Category: Hopewell

Around 1,600 Pounds Of Frozen Turkey Distributed This Afternoon At Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church

November 23, 2020

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–The Willing Workers of Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church and members of Mercer County’s PBAs (Police Benevolent Associations) distributed frozen turkeys and food baskets late this afternoon at the church on North Clinton Avenue.

There were at least thirty boxes of frozen turkeys distributed with an average weight of around 55 pounds per box for a total of about 1,600 pounds. There were numerous baskets of food and turkey baking supplies provided to go along with the frozen birds.

There were several locations today for turkey distribution see this morning’s MidJersey.News story here: Mercer County PBA Assists With Turkey Distribution



Mercer County PBA Assists With Turkey Distribution

November 23, 2020

By: Tyler Eckel

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–All chapters of the Mercer County PBA are assisting with turkey distribution in Mercer County today. This morning at Saint Phillips Baptist Church, members unloaded over 600 pounds of turkey for distribution at that location.

There were two other locations with many more pounds donated this morning including the Hamilton YMCA.

The distribution will continue this evening at the Willing Workers of Jerusalem Baptist Church in Trenton at 4:00 pm.



Mercer County Offering Free COVID-19 Testing November 24 & December 1 at Cure Arena

Mercer County is also proud to offer free at-home COVID-19 testing. These tests are available to all residents of Mercer County, free of charge.

November 18, 2020

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes today announced that the County, in partnership with Vault Health Services, will offer free COVID-19 testing on Tuesday, Nov. 24, and Tuesday, Dec. 1, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the CURE Insurance Arena, 81 Hamilton Ave. The saliva test is available to County residents 14 years or older and anyone employed as a first responder or health care worker in Mercer County.

Those going to the arena for testing should use Parking Lot 2 off South Broad Street to access Gate A. Testing will be conducted in the arena concourse. Bring identification showing Mercer County residency and a smartphone or tablet if you have one. No prescription is necessary. Please avoid eating, drinking, chewing gum or smoking 30 minutes prior to taking the test.

Testing will be limited to 300 people on each of the two days but additional pop-up testing sites will be scheduled around the County in the near future.

If you want to avoid the lines, Mercer County also offers an at-home saliva test for COVID-19, which can be requested by visiting www.mercercares.org. If you need help with the online registration process, assistance will be available Tuesday at the arena. 



Covid-19 Test at Home Program

Mercer County is proud to offer free at-home COVID-19 testing. These tests are available to all residents of Mercer County, free of charge.

The saliva collection test for COVID-19 has the same effectiveness as the nasal swab test. This test is performed under the supervision of our healthcare provider, Vault, through a video telehealth visit eliminating the risk of person-to-person exposure to the virus.

To register for your at-home testing kit, you must first fill out the form below to verify your Mercer County residency. Within 24-48 hours following your submission, you will receive a link to order your free kit on the Vault Health website. This is FREE to all Mercer County residents, and health insurance is not required but a claim will be submitted if are covered.

Please note the following:

  1. There is no out of pocket cost for this test.
  2. You must be a resident of Mercer County or employed as a first responder or health care worker in Mercer County.
  3. Only persons over the age of 14 are eligible for this test. Persons under the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian complete the registration for them.
  4. You will receive your code within 48 hours.
  5. This is not an antibody test. This test is designed to determine if you currently are infected with COVID-19 and have the potential to infect others.

If your test is positive, or if you have symptoms, call your health care professional.

Mayors And Local Government Officials Warn New COVID-19 Cases On Rise And To Take Precautions

November 14, 2020

MERCER COUNTY, NJ–Mayors and local officials warn of increased COVID-19 transmission as cases rise in Mercer County. Officials are reminding residents to continue to take precautions by limiting gatherings, wearing masks, social distancing, washing hands and other general COVID-19 precautions.

In the City of Trenton Mayor W. Reed Gusciora has announced new restrictions as COVID-19 transmission rates have doubled in each of the last three weeks.

Trenton’s transmission rate is currently 44.2 cases per 100,000 people, which exceeds both the state and county rates at 29.3 and 28.9, respectively. Trenton has had a total of 4,598 COVID-19 cases with 80 related deaths.

Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes stated, Mercer County surpassed 10,000 cumulative positive test results since the start of the pandemic, and the United States surpassed a staggering 10 million positive cases. In addition, the New Jersey Department of Health has reported more than 13,000 positive cases statewide since Monday.

It was anticipated that colder weather in the fall and winter would drive people indoors and trigger a second wave of virus transmissions. We’re only in mid-November and the second wave is here. New cases of COVID-19 are on the rise and everyone needs to take that seriously, County Executive Hughes stated.

Robbinsville Township Mayor Dave Fried said in a Facebook post, “I always like to start with good news, but a second wave of COVID-19 is upon us and it is making that increasingly difficult. I am going to give this to you straight. Since October 30, Robbinsville Township reports 29 new cases that is by far the highest number of new cases we have encountered since this started.”

Mayor Fried also stated in a message that My personal feeling is this second wave will get worse before it gets better, so I am asking people to be increasingly diligent.

Hamilton Township Mayor Jeff Martin shared the weekly update from Hamilton Township that includes a weekly COVID-19 update and that urges the following precautions:

•Keep Your Distance — stay at least six feet away from others — and Wear a Face Covering.

•Wash Your Hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after being in a public place, as well as after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing

.•If soap and water are not accessible, Use a Hand Sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.

•Avoid Touching Your Eyes, Nose and Mouth with unwashed hands.•Avoid Close Contact with people who are sick.

•Stay Home if you are sick, except to get medical care. Learn what to do if you are sick.

•Cover Your Mouth and Nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.


Full text of statements below:


TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Mayor W. Reed Gusciora yesterday announced new restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19 as transmission rates in Trenton have doubled each of the last three weeks.

Mayor Gusciora’s amended State of Emergency declaration now includes the following instructions, which will remain in effect from Nov. 16, 2020 through Dec. 5, 2020:

  • All Trenton businesses, including restaurants, bars and grocery stores must close at 10:00 p.m. daily. Gas stations may stay open only to dispense gas.
  • Restaurants and drive-through businesses may be open for pickup or delivery until 11:00 p.m., provided that no parties are allowed to congregate inside or outside of the establishment.
  • All city residents are encouraged to remain indoors after 10:00 p.m.
  • All city residents should wear masks and practice social distancing techniques as recommended by the CDC by avoiding large crowds, and, whenever possible, keeping a distance of six feet from other people.
  • All city residents are strongly encouraged not to have large family gatherings on Thanksgiving and to avoid hosting visitors from states that are on the Governor’s travel advisory list.

