Month: May 2021

Hamilton Township Welcomes European Wax Center to Hamilton Marketplace

May 26, 2021

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Hamilton Township Mayor Jeff Martin welcomed European Wax Center with a Grand Opening Ceremony & Ribbon Cutting on May 14th, 2021.

“We are thrilled to see European Wax Center open in Hamilton Marketplace and are so happy we finally get to celebrate them,” said Mayor Martin. “They make a wonderful addition to Hamilton Marketplace and Hamilton Township as a whole.”

Owners Pat and Kerri McGeehan opened European Wax Center during the COVID-19 pandemic last year. This is their third location in New Jersey, having previously opened locations in Mercer Mall, Lawrence, NJ and Seagirt, NJ.  They choose Hamilton Township for the central location. Located in the Hamilton Marketplace, European Wax Center offers various hair removal and waxing services for both men and women.

To learn more about European Wax Center, visit

Visit to learn of the new businesses that have recently opened or have relocated to Hamilton and read up on why Hamilton is a great place for businesses to call home!

NJSP Seek Help Locating Missing 13-Year-Old Girl From Millstone Township

May 26, 2021

MILLSTONE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MONMOUTH)–New Jersey State Police Seeking Public’s Assistance with Locating Missing 13-year-old Girl The New Jersey State Police Missing Persons Unit and State Police Hamilton Station are seeking the public’s assistance with locating Natalee Perez, 13, of Millstone, N.J. Natalee is described as a light-skinned Hispanic female, 5’4”, 180 pounds with brown hair and green eyes. She was last seen wearing an orange shirt, blue jeans, black jacket, and a pair of black Adidas sneakers. Natalee was last seen on Saturday, May 22, at her residence and is believed to be in the North Philadelphia area. Anyone with information is asked to call the New Jersey State Police Missing Persons Unit at (609) 882-2000, ext. 2554 or NJSP Hamilton Station at 609-584-5000 ext. 5287.

Police investigating serious crash involving moped-style bike

May 25, 2021

See updated story here: UPDATE: Attorney General’s Office investigating death of man who was involved in scooter accident in Hamilton

Attorney General’s Office Investigating Death of Man Who Was Involved in Scooter Accident in Hamilton

By: Tyler Eckel

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP (MERCER)– One person is in serious condition after being struck by a vehicle while operating a moped-style bike Tuesday night.

The crash occurred just after 9:00 pm. Hamilton Police responded with Robert Wood Johnson EMS and Capital Health Paramedics to Route 33 and Whitehorse Mercerville Road in front of the Mercerville Shopping Center on reports of a vehicle vs motorcycle. EMS quickly arrived on the scene and transported the man who was operating the motorized bike to the trauma center in serious condition. Hamilton Township Fire Police were also detailed to the scene to assist with traffic control.

Police remained on the scene for a thorough investigation into the crash. Route 33 between Whitehorse Mercerville Road and Shady Lane remains shut down at the time of this report.

No other info is available at this time, please check back for updates.

Trenton Fire Department Extinguishes Fire In Deli

May 25, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Around 7:20 p.m. the Trenton Fire Department was dispatched to the Lamberton Deli Grocery at the corner of Bridge Street and Lamberton Streets. Upon arrival firefighters had a heavy smoke condition coming from the building. One 2 1/2″ attack line and at least one 1 3/4″ backup line was placed in service as truck companies went to the roof to vent. Firefighters advanced though the front door and quickly knocked down the fire and were able to hold the fire at the 1st Alarm.

Trenton Fire Department fire investigators were still on scene at the time of this report and were also awaiting a State of New Jersey Fire Marshal. All units have returned except for 1 engine staying on scene for the investigation.

No further information is available at this time.

Photos by Brian McCarthy, OnScene News

Hamilton Fire Department Quickly Knocks Down Fully Involved Gazebo Fire; Keeps Fire From Spreading

May 25, 2021

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Around 7:50 p.m. the Hamilton Township Fire Department responded to the 2700 Block of Nottingham Way near Getz Avenue for a well involved gazebo fire with exposures. Numerous 9-1-1 calls were reporting heavy smoke and also a grill fire on initial dispatch.

When Hamilton firefighters arrived on scene they reported a fully involved gazebo fire in the rear of the property with exposures issues and possible extension to a garage. Firefighters stretched 1 3/4″ lines and quickly extinguished the fire before it could spread and severely damage other buildings on the property.

The Hamilton Township Fire Marshal’s Office was on scene investigating at the time of this report.

The Hamilton Township Police Department shut down Nottingham Way between Shady Lane and Berkley Street until firefighters could pick up the supply line and clear the street of apparatus.

No further information is available.

Trenton, NJ Man Gets 7 Years For Drug Trafficking And Multiple Firearms Offences

May 25, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–A Mercer County, New Jersey, man was sentenced today to 84 months in prison for his role as a member of a drug trafficking conspiracy and his possession of multiple semiautomatic firearms in furtherance of his unlawful drug-trafficking activities, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.

Jubri West, 21, of Trenton, previously pleaded guilty by videoconference before Chief U.S. District Judge Freda L. Wolfson to a superseding information charging him with one count each of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute heroin; possession with intent to distribute heroin; and possession of firearms in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime. Judge Wolfson imposed the sentence today in Trenton federal court.

In October 2018, West and 25 other individuals were charged by criminal complaint with conspiracy to distribute heroin; West and others also were charged with firearms offenses relating to their drug trafficking. On Feb. 27, 2020, a grand jury returned a 10-count third superseding indictment charging West and six other defendants with conspiracy to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin and various other drug and firearms offenses. Of the 26 defendants originally charged in the criminal complaint, West is the 23rd defendant to have pleaded guilty. The charges in the third superseding indictment remain pending against three defendants.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

From as early as October 2017 to October 2018, West and others engaged in a large drug trafficking conspiracy that operated in the areas of Martin Luther King Boulevard, Sanford Street, Middle Rose Street, Southard Street, Hoffman Avenue, Chambers Street, and Coolidge Avenue in Trenton, and which sought to profit from the distribution of heroin and numerous other controlled substances. Through the interception of telephone calls and text messages pursuant to court-authorized wiretap orders, controlled purchases of heroin, the use of confidential sources of information, law enforcement learned that Jakir Taylor and Jerome Roberts obtained regular supplies of hundreds of “bricks” of heroin from David Antonio, whom they referred to as “Pop” and “Papi,” and that they distributed those supplies of heroin to other dealers and end users in and around Trenton.

