Category: Ewing

Vehicle Crash With Entrapment In Ewing Township

May 27, 2022

EWING TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Ewing Township Firefighters, EMS and Police responded to a motor vehicle accident with extrication on West Ingham Avenue near Kelsey Avenue at 1:12 p.m. Firefighters were able to extricate the trapped occupants. EMS transported the injured to a local hospital for treatment. Ewing Township Police is investigating the crash. No further details are available at this time.


Photos by: Brian McCarthy, OnScene News



Three Individuals Indicted For Scheme To Defraud U.S. Department Of Defense


Linda Mika, 70, and Paul Mika, 74, both of Jackson, New Jersey, and Kenneth Mika, 50, of Ewing, New Jersey, are charged by indictment with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and five counts of wire fraud in connection with the scheme. Kenneth Mika was additionally charged with two counts of making false statements.


May 26, 2022

TRENTON, N.J. – Three New Jersey, individuals were indicted today for their role in a years-long scheme to defraud the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) by providing military equipment parts that were not authorized under the governing contracts, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.

Linda Mika, 70, and Paul Mika, 74, both of Jackson, New Jersey, and Kenneth Mika, 50, of Ewing, New Jersey, are charged by indictment with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and five counts of wire fraud in connection with the scheme. Kenneth Mika was additionally charged with two counts of making false statements.

According to documents filed in this case:

From at least March 2016 through April 2020, the Mikas conspired with each other and others to defraud the DoD and one of its combat logistic support arms, the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), by engaging in a pattern of unlawful product substitution. Paul Mika was the founder and owner of Monmouth Marine Engines Inc. (Monmouth Marine), a maritime equipment and servicing facility, which, as an approved federal contractor, also entered into contracts with DLA to supply DoD contracting entities with replacement hardware for DoD’s military branches. Linda Mika, Paul Mika’s wife, and Kenneth Mika, Paul and Linda Mika’s son, were employees of Monmouth Marine.

The Mikas, on behalf of Monmouth Marine, obtained contracts with the DoD by falsely claiming that the military parts they contracted to provide would be exact products furnished by authorized manufacturers or suppliers. Once awarded the contracts, however, the Mikas sourced non-conforming substitute parts at a significantly reduced cost to fill the contracts. They did this to maximize their profit margin while also suppressing fair competition in the bidding of federal contracts. Upon receipt by Monmouth Marine, the non-conforming parts were then shipped to DLA in packaging disguising the parts’ identities in an effort by the Mikas to deceive DLA and its unwitting downstream purchasers.

During an audit of Monmouth Marine conducted in February 2020, Kenneth Mika falsely stated to DLA auditors that Monmouth Marine had been authorized by certain representatives of the Defense Contract Management Agency to substitute parts under DLA contracts. Kenneth Mika repeated these false representations to FBI and Defense Criminal Investigation Service agents in July 2020.

Each count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and wire fraud is punishable by a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a maximum $250,000 fine. Each count of making false statements is punishable by a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a maximum $250,00 fine.

U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of and the U.S. Department of Defense, Office of Inspector General, Defense Criminal Investigative Service, Northeast Field Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Patrick J. Hegarty; and special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Michael Messenger with the investigation leading to today’s indictment.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric A. Boden of the U.S. Attorney=s Office Criminal Division in Trenton.

The charges and allegations contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

22-200 

Defense counsel:

Linda Mika: Dennis C. Carletta Esq., Cedar Grove, New Jersey
Kenneth Mika: Eric W. Moran Esq., New York
Paul Mika: Timothy R. Anderson Esq., Red Bank, New Jersey






Ewing Police Vehicle Involved In Crash; Other Driver Made Illegal Turn In Path Of Police Vehicle

May 22, 2022

Update to last night’s story:

EWING TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Ewing Township Police say that on Saturday, May 21 at approximately 9:20 p.m., a Ewing Police vehicle was involved in a two car motor vehicle crash in the 1600 block of Olden Avenue. Preliminary investigation has indicated that the driver of the second vehicle made an illegal turn into the path of the Ewing officer. The officer was not responding to an emergency at the time of the crash. Two parties were transported to local hospitals with complaints of pain. The Ewing officer was also transported to a local hospital with minor injuries and was later released. Investigation is still underway at this time and anyone with information regarding the crash is encouraged to contact the investigating officer, Sgt. Vagnozzi at 609-882-1313.



Developing: Crash in Ewing Township Involving Vehicle With MG Plates

UPDATE HERE:

May 21, 2022

EWING TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Sometime around 9:30 p.m. a crash occurred in the 1500-1600 Block of N. Olden Avenue (CR-622) in Ewing Township involving a municipal government vehicle and a car. It was unclear if there were any injuries, and the airbags were deployed on the vehicle with MG plates. The car suffered rear end damage and came to rest in the driveway of Pizza City. Ewing Police diverted traffic onto Arctic Parkway until the crash was cleared from the roadway. This is a developing story and when information becomes available the story will be updated. Check back for updates.


One With Reported Airway Burns and Others Injured in High-Rise Fire in Ewing Township; Building Evacuated, 2 Units Uninhabitable

May 15, 2022

EWING TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–At 10:23 a.m. all Ewing Township Fire Departments responded to 1460 Parkside Avenue, an 8-story high-rise for a fire alarm. Around 10:29 a.m. a fire chief on scene upgraded the assignment to a 2nd Alarm with a reported fire on the 5th floor sending multiple departments to the scene. The fire was reported in Apartment 516 and firefighters knocked most of the fire down by 10:44 a.m. Three ambulances were called to the scene for smoke inhalation. One person was transported to the Trauma Center at Capital Health Regional Medical Center in Trenton with airway burns and a trauma alert was called en route to the hospital. There were reports of fire damage to apartment 516 and the apartment below 416 are uninhabitable due to water damage.

This is the second fire this month at the building. Another fire on the 6th Floor was reported on May 2, 2022. Firefighters reported “Tonight (May 2, 2022, at 10:32 p.m.), Ewing fire companies were dispatched to a local high rise apartment building for an alarm activation. Engine 31 arrived first due. Upon their investigation, a fire was located on the 6th floor. Crews were already standing by at the standpipe and immediately deployed a hand line. Additional crews assisted with ventilation and investigation. Chief 31 had Parkside Avenue Command.”

This is still a developing story check back for further details when they become available.





Ewing Firefighters Respond to Crane Emergency

May 6, 2022

EWING TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Ewing Township firefighters were dispatched to 1440 Lower Ferry Road for an “investigation” at 6:39 p.m. Shortly after arrival an additional ladder and engine were called to the scene for a problem with a crane at a building under renovation. It was reported that fifty people were evacuated from the building. The Ewing Township Construction Official, Ewing Township Fire Marshal, PSE&G all responded to the scene. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was also contacted. It was unclear what exactly was the cause of the crane emergency. No other details area available at this time.




Property Manager for Hamilton Park Co-Op Apartments, Charged with Embezzling and Laundering Stolen Funds

 In total, DePaola was charged with laundering approximately $1,149,784. 

April 5, 2022

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–A Mercer County grand jury recently returned a 12-count indictment charging a 64-year-old property manager with embezzling and laundering stolen funds from an apartment complex in Hamilton Township, Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri reported.

The indictment, returned April 1, 2022, charges Nicolas DePaola, 64, of Ewing, with first-degree financial facilitation of criminal activity, second-degree theft by unlawful taking, second-degree misapplication of entrusted property, second-degree theft by failure to make required disposition of property received, second-degree theft by unlawful taking, three counts of third-degree filing a fraudulent tax return, three counts of third-degree failure to pay income tax, and third-degree theft by failure to make required disposition of property received.

DePaola is charged with embezzling and laundering stolen funds from his former client, Hamilton Park CO-OP of Arena Drive, from 2014 through 2018.  DePaola acted as the property manager for the CO-OP after taking over for his father, Richard DePaola of R.A. DePaola, Inc.  According to the CO-OP’s tax documents, which DePaola was responsible for completing, reported management fees paid by the CO-OP to the defendant for 2014 through 2016 ranged from approximately $64,000-$79,000 per year.

From 2014 through 2018, financial records reveal Nicholas DePaola stole approximately $925,403 directly from the CO-OP in his capacity as the property manager, through unauthorized checks and transfers from the victim’s operating bank account.  Furthermore, the defendant used the CO-OP’s funds to pay his American Express credit card bills in the amount of $224,381 in the same timeframe.  In total, DePaola was charged with laundering approximately $1,149,784.  He also faces related tax charges.

DePaola’s criminal acts were initially uncovered when a CO-OP tenant mistakenly received a letter from Hamilton Township notifying the recipient that the property was going to be sold within days at tax sale because the CO-OP owed back taxes and sewer fees to Hamilton Township.  The outstanding bill with fees, penalties and interest totaled $372,840.39.  The matter was brought to the attention of the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Economic Crime Unit (ECU) in September 2019 and an investigation ensued.

Prosecutor Onofri credited ECU detectives with the investigation leading to the indictment.  He also thanked the New Jersey Division of Taxation Financial Investigations Unit and the National Insurance Crime Bureau for their assistance. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Rachel Cook, chief of the ECU.

Second-degree crimes carry a penalty of five to 10 years in state prison and a $150,000 fine.  Third-degree crimes carry a penalty of three to five years in state prison and a $15,000 fine.  If convicted of the first-degree crime of financial facilitation, DePaola faces a penalty of 10–20 years in state prison, to run consecutive to the theft charges, and a $200,000 fine.  Additionally, he would be subject to a $500,000 anti-money laundering profiteering penalty. 

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


DePaola is charged with embezzling and laundering stolen funds from his former client, Hamilton Park CO-OP of Arena Drive, from 2014 through 2018.  DePaola acted as the property manager for the CO-OP after taking over for his father, Richard DePaola of R.A. DePaola, Inc.  According to the CO-OP’s tax documents, which DePaola was responsible for completing, reported management fees paid by the CO-OP to the defendant for 2014 through 2016 ranged from approximately $64,000-$79,000 per year. From 2014 through 2018, financial records reveal Nicholas DePaola stole approximately $925,403 directly from the CO-OP in his capacity as the property manager, through unauthorized checks and transfers from the victim’s operating bank account.  Furthermore, the defendant used the CO-OP’s funds to pay his American Express credit card bills in the amount of $224,381 in the same timeframe.  In total, DePaola was charged with laundering approximately $1,149,784.  He also faces related tax charges.



Ewing Township Firefighters Quickly Knock Down Bedroom Fire

April 2, 2022

EWING TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Just after 9:00 a.m. the Ewing Township Fire Departments were dispatched to the first block of Keswick Avenue for a reported fire. Upon arrival firefighters reported they had a bedroom fire on the second floor. Firefighters quickly stretched a line knocking down the fire and ventilated the structure, saving the home. The fire marshal was called to the scene for an investigation. No further details are available at this time.




TTN – Trenton-Mercer Airport Terminal Project Advances

March 21, 2022

EWING TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has given Mercer County the green light to move forward with the design and construction of a new passenger terminal at Trenton-Mercer Airport, County Executive Brian M. Hughes announced.

 “This is great news for Trenton-Mercer Airport and the many thousands of travelers who pass through our passenger facility,” Mr. Hughes said. “We appreciate the FAA’s diligence in its review of the Environmental Assessment for the proposed new airport terminal, and we’re pleased that we have the go-ahead to advance this important project.”

The agency issued the Finding of No Significant Impacts and Record of Decision (FONSI/ROD) for the Environmental Assessment (EA) for the proposed new passenger facility at the nearly century-old airport in Ewing Township.

FONSI documents the FAA determination that a proposed action does not have the potential for significant environmental impacts. A FONSI does not represent the FAA’s decision to implement the proposed action. A ROD is issued prior to a proposed action to explain why the FAA approved or did not approve it.

Mercer County proposes replacing the old terminal, which was built in the 1970s, with a modern four-aircraft-gate terminal to be located adjacent to the existing terminal. The purpose of a new terminal is to better accommodate current airport users and to meet forecasted demands to the year 2035. A new terminal would address the needs of all aspects of airport functions such as baggage handling, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoint and baggage screening, airline operations, and improved customer comforts such as concessions, waiting areas and restrooms. There is no plan or proposal for new or longer runways, and the airport size would remain exactly as it is today.

“The existing terminal at Trenton-Mercer Airport is about one-third the size it should be for the number of travelers currently using it,” Mr. Hughes said. “As we emerge from the coronavirus crisis, we expect an increasing demand for leisure travel, and nationwide and at Trenton-Mercer, we are seeing airlines adding new flights and reviving old ones.”

The EA process, governed by the FAA, included data collection, development and analysis of alternatives, identification and analysis of environmental impacts of the proposed terminal, and a public participation. The purpose of the EA is to evaluate the potential direct, indirect and cumulative impacts of the terminal project, and to look for ways to minimize or avoid potential environmental impacts. The development of the proposed new terminal was arrived at by analyzing several terminal building alternatives along with a no-action alternative as they relate to environmental, social and economic impacts.

The FONSI/ROD notification will be made public along with copies of the EA. The posting of the notification and EA documents upon receipt by the FAA will be posted on the terminal project website, www.TTNTerminal.com The FONSI/ROD notification will be advertised in local newspapers, and will be posted on social media and the Mercer County website, www.mercercounty.org



Mercer County Proposed 2022 Budget Calls for Flat Tax Levy

February 22, 2022

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)– Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes has presented to the County Board of Commissioners his administration’s proposed 2022 budget, a $358 million spending plan that stays within the state-mandated 2-percent cap and would result in no increase to the tax levy.

Mr. Hughes on Feb. 22 presented an overview of his administration’s budget proposal to the commissioners, who will review the document over the coming weeks before voting on its adoption.

Of the total budget, $269 million would be collected through property taxes, the same levy as last year.

“This document represents our effort to provide the best possible government in the most cost-effective manner to the taxpayer,” Mr. Hughes said. “The ongoing pandemic has tested us as never before. While we may have changed the way we deliver some services, I am proud of the fact that we have continued to provide resources our residents expect, and I applaud the creativity of our county workforce, including this board, for their flexibility.”

A resident’s actual tax rate will rise or fall depending on his or her municipality once the county rate is equalized to reflect the difference between municipal property assessments and property market values.

The budget proposes that $6.5 million of the County’s surplus be used, leaving a $33 million balance, along with $22 million from the federal American Rescue Plan fund to “help offset the enormous expenditures incurred during the unprecedented pandemic response,” Mr. Hughes said. The spending plan “reflects our continued response to the challenges brought by the pandemic and the toll it has taken on the health of our residents, as well as our county finances, and as a result of our responsible planning, we can propose a budget that is considerate of our taxpayers and offers relief by holding the line,” Mr. Hughes added.


Walkway Reported from Trenton Psychiatric Hospital — LOCATED NO LONGER MISSING

February 21, 2022

EWING TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–The Ewing Police Department reported that at 10:07 p.m., Ewing Police dispatch was notified by NJ Human Services Police that a male walked away from Trenton Psychiatric Hospital (TPH). Investigation revealed that Brian Thorne who is 48 year old, black male partially bald approximately 6’1” 176 pounds and was last seen wearing a black jacket, black hat, black sweatpants and black shoes. He walked away from the facility at approximately 8:30PM. Thorne was at TPH on a non-criminal hold. Human Services Police have entered Thorne into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) as a missing person. Thorne has ties to Essex County. If you see Brian Thorne, please do not approach him,
and call 9-1-1. The photo below is from August 2021.

LOCATED NO LONGER MISSING



Serious Motor Vehicle Crashes Reported in Ewing Township

February 18, 2022

EWING TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–A serious two vehicle collision happened near the Parkway and Concord Avenue intersection around 5:00 p.m. Ewing Police, Ewing Fire Departments, Ewing EMS and Captial Paramedics responded to the scene. Victims were transported to local hospitals for treatment. No further information is available at this time.

About an hour later at 6:00 p.m., Ewing Police, Ewing Fire Departments and EMS were sent to the 700 Block of Parkway for a reported accident with entrapment. Upon arrival it was determined that there was no entrapment or injuries but there were fluids on the roadway.




PSE&G On the Job Restoring Power in Ewing Township

February 18, 2022

EWING TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Ewing Police reported this morning that there is a pole down in the area of Ewingville Road and Green Lane. Officers are on scene controlling traffic and waiting for PSE&G. Please avoid the area as the intersection may be completely closed. We realize there is no direct alternate route, so please plan well in advance if traveling to the area. We expect heavy traffic delays between the hours of 8:30am and 9:15am as students are dropped off at Antheil Elementary School. We will update this page as conditions change.

Update at 6:36am. The intersection will be completely closed for at least an hour.

Update at 9:44am. The intersection will be closed for at least another hour.

Update at 1:36pm. The intersection is still closed. PSE&G is working as quickly and carefully as they can to fix the situation.


Benebone and Habitat for Humanity kick off the New Year by giving local family a “paw-up” with new, affordable home in Ewing

February 15, 2022

EWING TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER) – What can be done in a year? For partners Benebone and Habitat for Humanity, a new affordable home in Ewing that stands complete and ready for a family to purchase is a testament to their efforts over the last year as they worked together to bring the home into existence.

The partnership between Benebone, a leading brand of durable chew toys for dogs, and Habitat for Humanity of South Central New Jersey, a local housing nonprofit, began in 2021 with a simple phone call. The equally passionate teams found their “dogmas” complemented each other perfectly, and together they have embarked on making a family’s homeownership dreams come true.

“We have been blown away by the incredible care and effort Benebone has put into this partnership. They have been involved in every step of the process, from the groundbreaking and modular placement to flying in employees to volunteer on the work site,” says Habitat CEO, Lori Leonard, “Even when construction was delayed due to challenges posed by Covid-19, Benebone stepped up even further by inviting our future homeowner and her children on a holiday shopping trip in December.”

Now, an intimate group of Benebone employees, Habitat BMC staff, volunteers, and supporters will come together in celebrating not only the completion of the project, but also the start of a wonderful new journey for the family.

“At Benebone, we’re dog-obsessed, but also care deeply about making a difference in people’s lives,” says Peter Toolan, founder and CEO of Benebone, “We’re thrilled to partner with Habitat on their mission of access to home ownership.  We are inspired by the family’s hard work and dedication and have enjoyed donating sweat equity hours side-by-side with her.  Wishing her family a lifetime of happiness!”

The new Habitat Homeowner works as a senior medical security officer. She has been looking for quite some time for a safe and affordable place to call home for her and her two young children. Thanks to the Affordable Homeownership Program at Habitat and Benebone’s home sponsorship support, the family is moving out of their cramped, outdated, and ill-maintained rental apartment and into a three-bedroom home outfitted with new appliances and endless possibilities. The homeowner shares the importance of homeownership for her and her family, saying, “Being a homeowner means everything to me. To me, owning your own property, a place that you and your family have to live, creates comfort when you know it’s yours and are able to create memories.”

The homeowner has worked tirelessly to achieve this moment, and as a single mom, she has had to balance work and caring for her family while also attending weekly financial classes and homeowner preparation seminars, lending a hand at the construction of her home and other Habitat projects, and saving funds for the new responsibilities that come with owning a home. As a Habitat homeowner, she knows that the hardest part is behind her now as she receives the keys to her new home; a place that will provide her family with comfort and security, with a yard that has space for playing with furry loved ones, and that comes with an affordable mortgage.

Leading up to her home dedication ceremony, she expresses, “Now that I am becoming a homeowner I look forward to making my home comfortable and a safe place for me and my children. I also look forward to being able to do more things at home with my children being that we will have more space and a backyard. I just want my children to be happy and know what’s important in life and that’s family.”

This home is special for so many reasons, and Habitat is endlessly thankful for this relationship with Benebone which has led to the sponsorship and construction of this home in Ewing, from the foundation to the front door. This build is no random happenstance, either as the neighborhood is located near the birthplace of Peter Toolan, who is one of Benebone’s founding partners. Peter, along with his father Jim Toolan, founded Benebone in 2012 and have led the company to much success through their growing line of durable chew products for dogs. Now, they’ve succeeded in giving a local family the “paw-up” they needed to build a brighter future for themselves, their family, and their furry loved ones.

To see photos of this project’s process, the new homeowner, and the home dedication ceremony, check out @HabitatSCNJ and @mybenebone on Facebook and Instagram. Be sure to check out all that Benebone has to offer at www.benebone.com, and visit www.HabitatSCNJ.org for more information on Habitat’s services, active builds, and current events.

House Fire Quickly Extinguished in Ewing Township

February 15, 2022

EWING TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–At 11:05 a.m. Ewing Township firefighters were sent to the first block of Tall Tree Court for a reported fire on the second floor of a home. Chief 31 arrived at 11:09 a.m. and reported smoke on the 2nd floor of the right side of the building, all occupants were out of the house but there were reports of pets inside. Firefighters advanced two hand lines to the second floor and quickly extinguished the fire, bringing the fire under control at 11:18 a.m. The Mercer County Fire Marshal responded and conducted an investigation, the investigation was completed at 1:17 p.m. No further information is available at this time.




House Fire Extinguished in Ewing

February 12, 2022

EWING, NJ (MERCER) – A house fire was quickly extinguished by Ewing Township fire companies on Saturday afternoon (Feb. 12). The blaze at 84 Florence Avenue was reported shortly after 4:15 p.m. Smoke was visible from the roof line of the two-story home when the first firefighters arrived a few minutes later. Crews advanced a pair of 1.75-inch hoselines into the house and quickly located and knocked down a fire in the attic area. A rapid intervention team from Hamilton Township Fire Department also responded to the scene but their services were ultimately not needed. The blaze was officially placed under control at 4:40 p.m. 


Mercer County Sites Offer Tax Help to Qualified Citizens

February 8, 2022

Free tax preparation assistance available in Mercer County

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)— Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes reminds residents that many sites throughout Mercer County offer free income tax preparation assistance to help them prepare and file their 2021 taxes. The deadline for filing 2021 tax returns for both state and federal taxes is April 18, 2022. Below is a list of sites where free income tax preparation assistance is being provided to qualified individuals. Call the site for required paperwork.

AARP Tax-Aide program sites in Mercer County

The AARP Foundation provides Tax-Aides to assist people with low to moderate incomes with 2018 tax preparation at Mercer County Connection, libraries and other sites. For more information, including a list of documents to bring to the Tax-Aide site, visit www.aarp.org/money/taxes/aarp_taxaide/.

Ewing Branch, Mercer County Library System, 61 Scotch Road, Ewing
Wednesdays, 1:30 to 5 p.m. Appointment necessary; call (609) 882-3148.

Ewing Library Hollowbrook Branch, 320 Hollowbrook Drive, Ewing
Thursdays, 9 a.m. to noon. Appointment necessary; call (609) 883-5914.

Hamilton Senior Center, 409 Cypress Lane, Hamilton
Thursdays, 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Appointment necessary; call (609) 890-3686.

Hopewell Branch, Mercer County Library System, 245 Pennington Titusville Road, Pennington
Tuesdays, 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Appointment necessary; call (609) 737-2610.

Lawrence Headquarters Branch, Mercer County Library System, 2751 Brunswick Ave., Lawrence
Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Appointment necessary; call (609) 882-9246.

Lawrence Senior Center, 30 East Darrah Lane, Lawrence
Tuesdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Appointment necessary; call (609) 844-7048. Seniors preferred.

Mercer County Connection, through United Way, 957 Route 33 (Acme shopping center), Hamilton
Mondays and Wednesdays, 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Appointment necessary; call (609) 890-9800. Mercer County residents only.

Princeton Public Library, 65 Witherspoon St., Princeton
Mondays, 10:15 a.m. to 2 p.m. Appointment necessary; call (609) 924-9529, ext.1220

Princeton Senior Resource Center, 45 Stockton St., Princeton
Fridays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Appointment necessary; call (609) 924-7108.

Robbinsville Branch, Mercer County Library System, 42 Robbinsville Allentown Road, Robbinsville
Wednesdays, 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Appointment necessary; call (609) 259-2150.

RWJ Fitness and Wellness Center, 3100 Quakerbridge Road, Mercerville
Wednesdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Appointment necessary; call (609) 584-5900.

West Windsor Senior Center, 271 Clarksville Road, Princeton Junction
Tuesdays, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Appointment necessary; call (609) 799-9068.

IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program sites in Mercer County

The VITA Program generally offers free tax help to people who make $54,000 or less, people with disabilities, and limited-English-speaking taxpayers who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to qualified individuals in local communities. For more information, visit www.irs.gov/Individuals/Free-Tax-Return-Preparation-for-You-by-Volunteers.

Boys & Girls Club of Trenton, 212 Centre St., Trenton
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, noon. to 3 p.m. Walk-ins welcome; call (609) 392-3191 for required paperwork.

Boys & Girls Club of Mercer County, 1040 Spruce St., Lawrence
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, noon. to 3 p.m. Walk-ins welcome; call (609) 392-3191 for required paperwork.

Catholic Charities of Trenton, 39 North Clinton Ave, Building 1, Side Door, Trenton
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, noon to 3 p.m. Walk-ins welcome; call (609) 394-5181 for required paperwork.

United Way of Greater Mercer County, 3150 Brunswick Pike, Crossroads Corporate Center, Suite 230, Lawrence
Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 5 to 8 p.m., Thursdays, 9 a.m. to noon, and Saturdays, noon to 3 p.m. Appointment required; call (609) 896-1912, for required paperwork.


Frontier Airlines and Spirit Airlines to Combine, Creating America’s Most Competitive Ultra-Low Fare Airline

February 7, 2022

Frontier Airlines flies daily from TTN Trenton-Mercer County Airport. Spirit Airlines flies daily from Atlantic City International Airport. Both Frontier and Spirit Airlines fly from Newark Liberty International Airport and Philadelphia International Airport to multiple destinations.

DENVER, Colo. and MIRAMAR, Fla., Feb. 07, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Spirit Airlines, Inc. (“Spirit”) (NYSE: SAVE) and Frontier Group Holdings, Inc. (“Frontier”) (NASDAQ: ULCC), parent company of Frontier Airlines, Inc., today announced a definitive merger agreement under which the companies will combine, creating America’s most competitive ultra-low fare airline.

Together, Frontier and Spirit expect to change the industry for the benefit of consumers, bringing more ultra-low fares to more travelers in more destinations across the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean, including major cities as well as underserved communities. The stronger financial profile of the combined company will empower it to accelerate investment in innovation and growth and compete even more aggressively, especially against the dominant “Big Four” 1 airlines, among others.

William A. Franke, the Chair of Frontier’s Board of Directors and the managing partner of Indigo Partners, Frontier’s majority shareholder, noted that Indigo has a long history with both Spirit and Frontier, and is proud to partner with them in creating a disruptive airline. “We worked jointly with the Board of Directors and senior management team across both carriers to arrive at a combination of two complementary businesses that together will create America’s most competitive ultra-low fare airline for the benefit of consumers.”

“We are thrilled to join forces with Frontier to further democratize air travel,” said Ted Christie, President and CEO of Spirit. “This transaction is centered around creating an aggressive ultra-low fare competitor to serve our Guests even better, expand career opportunities for our Team Members and increase competitive pressure, resulting in more consumer-friendly fares for the flying public. We look forward to uniting our talented teams to shake up the airline industry while also continuing our commitment to excellent Guest service.”

“This combination is all about growth, opportunities and creating value for everyone – from our Guests to our Team Members to the flying public at large,” said Mac Gardner, Chairman of the Board of Spirit. “We’re a perfect fit – our businesses share similar values, including our longstanding commitment to affordable travel. At the same time, we have complementary footprints and fleets, including one of the youngest and greenest fleets worldwide. Together, we will be even more competitive for our Guests and our Team Members, and we are confident we can deliver on the benefits of this combination to consumers.”

“Together, Frontier and Spirit will be America’s Greenest Airline and deliver more ultra-low fares to more people in more places,” said Barry Biffle, President and CEO of Frontier. “I couldn’t be more excited for our team members, customers, partners, the communities we serve and our shareholders.”



Consumers Win With More Ultra-Low Fares to More Places

The combined airline is expected to:

Deliver $1 billion in annual consumer savings.

Offer more than 1,000 daily flights to over 145 destinations in 19 countries, across complementary networks. Expand with more than 350 aircraft on order to deliver more ultra-low fares.

Increase access to ultra-low fares by adding new routes to underserved communities across the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean.

Deliver even more reliable service through a variety of operational efficiencies. Expand frequent flyer and membership offerings.

Team Members Win With Expanded Opportunities and Increased Stability

By 2026 Spirit and Frontier expect to add 10,000 direct jobs and thousands of additional jobs at the companies’ business partners.

Given the growth of the combined company, it is expected that all current team members will have an opportunity to be a part of the combined airline.

Team Members of the combined airline will have better career opportunities and more stability as part of the most competitive ultra-low fare airline in the United States.

Sustainability Wins With America’s Greenest Airline

Frontier and Spirit will be America’s Greenest Airline, providing nationwide access to sustainable and affordable air travel. The combined airline will have the youngest, most modern and fuel-efficient fleet in the United States, featuring the largest fleet of A320neo family aircraft of any airline in the country. The combined airline is expected to achieve over 105 seat miles per gallon by 2025.

Shareholders Win With Superior Value Creation

The combination of Spirit and Frontier is expected to deliver enhanced value to shareholders of both companies.

On a combined basis, the company would have annual revenues of approximately $5.3 billion based on 2021 results. Once combined, Frontier and Spirit expect to deliver annual run-rate operating synergies of $500 million once full integration is completed, which will be primarily driven by scale efficiencies and procurement savings across the enterprise with approximately $400 million in one-time costs.

The combined airline is expected to have a strengthened financial profile, with a cash balance of approximately $2.42 billion as of the end of 2021 on a combined basis.

Under the terms of the merger agreement, which has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies, Spirit equity holders will receive 1.9126 shares of Frontier plus $2.13 in cash for each existing Spirit share they own. This implies a value of $25.83 per Spirit share at Frontier’s closing stock price of $12.39 on February 4, 2022, representing a premium of 19% over the February 4, 2022, closing price of Spirit, and a 26% premium based on the 30 trading-day volume-weighted average prices of Frontier and Spirit. The transaction values Spirit at a fully diluted equity value of $2.9 billion, and a transaction value of $6.6 billion when accounting for the assumption of net debt and operating lease liabilities.

Upon closing of the transaction, existing Frontier equity holders will own approximately 51.5% and existing Spirit equity holders will own approximately 48.5% of the combined airline, on a fully diluted basis, providing both Frontier and Spirit equity holders with substantial upside potential.

Bringing Our Airlines Together – Governance and Timing to Completion

The Board of Directors for the new airline will be comprised of 12 directors (including the CEO), seven of whom will be named by Frontier and five of whom will be named by Spirit. Mr. Franke will be Chairman of the Board of the combined company.

The merger is expected to close in the second half of 2022, subject to satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including completion of the regulatory review process and approval by Spirit stockholders. Frontier’s controlling stockholder has approved the transaction and related issuance of shares of Frontier common stock upon signing of the merger agreement. The combined company’s management team, branding and headquarters will be determined by a committee led by Mr. Franke prior to close.





Ewing Township Man Sentenced to 8 Years in NJ State Prison for Eluding, Terroristic Threats and Aggravated Assault in Jackson Township

February 5, 2022

JACKSON TOWNSHIP, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on Friday, February 4, Michael Mahan, 38, of Ewing Township, was sentenced by the Honorable Michael T. Collins, J.S.C., to eight years New Jersey State Prison (NJSP), as a result of a previously entered guilty plea to Eluding in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:29-2b, in connection with a series of events that transpired in Jackson Township on May 8, 2021. Additionally, Judge Collins sentenced Mahan to five years NJSP as a result of his previously entered guilty plea to Terroristic Threats in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-3b, and five years NJSP as a result of his guilty plea to Aggravated Assault in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1b(2), likewise arising out of the events that occurred in Jackson Township on May 8, 2021. The sentences will run concurrently. Judge Collins also suspended Mahan’s driving privileges for a period of seven months as a result of his guilty plea to Driving While Intoxicated in violation of N.J.S.A. 39:4-50. Mahan pled guilty to all of these charges before Judge Collins on September 29, 2021.

On May 8, 2021, Jackson Township Police Officers responded to a 911 call for a report of a stabbing incident on Maria Street. Responding Officers discovered a female with a large slash across her face. An investigation conducted by the Jackson Township Police revealed that the female victim had been followed to her residence by Mahan. Mahan held a knife to the victim’s neck, threatened to kill her, and then struck her in the face while holding the knife, thereby causing a laceration to her face. As a neighbor intervened and called 911, Mahan fled the area. Mahan’s vehicle was observed by Officers traveling on Toms River Road. A pursuit was initiated, and Mahan fled at a high rate of speed. As Mahan was attempting to navigate a turn onto West Veterans Highway, he struck another vehicle. As he continued travelling at a high rate of speed on West Veterans Highway, Mahan’s vehicle collided with yet another vehicle, forcing it off the road. Mahan’s vehicle traveled approximately 500 more feet before it became disabled; he was subsequently taken into custody without incident.

Mahan was initially transported to Monmouth Medical Center, Southern Campus in Lakewood for the purpose of securing a blood sample to determine whether he was operating the motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs; laboratory results from the blood draw later confirmed that Mahan’s blood alcohol level was .14 – nearly twice the legal limit under New Jersey law. Mahan was transported to the Ocean County Jail, where he has been lodged since May 8, 2021.

The female victim was transported to an area hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries. The occupants of the two vehicles struck by Mahan were treated at the scene for minor injuries.

Prosecutor Billhimer acknowledges the diligent efforts of Assistant Prosecutor Victoria Veni who handled the case on behalf of the State, as well as Jackson Township Police Department, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, for their collaborative efforts in connection with this investigation ultimately leading to Mahan’s apprehension, guilty pleas, and now his state prison sentence.







Firefighters Extinguish Truck Fire in Mercer County DOT Building Saving Fleet of Snow Removal Equipment as Storms Approach

January 20, 2022

EWING TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Ewing Township firefighters and Mercer County Airport firefighters responded to 300 Scotch Road for a vehicle on fire inside a Mercer County Department of Transportation building around 3:30 a.m. First arriving firefighters found a DOT truck fully involved inside the center bay of the vehicle garage and a full first alarm was called. Mercer County Airport Fire Department used their ARFF front bumper turret to start knocking down the flames. Chief 33 reported water on the fire and flames knocked down. Firefighters used handlines to further extinguish and mop up.

It appears that there was smoke and heat damage to the structure and firefighters were able to knock the fire down in time before it spread to other vehicles saving the building, vehicles and other equipment stored there. Quick action by firefighters saved Mercer County’s fleet of snow removal equipment with a reported storm on the way.

No further details are available at this time.

About an hour later Ewing Township firefighters responded to a Mercer County DOT vehicle with a brake fire on Scotch Road and Parkway Avenue. The fire was quickly extinguished.





Around an hour later Ewing Township firefighters responded to a Mercer County DOT vehicle with a brake fire on Scotch Road and Parkway Avenue:

Serious Crash on Pennington Road in Ewing Township

January 19, 2022

EWING TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Around 5:00 p.m. a serious crash occurred on Pennington Road (Route 31) and Hilltop Road with reported people trapped. Upon arrival of the fire department there was reported entrapment in two vehicles. One person was able to self-extricate and reported not injured. The other vehicle a person was removed from the vehicle. It was unclear if anyone was transported from the scene to the hospital. New Jersey Department of Transportation was notified due to a fluid spill from the vehicles involved in the crash. No other information is available at this time.



Firefighters battle 2-Alarm house fire in Ewing Township

January 18, 2022

EWING TWP (MERCER)– Fire companies from multiple towns battled a second alarm fire in Ewing Township’s Hillcrest section this morning.

Firefighters responded to a home in the 300 block of Beechwood Avenue just before 9:00 am on a reported light fixture on fire inside of the residence. Companies arrived on scene with visible smoke from the exterior, and the first alarm was placed. Crews began going to work as the fire quickly began to spread through the attic. Within minutes, the second alarm was placed.

Two hose lines were stretched into service to knock down the fire on the second and third floors. Interior crews did have to evacuate for a short period of time due to unsafe conditions.

The fire was placed under control around 9:50 am. One dog was rescued from the home unharmed. It is unknown if any people were injured in the incident.

The fire was brought under control by Ewing Twp Fire Dept, Prospect Heights Vol Fire Co, West Trenton Vol Fire Co, Hamilton Fire Dept, Union Fire Co, Pennington Fire Dept, Lawrenceville Fire Co, Lawrence Road Fire Co, Slackwood Fire Company, Mercer County Fire Coordinators, and Signal 22 Canteen Unit.

No further information is available.




Three Trenton Teens Shot in Ewing Township

January 10, 2022

EWING TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)—On January 9, 2022, at approximately 10:15 p.m., Ewing Police Officers heard numerous gunshots in the area of Parkway Avenue and Pennington Road. Officer immediately responded to the area and initially did not locate a scene. Several minutes later, a vehicle, which contained a gunshot victim, approached the officers. Officers immediately rendered medical aid to the victim in the vehicle. Officers later learned that two other gunshot victims had been transported to Capital Health Hopewell in a private vehicle. The three victims are two 18-year-old males and one 17-year-old male, all residents of Trenton, NJ. All three victims sustained non-life-threatening injuries. The incident is currently under investigation and there are not suspects at this time. Anyone with information is encouraged to call Detective Andrew Condrat at 609-882-1313 x7583. Information can also be sent by call or test to our confidential tip line, 609-882-7530 or emailed to policetimpline@ewingnj.org


2021 Murders Reach All-Time High in Mercer County as Trenton Ties Prior Year’s Record

Murder Totals in Mercer County for 2021: Trenton: 40 Hamilton: 6 Ewing: 3

January 1, 2022

MERCER COUNTY, NJ –Murder Homicides in Mercer County have reached an all-time high of 49 for the year 2021. Other higher years in Mercer County were tied with 41 murders in 2013 and 2020.

Trenton ends 2021 with 40 murders with a tie of the all-time high set the prior year in 2020. Ewing Township reported 3 murders and Hamilton Township 6 murders in 2021.

None of the other municipalities in Mercer Conty have reported any murders for 2021





Mercer county Murders Per Year Since 1989

NJ State Police Uniform Crime Report available here: https://www.njsp.org/ucr/uniform-crime-reports.shtml

1989 = 26

1990 = 25

1991 = 10

1992 = 17

1993 = 19

1994 = 12

1995 = 20

1996 = 16

1997 = 14

1998 = 15

1999 = 10

2000 = 17

2001 = 18

2002 = 21

2003 = 16

2004 = 23

2005 = 34

2006 = 21

2007 = 26

2008 = 24

2009 = 18

2010 = 20

2011 = 25

2012 = 26

2013 = 41

2014 = 32

2015 = 20

2016 = 26

2017 = 27

2018 = 22

2019 = 20

2020 = 41

2021 = 49** As of 12/31/2021 at 9:00 p.m.


Trenton Murders Per Year Since 1989

NJ State Police Uniform Crime Report available here: https://www.njsp.org/ucr/uniform-crime-reports.shtml

1989 = 22

1990 = 21

1991 = 7

1992 = 16

1993 = 11

1994 = 9

1995 = 16

1996 = 14

1997 = 12

1998 = 15

1999 = 8

2000 = 14

2001 = 13

2002 = 19

2003 = 13

2004 = 18

2005 = 31

2006 = 18

2007 = 25

2008 = 19

2009 = 18

2010 = 15

2011 = 23

2012 = 24

2013 = 37

2014 = 32

2015 = 17

2016 = 21

2017 = 23

2018 = 16

2019 = 15

2020 = 40

2021 = 40** As of 12/31/2021 at 9:00 p.m.

  • Prior to 1989 the known highest murder number in Trenton, NJ was 1970 with 27

Names of 40 Trenton 2021** homicide victims with links to MidJersey.News stories:

  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. 8/27/2021 Ziare Jones, Shooting
  22. 8/30/2021  Fred Davis, 43, Trenton, Shooting
  23. 9/06/2021  Shamiem Young, 26, Trenton, Shooting
  24. 9/17/2021  Jeff Charles, 37, Trenton, Shooting
  25. 9/25/2021  Shemiah Davis, 15, Trenton, Shooting
  26. 10/2/2021  Omar Burgess, 49, of Trenton, Shooting
  27. 10/3/2021  Elias Juarez Lopez, 31, of Princeton, Shooting
  28. 10/4/2021  Candice Ruff, 19, of Trenton, Shooting On September 25
  29. 10/7/2021  Douglas Munn, 50, of Trenton. Shooting
  30. 10/13/2021 Melvin Williams 26, of Trenton, Shooting
  31. 10/29/2021 Edwin Obdulio Gomez Interiano, 41, Shooting
  32. 10/29/2021 Everth Barrera, 56, of Ewing, Shooting
  33. 10/30/2021 Dartanian Ames of Lawrence, 41, Shooting
  34. 11/1/2021  Hector Torres, 43, of Trenton, Shooting on 10/31
  35. 11/17/2021 David Johnson, 39, of Trenton
  36. 12/11/2021 Michael Degrass of Trenton
  37. 12/18/2021Unidentified male, shot Garfield Ave
  38. 12/25/2021 Selvin Lima, Arson
  39. 12/25/2021 Dilman Canpos, Arson
  40. 12/31/2021 Shooting Donnelly Homes

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

**As of 9:00 p.m. 12/31/ 2021


Hamilton Township 2021 homicides stories:







Ewing Township 2021 Homicide stories:








Ewing Firefighters Respond to Crash on Bear Tavern Road at Nursery Road

December 16, 2021

EWING TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–At 12:59 p.m. Ewing Township firefighters responded to the intersection of Bear Tavern Road and nursery Road with reports of injuries and entrapment. Engine 30 and Rescue 33 arrived and found everyone out of the vehicles. Firefighters assisted with injuries until Capital Health Paramedics and Ewing EMS could arrive. Ewing Township Police Department is investigating the crash. No further information was available.


Photos by: Brian McCarthy, OnScene News


Governor Murphy and First Lady Tammy Murphy Announce the Return of The Holidays at Drumthwacket

New Jerseyans Invited to Drumthwacket for Open House Tours to View Holiday Decorations

December 10, 2021

PRINCETON, NJ (MERCER)–Governor Phil Murphy and First Lady Tammy Murphy today announced the return of The Holidays at Drumthwacket, a longstanding tradition of open house tours at the Governor’s official residence in Princeton to celebrate the holiday season. New Jerseyans are invited to attend the open house tours to view the holiday decorations on display. The Drumthwacket Foundation, in partnership with six garden clubs from across New Jersey, have decorated each room using fresh arrangements and greenery to complement the architecture and decor of the historical property. “The holiday season is a wonderful time to celebrate with loved ones and reflect on our blessings,” said First Lady Tammy Murphy, President of the Drumthwacket Foundation. “After a challenging year for all, we are thrilled to open the People’s House and invite everyone to safely tour the beautiful décor and magical holiday displays created by New Jersey’s renowned garden clubs. Phil and I look forward to this tradition every year, and we are grateful that we can once again open Drumthwacket’s doors to share in this joyous season with all New Jerseyans.” The tours are self-guided and there will be several docents stationed throughout Drumthwacket to answer questions and provide historical information about the property. The open house tours will be held on the following dates:

  • Thursday, December 16, 2021, 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, December 18, 2021, 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
  • Monday, December 20, 2021, 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Admission and on-site parking are free of charge, but reservations are required to ensure proper social distancing. All visitors, regardless of vaccination status, are required to wear a mask. To make tour arrangements, visit https://drumthwacket.org/visit/open-houses/.  TheHolidays at Drumthwacket includes the following display presentations located throughout the first floor of the residence: 
Entrance Gate & Window Wreaths
Decorated by Belvidere Garden Club
Simplistic elegance characterizes the Entrance Gate wreaths decorated with pinecones, berries, and pheasant feathers with splashes of crystal and gold and complimented by rich red velvet ribbon trim. The 29 window wreaths are festooned with bows of rich red velvet ribbon. 

Foyer
Decorated by Keyport Garden Club
The theme of this room is pearl, gold, and silver elegance. The Pearl represents Keyport itself as it is often called the “Pearl of The Bayshore” and the gold and silver speak to the elegance. The staircase is adorned with tear drop garland adorned with cream, gold, and silver ribbons. The tree in the foyer is decorated with ornaments representing Keyport. The sideboard is adorned with both a Menorah, honoring Chanukah, and a Nativity, honoring Christmas. The dried florals in the foyer have been harvested from Keyport Garden Club member gardens. 

Dining Room
Decorated by Garden Club of Long Valley
The stunning Tiffany silver punch bowl is filled with orchids, anthurium, western cedar, and magnolia branches with white ferns, pampas grass, lunaria, and dried Chinese lanterns. Each table setting features small botanical packages. The mantles are adorned with garlands and white magnolia branches. The room’s magnificent 9 foot tree is decorated with dried hydrangea and ornaments inspired by the room’s hand-painted wall panels. 

Parlor
Decorated by Warren Garden Club
The parlor’s theme is a “Tribute to the State Forests and State Parks of Warren County.”  Faux flora and fauna are aesthetically interspersed with fresh plant materials providing a glimpse of the wonders of nature which may inspire visits a State Forest or State Park in the future.

Music RoomDecorated by West Trenton Garden Club
The theme for this room is “Gingerbread Wonderland.”  Several gingerbread houses and ornaments adorn the carved mantle and period tables. The room’s central round table resemble a town center with a large tree in the middle surrounded by a gingerbread village. 

Library
Decorated by Allentown Garden Club
The theme in this room is “Peace,” which is symbolized by white doves and feathers, olive branches and origami cranes in addition to white orchids and peace lilies. To create a welcoming and peaceful holiday atmosphere, the Library celebrates both Christmas, with traditional decorations and trees, and Kwanzaa, with décor representative of this annual celebration of African-American culture. 

Governor’s Study
Decorated by Allentown Garden Club Co-Chair Debi DeLorenzo & Chris Endris
The Governor’s study is adorned with natural arrangements and mementoes of Christmas past.



Maryland and California Siblings Indicted for Dependency Benefits Insurance Fraud from NJM

December 6, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Acting Attorney General Andrew J. Bruck and Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Tracy M. Thompson today announced that two siblings were indicted on insurance fraud charges for allegedly submitting several forged and falsified proof of college enrollment letters in order to secure continued dependency benefits from New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Group (NJM). NJM is headquartered in the West Trenton section of Ewing Township, New Jersey.

Paola Saray Portillo (also known as Paola Saray Reyes), 26, of Silver Spring, Maryland, was indicted on second-degree insurance fraud, third-degree theft by deception, five counts of fourth-degree forgery, and five counts of fourth-degree falsifying and tampering with records.

Paola Saray and her brother, Larry Ulisses Portillo (also known as Larry Ulisses Portillo Quinoñez), 25, of Long Beach, California, were both indicted on third-degree conspiracy to commit insurance fraud, third-degree insurance fraud, fourth-degree forgery, and fourth-degree falsifying or tampering with records.

The indictment was returned by a grand jury on December 3, 2021.

The grand jury indictment alleges that between December, 2016 and September, 2018 the siblings submitted six forged and falsified proof of enrollment letters from Long Beach City College in order to secure continued dependency benefits from NJM to which neither were entitled. Since both Paola and Larry were no longer attending any college full-time, nor were they attending Long Beach City College, neither were entitled to any dependency benefits.

The charges are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty. Second-degree crimes carry a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $150,000, and third-degree charges carry a sentence of three to five years in state prison and a fine of up to $15,000. Fourth-degree crimes carry a sentence of up to 18 months in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Deputy Attorney General Leslie-Ann Justus presented the case to the grand jury for the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor under the supervision of Private Insurance Bureau Chief DAG Cheryl Maccaroni, Assistant Bureau Chief DAG Crystal Callahan, and Deputy Insurance Fraud Prosecutor AAG Al Garcia. Detective Kirstie Krupa and Lt. Anne Hayes coordinated the investigation with assistance from CLASS Analyst Marwa Kashef.

Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Tracy M. Thompson noted that many cases have started with anonymous tips. People who are concerned about insurance cheating and have information about a fraud can report it anonymously by calling the toll-free hotline at 1-877-55-FRAUD, or visiting the website at www.NJInsurancefraud.org. State regulations permit a reward to be paid to an eligible person who provides information that leads to an arrest, prosecution, and conviction for insurance fraud.


Mercer County Homicide Task Force Investigation Leads to Arrest of Trenton Man for Shooting Homicide

December 2, 2021

EWING TWP (MERCER)– Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri reported today that an investigation by the Mercer County Homicide Task Force and the Ewing Police Department has led to the arrest of a Trenton man for Monday’s murder of Cedric Hennessee Flippin in Ewing Township.

Daryl K. Smith, 30, was arrested Thursday afternoon at Newark Liberty International Airport on an airplane departing for North Carolina by members of the U.S. Marshals Service. He is charged with first-degree murder, second-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, two counts of unlawful possession of a weapon and second- degree certain persons not to possess a firearm. The prosecutor’s office has filed a motion to detain Smith pending trial.
At approximately 7:30 p.m. on November 29, 2021, Ewing police were dispatched to Public Storage on Parkside Avenue in Ewing. Officers arrived on scene and located Flippin unresponsive on the ground outside of one of the storage lockers. Detectives located a shell casing nearby and Flippin was pronounced dead at the scene.

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


It appears that Daryl Smith and Cedric Hennessee Flippin were also arrested together and appear in this August 29, 2019 press release from the Jackson Township Police Department:

Jackson Police Department News Release from August 29, 2019

Investigation Results in Drugs and Gun Arrest

On Wednesday August 28, 2019 while working a Directed Enforcement Detail coordinated with a Drunk Driving Enforcement Detail (DDEF), officers and detectives assigned to the detail received information of possible narcotics activity at the Jackson Premium Outlets located off of Monmouth Road.

While conducting surveillance in the area, officers observed the suspect vehicle enter the parking lot and conducted a motor vehicle stop with it. As the three occupants of the vehicle were being secured, officers observed the front seat passenger of the vehicle attempting to reach for his waistband before complying with their orders. As he was taken into custody, a Beretta M9 9mm handgun was recovered from the front area of his waistband. The gun was secured and discovered to have a 15 round magazine which was fully loaded.

During a further search of the vehicle, five bricks of heroin (in excess of 2 ounces) packaged for sale was also recovered. The 3 male suspects were placed under arrest and the 2005 Ford van they were in was impounded pending forfeiture proceedings.

Arrested:

Daryl Smith, age 27 of Trenton NJ. He was charged with: possession of heroin and possession of heroin with the intent to distribute.

Cedric Hennessee-Flippin, age 27 of Trenton NJ. He was charged with: possession of heroin, possession of heroin with the intent to distribute and possession of a controlled dangerous substance while operating a motor vehicle.

Zaire Jackson, age 25 of Trenton NJ. He was charged with: possession of heroin, possession of heroin with the intent to distribute, unlawful possession of a weapon, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, possession of a weapon while in possession of a controlled dangerous substance with the intent to distribute, possession of hollow point bullets and possession of a magazine capable of holding in excess of 10 rounds.

All three arrested were processed and later lodged in the Ocean County Jail.

In addition to this incident, other officers working the evening detail, which also included Ocean County Sheriff’s Officers, conducted 69 motor vehicle stops, issued 45 summonses and impounded 2 vehicles.

– The media and the public are reminded that any persons arrested or charged with any offenses or crimes are presumed innocent until proven guilty in court.

Captain Steven Laskiewicz

Uniformed Services Division Commander

Public Information Officer

Jackson Police Department

August 29, 2019


Shooting Homicide in Ewing Township Under Investigation

November 30, 2021

EWING TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–The Mercer County Homicide Task Force and the Ewing Police Department are investigating a Monday night shooting death in Ewing Township, Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri reported

At approximately 7:30 p.m. on November 29, 2021, Ewing police were dispatched to Public Storage on Parkside Avenue in Ewing.  Officers arrived on scene and located the victim, identified as 29-year-old Cedric Hennessee Flippin of Trenton, unresponsive on the ground outside of one of the storage lockers.  Detectives located a shell casing nearby and Flippin was pronounced dead at the scene.

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



Other Ewing Township shootings and murders in 2021: