SAYREVILLE, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone and Chief John Zebrowski of the Sayreville Police Department announce a Barnegat man has been arrested after being indicted by a Middlesex County Grand Jury for the 1999 murder of Nancy Noga, 17, of Sayreville.
On January 7, 1999, Ms. Noga, who was then a senior in high school, was reported missing after she did not return home from work. Five days later, on January 12, 1999, at approximately 8:57 A.M., Ms. Noga’s body was discovered in a wooded area behind what was then Mini-Mall Plaza Shopping Center on Ernston Road. An autopsy later determined Noga died from blunt force trauma after being struck with a blunt object. For more than two decades, the case remained open and active as investigators continued to investigate Ms. Noga’s death.
Today, Bruce A. Cymanski, 49, of Barnegat was indicted for first- degree murder, first-degree felony murder, first-degree aggravated sexual assault, first-degree kidnapping, and third-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose in connection with the killing of Nancy Noga. Assistant Prosecutor Scott Lamountain, who serves as the section chief of the Major Crimes Unit, presented the case to the Grand Jury.
Following the return of the indictment by a Middlesex County Grand Jury, Cymanski was arrested near his home by members of the Sayreville Police Department, Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, and the Barnegat Police Department after a brief foot pursuit. Cymanski is presently lodged at the Middlesex County Adult Correction Center where he is detained pending a pre-trial detention hearing in Superior Court.
The arrest was made possible by a joint investigation conducted by Detective Mark Morris and Sergeant Deon McCall, both of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, in conjunction with Sergeant Daniel Ellmyer of the Sayreville Police Department and retired Detective Sergeant Richard Sloan, formerly of the Sayreville Police Department.
Cymanski was in-part identified through the use of genetic genealogy conducted by the Chief Genetic Genealogist of Parabon NanoLabs, Ms. CeCe Moore.
“In the decades since Nancy Noga’s death, law enforcement has relentlessly pursued justice on her behalf. The advancement of modern scientific tools has allowed that endeavor to enter a new chapter,” said Prosecutor Ciccone.
“This arrest is the result of decades of hard work by so many detectives and officers. We never stopped following up on leads, and today with the arrest of Bruce Cymanski, we are one step closer to bringing a degree of justice and closure to the family. I want to thank Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone and her office for their tireless efforts and partnership in bringing justice to the family of this young girl,” said Chief Zebrowski.
This investigation is active and continuing. Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Morris at (732)745-3702 or Sergeant Ellmyer at (732)525-5406.
As is the case with all criminal defendants, the charges against Cymanski are merely accusations and he is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
CAMP MURRAY, WA–As citizens around the globe watched events unfold in recent weeks in Afghanistan, approximately 50 Airmen from the Washington Air National Guard departed Aug. 28, 2021, to provide essential support to vulnerable Afghans as part of Operation Allies Refuge at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey.
The Department of Defense recently approved a request for assistance from the State Department to provide temporary housing, sustainment, and support inside the United States for vulnerable Afghans at military installations around the country. JBMDL is one of the locations where servicemembers are providing this support.
According to Lt. Col. Lisa Weaver, Air Component Coordination Element for the Washington National Guard, the WNG received urgent requests for OAR volunteers through the Joint Information Exchange Environment, the National Guard Bureau’s web-based, interagency mission coordination and situational awareness system. The request then went out to the units with a short suspense.
Due to Airmen being heavily tasked since March 2020 with Covid operations, civil disturbance missions and wildland firefighting support, just to name a few, the speed and size of the response was unexpected. But in hindsight it all made sense to Weaver.
“We have so many people who have been connected to Afghanistan the last 20 years and want to help in any way they can,” she said. “It’s an opportunity to make a difference in a situation where it really is necessary: working directly with displaced nationals, helping them settle, and keeping them safe.”
The more than 50 Airmen who volunteered belong to all the units of the WA ANG: the Headquarters Washington Air National Guard and 194th Wing at Camp Murray, 141st Air Refueling Wing at Fairchild Air Force Base in Spokane, Washington, and Western Air Defense Sector at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. The group is a blend of ranks, career fields and part time and full time guardsmen.
With a majority of the WA ANG contingent designated as general augmentees, they will help the JBMDL task force provide housing, medical, logistics, and transportation support. The WA ANG also deployed security forces and transportation Airmen to provide career field-related support.
Senior Airman Sarah Godfrey, a material management specialist with the 194th Logistics Readiness Squadron, is an Airman who has been on back-to-back missions. According to her, she volunteered again because she’s thriving, and also, it goes back to why she joined the WA ANG in the first place.
“The [whole] reason I joined the guard was to assist with any kind of state side mission or mission in general [that] contributes to the community,” she said. “I just want to at least comfort refugees coming in and help in any way I possibly can.”
During an in-processing event for departing Airmen at Camp Murray, Washington on Aug. 27, 2021, the state’s adjutant general, Army Maj. Gen. Bret D. Daugherty, addressed the group and talked about the historic nature of OAR.
“You are about to play a part in what very well could be the last chapter in 20 years of war in Afghanistan. While the previous chapters have all been full of death and destruction, this last chapter could be really really positive,” he said. “You’re going to have an impact on our country for generations. Typically people who come to America have a pretty rough go of things that first generation but their kids and grandkids make major contributions to our country. So the work you are going to do here is going to set the stage for major contributions for generations and not everyone gets to do that.”
