ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–The Robbinsville Township Fire Department and Robbinsville Township Police are at a ground transformer that had caught fire and exploded near Chadwick Court causing a power outage around 10:30 pm tonight.
Power is out near Pond Road, Hutchinson Road including Walden Circle, Andover Place, Notting Hill sections.
PSE&G is notified and responding. A text message sent to a PSE&G customer said estimated restore of 1:45 am or later.
The PSE&G reporting system estimates 1,076 customers are without service in Robbinsville.
What are “Licensing Centers” and “Vehicle Centers”?
In order to maintain social distancing, some agencies have been designated as Licensing Centers and some as Vehicle Centers.
In Vehicle Centers, we are processing vehicle transactions only:
• Registration/title transfers for private sales • New registrations/titles, individual and in bulk. • Salvage titles. • License plate transactions. • No renewals for unexpired registrations. Those can be done online at NJMVC.gov. • No license transactions.
In Licensing Centers, we are processing license transactions only:
• First-time licenses and permits (REAL ID will be an option). • Out-of-state transfers. • Expired CDLs, TVRs (temporary visa restricted licenses), and any other expired licenses not eligible for online renewal. • REAL ID, only if: o You have a scheduled appointment; or o You have an email verifying your appointment was cancelled; or o You are due for renewal of your standard license. • No other REAL ID walk-ins will be allowed. • No driver knowledge tests are available at this time. • No renewals, replacements, or changes of address for unexpired licenses/IDs. Those can be done online at NJMVC.gov. • No vehicle transactions: no registration or title work.
Everyone who enters the MVC agency will be required to wear a face covering. If a customer cannot wear a face covering, MVC will make other arrangements for their transaction.
JACKSON TOWNSHIP, NJ (OCEAN)–The New Jersey Forest Fire Service has reached 100% containment of the 204-acre wildfire in a remote area of the Colliers Mill Wildlife Management Area in Jackson Township.
As expected, significant rainfall today from Tropical Storm Fay assisted containment efforts.
All crews have been released from the wildfire scene. There were no injuries and no structures were in danger.
A Forest Fire Service pilot flying over the area Thursday afternoon spotted smoke and reported the fire.
UPPER FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP, NJ (MONMOUTH)–Troopers Arrest Man for Commercial Burglary and Theft of Services
The New Jersey State Police have arrested Christopher Woods, 56, of Howell, N.J., for allegedly committing several burglaries at storage facility in Upper Freehold Township, Monmouth County.
On Friday, July 3, troopers from Hamilton Station began investigating multiple burglaries at the Store and Lock Self Storage facility in Cream Ridge, Monmouth County. As a result of the investigation, troopers identified Woods as the suspect of three burglaries at the facility during the month of May.
Troopers determined on three seperate occasions Woods used bolt cutters and stole approximately $ 5,000 worth of personal property. Troopers also discovered he failed to reimburse the facility for contracted services on numerous occasions totaling $1500.
Troopers located Woods later that day at a residence in Howell and arrested him without incident.
Christopher Woods was charged with burglary of a commercial structure and theft of services. He was released pending a court date.
Charges are mere accusations, and the accused is considered innocent until proven guilty.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–I read with great interest and concern the letter in lieu of a brief to Mercer County Superior Court Judge Robert Lougy from Elissa Grodd Schragger, Esq., a director and attorney for Hamilton Township. I would like to take this opportunity to present facts that refute her letter.
When I took office on July 1, 2018, I pledged to the people of Trenton and TWW’s 63,000 ratepayers that I would turn around one of the oldest water utilities in the United States. I vowed to reverse almost three decades of neglect and mismanagement by previous administrations.
First and foremost, TWW belongs to the people of Trenton. It is a highly valuable asset owned by the city. TWW is ours to modernize. It is ours to invest in. It is ours to use as a job-creation engine for our students and residents. It is ours to celebrate and to protect. We embrace that ownership and work hard to produce on average 28 million gallons of water each day for the residents in our five-municipality service area, drinking water that meets and even exceeds state and federal regulatory expectations.
TWW is not for sale. As Mayor, my administration and I will resist any forced sale regardless of who attempts to make it, be it the state or another municipality.
In 740 days, despite an uphill battle with City Council, my administration has been committed to the challenge of leading TWW’s successful transformation, fueled by a disciplined approach that has yielded substantial, quantifiable results.
In September 2018, my administration separated TWW from the Department of Public Works, establishing the Department of Water and Sewer to help advance its reorganization and modernization and increase staffing levels to comply with a New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Administrative Consent Order (ACO).
TWW has achieved several significant accomplishments in the last 12 months.
· First, another important ACO deliverable: the hiring of 70 new employees, several involving key positions at our water-filtration plant. This reduced TWW’s vacancy rate to 5 percent from 45 percent—10 percent is the water-industry standard.
· We launched Phase 1 of our $150 million Lead Service Line Replacement Program that will replace 4,300 lead services in our system by June 2021.
· We launched a corrosion-control project (zinc orthophosphate) for TWW’s high service area to prevent lead particles originating in lead service lines and household plumbing from leaching into our drinking water. Our lead action levels are in compliance with the federal Lead and Copper Rule.
· We completed the Radnor Avenue water-main extension in Ewing Township, a $600,000 project that restored fire suppression to a 400-home community.
· We improved the performance of four superpulsators (SPs) at our water-filtration plant; SPs remove particles that form during chemical coagulation.
· We successfully rehabilitated the water-filtration plant’s two chlorine contact basins to improve disinfection and reduce disinfection byproducts.
· We started a $2-million project to replace all 24 filters at the water-filtration plant to improve treatment efficiency; 12 of the 24 are complete.
· We rehabilitated the Ewing Booster Station.
