Home Essex County 16 News Stories You Missed This Week in Montclair + Beyond

16 News Stories You Missed This Week in Montclair + Beyond

by The Montclair Girl Team
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It’s been another busy week in Essex County with plenty of news to catch up on in the Montclair area. Among the highlights: a Montclair librarian is recognized; Bloomfield announces a back-to-school giveaway for students; and Newark launches a pilot program adding mental health professionals to law enforcement responses. Read on for more news from Montclair, Bloomfield, and beyond for the week ending August 6th, 2023.

New Jersey Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver Passes Away


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The Ivy at Chatham

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New Jersey Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver passed away at age 71 on Tuesday, August 1st. Per NJ.com, she was briefly hospitalized after a long illness. Lt. Gov. Oliver was a lifelong public servant, beginning her career on the East Orange Board of Education in 1994.

Ruthie’s BBQ + Pizza in Montclair Announces Closure Suddenly

Ruthie’s BBQ + Pizza — located at 64 ½ Chesnut Street in Montclair — has become a MTC staple over the years, serving up pizza and BBQ-style eats. The restaurant is a passion project between the husband-and-wife team of Ruthie Perretti and Eric Kaplan, who have made Ruthie’s what it is today. Sadly, the owners announced on July 30th that the restaurant has suddenly closed its doors, as the two are venturing into other projects to help create a market for growers in New Jersey. Read on for what we know about the closure and what we will miss about Ruthie’s BBQ + Pizza in Montclair — including some bits from our talk with Ruthie and Eric back in 2022.

West Orange Sea Turtle Rescue Group Celebrates 101st Release


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Per Patch, a sea turtle rescue organization has a lot to celebrate upon the release of its 101st treated turtle. Sea Turtle Recovery helps turtles from across New Jersey at its facility at the Turtleback Zoo in West Orange. Four out of the seven turtle species live in New Jersey, and animals that can’t be released to the wild live at the facility, where they receive treatment and visitors regularly.

Heirloom Bulbs for Sale at Montclair History Center

The Montclair History Center’s annual Fall Heirloom Bulb Sale has been announced via a press release. According to the organization, the sale will have a nod to Montclair’s Dutch ‘Speertown’ roots and feature many heirloom bulbs. Several of the varieties available have been found in Montclair gardens back when the houses were newly built, from the late 1700s up through the 1950s. There will be 15 varieties of narcissi, tulips, allium, hyacinths, and crocus. The sale is online now through September 18th, and bulbs will be available for pickup in early October. All proceeds from the Fall Heirloom Bulb Sale support the Montclair History Center’s mission for the public.

Award-Winning Soul Food Restaurant to Open in Newark


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A popular soul food restaurant based in Harlem announced plans to open a Newark location. BLVD Bistro will open later this year at 33 Washington Street, according to Jersey Digs. BLVD Bistro specializes in Southern and Creole food with French influences and was voted the best soul food in the country by Food Network.

Montclair Public Library Foundation Awards Librarian

The manager of the Belleville Avenue Branch has won the Margery Quigley Award from the Montclair Public Library Foundation. According to BaristaNet, Kristen Comeaux was selected from a peer-nominated group of nominees. She was recognized for her creative thinking and efforts to expand the library’s offerings.

Montclair Receives $450K Settlement After Cyber Attack

As a result of a cyber attack on its systems, the Township of Montclair’s insurer negotiated a settlement of $450,000 from the attackers, according to Montclair Local. The June 6th cyberattack impacted the town’s IT systems. An investigation into the attack has begun with the help of state and federal law enforcement in addition to the town’s insurer.

New Water Metering System, Rates, to Take Effect in Bloomfield

A new water rate and metering system will go into effect in Bloomfield on August 12th, according to an announcement from the town. The Bloomfield Customer Water Meter Portal will allow residents to see usage, pay bills online, and set up vacation alerts to monitor for leaks. Residents can sign up online now.

South Orange Rescue Squad Instructs Teens on CPR

Students at Columbia High School received a course in CPR from the South Orange Rescue Squad, according to Village Green. The students are participants in a monthly program called Open Gym where students can play basketball and socialize with Maplewood and South Orange police officers. The CPR instruction included an introduction to the techniques, a discussion about the causes of cardiac arrest, and some hands-on work with training dummies.

Mental Health Providers Partner with Newark Police for Pilot Program

Newark is one of the latest New Jersey cities to take part in the state’s Arrive Together initiative, where law enforcement professionals are paired with mental health providers to respond to people having mental health emergencies. Per Patch, the pilot program is three days a week to start and targeted around the Newark Penn Station area. Since its June start, the teams have responded to over 80 calls for behavioral or mental health crises.

Back to School Party in Bloomfield

Per Patch, the Mayor of Bloomfield will host a back-to-school party on August 27th. The event will take place at Felton Field, 145 Floyd Avenue, from 12PM to 3PM, and feature games, music, giveaways, and more. Registration is required for students to receive a book bag.

Revised Plan for Lackawanna Redevelopment in Montclair

The Township of Montclair shared an update on its plans for redeveloping Lackawanna Plaza. Per Montclair Local, the revised plan is significantly slimmed down. For example, it proposes 300 residential units, down from 375 in the initial plan. The new plan will be introduced at the August 15th Township Council meeting.

Montclair Movie Theater Hosts Baby-Friendly Barbie Screening


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The Clairidge, located at 486 Bloomfield Avenue in Montclair, will host a BYOBaby screening of Barbie at 10AM on August 9th. Per Patch, the theater lights will remain on, but dimmed, and the audience is welcome to move around during the screening. Children under age 5 are free.

New Murals in Newark

Two new murals are on display in Newark, according to Patch. One is a community-painted rainbow in honor of Pride Month, and the other is in honor of Newark’s relationship with Ghana. Ghanian artist Mohammad “Moh” Awudu came to Newark earlier this summer to take part in the AfroBeats Fest, and spent a few more weeks in town working on his mural.

Montclair Brewery Debuts Beer Honoring Hip Hop


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The Montclair Brewery is honoring the 50th anniversary of hip-hop with two special edition beers, per Patch. The brewery team collaborated with NJ-Based DJs The Awesome 2 to create the beer, called Salute, which is a crisp golden ale. The beer will make its debut this weekend at the brewery during a release party with live music, BBQ, and a graffiti battle.

Newark Lease Approved for NJ Transit

NJ Transit’s plans to sign a 25-year lease on a Newark office space have been approved. Per Jersey Digs, the lease will total $440 million over the term, which was unanimously approved by NJ Transit’s Board of Directors. The agreement will see NJ Transit move its offices to Two Gateway Plaza in Newark, which could take place as early as 2024.

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