Morris County News

Chance for Songwriters to Earn a Spot Opening Annual Music Festival in June!

The 2016 Open Mic Challenge winners, Rhonda Schuster and WinterLong, duo Gift & Dave Venezio, play at the 2016 Groove in the Grove festival at Vasa Park, Budd Lake, NJ. Credits: Cathy Miller

Skylands Songwriters Guild to hold Acoustic Open Mic where two songwriters can earn a performance slot at 7th Annual Groove In The Grove - Indie Songwriter Music Festival

Once again, two talented local/area singer-songwriters have an opportunity to get real stage experience at the Groove in the Grove - Indie Songwriter Music Festival (the Festival), now in its 7th year held in Morris County, New Jersey. Skylands Songwriters Guild (SSG) will be hosting the Groove Acoustic Open Mic Challenge (the Challenge) on Thursday, June 8, 2017 at 7 PM at Enzo’s Pizzeria, 382 Rt 46, Budd Lake, NJ.

Due to the overwhelming response to the Challenge last year, pre-registration is required. Only artists performing their own original songs will be considered (no covers please) and only acoustic instruments will be permitted. There is a 3 person limit per act (unless a cappella). Aspiring artists will be allowed to play 2 songs (with a 10 minute maximum). Past performers at the Festival are ineligible. Likewise, past winners of the Challenge are ineligible for 3 years. Songwriters may register in one of two categories as follows:

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  • Amateur Category - Someone who is relatively new to songwriting or has limited professional recordings and does not normally play in public as a singer-songwriter. Can be a performing musician who usually does cover songs and is now venturing into working on their own material.
  • Open Category - Somewhat established songwriter with professionally recorded CD, who is known for performing their own original songs on a fairly regular basis.

The Challenge will be judged by a panel of three area industry celebrities to include local legend Patrick Fitzsimmons (From Good Homes), who will also be the feature evening headliner at the Festival, Jeff Rusch, host of The Crow's Nest (WNTI) and Joe Pszonek of Radio Nowhere. Their decision will be final. One act in each category will be awarded the following:

  • 15-minute spot to open at the 7th Annual Groove In The Grove - Indie Songwriter Music Festival
  • Free admission for the performer to the Festival
  • $25.00 compensation for performing at the Festival

Those interested may sign-up at Slots are limited and will be offered on a first-come basis. The Challenge Registration Fees (fee is per act: solo, duo or trio):

  • Current SSG members = $10
  • Non-members = $15
  • Non-performing attendees = $5 at the door (Public welcome to come and support the participants and enjoy great food and song!)

Discounted tickets to the Festival will be available at this event - one night only.


Saturday, June 10, 2017 @ 1:00 PM

Vasa Park, 1 Vasa Drive, Hackettstown ,NJ (Mt. Olive Twp. - Budd Lake)

This intimate Festival, which is a WXPN welcomes event, brings the best regional singer-songwriters to Northwest New Jersey! Offering an afternoon full of original music in a shaded, park-like setting with on-site playground, plenty of parking and interesting craft and service vendors - perfect for the whole family! Always great music, food and FUN! Bask in the sun or relax in the shade while grooving to some awesome tunes! Festival food & adult beverages available for purchase. Sponsorship and vendor opportunities available. Visit the Festival website for up-to-date information and performer details at  

Skylands Songwriters Guild (SSG), based out of Ledgewood, NJ, is a recognized 501(c)(3) educational non-profit organization dedicated to nurturing the community of Singer/Songwriters of Northwest New Jersey and the surrounding region. All donations made to SSG are tax deductible.  To learn more about SSG, visit their website at:

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AtlantiCast: Episode 13

On this episode of AtlantiCast, new clinical studies in the fields of cardiology and immunotherapy, national and statewide recognitions for Atlantic Health System medical centers and the inaugural AtlantiCast Collab Challenge!


I Need to Take Leave from Work Because of a Disability. What are My Rights and Obligations?

According to studies, as many as one in ten persons of working age in the United States have at least one disability.  As a result of a disability or illness, most of us will need to take extended leave during the course of a career.  If you or someone you know suffers from a disability or illness and needs to take time off from work, here are some important things to know:

Leave Can ...

Morris Animal Inn Hosts Live Q&A Session; Wednesday Feb. 28

MORRISTOWN, NJ - Do you have questions about grooming your dog? The Morris Animal Inn is hosting a Live Question and Answer Session on Wednesday February 28 at 11:30am. Tune in to have all your questions answered by Morris Animal Inn's Grooming Manager, Jayanne.

Morris Animal Inn offers:

Bath, brush out, ear cleaning and nail trim package
Haircut to your specifications
Healthy ...

