Home Essex County 21 News Stories You Missed This Week in Montclair + Beyond

21 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: the Clinton Hill farmers market returns to Newark; the Bloomfield Animal Shelter is at capacity and needs donations, and Montclair teachers are honored by the school board. Read on for more news from Montclair, Bloomfield, and beyond for the week ending July 16th, 2023.

Bloomfield College + Montclair State University Have Officially Merged

montclair state university
Essex County is home to a few local colleges + universities — and now, two of these schools have officially joined forces. Bloomfield College has now officially merged with Montclair State University and will operate under the new name, Bloomfield College of Montclair State University. This move comes after Montclair State helped provide financial relief to Bloomfield College to prevent it from closing down. The goal was to have the merger completed by June 30th, 2023 — and in the meantime, Bloomfield College would continue operating independently but will still work closely with Montclair State. The incorporation of a private college (Bloomfield) into a public university (Montclair State) is rare, and there will be a lot to iron out to ensure a smooth transition. As of June 15th, 2023, the merger has taken another step forward, and as of July 1st, 2023, the merger is official after Governor Murphy approved it. Read on to learn more about the Bloomfield College and Montclair State University merger.

The Montclair Jazz Festival is Back for 2023

The Montclair Jazz Festival is back for 2023, and includes even more acts and musical artists than last year’s festival. The family-friendly events start up in late July and span until September 9th — when the 2023 Downtown Jamboree will be held. With a history that dates back to 2010, local nonprofit Jazz House Kids has been hosting these events each year. Read on to learn more about the 2023 Montclair Jazz Festival.

New Jersey Balloon Fest Celebrates 40th Year

According to a press release from event organizers, this year is the 40th anniversary of the New Jersey Lottery Festival of Ballooning, taking place July 28th-30th 2023. Generations of families have long enjoyed getting together every July to experience the awe-inspiring spectacle of up to 100 gigantic, colorful hot air balloons filling the skies with a pageantry of color twice each day over the scenic Hunterdon County countryside. Music fills the air, too, with a headlining concert series featuring some of music’s biggest stars.

Another Funding Milestone Reached in Hudson Tunnel Project, Part of Gateway Development

Via a press release, the Gateway Development Commission announced a new milestone in the project’s funding. The Hudson Tunnel Project is now in a position to receive a grant of up to $6.88 Billion from the Federal Transit Administration. Construction is expected to begin later this year.

Palisades Park Golf Range Goes High-Tech

21 Golf Range, a Palisades Park driving range and golf simulator facility, has added V1 Sports swing video analysis solutions to its facilities, according to a press release from the company. Golfers of all skill levels can use the app to work on their swing, and the on-demand drills mean that players can improve any time, anywhere. 21 Golf Range is a climate-controlled facility located at 1 US 46 West in Palisades Park and is open year-round.

Free, Family-Friendly Movie Series Announced in Newark

A free, family-friendly movie series has been announced at the CityPlex 12 in Newark. Per Patch, free movies will be shown in July and August. The movies are free and shown at 10AM two days a week from now until August 24th.

Bloomfield Animal Shelter At Capacity, Seeks Donations and Support

The Bloomfield Animal Shelter is at capacity and is seeking adopters and donations to help deal with an influx of animals. Per Patch, the shelter is experiencing a high number of animal surrenders, in addition to stray animals. More information about supplies needed can be found here.

Fatality at Cedar Grove Swimming Hole

A North Jersey teen died after swimming in an unauthorized swimming hole in Cedar Grove, per NJ.com. Cedar Grove police inspected the area, known as Devil’s Hole, around 5PM on Saturday July 8th. An emergency call was made around 6PM. Fire and other emergency responders were unsuccessful in reviving the male swimmer.

Montclair Educators Honored at Board Meeting

Several Montclair educators were honored at a board meeting, according to a press release. Fifteen educators representing all of Montclair’s schools were recognized. These teachers were named 2022-23 Governor’s Educator of the Year recipients.

NYC-Based Sushi Spot Kamasu by Kissaki Opening in Newark


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A new sushi restaurant is opening in Newark later this summer, according to Jersey Digs. Kamasu by Kissaki is the latest NYC-based eatery to open an outpost at the Gateway at the Junction in Newark. Kamasu is known for open-faced Temaki hand rolls, donburi dishes, and an a la carte menu.

New Jersey College Students Help Solve 2002 Cold Case

Students at Ramapo College used modern-day DNA tools to solve a 2002 cold case murder, according to the NY Post. Students in the remote Investigative Genetic Genealogy course at Ramapo College were the first students to take the new course, which began in January 2023. The college worked with the nonprofit DNA Doe Project to get connected to the case, which originated in Arizona.

