Judge Extends Jumah's Probation for Home Confinement Violations

Mayor Ras Baraka stands with Linda Jumah in this file photo.
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NEWARK, NJ - A federal judge gave the wife of Newark Mayor Ras Baraka an additional year of probation after she admitted to violating the home confinement portion of a three-year sentence for filing a false income tax return. 

Linda Jumah, the co-founder of a political consulting firm that has worked on Baraka's campaign, said in federal court in Newark on Wednesday she violated certain conditions of home confinement by returning to her residence later than certain authorized outings allowed.

Jumah's attorney, Robert Stahl, and federal prosecutors agreed before the hearing to extend Jumah's probation by six months for the violations.

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Newark Museum Receives $50K for STEAM Program to Prepare Students for College

Panasonic Corporation donated $50,000 to the Newark Museum for their Explorers Program that prepares high school students for college, careers, and life.
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NEWARK, NJ - The Newark Museum received $50,000 from Panasonic Corporation of North America for the Explorers Program to prepare Newark-area high school students for college, career, and life. 

The Explorers program leverages museum resources and partnerships to provide comprehensive after-school STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics) curriculum for rising ninth or 10th-grade students. 

“We have the technology partner and the cultural partner,” said Linda Harrsion, director and CEO of the Newark Museum. “Without these types of partnerships, particularly Panasonic, we would not be able to have such a robust Explores program.” 

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Anthony Carrino, former North Ward councilman, dies

Former Newark Councilman Anthony Carrino
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Anthony Carrino, a former Newark councilman who served during a turbulent period in the city's history, has died.

Carrino began his career in public service as a teacher at Barringer High School and as a Newark police officer.

In 1974, he requested a leave of absence from the police force in order to run for City Council and was elected that year to represent his native North Ward.

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She gave up a big Pharma job to help senior citizens, and they love her

Posted Jun 26, 2019

The Pledge of Allegiance and the Lord’s Prayer tested their memory before Thumbelina Newsome picked up the pace of their morning exercise.

Inside of a tiny Newark church nestled between Route 78 and a White Castle restaurant, a group of eager senior citizens began to clap their hands and stomp their feet when Newsome, their energetic caretaker, played “Follow Me,” a popular house music song.

“Let all your problems go," she said, smiling, instructing them to breathe deeply as they moved into a series of overhead arm stretches

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Section 8 Housing at Zion Towers to Get $20M in Renovations

Zion Towers, located at 515 Elizabeth Ave. in Newark's South Ward, will soon get a $20 million renovation.
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NEWARK, NJ - Nearly 270 units of Section 8 housing at Zion Towers will be repaired after two big-name property owners refinanced on a deal that allows for $20 million in renovations. 

L+M  Development Partners and Prudential bought the South Ward property in late 2017 for $28 million, just as the state was gearing up to terminate the Section 8 contract at the “severely neglected” complex. The two companies spent more than $7 million on immediate fixes to preserve its Section 8 status when it first purchased the property.

A deal was reached with the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs to extend the Section 8 contract for Zion Towers at 515 Elizabeth Ave. for 20 years. The refinancing allows for $20 million in additional fixes for those who currently live there. 

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NEWARK SUPERINTENDENT’S PLAN FOR ‘STRONGER, WISER’ SCHOOL SYSTEM

PATRICK WALL | CHALKBEAT | JUNE 18, 2019

NJ Spotlight

Superintendent of Newark Public Schools Roger León hosted an event in January 2019 to gather ideas for his strategic plan.

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After nearly one year on the job, Newark’s superintendent unveiled a long-awaited district plan Thursday that hints at new initiatives while leaving most of the details to be filled in later.

The plan, which Superintendent Roger León crafted with the help of a consulting firm, sets forth a broad theory of change for New Jersey’s largest school district. It is designed to guide the district back to full local governance and set the stage for a more-detailed 10-year plan.

The theory posits that the school system must simultaneously address students’ academic and personal needs, which can only happen through increased cooperation among schools and closer partnership with the community and outside organizations. And it says the district must begin supporting future students while they are still in the womb and continue until they finish college or start careers.

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Newark Housing Authority Hopes to Lure Investors to Terrell Homes With Opportunity Zones

Terrell Homes
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NEWARK, NJ - The Newark Housing Authority is seeking investors under a new federal program to help fund the redevelopment of Terrell Homes, a public housing complex in the East Ward that faces mold and infrastructure issues.

Congressman Albio Sires and city officials are looking to entice investors since the project sits in a federal Opportunity Zone. The tax incentive program rewards private investors for funding projects in low-income areas and was created through legislation co-sponsored by U.S. Sen. Cory Booker.

The Newark Housing Authority last year outlined a redevelopment plan for Terrell Homes, located at 30 Riverfront Court, and has put out a request for proposals for the project. Terrell Homes would need an initial investment of $24 million and then $46 million over the next 20 years, the housing authority said.

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Gang leaders met face-to-face in Newark to talk peace

Updated Jun 16, 2019

Newark gang members and activists working for peace in the city gathered Saturday and reached a truce aimed at reducing gang violence.

So-called “violence interrupters” and gang members gathered for private peace talks at 3 p.m. The talks were followed by a 5 p.m. “Kings Stop Killing Kings” rally at Newark’s Symphony Hall and march down Broad Street.

A draft of the the agreement, which was passed out to those who attended the peace talks between the sometimes rival gangs, stated that public places such as schools, houses of worship, recreation centers and funeral homes would be “designated buffer or neutral zones against violence.”

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Newark City Council to Consider Ban on Single-Use Plastic Bags

NEWARK, NJ - The city is looking to ban plastic bags and penalize businesses up to $1,000 if offered to customers.

The new measure is on the agenda for city council's Tuesday meeting and would begin fines at $250 dollars each day a business violates the ordinance. It requires all retail establishments - like restaurants, clothing stores or supermarkets - to sell or provide customers with only reusable or recyclable bags.

More and more states are banning single-use plastic bags, including California and New York. Gov. Phil Murphy vetoed a ban last year, but only because it wasn't strict enough. Municipalities, like Jersey City and Hoboken, have passed local bans.

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Newark Schools Show Dramatic Improvement During Past Decade

Newark school district dramatically improved in state test performance and student growth over the past decade, a report released by the New Jersey Children's Foundation found.
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NEWARK, NJ - Newark schools have achieved significant gains over the last decade, according to a report from the New Jersey Children’s Foundation.

Both district and charter schools have seen growth in test scores, graduation rates, and student growth rates from 2006 to 2018.

The report, compiled by using publicly available test data for grades three through eight, focuses on the performance of Newark’s students during 2006 to 2018 to correspond with the expansion of charter schools and intensive reforms in district schools.

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