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Craig D. Frazier

Stories by Craig

New Jersey cities partner in crime

Last week, the mayors of Paterson, Newark and Jersey City announced a tri-city approach to confront the violence that has plagued their cities in recent years. According to statistics, homicides across New Jersey spiked to a seven-year high in 2013. At least 409 people died violently last year.

New report shows city does more to help those paying child support

A new report by the New York City Independent Budget Office shows a shift in priorities at the city’s Office of Child Support Enforcement. OCSE began in 1975, when Congress provided a blueprint for local child support enforcement programs. OCSE provides custodial parents with assistance in obtaining financial support and medical insurance coverage for their children by locating parents, establishing paternity, establishing support orders and collecting and distributing child support payments.

Vigils held for kidnapped Nigerian girls

Last week, a number of local and international events occurred to mark that it has been more than 100 days since the abduction of the Chibok pupils.

Feds investigate ‘One Newark’ plan

The U.S. attorney general is investigating allegations that Newark’s school re-organization plan discriminates against Black students. The “One Newark” school reorganization plan, announced by Newark Schools Superintendent Cami Anderson in December, is scheduled to be operational this fall. It includes converting elementary schools into early childhood centers, relocating other schools to underused facilities and turning other schools into smaller academies. The plan also suggests the expansion of charter schools that, to date, serve about 20 percent of Newark students.

Monitor to oversee Newark Police Department reforms

The Justice Department ordered independent monitoring of the Newark Police Department after a federal investigation found “a pattern of unconstitutional policing.” In addition, findings show that city police officers had no constitutional basis for 75 percent of the pedestrian stops they conducted in recent years. It also determined that officers often used excessive force during arrests but underreported the level of force used.

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Birthday celebration for two Black Panthers

Those who wished to celebrate the birthdays of two modern-day freedom fighters joined the new Black Panther party at the Refral Center in Newark, N.J. The birthday tribute honored Black Panther Party members Assata Shakur and the late M.A. “Smitty” Smith last week.

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Mayor Baraka announces short-term goals for a ‘new Newark’

“For the next four years, more than 270,000 mayors will govern Newark,” said Baraka. “Working collectively, we will empower each other, take responsibility for our families, our neighborhoods and chart our new direction.”

Jersey City Mayor orders removal of killer’s shrine

This week, Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop ordered the city to take down a shrine dedicated to Lawrence Campbell, the man who ambushed and killed a 23-year-old rookie police officer.

New Jersey community launches campaign to release nonviolent offenders

Backed by an online petition, a number of Essex County residents launched a campaign this week aimed at New Jersey legislators, calling for a bill that will reduce the number of adults and youth in New Jersey state prisons.

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Team Fearless honors leaders in hip-hop

“This year, we went straight to the essence of hip-hop. I started in Harlem and in the ’70s with DJ Hollywood,” Devastating Tito, creator of the Team Fearless Hip-Hop Honors PT IV, told the AmNews. Tito, a member of the rap group Fearless Four from Harlem New York, made their mark in 1982 with the hit single “Rockin It.” “The program represented three decades of hip-hop, the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s,” he noted.

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Shakespeare returns to Harlem

Actor, writer and director Justin Emeka returns for the second season of Shakespeare in the Park in Harlem. This year, the Classic Theatre of Harlem presents “Romeo and Juliet.”

Police search for answers in Paterson shooting

Police have deployed a mobile command center at the corner of Rosa Parks Boulevard and Warren Street in Paterson, N.J., after 12-year-old Genesis Rincon was shot in the head this past Saturday evening.

Protestors confront Christie at Paterson’s mayoral inauguration

After a four-year absence, Jose “Joey” Torres has returned as the mayor of New Jersey’s third-largest city.

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New Jersey legislators pass smoking ban

New Jersey may become the first state in the nation to ban cigarettes, cigars and other tobacco products in all public parks and beaches. Last week, the state’s Legislature approved a bill that would ban people from smoking in county and municipal parks but allow towns and counties to create a smoking section on their beaches. The bill now awaits Gov. Chris Christie’s approval.

