Category: Mercer County

Breaking: 2 People Stabbed In Head In Trenton

October 20, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Trenton Police and Trenton EMS responded to the area of 1452 South Clinton Avenue for a stabbing around 11:20 p.m. Upon arrival EMS found two victims stabbed to the head and requested an ALS advanced life support unit and an addition BLS ambulance to the scene. At 11:29 p.m. two trauma alerts were called and the ambulances were en route to the Trauma Center at Capital Health Regional Medical Center. No further information is available at this time.


Firefighters Extinguish Fire In Abandoned John A. Roebling’s Sons Complex

October 20, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Around 11:50 a.m. the Trenton Fire Department was dispatched to the area of first block of Mott Street at the abandoned John A. Roebling’s Sons Company & American Steel & Wire Company. Upon arrival firefighters reported fire on the second floor of a 400 x 60 foot commercial building. Firefighters pulled a handline and went to work to knock down the fire. Firefighters extended a ladder to knock down the hot spots in the roof area. Firefighters remained on scene for quite some time for overhaul and making sure the fire was extinguished since it was located in a difficult place to acess. The official address for the complex is 650 South Clinton Avenue but the fire was located on the Mott Street side of complex.

No further information is available at this time.





Firefighters Respond To Fire Inside Food Manufacturing Plant In Robbinsville

October 20, 2021

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–Firefighters responded to a fire alarm inside CJ Foods TMI Manufacturing at 2 Applegate Drive yesterday October 19, at 5:35 p.m. Upon arrival firefighters found a smoke condition inside the plant and searched for the source of the smoke. Firefighters located an industrial motor on fire and extinguished the fire. Two ambulances and a paramedic unit were called to the scene for workers exposed to smoke but no employees were transported to the hospital. Fire departments remained on scene for quite some time evacuating smoke and overhauling the fire. The Robbinsville Health Department was called to the scene as normal protocol since the fire was in a food manufacturing plant. The Robbinsville Township Fire Marshal is investigating the fire.

Responding agencies: Robbinsville Township Fire Department, Hamilton Township Fire Department, Hope Fire Company of Allentown, East Windsor Fire Company, Hightstown Fire Department, Robbinsville EMS and Capital Health Paramedics.

No further information is available at this time.

Trenton Mayor and First Responders Ask City Council to Advance Proposals to Keep Trenton’s Emergency Communications Online

City has a Deadline of Oct. 31, 2021 to Pay Radio Service Provider

October 19, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Mayor W. Reed Gusciora – flanked by clergy, city residents, union representatives and his police, fire, and EMS command staff – today called on Trenton City Council to approve payment to the City’s radio service provider and advance the Administration’s proposal to upgrade Trenton’s outdated emergency communications equipment at no additional cost to city residents.

Currently, Trenton is on a trajectory to have its entire radio system shut off by the end of the month. City Council has indefinitely tabled a September 2021 resolution to pay the city’s current radio service provider, MPS Communications, for services rendered. The vendor has stated it will shut off service on Oct. 31, 2021.

As a result, the Trenton Police Department (TPD), Trenton Fire and Emergency Services, Trenton Water Works and other city personnel will suffer reduced capacity to dispatch emergency communications to responders in the field or talk with one another during an active crisis.

“The first responsibility of any government is to secure the safety of its people,” said Mayor Gusciora. “Yet here we are on the eve of our radio service being shut off for all city entities including police and fire and Council leadership has refused to advance our proposals to pay what we owe and fund badly needed police radio updates. One thing is certain: our residents and first responders will be at greater risk if our radio service is terminated with no alternative course in place.”

Keeping the MPS system running is only a temporary fix. The Gusciora Administration has proposed a resolution allocating $4 million in American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds to replace the police radio equipment and 911 dispatch center so they are compatible with the Mercer County radio system, which Trenton can use at no additional cost.

Unfortunately, that resolution has also been tabled by Council beyond the October 31 deadline, but the Administration expects that a member of City Council will attempt to walk the resolution back on the agenda at tonight’s City Council meeting at 5:30 p.m.

“This is exactly the type of project the American Rescue Plan is meant to support,” said Acting Trenton Police Director Steve E. Wilson. “This $4 million-dollar proposal would allow us to make a badly needed investment in public safety without taking on additional debt. And the fact that this upgrade will also allow us to use the Mercer County radio system for no additional cost makes it an even better deal for Trenton residents.”

TPD has been trying for years to obtain funding to upgrade and replace its radio systems and equipment. A study commissioned by City Council concluded in May 2020 that the systems are outdated and not compliant with industry safety standards. However, Council has not approved any additional MPS bids and most recently tabled a resolution on Sept. 16, 2021 to authorize payment of Trenton’s outstanding balance with MPS.

Meanwhile, TPD has been working with Mercer County since August 2021 to explore moving to the county system. A memo circulated by the Biden Administration in July 2021 encouraged police technology investments using ARP funds, of which Trenton will receive $73 million. The $4 million proposal to update the TPD radio system is included in Mayor Gusciora’s ARP spending plan at www.talktrenton.org.


