My Paper Online Online Local Community News for New Jersey Thu, 05 Dec 2019 00:22:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 William Paterson University’s Nick Hirshon Receives Adviser Award Thu, 05 Dec 2019 00:22:44 +0000 By Steve Sears

Nicholas Hirshon, William Paterson University Assistant Professor of Communications, recently received the David L. Eshelman Outstanding Campus Adviser Award at the Society of Professional Journalists yearly awards event.

“It’s kind of a surreal moment,” says Hirshon, “when you see that you’ve been recognized because we do a lot of hard work here in our chapter.”

Hirshon was cited for four reasons. He in 2017 formed a first ever chapter of the William Paterson University Society of Professional Journalists (WPSPJ); led an SPJ walking tour of designated literary historic sites this year in Philadelphia; has initiated regular visits by seasoned, working journalists for speaking engagements and forums of discussion with university society members; and for hosting the inaugural New Jersey Journalism Hall of Fame ceremony at William Paterson University last April.

Hirshon, 33, now in his fourth year at the school, started the WPSPJ society for a few reasons. “When I was an undergrad at St. John’s University, we didn’t have an SPJ chapter, so essentially the journalism culture so to speak was just what you and your friends made of it: if you had friends from a class, if you were on the school paper, that was really beneficial. But beyond the conversations of the school paper, there weren’t really opportunities to meet professional journalists and to get a sense of, ‘What’s the industry really like?’ When I look at SPJ chapters, that’s where they can really fill in a gap.”

Anthony Baamonde, a junior, is Sports Editor of the campus newspaper, The Beacon. He has been a member of the WPSPJ since January 2019 and was elected Vice-President at the end of last semester. He has taken classes with Hirshon, benefitting from his tutelage. “Oh, he’s great,” says Baamonde. “I think the most important thing he taught me is the first sentence is your hook to your audience. The lede sentence. He’s a great professor; I talk to him all the time. But he’s taught me a lot, and not just in class. Outside of class, it’s how to be a better member of SPJ, how to write better, how to do journalistic things better like lede paragraphs, how to construct a story better. He’s just taught me how to write better. I mean, I’ve seen my writing change when I started with The Beacon in 2017 to now, and I credit that mostly to him.”

Hirshon, who also garnered a 2019 New Jersey Journalism Educator Award from the New Jersey Society of Professional Journalists, is also an adjunct professor at the Columbia Journalism School, received a Bachelor’s degree in journalism from St. John’s University (2006), a Master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University (2008), and in 2016 a Ph.D. in mass communication from Ohio University. Hirshon is also the author of three books: We Want Fish Sticks: The Bizarre and Infamous Rebranding of the New York Islanders, published in 2018, and two Images of America releases about the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum (2010), the Long Island host arena of the New York Islanders hockey team, and Forest Hills (2013), New York, home for many years to the US Open Tennis Tournament.

What does Hirshon feel is the most important thing he has imparted? “Obviously there are the particulars that we teach in the classroom – how to write a lede, how to compose a nut graph, and all those sorts of things – but as I think Anthony is pointing out, one of the values of the SPJ chapter is how to be a good journalist. How to become a student of the world. How to be curious about things, to be compassionate to the people you’re covering, to be professional. How do you act when you’re in these different situations as journalists: when you’re interviewing someone who’s just experienced trauma, when you’re interviewing people who are not used to speaking to reporters? There’s all of these different ethics that we follow and codes of how to act. When we shadow journalists at events and we start to see, ‘Okay, this is how they’re acting,’ they start to learn through osmosis all of these experiences.”

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4 th Graders Lead Shabbat Service at Temple Beth Tikvah Thu, 05 Dec 2019 00:20:59 +0000 At a recent Fourth Grade Shabbat during the festival of Sukkot, fourth graders led the Erev Shabbat service after enjoying a dinner of Israeli food.

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Myron Sugerman Discuses Memoir at Temple Beth Tikvah Thu, 05 Dec 2019 00:19:39 +0000 At a recent. well attended event created by THE WOMEN OF CHAI at TEMPLE BETH TIKVAH, 950 Preakness Ave, Wayne, writer Myron Sugerman discussed his life as portrayed in his memoir, THE LAST JEWISH GANGSTER.  Myron, a Newark native, Bucknell University graduate and world traveled seller of gambling machines, regaled the attendees with stories about well known mobsters and his relationships, both personal and business with legends of the underworld and his stint in prison.  Happily married to the same woman for over sixty years, a father to an Orthodox Jewish clan and a grandfather, Myron is happily retired.