HAMILTON TOWNSHIP (MERCER)– Earlier today, Colonel Patrick J. Callahan joined Make-A-Wish of New Jersey President and CEO Tom Weatherall, former Make-A-Wish of America Board Chair John Crowley, and a contingent of more than 100 troopers and law enforcement officers from several states to make a dream come true for two amazing boys. Samaree and Dalton are 6-year-old boys battling serious illnesses who dream to become police officers.
The day began when troopers escorted the boys from their hometowns of Camden and Florence to Troop “C” Hamilton Station where they got a chance to don custom-made State Police uniforms and participate in training exercises with our T.E.A.M.S and K-9 Units. They were also given a tour of the station by Troop “C ” Hamilton Station detectives and had the opportunity to meet pilots from our Aviation Unit and members of our Marine Services Bureau.
After they were all trained up, they made their way to the Make-A-Wish Castle in Monroe Township where they were welcomed by Colonel Callahan and more than 100 police officers from various departments.
Colonel Callahan led a ceremony where he surprised the boys by officially making them Honorary State Troopers. He had an opportunity to speak about their strength and bravery and how he was inspired by their wish to become police officers.
After the ceremony, Samaree and Dalton solved their first crime when they located a suspect vehicle involved in the stolen wish crystal from the Make-A-Wish Castle. We think they did a great job solving a crime on their first day.
We would like to thank Blauer for providing official New Jersey State Police Uniforms, Troopers United Foundation and Route 22 Limousine for helping to make this day a success.
Make-A-Wish of New Jersey has granted nearly 11,000 life-changing wishes to children with critical illnesses throughout the Garden State, and we commend them for their efforts.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Governor Phil Murphy today signed S3654 into law establishing the “Amistad Commission Exemplary Award Program.” The program is charged with identifying outstanding educators who have shown a commitment to furthering student knowledge on the African slave trade, slavery in America, the vestiges of slavery in this country, and the contributions of African Americans to our society. Under this new law, school districts will submit their nominations through an application created by the Amistad Commission. Two recipients of the Amistad Commission Exemplary Award will be named by the Amistad Commission Exemplary Award Committee and will each receive an award of $2,500 in recognition of their extraordinary contributions. Additionally, each school district in which a teacher award recipient is employed will also receive an Amistad Commission Exemplary Award in the amount of $2,500. The award monies will be used to assist other teachers in the school district with the implementation of the curriculum and teaching techniques of the teacher award recipient.
“There is no way to understand American history without learning about the struggles and triumphs of our African American community,” said Governor Murphy. “This legislation honors the incredible educators who are committed to this important mission and ensuring that future generations of students understand the realities of the slave trade, America’s history of slavery, and the rich contributions of African Americans to our nation’s story.”
“The Amistad Commission Exemplary Award Program continues to advance the Amistad Commission’s mission in ensuring that African-American history and experiences are taught in schools across New Jersey,” said Acting Commissioner of Education Dr. Angelica Allen-McMillan. “This legislation is indicative of the support of the Amistad Commission in the work transpiring in classrooms across the State.”
“The Amistad curriculum is a highly regarded educational program that infuses the history of African-Americans, the hardships they have overcome and the important contributions they have made to society into lesson plans,” said Senator Steve Sweeney. “By honoring educators who have implemented this curriculum effectively, we are supporting an honest accounting of the shameful legacy of slavery, the rich history of African-American accomplishments and the many reasons for cultural pride.”
“The story of America is one that was built with many people, but oftentimes this is not captured in our textbooks or taught in the curriculum. The Amistad Commission does important work towards ensuring that all of our students have a well-rounded understanding of the cultural, economic and societal impact that African-Americans have had on our nation and our state,” said Senator Teresa Ruiz. “Every opportunity we get to applaud the efforts of teachers is meaningful. We have to take every measure possible to make sure that all of our classrooms, both in policy and in practice, are educating our students on the true story of America.”
“Black history is American history. However, for too long, teaching this history and the history of slavery in this country was either rushed through or completely glossed over; this is why the Amistad Commission was created,” said Senator Ron Rice. “The Amistad curriculum teaches young folks about some of the darkest periods in our country’s history, and yet, also imparts on them the historical, cultural and social influence Black Americans have had on the United States. By rewarding and recognizing the efforts of some teachers who effectively educate this part of our history, we are incentivizing all educators to do the same.”
“The development of the Amistad curriculum was a pivotal moment in New Jersey education. It is a significant tool, guiding a more well-rounded lesson in American history for students and teachers,” said Assemblymembers Mila Jasey, Shavonda Sumter, Pamela Lampitt, and Annette Quijano, in a joint statement. “The history of African-Americans, the hardships overcome and the critical contributions they have made to society is an important part of providing a full understanding of American history. Honoring educators who have effectively and imaginatively used the Amistad curriculum in the classroom will inspire more teachers across the state in how to teach lessons on the rich history of African Americans.”
LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–On August 31st, 2021 at approximately 4:51 p.m. the Lawrence Township Police Department, Lawrence Township Fire Departments and Emergency Services responded to the Lawrenceville Point development in Lawrenceville, NJ on a report that a nine year old child had crawled into a storm drain and become lost. The child was visiting relatives within the area and had wandered off and entered the storm drain.
