Home Essex CountyBelleville 22 News Stories You Missed This Week in Montclair + Beyond

22 News Stories You Missed This Week in Montclair + Beyond

by The Montclair Girl Team
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While the spring weather has been leaning towards the cooler side, the need for summer is only growing. It’s been another busy week in Essex County and we’ve got all the news to keep you up to date. Among the highlights: 46 dogs are saved in a fire in Fairfield; Jersey City-based yoga studio, Sol Spirit, is opening in Montclair; and NJPAC begins a $336 million redevelopment project. Read on for all the news in Essex County for the week ending April 28th, 2024.

Have a news story or press release? Email it to hello@themontclairgirl.com.

Among the Headlines:

  • Orange Sky Coffee Roasters Opens in West Orange
  • 46 Dogs Saved in Fairfield Fire
  • Newark High School Gets New State-of-the-Art Technology for EMT Program
  • Montclair State University Unveils Charles J. Muth Museum of Hinchliffe Stadium
  • Jersey City-Based Yoga Studio, Sol Spirit, Opening in Montclair
  • New Jersey Warriors Disabled Veterans Hockey Win First National Warriors Championship
  • NJPAC Campus Begins $336M Redevelopment Project
  • 2 New Traffic Signals to Arrive at Watchung Plaza
  • Clothing Store on Valley Road Burglarized
  • New Italian Restaurant, Sugo, Opens in Newark

Orange Sky Coffee Roasters Opens in West Orange


The Ivy at Chatham
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A post shared by Orange Sky Coffee Roasters (@orangeskycoffee)


A new coffee shop, Orange Sky Coffee Roasters, opened at 6 Main Street in West Orange at the beginning of this month. The opening was the culmination of a decade-long dream between husband-and-wife owners Ray and Trish Lawks Locicero, per a statement from the business. The store provides pick-up and delivery options and has an online shop for its various coffee beans. Its hours are Monday through Friday from 7AM-4PM and weekends from 8AM-4PM.

Livingston Schools Donates Kings Gift Cards to Township’s Neighbors Helping Neighbors

Kings Food Market’s Nourishing Neighbors Program, in partnership with GENYOUth, recently awarded Livingston Public Schools $3,025 in $25 Kings gift cards. Kings representatives stated that they chose LPS as its recipients since they appreciate the leadership the district and schools provide the communities they help serve. According to TAPinto Livingston, LPS chose to donate the funds to Livingston Neighbors Helping Neighbors (LNHN), a local non-profit that helps families in the community struggling with unexpected hardships by providing short-term, emergency financial assistance and a variety of in-kind support. LNHN also manages the local food pantry, the Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse (CHOW), located at Livingston Town Hall.

46 Dogs Saved in Fairfield Fire


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A post shared by Fairfield Police Department (@fairfieldpdnj)


A fire took place around 9:30PM on April 20th, and police officers and firefighters saved a total of 46 dogs from the K-9 Resorts Hotel at the Pio Costa Industrial Complex at 1275 Bloomfield Avenue in Fairfield. According to Patch Montclair, the dogs are all reported to be safe and are being checked by veterinarian professionals out of caution. Only one police officer suffered smoke inhalation while responding to the fire call. Fairfield police are working with the Associated Humane Society and representatives from the hotel to transport all of the dogs to another facility owned by the business. The cause of the fire is still being investigated by the Fairfield Fire Prevention Bureau.

Clean-Up Settlement Proposed for Superfund Site in Newark

In the effort to clean up a polluted Superfund site near the Passaic River in Newark, the U.S. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed a settlement with Pennsylvania-based PPG Industries Inc. in mid-April. According to Patch Newark, the settlement proposes that the company design and perform a $15.8 million cleanup at the Riverside Industrial Park Superfund site. Issues at the site include contaminated soil, groundwater, soil gas, sewer water, and waste. The proposed consent decree is subject to a 60-day public comment period; at the close of the period, authorities are designated to evaluate comments and decide whether to proceed and potentially seek final approval by the court.

Kush Connection Cannabis Retail to Revise Planning Board Application

a drawing of the exterior of The Kush Connection

^ Artwork by Julian Gelbard

Incoming business Kush Connection Cannabis halted testimony in front of the Montclair Township Planning Board at its meeting on April 15th to revise the proposed project of putting a storefront at 135 Valley Road. Representatives from Kush also answered concerns by board members about whether the parking layout is not safe for either vehicles or customers, per Montclair Local. The business’s attorney Alan Trembulak requested postponing the hearing to a future date which is now the board’s May 20th meeting.

