Burst pipe forces students to move. Mountain Park School in Berkeley Heights was closed Tuesday after a pipe burst during the overnight hours, flooding the basement with four feet of water. Students have been temporarily transferred to the three other elementary schools in the township.
According to school superintendent Judith Rattner, second-grade students were assigned to McMillan, third-graders to Woodruff, while fourth- and fifth-grade students taking class at the middle school.
The hope is that Mountain Park school can be re-opened Monday with all students and faculty able to return to their classrooms.
According to Berkeley Heights fire Captain Jim Hopkins, the fire department was dispatched to the school Tuesday to help with the situation at around 6:30 a.m. They arrived to find four feet of water in the basement, but at first, could not enter through the garage because of the amount of water present.
Although there are sump pumps in the basement, the volume of water was just too much for the pumps to handle, which eventually led to the electrical panels being partially submerged, making it too dangerous to enter the area.
The DPW brought over pumps to help drain the water into the nearby creeks, while the fire department stood by to make sure there were no issues with the electricity. JCP&L sent a truck with a boom to shut down the electricity from the pole.
There was plenty of moving and shaking inside the Clark Recreation Center on Thursday night, literally. Hundreds turned out to The proceeds from the Zumba event and Tricky Tray benefitted Jason's Friends, the organization raising money for seven-year-old Jason Condit, the son of Clark Dairy Queen owners Bill and Lois Condit, who was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer in September. We also wrote about this week and other fundraisers to benefit Jason's Friends.
Johnson senior Drew Di Giovanni top dog at ALJ. The senior was thrilled Thursday night when he was selected as Grinning from ear to ear, he said that he had been looking forward to being a part of the event since sophomore year. His blindfolded drum solo may have been what decided the vote in his favor. Six senior students competed in the areas of school spirit, talent and formal wear as faculty judges decided who would claim the crown this year.
Clark police arrest three in aftermath of money dispute. P "These three individuals confronted the victim and this turned into argument over repayment of money," Clark Police Chief Denis Connell told Patch. "When he didn't have the money or wouldn't repay it, they assaulted him, grabbed him and restrained him. False imprisonment does not imply kidnapping or anything like that." Arrested were Ryan Gallagher, age 18, single, a student of 34 East Curtis Street in Linden; Rodolfo Reyna, age 24, single, a field foreman of 2 Lionel Street in Clark; and Ashley Eaton, age 20, single, a babysitter of 12 Coldevin Road in Clark. Connell said the incident was not drug related as far as he knows.
Stop signs installed at three-way intersection. On Friday, the Clark Traffic Bureau installed three in Clark after years of different solutions at the three-way intersection. "Benjamin and King residents brought this issue to me back in 2006," said Brian Toal, fourth-ward councilman. "We worked on different approaches with speed bumps and other things. This is what the solution is, and we're doing it now."
Summer furloughs discussed in budget deliberations. Township Committee members have proposed that municipal employees take summer furloughs, or unpaid vacation days, as one cost-saving meaure to keep Cranford's budget beneath the state mandated 2-percent property tax cap during union negotiations this month. The furloughs would be one day a week for most employees in the municipal building, beginning the Friday after Memorial Day and continuing until Labor Day weekend, according to Ruthanne Della Serra, the representative for the white collar division of Teamsters Local 469. She added that talks implied the proposed furlough period could continue for more than a decade.
New face running with Aschenbach in committee race. A former Winfield mayor will join Mayor Dan Aschenbach on the Democratic ticket in the Township Committee race this year. Thomas Hannen, who served 12 years on the Winfield Township Committee before moving to Cranford over two decades ago, was knocking on doors in the Riverside neighborhood Sunday afternoon seeking petition signatures. Hannen will be seeking one of two seats on the Township Committee in the November election. Hannen indicated that Aschenbach, who has served on the Township Committee on and off since the mid-1980s, will be seeking his seventh term. Republican incumbent Public Affairs Commissioner Mark Dugan will not be seeking a second term in office.
Field Use Policy Draws Mixed Views at Mountainside BOE Meeting Residents packed into the Beechwood School Gymnasium earlier this week to address the Mountainside Board of Education about sports field use policy and the conflict between Mountainside Youth Baseball (MYB) and the Mustangs Travel Sports Club. After hours of public comment and discussion by board members, the board denied “Group 1” status to the Mustang Travel Sports Club, the equivalent status of MYB, which would have allowed the club free use of the district’s sports fields.
The board also approved the creation of an exploratory committee to re-examine police 7510, which governs field use and defines “Group 1” status as an organization being “open for participation” of all Mountainside residents. The committee will be formed after the April 27th elections and involve a cooperative effort between the Board of Education, Mountainside Borough Council, Recreation Department, Joint Fields Commission and Buildings and Grounds to align field use policy with that of the borough.
Public comment strayed from the discussion of policy 7510 and resulted in a heated debate over the merits of both organizations. Public comment lasted several hours and included emotional statements from residents associated with both the Mustangs and MYB.
The Board adopted a resolution to apply the “Doctrine of Necessity” to the matter of sports field use, as the majority of board members felt they had a conflict of interest when deciding on matters involving youth sports organizations. Many board members or their spouses hold seats on the boards of either the Mustangs Travel Sports Club or MYB, as well as the comparable PAL sports organization. The doctrine allows all board members to vote, regardless of conflict, because the exclusion of the conflicted board members would result in the board not having a quorum and therefore prevent any action from the board. The board attorney David Ruben was consulted and present for the adoption for the resolution.
NY Yankees' 'Designated Hebrew' Visits Loews Theatre: Former New York Yankee Ron Blomberg, who played for the Bronx Bombers from 1969 through 1977, as part of the JCC of Central New Jersey's three-part Jewish Film Festival. Joined by author Dan Schlossberg, who co-wrote Blomberg's autobiography, "Designated Hebrew: The Ron Blomberg Story," Blomberg spoke after a screening of the documentary, "Jews and Baseball: An American Love Story" and answered attendees' questions.
No injuries reported in fire. A fire broke out in the back of a two-story home on just after 4 p.m. on Sunday. While no injuries were reported, New Providence Fire Chief Ralph Parlapiano said he thinks it was the from a wood burning fireplace.
“[The fire] burnt through the roof in that one corner, but it wasn’t in danger of collapsing. Most of the fire was contained to the outside of the building,” Parlapiano said.
The fire spread from the chimney where the resident was burning wood to the surrounding structure of the residence, according to the New Providence Police Blotter. The New Providence, Berkeley Heights, Chatham Borough and Chatham Township fire departments responded to the scene on Sunday. The Springfield, Mountainside and Kenilworth fire departments manned the New Providence station in case of an emergency.
Win Win comes to town. Since March 18, New Jersey residents had to cross the Hudson River and pay a visit to New York City if they wanted to see on the big screen.But after much anticipation, the New Providence-based film finally , and residents hailing from New Providence, Chatham, Madison, Berkeley Heights and beyond came out to support and be a part of local cinematic history this weekend.
Win Win opened at Roberts Chatham Cinema on April 1 and will continue to be shown at the theater for the next week.
Scotch Plains, Fanwood Councils Send Slightly Different Messages on Shared Services: A majority of the Fanwood Borough Council about merging municipal departments with Scotch Plains during a special meeting of the Fanwood Mayor and Council Tuesday. Council members Robert Manduca, Anthony Parenti, Mike Szuch and Joan Wheeler differed in the degree to which they said they were skeptical of merging certain departments, but united in their opposition to merging the Fanwood and Scotch Plains police departments. The Scotch Plains Mayor and Township Council, by contrast, to make a police department merger their top priority for shared services. The borough and township mayors and councils will hold a joint meeting this week on a date to be determined.
Average SP Tax Bill Likely to Rise by $57: The Scotch Plains Mayor Township Council for 2011 Tuesday evening. Excluding funds for the public library, which are set by the state, the budget is actually 3.6 percent smaller than last year. With the inclusion of the library's $1.3 million budget, however, the budget rises slightly higher than the one for 2010, but still falls within the state-mandated 2 percent property tax cap. If the Mayor and Council ultimately approve the budget, the average homeowner's tax bill will rise by about $57, Township Manager Christopher Marion said.
It was a big week for Springfield sports. With starting their seasons. Notably, the Dayton softball team started their season with a . And the Dayton basketball team didn’t let the fact that their season is over stop them from grabbing headlines, as they were this week for their historic postseason run.
But Dayton’s athletes weren’t the only actives members of the school community... Senior Alexa McCaffrey was in the spotlight for organizing a . Meanwhile, school officials will have on the school system in the future.
Dickson announces run for Mayor. The Summit Republican City Committee nominated Ellen Dickson to run for Mayor of Summit this November. She will be joined the party ticket by Gregory Drummond, running for councilman at-large, Pat Hurley, running for Ward II, and Dr. Robert Rubino, running for Ward I. Republicans at the mini-convention did not throw their support behind Councilman Michael Vernotico who was seeking the nomination for a third term.
Hairston, Bloom to run for council. The Democrats nominated Susan Hairston to run for council at-large and Sandy Bloom to run for Ward I. Hairston is a 2010 MLK Keeper of the Dream honoree. Bloom is currently serving on the Zoning Board of Adjustment.
One injured in four-alarm fire. One Westfielder was rushed to the hospital and several families were left homeless after a destroyed part of the Hamilton House apartment complex in the pre-dawn hours of Monday. Roy Rentrop, the resident of the apartment where the fire originated, was rushed to St. Barnabas Hospital with severe burns to his face and smoke inhalation. The and caused water and smoke damage to four other units. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
Deal allows Hickey to return to classroom. The Board of Education and McKinley School teacher Brendan Hickey allowing for Hickey's return to the classroom next week. Hickey was arrested in February on marijuana possession charges. He was placed in the conditional discharge program by the Westfield town judge last week. Under the agreement, Hickey's two-month administrative reassignment will be considered an unpaid leave of absence and he will be subjected to random drug testing.
County Republicans hold convention. Union County Republicans held their Thursday evening in Westfield, nominating state legislative candidates, along with two candidates for county freeholder. Attorney Andy Smith of Summit and security company executive Edwin Ortiz of Elizabeth are the two nominees for three seats on the county freeholder board.