Day: September 1, 2020

Man Found Deceased In Peddie Lake

September 1, 2020

HIGHTSTOWN, NJ (MERCER)—At approximately 8:30 pm tonight Hightstown Police officers were dispatched to Peddie Lake, adjacent to Tavern on the Lake for an unresponsive person in the water. The Hightstown Fire Department’s Dive Team along with Robbinsville Township EMS initially responded to the scene for a recovery. Additionally, Robbinsville Township Fire Department and Cranbury Fire Company also responded to the scene for extra assistance in the recovery. The subject was removed from the water by the fire department and pronounced dead.

Hightstown Police identified the subject as Mr. Dana “Mike” Fields, a 60-year-old resident of Hightstown.  

The incident is currently under investigation, but the incident does not appear to be suspicious at this time.  Any witnesses or persons with information surrounding this incident is asked to contact Det. Mecca, Hightstown Police Department, at 609-448-1234 x 540.

This is at least the second known person to be recovered from Peddie Lake this year. A missing East Windsor man was recovered on Sunday February 2, 2020 you can read that MidJersey.News story at the following link:

Missing Person From East Windsor Recovered from Peddie Lake (2/2/2020)

Re-Opening Day At Big Snow American Dream

September 1, 2020

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (BERGEN)–Today was the re-opening of Big Snow since Governor’s Murphy’s executive order closing gyms, health clubs and indoor amusements due to COVID-19.

Big Snow is an indoor ski resort located at American Dream Mall next to Met Life Stadium in the Meadowlands. It is North America’s first and only indoor, real-snow, year-round ski and snow resort.

When arriving today at Big Snow you can tell that COVID-19 precautions were in place, limited ticket sales limiting entry, temperature checks prior to entry, workers behind protective barriers during check in and extra cleaning witnessed during the visit. Every employee and customer had to wear face masks while in the venue.

The Big Express Quad was temporarily closed to be sanitized and skiers and snowboarders rode the Poma lift while that process was completed. Each chair, bar and rest was sprayed and wiped down with a disinfectant.

A storage locker comes with your entry ticket, each locker is sanitized and has a card that you remove once you use it, letting staff know the locker needs to be cleaned for the next person.

The temperature inside Big Snow is kept at 28F and is a nice relief to the warm temperatures outside.

Big Snow is perfect for beginners since a “Snow Day” package includes everything you need to get started. The bonus to learn in this environment is that you don’t have to deal with possible unfavorable snow conditions to learn on in an outdoor environment in winter. The snow inside Big Snow is well maintained at a constant temperature keeping it perfect for learning.

For the skiier or snowboarder that already owns their own equipment they may want to purchase a “Slope Access” ticket or 6 pack of tickets for a better value.

For those who don’t like to ski, snowboard or just looking to mix it up there is a “Sno-Go Bikes” package.

If you live in the Tri-State area and looking for some off season winter fun indoors give Big Snow a try for something different. It is the only venue of its kind in North America.

Previous stories on Big Snow at American Dream here:

BIG SNOW American Dream To Reopen For Skiing And Snowboarding, September 1, 2020

Big Snow at American Dream Closed For COVID-19 Until March 31

Big Snow to Open December 5, 2019 at American Dream

Many Gyms Reopen Today At 25% Capacity Many Have Modified Hours

Many gyms reopened this morning, check with your local gym prior to working out.

September 1, 2020

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Governor Phil Murphy has allowed gyms to reopen today with a 25% capacity, you also have to wear a mask and follow other rules while working out.

In Robbinsville the crowds were light during lunch hour for the reopening of the gyms visit Jersey Stong’s web page for modified hours, cleaning schedules and other club information. It is highly recommended to download the Jersey Strong App to see what the club capacity is prior to visiting the gym. The application gives you an exact number of how many are working out in the club at one time.

The crowd was also light at Planet Fitness in Hamilton during lunch hour. Planet Fitness also has modified hours and is using a Crowd Meter available on the Planet Fitness App to give you a heads up how busy the gym is prior to arrival. There were not many cars in the parking lot at Planet Fitness during lunch hour and nothing was registering on the Crowd Meter.

Robert Wood Johnson Fitness and Wellness Center is set to reopen on Monday September 8, 2020 at 5:00 am. See RWJ Fitness and Wellness announcement here.

For Jersey Strong covid-19 reopening information go to this link.

