HOPEWELL TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Hopewell Township firefighters were dispatched to 6 Madison Avenue in Hopewell Township, just outside of Pennington for a structure fire at 1:35 a.m. Upon arrival of police and firefighters the 6,300 square foot mansion was fully engulfed in fire. Firefighters used two LDH – large diameter hose lines to supply a master stream from Tower 51 and at least six handlines to knock the flames down. Several tankers were also called to the scene for precautionary measures in case more water was needed. There were cars in the driveway but it was unclear if anyone was home at the time of the fire.
According to Zillo the mansion was 6,300 square feet and had five bedrooms, and five and a half bathrooms. The “Zestimate®”: $1,463,400.00 in value. According to Hopewell Township tax records the property is Block 72 Lot 1.16, 6 Madison Ave., Owners are Dowdie George & Donna Chance with a yearly tax bill of $32,240.60 on a total Township assessed value of $1,077,200. with the November 1, 2022 payment listed as “open”
HOPEWELL, NJ (MERCER)–Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri and Hopewell Police Chief James Rosso reported today that a township man has been arrested and charged with the death of his father.
Joelle Jackson, 54, is charged with murder and weapons offenses. He was taken into custody Tuesday evening at the Hopewell Township Police Department. The prosecutor’s office has filed a motion to detain Jackson pending trial.
At approximately 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, November 22, 2022, Hopewell police responded to an apartment in the 700 block of Denow Road on the report of a man stabbed. Inside of the apartment, officers located Ishmeal Jackson, 82, on the kitchen floor suffering from multiple stab wounds. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. Hopewell officers secured the apartment and notified the Mercer County Homicide Task Force. Investigation revealed that on or about Monday, November 21, Joelle Jackson stabbed his father to death in the apartment they shared on Denow Road.
Despite having been charged, every defendant is presumed innocent until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
Joelle Jackson, 54, is charged with murder and weapons offenses. He was taken into custody Tuesday evening at the Hopewell Township Police Department. The prosecutor’s office has filed a motion to detain Jackson pending trial.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–In the wake of numerous issues with voting and counting on Election Day, challenges that are still under investigation, Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes is calling for a thorough public review of what went wrong and a comprehensive overhaul of the elections process in Mercer County.
“After issues in the last two elections, I have come to the conclusion that we must fundamentally change the management of the election process in Mercer County because it is clearly not working,” the County Executive said. “There are legal limits to what I can do as County Executive but rest assured that I will do everything within my power to ensure the integrity of elections in Mercer County and will tolerate nothing less.”
In Mercer County, three separate entities, the Board of Elections, the Superintendent of Elections, and the Office of the County Clerk each plays a role in elections. Board of Elections commissioners are appointed by the respective County Chairs of the Republican and Democratic Parties, the Superintendent of Elections is an appointee of the Governor, and the County Clerk is an elected position.
“I am happy that Mercer County Clerk Paula Sollami-Covello requested that the County Prosecutor look into the election. But we also need a more thorough and public review. We’ve got too many people in control and the quality of our elections has suffered as a result, undermining peoples’ faith in the democratic process,” Mr. Hughes said.
Moving forward, County Executive Hughes proposes the following:
Request a special meeting of the Commissioner Board to bring together the Clerk, Superintendent and Election Board Chair explain to the public what went wrong.
Reform and simplify our election process by merging and unifying the Office of the Superintendent and the Board into one, and having an experienced Executive Director oversee our elections.
Call on legislators to enact changes that will allow Mercer County to reform our system.
Pledge any county resources needed to ensure every vote is counted and help get to the bottom of what went wrong hasten and conclude investigation.
“I pledge to you that we will get to the bottom of this and that every vote will be counted,” Mr. Hughes said. “I have listened to the people of Mercer County and have spoken with election officials, and we are committed to finding out how we can improve the election process and to prevent future incidents as the one on Election Day.”
In Mercer County, the Office of the County Executive does not supervise the Board, their offices, nor does it have jurisdiction. The board is responsible for selecting polling places, training board workers, receiving and counting vote-by-mail ballots, and counting and certifying provisional ballots. The Superintendent of Elections handles voter registration, renews registration records, investigates provisional ballots, and is the custodian of voting machines. The County Clerk designs and prints all election ballots, processes vote by mail applications, and officially certifies the election results.
File photo: Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes
File photo: Robbinsville Township Mayor Dave Fried
Robbinsville Township Mayor Dave Fried said in a Facebook post:
“Regarding the events of Election Day, here is what we know so far.
Either the machine scanners did not work, or the ballots were printed incorrectly and the machines did their jobs and correctly spit them out as invalid. An investigation is reportedly under way, and Robbinsville will join other elected officials across Mercer County to see that the investigation is complete and transparent.
Let me be clear: I am not blaming anyone. Honestly, I do not know how this happened. Pointing fingers without all the facts is not productive. We do know that this is the second straight year the County process did not work as it should have, and I am not happy with much of what I saw.
One of the basic tenets of our democracy is the right to vote, and that every vote will be counted.
As of today, it appears our District 5 ballots (Library) have been found after having been misplaced. That information was given directly to our Municipal Clerk Michele Seigfried from the County.
Just a quick note about our clerk’s office. Michele and her team of Deputy Clerk Kaitlyn Macellaro and Sandy DeLorenzo performed exceptionally under extremely difficult conditions this past week. I cannot thank them enough for their service to our Township. The same goes for our Administration team, led by B.A. Joy Tozzi, each of whom worked all hours of the day and night in the chaotic aftermath of Election Day.
Over in Princeton, it seems they discovered ballots still in their machines. During in-person voting on Election Day, two slots for placing ballots were used. The first was the so-called emergency slot. This was used in the early part of the day because officials had hoped the scanner problems could be fixed before polls closed. As the day went on, that emergency bin became full and the scanners were removed so the main bin could be used. They discovered Princeton’s ballots were still in some of those containers since both sides were not emptied. It also appears that the documentation of the chain of custody regarding our ballots was quite poor, allowing the ballots to be apparently misplaced for a time.
The courts have ordered all the machines returned to the Mercer County Board of Elections for inspection to ensure there are no more ballots in those machines, including the ones deployed in Robbinsville.
I DO NOT believe there was any type of fraud, and I DO NOT believe there are any conspiracies at work here. I do believe mistakes were made at a time in our nation when it can ill-afford to stumble on Election Day.
We have spent millions of dollars on these machines and ballots, and they clearly did not work as advertised. It is time to reassess and come up with a better system. Those of you who voted early did not seem to have any issues. Perhaps we need to consider moving entirely in that direction. I will be attending all upcoming Mercer County Commissioner’s meetings until we have a real and fortified plan. Together, I am hopeful we will come up with a solution. Robbinsville has no intention of paying for this process unless real change is implemented.
I have no reason to believe, even with ballots that may or may not still be out there, that our local results will change.
Thus, I sincerely congratulate our three new Board of Education members – Jeffrey Pierro, Raghu Nandan and Peter Oehlberg. I wish each of you the best of luck, and I am sorry your first election was fraught with so much turmoil.
I have always said putting your name on a ballot is one of the most difficult – but potentially rewarding things – a person can do. Although no candidate should have to wait days for results in 2022, each of you earned your rightful place among your other BOE members.
While Ballot Question #1, which sought to combine our Planning and Zoning Boards into a consolidated Land Use Board, did pass, Ballot Question #2 regarding an increase in our Open Space tax to preserve more land and slow development did not. I know times are tough. That is why we put items such as these questions on the ballot. Sometimes we think we know what the residents want, but this process helps us know for certain.”
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Mercer County Clerk Paula Sollami Covello told MidJersey.News in an email, “Although this is under the board of elections, I have been informed that they were all found by them and are being counted.”
As reported yesterday by MidJersey.news a bag of Robbinsville emergency ballots went missing, and also 3 Princeton districts also appeared to be missing as of this morning.
The Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office Spokesperson Casey DeBlasio, told MidJersey.news in an email, “I can confirm the county clerk did reach out to the prosecutor today. We are reviewing her concerns to determine what further action should be taken.”
MidJersey.news did reach out to Mercer County Board of Elections this morning and have not received a reply yet.
Check back with MidJersey.news we will update as information becomes available.
*Results are not official until all votes are counted and certified. This includes ballots cast by mail, provisional, and ballots requiring a signature cure. These first two reports above must be ADDED for a cumulative total (until further notice)! –Note the PDF files below and the above link must be added together to get the most accurate until updated by County Clerk’s Office
ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–Robbinsville Township reported on social media that due to a Mercer County-wide system outage, all voting machines are currently down in each district across the County.
Voters can still report to their respective polling locations and vote on a standard ballot and insert their ballot into the “emergency slot” in the machine. However, Mercer County officials will be unable to tally those votes tonight and are working to fix the system issue.