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Vander May Serves with Rotary for 50 Years Thu, 05 Dec 2019 00:17:28 +0000 Ralph Vander May (right) accepts a Township of Wayne Proclamation from Wayne Rotary President Michael Rudolph, naming November 6, as Ralph D. Vander May Day in Wayne, signed by Mayor Christopher P. Vergano.

At this weekly Rotary luncheon, Rudolph also honored Vander May with a Paul Harris Fellowship (named after the founder of Rotary), which is the highest award that can be presented to a Rotarian.

Vander May joined Wayne Rotary in 1969, and has served in numerous leadership positions, including President, Vice President, and Chairman of the Wayne Rotary Fruit Sale, that has raised hundreds-of-thousands of dollars for local charities. Also, he has, year after year, provided his Vander May Funeral Home property for the distribution of fruit to Rotary customers.

The official Wayne Township Proclamation announces that Vander May “exemplifies his life in the true spirit of Rotary International’s motto of Service Above Self”.

Wayne Rotary stresses local, regional and international service, and meets weekly at the Villa Verde Restaurant. Those interested in serving through Rotary can get full information at   


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Citizen Revolt: Resist Refugee Resettlement Dumps Wed, 04 Dec 2019 23:25:03 +0000 Should U.S. citizens have input into whether their neighborhoods are fundamentally and permanently transformed into United Nations refugee camps full of welfare dependents and tax burdens?
Government-funded charities that profit mightily from the federal refugee resettlement program say: “Hell, no!”
But President Donald Trump and growing numbers of informed Americans across the heartland are raising their voices to say: “Heavens, yes!”
This week, an extraordinary revolt took place in Bismarck, North Dakota, where an overflow crowd of residents braved subzero temperatures to register their opposition to allowing the Lutheran Social Services to dump any new refugees in their backyard.
Thanks to an executive order signed by Trump in September, local communities now have explicit opt-in rights to stem the lucrative tide of refugees coming largely from Third World countries and jihadist breeding grounds. Open borders legal groups are, of course, challenging the order in court. These zealots object to states and localities exercising self-determination when it comes to rejecting refugees because it would undermine “national immigration policy,” yet they promote illegal immigrant sanctuary policies in states and localities that create uncontrollable criminal anarchy.
While GOP Gov. Doug Burgum signaled his support for increased importation of refugees, Brian Bitner, chairman of the Burleigh County Commission, echoed the concerns of his constituents. “North Dakota is already the highest per capita state for refugee resettlement in terms of number of citizens, so in the absence of any sort of number, there’s no way we could know the cost to the state or the county, and I simply can’t support that,” Bitner told local media at the Bismarck protest.
Similar outbreaks of resistance have taken place in Maine, New Hampshire, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Vermont, Wyoming and Tennessee over the years. But many Americans remain alarmingly clueless about the four-decade-old, tax-funded racket lining the pockets of nine privileged, nonprofit contractors (and scores of their subcontracting partners like Bismarck’s LSS):
–Church World Service
–Ethiopian Community Development Council
–Episcopal Migration Ministries
–Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society
–International Rescue Committee
–U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants
–Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services
–United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
–World Relief Corporation
As I report in “Open Borders Inc.,” the U.S. State Department pays each agency $2,125 per refugee for initial reception and placement; the nonprofits can take up to a 45% cut and use the rest for the initial resettlement costs. Subsidies for management costs are negotiated separately. Unknown thousands more per head are collected for post-placement services.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg of refugee resettlement costs imposed on American taxpayers. In the 2016 annual report to Congress by the Office of Refugee Resettlement, the agency reported that in the year prior, 26.7% of refugees received cash assistance from at least one federal program; 66.1% of refugees had received noncash assistance such as SNAP (food stamps). The Federation for American Immigration Reform crunched the numbers in 2018 and estimated the annual cost of refugee resettlement to U.S. taxpayers at $1.8 billion, and $8.8 billion over a five-year period. Using ORR data, FAIR estimated the cost per refugee to American taxpayers at just under $79,600 in the first five years after a refugee is resettled in the U.S. and also found that:
–In 2016, the State Department spent nearly $545 million to process and resettle refugees, including $140,389,177 on transportation costs.
–Of the $1.8 billion in resettlement costs, $867 billion was spent on welfare alone.
–$71 million will be spent to educate refugees and asylum-seekers, a majority of which will be paid by state and local governments.
Steven Camarota of the Center for Immigration Studies zeroed in on the heavy costs of resettling Middle Eastern refugees. In their first five years in the United States, he found, “each refugee from the Middle East costs taxpayers $64,370 — 12 times what the UN estimates it costs to care for one refugee in neighboring Middle Eastern countries. The cost of resettlement includes heavy welfare use by Middle Eastern refugees; 91 percent receive food stamps and 68 percent receive cash assistance.”
In addition to food stamps and public housing, refugees collect money from Supplemental Security Income (for the elderly and disabled), welfare cash benefits from Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Medicaid, the federal school lunch program, and the Women, Infants and Children program.
Under the new Trump order, the resettlement agencies must obtain and submit evidence of local, county or state consent by Jan. 21, 2020 to protect their refugee cash flow. If you live in an economically depressed area, crime-ridden city or growth-clogged suburb targeted on the refugee resettlement map, now is the time to put boots on the ground to protect your community and country. As government watchdog Ann Corcoran of Refugee Resettlement Watch warns:
“This is not just a bureaucratic exercise! … For us it is a referendum on state’s rights and whether local citizens will have a say in whether their communities will be changed (forever!).”
America First or America Last? Speak now or kiss our sovereignty goodbye.
Michelle Malkin ‘s email address is To find out more about Michelle Malkin and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at

