The holiday season is officially upon us, which means everyone is busy — so we’ve done the work of tracking down the latest news in the Montclair and the greater Essex County + North Jersey area, so you don’t have to. Among the headlines: Newark declares first Code Blue; Montclair to replace Edgemont Park bridge; Holiday Tree Lighting returns to Montclair; and so much more. Keep reading for all the North Jersey news you missed this week in Essex County and beyond.
The Best of Montclair 2022 Finalists Announced — Time to Vote
The finalists for the Best of Montclair 2022 Guide are in! Thank you to everyone who nominated local businesses and people in the Montclair and greater Essex County area to receive the recognition that they deserve. Those who received the most nominations in each category advanced to the top three finalists, so before anyone says so-and-so was robbed, remember: we make the rules, we don’t pick the finalists. Click here to cast your vote.
First ‘Code Blue’ Called in Newark
On Monday, November 21st, Newark officially called its first “Code Blue” of the winter season when temperatures dropped below 25 degrees. According to Patch, during a “Code Blue”, social service agencies partner up to open emergency shelters for those in need.
Holiday Pop-Up Bar Opens in Verona
Christmas-themed pop-up bar, Miracle on Bloomfield has returned to North Jersey for another round of holiday drinks this year. According to Patch, customers can find it at 706 Bloomfield Avenue in Verona until Sunday, January 1st.
Montclair Approves Plans to Replace Edgemont Park Bridge
Earlier this month, plans were approved to demolish and replace the bridge at Edgemont Park which has been unusable for some time, per Baristanet. New bridge designs are expected to begin this week and once the design is chosen, the new bridge will take 3-6 months to create. Installation is expected to take place in 2023 during the summer or fall.
COVID-19 Clinics are Now Mobile-Only in Essex County
Essex County has converted all its COVID-19 vaccination clinics to mobile sites, Patch reported. During the height of the pandemic, Essex County was home to five vaccine centers but with reduced demand, the county has closed these locations and converted all efforts to mobile sites to better meet the needs of the community.
NY Jets Lineman Gives Pep Talk to Montclair Players Following Lost Season
On Monday, November 21st, New York Jets defensive tackle Solomon Thomas addressed the Montclair Mounties after a sudden end to this year’s season, per Montclair Local. The team was told just a few weeks prior that an academically ineligible student had been playing all season and therefore the team would not only have to miss the rest of the season but also forfeit their four wins.
Montclair Community Invited to Town Hall on Lackawanna Plaza Redevelopment
Local officials including Mayor Sean Spiller, Third Ward Councilor Lori Price Abrams, and Councilor-At-Large Peter Yacobellis are hosting a town hall meeting on Tuesday, November 29th focusing on the redevelopment of Lackawanna Plaza. According to Baristanet, community members are encouraged to attend to ask questions and learn more about what to expect in the renovated plaza.
Newark Charter School Launches Shop Small Campaign
Great Oaks Legacy Charter School recently launched its annual campaign that includes a gift drive from minority-owned businesses in Newark. According to Patch, the “Shop Newark Campaign” has an approximate $30,000 commitment to Newark businesses in an effort to support the local economy.
Newark Fire Chief Inducted Into High School Hall of Fame
Newark Fire Chief Rufus L. Jackson was inducted into the Weequahic High School’s Hall of Fame. Chief Jackson’s alma mater honored him for his athleticism and for his professionalism in rising to the rank of Fire Chief in the City of Newark. pic.twitter.com/GQxTl4bdSL
— Dept. Public Safety (@NewarkNJPolice) November 21, 2022
Weequahic High School recently inducted Newark Fire Chief Rufus Jackson to the school’s Hall of Fame, reported Patch. The recognition was for “athleticism and for his professionalism in rising to the rank of fire chief in the City of Newark”.
Holiday Tree Lighting Returns to Montclair
The Department of Recreation and Cultural Affairs has invited the community of Montclair to the annual Holiday Tree Lighting on Thursday, December 1st. According to Patch, the event will take place at 6PM on Church Street and feature a giant snow globe, holiday characters, kids’ activities, and Santa + Mrs. Claus.
Humane Montclair Founder Claps Back at Bear Hunt Reinstatement
Governor Phil Murphy recently announced the reinstatement of the bear hunt to “prevent tragic bear-human interactions”, Baristanet reported. In a Fish and Game Council meeting, Humane Montclair founder Annette Batson called the decision “a tyrannical response to a fabricated problem”. The first hunt will take place Monday, December 5th through Saturday, December 10th.
Tik Tok’s Gigante Brothers Open Da Mimmo Restaurant in Dumont
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TikTokers the Gigante brothers Vincent, Antonio, and Vito recently announced the opening of their restaurant in Bergen County called Da Mimmo. In addition to traditional Italian fare, Da Mimmo offers brick oven pizza from a wood-burning oven, homemade mozzarella, and pastries made on-site. Da Mimmo is located at 132 Veterans Plaza in Dumont.
Peter Yacobellis Named as First Executive Director of Out Montclair
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Earlier this week, the Out Montclair Board of Trustees voted to name Peter Yacobellis as the first Executive Director. As Executive Director, he will lead all eventual staff and volunteers, all programs and projects in service of the organization’s purpose which in recent days has become even more clearly needed than ever before. Until the Board elects a new Chair, Reubena Spence, the current Vice Chair and co-founder, will act as Chair.
Newark Winter Village Now Open
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The annual Newark Winter Village officially opened on Friday, November 25th. Activities at the open-air festival include ice skating, go-karts, igloos, and food + drinks.
First Lutheran Church of Montclair Hosts Trans Remembrance Day
The Montclair Interfaith Clergy Association held its sixth annual Transgender Day of Remembrance service on Sunday, November 20th at the First Lutheran Church of Montclair. According to Montclair Local, the event featured musical performances by an interfaith choir and the reading of Mariah Ayscue’s poem “Dead Name”.