Top Local News

Murphy Extends Public Health Emergency Another 30 Days, Raises Limit on Outdoor Gatherings to 500

July 3, 2020

TRENTON, NJ -- Gov. Phil Murphy announced at his daily COVID-19 press briefing on Thursday that he has extended New Jersey's public health emergency another 30 days due to the coronavirus, even though the spread of the disease has slowed significantly by many important measures. For instance, hospitalizations are down 94% from New Jersey's peak and 12% from June 17, and the ...

In Honor of July 4, Flags Return to Full Staff

NEW JERSEY -  Flags in New Jersey will return to full-staff, announced Governor Murphy. The governor has issued Executive Order Number 160 to direct that all flags across the state be flown high beginning Friday July, 3. 

The flag of the United States of America and the flag of New Jersey shall fly at full staff at all State departments, offices, agencies and ...

After Passing a Stopgap Budget, Gov. Phil Murphy and Lawmakers Must Find Billions by October

This story was written and produced by NJ Spotlight. It is being republished under a special NJ News Commons content-sharing agreement related to COVID-19 coverage. To read more, visit

After signing a stopgap budget into law Tuesday to keep the state open for another three months, Gov. Phil Murphy and lawmakers must now find funding for several big-ticket items they ...

Murphy: Casinos, Amusement Parks, Museums, Libraries, Among Businesses Set to Open July 2

TRENTON, NJ -- At his daily COVID-19 press briefing on Wednesday, Gov. Phil Murphy announced the reopening schedule that continues tomorrow – with social distancing and face covering requirements in place – for the following businesses:

Outdoor amusement parks and water parks,
Museums and libraries,
Indoor recreation, and
Gyms/fitness centers (for individualized ...

Sparta Police: DWI for One Man, Hospital for Another

July 2, 2020

SPARTA, NJ – A man from Hackensack is facing drunk driving charges after police were called about a person throwing up in the parking lot.  On June 26 around 8:20 p.m. Officer Taylor May went to a parking lot on Woodport Road and found Brian Barraza, 23, vomiting and another man that needed medical attention, police said.

May found the passenger laying across the back seat.  He ...

Two Hackensack Men Arrested Following Same-Day Robberies 

HACKENSACK, N.J. -- Two city men have been arrested by Hackensack Police and charged with robbery after two separate thefts occurred the same day last Friday.

According to a press release from Hackensack Police Detective Captain Darrin DeWitt, the repeat offenders, Kelvin Hernandez Brioso and Francisco Castillo-Rodriguez, both 22 and living in Hackensack, were arrested in Rochelle Park on ...

Bergen Community College Enhances Online Presence, Re-Imagines Website Following Online Learning Amid Covid-19 Pandemic

July 2, 2020

PARAMUS, N.J. — As the COVID-19 pandemic forced Bergen Community College students off campus and into a world of digital education, the institution doubled down on its efforts to provide students with an unparalleled online engagement experience by enhancing its state-leading social media presence, launching new communication vehicles and debuting a completely re-imagined ...

Murphy, DOE Issue School Guidance for School Reopenings in September

TRENTON, NJ -- Gov. Phil Murphy and NJ Department of Education (DOE) Commissioner Dr. Lamont Repollet provided guidance for the reopening of schools in the fall during the governor's daily COVID-19 press briefing in Trenton on Friday, June 25. 

"Today, we're releasing guidance regarding the reopening of schools for the 2020-2021 school year. As we conclude ...

‘Put The Kids First Before Your Personal Agendas’: Hackensack BOE, Mayor and Council Petition the Resignation of Board Member Frances Cogelja 

HACKENSACK, N.J. — The Hackensack Mayor and Council and Board of Education are calling upon the resignation of Board Member Frances Cogelja after her initial abstention on June 15 from the board’s resolution to commit to anti-racism and cultural proficiency in city public schools.

The resolution, which was first passed by eight members of the nine-person board last Monday ...

Hackensack Sears Poised To Be Next in New Jersey To Shutter

July 2, 2020

HACKENSACK, N.J. — Sears, the archaic but once iconic department store that has towered over Hackensack’s downtown since the early 1930s — the decade defined by a global economic and political crisis that led up to World War II — is poised to be the second-to-last such department store in New Jersey to shutter. 

While no formal announcement was made confirming ...

