Day: September 14, 2023

Police Report J&J Evacuated In Titusville; No Hazard Identified After Investigation

September 14, 2023

HOPEWELL TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Hopewell Township Police reported that during a staff assembly today, on-site at the Titusville J&J facility, several people experienced symptoms of lightheadedness. Out of an abundance of caution, the building was evacuated.

Local EMS, fire, police, and HazMat teams arrived on-site and investigated the incident. The building
was checked for hazards by firefighters and then by the HazMat team. No hazard was identified. The
building systems were checked again and shortly after, Fire/EMS Officials cleared the building for staff to
return. Police and Fire assisted the staff as they re-occupied the building and all First Responders
cleared the scene. There was no danger to the public and the facility is currently operating normally.

Responding units included: Hopewell Township Police, Hopewell Valley Emergency Services Unit, Union
Fire Department, Trenton Fire Department/HazMat, Capital Health EMS (ALS and BLS), Ewing EMS,
Lawrence EMS.

South Carolina Man Found Guilty by Jury in the Murder of an Edison Man

September 14, 2023

Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone announced that a South Carolina man was found guilty by a Jury on September 12, 2023, for the killing of a man in the Township of Edison on December 20, 2018.
Marcus A. Wright, 27, was convicted of the murder of John Bertram, which occurred on December 20, 2018.

Mr. Bertram was shot to death while working as an employee of the Speedway Gas Station on Amboy Avenue, in Edison. On January 3, 2019, Wright was located in Beaufort, South Carolina and placed under arrest for the murder of Mr. Bertram. On September 12, 2023, Wright was found guilty of Murder in the 1st degree, Felony Murder in the 1st degree, Armed Robbery in the 1st degree, Conspiracy to Commit Armed Robbery in the 2nd degree, Unlawful Possession of a Weapon in the 2nd degree, and Possession of a Weapon For An Unlawful Purpose in the 2nd degree.

During the week-long trial that began on September 5, 2023, Middlesex County Assistant Prosecutors Lynne Seborowski and Caitlin Lavery presented evidence and testimony showing that Marcus Wright shot John Bertram during the course of committing an Armed Robbery at the Speedway Gas Station.

The investigation was led by Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office Lieutenant David Abromaitis and Lieutenant Loren Long of the Edison Police Department.

Sentencing is currently scheduled in New Brunswick, on November 1, 2023, before Superior Court Judge Andrea Carter. Wright will be facing a term of life in prison without parole.

Governor Murphy Announces Jacquelyn Suárez to Serve as Acting Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs

Governor Will Submit Suárez’s Nomination to the Senate

September 14, 2023

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Governor Phil Murphy today announced his intention to nominate Jacquelyn A. Suárez as Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA). Suárez’s nomination follows the unexpected passing of Lieutenant Governor Sheila Y. Oliver in August, who had served as DCA Commissioner since the start of the Murphy Administration.

Suárez currently serves as Director of DCA’s Division of Local Government Services (DLGS) and, effective Monday, September 18, will serve as Acting Commissioner of the department pending her confirmation by the Senate, making her the first Hispanic Commissioner to lead DCA. Suárez will lead the department in its ongoing mission to provide residents, local governments, businesses, and community development organizations with financial support, administrative guidance, and technical assistance to help improve the quality of life for New Jersey families.

“Jacquelyn has skillfully served our state for many years – lending her expertise to important legal and policy matters affecting municipalities throughout New Jersey,” said Governor Murphy. “When local governments were faced with tremendous challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, she stepped up as head of the Division of Local Government Services and provided local leaders with the support they needed during a difficult time. While Sheila Oliver can never truly be replaced, Jacquelyn will undoubtedly carry on Sheila’s legacy of passionate, dedicated leadership of this department on behalf of New Jersey’s communities.”

“I would be remiss to not extend my deepest gratitude to Kim Holmes, who has played a vital role in leading the department over the last several years and swiftly stepped up to the plate to head the department in one of our state’s darkest times,” Governor Murphy continued. “I appreciate her remarkable leadership in the month following Sheila’s passing and her firm commitment to the critical work of the Department of Community Affairs.” 

“It is a true honor to be nominated as the Department of Community Affairs’ next Commissioner. Having worked under the remarkable leadership of Lieutenant Governor Oliver, it is my pleasure to continue moving her legacy forward in serving the communities of our great state,” said incoming Acting Commissioner Suárez. “DCA plays a pivotal role in enhancing the quality of life for New Jersey residents, municipalities, and businesses – and I will remain steadfast in my commitment to honor each and every one of our communities with the utmost respect and dedication.”

