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    Google News / 16.01.2018 15:59
  • Boys basketball Players of the Week for all 15 conferences, Jan. 8-14Boys basketball Players of the Week for all 15 conferences, Jan. 8-14

    Who stole our attention on the hardcourt this week?

    NJ.com / 58 min. ago
  •  Newark man stands tall with renewed dignity after pardon from Gov. Christie | Carter Newark man stands tall with renewed dignity after pardon from Gov. Christie | Carter

    Altorice Frazier of Newark can stand with renewed dignity after Gov. Chris Christie called to tell him that he had been granted a pardon.  The text message I received from Altorice Frazier on Friday evening relayed the good news he needed to jump-start 2018. "Gov. Christie just called me.'' "What did he say? "Full pardon.'' When I wrote about Frazier last February, he didn't want anyone to know he had applied for a pardon. MORE: Recent Barry Carter columns   My column then was how Frazier, 41, a Newark resident who had been convicted of selling drugs, returned home from jail in 2004 and proved that men like him can make it. I had not seen him in eight years when he tapped on my car window and began to explain how education saved him. Frazier is now a married man, proud father of five, and most importantly, a vocal parent leader in the charter school movement. His personal rebirth and parent advocacy were the only things he wanted to highlight when we bumped into each other. He mentioned the pardon, asked that I not include that angle, thinking it would leave an impression that he was grandstanding. Today, Frazier can stand with renewed dignity after answering Christie's unexpected call at 5:58 p.m. Friday. "I never thought that this would happen,'' said Frazier, who was among 26 people granted clemency. I feel like the state recognized now that's not who I am.'' He was eating at Wendy's restaurant on Market and Bergen streets in Newark with his 5-year-old daughter, Alanna, when an unfamiliar number appeared on his cellphone. "This is Gov. Christie.'' Frazier had been waiting for this since he applied in May, but he began to worry when his name wasn't on the pardon list Christie issued last month. All he could do was wait, pray and hope something would happen before Christie, who has issued 55 clemency orders during his tenure, left office. When the call actually came, Frazier was so excited to hear Christie's voice that he wanted everyone in line ordering food at Wendy's to know who had just called him. "Hey, y'all. The governor is on the phone." The conversation might have taken all of three minutes, but Frazier said it felt like 20. "I can walk around now like I've never been locked up before,'' Frazier said. "It's like, wow. It's over.'' Considering how life started for Frazier, this is some kind of ending. Frazier bounced from one foster home to the other until he was adopted at age 9. By 16, Frazier was selling drugs and going nowhere when he dropped out of high school. The Garden State Youth Correctional Facility in Yardville became his home in 1999, when he was 22 and received a 13-year sentence for drug trafficking.  Frazier, however, served five, the earliest he was eligible for parole. While locked up, Frazier wised up and education became important. He earned his General Educational Development diploma and took college courses in accounting, math and small business training. After his release, Frazier focused on self-improvement classes, anger management and cognitive thinking while he was at the halfway house. Convinced that his life had purpose, Frazier remained employed in all sorts of positions, determined to stay out of jail. He worked for Pathmark, then an accounting firm. Next he prepared taxes for H&R Block, until he was hired as a re-entry coordinator at the Community Education Center, a rehabilitative service for ex-offenders that once helped him. Parent advocacy wasn't in his sights at all. He got into it as a way to bond with his stepdaughter when he unexpectedly won an election in 2005 to be president of the parent organization at North Star Academy Charter School. From there, he was hooked, moving on to serve as a parent representative for five years on the board that governs the charter school. He was president of the parent group at one of the Newark Preschool Council sites, then chairman of its policy council. Now he's co-chair of the Essex County Council for Young Children, an initiative of Program for Parents, which is a non-profit group that advocates for parents and children. This pedigree is not grandstanding. It's about commitment. His mother, Patricia Frazer, is astounded. Her son didn't like school growing up in Elizabeth. Teachers called her constantly about his behavior, but look at him now. His passion is education, school reform and working with parents. "I would have never in a million years thought my son would be in the school system,'' she said. "He's always been a good guy who just needed a fair chance and he was blessed to get one.''  MORE CARTER:  He empowered Newark parents to fight for their children's education | Carter The pardon does that. It recognizes his work, that he is worth having his transgressions wiped from the record. That's what Oscar James, his friend and former Newark South Ward councilman, told him when he encouraged Frazier to apply. "Why not you?'' James said. He had a story to tell, and he did so in 2008, when I first wrote about him. Last year was the second time. This is the third, a trifecta worth every sentence. Frazier gets the final word, in the form of another text message, which he sent to me at 12:53 a.m. Saturday. It contained a digital copy of the pardon. "It's official, my brother,'' he wrote.   Barry Carter: (973) 836-4925 or bcarter@starledger.com or  nj.com/carter or follow him on Twitter @BarryCarterSL

