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Top NJ Baby Names For 2018 Revealed

NEW JERSEY — The Social Security Administration has released its annual list of the top baby names in the country. The top baby names for boys and girls born are once again Liam and Emma, the same names that topped the Social Security Administration’s annual list last year.

And they’re also the top names in New Jersey, too (see lists below).

The name Emma is enjoying its fifth year as Americans’ favorite name for girls this year, while Liam has been a preferred name for boys for the second year in a row. When Liam made it to the top of the list in 2017, it overtook Noah, which had been the No.1 name for boys since 2013.

New Jersey’s top 10 baby names for boys in 2018 were:

  1. Liam
  2. Noah
  3. Jacob
  4. Michael
  5. Matthew
  6. Lucas
  7. Joseph
  8. Dylan
  9. Logan
  10. Benjamin

New Jersey’s top 10 baby names for girls in 2018 were:

  1. Emma
  2. Isabella
  3. Olivia
  4. Mia
  5. Ava
  6. Sophia
  7. Charlotte
  8. Emily
  9. Amelia
  10. Leah

There were some changes to the popular list released every year by the Social Security Administration.

According to the agency, Jacob and Abigail — two names that have been longtimers on the list — dropped out of the top 10 for the first time since 1992 and 2000, respectively.

Nationally, the top 10 baby names for boys in 2018 were:

  1. Liam
  2. Noah
  3. William
  4. James
  5. Oliver
  6. Benjamin
  7. Elijah
  8. Lucas
  9. Mason
  10. Logan

For girls, the top 10 baby names for 2018 were:

  1. Emma
  2. Olivia
  3. Ava
  4. Isabella
  5. Sophia
  6. Charlotte
  7. Mia
  8. Amelia
  9. Harper
  10. Evelyn

The Social Security Administration began compiling the list in 1997, with names dating back to 1880. The agency also notes that popular culture influences baby names.

In 2018, parents appeared to have been influenced by Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex. Meghan was the fastest rising girls’ name in 2018.

The agency is already anticipating what effect the name Archie will have in 2019, the name given to Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s newborn son. Archie already had a gain in popularity in 2018, making it to the top 1,000 for the first time since 1988.

You can read more about the top baby names here.

Paramus Bus Crash Victims Remembered: Top News

The two victims of the horrific Paramus bus crash were remembered by their families recently. The crash happened one year ago Friday. Those were just a couple of the stories featured on Bergen County Patch websites this week.

1 Year Later: Miranda Vargas, Paramus Bus Crash Victim Remembered

PARAMUS, NJ — Miranda Faith Vargas loved to build things. Vargas wanted to be an engineer when she got older. She wanted to build skyscrapers. She loved playing with LEGOs. “You could… Read more


Jennifer Williamson, Paramus Bus Crash Victim, Remembered

PARAMUS, NJ — Dolores Williamson was at her daughter’s grave one day when a man she did not know walked up to her. The man was there to visit Jennifer Williamson’s grave. He was one of her… Read more


Oakland’s ‘Candy Man’ Prescribed Drugs For No Reason: US Attorney

OAKLAND, NJ — A doctor and self-described “El Chapo of opioids” has been accused of prescribing drugs to people without a legitimate medical reason, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.Dr…. Read more


Bergen Student Wins Statewide Anti-Drug Poster Contest

BERGEN COUNTY, NJ — Playing with drugs is a no-win scenario. Just ask Ava Wittreich. Wittreich, of Bergenfield, was one of two co-winners of The Partnership For A Drug-Free New Jersey’s annual… Read more


Bergen County Hospital Safety Grades: 1 Hospital Gets ‘A’ Grade

BERGEN COUNTY, NJ — One Bergen County hospital received an “A” grade in hospital safety, according to new Spring… Read more


Pet Protectors Want Justice For Jenny And Other Abused Animals

PASSAIC COUNTY, NJ — Nancy Warner’s phone is always ringing. Whether it’s a call, text, or email, she is constantly finding out about animal abuse cases and rescuing animals. Warner runs Last… Read more


Mahwah Company Conspired To Inflate Drug Prices: Attorney General

MAHWAH, NJ — A township company was accused in a federal lawsuit of illegally conspiring to artificially inflate the price of more than 100 generic drugs, according to the Office of Attorney General.Glenmark… Read more


