North Bergen Prevention Coalition moves closer to receiving $1.25 million grant

Members of North Bergen’s Drug Prevention Coalition attended a national training conference last week in San Antonio, Texas, which could help secure a $1.25 million federal drug prevention grant. The coalition works closely with the organization Hudson County Partners in Prevention.

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North Bergen is one of only three cities in the United States to receive a $100,000 mentoring grant from the federal Drug Free Communities Program, which makes the township eligible for the larger grant.

“I’m proud of the work our Drug Prevention Coalition is doing in helping children in our community stay on the right path, and this grant would allow those efforts to expand considerably,” Mayor Nicholas Sacco said. “We’re all hopeful that North Bergen is selected to receive this grant and we are doing everything in our power to make it happen.”

North Bergen was represented at the conference by John Belluardo and Nick Biamonte, who have both been involved in prevention efforts in the community. The conference is presented by Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, an international organization that seeks to strengthen the capacity of community coalitions to create and maintain safe, healthy, and drug-free communities globally.

Police crack down on distracted driving

The North Bergen Police Department will be cracking down on distracted drivers during April as part of the statewide “Udrive Utext Upay.” campaign. This campaign is modeled after similar programs such as “Click it or Ticket” and “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.”

The high-visibility initiative will target motorists who engage in distracted driving behaviors through April 21.

“Distracted driving is a serious issue that can cause injuries and even death to drivers and pedestrians, and it’s important that all drivers understand this behavior will not be tolerated in North Bergen,” Public Safety Commissioner Allen Pascual said. “Our North Bergen Police Department will be participating in this program to make sure our community stays safe for our children and all residents.”

New Jersey is one of only four states nationally (along with Maine, Connecticut, and Oregon) to qualify for and receive dedicated federal grant funding to combat distracted driving.

Driver inattention was a contributing factor in 53 percent of crashes in New Jersey throughout 2016. It is listed as a contributing factor at a rate nine times higher than that of speeding, the next highest factor.

Upcoming events at the library

The North Bergen Free Public Library will be the host of a series of upcoming events.

On Thursday, April 25, the main library will sponsor a community job fair from 12-4 p.m. The event is being run in conjunction with New Jersey Career Connections, the Department of Labor and Workforce development, and the New Jersey State Library. Free professional business portraits will be taken at the event.

On April 26, The main library will hold an “Overnight at the Library” event. Kids ages 12-14 are invited for a sleepover which includes hide and seek, karaoke, tie dye, gaming, movies, and more surprises. Drop-offs are requested to be between 6:30 and 7 p.m. on Friday, April 26, and pickups are scheduled for Saturday morning between 8 and 9.

On May 11, the Kennedy Branch at 2123 Kennedy Blvd. will hold a festival called “A Taste of India.” There will be music, dancing, food, and presentations to celebrate Indian culture.

Local residents honored for volunteer service at Palisades Medical Center

Hackensack Meridian Health Palisades Medical Center celebrated National Volunteer Week by hosting a special luncheon at The Waterside in North Bergen to recognize its volunteers for their efforts.

“Our volunteers play a vital role in helping Hackensack Meridian Health Palisades Medical Center provide high quality care for our community,” Palisades Medical Center Foundation Vice President Joseph Burt said. “They truly exemplify what it means to make a strong commitment to caring for our neighbors each and every day.”

More than 200 volunteers work in almost every department of Palisades Medical Center, including student volunteers from high schools in Englewood, Bergen County, Cliffside Park, Leonia, Weehawken, and Union City.

Here are the Hudson County residents who received awards for their cumulative hours of volunteer service:

  • Joan Bacon: 2,500 hours
  • Ellen Lewis: 1,500 hours
  • Les Scharin: 1,00 hours
  • Norma Manigan: 750 hours
  • Irma Schwartz: 500 hours
  • Franklin Argueta: 250 hours
  • Karen Gregory: 250 hours

To volunteer at Palisades Medical Center, call Volunteer Services Coordinator Denise Whitley at 201-854-5011.

Free skin cancer screenings offered at Palisades Medical Center April 27

Local residents can receive free skin cancer screenings on Saturday, April 27, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Palisades Medical Center. All health screenings are open to the public and free of charge.

Information will be provided to attendees about free mammography exams, health insurance enrollment, and nutrition education. Free shuttle bus transportation is also available from 60th Street and Boulevard East, and 60th Street and Kennedy Boulevard, to and from the hospital during the day.

Palisades Medical Center is at 7600 River Road in North Bergen. For more information, call Suleima Rosario-Diaz at 201-854-5793.

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