    NJ.com / 59 min. ago more
  • 100 volunteers paint murals at Jones Elementary School100 volunteers paint murals at Jones Elementary School

    More than 100 volunteers descended on Jones Elementary School on Monday to transform several blank walls into colorful murals depicting science-related scenes.

    Newark Post / 7 h. 14 min. ago
  • MLK Day of Service benefits Newark Senior CenterMLK Day of Service benefits Newark Senior Center

    With the day off from school, Ayanah Jones and Lindy McNelis easily could have chosen to stay home and relax Monday. Instead, the teens headed to the Newark Senior Center to participate in a day of service in honor of…

    Newark Post / 7 h. 44 min. ago
  • Newark Central (74) at Paterson Eastside (63) - Boys Basketball - NJ.comNewark Central (74) at Paterson Eastside (63) - Boys Basketball - NJ.com

    Newark Central (74) at Paterson Eastside (63) - Boys BasketballNJ.comKeith Rogers added on 21 points to the win, while Dee-End McRae had 15 points, and Shaquan Clark had 10. Lamar Johnson tallied 29 points for Paterson Eastside, while Yoehly Ortiz scored 15 and Gody Jeannys finished with 12 points. Sponsored Links ...

    Google News / 10 h. 49 min. ago
  • Service to social justice: How N.J. spent MLK Day Service to social justice: How N.J. spent MLK Day

    Though the Civil Rights icon, Martin Luther King Jr. was killed nearly 50 years ago, New Jerseyans showed the fight for justice continues.

    NJ.com / 12 h. 11 min. ago
  • 2 Newark Missing Persons; Boy, Man Both Found: UPDATED - Patch.com2 Newark Missing Persons; Boy, Man Both Found: UPDATED - Patch.com

    Patch.com2 Newark Missing Persons; Boy, Man Both Found: UPDATEDPatch.com2 Newark Missing Persons; Boy, Man Both Found: UPDATED. NEWARK, NJ -- UPDATE: Newark police reported Monday that Willie Stinson was located in Pompton Plains and is safe. Our original article follows below. Newark police said that a pair of missing ...

    Google News / 13 h. 18 min. ago
  • Hundreds march at Newark airport for higher wages | NJ.com - NJ.comHundreds march at Newark airport for higher wages | NJ.com - NJ.com

    NJ.comHundreds march at Newark airport for higher wages | NJ.comNJ.comAirport workers and their advocates are counting on support from New Jersey's incoming Democratic governor to boost airport wages to $15 an hour, by law or a Port Authority policy.Newark Airport workers demand higher pay, march between ... - Pix11WPIX 11 New YorkAirport unions protest, seeking higher wages - ROI-NJROI-NJ.comall 5 news articles »

    Google News / 13 h. 43 min. ago more
  • Hundreds march at Newark airport for higher wagesHundreds march at Newark airport for higher wages

