Mega Millions $1 Billion Ticket Sold In Michigan, $1Million In Ocean County, $10K Tickets Sold Locally, Tonight’s Cash 5 Passes $2 Million Record

January 23, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–

TRENTON (Jan. 23, 2021– One Michigan ticket matched all five of the five white balls and the Gold Mega Ball drawn winning the $1.05 billion Mega Millions jackpot. The estimated cash value was $776.6 million.

In New Jersey, there was one second-tier prizewinning ticket sold for the Friday, January 22, drawing that matched five of the five white balls drawn winning the $1,000,000 prize. The ticket was purchased at 7-Eleven #11027, 2075 Route 88, Brick in Ocean County.

There were ten third-tier prizewinning tickets sold that matched four of the five white balls and the gold ball winning $10,000. Those tickets were purchased at the following locations:

  • Bergen County: Krauszer’s Food Store, 403 Midland Ave., Garfield;
  • Burlington County: Wawa #8423, 76 Springside Rd., Westampton;
  • Mercer County: 7-Eleven #27391, 1517 Pennington Ave., Ewing;
  • Mercer County: Pennington Luk Oil LLC, 2558 Pennington Rd., Pennington;
  • Middlesex County: Park Deli, 80 Raritan Ave., Highland Park;
  • Monmouth County: Little Silver Family Pharmacy, 10 Church St., Little Silver;
  • Morris County: Krauszer’s Food Store, 95 West Main St., Chester;
  • Passaic County: 7-Eleven #11463, 356 Rifle Camp Rd., Woodland Park;
  • Sussex County: 7-Eleven #37251, 63 Water St., Newton; and,
  • Warren County: Mini Mart, 1312 US Highway 22 East, Phillipsburg.

In addition to the second and third-tier prizes won, 236 players matched four of the five white balls drawn making each ticket worth $50015 of those tickets were purchased with the Megaplier option, multiplying the prizes to $1,000. Moreover, 389,264 other New Jersey players took home $1,455,848 in prizes ranging from $2 to $400. The winning numbers for the Friday, January 22, drawing were: 04, 26, 42, 50, and 60. The Gold Mega Ball was 24, and the Megaplier Multiplier was 02.

The jackpot resets to $20 million for the next drawing on Tuesday, January 26, at 11:00 pm. All New Jersey Lottery Mega Millions tickets must be purchased before 10:45 pm to participate in the drawing. Mega Millions tickets cost just two dollars; by adding the Megaplier option for an extra dollar per play, players can increase their non-jackpot winnings up to five times. Mega Millions tickets are sold in 46 participating jurisdictions. Drawings are held on Tuesdays and Fridays.


Jersey Cash 5 Boasts the Biggest Cash Jackpot EVER

Jersey Cash 5 Leaps to Record $2 Million Jackpot

TRENTON (Jan. 23, 2021) – New Jersey Lottery would like to announce the record-breaking jackpot for tonight’s Jersey Cash 5 drawing. The drawing for the all-cash jackpot of $2 million happens tonight at 10:57 pm, so be sure to get your tickets in time. The $2 million jackpot is the highest jackpot for Jersey Cash 5, ever – topping the 2013 record of $1.96 million.

With daily drawings and jackpots starting at $100,000, seeing jackpots top the million-dollar milestone is a rare treat for the game’s loyal players, but the two-million-dollar jackpot breaks new ground for the Jersey Cash 5 record books. For just a dollar, Jersey Cash 5 is a great option for players to pick their lucky numbers – or go with a Quick Pick option – and hope for the five-out-of-five match tonight.

Jersey Cash 5, which held its first drawing in 1992, has already proven to be a vital component of the Lottery’s offerings to support our State.

Trenton Fire Department Quickly Knocks Down Fire

January 23, 2021

Photos, video and story by: Michael Ratcliffe

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Quick work by the Trenton Fire Department this morning (Jan. 23, 2021). The fire department was alerted at about 11:17 a.m., crews from E1, E10, E9, L1, R1 and Bn1 arrived to find a working fire at the rear of the duplex at 688-690 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. The “all hands” was transmitted, adding E7, L4, SS1 and Bn2 to the assignment. Multiple hoselines were stretched and the blaze was quickly brought under control.


Photos, video and story by: Michael Ratcliffe

Photos, video and story by: Michael Ratcliffe

Wall Collapse Seriously Injures Person In Trenton

January 23, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Around 10:00 am Trenton Police, Trenton Fire Department, TEMS and Capital Paramedics responded to Farragut Avenue between Garfield Ave. and Oakwood Alley for a person trapped by a collapse. Upon arrival the person was removed from a wall collapse and was seriously injured. Trenton EMS and Capital Health Paramedics transported the person to the Trauma Center at Capital Health Regional Medical Center and a “trauma alert” was called. No further information is available at this time.

Man Rescued From Peddie Lake In Area Of The Falls

January 23, 2021

HIGHTSTOWN, NJ (MERCER)–A man became trapped near the falls when he entered the Peddie Lake under his own volition this morning around 8:36 am. and had to be rescued according to Hightstown Borough Police Department, Sergeant Benjamin L. Miller.

Hightstown Police stated that on Saturday, January 23, 2021, at 8:36 a.m., officers were dispatched to the Peddie Lake, near the waterfalls, Main Street, for a male in the lake.  Upon arrival, officers observed an elderly male subject standing, who appeared disoriented, in the lake; the officers immediately requested the Hightstown Fire Department’s water rescue unit and an ambulance for the extraction and care of the subject.  The subject was assisted by fire personnel up a ladder and removed from the lake.  The subject was transported to Princeton Medical Center by the Hightstown First Aid Squad for evaluation.

Responding the the scene, Hightstown Police Department, Hightstown Fire Company, Capital Health Paramedics, and Hightstown First Aid Squad. Robbinsville Township Fire Department, East Windsor and Plainsboro Fire Departments were dispatched but were not needed and turned around en-route.

Wrightstown, NJ Native To Command Los Angeles-Class Fast-Attack Submarine USS Cheyenne (SSN 773)

January 22, 2021

Photo and Story by Petty Officer 1st Class Michael B Zingaro

WRIGHTSTOWN, NJ (BURLINGTON)–PEARL HARBOR, HI — The Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Cheyenne (SSN 773) conducted a change of command ceremony at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Jan. 22.

Cmdr. Samuel Bell, from Wrightstown, New Jersey, relieved Cmdr. John Gonser, from Amityville, New York, as Cheyenne’s commanding officer, during the ceremony which was held in the Submarine Squadron 1 War Room.

