Category: Mercer County

Ocean County Man Indicted For Allegedly Falsifying His Academic Credentials To Obtain His Position And Promotions

April 16, 2021

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TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced that a suspended senior engineer for the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) was indicted today for submitting false academic credentials in order to obtain his state position and promotions.

The Attorney General’s Office of Public Integrity and Accountability (OPIA) obtained a state grand jury indictment charging Roger Sequeira, 64, of Whiting, N.J., (Manchester Township, Ocean County, NJ) with second-degree official misconduct, second-degree theft by deception, third-degree theft by deception, and third-degree tampering with public records or information. The NJDOT Office of the Inspector General initially investigated this matter and referred it to the OPIA Corruption Bureau.

The indictment alleges that between Nov. 24, 2007 and June 16, 2020, Sequeira created and reinforced the false impression that he had obtained a Bachelor of Science in Engineering degree from La Salle University. Sequeira allegedly submitted to the state a fraudulent document that purported to be a university transcript. As a result of this deception, NJDOT allegedly sustained losses of over $75,000 in the form of additional compensation paid to Sequeira based on fraudulently obtained promotions.

The indictment further alleges that between Oct. 22, 2018 and March 20, 2020, Sequeira stole more than $500 by fraudulently taking leave time he claimed was for illness or visits to healthcare providers and submitting false documents purporting to be from healthcare providers to support that leave time.

The case is being prosecuted by Deputy Attorneys General Jonathan Gilmore and Adam Gerken of the OPIA Corruption Bureau, under the supervision of Bureau Chief Peter Lee and OPIA Deputy Director Anthony Picione.

Attorney General Grewal thanked the New Jersey Department of Transportation’s Office of the Inspector General for their investigation and referral.

Second-degree charges carry a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $150,000. The second-degree charge of official misconduct carries a mandatory minimum term of five years in prison without possibility of parole. Third-degree charges carry a sentence of three to five years in state prison and a fine of up to $15,000.

The indictment is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

Defense Attorney: Assistant Deputy Public Defender Aletha Sheppard Robinson, Mercer County.


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Hamilton Welcomes Rothman Orthopaedic Institute to Brand New, State-of-the-Art Location

April 16, 2021

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HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Hamilton Township Mayor Jeff Martin, Councilman Charles (Chuddy) Whalen, Councilman Rick Tighe, County Commissioner John Cimino, Assemblyman Wayne DeAngelo and other Township Officials were present to welcome Rothman Orthopaedic Institute with a Grand Opening Ceremony & Ribbon Cutting on Wednesday April 14th, 2021.

“It is so wonderful to see Rothman Orthopaedic Institute expand to their brand new location here is Hamilton. We are thrilled they have decided to continue to invest in our township, bringing their top notch services to our residents” said Mayor Martin.

Located at 1079 Whitehorse Mercerville Rd., formally occupied by Kmart, this spacious over 15,000 sq. ft.  state-of-the-art space replaces the former Rothman Orthopaedics location in Mercerville, NJ, and offers a variety of convenient on-site services for patients. Features include: 3,400 sq. ft. dedicated to Physical Therapy, Hand Therapy and Occupational Therapy; on-site x-ray at the time of your appointment; 21 exam rooms; and onsite orthotic and bracing services fabricated by our experienced practitioners. In addition, this location also has an Urgent Care for immediate orthopaedic medical attention without an appointment.

Prior to Merging with Rothman Orthopaedic Institute, Trenton Orthopaedic Group has been a pillar in the Hamilton Community for nearly 50 years. In 1976, Trenton Orthopaedic Group moved from Trenton to their first location at 1675 Whitehorse Mercerville Road. Later in 1999 Trenton Orthopaedic Group moved as a 6 group provider to their previous location – 1225 Whitehorse Mercerville Road located across from the Hamilton Police Station. In addition, they have been covering athletics at all 3 of the Hamilton High Schools: Steinert, Hamilton West and Nottingham as well as Trenton Catholic Academy (formally McCorristin Catholic High School) since 1988.

Rothman Orthopaedic physicians are not only board certified in orthopaedics, they are fellowship-trained in specific specialties.
To learn more about Rothman Orthopaedic Institute visit www.RothmanOrtho.com  or www.facebook.com/RothmanOrtho

Visit www.hamiltonnj.com/economicdevelopment  to learn of the new businesses that have recently opened or have relocated to Hamilton and read up on why Hamilton is a great place for businesses to call home!

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Merry Christmas

Nurses At RWJ Hamilton Receive Nursing’s Highest Honor

April 16, 2021

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–The nurses of Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) Hamilton, 1 Hamilton Health Place, Hamilton, have received nursing’s most prestigious honor – Magnet® recognition by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Only 8 percent of hospitals nationwide have achieved this distinction; previously, only 32 hospitals in New Jersey received this recognition. RWJUH Hamilton makes number 33.

              “We can officially say what we have always known: RWJUH Hamilton nurses are among the nation’s best,” said Richard Freeman, President and Chief Executive Officer at RWJUH Hamilton. “Our community can be assured that they are getting the highest quality care from skilled, compassionate nurses.”

              The American Nurses Credentialing Center, a subsidiary of the American Nurses Association, is the world’s largest nursing credentialing organization. Its internationally renowned Magnet Recognition Program® was developed to recognize healthcare organizations that provide the very best in nursing care and uphold innovative professional nursing practice.

“Magnet® recognition is the gold standard for nursing excellence,” said Lisa Breza, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, Senior Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer at RWJUH Hamilton. “We are extremely proud of our nurses for achieving this honor. They truly represent the best in their profession.”

              RWJUH Hamilton applied for Magnet® recognition last year, submitting an application demonstrating how it meets the many nursing standards. Representatives from the American Nurses Credentialing Center conducted a three-day virtual survey in early March 2021, interviewing staff, physicians and community members and observing patient care.

