Month: June 2020

BREAKING: Body Recovered From Delaware River In Trenton

BREAKING NEWS REPORT: Information provided is from on scene reports and other sources. If official information is released the story will be updated.

June 30, 2020

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Trenton Police, Fire Department, Mercer Paramedics and TEMS were detailed to the Trenton Boat Ramp on Lamberton Road just after 4:00 pm today for a victim in the water. Upon arrival at the boat ramp crews were informed that it was a “body recovery”

No further information is available at this time.

MidJersey.News has reached out to officials for further information and awaiting a reply. If a reply is received with additional information the story will be updated.

Photos by: Brian McCarthy OnScene News

Trenton Creates First LGBTQ Liaison Position Within Office of Citizen Concerns

June 30, 2020

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–As LGBTQ Pride Month comes to a close, Mayor W. Reed Gusciora today announced the creation of an LGBTQ Liaison position to better assist Trenton’s LGBTQ residents and advocate for policies that support their community.

“For urban areas like Trenton, LGBTQ youth, elders, and people of color are particularly marginalized when it comes to homelessness, addiction services, and mental healthcare,” said Mayor Gusciora. “A lack of accurate data concerning LGBTQ residents can result in related social programs missing their mark. We created this new position to better assess the needs of our LGBTQ community and connect them with the critical services they need the most.”

The LGBTQ Liaison, created by an Executive Order signed by Mayor Gusciora today, augments the efforts of the Mayor’s Office of Citizen Concerns by working directly with LGBTQ residents, students, and employees of the City of Trenton to ensure any issues relevant to the LGBTQ community are addressed in a respectful and timely manner. Rick Kavin, who currently serves as an Aide to Mayor Gusciora, will assume this new role.

Kavin, a doctoral candidate at Rutgers University studying and teaching constitutional law and LGBTQ Politics, first came to the Mayor’s Office in January 2019 as a Harold and Reba Martin Fellow from the Eagleton Institute of Politics. In addition, Kavin currently serves as the Vice President of Operations for the Pride Center of New Jersey located in Highland Park, which provides social support, engaging programming, and other resources for New Jersey’s LGBTQ community.

Quarantine Advisory Issued for Individuals Traveling to New Jersey from 16 States

Sixteen States Include Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nevada, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah

June 30, 2020

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Governor Murphy today advised individuals traveling to New Jersey from eight additional states with significant community spread of COVID-19 to quarantine for a 14-day period from the time of last contact within the identified state. The travel advisory applies to any person arriving from a state with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents or a state with a 10% or higher positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average.

As of Tuesday, June 30, there are currently 16 states total that meet the criteria stated above: Alabama; Arkansas; Arizona; California; Florida; Georgia; Iowa; Idaho; Louisiana; Mississippi; North Carolina; Nevada; South Carolina; Tennessee; Texas; and Utah.

“If an individual is traveling to New Jersey from one of these sixteen states, he or she should self-quarantine period of 14 days,” said Governor Murphy. “Our collective efforts to flatten the curve and beat the virus, in coordination with our neighbors in New York and Connecticut, have led to a steady decline in COVID-19 positive cases, hospitalizations, and rate of transmission. However, many states across the country are experiencing a significant uptick in this data and we must remain vigilant to continue our progress against the virus. I urge those who are arriving from a hot spot to get a COVID-19 test while they are here to ensure their health and safety, and that of those around them.”

Travelers and those residents who are returning from impacted states should self-quarantine at their home, hotel, or other temporary lodging. Individuals should leave the place of self-quarantine only to seek medical care/treatment or to obtain food and other essential items. 

Travelers and residents returning from impacted states typically will not need to check-in with public health officials, unless otherwise they are involved in contract tracing efforts or required to do so by their employer or any other federal, state or local law or order. It is expected that individuals will follow the public health advisory to self-quarantine.

The list of states will be updated on a rolling basis and is accessible here.

BREAKING: Wildwood 4th Of July Fireworks Canceled

June 30, 2020

Wildwood may be out of our normal coverage area but since many people from our area vacation there information is provided below:

WILDWOOD, NJ (CAPE MAY)–The Greater Wildwoods Tourism Improvement and Development Authority (GWTIDA) and the City of Wildwood are disappointed to announce the cancellation of July 4th fireworks in the interest of public safety.

Wildwood Mayor Pete Byron and Commissioners Mikulski and Fitzsimons are making the call in an effort to discourage large gatherings on what is traditionally the busiest holiday of the year which also happens to fall on the busiest day of the week: Saturday.

“Wildwood is ready, willing and able to produce a spectacular fireworks show,” stated Mayor Pete Byron. “However, as we’ve seen with the delay of opening indoor dining this week, the public is not adequately following Covid-19 public safety rules such as social distancing. We can’t take a chance that Wildwood sees a spike in cases and shuts down our businesses who have already suffered immensely due to closures.”

