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The Week in Review in Belleville and Nutley

Burglaries in Belleville, Tougher Grades in Nutley and more

Busy last week and missed all the Belleville and Nutley news that's fit to be posted?  Here's a quick list of important news last week:

Nutley Schools' Grading Just Got Tougher.  Nutley's public schools are scrapping a 14-year-old grading system that critics said inflated grade point averages and hurt students' chances of being accepted to college.  The system in place since the late 1990s has a maximum grade point average in excess of 4.0, the number that most school districts and colleges recognize as the standard for a perfect GPA. Under the existing system, an excessive number of students qualified for the honor society, school officials said at Tuesday night's board of education meeting.  Russell Lazovick, the Nutley superintendent of schools, said the changes are necessary.  "We need to make sure students know where they stand, with greater transparency," Lazovick said. "Also, we want colleges to be able to judge them on the same system as other districts."  He quoted an educational study that focused on "the harm of local grading in a world of standards," and said Nutley and other districts across the country can be hurt if the accepted standards are not used.  So now, letter grades value will translate to numbers in the standard way that most school districts follow, and Lazovick said that the teaching must improve so that students properly earn the higher scores. 

 A Special Space for Veterans at Glendale Cemetery.  At the heart of Glendale Cemetery's rolling hills and towering trees is a new veterans memorial, a peaceful, artfully designed space where veterans and families can go to reflect.  At the center of the memorial is a 35-foot pole with the American flag, which casts a shadow onto the seven surrounding 15-foot poles with flags from each U.S. military branch. The granite walking area around the flag poles features designs of a sundial and star, representing the United States.  Families can also place ashes of their loved ones in the "Eternal Garden," a small patch of earth near a working bell for ceremonies.  The 110-year old Glendale Cemetery spans 55 acres in Bloomfield and Belleville. The veterans memorial is located on a county-owned section maintained by the Glendale Cemetery Board of Trustees.

Burglaries Reported at Several Belleville Homes.  At least five Belleville homes were burglarized in the past week, including one residence where $15,000 in items was reported taken.   The burglaries all occurred when the homes were unoccupied, Belleville police said.  

St. Peter's Held a Special Mass to Commemorate the Year of Faith.   Catholics worldwide will celebrate the Year of Faith, which begins Oct. 11, the 50th anniversary of the start of the Second Vatican Council. The Year of Faith ends Nov. 24, 2013. St. Peter’s is also celebrating the 175th anniversary of the founding of the parish as well as the 100th anniversary of the laying of the church cornerstone. 

.  The Kessler Foundation will celebrate its 11th Stroll 'N Roll (and Run!) event on Sunday Oct. 21 at Brookdale Park in Bloomfield to benefit people with disabilities.  The event, which begins at 8 a.m., features former Rutgers football player Eric LeGrand, Miss N.J. Teen U.S. Kendal Barrett and Miss Wheelchair N.J. Kim Biglin. Barrett, a member of the Foundation's Youth Advisory Committee will perform the National Anthem.  Runners and wheelchair racers can compete in a certified 5k or 10k course, while others can stroll or roll in a family 5k around Brookdale Park. Children can enjoy the Kids Activity Zone with carnival games and face painting. Or, have your picture taken with Ronald McDonald.

Belleville Resident Wins Big at Smashburger.  Belleville resident Arlene Smith won a check for $1,000 at its Smashburger of Clifton store location on Oct. 3. Smith was awarded the prize for her participation in a Smashburger customer feedback survey. 

Cuban Bakery Opens in Belleville.  Washington Avenue welcomed its newest business this past Saturday, when “Sweets & Cortaditos”, a bakery and cafe, held its grand opening. The cozy shop, located at 138 Washington Ave. in Belleville, offers authentic Cuban delicacies, including Cuban sandwiches and “cortaditos,” a small coffee with a shot of milk or cream.  Andres Carrillo, whose family owns the shop, said they were drawn to Belleville for its ethnic diversity.   “We opened here because of the community. There’s a mixed community of Hispanics and Americans here,” Carrillo said.  “Everything is made from scratch. We plan on bringing new creations to the menu,” Carrillo added. “The coffee here is the closest you can find to the Cuban coffee anywhere in the U.S.” 

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