8:00 a.m. UPDATE:
Mercer County Clerk Paula Sollami Covello posted on Facebook that there is a glitch with the Dominion scanners. Voters can still vote by completing their ballots and placing them in the top of the scanning machine in the slot where the emergency ballots are placed. Everyone can vote manually, so rest assured no one will be disenfranchised.
8:08 a.m. UPDATE:
Mercer County reports: The Board of Elections has advised the county of issues with voting machines. Poll workers will be on hand to walk voters through the process. The board is working with Dominion, the machine maker, to resolve the issue.
“All votes cast in this General Election will be scanned on high capacity scanners by the Mercer County Board of Elections, at their central location, instead of at the polling locations by the voters. The Board of Elections is a bipartisan commission. Fortunately, we have hand-marked paper ballot system.
The Mercer County Clerk’s Office does not oversee voting machines or the voting equipment, but all three offices work together to make sure that the process is secure and transparent.
We made it through Hurricane Sandy, through 2020 and we will make it through this one too and no one will be disenfranchised.”
Update from the Mercer County Superintendent of Elections Nathaniel Walker
November 8, 2022 – 2 p.m.
Soon after polls opened this morning, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, poll workers became aware of an issue with the voting machine scanners. Voters are being asked to fill out the ballot as they normally would. A contingency plan is in place for all ballots cast at all locations to be scanned at the secure Board of Elections office.
Again, ballots will be scanned just as they would at the polling location. Every ballot that has been cast will be counted, no voter will be disenfranchised, and the integrity of the election is intact and secure.
Additionally, provisional ballots are available to those who would prefer to vote provisionally. A provisional ballot can be obtained at a voter’s polling location.
Further information will be reported as it becomes known.
– Nathaniel Walker, Mercer County Superintendent Of Elections
Back on September 22, 2021, four cases of Legionnaires’ disease were reported in Hamilton Township, Mercer County between May-August 2021, along with an additional reported case from November 2020. On August 29, 2022 Two cases of Legionnaires’ disease were reported in August 2022 from the section of Hamilton Township, Mercer County, served by Trenton Water Works (TWW). Two additional cases were reported, respectively in April 2022 and December 2021. Of the four, one individual has died.
Today the NJ Department of Health made this announcement: The presence of Legionella bacteria was identified in water samples collected from more than half of 30 homes within several municipalities served by Trenton Water Works (TWW), the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) announced today. This includes homes from Trenton, Ewing, and parts of Lawrence and Hopewell Township served by TWW.
The testing was conducted in September 2022 following the detection of Legionella, the bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ disease, in several homes that were voluntarily tested within the Hamilton Township area served by TWW in July 2022. The homes tested in Hamilton Township were part of an ongoing investigation to determine potential causes of Legionnaires’ disease previously detected in Hamilton Township, with five cases including one death reported since December 2021. The most recent case was reported to health in September 2022.
To determine if other municipalities served by TWW were affected, health officials recruited an additional 30 homeowners from across the TWW distribution area, focusing on areas outside of Hamilton Township, to voluntarily have their homes tested for Legionella. NJDOH has notified all volunteer homeowners of the results from this sampling.
Legionnaires’ disease is a type of pneumonia that people can get after breathing in aerosolized water (small droplets of water in the air) containing Legionella bacteria. Individuals cannot get Legionnaires’ disease by drinking water that has Legionella. Though uncommon, people can get sick when water containing Legionella is aspirated into the lungs while drinking (“goes down the wrong pipe”). NJDOH receives approximately 250-350 reports of Legionnaires’ disease each year throughout New Jersey.
NJDOH is now urging that all residents and building owners who receive water from TWW to take actions to reduce the risk of Legionella growth in their household and building plumbing. These recommendations are available below.
It is not known if individuals with Legionella detected in their homes are more likely to develop Legionnaires’ disease. While it remains rare for a healthy person who is exposed to Legionella to become sick with Legionnaires’ disease, people who are 50 years or older, especially those who smoke, or those with certain medical conditions, including weakened immune systems, chronic lung disease or other chronic health conditions, are at increased risk.
Symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease include cough, shortness of breath, fever, muscle aches, and headaches, which are similar to symptoms caused by other respiratory infections, including COVID-19. Legionnaires’ disease can be fatal but is treatable with antibiotics. It is important that anyone who thinks they have symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease contact their health care provider and seek medical evaluation immediately.
Health officials are urging healthcare providers to collect lower respiratory specimens for Legionella PCR and/or culture, in conjunction with use of the urinary antigen test, when suspecting Legionnaires’ disease. This is especially important among residents who receive water from TWW. The urinary antigen test is the most common diagnostic method but can only detect Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1. PCR and culture of lower respiratory specimens can detect all Legionella species and serogroups.
NJDOH continues to partner with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) and TWW to investigate factors that may be promoting the growth of Legionella bacteria and to evaluate remedial actions that can be taken to reduce Legionella in the system.
Following NJDEP’s finding of significant concerns with TWW’s operations and management, including intermittent failures to fully maintain treatment processes, monitor water quality, employ adequately trained operating personnel, and invest in required maintenance and capital needs such as upgrades to aging infrastructure, Governor Phil Murphy NJDEP Commissioner Shawn M. LaTourette issued a Unilateral Administrative Order that will, among other things, facilitate the immediate deployment of a capacity-building force comprised of managerial and technical experts who will focus on improving routine operations and maintenance, as well as resolving immediate capital needs.
According to NJDOH, individuals, particularly those at high risk, can follow recommended steps to decrease the risk of Legionella exposure and best practices to limit the growth of Legionella in household water systems and devices:
Avoid high-risk activities. If you are at an increased risk for Legionnaires’ disease, consider avoiding hot tubs, decorative fountains, power washing, or similar activities, which may generate increased amounts of aerosols or mist. A conversation with your health care provider may help you assess your individual level of risk based on underlying health conditions and co-morbidities. Your health care provider may recommend that you consider installing specialty biological 0.2-micron filters on your showerhead if you are severely immunocompromised and receive water from Trenton Water Works.
Maintain in-home medical equipment. If using medical equipment that requires water for use or cleaning such as non-steam generating humidifiers, CPAP or BiPAP machines, nasal irrigation devices such as Neti Pots, and attachments for nebulizers, follow manufacturer’s instructions for use and maintenance. This often includes using sterile water instead of tap water in the device.
Clean and/or replace your showerheads and faucet aerators (screens) per manufacturer’s instructions whenever buildup is visible. This is particularly important if you haven’t cleaned your showerheads or faucet aerators recently. Cleaning might require you to remove the showerhead and hose and soak in a solution (such as white vinegar or a bleach solution) to remove buildup. If using chemicals, follow instructions found on the back of the bottle for safe use.
Keep your water heater set to a minimum of 120o This temperature will reduce Legionella growth and avoid potential for scalding (hot water burns). Setting the heater to a higher temperature may better control Legionella growth, especially if you have household members at increased risk for Legionnaires’ disease. However, if the temperature is set to greater than 120o F, make sure you take extra precautions to mix cold and hot water at the faucet and shower to avoid scalding. If you have household members at increased risk of scalding, such as young children or older adults, you may consider installing a thermostatic mixing valve. A mixing valve allows your water to be stored at a higher temperature within your water heater to help kill bacteria while eliminating concerns with water being too hot at sinks or showers. If you decide to install a mixing valve, be sure to follow manufacturer’s instructions for routine cleaning and maintenance to avoid bacteria growth within the valve. Consider consulting with a licensed plumbing professional and ensure you are following your local codes and ordinances for home plumbing repairs.
After cleaning showerheads and faucet aerators and increasing the temperature of the water heater, thoroughly flush the water at each tap (e.g., sink, showerhead) for 20 minutes. Try to minimize exposure to splashing and mist generation, for example, by leaving the room while the water is running.
Conduct routine flushing. Sinks and shower taps that are not used often can increase the risk of Legionellagrowth in other areas of the home. Let your faucets and showers run for at least three minutes when they have been out of use for more than a week. Minimize exposure to splashing and mist generation, for example, by leaving the room while the water is running. Additionally, you may consider flushing your water following any water disruption to your home, such as low pressure or discoloration, resulting from a water main break or nearby hydrant flushing.
Follow manufacturer’s instructions for maintaining your water heater and expansion tank, including periodic flushing, draining, and removal of sediment. If manufacturer’s instructions are unavailable, seek advice from a licensed professional.
Clean and/or replace all water filters per manufacturer’s instructions. All whole-house (e.g., water softeners) and point-of-use filters (e.g., built-in refrigerator filters) must be properly maintained.
Drain garden hoses and winterize hose bibs. Detach and drain the hose, shut the water valve off inside the home, and drain the pipe when not in use for the season.
