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    Newark public school history still needs a home.

    A volunteer committee dedicated to preserving historic artifacts from Newark's public schools -- some that date to the mid-1800s -- is still looking for a permanent home for its eclectic collection.

    Marion Bolden, a former Newark superintendent in charge of the committee, says she has not given up, despite having had to move the collection from place to place over the years.

    Its first pit stop was at State Street School during 2011. Then it moved to Warren Street School until 2016. For the past two years, the artifacts have been stored in a large basement room at Malcolm X Shabazz High School.

    The growing collection provides a walk back in time. There are Board of Education annual reports from 1858, a wooden music stand from Arts High School during the 1800s, auditorium chairs from Eighteenth Avenue School from the 1930s, a monument displaying the names of Bergen Street School students who served in World War I.

    MORE: Recent Barry Carter columns  

    During a tour of the collection, Bolden held a precious find: A schoolbook, "The Economy of Human Life," which belonged to Newark's first African-American principal. James Baxter was only 19 years old in 1864, when he presided over the State Street School.

    "It's the only thing we have with his signature," Bolden said.

    Baxter's great-grandson Kevin Fields, of Montclair, donated the book and other family records, which include birth and marriage certificates and the deed to the house where the Baxter family lived on Elm Street.

    Fields said he supports Bolden's campaign to preserve Newark's rich educational history for future generations. "We're on the same page. I'm with her,'' he said.

    Bolden says she would like to see the collection stored permanently at State Street School, because the school for "colored girls" is already part of a historical neighborhood. Near the intersection of State and Broad streets, the school is next door to the House of Prayer, an Episcopal church that is behind the 18th century Plume House, Newark's second-oldest building. State Street School, built in 1845, is also listed on state and national registers of historic places.

    But the district, in a move to close its budget deficit, conveyed State Street and 11 other school buildings in 2016 to the Newark Housing Authority. Under the agreement, the NHA would sell the buildings for the district in a public bidding process and receive a portion of the sales revenue.

    Eleven of the properties are under contract. The district, according to school officials, has already received $3 million from the sales and expects to pull in another $10 million to $11 million.

    According to public records, The Hanini Group is acquiring the State Street School site, but a representative of the developer has said there are no firm plans for the property.

    Even though the school district doesn't own the building, Business Administrator Val Wilson said it will continue to work with Bolden on projects important to the Newark community.

    For those who want to see Newark school's collection, Bolden said they can visit the archive room at Shabazz by appointment only from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesdays. The phone number is 973-736-3270. 

    Otherwise, an exhibit at the Newark Public Library, appropriately called "Old School: Collections of the Newark Public Schools Historical Preservation Committee," opened Wednesday night and runs through Dec. 31.

    On display are smaller items from the collection: A safety patrol badge from 1916, yearbooks spanning several decades, a pair of Barringer High School golf clubs from 1973 to 1975, a page from a ledger detailing teachers' pensions, a Mark Twain record album, and report cards from the 1915-1916 school year.

    Bolden's report card is there, too. She was a good high school student, but in elementary school, teachers gave her unsatisfactory grades for personality. They flunked her for not being cooperative during two marking periods and gave her C's and D's for dependability. Bolden, surprised by the marks now, said she was a shy kid in grade school.

    The exhibit drew a crowd and brought back memories to the former teachers, administrators and students who attended.

    "I spent 40 proud years in Newark,'' said Robert Liput, a former principal at Chancellor Avenue and Fourteenth Avenue schools.

    MORE CARTER: No peace at Newark playground | Carter

    A resident of Wayne, Liput came to see the exhibit and also contribute an artifact to Bolden's collection. It was a Louisville Slugger baseball bat, once the property of the Newark Board of Education. He's not sure how he wound up with it, but Liput said it most likely was taken from the South Market Street playground, where kids played baseball.

    "Guys would take stuff home when they weren't supposed to,'' he said.

    Al Hughes, of West Orange, got a kick out of pictures of the old Central High School, which showed steps that led to the front entrance from two directions.

