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Arden Courts Hosted Pet Adoption Extravaganza

Publisher Frank Cahill and Barbara Freda holding a puppy during the Arden Courts Pet Adoption Extravaganza

MORRIS COUNTY—On Saturday, July 20, Arden Courts Memory Care, located at 18 Eden Lane, Whippany, held an “Animal Adoption Day”.

Mt. Pleasant Animal Shelter participated and provided many dogs for adoption.

Arden Courts provides specialized memory care for individuals with Alzheimer’s and dementia, offering a safe and nurturing environment. The facility focuses on enhancing the quality of life through personalized care, engaging activities, and a supportive community designed to meet the unique needs of memory care residents.

A local pet store, Home Towne Pet Shoppe, and Longevity Veterinary Center participated.

Mt. Pleasant Animal Shelter, located in East Hanover, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing exceptional care for homeless animals and finding them loving, permanent homes. The shelter offers a safe and nurturing environment for cats and dogs until adoption. The mission of Mt. Pleasant Animal Shelter is to improve the lives of homeless animals and place them in permanent, loving homes. They are committed to ensuring that every pet receives high-quality care, attention, and medical treatment. The shelter aims to build a community without unwanted or homeless animals.

Mt. Pleasant Animal Shelter provides a range of services, including:

  • Adoption Services: The shelter works diligently to match pets with loving families. They offer an easy and supportive adoption process to ensure the best fit for both the animals and the adopters.
  • Foster Program: This program allows volunteers to temporarily care for animals in their homes, giving them the attention and socialization needed to thrive.
  • Medical Care: All animals receive comprehensive medical care, including vaccinations, spaying/neutering, and treatment for health issues.
  • Community Outreach: The shelter engages with the community through educational programs, volunteer opportunities, and events to promote animal welfare and responsible pet ownership.

Mt. Pleasant Animal Shelter relies heavily on the support of volunteers and donors. Volunteers assist with animal care, administrative tasks, and events, while donations help cover the costs of medical care, food, and other necessities.

Visit their official website or contact them directly for more information, volunteer, or donate.

Longevity Veterinary Center in Whippany is a state-of-the-art animal hospital that provides comprehensive and compassionate pet care. Its mission is to ensure that every pet lives a long, healthy, and happy life through preventive care, advanced medical treatments, and a holistic approach to veterinary medicine.

Barbara Freda with Nancy Peplinsky, Director of Marketing and Communications

Longevity Veterinary Center offers a wide range of services to meet the diverse needs of pets and their owners. These include:

  • Preventive Care: Regular wellness exams, vaccinations, parasite prevention, and dental care to keep pets healthy.
  • Diagnostics: Advanced diagnostic tools such as digital radiography, ultrasound, and in-house laboratory services for accurate and timely diagnoses.
  • Surgery: A full suite of surgical services, including routine spaying and neutering, soft tissue surgery, and orthopedic procedures.
  • Holistic Care: Integrative approaches such as acupuncture, chiropractic care, and nutritional counseling to support overall health and well-being.
  • Emergency Care: Urgent and emergency veterinary services to address critical health issues promptly.

For more information on Longevity Veterinary Center, click here.

Sam D’Angelo, owner of Home Towne Pet Shoppe, with Barbara Freda, Business Development Specialist Arden Courts

Home Towne Pet Shoppe, located in Morris Plains, is a locally owned and operated pet supply store that caters to the needs of pets and pet owners in the community. Known for its friendly and knowledgeable staff, the shop offers various products and services to ensure pets’ health and happiness.

Home Towne Pet Shoppe provides an extensive range of high-quality pet supplies, including:

  • Pet Food: Various premium pet food brands for dogs, cats, birds, fish, and small animals, catering to different dietary needs and preferences.
  • Pet Accessories: A wide selection of toys, bedding, grooming supplies, leashes, collars, and other accessories to keep pets comfortable and entertained.
  • Aquatic Supplies: Products for maintaining aquariums and ponds, including fish food, water conditioners, and aquarium decorations.
  • Small Animal Supplies: Items for small pets like hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits, and reptiles.

For more information on Home Towne Pet Shoppe, click here.

Democratic Slate for Morris County Commissioner Revealed at Listening Tour

Bud Ravitz, Justin Strickland, and Jonathan Sackett are running for the position of Morris County Commissioner.