· We completed inspection of all 3,547 fire hydrants and reduced the number of out-of-service fire hydrants from 75 to 9, using internal construction and maintenance personnel.
· We designed and are executing a $405-million, six-year capital plan, which is our blueprint for innovation and excellence in drinking-water production, water storage, water distribution, and removing all lead services from the TWW system within five years.
· We established the Office of Communications and Community Relations (OCCR) to handle external outreach through print publications, Facebook and traditional media, photography, special events, and emergency response.
· We rolled out a web-based payment portal that offers customers more ways to manage and pay their TWW bills.
In summary, we are returning TWW to its position as a leading public water system in the U.S., and we are doing so by making the needed investments in our plant, our water-distribution system, our well-trained workforce, and in our communications with internal and external communities. We will continue to repair TWW’s reputation and rebuild trust with our customers, who are the lifeblood of our operations.
I am honored to be a steward of this important work, and I am always available to our service-area mayors and residents who share a stake in TWW’s restoration as it transforms into a 21st century water system guided by excellence and innovation.
From the National Weather Service for the Freehold area: “This Afternoon: Tropical storm conditions expected. Showers and possibly a thunderstorm. Some of the storms could produce heavy rainfall. High near 77. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New rainfall amounts between 1 and 2 inches possible.”
July 10, 2020
FREEHOLD (MONMOUTH), SOUTH BRUNSWICK (MIDDLESEX), TRENTON (MERCER), NJ –Hundreds at the Freehold Motor Vehicle Commission Office gathered early this morning to do in person transactions to get their drivers licences as Tropical Storm Fay started moving though the area. Some waiting in line said they were there prior to 5:00 am.
Everyone had some kind of rain gear and umbrella as they waited in the downpour and windy conditions.
Freehold’s sign said it was only processing drivers licence issues at this office. Many people need their drivers licence for work such as commercial drivers and some employers may want an actual licence that is not expired even though by “executive order” licences were extended.
This afternoon a large group was seen huddled under a canopy trying to stay out of the sideways driving rain at the Trenton Motor Vehicle Commission at 120 South Stockton Street.
South Brunswick on Route 130 had a crowd that was able to fit under the overhang of the building.
People who have moved to NJ, people who need a drivers licence for work, people seeking a first time drivers licence, and other drivers licence issues that need an in person visit are waiting in these long lines. Some older citizens that may not be computer savvy or have access to the Internet to process online transactions. Some think that the people waiting for licences are only teenagers for their first time licence and that is far from the truth there are a lot of others mixed in of all ages waiting in long lines and all kinds of weather.
Hundreds lined up outside Trenton Motor Vehicle Commission Office at 120 South Stockton Street in Trenton:
UPPER FREEHOLD, NJ (MONMOUTH)–Around 10:45 a delivery truck on Imlaystown-Hightstown Road tangled in some wires and pulled down almost a half mile of telephone and fiber-optic cable. The accident happened in the area of 90 Imlaystown-Hightstown and wires were down almost Yeger Drive, luckily none fell into the roadway itself just short of a 1/2 mile of wire.
Firefighters from Hope Fire Company helped remove cable from the truck so it could be moved after Jersey Central Power and Light checked the area. Verizon was notified so expect a repair crew in the area this afternoon.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–The New Jersey Outdoor Alliance took a major hit this week when Governor Phil Murphy decided to close many of the wildlife management areas due to budgetary constraints. The organization released a statement on Murphy’s actions, saying that it makes no sense to furlough land management staff since they are paid by profits made from the users of the parks and license fees.
Assemblyman Ron Dancer agrees with the NJOA and called on Governor Murphy to reconsider these latest rounds of closures.
“Our park systems continue to get the short end of the stick,” stated Dancer (R-Ocean). “After fighting for weeks to get the parks to reopen, now Gov. Murphy restricts public access to the outdoor wildlife management areas. We cannot continue to allow the misuse of fees paid for fishing and hunting licenses that are dedicated to keep open, manage and maintain our wildlife management areas as pointed out by the NJOA.”
This isn’t the first time the group has challenged Murphy on his executive orders. For weeks, NJOA repeatedly called on Murphy to reopen parks which eventually led to the reopening of state parks.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–After a long wait for outdoor graduations due to the COVID-19 pandemic Allentown High School’s Class of 2020 was able to have a full commencement this afternoon. This was Allentown High Schools Ninety-Fifth commencement.
The ceremony was held outdoors at Arm & Hammer Waterfront Park due to COVID-19 restrictions.
JACKSON TOWNSHIP, NJ (OCEAN)–The New Jersey Forrest Fire Service unit B-9 requested a helicopter for observation of a forest fire in a remote area of Colliers Mills around 2:45 pm. Additional units from around the area were called to fight the fire that was found deep in a wooded area of Collier’s Mills.
Firefighters set up a staging area on Route 528 in the Cassville section of town at St. Monica Catholic Church and the firefighters entered the wooded area from there.
Smoke from the fire could be observed for miles and debris and ash landed as far as Upper Freehold and Robbinsville. Ash was witnessed falling on I-195 this afternoon. Several residents in the area called local fire departments to report a smoke condition in the area.
It appears that the fire is contained and smoke in the area has dissipated.
Jackson Police Facebook report: The State Forest Fire Service and Jackson Police are working in the area of West Veteran’s Highway between Cassville Road and N. Stump Tavern Road for a woods fire in the state wildlife management area that is just about contained. Please use caution in the area as there are a number of apparatus moving in and out of the wooded areas. In addition, depending on wind conditions, there may be a smoke condition affecting travel through the area.
ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–Robbinsville firefighters will receive a modest but critical federal grant to be used to purchase essential personal protection equipment (PPE) needed to protect the public—and public servants—during the ongoing coronavirus emergency, said Rep. Chris Smith (R-Hamilton) today.
