5K Run

By JOE AMDITIS

Local Beat is NJ News Commons’ weekly roundup of the best and most topical reporting from local news sites around New Jersey.

Community fundraisers are a staple of local reporting. But here’s an interesting twist: Several participants in the Downtown West Orange 5K run filed complaints this week regarding the politicization of what was supposed to be a charitable event to raise money to combat ovarian cancer, according to Cynthia Cumming of TAP into West Orange. Participants claimed that several political candidates, including mayoral candidate Eldridge Hawkins, Jr., were campaigning “during, before, and after the race.”

NA Rudy of TAP into North Plainfield/Green Brook reported on a developing controversy surrounding allegations of racial taunting before a high school football game between Summit and North Plainfield. The incident is currently under investigation by the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJIAA).

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Morristown Cheese Shop

By JOE AMDITIS

Local Beat is NJ News Commons’ weekly roundup of the best and most topical reporting from local news sites around New Jersey.

Local businesses in Westfield are in the process of rebuilding after a Labor Day fire swept through the South Ave. strip mall. Jill D’Ambrosio of TAP into Westfield reports that the Westwood Cleaners has been sending smoke-damaged items to a clothing restoration company in Long Island to get the smell out.

The South Orange Board of Trustees has unanimously voted to endorse an amended “pay to play” ordinance that regulates the relationships between government contractors and their political contributions. Mary Mann of The Village Green reports that the ordinance, which is more restrictive than state law, bans any contributions from a contractor regardless of whether or not the government contract was awarded through a fair and open process.

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Hoops kid

By JOE AMDITIS

Local Beat is NJ News Commons’ weekly roundup of the best and most topical reporting from local news sites around New Jersey.

There’s nothing more local than those basketball hoops people put on the grass strip between the sidewalk and the street. Carolyn Maynard-Parisi of the Village Green reports on the ruckus that broke out when Maplewood residents were told to remove the hoops or get slapped with $1,000 fines. The crisis was averted last night when residents – many of them kids – showed up in force at the Township Committee meeting and the town leaders reversed the policy.

Development projects were big in the news this week. In Morristown, Kevin Coughlin of Morristown Green reports on a proposal to turn the city’s last tract of undeveloped land into a day care center. The project would require the removal of about 200 trees from the one-acre plot.

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Westmont Theatre

By JOE AMDITIS

Local Beat is NJ News Commons’ weekly roundup of the best and most topical reporting from local news sites around New Jersey.

Screen Shot 2014-08-28 at 8.50.46 AMRipples from Ferguson, MO continue to be felt in New Jersey. Bill Bowman of the Franklin Reporter & Advocate shows us that not all police departments are as gun-hungry as the stereotype dictates. In fact, not one local department in all of Somerset County has surplus military equipment.

With school right around the corner, Carolyn Maynard-Parisi of The Village Green sat down with South Orange Middle School (SOMS) Principal Joseph Uglialoro for some tips on “How to Succeed in Middle School: By Really Trying!

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Montclair Jazz Festival

By DEBBIE GALANT

Local Beat is NJ News Commons’ weekly look at the reporting being generated by small news outlets around the state.

How is it that Morristown and Montclair both organized jazz festivals for the exact same day, last Saturday?

Morristown had Bucky Pizzarelli. Montclair had Christian McBride. Morristown’s chief media sponsor was the Star-Ledger. Montclair’s was WBGO. They both had banks: Investors Bank for Morristown, City National and PNC for Montclair.

Imagine the state’s poor beleaguered arts sponsors being forced to choose between jazz fests the same day in two of the state’s tony “M” towns. Imagine the poor jazz fans in Maplewood, essentially equidistant between both festivals. How did they pick? (more…)

Assemblyman

By JOE AMDITIS

Local Beat is NJ News Commons’ weekly roundup of the best and most topical reporting from local news sites around New Jersey.

Montclair PetitionsThe Montclair municipal clerk received more than 1,600 petition signatures this week calling for Montclair to place a local ordinance on the ballot that would give private sector workers the right to paid sick leave, reports Natalie Hackett of TAP into Montclair. Montclair joins four other New Jersey towns – Irvington, Passaic, Paterson, and Trenton – that have received similar petitions. If approved, the proposed ordinance would provide Monctclair’s private sector employees with the right to earn paid sick leave.