“We congratulate all of our nurses on successfully completing the Magnet® journey,” said Jacqueline Ciccarelli, MSN, RN, CCRN-K, MPD, Manager, Magnet Program and Nursing Performance Improvement, at RWJUH Hamilton. “Their pride in their profession and their commitment to our patients are extraordinary. We are honored that they choose to work at RWJUH Hamilton and are committed to supporting their professional growth.”

Magnet looks for collaboration amongst all hospital staff as part of its evaluation. “We thank everyone who worked so hard over the past year to coordinate our Magnet® application and survey. But really, it is a reflection of the exceptional teamwork here at RWJUH Hamilton every day,” Freeman added.

RWJUH Hamilton’s nurses are involved in virtually every area of the hospital, from providing bedside care to serving as educators, researchers, advanced practice specialists and administrators and spearheading information technology and quality improvement initiatives. Many have achieved advanced certifications in nursing specialties such as cardiology, critical care, bariatrics, oncology, orthopedics, surgery and others.

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UPDATED: 2nd Shooting In Trenton Today, Person Rushed To Trauma Center In Serious Condition

April 15, 2021 — UPDATED

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Around 6:54 pm shots rang out for a second time today leaving one injured at the Trauma Center at Capital Health Regional Medical Center.

Trenton Police received several 9-1-1 calls for reports of multiple shots fired in front of 21 Laclede Avenue near West State Street. Trenton Police along with Trenton EMS and Trenton Fire Department responded to the scene.

Police found one person shot in the back and TEMS and firefighters proceeded in. The victim was rushed to the Trauma Center at Capital Health by TEMS with Trenton Police providing an escort to the hospital.

Trenton Police Department Detective Captain Peter Weremijenko told MidJersey.news that the male was being treated at Capital Health Regional Medical Center and is in serious condition, but expected to survive.

 Detective Captain Weremijenko said, “A possible suspect was seen fleeing on foot towards W. State St.  He was wearing a tan shirt and blue jeans. ”

Anyone with information is asked to call the Trenton Police anonymous tip line at 609-989-DRUG (3784)

Story updated with official information and on scene reporting.

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This is the second shooting of the day, earlier this morning another shooting left a man dead you can read those MidJersey.News stories here:

See this morning’s MidJersey.news breaking news story here (posted at 2:33 am): BREAKING: Male Found Shot Dead Near Post Office On Hamilton Ave.

UPDATE: Shooting Homicide in Trenton Under Investigation

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Box Truck Takes Down Pole And Wires On Lincoln Avenue

April 15, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–A truck traveling on Lincoln Avenue took down a pole, transformer and wires today. Trenton Police and Trenton Fire Department responded to the scene this morning. TPD set up a detour in the area until repairs were made.

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UPDATE: Shooting Homicide in Trenton Under Investigation

April 15, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–The Mercer County Homicide Task Force is investigating a fatal shooting that occurred in Trenton early Thursday morning, Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri reported.

At approximately 1:50 a.m. on April 15, 2021, Trenton police were dispatched to Cunningham Alley and S. Walter Ave. on a shooting in progress.  Responding units located the victim, Kaheem Carter, 22, of Trenton, laying in Cunningham Alley with multiple gunshot wounds.  He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Anyone with information is asked to call (609) 989-6406.  Information can also be emailed to mchtftips@mercercounty.org

See this morning’s MidJersey.news breaking news story here (posted at 2:33 am): BREAKING: Male Found Shot Dead Near Post Office On Hamilton Ave.

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UPDATE: Victim Identified In Suspicious Death In Ewing

April 15, 2021

EWING TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–At approximately 8 a.m. Wednesday morning, April 14, Ewing police responded to the parking lot of Capitol Plaza, 1500 N. Olden Avenue, for an unresponsive male.  The victim was found on the sidewalk in front of 1531 N. Olden Avenue.  No identification was found on his person and there were no injuries observed that would have caused his death.  The Mercer County Homicide Task Force and the Middlesex County Medical Examiner’s Office responded to the scene, which was processed by Ewing police.

The victim has been identified as James McQuillar, 86, of Trenton.  Investigation into the cause of death is ongoing.

Anyone with information is asked to call (609) 989-6406. Information can also be emailed to mchtftips@mercercounty.org


Yesterday’s MidJersey.news story here: UPDATED: Suspicious Death Under Investigation in Ewing


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Robbinsville Again Named “Tree City USA’’ Community

Arbor Day Foundation Recognizes Township for 10th Time

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–The Arbor Day Foundation once again  recognized Robbinsville Township as a “Tree City USA” Community for the 10th time in honor of its commitment to effective urban forest management.

The Township will commemorate the honor with the planting of three more trees on Friday, April 30, 2021 outside the Miry Run Recreation Building, located at 66 Sharon Road. The event is open to the public with social distancing rules in effect.


The Tree City USA program is sponsored in cooperation with the National Association of State Foresters and the USDA Forest Service. More than 3,400 cities and towns have been recognized as a Tree City USA community.  Robbinsville, which has planted nearly 13,000 trees over the past eight years, again met the program’s four requirements:

* Tree board or department

* Tree care ordinance

* Annual community forestry budget of at least $2 per-capita

* Arbor Day observance and Proclamation

Robbinsville initially gained 5,771 new trees from the New Jersey Turnpike Authority and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection in the spring of 2015 to make up for the nearly 115 acres of forested land the Township ceded for the turnpike expansion. The installment is the remaining 7,000 trees were spaced out over the subsequent three years and were worth $3.4 million.

The Arbor Day Foundation is a nonprofit conservation and education organization of one million members, with the mission to inspire people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees. More information on the Foundation and its programs can be found at www.arborday.org/TreeCityUSA


BAPS helping the Levering family, whose Randolph Drive home was recently devastated by fire

April 15, 2021

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–BAPS Charites has made a donation of list of items to help a family that lost their home in a fire recently in Robbinsville, see information below:

BAPS has been saddened by the devastating house fire a few days ago in Robbinsville. We thought a lot about how we can help the family in the most meaningful way. After a lot of contemplation, we decided to give the family a long list of items for their daily needs and essential to get back in routine life. A list of items below.