Since she began leading the DLGS in January 2021, Suárez has served as an advocate for local government interests and provided them with technical and financial assistance in a number of areas – including joint services, purchasing, and management issues. She has also overseen the review and approval of all municipal, county, and fire district budgets, worked to uphold the financial integrity of local government units, and guided the conduct of local government officials.

As Director of DLGS, Suárez also served as Chair of the State’s Local Finance Board since January 2021.

Prior to serving as the Director of DLGS, Suárez provided legal advice to Governor Murphy on matters affecting his Administration as an associate counsel in the Governor’s Office. During her time in the Governor’s Office, Suárez advised on pending legislation, statutory responsibilities, litigation, the development of administrative regulations, and various proposals impacting the Governor’s public policy agenda. With a focus on issues related to the Departments of Community Affairs, Human Services, Children and Families, and the Administrative Office of the Courts, Suárez was integral to advancing the Governor’s agenda in these areas and, in particular, to spearheading many of the State’s COVID response policies such as the eviction moratorium. It was Suárez’s proven aptitude and successful track record that gave Lieutenant Governor Sheila Y. Oliver the confidence to name her as the director of the DLGS.

Before joining the Governor’s Office, Suárez was a legislative liaison, making her DCA’s point person for all communication with the State Legislature, drafted bill language, spearheaded the implementation of newly signed legislation at DCA, and helped review and advise on various decisions, orders, settlements, and other matters impacting the Department. 

Suárez is a New Jersey native who earned her Juris Doctor from Rutgers School of Law in Camden and her bachelor’s degree in communications, legal institutions, economics, and government from American University in Washington D.C. She is a member of both the New Jersey and New York bar associations. She is also a member of the Hispanic Bar Association of New Jersey.

“I’ve witnessed firsthand Jacquelyn’s dedication in her current role as Director of Local Government Services at DCA,” said Senator Nellie Pou, Senate Majority Caucus Chair. “As she steps into her new role, she not only carries the torch of our beloved Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver but also carries her vision for housing and community development in New Jersey. I look forward to continuing working with Jacquelyn in her new role as Acting Commissioner of DCA, while awaiting confirmation by the Senate.”

“Lieutenant Governor Oliver’s impact on the Department of Community Affairs will be felt for generations to come and I am glad that Governor Murphy has nominated such an incredible individual to take the helm of the Department,” said Assemblywoman Yvonne Lopez, Chair of the Assembly Housing Committee. “Jacquelyn’s knowledge and experience, especially her role in assisting our local governments makes her an ideal candidate for the position and I am confident that she will continue our shared mission of ensuring housing opportunity for all. As Chair of the Housing Committee, I look forward to working and meeting with Acting Commissioner Suarez.”

“As a fellow attorney who holds a deep respect for the late Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, I am genuinely enthused to witness someone with a remarkable career, like Jacquelyn, stepping up to continue the Lt. Governor’s great legacy. I look forward to connecting with Jacquelyn and I wish her the very best in her new role,” said Assemblywoman Annette Quijano, Assembly Majority Conference Leader.

“We want to commend Governor Murphy on the nomination of Jacquelyn Suarez as Commissioner of the DCA.  Jacquelyn is one of the best we have worked with and we are excited to continue our efforts working with her in her new role,” said Senator Vincent Polistina, Assemblywoman Claire Swift, and Assemblyman Donald Guardian, representatives of Atlantic City.

“Director Suarez is the consummate professional and an exemplary public servant. My administration is elated about her elevation to the position of Acting DCA Commissioner,” said Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh.

“I’m thrilled that Governor Murphy has appointed Jacqueline Suarez to lead DCA as Acting Commissioner.  I have enjoyed my relationship working closely with Director Suarez to strengthen the state’s ties to the Capitol City and improve the lives of Trentonians.  Jacqueline’s vast knowledge of government services and her hands on approach will be an asset for the State.  I look forward to working with her in her new role,” said Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora.

“Succeeding Sheila Oliver is no easy task, but Jacquelyn Suarez’s experience makes her the ideal choice. The League is pleased to learn of her appointment to be the Acting DCA Commissioner. We have worked with her both when she was with the Governor’s Office and as DLGS Director. We very much look forward to contuining our partnership in advancing the interests of local governments and our taxpayers,” said League of Municipalities Executive Director Michael Cerra.

Governor Phil Murphy today announced his intention to nominate Jacquelyn A. Suárez as Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA). Suárez’s nomination follows the unexpected passing of Lieutenant Governor Sheila Y. Oliver in August, who had served as DCA Commissioner since the start of the Murphy Administration.

Cinnaholic Opens At Town Center Plaza In East Windsor

September 14, 2023

EAST WINDSOR TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Mayor Janice S. Mironov and Council Members Anthony Katawick and John Zoller joined Cinnaholic Franchise Co-Owners Jiggar Patel and Nauka Patel and staff, at the grand opening ribbon cutting event for Cinnaholic Gourmet Cinnamon Rolls, located in Town Center Plaza on Route 130 North adjacent to Jersey’s Mike’s and Great Clips.