The Greater Alliance Federal Credit Union Reopens Its Doors

HACKENSACK, N.J. -- The Greater Alliance Federal Credit Union, which has branches in Hackensack, Paramus, and Paterson, has begun accepting customers back to its branches.

“Our members have been excellent at understanding and adapting during the last few months,” said Chief Executive Officer Glenn Guinto. “We are thrilled to once again be able to serve our members ...

Murphy Indefinitely Postpones Indoor Dining in New Jersey

TRENTON, NJ -- Although he planned to loosen restrictions on indoor dining in New Jersey on Thursday, July 2, Gov. Phil Murphy announced at his daily COVID-19 press conference Monday that he will delay the reopening. He provided no timetable of when indoor dining -- even at reduced capacity -- would resume.

Murphy pointed to packed crowds at outdoor bars and restaurants -- with ...

Bergen County Small Business Grant Program To Begin Accepting Applications July 13

HACKENSACK, N.J. — Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco announces that the application portal for the Bergen County CARES Municipal Reimbursement Program to provide relief for municipalities straddled with expenses related to the COVID-19 pandemic will open today Monday, June 29.

Under the Bergen CARES Municipal Reimbursement Program, all 70 municipalities are entitled to direct ...

Will Summer Crowds at the Jersey Shore Unleash a New Wave of COVID-19?

July 2, 2020

Beachgoers seek normalcy after long lockdown, but not without misgivings about pandemic

This story was written and produced by NJ Spotlight. It is being republished under a special NJ News Commons content-sharing agreement related to COVID-19 coverage. To read more, visit

On a warm afternoon at Seaside Heights, Nick Amoresano allowed himself a trip to the beach for the ...

Long-Term Care Facilities Can Arrange Outdoor Visits in NJ Beginning Father’s Day 

NEW JERSEY — On Father’s Day, months of isolation will end for many of New Jersey’s 70,000 residents relegated indoors at long-term care facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

State Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli said Friday that such visits must be held outdoors and follow a set of safeguards necessary in light of the devastating impact the virus has had ...

New York Driver Faces Money Laundering, Impersonation Charges After Stealing Over $1.4 Million In Federal Tax Checks From A Bergen County Business

June 25, 2020

HACKENSACK, N.J. -- A personal assistant and driver from Jackson Heights, N.Y. is facing charges of money laundering after a near-yearlong investigation by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office and the New York State Police Department ensued following a Bergen County business’s report of the theft of two federal tax reimbursement checks worth over $1.4 million.

Dong ...

Murphy Indefinitely Postpones Indoor Dining in New Jersey

June 29, 2020

TRENTON, NJ -- Although he planned to loosen restrictions on indoor dining in New Jersey on Thursday, July 2, Gov. Phil Murphy announced at his daily COVID-19 press conference Monday that he will delay the reopening. He provided no timetable of when indoor dining -- even at reduced capacity -- would resume.

Murphy pointed to packed crowds at outdoor bars and restaurants -- with ...

NJSIAA Announces Guidelines For Phase I of Return to High School Sports

June 20, 2020

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ - The NJSIAA took one step closer to fall sports in 2020, with the release of the Phase I regulations by the NJSIAA COVID-19 Medical Advisory Taskforce. 

The task force is chaired by former NJSIAA Executive Committee president Mary Liz Ivins.  She is joined Dr. Jack Kripsak, chair of the NJSIAA Medical Advisory Committee; Dr. Damion Martins, the Jets team ...

Search Party Ends in Treasure Recovery at Barnegat Bay Beach

July 2, 2020

BARNEGAT, NJ – A Barnegat man using a metal detector came to the rescue of a distraught township resident who lost her rings at the Barnegat Bay Beach. Alicia Bivens says she offered Tom Panik a reward for recovering her treasured keepsakes, but he refused to take it.

“He told me just to pay it forward,” said Alicia. “He had the biggest smile after he saw how happy ...

Hackensack Teams Up With Enburg Group To Deliver PPE to First Responders

HACKENSACK, N.J. -- On Wednesday evening, Mayor John Labrosse, the City Council, Director of Redevelopment Albert Dib, and Marco Howington, Vice President of Public Relations and Governmental Affairs of Enburg Group delivered a donation of 16,000 masks to the city's Office of Emergency Management. The masks were donated by Enburg Group, owner and developer of high-rise ...

