Home Essex County 18 News Stories You Missed This Week from Montclair + Beyond

18 News Stories You Missed This Week from Montclair + Beyond

by The Montclair Girl Team
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It’s been another busy, beautiful week in Essex County with plenty of headlines to catch up on. Among the highlights: Bloomfield High School seniors receive a big donation for their graduation party; the Montclair School Board passes its 2023/2024 budget; and AAPI Montclair hosts a lantern festival for the community. Read on for more news stories from Montclair, Newark, Bloomfield, NJ — and beyond. 

Essex County to Receive Over $500K for Litter Clean Up

The New Jersey Clean Communities Council, a nonprofit organization partnered with the NJ Department of Environmental Protection, announced a $24 million grant program to be divided amongst New Jersey’s counties. Per a press release from the organization Newark City will receive $508,911; East Orange, $127,857; and Irvington, $104,265. The purpose of the grants is to fund cleanup efforts, educate the public and enforce litter-related laws and ordinances.

New Bill Increases Mental Health Services for Homeless NJ Residents

A new bill recently signed by New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy will make it easier for mental and behavioral health professionals to treat patients experiencing homelessness. According to a press release from the Governor’s office, licensed psychiatrists, psychologists, clinical social workers, marriage/family therapists, substance use disorder treatment providers and other practitioners otherwise authorized to provide mental or behavioral health care are allowed to provide services to individuals in these settings on a part-time or full-time basis, in addition to emergency circumstances. Sponsors of the bill include Senator Renee Burgess and Assemblywoman Yvonne Lopez, as well as Senate President Nicholas Scutari and Assembly members Bill Moen and Shanique Speight.

Bloomfield Class of 2023 Receives Grad Party
Donation from Brookdale Shoprite

ShopRite Donates to Bloomfield HS
Neil Greenstein, the owner and operator of Brookdale ShopRite, presented the Bloomfield High School graduation class of 2023 with a check for $10,000 for the school’s annual Project Graduation, a nationally recognized program that enlists parent and community volunteers to oversee safe and supervised events on graduation night, according to a press release.

Each year, Bloomfield High School parents organize a Project Graduation event for graduating seniors. A total of 250 students have signed up for this year’s event on a boat cruise around Manhattan, which will include a DJ, games, a photo booth, food and more. Mr. Greenstein’s donation will bring down the costs for every participating student, and he has agreed to purchase each student a t-shirt for the Project Graduation event. Project Graduation is made up of volunteers who promote fun events on Graduation night that are safe, supervised and alcohol and drug-free.

Arturo’s in Maplewood is Moving + Merging with Local Bakery

Since 2007, Arturo’s has been serving Maplewood + its surrounding towns delicious wood-fired pizza one could only find in New Jersey. Nearly 16 years later, this local staple is relocating from its 180 Maplewood Avenue outpost to a “slightly bigger, interesting old body shop with lots of character” in town — but a geographic change isn’t the only one underway. Arturo’s will be rebranding to “Artie’s” and is merging with local bakery The Bread Stand to become an all-day eatery. Artie’s + The Bread Stand will now call 13 Newark Way in Maplewood their shared home, bringing a new experience (but the same delicious flavors) to the Essex County area. Read on for all the updates regarding Arturo’s move, rebrand, and collaboration with another local business.

Guilty Verdict in 2018 Montclair Shooting

A guilty verdict has been delivered in the 2018 shooting death of Montclair resident Angela Bledsoe. Per BaristaNet, the jury found defendant James R. Ray III guilty of shooting Angela Bledsoe at the couple’s Montclair home. He was convicted of first-degree murder, unlawful possession of a weapon and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and will be sentenced on June 22nd.

Watchung School in Montclair Opens Connected Courtyard

In 2021, Watchung Elementary School in Montclair received a $10K grant from the Sustainable Jersey for Schools Grant funded by the New Jersey Education Association, to rebuild its overgrown inner courtyard into a thriving natural habitat with native plants, birds, and insects that students could use for STEAM-related studies. This week, the school completed the work on the Connected Courtyard and held an opening ceremony, per a press release from the school. This short video explains more about the background of the project.

Newark School Board Welcomes New President

The Newark School Board has welcomed a new president, according to Patch. The new president is Asia Norton, a Newark native, teacher, and community member. Ms. Norton is the third president of the board since 2018, when control of the school board was returned to local control after being managed by the state.

