City to build a new police and fire safety training complex in the South Ward

April 30, 2018

TAPintoNEWARK

Mayor Ras J. Baraka (center) announced the building of a state-of-the-art police and fire safety training complex to be placed in the South ward.

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Newark, NJ—Mayor Ras J. Baraka, Public Safety Director Anthony F. Ambrose, and Executive Director of the Newark Housing Authority Victor Cirilo on Monday unveiled plans for a new state-of-the-art police and fire training complex.

The proposal calls for a complex to be built on the former grounds of the William H. Brown Academy that would train 1,700 police and fire personnel annually.

The facility will include a computer lab, classrooms, an auditorium, a 1-mile track on the roof, a room for community engagement meetings and a basement for tactical training for police and fire personnel.

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Ras Baraka talks race, politics, and Newark's progress | Moran

Ras Baraka became mayor of Newark four years ago, and here's what has happened since.

Crime is way down, setting records, even as cops have pulled back on the number of arrests and frisks. Kids are doing much better in school, with test scores up and drop-outs down. Wall Street in January issued its first "positive" outlook for the city's finances in more than eight years. And private investors are pouring money into new building projects at a pace the city has never witnessed.

Those are the big items, but the list goes on.

Granted, all that started under Cory Booker. But Baraka has built on those successes more effectively than anyone expected. After a militant campaign in 2014 marked by street protests and bullhorns, he's turned into a civic peacemaker.

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Racial tensions flare at Newark’s elite Science Park High School amid debate over admissions policies

BY PATRICK WALL  

April 25,2018

Chalkbeat

Science Park students who are calling for admissions changes (from left): Azé Williams, Wendy Huang, and Bradley Gonmiah.

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For months, a racially charged debate has been raging behind the scenes at Science Park High School about how one of Newark’s most elite schools selects its students.

Last week, it erupted into full view.

Science Park is the district’s most popular public high school, a selective magnet school that was the top choice for students applying to high school last year. But the National Blue Ribbon School’s enrollment does not reflect the district’s: A disproportionately small share of its students are black and a disproportionately large share are white, while relatively few hail from certain city wards with many black residents — including the Central Ward, where it’s located.

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Baraka, Chaneyfield Jenkins spar at Newark mayoral debate

April 20, 2018

TAPintoNEWARK

Mayor Ras J. Baraka and Central Ward Councilwoman Gayle Chaneyfield Jenkins at a debate sponsored by WBGO.

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Newark Mayor Ras Baraka and his mayoral race challenger, Central Ward Councilwoman Gayle Chaneyfield Jenkins, waged a war of words at a packed debate in the city's downtown on Thursday night, less than three weeks away from Election Day.

"I believed in Ras Baraka, and I'm disappointed," said Chaneyfield Jenkins, wearing her trademark black glasses and black-and-gold earrings as she led off the hour-long debate following a coin flip. "I thought we were going to have a united city, people who were working with each other, and with competent people. I believe that the people who were selected, a great many of them, unfortunately, are not doing the job that they need to do for the people of the city of Newark."

"That's completely ridiculous. If our folks are incompetent, we wouldn't have $4 billion of development happening. If there's incompetence, Amazon wouldn't want to come here," said Baraka, dressed in a blue suit with a sliver tie, referring to the potential construction of the retail giant's second headquarters in the city. "I think that we're doing a heck of a job."

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Assemblywoman's son will spend 3 years behind bars

Kiburi Tucker leaves the courthouse with his family after being sentenced for tax evasion and wire fraud at the Federal Courthouse in Newark on April 18, 2018. 

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The son of a state Assemblywoman and a close friend of Newark Mayor Ras Baraka was sentenced to more than three years in prison Wednesday for cheating the government of taxes and defrauding a now-defunct nonprofit.

Kiburi Tucker, of Newark, pleaded guilty to tax evasion and wire fraud charges in November, admitting he embezzled $332,116 from The Centre, Inc., a nonprofit started by his late father -- a hailed civil rights leader and longtime Newark City Council member. 

Tucker, 43, also underreported his income, including money he earned from his political consulting firm, Elite Strategies LLC, that provided services to Newark, the city's redevelopment agency, and Baraka's campaign. 

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Election made history in Newark, even though the results weren't a surprise

Tuesday marked a historic day for Newark schools.

For the first time in 22 years, residents voting in the local School Board race were electing candidates who will have actual decision-making power over the district -- like the authority to hire and fire the next schools chief

But despite the momentousness, turnout -- as usual -- was dismal. And the likely winners, according to preliminary results, were largely expected. 

With 98 of 110 districts reporting, about 6,700 ballots were cast, appearing to sweep the "Moving Newark Schools Forward," slate into power. Candidates Asia J. Norton, Yambeli Gomez and Dawn Haynes appeared to clinch the majority of the vote among a 13-candidate field, preliminary results from the Essex County Clerk's Office show.

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Parkland student survivors bring anti-gun violence message to Newark

April 15, 2018

Jaclyn Corin and Alfonso Calderon, both survivors of the Parkland Massacre in Florida, spoke on a panel at Science Park High School on Saturday.

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High schools students from across Newark converged at Science Park High School on Saturday for a forum against gun violence featuring Jaclyn Corin and Alfonso Calderon, both survivors of the Parkland Massacre in Florida. 

The forum, which was attended by hundreds of Newark youth, was designed to allow New Jersey students to dialogue and develop coalitions in New Jersey and across the state to stop the spread of gun violence and to demand stricter gun laws. 

This student-led conversation on gun violence is aimed at strengthening the student voice and identifying solutions nationally and locally.  The visit from Parkland students comes just two weeks after a massive rally in Newark as part of the March For Our Lives demonstrations across the country.

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Legislation reinstating Urban Enterprise Zone in Newark awaits governor's signature

April 12, 2018

TAPintoNEWARK

Businesses along Halsey Street in Newark are among those that would benefit from the passage of S3549, which cleared the Assembly today.

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Newark's popular Urban Enterprise Zone, which expired under Gov. Chris Christie's administration, is close to making a comeback.

Legislation co-sponsored by Assemblywoman Eliana Pintor Marin that would extend Urban Enterprise Zones for 10 years—including reviving the one in Newark—received final approval from the Assembly Thursday. 

The bill, S-3549, previously cleared the state Senate and now heads to Gov. Murphy's desk. If signed into law, the legislation would reactivate five UEZs that expired: Bridgeton, Camden, Newark, Plainfield and Trenton. 

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Shaq is opening a $79M apartment tower in N.J.

Former NBA superstar Shaquille O'Neal is making his mark on his hometown skyline. 

And much like the 7-foot-1-inch sports legend, the 22-story apartment complex -- colloquially called "Shaq Towers" -- will hover over the city's downtown as its first high-rise in more than 50 years

"I remember when I was growing up (the city) used to be beautiful like this so the older I get, I want it to be a little more beautiful," O'Neal told NJ Advance Media. "I invest in things that are going to make a difference."

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Don't let the Starbucks fool you. We're not gentrifying, and this is how.

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