Top Local News

NJ TRANSIT Launches Partnership to Offer Free Rides to COVID-19 Vaccination Sites

May 7, 2021

NEWARK, NJ - NJ TRANSIT has announced a new partnership in a statement on May 4 to help get more New Jersey residents vaccinated. The partnership called VAXRide should help approximately 11,000 residents get free rides to both public and private vaccination destinations. 

Novartis, a NJ based healthcare company, is the program’s lead sponsor with a commitment of $120,000 for the ...

Citing Downward Trending Numbers, Murphy Eases More Restrictions on Gatherings

TRENTON, NJ -- With COVID-19 numbers trending decisively in the right direction and New Jersey progressing toward its adult-age vaccination goals, Gov. Murphy on Monday announced an additional easing of restrictions, including a removal of all percentage capacity limits for indoor and outdoor businesses, a lifting of the prohibition on indoor bar seating, and an end to the outdoor ...

Walk-in Vaccinations Available to New Jerseyans Age 16+ at Six Vaccine Mega-Sites

NEW JERSEY -- Beginning today, walk-in vaccinations are open to all New Jerseyans age 16+ at all six vaccine mega-sites during select times, according to Gov. Phil Murphy, who announced the news in a tweet on Thursday, April 29.

Walk-up vaccinations are now available at the Middlesex County Mega-site, located at the New Jersey Convention and Exposition Center, 97 Sunfield Avenue, ...

Port Authority Commences $84M Renovation Project at Newark Liberty Airport 

April 17, 2021

NEWARK, NJ – The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey kicked off an $84.2 million capital project this week to renovate and upgrade one of Newark Liberty International Airport’s major runways. 

The project is planned to generate more than $144 million in economic activity for the region and create 783 total jobs. The revamped 4R-22L runway at Newark Liberty will feature ...

COVID's Downward Trend Continues: Summer Camps to Open, Murphy Hints at More Easing of Restrictions

April 29, 2021

TRENTON, NJ -- Gov. Phil Murphy at his COVID press briefing Wednesday announced that he would sign an Executive Order allowing for summer camps – both day camps and sleep away camps – to open for the upcoming season. The governor says that he is pleased with the way COVID numbers are trending downwards, which enables things to open up as the summer ...

Murphy Echoes Revised CDC Guidance on Masking

NEW JERSEY -- The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) revised its masking guidance for fully vaccinated Americans on Tuesday, April 27. The new public health recommendations outlined instances in which fully vaccinated individuals can forgo wearing a mask. This guidance applies to COVID-19 vaccines currently authorized for emergency use by the FDA: Pfizer-BioNTech, ...

New Jersey Loosens Restrictions on Indoor and Outdoor Gatherings

TRENTON, NJ -- Gov. Phil Murphy said at his COVID press briefing Monday afternoon that effective May 10, indoor room capacities for private catered events -- including weddings and school proms, political events, funerals, memorial services, and performances -- will increase to 50% with a maximum of 250 individuals.

He also announced the easing of the following ...

Celebrate Autism Acceptance Month in Union County with Paint in the Park

April 25, 2021

UNION COUNTY, NJ - In recognition of Autism Acceptance Month, Union County residents of all ages are invited to participate in Paint in the Park, on Tuesday, April 27, at Mattano Park, located at 360-484 Fifth Avenue in Elizabeth.

This event is completely free and is sponsored by The Union County Board of County Commissioners, through the Office for Persons with Disabilities & Special ...

Learn How Much Hillside's School Superintendent Earned in 2020-21

April 21, 2021

HILLSIDE, NJ - In the year of coronavirus, school district superintendent salaries increased 2.9% statewide to a median cost of $174,689, up from $169,689 the year before, recently released state Education Department data show.

Hillside Superintendent A. Robert Gregory makes $180,000 in 2020-21, statewide records indicate 

Enrollment increased this school year state data ...

Union County Commissioners Announce 7th Annual Infrastructure Grants, Including Security Improvements at Hillside Municipal Building

April 26, 2021

HILLSIDE, NJ - Security improvements at the Hillside Municipal Building are some of the projects that this year’s Union County Commissioners Infrastructure Grant program will fund throughout the County.

In all, the Union County Board of Commissioners made awards to 21 municipalities as part of the seventh annual Union County Infrastructure Grant program.

The program was conceived by ...

