Montclair Woman Charged In Connection With Kidnapping, Murder of Jersey City Mom

Saturday, Jun 30, 2012 5:26pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Four people were charged with kidnapping and murder of Regina Baker, a 29-year-old Jersey city mother of five, Essex County prosecutor Carolyn Murray and Newark Police director Samuel Demaio announced this week. Additionally, two other suspects were charged with kidnapping and conspiracy to commit a kidnapping. They are Dabia Younger, 19, of Newark and Francheska DePena, 30, of Montclair. Younger’s bail was set at $250,000. Bail for DePena was set at $300,000.

Those charged with murder are Omar Martin, 23, of Newark. Karon Adams, 23, of Irvington, Damon Zengotita, 36, of Hillside and Michelle Paden, 37, of Newark. All four were also charged with conspiracy to commit murder, felony murder, kidnapping, conspiracy to commit kidnapping and weapons offenses. Bail for all four of the defendants charged with murder was set at $1 million.

According to the office of county prosecutor, on June 19, Baker’s body was found inside a vacant townhouse on South 15th Street in Newark. She died from multiple gun shot wounds. She was killed shortly after being abducted in Jersey City and brought to Newark.

It’s Hot, You’re Hot, What To Do?

BY  |  Saturday, Jun 30, 2012 11:39am  |  COMMENTS (8)

Wondering how you’ll get through another 90-plus degree day? Some ideas…

Go topless in NYC. Heat makes folks go to extremes, like this topless gal snapped walking in Greenwich Village this week by reader Roman Greller. She does it a lot, to raise awareness about a woman’s legal right since 1992 to bare breasts. Don’t try this in Jersey — for legal topless, head to Gunnison Beach.

Cool your pits. Drive in your air-conditioned vehicle to the Montclair Farmer’s Market where until noon, Alma Schneider will give out samples and teach you how to make her homemade natural deodorant (if you miss her, here’s the recipe). While you’re there, grab a nice cold pickle on a stick (you know you want one).

Exercise. No, we don’t want you passing out, but you can get fit and enjoy an hour of air conditioning at your local gym. I did 3sixty Cycling & Fitness (great class today with Suzanne Farkas, subbing for spinmaster Bernie).

Make yourself a stiff one. Whip up a batch of any of Holly’s Name That Cocktails and drink up Johnny. Then break out the Slip n’ Slide and invite us over.

Go to a fro-yo place or nail salon. We guarantee there’s one near you that’s open or opening soon. Or combine the two and eat fro-yo while getting a pedicure. Bring some ice to throw in your foot bath.

What you are doing to stay cool?

Baristaville Open Houses: Sunday, July 1

BY  |  Saturday, Jun 30, 2012 8:22am  |  COMMENTS (1)

The temperature is up, but open house activity has cooled, largely as a result of the upcoming July 4 holiday and ensuing confusion about just when the weekend celebration falls. About 64 properties are showing in all, ranging from a townhouse for $88,000 (44-A Meadowbrook Pl., Maplewood) to a newly listed $2,395,000, 16-room Colonial with six bedrooms and 7.2 bathrooms (30 West Rd., Millburn).

18 Heller Dr., Montclair

List Price: $1,750,000

Taxes: $42,159

Acreage: 1.17 Acres


Situated on over an acre, this 10-room Contemporary/ Expanded Ranch, a new listing, is certainly not lacking. Among the amenities: a first floor master suite with a clerestory window, a modern kitchen, new bathrooms, a heated three-car garage, two fireplaces, hardwood floors, central air and a “secret” garden. There is also a heated salt water pool, spacious deck and expansive backyard. The house was built in 1953 and renovated in 2007. Open house 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Continue Reading

Lauryn Hill Pleads Guilty to Tax Evasion

BY  |  Friday, Jun 29, 2012 3:48pm  |  COMMENTS (1)

Grammy winner Lauryn Hill pleaded guilty to tax evasion in federal court today. Hill, who rose to stardom as the lead singer for the hip-hop group, the Fugees, is a native of South Orange, and graduated from Columbia High School in 1993.

