Home Essex CountyBloomfield 17 Montclair + Bloomfield News Stories You Missed This Week

17 Montclair + Bloomfield News Stories You Missed This Week

by Ainsley Layland
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Every week we bring you the highlights in the news, so you can stay up-to-date on what is happening in Montclair + surrounding areas. Among the local headlines — an Essex County teacher has published a children’s book on autism, Montclair to waive sidewalk cafe permit fees, Newark Arts to host Murals for Justice events, and so much more. Keep reading for all the news you missed this week in Montclair, Bloomfield, + beyond in Essex County.

To stay up-to-date on the launch, things to do, and weekly in the Montclair + greater Essex County area, follow @themontclairgirl on Instagram and sign up for our Montclair email list here. Email news tips to hello@themontclairgirl.com!

Empire Nutrition to Open in Montclair

Empire Nutrition is planning to open its first store in New Jersey, on the corner of Valley and Bellevue Streets. The shop features vitamins, supplements, meal prep, and healthy snacks. Customers will also find a full-service smoothie bar offering protein shakes, juices, and acai bowls.

Essex County Special Education Teacher Published Children’s Book on Autism


Melissa Brady Petrillo lives in Caldwell and is an educator in Essex County. “As an educator, I have seen that there is a lack of literature about characters with disabilities and I wanted to publish another book that children can read to learn more about Autism. This text is told from the perspective of a biracial, female child with Autism,” Melissa told Hoboken Girl. She also presented how characters with disabilities are portrayed in literature at the New Jersey Teacher’s Convention this year. Her digital book, Sometimes,  is available for $9.99 on Amazon.

Out Montclair to Host Virtual Gender and Pronoun Terminology Event

A virtual event, presented by Out Montclair in partnership with Garden State Equality and the Trans Affirming Alliance, will be held on Thursday, April 27th at 7:15PM. The goal of the event is to help participants better understand why and how gender terminology and personal pronouns matter. The featured panelists include Peter Yacobellis of Out Montclair, Celeste Fiore of the Trans Affirming Alliance, and Jahmila Smith of Garden State Equity.

MFEE Community Health Workers Begin Sharing Information About Vaccines for the Coronavirus


On Saturday, April 17th, local residents and their families gathered at the newly renovated Montclair Community Pre-K playground for fun and information. Children were supervised on the playground and provided with free gelato, courtesy of Guerriero Gelato, while parents and caregivers engaged in an interactive conversation about COVID-19 vaccines.

Dr. Renee Baskerville and the MFEE Community Health Workers spoke about the vaccine, provided information, and answered questions. Participants were then given the chance to register to receive the vaccine at Mountainside Hospital at the end of the event.

New Jersey Leaders Unite for World Stroke Month

world stroke month

The American Stroke Association, a division of the American Heart Association, is hosting CycleNation in a virtual fundraising event on Wednesday, May 26th as part of World Stroke Month. Participants can ride solo or create a team to “rack up their miles” and virtually support a cause they are all passionate about, cycling for stroke awareness.

“CycleNation is a great activity because it brings everyone together to talk about stroke awareness. The more people who can recognize the symptoms of a stroke and the more we can prevent a recurrence of stroke, the healthier we’ll be”, said Regan DeBenedetto, director of specialty restaurants at Doherty Enterprises and member, NJ Tri-County CycleNation executive leadership team.

Starting on April 26, participants can track their activity by downloading the CycleNation app or using Strava, Apple Health, or Garmin when signing up.

Bloomfield Creamery to Kick Off Gelato Season

In an Instagram post shared this week APEM Creamery said, “The time has COME! Gelato season officially kicks off next Thursday, April 22nd. Doors will open at 2PM. Can’t wait to welcome you all back to APEM!” The shop is located at 870 Broad Street in Bloomfield and will be open Thursday to Friday 2PM – 8PM and Saturday to Sunday 1PM – 8PM.

T.S. Ma Chinese Cuisine Now Offering Gluten-Free Items


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A post shared by TS Ma (@tsmachinesecuisine)

In an Instagram post shared this week T.S. Ma Chinese Cuisine said, “Living a gluten-free lifestyle often means you have to pack a lunch to work. Not anymore! Swap out your brown bag lunch for something truly delicious from T.S. Ma! We offer a wide selection of mouthwatering #glutenfree Chinese food meal options for you to choose from. Just look for the GF icon on our menu!” The restaurant is located at 199 Bellevue Avenue in Montclair.

Newark to Host Murals for Justice Event


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A post shared by Newark Arts (@newarkarts)

This week the Newark Arts at Rutgers announced they will be hosting a community event on Saturday, April 24th, and Sunday, April 25th to repaint the murals for justice originally done in July 2020.

“Starting on Saturday, April 24th the City of Newark, the ACM Graphic Design Program and New Arts Justice at Rutgers University-Newark, and various partners will join together in an action to repaint and preserve our social justice community ground murals #MuralsforJustice. These were first painted in July of 2020 on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard proclaiming “ABOLISH WHITE SUPREMACY” and “ALL BLACK LIVES MATTER” on Halsey St. This call to repaint is a way to come together and reinforce that this City is dedicated to racial justice and the protection of our communities. Through this action, we celebrate the activism of our local arts community and seek to use public art to create new stories of a vibrant and liberated city.”