    Airport workers and their advocates are counting on support from New Jersey's incoming Democratic governor to boost airport wages to $15 an hour, by law or a Port Authority policy Watch video Hundreds of Newark airport workers joined union leaders and federal, state and local elected officials Monday for a Martin Luther King Jr. Day march and rally to demand higher wages. Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, former mayor and U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), the state Assembly's new speaker, Craig Coughlin, and others addressed more than 600 aircraft cabin cleaners, custodians and others who had gathered inside Terminal C at Newark Liberty International Airport, after marching through Terminal B, then outside along the airport road on the frigid but sunny federal holiday honoring the slain civil rights leader. Officials noted that King was pressing for economic equality when he was assassinated in April 1968 while in Memphis to support sanitation workers seeking higher wages. "It's important for us to understand when we celebrate Dr. King, we have to celebrate what he stood for," Baraka told the large crowd inside Terminal C. More than 600 airport workers carried placards reading "Justice for Airport Workers," "I AM a woman," and "I AM a man," and chanted in call-and-response refrains, "No justice! No Peace!" and "When we fight...We win!"  Many of the workers wore purple beanies of Local 32BJ of the Service Employees International Union,which represents about 2,500 airport workers in Newark. Others wore the trademark red colors of UNITE HERE, the merged Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees and Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees union, which also represents some Newark airport workers. About 10,000 people work in low-wage ground support jobs at Newark Liberty for firms contracted by Newark Liberty's main tenant, United Airlines, and other carriers there. The unions have been gradually organizing airport workers into bargaining units at their respective companies in recent years, while at the same time pushing for higher airport wage requirements by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the which operates Newark Liberty in New Jersey and John F. Kennedy International and LaGuardia airports in New York. Workers at LaGuardia and JFK typically make more than their counterparts at Newark Liberty despite doing the same work at airports run by the same bi-state agency because New York State has a higher minimum wage than New Jersey. Specifically, the minimum in New York -- which applies to workers at Kennedy and LaGuardia -- rose to $12 an hour on Dec. 31, and is scheduled to rise to $15 an hour as of Dec. 31, 2018, under the law signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York. New Jersey's minimum wage, by contrast, rose to $8.44 an hour on Jan. 1. The effective minimum wage at Newark Liberty is higher than that thanks to a Port Authority airport minimum wage policy that took effect in 2015, requiring airport tenants or their contractors to pay their workers at least $10.10 an hour. But that still lags behind the New York State minimum that applies to workers at Newark and JFK. Millie Perez, a 47-year-old terminal cleaner at Newark Liberty who was at Monday's rally, said she makes $11.70 an hour. That's $1.60 above the Newark airport minimum, but still barely enough to cover the $950 rent on the 2-bedroom Newark apartment she shares with her twp kids. "It's not much for me," Perez said in Spanish. "I'm always struggling." The unions staged a similar airport march on the King holiday last year, with little immediate effect. But Perez, her coworkers and their advocates are hoping things will be different this year, when Gov.-elect Phil Murphy is scheduled to be sworn-in Tuesday to replace Gov. Chris Christie. Murphy, a Democrat who enjoyed union support in the November election, had appeared before the Port Authority Board of Commissioners during his campaign urging members to adopt a $15/hour airport wage that would apply to both sides of the Hudson River. The board declined. But because the governors of the two states share control of the Port Authority through their power to appoint commissioners and to veto their actions, officials say Murphy will be able to do more than just urge the 12-member Port Authority board to raise airport wages. Specifically, said 32BJ President Hector Figueroa, Murphy can direct the Port Authority's New Jersey commissioners to reconsider the airport wage issue, while working with Cuomo, a fellow Democrat, to insure that New York's commissioners also support a $15/hour airport wage policy. Murphy issued a statement released by 32BJ, saying he was "proud to stand with all workers who demand a stronger and fairer New Jersey economy that works for every family." "Today, we honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s legacy of fighting for justice - a legacy kept alive by airport workers fighting for a fair wage. Tomorrow, and together, we will turn the page and begin anew the work to strengthen our communities and our economy." Dan Bryan, a spokesman for Murphy, declined to say just what concrete steps Murphy intended to take once he is sworn in. Figueroa and Booker both said that, based on their conversations with Murphy, they were confident there would be action soon. "Tomorrow we have a new governor in New Jersey," Figueroa said in an interview after the march. "We are not going to waste time, and aiport workers are going to get a raise." Steve Strunsky may be reached at sstrunsky@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @SteveStrunsky. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

    NJ.com / 13 h. 44 min. ago more
  • Car plows into hair salon, severely injuring woman leaving shopCar plows into hair salon, severely injuring woman leaving shop