Trenton’s transmission rate is currently 44.2 cases per 100,000 people, which exceeds both the state and county rates at 29.3 and 28.9, respectively. Trenton has had a total of 4,598 COVID-19 cases with 80 related deaths.

“It’s clear the second wave is here and has hit the Capital City especially hard,” said Mayor Gusciora. “Our transmission rates may even be higher now than they were in the spring. While we believe these new restrictions will help, we won’t get past this crisis unless our residents wear their masks and practice social distancing. No more excuses about COVID-19 fatigue: the virus never gets tired, and neither should our residents and businesses when it comes to keeping this city safe.”

“It is critically important that when we see cases rise throughout our city, county and state that we are extremely cautious and we social distance, wear masks and limit indoor gatherings as much as possible,” said Dr. Kemi Alli, Chief Executive Officer of the Henry J. Austin Health Center. “If not, our path will follow sister states such as North and South Dakota, and Montana which are currently in dire straits.”

While transmission rates have risen across all age groups, a quarter of all hospitalizations over the past month are comprised of individuals age 30 and below. The greatest source of transmission has been indoor contact, and residents are advised to wear masks even around friends or relatives who are visiting.


Mercer County, NJ:

A letter from County Executive Brian M. Hughes

Mercer County and the nation both reached sobering COVID-19 milestones this week: Mercer County surpassed 10,000 cumulative positive test results since the start of the pandemic, and the United States surpassed a staggering 10 million positive cases. In addition, the New Jersey Department of Health has reported more than 13,000 positive cases statewide since Monday. It was anticipated that colder weather in the fall and winter would drive people indoors and trigger a second wave of virus transmissions. We’re only in mid-November and the second wave is here. New cases of COVID-19 are on the rise and everyone needs to take that seriously.

When you’re around people outside your own household, wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth and practice social distancing. Wash your hands frequently and use hand sanitizer. Avoid crowds and stay home if you are sick. Public health officials are advising that the safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving this year is to keep your gathering small with just immediate family. Please bear that in mind when planning for the holiday. We know what we need to do to reduce the spread of the virus – now it’s up to us. Let’s continue to support each other and keep each other safe. Let’s continue to work together.

One of the many impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic has been job loss. State officials reported this week that more than 1.7 million New Jersey workers have filed an unemployment claim since March, with about 1.46 million workers meeting the monetary requirements to receive benefits. Jobseekers need all the help they can get, and with that in mind I’d like to call attention to the work being done by the staff at the Mercer County One-Stop Career Center.

As part of Mercer County’s ongoing effort to connect jobseekers with employers, and do it safely during the public health crisis, our One-Stop recently held a drive-through job fair at the CURE Insurance Arena in Trenton that had the participation of 45 employers and was attended by about 525 individuals. Attendees were required to wear face masks but did not have to leave their vehicles. When they pulled up, they were handed a bag filled with information provided by employers on the jobs they had available, along with information about One-Stop services and community resources. This was a successful effort to help people in our community find work.

The inventive job fair came on the heels of the One-Stop’s equally successful Summer Youth Jobs Connection program. After receiving grant funding from the state in early June, One-Stop Director Virgen Velez and her staff set about making the summer job program a reality, despite a small time window and challenges presented by the pandemic. The program, which served Mercer County residents between the ages of 16 and 24, provided a paid six-week work experience and paid virtual job readiness workshops, along with transportation assistance.

I join the One-Stop and the County’s Workforce Development Board in thanking the employers who brought interns into their facilities this summer. The young adults learned not only traditional work skills but the virtual communication skills that have become essential in the COVID-19 work and school environment. And I applaud the One-Stop team, whose passionate commitment enabled it to deliver a summer employment program and job fair amid a pandemic.

Brian M. Hughes
Mercer County Executive


Robbinsville, NJ:

Mayor Dave Fried:

I always like to start with good news, but a second wave of COVID-19 is upon us and it is making that increasingly difficult. I am going to give this to you straight. Since October 30, Robbinsville Township reports 29 new cases that is by far the highest number of new cases we have encountered since this started.

Thankfully, we have not seen significant spread or sickness in our three schools. We are seeing an uptick in cases throughout Mercer County, including increased positives reported by our first responders and front line workers resulting in staffing shortages. We have seen an uptick in hospitalizations across Mercer County.

My personal feeling is this second wave will get worse before it gets better, so I am asking people to be increasingly diligent. We have kids coming home from college for Thanksgiving, and while I am not going to tell you how to host or visit your families, I am asking you to be smart.

There are some things you can do to minimize the spread, such as not sharing glassware or silverware. Try to be more aware when eating in groups. Wash your hands regularly and wear a mask when you can. While many of our cases have been asymptotic, our fear as flu season approaches is we may see people with multiple symptoms for both COVID-19 and the flu, or family members suffering from both in the same household. We are on stand-by to help and volunteer when and where we are needed. We hope you will join us as that need increases.

Additionally, our kids still need to socialize in the face of the virus. That said our Recreation Department, in conjunction with the school district, will be coming up with programs to help keep our children safely engaged. This is a difficult and complex decision … and it will not be for everyone. There will be no right or wrong. It really comes down to what is best for your family, while not judging others.

I am very proud of our community for all it has done to flatten this curve. You all have been rock stars, and it is a pleasure to be Mayor of this incredible town. Keep your chins up. Pfizer has announced they have a vaccine and early reports indicate it is 90 percent effective, so help should be on the way.

We will get through this together. Thank you all for all you do, and God bless you all. —Robbinsville Mayor Dave Fried


Mercer County Firemen’s Association 2020 Memorial Service

November 5, 2020

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–The Mercer County Firemen’s Association 2020 Memorial Service that was originally scheduled for May 6, 2020 was postponed several times due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. This year’s Memorial Service was held at Colonial Fire Company Hamilton Township Station 18 and was hosted by Union Fire Company Hopewell Township Station 53. Hamilton Township Station 18 has a large hall and is big enough to hold the service while complying with COVID-19 guidelines.

The annual Memorial Service is held to honor members of Mercer County Firemen’s Ladies Auxiliary and Firefighters in Mercer County. All fire departments in Mercer County are represented and Hope Fire Company of Allentown, Monmouth County is also a member.