    "I saw that picture, and I thought about the girls I was talking to back then," he said. "That was the meeting place for the fellas and the girls."

    Bolden was on a mission to preserve Newark's school history even before she retired as superintendent in 2008.

    When old storage rooms were being cleared out at the Board of Education, Bolden was able to retrieve board minutes written in German from the 1800s when she learned they had been tossed in the Dumpster.

    It was also occurring when administrators cleaned out school buildings at the end of the year, and when the district sold buildings to charter schools.

    After she retired, Bolden and the preservation committee, which formed in 2009, convinced the district to adopt a policy about the need to keep historical items. Principals then had guidelines for what should be kept.

    "You have to teach people that you don't throw everything away," Bolden said.

    The Newark school district still has four grandfather clocks at several schools. Bolden said they don't work anymore.

    They don't have to.

    They just need to not be discarded.

    Barry Carter: (973) 836-4925 or bcarter@starledger.com or 

    nj.com/carter or follow him on Twitter @BarryCarterSL


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  • 04/13/18--05:03: Tabby needs a home
  • Mush is described as "incredibly loving," a lap cat who is good with other cats.

    ex0415pet.jpgMush 

    WEST ORANGE -- Mush is an adult male gray tabby in the care of West Orange Trap Neuter Vaccinate Release.

    Rescued as a stray in December, he was covered in scabs and fleas. Fully recovered, Mush has been described by volunteers as "incredibly loving," a lap cat who is good with other felines.

    Mush is FIV/FeLV negative, neutered and up-to-date on shots.

    For more information on Mush and other adoptable cats, email wotnvr@gmail.com or go to wotnvr.petfinder.com. Since its founding in 2015, the nonprofit group has found homes for more than 150 felines.

    Shelters interested in placing a pet in the Paw Print adoption column or submitting news should call 973-836-4922 or email essex@starledger.com.

    Greg Hatala may be reached at ghatala@starledger.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregHatala. Find Greg Hatala on Facebook.


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    ORANGE -- John Alexander stands in front of a 1968 or 1969 Plymouth Satellite in Orange in this 1974 photo. MORE: Vintage photos around New Jersey Among the cars parked in the background appear to be a 1972 AMC Gremlin and a 1970 Chevrolet Impala. If you would like to share a photo that provides a glimpse of history in...

    ORANGE -- John Alexander stands in front of a 1968 or 1969 Plymouth Satellite in Orange in this 1974 photo.

    MORE: Vintage photos around New Jersey

    Among the cars parked in the background appear to be a 1972 AMC Gremlin and a 1970 Chevrolet Impala.

    If you would like to share a photo that provides a glimpse of history in your community, please call 973-836-4922 or send an email to essex@starledger.com. And, check out more glimpses of history in our online galleries on nj.com.

    Greg Hatala may be reached at ghatala@starledger.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregHatala. Find Greg Hatala on Facebook.


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    The man was holding a gun when police encountered the 27-year-old man inside a stairwell in an apartment building on Park Avenue, officials said.

    A distressed man who was throwing objects off a roof and then later pulled the trigger multiple times on a replica gun in the presence of police was taken into custody without incident on Wednesday, officials said.

    The man was holding a gun when police encountered the 27-year-old man inside a stairwell in an apartment building on Park Avenue in the North Ward around 11 p.m., Newark police said in a statement.

    As officers from the second precinct attempted to calm the man down, officers moved the man's family to safety and called in the SWAT team.

    The man then started pulling the trigger on the handgun -- later determined to be a replica weapon. He was then taken into custody by police and transported to an area hospital for evaluation.

    Newark officials praised the officers involved for not using force to bring the tense standoff to an end.

    "It takes great sensitivity and restraint to recover a weapon of any kind from a distressed person who is a threat to both the public and to police officers," Newark's Public Safety Director Anthony Ambrose said in a statement. "I praise the officers and members of the Emergency Response Team for adjudicating this matter without using force."

