Home Essex County 21 Essex County News Stories This Week

21 Essex County News Stories This Week

by Stephanie Spear
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It seems like all four seasons’ worth of weather have happened this week in Essex County, and the news has been just as busy. Among the highlights: Joker 2 to film in New Jersey; lawmakers oppose plans for a power plant in Newark; and the Friends of the Howe House get the keys to the property. Read on for more. 

Temporary Northbound Lane Closures on Delaware Memorial Bridge

Work on the northbound lanes of the Delaware Memorial Bridge is anticipated to wrap up around Memorial Day, according to the Delaware River & Bay Authority. Two northbound lanes will be closed while Phase II of a major rehabilitation project on the bridge continues. New Jersey-bound travelers can expect delays and detours until the work is completed, which is anticipated to be on or near May 25, 2023.

Montclair Charity Event to Support Haitian Humanitarian Group


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An upcoming charity event in Montclair will support Lamp for Haiti, a non-profit organization founded by Montclair native Dr. Jim Morgan, according to BaristaNet.  The organization is dedicated to providing health care and humanitarian support in Haiti. The Winter Charity Ball will be held on March 4, 2023, at 7PM at the Upper Montclair Women’s Club, located at 200 Cooper Avenue.

Bloomfield to Host a Black History Month Community Social

Per Patch, a Black History Month Community Social will be held on Friday, February 24th at 6:30PM at the  Bloomfield Public Library Theater located at 90 Broad Street. Bloomfield’s Juneteenth Advisory Committee is the host of the event, and there will be performances from local artists. RSVPs are required.

Joker 2 to Film in New Jersey


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Joker 2, starring Joaquin Phoenix and Lady Gaga, will film some scenes in New Jersey, according to NJ.com. Director Todd Phillips shared a photo of the two stars on Instagram, and the New Jersey Motion Picture & Television Commission confirmed the plans for filming. The 2018 Joker, which also starred Joaquin Phoenix, filmed several scenes in Hudson and Essex Counties.

Friends of the Howe House Takes Ownership, Get Keys

Friends of the Howe House, a community organization dedicated to preserving the home of James Howe, the first African-American homeowner in Montclair, recently got the keys to the House. Per BaristaNet, the group had fundraised enough to purchase the home in December 2022.  The purchase is complete, and the group received the keys to the home.

Restaurant Week Comes to Millburn

From March 20th through March 26th, several Millburn restaurants will participate in the community’s first restaurant week, per PatchThe event is organized by the Special Improvement District for Millburn Township in partnership with the Opportunity Project. The Opportunity Project is a Millburn-based nonprofit that supports people with brain injuries. Participating restaurants are also fundraising for the Opportunity Project.

Coat Giveaways Keep Essex County Residents Warm

Two recent coat giveaway events have helped keep Essex County residents warm, with a total of over 3,000 coats distributed, according to Patch. The first event was hosted by Ocean State Job Lot, which donated approximately 2,500 coats at the American Legion Post #251 in East Orange, in partnership with Bookwell Travel and Project Freedom Villages. The second event was hosted by BRICK Education Network and South Ward Promise Neighborhood in partnership with Macy’s, with a total of 750 coats and other cold weather accessories distributed.

East Orange Art Exhibit Celebrates Black History Month


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An art exhibit in East Orange is designed to honor Black artists and their contributions to the world, according to Patch. The exhibit is called  Generational Wealth and the artists featured are a mother, Yvonne Onque, and her two sons, Samad Onque and Suliman Onque. The three are known as 3TheArtWay and the 30-piece exhibition is at East Orange City Hall, located at 44 City Hall Plaza.

Toll Discount Program Proposed for NJTA and SJTA

A proposal in the New Jersey Legislature would appropriate funds to give commuters some relief at the toll. The proposal, from Sen. James Holzapfel (R-Ocean), would create a $250 million fund at the New Jersey Turnpike Authority to give drivers who drive more than 35 times per month on the toll road a 50% discount. Another $250 million would go to the South Jersey Transportation Authority for the same purpose.

Newark Woman’s Birthday Wish Generates $5K for Charity

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Newark native Tyneisha Gibbs encouraged friends and family to grant her birthday wish this year: to make a donation to the Opportunity Youth Network, a nonprofit that empowers New Jersey youth with education, job development and other programs, according to Patch.  The end result was a $4,800 donation, well over her goal of $2,500. Tyneisha was inspired by her late father, who she said would have benefitted greatly from an organization like the Opportunity Youth Network when he was growing up in Newark.