MORRIS COUNTY — The Morris County Democratic Committee announced three local elected officials have filed to seek the office of Morris County Commissioner. The trio recently held a listening tour at the Parsippany IHOP.

Morris County Democratic Chair Amalia Duarte, Bud Ravitz, Jonathan Sackett, Parsippany-Troy Hills Councilwoman Judy Hernandez, Matthew Clarkin, and candidate Justin Strickland during the “Listening Tour” held on Monday, July 15.

The Democratic slate is:

  • Bud Ravitz, a two-term Morris Township Committeeman and former Deputy Mayor
  • Jonathan Sackett, a two-term Rockaway Township Councilman and former Council President and Vice President
  • Justin Strickland, a newly elected Chatham Borough Councilman

“They are going to break through the logjam of Republican control, bringing new ideas to the table based on their practical experience governing in the community. It’s time to bring a new set of ideas and fresh thinking to the Board of County Commissioners,” said Morris County Democratic Chair Amalia Duarte.

A little about the candidates:

Justin Strickland, a newly elected Chatham Borough Councilman: After traveling all over the globe, I chose Morris County as my home, and I humbly represent the residents of Chatham on the Chatham Borough Council. I am a proud war veteran who served on Iraq’s front lines, earning a Bronze Star. As a civilian, I also served in the Pentagon and earned the Office of the Secretary of Defense Outstanding Achievement Award for my work in Afghanistan. I’m a seasoned manager across multiple Fortune 500 companies who is passionate about public service, sustainable economic development, historic preservation, and the untapped potential of Morris County.

Jonathan Sackett, a two-term Rockaway Township Councilman and former Council President and Vice President: As a father of four, small business owner, and lifelong resident of Morris County, I’m passionate about my community. I ran for County Commissioner last year, and I will win this year. My background in economics, finance, and accounting and my experience as a local business owner provide the understanding and real-life expertise to tackle fiscal and quality-of-life issues. I’m serving my second term on the Rockaway Township Council as Council President and Vice President. 

Bud Ravitz, a two-term Morris Township Committeeman and former Deputy Mayor: I am a former Deputy Mayor, serving in my fourth year on the Morris Township Committee. I have made a visible and positive impact on the Township Committee during my tenure. I’m passionate about transparency in government and representing all my constituents fairly. I spearheaded two bipartisan pay-to-play legislation ordinances that were more strict than the legislation passed by the state of New Jersey. I have served on almost every Township Standing and Advisory Committee, including the Planning Board and Board of Health. I have been instrumental in prioritizing park and field renovations, smart growth, and environmental sustainability.

Focus Publications asked the candidates the following questions:

  1. Overdevelopment is the big buzzword around town. People are upset about large projects being built without community input. How would you address this?

Concerns about overdevelopment in Morris County are valid and should be addressed carefully. Overdevelopment is not a partisan issue because it impacts all residents. As Morris County Commissioners, we plan to ensure we have a County-wide Master Plan that sets all communities up for success. True vision planning involves collaborating with key stakeholders, including residents and municipal governing bodies. We plan to bring municipal leaders together to create a dialogue that can ensure successful development where it’s needed and carefully evaluate development in areas where it could be detrimental. 

2. What we hear about in county government is a need for more transparency. We can see from this listening tour today that you are happy to engage with the community – but if elected, how would you continue to implement transparency and robust community engagement?

As Morris County Commissioner, we know that it’s essential to listen to the residents of Morris County. Listening means holding town halls, making yourself available, and meeting with folks in their communities. We will have regular meetings with representatives of all Morris County municipalities to share and collaborate on ideas and issues that will benefit both. We will also hold periodic town halls for county residents in various locations to highlight issues important to them.

Additionally, as county commissioners, we would work to establish a YouTube channel where all commissioner meetings are video-recorded for public use. 

3. The job of the Commissioner comes down to keeping our county running smoothly. But our current commissioners have weighed in on national issues like reproductive health and gun control – going as far as to make official proclamations on the county’s behalf. What are your thoughts on these actions in the role of commissioner?

The primary responsibility of a County Commissioner is to focus on policy that governs Morris County. There may be times when the County Commissioners need to weigh in on national issues, such as 9/11 or supporting the U.S. Armed Forces when deployed abroad. We believe County Commissioner proclamations should be focused on unifying Morris County and supporting folks who need our support. As Commissioners, we will work hard to represent all the county’s residents regardless of political affiliation.   