List of items donated:

16 piece dinnerware set (2 sets)

53 piece flatware set

22 piece pyrex storage set

Can opener

Whisk

Set of 10 Wooden spoons and spatulas

Pizza cutter

Oven Mita

Lemon squeezer

3 piece mesh strainer

3 piece mixing bowl set

Measuring cups

Measuring jugs

Peeler

Salt and pepper shaker

Grater

Hot plates

Dish scrubbing brush

Dish drying mat

16 jar spice rack with filled spices

Paper towel holder

Coffee maker & coffee filters

Jumbo ziploc bag box

Electric kettle

20 piece drinking glasses

22 piece knife set

13 piece Rachel Ray non stick cooking pans

3 pack disinfectant spray

Costco size Palmolive dish soap

Costco pack dish sponges

Ninja blender

2 plush throws

Kitchen hand towels

4 clear sterlite storage tubs

Black and decker toaster oven

BREAKING: Male Found Shot Dead Near Post Office On Hamilton Ave.

April 15, 2021 –Updated story

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Update–Trenton Detective Captain Peter Weremijenko confirmed the shooting earlier this morning and said information will be coming from the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office.

Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office spokesperson Casey DeBlasio stated a male victim was found shot multiple times at about 1:50 a.m. in Cunningham Alley.

See Original Breaking News Story Below: (posted 2:33 am)


TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Sources tell MidJersey.News that a male was found dead, who was shot in the back near the US Post Office on Hamilton Avenue early this morning. Police and crime scene investigators are on scene. This is a developing story. As always MidJersey.News has reached out to police for official information. Once Official information becomes available the story will be updated and any corrections made. This is a breaking news story from witnesses near the scene.

See updates above.

Trenton Police host “Coffee with Cops & Cars”

April 14, 2021

By: Tyler Eckel

TRENTON (MERCER)– Trenton Police hosted a “Coffee with Cops & Cars” event, Wednesday night. Residents made an appearance at the event to take in the view of some cars and enjoy a cup of coffee, all while getting to know some of the officers that patrol their community.

The event was held from 5:00 to 8:00 pm in the Police Department’s Auxiliary Lot located across the street from Trenton Police Headquarters. Trenton Police Department and the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office brought in some of their cruisers, and set up stands with small toys for the kids. Trenton Starbucks, located on South Warren Street, also had a stand set up, handing out coffee to the visitors.

Miracle Autosports brought in a few exotic cars, and a car club also stopped in. Unfortunately, not as many cars showed up as originally planned because of the rain.

This event was great to get to know your neighborhood police, and participate in discussions about upcoming community events, summer initiatives, and other community related issues taking place in the City.

Photos brought to you by Tyler Eckel, Dennis Symons, and Brian McCarthy.




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Lawrenceville NJ Man Murdered In Newark

April 14, 2021

NEWARK, NJ (ESSEX)–Acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephen, II., and Newark Public Safety Director Brian O’Hara announced today that the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office Homicide/Major Crimes Task Force, which includes detectives from the Newark Police Department, is investigating a fatal shooting.

On Monday, April 12 at approximately 4:23 pm Anthony M. McGriff, 34, of Lawrenceville was shot on the 100 Block of Prince Street in the City of Newark. He was transported to University Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 5:08 pm.

No arrests have been made at this time. The investigation is active and ongoing.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office Homicide/Major Crimes Task Force at 1-877-TIPS-4EC or 1-877-847-7432. Calls will be kept confidential.


Trenton Public Schools Hosts Tour of COVID-19 Preparations for In-Person Learning

Return Date for Students Set for May 3, 2021

April 14, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Mayor W. Reed Gusciora and Interim Superintendent Alfonso Q. Llano today toured Hedgepeth-Williams Middle School to view all the safety protocols put in place by Trenton Public Schools (TPS) as it prepares for the return of in-person instruction this spring.

“We eagerly await the time that our children can once again have access to the essential youth programming and mentorship that is only possible from in-person attendance,” said Mayor Gusciora. “TPS clearly made a great deal of progress improving the facilities and what we saw today gives us hope that both students and teachers can safely return to schools in the coming weeks.”

“The health and safety of our students and teachers remains our number one priority,” said Superintendent Llano. “We’re confident that the numerous safety investments we displayed today, along with ongoing efforts that have secured more than 1,000 vaccines for TPS staff, will put us in the best possible position to resume in-person instruction and give our students access to many of the critical services they lost during COVID-19.”

TPS has set a return date of April 19, 2021 for staff, with students returning in-person on May 3, 2021. This return date has been set for TPS to evaluate the new COVID-19 procedures in advance of in-person summer programs and the start of the 2021-2022 school year in September.

Several policy and facility changes have been implemented to secure the safety of both students and teachers, many of which were on display during today’s tour. These changes include a hybrid A/B schedule that limits the number of students in the school at any time and thermal monitoring stations placed at all school entrances that will screen students and teachers on their way into each building. Hand washing and sanitizing stations, as well as cleaning supplies, have been placed throughout each building. Student desks have also been fitted with plexiglass shields.

In addition, facility improvements, along with 1,500 air filters, have been added to ensure clean and proper airflow within the facilities. Additional custodial staff have also been hired to ensure schools remain sanitized at every opportunity.

Meanwhile, TPS has expanded vaccine access to all teachers and staff. Overall, TPS has secured 1,000 vaccines, including 700 from the Henry J. Austin Health Center and another 300 that were provided from Walgreen’s partnership with the N.J. Department of Education and TPS.

For an in-depth look at the TPS reopening plan, click here.


