Top Local News

Longtime Bergen County State Senator Weinberg Set to Retire After Current Term

January 14, 2021

BERGEN COUNTY, NJ - Longtime Democratic State Senator Loretta Weinberg announced on Wednesday that she will retire at the end of her current term.

The Senate Majority Leader since 2012, Weinberg said it was the right time for her to leave.

"I feel overwhelmed...I feel emotional," Weinberg told Briana Vannozzi of "NJ Spotlight News." "But I don't feel conflicted ...

Hackensack Administrators Address Scheduling for District's Reopening

January 15, 2021

HACKENSACK, NJ - Hackensack Public Schools administrators held an online Zoom meeting for parents to explain class scheduling when the district reopens for hybrid learning on Monday, January 25.

The meeting was lead by Superintendent of Schools Robert Sanchez, who was joined by Early Childhood Development Center principal Stefanie Golam; Hackensack Middle School principal Dr. Anibal ...

Hackensack Public Schools to Resume In-Person Classes on January 25

HACKENSACK, NJ - Hackensack Public Schools announced that it will return to in-class learning on Monday, January 25, according to a letter from the Superintendent of Schools.

In a letter to parents issued Wednesday, January 6, Robert Sanchez, Superintendent of Schools, announced the district will open "for our families that have chosen the option to attend school in-person via ...

“The Arts are Alive and Well” at Hackensack’s Board of Education Meeting

HACKENSACK, NJ -  The performing and visual arts were front and center at the December meeting of Hackensack Board of Education which featured performances by the Hackensack Concert Band and Wind Ensemble, a solo and award-winning artwork from elementary school students. 

The first performance was by the Hackensack Concert Band and Wind Ensemble, which hasn’t been able to ...

Hackensack Fire Department Rolls Up Their Sleeves for the COVID Vaccine

January 12, 2021

HACKENSACK, NJ - Members of the Hackensack Fire Department rolled up their sleeves on Monday morning to begin taking the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

Several members of the Hackensack Fire Department received their initial covid vaccines at Hackensack Meridian Health Medical Center, on Monday, January 11.

"This is the next step in protecting those who protect the community," ...

Hackensack Fire and Police Personnel are Now Eligible to Get the COVID Vaccine

HACKENSACK, NJ - Police and fire personnel throughout New Jersey can begin to get the COVID-19 vaccine as they have been re-classified into the 1A group as of Thursday.

According to the CDC, classification for category 1A healthcare workers include doctors, nurses, pharmacists, dentists, any other licensed or registered health professionals, staff in hospitals, long-term care ...

Hackensack Fire Department Rescues Construction Worker Who Fell from Rooftop

HACKENSACK, NJ - The Hackensack Fire Department responded to a call for a construction worker who fell from a rooftop Friday morning.

Rescue 1, Ladder 1 and Safety operated at 225 State Street police headquarters for a construction worker who fell off the top roof onto a lower roof, according to Captain Justin Derevyanik, Hackensack Fire Department, Public Information ...

Former Hackensack Class 2 Officer is One of 10 New Paramus Officers to Start 2021

PARAMUS, NJ - The borough hired 10 police officers at its final meeting of 2020.

The following officers were officially approved by a 4-3 vote at the Dec. 28 council meeting at a starting salary of $45,048. The following biographies were issued by Chief of Police Kenneth Ehrenberg.

Jamie Takahashi was born in New York City and is a long time resident of Paramus. Jamie graduated from ...

'Hackensack Is On The Rise' Poster Project Installed in Main Street Businesses

January 13, 2021

HACKENSACK, NJ - The recent installation of a poster project in business street windows looks to offer a visual message of hope and resiliency to the community.

Graphic designer and visual artist Poramit Thantapalit, a Hackensack resident, created a poster design illustrating the city's resurgence and renaissance.  The posters were installed along Main Street business' ...

Hackensack BOE Selects Zonie LeSane to Fill Vacancy in Special Meeting

January 12, 2021

HACKENSACK, NJ - Zonie LeSane was selected to fill a vacancy on the Hackensack Board of Education in a special meeting that ran over five hours on Monday night. 

LeSane was one of five candidates who gave five-minute presentations to the Board members. Other candidates were Marlene Somerville, Susan Baglieri, Jennifer Maury, and Demetrius Carroll.

LeSane has worked for Bergen County ...

This Year Teachers, HS Seniors Will Not Be Evaluated the Same in New Jersey

NEW JERSEY — A new executive order will mean sweeping changes for the way teachers and students are evaluated for the 2020-2021 school year.

Gov. Phil Murphy, who has long said this isn’t a normal school year due to COVID-19, announced the changes during a Monday press conference on pandemic updates.

As part of the order, high school seniors won’t have to pass an exit ...

Hackensack BOE to Hold Special Meeting to Fill Vacancy Monday

HACKENSACK, NJ -  The Hackensack Board of Education will hold a special meeting Monday to fill a vacancy on the Board.

The Board will meet on Monday, January 11 at 5:30pm to interview candidates for the one vacancy. Login information can be found on the district's website. 

The vacancy opened in late November when then-Board member Frances Cogelja resigned ...

Help a Hackensack School Nurse Provide Thermometers for Her Students

January 10, 2021

HACKENSACK, NJ - A school nurse in Hackensack is using crowdfunding to help provide thermometers for the students and families in her school.

Wendy Lamparelli is the School Nurse at Jackson Avenue Elementary School. She has a project on the crowdfunding website DonorsChoose called "Check! Check! What's Your Temp?," to provide 350 thermometers to the students at the ...

Two Bergen County ShopRite Pharmacies to Distribute COVID-19 Vaccines to Healthcare Workers

NEW JERSEY - According to information released by ShopRite's Wakfern Food Corporation on Monday, January 4, 39 ShopRite Pharmacies throughout the Garden State will be administering COVID-19 vaccines to healthcare workers. Participating ShopRite Pharmacies are distributing the vaccines in conjunction with a partnership with the state of New Jersey, the U.S. Department of Health and Human ...

NJ Looks to Retired Medical Professionals to Speed Pace of COVID-19 Vaccinations

Doctors, nurses, paramedics and others who go back on active duty can help protect frontline workers against COVID-19 and give vaccination efforts a shot in the arm.

 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

As New Jersey ...

Gov. Murphy Announces Monday's COVID-19 Figures from New Jersey

TRENTON, NJ - Governor Phil Murphy announced the latest COVID-19 figures from around the New Jersey during his Monday afternoon press conference, where he addressed why a small percentage of the state's vaccine allotment has been administered to the public.

There were 2,292 new cases reported, with 38 new deaths. Statewide, there are now 494,317 positive ...

Murphy Signs Economic Recovery Act into Law. Package Includes Support for Small Business, Long Term Economic Recovery

January 9, 2021

HAMILTON, NJ -  Governor Phil Murphy signed the landmark New Jersey Economic Recovery Act of 2020 into law on Thursday at Hamilton's Carella's Chocolate's and Gifts, a local family business for more than 80 years. The law provides economic support for small businesses, while propelling New Jersey’s economic recovery and growth for much of the next ...

Minimum Wage to Rise to $12/Hour for Most NJ Employees on Jan. 1

TRENTON, NJ - New Jersey’s minimum hourly wage will go up by $1 to $12 per hour, for most employees, on January 1, 2021, per the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

Increases are less if you are a small employer or operate a seasonal business, which makes $11.10, while employees who work on a farm for an hourly or piece-rate wage will see their minimum hourly wage ...

Property Tax Freeze Deadline for NJ Senior Citizens Extended to Feb 1, 2021

TRENTON, NJ  - Local seniors still have time to apply for the Senior Freeze Program. The deadline for Senior Freeze property tax relief program was recently extended to February 1, 2021.