Emergency responders located the child a short time later unharmed within the drain and the child was removed from the drain without incident. The child did not sustain any injuries and did not require any additional medical treatment.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Governor Phil Murphy today announced that his Administration has marked a milestone in implementing harm reduction initiatives to combat the state’s opioid crisis. The New Jersey Department of Health signed two standing orders to drastically expand access to naloxone, the lifesaving medication used to reverse an opioid overdose, which will more easily enable all licensed pharmacists to dispense any form of an opioid antidote to any individual or entity without an individual prescription and allow for the distribution of naloxone by other entities like Emergency Medical Technicians after they leave the scene of an overdose.
Additionally, the New Jersey Department of Health also launched the New Jersey Overdose Data Dashboard, which displays information about naxolone administrations, substance use treatment admissions, neonatal abstinence syndrome cases, viral hepatitis cases, opioid prescriptions, and drug-related hospital visits. Data can be disaggregated by race/ethnicity, age, gender and county to allow users to identify impacted populations and monitor morbidity and mortality trends in New Jersey. Public health professionals, law enforcement, researchers, journalists, and other community members will be able to use the data to inform their opioid response strategies, conduct research, and apply for future grants. These overdose prevention measures are likely to have a dramatic impact on reducing overdose deaths in New Jersey and reaffirm Governor Murphy’s commitment to ending New Jersey’s opioid epidemic.
“While we are making incredible strides in our fight against the opioid epidemic, we must continue to expand access to harm reduction interventions,” said Governor Murphy. “We have already lost over 2,000 New Jerseyans to suspected overdoses this year, which is why it is critical to strengthen our ability to save lives by preventing overdose deaths and connecting people to supports and treatment.”
Several agencies across the Murphy Administration continue to work collaboratively to combat the opioid crisis. The New Jersey Department of Health’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Overdose Data to Action (OD2A) grant supports initiatives such as the Attorney General’s Operation Helping Hands, which helps connect individuals with opioid use disorder to necessary recovery services and treatment. Under the OD2A grant, The New Jersey Department of Health continues to expand upon initiatives such as 5 Minutes to Help, a program that trains Emergency Medical Service providers to improve linkages to care for non-fatal overdose victims as well as provides trauma-informed training and support for first responders. Additionally, earlier this month, the New Jersey Department of Human Services distributed more than 24,000 doses of the opioid overdose antidote naloxone to 271 law enforcement agencies across New Jersey. Human Services has also given 64,000 free doses to residents at pharmacies and previously distributed 70,000 free doses to police, EMS, homeless shelters, libraries, opioid treatment programs, opioid mobile outreach programs and re-entry organizations.
“On this day, as we honor those lives lost, those communities devasted, and those hearts broken, we take steps to protect those we love from future overdose deaths,” said Department of Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli. “We have the power to stem the tide of this epidemic. Lifesaving medications such as naloxone along with powerful data tools such as New Jersey Overdose Data Dashboard will help us get to the other side.”
“Our first responders on the front lines of the opioid epidemic are uniquely positioned to distribute naloxone after responding to an overdose in the field,” said Department of Health Deputy Commissioner Dr. David Adinaro. “I am proud to sign these standing orders today that will put more naloxone in the hands of individuals who can respond to overdose – whether it be individuals at risk of overdose or their loved ones.”
“Today, as we remember our friends and family lost to drug overdoses, we also want to give hope to those struggling with addiction. Naloxone saves lives, and the path to recovery is attainable,” Human Services Acting Commissioner Sarah Adelman said. “As always, I urge residents seeking addiction assistance to call 1-844-ReachNJ, a 24-hour-a-day, 7 day-a-week addictions help line where people facing addiction or their friends and family can get immediate assistance and support from live, New Jersey-based, trained addiction counselors. ReachNJ assists callers regardless of their insurance status. Treatment works, so please don’t hesitate to call.”
“Every life lost to a drug overdose is one too many,” said Acting Attorney General Andrew J. Bruck. “Today, as we recognize and mourn the lives lost, we are taking overdose prevention measures that will undoubtedly spare other families the pain and sorrow so many are feeling today.”
For more information about the Murphy Administration’s comprehensive strategy to combat the opioid crisis view the report released earlier this year, click here.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–FARMINGDALE, NJ (MONMOUTH)–A state grand jury has voted not to file any criminal charges at the conclusion of its deliberations regarding the death of Charles Tsakiris, 38, of Farmingdale, N.J., who was fatally shot by an officer of the Howell Township Police Department on October 18, 2019. As required by statute, all fatal police encounters must be presented to a grand jury. According to available evidence, including video from a body worn camera and the statement of a civilian witness, Mr. Tsakiris advanced at the officer with a knife after the officer responded to a 911 call reporting a stabbing.