    A car plowed into a hair salon in Essex County, leaving a customer who was standing outside with severe leg injuries, police said. A car plowed into a hair salon in Essex County, leaving a customer who was standing outside with severe leg injuries, police said. An 81-year-old woman drove her 2015 Volkswagen into the Hair Core salon on Fairfield Road just before 10 a.m., police said. Before hitting the storefront, the vehicle struck a Totowa woman who had just left the salon, cops said. The 60-year-old woman was transported to a local hospital for injuries to her legs and feet. She was in stable condition with non-life threatening injuries, but will need further orthopedic treatment, Fairfield Police Chief Anthony Manna said.  The driver, from Fairfield, was checked by medical personnel at the scene and refused any treatment, Manna said. She possessed a valid driver's license and told police she has no medical condition. Van crashes through front of floor covering shop, driver flees "Substantial" damage was done to the storefront, Manna said. The car drove into a cinderblock wall, destroying the cinderblocks and shattering the window. It remains unclear what caused the crash, but the driver may have mistakenly hit the gas instead of the brake, Manna said.  The car was impounded to check the mechanics as Fairfield Police continues its investigation. No summonses were issued to the driver.  Sophie Nieto-Munoz may be reached at snietomunoz@njadvancemedia.com. Follow her at @snietomunoz. Find NJ.com on Facebook. Have a tip? Tell us. nj.com/tips  

    NJ.com / 15 h. 59 min. ago more
  • Ice Hockey: 20 can't-miss games, Jan. 15-21Ice Hockey: 20 can't-miss games, Jan. 15-21

    See which games you should keep an eye on this week.

    NJ.com / 18 h. 11 min. ago
  • Girls Basketball: 19 can't-miss games for the week of Jan. 15Girls Basketball: 19 can't-miss games for the week of Jan. 15

    See what the biggest girls basketball games across N.J. are this week.

    NJ.com / 20 h. 24 min. ago
  • NJ.com boys basketball Top 20, Jan. 15: How did huge matchups affect rankings?NJ.com boys basketball Top 20, Jan. 15: How did huge matchups affect rankings?

    Did the top teams maintain their slots?

    NJ.com / 21 h. 56 min. ago
  • Muprhy prays and parties in Newark before inauguration - TAPinto.netMuprhy prays and parties in Newark before inauguration - TAPinto.net

    TAPinto.netMuprhy prays and parties in Newark before inaugurationTAPinto.netBefore he sits in the most powerful governor's seat in America, New Jersey Gov.-elect Phil Murphy got on his knees and prayed in the heart of Newark, the state's largest city. The diverse crowd at an interfaith service at the Cathedral Basilica of the ...and more »

    Google News / 22 h. 36 min. ago more
  • United, wake up: Newark-Liberty workers deserve a fair wage | EditorialUnited, wake up: Newark-Liberty workers deserve a fair wage | Editorial

    Just north of Newark-Liberty, where hurried travelers along McCarter Highway don't have time to read between the lines, a United Airlines billboard ad states that it is "Proud to support Newark with 13,700 local jobs." To show its obeisance, the labor union SEIU 32BJ responded with a pair of billboards of its own on Rts.

    Newark News / 1 d. 0 h. 26 min. ago
  • N.J. pets in need: Jan. 15, 2018N.J. pets in need: Jan. 15, 2018

    Dogs and cats throughout the state await adoption. Here is this week's collection of some of the dogs and cats in need of adoption in New Jersey. We accept dogs and cats to appear in the gallery from nonprofit shelters and rescues throughout New Jersey. If a group wishes to participate in this weekly gallery on nj.com, please contact Greg Hatala at ghatala@starledger.com or call 973-836-4922. Greg Hatala may be reached at ghatala@starledger.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregHatala. Find Greg Hatala on Facebook.

    NJ.com / 1 d. 0 h. 59 min. ago more
  • United, wake up: Newark-Liberty workers deserve a fair wage ... - NJ.comUnited, wake up: Newark-Liberty workers deserve a fair wage ... - NJ.com

    NJ.comUnited, wake up: Newark-Liberty workers deserve a fair wage ...NJ.comJust north of Newark-Liberty, where hurried travelers along McCarter Highway don't have time to read between the lines, a United Airlines billboard ad states that it is "Proud to support Newark with 13,700 local jobs." To show its obeisance, the labor ...MLK Day Op-Ed: Airport Wages Are 'Affront To King's Legacy'Patch.comall 2 news articles »

    Google News / 1 d. 1 h. 22 min. ago more
  • Wrestling smorgasbord: Can't miss duals, quads, tournaments, Jan 15-20Wrestling smorgasbord: Can't miss duals, quads, tournaments, Jan 15-20

    NJ.com looks at the can't-miss dual meets, quads and county and conference tournaments for the week of Jan 15-20, 2018

    NJ.com / 1 d. 1 h. 46 min. ago
  • How low did the wind chills drop overnight?How low did the wind chills drop overnight?

