SOPAC Director Leaves, Millburn High School Falls From Top Perch in Essex News
The top headlines from around Essex County as brought to you from the Patch editors who know these towns best.
Michael Bollinger is leaving his position as executive director of South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC), effective immediately.
His sudden departure, a decision he said was mutual, comes two years after Bollinger was appointed to the position. Bollinger’s interim replacement is SOPAC director of development Linda Onorevole.
"The board has decided it was time for a change," SOPAC Director of Marketing and Communications Scott Sullivan told Patch.
In this year's New Jersey Monthly Magazine's list of top public high schools, Millburn fell from its place at number one, for the first time since 2008, to number eight.
However, Superintendent Dr. James Crisfield, said, "it's an honor just to be in the top 10."
According to school officials, Millburn's ranking dropped mainly due to the rise in high school class size but Crisfield said he's not concerned.
"We've maintained our elite achievements with fewer teachers than other schools," he said. "What matters is how our students are achieving."
Two men arrested in Monday’s home invasion turned robbery are reported gang members, according to the West Orange Police Department.
Known gang members Andrew Benjamin, 20, of Newark, and Michael Owens, 19, of Plainfield, were arrested on Monday morning after fleeing from a home they were burglarizing on Nestro Road.
The Cedar Grove monkey statue dressed like President Barack Obama is no more.
Neighbors in Cedar Grove said they saw the statue, which people said had racial implications, outside Don-Ric Self Storage on Little Falls Road on Saturday.
While no one knows what happened to the statue, it was gone on Monday.
Montclair's new superintendent, Dr. Penny MacCormack, is expected to put the school district "on the map," according to Leslie Larson, vice president of the board of education.
Larson, who headed the board's search committee for a new superintendent, talked with Patch on Thursday about the recent search for a new superintendent that led to the hiring of MacCormack.
She described MacCormack as someone with incredibly high standards who expects to be in Montclair schools — instead of in an office — at least 40 percent of the time.
The top brass of the Newark Police Department appeared before the municipal council Tuesday to discuss the agency’s proposed budget for 2012, by far the largest component of the city’s $592 million spending plan.
The council is in the midst of reviewing the individual budgets for each of the city’s agencies ahead of a vote on the overall city budget introduced by Mayor Cory Booker several months ago.
Council members praised Chief Sheilah Coley and Police Director Samuel DeMaio for making do with staffing levels that are at historic lows in the wake of cost-cutting measures enacted after the 2008 economic meltdown.
Millburn police have issued a summons to a 37-year-old Millburn man as a result of last week’s Millburn Avenue hit-and-run accident involving an SUV and bicyclist.
Maplewood will begin collaborating with an urban design and planning firm in the fall to help the township decide how to develop its crown jewel property, the Post Office site.
Located in the heart of the Village next to historic Ricalton Square, the Maplewood Post Office will vacate its space in November of 2013.
Caldwell Police are investigating an early morning car crash that sent two teenagers to the hospital.
A teenager driving a dark sedan crashed into a tree at 61 Mountain Ave. in Caldwell, near the intersection of Orient Way. The accident, which didn't involve any other cars, occurred at approximately 1:57 a.m. last Friday, according to police.
Montclair Police are reporting yet another wave of graffiti and vandalism incidents including one that resulted in damage to the benches outside Montclair High School.
Montclair Police Det. Lt. Angel Roman said that most incidents seem to involve juveniles, adding that the number is "probably rising" because it's summer and school's out.
One year after Tropical Storm Irene crashed Shea and Matthew Bailey's wedding, the married couple got a second chance they couldn’t believe would ever happen.
The Baileys planned their wedding for Aug. 27, 2011, in Asbury Park, the day after Gov. Chris Christie told New Jersey beach-goers to “get the hell off the beach” because of the approaching tropical storm. Instead of a wedding surrounded by more than 100 of their friends on the beach, the two were married at a rehearsal dinner with the few guests that could attend.
Sam Braverman and Alexa Kay are two friends who share a lot in common. Both girls are six-years-old, with two younger sisters each and entering first grade. But perhaps their biggest bond is that both girls suffer from hearing loss and wear hearing aids.
Sam, Alexa and their fellow hearing impaired friend, 9-year-old Eli Reiman, will be joining forces to raise money for New York City’s annual Walk4Hearing, which raises money to support those who are hearing disabled. The three Livingston youths will be manning a lemonade stand on September 15 from 10:30 a.m. – 1:20 p.m. at 16 Broadlawn Drive, across the street from Mt. Pleasant Elementary school.