It was inspired by Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are and is set to ballet.

The dance film "WILD" is the work of Emmy-nominated choreographer Jeremy McQueen and his Black Iris Project. It tells the stories of Black and Brown young people in New York City who have grown up in juvenile detention centers in the Bronx.

New Jersey on Wednesday reported an additional 4,063 new COVID-19, cases bringing the cumulative total — since the first case was reported in March — to 289,563. Officials reported 27 additional deaths, raising the overall number of fatalities to 14,843. The number of probable deaths from the virus has risen to 1,812.

The Garden State’s positivity rate now stands at 10.88%, while the rate of transmission crept up to 1.43; for every 100 cases, the virus will spread to another 143 people.

On this month's edition of Newark Today, host Michael Hill is  joined by  Mayor Ras J. Baraka along with Director of Health and Community Wellness Dr. Mark Wade.

They discuss the the latest COVID-19 restrictions in New Jersey's largest city. 

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As cases of Covid spike across the country, they have hit a record high in nursing homes.

The industry is urging Congress to pass a Covid relief bill focusing on nursing home residents and workers -- and urging all of us to do our part too, especially now.

Roughly four in 10 Garden State residents say they would not take a COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available, according to a new survey.

The Rutgers-Eagleton poll released Tuesday found that between 36-47% of respondents vowed not to get vaccinated against the virus.

Ashley Koning, director of the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling, said the results mirror national trends that showed more backing for a vaccine earlier in the pandemic.

New Jersey reported another 2,232 cases of coronavirus Monday. The state saw 14,566 new infections in the past four days alone, Gov. Phil Murphy said.

Another 14 people died from coronavirus. All told there have been 14,779 lab-confirmed fatalities and another 1,801 probable deaths connected to COVID-19. 

Tighter restrictions on gatherings

Murphy announced via Twitter Monday that he is “retightening” restrictions on gatherings to slow what state officials have called the second wave of COVID-19.

Mayor Bill de Blasio is sticking with his plan to shut New York City schools if the coronavirus seven day infection rate average hits three percent.  Right now it’s slightly below that.   

The mayor was asked why he is not being flexible on the three percent city infection rate triggering a school shutdown given coronavirus is not a problem in schools and also following the governor’s comments that he would like schools to stay open.

Natalie Hinds and Lia Neal
Jerry Milani and Doug Doyle

Natalie Hinds and Lia Neal, two of the greatest swimmers in U.S. history, are competing for the Cali Condors in the International Swimming League (ISL) which is taking place in the "Budapest Bubble", the Dunn Arena in Hungary.  

The two African-American standouts join SportsJam host Doug Doyle from Hungary for this special edition of the podcast.  The video version of the show can be seen here.

  Leaders of six northeastern states are holding an emergency coronavirus meeting this weekend.  

New York Governor Andrew believes the coronavirus situation will continue to deteriorate in the coming weeks because of the cold and holidays coming, so he’ll be meeting with leaders from five nearby states.

“We believe we’re going to have to take additional steps and to the extent we can share information and align action, we’ll do that.”

New Jersey reported another 3,517 cases of coronavirus Thursday, for a cumulative total of 266,986 infections since the start of the pandemic.

Another 18 residents died from COVID-19. There have now been 14,694 lab-confirmed fatalities and another 1,801 probable deaths from the disease.

The state reported 1,827 hospitalizations as well as 360 people in intensive-care units, numbers not seen since early June.

There was a 12% positivity rate for coronavirus tests taken Sunday, and the state’s rate of transmission stood at 1.3.

Alexandra Hill / News


Newark Mayor Ras Baraka is sounding the alarm as cases in the city rise to levels not seen since the height of the pandemic back in April. Baraka is now defending his decision to implement even stricter COVID restrictions across New Jersey’s largest city.

Baraka says all non-essential businesses in Newark must now close at 8pm two hours earlier than the state’s 10pm shut down order. Baraka says he has received push back from business owners to elected officials but says for him its about saving lives.

With coronavirus data continuing to head in the wrong direction, Governor Andrew Cuomo is putting in restrictions for New York State.

The governor points to several problematic areas. So starting Friday, he’s mandating all indoor dining stop at 10 pm, licensed bars and gyms must close indoors at 10 p.m. and private home gatherings are limited to 10 people.

At the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans Memorial Foundation honored those who have served with a virtual ceremony.

Governor Phil Murphy spoke, and remembered two servicemen who gave their lives. “With a heavy heart we recall two New Jersey heroes who gave their final measure for our nation over the past year,” said Murphy. “Staff Sergeant Vincent P. Marketta and Sergeant First Class Michael Goble. To them and to you I say thank you.”


On November's edition of Ask Governor Murphy,  New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy announced a new statee initiative to provide assistance to small business owners who have been hurt by COVID-19.  

The Governor also gave his reaction to last Tuesday's Presidential Election and the vote-by-mail process in New Jersey.

Governor Murphy also took calls on the legalization of recreational marijuana and what are the next steps now that New Jersey voters approved the ballot question.

The show was hosted by WNYC's Nancy Solomon.

De Blasio Warns of Second Wave of COVID in NYC

Nov 9, 2020

 Mayor Bill de Blasio says New York City is dangerously close to experiencing a second wave of coronavirus.  

De Blasio says the city is seeing what he calls dangerous growth in the positivity rate with it now consistently over 2 percent for the first time in months.

“If these numbers continue to grow then people are going to have to get used to more and more restrictions and going back to some of the ways we had to live in the spring.”