The fatal police encounter was investigated by the Office of Public Integrity and Accountability (OPIA) and presented to 16 to 23 New Jersey residents called to serve on the grand jury in accordance with Directive 2019-4, the “Independent Prosecutor Directive” issued by the Attorney General in 2019. In July 2021, OPIA issued standard operating procedures (“SOPs”) to ensure that these grand jury presentations are conducted in a neutral, objective manner, and with appropriate transparency regarding the process, consistent with the Independent Prosecutor Directive. The investigation of this officer-involved shooting included interviews of witnesses, collection of forensic evidence, review of body worn camera footage, and autopsy results from the medical examiner. After hearing testimony and evidence from the investigation, the grand jury concluded its deliberations yesterday, Aug. 30, and voted “no bill,” meaning a majority of grand jurors found the actions of the officer who shot Mr. Tsakiris were justified and no charges should be filed against him.
According to the investigation, at approximately 10:45 p.m. on Oct. 18, 2019, Lt. Anthony DeMatteo of the Howell Township Police Department responded to a call of a reported stabbing at the home of Mr. Tsakiris on Walnut Street in Farmingdale. When Lt. DeMatteo arrived, he placed his medical bag on the front steps and knocked on the door. Mr. Tsakiris opened the door with a knife in his hand. Lt. DeMatteo backed away as Mr. Tsakiris advanced on him with the knife. Lt. DeMatteo gave repeated verbal commands to Mr. Tsakiris to back up. When Mr. Tsakiris did not comply with the commands and continued to advance toward Lt. DeMatteo, Lt. DeMatteo discharged his firearm, fatally wounding Mr. Tsakiris.
Aid was given to Mr. Tsakiris by officers arriving on scene as well as emergency medical personnel. Mr. Tsakiris was pronounced dead at the scene at approximately 11:02 p.m. An autopsy determined that the cause of death was multiple gunshot wounds.
Teresa Oshel, 40, who also resided at the house, was found deceased in a bathroom from stab wounds. A third individual at the residence, Jeffrey Tsakiris, 36, was taken to the hospital where he was treated for stab wounds and later released.
A 2019 law, P.L. 2019, c. 1, requires the Attorney General’s Office to conduct investigations of a person’s death that occurs during an encounter with a law enforcement officer acting in the officer’s official capacity or while the decedent is in custody. It requires that all such investigations be presented to a grand jury to determine if the evidence supports the return of an indictment against the officer or officers involved.
After considering the facts, evidence, and testimony from the OPIA investigation, the state grand jury found the actions of the officer were justified. An officer may use deadly force in New Jersey when the officer reasonably believes it is immediately necessary to protect the officer or another person from imminent danger of death or serious bodily harm.
A conflicts check was conducted pursuant to the Independent Prosecutor Directive and no actual or potential conflict of interest was found involving any individual assigned to the investigation. Prior to presentation to the grand jury, the investigation was reviewed by OPIA Executive Director Thomas Eicher in accordance with the policies and procedures established for these presentations in the SOPs.
At the conclusion of these investigations, pursuant to the Independent Prosecutor Directive and SOPs, OPIA determines whether any principal should be referred to the appropriate law enforcement agency for administrative review in accordance with the AG’s Internal Affairs Policy & Procedures. OPIA monitors any resulting review and takes such actions as are necessary to ensure that the review is completed in a timely fashion, and that appropriate actions are taken based on the results of the review.
The Independent Prosecutor Directive is posted on the Attorney General’s website at this link:
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–The Mercer County Homicide Task Force and the Trenton Police Department are investigating a shooting homicide in Trenton, Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri reported.
Police responded to the 400 block of West Hanover Street just before 9 p.m. on Monday, August 30, on a Shot Spotter activation. Upon arrival, they discovered Fred Davis, 43, suffering a gunshot wound. He was transported to Capital Health Regional Medical Center where he was pronounced dead a short time later.
Early investigation indicates that Davis was arriving home from work at the time of the shooting. He parked his vehicle in front of his residence and was approached by two black males who attempted to rob him.
No arrests have been made and the investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Marc Masseroni of the Mercer County Homicide Task Force at (609) 989-6406. Information can also be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
BERKELEY TOWNSHIP – SOUTH SEASIDE PARK, NJ (OCEAN)—Berkley Township Police have released the name of the lifeguard killed in a lighting strike yesterday as 19 year old Keith Pinto of Toms River, NJ. According to Pinto’s Facebook page he attended Ocean County Community College and was a graduate of Toms River High School North.
Yesterday August 30, 2021 at approximately 4:35 p.m. the Berkeley Township Police Department responded to the 21st Avenue Beach in the South Seaside Park section for a report of a lighting strike involving multiple people on the beach. Upon arrival, first aid and advanced life support was immediately rendered to the victims.
It was determined that a total of 8 victims, four of which were lifeguards, were reported to have been either struck or were injured from the residual lighting strike. One of the victims, a Berkeley Township lifeguard, Keith Pinto 19 of Toms River, succumbed to his injuries. The remaining victims were triaged and treated for their injuries at surrounding hospitals. The investigation into this tragic incident is ongoing.
Berkeley Township Mayor Carmen Amato issued the following statement regarding the fatal lightning strike in South Seaside Park today.
“This is a tragic and heartbreaking day for our town and the entire Jersey Shore.”
“This young person was out there every day protecting the lives of others. Our lifeguard teams, like so many along the shore, develop special connections with our community throughout the summer, which makes this loss even greater.”
“On behalf of myself and our entire community, I offer our deepest and most heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of this young man.”
Berkley Township’s ocean beaches will be closed for swimming but open for sunbathers Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday as beach staff and lifeguards will be off. Crisis Counselors will be available for beach staff employees.
Governor Phil Murphy released a statement this evening: “Our hearts are with the family and friends of the young lifeguard killed by today’s horrific lightning strike on the beach in Berkeley Township, and we pray for a full recovery for those injured. I’ve spoken to Mayor Carmen Amato and offered the full support and assistance of our administration during this difficult time.”
Words cannot describe how so many of us are feeling right now. We lost a special guy tonight, one who was so close and meant so much to so many people. Keith passed away after being struck by lightning while he was working his lifeguarding shift. A complete tragedy that nobody would have ever expected to happen. It would be impossible to get it all into words how much our friend meant to us but we all know how amazing he was. Keith has left behind an overwhelming amount of amazing memories that will live in our hearts forever. All donations will go directly to Keith’s family for the proper goodbye that he deserves. Our hearts are broken by what happened and all our love and support goes out to the Pinto family and all others affected by this tragedy. We’re gonna miss you so much brother❤️#LLK
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)—Around 8:55 p.m. Trenton Police, Trenton EMS, and Capital Paramedics were detailed to the 400 Block of West Hanover Street for a shooting. Initial reports is that the victim was shot multiple times and in the face. CPR and other life saving efforts was reportedly being performed on the victim. TEMS and paramedics transported to the Trauma Center at Capital Health Regional Medical Center and a “trauma alert” was called. The man was reported deceased a short time later.
The Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office has confirmed the fatality of an adult male victim from a shooting on W. Hanover Street just before 9:00 p.m. Further details will be released tomorrow morning.
On August 27, 2021 there were two shootings and a 21 year old victim remains in critical condition at Capital Health Regional Medical Center. The first shooting that day was on Kirkbride Avenue near Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard. The second shooting that day was near the intersection of St. Joes Avenue and Girard Avenue.
This is the 21st recorded homicide of 2021, which 20 have been committed within 2021.
Names of 2021* homicide victims:
2/18/2021 Jabree Saunders, 26, from shooting on May 14, 2018
WRIGHTSTOWN, NJ (BURLINGTON)- Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst – The Department of Defense, through U.S. Northern Command, and in support of the Department of State and Department of Homeland Security, is providing transportation, temporary housing, medical screening, and general support for up to 50,000 Afghans at suitable facilities, in permanent or temporary structures, as quickly as possible.
At Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst personnel have set up Liberty Village and in the process of a Liberty Village expansion for temporary housing on the base. All branches of services from around the country have deployed at various bases including MDL in support of Task Force Liberty.
Governor Murphy on Friday signed Executive Order No. 256, establishing the Task Force on Afghan Refugee Assistance to report directly to the Office of the Governor. The task force will be chaired by Adjutant General and Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMAVA) Brigadier General Dr. Lisa J. Hou and will serve to coordinate State efforts to appropriately prepare for and respond to the arrival of Afghan refugees and SIV holders in New Jersey.
“As Afghan refugees arrive at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, we must act to ensure that the State is prepared to adequately receive and assist these individuals that courageously assisted our country in the War on Terror,” said Governor Murphy. “Our newly established task force will oversee efforts to welcome refugees and their families to their new lives in the United States and New Jersey. I have full trust and confidence in the Adjutant General to lead this task force in coordinating our response to the ongoing arrival of refugees to our state.”
“The Task Force stands ready to support our mission partners,” said Adjutant General and DMAVA Commissioner Brigadier General Dr. Lisa J. Hou. “We recognize the sacrifice of our Afghan allies and American and NATO service members these past 20 years. We pledge every effort to alleviate the human tragedy unfolding in Afghanistan.”
Adjutant General and DMAVA Commissioner Hou is a veteran of the War in Afghanistan, where she served as a field surgeon and sole medical provider on an Afghanistan National Army base and was responsible for providing routine and advanced emergency medical care in the combat theater for more than 600 coalition soldiers, contractors, and foreign nationals.
In addition to Commissioner of DMAVA, the Task Force will consist of the Chief of Staff to the Governor, the Chief Counsel to the Governor, the Chief Policy Advisor to the Governor, the Executive Director of the Governor’s Disaster Recovery Office, and the Commissioners or other heads of the following Executive Branch departments and agencies, or their designees:
The Department of Law & Public Safety;
The New Jersey State Police;
The Department of Health;
The Department of Human Services;
The Department of Children & Families;
The Office of Homeland Security & Preparedness;
The Department of State;
The Department of Community Affairs;
The Department of Transportation; and
The Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
The task force will be responsible for:
Developing a mechanism for identifying Afghan refugees who arrive in New Jersey and plan to remain for some period of time;
Managing internal efforts among Executive Branch departments and agencies to welcome and provide support to Afghan refugees and SIV holders as they arrive and/or resettle in New Jersey;
Coordinating communications with representatives of the federal government, including the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Defense, regarding the relocation of Afghan refugees;
Overseeing the provision of vital support and emergency healthcare services for those who need it upon arrival in New Jersey, including COVID-19 testing and vaccination as needed;
Creating an intake mechanism for organizations and individuals seeking to provide aid and support to Afghan refugees to contact the Task Force, evaluating and keeping track of such organizations and individuals, and connecting such organizations and individuals with those in need of assistance; and
Providing any other necessary supports to ensure the safe entry and relocation to New Jersey of Afghan refugees.
