HomeThe Atlantic-HubAtlantic-Hub NewsMonmouth County News Briefs, April 13

Monmouth County News Briefs, April 13

The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) has announced it will implement a waiver issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), allowing states to continue waiving the “under-the-hood” portion of school bus driver testing.

All other aspects of the written and skills test remain in place, according to a press release from the MVC.

School bus driver applicants in New Jersey will not be required to take the engine compartment component of the Commercial Driver License (CDL) skills test through June 30, 2022, per a new waiver issued by FMCSA effective April 1, according to the press release.

The MVC first announced in January that it would use the initial waiver FMCSA granted for the “under-the-hood” component of school bus driver testing, which lasted from Jan. 3 through March 31.

The FMCSA waiver is intended to continue alleviating a critical shortage of school bus drivers nationwide, which has been worsened by the COVID-19 public health emergency, according to the press release.

The waiver is in effect only for school bus driver candidates, meaning those applying for commercial driver licenses with the School Bus (S) and Passenger (P) endorsements, along with the intrastate only (K) restriction.

Drivers receiving a CDL under this temporary waiver are not authorized to operate trucks, motor coaches, or any other type of commercial vehicle requiring a CDL.

In addition, the MVC has extended the waiver for the requirement that Commercial Learner Permit (CLP) holders wait 14 days before taking the CDL skills test. The waiver temporarily eliminates this waiting period through May 31, 2022.

For more information about school bus driver requirements and MVC services, visit NJMVC.gov


Through a partnership with the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, Monmouth Arts announces that the ArtHelps Local Arts Program grant guidelines, applications and workshops for 2023 are now available.

Nonprofit arts organizations and other nonprofits with arts programs are eligible to apply. The grants are intended to support organizations and programs that serve the public and provide access to a diverse array of quality arts experiences throughout Monmouth County, according to a press release.

Groups are invited to go to https://www.monmoutharts.org/arthelps to see the full guidelines, applications and schedule for grant workshops. The application deadline is June 13.

The types of grants available include general operating support for arts organizations, special project support for all types of nonprofits and mini grants for small and emerging arts organizations. This is a competitive grant process reviewed by a panel of independent arts experts, according to the press release.


Local Smoke BBQ will have a concession stand at Monmouth Park, Oceanport, for the first time this year, starting with opening day for the thoroughbred race track’s 77th season on May 7.

Local Smoke BBQ has retail establishments in Red Bank, Neptune City and Sea Girt. The business will offer a limited menu at its concession stand on the first floor of the grandstand trackside during live racing days, according to a press release.

In addition, Local Smoke’s menu will be available as a group picnic option, whether the group is BYO or is catered by Monmouth Park. Groups can contact the Monmouth Park group sales office at 732-571-5544 to inquire about the Local Smoke BBQ packages for their picnic.

Local Smoke BBQ specials will be available in the dining areas as well. Local Smoke BBQ has been named New Jersey BBQ champion five times.

Monmouth Park’s 62-day meet gets underway with a 2 p.m. first post as a prelude to the Kentucky Derby on May 7.

Following a 2 p.m. first post time for opening day, Monmouth Park will operate on a 12:15 p.m. schedule for its first post on weekends and holidays. When the live schedule expands in August, first race post time will be 2 p.m. on Fridays and Mondays, according to the press release.


The Shrewsbury Chorale, under the direction of Fiona Smith Sutherland, will present “The Time of Singing: Celebrating 65 Years of Song,” on April 24 at 4 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church, 118 W. Main St., Freehold Borough.

Kay Healy-Wedsworth will accompany.  The program includes works by Lauridsen, Kirchner, Mozart and Trotta.

Individuals may purchase advance tickets at a discount from chorale members ($20 regular, $17 senior/student, $8 child), or from https://shrewsburychorale.org/purchase-tickets/ or at the door. Attendees should bring a mask and proof of COVID vaccination, according to a press release.


Monmouth County high school students were recognized by the New Jersey Social Justice Remembrance Coalition (NJSJRC) at an awards ceremony held at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Monmouth County, Lincroft, on March 5.

The Racial Justice Essay Contest challenged students to examine the history of a topic of racial injustice, discuss its legacy today and imagine solutions for a future free from racial injustice, according to a press release.

The essay contest is one part of the Community Remembrance Project, an initiative through which the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), a racial justice nonprofit, partners with communities across America to remember and honor documented victims of racial violence. The NJSJRC is EJI’s New Jersey partner.