Sohn Conference Foundation Donates Quarter of a Million Dollars To Tackle Kids Cancer

HACKENSACK, NJ — Hackensack University Medical Center Foundation announces that Tackle Kids Cancer, a philanthropic initiative of the Children’s Cancer Institute at Hackensack Meridian Health which raises money for pediatric cancer research and patient care, has received a generous donation of $250,000 from Sohn Conference Foundation. This gift brings Sohn Conference ...

Hackensack's Enburg Group Donates 100 High-End Cabinets To Affordable Senior Housing Project in Saddle Brook 

HACKENSACK, N.J. -- Enburg Group, the Hackensack-based developer and owner of the premier high-rise development at 150 Main Street slated for opening in summer 2021 in downtown Hackensack, donated 100 of a scheduled 233 high-end cabinets to the Housing Authority of Bergen County on June 16 in Saddle Brook.

Through the coordinated efforts of Marco Howington, vice president of public ...

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YMCA Offers Virtual Camp and Youth Programs to Fill Summer Schedules

July 3, 2020

LIVINGSTON, NJ - As families shift their summer plans amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges offers virtual program options to keep kids active and engaged all summer long. 

“As the pandemic continues, we understand that some families may prefer to explore virtual options for the summer as opposed to in-person programs,” said Richard K. Gorab, ...

Carved In Stone

A Monumental History Lesson

On July 4, 1863, Union soldiers began the arduous and grizzly task of burying over 7,000 dead bodies in trenches and shallow graves. Later, as rains had washed away the ground cover re-exposing the stench of blackened and gnarled limbs, the town of Gettysburg took on the task of exhuming the bodies and consecrating them in the newly created Soldiers National ...

Life During War Time

I thought the shortage of toilet paper in March was bad. But now I find that soon we may not be able to secure illegal fireworks. What next, a run on citronella candles?

I am stocking up on rolls of Charmin again, which I plan to ignite and launch into the sky from my backyard on the 4th of July.

It is still June, and it seems everywhere fireworks are exploding without explanation.

Do You Know When You’re Happy?

“If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands, if you’re happy and you know it clap your hands, if you’re happy and you know it and you really want to show it if you’re happy and you know it clap your hands.”

Thinking about this song brings back joyous memories of dancing around my family room singing it with my children and perhaps, even having it sung ...

Tell Them While You Can

This story was recently shared with me. It is a beautiful example of the power of positive reinforcement.

One day a teacher asked her students to list the names of the other students in the class. She told them to think of the nicest things they could say about each of their classmates and write it down. The students completed the assignment, handed in their papers, and left the room. The ...

The Ancestor by Danielle Trussoni

The Ancestor by Danielle Trussoni (William Morris/Harper Collins, 2020)

In writing a contemporary novel in the Gothic tradition, it is impossible not to compare aspects of great Gothic novels that have come before. The excellent, new book, The Ancestor, by Danielle Trussoni fits the description of a Neo-Gothic. However, drawing comparisons between previously written novels is half the fun ...

7 Ways to Enjoy Fresh Mint This Summer

July 3, 2020

Anyone who has ever planted mint knows it can grow like a weed.

If you’ve got oodles of the herb, from your garden or the market, there are plenty of ways to enjoy it. Here are a few of our favorites on hot summer days:

Stir chopped mint into softened cream cheese for a new bagel spread.

Toss it in your pitcher for mint water. You can combine it with fruit, such ...

New Jersey Date Night: Restaurants with Great Outdoor Dining

New Jersey Date Night is a series on NJ Flavor by relationship writer Craig Rogers.

“Come out, come out wherever you are!” were Glinda’s famous words 81 years ago, and they’ve never been more applicable to New Jersey now. People have lots of reasons to come out in June; not only is it Pride Month but also we now can enjoy a date night in an actual restaurant, ...

Dining Outdoors in NJ? What Restaurant Workers Wish You Knew

NEW JERSEY — Gov. Phil Murphy announced Monday that indoor dining may resume on July 2, limited at first to 25% capacity. Until then, and even afterward, outdoor eating continues to be a big part of restaurant service.

Keeping this in mind, we asked restaurant owners and workers what they want the public to know after their first week re-opened for outdoor dining.

The biggest ...