EWING TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Just after 6:00 pm the Ewing Township Fire Departments were sent to the area of Green Lane and Browning Avenue for a mulch fire extending to a home. Upon arrival on Green Lane the fire was behind the home and actually on King Avenue and firefighters quickly responded to the proper location.
Firefighters found a “working fire” involving a garage that was extending to the roof area of the home. An “all hands” and full first alarm was called for sending additional equipment to the scene and a FAST team from Lawrence Township. Within a few minutes firefighters had the fire knocked down and started looking for extension. The fire was placed under control at 6:24 pm. No further information was available.
UPPER FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–A Allentown Football Coach and wife who is a Newell Elementary School art teacher lost their home and two dogs yesterday in a tragic 4 alarm fire. The home was completely burned and nothing was salvageable. Please consider a donation to help them with immediate needs.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Around 1:43 pm Trenton Fire Department received a call from a city inspector stating he was on location at Calhoun and Humboldt Streets with a leaky 55 gallon drum leaking an unknown substance. Trenton Fire Department responded with the hazardous material team and was able to contain the situation. No further information is available.
ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)-The New Jersey State Police is seeking the public’s assistance with a fatal motor vehicle crash investigation that occurred on the New Jersey Turnpike on April 22.
Based on the preliminary investigation, detectives determined that at approximately 9:22 p.m., a tractor trailer loaded with watermelons was traveling northbound in the inner roadway. In the area of milepost 60.3 in Robbinsville Township, the driver ran off the right side of the roadway, traveled through the guardrail, and struck a concrete bridge support. As a result, the male driver and male passenger sustained fatal injuries.
Anyone who may have witnessed the crash is asked to contact Detective Matthew Schaible at 609-860-9000 ext. 4424. Anonymous tips are welcome.
BRICK – LAKEWOOD – TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–Brian Sauers who is a State of NJ Forrest Fire Service fire fighter, a volunteer member of East Dover Fire Company and municipal engineer for Lakewood was released from the hospital today. He was injured on March 14, 2021 at a fire that was determined to be intentionally set. Sauers was working the fire in back of the Lowe’s store on the Brick/Lakewood border when he had a medical emergency and has been hospitalized since.
Hundreds lined the sidewalk as he left the hospital and was escorted to a NJ Forrest Fire Service vehicle for a ride home. A motorcade of fire and other vehicles proceeded from the hospital to his home.
SHIP BOTTOM, NJ (OCEAN)–Governor Phil Murphy, New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti, Ship Bottom Mayor William Huelsenbeck, and Stafford Township Mayor Gregory Myhre today marked the beginning of the final phase of the award-winning Route 72 Manahawkin Bay Bridges project.
“Today, work on the final aspect of the long-term rebuild and rehabilitation of the Route 72 Manahawkin Bay Bridge will get underway in earnest,” said Governor Murphy. “With new lanes that will be constructed at-grade and drainage and other improvements that will be made underground, the entirety of this project is part-and-parcel of our overall goal of ensuring the safe, modern, and resilient infrastructure that our state needs.”
“The Route 72 Manahawkin Bay Bridges project is an excellent example of how the Murphy Administration and the New Jersey Department of Transportation deliver projects that improve safety and improve the quality of life in our communities,” NJDOT Commissioner Gutierrez-Scaccetti said. “Today we are marking the beginning of the final contract of this project, but our commitment to this community will continue long after the asphalt is cured and the crews go home.”
“This project was introduced in 1993 and proposed by the Department of Transportation in 2007,” said Ship Bottom Mayor William Huelsenbeck. “It has now become a reality and Ship Bottom, ‘The Gateway of Long Beach Island,’ couldn’t be happier.”
“We appreciate the improvements that the NJDOT has made in Stafford Township over the past several years and we look forward to continuing our mutually beneficial relationship,” said Stafford Township Mayor Gregory Myhre.
“Throughout the past year, we have been reminded of the importance of working together. As we recover and move forward, working together will be paramount to our success,” said Dave Velazquez, President and CEO of Pepco Holdings, which includes Atlantic City Electric. “Today, we are recognizing an incredibly important project that demonstrates how collaboration between the public and private sectors can help us efficiently upgrade New Jersey’s infrastructure, making it more accessible, stronger and resilient in the face of a changing climate and more extreme weather.”
