TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–After a long wait for outdoor graduations due to the COVID-19 pandemic Allentown High School’s Class of 2020 was able to have a full commencement this afternoon. This was Allentown High Schools Ninety-Fifth commencement.
The ceremony was held outdoors at Arm & Hammer Waterfront Park due to COVID-19 restrictions.
JACKSON TOWNSHIP, NJ (OCEAN)–The New Jersey Forrest Fire Service unit B-9 requested a helicopter for observation of a forest fire in a remote area of Colliers Mills around 2:45 pm. Additional units from around the area were called to fight the fire that was found deep in a wooded area of Collier’s Mills.
Firefighters set up a staging area on Route 528 in the Cassville section of town at St. Monica Catholic Church and the firefighters entered the wooded area from there.
Smoke from the fire could be observed for miles and debris and ash landed as far as Upper Freehold and Robbinsville. Ash was witnessed falling on I-195 this afternoon. Several residents in the area called local fire departments to report a smoke condition in the area.
It appears that the fire is contained and smoke in the area has dissipated.
Jackson Police Facebook report: The State Forest Fire Service and Jackson Police are working in the area of West Veteran’s Highway between Cassville Road and N. Stump Tavern Road for a woods fire in the state wildlife management area that is just about contained. Please use caution in the area as there are a number of apparatus moving in and out of the wooded areas. In addition, depending on wind conditions, there may be a smoke condition affecting travel through the area.
ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–Robbinsville firefighters will receive a modest but critical federal grant to be used to purchase essential personal protection equipment (PPE) needed to protect the public—and public servants—during the ongoing coronavirus emergency, said Rep. Chris Smith (R-Hamilton) today.
The more than $13,000 in federal funding “will help pay for masks, protective gowns and suits for first responders operating in COVID-19 safety practices,” he said. The money comes from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, the comprehensive, recovery bill Smith supported to help states, hospitals, first responders, workers, businesses and communities severely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
“Our firefighters and first responders are often the first on the scene to help a resident in distress, and they need good, reliable, medical grade quality PPE,” stated Smith (NJ-04). “The key functions of the CARES Act, and why Congress moved it so quickly, was to help at all levels, from small businesses and individual workers, to states, counties and towns… and that includes our local fire departments, police and EMTs. I applaud Mayor Fried and Chief Schaffener for taking the initiative in applying for this grant.”
The Operations and Safety Grant comes from the Department of Homeland Security’s FY 2020 Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program COVID-19 Supplemental (AFG-S) awards. The grant is administered by the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in cooperation with the U.S. Fire Administration.
“The purpose of the supplemental funding programs are to get grants directly into the hands of our firefighters, EMS and fire training academies to boost their ability to protect the health and safety of both the public and first-responders by helping them acquire PPE and other needed supplies related to the COVID-19 outbreak,” Smith explained. The AFG-S objectives are to provide resources that equip personnel to respond to the pandemic and support community resilience. Smith said the funds will be applied to pay the lion’s share of an order of $14,329 in PPE. The funding will allow the Robbinsville Township Fire Department to purchase 65 respirators and filters, 45 reusable coveralls and 75 reusable goggles, as well as disposable PPE, including 750 isolation gowns and 3,000 surgical masks.
“Being prepared for every situation is what sets our health care workers and first responders apart,” Robbinsville Township Mayor Dave Fried said. “That means having the right personal protective equipment (PPE), particularly in the age of COVID-19 with the dangers our men and women on the front lines face every single day. Grants such as this AFG award help towns such as Robbinsville enormously, both in terms of supply and with our municipal budget so taxpayers can feel some relief. On behalf of Fire Chief Dan Schaffener, Police Chief Chris Nitti and our EMTs, thank you to Rep. Chris Smith for his constant efforts over the years in helping us secure these much-needed and greatly appreciated funds.”
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Mayor W. Reed Gusciora today announced the start of Trenton’s Summer Meals program and a new companion website that makes it easy to locate free grab-n-go meals for children, teens, and seniors at numerous sites across the city.
The Summer Meals program, sponsored by the City of Trenton Department of Recreation: Natural Resources & Culture, Mercer Street Friends, and the Capital Area YMCA, provides free meals to youth under age 18 Monday through Friday. There is no registration or income certification required, and parents are not required to give any personal information about their children at the sites in order to receive a free meal.
The Trenton meals are provided by the Food and Nutrition Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, which administers the Summer Food Service Program.
To help families find local, up-to-date information about Summer Meals sites, as well as food pantries and other free food distribution opportunities for adults, seniors, and children, Trenton Health Team created an easy-to- use online directory of food services that includes an interactive map. To use the directory, visit www.trentonhealthteam.org/food.
“The COVID-19 crisis has disrupted many summer programs and increased the need for food across the city,” said Mayor Gusciora. “We’re grateful for the collaboration and innovation among our partners at Mercer Street Friends, Trenton Health Team and the Capital Area YMCA who put together another valuable resource for our communities when they need it the most.”
