West Orange HS Graduation

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 arts are in full swing across New Jersey this summer. The radio series Words Matter from NJ Arts News is picking up some serious momentum in humanities councils from Maine to Oaklahoma. State of the Arts NJ just released a special feature that focuses on New Jersey as the birthplace of cinema, where the first film ever made in the United States was made. Of course, one of the most successful films to come out of Thomas Edison’s original film studio consisted of two cats fighting each other while wearing little boxing gloves. Oh how times have changed.

Sara Carpien of TAP into Westfield sat down with comedian and Westfield native Jessica St. Clair to discuss her new show on USA Network, Playing HouseBlogfinger published a review of Clint Eastwood’s film about Frankie Vallie and the Four Seasons, based on the broadway show Jersey Boys.

In Hopewell, Sarah El Miniawy Hefni of Mercer Me got a chance to sit down with Julie and Bob Thick, the long-time owners of Hopewell’s Off-Broadstreet Theater. The Off-Broadstreet Theater has provided Hopewell residents with 239 shows over the last thirty years.

LHS GraduationJune is also the time of year when the next round of high school graduates leave the proverbial nest and set out into the world to make something of themselves – until they eventually move back into the basement, of course. This year is no different. Cynthia Cumming of TAP in West Orange and Danielle Santola of TAP into Livingston covered their respective high school graduation ceremonies this week. West Orange High School graduated 547 seniors, while Livingston High School churned out 464 this year.

Meanwhile, Jayed Rahman of the Paterson Times reports that the Paterson school district is on track to save $4.5 million due to consolidation and changes in the organizational structure of the district. State-appointed district superintendent Donnie Evans’ reorganization plan “calls for the consolidation of multiple departments and the deletion of 26 positions from the district’s budget.”

Local authorities from the Union, Atlantic, and Essex county prosecutor’s offices collaborated with FBI investigators to participate in “Operation Cross Country VIII” last week. The operation was desribed as “a multi-agency sexual trafficking crackdown that led to the rescue of more than 168 juveniles,” according to Gerard DeMarco of Elizabeth Inside Out. Aside from rescuing the children, authorities also arrested more than 281 suspects accused of transpoting minors for prostitution.

Finally, congratulations to WNYC and WHYY, each of which picked up awards at the Public Radio News Director awards ceremony over the weekend!

Our full roundup:

Encore! NJSO, Morris Arts and meteorologists deliver picture-perfect Giralda fest Morristown Green
FBI anti-sexual trafficking operation in Linden, elsewhere recovers 168 juveniles Elizabeth Inside Out
Advocates want breakfast after bell; 30 schools will have it by end of next school year Paterson Times
Reorganization will save $4.5 million for school district Paterson Times
Gaeta Recycling gets slapped with air pollution violations Paterson Times
Garden State Equality Walk Raises $31,000 TAP into West Orange
Gerry Goffin, Former West Orange Resident and Ex-Husband of Carole King, Dies at 75 TAP into West Orange
West Orange High School Graduates 547 at Codey Arena Commencement TAP into West OrganeHopewell’s Merrill Lynch/Scotch Road Area Reimagined by Township Planner Mercer Me
Hopewell’s best kept secret turns 30! Mercer Me
A Walk on the Wild Side. The OGHOA plans a walking tour of six derelict houses Blogfinger
Jersey Boys—Clint Eastwood film about Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons based on the Broadway show. Blogfinger
Westfield Native Jessica St. Clair Talks About Her Hit Show, Playing House, and Hometown Inspiration TAP into Westfield
Westfield’s Vietnam Memorial Installed With Ceremony TAP into Westfield
LHS Class of 2014 Enjoys “Last Hoorah” at Project Graduation TAP into Livingston
Class of 2014 Graduates Livingston High School TAP into Livingston
LEF Announces Hall of Fame Honorees TAP into Livingston
David Bianculli on the Birth of Cinema – [VIDEO] State of the Arts NJ
Words Matter (Radio Series) – [VIDEO] NJ Arts News
Haddy Visits the New Jersey State Museum – [VIDEO] State of the Arts NJ
Belleville residents question school district’s new monitor NorthJersey.com