ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–International Association of Fire Fighters, IAFF-Local 3786 members with the coordination of Robbinsville Twp. Meals on Wheels Executive Director, John Ward and Meals on Wheels volunteer Paul, delivered prepared meals to our home-bound residents. On some holidays the regular kitchen where the meals are prepared is closed. IAFF Local 3786 members, with the gracious assistance of Dolce & Clemente’s and The Robbinsville Starbucks helped prepare the meals so our members could deliver them this New Years Eve Day.
HAMILTON TOWNSHIP NJ (MERCER)—A crane being used for a backyard tree removal on Miry Brook Road lost its footing and toppled over causing it to crash into the home and a neighbor’s home during the process. The Hamilton Township Special Operations Command team and Hamilton Township Police Department Hazardous Materials Team were on scene controlling a fuel leak and overseeing the operation. Another crane was called to the scene to upright the toppled over crane as well as heavy duty tow units from Hawks Towing & Recovery. Hamilton Township Fire Department stations 12, 13, 19 and 16 responded to the scene.
HIGHSTOWN, NJ (MERCER)—A sport utility type vehicle traveling North Bound Outer Lanes just prior to Exit 8 (Highstown-East Windsor) lost control, crashed though a barrier, went over the retaining wall of the bridge and crashed into the “Rocky Brook” creek below a tributary of Peddie Lake. Highstown and Robbinsville Fire Departments and EMS were detailed to the scene at 10:52 a.m. December 27, 2019. Firefighters gained access to the vehicle using ladders to climb down to the patient in the vehicle. The patient was carried out from the area along the banks of the “Rocky Brook” to an area off Ward Street to a waiting ambulance. The patient was transported to the hospital. No other information is available at this time. Check back for further details when it becomes available.
ALLENTOWN, NJ (MONMOUTH)–Santa has a long standing tradition of visiting Allentown just prior to embarking on his world wide tour on Christmas Eve. According to Hope Fire Company life member Buddy Farmer the tradition started around 1955 and has been a yearly tradition in the borough since.
Santa is known to land his sleigh in the sod field just behind the firehouse. While reindeer snack and get ready for their Christmas Eve duties Santa hitches a ride on the back of Hope Fire Company’s engine and delivers special gifts throughout town. By the time Santa completes his special visit to Allentown Borough the reindeer have been fed and are well rested to start their world journey on Christmas Eve.
HOWELL, NJ — Congressman Chris Smith today joined representatives from the Stephen Siller Tunnels to Towers Foundation, local elected officials, members of law enforcement and local veterans in honoring United States Marine Corporal Scott Nokes. Nokes received the keys from the foundation to a new “smart home” which was built specifically for him and his needs as a blind double amputee resulting from his service in Afghanistan.
In 2003, Smith authored the Veterans Benefit Act (PL 108-183) that increased government funding to $50,000 for Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) programs for severely disabled servicemembers. The SAH government program helps veterans like Cpl. Nokes live independently but doesn’t cover the entire cost of home ownership. That’s where the Tunnels to Towers Foundations stepped in. Through a strong and committed network of donors and corporate partners, the Tunnels to Towers Foundation conveyed the home to Cpl. Nokes free of mortgage.
“No one deserves this more than Corporal Nokes,” Smith said. “He is a courageous marine with an indomitable spirit.”
Allentown, NJ (MONMOUTH)– Allentown-Upper Freehold, Scout, Pack 180 had some busy scouts at the December meeting. Scouts participated in the NJ101.5 Better Bears collection, creating beaded candy canes, one to keep for a family tradition and one to pass along to the Princeton Hospital’s Cancer Center, and distributed to patients.
Scouts also assembled small wooden Christmas Trees for local first responders.
Here are some photos of our boys hard at work, our amazing volunteer parents and the some of our first responders recipients, Allentown Police Department, Hope Fire Company, and Allentown First Aid Squad. Pack 180 wishes all our scout families a happy holiday break! Pinewood Derby season is next!!!
HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Hamilton Township Police and Fire Departments as well at the Robbinsville Township Fire Department were sent to the area of 8 Marlen Drive for a serious accident around 4:30 pm this afternoon. A car driven at high speeds in a 25 mph zone collided with a parked car and the driver fled the scene. A manhunt continued and it appeared an arrest was made as fire trucks were clearing the scene. It was unsure if the arrest being made was the driver of the vehicle that caused the accident.
No further information is available at the time of this report. Once more information becomes available an update will be given. Please check back for corrections and updates.
Robbinsville, NJ– Robbinsville’s Pond Road Middle School was filled with laughter and cheer as Ability Tree New Jersey hosted its annual Christmas Party. More than 200 guests and 50 volunteers from across the state created beautiful crafts, snapped festive photos in the photo booth, played games, caroled with the Lifetree Community Church choir, shared a meal from Chicken Holiday and coffee from the Robbinsville Starbucks, received gifts, played with therapy dogs from The Golden Halo Outreach, and of course spent time with the big man himself, Santa! Even Frosty the Snowman made an appearance this year! Toys for Tots and Autism NJ (with help from Amazon) generously donated hundreds of gifts!