    On Sunday, forecasters warned the wind chill will plunge parts of New Jersey into the lower single digits or below zero temperatures. The National Weather Service expects a frigid morning with temperatures in the afternoon struggling to reach past the mid-20s.

    Newark News / 1 d. 7 h. 16 min. ago
  • Food Bank of Delaware nears fundraising goal for new warehouseFood Bank of Delaware nears fundraising goal for new warehouse

    The Food Bank of Delaware is nearing its fundraising goal for its new headquarters as interior construction is set to begin at the 80,000-square-foot facility in Glasgow.

    Newark Post / 1 d. 7 h. 44 min. ago
  • Woman killed in Newark hit and run - NJ.comWoman killed in Newark hit and run - NJ.com

    NJ.comWoman killed in Newark hit and runNJ.comA woman was struck and killed by a fleeing driver along South Orange Avenue in Newark on Sunday, the Essex County Prosecutor's Office said. The hit and run incident occurred around 1 a.m. near the intersection with North Munn Avenue, Katherine Carter ...

    Google News / 1 d. 17 h. 45 min. ago
  • Woman killed in Newark hit and runWoman killed in Newark hit and run

    The prosecutor's office said a woman was fatally struck by a car on Sunday. A woman was struck and killed by a fleeing driver along South Orange Avenue in Newark on Sunday, the Essex County Prosecutor's Office said.  The hit and run incident occurred around 1 a.m. near the intersection with North Munn Avenue, Katherine Carter, a spokeswoman for the prosecutor's office confirmed. Additional details on the fatal accident were not immediately released. Authorities did not provide further information on the victim. Karen Yi may be reached at kyi@njadvancemedia.com. Follow her on Twitter at @karen_yi or on Facebook.   

    NJ.com / 1 d. 17 h. 46 min. ago more
  • Chris Christie and Phil Murphy join together to fight TrumpChris Christie and Phil Murphy join together to fight Trump

    Gov. Chris Christie, left, listens to U.S. Sen. Cory Booker during a Newark press conference in April 2017 to discuss transportation investments. (Aristide Economopoulos WASHINGTON -- New Jersey's incoming and outgoing governors joined U.S. Sens. Cory Booker and Robert Menendez Sunday in urging President Donald Trump's administration to immediately end talk of allowing oil drilling off the Garden State's coastline.

    Newark News / 1 d. 18 h. 13 min. ago more
  • Residents praise Newark's fire response | Di IonnoResidents praise Newark's fire response | Di Ionno

    The torrential embers were being scattered by 50-mph gusts from a vacant building across South 14th Street in Newark. It was 3:30 in the morning and the temperature outside was 5 degrees.

    Newark News / 1 d. 22 h. 35 min. ago
  • Rape kit art fights sexual assault, reclaims 'snowflake' labelRape kit art fights sexual assault, reclaims 'snowflake' label

