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Saturday, October 31, 2015

Photo of the Day 10/31/15


This photo shows McCarter Highway/Route 21 in Newark.

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Friday, October 30, 2015

President Barack Obama to Visit Rutgers-Newark


Newark, New Jersey: President Barack Obama will visit Rutgers University - Newark on Monday, November 2nd. According to the university, President Obama will come in the afternoon to the Center for Law and Justice, and will speak about mass incarceration and the re-entry of former inmates to society as part of a discussion. His speech will stream live on the White House website.

President Obama's visit to Newark was announced earlier this week, though the specific location was not revealed until today. 

Classes in the center will be not be held throughout the day, and several parking decks and lots will be closed. In addition, parts of Warren, Washington, Linden, New, and Bleeker Streets, and part of University Avenue will be closed from 12:00pm to 5:00pm. A heavy police presence is expected in the area.

According to the City of Newark, the president will also visit the Integrity House center near Lincoln Park.

President Obama will arrive at Newark Liberty International Airport on Air Force One on Monday, and will visit New York after leaving Newark.

Click here to learn more.

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Sprint Store Opens in Ivy Hill


Newark, New Jersey: Sprint Wireless has opened a new retail location in Newark's West Ward. 

The Sprint Store, located in the Rose Hill Plaza in the Ivy Hill neighborhood, was formerly a RadioShack location. The store is one of nearly 1,500 former RadioShack locations that Sprint has opened locations in. 

All of Essex County's RadioShack locations have seen different fates. An AT&T Store will open in the former Orange location, while the Livingston store closed. 

Rose Hill Plaza, located at 525 Irvington Avenue across from the Maplewood border, is currently undergoing renovations. 

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Pet Expo Coming to Livingston


Livingston, New Jersey: An event in Livingston this weekend will feature a variety of organizations dedicated to animal welfare. The Livingston Pet Expo will be held at The Shoppes at Livingston Circle, formerly known as The Village at Livingston, on Sunday, November 1st from 1:00pm to 5:00pm. A variety of animal rescue, adoption, and education agencies will be present, including the Seeing Eye Puppy Project of Essex County, the Montclair Township Animal Shelter, People for Animals, and Eleven Hour Rescue. In addition, cat food will be accepted for donation, and extra Halloween candy will be accepted to donate to members of the United States Military. The event will be sponsored by the Township of Livingston, the Friends of the Livingston Animal Shelter, and Eastman Companies. The plaza is located near Route 10 at 277 Eisenhower Parkway. Click here to learn more.

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Learn About the Statue of Liberty in Millburn


Millburn, New Jersey: The Millburn Free Public Library will host a program regarding the Statue of Liberty. On Sunday, November 1st, historian Kevin Woyce will speak about the history of the statue that towers over the New York Harbor. Woyce is the author of the new book Liberty: An Illustrated History of America's Favorite Statue. The event, which will be sponsored by the Friends of the Library, will begin at 2:00pm. It will be held in the auditorium. The event is free and open to the public, and registration can be made online. The Millburn Free Public Library is located at 200 Glen Avenue near the corner of Lackawanna Place. Click here to learn more.

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Photo of the Day 10/30/15


This photo shows rush hour traffic at Raymond Plaza outside of Newark Penn Station at nightfall.

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Thursday, October 29, 2015

Glen Ridge Library to Accept Extra Halloween Candy


Glen Ridge, New Jersey: Halloween is this Saturday, and several municipalities across Greater Newark will celebrate the holiday. One local library has announced a Halloween related event that will be held following the holiday. From Monday, November 2nd to Saturday, November 7th, the Glen Ridge Public Library will accept unwanted or extra Halloween candy. Donations can be brought in during regular library hours, and the candy will be donated to the Operation Gratitude organization. The organization will pack the candy into care packages to send to members of the United States Military. The Glen Ridge Public Library is located at 240 Ridgewood Avenue, at the corner of Bloomfield Avenue. Click here to learn more.