“Even though we moved the location to the widest part of the Wildwoods, we expect large crowds to gather in and around Rio Grande Avenue for the display,” said Commissioner of Public Safety, Steve Mikulski. “We cannot take the chance that the public will be unable to practice social distancing due to crowds.”

Commissioner Fitzsimons said, “We are hopeful that the City, GWTIDA and SID [Boardwalk Special Improvement District] can come to some resolution for the Friday Night Fireworks that the city and visitors have come to know and love since 1995. We expect a decision on that in the near future.”

One Injured In NJ Turnpike Accident

June 30, 2020

BORDENTOWN TOWNSHIP, NJ (BURLINGTON)–Around 11 am Robbinsville Township Fire Department and Bordentown Township Fire Department were dispatched to the NJ Turnpike at 56.1 north bound inner roadway for an accident with reported fire. Upon arrival Bordentown Township firefighters found a single car accident with one person needing transport. The Robbinsville Fire Department ambulance transported one person to Capital Health Regional Medical Center in Trenton. No further information about the accident was available.

BREAKING: Joe Pop’s Shore Bar And Restaurant Closes For Summer 2020 Will Return 2021

June 30, 2020

SHIP BOTTOM, NJ (OCEAN)–A summer favorite Joe Pop’s Shore Bar and Restaurant announced via Facebook they are going to close for the rest of 2020 and will return for the 2021 season. Where will we see The Nerds play the rest of the summer and summer closing party Labor Day Weekend?

German American Kickers Return To Play And Announce Summer Camp In August

June 30, 2020

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)—Youth sports have been slowly returning to the fields of New Jersey since the COVID-19 crisis the past few months. The German American Kickers of Mercer County has started practice and plans to resume playing games in the next few weeks and hosting a camp at the end of August.

The German American Kickers has entered a partnership with Schaechter Sports, a youth soccer development organization based in Germany. The organization brings in a high level of youth development, coach education, cultural and player opportunities in Germany as well as bringing a European style youth summer camp to the central NJ region.

The main goal of the partnership is for the GAK to continue to provide high level soccer experience and leverage additional opportunities for players in central New Jersey. Under the partnership, GAK will receive consultation services, coach training, age appropriate curriculum, and opportunities to travel to Germany to participate in competitive tournaments and training sessions with first division professional Bundesliga clubs. The exclusive partnership allows both organizations to work closely with each other while maintaining their own identity. The initial term of the partnership will be for three years with the option and intention to grow the partnership and continuously renew thereafter.

The relationship between German American Kickers and Schaechter Sports started last year and led to a highly successful summer camp. The camp was coached by two highly qualified UEFA licensed coaches, Marcus Becker and David Mueller, who traveled to New Jersey from Germany for two weeks to coach the camp and manage the staff. Marcus Becker is a former professional player, a UEFA “A” licensed coach and former Real Madrid youth academy coach. David Mueller is the location manager for Schaechter’s US presence. He is also a UEFA “B” licensed coach and talent identification recruiter and was responsible for identifying Weston McKennie of the US National Team. The camp will be offered again this year at German American Kickers in late August.

The German American Kickers Sports Chairman, Paul Bette, explains that, “We are excited about working closer with Schaechter Sports because the partnership is consistent with German American Kickers’s mission to provide a positive and very competitive soccer experience at an affordable price. This unique program differentiates us from other clubs throughout the entire state and will be a draw for our club.”

For more information about the German American Kickers click here

For more information about Schaechter Sports of Germany click here

Truck Takes Down Wires On Gordon Road

June 29, 2020

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–Just after 11:00 pm tonight a truck collided with a utility pole in the 300 block of Gordon Road. The truck then continued on after cracking the utility pole in half and ripping down wires. The Robbinsville Township Police Department is investigating. Jersey Central Power and Light (JCP&L) and Verizon have been contacted for repairs. One lane is expected to be shut down until the pole can be replaced.

Governor Murphy Signs Executive Order Temporarily Pausing the Resumption of Indoor Dining

COPY OF EXECUTIVE ORDER CAN BE DOWNLOADED AT LINK BELOW

June 29, 2020

SEE EARLIER MIDJERSEY.NEWS STORY HERE: Indoor Dining Postponed

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Governor Phil Murphy today signed Executive Order No. 158, temporarily pausing the resumption of indoor dining, which had been scheduled to resume later this week.  The Order also prohibits the consumption of food or beverages and smoking in the indoor premises of any retail, recreational, or entertainment business, including casinos, where masks are strictly required.  The Order notes that there is an exception for health and safety, such as an individual briefly removing their mask to drink water.

“Unfortunately, the spike in cases in numerous other states, compounded by instances of non-compliance in New Jersey, require us to hit pause on the restart of indoor dining indefinitely,” said Governor Murphy. “I recognize that there are many establishments whose owners, managers, and customers have been responsible, but we cannot move forward unless there is complete compliance. Throughout every step of our restart, we have been clear that we would not hesitate to hit pause to safeguard public health, and this is one of those times.”

