Day: February 14, 2023

Early Morning House Fire Injures Two In Manchester

February 14, 2023

Manchester Twp. NJ – On Tuesday, February 14, 2023, at approximately 8:53 a.m., members of Manchester Township Police, Fire, and EMS along with members from each of the Manchester Volunteer Fire Companies responded to a Steiner Road address in the Holly Oaks section of the township for a report of a structure fire. 

Upon arrival, smoke and flames were observed emanating from the rear exterior of the residence and it was quickly determined that the two occupants of the residence had self-evacuated. Manchester Police Officers and Manchester Director of Emergency Services, Robert Baran quickly utilized fire extinguishing devices to contain the flames until it could be fully extinguished by responding fire personnel. As a result of the fire, the residence sustained extensive fire and water damage to the rear of the residence and the building inspector subsequently deemed the residence uninhabitable.

The owner/ occupant of the residence, 75-year old, Caroline Karmazin, sustained minor injuries while attempting to contain the fire.  The injuries included smoke inhalation and a minor burn to her hand.  A 17 year-old female occupant suffered smoke inhalation. Both parties were transported to Monmouth Medical Southern Campus by Manchester Emergency Medical Services.

Preliminary investigation revealed that the fire originated on a rear porch and possibly the result of improperly discarded smoking material into a trash receptacle.

Assisting at the scene were members of the Ridgeway Volunteer Fire Company, Manchester Volunteer Fire Company, Whiting Volunteer Fire Company, Ocean County Fire Marshall, Manchester Township Building Department, Manchester Township OEM and the American Red Cross. 

Ewing Firefighters Extinguish Truck Fire On Stokes Ave.

February 14, 2023

EWING (Mercer) – Township firefighters responded to Stokes Avenue, near Homestead Avenue, this evening (Tuesday, Feb. 14) to extinguish a fire that destroyed the cab of a tractor-trailer. The blaze was reported at 6:30 p.m. Ewing Township career firefighters and volunteers from Prospect Heights and West Trenton fire companies arrived to find flames engulfing the tractor cab. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Uncle And Nephew Convicted Of 2018 Murder In Neptune

February 14, 2023

FREEHOLDA Monmouth County Jury has returned guilty verdicts against an uncle and his nephew in connection with a November 2018 murder of a Neptune Township man, Monmouth County Prosecutor Raymond S. Santiago announced on Tuesday.

Following a trial before Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Marc C. Lemieux, Marcus Morrisey, 52, of Eatontown and Danron Morrisey, 30, of Neptune Township were found guilty of Murder, Felony Murder, Robbery, Unlawful Possession of a Weapon, and Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose. Marcus Morrisey was also found guilty of Unlawful Possession of a Weapon (a stun gun) and Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose. All charges were in connection with the death of Randolph Goodman Jr., 43, of Neptune Township.   

Neptune Township Police responded to a call for shots fired at approximately 9:21 p.m. on Saturday night, November 10, 2018 outside of 1030 Old Corlies Avenue. Officers arrived to find Goodman, having sustained a gunshot to the abdomen. Goodman was taken to Jersey Shore University Medical Center, where he later succumbed to his injuries.   

A joint investigation was immediately launched by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office and the Neptune Township Police Department. As a result of the investigation, it was determined that the defendants were responsible for the shooting and they were charged accordingly.

Sentencing in this case has been scheduled for Thursday, July 13, 2023.

The case is being handled by Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutors Michael Luciano and Ellyn Rajfer.

Marcus Morrisey is represented by Joshua Hood, Esq., of Freehold, and Danron Morrisey is represented by John Perrone, Esq., of Long Branch.

Island Heights Police Detective Charged With False Report, Contempt And Weapons Offenses

February 14, 2023

ISLAND HEIGHTS, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on February 13, 2023, Matthew Curtis, 47, of Little Egg Harbor Township, was charged with providing a False Report to Law Enforcement Authorities, Contempt of a Judicial or Protective Order, and being a Certain Person prohibited from Possessing a Weapon.