During the investigation of the conspiracy, on Sept. 6, 2018, law enforcement officers stopped a green 2002 Volkswagen Passat driven by, and registered to, Timothy Wimbush, a/k/a “Young Money,” and occupied by West, Taquan Williams, a/k/a Trip,” and a juvenile. Law enforcement officers recovered from West’s pocket a quantity of heroin, and during a subsequent search of the vehicle, law enforcement recovered from a secret trap compartment under the rear passenger’s seat approximately 57 bricks of heroin, four semiautomatic firearms – including a .223 caliber assault rifle linked with a shooting in Trenton four days earlier – and hundreds of rounds of ammunition. Law enforcement officers identified the heroin as having been supplied by other members of the conspiracy. The charges against Wimbush and Williams remain pending.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Wolfson sentenced West to three years of supervised release.

Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of the FBI, Newark Division, Trenton Resident Agency, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr.; special agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, Newark Division, Trenton Field Office, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Craig B. Kailimai; officers of the Trenton Police Department, under the direction of Police Director Sheilah Coley; officers of the Princeton Police Department, under the direction of Chief of Police Nicholas Sutter; officers of the Ewing Police Department, under the direction of Chief of Police John P. Stemler III; officers of the Burlington Township Police Department, under the direction of Police Director Bruce Painter; and detectives of the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Scott A. Coffina, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea. He also thanked officers of the New Jersey State Police, under the direction of Superintendent Col. Patrick J. Callahan; detectives of the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Angelo Onofri; officers of the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff John A. Kemler; and members of the New Jersey State Board of Parole for their assistance in the investigation and prosecution of the case.

The government is represented by Attorney-in-Charge J. Brendan Day and Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexander Ramey of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Criminal Division in Trenton.

This case was conducted under the auspices of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) and the FBI’s Greater Trenton Safe Streets Task Force, a partnership between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to enhance the identification, apprehension, and prosecution of individuals involved in gang-related activities, violent crime, and drug distribution in and around the greater Trenton area. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, weapons trafficking, and money laundering organizations and those primarily responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply.

The charges and allegations pending in the third superseding indictment against the remaining defendants are merely accusations and those defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.


Defense Counsel: Anthony G. Simonetti Esq., Hightstown, New Jersey

TPD Weekend ATV Sweep Results in One Arrest, 33 Summonses, and Three Seized ATVs

May 25, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Trenton Police Director Sheilah A. Coley today announced that a TPD-led sweep targeting illegal ATV activity resulted in one arrest, 33 motor vehicle summonses, and the confiscation of three ATVs.

Shemar Corbett, 25, of Trenton, is charged with one count of obstructing traffic.

After numerous complaints about ATVs and dirt bikes throughout Trenton, the TPD, along with its partners at the N.J. State Police, planned an ATV interdiction sweep. Most recently, TPD had received complaints showing video of dirt bikes and ATV’s riding recklessly near the marina and park on the 1100 block area of Lamberton Street.

The sweep used valuable intel from concerned citizen groups and increased surveillance – including a drone – to survey all known areas throughout the city where ATV and dirt bikes gather and refuel.

In addition, the City of Trenton Division of Traffic and Transportation worked with the Mercer County Park Commission to place barricades on the bottom of the park’s foot bridge to restrict access to foot traffic and bicyclists only.

Director Coley credited detectives with the TPD Violent Crimes Rapid Response Unit (VCRR), under the direction of Captain Darren Zappley, with the investigation. She also thanked detectives of the N.J. State Police Crime Suppression Unit, under the direction of Sergeant Blair Astbury, for their critical assistance.

“We get it: ATVs can be a fun summer activity for many of our city residents,” said Director Coley. “But their use inside the city is illegal for a reason, and one person’s recreation cannot come at the expense of the safety and well-being of other residents. TPD, along with its state partners, will step up enforcement to deter this reckless behavior before anyone else is seriously injured. Fines, forfeiture, and possible criminal charges await those individuals who do not comply.”

On May 21, 2020, Trenton City Council unanimously passed Ordinance 20-39, “Off-Road Vehicle Regulations,” which was then signed by Mayor W. Reed Gusciora. ATVs are prohibited by both state and municipal law on or within any City-owned or operated road, park, or other public space. State law designating these vehicles as contraband authorizes TPD Officers to investigate any person suspected of engaging in the unlawful operation of an ATV and to seize that vehicle. In addition to the penalties set forth by the state, violations shall be punishable by a municipal fine of up to $1,000 as well as confiscation, forfeiture and destruction of the vehicle.

Anyone with information about illegal ATV use should contact the TPD anonymous tip line at (609) 989-3784.

On May 19, 2020 a violent episode on quads ATV left a man shot in the buttocks and one was arrested and a gun recovered you can read about that story here:

Violent Episode On Quads Leads To 1 Shot And 1 Armed Suspect Arrested

Ewing Man Arrested For Hamilton Township 7-11 Murder

May 25, 2021

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri reported today that an investigation by the Mercer County Homicide Task Force has led to the arrest of a Ewing man for last week’s murder of Katherine Montenegro at a Hamilton Township 7-Eleven.

Joshua Lopez, 23, was taken into custody in Ewing Township late Monday evening by members of U.S. Marshals NY/NJ Regional Fugitive Task Force with assistance from the Mercer County Tactical Response Team, Mercer County Homicide Task Force and Mercer County Narcotics Task Force.  He is charged with one count of first-degree murder, one count of second-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, one count of second-degree unlawful possession of a weapon and one count of second-degree certain persons not to possess a firearm.  The prosecutor’s office has filed a motion to detain Lopez pending trial.

On Tuesday, May 18, 2021, at approximately 1:50 a.m., Hamilton Police Division Patrol Units responded to a shooting in progress in the parking lot of the 7-Eleven on Lalor Street.  Officers arrived on scene and located the victim, identified as 23-year-old Katherine Montenegro of Trenton, lying in the parking lot near the storefront curb suffering a gunshot wound to the abdomen.  She was transported to the hospital where she was pronounced dead a short time later.

As part of the investigation conducted by the Mercer County Homicide Task Force, area video surveillance was reviewed, and witnesses were interviewed.  Detectives established that Lopez and the victim were acquaintances, and Lopez was identified as the suspected shooter. 

