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Hasbrouck Heights in 2012: A Look Back From July to December

Patch brings readers the second half of its annual Year in Review, a look back on some of the bigger news items from the second half of 2012.

July

Truck Driver Killed After Striking Route 17 Office Building

A truck driver, later identified as y Jean G. Sanon, of Suffern, was killed when the tractor trailer he was in crashed into an office complex, burst into flames and ignited the building on Route 17 on the morning of July 28.

Fire Support Crew Gets the Go Ahead

The volunteer fire department got the okay from the council to move ahead with the creation of an associate membership branch. Fire Chief Richard Giarratana and Asst. Chief Pat Hayes addressed the many concerns and criticisms about the associate branch which have been circulating in the community since it was first proposed.

Boulevard Streetscape Work Begins

Work to revitalize two more sections of the Boulevard began this month. New sidewalks were put in on both sides of the roadway between Jefferson and Hamilton avenues. It's an ongoing project with the majority of work paid for by state Department of Transportation grants.

Route 17 Hotel OK'd Despite Flooding Concerns

Home 2 Suites by Hilton got the approval from the Planning Board to move forward with plans to convert an office building on Route 17 at Ottawa into a 145-unit hotel provided residents' list of concerns, largely focusing on flooding and traffic, are met.

August

Hasbrouck Heights High Ranks Among Top 100 in State

Hasbrouck Heights High School has climbed its way up onto the top 100  NJ public schools list published by New Jersey Monthly Magazine. Previously Hasbrouck Heights High School just missed the top 100 in 2010 coming in at 107. Now the high school has risen quite substantially since, up 35 points to number 72.

New Principals Team Up on Elementary Education

New elementary school principals Michael Sickels, of Euclid School, and Joseph Colangelo, of Lincoln School,  spent the summer preparing to take the helm at their respective schools.

September

Heights Police Investigate McDonald's Bomb Threat

Hasbrouck Heights Police conducted an investigation after a McDonalds employee on route 17 South reported a bomb threat call had been received. Police had evacuated the building and brought in bomb sniffing dogs to search the area.

Heights Kiwanis Club Says Goodbye After 60 Years

The Hasbrouck Heights Kiwanis Club disbanded after 60 years of continued service to the community. Its members and supporters celebrated with an anniversary luncheon to which also served as a finale to the decades of work its volunteers have put in to serving others.

Heights Welcomes Fall Season with Family Fun

Hasbrouck Heights families enjoyed a fun-filled day at Woodland Park during the borough's annual Town Day event which featured food, music, games and more. See the photo gallery!

October

Sandy Strikes Hasbrouck Heights

Superstorm Sandy hit Hasbrouck Heights on Oct. 29 uprooting 90 trees and ripping down power lines all over the borough. Homes were in the dark for days, some for as long as 10. Schools were closed down for an entire week. Borough Hall and the Public Safety Building had to operate on generator power. Businesses were in the dark for days.

Heights Police Address Concerns Regarding Attempted Lurings

Hasbrouck Heights police reported they were keeping close watch for any suspicious activity in relation to recent reports of attempted luring of young children in area neighborhoods in town around Bergen County.

Hasbrouck Heights Teachers Receive New Contract

Hasbrouck Heights Board of Education approved the new contract for its teachers Thursday night as the result which includes two salary increases to come over the course of the next three years. The first is a 2.5 percent increase which comes this November and a 3.9 percent increase which will come in either July or September 2014.

Captain Delorenzo Retires After 25 Years with Police Department

Hasbrouck Heights Police Detective Captain Jack Delorenzo retired at the end of October after 25 years with the police department.

November

Democrat Christian Semenecz, the lone challenger in the race against two Republican incumbents, unseated Republican Councilman John Dingertopadre. Incumbent Republican Councilman Russell Lipari was also re-elected. Semenecz is the first Democrat to be elected to the council since 2007. He will be the sole Democrat on the council made up of all Republicans and Republican mayor.

Firefighters Near and Far Band Together to Help Sandy Victims

A true outpouring of community spirit was witnessed by dozens as as an 18-wheeler tractor trailer, which traveled all the way from Pascagoula, Mississippi, arrived in front of the Hasbrouck Heights Fire Department loaded with donated supplies for the Hurricane Sandy victims of Moonachie and Little Ferry. The Pascagoula community wanted to give back for the help it received seven years earlier when it was devastated by Hurricane Katrina.

Sandy Forces Heights Officials to Seek Better Disaster Communications Plan

Hasbrouck Heights officials began to reflect on the disasters Superstorm Sandy brought to the borough and how they can move towards finding better ways to communicate during such an event which tore down trees and power lines all through the borough leaving .

Heights Marks the Start of the Holiday Season

Hasbrouck Heights once again marked the start of the holiday season with its festive annual parade which brought hundreds to the Boulevard to take part in this long standing community tradition which of course included an appearance by Santa and Mrs. Claus.

December

Heights Seeks Solution to Communication Problems During Emergencies

Borough leaders brought members of the community together to discuss the impact that Superstorm Sandy had on this community, what needs to be done going forward in the event of another emergency. Residents concerns laid mainly with communication which borough officials said is what they are looking to improve.

The Hasbrouck Heights school administrative team has already begun re-evaluating its routine safety practices in the wake of Friday's horrific tragedy at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

Be sure to review the first part of the 2012 Year in Review January to June.

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