Opinion: Mercer County To Spend $1.88 Million Replacing Abandoned Railroad “Bridge To Nowhere”

October 19, 2021

Opinion:

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Mercer County sent a press release this morning informing us that Parkside Avenue in the City of Trenton will be closed for approximately 5 months for a replacement of a “bridge carrying an abandoned railroad trail” This abandoned “trail” is blocked off on several sections and has signs saying “No Trespassing” and that the property is owned by CSX Transportation, Inc. This “trail” runs Parallel to Oakland Street and Homan Avenue. A quick Google measurement shows that the current worn foot path or “trail” runs just less than a 1/2 mile from Maple Avenue in a southerly direction ending approximately at Edgemere Avenue. On the north end at Hillcrest the railroad right of way is gone and houses have been built over it so there could be no expansion for a “rail to trail” for the neighborhood north into Ewing Township. In the southerly direction the right of way is less clear since it appears that others have built over it, paved sections for parking lots or fenced the right of way. There appear to be no CSX signs south of Ellsworth Avenue.

Multiple fences and signage in the area of Hoffman Avenue indicate that this “trail” is indeed on private property and users are currently trespassing by going around the fences. This area is known to some of the most serious gun violence and shooting deaths in the City of Trenton the past few years. A visit to the site and “trail” today showed the area covered with trash, empty beer and liquor bottles, needles and used condoms strewn about the area.

According to the press release a $1,885,277.00 bid was awarded at the Mercer County Board of Commissioners meeting on October 7.

In our opinion this is a “Bridge To Nowhere” because the current “trail” is illegal because it is currently on private property and clearly marked “No Trespassing” Instead of a bridge replacement the County should perform a bridge removal at a lower cost to the taxpayers. If indeed one day the City or County does acquire the property for a trail a lower cost pedestrian type bridge could be used similar to many used in County and State Parks for foot traffic. I can think of a lot better projects that Mercer County could have spent $1.88+ Million Dollars on that would have done a lot of good for the County.


Mercer County Press Release 10/19/2021

The Mercer County Department of Transportation and Infrastructure will start the replacement of the bridge carrying an abandoned railroad trail over Parkside Avenue in the City of Trenton on Monday, Nov. 1, 2021. It is one of 17 County bridge projects in progress, including those in the design stage, according to County Executive Brian M. Hughes.

Officially known as Bridge #180.1, the structure is located between Oak Lane and Oakland Street. This project is to be completed in 150 calendar days, weather permitting.

During construction, Parkside Avenue between Oak Lane and Oakland Street will be closed to vehicular traffic on a 24/7 basis. Pedestrians will be provided a safe passage through the site during construction. A detour will be posted directing motorists to West State Street to Sullivan Way to Lower Ferry Road and Parkway Avenue, ending on Parkside Avenue.

The existing bridge carrying an abandoned railroad trail over Parkside Avenue is a concrete-encased steel girder bridge. The structure is in poor condition, extremely deteriorated and poses a hazard due to the potential of falling concrete debris.

The replacement bridge will be a single-span structure supported on full-height concrete abutments. The superstructure will consist of precast prestressed beams with a composite reinforced concrete deck. The substructure will be full-height reinforced concrete abutments founded on cast-in-place spread footings. The proposed structure was designed to identically match the aesthetics of the existing structure while being upgraded to meet current New Jersey Department of Transportation standards.

The successful bidder for the project was Rencor Inc. of Somerville, which submitted a bid price of $1,885,277. Rencor Inc. has successfully completed similar projects in Mercer County and provided the lowest bid price for this project. The contract was approved by the Mercer County Board of Commissioners on Oct. 7.



Hamilton Township Council to Vote on Demolition of East State Street Properties Damaged in 2015, 6-Alarm Fire

October 19, 2021

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–The Hamilton Township Council is set to vote on the demolition of East State Street properties damaged in a 2015 six-alarm fire. 

If approved by Council at their meeting on Tuesday, seven of the eight condemned properties damaged in the fire that tore through the 1700 block of East State Street, displacing dozens of residents, will be demolished. A private developer purchased the eighth property prior to the acquisition of the other vacant properties in 2021 by the Township. 

When stepping into office, Mayor Martin promised to address the vacant and abandoned properties within the Township. By acquiring the East State Street properties, the Township will look to convert the vacant properties to affordable housing units.  

“For six years, the residents of Hamilton have been reminded of the awful fire that took place in 2015,” stated Mayor Jeff Martin. “Moving to tear down the vacant buildings and convert the properties into new affordable housing is the right thing to do after all of this time. We have more work to do on many other vacant and abandoned properties, but this is a great place to start.”

The Hamilton Township Council will meet this evening at 6:30 pm at the Hamilton Township Senior Center located at 409 Cypress Lane. 





Mentioned at a June 16, 2020 Black Lives Matter Protest in Hamilton:


“I am going to mention one more thing about the Bromley Section of the city. We know that structure racism exists, houses burned down in the Bromley Section almost 5 years ago, those houses are still sitting there, that would happen in no other neighborhood in Hamilton but Bromley. That has to change. That’s racism. That’s separation. That’s underclass and we must speak up against that. We have some action items that we are going to demand Hamilton and Mercer County hold to before this is over.” –Black Lives Matter protester Tracey D. Syphax


Mentioned at the Black Lives Matter Protest in Hamilton Township, June 16, 2020:

7 minutes 25 seconds in this video you can hear the statement about the fire 5 years ago in the Bromley Section:


Acting AG Bruck Announces Additional Information on October 23 Gun Buyback Events

The Latest “Cash for Guns” Event is the Largest One-Day Participation Ever Held in New Jersey with Simultaneous Buybacks Held in Conjunction with 9 Counties

October 18, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Acting Attorney General Andrew J. Bruck today announced further details and locations for gun buyback events that will be held on October 23 with the help of Bergen, Camden, Cumberland, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Salem, Somerset, and Union counties. This is the largest one-day participation gun buyback ever held in New Jersey with 9 counties participating and holding events simultaneously. Middlesex and Somerset counties are hosting an event together and Salem county is participating for the first time.

