Last week, I had the honor of addressing a large gathering at The Venetian in Garfield, Bergen County.

Vinny Ucci, a retired Newark Police Officer, launched the organization to help families across New Jersey understand autism and get the necessary resources to move forward.

Vinny's daughter Arianna was diagnosed with autism at three and a half years old. That began a journey of understanding and development that the family is sharing with the community. Arianna's Angels has become a go-to for kids and adults impacted by autism.

The mission of the group is captured in this quote on the website:

Autism doesn't come with a manual, it comes with a family to guide the way.

Among the 900 guests at the annual event were dozens of police officers, many from the East Hanover, Morris County PD as they have several programs working with Arianna's Angels to support families with kids and adults with autism.

Vinny joined me on the air to talk about the event and the goals as the group moves forward to expand their help.

Competitive NJ school board races fall 2023

In time for November elections, 1,804 board of education candidates have been registered around New Jersey, for a total of 1,487 open seats.

These are not evenly spread — some boards have zero candidates for an available spot, while others have more than three candidates vying for each seat. The following competitive races are based on data from the New Jersey School Board Association.

Gallery Credit: Erin Vogt

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Spadea. Any opinions expressed are Bill's own. Bill Spadea is on the air weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m., talkin’ Jersey, taking your calls at 1-800-283-1015.

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LOOK: Longest-living dog breeds

To find out the longest-living dog breeds, Stacker examined data from the journal Genetics and American Kennel Club's 2023 breed popularity rankings. 

Gallery Credit: Sophia June

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