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Bloomfield Library to Host Blood Drive


Bloomfield, New Jersey: The Bloomfield Public Library will host a community blood drive this weekend. Community Blood Services, which supplies blood to 30 area hospitals, will be present at the library on Saturday, October 31st from 10:00am to 2:00pm. Appointments can be made by calling (201) 251-3703, and donors who make appointments will be seen first. No one under the age of 16 can donate, though 16 year olds can donate if their parent or guardian fills out a consent form. Senior citizens may not donate without bringing a note from a doctor. All donors must eat in advance and must weigh at least 110 pounds. The Bloomfield Public Library is located near Bloomfield College at 90 Broad Street, next to the Bloomfield Civic Center. Click here to learn more.

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Short Hills Street Fair Returns This Weekend


Short Hills, New Jersey: An annual Millburn Township tradition will return this weekend. The Short Hills Art & Street Fair will take place from 10:00am to 4:00pm this Sunday, November 1st. Millburn Avenue will be closed from Short Hills Avenue to Baltusrol Way, near the Springfield border. There will be a variety of activities for children, including inflatable rides, pony rides, games, and a petting zoo. There will also be clowns and jugglers, and the NJ 101.5FM Jersey Prize Team will be present from 12:00pm to 2:00pm. In addition, there will be crafters, vendors, and artists. Parking is available on side streets, and transportation is available by taking NJ Transit Bus 70 to the corner of Morris and Millburn Avenues in Springfield. The event will be presented by the Millburn-Short Hills Chamber of Commerce. Click here to learn more, or call (973) 379-1198.

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Photo of the Day 10/29/15


This photo shows Route 280 at the Stickel Bridge in Newark at nightfall.

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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Walgreens Acquiring Essex County Rite Aid Locations


Newark, New Jersey: Walgreens will soon own more drugstore locations in Essex County than any other pharmacy.

The drugstore's parent company, Deerfield, Illinois-based Walgreens Boots Alliance, announced on Tuesday that it will acquire East Pennsboro, Pennsylvania-based Rite Aid Corporation. 

All of the Rite Aid locations in Greater Newark are located in the eastern half of Essex County, while Walgreens locations are spread throughout the county. There are 13 Rite Aid locations in Bloomfield, Irvington, Newark, Nutley, South Orange, and West Orange. Walgreens currently has 11 Essex County locations. 

The other drugstore chain with a large Essex County presence, CVS/pharmacy, has 14 locations in the county.

In recent years, Walgreens has expanded its Greater Newark presence by acquiring Duane Reade locations in Newark and Irvington and the Drug Fair location in Fairfield. The company closed the Duane Reade drugstores and converted the Fairfield Drug Fair into a Walgreens location. 

Rite Aid expanded its presence in Essex County in 2006 by acquiring Eckerd Pharmacy, which had operated several locations in the area.

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Caldwell Businesses Open for Trick-or-Treaters


Caldwell, New Jersey: Children in West Essex can go trick-or-treating at local businesses in addition to homes this year. According to the Caldwell Merchants Association, 'Safe Halloween' trick-or-treating will be allowed at businesses along Bloomfield Avenue in Downtown Caldwell from 12:00pm to 4:00pm. Owners of several local businesses will distribute candy to children. Caldwell Police Department officers will be present at several street corners to help children and their parents cross safely. Click here to learn more.

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Watsessing Park Friends to Hold Cleanup Event


Bloomfield, New Jersey: A new organization in Bloomfield will hold its first event this week. The Friends of Watsessing Park Conservancy's First Annual Fall Cleanup will be held on Sunday, November 1st from 10:00am to 2:00pm. Attendees will remove trash and other items from the Watsessing Park grounds in East Orange and Bloomfield. Free coffee and bagels from IHOP will be given to volunteers, who should meet at the Essex County Lawn Bowling Club in the park. Watsessing Park is located on Bloomfield Avenue between John F. Kennedy Drive South and Conger Street. Click here to learn more, or send an email to watsessingpark@gmail.com.

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Photo of the Day 10/28/15


Bamberger's Department Store in Downtown Newark may have closed in 1986, but this ghost sign still towers over Halsey Street. It was one of the largest department stores in the country.

