Category: Ewing

Wanted For Shoplifting

July 7, 2020

EWING TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–On June 28, 2020 at approximately 10:15 am, the unidentified pictured female was captured on Shop-Rite video surveillance shoplifting what was estimated to be $629.23 worth of miscellaneous items. The female was observed placing the items in a shopping cart which included a Daewoo 5000 BTU window unit air conditioner. Once the shopping cart was full, she bypassed all points of sale and was seen entering what appeared to be a tan or gold colored Chevy Trail Blazer. The female then proceeded out of the parking lot and onto Parkside Avenue out of site. Anyone able to assist with the identification of the pictured female are urged to contact Detective Morris of the Ewing Police Department at (609) 882-1313 ext. 5561, email at dmorris@ewingnj.org or the Ewing Police confidential tip line at (609) 882-7530.

Accident In Ewing, Boat Fire In Trenton

July 6, 2020

TRENTON AND EWING TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Ewing Township Police Department, Fire Department, and EMS was detailed to the intersection of Parkside Avenue and Parkway Avenue just before 3 pm for an accident. Firefighters cleaned up a fluids spill and EMS treated minor injures. No further information is available.

Trenton and Ewing firefighters responded to a boat fire around 1:15 pm in the 400 Block of Parkway Avenue. The fire was quickly extinguished an no other information was available about the boat fire.

Photos by: Brian McCarthy OnScene News

When Will “Enough Be Enough”? – Mercer County Homicide Task Force Investigating Wednesday Night Murder In Trenton, Ewing Man Is 17th Person Dead In 2020

MidJersey.News believes this is the at least the 17th homicide in the City of Trenton in 2020 according to our count.

See earlier today MidJersey.News story here: BREAKING: Another Shooting Last Night In Trenton

July 2, 2020

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–The Mercer County Homicide Task Force is investigating a shooting that occurred in Trenton Wednesday night that resulted in the death of a Ewing man.

At approximately 10:15 p.m. on July 1, 2020, Trenton police responded to a Shot Spotter activation in the 100 block of North Hermitage Avenue, but were unable to locate a scene.  Around the same time, a shooting victim, identified as Covvie Scott, 24, was brought to the hospital in a private vehicle and pronounced dead shortly before midnight.

Police are also investigating a motor vehicle accident at West State and Calhoun streets that occurred around the same time that is believed to be related to the shooting.

The Mercer County Homicide Task Force and the Trenton Police Department continue to investigate both incidents.  Anyone with information is asked to call (609) 989-6406.  Information can also be emailed to mchtftips@mercercounty.org


And the list grows: Other Recent Trenton Shooting and Homicide Stories: (There has been a lot more gun violence, stabbings and shootings but these are ones we have enough information to report on)

Arrest Made In Trenton Stabbing Homicide

Trenton Stabbing Victim Identified, 16 Dead In 2020 So Far In The City

BREAKING: Multiple Stabbings In Trenton This Evening

16 Members & Associates of Violent Trenton-Based “Get Money Boys” Gang Linked to Four Shootings in Last 10 Months

BREAKING: A City Of Shootings, 24 Hours After City Officials And Leaders Exclaimed “Enough Is Enough!” Another Shooting

“Enough Is Enough!” Trenton Council President Kathy McBride, After 2 Children And 1 Man Shot, One Other Child Injured By Running Away From Gunfire

UPDATE: Blood Continues To Spill In City Gun Violence As Another Man Killed By Multiple Gunshot Wounds

BREAKING: Trenton Shootings Continue, Early Morning Shooting In Trenton

Trenton Shooting Victim Identified From Yesterday’s Shooting

Trenton Body Count Increases To 15 As Carnage Continues In The City

BREAKING: Trenton Shootings Continue, Early Morning Shooting In Trenton

BREAKING: Reported Another Shooting In Trenton As Gun Violence Plagues City

Reports Of A Shooting Last Night In Trenton at Rowan Towers

Trenton Man Dead From April 14th Shooting At Kingsbury Towers

Update: 25 Year Old Trenton Man Dead In PA Shooting At Holiday Inn Express

Large Crowd From Trenton, NJ Involved in PA Shooting At Holiday Inn Express

Trenton Shooting Suspect Charged With Murder

Developing Story: Trenton Shooting Victim From This Afternoon Identified

BREAKING: One Shot Dead; The Carnage Continues As Shootings Ravage City

Hamilton Teen Killed By Gun Violence In Trenton

BREAKING: Bloodbath In Trenton Continues, 1 Dead 1 Critical In Another Shooting

Bullets Continue To Fly, Three Hours After Mayor Releases Statement About Violence In The City

Trenton Mayor Gusciora Condemns Weekend Violence In City

BREAKING: Multiple Deaths From Daily Gun Violence That Plagues City

One Dead, Two Additional Victims In Another Trenton Shooting Last Night

Another Day Another Trenton Shooting

Developing Story: Shooting On Calhoun Street, Victim Driven By Personal Vehicle To Trauma Center

BREAKING: Shooting Blood Bath Continues, In Trenton This Morning

Breaking: 2 Shot at Kingsbury Towers In Trenton

Trenton Man Arrested in Hoffman Avenue Homicide

Trenton Mayor Gusciora And City Officials Address April 5th Violence

BREAKING NEWS: 3rd Multi-Shooting Tonight In Trenton

BREAKING NEWS: Another Shooting In Trenton Tonight

BREAKING NEWS: Shooting In Trenton One Possible Fatal And One Serious

BREAKING: Police Investigate Shooting On Trenton/Hamilton Border

More Trenton Shootings at this link



Trenton Water Works Issues 2020 Water Quality Report

Trenton Water serves Trenton, Ewing, Hamilton, Hopewell, Lawrence

June 29, 2020


SEE OTHER MIDJERSEY.NEWS Stories on Trenton Water Here:

Attorney General, DEP File Lawsuit Asking Court to Address Violations at Trenton Water Works that Pose Risks to Public Health

NJDEP Requests NJ Attorney General To File Legal Action Against Trenton For Failure To Comply With Safe Drinking Water Act


TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Trenton Water Works, the public water system that serves approximately 250,000 consumers in a five-municipality service area in Mercer County, today issued its 2020 Water Quality Report.

“The report provides an informative summary of our drinking water quality,” said Michael Walker, TWW’s Chief of Communications and Community Relations. “Consumers can also read about TWW’s work to reduce exposure to lead, our success in eliminating disinfection byproducts, active capital projects, and how our public water system operates.”

The 2020 Water Quality Report was mailed to TWW’s 63,000 customers, published online, and distributed to other parts of the water utility’s service area, as is required by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations. 

The report can be downloaded from TWW’s website at www.trentonwaterworks.org/ccr. Service-area residents can request a mailed report by phoning the Office of Communications and Community Relations at (609) 989-3033.

Police Find Missing Juvenile After Search

June 28, 2020

EWING TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–After search Ewing Township Police find missing juvenile see below:

The juvenile was located in good health. Thank you.

Missing juvenile

The Ewing Police Department is currently looking for a missing 15 year old autistic male. He was last seen around 9:15 am in the Spring Meadows area of Ewing. He is described as being 5’7” and 140 pounds. He is believed to be on a blue BMX bike with blue tires. It is unknown what he is wearing. He frequents fast food establishments, Game Stop, and the track at TCNJ. He may be on his way to Best Buy in West Windsor. If observed, please call 911. Do not approach him. If you have seen him, please call 609-882-1313. Thank you.

Photos by: Brian McCarthy OnScene News

Kitchen Fire In Ewing Township

June 24, 2020

Breaking news report from radio and on scene reports, once official information is released the story will be updated:

EWING TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Around 5:30 pm Ewing Township Fire Department was dispatched to 64 Rosedale Avenue for a fire in a kitchen. The first arriving officer reported smoke showing and filled out the first alarm sending additional aid from Lawrence and Hopewell Townships. The main body of fire was knocked down quickly but radio reports were indicating that fire was spreading to the second floor. The fire was brought under control in about 20 minutes.