This year’s Memorial Roll was read honored 14 Ladies Auxiliary members and 36 firefighters. As each name is read a white carnation is placed in a Maltese cross and firefighters salute and family members stand as the name of their loved one is read.


2020 Mercer County Firemen’s Association Memorial Service. Video by Dick Cunningham, Broadcast Productions-East Windsor Station 46


Mercer County: General Election Vote By Mail Secured Drop Box Locations

All Drop Boxes will be open by October 5, 2020 until General Election Night of November 3, 2020 at 8:00 pm.

October 4, 2020

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–Recently a secured election ballot drop box has been installed at the Robbinsville Township Municipal Building. The box is to the left of the rear parking lot entrance to the building. Just look for the flag pole and the box is in that location. There are also signs located in the parking lot to show the way to the secure drop box.


Robbinsville Township Municipal Clerk Michele Seigfried explains the 2020 General Election process on November 3 in the wake of COVID-19 in this informative video.


For the most up to date information on the 2020 elections and drop box locations visit the Mercer County Board of Elections website here and here: Mercer County Board Of Elections

All Active Registered Voters will receive a Mail-In-Ballot that can be placed in a drop box at any one of the fifteen (15) locations (see below), mailed, or hand delivered at the polling location on November 3 from 5:15 am-8:00 pm.

Drop boxes will be open beginning in October 2020 until General Election Night of November 3, 2020 at 8:00 pm.



Secured Drop Box Locations

Please Note: We anticipate more drop boxes, however, at this time do not know how many and in what locations they will be placed. Any and all changes will be updated on the website.

** All Drop Boxes will be open by October 5, 2020

EAST WINDSOR:

  • East Windsor Police Station – 80 One Mile Road, East Windsor, NJ, 08520 (Courthouse)

EWING:

  • Ewing Municipal Building – 2 Jake Garzio Drive, Ewing, NJ, 08628 (In Front)

HAMILTON:

  • Hamilton Golf/Call Center – 5 Justice Samuel A. Alito Way, Hamilton, NJ, 08619
  • Hamilton Municipal Building – 2090 Greenwood Avenue, Hamilton, NJ, 08609 (Right side of Bldg.)
  • Nottingham Firehouse – 200 Mercer Street, Hamilton Square, NJ, 08690 (Right side of Bldg.)

HIGHTSTOWN:

  • Hightstown Firehouse #1 – 140 N. Main Street, Hightstown, NJ, 08520 (Front of Bldg.)

HOPEWELL TWP:

  • Hopewell Township Administration Building – 201 Washington Crossing-Pennington Rd, Titusville, NJ 08560 (at the intersection of Scotch Road)

LAWRENCE:

  • Lawrence Municipal Building – 2207 Lawrenceville Rd, (Rt 206) Lawrence, NJ 08648 (North Side-Right Side of the Municipal Bldg.)

PRINCETON:

  • Princeton Municipal Building – 400 Witherspoon St, Princeton, NJ, 08540(Front of Bldg. facing  Witherspoon)

ROBBINSVILLE:

  • Robbinsville Municipal Building, 2298 NJ-33, Robbinsville, NJ 08691 (In back parking lot of Municipal Bldg.)

TRENTON:

  • County Clerk’s Office- Courthouse Annex- 209 S. Broad Street, Trenton, NJ, 08608 (in front)
  • Trenton City Hall – 319 E. State Street, Trenton, NJ, 08608 (In back/ near Municipal Clerks Office)
  • Henry J. Austin Center – 321 N. Warren St, Trenton, NJ, 08618(Corner of Tucker)
  • Trenton Central High School – 400 Chambers Street, Trenton, NJ, 08609(across from McDonald’s)

WEST WINDSOR:

  • West Windsor Municipal Complex, 271 Clarksville Rd, West Windsor, NJ,08550 (Between the Municipal building and the Senior Center)

Home Energy Assistance Available To Eligible Mercer County Residents, LIHEAP Application Period Opens Today

October 1, 2020

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes is reminding residents that assistance is available for energy costs for those who qualify beginning Oct. 1, but that applicants must adhere to certain COVID-19 restrictions. The County’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), offered in coordination with the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, is designed to help low-income families and individuals meet home heating and medically necessary cooling costs.This year, the LIHEAP application period is Oct. 1, 2020, to July 31, 2021. Mercer County will continue accepting applications for the Universal Service Fund (USF) Program throughout the year. Residents who pay their own heating costs, and meet the income guidelines, may be eligible to receive financial assistance with their winter heating bill. Residents with medical conditions also may be eligible to receive cooling assistance. An eligibility chart can be found on the Mercer County website.

“The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have created financial hardships for many households that now have to worry about the cost of heating and other energy bills,” Mr. Hughes said. “I urge our low-income residents to visit our website or contact the County housing office to determine their eligibility to apply for energy assistance.”

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the public may visit the Mercer County Office of Housing and Community Development, located at 640 South Broad St., Trenton, by appointment only. If an in-person visit is necessary, clients can call 609-337-0933 or email heatingappt@mercercounty.org to schedule an appointment.

Beginning Oct. 1, the County will temporarily begin operating an outdoor informational center adjacent to the 640 South Broad St. building. Clients will be able to drop off applications and access information from LIHEAP staff. 

The County will continue to accept applications by regular mail, fax and email until July 31, 2021. Applications, forms and information are available on the Mercer County website.

Troopers Help Plant Trees to Improve Quality of Water at Rosedale Park

September 28, 2020

PENNINGTON, NJ (MERCER)–On Friday, September 25, members of the Public Information Bureau volunteered their time to help the Mercer County Park Commission plant trees at Rosedale Park in Pennington, N.J.The troopers worked with several other volunteers to help wrap up the week-long project to plant trees and shrubs along the Rosedale Park Lake. Throughout the week, volunteers helped plant approximately 1,200 trees and shrubs, which will help improve water quality in the Stony Brook, feed pollinators, and improve foraging resources for birds. The troopers were glad to assist the Mercer County Park Commission in this outstanding initiative.

2020 Police Unity Tour Bike Ride Held In NJ


See related MidJersey.News coverage here: Police Unity Tour Memorial Service And Blessing Of Riders


September 27, 2020

Check back for more photos, still having photos sent into MidJersey.News and will be updated again tomorrow or later tonight.