The more than $13,000 in federal funding “will help pay for masks, protective gowns and suits for first responders operating in COVID-19 safety practices,” he said. The money comes from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, the comprehensive, recovery bill Smith supported to help states, hospitals, first responders, workers, businesses and communities severely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
“Our firefighters and first responders are often the first on the scene to help a resident in distress, and they need good, reliable, medical grade quality PPE,” stated Smith (NJ-04). “The key functions of the CARES Act, and why Congress moved it so quickly, was to help at all levels, from small businesses and individual workers, to states, counties and towns… and that includes our local fire departments, police and EMTs. I applaud Mayor Fried and Chief Schaffener for taking the initiative in applying for this grant.”
The Operations and Safety Grant comes from the Department of Homeland Security’s FY 2020 Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program COVID-19 Supplemental (AFG-S) awards. The grant is administered by the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in cooperation with the U.S. Fire Administration.
“The purpose of the supplemental funding programs are to get grants directly into the hands of our firefighters, EMS and fire training academies to boost their ability to protect the health and safety of both the public and first-responders by helping them acquire PPE and other needed supplies related to the COVID-19 outbreak,” Smith explained. The AFG-S objectives are to provide resources that equip personnel to respond to the pandemic and support community resilience. Smith said the funds will be applied to pay the lion’s share of an order of $14,329 in PPE. The funding will allow the Robbinsville Township Fire Department to purchase 65 respirators and filters, 45 reusable coveralls and 75 reusable goggles, as well as disposable PPE, including 750 isolation gowns and 3,000 surgical masks.
“Being prepared for every situation is what sets our health care workers and first responders apart,” Robbinsville Township Mayor Dave Fried said. “That means having the right personal protective equipment (PPE), particularly in the age of COVID-19 with the dangers our men and women on the front lines face every single day. Grants such as this AFG award help towns such as Robbinsville enormously, both in terms of supply and with our municipal budget so taxpayers can feel some relief. On behalf of Fire Chief Dan Schaffener, Police Chief Chris Nitti and our EMTs, thank you to Rep. Chris Smith for his constant efforts over the years in helping us secure these much-needed and greatly appreciated funds.”
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Mayor W. Reed Gusciora today announced the start of Trenton’s Summer Meals program and a new companion website that makes it easy to locate free grab-n-go meals for children, teens, and seniors at numerous sites across the city.
The Summer Meals program, sponsored by the City of Trenton Department of Recreation: Natural Resources & Culture, Mercer Street Friends, and the Capital Area YMCA, provides free meals to youth under age 18 Monday through Friday. There is no registration or income certification required, and parents are not required to give any personal information about their children at the sites in order to receive a free meal.
The Trenton meals are provided by the Food and Nutrition Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, which administers the Summer Food Service Program.
To help families find local, up-to-date information about Summer Meals sites, as well as food pantries and other free food distribution opportunities for adults, seniors, and children, Trenton Health Team created an easy-to- use online directory of food services that includes an interactive map. To use the directory, visit www.trentonhealthteam.org/food.
“The COVID-19 crisis has disrupted many summer programs and increased the need for food across the city,” said Mayor Gusciora. “We’re grateful for the collaboration and innovation among our partners at Mercer Street Friends, Trenton Health Team and the Capital Area YMCA who put together another valuable resource for our communities when they need it the most.”
“It is critically important that the community is aware of where and when they can access food this summer,” said Mercer Street Friends CEO Bernie Flynn. “I’m proud of the nonprofit leadership who came together to work with the Trenton Health Team to provide usable, accurate food site information and we greatly appreciate the support of the Mayor, his team and County officials.”
“Although feeding children in the City of Trenton is not new to any of the partners in this collaboration; doing it in such a coordinated manner is new to how we deliver the service, said Capital Area YMCA CEO Samuel T. Frisby Sr. “Because the need has never been greater, the stakes couldn’t be higher and the YMCA is proud to support our community with these partners at this time.”
“Access to fresh, healthy, affordable food is a critical issue in Trenton,” said Trenton Health Team Executive Director Gregory Paulson. “This already challenging situation has been made worse by the Coronavirus pandemic.”
Meeting the community’s food needs is the focus of the Trenton Food Stakeholders group, representing more than 50 community organizations across the city including Capital Area YMCA, Mercer Street Friends, Trenton Area Soup Kitchen, Meals on Wheels, the Rescue Mission, Arm In Arm, and HomeFront. Members meet
regularly to collaborate on improving food access and nutrition for Trenton households.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–The Mercer County Narcotics Task Force (MCNTF) concluded an investigation on Tuesday with the seizure of more than $10,000 in cocaine, Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri reported.
Based on information received by the MCNTF that Juan Polcano-Abreu would be distributing cocaine in the area of Hudson and Tyler streets in Trenton, task force detectives and members of the Trenton Police Violent Crimes Unit initiated surveillance of the area. Just before 10 a.m., detectives observed Polanco-Abreu in the area of 60 Hudson Street carrying a white plastic bag in his right hand. Surveillance officers followed Polanco-Abreu to the 100 block of Tyler Street, where arrest teams converged on Polanco-Abreu in an attempt to detain him for further investigation. As officers attempted to detain him, Polanco-Abreu became aware of the police presence and attempted to run. While attempting to run, detectives observed Polanco-Abreu toss the white plastic bag that he was carrying underneath a parked car. After continuing to ignore commands by police to stop, Polanco-Abreu was brought to the ground and handcuffed after a brief struggle. Officers subsequently recovered the white plastic bag that Polanco-Abreu was observed throwing and found it to contain approximately 103 grams of cocaine. Onofri stated that the total amount of cocaine seized has an approximate street value of $10,300.