Trenton Man Sentenced To 10 Years in Prison After Trial Conviction for Illegally Selling Assault Rifle And Handgun

April 14, 2021

By: Tyler Eckel

Defendant arrested in “Operation Nine Lives” targeting gun trafficking in Trenton

TRENTON (MERCER)– Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced that a Trenton man was sentenced to state prison today for illegally selling an assault rifle and a handgun during an investigation by the New Jersey State Police into illegal weapons trafficking in the capital city.

Barry Crudup, 29, of Trenton, N.J., was sentenced to 10 years in state prison, including six years of parole ineligibility, by Superior Court Judge Robert W. Bingham II in Mercer County. Crudup was found guilty on May 17, 2019 following a jury trial of the following charges:

  • Conspiracy (2nd Degree)
  • Unlawful Possession of an Assault Firearm (2nd Degree)
  • Unlawful Possession of a Weapon (Loaded Shotgun) (3rdDegree)
  • Unlawful Disposition of an Assault Firearm (3rd Degree)
  • Unlawful Possession of a Firearm (Semiautomatic Pistol) (2nd Degree)
  • Unlawful Disposition of a Firearm (Semiautomatic Pistol) (4th Degree)
  • Possession of a Prohibited Weapon, Defaced Firearm (4thDegree)
  • Disposition of a Prohibited Weapon, Defaced Firearm (4thDegree)

Deputy Attorneys General Cassandra Montalto and Jaclyn Poulton tried the case for the Division of Criminal Justice Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau. They were assisted by Detective Sgt. 1st Class Jeffery Gauthier of the New Jersey State Police, who was lead detective, under the supervision of Detective Sgt. 1st Class Timothy Gibson and former Capt. Eric Barlow, and Analyst Kimberly Namura-Benjamin. Crudup was charged in an investigation by the New Jersey State Police Weapons Trafficking South Unit into gun trafficking in Trenton called “Operation Nine Lives.”

The state presented testimony and evidence that Crudup and co-defendant Michael Gyampo sold a loaded Marlin .22-caliber assault rifle with scope to a cooperating witness for $400 on June 26, 2012, on Ward Avenue. On Sept. 12, 2012, Crudup sold a Glock .40-caliber semiautomatic handgun with a defaced serial number to the cooperating witness for $750 in the area of Ward Avenue and North Olden Avenue.

“Combating illegal weapons trafficking is one of our top priorities, because every single gun sold to a criminal on the street can lead to multiple lives lost to gun violence,” said Attorney General Grewal. “Crudup would sell a deadly assault rifle or defaced handgun to anyone willing to pay his price. This prison sentence reflects our determination to lock up the weapons traffickers responsible for the proliferation of deadly firepower on the streets of Trenton and our other communities.”

“Through this type of investigation and prosecution, we are taking illegal guns and gun traffickers off the street and making our communities safer,” said Director Veronica Allende of the Division of Criminal Justice. “I commend the trial team and all of the members of the New Jersey State Police who helped to secure the guilty verdict and this prison sentence. We will continue to work collaboratively to arrest gun traffickers and prosecute them using New Jersey’s tough gun laws.”

“Criminals like Crudup, who sell illegal and defaced firearms, are doing so knowing that the weapons could be used by people banned from possessing them and during the commission of crimes,” said Colonel Patrick Callahan of the New Jersey State Police. “We remain dedicated in our mission to fight violent crime and will continue to work with our partners to keep our streets safe by arresting and prosecuting the gun traffickers who seek to profit from arming criminals in our communities.”

A total of four men were convicted in connection with illegal weapons trafficking in Operation Nine Lives, including Crudup. In total, these men sold a Marlin assault rifle, an Uzi 9mm rifle with large-capacity magazine, two shotguns, including a sawed-off shotgun, and two semiautomatic pistols with defaced serial numbers. Crudup was the last to be convicted because he was a fugitive for more than five years after the indictment was returned in June 2013.

Michael Gyampo, 32, of Trenton, and Dwayne Haines, 33, of Trenton, were indicted with Crudup. Gyampo pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a handgun and was sentenced on May 13, 2014 to five years in prison, including three years of parole ineligibility. Haines conspired with Gyampo to sell a defaced 9mm Taurus semiautomatic pistol to the confidential witness for $300. He pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a handgun and was sentenced to five years in prison on Jan. 29, 2015.

Davon Williams, 33, of Trenton, was indicted separately from Crudup, Gyampo, and Haines. He sold an Uzi 9mm rifle with a large-capacity magazine and a 20-gauge shotgun to the confidential witness for $1,000 in one transaction, and a sawed off 12-gauge shotgun for $600 in a second transaction. He pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a shotgun and unlawful disposition of a weapon. He was sentenced on June 5, 2015 to five years in prison with three years of parole ineligibility, consecutive to a drug sentence secured by the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office of five years in prison with 3 ½ years of parole ineligibility, for a total sentence of 10 years in prison with 6 ½ years of parole ineligibility.

UPDATED: Suspicious Death Under Investigation in Ewing

April 14, 2021–Updated with Official Information from MCPO

EWING TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–At approximately 8 a.m. Wednesday morning, April 14, Ewing police responded to the parking lot of Capitol Plaza, 1500 N. Olden Avenue, for an unresponsive male.  The victim, an adult black male, possibly in his 50s – 60s, was found on the sidewalk in front of 1531 N. Olden Avenue.  No identification was found on his person and there were no injuries observed that would have caused his death.  The Mercer County Homicide Task Force and the Middlesex County Medical Examiner’s Office responded to the scene, which was processed by Ewing police.  Investigation into the cause of death is ongoing.

The Mercer County Homicide Task Force and the Ewing Police Department continue to investigate the death and authorities are working to identify the victim. Anyone with information is asked to call (609) 989-6406. Information can also be emailed to mchtftips@mercercounty.org.

Witnesses at the scene said a man was running from a home and was gunned down, that is in conflict of what is reported in official police information and the story has been updated to reflect that current information.