Planet Fitness Covid-19 information here

Robert Wood Johnson Fitness and Welness Center

AG Grewal, Division of Highway Traffic Safety Celebrate Milestone Anniversaries of NJ’s Nationally Acclaimed Teen Driver Laws By Announcing “Stick to It” Public Awareness Campaign

Kyleigh’s Law, Graduated Driver License Program Credited with Downward Crash Trends for Teen Drivers

September 1, 2020

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–As crashes involving teen drivers continue to trend downward in New Jersey, the Division of Highway Traffic Safety (“the Division“) today announced a public awareness campaign to commemorate milestone anniversaries for the state’s nationally acclaimed teen driver laws.  

This year marks the 10-year anniversary of Kyleigh’s Law, which requires teens to affix stickers to their vehicles to identify them as novice drivers, and the 20-year anniversary of New Jersey’s Graduated Driver License (“GDL”) program, a three-tiered licensing process considered one of the most progressive and stringent teen driver measures in the United States.

The laws are widely credited with helping to reduce fatal crashes among teen drivers. According to data from the New Jersey State Police, crash fatalities involving a teen driver (age 16 to 20) decreased by more than 47 percent between 2008 and 2018, dropping from 101 to 53. During that same period, the number of  passengers under the age of 20 killed while riding in a car driven by a teen plummeted nearly 60 percent from 19 to 8.  

“New Jersey’s licensing policies for young drivers is a model for the nation and the downward trend in crash fatalities involving teen drivers is a reflection of our proactive effforts, but there’s more work to be done,“ said Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal. “We’re celebrating the positive impact of our teen driver laws in a public outreach campaign to engage teens and their parents in helping us reach our goal of zero fatalities involving teen drivers.

The anniversary campaign seeks to educate parents, teens and stakeholders on how the GDL program works to address the risks for novice drivers.  Parents play a critical role as their teens’ number one driving teacher and coach, and are encouraged to schedule plenty of practice driving time with their teen during the permit and probationary license phases.  The campaign aims to help teens recognize the responsibility that comes with licensure and the importance of being positive role models for their peers and siblings, as well as speaking up when their friends drive unsafely.

The Division has produced two videos directed at parents and teens.  Both point to the gains that have been made in reducing teen driver crashes and the need to “stick to it” when it comes to complying with the GDL and decal requirements.

The parent video highlights the decal’s effectiveness in reducing teen driver crashes and how teens with involved parents are less likely to engage in risky driving behaviors. The teen video uses “teen experts“ to explain to young drivers what Kyleigh’s law is all about and how a little red sticker attached to their license plates can save lives. The videos will be disseminated via social media, including popular teen platforms such as YouTube, Snapchat and Instagram, as well as the Division’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, and posted on the New Jersey Attorney General’s website

“We see our GDL program and Kyleigh’s law as an example of the best in New Jersey,” Eric Heitmann, the Director of the NJ Division of Highway Traffic Safety said. “Our anniversary campaign is designed to raise awareness of the critical role our teen driver laws play in saving lives and how important it is for teens and their parents to abide by them.”

Named after Kyleigh D’Alessio, a 16-year-old from Washington Township (Morris County), who was killed in a 2006 single vehicle crash involving a teenage driver, Kyleigh’s Law requires teens holding a probationary  license to display red decals on the front and rear license plates of their vehicle when behind the wheel. The decal is intended to identify the driver’s provisional license status to law enforcement to assist them in enforcing curfews, passenger limits, and other provisional license restrictions.

New Jersey’s GDL law is a three-step process – learner’s permit, probationary (restricted) license and basic (unrestricted license) – designed to help new drivers gradually build skill, while minimizing risk. It prohibits late night driving and the use of electronic devices, limits the number of passengers, requires the use of seat belts and bans plea bargaining for moving violations.

For more information on the anniversary campaign, visit [link to landing page:

NJ’s Two Largest Wine & Spirits Wholesalers and 20 of Their Biggest Retail Customers to Pay a Total of $10.3 Million for Engaging in Discriminatory Trade Practices

Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control Imposes Record-High $4 Million Penalties on Wholesalers Allied Beverage Group & Fedway Associates Following Two-Year Investigation into Their Misuse of Rebate Programs.

September 1, 2020

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control (“ABC”) today announced that New Jersey’s two largest wine and spirits wholesalers will pay $4 million each to resolve findings that they engaged in discriminatory trade practices that unfairly favored their largest retail customers. In addition, twenty retailers statewide will pay a total of $2.3 million for their part in the unlawful scheme.

