Day: August 6, 2021

Serious Accident On NJ Turnpike Just South Of Exit 7A

August 6, 2021

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–NJ State Police Sgt. Alejandro Goez of the Public Information Unit told that an accident was reported in the area of the 59.9 mile marker south bound outer roadway at 2:55 p.m. (South of Exit 7A) A Jeep went off the roadway and struck the barrier. Responding Troopers had to break the window to get to the victim.

Robbinsville and Bordentown Township ambulances responded to the scene. The victim was transported to RWJ University Hospital at Hamilton.

The New Jersey State Police is investigating the crash.

Newark Teen Sentenced To 7 Years In State Prison For Aggravated Assault Stabbing At Jenkinson’s In Point Pleasant Beach

August 6, 2021

Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on August 6, 2021, Juwan Roman, 18, of Newark, was sentenced by the Honorable Wendel E. Daniels, P.J.Cr.P., to seven years to the custody of the Commissioner of Department of Corrections as a result of previously entered guilty pleas to two counts of Aggravated Assault in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1b(1), as well as Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4d, relative to an incident that occurred in Point Pleasant Beach during the afternoon hours of September 7, 2020.  This sentence is subject to the terms of the No Early Release Act, N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2, meaning that Roman will be required to serve at least 85 percent of his sentence before he may be considered for parole eligibility. Roman, who was 17-years-old when the crimes occurred, voluntarily waived jurisdiction of the Family Court — which handles juvenile delinquency matters — and agreed to be prosecuted as an adult.  Roman pled guilty to these charges before Judge Daniels on May 13, 2021.

On September 7, 2020, at approximately 3:30 p.m., the Point Pleasant Beach Police Department responded to multiple 911 calls for reports of a fight on Jenkinson’s Beach.  Responding Officers found Alex Galdamez, 22, and William Mazariego, 18, both of West Haverstraw, New York, suffering from multiple stab wounds.  Both individuals were taken to Jersey Shore Medical Center for treatment of their serious injuries.

An investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit and Point Pleasant Beach Police Department revealed that Roman was the individual responsible for stabbing both Mr. Galdamez and Mr. Mazariego.  Roman was taken into custody without incident at the scene, and has been lodged in the Ocean County Juvenile Detention Center since his apprehension on September 7, 2020.

Prosecutor Billhimer acknowledges the diligent efforts of Chief Juvenile Assistant Prosecutor Anthony Pierro and Assistant Prosecutor Madeline Buczynski who handled the case on behalf of the State.  Prosecutor Billhimer likewise commends Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Point Pleasant Beach Police Department, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, for their collaborative efforts in connection with this investigation, ultimately leading to Roman’s guilty plea and sentence.

Related coverage:

18 Year Old Newark Man Pleads Guilty For Sept. 7, 2020 Jenkinson’s Beach Stabbings

Arrests Made In Point Pleasant Beach Stabbings, Victims Identified

Newark Teen Sentenced To 7 Years In State Prison For Aggravated Assault Stabbing At Jenkinson’s In Point Pleasant Beach

Governor Murphy Signs Executive Order Instituting Vaccination or Testing Requirement for Workers in Health Care Facilities and High-Risk Congregate Settings

August 6, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Governor Phil Murphy today signed Executive Order 252, instituting the previously announced requirement that all workers in certain state and private health care facilities and high-risk congregate settings be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by September 7, 2021 or be subject to COVID-19 testing at minimum one to two times per week. This requirement aims to strengthen protection against the spread of COVID-19 to vulnerable populations throughout the state.

“With the spread of the Delta variant working its way across the country and New Jersey, our most vulnerable populations remain at risk of serious illness or death due to exposure to unvaccinated individuals,” said Governor Murphy. “Requiring workers in health care and high-risk congregate settings to receive COVID-19 vaccinations or rigorous testing will help prevent outbreaks and reduce transmission to vulnerable populations that may be at higher risk of severe disease. I am grateful to our union partners across both the public and private sectors, officials within impacted industries, and members of our Cabinet for their collaboration as we put this new requirement into effect.”  

