The Week in Union County
A black bear, talk of flooding, an overturned dump truck and some terrific high schools and teachers made news around the county this past week.
- U.S. News & World Report has released its Best High Schools in New Jersey rankings. Several Union County high schools ranked in the top 50 statewide and were recognized nationally.
- At Tuesday night's borough council meeting, several residents from Garwood's the Pointe condominiums again made a presence and voiced their frustration over Garwood taxes and ongoing litigation with the borough concerning snow removal.
- At the same meeting Councilman Timothy Hak announced that the Police Committee has decided not to act on any proposed changes to the crossing guard program that would eliminate guards' ability to collect unemployment. The discussion had previously drawn outcry from crossing guards.
- Clark Council also discussed drafting an ordinance to regulate the maintenance of restaurant grease traps.
- Cranford High School student Michael Wielgus and a close-knit group of friends have decided on a different approach to raising funds for the American Cancer Society outside of the annual Relay for Life. Their goal is to flush away cancer by raising awareness and money through the use of bright, purple toilets.
- With a name like Chad Faulcon, a lifelong resident of the township and a 2008 Cranford High School graduate, signed with the Atlanta Falcons following the National Football League’s Draft on April 28. He signed autographs before leaving town to join the team.
- The township cancelled two special committee meetings with candidates for retiring Cranford Police Chief Eric Mason late last week. Mason, who announced that he would step down as police chief on May 31 after 35 years with the CPD, has been embroiled in controversy since the February 28 meeting in which township council unanimously approved Mason to take over as full-time administrator.
New Providence, Berkeley Heights, Mountainside
- New Providence Police Department is still investigating a strong armed robbery that occurred last Saturday, May 5 at 11 p.m. at a garden apartment complex, located at 851 Springfield Avenue on the Summit border. Visit the story for a description of the suspect. Contact the New Providence Police with any information regarding the suspect at (908) 665-1111.
- Two Mountainside destinations came in as the top vote-getters in Patch's Readers' Choice Staycation poll this past week. The Trailside Nature & Science Center led the pack.
- A Scotch Plains woman was critically injured when her car ran off Route 22 in Mountainside Wednesday night and hit a tree.
- On Thursday morning, the Borough of New Providence held an online sale of $8,900,000 in General Obligation Bonds. The borough accepted a winning bid at 1.81 percent from Janney Montgomery Scott. Borough leaders credited the low interest rate to the borough's recent upgrade to a AAA bond rating.
- About 100 of residents sought answers from New Jersey environmental activists at a panel at Governor Livingston High School on Monday night about flooding near the Passaic River which impacts residents in Berkeley Heights, New Providence, Chatham and Long Hill Townshi. On Tuesday night, Berkeley Heights Council members said the dialogue was a good start to a long process to fix the problem, which will likely fall on the shoulders of the council.
- Jack L. Mohn, a longtime Scotch Plains-Fanwood History teacher and Scotch Plains resident died peacefully on Saturday, May 5, at the age of 83 at the Genesis Health Care Center in Westfield. You can read Patch's obituary including Mecca's tribute to Jack Mohn here.
- As part of a service learning curriculum, Terrill Middle School students learned the true meaning of community, creating projects to help those in need.
- In honor of his favorite teachers, Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School sophomore, Stephen Deduck was eager to highlight three of his favorite teachers at the high school including Mr. Tiedemann, who teaches U.S. History II, Mrs. Eryan (nee Wolf) - who teaches Economics, and Mr. Ryan, Freshman English. Deduck stated that Mr. Ryan was the "single greatest teacher he had ever had."
- A dump truck carrying landfill en route to Pennsylvania overturned late in the morning on a ramp off of Rte. 24 near the intersection of I-78 on Friday, May 11. The driver sustained minor injuries in the accident. Springfield Deputy Fire Chief Carlo Palumbo said that the truck rolled over when its load shifted as the truck took a turn on the ramp.
- On Sunday, April 29, the Dayton Softball team ran their second annual softball clinic fundraiser for the Girl’s Recreation Softball league in Springfield. Sixty girls attending the clinic, which was geared for players ranging from 6 to 14 years old.
- At the May 8 Springfield Township Committee meeting, Springfield officials named May Preeclampsia Awareness Month. Two survivors were on hand to accept the award and urge the community to get involved with their fight against the deadly pregnancy disease.
- Town hall employees in Union had a special visitor as they arrived to work Tuesday morning: an 18-month-old, 187-pound male black bear had climbed a tree behind the building and settled in. The bear was tranquilized and loaded into a truck to be released away from the suburbs on state land.
- Edison Intermediate School student Christian Panarese, born with spastic quadriplegia, is in need of a new wheelchair. 'An Evening of Dinner & Laughs' has been organized for Saturday, May 19 at Temple Emanu-El to help offset the cost of the $49,000 chair.
- Keller Williams Realty associates of Westfield chose to “Give Where They Live” as part of RED Day on May 10, one of the biggest events in the real estate industry by collecting non-perishables food items for Holy Trinity Church's food pantry.
- Ed Menapace and Bill Curtis, co-owners of the Farmhouse Store, met with Martha Stewart and HGTV star Genevieve Gorder at the recent High Point Furniture Market in North Carolina. Stewart unveiled her new Martha Stewart Fine Furniture collection in the Miles Talbott showroom in High Point on Saturday, April 23.
- San Marzano Pasta Bar, located at 339 South Ave., enjoyed a soft opening this week before celebrating its official grand opening on May 18.