HAMILTON TOWNSHIP (MERCER)– Several people were injured after a crash involving three cars on I-195, Friday night.
The crash occurred at approximately 9:15 pm. The three vehicle wreck, originally reported to be at least five vehicles, was reportedly caused by a couch that was laying in the middle of the Interstate near Milepost 5.4 on the Westbound side.
Hamilton Fire Department, along with Robbinsville Fire Department, responded to the scene for initial reports of people trapped inside of a vehicle. When crews arrived on scene, it was determined that no one was trapped in any of the vehicles.
Multiple people were injured in the incident, four of the patients injured were transported to local hospitals. All injuries were non-life threatening and all patients are expected to recover.
The left lane of the highway was closed for the investigation and removal of vehicles. All vehicles have since been removed and the left lane has been reopened.
HAMILTON TOWNSHIP (MERCER)– Hamilton Mayor Jeff Martin is pleased to announce Elizabeth Peddicord as the new Director of Finance and Chief Financial Officer for the Township.
Peddicord most recently served as the Chief Financial Officer of the Township of Evesham, where she prepared the annual budget, managed accounts payable, assisted with contract negotiations, and supervised employees. Previously the Treasurer for Evesham for eleven years, Peddicord also has experience as an auditor for other municipalities and associations working in the private sector. Peddicord is also licensed as a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Tax Collector and Qualified Purchasing Agent.
“I am looking forward to serving the residents of Hamilton Township. This is an exciting opportunity, between the pandemic and the recent local aid, to set Hamilton up for short and long term financial success,” said Peddicord.
Peddicord is a graduate of Stockton University with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and received her Masters of Arts in Corporate Public Relations from Rowan University. She is mother of four young children and enjoys running in her spare time.
“I am thrilled to have Liz join the Township,” said Mayor Martin. “I am thankful for her willingness to serve and am confident that Hamilton Township is in good hands with Liz as part of our Finance team.”
“I would also like to thank our Business Administrator Kathy Monzo for filling the position of Acting CFO and Tax Collector Danielle Peacock for assuming the position of Acting Director of Finance while we searched for a new hire.”
Peddicord will assume the role of Director of Finance/Chief Financial Officer on Monday, March 22, 2021. This nomination requires, and is expected to receive, the consent of the Hamilton Township Council.
Program funds improvements on Thomas J. Rhodes Industrial Drive and Industrial Drive to keep trucks off residential streets.
HAMILTON TOWNSHIP (MERCER)– Assemblyman and Transportation Committee Chairman Dan Benson today announced $590,000 in Local Freight Impact Fund grants from the New Jersey Department of Transportation that will help Hamilton Township provide for the safe movement of large truck traffic away from residential areas. The grant will fund improvements to Thomas J. Rhodes Industrial Drive and Industrial Drive, two roads that are designed to divert truck traffic away from residential areas.
“The trucking and freight traffic network has been critical to New Jersey’s response to the coronavirus, moving life-saving supplies to support medical personnel and sustain the public through this crisis,” said Assemblyman Dan Benson. “However, truck traffic also poses an added risk to our communities, especially when their routes are close to residential areas. Investing in necessary improvements to heavy truck routes is key to ensuring the safety of residents and truck drivers alike. This grant also takes the burden to fund this project off the shoulders of local taxpayers who will reap the benefits of safer streets and sustained economic development.”
The Local Freight Impact Fund is a competitive program which was created as part of the Transportation Trust Fund reauthorization in October 2016. The grants awarded to Hamilton Township will fund improvements to the pavement condition in support of truck traffic on
Industrial Drive and Thomas J. Rhodes Industrial Drive, two main thoroughfares for trucks to keep them moving on appropriate roads and off of smaller, local streets.
“I am excited to announce that for the very first time Hamilton Township was awarded a Local Freight grant that will contribute to sustaining our economic growth,” said Mayor Jeff Martin. “As Hamilton continues to grow as a regional commercial hub, we are grateful for the partnership with NJDOT and Chairman Benson and thank them for working with us to improve our freight traffic infrastructure so that we can continue to support economic development while maintaining the first-rate safety of our local roadways.”
Under the program, projects fall into four categories that are eligible for funding: bridge preservation, new construction, pavement preservation, and truck safety and mobility. The grants are administered by the NJDOT Division of Local Aid and Economic Development. NJDOT staff evaluate projects using a variety of criteria including existing conditions, overall traffic volume, percentage of large truck traffic, crash frequency, and connectivity to freight nodes, among others.
HAMILTON TOWNSHIP (MERCER)– A Hamilton man was arrested early Thursday morning following a burglary on Ward Avenue.
At around 5:30 am, Hamilton Police Officers Ryan Fratz and Paula Welsh were dispatched to the 400 block of Ward Avenue on a reported suspicious person. The reporting party advised officers that they observed a white male dressed in all black clothing in their backyard, attempting to open their car door, via their Ring Camera.