Newark High School Gets New State-of-the-Art Technology for EMT Program

Essex County Newark Tech received a new, life-size ambulance simulator to train students for future careers as emergency medical technicians. According to Patch Newark, the only other school to have this technology is Rowan University. In addition to the simulator, the school also recently purchased other cutting-edge equipment for the EMT program, including SimMan, SimMom, and SimBaby. Essex County Schools of Technology Superintendent James Pedersen credited county officials with providing the means to purchase the equipment and implement the program.

Montclair State University Unveils Charles J. Muth Museum of Hinchliffe Stadium


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The Charles J. Muth Museum of Hinchliffe Stadium, in partnership with the city of Paterson, was opened at Montclair State University at a special event on April 11th. Special guests and elected officials participated in the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new learning center and museum, which highlights the support of Montclair State alumnus and Paterson native Chuck Muth ‘77 and his wife, Laura. Chuck’s $5 million gift will allow the university to serve as an educational partner for the museum, per a press release from the school, which will highlight the history and legacy of Hinchliffe Stadium. It’s one of the two remaining Negro League baseball stadiums in the country and a “cultural touchstone” in the city.

Livingston Teen Receives Prestigious General Billy Mitchell Award

Livingston High School sophomore Michael Shayevich recently received the General Billy Mitchell Award three years after joining the Civil Air Patrol (CAP). The award recognizes his “sustained excellence” in all four areas of cadet life: leadership, aerospace, fitness, and character. Only about 15% of cadets earn this award in a group of 25,000 young adults aged 12 to 18 in the program. Michael has been promoted to the rank of cadet officer as well as to the grade of Cadet Second Lieutenant as a result of receiving the award, per TAPinto Livingston. A ceremony was recently held for him at the American Red Cross Northern New Jersey headquarters in Fairfield.

Jersey City-Based Yoga Studio, Sol Spirit, Opening in Montclair

sol spirit yoga montclair

Montclair is expanding its fitness options with the opening of a beloved Jersey City-based studio. Sol Spirit Yoga will be located at 356 Bloomfield Avenue, Suite 6, which is on the second floor. Sol Spirit has been a Jersey City favorite since its 2021 opening, even winning our sister brand The Hoboken Girl’s reader-voted Best Yoga Studio in Jersey City for 2023. Now, Sol Spirit will bring its welcoming vibes to Montclair. Click here to learn more about the opening that’s taking place this spring.

Bloomfield Spring Paper Shredding Event Also Accepting Reusable Bags


Bloomfield’s bi-annual paper shredding event recently announced that it will also collect reusable bags. The bags will go directly to Toni’s Kitchen Food Pantry as they continue to serve those facing food insecurity in the community, per TAPinto Bloomfield. The event will take place on May 11th from 9AM-12PM in the Pulaski Park Parking Lot at 24 Mount Vernon Avenue.

New Pediatric Physical Therapy Business Opens in West Orange

Dr. Alexandra Genis and her staff at Rising Stars Pediatric Physical Therapy were welcomed by Mayor McCartney of West Orange at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on April 10th. Dr. Genis is a Board-Certified Doctor of Physical Therapy and specializes in comprehensive pediatric services to support the development of children, per TAPinto West Orange. It’s located at 395 Pleasant Valley Way.

New Jersey Warriors Disabled Veterans Hockey Win First National Warriors Championship


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The New Jersey Warriors, a hockey team of disabled servicemen and servicewomen, won the tier five level of the National Warriors Championship on April 14th. The championship games took place in Wayne this year and brought 34 national teams together. According to a press release from the team, the NJ Warriors went undefeated throughout the weekend and won the title against the Nebraska Warriors, 2-0. The team is seeking donations and sponsorships to begin fundraising for their trip to next year’s tournament, set to be held in Tampa, and hopes to field two full teams to support its growing community. More information can be found on the organization’s website.

Man Arrested in Maplewood After Firing Gun in Dispute

Maplewood resident Kevin Lafferty was arrested and charged after he allegedly fired a gunshot during a domestic incident on April 7th. According to Daily Voice, he was charged with aggravated assault, possession of a weapon for unlawful purposes, and possession of hollow point ammunition during the commission of a crime. There is no reported threat to the public.