In light of today’s Order, the Department of Health issued an updated Executive Directive for food and beverage establishments, which will be continue to be restricted to in-person service at outdoor areas only.

For a copy of Executive Order No. 158, please click here.

For a copy of the Department of Health’s updated Executive Directive for restaurants, please click here.

Indoor Dining Postponed

June 29, 2020

SEE UPDATED MIDJERSEY.NEWS STORY HERE AND EXECUTIVE ORDER: Governor Murphy Signs Executive Order Temporarily Pausing the Resumption of Indoor Dining

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Governor Murphy just announced that indoor dining reopening has been postponed. Further information to follow.

“UPDATE: INDOOR DINING WILL NO LONGER RESUME ON THURSDAY.

We had planned to loosen restrictions this week. However, after #COVID19 spikes in other states driven by, in part, the return of indoor dining, we have decided to postpone indoor dining indefinitely.”

We’re also moved to pause indoor dining because of what we’ve seen in some establishments across the state.

Overcrowding. A complete disregard for social distancing. Very few, IF ANY, face coverings.

The scenes we see in our newspapers and on social media CANNOT CONTINUE.

We have been cautious throughout every step of our restart.

We’ve always said that we would not hesitate to hit pause if needed to safeguard public health.

This is one of those times.


Check out this recent scene in Jersey City, thanks to places like this the rest of NJ must suffer:


Robbinsville Firefighters Participate In Specialized Tactical Emergency Training

June 29, 2020

Photos and story by: Emergency  Education & Development, LLC

ALLENTOWN, NJ (MONMOUTH)–Yesterday Robbinsville Township Fire Department’s A-platoon joined other agencies from across the state in Allentown NJ and attended a tactical EMS class put on by Emergency Education & Development, LLC of Edgewater Park NJ; titled Tactical Emergency Casualty Care.

This class incorporates combat style military care and civilian EMS operations to prepare responders to respond to Active Shooter/Hostile Incidents as part of a Rescue Task Force concept. The instructors were Firefighters, EMTs, Paramedics and Police Officers with over 100 years of emergency service experience.

Students were faced with real life scenarios with “causalities” mocked up looking like real life injuries and face real life skill stations while wearing ballistic person protective gear such as mock tactical vests with ballistic helmets.

Trenton Water Works Issues 2020 Water Quality Report

Trenton Water serves Trenton, Ewing, Hamilton, Hopewell, Lawrence

June 29, 2020


SEE OTHER MIDJERSEY.NEWS Stories on Trenton Water Here:

Attorney General, DEP File Lawsuit Asking Court to Address Violations at Trenton Water Works that Pose Risks to Public Health

NJDEP Requests NJ Attorney General To File Legal Action Against Trenton For Failure To Comply With Safe Drinking Water Act


TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Trenton Water Works, the public water system that serves approximately 250,000 consumers in a five-municipality service area in Mercer County, today issued its 2020 Water Quality Report.

“The report provides an informative summary of our drinking water quality,” said Michael Walker, TWW’s Chief of Communications and Community Relations. “Consumers can also read about TWW’s work to reduce exposure to lead, our success in eliminating disinfection byproducts, active capital projects, and how our public water system operates.”

The 2020 Water Quality Report was mailed to TWW’s 63,000 customers, published online, and distributed to other parts of the water utility’s service area, as is required by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations. 

The report can be downloaded from TWW’s website at www.trentonwaterworks.org/ccr. Service-area residents can request a mailed report by phoning the Office of Communications and Community Relations at (609) 989-3033.

Police Find Missing Juvenile After Search

June 28, 2020

EWING TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–After search Ewing Township Police find missing juvenile see below:

The juvenile was located in good health. Thank you.

Missing juvenile

The Ewing Police Department is currently looking for a missing 15 year old autistic male. He was last seen around 9:15 am in the Spring Meadows area of Ewing. He is described as being 5’7” and 140 pounds. He is believed to be on a blue BMX bike with blue tires. It is unknown what he is wearing. He frequents fast food establishments, Game Stop, and the track at TCNJ. He may be on his way to Best Buy in West Windsor. If observed, please call 911. Do not approach him. If you have seen him, please call 609-882-1313. Thank you.

Photos by: Brian McCarthy OnScene News

UPDATED: Police Investigating Fatal Motorcycle Accident In Bordentown

June 28, 2020 Updated June 29, 2020 at 10:30 am with full press release from Bordentown Township Police

Police are looking into initial reports from some of the motorcyclists stating a deer ran into the roadway, police are still investigating.


10:30 am press release, June 29, 2020:

BORDENTOWN TOWNSHIP, NJ (BURLINGTON)–The Bordentown Township Police Department is investigating a fatal motorcycle collision which occurred on June 28, 2020 that resulted in the death of a 45 year-old male from Forked River, NJ.