Polanco-Abreu, 27, was charged with second-degree narcotics offenses and resisting arrest. He is being held at the Mercer County Correction Center.
Officers with the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, the Trenton Police Department and U.S. Homeland Security Investigations, under the command of the prosecutor’s Special Investigations Unit, assisted with the investigation.
Despite having been charged, every defendant is presumed innocent until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Mismanagement and malfeasance of the Motor Vehicle Commission continues as people have been in line since at least 10 pm last night waiting for their drivers licencees and other paperwork that needs to be processed in person.
South Brunswick Police are reporting that the South Brunswick NJ Motor Vehicle Commission Office is closed and not taking any more customers today even before the office officially opened for the day. The number was set around 200 people that could be processed today.
If this were a “private” company politicians would be making headlines, demanding action, requesting congressional investigations and demanding people be fired. The head of the Motor Vehicle Commission should resign for not properly preparing for the influx of people after at least a 3 month shut down.
Furloughs at the Motor Vehicle Commission should have never even been considered and if anything more people should be hired and overtime given to employees to stay open until at least 6 am to 10 pm daily until this backlog could be worked though.
The computer system should be improved and more stations should have been purchased and even tents set up with temporary stations to be more efficient. Ever hear of “temporary employees” or reassigning other state employees who are “working from home” to come in and temporally work at the MVC until this backlog is finished.
Remember you pay a lot of money for this “service” as a person who has a commercial drivers licence with endorsements I pay $80.00 to renew that licence and have to do an in person visit to renew. This is not a “free” service we are paying for this and demand better.
If this were a “private” company with such demand they would hire more people and direct others from other places in the company to work the long lines and possibly set up more stations to work more efficiently. Politicians would scream and demand action.
Yesterday a first responder from Millstone wanting to get a “Commercial Drivers Licence” (to drive a fire truck) at the Freehold Location was turned away after waiting 18 hours in line, even though the Freeehold location’s website said it would process commercial drivers licencees.
Yesterday Tyler Eckel of Hamilton 17 along with twin brother and friend waited 8 hours and 15 min to get their first drivers licences at the Bakers Basin location after getting there at 530 am to wait in line.
The horror stories continue after people waited 10+ hours they were turned away since the MVC closed its doors at the end of the day.
UPPER FREEHOLD, NJ (MONMOUTH)–A vehicle overturned yesterday around 10 am on Herbert Road near Imlaystown-Hightstown Road with a minor injury. After the accident a poodle ran from the vehicle and has not been caught as of the time of this report. The dog has been seen in the area but has not been able to be captured according to Facebook posts. Visit the Lost Dogs of Monmouth County page below for updates. If you have seen the dog or able to capture the dog please call the number below listed in the caption.
While MidJersey.News was out yesterday we were keeping a lookout for the dog while doing the story on the Assunpink being closed. We did not see the dog while out and about at the different lakes. Hopefully we have some luck today.
These are some of the most popular fishing lakes in the Mid Jersey region that have been shut down. Even Govenor Phil Murphy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Catherine McCabe talked about how great of an activity fishing is and being able to practice social distancing during COVID-19 briefings.
UPPER FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP, MILLSTONE, (MONMOUTH), JACKSON, (OCEAN), NJ — Earlier today MidJersey.News has e-mailed the Division of Fish & Wildlife asking for a “clarification” on the “restricted areas” e-mail and what it means other than what is indicated on the website.
Late this afternoon MidJersey.News acting on a tip that entire lakes are shut down not just “boat ramps” as indicated on the State of NJ, Division of Fish & Wildlife’s web page. (see screen shots below)
MidJersey.News is perplexed trying to figure out why these particular lakes were targeted as “restricted” and shut down due to furloughs. There are no life guards since swimming is not allowed, no fees, no guard shack like at state parks, wildlife management areas are carry-in carry-out for trash = no trash pick up, emergency services such as EMS and rescue are handled by local fire companies and first aid squads, police matters are handled by NJ State Police. The wildlife management areas are low maintenance and are not labor intensive.
Fishing is a “great social activity” and using that 6 foot fishing pole is a great way to measure social distancing while out fishing. Now NJ Division of Fish & Wildlife has closed some of the most popular fishing lakes in the Mid-Jersey region a great activity that is COVID-19 compliant.
Even Govenor Phil Murphy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Catherine McCabe talked about how great of an activity fishing is and being able to practice social distancing, see below transcript from March 31, 2020:
Commissioner of Environmental Protection Catherine McCabe:
“If you love to fish, a great social activity, we have good news for you. I shouldn’t say a great social activity – I actually meant to say a great solo, not social. Trout season will open ten days early tomorrow, Wednesday April 1st, for catch and release only. This is to help us to help you maintain safe social distance while fishing. We’ve released the state-raised trout early to disperse them before fishing season opens so that you can disperse, too as you move out to catch them, instead of everyone gathering around the hatchery on day one of Trout Season, which is traditional.
If you find others gathered at your favorite fishing hole, consider trying a new location this year. The fish have moved out and you should, too. And at a minimum, please spread out to at least the required six-foot social distance. Conveniently, this is the typical length of a fishing pole so it should be easy for you to measure. And for better fishing you’ll probably want more distance anyway. If someone gets too close to you, have a friendly conversation about that six-foot distance or find another spot.
So, please do feel free to go out there and get some exercise and enjoy yourselves, whether in a park or a forest or along a fishing stream. But please, please be responsible and remember that social distancing is absolutely essential to keeping you, your families and our communities safe, and to help us all flatten the curve of this serious viral outbreak. Thank you.”
Governor Phil Murphy:
“And the notion also, to be able to go outside and get some fresh air in a responsible way has to be a part of what our plan is about.”
