Palumbo Jr. has been charged with:
MORRIS COUNTY — February 2024 was unanimously proclaimed Black History Month by the Morris County Board of County Commissioners recently, as an ambitious Morris County Historical Society effort continues to survey, document, and preserve the heritage of African Americans in Morris County.
“We encourage everyone to join us in recognizing and celebrating the important contributions African Americans have made to our society throughout history to support the success of our county and the United States,” said Commissioner Director Christine Myers.
Earlier this year, the Historical Society launched the county’s first survey of African American historic sites, making Morris County the second in New Jersey to undertake such a project, according to Amy Curry, Executive Director of the Historical Society.
The wide-ranging survey is being completed in four phases in four different county regions. The Historical Society’s goal is to complete one survey phase each year. Phase 1 is underway and focuses on an area that includes Chatham Borough, Chatham Township, East Hanover, Florham Park, Hanover, Harding, Long Hill, Madison, Morristown, Morris Plains, and Morris Township.
“The county is big and has significant African American history that spans its whole history, from pre-revolutionary to whatever we consider the recent past. As a museum, and having a collection with very few tangible objects to connect visitors to that history makes it more difficult to tell the history,” Curry said.
Included in the history of Morris County and the rest of the state is the stain of slavery, which only gradually ended in New Jersey starting in 1804 and culminating with a state constitutional amendment signed January 23, 1866, several months after the end of the Civil War.
Last year, Morris County rescued five historic documents related to the emancipation of slaves in the area – specifically local manumissions regarding five African American slaves living in Morris County. Manumissions are official, hand-written documents by which slave owners certified the freedom of individual African Americans held in bondage.
Joseph R. Klett, Director of the New Jersey State Archives, discovered the five Morris County documents were being advertised on the Internet last year for sale at a pending auction. Klett notified Morris County, which worked with the state to secure the return of the 19th Century manumissions.
The auction house and the estate of a private collector who had owned the documents for many years voluntarily provided them to Morris County once the county and state notified them that the documents were official public records belonging to Morris County. The documents are now being held in the Morris County Heritage Commission archives.
“This was an important find, and we are very thankful the state archivist acted quickly to help us secure these historical documents once they were found for sale online. We are also grateful to the auction house and the family of the collector, both of whom were understanding, cooperative, and responsive when we laid claim to the documents,” said Director Myers.
To inspire more residents to participate in the African American history survey, the Morris County Heritage Commission provided a grant supporting three community engagement workshops hosted last year by the Historical Society and Sankofa Heritage Collective of Morris County, Morris County’s first Black historical society.
The survey was made possible through a grant awarded in December by the New Jersey Council for the Humanities. The Historical Society, a member-supported 501(c)3 non-profit, secured another state grant from the New Jersey Historical Commission to support its work.
The Historical Society has a collection of over 27,000 historic objects from Morris County. However, Curry said it became apparent that objects specific to local African American history were lacking when the collection was showcased during the Historical Society’s 75th Anniversary celebration and the 50th Anniversary of its ownership of Acorn Hall in 2021.
That is when plans began to survey the county and Black history sites, including the people and the stories within those physical locations that make them significant.
To learn more about Black History Month, click here.
The Ties that Bind exhibition is currently on display at St. Elizabeth University until February 29th to commemorate Black History Month.
PARSIPPANY — Taj Khokhar was one of the newest members to join the Kiwanis Club of Greater Parsippany. Club member Connie Keller sponsored Taj into the club.
Club President Carol Tiesi said, “Kiwanis is something so good that each of us loves to share it. What better way to show our love for our club and our community than to welcome a new member to our club? Today, we’re very pleased to welcome Taj to our club. We welcome Taj to our global organization of volunteers dedicated to improving the world one child and one community at a time.”
Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to changing the world, one child and one community at a time. It is not religious-based or partisan in any way.
Kiwanis Club of Greater Parsippany supports ten K-Kids clubs, Lake Parsippany Elementary School, Eastlake Elementary School, Intervale School, Mt. Tabor Elementary School, Littleton Elementary School, Lake Hiawatha Elementary School, Troy Hills Elementary School, Northvail Elementary School, Knollwood School, and Rockaway Meadow Elementary School, two builders clubs, Central Middle School and Brooklawn Middle School; two Key Clubs, Parsippany Hills High School and Parsippany High School and one Aktion Club.