“USS Cheyenne has a storied legacy in the submarine force,” said Gonser. “Sailors are rightfully proud to join that tradition. When I took command, I challenged the crew to make those who came before us, who built that legacy, proud of us. For the past 41 months, this crew did just that. I am humbled and awed to call each and every one of them a shipmate.”

Under Gonser’s command, Cheyenne completed two Western Pacific deployments, in which they conducted five missions vital to national security and five exercises that expanded undersea warfighting experimentation. Cheyenne received the Battle Excellence (“E”) Award in 2020, the Navigation (“N”) Award in 2018, 2019, and 2020, and the Retention Excellence Award in 2018 and 2019. Over 150 submariners earned their Submarine Warfare designators with Gonser at the helm.

“Thank you for staying positive and connected through a schedule that would have been challenging even if COVID-19 did not exist,” said Gonser. “While I cannot discuss the nature of the operations, these Sailors helped preserve our national defense for today while building the next generation of undersea warriors.”

Gonser is going to the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Policy at the Pentagon.

Capt. Michael Majewski, commodore, Submarine Squadron 7, presided over the small ceremony, consisting only of essential personnel due to COVID-19 mitigations and safety procedures in place.

“Cheyenne has been my go to boat since I became commodore of Squadron 7 last year, but she was the go to boat long before that,” said Majewski. “She is the most capable 688 in the fleet and has proven it time and again with her performance.”

Bell comes from the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Policy.

“The Cheyenne is well known in the submarine force as a command where Sailors want to be, and has recently been recognized for continued excellence,” said Bell. “I look forward to becoming a part of the legend.”

Cheyenne was commissioned Sept. 13, 1996 and is the third ship to be named after Cheyenne, Wyoming in the United States Navy. Measuring 360 feet long and displacing more than 6,900 tons, Cheyenne has a crew of approximately 140 Sailors. Cheyenne is capable of supporting various missions, including anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface ship warfare, strike warfare, and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance.



Tonight’s Mega Millions Jackpot Hits $1 BILLION DOLLARS

January 22, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Tonight’s Mega Millions jackpot has been increased to $1,000,000,000, the second-largest Mega Millions jackpot in history, and the third-largest jackpot for all North American games. The estimated cash value is $739.6 million.

Playing the lottery is a form of entertainment and so players are urged to keep in mind the importance of playing responsibly. Please remember to stay safe and socially distant if you choose to purchase lottery tickets and be sure to wear a mask and wash your hands.

Friday’s $520 million Mega Millions drawing will be held at 11:00 pm. All New Jersey Lottery Mega Millions tickets must be purchased before 10:45 pm to participate in the drawing.

NJ Lottery

Mega Millions with Megaplier

Mega Millions drawings are held every Tuesday & Friday at approximately 11:00 pm. Purchase your Mega MIllions tickets prior to 10:45 pm on Tuesday & Friday for the drawing.


Air Force Officer Charged With Distributing Child Pornography

January 22, 2021

CAMDEN, NJ — A Camden County, New Jersey, man was charged today with allegedly distributing videos and images of child pornography, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.

Ryan Osinski, 31, Cherry Hill, New Jersey, an Air Force officer, is charged by complaint with one count of distribution of child pornography. He appeared scheduled to appear by videoconference later today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Karen M. Williams.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

In December 2020, law enforcement officers interviewed Osinski after receiving information from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that images of child sexual abuse were shared from an IP address assigned to Osinski’s residence. During and after the interview, law enforcement officers lawfully reviewed the contents of Osinski’s cell phone, which contained numerous images and videos of child sexual abuse. Additional investigation revealed the existence of links and folders on a cloud storage website controlled by Osinski that Osinski transmitted to others using a social media application on his cell phone. These links and folders contained numerous images and videos of child sexual abuse, including materials that depicted prepubescent children and sadomasochistic conduct.

The count of distribution of child pornography carries a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison, a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, and a fine of $250,000.

Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, Cherry Hill Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jason J. Molina, and the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crimes Unit, under the direction of Acting Prosecutor Jill S. Mayer, with the investigation leading to today’s charge. She also thanked the Department of the Air Force, Office of Special Investigations, for its assistance.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Bender of the Camden Office.

The charge and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

21-025


Former Meter Reader for New Brunswick Water Department Sentenced to Five Years in State Prison for Reducing Bills in Return for Bribes

January 22, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced that a former meter reader for the New Brunswick Water Department has been sentenced to state prison for participating in a scheme with two other former water department employees to reduce the water and sewer bills of numerous customers in return for bribes.

Guillermo Quinones, 51, of Somerset, N.J., was sentenced yesterday, Jan. 21, to five years in state prison by Superior Court Judge Robert Kirsch in Union County. He pleaded guilty on Feb. 14, 2020 to official misconduct. Quinones forfeited his job with the water department and is permanently barred from public employment in New Jersey.

Two other former employees of the New Brunswick Water Department who participated in the scheme with Quinones previously pleaded guilty to official misconduct. Joseph DeBonis, 58, of Toms River, N.J., a former senior account clerk, and William Ortiz, 59, of North Brunswick, N.J., a former meter reader, were each sentenced to five years in prison by Judge Kirsch on Oct. 4, 2019.

Deputy Attorney General Samantha Keleher represented the Office of Public Integrity and Accountability at the sentencing hearing for Quinones.  She prosecuted Quinones, DeBonis and Ortiz with former Deputy Attorney General Anthony Robinson, under the supervision of Corruption Bureau Chief Peter Lee and Counsel to the Director Anthony Picione. The defendants were charged in an investigation by the Office of Public Integrity and Accountability (OPIA).

“The prison sentences we have secured in this case reflect our resolve to investigate and aggressively prosecute public employees who unlawfully use their positions for personal gain,” said Attorney General Grewal. “We now have secured five-year prison sentences for three water department employees who corruptly profited at the expense of the City of New Brunswick and its residents. These prosecutions should deter other government employees who might consider betraying the trust placed in them by the public.”

“One of our primary missions in OPIA is to ensure that government employees who break the law and corruptly exploit their public positions are held accountable,” said OPIA Director Thomas Eicher.  “Quinones and the other two water department employees we sent to prison took bribes from dozens of customers in return for falsely and dramatically reducing water and sewer bills. Their criminal conduct cost the city hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

In addition to the three defendants employed by the water department, 11 residents were charged with allegedly paying cash to have their water and sewer bills reduced.  One resident pleaded guilty to a charge of unlawful benefit to a public servant for official behavior and was sentenced to probation.  The other 10 were charged with theft by unlawful taking and admitted into the Pre-Trial Intervention program on the condition that they pay full restitution. 