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Roxbury’s 5th Annual Home for the Holidays Annual Street Festival Celebrates History and Tradition Wed, 04 Dec 2019 03:31:54 +0000 By Dawn M Chiossi


     On Saturday, December 7th, Roxbury will be all aglow. Their 5th Annual Home for the Holidays Street Festival will transform Main Street in Succasunna and surrounding areas into a holiday wonderland.


    For the past five years, the festival has closed off Main Street to traffic so that attendees can fully enjoy all of the festivities.


     Roxbury’s Event Planning Team Member, Michele O’Halloran describes the event as a street festival/ block party. Yet for the people of Roxbury, it is so much more than that. Spilling out to the inside of the Roxbury Public Library and the Presbyterian and Methodist Churches, it is a much-anticipated tradition. 


     One that not only envelops people in the festivity, it also celebrates the community spirit of the town.


     So far, over an impressive 2,000 people are expected to attend.


     Sponsored and planned by Roxbury Township and their Main Street Streetscaping Committee, O’Halloran tells that the brainstorm for Home for the Holidays Street Festival began as an idea to show off the quaint, old-fashioned town of Roxbury. “The festival was organized in December of 2015 by the committee as a way to bring the community to the main street to celebrate and enjoy the newly installed Victorian-style town clock, lamp posts, and brick-edged sidewalks,” she says.


     Roxbury’s Sue Anderson agrees. As one of the original members of Roxbury’s Streetscaping Committee, she and the rest of the members wanted to do something that would emphasize how nice the main street was. Anderson relates that the Home for the Holidays Street Festival idea came from a member for Roxbury to do something similar to Lake Mohawk’s German Christmas.


    For Anderson, it was an idea that not only clicked but was inspirational.


     As a woman with a life long love of her hometown and history (Anderson is a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Historical Society, and is actively involved in the historic Presbyterian Church) the idea was a perfect merging of her two passions.


     “I’ve lived my whole life in Roxbury Township,” Anderson enthuses. “Did you know it was founded in 1740? I’m so proud. It’s a wonderful place to live, with so much to offer.” 


     Anderson likens the Home for the Holidays Festival to a winter Olde Succasunny Day, an event that Roxbury holds in September.  Stating that Roxbury has always been a place that attracted families, she relishes how the Victorian-Style Christmas will give attendees a chance to chat, interact, and get to know others. “I love that the festival showcases so much of Roxbury.” Anderson prides. “So many people don’t always know what is here in their own town or think that it costs a lot of money to become involved in things. It doesn’t. The festival really opens up the various community groups and organizations to everyone, letting them know what is going on, and what they have to offer.”


    Quickly spreading by word of mouth about what a fun family-friendly event it was, Roxbury’s Home for the Holidays Street Festival swiftly expanded every year.


   Capturing the nostalgic feel-good ambiance of the season, there will be many festive delights to enjoy including: Santa, jingle-belled horses and carriage rides–complete with costumed carriage drivers, festive music, dancing, food trucks, and approximately 85 vendors  for people to check out unique and handcrafted gifts for that essential holiday shopping.


    There will be many returning favorites: Strolling carolers from Roxbury High School’s Classic Sounds Honors Choir, the children’s choir from Morris County Educare who will sing holiday songs in the gazebo by the library (something O’Halloran is looking forward to seeing), Irish Step Dancers dancing a lively jig, live music from the Roxbury Community Jazz Band, and Roxbury High School Band Ensembles. The Methodist Church will be having activities for the kids, puppet shows and hot drinks and treats. Attendees are invited to visit  Presbyterian Church for their bakery cafe and purchase homemade goodies, coffee, tea or hot chocolate. 


      Always a hit, the costumed characters of Olaf, Anna and Elsa of Frozen fame will be delighting children to chat and take pictures. 


    “This is a fun-filled day for families to make holiday memories on Main Street, eat, shop and be merry!” O’Halloran enthuses. 


     Of all the returning favorites, perhaps the most favorite of all will be Santa himself. When he arrives on the fire truck at noon, he’ll enthusiastically greet the crowd and lead the children into the library for Santa Land. In addition to many delights, don’t forget to have a picture taken with Jolly Old St. Nicholas for a mere $5.00. It’s a fundraiser benefiting Roxbury’s Social Services. 


    There’s plenty of new events and activities for all to enjoy, and O’Halloran is excited for them all. Among them include tap dancers from the Future STEP Tap Company. For children, there will be a balloon artist setting up a special balloon-decorated photo booth, and there will be face painting too. As ugly sweaters have swiftly a hilarious gag of the season, the Home for the Holidays event will feature a brand new Ugly Sweater Contest. Not only is it for lots of laughs and fun, but participants may also win prizes.


     In addition to some of the returning favorite food trucks to tempt the appetite, attendees will want to try new ones. Taxi Cab Burger will feature gourmet sliders, and Angry Archie’s will feature Lobster Rolls. 


     “People really love the festival,” O’Halloran shares. “Especially the chance to take a free carriage ride with jingle-belled horses. Many remark about the hometown, family-friendly feel that it has, and how it gets them in a holiday mood.”


     For O’Halloran, Anderson, and the attendees of Roxbury’s Home for The Holidays Annual Street Festival, it’s what celebrations and traditions are made of. This day-long event will be held from the hours of 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Dec. 7. 


     For further information or details, please visit

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Roxbury High Gymnastics Flips Over Undefeated Record in 2019 Regular Season Wed, 04 Dec 2019 03:29:32 +0000 By: Megan Roche


The girls that make up the Roxbury High School Gael Gymnastics team certainly have something to flip about; they are the first gymnastics team in school history to go undefeated through the regular season with a final record of 10-0.


Roxbury gymnastics first competitive season was in 2018 after a group of parents and interested students lobbied the school board to begin a competitive program at the high school level. The current team is made up of two freshman, five sophomores, two juniors, and three seniors. The three seniors, Megan Merola, Tiffany Zieba, and Ashley Miller, all serve as captains of the team. 


Just being on this amazing gymnastics team meant so much to me, being a captain meant even more. I have been so proud of the support that all the girls give each other. We have built a second family who will always be there for each other on or off the mat. I have seen that no matter your skill level every girl on this team is equally important because each girl contributes a vital part that’s makes up the positive dynamic that resulted in our undefeated season.” Megan Merola said. 


Coach Kellie Damelio, in her first season as head coach of Gaels gymnastics, couldn’t be prouder of her team and the strength and perseverance they showed this season. Damelio has a laid-back coaching style and credits her gymnasts for pushing themselves during practice. 


“It’s really nice to see the girls grow. I’m happy to see them a little bit scared but pushing themselves to try new skills and tricks. They practice and practice and all of a sudden it all comes together and it’s one of those amazing moments,” Damelio said. 


