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County Workers Conduct Safe and Fast Rescue of 18 Escaped Horses on Route 22 in Mountainside

Union County employees this morning implemented a fast and safe rescue of 18 horses who became panicked by a seemingly random occurrence, broke through a locked gate at the Watchung Stable, and galloped onto Route 22 West in Mountainside off Summit Road.

No one was injured and there were no traffic accidents. The horses--all County owned---are in good condition and are all safely back at the stable. The incident caused a half-hour shutdown before 9 a.m. of a half-mile of roadway on Route 22 in both eastbound and westbound lanes, stretching from Summit Road to Evergreen Court in Mountainside, County Police reported.

“This was an incident that —thanks to the calm and concerted efforts of our County workers—ended without accident and injury to civilians or our horses,” said Freeholder Daniel P. Sullivan, who monitors events at the stable. “All involved in the rescue---Parks, Stable, County Police, Emergency Management and surrounding municipal police departments--- did a great job.”

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County Manager George W. Devanney agreed.

“An extraordinary effort and outstanding coordination brought about a happy and safe ending,” Devanney added.

County Police Chief Daniel Vaniska said the incident that caused the horses to become frightened and burst through a locked gate appears to be an unknown but likely, random occurrence. He did note that it was the first time in recent memory that so many horses had escaped at one time during the nearly 80-year history of the County-operated Stable.

The horses fortuitously turned westbound in their sprint onto Route 22 West from Summit Road and never jumped over the median to the eastbound side. In all, they were free for approximately a half hour before roundup could be fully executed.

According to County authorities, some unknown incident caused 18 of 20 horses who were enjoying their normal morning outdoor time in the fenced paddocks area to become frightened, and burst through a locked gate around 8:15 a.m.

Fast-acting Stable employees immediately called County police who assisted them as they coordinated a dramatic rescue of the frightened horses who had quickly galloped their way in a pack from the paddock onto the main road, Summit Lane in the Watchung Reservation.

The horses turned left on Summit Lane, and then made a right at Summit Road, which leads directly to Route 22 West from the Reservation. The horses galloped about 2 miles from home before round up could peacefully start around 8:45 a.m.

The horses, reportedly among the elders at the stable, were rounded up in three groups and quietly walked back home by 9 a.m. They were wrapped with fresh blankets and dried off.  They  have been checked by a veterinarian, and it appears they are all ok, Parks Director Alfred Faella reported.

Located in the Mountainside section of the Watchung Reservation, the Watchung Stable has been owned and operated by the County of Union since 1933. Its goal is to provide the opportunity to learn how to ride, enhance equestrian skills or just enjoy the natural beauty of the 26 miles of bridle paths that weave through the Reservation, a 2,000-acre forest preserve.

The Watchung Stable complex consists of a main barn which houses more than 90 County and privately owned horses, four riding rings, and a show ring. In addition, this state-of-the-art, barrier-free facility includes an isolation barn, numerous paddocks, hay and straw storage area and an equipment garage. 

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Berkeley Heights

Pieces of Time: Applause Rings Out In Two Columbia Middle School Classrooms

February 23, 2018

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ – Thursday night, the mass murder of students and faculty members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on Wednesday, Feb. 14, seemed to be on everyone’s mind at the Board of Education meeting.

The board observed a moment of silence following the Pledge of Allegiance for the 17 people killed and 14 wounded in the shooting, as well as ...

Local Advisor Celebrates the 20th Anniversary of the Roth IRA

BASKING RIDGE, NJ - 2018 marks the 20th anniversary of the Roth IRA. First made available to American investors in 1998, a Roth IRA is an individual retirement account that is funded with after-tax dollars and provides tax-free growth and income for retirement.

In honor of this significant milestone, Walter Pardo, CEO/Certified Wealth Strategist at Wealth ...

New Providence High School Presents The Addams Family -Tickets are Now On Sale

February 23, 2018

The Addams Family, who first came to life in the 1960s television series, will come back to life and take the stage at New Providence High School in March in a comedic musical twist on the classic story and characters.  Morticia, Gomez, Wednesday, Grandma, Fester, and Lurch, along with new characters and a full cast of Addams Ancestors will bring the creepy, kooky, all together ooky ...

WFP Tax Partners Walks You Through 4 Step Tax Return Process

Over 80% of Tax Returns Have Errors or Missed Deductions. You're Probably Paying More Than Your Fair Share in Taxes

BASKING RIDGE, NJ - Tax returns certainly give a clear picture of the past year, but WFP Tax Partners believes it's wise to strategize for the current year to have a plan for moving forward. 