If you are interested in learning more about the Kiwanis Club of Greater Parsippany, contact President Carol Tiesi. Click here to view the Kiwanis Club of Greater Parsippany website.
MORRIS COUNTY — Preschool Advantage is currently accepting applications for tuition assistance for the upcoming 2024-2025 school year. Families demonstrating financial need and a strong commitment to education are encouraged to apply through the Preschool Advantage website. Priority consideration will be given to applications received by March 1, with later submissions considered based on fund availability.
With only 25 percent of New Jersey’s school districts offering free public preschool, many families struggle to afford tuition fees. Preschool Advantage collaborates with 28 reputable preschools in Morris and Somerset counties to provide access to quality preschool education for financially challenged families. Eligible families, with earnings of up to $80,000 annually depending on family size, have received support since 1995, totaling over 1,500 families throughout the region.
In the 2023-2024 academic year, Preschool Advantage assisted 106 children with tuition funding and aims to support an additional 100 in 2024. To apply and view the list of partner preschools, click here or contact (973) 532-2501.”
PARSIPPANY — During a DUI stop on Saturday, February 17, at approximately 9:00 p.m., Denville Township Police apprehended a man wanted on a warrant from Denville Township. The police had pulled over a vehicle on Route 10 for a “maintenance of lamps” violation, as its rear license plate lights were not functioning.
Subsequent investigation revealed the driver to be Jose Cardona-Ramirez, 29, from Parsippany-Troy Hills. Allegedly, Cardona-Ramirez was operating the vehicle under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
Following his apprehension, it was uncovered that Cardona-Ramirez had an outstanding warrant from Denville Township Municipal Court. He now faces a litany of charges, including DUI, careless driving, reckless driving, driving without a license, maintenance of lamps violation, and contempt of court.
Unable to meet bail requirements, Cardona-Ramirez was remanded to the Morris County Correctional Facility.
MORRIS COUNTY — County College of Morris (CCM) was recently awarded two grants from the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) that will help students who are enrolled in Advanced Manufacturing programs, including both Pre-Apprenticeship Boot Camps and Apprenticeship Programs. The college was awarded $237,109 as part of the PACE grant and $299,566 as part of the GAINS grant, totaling over $535,000 secured in grant funding.
“Receiving both of these grants from NJDOL positively impacts our students, manufacturing partners, the college and the communities we serve,” said Dr. Anthony J. Iacono, President of County College of Morris. “We are grateful to provide students with opportunities to be educated and trained in manufacturing, develop their resumes through apprenticeship programs, and be placed in jobs earning family-sustaining wages. As a community college, CCM strives to support our communities’ economy and economic mobility and provide a pipeline of employees to industries throughout Morris County.”
The Pre-Apprenticeship in Career Education (PACE) Program will support 40 CCM’s Advanced Manufacturing Pre-Apprenticeship Boot Camp participants. Most of the funds will go directly towards tuition and participant stipends. The mission of the PACE Program is to align better secondary, post-secondary, adult education, and occupational training to meet labor demands unique to New Jersey and develop career pathways that lead to economically sustainable wages. Through the PACE funding received, CCM hopes to increase the number of apprentices from underrepresented groups. Many organizations in Morris, Sussex and Warren Counties help recruit participants and support those facing barriers. Following the boot camp, CCM’s Advanced Manufacturing team stays connected with those placed in Registered Apprenticeship programs, connecting them with additional support through related technical instruction.
The funding secured through the Growing Apprenticeships in Nontraditional Sectors (GAINS) grant program will help 25 participants in CCM’s Registered Apprenticeship programs (RAPs) in Advanced Manufacturing. The GAINS grant program promotes expansion of U.S. Department of Labor-approved Registered Apprenticeship programs to support better-paying careers and the attainment of advanced credentials. The program seeks to develop new and existing apprenticeship programs and create Registered Apprenticeship programs in high-growth industries. CCM will use the GAINS grant funds to add the Robotics Technician apprenticeship program, maintain key personnel in established, successful RAPs and enhance already elite Related Technical Instruction (RTI), which is classroom and lab instruction that provides theoretical knowledge and technical skills.
These programs are a part of CCM’s Center for Workforce Development, which allows students to learn cutting-edge skills and boost their marketability in an ever-changing job market. It is a vital part of CCM’s mission, and advanced manufacturing is a growing, in-demand sector with a proven impact on the community. According to the Research Institute at Dallas College, CCM has the country’s third highest Economic Mobility Index of all community colleges. Education and support provided by CCM unlocks lasting occupational proficiency, advancement, and economic prosperity for learners from low-income or marginalized backgrounds in northern New Jersey. Furthermore, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, 93 percent of apprentices who complete an apprenticeship retain employment with an annual salary of $77,000.
CCM developed the Advanced Manufacturing Pre-Apprenticeship Boot Camp that links directly to eight Registered Apprenticeship Programs (RAPs) that have been approved by the U.S. Department of Labor and are currently offered at CCM. The RAPs are as follows:
- CNC Operating: Milling
- CNC Operator: Turning
- CNC Operator: Milling and Turning
- CAD/CAM Programmer
- Quality Assurance/Quality Control
- Industrial Maintenance Mechanic
- Robotics Technician (this apprenticeship will be piloted in the 2024 calendar year)
- Tool/Die Manufacturer
Many target occupations result from these programs, including CNC operators, maintenance roles, tool/die manufacturers, QA/QC inspectors, CAD/CAM drafters, and robotics technicians. The daytime boot camp lasts over seven to ten weeks and totals 159 hours. It introduces participants to shop basics, advanced manufacturing equipment, OSHA 10, resume development, and other topics pertinent to successful job placement.
To learn more about CCM’s Pre-Apprenticeship Boot Camp and Apprenticeship Programs in Advanced Manufacturing, click here.
To learn more about CCM’s Center for Workforce Development, click here.
MORRIS COUNTY — Impressive turnout at the Rockaway River Barn for the Morris County GOP Winter Fundraiser under the leadership of Chairwoman Laura Ali. It’s always wonderful to gather with fellow proud Republicans and dedicated elected officials, many of whom spent the day in Trenton combating the overdevelopment of our suburbs. Proud to show my support!
PARSIPPANY — A homeowner on Stephen Terrace noticed two of his landscape lights were missing from his front lawn.
Upon viewing his video surveillance footage, he observed a male wearing a blue jacket remove the lights. The male suspect took one light on February 7 at 2:17 p.m., and the same male suspect took the second on February 8 at 2:46 p.m.
The homeowner advised the reporting officer that he observed the male park, which appeared to be a mini-van, up the street from the victim’s home and paced back and forth before stealing the light.
The incident is currently under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call the Parsippany Department’s Investigative Division at (973) 263-4300.
PARSIPPANY — Parsippany Police Recover Stolen Vehicle at Rutgers Village Apartments During a routine property check at 2 Rutgers Lane on February 7, 2024, 9:52 a.m.
Parsippany-Troy Hills Police Officer Cavaliere was alerted by the Property Manager to a 2018 Silver Chevy Camaro parked in the lot for approximately three months without movement.
Further investigation revealed the vehicle had been reported stolen from Franklin Township. The incident is currently under investigation. Anyone with information is urged to contact the Parsippany Department’s Investigative Division at (973) 263-4300.
PARSIPPANY — On February 5th, 2024, at 4:45 a.m., a burglary to an automobile occurred. A resident of Lake Shore Drive in Lake Parsippany discovered that her 2022 Silver Ford Eco Sport had been ransacked.
Upon reviewing surveillance footage, she witnessed an unidentified male wearing a hooded jacket, face covering, and gloves enter her unlocked vehicle.
The suspect absconded with only $0.75 inside the vehicle before departing the scene on foot. Further details about the suspect were not provided. The incident is currently under investigation, and anyone with information is urged to contact the Parsippany Department’s Investigative Division at (973) 263-4300.
PARSIPPANY — Reminder: Saturday, February 17, 2024, marks the Annual Fire Department Election. Please cast your vote to support the local budget for our 100% Volunteer Fire Department; vote for Commissioners and other items that will affect your local fire district.
Polling stations will be open from 2:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at your neighborhood fire department.
PARSIPPANY — The recently opened Miller’s Ale House air crackled excitedly on Valentine’s Day as Councilman Justin Musella prepared for his highly anticipated fundraiser. With heart-shaped decorations adorning the walls and freshly cooked food wafting through the air, the atmosphere was set for an evening of love and community support.
As the clock struck 6:30 p.m., the doors swung open, and the crowd began to pour in. From all corners of the town, friends, families, and supporters of Councilman Musella made their way into the bustling restaurant. Some arrived hand in hand, while others came solo, eager to join the festivities and show their support for their beloved councilman.
Musella, sporting a sharp suit and a warm smile, greeted each guest with genuine enthusiasm. His passion for serving the community was palpable, and it resonated with everyone who crossed his path. As the night progressed, the restaurant buzzed with laughter and conversation, filling the air with camaraderie and goodwill.
The fundraiser featured diverse attendees ranging from many elected officials to grassroots activists. Senator Bramnick gave introductory remarks before welcoming Assemblyman Brian Bergen, the headline speaker.
What truly stood out, however, was the overwhelming turnout. Many joked that the fire inspector should have been called because Musella tends to draw crowds that exceed the fire occupancy limit! Over a hundred people packed into Miller’s Ale House, demonstrating their unwavering support for Musella and his vision for a brighter future for Parsippany.
As the night drew to a close, Councilman Musella took to the stage to express his gratitude to everyone who had contributed to the fundraiser’s success. His heartfelt words resonated with the crowd, leaving them inspired and uplifted.
“The future begins with the right step forward,” Councilman Musella declared, his voice filled with emotion. “Together, we’re going to do everything in our power to make this town the best possible.”
BOONTON — A police officer from the Town of Boonton Police Department attempted to initiate a motor vehicle stop with a 2015 White Honda that was observed to be failing to maintain lane discipline on Morris Avenue. (Click here to read the original story)
The vehicle then dangerously failed to stop at a red light from a residential road onto Main Street. When the officer activated the patrol vehicle emergency lights, the suspect vehicle continued without stopping, eluding the law enforcement officer onto Interstate 287 southbound.
The suspect vehicle quickly accelerated away from the officer and turned off all its lights. At this point, the officer lost visual sight of the suspect vehicle. The officer terminated the motor vehicle pursuit. The officer believed the suspect vehicle entered Interstate 80 westbound.
Shortly thereafter, the New Jersey State Police came across a single-vehicle motor vehicle crash where a vehicle had collided with the center lane barrier for the westbound lane of Interstate 80, adjacent to the ramp for Interstate 287 southbound at the entrance for Interstate 80 westbound.
This vehicle was determined to be the same vehicle that eluded the Town of Boonton Police. The Town of Boonton Police Department and surrounding towns were notified.
A subsequent search for the driver ensued as it was reported that the driver had fled the scene. Two 16-year-old juveniles were located in the vehicle with significant bodily injuries from the motor vehicle crash. Mountain Lakes Police Department then located the driver on Parsippany Boulevard, who also had bodily injuries. He was apprehended and taken into custody.
All three were transported to Morristown Medical Center for treatment and evaluation.
During the investigation, the vehicle’s owner reported the vehicle missing and that the occupants did not have permission to take the vehicle.
A firearm was recovered from the vehicle, and a juvenile passenger was charged.
All three were charged with theft through conveyance “joyriding.”
The adult driver, Nathaniel Arocho, 18, Bloomfield, was charged on a warrant complaint with Eluding and Aggravated Assault. Arocho was also charged with eight motor vehicle offenses, including driving without a license, speeding, and reckless driving.
The juveniles were released to their parents with a notice to appear for processing at the Boonton Police Department. The adult was committed to the Morris County Jail pursuant to Criminal Justice Reform.
PARSIPPANY — The Kiwanis Club of Greater Parsippany actively engages in “Random Acts of Kindness Day.” Club members have generously donated essential items to the Mt. Pleasant Animal Shelter, demonstrating their solidarity and support for the cause.
Lorri Caffrey, Executive Director of Mt. Pleasant Animal Shelter, recently visited the Kiwanis Club of Greater Parsippany. In her presentation, she showcased the various volunteering opportunities available at the shelter and shared accomplishments attained in 2023.
MORRIS COUNTY — John Dunlea, formerly the Chief Financial Officer of McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney & Carpenter, LLP, a national law firm with offices in Morristown and throughout New Jersey and other states, faces charges of embezzling over $1.5 million from the firm and evading payment of state income tax. Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin and the Division of Criminal Justice (DCJ) confirmed.
According to a criminal complaint, Dunlea, 61, of Westfield, is accused of theft by deception (2nd degree) and five counts of failure to pay tax (3rd degree) concerning the alleged fraud.
The charges stem from an investigation by DCJ’s Office of Securities Fraud and Financial Crimes Prosecutions, with assistance from the New Jersey Division of Taxation Office of Criminal Investigations.
Allegations suggest that between 2017 and 2022, Dunlea diverted funds from the McElroy Law Firm, including unauthorized compensation totaling $1,182,965, and falsely claimed $355,256 in credit card expenses as business costs. These expenses purportedly covered personal expenditures such as flights, hotels, and dining for Dunlea and his family. Additionally, Dunlea is accused of evading state income tax for tax years 2018 to 2022 related to income from the credit card scheme.
Attorney General Platkin emphasized the state’s commitment to prosecuting fraud and tax evasion, ensuring accountability for those who exploit New Jersey businesses and evading taxes owed to the state.
Deputy Attorney General Janet Bosi is leading the prosecution for the Office of Securities Fraud and Financial Crimes Prosecutions under the supervision of Deputy Chief Adam Heck and Legal Chief Pablo Quiñones.
While the charges are allegations, and Dunlea is presumed innocent until proven guilty, second-degree crimes carry a maximum sentence of ten years in state prison and a fine of up to $150,000, while third-degree crimes carry a maximum sentence of five years in state prison and a fine of up to $15,000. The potential sentences are provided for informational purposes, as determined by a judge.
PARSIPPANY — On Friday, February 9, at 11:15 p.m., Mr. Robert Hays, aged 61, was traveling north on Parsippany Road (near Freneau Road) with Mr. Adrian Louis, aged 26, directly behind him. Mr. Hays suddenly applied his brakes as a vehicle ahead of him immediately stopped. Mr. Louis, who was following too closely, attempted to stop but collided with the rear of Mr. Hays’ 2014 Toyota Corolla.
Mr. Louis was driving a 2021 Jeep Cherokee. Both vehicles were subsequently towed from the scene by Eagle Towing.
Fortunately, no injuries were reported, and as of this report, no summonses had been issued.
PARSIPPANY — Bedding Shoppe and its owner, Mike Hatler, have been honored by Optimum and Derek Jeter as the epitome of community service, earning them the title GOAT (Greatest of All Time) in their community.
With 36 years of dedicated service, Bedding Shoppe has significantly contributed to the local community through its anniversary food drive, which has amassed over 6,000 pounds of food for the Community Foodbank of NJ and the Interfaith Food Pantry of Morris County. Additionally, Bedding Shoppe supports various local organizations, churches, and schools.
Among the ten winners selected by Optimum, Bedding Shoppe had the privilege of being flown to Miami to meet Derek Jeter, renowned for his Turn 2 Foundation, established in 1996 to promote healthy lifestyles among youth and prevent substance abuse. During the event, Mr. Jeter graciously engaged with the winners, addressing questions and capturing memorable moments through photographs.
As part of the recognition, Optimum is generously donating $1000 in the name of each winner. Bedding Shoppe has chosen the Interfaith Food Pantry of Morris County as the recipient, an organization dedicated to improving the well-being of Morris County residents in need for over 25 years by providing essential resources, including food and education.
Expressing gratitude for the unexpected recognition, Mike Hatler remarked, “I never expected this recognition for something we do under the radar. We’ve been a part of the community for a long time and enjoy giving back. Derek Jeter is a humble, gracious human being, and shaking his hand and listening to him was an honor. Thank you, Optimum.”
Bedding Shoppe was further honored by Parsippany Mayor James Barberio, who presented a proclamation declaring December 5th, 2023, as Bedding Shoppe Day in Parsippany.
Established in 1988, Bedding Shoppe is a family-owned retail mattress and furniture store located at 811 US Highway 46 in Parsippany. For more information, contact Bedding Shoppe at (973) 334-9000 or at email@example.com. Visit the website by clicking here.
MORRIS COUNTY — The Wellness Gala is thrilled to present “A Day Like Never Before” on Sunday, March 3, at Calandra’s Best Western in Fairfield, from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Join The Wellness Gala for an enlightening event where a panel of World-Renowned Intuitives and healers will gather to share insights on various pertinent topics. Their expert panel will cover everything from heart matters to career choices, spiritual growth, and communicating with departed loved ones. After their discussions, the floor will be open to the audience for Q&A sessions.
They are honored to have Concetta Bertoldi, a NY Times best-selling author and world-renowned psychic medium, as part of our esteemed panel.
In addition to the enlightening discussions, attendees can enjoy coffee, dessert, readings, healing sessions, and explore unique vendor offerings.
For tickets and more information, call (973) 713-6811 or click here. Join them for a day of insight, healing, and connection.
PARSIPPANY — In a heartwarming Valentine’s Day tradition, students from Hubotics, a non-profit organization co-founded by Parsippany High School teenager Aarjun Bodade, dedicated their time to creating over 450 personalized cards for the town’s first responders this year. Joined by fourth-grade volunteers Raayan Bodade, Arjun Jadhav, William Bonfanti, Rishith Bhoopathi, Tvisha Singh, and Varun Shankar, they set out to express gratitude to the community’s police, fire departments, EMS, and rescue teams with heartfelt tokens of appreciation.
Continuing Hubotics’ tradition of honoring local heroes each Valentine’s Day, the students thanked Parsippany teachers last year. This year, their mission was to show appreciation for the tireless service of first responders who work diligently to keep Parsippany safe.
In total, the students crafted 450 cards for various departments, including the Parsippany Police Department, Office of Emergency Management, Emergency Medical Services such as the Parsippany Volunteer Ambulance and Rockaway Neck Volunteer Ambulance, as well as the Parsippany Rescue Squad and all six fire stations across different districts including Mt. Tabor, Rainbow Lakes, Lake Parsippany, Lake Hiawatha, Old Bloomfield Ave, and Littleton Road. As they distributed their handmade creations across town, they were met with touching reactions from the surprised recipients.
A highlight for the students was an insightful tour of the Parsippany Rescue and Recovery team. Deputy Chief Andrew Ludwig and Lieutenant Nick Limanov led an engaging tour that gave the children a firsthand understanding of the technology and science behind the emergency response. Chief Paul Anderson’s thoughtful gesture and eagerness to learn about service deeply moved his team.
Through their annual Valentine’s Day tradition, the Hubotics students experienced the power of community and the importance of showing appreciation. Their cards and lessons on selflessness brought extra love to Parsippany’s heroes this February 14th.
To participate in future service projects or volunteer opportunities, visit Hubotics by clicking here.
PARSIPPANY — According to New Jersey State Police spokesperson Trooper Troy McNair, a diesel fuel spill occurred on Monday, February 12.
McNair reported that the incident occurred around 1:21 p.m. on Interstate 80 eastbound at milepost 46.2 in Parsippany-Troy Hills.
Preliminary findings indicate that a Honda SUV and a Freightliner box truck traveled eastbound on I-80. The collision between the two vehicles caused the box truck to veer off the roadway to the right and collide with the guardrail, leading to a spill of diesel fluid, as stated by McNair.
The driver and passenger of the box truck sustained minor injuries and were subsequently transported to a nearby hospital for treatment, McNair confirmed.
The crash remains under investigation, and further details are not yet available.