“So, I just want to reiterate, whether it’s fishing on that six-foot pole, which I think is a great way to think about it, or outside walking, hiking, jogging, please, please, please keep your distance. Thank you. Again, it’s great having you and thank you for everything you do. And Sean, nice to have you with us as well.”
According to the NJ DEP, Division of Fish & Wildlife, The Wildlife Management Area System web page as currently posted as of 7/8/2020 it indicates that Assunpink: “Main Lake Boat Ramp” “Rising Sun Boat Ramp” “Stone Tavern Boat Ramp” “Shotgun and Archery Range” Prospertown Lake: “Main Lake Boat Ramp” Collier’s Mills: “Shotgun, Archery and Rifle Ranges”
The website does not indicate that the entire lake system would be shut down but signs and barricades as seen below indicate differently:
Entrances to Assunpink Lake, Stone Tavern Lake, Rising Sun and Prospertown Lake all closed as seen below, all lakes are labeled “Restricted Area” and closed:
There have been 18 deaths from shootings and 1 death from stabbings in Trenton in 2020 bringing homicide total to 19
July 8, 2020 updated at 8 pm with statement from Mayor’s office
The victims of this morning’s double homicide in Trenton have been identified as Richard Guarderas, 18, and Malcom L. Bowser, 19, both of Trenton.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–The Mercer County Homicide Task Force and the Trenton Police Department are investigating a double homicide that occurred early Wednesday morning in Trenton, Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri reported.
Police were called to the 1100 block of Stuyvesant Avenue at approximately 4:10 a.m. on July 8, 2020. Upon arrival, they located two deceased male victims in a gray Kia, both shot multiple times.
No arrests have been made and detectives continue to investigate. Anyone with information is asked to call (609) 989-6406. Information can also be emailed to email@example.com
Mayor Gusciora and Director Coley Statement on This Morning’s Stuyvesant Avenue Homicides
Trenton, N.J. – Two men were shot and killed on the 1100 Block of Stuyvesant Avenue early this morning.
“We are using every available resource to support the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office in bringing the perpetrators to justice,” said Trenton Police Director Sheilah Coley. “While there are several strong leads that are being pursued at this very moment, we encourage anyone with relevant information to reach out as soon as possible. In the meantime, we will continue to vigorously patrol our communities.”
“This was another act of senseless violence in our neighborhoods, another sign of the uptick in crime throughout the country,” said Mayor W. Reed Gusciora. “It is especially disheartening when it involves young people who should be home with their families.”
“Even during an unprecedented public health crisis, we have to create alternatives to the cycle of violence that claims far too many of our residents each year,” he continued. “As such, we will continue to push for new recreational programs, neighborhood restoration projects, and long-term economic plans, all while working with the Trenton Police Department and the N.J. State Police to bring the latest in law enforcement intelligence technology to Trenton.”
In order to help investigate and deter future violent crimes, the city’s FY2020 budget includes $4.5 million to establish a real-time crime and intelligence center. This partnership between the Trenton Police Department and the New Jersey State Police will assist Trenton police officers in gunfire detection, video surveillance, and gathering criminal intelligence. The project is expected to be completed within a year.
Mayor Gusciora and Director Coley visited the Newark Police Division Headquarters yesterday to tour a similar installation that was opened in December 2014.
Residents who have any information on last night’s homicides are asked to call (609) 989-6406. Information can also be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And the list grows: Other Recent Trenton Shooting and Homicide Stories:(There has been a lot more gun violence, stabbings and shootings but these are ones we have enough information to report on)
UPPER FREEHOLD, NJ (MONMOUTH)–Due to temporary state-mandated employee furloughs, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Fish & Wildlife is temporarily restricting access to some Wildlife Management Areas throughout the month of July.
New Jersey State Government employee furloughs are underway for the month of July as a result of agreements reached between the State and public employee unions to address the economic downturn resulting from the COVID-19 public health emergency.
The DEP’s Division of Fish and Wildlife manages the state’s Wildlife Management Areas, and is authorized to limit access to these areas in order to protect public health, safety, and the environment during this time pursuant to N.J.A.C. 7:25-2.26.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–As reported yesterday the Chambersburg Columbus Statue was removed this morning at 8 am.
Statement from City of Trenton Mayor W. Reed Gusciora on Chambersburg Columbus Statue:
The current national debate on racial justice has led to a long-overdue examination of how we honor our past, including our statues, monuments, and the names of our parks and schools. Our communities rightfully expect that the individuals we celebrate actually represent the principles of freedom and equality that we all hold dear.
The statue of Christopher Columbus, long held in the park of the same name, will be taken down and placed in storage. We’re grateful for the community input we’ve received on both sides of the issue, but what we know about Columbus simply makes his image a poor fit for a city that is as diverse as Trenton. We will continue to engage the community on where the statue should go and what the new name of the park will be. —Mayor W. Reed Gusciora
LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Some waited all night and many stood in line before the sunrise this morning to wait at the NJ Motor Vehicle Commission, Bakers Basin Office for drivers licences and other processing that needed to be done in person.
Hamilton Township Photojournalist Tyler Eckel, 17 from Hamilton High School West has been in line since 5:30 am waiting for his 1st drivers licence with his twin brother Kyle Eckel, and friend Devin Gonzalez 17, also of Hamilton.
At 11:30 Tyler Eckel still thinks he has at least an hour or two wait to get in to process the paperwork for his new licence even though being in line for 6 hours, since 5:30 am.
Talking to people waiting at the end of the line that snakes around the building and ends near Route 1. Many of those in line believed they shut the line down around 9:00 am and cut the line off at about 350 people waiting for service. The same scene is happening all across the State at every Motor Vehicle Agency.
At the Bakers Basin location there is a NJ Motor Vehicle Commission Truck assisting with processing paperwork and licences. The truck is lettered “NJ Driving Forward” but from the looks at the scene it is everything but driving forward. Poorly anticipating the shut down and how much processing needed to be done in person NJ Motor Vehicle Commission has failed their customers.
