Day: December 19, 2022

East Windsor Township Presents Business Awards

December 19, 2022

EAST WINDSOR TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)– Mayor Janice Mironov presented the East Windsor Township 2021 Annual Business Awards to Holiday Inn and National Convention Center, Modway, and Moonshot Farm.  The purpose of the annual Township awards program is to recognize local businesses that have made special efforts to improve or contribute to the community.

            Mayor Mironov explained the categories include:  Business Beautification – creating an attractive appearance, for example, through landscaping, flowers and other enhancements to their structures and site; Community Service – providing for community contributions and service; and Community Enhancement – providing any community value added aspect related to their business, for example, extraordinary job creation or an unusual or special product or opportunity.  Green and sustainable practices, for example, green products, energy conservation, reduction of waste and energy consumption also are encouraged.

            Holiday Inn & National Conference Center, located at 399 Monmouth Street, was recognized with 2021 Business Award for “Business Beautification”, accepted by Carey Tajfel, President and Francine Tajfel, General Counsel. Holiday Inn and National Conference Center performed extensive renovations through 2020 to the interior and exterior of their facility, resulting in a modernized upgraded looking facility for their guests and visitors to the East Windsor area.  The Holiday Inn, an IHG Hotel located off New Jersey Turnpike East Windsor Exit 8, has 201 guest rooms, a popular statewide used 14,000 square foot National Conference Center, a full-service restaurant, bridal suite, ballroom, outdoor seating, business center, a fitness facility and an outdoor pool.  Mayor Mironov stated,  “Holiday Inn East Windsor has made a substantial reinvestment in their hotel and statewide popular conference center providing a renovated modernized facility which we highly value.”

Modway, located at 329 Wyckoff Mills Road on the redeveloped former National Lead site which is highly visible from the New Jersey Turnpike, was recognized with 2021 Business Award for “Community Service/Sustainable Green Practices”, accepted by Tuvya Griesman, Chief Executive Office.  Modway, a furniture designer and supplier company, stepped up to help address food needs during the pandemic and partnered with RISE and the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen to host food distribution events and has continued to demonstrate their commitment to the community.  Modway also has demonstrated sustainable practices by installing major solar rooftop arrays, to provide a significant amount of their company energy needs and promote clean energy.   

Mayor Mironov stated,  “Over the past three years, with Township support, Modway has stepped up and hosted food distribution partnering with RISE and the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen to meet the demand for food during the height of the pandemic and continuing its involvement.”

            Moonshot Farm, located at 415 Imlaystown Road, was recognized with 2021 Business Award for “Community Enhancement”, accepted by owners Rebecca Kutzer-Rice and Mark Ginsberg.  Moonshot Farm, a family-owned cut flower farm launched in 2019, specializes in bee-friendly cut flowers sustainably grown without chemical herbicides or pesticides, raw honey, pasture-raised rainbow eggs, make-your-own floral arrangement and holiday wreath classes and private events.  Moonshot Farm also offers a pick-your-own flowers, a Crop Share Agreement (CSA) in which residents can buy a piece of land and grow their own flowers and sponsors a popular Bouquet-of-the-month Club subscription of 3 or 6 months, DIY wreath kits and holiday gift boxes.  Their packaging is zero-waste and plastic free. 

            Mayor Mironov stated,  “East Windsor’s Moonshot Farm is a unique family owned entrepreneurial small cut flower business using organic practices and featuring pick-your-own flowers and creative subscriptions and hands on classes. This young family left their Brooklyn home to open their farm and “shoot for the moon”.  We applaud their entrepreneurial spirit and value the special business understanding which they have brought to our community.”

Mayor Janice S. Mironov and Council Members congratulate the three recipients of 2021 East Windsor Township Business awards.  Pictured (from left to right) are:  (front row) Carey Tajfel, President, Holiday Inn and National Conference Center;  Francine Tajfel, General Counsel, Holiday Inn and National Conference Center;  Mayor Janice S. Mironov;  Rebecca Kutzer-Rice, Owner, Moonshot Farm;  Tuvya Griesman, Chief Executive Officer, Modway;  Council Member Marc Lippman;  (back row)  Council Member Alan Rosenberg;  Deputy Mayor Peter Yeager;  Council Member David Russell, and Council Member John Zoller.

Mayor Janice S. Mironov presents 2021 Business Award for “Business Beautification” to Holiday Inn and National Conference Center, accepted by Carey Tajfel, President, and Francine Tajfel, General Counsel.

Mayor Janice S. Mironov presents 2021 Business Award for “Community Service” to Modway, accepted by Tuvya Griesman, Chief Executive Officer.

Mayor Janice S. Mironov presents 2021 Business Award for “Community Enhancement” to Moonshot Farm, accepted by owners Rebecca Kutzer-Rice and Mark Ginsberg, and their daughters Rose and Violet.

Wall Township Police Sergeant Criminally Charged With Stealing $75K From Local PBA Union

December 19, 2022

FREEHOLD – A Wall Township Police Department Sergeant has been criminally charged with stealing more than $75,000 from his local Police Benevolent Association (PBA) chapter, Monmouth County Prosecutor Raymond S. Santiago announced Monday.

James R. Cadigan, 40, is charged with second-degree Theft by Unlawful Taking.

