Day: June 29, 2023

Manchester Man Charged With Bias Intimidation, Arson, And Criminal Mischief To Remain Behind Bars Pending Trial

June 29, 2023

MANCHESTER TOWNSHIP, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on June 29, 2023, the Honorable Wendel E. Daniels, J.S.C. (retired and temporarily assigned on recall),  ordered that Ron Carr, 34, of Manchester Township, shall remain detained in the Ocean County Jail pending trial on 36 criminal counts which include Bias Intimidation, Aggravated Arson, Arson and Criminal Mischief, in connection with incidents that occurred in Manchester Township on June 6, 2023 and the early morning hours of June 7, 2023.

Carr has been lodged in the Ocean County Jail since his apprehension on June 7, 2023.  The detention hearing was handled by Senior Assistant Prosecutor Ashley Angelo.

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).

Ron Carr, 34, of Manchester Township, shall remain detained in the Ocean County Jail pending trial on 36 criminal counts which include Bias Intimidation, Aggravated Arson, Arson and Criminal Mischief, in connection with incidents that occurred in Manchester Township on June 6, 2023 and the early morning hours of June 7, 2023.

Law Enforcement Officials Seek Public Assistance In July 2022 Fatal Shooting In Neptune Killing Manalapan Man

June 29, 2023

FREEHOLD, NJ (MONMOUTH)–Law enforcement officials are requesting help from anyone who may have witnessed a fatal shooting that took place in Neptune Township in July 2022, Monmouth County Prosecutor Raymond S. Santiago stated Thursday.

Neptune Township Police Department responded to a report of gunfire on Monday July 4, 2022, just before 1:45 a.m. in the area of Route 35/South Concourse. Upon arrival, officers located 26-year-old Ayres Gray Jr. of Manalapan in a parked vehicle on South Concourse, having sustained multiple gunshot wounds.

Gray was then rushed to Jersey Shore University Medical Center, where he succumbed to his injuries approximately an hour later.

Further investigation revealed that a house located on the 20 block of Hillview Drive also in Neptune Township was hosting a party where there was a shots fired incident shortly before the fatal shooting took place on South Concourse. Investigators continue to identify the link between the two incidents.

Members of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office’s Major Crimes Bureau and the Neptune Township Police Department continue to investigate both incidents. Anyone with information on either of these incidents is urged to contact Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office Detective Thomas Manzo at 800-533-7443 or Neptune Township Police Detective Carrie Bartlett at 732-988-8000.

 Anyone who feels the need to remain anonymous but has information about a crime can submit a tip to Monmouth County Crime Stoppers by calling their confidential telephone tip-line at 1-800-671-4400; by downloading and using the free P3 Tips mobile app (available on iOS and Android –, by calling 800-671-4400 or by going to the website at

Apple Montessori Schools to Bring Their Unique Approach to Education to East Windsor, NJ

June 29, 2023

EAST WINDSOR, NJ (MERCER)–Apple Montessori Schools is continuing its expansion to more communities in New Jersey and will be opening a brand-new location at 300D Princeton-Hightstown Road in East Windsor New Jersey this August. Apple Montessori Schools of East Windsor is a modern Montessori school that will offer infant, toddler, preschool/kindergarten, and summer camp programs. The school is now enrolling for the 23/24 school year.

We are very excited to be expanding our footprint in NJ. East Windsor is a wonderful community and we look forward to working with students both from East Windsor and surrounding areas, “says Andrea Vargas, CEO of Apple Montessori Schools. “Student success in the Montessori environment is developed from engaging and nurturing teachers and an abundance of natural and challenging materials children can work with at their own pace. Our new location will provide this amazing opportunity for many new families and their children, as well as a beautiful facility and outdoor classroom to encourage an understanding and appreciation of nature and the world we live in together.”

Family-founded Apple Montessori Schools has a 50+ year legacy of providing a safe and nurturing environment coupled with advanced academics for the 25,000+ children that have graduated from their multiple locations throughout New Jersey since its inception in 1972. This is the 3rd location that Apple Montessori has opened since 2021 bringing their total schools to 17. Highlights of the newly renovated building include 7 spacious classrooms flooded with natural light (4 preschool, 1 infant, and 2 toddler), a multi-purposes space/indoor gym and advanced safety features including a state-of-the art access controlsystem and live parent video monitoring.  The 3+ acre campus features age-appropriate outdoor play areas, a new salt water swimming pool, and a certified Outdoor Classroom with premium wooden materials.

This location is conveniently located off of the intersection of Princeton-Hightstown Road and Old Trenton Road, nearby major retailers and Route 130, Route 1 and 95.

Apple Montessori Schools strives to inspire children to reach their fullest potential— all in a safe, fun, and enriching environment. The Apple team is eager to bring their mission to the families of East Windsor and looks forward to being a part of the new community.

