield Shooting Has Died

PLAINFIELD, NJ -- The female victim of a double shooting that took place in Plainfield the weekend of June 23-24 has died due to her injuries, Union County First Assistant Prosecutor Albert Cernadas Jr. announced Monday.

The victim has been identified as Shavonne Young, 25, of Scotch Plains. The shooting, which took place around 1:00 a.m. on Sunday, June 24, at the corner ...

Award-Winning Senior Art Exhibited at Freeholders Gallery

July 16, 2018

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is pleased to present a new exhibit of award winning artworks by local artists age 60 and up, now on display at the Freeholders Gallery through August 29. Each of the 13 works received first place honors in the countywide Senior Art Exhibit held earlier this summer in the Atrium at Liberty Hall in Union Township.

“Each in their own unique way, ...

Union County’s Free Summer Arts Festival Continues July 18 at Echo Lake Park Featuring 5 Against 1

The Union County Summer Arts Festival concert series continues on Wednesday July 18, with the band 5 Against 1 taking the stage at Echo Lake Park in Mountainside.

The free series is presented by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders. It is held at Echo Lake Park during July and moves to Oak Ridge Park in Clark during August.

“We look forward to seeing everyone at Echo Lake Park ...

FLEEK Program Provides a Summer of Art and STEM for Union County Students 

Union County Freeholder Chairman Sergio Granados and Freeholder Angela R. Garretson visited students and teachers at the Future Leaders Excelling in Entrepreneurship and Knowledge (F.L.E.E.K) Summer Youth Enrichment Program at The Patrick School in Hillside earlier this week. They were joined by Nathalie Hernandez, the Coordinator of the Union County Office of Community Engagement & ...

Union County Students Invited to Experience a Unique Silent Party

Students ages 12 to 16 are invited to “Youth Chella,” a silent party scheduled for Friday, August 16 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. in Union County’s Watchung Reservation at the Trailside Nature and Science Center, located at 452 New Providence Road in Mountainside.

Admission and refreshments are free with the donation of a snack item. The donations will be provided to students ...

Columns

Lucia, Lucia by Adriani Trigiani

Lucia, Lucia by Adriana Trigiani (Ballentine Books, 2003)

 

If a summer romance novel is what you are craving to read as you sit by the pool or beach, Adriana Trigiani's Lucia, Lucia is a perfect choice. Set in 1950 New York City, the novel is about a young woman, Lucia Sartori, who is determined to have a career and be able to support herself, an unusual choice for a girl who was ...

The Anatomy of Escape by Mike Blue

The Anatomy of Escape: An Unconventional Adventure by Mike Blue (Available on Amazon)

 

Imagine that you could just say, “Chuck it,” and walk away from the bonds that keep you tied to what Mike Blue, author of The Anatomy of Escape: An Unconventional Adventure, defines as the restrictive Work-Consume-Die cycle. To most of us, becoming what Blue terms “a ...

'Servant of Two Masters' exudes foolish fun

‘Servant of Two Masters’ makes for foolish, frivolous fun

By Liz Keill

MADISON, NJ –Carlo Goldoni’s “The Servant of Two Masters,” in a rousing translation and adaptation by Bonnie J. Monte, has the outdoor audience at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey laughing and clapping all the way through.

The yearly production, held at the amphitheatre on the ...

What Union is Reading: Month ending June 2018

July 6, 2018

It is summertime and a great time to get in some reading! Many great new books have topped the list in June. The top circulating print books in six categories for the Union Public Library in June 2018 follows. The top circulated digital books from RBdigital make up the seventh category; download the app today and start borrowing books from home to read or listen on your phone or tablet at the ...

Body Pulled From Delaware River

July 9, 2018

KINGWOOD, NJ – First responders were on the scene at the Delaware River and pulling the body of a man from the water Friday.

“The worst has happened,” said Greg Crance, who owns Delaware River Tubing, a popular nearby tubing, rafting, kayaking  and canoeing outfitter on the river.

However, the victim is not one of his customers, Crance said.

The body was ...

Letters to the Editor

Letter to Residents of the 20th Legislative District

July 3, 2018

To the editor,

When I decided to run for state Senate, I committed to make the residents of the 20th Legislative District my top priority in Trenton.  I am proud of the FY 2019 budget and believe it is the product of a pledge I made to my constituents.  This budget is a reflection of how hard I have been working to increase funding for our schools, our municipalities and our ...