By pleading guilty, Hill took responsibility for failing to file three years of taxes on income of $1.8 million, reported the Star-Ledger.

Continue Reading

More ‘Que in Baristaville

BY  |  Friday, Jun 29, 2012 3:00pm  |  COMMENTS (4)

A new barbeque joint is coming to town. Southern Belle’s Smokehouse in Bloomfield will have a grand ribbon cutting opening this Sunday, July 1 at 10am. Bloomfield Mayor Raymond J. McCarthy will take part in the festivities for the new restaurant, which is owned by Christopher and Sheena Basdeo.

Southern Belle’s Smokehouse joins restaurants like Indigo Kitchen in Montclair and SuzyQue’s in West Orange in bringing a taste of the south to Northern New Jersey.  Included on the menu: all kinds of smoked meats, cornbread, slaw, curly fries, mac ‘n cheese, sweet potatoes, red velvet cake and much more.

Southern Belle’s Smokehouse, not to be confused with Montclair’s Southern Belle, which closed earlier this year, is located at 61 Washington Street. Look for our review in the coming weeks.

A Mysterious Gas Leak at Starbucks

BY  |  Friday, Jun 29, 2012 1:19pm  |  COMMENTS (1)

A reader sent us a tip yesterday alerting us to an incident at Starbucks on Church St., where the carbon monoxide detectors were reading high. The coffee shop had closed, she said, and employees were sitting outside, having a break. The fire department could not find the source of the problem at the time the reader was there.

Continue Reading

Montclair Grad to Compete in World Rowing Championship

BY  |  Friday, Jun 29, 2012 11:59am  |  COMMENTS (4)

Many Montclair High grads have gone on to do great things. Add Kayla McNeill to that group.

A 2009 graduate of Montclair High School, McNeill will be representing the U.S. at the World Rowing Under-23 Championships in Trakai, Lithuania, starting on July 11. (You can find the results for the World Championship trials here.)

Kayla, who is currently a junior at Georgetown, will be racing in the Women’s Lightweight Double. Pictured on the left with her double partner Solveig Imsdahl, McNeill is the first Montclair High rower to make any national team, according to Jason Stahl, Assistant Coach of Crew for MHS.

Congratulations, Kayla–Montclair will be cheering you on!

Honey, There’s a Giant Tomato in the Garden!

BY  |  Friday, Jun 29, 2012 10:30am  |  COMMENTS (2)

In the middle of the night, my husband went out to get some things out of the car and came back to deliver this surprising news: somebody had put a giant stuffed tomato in our perennial garden. Continue Reading

Does This Dog Belong to You?

Friday, Jun 29, 2012 9:51am  |  COMMENTS (1)

A reader wrote to us this morning to say she found this dog on the corner of Beverly & Waterbury.  She says he was on a leash, but looks like he was out all night.  He is male, medium-large, and has no collar.
If this dog belongs to you or someone you know, write to us at to let us know.

The Wildlife of Baristaville

BY  |  Friday, Jun 29, 2012 9:00am  |  COMMENTS (21)

Has anyone else seen this bird—or one looking like him, anyway—in Edgemont Park recently?

I am amazed by this beautiful creature, which George from the Montclair Bird Club has told me is a Great Blue Heron. I first saw the bird two summers ago in the pond at Edgemont Park hanging out among the geese, though slightly off to the side like the new kid in the school cafeteria trying to fit in. He remained there for several weeks. To my delight, the heron came back again this spring. Of course, it could be a different bird—a relative who somehow intuited his ancestor’s pleasure at hanging out at a park in Montclair. As George tells me, “There is no way of knowing for sure since they forage rather widely.” But, he added, some species of birds do exhibit “home site fidelity,” so it’s possible the bird is the same one I saw two years ago.

Continue Reading

Featured Comment

Ok, I'll be patient, but you have big shoes to fill! Georgette Gilmore did such a fantastic job on barista kids. Miss her already.

Tip, Follow, Friend, Subscribe

Links & Information

Baristanet on Flickr