Cinnaholic, is a 100% vegan bakery specializing in fresh baked dairy, lactose, egg and cholesterol free products. Cinnaholic’s “create your own” cinnamon rolls feature over 20 unique frosting flavors and a variety of fresh and decadent toppings.  In addition to their signature fresh-baked cinnamon rolls, the menu features Baby Buns, cookies, brownies and raw, edible cookie dough.

Mayor Mironov stated, “We welcome and congratulate locally owned and operated Cinnaholic Gourmet Cinnamon Rolls as it expands its footprint into a major shopping center in East Windsor.  Cinnaholic, which was featured on ABC’s Shark Tank, brings a long history and reputation in its cinnamon roll concept and product, which is marked by serving fresh, made-from-scratch cinnamon rolls and other bakery products that meet the growing consumer demand for non-traditional food products.”

 Since 2010, Cinnaholic has opened close to one hundred locations in the United States and Canada and was named to Entrepreneur Magazine’s Franchise 500 © list in 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022.  Current hours of operation for Cinnaholic East Windsor are Monday through Thursday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.  For further information, call (609) 601-8839 or visit

Mayor Janice S. Mironov and Council Members join owners and family to celebrate the
grand opening of Cinnaholic Gourmet Cinnamon Rolls, located in East Windsor Town
Center Plaza on Route 130 North. Pictured (from left to right) are: Council Member
John Zoller; Council Member Anthony Katawick; Mayor Janice S. Mironov; Jiggar
Patel, Co-Owner; Nauka Patel, Co-Owner; Prakash Patel, and Rasmika Patel.

Mayor Janice S. Mironov and Council Members John Zoller and Anthony Katawick celebrate with co-owners Jiggar Patel and Nauka Patel, store staff and Christine Curnan, Vice President, Princeton Mercer Regional Chamber of Commerce the grand opening of Cinnaholic Gourmet Cinnamon Rolls, located in Town Center Plaza on Route 130 North.

Six Robbinsville High School Seniors Named Semifinalists in 2024 National Merit Scholarship Program

September 14, 2023

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–Six seniors at Robbinsville High School are among 16,000 semifinalists nationwide in the 69th -annual National Merit Scholarship Program. These academically-talented students now have an opportunity to compete for 7,140 National Merit Scholarships worth nearly $28 million that will be offered next spring.

The students from Robbinsville: Aidan Dinh, Nora Gray, Vedhanth V. Jayanthi, Asrith Katragadda, Arnav Ketineni and Pranav A. Ram.

“We are tremendously proud of the semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors,” said Robbinsville Schools Superintendent Brian Betze. “There were more than 1.3 million juniors in about 21,000 high schools who competed in this program. Our six seniors are among the highest-performing students in the country.”

The students, working with Robbinsville High School staff, submitted detailed scholarship applications with academic records, school and community activities, leadership initiatives, employment, and honors and awards. All six students have superb grades, strong recommendations from school staff, compelling essays and very high standardized test scores, Betze said.

The National Merit Scholarship Program, a not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance, was established in 1955. Scholarships come from the program, as well as approximately 320 business organizations and higher education institutions.

National Merit Scholarship winners of 2024 will be announced beginning in April and concluding in July. The scholarship recipients will join nearly 375,000 other distinguished young people who have earned the Merit Scholar title.

Former Corrections Officer Charged With Smuggling Marijuana and Tobacco Into Burlington County Jail

September 14, 2023

MOUNT HOLLY, NJ (BURLINGTON)–Yesterday, Burlington County Prosecutor LaChia L. Bradshaw announced that a former corrections officer has been charged with smuggling marijuana and tobacco into the Burlington County Jail while employed at the Mount Holly facility and passing the contraband to an inmate in exchange for money.

Abraham Olmedia, 27, of Burlington Township, was charged with Official Misconduct (Second Degree), Conspiracy to Commit Official Misconduct (Second Degree) and Providing Contraband to an Inmate (Disorderly Persons Offense).

Olmedia was taken into custody this afternoon at the Burlington County Courthouse and released after being processed. An appearance in Superior Court has been scheduled for next month. The case will now be prepared for presentation to a grand jury for possible indictment.

The investigation began earlier this year after a corrections officer detected the odor of burnt tobacco coming from a cell. The investigation revealed that Olmedia had supplied the inmate in that cell with tobacco and marijuana on multiple occasions. In return, he received payment from one of the inmate’s relatives.

Olmedia, who resigned after the investigation began, had been employed at the jail for just over two years.