In separate Consent Orders with ABC, wholesalers Allied Beverage Group and Fedway Associates agreed to pay record-high monetary penalties and change their business practices to resolve trade violations uncovered during a sweeping two-year investigation by ABC’s Enforcement and Investigations Bureaus.

The investigation found that the wholesalers – which together account for approximately 70% of all wine and 80% of all spirits sold at wholesale in the State – unfairly favored 20 of the State’s largest wine and spirits retailers and put smaller retailers at a competitive disadvantage by manipulating the retailer incentive program (RIP), granting credit extensions and interest-free loans, and engaging in other discriminatory practices.

 “Simply put, Allied Beverage Group and Fedway Associates rigged the market in favor of a handpicked group of powerful retailers, leaving smaller businesses struggling to compete.  The unprecedented monetary penalties imposed reflect the egregiousness of this conduct and the widespread negative impact it had on New Jersey consumers and retailers,” said Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal. “This settlement sends a clear message that we will not tolerate this manipulative and anticompetitive behavior.” 

The RIPs provide cash rebates payed to retailers by wholesalers for purchasing certain quantities of alcoholic beverages.  ABC regulations control the program by making RIPs available to all retailers on a non-discriminatory basis, by keeping the RIP payments to retailers relatively small, and by not allowing wholesalers to substitute RIPs for interest-free loans.

The investigation found that Allied Beverage Group and Fedway Associates were giving chosen retailers a financial advantage by issuing rebates more often and in greater amounts than allowed. They also failed to wait the required 30 days before issuing rebates, thus allowing those retailers to use that money to pay for the orders for which the rebates  were issued, which is against ABC regulations. Retailers who do not pay for orders within 30 days are put on an industry-wide cash-only delivery status, so the early rebates ensured that the larger retailers would have a ready cash flow to pay for their orders on time, giving them an unfair edge over smaller retailers who had to use their own money to pay for their wine and spirits orders within the required 30-day window. The investigation also found that Allied Beverage Group and Fedway Associates falsified records related to RIPs and/or used undocumented gift cards to make cash payments to chosen retailers that were not accounted for.

“Retail incentives are a legitimate marketing tool as long they are above board and available equally to all retailers. Discriminatory practices like these foster instability in the market by harming smaller retailers,” said James Graziano, Acting Director of the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control. “If left unchecked, the ability of small retailers to remain in business may have been jeopardized and consumers would have less access to retail stores and the specialized product selections that they offer. We will continue to monitor industry practices to ensure an equal playing field in New Jersey’s alcoholic beverage retail industry and hold violators accountable for noncompliance.”   

The monetary payments from Allied and Fedway are the largest in ABC’s history, and in addition, both entities each agreed to adopt a corrective action plan; employ a compliance monitor for two years; make upgrades to their computer systems; and facilitate the retirement, resignation and/or termination of certain employees.

The following retailers were charged with ABC violations that included accepting the delivery of alcoholic beverages from Allied and/or Fenway upon terms that violated ABC regulations; accepting a loan from a wholesaler to pay a wholesaler and/or avoid being placed on cash-on-delivery status; receiving a RIP before paying the invoice, receiving a RIP in excess of allowed maximum on a product. Each retailer entered a Consent Order with ABC to resolve the charges, with the following settlement terms:  

  •        Leiham Corp., t/a Bayway World of Liquors: $375,000 monetary offer in compromise in lieu of suspension plus phased-in               retirement of manager and other corrective action. (ELIZABETH)
  •        SVGS Inc., t/a Vingo Wine and Spirits: $90,000 (including $62,500 unaccounted for cash seized from the store) monetary offer in compromise in lieu of suspension plus corrective action. (EATONTOWN)

Hamilton and Robbinsville Request BPU Investigation Into Optimum/Altice

September 1, 2020

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–In response to a wave of complaints regarding poor service and unfair consumer pricing by Optimum/Altice USA that predate the COVID-19 pandemic, attorneys for the Townships of Robbinsville and Hamilton have filed dual letters to Lawanda Gilbert, Director of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities Office of Cable Television and Telecommunications, requesting an investigation into the underperforming utility.

The letters detail 11 examples from the hundreds of complaints received by the respective municipal offices at Robbinsville and Hamilton over the past several months citing poor customer service, unstable or insufficient internet connections, and allegations of price-gouging.