4. Most residents don’t understand where the Commissioners get money to use in their budget. Can you explain?

Each municipality pays a different percentage of property taxes to the county based on the county’s equalized tax assessment. The budget is $365 million per year. As commissioners, we would be active in the communities to ensure residents across Morris County know how their money is spent. In addition, the County applies for and receives state and federal grants for County projects.

Sacred Heart and Holy Rosary Parishes to Host Tricky Tray Event


DOVER — Sacred Heart and Holy Rosary Parishes in Dover invite you to join their anticipated Tricky Tray event on October 5, 2024. This exciting event will feature over 250 prizes, including a 50/50 lottery and a lottery apron.

Event Details:

  • Date: October 5, 2024
  • Location: Sacred Heart and Holy Rosary Parishes, Dover
  • Admission: $20 (includes a sheet of Level 1 tickets)
  • Features: Four levels of prizes, 50/50 lottery, lottery apron, and more

Attendees must be 21 or older and are encouraged to bring their food and nonalcoholic beverages.

Contact Information: For more details or to donate, please get in touch with the office at:

Enjoy a fun-filled evening with the community, and don’t miss the chance to win fantastic prizes!

Vendors Wanted for Yard Sale/Flea Market in Dover

File photo

DOVER — St. John’s Episcopal Church is seeking vendors for its upcoming Yard Sale/Flea Market. The event will take place on Saturday, September 7, 2024, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the church’s location at 11 South Bergen Street. In the event of rain, the Yard Sale/Flea Market will be rescheduled to the following Saturday, September 14, 2024.

This event offers a fantastic opportunity for vendors to sell their goods and engage with the local community. Vendors can sell various items, including crafts, antiques, collectibles, and other merchandise.

For more information and to reserve a vendor spot, please get in touch with Manny at 973-598-5160 or via email at gmunoz40@optonline.net. Do not miss this chance to participate in a lively community event and showcase your products to a broad audience!

Denville Man Arrested for DUI, Hit-and-Run Collision

Photograph is used for illustration purposes and may not represent actual incident.

MORRIS COUNTY — A 62-year-old Denville Township man, Mark Johnson, was arrested following a hit-and-run crash in the Cedar Lake area on Saturday, July 13, according to a release from the Denville police.

The investigation revealed that Johnson was under the influence at the time of the crash. He has been charged with driving under the influence and issued summonses for reckless driving, careless driving, failure to maintain lane, safety glass requirement, leaving the scene of an accident, and failure to report an accident.

Johnson was released pending a court appearance.

Editors Note: The court’s rules require us to include a statement that states: The charges outlined in this publication are merely accusations, and the defendant and/or defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt.

County College of Morris Awarded $650,000 ATE Grant from NSF

CCM’s Data Science Expansion Funded by $650,000 NSF Grant

MORRIS COUNTY — The County College of Morris (CCM) was awarded a $650,000 Advanced Technology Education (ATE) grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The grant, distributed over three years, will support the college’s expansion of its nationally recognized Data Science program and aid in the establishment of a new, cutting-edge Data Science Institute. This initiative aligns with the college’s commitment to innovation, academic excellence, and meeting the evolving needs of the community and industry.

Dr. Anthony J. Iacono, president of CCM, thanked NSF for the grant and emphasized its significance in advancing the college’s mission. “Not only will this grant enable us to expand Data Science at CCM,” said Iacono, “but also help create the Data Science Institute and strive to meet our goals from the training of faculty with industry certification to creating a seamless career pathway in data science for students of all ages.”

Key Benefits

CCM allows students to gain an early interest in the data science field. One prominent feature of this opportunity is a fast-track approach toward employment. The college’s Center for Workforce Development offers cutting-edge Business Analytics, Tableau, R-Programming courses, and more to accelerate one’s career. Students can enroll at CCM to earn the 16-credit certificate of achievement in data analytics in less than one year. Then, students can further their studies at CCM towards an AS in computer science with a concentration in data science.

The ATE grant will support teachers in ensuring they attain industry-recognized certifications. The grant also works towards equipping teachers with the latest tools and knowledge in data science to deliver excellent instruction. Students may gain training and specialized workshops on data manipulation, statistical analysis, machine learning, data visualization, and more on campus and in virtual format. Guest lecturers, industry visits, and networking events will showcase real-world data science applications and help funnel students to industry.

