Looking Back Locally at 2018: The Year In Review

Biggest Local Stories of 2017

Here’s a look back at the biggest local stories of 2018 brought to you by Baristanet:

These stories are just SOME of the news items we covered in 2018. What other local stories of the year would you have included?


ashenfelterOlympic steeplechase champion Horace Ashenfelter of Glen Ridge passed away at the age of 94; MHS Students Petition The College Board To Add Non-Binary Option to ID Forms; Photo Cullen, a 135-year-old business, closes; The YMCA of Montclair has named Buddy Evans as its new President and CEO; Montclair Marches On Bringing Power To The PollsPharmacie Liquor Bar Opens At The Wellmont Theater; Bobbi Brown and her husband Steven Plofker open The GeorgeRep. Rodney Frelinghuysen announced that he will not seek re-election.


We lost acclaimed actor Louis ZorichSound on Sound Studios, a state-of-the-art facility, opens in Montclair; The Montclair Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) continues to hear testimony on the Lackawanna Plaza redevelopment plan; Luna Stage Hires New Artistic Director Ari Laura Kreith; We gain a Sweet Kitchen, but lose Upstairs.





Mangia Organica opens in Bloomfield; The future of The Bellevue Theater is discussed; Montclair remembered and honored Photography Andrew Cohen; Montclair is #10 on list of highest property taxes in NJ; Montclair students walkout to end gun violence; Bloomfield Commemorates the Restoration of the Historic Theodore Ward House.




Montclair begins the celebration of its 150th Anniversary; Bloomfield gets Braun’s Tavern; Appellate Court Rules in Bloomfield’s Favor on Lackawanna Train Station Property Value; Dr. Kendra Johnson is named Superintendent of Montclair Public Schools and Mayor Jackson announces new BoE Members; Montclair and Glen Ridge Planning Boards Approve HUMC/Mountainside Redevelopment Project; Montclair’s most talented compete in the MFEE Showdown Montclair; Montclair’s Forth Wanderers Sign to a Major Label.



The Essex-Hudson Greenway Project moves forward; Montclair Hires Impark for Parking Management Services; The 2018 Montclair Film Festival was an 11-day movie and event extravaganza; Montclair gains a Little Bear Poke, but loses a Tiny Elephant.


Mikie Sherrill Wins Democratic Nomination in District 11; More debate over the proposed Lackawanna Plaza planNicolo’s Bakery and Deli gets approval to expand; Wally Choice Community Center in Glenfield Park reopens after improvements and renovations; The community joins the Families Belong Together March.





The Montclair 4th of July Parade was fantastic as usual; 23 Skiddoo opens in Bloomfield; Montclair Mourns the Tragic Loss of Terry Demming; Bloomfield Pays $1.6 Million To Settle Federal Civil Rights Lawsuit; Ex-Bloomfield Councilman Elias Chalet Sentenced To Five Years in Prison For Soliciting $15,000 BribeLuna Stage hires Ari Laura Kreith as Artistic Director; The Montclair Planning Board resumed hearings on plans for the Lackawanna Plaza redevelopment project; Montclair now has added a 13th liquor license.





Chit Chat Diner opens in West Orange; The 2018 Montclair Jazz Festival had to cancel due to severe weather; An epic flood covers the area; George Walker, a Pulitzer Prize-winning composer, pianist and educator and a Montclair resident, dies at the age of 96.





Vice President Joe Biden spoke at Montclair State University at a rally for Montclair’s Mikie Sherrill; After major flooding damaged the building, Montclair Film reopens Cinema505; Montclair High School has stairway collapseWallace “Wally” Choice, Sr., a Montclair civic leader, dies at the age of 85; Construction of a  Montclair Arts & Entertainment district adjacent to The Wellmont Theater began; The Porch On Walnut, Montclair’s new parklet, officially opened.




Montclair Center BID Hires Jennifer Brown as the new Executive Director; Evidence of asbestos delays stair repairs at Montclair High School; MC Residences, a new Montclair Development geared to empty nesters is proposed; Plochs Garden Center sells with plans to close in mid November; Montclair Brewery Opens; Montclair High School decides to close Main Building on May 20 for asbestos removal and stairway repair; the inaugural Montclair Design Week; The Montclair Planning Board held yet another hearing on the Lackawanna Plaza project; The community mourns the tragic murder of Angela M. Bledsoe; Lifelong writer and scholar, Louise A. DeSalvo, PhD., dies at the age of 76.


da Peppo opens in the adjacent space to Watchung Booksellers; Grindage: Wood Fired Pizza & Sandwiches opens at former Mancinni’s space; Mikie Sherrill defeats Webber in New Jersey’s 11th Congressional District; Montclair man accused of fatally shooting Angela M. Bledsoe is captured in Cuba; Montclair Zoning Board approves Forest Street Property Expansion For HSN Jewelry; The community mourns the tragic fatal stabbing of Tameeka Johnson#Snowvember snarls traffic and strands students at schools; the community mourns the loss of Joan Juengling; Montclair Planning Board continues Lackawanna Plaza hearings, considers revised design for supermarket.



(Photo: Ruthie’s BBQ & Pizza)

Montclair came together for a fundraiser at Ruthie’s BBQ & Pizza to benefit our 13 neighbors who were displaced by the November 15th house fire; The Montclair Zoning Board of Adjustment finished up 2018 by approving four applications; Dairy Air ice cream shop closes its doors citing “Extremist radical liberals” as the reason for its failure; Gina’s Bakery closes its beloved bakery on Walnut Street.



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