Photos by: Brian McCarthy OnScene News

16 Members & Associates of Violent Trenton-Based “Get Money Boys” Gang Linked to Four Shootings in Last 10 Months

Charges Include Murder of 32-Year-Old Man, Attempted Murder of Police Officer

June 16, 2020

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal today announced first-degree criminal charges against 16 alleged members and associates of the “Get Money Boys” or “GMB,” a violent street gang linked to multiple shootings, including the December 2019 murder of Michael Barnes, a 32-year-old Trenton man, and the February 2020 attempted murder of a police officer.   Fifteen GMB members and associates, including its alleged leader, Charles Willis, 27, are charged with first-degree racketeering, and 10 GMB members, including Willis, are charged with either murder, attempted murder, or conspiracy to commit murder. As alleged in court documents, Willis and GMB engaged in violent criminal conduct in furtherance of their heroin and cocaine distribution activities in the area of the Oakland Street Apartments in Trenton. GMB Members have been charged in connection with the following shootings: 

  • Sept. 17, 2019 Shooting.  Shaiquan Hearns, 21, is charged with attempted murder for allegedly shooting a man in the leg in the early morning hours of Sept. 17, 2019 on Lamberton Street in Trenton.
  • Dec. 27, 2019 Murder of Michael Barnes.  Michael Barnes, 32, was shot in the face on Commonwealth Avenue in Trenton on the night of Dec. 27.  Davion Fenderson, 25, is charged with the murder, and WillisHearns, Bobby Hood, 28, and Jayshawn Fisher, 26, are charged with conspiracy to commit murder.
  • Feb. 12, 2020 Shooting of Civilians and Attempted Murder of Police Officer.  On Feb. 12, GMB members allegedly shot at two men, causing them to crash their car.  When a police officer pursued the GMB members, they allegedly fired at him.  He was not hit.  HearnsDion Battle, 28, and Yahonatan Salter, 28 were charged on Feb. 12 with attempted murder in the shooting involving the officer. Those men and Willis are now charged with attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder in the shooting involving the two civilian victims.
  • May 1, 2020 Shooting. On the night of May 1, 2020, five GMB members allegedly opened fire on a group of individuals on Sanhican Drive in Trenton, wounding two men.  WillisHood, David Williams, 28Shawn Anderson, 21, and Zaire Jackson, 24, are charged with attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder in that shooting.

 “Gang violence has taken the lives of too many young people in Trenton, and the Get Money Boys have been a major contributor to that violence,” said Attorney General Grewal. “We will continue doing everything we can to make our capital city safe for its residents.”  “But we also know that arrests alone won’t stop the cycle of gang involvement, violence, and incarceration,” continued Attorney General Grewal. “That is why we plan to work closely with the community in the coming months to develop programs that have the power to turn young people away from the false glamor of gang life and show them a healthy and positive path forward.” “Through this collaborative investigation, we charged 16 alleged members and associates of this violent gang with first-degree charges carrying lengthy prison sentences,” said Director Veronica Allende of the Division of Criminal Justice. “Each time we take down a dangerous gang like this one, we make Trenton safer for residents and for the law enforcement officers who work heroically every day to protect them.” “These individuals have threatened Trenton’s hard working, law abiding citizens with their guns and drugs for too long.  They pose a danger to the entire community, not just gang members, and I am extremely proud of the collective efforts and hard work of all of the agencies involved in this investigation,” Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri said.  “My office will continue to work with state and local law enforcement to arrest and prosecute those assaulting our cities with acts of violence.  We also intend to work with Attorney General Grewal and the community to cultivate programs and solutions that will give our youth population an alternative to gangs, drugs and violence.” “Street gangs like the Get Money Boys tear apart communities through their drug trade, violence, and murder, and by actively recruiting impressionable young people,” said Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “Our involvement will not stop with these arrests. We will continue to work cooperatively with our partners in the community to develop programs that present positive alternatives for the youth of our capital city.” The complaint charging Willis with conspiracy to murder Michael Barnes alleges that in 2019, Willis and other GMB members began targeting Barnes and that Willis threatened Barnes’ life on social media.  It further alleges that Willis ordered GMB members to actively hunt for Barnes and kill him.  It is alleged that Fenderson committed the murder at Willis’s direction on Dec. 27, 2019. When Willis was arrested at his home on June 2, 2020 in Willingboro with his girlfriend, DayshaM. Brown, 24, detectives seized a defaced firearm – which allegedly was within access of a toddler who lives in the home – and an illegal large capacity magazine.  Willis and Brown were each charged with second-degree endangering the welfare of a child, fourth-degree possession of a defaced firearm, and fourth-degree possession of a large capacity magazine. Willis also was charged with possession of a weapon as a convicted felon. Additional details about the Feb. 12 attempted murder of a police officer and related charges are provided in the press release at this link: https://www.nj.gov/oag/newsreleases20/pr20200213b.html

In that incident, a Hamilton Township police officer assigned to the New Jersey State Police Crime Suppression Central Unit Task Force observed a shooting in progress in the area of West State Street and Parkside Avenue in Trenton.  The officer, who was operating an unmarked vehicle, followed the suspect vehicle to the area of the Oakland Park Apartments on Coolidge Avenue, where he was fired upon by the occupants of the vehicle. Three guns were seized from defendants during the course of this investigation.  On May 31, 2020, detectives executed a search warrant for a storage unit in Hamilton, Mercer County, rented by defendant Briana Blue, 22, where they seized 254 bricks of heroin, consisting of approximately 12,700 individual doses packaged in wax folds that were stamped with the brands “Dope Dick” and “Fruit Loops.” On the same date, detectives executed a search warrant for a car rented by defendant Tre Whetstone, 26, and seized 130 bricks of heroin, or approximately 6,500 doses, bearing the same stamps. The following 16 alleged GMB members and associates have been charged as indicated: Charles M. Willis, 27, of Willingboro, N.J.

  • First-degree Racketeering
  • First- Degree Conspiracy to Commit Murder – Michael Barnes
  • First-Degree Conspiracy to Commit Murder – Feb. 12 Shooting (Civilian Victims)
  • First-Degree Attempted Murder – Feb. 12 Shooting (Civilian Victims)
  • First-Degree Possession with Intent to Distribute CDS
  • Second- Degree Solicitation, Recruitment of Juveniles to Join a Street Gang
  • Second-Degree Conspiracy to Distribute CDS
  • Third-Degree Possession of CDS
  • First-degree Attempted Murder – May 1 Shooting
  • First-Degree Conspiracy to Commit Murder – May 1 Shooting
  • Second Degree Aggravated Assault – May 1 Shooting
  • Second-Degree Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose
  • Second-Degree Unlawful Possession of a Weapon
  • Second-Degree Possession of Weapon as Convicted Felon

Charles J. Willis (father of Charles M. Willis), 49, of Lawrenceville, N.J.

  • First-degree Racketeering
  • First-Degree Possession with Intent to Distribute CDS
  • Second-Degree Conspiracy to Distribute CDS

Shaiquan Hearns, 21, of Trenton, N.J.

  • First-degree Racketeering
  • First- Degree Conspiracy to Commit Murder – Michael Barnes
  • First-Degree Attempted Murder – Sept. 17 Shooting
  • Second Degree Aggravated Assault – Sept. 17 Shooting
  • Second-Degree Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose
  • Second-Degree Unlawful Possession of a Weapon
  • First-Degree Unlawful Possession of a Weapon
  • Second-Degree Possession of Weapon as Convicted Felon
  • First-Degree Conspiracy to Commit Murder – Feb. 12 Shooting (Civilian Victims)
  • First-Degree Attempted Murder – Feb. 12 Shooting (Civilian Victims)
  • Second- Degree Solicitation, Recruitment of Juveniles to Join a Street Gang

Tre Whetstone, 26, of Trenton, N.J.

  • First-degree Racketeering
  • Second-Degree Conspiracy to Distribute CDS
  • Third-Degree Possession of CDS
  • First-Degree Possession with Intent to Distribute CDS

Bobby Hood, 28, of Trenton, N.J.

  • First-degree Racketeering
  • First- Degree Conspiracy to Commit Murder – Michael Barnes
  • First-degree Attempted Murder – May 1 Shooting
  • First-Degree Conspiracy to Commit Murder – May 1 Shooting
  • Second Degree Aggravated Assault
  • Second-Degree Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose
  • Second-Degree Unlawful Possession of a Weapon

Yahonatan Salter, 28, of Trenton, N.J.

  • First-degree Racketeering
  • Second-Degree Conspiracy to Distribute CDS
  • First-Degree Conspiracy to Commit Murder – Feb. 12 Shooting (Civilian Victims)
  • First-Degree Attempted Murder – Feb. 12 Shooting (Civilian Victims)

Dion Battle, 28, of Trenton, N.J.

  • First-degree Racketeering
  • First-Degree Conspiracy to Commit Murder – Feb. 12 Shooting (Civilian Victims)
  • First-Degree Attempted Murder – Feb. 12 Shooting (Civilian Victims)

Davion Fenderson, 25, of Trenton, N.J.

  • First-degree Racketeering
  • First- Degree Conspiracy to Commit Murder – Michael Barnes
  • First-Degree Murder of Michael Barnes

Frederick Eustsey, 45, of Ewing, N.J.