Fort Lee Nanny Stole $37,000 From Bergen Family: Prosecutor

FORT LEE, NJ — The longtime nanny of an Alpine family stole $37,000 from her employers, acting Bergen County Prosecutor Dennis Calo announced. Gabriella Durso, 27, of Fort Lee was charged with… Read more


Email: daniel.hubbard@patch.com

Ramsey Native Gets ‘Shark Tank’ Deal For Fat Shack Restaurants

RAMSEY, NJ — Tom Armenti has taken one of New Jersey’s most iconic foods and is going national with it.

To help the Ramsey native along, Mark Cuban gave him and his business partner, Kevin Gabauer a deal on the May 12 episode of “Shark Tank.” Cuban invested $250,000 for a 15 percent stake in their company, Fat Shack.

Fat Shack is a Colorado-based company specializing in the New Jersey-bred variety of Fat sandwiches made famous by the “grease trucks” at Rutgers University. The sandwiches contain a mixture of fried and grilled foods like mozzarella sticks, chicken fingers, cheesesteak, and onion rings, piled high on a hoagie roll.

“Growing up in New Jersey, it was a staple food for me,” Armenti said.

The Fat Shack grew out of Armenti’s first business featuring the sandwiches, Cars Late Night Delivery Service.

Armenti opened the first Fat Shack restaurant in Ewing in February 2010 after he graduated from The College of New Jersey the preceding year.

“It was a tiny operation,” Armenti said. “I would visit family in Colorado and my uncle said to look into Fort Collins. Fat sandwiches were a brand-new concept out there. No one had ever heard of them.”

Armenti took a chance and made the move out west, opening the first Colorado store in 2011.

“When I got out there, I had no idea if people would love it or hate it,” Armenti said. “Luckily they loved it.”

Armenti worked hard. The first year was rough. He was still figuring the business out and did not make money, often sleeping in the back of the restaurant. Eventually, he figured everything out and did well. Then he reached out to his friend, Gabauer.

“Once I got everything worked out, I could see it growing into other markets,” Armenti said. “That’s when I reached out to Kevin. He is the most organized person I know.”

The partners opened a restaurant in Boulder in 2013 and three more in Colorado in 2015. There are now 10 franchise locations in Colorado, four in Texas and one in Washington.

“We’ve talked about coming back to New Jersey,” Armenti said. “We’ll be back there at some point. It’s just a matter of time.”


Email: daniel.hubbard@patch.com

Best NJ Italian Food / 27 Proposed NJ Laws / Children Found Drugs

Check out the top news that made headlines this week across the Patch network in New Jersey:

NJ Italian Restaurant Named Among Nation’s Best

The Daily Meal selected an Italian eatery in New Jersey among its list of the top 50 in the U.S.>>>Read more here.

27 Proposed Laws Pushed: Nearly 300 NJ School Districts May Go

It’s now possible: See the list of NJ school districts that could vanish, as well as the 27 proposed new laws that could change everything.

Kids Found Drugs In Preschool Worker’s Purse At Morris School: PD

The teacher’s aide was fired and arrested after children found drugs in her purse, reports said.

Tears Over Beloved NJ Teen’s Heartbreaking Loss 1 Day After Prom

The crash happened on Mother’s Day weekend, police said, just a day after the prom.

NJ Mother Pens Goodbye To Son, 15, Victim Of Prescription Drugs

Tracy Reinholt wanted these to be the last words written about her son.

29 NJ Nursing Homes Receive Lowest Rating From Federal Gov’t

These nursing homes in New Jersey have the federal government’s lowest rating after a change in the way the homes are graded.

NJ Marijuana Legalization Bill Is Dead: Voters Will Decide

UPDATED: The bill to legalize marijuana is dead. Now it’s up to you to decide. Here’s when.

Brick Crash Leaves Police, Rescuers With Unusual Rescue Challenge

The investigation into the crash that left the car vertical is ongoing; the driver suffered what were believed to be minor injuries.

Cops Respond To Man Asleep In Car, BB Gun At Kearny Postal Center

A man who fell asleep in his car, and who had a BB gun on him, prompted a heavy police response outside the Kearny U.S. postal center.