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Jersey man killed after fleeing police

Investigators from the Hudson County prosecutor’s office are probing a police shooting in Jersey City that left a man dead. Assistant Prosecutor Gene Rubino says Lavon King, 20, had five open cases in Superior Court for drugs and theft, as well as a pending violation of probation.

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Newark Mayor Ras Baraka sworn in July 1

At his huge inauguration on Tuesday, July 1, Baraka reminded everyone that he would fully represent the people of Newark. During his campaign, the former councilman said his mission was to mobilize the people and businesses of Newark and take the city from a local view to a global view. His vision for Newark’s future would call for more self-reliance, ingenuity and independence, eventually leading to less dependence on state and federal subsidies.

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Mayor-elect Ras Baraka takes office July 1

During the course of his campaign, Mayor-elect Ras Baraka won the hearts of the citizens of New Jersey’s largest city with slogans like “Believe in Newark” and “When I become mayor, we all become mayor.” The 45-year-old councilman and former high school principal emerged from a hard-fought campaign as a major player in state and county politics.

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City Hall celebrates Juneteenth

Last week, members of the New York City Council marked the 148th anniversary of the first Juneteenth with a celebration at City Hall. The event was a festive occasion complete with drum processions, libations, poetry and dance.

Renters see lowest rent increase in history

Ignoring Mayor Bill de Blasio and the City Council’s recommendation for a rent freeze, the Rent Guidelines Board (RGB) on Monday voted to increase rents. Landlords can raise costs of the city’s 1 million rent-stabilized apartments 1 percent for the next fiscal year.

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Christie says bridge scandal is behind him

Chris Christie still faces investigations by a New Jersey legislative committee and a probe by the local U.S. attorney’s office because of last year’s bridge scandal, but last week, when the New Jersey governor mingled with some of the Republican Party’s most influential fundraisers at Mitt Romney’s three-day political retreat in Utah, he told business leaders and GOP donors that he’s moving past the scandal.

Deadly fire kills six in Newark

“I can’t believe this,” said Iris Sydney after six members of her family were killed when a fast-moving fire ripped through a single-family home in Newark.

Governor to Address Spike in Heroin Use

The Governor’s Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse in New Jersey announced a campaign to help address heroin use across the state.

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Mayor Ras Baraka Announces Transition Team

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka is fighting back agains a plethora of challenges stemming from increasing crises in education, income and economic inequality with progressive policies that place people above profits.

Students protest against ‘One Newark’ plan

Last week, a group of students formed a picket line and staged an overnight sit-in protest against the “One Newark” school reorganization program backed by Newark Schools Superintendent Cami Anderson. Anderson has been mired in controversy since she introduced her new approach to improving the school system.

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Gov Christie must cut funds to balance budget

Gov. Chris Christie tussled with Democrats for months during his first term to get a landmark public employee pension overhaul passed in 2011. In January, the governor conceded in his State of the State address that it might not have been enough.

Community still seeks justice for Abdul Kamal

The People’s Organization for Progress recently organized a rally in Irvington in support of the family of Abdul Kamal, who was killed by police last November. They sent a message to the Essex County prosecutor’s office and the state attorney general demanding an investigation and indictment for the officers involved.

New Jersey Boys and Girls Clubs celebrate National Bike Month

May is National Bike Month. Established in 1956, National Bike Month is a chance to showcase the many benefits of bicycling. It is sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists and celebrated in communities from coast to coast. All over the country, bike enthusiasts filled their calendars with group bike rides, social events, classes, volunteer opportunities and panel discussions about biking.

Workers protest for wage increase

Fast food workers seeking higher pay protested against McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s locations around the globe demanding a minimum wage increase.

Newark schools superintendent believes in her plan to improve education

When Cami Anderson took her job as Newark schools superintendent, she was convinced she could help turn around a state-run system in a poverty-ridden city where 41 percent of ninth-graders failed to graduate on time.

Christie appoints new head of Port Authority

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has nominated a former state attorney general to become the new face of the Port Authority

Only days left in Newark municipal election for mayor

Councilman Ras Baraka and Assistant Attorney General Shavar Jeffries have less than one week before an election that will decide the next mayor of Newark, N.J.

