22 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: a Montclair dance student has been cast in the 2021-2022 Broadway North American tour of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” Mochinut has opened a new location in Summit, the Montclair Film Festival will open in the newly renovated Claridge Theater, and so much more. Keep reading for all the news you missed this week in Montclair, Bloomfield, + beyond in Essex County.


SMAPA Student Makes Professional Debut on Broadway

 

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Montclair dance student Coleman Simmons has been cast in the 2021-2022 Broadway North American tour of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” The @smapa_dance account shared the exciting news via Instagram. “So proud of our Broadway boy, @cole_bwayboy, making his professional debut in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory! Coleman Simmons has been taking tap and ballet lessons at SMAPA since he was 5, and we know for sure they could not have cast a better Charlie!” Sharron Miller’s Academy for the Performing Arts is a Black-owned, woman-owned, not-for-profit organization whose mission is to provide inclusive training in dance for all ages.


Krug’s Tavern Employee Struck by Vehicle, Staff Launch GoFundMe

 

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On Saturday, October 9th a Krug’s Tavern employee was hospitalized after being struck by a vehicle on Wilson Avenue in Newark. The staff set up a GoFundMe account and shared the link via Instagram. “He has a long road to recovery and any little bit can help! He will be out of work for months and also had to withdraw from his final year at MSU! If you can donate or just send prayers his way 🙏”


Claridge Theater Reopens with New Look

 

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Following extensive interior renovations, the Claridge Theater in Montclair has opened with a new look and updated branding to match. The theater shared the news via Instagram saying, “Today, @montclairfilm introduced the branding for The Claridge, the six-screen, non-profit cinema located at 486 Bloomfield Avenue in Montclair. Film schedules and ticketing updates will be available on the cinema’s social media pages, located @theclairidge on Twitter and Instagram, as well as Facebook.com/theclairidge. Montclair Film will also be launching a new website for ticketing for The Claridge at theclairidge.org soon.”


Ani Ramen House Moves to New Montclair Location

 

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Ani Ramen House has moved locations in Montclair to 511 Bloomfield Avenue. The popular ramen spot opened this week featuring a modern, eclectic vibe in the dining room. The menu features ramen bowls, bao buns, donburi bowls, and more.


NJ Devils Hockey Team to Feature New Logo on Helmets

 

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Following an extension with Prudential Financial, the New Jersey Devils hockey team announced this week that a Black-owned business logo will be featured on player helmets for 13 home games this season. The helmet patch asset, which is often used by companies for advertising, is being donated by Prudential Financial.


Montclair’s Mochinut Opens Summit Location

 

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Bringing unique desserts to Summit, Mochinut serves a mochi (rice cake) donut which originated in Hawaii. Mochinut features 25 flavors ranging from strawberry to milk pebble to ube. The Summit shop is located at 427 Springfield Avenue and is open as of Thursday, October 14th.


New Montclair Beer Garden Opening Soon

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Montclair is now home to a new beer garden thanks to the owner and chef of the popular restaurant and bar Turtle + the Wolf. In the coming weeks, Chef Lauren Hirschberg will officially open the Pineapple Express Barbecue located in the old station house of Lackawanna Station located at 1 Lackawanna Plaza, the former Pig + Prince space. Click here for what we know about Pineapple Express Barbecue.


Montclair Schools Postpone Pooled COVID-19 Testing 

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Schools in Montclair are pausing pool testing for COVID-19, according to Patch. Superintendent Jonathan Ponds has felt positive about the schools’ experience with Ginkgo Bioworks, and is postponing this week’s testing “out of an abundance of caution.” 


Montclair State University Reaches Agreement on Vaccination Requirements with Unions

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Montclair State is requiring that workers give proof of vaccination or an exemption by Monday, October 18th, in order to work, per North Jersey. Those vaccinated shortly before the deadline must test weekly until they can get their second shot. Workers who don’t comply will be suspended from work. 


NJ Devils Jersey Stolen from Clary Anderson Arena Lobby

 

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A man stole the personalized New Jersey Devils jersey that hung in the Clary Anderson Arena lobby Saturday night, reported Montclair Local.  The man smashed through the plastic cover of the display case and stole the jersey, a gift from the Devils Organization valued at $300. 