This final construction contract for the Route 72 Manahawkin Bay Bridges project is designed to improve safety and reduce congestion in Stafford Township at the Marsha Drive/Route 72 intersection and in Ship Bottom on Long Beach Island. In Stafford Township, Marsha Drive will be widened to provide double left turn lanes onto Route 72, and a third lane will be added on Route 72 in both directions near the intersection.
In Ship Bottom, approximately 3,000 feet of Route 72 (locally known as 8th and 9th Streets) and three cross roads (Barnegat Avenue, Central Avenue and Long Beach Boulevard) will be widened. Two-way traffic will be restored along Central Avenue and Long Beach Boulevard. Five traffic signals will be reconstructed, and a new traffic signal will be installed at the intersection of 8th Street and Long Beach Boulevard. In addition, a new storm drainage system and new outfalls will be installed in an effort to reduce frequent flooding along Route 72 and these intersections.
The $312 million Route 72 Manahawkin Bay Bridges Project was broken up into five contracts and involved the construction of a new bridge parallel to the existing Manahawkin Bay Bridge, the rehabilitation of the existing bridge, and the rehabilitation of three trestle bridges. There have been improvements made to bicycle and pedestrian facilities, as well as environmental mitigation. Construction began in 2013 and is expected to be complete in 2022.
The new bridge carries eastbound traffic, while the rehabilitated Old Causeway Bridge carries the westbound traffic. Environmental mitigation and improvements to Cedar Bonnet Island were completed including wetland creation, mitigation for freshwater wetlands, and a public walking trail.
The project has been recognized by the Federal Highway Association and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials for environmental excellence and for improving the quality of life for residents and visitors alike.
For more information about the Route 72 Manahawkin Bay Bridges project, visit NJDOT’s project-specific website.
ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–Robbinsville Township Mayor Dave Fried presented the 2021 municipal budget of $25,920,553.33 to Township Council Thursday featuring a flat or reduced tax rate for the ninth consecutive year.
The 2021 rate would remain steady at 51.8 cents per $100 of assessed value (also 51.8 in 2019 and 2020), with the average assessed home in Robbinsville valued at $378,500. A penny in the Robbinsville tax rate is worth $264,254.59.
Among the key investments is $200,000 ($600,000 over three years) to join the Mercer County Police Radio System, which will expand coverage to ensure officer safety. The current system is at the end of its useful life and the new system will allow immediate communication ability with other municipal, county and state agencies. If the Mercer County Rapid Response partnership is activated, the RTPD’s new radios will provide interoperability with other responding agencies.
Other allocations include $1.67 million for water main improvements at Newtown Village, approximately $2 million to construct an all-purpose recreation facility near the old pool at Miry Run, $220,000 to expand the existing and very popular volleyball courts at the Municipal Complex behind the library and funding for a new all-abilities playground at Tantum Park. As part of a three-year project, $350,000 from the open space fund has been allocated for walking and biking paths, along with other elements at Miry Run. Funds also have been earmarked for additional affordable housing programs and road restoration projects, including the completion of Voelbel Road and the developments at Hillside and Windswept.
Now that Mayor Fried has presented the budget the governing body has time to review, ask questions and make changes (by motion at a meeting) if necessary. Council will then vote to introduce the budget, either at the same meeting or at a later date. A public hearing on the budget is required to be held not less than 28 days after the introduction of the budget at a Council meeting. During or after the public hearing, Council can vote on additional changes (via resolution). A second public hearing would only be required for significant changes, per State guidelines. Council can then vote to adopt the budget, with the approval from the NJ Division of Local Government Services.
WOODBRIDGE, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone and Director Robert Hubner of the Woodbridge Police Department announced that authorities are seeking the public’s assistance in identifying two individuals believed to be involved in an aggravated sexual assault and armed robbery in the Port Reading section of Woodbridge, which occurred on Friday, April 16th.
An initial investigation by Officer Robert Montalvo of the Woodbridge Police Department and Detective Linda Infusino of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office determined that on April 16, 2021 in the 9 o’clock hour, an adult female and an adult male were approached in the area of Lee Street and Scott Place by two individuals and held at gunpoint. The investigation further determined the female victim was sexually assaulted.
