Day: November 18, 2019

Catherine Palsho, Beloved Tavern Owner Remembered

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ-Catherine Palsho a long time tavern owner in Robbinsville, passed away Friday at home. She will be remembered with a friendly smile and a warm hart. She loved her poodles and were always by her side while she greeted patrons of Ernie’s Tavern. See obituary below posted by Saul Funeral Homes:


Catherine Marie (McGee) Palsho, longtime and legendary proprietor of Ernie’s Tavern in Robbinsville, passed away peacefully at home with her family on November 15, 2019 at age 95. Her beloved poodle Piper was by her side.

The eldest of five children, Catherine was born in Tonawanda, NY, on June 12, 1924, to Anna (Schwenck) and Herbert McGee, who raised their family in their Victorian B&B and engaged Catherine at an early age in the hospitality industry that would later define her life and legacy.

After graduating from Lowville Academy, Catherine ventured from her hometown of Turin, NY, to attend Rider College in New Jersey. One day, a fortuitous loss of luggage at the Trenton train station put her in the path of Ernest (Ernie) Palsho, who was working at the railroad and helped retrieve her lost bag. The two were married on July 22, 1944.

In 1947 the pair purchased the Robbinsville Hotel, renaming it Ernie’s Old Robbinsville Hotel. Together with her husband, Catherine made Ernie’s a warm and welcoming community spot, while raising five children. A Philadelphia Eagles season-ticketholder, Catherine enjoyed golf and sharing her signature dishes — Buffalo wings and “Ma’s cutlet” – with family and friends. She loved roses and for decades cultivated a stunning garden in her backyard.

After Ernie’s passing in 1999, Catherine was determined that the tavern and its traditions continue. And they did. Patrons have enjoyed decades of lively Christmas Eve sing-alongs, popular Wednesday burger nights, and cold beers with neighbors, all with congenial Catherine at the helm. Catherine also ensured that the tavern actively gave back to the community she loved, sponsoring local sports teams and charity events.

Setting an amazingly high bar for rigor and work ethic, Catherine never entertained the notion of retiring and was in full command at the tavern until just before her passing. Thanks to Catherine, Ernie’s has operated continuously for 72 years, and continues to live on.

Catherine, of Scottish descent, was honored as Irish Person of the Year at the Robbinsville St. Patrick’s Day Parade and received a proclamation from the Robbinsville Mayor commending the longevity of her business. She was a member of the NJ Tavern Association, and a trustee of the Ernest C. Palsho Memorial Fund.

Known as “Ma” to her 11 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren, she enjoyed gathering her large family at her Jersey Shore retreat, where she oversaw great-grandchildren crabbing on the same docks her children once did. She was a longtime member of the Gilford Park Yacht Club.

Predeceased by her parents; her loving husband of 54 years, Ernest C. Palsho; and her sister, Irene Marks; Catherine is survived by sister, Evelyn Moonan; brothers, William McGee (Emily) and Herbert McGee (Chrissy); daughters, Sandra Davall (Barry), Susan Hipple (John), JoAnn Hathazi, Cathy Lubbe (David); and son, Ernest Palsho, Jr. (Allison). She is also survived by grandchildren, Karin Warner (Tim), Jeffrey Davall (Susan), John, Kate and Jason Hipple, Susan (Dodi) Mahnovski (Sergej), Michael Hathazi (Lauren), Morgan and Julianna Lubbe, Ernest Palsho III and Hayley Palsho; as well as great-grandchildren, Katherine, Jack and Ava Warner, Micah Laborde Hipple, Henry, Faye and Benjamin Davall, and Adrian and Sebastian Mahnovski.

Visitation for family and friends will be held on Friday, November 22, 2019, from 6:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. at the Saul Colonial Home, 3795 Nottingham Way, Hamilton Square, NJ. Funeral services will be held Saturday, November 23, 2019, at 11:00 a.m. at the Saul Colonial Home, with interment following at Princeton Memorial Park, Robbinsville, NJ.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Ernest C. Palsho Memorial Fund online or mailed to the Ernest C. Palsho Memorial Fund, Community Foundation of New Jersey, Post Office Box 338, Morristown, NJ 07963-0338, The fund provides scholarships to college-bound Robbinsville students.

