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    Seton Hall University will continue to have academic responsibilities for the School of Medicine including the development of the curriculum and issuance of diplomas.

    Hackensack Meridian Health will bear the full financial responsibility of operating a private medical school with Seton Hall University that will open in July, NJ Advance Media has learned.

    Seton Hall issued a statement Monday saying the "tremendous investment" was more than it could afford.

    "From the beginning, Seton Hall administrators knew that the opening of a new school of medicine and the creation of a new Interprofessional Health Sciences campus would be incredibly complex projects, requiring tremendous investment and coordination with our partners at Hackensack Meridian Health," university spokeswoman Laurie Pine said in an emailed statement.    

    "As the process continued to evolve, it became increasingly clear that the original structure of the partnership needed to be revised," the statement said. "Seton Hall University will continue to have the academic responsibilities and will issue the diplomas to medical students upon graduation."

    In a joint statement, Seton Hall and Hackensack Meridian confirmed, "Hackensack Meridian Health is taking on the financial responsibility of operating the School of Medicine beginning July 1, 2018."

    Seton Hall seals deal to open new medical school in Nutley and Clifton

    The new arrangement will change not affect the medical school's opening. In just two weeks, the school has received 1,872 applications for its inaugural class of 55 students.

    "What hasn't changed is how incredibly excited we are," said Jeffrey R. Boscamp, the associate dean of Medical Education Continuum at Hackensack Meridian. "We opened admissions two weeks ago and received almost 2,000 applications. We started interviewing last week, and acceptance letters are going out a week or two.

    "On July 9, students will be in the classroom," Boscamp said.

    The shift in responsibilities is reflected in the institution's name, which is now the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine at Seton Hall University. When the school won preliminary accreditation in February, the school was called Seton Hall-Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine.

    The school retains its preliminary accreditation status, said John Buarotti, spokesman for the Association of American Medical Colleges.

    In a separate action demonstrating its commitment to the school's success, the Board of Trustees for Hackensack Meridian last month approved a $100 million endowment to fund scholarships, the statement said.

    Tuition is approximately $60,000, but with the endowment, "we are expecting we are going to bring that down substantially," Boscamp said. The school also offers year-round classes, enabling students to finish in three years, instead of four years, to cut down on loan debt, he added.

    Seton Hall's initial financial commitment to the project was never publicly revealed, and Boscamp declined to explain how much more the hospital network will have to spend as a result of the new arrangement. 

    But Hackensack Meridian -- the largest hospital and health care network in New Jersey -- "has already seen financial benefit," Boscamp said. "We have been able to recruit physicians from around the country with the promise of new medical school."

    The medical school, Seton Hall's College of Nursing and its School of Health and Medical Sciences will share the 17-acre campus in Clifton and Nutley once occupied by Hoffmann-La Roche, an international pharmaceutical and health services company which relocated to California five years ago.

    In a letter to the university community, Seton Hall interim President Mary J. Meehan outlined the changes in the arrangement with Hackensack Meridian and the benefits to students.

    "The University's strategic academic partnership with Hackensack Meridian is comprehensive and will continue well beyond the School of Medicine's transition," Meehan wrote. "Our nursing and health science students will have broad access to train at Hackensack Meridian's 16 hospitals in the state, four of which are ranked among the top 10 in New Jersey."

    One-quarter of the class accepted each year will be set aside for Seton Hall students, "a valuable benefit in the very competitive environment for medical education," she said.

    "Eventually, the school will be administered solely by Hackensack Meridian Health after a defined transition process," Meehan wrote.

    The medical school's goal is to educate and retain more medical students in New Jersey, which, like the rest of the country, is suffering from a physician shortage.

    The Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine at Seton Hall University joins four public medical training institutions in the state: Rutgers New Jersey Medical School in Newark; Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, New Brunswick; Rowan University's School of Osteopathic Medicine, Stratford; and Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, Camden.

