14 Montclair + Bloomfield News Stories You Missed This Week

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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 — Toni’s Kitchen was recognized for providing more than one million meals to local residents during 2020, Weseley Jewelers is closing after 65 years in Montclair, Essex County to end ICE contract, and so much more. Keep reading for all the news you missed this week in Montclair, Bloomfield, + beyond in Essex County:

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Montclair Police Honored for Addiction Recovery Education

montclair police

On Wednesday, April 28th, several Montclair police officers received recognition for their assistance in the community, per Tap Into. Detective Sergeant Charles Cunningham, Detective Michael Mickens, and Detective Macheo McClean were each recognized for their work in serving those who suffer from addiction. The event was held at Edgemont Park.


Retractable Enclosure Approved for Faubourg Patio

On Monday, April 26th the Montclair Planning Board approved the application for the Faubourg restaurant on Bloomfield Avenue to install a retractable glass enclosure, per Tap Into. The space is scheduled to be used for outdoor dining on the right side of the building.


Office Complex in Bloomfield Sells for $52M

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Photo credit: Google Maps

A Bloomfield office complex recently sold for $52M in an off-market transaction, per The Real Deal. The montclair-based investment firm, ERCT Capital Group purchased the building. It was previously sold for $31M in 2017. The Broadacres Office Park spans 398,000 square feet across three buildings at Broadacres Drive and 1455 Broad Street.


Toni’s Kitchen Celebrated for Donating Over 1M Meals in 2020

 

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On Monday, April 26th, Governor Phil Murphy recognized the impact Toni’s Kitchen has had in the community by providing more than one million meals to local residents during 2020, per Montclair Local. Toni’s Kitchen is the food ministry of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Montclair. One of the innovative solutions implemented includes a food truck offering hot soups, sandwiches, and coffee. Another noteworthy program is the ministry’s Healthy Backpack Program, which includes a backpack of food with tutoring programs.


Lackawanna Development to Return to Montclair Planning Board

 

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The existing plans for the Lackawanna Plaza include a supermarket, office retail space, and 154 housing units, Montclair Local. Residents plan to ask the judge to reconsider his ruling, sending the case back to the planning board to hear more testimony from local constituents.


After 65 Years, Wesley Jewelers in Upper Montclair to Close

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Photo credit: Wesley Jewelers’ Facebook

Wesley Jewelers, located at 628 Valley Road in Upper Montclair, has announced that it will be closing its doors for good in the coming weeks after 65 years in business. The shop specialized in 14k jewelry and silver as well as jewelry and watch repairs on the premises with most small jewelry repairs done the same day. Click here to learn more about the history of the shop.


Union County Jail to Send Inmates to Essex County

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Union County Jail will be closing operations later this year, as a result, they will be sending inmates to the Essex County Correctional facility in Newark, per My Central Jersey. This move will save Union County over $103M over five years. Starting on July 1st, the jail will operate as a processing hub to intake, process, temporarily detain, and transport prisoners to Essex County.


New Jersey’s Carolina Rial is a Contestant on The Voice

 

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A seventeen-year-old girl’s dream has come true. Every season, thousands of singers try out for The Voice from all over the United States to share their talent. This season, Carolina Rial, a Ridgefield, New Jersey resident, was picked out from among those thousands to become a contestant on the show. Click here to learn more about this New Jersey-based contestant.


Efforts in Montclair Are Saving the Bees

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Beekeeping is making a comeback in Montclair as the local community works to do its part in saving the bees, per Montclair Local. As the public continues to understand the threat bees are facing, people are more interested in doing what they can to save the bees and as a result, the world’s food supply. Apiaries are now being placed in community gardens throughout Montclair. This spring, the Mother Teresa Community Garden on Pine Street added hives, as did Montclair Community Farms on Orange Road.


Vanguard: A New Theater Company to Open in Montclair

 

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Last year Janeece Freeman Clark signed a lease for the Old Mogul Theater and paid a year’s rent, per North Jersey. Then COVID-19 hit and everything shut down, including any renovations on the theater. State and private grants have kept things afloat and now the company is set to open for the community.


Police Change Rules Allowing Muslim Officers to Wear Hijabs on Duty

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Until now, female officers in the Newark Police Department have been banned from wearing a hijab as part of their uniform, per NJ.com. “To be able to recognize people’s religion, how they practice it and allow them to do that safely and appropriately on their worksite, speaks volumes to where we’re going as a department,” Newark Mayor Ras Baraka told reporters at a press conference announcing the policy change. The change in uniform regulations comes after an officer requested permission to wear her hijab on duty.


Second Virtual Meeting Held to Discuss Hudson-Essex Greenway Project

Fourth Ward Councilor David Cummings hosted the second virtual meeting to discuss issues pertaining to the Hudson-Essex Greenway Project, per Tap Into. Debra Kagan, executive director of the New Jersey Bike & Walk Coalition, noted the project would open up 135 acres of open space along the nine-mile route. The revitalized space would connect trails and parks, give people greater access to green space, and provide increased mobility for more people, particularly young people, the elderly, and the disabled.


Bloomfield BOE Approves $129M Budget for 2021-2022 School Year

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The Bloomfield Board of Education approved a new $129M budget for the upcoming school year, per Tap Into. This budget is a $10M increase from last year. Residents will see a recommended 2% tax levy increase, totaling $1,504,683.


Essex County Ends ICE Contract

ice contract

Photo credit: Google Maps

Starting August 23rd, there will be no more ICE detainees left at the county facility, Tap Into. The county is anticipating about $11.3 million in revenue from its agreement with Union.

“We have had a very solid working relationship with ICE during the last 13 years. It has always been in the best interest of the detainees to remain close to their family, friends, attorneys, and community organizations helping them in a facility that was safe and secure,” Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo said in a statement. “This partnership is a great opportunity for Union County to find an alternative way to house their inmates without having to operate a costly facility and for Essex County to maximize the capacity of our accredited complex and generate revenue.”


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With two little ones at home, this North Carolina native has worked remotely for the past five years as a freelance writer. Ainsley moved to New Jersey in 2016 and fell in love with the Garden State. She is always on the lookout for what’s going on in the greater New York area, from new restaurants and businesses opening to can’t-miss events highlighting local culture. Outside of writing and being a mother, Ainsley loves to dive into a good book, practice speaking French, and dream up new ways to decorate her apartment.