SCOTCH PLAINS-FANWOOD, NJ – As the year comes to a close, TAP into Scotch Plains-Fanwood takes a look at the top local Community Life stories in 2016.

A black bear roamed through Scotch Plains on several occasions in the spring.

Fanwood implemented Curbside Recycling in the fall.

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After winning a battle with breast cancer, Samantha Kowalczyk, a local mother of three, launched Soothease, a candy-like product  to help others coping with the unsavory side effects of chemotherapy.

The third annual Jam Kancer In The Kan event on Oct. 1 raised over $60K

After many years as a supporter and organizer, Vietnam vet Joe McCourt was named Grand Marshal of the Memorial Day Parade.

Scotch Plains hosted Fourth of July Fireworks.

Matt Mercurio became the new Recreation Director in Scotch Plains.

Fanwood's Caboose pulled out of town.

After suffering from major heart problems over the last four years, a local family launched a GoFundMe page, which raised more than $60,000 to help Tony DiFrancesco with his finances.

The annual St. Bart's Festival concluded with record crowds.

Fanwood hosted its 21st annual Fanny Wood Day.

The Fanwood Skate Park opened at Forest Road Park.

The Italian American Club in Scotch Plains marked its 110th anniversary on June 4.

Al Mirabella was named “Christopher Columbus Man of the Year."

Six alumni were inducted into the Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School Hall of Fame on Nov. 15

Daniel Triano, a student at AIT and a talented hockey player died from injuries sustained in a car crash on Cooper Road.

Scotch Plains said goodbye to beloved librarian Meg Kolaya.

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