Newark vows to reimburse retirees after health care debacle

NEWARK -- Two weeks after an uproar unfurled at City Hall over Newark's transition of employees to a new health benefits plan, questions swirled over why it was taking so long to address a key concern - retirees facing steeper prescription medication costs.

Business Administrator Jack Kelly assured the City Council on Tuesday that former employees affected by the change would be reimbursed for those costs through a debit card-like program. 

"We plan on keeping our promises that we made to our retirees," Kelly said. He added that the council will vote on contracting New York-based The Difference Card to administer the cards and reimbursements on Aug. 22.

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Baraka: What Newark police, fire unions don't want you to know about employee benefits | Opinion

By Ras J. Baraka

Posted on August 16, 2017

Some of the 200 new Newark Police Department's class 123 recruits, the largest class in 10 years, sit straight back during a welcoming ceremony held at Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark


Police and fire union members showed up in force at a recent City Council meeting to complain that union retirees have lost their health benefits because the city is transitioning employees to the State Health Benefits Plan.

They were dead wrong. Nothing could be further from the truth.

No retirees have lost their benefits. The union members at the council meeting were parroting some of the misinformation they have been fed by their union leaders.

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Newark woman is an inspiration after life threatening ordeal

In July 2016, when a doctor walked into her hospital room to review her unusual case, there weren't any guarantees for Khara Brown, a vibrant 21-year-old Newark woman whose life was upended the year before.

Brown didn't want an intestinal transplant, but needed one after hers was inflamed and ruptured. She nearly died, falling into a coma following surgery. She was temporarily paralyzed and couldn't speak until she rebounded with intense therapy and the strong Christian faith of her upbringing.

Her favorite Scripture, one Brown relies on for assurance, is Jeremiah 29:11: "For I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.''

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NFL great Jim Brown returns to Newark to attend graduation

NEWARK -- NFL great Jim Brown, will be back in Newark Monday afternoon, speaking at a local graduation ceremony for a nationwide program he founded to help young men fulfill their academic and life potential.

A total of 16 youths and adults ages 18-30 will graduate from the Amer-I-Can Life Skills program during a 5 p.m. ceremony at The Priory on West Market Street. Brown, considered by many to be football's greatest player, will be joined by Mayor Ras Baraka.

The program "teaches participants to meet their academic potential and to conform their behavior to acceptable society standards and to improve the quality of their lives by equipping them with the critical life management skills to confidently and successfully contribute to society," according to the group's brochure.

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'It's starting to hit me,' Newark graduate gets ready for Harvard

NEWARK -- Kim Boerrigter can't stop smiling when she talks about it. 

The 18-year-old graduate of Malcolm X Shabazz High School, pushes back her brown hair hanging a few inches over a T-shirt that reads: "Straight off to Cambridge, MA."

Boerrigter is going to Harvard University this fall -- on a full scholarship.

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Newark deputy mayor accused of harassment by members of Puerto Rican Day Parade

NEWARK -- Long simmering animus between some members of the city's Puerto Rican community and Deputy Mayor Jacqueline Quiles has reached a new boiling point. 

A volunteer for the Puerto Rican Statewide Heritage Parade and North Ward district leader is accusing Quiles of harassment after she allegedly unleashed an expletive-laden tirade on her. 

Leaders of the parade are holding a press conference Monday to denounce what they say is Quiles's latest action against them since her appointment to City Hall in 2015.

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A Revival Comes to Newark, but Some Worry It’s ‘Not for Us’

NEWARK — The old department store has been transformed into luxury apartments with high ceilings, bike parking and, as the developers boast, an opportunity to be in downtown Newark, a neighborhood “on the brink of something great.”

A Whole Foods has moved in, and Marcus Samuelsson, the celebrity chef, is opening a restaurant. A public park that recently underwent a multimillion-dollar renovation is a short stroll away, and a little farther another luxury apartment building is joining the skyline.

It has been a long time coming, but New Jersey’s largest city is finally turning a corner.

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West African refugee reopens Newark IHOP with plans to hire

NEWARK-- When West African refugee Adenah Bayoh landed in Newark 26 years ago, the city was "literally heaven on earth" for her.  

She arrived at John F. Kennedy International Airport at the age of 12 after the civil war pushed her from her Liberian village into a refugee camp in Sierra Leone.

"Coming from somewhere with no toilets or running water... When I heard people say Newark is this dangerous place, I didn't know what they were talking about," said Bayoh.

Now a successful businesswoman and developer, Bayoh is opening her third IHOP restaurant in the same city she spent her childhood, and hopes to be part of what officials are calling "Newark's renaissance."

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CEO of revived Newark Alliance urges businesses to hire residents

NEWARK -- Newark's renaissance will be a hollow and unsustainable one if residents do not share in it, the new CEO of the revived Newark Alliance told members of the civic-oriented business group Wednesday night.

"While many of us work, play and do business here, Newark ultimately belongs to the people who call it home," CEO Kimberly McLain told some 200 business and political leaders gathered in the Lafayette Tower glass atrium at Prudential Center during the alliance's first public event in two years following the departure of its esteemed former leader.

"We can insure that development continues -- and development is good -- but we can insure that local residents don't get left behind in the renaissance," McLain said.

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Newark officials seek to expand Ironbound section

By David Cruz





The Ironbound section in the East Ward has been Newark’s most stable neighborhood for decades. Rich in diversity and economic activity, it has prospered through some of the city’s toughest times. Now, it seems everyone looking for the new hot spot has discovered the Ironbound and that, not surprisingly, has led to a conflict over the neighborhood’s future. As Newark officials try to encourage more development, they’ve amended the city’s master plan to encourage density and height, and that has residents in the community concerned.

“Is it benefitting developers and their investments or is it benefitting the actual community?” Daniel Wiley, Coordinator, Housing Justice Ironbound Community Corporation asked.

The concern is over a zoning amendment the city’s calling MX-3, which allows buildings in part of the Ironbound community to go up as high as 15 stories, which represents a major change.

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