Quinones, Ortiz and DeBonis illegally reduced water and sewer bills for roughly 50 different properties over a period of several years in return for bribes totaling approximately $20,000.  Quinones and Ortiz would solicit bribes from customers and then arrange for bill reductions through DeBonis, who had access as a senior account clerk to the city’s water and sewer database. After Quinones and Ortiz received bribes, they provided DeBonis with information about the customer’s properties, and DeBonis modified the customer’s water and sewer bills to dramatically reduce the charges.  Fees were reduced at times by as much as 90 percent. DeBonis took a share of the bribe payments in return for falsifying the bills.

Attorney General Grewal created the Office of Public Integrity and Accountability in September 2018 to combat corruption and strengthen public confidence in government institutions. In December 2019, the Attorney General issued a directive codifying OPIA and making it a permanent part of the Attorney General’s Office. That directive established the OPIA Corruption Bureau as the lead office within the Department of Law & Public Safety for the investigation and prosecution of state criminal violations involving corruption and abuse of public trust.

OPIA has a toll-free Tipline 1-844-OPIA-TIPS for the public to report corruption.  The AG’s Office has an Anti-Corruption Reward Program that offers a reward of up to $25,000 for tips leading to a conviction for a crime involving public corruption. Information is posted at: http://nj.gov/oag/corruption/reward.html.

Defense Attorney: David Oakley, Anderl & Oakley, PC, Princeton, N.J.

Mercer County Sheriff Warns Of Phone Scam

January 22, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Once again, Mercer County Sheriff Jack Kemler has issued a warning to area residents regarding telephone scammers posing as Mercer County Sheriff’s Officers. Over the past month, the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office has received numerous complaints about suspected phone scams asking residents for personal bank account information or cash payments. Some calls have reached residents throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The scammers identify themselves as Mercer County Sheriff’s Officers along with fictitious badge numbers. The callers state they have an arrest warrant related to money laundering charges and need access to their bank accounts. The scammers also suggest meeting at a location and to bring cash for bail or fines. Otherwise, they will be taken into custody. “I can state with confidence the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office will never call anyone and ask for their bank account number or to meet in an odd location to pay bail or fines with cash,” said Sheriff Kemler.Unfortunately, it is difficult to crack down on telephone scammers because calls are often generated from phone banks located out of state. While the calls remain under investigation, the best advice is to exercise common sense. If a resident suspects a particular telephone call may be a scam, do not give out any personal information and simply hang up. Anyone who receives such a call and is uncertain of its validity should report the call to the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office at 609-989-6111.

Vessel Deployments at Little Egg and Manasquan Inlet Reefs

January 21, 2021

MANASQUAN, NJ (MONMOUTH)–On  Thursday, January 14, the Division’s Bureau of Marine Fisheries expanded the state’s artificial reef network through deployments on Little Egg and Manasquan Inlet Reefs. 

A 200-foot-long barge along with a 45-foot tugboat and 40-foot push boat were deployed at the Little Egg Reef site. These deployments were sponsored by the Beach Haven Charter Boat Association’s Junior Mate Program with donations by The Sportfishing Fund.

A 65-foot tugboat was sunk at the Manasquan Inlet Reef. The deployment was sponsored by the Manasquan River Marlin and Tuna Club with donations by The Sportfishing Fund.  This deployment was in memory of past Manasquan River Marlin and Tuna Club Lifetime Member John Geiges.

Mayor Gusciora to Veto City Council Ordinance Creating Separate Legislative Counsel Position

January 21, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Mayor. W. Reed Gusciora today gave the following statement announcing his intent to veto City Council Ordinance 20-60, which seeks to create a new Legislative Counsel position in Trenton government that replicates many of the powers and responsibilities that already fall under the City Attorney:

“To put it simply, this ordinance clearly violates the Faulkner Act, which outlines the separate powers of the Council and Mayor, the latter of which appoints the City Attorney per statute. And despite repeated warnings from the City’s Law Department that this effort was illegal, it still passed by a 4-3 vote.

As Judge Jacobson already ruled in McBride v. Gusciora in May 2020, ‘the Council has limited authority under the Faulkner Act, and cannot, on their own, appoint counsel to represent them.’

So why are we treading back down this path? We share Council’s concerns for unnecessary legal fees. But understand that we are bound to uphold municipal law and would have no other choice but to oppose this ordinance in court. This ordinance would in effect create a separate law department that would be a waste of taxpayer dollars. 

When I heard that Council President offered an ‘Olive Branch’ to the administration, I was hopeful that it was out of a sincere desire to better cooperate moving forward. I’m still hopeful that is the case. But this ordinance is not an olive branch: it’s a thorn bush.

As such, I will veto this ordinance to spare us more legal battles, so we can focus our renewed cooperation on the major issues affecting our community, including crime, economic development, and COVID-19.”

UPDATE: Cranbury Amazon Warehouse Fire Under Investigation

January 20, 2021

Read last night’s breaking news story here: UPDATED: Multi-Alarm Fire At Amazon TEB6 In Cranbury

CRANBURY TOWNSHIP, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone and Chief Michael J. Owens of the Cranbury Police Department announced that authorities are investigating a warehouse fire.

On January 19, 2021, at approximately 11:27 P.M., officers of the Cranbury Police Department along with members of several fire departments and first aid crews responded to an Amazon warehouse on Hightstown-Cranbury Station Road following a report of smoke in the building. The fire was located and extinguished. No one is reported injured at this time.

The investigation is active and continuing. Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Sergeant Greg Pfremmer of the Cranbury Township Police Department at (609) 395-0031 or Detective Kevin Schroeck of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at (732) 745-4194.



Woodbridge Fatal Fire Under Investigation

January 20, 2021

WOODBRIDGE, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone and Director Robert Hubner of the Woodbridge Police Department announced today that authorities are investigating a fire in which one person perished.

This morning, at approximately 9:12 A.M., authorities responded to 88 South Inman Avenue in the Avenel section of Woodbridge following a report of a structure fire.  The victim, whose identity has not yet been confirmed, was discovered after personnel arrived on scene.

The cause of death remains undetermined pending the completion of an autopsy by the Middlesex County Regional Medical Examiner’s Office.  No firefighters or police officers were injured. 

An investigation into the cause of the fire is active and is continuing. Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Jorge Quesada of the Woodbridge Police Department at (732) 634-7700 or Detective Kevin Schroeck of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at (732) 745-4194 or Avenel Fire Official Cory Spillar of the Avenel Fire Prevention Bureau at (732) 855-974.