Teachers say no to NYC English language arts performance assessment exam

Teachers at the International High School at Prospect Heights (IHSPH) gathered in front of the school last week to announce they would not give the New York City English language arts (ELA) performance assessment exam.

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NBT honors Amiri Baraka with a production of ‘Dutchman’

The National Black Theatre and the Classical Theatre of Harlem will come together to pay tribute to late author, playwright and activist Amiri Baraka

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Nollywood hits NY at the New York African Film Festival

Some of the latest work from talented filmmakers representing the continent of Africa will be presented at the 21st New York African Film Festival

Community leaders continue to seek justice for Abdul Kamal

The family of a slain Irvington man is waiting for justice after members of the Irvington Police Department killed Abdul Kamal, 30, last November.

Former Newark police boss under investigation

The former boss of the Newark Police Department’s Internal Affair unit, Deputy Chief Joseph Tutela, is the target of an investigation by the prosecutor’s office.

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Brooklyn artists welcome Newark mayoral candidate Ras Baraka at fundraiser

With less than two weeks remaining in the mayoral race for Newark, N.J., candidate Ras Baraka took time out from the campaign trail to attend a fundraiser in Brooklyn on Saturday.

Attorney general announces new program to fight gun violence in Newark

Earlier this year, Newark Mayor Luis Quintana and community leaders, including prominent faith leader Bishop Jethro James of Paradise Baptist Church, called for the state to address excessive gun violence in Newark.

Boys and Girls Clubs honors Youth of the Year

In Union County, the Boys & Girls Clubs (BGCUC) continues to inspire and enable young people who need to realize their full potential.

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Black farmers protest government behind lawsuit

Three years ago President Barack Obama signed the bill authorizing compensation for discrimination in farm lending at the hands of the United States Department of Agriculture. 

Hundreds protest Section 8 cutbacks

A coalition of elected officials, community members and tenants from across the city met at City Hall last week to protest cutbacks in the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program.

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Mayor Bill de Blasio’s last minute push for pre-K sign up

Last week, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a campaign urging New Yorkers to sign their children up for pre-K. The mayor said the city has secured the funding necessary to expand pre-K to 53,000 children this September.

Newark man pleads not guilty in death of elderly man

A Newark man, arrested last week, pleaded not guilty to all charges when he appeared in court on Monday. Joshua E. Higgins, 19, was charged with shooting and killing a 63-year-old Jersey City man who came to the aid of his wife Sunday morning, April 6.

More subpoenas in Christie bridge scandal

More trouble may be on the horizon for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, as the office of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance is now reportedly investigating the relationship between the Republican and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

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City schools protest against Common Core testing

Last week, teachers, administrators, students and parents from P.S. 87 on the Upper West Side were among protestors at 31 schools across the city who rallied against the controversial Common Core testing program. Thousands of students opted out of the statewide English language arts test, which many said was full of unclear questions.

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Man arrested in connection to Baraka bus blaze

Last week, Newark mayoral candidates Ras Baraka and Shavar Jeffries commented after a Newark man, charged with setting a fire to Ras Baraka’s campaign bus in February, was connected to Shavar Jeffries’ campaign.

Students walk out from classes in protest of One Newark plan

Last week, more than 1,000 Newark public school students walked out of classes to protest Newark Schools Superintendent Cami Anderson’s “One Newark” plan.

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Councilman Andy King reveals his 12-point plan for District 12

Backed by the Bronx Democratic County Committee, Assemblyman Carl Heastie and 1199SEIU, the health care workers union, Councilman Andy King received the majority of votes in District 12 of the Bronx, in 2012, beating five opponents.

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Report by Christie’s lawyers clear him in toll lane scandal

Lawyers hired by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at taxpayers’ expense concluded that the governor and members of his staff played no role in the toll lane closures that caused massive gridlock on the world’s busiest bridge from Sept. 9-13, 2013.

Murders continue to plague Newark

“No one should have to bury their child, especially at 14,” said Lowman Colclough. His family now looks for answers after his 14-year-old son was killed in Newark this past weekend.