    Newark Mayor Ras Baraka echoed that sentiment.

    "I am grateful that a tragedy was averted due to the quick thinking of the members of the Newark Police Division who responded to this dangerous and unpredictable situation," Baraka said. "The preservation of life is always first and foremost in public safety."

    Alex Napoliello may be reached at anapoliello@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @alexnapoNJ. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

    Have a tip? Tell us. nj.com/tips

     

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    From hit-by-pitch leaders, searing sluggers, hot teams, on-a-tear players: Baseball's best for Week 2.


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    Which boys have already given their verbal commit to play men's basketball?


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    The alleged harassment by her fellow Belleville officers was so severe that a former cop says she suffered an anxiety attack, passed out and spent 10 days in the hospital.

    The alleged harassment by her fellow officers in the Belleville Police Department was so severe that a former cop says she suffered an anxiety attack, passed out and ultimately spent 10 days in the hospital.

    Heydi Portalatin's life and career were never the same after that.

    This week, Portalatin sought justice in court for the years of alleged abuse by fellow officers sworn. The civil trial was halted after just one witness on her behalf. Belleville officials had seen enough and agreed to a $1.1 million settlement.

    The years of harassment and humiliation, Portalatin claimed, were simply because she was a woman. She was one of three women in the 100-person department.

    "It was courageous for her to stand up and to give a voice for herself in these proceedings," her attorney, Adam J. Kleinfeldt said Friday. "With the MeToo movement in full swing, this case is a primary example that the fight for gender equality is still going on."

    Cops' lawsuit claims chief told them to 'talk dirty to me, baby'

    In agreeing to the settlement, Belleville officials were not require to admit any wrongdoing. Township Manager Mauro Tucci was not in his office Friday morning and did not return a call seeking comment.

    Portalatin's lawsuit alleged a pattern of harassment over several years starting after she joined the department on Nov. 3, 2011.

    In one instance, an officer spread a rumor that she had negligently caused the death of a driver, the suit said. In another, a cop stood by as she struggled alone to arrest a violent, 200-pound man on the side of Route 21.

    And when she received a commendation for superior work, male officers spread a rumor that she was sleeping with a sergeant to obtain the good graces of management, according to the lawsuit filed in 2015.

    The $1.1 settlement came Tuesday after only one witness testified at the trial. A PBA leader told the jury that Portalatin, now 34, had complained to him often about being mistreated by male Belleville cops who didn't want to work with women.

    Portalatin was the only female officer working with the "A" Squad on the overnight shift from 6 p.m. to 4 p.m., according to Kleinfeldt, who field the suit in Essex County Superior Court.

    The harassment against Portalatin, who is married to a police officer in another town, began soon after she joined the force.

    "I like Spanish women," one male cop said to Portalatin, adding that he had cheated on his wife, the suit states.

    "On multiple occasions this officer would describe what he was sexually attracted to when discussing the physical characteristics of (Portalatin's) body," the suit states.

    Other officers were sexually inappropriate, too, according to the suit. One lieutenant who touched her back and elsewhere to make sure she was wearing her bulletproof vest, even though it was obvious she was, the suit states.

    In time, the sexual comments subsided and were replaced with criticism of Portalatin's job performance, her attorney says.

    "I think they found out she was married and she was not going to fool around," Kleinfeldt said. "From a legal standpoint, though, it all falls under gender-based discrimination under New Jersey law."

    The suit states one officer commented that Portalatin was "lazy, did not like to drive and was not mentally ready to work the night shift."

    Another questioned the ability of women to serve as police officers, the suit states.

    "This is a man's job, I don't feel safe working with a woman, a woman cannot do this job and all women are out to get men," the officer allegedly said, according to the suit.

    In October 2013, Portalatin began seeing a therapist due to her treatment by fellow officers, the suit states. Around this time, she complained to superiors that her partner "hated her, bullied her" and "does not want to work with a woman."

