Day: September 18, 2021

Robbinsville Community Day Fireworks Held

September 18, 2021

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–Unfortunately, most of the 2021 Robbinsville Community Day was cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns about an outbreak of the virus in the Robbinsville School District. The planned fireworks were held on schedule shortly after 8:00 p.m.

See update below the photo gallery from Brian J. Betze, Superintendent of Robbinsville Schools about the latest COVID-19 information.

Photo gallery:

September 18, 2021

Dear Robbinsville Community,

I am providing an update on the COVID-19 outbreaks within our schools and the next steps we can take to slow the public health outbreak we are currently seeing in our schools.

As we began the school year, I stressed the importance of safety and health for all of our students, staff and faculty. I asked families/guardians to please follow the health safety guidelines. Our Board of Education and the administration want to have our students in the classroom. We are committed to providing quality education and focusing on the mental health of our students.

Currently we know that only 62% of our students in the 12-17 age category are vaccinated. This crosses our middle and high school students. The Department of Health has made us aware that the Delta variant is very different in being able to combat COVID-19.

The number of COVID-19 positive cases have increased significantly at our high school this past week. Working in partnership with the State of New Jersey Department of Health and local health department we have determined that it is in the best interest to temporarily close the high school for five school days. Conversations over the past few days have taken place with the State of NJ Epidemiologist, multiple infection disease doctors from the State of New Jersey and the local health department to determine where the outbreaks are coming from within the community. 

Robbinsville High School will be closed from September 20 – 24, 2021. Students may return on Monday, September 27th, as long as they do not exhibit symptoms, have a positive COVID test or are waiting on the results from a COVID test and the Department of Health does not require us to be closed for a longer period of time.

We do have a significant number of students at Pond Road who are quarantined and one class at Sharon Elementary that is quarantined, but based on current contract tracing and feedback from health officials, we feel that the precautions in place allow us to continue in person learning. We are continuing to monitor and work with families for contract tracing and parent notification at all of our schools. It is important that if you receive a call, please assist us in contract tracing efforts. If you have not received a call at this time your child has not been identified as being in close contact with an individual who is positive. If you have needs for technology or meals for a student that has been asked to quarantine, please contact your respective principal.

Remote instruction will begin on Monday, September 20th for all high school students. All students are expected to be at home for remote instruction.  This will give the state and local officials time to conduct contact tracing and the district the ability to do a deep cleaning of the high school.

If you receive special education services, your case manager will reach out to discuss how your IEP will be implemented during remote learning.

Additionally, it is important for the community to understand that none of the decisions that have been made about our sports teams, clubs and activities that had to be canceled were done lightly. These cancelations were done based on the guidance and direction from health officials and working in partnership to stop the spread we are seeing in our schools. Our goal is that we are only pausing for now and able to resume quickly. We understand the importance of these activities and are working to get special senior activities rescheduled or recognized at a separate date. Our goal is to keep everyone safe.

I remind families/guardians that if your child(ren) need counseling support that resources are available in the district. Please visit the counseling page for your respective school building – Robbinsville High School, Pond Road Middle School or Sharon Elementary School.

Our administration will continue to work in partnership with the New Jersey Department of Health and the local health department. State and local health department officials along with the administration have been in constant communication about the outbreaks and what we can do to limit the spread. The decision to close the high school for five days was made in partnership and in an effort to best stop the spread of COVID-19 and control the public health outbreak we are seeing in Robbinsville.

We will continue to work in partnership with all health officials to get our students back in the classroom, but we need the community to work with us, as well. Please be honest in completing the COVID form, please work with school officials to assist with contact tracing. We appreciate the support of the Board of Education, Mayor Fried and other local leaders for also working in conjunction with the health department and canceling events in an effort to get in front of these outbreaks.  If we work together, we can get through this time and be stronger for it.

Thank you,

Brian J. Betze

Car Fire Quickly Extinguished In Ewing Township

September 18, 2021

EWING TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–About 4:50 p.m. today, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021 Ewing Township
firefighters were dispatched to a car fire in front of the Game Stop store at 1632 North Olden Avenue, near Arctic Parkway. The engine compartment of Dodge Charger was well involved on arrival of Squirt 31. Chief 31 called an extra engine (Engine 30). Ladder Tower 31 also responded. Firefighters quickly knocked down the fire and there were no apparent injuries reported. Ewing Police closed the roadway until the fire was out.