The Big Red One and Fort Riley troops deploy in support of Afghan evacuees
The Department of Defense recently approved a request for assistance from the State Department to provide temporary housing, sustainment, and support inside the United States for vulnerable Afghans at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin; Fort Bliss, Texas; Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey; and Fort Lee, Virginia.
Approximately 500service members from the 1stInfantry Division and Fort Riley will provide support to Fort McCoy, Fort Lee, and Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst to assist in these efforts as part of the task force located there. The soldiers from Fort Riley will be joining service members from Fort Hood, Texas; Fort Bliss, Texas; Fort Carson, Colorado; and Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri as part of III Corps’ overall mission, which was announced earlier this week. U.S. Northern Command is the Department of Defense’s lead combatant command for this mission in the continental United States and is providing oversight in support of the Department of State. U.S. Army North, as U.S. Northern Command’s Joint Force Land Component Command, is the lead operational command for this mission. The task forcesat Fort McCoy, Fort Lee and JBMDL will provide housing, medical, logistics, and transportation support.
“When our Nation calls, The Big Red One and Fort Riley always answer with action; our troops are highly trained and ready to respond to any mission, anytime and anywhere,” said Lt. Col. Alex Tignor, 1st Infantry Division and Fort Riley spokesperson. “The Big Red One, military police, medical professionals, and logistics soldiers—men and women—deploying to these temporary housing sites are proud to join task forces U.S. Army North, U.S. Northern Command and the Department of Defense teams at Fort McCoy, Fort Lee and JBMDL in supporting the State Department with this mission.”
The Department of Defense authorized Fort Lee, Va.; Fort McCoy, Wis.; Fort Bliss, Texas; Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey; Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va.; Fort Pickett, Va.; and Holloman AFB, N.M. to provide temporary housing and support for vulnerable Afghans in support of Operation Allies Refuge.
The New York Air National Guard is sending 117 Airmen to assist in this mission at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst.
The 105th Airlift Wing at Stewart Air National Guard Base in Newburgh is sending 45 Airman.
The 106th Rescue Wing at F.S. Gabreski Air National Guard Base in Westhampton Beach is sending 33 Airmen.
The 107th Attack Wing at Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station is sending 13 Airmen.
The 109th Airlift Wing at Stratton Air National Guard Base in Scotia is contributing 13 Airman.
And the 174th Attack Wing at Hancock Field Air National Guard Base in Syracuse is sending 13 Airmen.
BERKLEY TOWNSHIP, NJ (OCEAN)–Around 4:35 p.m. thunderstorm moving though the area approximately 4 miles to the north of Berkley Township in the Lavallette area generated a lighting bolt that hit the beach in the area of 21st Avenue. This area of Berkley Township is also known as South Seaside Park. The lighting bolt hit a Berkley Township lifeguard who was later pronounced dead and the bolt also injured at least seven more people. Rescue efforts were made and a helicopter was called, other victims of the lighting strike were transported to Community Medical Center, RWJ Barnabas Health in Toms River. The victims were transported by multiple EMS agencies operating at the scene.
Governor Phil Murphy released a statement this evening: “Our hearts are with the family and friends of the young lifeguard killed by today’s horrific lightning strike on the beach in Berkeley Township, and we pray for a full recovery for those injured. I’ve spoken to Mayor Carmen Amato and offered the full support and assistance of our administration during this difficult time.”
This is the second fatal lifeguard accident at the Jersey Shore this year only 10 days ago on August 20, 2021 a 16 year old lifeguard in Cape May died from injuries from a lifeboat accident.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–The City of Trenton and TerraCycle, a global waste innovation company located in 22 countries and headquartered in Trenton, N.J., celebrated the transfer of two vacant city lots to TerraCycle for use in expanding its operations in the Capital City this afternoon.
Mayor W. Reed Gusciora; Tom Szaky, Founder and CEO of TerraCycle; and George Sowa, Executive Director of Greater Trenton and Marge Caldwell-Wilson, North Ward Councilperson spoke at the signing.
After growing rapidly during the pandemic and adding 150 jobs, TerraCycle is seeking additional office and facility space for its expanding team. As a major local employer, the City of Trenton has worked with TerraCycle to transfer two vacant lots on New York Ave adjacent to TerraCycle headquarters so it can continue to grow in the Capital City. A resolution authorizing the transaction was previously approved by City Council.
City of Trenton and TerraCycle Celebrate Property Transfer for Redevelopment
Global Recycling Company Expanding Headquarters in Capital City
Trenton, N.J. – Mayor W. Reed Gusciora announced today the transfer of two vacant city lots on New York Ave to TerraCycle, a global waste innovation company located in 22 countries that is looking to expand its operations in the Capital City.
A closing ceremony took place Aug. 30, 2021, right outside TerraCycle headquarters in Trenton. Mayor Gusciora was joined by TerraCycle Founder and CEO Tom Szaky, City Council Vice President Marge Caldwell-Wilson, Greater Trenton CEO George Sowa, and the new Trenton Director of Housing and Economic Development C. Andre Daniels.
After growing rapidly during the pandemic and adding 150 jobs, TerraCycle is seeking additional space for its expanding team. As a major local employer, the City of Trenton has worked with TerraCycle to transfer two vacant lots on New York Ave adjacent to TerraCycle headquarters so it can continue to grow in the Capital City.