The investigation was conducted by the BCPO Special Investigations Unit, in conjunction with the Burlington County Jail Internal Affairs Unit.

All persons are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

Abraham Olmedia, 27, of Burlington Township, was charged with Official Misconduct (Second Degree), Conspiracy to Commit Official Misconduct (Second Degree) and Providing Contraband to an Inmate (Disorderly Persons Offense).

East Windsor Township Municipal Budget Contains No Tax Increase For 11 Consecutive Years

September 14, 2023

EAST WINDSOR TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Mayor Janice S. Mironov announced that, despite the unprecedented challenges and cost increases of the past few years, the adopted 2023 East Windsor Municipal Budget of $23,426,238 again contains NO TAX INCREASE. Thus, the East Windsor municipal tax rate component has not increased for eleven consecutive years, remaining at the rate of 43 cents per $100 of assessed valuation for the years 2013 through 2023. For the current average residential assessment of $259,455, the 2023 municipal tax is $1,123.

Although overall spending in 2023 has increased by almost $1 million over 2022, use of American Rescue Plan funds and sound Township fiscal planning enabling greater use of miscellaneous revenue accounts and fund balance, allow the 2023 budget to result in NO tax increase for East Windsor residents with NO reductions in services or employees. There were numerous challenges in the 2023 budget due to significant gaps in budged anticipated municipal revenues for several categories especially municipal court and major expenditure increases in the 2023 municipal budget for the dramatic state-imposed 22% hike in the State Health Benefits Plan, state pension payment costs, as well as significant increases in salaries and wages, contract increases and general inflationary costs factors.

Mayor Mironov stated, “This no tax increase budget is a fiscally conservative budget document which well serves our community and retains all employee positions and all existing service levels. East Windsor has worked hard to keep our spending levels tight and continually seek out additional efficiencies, cooperative purchasing avenues and service sharing opportunities, and has maintained a very low debt level. This positive budget no tax increase outcome results from the pro-active efforts of the Township to carefully plan and to closely monitor expenditures and revenues throughout the year and into future years.”

The Township tax base has increased by over $1.4 million for 2023, as East Windsor continues to be highly pro-active and successful in seeking to expand business opportunities and attract new commercial rateables. New business projects in 2022 and 2023 include Jersey Mike’s and Cinnaholic in Town Center Plaza, Primrose School of East Windsor on Dutch Neck Road in the former Rite-Aid building, Jim Carl’s Auto Body Repair on Route 130 North, AJ Madison’s newly constructed building, relocation of Vectornate USA’s global headquarters to Old Trenton Road, and the major modern Innovation Park complex.

Mayor Mironov thanked all of the Council Members, Manager and staff for their diligent efforts on the 2023 municipal budget.

Law Enforcement Seeks Public’s Help With 2021 Big Brook Park, Marlboro Twp. Sexual Assault Case

September 14, 2023

FREEHOLD –   Law enforcement officials are requesting the public’s assistance with identifying the individual responsible for a 2021 sexual assault that occurred at Big Brook Park in Marlboro, Monmouth County Prosecutor Raymond S. Santiago announced Wednesday.

The joint investigation by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office’s Special Victims Bureau and the Marlboro Township Police Department into the sexual assault of a female jogger is still active and ongoing.

The incident took place shortly after 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, November 4, 2021, approximately 100 feet off the Henry Hudson Trail in Big Brook Park, not far from the Trail’s eastern terminus at Boundary Road. The investigation determined that the female victim was running in the area when she noticed a male stretching nearby.

The suspect is described as a tanned white adult male with medium-length hair, possibly of Eastern European descent, standing approximately 6 feet tall and weighing approximately 240 pounds, wearing a dark-colored hooded sweatshirt and sweatpants. He also reportedly had a raised scar on one ear, light facial hair, and a distinctive neck tattoo – a sketch of the tattoo is being provided along with this press release.

It was further revealed that the man physically attacked the victim, causing her to fall to the ground, and brandished a box cutter-style knife, which he used to cause minor injuries to her arms. The man then allegedly exposed himself and sexually assaulted the woman. He fled in an unknown direction.

 “We want to thank all the residents of Marlboro and Monmouth County who have already come forward to provide any information they may have had on this case, but we need more,” Prosecutor Santiago stated. “We are confident that there is information out there and that a member, or members, of our community have valuable details that will ultimately assist us in making an arrest. We are requesting information from anyone who may live, work or frequent the area in the vicinity of Big Brook Park in or around the time of November 2021. We would like to remind everyone to remain vigilant and always be aware of your surroundings to help protect and preserve the safety of our community.”

Anyone with information about this matter is being urged to contact Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office Detective Joshua Rios at 1-800-533-7443 or Marlboro Police Department Detective Michael Pecoraro at 732-536-0100.

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