Newark charter school touted by Christie weeks ago abruptly announces closure

NEWARK -- A charter school that opened its doors to great fanfare in August with Gov. Chris Christie in attendance will shutter at the end of the school year.

M.E.T.S. Charter School opened to 230 students in grades 9-12, promising to offer robotics, engineering and rigorous math courses.

But letters posted to the school's website Wednesday night announced the closure of the Newark campus in June. 

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High rises and low rents: City's future lies in the delicate balance

NEWARK -- The city is leading the way amid the country's housing affordability crisis, Mayor Ras Baraka said Wednesday as he signed a "groundbreaking" law to mandate low- and moderate-income housing set asides in new developments. 

"It's a daunting task to figure out how we can develop our community without leaving our community behind," he said during a press conference. 

The inclusionary zoning ordinance requires certain housing developments provide 20 percent affordable units. Guarding against gentrification has been a linchpin issue for Baraka, who for months urged the City Council to adopt the measure, through several amendments and iterations.

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Officials welcome 68 to Newark's firefighting ranks

NEWARK -- Sixty-eight firefighters were sworn-in to their positions with the Newark fire division at a graduation ceremony Tuesday.

Federal homeland security grant money will fund the salaries for 40 of the newly-minted firefighters over the next two years, according to city officials. The latest group of rookie firefighters marked the city's largest-ever class of fire academy graduates, officials said.

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka and Public Safety Director Anthony Ambrose welcomed the firefighters with a public ceremony at Our Lady of Good Counsel Church.

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Newark victims of violence find love and healing

Shaka McKinney didn't know how to react to the people clapping for him Saturday in Newark.

He told them he had been shot four times last year, that his friend was killed last week and that he did a lot of wrong things hanging out in Newark's streets. No one in the auditorium judged the 23-year-old city resident as he stood on the stage at Belmont Runyon School. Members of the New Jersey Crime Survivors -- a nonprofit organization that supports crime victims -- don't do that. Neither do its allies: the Newark Anti-Violence Coalition, My Brother's Keeper, the Newark Community Street Team, FP Outcry for Youth and the Safer Newark Council.

This day had been set aside for crime victims like McKinney to come forward and heal.

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Trauma is real for Newark residents and police

The picture of a large hand-held gun on the screen triggered a painful memory that Janice Kettles had not talked about in 15 years.

After driving a friend home from dinner one night, Kettles stopped for the traffic light at Clinton Place and Keer Avenue in Newark, her hometown. She heard a tapping noise on the driver's side of her window and when she looked up, Kettles saw a police officer with his gun drawn.

"I was terrified. I was scared to move," Kettles said.

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In surprise move, Newark Housing Authority votes to demolish Terrell Homes

NEWARK -- The Newark Housing Authority will move to demolish a public housing complex in the East Ward that a group of residents had fervently defended in an attempt to derail its closure.

But last week the Board of Commissioners agreed to ask the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for permission to close and demolish Millard E. Terrell Homes, a 275-unit complex, citing environmental and structural concerns.

"What will they accomplish if they demolish Terrell Homes? I've been there since 1972," Terrell Homes resident Dorothy Brazell said during a City Council meeting Wednesday. "If they demolish Terrell Homes, I don't know what I would do. I'm safe there. They talk about it like it's nothing but it's something to me because I've been living there for 50 years. Don't blow it up, fix it up."

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Newark adopts 'groundbreaking' affordable housing ordinance

NEWARK -- After months of debate over how to keep housing affordable for residents, the City Council on Wednesday adopted a much-anticipated measure that requires new developments provide low- and moderate-income units. 

The inclusionary zoning ordinance mandates new projects with 30 or more residential units set aside 20 percent as affordable.

"This is a groundbreaking step in housing development in Newark and a pioneering step for all of America's cities," Mayor Ras Baraka, who has long advocated for the ordinance said. "Once again, Newark is leading the way, defining to the nation how a city cares for its residents, and what a city should be."

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Newark girls tackle football and one of them makes history

Deanna Guzman was looking to have a memorable senior year at Newark Collegiate Academy.

No girl had ever made the school's football team. One tried two years in row, but couldn't cut it.

"I've gotta leave my print,'' Deanna said. She told this to her mother, Alashia Brown, meaning she had to leave her mark and go for it this summer.

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Newark residents concerned about homeless shelter for veterans

An empty three-story office building in Newark's Ironbound section is at the center of a heated dispute between those who wish to use it as a sorely needed shelter for homeless veterans and nearby residents who fear its impact on the community.

Independence: A Family of Services Inc., a nonprofit multiservice agency in Irvington, once operated the building as an alternative high school for dropouts and a place for families and children in crises to receive social services. Now the agency sees it as a place for homeless vets.

Everyone knows there is a need to help veterans, but residents and East Ward Councilman Augusto Amador believe their working-class neighborhood is not a suitable location for the shelter and scope of mental and behavioral health services that Independence wants to provide.

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Newark Public Schools' new student rep will be the voice of district students

By ELANA KNOPP

September 27, 2017

TAPintoNEWARK

 

Gina Matos is a young woman on a mission as she launches her term as student representative for Newark Public Schools, a role that the East Side High School senior takes very seriously.

Born and raised in Newark, Matos will serve this year as a liaison between school board members and the more than 36,000 NPS students.

Matos, who has three siblings that all attended NPS, seems to be a perfect fit for the job. The ambitious student is president of the ESHS National Honors Society as well as the ESHS Essex County College program, and was recently elected as president of the student council.

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