Authorities are searching for a slim, black male who is between 5 foot 8 inches and 5 foot 9 inches tall. This suspect is believed to have worn a cream or gray hoodie and sweatpants or jeans at the time of the assault. Authorities are also searching for a slim white or Hispanic male with brown hair and brown eyes who is between 5 foot 5 inches and 5 foot 9 inches tall. This suspect is believed to have worn a gray Nike hoodie and white Nike sneakers at the time of the assault.
The investigation is active and continuing. Anyone with information or surveillance footage of the area is asked to contact Officer Montalvo of the Woodbridge Police Department at (732) 634-7700 or Detective Infusino of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at (732) 745-4340. Tips may also be submitted to www.middlesextips.com
ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–Pfizer Vaccination for Eligible Teens April 27-29 The West Windsor Health Department is partnering with Hamilton Township, Princeton and Olden Pharmacy to offer Pfizer COVID-19 vaccinations to individuals 16 and 17 years of age who live, work or attend school in West Windsor, Robbinsville or Hightstown.
These mini clinics will be held from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 27, Wednesday, April 28 and Thursday, April 29. Appointments are required and parents or guardians must attend the clinic. If you are interested in this opportunity, please contact the Health Department at 609-936-8400 or email email@example.com
PRINCETON, NJ (MERCER)–If you’re a Central Jersey local, the ionic colonnade at Princeton Battlefield State Park is a monument you’ve likely visited or driven past on numerous occasions—but what is it, really?
Choreographer, filmmaker, and Lawrenceville NJ resident Merli V. Guerra presents a groundbreaking new production that answers this question through a creative blending of history, dance, and technology. Now open to the public, “The Time Traveler’s Lens” is an extended reality (XR) immersive performance illuminating the history of this mysterious local landmark.
“As an artist and history-lover, I am constantly finding myself tapping into the hidden layers of a space’s identity, past and present,” says Guerra. “When visiting ruins, I have an urge to physically touch the remnants of stone walls and pillars that hold memories of times past.”
Guerra is a professional dancer and award-winning interdisciplinary artist with a background in ballet, modern, and classical Odissi Indian dance. She is Co-Founder and Artistic Director of Luminarium Dance Company—an award-winning contemporary company in Boston, MA—and has performed lead roles with acclaimed companies on tours to India (2007, 2012) and Japan (2009). Guerra is a freelance choreographer, filmmaker, writer, and designer whose works have been presented by 80+ events across the U.S., as well as Argentina, Canada, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Portugal, and Spain. She is currently a Part-Time Lecturer and MFA in Dance candidate at Rutgers University, set to graduate this May.
In March of last year, Guerra began working on her thesis, choosing to highlight the history of the colonnade: “When I began researching the layers of history associated with the colonnade, I questioned how its marble columns might play back these experiential recordings; how the experiences of these stones might translate into human behavior; and how choreographic and virtual tools might be used to immerse viewers in each layer of this site’s identity.”
The culminating production, presented with support from both Rutgers University and Luminarium, publicly launched on Monday and provides viewers with an exciting interactive experience both on and off the park grounds. This site-specific performance features five 360-degree dance films that are viewable as augmented reality (AR) across the battlefield grounds on visitors’ personal mobile devices or as a virtual reality (VR) experience when viewed remotely elsewhere. This immersive, yet Covid-safe, performance invites visitors to become active participants in the colonnade’s history. Shot in 360, no two viewings of this work will ever be alike.
“My mother’s property is within walking distance from the monument. I remember many visits there when I was a child,” says Wendy Lawson, who viewed the work remotely from Massachusetts. “Merli’s work has brought this monument alive again! What fascinating research she uncovered. I got lost in time while watching all the videos!”