Officers Fratz and Welsh were in the area and located the man walking near the corner of Ward Avenue and Archer Court. The suspect was identified as 32-year-old Hamilton resident, Jerome H. Friedman Jr.
Further investigation revealed that Friedman Jr. was in possession of various suspected stolen merchandise including power tools and hand tools. He was arrested and transported to Hamilton Police Headquarters, where he was processed. Jerome H. Friedman Jr. is currently being held at the Mercer County Corrections Center on various criminal charges in relation to this arrest.
Anyone with information regarding this incident or Jerome H. Friedman Jr., or may have been a victim of a burglary on this date (March 18, 2021), in the immediate or surrounding area of Ward Avenue, is asked to contact Detective Thomas Clugsten of the Hamilton Township Police Division Criminal Investigations Section at 609-581-4027 or via email at email@example.com. The public can also leave anonymous information via the Hamilton Police Crime Tip Hotline at 609-581-4008.
HAMILTON TOWNSHIP (MERCER)– Hamilton Police and Hamilton Fire Companies were dispatched to the 100 block of Grand Avenue around 6:20 this morning on a reported house fire.
Responding police officers arrived and were able to assist the fire department in evacuate several people from 109 Grand Avenue, along with the occupants of the attached dwelling at 111 Grand Avenue.
Fire Companies quickly arrived on the scene with heavy smoke from the second floor and called the “all hands.” Upon arrival, firefighters quickly rescued a man who was stuck on the roof of the structure.
Fire rapidly spread throughout the duplex, eventually making its way up to a 3-alarm blaze. Around 6:40 am, firefighters evacuated the structure due to unsafe fire conditions. There was heavy fire on two floors and fire shooting through the roof. Around 7:00 am, companies were still defensively fighting fire through the roof with eight hose lines and an elevated master stream.
“No injuries were reported, and both dwellings were listed as uninhabitable due to fire damage,” Hamilton Police told MidJersey.news.
This incident remains under investigation by the Hamilton Fire Marshall and Hamilton Police Detective Joseph Lalacci. Detective Lalacci can be reached at 609-689-5822 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Anonymous tips can also be left at 609-581-4008.
Family, friends, and brothers in red remembered the life of former Mercerville Fire Chief Henry W. Ryan Jr. today as he was laid to rest.
The beloved veteran of over 50 years passed away peacefully on March 5, 2021. He was 71 years old.
Chief Ryan served both on the fire ground, and administratively. He held all fire line officer positions up to Chief, Chairman of the Board of Fire Commissioners, President of the Relief Association, and President of Mercerville Fire Company. He was the last volunteer Chief to serve Mercerville.
In addition to his commitment to the fire service, Chief Ryan is remembered for his great sense of humor and his compassion towards those he served. Henry Ryan, also known as “Hank,” was beloved by his peers and admired by the generations of volunteers he mentored to serve.
Additionally, Chief Ryan served our country as a member of the Army National Guard of New Jersey. He was also a former member of Our Lady of Sorrows, where he served as a trustee and as a teacher for baptism classes.
May you rest in peace, Chief. Thank you for years of dedicated service to Hamilton Township.
TRENTON (MERCER)– A Trenton man admitted conspiring with others to distribute fentanyl that caused the death of a Monmouth county woman, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced today.
Quasaan Bethea, 33, pleaded guilty by videoconference before Chief U.S. District Judge Freda L. Wolfson on March 10, 2021, to Count Two of an indictment charging possession with intent to distribute fentanyl.
According to the documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
On May 15, 2018, Bethea conspired with others to distribute fentanyl to a 39-year-old Monmouth County woman, referred to in the indictment as Victim-1. Victim-1 had sought out Bethea and others to purchase heroin, not fentanyl, a significantly more potent narcotic than heroin. Bethea admitted that the fentanyl he sold to Victim-1 was stamped “CAMEL” and packaged to look like heroin. Shortly after Victim-1’s second purchase of fentanyl from Bethea and others, Englishtown police responded to a report of an overdose death. Upon their arrival, they discovered Victim-1, and in Victim-1’s possession were several wax folds of suspected heroin stamped “CAMEL” and empty wax folds stamped “CAMEL” as well. Laboratory analysis of these wax folds bearing the “CAMEL” stamp determined the substance to be fentanyl. An autopsy of Victim-1 found her cause of death to be acute fentanyl toxicity.
The count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute fentanyl carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine. Sentencing is scheduled for July 26, 2021.
Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Susan A. Gibson; detectives from the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni; the Englishtown Police Department, under the direction of Peter S. Cooke, Jr., and the Trenton Police Department’s Narcotics Task Force, under the direction of Police Director Sheilah Coley, with the investigation leading to the guilty plea.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan L. O’Neill, of the Office’s Opioids Abuse & Prevention Task Force.
HAMILTON TOWNSHIP (MERCER)– Firefighters in Hamilton have battled their third fire in under 24 hours, this time saving a commercial building.