The murder remains under investigation and anyone with information is asked to call HTF Detective Ahmad Mansur at (609) 989-6406.  Information can also be emailed to

Despite having been charged, every defendant is presumed innocent until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Previous story here: BREAKING: Authorities investigating fatal shooting in Hamilton

Governor Murphy Lifts Major COVID-19 Restrictions, Moves Forward with Most Significant Reopening Steps to Date

With Key COVID-19 Benchmarks Achieved, Governor Murphy Lifts Indoor Mask Mandate, Removes Social Distancing Requirements and Gathering Limits Among Others

Changes Effective in Two Phases – On Friday, May 28 and Friday, June 4

May 24, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Governor Phil Murphy today signed Executive Order No. 242, lifting major COVID-19 restrictions and moving forward with the state’s most significant reopening steps to date. Effective on Friday, May 28, the indoor mask mandate in public spaces will be lifted, as well as the six-foot social distancing requirement in both indoor and outdoor spaces, the prohibition on dance floors at bars and restaurants, and the prohibition on ordering and eating/drinking while standing at bars and restaurants. Additionally, effective Friday, June 4, indoor gathering and capacity limits will be lifted. 

Over the last two weeks, key COVID-19 benchmarks have been achieved across New Jersey, including a dramatic increase in vaccinations, and significant decreases in new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, spot positivity rates, and rates of transmission, solidifying the foundation for the state’s sweeping reopening steps. Per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance, individuals who are not fully vaccinated — defined as two weeks after receiving the second shot of a two-dose vaccination (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) or two weeks after receiving a single-dose vaccination (Johnson & Johnson) – are strongly encouraged to continue masking and social distancing.  

“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, my administration has been guided by science, data, and facts to put New Jersey on the road to recovery with the public health and safety of all New Jerseyans as our highest priority,” said Governor Murphy. “Together, we have made tremendous progress in crushing this virus, and the last two weeks have shown significant decreases in key areas of our data, including new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, spot positivity rates, and rates of transmission. These data points, coupled with a dramatic increase in our vaccination efforts resulting in over 4.7 million New Jerseyans with their first shot, allow us to lift major restrictions and move forward with our most significant reopening steps to date.” 

The following changes will go into effect on Friday, May 28:

  • Lifting the mask mandate in indoor public spaces
    • Businesses and entities overseeing indoor spaces will continue to have the ability to require masking for employees, customers, and/or guests. 
    • Per CDC guidance, masks will continue to be required in health care settings, including long-term care facilities and office-based settings, correctional facilities, homeless shelters, and on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation, as well as transportation hubs such as airports and stations.
    • Additionally, also per CDC guidance, child care centers and facilities, youth summer camps, and public, private, and parochial preschool program premises and elementary and secondary schools, including charter and renaissance schools, are not affected by this announcement and continue to be governed by existing requirements. 
    • Indoor worksites that are not open to the public remain governed by existing health and safety protocols that employers must follow.
    • Masks will continue to be required in public-facing state offices, such as Motor Vehicle Commission agencies.
  • Lifting the six-foot social distancing requirement
    • The requirement will be lifted in businesses, including retail stores, personal care services, gyms, recreational and entertainment businesses, and casinos, and indoor gatherings, including religious services, political activities, weddings, funerals, memorial services, commercial gatherings, catered events, sports competitions, and performances.
    • Businesses and entities overseeing indoor spaces can continue to require social distancing should they choose.
  • Lifting prohibition on dance floors at bars and restaurants. The prohibition on ordering and eating/drinking while standing at bars and restaurants will also be lifted.

The following changes will go into effect Friday, June 4:

  • Removing the general indoor gathering limit, which is currently at 50 people.
  • Removing the indoor gathering limit for political gatherings, weddings, funerals, memorial services, performances, and other catered and commercial events, which is currently at 250 people.
  • Removing 30 percent capacity limitation for indoor large venues with a fixed-seating capacity over 1,000. 

For the full text of Executive Order No. 242, click here.

Update: 29 Year Old Trenton Resident Dead In West Windsor Crash

May 24, 2021

WEST WINDSOR, NJ (MERCER)–Last night at 8:37 p.m. (May 23, 2021), a Grey colored Nissan Maxima operated by a 29-year-old resident of Trenton, NJ was traveling north on Clarksville Road approaching the curve at the Meadow Road intersection. The Nissan crossed over the double yellow line and side swiped a red Ford Escape that was traveling south on Clarksville Road.

The driver of the Ford, of Holland, PA pulled over after her vehicle was struck. After striking the Ford, the Nissan continued north on Clarksville Road with both the front and rear driver side tires over the double yellow line in the southbound lane of travel.

At the intersection with Meadow Road, the Nissan collided head on with a white Chevrolet that was traveling south. 

Upon the arrival of patrol officers, the driver of the Nissan was unconscious and had no pulse. Lifesaving efforts were performed, and Driver #1 was transported to UPPMC.  However, he was pronounced dead at 9:23 pm.   All four occupants of the Chevrolet were also transported UPPMC with numerous non-life-threatening moderate/serious injuries.  The driver of the Ford sustained no injuries.  

Investigation on scene indicated that the Nissan was traveling at a high rate of speed and was unable to negotiate the curve on Clarksville Road which caused the Nissan to strike both vehicles. 

The roadway was closed for just over three hours. The ongoing investigation is being led by Traffic Officer Brown under the direction of Traffic Sgt. Bal.  If you have any pertinent information into the incident, please contact Traffic Officer Brown or Traffic Sgt. Bal at our main line (609) 799-1222, our Anonymous Tip Line (609) 799-0452, email at or  

No Identities are being released at this time of any of the involved parties as this Investigation is ongoing and in respect to the deceased’s family.  

Responding to the scene were: West Windsor Police Department, West Windsor Division of Fire and Emergency Services, Princeton Junction Fire Company Station 44, West Windsor Volunteer Fire Company Station 43, Princeton First Aid Squad, Mercer County Prosecutors Office Serious Collision Response Team.

See last night’s story here: Road Reopened After Serious Accident Investigation In West Windsor

Trenton Man Dies In Motorcycle Crash, Passenger Seriously Injured

May 24, 2021

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–On May 24, 2021, at approximately 2:53 a.m., a single motor vehicle crash occurred on South Broad Street near the intersection of Lalor Street. The driver Christopher Garcia of Trenton, NJ was operating a 2014 Kawasaki Ninja motorcycle east on Lalor Street Mr. Garcia failed to negotiate the turn from Lalor Street onto South Broad Street and struck the concrete center median. Mr Garcia and his passenger Joel Yanes of Medford, NJ were ejected from the motorcycle into the north east side of South Broad Street  Mr. Garcia was unresponsive at the scene of the crash and was pronounced deceased at the scene by Paramedics from Capital Health System at Fuld.  Passenger Yanes was alert at the scene, and transported by ambulance to Capital Health System at Fuld with serious injuries.    