NEWARK – Continuing its commitment to protecting the elderly from abuse at the hands of their caretakers, and addressing sexual misconduct and abuse by licensed professionals, the Division of Consumer Affairs (“the Division”) today announced the temporary suspension of a certified homemaker-home health aide (“CHHA”) charged with aggravated criminal sexual contact against an 84-year-old patient at an Ocean County long-term care facility where the CHHA worked.
Michael A. Edwards, a.k.a. Michael A. Donaldson, 32, of Manchester, was arrested on May 21 after his employer, Sunrise Senior Living facility in Jackson, told police that another employee caught Edwards inappropriately touching an elderly woman in her room at the facility. His employment at the facility has been terminated.
Edwards is one of eight CHHAs sanctioned by the State Board of Nursing (“the Board”) this year following arrests for crimes allegedly committed on or off the job. In a Consent Order filed by the Board on June 22, Edwards agreed to the temporary suspension pending the outcome of his criminal case.
His suspension comes as the Division, under the direction of Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal, undertakes a sweeping review of how its 51 professional boards — which oversee approximately 720,000 active licensed professionals, from accountants and doctors to plumbers and veterinarians — address allegations involving the sexual misconduct and abuse of licensees and applicants.
The review, which is currently underway, will include evaluations of whether boards should ask additional questions on license applications, how boards approach investigations and discipline, and how boards engage with complainants alleging sexual misconduct and abuse by a licensee or applicant.
“It’s an egregious abuse of trust when any licensee sexually preys on a patient or client, but it is especially heinous when the victim is an elderly individual under their care,” said Attorney General Grewal. “The actions announced today underscore both the need for our professional boards to remain vigilant in protecting vulnerable patients, as well as the importance of the review they are presently undertaking to better protect victims and hold licensees accountable for their actions.”
“We take all allegations of sexual misconduct and abuse by licensees seriously, especially when they involve patients or clients in positions of vulnerability,” said Paul R. Rodríguez, Acting Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs. “It is to protect victims in cases like these that we are committed to undertaking this review of how professional and occupational licensing boards handle allegations of sexual misconduct and abuse.”
Since January, the Board has also filed Orders against the following CHHAs charged with crimes:
Yolanda A. Penalo De Gonzalez, 40, of Hackensack. De Gonzalez’s certification was temporarily suspended on June 29 pending the outcome of criminal charges filed against her in connection with an alleged knife attack on her husband during a domestic dispute on March 14, 2020. De Gonzalez is charged with aggravated assault, terroristic threats, and domestic violence. The incident was unrelated to her employment.
Josefina Milagros Brito De Fernandez, 49, of Camden. De Fernandez’s certification was temporarily suspended on June 15 pending the outcome of criminal endangerment charges stemming from her care of an 80-year-old woman during the COVID-19 public health crisis, which the Office of the Attorney General announced on May 15. De Fernandez allegedly defied health officials’ orders to self-isolate over fears she may have contracted the coronavirus, and instead continued caring for her elderly charge without wearing a face mask or other personal protective equipment. The woman and four other people living in the household later contracted COVID-19. The elderly woman was subsequently hospitalized and died.
Emma Llanes, 57, of North Bergen. Llanes’ certification was permanently revoked on May 21 after she pled guilty to endangering another person in connection with her mistreatment of a 90-year-old bedridden patient she cared for in the woman’s Clifton home. Llanes was arrested in May 2019 as a result of incriminating video showing her slapping the elderly woman’s legs, grabbing her by the neck and shoving her head forward, and otherwise mistreating her. The footage was captured by a hidden camera the victim’s family borrowed from Division’s Safe Care Cam program.
Myrlande Dornelus, 41, of Elizabeth. Dornelus’ certification was temporarily suspended on May 21 pending the outcome of murder and related weapons charges in connection with an alleged incident involving an elderly patient. Dornelus is accused of fatally stabbing Anna Pollard, a 62-year old woman she was caring for in the woman’s Elizabeth home on April 13, 2020.
Oleg Protas, 53, of Marlton. Protas’ certification was permanently revoked on February 13, after he pled guilty to criminal sexual contact in connection with a 2017 incident involving a female acquaintance. Protas’ certification had been temporarily suspended by the Board pending the outcome of the criminal charges against him. The incident was unrelated to his employment.
Adeola S. Pade, 53, of Plainsboro. Pade’s certification was temporarily suspended on February 13 pending the outcome of criminal charges stemming from a hit and run accident that killed a pedestrian in East Windsor in December 2019. Pade was charged with knowingly leaving the scene of an accident that resulted in death, and other related offenses. The incident was unrelated to her employment.
Elizabeth H. Dungee, 33, of Roselle. Dungee’s certification was temporarily suspended on January 29 pending the outcome of criminal charges in connection with the theft of a patient’s credit card. Dungee was working at Brightview Senior Living in Warren in October 2019 when she allegedly stole a credit card from a resident and used it to make $240 worth of fraudulent charges. Warren Township police arrested Dungee on December 4, 2019 and charged her with credit card fraud and credit card theft in connection with the alleged incident.
Investigators with the Enforcement Bureau within the Division of Consumer Affairs conducted investigations in these cases.
Deputy Attorney General Shirley Dickstein of the Consumer Affairs Counseling Section of the Division of Law is representing the State in these matters.
Patients who believe that they have been treated by a licensed health care professional in an inappropriate manner can file an online complaint with the State Division of Consumer Affairs by visiting its website or by calling 973-504-6200 to request a complaint form.
