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Three Newark-bred star athletes and sports leaders will return for the 350th anniversary on July 27th

On Wednesday, July 27, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., the Newark Public Library will host local author, historian, and former Star Ledger reporter Guy Sterling in conversation with notable Newarkers Rick Cerone, Larry Hazard and Li’za Donnell as part of its continuing series Newark Lifetimes: Recollections and Reflections.

Rick Cerone played basketball at Essex Catholic High School and Seton Hall University before becoming a Major League baseball catcher in 1975, playing for eight teams over his career, including the New York Yankees. He retired from playing in 1992 with a .245 batting average, 998 career hits and 59 home runs.

In 1998, Cerone founded the Newark Bears, a minor league team in the independent Atlantic League, which he sold in 2003.

Larry Hazzard was a three-time Golden Glove champion in the 1960s, while attending Central High School. He became a referee, an educator and school administrator, and has served twice as Commissioner of the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board. He is widely regarded as a leader and authority in the boxing industry: under his leadership, New Jersey was regarded as a major world boxing venue, and was recognized for having the most comprehensive rules, regulations and policies for enforcing safe, professional boxing.

Li’za Donnell played basketball at Louise A. Spencer Elementary School and Malcolm X Shabazz High School. She was a standout guard at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill leading the team with 50 steals as a freshman. She later played in the WNBA for the Washington Mystics, in the first year of the league.

All three speakers have been inducted into the Newark Athletic Hall of Fame: Cerone in 1989, Hazzard in 1991, and Donnell in 2007.


The program will be held in Centennial Hall on the second floor of the Main Library at 5 Washington Street, and is free and open to the public. For more information and to RSVP, please call 973-733-7793 or email rsvp@npl.org.

Celebrate Puerto Rican heroines of history with a book signing at Newark Public Library

people cardThe Newark Public Library will host a program and book signing for Nationalist Heroines: Puerto Rican Women History Forgot, 1930s-1950s by Dr. Olga Jiménez de Wagenheim on Wednesday, June 29 from 6:00-8:00 pm at the Main Library on 5 Washington Street. Dr. Jason Cortés, Assistant Professor of Spanish and U.S. Latino/a Studies at Rutgers University-Newark will introduce the book and comment on Dr. Jiménez de Wagenheim’s contribution to our understanding of this historical period in Puerto Rico.

Books will be available for sale at a discounted price, and a percentage of the proceeds will support the New Jersey Hispanic Research and Information Center at the Newark Public Library. The Friends of HRIC are sponsoring the reception following the book presentation.

The courageous Puerto Rican women who were activists in the island’s Nationalist Party, fighting to end what they considered to be the U.S. government’s illegal occupation of Puerto Rico, were overlooked twice, first by journalists that reported on the Nationalist Party focusing on the male leaders, and later by historians of the nationalist movement. Many women activists were arrested and imprisoned for crimes that they did not commit, and were only released after an investigation by a Civil Rights Committee, which ruled that the government had violated their civil and human rights.

“Most labored in obscurity,” said Jiménez de Wagenheim about the women. “In a patriarchal society, women tend to be relegated to the role of auxiliaries, unless they performed a major deed which cannot be ignored,” the historian explained, noting that Nationalist Heroines is her effort “to rescue the deeds of Puerto Rican women from historical amnesia.”

Dr. Wagenheim is Professor Emerita of Rutgers University, teaching history for 27 years at the Newark campus, where she received the Outstanding Teacher of the Year award in 1991, and the Humanitarian Award in 1998. She is the author of Puerto Rico: An Interpretive History, El Grito de Lares: sus causas y sus hombres and Puerto Rico’s Revolt for Independence: El Grito de Lares. Together with her husband Kai Wagenheim, she was co-editor of The Puerto Ricans: A Documentary History.

Active in the wider community, Dr. Wagenheim was the co-founder with Ingrid Betancourt of the New Jersey Hispanic Research and Information Center at the Newark Public Library. The NJHRIC addresses the informational needs of the state’s diverse Latino communities, from the newly arrived monolingual immigrant to the academic researcher, and works to preserve the historic legacy of Latinos in the state of New Jersey.

Dr. Wagenheim also founded the Friends of the HRIC, a community group established to support the ongoing development and operation of the NJHRIC at the Library. The organization also sponsors events and activities that help increase awareness of the various Latino communities in New Jersey.


Following the talk and the book signing there will be a reception with light refreshments. For further information about the program, contact Ingrid Betancourt, Director of the NJHRIC, at 973-733-7772.

Fresh Kids program promoting healthy kids and communities debuts in Newark at Conservancy block party

people cardSusanne Brose is dedicated to healthy kids and communities, and dreamed of a way to build a business that would help kids learn where their food comes from and connect with healthy choices and good nutrition. Inspired by First Lady Michele Obama and her campaign for better nutrition and more exercise for our nation’s children, she co-founded Fresh Kids, an independent, woman-owned company with roots on a farm in northern Virginia, and now works with kids in urban communities in the Metro-New York region often referred to as food deserts. In the short time since Fresh Kids was launched in 2014, its growing line of healthy snacks for kids can now be found at health fairs, community events and select stores in New York State, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia.

Introduced to the Newark area at an event at ShopRite of Newark, Brose connected with representatives of FoodCorp, a nationwide team of AmeriCorps leaders with similar goals and a commitment to growing healthy kids. Like FoodCorps, Fresh Kids’ founders’ goal is to partner with educators and community leaders in schools and in the community to empower students with the information they need to make smart choices about food and nutrition, to create opportunities for kids to be involved in hands-on activities like gardening and cooking that engage them in healthy and positive ways with food and to provide access to nutritious lunchtime meals in their cafeterias.

Fresh Kids products were a hit with young and old alike at Greater Newark Conservancy’s recent Spring Block Party & Plant Sale. The tasty snacks are made with non-GMO ingredients; many are gluten free, Kosher and made in a nut-free facility. Favorites include Clean and Simple Popcorn, White Cheddar Corn & Rice Puffs, Pretzel Sticks and Little Dipper Hummus made in original and roasted red pepper flavors.

Brose said she hopes to get Fresh Kids involved at more local schools and community events in Newark in the months ahead. For more information, visit www.wearefreshkids.com.

Newark high school winner of Congressional Art Competition will have work displayed in U.S. Capitol

art cardCongressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. held an awards reception Monday afternoon at the Newark Museum to recognize the winners of the 2016 Congressional Art Competition for New Jersey’s 10th Congressional District.

The overall winner out of 60 pieces of art submitted from 16 high schools in New Jersey’s 10th Congressional District was Newark’s own Lawrence Armour, of Arts High School.

“I am always impressed by the creative pieces our local students submit and look forwarding to sharing them with our community and the entire country,” said Payne, Jr., according to a statement. “This year was no exception.”

Congressmen Donald Payne, Jr. pictured with art contest winner and Arts High School student

Congressman Donald Payne, Jr. pictured with art contest winner and Arts High School student

The annual nationwide contest is sponsored by the Congressional Institute in order for members of the U.S. Congress to recognize and encourage the artistic talent of their constituents. Since the Congressional Art Competition began in 1982, over 650,000 high school students have participated.

Armour’s winning submission, entitled “Digital Arts,” will be displayed for one year at the U.S. Capitol for Members of Congress, staff, and visitors to see. In June, Armour will have the opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C. to participate in a national ceremony with other winners from around the country.

The second- and third-place winners in the district were Shawna Reid, from Jersey City Arts High School, for her submission, “Paralysis,” and Jaleel Kerr, from East Orange Campus High School, for his submission, “Seven Deadly Sins.”


Award reception images via Flickr.