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Arrest of Former Teacher, Injured Cop, Teachers Picket Top Montville News in 2012

The stories that made headlines in Montville in the past year.

January

Montville got its first snowstorm of the season, with the exception of the October snowstorm that knocked power out in the township for days.

Then-Monville Township High School senior Zach Matari advanced on the FOX singing competition "American Idol" and a Towaco man admitted to embezzling $10.4 million from the Short Hills investment management firm he served as CFO at, according to a federal attorney.

Montville Lawyer Larry Casha announced his candidacy for the state Assembly 26th district seat that was open after Minority Leader Alex DeCroce died. 

Tim Braden was chosen by the five-member township committee to serve as mayor.

February

The annual fire district elections were held, with all three district budgets passing and fire commissioner incumbents being re-elected to new three-year terms.

The board of education voted to move its election to November and no longer have an annual vote on the school budget.

A Secaucus woman crashed her car into a Route 46 bank after allegedly smoking PCP. 

March

Former William Mason School first grade teacher Jason Fennes was arrested on charges he sexually assaulted a girl who was in his class in 2005. School district officials promised to support those affected by the alleged crimes.

The following week, a second alleged victim came forward and Fennes was arrested a second time on the new charges.

April

Low rainfall led township officials to ask residents to conserve water.

A Towaco man was charged with soliciting money for fake charities.

Montville Public Schools Curriculum Supervisor Karen Chase resigned from the district to accept a position in Chatham and a Pine Brook man started a petition to bring a Wegmans grocery store to Route 46.

May

Local VFW Post 5481 honored veterans with its annual Memorial Day event.

Earlier in the month, the Michelle Sullivan field was finally dedicated after the Montville girl who was struck and killed by a motorcyclist while walking home in 1993. 

Local politics began to heat up as three township committee candidates debated local issues such as sewer rates and the Marketplace property.

June

Incumbent Don Kostka won the Republican primary for the township committee election.

A Montville police officer was injured after crashing his car into a tree while seeking a vehicle with persons allegedly involved in a narcotics transaction. Also in June, longtime Township Engineer Anthony Barile retired.

Montville Township High School students celebrated graduation after Montville Township Public Schools hired a pair of new administrators.

July

Montville teachers picketed the board of education office to demand a new contract as state negotiators met with the board.

The township considered amending its filming ordinance after a member of the Jonas Brothers requested to film segments of his new show in Montville. Four Montville natives were hired to serve on the township's police force.

Montville hosted its annual four-day Independence Day festival.

August

A high school track coach urged the board of education to renew his contract, with the support of dozens of students, for another year of high school coaching.

A 15-year-old was transported to the hospital after his moped burst into flames.

One Denville pet owner searched for her missing dog, with the help of the community, after the animal escaped from a local kennel.

September

A strong storm caused a 100-foot Oak tree to crash into a Pine Brook woman's bedroom.

The Montville Township Education Association and board of education reached a tentative agreement on a new contract and the school board began to examine changing the hours of the Lazar school day.

Owners of a Jacksonville Road farmstand found a way to embarass customers who they believed were shoplifting produce.

October

Superstorm Sandy made landfall just days before Halloween, bringing down power lines and trees throughout the township. Mayor Tim Braden expressed his disappointment in Jersey Central Power & Light and the township held a "Scare and Care" event so kids could still trick-or-treat.

November

Officials continued to express their feelings about JCP&L's storm response as many waited more than two weeks for power to be restored.

A neighborhood came together after one resident's husband died the day of the storm.

Township Committeeman Don Kostka won re-election.

December

A Lazar student's remarks prompted a police investigation days after the school shooting in Newtown, Conn. The shooting led district officials to request police presence at Montville schools the week following the event.

Several of the township's police officers were promoted as five were honored upon retirement at the end of the year.

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