  • First-degree Racketeering
  • Second-Degree Conspiracy to Distribute CDS

John Colvin, 23, of Trenton, N.J.

  • First-degree Racketeering
  • Second-Degree Conspiracy to Distribute CDS

David Williams, 28, of Camden, N.J.

  • First-degree Racketeering
  • First-degree Attempted Murder – May 1 Shooting
  • First-Degree Conspiracy to Commit Murder – May 1 Shooting
  • Second Degree Aggravated Assault
  • Second-Degree Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose
  • Second-Degree Unlawful Possession of a Weapon
  • Second-Degree Possession of Weapon as Convicted Felon
  • Second- Degree Solicitation, Recruitment of Juveniles to Join a Street Gang

Zaire Jackson, 25, of Trenton, N.J.

  • First-degree Racketeering
  • First-degree Attempted Murder – May 1 Shooting
  • First-Degree Conspiracy to Commit Murder – May 1 Shooting
  • Second Degree Aggravated Assault
  • Second-Degree Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose
  • Second-Degree Unlawful Possession of a Weapon

Shawn Anderson, 21, of Trenton, N.J.

  • First-degree Racketeering
  • First-degree Attempted Murder – May 1 Shooting
  • First-Degree Conspiracy to Commit Murder – May 1 Shooting
  • Second Degree Aggravated Assault
  • Second-Degree Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose
  • Second-Degree Unlawful Possession of a Weapon

Juvenile Male, 17, of Trenton, N.J.

  • First-degree Racketeering
  • First-Degree Conspiracy to Commit Murder – May 1 Shooting

Jayshawn Fisher, 26, of Trenton, N.J.

  • First- Degree Conspiracy to Commit Murder – Michael Barnes

Briana Blue, 22, of Princeton, N.J.

  • First-degree Racketeering
  • Second-Degree Conspiracy to Distribute CDS
  • First-Degree Possession with Intent to Distribute CDS

Willis, Hearns, Salter, Battle, Colvin, and Fisher were previously in jail and were served with the charges outlined above while in jail.  The other 10 defendants were arrested since June 5. Attorney General Grewal commended all of the prosecutors, detectives, investigators and officers who participated in the investigation for the Division of Criminal Justice, Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, New Jersey State Police, Trenton Police Department, Trenton Shooting Response Team, and New Jersey Department of Corrections. Deputy Attorneys General Cassandra Montalto and Mohammad Mahmood are the lead prosecutors for the Division of Criminal Justice Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau, under the supervision of Bureau Chief Lauren Scarpa Yfantis and Deputy Bureau Chief Erik Daab. The detectives who conducted the investigation for the Division of Criminal Justice are Sgt. Brian Woolston, Sgt. Kevin Gannon, Detective Scott Caponi, Detective Zachary Grey, and other members of the Gangs & Organized Crime Central Squad, under the supervision of Lt. Brian Bruton, Deputy Chief of Detectives Frederic Moore, and Chief of Detectives Weldon Powell. Attorney General Grewal also thanked the following agencies that assisted with arrests and execution of search warrants: Hamilton Township Police Department, Ewing Township Police Department, West Windsor Police Department, Falls Township Police Department (Pennsylvania), U.S. Marshals Service New Jersey/New York Regional Fugitive Task Force, and Mercer County Tactical Response Team. First-degree murder carries a sentence of life in state prison, including 30 years of parole ineligibility, while the first-degree charges of attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder carry a sentence of 10 to 30 years in state prison.  The other first-degree charges carry a sentence of 10 to 20 years in prison and fine of up to $200,000.  The racketeering charges carry a period of parole ineligibility equal to 85 percent of the sentence imposed. Second-degree crimes carry a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $150,000. Possession of a weapon as a convicted felon carries a mandatory period of parole ineligibility of five years, and unlawful possession of a weapon carries a mandatory period of parole ineligibility equal to one-third to one-half of the sentence imposed or three years, whichever is greater.  Third-degree crimes carry a sentence of three to five years in state prison and a fine of up to $15,000.  The charges are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty. Defense AttorneysFor Tre Whetstone: John Furlong, Esq., Furlong & Krasny, Ewing, N.J.For Shawn Anderson: Arun Lavine, Esq., Lawrenceville, N.J.For Shaiquan Hearns: Mark Fury, Esq., Mount Holly, N.J.For Dion Battle: Rukiya Blackwell, Esq., Mount Holly, N.J. A number of defendants are currently represented by the Public Defender’s Office.

Ewing Police Seek To Locate Driver Of Vehicle Seen Near Fatal Crash

June 15, 2020

See MidJersey.News previous stories on this accident here:

Serious Head On Crash In Ewing Township

Update: Serious Motor Vehicle Crash In Ewing

EWING TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–On June 4, 2020 at 11:22 am (EST), a fatal motor vehicle crash occurred in front of 860 Lower Ferry Road. The Ewing Police Department is attempting to locate the driver of a dark colored, 2017 to 2019 Ford Escape who was last seen turning into the parking lot of 865 Lower Ferry Road, Woodbrook House, immediately after the crash occurred. Attached is a picture of the actual vehicle we are trying to locate. Please contact Detective Julia Caldwell at 609-882-1313 ext. 5682, Officer Robert Birchenough at ext. 5569, or the Confidential Police Tip Line 609-882-7530 with any information.

Attorney General, DEP File Lawsuit Asking Court to Address Violations at Trenton Water Works that Pose Risks to Public Health

June 15, 2020

DOWNLOAD COMPLAINT HERE:

www.nj.gov/oag/newsreleases20/TWW-Complaint.pdf

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Catherine R. McCabe announced today that the State has filed a lawsuit against the City of Trenton and Trenton Water Works seeking to compel them to take legally required actions to protect and strengthen the City’s water system, including actions necessary to reduce the risk of lead and pathogens in drinking water.

Trenton Water Works (TWW) supplies approximately 29 million gallons of drinking water daily to more than 200,000 people, including residents of Trenton and four neighboring municipalities – Ewing, Hamilton, Hopewell, and Lawrence Townships.

DEP and the City have, over the past decade, executed multiple Administrative Consent Orders (ACOs) in which Trenton agreed to cure its many failures to comply with the Safe Drinking Water Act.  Among other things, TWW agreed to replace thousands of lead service lines and cover a finished water reservoir, actions that are necessary for TWW to comply with state and federal law and effectively minimize public health risks. However, due in part to the inaction of Trenton’s City Council, TWW has missed many critical deadlines, has not met its obligations to replace a significant portion of lead service lines, has failed to protect its open, 78-million-gallon reservoir of treated water from contamination and reduce the risk of pathogens in the water supply, and has failed to satisfy a series of other operations and maintenance obligations. Underlying this lawsuit is the Trenton City Council’s May 7, 2020 rejection of TWW’s request for millions of dollars to meet these clear legal obligations.

“After years of mismanagement, and after the Trenton City Council recently failed to take necessary steps to address the serious shortcomings in the City’s water system, the State was left with no choice but to file this suit,” said Attorney General Grewal. “Our lawsuit demands that TWW meet its obligations to reduce the risk of lead exposure by replacing lead service lines, and to comply with a range of other environmental laws that go directly to the health of the public and especially of Trenton’s children. New Jersey’s public water systems must be held to the highest standards and must live up to their environmental and public health obligations.”

“DEP’s singular goal is to ensure safe and reliable drinking water for the people served by Trenton Water Works,” said Commissioner Catherine R. McCabe. “DEP recognizes that Mayor Gusciora has made progress in improving TWW and protecting public health, and recently proposed plans that would enable the system to meet its Safe Drinking Water Act obligations. Unfortunately, in light of the Trenton City Council’s recent refusal to adequately fund drinking water system improvements, it has become all the more clear that TWW will not meet its obligations under the Safe Drinking Water Act and DEP’s orders.  DEP has been left no choice but to take legal action, and we have confidence that Attorney General Grewal and his team will help us bring swift relief to the people of Trenton and the communities who rely on TWW for their drinking water.”

Lead Service Lines Issue

As the Complaint explains, lead can occur in drinking water when lead service lines within water distribution systems and household plumbing corrode.

Wherever the lead levels exceed 15 parts per billion for a sufficient number of samples from a single water system — as revealed through tap water sampling — that system has experienced an “Action Level Exceedance” and federal law requires water systems to implement techniques to minimize the risk and to replace a percentage of its lead service lines.

According to today’s lawsuit, the City experienced lead-related Action Level Exceedance events during three monitoring periods in 2017 and 2018. TWW was required to replace seven percent of its lead service lines within a year of its first Action Level Exceedance. TWW did not meet that first deadline, and subsequently entered into an ACO with the DEP in July 2018.

