Local Beat is the NJ News Commons’ weekly roundup of the best reporting by community news sources.
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LIVINGSTON BOARD OF EDUCATION WEIGHS RANDOM DRUG TESTING AT HIGH SCHOOL
The Livingston Board of Education is exploring random drug testing at Livingston High School as a deterrence measure, but the move is receiving push-back from some in the community, Danielle Santola of TAPinto Livingston reports. Principals from the BOE were invited to the township council meeting to answer questions and address concerns about the measure, which is under consideration in other districts across the state as well.
BOWING TO COMMUNITY PRESSURE, MAPLEWOOD RESCINDS COMMENDATION LETTER FOR OUSTED POLICE CHIEF
Backlash from local activists and community groups has resulted in a decision by the Maplewood Township Committee to withhold a letter of commendation as part of its settlement with outgoing Police Chief Robert Crimino, reports Carolyn Maynard-Parisi for Village Green. Crimino was ousted after audio and video from July 2016 was released earlier this year showing police officers kicking and punching a handcuffed teenager before physically moving the teen out of town and into Irvington.
PARKLET PROGRAM OPEN FOR REVISIONS, WESTFIELD MAYOR SAYS
The town of Westfield is still ironing out the kinks in its parklet program, as Jackie Lieberman of TAPinto Westfield reports. Confusion has arisen after restaurants were asked by the town to provide the seating for the parklets, leading to incidents in which citizens were discouraged from using the parkelts unless they were patronizing the restaurant. Mayor Skibitsky and the council are open to revision of the program, they said.
MORRIS COUNTY RESIDENTS TALK POLITICS AHEAD OF UPCOMING ELECTION
Residents of the Washington’s Headquarters neighborhood in Morris County are coming together to talk politics ahead of the upcoming gubernatorial election, Morristown Green’s Kevin Coughlin reports. United by a deep sense of community and a history of civic responsibility, these New Jerseyans are finding common ground in what are often contentious times. This story was produced as part of the Voting Block collaborative reporting project.
NEW METUCHEN WHOLE FOODS ADDS LOCAL JOBS, DOUBLES AS ‘PRICING LAB’ FOR AMAZON
A new Whole Foods Market in Metuchen has taken on greater significance since the grocery chain’s purchase by Amazon, Dave Schatz reports in New Brunswick Today. Amazon views Whole Foods Markets as “pricing labs” to test supply and demand, and determine the appeal of experimental elements such as an in-store Mexican cantina with a full bar. The Metuchen store, slated to open Oct. 11, is expected to provide 160 new local jobs.
Other notable stories include:
- Prayer Is A Beginning, Not An End | Beth Shorten of MyVeronaNJ
- Suspended Maplewood Police Captain’s Lawsuit Claims No Due Process | Anna Sandler of TAPinto SOMA
- Hate crime propels LGBTQ issues into spotlight | Elena Knopp of TAPinto Newark