$100 Million Film Studio to Rise From Rubble of Ex-Public Housing Site

Most of Seth Boyden Court, an abandoned public housing complex in Newark, has been demolished to make way for Lionsgate Newark, a $100 million movie and television production hub.
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NEWARK — With a made-for-television flourish, Newark’s mayor, Ras Baraka, climbed into an excavator earlier this year and punched the machine’s metal claw through a crumbling brick wall of the city’s first public housing site. The long-abandoned apartment complex would be replaced, he promised, with something better.

On Tuesday afternoon, officials are expected to announce the grand new vision for the 15-acre lot: By March 2024, the mounds of rubble at the center of a blighted neighborhood less than two miles from Newark Liberty Airport are slated to be replaced by a $100 million television and movie production hub featuring six large soundstages and space for set building, postproduction editing, crew trucks and catering services.

The project has been held out primarily as an economic catalyst for Newark, a poor but growing city about 13 miles west of Midtown Manhattan. But it also offers perhaps the most visible sign yet of New Jersey’s emerging relevance in the film and television industry.

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Science Park Student Will Graduate From Prestigious STEM Program

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AS COVID-19 creeps up, models predict more infections coming

LILO H. STAINTON, HEALTH CARE WRITER | MAY 17, 2022

NJ Spotlight News

Visitors peer into the room of a COVID-19 patient in an intensive care unit.

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Public health leaders nationwide expect COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations will rise once again in the fall, as they did in past years and like the familiar seasonal cycles of the flu.

But some mathematical models predict a handful of states, including New Jersey, will see the coronavirus continue to expand its reach for another two weeks before trending downward over the summer. Hospitalizations here double between now and June 1, according to one analysis highlighted by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

New Jersey health officials said Monday that their latest modeling is now being “reviewed and finalized” — the same response provided when NJ Spotlight News asked for these predictions last week, on Monday and Thursday.

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A fix in the works for health care jobs crisis

LILO H. STAINTON, HEALTH CARE WRITER | MAY 16, 2022

NJ Spotlight News

On April 17, 2020, a health worker arrives to take a nose swab sample as part of testing for COVID-19 at a nursing and rehabilitation facility.

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The COVID-19 pandemic significantly exacerbated the existing workforce shortages in New Jersey’s health care sector. Now these shortages impact hospital nurses, nursing assistants in long-term care, home-care providers and direct-service professionals who assist disabled people, among others.

New Jersey — where the minimum wage is now $13 and rising to $15 — has spent hundreds of millions in public money to boost wages for frontline health care workers during the crisis. The state plans to invest another $211 million over the coming year to enhance pay for a range of caregivers, including mental health and child-care workers.

Leaders in business and higher education have also joined forces to support a longer-term solution to advance workforce development for the health care sector and three other industries critical to New Jersey. The New Jersey Business and Industry Association has partnered with the state’s community colleges to develop a targeted training model that connects health care graduates with credentials and opportunities for career advancement.

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Newark Commits $20M In Affordable Housing Projects Across City

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Murphy announces new push to expand abortion access as N.J. gears up as a sanctuary state

Published: May. 11, 2022

Intending to “send a message to women across the nation that we simply will not go backwards,” Gov. Phil Murphy on Wednesday announced proposals that would make abortion care cheaper in New Jersey and train more clinicians to treat people traveling from states where the procedure is expected to be illegal.

In January, the Democratic governor signed a bill that enshrined abortion rights into state law, anticipating the majority-conservative U.S. Supreme Court will render a ruling overturning or restricting Roe V. Wade in June.

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Newark Teacher Will Be Honored at Princeton University Commencement

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Baraka easily re-elected as Newark mayor

By Joey FoxMay 10 2022

New Jersey Globe

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka. 

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The New Jersey Globe projects that Newark Mayor Ras Baraka has won a third term in office, defeating challenger Sheila Montague by a huge margin in the state’s largest city.

With 88% of election districts reporting, Baraka led Montague 12,368 votes to 2,547, an 83-17% margin. Assuming those results hold, it would be the largest margin of victory for a Newark mayoral candidate since the city began holding direct elections for mayor in 1954.

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How NJ sex-ed guidelines became national news and a GOP campaign issue

IAN T. SHEARN, CONTRIBUTING WRITER | MAY 11, 2022 

NJ Spotlight News

A sex education class for ninth graders

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State Sen. Vin Gopal returned to the State House Monday determined to advance his new law that would bolster parents’ involvement in choosing which courses can be taught in public schools. It’s a volatile issue that has been rapidly gaining traction in many states over the past year and has now made its way to New Jersey.

Gopal’s bill was a reaction to a media firestorm that ignited last month after some parents in Westfield discovered what they thought were disturbing details of new, sex-education guidelines issued by the state Department of Education that must be integrated into classrooms next September.

Some Westfield parents were stunned when they read the new standards, one of which states that the basic concept of gender fluidity be introduced to second graders. Passionate Westfield parents lined up at their school board meetings to object. Local outrage became national news when Fox News pounced on the story last month. Gopal, the Monmouth County Democrat who chairs the Senate Education Committee, stepped into the fracas with his bill to ensure that parents be informed and heard on curriculum changes in their schools, and allowed to pull their children from classes they deem inappropriate.

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These 40 Newark Students Are Getting a Debt-Free College Education

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