Space Honored by Freeholders

May 23, 2013 at 10:27 AM

NEWTON, NJ -  Assemblyman Parker Space (R-24) accepted a lamp and a card from his former colleagues on the Sussex County Board of Chosen Freeholders before the regular agenda began at the May 23 meeting.

Looking around at the full meeting room, Space said to Freeholder Director Richard Vohden, “You must be a more popular freeholder director than I was, because I never had so many people here.”  

Many of the people were actually at the meeting to hear a report from the county mental health board. The mental health board provides services to children and adults with mental or drug abuse problems.

Sign Up for E-News

Melissa Latronic, director of community and youth services, said the report was the result of gathering data and applying it to the desired outcomes. 

Christine Florio, who works under Latronic, explained this is actually a plan update started with a 2012 human services needs assessment. They had a focus group report on services as they saw them and reported a perception that there is a severe shortage of individual help. The mental health forum held in January attracted more than 60 participants including police, mental health service personnel, representatives of agencies and health care workers.

Dr. Debra Koss, chair of the mental health planning committee, said mental health services in the county concentrate on outreach, education, collaboration and advocacy.

“We are aware a lack of knowledge and stigma stand in the way of care,” Koss said.

She said the human services department funds any opportunity for education.

One of the concerns brought to light during a survey was that the average visit to a psychiatrist for medication management is only five minutes. Koss said the board must look at what needs to be accomplished in a medication management session. Latronic pointed out there is a shortage of psychiatrists in the county.

Koss also noted “in lean times we must be efficient.” But she said the department will concentrate on early intervention in care of children and teens.

Latronic said the department is working to link services to the rest of the community.

Prior to the presentation by the mental health board, Freeholder Gail Phoebus presented a proclamation designating May “Mental Health Awareness Month,” to Mental Health Board Chair Lauren Hirtes.

The freeholders also appointed Richard A. Laruffa to a vacancy on the Sussex County Community College Board of Trustees.

Laruffa will fill the unexpired term of Patrick Aramini.

In his brief thank you to the board, Laruffa said, “I believe the community college system is even more important now than in the past."

County Administrator John Eskilson complimented the freeholders, past and present, for keeping the board of trustees’ search process “truly independent.”

During the public portion, Helen Wilson LeFrois of the SCCC Foundation Board told the freeholders her board and the trustees held their first joint retreat. She said the foundation is expanding its role from just fundraising to raising awareness of the college. She said the foundation board is seeking out of county participation, since students come from Warren County, as well as Pike and Monroe counties in Pennsylvania.


Follow The Alternative Press for Sussex County News and information, as well as news and information on The Alternative Press of Sussex County's Facebook Page.


TAP Into Another Town's News:

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News


Sparta Police: Intoxicated Sparta Man Crashes into Light Pole

January 16, 2017

SPARTA, NJ – A Sparta man was charged with driving while intoxicated after he crashed into a light pole.  On January 9 around 11 p.m. Sparta police Cpl. Kurt Morris responded to the report of a naccident on West Shore Trail near White Deer Plaza according to police.

Morris found a 2014 Honda had struck a light pole and knocked it down. The car reportedly sustained a lot of ...

Sparta Man Speeds Past Police, Faces Numerous Charges

SPARTA, NJ – A Sparta man faces numerous charges including driving while intoxicated after speeding past a police car on Woodport Road.  Jake Forshey drove past police officer Tom Snyder on January 8 around 2:50 a.m, according to police. 

In his 2008 Charger, Forshey was going well above the 45 mph limit and did not stay in his lane, as Snyder pursued him.  Additionally, ...

Sparta Police: Dover Man Stopped for Speeding Faces Drug Charges

SPARTA, NJ –  A Dover man faces drug charges after getting pulled over for speeding on Route 15.  On January 8, around 12:12 pm, Sparta Cpl. Joe Antonello stopped a 2014 Honda on the southbound side of the highway, police report.

 When approaching the driver, Jhonny Garcia-Romero, Antonello smelled raw marijuana.  The police officer also saw loose marijuana on the ...

 The Closing of Long Term Retail- Sear

January 10, 2017

As a teenager, I started my work life at a Sears Store in Union City, NJ. I took a bus for 11 miles or so from Bergen County to that Sears in Hudson County, which is a store now long gone. Later in High School, I worked at the Hackensack Sears in my own County of Bergen, which is still open at this date- both were older stores and were not in the so-called brick and mortar store malls, which ...

Upcoming Events


Sat, January 21, 8:45 AM

Skylands Ice World, Stockholm

Learn to Play


Thu, January 26, 7:00 PM

Franklin Firehouse, Franklin

Stop the Chop on Sparta Mountain Town Hall Meeting

Education Health & Wellness


Sat, January 28, 8:45 AM

Skylands Ice World, Stockholm

Learn to Play



Sat, February 4, 8:45 AM

Skylands Ice World, Stockholm

Learn to Play



Sat, February 4, 9:30 AM

Sparta PAL, Sparta

Super Snowshoe Shuffle 5K Walk/Run

Giving Back Sports

Hillsborough Army Vet Takes Care of His Brothers-in-Arms

January 8, 2017


SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ  - James Ball, a young Army vet who lives with his wife and 1 ½-year-old-son Mason in Hillsborough, helped to organize and coordinate a packing event Saturday with the volunteers of Operation Shoebox New Jersey Saturday at Lincoln Tech.

A group of 40 students, staff and volunteers worked to assemble 300 personal care packages for US troops deployed ...

Local Businesses Donate Car to Family in Need

January 14, 2017

RoNetco Supermarkets and Hinkley Auto Sales recently joined together to provide a newly-refurbished car to Project Self-Sufficiency participant Dyshell Bullock.  The vehicle was previously owned by RoNetco Supermarkets and had been used by the firm for company business.  After being taken out of service, the car was thoroughly detailed by Hinkley Auto Sales and then donated to Project ...