    Portalatin said the partner would walk off without telling her where he was going and that he once drove away while she was using the bathroom at the police station, the suit states.

    When supervisors questioned the partner, he became angry and confronted her in a patrol car.

    As the partner yelled at her, Portalatin suffered an anxiety attack for which she had a physical reaction. She got out of the car, vomited and fainted, her lawyer said.

    "(Portalatin) awoke in an ambulance with chipped front teeth, her pants unbuttoned, her patrol uniform shirt removed (and) she had debris in her hair and dirt in her mouth," the suit states. "(She) could not talk and felt paralyzed."

    Portalatin was taken to Clara Maas Medical Center, where she spent one night in pain with the right side of her face "twitching uncontrollably," the suit states.

    She was released from the hospital but could not balance herself or open her mouth, the suit states. Kleinfeldt said she also had a "facial droop."

    Portalatin was then admitted to Mountainside Hospital in Montclair, where she spent the next 10 days, her attorney said.

    Kleinfeldt said a team of doctors agreed Portalatin was suffering from conversion disorder, a psychological illness that causes nervous system problems. The doctors were scheduled to testify in court, he said.

    Portalatin has been unable to work, Kleinfeldt said in the suit.

    Portalatin, who has a teenage son and is married to a police officer in another town, has not driven a car since the day she fainted, Kleinfeldt said. She still has bouts of paralysis and gets around using a walker, he added.

    "Employers should be cautious that if this type of conduct occurs and they fail to stop it, then there are legal ramifications," Kleinfeldt said.

    Anthony G. Attrino may be reached at tattrino@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @TonyAttrino. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

     

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    He grabbed a shotgun and shot into a group of his neighbors June 25, 2017.

    A Newark man has admitted he shot into a group of neighbors with an illegal shotgun in June, leaving one victim to die on the ground before he fled to New York.

    image003.pngAlquan B. Council, 27, of Newark. (Essex County Prosecutor's Office)

    Alquan B. Council, 28, took a plea deal Friday in exchange for the Essex County Prosecutor's Office's offer to recommend a 23-year prison sentence. He must serve 85 percent of the time before being eligible for parole, which could see him out of prison in a little under 20 years.

    It was around 9 p.m. June 25 when Council went into his apartment at 4-6 Edwin Place, retrieved an illegal shotgun, and then shot into a group of his neighbors and their acquaintances that were hanging out outside the building.

    Rayshawn Ross, 39, died on scene and another man, who was initially in critical condition, survived, according to the prosecutor's office.

    Council fled the state and was arrested weeks later hiding in a basement in Syracuse.

    "The apprehension, detention, and conviction of Alquan Council was the direct result of the cooperation of eye witnesses, the Essex County Homicide Task Force, and members of the Syracuse Police Department," Assistant Prosecutor Justin Edwab said in a statement. "Thanks to their collective efforts, this defendant will be off the streets of Newark for nearly a quarter of a century."

    Council was initially charged with murder, which comes with a sentence of 30 to life if convicted. According to the prosecutor's office, he pleaded guilty Friday to first-degree aggravated manslaughter, second-degree aggravated assault and a weapons charge.

    Sentencing is scheduled for June 11 before Judge Nancy Sivilli.

    Rebecca Everett may be reached at reverett@njadvancemedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @rebeccajeverett. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

    Have a tip? Tell us. nj.com/tips

     

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    A deep dive into each conference this week in N.J. girls lacrosse.


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    Gretchen C. Ford, of West Orange was found inside an abandoned building with a blunt force trauma wound.

    A 53-year-old woman was found with a head wound in an abandoned building in Irvington Thursday night died and authorities are searching for her killer. 

    Gretchen C. Ford, of West Orange, was found inside a building on the 100 block of Grove Street with a blunt force trauma wound. 

    Police responded to a call for help at 5:19 p.m. to assist the unresponsive woman. By 6:45 p.m. she was pronounced dead at the scene. 

    An autopsy is expected to reveal the official cause of death. No suspects have been identified and the investigation is on-going.

    Anyone with information can call Essex County Prosecutor's Office Homicide/Major Crimes Task Force at 1-877-TIPS-4EC or 1-877-847-743.

    Olivia Rizzo may be reached at orizzo@njadvancemedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @LivRizz. Find NJ.com on Facebook 

     

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    Gov. Phil Murphy touted this week how his state budget plan would restore $3 million in funding for two programs to help New Jersey's downtowns and neighborhoods. Watch video

    Here's another initiative Gov. Phil Murphy is touting as he sells his first state budget proposal: devoting a few million taxpayer dollars toward improving New Jersey's downtowns and neighborhoods. 

    Murphy this week highlighted how his budget plan would restore $3 million in funding for two programs focused on that -- $500,000 to Main Street New Jersey and $2.5 million to the Neighborhood Preservation Program. 

    The Democratic governor -- who is less than three months on the job -- lamented that his Republican predecessor, Gov. Chris Christie, "neglected" the programs over the last eight years. 

    "For whatever reason, both of these programs were left to die on the vine during the previous administration," Murphy said during a roundtable on the programs at Montclair Fire Department on Thursday. 

    Murphy called the programs "critical" to helping "empower and strength our communities." 

    N.J.'s solution to those pricey out-of-network medical bills now up to Murphy

    Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver, seated next to Murphy at the event, said it will also help small businesses thrive and thus create jobs. 

    Plus, she said, it'll attract millennials. 

    "Our millennials want walkable communities, access to their lattes, their macchiatos, their fresh food," said Oliver, who is also the commissioner of the state Department of Community Affairs. "And (these programs) will enable the proprietors of businesses in these communities to offer millennials what they want."

    The price tag is a relatively small slice of the $37.4 billion state budget that Murphy has proposed. 

    The budget, though, includes more than $1.6 billion in new taxes and moves to close loopholes to help fund the governor's priorities. 

    The Democrat-controlled state Legislature can make changes and Murphy can then veto their changes. But the budget must be enacted by June 30. 

    Main Street New Jersey was founded in 1989 as part of the National Main Street Program and operated until 2017. 

    Under the program, the state helps support the renewal of historic downtowns, village centers, and more. 

    From 1990 to 2017, the program brought in more than $1.2 billion of private reinvestment in Main Street districts in the state, as well as more than 10,000 full-time jobs, Murphy's office said.

    The Neighborhood Preservation program has been around for 34 years but hasn't been funded since 2009. 

    Towns involved must maintain community development offices and staff to create preservation activities and engage residents, Murphy's office said. 

    In turn, the state Department of Community Affairs helps encourage job creation, improve affordable housing access, and more.

    The program has invested more than $56 million in 187 neighborhoods -- such as cities like Newark, Jersey City, and Paterson and suburbs like Collingswood, Salem City, and Berlin Township -- over the years, Murphy's office said. 

    Brent Johnson may be reached at bjohnson@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @johnsb01. Find NJ.com Politics on Facebook.


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    The Super Pet Expo returns to Middlesex County with several new demonstrations and activities in addition to longtime favorites. Watch video

    The Super Pet Expo has returned to Edison, bringing with it shopping and entertainment opportunities for pet owners and their pals.

    This year there are several new demonstrations and activities in addition to returning favorites. 

    Dogs, cats, birds, pigs, reptiles and exotic pets are all part of the 2018 expo.

    New this year are pig agility demonstrations by Pig Placement Network and cat agility demonstrations by The International Cat Association.

    "These demos show how important and fun it is to play daily with your cat," said Roeann Fulkerson, TICA director of Marketing and Business Development. "Cats can be taught at any age using a 'teaser' toy on a wand. They follow the motion counterclockwise, around the course." 

    For dog lovers, there is the Ultimate Air dog competition where four-legged athletes soar through the air to fetch and fall into a 30,000-gallon pool. 