EWING TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–On June 28, 2020 at approximately 10:15 am, the unidentified pictured female was captured on Shop-Rite video surveillance shoplifting what was estimated to be $629.23 worth of miscellaneous items. The female was observed placing the items in a shopping cart which included a Daewoo 5000 BTU window unit air conditioner. Once the shopping cart was full, she bypassed all points of sale and was seen entering what appeared to be a tan or gold colored Chevy Trail Blazer. The female then proceeded out of the parking lot and onto Parkside Avenue out of site. Anyone able to assist with the identification of the pictured female are urged to contact Detective Morris of the Ewing Police Department at (609) 882-1313 ext. 5561, email at email@example.com or the Ewing Police confidential tip line at (609) 882-7530.
Statement from City of Trenton Mayor W. Reed Gusciora on Chambersburg Columbus Statue
July 7, 2020
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–The current national debate on racial justice has led to a long-overdue examination of how we honor our past, including our statues, monuments, and the names of our parks and schools. Our communities rightfully expect that the individuals we celebrate actually represent the principles of freedom and equality that we all hold dear.
The statue of Christopher Columbus, long held in the park of the same name, will be taken down and placed in storage. We’re grateful for the community input we’ve received on both sides of the issue, but what we know about Columbus simply makes his image a poor fit for a city that is as diverse as Trenton. We will continue to engage the community on where the statue should go and what the new name of the park will be. –City of Trenton Mayor W. Reed Gusciora
Motor Vehicle Commission Wait Times A Total Disaster With Times Exceeding Three Hours, with new reports some waited 6+ hours with nothing done. Fights were reported in at least Trenton and Edison. Edison Police had to call neighboring departments for help.
July 7, 2020 posted at 4 pm, updated at 9 pm.
TRENTON, LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP, (MERCER), SOUTH BRUNSWICK, (MIDDLESEX), NJ –People set up camp and waited in line, some earlier than 6 am but, they were not waiting in line for a Black Friday Sale, A Trump Rally or even concert tickets, they were just waiting for a visit to the local NJ Motor Vehicle Commission office.
It has been months since people could process an in person transaction to get or renew a license, register a car, get new plates and any other in person transaction that the MVC office processes.
The extremely long lines, snaked though parking lots, around buildings and even up the side of highways as the first day the NJ MVC opened its doors since the COVID-19 closures months ago.
Just after 8 am, a fight was reported this morning at the NJ Motor Vehicle Commission in Trenton on South Stockton Street. Trenton Police responded and reported that the line was wrapped around the building.
In South Brunswick/Dayton hundreds were in line as the line snaked back and fourth though the parking lot then eventually up Route 130. A group of people still about 100 deep at that location reported they had been in line since 6 am.
In Lawrence at Bakers Basin the scene was similar with lines wrapping around and though parking lots. People sat in chairs and under umbrellas and even a frozen dessert truck set up in the area near Route 1.
Edison, NJ we have a report of a disturbance at the Edison NJ Motor Vehicle Commission and Edison Police had to call mutual aid departments to the scene around 1:42 pm.
FREEHOLD, NJ (MONMOUTH)–A Monmouth County, New Jersey, man was charged today for subscribing to a false tax return, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
Steven Bryce, 50, of Monmouth County, New Jersey, is charged by complaint with subscribing to a false tax return for tax year 2013. A summons was issued for Bryce to appear before a U.S. Magistrate Judge in Newark federal court at a time to be scheduled.
According to the complaint:
In 2013, Bryce operated a gambling business. On July 14, 2014, Bryce filed with the IRS U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, Form 1040, for the calendar year 2013 on behalf of himself and his spouse, which falsely stated that they had total income of $112,899. The 2013 Tax Return was not true and correct: Bryce received tens of thousands of dollars from his gambling business, and, as a result, had income substantially in excess of the amount he reported.
The charge of subscribing to a false tax return carries a maximum potential penalty of three years in prison and a maximum $250,000 fine.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael Montanez and special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Joe Denahan in Newark with the investigation leading to today’s charges.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney J Fortier Imbert of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Special Prosecutions Division.
The charge and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Defense counsel: Edward C. Bertucio Esq., Hamilton, New Jersey
TRENTON AND EWING TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Ewing Township Police Department, Fire Department, and EMS was detailed to the intersection of Parkside Avenue and Parkway Avenue just before 3 pm for an accident. Firefighters cleaned up a fluids spill and EMS treated minor injures. No further information is available.
Trenton and Ewing firefighters responded to a boat fire around 1:15 pm in the 400 Block of Parkway Avenue. The fire was quickly extinguished an no other information was available about the boat fire.
BREAKING NEWS REPORT: If official information becomes available the story will be updated
July 5, 2020
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Police and Trenton EMS were dispatched to Asbury Street for a shooting victim around 1:30 am. A trauma alert was called when the victim was transported to the Trauma Center at Capital Health Regional Medical Center. No other information is available at this time.
“This is just tragedy upon tragedy in our City” and the shootings continue even though politicians declared “Enough is Enough” at a June 3, 2020 press conference. Since that time Trenton has seen at least 2 more homicides and multiple shootings and stabbings.
ROBBINSVILLE, EAST WINDSOR, HAMILTON, NJ (MERCER)–If you were lucky enough to be outside this afternoon around 5:15 you would have seen a military fly over called “Salute To The Great Cities Of The American Revolution” en route from New York City to Philadelphia.
Trenton, NJ the home of the Crossroads of the American Revolution National Heritage Area where just north of there General George Washington crossed the Delaware on December 25, 1776 was not on the official list of the “Great Cities”
Still the region from the Monmouth Battlefield, extending though Cranbury, Hightstown, Robbinsville, Hamilton and turning at Trenton towards Philadelphia was still able to see the fly over even though it was not officially on the program.