    NJ Advance Media Staff Writer Adam Clark contributed to this report.

    Susan K. Livio may be reached at Follow her on Twitter @SusanKLivio. Find Politics on Facebook.

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    The Rutgers Law School Minority Student Program has produced more than 2,500 lawyers who have changed the face of the legal profession in New Jersey for the last 50 years.

    Savannah Potter-Miller and her classmates often stayed up until midnight studying at the Rutgers Law School library in Newark.

    "We were determined that we were going to make it," Potter-Miller said. "We came to law school to be lawyers fully prepared to represent anybody in the world."

    Potter-Miller, a retired administrative law judge from Atlanta, was among 23 students from the North and segregated South who were in the inaugural class of the Minority Student Program (MSP), a progressive initiative Rutgers created in 1968 to improve the law school's woeful racial makeup. The goal: Double the number of black attorneys in the state over the next five years.

    That first class believed it had no other choice but to succeed.

    Rutgers, a major player in producing lawyers in New Jersey then, had only two or three black students at the law school in 1967, when the Newark riots occurred. Legal representation statewide among minorities was just as dismal, with fewer than 60 black lawyers practicing out of 8,000.

    MORE: Recent Barry Carter columns  

    After the riots, Rutgers began to address that inequality under law school Dean Willard Heckel, a civil rights champion, who "was concerned about the absence of minorities," said Frank Askin, a retired Rutgers professor of constitutional law. Askin, known by Heckel for his history as a civil rights organizer, worked with professor Alfred Slocum, one of the MSP founders, to form a committee that would bring about diversity at the law school, and eventually the state.

    "We (MSP) changed the composition of the New Jersey bar and eventually the face of the bench," Askin said.

    Fifty years later, the MSP is still thriving and so are its alumni, who returned to Newark Saturday for an evening gala at the Robert Treat Hotel to celebrate a half century of progress. They gathered for an all-day symposium about the program, which not only trained them in social justice, but opened the doors to a profession that still needs their presence.

    "In this country, diversity is not a weakness. It is a strength," said Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J, an MSP alumnus. "I continue to believe that as our law firms, our courtrooms, our board rooms grow more diverse, our country becomes a far more just, more equal place."

    Since its inception, the MSP has produced more than 2,500 graduates, and the pedigree is impressive. The scroll, in part, lists Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia Valdes; Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez; Yvonne Segars, the first African-American woman to be the New Jersey public defender, and Marcia Anderson, the first African-American woman to become a major general in the Army, and who is now clerk of the Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Wisconsin.

    With nametags dangling from their necks, nearly 700 alumni rolled into Newark for the largest gathering of Rutgers faithful in the history of the law school, which means the MSP was more than a diversity program.

    It helped students -- many who were from a historically underrepresented background -- get acclimated to the rigors of law school. It taught them how to prepare for class, how to read cases and how to be socially conscious lawyers who challenge injustice.

    "Many of the first 20 people came from an activist background," said Ollis Douglas Jr., a New Jersey public defender for 42 years and a member of that inaugural class. "Rutgers wanted you to go out and give back to the community."

    That's what Charles V. McTeer did when he graduated in 1972. He returned to Mississippi, where he had been a civil rights worker after graduating college, and became a successful civil rights attorney for more than 30 years, retiring in 2005.

    "Before we appeared, there were not that many African-Americans who did what we were doing, and the goal was that some of us would become civil-rights lawyers and some of us would become judges in places where there were no judges, where there were no civil-rights lawyers, in local communities, across the South and the North."

    It was a noble campaign, born of social unrest in Newark, but there were growing pains a year after the MSP started. In 1969, the Association of Black Law Students on campus published an "Indictment of the Law School Community" that was titled "The Rutgers Story: The White Law School and the Black Liberation Movement."