UPDATED: Multi-Alarm Fire At Amazon TEB6 In Cranbury

January 20, 2021 Updated at 10:50 am January 20, 2021

MidJersey.News update here: UPDATE: Cranbury Amazon Warehouse Fire Under Investigation

CRANBURY TOWNSHIP, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Around 11:30 pm a fire broke out inside the Amazon Warehouse TEB6 located at 22 Hightstown-Cranbury Station Road. Firefighters arrived and found a heavy smoke condition pushing from the south-west side of the warehouse. Employees were outside and evacuated to the parking lot covered in space type blankets to keep warm. Firefighters put two lines in operation and the fire was reported “extinguished” at 12:27 am. Two or three aerial units laddered the building to open sky lights and any possible vents in the roof to remove smoke. There was extensive overhaul of the fire and units were still being called to the scene at 2:00 am.

The warehouse by Google Maps satellite measurement is approximately 560 feet wide by 1,765 feet for an estimated 988,400 square feet in size. Photos from prior events at the warehouse posted online show that the building has “rack storage” inside and storage like that is usually protect by ESFR sprinklers (Early Suppression Fast Response sprinklers). If a rack storage would catch fire the ESFR sprinkler system would activate sending thousands of gallons per minute onto the fire, the fire would be extinguished or held in check until firefighters could arrive to finish extinguishing the fire.

The partial list of fire departments dispatched and/or involved so far are and fire is quite possibly a 2 or 3 alarms in size equivalent: Cranbury Fire Company, Hightstown Fire Company, East Windsor # 1 and # 2, Robbinsville Township Fire Department, West Windsor Fire Company, Princeton Junction Fire Company, Plainsboro Fire Department, Monroe Township Fire Department, South Brunswick-Monmouth Junction and Kendall Park, Jamesburg Fire Company, North Brunswick and East Brunswick. More departments were still being added as of 2:18 am. for covers. Hamilton Township Fire Department was added at 2:39 am for a cover. (This list included fire departments dispatched that may not have made it to the scene for man power or were diverted to cover other firehouses in the area)

Two ambulances stood by during the firefight but there were not known reports of injuries to firefighters or workers at the facility.

Jenna Hilzenrath, Amazon Spokesperson said in a statement ““We can confirm that there was a fire at our fulfillment center in Cranbury, New Jersey last night. There’s nothing more important than the health and safety of our employees and we’re grateful that all our employees are safe and accounted for. We thank our local fire department for their quick response.”

Amazon also said that employees waited at a designated evacuation point before being sent home with pay. We’ll continue to work with the local Fire Department to ensure that the building is safe before reopening later today.



UPDATED: Man Stabbed On South Broad Street Near Liberty Street

Updated January 20, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–According to Captain Peter Weremijenko, on Tuesday, January 19, 2021 at approximately 9:31 pm, Trenton Police Officers J. Rose and S. Demko responded to 1200 S. Broad Street on a report of a stabbing in progress. While en-route to the location, the dispatcher relayed further information stating that a victim was inside the liquor store with a stab wound and that unknown suspects attempted to rob him.

Upon arrival, Officers were able to ascertain from the victim that he was walking near the area of Liberty Street and Adeline Street, when he was approached by 3-5 males, all wearing dark colored clothing. One of the males struck the victim in the back of the head and stabbed him about the right side of his body with what he believed to be a knife. The suspects relieved the victim of $50 dollars and fled the scene in an unknown direction. The victim was able to run from the scene and contact police. The victim sustained non-life threatening injuries. 


January 19, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–There were reports of a stabbing tonight in the 1200 Block of South Broad Street near Liberty Street around 9:30 pm. Sources said a man was found stabbed in the side and a group of individuals were on scene trying to control the bleeding. Sources also said that the main was hit over the head and stabbed for $50.00 Trenton EMS and Trenton Police responded to the scene. The main was taken to the Trauma Center at Capital Health Regional Medical Center. No other information is available at this time. If official police information becomes available the story will be updated.

New Jersey Files Nine New Lawsuits Challenging Trump Administration’s Last Minute Environmental Rollbacks

January 19, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–On President Trump’s last full day in office, Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced that New Jersey has filed nine new lawsuits challenging a series of environmental rollbacks rushed through during the waning days of the Trump Administration. The announcement comes on the heels of a major litigation victory, in which a federal appeals court agreed with New Jersey that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) acted unlawfully in 2019 when it repealed the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan for addressing greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.

The nine lawsuits announced today touch on issues including protections for clean air, energy efficiency requirements for appliances, and measures to protect migratory birds and endangered wildlife species.

All nine challenges to the Trump Administration’s “midnight rules” are being pursued by coalitions of states that share New Jersey’s commitment to protecting the environment and public health. Attorney General Grewal is leading one of the six lawsuits, which challenges a rule that weakens Clean Air Act protections for major sources of emissions.

“The environmental impacts of the Trump Administration’s lame duck rulemaking will be devastating if all of these rules remain in place,” said Attorney General Grewal. “So last week, we promised that the last-minute rules would not go unchecked. With today’s lawsuits, we’re making good on that commitment. Between these lawsuits and the policy changes expected in the Biden Administration, the Trump Administration’s environmentally disastrous actions won’t last long.”

“We will not allow Trump loyalists to continue to undermine science and threaten our State’s and nation’s air, water and wildlife in the waning hours of this Administration,” said Shawn M.  LaTourette, Acting Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. “While we are confident that brighter days are ahead for environmental protection, New Jersey will continue to join our sister states in fighting the short-sighted Trump legacy of environmental ignorance and degradation.”

The federal rules challenged in the nine environmental protection lawsuits filed by Attorney General Grewal since Friday, January 15, are:

An EPA rule that will allow major sources of hazardous air pollutants to reclassify themselves as less regulated “area sources” under the Clean Air Act, abandoning the “once-in, always-in” policy that had been in place for 25 years. Among other things, the state attorneys general contend that the rule increases Americans’ risk of cancer and other serious health problems traceable to hazardous air pollutants like cyanide and hydrochloric acid by reducing the number of pollution sources using maximum available control technology; violates the Clean Air Act and the Administrative Procedure Act; and is unsupported by the necessary evidence and analysis. The petition for review on behalf of 13 states and the cities of New York and Chicago was filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

An EPA rule on greenhouse gas emission standards for airplanes that fails to adequately mitigate public health and environmental harms from such emissions, including the environmental justice impacts on residents living near airports, which disproportionately include disadvantaged minority and low-income communities. Among other things, the attorneys general have argued that EPA’s rule does not reflect a reasonable assessment of aircraft-related pollution and the technological feasibility of more effective emissions controls. The petition for review on behalf of 12 States and the District of Columbia was filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