Preliminary investigation has determined that the victim, Alexander Halsey – age 45 of Buena Vista Rd. Forked River, NJ, was traveling northbound on Rt. 206 with a group of motorcyclists in the area of the Comfort Inn Hotel at approximately 12:24 pm when he lost control of his 2019 Harley Davidson motorcycle and crashed.  Halsey sustained severe life threatening injuries as a result of the collision and was transported by ambulance to Robert Wood Johnson Hospital at Hamilton where he was pronounced deceased at 1:26 pm.

Two (2) other motorcyclists, Kenneth Barner, age – 56 of Almonesson Rd. Deptford NJ, and George Wargo 3rd, age – 58 of Voyager Rd. Manahawkin NJ, also crashed as a result of this incident and were injured.  Barner was transported to Capital Health Regional Medical Center for treatment of a non-critical head laceration and Wargo was treated at the scene for an arm laceration.

Township Police continue to investigate the cause of this collision and anyone who witnessed or who has information regarding this incident is requested to contact Det. Anthony Nagle at 609-298-4300, ext. 2142.


June 28, 2020 Story:

BORDENTOWN, NJ (BURLINGTON)–Police said, officers responded around 12:24 pm in front of the Comfort Inn located at 1009 Rt. 206 for a motor vehicle collision involving a group of motorcycles that were traveling northbound on the highway when one was reportedly struck by a deer crossing the road. 

The operator of the struck motorcycle, a 45 year-old male from Forked River, NJ, had critical injuries and officers performed CPR and administered an AED but he later died at the hospital.  Two (2) other motorcyclists also suffered non-critical injuries.  Officers remain at the scene investigating the collision and a formal press release will be issued later once all next of kin are notified. Police said.

Information contains preliminary report from Bordentown Township Police a full news release will be out later today


Photos have been altered to protect those involved:

Another Busy Night With Accidents On The NJ Turnpike

June 28, 2020

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–Several accidents have occurred on the NJ Turnpike this evening at 9:52 pm at Exit 8 in Hightstown a tractor trailer overturned with injures at the north bound on ramp to the NJTP. Hightstown Fire Department and Hightstown First Aid Squad were at the scene. Robbinsville Township Fire Department responded but was not needed.

At 3:07 am the Robbinsville Township Fire Department responded to the NJ Turnpike at mile marker 59 for a single car accident with heavy front end damage. It appears one person was injured in this accident. The person was transported to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in Hamilton.

Around 3:30 am in Cranbury at mile marker 70 Cranbury First Aid Squad responded to a motor vehicle accident with three injures. Patients from that accident were transported to Princeton Medical Center Plainsboro.

The night before a one year old child lost their life and 4 others were injured in a major accident in Cranbury.

Rainbow ‘Trenton Makes’ Bridge for Pride Month

June 27, 2020

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–In honor of Pride month, the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission will have the “Trenton Makes The World Takes” message on the Lower Trenton Bridge lit with rainbow colors from June 25, 2020 through June 29, 2020.

“In the face of the COVID-19, Trenton is among many cities across the country that have shelved Pride month celebrations and other public events in order to protect public health,” said Mayor W. Reed Gusciora. “While we can’t celebrate in the streets, we can always celebrate in our hearts, and we’re excited that our city’s diverse heritage will be proudly represented on one of our most iconic landmarks.”

UPDATE: NJ State Police Report A 1 Year Old Child Has Died In Last Nights Accident 4 Others With Severe To Moderate Injuries On NJ Turnpike

June 27, 2020 at 11:18 am

See this morning’s early morning breaking news report for more information: BREAKING: Serious Accident On NJ Turnpike With Possible Fatality About One Mile From Exit 8

CRANBURY, NJ (MIDDLESEX)—New Jersey State Police report that a motor vehicle accident occurred  Friday, June 26 at 10:52 pm on the southbound outer roadway at mile marker 69.

Preliminary reports by NJSP are that a Toyota Camry and Volvo tractor trailer were traveling southbound on the New Jersey Turnpike in the area of mile marker 69 when the Volvo struck the rear of the Toyota.

As a result of the collision the driver of the Volvo, Euclides R. Santos , 53 year old male of New York, NY suffered moderate injuries. Driver of the Toyota, Kazara P. Leacock, 24 year old female of Randallstown, MD suffered moderate injuries. Passenger of the Toyota, Messiah Gray, 1 year old male juvenile of Randallstown, MD suffered fatal injuries. Passenger of the Toyota, Hilkiah Leacock-Small, 3 year old juvenile male Randallstown, MD suffered serious injuries. Passenger of the Toyota, Cheryl Leacock, 61 year old female of Randallstown, MD suffered moderate injuries.



BREAKING: Serious Accident On NJ Turnpike With Fatality About One Mile From Exit 8

SEE UPDATED STORY HERE: UPDATE: NJ State Police Report A 1 Year Old Child Has Died In Last Nights Accident 4 Others With Severe To Moderate Injuries On NJ Turnpike

BREAKING NEWS REPORT: Information from radio traffic and what was observed on scene at a distance. Once official information is avaiable story will be updated and corrections made if needed.