    It called for an overhaul of the curriculum, even though the law school had already expanded courses when MSP got underway. Lennox S. Hinds, a MSP law student who wrote the indictment, challenged the school in federal court, asserting that Rutgers' attempt to improve its offerings wasn't sufficient. This prompted the administration to cancel classes on Nov. 5, 1969, and meet with students about their concerns.

    Among their complaints, Hinds said, was that the law school was training lawyers to represent white society to the detriment of blacks, that students were unprepared to practice law and the institution was not addressing the needs of the people in the community.

    "The law school as a foundation of the legal process had a duty and responsibility to rectify the wrong that we were seeing," said Hinds, who went on to represent Nelson Mandela during a 45-year career in which he became a world-renowned criminal defense and international human rights lawyer.

    After meeting with students, Rutgers changed its curriculum and the way the law school operated. But the program faced additional challenges in 1978, when the U.S Supreme Court ruled, in Regents of the University of California v. Bakke, that racial quotas and set-asides were unconstitutional.

    "We said we didn't have a quota," Askin said. "We had a goal looking for diversity and the court ultimately said yes to that."

    MORE CARTER: Historic Newark school artifacts in search of permanent home | Carter

    Although it was orginally geared toward students of color, Rutgers expanded the term minority to include disadvantaged whites and any student who can demonstrate a history of socioeconomic or educational disadvantage.

    Along the way, the MSP has changed lives and made a legal education possible from a network of tough-minded professors and alumni, who give back.

    "I didn't know what I was doing at first," said Latiqua Liles, who is the first lawyer in her family, and works at the firm Manes & Weinberg in Springfield. "Rutgers was the best choice I could have ever made."

    "None of us got here by ourselves," said Segars, director of the Educational Opportunity Program at Kean University.  "We turned to each other for support, guidance and counsel."

    That encouragement led David Harris, a 1979 MSP alumnus, to enter the Rutgers' Moot Court competition, which he won as the first black student. The victory, he said, was significant because Rutgers used it to show that blacks were qualified to be in law school and were not taking the place of whites.

    "I would not have done that had it not been for MSP students telling me I had to compete," he said.

    Roger Castillo, who graduates from the MSP next month, said he doesn't think he would have received the same backing if he attended a different school. Tony Martinez, who also graduates next month agreed, because he pleaded with the MSP assistant dean Yvette Bravo-Weber to let him participate when he mistakenly didn't select the program while filling out the law school application

    The MSP is a family, an integral part of their personal and professional identity.

    While diversity is paramount, one Rutgers law professor is looking forward to the day when that word is no longer an adjective.

    "There are no diversity lawyers, there are no diversity students, there are no diversity judges," said David Troutt, who is the founding director of the Rutgers Center on Law in Metropolitan Equity.

    "There are lawyers, and students and judges, and we come from where we come from and we belong here and what we are doing is critically important."

    Barry Carter: (973) 836-4925 or or or follow him on Twitter @BarryCarterSL

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    Who are the best of the best?

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    A 19-story luxury tower is hoping to draw young professionals to Newark with amenities that include a ping pong table, a yoga studio and shuffleboard.

    In a major push to draw young professionals to live and play in Newark's downtown, a homegrown developer is bringing a 19-story luxury tower, complete with a rooftop pool and yoga studio. 

    And don't forget the shuffleboard, ping-pong tables and covered dog run. 

    "This is somewhat unique, and if not totally unique. At least it's the first one that I know to put all this together under a single roof," said developer Anthony V. Bastardi, managing partner of Strategic Development Partners.

    Bastardi, who was born and raised in Newark, said he wanted to restore some of the energy to the vibrant city he remembers as a kid. 

    "We want to bring some of that energy back and we think a good way to do it is to create a place where young people want to live," he said. Bastardi, 73, graduated from Lafayette Street School and St. Benedicts' Prep, both blocks away from where the new tower will stand on the corner of Halsey and Williams streets.

    The tower, named Vibe, is expected to break ground early next year. The project secured approvals from the local planning board and the Landmarks and Historic Preservation Commission earlier this month. 