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Covid has claimed another motor vehicle office in New Jersey. The Trenton Regional Vehicle Center is closed until the 20th after an employee tested positive.

That employee was last in the Trenton Center on Nov. 5.

The result of course, more customers using fewer offices. Four other offices remain closed. They will reopen later this week and next week. Chief Administrator Sue Fulton said you only have to come in if you’re getting your first license or for the following reasons.

John R. Green

Emmy Award-winning ABC TV producer and writer John R. Green is a proud dad.  His 8-year old twins inspired him to create companion children's books that transform bedtime rituals into whimsical adventures.

Green's twins, A.J. and Francesca, had issues when it came to getting a good night sleep.  That prompted the New Jersey resident to develop Dream Grabber and Dream Jumper (Archway Publishing) based on his real-life experiences with his children.

 New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is pointing out good coronavirus progress in downstate communities but is concerned about Western New York.  

Cuomo is reducing the size of the Brooklyn red zone micro-cluster by 50 percent and the microcluster in Far Rockaway, Queens is disappearing.  In the Hudson Valley, hot spots in Rockland and Orange counties will see restrictions ease.

“In general, downstate New York is doing better than upstate New York, which is a total reversal from the first phase of COVID.”

New Jersey recorded another 2,104 cases of coronavirus Thursday, bringing its cumulative total to 247,219 infections since the pandemic began.

Another 12 people died from COVID-19. There have now been 14,603 lab-confirmed deaths and another 1,800 probable fatalities in New Jersey.

The testing positivity rate was 7.74% for coronavirus tests administered on Nov. 1.

New restrictions ‘close’ as infections rise

New Jersey recorded its highest single-day increase in new coronavirus infections since May on Wednesday.

In a tweet, Gov. Phil Murphy announced another 2,472 positive cases of COVID-19.

“We are still in the midst of the pandemic and need everyone to take this seriously. Wear a mask. Social distance. Wash your hands,” he said.

The spike came days after Murphy and other officials said New Jersey was in the midst of a second wave of infections, as the weather gets colder and more people have been gathering indoors.

Jonathan Chimene / WBGO

Lakecia Benjamin hasn’t played with a band since mid-March. 

A saxophonist and bandleader unmistakably on the rise, she admits being hesitant to step outside of her protective bubble. But on Friday morning she’ll lead a group at Roulette in Brooklyn, to kick off Jazzfest Berlin—New York.

Dave Kaufman

Jazzfest Berlin has seen its share of changes since first taking flight, as Berliner Jazztage, in 1964.


New Jersey officials on Monday reported an additional 1,379 confirmed COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of cases to 240,997. The state also reported three additional deaths, bringing the total number of fatalities to 14,564. Officials are investigating 1,793 probable deaths from the coronavirus.


There are currently 1,109 hospitalizations, with 212 patients in intensive care; 100 are on ventilators.


In times like these who wouldn’t want to talk to someone who listens and cares?

The Institute of the Black World for the 21st Century and the Black Family Summit have come up with just that -- the Community Cares Listening Line. It offers free mental and emotional support for first responders and essential workers with a culturally responsive team of trained volunteers, currently in New York and New Jersey but it hopes to go national in the months ahead. Dr. Lisa Zakiya Newland is in charge.

Village Halloween Parade
Alan Esner

The Village Halloween parade has delighted New York locals and tourists for nearly 50 years.

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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo calls the federal government’s vaccination distribution plan highly inefficient.

Cuomo got an update from the White House coronavirus task force and says the federal government’s plan is to give the private sector, pharmacies and providers the vaccination and pay them to administer it. “I think it’s deeply flawed," he said, because it does not give states funding for a supplemental network.

Cuomo Says Hot Spot Schools Can Reopen With Testing

Oct 30, 2020
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Governor Cuomo is allowing schools in coronavirus hot spots in New York State to reopen with coronavirus testing requirements.

Right now schools in red and orange zones in parts of New York City and Rockland and Orange counties are closed because of high infection rates.

Cuomo says they can reopen so long as all students and staff get a coronavirus test beforehand and the schools agree to random weekly testing reaching 25% of the school population.

Lines for Early Voting Provide Business for a Pro

Oct 30, 2020
Wikimedia Commons

There’s been long lines for early voting in New York City but there’s a guy being paid to save spots.

From Broadway tickets to I-phone model debuts, Robert Samuel’s full time job for years has been to hold spots in line. “There are very few days pre-pandemic that we don’t have anything to wait for. There’s always something in New York City, whether it’s something to eat, something to see, something to experience.”

New Jersey reported another 1,477 of coronavirus Thursday, bringing the state’s cumulative total since the pandemic began to 234,547 recorded infections.

Another eight people died from complications of COVID-19. There have now been 14,539 lab-confirmed deaths as well as 1,793 probable fatalities.

Of all the coronavirus tests administered on Oct. 25, 6.54% were positive.

The rate of transmission was 1.25, meaning for every 100 people who test positive, the virus was spreading to another 125.

Newark Kids Mask Up for Halloween

Oct 29, 2020

Halloween is just two days away, and a mask has to be part of everyone’s costume this year.

On Thursday afternoon at the Boys and Girls Club of Newark, a bunch of kids got reusable masks to decorate for Halloween. Ameer Washington is the CEO.

“It went great,” he said. “I think the kids had a wonderful time with Halolife, getting their breathable masks that are 100% safe, filter 98% of the negative things in the air like coronavirus, they’re gonna decorate those masks and have something really fun to wear.”