Montclair Non-Profit Offers Overnight Warming Space for the Homeless

Montclair Emergency Services for Hope (MESH), in partnership with St. Mark’s United Methodist Church, has opened an overnight warming space for people experiencing homelessness per Patch. The space at St. Mark’s, located at 51 Elm Street, opens at 7PM when overnight temperatures are expected to reach 32 degrees or below.

Bloomfield Couple Opens Kitchen Remodeling Showroom

Kitchen Tune-up, located at 1285 Broad Street in Bloomfield, will host a grand opening on February 25th from 11AM to 2PM, according to Patch.  Bloomfield couple Takia and Steven Livingston opened the business in 2019, and the space will be the business’ first brick and mortar location. The grand opening event will feature local restaurants.

Hazardous Materials Discovered in Yantacaw River in Nutley

Essex County hazardous materials teams are examining a spill in the Yantacaw River in Nutley, according to NJ.com. The Essex County team, along with the Nutley Department of Public Works were able to trace the spill and determine it was petroleum.

Newark Pageant Celebrates Empowered Filipino Women

The 16th Annual Ms. Philippines Pageant was held at Newark Symphony Hall. According to Patch, the pageant is an intercollegiate event hosted by the Rutgers Newark’s Filipino Student Association, and Filipino students from the Tri-State area are invited to compete.  22 student-led Filipino student groups were represented in the pageant, in which each contestant raised money for her selected charity.

Unknown White Powder Found at 3 Montclair Sites

On Tuesday, February 14th, Montclair Police were called to three different sites to respond to unidentified white powder, according to Patch. No injuries were reported, and police are still investigating.

New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission Partners with Montclair Library to Host Real-ID Event

On Thursday, March 30th outside of the Montclair Public Library at 50 S. Fullerton Avenue from 10AM– 2PM, residents will get the opportunity to get a Real ID, update their vehicle registration, and complete several other MVC tasks, according to BaristaNet. The event is geared toward seniors and other residents who may have mobility issues in getting to the MVC.

Newark Art Installation Offers Commentary on Water, Plastic Use


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New Jersey artist Willie Cole has recently completed an art installation in the Hanhe Building in Newark, offering a commentary on plastic and water consumption, per Patch. The artist used 6,000 empty plastic water bottles to create oversized chandeliers. The exhibit is in the Express Newark space, located at 54 Halsey Street.

Some Lawmakers Oppose Plans for a Newark Power Plant

Plans for a power plant in Newark have been met with local opposition, per Patch. Newark Mayor Ras Baraka was one of many local leaders who signed a letter to Governor Murphy opposing the plans to put a methane gas-fired power plant at 600 Wilson Avenue, the site of an existing water treatment facility. The plan to build the power plant is part of a larger resiliency effort that would help the water treatment facility remain operational in the case of a power grid failure, which is what happened during Super Storm Sandy in 2012.

Popular Salad Chain Sweetgreen to Open in Montclair


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Sweetgreen, a popular salad chain that was started in Washington DC, has announced plans to open in Montclair in a press release. The shop will open at 460 Bloomfield Avenue, Units 1E & 1D later this spring.

Program at Newark High School Gets Students and State Troopers Together


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Building Bridges, a program at St. Benedict’s Prep in Newark, is designed to help foster positive relations between people of color and the law enforcement community. The program recently hosted a friendly basketball game between some New Jersey State Troopers and St. Benedict’s students, per Patch.

Bloomfield Funeral Home Denied Historical Protection

A Bloomfield Funeral Home with ties to The Sopranos was denied historical protection, per NJ.com. The Irvine-Cozzarelli Memorial Home, located at 276 Washington Avenue, was built in 1885 and was the site of several scenes shot in the hit show, most notably Tony Soprano’s mother Livia’s funeral. While the building did not receive historical protections, development on the site is not guaranteed.

Montclair Concert to Honor Black Musicians

In honor of Black History Month, St. Mark’s United Methodist Church, located at 51 Elm Street, is hosting a classical music concert. Per Patch, the concert, Classically Black, will feature pianist Richard Alston and soprano singer Sheila Jackson. The concert is Sunday February 24th at 4 PM and tickets can be purchased online.

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