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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Policing Forum Coming to Newark


Newark, New Jersey: A forum regarding policing in Newark will be held next month in University Heights. Rutgers University-Newark's Center for Law and Justice's program will discuss police body cameras, Newark's new civilian police review board, and the federal monitor consent degree with the Newark Police Department. It will be held on Wednesday, November 11th beginning at 6:00pm. Sponsors include the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice, New Jersey Communities Forward, the Urban League of Essex County, the Rutgers University-Newark School of Criminal Justice, Noble, the NAACP, and the New Jersey Attorney General's Office. The center is located in room 070 of 123 Washington Street. Click here to learn more.

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Celebrate Halloween in East Orange


East Orange, New Jersey: The City of East Orange will hold events to celebrate Halloween. 

On Friday, October 30th, there will be a haunted house at Elmwood Park. Children can come in costume from 5:00pm to 8:00pm, though adults must accompany their children. Food will be served, and the event will be sponsored by Third Ward Councilman Ted Green and Councilwoman Quilla E. Talmadge. Elmwood Park is located near the corner of Rhode Island and Freeman Avenues.

Then, on Halloween day, the Second Ward Community Halloween Party will be held at Rowley Park from 12:00pm to 4:00pm. There will be a variety of foods, games, and prizes at the event, which will be presented by Councilman Romal Bullock and Jacquelyn Johnson. Rowley Park is located at 103 North Arlington Avenue, between William and Summit Streets.

Click here to learn more.

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Photo of the Day 10/27/15


This photo shows Newark's historic Kreuger-Scott Mansion and St. James A.M.E. Church. The mansion is currently abandoned.

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Monday, October 26, 2015

Halloween Parade Returning to Maplewood Village


Maplewood, New Jersey: A Maplewood tradition will return to the township again this week. The Maplewood Village Halloween Parade will be held one day before the holiday on Friday, October 30th. From 2:30pm to 5:30pm, Maplewood Avenue will be closed as families go trick-or-treating at businesses in Maplewood Village between Baker Street and Durand Road. Hundreds of people are expected to attend. No parking on Maplewood Avenue and the Ricalton Square parking lot will be permitted after 1:00pm, though interested attendees can take the train to the event using the Maplewood Train Station. The Maplewood Chamber of Commerce and the Maplewood Village Alliance will sponsor the event, and there will be a costume contest for children. Click here to learn more.

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Students Can Spend the Night at the Orange Library


Orange, New Jersey: Students in Orange could begin Halloween morning at the Orange Public Library as part of a new program. The Read-In event will allow middle school students to sleep in the library from Friday, October 30th to Saturday, October 31st. Admission to the event, which will be supervised by staff, is free. Dinner and breakfast will be served, and there will be tours of the library, video presentations, games, scavenger hunts, competitions, and more. In addition, attendees will create videos for Channel 35, Orange's public access station. The registration deadline is October 27th. The event will be sponsored by the Orange Public Library, the Orange Housing Authority, and the City of Orange. Click here to learn more, or call library director Timur Davis at (973) 673-0153.

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Noodlefan to Open in South Orange


South Orange, New Jersey: An Asian restaurant franchise will open a location in the South Orange Village Center. 

Noodlefan of South Orange will be located at 14 Academy Street, between Irvington Avenue and First Street. 

The restaurant specializes in Thai food, and menu items range from chicken satay to oxtail soup to curry.

This will be the first location in Essex County for the Union County-based chain. There are other locations in Monroe, Elizabeth, Union, and Jersey City. The Elizabeth location opened last week, and the company will soon expand to Jersey City's Journal Square and Staten Island, New York.

The space that will be occupied by Noodlefan was previously part of the Family Buffet Restaurant and Bar, which closed at the beginning of this year. The building was recently renovated and subdivided, and one of the spaces is now used by the South Orange Convenient Stop. 

Click here to learn more.

UPDATE 11/3/16: According to Bob Zuckerman of the South Orange Village Center Alliance, the restaurant will open next week.

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Photo of the Day 10/26/15


This photo shows the view of the buildings surrounding Washington Street and University Avenue as seen from Newark Broad Street Station.

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Sunday, October 25, 2015

Photo of the Day 10/25/15


This mural is located under Route 280 in Newark's Central Ward.