    Vibe is expected to be completed by summer 2020 with demolition of the old buildings on site beginning early next year. The old buildings on Halsey and Williams streets sat vacant for a decade and most recently housed an auto-parts businesses, according to a press release. 

    The famed Key Club and Je's Restaurant were also housed on the site. Bastardi said he plans to honor historic Newark by displaying artwork reflecting old photographs of the city along the parking lot facade. The Terracotta tiles from one of the buildings will also be preserved. 

    Of the 256 units, 60 percent will be one bedrooms, 20 percent two-bedrooms and 20 percent studios. Bastardi said he would like to include some low- and moderate-income units but the company is still finalizing tax abatements and other subsidies from the city and state to see what is feasible. 

    Since the project did not require any variances from the planning board or zoning board of adjustment, the developer is not required to set aside 20 percent of income-restricted units as mandated under the city's new inclusionary zoning law

    The $80 million investment will feature two restaurants, a 156-car parking garage, and Amazon's Alexa (voice assistant) outfitted in every unit. Residents will open their apartments, place work orders or control the temperatures in their units through an app on their phone. 

    There will also be a whirlpool spa, gym and fitness center, indoor and outdoor yoga and Pilates studios, billiards and foosball.

    "It's young, it's millennial and it's wired and technology rich," Bastardi said.  

    Karen Yi may be reached at Follow her on Twitter at @karen_yi or on Facebook

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    A look at some of New Jersey's baseball alumni playing at the Division 1 level in college.

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    A lawsuit says the township is using the state's redevelopment law to help private developers at the expense of taxpayers.

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    Check out which players have reached the century mark in their careers.

    100hits002.JPGKorie Hague, Vineland, April 6 

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    Check out the second set of conference players of the week.

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    Who's the best of the best?

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    The marijuana dealer now faces several decades in prison.

    A man who was mailed marijuana from California so it could be sold in New Jersey has admitted paying cash bribes to two postal service letter carriers to intercept and deliver parcels to him.

    Glenn Blackstone faces several decades in prison when he's sentenced July 24.

    Federal prosecutors say the 48-year-old Newark man bought marijuana from a conspirator who produced it in California and oversaw its shipping in parcels from California and Nevada.

    These parcels had fictitious names and addresses on them and were not addressed directly to Blackstone.

    Prosecutors say Blackstone paid about $12,400 overall in bribes to the letter carriers to have them deliver these parcels to him.

    He pleaded guilty Tuesday to giving bribes and conspiracy to distribute marijuana.


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    Conference pitchers and hitters of week for games April 9-15, 2018.

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    Newarkers elected three new School Board members Tuesday -- the first election since the state returned control of the district to the local board.

    Tuesday marked a historic day for Newark schools.

    For the first time in 22 years, residents voting in the local School Board race were electing candidates who will have actual decision-making power over the district -- like the authority to hire and fire the next schools chief

    But despite the momentousness, turnout -- as usual -- was dismal. And the likely winners, according to preliminary results, were largely expected. 

    With 98 of 110 districts reporting, about 6,700 ballots were cast, appearing to sweep the "Moving Newark Schools Forward," slate into power. Candidates Asia J. Norton, Yambeli Gomez and Dawn Haynes appeared to clinch the majority of the vote among a 13-candidate field, preliminary results from the Essex County Clerk's Office show.

    The slate was backed by an alliance (now three years strong) between Mayor Ras Baraka, North Ward Councilman Anibal Ramos and charter school advocates.

    With the major power players aligned, the election was largely quiet, despite the high stakes facing the district. 

    The School Board finally regained control of its schools in February after the state decided the district had made enough gains to end the decades-long takeover. 

    "If you think of it from a broad view, this is a real moment -- kind of a historical moment -- this transition process from state control to local control," said Ronald Chaluisan, executive director of the Newark Trust for Education, a nonprofit.