    Luring 101 for dogs is set on an enclosed, 250-foot course to give dogs of all sizes a high-speed run as they case the lure. 

    The family-friendly event opened Friday afternoon at the New Jersey Convention & Exposition Center in Edison. 

    The expo features more than 200 pet-related exhibits and numerous unique entertainment and educational activities. The Super Pet Expo will continue through Sunday.

    Patti Sapone may be reached at psapone@njadvancemedia.com. Follow her on Instagram @psapo, Twitter @psapone.  Find NJ.com on Facebook.


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    Newark School of Arts celebrates 50 years Watch video

    Gabriel De Los Santos strode to the microphone in a blue suit, nodded to his accompanist, and launched into "Ici Bas" (Here Below) by 19th century French composer Gabriel Faure.

    The audience at the Victoria Theater at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center was spellbound as De Los Santos sang with great emotion the song of longing for lost summers, kisses and loves.

    With his hand placed squarely at his heaving midsection, De Los Santos managed the middle range of notes all great tenors must master. When he was done, he bowed, and walked off the stage as confidently as he entered.

    Murmurs of "He's only 14?" could be heard rippling through the audience. Had they heard master of ceremonies Ray Chew correctly? Was this kid only 14?

    MORE: Recent Mark Di Ionno columns

    De Los Santos wasn't the star of the Newark School of the Arts 50th Anniversary Gala Tuesday night. Savion Glover was.

    But De Los Santos and the other students of the school who took the stage were the focal point -- just as alumnus Glover once was.

    The point is this: for 50 years, this school has nurtured the artistic talents of kids who otherwise would never have exposure to such things. Along the way, the school teaches life lessons needed for talent to be turned into achievement - especially the discipline and work ethic that success demands.

    "You can always tell the difference between a child with arts training and one without," said Kevin Maynor, an opera bass singer who is on the Newark School of Arts (NSA) board of directors. "They have a buoyancy of personality, a certain sense of caring and sensibility. They have had an introduction to the greater world." 

    And sometimes, the greater world embraces them with stardom. Such is the case of tap dance artist and choreographer Glover, 44, perhaps the most famous of NSA graduates.

    He rehearsed for three weeks and performed with a dozen students of the school's Celebration Dance Company in a number called "Din Daa."

    That partnership of alumni and students, students and teachers, and alumni and former teachers, played out on the stage throughout the night.

    World-class opera singer A-Larenee Davis, performed a song from Mozart's "Marriage of Figaro," accompanied by Nadine Herman, her voice teacher at NSA when Davis studied there a decade ago.

    "Without NSA, I wouldn't have known I could become a classical singer," Davis said. "She (Herman) was my voice teacher and unlocked my talent."

    Herman, who has taught at the school 40 of its 50 years and is the current musical director, said "nurtured" was the right word.

    "She came to us when she was 10 years old," Herman said. "I knew she had a gift, but you must bring it along slowly and let it develop properly. Too many young singers are rushed, and that's not good for them."

    On the other hand, kids are never too young to be exposed to the arts, said Larry Tamburri, the executive director of NSA, who ran the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra from 1991 to 2003.

    The school, which faces Lincoln Park in downtown Newark is developing programs for babies and toddlers.

    "So much of the brain develops before they are 5," Tamburri said.

    Glover, for instance, took his first classes there at age 4.

    While the school has seen its share of prodigies - including Glover, who as a child caught the attention of dancers such as Gregory Hines and Sammy Davis, Jr. - it also serves kids who are not destined for stardom.

    Camille DaSilva, 15, is one of the older members of the NSA Children's Chorus, which debuted the song "Lincoln Park Miracle," written by Henry Rinder, a former board president and trustee of the school.

    "I'm not dreaming of being a singer or a star," DaSilva said. "I want to be a scientist and the confidence I've learned here will help me with public speaking."

    The Lincoln Park miracle began in the throes of Newark's most tumultuous era, the days after 1967 riots.

