Most Viewed 2018

The top ten stories on westmilfordmessenger.com


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  • Township Council removes administrator




  • Mayor Bieri leaves office




  • Dale, Republicans sweep elections




  • NYC ‘dump’ opposed




  • Remains of missing woman found




WMHS teacher under investigation, 10,299 views

WMHS teacher under investigation: The top online story of 2018 involves the investigation of a West Milford High School teacher for possible inappropriate conduct with a student. The allegations came at the end of November and while the district and law enforcement confirmed that an investigation was underway, officials did not release details of who the teacher was, or what exactly was being alleged. What we do know, however, was that a student, with parents present, was interviewed by police and the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office.

Read the story: WMHS teacher under investigation




Tractor Supply, 9,166 views

Township residents were excited when the new Tractor Supply store opened in the old Sears building this year. The new store is one of an American chain of stores that offer products for home improvement, agriculture, lawn and garden maintenance and livestock, equine and pet care. A leading US retailer, the company’s headquarters are based in Brentwood, Tenn. The firm founded a mail order tractor parts business in 1938. The first retail store followed in Minot North Dakota in 1939. In 2004, the company reported revenue of 1.7 billion.

Read the stories: Tractor Supply store prepare for opening, Tractor Supply Company gets approval by Zoning Board, Tractor Supply store delays opening in West Milford , Empty Sears building may soon have tenant — Tractor Supply Co.




Mayor Bieri leaves office, 4,821 views

Mayor Bieri leaves office: News that West Milford Mayor Bettina Bieri was selling her home and moving out of the state after serving in that position for 12 years, set into motion a series of events leading to the election of Republican Michele Dale as mayor in November. Bieri sent out an email in June announcing her plans and finally left office in September. The vacancy was briefly filled by Independent mayoral candidate, and Township Council President, Tim Wagner. Bieri left the post with a year left in her term.

Read the stories: Mayor announces she is leaving the state and office, BREAKING: Mayor Bieri officially resigns




Township Council removes administrator, 2,728 views

The lame duck Township Council voted 5-1 on Dec. 19 to remove Township Administrator Antoinette Battaglia. Battaglia was given a “Rice” notice regarding her role as administrator by the council following the Dec. 5 meeting. She was appointed by former Mayor Bettina Bieri for a four-year term that was to end in 2019.

Read the story: Township Council removes administrator




Str8Java opens, 2,495 views

A resident’s quest for a good cup of coffee in town led him to open his own coffee shop in the Bearfort Shopping Village in 2018. Resident Darren Bartoli’s shop gives customers “properly prepared java.” He said that word has spread quickly and the shop can get very busy. Str8Java seats about 25 at tables, chairs and couches. In addition to coffees, he serves smoothies, old-fashioned egg-creams, frozen and whipped lattés and iced tea. Bertoli grew up in Bergan County and has lived in West Milford for 23 years. He and his wife, Linda, have a 13-yeard-old son, Nicholas.

Read the story: Str8Java's hot new thing in Bearfort Shopping Village




Paul’s Place expected to re-open, 2,470 views

Readers were curious to learn when Paul’s Place might re-open. The restaurant, located on the Greenwood Lake Turnpike in Hewitt, is a favorite among the locals.

Read the story: Restaurant expected to re-open soon




NYC ‘dump’ opposed, 2,323 views

Hundreds of citizens turned out in West Milford during an August meeting of the town’s Zoning Board of Adjustment to oppose an organic waste facility proposal by Green Meadow Organics to haul waste from New York City to 960 Burnt Meadow Road. The hearing was postponed that night and continues to be delayed as both the company and opponents prepare for the hearing and ultimate decision by the board.

Read the story: Town turns out to stop NYC trash dump in West Milford




Remains of missing woman found, 2,127 views

The remains of Stephanie Bronaugh, 29, of Lafayette, were found in heavy brush near where a woman went missing after an accident on Oak Ridge Road days earlier in July. Clothing matching the description of the adult female were discovered with the remains. According to police, the New Jersey Medical Examiner’s Office identified the 29-year-old woman and do not suspect foul play, though an investigation into the cause of death is continuing.

Read the story: Woman's remains found near accident site of missing woman




‘Tortuga’ replaces Breezy Point restaurant on Greenwood Lake, 1,810 views

This story starts out with a dog’s sneeze. After a Pet Spa employee realized the other dogs started to sneeze too, they realized the illness was spreading. The Pet Spa ended up emailing and messaging more than 240 local veterinarians and kennels to give them a heads up about the outbreak.

Read the story: Breezy Point Restaurant is replaced by Tortuga




Dale, Republicans sweep elections, 1,744 views

Republicans Michele Dale, Ada Erik and Marilyn Lichtenberg had a good night on election day in November, winning the mayor’s race and two Township Council seats. While the terms for both Erik and Lichtenberg are for four years, Dale is filling the unexpired one-year term of former Mayor Betina Bieri and will have to run again this year for a full term. Dale beat out Democrat Chris Garcia and former Council President Tim Wagner in the polling. It is not yet clear if Garcia, Wagner, or others will officially challenge Dale in 2019.

Read the story: Dale, Republicans sweep local races in West Milford



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