Month: November 2019

2019 Annual Allentown, NJ Tree Lighting Celebration

By: Dennis Symons, Jr.

ALLENTOWN, NJ (MONMOUTH) — The annual Allentown Tree Lighting was held on November 30, 2019. The lighting is hosted by the Allentown Economic Development Commission and the Allentown Business Community Association. The Stone Bridge Middle School Redbird Singers were singing Christmas Carols. There was free cider at The Moth Coffeehouse. There was free cocoa and cookies at Bruno’s Bicycles and One Sweet Ride. The Hope Fire Company will escort Santa to the Allentown Public Library.

Photos by: Dennis Symons, Jr. Dennis Symons Photography

Millstone Township BSA Troop 116 Holds Eagle Court of Honor

November 30, 2019

By: Dennis Symons, Jr.

MILLSTONE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MONMOUTH)–Millstone Township, Boy Scouts of America, Troop 116 held an Eagle Court of Honor today. Six Scouts made the Rank of Eagle Scout, it is the the highest rank in BSA an honor that only 2 to 4% of all Scouts achieve. Luke D. DePinho, Jordan Daniel Lisnow, Nicholas Luke Meier, Noah Lee Meier, Andrew Joseph Raccuglia, and Jared Scott Skidmore obtained the highest rank in the BSA as Eagle Scout.

Updated: Serious Bus Accident on NJ Turnpike, One Fatality Reported, Several Injured

November 29, 2019 (updated 11/30/2019 to include official information from NJSP)

By: Dennis Symons, Jr.

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP–One person has died in a bus accident on the NJ Turnpike and several others had moderate to minor injuries. A bus traveling south on the NJ Turnpike was en route from New York City to Philadelphia, PA., NJ State Police said.

The south bound bus was in the area of mile marker 56.9 lost control and ran off the roadway by the Crosswicks Creek Bridge. It appears the guardrail and barrier had kept the bus from falling off the embankment of the bridge and into the creek below.

The Robbinsville Township Fire Department, IAFF Local #3786, Bordentown Township Fire Department IAFF Local #3091 were dispatched at 8:49 pm, also numerous first aid squads were requested and responded to the scene.

New Jersey State Police said that there were at least 20 passengers on board the bus at the time of crash and some passengers left the scene on their own.

There were seven injuries reported, six were minor and one moderate. The one “moderately” injured person had to be extricated and was transported to Capital Health in Hopewell. One injury was taken to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital at Hamilton and five refused treatment.

The NJ State Police did not release the name of the deceased, pending notification of family members.

The bus was operated by Skyliner Travel and Tours Bus Corp from Astoria, NY

A Hyundai traveling behind the bus was damaged by debris of the crash but did not impact the bus. The cause of the crash remains under investigation by the NJ State Police.

Christmas Lighting Ceremony and Santa Parade

November 29, 2019

By: Dennis Symons, Jr.

HIGHSTOWN, NJ (MERCER)–The Annual Christmas Lighting of the Highstown Engine Company #1 lights and Santa Parade was held on November 29, 2019. Santa was escorted to the firehouse in a parade of fire trucks, ambulances, police cars and a float of Hightstown High School Softball players. When Santa got to the firehouse he threw the big light switch to light the firehouse Christmas lights. Santa proceeded upstairs to meet children and hear their Christmas wishes and have a photo take with Santa. The Girl Scouts also sang Christmas carols during the event.

The 8th Annual Black Friday Fun Run

November 29, 2019

By: Dennis Symons, Jr.

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–The 8th Annual Black Friday Fun Run to help the Special Olympics New Jersey was held today at the Robbinsville Town Center gazebo. The run has raised well over $42,500. since 2012 for Special Olympics New Jersey.

The run started at 10 a.m. with runners in the front completing 2 laps around the lake. Walkers started in the back completing 1 lap around the Town Center Lake. This was a “fun run” no official time is kept. Door prizes were held after the event

Traffic Safety Message

November 29, 2019

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–A few days ago I received a message and a snap telling me that “the sign got hacked” there is a funny message on it, and that was not the case. The Robbinsville Police Department used some humor to try and bring education to the public about the use of drugs and driving. Hopefully this humorous message reminds people of the seriousness not to drive while using drugs or drinking. This was a great idea and brought good attention to the cause to keep us safe on the roads.