Listen to the audio from the fire here

Dangerous Rip Currents At Jersey Shore Multiple Rescues In Toms River Area; One In Critical Condition Others Hospitalized

September 18, 2021

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–On Saturday, September 18, 2021, at approximately 11:20 a.m., police and EMS were dispatched to 2nd Ave and Ocean Terrace in Normandy Beach for a swimmer in distress. Witnesses reported that a male was caught in a rip current and struggling to keep his head above water. Joseph Gates of Hopatcong, entered the water with his surfboard and was able to keep the victim above water. Two additional surfers, Thomas Galbraith of Warren, and Colin Cronin of Lavalette, also entered the water with their surfboards and were able to assist Mr. Gates and the victim back to shore. There were no injuries and none of the involved parties required medical assistance.

At approximately 12:30 PM police and EMS were dispatched to 8th Avenue and Ocean Ave in Ortley Beach for multiple swimmers in distress. A 22 year old female from New Fairfield, CT was the first swimmer to be pulled out of the ocean by friends and was treated by EMS and transported to Community Medical Center by a Toms River Ambulance. At this time she is stable and expected to make a full recovery.

A 29 year old male from Freehold was the next victim to be pulled out of the ocean, also by friends. He was conscious and treated by EMS as he was transported to Community Medical Center with medics on board. He is listed in stable condition.

The third victim, a 27 year old female from Brookfield, CT, had been going under water multiple times and appeared to not be moving. A rescue wave runner from Seaside Heights Fire Department was able to rescue her and bring her to shore. The firefighters onboard the wave runner performed CPR as they brought her to the beach. Once on the beach, EMS and medics continued CPR and were able to regain a pulse prior to her being transported to Community Medical Center. At this time she is listed in critical condition.

Police officers cleared the township’s ocean waters of all swimmers due to the dangerous water conditions.

See United States Lifesaving Association about Rip Currents and NOAA and USLA Rip Current Safety Toolkit

Rip Current Statement

Coastal Hazard Message
National Weather Service Mount Holly NJ
316 AM EDT Sat Sep 18 2021

Delaware Beaches-Eastern Monmouth-Atlantic Coastal Cape May-
Coastal Atlantic-Coastal Ocean-
316 AM EDT Sat Sep 18 2021


* WHAT...Dangerous rip currents.

* WHERE...In New Jersey, Coastal Ocean, Atlantic Coastal Cape
  May, Eastern Monmouth and Coastal Atlantic. In Delaware,
  Delaware Beaches.

* WHEN...Through this evening.

* IMPACTS...Rip currents can sweep even the best swimmers away
  from shore into deeper water.


Entering the surf is discouraged. If caught in a rip current,
relax and float. Don`t swim against the current. If able, swim in
a direction following the shoreline. If unable to escape, face
the shore and call or wave for help.

Pair Invades And Robbs Hamilton Home While Resident Was Sleeping Brandishing A Large Knife During During Struggle With Resident Leaving Resident Injured

September 18, 2021

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–On September 14, 2021, at approximately 3:15 a.m., Hamilton Police were detailed to the first block of Lincoln Court on a Home Invasion/ Robbery.  Responding officers were advised by the resident that two black male suspects entered her residence through a kitchen window, while she was sleeping. Once inside the residence, the victim awoke and a physical altercation ensued, with one of the suspects brandishing a large knife. The suspects fled the scene on bicycles with several items of value.  The victim sustained non-life threatening injuries due to her struggle with the suspects. 

Hamilton Police Detective Benjamin Zuzzio developed two suspects involved in this incident through video surveillance. The first suspect was identified as 19 year old Hamilton resident, John Goddridge.  The second suspect was  identified as 24 year old Hamilton resident, Divine Thompson.  Criminal complaints were generated for their arrest.

On September 17,2021, the Hamilton Police Anti-Crime Unit located and arrested both suspects regarding this incident.

Hamilton Police Detectives are asking the public if anyone has additional information  concerning this incident to contact Detective Benjamin Zuzzio of the Criminal Investigations Section at (609) 581-4030, via email at or the Hamilton Police Crime Tip Hotline at (609) 581-4008.

Every defendant is presumed innocent until being found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.