Edwin Urbina and Krystal Straw Sentenced in Connection with Murder

MORRIS COUNTY — Morris County Prosecutor Robert J. Carroll, First Assistant Prosecutor Maggie Calderwood, Chief of Detectives Robert McNally, and East Hanover Chief of Police Christopher F. Cannizzo confirmed the sentencing of Edwin Urbina, 29, and Krystal Straw, 29, in connection with the beating death of Straw’s three-year-old son. On January 12, 2023, Straw appeared before the Honorable Stephen J. Taylor, P.J. Cr. and entered an open plea of guilty to two counts of second-degree Endangering Welfare of a Child, three counts of third-degree Hindering Apprehension, third-degree Tampering with a Witness, and fourth-degree Tampering with Physical Evidence. On March 1, 2023, a jury returned a guilty verdict for Urbina following a seven-day trial. The defendant was found guilty of first-degree Murder with an Aggravating Factor, three counts of second-degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child, third-degree Hindering Apprehension or Prosecution, two counts of third-degree Tampering with a Witness, and fourth-degree Tampering with Evidence. On March 16, 2023, Judge Taylor imposed sentences for both defendants during separate court proceedings. Urbina was sentenced to an aggregate sentence of Life imprisonment without eligibility for parole plus 20 years subject to 10 years of parole ineligibility. The sentence shall be served in a maximum security prison. Straw was sentenced to an aggregate sentence of 18 years imprisonment subject to five years parole ineligibility. Prosecutor Carroll said, “These sentencings bring to a close this terrible and tragic crime. Justice has finally been done for little 3-year-old Liam.” Prosecutor Carroll would like to thank and acknowledge the agencies that participated in the investigation that led to the successful prosecution, including the exhaustive efforts of the East Hanover Police Department, the Morristown Police Department, the Morris County Sheriff’s Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, the Morris County Medical Examiner’s Office, and various Units in the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office in working together to investigate this incident leading to the guilty verdict. The Prosecutor would also like to, especially thank Assistant Prosecutor Tara Wang and Senior Assistant Prosecutor Kelly Sandler, who tried this case in court, and MCPO Detective Matthew Belcastro and East Hanover Det. Lt. Andrew Underwood for their outstanding efforts in the prosecution of this case.

Mathnasium Celebrates Re-Grand Opening on National Pi Day

PARSIPPANY — Mathnasium celebrated a re-grand opening ribbon cutting of their new location, 135 North Beverwyck Road, Lake Hiawatha. Mathnasium also celebrated Pi Day with a party with over 100 attendees.
Joining in the celebration was Parsippany-Troy Hills Mayor James Barberio, Parsippany-Troy Hills Council President Loretta Gragnani, Parsippany-Troy Hills Economic Development Chairman Frank Cahill, Parsippany Area Chamber of Commerce President Robert Peluso and Board Members Nicolas Limanov and Ildiko Peluso.
Parsippany-Troy Hills Economic Development presented Mathnasium with a plaque thanking them for expanding their business and relocating in Parsippany.
Pi Day celebrates the number 3.1459 that goes on and on…It’s the numerical value of the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter.
Frank Cahill, Chairman Parsippany-Troy Hills Economic Development, presents Danna Seyam, Owner, with a plaque thanking her for choosing Parsippany. Council President Loretta Gragnani, Robert Peluso and Mayor James Barberio looks on
The event was attended by over 100 people, including students, siblings, friends, and parents. The celebration included various fun Pi-related activities. Some included visualizing Pi through jewelry making, a Pi word search, and making your dessert pies. One of the kids’ favorites was the Pi memorization contest. The person that memorized the most digits of Pi got to pie the instructor of their choice in the face! This year’s winner was Aditri Priya, who selected Chris, one of the kids’ favorite instructors, to get pied! There was pizza for dinner and rewards for the kids after completing their activity cards. It was a really fun night for all involved! The kids can’t wait for the next one! Mathnasium was established in 2002 and operates over 1,000 Learning Centers nationwide, providing the best private math tutoring nearby. Larry, a teacher, a curriculum consultant, and Mathnasium’s expert on the team, spent years refining math teaching methods. They have designed fun and engaging techniques to help children understand math easily. Mathnasium has highly experienced and qualified math tutors who teach after-school mathematics programs.
Luke Wimmer, Lead Instructor; Shari Buchanan. Instructor; Danna Seyam, Owner: Jon Lorenzo, Center Director; and Chris Gill, Lead Instructor.
Danna Seyam, the owner, graduated with honors from Rutgers Business School with her bachelor’s in Accounting. She is a Certified Public Accountant and worked in Corporate America for ten years. She started as an Auditor for PriceWaterhouseCoopers and continued her career in accounting in the banking industry at Barclay’s and CIT. While working as a CPA, Danna always felt like something was missing. She wanted more than helping the large companies and realized what it was one day while volunteering with Barclay’s reading to kindergartners in the Bronx. As the kids sang a thank you song to the volunteers, Danna realized this was missing in her life, empowering young minds to become our future. She always had the desire to become a teacher. After that experience with the kindergartners, her passion for helping kids was re-ignited. That passion, along with her business background, inspired her to open up a Mathnasium. Mathnasium’s commitment to teaching kids math in a way that makes sense and Danna’s love of math was the perfect fit. She believes that helping a child become more confident in math not only helps them get better grades but truly makes them more confident overall, giving them the opportunity for bigger dreams and the conviction that they will be able to achieve them.
John Lorenzo, Center Director, graduated from Rutgers University and majored in Mathematics. He has extensively undergone a variety of teaching classes and mathematics courses, including Calculus I-III, Differential Equations, Advanced Calculus I & II, Geometry, Linear and Abstract Algebra, and Probability and Statistics. He has worked with children for over 16 years and actively volunteers as a mentor through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program once a week. His passion for mathematics is rivaled only by his passion for teaching it. He commits himself to ensure each student attains a firm conceptual understanding of the topics.

Interfaith Food Pantry to Host Spring Gala

MORRIS COUNTY — The Interfaith Food Pantry Network (IFPN) will host its annual spring gala Sustaining Hope, at 6:30 p.m. Friday, April 21, at the Birchwood Manor at 111 North Jefferson Road, Whippany. Tickets to this fundraising event are $250 each and include a cocktail reception, dinner, silent and live auctions, table prizes, and DJ and dancing. They can be purchased by clicking here. IFPN will honor Barclays, a British universal bank, as its Outstanding Service Award recipient for its partnership in the execution of IFPN’s strategic efforts. The Margaret A. Darrin Charitable Trust will receive the Pantry Partner Award for funding the expansion and renovation of its Healthy Choices Marketplace and Resource Center. IFPN volunteers and Chester residents Chris and Jim MacDonald will receive the Neighbors Helping Neighbors Award for their long-term commitment and support of the IFPN over the last 20 years for their work, including Chris MacDonald’s dedication as a trustee. “The individuals and organizations being honored have made significant contributions to our organization, in time, talent, and treasure, and have impacted the lives of thousands of people in our community, improving their health, financial stability, and well-being,” said Executive Director Carolyn Lake. Through the pantries, they operate and their mobile network partners, the IFPN accommodated more than 31,000 household visits. The event will also celebrate IFPN’s plans to welcome its clients back into its newly expanded and renovated Client Choice Marketplace this summer for the first time since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. “Our new marketplace will feature an expanded and updated waiting area for providing client resources and a client-choice pantry that empowers our guests to choose healthy foods that they know their families will use and enjoy,” Lake said. The evening will highlight IFPN’s current goals and achievements over the last year, including expanding its cold storage units by 550 percent and distributing 1.7 million pounds of nutritious food, including 673,000 pounds of fresh produce. Proceeds from Sustaining Hope will fund IFPN Healthy Choices Marketplaces and Mobile Network programs providing healthy food to the ever-growing number of families facing food insecurity and hunger throughout Morris County. The IFPN is currently experiencing a 49 percent increase in client visits in January 2023 as compared to January 2022, and IFPN staff expect this trend to continue as clients face high inflationary costs while concurrently likely, many SNAP recipients are facing a decrease in their benefits as federal emergency allotments reach an end this month. Pantry clients include low-income working families, seniors living on fixed incomes, people with disabilities, and those suffering from illness or job loss.

New Jersey Highlands Coalition Hosts Spring Car Trek

PARSIPPANY — The New Jersey Highlands Coalition (NJHC) invites the public to explore the region’s scenic vistas and natural beauty during its Spring Car Trek on Saturday, April 15. Participants will meet at 10:00 a.m. at the Reservoir Tavern, 92 Parsippany Boulevard, Parsippany, the iconic circa 1936 roadhouse, to receive a tour packet and turn-by-turn directions before setting out in their vehicles to drive the 57-mile route. The trek will conclude at about 1:00 p.m. in West Milford, with an option to join fellow trekkers for lunch and conversation. The Spring 2023 Car Trek theme is Reservoirs of the Highlands, highlighting the numerous reservoirs that more than 6.2 million New Jersey residents depend on for clean, healthy drinking water. As participants drive the expertly crafted tour route, passing deep forests, meadows, historic hamlets, and the steep ridges and narrow valleys that characterize the northern Highlands, they will learn about the Splitrock, Monksville, and Wanaque Reservoirs, among others, and why the Highlands were chosen as the finest “gathering grounds” for so much of the state’s water supply. The route will take participants through the Highlands Core Forest, 320 square miles of the most mature and least fragmented forest in the northern part of the state. Organizers will point out the many prime hiking and outdoor recreation areas. Proceeds from the Car Trek benefit the New Jersey Highlands Coalition, a nonprofit organization based in Morris County. The NJHC works to protect and enhance the vital water and other natural and cultural resources of the Highlands region. The Car Trek is made possible with generous support from the Motorsport Club of North Jersey, the Sports Car Club of America Northern New Jersey Region, and the Raritan Valley Sports Car Club. Tickets are $35.00 per car, which covers the required two-person per vehicle minimum — driver and navigator. There is a suggested donation of $10.00 for each additional passenger. Discounts are available for students and electric vehicles. Full details and online registration are available by clicking here.

Sherrill Secures Funding for Boonton Reservoir Project

PARSIPPANY — Representative Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11) secured funding for fourteen Community Projects she submitted on behalf of NJ-11 in the House Appropriations Committee Fiscal Year 2023 bill, signed into law in December.
Representative Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11) announced the grant to local dignitaries.
Community Projects are submitted by state or local governments, government-adjacent organizations, and nonprofits. Ranging from townships, counties, hospitals, and community service organizations, each of these fourteen projects will improve the lives of residents throughout NJ-11. Click here to read the Disclosure Letter. Sherrill obtained a $600,000 grant to enhance and safeguard the water quality of Boonton Reservoir while creating recreational access with a 7.7-mile hiking trail.
Sherrill obtained a $600,000 grant to enhance and safeguard the water quality of Boonton Reservoir while creating recreational access with a 7.7-mile hiking trail.
“The Morris County Park Commission is part of a recreation initiative supported by Federal, State, County, and municipal governments and spearheaded by the project leader, the Open Space Institute, that will provide an increased recreational opportunity to New Jersey residents and visitors. Supporting federal funding for this project furthers Congresswoman Sherrill’s commitment to parks, recreation, and protection of our natural resources,” said David Helmer, Executive Director of Morris County Park Commission.
Parsippany-Troy Hills Mayor James R. Barberio
Mayor James Barberio said, “This project has been in the works for some time, and it is very near and dear to my heart,” the Mayor stated. “The opening of this recreation area will be enjoyed by many of our residents and those of other towns for years to come. I appreciate the dedication of all those who worked to see this come to fruition.” “The Town of Boonton is proud to have partnered with Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill, OSI, and the Morris County Park Commission on the Boonton Reservoir Protection and Trail Project. This new outdoor recreation space will be a potential windfall for the town, making Boonton a destination for outdoor enthusiasts. We are grateful for the Congresswoman’s commitment to protecting our natural resources and her dedication to keeping Morris County an incredible place to work, play, and live,” said Town of Boonton Mayor Rich Corcoran.
Town of Boonton Mayor Rich Corcoran
“OSI is proud of our leading role in structuring the long-desired agreement between Jersey City and Morris County and creating the property management plan and formal design for the Boonton Reservoir Protection and Trail Project. We applaud Representative Mikie Sherrill’s recent actions to secure funding toward the completion of the project and appreciate the Morris County Park Commission’s ongoing commitment to realizing the promise of this new outdoor recreational space for area residents and visitors,” said Kim Elliman, president, and CEO of the Open Space Institute.“Once completed, this ambitious but attainable project will provide safe and managed trail access to the site while securing the clean drinking water source for almost 320,000 people.”
Morris County Commissioner Director John Krickus
Other Community Projects are submitted by state or local governments, government-adjacent organizations, and nonprofits. Ranging from townships, counties, hospitals, and community service organizations, each of these fourteen projects will improve the lives of residents throughout NJ-11. The 13 other projects include:
  • Borough of Madison Affordable Housing Development
  • Chatham Police Department Public Safety Information Sharing Technology Improvement Project
  • Collinsville-Tucker Park Improvement Project (Morris Township)
  • Community EMS Physician Response Expansion Initiative at Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center
  • Family Promise of Morris County’s Housing is Healthcare for Economic Development Project
  • JSDD: Life | Home | Tech Project (Essex and Morris County)
  • McBride Avenue Roundabout Project (Woodland Park)
  • Morristown Medical Center Emergency Department Renovation and Expansion Project
  • Pump Station No. 4 Sanitary Sewer Redirection Project (Parsippany)
  • Rand Well PFOAS and Perchlorate Treatment (Montclair)
  • Student Scholarships to Offset the Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic at William Paterson University
  • Whippany River Regional Improvement Initiative (Hanover Township, East Hanover, Parsippany, and Florham Park)
  • Whippany River Watershed Flood Risk Reduction Feasibility Study (Morris County)

Parsippany-Troy Hills Zoning Board of Adjustment – March 8, 2023

PARSIPPANY — Parsippany-Troy Hills Zoning Board of Adjustment – March 8, 2023. Click here to download the agenda. Parsippany-Troy Hills Zoning Board of Adjustment 2023 Members and Term Dates
  • Robert Iracane    Chairman    12/31/25
  • Dave Kaplan    Vice-Chair       12/31/23
  • Bernard Berkowitz    Member      12/31/24
  • Scot Joskowitz    Member        12/31/25
  • Nancy Snyder    Member        12/31/23
  • Sridath Reddy    Member        12/31/25
  • Davey Willans    Member        12/31/24
  • Casey Parikh    Alt. No. 1        12/31/23
  • Chris Mazzarella    Alt. No. 2        12/31/23
  • John Chadwick, Planner, John T. Chadwick IV P.P.
  • Chas Holloway, Engineer, Keller & Kirkpatrick
  • Peter King, Attorney, King Moench Hirniak & Collins, LLP
  • Nora O. Jolie, Board Secretary

Luck of the Irish Prevails in Morristown

MORRIS COUNTY — The Morristown St. Patrick’s Day Parade, one of New Jersey’s biggest, returned last weekend with a longtime volunteer and dedicated fundraiser leading the procession. Ryan Dawson served as grand marshal for this year’s parade. The weather forecast was weary, but the St. Patrick’s Day Parade organizers decided to go on with the show!  The weather was cold and windy, but hundreds of crowds lined up South Street.
Grand Marshall Ryan Dawson and his wife, Melinda.
Ryan has been an integral member of the parade and finance committees, assisting in raising money for the parade as Finance Committee Chairman. Mr. Dawson is a member and former president of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick of Morris County. He is a realtor for Weichert Realtors in Morristown and resides in Mendham with his wife, Melinda.
Family and Friends of the Grand Marshall
Morris County Sheriff’s Department. Sheriff James Gannon is in the center.
Sheriff James Gannon’s vehicle.
200 Club of Morris County
A float promoting the 2013 Grand Marshal, Ryan Dawson
St. Patrick Patron Saint of Ireland
The Morristown St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Morristown’s Mayor Timothy P. Dougherty his wife Mary, and other local dignitaries
Morris County Police Pipe and Drums
Morris County Board of County Commissioners
Morristown Medical Center
Rotary Club of Morristown
The Morristown St. Patrick’s Day Parade
The Provident Bank
Rotary International
The Seeing Eye
Market Street Mission
Chic-fil-A Morris Plains
Morris County Democrat Committee
The Morristown St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Madison Fire Department
The Morristown St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Parsippany-Troy Hills Planning Board Meeting – March 6, 2023

PARSIPPANY — Parsippany-Troy Hills Planning Board Meeting – March 6, 2023. Click here to view the agenda. The Planning Board members are:

Mayor Barberio                      12/31/2025                                         I Mayor

Michael de Pierro                   12/31/2023                                         III Council Rep. Tom Dinsmore                        12/31/2025                                         IV Regular Dominic Mele*                        12/31/2023                                         IV Regular Gordon Meth*                        12/31/2025                                         IV Regular Nick Napolitano                      12/31/2024                                         IV Regular Ted Stanziale                         12/31/2023                                         Alternate No. 1 Jennifer Vealey*                     12/31/2023                                        II Muni, Rep. John Von Achen*                    12/31/2023                                         IV Regular Vincent Aperawic                    12/31/2024 Stuart Wiser                           Board Planner, ARH Andrew Cangiano                   Board Engineer, Keller & Kirkpatrick Joseph Garcia                         Board Attorney, Cleary Giacobbe Alfieri Jacobs Nora O. Jolie                           Board Secretary

Parsippany Board of Education Student Awards – March 9, 2023

PARSIPPANY — Parsippany Board of Education Student Awards – March 9, 2023.

Parsippany-Troy Hills Township Council Meeting – March 7, 2023

PARSIPPANY — Parsippany-Troy Hills Township Council Meeting – March 7, 2023. Regular Township Council Meetings will commence at 7:00 p.m. All meetings will be held on Tuesday evenings. Council meetings are held at Parsippany Municipal Building, 1001 Parsippany Boulevard. Formal action may or may not be taken at all scheduled meetings. Click here to download the agenda. Any individual who is a qualified disabled person under the Americans with Disabilities Act may request auxiliary aids such as a sign interpreter or a tape recorder to be used for a meeting. Auxiliary aids must be requested at least 72 hours before the meeting date. Please call (973) 263-4351 to request auxiliary aid. Click here to download the 2023 agenda schedule. Mayor and Council Mayor James R Barberio Council President Loretta Gragnani Council Vice-President Michael J. dePierro Councilman Paul Carifi Jr. Councilman Frank Neglia Councilman Justin Musella