STAFFORD TOWNSHIP, NJ (OCEAN)–The Police Unity Tour held a one day bike ride today starting in Asbury Park and proceeding on shore routes towards Stafford Township ending at the Stafford Township Police Memorial.

This year’s spring four day ride that is usually held in May was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic that ends at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C. 

This year’s ride was shortened to one day and two hundred sixty police officers participated from fourteen states including California and Missouri.


History of the Police Unity Tour:

In 1997, Florham Park (NJ) Police Officer Patrick Montuore had a simple idea: organize a four-day bicycle ride from New Jersey to Washington, DC to raise public awareness about law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty, and to ensure that their sacrifice is never forgotten. With that, the Police Unity Tour was formed. 

What started with 18 riders on a four day fund-raising bicycle ride from Florham Park, NJ to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C. has grown into 9 chapters consisting of nearly 2,600 members nationwide who make the trip annually. Participants include riders, motorcycles, and support personnel.

The journey is long and challending but for the Police Unity Tour participants it is what they prepare for throughout the year. Through fundraising and physical training, they know that their efforts raise awareness of the ultimate sacrifice made by so many law enforcement officers. 

The last leg of the jouney ends at the Memorial, where the participants are greeted by friends, family, and survirors. Once there, many Police Unity Tour members present remembrance braclets worn on their wrists throughout the journey to the families of the fallen. 

May 2020, the Police Unity Tour was proud to donate more than $2.0 million to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, bringing our total donations to more than $30 million since their inception. 

The Police Unity Tour is the sponsor of the National Law Enforcement Museum’s Hall of Remembrance, the Memorial Fund’s Officer of the Month Award, and Recently Fallen Alert programs. 








Video provided by: Bucky For Sherriff










Police Unity Tour Memorial Service And Blessing Of Riders

Police Unity Tour “We Ride For Those Who Died”


See related MidJersey.News coverage of the event here: 2020 Police Unity Tour Bike Ride Held In NJ


September 26, 2020

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–This evening the Hamilton Township Police Department hosted a memorial service and blessing of riders that are in tomorrow’s Police Unity Tour ride from Asbury Park to Stafford Twp., NJ.

The primary purpose of the Police Unity Tour is to raise awareness of Law Enforcement Officers who have died in the line of duty. The secondary purpose is to raise funds for the National Law Enforcement Officer’s Memorial.

Normally the ride would be held in May when several Chapters of the Police Unity Tour leave New Jersey on bicycles and ride to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C. The over 250 mile journey on bicycles takes 4 days to complete riding at least 62 miles per day.

This year’s spring ride was canceled due to COVID-19 but the Police Unity Tour was able to schedule a one day ride on Sunday.

Some history on the Police Unity Tour:

In 1997, Florham Park (NJ) Police Officer Patrick Montuore had a simple idea: organize a four-day bicycle ride from New Jersey to Washington, DC to raise public awareness about law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty, and to ensure that their sacrifice is never forgotten. With that, the Police Unity Tour was formed.

What started with 18 riders on a four day fund-raising bicycle ride from Florham Park, NJ to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C. has grown into 9 chapters consisting of nearly 2,600 members nationwide who make the trip annually. Participants include riders, motorcycles, and support personnel.

The journey is long and challending but for the Police Unity Tour participants it is what they prepare for throughout the year. Through fundraising and physical training, they know that their efforts raise awareness of the ultimate sacrifice made by so many law enforcement officers.

The last leg of the jouney ends at the Memorial, where the participants are greeted by friends, family, and survirors. Once there, many Police Unity Tour members present remembrance braclets worn on their wrists throughout the journey to the families of the fallen.

May 2020, the Police Unity Tour was proud to donate more than $2.0 million to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, bringing our total donations to more than $30 million since their inception.

The Police Unity Tour is the sponsor of the National Law Enforcement Museum’s Hall of Remembrance, the Memorial Fund’s Officer of the Month Award, and Recently Fallen Alert programs.




TWW Launches Two-Year Project to Paint Fire Hydrants, Color Coding Them to Indicate Flow Rate for Fire Suppression

September 22, 2020

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Trenton Water Works will be painting 3,501 fire hydrants in its five-municipality service area over the next 24 months, weather permitting.

“We are improving the quality of TWW’s fire hydrants for effective fire suppression,” said Michael Walker, Chief of Communications and Community Relations. “We’ve been inspecting fire hydrants for operability and flow rate over the last few months, and we now plan to vary their color to indicate how quickly water flows from them to fire personnel and emergency responders.”

TWW personnel will strip hydrants of old layers of paint, and then apply primer and two fresh coats. Color codes to indicate flow volume in gallons per minute are as follows: Light Blue: 1,500 gallons per minute; Green: 1,000-1,499 gallons per minute; Orange: 500-999 gallons per minute; Red: less than 500 gallons per minute. 

TWW personnel must have direct access to the hydrants. We are therefore asking residents to please remove any plantings or decorations that might be obscuring local hydrants. Hydrants should never be blocked, hidden, or decorated, as this interferes with emergency access.

“We ask that residents not paint or decorate fire hydrants, which prevents fire personnel from knowing a hydrant’s flow rate during an emergency,” added Walker.

If you have questions about TWW’s hydrant paint project, including reporting hydrants that have been knocked over or are not functioning properly, please call TWW’s Construction and Maintenance at (609) 989-3222.

Hopewell Valley Central High School Switches To Remote Learning Due to COVID-19

September 16, 2020

HOPEWELL TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Hopewell Valley Regional School District switches Central High School to remote learning for Thursday and Friday due to COVID-19 protocols. See official notice below:

HVRSD COVID NOTIFICATION 9/16/ 2020
HVRSD WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 2020

Earlier today we notified Central High School families and staff of a confirmed COVID case.  Based on our initial discussions with the Department of Health, we believe this case is limited to Central High School. Following our District protocols, Central High School will transition to Full Remote Learning for all students on Thursday and Friday, September 17 and 18.  All after-school activities are cancelled during this time. No students or staff will be allowed in the building until Monday morning, September 21, 2020.  This will provide ample time for our staff to deep clean the building and the Department of Health to conduct contact tracing. ALL OTHER HVRSD SCHOOLS WILL REMAIN OPEN.