Photos by Brian McCarthy, OnScene News


Viewer discretion advised of active suspicious death investigation in Ewing Township Mercer County, NJ on April 14, 2021 witnesses can be heard on the video describing the scene. What witnesses said and what official information has been released is in conflict, the story has been updated to reflect official police information.

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Car Carrier Fire On New Jersey Turnpike South Of Exit 8

April 14, 2021

EAST WINDSOR, NJ (MERCER)–A 1:08 pm the Hightstown and Robbinsville Township Fire Departments were dispatched to a vehicle fire on the NJ Turnpike at Mile Marker 66 South Bound just south of Exit 8 Hightstown/East Windsor.

When the first firefighters arrived they found a car carrier fire carrying several cars on fire on the shoulder. Heavy black smoke could be seen for miles as the vehicles burned and flames were about 20 feet in the air at times above the well involved vehicle.

Water tankers were called from East Windsor Fire Company, Plainsboro Fire Company and Monroe Township for additional water to fight the fire. The firefighters had the flames under control within about a half hour.

Fire units were on scene until 2:34 pm as they mopped up hot spots.

There was a significant south bound traffic delay of 3 miles according to Google Maps at the time of this report.

No further information is available at this time and no word on the cause of the fire.



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Where Angels Play Foundation Teams Up with Joey’s Little Angels and Hamilton Township to Create “Joey’s Place” Playground

April 14, 2021

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Hamilton Township Mayor Jeff Martin, Where Angels Play Foundation Founder Bill Lavin and Joey’s Little Angels founders James and Nicole Angiolino jointly announced a public-private partnership to create “Joey’s Place” playground at Limewood Park in Hamilton, NJ.  This playground will be built at no-cost to Hamilton taxpayers with money raised by Where Angels Play with a goal of $100,000.

“I want to thank Where Angels Play and Joey’s Little Angels for their dedication to community service – more specifically to always helping kids be kids”, said Mayor Martin.  “James, Nicole and their legions of supports have contributed so much to Hamilton and our greater community that it is a fitting tribute that their son Joey have a permanent home here in Hamilton.  Moreover, this is a win for our community to have a new playground all at no cost to the taxpayer.” 

Where Angels Play Foundation was founded by former NJFMBA President Bill Lavin after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, CT.  Bill’s idea was to build 26 playgrounds in Hurricane Sandy destroyed communities – one to honor the memory of each teacher or student lost that day in Newtown, CT. 

“Where Angels Play Foundation has had the privilege of working with amazing families and communities across the US and around the world.  Our mission began in 2003 in Sea Bright, New Jersey.  55 playgrounds and each one special in its own way. To be able to partner with Joey’s Little Angels in our home State with an organization and a little boy who has already changed so many lives and a family that has given so much to honor their son, is just another level of inspiration for us! Especially after such a difficult year, our organization like so many, are in need of an uplifting positive healing project like Joey’s playground.  I am grateful for the trust James and Nicole have placed with the Angels Army and the great community of Hamilton Township.” 

Joey’s Little Angels was founded by James and Nicole Angiolino of Hamilton, NJ, after the passing of their son Joseph Thomas Angiolino. He passed away after a courageous battle with Hurler’s Syndrome at 15 months of age.  James, Nicole and their family, friends, and supporters have raised over $150,000 in donations and collected over 30,000 toys to be donated to over 30 pediatric hospitals nationwide to children battling various illnesses. 

“We have had tremendous support from our family, friends and the Hamilton community. We are looking forward to working with Where Angels Play and Hamilton Township to give back to the people that have supported the mission of Joey’s Little Angels. We are looking forward to seeing the children of Hamilton playing, smiling and creating memories with friends and family at Joey’s Place! We could not think of a better way to honor him!” 

For those interested in donating to this project, please visit http://whereangelsplayfoundation.org/our-playgrounds/upcoming/ or https://charity.gofundme.com/o/en/campaign/joeys-playground



East Windsor Memorial Tree Program For Arbor Day April 30, 2021

April 14, 2021

EAST WINDSOR TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Mayor Janice S. Mironov is encouraging residents and groups to honor Arbor Day celebrated on Friday, April 30, 2021, by planting a tree under the Township Memorial Tree Grove Program.

According to Mayor Mironov, “this Memorial Tree Program offers Township residents a unique opportunity to provide a living memorial to a deceased relative or friend or in remembrance or commemoration of a special person, group or event. The planting of a tree provides a special means to provide a living memorial to a deceased person or in honor of a special event while enhancing the environment of our community.”

The Township Memorial Tree Grove is located on the grounds of the East Windsor Municipal Building along Lanning Boulevard. A granite marker with the name of the deceased person or event to be remembered is provided with each tree. Residents or groups can order a tree under the Memorial Tree Program through the Township Public Works Department. The cost includes the granite marker and tree planting.

Memorial trees will be planted during a planting season, either Spring or Fall. Donors can indicate their preference for the type of tree they would like planted. Brochures describing the program and costs, which include an order form, are available on-line at the Township website east-windsor.nj.us, or call the Department of Public Works for program information and forms at (609) 443-4000 ext. 215.



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BREAKING: Trenton Firefighters Quickly Extinguish House Fire On Hillcrest Ave

April 13, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Around 1:50 pm the Trenton Fire Department responded to 99 Hillcrest Avenue for a well involved house fire. Upon arrival heavy fire and smoke could be seen emanating from the structure and an “All Hands” was called for sending additional units for a full first alarm. Trenton firefighters laddered the building and stretched multiple handlines and brought the fire quickly under control. Firefighters are on scene at the time of this report and still working at the fire.

This is a breaking story, please check back for further information including more photos and video.


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Trenton Pauses Use of Johnson & Johnson Vaccine

City Health Department Following New Federal and State Guidance Issued this Morning

After starting the homebound yesterday that uses the J&J Vaccine, the program had to be paused until alternate plans are made. See yesterday’s story here


NJ Department Of Health Pauses Administration Of J&J (Janssen) Vaccine In New Jersey


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April 13, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Mayor W. Reed Gusciora today announced that the City of Trenton Department of Health and Human Services has followed guidance issued just this morning by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the N.J. Department of Health to pause any use of the Johnson & Johnson single-dose COVID-19 vaccine.

