Day: December 1, 2022

Black Bear Hunt Suspended Until Further Notice

December 1, 2022

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–On Wednesday, November 30, 2022, the Superior Court of New Jersey granted a stay to the black bear hunt. 

As a result of the Superior Court of New Jersey’s order, the black bear hunt scheduled to begin on December 5, 2022, is suspended until further notice. 

As the appeal of the emergency adoption authorizing the hunt is to be heard on an expedited schedule, hunters should regularly check the NJDEP Fish & Wildlife Black Bear Hunting Season Information webpage for updates. 



A black bear is seen in a residential area in Vernon, NJ




Mayor Gusciora Statement on Court Approval of St. Francis Sale

December 1, 2022

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Mayor W. Reed Gusciora issued the following statement regarding the Mercer County Superior Court decision yesterday approving the transfer of ownership of St. Francis Hospital in Trenton, from Trinity Health to Capital Health.

“While unfortunate, this hospital closure has been inevitable for years. Yesterday’s court decision confirms that inescapable outcome. However, we have not stood by and allowed the City’s health care capabilities to be diminished.” Mayor Gusciora said. “We negotiated three key City needs with the private parties during the process, and this court decision ensures those needs can and should still be fully met.”

When Trinity, the parent company of St. Francis, announced this year they were leaving the state and that the hospital would merge with Capital Health’s Helene Fuld Medical Center, Gusciora requested: 1) that the state-issued Certificate of Need (CN) designating a Cardiac Care-specialized hospital remain in Trenton; 2) that the St. Francis Hospital structure be demolished before being handed over to the City; and 3) that the same level of care be offered to residents after the closure and merger.

“The health care industry is in transition. Virtual health and home-based services boomed during the pandemic and the market is favoring lower-cost freestanding and non-acute sites right now,” Gusciora said. “As I have said, the worst possible outcome would be the outright closure of St. Francis. Had St. Francis closed without being acquired by Capital Health, its CN for cardiac care would have returned to the State with no guarantee it would remain in Trenton. We will continue to monitor the situation and fight for equitable health access for the Capital City.”


File photo by: Brian McCarthy

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Opens State-of-the-Art Trauma Intensive Care Unit

December 1, 2022

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH), an RWJBarnabas Health Facility, introduced its new, state-of-the-art trauma care intensive care unit this week. The 10,500 square-foot unit features:

•          12 ICU Patient Rooms equipped with lights, booms, lifts, dialysis connections and computers

•          Spacious Staff and Clinical Support Areas

•          Private, Welcoming Family Waiting Area

•          Private Physician-Family Consultation Room

As one of only three state-designated Level I Trauma Centers and an American College of Surgeons-designated Pediatric Trauma Center, RWJUH provides the state and region with the most advanced, comprehensive trauma and emergency care.

“As a Level I Trauma Center, RWJUH cares for some of the most critically ill patients from across the state,” said Bill Arnold, President and Chief Executive Officer of RWJUH. “The complexity of these injuries require a higher level of dedicated, specialized care and we are proud to provide our communities and team with the best resources and most advanced technology to help save lives.”

The new patient rooms feature overhead lighting, which enables physicians to perform procedures in the room without transporting a patient. The rooms also have medical equipment booms that are designed to free the workspace and keep equipment clean and off of the ground. The booms ergonomically centralize all support equipment and utility services for staff. Each room has large glass doors that open completely, making patient transport easier. Doors to all patient rooms are transparent, which helps nurses monitor patients. The doors can be made opaque for privacy.

“All team members across nursing, trauma, and emergency medicine contributed to the planning of this beautiful new unit,” adds Maryann Brookes, RN, BSN, CCRN, Nursing Director for Trauma and Neurocritical Care. “The safety and comfort of our patients, family members and staff remained our top priorities throughout the entire planning process.”

The Level I Trauma Center at RWJUH is an American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma- verified Adult Level I Trauma Center and an American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma-verified Pediatric Level II Trauma Center. The Level I Trauma Center cares for approximately 2,800 trauma patients a year. Of those approximately, 2,200 are admitted each year.


Middletown NJ Man Dead After Being Run Over Multiple Times After Altercation In Old Bridge Parking Lot

December 1, 2022

OLD BRIDGE, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone and Acting Chief Donald Fritz, Jr., of the Old Bridge Police Department announced today that a homicide is under investigation.

On November 29, 2022, at approximately 5:05 P.M., authorities received a 911 call reporting an altercation in the parking lot of 100 Perrine Road in Old Bridge, that resulted in a suspect getting in his vehicle and running over Jason Freeman, 36, of Middletown, multiple times before fleeing the scene. Freeman succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced deceased at the scene.