Recent Events

Most recently, the college’s Data Science program has participated in the New Jersey Council of County Colleges (NJCCC) Pathways Initiative, which includes the New Jersey Big Data Alliance (NJBDA)—Data Science Articulation Project. This project establishes seamless transfer pathways from several two-year to four-year institutions across New Jersey, including CCM.

Iacono says, “CCM will continue to be a leader in education and data science plus play a pivotal role in driving economic growth and technological advancement in the region.”

“This grant represents a significant milestone for the college,” said CCM Professor of Mathematics Kelly Fitzpatrick. “We are excited to embark on this journey of expansion and innovation, and we are confident that the resources provided by this grant will empower our faculty and students, including underrepresented groups and Women in STEM, to excel in the dynamic field of data science.”

The County College of Morris’s success in Data Science has been highlighted and publicized nationally.

  • The New Jersey Business and Industry Association (NJBIA) featured this project on the March 23 episode of Minding Your Business, where Fitzpatrick spoke about its success.
  • NSF featured the college’s courses, transfer agreements, and pathways in Data Science in its annual publication, ATE Impacts, on page 88.

Rockaway Valley Garden Club Awards Arlene Persson Memorial Scholarships

File Photo

MOUNTAIN LAKES — The Rockaway Valley Garden Club (RVGC) has honored three exemplary Mountain Lakes High School students with the prestigious Arlene Persson Memorial Scholarship for their significant contributions to horticultural and environmental activities.

Scholarship Recipients and Their Contributions:

  1. Ryan Lalani – Awarded $1,500
    • Achievements:
      • Outstanding horticultural projects for town and school gardens
      • Leadership of the Environmental Club
      • Student liaison to the Mountain Lakes Borough Environmental Commission
      • Environmental studies and projects within the N.J. Governors STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Scholar Program
  2. Alexandra Ananian – Awarded $1,000
    • Achievements:
      • Revitalization of the Boonton Township Elementary School garden
      • Organization of the first Boonton Township Green Fair in collaboration with the Boonton Township Green Team and the community
  3. Yash Samat – Awarded $1,000
    • Achievements:
      • Trex Project for collecting plastic for recycling
      • Student liaison on the Mountain Lakes Lakes Management Advisory Committee
      • Leading an environmental community project to create fish habitats in lakes to preserve the ecosystem and reduce algae levels

About the Scholarship

The Arlene Persson Memorial Scholarship is awarded to students from seven local high schools and the County College of Morris who have shown dedication and effort in horticultural and environmental initiatives within their schools or communities. The scholarship commemorates Arlene Persson, a founding member of the Rockaway Valley Garden Club in 1955, who significantly contributed to the club and the community by promoting the importance of gardening and environmental stewardship.

Rockaway Valley Garden Club Activities

In addition to its scholarship program, the RVGC fosters gardening interests and knowledge among its members and the broader community. Key activities include:

  • Planting and maintaining the Wildflower Trail at Tourne Park
  • Conducting mini-workshops at Fallsview Rehabilitation and Nursing
  • Maintaining gardens at historic sites Miller-Kingsland and Oscar Kincaid

The RVGC continues to honor Arlene Persson’s legacy by engaging in community outreach and environmental education, ensuring the continued importance of gardening and ecological consciousness in the community.

For membership information, contact Joanne Ludwig at marinobiondo@aol.com.

The Nerds to Rock Malapardis Park with Two Sets on July 22

Enjoy The Nerds Live at Malapardis Park in Cedar Knolls

HANOVER — Hanover Township Recreation has announced that the Monday, July 22 concert will now occur at Malapardis Park in Cedar Knolls. The event will feature the high-energy, FUNtastic band, The Nerds. The concert begins at 7:00 p.m., with the band playing the first set from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and a second set from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

During the concert, the Knights of Columbus will collect food for the Inter-Faith Food Pantry, and Boy Scout Troop #155 will have beverages and snacks available for purchase.

Parking is conveniently located across the street from the park at 210 Malapardis Road. The park offers a complimentary shuttle bus service and handicapped parking.