Acting Attorney General Bruck announced that the state- and locally-sponsored “Guns for Cash” events will be held on Saturday, October 23 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at:

Bergen County

St. Cecilia Roman Catholic Church

55 West Demarest Avenue, Englewood

In partnership with Prosecutor Mark Musella

Camden County

Antioch Baptist Church

690 Ferry Avenue, Camden

In partnership with Prosecutor Jill S. Mayer

Cumberland County

Alms Center

1 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Bridgeton

In partnership with Prosecutor Jennifer Webb-McRae


Mercer County

Friendship Baptist Church

111 Perry Street, Trenton

In partnership with Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri


Middlesex/Somerset Counties

First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens

771 Somerset Street, Somerset

In partnership with Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson and Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone


Monmouth County

Second Baptist Church of Asbury Park

124 Atkins Avenue, Asbury Park

In partnership with Prosecutor Lori Linskey

(This location will open at 8:30 a.m.)


Salem County

Carneys Point Fire Department

258 D Street, Carneys Point

In partnership with Prosecutor Kristin J. Telsey

Union County

In Partnership with Prosecutor William Daniel        

(The following locations will open at 9:00 a.m.)

Master’s Table Christian Fellowship (Triumphant Life Church)

207-211 Bond Street, Elizabeth

Shiloh Baptist Church Community Center

Corner of W 5th Street and Liberty Street, Plainfield

Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church

506 Westfield Avenue, Westfield

Residents can turn in firearms with “no questions asked,” and will receive as much as $250 per weapon for up to three guns. Police officers will be stationed at each buyback location to collect and secure the guns. The gun buyback initiative is funded with forfeiture dollars obtained by the local police departments and County Prosecutors’ Offices, as well as forfeiture funds from the Division of Criminal Justice.

“The gun buyback events we organized this August proved so popular that we decided to host a second round this fall,” said Acting Attorney General Bruck. “We are committed to using every tool at our disposal to reduce gun violence, and this expanded program will help us achieve that goal. I’m especially grateful to our County Prosecutors and their community partners for taking the lead on this important project.”

“We are committed to reducing gun violence across the state and this initiative is another step toward making our communities safer,” said Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “Fewer firearms in the wrong hands will lead to less violence in our neighborhoods and this program will play a huge role in protecting our cities and saving lives.”

“When we reduce the number of firearms in circulation, we reduce the amount of violence in our communities,” said Lyndsay V. Ruotolo, Director of the Division of Criminal Justice. “The gun buyback program is a collaborative effort across all law enforcement that demonstrates how effective it is when we work together.”

Statements of support from local leaders:
 

“Thank you to Governor Murphy and Attorney General Bruck for dedicating resources toward this important public safety issue and for partnering with Bergen County law enforcement,” said Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella. “This initiative accomplishes the twin goals of raising awareness of the need for gun safety and getting unwanted guns out of households.”

“Initiatives like the gun buyback program are an effective means of combatting senseless acts of gun violence,” said Camden County Prosecutor Jill S. Mayer. “Too often, we have seen a gun in a home fall into the wrong hands, only to be used later in a violent crime – or even worse – fall into the hands of a child. The Camden County Prosecutor’s Office is proud to work with the Attorney General and our local law enforcement partners to help make our county and our state a safer place to live.”

“I, in conjunction with the Cumberland County Municipal Chiefs and Sheriff, am excited to host this Gun Buy Back even,” said Cumberland County Prosecutor Jennifer Webb-McRae. “Giving the public a way to safely dispose of unwanted guns assures that they don’t fall into the wrong hands.  We remain committed to promoting strategies that improve public safety for all Cumberland County residents.”

“There are too many guns on our streets. Last year, the city of Trenton and Mercer County experienced a historic number of homicides and almost all involved guns,” said Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri. “We realize that buybacks alone won’t put a stop to gun violence, but they are a valuable opportunity to make our communities safer and I am grateful to Governor Murphy and Acting Attorney General Bruck for their support.”

“The Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office is honored to partner with Somerset County law enforcement and local community leaders in working towards reduced gun violence and deaths,” said Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone.

“The Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, in conjunction with our law enforcement and community partners, believe that removing illegal and unwanted guns from our streets makes our residents safer,” said Monmouth County Prosecutor Lori Linskey. “The force-multiplier of having multiple gun buybacks taking place simultaneously across our state demonstrates the commitment that Attorney General Bruck and our County Prosecutors have in making a tangible difference.”

“The Salem County Prosecutor’s Office is excited to participate in this opportunity to partner directly with our citizens to take illegal and unwanted guns off the street immediately,” said Salem County Prosecutor Kristin J. Telsey. “Together with our local municipal police departments and the Salem County Sheriff’s Office, this initiative demonstrates our commitment to preventing gun violence and improving safety.”

“We welcome the opportunity to participate in the gun buyback program with our law enforcement partners throughout the State,” said Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson. “Reducing the amount of firearms that could potentially cause violence in our communities is a top priority for all of us and we will continue to participate in initiatives that make our neighborhoods safer.”

“Gun buyback programs are an important opportunity for the community and law enforcement to collaborate on an initiative to reduce violent crime,” said Union County Prosecutor William Daniel. “We encourage Union County residents to participate in the gun amnesty program on October 23rd and decrease the number of unwanted firearms in their communities.”

