Months after 6-year-old girl was shot by stray bullet, ‘this is a good day’

Posted Dec 20, 2018

Liya Williams doesn’t think much about the firecracker on July 4th.

That’s what it had to be in the mind of this 6-year-old. Not a stray bullet.

Unfortunately, though, it was a bullet that struck this cheery little girl in the leg when she was walking with her father after watching fireworks at Nat Turner Park in Newark five months ago.

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Federal Judge Says Newark Doesn't Need to Expand Filter Program to East Ward

The city's special counsel, Eric Klein (right) and Bina Reddy (center) stand with Newark Corporation Counsel Kenyatta (left) Stewart outside of federal court in Newark.
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NEWARK, NJ - A federal judge today denied a request from a group suing Newark over elevated lead levels to have the city extend a filter program into the East Ward. 

The Natural Resources Defense Council  (NRDC) filed its request via an emergency motion as part of a larger lawsuit that alleges city and state officials caused Newark’s lead problem by violating regulations. But the federal court judge refused to grant the motion since the NRDC did not prove irreparable harm to the East Ward.

“Quite frankly, I don’t think you’ve sustained the burden,” said U.S. District Judge Esther Salas, who repeatedly became agitated that the NRDC was using evidence that did not appear in its original motion during today’s arguments in court.

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VICE News to Air Segment About Newark's Lead Problem Ahead of Court Hearing

VICE will air a segment about the lead problem in Newark at 7:30 p.m. tonight ahead of a court hearing on Tuesday about the issue.
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NEWARK, NJ - VICE News Tonight is scheduled to air a segment about Newark’s lead issues ahead of a hearing tomorrow in federal court, where advocacy groups will try to convince a judge to make the city expand its filter program.

The Natural Resources Defense Council and the Newark Education Workers Caucus alleged in a lawsuit that city and state officials violated regulations that lead to elevated levels of lead in Newark's water. The hearing tomorrow will ask a judge to make the city extend its filter program to the East Ward, which Newark Mayor Ras Baraka and other city officials have repeatedly said is unaffected by the lead issue.

The city began to distribute lead filters to residents in October after a hired consultant found that a chemical the city adds to its water supply to prevent lead from leaching off into pipes had become ineffective. Baraka and others in his administration have said the East Ward gets its water from a supply that uses an effective corrosion control inhibitor that prevents lead from getting into residents’ drinking water.

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State Supreme Court Denies Newark Parents' Appeal of Teacher Layoff Laws

The lawsuit challenged a state law known as last-in, first-out.
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NEWARK, NJ - The New Jersey Supreme Court denied hearing an appeal from a group of Newark parents that challenged state law which requires newer teachers be laid off before more senior - and likely - tenured ones. 

The lawsuit was filed by six parents for their children who attend Newark Public Schools. The suit claimed their children were being academically harmed because of a last-in, first-out statue throughout the state, which requires all school districts to first fire teachers that were hired more recently before senior faculty.

The suit wanted the courts to declare the law, abbreviated as LIFO, unconstitutional since the parents claimed it was "quality-blind." By basing faculty layoffs on seniority alone, the Newark school district would be forced to retain "ineffective" teachers while laying off newer, but more "effective" ones.

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‘Newark Must Not Become Another Brooklyn,’ Baraka Says After Announcing Commission on Gentrification

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka today unveiled a new commission aimed at preventing gentrification in the city.
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NEWARK, NJ - Newark Mayor Ras Baraka stood at a lectern today that was adorned with a sign that had one, simple message: “NO GENTRIFICATION.”

In the hopes of meeting that end, the city has created a new Equitable Growth Advisory Commission. It will draw up to 15 members from the community, academia, businesses and nonprofits to make recommendations to the city on topics about land use laws, housing, public housing and bidding.

“We do not want to wait for the market to dictate to us how to develop and move in our city,” Baraka said at a press conference today unveiling the commission. “We want to influence the market, but we also want to use some of those market forces against itself. So we're going to use some of those market forces to create something different than what the market kind of anticipates.”

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Ethics Complaint Says Newark Municipal Judge Had Woman Jailed for 23 Days Over Being 'Disrespectful'

A judge at the Newark Municipal Court, pictured above, faces an ethics complaint from the Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct.
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NEWARK, NJ - A municipal court judge in Newark faces ethics charges over allegedly incarcerating a woman who he said was "disrespectful" during a court appearance that involved a landlord-tenant dispute.

The Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct last month filed the complaint against Newark Municipal Court Judge Marvin Adames. The complaints says Adames ultimately had the woman jailed for 23 days while she awaited a contempt of court hearing.

In 2016, Linda Lacey appeared before Adames to face a petty disorderly persons charge in a landlord-tenant dispute, the complaint says. As attorneys were discussing an issue about how Lacey did not allow the landlord to show the property, which was listed for sale, the complaint says Adames remarked that she should have a psychological evaluation.

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Newark Mayor Calls for Shakeup at University Hospital After 2 More Babies With Bacterial Infection Die

Two more infants have died at University Hospital after the state began investigating four cases of a bacterial infection there in October.
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NEWARK, NJ -- Newark Mayor Ras Baraka called for a change in leadership at University Hospital after two more infants died at University Hospital amid a state investigation of four bacterial infection cases. 

The state Department of Health yesterday confirmed that two premature babies with the bacteria Acinetobacter baumannii died last week after receiving care at the hospital. A third baby with the same bacteria died at the end of September after being transferred to different hospital, the health department said.

The three babies that have died were part of four confirmed cases that the health department began investigating at the in October. The fourth infant was discharged at the end of last month. No new infections have been confirmed since last month, the health department said. 

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New MX-3 Proposal Postponed by Newark City Council

The shaded areas show the proposed areas that would be affected by the MX-3 zone.
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NEWARK, NJ - Council members on Thursday postponed voting on a new draft of a land use ordinance -- one that could potentially allow buildings in the Ironbound to increase to 20 stories -- because they did not have enough time to review it. 

The original MX-3 ordinance was approved last year, but was overturned in court last month after an advocacy group known as PLANewark filed suit over the changes. The summary judgment ruled that any project approved under the MX-3 ordinance was null, putting a 12-story residential development at 28-50 McWhorter St. in jeopardy.

Hundreds have previously protested the changes to the long-standing Portuguese community near Penn Station, which is filled with many bodegas, churches and three-family homes. The measure on Thursday only appeared on the city's website as a last-minute starter resolution after the meeting, making it difficult for people to know that it would come up for a vote. 

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WITH AMAZON HQ2 NOT LIKELY TO LAND IN NEWARK, TALK TURNS TO TAXES, INCENTIVES

JOHN REITMEYER | NOVEMBER 13, 2018

NJ Spotlight

 

Although it hasn’t been officially announced, it appears that Amazon has chosen to split its East Coast headquarters between New York’s Long Island City and Northern Virginia — leaving Newark as an also-ran in the closely watched competition.

Nevertheless, Gov. Phil Murphy and other New Jersey officials believe the state has already benefited by having Newark listed among the top 20 finalists that were announced earlier this year, bringing invaluable attention to the city’s ongoing revitalization. The Garden State could also profit indirectly by having residents within close commuting distance of some of the new Amazon offices if they end up in Queens. And some wishful thinkers still believe Newark may not be altogether out of the running for a small slice of the action.

Meanwhile, Amazon’s prolonged site-selection process has also rekindled a debate about the role that taxes — and corporate-tax incentives — play in the broader competition among states when it comes to landing the biggest corporate fish.

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Newark Residents Choose Elected School Board; Dems Win Big in Essex County

NEWARK, NJ - Newark residents chose to have an elected school board rather than members appointed by the mayor, according to unofficial election results at this time.  

Newark Public Schools regained local control this year after the state ran the district for about 22 years. The transition plan included having Newark voters decide if the district's designation should be a type I (appointed) or type II (elected).

Polls closed at 8 p.m. Unofficial results from the county clerk’s office show 12,218 residents have voted so far to have an elected school board, while 4,005 cast a ballot to have the mayor appoint members to the nine-member school board.

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