“It is critically important that the community is aware of where and when they can access food this summer,” said Mercer Street Friends CEO Bernie Flynn. “I’m proud of the nonprofit leadership who came together to work with the Trenton Health Team to provide usable, accurate food site information and we greatly appreciate the support of the Mayor, his team and County officials.”
“Although feeding children in the City of Trenton is not new to any of the partners in this collaboration; doing it in such a coordinated manner is new to how we deliver the service, said Capital Area YMCA CEO Samuel T. Frisby Sr. “Because the need has never been greater, the stakes couldn’t be higher and the YMCA is proud to support our community with these partners at this time.”
“Access to fresh, healthy, affordable food is a critical issue in Trenton,” said Trenton Health Team Executive Director Gregory Paulson. “This already challenging situation has been made worse by the Coronavirus pandemic.”
Meeting the community’s food needs is the focus of the Trenton Food Stakeholders group, representing more than 50 community organizations across the city including Capital Area YMCA, Mercer Street Friends, Trenton Area Soup Kitchen, Meals on Wheels, the Rescue Mission, Arm In Arm, and HomeFront. Members meet
regularly to collaborate on improving food access and nutrition for Trenton households.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–The Mercer County Narcotics Task Force (MCNTF) concluded an investigation on Tuesday with the seizure of more than $10,000 in cocaine, Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri reported.
Based on information received by the MCNTF that Juan Polcano-Abreu would be distributing cocaine in the area of Hudson and Tyler streets in Trenton, task force detectives and members of the Trenton Police Violent Crimes Unit initiated surveillance of the area. Just before 10 a.m., detectives observed Polanco-Abreu in the area of 60 Hudson Street carrying a white plastic bag in his right hand. Surveillance officers followed Polanco-Abreu to the 100 block of Tyler Street, where arrest teams converged on Polanco-Abreu in an attempt to detain him for further investigation. As officers attempted to detain him, Polanco-Abreu became aware of the police presence and attempted to run. While attempting to run, detectives observed Polanco-Abreu toss the white plastic bag that he was carrying underneath a parked car. After continuing to ignore commands by police to stop, Polanco-Abreu was brought to the ground and handcuffed after a brief struggle. Officers subsequently recovered the white plastic bag that Polanco-Abreu was observed throwing and found it to contain approximately 103 grams of cocaine. Onofri stated that the total amount of cocaine seized has an approximate street value of $10,300.
Polanco-Abreu, 27, was charged with second-degree narcotics offenses and resisting arrest. He is being held at the Mercer County Correction Center.
Officers with the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, the Trenton Police Department and U.S. Homeland Security Investigations, 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.
SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Mismanagement and malfeasance of the Motor Vehicle Commission continues as people have been in line since at least 10 pm last night waiting for their drivers licencees and other paperwork that needs to be processed in person.
South Brunswick Police are reporting that the South Brunswick NJ Motor Vehicle Commission Office is closed and not taking any more customers today even before the office officially opened for the day. The number was set around 200 people that could be processed today.
If this were a “private” company politicians would be making headlines, demanding action, requesting congressional investigations and demanding people be fired. The head of the Motor Vehicle Commission should resign for not properly preparing for the influx of people after at least a 3 month shut down.
Furloughs at the Motor Vehicle Commission should have never even been considered and if anything more people should be hired and overtime given to employees to stay open until at least 6 am to 10 pm daily until this backlog could be worked though.
The computer system should be improved and more stations should have been purchased and even tents set up with temporary stations to be more efficient. Ever hear of “temporary employees” or “Temps” to temporally work at the MVC until this backlog is finished.
Remember you pay a lot of money for this “service” as a person who has a commercial drivers licence with endorsements I pay $80.00 to renew that licence and have to do an in person visit to renew. This is not a “free” service we are paying for this and demand better.
If this were a “private” company with such demand they would hire more people and set up more stations to work more efficiently. Politicians would scream and demand action.
Yesterday a first responder from Millstone wanting to get a “Commercial Drivers Licence” (to drive a fire truck) at the Freehold Location was turned away after waiting 18 hours in line, even though the Freeehold location’s website said it would process commercial drivers licencees.
Yesterday Tyler Eckel of Hamilton 17 along with twin brother and friend waited 8 hours and 15 min to get their first drivers licences at the Bakers Basin location after getting there at 530 am to wait in line.
The horror stories continue after people waited 10+ hours they were turned away since the MVC closed its doors at the end of the day.
UPPER FREEHOLD, NJ (MONMOUTH)–A vehicle overturned yesterday around 10 am on Herbert Road near Imlaystown-Hightstown Road with a minor injury. After the accident a poodle ran from the vehicle and has not been caught as of the time of this report. The dog has been seen in the area but has not been able to be captured according to Facebook posts. Visit the Lost Dogs of Monmouth County page below for updates. If you have seen the dog or able to capture the dog please call the number below listed in the caption.
While MidJersey.News was out yesterday we were keeping a lookout for the dog while doing the story on the Assunpink being closed. We did not see the dog while out and about at the different lakes. Hopefully we have some luck today.