Home Essex County 21 Essex County News Stories You Missed This Week

21 Essex County News Stories You Missed This Week

by The Montclair Girl Team
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Another week means plenty of headlines to catch up on from Essex County. Among the highlights: several Jersey guys have recently been awarded their own stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame; a lawsuit is filed in a Bloomfield Planning Board decision; and a Montclair art show fundraiser was held for Friends of the Howe House. Read on for more.

Newark Unveils Harriet Tubman Statue

3-2023 Harriet Tubman Statue Newark

A statue honoring Harriet Tubman has been unveiled in Newark. According to a press release from the city, the ceremony on March 9th included Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka, Queen Latifah, and several other community leaders. The statue was installed in the newly-renamed Harriet Tubman Square, formerly known as Washington Park. The statue was designed by New Jersey native, architect Nina Cooke John. Queen Latifah performed Monumental: Harriet Tubman and Newark’s Liberation Movement, which was created in conjunction with the project and released on Audible.

These Jersey Guys Just Got Their Stars on the
Hollywood Walk of Fame

Recently, several of our very own New Jersey natives received their stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Since the beginning of 2023, Ice-T, Ray Liotta, the Jonas Brothers, and most recently Michael B. Jordan all cemented their place in Hollywood history and we couldn’t be prouder of these Jersey guys. Read on for more.

Essex County School Districts Lead the Way in Funding in Proposed State Budget

Funds earmarked for Essex County school districts were the most out of any county in the state in Governor Murphy’s proposed budget for 2024, according to Patch.  The total for Essex County is $1.79 billion in aid for K-12 schools. Newark, the state’s largest school district, is set to receive the biggest portion of the funds, at $1.14 billion.

Newark to Host UFC Event


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A post shared by Prudential Center (@prucenter)

On May 6th, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) will return to the Prudential Center in Newark, according to Patch. Ticket presales begin on Thursday, March 16. Learn more or buy tickets here.

Montclair Fire Chief Asks for Funding for 13 Additional Positions

The Montclair Fire Chief has requested $3 million for several additions to the program, including 13 new firefighter positions, according to NJ.com. The funding request also included money for overtime, a new fire truck, and a new radio system. Residents were critical of the request, especially since in Summer 2022, the fire department had agreed to expand coverage to Glen Ridge but insisted that additional funding wasn’t needed.

American Dream Mall Sued by Developers

There’s another problem on the horizon for the American Dream Mall. Last month, a structural issue in the waterpark required the temporary closure of the facility. Now, the mall is being faced with a lawsuit over missing payments.  According to Patch, a developer has sued the Mall for $7.5 million in owed payments.

Montclair History Center Herb Sale Returns

The Montclair History Center’s annual herb and plant sale will be back this year. According to a post on the organization’s website, the sale will be from May 4th through May 7th. Pre-orders begin on April 10th.

A New Latin Restaurant in Newark Restaurant Celebrates Opening

According to Patch, Salsa Latin Bistro, a restaurant in Newark, hosted its grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony. The restaurant is located at 860 Broad Street. Newark Mayor Ras Baraka was on hand for the ceremony. Salsa Latin Bistro serves Latin cuisine, including dishes from Brazil, Cuba, Colombia, and Peru.

Montclair Egg Hunt Announced

The Montclair Department of Recreation and Cultural Affairs announced an Egg Hunt at Nishuane Park on April 2nd, 2023. The announcement on the Department’s web page shared that the event would be held from 11AM to 1PM and is open to children age 1 to 11. Sponsors include Reaching Out Montclair, Montclair Neighborhood Development Center, Montclair Cobras, Sentinels-16, Dr. Renee Baskerville.

Officials Warn of Roadwork-Related Delays at Newark Airport

Work on some roadways at Newark Airport will necessitate the closure of one of the three traffic lanes servicing both terminals B and C.  According to a press release from the Port Authority, the roadwork began on March 6th and will continue in stages until November 2023. The work is anticipated to be accomplished in two stages beginning with the four-month closure of the left-most lane of Express Road in front of Building 4 (old Terminal A). Immediately thereafter, work will begin on the leftmost lane of Express Road in front of Terminal B with expected completion in November 2023.