Newark Little League Field Renamed to Honor Citizen Advocate

Per Patch, a Newark little league baseball field has a new name in honor of a longtime community leader and advocate. The field at Essex County’s Ivy Hill Park was renamed to be the Houston Stevens Little League Field. Mr. Stevens has worked for decades to create community-based partnerships to advance opportunities and quality of life for residents.

Montclair School Board Passes 23/24 Budget

The Montclair School Board has approved its budget for the 2023-2024 school year, according to BaristaNet. The new budget will see 31 teacher positions cut alongside 34 paraprofessional positions. Salaries will also be cut at the Central Office.

Essex County Partners with RWJBarnabas Health to
Launch Mobile Clinic

The practice of using a mobile health clinic to reach residents was used during the COVID pandemic, and now Essex County has plans to make it a permanent fixture. Per Patch, Essex County announced a partnership with RWJBarnabas Health to offer a variety of community health services throughout the county. The mobile clinic will host vaccinations, screenings, and information sessions, and offer other resources for residents.

Gas-Powered Leaf Blowers Are on the Chopping Block in Montclair

Per BaristaNet, Montclair residents are taking up against gas-powered leaf blowers. While the town has a five-month ban on the devices due to noise pollution and other environmental factors, residents want to change that to a permanent ban. Maplewood has a similar ban in place.

Family Promise of Essex County Announces 5K Race

Family Promise of Essex County, a non-profit organization that provides shelter, professional support services and housing assistance to families experiencing homelessness, announced plans for a 5K run fundraising event. Per BaristaNet, the race will be on Saturday, June 24th at Verona Park. The race is USATF certified and there is a virtual race option for online supporters.

AAPI Montclair’s Lantern Festival is Back for 2023


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A post shared by AAPI Montclair (@aapi.montclair)

AAPI Montclair is back with its third annual Lantern Festival for Justice and Remembrance as we near the middle of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. The free event will take place at Edgemont Park in Montclair on Sunday, May 21st, and include thousands of lanterns that will light up the sky. Read on for details about the 2023 Lantern Festival and to learn more about AAPI Montclair.

Lanternflies in New Jersey Have Returned

lanternfly bugs montclair new jersey
Wildlife spottings are increasingly common in our area — and not all of them are welcome. On the list of New Jersey Agricultural Department’s ‘report immediately’ (and destroy) are lanternfly bugs — which are invasive planthopper bugs. The insect was last seen in Hoboken in 2022, but it’s likely locals will spot the bugs again in the coming weeks. Lanternfly bugs are detrimental to plants and our ecosystem. As interesting as these bugs’ spotted wings are, they are unfortunately a disguise for a sinister creature. Read on for how to deal with the lanternfly bugs.

Newark Non-Profit Launches Mobile Clinic to Prevent Overdoses


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A post shared by Integrity House (@integrityhousenj)

Integrity House, a Newark-based nonprofit that provides substance use disorder treatment and mental health services throughout New Jersey, recently celebrated the launch of its mobile clinic. Per Patch, the mobile clinic is outfitted with resources needed to treat individuals with substance abuse disorders. The clinic will travel to different areas in the region to perform screenings and provide medication.

Montclair Marathon Row Fundraiser Announced

The Montclair Marathon Row has been announced for June 3th, 2023 at 8AM, according to a press release from the event organizers. The Row is a fundraiser for The Bee Foundation, which is a brain aneurysm research foundation. The event is founded by John Kempe, a Bloomfield business owner who lost his best friend to a brain aneurysm in October 2022. Money raised at the event will support The Bee Foundation and organ donation. The event will take place at Egan & Sons, located at 114-116 Walnut Street in Montclair. Live DJ Bruce Ciccone will be playing throughout the morning to keep everyone’s energy high. Individuals and teams are welcome to register, even if you’ve never rowed before, even five minutes on the machine counts.

Newark Development Announces Leasing

Leasing is officially underway at Fifty-Five Union, delivering a fresh and contemporary residential destination to Newark’s historic Ironbound District.

Located at 55 Union Street just off the platform of Newark Penn Station and surrounded by the Ironbound’s old-world charm, culinary destinations and Downtown Newark’s entertainment landmarks, Fifty-Five Union features 403 well-appointed studios, one- and two-bedroom residences. For more information and to arrange a visit to tour the property’s furnished model homes and amenity spaces, visit www.55UnionNewark.com or call 973-803-1256.

Minor Earthquake Hits Northern NJ, NY

A level 2.2 earthquake was felt by many New York and New Jersey residents earlier this week. According to NBC, the rumbling began at 1:53AM near Hastings-on-Hudson in Westchester County, NY. No injuries were reported.

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