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27 Essex County News Stories You Missed This Week

by The Montclair Girl Team
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There is never a dull moment in Essex County, which is why we cover the news in the Montclair and greater Essex County + North Jersey area so you don’t miss a beat. Among the headlines: Millburn’s Paper Mill Playhouse announces new associate artist director; West Orange School District Ranked 23rd in Best Places to Teach; a Nutley water main break wrecks havoc in North Jersey; and so much more. Keep reading for all the North Jersey news you missed this week in Essex County and beyond.

Essex County ShopRite Faces Another Lawsuit Following Customer Injury

montclair lawsuit

Belleville resident Doris Stanzione has filed a lawsuit against an Essex County ShopRite, alleging that she was injured while putting a shopping cart away, per NJ.com. The shop is located at 726 Washington Avenue in Belleville. A second lawsuit was filed claiming Laura Cordasco of Cedar Grove was injured by a shopping cart at the same location. Allegedly, Cordasco was thrown in the air over her shopping cart when the wheels locked at the store entrance.

Mad For Chicken Restaurant to Open Newark Location


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Queens-based restaurant Mad for Chicken is coming to downtown Newark, according to Jersey Digs. The retail space at 221 Market Street now features an illuminated sign for the new restaurant. The signature item at Made for Chicken is the soy garlic chicken.

A Nutley Water Main Break Wreaks Havoc on Bloomfield + North Jersey

water main break emergency newark

A water main break in Nutley has created what’s being called an ‘unprecedented water emergency,’ and it’s estimated to have impacted over 300,000 residents across towns in Essex, Passaic, and even parts of Hudson County. Though the break was in Nutley, the water system in this town has not been affected; rather, the town experiencing the worst of it seems to be Bloomfield (with a water boil advisory currently in effect), with Belleville and Newark also experiencing a host of issues. At this time, there’s no estimation for when these repairs will be complete. This news comes after a major water main break in Belleville wreaked havoc on Newark and other surrounding areas back in August. Click here for what we know.

West Orange High School Hosts Gender Neutral Homecoming

homecoming west orange

For the second year in a row, West Orange High School is not using the terms “king” and “queen” in reference to homecoming court, per Patch. Nominees will be referred to as “homecoming royalty” to move towards a more inclusive student experience. The candidates were nominated by school staff for showing respect to their peers; having outstanding character; participating in school life with pride; and demonstrating scholarship, leadership, and fellowship.

Essex County Leads New Jersey with Highest Homeless Population


On Tuesday, October 4th, Monarch Housing Associates released a report that showed Essex County has the highest homeless population in the state at 1,914 individuals. According to Patch, that totals 22% of the state’s total. The next highest homeless population is in Union County at 677 homeless residents. In the past three years, Essex County has averaged about 20% of the statewide homeless population.

Paper Mill Playhouse Announces New Associate Artistic Director

Millburn’s Paper Mill Playhouse recently announced Jen Bender as the new Associate Artistic Director, per Tap Into. Bender has previously worked on The Lion King, The Wedding Singer, and Avenue Q on Broadway. The previous director, Patrick Parker, stepped down after 27 years in the role.

Newark School District Offers $92K Salary to Retired Teachers Returning to Classrooms

montclair news schools

New Jersey recently passed a law which allows school districts to temporarily hire retired teachers to fill vacant positions, per NJ.com. Newark has already hired 26 retired teachers with an additional 10 retirees starting in the next few weeks. These teachers are being paid $92,000 for the 2022-2023 school year while still receiving their retirement pensions. 

Toni’s Kitchen in Montclair Announces Donation Matching Opportunity Up to $75K


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Essex County food ministry Toni’s Kitchen recently announced a donation matching opportunity of up to $75,000, thanks to John and Susan Eckert, longtime volunteers. According to Baristanet, the matching donation will support the expansion project of Growth for Good. All donations received from now through Sunday, October 16th will be matched.

Newark Pledges $2M Toward Empowering Black + Hispanic Businesses


On Wednesday, October 16th, Newark announced a donation of $2M to the New Jersey 40 Acres and a Mule Fund, which supports Black and Hispanic businesses, per Patch. The statewide program launched in 2020 and now involves some of the largest cities in the state. Black and Hispanic entrepreneurs can earn a variety of grants and loans through this fund.

Let’s Talk Women’s Health Event Happening in Newark 10/15

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On Saturday, October 15th, an event all about women’s health will be held at the NJPAC, located at 1 Center Street in Newark. Let’s Talk Women’s Health + Wellness will feature panel discussion with local experts, breakout sessions, resources, and a dance party with bubbly. Tickets are now on sale.

Halloween Events Return to Presby Gardens in Montclair

A local favorite, Gardens Aglow will return this year to Presby Memorial Iris Gardens, per Patch. The glowing event will take place from 6PM to 9PM at the gardens, located at 474 Upper Mountain Avenue in Montclair. Admission is free.

Fundraiser Exceeds $6K Goal to Honor Late Bloomfield Preteen


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The recently launched campaign ‘Damien’s Voice’ honors late Bloomfield preteen, Damien Lopez, per Patch. The GoFundMe page has exceeded the goal of $6,000 to pay for a memorial bench and help with costs of a memorial march coming up on October 22nd.

Montclair Native Starring in ‘Tosca’ at The Metropolitan Opera


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Montclair local Michael Fabiano is playing the role of Cavaradossi, in ‘Tosca’ at The Metropolitan Opera. According to Montclair Local, during Fabiano’s seven-performance run, the show will hit its 1,000th performance.

