Clarifies Municipal Discretion for Beaches, Boardwalks
TRENTON – Governor Phil Murphy and Superintendent of the State Police Colonel Patrick Callahan today announced an Administrative Order, permitting additional retail businesses to operate during their normal business hours. Effective immediately, the following businesses are considered essential in accordance with Executive Order No. 107:
Mobile phone retail and repair shops;
Bicycle shops, but only to provide service and repair;
Livestock feed stores;
Nurseries and garden centers;
Farming equipment stores.
Businesses that remain operational must comply with social distancing.“While we understand that this an unprecedented time for our state, I thank each and every New Jerseyan for using their common sense and staying home as much as possible,” said Governor Murphy.The Administrative Order also clarifies that municipalities may impose additional restrictions on beaches and boardwalks.A copy of the Administrative Order can be found here.
TRENTON – Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced that criminal charges were filed today against a man who allegedly coughed on a food store employee in Manalapan, N.J., and told the woman that he has the coronavirus.
George Falcone, 50, of Freehold, N.J., was charged today by complaint-summons with the following criminal offenses:
Terroristic Threats (3rd Degree)
Obstructing Administration of Law or Other Governmental Function (4th degree)
Harassment (Petty Disorderly Persons Offense)
The incident occurred at about 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 22, at the Wegmans on US Highway 9. The employee was concerned that Falcone was standing too close to her and an open display of prepared foods, so she requested that he step back as she covered the food. Instead, Falcone allegedly stepped forward to within 3 feet of her, leaned toward her, and purposely coughed. He allegedly laughed and said he was infected with the coronavirus. Falcone subsequently told two other employees they are lucky to have jobs.
A detective of the Manalapan Police Department was working a security detail at the store and approached Falcone, who allegedly refused to cooperate or provide his name or driver’s license. After approximately 40 minutes, Falcone identified himself and was permitted to leave. Following additional investigation, summonses were issued today which will require Falcone to appear in court at a later date.
The case will be prosecuted by the Division of Criminal Justice within the Attorney General’s Office. Attorney General Grewal thanked the Manalapan Police Department and the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office for their strong response to the incident and investigation leading to today’s charges.
“These are extremely difficult times in which all of us are called upon to be considerate of each other— not to engage in intimidation and spread fear, as alleged in this case,” said Attorney General Grewal. “We must do everything we can to deter this type of conduct and any similar conduct that harms others during this emergency. Just as we are cracking down on bias offenses and those who use the pandemic to fuel hatred and prejudice, we vow to respond swiftly and strongly whenever someone commits a criminal offense that uses the coronavirus to generate panic or discord.”
“Exploiting people’s fears and creating panic during a pandemic emergency is reprehensible. In times like these, we need to find ways to pull together as a community instead of committing acts that further divide us,” said Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.
“I commend the officers and detectives involved in this case for bringing criminal charges against the individual responsible for causing additional stress to the employees and patrons of Wegmans during these unprecedented times,” said Manalapan Police Chief Michael Fountain. “It sickens me to think an individual would lower their basic human standards during a time of crisis such as we are experiencing. As evident by these charges, law enforcement will not tolerate individuals breaking the law and placing others in fear during an already tense situation.”
Third-degree charges carry a sentence of three to five years in state prison and a fine of up to $15,000, while fourth-degree charges carry a sentence of up to 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Petty disorderly persons offenses carry a sentence of up to 6 months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
The charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
The New Jersey Turnpike Authority will suspend cash collections at all toll locations on the New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway as of 10:00 p.m. March 24th as a precaution against the spread of COVID-19. All tolls will be collected electronically.
If you have an E-ZPass tag in your vehicle, the process will not change. The equipment in the lane will read your E-ZPass tag, and the cost of the toll will be deducted from the balance in your account, as usual.
If you do not have an E-ZPass tag, the equipment in the lane will capture a photograph of the license plate on the vehicle you are driving, and an invoice for the cost of the toll will be mailed to the registered owner. You will be billed at the cash toll rate; no additional administrative fees will be charged.
Cash customers who do not want to be billed can open an E-ZPass account by calling the New Jersey E-ZPass Customer Service Center at 888-AUTO-TOLL (888-288-6865) or by visiting http://www.ezpassnj.com.