    Two Newark public school piano teachers watched arts programs cut by the school budget ax and decided to start a program of their own.

    The late Saunders Davis and Stella Lass knew the need was there. And the desire. Their first classes drew 75 students, who were taught by 17 teachers on donated instruments. A $200,000 grant from the Ford Foundation came in. And Prudential was behind it right from the start.

    "My mother didn't know how the corporate world worked, and wouldn't have cared if she did," said Lass' daughter, Hedy Bressler, who traveled from Florida for the event.

    "She walked into the office of (then Prudential CEO) Donald MacNaughton and told him about the idea," Bressler said. "She said she needed money. He asked her much. She said, 'Well, I have $60 in the bank.' "

    McNaughton gave her enough to get started and Prudential is still involved. Current Prudential Vice Chairman Mark Grier and his wife, Kathy, where co-chairs of the gala, and have made several sizable donations to the school in addition to the company's sponsorship.

    "This school changes lives," Grier said before the performance. "It has a positive, lasting impact on the kids who go there, and it's always been like that."

    Mark Di Ionno may be reached at mdiionno@starledger.com. Follow The Star-Ledger on Twitter @StarLedger and find us on Facebook.  


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    Dogs and cats throughout New Jersey await adoption.

    Petfinder.com, where you can find nearly a quarter of a million adoptable pets listed by more than 12,000 adoption groups, offers these tips to pet owners now that spring is -- finally -- near:

    *  There will be plenty of sticks and branches on the ground after winter, and they can cause choking and severe mouth injuries to dogs. If your pet likes to chew and chase, make sure to use a tennis ball, Frisbee or other toy instead of branches.

    *  You might be doing some spring cleaning; if a pet ingests a household cleaner, don't call a human poison control center - they won't be able to help with animals. Call your vet or the ASPCA poison control hotline, 888-426-4435.

    *  Dogs can get seasonal allergies just like people ... but they manifest themselves in dogs more as skin conditions than sneezing. Check with your vet for treatment options.

    *  Flea and tick prevention for dogs and cats should be continued year-round, but even if you take a break during winter months, make sure to apply the preventatives before the weather warms up.


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    The weather forecast isn't good, but the games are.


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    Let your voice be heard and cast your vote for N.J.'s top track and field performance from week 3!


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    The Hackensack man attempted to impersonate his former girlfriend's mother.

    A 19-year-old man who made threats against an Essex County high school in September 2016 using two fake Facebook accounts in addition to conspiring with hackers to send a bomb to a judge's home was sentenced Friday to seven years in prison.

    livingston.jpgJohn Coulouris (Essex County Prosecutor's Office) 

    John Coulouris, of Hackensack, created an account in the name of his former girlfriend's mother and threatened to kill everyone at Livingston High School.

    Ten days later Coulouris posted a threat using a different phony account to "murder everyone" at the school.

    Coulouris also impersonated his ex-girlfriend, her parents and a Livingston police detective online. 

    The Bergen County resident also posted a nude photo of his then 16-year-old girlfriend. She attended Livingston High School at the time. He also offered money for someone to kill the girl's mother. 

    Coulouris pleaded guilty two counts of cyber harassment and invasion of privacy and one count of terroristic threats for those incidents. 

    The threats against the school forced Livingston to cancel its back to school night and have a delayed opening to school.

    "As these types of incidents become ever more common, the public must realize that they are not pranks but serious criminal offenses," Essex County Assistant Prosecutor Joseph A. Giordano said in a statement.

    Coulouris was indicted in April 2017. He pleaded guilty to the charges in February.

    Jeff Goldman may be reached at jeff_goldman@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @JeffSGoldman. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

     


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    Trying to take in some action this week? We recommend one of the 18 games, tournaments and showcases.


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    Some parts of the Garden State got almost a month's worth of rain during Monday's storm, and some were hit with tropical storm-force wind gusts. Drivers were trapped in cars, and dozens of roads were closed.


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    The biggest games on the schedule for the week of April 16.


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