Plant Based for the Planet Comes to Montclair for March

This month, Plant Based for the Planet comes to Montclair – an event in which 12 restaurants in town take part of a climate initiative that encourages locals to choose plant-based dishes. The initiative is presented by Planted Society and in partnership with Humane Montclair + the Montclair Office of Environmental Affairs. The month-long program is happening now and runs through March 31st.  Read on for more.

Cops4Kids Host Training Event in Newark

Per Patch, the Essex County Chapter of New Jersey Cops 4 Kids hosted a “Stop the Bleed” Training session for 100 Newark teens and staff members on Friday, March 10th. The organization was founded by a retired Essex County Sherriff’s Deputy to remove the barriers that exist between law enforcement and the youth in the community. The “Stop the Bleed” training focuses on how to stop the bleeding of someone who has been severely injured.

Montclair Art Show Fundraiser Held for Friends of the Howe House

A fundraiser held for the benefit of the Friends of the Howe House netted over $3,000 for the organization. According to BaristaNet, the event was held Thursday, March 9th at the Montclair offices of Berkshire Hathaway Home Services. The art show was called “Freedom is a Journey” and featured works inspired by the historic home. Over 35 pieces were donated and many were from local artists.

Newark Italian Cafe + Espresso Bar Makes a Move

Per Jersey Digs,  a Newark restaurant has re-opened in the newly refreshed One Riverfront Plaza. Caffe Margherita had previously been at the Gateway Center, but now has a spot in the lobby of the riverfront property. The restaurant serves Italian classics for breakfast and lunch and has an espresso bar.

Oscar-Nominated Films with Ties to New Jersey
oscar ties new jersey

While the 2023 Oscar nominees are seen as a celebration of Hollywood, there are a number of films with strong ties to New Jersey. This year’s nominees bring a unique perspective to filmmaking from the Jersey Shore to the streets of suburbia. Read on for more.

Bloomfield Approves Cannabis Dispensary

The Bloomfield Planning Board unanimously approved an application to turn a vacant storefront at 368 Broad Street into a cannabis dispensary. According to TapInto,  Emerald Tea Company is a cannabis business founded by Jason Leisey, a combat-wounded veteran who received a Purple Heart.  This will be the second dispensary in Bloomfield.

Grand Re-Opening for West Orange Bakery


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A post shared by Supreme Bakery (@supremebakery)

Supreme Bakery, located at 40 Main Street in West Orange, has announced plans for a Grand Reopening. The celebration will take place on March 15th and feature live music and giveaways. The Supreme Bakery has been in operation for over 40 years, and the event is to celebrate recent renovations at the store.

Cleanup Scheduled at Montclair Preserve

It’s spring cleaning everywhere in Montclair, and that includes at the Alfred F. Bonsal Preserve. The annual cleanup will be held on March 26th beginning at 10AM. According to Patch, participants will meet at the Riverview Drive entrance to the park.

Montclair Environmental Commission Makes Statement on Lackawanna Proposal

At a March 1st, 2023 meeting of the Montclair Environmental Commission (MEC), the Commission released a statement in support of the current proposal for the Lackawanna Plaza redevelopment plan. The statement, while generally in support of the project, did come with some stipulations Read on for more.

Lawsuit Filed Following Bloomfield Planning Board’s Decision on the Wendy’s/Taco Bell Development

A decision by the Bloomfield Planning Board is now the subject of a lawsuit. At a December 6th, 2022 meeting of the Planning Board, an application to demolish an existing building to create a combined Wendy’s/Taco Bell was unanimously denied, per Patch. There is also a citizen-led petition to prohibit the business from coming to the location at 1243 Broad Street. Now, according to Bloomfield Pulse, the denied applicants have filed a lawsuit against the town, challenging the decision and seeking its reversal.

Fast Casual Restaurant NAYA Opens in Paramus


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A post shared by NAYA Counter & Grill (@eatnaya)

Fast casual restaurant NAYA has opened in Paramus, located at 305 Route 17 South, according to a press release. The restaurant offers Middle Eastern food in customizable bowls, sandwiches, and salads. The Paramus location also has a retail element called Za’Atar Road with food, home goods, and beauty products sourced from the Middle East.


To stay in the know on all local Montclair happenings, follow @themontclairgirl on Instagram and TikTok.

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