For purposes of this Order, health care and high-risk congregate settings include:

  • Acute, pediatric, inpatient rehabilitation, and psychiatric hospitals, including specialty hospitals, and ambulatory surgical centers
  • Long-term care facilities, including the state Veterans Homes
  • Intermediate care facilities, including the state developmental centers
  • Residential detox, short term and long term residential substance abuse disorder treatment facilities
  • Clinic-based settings like ambulatory care, urgent care clinics, dialysis centers, Federally Qualified Health Centers, family planning sites, and Opioid Treatment Programs
  • Community-based healthcare settings including Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly, and pediatric and adult medical day care programs
  • Licensed home health agencies and registered health care service firms operating within the State
  • State and county correctional facilities
  • Secure care facilities operated by the Juvenile Justice Commission
  • Licensed community residences for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Licensed community residences for adults with mental illness; and
  • Certified day programs for individuals with IDD and TBI

For purposes of this Order, workers are defined as:

  • Full and part-time employees
  • Contractors
  • Other individuals working in the covered setting, including individuals providing operational, custodial, or administrative support

Health care facilities and other settings covered by the requirement will have until September 7, 2021 for all workers to come into full compliance with the vaccine mandate. At that time, if workers in the facility/setting have not submitted proof that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the worker will be required to submit to a minimum once to twice weekly testing.  Regardless of whether the covered setting is providing workers with on-site access to testing or requiring workers to submit proof of a COVID-19 test, both antigen and molecular tests will be acceptable to fulfill the requirements of the Order.  

Workers are considered “fully vaccinated” for COVID-19 two weeks or more after they have received the second dose in a two-dose series or two weeks or more after they have received a single-dose vaccine.  Individuals will only be considered fully vaccinated where they have received a COVID-19 vaccine that is currently authorized for emergency use by the FDA or the WHO, or that are approved for use by the same.  Workers for whom vaccination status is unknown or who have not provided sufficient proof of document, must be considered unvaccinated for purposes of this Order.   

This Order will not impact a setting’s ability to impose more stringent vaccination or testing requirements on workers, including any requirement for more frequent testing, for testing of both vaccinated and unvaccinated staff, and for mandatory vaccinations without a testing alternative. For a copy of Executive Order No. 252, click here.

Pemberton Township Man Indicted For Fatally Shooting His Cousin

August 6, 2021

PEMBERTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (BURLINGTON)–Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina announced that a Pemberton Township man has been indicted on charges of fatally shooting his cousin during an argument earlier this year.

A grand jury indicted Antwian Warthen, 29, on charges of Murder (First Degree), Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose (Second Degree), and Unlawful Possession of a Weapon (Second Degree).

The indictment was returned August 3 and signed by Prosecutor Coffina. An arraignment will be held soon in Superior Court. Warthen, who lives in the Browns Mills section of the township, has been lodged in the Burlington County Jail in Mount Holly since his arrest on February 20.

The investigation began on February 19 at approximately 9:15 p.m. when Pemberton Township police officers were dispatched to Warthen’s home for a report of a man severely bleeding, possibly due to a stab wound. Upon arrival, they were informed that Warthen had just transported his cousin, Horace Warthen, 39, of Burlington City, to Capital Health at Deborah – Emergency Services.

Police responding to the medical center were told that Horace Warthen had been pronounced dead by a physician after arriving at the facility a short time earlier. Antwian Warthen was at the hospital when police arrived but left on foot after they went inside to determine the status of Horace Warthen. Antwian Warthen was located by police walking in a nearby neighborhood approximately 30 minutes later and taken into custody for questioning.

The investigation revealed that Antwian Warthen shot Horace Warthen during an argument inside the residence, then drove him to the hospital to receive treatment.

The charges were presented to a grand jury by Assistant Prosecutor Jamie Hutchinson. The investigation was conducted by the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office and the Pemberton Township Police Department. The lead investigators are BCPO Detective Jenn Marchese and PTPD Detective Stephen Price.

An indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty.

Governor Murphy Announces Indoor Mask Requirement for Beginning of 2021-2022 School Year

August 6, 2021

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Joined by educators, medical professionals, parents, and school administrators, Governor Phil Murphy today announced that all students, educators, staff, and visitors will be required to wear face masks indoors for the start of the 2021-2022 school year. The Governor signed Executive Order (EO) 251, which will mandate masking in the indoor premises of all public, private, and parochial preschool, elementary, and secondary school buildings, with limited exceptions. The EO is effective on Monday, August 9, 2021. 

In recent weeks, both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and American Academy of Pediatrics have called for students to wear masks due to the increasing prevalence of the Delta COVID-19 variant, the ineligibility of those under 12 for vaccination, and a rise in pediatric COVID-19 cases. 

