19 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: Vice President Kamala Harris visited Montclair and Newark this week, community leaders were recognized during the Essex County Hispanic Heritage Month celebration, a luminaria display at Montclair State University allowed students to commemorate the impact felt from COVID-19, and so much more. Keep reading for all the news you missed this week in Montclair, Bloomfield, + beyond in Essex County.


Nothing Bundt Cakes is Opening in West Caldwell

If you have a sweet tooth or are looking for a cake to please a crowd on a special occasion, West Caldwell will soon have a new bakery that is sure to satisfy. Nothing Bundt Cakes is opening a new location on Saturday, October 30th. Click here to read about Nothing Bundt Cakes opening soon at 749 Bloomfield Avenue, West Caldwell.


Varitage Brew Works Plans 2022 Opening in Bloomfield

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A new brewery, Varitage Brew Works, is coming to Bloomfield at 58 Washington Street. The brewery’s name is derived from the words “variety” and “heritage,” which illustrates what the owners want the new business to represent — the American Dream. Click here to read about Varitage Brew Works, coming to Bloomfield.


VP Kamala Harris Visits Montclair and Newark 

 

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On Friday, Vice President Kamala Harris visited Montclair and Newark, reported NJ.com.  She encouraged citizens to get the Coronavirus vaccine and shared information about President Joe Biden’s child care spending proposal.


Tino’s Artisan Pizza Co. Opening New Location in Upper Montclair

Tino’s Artisan Pizza Co. is expanding and will be opening a new location in Upper Montclair. There are already four other locations in New Jersey: Jersey City, Kingston, Madison, and Ocean Grove. Following JC’s opening earlier this year, the new spot is expected to open in just a few months. Click here to read about Tino’s Artisan Pizza Co. coming to Montclair.


Single Powerball Ticket Wins $699.8 Million Jackpot, Third Prize Ticket Sold in Newark

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A single Powerball ticket won the seventh-largest jackpot in US history on Monday, per NJ.com. The ticket was purchased at an Albertsons near Los Angeles, California, which won $699.8 million. Five of the third-prize tickets were bought in New Jersey, one of which was sold at Victoria’s Supermarket on Broad Street in Newark.


Bamboo Village Holds Grand Opening in Montclair

Bamboo Village has officially opened at 636 Bloomfield Avenue in Montclair, according to an Instagram post by @bamboovillageverona. The post states the Vietnamese fusion restaurant is now open and as part of the grand opening, is holding a giveaway. “We offer a complimentary grilled chicken salad with a purchase of $30 or more, please share your like to social media.”


NJ Man Found Guilty of Stealing $700K Through Scams

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Jefferson Robert, a 31-year-old man from Newark, is going to jail for committing fraud related to unemployment payments, business emails, and romantic scams that started in 2019, per NJ.com. Since then he has acquired $700K illegally. He has been sentenced to 20 years in federal prison.


Owner of Multiple Gas Stations in Newark and Belleville Paying Settlement for Over-charged Fuel

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Sukhdev Singh, the owner of five gas stations in Essex County, had been overcharging his customers and will be paying $138,519 in settlement charges, according to NJ.com. People buying premium fuel were receiving regular fuel for a premium price, and even being charged a higher price than advertised. The stations include KP Fuel, BK Fuel, Millennium Fuel, DS Fuel, and Power Service Center. 


Community Leaders Recognized During Essex County Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration 

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Last week, the annual Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration returned virtually after its pandemic hiatus, reported Patch. During the Zoom celebration, county officials recognized Carlos Gonzalez, Martha Felix, Miguel Rodriguez, and Jose Aviles for their contributions to the community. 


Rocker Dad in Montclair to Perform Online for Post-Hurricane School Fundraiser

 

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Jason Didner, PTA member and rock musician, will perform on Live Streamer Cafe on November 13th at 8PM to raise money for Hillside Elementary School, per New Jersey Stage. The effects of Hurricane Ida heavily damaged Hillside’s basement, where many classrooms and specialized equipment were located. Didner’s fifth-grade daughter is one of the many students affected, and he wants to help to restore what was lost.   


Little Free Libraries Among the Damage in Montclair Neighborhood Vandalism 

Early Saturday morning, a “slim-built individual wearing a hooded sweatshirt” vandalized multiple areas around Westover Road and Central Avenue, per Patch. The damage included torn-up gardens, missing items from cars, destroyed Little Free Libraries, and a concrete slab thrown through a car window.  


Coronavirus Testing Could Begin 10/11 in Montclair Schools 

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Montclair Schools will begin pooled coronavirus testing beginning October 11th, based on the Board of Education’s votes, according to Montclair Local. The district has contracted Concentric Bioworks beginning with an 11-week testing schedule that may be extended. This is part of the district’s efforts to combat the spread of the virus, including the mandatory vaccination or weekly testing deadline by October 18th. 


Essex County School District Discouraging Unnecessary Travel to Prevent Spread of COVID-19

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Montclair Superintendent Jonathan Ponds recommends families hold off on unnecessary travel until further notice, per NJ.com. Last Friday he sent out a letter addressing the issue and is relying on information from the CDC for guidance regarding vaccination and travel safety. The policy may change as holidays grow closer. 


Poor Cell Service Among Causes of Many ‘Dead’  Parking Meters in Montclair

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Many people have been frustrated over the growing number of out-of-commission parking meters in Montclair, reported Montclair Local. These outages are caused by jammed coin slots, and most recently discovered, poor internet connectivity. As the city finds a solution, officials urge people to use the ParkMobile app when parking by “dead” parking meters. 


Montclair Resident Wins Tony Award for ‘Moulin Rouge’

Montclair resident Justin Townsend won Best Lighting Design in a Musical for his work on Moulin Rouge, reported Theatrely. The award given at the 74th Annual Tony Awards in September was his fourth nomination and first win. His other nominated works include The Humans and American Psycho


Sopranos Actor Speaks at Montclair Literary Festival

 

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Stevie Van Zandt talked about his memoir “Unrequited Infatuations” at the Montclair Literary Festival on Sunday, October 3rd, per Montclair Local. The E Street Band member, “Sopranos” actor, and anti-apartheid activist spoke to the audience at First Congregational Church about dealing with frustration and disappointment in life.


Montclair Resident Awarded ‘Changemaker of the Week’ For Environmental Work

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Montclair resident Jose German-Gomez was featured as “Changemaker of the Week,” according to The Pollination Project. As a retired corporate accountant, German-Gomez is putting his environmental and gardening passions into action. After success in his own backyard garden, he applied for a Pollination Project seed grant in 2017 and has since built sustainable community gardens all over the area. His most recent project is the Little Free Pantry Project, which serves local food needs. 


Luminaria Display at Montclair State University Commemorates Suffering From COVID-19

Those who have been affected both physically and emotionally by COVID-19 came together at Montclair State University on Thursday, September 30 for a reverent display of Luminaria, reported Montclair State University.  Students, staff, and faculty shared encouraging songs and words to remember and heal from the loss caused by the pandemic. Vice President for Student Development and Campus Life Dawn Soufleris assured me that the university is working towards a brighter future. 


Elementary School in Cedar Grove Awarded Blue Ribbon Status

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The academic performance and success exhibited by North End Elementary earned it the prestigious ‘Blue Ribbon’ award, reported Patch. The school was one of 325 across the country to receive this honor from the government. Eight other schools in New Jersey were nominated, all of which U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona praised for doing so well “in the face of unprecedented circumstances.” 


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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.