The team started off their season in a meet against Passaic Valley High School with a final score of 103.375. As the season continued on, the girls kept beating their team high scores at almost every meet, notching their largest win of the year against Randolph High School with a final team score of 106.4. 


“Our win against Mount Olive was really exciting. When we realized we won by a tenth of a point, even the girls who didn’t compete were happy.” Alexis Merola said. 


While their record on shows one loss, it’s simply one giant misunderstanding. During a meet against Indian Hills, when the Roxbury team arrived, they found that another school was present. Since Roxbury had already participated in their one required tri-meet for the season, they were confused as to why another team was present at their meet with Indian Hills. After much discussion at the NJSIAA and athletic director level, it was decided that the other team could count it as a win, but Roxbury did not have to count it as a loss. 


“I think we became really close this year as a team and we’re always like a family. We were really worked up at first with that particular meet. As a captain, I really had to talk to the girls and we realized as a team that we really had to calm each other down and handle the situation and we handled it together.” Miller said. 


On Oct. 22, the Gaels rocked their meet at League B championships, placing first by over 3 points. Zieba also had much to celebrate as she won the gold for the all around competition, the gold on vault, the gold on bars, and the gold on floor exercise. She also won the silver medal on beam. 


“I started gymnastics at the age of 10 which is late for a gymnast. I’ve grown up so much through this sport and all the lessons I’ve learned have helped me so much through life. I’ve been able to look forward to something after school. Winning at leagues made me so happy and the best thing was being able to have my team there to cheer me on as I accomplished what I wanted to.” Zieba said. 


Throughout the season, various girls on the team qualified to compete at sectionals in early November. On Nov. 2, Madison Hansen competed on beam, Morgan Valdes competed in the all around, Alexis Merola competed on vault, beam, and floor exercise, Katie Parr competed on vault, uneven bars, and beam, Megan Merola competed in the all around, and Tiffany Zieba competed in the all around. The Roxbury High School Gymnastics team also qualified to compete as a team at sectionals, winning the sectional title with Mount Olive placing second and Pascack in third. 


“High school gymnastics is a whole different feel than club gymnastics. I have been a club gymnast for a long time but I still get really nervous before my meets, but the team has been so supportive.” Valdes said. 


Athletic Director Stu Mason couldn’t be prouder of his young gymnastics team. He knows what these girls go through at practice daily and he is always impressed with their dedication to their sport and their school.


“Whether you are playing field hockey, football, or competing as a gymnast, there are always expectations for each program. Our gymnastics program has really represented and embodied every challenge in their way. They are everything we want Gaels to be and represent. To have these girls wearing blue and gold is an outstanding fete and even better, they are all outstanding young ladies on top of that.” Mason said.


The girls on the Roxbury High School gymnastics team are Ella Yarznbowicz, Madison Hansen, Paulina Zamora, Jeniah Agosto, Morgan Valdes, Katie Parr, Alexis Merola, Shaday Gibson (team manager), Alex Novack, Ashley Miller, Megan Merola, and Tiffany Zieba. 




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Former Radio City Rockette Still Shares Joy of Dance Wed, 04 Dec 2019 03:26:19 +0000 By: Megan Roche


For some dancers, it’s a dream that most will never see come true. There are few things that help ring in the holiday season, traditions we’ve all been a part of. There is the floats and balloons that kick off Thanksgiving Day with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the Christmas Tree lighting at Rockefeller Center, and of course, those incredible high kicks of the Radio City Rockettes, one of whom comes right from the Morris County area.


Jennifer Jones, a Rockette that began her journey in 1987, hails from Randolph. A proud graduate of Randolph High School and County College of Morris, Jones also holds a special place in the history books as she was the first African American Rockette ever cast. Jones began dancing early on in life and after studying at numerous local dance schools throughout Northern New Jersey, she moved to New York City and began training at Broadway Dance Center under Jazz dance legend Frank Hatchett.


Jones has been shattering barriers throughout her entire life. In 1987, Jones became the very first African American to join the Radio City Rockettes. Her life goal was to be on Broadway but when she first saw the opportunity to audition for the Rockette’s, she was unsure about attending. 