The crash is being investigated by Officer K. McDonald and Officer J. Anaya.  Any witnesses are asked to contact the Hamilton Police Traffic Unit at (609)581-4000.

Information may also be left anonymously on the Hamilton Police Crime Tip Hotline at 609-581-4008.

Woman With 4 Outstanding Warrants Arrested After Stabbing Boyfriend

May 24, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–A verbal dispute between a boyfriend and girlfriend turned violent last night, when the female stabbed the male in the 200 Block of Coolidge Avenue.

The victim is a 28 year old black male and the suspect is a 36 year old black female. The woman was placed under arrest for aggravated assault with weapon and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose. She also had four outstanding warrants for her arrest, Trenton Police Detective Sergeant Cynthia Hargis told

No further information is available at this time.

Bridgeton Man Arrested In Mass Shooting, Victims Identified

May 24, 2021

FAIRFIELD TOWNSHIP, NJ (CUMBERLAND)–The New Jersey State Police have arrested Kevin Dawkins, 36, of Bridgeton, N.J. in connection to the mass shooting in Fairfield Township, Cumberland County on May 23. He was charged with unlawful possession of a weapon, possession of a large-capacity magazine, certain persons not to have weapons, and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose. He is currently lodged at the Cumberland County jail pending a bail detention hearing.

Asia Hester, 25, and Kevin L. Elliott, 30, both of Bridgeton, have been identified as the two victims that were killed in the shooting.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the New Jersey State Police Bridgeton Station at 856-451-0101 or submit a tip via the Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office tipline at Anonymous tips are welcome.


Governor Phil Murphy said at a press conference today on the mass shooting, “Our hearts are shattered by the mass shooting that occurred in Fairfield Township on Saturday night. We will not normalize this senseless gun violence. We will continue to lead the nation in gun safety and be a model for others.

Update: Road Reopened After Serious Accident Investigation In West Windsor

UPDATE HERE: Update: 29 Year Old Trenton Resident Dead In West Windsor Crash

UPDATE: Roadway was reopened just before midnight.

**REOPENED Clarksville Road/Meadow Road due to Serious Motor Vehicle Collision with Multiple Injuries.–Det. Lt. Lee

May 23, 2021

WEST WINDSOR, NJ (MERCER)–Around 9:00 p.m. the West Windsor Police Department received a 9-1-1 call for a serious Crash at the intersection of Clarksville Road and Meadow Road. Police, West Windsor Emergency Services and Capital Health Paramedics responded to the scene. The accident resulted in several injuries that were transported to the local hospital.

Fire Police from Princeton Junction Fire Company and West Windsor Fire Company were at several intersections for traffic control.

West Windsor Police Department is on scene conducting a serious traffic investigation. West Windsor Police sent out the NIXLE Alert below to avoid the area:

**REOPENED Clarksville Road/Meadow Road due to Serious Motor Vehicle Collision with Multiple Injuries.–Det. Lt. Lee

**AVOID Clarksville Road at Meadow Road due to Serious Motor Vehicle Collision with Multiple Injuries.  Unknown duration for Road Closure.  AVOID AREA–FIRST RESPONDERS IN ROADWAY.–Det. Lt. Lee



Man Stabbed 4 Times While Robbed Walking To Store

May 23, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Around 8:30 p.m. a Hispanic male who was walking to a store on Whittaker Avenue was approached by two Hispanic males, who demanded money. The victim stated that after refusing to give the suspects money, a physical altercation began. During the fight, the victim was stabbed four times in the abdomen, back and both arms. The victim was not able to provide any additional information before going into surgery at the Trauma Center at Capital Health Regional Medical Center.

Trenton Police are searching for the two Hispanic males, and also checking for witnesses and video surveillance cameras in the area.

Trenton Emergency Medical Services, Trenton Fire Department and Capital Health paramedics responded to the scene. A “trauma alert” was called by TEMS prior to transport.

Trenton Police Detective Sergeant Cynthia Hargis stated the investigation is still active at this time. If anyone has information about the stabbing they are asked to contact Trenton Police Department at 609-989-4155 or the TPD anonymous tip line at 609-989-DRUG (3784).

14 Shot: 2 Dead 12 Others Injured In Shooting At House Party In Cumberland County

May 23, 2021 — Updated

FAIRFIELD TOWNSHIP, NJ (CUMBERLAND)–The New Jersey State Police is investigating a fatal shooting that killed a man and a woman and injured 12 others at a residential party in Cumberland County last night.

At 11:50 p.m., troopers from Troop “A” Bridgeton Station responded to the report of a shooting at a residence on East Commerce Street in Fairfield Township. When troopers arrived, they discovered that a 30-year-old man and 25-year-old woman sustained fatal gunshot wounds, and 12 other adult victims were also shot and were already transported to area hospitals with various injuries. At this time, one of the confirmed 12 victims sustained serious injuries and is in critical condition.

No arrests have been made, and the motive and incident remain under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to contact the New Jersey State Police Bridgeton Station at 856-451-0101 or submit a tip via the Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office tip website at Anonymous tips are welcome.
Updates will be provided as they become available.

Earlier information:

FAIRFIELD TOWNSHIP, NJ (CUMBERLAND)–New Jersey State Police Sgt. Alejandro Goez from the Public Information Unit told that, “On Saturday, May 22, at 11:50 p.m., the New Jersey State Police responded to a residence on East Commerce Street in Fairfield Township, Cumberland County for the report of a shooting with multiple victims.” has the address as: 1029 E Commerce St, Bridgeton, NJ 08302

It appears that there was a large house party at that address at the location of the shooting.

One post on a news group said, “The party was insane. We drove by it headed home cars packed the st. People walking in and out of traffic. It looked like a concert you would go to at the BB&T center”

Another news group post said, “I think there was a neighborhood party. Lots of cars parked along the streets and a lot of people. I was worried that I would see a post like this. “

From radio traffic victims left the scene by private vehicles to be treated one ended up at the local fire house, two victims were brought into Bridgeton hospital by private car

NJSP, Sgt. Alejandro Goez stated, “Troopers are currently on scene investigating. There is no additional information at this time. Updates to follow.”

Check back for further information as it is released by NJ State Police.