In an urgent phone conversation Saturday, March 21st with U.S. Ambassador to Peru, Krishna Urs, Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-04) a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, urged the Ambassador to reach out to U.S. citizens and reassure those spread-out across Peru that they have not been forgotten nor abandoned.
“There are reportedly 5,000 Americans trapped in Peru needing the immediate assistance of the U.S. government in order to get home,” said Smith, who has been contacted by more than a dozen travelers with New Jersey roots.
“The Administration has been working on some limited options, but we are asking the State Department to raise the bar and expand their efforts to include chartering planes or using military aircraft.”
“Seven hundred Americans, including some from my district, are stuck in parts of Peru, such as Cusco, which is 11,000 feet above sea level where air quality is thin and a strict curfew is enforced. It’s time to let these Americans and their worried families in the U.S. know that their country will employ more resources to bring them home safely,” Smith said.
In addition to speaking with the Ambassador, Smith has been working with State Department officials for several days. A human rights leader in the Congress, Smith has written three letters to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo outlining the location and needs of the New Jersey residents and others desperate for assistance to come home.
“I ask your assistance in prioritizing the evacuation from Peru of these and other Americans by any appropriate, practicable and timely manner, including the chartering of private or commercial aircraft or the utilization of military planes,” Smith said in his March 20th letter in which he named specific Americans needing assistance.
all borders, effective March 16, subsequently issuing a 15-day quarantine. It later announced that March 22 would be the final day the country would allow official flights to repatriate foreign visitors before the country closed all borders, effectively trapping many Americans and other international visitors in the South American nation. Further repatriation efforts require diplomatic intervention, something Rep. Smith is urging our Ambassador and State Department to prioritize.
TRENTON, NJ – Governor Phil Murphy today announced the launch of a new online portal to connect New Jersey residents with jobs in critical industries responding to COVID-19. The jobs portal is available here: https://jobs.covid19.nj.gov. Employers in critical industries should submit information about openings with urgent hiring needs related to COVID19 here: https://jobs.covid19.nj.gov/intake. “My Administration’s top priority is helping New Jersey residents and businesses overcome the unprecedented disruptions COVID-19 is causing while staying healthy and safe,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “The jobs portal will give residents who have lost their jobs or seen their hours reduced an opportunity to get back to work while also providing crucial support to the industries that are on the frontlines of fighting this pandemic.”The jobs portal already has more than 12,000 openings and more are being added every day. These openings are in industries that are critical to New Jersey’s COVID-19 response, such as grocery stores, shipping and logistics, healthcare, janitorial services, human services, and warehousing. By connecting workers to these new openings, the tool will allow New Jersey residents to get back to work while increasing these key industries’ capacity to perform their essential duties. “Helping workers who have seen their jobs disappear or had their hours reduced because of COVID-19 is one of our most pressing responsibilities,” said Department of Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo. “The jobs portal is a central component of our efforts to help these New Jersey residents get back to work and connecting them with openings in industries that play a vital role in fighting this virus will contribute to keeping us all healthy and safe.”The State has created a special intake tool for employers seeking to have openings posted on the portal. Employers can access the intake tool directly via https://jobs.covid19.nj.gov/intake. “COVID-19 presents a variety of new challenges for businesses throughout the state, but our employers are stepping up, and we’re doing everything we can to support their efforts to go above and beyond for our safety,” said New Jersey State Chief Innovation Officer Beth Simone Noveck. “Providing an easily-accessible online resource that will help essential businesses fill staffing shortages benefits everyone and contributes to a safe, effective response to the virus”Job openings currently available through the portal are primarily in industries that are central to the State’s COVID-19 response, but going forward the portal will expand to include any businesses that need to tap into New Jersey’s talent resources. “COVID-19 is directly impacting New Jersey’s physical and economic health in ways we have never seen before, but we are up to the challenge,” said New Jersey Economic Development Authority Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “The new jobs portal launched today takes on three of our most pressing challenges at once: putting residents who lost jobs or had hours reduced back to work, supporting businesses that provide crucial services, and ensuring we can all stay safe and healthy through this challenging time.” Additional information about New Jersey’s COVID-19 response is available at https://cv.business.nj.gov.