An EPA rule maintaining the national ambient air quality standard (NAAQS) for ozone at a level that fails to protect public health and welfare based on the existing scientific evidence. State attorneys general have alleged that the EPA’s decision not to strengthen the primary or secondary ozone NAAQS is the result of a flawed and hasty process that gave short shrift to the evidence showing that more protective standards are necessary to protect human health and public welfare. The petition for review on behalf of 15 states, the District of Columbia, and the City of New York was filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit/

An EPA rule that will skew how the agency weighs the costs and benefits of rules under the Clean Air Act by excluding important public health benefits from the analysis while inflating the costs. In particular, the rule will cause future EPA rules to undercount the harmful effects of carbon emissions that lead to climate change and distort the value of “co-benefits,” the often-substantial benefits of rules that addresses more than one pollutant. Among other flaws, this biased approach is contrary to EPA’s core mission to protect human health and the environment, as well as to economic principles and the legal requirement that EPA base its standards on the best available information. The petition for review on behalf of 17 States, the District of Columbia, and the City of New York was filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

An EPA rule weakening the Clean Air Act’s new source review program for major modifications to existing major stationary sources of emissions. The rule will subject New Jersey residents to lower air quality and will make it more difficult for downwind States like New Jersey to attain or maintain federal air quality standards. The petition for review on behalf of seven states and the District of Columbia was filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Rules from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service that will make it harder to protect endangered and threatened species by narrowly defining critical “habitat” and establishing a skewed process for excluding areas from critical habitat designations. The lawsuit alleges that the rules violate the Endangered Species Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, and the Administrative Procedure Act; lack a reasoned explanation; and violate procedural requirements for rulemaking, among other flaws. The complaint on behalf of 18 States and the City of New York was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

A rule from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that rolls back protections for migratory birds. The lawsuit alleges that the rule will increase the risk of death for birds that migrate within and through New Jersey and other States, depriving residents of scientific, recreational, and birdwatching opportunities, and undermining the ecological balance that the birds help maintain, including by controlling insects and rodents, pollinating, and dispersing seeds. The complaint on behalf of 12 States was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and alleges that the rule violates the Endangered Species Act, other laws, and principles of international comity.

An EPA rule that unlawfully and arbitrarily limits the scientific evidence that the agency can consider when adopting rules and standards to protect human health and the environment. Rather than enhance the integrity of EPA’s regulations, the rule undermines EPA’s core responsibilities to implement environmental laws through use of the “latest,” “generally accepted,” and “best available” science. The lawsuit alleges that in adopting the rule, EPA not only violated its duties under those laws but also exceeded its legal authority, acted arbitrarily and capriciously, and impermissibly made the rule effective immediately. The complaint on behalf of 18 states, the cities of New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, and King County, Washington as filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

A U.S. Department of Energy rule that will weaken federal energy efficiency standards for consumer appliances and industrial equipment by making it easier for manufacturers to obtain waivers from product testing requirements. While national efficiency standards have been highly effective in reducing consumer and industrial energy costs, and reducing the environmental impacts associated with energy production, the new rule will undermine energy efficiency standards to the detriment of consumers and product manufacturers who comply with existing test procedures. State attorneys general contend that the rule violates the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975, among other legal flaws. The petition for review on behalf of 14 states, the District of Columbia and the City of New York was filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

https://www.nj.gov/oag/newsreleases21/Petition (Aircraft).pdf

https://www.nj.gov/oag/newsreleases21/Petition (Cost Benefit).pdf

https://www.nj.gov/oag/newsreleases21/ESA Habitat.Complaint.pdf

https://www.nj.gov/oag/newsreleases21/Complaint. Migratory Birds.pdf

https://www.nj.gov/oag/newsreleases21/ScienceRule.Complaint.pdf

https://www.nj.gov/oag/newsreleases21/InterimWaivr.Petition.pdf

                   


Monmouth County Prosecutor Warns Be Aware Of COVID-19 Scams

Scams Seek Personally Identifiable Information

January 19, 2021

FREEHOLD, NJ (MONMOUTH)–Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni is urging residents to beware of becoming victims of COVID-related scams, especially those scams targeting senior and elderly residents.

During this COVID-19 pandemic, scams targeting citizens, in particular the elderly, have taken a new twist and a new sense of urgency. Con artists are calling senior citizens offering early access to the COVID-19 vaccine for some form of payment, offering to ship the vaccine directly to you for a deposit or fee, offering to place you on a waiting list, or offering added medical testing and treatment when obtaining the vaccine. The offers come from scammers pretending to be a doctor’s office, insurance company or COVID-19 vaccine center. The scammer will ask for personal or medical information to determine if you “qualify” for the vaccine. Information sought will often include a social security number, Medicare ID number, date of birth, credit card or bank account information, or other personal information.

“We live in a world where scammers will try anything to get your personal information, medical information, and even your life’s savings using devious tactics. They are willing to pretend to be anyone just to take advantage of you. Please be vigilant – if it seems questionable, then trust your instincts that it is,” warned Prosecutor Gramiccioni.

Other scams are found on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other popular platforms showing ads from unknown sources advertising access to the COVID-19 vaccine. Federal authorities have created a public awareness campaign that includes useful information below to help identify these scams and where to find other information about the schemes.

“The most important piece of advice during this unusual time is to be overly skeptical of any unsolicited offers of any kind, to stay vigilant no matter how convincing the voice on the other side of the phone may be. Just because it is on the internet does not make it safe or true. Do not share personally identifiable information ever over the phone – social security numbers, Medicare ID numbers, your date of birth, credit card or bank account information – obtaining this information to defraud you is the ultimate objective,” Prosecutor Gramiccioni added.

Federal authorities are warning the public about several emerging fraud schemes related to COVID-19 vaccines after receiving complaints of scammers using the public’s interest in COVID-19 vaccines to obtain personally identifiable information and money through various schemes. We continue to work diligently with law enforcement partners and the private sector to identify cyber threats and fraud in all forms.

The public should be aware of the following potential indicators of fraudulent activity:

• Advertisements or offers for early access to a vaccine upon payment of a deposit or fee

• Requests asking you to pay out of pocket to obtain the vaccine or to put your name on a COVID-19 vaccine waiting list

• Offers to undergo additional medical testing or procedures when obtaining a vaccine

• Marketers offering to sell and/or ship doses of a vaccine, domestically or internationally, in exchange for payment of a deposit or fee

• Unsolicited emails, telephone calls, or personal contact from someone claiming to be from a medical office, insurance company, or COVID-19 vaccine center requesting personal and/or medical information to determine recipients’ eligibility to participate in clinical vaccine trials or obtain the vaccine

• Claims of Food and Drug Administration approval for a vaccine that cannot be verified

• Advertisements for vaccines through social media platforms, email, telephone calls, online, or from unsolicited/unknown sources

• Individuals contacting you in person, by phone, or by email to tell you the government or government officials require you to receive a COVID-19 vaccine

Tips to avoid COVID-19 vaccine-related fraud:

• Consult your state’s health department website for up-to-date information about authorized vaccine distribution channels and only obtaining a vaccine through such channels.

