Cranford's Most Read Stories of 2012

Here's a list of the stories that resonated the most with Cranford Patch readers in 2012.

Mar 1, 2012 — Mason to Take On Township Administrator Job

Officials announced Tuesday night that Chief Eric Mason will retire from his position as theCranford police chief in order to assume the full-time job of Township Administrator — a position he's held in an "acting" capacity since September of 2011.

Mayor David Robinson made the annoucement near the end of the public Township Committee meeting on Feb. 28.


March 2, 2012 — Release of Police Chief's Phone Call Raises Eyebrows

One day after Cranford Police Chief Eric Mason announced his plans to retire from the Police Department to become the fulltime township administrator, a video has surfaced that includes audio from an eight-year-old phone call with his son in which Mason jokes that his day was going well because he "didn't have to kill any white people."


March 6, 2012 — Readers' Choice: Pick Your Favorite Pre-School

Finding the right pre-school — where curriculum meets nurturing environment — is a big decision. Whether in a church basement, a private residence or a dedicated business, the perfect pre-school comes in many forms. We need you to help identify the place that meant so much to you and your children.

Winner: Watch Me Grow Nursery School


May 31, 2012 — Dunkin' Donuts Shop Closed For Health Violations

The Dunkin' Donuts shop on the corner of Raritan Road and Walnut Avenue has been shut down indefinitely due to health violations, local officials confirmed Thursday afternoon.

According to Monika Koscova-Jencik, Cranford's health inspector and a registered environmental health specialist, Dunkin' Donuts was closed earlier this week after health officials learned that the shop had begun renovating the building without obtaining the proper permits. In addition, work was being done near exposed food.

June 30, 2012 — Medivac Lands On Parkway Following Crash

A medivac helicopter landed on the Garden State Parkway at about 6:50 p.m. Saturday following a motor vehicle accident with an entrapment.

According to reports, the accident occurred in the southbound lanes of the parkway near exit 136 in Cranford. Reports indicate that at least one victim was pinned inside a vehicle, requiring rescue workers to extricate the patient. Due to the seriousness of the injuries, medical units also requested a medivac helicopter to transport the victim to a nearby trauma center.


Jun 24, 2012 — Firefighters Battle Four-Alarm Blaze on North Ave. West

Smoke billowed from the second floor windows and flames could be seen shooting from the roof of the two-and-a-half-story structure at about 6 p.m. on June 24, as firefighters aimed heavy streams of water at the residence, hoping to bring the fire under control. Across the street, Jeanette Bilson, the owner of the home, sat on a chair next to her family, watching crews from Cranford, Linden, Garwood, Kenilworth, Roselle, Roselle Park and Westfield work to extinguish the blaze.


July 6, 2012 —Police Search For Missing Cranford Teenage Girl

The Cranford Police Department is searching for a teenage girl who was reported missing by her family.

According to reports, Wiktoria Dziekanska, 14, has been missing from her residence since about 11 a.m. this morning. The teen was last seen wearing a grey tank top, blue jeans shorts, glasses and Converse All-Star sneakers. She has fair skin and blonde hair that may have bleached a brighter shade of blonde. She is described as being 5 feet, 5 inches tall and approximately 130 pounds. She was last seen in the area of Unami Park.


Oct. 28, 2012 — Sandy Update: 'Winds Have Increased Tremendously' 

The Cranford Fire Department has all units out in town, responding to numerous calls involving fires, downed trees and power lines and transformer/power line fires. Residents throughout Cranford and other parts of the county are reporting seeing repeated flashes of light that are believed to be transformer explosions.

According to one resident who posted on the Cranford Patch Facebook Page, three pine trees are leaning on the power lines two doors down from Dooley Funeral home, on the north side of North Avenue West.


October 29, 2012 — Firefighters Battle Winds To Extinguish Blaze

Fighting against Hurrican Sandy's high winds, Cranford firefighters responded to a blaze in an industrial section of town that residents say has been lighting up the sky for nearly an hour.

Fire Chief Leonard Dolan said the blaze is contained to primary power lines on Jackson Drive near Commerce Drive.

"Primary electric lines burning," Dolan said, explaining that this is a commercial area, and the power lines have not resulted in outages for any residents nearby.


Oct 30, 2012 — Sandy's Path Of Destruction In Cranford [Photos]

Hurricane Sandy left dozens of downed trees and power lines in her wake as she pummeled the East Coast. Cranford was spared the devastating flooding experienced during Hurricane Irene, but were left with massive damage to trees and property caused by high wind gusts during the storm.


Nov. 29, 2012 — Witnesses Describe Scene of Fatal Walnut Crash

A man driving a black compact car was killed after colliding with a tree this morning in the 400 block of Walnut Avenue, about a block away from Walnut Avenue School. According to Cranford Police Lt. James Wozniak, the fatal accident occurred just before 9a.m.

A neighbor, whose home is directly in front of the crash site came out to help the victim whom she described as an elderly man. "He was not responsive, but he had his eyes open," said Stephanie Cabezas, 22. She said she heard a loud thump around 8:45a.m. and that soon after, men were cutting branches from on top of the vehicle. The crash occured just a few feet from her door.


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