A group of pedestrians cross as a car stopped at the crosswalk at Broad St. and Prospect St. in Westfield in this file photo. (Tim Farrell | The Star-Ledger)
HACKENSACK — Bergen County Sheriff Michael Saudino asked police in the county to ticket anyone breaking pedestrian laws in October—including for jaywalking, The Record reported.
County officials announced the crackdown Tuesday in Hackensack after the pedestrian death toll reached 24 in 2014, the highest in 16 years. While only eight pedestrians have died in 2015 in Bergen County, the last three months of the year are typically the deadliest for walkers throughout New Jersey.
Billboards will warn motorists over the next two weeks to focus on pedestrians, not their phones.
Paramus alone saw two serious pedestrian accidents earlier in the week.
A Garfield man died Monday night after he was struck by a car at Garden State Plaza, police said. Anna Bello, 74, of Haledon, struck Anthony Marchese, 59, while turning her Subaru into a parking aisle.
On Tuesday afternoon, Janis Vahanian, 60, of Paramus, struck an 11-year-old girl with her Hyundai, police said. A crossing guard was controlling traffic as the girl crossed Spring Valley Road.
HACKENSACK, N.J. – The Bergen County Board of Chosen Freeholders on Wednesday approved a resolution to apply for and accept nearly $1.5 million in state grant money that will be used to fund early intervention services for young children with developmental disabilities, according to a statement.
The grant, which totals $1,480,493, is from the New Jersey Department of Health, according to the statement, which adds that it will be used to aid children ages 0-3.
According to officials, the grant has risen dramatically in recent years (from $1.2 million in 2014), in part because of an increasing caseload that risen from 1,132 active cases in 2014 to over 1,300 today.
Officials said the increase is also due in part to increased technology needs, noting that the grant money is funding upgrades as the state moves toward a “more centralized coordination across the state as well as mobile technology that will eventually allow coordinators to immediately input data from the field.”
“Early Intervention is so important, not only for the 1 in 41 children born in New Jersey being diagnosed with autism, but for all children who experience other developmental disabilities or delays,” said Freeholder Vice Chairwoman Tracy Zur, who serves on the Human Services Committee. “We know that the earlier we can help these kids, the better the outcomes. I’m glad that Bergen County continues to receive increased funding from the state to help us deal with the ever increasing numbers of cases.”
The grant is administered by the Bergen County Department of Human Services’ office of Special Child Health Services, which uses the funding to serve as service coordinators for the New Jersey Early Intervention System, according to the statement.
The Special Child Health Services service coordination unit is the single point of contact for families in Bergen County, according to the statement, which added that service coordinators arrange, coordinate and monitor a continuum of services for children and families of children ages 0-3 with developmental delays or disabilities.
Children are evaluated for eligibility on several different criteria, and the office then works with families to develop assessments and individualized plans that enable several comprehensive community partner agencies to ensure delivery of service, according to the statement.
Service coordinators also work with the 70 Bergen County school districts to facilitate a smooth transition for these children into preschool.
“We recognize that no one agency can tackle these issues alone and our early intervention service coordinators do incredible work bringing all these agencies together,” said Freeholder Joan Voss, who chairs the Human Services Committee. “This is something that more and more of our families deal with and I’m proud that Bergen County is on the forefront of making sure our kids get the best start in life as possible.”
Referrals to early intervention can come from doctors and medical professionals, the New Jersey Department of Children and Families, child care and social service agencies or self-referrals from parents.
Families who are interested in learning more about Early Intervention Services are urged to call the State’s hotline at 1-888-653-4463. The office can also be found online .
Back in my 20s I was young and pretty in New York City. It was the life I'd worked for and the life that I wanted. Nobody I knew had kids and nobody, it seemed, wanted them. Near the end of my 20s I found myself unpartnered and pregnant. It wasn't the path I would have chosen but I decided to make the best of it. Finding a bigger apartment and child care was a challenge.
Finding great mom friends felt impossible!
By the time my son was three I was married and living in the burbs. My white picket dreams came into focus while my fun girl dreams faded away.
A few short years into suburbia it was time for me to start dating again -- dating for mom friends! Looking back, it seems crazy that I didn't think of it sooner! Why not apply the skill and savvy I'd learned from dating to finding cool mom friends?
Just like with regular dating I created a mental "must have" list. I wanted to be a part of a group of moms more than a one on one situation. I wanted social and economic diversity and basically fun loving people. What I really wanted was moms who were just like me -but not. (One of me is plenty!) How hard could that be to find?
Turns out is wasn't that easy, but it also wasn't too hard. I trolled for mom at the playground and in churches. There were online meet ups and mommy circle at daycare. I still love the sisters of the Red Tent but that's not really a mom's group.
I finally found "my people" in the Mocha Moms. Mochas offered diversity of experiences and parenting philosophies and it's also just fun. It's the first mom's group I've come across that's not about the kids! We have spa days, wig parties and wine tastings. There are family events a couple times a year, but basically it's by moms, for moms! My group puts me back in touch with the non-mom me but leaves room to honor family life. Fun time apart from the kids allows me to be better with the kids!
I have no desire to go back to being the single version of myself but I also don't want to put her on a shelf. I need to find ways to be foot loose and fancy free while honoring the family person I've grown into. My mom's group allows me to be every part of myself and that's a real gift. On June 4th I'll celebrate my 17th year as a mom! It's a tremendous accomplishment and the hardest job I've ever loved. My only regret is that I didn't shop for mom friends sooner. The Longest, Shortest Time podcast is hosting an event called Speed Dating for Mom Friends. It's exactly what it sounds like and it sounds totally fun! If you're a new mom, or a lonely mom, I say get on out there girl! Start dating for mom friends! Whether you prefer groups, one on one mom friends or something else, I hope you find "your people" in the ocean of mommies out there. As we honor and are honored as mothers this Sunday, take a moment to raise a glass to your great mom friends! They love us, care for us and keep us sane! Happy Mother's Day mamas! Now go on out there and get yourself a girlfriend!
Content gathered & updated by the Bergen Review Media team.