Follow manufacturer’s instructions for maintaining your hot tub.Ensure disinfectant levels (e.g., chlorine) and maintenance activities (e.g., cleaning, scrubbing, replacing the filter and water) are followed. For more information, be sure to review CDC’s recommendations for residential hot tub owners.
Operate and maintain your indoor and outdoor decorative fountains according to manufacturer’s instructions to limit your exposure to Legionella. Household members at increased risk for Legionnaires’ disease should avoid exposure to decorative fountains. If manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and maintenance are not available, minimum cleaning frequency recommendations can be found in CDC’s Legionella Control Toolkit.
Remove, shorten, or regularly flush existing dead legs. Plumbing renovations can lead to the creation of dead legs, a section of capped pipe that contains water but has no flow (or is infrequently used). For future renovations, ensure your plumber avoids creating dead legs.
RECOMMENDED ACTIONS FOR BUILDING OWNERS
Complete this quick yes/no worksheetto determine if your building, or certain devices in your building, need a Water Management Program. Resources to help you develop a Water Management Program and for Legionella control in common sources of exposure are available at NJDOH’s Legionella website.
Store hot water at temperatures above 140°F and ensure hot water in circulation does not fall below 120°F (or at highest temperature allowable by local regulations and codes). Install thermostatic mixing valves as close as possible to fixtures to prevent scalding while permitting circulating hot water temperatures above 120°.
Clean and maintain water system components.This includes devices such as thermostatic mixing valves, aerators, showerheads, hoses, filters, water heaters, storage tanks, and expansion tanks, regularly per manufacturer instructions.
Flush hot and cold water at all points of use (faucets, showers, drinking fountains) at least weekly to replace the water that has been standing in the pipes. Healthcare settings and facilities that house vulnerable populations should flush at least twice a week.
Remove dead legs or, where unavoidable, make them as short as possible. Where a dead leg (a section of pipe capped off with little or no water flow) cannot be avoided, it should be flushed regularly to avoid water stagnation. This may require the installation of a drain valve.
Monitor water quality parameters such as temperature, disinfectant residuals, and pH regularly. Adjust the frequency of monitoring based on stability of values. For example, increase frequency of monitoring if there is a high degree of measurement variability. Pay particular attention to water quality parameters following a water disruption event, such as low pressure or discoloration, resulting from a water main break or nearby hydrant flushing.
Safely operate and conduct regular maintenance of cooling towers to protect staff, visitors, and the adjacent community from exposure to Legionella. Use a Water Management Program to establish, track, and improve operation and maintenance activities.
Follow recommendations from the NJ Department of Health when reopening your facility following a prolonged shutdown or reduced operation due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Recommendations are available at: https://bit.ly/3CG2s8S
ABOUT LEGIONNAIRES’ DISEASE AND LEGIONELLA
Legionnaires’ disease is a type of pneumonia (lung infection) caused by Legionella bacteria. Legionella is a type of bacteria found naturally in freshwater environments such as lakes and streams and becomes a health concern when it enters and grows inside human-made water systems. People can get Legionnaires’ disease by breathing in aerosolized (small droplets) water containing Legionella. Aerosolized water can come from plumbing systems and devices such as cooling towers (part of the cooling system for large buildings), hot tubs, cooling misters, and decorative fountains. Less commonly, people can get sick by aspiration of tap water containing Legionella. This happens when water accidently goes into the lungs while drinking (“goes down the wrong pipe”). People at increased risk of aspiration include those with swallowing difficulties. Home A/C units do not use water to cool, so these home units do not aerosolize water and are not a risk for Legionella growth. Legionnaires’ disease is generally not spread person to person. Additional information regarding Legionnaires’ disease and Legionella can be located at NJDOH’s website.
Follow the New Jersey Department of Health on Twitter @njdeptofhealth, Facebook /njdeptofhealth, Instagram @njdeptofhealth and LinkedIn /company/njdeptofhealth.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Following a months-long compliance evaluation of conditions affecting Trenton Water Works (TWW), Governor Phil Murphy, Commissioner of Environmental Protection Shawn M. LaTourette, and Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora today announced the launch of a new Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) initiative to better support and improve TWW. Through this initiative, the State will work with the City to enhance TWW’s technical and managerial capacity with the goal of improving the operations and maintenance of TWW to ensure that the system reliably produces safe drinking water that meets all requirements of the New Jersey Safe Drinking Water Act.
Despite many recent efforts at the local level to improve operating conditions and advance long-overdue capital improvements at TWW, the system continues to struggle in maintaining compliance with regulatory obligations and requirements. To ensure that maintenance and operational needs crucial to the protection of public health are met, and that long-overdue capital improvements may receive the benefit of new and considerable state and federal funding, DEP has determined that a capacity-building program with direct operational oversight is necessary to ensure TWW’s near- and long-term success in meeting the needs of the 200,000+ residents served by the system in Trenton, as well as portions of Ewing, Hamilton, Hopewell, and Lawrence.
“Since the outset of my Administration, the provision of clean, affordable drinking water and the promotion of healthy communities have remained among our foremost priorities,” said Governor Murphy. “Protecting our children, families, and businesses is a responsibility that all levels of government share, and one that we must leverage every existing partnership to fulfill. Under the leadership of the DEP and in coordination with the City of Trenton, we will work tirelessly to safeguard our residents and return water system quality to the level our communities deserve.”
“The health of the residents is of paramount importance and we want to see Trenton succeed at all levels of government,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Y. Oliver, who serves as Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs. “Ensuring public health and safety is a core principle of municipal services. The Division of Local Government Services, which has some fiscal oversight of the City, will assist DEP in any way it can to ensure TWW succeeds in providing safe drinking water for its residents.”
“Clean and safe drinking water is a human right but delivering this public good is a far more complex undertaking than one might expect,” said Commissioner LaTourette. “The depth of managerial, technical, and financial expertise required to ensure consistent operation, maintenance, and improvement of a water system is significant. Yet, not all systems are created equal, and we must invest more time, attention, and resources in those that need our help. Through direct operational oversight, DEP will help Trenton Water Works build the capacity necessary to better serve the public. Through this initiative, DEP and the City will more fully assess the system’s needs, meet its challenges, and ensure its long-term success for the benefit of the people of Trenton and the surrounding communities that this system serves.”
“We are committed to strengthening Trenton Water Works, improving its operations, advancing capital projects, and maintaining high water quality in partnership with the New Jersey Department of Environmental,” said Mayor Gusciora. “As we’ve dealt with City Council obstruction, we are resolute and determined in our efforts to build on the substantial progress we’ve made, fulfilling the promise I made to modernize the TWW system to ensure clean and safe drinking water for our customers and service-area residents for generations to come.”
TWW draws water from the Delaware River to provide water to more than 200,000 people in Trenton, as well as portions of Ewing, Hamilton, Hopewell, and Lawrence. The system has intermittently struggled to fully maintain critical treatment processes, monitor water quality, employ adequately trained operating personnel, and invest in required maintenance and capital needs, including significant upgrades to aging infrastructure such as the seven-acre, open-air finished water reservoir that stores and provides already treated water to about 70 percent of TWW’s distribution system. The initiative launched by the Murphy Administration today with the support of the City is intended to remedy these concerns.
This initiative, which will be implemented in accordance with an administrative order issued by DEP, has two primary phases that will be pursued concurrently: (1) immediate retention and deployment of a capacity-building force comprised of managerial and technical experts who will focus on improving routine operations and maintenance, as well as immediate capital needs; and (2) a full-scale assessment and preparation of organizational and operational recommendations.
To effect Phase 1, TWW will facilitate the direct oversight and monitoring of the system by DEP and its consultants, including a third-party adviser that will be embedded in the system for the purposes of monitoring and assessing all system operations and maintenance, adding necessary technical and managerial capacity to the system, and making technical, managerial, and financial recommendations necessary to bring the system into full compliance with applicable law.
To effect Phase 2, the third-party adviser will undertake a comprehensive technical, managerial, and financial capacity assessment of the system that will result in a report of organizational and operational recommendations, as well as short- and long-term asset management and capital improvement recommendations that will serve the basis of future action and investment.
DEP and the City will collaborate to ensure that the progress and outcomes of this initiative are open and transparent to the public.
As of October 12, 2022, water quality sample results submitted to DEP by TWW reflect that the water system meets applicable water quality standards. DEP will continue to closely monitor water quality parameters and other indicators of the status of the TWW system. If TWW exceeds a regulatory standard for drinking water quality, or if DEP otherwise determines that an acute risk to public health exists, the public notification would be issued to all TWW customers.