“We would look through Backstage (a Broadway publication that had auditions listed) and we’d pick things. The Rockette’s were looking to hire for the Super Bowl Halftime Show and the Chita Rivera tour. I woke up on the morning of the audition and just decided to go. I got to the music hall about 9:30 and there were just lines of women wrapped around the building,” Jones shared.


After finally making it inside the music hall, Jones was measured (you must be between 5’6 and 5’10.5 to be a Rockette) and told to provide her headshot and put on her tap shoes. The audition process included a dance combination, eye high kicks, can can kicks, and more. After the audition was over, all the dancers were told they would find out via phone calls if they were receiving call backs or not. 


A few days after her audition, national news outlets began covering the story of the first ever African American joining the coveted Rockette line. Jones received many phone calls from family and friends about the newscasts, but she had no idea it was her that all these news stations were talking about. 


“They didn’t tell me that I was the first black Rockette, they just offered the Super Bowl to me. I said ‘huh, wonder who that is?’ I got so many calls asking if it was me and I had no idea. It wasn’t until a couple of days later that they told me that it was me.”


Jones’ 15-year tenure on the line was filled with so many highlights. From performing at the 1988 Super Bowl halftime show, the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the Easter Spectacular, Comic Relief, Night of 100 Stars, her career was nothing but happy memories. In addition to being a Radio City Rockette, she was also the first black Miss Morris County, crowned in 1989. In 2002, Jones officially hung up her Rockette tap shoes and called it a career. 


“There were a lot of different experiences that made it special to be a Rockette. To make history as the first black Radio City Rockette also really got to me. In any of my performances, no matter how tired I was, I loved every second of it. I loved being in costume, I loved the dancing, I loved the movement,” Jones said. 


As for her life today, she currently resides in West Orange. She still finds herself at the opening show of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular every year, now as a proud member of the Rockette Alumnae Association. She still feels that same spark of magic as she did when she first stepped onto the Radio City stage all those years ago.


“I will never forget the first rehearsal during tech week when I first stepped on the Radio City stage. Radio City seats 6,000 people and I think it’s the most beautiful house that I performed in. I remember just kicking and it taking my breath away. Another girl on the Rockettes asked if I was okay and I just remember saying it’s just amazing and she said the first time on the stage is like that for everyone,” Jones said. 


The Radio City Christmas Spectacular is going on now with daily performances until January 5. Visit for more information. 

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The Morris County Board of Freeholders is honoring the United State Marine Corps on its 244th birthday, celebrating the founding of the Marines by the Continental Congress in 1775. 


The Marine Corps Birthday is marked each year on Nov. 10 with traditional ball and cake-cutting ceremonies held at locations across the nation.


Morris County Freeholders on Wednesday evening presented Morris County Distinguished Military Service Medals to eight veterans from across the county.

Here in Morris County, the Freeholder Board highlighted the occasion at its recent Veterans’ Day event on Oct. 23 in remarks made by Freeholder and Marine Corps veteran John Krickus. 


In addition, the freeholders held a special recognition ceremony for Marine Corps veteran Emerson Cooks of Randolph, as a representative of all Marines.


“We would like to call attention to one particular Marine who served his country with honor on the battlefield, and in civilian life has offered exemplary service to his state and county,’’ said Freeholder John Krickus.


“Marine Corps veteran Emerson Crooks of Randolph is being honored for his outstanding service to his country in Vietnam and steadfast support of all veterans. It is most fitting to honor this decorated Marine on the 244th birthday of the USMC.’’ 


Mr. Crooks served as a Marine from 1968-1972. For that service, he received the Legion of Merit and a Valor Designation for heroism.


As a civilian, he has been a strong advocate for veterans — at Lyons VA Hospital and through other veterans’ organizations — and he is vice president of North Jersey Stand Down, which reaches out to homeless veterans.


In addition, he is an advocate on behalf of juveniles in the court system and an advocate for residents who suffer mental illness, through his efforts for the Mental Health Association of Essex and Morris Counties.  


“Emerson Crooks, in his military and civilian lives, always has proudly lived up to Marine Corps standards,’’ said Freeholder Krickus in presenting him with a special county resolution. 


