SOMA Top Stories

June 2, 2020

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ — The SOPAC parking lot will be the location for a drive-through testing site for South Orange residents on Friday, June 5, from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Pre-registration is not required, and testing will be free to the public. The testing has been made possible by the Township of ...

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MAPLEWOOD, NJ — A house fire in the early hours of this morning in took several hours to get under control and resulted in at least two injuries.  The Second Alarm fire on Essex Avenue started at about 3:20 a.m. It “was dispatched as a porch fire with occupant inside,” according to Rob Munson, ...

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SOUTH ORANGE, NJ — The Village Board of Trustees unanimously approved moving forward with their plan for possible layoffs, demotions, and furloughs for those municipal unions who did not agree to the equivalent of a 2 percent pay freeze for the 2020 and 2021 budgets during a special board meeting ...

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MAPLEWOOD, NJ — The South Orange Maplewood School District Board of Education, Superintendent Ronald Taylor, and the Administration have issued the following message, their reflection on the social justice crisis sweeping across our country: “In this country, American means white. Everybody ...

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EMERGENCY FOOD DISTRIBUTION EVENT TO HELP THOSE IMPACTED BY CORONAVIRUS Event is Thursday, June 4th at Essex County Codey Arena in West Orange   Essex County, NJ – One thousand boxes of food will be distributed Thursday, June 4that Essex County Codey Arena in West Orange to help families ...

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ESSEX COUNTY, NJ — Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. announced today that the 2020 Essex County Summer Music Concert Series and Fireworks displays have been canceled because of the Coronavirus. “Our Summer Concert Series and Fireworks Spectaculars are much anticipated events that ...

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TRENTON, NJ -- Make your restaurant reservations and hair appointments now. Gov. Phil Murphy today announced at his daily COVID-19 press conference that effective June 15, outdoor dining at restaurants can commence, and non-essential in-person retail can begin. A week later, on June 22, ...

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NEW JERSEY — An estimated 18,967 graduates will receive degrees from Rutgers this year (13,057 degrees and one artistic diploma from Rutgers University-New Brunswick and Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, 4,090 from Rutgers University-Newark, and 1,819 from Rutgers University-Camden). They ...

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SOUTH ORANGE, NJ — As the weekend was gripped with protests locally, in Newark and New York, and across the country, someone decided to protest visually and illegally in downtown South Orange. Sometime late Saturday evening to Sunday morning, a person or persons tagged the overpass on Third ...

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SOUTH ORANGE, NJ — As protests and riots gripped many cities around the country this week, dozens of protestors laid down on South Orange Avenue for eight minutes to mark how long Police Officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee to George Floyd’s neck, killing him. To allow for coronavirus ...

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TRENTON, NJ – Day care centers for the children of essential workers have been opened throughout the COVID-19 crisis. As Governor Phil Murphy announced yesterday, they reopen to other parents on June 15.  Within the next few weeks, non-contact sports activities and youth day camps also may open up.

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MAPLEWOOD, NJ - The following is a statement from Mayor Frank McGehee:   I am upset I am sad I am angry I am frustrated I am tired and I am done. This is how I feel about the recent events that have happened to my fellow brothers and sisters. I was sick watching George Floyd die ...

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SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - The following letter to the community has been issued by Police Chief Kyle Kroll, with a request that it be made available to the community at the earliest possible time:     May 30, 2020   To Our South Orange Community: Far too often, law enforcement ...

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MAPLEWOOD/SOUTH ORANGE, NJ — On Saturday, June 6th, from noon to 4 p.m., the SOMA community will join in a different kind of parade to raise money to provide food and other essential materials to over 500 SOMA families in need. To take part, create and display a “message of hope” artwork on your ...

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(EAST ORANGE/ORANGE) - The women of the NJ General Assembly Black Women's Caucus are hosting a candlelight vigil and conversation with the community on Facebook Live, Saturday, May 30, 2020, at 6:00 PM. The virtual event is titled, "Lifting Our Kings & Queens." The live stream is in direct ...