    Amy Tingle began the project after she was called a 'snowflake' as a slur when she criticized an ice cream shop's logo. Watch video As Amy Tingle carefully cuts each snowflake out of thin, white paper, one phrase repeats in her head: "No more."  Tingle, a Montclair-based artist, has been creating snowflakes with the identifying information of women who choose to share their sexual assault stories with her. At this unique historical moment for victims of sexual assault, Tingle hopes going public with what happened to them will be empowering.  "No more," she thinks as she contorts a piece of paper into tiny sections. "No more," she thinks as she cuts designs into the folds.  "No more," she thinks as she unfolds the paper and slowly, methodically writes the names, ages and stories of the people who have decided to come forward.  To Tingle, the project is about breaking the silence she says has allowed sexual assault and the objectification of women to continue largely unabated. With each snowflake she makes, she said, she intends for people to feel a little more comfortable reporting a rape or speaking out against catcalls.  "I love that phrase, 'Time's up,'" Tingle said Thursday. "Because I feel like it is."  The project began a few weeks ago, when Tingle posted a call to action on Facebook and Instagram. She asked victims of sexual assault to send her their stories, either using their names or anonymously, so she can make a snowflake for each of them to place alongside other snowflakes with sexual assault statistics.  Tingle makes the snowflakes at her art studio and gallery, The Creativity Caravan, using medical paper like the kind used to collect debris from women's bodies for rape kits when they report a sexual assault to police. So far, she has received about 30 stories.  I am cutting this fragile paper today and feeling so grateful to all the women who are reaching out to me with their names and stories. Please know that anonymous is MORE than okay. I understand everyone is in a different stage of processing assault, even years and years later. I am simply so honored to make snowflakes for every woman who feels ready to share any part of it - you are heard, you are believed. #snowflakeproject #snowflakes #timesup #metoo #sexualassault #rape #lipofbattle #feminism #feministart #feminist #socialjusticewarrior A post shared by Amy Tingle (@tingle) on Jan 7, 2018 at 11:58am PST Although Tingle said she has been incorporating sexual assault and the objectification of women into her own collages for a few years, the snowflake project was born after she spoke out against the logo of a local ice cream shop. In December, she wrote an open letter on Facebook to the Montclair-based Dairy Air Ice Cream Co. criticizing what she said was its "sexualized" logo of a female cartoon cow with its butt stuck in the air.  The hate mail poured in immediately and with fervor. Tingle said many people called her a snowflake in the way the word has recently been construed: a whiny, fragile, liberal woman who thinks her feelings about a topic are unique. She said she wanted to empower women to speak out about their sexual assaults and prove they do not fit that particular definition of a snowflake.  "If you think about what an actual snowflake is, they're beautiful, and they are unique, and no two snowflakes are alike, just like human beings," Tingle said. "Snowflakes, they end up when there's a lot of them, becoming this really beautiful blanket that covers the earth."  Tingle, who said she was sexually assaulted once as a child and again as a young adult, feels that women have increasingly realized their silence enables sexual misconduct to continue.  Tingle continues to spread the word about the project through social media and sexual assault organizations, and she said she hopes to display the snowflakes in her studio and maybe some other businesses in late February.  She said the snowflakes will hang low enough that people can read them and physically touch them, to get "up close and personal with these women."  As Tingle creates the snowflakes, she said she holds the easily rippable medical paper gently.  "I feel like I'm somehow holding their stories equally as gently because of that and really just feeling such connection to them as a fellow human being, as a woman, and just wanting to be so tender with their stories," Tingle said. "I know how difficult it is to talk about, so just feeling so grateful for them." Marisa Iati may be reached at miati@njadvancemedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @Marisa_Iati or on Facebook here. Find NJ.com on Facebook.  Have a tip? Tell us. nj.com/tips  

    NJ.com / 1 d. 23 h. 27 min. ago more
  • Residents praise Newark's fire response | Di IonnoResidents praise Newark's fire response | Di Ionno