“First, I want to thank Governor Murphy and NJDEP Commissioner LaTourette for their decision today to bring Trenton Water Works (TWW) under direct oversight of NJDEP,” said Mayor Martin. “I want to also thank my fellow Mayors, State Legislators, County Officials, and the Hamilton Township Council who have remained steadfast in their focus on ensuring TWW meets their most basic obligations to their customers.” Hamilton Mayor Jeff Martin
“Said in a more simple way – today the State is taking over running TWW,” continued Mayor Martin. “This is a major step towards reaching our simple goal: to ensure all TWW customers have reliably clean and safe drinking water. Further, the Order from NJDEP requires the City Council to approve all items necessary to ensure our goal is reached; guaranteeing a road block to progress is neutralized.” Hamilton Mayor Jeff Martin
“Hopewell Township residents, particularly those in Brandon Farms, depend on Trenton Water Works for safe drinking water. We are grateful to the state Department of Environmental Protection for their quick response to our concerns about the facility,” says Hopewell Township Mayor Peters-Manning. “Thanks go to Hamilton Mayor Jeff Martin for his leadership on this issue. The staff at Trenton Water Works has been nothing but professional in their dealings with the Township, and we look forward to continuing to work with them and the DEP to safeguard the future of our water supply.”
HAMILTON – TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Hamilton Mayor Martin, State Senator Greenstein, Assemblymen DeAngelo, and Benson, Mercer County Executive Hughes, Mercer County Board of County Commissioners Chair Nina Melker, Ewing Mayor Steinmann, Hopewell Township Mayor Peters-Manning, and Lawrence Township Mayor John Ryan are joining together to call on the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) to take over direct supervision and operation of Trenton Water Works (TWW) after years of failure to comply with safe drinking water obligations.
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.
In 2020, the Attorney General and DEP filed a lawsuit against TWW, which the municipalities served by the water utility joined, seeking to compel the City of Trenton and the water utility to take the necessary actions after failing to comply with Administrative Consent Orders to provide safe drinking water. These failures include but are not limited to filling vacancies critical to running the treatment plant and the covering of the Pennington Reservoir, which funding for was denied by the Trenton City Council months after the lawsuit was filed. This week, the NJDEP sent the City and TWW a letter again citing failure to comply with these orders and stating that the DEP is “disturbed by the current City Council’s continuing failures or refusals to authorize resolutions necessary to advance critical capital improvements and ensure that ordinary maintenance and operational needs crucial to the protection of public health are met.”
“The residents of Hamilton have suffered far too long due to the failures of Trenton Water Works and left us with absolutely no confidence in their ability to operate the utility,” said Hamilton Mayor Jeff Martin. “The Trenton City Council’s refusal to authorize public safety projects is putting people’s lives in danger and has prevented TWW’s ability to provide safe and clean drinking water. I call on the Governor and the State of New Jersey to immediately place TWW under direct state control to end the years of gross incompetence.”
“The most recent inspection report from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection validates the charge that, time and time again, the residents of this region have been failed by the Trenton City Council and Trenton Water Works,” said Senator Linda R. Greenstein. “Despite the actions of some to try and resolve these long-standing issues, it is readily apparent that a change in leadership is desperately needed. I call upon the State of New Jersey and NJDEP to immediately take all steps necessary to establish state control of Trenton Water Works, to ensure the health and safety of our residents remain top priority.”
“We shouldn’t wait for another disaster before taking action, the safety of our residents must come first,” said Assemblyman Dan Benson. “The NJDEP letter shows that the current operation of Trenton Water Works is unacceptable, it’s time for action,” added Benson.
“Trenton City Council has showed us time and again that they are not interested in bringing Trenton Water Works up to the standards set up by the Department of Environmental Protection,” stated Assemblyman Wayne DeAngelo. “At this point, the gross negligence that they have shown has led to an increased risk of waterborne pathogens that threaten the safety of not just Trenton but also the neighboring towns that it serves. I cannot, in good conscience, watch as this continues to escalate. That is why I believe that the control and maintenance of Trenton Water Works should be given to the State so that they can properly bring Trenton Water Works up to the standards of the New Jersey Safe Drinking Water Act.
“Access to safe drinking water and a well-functioning water system is not an unreasonable expectation by the Mercer County residents who have no alternative to the city-operated Trenton Water Works,” said Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes. “While I am encouraged by Mayor Reed Gusciora’s determination to address the ongoing compliance issues and substandard water quality noted by the NJDEP, I condemn the irresponsibility and recklessness of the City Council for its egregious neglect of the water system, its disregard for the directives set forth by the NJDEP and the injustices it has placed on communities of color and on all Trenton Water Works customers.”
“The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s latest Compliance Evaluation and Assistance Inspection dated September 27, 2022, of Trenton Water Works, is extremely disturbing and concerning,” stated Mercer County Board of County Commissioners Chair Nina Melker.” It is now evident that an intervention is needed at a state level to ensure that Trenton Water Works can fulfill their obligation to provide safe and clean drinking water to the residents throughout Mercer County in their service designation.”
“The findings in this report confirm why Ewing joined with its neighbors Lawrence and Hamilton to protect its citizens from this failing authority,” said Ewing Township Mayor Bert Steinmann. “ It is time for legislation that will provide a meaningful remedy to the suburban ratepayers being held hostage to the Trenton City Council’s intransigence. On behalf of the citizens of Ewing, we implore DEP to act immediately to compel TWW to correct these deficiencies and ensure the safety of the water provided by TWW to its more than 200,000 consumers.”
“Residents deserve safe drinking water. We are deeply disturbed by DEP’s findings regarding the lack of progress on long-term projects necessary to keep the residents of Hopewell Township and Mercer County safe,” said Hopewell Township Mayor Courtney Peters-Manning. “Hopewell Township has appreciated our working relationship with the professional staff at Trenton Water Works. However, change is necessary,” continued Peters-Manning.
“On behalf of the Trenton Water Works customers within Lawrence Township, it is time for the operations of the water utility to be taken from the City of Trenton,” stated Lawrence Township Mayor John Ryan. “For far too long, the customers of TWW have lived with the fear, and at times reality, that the water they drink and use daily is unsafe. The report from the NJDEP dated September 27, 2022, demonstrates that the City of Trenton cannot meet the needs of its water utility customers by producing clean and safe water. We stand with the other municipalities fighting for their residents’ health and safety. We must do better.”
Mayor Gusciora Responds to State and Local Concerns Regarding TWW
TRENTON, NJ – Mayor Reed Gusciora issued the following statement today regarding progress made at Trenton Water Works (TWW), compliance with State agreements, and attempts by state and local officials to enact a “major shakeup” at the City-owned utility.
“I share the concerns expressed by area officials that we want safe drinking water for our constituents. However, the comments made by those elected officials do not recognize the substantial progress made at Trenton Water Works over the last four years. I wholeheartedly agree that if the Trenton City Council had done their job, we would not find ourselves in this position. They voted down critical projects including decommissioning the reservoir, replacing water mains, lead remediation, heavy equipment, facility upgrades, chemical purchases, and debt service. Council leaders even engaged a court battle to stop executive action in support of various water quality improvements at TWW.
In addition, one of the main items I ran on was improving Trenton Water Works. In 2019, we developed a $405-million, six-year capital plan to undertake critical projects within its central pumping station, water-filtration plant, and distribution system. These projects are designed to maintain high water quality and make the 163-year-old public water system more resilient.
Despite the efforts of City Council to undermine TWW as a utility of the City of Trenton, I welcome working in tandem with the State DEP to resolve any outstanding issues and ensure safe drinking water for our consumers for years to come. In that vein, I will announce shortly our proposed plan to address the issues raised by the DEP and to give comfort to our ratepayers and residents by showing demonstrative improvements in our water delivery system.”
Purchased by the City of Trenton in 1859, Trenton Water Works is one of the oldest and largest publicly owned water systems in the United States. TWW supplies approximately 28 million gallons of water per day to a quarter-million consumers in a five-municipality service area comprised of Trenton, Ewing Township, parts of Hamilton Township, Lawrence Township, and Hopewell Township.
TWW operates a 60-million-gallon water-filtration plant and water-distribution system that consists of a 100-million-gallon reservoir, 683 miles of water mains, three pump stations, nearly 8,000 valves, 3,517 fire hydrants, and six interconnections between TWW and other water suppliers. TWW serves approximately 63,000 metered customers.
HOPEWELL BOROUGH, NJ (MERCER)–Around 4:30 a.m. firefighters were dispatched to the first block of Heart Avenue for a well involved house fire. Upon arrival a burn victim was found on the street in front of the home and a medical helicopter was called but unable to fly due to foggy weather. Numerous surrounding fire departments and ambulance squads were called to the scene of the fire. The fire was placed under control at 5:35 a.m. No additional details are available at this time.
