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.
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.
Sam Young President and CEO Hackensack Meridian Fitness & Wellness
Breaking news report from radio and on scene reports, once official information is released the story will be updated:
EWING TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Around 5:30 pm Ewing Township Fire Department was dispatched to 64 Rosedale Avenue for a fire in a kitchen. The first arriving officer reported smoke showing and filled out the first alarm sending additional aid from Lawrence and Hopewell Townships. The main body of fire was knocked down quickly but radio reports were indicating that fire was spreading to the second floor. The fire was brought under control in about 20 minutes.
HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–On June 23, 2020, Hamilton Police Detectives initiated an investigation from a complaint regarding a Facebook post that originated from the Mercer County Board of Elections. The observed posting was viewed on the Hamilton Township Facebook page and posted by a female that stated “Let’s blow them up.” The comment was in regards to the posting of the locations of the Primary Election ballot boxes.
It was determined by Hamilton Police Detectives during the investigation that there was no viable or credible threat to any property or any ballot box in the Mercer County area.
Anyone with any information regarding this incident is asked to contact Detective Tom Clugsten at 609-581-4027 or the Hamilton Police Crime Tip Hotline at 609-581-4008.
EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Middlesex County Acting Prosecutor Christopher L.C. Kuberiet and Chief Frank LoSacco of the East Brunswick Police Department announced today that the tragic deaths that occurred on June 22, 2020 in the Township were accidental in nature.
Although the investigation is active, it was determined that electricity did not play a part in the death of these three victims. The above-ground pool was mostly shallow at 3½ feet deep, but there was a portion of the pool that was 7 feet deep. It doesn’t appear that the victims knew how to swim.
Bharat Patel, 62, his 33-year old daughter-in-law Nisha Patel and her 8-year-old daughter, all who reside at the home in East Brunswick were previously identified as the victims who perished.
East Brunswick Police responded to the residence located at 43 Clearview Road at approximately 4:18 pm on June 22, 2020. and found the three victims unresponsive in the pool; they were pronounced dead shortly after being found.
The Middlesex County Regional Medical Examiner’s Office has determined the manner of death as accidental and the cause of death to be drowning for all three victims.
The investigation is active and is continuing. Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Kimberly DiParisi of the East Brunswick Police Department at (732) 390-6900, or Detective Mark Morris of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at (732) 745-3927.
LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Just before 11 am a car in the parking area of 2809 Brunswick Pike lost control and crashed into the front of a store at the shopping center. All three Lawrence Township Fire Companies, Police Department and EMS responded. Upon arrival the fire department kept one engine on scene until the vehicle was towed by Hawk’s Towing.
The Lawrence Township Building Department inspected the building after the crash. No further information was available.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–As the city continues to reopen, Mayor W. Reed Gusciora announced today that parking enforcement from the city’s parking kiosks and parking meters would resume on Monday, June 29.
“We temporarily suspended enforcement of city parking regulations shortly after
Gov. Murphy declared a state of emergency due to COVID-19,” said Mayor Gusciora. “As we restart our city’s economy, particularly outdoor restaurant dining and other commercial activities, it’s important that we begin to also enforce parking rules for our residents and visitors.”
After years of careful planning, the city began modernizing its parking infrastructure in May 2019, installing 20 solar-powered kiosks. Today, the city has a total of 84 kiosks and 68 parking meters that accept major credit cards. Since then, the city has collected nearly
$328,000 in revenue from 84 kiosks. City officials project revenue from its parking system to exceed $500,000 in 12 months. Also, the city treasury started collecting income from parking garage surcharges that were enacted by City Council in 2014.
“I am pleased that our parking strategy is performing well,” added Mayor Gusciora. “Like neighboring cities and towns, we need a parking system that is convenient for our residents and visitors, competitively priced, and easy for our parking utility personnel to maintain.
I think we have achieved these goals.”
The city will also resume issuing parking tickets to owners of cars who do not move their vehicles on street-sweeping routes throughout the city.
To learn more about the street-sweeping schedule for your street, please call the city’s Department of Public Works at (609) 989-3151.
The city will issue a Robocall and send text messages to residents signed up for this service to alert them about reactivating enforcement. To sign up for text messages, text Trenton411
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Acting to protect New Jersey students from ending up with unmanageable student loan debt and little earning potential, Attorney Gurbir S. Grewal today announced that New Jersey is joining a coalition of States suing the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) over its repeal of its Gainful Employment Rule.
Adopted during the Obama Administration, the Gainful Employment Rule sought to promote accountability and transparency among for-profit colleges and other career-focused, non-degree programs. The rule denied federal funding to programs that leave students with poor earnings prospects and high amounts of debt, while requiring schools to provide consumers with key information about programs’ costs and their graduates’ earnings and debt.
Filed today in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., the lawsuit challenges DOE’s July 2019 decision to repeal the Gainful Employment Rule. The repeal will take effect on July 1, 2020.
The two-count complaint alleges that DOE did not adequately explain its decision and has abdicated its responsibility under federal law to ensure that only programs that prepare students for “gainful employment in a recognized occupation” receive federal funds. The complaint also alleges DOE’s repeal will harm state economies while exposing student borrowers to greater risk of being defrauded and/or plunged into crippling student loan debt.
“With the economic downturn causing many of our residents to reevaluate their careers and consider returning to school, it’s hard to imagine a worse time to eliminate protections for students who are seeking to improve their job prospects. Yet the U.S. Department of Education is doing just that, so that it can send more taxpayer money to for-profit schools that push high-cost, low-value educational programs and saddle students with unaffordable debt,” Attorney General Grewal said.
