Local Beat: In Maplewood, path to better community relations begins its long, difficult journey

Local Beat is the NJ News Commons’ weekly roundup of the best reporting by community news sources.

IN MAPLEWOOD, PATH TO BETTER COMMUNITY RELATIONS BEGINS ITS LONG, DIFFICULT JOURNEY
Village Green continues to follow the fall-out from the police audio and video released this summer that captured police herding a group of teens out of town and punching and kicking one handcuffed teen. This week, Mary Mann reports that community members want a halt to police/student mentoring programs.

DEMOCRATS FILE COMPLAINT AND INVESTIGATION AGAINST MAYOR BARBERIO
The Morris County Democratic Committee has filed a complaint against Parsippany mayor James Barberio with the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission. Frank Cahill of Parsippany Focus says Democrats also asked ELEC to open an investigation into Barberio and his campaign accounts, alleging violations of a New Jersey regulation that prohibits the use of taxpayer dollars to promote the campaigns of incumbent elected officials.

ARMORED COMBAT LEAGUE TURNS BACK THE CLOCK, DIALS UP THE IMPACT
The Armored Combat League (ACL) is a full-contact, fully-armored fighting league that began less than five years ago and has already attracted more than 400 members and attained international reach. Matt Skoufalos of NJ Pen says the upstart fighting sport pits would-be knights in real suits of armor against one another in melee combat.

TAPINTO SPRINGFIELD CANDIDATE FORUM IS CANCELED, TOWNSHIP VOTES TO DISALLOW USE OF CHISHOLM CENTER
Springfield Township essentially canceled a scheduled candidate forum organized by TAPinto Springfield when it informed the publication that it will not be permitted to use the Chisholm Center for the forum. Ellen Dickson of TAPinto Springfield says the forum was canceled because her publication is not a non-profit organization.

‘GENTRIFICATION AT ITS WORST’: RESIDENTS, ADVOCACY GROUPS FIGHT TO SAVE TERRELL HOMES
Hundreds of residents at Newark’s Terrell Homes public housing complex are fighting to keep their homes after the Newark Housing Authority voted to demolish the complex. Elena Knopp of TAPinto Newark says the NHA has cited structural, environmental and security concerns as reasons for the recommended demolition, but housing advocacy groups say only a small portion of residents would qualify for the housing vouchers that would allow them to move into other affordable housing units.

LANING, HBW BRING COMFORTING TOUCH TO LEARNING
Children’s sensory systems can be disrupted by both temporary problems in their lives and permanent biological conditions, and those disruptions can make it hard for them to focus on learning in school. As such, Virginia Citrano of MyVeronaNJ says one of Verona’s elementary schools and its middle school have installed sensory rooms where children from both special education and general education populations can use a variety of tools and strategies to self-regulate their systems.

MORRISTOWN MAYOR APOLOGIZES TO RESIDENTS WHO SAY TOWN IGNORED COMPLAINTS ABOUT BOARDING HOME
It’s not the kind of public turnout you want weeks before an election, but Kevin Coughlin of Morristown Green says the mayor of Morristown answered angry residents by taking responsibility for the town hall’s poor response to their complaints about a questionable boarding house.

‘SPRINGSTEEN ON BROADWAY’ REVIEW: THERE’S A DARKNESS IN NEW YORK’S MIDTOWN
Jay Lustig of NJArts.net is an avid fan of The Boss, to put it lightly, which makes him the perfect person to comment on this week’s opening of “Springsteen on Broadway.” Lustig says the roughly two-hour affair shows a different Springsteen than the showman and rock ‘n’ roll animal we all know and love.

OTHER NOTABLE LOCAL STORIES THIS WEEK:

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