According to the N.J. Department of Health, the CDC and the FDA are reviewing the data involving six reported cases – among nearly seven million doses administered in the U.S. – in women between the ages of 18 and 48 who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Symptoms occurred six to 13 days after vaccination. In these cases, a type of blood clot called cerebral venous sinus thrombosis was seen in combination with low levels of blood platelets.

Both the CDC and FDA have said that these adverse events are extremely rare. According to the FDA and CDC, individuals who have received the vaccine and develop abdominal pain, leg pain, shortness of breath, severe headache or other unusual symptoms within three weeks after vaccination should contact their health care provider.

The City of Trenton has issued approximately 3,000 Johnson & Johnson vaccines. Most of these vaccines were administered during the joint federal, state, and city vaccine clinic that concluded two weeks ago. The City has not received any reports that those vaccinations have resulted in the same adverse effects referenced above. However, City health officers will review their records and contact any individuals who fit the demographics mentioned in today’s federal guidance.

Due to this development, the City’s homebound resident vaccination program – which uses the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine because it is easier to transport and requires only one appointment – will be paused until further notice. City health officers will be in constant contact with the approximately 100 individuals who have just been vaccinated as part of this campaign. The City is also evaluating alternative plans, including the use of other types of vaccines, to still get this vulnerable population protected from COVID-19.

Trenton will continue to administer its weekly allotment of Moderna Vaccines.

Any Trenton residents who have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, either during the homebound campaign that started yesterday or the clinic at Trenton Central High School two weeks ago, can call 609-815-2180 with any questions. As per the CDC guidance, any individual who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and experiences abdominal pain, leg pain, shortness of breath, severe headache or other unusual symptoms within three weeks after vaccination should contact their health care provider.


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BREAKING: Trenton – Reports Of Man Shot In Chest In Critical Condition At Trauma Center

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April 13, 2021 — Updated

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–At 7:54 am, Trenton Police Officers responded to the area of Eisenhower Ave and Coolidge Avenue after receiving reports of shots fired.  When Police arrived on scene, the officers discovered a victim of the shooting inside of a crashed car.  The victim, an adult male, was struck by several bullets while he was driving.  The victim then crashed the car and was found by officers. 

Trenton Fire Department and Trenton EMS treated the victim, who was transported to The Trauma Center at Capital Health Regional Medical Center in critical condition. The man is expected to survive. One source said It was reported that the victim was shot in the chest.  

The scene showed a vehicle riddled with bullet holes with at least four bullet holes in the front windshield.

Trenton Police Detective Captain Peter Weremijenko stated that the investigation is in the very early stages.

If anyone has any information they can contact the Trenton Police anonymous tip line at 609-989-DRUG (3784)    

Information provided above is from a combination of official information along with witnesses and on scene reporting. As the investigation progresses and more information is released the story will be updated.



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NJ Department Of Health Pauses Administration Of J&J (Janssen) Vaccine In New Jersey

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Statement from New Jersey Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli

April 13, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Out of an abundance of caution and following the guidance of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the New Jersey Department of Health this morning paused the administration of the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine across all vaccination sites in the state.

The CDC and the FDA are reviewing the data involving six reported cases—among nearly 7 million doses administered in the U.S.—in women between the ages of 18 and 48 who received the J&J vaccine. Symptoms occurred 6 to 13 days after vaccination. In these cases, a type of blood clot called cerebral venous sinus thrombosis was seen in combination with low levels of blood platelets. Both the CDC and FDA have said that these adverse events are extremely rare. According to the FDA and CDC, individuals who have received the vaccine and develop abdominal pain, leg pain, shortness of breath, severe headache or other unusual symptoms within three weeks after vaccination should contact their health care provider. 

All New Jersey vaccination sites have been told to cancel or put on hold appointments for the J&J vaccine until further notice. For individuals scheduled to receive the J&J vaccine, the Department will work with all vaccination sites to make arrangements for the administration of an alternative two-dose vaccine. We will work with all sites, as needed, to reschedule vaccination appointments.

The Department will await further guidance from the federal government. The federal Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) is scheduled to hold an emergency meeting tomorrow to discuss these adverse events and make recommendations to the CDC on how to proceed.


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First Bank Announces Participation in the EVERFI Financial Literacy Bee To Support Youth Financial Education

Financial Literacy Month student challenge equips young people with money management skills and supports remote learning

April 13, 2021

HAMILTON, NJ (MERCER)–First Bank announced that it is sponsoring the EVERFI Financial Literacy Bee, taking place April 1-15, 2021. The EVERFI Financial Literacy Bee is a nationwide financial literacy challenge for high school students.

As families across the country are struggling financially in the wake of the pandemic, from unemployment to career shifts to a reduction in income, the EVERFI Financial Literacy Bee provides an opportunity for students to learn the critical importance of saving and budgeting for short-term and long-term financial goals.

The virtual challenge, created by social impact education innovator EVERFI, and supported by leading financial institutions nationwide, features four short digital lessons followed by a capstone essay contest in which students ages 13-18 in the United States and Canada share a short-term or long-term savings goal and outline their plan to achieve that goal. Winners of the EVERFI Financial Literacy Bee will receive a total of $20,000 in college scholarships.

“In these times of financial uncertainty for many Americans, First Bank is especially committed to engaging its communities, increasing financial literacy, and driving impactful change,” said Patrick L. Ryan, First Bank President and CEO. “We are proud to be supporting parents and students at this time through the Financial Literacy Bee and hope it will help drive dinner-table conversations about important financial topics.”


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By competing in the challenge, participating students will gain new skills to create a personalized financial decision-making framework that they can apply to their lives now and in the future. Topics include how to save, set financial goals, budget, and invest.