The October 23 gun buyback initiative is also being promoted through social media, local advertising, and through community and faith-based outreach.

The previous “Guns for Cash” events held in Atlantic City, East Orange, Newark, and two locations in Paterson yielded 941 firearms. Residents turned in 487 handguns, 281 rifles and shotguns, 27 assault weapons and 146 inoperable firearms and BB/pellet guns at state-and locally-sponsored gun buybacks on August 7.  Each of the gun buybacks represented a collaboration between law enforcement and community stakeholders, who promoted and assisted with the six-hour events.

In New Jersey, Governor Phil Murphy and Acting AG Bruck are leading a comprehensive, statewide effort to reduce gun deaths, which pairs the latest evidence-based policing strategies with innovative, community-based prevention programs. The three-pronged approach to tackling this public health crisis includes addressing the root causes of violence; keeping guns away from those most likely to harm others; and taking swift action against those who break the law.

Residents with questions about the buyback effort can call the Attorney General’s Office of Constituent Services at (609) 984-5828 or visit www.njoag.gov/gunbuyback


3-Alarm Fire In Trenton

October 18, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Around 9:38 p.m. Sunday October 17, the Trenton Fire Department was dispatched to 8 Carroll for a building fire with reports of people trapped. At 9:41 firefighters were on location reporting heavy fire throughout a 3 story end of the row and two victims trapped on the roof. 3 BLS Ambulances and 2 ALS Units were called to the scene. Trenton fire fighters were able to rescue the two victims on the roof and transferred care to TEMS. It sounded like the injuries were BLS and the two victims were treated at the scene. At 10:00 p.m. Trenton Fire Department requested Hamilton Township Fire Department Special Service Unit to fill air bottles. A second alarm was called at 10:18 p.m. At 10:23 p.m. one firefighter was transported to Capital Health Regional Medical Center for an unknown reason. At 11:02 p.m. a 3rd Alarm was called for bringing E-8, E53 and T33 to the scene. At 11:12 p.m. it was reported that fire was extending to the connected building. At 11:39 p.m. fire investigators, and the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office was requested to the scene. Fire was reported under control at 11:50 p.m. *Times are approximate.

No further information is available at this time. Multiple mutual aid fire departments were called to the scene or cover the city. Note: We do not have access to the County or City CAD and don’t have a complete list of fire departments involved so we don’t have a list of departments.

This is a preliminary breaking news report, if further information becomes available it will be posted.





Hamilton Firefighters Quickly Extinguish Roof Fire At The Sticky Wicket

October 17, 2021

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Around 1:00 a.m. Hamilton Township firefighters responded to the Sticky Wicket at 2465 S Broad Street for a fire on the roof. First arriving firefighters reported flames showing from the roof. Firefighters laddered the building and extinguished the fire on the roof. There are no further details available at this time.



Update: Hamilton Man Arrested With Explosive Device

October 17, 2021

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–On October 16, 2021, Hamilton Police were conducting an investigation in the area of Groveville / Allentown Road, regarding ongoing reports of  numerous loud explosions in the area.  At approximately 6:30 PM, the Hamilton Police Anti- Crime Unit witnessed and stopped a vehicle occupied by a male suspect that detonated an explosive device on Groveville Allentown Road.  A motor vehicle stop was conducted a short distance from the explosion site and the suspect,  47 year old Hamilton resident, Branton B. Meshofski, was arrested. 

The New Jersey State Police Bomb Unit responded and rendered the area safe.

Branton B. Meshofski was charged with several counts of 2nd degree Possession of an Explosive Device and 2nd degree Possession of a Destructive Device.  Mr. Meshofski was transported to the Mercer County Correctional Facility and is awaiting arraignment for these charges.

 Detectives from the Mercer County Prosecutors Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation also assisted with this Investigation.

Hamilton Police are asking the public if anyone has additional information concerning this incident to contact Hamilton Detective Daniel Inman of the Criminal Investigations Section at (609) 581-4035 or via email at dinman@hamiltonpd.org or the Hamilton Police Crime Tip Hotline at (609) 581-4008.

Every defendant is presumed innocent until being found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.



BREAKING: Sources Say A Man Is Arrested After Explosives Recovered Inside Vehicle


UPDATE HERE:


October 17, 2021 update:

Hamilton, NJ: On October 16, 2021, Hamilton Police were conducting an investigation in the area of Groveville / Allentown Road, regarding ongoing reports of  numerous loud explosions in the area.  At approximately 6:30 PM, the Hamilton Police Anti- Crime Unit witnessed and stopped a vehicle occupied by a male suspect that detonated an explosive device on Groveville Allentown Road.  A motor vehicle stop was conducted a short distance from the explosion site and the suspect,  47 year old Hamilton resident, Branton B. Meshofski, was arrested. 

The New Jersey State Police Bomb Unit responded and rendered the area safe.

Branton B. Meshofski was charged with several counts of 2nd degree Possession of an Explosive Device and 2nd degree Possession of a Destructive Device.  Mr. Meshofski was transported to the Mercer County Correctional Facility and is awaiting arraignment for these charges.

 Detectives from the Mercer County Prosecutors Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation also assisted with this Investigation.

Hamilton Police are asking the public if anyone has additional information concerning this incident to contact Hamilton Detective Daniel Inman of the Criminal Investigations Section at (609) 581-4035 or via email at dinman@hamiltonpd.org or the Hamilton Police Crime Tip Hotline at (609) 581-4008.