We need your assistance during this public health emergency to keep us all safe. Please adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Parents of all in-person students MUST complete the daily symptom form in OnCourse or on the HVRSD app.  We will continue to temperature screen students each morning. 
    • Failure to complete the daily screening will result in exclusion from school.
    • If your child has any COVID symptoms, do not send him/her to school.
    • If your child exhibits COVID symptoms while at school, he/she will be excluded for 10 days, unless cleared by a physician.
    • If your child has COVID symptoms, please contact your doctor and school nurse*.
    • If your family is quarantining due to possible exposure, please inform your school nurse*. *All information is confidential.

HVRSD Notification Protocols

Notification of a confirmed or suspected case in your child’s school:

  1. Email sent immediately from the building principal to all families in that school notifying them of a confirmed or suspected case. Personal information of the suspected or confirmed case is private and will not be shared.
  2. Email sent from the District with school closure information based on the Department of Health’s initial investigation.

Possible exposure notification:

  1. If your child has been identified as having been in contact with a confirmed or suspected case, you will be contacted by the Department of Health. Contact is defined as: within 6 feet for more than 10 minutes.
  2. If you are identified as a contact through the Department of Health tracing process, you will be contacted directly by the Department of Health with further details. 

We appreciate your assistance to keep our schools safe. 

NJ Task Force 1 Returns Home From Hurricane Laura

See Previous MidJersey.News story here: New Jersey Task Force 1 Deploys to Louisiana in Response to Hurricane Laura

August 29, 2020

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–Just after 3 pm NJ Office Of Emergency Management, Urban Search and Rescue, New Jersey Task Force 1 returned to the area as the passed through the NJ Turnpike toll booths on their way back to their headquarters.

The team was activated for response to Hurricane Laura in the early morning hours of August 27, 2020. The team traveled south to stage near Atlanta, Georgia until needed. Early this morning the Federal Emergency Management Agency – FEMA adjusted the Federal response to local needs and NJ-TF1 received demobilization orders and begun the process of heading home.

NJ-TF1 deployed as a Type 1 Team consisting of 80 team members, three tractor-trailers, two box trucks, five F-450 utility vehicles, two crew carriers, an F-250 towing vehicle, two passenger vans, two utility terrain vehicles, and a fleet service truck. A water rescue component of six boats with trailers and a water support trailer were also deployed.

Local members known to MidJersey.News are:

Hamilton Township Fire Department:

Jarred Pierson, Jason Ryan, Kinte Holt, Brad Ladislaw, Jeff Barlow and Joe Flynn.

West Windsor Emergency Service, and West Windsor Police Department:

Joe Gribbins, Scott Cook, Michael McMahon

Ewing Township Fire Department:

Eric Rowlands

Bristol Myers Squibb:

John Welling

Civilian: (K-9, NJ Rescue & Recovery K-9)

Jennifer Michelson

58 Arrested and Charged in Mercer County in Multi-Jurisdictional ATM Theft Scam


During the investigation, bank cards, debit cards, credit cards, cash, marijuana, and a handgun were recovered.  Additionally, more than a dozen vehicles were seized throughout the county.  Robbinsville K-9 Quori sniffed out cocaine totaling 150 grams in the trunk of one of the suspect vehicles in Robbinsville.


See previous MidJersey.News stories here:

UPDATE: 20 Arrested And Charged In Hamilton In Multi-Jurisdiction ATM Scam

UPDATE: Additional Santander Bank ATMs Hit In Mercer County

BREAKING: Police and FBI Investigating Multi-State ATM Robberies, Many Subjects Are In Custody More Actively Being Arrested


August 19, 2020

MERCER COUNTY, NJ—Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri announced today that 58 individuals were arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit theft by deception in an organized scheme that used prepaid debit cards to steal from ATMs across the county.

On August 18, 2020, at approximately 8 a.m., Robbinsville Township police officers responded to the Santander Bank on Route 33 after receiving information that multiple individuals were gathering around the ATM using stacks of cards to withdraw money and attempting to avoid the camera on the ATM.   As officers approached, the group took notice and began to hurriedly move away from the ATM.  Ultimately, 20 individuals were taken into custody by police, each with multiple debit/credit cards and money in their possession.

Robbinsville police reached out to the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office for assistance and investigators from both agencies quickly began collaborating with authorities in nearby towns like Hamilton, Hopewell, Lawrence, Princeton and West Windsor, as well as Santander Bank.

During the course of the investigation, officers learned that Camden County Prosecutor’s Office reported that multiple thefts occurred at Santander ATMs in its jurisdiction by individuals to fraudulently obtained money.  Camden County Prosecutor’s Office advised that the suspects in those thefts came from New York to commit the fraud in New Jersey.  Officers also received information from multiple law enforcement sources that instructions were being shared on social media on how to defraud Santander ATM machines.

Prosecutor Onofri praised the teamwork of local law enforcement and said the open lines of communication and sharing of resources allowed law enforcement to get ahead of these scammers in some instances. 

At about 9:40 a.m., West Windsor dispatch relayed the information that Robbinsville had a number of individuals in custody.  Dispatch also advised that Princeton reported a large sum of money fraudulently obtained from a Santander ATM in its jurisdiction.  Information also came in relating that the FBI and the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office were actively investigating these cases.

“As a result, heightened awareness was given to the activity at Santander locations in West Windsor,” Prosecutor Onofri said.  “West Windsor officers and detectives from my office were able to detain and investigate five separate crews of suspects at different times throughout the day at the Santander Bank on Princeton-Hightstown Road, resulting in many arrests.”

In Lawrence Township, police were also alerted to the ATM scam perpetrated against the Princeton Santander, and a description was provided of the suspects and the vehicles used in commission of that crime.  Lawrence was further made aware of the countywide scam that was occurring and heightened attention was given to the Santander banks in their town.  Shortly thereafter, at about 9:45 a.m., a vehicle matching the description of the vehicle used in the Princeton scam was spotted in the area of the Santander bank at on Franklin Corner Road.  The occupants from the suspect vehicle were stopped and investigated, and ultimately charged with the conspiracy.  The bank reported abnormally high ATM usage and a shortage of approximately $40,000.

In Hamilton Township, at approximately 10 a.m., Hamilton police were detailed to the Santander Bank located on South Broad Street on the report of two suspicious vehicles in the parking lot of the bank.  It was reported that other Santander Banks in neighboring jurisdictions were reporting suspicious activities at the ATMs so units were detailed to Santander Bank ATM locations throughout Hamilton.  Additional vehicles and suspects were located throughout the day at the ATMs found at 1700 Nottingham Way, 1700 Kuser Road and 2730 Nottingham Way.  During the investigations bank cards, cash, marijuana, and a handgun were recovered.