NJPAC Campus Begins $336M Redevelopment Project


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Newark’s New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) has begun construction on the redesign of Chambers Plaza — the outdoor space in front of the complex — as of April 17th. The work will continue through the end of this year as it’s the first phase of a three-year redevelopment project that’s costing $336 million to transform the Center’s 12-acre campus, per a press release from the organization. NJPAC’s box office, Parking Lot A, and Nico Kitchen + Bar will all remain open. Signage along Center Street will direct pedestrians and vehicular traffic to the most easily accessible entry points during the construction work. The Arrival Court parking area adjacent to Center Street, however, will be closed. A formal groundbreaking ceremony for the project is planned to take place this fall.

2 New Traffic Signals to Arrive at Watchung Plaza

Essex County Commissioner Brendan Gill announced on April 22nd that the Watchung Plaza intersection and pedestrian plaza will get upgrades to reduce traffic and improve safety. The Essex County Board of County Commissioners (ECBCC) approved the installation of two new traffic signals: one at the intersection of Watchung Avenue and Park Street and the other at Watchung Plaza. There will also be roadway improvements to Watchung Avenue. According to Montclair Local, underground work at the intersection is set to begin within the next few weeks.

Clothing Store on Valley Road Burglarized


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A post shared by One Savvy Design Luxury Consignment (@onesavvydesignconsignment)


An early-morning pedestrian called the police upon seeing the shattered front window of Nouvelle + Savvy Design at 629B Valley Road on April 22nd. Responding police officers and the store owners confirmed the burglary and that several “high-end” designer bags were missing. Surveillance footage shows a silver-colored sedan arriving at the storefront with four individuals exiting the vehicle and using a window punch tool to force entry, per Montclair Local. The video also showed them stealing the bags and fleeing the scene within three minutes. The incident is currently under investigation. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Detective Juliano at 973-509-4724 or Detective Mateo at 973-509-4721.

First Congregational Church + BDP Holdings Restoring Original 100-Year-Old Garden Idea

The First Congregational Church of Montclair and BDP Holdings, a New Jersey-based real estate investment company, announced on April 1st that they will be collaborating with Barboza Landscaping and Langan Engineering to restore the original Olmsted Brothers’ Garden design on the church’s grounds in Montclair. The project’s goal is to revive the design of the cherished outdoor community space on the corner of South Fullerton and The Crescent to promote natural beauty and community engagement, per a press release from the Church. This comes from a discovery of a hand-sketched drawing from 1924 that the First Congregational Church found two years ago of a proposed garden intended for the corner of the church’s property.

Diesel + Duke in Montclair is Moving


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A post shared by Diesel and Duke (@eatdiesel)

Popular Montclair burger spot Diesel + Duke will move to a new location this month. According to an Instagram post from the team, the new location will be at 20 Church Street. It is the tenth anniversary for the store. Click here for more about the upcoming move.

4 People Arrested in Stolen Vehicle in Livingston

Four juveniles who were occupying a suspect vehicle used in two Livingston burglaries were arrested in Newark last week. According to TAPinto Livingston, a gray Audi A5 was reported stolen out of Belleville but it’s still unconfirmed if the four individuals were involved in the burglaries. The Livingston Detective Bureau is still investigating these incidents to see if they are connected.

Study Shows New Jersey is 2024’s 10th Most Gambling-Addicted State

gambling nj

New Jersey is credited to be the tenth most gambling-addicted state for this year. According to a study conducted by WalletHub, New Jersey ranked first in the legality of daily fantasy sports and sports gambling. The state also placed third place for the percentage of adults with gambling disorders and sixteenth in lottery sales per capita. It’s reported that the gambling industry brought in a record $66.5 billion in revenue in 2023.

New Italian Restaurant, Sugo, Opens in Newark

The owner of Assaggini Di Roma in Hazlet has recently launched a new project called Sugo, at 48 Jones Street, within the Springfield Avenue Marketplace in Newark. The restaurant’s menu includes appetizers like stuffed mushrooms and artichoke hearts alongside classic pasta dishes like baked ziti and tortellini alfredo per Jersey Digs. Pizzas, salads, and other Italian cuisine can also be found at the restaurant along with catering services. It serves both lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday from 11AM-9PM as well as Sunday from 12PM-5PM.

The Collective Bookstore Celebrates Independent Bookstore Day with Grand Opening of Children’s Room

collective bookstore verona

Photo Credit: Josh Jacobs

The Collective Bookstore in Verona announced a new space for children in its storefront inspired by the classic story, The Chronicles of Narnia. According to a press release from the owners, its goal is to engage visitors by bringing a popular childhood favorite to life by entering a literal wardrobe. The new children’s room will double as an event space and hold a variety of activities, including weekly storytime, book clubs, and special events featuring author visits and book signings.

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