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TRENTON, NJ — Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver joined the governor and other officials at yesterday’s daily COVID-19 press conference. Donning her hat as the head of New Jersey’s Department of Community Affairs, Oliver introduced the implementation of a temporary rental assistance ...

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In case you missed anything, here were some of the local news stories of the week: South Orange got to five days without a new COVID-19 positive test. Mayor Frank McGehee gave an update of what’s going on in Maplewood.  S.O. BOT Shows United Front to state police and firefighter unions at ...

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MAPLEWOOD, NJ - Saturday morning, May 30, May Frank McGehee sent the community and update on various developments in town as well as those happening on a County and State level that have effect upon the town and many of our residents, including an opportunity to register after 2 pm today for ...

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SOUTH ORANGE, NJ — The Board of Trustees have issued a formal statement responding to the letter released by the New Jersey State Policemen's Benevolent Association and the New Jersey State Firefighters Mutual Benevolent Association:   Village President                                    ...

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$5k and $2k Grants Available; Emergency Child Care Assistance Program to Continue through June 30th TRENTON, NJ — New Jersey Human Services Commissioner Carole Johnson today announced the immediate availability of up to $20 million in grants to assist child care centers and youth camps in ...

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Essex County, NJ — Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. announced his support of Governor Phil Murphy's proposal to borrow $9 billion from the U.S. Federal Reserve to balance the State Budget. On Friday, May 29th, DiVincenzo sent a letter of support to the Governor; the letter was also ...

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TRENTON, NJ — Gov. Phil Murphy at his daily COVID-19 press conference today announced reopening dates for:  Child care centers (June 15) Non-contact organized sports activities (June 22) Youth day camps, including municipal summer rec programs (July 6)  These activities are allowed ...

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UNION, NJ - The Union Planning Board heard testimony at Thursday night’s virtual public meeting of plans to modify existing structures and construct new buildings at the ShopRite/Best Buy shopping Center on Route 22 west. Representatives for the Robbins Agency presented proposed plans for the ...

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TRENTON, NJ  — New Jersey’s medical director on Thursday set the record straight on the newly-arrived trend of donning a face mask as means of COVID-19 protection but not including one’s nose — known as “mask droop syndrome.” “We understand that it’s uncomfortable, that people have problems with ...

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BOARD OF EDUCATION School District of South Orange and Maplewood 525 Academy Street, Maplewood, NJ  07040 Paul Roth                                                                                                                                  973-762-5600 X 1801 Board ...

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SOUTH ORANGE, NJ — The South Orange Board of Trustees clapped back at the state police and fire unions last night during the BOT online meeting. The New Jersey Policeman’s Benevolent Association and the New Jersey Firefighters Mutual Benevolent Association sent an open letter to the trustees on ...

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TRENTON, NJ — Labeling Gov. Phil Murphy’s strategy to reopen New Jersey “arbitrary and inconsistent,” the Senate Republican caucus is calling for immediate action that provides more clarity and relief for residents and businesses. “As the threat of COVID-19 continues to recede quickly for the ...

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TRENTON, NJ — Schools should consider screening visitors with noncontact thermometers and excluding anyone with a fever exceeding 100.4 degrees, according to graduation ceremony guidelines released by the state Department of Education (DOH). The guidance, released on May 27, outlines three ...

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SPRINGFIELD — The Union County Department of Parks and Recreation has announced that Independence Day fireworks scheduled to take place in Union County Parks have been canceled this year due to COVID-19. The announcement includes fireworks at the following sites: Cranford fireworks ...

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ESSEX COUNTY, NJ — South Orange has not had a new positive COVID-19 patient since May 22, according to today's daily numbers of positive-tested Essex County coronavirus cases. Maplewood Public Health listed their caseload at 279 on May 22, and is listed at 284 by the county today.  Locally, ...

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