Fire companies responded to Consumers Oil, 1473 Lamberton Road, around 11:50 am for a reported building fire. The caller reported there was active fire on the roof with contractors working. Companies arrived on scene with a light haze from the roof and the “all hands” was called for additional resources and manpower.
Crews went to work and located smoke coming from an unknown source. The source was quickly located, and water was put on the fire. The fire was placed under control around 12:30 pm.
No one was injured and the incident is under investigation.
This fire comes after crews responded to two separate house fires in less than a half hour last night. Both of the fires were quickly extinguished without any injuries.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Trenton Police Department spokesperson, Detective Captain Peter Weremijenko told MidJersey.news that the victim from Rt 129 and Lalor has been identified as Abraham Lopez, 49 from Deutz Ave in Hamilton Township. Trenton Police were looking into if he was panhandling, but the investigation has not proven or disproven that yet. No additional information is available about the crash.
On the evening of March 7, 2021 Trenton Police, Trenton Fire & EMS were dispatched to Route 129 and Lalor Street around 6:20 pm on multiple calls reporting a person was struck by a car and pinned under the vehicle. Trenton Fire Department found a man trapped under a vehicle and had to extricate the man from under the vehicle. The man was identified as Abraham Lopez, 49, Hamilton.
HAMILTON TOWNSHIP (MERCER)– Hamilton Fire Departments responded to the 2800 block of Quakerbridge Road at 8:31 pm tonight on a reported house fire. The caller advised there was active fire in the basement.
Firefighters arrived on the scene and were met with a good amount of smoke inside the home. Hose lines were stretched and the fire was quickly extinguished.
As fire units started to be released from the Quakerbridge Road fire, another fire was reported in the first block of Concord Avenue at 8:59 pm. The caller reported their deck was on fire.
Firefighters arrived at the Concord Avenue fire and found heavy fire from the rear deck, extending to the inside of the home. Hose lines were stretched and the fire was quickly placed under control. The cause remains under investigation.
HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–NJ park police reported that they recently busted illegal dumpers on the Duck Island section of the D&R Canal State Park. A person has been charged for dumping of solid waste in a State park and the site has been cleaned up for a cost of $3,485.55 The NJ DEP will be seeking restitution as reported in their release below:
Illegal Dumping investigation leads to arrest. Ofc. Jackson took a report of a dumping of roofing materials in the Duck Island section of D&R Canal State Park. The Detective Bureau conducted a follow up investigation with a company local to the area. Due to the excellent coordinated work of both Ofc. Jackson and Detective Cidoni, charges were filed against an individual for the Dumping of Solid Waste, the Transportation of Solid Waste, and Dumping in a State Park. The site has been cleaned up for a cost of $3,485.55 and restitution will be sought after. Both Officer Jackson and Detective Cidoni share the distinction of Officer of the Month for February for their hard work and dedication to protecting the natural resources of our state! Congratulations!
HAMILTON TOWNSHIP (MERCER)– A Hamilton man is facing multiple charges, including weapons and drug offenses, after pulling a gun and threatening to shoot someone in an argument Sunday afternoon.
Hamilton Police were dispatched to the 1200 block of William Street around 3:12 pm on March 4th, on a reported male with a handgun threatening another male. When officers arrived, they spoke to the victim, who stated an argument ensued with a male over a parking complaint.
During the argument, a male exited the drivers seat of the vehicle, pulled a handgun from his waistband, and threatened to shoot the victim. The suspect then got back into the vehicle and fled the scene with two male passengers.
The victim was able to provide officers with a description of the suspect as well as a picture of the vehicle in which the suspect fled , described as a tan Lincoln. Additional responding officers located the vehicle a short time later in the area of Mary Street and Parkinson Avenue occupied by three males. All three males were ordered out of the vehicle and the driver was identified as Hamilton resident Nathaniel Arrington, 32 years of age.
Arrington told officers there was an argument and he got out of his vehicle to prevent the argument from escalating. He did not admit to brandishing a handgun.
The victim later identified Arriginton as the male who brandished the handgun, and Arrington was placed under arrest.
The tan Lincoln was towed to Hamilton Police Headquarters, where a search warrant was applied for and granted. During the search, officers located a loaded Smith and Wesson .40 caliber handgun, along with suspected cocaine and ecstasy inside of the vehicle.
Arrington was charged with terroristic threats, unlawful possession of a weapon, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, certain persons not to have a weapon, possession of weapons and controlled dangerous substance (CDS) offenses, distribution of CDS within 1000 feet of school property, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact Detective Chris Pullen of the Hamilton Police Division’s Criminal Investigations Section at 609-581-4080, or the Hamilton Police Crime Tip Hotline at 609-581-4008.
Despite having been charged, every defendant is presumed innocent until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
HAMILTON TOWNSHIP (MERCER)– Mayor Jeff Martin and County Executive Brian Hughes release the below statements after visiting a Johnson & Johnson vaccination clinic held by the Hamilton Township Health Department at the Alvin E. Gershen Apartments.