Governor Phil Murphy released a statement below:


Statement from Governor Murphy on Mass Shooting in Cumberland County “Since late last night, the New Jersey State Police and county and local law enforcement in Cumberland County have been investigating the horrific mass shooting at a large house party in Fairfield Township that attracted hundreds of party-goers. “At this time, at least two people have lost their lives, among numerous other shooting victims, including several with injuries that are life-threatening. We hold those who have died, and their families, in our prayers today, and we also pray for the recoveries of those injured. We are grateful for the swift response of law enforcement and stand with them as they continue their investigation. “Let there be no mistake: This despicable and cowardly act of gun violence only steels our commitment to ensuring New Jersey leads the nation in passing and enforcing strong and commonsense gun safety laws. No community should ever experience what occurred last night in Fairfield. “We urge anyone with information to step forward, so those responsible can be brought to justice. This remains an active investigation with many moving parts. More information will be released as it is available and confirmed.”

Person extricated from vehicle that flipped in crash

May 22, 2021

By: Tyler Eckel

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP (MERCER)– One person was injured in a crash that left one vehicle on its side Saturday night.

The crash occurred around 10:30 pm at the intersection of Genesee Street and Joseph Street. Hamilton Fire Department responded as a precaution.

No serious injuries were reported in the crash.

Hamilton Police remained on the scene while tow crews worked to clear up the intersection.

9-1-1 Call For Serious Accident Was Found On NJ Turnpike

May 22, 2021

ROBBINSVILLE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–At 9:42 p.m. the Robbinsville Township Police Department received a 9-1-1 call for a serious accident on Gordon Road near Princeton Memorial Park. Robbinsville Township Police, Robbinsville Fire, EMS and Paramedics responded to Gordon Road and nothing was found. Police, EMS and Firefighters searched roadways and parks in the area from Route 130 to Old York Road and still nothing was found.

A short time later at 10:06 p.m. an accident was spotted from the Sharon Road overpass in the area of the 62.7 mile marker north bound outer roadway. Firefighters, EMS and paramedics were redirected to the Turnpike.

Upon arrival a person was found to be in a serious accident and was transported by Robbinsville EMS and Capital Paramedics to the Trauma Center at Capital Health Regional Medical Center in Trenton. A “trauma alert” was called due to the seriousness of the injuries.

NJ State Police is investigating the crash on the NJ Turnpike. No further information was available.

Fundraiser For Meredith Havens Fire Museum Of Trenton Held At Captain Paul’s Firehouse Dogs

May 22, 2021

 LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–A fundraiser event to benefit the Meredith Havens Fire Museum of Trenton was hosted on Saturday (May 22) by Captain Paul’s Firehouse Dogs, the popular emergency-serviced themed eatery on Princeton Pike in Lawrence Township.

                From 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. retired Trenton Fire Chief Dennis Keenan and Michael Ratcliffe, a career firefighter with the Lawrence Township Fire Department, were on hand to sell and discuss their new book, Trenton Firefighting.

The book, released earlier this year by Arcadia Publishing as part of the company’s “Images of America” series, documents the history of firefighting in Trenton, from the formation of Trenton’s first volunteer fire company in 1747, through the city’s transformation to a career (paid) fire department in 1892, and up to the present modern department of the 21st Century. The book features nearly 200 rare photos from the fire museum’s collection and from the archive of the Trenton Free Public Library’s Trentoniania Local History Collection.

                Keenan, who joined the Trenton Fire Department in 1962 and rose through the ranks to become chief of department in 1992, authored the foreword to the book. Ratcliffe, a former newspaper reporter who spent 20 years as a volunteer firefighter in Lawrence prior to being hired as a career firefighter in 2013, researched and wrote the book. The book is the culmination of two years’ work by the pair.

                All proceeds from sales of the book directly benefit the Meredith Havens Fire Museum of Trenton, the mission of which is to preserve, celebrate, and promote the rich history of firefighting in New Jersey’s capital city and the surrounding Mercer County area.

Founded in 1959 and first opened to the public in 1961 as the Trenton Fire Museum, the museum was renamed in 1974 in honor of its co-founder and first curator, insurance salesman Meredith Havens. Today the museum is housed in Trenton’s historic 1927 Fire Headquarters building, located on Perry Street adjacent to the new Trenton Fire Headquarters that opened in 2000. The museum is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit and is run by a volunteer board of trustees. Keenan is president of that board and Ratcliffe a member.

While the museum itself is presently closed to the public due to COVID-19 restrictions, copies of the book may be purchased for $20 from the Trenton Fire Department clerk’s office and the Trenton Firemen’s Federal Credit Union, both located at Trenton Fire Headquarters at 244 Perry Street. Copies of the book may also be purchased via mail by sending $20 payment to Meredith Havens Fire Museum, in care of Dennis Keenan, at 217 Kensington Avenue, Trenton, N.J. 08618. Please add $3.25 for packaging and postage, with checks made payable to the Meredith Havens Fire Museum.

For more information, visit and

Serious Vehicle Crash On Hughes Drive In Hamilton Township

May 22, 2021

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–On Saturday, May 22, 2021, at approximately 12:30 p.m., a single car motor vehicle crash occurred on Hughes Drive near the intersection of Youngs Road. The driver Jeffrey Mandell of West Windsor, NJ operating a 2019 Volvo S60 was traveling west on Hughes Drive when he veered off the roadway along the north side curb edge.  Mr. Mandell traveled along the wooded edge of the roadway striking several tree branches. Mr. Mandell’s vehicle came to rest in a dried creek bed in the wooded area along the north side of Hughes Drive  Mr. Mandell was assisted at the scene by several passing motorists until emergency personnel arrived on scene. Mr. Mandell was transported to Capital Health Regional Medical Center in Trenton for treatment of his injuries.   

The crash is being investigated by Officer K. McDonald and Officer J. Anaya.  Any witnesses are asked to contact the Hamilton Police Traffic Unit at (609)581-4000.

Information may also be left anonymously on the Hamilton Police Crime Tip Hotline at 609-581-4008.

Hamilton Township Fire Department, RWJ EMS and Capital Health Paramedics also responded to the accident.

Hamilton Police and Hamilton Township Fire Department also responded to an accident on Crosswicks – Hamilton Square Road near Route 130 by the entrance to Wawa. It did not appear that there were injuries in the crash but Hamilton Township Fire Department responded for fluids on the roadway. The Hamilton Township Police Department is also investigation that crash.

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Tractor trailer overturns while entering I-195 from South Broad Street

May 21, 2021

By: Tyler Eckel

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP (MERCER)– A tractor trailer overturned while attempting to enter I-195 Friday afternoon.