At your tax appointment, they ...

Reminder: Free Wellness Program for Union County Military Women

All Union County women with military service – veterans, active duty and reserve – are invited to join “Boots 2 Heels,” a free event designed to foster wellness and connect women with resources and guidance for empowerment. Boots 2 Heels will be held on Saturday, February 24 at the Westfield Armory, located at 500 Rahway Avenue in Westfield.

The event is free but ...

CSA's 5th Annual Pasta Dinner Fundraiser Set for Sunday

Is everyone ready to come together as a community and break bread to support the CSA? It's time for The Community Service Association of New Providence's 5th Annual Pasta & Meatball Dinner! This fun, family-friendly event will take place on Sunday, Feb. 25, at the DeCorso Community Center, 15 East Fourth Street, New Providence. Pasta, meatballs, and dessert will be served from 3-7 ...

Colleen Mahr Has Paid Her Dues, Earned Peoples’ Trust, and Left a Track Record of Success

February 20, 2018

Dear Editor:

As a 26-year-old Scotch Plains resident who cares more about the well-being of our town than about local politics, I am extremely disappointed that the Scotch Plains Democratic Committee leadership has decided to abandon Colleen Mahr in her run for Chair of the Union County Democratic Committee.

Mahr, who as Mayor of Fanwood for 15 years has worked closely with Scotch Plains ...

We Need More Women Like Colleen Mahr in Municipal, County and State Government

Dear Editor:

I’m proud to support Colleen Mahr for Chair of the Union County Democratic Committee  (UCDC) and am encouraging my Scotch Plains peers to join me.

I was a first time candidate wanting to make a difference in my hometown of Scotch Plains, when Mayor Mahr of neighboring Fanwood stepped in to help me campaign and win my election to be Councilwoman three years ago.

Democratic Party Would Be Making a Big Mistake by Not Recognizing Colleen Mahr's Talents

Dear Editor:

Mayor Colleen Mahr has been a valuable friend to the Township of Cranford. Whether it’s offering advice and assistance during devastating flood cleanup, supporting the Mayor's Council on the Rahway River, or her insight and assistance in meeting our affordable housing obligations, Mayor Mahr is always there for Cranford.

Colleen’s fairness and integrity is ...

Chatham Borough Police Chief Crosson has Retired; Captain Gibbons is Acting Commander

February 12, 2018

CHATHAM, NJ - Phil Crosson Jr., who has been a member of the Chatham Borough Police Department since 1992, retired from his position as the police chief on Feb. 1.

"It came on pretty quickly," Crosson said when reached by phone on Sunday. "I was on vacation for six weeks and I bought a business. I came back for one day and retired."

According to Crosson, ...

‘Reefer Madness’ Comes to Chatham Borough Council; Cannabis Advocates Make Pitch for Chatham Marijuana Shop

February 14, 2018

CHATHAM, NJ - A group of pro-cannabis activists came to the Borough of Chatham Council meeting on Monday night and used the public commentary portion of the meeting to ask the council to support a marijuana dispensary in town.

The advocates, who say they have attended more than 80 town meetings to inform about the benefits of medical cannabis, mentioned the 1936 movie "Reefer ...

Upcoming Events

Sat, February 24

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

Sat, February 24, 10:00 AM

Municipal Court Room/Council Chambers, BERKELEY HEIGHTS

Return Berkeley Heights Public Library's Books, ...

Other

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Sat, February 24, 3:00 PM

White Tiger Dojo, Berkeley Heights

White Tiger Dojo Hosts Trauma Response Seminar: ...

Health & Wellness

Sun, February 25

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

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Sun, February 25, 10:00 AM

Camp Riverbend, Warren

Camp Riverbend Open House

Arts & Entertainment

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Sun, February 25, 10:00 AM

Camp Riverbend, Warren

Camp Riverbend "Wacky Winter Olympics" Open House

Arts & Entertainment Other

I've Always Wanted to be a Doctor...Or an English Teacher

Think about the impossibility of the task we lay in front of high school students.  In addition to getting good grades, filling up a resume, finding the right colleges and writing countless admissions essays they also need to decide on their life’s passion at 17 years old...or do they?

As a college admissions representative the first question most students would ask me was whether ...

Now That The Dust Has Settled…Smart Tax Moves In 2018

Now that the dust has settled, here are some smart tax moves to lower your taxes and/or avoid higher taxes/penalties in 2018. These steps may be especially helpful if you live in high property and high income tax states (e.g. New Jersey, New York, California) since state and local tax deductions are capped.  Unfortunately all these changes mean you’ll need more time and energy to ...