Heroin Trafficking Operation Dismantled, 3 Arrested

November 18, 2019

Mercer County Prosecutor’s Press Release:


NORRISTOWN, Pa. (Nov. 18, 2019) —Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin R. Steele, Mercer County (N.J.) Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri and Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub announce the arrest of Sabree Burke, 30, of Huntington Valley in Montgomery County; Roderick McKinney, 24, of Trenton, N.J., and Stanley Akers, 21, of Hamilton, N.J., in New Jersey on charges related to heroin trafficking.

The arrests of the three defendants on Nov. 14, 2019, was the culmination of a multi-jurisdictional investigation into a heroin drug trafficking organization that spanned both states. Burke’s organization operated in and around Hamilton Township and Trenton, N.J., and in Montgomery and Bucks Counties in Pennsylvania. At the time of their arrests, all three defendants had a significant amount of heroin and cash on their person and in their residences. Burke was in possession of 130 bricks of heroin (equal to 6,500 packets), a loaded .40 caliber Ruger with an obliterated serial number and $1,454 cash; McKinney was in possession of 71 bricks of heroin (equal to 3,550 packets) and $500 cash; and Akers was in possession of 50 bricks of heroin (equal to 2,500 packets) and $3,730 cash. The heroin bricks, each stamped with “Louis Vuitton” in red lettering, were worth a combined street value of more than $100,000.

“Burke’s arrest and the arrest of two of his main lieutenants, Akers and McKinney, has cut off a significant source of heroin in Southeastern Pennsylvania and Central New Jersey,” said Steele. “Law enforcement is committed to working together to investigate and dismantle drug trafficking operations like Burke’s.”

“This investigation represents the tremendous good that can be done when law enforcement from all levels come together to work as a team,” said Onofri.  “We will continue to collaborate with our law enforcement partners to stem the flow of illegal drugs into our communities.”

The investigation was led by the Mercer County Narcotics Task Force, Montgomery County Detective Bureau’s Narcotics Enforcement Team (NET), and the Bucks County Detectives’ Strike Force. Also participating in this investigation were the Abington Township Police Department, Hamilton Township Police Division, Princeton Police Department, Trenton Police Department, DEA, U.S. Homeland Security Investigations, Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office Special Investigations Unit, Mercer County Sheriff’s Office and the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department K-9.

Burke was charged with felony Possession with Intent to Deliver, Person Not to Possess a Firearm, Possession of a Firearm with an Altered Serial Number and related charges. He was arraigned before Magisterial District Judge Christopher J. Cerski, who set bail at $500,000 cash. The defendant failed to make bail and was remanded to the Montgomery County Correctional Facility. A preliminary hearing was set for 2 p.m., Nov. 26, 2019, in front of Magisterial District Judge John D. Kessler. Montgomery County Assistant District Attorney Samantha Thompson, Captain of the Drug Unit, will prosecute the case against Burke.

McKinney and Akers were each charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance, possession with the intent to distribute and possession with the intent to distribute within 500 feet of a park.  They are being held at the Mercer County Correction Center pending detention hearings on November 20, 2019.  Mercer County Assistant Prosecutor Daniel A. Matos will prosecute the case against McKinney and Akers in Mercer County.

# # #


Newtown/Robbinsville Railroad Depot Demolished

By: Dennis Symons, Jr.

November 18, 2019

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ–The former Newtown Railroad Depot also known as the Robbinsville Railroad Depot was demolished today. My parents, grandparents and great grandparents that had farms in Robbinsville (former Washington Twp.) and East Windsor Townships at the time they brought vegetables to the rail station to be sold . The potatoes and tomatoes from the farms were sold to Campbell Soup and transported by rail to Camden to be used for soup. The railroad depot operated from 1844 to 1965.

The Camden-Amboy line in this section ran until the early 1990s and then was placed out of service about the time when the polystyrene plant in Windsor closed. The railroad bed was abandoned by Conrail and now Robbinsville Township owns the right of way.

The section north of Windsor was closed in the early 1980s to make way for improvements to the Route 130 and Route 33 intersection in East Windsor. Parts of the old train right of way in Highstown has been turned into a rail trail. A spur of the line was turned into a rail-trail that runs from through Upper Freehold Township from the East Windsor line though New Egypt in Ocean County and called the Union Transportation Trail run by the Monmouth County Park System.

Future plans for Robbinsville for the right of way include a rail trail, possibly linking up with other rail trails in the area.