HOPEWELL TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–It was reported that sometime around 3:13 a.m. a commercial automatic fire alarm was received for 130 Washington Crossing Pennington Road. Hopewell Police and Hopewell Firefighters arrived shortly and reported a well involved commercial building and called for 2-Alarm tankers. Firefighters placed a 2 1/2″ line in service and the bulk of the fire was reportedly knocked down at 3:37 a.m. The fire went to a 3-alarm equivalent for manpower and apparatus before being fully under control at 5:31 a.m. Many area fire departments responded to the scene from both New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Hopewell Police Closed the roadway during the fire and the related investigation and the roadway was reopened at 8:00 a.m. This is still a developing story please check back for official information when it becomes available.
Fire Investigation Update:
8:00 AM: Washington Crossing Pennington Road is now open.
ROAD CLOSURE: Fire investigation
Washington Crossing Pennington Rd (County Route 546) between Scotch Rd. and Dublin Rd. Is closed for fire investigation.
EWING TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–According to New Jersey State Park Police (NJDEP), the body of an unidentified man was recovered from the Delaware River on Monday, July 18, 2022, in the vicinity of the D&R Canal State Park and Scudders Fall Bridge in Ewing Township. The New Jersey State Parks Police is leading the investigation. Agencies assisting in the search and recovery efforts included Hopewell Township Police Department, the Upper Makefield Police Department (Pennsylvania), and the State Police Marine Unit. Identification of the victim is pending confirmation.
Numerous fire departments from NJ and PA searched the river Sunday night and a NJ State Police Helicopter was called to assist in the search. The initial search was close to the visitors center on the Pennsylvania side and rescue crews searched north of the Scutters Falls Bridge.
Flagship U.S. Facility Will Include Biologic Manufacturing and Late Stage Research and Clinical Development of Innovative Cancer Medicines, Sixth U.S. Location Adds to Global Expansion and Brings New Jobs to New Jersey
April 29, 2022
HOPEWELL TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–BeiGene, Ltd. (NASDAQ: BGNE; HKEX: 06160; SSE: 688235), a global biotechnology company focused on developing innovative and affordable medicines to improve treatment outcomes and access for patients worldwide, today announced the groundbreaking of its flagship U.S. manufacturing and clinical R&D center at the Princeton West Innovation Campus in Hopewell, N.J.
“Our planned flagship U.S. R&D and manufacturing center supports our commitment to fight for life for people living with cancer around the world, through state-of-the-art commercial-stage biologic pharmaceutical manufacturing, late-stage research and clinical development capabilities,” said John Oyler, Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO of BeiGene. “The Princeton-Hopewell area is an excellent location for BeiGene and the thriving life science community, with a deep talent pool as we continue to advance our pipeline of innovative cancer medicines and work to diversify our global supply chain.”
The initial phase of construction is expected to include approximately 400,000 square feet of dedicated commercial-stage biologic pharmaceutical manufacturing space, with capacity for up to 16,000 liters of biologics formula. Construction of the initial phase is expected to run through 2024. BeiGene intends to recruit hundreds of new hires from the area’s attractive talent market to support its continued growth and its commitment to producing life-saving oncology medicines.
“BeiGene’s plans for hundreds of new jobs in New Jersey speak to our efforts to grow our state’s business-friendly environment and to our commitment to fostering innovation,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “We are proud to welcome BeiGene to the Princeton area and look forward to the company manufacturing innovative cancer medicines in its new state-of-the-art facility.”
In November 2021, BeiGene acquired the Hopewell property from Lincoln Equities Group and has retained DPR Construction as its construction management firm and IPS as its architectural and engineering firm. The property has more than one million square feet of developable real estate for future potential expansion.
Added Oyler: “At BeiGene, we are committed to not only delivering innovative and affordable medicines but also to upholding the highest standards of ethics and integrity, operational excellence, and environmental stewardship. This commitment applies to everything we do, including the development of BeiGene’s Hopewell project.”
“As a leader with a long history in New Jersey’s biotech industry, Hopewell Township welcomes BeiGene to our community,” said Hopewell Mayor Courtney Peters-Manning “We are pleased that BeiGene will bring their state-of-the-art technologies, manufacturing, and R&D center to Hopewell, whose products will help countless people all over the world. We look forward to continuing to work with BeiGene and are excited about what will be produced here in Hopewell.”
BeiGene currently has five offices in the U.S., in San Mateo and Emeryville, Calif., Cambridge, Mass., Ridgefield Park, N.J. and Fulton, Md. Globally, the company has more than 30 offices across five continents.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)– Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes has presented to the County Board of Commissioners his administration’s proposed 2022 budget, a $358 million spending plan that stays within the state-mandated 2-percent cap and would result in no increase to the tax levy.
Mr. Hughes on Feb. 22 presented an overview of his administration’s budget proposal to the commissioners, who will review the document over the coming weeks before voting on its adoption.
Of the total budget, $269 million would be collected through property taxes, the same levy as last year.
“This document represents our effort to provide the best possible government in the most cost-effective manner to the taxpayer,” Mr. Hughes said. “The ongoing pandemic has tested us as never before. While we may have changed the way we deliver some services, I am proud of the fact that we have continued to provide resources our residents expect, and I applaud the creativity of our county workforce, including this board, for their flexibility.”
A resident’s actual tax rate will rise or fall depending on his or her municipality once the county rate is equalized to reflect the difference between municipal property assessments and property market values.
The budget proposes that $6.5 million of the County’s surplus be used, leaving a $33 million balance, along with $22 million from the federal American Rescue Plan fund to “help offset the enormous expenditures incurred during the unprecedented pandemic response,” Mr. Hughes said. The spending plan “reflects our continued response to the challenges brought by the pandemic and the toll it has taken on the health of our residents, as well as our county finances, and as a result of our responsible planning, we can propose a budget that is considerate of our taxpayers and offers relief by holding the line,” Mr. Hughes added.
Free tax preparation assistance available in Mercer County
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)— Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes reminds residents that many sites throughout Mercer County offer free income tax preparation assistance to help them prepare and file their 2021 taxes. The deadline for filing 2021 tax returns for both state and federal taxes is April 18, 2022. Below is a list of sites where free income tax preparation assistance is being provided to qualified individuals. Call the site for required paperwork.
AARP Tax-Aide program sites in Mercer County
The AARP Foundation provides Tax-Aides to assist people with low to moderate incomes with 2018 tax preparation at Mercer County Connection, libraries and other sites. For more information, including a list of documents to bring to the Tax-Aide site, visit www.aarp.org/money/taxes/aarp_taxaide/.
Ewing Branch, Mercer County Library System, 61 Scotch Road, Ewing Wednesdays, 1:30 to 5 p.m. Appointment necessary; call (609) 882-3148.
Lawrence Headquarters Branch, Mercer County Library System, 2751 Brunswick Ave., Lawrence Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Appointment necessary; call (609) 882-9246.
Lawrence Senior Center, 30 East Darrah Lane, Lawrence Tuesdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Appointment necessary; call (609) 844-7048. Seniors preferred.
Mercer County Connection, through United Way, 957 Route 33 (Acme shopping center), Hamilton Mondays and Wednesdays, 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Appointment necessary; call (609) 890-9800. Mercer County residents only.
Princeton Public Library, 65 Witherspoon St., Princeton Mondays, 10:15 a.m. to 2 p.m. Appointment necessary; call (609) 924-9529, ext.1220
Princeton Senior Resource Center, 45 Stockton St., Princeton Fridays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Appointment necessary; call (609) 924-7108.
RWJ Fitness and Wellness Center, 3100 Quakerbridge Road, Mercerville Wednesdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Appointment necessary; call (609) 584-5900.
West Windsor Senior Center, 271 Clarksville Road, Princeton Junction Tuesdays, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Appointment necessary; call (609) 799-9068.
IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program sites in Mercer County
The VITA Program generally offers free tax help to people who make $54,000 or less, people with disabilities, and limited-English-speaking taxpayers who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to qualified individuals in local communities. For more information, visit www.irs.gov/Individuals/Free-Tax-Return-Preparation-for-You-by-Volunteers.
Boys & Girls Club of Trenton, 212 Centre St., Trenton Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, noon. to 3 p.m. Walk-ins welcome; call (609) 392-3191 for required paperwork.
Boys & Girls Club of Mercer County, 1040 Spruce St., Lawrence Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, noon. to 3 p.m. Walk-ins welcome; call (609) 392-3191 for required paperwork.
Catholic Charities of Trenton, 39 North Clinton Ave, Building 1, Side Door, Trenton Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, noon to 3 p.m. Walk-ins welcome; call (609) 394-5181 for required paperwork.