    Chaluisan said the city was still in transition and voter turnout may increase over time.

    "As people understand how much more relevant it is to their day to day, we'll start to see an uptick in participation," he said. 

    Participation in school board races tend to be low when they're not tied to a large race. Last year, the Newark Trust found only 5 percent of 139,000 registered voters cast ballots for school board. With 98 of 110 districts reporting about 6,700 ballots were cast out of 143,000 registered voters.

    Three seats were up in this year's race, as none of the incumbent board members up for re-election opted to run.

    School Board Chairman Marques-Aquil Lewis and board member Dashay Carter both decided not to run; board member Crystal Fonseca is instead running for East Ward Councilwoman in May's municipal elections.

    Lewis, Carter and Fonseca were part of the Children First Team in 2015, supported by Baraka. Fonseca is now running on a slate with Central Ward Councilwoman Gayle Chaneyfield Jenkins, who is challenging Baraka for mayor.  

    Tuesday's initial results, with 98 of 110 districts reporting, showed the slate dominating the race, by more than 1,000-vote margins. 

    Yambeli Gomez received 3,484 votes, preliminary numbers show. She is an aide to At-Large Councilman Eddie Osborne and raised $11,150, campaign finance records show. 

    Asia J. Norton is a family engagement coordinator at Liberty Elementary School and received 3,888 votes. Norton raised $8,863, records show.

    Dawn Haynes is PTO president at Harriet Tubman Elementary and city employee. She received 4,868 votes, and raised $1,195, records show. 

    Among their first task: Selecting a new superintendent. 

    The board is searching for a new leader after state-appointed Superintendent Christopher Cerf resigned earlier this year. Under the district's two-year transition plan to local control, a new superintendent will be selected by May 31 and begin July 1. The two-year transition plan sets milestones for the district as it transitions, including a Nov. 6 election that will let residents decide whether they want an elected school board or one appointed by the mayor.

    Michele Mason, executive director of the Newark Charter School Fund that helped shape the slate congratulated the new school board members. 

    "Today, Newarkers voted to move our schools forward. I'm ready to roll up my sleeves and work with the newest members of the school board - Dawn Haynes, Yambeli Gomez and Asia Norton - to ensure the 55,000 children of our city received the high-quality education they deserve," she said in a statement. 

    Here are preliminary results for the remaining candidates:

    • Marcus Allen: 486 votes
    • Denise Cole: 929 votes
    • Che' J. T. Colter: 941 votes
    • Khalil Hannah: 345 votes
    • Robert House: 184 votes
    • Jameel Ibrahim: 942 votes
    • Yolanda Johnson: 680 votes
    • Johnnie Lattner: 353 votes
    • Omayra Molina:822 votes
    • Barbara Anne Todish: 132 votes

    Karen Yi may be reached at Follow her on Twitter at @karen_yi or on Facebook

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    And, the results of the April school board elections.

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    A fire Tuesday night in an electrical grid at 22 Franklin Street left city offices without power.

    An electrical fire Tuesday night inside the Newark Police Department has left building and City Hall without power, officials said.

    "Newark City Hall and 22 Franklin Street have been evacuated by the Newark Fire Division due to a fire to an electrical grid in the building," Public Safety Director Anthony F. Ambrose said in a statement early Wednesday.

    Firefighters were called shortly before 10 p.m. to 22 Franklin Street on a report of smoky conditions, Ambrose said.

    "They found that an electrical grid had caught fire and burned itself out," Ambrose said. "The building has been evacuated until further notice. There have been no injuries reported."

    By early Wednesday, 22 Franklin Street and City Hall, which is adjacent to a police facility, remained without power.

    "Police operations are ongoing. Not affected," spokeswoman Catherine Adams said in an email.

    PSE&G has been notified and the city's fire division is investigating, Ambrose said.

    Ambrose said the city would provide more information as it becomes available.