Every defendant is presumed innocent until being found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.


Last night’s breaking news story here:

October 16, 2021

**This is a breaking news report with preliminary information from radio traffic and sources. An update will be made with corrections upon arrival of official information from authorities**

HAMILTON TWP (MERCER)– A man is in police custody tonight following an incident involving explosives, Saturday evening.

According to sources, the man was arrested around 7:00 pm following a police investigation in regards to multiple recent detonations. The vehicle was stopped by police on Yardville-Allentown Road near Yardville-Hamilton Square Road and he was taken into custody, according to radio reports and sources.

Sources also say that explosive material was located inside of the vehicle. NJ State Police Bomb Squad responded to the scene and a perimeter was set up as a precaution. The Hamilton Fire Department was put on standby also.

No further information is available at this time. We would like to remind you that this information is based off of radio reports and sources, and is NOT official information. Once official information is received, the story will be updated.




Pedestrian Motor Vehicle Crash With Serious Injuries In Hamilton Township

October 16, 2021

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–On October 16, 2021 at approximately 4:23 pm, a 2017 Nissan Rogue driven by Scott Ertel, a 48 year old male from Hamilton, was traveling east bound on Hobson Ave approaching the intersection of S. Broad St. (RT 206). As the driver began to make a right turn onto S. Broad St. he did not see the pedestrians enter the crosswalk and struck Angel Ortiz a 51 year old from Trenton and his mother, Anna Ortiz a 75 year old from Trenton. Anna Ortiz was taken to Capital Health Regional Medical Center by ambulance for serious injuries. Angel Ortiz was evaluated at the scene with no visible injuries.

The crash is under investigation by Officer Paul Micharski and Officer Christopher Clugsten. Any witnesses are asked to please contact the Hamilton Police Traffic Unit at (609)581-4000.

Information may also be left anonymously on the Hamilton Police Crime Tip Hotline at 609-581-4008


Project Freedom Celebrates 30 Years At First Location In Robbinsville, NJ; Co-Founder Norman Smith Honored

October 15, 2021

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–Project Freedom celebrated 30 years of operation today at it’s Freedom One location now known as the Legacy Location on Hutchinson Road. Robbinsville Mayor Dave Fried presented a special Proclamation to new Executive Director Tracee Battis and co-founder Norman Smith on this most festive day. Co-founder Norman Smith who is known as a trailblazer for Project Freedom was honored with a special award for 30 years of service and celebrating his legacy at Project Freedom.

 Project Freedom is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that develops and operates barrier-free housing to enable individuals with disabilities to live independently. Supportive services such as recreation, training and advocacy are offered.

In addition to being a developer of accessible, affordable housing, Project Freedom also offers supportive services, whereby self-directed people with disabilities empower themselves to live independently in a non-medical environment.





City of Trenton’s Radio Woes: Statement From Mayor W. Reed Gusciora on City Council President Kathy McBride’s Shortsighted Decision That Places All City Residents and Visitors in Danger

October 15, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–At Thursday’s docket review, Council President Kathy McBride pulled a critical Resolution authorizing the expenditure of $4-million from the American Rescue Plan fund to replace the city’s radio system, which does not meet current public safety standards. Previously, Council tabled a Resolution to pay the city’s current police and fire radio-system vendor, MPS Communications, of Trenton, the $218,418 due and owing to the company for services rendered to Trenton municipal government. The city has a new vendor ready to come online.

President McBride’s shortsighted and reckless action places in immediate danger more than 80,000 city residents, as MPS Communications will shut off the city’s radio system at midnight on October 31st. That means the Trenton Police Department, Trenton Fire and Emergency Services, including TEMS, and Trenton Water Works emergency personnel will lack the ability to dispatch emergency services to responders in the field. Shutting the system off will also subject police officers and firefighters to substantial risk due to a lack of expeditious communication.

I am appealing today to President McBride to reverse her decision—to put the Resolution back on the Council docket to be voted on by the seven-member legislative body. I am calling on her Council colleagues to intervene immediately to convince Council President McBride to put the residents of Trenton first, as is our responsibility as elected officials. And I am calling on residents to flood the City Clerk’s office at (609) 989-3187 with pleas for the Council President McBride to come to her senses.

Despite what Council President McBride erroneously believes about MPS Communications, including the overall performance of the radio system, which functions according to established parameters, this is not the time for politics and misplaced hostility. Council President McBride’s action not only exposes the city to additional, expensive litigation, but it also endangers the lives of our residents, our children, our seniors, our properties, everyone. 

We will probably end up in Superior Court Judge Mary C. Jacobson’s courtroom to halt this recklessness. But as we prepare for that eventuality, I have to take action to protect our residents. 



Mercer County Homicide Task Force Makes Arrests in Two Recent Homicide Cases

October 15, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri announced today that investigations conducted by the Mercer County Homicide Task Force have resulted in charges being filed in two recent homicide cases.

“The tenacity and resolve of the Homicide Task Force are truly remarkable,” Prosecutor Onofri said.  “Even with the continual shooting violence in Trenton, their hard work never lets up.  Their efforts are a demonstration of the commitment and efforts to ensure safety in the city and bring justice to the families ruined by the plague of gun violence.”