Hillside Offering COVID Testing, Rabies Shots, and Prescription Drug Take Back

HILLSIDE, NJ - Saturday will be a busy day in Hillside as three programs for residents will take place at the Community Center off Hillside Avenue.

The Health Department is offering free COVID-testing and a free Rabies shot clinic at the Department of Public Works garage. The Police Department is participating in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.

"This is just another example ...

AG Grewal Announces Charges Against Alleged “Hit Squad” Of Inmates, Including Hillside Resident, Who Assaulted Other Inmate; Plotted Violence Against Correctional Officers

April 29, 2021

NEW JERSEY - Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced on Thursday that an alleged local leader of the Latin Kings street gang and eight inmates allegedly under his command in various correctional facilities—including Northern State Prison in Newark and New Jersey State Prison in Trenton—have been charged with forming a “hit squad” within the prison system to commit ...

Union County to Close Jail Despite Opposition from Local Leaders

ELIZABETH, NJ — County officials confirmed the prior suspicions of community leaders at Thursday’s Board of Commissioners meeting: the Union County jail in Elizabeth will close and inmates will be transferred to the Essex County Correctional facility in Newark.

The county is entering into a five-year memorandum with Essex County, which has an option for renewal. This merger will ...

Seventh Annual Union County C.A.R.E.S. Domestic Violence Symposium Being Presented this Week

UNION COUNTY, NJ-- The Seventh Annual Union County C.A.R.E.S. (Community, Action, Response, Education, Safety) Domestic Violence Symposium is scheduled to take place later this week, and those working in fields dedicated to serving victims are being encouraged to register and learn from a host of subject-matter expert speakers.

A joint presentation by the Union County Prosecutor’s Office ...

Community FoodBank of New Jersey, Mercer Street Friends, and Norwescap Confer Grant Awards to 292 Community Partners Across 18 Counties

May 10, 2021

HILLSIDE, NJ —The Community FoodBank of New Jersey (CFBNJ), Mercer Street Friends, and NORWESCAP recently announced the selection of 292 partner food pantries, soup kitchens, and other local food assistance charities to receive grants through a $3.5 million investment in network capacity. Awards ranging from $5,000 to $15,000 were ...

Canceled Conant Park Cleanup Yields 310 Pounds of Garbage; Next Cleanup Scheduled for May 1

HILLSIDE, NJ - The cleanup scheduled for last Sunday, April 25, was canceled, but community members showed up anyway, determined to clean up Conant Park. In under two hours, four volunteers collected 310 pounds of garbage from the forest and Elizabeth River. 

Much of the trash consisted of plastic bottles, plastic bags, various styrofoam materials, and mini liquor bottles.

Murphy Signs Legislation to Provide $5.2 Million to Support Community FoodBank of New Jersey

TRENTON, NJ – Gov. Phil Murphy signed bill A5405, which will direct $10 million from the Coronavirus Relief Fund established under the Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to the New Jersey Department of Agriculture.

This funding will be distributed to seven New Jersey food banks in order to continue providing families with food assistance during the ...

Cleanup of Conant Park Yields 1,129 Pounds of Trash

May 7, 2021

HILLSIDE, NJ - In honor of Earth Week (@njearthweek2021), @newjerseyclimatesave, the Hillside Green Team, and the @unioncountynj Adopt-A-Park program organized a clean-up in Hillside, New Jersey.

The clean-up was initially scheduled for Sunday, April 25, but was canceled due to unpredictable weather.  Despite it being canceled, four community members showed up anyway and collected 310 ...

Canceled Conant Park Cleanup Yields 310 Pounds of Garbage; Next Cleanup Scheduled for May 1

HILLSIDE, NJ - The cleanup scheduled for last Sunday, April 25, was canceled, but community members showed up anyway, determined to clean up Conant Park. In under two hours, four volunteers collected 310 pounds of garbage from the forest and Elizabeth River. 

Much of the trash consisted of plastic bottles, plastic bags, various styrofoam materials, and mini liquor bottles.

Six Things To Know About 17-Year Cicadas in Union County

UNION COUNTY, NJ — Don’t be alarmed if you start hearing piercing sounds and seeing the brown shells of insect bodies on the ground next month.

JD Stamler, a park naturalist at the Trailside Nature & Science Center in Mountainside, said some of the periodical cicadas in Brood X will emerge from the ground in Union County after 17 years in late May and early June.