It happened around 4:45 pm. It appears the truck made an attempt to enter the Eastbound lanes of 195 from South Broad Street, when it flipped onto its side. The driver self extricated himself from the vehicle. It is unknown if any other vehicles were involved in the crash.

Hamilton Hazmat Team was requested to the scene.

No further information is available.

Firefighters Make Rescue During “General Alarm” 4-Alarm Fire In Trenton

May 21, 2021

By: Tyler Eckel – Updated with information from the City of Trenton

TRENTON (MERCER)– Two houses along with two garages were damaged this afternoon after a fire broke out in Trenton.

Firefighters responded out to 42 Atterbury Avenue around 1:50 pm on a reported house fire. A Trenton Fire Chief arrived on the scene and observed a structure well involved in fire, extending to other structures. The first alarm was immediately struck, sending additional resources to the scene in an attempt to gain control of the blaze.

Firefighters were then alerted of possible victims trapped inside the structure as fire continued to rapidly spread. Trenton firefighters entered the burning structure and heard a call from a person trapped. Firefighters quickly removed the trapped person from the second floor and also saved a cat.

The fire quickly jumped to the second alarm, continuing to climb through the third alarm, and finally being brought under control at 4:18 pm, while operations were equivalent to the fourth alarm.

According to William Skaggs, a City of Trenton spokesperson, the fire was a “General Alarm” with around 10 companies from outside the City responding.

With current staffing levels of the entire TFD on scene, plus the addition of 10 additional companies would equal what is known as a 4-alarm fire with the amount of apparatus and manpower on scene.

Skaggs also stated that six people are displaced from their homes. The initial investigation suggests the fire started in an outside garage and spread to the home of 42 Atterbury Avenue. The fire spread to another home at 40 Atterbury and another garage.

Electric wires were live and impeding the fire attack in the rear. PSE&G was called to the scene to temporarily shut down power on the block from West State to Riverside Avenue.

Multiple ambulances responded to the scene for firefighters suffering from heat exhaustion while battling the scorching flames on top of nearly 90 degree weather, all while wearing their protective turnout gear.

Fire companies from around Mercer County, and then some responded to the scene, including but not limited to: Trenton Fire Department, Hamilton Fire Department, Plainsboro Fire Company, West Windsor Fire Company, Companies from Lawrence, Companies from Ewing, Companies from Bordentown, Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad, Signal 22 Canteen Unit, and others.

Trenton Fire Department, FMBA, And Buzzetta Catering, Hosts 2nd Kick Off To Memorial Day Food-A-Thon

May 21, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–The City of Trenton Fire Department, the Trenton Firefighters Mutual Benevolent Association (FMBA) Locals 6 & 206 and Buzzetta Catering hosted the second annual Food-A-Thon today, at City Hall.

The event was free for all Trenton residents and employees. The event served cheesesteaks, burgers, chicken tenders, fried Oreos, funnel cakes, and more.

“Our first responders serve our city in many ways outside their regular duties,” said Mayor Gusciora

“We’re grateful for all the partners who put this wonderful event together and encourage our staff and Trentonians alike to enjoy the festivities together tomorrow.” — Mayor W. Reed Gusciora

Members of Trenton Cycling Revolution Commute By Bike with Mayor Gusciora to City Hall to celebrate National Bike to Work Day

May 21, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Mayor W. Reed Gusciora today kicked off National Bike to Work Day with members of Trenton Cycling Revolution during a City Hall bike commute in downtown Trenton.

Mayor Gusciora was joined by Jacque Howard, President of Trenton Cycling; Wills Kinsley, Director of Operations for Trenton Cycling Revolution and Sonia Szczesna, Director of Active Transportation, Tri-State Transportation Campaign. The trip went along the D&R Canal Path (part of the 800+ mile regional trail network known as the Circuit Trails) the Black Lives Matter street mural on E State, and the historic N.J. State House before ending at City Hall.

In the United States, 40 percent of all trips are less than two miles, making cycling a healthy and pollution-free way to get around locally. The City of Trenton has been making strides to improve its infrastructure to ensure walking and biking is safe for all residents and visitors by advancing Circuit Trail projects, improving street design through a Complete & Green Streets pattern book, implementing tactical urbanism projects, and embarking on a Vision Zero Action Plan.

Before the ride, TCR board Jun King presented Mayor Gusciora with a customized helmet with gold leaf and pinstripes by GroundUp Speed Shop to represent Trenton in style when he participates in bicycle and skateboard events in the city.

“Every day is bike to work day for someone here in the Capital City, especially for our essential workers who have continued to commute to work throughout this pandemic,” said Trenton Mayor W. Reed Gusciora. “We are working hard here to make our streets accessible for all Trentonians. I’m happy to hear that the legislature is also looking to ensure the safety of all who walk, ride, and roll through a safe passing bill for the state.”

“Trenton Cycling Revolution is looking forward to working with the City to continue to make strides in enhancing its street infrastructure by implementing its Complete Streets policy as well as its upcoming Vision Zero action plan to make sure that all Trentonians can travel through the City safely,” said Jacque Howard, President of Trenton Cycling Revolution.

“As the state recovers from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, we must reflect on the lessons we’ve learned from quick changes to our streetscapes and create more places for people to safely walk, bike, and roll,” said Sonia Szczesna, Director of Active Transportation for Tri-State Transportation Campaign. “Now is our chance to encourage and foster this increase in cycling for our daily commutes by implementing Complete & Green Streets projects and advancing Vision Zero across the state.”

“There are many new riders out on the streets and to make sure they fully enjoy cycling and get where they are going safely takes a city, county, and state effort,” said Wills Kinsley, Director of Operations for Trenton Cycling Revolution.

Trenton Man Arrested for Saturday Murder of David Williams

May 21, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–A Trenton man has been arrested and charged with the recent murder of David Williams, Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri reported today.

Tyrell Williams, 20, was arrested Thursday afternoon in Trenton by members of the Mercer County Homicide Task Force.  (Defendant is not related to the victim.)  He is charged with one count of first-degree murder, one count of second-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, one count of second-degree unlawful possession of a weapon and one count of second-degree certain persons not to possess a firearm.  The prosecutor’s office has filed a motion to detain Williams pending trial.