This is an active and ongoing investigation anyone with information or surveillance footage of the area is asked to call Detective Michael Cronin of the Old Bridge Police Department at (732) 721-5600 or Detective Christopher Pennisi of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at (732)745-4060.


EPA Awards New Jersey Nearly $169 million in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Funding for Water Infrastructure Improvements

December 1, 2022

NEW YORK (Dec. 1, 2022) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded nearly $169 million in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding to New Jersey for water infrastructure improvements that will help communities access clean, safe and reliable drinking water, increase resilience, collect and treat wastewater to protect public health, clean up pollution, and safeguard vital waterways.

“The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law presents a unique opportunity to provide historical amounts of funding over five years for critical water infrastructure projects, especially in underserved communities,” said EPA Regional Administrator Lisa F. Garcia. “This is just the beginning, and we look forward to providing additional Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding for this critical work to New Jersey in the years ahead.”

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law 2022 funding allocation awards announced today are distributed through the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds (SRF)—over $73 million through the Clean Water SRF and over $95 million through the Drinking Water SRF for a total of $169 million. The Clean Water SRF primarily funds wastewater infrastructure improvement projects. These funds supplement nearly $48 million in regular funding to New Jersey’s Clean Water SRF program in fiscal year (FY) 2022.

EPA has awarded New Jersey a total of over $95 million in FY 2022 grants from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law through the Drinking Water SRF, which includes $31 million for supplemental drinking water projects, $48 million to identify and replace lead service lines, and nearly $17 million to address emerging contaminants like PFAS. The funding supplements approximately $12 million in regular funding to New Jersey’s Drinking Water SRF program in FY 2022.

New Jersey has submitted and obtained EPA’s approval of its plans for the use of the FY 2022 funding announced today. These grants will continue to be awarded, on a rolling, state-by-state basis, as more states receive approval throughout FY 2023; states will also receive awards over the course of the next four years. Once grants are awarded, state programs will begin to deliver the funds as grants and loans to communities across their state.

“Thanks to the determined advocacy of New Jersey’s congressional delegation, the arrival of nearly $169 million in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding will further advance our progress toward fortifying the state’s water infrastructure,” said New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy. “Now more than ever, we recognize the crucial importance of high-quality drinking water and wastewater systems, especially in our environmental justice communities. This funding will help us deliver on the promise of securing safe, reliable drinking water and resilient wastewater and stormwater management systems for every New Jerseyan.” 

“Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding from EPA is helping to power New Jersey’s Water Infrastructure Investment Plan, enabling the Murphy Administration to reach even more communities with needed improvements to drinking water and wastewater systems,” said New Jersey Commissioner of Environmental Protection Shawn M. LaTourette. “Together, we can ensure that generations of New Jerseyans receive reliably clean drinking water and enjoy fishable and swimmable waterways free of pollution – creating thousands of good-paying, family-sustaining jobs in the process.”

“I was proud to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill last year. This additional funding will move our state closer to ensuring every New Jerseyan has safe and clean drinking water in their homes, schools, and businesses,” said U.S. Senator Bob Menendez. “Our state and municipalities need federal support to upgrade our water infrastructure and I’ll continue fighting for the resources we need to improve water quality and ensure the health and well-being of New Jersey’s families.” 

“The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act was a once-in-a-generation investment in our nation’s infrastructure, and it will do much more than just fix our crumbling roads and bridges,” said U.S. Senator Cory Booker. “Communities all across New Jersey need resources to replace their aging water infrastructure, which is why I proudly worked to deliver these resources. We know that disadvantaged communities disproportionately bear the impact of contaminants in water, from PFAS to lead exposure. Over the next five years, this historic infusion of federal funds will allow New Jersey to provide an unprecedented amount of funding to projects that will replace lead pipes, improve drinking water, and update wastewater infrastructure across the state.” 

Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. said: “I’m thrilled New Jersey is receiving federal funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to ensure families can trust the water coming out of their tap. New Jersey has been working hard to address contaminants like PFAS and lead in drinking water, and this funding provides a critical opportunity to bolster that work and invest in water infrastructure projects that tackle these public health issues. I fought to include this funding in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and I’ll keep fighting to make sure our state receives all the resources it needs to deliver the safe, clean drinking water every American deserves.” 