Expressing his gratitude, County Executive Hughes stated, “just a week ago the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine received emergency use approval, and I thank the Biden Administration and Gov. Phil Murphy for laying a glide path to reach our most vulnerable Mercer County residents. We are committed to ensuring that every eligible adult receives their vaccine, and I thank Mayor Martin for his collaboration in helping us complete our mission.”
“I am grateful to all who made it possible – from President Biden to Governor Murphy and County Executive Hughes – for New Jersey’s own Johnson & Johnson vaccine to become available so quickly after emergency authorization by the FDA,” stated Mayor Jeff Martin. “The quick turnaround made it possible for our local health department staff to organize 200 of our Hamilton seniors to get vaccinated today – all without having to leave their residence. As more J&J vaccine becomes available, our staff plans to rotate vaccination clinics throughout our local senior complexes. The single-dose vaccination being added as a weapon in this fight makes the light at the end of the tunnel in this pandemic that much closer.”
HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–The Young Professionals Group (YPG) of Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) Hamilton Foundation is excited to announce their 15th Annual All In Good Taste Virtual Beer and Wine Tasting event. This year, the YPG is honoring Brian Hartmann, CFP and Partner at Granite Bridge Wealth, as Young Professional of the Year.
This year’s event will be held virtually. Attendees will purchase a “Tasting” package, which includes beer and wine vouchers, appetizers and dessert, access to the live event with beer and wine sommeliers, souvenir gifts and more. Tasting packages can be picked up from Blend Bar & Bistro, where vouchers can be redeemed on-site.
HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–On Saturday 216 tires and other items were pulled from the D & R State Park area of Duck Island. The cleanup was organized by volunteers from the Central Jersey Stream Team, Hackensack Riverkeeper, D&R Canal State Park Staff and the owner of Tire Disposal Service. The funding for the cleanup event was sponsored by the Mercer County Clean Communities program.
PARTNERSHIPS! This is how we can achieve our goals in creating a healthier environment for all. On this past rainy Saturday morning 10 dedicated volunteers from the Central Jersey Stream Team and the Hackensack Riverkeeper, 3 D&R Canal State Park Service Staff and the owner of Tire Disposal Service pulled out 216 muck filled tires from the canal at the Duck Island section of the park. While these groups provided the muscle power, the Mercer County Clean Communities program funded the responsible disposal of the tires. Some of these tires date back to the 1960’s!!! We can’t thank all of these groups enough for taking on this challenge and look forward to PARTNERING with them again. There is more work to be done but with dedication of organizations like these we can make a difference. Please consider volunteering for a clean up near you, every set of hands is appreciated.
HAMILTON TOWNSHIP (MERCER)– Hamilton Police are investigating a robbery that occurred at the Subway on Route 33 in Hamilton
The robbery occurred sometime after 7:00 pm on February 26. Hamilton Police were detailed to the Subway located at 233 Route 33 on a robbery investigation. Responding officers were met by a juvenile employee who advised officers that he was robbed by a white male that brandished a knife. After ordering a sandwich, the suspect displayed a knife and demanded money from the cash register. After taking the money, the suspect fled the store on foot down Route 33 towards Nottingham Way.
The suspect is described as a white male, 5’8” tall, wearing a gray winter jacket, black pants, tan ski cap, white button up shirt, gloves and a surgical mask.
Anyone with additional information regarding this incident or can identify the suspect is asked to contact Detective Joseph Ialacci at (609) 689-5822 or via email at email@example.com. The public can also leave a message on the Hamilton Police Crime Tip Hotline at (609) 581-4008.
HAMILTON TOWNSHIP (MERCER)— On February 26, Hamilton Police were detailed to the unit block of Coral Drive on a robbery investigation that included a firearm being discharged.
Police received multiple 911 calls just after 4:00 pm stating a person on Coral Drive pulled out a gun and shot it. Responding officers were met by a male and female victim that reported they were approached by a black male suspect armed with a handgun, as they were exiting their vehicle. The male suspect demanded money and a backpack from the victims. During the course of the struggle, the gun was discharged, and the male suspect, along with a second suspect towards Alton Road.
Neither of the victims sustained gunshot injuries, however one of the victims was assaulted by the suspect.
The first suspect was described as a black male, 5’8” tall, wearing a black hoodie, gray face mask, and displayed a semi-automatic handgun.
The second suspect was described as a taller black male, wearing a tan or yellow hoodie, and a black face mask.
No arrests have been made.
Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact Detective Nicholas Schulte of Hamilton Police Division’s Criminal Investigations Section at (609)689-5825. Detective Schulte can also be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The public can also contact the Hamilton Police Crime Tip Hotline at (609)581-4001.
BREAKING NEWS REPORT: This is a breaking news report from on scene information, radio reports, and sources. Once official information is available, the story will be updated.
HAMILTON TOWNSHIP (MERCER)– Hamilton Police are investigating a possible shooting that occured in the unit block of Coral Drive just after 4:00 pm this afternoon.
