Press Releases

Meet Up and Explore Four Union County Parks This Spring


UNION COUNTY, NJ - Get ready, get set, and mark your calendar so you don’t miss the month-long series of Walks, Strolls & Rolls in Union County Parks in April.

As a way of introducing the public to parks they may know little about, Union County Parks & Recreation staff and volunteers will be leading walks, strolls and rolls in four parks, and include everything from birding to a swamp trek.

“The Union County Park system includes 36 parks, with well over 6,000 acres, scattered across the county.  But there is a tendency for people to only know the parks near them,” said Bruce Bergen, Chairman of the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders.

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“We would like folks to experience some parks that they may know little about and learn more of what our wonderful Parks system has to offer, from miles of paved paths that can accommodate strollers and wheelchairs, to Nature’s unveiling of spring in the Ash Brook Reservation, where the plants are just beginning to poke their shoots through the ground,” Bergen said.

Freeholder Vice Chairman Sergio Granados, who is the liaison to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, stated:

“This is an outstanding opportunity for residents to get to know our County Parks system better through the expertise of our personnel,” said Granados. “This program has something to offer everybody who has an interest in our parks system.”

The April hikes, which will last about an hour, will be on different days and times, depending upon the park. No registration is required and there are no age restrictions. Participants should bring a bottle of water and dress appropriately.

So mark your calendars, and please note that walks are cancelled in inclement weather.  For more information and detailed directions, go to or drop a note to

Walks, Strolls & Rolls will be held at:

-- Lenape Park, The Boulevard, Kenilworth. If you’ve ever considered taking up birding, or would just like to spend a morning seeing our winged friends, this is the perfect time of year because many species stop off in Lenape on their Spring migration north. Ed Zboyan, a member of the Friends of Lenape, will lead the walks, which will start from the parking lot at the old skeet range. Walks are scheduled for 9 a.m. and will be held on Saturdays at the beginning of the month, and Tuesdays later in the month, for folks who find their weekends already overloaded.  The walks will be April 1,8,15,18,25.

-- Watchung Reservation, Trailside Nature & Science Center, 452 New Providence Rd., Mountainside. Ever wonder what mysteries await in the Res?  Join Trailside Naturalist Roslyn Dvorin on Saturday mornings at 10 a.m. to find out.  These walks are scheduled for April 1,8,15,22.  Why no April 29? Because you are cordially invited to come the following day, April 30, for Wild Earth Fest and Touch A Truck, so it will be all hands on deck to get ready.

-- Echo Lake Park, between Mountain & Springfield Avenues, Mountainside.  While these Wednesday morning walks at 10 a.m. are open to all, these Stroll & Rolls are open to friends and family who use strollers, walkers, wheelchairs, or any other wheeled conveyance.  The path through Echo Lake is paved and part of the County’s greenway system, so participants will get a chance to see some of the beautiful areas in the parks system that are so easily accessible. The meet-up for these walks will be at the gazebo and will be led by parks staffer Nicole DeAugustine, who works with the disabled, on April 5,12,19, & 26.

--Ash Brook Reservation, Raritan Road, Scotch Plains. Boots are advised because of the extremely wet ground in some areas of Ash Brook.  The hikes will be on Thursdays, at 10 a.m. and are scheduled for April 7, 14, 21 & 28. Trail Steward Marc Grobman will lead the way through the undiscovered country and explain the amazing environment that also played a role in the 1777 Battle of the Short Hills.

Ash Brook Reservation may well be one of the county’s least-known and most natural parks. In just over a mile you’ll walk up and over forested Horse Hobble Hill, cross Ash Brook Swamp, and suddenly ascend strikingly different Red Hill, an arid meadow reminiscent of the South Jersey Pine Barrens.

Grobman, an Adopt-A-Trail volunteer, has helped maintain the trails here for years and will share much of what he has learned, including the berries that Civil War soldiers used to produce ink for writing letters, a tree once used to make root beer and is still used to make gumbo, and point out the skunk cabbage that produces such an awful smell.


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Construction Update on Vauxhall Ave. Bridge, Chestnut St. Bridge and Morris Avenue Work

June 19, 2018

UNION, NJ – A CodeRed alert about road construction, the resulting congestion, and what can be expected, was sent to residents Tuesday morning.

The message said the work on these state roads is being performed by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.  The message outlined the following work scheduled for June and July:

The Vauxhall Bridge over Route 22.  Work ...

The Week Ahead in Union

UNION, NJ - Happenings in Union this week:

Monday, 6/18

Union Township Active Retirees (Monday Club), 10:00 a.m., Senior Center
Adult Coloring, 1:15 p.m., Vauxhall Public Library
Construction Zone, 3:30 p.m., Union Public Library
Read to Waldi, 4:15 p.m., Union Public Library
Connect, Explore & Discover Digital Resources, 7:00 p.m., Union Public Library

Tuesday, ...

The Week Ahead in Union

UNION, NJ - Happenings in Union this week:

Monday, 6/11

Union Township Active Retirees (Monday Club), 10:00 a.m., Senior Center
Adult Prize Bingo, 1:15 p.m., Vauxhall Public Library
Construction Zone, 3:30 p.m., Union Public Library
Career Coach, 6:00 p.m., Vauxhall Public Library
Donuts with Your Dude,6:00 p.m., Vauxhall Public Library

Tuesday, 6/12

Senior Citizens ...

Upcoming Events


Wed, June 20, 10:15 AM

Union Public Library, Union

Chair Yoga in the Library


Fri, June 22, 7:30 PM


Union County’s Free Summer Arts Concert Series: ...


Wed, June 27, 10:15 AM

Union Public Library, Union

Chair Yoga in the Library

Union Residents Make Dean's List at the University of Delaware

June 18, 2018

NEWARK, DE - Students from Union have been named to the University of Delaware Dean's List for the Spring 2018 semester:

Natalie Caggiano 

Julia Hayes 

Steven Medina 

Maria Rocha 

To meet eligibility requirements for the Dean's List, a student must be enrolled full-time and earn a GPA of 3.33 or above (on a 4.0 scale) for the semester.


Kayla Douberley Graduates Elmira College

ELMIRA, NY - Kayla Douberley of Union was among the graduates celebrated at the 160th Elmira College Commencement on Saturday, June 2. The exercises, held at the Murray Athletic Center, Pine Valley, included 270 undergraduate and 27 graduate students.

Members of the 2018 Elmira College graduating class were recognized with multiple honors and prizes, including induction into Phi Beta Kappa, ...

Rashaunda Beasley of Union Earns a Bachelor's Degree from Georgia State University

ATLANTA, GA - Rashaunda Beasley of Union earned a bachelor's degree from Georgia State University during May 2018. More than 2,000 students earned bachelor's degrees from the university this spring, with more than 4,000 students earning degrees at the associate's, bachelor's, master's, specialist and doctoral levels.

Georgia State University, an enterprising urban public ...

Video: Union County Celebrates Pride Month with CommUNITY PRIDE Day Picnic

June 18, 2018

RAHWAY, NJ - Parents, children, friends, and all family members came out on Saturday afternoon to Rahway River Park for the Union County CommUNITY PRIDE Day Picnic.

The family-friendly celebration hosted by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders, was a day of fun activities of arts and crafts, family lawn games, inflatable bounce houses, playground fun and more, along with music by the ...

Honey Bees Found in Dumpster Relocated

UNION COUNTY, NJ – The County found themselves in a sticky situation last week when a swarm of honey bees were discovered at a construction dumpster at the County Administration building.

A social media post by the County said a pair of beekeepers from the nonprofit organization Groundwork Elizabeth came to the scene on Friday, and the bees were relocated to the Elmora Public Library, as ...

Union Catholic Grad, Olympian Sydney McLaughlin Wins NCAA Title, Announces She's Going Pro

EUGENE, OREGON — College freshman phenom Sydney McLaughlin, who graduated from Union Catholic last year, won the women's 400-meter hurdles for the University of Kentucky at the NCAA Championships on Saturday at Hayward Field, and then announced after the meet that she's turning pro.

McLaughlin, a U.S. Olympian in the 400 hurdles in 2016, completed one of the ...

Boundless Talent on Display at Hannah Caldwell School

June 15, 2018

UNION, NJ –Talent was on full display last week as over 40 students participated in Hannah Caldwell School’s Talent Show, with singing, dancing, musical instrument performances, and even a comedian.

“This is a special performance because the children are in control.  All of the acts in the show were prepared outside of school by the students,” said music teacher ...

Battle Hill and Hannah Caldwell Students Celebrate Reading Accomplishments

UNION, NJ – Young readers in Hannah Caldwell and Battle Hill Elementary Schools enjoyed the fruits of their labor on Wednesday when they celebrated their accomplishments in this year's Olympic Reading Programs.

Librarian Karen Franciosa said, “I couldn't be more proud of the students who worked diligently throughout the year to accomplish their personal reading ...

Red Carpet Moment for Union High Seniors

UNION, NJ – Prom night for Union High School seniors means red carpet glamour.  

And glamour was on full display at the annual red carpet walk Thursday evening, as Union High students walked the red carpet, alone or with their date(s), to a cheering crowd. 

Sponsored by the Union Township Community Action Organization, Inc., the event showcased beautiful gowns ...

Westfield High School Sophomore Dies; Counselors on Hand at School

June 19, 2018

WESTFIELD, NJ — Carthoris “Carter” Uziel, a sophomore at Westfield High School, died Sunday night, according to Westfield Public Schools and a letter sent to parents by Principal Dr. Derrick Nelson.

“Words cannot convey the grief we feel in the Westfield Public Schools community over the death of Carthoris ‘Carter’ Uziel, a sophomore at Westfield High ...

Mountainside Officials: We Knew Nothing About Allegations Until Lawsuit was Filed

MOUNTAINSIDE, NJ – The mayor and council of Mountainside have gone on record stating they had no knowledge of the incidents alleged in the lawsuit filed on May 11 against the borough “until the filing of the lawsuit.”

The borough has also “retained former New Jersey State Police Superintendent Joseph Santiago” to help restore public trust in the department, ...

Union County’s Free Summer Arts Concert Series Launches this Friday, June 22

June 19, 2018

Union County, NJ – The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra kicks off Union County’s 57th annual Summer Arts Festival series of free outdoor concerts sponsored by the Freeholder Board with an evening of Broadway favorites, beloved opera overtures and more on Friday June 22nd at 7:30 p.m. at Echo Lake Park in Mountainside.

Attendees are also invited to bring a mat ...

Union Catholic's Goldera Surles has Received a Prestigious Scholarship

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- Goldera Surles, one of the state's top bowlers during her career at Union Catholic, was recently awarded a very prestigious scholarship by The National Bowling Association, Inc.  

Surles, who will continue her bowling career at Molloy College in Rockville Centre, N.Y. this fall, was awarded the first place Owen O. Washington Scholarship, which was ...

Union’s Barbara Whitaker Sworn in as Advocate for Foster Youth

Elizabeth, NJ  — Union’s Barbara Whitaker is among the latest class of community volunteers to complete child advocacy training and take their oath from Superior Court Judge James Hely to become Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Union County.

Volunteers with CASA serve as extra eyes and ears for family law judges hearing cases involving the county’s abused, ...

Beatles Lecture @ Union Public Library

The Union Public Library will be hosting an interactive lecture about the early years of the Beatles on Monday, July 9th at 6:30 p.m as part of its “Libraries Rock!” summer series.  Presenter Paul Groom, who lived the first 17 years of his life in Liverpool, England and went to some of the same schools as the Beatles, will discuss the lesser known Beatles story about their days ...



AtlantiCast: Episode 16

Summer is in the air, and the latest episode of AtlantiCast is ready to help you enjoy some fun outdoors while staying safe! This week’s episode opens with tips for sunscreen usage from Atlantic Health System’s Chief Medical and Academic Officer, Dr. Jan Schwarz-Miller. You’ll also learn about how Atlantic Health System is advancing the future of health care through ...

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn (William Morrow, 2018)


A friend, whose opinion on literature I respect greatly, reported to me recently that she had just finished reading A.J. Finn's debut novel, The Woman in the Window. Of it she said, “I wish I hadn't finished it,” which I interpreted to mean, “It was so good I'm sorry that I finished it.” ...

What Union is Reading: Month ending May 2018

June 6, 2018

Some great new books have topped the list in May; how many have you read? The top circulating print books in six categories for the Union Public Library in May 2018 follows. The top circulated digital books from RBdigital make up the seventh category; download the app today and start borrowing books from home to read or listen on your phone or tablet!

For suggestions for similar reads, stop by ...

Could Monmouth Park's Haskell Invitational Be on Justify's Agenda?

June 13, 2018

ELMONT, NY — Triple Crown winner Justify came out of his stall to meet the media bright and bouncing on the morning after his gate-to-wire win in the 150th running of the Belmont Stakes.

When asked to assess his colt's win, Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert reported, “We were watching replays of the race. He could have gone around again.”

The brilliantly colored ...

Letters to the Editor

Get Empowered to Help Prevent Suicide

June 8, 2018

Over the past week social media and the news have been filled with stories and articles encouraging people to seek help if they’re in emotional distress. There have been countless articles about the need to break the silence around the topic of mental health and suicide, and I am encouraged by the support people are extending to others.

Often, the death by suicide by prominent ...