71 Years After Leaving High School, Roxbury Man Gets Diploma

March 21, 2018

ROXBURY, NJ – 90-year-old Chester “Chet” Jones had only four words to say Monday when presented with an honorary diploma from Roxbury High School: “That’s all I wanted.”

The lifelong Roxbury resident left high school in January of his senior year to work and then join the military, said Roxbury High School Guidance Director Emilie Bacchetta. She said failing ...

Hillsborough: Suspended HS Athletic Director Charged with Theft

March 22, 2018

HILLSBOROUGH, NJ - Suspended Hillsborough High School Athletic Director Michael Fanizzi has been arrested and charged with the theft of $10,704 in athletic event receipts over a four-year period from 2013-2017, according to Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson.

Fanizzi, 53, a resident of Conover Way in Hillsborough who had been athletics director for 14 years,, had been suspended ...

Hop On Over; Annual Easter Egg Hunts Take Place in Morris Township and Morristown

March 19, 2018

 MORRIS TOWNSHIP, NJ -  Grab those Easter baskets! Morris Township and Morristown kids are invited to area Easter Egg Hunts this month.

The Morris Township Volunteer Firefighers will be sponsoring 3 Easter Egg Hunts throughout the Township this month. The Fairchild Fire Department will have an Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday March 24 at the Alfred Vail School. The hunt begins at ...

Law Enforcement Night Set for March 16th

MORRISTOWN, NJ - Please note that the LAW ENFORCEMENT NIGHT previously scheduled for last week will now be held this Friday at 7pm on March 16th at Mennen Arena.  Mennen Arena is at 161 E. Hanover Ave, Morristown, NJ.

The Morris Area Coalition for Education and Positive Choices is rapidly becoming a household name in Morris County.  Word is spreading about the many initiatives being ...

Parade Officials; Morristown's St. Patrick's Day Parade is ON

MORRISTOWN, NJ -   The powerful Nor'easter that ripped through our area has shut down streets and left many without power, but it has not stopped the Irish spirit. Organizers for the Morris County St. Patrick's Day parade announced that the St. Patrick's Day Parade is on! The parade and pre-parade festivities will go on as planned Saturday March 10.

Weekend-long Anniversary Event for The Shops at 980: Baby Crossing, The Depot and Paradise

March 21, 2018

Morristown’s The Depot, Baby Crossing and Paradise (The Shops at 980) are having an anniversary event beginning Thursday celebrating their first year together as Three Stores Under One Roof!

Starting Thursday morning customers can enjoy deals, giveaways and treats such as champagne and cupcakes! Please join us Thursday March 22nd through Sunday March 25th at 980 Mt Kemble Avenue (on Rt ...

County College of Morris Performing Arts and Cultural Events Spring 2018 Season

APRIL 2018:

Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Wednesday through Saturday, April 11-14
7:30 p.m., Saturday matinee 2 p.m. Student Community Center Dragonetti Auditorium

The Broadway Theatre is crumbling and closing! To pay homage, past performers of the “Weismann Follies” have gathered there for a reunion and final goodbye to the historic landmark. Journey through ...

April Blood Drives Scheduled at 2 Morristown Locations

MORRISTOWN, NJ- New Jersey Blood Services, a division of New York Blood Center (NYBC) is asking for help to maintain an adequate supply of all blood types, but especially O-negative – the “universal” blood which can be transfused into anyone in an emergency.  In addition, hundreds of additional blood drives need to be scheduled to meet projected hospital demand.  ...

More Snow on the Way? Winter Storm Watch Issued for Morristown

March 20, 2018

MORRISTOWN, NJ - With the official start of spring just days away, winter does not want to let go of its hold -- another Nor'easter is headed our way.  The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for the area predicting 6 to 10 inches of new accumulation.

The warning is in effect Tuesday evening through Wednesday evening according to the NWS.  ...

CCM Announces Plans for an Engineering and Manufacturing Facility Meeting the Needs of Students and Employers

RANDOLPH, NJ – County College of Morris (CCM) will be meeting the demand to expand several popular academic areas and offer local businesses greater support in addressing their need for skilled employees through the construction of a $10 million Engineering and Manufacturing building.

The 30,000 square foot building will be constructed on the college’s Randolph campus.  ...

“iCanBike’’ Program for Disabled Residents Coming to Morris County

RANDOLPH, NJ - A special biking camp for people ages eight and older with disabilities is going to be held for the first time ever in Morris County this summer, at the County College of Morris in Randolph during the week of August 6. 

The week-long iCanBike program teaches participants to ride independently through a week of training. Using adapted, custom-built bike equipment, and ...