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

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    Khalil Wheeler-Weaver has been charged in the murder of three women, including 19-year-old Robin West of Philadelphia who went missing.

    Days after Robin West's burned body was discovered in a house in Orange in September 2016, detectives talked to a man seen picking her up.

    The Orange resident was "calm," even "helpful" witness, detectives said. He lead them to an abandoned building in his town where he said he'd dropped off the 19-year-old Philadelphia native, who had been living in Union Township, after taking her to get food.

    Inside, West was nowhere to be found, Union Township police Detective Sergio Pereira testified in Superior Court Friday.

    Prosecutors say it turns out that this witness, Khalil Wheeler-Weaver, was the one who killed West, strangled two more women and attempted to kill a fourth in separate attacks in Essex and Union counties.

    Now, the Essex County Prosecutor's Office and Wheeler-Weaver's public defender have begun arguments before Judge Alfonse Cifelli over whether those statements should be allowed as evidence at Wheeler-Weaver's murder trial.

    "You never mirandized Mr. Wheeler-Weaver, correct?" public defender Deirdre McMahon asked Pereira.

    Pereira said he had not, as he did not have evidence a crime had been committed at that point.

    On Sept. 13, 2016, Union Township police learned that a burned body -- found less than two blocks from the abandoned building Wheeler-Weaver had led them to -- was hers.

    At the time police questioned Wheeler-Weaver in West's disappearance, Pereira told a court in Newark, "he was a witness" voluntarily providing information in a missing persons case who was free to leave at any time.

    A Montclair police detective testified Wheeler-Weaver was also not read his Miranda rights for either of two encounters with township investigators probing the disappearance of Sara Butler, a 20-year-old New Jersey City University student prosecutors allege was Wheeler-Weaver's final victim.

    Detective Pierre Falaise said Wheeler-Weaver told detectives of arranging to meet with Butler, a prior acquaintence, over the social media site Tagged, and going for a drive with her and another man through Glen Ridge that ended with Butler dropping him off. 

    During one of the encounters, Falaise testified, detectives asked Wheeler-Weaver to show them his arms, and noted what appeared to be a scratch scabbing over on one of his triceps.

    McMahon asked the detective if police considered him a suspect at that point.

    "At the time, we didn't know what he was," Falaise said.

    The detective said phone records indicated Wheeler-Weaver's phone number was one of the last Butler called. An affidavit filed with the court last year indicates the county homicide task force later tracked the movements of Wheeler-Weaver's cellphone to place him at the scenes of at least two of the killings.

    On Dec. 1, 2016, investigators discovered Butler's body buried beneath leaves and debris at the Eagle Rock Reservation in West Orange. Police arrested Wheeler-Weaver in Butler's slaying, and later filed additional charges against him in the killing of Joanne Brown, a 33-year-old Newark resident.

    An indictment returned by a grand jury last February added charges that included an additional count of murder in West's slaying, as well as attempted murder and sexual assault in an attack on a woman in Elizabeth prior to Butler's disappearance.

    Attorneys are scheduled to return to court in May for further arguments over whether Wheeler-Weaver's statements can be entered into evidence.

    Thomas Moriarty may be reached at Follow him on Twitter at @ThomasDMoriarty.

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    Frankie's brother performing with Newark boys chorus Watch video

    Bobby Valli was perched on a stool near the grand piano in the practice room of the Newark Boys Chorus School, looking very cool and very much like a star with his smoky gray sunglasses and his silver hair slicked back and impeccably in place.

    In front of him was the full chorus of 28 boys. Two were sitting out, chorus director Donald Miller explained, because their voices were changing and right now he wasn't sure how deep they would land.

    The other boys were performing a jazz arrangement called "Newark 350" by famed composer Jim Papoulis, written for the city's 350th anniversary three years ago.

    In the piece, the songs of Newark originals Sara Vaughan and Whitney Houston were sandwiched by a pair of hits by Frankie Valli, Bobby Valli's famous brother, who was born in the Stephen Crane Village in Newark's North Ward.