June 26, 2020 date of accident 11 pm, published June 27, 2020 1:39 am. minor updates at 10 am. Still waiting for official news release from NJ State Police. Updated at 11:30 with some corrections see the new story link posted above for latest information about the accident.

CRANBURY, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–At 10:52 pm tonight a serious accident occurred on the NJ Turnpike in the area of the 69 mile marker south bound lanes. The accident appears to have occurred in a “Z-Cut” area marked “NO TURNS” that are used for emergency equipment. The area is approximately one mile north of Exit 8 Hightstown. A tractor trailer with Amazon Prime markings collided with a car in the area of the emergency access cut though.

The Hightstown Fire Company, Cranbury Fire Company, Robbinsville Township Fire Department EMS, Hightstown First Aid Squad, Mercer County Paramedics and others responded to the scene.

Two were heavily entrapped in the back seat of the car and firefighters with the assistance of a crane from George’s Garage lifted the front of the tractor trailer off the trapped occupants and free them.

A medical helicopter from Cooper University Healthcare “Cooper-2” flew one of the occupants that were heavily entrapped to Robert Wood Johnson Medical Center Trauma Unit in New Brunswick. The center roadway was shut down for the accident and the helicopter landed on the highway nearby.

Two occupants from the front of the vehicle were transported to Capital Health Regional Medical Center Trama Unit in Trenton.

It is reported that one person from the back seat has died.

New Jersey State Police have shut down the inner roadway for the accident investigation. The Middlesex County Medical Examiner was en route to the scene at the time of this report.

The accident investigation on the Turnpike is active at this time and the inner roadway is expected to be shut down for hours.

Once official information becomes available this story will be updated, information obtained is from radio reports and observations. See updated story here: SEE UPDATED STORY HERE: UPDATE: NJ State Police Report A 1 Year Old Child Has Died In Last Nights Accident 4 Others With Severe To Moderate Injuries On NJ Turnpike



BREAKING: Multi Vehicle Accident On Route 1, Two Entrapped Multiple Injuries

June 26, 2020

Breaking News Report from radio and on scene report once official information is made available story will be updated.

LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)—Around 4 pm this afternoon a multi-vehicle accident occurred in the 3000 Block of Route 1 south bound just prior to Franklin Corner Road.

In one of the vehicles that was rear ended two people were heavily entrapped and the fire department had to do a roof removal as part of the extrication process. A total of 7 people were reported injured, with 4 of those injuries requiring transport to the hospital.

Lawrence Township Fire Companies, Lawrence Township First Aid and Mercer County Paramedics responded to the scene. Lawrence Township Police were on scene investigating.

E-mail has been sent to the Lawrence Township Police Department for further information when it becomes available story will be updated.

Photos by: Brian McCarthy OnScene News

2 Injured In Tractor Trailer vs Car Accident On Route 1

June 26, 2020

WEST WINDSOR NJ (MERCER)—Police said a 2014 Freightliner tractor trailer was traveling north on US Route 1 and approaching a red traffic signal at the Fisher Place Intersection, when a 2013 Toyota Tacoma was traveling in the jug handle of US Route 1 South for Fisher Place and had a green traffic signal to cross US Route 1 about 9:39 pm last night.

As the Toyota crossed US Route 1, the Freightliner continued into the intersection where it struck the Toyota. The Freightliner then left the roadway took down a Traffic Signal and struck a utility pole causing live wires to fall. The Freightliner re-entered the roadway and came to a final uncontrolled rest after striking the center concrete barrier of US Route 1 according to police.  

West Windsor Township Police, West Windsor Emergency Services, West Windsor Volunteer Fire Company # 1 Station 43, and Princeton Junction Volunteer Fire Company Station 44, along with Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad, and Mercer County Paramedics were all sent to the scene.

The driver was found of the Freightliner was found unconscious and was transported to Capital Health Regional Medical Center Trauma Unit in Trenton. The driver of the Toyota was transported to Penn Medicine Princeton Medical Center.

Both vehicles sustained severe damage and the roadway was closed for 4 hours for the cleanup by NJDOT, power lines to be repaired by PSE&G. Mercer County Serious Collision Response Team along with the West Windsor Police Traffic Bureau are investigating.

The Traffic Bureau is asking for anyone who may have additional information into this incident to please contact either Officer Sabatino at Sabatino@westwindsorpolice.com or Sgt. Bal at Bal@westwindsorpolice.com or via phone at (609) 799-1222. 

Photos from the Princeton Junction Fire Company Facebook account:

Reopening Guidance for New Jersey Schools Announced

June 26, 2020

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Governor Phil Murphy and Department of Education Commissioner Lamont O. Repollet today announced the release of “The Road Back: Restart and Recovery Plan for Education” to assist schools with reopening in the fall. The guidance announces that, absent a change in public health data, public schools will open for in-person instruction and operations in some capacity at the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year. 