“It is the duty of Optimum (Altice USA) as a utility to furnish safe, adequate and proper service for its customers … and they have failed in that duty,” Robbinsville Township Mayor Dave Fried said. “We should not have to continuously pressure this provider to do its job. Since being assigned to Marilyn Davis, Director of Government Affairs, on April 15, 2020 with the promise of improved communications and timely issue resolution, our Township offices have been inundated with unanswered complaints. With school about to begin in our area, it is more important than ever that our hard-working families, many of which are under enormous strain, stay connected at prices commensurate with the quality of service.”

Hamilton Township Mayor Jeff Martin also has received a flood of complaints regarding Optimum/Altice USA (formerly Cablevision) and requests BPU Director Gilbert immediately commence an investigation into the services being provided to both Robbinsville and Hamilton pursuant to powers vested in the Board.

“Having reliable cable and internet service has never been more of a necessity than this year has proved it to be,” said Hamilton Township Mayor Jeff Martin. “Both municipalities’ residents have experienced similar, unacceptable issues and a lack of timely remediation from Optimum. Mayor Fried and I will fight for our residents by partnering together on this issue and hope that by doing so it will provide for a stronger likelihood of these concerns being taken seriously by the State. “

Updated: West Windsor Fatal Pedestrian Accident Claims 24 Year Old From Piscataway

September 1, 2020 Updated at 10:00 am

WEST WINDSOR, NJ (MERCER)–On Monday August 31, 2020 at 11:08 pm, Patrol Units, MICU, and the WW Division of Fire & Emergency Services were detailed to US Route 1 North near the Princeton Service Center on a report of a Serious Motor Vehicle Collision involving a Pedestrian.  Upon arrival of the initial units, the Pedestrian was determined to have no signs of life.  The WWPD’s Traffic Bureau & Detective Bureau were dispatched to the scene.  The Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office SCRT and the Middlesex County Medical Examiner’s Office were requested to respond to the scene of the Fatality.
                      The initial investigation revealed the following:  The Pedestrian, a 24 year old resident of Piscataway, NJ wearing mostly dark clothing, was in the left lane of US Route 1 North approximately .40 miles south of the Meadow Road overpass.  Vehicle #1, a 2005 Nissan Murano, driven by a resident of Morrisville, PA was traveling Northbound on US Route 1 in the left lane (near the Princeton Service Center) when it struck the Pedestrian.  The impact sent the Pedestrian into the center lane.  Vehicle #2, a 2018 Honda Accord, driven by a resident of Roxbury, MA had been traveling in the center lane of Northbound US Route 1 and subsequently struck the Pedestrian.  The injuries sustained to the Pedestrian resulted in his death at the scene.  Vehicle #1 sustained heavy damage while Vehicle #2 sustained minor damage.  No other injuries were reported to Driver #1 or Driver #2.  US Route 1 North was closed for approximately (3) hours. 
                      Traffic Officer LaRocca was the Lead Investigator in this collision.  If there are any witnesses or those with pertinent information into this incident please contact Officer LaRocca at (609) 799-1222 or his email at  In his absence Traffic Sgt. Bal can be reached at the same phone number or his email at

No names are being released at this time.

Responding to the scene were:

  1. Traffic Officer LaRocca —Lead MVC Investigator
  2. WWPD Patrol Division, Traffic Bureau, Detective Bureau
  3. WW Div. of Fire & Emergency Services (#45)
  4. West Windsor Volunteer Fire Company #1 (WWVFC#1) Station #43
  5. Princeton Junction Volunteer Fire Company (PJVFC) Station #44
  6. Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office Serious Collision Response Team SCRT
  7. Mobile ICU (MICU)
  8. Middlesex County Medical Examiner’s Office
  9. NJ State Police & NJ DOT

Crash Claims Truck Driver In South Brunswick

September 1, 2020, updated with official information at 7:45 am

Also see updated story here: Browns Mills, NJ Man Identified As Driver Killed In Serious Truck Crash Monday Night In South Brunswick

Updated September 2, 2020 with additional information.

The truck driver who passed away in the Monday night crash on Corn Road has been identified as Edward Snider age 62 of Browns Mills, NJ. South Brunswick Police Traffic Safety Bureau continues to investigate the cause of the crash.