“The Time Traveler’s Lens” is accessible via a website (http://luminariumdance.org/time) that can be unlocked for free using passwords found at the Princeton Battlefield State Park or by paying a one-time ticket purchase for infinite remote access. Visitors are encouraged to view these XR films using the free YouTube app on their mobile devices for an immersive 360-degree experience. Visit http://luminariumdance.org/time to learn more.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Trenton Police Department Detective Captain Peter Weremijenko told MidJersey.news that on Thursday April 22, 2021 around 10:08 pm Trenton Police Offices Olix Heredia and Marvin Hebert were on patrol in the area of West End Avenue when they saw a 2019 Jeep Compass, bearing a Pennsylvania license plate, driving in the area. The officers were aware that the vehicle was reported as carjacked at gunpoint earlier in the evening in Morrisville PA. The officers attempted to stop the vehicle when the driver of the Jeep accelerated and drove away. Officers Heredia and Hebert continued to pursue the carjacked Jeep through the City of Trenton, onto Rt 195, then onto Rt 130. The pursuit ended when the Jeep ran out of gas on Rt 130 south in Robbinsville. The New Jersey State Police and Robbinsville Police Department assisted the Trenton Police Department to bring this incident to a peaceful conclusion.
Taken into custody and charged was:
Christopher R. Hersey, 30-year-old male from General Greene Ave. in Trenton
Eluding (2nd degree) 2C:29-2b
Several motor vehicle violations
New Jersey State Police Sgt. Philip Curry of the Public Information Unit told MidJersey.news that, on Thursday, April 22, at 10:15 p.m. Trenton Police Department notified the New Jersey State Police that they were engaged in a pursuit with a stolen vehicle that was heading out of Trenton.
Troopers joined the pursuit as it continued on I-195 before the suspect vehicle exited the highway and traveled through multiple jurisdictions. During the pursuit, the suspect vehicle struck two marked pursuing NJSP vehicles.
The pursuit concluded on US-130 south MP 65 in Robbinsville Township where the suspect, Christopher Hersey, 30, of Trenton, N.J. was arrested.
Hersey was charged with aggravated assault, possession of a weapon for unlawful purposes, criminal mischief and was lodged at the Mercer County Jail.
Sgt. Philip Curry of the NJ State Police Public Information Unit told MidJersey.news that the crash occurred at 9:22pm (yesterday April 22, 2021) on the NJ Turnpike northbound on the inner roadway MP 60.3 in Robbinsville Twp., Mercer County. Preliminary investigation revealed a Peterbilt tractor pulling a semi-trailer loaded with watermelons was traveling north in the inner roadway of the NJTPK. The Peterbilt ran off the road to the right and impacted the guardrail and a concrete bridge support. The male driver was ejected and sustained fatal injuries. A male passenger in the truck also sustained fatal injuries.
The right lane of the northbound inner roadway was closed for approximately six hours and the north outer roadway was closed prior to the crash for construction. Moderate traffic congestion resulted. The crash remains under investigation and there is no further information at this time.
ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–Robbinsville and Bordentown Township Fire Departments along with EMS were dispatched to a horrific crash involving a tractor trailer into a bridge at 9:38 pm. The crash occurred on the north bound inner roadway (car lanes) when a tractor trailer carrying watermelons crashed into the bridge support for the Edgebrook Road Bridge just prior to Exit 7A. Unfortunately two people reportedly died in the crash according to witnesses. The impact was so severe that watermelons were thrown onto the deck of the Edgebrook Road bridge. Robbinsville firefighters remained on scene until around 1:30 am as they stood by to assist the NJ State Police in the accident investigation. It was unclear if there is any structural damage to the bridge.
According to the New Jersey State Police, Troopers are investigating a serious motor vehicle crash that occurred at 9:22 pm on the NJ Turnpike northbound on the inner roadway at MP 60.3 in Robbinsville. Preliminary information revealed a truck carrying watermelons struck a bridge. Only the left shoulder of the inner roadway northbound is getting by. No further information is available at this time.
LAKEWOOD, NJ (OCEAN)–Around 12:30 am a truck took down a utility pole and wires before crashing into a tree on County Line Road and Route 9/Madison Ave. The driver was taken into custody for possible DWI. No further information about the crash is available.
BREAKING NEWS REPORT: This is a breaking news report from radio reports, on scene information, and sources. Once official information is available, the post will be updated.
TRENTON (MERCER)– A police pursuit involving multiple jurisdictions occurred late Thursday night following a carjacking of a Jeep Compass in Trenton.