    As the boys sang, Bobby Valli, dressed in a black suit with a gold handkerchief in the breast pocket over a black crew-neck shirt, moved his head to the beat as he quietly sang along to "My Eyes Adored You" and "Working My Way Back to You."

    The truth is, Bobby Valli has probably sung those songs nearly as many times as his brother, certainly more than any of the other original Four Seasons, or the ever-changing back-up band since. Like his brother, he's a tireless working musician. Just on a smaller scale.

    MORE: Recent Mark Di Ionno columns

    Bobby Valli was at the school to introduce and practice one of his original songs with the chorus, called "America." He wrote it not long after the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, as a patriotic anthem for a unified country, as hopeful and applicable today as it was then.

    He will perform it with the chorus tonight during  the school's biggest fundraiser, the 43rd annual Rainbow Gala at the Hotel at Liberty International Airport.

    He is one of six people being honored by the school, and the only entertainer. The rest are professors or corporate executives.

    For Frankie's kid brother, 69, it's a "nice little honor."

    He doesn't use the word "little" to minimize the award. It's just part of his lexicon.

    "I built myself a nice, little career," he said about his 50-plus years of performing, mostly his brother's material which has caused past friction between the two.

    "We put on a nice, little show," he said of any number of oldies shows he does a year, with other acts from the 1960s.

    He's headlining one coming up at the Carl Perkins Civic Center in Jackson, Tenn., topping a bill that includes the Cowsills, Gary Talley of the Box Tops and Merrilee Rush.

    But mostly he does local restaurants and clubs. This month brought him to Pagillo's Italiano in Manalapan, Stingers Bar and Grill in Wallington, and twice to Tony Lip's Italian Restaurant in Franklin Lakes, where he will be performing the night after the awards dinner. He does private parties, too. He's got one at the Marco Polo Restaurant in Summit this weekend and opened April at a cancer benefit in Scotch Plains.

    That was the same night Frankie Valli and the latest incarnation of the Four Seasons did their first of two shows at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, such was the demand.

    Bobby Valli gets this. He's a singer, a pro, like his brother. They just play at different levels of venues and enjoy different levels of fame.

    Frankie Valli's schedule is, and as always been, a hectic whirlwind of touring the U.S. and overseas. In the coming weeks, he'll play a casino in Louisiana, one in Minnesota, on Coney Island, and in California. In the fall, he'll do eight dates in the United Kingdom.

    "He works a lot. I work a lot, too," Bobby Valli said. "I got myself a nice little situation."

    That situation is built on mostly Four Seasons songs and other standards from the era, including some from that other Jersey Boy, Frank Sinatra.

    "I think I'll do a Sinatra song at the (Rainbow) gala and maybe one of my brother's," he said at the rehearsal.

    He came to the rehearsal last Friday with sheet music for the chorus and Samuel Rowe, the school's piano teacher. He first worked with a small group of young singers in a music room where a timeline of greats decorates the wall. Bach and Handel, Mozart and Verdi, up to Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong, and Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson. In one corner is a sign: "Where words fail, music speaks."

    It also bridges cultures and generations. So, there was Bobby Valli, whose brother was on the charts when the chorus boys' grandparents were teens, teaching them a song he wrote following a historic event before they were born.

    They went through "America" a few times, as Rowe directed the harmonies.

    "How do we sound?" Valli asked his wife, Carol Castelluccio, who uses the surname Frankie and Bobby Valli were born with. "It's pretty good, right?"

    They then moved in with the full chorus and sounded even better.

    "He's one of the musical treasures we have in Newark that people don't know about," said Miller. "When we asked him to sing, he said he wanted to sing with the boys."

    Bobby Valli only got word of the award a few weeks ago.

    "They wanted my brother, but he was unavailable," he said, and it was hard to tell if he was joking. Such is the shadow he has lived with is whole life. Frankie Valli turns 85 in May and was on his way to superstardom by the time Bobby started first grade.