U.S. Representative Bill Pascrell, Jr. said: “Democrats passed the historic Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to rebuild our roads, bridges, tunnels, and water infrastructure. Today we are announcing nearly $169 million from our bill to guarantee clean and safe water for New Jersey. This is tremendous news for our state. Clean air, water, and soil are essential to our health. If we fail to preserve our natural resources, our health will suffer as a result. I’m proud that I was able to play a role in securing this environmental funding for our state and I’ll continue bringing home funds that protect our environment and defend against the effects of climate change.”

U.S. Representative Donald M. Payne, Jr. said: “I am proud to help secure this $169 million to improve New Jersey’s water infrastructure. I fought to include that money in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to help our state. In addition, I worked to include $55 billion to replace lead-contaminated water pipes in New Jersey and nationwide. Infrastructure is more than simply roads and bridges. I look forward to the clean water projects this funding will support throughout New Jersey.”   

U.S. Representative Donald Norcross said: “It wasn’t long ago I walked through a local high school with water fountains that couldn’t be used because of lead piping. I’m proud to have helped deliver this funding to New Jersey and ensure that every community has access to safe, clean drinking water.”

U.S. Representative Josh Gottheimer said: “For years now, I’ve been fighting to get clean drinking water for our families, to protect our local waters, and to claw more federal tax dollars back to Jersey from Washington. With the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill that I helped shape and pass, we’re helping get lead and forever chemicals out of our drinking water and making significant investments to address water pollution in communities across the country — all while creating millions of jobs. The more federal tax dollars that we get back to North Jersey, the less our towns have to charge in local taxes — and I’m all about lowering taxes.”

U.S. Representative Andy Kim said: “When I voted for the bipartisan infrastructure bill, I knew that projects like these would change people’s lives and give them faith that the water coming into their house to drink, shower, brush their teeth, and wash their dishes would be clean and safe. This also brings investments in good paying New Jersey jobs, pollution cleanup, more resources for desperately needed flood mitigation in both Burlington and Ocean counties, and ecosystem restoration to help create healthy animal and marine habitats from the Delaware River to the Jersey Shore. I’m glad to see this important work getting underway and look forward to more infrastructure projects coming to New Jersey soon.”

U.S. Representative Tom Malinowski said: “The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law makes the largest investment in clean water infrastructure in American history – and today’s announcement shows, once again, that it’s delivering for New Jersey. This initial award of nearly $169 million will help our small towns fund their long-overdue clean water and wastewater infrastructure projects and finally bring our aging water infrastructure into the 21st Century.”

U.S. Representative Mikie Sherrill said: “New Jersey built this nation but has the legacy pollution to show for it. Throughout my time in Congress, I have fought on behalf of my constituents to improve water quality and update our aging water infrastructure. This investment from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will bring much needed federal support in our efforts to make these changes, better our public health, and move our state forward. I look forward to continuing my work with the EPA to bring federal resources to NJ-11 to solve our communities’ most pressing environmental issues, such as PFAS remediation, flood risk mitigation, and lead pipe replacements.”

Background

President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law allocates more than $50 billion to EPA toward repairing the nation’s essential water infrastructure. 

EPA’s SRFs are part of President Biden’s Justice40 initiative, which aims to deliver at least 40% of the benefits from certain federal programs to underserved communities. Furthermore, nearly half the funding available through the SRFs thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law must be grants or principal forgiveness loans that remove barriers to investing in essential water infrastructure in underserved communities across rural America and in urban centers.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law presents the largest-ever funding opportunity for investing in water infrastructure. Find out more about Bipartisan Infrastructure Law programs and other programs that help communities manage their water resources on EPA’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law page.

Missing Princeton, NJ, Man Last Seen In Hamilton Township Is Now Reported Found

** Mr. Lafontant was located.***

December 1, 2022

PRINCETON, NJ (MERCER)–Princeton Police are still searching for a missing 60-year-old man, Emmanuel Lafontant, who has been missing for the past three weeks. He was last seen on Johnston Avenue in Hamilton, NJ approximately 3-weeks ago. If you have any information on his whereabouts please contact the Princeton Police Department at 609-921-2100.

** Mr. Lafontant was located.***

** Mr. Lafontant was located.***

The pictured individual, Emmanuel Lafontant, was reported missing to the Princeton Police Department by his family. He was last seen in the area of Johnston Avenue in Hamilton, NJ approximately 3 weeks ago. Lafontant is a 60-year-old male, 6’2″ and weighs approximately 190lbs. If you have any information on his whereabouts please contact the Princton Police Department at 609-921-2100. ** Mr. Lafontant was located.***