“We understand that students learn best in a classroom setting and remain committed to having our schools open for full-time, in-person instruction this fall,” said Governor Murphy. “While this announcement gives us no pleasure, I know that by taking this precaution we can keep our schools open while also keeping our children safe. We will continue to closely monitor the science and data and will lift this mandate when we can do so safely. I urge those who are eligible for vaccination but have yet to be vaccinated to act and help move our state in the right direction.”

While masks will be broadly required in school buildings for the coming school year, exceptions will remain unchanged from the 2020-2021 school year, and include:

  • When doing so would inhibit the individual’s health, such as when the individual is exposed to extreme heat indoors;
  • When the individual has trouble breathing, is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove a face covering without assistance;
  • When a student’s documented medical condition or disability, as reflected in an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or Educational Plan pursuant to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, precludes use of a face covering;
  • When the individual is under two (2) years of age;
  • When an individual is engaged in an activity that cannot be performed while wearing a mask, such as eating and drinking or playing an instrument that would be obstructed by the face covering;
  • When the individual is engaged in high-intensity aerobic or anerobic activity;
  • When a student is participating in high-intensity physical activities during a physical education class in a well-ventilated location and able to maintain a physical distance of six feet from all other individuals; or
  • When wearing a face covering creates an unsafe condition in which to operate equipment or execute a task.

“Given the Delta variant’s high transmissibility and the fact that the COIVD-19 vaccine is not yet available for children under 12, we must use all the prevention strategies we have to protect children in classrooms this fall,” said Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli. “Children should wear masks, physically distance, wash their hands frequently, stay home when they’re sick, get tested when they have symptoms and get vaccinated as soon as they are eligible.”

“Throughout the pandemic, our goal has always been the safe return to in-person learning, where children thrive academically and socially,” said Dr. Angelica Allen-McMillan, Acting Commissioner of Education. “Today’s announcement achieves that goal – while also following the direction from our state’s and nation’s health specialists to ensure the safety of educators and students along with their families.”

“Here in New Jersey we have seen a concerning rise in viral spread,” said Dr. Jeanne Craft, President of the New Jersey Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. “A hopeful spring has become a worrisome summer. The conditions have changed, the risk is higher, especially for children. We need to move forward with an abundance of caution. We have come so far, but we need to continue to rely on scientific evidence and expert advice to keep children, teachers, school staff and communities as safe as possible.”

“Today, as school leaders, we can breathe a collective sigh of relief as school districts can now put the increasingly divisive debate about masking in schools in the rearview mirror,” said Dr. Janet Fike, Superintendent of Schools at the Morris-Union Jointure Commission and President of the New Jersey Association of School Administrators. “Thank you, Governor Murphy and countless medical and health professionals, for recognizing that medical science must govern the masking debate.”

“The New Jersey State School Nurses Association (NJSSNA) supports universal masking in schools,” said Donna Pleus, President of the New Jersey State School Nurses Association. “We must implement the safest public health mitigation strategies that have proven protective for our New Jersey school children and staff.” 

“We cannot waver in our commitment to protecting the health and safety of students and staff as the pandemic is surging,” said Marie Blistan, President of the New Jersey Education Association. “Above all, we remain committed to providing our students with the best possible educational experience this year. They deserve it and we are determined to make sure they have it.”

“This guidance is in line with the recommendations of the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics,” said Dr. Lawrence S. Feinsod,  Executive Director of  the New Jersey Schools Boards Association. “Against the backdrop of the rapid spread of the Delta variant, masks will play an important role in making possible what should be our top priority: safely returning children and staff to the classroom.” 

“New Jersey PTA supports following the latest and most up to date guidance from the CDC and acknowledges Governor Murphy’s difficult decision,” said Candy Fredericks, President of the New Jersey Parent Teacher Association (PTA). It is the goal of New Jersey PTA to ensure that each and every student in New Jersey is able to have a safe, happy, and equitable learning environment as we begin school in September and way past the pandemic.”

“This necessary, incremental step, aligned with guidance already provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention along with the American Academy of Pediatrics will help ensure our East Brunswick School community’s safety during periods of spiked variant transmissibility and until vaccinations are available to all our students,” said Dr. Victor Valeski, Superintendent of East Brunswick Public Schools.

For a copy of EO 251, click here