Just after 11 p.m. on Wednesday, October 13, 2021, Trenton police received a Shot Spotter activation for multiple rounds at 900 Southard Street.  Also, a Trenton Police Donnelly Homes post was parked stationary approximately 50 yards away from the shooting and heard gunshots.  The officers immediately drove toward the shots and encountered the male victim who was suffering from multiple gunshot wounds.  The victim, identified as 26-year-old Melvin Williams of Trenton, was transported to Capital Health Regional Medical Center and pronounced dead a short time later.

Investigation revealed that Williams and the suspect engaged in a verbal dispute in the same area shortly before the shooting.  The suspect fired at Williams multiple times, and when Williams tried to run away, the suspect chased him and continued firing, striking Williams multiple times in the face and body.  Eight spent shell casings were located by detectives at the scene.  After reviewing several area surveillance cameras, HTF detectives were able to identify the shooter as a 16-year-old Trenton male whose name is being withheld because he is a juvenile.

The 16-year-old suspect is charged with murder, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and unlawful possession of a weapon.  He was taken into custody Thursday evening and is being held in the Middlesex County Juvenile Detention Center.


Quamir Bradley, 28, of Levittown, Pa., was also arrested on Thursday in Trenton by members of the HTF and the Mercer County Narcotics Task Force.  Bradley is charged with murder, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, unlawful possession of a weapon and certain persons not to possess a firearm for the September 17, 2021 shooting death of Jeff Charles.  The prosecutor’s office has filed a motion to detain Bradley pending trial.

Trenton police were dispatched to a home on Race Street at approximately 12:50 a.m. on September 17 after Charles was discovered by a family member unresponsive in his bed.  Investigation revealed that Charles, 37, was shot in front of his residence on Race Street at approximately 12:30 a.m.  There was a gathering across from the victim’s house and, at some point, he was at the gathering and engaged in a verbal dispute with the suspect.  Charles was shot in the shoulder and two .40 caliber shell casings were found at the scene.  Through the review of video surveillance and witness interviews, detectives were able to identify Bradley as the suspect.

Despite having been charged, every defendant is presumed innocent until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.


Hamilton Township Mercer County Man Sentenced To 10 Years In Prison For Loaded Handgun With 30 Rounds Of Ammunition In Furtherance Of Drug Crime

October 15, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–A Mercer County, New Jersey, man was sentenced today to 120 months in prison for possessing a handgun in furtherance of a drug crime, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.

Armond Holloway, 45, of Hamilton, New Jersey, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Michael A. Shipp via videoconference to Count Two of an indictment charging him with possession of a firearm in furtherance of possession with intent to distribute heroin. Judge Shipp imposed the sentence by videoconference today.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

On July 31, 2017, Holloway was on parole after having served a term of imprisonment. Holloway’s parole officer received information from an anonymous source that Holloway, who had known gang affiliations, was in possession of a gun, 300-400 bricks of heroin, and a large amount of money at his residence.

On Aug. 1, 2017, the parole officer, along with other law enforcement officers, conducted a parole search of Holloway’s residence, where they recovered a Masterpiece Arms 9 mm firearm with an obliterated serial number, loaded with 30 rounds of ammunition, under Holloway’s bed. They also found a barrel extension that fit the gun. Also recovered from Holloway’s bedroom was more than $14,000 in cash and more than 400 bricks of heroin from Holloway’s basement.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Shipp sentenced Holloway to five years of supervised release.

Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey L. Matthews in Newark; the New Jersey State Parole Board, under the direction of Chairman Samuel J. Plumeri Jr.; and the New Jersey State Police, under the direction of Col. Patrick J. Callahan, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Elisa T. Wiygul and Michelle S. Gasparian of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Criminal Division in Trenton.

21-465 

Defense counsel: Lisa Van Hoeck Esq. and Brian P. Reilly Esq., Assistant Federal Public Defenders, Trenton


Robbinsville Township, Hightstown Borough Enter Into a Historic Shared Services Agreement to Build New Police & Court Building

October 14, 2021

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–Robbinsville Township Mayor Dave Fried and Hightstown Borough Mayor Lawrence D. Quattrone are proud to announce a historic shared services agreement to construct a new police station and court on the site of the current Robbinsville Township Municipal Complex at 1117 Route 130.

The new facility will house both the Robbinsville and Hightstown Police Department headquarters and each town’s municipal court. The existing and outdated Robbinsville/Hightstown Municipal Court trailer will be permanently closed and removed from the site.

“Making sure our respective police departments and shared municipal court have the best facilities and every tool possible to perform their duties to the best of their abilities is of paramount importance to both Mayor Quattrone and all of us here in Robbinsville,” Robbinsville Mayor and Director of Public Safety Dave Fried said. “This is a historic agreement between two neighbors which have the utmost respect for each other and their constituents.”

The shared services agreement is for an initial term of 50 years, with a mutual option to extend the agreement for an additional 50 years. Each municipality will pay its share of the costs to construct the facility (approximately $9.8 million) based upon each municipality’s proportional use of the facility’s square footage. The municipalities will share utility costs in the same proportion as the construction costs.

The Robbinsville and Hightstown Police Departments will each occupy their own dedicated space within the new facility and remain separate and distinct departments. Additionally, the Hightstown Police Department will operate a sub-station located in the new municipal complex building at 230 Mercer Street in Hightstown and will continue to maintain the same 24/7 police coverage within the Borough of Hightstown that it currently provides.

“We have shared our court and jail cells with Robbinsville for several years, so expanding the partnership further by sharing a police station is a natural fit,” Hightstown Mayor Quattrone said. “Not only do our hardworking police benefit from the new state-of-the-art facilities, but our residents will continue to receive the same response and dedicated service from the officers they respect and love.”