The guidance envisions schools operating within necessary standards to protect the health and safety of students and staff. The guidance includes minimum standards such as following certain social distancing practices in classrooms and face covering measures for students and staff. The guidance also provides recommendations to assist districts in achieving these standards, such as implementing hybrid learning environments in which students receive both in-person and remote instruction. 

Each district will be expected to develop, in collaboration with community stakeholders, a plan to reopen schools in the fall that best fits the district’s local needs. The guidance provides anticipated minimum standards regarding health and safety that districts should use as they plan for reopening. The guidance also provides additional considerations that may help districts as they develop their plans. 

This has been an unprecedented time for our students and educators, but we are pleased to announce that we anticipate the return to our classrooms in some capacity this fall,” said Governor Murphy. “The return to school will pose challenges, but we are confident that New Jersey’s school districts can move forward in a way that best serves the needs of their district while also achieving a safe environment for students and staff.”

“I understand this will be no easy feat,” Education Commissioner Lamont O. Repollet said of the return to school. “Knowing that the health of students and staff is our number one concern, our guide will begin to fill in the picture of what a safe education system will look like in the fall.” 

Governor Murphy’s Executive Order 104 ordered all New Jersey schools to close starting March 18, 2020, due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. After the Department worked with school districts to ensure stability through remote instruction, food security for children where needed, and equity in education for students, the focus immediately turned toward planning for reopening.

The guidance relies upon the most up-to-date data and recommendations from the New Jersey Department of Health and was informed by input from school communities. The Department has been engaged in regular contact with educators and stakeholders, and has conducted daily site visits, weekly stakeholder meetings and discussions with a standing committee of nearly two dozen superintendents. Beyond this ongoing engagement, the NJDOE convened approximately 50 education and community organizations, met with over 300 superintendents, and surveyed nearly 300,000 parents/guardians to inform the development of the reopening plan. 

“New Jersey educators and families did an amazing job over the past three months implementing remote learning, even with relatively little time for planning. That effort was nothing short of heroic,” said Commissioner Repollet. “However, too many parents feel that remote-only instruction isn’t working for their child, and too many children are falling behind. It is becoming abundantly clear that children need to return to a school environment in some capacity, and we need to do so safely. This is a matter of educational growth, and it’s a matter of equity.”

The guidance focuses on four key functional areas: conditions for learning, leadership and planning, policy and funding, and continuity of learning.

The guidance sets the minimum standards for returning to school and serves as a toolkit for schools to use as they develop their recovery plans – recognizing that flexibility is needed as each school will have unique needs and circumstances, and some efforts will need to be guided by local health officials. 

The guidance describes several health and safety standards to be prioritized in school reopening:  

  • Social distancing: Schools and districts must allow for social distancing within the classroom. This can be achieved by ensuring students are seated at least six feet apart. If schools are not able to maintain this physical distance, additional modifications should be considered. These include physical barriers between desks and turning desks to face the same direction (rather than facing each other)or having students sit on only one side of a table and spaced apart.
  • Face coverings: School staff and visitors are required to wear face coverings unless doing so would inhibit the individual’s health or the individual is under two years of age. Students are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings and are required to do so when social distancing cannot be maintained, unless doing so would inhibit the student’s health. It is necessary to acknowledge that enforcing the use of face coverings may be impractical for young children or certain individuals with disabilities.
  • Limited capacity: It is recommended that students and staff be seated at least six feet apart in class when practicable. When weather allows, windows should be opened to allow for greater air circulation.
  • Cleaning/disinfecting: Procedures must be implemented by each school district for the sanitization of school buildings and school buses. Increased handwashing measures are also important for students and staff.

These provisions are informed by Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines, which call for protecting staff and students who are at higher risk for severe illness, such as providing options for telework and virtual learning; providing reasonable accommodations for older adults (65 years and older) and individuals with serious underlying medical conditions; and, when possible, keeping early childhood students apart during naptime and avoiding close-group activities like reading circles.

Other provisions in the guidance include: 

  • Cafeteria directors should consider staggering meal times to allow for social distancing; discontinuing self-serve or buffet lines; having students eat meals outside or in their classrooms; and requiring staff to disinfect eating areas between groups.
  • Recess should also be held in staggered shifts, with efforts to promote social distancing and hygiene protocols.
  • Cohorting: Schools may wish to identify small groups of students and keep them together (cohorting) to ensure that student and staff groupings are as static as possible, thereby limiting exposure to large groups of students.
  • School bus operators should encourage social distancing. CDC guidelines recommend seating on a school bus such that there is one student seated per row, skipping a row between each child, if possible. Barriers separating rows of bus seats may also be considered. If social distancing is not feasible, face coverings must be worn by students who are able to do so. Increased ventilation (i.e. opening windows) is also recommended in the guidelines. 