United Way of Greater Mercer County, 3150 Brunswick Pike, Crossroads Corporate Center, Suite 230, Lawrence Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 5 to 8 p.m., Thursdays, 9 a.m. to noon, and Saturdays, noon to 3 p.m. Appointment required; call (609) 896-1912, for required paperwork.
HOPEWELL TOWNSHIP – Flames consumed a large building belonging to a landscaping business early Sunday morning (Feb. 6). All Hopewell Valley volunteer fire companies – Pennington, Hopewell and Union-Titusville – were dispatched about 1:57 a.m. for a reported structure fire. Pennington Fire Chief Jim DeForte arrived to find a working fire involving a storage building and several vehicles located behind a residence in the 1500 block of Reed Road, near Diverty Road. He requested the balance of the first alarm be dispatched, resulting in mutual aid resources being sent to the scene from Ewing Township’s career staff and West Trenton Volunteer Fire Co. and Lawrenceville Volunteer Fire Co. from Lawrence Township. An engine and aerial apparatus were positioned behind the residence, with water supplied via large diameter hose laid down the driveway from a hydrant on the opposite side of Reed Road. The aerial was raised and its master stream placed in service. Water was also flowed from several handlines. The blaze was declared under control at 2:37 a.m. The Signal 22 canteen unit from Trenton also responded to the scene to provide drinks and other refreshments to the wet and weary firefighters. The temperature at 3 a.m., as crews continued to overhaul the smoldering ruins, was 16 degrees Fahrenheit. The cause of the blaze was under investigation by Hopewell Township police and the township fire marshal’s office.
HOPEWELL TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Hopewell Township Police told MidJersey.News that, at approximately 12:25 p.m. today, Hopewell Township Police responded to a report of woman who had fallen through the ice in Rosedale Lake at Rosedale Park off of Federal City Road. Several callers reported the woman was in the water up to neck. Officer’s Peterson and Pauciullo were the first responding officers on the scene.
Once on scene, the officers located the woman in distress, who was approximately 25 yards from the shoreline. The woman was flailing around and struggling to keep her head above the water. Utilizing a water rescue throw rope, officers along with several other responding emergency personnel, were able to safely get the woman to shore.
Once safely on dry land, the woman was treated on scene for potential hypothermia by the Pennington First Aid Squad, Hopewell Valley Emergency Services, and Capital Health Paramedics. She was later transported to Capital Health Hopewell Hospital in stable condition.
Multiple departments arrived to assist. They were the Hopewell Valley Emergency Services, Pennington Fire Department and First Aid Squad, Union Fire Department, and the Mercer County Park Police.
HOPEWELL TOWNSHIP – The Mercer County Park Commission has been approved for a Community Based Deer management permit from the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife. The Community Based Deer Management (CBDM) permit allows for additional opportunities to improve forest understory and the overall ecological condition of natural areas through deer reductions beyond standard state hunting regulations. Reducing deer overpopulation also improves public safety by reducing deer-vehicle collisions.
The additional measures permitted in the CBDM program will allow a professional culling firm to perform management activities during an extended season through March 31 at Baldpate Mountain and select regions of Mercer Meadows in Hopewell Township. Management activities approved in the Park Commission’s permit include: deer harvest by crossbow and firearm, culling during evening hours, and periodic closures for culling outside of the traditional State hunting season through March 31,2022.
At Mercer Meadows, only the Curlis Woods region and the Ecological District are included in the permit. Beginning in January, these areas will allow for bow culling 7 days a week, through 9 p.m. each day until March 31. These regions will remain open to the public during this period. Park users are advised to remain on trails and wear bright colored clothing. All culling activity will take place from an elevated tree stand and a 75-foot safety buffer is in place on either side of all County-recognized trails.
The Curlis Woods region will BE CLOSED to the public for shotgun culling on:
Wednesday, January 19 through Friday, January 21
Wednesday, January 26 through Friday, January 28
Thursday, March 3 through Friday, March 4
Thursday, March 10 through Friday, March 11
Saturday, March 5 and 12, from sunset to 9 p.m.
At Baldpate Mountain, including Belle Mountain and Fiddler’s Creek Preserve, the permit allows for extended evening culling (sunset through 9 p.m.) February 1 through February 18, when the state hunting season ends. Beginning on Monday, February 21, bow culling may take place Monday through Friday, from sunrise to 9 p.m. until March 31. Shotgun culling may take place beginning on Monday, February 21 through March 31, 7 days a week from sunset to 9 p.m. when the park is closed to the public.
Baldpate Mountain, Belle Mountain and Fiddler’s Creek Preserve will BE CLOSED to the public for shotgun culling on:
Thursday, March 17 through Friday, March 18
Thursday, March 24 through Friday, March 25
Saturday, March 19 and 26, from sunset to 9 p.m.
The above dates do not include closures as part of the Park Commission’s existing deer management program. The deer management program complies with all of the hunting regulations set by the State; in addition, the Park Commission has adopted County rules for the program. All hunting must be done from an elevated tree stand; hunters are not permitted to hunt from the ground. There is no shooting across park trails. Please visit www.mercercountyparks.org for details on all closures for deer management.
HOPEWELL TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–On December 25, 1776, General George Washington and more than 2,000 troops crossed the Delaware River under the cover of night, amid a Nor’easter. After crossing to New Jersey, the battles that took place over the next ten days turned the tide of the Revolution. Each year, Washington Crossing Historic Park (PA) hosts a reenactment of Washington’s crossing on Christmas Day.
Today’s reenactment was held at 1:00 p.m. Photos below by: Brian McCarthy, OnScene News
For more information see the Friends of Washington Crossing Park YouTube page here:
HOPEWELL TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–At 2:07 p.m. all Lawrence Township Fire Companies, Lawrence EMS, Captial Health Paramedics and NJ State Police were detailed to I-295 for a serious crash originally reported as in Lawrence Township. Firefighters found the accident well off the roadway into the woods behind a guardrail near the 71.6 South bound mile marker and it was determined that the accident was in Hopewell Township.
A New Jersey State Police Spokesperson told MidJersey.news that at 2:07 p.m. troopers responded to a motor vehicle crash in which a vehicle had run off the road on I-295 southbound Mile Post 71.6 in Hopewell Township. Preliminary investigation revealed that a Kia Optima exited the road to the left and struck several trees. The driver, Michael Manne, 26, of East Brunswick, NJ, sustained fatal injuries. The cause of the crash remains under investigation and there is no further information available.
HOPEWELL TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–At 2:07 p.m. all Lawrence Township Fire Companies, Lawrence EMS, Captial Health Paramedics and NJ State Police were detailed to I-295 for a serious crash originally reported as in Lawrence Township. Firefighters found the accident well off the roadway into the woods behind a guardrail near the 71.6 South bound mile marker and it was determined that the accident was in Hopewell Township. Capital Health Paramedics were called to the scene for a “pronouncement” Firefighters started a recovery extrication at 4:20 p.m. The New Jersey State Police is currently on scene with an active accident investigation as of 5:45 p.m.
A New Jersey State Police spokesperson told MidJersey.news that Troopers are investigating a serious motor vehicle accident with life threatening injuries on I-295 southbound at milepost 71.6, Hopewell Twp, Mercer County. This is an active investigation and the only information that is available at this time.
WEST WINDSOR, NJ (MERCER)–Last night at Mercer County Park Skating Center Robbinsville Ice Hockey was down by 2 goals with nothing on the board after 2 periods against Hopewell Valley. In the 3rd period Robbinsville scored 3 goals and 1 ENG empty netter goal to bring the final score Hopewell 2, Robbinsville 4.
Hopewell Valley / Montgomery Ice Hockey vs. Robbinsville / Allentown Ice Hockey are cooperative teams with a combination of players from each school.
Note if any students want to try their hand at sports writing or photography to build their portfolios while attending high school or college use the contact form above and send in your information.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–As Domestic Violence Awareness Month comes to an end, the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office would like to remind the community that we are here to help. Domestic violence transcends all boundaries: age, gender, race, ethnic, geographical, economic and sexual orientation. Applications for temporary restraining orders are available Monday through Friday during business hours at the Mercer County Civil Courthouse located at 175 South Broad Street in Trenton. After business hours and on weekends, TRO applications can be made at your local police department. Our Office of Victim Witness Advocacy is here to assist you at (609) 989-6428. If you are in imminent danger or an emergency situation, always call 9-1-1.