“Now more than ever, given the economic and social impacts of COVID-19, it is of the utmost importance to guarantee that New Jersey’s postsecondary students are investing their time and money wisely,” said Dr. Zakiya Smith Ellis, New Jersey Secretary of Higher Education. “The Gainful Employment Rule is an important tool that must be restored in order to hold postsecondary career schools responsible for outcomes and to ensure that students and families have the critical information that they need when making these potentially life-changing decisions.”
“As a department, our goal is to help all New Jersey residents have access to high-quality jobs with family sustaining wages. This action makes it much harder for students to determine which schools will help them achieve that goal,” said Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo. “This goes against the very spirit of quality assurance and consumer protection we are trying to provide for our workers.”
“The federal Higher Education Act requires postsecondary career schools to prepare students for good jobs that increase their earnings. New Jersey students deserve to know before they go to a career training program whether it will place them in a job that pays well enough to offer a return on their investment,” said David Socolow, Executive Director of the New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA). “The U.S. Department of Education should respond to today’s action by our Attorney General by restoring the Gainful Employment rule, so New Jersey students and families will have the crucial consumer protections they need to pursue effective career education and achieve economic success.”
According to a report from The Institute for College Access and Success, more than 350,000 students nationally graduated in 2010-11 or 2011-12 from career education programs that performed poorly enough to risk losing their federal funding under the Gainful Employment Rule. Those students carried nearly $7.5 billion in student loan debt. In New Jersey, the data showed, 3,177 students graduated from such programs and carried approximately $44.8 million in student loan debt.
In a comment letter sent to U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos in September 2018, Attorney General Grewal joined other Attorneys General from across the nation in calling on DOE walk back its plan to rescind the Gainful Employment Rule.
The letter noted that, in adopting the Gainful Employment Rule in the first place, the Education Department “recognized that students at for-profit programs were more likely than those at other institutions to rely on loans, including federal student aid, to finance their education.” The letter also noted that, on average, students at for-profit schools have more debt than those who attend public or non-profit institutions.
In addition, the letter observed, “students of color, low-income students, veterans and women” were particularly affected by “the high costs and commensurate high debt load” they incurred to attend for-profit institutions.
Today’s lawsuit is the latest action by Attorney General Grewal to protect student borrowers in New Jersey and hold failing or predatory for-profit colleges and career-focused non-degree programs accountable. Previous actions since 2019 have included:
Participation in a multi-state settlement announced in January 2019 under which Illinois-based Career Education Corp. agreed to reform its recruiting and enrollment practices and forego collecting more than $493.7 million in debt owed by more than 179,000 students nationwide. Career Education Corp. has run brick-and-mortar schools across the country, including Sanford-Brown Colleges and Institutes, which operated a now-closed New Jersey campus in Iselin. Under the settlement, more than 6,400 former Career Education Corp. students in New Jersey were deemed eligible for debt forgiveness totaling $19.6 million.
Participation in a multi-state settlement in June 2019 that resulted in a total of more than $625,000 in debt relief for 48 New Jersey borrowers who obtained loans from education lender Student CU Connect in order to attend ITT Tech. In New Jersey and across the nation, ITT Tech students were pressured into obtaining education loans – and in some cases multiple loans — that most could not hope to repay.
A directive from the Attorney General’s Division of Consumer Affairs in April 2019 ordering the Harris School of Business to stop advertising that its students are eligible to receive state supplemental loans under the New Jersey College Loans to Assist State Students (NJCLASS) Program. The Division asserted that students enrolled at the Harris School of Business are in fact ineligible for NJCLASS loans due to the high rate of default among Harris graduates.
Deputy Attorneys General John Passante and Elspeth Faiman Hans and Assistant Attorney General Mayur P. Saxena, of the Division of Law, are handling the Gainful Employment Rule matter on behalf of the State.
Tri-State Advisory Will Focus on Personal Responsibility Using Uniform Parameters and Messaging Across the Three States Effective Midnight Tonight
June 24, 2020
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, and Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont today announced a joint incoming travel advisory that all individuals traveling from states with significant community spread of COVID-19 quarantine for a 14-day period from the time of last contact within the identified state.
This quarantine – effective midnight tonight – 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.
New Jersey, New York and Connecticut will continually update and publish on their respective websites a list of states to which the new advisory applies. This information will be updated regularly.
The tri-state measure will focus on personal responsibility using uniform parameters and messaging on highways, airports, websites and social media across the three states. The three states will also ask hotels to communicate the 14-day quarantine to guests who have traveled from one of the impacted states.
“Over the course of the past few months, our states have taken aggressive action to flatten the curve and beat back the coronavirus,” Governor Murphy said, “As a result of our collective efforts, we have low infection rates, falling hospitalizations, and have steadily been reopening our economies. Unfortunately many states continue to have high transmission rates. We are proud to work with our partners in New York and Connecticut on a joint incoming travel advisory to ensure continued progress against this virus and to keep residents of the tri-state area safe.”
“We have a very real problem right now where many states are experiencing an increased spread of the COVID-19 virus, just as New York is seeing the lowest infection rate,” Governor Cuomo said. “We’ve been working with our neighboring states throughout this pandemic, and we have agreed to a joint incoming travel advisory with New Jersey and Connecticut that all individuals who are traveling from other states with high infection rates must quarantine for 14 days to help prevent a renewed spread of the virus. We know the transmission rate in every state, and we want to make sure what’s happening in these states with the highest transmission rate doesn’t happen here and erase all the tremendous progress we’ve made.”
“Working together as a region has proven to be immensely successful as our respective states are leading the country when it comes to our response with low infection and positivity rates relative to increased testing capacity,” Governor Lamont said. “We have made difficult decisions throughout this pandemic, but we have proven to make many of the right decisions. This step to inform travelers form states with hot spots to self-isolate is meant to protect our residents and maintain our incredible public health progress.”