Home Essex CountyBloomfield 17 News Stories You Missed This Week in Montclair and Beyond

17 News Stories You Missed This Week in Montclair and 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 in the Montclair area. Among the highlights: Maplewood’s Columbia High School student newspaper wins a national award; 16 Montclair teachers are honored, and the New Jersey Devils will host the NHL Stadium Series in 2024. Read on for more news stories from Montclair, Newark, Bloomfield, NJ — and beyond.

16 Montclair Teachers Honored for Talent


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The Ivy at Chatham

Per BaristaNet, 16 Montclair teachers were honored by the Montclair Fund for Educational Excellence. The Judy Weston Awards recognize teachers for their creativity, talent, and support of students. Winners receive a $2,000 prize.

Irvington Native Wins Bronze Medal at
Golden Gloves Competition


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An Irvington boxer has won a bronze medal at the National Golden Gloves competition. According to Patch, 23-year-old Jean Pierre Valencia of Irvington won the bronze medal in the 165-pound weight class at the tournament, which was held at Harrah’s Casino in Pennsylvania last month. Jean Pierre took up boxing at the age of 18.

New Jersey Students Compete at National Spelling Bee

Among the students who took part in the Scripps National Spelling Bee earlier this week were six New Jersey residents, according to the competition. Two Essex County students, Mariam Belkouchi, grade 7; and Aria Khambati, grade 4 are both from Maplewood. Lucas Ke, grade 8, is from Hackensack.

The Montclair Pride Festival is Back for 2023 — Happening June 10th

lgbtq owned businesses essex county

With its inaugural event last year, local non-profit Out Montclair is hosting its second annual Montclair Pride Festival + concert on Saturday, June 10th, 2023. But it’s not just a one-day event to celebrate our amazing LGBTQ+ community and its allies — it’s a full celebration for the next few weeks. The Montclair Girl is proud to be an Empower sponsor for this year’s festival. Click here for the full lineup of Pride events leading up to the second annual Montclair Pride festival happening this June 2023 in Montclair.

Newark Announces City-Wide Rap Competition

The City of Newark has announced a summer-long art event for residents, according to an Instagram post. “Cyphers On Corners” provides a creative outlet for residents to artfully express themselves in a 16-bar challenge at select corners/intersections throughout the city. Artists must register using the QR code below or visit http://shorturl.at/uuv29 to participate.

A limited number of walkups will be allowed on a first-come, first-served basis. A winner will be chosen from each location on August 3rd for a chance to win the grand prize: a performance at the City’s 2023 “24 HRS of Peace” event.

Bloomfield Offers Resources to Students During Mental Health Month

Per TapInto, the town of Bloomfield observed Mental Health Month during May, with presentations and resources for residents, with a special emphasis on student mental health. Programming was organized by the Township’s Department of Human Services. A community of families dealing with teen or young adult mental health challenges also meets once monthly at Temple Ner Tamid on Wednesday nights. These sessions run through August, with the next session scheduled for June 21st at 7:30pm.

Essex County Residents Honored

Essex County residents were honored on May 30th during the Annual Essex County Annual Jewish Heritage Celebration, according to TapInto. The Star of Essex Awards were presented by Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. to Hill Hirsch, District Director for the Office of Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill, and to Rabbi Marc Katz of Temple Ner Tamid in Bloomfield. The purpose of the event is to recognize the influence and positive impact that Jewish people have had and continue to have, on the economy and culture of Essex County.

Columbia High School in Maplewood Adds to its Hall of Fame

The Columbia High School Hall of Fame will add two new members, according to Patch. The Maplewood school added Hazel Clark ’95, an Olympic medalist, coach, and entrepreneur, and Michael Jeffries ’98, a sociologist, author, and professor during a ceremony at the school on Friday, June 2nd. The Hall of Fame began in 1985.

NJ Devils to Host NHL Stadium Series at MetLife Stadium


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The popular NHL Stadium Series is coming to New Jersey, according to NJ.com. In February 2024, two games will feature the Devils vs. Flyers and Rangers vs. Islanders. Stadium Series games are played outdoors, and this game will be the first outdoor NHL game played at MetLife Stadium.

Essex County Native Saves Toddler from Drowning

Essex County native and NFL coach Raheem Morris is being called a hero this week after saving a toddler from drowning in a Las Vegas hotel pool. According to NJ.com, the LA Rams defensive coordinator was at the pool when an unconscious toddler was brought to the lifeguard stand, not breathing. Coach Morris was able to assist the lifeguard in using the automatic external defibrillator (AED) to resuscitate the child.

Maplewood Student Newspaper Wins National Prize


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The student newspaper at Columbia High School in Maplewood has won a national prize. According to Village Green, the Columbian, was awarded second place by the American Scholastic Press Association. Student newspapers from schools nationwide are judged on categories including content coverage, page design, and art/illustrations.

FX Series Filming at Montclair State University

The campus of Montclair State University has been turned into a film set, according to BaristaNet. The campus is being used as a backdrop for a limited-series show featuring former NFL player Aaron Hernandez, called American Sports Story: Gladiator. Palm trees, signage, and other props were brought in to transform the campus into the University of Florida.

Air Quality Alert Issued for New Jersey

An air quality alert has been issued for parts of the Northeast on Friday, June 2nd, including New Jersey, as smoke from Canadian wildfires makes its way down the coast. According to NJ.com, the entire state is under a low-air-quality alert because of a combination of smoke from a huge forest fire and low-level ozone pollution from warm, stale air.

Trial Begins in Lawsuit Against Montclair

A hearing on Friday, June 2nd kicked off the trial in the whistleblower lawsuit against the township of Montclair and its manager, Matthew Stafford. According to BaristaNet, the hearing on Friday was to hear the judge’s ruling on a motion brought by the city to close the courtroom and shield communications regarding the trial. Judge Steven Petrillo denied the motion, emphasizing the people of Montclair’s need to know what is happening with the trial.

Maplewood’s Columbia High School Boy’s Varsity Ultimate Frisbee Team Headed to National Competition


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The Columbia High School Boy’s Ultimate Frisbee team is headed to a national competition later this month in Salt Lake City, Utah. According to Essex News Daily, the team will compete against 15 other teams for the national title. The CHS team earned a spot at the national competition by winning the regional Amherst Invite tournament in Massachusetts in April. The team is still fundraising for the trip; for more information, click here.

Montclair Students Win Poster Contest

Three Montclair fourth graders were among the top 15 winners of this year’s “My Essex County” poster contest. Per TapInto, the fourth graders across the county were invited to submit their posters featuring the best of Essex County. Over 1,100 pieces of art were submitted to the contest.

New Ramen Concept, JINYA, Coming North Jersey


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The same team that runs Sputino Wine Bar and The Shannon Rose Pub has a new venture, JINYA Ramen Bar. According to a press release from the company, JINYA Ramen Bar has a small plates menu in addition to its classic ramen, and a full-service bar. The ramen is made with slow-simmered broth and imported Japanese noodles.

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