Day: November 23, 2022

Commercial Building Fire In The Oakhurst Section Of Ocean Township

November 23, 2022

OCEAN TOWNSHIP, NJ (MONMOUTH)–Around 3:28 p.m. on Tuesday November 22, 2022, firefighters were dispatched to 9 Cindy Lane for a commercial building fire. Responding units reported a column of smoke in the area and filled out the full first alarm. The first arriving crews found heavy fire in the roof areas extending through the roof. The fire attack was made with ladder pipe and several 1 3/4″ hose lines. The fire was quickly knocked down and contained to the fire area without spreading further throughout the building. No further details are available about the incident.

Photos and video by: Jersey Shore Fire Response

Mayor Signs Executive Order after Council Votes Down Budget on Deadline

Gusciora Administration calls emergency meeting Friday for last chance passage

November 23, 2022

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Facing a November 25 deadline and multimillion dollar consequences, Council leaders voted down the City’s budget in the final scheduled 2022 budget meeting tonight — leaving the City without a spending plan with less than six weeks left in the year.

Without a municipal budget, the City faces bond default, disqualification of future bond applications, among other ramifications.

“Council leadership is intent on hurting taxpayers on their way out the door,” Mayor Reed Gusciora said. “I’m not going to let it happen. Anything I can do to protect our citizens, I’m going to do.”

Following the failed vote, Gusciora issued an executive order instituting the amended City budget, while at the same time he asked Council to supersede his order by meeting once more this week to finalize the budget. The administration is delivering notice to Council members for an emergency meeting at 10 a.m. on Friday, November 25.

In April, Council passed a resolution receiving Gusciora’s proposed budget with no municipal tax increase, but they missed a state-mandated deadline for passage. As of October 1, all six City Council members have been accruing fines $25 per day for not meeting their obligation to pass a municipal budget in a timely manner, per State law.

“The budget is a core duty of the legislative branch and that duty has been fully abdicated in Trenton,” Gusciora said. “Even the rebuke they received at the ballot box hasn’t stopped this group from inflicting pain on taxpayers for political payback. It’s absolutely repugnant.”

The City transitioned from a fiscal year budget to a calendar year budget in 2021, so the 2022 budget proposal represented an unprecedented 30-month stretch where the City did not need to raise the municipal portion of tax rates.

Mercer County Clerk Issues Statement On November 8, 2022 General Election Issues And Results Of Prosecutor’s Office Investigation

November 23, 2022

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Mercer County Clerk Paula Sollami Covello issued a statement on the November 8 General Election following the conclusion of Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo Onofri’s investigation into the recent Election Day scanner failure. The investigation was aimed at determining whether or not there was malicious or criminal intent to disrupt the conduct of the election. The inquiry was launched after County Clerk Covello requested that the County Prosecutor review the circumstances and report findings of the investigation to the State Attorney General, Mercer County Commissioners, County Executive and Mercer County’s other two election offices.

On Monday, November 21, the Mercer County Commissioners held a public meeting wherein Prosecutor Onofri announced his findings, stating that his Office conducted a thorough investigation and determined there was no criminal intent or vote tampering during the election. The investigation further concluded that there was a human error made in the programming of the voting machines by an employee of Dominion Voting Systems, which did not allow the machines to scan. 

Despite this setback, on Election Day, all ballots were securely transferred to the Board of Elections Office, where they were counted by a bipartisan group of commissioners on high-capacity scanners. Every ballot that was cast on Election Day was counted and the integrity of the election remained intact throughout this process. The only difference from last year was that ballots were scanned at a central location instead of on-site at the polling locations.

“I would like to thank the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office for their swift and thorough investigation into this matter,” said Sollami Covello. “I am pleased there was no intentional criminal action that created this problem. Election integrity is something I have worked hard to ensure and have taken great pride in over the past 17 years serving as Mercer County Clerk.” Sollami Covello also praised the Board of Elections Commissioners for their handling of the ballot scanning process on Election Day and beyond, which was completed on time and certified to her office within the State timeline of November 21. She also thanked the Office of the Superintendent of Elections for their work on reviewing the provisional ballots in a timely manner. The County Clerk’s certification of the general election has concluded ahead of the State deadline of November 26.

 For additional information regarding the 2022 General Election, please visit the Mercer County Clerk’s website here or call 609-989-6494 or 609-989-6495.

Hopewell Township Man Charged with Murdering His Father

November 23, 2022

HOPEWELL, NJ (MERCER)–Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri and Hopewell Police Chief James Rosso reported today that a township man has been arrested and charged with the death of his father.

Joelle Jackson, 54, is charged with murder and weapons offenses. He was taken into custody Tuesday evening at the Hopewell Township Police Department.  The prosecutor’s office has filed a motion to detain Jackson pending trial.

At approximately 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, November 22, 2022, Hopewell police responded to an apartment in the 700 block of Denow Road on the report of a man stabbed.  Inside of the apartment, officers located Ishmeal Jackson, 82, on the kitchen floor suffering from multiple stab wounds.  The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. Hopewell officers secured the apartment and notified the Mercer County Homicide Task Force.  Investigation revealed that on or about Monday, November 21, Joelle Jackson stabbed his father to death in the apartment they shared on Denow Road.

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

Joelle Jackson, 54, is charged with murder and weapons offenses. He was taken into custody Tuesday evening at the Hopewell Township Police Department.  The prosecutor’s office has filed a motion to detain Jackson pending trial.