The Program is a property tax reimbursement program for eligible seniors and disable residents. In order to receive a property tax reimbursement, seniors must be eligible.

For additional ...

Gov. Murphy Says Trenton is Prepared Following Threat of State Capitol Protests

January 12, 2021

NEW JERSEY — The threat of Trenton protests on Jan. 17 looms, following a massive insurrection at the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C. last week.

Gov. Phil Murphy and Colonel Pat Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police, said Monday that NJ authorities are prepared and on high alert.

“We need to bat 1,000 every day. To the governor's point [we] will be ...

HS Football: NJSIAA Membership Passes Championship Resolution

January 14, 2021

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ - Come December 2022, it is likely that New Jersey will be having it first statewide championships in high school football after a vote Wednesday by member schools voted that amended the NJSIAA Constitution to remove a prohibition of naming state-wide champions in football.

Of the 336 votes that were cast, 318 were in favor of eliminating the prohibition, with 12 schools ...

HS Football: NJSIAA Moving Forward to Football Championship

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ - The New Jersey Interscholastic Athletic Association formally began the process of the setting up a football playoff system that will allow the state, for the first time, have statewide group champions.  

NJSIAA staff, in association with the New Jersey Football Coaches Association, have introduced a measure to change the NJSIAA Constitution to eliminate a provision ...

Bergen Charter and Bergen Tech Girls Soccer Players Receive Post-Season Honors

HACKENSACK, NJ - The NJIC Division 5 coaches were filled with praise for the Bergen Charter Yellow Jackets girls soccer team, as six of the 11 starters were named to the All Division team, and head coach Wilson Carangui was named Coach of the Year by his peers.

Midfielders Briza Ulloa, Gabrieka Saune and Kimberly Guaman were all named to the First Team.  Ulloa, a junior, was the ...

Hackensack's Wimberly Named Lou Rettino 2020 High School Coach of Year by the Giants

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - The New York Giants have announced that Hackensack High School football coach Benjie Wimberly is the winner of the 2020 Lou Rettino High School Coach of the Year presented by Gatorade.  

In recognition of Wimberly's selection as Coach of the Year, a $4,000 check will be awarded to Hackensack's football program from The Giants Foundation and Gatorade. He ...

GoFundMe Page Raises Over a Half-Million Dollars for Family of South River Native Brian Sicknick

January 11, 2021

SOUTH RIVER, NJ -- A GoFundMe page set up for the family of U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick has raised more that $545,000 as of Sunday evening, Jan. 10, 2021. To contribute to the page, click here. 

Officer Brian D. Sicknick tragically lost his life on January 7th, 2021 following injuries sustained during the events at the United States Capitol on Wednesday, January 6th.

Hackensack Toy Drive Puts Smiles on Children's Faces

HACKENSACK, NJ - It was a community effort to put smiles on children's faces this past holiday season.

The Chit Chat Diner, the Hackensack Regional Chamber of Commerce and Greater Alliance Federal Credit Union partnered once again on their Annual Holiday Toy Drive. Toy collection bins were located at Chit Chat Diner, the Chamber office, and all Greater Alliance branch ...

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Gov. Murphy Releases Thursday's COVID-19 Numbers from New Jersey

January 15, 2021

TRENTON, NJ - Governor Phil Murphy discussed the latest COVID-19 figures from around the New Jersey on Thursday afternoon.

There were 5,967 new PCR cases reported and 1,435 antigen tests, with 94 new deaths. Statewide, there are now 549,840 positive PCR cases, 59,881 positive antigen cases, and 18,162 deaths, and ...

Smokers Deemed Eligible for COVID-19 Vaccine in Stage 1B Rollout

TRENTON, NJ -- Gov. Phil Murphy and the NJ Department of Health are taking heat for putting smokers in the 1B category for people registering to receive the coronavirus vaccine. 

