Newly Renamed Harriet Tubman Square Marks Launch of Newark’s Arts, Education District

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National Park Service adds site of Black church in Newark to Underground Railroad network

Published: Jun. 19, 2022

In the early 19th Century, some of Newark’s free Black residents worked as carriage drivers taking passengers to and from places like Philadelphia, Elizabeth and Jersey City, with its ferries to New York. They were precursors to the train conductors, bus drivers and commuter jet pilots that make Newark the transit hub it remains today.

Those carriage drivers were also among the city’s Black business people who bought the property necessary to vote and fund a local “station” of the Underground Railroad, the pre-Civil War escape route from enslavement to less hostile states and Canada, according to the New Jersey Historical Commission.

The Newark station was a home owned by a Black man named Jacob King. And next door was a small house of worship known, in the vernacular of the day, as the Presbyterian Plane Street Colored Church, built in 1836.

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Fast-Tracked Bill Stokes Fears of Private Development in 1,200-Acre Park

Liberty State Park opened in 1976, timed to coincide with the nation’s bicentennial celebrations.Credit...
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With just weeks to go before the state budget deadline, a powerful assortment of New Jersey politicians introduced an expansive new bill tied to an explosive old controversy.

The bill offers $250 million for park upgrades to Liberty State Park, a popular 1,200-acre recreation destination with spectacular views of New York Harbor and Lower Manhattan. But it also opens the door for the addition of amenities that generate revenue to pay for park maintenance, and for the creation of partnerships with private donors.

The move has ignited a long-simmering fight over the future of the parkland in Jersey City, pitting private interests — most notably the owner of a nearby private golf club — against proponents of a free and open park.

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New Online Tool Helps Newark Residents Find Affordable Housing

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Murphy plan to expand abortion access in N.J. unlikely to pass, top Democratic lawmaker says

Published: Jun. 16, 2022

New Jersey’s top state lawmaker said Thursday that proposals Gov. Phil Murphy is seeking to further expand access to abortion in the Garden State don’t have enough support to clear the state Legislature.

Asked if the legislation is unlikely to pass, state Senate President Nicholas Scutari, D-Union, said “yes.”

“There’s not enough votes,” Scutari told reporters at the Statehouse in Trenton.

That’s even though Murphy’s fellow Democrats control both houses of the Legislature.

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At Newark Public Safety Panel, City Leaders Highlight Investment In Community

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Gateway Tunnel needed as rail ridership will grow even under most conservative predictions, report says

Published: Jun. 15, 2022

Even under the most conservative scenario, projecting up to 50% of Manhattan office employees working from home and a sluggish job market, rail ridership between New Jersey and New York will still grow, making the Gateway Tunnel a necessity, according to a new report by the Regional Plan Association.

Despite decreases in commuter rail ridership caused by the COVID pandemic, the need to build two new rail tunnels under the Hudson and to rehabilitate the existing ones still remains. The tunnels will be needed to serve employees working a hybrid schedule, to move those who can’t work remote and to serve a growing number of those coming in and out of New York City outside of work, the study found.

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Newark voters elect platinum rapper Dupré ‘DoItAll’ Kelly to city council

Published: Jun. 15, 2022

Newark-born rapper Dupré Kelly won a runoff election for a city council seat on Tuesday, according to preliminary results, a win that, by his own reckoning and nationwide media accounts, would make him the country’s first major hip-hop artist elected to public office.

With 100% of districts reporting, Kelly, 51, a member of the hip-hop trio Lords of the Underground, won the West Ward council seat by a margin of 1,858 to 1,312 — 58.6% to 41.4% — over Chigozie Onyema, 35, a lawyer and former state official, according to results posted by the Essex County Clerk’s Office.

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Young children finally on deck to get COVID-19 vaccines

LILO H. STAINTON, HEALTH CARE WRITER | JUNE 15, 2022

NJ Spotlight News

A young participant in Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine trials.

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After months of delays, federal officials seem poised to approve COVID-19 vaccinations for a population that has lacked any immunization options to date: children 6 months to 5 years old.

A panel of vaccine experts is scheduled to review data Wednesday on products by Pfizer and Moderna that drugmakers say are safe and lower the risk of infection, hospitalization and death in young children. On Tuesday the group agreed the benefits outweigh the risks of administering the Moderna shots to children ages 6 to 17 years; Pfizer doses were approved last year for children 5 and up.

The Food and Drug Administration must still sign off on the advisory committee’s decisions and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will need to designate how these vaccinations are rolled out to the public.

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Topping off a 33-story apartment tower, Shaq and his latest project loom large over Newark

Published: Jun. 13, 2022

A 33-story apartment tower in Newark developed by NBA Hall of Famer and native son Shaquille O’Neal is nearing completion, scraping the downtown sky like Shaq once towered over the basketball court.

The 50-year-old retired center, television commentator and entrepreneur returned to the city where he was born for a “topping off” ceremony in a tent at the base of the building Monday afternoon. It included Gov. Phil Murphy, Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, brothers Wasseem and Sam Boraie, and their father, Omar, Shaq’s longtime development partners.

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