Spectators were able to see a variety of aircraft from the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Marine Corps including: U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, followed by B-1, B-2 and B-52 bombers, F-15 and F-22 fighters and U.S. Marine Corps F-35 fighters in transit from New York City to Philadelphia.
Secretary Esper approved a Department of the Interior request for DOD support to the 2020 Salute to America. DOD will provide aerial, musical and ceremonial support to this year’s celebration in Washington, D.C. This year’s support will also include a flyover of the Mount Rushmore National Memorial, as well an aerial salute to several cities that played roles in the American Revolution.
The highlight of this year’s celebration will be our salute to the Great Cities of the American Revolution. The flyovers will begin in Boston and proceed to New York City, Philadelphia and Baltimore. From there they will join other Department of Defense and heritage aircraft in the Salute to America over our nation’s capital. In all, roughly 1,700 service members will support the celebrations.
The aircraft are scheduled to overfly each of the cities, beginning at approximately 4:00 pm, then fly on to the next city. U.S. Air Force and U.S. Marine Corps jets will fly over in five waves. The flyovers will be led by the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, followed by B-1, B-2 and B-52 bombers, F-15 and F-22 fighters and U.S. Marine Corps F-35 fighters.
BOSTON: The aircraft are scheduled to overfly the center of the city at approximately 4:00 pm approaching from the northeast at 1,000 feet above the ground. Multiple aircraft will overfly the U.S.S. Constitution and then proceed over Fenway Park before departing the city.
NEW YORK: The aircraft are scheduled to fly down the Hudson River at approximately 5:00 pm and pass just east of the Statue of Liberty.
PHILADELPHIA: The aircraft are scheduled to overfly the center of the city at approximately 5:15 pm approaching from the northeast at 1,000 feet above the ground. Multiple aircraft will fly over Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell and then proceed southwest out of the city.
BALTIMORE: The aircraft are scheduled to overfly Fort McHenry at approximately 5:30 pm approaching from the northeast at 1,000 feet above the ground. Multiple aircraft will overfly Fort McHenry before turning south out of the city.
The flyovers provide an opportunity for DOD to demonstrate the capabilities and professionalism of the United States Armed Forces. Flying hours are a sunk cost for the Department of Defense, and these aircraft and crews would be using these hours for proficiency and training at other locations if they were not conducting these flyovers.
DOD is proud to help celebrate the nation’s 244th birthday. We are grateful for our nation’s support as we defend our country, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
Photos below by: Dennis Symons from East Windsor looking towards Hightstown and Robbinsville
Police want you to know; “If you have had too many alcohol beverages to drink during this holiday weekend, we urge you to make alternate arrangements instead of driving yourself. These type of incidents only put many others at risk.”
WEST WINDSOR, NJ (MERCER)—At 11:19 pm West Windsor Police and Mercer County Rangers were detailed to 1 South Post Road at the Mercer County Boat Ramp next to the Mercer County Boathouse for a vehicle submerged in Lake Mercer. Patrol Units initially met with the operator of the vehicle, identified at Lauren K. Engel of Dumont, NJ who had escaped from her underwater 2010 Nissan Rogue. The West Windsor Division of Fire and Emergency Services, West Windsor Volunteer Fire Company #1, Princeton Junction Volunteer Fire Company, Hightstown Dive Team, and Grover’s Mill Towing were detailed to the scene to search and locate the vehicle and determine if any others were in the vehicle.
It was determined the Engel sustained a minor injury and no other persons had been inside of the sunken Rogue. Engel was evaluated by members of the West Windsor Emergency Services and declined transport to a hospital.
The initial investigation revealed that Engel had been attempting to exit the Mercer County Park during a heavy rainstorm possibly up to (2) hours earlier. The delay was due to Engel having no means to contact the WWPD or anyone else at that time of night during a storm and given her secluded location. Ptl. Caulfield, the Lead Investigator, determined Engel to be Driving While Intoxicated at the scene. Engle was transported to the WWPD for processing. Grover’s Mill Towing retrieved the underwater Nissan which sustained sever water damage. The retrieving of the submerged vehicle took over (2) hours.
Traffic Officer Brown is the Lead Investigator in this collision while Ptl. Caulfield is the Lead Investigator into the DWI portion of the collaborative investigation. The driver was issued summonses for DWI, Reckless Driving, Carless Driving by Ptl. Caulfield, and released pending a future date at the West Windsor Township Municipal Court.
None of the first responders of the owner-operators of the Grover’s Mill Towing were injured during the search for additional persons or retrieval of the Rogue.
The incident is still under investigation by the West Windsor Township Police Traffic Division. If you have any information of substance, please contact Traffic Officer Brown at Brown@westwindsorpolice.com or Traffic Sgt. Bal at Bal@westwindsorpolice.com
BREAKING NEWS REPORT: Information provided is from on scene reports. Once official information is released the story will be updated and any corrections and additions made.
July 3, 2020 incident approximately 11:15 pm. Time of report 1:45 am July 4, 2020
1:47 am update, divers were back in the water assisting the tow truck company hooking up cables to pull the car out of the water.
2:05 am update divers were out of the water and car was being pulled out by the tow trucks.
WEST WINDSOR, NJ (MERCER)—Around 11:15 pm Mercer County Park Rangers and West Windsor Police requested West Windsor Fire Company and Princeton Junction Fire Company for a car in the water. West Windsor Emergency Services EMS evaluated one person on scene, who was the suspected driver. Hightstown Fire Company was requested for the dive team.
Boats searched the lake for the car in the water and it was found by the dock for the Mercer County Park Boathouse. Hightstown Fire Company put a diver in the water to check for any additional occupants and the vehicle was searched but no other occupants were found.
Crews were still on scene at 1:45 am waiting for additional tow trucks to arrive to pull the vehicle from the water.
Once West Windsor Police Department releases more information the story will be updated with further details.