• Check the Food and Drug Administration’s website (fda.gov) for current information about vaccine emergency use authorizations.

• Consult your primary care physician before undergoing any vaccination.

• Don’t share your personal or health information with anyone other than known and trusted medical professionals.

• Check your medical bills and insurance explanation of benefits (EOBs) for any suspicious claims and promptly reporting any errors to your health insurance provider.

• Follow guidance and recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other trusted medical professionals.

General online/cyber fraud prevention techniques:

• Verify the spelling of web addresses, websites, and email addresses that look trustworthy but may be imitations of legitimate websites.

• Ensure operating systems and applications are updated to the most current versions.

• Update anti-malware and anti-virus software and conduct regular network scans.

• Do not enable macros on documents downloaded from an email unless necessary and after ensuring the file is not malicious.

• Do not communicate with or open emails, attachments, or links from unknown individuals.

• Never provide personal information of any sort via email; be aware that many emails requesting your personal information may appear to be legitimate.

• Use strong two-factor authentication if possible, using biometrics, hardware tokens, or authentication apps.

• Disable or remove unneeded software applications.

If you believe you have been the victim of a COVID-19 fraud, immediately report it to your local police department.

For accurate and up-to-date information about COVID-19, visit:

http://coronavirus.gov/

http://cdc.gov/coronavirus

http://usa.gov/coronavirus

http://fbi.gov/coronavirus

http://justice.gov/coronavirus

http://oig.hhs.gov/coronavirus

Hamilton Police seeking assistance in locating man missing since August

January 19, 2021

By: Tyler Eckel

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP (MERCER): Hamilton Police are seeking information in regards to a man that hasn’t been seen since August of 2020.

On January 14, 2021, Todd Dekis was reported missing by a family member. The family member told police that they have not seen Dekis since August of 2020. Dekis’ family also reported seeing anonymous Facebook posts suggesting that Dekis may be hospitalized. Police contacted all local hospitals, but Dekis was not located.

Dekis is described as a 35 year old white male, 6’0”, 140 lbs., blue eyes and black hair. It is unknown what Dekis is wearing and the family does not believe he has a cell phone. Dekis may be homeless at this time and may be in the Trenton area.

Anyone with any information regarding the missing person is asked to contact Detective Dan Inman of the Hamilton Police Criminal Investigation’s Section at 609-581-4035 or the the Hamilton Police Division Tip Line at 609-581-4008.

AG Grewal Announces Proposed Rules to Align Juvenile Parole Responsibilities with the Juvenile Justice Commission

January 19, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal today announced proposed changes that, if adopted, would bring more accountability to the youth justice system in New Jersey, transferring juvenile parole responsibilities to the authority of the Juvenile Justice Commission (JJC) and allowing parole decisions to be made by those who are most closely involved in the day-to-day rehabilitation of youth.
 

Integrating juvenile parole release authority within the JJC completes the consolidation of executive branch juvenile justice responsibilities originally envisioned when the JJC was legislatively established more than 25 years ago. The proposed rules underscore and reflect New Jersey’s commitment to maintaining a truly separate system of justice between adults and youth. And this shift also joins New Jersey with 32 other states that place release authority with the jurisdiction’s youth corrections agency. Overall, this change allows those who are most closely involved in the day-to-day progress of youth, JJC professional staff, to make and execute decisions regarding parole.
 

“With today’s proposed rules, our Juvenile Justice Commission continues to push forward towards the systemic transformation of New Jersey’s youth justice system,” said Attorney General Grewal. “Placing release responsibility entirely with the JJC and those most closely involved with our young people ensures that the focus remains on rehabilitation, personal growth, and fairness – priorities that have made New Jersey a leader in youth justice reform.”

 “Every step in the reform of New Jersey’s youth justice system has been carefully implemented to create a fair and just structure that recognizes the individual needs of youth while ensuring consistency and equity in decision-making. The standardized parole processes being put in place by the JJC incentivize prosocial behavior and engagement in rehabilitative programming and increase positive outcomes among youth,” said Jennifer LeBaron, Ph.D., Acting Executive Director of the JJC. “The core principles and data collection requirements that we are embedding in our work will allow us to measure the outcomes of these changes. While there is more work to do, the JJC, in partnership with advocates and stakeholders, is creating a system that is more equitable and transparent and that expands opportunities for growth and success among youth.”
 

The JJC has implemented a team approach to release decision-making. Staff from various disciplines directly involved with youth assess each youth’s behavior and progress and craft reports that are shared with various partners including the courts, prosecutors, and defense attorneys. These reports, as well as specific recommendations regarding parole, are also provided to a review panel authorized to make parole decisions, in order to create individualized reentry plans and to set release conditions consistent with each youth’s specific circumstances and rehabilitative goals. The panel is comprised of at least two members from the JJC and one member of the State Parole Board.
 

In order to fully implement this change, the JJC’s Executive Board voted to readopt rules with proposed amendments related to P.L.2019, c.363, signed by Governor Murphy in 2020, which transfers administrative functions related to juvenile parole from the State Parole Board to the JJC. Additionally, the law calls for principles that include utilizing objective criteria, processes, and tools to be incorporated into the juvenile justice system and specifically requires such objective processes to be used to determine the length of time a juvenile should remain in custody. This system will enhance fairness and consistency in decision-making, as youth displaying similar behaviors will receive similar parole outcomes.
 

The JJC’s Office of Juvenile Parole and Transitional Services provides supervision and support to youth once released from custody, assisting them with enrolling back into school, finding employment, and connecting with appropriate counseling and related services, in accordance with the individualized reentry plan. Youth and their families are active partners in the community reentry planning process.
 

The transformation of New Jersey’s juvenile justice system has earned the JJC national acclaim and made New Jersey a model state for youth justice reform.
 

Comprehensive reform includes:

  • a reduction of approximately 80% in the use of secure detention as the result of the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI), a nationally recognized reform effort;
  • a drop of almost 90% in the number of youth of color in the detention center population since the implementation of JDAI;
  • the designation of New Jersey by the Annie E. Casey Foundation as a Model Site for other states seeking to implement statewide reform;
  • a reduction of 80% in the number of Court-ordered commitments of juvenile offenders to JJC custody, resulting in the virtual elimination of reliance on incarceration with the JJC for minor offenses;
  • the closure of one non-secure facility and downsized staffing at its secure facilities, with significant budget savings; and
  • supporting a statewide Attorney General Directive to law enforcement to divert juveniles away from law enforcement and toward social or familial support whenever possible.