On 10 November 1775, the Second Continental Congress resolved to raise two battalions of Marines. Congress commissioned 31-year-old Samuel Nicholas, a well-known Philadelphian, as captain of the fledgling force of Continental Marines.


From Tun Tavern in Philadelphia, Nicholas raised two battalions of Marines as directed and began the long illustrious history of the United States Marine Corps, which now has is 190,000 active duty personnel strong, with deployments across the world.


Every year since 1925 the founding of the Marine Corps has been celebrated with a Birthday Ball. It is one of the biggest social events of the year for leathernecks all over the world.


The Marine Corp’s birthday cake-cutting ceremony is important to all Marines, as it is an annual renewal of each Marine’s commitment to the Corps. 


Learn about the Marine Corps’ birthday tradition at


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Randolph Woman Continues Running Success in Extreme Conditions Wed, 04 Dec 2019 02:37:15 +0000 By Steve Sears

For marathon runner Roberta Groner, no future event will be formidable enough to be any sort of obstacle.

She’ll just rise to the occasion.

“Being a nurse, mother of three boys and elite runner,” she says, “I would like people to know that if you have a passion, go do it. You just never know with hard work, consistency and determination where it may lead!” 

The 41-year-old Groner speaks from experience, emphasis on that last word. She was the first American woman marathoner to cross the finish line in 89-degree heat at the World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar in late September. Overall, Groner finished 6th with a time of 2 hours, 38 minutes and 44 seconds (2:38:44), just six-minutes behind Ruth Chepngetich of Kenya, the winner who clocked in at 2 hours, 32 minutes and 43 seconds (2:32:43). 

“After racing at a World Championship in such brutal conditions,” says Groner, “I feel that no matter what the challenges may be for New York City (marathon) or the (2020 United States) Olympic trials, that I will be mentally stronger.”

Groner, who will take part in the before-mentioned events in November 2019 and February 2020 respectively, started running in 7th grade when asked to join the track team by her math teacher, eventually in high school securing a sports scholarship to attend Saint Francis University, running for three years before leaving school in 1999. 

She then stopped running for ten years, starting again in 2009 when her youngest son was two. “I had no passion or desire to run. It wasn’t fun anymore. I started running again in 2009 when I decided to start doing something for me again. After having three kids in 3 1/2 years, it was time to just go run!” 

“I decided to start running again just so I could have some quality ‘me’ time”

“Quality” it was, which encouraged more competitive outlets. “I ran my first marathon in 2011 in Chicago with a group of friends from Pittsburgh. I was able to qualify for Boston with a 3:12 marathon. From there, the marathon just became my favorite race and challenge.”

Groner moved to New Jersey in 2014 and started running with a Randolph-based group called the Do Runners, then training with fellow club member Beau Atwater. “We trained for NYC 2015 (marathon) where I ran 2:45:30, (and) the following fall I ran a 2:37:54 at Mohawk-Hudson.” She then hired a coach, her goal to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Trials, and she succeeded, placing 2nd at the USATF (United States of America Track & Field) National Championships at the California International Marathon in 2017 with a time of 2:30:36. “After that race, I then wanted to break 2:30. This past spring I was able to run a 2:29:06 in Rotterdam. I am now only the third American woman over the age of 40 to break 2:30.” 

After Rotterdam, Groner was selected to be part of Team USA for the World Championships in Qatar. She was aware of the conditions – and ready.  “What an honor to represent our country! We battled extreme heat and humidity in a midnight race. The team prepared us well with PowerPoint presentations by the medical staff. I would run in layers the last three weeks to acclimate to the heat. I don’t know if my training as nurse per say helped. My own running experience and listening to advice from my coach on pacing, fluid intake, and ice were key points that helped.” Groner, who ran from the beginning with teammate, Carrie Dimoff, ran a “smart race and it paid off. It was such an honor to represent the country, and to place in the top ten in the Worlds will be a highlight of my running career.” 

Her current goal is to run the best she can in the New York City Marathon, possibly placing in the top ten finishers. But you have to feel, based on her words, there’s something more important here. “As long as I try my hardest, I will be happy with the outcome. The training and hard work was put in, so I am happy knowing I am going to the starting line healthy and strong.” 

Her favorite quote? Success is a peace of mind knowing you have done your best. “I feel I have done my best with training over the last 12 to 16 weeks and that is the most important.”

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