The charges result from an investigation conducted by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Professional Standards Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Domestic Violence/Weapons Squad, and Little Egg Harbor Township Police Department.  The investigation revealed that Curtis – a Detective with the Island Heights Police Department – was required to surrender to law enforcement any guns that he owned or possessed pursuant to the imposition of a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) issued against him on May 11, 2022.  On that date, Curtis surrendered a number of weapons to law enforcement.  On May 13, 2022, Curtis authored and signed a letter advising law enforcement that he had sold three handguns that were registered to him prior to the issuance of the TRO, and indicated he no longer owned those weapons.  A subsequent weapons trace conducted by the United States Department of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives indicated, however, that Curtis remained the registered owner of the subject handguns.  On December 11, 2022, Curtis filed a report with the Little Egg Harbor Police Department, asserting that three handguns were stolen from his unlocked personal vehicle in front of his home.  Investigation further revealed that one of those handguns he reported stolen was one of the weapons he claimed to have sold prior to the issuance of the TRO.  That same weapon was recovered from a defendant accused of a motor vehicle theft and eluding in Essex County, New Jersey.

On February 14, 2023, Curtis was processed at the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office and released on a summons pending a future appearance in Ocean County Superior Court.  He was also suspended with pay from his position with the Island Heights Police Department.

Prosecutor Billhimer acknowledges the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Professional Standards Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Domestic Violence/Weapons Squad, Little Egg Harbor Police Department, and United States Department of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, for their collaborative efforts in connection with this investigation.

The charges referenced above are merely accusations and the press and public are reminded that all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

R.P.C.  3.6(b)(6).

February 13, 2023, Matthew Curtis, 47, of Little Egg Harbor Township, was charged with providing a False Report to Law Enforcement Authorities, Contempt of a Judicial or Protective Order, and being a Certain Person prohibited from Possessing a Weapon. — Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Facebook Photo from November 7, 2020.

Are New Jersey’s Windmill Projects Killing The Whales?

Smith’s January 30, 2023 letters to Biden Administration Secretaries Remain Unanswered

Smith renews call to pause offshore wind projects after nineth dead whale in two months washes ashore in Manasquan

February 14, 2023

TOMS RIVER—Two weeks after urging top Biden Administration officials to immediately suspend all offshore wind projects over growing concerns about recent whale deaths, Rep. Chris Smith (R-Manchester) today renewed his call for a moratorium after the nineth dead whale in two months washed ashore in Manasquan on Monday:

“The Biden Administration and Governor Murphy continue to ignore the resounding calls for an investigation to address the historic surge of dead whales while offshore wind development ramps up off our beaches.

“Local elected officials, environmental leaders and commercial and recreational fishermen are among the strong coalition who continue to raise concerns about the unprecedented spike in whale deaths and the broader impact of offshore wind projects on the marine environment.

            “As I stated in my January 30th letters to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, the lack of conclusive evidence disproving the link between offshore wind development and whale deaths is sufficient to require a pause until assurances can be made to the public that the environmental and maritime safety of these projects has been properly reviewed.

            “How many more whales have to die before there is a serious and thorough investigation into the cause of these deaths?”

            Smith has been a longtime advocate for marine wildlife and the broader environmental and economic viability of the Jersey Shore. He has consistently opposed offshore drilling and coauthored legislation in 2019 to ban seismic airgun testing to protect highly endangered North Atlantic right whales and other marine life in the Atlantic Ocean.

UPDATE 2/16/2023 from Allison Ferreira Communications and Internal Affairs Team Supervisor, NOAA, Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office.

A dead floating humpback whale was reported to the Marine Mammal Stranding Center (MMSC) on Monday, February 13, and it washed ashore at Manasquan Beach that afternoon. On February 14, necropsy teams from MMSC and Atlantic Marine Conservation Society (AMSEAS) conducted an initial exam on the beach, then the whale was moved to a Monmouth County facility where a necropsy was conducted. The remains were disposed of in the County landfill. The whale was an approximately 35-foot female. It was identified by Gotham Whale as NYC 0298 and was first seen feeding in the area on January 7, 2023. This was the first and only time this whale was documented. 

The animal was in a state of advanced decomposition, which limited the necropsy. However, tissue samples were taken and will be sent out for analysis. The whale was in good body condition and there were no obvious signs of external trauma. However, the internal examination showed evidence of vessel strike. There is not always obvious external evidence of vessel strikes, which is why internal exams are important. The results of the tissue analysis will help us determine if the vessel strike occurred before or after death. 