Applications Open for Annual Scholarships Offered by Alliance of Private Special Education Schools

March 22, 2018

MONTVILLE, NJ - The Alliance of Private Special Education Schools of Northern New Jersey, a group of more than 30 state-approved private special education schools in northern and central New Jersey, has opened scholarship applications for graduating high school students with disabilities.

The scholarships are designed to empower, recognize and reward graduates with special needs. Students with ...

Outstanding Citizens To Be Honored at the Boy Scouts of America 23rd Annual Morris County Lifetime Achievement Awards Dinner

Boy Scouts of America, Patriots’ Path Council will be honoring local community members at the Boy Scouts of America 23rd Annual Morris County Lifetime Achievement Awards Dinner to be held on the evening of Thursday, April 19th at The Hanover Marriott in Whippany at 6:30 pm.  This year’s honorees are Reynaldo Caudillo, Bruce Jones, Michael Lupton, Ron Morano, Lou Nisivoccia, and ...

Recent Storms Close Morristown National Historical Park

MORRISTOWN, NJ - The past two storms have impacted the Morristown National Historical Park. There has been damage from downed trees, loss of power, dangling power lines, and two feet of snow have made conditions unsafe for the public in certain areas.

The following areas are CLOSED until further notice:
*Jockey Hollow (Visitor Center, trails, tour road)
*Fort Nonsense
*New Jersey ...

6 Easy Ways to Increase Zzzz’s During National Sleep Awareness Month and Beyond!

Team Nest Builder knows sleep deprivation leads to a myriad of problems, so we’re here to help you make your New Jersey home bedrooms the havens you deserve! Take a look at these simple ideas for increasing your zzzzz’s:

Soften Up

Employ a large area rug that covers the entire room to help absorb sound and enhance comfort.

Feeling Blue

According to a study by Travelodge, ...

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (Random House, 1965)


In Cold Blood is, quite simply, the grand-daddy of true crime writing, dubbed by Capote, himself, as the first non-fiction novel (although Norman Mailer argued the point when he published The Executioner's Song in 1979.) The conditions under which I read In Cold Blood for the first time were pretty weird, which was another ...

Valyrian Steel: Where is it All? Should We Still Care?

There is a glaring hole in recent Game of Thrones seasons that needs to be addressed: the ability of Valyrian steel to destroy White Walkers has not been acknowledged since before Jon Snow’s death.

In fact, it hasn’t been mentioned since the Season Five finale when Jon Snow reveals this discovery to Sam Tarly. Jon has cared about little more than the war between the living and ...

'Trying' explores age, youth and points of history in poignant production

‘Trying’ explores youth, age and points of history in poignant production

By Liz Keill

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – The George Street Playhouse presents an engrossing, two-character play based on the real life of Francis Biddle, former Attorney General.

Biddle, a Harvard educated lawyer, served under Franklin Roosevelt and later Harry Truman during the Nuremberg Tribunal. His ...

National Student Walk Out: MCST Students Have Had #Enough

March 22, 2018

DENVILLE, NJ - On March 14, nearly 1 million teenagers across the country stood up and walked out of school as part of a nationwide protest calling upon Congress to take action against gun violence. I am proud to have been one of them.

Undeterred by the small size of the school, my friends and classmates at Morris County School of Technology in Denville participated in the national event ...

The Role of Meal Replacements in Weight Loss

Obesity is at epidemic proportions in the United States and in other developed and developing countries. The prevalence of obesity is increasing not only in adults, but also in children and adolescents. We all know that obesity is a significant risk factor for various chronic illnesses, most importantly heart disease and diabetes, but also cancer and osteoarthritis, liver and kidney disease, ...

Upcoming Events

Thu, March 22

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Les Photos de Bernie at the Wayrick ...

Arts & Entertainment Green

Thu, March 22, 9:00 AM

The Center for Contemporary Art, Bedminster

Youth Art Month

Arts & Entertainment

Suspicious Person, Outstanding Warrants and Drugs Top This Week's Police Blotter

March 19, 2018

3/11: ARRESTS FOR NARCOTICS: Officers executed a motor-vehicle stop at the Tourne County Park in Boonton Township. An investigation led to Andrew M. Dodson, age 23, of Montville Township, to be charged with Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and Driving While Intoxicated; and Manoj  Muthukumaran, age 23, of Montville Township, to be ...

Michael V. Colvin Joins Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP

March 21, 2018

SARASOTA, FL – The law firm of Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP, is pleased to announce that Michael V. Colvin has joined the firm as a member of the Broker-Dealer Litigation and Arbitration team. For more than 15 years, Michael served as vice president and counsel for Morgan Stanley’s Wealth Management Division in New York.

Michael V. Colvin is a member of a team of Shumaker ...