On Wednesday, the governor announced that all residents over age 65, not just those in long-term care facilities, would be the next in line to get the vaccine, along with people who have conditions that ...

New Jersey's Single Day COVID Positive Cases Rise Over 6,000 Again

TRENTON, NJ - Governor Phil Murphy discussed the latest COVID-19 figures from around the New Jersey during his Wednesday afternoon press conference where is also announced that residents over 65 years old can get the COVID-19 vaccine on January 14.

There were 6,922 new PCR cases reported and 1,265 antigen tests, with 95 new deaths. Statewide, there are now ...

Metro YMCAs and Veritext Partnership Brings ‘Work from Home’ Career Opportunity to Job Seekers

January 14, 2021

LIVINGSTON, NJ - The Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges is partnering with Veritext Legal Solutions, the leader in deposition and litigation support solutions, to introduce Digital Reporting – a new, in-demand career path with remote opportunities – to its community.

A Digital Reporter is a trained officiant who captures the record of testimony in legal proceedings using a ...

Murphy Orders U.S. and NJ Flags to Be Flown at Half-Staff on Jan 11 in Honor of Officer Brian Sicknick

January 10, 2021

NEW JERSEY -- Gov. Phil Murphy has ordered that all U.S. and New Jersey flags be flown at half-staff on Monday, Jan 11, 2021, in honor of U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick of South River, who died following injuries sustained while defending the U.S. Capitol when it was under siege on Jan. 6.

In a statement, Murphy said: 

“United States Capitol Police Officer ...

Brian Sicknick, New Jersey Native and Capitol Police Officer, Dies from Injuries Sustained in Riot

MIDDLESEX COUNTY, NJ - Since he was a young man Brian Sicknick wanted to be a police officer.  After serving in the Air Force National Guard, Sicknick became a Capitol Police Officer in Washington, DC in 2008.  Yesterday, he lost his life after being attacked by rioters who invaded the Capitol on Tuesday.  He was struck with a fire extinguisher, and he was gassed, ultimately ...

New Jersey Date Night: Get Comfortable at These Good Old-Fashioned Diners

January 14, 2021

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

A new year is upon us and optimistically one may believe that the possibilities are endless. Granted we just came off a year so horrific that it makes Divorce Court look better than Disneyland, so it’s reasonable to be a little trepidatious. But then again, aiming for the positive is a mindset that ...

Mocktails are the Key to Enjoying Dry January — Try Ginger ‘Mock-jito’ Recipe

NEW JERSEY — Every January for the past three years, Shivam Patel voluntarily trades in a beer for a bottled water at his favorite Jersey dive bar. Patel is one of many who participate in Drynuary, or Dry January, abstaining from alcohol for the entire month in an effort to be healthier.

Originating in the UK as an advocacy campaign, the wellness trend started with just 4,000 people ...

New Salad Dressing Recipes to Perk Up Your Healthy Meals

There’s nothing like a nice crispy salad to make eating well feel like fun, but the right dressing can mean the difference between so-so and spectacular.

Below, gather a few ingredients together and whip up some easy new dressings that will make your salads sing:

Zingy Lemon Vinaigrette: In a jar, combine one part lemon juice with two parts olive oil. Add a dab to a spoonful of ...

Out With the Old In With the New

It is that time of year again. Where we sign up for gym memberships and then drive home disgruntled because on the first day of our January resolution the Lifecycle bikes to nowhere are fully occupied and there is a line for seaweed and kale shakes at the juice bar.

The good news is that the gyms are not open, so now there is a legitimate reason not to workout at all.

The bad news is that ...

The Book of Two Ways by Jodi Picoult

The Book of Two Ways by Jodi Picoult. (Random House, 2020)


Death has never been more a part of my consciousness than in the year 2020. We are getting daily death totals just like we used to get on the nightly news during the Vietnam War. But, death is not a subject that humans like to dwell on. Most of us put thoughts of our mortality on the back burner so that we are able to ...