A faith-based, community-focused, 501c3 organization, Ability Tree New Jersey envisions families impacted by disability being accepted and supported in their local community, and enjoying healthy relationships in their neighborhoods, schools, workplaces and churches. Ability Tree reaches out to families with special needs through recreation, education, support, and training (R.E.S.T.). Programs include recreation and respite nights for children with special needs and their siblings, sibling scholarships for graduating seniors, and helping community organizations and events become more accessible. For adults with disabilities, Ability Tree NJ offers their hallmark Ability Camp each summer (July 13-17, 2020) and SociAbility events throughout the year.
Robbinsville resident Dr. Natalie Schuberth, a practicing psychologist and Ability Tree New Jersey’s President, worked with a great team to organize the Christmas celebration. “The Ability Tree NJ Christmas party one of my favorite days of the year and feels like a family reunion where we can connect with old friends and make new ones,” explained Schuberth.
To participate, volunteer, or donate to Ability Tree New Jersey, visit their website at www.abilitytree.org/newjersey.
The Mercer County Narcotics Task Force concluded a month-long investigation recently with the seizure of more than $100,000 in heroin, Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri reported. Onofri stated that, on Wednesday morning, December 18, 2019, detectives with the MCNTF initiated surveillance of the investigation’s target, Bryan Capellan, as well as two residences he utilizes in Hamilton. Detectives proceeded to execute search warrants at both locations, and Mercer County Prosecutor’s Sergeant Joe Angarone utilized his K9 partner Bela to conduct drug searches. Bela gave positive indications for the presence of a narcotics in a 2007 Crown Victoria located at the residence in the 100 block of Marshall Avenue. During the search, detectives located 11,650 bags of heroin, 400 grams of raw heroin, 50 grams of fentanyl, three grams of marijuana and $19,291 in cash. Onofri stated that the total amount of heroin seized has an approximate street value of $107,000. The fentanyl has an approximate street value of $800. Capellan, 31, was arrested at his residence on Deutz Avenue, Hamilton, and charged with first-degree narcotics offenses. He is being held at the Mercer County Correction Center. Officers with the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Homeland Security Investigations, and the Hamilton, Princeton and Trenton police, under the command of the prosecutor’s Special Investigations Unit, assisted with the investigation. Despite having been charged, every defendant is presumed innocent until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)—After over a month of rumors and speculation of another tenant coming to Foxmoor Shopping Center it is now official, Planet Fitness is coming to Foxmoor Shopping Center. Planet Fitness will occupy at least half the space of the former Marrazzo’s Thriftway after signing a 10 year lease with , Pennmark Properties. The building will be shared with the STEM Academy a school and childcare facility.
The project is expected to cost $4 to $5 million to renovate the building and get the space outfitted for both tenants, the project could be completed as early as May 2020.
As of September 30, 2019 Planet Fitness has 14.1 million members and 1,899 locations in 50 states, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Canada, the Dominican Republic, Panama, and Mexico. The Company’s mission is to enhance people’s lives by providing a high-quality fitness experience in a welcoming, non-intimidating environment, which they call the “Judgement Free Zone”
At Planet Fitness standard membership fees run $10. Per month with access to the local location. To access all 1,899 clubs, all amenities, and bring a guest every workout, the PF Black Card runs $22.99 per month. Many Planet Fitness locations are open 24 hours a day 7 days a week, while some locations are open 24 hours a day 5 days a week with a modified weekend schedule.
Ed Note: Author is a member of the Hamilton Township, NJ Planet Fitness. In the spring several e-mails were sent to Planet Fitness for suggesting club locations, including contact information for Robbinsville-Foxmoor Shopping Center and also information was given to a regional manager at the Morrisville, PA location. Earlier last month (November) Mid-Jersey.news reached out to the press office at Planet Fitness and has not received any communication back about the Robbinsville, NJ location.
TRENTON — A Mercer County grand jury returned a nine-count indictment this week charging Billy M. Woodard, 54, in connection with five residential burglaries in Mercer and Middlesex counties, Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri announced. The charges include three counts of burglary in West Windsor Township and two counts of burglary in Plainsboro Township.
In September 2019, a Mercer County grand jury returned a 55-count indictment charging Woodard with 19 burglaries in West Windsor, four in Robbinsville, six in Princeton, four in Lawrence and two in Hopewell. He was also indicted on many third- and fourth-degree theft charges related to the burglaries.
Assistant Prosecutor Kathleen M. Petrucci presented both cases to the grand jury.