Just before 11 p.m. on Saturday, May 15, 2021, Trenton police responded to the area of North Hanover and Stockton on reports of a shooting in progress and a motor vehicle accident.  Trenton Police Communications also received a Shot Spotter activation for nine rounds in the 200 block of N. Stockton Street.  Arriving officers located a dark gray Dodge Caravan crashed into an unoccupied Toyota Rav4.  The Dodge Caravan had been struck by gunfire approximately 10 times.  David Williams, 36, was found in the driver’s seat of the Dodge Caravan suffering from multiple gunshot wounds.  He was extricated from the vehicle by the Trenton Fire Department and transported to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead a short time later.  An adult female passenger in the car was uninjured from the shooting, however, she was taken to the hospital for injuries from the accident.

Officers secured the crime scene and while canvasing the area, located an additional scene at the intersection of N. Stockton and E. Hanover streets, where the Shot Spotter activation occurred.  Broken glass was found all over the middle of the street along with more than a dozen spent 9mm shell casings.

As part of the investigation conducted by the Mercer County Homicide Task Force, area video surveillance was reviewed, and witnesses were interviewed.  Detectives were able to identify Tyrell Williams as the suspect shooter. 

A search incidental to Williams’ arrest on Thursday revealed approximately 10 grams of raw heroin.  Subsequently, he was charged with multiple narcotics offenses.

The murder remains under investigation and anyone with information is asked to call HTF Detective Jennifer Eyster at (609) 989-6406.  Information can also be emailed to

Despite having been charged, every defendant is presumed innocent until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Related coverage here:

Fatal Shooting With Vehicle Crash Leaves 36 Year Old Man Dead, Woman Injured

5/16/2021 UPDATE: Victim Identified In Last Night’s Fatal Shooting

Names of 2021* homicide victims:

  1. 2/18/2021 Jabree Saunders, 26, from shooting on May 14, 2018
  2. 2/22/2021 Khalil Gibbs, 25, of West Windsor, shooting
  3. 2/25/2021 Lovelle Laramore, 60, of Trenton shooting
  4. 4/15/2021 Kaheem Carter, 22, of Trenton, shooting
  5. 4/20/2021 Shaquan McNeil, 25, of Trenton, shooting
  6. 4/24/2021 Cheryl Jones, 65, of Trenton, shooting
  7. 4/29/2021 Ramire Harvey, 25, of Trenton, shooting
  8. 5/15/2021 David Williams 36, of Trenton, shooting

*Updated to reflect the person who died in 2021 from the May 14, 2018 shooting.

AG Grewal Announces 2021 Annual “Click It or Ticket” Seat Belt Enforcement Campaign

NJ Law Enforcement Agencies to Join Nationwide Crackdown on Drivers and Passengers Who Don’t Buckle Up

May 20, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–As New Jersey begins to reopen ahead of the busy summer travel season, Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and the Division of Highway Traffic Safety today announced the upcoming launch of a statewide seat belt enforcement campaign aimed at promoting safe travels on New Jersey roadways.

Starting Monday, May 24, state, county, and local police departments throughout New Jersey will join law enforcement agencies across the country in the 2021 “Click It or Ticket” campaign, a national enforcement mobilization targeting unbuckled drivers and passengers.

To kick off this year’s campaign, which will run through June 6, 2021, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania will team up for a one-day, four-hour “Border to Border” (“B2B”) event featuring highly visible seat belt enforcement for drivers at state border checkpoints.

“Seat belts have been proven to be one of the best ways to prevent death and serious injury in a crash. Yet statistics show that many people still don’t buckle up,” said Attorney General Grewal. “The Click It or Ticket enforcement campaign is aimed at educating the public on the importance of abiding by seat belt laws. It could literally save your life.”

In 2019, nearly half (47%) of the 22,215 passenger-vehicle occupants killed in crashes nationwide were not wearing seat belts, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”). In New Jersey that year, 42% — 108 of the 260 — passenger-vehicle occupants who were killed were unrestrained, NHTSA reports. And in passenger vehicle fatalities occurring at night (6 p.m. – 5:59 a.m.), the percentage of those killed and not wearing seat belts jumps to 55%. 

Across the campaign, participating law enforcement agencies will be taking a “no-excuses” approach to seat belt enforcement, writing citations throughout the day and with a particular focus on nighttime enforcement. In New Jersey, the maximum penalty for a seat belt violation is $46.  

“Wearing a seatbelt reduces the risk of fatal injury by 45 percent and critical injury by 50 percent,” said Eric Heitmann, Director of the Division of Highway Traffic Safety. “By working together to enforce New Jersey’s seat belt laws during the Click It or Ticket campaign, participating law enforcement agencies are promoting safe habits that will help reach our goal of zero fatalities on New Jersey roadways. If enforcement wakes people up to the dangers of unrestrained driving, we’ll consider our mission to be a success.”

To enhance law enforcement efforts during the Click It or Ticket campaign, the Division is providing a total of $810,120 in grant funding to 134 agencies throughout the state. The money helps agencies pay for additional officers on the road, seat belt checkpoints, and other enforcement initiatives during the campaign. All police departments in New Jersey are invited to support the campaign, whether they receive grant funding or not. 

The Click It or Ticket campaign was not held in New Jersey last year due to concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic. During the most recent campaign in 2019, which ran from April 1 through April 21, 2019, 341 police agencies – or 70% of all agencies statewide – participated in the enforcement effort. In addition to issuing a total 14,548 seat belt citations, those agencies wrote 5,670 speeding citations, and made 858 impaired driving arrests.

To learn more about the Click It or Ticket mobilization, please visit

Click It or Ticket 2021 Seat Belt Enforcement Campaign
New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety
May 24 – June 6, 2021

Local grants listed below:

Burlington Bordentown Township $6,000
Burlington Burlington City $6,000
Burlington Burlington Township $6,000
Burlington Mount Laurel $6,000
Burlington Willingboro $6,000

Mercer Ewing $6,000
Mercer Hamilton $7,500
Mercer Lawrence $4,800
Mercer West Windsor $6,000

Middlesex Carteret $6,000
Middlesex Metuchen $6,000
Middlesex Monroe $6,000
Middlesex New Brunswick $7,500
Middlesex North Brunswick $6,000
Middlesex Old Bridge $7,500
Middlesex Piscataway $7,500
Middlesex Plainsboro $6,000
Middlesex Sayreville $6,000
Middlesex South Brunswick $7,500

Monmouth Asbury Park $6,000
Monmouth Freehold Borough $6,000
Monmouth Freehold Township $6,000
Monmouth Manalapan $6,000
Monmouth Marlboro $6,000
Monmouth Middletown $6,000

Ocean Barnaget $6,000
Ocean Berkeley Township $6,000
Ocean Brick Township $7,500
Ocean Jackson $6,000
Ocean Ocean County Sheriff $6,000
Ocean Ocean Township $6,000
Ocean Seaside Heights $6,000

Kick Off To Memorial Day *Free* Food-A-Thon 2021

May 20, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Mayor W. Reed Gusciora announced today that the City of Trenton Fire Department, the Trenton Firefighters Mutual Benevolent Association (FMBA) Locals 6 & 206 and Buzzetta Catering will host the second annual Food-A-Thon tomorrow, May 21, 2021 at the City Hall parking lot from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The event is free for all Trenton residents and employees. The event will serve cheesesteaks, burgers, chicken tenders, fried Oreos, funnel cakes, and more.

