Newark Mayor Weds, Social Media Fills with Congratulations

NEWARK, NJ - City officials have flocked to social media to congratulate Mayor Ras Baraka, who wed in Newark on Saturday.

Baraka, 48, married Linda Jumah, a political consultant who once worked on his campaign. Lawmakers like Gov. Phil Murphy attended the marriage ceremony at the Newark Museum, according to a councilman who attended the wedding and photos posted on social media.

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Newark City Council Advances Pay Hike for Themselves After Giving Mayor $50K Raise

City council advanced a set of measures that could add an additional $30,000 to the mayor's salary and increase their own salaries as well.
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NEWARK, NJ - Mayor Ras Baraka just got a raise and now another set of ordinances could potentially increase his salary again while giving council members a higher paycheck.

City council on Tuesday fully approved raising Baraka’s salary by $50,000 to $180,000 and new salary ranges for several other top administrators. The ordinance was passed after the state’s fiscal monitoring of Newark mostly ended in mid-2018, the city’s chief operations officers previously said.

"There have been no increases for the administration for at least 12 years,” said city Business Administrator Eric Pennington, who could see his own salary rise up to $260,000. "And in the case of the mayor, it's a little complicated but it's been more than that [...] The current mayor has made less than his predecessor and his predecessor's predecessor.

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N.J. mayor gets $50K pay increase -- and he may get $30K more

Updated Feb 26, 2019

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka will earn another $50,000 a year, boosting his salary to $180,000 after the city council on Tuesday approved pay increases for him and his top administrators.

The mayor’s 38 percent wage boost is retroactive to July 1, 2018. The council also set higher salary ranges for 24 positions like departmental directors, aides in the mayor’s office and aides to council members. City officials say they have not seen pay increases in 12 years.

“Not every person will go to the top of the range,” Business Administrator Eric Pennington said. Where employees fall on the new pay scales will be determined by performance, budget constraints and comparable salaries elsewhere.

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Students Who Attend This Newark High School Could Soon Graduate As Substitute Teachers

(L to R) AFT President Randi Weingarten, Montclair State University President Dr. Susan Cole and Newark Public Schools Superintendent Roger Leon sign a preliminary agreement for a new teachers academy
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NEWARK, NJ - Newark Public Schools Superintendent Roger Leon is guaranteeing full-time teaching jobs to East Side High School students who begin their journey to become teachers at a new academy that prepares students to become educators. 

The promise would apply to students who complete the new Teacher Education Academy at East Side High School and go onto to graduate with a teaching degree from Montclair State University. Students who enroll in and complete the academy will not only earn a high school diploma, but also a substitute teaching certificate and college credit.

"When they graduate from college, if they have all of the conditions necessary to accept the job, they automatically do not need to look for any other job in any other school district,” Leon said today to an auditorium filled with students at East Side High School students.

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Newark High School Ranked in the Top Five in New Jersey

Graduates from Uncommon Schools North Star Academy Class of 2018 holding shirts from the colleges and universities they are attending.
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A Newark charter high school has landed at the top of a national ranking that measures how many students take rigorous, college-level Advanced Placement courses.

Uncommon Schools’ North Star Academy in Newark was ranked the top five in New Jersey in the Challenge Index, a national ranking based on the percentage of students who take Advanced Placement courses.

The Challenge Index, which has been published in both The Washington Post and Newsweek since 1998, is the oldest ranking system in the nation.

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Groups Suing Newark Over Lead Claim City's Filter Program is 'Haphazard'

Newark residents outlined the difficulties they've had with the city's lead filter program in newly-filed court documents.
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NEWARK, NJ - Sabre Burroughs typed in her North Ward address on the city’s online database to see if her home had a lead service line.

That’s when the confusion began.

First, no information came up. She typed in her address again, this time without the North prefix of her address. After living at the same residence for the last 15 years, she says her address has sometimes been listed without the word North in it.

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Who needs Amazon? Newark’s got $4B in development coming, and is looking for someone to guide it.

Updated Feb 20, 2019

With more than $4 billion of planned development in queue -- including housing by Shaquille O’Neal and Queen Latifah -- Newark officials will conduct a national search for a new leader to oversee economic growth in the city.

John Palmieri, Newark’s Director of Economic and Housing Development for the last six months, will retire in March to focus on family and personal issues, officials announced Wednesday.

Palmieri was first hired last year as the Deputy Mayor for economic growth, transportation and infrastructure and later, additionally took over the development department.

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Couple's Vision Brings Art, Expression to Newark's West Ward

(L to R): Emma Wilcox, Laura Bonas-Palmer, Pamela Daniels, Jeremy Johnson and Kaishon Way stand together during the opening night of an exhibit at "Akwaaba," an art gallery in Newark's West Ward.

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NEWARK, NJ - When Laura Bonas-Palmer and her husband bought 509-511 South Orange Ave. in 2016, she knew immediately knew what the ground floor would be used for: an art gallery.

Friday night was the opening reception for that gallery’s first art exhibit. And residents, passerby and those in the art community took notice. After all, many couldn’t even recall the last time they had seen another art gallery in the West Ward.

"It's all Downtown," Bonas-Palmer said, as she stood inside her art gallery, beaming at the large turnout during opening night. Attendees could barely walk around each other to see the vibrant artwork, mostly created by Newark residents.

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N.J. principal has been on ‘Ellen’ and is getting love from Sen. Booker, all thanks to washing machines

Updated Feb 14, 2019

West Side High School Principal Akbar Cook doesn’t check his Twitter account much.

But he took a look this week when someone made a negative comment about the washing machines he had installed at his school in Newark to deal with the bullying of kids who weren’t able to wash their school uniforms at home.

Unfazed by the comment, Cook continued to read previous Twitter messages and was stunned to a see a post from Sen. Cory Booker, who praised his actions and tagged him as a Black History Month figure.

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City sold property for $1. Now it wants to rent it back for $27M.

Posted Feb 13, 2019

Less than two years after Newark sold a piece of property for $1 to its parking authority, city officials are pushing a deal to lease it back.

The total cost for the city: More than $27 million over 30 years.

The Newark Parking Authority plans to develop the land on 43-67 Green Street into a five-story parking deck with administrative offices and retail space. The city would then rent storage space for its municipal court, relocate its finance department there and get 258 parking spots for use during business hours.

But the proposal is befuddling some members of the city council, who say Newark should have kept the prime real estate and developed it on its own. The lot, currently providing parking for city employees, is steps from City Hall and the Prudential Center

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