Two Trenton, NJ, Men Charged In Sub Marias Sub Shop Armed Robbery In Hamilton

November 23, 2022

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Hamilton police say that on Monday 11/21/22 at approximately 8:19 a.m., Hamilton Police responded to 1305 Nottingham Way (Sub Marias Sub Shop) for a reported armed robbery.  Employees reported that two black males entered the business, one of the suspects brandished a black semi-automatic handgun and demanded all the cash from the register. The suspects then fled on foot in an unknown direction.

Two suspects were later identified.

Ryan T. Boston and Marshaun T. Bamble both from the City of Trenton were placed under arrest and charged with Robbery and Waeapons Offenses.

Anyone with any information regarding this incident is asked to contact Detective Russ Newborn of the Hamilton Police Division’s Criminal Investigations Section at 609-581-4027/ or the Hamilton Police Crime Tip Hotline at 609-581-4008.

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

Ryan J. Boston of Trenton, NJ

Marshaun T. Gamble of Trenton, NJ

Fire Department SUV Crashes Into Utility Pole And Overturns; Driver Extricated, Flown To Jersey Shore By Medevac Helicopter

November 23, 2022

Official Update from Manchester Township Police Department below:

MANCHESTER, NJ (OCEAN)–Manchester Police say that on Tuesday, November 22, 2022, at approximately 10:05 p.m., officers from the Manchester Township Police Department responded to the area of County Route 571 and Richard Road in the Ridgeway Section of town to investigate a motor vehicle crash involving an overturned vehicle with an entrapped driver.

Upon arrival, officers observed an overturned 2016 Chevrolet Tahoe and a utility pole which was severed at its base with downed wires.  The Chevrolet had sustained extensive damage and was partially suspended by low voltage wires.  The investigation revealed that the Chevrolet, a marked Ridgeway Volunteer Fire Department vehicle, was travelling westbound on CR 571 after responding to a call for service.  The Chevrolet subsequently drifted off the roadway to the right and struck a utility pole.  Following impact, the Chevrolet became airborne before striking the low voltage wires and overturning on its passenger side, sustaining extensive damage to the entire vehicle.  The impact with the pole pulled a wire from a nearby residence.  The wire ultimately struck the 2017 Sutphen Ridgeway Volunteer Fire Department fire truck which was following the Chevrolet, causing minor damage to the front end.

The driver of the Chevrolet, identified as 43-year-old Brian Flanagan of Manchester, was extricated from the vehicle and transported via Medevac helicopter to Jersey Shore University Medical Center for treatment and evaluation of non-life threatening injuries.  The driver of the Sutphen, Michael Trimarchi, 53 of Manchester, and the front seat passenger, Stephen Newnom 31 of Manchester, were uninjured in the crash. 

Assisting at the scene were members of the Ridgeway Volunteer Fire Department, Manchester Volunteer Fire Department, Whiting Volunteer Fire Department, Pleasant Plains Volunteer Fire Department, Manchester Township Emergency Medical Services, Robert Wood Johnson Paramedics, RWJ Life Flight, and Accurate Towing. The roadway was closed for several hours during the investigation and cleanup. 

Last night’s MidJersey.News breaking story here:

Accurate Towing Service up righted the vehicle and towed away with a heavy duty wrecker Accurate Towing photo.

Monmouth County Correctional Institution Officer Pleads Guilty In Connection With Distribution Of Narcotics

November 23, 2022

FREEHOLD, NJ (MONMOUTH)–A Monmouth County Correctional Institution Officer has pled guilty in connection with the distribution of narcotics to inmates within the jail, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Raymond S. Santiago stated on Wednesday.

Bryant Mack, 54, of Shamong, New Jersey, pled guilty on Friday November 18, 2022, in front of Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Jill G. O’Malley, to second-degree Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Dangerous Substance (CDS).  At the time of his plea, Judge O’Malley entered an order forfeiting Mack’s job at MCCI and prohibiting him from holding public office again in the State of New Jersey.

A cooperative investigation by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office Professional Responsibility and Bias Crime Bureau and the MCCI Special Investigations Divisionrevealed that Mack, who had been a corrections officer for 18 years, would smuggle CDS and other contraband into the facility hidden in potato chip bags.  He would provide the items to an inmate, who would then facilitate the distribution of the items throughout the jail.  Mack’s criminal activity came to light on September 4, 2021, when officers caught two inmates with CDS and other contraband in their cells, and traced the items back to Mack. During his plea, Mack admitted that heentered into an agreement with an inmate to bring CDS and other contraband into the jail, in exchange for payment and that he brought a schedule 1 CDS into the facility on September 4, 2021.

“Mr. Mack violated his sworn duty to protect and serve when he brought contraband into the jail for his own personal gain.  By doing so, he placed his fellow officers and other inmates at the jail in danger and justice requires that he take responsibility for his actions. I commend my staff and our law enforcement partners for their tireless work on this complicated investigation. Mr. Mack’s conduct is not indicative of the honest, hard-working, law enforcement officers who risk their lives daily to protect and serve our county,” Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Raymond S. Santiago stated. 

“All members of the law enforcement profession have a duty to exhibit at all times the highest level of professionalism with honor and integrity. Any conduct that does not meet that expectation will not be tolerated” said Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden. “I’m proud of the correctional police officers who tirelessly serve this agency. An officer who violates his or her oath of office does a grave disservice to their co-workers, as well as the entire law enforcement profession, and will be held fully accountable with proper disciplinary action taken.”

Mack faces up to 5 years in prison when he issentenced before Judge O’Malley on April 21, 2023.

The case is being prosecuted by Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Melanie Falco, Director of the Office’s Professional Responsibility and Bias Crime Bureau and Assistant Prosecutor Kimberly Gilhooly.

Mack is represented by Frank Cioffi, Esq., of Clifton.