Prosecutor Onofri stated that, between June 2018 and May 2019, West Windsor Township and surrounding jurisdictions were inundated with a rash of residential burglaries. A comprehensive and massive investigation was conducted by the West Windsor Police Department’s Detective Bureau, under the leadership of Chief Robert Garofalo, to determine if they were the acts of the same person or persons, and to identify those responsible and apprehend the culprits. The exhaustive efforts led to identifying Woodard as the lone actor in more than 20 residential burglaries during the aforementioned time frame. In almost every single case, the burglaries took place while the residents were at home and asleep.
During the extensive investigation, lead West Windsor Detectives Eric Woodrow and Jason Jones sought assistance from the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office Special Investigations Unit (SIU). Ultimately, Woodard was apprehended during the commission of a residential burglary in Lower Makefield Township, Pennsylvania, on May 30, 2019. He remains in custody in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and is charged with numerous burglaries in that jurisdiction.
“Although Woodard has been linked to 22 residential burglaries in West Windsor Township, the investigation is ongoing,” Chief Garofalo said. “The Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office and the WWPD ask residents to continue your vigilance and be observant and considerate to your neighbors. If you feel something is abnormal in your community, please don’t hesitate to contact your local police department immediately.”
Prosecutor Onofri and Chief Garofalo thanked the following agencies for the support and resources provided during the investigation:
West Windsor Police Department
Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office
Hopewell Township Police Department
Lawrence Township Police Department
Princeton Police Department
Robbinsville Township Police Department
Plainsboro Township Police Department
Lower Makefield Township (PA) Police Department
Despite having been indicted, every defendant is presumed innocent until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
Two major health bills authored by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) were attached to an end-of-year, must-pass spending package today and will become law by the end of the week.
The first bill—the TICK Act—creates a “new whole-of-government national strategy to combat Lyme” and other tick borne diseases. It authorizes $150 million in federal funding for Centers of Excellence and important Lyme initiatives at the local level.
“It’s taken 21 years—and over a dozen bills I’ve introduced in Congress beginning with the Lyme Disease Initiative Act of 1998 to get here.” Smith said. “This marks a major victory for hundreds of thousands—especially and including children—who suffer from this horrific disease.”
Smith introduced the TICK Act earlier this year joined by Rep. Colin Peterson (D-MN) in the House and Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) and Tina Smith (R-MN) in the Senate. As included in the end-of-year bill, the legislation is now named for former Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC) who tragically passed away from a tick-borne disease in October.
“The national strategy provision coupled with $150 million for research, prevention and treatment programs will enable additional federal agencies to step up and coordinated their efforts in the fight against Lyme,” said Smith, the co-chair of the House Lyme Disease Caucus. “The new law will open doors to innovative therapies, treatments, better diagnosis and more accurate information for doctors, and their patients with Lyme.”
“With a whole-of-government approach, all patients, including those suffering with chronic Lyme will get more answers and hopefully relief from this debilitating disease.”
Smith’s second bill to become law this week, the End Neglected Tropical Diseases Act(HR 3460), supports the treatment, control, and elimination of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs). It ensures that that United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID’s) programs effectively integrate NTD treatment, control and elimination efforts with other development issues, such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, water and sanitation and education.
“More than 10 million Americans living in extreme poverty—and 1.4 billion people worldwide—are currently infected with at least one of these awful, but preventable diseases which blind, disable, disfigure and sometime kill victims” Smith said. “My bill breaks down silos and integrates critical therapies USAID is already doing to help those suffering from NTDs such as West Nile Virus, Zika, dengue or severe dengue fever, leprosy, scabies and soil-transmitted helminthiases (STH) (roundworm, whipworm, and hookworm).”
ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–The Robbinsville Township Fire Department, IAFF Local #3786 escorted Santa via fire engine though town. A “Santa Tracker” was available to help residents know when Santa would be in their area. The fire department also collected can goods and other items for the Robbinsville Food Pantry.
ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)—Firefighters from Robbinsville and surrounding towns battled a truck-car carrier fire on the New Jersey Turnpike around 11:53 am today. The fire was at Mile Marker 61.6 South Bound outer lanes (truck lanes) just prior to Exit 7A. Robbinsville “Squad 40” Highstown and Groveville (Hamilton Twp. Station 19) responded with engines, tankers responding were Allentown, East Windsor, Cranbury and Monroe Township. The truck was carrying several vehicles at the time of the fire and all were consumed. Firefighters were still on scene at time of this report. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–A presentation on “Alternative Approaches to Pain” was held at the Robbinsville Township Senior Center today. The event was sponsored by Prevention Resources, Inc. and the Mercer Council on Alcoholism and Drug Addiction and over 40 seniors were in attendance.
Seniors learned about the risk of opioids such at Vicodin, Oxycontin, and Codeine. The presentation to seniors also went over Rx misuse and safety suggestions. Alternative options for pain management were presented such as acupuncture, yoga, physical therapy, chiropractics, massage, meditation and more.
The Robbinsville Township Police Department was also there with Project Medicine Drop Box for seniors to dispose of expired and unused medicines.