Dancer, Clifton district awarded more than $3.25 million in transportation grants

November 29, 2019
TRENTON, N.J. – Thirteen municipalities in the 12th legislative district will receive more than $3.25 million in grants from the Department of Transportation, Assemblymen Ron Dancer and Rob Clifton announced today.
“This funding will help get vital roadway projects moving and will make much-needed improvements for the benefit of motorists,” said Dancer (R-Ocean).
The towns in Dancer and Clifton’s district will use the money for roadway preservation, one of the seven project categories under the municipal aid program. The others include roadway safety, quality of life, mobility, bikeway, pedestrian safety and bridge preservation.
“Local commuters and families deserve safer roads, resurfaced roads and peace of mind when travelling in our district. These funds will provide a better and safer experience,” said Clifton (R-Monmouth).
NJDOT provides 75 percent of the grant amount when a town awards a contract and the remaining 25 percent upon completion of the project.
The following towns and projects in district 12 have been awarded funding:

Municipality                     Grant Amount         Name of Project
Chesterfield Township $244,000.00 Sykesville Rd Improvements Phase II
New Hanover Township $244,000.00 Cookstown Hockamick Road
North Hanover Township $240,000.00 Schoolhouse Road Phase II
Old Bridge Township $312,338.00 Phillips Drive Improvements
Allentown Borough $180,000.00 Improvements to Waldron Road, Quinn Road, and Hamilton Street
Englishtown Borough $154,000.00 Heritage Drive and Raymond Court Improvements
Manalapan Township $270,000.00 Improvements to Gordons Corner Road
Matawan Borough $200,000.00 Overbrook Lane Improvements
Millstone Township $180,000.00 Nurko Road
Roosevelt Borough $255,000.00 Improvements to School Lane
Upper Freehold Township $330,000.00 Burlington Path Road
Jackson Township $425,000.00 Improvements to Wright DeBow Road, Phase II
Plumsted Township $218,000.00 Tower Road Resurfacing

Basement Fire Leaves Person With Severe Burns

November 28, 2019

By: Dennis Symons, Jr.

ROBBINSVILLE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Firefighters were dispatched to the 200 block of Windsor Road at 4:11 pm, for a basement fire. Upon arrival of Robbinsville’s “Squad 40” engine they found heavy smoke showing and a large volume of fire coming from the basement. Crews pulled 2 lines to the rear basement access and proceed with an aggressive interior attack.

While Robbinsville’s fire crew was conducting the fire attack a burn victim was being treated by Robbinsville’s EMS crew and was transported to Capitol Health System at Fuld Trauma Unit in Trenton. The person was reported to have severe burns and was flown from the trauma unit in Trenton to St Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, NJ to be treated by their burn unit.

Mutual aid from Hightstown Station 41, East Windsor Station 42, Hamilton Township Fire Departments: Nottingham Station 17, Groveville Station 19, Mercerville Station 12. A tanker task force was called and sending a tanker from Allentown Station 82, Millstone Township Station 32-1, Cranbury Station 48 all responded to the scene.

The fire is under investigation by the Robbinsville Township Fire Marshal

Steinert at Hamilton Thanksgiving Day Football Game

November 28, 2019

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP–The Annual Steinert vs Hamilton Thanksgiving Day Football Game was played at West today. Final Score was Steinert 0 Hamilton West 24. Here is a photo gallery of the game, half time video and post game events:

Hamilton High West Marching Band Half Time Show Thanksgiving Day 2019

Firefighters Battle Truck Fire on NJ Turnpike

November 27, 2019

By: Dennis Symons, Jr.

EAST WINDSOR TOWNSHIP–Hightstown Engine Company #1 firefighters were called to the NJ Turnpike at 8:04 pm to Mile Marker 68.5 South Bound for a well involved truck fire.

Upon arrival of the first responding units firefighters found a 53 foot length moving truck fire well involved in fire. Mutual aid fire departments were called from Robbinsville Township Fire Department, Cranbury Fire Department, Monroe Township Fire Department, East Windsor Fire Company.

No further information was available, firefighters were still on scene at time of this report.

NJ State Police Team Up With Mercer County Chapter of Sunshine Foundation for Gifting Thanksgiving Baskets

November 27, 2019 by NJSP

Earlier this week, Sergeant Burek and members from the Central Lab teamed up with the Sunshine Foundation Mercer County Chapter to donate Thanksgiving baskets to some much-deserving families.