Officers responded to Coral Drive near Alton Road after multiple 911 callers stated a person pulled a gun out and shot it. No one was shot in the shooting, but one man was whipped with the weapon. EMS responded to the scene and the victim was treated for his injuries.
It is not yet confirmed if the gun was discharged or not.
This incident remains under investigation by Hamilton Police Division.
HAMILTON TOWNSHIP (MERCER)– Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton (RWJUH) Hamilton, 1 Hamilton Health Place, Hamilton, NJ, now offers a post-COVID-19 recovery program through its rehabilitative therapy services. The program uses the latest research to help patients recuperate from COVID-19. This three-phase program is customized to each patient to help them regain strength and functional abilities following COVID-19.
Telehealth and in-person treatments are available for physical, occupational and speech therapy. The team evaluates each patient’s needs and goals for their post-COVID-recovery and also screen for other needs with which RWJUH Hamilton can provide support.
The program includes physical therapy to reduce weakness, to improve breathing, gait and balance, and to build endurance. Occupational therapy helps patients to become more able to independently complete activities of daily living and cognitive rehabilitation and speech therapy focus on swallowing and speech difficulties.
The post-COVID-19 physical therapy rehab program is offered at RWJUH Hamilton’s Columbus, Ewing, Hamilton, Howell, Lawrenceville and Windsor rehab services locations; speech and occupational therapy for the COVID-19 rehab program is offered at select offices. For more information or to schedule a consultation for a location convenient for you, call 877-342-2795 or visit rwjrehab.com
Located in Hamilton Township, NJ, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton, an RWJBarnabas Health facility, serves communities within a five-county area and includes an acute care hospital, cancer center, affiliated medical group, Lakeview Child Centers and the RWJ Fitness & Wellness Center. RWJBarnabas Health and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton, in partnership with Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey – the state’s only NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center – brings a world class team of researchers and specialists to fight alongside you, providing close-to-home access to the latest treatment and clinical trials. For more information, visit us at www.RWJBH.org/Hamilton and follow the hospital on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
HAMILTON TOWNSHIP (MERCER)– In response to the State’s Fiscal Year 2022 budget proposal including $6.86 million in K-12 school aid funding for Hamilton Township – a 9.1% increase from Fiscal Year 2021 (FY 21), State and local leaders provided the following statements:
In response to the increased aid, Hamilton School District Superintendent Dr. Scott Rocco stated, “The Hamilton Township School District is appreciative of the recent announcement of increased state aid funding to our schools. This additional funding will allow us to continue to invest in our students academically and support our students socially, and emotionally as we turn the corner on the global COVID-19 pandemic. As a district, a town, and a community we are grateful for the commitment of these dollars to our students and our schools. In addition, we would like to express our sincere gratitude to our local, county, and state partners who’ve worked to make this come to fruition.”
“There is no greater investment than an investment in education,” commented Mayor Jeff Martin. “This significant increase in funding will aid Hamilton Schools to continue to safely and effectively educate our children as we continue through this pandemic.”
“With COVID-19 hitting our communities hard, we must ensure that school districts not only have the resources to protect students and staff from spreading and contracting COVID-19, but also to continue to deliver the quality education inherent in New Jersey public schools,” said Senator Linda Greenstein. “I am excited to see this large increase in funding for the Hamilton School District and will continue to fight for the resources needed to support our community.”
“We have long advocated that large suburban school districts like Hamilton deserve more state funding, given the many needs and challenges they have faced, made even more evident during the COVID-19 pandemic,” stated Assemblyman Daniel Benson. “I am pleased that the Governor’s budget includes over $6 million more in aid to meet the needs of our children, while providing tax relief to Hamilton’s seniors and families.”
“In a time where our students have been receiving instruction remotely, it is important now more than ever that our schools are supported,” said Asm. DeAngelo. “I join my colleagues Senator Greenstein, Assemblyman Benson and Mayor Martin in celebrating the announcement of $6.8 million being directed towards the Hamilton Township school district. Our students and families will certainly benefit from this funding.”
HAMILTON TOWNSHIP (MERCER)– Hamilton Fire Department was dispatched to 105 Paterson Avenue, First Class Auto Salvage, around 11:37 this morning on a reported vehicle fire.
The first due engine arrived on scene and reported a large pile of debris and vehicles on fire. Additional engines and an additional squad were requested to the scene. Multiple lines were stretched, quickly extinguishing the flames. No one was injured in the incident.
HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–The NJ Public Employment Relations Commission sided with the Hamilton Township Police Benevolent Association Local 66 and Superior Officers Association 66A that Hamilton Township violated the New Jersey Employer – Employee Relations Act in an unfair practice. The Commission granted interim relief to the unions for the Township’s unilateral changes to PBA and SOA’s pay issuance date in December 2020 and January 2021, unilateral changes to PBA and SOA’s bi-weekly base pay paycheck amounts in 2021, and termination of sick leave buyback for 2020, violate sections 5.4a(1), (2), (3), (5) and (7) of the New Jersey Employer-Employee Relations Act, N.J.S.A. 34:13A-1, et seq.
According to the decision, “The Designee determined that PBA and SOA demonstrated the requisite elements for interim relief under Crowe v. DeGioia, 90 N.J. 126, 132-134 (1982), and enjoined and restrained Hamilton from: 1) unilaterally changing the pay issuance date for the pay period of December 14 to 27, 2020, from December 31, 2020 to a pay date of January 1, 2021; 2) unilaterally changing bi-weekly base pay amounts in 2021 to “annual salary” divided by 27, instead of 26; 3) refusing to reinstate sick leave buyback processing for 2020 for all eligible PBA and SOA members; and 4) refusing to rescind any notice to employees that Hamilton would delay or reduce pay in 2020 and 2021, or refusing to process and pay 2020 sick leave buybacks pursuant to the PBA and SOA CNAs.”
The order states, “PBA and SOA’s application for interim relief is granted. Hamilton is enjoined and restrained from:
1) unilaterally changing the pay issuance date for the pay period of December 14 to 27, 2020, from December 31, 2020 to a pay date of January 1, 2021;
2) unilaterally changing bi-weekly base pay amounts in 2021 to “annual salary” divided by 27, instead of 26; 3) refusing to reinstate sick leave buyback processing for 2020 for all eligible PBA and SOA members; and 4) refusing to rescind any notice to employees that Hamilton would delay or reduce pay in 2020 and 2021, or refusing to process and pay 2020 sick leave buybacks pursuant to the PBA and SOA CNAs.
ROBBINSVILLE-HAMILTON TOWNSHIPS, NJ (MERCER)–In response to a wave of complaints regarding poor service and unfair consumer pricing by Optimum/Altice USA, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) has found sufficient cause to investigate Optimum/Altice USA and convene a public hearing on March 16, 2021.
The BPU said in a February 17 order it had:
“reviewed the various complaints, municipal government official resolutions and requests for Board investigation and intervention in this matter, and HEREBY FINDS that there is sufficient cause to convene a proceeding to afford the municipal officials and Altice customers the opportunity to voice their concerns about the services received from Altice; as well as afford the company the opportunity to respond to these concerns before determining what corrective action may be warranted and should be taken in this matter.”
The Board designated Commissioner Mary-Anna Holden as the Presiding Officer. Holden “is authorized to rule on all motions that arise during the proceedings and modify any schedules that may be set as necessary to secure a just and expeditious determination of the issues.”
The public hearing will be held virtually. Information concerning participation in the public hearing will be posted on the BPU website. Attorneys for the Townships of Robbinsville and Hamilton filed dual letters to Lawanda Gilbert, Director of the BPU Office of Cable Television and Telecommunications, requesting an investigation into the under performing utility in August, 2020.
In addition to Hamilton and Robbinsville, the order lists the boroughs of Dunellen and Sayreville, along with the Townships of Green Brook, Howell, Jackson, Montville, North Brunswick and Piscataway. The BPU received complaints and resolutions from at least 10 municipalities and several state legislators concerning various issues their residents and constituents cited alleging inadequacy and lack of service provided by Altice USA. In the complaints, the municipal and legislative officials cited: “Frequent and lengthy service disruptions (across all services), inconsistent connections and fluctuating Internet speeds, long telephone wait times, poor customer service, and an inability to get a satisfactory response to these issues from the company both before and after the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The letters detail just 11 examples from the hundreds of complaints received by the respective municipal offices at Robbinsville and Hamilton over the past several months citing poor customer service, unstable Internet connections, insufficient network capacity and allegations of price-gouging.
“It is the duty of Optimum (Altice USA) as a utility to furnish safe, adequate and proper service for its customers … and they have failed in that duty,” Robbinsville Township Mayor Dave Fried said last summer. “We should not have to continuously pressure this provider to do its job.”
Hamilton Township Mayor Jeff Martin also received a flood of complaints regarding Optimum/Altice USA (formerly Cablevision) and requested the BPU immediately commence an investigation into the services being provided to both Robbinsville and Hamilton pursuant to powers vested in the Board.
“Having reliable cable and internet service has never been more of a necessity than this year has proved it to be,” Martin said. “Both municipalities’ residents have experienced similar, unacceptable issues and a lack of timely remediation from Optimum. Mayor Fried and I will fight for our residents by partnering together on this issue and hope that by doing so it will provide for a stronger likelihood of these concerns being taken seriously by the State. “
MidJersey.news has reached out to others in the community to reflect on the loss of Jack. Please check back we will have more to add to this story soon.
February 18, 2021 updated with additional reflections from the community, more to follow.
HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Yesterday, Hamilton Township, Mercer County, and the State of New Jersey lost one of the greats, John K. Rafferty. Jack Rafferty, as everyone knew him, was a well-respected man who dedicated 24 years of his life as Hamilton Township’s first full-time Mayor. Prior to his time as Mayor, Jack served six years on what was then the Hamilton Township Committee (now Council). Jack’s love of public service did not end there, as he also served one term in the New Jersey General Assembly.
Jack’s tenure as Mayor saw Hamilton Township become one of New Jersey’s largest municipalities. Under his stewardship Hamilton Township welcomed Hamilton Hospital (now RWJ Hamilton), the Hamilton Train Station, and the development of Veterans Park. Jack will forever leave his mark on Hamilton Township as Hamilton’s main post office on Route 130 and the YMCA facility on Whitehorse-Mercerville Road each bear his name.
Jack continued to give back to Hamilton Township after retiring from his position as Mayor – serving as the Executive Director of the Hamilton Partnership and remaining active in the New Jersey Republican Party where he served on the New Jersey Republican State Committee. A mentor to many and a friend to all, Jack’s legacy will live on through his children and grandchildren as well as all those who had the pleasure of knowing him.
“As Mayor of Hamilton Township and on behalf of our entire community, I wish to express my deepest sympathies and condolences to his wife Doris and the entire Rafferty Family during this very difficult time,” said Mayor Jeff Martin. “I trust his family, friends, and loved ones will find solace in knowing Jack’s many years of dedicated service to our community will live on in Hamilton Township, Mercer County and New Jersey for eternity.”
Former Mayor Kelly Yaede commented, “Hamilton Township lost a truly good man, a dedicated public servant who loved his family and his community. He led a growing town into a thriving community during his tenure. He was beloved by residents regardless of party affiliation; a true leader who put the needs of residents first. The collective sadness realized today in Hamilton with the passing of Mayor Jack is palpable.”
In remembering Jack Rafferty, former Mayor John F. Bencivengo stated, “Mayor Jack Rafferty, his name and his life will never be forgotten. We lost our shining star, a friend to all, a great public servant, a family man, and our mayor for more than two generations. Once a mayor, always a mayor. To me, he was my mentor, friend, and a blessing in my life. Hamilton will forever be in his debt. He turned a place into a township, a township into a strong community of families, parks, schools, and thriving businesses – “Safe, Clean and Beautiful.” We shall miss him; I will miss him. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.”
Former Mayor Glen Gilmore expressed his condolences, stating, “Mayor Rafferty’s legacy of leadership will forever loom large over Hamilton. He always cared about people more than politics – which is what we could use more of now. He was always a friend to me and I will miss his smile.”
“Mayor Rafferty left an indelible mark on Hamilton Township. We can all learn from his example and strive to be more like Jack,” said Mayor Martin.
Norman Smith, Robbinsville resident and co-founder of Project Freedom said, “Jack Rafferty was a friend; he was a friend to me, a friend to Project Freedom, and a friend to the disability community. I was a small part of Jack’s gubernatorial campaign, and this opened doors for me to co-found Project Freedom. When Jack was in the legislature, he secured seed money that enabled our first complex to be planned. Jack established one of the first Mayor’s Office for Disabilities in New Jersey during a time when we had very limited community visibility. He truly was an angel to Project Freedom, and for that reason we gave Jack our first Angel Award.”
U.S. Representative Chris Smith said, “Jack Rafferty was an extraordinary leader—a visionary and doer of great deeds—especially for the people of Hamilton Township. He was smart, tenacious, selfless and had a sense of humor that always brought a smile to anyone he met. He was kind and caring—and had a great big heart. As the can-do mayor, Jack made Hamilton a great place to live and improved the quality of life for all. All Hamiltonians were his priority I was privileged to work with Jack on many projects including establishing the Hamilton train station and securing Hamilton’s postal identity. Like a great quarterback, he knew how to effectively lead the Rafferty team of dedicated professionals. He and first lady Doris made all of us Hamiltonians proud.
My wife Marie and I considered Jack a good friend who lent his political expertise to many of my campaigns. We mourn Jack’s passing but celebrate a life that has made all the difference in the world. Rest in peace, our friend.”
Robbinsville Mayor Dave Fried said, “Jack Rafferty was not only a giant among men in the political arena, he was a husband, a father, a mentor and a friend. Jack was the mayor I always wanted to be. He was a larger-than-life personality who garnered the respect of his friends, as well as his opponents on each side of the political aisle. I was extremely fortunate that he took me under his wing very early in my career and was always there to lend advice, or a helping hand at any hour of the day or night. My deepest condolences and those of my entire Administration and Township Council go out to his family and many friends. Jack was a true legend, and he will be greatly missed.”
Former Senator Bill Baroni said, “Today, a big part of the heart and soul of Hamilton – my hometown – is gone. Perhaps no person since our namesake Alexander Hamilton has done more to make our town what it is today than our Mayor Jack Rafferty.
I have known Mayor Rafferty my whole life. I remember him in my living room at a meeting of our neighborhood association; he came to our little block parties, our school assemblies, our soccer league openings. He was there when my Mom died – and he performed the wedding when my Dad married my stepmom. Everyone in Hamilton knew him – because he knew us. He made our town the perfect place to grow up. Today, because we have lost Jack Rafferty, our town is a little less perfect.
It seems we are losing Hamilton’s greatest generation. Jack Lacy, Jack Zoller, Franny McManimon, Maury Perilli, Paul Kramer, and now our Mayor Jack Rafferty. All of us in politics follow in their footsteps and can only hope to do a fraction of the works they did.
Mayor Rafferty loved the theatre. In the hit musical Hamilton – our towns namesake – the last line sang by all the cast is, “Who tells your story?” Mayor Rafferty, we will tell your story. A story that takes us to Sayen Gardens and Veterans Park; to a library we never had, parks we could only imagine; a police station that helps keep us safe; and the fact that we can use “Hamilton” on our mail. There are thousands of stories we will tell – because you made our town.
Jack Rafferty, Rest in Peace. Or in his beloved Irish, Seán Ó Rabhartaigh, Ar dheis dé go raibh a anam.” — Bill Baroni
Governor Phil Murphy said, “Over 24 years in office, former Hamilton Mayor Jack Rafferty helped transform the town into a thriving and growing community. We send our condolences to his family and to every Hamiltonian whose life he impacted.”
HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) Hamilton, 1 Hamilton Health Place, Hamilton, NJ, is pleased to announce new RWJUH Hamilton Foundation Board leaders and members, who assumed their new roles in January 2021. Yolanda Zaffutti Stinger, formerly the Foundation Board’s Vice Chair, ascended to the position of Chair; Foundation Board member Mary Pucciarelli took on the role of Vice Chair; and the Board welcomed two new members, Ryan Kennedy and Christina Spinelli.
Lifelong Hamilton resident Yolanda Zaffutti Stinger has been a committed member of the RWJUH Hamilton Foundation for over a decade; as Vice Chair, she was a natural fit for the Chair position. In addition to her work with RWJUH Hamilton, Stinger is involved in a variety of other community-oriented organizations. “Giving back to the community is so important to me,” she says.
In her new role as Vice Chair, Mary Pucciarelli of Brielle, NJ, a decade-long Foundation Board member, enthusiastically continues her dedication to the RWJUH Hamilton Foundation, which supports the programs and patients of the hospital. “I’ve been so proud,” says Pucciarelli of her tenure with the Foundation, “to work with so many people from the Hamilton community.”
New Board members Ryan Kennedy of Hopewell Borough, NJ, and Christina Spinelli of Hamilton, NJ – a former member of the hospital’s Young Professionals Group (YPG) – are enthusiastic about their upcoming efforts on behalf of the Foundation, as well. With the ascensions of Stinger and Pucciarelli to their new positions and the additions Kennedy and Spinelli, the Foundation Board will continue its work to contribute to the evolution of RWJUH Hamilton in order to best serve its community. Former Foundation Board Chair and Chair-elect of the hospital Board, Nina Melker, says, “I know we have built a strong Foundation Board. These changes will continue to bring us forward and help us grow.”
HAMILTON TOWNSHIP (MERCER)– The Hamilton Fire Department responded to 356 Schiller Avenue around 10:25 pm Tuesday night on a reported house fire. Companies arrived on scene with smoke showing from the second floor and called the “all-hands,” sending additional apparatus, manpower, and resources to the scene. Two hose lines were stretched in operation, quickly knocking down the fire. Command placed the fire under control around 10:37 pm. It is unknown if anyone was injured. The cause of the fire is under investigation
HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–A vehicle lost control and crashed though a guardrail and down an embankment seriously injuring at least one occupant this afternoon around 2:25 pm. on Interstate 295. NJ State Police, Hamilton Township Fire Department, RWJ EMS, and Capital Health paramedics responded to the area of mile marker 59 North Bound for a person trapped and unconscious in a vehicle with a reported fire under the hood of the vehicle. The person was extricated and transported to the Trauma Center at Capital Health Regional Medical Center, EMS alerted the trauma center they were en route with a person with serious injuries. NJ State Police are investigating the crash, no other information is available at this time.
HAMILTON TOWNSHIP (MERCER)– Hamilton Police are investigating a serious crash that sent multiple people to the hospital that occured at about 10:31 am on February 14.
According to police, a 2013 Toyota Prius, operated by Natacha Andujar-Cordero, of Trenton, was traveling East on Sylvan Avenue when she entered the intersection of Cedar Lane. Andujar-Cordero’s vehicle was then struck by a 2008 Kia Sedona, operated by Gina Desamours-Joseph of Hamilton. The Kia was traveling South at the time of the crash.
Andujar-Cordero was trapped inside of her vehicle and Hamilton Fire Department responded to the scene for extrication.
Andujar-Cordero was transported to Capital Health Regional Medical Center along with her passengers for serious injuries. Desamours-Joseph was transported to St. Francis Medical Center along with his passenger.
This crash is being investigated by Officer Christopher Clugsten and Officer Bryan Wood. Any witnesses are asked to contact the Hamilton Police Traffic Unit at 609-581-4000. Information may also be left anonymously through the Hamilton Police Crime Tip Hotline at 609-581-4008.