“The pandemic has shone a bright light on the financial vulnerability of most Americans, with 40 percent of American consumers reporting that they had trouble paying at least one bill or expense in 2020,” said Ray Martinez, co-founder and president, EVERFI. “We’ve always been committed to helping students increase their financial literacy, and during this historic time, we are also working to help parents feel more comfortable having dinner-table conversations about money. The Financial Literacy Bee is a fun way for students to learn important strategies to increase savings.”

In addition to supporting the EVERFI Financial Literacy Bee, First Bank works with EVERFI to provide schools-based financial education to elementary, middle, and high schools across their New Jersey and Pennsylvania communities.

To learn more about the EVERFI Financial Literacy Bee, visit https://firstbanknj.blog/2021/03/22/first-bank-partners-with-everfi-in-the-2021-financial-literacy-bee/


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Trenton Mayor Gusciora’s Statement on Passing of TWW Human Resources Manager Rafael Valentin

April 12, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Mayor W. Reed Gusciora’s statement: “My condolences go out to the friends, family, and colleagues of TWW Human Resources Manager Rafael Valentin, who passed away over the weekend. Given the huge outpouring of support we’ve seen from employees at City Hall and Trenton Water Works, along with the countless lives he has touched throughout the Trenton community, it’s clear his passing will leave a huge hole in the collective heart of this city. I wish his loved ones all the best through these troubled times. He will be missed.”


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Trenton Launches Homebound Resident Vaccination Program Earlier Today

April 12, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Earlier Today the Trenton Department of Health and Human Services is launched a homebound vaccination program that will bring 1,000 Johnson & Johnson single-dose COVID-19 vaccines to Trenton residents who are unable to get to a vaccine clinic on their own. City officials and health personnel met at a staging area Monday morning at Mott Elementary before heading out to several locations in the South Ward. 

In-home vaccinations will be provided to individuals – age 18 or over – who are immobile due to underlying medical conditions or transportation limitations. All in-home vaccinations will be administered by qualified medical professionals who will use the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine, which is easier to transport and requires only one appointment. City medical staff will wait 15 to 30 minutes with each patient after administering the vaccine to monitor for side effects.

The city already has a list of 400 individuals for the program and is scheduled to visit multiple senior and high-density housing locations over the next few weeks including South Village, Luther Arms, Kingsbury Towers, Trent Center East, Trent Center West, North 25, and numerous residential properties throughout Trenton.

Homebound residents or their relatives can call (609) 815-2556 or email amthomas@trentonnj.org to schedule an in-home vaccine appointment.

Read about the announcement on MidJersey.news here.





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Man Sentenced To 5 Years In NJ State Prison For “Grandparent Scam”

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced that a Bronx, N.Y., man was sentenced to state prison today for stealing a total of $142,900 from eight older adults in New Jersey using a “grandparent scam.”

Osvaldo Thomas, 41, of the Bronx, N.Y., was sentenced today to five years in state prison by Superior Court Judge Thomas J. Buck in Middlesex County. Thomas pleaded guilty on Feb. 19, 2021 to a second-degree charge of theft by deception.

In pleading guilty, Thomas admitted that he participated in a scam – commonly known as a “grandparent scam” – in which a caller claimed that the victim’s grandchild was in jail and that he was an attorney representing the grandchild. The caller told the victims that in order to get their grandchild out of jail, they needed to provide him with large sums of money for bail. The thefts occurred in April and May 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, and, in at least one instance, the victim also was told the grandchild had the coronavirus. Thomas or another individual posed as a “courier” to pick up the funds at the victim’s residence. He stole sums from the victims ranging from $10,300 to $27,000. Under the plea agreement, Thomas is responsible for paying full restitution of $142,900 to the victims.

Deputy Attorneys General Derek Miller and Aaron Witherspoon prosecuted the case and represented the Division of Criminal Justice (DCJ) Financial & Cyber Crimes Bureau at the sentencing hearing.

“Grandparent scams cause losses totaling in the tens of millions of dollars each year to victims in the United States,” said Attorney General Grewal. “This prison sentence sends a clear message that we will not tolerate criminals who prey on older adults, particularly con artists who scam victims by exploiting their love and concern for their grandchildren. What is more egregious, this defendant callously took advantage of the victims’ isolation from their families during the pandemic and their fears about the coronavirus.”

“Our Financial and Cyber Crimes Bureau works diligently to investigate all types of scams and bogus investment schemes, so as to guard the financial security of New Jersey residents,” said Director Veronica Allende of the Division of Criminal Justice. “We urge members of the public to notify us or their local police if they believe they are being targeted in a fraud scheme.”

Attorney General Grewal and Director Allende noted that the Division of Criminal Justice has established a toll-free tip line 1-866-TIPS-4CJ for the public to confidentially report fraud and other illegal activities. The public also can log on to the Division’s webpage at www.njdcj.org to report suspected wrongdoing confidentially.

Lieutenant Frederick Weidman and Deputy Attorneys General Miller and Witherspoon investigated the case for the DCJ Financial & Cyber Crimes Bureau, under the supervision of Bureau Chief Jillian Carpenter and Deputy Bureau Chief Mark Kurzawa.