The Sunshine Foundation’s mission is to answer the dreams of chronically ill, seriously ill, physically challenged and abused children ages 3 to 18, whose families cannot fulfill their requests due to financial strain that the child’s illness may cause.

Sgt. Burek has been a part of this organization for many years—not always from the helping side—but as a recipient of foundation’s genorosity.

At the age of 18 months, Sgt. Burek’s sister was diagnosed with Wilms Tumor in her left kidney. As a family of five with a sick child, his family struggled emotionally and financially. The Sunshine Foundation contacted his family and granted them a trip to their Dream Village in Florida and tickets to Disney World for a week. This trip gave his family the opportunity to have some fun and get away from the daily trips to St. Christopher’s hospital in Philadelphia.

His sister ended up beating cancer, however her kidney stopped functioning due to chemotherapy. She endured 2 years of dialysis before receiving a kidney transplant at the age of 15. She is now 32 years old and married with a child of her own.

Since 2006, Sgt. Burek has had the opportunity to represent the New Jersey State Police as a chaperon on the Mercer County Chapter Sunshine Foundation’s annual trip to Disney World, which departs from the Mercer County Airport on the first Tuesday in May.

Having been a part of this foundation for so many years and personally understanding the impact a sick child can have on a family, members from the Central Lab teamed up with the Sunshine Foundation’s Mercer County Chapter to provide a little help to deserving families for the Thanksgiving holiday.

The Sunshine Foundation was started in the 1960’s by a Philadelphia police officer named Bill Sample, who was assigned to a local children’s hospital. He encountered critically and terminally ill children and saw firsthand how their families were burdened not only by mounting medical bills, but also by the frustration of not being able to provide their children’s special dream.

For more info on the Sunshine Foundation please visit

Benson, McKnight & Jasey Bill to Address Disparities in NJ School Discipline Stats Advances in Legislature

Measure to Create Restorative Justice in Education Pilot Programs

(TRENTON) – Working toward addressing the striking disparities found in New Jersey school discipline statistics, legislation that would create a statewide program aiming to reduce racial disparities in school discipline; improve the socio-emotional and behavioral responses of students through intervention; and decrease recidivism rates among students who violate school district code of conduct advanced in the Assembly Monday.

            The bill (A-3519) was approved by the full body, 59-13-2, during an afternoon voting session. It is sponsored by Assembly Democrats Daniel Benson, Angela McKnight and Mila Jasey.

“As school districts seek to adopt restorative justice practices, it is crucial for the state Department of Education to play a role, through this pilot, to develop best practices and provide guidance,” said Benson (D-Mercer Middlesex). “Ultimately, our goal is reduce truancy and violence in schools by ensuring groups that often are disproportionately affected by school discipline, such as racial and religious minorities, victims of school bullying and violence, as well as those living with mental illness, are seen and heard. Implementing restorative justice practices can ensure not only that discipline is more effective, but that the needs of the school community and those affected by the student’s actions are considered in any post discipline remedy.”

The bill directs the Commissioner of Education to establish a three-year “Restorative Justice in Education Pilot Program” to implement restorative justice practices in the public schools. “Restorative justice” is defined as a system of dispute resolution tools that allows all parties of a dispute to be involved in defining the harm and devising remedies while giving the necessary attention to community safety, victims’ needs, and the need for offender accountability. 

 “The joint Senate and Assembly Education Committees held hearings on school security during this session. The impact of restorative justice programs and how they can help foster safer and healthier school environments was brought to our attention,” said Jasey (D-Essex, Morris), who chairs the Assembly Higher Education Committee and sits on the Assembly Education Committee. “We have to look at redefining how we correct our children’s behavior in schools and look into alternative methods such as restorative justice practices.”

“How a child’s behavior is addressed at home and in our schools can either nurture or change the course of their future,” said McKnight (D-Hudson). “We raise a child as we want them to go, with the understanding that a mistake does not have to be repeated and it doesn’t have to chart their path in life. Restorative justice programs may be just what we need to change the startling school discipline statistics in New Jersey and create safe, positive school environments for our children and staff.”

The principal of a school selected to participate in the pilot program would be required to limit the number and duration of student expulsions and suspensions to the greatest extent practicable.  The principal must demonstrate a commitment to exhausting other forms of non-exclusionary discipline prior to using out-of-school suspensions or expulsions.  The bill further requires that a school district selected to participate must provide ongoing professional development to teachers and other staff on:

×          The adverse consequences of the exclusion of students from school and their involvement in the juvenile justice system;

×          Effective classroom management strategies; culturally responsive discipline; and

×          Developmentally appropriate disciplinary methods that promote a positive and healthy school climate.

