Other NJ News

Sears Set to Close Watchung Store, Report Says

Credits: Sean Conklin

WATCHUNG, NJ — Struggling retailer Sears, which announced in January that it would close 150 non-profitable stores (108 Kmart and 42 Sears locations), to stem its mounting losses, is set to close the iconic Watchung store at Terrill Road on U.S. Route 22 East, according to a report by Business Insider. The company has not yet issued a press release on the latest round of store closings.

The Business Insider report, based on an internal company memo, stated that most of the stores are expected to shut in September, although no formal date was given for the Watchung store's closing.

In May, Seritage Growth Properties, which leases 224 wholly-owned properties to Sears Holdings, went before the Watchung Planning Board to discuss redevelopment of the property. Among the issues was the fate of the building's famed 16-by-10-foot "Legend of Watchung" mural on its main level.

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Sears, once a powerful retailing giant, had 3,500 stores in its chain in 2010. The continued closures of unprofitable stores have dwindled the number to roughly 1,200 nationwide. 

"We are taking strong, decisive actions today to stabilize the company and improve our financial flexibility in what remains a challenging retail environment," said Edward S. Lampert, Chairman & CEO of Sears Holdings, when he announced store closings in January. 

"Going forward, Sears will be more focused on our Shop Your Way membership platform, a network with tens of millions of active members, and our Integrated Retail strategy in order to be a more nimble, innovative and relevant retailer that is better able to provide value and convenience to our customers," Mr. Lampert continued.

The Sears chain of department stores was founded by Richard Warren Sears and Alvah Curtis Roebuck in 1886. It started as a mail ordering catalog company specializing in the sale of watches. The company expanded its offerings, and in 1888 introduced the famed Sears Catalog, which eventually grew to over 500 pages from which customers could buy goods by mail order. Sears Roebuck began opening retail locations in 1925 in both rural and urban America. By the 1990s, the company eliminated its catalog sales, which had become unprofitable as internet shopping gained in popularity.

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Plainfield Convicted Felon, Sister Charged in Indictment Stemming from Violent Encounter with Law Enforcement

March 20, 2018

NEWARK, NJ – A brother and sister from Plainfield were indicted on Monday on drug distribution, felony possession of a firearm, obstruction of justice and other charges resulting from a violent encounter with law enforcement officers in October 2017, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito has announced.

Arthur Forman, 35, is charged with possession of cocaine, marijuana, and oxycodone ...

Mayor Brindle’s Update, Feb. 13

March 14, 2018

The following are highlights from the update that Mayor Shelley Brindle gave at Tuesday night’s town council meeting.

Last week’s back to back nor’easters left a wave of destruction that Westfield hasn’t experienced since Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Three thousand homes lost power. Over 40 roads were closed due to downed wires and/or trees. Our police responded to ...

Upcoming Events


Fri, March 23, 12:00 PM

Resolve, Scotch Plains

Free Teen Anxiety Group (Ages 14-17) at Resolve

Sat, March 24, 10:00 AM

Burent Middle School , Union

Union County Wide - March for Our Lives

Government Law & Justice


Sun, March 25, 11:00 AM

Shackamaxon Country Club, Scotch Plains

Hear Our Voices: MemoryCare Plays

Health & Wellness

Westfield Police Blotter: DWI, Reported Fraud & More

March 14, 2018

March 7, 2018 2:06 a.m.

Carlos C. Mendoza, age 33, of Garwood, NJ, was arrested on the strength of three Westfield Municipal Court warrants ($750) pursuant to a traffic stop in the area of South Avenue in Scotch Plains. Subject was transported to Westfield Police HQ where he was processed and refused after posting bail.


March 9, 2018 2:09 p.m.

A resident of Sandra Circle ...

UC Tech Student Volunteers Put Fun and Games to Work for Special Needs Learners

March 20, 2018

Earlier this month, a group of 51 students in grades 9 to 11 from the Teacher Education Academy at UC TECH staged an indoor carnival for special needs learners. More than 140 participants from the community attended the event and enjoyed plinko, corn hole, dance revolution, hula hoop activities, a DJ, prizes and more.

UC TECH is part of the Union County Vocational-Technical School District. It ...

'Trying' explores age, youth and points of history in poignant production

‘Trying’ explores youth, age and points of history in poignant production

By Liz Keill

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – The George Street Playhouse presents an engrossing, two-character play based on the real life of Francis Biddle, former Attorney General.

Biddle, a Harvard educated lawyer, served under Franklin Roosevelt and later Harry Truman during the Nuremberg Tribunal. His ...

Gratitude Goes to the Girls! Mindful Monday Series - # 1

March 19, 2018

I am thrilled to launch our first edition of "Mindful Mondays" today!  Why Mindful Mondays? After several years of working with individuals in a variety of settings, many have asked me: "What's all this mindfulness about anyway?"  I often respond with, "It's different for everyone," but in general I begin with this definition ...

16 Homes Sold Last Week in Westfield, Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Mountainside & Cranford

Sixteen homes sold last week, March 11 to March 18, 2018, in Westfield, Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Mountainside and Cranford:*


TOWN        ADDRESS                  STYLE           RMS    ...

Charitable Spirit Alive and Well in Westfield Public Schools

Students, staff and parents in Westfield Public Schools continue the district’s long tradition of helping others both in and outside of the community, with a number of students recently recognized for their efforts.

Fifteen Westfield High School juniors and sophomores were honored by the Community Food Bank of New Jersey for collecting more than 5,000 pounds of food items for families in ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 13

On this episode of AtlantiCast, new clinical studies in the fields of cardiology and immunotherapy, national and statewide recognitions for Atlantic Health System medical centers and the inaugural AtlantiCast Collab Challenge!


The Day After

Some years ago, the United Nations held the International Summit on Sustainable Development, here in Johannesburg. The Summit was a great success. One wonders, though, whether all the wonderful decisions and resolutions that were adopted were ever implemented. In other words, were they themselves sustainable?

Good ideas and worthwhile projects are suggested regularly. The question is, do they ...


Kathleen Marie Christian (nee Helmstetter), age 73 of Surf City, NJ, passed away peacefully at home ...
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Suspended Hillsborough HS Athletic Director Charged with Theft

March 19, 2018

HILLSBOROUGH, NJ — Suspended Hillsborough High School Athletic Director Michael Fanizzi has been arrested and charged with the theft of $10,704 in athletic event receipts over a four-year period from 2013-2017, according to Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson.

Fanizzi, 53, a resident of Conover Way in Hillsborough who had been athletics director for 14 years, had been ...