Humpback whales are frequent visitors to New Jersey waters, where schools of small bait fish are a good food source. Since December 1, six humpback whales have stranded in New Jersey, and have been examined by stranding teams to help determine cause of death. One additional dead humpback whale was reported floating off NJ in January, but was never seen again. NOAA Fisheries stranding network partners are actively investigating these strandings as part of the humpback whale Unusual Mortality Event that was declared in  2016. That investigation is ongoing, and data from this whale will contribute to understanding of the causes of the UME.

We thank the MMSC and AMSEAS stranding response teams for their rapid response, professionalism, and adaptability as changing circumstances unfolded. We would also like to thank the Monmouth County Department of Public Works and Engineering, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), Wall Township, and the Borough of Manasquan for their assistance with moving the whale to the County facility. We also greatly appreciate NOAA’s Office of Law Enforcement and NJ DEP for their on the ground support for this stranding event. 

There are currently active Seasonal Management Areas off all major ports in the mid-Atlantic region, including the ports of New York/New Jersey, which are in effect through April 30, 2023. All vessels 65 feet or longer must travel at 10 knots or less in these areas. Additionally, there are currently three active voluntary SLOW Zones in effect from Nantucket to Chesapeake Bay. Maintaining speeds of 10 knots or less can help protect all large whales from vessel collisions.

Photos and video by: Ryan Mack, Jersey Shore Fire Response

Police Say Michigan University Shooter Had Note In Pocket Indicating Threat To Ewing Schools

February 14, 2023

EWING TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Ewing Township Police say that on Tuesday, February 14, 2023 at approximately 6:00 a.m., The Ewing Police Department was notified by the New Jersey State Police about a mass shooting incident that occurred at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan, which had a possible connection to Ewing, New Jersey. Information received during the investigation indicated that the shooter, Anthony McRae, Age 43 had local ties to Ewing Township.

When McRae was found by police in Michigan, he had a note in his pocket that indicated a threat to two Ewing Public Schools. The investigation revealed that McRae had a history of mental health issues. As the investigation continued, and out of an abundance of caution, the Ewing Public Schools were closed for the day. Officers from Ewing and surrounding agencies were stationed at each closed public school as well as other schools in the Township.

After further investigation, it has been determined that the incident is isolated to Michigan, and there is no threat to Ewing Schools. Information received during the investigation indicated that McRae has not resided in the Ewing area for several years.

The Ewing Police Department would like to thank their Mercer County law enforcement partners for their quick response and assistance while the investigation was in the initial stages.

Officers will remain at all schools for the day, and it is anticipated that the normal school schedule will resume tomorrow February 15, 2023.

Police surround all Ewing Township Schools this morning. Photos by: Brian McCarthy

Michigan State University Shooter Appears To Have Ties Trenton Area

February 14, 2023

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Michigan State University Police Department reported that an active shooter that killed three people and left five in critical condition, 43-year-old Anthony Dwayne McRae died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. According to an obituary of Linda Gail McRae formerly of Trenton, NJ who passed on September 13, 2020, lists Anthony D. McRae of Michigan as her son. The obituary states “Before relocating from Trenton, Linda formed a union with Michael A. McRae in 1976. In 2003, she then moved to Lansing to begin her journey in the life that God had prepared for her. Linda was employed by two General Motors plants; one in Trenton and the other in Wilmington, Delaware.” (Note: The General Motors Plant was in Ewing Township, NJ close to Trenton, NJ)

The NY Post was one of the first to report about the ties to Trenton in this article: Michigan State University shooter ID’d as Anthony Dwayne McRae

This is still a developing story and when more information becomes available the story will be updated.

Police Report All Ewing Township Public Schools Closed Due To Threat

February 14, 2023

EWING TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Ewing Township Police Department reports that all Ewing public schools are closed today February 14, 2023, while police investigate an unconfirmed school threat. Additional officers from Ewing and partner agencies will be deployed to all Ewing public and private schools. Police will be providing updates as more information becomes available. Police say that this action is being done out of an abundance of caution and the safety and security of our students is always paramount. Please do not call the police department seeking information.

Update at 8:23am. The Ewing Police Department received assistance from our partner agencies to provide security to all of the schools in Ewing. This plan is in place throughout the county to quickly add additional law enforcement resources when needed. There is no active threat. The additional resources will remain in place as a precaution as we continue our investigation. We will continue to provide updates. We appreciate the understanding and support of the community.

File photo