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Saturday, October 24, 2015

Photo of the Day 10/24/15


This photo shows Newark's Riverfront Stadium, the former home of the Newark Bears.

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Friday, October 23, 2015

Stop & Shop Opens South Orange Supermarket


South Orange, New Jersey: The new Stop & Shop supermarket in South Orange opened its doors to shoppers Friday morning. 

The store, located at 407 Valley Street near the Maplewood border, operated as a Pathmark location until October 14th. New lighting, signage, and refrigeration systems were installed during the past week, and several former Pathmark employees are now employed by Stop & Shop

The South Orange Pathmark was the only supermarket owned by The Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company (A&P) in Essex County to have been acquired by Stop & Shop, which is based in Massachusetts. Although two Essex County markets that were owned by A&P were sold to Pennsylvania-based ACME Markets, most locations have not been sold. These stores will close in the near future should no company offer to purchase them.

The new South Orange supermarket is one of several changes that have been made to the Valley Street corridor in the village and neighboring Maplewood in recent months. A CVS/pharmacy location opened in Maplewood in June where an A&P supermarket once stood, and Blink Fitness recently announced plans to build a club location at the other side of Stop & Shop's parking lot. According to public records, Blink Fitness had been considering South Orange for a new location for several months. In addition, a new mixed use development consisting of apartments and retail space is slated to be completed by the end of this year at the corner of Valley and Third Streets.






Above: The supermarket was previously a Pathmark Super Center


Above: Blink Fitness will build a location at this site

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Bloomfield Police to Hold Open House


Bloomfield, New Jersey: The Bloomfield Police Department will open its doors to the public again this year. The annual department open house will be held on Thursday, October 29th, from 6:00pm to 8:00pm. Members of the community are encouraged to come to this free event. Tours of police headquarters will be offered, and there will be food, drinks, giveaways, activities for children, and face painting. The Bloomfield Police Department headquarters is located at 1 Municipal Plaza, between Bloomfield Avenue and Franklin Street. Parking is available in nearby lots and on surrounding streets, and transportation is available using local buses and the GO28 express bus. Click here to learn more.

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Photo of the Day 10/23/15


This photo shows the view of Maplewood and Union County from Columbia High School's observation deck.

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Thursday, October 22, 2015

M&M's Halloween Pop-Up Store to Open in Downtown Newark



Newark, New Jersey: M&M's is returning to Newark, but only for two days. 


Mars Chocolate, the makers of M&M's candies, will open an M&M's Halloween Pop-Up Store in Downtown on Tuesday, October 27th and Wednesday, October 28th from 10:00am to 7:00pm. Free costumes will be distributed to young children who come with a parent or guardian, and free candy will be distributed to all attendees

The store will be located within the Newark Pop-Up Shops space in the National Newark Building at 744 Broad Street. The space used to be occupied by a Verizon Wireless store before it moved a few doors away.

On October 28th, from 4:00pm to 8:00pm, there will be an M&M's Family Fun Zone event for children at the John F. Kennedy Recreation Center in the Central Ward. There will be a variety of activities and games, and Kelly Rowland will reportedly greet attendees. The center is located at 211 West Kinney Street. 

The first M&M's Pop-Up Store opened in Hackettstown, Warren County in 2012, near the company headquarters and factory.

Although M&M's candies are now made in Hackettstown, they were originally produced by the Mars family in Newark. The first company factory was located on Badger Street in the Clinton Hill section of the South Ward. The plant later moved to North 12th Street in the North Ward before moving to a former farm in Hackettstown. The North Ward plant building is now owned by an art storage company, and houses have been built in the past five years at the site of the South Ward plant.

Click here to learn more.

Above: File photo of the M&M's Pop-Up Store in Hackettstown, Warren County


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Greenwood Gardens to Hold 'Haunted' Event


Short Hills, New Jersey: Greenwood Gardens in Short Hills will hold a Halloween-themed event next week. 'Haunted Greenwood' will be held on Friday, October 30th, from 5:00pm to 7:00pm. Peter Blanchard III, the founder and a current trustee of Greenwood Gardens, will guide attendees on "an encounter with the mysteries of the garden". The gardens were once home to Blanchard's family, and he grew up on the property. Registration is required for this event. Tickets cost $10 for garden members and $20 for members of the general public. Click here to learn more.