Hopewell Township had three separate incidents involving separate crews that started around 11:30 a.m. at the Santander Bank on Pennington Road.  Several foot chases ensued and all subjects were apprehended.  In addition to the conspiracy charge, Sekou Touray, of East Orange, NJ, was charged with resisting arrest and aggravated assault of a prosecutor’s detective.

Similar incidents were reported in multiple other jurisdictions throughout the state.  The investigation is ongoing and additional charges may be pending.  Authorities are still executing search warrants and working with Santander Bank to determine exactly how much money was stolen.  At this time, the total across municipalities in Mercer County is more than $250,000.

During the investigation, bank cards, debit cards, credit cards, cash, marijuana, and a handgun were recovered.  Additionally, more than a dozen vehicles were seized throughout the county.  Robbinsville K-9 Quori sniffed out cocaine totaling 150 grams in the trunk of one of the suspect vehicles in Robbinsville.

The following individuals were arrested and charged in Mercer County on Tuesday, August 18, 2020:

Hamilton Township

  1. Tyler Holness, 21, of Yonkers, NY
  2. Rasheem Lee Jr., 18, of Bronx, NY
  3. Kymani Hinds, 18, of Bronx, NY
  4. Michael Santiago, 26, of Bronx, NY
  5. Saquan Vaines, 21, of Arverne, NY
  6. Kareema Hall, 20, of Bronx, NY
  7. Justin Brown, 22, of Arverne, NY
  8. Michael Manroop, 24, of Cambridge Heights, NY
  9. Nayvon Patten, 18, of Linderhurst, NY
  10. Jerry Trujillo, 24, of Maplewood, NJ
  11. Zaire Lewis, 18, of Maplewood, NJ
  12. Frankie Jerome, 21, of Maplewood, NJ
  13. Ahmad Muhammad, 18, of Maplewood, NJ
  14. Jordan Saquan, 24, of Brooklyn, NY
  15. Arian Rasul, 22, of Brooklyn, NY
  16. Starsheen Jones, 24, of Brooklyn, NY
  17. Jordan Amador, 27, of Brooklyn, NY
  18. Steven Wilson, 23, of New York, NY
  19. Nikye Bee, 25, of New York, NY
  20. Kevin Jones, 23, of New York, NY

Hopewell Township

  1. Ebrama Touray, 23, of East Orange, NJ
  2. Mbemba Kaba, 23, of East Orange, NJ
  3. Yacouba Sanogo, 24, of Newark, NJ
  4. Sekou Touray, 22, of East Orange, NJ
  5. Kingsley Nicolas, 22, of East Orange, NJ
  6. Orlando C. Chambers Jr., 21, of Lindenhurst, NY
  7. Emmanuel Edoise Oyakhilome, 22, of Lindenhurst, NY

Lawrence Township

  1. Elijah N. Oliver, 22, of Brooklyn, NY
  2. Dandrea Taylor Dey, 22, of Brooklyn, NY
  3. Quentin A. Hosten, 22, of Brooklyn, NY
  4. Zachary B. Johnson, 21, of Brooklyn, NY

Robbinsville Township

  1. Amoire Dupree, 26, of Brooklyn, NY
  2. Brittany Gittens, 20, of Brooklyn, NY
  3. Hurshum Gittens, 26, of Brooklyn, NY
  4. Charles Gordon, 30, of Brooklyn, NY
  5. Veronica Gregory, 22, of Brooklyn, NY
  6. Oswin Philander, 21, of Brooklyn, NY
  7. Jeffrey Debrosse, 31, of Brooklyn, NY
  8. Bolade Akingboy, 29, of West Hempstead, NY
  9. Jeffrey Desir, 34, of Brooklyn, NY
  10. Julio Ramos, 33, of Jamaica, NY
  11. Kevin Philander, 26, of Newark, DE
  12. Jishawn Lee, 19, of Brooklyn, NY
  13. Marlon Owens, 28, of Bronx, NY
  14. Alex Burnett, 30, of Jersey City, NJ
  15. D.T., 16, of Brooklyn, NY
  16. J.F., 16, of Brooklyn, NY
  17. Ackeem Samuel, 25, of Brooklyn, NY
  18. Brandon Esperance, 20, of Brooklyn, NY
  19. Kevin Owusu, 19, of Brooklyn, NY
  20. Kareem Courtney, 23, of Brooklyn, NY

West Windsor

  1. Philek Barington, 25, of Queens, NY
  2. LaTonya S. Stevens, 26, of Bronx, NY
  3. Qwashan D. Mack, 19, of North Brunswick, NJ
  4. Hymeen S. Reynolds, 19, of East Orange, NJ
  5. Brajae U. Jones, 23, of Englewood, NJ
  6. Bryon K Jones Jr., 28, of Garfield, NJ
  7. Carla E. Donayre-Solano, 28, of Garfield, NJ

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





UPDATE: Additional Santander Bank ATMs Hit In Mercer County

This investigation remains fluid, numerous local and state police, multiple prosecutor’s offices officers, FBI and others are actively working on this case. There are many subjects arrested in multiple jurisdictions, in multiple states in relation to these crimes. MidJersey.News has reached out to the FBI and other agencies for comment but public press information is not available yet. This is a major developing story.


See Updated MidJersey.News story here: 58 Arrested and Charged in Mercer County in Multi-Jurisdictional ATM Theft Scam

UPDATE: 20 Arrested And Charged In Hamilton In Multi-Jurisdiction ATM Scam

See this morning’s MidJersey.News breaking news story here: BREAKING: Police and FBI Investigating Multi-State ATM Robberies, Many Subjects Are In Custody More Actively Being Arrested


August 18, 2020

HOPEWELL TOWNSHIP-ROBBINSVILLE TOWNSHIP-HAMILTON TOWNSHIP-LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–This afternoon several police vehicles descended on Independence Plaza Shopping Mall on Broad Street in the area of the Santander Bank. It is believed to be related to the ATM robberies that span from NY to PA and were on going until at least late this afternoon.

Another Hamilton Township Santander location on Nottingham Way was hit around 5 pm where police have at least five in custody. The suspects were apprehended on Nottingham Way near Clifford Avenue the vehicle was impounded.