Montclair to Waive Sidewalk Cafe Permit Fees


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A post shared by MONTCLAIR CENTER (@montclaircenter)

Mayor Sean Spiller announced that the Township of Montclair will once again be waiving sidewalk cafe permit fees like they did last year. This move is an effort by leaders to assist the local restaurants to continue to keep their businesses open while the health state of emergency remains in effect.

New Montclair School Board Members Appointed

montclair school board

Three new members have been appointed to the Montclair School Board. Mayor Sean spiller has selected Crystal Hopkins, Eric Scherzer, and Kathryn Weller-Demming to join the board, per Patch.

“I am proud to appoint three outstanding individuals to the board of education,” Spiller said. “Crystal, Eric, and Kathryn will bring a diversity of experience and expertise that will enrich the board’s decision-making processes,” he added. “But most importantly, they each share the goal of providing the absolute best possible education for our students at the most value to taxpayers.”

Kreme + Krumbs in Bloomfield Broken Into After Just Reopening


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A post shared by Kreme & Krumbs (@kremeandkrumbs)

Kreme + Krumbs, an ice cream shop in Bloomfield, reopened on April 10th after a winter break, according to its Google page. But sadly, just as the spot was reopening for the season, the owner shared on its Instagram account that they were robbed this week. Located at 162 Glenwood Avenue, the shop is known for its ice cream and ice cream sandwiches known as the “Kremewich.” Click here to learn about Kreme + Krumbs, the latest updates after the robbery, and what you can expect at that shop.

Sewerage Commission Awards $3K to Montclair

sewerage commission

The Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission recently awarded rebates to local cities as part of the Municipal Rebate Incentive Program. Montclair is slated to receive $3,231 according to Patch.

The agency released the following statement: “The program is a cooperative effort between PVSC and its contributing communities. All construction projects within the PVSC service area are required to be assessed for connection fee applicability. First, a construction project application must be submitted to the PVSC Inspection and Compliance Bureau Connections Unit. PVSC inspectors then review each application and work closely with municipal Building Departments and Code Enforcement Offices in order to calculate the appropriate connection fee. In accordance with the Municipal Rebate Incentive Program, 15% of that fee {up to $5,000 per file} is then refunded back to the municipalities.”

Bloomfield Schools Move to Hybrid Timetable Ahead of Reopen

bloomfield school reopen

On Monday, April 12th schools in the Bloomfield School District shifted to a hybrid timetable, per Patch. This move is in preparation for teachers and students to return to in-person classes on Monday, April 19th.

“We hope this helps ease the community into a more consistent frame when students re-enter the buildings,” Bloomfield school officials stated. “If you have any questions about your child’s specific schedule, please reach out to their building principal.”

Essex County Man Admits to Conspiring to Defraud Banks of Over $250K

essex county defraud

On Wednesday, April 14th Acting U.S. Attorney Racheal A. Honig announced that Allen Varice, 24, of East Orange admitted to conspiring to defraud banks of more than $250,000.

Case documents and court statements published on the United States Department of Justice website revealed the following:

“From August 2018 through August 2019, Varice and others engaged in a scheme to use stolen credit cards and checks to fraudulently make purchases and withdraw money from two banks, leaving the banks to bear the losses.

The credit cards were stolen from facilities used by the U.S. Postal Service in Pine Brook and Warren, New Jersey. Because the cards were stolen, they never reached the intended cardholders. After obtaining the stolen cards, Varice and his conspirators used them to make unauthorized purchases at various retail stores and to withdraw cash from automated teller machines (ATMs) in New Jersey and elsewhere.”

Late U.S. Servicewoman from Montclair Honored with Painting

Artist Steve Alpert recently released a series of paintings entitled “Proudly She Served” in which he depicted 12 military veterans in large-scale portraits. One of the women featured was Bernice “Bee” Falk Haydu of Montclair who served as a Women Air Force Service Pilot {WASP} during World War II, per Patch.

“I began this project to tell the story that women in uniform are just as courageous and capable of leadership as men soldiers – simple as that,” Alpert said. “Women are unheralded as such, and I wanted to contribute to telling their success stories through portrait paintings in oil.”

Bloomfield Student Accepted to 7 Ivy League Colleges

Bloomfield High School senior, David Odekunle has been accepted in 15 universities, seven of which are Ivy League schools. While he has yet to decide which offer to accept, he told Patch he is “looking forward to taking the next steps to become a doctor and eliciting change” in his community.

So far, the ambitious teen has been accepted to Princeton University, Yale University, Brown University, Columbia University, Dartmouth University, Cornell University, University of Pennsylvania, Duke University, Johns Hopkins University, Rutgers University, The College of New Jersey, Kean University, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Stevens Institute of Technology and Caldwell University.

Elementary School Students Return to Class in Montclair

Pre-K to Grade 5 students and teachers returned to the classrooms in the Montclair School District on Monday, April 12th. According to Patch, “it’s still unknown when Montclair middle and high school students will be able to transition from remote learning, although Superintendent Jonathan Ponds noted that the high school has released its reopening plan in a recent update to the community.”

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