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Food Mart Coming to 18th Avenue in Newark


Newark, New Jersey: A new market will open in Newark's West Ward in the near future. Food Mart International will be located at 910 18th Avenue, between Carolina and Melrose Avenues. According to the Newark Community Economic Development Corporation, the business will open on Tuesday, December 1st. The space, location opposite a McDonald's, used to contain Super Value Supermarket, which operated for several years before closing earlier this year. Click here to learn more.

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Gardens Aglow Returning to Presby Gardens


Upper Montclair, New Jersey: The annual Gardens Aglow event will return to Upper Montclair this Friday. The event will begin at 6:00pm at the Presby Memorial Iris Gardens, and will be sponsored by the Essex County Department of Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Affairs. Jack-o-lanterns carved by local high school art students will be on display throughout the gardens, and there will be activities and entertainment until 9:00pm. The event is free and open to the public, and refreshments will be served. The gardens are located near the Mountain Avenue Train Station at 474 Upper Mountain Avenue. In case of inclement weather, Gardens Aglow will be moved to the following day. Click here to learn more.

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Photo of the Day 10/22/15


This photo shows the top of Columbia High School's observatory being moved so that the telescope can be used. The school is located in Maplewood.

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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Check Cashing Business to Open in Newark's East Ward


Newark, New Jersey: A new check cashing business will open in Newark's East Ward. Checks & More will open a location at 390 South Street, at the corner of Van Buren Street. It will be located in a plaza that contains a taekwando academy, Dunkin' Donuts, a laundromat, MetroPCS, South BBQ, and Pet's Food. The plaza, located near the western end of the bridge to Stockton Street, is served by public buses and has 41 parking spaces. It was built at the site of a vacant lot in 2009. 

Correction: The Newark Checks & More location is unaffiliated with a New York company that has the same name.

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Irvington's Valley Mall Plaza Plans to Open in November


Irvington, New Jersey: After several years of construction, a new mall is preparing to open in Irvington.

The 230,000 square foot Valley Mall Plaza in Irvington's South Ward is now aiming to open to shoppers in November, according to Jennifer Corrao of Weichert Commercial Brokerage. The mall was originally slated to open in 2013.

Valley Mall Plaza is located at 468-480 Chancellor Avenue in the Camptown neighborhood of Irvington, near the Newark border. It was built opposite Essex County's oldest ice cream store, Dairyland, at the site of the Valley Fair market. The Irvington Valley Fair was located within a former tank factory, according to The Record. The store closed in 2008, though the Valley Fair Super Discount Center sign, a common sight to drivers on Route 78, still remains on Chancellor Avenue. 

The mall will feature nearly 500 free parking spaces, and five NJ Transit bus lines already stop outside of the building.

Value Zone, a department store with locations in Irvington Center and Bloomfield, signed a lease for a 30,000 square foot space at Valley Mall Plaza in March, 2013. In addition, there will be a food court on the mezzanine level.

According to Barry Feldman of Weichert, it will have "typical mall hours", though there will be 24 hour security. 

This will be the third indoor mall in Essex County and the first new indoor mall in Northern New Jersey in decades. The Mall at Short Hills and the Livingston Mall both opened over 35 years ago.

A listing of the remaining tenants has not been available yet.

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Party Supply Store Opens in Orange


Orange, New Jersey: Another new business has opened in Downtown Orange. It's Party Time opened across from the main Orange Train Station at 23-E South Essex Avenue, at the corner of Tony Galento Plaza. It sells a variety of items for children's birthday parties and other events. A grand opening celebration will be held at the store this weekend. On Saturday from 1:00pm to 5:00pm, there will be costumed characters, face painting, and a live broadcast from 94.3FM. The space was previously occupied by Frank Appliance Service and Repair. Click here to learn more.

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Photo of the Day 10/21/15


This photo shows the entrance to Maplewood's Columbia High School as seen from the school's observation deck.

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