From the 16 entries to the contest, EJI chose two winners, each receiving a check for $2,000: first place, Mariam Abdelwahed, Long Branch High School, Strength in Numbers, Pride in Power; first place, Erin Brandwein, Marlboro High School, Red vs Green: A History of Redlining; second place, Rachel Glantzberg, Academy of Allied Health and Science, Tuskegee Experiment: A Bloody Bad Tale of Continual Healthcare Injustice; third place, Kylie Redwood, Long Branch High School, Environmental Injustice and its Solution; fourth place, Naomi Adachie, Biotechnology High School, History Buried in Graves.

Participating in the contest was eye-opening for Brandwein, a senior at Marlboro High School, who said, “It gave me a larger understanding of inequality on a state and local level. Learning about these injustices that hit so close to home offers a more intimate understanding of how rampant racial inequality was, and how it still needs to be addressed within our communities.”


Artist Nanette Fluhr of Matawan is one of the artists from across the globe whose art has been selected to be part of the Lunar Codex that will be rocketed to the south pole of the Moon as part of the NASA Viper rover and Astrobotic Griffin mission in 2023.

“One of my earliest memories is of my father waking me up to see Neil Armstrong take his first steps on the moon when I was 3 years old so this is especially exciting to me,” Fluhr was quoted as saying in a press release.

Dr. Samuel Peralta, a Canada-based physicist and storyteller who is curating and
funding the moon exhibits, said, “The Lunar Codex started as a project to spread hope
during a dark time, the years of the COVID-19 pandemic on Earth.

“The Codex is also a message-in-a-bottle to the future, so travelers who find these
time capsules might discover some of the richness of our world today. It speaks to the
idea that, despite wars and pandemics and climate upheaval, humankind found time to
dream, time to create art,” Peralta said.

Fluhr has represented the United States in international museum shows. She said, “Having digital reproductions of several of my artworks being placed in a time capsule that is landing on the Moon is a bit surreal.”


High school students in New Jersey are invited to attend Construction Industry Career Day 2022.

The two-day event will be held May 31 and June 1 at the New Jersey Convention and Exposition Center, Edison. It will showcase the construction industry’s educational opportunities and occupations, while providing participants with hands-on activities in many of the trades, according to information provided by the New Jersey School Boards Association.

Members of the public are invited to attend from 4-8 p.m. May 31, including students, parents and anyone looking to pursue a new career.

June 1 is reserved specifically for high school students. To attend, students must register at https://cicdnj.org/events-list/ by April 30 as capacity is limited to 2,500 people.

The free event will provide all who attend with information about construction career options, educational requirements, stackable and transferable credentials, wage progression and more.

Both days will include hands-on demonstrations from New Jersey’s construction trades, as well as display booths for colleges, trade associations and federal and state agencies. A face covering will be required.


The Monmouth County Board of County Commissioners has announced the 2022 Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) offered through the Monmouth County Division of Workforce Development.

The SYEP is offered to all Monmouth County residents between the ages of 16 and 24. SYEP helps county youth learn how to complete a job application, find a mentor, prepare for a future career and gain valuable work experience.

“Workforce Development currently has summer recreation, retail, restaurant and office positions available for young job seekers to work 25 hours a week for eight weeks, earning $15 per hour,” Monmouth County Board of County Commissioners Deputy Director Sue Kiley said.

“The division is also looking for employers who would like to participate in the Summer Youth Employment Program. If you are interested, please contact the Workforce Development Youth Program as soon as possible,” Kiley said.

The SYEP has limited spots available. Interested job seekers should contact the Workforce Development Youth Program as soon as possible to reserve a slot or to be put on the waitlist. This program is funded by the New Jersey Department of Labor.

For more information about the Workforce Development Summer Youth Employment Program call 732-683-8850, ext. 3511 or ext. 6511, or visit www.WorkInMonmouth.com


Graham Behavior Services has opened a new clinic on Route 36, West Long Branch. A team of nearly 80 behavior therapists offers on-site therapy and family support programs, in addition to services they provide in homes, schools and other settings for children who have been identified with an autism spectrum disorder.

Cara Graham is the founder and executive director of Graham Behavior Services.
Graham is a board-certified behavior analyst with a master of arts degree in special education and teaching. She founded GBS in 2013, according to a press release.

The clinic offers Applied Behavior Therapy for infants to adults, after-school programs, plus parenting workshops and other new supportive programs. For more information, visit grahambehaviorservices.com

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