Racism Charges, Newark Child Killed in Essex News
The top headlines from around Essex County as brought to you from the Patch editors who know these towns best.
The owner of a local storage business who dressed a monkey statue in an anti-Obama T-shirt said Wednesday the statement was not racially motivated.
“It was not meant to be racial," business owner Rick Bond told Patch.
Bond, a former councilman and police officer, placed the statue in front of his Cedar Grove business, Don-Ric Self Storage at 405 Little Falls Road but removed it Tuesday afternoon after people started complaining.
“I absolutely never thought of it as racial,” Bond said. “It’s ridiculous.”
The monkey statue sported a T-shirt saying “OMG Obama Must Go.”
A 7-year-old girl is dead after being mowed down by a car on Central Avenue Monday evening in Newark, the Essex County Prosecutor's Office has confirmed.
Jamyah Harris, of Newark, was struck near the intersection of Central and Fairmount avenues shortly after 6 p.m., authorities said. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
Authorities have identified the man responsible for the murder of a bouncer at Misty’s Restaurant and Bar on Monday.
Nolvin Garcia, 24, of Orange, is wanted by The Essex County Prosecutor’s Office for the shooting and killing of Jacques Nelson, 32, of Orange.
Nelson, a father of four, was employed at the bar, located at 277 Main St., as a bouncer. He was fatally shot around 2 a.m. on Monday when he attempted to break up a fight in the municipal parking lot behind the bar.
Two South Orange teenagers had shots fired at them late Thursday night on Irvington Avenue, following an altercation with a driver of a car in Maplewood near the South Orange border, according to Sgt. Christopher Black of the Maplewood Police Department. The teenagers were not injured; however, two houses in South Orange were struck and damaged.
The teenagers, ages 16 and 18, were crossing Irvington Avenue near the intersection of Seton Place in South Orange at shortly after 10 p.m. when the driver swerved at one of them, cursed at him and then pulled his car to the side of the road just over the Maplewood border, Black said.
Two lawsuits filed by residents challenging the township’s financial agreement and $6.3 million in general obligation bonds for the Edison Village redeveloper were dismissed in state Superior Court.
In April, Residents Kevin Malanga and E. Michael Taylor sought to overturn an ordinance passed by the council in March to grant a 30-year tax exemption for the redeveloper, Prism Green Associates IV LLC.
The lawsuit was dismissed on July 27 in state Superior Court.
The Montclair School Board voted Monday night to terminate Samantha Morra's position as assistant principal of Mount Hebron Middle School and return her to a teaching position in the district.
Montclair school district officials confirmed last month that the central office was investigating Morra to determine whether she enrolled her children in Montclair schools using a Montclair mailing address that is actually part of the Little Falls school district.
A 27-year-old West Orange man, who police say was traveling 116 miles per hour on a motorcycle, was injured after crashing into a median.
Cedar Grove police said Vincent M. Stanziale was speeding on the motorcycle south on Pompton Avenue in the township near the Pilgrim Shopping Plaza at 3:22 a.m. Sunday.
Police said the motorcycle struck a median at the southern end of the shopping center.
After striking the median, Stanziale then hit a “No U-turn” sign and was ejected from the motorcycle and skidding more than 300 feet before landing at the intersection of Pompton Avenue and Vincent Place.
Sixteen-year-old Jessica Pastore tap dances, swims, goes to the theater, sings in her church choir and “always has a smile on her face,” according to friends and family. In fact, she is well-known in the Bloomfield community for her cheerful, bubby personality and game-for-anything attitude.
What makes Jessica remarkable is that she is blind. Diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor at the age of five, Jessica last year underwent surgery to relieve the pressure on her optic nerve. Instead, when she awoke from the operation her vision was gone.
Jessica’s parents, Tony and Myra Pastore, sat down with Patch this week to discuss their daughter and a theatrical show being performed in her honor. Talent Time, a charitable theater company based in Bloomfield, recently approached the family about performing a show for Jessica.
Livingston’s proposed jitney to South Orange moved one step closer to reality on Monday as the town council approved an ordinance establishing the transportation route on its first reading. The ordinance now goes to a second reading and final vote on Sep. 4.
Several women had their purses stolen while they were parked at a West Caldwell town pool Friday afternoon.
The burglar or burglars smashed the windows of four cars parked at the Westville Pool between 1:45 and 3:15 p.m., according to the West Caldwell Police.
A pocketbook was nabbed from each of the cars. The purses contained cash, credit cards, driver’s licenses and other personal items, police said.
After nearly a decade of discussion, planning, controversy and false starts, township officials on Tuesday broke ground for the new apartment building that will rise on the site of the former Maplewood Police Station at 125 Dunnell Road.
“Ecstatic,” said Mayor Vic DeLuca when asked how he felt about the event. Township Committeeman Jerry Ryan said, “I’m thrilled this day is finally here.”
The new project, called “The Station House,” is a 50-unit, LEED-certified apartment complex with a mix of one- and two-bedroom rentals (46 units at market rate and four affordable housing units), as well as 60 on-site parking spaces.
The Newark Water Group presented a petition to the city clerk’s office Wednesday asking for an ordinance that would prevent the city from placing water and sewer operations under control of a utility authority without direct voter approval.
“It took just a few weeks to gather signatures,” said Terri Suess, one of the organizers of the drive.
Belleville Township leaders are building a new recreation facility to expand day care services and senior citizen exercise programs.
The new building – which will take the place of the former Friendly House – is scheduled to be construction in Belleville’s Silver Lake section with the help of $589,000 in Community Development Block Grant money.
Nutley volunteers are calling to check that senior citizens who live alone are safe and well.
The Senior Call program uses trained volunteers to place daily telephone calls to check on the well being of Nutley senior citizens aged 65 or older who live alone and register for the calls, according to Commissioner Steven Rogers.