HOPEWELL TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–HOPEWELL TOWNSHIP – The Mercer County Park Commission has released its proposed final master plan for the redevelopment of Moores Station Quarry located in Hopewell Township, adjacent to Baldpate Mountain. The plan can be found on the Park Commission’s website here
Research on options for repurposing this industrial quarry into a park was led by a team of consultants and Park Commission staff, and included outreach to a variety of potential user groups and stakeholders. A preliminary draft of the master plan was posted for public review on July 12, 2021, and feedback from the public in response to the draft plan was considered in the development of the final plan. The public comment period provided areas of improvement for the industrial quarry site, including topics in recreation, environmental restoration, education and accessibility. “Turning this unique site into public open space is a major undertaking, and the Park Commission has worked diligently to formulate a proposal that would serve as a long-term vision for park improvements,” said Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes. “I thank our community members for providing valuable input that has helped guide this process.”
The proposed master plan will be considered for adoption during the October Park Commission meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 27. The online public meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m. A meeting notice and link to the webinar can be found here.
“Over the past year, the redevelopment plan for this 166-acre site has reflected the Park Commission’s commitment to the public process,” said Park Commission Executive Director Aaron T. Watson. “Close to 150 responses to the draft plan were reviewed, and that feedback helped shape the final master plan. Public insight gave our team new opportunities to explore that we are excited to implement as we move forward.”
Quarrying operations by Trap Rock Industries will cease at the site in the spring of 2023, when a 25-year agreement with the quarry operator will expire. At that point, the Park Commission will take possession of the site and begin a multi-year process of transforming the open-pit quarry into a park.
The Park Commission has retained a multi-disciplinary team to help develop the master plan, led by Simone Collins Landscape Architecture of Norristown, Pa. The team includes landscape architects, geologists, engineers, ecologists, wildlife biologists, sustainability experts and real estate market analysts.
HOPEWELL TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–A fight occurred between several inmates last night around 10:15 p.m., at the Mercer County Corrections Center also known as the “Workhouse” at 1750 River Road, lead to a stabbing.
According to a Mercer County Spokesperson, Julie Willmot, a fight occurred last night, Sept. 19, 2021 between several inmates. The fight took place in the New Commitment Unit (intake). One of the inmates involved in the fight had a homemade shank in his possession, which he used to stab another inmate. The inmate who was stabbed was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries and will be returned to the Correction Center today. The weapon was recovered.
Weekdays 7 a.m.-7 p.m.; weekends 8 a.m.-5 p.m., at Hollowbrook Center
September 14, 2021
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–
TRENTON – Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Mercer County has opened a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) at Hollowbrook Community Center, 320 Hollowbrook Drive, Ewing Township, to assist any Mercer County residents or businesses whose property was damaged in the remnants of Hurricane Ida. The DRC is open starting today, Sept. 14 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays, and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sunday. Residents do not need to schedule an appointment to visit the center, nor must they be Mercer County residents.
The DRC will be staffed by FEMA representatives who can provide information on FEMA disaster aid and answer questions. Again, the DRC is open to residents and businesses from every municipality in Mercer County, and residents from any other county that received the FEMA “Disaster” declaration.
On Sept. 10, Mercer County residents were declared eligible to register for Individual Assistance with FEMA. Residents who previously registered for assistance via the Internet or by phone do not need to visit the DRC, but can ask questions or seek further information in person at the DRC. The eligibility for FEMA Individual Assistance means residents or business owners whose properties were directly damaged by the flooding or storm events on September 1-3 can apply to recoup their losses.
What is a Disaster Recovery Center?
A DRC is a readily accessible facility or mobile office where applicants may go for information about FEMA or other disaster assistance programs, or for questions related to a specific case.
Some of the services that a DRC may provide:
Guidance regarding disaster recovery
Clarification of any written correspondence received
Housing Assistance and Rental Resource information
Answers to questions, resolution to problems and referrals to agencies that may provide further assistance
Status of applications being processed by FEMA.
SBA program information if there is a SBA Representative at the Disaster Recovery Center site.
Affected residents and business owners can begin the disaster application process by registering online at DisasterAssistance.gov or registering by phone at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired.
The toll-free numbers are available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. local time Monday through Sunday, and applicants registering for aid should be prepared to provide basic information such as their name, the name of the business, address, phone number, insurance coverage, and other information to help substantiate losses.
Individual Assistance, if awarded, can cover reimbursement for a variety of storm-related expenses.
These include, but are not limited to: rental payments for temporary housing for those whose homes are uninhabitable; grants for home repairs and replacement of essential household items not covered by insurance; low-interest loans to cover residential losses not fully compensated by insurance; loans for small businesses that suffered disaster-related cash flow problems; and loans for farmers and other agriculture operators to cover property loss.
Additionally, mall businesses and most private nonprofit organizations in Mercer County are eligible to apply for Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the Small Business Administration. For more information, visit https://disasterloanassistance.sba.gov/ela/s/.
Residents in need of assistance with damage from Tropical Storm Ida may call a Home Cleanup Hotline at 844-965-1386 to be connected with volunteers from local relief organizations and community groups that may be able to assist with cutting fallen trees, removing drywall, flooring and appliances, tarping roofs and mitigating mold.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Mercer County Executive, Brian M. Hughes said, It’s hard to believe it’s been two decades since the terrorist attacks that took the lives of nearly 3,000 people in New York City, at the Pentagon and in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. Tragically, we’ve lost many more since; heroic first responders and others who spent weeks and months working at Ground Zero, and who have since died from cancer or respiratory illness.
While 20 years may seem like a long time, we continue to mourn the loss of innocent life on that fateful day. In Mercer County, many residents lost loved ones and friends, and continue to bear the scars of having their lives changed forever by senseless violence. So, every year on this date, we honor the victims of September 11 by coming together in solemn remembrance, quiet reflection and in service.
But honoring their memory isn’t limited to a formal ceremony on or near the anniversary date.
The County’s September 11 Memorial – which opened in Mercer County Park in West Windsor on the 10th anniversary of 9/11 – was designed to be a special place where people can go for solace and comfort 365 days a year. I encourage everyone to visit that memorial when the time is right for you, to spend a few moments in quiet reflection and remembrance.
And most importantly, each and every day, we can honor the memory of the victims of September 11 by embracing peace and hope, and not losing sight of the principles on which America stands, such as tolerance, inclusion and caring. Each and every day, we can honor their memory by celebrating our oneness as a nation and our unity in the face of adversity.
September 11 Events Throughout Mercer County
8 a.m., New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs; 101 Eggerts Crossing Road, Lawrence Township.
8:30 a.m., Lawrence Township 9/11 Memorial Ceremony; Memorial Park, Pilla Avenue, Lawrence Township.
9:45 a.m., Robbinsville Professional Firefighters Association will conduct its 20th annual ceremony at the 9/11 memorial site on Lake Drive.
10 a.m., Hamilton Township September 11th 20th Anniversary Ceremony; Memorial Grove, Veterans Park, Klockner Road Entrance, Hamilton.
10 a.m., East Windsor Township 9/11 Program & Wreath Laying Ceremony, East Windsor Municipal Building, Lanning Blvd.
11 a.m., Hopewell Valley 9/11 Memorial Ceremony, Woolsey Park, presented by the Sept. 11th & Emergency Services Memorial Committee.
12 noon, Princeton’s 9/11 Memorial Dedication, 2 Mount Lucas Road, Princeton, in front of the Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad. The 9/11 Committee will dedicate a permanent memorial containing an 8-foot piece of steel recovered from the World Trade Center.
7 p.m., West Windsor Township 9/11 “20th Anniversary” Ceremony; Twin Ponds Memorial at the Ronald R. Rogers Arboretum, intersection of Clarksville and Princeton-Hightstown Road.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes announced yesterday that FEMA has approved a Major Disaster Declaration in Mercer County, allowing individuals impacted by Tropical Storm Ida last week to register at www.disasterassistance.gov for direct assistance for Ida-related recovery.
Mr. Hughes urged those who were impacted by last week’s storm to register for assistance that may include home repairs, temporary housing, low-cost loans and other programs. FEMA advises individuals who have homeowners or renters insurance to file a claim as soon as possible. By law, FEMA cannot duplicate benefits for losses covered by insurance, but those who are uninsured or underinsured may be eligible for federal assistance.
“I greatly appreciate FEMA’s response to the situation here in Mercer County, where residents in some of our communities are in dire need of assistance,” Mr. Hughes said. “And I thank the Biden Administration, Senators Booker and Menendez, Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman, and Governor Phil Murphy, as well as our county Office of Emergency Management, for their help in getting Mercer much-needed federal aid and accelerating our recovery process. I also thank our residents for their patience and perseverance during this difficult time.”
The fastest and easiest way to apply for assistance is by visiting www.disasterassistance.gov or by downloading the FEMA App on the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.
If it is not possible to apply online, call 800-621-3362 (TTY: 800-462-7585). The toll-free telephone lines operate from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. CDT, seven days a week. Those who use a relay service such as a videophone, InnoCaption or CapTel should update FEMA with their specific number assigned to that service.
