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Top 10 Most Read RiverDell Stories in 2012

It was a hectic newsworthy year in River Dell during 2012

# 1- River Dell Students Remember Oradell Teen Killed on Highway

After word spread that River Dell senior Rafael "Raf" Acosta died in September, current and former students took to Twitter to remember a friend and peer who was known for his sense of humor. The 17-year-old from Oradell died after being fatally struck by a car near Hackensack Avenue and Route 4.

#2 - Ex-girlfriend in Connecticut State Police Custody on Double Homicide Charges

A 49-year-old Newburgh, NY resident has been arrested in Connecticut in connection to a double homicide in River Edge.

Monica Mogg, is the former girlfriend of one of the victims, Arthur Noeldechan, 52, of Washingtonville, NY. River Edge resident Lillian Kim, 42, was also killed.

According to County Prosecutor John Molinelli, Mogg had been stalking the victims for several months after her relationship with Noeldechan ended. On Tuesday Oct. 30 it is believed that Mogg drove to River Edge where she entered Kim's Millbrook Road home through an unlocked rear door and then confronted the victims. Noeldechan was shot while Kim was stabbed to death. Both victims were found on Oct. 31 during a welfare check by REPD.

Mogg is being held on $3 million bail following her November court appearance in Hackensack. Her attorney David Goldstein did not enter a plea on her behalf at that time. Along with the two murder charges, she faces two counts of felony murder, armed burglary, criminal weapons possession, destroying evidence, stalking and theft.

If convincted, she could be sentenced to two consecutive life terms.

#3 - Reassessment Results May Drive Residents out of River Edge

For over a month, River Edge residents expressed frustration with the results of a new reassessment, with realtors and one developer stating they won't be able to do business in town. 

The 83-page reported the majority of homes will see a reduction in their assessed value but at the same time those residents seeing an increase ranging from 16% to 109%.

The assessment by  Appraisal Systems cost the borough approximately $174,000 by  teaming up with Cresskill and Dumont to share the cost. For the past two years the borough had been slammed with tax appeals, approximately 150 as of November 2010 and then 132 by August 2011.

According to Tax Assessor James Anzevino, among the reasons for the increased assessments are that if House A won a tax appeal in a prior year their taxes may go up so that all homes are assessed at 100%; also new construction or renovated homes with additions will have retained their values better.

Anzevino and Rick Del Guercio Jr. of  Appraisal Systems Inc., appeared in mid-April to defend the results citing the lack of a housing uniformity in town and a prior 2005 assessment.

#4 - Assistant Coach Accused of Punching 17-Year-Old

A River Dell alum and assistant boys soccer coach, Christopher Lubben, 48, of Oradell has been accused of simple assault stemming from an incident at Rite Aid in early October after alledgedly punched a 17-year-old boy in the head.

#5 - River Dell Drops in School Rankings

River Dell Regional High School was listed in the top 100 schools in the state of New Jersey in 2010. But according to the New Jersey Monthly’s biennial report released recently, River Dell dropped 77 positions from 27 to 104 in 2011.

And since word got out that the Regional district went from being ranked 27th to 104th, Superintendent Patrick Fletcher has attempted to replicate the magazine's results. Unable to do so, he then reached out to NJ Monthly several times for answers, but instead has gotten silence in return.

New Jersey Monthly bases its results on the 2009 Class for the year 2010 and the 2011 Class for the year 2012. The magazine also looked at the district's SAT scores for 2009 (average 1643) and 2011 (1591), but Fletcher stated that the Class of 2012 recored an average score of 1643.

#6 - Hurricane Sandy Strikes River Dell

Up and down all of New Jersey, towns were overwhelmed by downed trees, wires and flooding after the Superstorm Sandy battered the area.Monday brought river flooding in River Edge as police are closing all access to Hackensack Avenue from New Milford and Hackensack as riverwaters have already begun to flood the intersection with Main Street.

High winds resulted in PSE&G reporting between  customers were without power following the storm's aftermath. And while utility crews were brought in from several states, power restoration was slow going as downed trees and wires had to be removed first.

By  Friday evening, approximately 1,796 Oradell residents and 3,107 in River Edge were still awaiting full restoration. Gov. Christie rescheduled Halloween and all school days for the week were cancelled. 

Eventually several local stores were open for business and Oradell moved some of their polling locations in advance of Election Day.

#7 - Crusaders Commit to NCAA on Signing Day

Pace, Lehigh, Johns Hopkins, Georgetown and Columbia University are just some of the choices that student-athletes from Bergen Catholic High School finalized during National Signing Day on Wednesday, February 1. Overall 15 members, ranging from football, soccer, lacrosse and golf, committed to further their education while competing within the NCAA.

#8 - River Edge Pair Charged With Drug Distribution

Three men, including two from River Edge, have been charged with distributing ounces of marijuana, authorities said Friday, February 24.

River Edge residents Zachary Garry, 19 and Joseph Delguercio, 20, along with Reagen Owimrin, 21, of Saddle Brook, were charged after a month-long undercover investigation, Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli said in a news release

#9- Sex Charges Stand Against School Trip Chaperones

Two former Paramus Catholic employees can be charged for allegedly having sex with students on a school trip to Germany, according to a Superior Court judge's ruling in early July.

Artur Sopel of River Edge and Michael Sumulikoski of Elmwood Park were  after three teenage girls alleged that they had engaged in sexual conduct with the pair during a February trip that year. An additional girl, a former student at Paramus Catholic, came forward later stating she engaged in sexual activities with Sopel in spring of 2010.

Following a weeklong investigation into the June 6 Hudson City Savings Bank robbery, River Edge Police arrested Darrel Johnson, 29, of Englewood late Wednesday at a Hackensack apartment. 

During the robbery, Johnson allegedly entered the bank and presented a bank teller with a note which contained a specific demand for cash, and had indicated that he was armed with a weapon. He had fled the bank on foot towards Hackensack with an undisclosed amount of cash.

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