Because reopening is dependent upon health data and informed by experts in the health field, districts will need to be prepared to pivot to remote instruction at any time during the 2020-2021 school year. The guidance stresses that each school district should be working to ensure every student has a device and internet connectivity available, and it identifies funding streams available to school districts to ensure students have access to technology.

Districts should strive to share preliminary scheduling plans with staff, families, and students at least four weeks before the start of the school year in order to allow families to plan child care and work arrangements.

Click here for a summary of the guidance.

Click here for the full guidance. 

BREAKING: Stabbing In Trenton

BREAKING NEWS REPORT: From radio reports. If official information becomes available the story will be updated.

June 25, 2020

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Just after 11 pm Trenton Police and Trenton EMS were dispatched to South Clinton Avenue and Butler Street for a stabbing. Upon arrival they found a stabbing victim and immediately transported to the Trauma Center At Capital Health Regional Medical Center. A “Trauma Alert” was called. No further information is available at this time.

Robbery At Dollar General And Delta Gas Station In Hamilton

June 25, 2020

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–On June 25, 2020 at approximately 5:06 PM, Hamilton Police were dispatched to the Dollar General located at 2130 South Broad Street on a report of a Robbery.  An employee told police that a black male came in the store, walked behind the register, pulled a gun out and pressed it against the employee’s hip.  The suspect told the employee to ‘give it up’ and took approximately $500.00 from the register.  He was last seen walking through the parking lot towards Genesee Street.  No injuries were reported.

A short time later at approximately 5:27 PM, Hamilton Police were dispatched to the Delta Gas Station located at 1704 Greenwood Avenue on a report of a Robbery.  An employee told police he had just finished pumping gas into a vehicle when the suspect walked up to him, pulled out a semi-automatic handgun out of his waistband, racked the slide back, and pointed the weapon at the employee.  The employee backed up and the suspect followed him and reached into his pants pocket removing approximately $853.00.  He was last seen walking down Atlantic Avenue towards Walnut Avenue.  No injuries were reported.

The suspect in both Robberies was described as a black male, wearing a black ‘Temple Wrestling’ hoody, gray sweatpants, white sneakers with black and red soles, and a blue medical mask.

Anyone with any information regarding this incident is asked to contact Detective Frank Burger of the Hamilton Police Division’s Criminal Investigations Section at 609-581-4010, Detective Chris Pullen of the Hamilton Police Division’s Criminal Investigations Section at 609-581-4080 or the Hamilton Police Crime Tip Hotline at 609-581-4008.

2 Car Accident Sharon Station Road And 524

June 25, 2020

UPPER FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP, NJ (MONMOUTH)–A two car accident occurred at the intersection of Sharon Station Road and County Road 524 around 1:50 pm. The Hope Fire Company, Allentown First Aid Squad and NJ State Police responded to the scene. Upon arrival one vehicle was found on its side and the other with heavy front end damage. Luckily it appears that there were no injures in the crash. The NJ State Police is investigating the accident. No further information is available.

UPDATE: NJ State Fire Marshal Investigating 2 Alarm Fire In Trenton

June 25, 2020

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–The New Jersey State Fire Marshal’s Office was out at the scene of the early morning 2 alarm fire on Greenwood Avenue. The fire appears to have been in an abandoned property.


This morning’s story here: 2nd Alarm In Trenton

From radio reports if official information is made available the story will be updated.

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Around 12:10 am Trenton Fire Department responded to the 800 Block of Greenwood Avenue near Chambers for a report of a fire. When firefighters arrived there was no fire at that location but they smelled smoke and started spreading out looking for the fire. The fire was located a few blocks over at 611 Greenwood Avenue near Chestnut Avenue. The first arriving fire units reported heavy fire in a large mansion sized home and led off with a “deck gun” a master stream device.

About five minutes later a 2nd Alarm was called sending more fire apparatus and manpower to the scene. Fire command reported heavy fire though the roof and the possibility that the building would collapse from fire. About 10 minutes into the fire command was reporting they had water on the fire and fire was starting to darken down.

By 12:30 am command reported that there were 3 master streams in operation as well as 3 hand lines in operation. The fire was placed under control around 1:15 am.

Photos by: Brian McCarthy OnScene News

WANTED: Ricardo Cruickshank, 26 of Jackson For Narcotics And Other Charges

Narcotics Investigation

June 25, 2020

JACKSON TOWNSHIP, NJ (OCEAN)–On the morning of Thursday June 25, 2020, detectives assigned to the department’s Special Enforcement Unit concluded an investigation into the allegation of narcotics sales.

At approximately 5:00 am, a search warrant was executed at a Westlake Court residence and during the subsequent search, cocaine, marijuana, a marijuana plant and hydroponic growing materials; paraphernalia along with a .25 caliber handgun were seized. The subject of the investigation was not home at the time of the search.

Ricardo Cruickshank (pictured), age 26 of Jackson was charged on complaint warrants which were signed by the investigating detectives. He was charged with: possession of cocaine, possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute, possession of marijuana, possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a firearm while involved in controlled dangerous substance sales, certain persons not to possess a firearm and possession of a defaced firearm. He is currently entered as a New Jersey wanted person.