This afternoon Robbinsville Police remained busy at the Robbinsville Santander location. Around 1:30 pm another attempt with the ATM machine at that location the suspect fled in a white vehicle.

Sources say that up to nine people were arrested at the Hopewell Township location today after at least three different attempts to gain money from the Santander on Route 31.

The Santander in Lawrence police activity at that location also.

MidJersey.News is providing these reports from on scene reporting, radio reports and other sources. No public information has been made available yet, once available the story will be updated.


BREAKING: Police and FBI Investigating Multi-State ATM Robberies, Many Subjects Are In Custody More Actively Being Arrested

August 18, 2020


See Updated MidJersey.News story here: 58 Arrested and Charged in Mercer County in Multi-Jurisdictional ATM Theft Scam

UPDATE: 20 Arrested And Charged In Hamilton In Multi-Jurisdiction ATM Scam

UPDATE: Additional Santander Bank ATMs Hit In Mercer County


BREAKING NEWS REPORT: This if from unofficial radio reports, on scene reporting, witnesses and other sourced information, once official information is released story will be updated and any corrections made.

ROBBINSVILLE-HAMILTON TOWNSHIP-PRINCETON-HOPEWELL, NJ (MERCER)–From New York though New Jersey and even into Pennsylvania numerous suspects are under arrest for robbing ATM machines.

This morning in Robbinsville several were arrested at the Santander Bank ATM and taken into custody.

In Hamilton Township this afternoon a vehicle with NY plates was stopped and several were under arrest on Yardville-Hamilton Square Road by the 195 overpass. Sources tell MidJersey.News that this is related but MidJersey.News has not been able to confirm the arrests and if it is related.

Hopewell Township on Route 31 there is police activity at a Santander Bank and a foot chase, with reported four in custody. One of the suspects has reportedly assaulted a Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office Detective.

On Princeton Pike a black sedan bearing a NY registration was being sought after.

Unofficial radio reports that so far $76,000. have been stolen from ATM machines, from Princeton, Hopewell, Hamilton and Robbinsville.

In Woodbridge Township, Middlesex County at least one Santander Bank ATM was hit in that township and one vehicle was stopped in Randolph, NJ and a firearm was recovered.

This is still a very fluid situation, the investigation is very active and arrests are continuing to be made at the time of this report. Further details to follow.

MidJersey.News has reached out to several police departments and county prosecutor’s offices and has been told to reach out to the FBI for comment. MidJersey.news has reached out to contacts at the Newark FBI office and waiting for a reply with official information. Once updated MidJersey.News will update the story.


Police activity sources say that is related to the multi-state ATM robberies, several are under arrest at Yardville-Hamilton Square Road and the I-195 overpass. Faces are blacked out since we can not confirm with any official sources that these are suspects in the ATM robberies.

Governor Phil Murphy: “The November 3rd Election will be primarily vote-by-mail”

August 14, 2020

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Governor Phil Murphy reports November 3rd election will be primarily “Vote By Mail” See statement below:


The November 3rd Election will be primarily vote-by-mail.

All active registered New Jersey voters will automatically receive a prepaid return-postage vote-by-mail ballot.

No one should have to choose between their right to vote and their health.


TRENTON – Per Gov. Phil Murphy’s announcement, the Nov. 3 General Election will be conducted primarily by mail-in ballots. This is similar to the way the July 7 Primary Election was held, and is to help reduce the spread of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). The Mercer County Clerk’s Office is preparing to send mail-in ballots to all registered voters in the County.

Before the election, all voters, regardless of party affiliation, will receive a mail-in ballot, where they will be able to fill in their choices. Only blue or black ink will be allowed; red ink or pencil cannot be accepted. Postage on all ballots is paid. In addition to mailing in their ballots, voters will have the option of placing their ballots in one of the secure drop boxes throughout the County. There will be more drop boxes available than during the Primary Election. There will also be at least one polling place per municipality that will be open on Election Day, for voters who prefer to vote at the polls. Further details, including polling place and drop box locations, will be determined by the Mercer County Board of Elections.

Also, for those unregistered to vote, an online system will be launched on Sept. 4 to assist those people who need to be registered. More details about this system will be available as the weeks progress.

“The July 7 Election provided us a template on how to perform our Election duties in the midst of a crisis,” said Mercer County Clerk Paula Sollami Covello. “The fact is, we all must continue to do our part to reduce the risk that COVID-19 poses to the public. For those who want to vote at the polls, they can still do so by provisional ballot.”

The earliest ballots will be mailed out in late September and early October. The deadline to register to vote in time for the Primary Election remains unchanged; that date is October 13. All ballots sent in must be postmarked no later than November 3 and received by the Board of Elections no later than November 10, one week after the Election. Alternatively, voters may return their ballots personally to poll workers. These do not need to be postmarked, but received within 48 hours of polls closing.

For more information on the Nov. 3 General Election, please visit the website for the Mercer County Clerk at http://www.mercercounty.org/government/county-clerk/elections. You may also call the Elections department at 609-989-6494.

Delaware River Search After Empty Kayak Found South Of Wing Dam–Updated Person Found

August 10, 2020

August 11, 2020 update: According to the Hopewell Township Police the person from yesterday’s water search was found and is ok.


BREAKING NEWS REPORT: From on scene reports, radio reports and witnesses, if and when official information is made available story will be updated.

HOPEWELL TOWNSHIP (MERCER)-LAMBERTVILLE-WEST AMWELL, NJ (HUNTERDON)–A kayak was found unoccupied in the Delaware River just south of the “wing dam” in the rapids located in West Amwell just south of Lambertville around 2:30 pm. Fire and rescue units from both New Jersey and Pennsylvania responded to the scene those included Hopewell Township, Lambertville, West Amwell, in NJ, New Hope, PA and others from the area. Rescue boats searching south of the wing dam launched at Fireman’s Eddy Boat Ramp just off of Route 29 in the D&R Canal State Park.

Units searching by boat reported over the radio finding a “debris field” of items from the kayak but after searching for hours no person was found. Areas north and south of the wing dam were searched.

No other information is available at this time about the search.


BREAKING: Massive Water Search For Reported Man Lost Tubing On Delaware River

Firefighters from two states participated in a search of at least 11 miles of the Delaware River for a missing man. After searching it was unclear the whereabouts of the lost man.

