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This Newark Couple is Transforming a Vacant Lot into a Community Garden

May 26, 2020

NEWARK, NJ — For the past 15 years, Lot 50 on Grafton Avenue in the city’s North Ward has been a wasteland of syringes and garbage, bringing down the community’s morale. 

Those days are coming to an end, according to Bilal and Breonna Walker, two educators who are transforming the lot into a community project unlike any other in Newark. Dubbed Jannah on ...

Memorial Day Celebrations Go Online

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ — To promote social distancing, South Orange Village marked Memorial Day this year on Facebook Live. 

Rabbi Jesse Olitsky of Congregation Beth El gave the invocation. Village President Sheena Collum spoke to families who have lost relatives in the Armed Services: "This day brings home the sacrifices and selflessness of those individuals."

During ...

Maplewood Memorial Day Ceremony Socially Distanced

MAPLEWOOD, NJ — Mayor Frank McGehee, Deputy Mayor Dean Dafis, and Committee Members Greg Lembrich, Nancy Adams, and Victor DeLuca honored Memorial Day today at Ricalton Square.

In his remarks, McGehee paid tribute to "the women and men who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our Constitution, our Country and way of life... The women and men who served our country ...

Essex County Emergency Food Distribution to be Held May 28

ESSEX COUNTY, NJ — An Essex County Emergency Food Distribution Event will be held on Thursday, May 28th at the Charles H. Bullock School in Montclair to help families negatively impacted by coronavirus. The 1,000 boxes of food that will be distributed are meant to benefit families who have been forced out of work and are not able to afford food. 

The event will be held as ...

Making Masks Unmasks Caring SOMA Neighbors

MAPLEWOOD, NJ — When Gary Jones bought his daughter a sewing machine five years ago, he never expected he’d be the one to use it more.

But as coronavirus gripped the U.S., he wanted to do something to help others and got stitching making face masks.

 “I was very slow, but by the end of the first day I had five masks,” Jones said. At first, it would take him ...

Woolley Offers Free Propane for Healthcare Workers, Contactless Fill Ups

MAPLEWOOD, NJ — Serving the Maplewood, NJ area for over 95 years, you can trust the experts at Woolley Home Solutions for safe propane tank refills for your grill and outdoor patio in New Jersey. During this pandemic, Woolley has put a contact-free system in place to make sure the grilling never stops.

If you need your propane tank refilled or need to buy a new one, contact ...

Essex County to Host Food Distribution Event Each Thursday Starting May 14

MONTCLAIR, NJ - Emergency food distribution will begin on May 14 for Essex County residents, Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr., Essex County Executive and the Board of Chosen Freeholders announced.

The food distribution events for Essex County residents every Thursday for the next two months. The County will be distributing food to ANY County Resident who needs it.

The first emergency food ...

Ironbound Community Joins Together to Provide Emergency Food for 1,000 Families Impacted By COVID-19

Newark, NJ – A steady stream of residents from the Ironbound section of Newark, some in cars, some on foot, arrived at arranged pickup points in the neighborhood this weekend to get the help that they need because of problems created by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

It is help that many people, because of their immigration status, can't get anywhere else but from their ...

SOMA Teacher Gets Shout Out From Gov. Murphy for His Work With SOMA NJ 3D Printers Alliance

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ — Jake Ezzo, choir director for South Orange Middle School, was lauded today by Gov. Phil Murphy in his daily press briefing. Murphy held up Ezzo as an example of a New Jerseyan making a difference for others during the coronavirus pandemic.

Ezzo is a coordinator of the group NJ 3D Printers Alliance, which combines the efforts of local folks who own 3D printers ...

Donation Campaign Set Up to Support Transportation and Funeral Costs for South Orange Resident Paul Agba

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ — One of the most challenging, heartbreaking and unexpected roles for me is reaching out to South Orange families who have lost loved ones. The Agba family is dealing with grief right now and has asked for financial assistance in returning Paul Agba, an 8-year resident in the Seton Village neighborhood, back to Nigeria. Below is a message from his brother Cornell, whom ...


JESPY Partners with Seton Hall Fraternity Members to Feed the Hungry

May 21, 2020

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ — Helping those in need has been a consistent theme during the current pandemic. As a result, food pantries across the country are at their busiest, serving thousands of people who are suffering financially. To that end, JESPY House and its clients have been helping to feed the hungry by participating with Our Lady of Sorrows church in South Orange and the MEND Hunger ...


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New Jersey Date Night: Chicken Restaurants That Sizzle

May 28, 2020

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

Before you know it, our date nights can actually happen at a table in a restaurant! As New Jersey begins to slowly emerge from stay-at-home rules, couples are itching to get our and experience something hot. How about something sizzling found in a basket, on a plate or inside a bucket?

When it comes to ...

Skills I Thought I’d Never Need Again (Or Ever)

Skills I thought I’d never need again (or ever)

Or how I put my skills to work in this new world


Every post-apocalypse movie has this weird combination of technology and pioneer sensibilities. I’ve always thought that odd – if there were droids watching over them, why were they cooking over an open hearth, if you have flying cars why aren’t your stores ...

Coronavirus Pandemic Adds to the Admiration as Hospital Honors Local EMS Members

Overlook Medical Center celebrated the work of the dedicated EMS first responders throughout the communities it serves with awards, gifts and other recognition as part of the national EMS Week, May 18–22.

“The first responders throughout our region have been our steadfast partners through the height of the pandemic, and their collaboration in caring for our patients during this ...

Atlantic Health System Leads Phase 1 Study on CPI-613® (Devimistat), First-in-Class Treatment for Pancreatic Cancer to be Presented at American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 2020

Atlantic Health System Cancer Care’s Angela Alistar, MD, medical director of GI medical oncology at Morristown Medical Center and medical director of the Phase 1 Breakthrough Treatment Center, is lead author of a phase 1 study of CPI-613® (devimistat), a unique first-in-class treatment for locally advanced or metastatic pancreatic cancer, in combination with two chemotherapy drugs.

Community Conversations: Is It Safe To Have Surgery?

James C. Wittig, MD, chairman, Orthopedic Surgery, Morristown Medical Center, medical director of Orthopedic Surgery, Orthopedic Oncology and Sarcoma Surgery for Atlantic Health System, joined host Luke Margolis for the latest edition of our Facebook Live event series, Community Conversations. Dr. Wittig shared what our patients need to know before having an important surgery that’s been ...

Surprising Benefits of the Virtual Visit

When Atlantic Health System put telehealth into effect to help control the spread of COVID-19, I thought, I’m going to hate it. I felt strongly that there’s no substitute for in-person visits, and expected that trying to communicate using video apps would be cumbersome. So I was surprised to find that there are some real benefits to virtual medicine.

I noticed, for example, a ...

Protect Your Health: Do Not Put Off Important Medical Care

The safety of patients and team members is Atlantic Health System’s top priority. To make sure emergency departments across Atlantic Health’s hospitals remain safe for every patient who enters, reconfigured processes and facilities are in place to optimize safety and improve the patient experience.

All care is delivered with strict rules around social distancing, universal mask ...

Atlantic Health System Earns New Level of Recognition for Environmental Sustainability, its Overlook Campus Again Taking Top Honors

Atlantic Health System achieved a new level of recognition for its accomplishments in environmental sustainability, receiving the System for Change Award from Practice Greenhealth, the nation’s leading organization dedicated to environmental sustainability in health care. Its Overlook Medical Center once again earned Practice Greenhealth’s highest honor, the Top 25 Environmental ...


Talia Ramer, Tulane Class of 2020

May 21, 2020

Talia Ramer, daughter of Alia Covel of South Orange and Daniel Ramer of West Orange, graduated cum laude from Tulane University, New Orleans, LA, on May 16. 

She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications with a minor in business management. She was a member of Alpha Epsilon Phi sorority and held internships working in television production at Wonderama in New York City ...

The Impact of COVID-19 on Mental Health is Greater than We Know 

May 27, 2020

While COVID-19 makes its horrific mark on New Jersey, we at Family Connections are continuing to serve thousands of people of all ages through our dynamic programming. In talking to these clients, we’re hearing increased symptoms among those who already had mental health issues and reports from clients now experiencing new feelings of depression, anxiety and social isolation. We are also ...

OPINION: A Pandemic Doesn’t Stop the Dedication to Newark

When I was a child, growing up on Quitman Street in Newark meant any adult could tell any child to straighten up and fly right, should they observe that child in need of such advice. The neighborhood was like an extended family, and people were thankful to have extra sets of eyes and ears to look out for one another as their days got busier and the world around them became more ...

Maplewood Police Blotter, May 1-13

May 26, 2020

May 1, 2020; Possession of Stolen vehicle Arrests; At approximately 11:30 p.m., officers responded to the 66 Gas Station. With the assistance of Union PD, a vehicle stolen out of Irvington was recovered and three individuals were arrested for being in possession of it.  Nineteen-year-old Anaia Staton of Montclair, eighteen-year-old Kamryn Coates of Maplewood and a sixteen-year-old ...

South Orange Police Blotter, May 18-22

Burglary to Auto — A West Montrose Avenue resident reports between May 15th and 16th during the overnight hours unknown suspect(s) entered his vehicle, which was parked in his driveway, and ransacked the inside.  Detective Bureau is investigating the incident. 

Shoplifting — On May 16, 2020 the manager at Ashley Market notified South Orange Police of a ...

Murphy Announces Opening Dates for Daycare Centers, Youth Sports, Summer Camps

May 29, 2020

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 to resume over the next several weeks, if they follow health and safety safeguards, ...

Gerard William (Jerry) Ryan, 1961-2020: A Man of Public Service, Former Maplewood Mayor

MAPLEWOOD, NJ — Jerry Ryan, 59 (May 21, 1961- May 27, 2020), has died at home in Maplewood after a three-year battle with cancer. 

Ryan served a total of 19 non-contiguous years on the Township Committee, including three years as mayor from 1998- 2000; he was the youngest person to serve on the Township Committee, and the youngest to serve as Maplewood’s mayor. At ...

Both SOMA Mayors and the Essex County Executive Support Governor's Borrowing Plan

May 29, 2020

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 signed by 17 of the Mayors in Essex County, including Sheena Collum of South Orange and ...

Former and Late East Orange Mayor Thomas H. Cooke Jr.: A Legacy Remembered

EAST ORANGE, NJ — Former East Orange Mayor, Thomas H. Cooke, Jr. passed away the morning of May 18, 2020 at the age of 90. Mayor Cooke was a trailblazer and the city's second African American-elected Mayor from 1978 to 1986.

Mayor Cooke was honored posthumously at the 2020 East Orange Memorial Day Celebration. In 2019, he was awarded the Lifetime Citizens Award.

A ...

Changes Coming to Route 22 ShopRite / Best Buy Shopping Center

May 29, 2020

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 site in several parts, including the vacant, standalone Pizza Hut and gas ...

2020 4th of July Fireworks at all Union County Parks Canceled

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 scheduled to take place in Nomahegan Park on July 2. 
Plainfield fireworks ...

Correcting a Tax Return Will Soon be Easier

May 29, 2020

The Internal Revenue Service  announced today that later this summer taxpayers will for the first time be able to file their Form 1040-X, Amended U.S Individual Income Tax Return, electronically using available tax software products.

Making the 1040-X an electronically filed form has been a goal of the IRS for a number of years. It’s also been an ongoing request from the ...

Economic Impact Payments Sent via Prepaid Debit Cards in Plain Envelope; answers FAQ's

As Economic Impact Payments continue to be successfully delivered, the Internal Revenue Service today reminds taxpayers that some payments are being sent by prepaid debit card. The debit cards arrive in a plain envelope from “Money Network Cardholder Services.” 

Nearly 4 million people are being sent their Economic Impact Payment by prepaid debit card, instead of paper check.

Van Vleck Gardens 2020 Online Bulb Sale

Plant it forward!

Our horticulturalist at Van Vleck Gardens has curated a collection of hard to find and exquisite plants to plant this fall and enjoy next spring. The order form will be live at 9AM on Monday, June 1st and be active through June 14th at 9PM. Check out the photos of unique flowers that will make your garden even more beautiful next ...