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CATS The Musical

By JOE AMDITIS

Local Beat is NJ News Commons’ weekly roundup of the best and most topical reporting from local news sites around New Jersey.

AirportMore than $3.6 million in federal grant money was awarded for imporovements to three of New Jersey’s airports, including the Essex County Airport, reports TAP into West Essex. The Essex County airport was awarded $200,000 in grant money, which will go toward the removal of obstructions on two of its runways. Newark-Liberty International Airport received the largest sum, with a total of $3.4 million in grant money that will be put toward the construction of a new apron to allow for additional aircraft parking.

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Parking Meter

By JOE AMDITIS

Local Beat is NJ News Commons’ weekly roundup of the best and most topical reporting from local news sites around New Jersey

Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 9.04.36 AMIn Franklin Township, Dr. Ali G. Mansour’s medical license has been revoked after charges surfaces alleging that Mansour had been prescribing “narcotic painkillers that put his patients at risk of addiction,” according to the Franklin Reporter & Advocate. The charges, released by the state Attorney General’s office, also accused Mansour of “continuing to prescribe increasing dosages to patients despite clear evidence that they were abusing drugs.”

In New Brunswick, embattled fire director Robert Rawls reportedly gave $500 to New Brunswick Mayor Jim Cahill’s campaign fund on the same day he struck three children in his city-owned SUV, reports Charlie Kratovil of New Brunswick Today. Rawls has been involved in at least twelve crashes during his eight years as Fire Director, including the most recent incident, which promted the city to revoke his on-the-clock driving privileges. (more…)

Jeff Xie

By JOE AMDITIS

Local Beat is NJ News Commons’ weekly roundup of the best and most topical reporting from local news sites around New Jersey.

West Orange PharmacyWe’ll start with the sad stuff, but I promise it’ll get better toward the end. In West Orange, head pharmacist Leonard “Lenny” Stefanelli and his twin counterparts Robert and William Carlucci were arrested and sentenced to 37 months in prison for illegally selling oxycodone painkillers out of the longstanding West Orange Pharmacy, reports Cynthia Cumming of TAP into West Orange. The team of pharmacists had also been filing fraudulent bills to healthcare providers like Medicare and Medicaid in an attempt to cover up their illegal activities.

In South Plainfield, Jane Dornick, a journalist and the “Busy Busy Mom” columnist for the South Plainfield Observerplead guilty to one out of three counts of sexual exploitation of a child, according to Darlene Tedesco Cullen of TAP into South Plainfield. In 2010, Dornick coerced a female minor to perform sexually explicit acts in front of a webcam and broadcasted them live over the Internet to former South Plainfield Police Captain Michael Grennier. Grennier would then view the images on his laptop in his home in South Plainfield.

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Camcorder

By JOE AMDITIS

Local Beat is NJ News Commons’ weekly roundup of the best and most topical reporting from local news sites around New Jersey.

The videos came pouring in this week. First up, Kevin Coughlin of Morristown Green published an article on Jens and Erwin Velasquez, otherwise known as the “VeeBros.” The VeeBros are a renowned competitive frisbee duo who were recently inducted into to the International Frisbee and USA Guts Hall of Fame. RJ Meyer, a student at Morristown High School, made this video about the freestyle frisbee legends.

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Telvin Sign

By JOE AMDITIS

Local Beat is NJ News Commons’ weekly roundup of the best and most topical reporting from local news sites around New Jersey.

Brendan TevlinThe town of Livingston, NJ was struck by a horrible tragedy last week as news continued to surface about the murder of Brendan Tevlin, a 19-year-old University of Richmond student who was found dead in his car. Cynthia Cumming of TAP into West Orange first broke the story last Thursday, and the community responded with an outpouring of support and coverage from the surrounding towns.

TAP into Livingston published several stories on Tevlin’s death and memory as the community grieved, offering emotional and financial support to the victim’s family. They also published a beautiful eulogy for Tevlin written by Chuck Granata titled, “A Fragile Thread (for Brendan Tevlin).”

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