A resolution authorizing the transaction was previously approved by City Council in September 2020.
“TerraCycle has always been serious about its commitment to the Capital City, and its vision of repurposing recyclable materials worldwide speaks directly to Trenton’s industrial past,” said Mayor Gusciora. “This is one of many ways Trenton is working with its business community to help return underutilized properties to the tax rolls and promote further employment and economic activity.”
“We’ve been proud to call Trenton our home for almost two decades and by working with the city and Mayor Gusciora, we look forward to continuing to do so for decades to come,” said Tom Szaky, TerraCycle Founder and CEO. “Anyone looking to locate their business in the Northeast should absolutely consider Trenton as a place to put down their roots.”
“I am very excited about the expansion of this innovative Green waste management company that has a strong commitment to the City of Trenton,” said Council Vice President Caldwell-Wilson. “I hope that they can continue to expand their facility in Trenton’s North Ward. TerraCycle hires local, is committed to the community, and welcomes our artists to apply their talents on their building. These are the types of employers that we need to invest in our city.”
“TerraCycle is a global leader in sustainability that remains committed to Trenton and the surrounding communities,” said George Sowa, CEO of Greater Trenton. “TerraCycle does well by doing good and the world is a better and more sustainable place as a result.”
TerraCycle is an innovative waste management company with a mission to eliminate the idea of waste. Operating nationally across 21 countries, TerraCycle partners with leading consumer product companies, retailers and cities to recycle products and packages, from dirty diapers to cigarette butts, that would otherwise end up being landfilled or incinerated. In addition, TerraCycle works with manufacturers to integrate hard to recycle waste streams, such as ocean plastic, into their products and packaging. Its new division, Loop, is the first shopping system that gives consumers a way to shop for their favorite brands in durable, reusable packaging. TerraCycle has won over 200 awards for sustainability and has donated over $44 million to schools and charities since its founding more than 15 years ago and was named #10 in Fortune magazine’s list of 52 companies Changing the World. To learn more about TerraCycle or get involved in its recycling programs, please visit www.terracycle.com.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Trenton Police, TEMS and Trenton Fire Department were detailed to Ashmore Avenue and Anderson Street for a reported gunshot victim at 12:17 a.m. While responding they were notified that it was a reported female shot in the upper leg. Trenton EMS arrived helped the victim to the ambulance and rushed to the Trauma Center at Capital Health Regional Medical Center at 12:21 a.m. a “trauma alert” was called. Trenton Police were on scene investigating. No other information is available at this time.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Olympian and Trenton Central High School Graduate Athing Mu, was honored this afternoon with a large parade though the streets of Trenton. The parade started at Trenton Central High School with Governor Phil Murphy meeting with Mu and others. The parade proceeded down Hamilton Avenue, made a right on South Clinton Avenue and then a left on East State Street and ending at City Hall.
Governor Phil Murphy, Mayor W. Reed Gusciora, Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman, Assemblywoman Verlina Reynolds-Jackson, Assemblyman Anthony Verrelli, Trenton Council President Kathy McBride, Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Education Hope Grant, Coach Al Jennings, Coach Bernice Mitchell and many others were in attendance.
During the Tokyo Olympics, Mu claimed the first 800-meter gold medal for an American woman in that event since 1968 and broke a U.S. record at the same time. She then went on to help the U.S. team win another gold-medal in the 4×400-meter relay.
Mu was born in Trenton and is a graduate of Trenton Central High School. She ran for the Trenton Track Club. Mu was named the 2020 National High School Indoor Athlete of the Year by Track & Field News.
She now attends Texas A&M, where she holds the U-20 Indoor 400-meter NCAA record of 49:57 and 800-meter of 1:57:73. On June 27, Mu won her first U.S. outdoors title in the final 200 meters of the 800-meter setting a world-leading record and securing the second-fastest time in American history with 1:56:07.
Most recently, on Aug. 21, 2021, at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon, Athing Mu won the 800-meter event with a time of 1:55.04, besting her own American record she had set at the Olympic Games
JACKSON, NJ (OCEAN)–Sometime around 7:30 p.m. a guest was reported injured from a fall at Six Flags Great Adventure. A helicopter was called but canceled due to weather and the patient was transported by ground to Jersey Shore Medical Center in Neptune for treatment. Park officials said in a statement that a guest climbed over a fence into a clearly marked restricted area. See full statement below:
Statement by Six Flags Great Adventure: A guest climbed over a fence into a clearly marked restricted area. While climbing onto the roof of a building in the restricted area, the guest slipped and injured her leg. We are proud of our public safety team, who risked their own safety to serve our guest. The guest has been transported to a local hospital.