August 2, 2020 (updated 8:30 am to take Burlington off list, assignment was recalled prior to them being dispatched)

Breaking News Report: From on scene reports, witnesses and radio reports. If official information is released the story will be updated and corrected.

EWING TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Late yesterday evening (August 1, 2020) the Ewing Township Fire Department was dispatched to the Interstate 295 bridge over the Delaware River for a missing person in the river. The man was reported missing by his girlfriend around 10:15 pm. he is a white male, with red swim trunks with no shirt in a tube used to float on the water. There was also a delay of 9-1-1 calling for help so the man was lost at least a half hour before at approximately 9:45 pm.

Ewing Township Fire Department was dispatched and requested assistance from Trenton, Hamilton, Hopwell, Bucks County PA including departments from Yardley and Tullytown.

Trenton Fire Department searched in the area of the Route 1, Trenton Makes and Calhoun Street Bridges. The Hamilton Township Fire Department deployed at the Trenton Boat Ramp and searched that area to the Crosswicks Creek. A New Jersey State Police helicopter was requested for the search but was unknown if it was used.

Approximately 11 miles of river was searched from North of the 295 bridge to south of the Crosswicks Creek.

Around midnight the search was called off and all units returned to their stations. It was unclear if the man was found or there may have been further information that the man was seen walking back on one of the roadways next to the river. At the time of this report there were no official reports of the whereabouts of the missing man.

Updates On Unsolicited Seeds From China = DO NOT PLANT Contact NJ Department Of Agriculture or USDA

July 27, 2020

SEE YESTERDAY’S MIDJERSEY.NEWS STORY HERE: If You Receive Unsolicited Seeds From China DO NOT PLANT Possibly Invasive Species

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Early yesterday (Sunday) morning the Internet started to light up with mystery seeds being delivered all over the USA including New Jersey. Do not plant these seeds since they could be contaminated or be an “invasive species” that could create havoc in the ecosystem.

For New Jersey residence that have recieved the suspicious seeds contact the NJ Department of Agriculture at 609-292-3976 or contactAg@ag.nj.gov


Information on unsolicited seeds from China

https://www.nj.gov/agriculture/news/hottopics/topics200727.html

The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is aware that people across the country have received unsolicited packages of seed from China in recent days. APHIS is working closely with the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection and State departments of agriculture to prevent the unlawful entry of prohibited seeds and protect U.S. agriculture from invasive pests and noxious weeds.

Anyone in New Jersey who receives an unsolicited package of seeds from China should immediately contact the New Jersey Department of Agriculture at 609-292-3976 or contactAg@ag.nj.gov. Also, you can contact the APHIS State plant health director. Please hold onto the seeds and packaging, including the mailing label, until someone from your State department of agriculture or APHIS contacts you with further instructions. Do not plant seeds from unknown origins.


You can also report to USDA here: https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/planthealth/import-information/sa_sitc/ct_antismuggling

If individuals are aware of the potential smuggling of prohibited exotic fruits, vegetables, or meat products into or through the USA, they can help APHIS by contacting the confidential Antismuggling Hotline number at 800-877-3835 or by sending an Email to SITC.Mail@aphis.usda.gov. USDA will make every attempt to protect the confidentiality of any information sources during an investigation within the extent of the law.


If You Receive Unsolicited Seeds From China DO NOT PLANT Possibly Invasive Species

July 26, 2020 — Update 3:30 pm and 4:30 pm


July 27, 2020 Update 9:55 pm to include additional information for reporting to NJ Department of Agriculture:

The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is aware that people across the country have received unsolicited packages of seed from China in recent days. APHIS is working closely with the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection and State departments of agriculture to prevent the unlawful entry of prohibited seeds and protect U.S. agriculture from invasive pests and noxious weeds.

Anyone in New Jersey who receives an unsolicited package of seeds from China should immediately contact the New Jersey Department of Agriculture at 609-292-3976 or contactAg@ag.nj.gov. Also, you can contact the APHIS State plant health director. Please hold onto the seeds and packaging, including the mailing label, until someone from your State department of agriculture or APHIS contacts you with further instructions. Do not plant seeds from unknown origins.


Reports from several state’s department of agriculture reporting unsolicited seeds being mailed to random residence around the country. Moments after posting the story today, MidJersey.News received a post via Facebook of a pack of seeds sent to Hopewell Township-Washington Crossing, NJ area. Be on the lookout, Do Not Plant and report to USDA APHIS link posted below.

So far reports of seeds being sent to NJ, NY, Virginia, Utah, Louisiana, Washington State and the United Kingdom.

MidJersey.News did communicate with the NJ Department of Agriculture on Sunday about the seed issue and see links below on how to report to the USDA:

Report here: https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/planthealth/import-information/sa_sitc/ct_antismuggling


If individuals are aware of the potential smuggling of prohibited exotic fruits, vegetables, or meat products into or through the USA, they can help APHIS by contacting the confidential Antismuggling Hotline number at 800-877-3835 or by sending an Email to SITC.Mail@aphis.usda.gov. USDA will make every attempt to protect the confidentiality of any information sources during an investigation within the extent of the law.


A package sent to Hopewell Township-Washington Crossing, NJ, provided by post on MidJersey.News Facebook:



Press release from Virginia:

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) has been notified that several Virginia residents have received unsolicited packages containing seeds that appear to have originated from China. The types of seeds in the packages are unknown at this time and may be invasive plant species. The packages were sent by mail and may have Chinese writing on them.

Please do not plant these seeds. VDACS encourages anyone who has received unsolicited seeds in the mail that appears to have Chinese origin to contact the Office of Plant Industry Services (OPIS) at 804.786.3515 or through the ReportAPest@vdacs.virginia.gov email.

Invasive species wreak havoc on the environment, displace or destroy native plants and insects and severely damage crops. Taking steps to prevent their introduction is the most effective method of reducing both the risk of invasive species infestations and the cost to control and mitigate those infestations.


Trenton Water Works Issues 2020 Water Quality Report

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

June 29, 2020


SEE OTHER MIDJERSEY.NEWS Stories on Trenton Water Here:

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

June 15, 2020

DOWNLOAD COMPLAINT HERE:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lead Service Lines Issue

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

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

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

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

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

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

Remaining Environmental Issues

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May 22, 2020

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

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

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

Full letter from NJ DEP Commissioner below.

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


Dear Mayor and Council President,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Catherine R. McCabe NJDEP, Commissioner



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

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


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