Newark Arts Festival Brings City Back to Life After Pandemic 

 

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Residents of Newark demonstrated their dedication to the arts by masking up and attending the Newark Arts Festival last week, according to Tap Into. About 300 people attended the launch of the festival. “Newark is thriving with people who are artistically and culturally engaged and who want to show their work,” local artist Lillian Ribeiro said. “When there is isolation and struggle, art helps reconnect people and helps bring back very needed human connection. There is very clearly a creative need, a want, a yearning for community in Newark, COVID-19 crisis or not.”


New Jersey Serial Killer Sentenced to 160 Years 

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A Newark man, Khalil Wheeler-Weaver, 25, was sentenced to 160 years for killing three women he lured through dating apps, per AP News. One of the victim’s friends did her own investigating and discovered the suspect. Wheeler-Weaver was eventually sentenced to 160 years in prison after he denied responsibility and victims’ family members testified against him in court.


Montclair Schools Make U.S. News & World Report ‘Best K-8’ List

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Multiple elementary and middle schools in New Jersey have been rated some of the best in the country, according to Patch. U.S. News & World Report released a list on Tuesday which ranked 80,000 public elementary and middle schools in the United States. The highest-ranking received in New Jersey was Buzz Aldrin Middle School at #173.


Out Montclair + Montclair Film Festival Partner to Bring Big Names to Montclair

 

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In celebration of LGBTQ+ History Month, Out Montclair has a special partnership with the Montclair Film Festival and a special social event for the community. The first-ever Out at Night 50+ is happening this month right here in Montclair.  This event is run by the Montclair Film Festival in partnership with Out Montclair. The purpose of Out Montclair 50+ is to create a space for local LGBTQ+ singles 50+ to meet, mingle, have fun, and make new friendships. The event will be held throughout Montclair will feature big names like Dionne Warwick and Stephen Colbert. Click here to read more about this partnership that will make local history.


New Jersey Children’s Foundation in Newark Takes on Two New Team Members

NJF

Two new directors, Colleen Schulz-Eskow and Galen Johnson, were hired onto the New Jersey Children’s Foundation team to help propel public education in the area, reported TapInto. NJCF launched three years ago and has since seen successful expansion. The team members will continue to urge the state to prioritize students, parents, teachers, and schools. 


Recycling Styrofoam Program in Montclair is Here to Stay 

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After the Montclair Styrofoam Recycling Pilot Program saw success last summer, the program has been made permanent, according to Patch. Residents can drop off styrofoam every other Saturday from 9AM to 1PM in a separate truck at the Recycling Center, 219 North Fullerton Avenue. 


Woman Smuggles 15 lbs of Cocaine in Candy Wrappers into Newark Airport

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A 60-year-old woman, Yolanda Fonseca Melgarejo, was arrested for smuggling 15 pounds of cocaine into the Newark airport, according to NJ.com. The cocaine was disguised inside chocolate candy wrappers inside her luggage. Melgarejo has been sentenced to 2 ½ years in federal prison. 


Montclair Film Festival Returns to New Venue

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After the Montclair Film Festival was postponed in May due to growing concern surrounding COVID-19, it has now returned with a permanent October spot and a new venue, per Montclair Local.  The festival, which will take place at the re-opened Claridge movie theater, will take place October 21st through October 30th and will feature films by Wes Anderson and Jane Campion, among others. 


Television Show “America’s Big Deal” to be Broadcast Live from Newark Symphony Hall

“America’s Big Deal” is coming to the largest Black-led arts and entertainment venue in New Jersey, Newark Symphony Hall, per Patch. The show’s presence in Newark will be a “big deal” since it will be reviving the workforce in the area. Contestants, who are entrepreneurs from all over the country, will present their products to live home viewers and compete for the highest dollar sales. Viewers can watch these live broadcasts Thursdays at 9PM starting October 14th. 


‘Gold Level Recognition’ given to Montclair PD Traffic Bureau for Safe Routes to School

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The Montclair Police Department has been given “Gold Level Recognition” for its Safe Routes to School program, per Patch. The force was awarded based on its crossing guard training and safe routes to school. 


New Report Highlights Solutions to Reducing Violence and Crime in Newark

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The Newark Community Street Team has implemented ways to increase public safety in the area, and may become a model for the rest of the state, reported TapInto. The New Jersey Policy Perspective released a report on Wednesday that expounds on police-led response in the community and how citizens of different races interact with law enforcement. The NCST has been suggested as a solution to violence and crime in the area.


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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.