EAST WINDSOR, NJ (MERCER)–At 12:13 p.m. the Robbinsville Fire Department and EMS were dispatched to the NJ Turnpike for a motorcycle down in the area of 65.4 South Bound inner roadway by the Old York Road overpass. While responding there were reports of up to three motorcycles down but that ended up to be fellow motorcyclists stopping to help. Some good Samaritans stopping to help, some even ran across six lanes from the shoulder of the outer roadway to the inner roadway Jersey barrier. East Windsor First Aid Squad was added due to the reports of multiple bikes down. When the ambulance arrived they reported that it was a one motorcycle accident and were performing an evaluation. Robbinsville arrived and blocked the shoulder and EMS stood. The motorcyclist was able to walk away from the accident and ended up refusing medical transportation and was able to leave on his own power on the motorcycle.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–A back to school event was held in the Trenton Thunder Outfield Parking Lot this morning. Backpacks and school supplies were handed out for children returning to school soon. COVID-19 vaccines were also available for those who were seeking vaccinations. The even was sponsored by the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, Senator Shirley Turner, Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes, Mercer County Sheriff Jack Kemler, Capital Health, Capital City Community Coalition, Penn Medicine and Trenton Thunder.
WALL TOWNSHIP, NJ (MONMOUTH)–New Jersey Task Force 1 (NJ-TF1) has been activated as part of the National Urban Search & Rescue (US&R) Response System to deploy to assist with the rescue and recovery efforts resulting from soon-to-be Hurricane Ida.NJ-TF1 is deploying as a Type 3 US&R Team consisting of 45 team members, in 35 technically skilled positions, and 10 ground support personnel. The team will have a full cache of equipment allowing them to be prepared for every type of situation. NJ-TF1 is deploying to a staging area in the Gulf Coast Region. This will be the team’s ninth deployment as a FEMA US&R Team since 2016. The team has past experience in working in all types of situations, including structural collapse from 9/11, Tropicana Hotel Parking Garage Collapse, multiple hurricanes, Hackensack Parking Garage Collapse and Champlain Towers Collapse. Learn more about NJ-TF1 at https://www.njtf1.org/
SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Around 8:00 p.m. all South Brunswick Fire Departments were dispatched to 5 Stults Road for a fire in a warehouse at Sonoco Products Company. There were reports that employees were trying to extinguish the fire but were unsuccessful. When firefighters arrived there were reports of pallets on fire and the sprinkler system was holding the fire and employees were trying to move pallets to get the seat of the fire. Firefighters charged the FDC and also advanced two lines to knock down any fire. There was extensive overhaul involved in the fire. Edison Fire Department responded with large fans to blow the smoke out the building. Firefighters were still on scene at time of this report.
Partial list of departments on scene: All South Brunswick Fire Companies – Monmouth Junction, Kendall Park, Kingston, Plainsboro, Monroe Fire Department, Jamesburg Fire Department, Hightstown Fire Company, Kendall Park First Aid & Rescue Company, North Brunswick First Aid & Rescue Squad, Edison Fire Department and others. South Brunswick Police Department was also on scene.
This is a preliminary report once official information is available the story will be updated.
There was also a fire at the same location on January 19, 2021 that also called for a second alarm you can read about that fire at the links below.
MidJersey.News coverage of the previous fire at that same location:
At 8 PM on Friday August 27th, the Monmouth Junction Fire Department was dispatched to the Sonoco Corp. at 5 Stults Road off Route 130 in the Dayton section of the Township for a fire alarm activation. Shortly after receiving the call from the alarm company reporting the fire alarm, employees from the business called 9-1-1 and reported an active fire in the warehouse. Monmouth Junction Fire Chief Scott Smith and Deputy Chief Sean Wert arrived to find a heavy smoke condition inside the building. Firefighters stretched hoselines inside and located palletized goods on fire, which was quickly contained. A total of 10 fire trucks and over 50 firefighters responded to the two-alarm fire, including firefighters from Monmouth Junction, Kendall Park, Kingston, Jamesburg, Plainsboro, North Brunswick Co. #2, Monroe Fire District #3, and Hightstown. Several large trailer-mounted fans from the Edison Fire Department were used to help ventilate the smoke condition created by burning plastic and cardboard. Firefighters from Brookview, East Brunswick District #1, Griggstown, and Montgomery Fire Co. #2 covered South Brunswick fire stations during the incident.
Ambulances from South Brunswick, North Brunswick and Monroe responded to the fire. One firefighter was treated at the scene for heat stress and transported to Princeton hospital as a precaution.
“Fortunately, the sprinkler system contained the fire to several palletized stacks of goods in the warehouse , according to Chief Smith. It was a humid evening, so we had to rotate our firefighters frequently as they moved goods in the heavily packed warehouse in order to reach the seat of the fire to complete extinguishment. We even had firefighters operating fork-lifts to move unburned product.”
The fire is under investigation by the South Brunswick Township Fire Safety Bureau. Firefighters responded to a two-alarm fire at the same facility back in February of this year.
LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Around noon the Lawrence Township Fire Department was sent to I-295 North Bound at 68.8 mile marker for a pickup truck fire. The pickup truck was carrying extra fuel at the time and was fully involved when firefighters arrived. Once the fire was extinguished the highway was reopened. No other information is available at this time.
It is with deepest regret and sorrow that the Middlesex County Hazmat Unit reports the line-of-duty death of Lieutenant Donald J. Trout earlier this morning while responding to a call for service. Lieutenant Trout was with the Unit since 2002 and previously served as the Supervisor for “A” Shift. Recently, Lieutenant Trout was named as the Unit’s Training Officer. Lieutenant Trout was a member of IAFF Local 3451- Middlesex County Firefighter’s Association. He held several positions within the Local including a term as President. Information regarding the arrangements will be forwarded as it becomes available.