Anyone with information about Mr. Cruickshank’s whereabouts is asked to contact the Jackson Police Department at 732-928-1111 or through the department’s Stop It app.

– The media and the public are reminded that any persons arrested or charged with any offenses or crimes are presumed innocent until proven guilty in court.

Truck Fire On NJ Turnpike In Robbinsville Township

June 25, 2020

ROBBINSVILLE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)—A Robbinsville Township Police Officer in the are of West Manor Way called in a truck fire at 8:53 am. The Robbinsville Township Fire Department was dispatched and mutual aid was sent from Bordentown Township Fire Department and Hope Fire Company of Allentown.

When Robbinsville Township firefighters arrived they found the tractor part of a tractor-trailer well involved at mile marker 61.9 south bound outer lanes (truck lanes). Firefighters knocked down the fire using a 1 ¾” hand line, when Bordentown Township arrived they supplied additional manpower and water to Squad 40’s tank.

Not other information about the fire is available at this time.  


ADVERTISEMENT: Washington Wellness Center, Robbinsville NJ https://washingtonwellnesscenter.com/


2nd Alarm In Trenton

June 25, 2020

From radio reports if official information is made available the story will be updated.

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Around 12:10 am Trenton Fire Department responded to the 800 Block of Greenwood Avenue near Chambers for a report of a fire. When firefighters arrived there was no fire at that location but they smelled smoke and started spreading out looking for the fire. The fire was located a few blocks over at 611 Greenwood Avenue near Chestnut Avenue. The first arriving fire units reported heavy fire in a large mansion sized home and led off with a “deck gun” a master stream device.

About five minutes later a 2nd Alarm was called sending more fire apparatus and manpower to the scene. Fire command reported heavy fire though the roof and the possibility that the building would collapse from fire. About 10 minutes into the fire command was reporting they had water on the fire and fire was starting to darken down.

By 12:30 am command reported that there were 3 master streams in operation as well as 3 hand lines in operation. The fire was placed under control around 1:15 am.

Retro Fitness East Brunswick Appears To Be Out Of Business

June 24, 2020

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–A number gyms and health clubs are going out of business in New Jersey due to government restrictions that have kept the facilities closed during the COVID-19 crisis. There is no sun on the horizon for any gyms or fitness centers to re-open so many are closing their doors for good.

As reported earlier by MidJersey.News Tilton Fitness Powered by Hackensack Meridian Health a higher end hospital type fitness center with 7 locations in New Jersey is permanently closing its doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Retro Fitness East Brunswick social media accounts are silent about the permanent closure of the East Brunswick, NJ location.

The East Brunswick location appears to be removed from the Retro Fitness website and a member “Dominic” has posted his e-mail about the club closure on Facebook as shown below.

The East Brunswick location’s Yelp page is still active: https://www.yelp.com/biz/retro-fitness-east-brunswick-east-brunswick?utm_campaign=www_business_share_popup&utm_medium=copy_link&utm_source=(direct)

Tilton Fitness Powered by Hackensack Meridian Health Closes Doors For Good

June 24, 2020

JACKSON TOWNSHIP, NJ (OCEAN)–Tilton Fitness Powered by Hackensack Meridian Health will be permanently closing due to the COVID-19 restrictions on gyms.

Locations were: Jackson, Manahawkin, Northfield-Egg Harbor, Hazlet, Edgewater, Galloway, Brick and prior to COVID-19 was scheduled to also open in Atlantic City.

Below is a letter to members of the clubs:

https://www.tiltonfitness.com/

Dear Tilton Fitness Members,

I am writing to share some difficult news. Tilton Fitness Powered by Hackensack Meridian Health will be permanently closing its doors on July 1, 2020.

Unfortunately, like other fitness centers across the country, our facilities have been hit hard by the mandatory closures due to the coronavirus pandemic, forcing us to make this difficult decision. I want to express my deepest gratitude to all of you for your loyalty to the Tilton Fitness organization over the years and to our hard-working staff who worked tirelessly to support you on your health and wellness journey.

At Tilton Fitness, we have always prioritized our members and guests. We were committed to changing people’s lives by promoting total health and wellness and providing the best customer experience possible. Our seven fitness centers serving roughly 20,000 members represent a lifetime of effort and devotion. As you might imagine, this announcement is heartbreaking. You are as much of a part of our life as Tilton Fitness was part of yours. You have our deep and sincere appreciation.

Some of you may have questions regarding your membership. Please understand that it will take some time for us to respond to all inquiries. To the extent that you have any questions or concerns, we will be providing you the contact information of the individual who will be assigned to oversee the orderly dissolution in the next few days.

I have always believed we are more than a gym — we are a community. A community I deeply care for. A community I will sadly miss.

Sincerely,

Sam Young
President and CEO
Hackensack Meridian Fitness & Wellness