Suburban: Memorable stories of 2022

Sisters Lena and Maryna Barsukov and Zhanna Stetsun discuss fleeing their home country Ukraine after Russia invaded the country in February. The three, along with Lena's two-year-old son, found refuge with Stetsun's son and family in Old Bridge.

As 2022 comes to a close, we take a look at memorable stories that hit the pages of the Suburban.

New Jersey Supreme Court uses ‘rarely invoked’ power to overturn Michelle Lodzinski’s conviction of murdering her son in 1991 –

In 2016, a jury convicted Michelle Lodzinski of murdering her 5-year-old son, Timothy Wiltsey, in 1991. In a surprising turn of events, the New Jersey Supreme Court used a power “rarely invoked” and overturned Lodzinski’s conviction 4-3 on Dec. 28, 2021.

She is now a free woman.

Ukrainian refugees find ‘refuge’ in Old Bridge; county residents organize humanitarian efforts –

The words “pack quickly, we’re leaving” jolted sisters Lena and Maryna Barsukov in the early morning hours of Feb. 26.

Two days prior Russia had invaded Ukraine, which has since uprooted millions of Ukrainians from their homes.

It was their father, Zhenya, calling his daughters to meet him at the Poland border. He had been traveling when the war began.

The sisters, with Lena’s two-year-old son in tow, fled their home in central Ukraine with just their necessities toward the western portion of the country toward Poland, a 500-mile trek. Along with them were others, including Zhanna Stetsun.

In March, Lena, Maryna and Zhanna, who were staying with Stetsun’s son, Misha, and his family in Old Bridge shared their story with the Suburban.

Middlesex County Prosecutor: Sayreville Borough Democratic chairman allegedly accepted cash bribes from business –

Thomas V. Pollando, who has a longstanding in Sayreville politics and was serving as chairman of the Sayreville Borough Democratic Organization, was charged with allegedly accepting “several thousands of dollars” in bribes, according to Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone.

He was charged with second-degree bribery in official matters, and second-degree receipt of unlawful benefit by public servant for official behavior.

Pollando formerly served as council president of the Sayreville Borough Council, he is the current vice-chairman of the Middlesex County Planning Board, and a long-time president of the Sayreville Athletic Association.

He also holds a seat on the Sayreville Economic & Redevelopment Authority and is currently employed with the New Jersey Turnpike Authority.

Pollando has since stepped down from his many roles in the community.

Timothy Wiltsey
Thomas Pollando
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