Services for Sheriff Froehlich set for next week

Sheriff Froehlich
Sheriff Froehlich

Funeral services for Union County Sheriff Ralph Froehlich, 83, who died Sunday night after a battle with cancer, have been announced by the county. Froehlich, who first took office in 1977 and had just begun his 13th term in January, was the longest-serving sheriff in the state's history.

He was especially known for his dedication to young people and victims of domestic violence and getting illegal guns off the streets. He also launched the Sheriff’s Labor Assistance Program (SLAP), an alternative to incarceration for non-violent offenders that saved millions of dollars in labor hours and costs of incarceration for the county and its municipalities.

Froehlich will lie in state in the rotunda of the courthouse in Elizabeth Sunday. Funeral services, a Mass and burial will be Monday.

The planned services include:

Viewing: Sunday, July 27, 2-9 p.m., in the rotunda of the Union County Courthouse in Elizabeth

Funeral: Monday, July 28, 9:30 a.m., at the Krowicki McCracken Funeral Home, 2124 East St. George Avenue, Linden

Mass: Monday, July 28, 10:30 a.m, at the St. Mary of the Assumption Parish, 155 Washington Avenue, Elizabeth

Burial: Monday, July 28, St. Gertrude Cemetery, 53 Inman Avenue, Woodbridge Township


"I am saddened by the passing of Sheriff Froehlich, a champion of law enforcement and public safety whose influence touched all of us in Fanwood and across Union County," Fanwood Mayor Colleen Mahr said. "His leadership in the ongoing struggle to reduce gun violence by supporting Mayors Against Illegal Guns was an inspiration to me and many others. He will be greatly missed."

Join the Fanwood Police for a fun National Night Out in the park

The Fanwood Police Department’s 30th annual National Night Out Against Crime observance will be Tuesday, August 5, with a fun evening for families in LaGrande Park. The festivities get underway at 6 p.m.

There will be raffles for both kids and adults. And, the kids will enjoy games, a bounce house and slide, face painting and tattoos and arts and crafts. There will also be food for all. The food and activities are all free.

And, the evening will be topped off with a free showing of The LEGO Movie on Fanwood’s outdoor screen in the park. The movie starts at dusk.

The evening is locally sponsored by the Fanwood Police, Fanwood PBA Local 123, The Chippery, Oh’ Brian’s Pourhouse, K-9 Resorts, Mara’s Bakery, Be Craftful, Nick’s Pizza and the Somerset Patriots.


The Fanwood evening is part of a national observance. The introduction of National Night Out, “America’s Night Out Against Crime”, began an effort to promote involvement in crime prevention activities, police-community partnerships, neighborhood camaraderie and send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.


National Night Out now involves more than 37.8 million people and 16,124 communities from all fifty states, U.S. Territories, Canadian cities, and military bases worldwide.

Only a few weeks left to catch a movie in the park!

Just a few weeks to go in Fanwood Recreation's Tuesday night summer movie series in LaGrande Park. Bring the family for an enjoyable evening with your neighbors.


Movies on tap for the upcoming weeks include:

  • Tues, July 29: Despicable Me 2 (PG)
  • Tues, Aug. 5: The LEGO Movie (PG)
  • Tues, Aug. 12: Ender's Game (PG-13)


The movies begin at dusk (approximately 8 p.m). Be sure to bring a blanket or a beach chair! (And, maybe some bug spray, too.) Rain date for all movies is the following evening.


Get a workout, catch a concert tonight night at Echo Lake Park

Union County's Summer Arts Festival Concert Series at Echo Lake Park in Mountainside continues Wednesday night with UC Fit Community Yoga with The Yoga & Healing Center at 7:30 p.m., followed by the sounds of Joe Bonanno & the Godsons of Soul.


Bring a chair, blanket and yoga mat. It's a free event.

Westfield group looking for volunteers to help others cope with grief

Imagine, a Westfield group organized to help others cope with grief, is looking for volunteer facilitators and has a training class beginning August 1.

According to Mary Robinson of the group, “Volunteers come from all walks of life and need no special background other than a willingness to listen, a heart inclined to serve, and the ability to be with children and adults in pain without trying to fix, solve or give advice. No prior experience is necessary."


Volunteers must be 21 years or older.

“When life has handed you a devastating blow, what can you do, where can you go?  You can go to Imagine.” said Beth Alvero, Imagine volunteer facilitator.

If you are interested, or have questions, you can call Imagine at 908-264-3100, reach them on email or check out their website.


Water main project continues in new locations

Weather permitting, New Jersey American Water's contractor J. Fletcher Creamer will be installing new services this week from the water main in the street to behind the curb on the customer’s side on the following streets: MacLennon Place, Laurel Place, LaGrande Avenue, Klaniecki Place, First Street and Beech Avenue

The hours of work will be from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. When tying in the new service line, water will be off for approximately 30 minutes. Lane closures are anticipated and traffic control and detours will be coordinated with local police.

These new locations are part of the ongoing project to upgrade and modernize the American Water distribution system in Fanwood.


For any questions or concerns, please contact:

Jesse Peterson, New Jersey American project inspector - (908)239-0631
Chief Richard Trigo, Fanwood Police - (908)322-5000, ext. 116

Active duty military, vets eligible for "Hero" scholarships

If you know an active-duty military member, or a veteran, who is looking to pursue studies in a post-secondary or vocational training environment, be sure to alert them to a state initiative, the Heart of a Hero Scholarship Program.