Attorney General Grewal thanked the following detectives and agencies for their collaborative work on this investigation:

  • Detective Anthony Sorrentino, Cherry Hill Police Department
  • Detective Randy Patner, East Hanover Police Department
  • Detective Joseph Zeppetelli, East Hanover Police Department
  • Detective Thomas Laird, Sussex County Prosecutor’s Office
  • Detective Nicholas Aumendo, Gloucester Township Police Department
  • Detective Anthony Zamora, Clifton Police Department
  • Lt. Robert Baracken, Clifton Police Department
  • Detective Peter Ricciardi, Boonton Township Police Department
  • Detective Domenick Delucia, South Brunswick Police Department
  • Sgt. Sasha Higazi, Bound Brook Police Department
  • Detective Jonathan Berger, Essex Fells Police Department
  • Detective Alex Burchardt, Camden County Prosecutor’s Office
  • Detective Sgt. M. Braccioforte, New Jersey State Police

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Governor Murphy Signs Legislation Providing $15 Million in Aid to Small Businesses and Non-Profits

Legislation is Part of a $100 Million Relief Package for New Jersey Small Businesses

April 12, 2021

PRINCETON, NJ (MERCER)–Governor Phil Murphy today signed into law A-A5446, which provides $15 million in federal COVID-19 relief aid for small businesses throughout New Jersey. The bill – sponsored by Senators Linda Greenstein and Joseph Lagana and Assembly Members Joann Downey, Andrew Zwicker, and Sterley Stanley – provides aid in the form of grants to small businesses and non-profits in need. The bill is part of a five-bill, $100 million relief effort aimed at helping New Jersey’s small businesses recover from the year-long pandemic.

“New Jersey’s small businesses were particularly hard hit by the ravages of COVID-19, ” said Governor Murphy. “This legislation, along with three additional bills I signed last week and one I will sign in the near future, will go a long way toward helping hundreds of state businesses keep their doors open as we recover from this year-long ordeal.”

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, supporting small businesses has been central to Governor Murphy’s response. These businesses are the lifeblood of our economy, and ensuring they not only recover but come back stronger and better prepared for future challenges is critical to achieving a sustainable, equitable recovery,” said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “The funding announced today, in addition to the other funds for specific industries announced over the past week, will provide much-needed support for businesses as they overcome the remaining pandemic-related challenges and set the stage for a stronger, fairer recovery.”

“Providing our support during this difficult time will not only allow these organizations to remain in operation, but will help preserve and create jobs while spurring the economic recovery we aim to achieve,” said Assembly Members Downey, Zwicker and Stanley. “Investing in our businesses and non-profits will have a direct, beneficial impact on families throughout our state for years to come.”

“Throughout the last year, COVID-19 has placed a serious strain on many of our local businesses and nonprofit organizations. Unfortunately, a number of beloved businesses in our communities were unable to weather this storm and sadly closed their doors for good,” said Senator Greenstein. “This $15 million in federal funding will provide a big sigh of relief to so many business owners and nonprofits throughout our state, as well as their employees and individuals that rely on their services.”

“Providing financial support to businesses and nonprofits is fundamental to their survival during the pandemic,” said Senator Lagana.  “Local businesses create vibrant downtowns and communities, while nonprofits can efficiently and effectively provide services for people in need. Together, they will play a central role in New Jersey’s economic recovery and the quality of life for our residents.”

The relief aid will be administered by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, which will announce when the application for the aid is open. To date, the NJEDA has distributed more than $250 million in aid to some 55,000 businesses across the state.

The signing was held at Jammin’ Crepes, a business that began its journey at a farmers market in the local train station parking lot and in 2014 opened its first brick and mortar location in downtown Princeton.



Trenton Police To Participate In Denim Day In Awareness Of Sexual Violence

April 12, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Trenton Police Director Sheilah A. Coley announced that officers and civilian employees with the Trenton Police Department are being invited to wear denim jeans on April 28, 2021, in support of Womanspace Inc. and its observance of Denim Day to increase awareness of sexual violence.

Denim Day was born out of a 1998 Italian Supreme Court decision that overturned a rape conviction of an 18-year-old student, finding that the denim jeans she was wearing were so tight that she would have had to help take them off, implying consent.  The decision sparked international outrage, and as a result, wearing jeans has become a symbol of awareness that what someone wears is never an excuse for rape or sexual assault.

Trenton Police Department employees who plan to wear jeans on April 28 have been asked to explain the significance of the choice to anyone who asks about it.

As annual supporters of Denim Day and lifetime supporters of Womanspace Inc., the Trenton Police Department aims to change attitudes toward sexual assault, including corrections to common misconceptions about rape, such as “Women ask to be raped because of the way they dress or act.” A life free from sexual violence is a basic human right that should be accorded to all members of our society.

We ask that the community participate alongside of us and share their support on social media using hashtag #DenimDay.

Anyone suffering from sexual violence can contact the Trenton Police Department at 609-989-4000, also WomanSpace has a 24/7 crisis line (609) 394-9000.

More information about Womanspace can be found at www.womanspace.org


East Windsor Receives Tree City USA Community Designation and Tree City Growth Award

April 12, 2021

EAST WINDSOR, NJ (MERCER)–East Windsor Mayor Janice Mironov announced that East Windsor Township has been named a 2020 Tree City USA community by the National Arbor Day Foundation for its commitment to community forestry.  East Windsor, for the 21st year, has earned this recognition by meeting the four standards set by the Arbor Day Foundation:  having a tree board or department, a tree-care ordinance, a comprehensive community forestry budget of at least $2 per capita, and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation. 

East Windsor Township also has been awarded a Tree City USA Growth Award for 2020, a recognition awarded to communities that “demonstrate higher levels of tree care and community engagement.”  The Growth Award recognizes Tree City USA municipalities that achieve major milestones and annual activities that build upon their Tree City USA designation and combine to build sustainable community forestry programs over the long term.

Mayor Mironov stated “trees are a vital component of our community that provide long term environmental and economic benefits.  Trees help clean the air, conserve soil and water, moderate temperature and bring the beauty of nature into our daily lives.”  Mayor Mironov continued, “East Windsor Township remains committed to a healthy community environment, and we are proud of our long term 21 year designation as a Tree City USA community.  Significantly, East Windsor has earned the prestigious Tree City Growth Award in recognition of our efforts toward a long term sustainable future and the dedication of East Windsor’s elected officials, staff and citizens who work to grow and enhance our forestry and preserve our environment.”

The Tree City USA program is sponsored by The National Arbor Day Foundation in cooperation with the National Association of State Foresters and the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service.  The Arbor Day Foundation is a million member nonprofit conservation and education organization with the mission to inspire people to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees.