News from Nearby

Rahway Man Admits to Fatal Strangulation of Girlfriend

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A Rahway resident has admitted to strangling his girlfriend to death in 2015, Union County First Assistant Prosecutor Albert Cernadas Jr. announced Wednesday.

Ignacio Ortiz Vasquez, 42, earlier this week pleaded guilty to charges of first-degree murder and second-degree endangering the welfare of a child in connection with the death of 27-year- old Yuri Cruz. The pleas were entered just days before the scheduled start of his trial this coming Tuesday.

Rahway Police Department patrol units responded to the 900 block of Jacques Avenue in Rahway shortly after 2:30 a.m. on Saturday, September 12, 2015, to find an unresponsive Cruz, according to Union County Assistant Prosecutor Melissa Spagnoli, who is prosecuting the case. Cruz was pronounced dead at the scene shortly thereafter.

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A joint investigation by the Union County Homicide Task Force and the Rahway Police Department, assisted by the Union County Sheriff’s Office Identification Unit, revealed that Vasquez had strangled Cruz in her bed as she slept, just feet away from where their young son was also sleeping, Spagnoli said. Vasquez then left the scene.

Vasquez was arrested later that day and lodged in Union County Jail on $1 million bail. Sentencing in the case has been scheduled for Friday, June 8, 2018, before state Superior Court Judge Lisa Miralles Walsh.
Convictions on murder charges are punishable by up to life in state prison, with a mandatory 30-year minimum term.

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Union

2018 Summer Concert Series

May 22, 2018

UNION, NJ – The line-up for the Township of Union’s 2018 Summer Concert Series, kicking off on July 4, has been announced.  The series will feature concerts in the parks every Thursday in July.

“We have an outstanding lineup this year,” said Mayor Suzette Cavadas, “In addition to bringing back some fan favorites, we’ve added some brand ...

Scholarships Available to Union High School Graduates and the Class of 2018

UNION, NJ - The UTCAO Foundation, Inc. has announced the availability of the Oliver E. Young, Jr. Scholarship Fund to all graduates of Union High School and the class of 2018.

The Foundation, an independent subsidiary of the Union Township Community Action Organization, Inc. awards scholarships up to $1,500 per recipient.

An application and eligibility guidelines are available here.  ...

The Week Ahead in Union

UNION, NJ - Happenings in Union this week:

Monday, 5/21

Union Township Active Retirees (Monday Club), 9:00 a.m., Senior Center
Construction Zone, 3:15 p.m., Union Public Library
Read to Waldi, 4:15 p.m., Union Public Library
Career Coach, 5:30 p.m., Vauxhall Public Library
Hilton Readers Book Discussion Group: "Glass Castle" by Jeannette Walls, 6:00 p.m., Vauxhall ...

Union High School's April Female Athlete of the Month: Chidumga Nkulume

May 15, 2018

UNION, NJ – Union High School sophomore Chidumga Nkulume, a member of the Girls Track and Field, has been named April’s Athlete of the Month.

What’s your favorite part of being a high school athlete?. 

My favorite part about being a high school athlete is the attention. Everywhere you go, people know your important. It’s a really good confidence booster and it ...

Union High School's April Male Athlete of the Month: Zach Fernandez

UNION, NJ – Union High School junior Zach Fernandez, a member of the school’s baseball team, has been selected April’s Male Athlete of the Month.

What’s your favorite part of being a high school athlete?. 

My favorite part of being a high school athlete is having the opportunity to continue to play alongside my friends that I have been playing baseball with ...

Upcoming Events

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Tue, May 22, 11:00 AM

Vauxhall Public Library, Vauxhall

Pre-K STEM Story and Craft: Bubbles and Bath Time

Arts & Entertainment

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Tue, May 22, 2:00 PM

Union Public Library, Union

Tuesday at 2 Movie: "Crooked House"

Arts & Entertainment

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Tue, May 22, 4:30 PM

Union Public Library, Union

Crazy 8s Math Club

Education

Chibuike Obinnakwelu honored at YSU's Student Awards Banquet

May 21, 2018

YOUNGSTOWN, OH - Chibuike Obinnakwelu of Union was one of 65 students given special recognition at Youngstown State University's annual Student Awards Banquet. Obinnakwelu, a junior Exercise Science PT Track major, received the Presidential Mentor award in recognition of serving as a presidential mentor.

The event was sponsored by YSU Student Government, Student Experience and Student ...

Rae-Yanna Johnson Graduates from York College of Pennsylvania on May 12

YORK, PA (05/17/2018)-- Rae-Yanna Johnson of Union, NJ, 07083 graduated Cum Laude from York College of Pennsylvania on May 12. Johnson earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science.

A private college located in southcentral Pennsylvania, York College offers more than 50 baccalaureate majors in professional programs, the sciences and humanities to its 4,600 undergraduate students. The ...

Students from Union Initiated into The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi

BATON ROUGE, LA - The following Union residents were recently initiated at Kean University into The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, the nation's oldest and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines.

Jenny Borges 

Kimmarah Casey

Daryll Adrian Henson 

Laura Vidarte 

These residents are among approximately 30,000 students, faculty, ...

Hit-and-Run Driver Kills Pedestrian in North Plainfield

May 16, 2018

NORTH PLAINFIELD, NJ -  A 58-year-old man was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver early Tuesday morning on Watchung Ave.

The incident occurred at 1 a.m. as the victim, identified as Jose Humberto Burgos, a resident of Plainfield, was crossing the street, according to Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson.

Burgos was transported to Robert Wood Johnson University ...

An Evening of Career Explorations at Union High School

May 18, 2018

UNION, NJ - The Union High School PTA and Counseling Department will be hosting a 'Career Explorations' workshop on Monday, May 14.

Guest speakers will present a day in the life of their career and discuss training they have acquired.  A question and answer period will follow.

The event begins at 7:00 p.m. in the Union High School Library.

Burnet Middle School Hosts Poetry Workshop for Eighth Grade Students

Union, NJ – Burnet Middle School students in Erik Gabriel’s classes recently immersed themselves in the art form of figurative language to foster mastery of the tools of poetic writing.

The students moved through the unit surveying classical poets; those poets students could identify with in the contemporary world.  Classical and new age hip-hop allowed the students to ...

Livingston School PTA to Host Makeup Night

UNION, NJ - The Livingston School PTA will be hosting a Makeup Night on Wednesday, May 16.

The event will include makeup tips and tricks for the summer.  Learn from professional makeup artists Erica Jubin from Laura Mercier, Karinna Cabangon from NARS and Livingston parent Nicole Famarin.

Light refreshments and snacks will be served.  The event is for adults only.  There will ...

Jefferson School: Meetings Set for Incoming 5th Grade Students

UNION, NJ - Meetings have been scheduled for incoming 5th grade students to Jefferson School.  

Parents and students are invited (no siblings).  The meetings are set for Tuesday, June 5, in the Jefferson School Auditorium.  Sessions are scheduled by elementary school:

6:00 - 6:45 - Battle Hill, Connecticut Farms, Hannah Caldwell

7:00 - 7:45 - Franklin, Livingston, ...

Shop Til You Drop at the Battle Hill PTA Vender Fair

UNION, NJ - Battle Hill's Vendor Night is set for Friday, June 1, from 6:30 - 9:30 p.m. in the Battle Hill auditorium, 2600 Killian Place.

Table rental is $25 and includes two chairs.  Vendors are asked to donate a product to be raffled off that night.  Tables must be paid for by Friday, May 25.  

The vendor fair will be going on inside while the free ice cream ...

Union High School Twirlers: Winning Championships and Building Confidence

UNION, NJ – There’s a lot more to Union High School’s baton twirling team than what most people see at football games.  There are 11 girls on the twirling team, but only five on the competition team. 

This past weekend that team won another state championship title at the United States Twirling Association’s event.  According to coach Nicole Placca, this ...

Fallout Continues from Lawsuit Against Mountainside; Police Chief on Administrative Leave

May 20, 2018

MOUNTAINSIDE, NJ – Police Chief Allan Attanasio is the latest member of the police department to suffer repercussions from a complaint filed against the borough on May 11.  Attanasio, who is not named as a defendant in the lawsuit, was “placed on administrative leave,” on Thursday by Borough Administrator and former Police Chief James Debbie, said  Lt. Joseph ...

South Orange Village President Issues Statement About Traffic Stop of School Board Member

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - South Orange Village President Sheena Collum issued a statement on Thursday, addressing a video in which South Orange Maplewood School Board member Stephanie Lawson-Muhammad appeared to suggest that she would contact South Orange Village President Sheena Collum in regards to a traffic stop by police.

Lawson-Muhammad is heard on the video asking if the officer is from ...

News from South Orange: Video Shows School Board Member In Altercation With Police at Traffic Stop

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - South Orange Maplewood School Board Member Stephanie Lawson-Muhammad got into an altercation with a South Orange police officer who stopped her for speeding last month, in which she used profanity, complained when she was issued a ticket and called South Orange Police Chief Kyle Kroll “a skinhead cop.”

Lawson-Muhammad also appeared to suggest that she would ...

Roselle Park Police and Firemen Pull Man Who Was Resisting From Burning Car

ROSELLE PARK, NJ – Emergency responders tussled with a man who refused to leave a parked car engulfed in flames in the early hours of May 5. 

According to police, the initial call about the vehicle parked on the 100 Block of West Lincoln Avenue reported a strange noise coming from a vehicle causing a smoke condition, the caller also said that reported the car was possibly ...

Union County Celebrates National Trails Day with Free Guided Hikes and Activities, June 2

May 22, 2018

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders invites residents and visitors of all ages to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of National Trails Day at the Watchung Reservation on Saturday, June 2, where the County’s Trailside Nature & Science Center will host four different guided hikes and an Adopt-a-Trail volunteer activity along with special programs throughout the day for all ages. The ...

Union County Honors Residents During Military Appreciation Month

UNION COUNTY, NJ - Union County Freeholder Chairman Sergio Granados and Freeholder Alexander Mirabella present resolutions to local residents honoring those who served in the military and those who provide services to military veterans while expressing gratitude during Military Appreciation Month.

Those honored are: Joe O’Neil who is the President of Benner’s Auto Body in Cranford, ...

Sample Ballots Now Available on Union County Clerk Elections Website and App

Union County Clerk Joanne Rajoppi announces that sample ballots for the June 5 Primary Election are now available on the Union County Votes mobile app for Apple and Android devices, and on the County Clerk’s election website at unioncountyvotes.com.

“The mobile app and website enable voters to see their sample ballots quickly and conveniently on their computers, laptops and other ...

Columns

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 15

On this week’s AtlantiCast, learn some important tips for controlling and avoiding diabetes from an Atlantic Health System expert, see how Atlantic Health is advancing cutting-edge research, hear what’s being done to keep health care environmentally friendly and much more!

 

SURVIVING A STROKE: Quick Medical Response Gives Mom Her Life Back

Carotid artery dissection. It’s one of the most common causes of stroke in younger adults.

And while you might not associate the word “stroke” with younger patients, the condition – if not treated immediately – could lead to paralysis and even death.

Lindsey Singh can attest to the importance of immediacy. The 31-year-old mother of two from Flanders experienced ...

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah (St. Martin's Press, 2018)

            What is the “final frontier” on the Earth's surface? Many people would say Alaska, the 49th state, which was added to the United States fifty years ago. Once one has traveled to that remote land, it is impossible to forget the magnificence of the terrain and beasts. Floating by ship in Glacier Bay, surrounded by ...

The Man in Room 306 at the Luna Stage, West Orange, NJ

            The Luna Stage, a Jersey theater gem, chose to revive its 1995 world premiere drama, The Man in Room 306, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the slaying of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Starring Jamil A.C. Mangan as Dr. King, this 90 minute production portrays Dr. King in the last hours of his life as he struggles to write a speech for the Poor ...

'Turning Off the Morning News' brings comic twist

‘Turning Off the Morning News’ tackles today’s issues with a comic twist

By Liz Keill

PRINCETON, N J – Despite the late night comics, no one quite captures the insanity of the political/social status world like Christopher Durang.

His latest play, “Turning off the Morning News” hit the ground running.  John Pankow as Jimmy addresses the audience, ...

'To Kill a Mockingbird' Sustains Timeless Appeal

SUMMIT, NJ – The Summit Playhouse provides a stellar production of a much loved classic, “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

The Harper Lee novel, later a Gregory Peck film and now a stage production, retains all the warmth, intensity and integrity that made it such an appealing hit in the 1960s. And there will be a new production on Broadway in December with a script by Aaron Sorkin ...

What Union is Reading: April 2018

May 9, 2018

What Union is Reading: Month ending April 2018

Some great new books have topped the list last month; how many have you read? The top circulating print books in six categories for the Union Public Library in April 2018 follows. The top circulated digital books from RBdigital make up the seventh category, download the app today and start borrowing books from home!

Coming soon: the library ...

Tour of Somerville Weekend: Quarter-Mile Sprints Add High-Speed Dynamic

May 20, 2018

SOMERVILLE, NJ  - The grand daddy of ‘em  all, the 75-year-old Tour of Somerville 50-mile bicycle race, anchors a weekend of world class cycling in Bound Brook and downtown Somerville May 24-28, with a new event added Sunday night to draw more spectators downtown.

Spectators this year will see an additional day of racing beginning with the Bound Brook Criterium on ...

Neighbor Tells Grandma of Roxbury Kid With Cancer to Clean Her Yard, Town Responds in Force

ROXBURY, NJ — The dark side of humanity presented itself last Friday to Landing resident Elise Ryan. It came in the form of anonymous letter, stuck in her mailbox, telling her to "show some pride" and clean up her property.

The bright side of humanity showed up today. Dozens of Roxbury residents - including many young people - converged to tidy up the ...

Letters to the Editor

Why I Support Peter Jacob For Congress 2018

May 22, 2018

I strongly urge all registered Democrats or Unaffiliated to vote for Peter Jacob in the NJ-7 primary on 6/5. Peter has name recognition and the experience running one of the most cost effective congressional campaigns in the U.S. during 2016, an example that he walks the talk to get big money out of politics. In addition, his support for health care for all, a $15 minimum wage, free tuition at ...

Peter Jacob, Clear Choice for CD7

To the editor,

In the fall of 2016, I was driving down Main Street in Flanders. As I always do before an election, I was conferring with my sister about the available choices for voting on my way to the polls. The last thing I said before I hung up, “You are going to want to make sure you check out Peter Jacob.” He is a 30 year old social worker who works with the ...