Fire At Chemical Plant In Kearny Put Nearby Towns On Alert: VIDEO

HUDSON COUNTY, NJ — A fire at Alden Leeds chlorine plant in Kearny under the Pulaski Skyway on Friday night caused smoke and odors to waft over the area. Multiple news reports stated the fire was under control Saturday morning, although the Pulaski Skyway remained closed to traffic.

On Friday, several nearby towns issued precautionary statements about the blaze, advising residents to stay inside and shut their windows. Some public safety officials still had lingering concerns about air quality near the plant on Saturday, which manufactures chlorine tablets used in swimming pools, ABC 7 reported.

After the fire broke out Friday, Kearny officials told residents to stay indoors with their windows closed. “Inhaling the smoke can cause severe respiratory distress,” the Kearny Fire Department stated.

Newark public safety officials said that the fire may have sent fumes towards the city, and urged people in impacted areas to keep windows and doors shut and stay inside.

However, around 10 a.m. on Saturday, Kearny police said it was safe for residents to open their windows or go outside. “In Kearny, there’s no air quality issue,” a police lieutenant told NJ.com. “We have a hazmat unit out testing the air.”

Other government officials also issued updates about air quality on Saturday morning.

Gov. Phil Murphy wrote that he was “grateful to first responders” at the scene.

“No injuries to report and some roads remain closed,” Murphy stated. “?Smoke and odors have minimized, but we’ll continue to monitor air quality.?”

“Air samples specific to the Greenville, Society Hill and Lincoln Park areas have now been deemed safe,” officials in Jersey City stated. “The JCFD will continue testing as we await information from the state level.?”

At 6:45 a.m., the Bayonne Office of Emergency Management said that they spoke to the state DEP, who advised that “air quality levels are well within acceptable levels” for the area.

“There is currently no alert for our city,” Bayonne officials said.

At 9:15 a.m., the Bayonne OEM issued an update: “COEM, HCRHC, and NJDEP all advise that air quality is good. There is NO advisory in Bayonne. Crews will continue to operate and monitor.”

Hoboken officials said that due to southeast winds, smoke and fumes from the chemical plant fire never made their way to the city.

“It has been deemed safe to reopen your windows and the air does not pose any sort of health risk,” Hoboken officials said Saturday.

Local videographer Jeff Stang posted the below video taken at the scene.

Send news tips and correction requests to eric.kiefer@patch.com

3 Bergen Companies Make New Fortune 500 List

Three Bergen County companies were named to Forbes’ annual 500 list for the most recent fiscal year.

New Jersey had 20 companies on the list, including four in the top 100.

With combined revenues of $38.5 billion, the three Bergen County companies named to the list were:

  • No. 193: Cognizant Technology Solutions, Teaneck $16.1 billion
  • No. 195: Becton Dickinson, Franklin Lakes, $15.9 billion
  • No. 457: Ascena Retail Group, Mahwah $6.5 billion

Johnson & Johnson was the top New Jersey company on the list at No. 37 with a revenue of $81.5 billion. Prudential Financial was the next highest Garden State company ranked at No. 50 with $62.9 billion in revenue.

Walmart was followed by Exxon Mobil and Apple on the 2019 list. Berkshire Hathaway and Amazon ranked No.4 and No.5, rounding out the top five spots on the list.

This week’s release of information marked the 65th annual list, Fortune said. To put the list in context, Fortune writes that just a tenth of the companies on the list are responsible for nearly half of the total $13.7 trillion in revenue. (You can read more in detail about the list via Fortune here).

Click here to see the complete list of New Jersey companies to make the list.


Email: daniel.hubbard@patch.com

Bergen Teen Had Sexual Contact With Minor: Prosecutor

A Bergen County teenager was charged with sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child, acting Bergen County Prosecutor Dennis Calo announced.

Luis Tzoy-Deleon, 19, of Fairview was arrested Thursday after an investigation by authorities, Calo said in a news release.

The New Jersey Division of Child Protection and Permanency received information that Tzoy-Deleon engaged in sexual conduct with a child younger than 13 in Fairview, Calo said.

The Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit and the Fairview Police Department investigated and arrested Tzoy-Deleon Thursday, Calo said.

Tzoy-Deleon was detained at the Bergen County Jail pending a first appearance in Bergen County Central Judicial Processing Court Friday.


Email: daniel.hubbard@patch.com

Bergen Man Charged In Paramus Jitney Bus Incident

PARAMUS, NJ — A man was charged two weeks after he called a fellow Paramus jitney bus passenger a terrorist and threatened to kill him, police announced.

Victor Colon, 51, of Hackensack was arrested at his apartment Wednesday night in connection with the May 2 incident, said Chief Kenneth Ehrenberg.

Police released photos of Colon and video of the incident to the media Wednesday. Shortly after the information was released, Detective Sal Cosentino received information identifying Colon as the suspect, Ehrenberg said.

At about 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, Cosentino and other Paramus and Hackensack police officers arrested Colon at his apartment, the chief said. He was charged with bias intimidation, terroristic threats, and aggravated assault with a weapon.

Related: Paramus Police Seek Jitney Bus Attack Suspect

Colon was processed and booked at the Paramus Police Department headquarters. He was remanded to the Bergen County Jail pending a bail hearing, the chief said.

The suspect in the jitney bus incident stomped on a man’s foot as he walked past him on the jitney bus in Fair Lawn, police previously said.

As the victim sat down, the man moved his seat closer to him and harassed him, asking the victim if he was Indian, police previously said. The suspect said the victim’s family killed his father and that he was a terrorist and responsible for the 9/11 attacks, police said.

The suspect spit at the victim, brandished a box cutter, slashing it through the air, and hitting the man’s backpack, Ehrenberg said.

While near the 24 Hour Fitness building on Route 4 East, the suspect demanded the driver stop the bus and told the victim to get off, Ehrenberg said.

The victim got off and called the Paramus Police Department, he said.


Email: daniel.hubbard@patch.com

Camden incentives squabbles overshadow RFQ for Riverfront State Prison site

The specifications and descriptions of the property in the RFQ were reasonably precise:

  • Riverfront property, views of Philadelphia skyline;
  • Approximately 8.75 acres of prime land, close to a newly established public park, roadway improvements;
  • Large-scale environmental cleanup that involved capping the property with clean fill, topsoil and vegetation;
  • Seemingly ideal location for commercial or mixed-use development.

If interested, the EDA release says (bolded and ALL CAPS as it was presented):

Qualifications must be received by 2 p.m. on September 18, 2019 in a securely SEALED envelope or carton.

Here’s what the Request for Qualifications for those interested in redeveloping the former Riverfront State Prison Site in Camden doesn’t say:

Will the developer or any companies using the site have access to any Economic Development Authority-sponsored tax incentive programs?

Will those using any potential incentives become pawns in the growing war involving Camden — a war Gov. Phil Murphy’s team says it did not want, but it has, thanks to a task force many in Camden feel (rightly or wrongly) was constructed with an eye on them?

Will — and it’s becoming increasingly easier to question — there be any incentive programs actually on the books when it comes time to advance the process?

And, finally, if there are no incentives available, will that be an acknowledgement that the previous incentives for Camden did what they were supposed to do: create an urban environment where incentives are no longer needed to attract development?

If the EDA’s release of the RFQ for the former prison site was intended to show the Murphy administration is committed to development in Camden, it may have fallen short.

Firms are not racing to do business in Camden right now.

“The EDA is toxic,” one developer, speaking on condition of anonymity, said. “No one wants to be associated with it right now. That’s not good.”

There is a lot of uncertainty.

And tension.

Earlier Friday, Camden Mayor Frank Moran (along with city council President Curtis Jenkins and state Sen. Nilsa Cruz-Perez) issued a tough-talking news release regarding Murphy’s planned visit to the city — only his second since taking office, they said.

“Gov. Phil Murphy is swooping into Camden to attend a small group event out of the eye of the public, but he won’t come here to talk to the leaders of the city about why he’s attacking it or the potentially devastating impacts his attacks could have on the amazing progress Camden is making,” Moran said in the release.

“That’s why it’s so important that he understand from those of us who were elected to represent the people of Camden a simple message: He’s not welcome here unless and until he stops attacking the city and talks to the people of Camden and the leaders who were elected to represent them.