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Last night at 9:17 pm South Brunswick Police recieved a 911 call of a tractor trailer crash on Corn Road. When officers arrived on the lightly traveled industrial road they found a tractor trailer cab entangled with a flatbed tractor. The Monmouth Junction Fire Department responded and began extrication efforts. The truck driver was heavily entrapped and required extensive efforts. A dozen firefighters used cutting tools and other extrication equipment in efforts to free the driver.

Firefighters called a heavy duty tow truck from Georges Garage to help separate the cab roof. Monmouth Junction First Aid Squad, paramedics and a emergency room doctor from Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, along with a medical helicopter from Hackensack University Hospital worked on scene attempting to provide life saving measures.

The truck driver, from Burlington County, succumbed to his injuries on scene. Police are withholding his name pending notification of next of kin.

The Jamesburg Fire Department assisted in the extrication.

The crash remains under investigation by South Brunswick Traffic Safety Bureau Officer Jesse Blake. Anyone with information may call (732) 329-4000 ext. 7474.

“The Art of Remembrance” Teens Use Creative Arts to Support Alzheimer’s While School Is Closed

September 1, 2020

HIGHTSTOWN, NJ (MERCER)–During this time where school, work and life events are put on pause, free time has become an opportunity for community support to shine. Richard Zhu, a sophomore at the Peddie School in Hightstown, NJ, could not resist to continue his passion for art. Zhu saw the potential for something beautiful resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic – he founded The Art of Remembrance organization, using fine art, poetry, illustrations, and creative writing to support Alzheimer’s disease.

Zhu, along with his talented peers, Carol Ge, Tianran Song, Vincent Zhang, Yuchi Zhang, and Lily Wang, designed a creative arts magazine to raise money to support the Long Island Alzheimer’s and Dementia (LIAD) Center, a social adult day program in Westbury, NY that has pivoted its hands-on programs to virtual platforms to continue support for families living with the challenges brought on by cognitive impairment.

“In a span of less than eight years, my grandmother, Hu Weide, went from a caring and joyous woman to a shadow of herself,” says Richard Zhu. “In her honor, we curated a collection of our art, which explores human emotion during times of crisis…through our art, we hope to rejuvenate people during this time and support those most vulnerable.”

“We are so touched by the Art of Remembrance’s generosity and inspired by their creativity,” says Tori Cohen, Executive Director of the Long Island Alzheimer’s & Dementia Center. “Their unique fundraiser will help the LIAD Center continue to provide families critically needed resources, such as support groups and stimulating virtual activities, as well as a safe place to return to when our doors reopen. I’m sure Richard’s grandmother is so proud of the direct impact he and his partners will have on so many of our families, providing a sense of hope and comfort during this overwhelming time.”

To support The Art of Remembrance and learn more about the LI Alzheimer’s & Dementia Center’s COVID-19 programs and services, visit or call (516) 767-6856.

About the Long Island Alzheimer’s & Dementia (LIAD) Center
For over 30 years, the LIAD Center has been providing supportive community-based services to Long Island families living with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. The LIAD Center offers hands-on and stage-specific programs and services to diagnosed individuals and caregivers. The 501 (c)(3) takes considerable pride in its pioneering role in cutting-edge services that foster the independence, dignity, well-being, and safety of individuals with dementia. Its state-of-the-art center is located at 1025 Old Country Road in Westbury. Until there is a cure, the LIAD Center is the best place for families to find support, guidance, and hope.


to love her

is to link dendritic arms

in an electrifying jazz dance of blushing Oxytocin

leaping and rolling along the fatty floors till it bursts

through the calcified studio doors

and into Dopamine’s arms–they dash in dizzying circles

through basal ganglia and gray matter cortices

and the brain is a sizzling city of people spraying the blush in sprawling graffiti

singing the systolic songs of every palpitation

till the beats thud down every street and they

are the set crew constructing your dazzling dance

of infatuation this

is Amsterdam

a dance of constructed aluminum frames

glossy bicycle bells tinkling down every street

whispering songs of whirring chains–

the world scrawls gaseous graffiti with gray exhaust pipes,

dashing poison upon the seas till the polyps collapse in dizzy circles

within bleached calcium cages and acidic arms pry open oyster shells

till they burst–yet the Dutch are rolling

forth in neighborhoods

of bikers tying wire struts together

into a gift of unblemished oxygen and nitrogen

each citizen plugging into the city till it is electrified and Humanity

dances with the Nereids