The Flow Initiative to Host First NJ Menstrual Health Equity Summit 10/22


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The #EndPeriodPoverty campaign by The Flow Initiative raises awareness of period poverty nationwide and provides resources for people who menstruate. According to Patch, the organization will host the first Menstrual Health Equity Summit on Saturday, October 22nd at the New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark. The Montclair Girl will also be teaming up with The Flow Initiative for a supplies drive, kicking off on Sunday, October 23rd.

New Maplewood Restaurant Holds Grand Opening Events This Weekend


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Uni Kitchen opened in Maplewood this weekend with grand opening activities like face painting, games, and a drawing, per Patch. The menu features a wide range of items like seafood, pasta, and a buffet. The restaurant is located at 181A Maplewood Avenue.

Essex County Sheriff Offers $10K Reward for Info on Fatal Shooting

newark police

On Wednesday, October 5th, Essex County Sheriff Armando Fontoura announced the Crime Stoppers Program is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the responsible parties in the fatal shooting of Letrell Duncan. According to Baristanet, Duncan was a student and basketball star at East Orange Campus High School. He was shot on Monday, October 3rd just after school at the intersection of Lincoln Street and Park Avenue in East Orange.

New Senior Community to Open in Livingston Early 2023montclair senior citizens

Totaling 86,000 square feet, Sunrise Senior Living recently announced it will open in early 2023, per Patch. The complex will feature 103 units and provide assisted living, memory care, and other services for residents. The property will be located at 290 West South Orange Avenue in Livingston.

TV Show Host Juhanna Rogers Performs at Newark Arts Festival


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TV show host Juhanna Rogers performed a solo poetic piece “Shattering” in the Newark Arts Festival on Saturday, October 8th. According to Patch, the festival took place at the Newark Symphony Hall, located at 1020 Broad Street. Juhanna  currently hosts the TV show, Behind the Woman, and is also recognized as one of the ‘Great 8’ — a group of African American women who earned doctoral degrees at Indiana University. 

2nd Annual NAACP Youth Summit to be Held in Orange

On Saturday, October 8th, the Oranges + Maplewood NAACP Young Adult and Youth Works Committees held its 2nd Annual Youth Summit at The HUUB, Inc. According to Patch, the summit was open to all high school + college students and young professionals. The event featured presentations on STEM, community engagement, and mental health.

Niche Ranks West Orange School District 23rd in Best Places to Teach

montclair rabbi pandemic award

Niche recently released its 2023 rankings, giving West Orange School District an overall grade of A-, reported Tap Into. The school district came in at 2nd of 376 for diversity and 23rd of 374 for Best Place to Teach. The district also came in 70th of 243 in Best School Districts for Athletes in New Jersey. Schools are ranked based on academics, teachers, clubs + activities, sports, resources + facilities, diversity, college prep, administration, and food.

Weird NJ Regains Control Following Facebook Hack


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Last weekend, Weird NJ announced its Facebook page had been hacked, just a month after announcing that Sony Pictures Television purchased rights to create a Weird NJ TV series, Patch reported. Mark Sceurman and Mark Moran, the only two authorized to manage the page, were removed. Requests to Facebook went unacknowledged.

‘March to ROEvember’ Rally Held 10/8 Ahead of Midterm Elections


On Saturday, October 8th, a coalition of grassroots groups in New Jersey hosted a march at 11AM in Montclair. According to Patch, “March to ROEvember” supports reproductive rights and aims to keep the issue at the forefront for soon-to-be voters. The march began at 205 Claremont Avenue in Montclair at the Municipal Building.

Listeria Outbreak Sickens 6, 1 Reported in New Jersey


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Old Europe Cheese, Inc. is issuing a voluntary recall of its Brie and Camembert cheese following a listeria outbreak which reached at least one person in New Jersey. According to NJ.com, there have been six cases reported from six different states — but the true number is likely higher.

Garden State Roller Derby to Host Boot Camp 10/26

Garden State Roller Derby, a flat-track roller derby league consisting of approximately 30 skaters, will hold a boot camp for prospective players on Wednesday, October 26th. The event will take place at North Star Academy, located at 43 Alexander Street in Newark at 8:30PM. Prospective players must be 18 or older and identify as either female or nonbinary. There is a $10 fee to attend and loaner gear will be made available upon request.

South Orange + Maplewood Board of Education Debate is Happening This Week

montclair board of education special election march

On Monday, October 10th, candidates for the 2022 Board of Education will participate in a debate at the District Meeting Room, located at 525 Academy Street in Maplewood, per Patch. The candidates include Regina Eckert, Bill Gifford, Will Meyer, Ritu Pancholy, and Nubia Wilson. Topics will include curriculum, equity + inclusion, communication, special education, and safety + security.

Mayor Announces Dates for 2022 Roadmap to Educational Equity Conference

education conference

Mayor of Newark Ras Baraka announced the 2022 Roadmap to Educational Equity Conference will be held on Friday, October 28th and Saturday, October 29th, Patch reported. Attendees will participate in a series of seminars, panel discussions, workshops, and listen to keynote addresses. The conference will be held at the New Jersey Institute of Technology Campus Center, located at 150 Bleecker Street in Newark.

Essex County Board Recognizes Local Leaders in Honor of Hispanic Heritage Month

Three high-achieving Essex County community leaders were honored during Hispanic Heritage Month, according to Patch. The group includes Luis Quintana, a Newark councilman-at-large; Alejandro Echevarria, Principal of Abington Elementary School in Newark; and Vereliz Santana, Co-Vice President of the Newark Board of Education. The individuals were recognized for their outstanding service and dedication to the community.

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