“Using Trenton attack dogs to try to destroy any of the more than two dozen companies which are making major investments in Camden makes it harder to attract new ones here, and that hurts the people of Camden.”

Darryl Isherwood, a spokesperson for the EDA, took exception to Moran’s words, and reiterated the governor’s interest — and efforts — in Camden. Efforts, he said, are demonstrated by the RFQ.

“The focus of the task force has never been about one geography or one company or one person,” he said. “It’s always been about determining if taxpayer dollars — including those paid by the residents of Camden — have been spent wisely, and to ensure that the program works for everybody, not just a select few.

“Gov. Murphy continues to make the well-being of the city of Camden a priority,  in areas like education where we have allocated more than $310 million to school funding, the most in recent memory; transportation, where we have distributed more than $54 million to the county; and property tax relief, where more than $180 million has been earmarked under three separate programs.”

Isherwood said the governor is eager to get his new incentive programs passed.

“The governor has proposed a robust package of tax incentives that we’re still hopeful will be passed into law by the Legislature,” he said. “Those incentives certainly would benefit developers interested into the site.”

The process figures to be a long one. The RFQ is just the first step.

But it’s the first step into a situation some are hesitant to get into.

This much is a clear: A highly desirable piece of real estate (and a good part of that desirability comes from the investment that has come to Camden) is available. But it comes with many more questions than can be answered right now.

And that’s not good for New Jersey.

Read more from ROI-NJ:

Read more from ROI-NJ

More By Tom Bergeron

Local Teen Uncovers Family Histories—and Secrets—for Curious Clients


Medford Lakes High School senior Eric Shubert has made a business of genealogy, researching family trees for more than 1,000 clients. Photo by Jauhien Sasnou



Eric Schubert’s friends call him “the world’s oldest teenager,” and maybe they have a point. The 17-year-old senior at Shawnee High School in Medford Lakes runs a thriving business in a field that’s more likely to attract people planning for retirement than fielding college acceptances. When he isn’t studying or volunteering (he helps oversee two nonprofits), he spends his time tracing family histories and tracking down long-lost relatives. He launched his company, ES Genealogy, in early 2016, and over the past three years has unlocked family mysteries for hundreds of clients across the country.

Those mysteries might have been unsolved were it not for a bout of pneumonia Schubert suffered in fourth grade. Stuck at home for days, he felt as sidelined by boredom as by his illness. His mother saw an advertisement for the genealogical website ancestry.com and suggested he check it out to pass the time. “I was always interested in history,” says Schubert, who had already committed to memory all the presidents and their terms of office in chronological order. “As soon as I figured out that genealogy was history, I was hooked.”

Initially, he concentrated on tracing his own family history, discovering, for example, that his family surname wasn’t originally Schubert, but Grzegorzewski. (“Thirteen letters, very Polish,” he says. “My grandfather changed it before he got married.”) But after four years, he figured he had learned most of what there was to know about his personal ancestry. He might have given up his hobby for good, but luckily, he needed a job.

“At 15,” he says, “there wasn’t much I could do.” So either he or his mother—the two can’t quite agree on this point—decided he should find out if folks in the community might want to hire him to research their family trees. “I thought it was a great idea,” Schubert recalls, “but I didn’t think there would be that much interest. Boy, was I wrong.”

Soon he was riding a wave of genealogical fascination generated by sites like Ancestry and MyHeritage and DNA services like 23 and Me. In fact, based on data from 2016, genealogy is America’s second most popular hobby (the first is gardening). Since launching his business, Schubert has delved into the family histories of more than 1,000 clients, compiling custom scrapbooks and family trees. He’s learned that the Internet will take him only so far, and that sometimes, only an old-fashioned letter will secure the information he’s seeking. Among the secrets he’s uncloaked are a client’s relative born at the same time and in the same small Austrian town as Adolf Hitler, and for an adoptee, the unsettling fact that her birth parents died by murder/suicide.

He hopes he can keep the business going over the next four years while he attends Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania. “I can never stay away from it for too long,” he says of an enterprise that’s also clearly a passion. At college, he plans to study social studies education and—no surprise—history.

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