Multi-Day Fire at Port of Newark has been Extinguished

A deadly fire at the Port of Newark has been extinguished after burning for several days, claiming the lives of two firefighters and injuring several more. According to NJ.com, salvage operations will take several weeks. The ship, the Grimaldi Deep Sea, was carrying over 1,200 vehicles and 157 cargo containers at the time of the fire. A multi-agency investigation into the cause of the fire is underway.

Improvements Completed at Essex County Parks Facility

Per Patch, a $10 million effort to improve Wally Choice Community Center has been completed. The work included a new parking lot with more handicapped spots and a synthetic grass surface practice football field. The building was expanded to have a large activity room, a computer room, office space, a kitchen, and a room to be used as a substation for the Montclair Police Department in addition to a large outdoor patio space.

Clinton Hill Farmers Market Debuts in Newark

Citizen group Clinton Hill Community Action launched a monthly farmers market. Per Patch, the market will take place once a month on a Saturday from 11AM to 3PM and feature fresh food and produce vendors in addition to a flea market, live music and other activities. The market will take place at Hawthorne Avenue Farm, 446 Hawthorne Avenue.

NJ Transit Signs Office Lease at Newark’s Junction

NJ Transit has signed an agreement to move its corporate headquarters to the Junction in Newark, out of the building it owns in Penn Plaza, next to Newark Penn Station. Per NJ.com, the lease is for a term of 25 years for approximately 407,000 square feet. A significant amount of work is needed on the Penn Plaza building, making it necessary for employees to be relocated.

Montclair History Center Project Receives More Funding

The Montclair History Center will be able to move forward with its Meadows Project thanks to continued funding, according to Patch. The goal of the Meadows Project is to create a series of educational gardens such as a native plants garden, a pollinator garden, and a dyer’s garden. The gardens are located at the Montclair History Center, which is located at 108-110 Orange Road.

Styrofoam Recycling in Montclair Paused

Per Patch, styrofoam recycling in Montclair is on hold until a new vendor can be found. The town’s longtime service provider has closed its business. In the meantime, styrofoam items can be discarded with regular household waste.

Bloomfield Announces Reimbursement Program for Families Impacted by Benefit Theft

Via a press release, the town of Bloomfield announced a reimbursement program for families who have been impacted by electronic benefits theft. Households that participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, and/or the General Assistance (GA) cash assistance program can request reimbursement for electronically stolen benefits dating back to October 1, 2022. The Bloomfield Department of Human Services is available to assist residents to submit claim forms. Please contact (973) 680-4017 or visit the Township website.

Italian Sandwich Shop, Fatto Con Amore, Opening this Fall in Montclair

Photo Credit: MediaScher, Photographer Tyler Scher

Montclair Hospitality Group (MHG) CEO Joey Simons and Founder Luck Sarabhayavanija have partnered with James Beard-nominated Chef Robbie Felice, to open a new authentic Italian sandwich shop called Fatto Con Amore, which will be the embodiment of its translation: “made with love”. Slated to open in October 2023, this specialty shop will offer a tiny slice of Italy in Montclair—near MHG’s highly acclaimed Wafu Italian restaurant pastaRAMEN, at 349 Bloomfield Avenue, according to a press release.

Fatto con Amore will offer the traditional vibes of the kind of salumeria (delicatessen) that Chef Felice dreamt of opening since he was a child. Sandwiches will be made with a passion for quality starting with the ingredients; from its freshly baked breads from the finest local bakeries and imported meats, to its artisanal cheeses, vinegars and olive oils from Italy. The shop will open at 7AM daily for quick grab-and-go breakfast offerings. The market will feature fresh and pantry items that are the best of the best from each category, sourced locally or imported, each personally selected by Chef Felice.

2 Newark Firefighters Die in Shipyard Blaze

Two Newark firefighters died fighting a two-alarm fire at the Port of Newark. According to ABC7NY, the fire began on Wednesday July 6th and took several days to fully extinguish. Augusto “Augie” Acabou and Wayne Brooks, Jr. Firefighter Acabou served the Newark Fire Division for 9 years and was assigned to Engine 16, Tour 1, and Firefighter Brooks served 16 ½ years. He was assigned to Ladder 4, Tour 1.

New Jersey Ballet Announces 65th Anniversary Season of Performances


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Via a press release, the New Jersey Ballet announced the schedule for its upcoming 65th anniversary season. The season will feature over thirty captivating performances across seven venues throughout New Jersey. Marking this milestone, the Company will showcase a diverse repertoire, including iconic works by Jerome Robbins and George Balanchine, Justin Peck, and Harrison Ball, as well as a world premiere by Lauren Lovette.

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