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Week In Review: Missing Teen Returns Home; Car Crashes Into House

Here's a roundup of some of the top stories throughout Union County during the week of Sept. 30 to Oct. 6.

 

Berkeley Heights

Solar Panel Project Is Near Completion At Two Berkeley Heights Schools

Solar panels at two Berkeley Heights schools have been installed and are expected to be turned on in the next couple weeks, providing 60 to 70 percent of energy for each building. The panels, which were installed over the last few months, were wired to the electrical systems at Governor Livingston High School and William Woodruff Elementary School on Wednesday, Sept. 26, said Board of Education Secretary Donna A. Felezzola. The next phase of project is the installation of instructional kiosks at each school, which should be achieved within the next two weeks.

Highlander Band To Host Annual 'Pageant of Champions' on Oct. 14

This pageant, in its 41st year, tests students with interwoven maneuvers while they play concert-quality music. The Highlander Marching Band won the Group 1 Championship in 2011. The pageant will begin at 12:30 p.m.

Clark

Missing Teen Who Tweeted 'Call 911' Returns Home

A Clark teenager who tweeted, "There is somone in my hour ecall 911," around 6 p.m. Sunday night before vanishing, turned herself into police Wednesday. Kara Alongi's disappearance, which police now consider voluntary, went viral on Twitter, with the hashtag #helpfindkara peaking at No. 3 worldwide.

Cranford

Police Checkpoints Result In Arrests

A pedestrian decoy checkpoint and a vehicle safety checkpoint led to arrests when investigations revealed that suspects were in possession of marijuana.

Fanwood

Fanwood Residents Voice Opinion on Consolidation Study

Fanwood Residents along with Fanwood Mayor, Colleen Mahr, were generally opposed to the consolidation of Scotch Plains and Fanwood. Residents feared that the borough would lose it's identity and that costs would rise once the two towns had to transition into one.

President of Fanwood Rescue Squad Expresses Opinion on EMS Bill

President of the Fanwood Rescue Squad, Nancy Mustachio, expressed that her concerns in the EMS regulation bill that now moves to the senate. Mustachio said that she worries about "the devil in the details," and what is not written in the bill that could cause issues, such as where funding would come from.

Garwood

Canidates For Garwood Council Will Speak At The Pointe

The candidates for Garwood Borough Council will appear at the Pointe, the condominium complex between Maple and Chestnut Streets, during October, and Garwood residents have been invited to attend the sessions. The Democratic candidates, William Nierstedt and Ann Palmer, will appear at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 11.

New Providence

New Providence, Berkeley Heights, Mountainside Mail May Have Been Lost in Truck Fire

Did you send out a piece of mail from Berkeley Heights, Mountainside, New Providence or another nearby town between Sept. 7 and 10? It may be lost due to a Sept. 11 two-truck collision that resulted in the burning of the mail truck, the U.S. mail on board and the death of its driver. The New Jersey Department of Treasury is providing assistance to residents in many Union and Morris County towns. The affected zip codes begin with 070 to 076, 078, 079, 088 and 089.

New Providence Dentist Accused of Using Deceased Dentist's Identity

Roben Brookhim, of Short Hills, was arrested on Oct. 2 at Associated Dental in New Providence, where he allegedly practiced dentistry under the assumed name and license number of Dr. John Kirkland, Jr., a dentist who died in October 2011. Brookhim is charged with the unlicensed practice of dentistry, a third-degree crime; identity theft, a third-degree crime; and healthcare claims fraud, a second-degree crime.

Scotch Plains

Annual Scotch Plains Day to Take Place today

The annual “Scotch Plains Day & Street Fair” will take place today from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Park Avenue in downtown Scotch Plains.  More than 100 crafters, artists, vendors and merchants will line both sides of Park Avenue between Westfield Avenue and Grand Street.

Springfield

Car Crashes into Morris Ave. Home

On Monday, Oct. 1, a car crashed into a Morris Avenue home, sending two people to the hospital, including a small child. Emergency responders said an elderly driver lost control of his vehicle. Reportedly swaying the vehicle as he drove the one-way street, the driver lost control and spun into a single family home. A 9-month-old girl and her mother were injured by falling debris in the impact.

Springfield FD Raise Awareness and Money for Breast Cancer Research

Throughout October, members of the Springfield Fire Department have swapped their standard issue blue work shirts for ones with pink ones in support of  a nationwide campaign to raise money and awareness for breast cancer.

Sprint for Springfield Schools

Springfielders turned out in force for the second annual Sprint for Springfield Schools 5k race benefiting the Springfield Education Foundation.

Summit

Summit's Washington School Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Day

It was a day of Latino pride at Summit's Washington elementary school on Friday afternoon. About a dozen students and their families marched out onto the school's gymnasium displaying their respective country flags, including the Dominican Republic, Argentina, Mexico, Costa Rica.

According to The New Jersey State Police, there have been 75 cyclists killed on NJ roads within the past five years.  That number is staggering and is very alarming. By educating drivers and cyclists on obeying the rules of the road, on having mutual respect and understanding, many of those cyclists’ lives could have been spared.

Westfield

Westfield Board of Education Vice Principal David Finn Resigns Effective Immediately

In a statement read by Westfield Board of Education President Rich Mattessich at Tuesday evening's Board meeting, Board Vice President David Finn resigned from his position effective immediately, citing an "urgent family medical matter." The Board then voted to unanimously elect Rosanne Kurstedt as his successor. 

After One Bond Defeat, BOE Continues Quest to Repair Roofs

On Tuesday, the Westfield Board of Education held its first public meeting since Westfield voters defeated the single bond referendum that would have funded both roof repairs and a lighted turf field. Board members acknowledged the message residents had sent loud and clear, yet also remained focused on a project that is still viewed as a necessity. The Board unanimously voted to place a new bond referendum on the Dec. 11 ballot, following a recommendation made by the district business office. The bond will at least be sufficient enough to pay for the replacement of the roofs at the high school, which is viewed as the district building most in need of roof repair.

Westfield United Fund Honors Linda Maggio for 38 Years of Service

On Friday, Sept. 28, friends and supporters of the Westfield United Fund gathered at Echo Lake Country Club to pay tribute to Linda Maggio for her 38 years of leadership and dedicated service to the WUF. Maggio  has assumed the position of Director Emeritus, effective October 1, 2012.  Deirdre Gelinne, former Assistant Director and a past WUF volunteer, is the new Executive Director.

Westfield Police Capt. Cliff Auchter Retires from 37-Year Career

After 37 years with the Westfield Police Department, Capt. Cliff Auchter has announced his retirement and will spent his final day on the job Thursday, Oct. 4. "I feel honored that I had 37 years to serve the people of Westfield and in my tenure I've met some absolutely wonderful people in town and have established some long-standing friendships," he said

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