An investigation into this matter was initiated by the MCPO Professional Responsibility & Bias Crime Bureau, upon receipt of a referral by the Wall Township PBA Local No. 234, which had discovered that a significant amount of cash proceeds was missing following an annual fundraising event held earlier this year .Sgt. Cadigan was solely responsible for orchestrating and running the event in 2022 and in many preceding years, and the PBA annually donates proceeds from the event to various charitable organizations.   

In addition to confirming that a significant amount of cash was missing from the event proceeds, the investigation revealed that starting at least in 2018 and in each year thereafter, Cadigan made numerous unauthorized cash withdrawals from multiple PBA bank accounts and wrote checks to himself and to cash from these accounts. This investigation remains ongoing as to both the extent of the theft and how Cadigan used the PBA’s funds.

Cadigan was served the charges against him via summons on Friday, pending future proceedings to take place in Monmouth County Superior Court.

This case is being prosecuted by Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Melanie Falco, Director of the MCPO Professional Responsibility & Bias Crime Bureau. Cadigan is being represented by Mitchell A. Ansell, Esq., with an office in Ocean Township.

“Local police unions are so often the drivers of philanthropic and charitable endeavors, especially at this time of year, so it is deeply disheartening when any member of law enforcement leverages access to their funds in order to achieve personal financial gains,” Prosecutor Santiago said. “We hope that the charges being announced today send a clear message that any such conduct is wholly unacceptable, and will be thoroughly and dutifully investigated and prosecuted.”

“The criminal charge against Sgt. Cadigan is not reflective of the honor, integrity, and fidelity routinely exhibited by the sworn members of this Police Department, as they are about protecting and serving the public in the execution of their daily duties,” Wall Township Police Chief Sean O’Halloran added.

Anyone with information about this or related matters is urged to contact MCPO Detective Brian Hammarstrom at 800-533-7443.

Convictions on second-degree criminal charges can be punishable by up to 10 years in state prison.  

Despite these charges, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, following a trial at which the defendant has all of the trial rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and State law.

Trenton Police Charge Suspect With 3 Counts Armed Robbery And Weapons Offenses

December 19, 2022

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Trenton Police Department reports that on Wednesday, December 7, 2022, at approximately 9:26 p.m., Trenton Police responded to 912 Brunswick Avenue (Mundy’s Liquor), on a commercial armed robbery call. Upon initial investigation, Police learned the suspect just robbed the store at gunpoint, relieving the establishment of over $2700.00 in U.S. currency before exiting the store. The suspect then entered 918 Brunswick Avenue (Spojnik), held the business at gunpoint before fleeing across the street. The suspect then pointed the firearm and attempted to rob a 3rd victim near the intersection of Brunswick Avenue and Wineberg Place, before fleeing the scene out of sight.

Under the direct supervision of Major Crimes Robbery Unit Supervisor Detective Sergeant L. Nazario, Detective V. Gribbin was assigned the case and took charge of the investigation. Detective Gribbin, with the assistance from Detective S. Gonzalez, Det. G. Woods from the Real Time Crime Center (RTCC) and the Lawrenceville Police Department, the suspect was later identified as Malik J. White. White was subsequently charged with 3 counts of Armed Robbery and weapons offenses.

**Charges are mere accusations, and the accused are considered innocent until proven guilty**

Wall Township Man Sentenced To 30 Years In Prison For Killing 6-Week-Old Baby Girl

December 19, 2022

FREEHOLD, NJ (MONMOUTH)Austin Meli, a Wall Township resident was sentenced to 30 years in prison for the homicide of his six-week old baby girl, Monmouth County Prosecutor Raymond S. Santiago announced on Monday.

Austin Meli, 26, was sentenced on Friday, December 16, 2022, before Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Joseph W. Oxley. The sentence is subject to the No Early Release Act (NERA), which requires Meli to serve 85% of it prior to being eligible for parole. This sentence will run consecutive to a sentence that Meli is already serving.

Meli pled guilty to first-degree Aggravated Manslaughter on February 10, 2022.

On March 9, 2019, Wall Township Police Department responded to a residence in their jurisdiction regarding an unresponsive six-week-old infant. At the time, the investigation determined that the infant had been in the immediate care of Meli, her father, at the time she was found to be unresponsive. The child was subsequently pronounced deceased at Ocean Medical Center, Brick, NJ. Subsequent investigation revealed that Meli had smothered the child in order to stop her from crying, resulting in the baby’s death by asphyxiation. The investigation was led by the Wall Township Police Department and the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office.

Meli is currently serving a 10-year New Jersey State Prison sentence for second-degree Aggravated Assault, two counts of second-degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child, and fourth-degree Tampering with Physical Evidence for crimes committed upon another of his children. Meli’s sentence for those charges is also subject to an 85% period of parole ineligibility pursuant to the No Early Release Act.

“The defendant’s depraved actions caused this horrific tragedy and left other family members to mourn an immeasurable loss,” Monmouth County Prosecutor Raymond S. Santiago stated. “While it is impossible to make this family whole, this plea deal and the subsequent sentence provides justice and closure for the victim’s family for such an unspeakable and heinous act.”

The case was prosecuted by Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutors Ellyn Rajfer and Margaret Koping.

Meli is represented by Allison Friedman, Esq., of Freehold.