The proposed new rules, which were published in the NJ Register on December 21, 2020, are now subject to public comment.

The proposal, and information on how to submit a comment by February 19, 2021, can be found here.

The JJC was established in 1995 to serve as the single agency of State government with centralized authority for planning, policy development, and provision of services in the juvenile justice system. The JJC is committed to implementing and promoting policies and practices that improve outcomes for young people involved with the juvenile justice system, their families, and their communities.

The JJC’s three primary responsibilities are providing care, custody, and rehabilitative services to youth committed to the agency by the courts, supervising and coordinating services for youth released from custody on parole, and supporting local efforts to provide prevention and early intervention services to at-risk and court-involved youth.

Across a continuum of care, which includes secure care facilities, residential community homes, and community-based parole and transitional services, the JJC provides programming, supports, and opportunities designed to help youth grow and thrive and to become independent, productive, and law-abiding citizens.

BREAKING: Serious Crash Involving Pedestrian In Lawrence Township

January 19, 2021

LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–A serious crash involving a Nissan Murano and a pedestrian occurred at the intersection of Princeton Avenue and Spruce Street sometime before 8:30 am. Lawrence Township Police, Lawrence EMS and Capital Health Paramedics responded to the scene. The person was transported to the Trauma Center at Capital Health Regional Medical Center. The Lawrence Township Fire Department responded to help clean up and wash down the accident scene.

Information contained in this story is breaking news and from on scene reporting, witnesses and radio traffic. An email was sent to Lawrence Township Police for official press information once received the story will be updated and any corrections and additions made.



65 Year Old Long Branch Teacher Arrested in Manalapan for Endangering the Welfare of a Child

January 19, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–A 65-year-old science teacher at Long Branch Middle School was arrested this morning and charged with one count of third-degree attempted endangering the welfare of a child, Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri reported. 

Jesse Rosenbaum was taken into custody during a motor vehicle stop near his home in Manalapan by detectives with the prosecutor’s Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Unit and Special Victims Unit (SVU).  He is being held in the Mercer County Correction Center pending a detention hearing.

Rosenbaum was the subject of a recent ICAC investigation into the sexual exploitation of children online.  The investigation revealed he was soliciting underage males online to participate in sexual acts and also sexual conversation.  The complaint alleges Rosenbaum engaged in sexually explicit emails, text messages and phone conversations with an individual he believed to be a 14-year-old male.

The investigation is ongoing.  Anyone with information on this investigation should contact Sgt. Joe Paglione of the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit at (609) 273-0065.


Two Killed In Route 9 Crash

January 19, 2021

Update Gofundme accounts of Ramirez and Rochford are located at these links:

Jonathan Ramirez Memorial Fund


Justin Rochford Memorial Fund

MANALAPAN, NJ (MONMOUTH)–At approximately 9:31 p.m. on Saturday January 16, Manalapan police responded to a single motor vehicle crash on Route 9 North, just south of Smallwood Lane. The investigation by the Monmouth County SCART Team and Manalapan Police Department revealed that a 2004 Infiniti G35, was travelling northbound when the driver lost control and left the roadway. The vehicle collided with a curb, utility pole and a guiderail, prior to coming to a final stop in a wooded area approximately 100 yards from where the vehicle left the roadway.

There were 2 occupants in the vehicle, the driver, Jonathan Ramirez, 20, and Justin Rochford, 20, both of Spotswood. Rochford was pronounced dead on the scene. Ramirez was taken to a local hospital where he was later pronounced deceased, at 1:24 a.m.

If anyone witnessed the crash, please contact Monmouth County Detective Kristian DeVito at 800-533-7443 or Manalapan Police Department Patrolman Matthew Porricelli or Detective Dominic Donatelli at 732-446-4300

Robbinsville Board Of Education Seeks Applications For 2 Vacancies

January 18, 2021

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)— The Robbinsville Board of Education is seeking two (2) qualified candidates for membership to the Robbinsville School Board. The Board, within the powers delegated to it by law, is the policy-making legislative branch of the School District. These two positions to be filled will replace Shaina Ciaccio and Craig Heilman who resigned in December for personal reasons.

If appointed, the term will run through December 31, 2021. Both positions will be placed on the ballot for the annual election in November 2021; one for a full three-year term and the other for a one-year unexpired term.

Individuals considering applying, must meet the following qualifications:
• A citizen of the United States of America
• At least 18 years of age
• Able to read and write
• A resident of the Township of Robbinsville for at least one (1) year preceding the date of appointment
• Not directly/indirectly interested in a contract with a claim against the Board
• Registered to vote in the District
• Not disqualified as a voter pursuant to NJSA 19:4-1
• Has not been disqualified due to the conviction of a crime or offense listed in N.J.S.A. 18A:12-1

Interested candidates should submit a letter of interest and resume by noon on February 3, 2021 to Nick Mackres Business Administrator/Board Secretary, Robbinsville Board of Education, 155 Robbinsville Edinburg Road, Robbinsville, NJ 08691 or via email: mackres.nick@robbinsville.k12.nj.us

The Board of Education will review all qualifying applicants at the February 3rd Special Board Meeting at 5:00 p.m.

The Robbinsville Board of Education is an organization of elected citizens and residents living in the district. Once a member has been elected to the Board, they gain the right to vote on proceedings concerning the school district. The Board of Education is responsible for a wide variety of transactions and decisions that are made in the district. Robbinsville Township School District is comprised of an elementary school, middle school and high school providing services to over 3,200 students.


After Massive Preparation For Armed Protest, 1 Anti-Protest Protester And A Few Skateboarders Seen In Trenton

January 17, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Several streets and bridges in downtown Trenton were closed off with concrete blocks weighing thousands of pounds on Sunday. State offices closed, NJ Motor Vehicle Commission Offices closed, and some businesses boarded their buildings for reports of a possible nationwide armed protest in all state capitals today.

Police were seen patrolling empty streets, while one anti-protest protester, seen wearing an Obama mask with a sign reading, “GO HOME,” and a few skateboarders were seen about in Trenton, NJ.

NJ State Police patrolled areas in front of City Hall and the NJ State House on mountain bikes. The closures stem from rumors and Internet chatter of a nationwide protest against the presidential election by right wing extremists that never materialized today. The armed insurrectionists were a no-show in Trenton.