    At times the relationship has been fractured and Frankie once insisted Bobby stop using the material. But Bobby has appeared with Frankie on stage a few times in oldies shows in the last decade, the sign of a thaw.

    "Me and my brother are going to sit down and smoke the peace pipe soon," Bobby said. "After all, we're all getting older."

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

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    Flip-flop at the very top, other changes

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    Make your voice heard! Who is the state's best senior pitcher?

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    An 'unknown source' emailed an undisclosed number of recipients with the partial social security numbers of employees from the Irvington school district.

    In the age of online shopping, computer hacks and data breaches, identity theft is not necessarily a shock. But, you're probably not expecting to get an email listing portions of your colleagues' social security numbers.

    But, in the Irvington school district, that's exactly what happened.

    Partial social security numbers of more than 1,200 employees at Irvington schools were distributed via email on Monday to an unknown number of recipients, according to the school district. 

    The email included the names of current and former employees and their social security numbers with a few numbers replaced by dashes or asterisks, a copy of the email obtained by NJ Advance Media shows. 

    Superintendent Neely Hackett said the staff members listed were active employees around June 2011. She said the district was working with law enforcement to determine the "unknown source" who leaked the information. 

    "The district regrets this unfortunate disclosure, however, we are taking this matter very seriously and we have and will take all reasonable steps to protect members of our Irvington family," Hackett wrote in an email. She said the district would contact any former staffers affected by the privacy breach.

    The email's subject was "IBOE gave out your SS number," (short for the Irvington Board of Education) and had no additional text aside from the list of workers, a copy of the email showed. The recipients of the email were not disclosed.

    "At this time, I do not know the exact number of people who received the email," Hackett said. "To the best of my knowledge, the email was distributed to Irvington staff members using the district email address."

    Public Safety Director Tracy Bowers said the incident was under investigation and detectives were working to gather more information. 

    The district enrolls about 7,000 students. 

    Karen Yi may be reached at Follow her on Twitter at @karen_yi or on Facebook


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    Pierre-Paul was traded by the Giants to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this offseason.

    Former New York Giants standout Jason Pierre-Paul is leaving us. 

    Pierre-Paul, who was traded by the Giants to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this offseason, put his Montclair home on the market on Wednesday for $1.25 million, according to the home's Zillow listing.

    He had purchased the 4,280-square-foot home for just under $1 million in March 2017, according to property records.

    Located on a quiet, suburban block in Montclair, the home, which was built in 1927, has six bedrooms and five bathrooms.

    The current listing does not provide many details about the home, but Juliana Sullivan, the listing agent, said the home has been cosmetically updated since Pierre-Paul bought it, including new hardwood floors, a new backsplash in the kitchen and new tile in the master bathroom. There is smart house technology throughout now as well, she added.

    The home was last assessed at $872,400, according to property records. Property taxes for the home were $31,703 in 2017.

    New York Giants host Detroit Lions on Monday Night FootballFormer Giants star Jason Pierre-Paul listed his Montclair home for $1.25 million on Wednesday. 

    The Giants selected Pierre-Paul with the 15th pick of the 2010 NFL Draft. Playing defensive end, Pierre-Paul wreaked havoc around the edge during his eight years with the franchise, making two Pro Bowl appearances and raking up 58.5 sacks in that time.

    But it wasn't always fun times for Pierre-Paul during his time with the Giants.

    While he thrived on the field, he may be most well-known for something that happened off it: During a July 4, 2015 celebration in Florida, Pierre-Paul lost his right index finger and part of his thumb during a firework incident. He was hospitalized for two-and-a-half weeks following the near-career ending injury.

    Before being traded, Pierre Paul signed a four-year, $62 million contract with the Giants in 2017. He has made more than $56 million so far in his NFL career.

    Joe Atmonavage may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @jatmonavageNJFind on Facebook

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