Trenton Police called the pursuit around 10:00 pm, after a reported carjacking in the city. State Police joined the chase once the suspect vehicle got onto I-195. The vehicle continued to flee Eastbound on I-195 to Route 537 in Jackson, where he turned back around and went Westbound. The suspect exited I-195 into Hamilton, where he fled down Klockner Road and got onto Route 130. The pursuit continued on Route 130 Northbound to South Brunswick, where the suspect then turned around again, going South on Route 130. The suspect was reported to be armed with a gun. The vehicle reached speeds of 130 miles per hour while running red lights, and reportedly crashed into a few State Police troop cars during the pursuit.
The chase finally came to an end at about 11:03 pm in front of the A&M Market on Route 130 in Robbinsville. One male was taken into custody and transported to the hospital.
Vehicle drove though several towns including, Trenton, Hamilton Township, Robbinsville Township, Upper Freehold Township, Millstone Township, Jackson Township, East Windsor, Cranbury, South Brunswick, North Brunswick.
This is a developing story. Check back for more info.
ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–Students from the Robbinsville High School Class of 2021 are participating in the 11th Annual “U Got Brains Champion Schools Program,” sponsored by the Brain Injury Alliance of New Jersey. Students participating in this annual program have been tasked with creating a peer-drive campaign that demonstrates safe driving.
This year Robbinsville High School has directed their campaign’s focus on the dangers of distracted driving. Through their research, students learned that cell phone and texting laws are only effective when paired with high-visibility enforcement efforts, such as the use of electronic signs. As a result, the students created a campaign focused on implementing these high-visibility enforcement efforts.
The first implementation was aided by the Robbinsville Police Department who displayed the slogan “If you’re texting, who’s driving” on several electronic signs throughout the township. This slogan was the winning submission of a schoolwide competition that kicked off this year’s campaign.
In conjunction with April being National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, students created videos to increase the visibility of their campaign messaging. The first video was a student-created public service announcement reminding their peers to “Just Drive,” which also served as an entry into the New Jersey Manufacturers “Just Drive” competition. An additional 18 short videos stating a statistic about distracted driving and including the campaign slogan were made and aired during the daily announcements at the high school.
In an effort to expand our viewing audience beyond the high school and Robbinsville community, the students teamed up with The TV Truck to transport their big messages of safe driving to a big screen shown throughout the region and across state lines. The truck will be traveled around Mercer and Bucks counties on April 19th, stopping at RHS to show a series of short videos about driving and ride-share safety.
Later that evening, there was a parent-student virtual presentation called Share The Keys, presented by NJM Insurance Group. Students wanted to be sure that parents were included in their campaign as parental involvement aids in reducing teen driving crashes.
The students would like to thank Brain Injury Alliance for allowing them to participate in this year’s competition, as well as The TV Truck, Robbinsville C.A.R.E. Coalition, Just Between Friends Mercer County, and the #WHATSMYNAME Foundation for their generous donations and support in helping to implement high-visibility enforcement efforts aimed at reducing distracted driving. The #WHATSMYNAME Foundation was started by the Robbinsville Josephson family, whose daughter Samantha, a former RHS graduate, was brutally murdered when she was targeted by a person posing as a rideshare driver in 2019. Her parents’ mission is to educate everyone on rideshare safety.
At the conclusion of the U Got Brains program, three winning schools will be selected by a panel of judges to receive a grand-prize of $10,000 cash donated to their school by Founding Sponsor, NJM Insurance Group. The program is fortunate to have a group of community safety leaders who have chosen to support these efforts through sponsorship, including New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety, State Farm Insurance, National Road Safety Foundation, Allstate, Volvo, Nikhil Badlani Foundation, State Farm Insurance, Teen Safe Driving Coalition, New Jersey Education Association, and AAA.
ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–Parents of Robbinsville High School seniors have taken up the challenge to provide memorable experiences for the graduating Class of 2021. Throughout the year in this small, close-knit Mercer county town, parents created memory-making moments for the approximately 250 seniors finishing out their high school careers in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic. On Monday, April 19, a group of parents along with the help of the senior class installed the words “CLASS OF 2021” on the chain-link fence at the high school tennis court called the Fence of Hope. Also, they provided hundreds of school colored ribbons for the students to write notes on and tie to the fence to complete the project as a physical reminder to the graduating class that memories are made in many different ways.