The Robbinsville and Hightstown Municipal Courts will continue to operate in the new facility under its existing agreement to share facilities, employees, equipment and supplies. This new shared services agreement will not change each municipality’s status as separate and distinct municipal courts.

Ground-breaking for the new police and court facility is scheduled for 2022 and construction is expected to take approximately 12 months.


National Leader Of Outlaw Motorcycle Gang Sentenced To 33 Months For Illegal Possession Of A Firearm After Mercer County Traffic Stop

October 14, 2021

NEWARK, N.J. – A Suffolk County, New York, man was sentenced today to 33 months in prison for illegally possessing a firearm, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.

Keith Richter, a/k/a “Conan,” 62, of Bay Shore, New York, previously pleaded guilty to an information charging him with one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Judge McNulty imposed the sentence today by videoconference.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Richter is the national president of the Pagan’s Motorcycle Club (the “Pagans”)—an outlaw motorcycle gang known by law enforcement to engage in illegal activity including narcotics trafficking, weapons trafficking, and violent crimes.

On or about February 20, 2021, the Pagans hosted a party in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. While Richter was traveling from the party to his home in Suffolk County, New York, law enforcement pulled the vehicle over in Mercer County, New Jersey. Law enforcement recovered a loaded Ruger P345 .45 caliber handgun from a front-seat compartment in the vehicle. As a result, law enforcement obtained a warrant for Richter’s arrest, which was executed on February 26, 2021.

Richter was previously convicted of felony offenses, including conspiracy to commit murder and aggravated assault in aid of racketeering, for which he served a 16-year term of imprisonment.

In addition to the prison term, Judge McNulty sentenced Richter to three years of supervised release.

Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, Newark Division, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey L. Matthews; special agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Newark Division, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Susan A. Gibson; the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, under the direction of District Attorney Timothy D. Sini; the Union County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of William A. Daniel; and the New Jersey State Police, under the direction of Col. Patrick J. Callahan, with the investigation leading to today’s sentence.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Robert Frazer, R. Joseph Gribko, and Samantha C. Fasanello, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark.

21-462 

Defense counsel: James R. Froccaro Jr. Esq., Port Washington, New York



Another Person Shot In Trenton

October 14, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Around 3:00 p.m. Trenton Police responded to Euclid Avenue near Hampton Avenue for a reported person shot. Trenton EMS, Capital Health Paramedics and Trenton Fire Department responded to the scene.

Trenton police confirmed one person was shot and transported to Capital Health Regional Medical Center and is in stable condition, no further information is available at this time.


Robbinsville’s Wawa Grand Opening And Special Celebration Honoring 40th Anniversary Of First-Ever Supported Employment Associate

October 14, 2021

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–A grand opening was held this morning for New Jersey’s newest Wawa at 1220 Route 130. As part of the celebration NJ Native, Ari Shiner who is Wawa’s first ever supported employment associate was honored for being with the company for 40 years. Wawa has a longstanding partnership with Eden Autism Services and Ari Shiner led the way in opening the door for individuals with Autism to gain employment.

“At Wawa, our core purpose is to fulfil lives and that starts with providing a meaningful experience for our 37,000 associates across 940 stores,” said Chris Gheysens, President & CEO of, Wawa. “This new store opening also marks the 40th year of our supported employment program with Eden Autism Services, a very important and valued partner. Eden’s emplyment program for adults with autism (WERCS) started in 1981 when we hired Ari Shiner in our Princeton store. Today, we are thrilled to honor Ari on 40 years of service and all that he has provided to our company and to our customers though the years. Happy 40th Wawaversary Ari!”

Today, Wawa’s supported employment program includes over 750 associates across the company and partnerships with dozens of supported employment programs.

“Ari was truly a pioneer in the field of supported employment,” said Scott Kent, Area Manager for Central New Jersey Wawa stores. “When customers come in and see Ari in the store, they immediately smile and go over to say hello!”

The Wawa Foundation presented Eden Autism Services with a $100,000. grant to support their ongoing expansion of services to the autism community.

Wawa’s Hoagies for Heroes hoagie-building competition was held between the Robbinsville Township Police Department and the Robbinsville Township Fire Department. $1,000 was presented to each departments charity of choice. The Robbinsville Township Police chose Robbinsville Township C.A.R.E and the Robbinsville Fire Department chose Robbinsville American Legion Post #530.





Update: The Mercer County Homicide Task Force and the Trenton Police Department are investigating an overnight shooting at Donnelly Homes that left one man dead.

October 14, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Just after 11:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 13, 2021, Trenton police received a Shot Spotter activation for multiple rounds at 900 Southard Street.  Also, a Trenton Police Donnelly Homes post was parked stationary approximately 50 yards away from the shooting and heard gunshots.  The officers immediately drove toward the shots and encountered the male victim who was suffering from multiple gunshot wounds.  The victim, identified as 26 year-old Melvin Williams of Trenton, was transported to Capital Health Regional Medical Center and pronounced dead a short time later.

No arrests have been made and the investigation is ongoing.  Anyone with information is asked to contact the Detective Scott Peterson of the Mercer County Homicide Task Force at (609) 989-6406. Tips can also be emailed to mchtftips@mercercounty.org

This was the second shooting last night the other was at Lalor and Centre Street around 9:00 p.m. Trenton Police say that one individual was shot multiple times and is being treated at Capital Health Regional Medical Center and the investigation is ongoing.