Photos by: Brian McCarthy OnScene News




Tractor Trailer Overturned On Turnpike And Serious Accident Perrineville Road This Morning

January 17, 2021

ROBBINSVILLE-EAST WINDSOR TOWNSHIPS, NJ (MERCER)–Robbinsville Township firefighters responded to the 500 Block of Perrineville Road at 6:47 am for a car into a utility pole with injuries. Upon arrival of Robbinsville Police, fire and EMS the person was still in vehicle with wires one the vehicle. Jersey Central Power & Light JCP&L was notified and responded. The person was removed from the vehicle and transported to a local hospital.


At 8:28 am the Robbinsville Township Fire Department, Hightstown Fire Company, East Windsor First Aid, Robbinsville EMS responded to the New Jersey Turnpike for an overturned tractor trailer with reported entrapment. The accident happened in the north bound outer roadway (truck lanes) mile marker 66.0 about 1 mile prior to Exit 8 and blocked all the lanes of the outer roadway. When fire and EMS personnel arrived the driver was able to get out of the vehicle on their own power. Currently the roadway has reopened but one lane remains closed.




14 Year Old Charged In Brick Township Murder

January 17, 2021

BRICK TOWNSHIP, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer and Brick Township Chief of Police James Riccio announced that a 14 year-old juvenile has been taken into custody and charged with Murder in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3a(1), in connection with a stabbing that occurred in Brick Township during the afternoon of January 16, 2021. The juvenile was also charged with Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4d; and Unlawful Possession of a Weapon in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5d. The juvenile is currently being detained in the Ocean County Juvenile Detention Center.

On January 16, 2021, at approximately 2:45 p.m., the Brick Township Police Department responded to a residence in reference to a 911 call for an apparent stabbing. Responding Officers found a 38 year-old male victim with a stab wound to the right side of his abdomen. The victim was transported to Jersey Shore Medical Center in Neptune, where he ultimately succumbed to his injuries. The victim has been identified as Mohammed Khater of Brick Township.

Due to the fact that the individual charged with these offenses is a juvenile, N.J.S.A. 2A:4A-60 prohibits the release of any additional information.

Prosecutor Billhimer and Chief Riccio are grateful for the hard work and collaborative efforts of all law enforcement personnel involved in this thorough investigation leading to the juvenile suspect’s apprehension, including officers and detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, the Brick Township Police Department, and the Ocean County Sheriff’s Department Crime Scene Investigation Unit.

The press and public are reminded that all defendants are innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.


COVID-19 Vaccination Sites Planned At CURE Arena And MCCC

January 16, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Mercer County plans on opening an COVID-19 vaccination site at CURE Insurance Arena in Trenton in partnership with Capital Health System. An additional vaccination site is planned at Mercer County Community College and will be managed by the County Health Officer’s Association. See full press rease below from Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes:

Dear Mercer County Community,

The State of New Jersey this week ramped up its COVID-19 vaccination efforts, and Mercer County is preparing to do the same. The County will open a vaccination site at CURE Insurance Arena in Trenton in partnership with Capital Health System, which will manage the site. The opening date is dependent on vaccine supply but a soft opening is planned next week.

We had a successful partnership with Capital Health during the COVID-19 testing program we established last spring, and I can’t think of a more fitting partner for this next phase of the pandemic response – the vaccination phase. Like other vaccination locations, this site will be for those eligible under the state’s phasing plan that is designed to ensure that those most at risk are prioritized.

Mercer County also is working on opening a vaccination site  at Mercer County Community College that would be managed by the County Health Officers Association and utilize all of the resources and staffing available from the municipal and county health offices. The arena and MCCC vaccination locations will supplement, not replace, smaller sites including those currently being operated by municipal health departments and other health care facilities in Mercer County. If you have questions about the CURE Insurance Arena or MCCC vaccination sites, please email publichealth@mercercounty.org.

As of this morning, at least 7,342 vaccine doses had been administered in Mercer County, according to the state Department of Health. While we all want to see that number grow exponentially, we are simply not getting enough vaccine from the federal government, and we are using every single dose we receive. 

I ask that everyone be patient throughout what will be a months-long vaccination process and continue to take basic preventive measures to reduce the spread of the virus, which is still rampant in our community and seemingly everywhere else. Wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth; keep a least 6 feet away from other people; practice good hand hygiene; avoid large gatherings; and stay home if you are sick.

Anyone can – and everyone should – pre-register to receive a vaccination by visiting the state’s online portal at https://covidvaccine.nj.gov. The state expects to have a consumer call center up and running soon to assist people without Internet access in scheduling appointments, and to help answer general inquiries and questions. Those who have pre-registered will be notified when they are eligible to make a vaccination appointment. The state is compiling a list of designated vaccination locations for eligible recipients. That list will continue to grow.

For more information on who is eligible, and how to get vaccinated if you are eligible, please visit the state’s COVID-19 Vaccine website.

In addition to vaccinations, Mercer County continues to respond to the pandemic through testing, contact tracing and support. The County, in partnership with Vault Health Services, is offering a free COVID-19 saliva test on the next two Tuesdays – Jan. 19 and 26 – at the CURE Insurance Arena in Trenton. For details, please visit the COVID-19 Testing page on the County website, where you’ll also find information on the County’s at-home testing program.

These are trying times but we will get through them. Let’s continue to support each other and keep each other safe. Let’s continue to work together.

Brian M. Hughes

Mercer County Executive



Trenton Fire Responds To 3rd Serious Call All Within Hours, Another All Hands Fire Extinguished

January 15, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Trenton Fire Department’s third serious call in a matter of a couple of hours, this time 9-1-1 calls reported a fire in the 300 Block of Commonwealth Avenue around 1:45 pm. First arriving Trenton fire units reported heavy fire on the third floor. An “all hands” was called sending additional fire apparatus and personnel to the scene. The fire was brought under control in less than a half hour. No further details are available.

All this after firefighters responded to an 11:00 am fire on MLK Blvd near Calhoun Street and 12:10 pm rescued a man from a Trench. See other MidJersey.News stories at links below:

11:00 am All Hands Fire In Trenton

12:10 pm Man Rescued From Trench In Trenton

Trenton NJ MVC Closed Due To Heightened Security Measures

January 15, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–The NJ Motor Vehicle Commission announces due to heightened security measures the Trenton Regional-Vehicle Center will close on Saturday January 16 and Wednesday January 20, 2021. Check the website for further details here: http://bit.ly/MVCLocations.

Due to the state’s heightened security measures, TRENTON REGIONAL/VEHICLE CENTER will CLOSE Saturday, Jan. 16 and Wednesday, Jan. 20. For the most up-to-date information on MVC facility closures and openings, check http://bit.ly/MVCLocations.