The program helps military service members pursue a post-secondary education or vocational training by providing another resource to make their higher education and career goals a reality. This year, New Jersey Heroes is funding ten $5,000 scholarships to be awarded in time for the 2014-15 school year.


The application deadline is Friday, August 1. Heart of a Hero Scholarship recipients will be notified in late August.


For 2013 Heart of a Hero recipient Marine Corps Captain Christopher Southard of Margate, “This scholarship is a huge help as I transition from Active Duty into the Reserves and a career in law enforcement. The scholarship helped me to complete my MS Degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Cincinnati in April.”


According to U.S. Army Specialist James Raczowski, a 2013 recipient from Brigantine, “The scholarship has helped tremendously by relieving some of the debt burden incurred while attending graduate school. It has given me peace of mind and an even greater focus to complete my goals and become the best possible artist, veteran, and citizen alike.”


While studying at The New York Academy of Art, Specialist Raczowski has volunteered his time to help bring the Veterans Artist Program to the Academy for the first time. In addition, The New York Academy of Art recently awarded Specialist Raczowski a month-long summer arts residency in Moscow.


Applicants for the Heart of a Hero Scholarship must meet several program criteria: 1) be a United States citizen and New Jersey resident; 2) be a high school graduate or have a high school equivalency diploma (GED); 3) served in the military and submit documentation of military service; if discharged from the military, must show proof of honorable discharge; 4) enroll as a student at an accredited college/university or a vocational training school in pursuit of a degree for the 2014-15 school year; 5) demonstrate a commitment to volunteerism and community contribution, in the spirit of New Jersey Heroes.


Service members interested in applying for the Heart of a Hero Scholarship must fully complete the application form either online by no later than 5:00 p.m. Friday, August 1, 2014 or submit an application via US Mail postmarked no later than August 1, 2014 and mailed to NJ Heroes, P.O. Box 95, Mendham, NJ 07945-0095.


Traveling abroad soon? Check your passport for expiration date

Union County Clerk Joanne Rajoppi reminds travelers who are headed outside the United States this summer to be sure to check the expiration dates on their passports.

Travelers to Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, countries in the Caribbean or anywhere overseas must have a valid passport to enter or depart from the United States.

Due to a current backlog of applications at the National Passport Center, it can take six weeks for a regular passport application to be processed and returned to the customer. Even the more expensive expedited delivery option can take three weeks for delivery.  

“If you’re planning a trip out of the country within the next three months, now is the time to make sure your passport is valid. Don’t wait until the last minute to get your passport,” Rajoppi said. “Additionally, if your passport expires within six months of your planned visit, many countries will not permit you to enter. You will need to renew your passport.”

Passport application forms may be obtained at the County Clerk’s main office in the Union County Courthouse at 2 Broad Street in Elizabeth or at the County Clerk’s office annex in the Colleen Fraser Building at 300 North Avenue East in Westfield. Applications for passports and related information also can be found online.


Summer storms bring reminders to be prepared

With the start of hurricane season and the recent severe thunderstorms that have hit our area, Fanwood and Union County want to help residents prepare.


The Fanwood Police have emergency information available on their website.


And, the county's home page features a new “Plan Ahead for Weather Emergencies” link. It enables handy access to guidance from the federal emergency website,, along with links to websites and social media for Union County and its 21 municipalities.


Additional guidance relating to health and safety before, during, and after a weather emergency is also available from the Centers for Disease Control at


Residents need to have a plan in case of extreme weather, including flashlights, a supply of food and water set aside, a list of medications and doctors and a battery-powered radio. If residents have pets, they need to have supplies for them, too. They should also have a location planned where families may reunite if forced to leave their homes,


As part of their emergency preparedness measures in advance of a major storm, residents and businesses are asked to check their property and secure lightweight yard furniture, trash cans, toys, and other items that could create windblown hazards.


“The most crucial thing to do is to stay informed in the lead-up to an extreme weather event, and follow the guidance of local emergency officials,” Freeholder Chairman Christopher Hudak noted. “Your preparedness will enable first responders to focus on helping those in immediate need.”


During emergencies, residents automatically receive warnings on land lines at home, through the reverse-911 system. Both the Fanwood Police and the county also have systems to enable residents to receive alerts on cell phones and other mobile devices. Go to the Fanwood Police website to enroll in the local version. Residents can join the Union County First Alert system by signing up online.

Union County Parks have summer fun on the schedule, too

In addition to Fanwood's extensive list of summer activities (click here for those details), Union County Parks also have a lot of fun activities going on this summer for kids and adults, too.


Click here to see a full schedule.


There are movies and other things to do for the kids and a great Summer Arts Series concert schedule for the adults in the crowd.

Volunteers wanted for September's Fanny Wood Day celebration

Mayor Colleen Mahr and members of the Fanny Wood Day Committee invite you to join up in supporting the annual September town-wide gathering.

The committee hopes Fanwood residents will volunteer to organize games and activities, sell ads for the program, coordinate with the promoters and just be there to take on duties as they pop up.

"Taking part in our Fanny Wood Day celebration is a great way to help the borough, meet new friends and have some fun," Mahr said. "There's plenty to be done and your help would be appreciated."

Those who are interested should email Mahr at

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