Names of 2021* homicide victims: 

  1. 2/18/2021 Jabree Saunders, 26, from shooting on May 14, 2018
  2. 2/22/2021  Khalil Gibbs, 25, of West Windsor, shooting
  3. 2/25/2021  Lovelle Laramore, 60, of Trenton shooting
  4. 4/15/2021  Kaheem Carter, 22, of Trenton, shooting
  5. 4/20/2021  Shaquan McNeil, 25, of Trenton, shooting
  6. 4/24/2021  Cheryl Jones, 65, of Trenton, shooting
  7. 4/29/2021  Ramire Harvey, 25, of Trenton, shooting
  8. 5/15/2021  David Williams 36, of Trenton, shooting
  9. 5/29/2021  Edgar Geovani Sis-Luis, 34, of Trenton, aggravated manslaughter
  10. 7/05/2021  Dion Ellis, 16, Trenton, Shooting
  11. 7/14/2021  Pablo Herrera Chun, 53, Trenton, Shooting
  12. 7/19/2021  William Mitchell, 33, Trenton, Shooting
  13. 7/19/2021  Jermel Carter, 38, Trenton, Shooting
  14. 7/29/2021  Leonard Pettigrew, 58, Trenton, Shooting
  15. 7/30/2021  Shaquil Loftin, 23, Shooting, Trenton
  16. 8/01/2021  Daquan Basnight, 30, of Ewing, Shooting
  17. 8/13/2021  Javier Chaj-Ajtun, 33, of Trenton, Shooting
  18. 8/19/2021  Herberth Ramirez Pimentel, 37, of Trenton, Shooting
  19. 8/23/2021  Yanquai Edwards, 25, of Rancocas, NJ, Shooting
  20. 8/25/2021  Daron Cheston, 18, Trenton, Shooting
  21. 8/30/2021  Fred Davis, 43, Trenton, Shooting
  22. 9/06/2021  Shamiem Young, 26, Trenton, Shooting
  23. 9/17/2021  Jeff Charles, 37, Trenton, Shooting
  24. 9/25/2021  Shemiah Davis, 15, Trenton, Shooting
  25. 10/2/2021  Omar Burgess, 49, of Trenton, Shooting
  26. 10/3/2021  Elias Juarez Lopez, 31, of Princeton, Shooting
  27. 10/4/2021  Candice Ruff, 19, of Trenton, Shooting On September 25
  28. 10/7/2021  Douglas Munn, 50, of Trenton. Shooting
  29. 10/13/2021 Melvin Williams 26, of Trenton, Shooting

*Updated to reflect the person who died in 2021 from complications from a shooting on May 14, 2018 as per medical examiner report.

Serious Crash On Route 130 In Hamilton Township Being Investigated

October 14, 2021

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–On October 13, 2021, at approximately 8:04 am, a 2014 Freightliner Box Truck, driven by Escarlin Dedios-Corporan, a 40yoa male from Trenton, was traveling southbound on Rt 130 near Rt 156 when it collided with a 2012 Chevy Impala that was traveling northbound on Rt 130 and making a left turn into the FedEx Business complex.  The driver of the Impala, Davonica Chavies, 30yoa female from Trenton, had to be extricated from her vehicle by the Hamilton Fire Division.  She and her 3-year-old male passenger suffered serious injuries and were transported to Capital Health Hospital at Fuld for treatment.  The crash is being investigated by Officer P. Micharski of the Hamilton Police Traffic Unit

Any witnesses are asked to contact the Hamilton Police Traffic Unit at (609)581-4000.

Information may also be left anonymously on the Hamilton Police Crime Tip Hotline at 609-581-4008.


Multi-Alarm Fire Destroys Building In Trenton

October 14, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Around 11:54 p.m. October 13, Trenton Fire Department Engine 3 on South Broad Street called in an alarm activation with haze in the area of South Broad and Dye Street. When Engine 3 arrived at 692 South Broad Street they reported a working fire in a large commercial building and requested an “all hands” firefighters pulled a handline to start working on the fire but were having trouble gaining access to the fire. Heavy fire spread thought the building and additional alarms were called. It was reported the roof and parts of the front of the building have collapsed. Firefighters were still on scene at the time of this report. Surrounding fire departments are either covering the city or at the scene of the fire. No further information is available in this preliminary breaking news report, check back later in the day once more details are released.

At 2:48 a.m. additional units and the Mercer County Fire Coordinators were called to assist the City of Trenton.






Firefighters still on scene this morning. Photos below by: Brian McCarthy


Two Shootings Reported In Trenton

October 13, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Around 9:00 p.m. shots rang out on in the 100 Block of Lalor Street near the intersection with Centre Street. Trenton Police, Trenton EMS, Capital Health Paramedics, and Trenton Fire responded to the scene for a victim shot multiple times. The victim was transported to the Trauma Center at Capital Health Regional Medical Center. Trenton Police had Lalor Street shut down at the intersection with Centre Street for the shooting investigation. The Trenton Shooting Response Team is investigating. No further details are available at this time.

For the second time tonight another shooting in the 900 Block of Southard Street at 11:07 p.m. Trenton Police were on scene with a male victim shot in the leg. Trenton EMS, Capital Paramedics, and Trenton Fire Department responded to the scene. The victim was transported to Capital Health Regional Medical Center. The Trenton Shooting Response Team was also investigating this shooting.