The program would be established within 6 months of the bill’s enactment.  Selected by the Commissioner from applications received by willing school districts, five districts in each of the southern, central, and northern regions of the State would participate in the program.  The Commissioner would provide any necessary guidance, support, and training to participating schools.

The bill will now go to the Senate for final legislative review.

Benson, DeAngelo & Pinkin Bill to Require Boil Water Notices to Be Delivered Expeditiously to Mayor and City Clerk Passes Assembly

Measure Stems from Trenton Water Works Concerns

(TRENTON) – Ensuring municipalities are able to help quickly inform residents of boil water notices, a bill sponsored by Assembly members Dan Benson, Wayne DeAngelo and Nancy Pinkin requiring boil water notices are given to the mayor and the city clerk within one hour of testing cleared the full Assembly Monday, 74-0. It will now go to the Governor for further review.

“Residents should learn immediately of an issue with their water to take the necessary precautions for their families,” said Benson (D-Mercer, Middlesex). “The first step is supplying that information to municipal leaders to help notify families.”

This legislation (A-2423) responds to a series of issues arising from Trenton Water Works (TWW). In January 2018, the State Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) issued four violations after the failure of a filter went undetected for more than a month. Benson and DeAngelo are sponsors of multiple bills aiming to address the concerns raised over the last year, including failing to promptly notify residents of boil water notices.

“We’ve been working to improve communication and services for water utilities not just in Trenton but throughout the state,” said DeAngelo (D-Mercer, Middlesex). “This another step in protecting public health and ensuring residents know when, and as soon as possible, there is a concern with their drinking water.”

“A municipality has a better chance of protecting their residents from problems if they are aware of the issue immediately,” said Pinkin (D-Middlesex). “This is common sense legislation that will help residents and municipalities stay informed.”

The bill would require the owner or operator of a public water system to provide notice to the mayor and municipal clerk of each municipality that receives water from the public water system when a boil water notice is in effect, regardless of whether the notice is in effect for that specific municipality.  Notifications would be made via telephone and electronic mail as soon as possible, but no later than one hour after the public water system learns of the contamination.

The notice would be in addition to any other notice required by State or federal law and would contain: name of the public water system affected; geographical area affected; date of the occurrence; consumer corrective measures to be taken; and a telephone number where customers may reach an appropriate party. Upon the boil water notice being rescinded, the bill would also require the owner or operator of the public water system to provide notice via both telephone and electronic mail to the affected municipalities.

Mark Your Calendar, Santa To Visit Robbinsville by Fire Engine on December 14, 2019

Santa Claus is Coming to Town!!


Facebook Event Page

The Robbinsville Township Fire Department and the Robbinsville Professional Firefighters IAFF Local 3786 will escort Santa Claus through Robbinsville Township for his annual visit on Saturday, December 14th beginning at 11am.


Santa will also attempt to make his way to every neighborhood with a schedule reflecting the time/neighborhood.

When posted, the schedule will be a TENTATIVE schedule only and Santa’s arrival times are simply estimates. Santa may arrive slightly earlier or later than listed depending on the duration of prior stops or any emergency calls that we may have to respond to during the event. On the day of the event a “Santa Tracker” will be posted showing his exact location.

The tracker will be posted on this Facebook page and the Robbinsville Professional Firefighters Association – IAFF Local 3786 page.

Additional details to follow.

Hamilton Township Police Ask For Help to Identify Suspect

By: Hamilton Township Police Press Release

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)—On November 25, 2019, Hamilton Police were detailed to Russo’s Music Store at 1989 Arena Drive, on a report of a shoplifting. The pictured suspect was seen via video surveillance inquiring with employees about a guitar then ran from the store with the guitar without paying for it. The suspect fled in the direction of Arena Drive on foot while store employees gave chase. Store employees eventually lost sight of the suspect a short distance from the store.

The suspect is described as a white male wearing a baseball style cap, a gray jacket with a black hood, dark colored pants and light-colored sneakers. The suspect’s baseball cap had a white design on the front.

Hamilton Detectives are asking for the publics’ assistance in identifying the suspect involved in this incident. Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Joseph Lalacci of the Criminal Investigations Section at (609) 689-5822 or via email: The public can also leave a message on the Hamilton Police Crime Tip Hotline (609) 581-4008.