“I ...

Clean-up at Conant Park in Hillside, Sunday

HILLSIDE, NJ - In honor of Earth Week, all Hillside residents are invited for a clean-up at Conant Park on Sunday, April 25, at 1 p.m.

According to The Ocean Clean Up, approximately 40,000 pounds of trash flows down the Elizabeth River every year. 

Since April 2019, New Jersey Climate Save has organized nine clean-ups in Hillside, and their volunteers have removed about 3,000 ...

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Union County Expanding Regional Dispatch Center

May 8, 2021

UNION COUNTY, NJ — The county will expand its Emergency Services Regional Dispatch Center in Westfield, allowing more towns the option to use its services for fire, EMS, mutual aid and first responders. 

At Thursday’s virtual Board of County Commissioners meeting, commissioners awarded a $3.28 million contract to H&S Construction and Mechanical Inc., of Elizabeth, for ...

New Jersey Residents Can Now Get a "Shot and a Beer"

May 3, 2021

NEW JERSEY - Governor Murphy announced that New Jersey is launcing a "Shot and a Beer" program, encouraging eligible residents, ages 21 and over to get vaccinated.

Any New Jerseyan who gets their first vaccine dose in the month of May and takes their vaccination card to a participating brewery will receive a free beer. The following are restaurants and brewing companies are ...

Sample Ballots for Union County Voters Now Available Online

May 10, 2021

Union County Clerk Joanne Rajoppi announces that  sample ballots for the June 8 Primary Election can be viewed and downloaded on the County Clerk’s elections website unioncountyvotes.com, and through the Union County Votes app, a free download for all mobile devices.

This year voters have the option of voting in person at their polling place or using a Vote-by-Mail ballot. In-person ...

Fighting Fatigue: How To Sleep Better And Longer

Getting a good night’s sleep plays a vital role in your overall health. Sleeping recharges your body and brain to help prepare and energize you for each new day. On the other hand, sleep deprivation can cause a slew of problems, including memory issues and an increased risk for car accidents.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults aged 26-64 need seven to nine hours of sleep ...

Celebrating Mother’s Day: 4 Ways to Make Mom Feel Special

Mother’s Day is a wonderful time to tell the caregivers in your life how special they are. By highlighting Mom’s favorite things in your celebrations, you’ll be able to shine a light on everything unique about her. If you’re looking for interesting ways to host a Mother’s Day celebration for a group, big or small, here are four memorable events that will leave Mom ...

Understanding SPF for Healthy Summer Skin

As we head outside to take advantage of the warmer weather, skincare and sun safety should be top priorities. While the sun’s rays provide countless benefits, the ultraviolet (or UV) components of sunlight are damaging to our skin. A sunburn from overexposure isn’t just temporarily painful - the UV rays that cause a burn are doing long-term damage to your skin cells that’s ...

4 Unique and Meaningful Ways to Decorate for Mother’s Day

With Mother’s Day around the corner, it’s time to think about decorations that will brighten up your home as well as show Mom that she’s a unique, valued person in your family. With a few simple touches, it’s easy to create meaningful decorations that highlight the things that she loves best. Here are four great ways to add some color and style to Mom’s favorite ...

Building Diversity, Inclusion and Social Justice Programming in Schools

April 21, 2021

In March, my home state of New Jersey signed into law the Murphy, Reynolds-Jackson & Verrelli Bill requiring schools to include diversity and inclusion (DNI) instruction into their curriculums. When I read that news I was first ecstatic.  I love social justice!  I live and breathe diversity and inclusion.  Preparing students to become leaders who can live and effect change in ...

Rebuilding the Arts Will Help Heal Us

Our culture and society has been under attack now for over a year. One of the basic aspects of what makes us Americans, what makes us human, what connects us to each other has been taken away. It has been assaulted by a virus, and eroded by the needed response to it. Our shared communal experiences of singing and dancing together at a concert; seeing a story magically set to song before our eyes ...

New Ways to Celebrate Earth Day, Every Day in Union County

By Alexander Mirabella

Chairman, Union County Board of Commissioners

April 2021

As Earth Day approaches, many Union County residents and visitors look for ways in which to commemorate the event.

Picking up litter, planting trees, and producing educational programs are among the many traditional Earth Day activities supported by the Board of Commissioners.

We also recognize that our ...