This concert is free of charge, made possible by the generosity of our sponsors, whom we encourage you to support:

  • A Party Pleasing Rental
  • Arden Courts – ProMedica Memory Care
  • Celebrity Motor Cars LLC
  • DM Airports/MMU
  • Dosch King Co.
  • Duck Donuts
  • Everlast Floors
  • Hartz Mountain
  • Hotworx
  • Knights of Columbus Elizabeth Ann Seton Council 6904
  • Mimi’s Too
  • Pearly Whites
  • Planet Fitness
  • Preferred Business Systems
  • Name Sponsor: Wegmans

For more information, don’t hesitate to contact Denise M. Brennan, Superintendent of Recreation & Parks Administration, Hanover Township, at (973) 428-2463.

Support Julian Morris’s Legal Defense Amid Tragedy

Julian Morris is 31 year old black male. 5'6" 160 Pounds

DOVER — As previously reported in Morris Focus, Julian Morris, a member of the Dover High School Graduate Class of 2011, has been identified by the Birmingham Police Department as a person of interest. (Click here to read the previous article.)

Julian’s attorney, Victor Revill, Esq., issued the following press release on his client’s behalf.

“Mr. Morris is a college-educated veteran who faithfully served his country as a Marine. He has no prior misdemeanor or felony convictions. Despite the false narratives that are being promulgated about him in this situation, he loved Deundray Cottrell and is currently grieving the death of his beloved one. Mr. Morris wants answers as well and is awaiting those answers after a thorough investigation has been completed. Under the advice of counsel, he will not be giving any further statements at this time.”

Editors Note: Mr. Revill did send Morris Focus a video showing Deundray Cottrell running through yards on the night of July 4, and Julian was nowhere in sight. The video indicates that Deundray was running from someone. Unfortunately, we cannot republish the video due to copyright infringement. Click here to watch the video.

Kassandra Stafford is organizing this fundraiser. She states, “Our family has suffered a profound tragedy. Julian’s beloved boyfriend of several years, Deundray Cottrell, was found dead in a shed near his sister’s home in Birmingham, Alabama. His death has been ruled a homicide, and we are beyond devastated.

Adding to our grief, the Birmingham Police Department has identified Julian as a person of interest. This has brought unwarranted attention and speculation, with people stating opinions as facts. Social media has only fueled these narratives, forgetting that the investigation is still ongoing.

We cannot mourn the loss of Deundray, whom we considered family, as we continually face accusations and innuendo. Julian has retained an attorney to protect his safety and well-being while the police search for answers.

Anyone who knows Julian knows that he is a caring and loving person. He is deeply suffering from the loss of Deundray and is unable to express his grief openly. As legal fees mount, we are reaching out for your support. We have established this fundraiser to help cover Julian’s legal expenses. Your contributions will not only help ensure Julian receives the legal representation he needs but will also help us find some stability amid the turmoil.

Any contribution, no matter the size, will be greatly appreciated. Your support and generosity will make a significant difference and help provide us with the strength to endure this ordeal.

Thank you for your kindness and understanding during this challenging time.”

Click here to donate via GoFundme.

Charges Announced in Dover Child Sexual Assault Investigation

Morris County Prosecutor

DOVER — Morris County Prosecutor Robert Carroll, Chief of Detectives Robert McNally, and Town of Dover Police Chief Jonathan Delaney confirmed that Rony Oviedo-Buezo, 32, of Nashville, Tennessee, has been charged with acts of Aggravated Sexual Assault, Sexual Assault, and Endangering the Welfare of a Child, that occurred in Dover.

It is alleged that the defendant performed multiple sexual acts with a female child. The incidents remain under investigation, and no further information will be released.

As a result of the investigation, the defendant has been charged with two counts of first degree Aggravated Sexual Assault in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2(a)(1), one count of second degree Attempted Aggravated Sexual Assault in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:5-1(a)/2C:14-2(a)(1), one count of second degree Sexual Assault in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2(b), one count of second degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child Sexual Conduct in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4(a)(1), and one count of second degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child Abuse/Neglect in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4(a)(2).

The defendant was apprehended in Tennessee and subsequently extradited to New Jersey. Under the Criminal Justice Reform Act, the defendant has been detained in the Morris County Correctional Facility pending future court proceedings.

Numerous law enforcement agencies have participated in this investigation, including members of the Town of Dover Police Department, Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, and the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department.

Anyone with information about this case can call the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Sex Crimes Child Endangerment Unit at (973) 285-6200.

Editors Note: A criminal complaint is merely an accusation. Despite these accusations, this defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

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