Under that ACO, the TWW committed to replace seven percent of its lead lines – over 2,500 lines in all – by December 31, 2019. The City missed that deadline, and will miss an upcoming deadline in July to replace an additional seven percent of its lead lines, totaling 14%. To date, it has replaced only 828 of its lines, or roughly two percent.

As a result of the City’s failure to meet its agreed-upon obligation to replace many aged and corroding lead service lines, today’s lawsuit argues, DEP has been forced to seek court intervention.

The lawsuit asserts that legal action seeking a court order is required because the defendants have not taken all necessary steps to “mitigate the risk of potential lead contamination in drinking water.” The lawsuit also seeks immediate relief from the Court.

Remaining Environmental Issues

In addition to demanding that TWW replace sufficient lead service lines, the lawsuit addresses TWW’s failures to reduce the risk of contamination in its reservoir, as well as TWW’s inability to comply with other maintenance and operational requirements.

TWW maintains a seven-acre reserve reservoir, which contains millions of gallons of usable, treated water, and provides drinking water to consumers when the system is unable to meet demands. Because that reservoir is uncovered, it is subject to contamination from the elements and from birds or other animals, which poses a continuing risk of introducing pathogens into the water supply.

According to the Complaint filed today, DEP ordered installation of a floating cover to protect the reservoir from contamination more than a decade ago, and it ordered TWW to complete the cover project by 2009. The lawsuit notes that the City did not comply with DEP’s order, and that it missed two extended deadlines in the process.

As a result, in 2018, the City and DEP agreed to an ACO extending the deadline for cover installation until 2023 – with an added requirement that Trenton fulfill a number of interim milestones in 2018 and 2019 to ensure installation of the cover by the agreed-upon deadline.

According to today’s complaint, the City has not completed those steps in a timely manner, and now indicates it wishes to abandon the cover project in lieu of an alternative approach – a series of above ground storage tanks to prevent the contamination of its reserve water supply. To date, Trenton has not formally requested DEP approval of the storage tank project, which is projected to cost tens of millions of dollars. Nor has it provided a schedule for completion, or an indication of how it intends to fund the project.

At the same time, the ACO to which the City and DEP entered also required TWW to meet a series of operations and maintenance requirements, which it has repeatedly failed to do.

Most concerning, just last month, the Trenton City Council rejected TWW’s request for more than $83 million in bonds, which included $50 million for the protection of the finished water in the system, and which was also necessary to ensure that other maintenance and operations obligations are satisfied. That decision has necessitated today’s action; it is part of a pattern of inaction and outright refusal to marshal the resources necessary to meet the City’s legal obligations to effectively run the water system and protect the public health.

Update: Serious Motor Vehicle Crash In Ewing

June 4, 2020

See earlier story here: Serious Head On Crash In Ewing Township

EWING TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–On June 4, 2020 at 11:53 a.m. Ewing Police Dispatch received multiple 9-1-1 calls regarding a two-vehicle crash, with injuries, in the area of Lower Ferry and Ashley Roads. Responding officers encountered one of the vehicle’s occupants, a 23-year-old female, to be trapped inside her vehicle. Ewing Fire Station 33 responded and freed the victim who was transported to Capital Health Regional Medical Center in critical condition, along with a five-year-old passenger from the vehicle. Both the five-year-old and the driver of the second vehicle were transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The 23-year-old female driver, identified as Gabriella Nordgren of Ewing, later died of her injuries. Preliminary investigation indicates the vehicle being operated by Nordgren, crossed the center line striking the opposing vehicle head-on. The roadway has been reopened, however investigation into the crash is ongoing. No charges have been filed at this time. Anyone with information concerning the crash is asked to contact Officer Robert Birchenough at (609) 882-1313 ext. 5569.

Serious Head On Crash In Ewing Township

June 4, 2020

Updated version of story here:

Photos by: Brian McCarthy OnScene News

EWING TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Ewing Township Police and Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office Serious Crash Investigation Unit are on scene at Lower Ferry and Ashly Roads. Three people were transported to the hospital with serious injuries.

Preliminary investigation reveals that one of the vehilce may have crossed the yellow line and struck the opposing vehicle head on, police said.

One drive needed to be extricated by the Ewing Township Fire Department.

Anyone with information regarding the crash can contact Officer Robert Birchenough of the Ewing Police Department’s Traffic Unit 609-882-1313 ext. 5569. 

Further details will be available shortly.


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Photos by: Brian McCarthy OnScene News

Update: Victim Died Of Gunshot Wound From Air Pellet Gun, Ruled A Homicide

June 2, 2020

See This Morning’s Story: Death In Ewing Township Under Investigation

UPDATE:

EWING TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)—An autopsy was performed and Ms. Davis’ death has been ruled a homicide.  The victim suffered a gunshot wound by a metal air gun pellet that struck internal organs and caused massive internal bleeding.  The investigation is ongoing and additional charges are being reviewed.


The Mercer County Homicide Task Force and the Ewing Police Department are investigating the death of a Pennsylvania woman that occurred on Glen Stewart Drive in Ewing Township.

At approximately 6:30 p.m. on Monday, June 1, 2020, Ewing police were alerted to a deceased female in a home on Glen Stewart Drive.  Upon arrival, they located the victim, identified as Ashley Davis, 32, of Levittown, Pennsylvania, in the basement.  There were visible wounds to Ms. Davis’ body and she was pronounced dead at the scene.

During the execution of a search warrant at the home, two long BB guns and a short BB gun were located in the same room as the victim’s body.  Numerous used bags of suspected heroin with various stamps were also discovered during the search.  The victim’s boyfriend, Aaron Adams, 38, who resides at the Glen Stewart home, has been charged with certain persons not to possess a weapon.  He is in the custody of the Mercer County Department of Corrections. The cause and manner of death of Ms. Davis’ death are pending an autopsy.  The investigation is ongoing.  Anyone with information is asked to contact the Mercer County Homicide Task Force at (609) 989-6406 or mchtftips@mercercounty.org


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Aaron Adams, 38, who resides at the Glen Stewart home, has been charged with certain persons not to possess a weapon.  He is in the custody of the Mercer County Department of Corrections.

Lock Down, As Regional Curfew Continues: 7 pm to 6 am For Hamilton, Ewing, Trenton

June 2, 2020

Note: If you got to have a WaWa they close about 5:30 pm because they need to clean the store and get ready for the next day. Get your WaWa before 5:30 pm.

HAMILTON, TRENTON, EWING, NJ (MERCER)–While minor incidents occurred last evening, Hamilton Township will continue the regional curfew imposed yesterday in Trenton, Ewing, and Lawrence from 7:00 PM this evening, Tuesday, June 2, 2020 through 6:00 AM Wednesday, June 3, 2020.

IT IS ORDERED THAT:

1.      All provisions from the prior Proclamations of Local Disasters Emergency shall remain in effect;

2.      All Township parks and other public areas shall be closed from the hours of 7 p.m. to 6 a.m;

3.      All businesses, including essential businesses as designated by the Governor, shall be closed to the public during the hours of the curfew; essential employees of essential businesses, including distribution centers, shall be exempted from this curfew;

4.      Hotels and their employees shall be exempted from this curfew;

5.      All persons shall shelter in place in their residence;

6.      Persons reporting to or from, or performing their essential job including, but not limited to, government officials or employees conducting their official duties, health care workers, law enforcement or emergency personnel, shall be exempted from this curfew;

7.      There shall be no deliveries during the curfew, except to essential services and businesses which have confirmed that employees are present to accept deliveries, even while closed to the public; delivery services shall not deliver packages to any closed business or residence during the curfew;

8.      Persons travelling because of a reasonable fear for his or her health or safety, shall be exempted from this curfew;

9.      Persons travelling at the directions of law enforcement or other governmental agency shall be exempted from this curfew;

10.  Persons seeking medical attention, essential social services or assistance from law enforcement or emergency services, shall be exempted from this curfew.


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Death in Ewing Township Under Investigation

June 2, 2020

EWING TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–The Mercer County Homicide Task Force and the Ewing Police Department are investigating the death of a Pennsylvania woman that occurred on Glen Stewart Drive in Ewing Township.

At approximately 6:30 p.m. on Monday, June 1, 2020, Ewing police were alerted to a deceased female in a home on Glen Stewart Drive.  Upon arrival, they located the victim, identified as Ashley Davis, 32, of Levittown, Pennsylvania, in the basement.  There were visible wounds to Ms. Davis’ body and she was pronounced dead at the scene.

During the execution of a search warrant at the home, two long BB guns and a short BB gun were located in the same room as the victim’s body.  Numerous used bags of suspected heroin with various stamps were also discovered during the search.  The victim’s boyfriend, Aaron Adams, 38, who resides at the Glen Stewart home, has been charged with certain persons not to possess a weapon.  He is in the custody of the Mercer County Department of Corrections.

The cause and manner of death of Ms. Davis’ death are pending an autopsy.  The investigation is ongoing.  Anyone with information is asked to contact the Mercer County Homicide Task Force at (609) 989-6406 or mchtftips@mercercounty.org

NJDEP Requests NJ Attorney General To File Legal Action Against Trenton For Failure To Comply With Safe Drinking Water Act

Trenton Water supplies 217,000 people in Trenton, Ewing, Hamilton, Hopewell and Lawrence Townships.

May 22, 2020

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Hamilton Mayor Jeff Martin released a statement today about NJ Department of Environmental Protection taking legal action against the City of Trenton.

Trenton Water Works provides water for a significant portion of Hamilton Township.

“I applaud DEP for its leadership in ensuring safe and clean drinking water for all of Trenton Water Works’ customers. Legal action is a necessary but unfortunate step to take. We will join, and work with, DEP in its legal action and will not stop fighting until we are satisfied that all necessary steps are taken.” Hamilton Township Mayor Martin Said.

Full letter from NJ DEP Commissioner below.

MidJersey.News has reached out to Trenton Mayor W. Reed Gusciora’s office for comment but has not received a reply at the time of this publishing. Once we receive a reply we will update it here.


Dear Mayor and Council President,

As you know, for over the past two years, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has been working both to press for and to support the City of Trenton’s efforts to meet its obligations under the Safe Drinking Water Act and two 2018 DEP Administrative Consent Orders (ACOs) requiring, among other things, improvements to the operations of Trenton Water Works (TWW), replacement of lead service lines, and renovating Trenton’s uncovered reservoir to prevent contamination of the drinking water supply.

At the time of my last letter to you dated February 20, 2020 (attached), DEP was encouraged by the City’s recent progress in meeting its obligations, and by the Mayor’s proposed capital improvement plan and rate ordinance changes needed to support those improvements. And, as I shared in February, DEP is pleased to offer more state water infrastructure funding to support the City’s efforts, adding to the state funds we previously provided to the City.

I was deeply disappointed to learn that, on May 7, 2020, the City Council inexplicably rejected funding for crucial measures necessary to enable TWW to come into and maintain compliance. To be clear, the Council’s inexplicable failure to adopt these measures will prevent TWW from meeting critically overdue legal requirements of the ACOs and the Safe Drinking Water Act.

These requirements are necessary to ensure a safe and reliable water supply, not only for the City of Trenton, but also for the 217,000 people served by TWW in Ewing, Hamilton, Hopewell and Lawrence Townships.

The Council’s unreasonable action has left DEP no choice but to seek judicial intervention to help ensure that the City will comply with the requirements of the ACOs and the Safe Drinking Water Act. Regrettably, DEP has requested that the Attorney General take appropriate action before the courts.

Ensuring safe and reliable drinking water is a critical public health priority, and it is imperative that the City’s recent progress toward meeting its obligations not be lost. While DEP must now take the unfortunate step of seeking judicial intervention, we also recognize that Mayor Gusciora
has proposed appropriate actions to enable TWW to make the necessary improvements to its water supply system. The City Council’s refusal to provide the necessary financial support to achieve these legally required public health obligations simply leaves us no other choice.

DEP will, of course, continue to provide TWW with technical compliance assistance, as we do for all water systems. And, I invite you to contact me directly if you would like to discuss these matters.

Catherine R. McCabe NJDEP, Commissioner



The following is a statement from Hamilton Township Mayor Jeff Martin:

“I applaud DEP for its leadership in ensuring safe and clean drinking water for all of Trenton Water Works’ customers. Legal action is a necessary but unfortunate step to take. We will join, and work with, DEP in its legal action and will not stop fighting until we are satisfied that all necessary steps are taken.”


Letter sent to Trenton Mayor and Council President from Catherine R. McCabe NJDEP, Commissioner planing legal action.


Ewing Township Accident

May 21, 2020

Photos and video by: Brian McCarthy, OnScene News

EWING TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Ewing Police and EMS responded to Parkside Avenue and Pennington Road for a two car accident reportedly involving a pedestrian around 5 pm. Persons were transported to Capital Health Regional Medical Center by EMS. No other information is available about the accident.

Ewing Man Charged With CDS With Intent To Distribute In Jackson

May 20, 2020

JACKSON, NJ (OCEAN)–On Tuesday May 19, 2020, Police Officer Stephen Cilento was on patrol on Cassville Road when he observed motor vehicle violations regarding a 2011 Hyundai being operated on the roadway. As he followed the vehicle, a lookup of the vehicle license plate indicated that the vehicle registration and registered owner’s driver’s license were both suspended. He then conducted a motor vehicle stop with the vehicle.

As the officer approached the vehicle, he detected the odor of marijuana coming from the interior and observed two small children in the rear seat, one of which was not properly secured in a child’s car seat. While speaking with the occupants, it was determined that the male owner of the vehicle was in the passenger seat and a female was operating the vehicle.

Other officers arrived on scene and a search was conducted of the vehicle which resulted in the seizure of paraphernalia and several baggies of marijuana. A bag which had been in the male passenger’s possession was found to contain a large quantity of small bags of marijuana which appeared to be packaged for sale along with a quantity of baggies of cocaine which were also packaged for sale.

The male passenger was placed under arrest at this time and the female driver was issued motor vehicle summonses for: obstructed view, failure to wear a seatbelt, driving with a suspended registration, failure to use proper child restraint, possession of a controlled dangerous substance while operating a motor vehicle and failure to exhibit a valid driver’s license. The vehicle was impounded and she was released at the scene with the children after she was able to arrange for someone to pick her up. DCPP was later contacted to follow up with this incident.

The male was transported to police headquarters where he was processed.

Arrested: Andrew Angus, age 35 of Ewing, NJ. He was charged on a summons complaint with: possession of marijuana (greater than 50 grams), possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute, possession of cocaine, possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was then released pending a court appearance.

– 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.

Van Crashes Into Family Dollar

May 17, 2020

Photos by: Brian McCarthy OnScene News

EWING TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–A van crashed into the Family Dollar at the intersection of Princeton and Olden Avenues around 9:30 am today. Firefighters from Ewing Township and Ewing Township EMS responded for a reported person trapped in the van. One person was transported to the Trauma Center at Capital Health Regional Medical Center. The Ewing Township Building Inspector was en route to check the structure.

No other information is available at this time. If we receive further information the story will be updated.

Area Drug Trafficking Organization Members Admit To Roles In Drug Conspiracy

May 15, 2020

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Three members of a Burlington County drug-trafficking organization have admitted their roles in a conspiracy to distribute a variety of illegal substances, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced today.

Jerrod Epps, 35, of Medford, New Jersey, pleaded guilty today before U.S. Senior District Judge Anne E. Thompson to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute crack cocaine. Teron Huggins, 42, of Mount Laurel, New Jersey, pleaded guilty on May 14, 2020, to an information charging him with two counts of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine. Talib Conway, 39, of Philadelphia, pleaded guilty on May 8, 2020, to an information charging him with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine, conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than 28 grams of crack cocaine, and conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than 100 grams of heroin.

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

Between July 2019 and September 2019, the defendants engaged in a narcotics conspiracy that operated primarily in municipalities throughout Burlington County – including Willingboro, Burlington City, Burlington Township, Bordentown Township, Edgewater Park, Pemberton and Mount Laurel – and which sought to profit from the distribution of cocaine, crack cocaine, and heroin. Through the interception of telephone calls and text messages pursuant to court-authorized wiretap orders, and other investigative techniques, law enforcement learned that defendants obtained regular supplies of cocaine and other substances from conspirators in the Burlington County and Philadelphia areas and then redistributed cocaine, crack cocaine, and heroin, to other conspirators, distributors, sub-dealers, and end users. Law enforcement officers intercepted numerous communications by and between the conspirators regarding such issues as cocaine, crack cocaine, and heroin quality and availability, pricing, packaging, quantity, and customer satisfaction.

The counts of conspiracy to distribute at least 28 grams of crack cocaine and conspiracy to distribute more than 100 grams of heroin to which Conway pleaded guilty each carry a statutory mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison, a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison, and a maximum fine of $5 million. The count of distribution and possession with intent to distribute cocaine to which Conway pleaded guilty carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $1 million. The counts of conspiracy to distribute cocaine to which Huggins pleaded guilty each carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $1 million. The count of conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine to which Epps pleaded guilty carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $1 million. Sentencing for all three defendants is scheduled for Sept. 30, 2020.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, Newark Division, Trenton Resident Agency, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie; special agents of ATF Newark Field Division, Trenton Field Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Charlie J. Patterson; detectives of the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Scott Coffina; officers of the Burlington Township Police Department, under the direction of Director of Public Safety Bruce Painter; officers of the Willingboro Police Department, under the direction of Director of Public Safety Kinamo Lomon; officers of the Burlington City Police Department, under the direction of Chief of Police John Fine; officers of the Florence Police Department, under the direction of Chief of Police Brian Boldizar; officers of the Bordentown Township Police Department, under the direction of Chief of Police Brian Pesche; officers of the Edgewater Park Police Department, under the direction of Chief of Police Robert Hess; officers of the Mount Laurel Police Department, under the direction of Chief of Police Stephen Reidener; officers of the Ewing Police Department, under the direction of Chief of Police John Stemler; officers of the Westampton Police Department, under the direction of Chief of Police Stephen Ent; and officers of the Trenton Police Department, under the direction of Director Sheilah Coley with the investigation leading to the guilty pleas.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Martha K. Nye of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Trenton, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew B. Johns of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Camden.

20-143 

Defense counsel:
Conway: Teri Lodge Esq., Marlton, New Jersey
Huggins: David Oakley Esq., Princeton, New Jersey
Epps: Edward Borden Esq., Cherry Hill, New Jersey

Salute To Healthcare Workers At Capital Health Hopewell Campus

May 1, 2020

HOPEWELL TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–This afternoon a 100 vehicle Salute to Healthcare Workers was held at Capital Health Hopewell Campus. Police, fire, road departments and others drove around the main entrance to the hospital at shift change to show appreciation to those who serve in the healthcare field during this COVID-19 pandemic.

Additional content provided by: Brian McCarthy OnScene News

Thunderbirds and Blue Angels Fly Over In “Operation America Strong”

April 28, 2020

TRENTON AND MERCER COUNTY, NJ–The U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, the Thunderbirds, and the U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, honored frontline COVID-19 responders and essential workers with formation flights over New York City, Newark, Trenton and Philadelphia today.

Previous MidJersey.News story on the event

Photos of Operation America Strong from the Trenton Area today:

Flight Plan For Operation “America Strong” For April 28, 2020 Released

April 27, 2020

NAS PENSACOLA, Fla. – The U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, the Thunderbirds, and the U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, will honor frontline COVID-19 responders and essential workers with formation flights over New York City, Newark, Trenton and Philadelphia April 28. The flight plans have been released to the public this morning and can be viewed below.

See previous Stories on the event here:

Thunderbirds, Blue Angels to Salute New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania COVID-19 Responders Tuesday April 28, 2020

President Donald J. Trump Announces “Operation America Strong” Thunderbirds and Blue Angels Fly Over Airshows Coming To A City Near You

Blue Angels and Thunderbird Combined Fly-By Event Is In “Planning Stage” – Will Not Be Today

Mosquito Spraying In Mercer County Today

April 22, 2020

See Mercer County DOT Notice Here

Aerial Mosquito Larviciding Notice 

When: (Wednesday) April 22, 2020, between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. (weather permitting)

Mercer County Mosquito Control will be treating larval mosquito habitats throughout the county by way of helicopter. Due to their large size and inaccessibility by ground vehicles, these larval habitats are routinely treated with a helicopter when mosquitoes are present in the standing water. You may see our helicopter flying near residential areas, positioning the helicopter to approach nearby areas of standing water targeted for treatment.

***PLEASE NOTE***

THIS IS NOT an area-wide Adulticiding “MOSQUITO SPRAYING” activity. 

Aerial larviciding includes the use of target-specific, biorational granules only released directly above standing water to help prevent larval mosquitoes from developing into biting adult mosquitoes.

Adulticide applications (spraying) are conducted when biting adult mosquito populations exceed public health or nuisance thresholds. These applications are conducted via truck-mounted, ultra-low-volume (ULV) cold aerosol sprayers during late evening or early morning hours. Mercer County applies products (adulticides) recommended by Rutgers University  for mosquito control in New Jersey, and a complete list with accompanying labels and MSDS sheets can be found here. Specific street addresses are not published, but adulticide applications are conducted on an area-wide basis and targets where adult mosquito populations may be concentrated during application times. For further questions or information, please browse our website or call/email directly. The office maintains no regular “spraying schedule” or “spraying list.” These applications are only conducted when deemed absolutely necessary, and under the appropriate environmental conditions, in order to bring mosquito populations to tolerable levels or to ward off potential mosquito-borne disease outbreaks.

AG Grewal: Police Are Cracking Down on Violators of COVID-19 Orders

April 3, 2020

Police Throughout New Jersey Are Filing Criminal Charges Against Violators of Orders to Stay at Home, Close Non-Essential Businesses, and Stop Gatherings

TRENTON – Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal today announced that law enforcement officers across New Jersey have ramped up enforcement efforts over the past week by filing criminal charges against violators of the Governor’s Executive Orders (or “emergency orders”), including hundreds of offenders in Newark, where the Newark Police Department deployed a large COVID-19 task force. “Last week, I said we were done with warnings and would take strong law enforcement action against anyone who failed to heed the Governor’s COVID-19 related emergency orders,” said Attorney General Grewal.  “This crackdown will continue until everyone gets the message that they need to stop these violations, which are putting lives at risk, including the lives of the law enforcement officers who are striving courageously each day to protect us during this emergency. I especially want to commend Newark Public Safety Director Anthony Ambrose and Chief Darnell Henry, as well as the men and women of the Newark Police Department, for their extraordinary efforts to protect the residents of Newark and this state. Their work and the work of all our dedicated officers is saving lives.” “Law enforcement and medical professionals are on the frontlines of this battle to protect the citizens of New Jersey from the COVID-19 virus, and we cannot stress enough how important it is that each person follow the guidelines set forth in the Executive Order,” said Colonel Patrick Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “Because lives are at stake, enforcement action will be taken without hesitation against those who are blatantly placing the lives of others at risk.” During the past nine days, law enforcement agencies across New Jersey took the following actions to enforce the Governor’s COVID-19 related Executive Orders: 

  • Newark Enforcement.  The Newark Police Department’s COVID-19 task force issued 416 summonses for violation of the emergency orders and ordered 24 non-essential businesses closed in enforcement actions by their between March 30 and April 1.
  • Joseph Figueroa, 18, Hailey Leavens, 19, Alejandra Aguirre-Lopez, 22, Itayezci Pena-Noyola, 22, and Isais Pena, 20, all residents of Atlantic City, except Leavens, who lives in Mays Landing, were arrested on April 2 on second-degree weapons charges and violations of the executive orders after a loaded .38-caliber revolver was found in their vehicle during an investigation and motor vehicle stop by the Atlantic City Police Department.
  • Craig O’Neill, 42, of Gloucester City, was charged on March 28 in Gloucester City with violating the emergency orders and trespassing at a business, both disorderly persons offenses.
  • Edward Montero, 33, of Bridgeton, was charged on March 29 with violating the emergency orders for holding a health supplement sales presentation at a gym with over 10 people.
  • Rama Igbarra, 36, of Clifton, was charged on March 26 with violating the emergency orders for opening the business he manages, Bobby’s Discount Home Furnishings store in Orange, N.J., after police warned him that the store had to be closed.
  • Matthew Shrewsbury, 34, of Milford, was charged on March 31 with violating the emergency orders, terroristic threats, aggravated assault, risking widespread injury, and endangering another person.  He allegedly became combative with staff at Hunterdon Medical Center, where he was taken following a motor vehicle accident.  Shrewsbury allegedly removed a protective surgical mask from his face, yelled and coughed at nurses and other staff, and threatened to spit on nurses and patients.  He allegedly said he had COVID-19 and did not care if he gave it to others.
  • Wade Jackson, 54, of Ewing, was charged on March 28 with obstruction of administration of law and violation of the emergency orders for holding a party with a DJ and nearly 50 guests inside his one-bedroom apartment in Ewing.
  • Willi Rojas, 42, of Woodbridge, was charged on March 29 with violating the emergency orders for opening his barbershop in Woodbridge to customers.
  • Joseph H. Benigno, 56, of Holmdel, was charged on March 31 with violating the emergency orders for holding an auction with 15 to 20 people at a warehouse in Edison.
  • Steven P. Cato, 20, of Edison, was charged on April 1 with terroristic threats during an emergency, obstruction, resisting arrest, three counts of aggravated assault on an officer, and criminal mischief.  When police were called to his house for a domestic incident, he allegedly coughed at officers and claimed to have COVID-19.
  • Juan Ocampo-Quiceno, 29, of Wharton, was charged on April 1 with violating the executive orders for opening his business, Mine Hill Sports Complex in Wharton, after he was warned to close it.  Police found youths playing soccer and men lifting weights at the facility.
  • Christian Enriquez, 29, of North Plainfield, was charged on April 1 with violating the emergency orders.
  • Anekia Dawkins, 35, of Morristown, was charged on April 2 with violating the emergency orders.
  • Anthony J. Lodespoto, 43, of Matawan, allegedly sent messages through social media threatening to attack Jewish residents in Lakewood with a baseball bat.  He was charged on March 26 with making terroristic threats during a state of emergency.
  • William J. Katzenstein, 39, of Lakewood, was charged on March 26 with violating the emergency orders for holding a wedding with 20 to 30 people in his backyard.
  • Eliezer Silber, 37, and Miriam Silber, 34, of Lakewood, were charged on March 29 with violating the emergency orders and five counts of child neglect for holding a bat mitzvah with 40 to 50 adults and children outside their home.
  • David Gluck, 48, and Abraham Haberfield, 32, of Lakewood, were charged on March 30 with maintaining a nuisance for holding a gathering of approximately 35 males in a school facility that Gluck owns and Haberfield manages.
  • Yaakov Kaufman, 47, and Eti Kaufman, 45, of Lakewood, were charged on March 31 with violating the emergency orders and six counts of child neglect for holding an engagement party at their home with a large number of adults and children.  Thirteen adult guests also were charged with violating the emergency orders.
  • Samuel Manheim, 27, of Brooklyn, N.Y., and 16 other individuals were charged on April 1 with violating the emergency orders for attending an outdoor funeral in Lakewood.  Manheim was also charged with hindering apprehension for initially refusing to identify himself to police.  Approximately 60 to 70 people were present for the funeral.
  • Ephraim Adler, 42, and Sarah Adler, 18, of Lakewood, were charged on April 2 with violating the emergency orders for opening the Brooklyn Southwest clothing store in Lakewood to customers.  A sign on the door stated “Maximum of 50 People.”
  • Nathan Kline, 66, of Lakewood, was charged on April 2 with violating the emergency orders for illegally selling alcohol out of a rental truck in a residential neighborhood where more than 10 people were present.
  • Rafael Medina, 21, Robert Feliz, 18, Edwin Valera, 25, Miguel Lopez, 22, and Angel Gonzalez, 18, were charged on March 31 with disorderly conduct for violating the emergency orders after police stopped the vehicle in which they were riding in Passaic.
  • Joyce Billings, 59, of Columbia, was charged twice by police for opening her business, Post Time Pub in Blairstown, in violation of the emergency orders.  She was charged with obstruction on March 27 and violation of a law intended to protect public health on April 2.
     
  • Jacqueline Maltese, 48 of Hackettstown, was charged on April 2 with simple assault and filing a false police report.  During a domestic violence incident, Maltese repeatedly yelled at officers that she had tested positive for COVID-19.  That was not true.
  • Louis A. Nunez, 52, of Manalapan, was charged on April 2 with making terroristic threats during a state of emergency and throwing bodily fluid at an officer.  As he was being booked at the Monmouth County Jail on an unrelated matter he became belligerent and allegedly threated to spit on a corrections officer, stating he had the coronavirus.

 While a number of defendants identified above were also charged with indictable offenses that carry greater penalties, violations of the Governor’s emergency orders constitute a disorderly persons offense that carries a potential sentence of up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.  In addition, earlier this week, Attorney General Grewal announced enhanced charges against six individuals who were charged with assaulting law enforcement officers and violating the emergency orders.  Specifically, those enhanced charges included making terroristic threats during a state of emergency, which is a second degree offense and carries a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $150,000. Defendants Cato and Nunez are similarly charged for their conduct against law enforcement officers.  If you are seeing a lack of compliance with the Governor’s emergency orders in your town, please contact your local police department or report here https://covid19.nj.gov/violation The Attorney General’s Office and New Jersey State Police will continue to work with law enforcement throughout New Jersey to deter non-complaint behavior. The charges are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty. No one should take advantage of this pandemic to further their own biased agendas.  COVID-19 is no excuse to promote anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and or other biased stereotypes.  Please report bias crimes at 1-800-277-BIAS. 

Mercer County COVID-19 Testing Site Opens Tuesday By Appointment Only

March 28, 2020

LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)– Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes today announced that the County, in collaboration with health care partners, will open an appointment-only, drive-up testing site for COVID-19 on Tuesday, March 31, at Quaker Bridge Mall in Lawrence

The testing center is by appointment only for symptomatic Mercer County residents age 18 or older who have a prescription from their primary health care provider (PCP). If you are symptomatic for COVID-19 and want to be tested, contact your PCP.

The testing center, which initially will be open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., is a collaborative effort between the County of Mercer, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton, Capital Health System, St. Francis Medical Center in Trenton and the Trenton Health Team.

“Testing for COVID-19 is necessary to identify and isolate people with infections,” said Mr. Hughes. “When it comes to setting up a testing site, we face the same challenges as do other jurisdictions, such as securing testing kits and the personal protective equipment for staff. I thank the County’s Office of Emergency Management, our health care partners, Quaker Bridge Mall management and the leadership at Lawrence Township for clearing the hurdles necessary to get this site online.”

Mercer County has contracted with Bio-Reference Laboratories, which will provide testing for individuals who are symptomatic and have been scheduled through their PCP.

To be eligible for testing, an individual must be examined by a PCP. The PCP will determine the need for the test based on symptoms. No one should be tested without being symptomatic. If the PCP deems a test is necessary, they will fax a prescription to the Mercer County call center with the patient’s phone number. Staff will then call the patient, take registration information and schedule an appointment, providing testing site instructions.

For the health, safety and security of staff at the site, patients will not be permitted to leave their vehicles. Walk-ups are not permitted. If you believe you may have symptoms of COVID-19, the State of New Jersey’s COVID-19 Information Hub provides a self-assessment tool that will help you determine whether you should be tested. Visit self.covid19.nj.gov.

Photo of the testing center getting set up at Quakerbridge Mall as seen today March 28, 2020 Photo by MidJersey.news corespondent Greg Griffis

UPDATE: Ewing Police Break Up “Corona Party” Violating Executive Order 107

March 28, 2020

Update from earlier story:

EWING TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–On March 27, 2020, at 11:44 pm. Ewing Police Dispatched received and anonymous call about a party. Units responded to the 300 block of Concord Avenue where they found a large gathering inside of an apartment.

Officers dispersed over forty attendees that were attending a gathering for what the renter of the apartment called a “Corona Party”. Officers immediately advised the renter, Wade E. Jackson, 47, of Ewing that he was in violation of Governor Murphy’s Executive Order and Jackson ended the party.

Jackson was issued summonses for Obstructing Administration of Law or Other Governmental Function (2C:29-1a) and a Violation of Emergency and Temporary Acts (App.A.:9-49A).

As a reminder, Governor Murphy’s Executive Order 107, paragraph 5 states, “Gatherings of individuals, such as parties, celebrations, or other social events, are cancelled, unless otherwise authorized by any part of this Order. The State Director of Emergency Management, who is Superintendent of the State Police, Shall have the discretion to make clarifications and issue orders related to this provision.”


From the Mercer County Prosecutor:

Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri and Ewing Police Chief John P. Stemler III reported today that a 54-year-old Ewing Township man was issued two disorderly persons citations for hosting a party in his apartment Friday evening.

Ewing police were called to an apartment on Concord Avenue at approximately 1 a.m. Saturday morning, March 28, on a noise violation.  Upon entry, they observed 47 people having a party that included a DJ with speakers, alcohol and the smell of marijuana.   Police broke up the party and released everyone except for the tenant, who was issued disorderly persons citations for obstruction and violating an executive order.  Police noted that the apartment was 550 square feet with one bedroom and one bathroom.  Almost all of the people at the party were squeezed together inside, with a handful outside of the residence.

Prosecutor Onofri praised the response of the officers and the decision to disperse the partygoers rather than charge everyone in attendance.  “The goal was to break up the party and send everyone home.  Based on safety and resources, police made the right call to only issue citations to the host,” he said.

But the prosecutor also gave a stern reminder to the public to heed the Governor’s executive orders.  “These are mandates, not suggestions.  Mercer County and the entire state of New Jersey will not tolerate such irresponsible, criminal behavior, and violators will be prosecuted.  Not only are these actions illegal, but in a time where such reckless conduct could endanger family, loved ones, first responders and the community at large, they are also unethical.”

NJAC Cancels All Remaining Spring Sport Competitions & Championships

March 18, 2020

Member institutions:

Montclair State University
New Jersey City University
Ramapo College
Rutgers University -Newark.
William Patterson University
The College of New Jersey
Kean University
Rowan University
Rutgers University – Camden
Stockton University

PITMAN—The New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Board of Athletic Administrators, in coordination with the administration at each of its 10 full-member institutions, made the difficult but necessary decision on March 18 to cancel all conference contests, non-conference contests, and league championships for the remainder of the 2019-20 academic year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is a decision that we all hoped would not have to be made, but in the long run, it’s the decision that is clearly in the best interests of all parties involved,” said NJAC Commissioner Terry Small. “Our administrators have always, and will always, prioritize the health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches, officials, support staffs, fans, and all those associated with NJAC athletics. This decision, while disappointing in many ways, was clearly made for the right reasons.” 

The canceling of the spring seasons impacts the NJAC in the conference sports of men’s volleyball, baseball, softball, women’s lacrosse, women’s outdoor track & field, men’s outdoor track & field, and men’s tennis. In addition, some of the conference’s winter and spring sport student-athletes, who had previously earned NCAA championship qualifications in the sports of women’s indoor track & field, men’s indoor track & field, women’s swimming & diving, men’s swimming & diving, and women’s tennis were denied the opportunity to compete in those national events after the NCAA cancelled all remaining winter and spring championships on March 13.

“I would like to thank our student-athletes who always represent our conference and their respective institutions admirably in all that they do,” Small said. “They truly compete for the love of their sport and their institution, and they devote countless hours to achieve success both academically and athletically. To our senior student-athletes whose careers may have come to an abrupt end, everyone associated with the NJAC would especially like to thank you for your dedication and passion, and for the legacy that you have left at each of your institutions.”  

Governor Murphy, Governor Cuomo, and Governor Lamont Announce Regional Approach to Combatting COVID-19

March 16, 2020

The three States will limit crowd capacity for recreational and social gatherings to 50 people – effective by 8 PM tonight 

Restaurants and bars will close for on premise service and move to take-out and delivery only effective 8 PM tonight

Movie theaters, gyms and casinos will temporarily close effective 8 PM tonight

Uniform approach to social distancing will slow spread of COVID-19 throughout the tri-state area

PRESS RELEASE FROM GOV. MURPHY’S OFFICE: TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)—Amid a lack of federal direction and nationwide standards, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, and Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont today announced a regional approach to combatting the novel coronavirus – or COVID-19 – throughout the tri-state area.

These uniform standards will limit crowd capacity for social and recreational gatherings to 50 people, effective 8 PM tonight. This follows updated guidance that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued yesterday recommending the cancellation or postponement of in-person events consisting of 50 people or more.

The three governors also announced restaurants and bars will close for on premise service and move to take-out and delivery services only. These establishments will be provided a waiver for carry-out alcohol. These measures will take effect at 8 PM tonight.

Finally, the three governors said they will temporarily close movie theaters, gyms and casinos, effective at 8 PM tonight. 

This uniform approach to social distancing is meant to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19. 

Governor Murphy said, “With all we are seeing in our state – and across our nation and around the world – the time for us to take our strongest, and most direct, actions to date to slow the spread of coronavirus is now. I’ve said many times over the past several days that, in our state, we are going to get through this as one New Jersey family. But if we’re all in this together, we must work with our neighboring states to act together. The work against coronavirus isn’t just up to some of us, it’s up to all of us.”

“Our primary goal right now is to slow the spread of this virus so that the wave of new infections doesn’t crash our healthcare system, and everyone agrees social distancing is the best way to do that,” Governor Cuomo said. “This is not a war that can be won alone, which is why New York is partnering with our neighboring states to implement a uniform standard that not only keeps our people safe but also prevents ‘state shopping’ where residents of one state travel to another and vice versa. I have called on the federal government to implement nationwide protocols but in their absence we are taking this on ourselves.”

Governor Lamont said, “The only way to effectively fight the spread of COVID-19 is by working together as states. We have shared interests, and a patchwork of closures and restrictions is not the best way forward. I know that because of this collaboration, we will save lives.” 

Census 2020 Survey Is Arriving By Mail

March 13, 2020

By: Dennis Symons, Jr.

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)—The 2020 Census count is underway and I received my invitation by mail today. As per the instructions I logged onto My2020census.gov and entered my code Census ID Code. There were some very basic questions of who was living in the home and birthdays. It was one of the easiest census forms I have ever completed and took less than two minutes to complete from start to finish, even though it says it could take an average of 10 minutes to complete.

The Census is counted every 10 years and many things from voting districts, financial aid, Federal, State and Local government services and more use this government data. A response is required by law and should be very easy to complete if you have received the invitation from United States Census Bureau.

Frequently asked questions of the Census Bureau:

  1. What is the 2020 Census?The goal of the census is to count every person living in the United States, once, only once and in the right place. Article I, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution mandates that this population and housing count occur every 10 years. Census data guide how more than $675 billion of federal funding is distributed to states and communities each year.
  2. Am I required to respond to the 2020 Census?Yes, you are required by law to respond to the 2020 Census (Title 13, U.S. Code, Sections 141 and 193). We are conducting the 2020 Census under the authority of Title 13, U.S. Code, Sections 141, 193 and 221. This collection of information has been approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The eight-digit OMB approval number is 0607-1006. If this number were not displayed, we could not conduct the census.
  3. Are my answers confidential and private?Yes. The Census Bureau is required by law to protect your information. The Census Bureau is not permitted to publicly release your responses in a way that could identify you or your household. Per the Federal Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2015, your data are protected from cybersecurity risks through screening of the systems that transmit your data. All web data submissions are encrypted in order to protect your privacy.Title 13 of the U.S. Code protects the confidentiality of all your information. Violating the confidentiality of a respondent is a federal crime with serious penalties, including a federal prison sentence of up to five years, a fine of up to $250,000, or both. Only authorized individuals have access to the stored data, and the information you provide to the Census Bureau may only be used by a restricted number of authorized individuals who are sworn for life to protect the confidentiality of your individual responses. Your answers cannot be used against you by any government agency or court.For more information about how we protect your information, please visit our website at census.gov and click on “Data Protection and Privacy Policy” at the bottom of the home page. This page also includes information about the collection, storage, and use of these records. Click on “System of Records Notices (SORN)” and look for Privacy Act System of Records Notice COMMERCE/CENSUS-5, Decennial Census Program.
  4. Who should complete the 2020 Census questionnaire?This 2020 Census questionnaire should be completed by the person who owns or rents the living quarters or any other person who is at least 15 years of age with knowledge of the household.
  5. How do I change my answers?For questions where you must choose a single response from a list, clicking another response will change your answer to that response.If it is a “select all that apply” question, you may click on a selected check box to unselect the box and remove it as one of your answers.
  6. How long will the 2020 Census questionnaire take?The Census Bureau estimates that completing the questionnaire will take 10 minutes on average.
  7. How will the Census Bureau use the information I provide?By law, the Census Bureau can only use your responses to produce statistics.
  8. Is it safe to complete the 2020 Census questionnaire online?Yes. For each online questionnaire, we are required to provide an explanation to respondents about the confidentiality of the data and the laws that protect those data (e.g., Title 13, U.S. Code Section 9 (a)).Per the Federal Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2015, your data are protected from cybersecurity risks through screening of the systems that transmit your data. All web data submissions are encrypted in order to protect your privacy, even in the remote chance that your responses are intercepted.More information on this topic can be found on the Data Protection and Privacy Policy webpage (http://www.census.gov/privacy/).
  9. Will the results be published?Yes. By law, the Census Bureau can only use your responses to produce statistics. The Census Bureau is not permitted to publicly release your responses in a way that could identify you or your household. The Census Bureau plans to make results of this study available to the general public. Results will be presented in aggregate form and no personally identifiable information will be published.Information quality is an integral part of the pre-dissemination review of the information disseminated by the Census Bureau (fully described in the Census Bureau’s Information Quality Guidelines at https://www.census.gov/about/policies/quality/guidelines.html). Information quality is also integral to the information collection conducted by the Census Bureau and is incorporated into the clearance process by the Paperwork Reduction Act.
  10. Do I have to complete the 2020 Census questionnaire for my household members?Yes, you will be asked to provide information for each household member.