For more information or to enroll, please visit:

About Apple Montessori: Family-founded Apple Montessori has set exceptional standards in early childhood education since 1972. Guided by the principles of Maria Montessori, their modern Montessori environment goes beyond the traditional Montessori philosophy to provide an enriching environment where structured freedom creates the foundation for a lifetime of happiness and success. For over 50 years, Apple Montessori Schools has continued to innovate with ongoing professional development programs, well-rounded curriculum, and new additions to facilities including the introduction of Outdoor Classrooms.  Apple’s efforts have been publicly recognized and affirmed through accreditation by the Middle States Association Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools (MSA-CESS) and IACET accreditation for its training department.

L-R New Apple Montessori East Windsor Building, Danielle Selby, Senior Regional Director and Brian Pascal, Construction Manager at Apple Montessori Schools, what the inside of a classroom will look like when open. Photo Credit Apple Montessori.

Photo Credit Apple Montessori.

Rep. Chris Smith: Stop Governor Murphy’s plan to bail out foreign offshore wind corporation with billions of taxpayer dollars

Even Governor Murphy’s own Division of Rate Council says bill will result in higher prices for NJ ratepayers

June 29, 2023

TOMS RIVER—Citing Governor Phil Murphy’s own Division of Rate Council, Rep. Chris Smith (R-Manchester) today issued the following statement urging the New Jersey Legislature to reject legislation—A-5651 and S-4019—backed by the Governor that will redirect US federal tax credits to the Danish offshore wind company Orsted:

“The hardworking people of New Jersey deserve better than Trenton’s plan to bail out foreign offshore wind corporation Orsted and give away billions of federal tax credits intended for ratepayers.

It is abundantly clear that New Jersey’s massive industrialized offshore wind projects will not only have tremendous environmental, navigational, economic and national security implications, but also require an endless stream of US taxpayer subsidies to try to keep these foreign-run projects afloat.

Adding insult to injury, this New Jersey state legislation will force residents—who are already being crushed by an unfair tax burden and an exorbitant cost of living due to high inflation—to pay more for their electric bills.

Even Governor Murphy’s own Division of Rate Council admitted, ‘There should be no doubt that this bill will increase the amount the developer earns on this project and will result in higher…prices being paid by ratepayers. That is the inevitable result of this bill.’

In the name of sound governance and responsible stewardship of taxpayer dollars, New Jersey state legislators must reject A-5651 and S-4019.”

Rep. Chris Smith (R-Manchester)

Former High School Art Teacher Found Guilty Of Sexually Assaulting A 14-Year-Old In Toms River, Barnegat And Hillsborough, NJ

June 29, 2023

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on June 28, 2023, Raymond Waters, 71, of Pawlet, Vermont, was found guilty of five counts of Aggravated Sexual Assault and thirteen counts of Sexual Assault.  Following a three week-long jury trial before the Honorable Guy P. Ryan, P.J.Cr.P., the jury concluded beyond a reasonable doubt that between September 2002 and September 2004, Waters sexually assaulted a minor in Toms River Township, Barnegat Township, and Hillsborough Township (Somerset County).  Waters was remanded to the Ocean County Jail pending sentencing, the date of which has yet to be determined.

In January 2014, the victim responded to the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office to report that he had been sexually assaulted by Waters and Waters’ husband, Allen Harbatuk, 76, of Hillsborough, New Jersey, between September 2002 and September 2004.  A subsequent investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit and Toms River Township Police Department Detective Bureau revealed that the victim met Waters in 2002 when he was 14 years-old – while Waters was his art teacher at Toms River High School North.  Further investigation revealed that Waters sexually assaulted the victim at Toms River High School North, the Joseph A. Citta Boy Scout Reservation in Barnegat Township, and Water’s then-residence in Hillsborough.  Additionally, the investigation determined that Water’s husband, Harbatuk, sexually assaulted the victim at the Citta Boy Scout Reservation and the Hillsborough residence.  On October 22, 2014, both Waters and Harbatuk were arrested at their residence in Hillsborough by Detectives from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office and Hillsborough Township Police Department.  They were transferred to the Ocean County Jail, and subsequently released on bail.

On June 21, 2018, Harbatuk was found guilty of Sexual Assault after a jury trial before the Honorable Therese Cunningham, J.S.C.  On November 2, 2018, Judge Cunningham sentenced Harbatuk to seven years New Jersey State Prison. 

Prosecutor Billhimer commends the diligence and dedication of Supervising Assistant Prosecutor Kristin Pressman and Assistant Prosecutor Kaitlyn Burke who ably and skillfully tried the case on behalf of the State. The Prosecutor likewise extends his gratitude to the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Victim Witness Advocacy Unit, Toms River Township Police Department Detective Bureau, Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office, and Hillsborough Township Police Department, for their combined and collective efforts in connection with this matter, ultimately resulting in this guilty verdict.