When you apply for assistance, FEMA advises having the following information readily available:
• A current phone number where you can be contacted • Your address at the time of the disaster and the address where you are now staying • Your Social Security number • A general list of damage and losses • If insured, the policy number or the agent and/or the company name
U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) low-interest disaster loans are available for homeowners, renters, businesses of any size and most nonprofits. Similar to FEMA, SBA cannot duplicate benefits for losses covered by insurance.
• For small businesses, those engaged in aquaculture and most nonprofits, up to $2 million is available for working capital needs even if there was no property damage, with a $2 million maximum loan for any combination of property damage and working capital needs. • For homeowners: up to $200,000 is available to repair or replace their primary residence. For homeowners and renters: up to $40,000 is available to replace personal property, including vehicles.
In addition, residents in need of assistance with damage from Tropical Storm Ida may call a Home Cleanup Hotline at 844-965-1386 to be connected with volunteers from local relief organizations and community groups that may be able to assist with cutting fallen trees, removing drywall, flooring and appliances, tarping roofs and mitigating mold. The hotline will remain open through Sept. 17.
Flash flooding from Tropical Storm Ida’s heavy rains flooded roadways and many homes as creeks and rivers overflowed. Many people were caught in their vehicles in the raging flood waters and 23 New Jerseyans have lost their life to this storm according to Governor Phil Murphy. The National Weather Service has confirmed 7 tornados, in NJ and PA so far.
Video Hamilton Township Sweetbriar Avenue and Whitehead Road area:
“As Mercer County begins to fully grasp and assess the destruction caused by the remnants of Hurricane Ida, I wish to thank the heroic first responders, the police, firefighters, EMTs, emergency workers and public works professionals, who worked throughout the day and night to save lives. The courage and commitment our first responders have displayed throughout this crisis is awe-inspiring and appreciated.
It is with great sadness that I report that despite the countless rescues that took place overnight, we know that at least two Mercer County souls have been lost.
To our residents who have been displaced from their homes or who have lost property, Mercer County is here to assist you. For those who made it through the storm without harm, I encourage you to check on the well-being of your friends and neighbors and to offer comfort in any way you can.
Finally, I also wish to thank Gov. Phil Murphy for his quick action in declaring a State of Emergency in New Jersey, which will allow Mercer County to seek federal reimbursement for its disaster response and help us begin to pick up the pieces and recover.” — Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes
Princeton: Due to the heavy rainfall last night, Princeton experienced severe flooding and numerous roadways were closed as a result. At approximately 11:43 PM, PPD, PFARS and PFD were dispatched for a swift water rescue on Rosedale Rd. near the Johnson Park School. All responding personnel made efforts to rescue the stranded motorist, who was identified as a 58 year-old Princeton resident. While rescue efforts were attempted, the motorist climbed onto the roof of his vehicle as the water continued to rise at a rapid rate. Due to the unsafe water level and dangerous current rescue efforts were unsuccessful. As a result, requests were made for the NJSP aviation unit to respond and assist. At 4:08 AM the victim was successfully hoisted into the helicopter and flown to Trenton Mercer Airport for evaluation. Mutual aid was received by Lawrenceville Fire Co., Princeton Junction Fire Co., Hamilton Fire Dept., Trenton Fire Dept. and the Pennsauken FD High Water Truck.
During the aforementioned rescue, a second motorist became stranded with high rising waters on Rt. 206 in the area of Quaker Rd. The resident was identified at 30 year-old Montgomery resident. The PPD, PFARS and PFD all responded. The swift moving water flooded the roadway and began to flood the motorist’s vehicle, forcing the driver to escape onto the roof of the vehicle while emergency rescue efforts were made. The Trenton FD responded with a ladder truck, which drove into the flooded roadway and extended its 100 ft ladder, which was used to rescue the motorist.
...7 CONFIRMED TORNADOES SO FAR...
...DAMAGE SURVEYS CONTINUE...
.Update...Update to include survey results for Harrisonville-Mullica Hill-
The National Weather Service office in Mount Holly, NJ continues
to conduct several storm surveys this afternoon. The surveys are
in relation to the severe thunderstorms that moved through the
area on September 1, 2021.
Some Preliminary Tornado Information...
1) Mullica Hill, NJ area (Gloucester County): Confirmed EF-3 with
estimated peak winds up to 150 mph tornado.
2) Fort Washington/Upper Dublin Twp to Horsham Twp, PA
(Montgomery County): Confirmed EF-2 with estimated peak winds up
to 130 mph.
3) Edgewater Park, NJ (Burlington County) to Bristol, PA (Bucks
County): Confirmed EF-1 with estimated peak winds up to 90 mph.
4) Oxford, PA (Chester County): Confirmed tornado.
5) Buckingham Twp, PA (Bucks County): Confirmed EF-1 with
estimated peak winds up to 100 mph.
6) Princeton, NJ (Mercer County): Confirmed EF-0 with estimated
peak winds up to 75 mph.
7) Upper Makefield Township, PA (Bucks County): Confirmed tornado.
Additional information, as it becomes available, will be sent via
Public Information Statements and also posted on our social media
SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–The remnants of Hurricane Ida created major flash flooding last evening and overnight. The heavy rain started around 5 PM and by 11:30 PM over 8 inches of rain had fallen in the Township. In the twelve hours after the heavy rain began to fall, there were 125 calls for police, fire, and EMS service. Two families who were trapped in vehicles were rescued by firefighters and briefly sheltered at police headquarters. There were no serious injuries as a result of the storm. As of 3 PM Thursday all roads have been cleared of floodwaters with the exception of Route 27 at the Princeton border. Here are some of the numbers from the storm –
TOTAL CALLS – 125
WATER RESCUES – 15 people
Between 8:30 PM and 11:45 PM Wednesday night, firefighters rescued 15 people from vehicles stuck in flash floodwaters around the Township. Here are the locations the rescues occurred at –
Kendall Park Fire Department – Route 1, Oakey Drive, Hawthorne Road, Shelly Road
Monmouth Junction Fire Department – Route 130, Major Road, Blackhorse Lane
Kingston Fire Department – Route 1, Mapleton Road, Raymond Road
MOTORIST ASSIST IN HIGH WATER CALLS – 51
TOTAL CARS TOWED FROM FLOODED ROADS – 33
ROADS STILL CLOSED – 1 (Route 27 / Princeton Border)
FLOODED BASEMENT CALLS – 11
South Brunswick Office of Emergency Management Director and Police Chief Raymond Hayducka said, “I want to thank all the police officers and firefighters who risked going into flooded waters to get people to safety. The flash flooding created life-threatening conditions in minutes. The conditions yesterday deteriorated rapidly last evening and too many people ventured out onto the roads. The property damage left behind will be cleaned up in the coming days, but we must all remember to stay off roads when flash flooding is present.”
Police attempting rescue become trapped and had to be rescued, officers held onto trees for 2 hours.
September 2, 2021
Listen to Police Officers being rescued here:
HOPEWELL TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Last night Hopewell Township was hit hard by Hurricane Ida. Major roadways and many secondary roads were impassable throughout Hopewell Valley. There were many stranded motorists and residents in homes, requiring 50 overnight water rescues and resulting in two fatalities. The names of the deceased are not being released at this time.
A call was received from a stranded motorist on from Route 518, east of Route 31, and Officer James Hoffman responded to attempt a rescue. While struggling to reach the person in need, his vehicle was swept sideways and was rapidly lifted by the rising water of Stony Brook. Very quickly he realized he needed to get out of the car, but the door would not open due to the pressure of the water. He removed the gear he was wearing and was able to escape the vehicle through the window. Finding himself in deep, flowing water, Officer Hoffman traveled about 100 yards and was finally able to grab onto a tree. He held on while the powerful water continued to rise. In response to Officer Hoffman’s distress, Officers Michael Makwinski and Robert Voorhees attempted to reach him, and quickly found themselves in a similar perilous position. With all three officers in the water, holding on to trees for approximately 2 hours, rescue units from all over the area and the state arrived to provide aid. The three officers were rescued by the efforts of the swift water rescue teams from the Union Titusville Fire Company, the Lawrenceville Fire Company and the Hamilton Fire Department. Two officers were transported to the hospital, examined and released. They were wet and exhausted, but otherwise unharmed. Police Director Bob Karmazin said, “We easily could have lost three officers last night.”
The Director expresses his deepest appreciation to the many search and rescue organizations who responded when needed, and then continued on with recovery efforts. These organizations included Hopewell Fire and EMS, Hamilton Fire Department, Lawrenceville Fire and Police, West Windsor Police and EMS, Robbinsville Police and EMS, New Jersey Task Force 1, Camden County High Water Rescue, Mercer County Sheriff, Mercer County Rapid Response Task Force, Mercer County Prosecutors, and the NJ State Police.