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In Westfield, Displays of Solidarity Amid National Outrage Over George Floyd's Death (VIDEO)

June 2, 2020

WESTFIELD, NJ — Contrasting larger and often jarring protests across the state and nation, demonstrators in Mindowaskin Park Sunday spoke of cooperation between law enforcement and the local community as they condemned police violence elsewhere.

“Stop Police Brutality,” “Justice for George Floyd” and “Racism is not Welcome in Westfield” were ...

Changes Coming to Route 22 ShopRite / Best Buy Shopping Center

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 Meisel Park and all Other 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 ...

Whoopi Goldberg to Speak to Kean University's Class of 2020 at Virtual Commencement

UNION, NJ – Kean University has announced Whoopi Goldberg will speak to the Class of 2020 during a virtual Commencement ceremony on May 29. 

More than 4,000 undergraduate and graduate students will attend the online event, which will feature musical performances, a virtual tassel turn, and speeches from Martin Luther King III, U.S. Senator Cory Booker, student leaders and ...

Union Freeholders’ 2020 Budget Won't Increase County Taxes, Impact Varies by Town

UNION COUNTY, NJ — The freeholder board approved a budget that will not increase county taxes — the first time in nearly 20 years — to ease financial pain for residents and business owners caused by the coronavirus pandemic. 

The 2020 budget, which was unanimously passed Thursday night, promised to avoid layoffs and maintain essential county services, while having an ...

Westfield Senior Class President Lobbying Murphy for in-Person Graduation

WESTFIELD, NJ — Despite the pandemic leading to the cancellations of many large events and gatherings, Westfield High School senior Alexis Hammer is still holding out hope for an in-person graduation ceremony this year.

Hammer, the senior class president, published a letter, which she sent to Gov. Phil Murphy, on various social media platforms. The letter explains the necessity ...

Neighbors Helping Their Mail Carrier After Fire Destroys His Elizabeth Home

ELIZABETH, NJ — Jonathan Patiño was home when the tractor trailer crash lit up propane tanks and set his family’s Carlton Street home ablaze.

Patiño, 28, along with his sister and parents escaped unharmed. They recovered a fireproof box containing some essential documents after the April 24 blaze. But that was all they recovered.

“Everything else ...

Kean's COVID-19 Test Center Open to All Union County Residents May 18 Regardless of Symptoms

UNION COUNTY, NJ -- Beginning May 18, the Union County COVID-19 Drive-Through Test Center at Kean University will be available to all County residents who wish to be tested, whether or not they are experiencing symptoms.

The Test Center, which offers free testing, is also available to all first responders and frontline health workers who are asymptomatic and that work in Union County, ...

Backyard Heroes Fireworks

SPRINGFIELD, NJ – Backyard Heroes Fireworks was originated by three high school friends who all have a common passion for pyrotechnics. The premier consumer fireworks retailer is currently in its second season in business and offers the largest selection of consumer fireworks in New Jersey. All the products are 100% legal to purchase and enjoy. The owners want to emphasize safety ...

Union School District Paid $270k to High School Principal on Leave

UNION, NJ — Corey Lowery received nearly $270,000 in salary while on paid administrative leave as Union High School principal, payroll records show.

According to records, Lowery’s gross wages from September 2018 through April 2020 were $269,499.82.  The total does not include benefit compensation.  Since being placed on paid administrative leave in September 2018, Lowery ...

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Union County Residents Can “Recycle Right” without Plastic Bags

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders would like to remind residents that plastic bags and other unacceptable items should not be placed in curbside recycling bins.

“Union County residents have a good recycling rate, but we want to improve on this record and set a high bar,” said Freeholder Chairman Al Mirabella. “Every household can pitch in by following some simple ...

Union County Freeholders Offer Free Mobile App to Connect Residents with Recycling Information

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders urges residents to download Recycle Coach to get reminded of their curbside recycling schedule, learn about upcoming county recycling events, get advised of any changes or interruptions to service and learn the best ways to recycle.  The free app is designed to help make recycling and solid waste information more accessible to County residents and ...

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Congressman Malinowski Leads The Fight For Us All

May 14, 2020

To the Editor:

I am writing to ensure your readers know about the efforts of our Congressman, Tom Malinowski, to continue to work on our behalf, during these difficult times.

Congressman Malinowski has been working across the aisle to secure vital funds for all municipalities across our district (NJ-7).  He is one of four lead sponsors of H.R. 6467, a bipartisan bill with more than 140 ...

Union County Clerk Reminds Residents on Vote-By-Mail Ballots

June 2, 2020

Union County Clerk Joanne Rajoppi reminds residents that her office has begun mailing Vote-by-Mail ballots to all registered Democratic and Republican voters in Union County. Unaffiliated voters who have already applied for a Vote-by-Mail ballot will also receive their ballots in the coming weeks.

The ballots and applications are being sent in waves to help ensure that the high volume of mail ...

240th Anniversary of Death of Hannah Caldwell

Hannah Caldwell Day will be commemorated by the Union Township Historical Society at the Caldwell Parsonage, 909 Caldwell Avenue, Union, on Sunday, June 7, from 2 to 5 pm.  Rev. James Caldwell, portrayed by Doc Burkhardt, will greet visitors.  He'll recall the heroism of his wife during the American Revolution, following the Battle of Connecticut Farms on that fateful day--June 7, ...

Union County Clerk to Resume Limited In-Person Services, by Appointment Only

Union County Clerk Joanne Rajoppi announces that beginning on Tuesday, June 2, the County Clerk’s offices will begin in-person appointments to swear in notaries and assist persons seeking to register trade names, tax waivers and clerk’s certificates.

Everyone seeking these services in person is required to make an appointment in advance and wear a face mask at all times, in order ...

Scholastic Summer 'Read-A-Palooza' Virtual Book Fair at the Berkeley Heights YMCA

Summer is almost here, and we cannot help but ask how can we as educators, caretakers and parents keep our kids academically engaged to ensure success this coming fall?

Unlike previous years, this year presents the unique and unprecedented obstacle of being in the midst of a worldwide pandemic. This may mean libraries will not run their usual summer reading challenge, books may be harder to ...

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

May 24, 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 ...

Murphy Offers Ray of Hope for Those Wanting In-Person School Commencement Ceremonies

TRENTON, NJ - After New Jersey state officials recently told residents that in-person commencement ceremonies were not in the cards due to the coronavirus pandemic, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy offered a ray of hope to those hoping that actual in-person graduation events could happen at some point in the coming summer months.

Near the conclusion of his daily New Jersey ...

Here’s How Newark Muslims are Keeping Community Alive this Ramadan

NEWARK, NJ — In Islam, Ramadan is a month of celebration, gathering, hospitality, family and friends breaking fast over bountiful meals, often at Mosque with the entire community. 

Given the global pandemic, the collective aspects of Ramadan have been canceled this year. Though iftar may be a little lonelier under quarantine, Muslims in Newark are making the best of a difficult ...

Community Conversations: Guiding Patients with Cancer

Join Eric Whitman, MD, medical director of Cancer Care for Atlantic Health System, for a Facebook Live where he will share guidance for patients with cancer as we coexist with COVID-19.

Community Conversations: Keeping Kids Health & Safe this Summer

Join Walter Rosenfeld, MD, Medical Director for Children's Health for Atlantic Health System, for a Facebook Live where he will answer your questions about what parents need to know to keep kids healthy and safe this summer.

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 ...