“Our first responders serve our city in many ways outside their regular duties,” said Mayor Gusciora. “We’re grateful for all the partners who put this wonderful event together and encourage our staff and Trentonians alike to enjoy the festivities together tomorrow.” 

Masks and social distancing will be required. Masks will be provided if needed. 

Last year’s event

View last year’s event here: Trenton Firefighters FMBA Locals 6 & 206 Provide Food To City Residents And Workers

2nd Alarm in Toms River Brought Under Control Quickly

May 20, 2021

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–On Thursday, May 20, 2021 at approximately 10:20 AM multiple police and fire units responded to Orchid Court in Toms River for a reported structure fire. Upon arrival the unit was fully involved. Two occupants, who were home at the time of the blaze, were able to safely exit the home and call 911. Police evacuated nearby residences as a precaution. There were no tenant injuries in the incident. Two family dogs, and a cat, did perish in the fire. Toms River Animal Control was able to rescue a cat from the scene in an adjoining home.

Toms River Fire Companies quickly brought the fire under control and were able to save the adjoining homes in the complex. The American Red Cross responded to the scene and provided support for the displaced family. The cause of the fire is under investigation, but not deemed suspicious at this time. It is under investigation by Toms River Fire Inspector Charles Bauer. Please direct further inquiries to the Toms River Bureau of Fire Prevention.

Toms River Bureau of Fire Prevention Inspectors along with the Toms River Police Detective bureau are currently investigating a fire that took place this morning at 121 Orchid Court in Toms River. The fire was reported at 10: 22 this morning. Based on the number of phone calls the fire was escalated to a 2nd Alarm response. Companies responding on the initial dispatch and 2nd alarm were Pleasant Plains Fire Company, Toms River Fire Companies No. 1 & No.2, Silverton Fire Company, East Dover Fire Company and Island Heights Fire Company. Firefighters had the fire under control in twenty-three (23)minutes. –John NovakActing Chief Inspector

Smith & Cuellar introduce ‘Get the Lead Out’ bill to fund drinking water clean-up & infrastructure projects

Bipartisan bill would help States & utilities like Trenton Water Works

May 20, 2021

WASHINGTON, DC –Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) have teamed up again and reintroduced their bipartisan legislation—the Get the Lead Out Act (HR 3300)—to combat the life-threatening risk of lead in drinking water systems in their districts and across the country. First introduced in 2020, the legislation would provide $66.2 billion over ten years and direct every utility in America to develop a plan to identify and remove lead pipes that threaten the health of residents—especially children.

“Clean, safe drinking water is not a luxury, it’s an essential necessity of everyday life,” said Smith, prime sponsor of the bill. “People need to know that the water they drink and cook with is both clean and safe for themselves and their families—and the lead service line replacement provided by this bill will help give them that peace of mind. All levels of government—federal, state and local—must work together to make clean tap water a reality.

“Replacing the old service lines that deliver drinking water in Trenton and Hamilton in my home state of New Jersey and countless municipalities throughout the country is not just important—it’s critical to good health.” Smith said. “Congressman Cuellar and I will continue to advance this bipartisan legislation to address the threat of lead in drinking water, which can cause long-term harm in adults and is especially dangerous for children, who are particularly  vulnerable to lead.”

Already endorsed by Environment America and the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Get the Lead Out Act is poised for expedited consideration and is expected to be reviewed by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce as early as next week.

“Water is essential to our everyday lives, and no family should have to worry about whether or not their drinking water is tainted with lead,” said Rep. Cuellar, lead co-sponsor.  “Unfortunately, many communities face this issue, leading to devastating health and developmental impacts—especially in children.

“This legislation will provide resources to ensure utility companies invest in critical infrastructure plans to remove the lead, and other dangerous chemicals, from the distribution lines,” Cuellar said. “I will continue to fight for safe drinking water in the 28th Congressional District of Texas and improve my constituents’ health and livelihoods.”

HR 3300—the Smith-Cuellar Get the Lead Out Act—directs all community water systems across the U.S. to develop a plan to identify and replace all lead service lines (LSLs) in their system within 10 years. The plan must be submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for approval.

For community water systems that would struggle to fund these measures, the Smith-Cuellar bill authorizes nearly $66.2 billion over ten years with $46.5 billion targeted specifically for LSL replacement within the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF)—the main federal program to help states upgrade drinking water infrastructure. The DWSRF is a federal-state partnership fund and a key source of grants that allows states to receive monies from the EPA and in turn offer low interest loans—and even forgivable loans—to local water systems to achieve healthy drinking water. While Congress currently authorizes up to $1.9 billion annually to fund DWSRF projects such as lead remediation, the proposed legislation would authorize $4.65 billion in grants available annually for lead removal.

“Lead service lines are a major source of drinking water contamination that threatens our childrens’ health,” said John Rumpler, Clean Water Program Director at Environment America.  “The Get the Lead Out Act not only provides $46.5 billion to replace these toxic pipes but also sets a 10-year deadline for water utilities to get the job done.  We commend Representatives Chris Smith and Henry Cuellar for reintroducing their bold, bipartisan measure. Congress should pass it swiftly—either on its own or as part of a major infrastructure package this year.”

Erik D. Olson, Senior Strategic Director for Health & Food at the Natural Resources Defense Council, said, “This bill would take a big step forward towards tackling the longstanding scourge of lead-contaminated tap water. It would generally require all lead service lines to be removed in 10 years and would authorize $46 billion to pull out these old lead pipes. We look forward to working with the sponsors and Congressional leaders to address additional issues as the bill as it moves through the process.”

 “The federal government must act on this critical legislation,” Rep. Smith concluded. “It’s long overdue and the cost of inaction is too high. Drinking water must be made safer for future generations of Americans.”