Santa Visits Robbinsville

December 14, 2019

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–The Robbinsville Township Fire Department, IAFF Local #3786 escorted Santa via fire engine though town. A “Santa Tracker” was available to help residents know when Santa would be in their area. The fire department also collected can goods and other items for the Robbinsville Food Pantry.

Truck Fire Carrying 7 Vehicles Near Exit 7A

December 12, 2019

By: Dennis Symons, Jr.

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)—Firefighters from Robbinsville and surrounding towns battled a truck-car carrier fire on the New Jersey Turnpike around 11:53 am today. The fire was at Mile Marker 61.6 South Bound outer lanes (truck lanes) just prior to Exit 7A. Robbinsville “Squad 40” Highstown and Groveville (Hamilton Twp. Station 19) responded with engines, tankers responding were Allentown, East Windsor, Cranbury and Monroe Township. The truck was carrying several vehicles at the time of the fire and all were consumed. Firefighters were still on scene at time of this report. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Video by: Dennis Symons, Jr.

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Alternative Approaches To Pain Presentation At Robbinsville Township Senior Center

December 11, 2019

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–A presentation on “Alternative Approaches to Pain” was held at the Robbinsville Township Senior Center today. The event was sponsored by Prevention Resources, Inc. and the Mercer Council on Alcoholism and Drug Addiction and over 40 seniors were in attendance.

Seniors learned about the risk of opioids such at Vicodin, Oxycontin, and Codeine. The presentation to seniors also went over Rx misuse and safety suggestions. Alternative options for pain management were presented such as acupuncture, yoga, physical therapy, chiropractics, massage, meditation and more.

The Robbinsville Township Police Department was also there with Project Medicine Drop Box for seniors to dispose of expired and unused medicines.

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Smith Veterans Amendment Approved in National Defense Authorization Act

Helps Service Members Transition to Civilian Life

December 11, 2019

Today Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) voted for—and the House passed—the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA; S. 1790) which authorizes $738 billion for defense programs to continue to rebuild readiness, advance modernization, develop emerging technologies, enhance missile defense and confront our adversaries. The defense package also assures a 3.1 percent pay raise for our troops—the highest pay hike for members of the Armed Services in a decade.

Smith Veterans Amendment Adopted

  Included in the bipartisan conference package, which passed in 377-to 48 vote, is an amendment authored by Smith to modernize the Department of Defense (DoD) Transition Assistance Program (TAP) and help more than 20,000 of service members each year who transition to veteran status and return to civilian life.

  “I have seen how vital TAP is in preparing all eligible members of the armed forces for transition to civilian life,” Smith, said.  “Yet, this program designed to help more than 20,000 transitioning to veteran/civilian life has proven a bit out dated and limited because of the multiple websites used to shared needed information.

  “My amendment aims to provide servicemembers with a single-source, comprehensive, online application accessible through smart technology and a mobile app to assist vets with their transition and needs after separation.”

  The former chairman of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee said under the current mandatory TAP program, servicemembers undergo four hours of pre-separation counseling, five days of classroom-based instruction, and an optional two-day Transition Goals, Plans, Success program.

  “It’s all good and helpful—but abundant—information provided in multiple sessions that can become an organizational challenge especially for servicemembers who are relocating and starting new lives,” Smith said.

  “Additionally, there is currently no avenue for TAP officials to follow servicemembers’ progress in completing their TAP requirements and ensure that all support systems are being used. My amendment enables the sharing of information and tracking progress with immediate and accurate reports,” he said. 

  Smith offered his amendment to the defense authorization bill when it was originally considered by the full House in July. Because the Senate companion bill had no similar provision, keeping the Smith amendment in the final package marks a great success.

  Now section 570G of S. 1790, Smith’s slightly modified amendment, authorizes the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, and the Secretary of Labor to work collaboratively on a three-year pilot program develop an online app that would address the current shortfalls in the TAP program and streamline online resources given to them upon separation.  

  “Our goal is to create a one-stop source for online applications to assist servicemembers and veterans participating in the TAP and enable and ensure the valuable information provided by TAP is always at veterans’ fingertips.”

  Other critical provisions include in the overall bipartisan package:

  • Smith’s proposal to require the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to conduct an investigation by the Comptroller General of the United States to study the contracting practices of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) in order to address independent contractor misclassification on federal projects. 
  • A $75 million authorization for the Office of Economic Adjustment’s Defense Community Infrastructure Program (DCIP), which could provide grants, conclude cooperative agreements, and supplemental funds available under other federal programs to assist states and local governments in addressing deficiencies in community infrastructure projects or facilities that are located outside of military installations but that support military installations like JB-MDL. Smith cosponsored an amendment and cosigned letters supporting DCIP.
  • A three-year phased repeal of the Widow’s Tax
  • Up to 12 weeks of Paid Parental Leave for the Defense Department, Intelligence Community, and across the federal government
  • Increasing the reimbursement amount for professional state licensure expenses incurred by military spouses as they move their families around the country, and also authorizes a cooperative agreement with the Council of State Governors to assist with funding the development of interstate compacts to improve spouse professional license portability, which has been an issue at JB-MDL.

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Robbinsville FD Santa Ride Schedule Update

December 10, 2019

ROBBINSVILLE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–The Robbinsville Fire Department has released the schedule for the Santa Ride this year. (the save this date we told you about last month) The Santa Ride will take place this Saturday, December 14, 2019 between 11 am and 4 pm.

We are excited to provide live GPS tracking of Santa. The day of the event links will be posted which will provide live tracking of Santa’s progress (Santa has more than one helper). You will be able to track, in real time, Santa’s location and when he will be approaching your neighborhood/street.

The tracker will be posted on the Facebook pages of the Robbinsville Township Fire Department and the Robbinsville Professional Firefighters Association – IAFF Local 3786.

There will be no listed schedule by street this year. Santa’s arrival often depends on the duration of prior stops or any emergency calls that we may have to respond to during the event, making the schedule inaccurate. On the day of the event the “Santa Tracker” will be posted showing his exact location which will assist in estimating arrival.

Robbinsville Ice Hockey Defeats Steinert 9-0, Photo Gallery

December 9, 2019

By: Dennis Symons, Jr.

WEST WINDSOR, NJ (MERCER)–The Robbinsville-Allentown Ice Hockey Team defeated Steinert at Mercer County Park Ice Rink tonight with a final score of 9-0. There was heavy fogging due to the high humidity and temperature causing photos to be a little hazy.