    Fifty-nine people routed all safe and sound With four simple words, Natalie Fonville described the apocalyptic terror her family faced 10 days ago. "It was raining fire," she said. The torrential embers were being scattered by 50-mph gusts from a vacant building across South 14th Street in Newark. It was 3:30 in the morning and the temperature outside was 5 degrees. Not wind-chill. Wind still. Between the gusts and the cold, it was life-threatening. Some of the residents in the half-dozen row homes across the street from the burning building were awakened by sirens. Same for the people in the apartment building on 9th Avenue behind the row homes. The fire was spreading quickly and with a hellish violence that destroyed all the buildings it touched and left 59 people homeless. MORE: Recent Mark Di Ionno columns   What follows is a story about a city that works. Newark, long-plagued by deficits that cut essential services, proved on the night of the fire it had entered a new era of competency. Roads that would once be snow-bound for weeks, were plowed, allowing emergency vehicles to respond unobstructed. Fire department manpower, bolstered by a new class of 68 recruits, was muscular enough to put 120 firefighters at the scene, containing what could have a wind-whipped conflagration that would have consumed several city blocks.    And where once the people routed by the fire would have been sheltered in makeshift dormitories by the Red Cross, the city put them up in a hotel and, less than three days after the fire, all were in somewhat permanent housing. Credit the Mayor Ras Baraka administration. "Things are definitely better," said Newark Fire Chief Rufus Jackson, who came up through the ranks, and was made chief by city Public Safety Director Anthony Ambrose, a Baraka appointee. While Jackson's job was to put out the fire, it was Newark Health Department chief Mark Wade's job to get the victims sheltered. All 59 people who were displaced were into more permanent housing by Monday. After three days at the Robert Treat Hotel, they were moved to the John F. Kennedy Community Center Monday morning. None had to stay the night. "The mayor's people found us an apartment," said Tony Fonville, Natalie's husband. For Jackson and Wade, a pediatrician whose resume includes creating his own health care system and humanitarian agency, the catastrophe was a literal baptism by fire. Jackson has been chief for a year and Wade, also appointed by Baraka, has been in his job for eight months. "I think we have the right people in place to be ready not only for the day-to-day problems, but these kind of events," Baraka said. When the fire started, residents such as the Fonvilles and their children had time to grab nothing but their coats. The family tried to go out the front door, but it was already on fire. "We went out the back and we had to climb two fences," Natalie Fonville said. "The first one was easy. The second one was higher." Beyond the second fence in the densely packed neighborhood, the apartment building roof was already on fire. If the family hadn't escaped, they would have been trapped by fire on both sides. The fire department's quick response allowed all the residents in the row homes and the apartment building to escape. Only two firefighters from the 19 trucks that responded were injured, both from slipping on ice. That, itself, is a miracle. A second miracle is that by 5:30 a.m., all the residents were somewhere warm. Thirty went to stay with relatives. The rest were taken to the hotel. "Mayor (Ras) Baraka really stepped up for us," Fonville said. "We were in a Red Cross truck with nowhere to go." If the fire - which is still under investigation -- was an isolated incident, the response would have been impressive. But taken in the context of the night of Jan. 4 and the early morning hours of Jan. 5, the way things worked out was remarkable. First, the weather. It was first few days of the Arctic blast that kept nighttime temperatures in the single digits. The night of the fire, the wind reached gale-force levels. Blowing west to east, it blasted down from the Watchung Mountains through the high ridges of the city. When it began to "rain fire," the embers were flying horizontally, swept by gusts onto surrounding buildings. In December, the city opened what Wade called a new "winter shelter" of 200 additional beds at the city's Sussex Avenue homeless shelter. With the cold wave, the health department made rounds at Penn Station, Military Park and other places the homeless go the day of the fire, to get them inside and safe. "We brought 200 unsheltered people to safety even before the fire," Wade said. Second, the South 14th Street fire was the third major fire of the night. Around midnight, an unoccupied building Milford Avenue, on the other side of town, broke out, and at the same time of the South 14th Street fire, a vacant building on Vanderpool Street went up. "We were stretched pretty thin," Jackson said. "But we prepare for these things. We move resources around pretty good." Those resources were bolstered by Baraka; the 68 new firefighters sworn in October were the largest class in Newark history. In addition to the 120 firefighters at South 14th Street, Jackson said there were 95 at Milford Avenue and 65 at Vanderpool Street. Despite the wind and weather, the other two fires didn't spread. "Our response time was very, very good," Jackson said. Baraka, who was at the scene, applauded the city workers and volunteers "who stepped up big-time." "It was a horrible event," Baraka said. "These people lost everything, all their belongings. All their pictures, their family histories. "But our people stood out there with them, got them to safety, got them clothes, food, and a place to live. These are the most essential services and we did a good job providing them." And that helped ease the pain of Clarice Phillips, 76. She grew up in her rowhome on South 14th Street, which was bought by her parents in 1954. She is now living with her son in Newark. "This is such a nice little neighborhood," she said with tears in her eyes. "And now it's all gone. It looks like a war zone. It's surreal. "But the city, they've been phenomenal. They've been in constant contact with me to see that I'm okay." Mark Di Ionno may be reached at mdiionno@starledger.com. Follow The Star-Ledger on Twitter @StarLedger and find us on Facebook.  

    NJ.com / 1 d. 23 h. 32 min. ago more
  • Residents praise Newark's fire response | Di Ionno - NJ.comResidents praise Newark's fire response | Di Ionno - NJ.com

    NJ.comResidents praise Newark's fire response | Di IonnoNJ.comWith four simple words, Natalie Fonville described the apocalyptic terror her family faced 10 days ago. "It was raining fire," she said. The torrential embers were being scattered by 50-mph gusts from a vacant building across South 14th Street in ...

    Google News / 1 d. 23 h. 33 min. ago
  • These women are taking to the streets to fight infant mortalityThese women are taking to the streets to fight infant mortality

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"I think it's a great program because in a poor environment, people don't always know how to stay healthy."  So she's spent the past two months out at a bus stop near H.B. Wilson Elementary School, talking to young parents as they drop their kids off or wait for a bus to get to work. As a Trusted Link, it's her job to quiz them on knowledge surrounding prenatal health and early parenting, and then teach them the importance of avoiding alcohol or drug use while pregnant, maintaining a healthy diet, seeking regular prenatal and having a support system to help them.  The project is one of three in the state, with the others in Trenton and Newark, cities where pregnant women and their babies are considered to be at high-risk for low birth rates and other complications that can lead to elevated rates infant mortality.   // if("undefined"==typeof window.datawrapper)window.datawrapper={};window.datawrapper["j0A5x"]={},window.datawrapper["j0A5x"].embedDeltas={"100":481,"200":304,"300":270,"400":245,"500":228,"600":228,"700":228,"800":228,"900":211,"1000":211},window.datawrapper["j0A5x"].iframe=document.getElementById("datawrapper-chart-j0A5x"),window.datawrapper["j0A5x"].iframe.style.height=window.datawrapper["j0A5x"].embedDeltas[Math.min(1e3,Math.max(100*Math.floor(window.datawrapper["j0A5x"].iframe.offsetWidth/100),100))]+"px",window.addEventListener("message",function(a){if("undefined"!=typeof a.data["datawrapper-height"])for(var b in a.data["datawrapper-height"])if("j0A5x"==b)window.datawrapper["j0A5x"].iframe.style.height=a.data["datawrapper-height"][b]+"px"}); // ]]> The state's infant mortality rate is among the lowest in the nation, at 4.8 deaths per 1,000 births, according to the New Jersey State Health Assessment Data. But that number is higher in the black community and triples in Camden alone, reaching 15 deaths for every 1,000 births between 2013 and 2015, according to the data. SNJPC has long noted the undue risk minority and low-income mothers face, and had attempted a similar program a few years ago, sending workers to nail salons, beauty parlors and other places women often go to educate the staff, hoping that staff would pass along the information to the women who frequent the businesses.  But last year, they had a new idea: cut out the middle man -- or in this case, woman.  "We decided to go directly to women themselves," said Barbara May, SNJPC's director of policy and program planning. "What we know is that, often, and this is true for all of us, when there's something we don't know about, we often go to people that we know and trust before we go to a physician or a nurse."  So far, that's worked. In three different training sessions in Camden, the organization ran through the facts with 50 women, and 50 more women were trained in programs in Trenton and Newark. Each women then had a duty to mentor 10 peers, friends, family and community members.  Bed-Sharing: 'The Last Goodnight' | An NJ.com Special Investigation That means the knowledge has reached at least 1,500 women in less than a year -- a number that will likely continue to grow. The Horizon Foundation, which granted the Trusted Links program $150,000 to operate in 2017, has recommitted to the same amount in 2018.  And some, like Abavana, have done even more. She estimates that she's spoken to 70 women, and has plans to continue this year as the program moves forward, coming to the Ferry Avenue Library in Camden or scoping out other spots to speak with new women.  Because for Abavana, the program is about more than just statistics. She thinks of her own son and of Facebook posts she sees mourning lost babies. And she thinks of a woman she shared a hospital room with while giving birth to her first child -- a woman whose baby died of complications with a sexually transmitted disease the mother didn't know she had.  "Some women are stuck in their culture, in what they were raised on," she said. "I just want to plant seeds, so they can plant seeds in their home."  Amanda Hoover can be reached at ahoover@njadvancemedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @amandahoovernj. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

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