Category: Lawrence

NJ Motor Vehicle Commission Disaster Day 2 After Reopening

Hamilton’s Tyler Eckel has been in line 6 hours for his new driver’s licence and still has not received service, expecting another 1 to 2 hour wait at the time of this report.

Update 1:45 pm Tyler finally received his driver’s licence after waiting 8 hours and 15 minutes in line!

July 8, 2020

See yesterday’s MidJersey.News story here: NJ MVC FAILURE: 1,000s Wait In Extreme Long Lines At NJ Motor Vehicle Commission Buildings, Complete Chaos as Fights Reported In Trenton and Edison

LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Some waited all night and many stood in line before the sunrise this morning to wait at the NJ Motor Vehicle Commission, Bakers Basin Office for drivers licences and other processing that needed to be done in person.

Hamilton Township Photojournalist Tyler Eckel, 17 from Hamilton High School West has been in line since 5:30 am waiting for his 1st drivers licence with his twin brother Kyle Eckel, and friend Devin Gonzalez 17, also of Hamilton.

At 11:30 Tyler Eckel still thinks he has at least an hour or two wait to get in to process the paperwork for his new licence even though being in line for 6 hours, since 5:30 am.

Talking to people waiting at the end of the line that snakes around the building and ends near Route 1. Many of those in line believed they shut the line down around 9:00 am and cut the line off at about 350 people waiting for service. The same scene is happening all across the State at every Motor Vehicle Agency.

At the Bakers Basin location there is a NJ Motor Vehicle Commission Truck assisting with processing paperwork and licences. The truck is lettered “NJ Driving Forward” but from the looks at the scene it is everything but driving forward. Poorly anticipating the shut down and how much processing needed to be done in person NJ Motor Vehicle Commission has failed their customers.


NJ MVC FAILURE: 1,000s Wait In Extreme Long Lines At NJ Motor Vehicle Commission Buildings, Complete Chaos as Fights Reported In Trenton and Edison

Motor Vehicle Commission Wait Times A Total Disaster With Times Exceeding Three Hours, with new reports some waited 6+ hours with nothing done. Fights were reported in at least Trenton and Edison. Edison Police had to call neighboring departments for help.

July 7, 2020 posted at 4 pm, updated at 9 pm.

TRENTON, LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP, (MERCER), SOUTH BRUNSWICK, (MIDDLESEX), NJ –People set up camp and waited in line, some earlier than 6 am but, they were not waiting in line for a Black Friday Sale, A Trump Rally or even concert tickets, they were just waiting for a visit to the local NJ Motor Vehicle Commission office.

It has been months since people could process an in person transaction to get or renew a license, register a car, get new plates and any other in person transaction that the MVC office processes.

The extremely long lines, snaked though parking lots, around buildings and even up the side of highways as the first day the NJ MVC opened its doors since the COVID-19 closures months ago.

Just after 8 am, a fight was reported this morning at the NJ Motor Vehicle Commission in Trenton on South Stockton Street. Trenton Police responded and reported that the line was wrapped around the building.

In South Brunswick/Dayton hundreds were in line as the line snaked back and fourth though the parking lot then eventually up Route 130. A group of people still about 100 deep at that location reported they had been in line since 6 am.

In Lawrence at Bakers Basin the scene was similar with lines wrapping around and though parking lots. People sat in chairs and under umbrellas and even a frozen dessert truck set up in the area near Route 1.

Edison, NJ we have a report of a disturbance at the Edison NJ Motor Vehicle Commission and Edison Police had to call mutual aid departments to the scene around 1:42 pm.


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South Brunswick-Dayton: NJ Motor Vehicle Commission:


Photos below by: Brian McCarthy OnScene News

Trenton NJ Motor Vehicle Commission:


Lawrence Township: NJ Motor Vehicle Commission Bakers Basin:

Photos by: Brian McCarthy OnScene News

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.

BREAKING: Multi Vehicle Accident On Route 1, Two Entrapped Multiple Injuries

June 26, 2020

Breaking News Report from radio and on scene report once official information is made available story will be updated.

LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)—Around 4 pm this afternoon a multi-vehicle accident occurred in the 3000 Block of Route 1 south bound just prior to Franklin Corner Road.

In one of the vehicles that was rear ended two people were heavily entrapped and the fire department had to do a roof removal as part of the extrication process. A total of 7 people were reported injured, with 4 of those injuries requiring transport to the hospital.

Lawrence Township Fire Companies, Lawrence Township First Aid and Mercer County Paramedics responded to the scene. Lawrence Township Police were on scene investigating.

E-mail has been sent to the Lawrence Township Police Department for further information when it becomes available story will be updated.

Photos by: Brian McCarthy OnScene News

Car Crashes Into Store In Lawrence Township

June 24, 2020

LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Just before 11 am a car in the parking area of 2809 Brunswick Pike lost control and crashed into the front of a store at the shopping center. All three Lawrence Township Fire Companies, Police Department and EMS responded. Upon arrival the fire department kept one engine on scene until the vehicle was towed by Hawk’s Towing.

The Lawrence Township Building Department inspected the building after the crash. No further information was available.

Photos by: Brian McCarthy OnScene News

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

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

June 16, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • First- Degree Conspiracy to Commit Murder – Michael Barnes

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

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

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

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.

Lawrenceville Man Charged with CDS Distribution

May 26, 2020

JACKSON, NJ (0CEAN)–On Friday May 22nd at 1926 hours, detectives were concluding an investigation into suspected narcotics activity and conducted a stop with a 1997 Nissan and the 53 year old male driver at the WaWa located on North County Line Road. The investigation resulted in the search of the vehicle and recovery of 2 bricks of heroin, several grams of crack cocaine and a quantity of marijuana.

The driver, who was identified as Eric Veale of Lawrenceville, NJ was charged with: possession of heroin, possession of heroin with the intent to distribute, possession of crack cocaine, possession of crack cocaine with the intent to distribute, possession of marijuana and possession of a controlled dangerous substance while operating a motor vehicle. He was processed and released on summons pending a court appearance. The vehicle was seized and is pending forfeiture.

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

Jackson Township Police Press Release https://www.facebook.com/Jackson-Police-Department-259431950745755/

Lawrenceville Woman And Staten Island Man Dead In South Brunswick Crash

May 25, 2020

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–At 7:37am this morning, a 24 year old man from Staten Island driving a 2016 Nissan was traveling Route 130 northbound approaching the area of Ridge Road when he lost control of his vehicle, spun out, crossed the median, and struck a 2015 Toyota operated by a 55 year old woman from Lawrenceville, who was traveling in the southbound lanes of Route 130.
 
Immediately after this impact, a 40 year old woman from Scotch Plains operating a 2013 Honda on Route 130 southbound tried to swerve to avoid the crash scene, but struck the Toyota.
 
The 24 year old man and the 55 year old woman were pronounced dead at the scene. The 40 year old woman suffered minor injuries.
 
Moments after the crash, there was an additional crash on Route 130 northbound involving 2 motorists attempting to avoid the initial crash.
 
Route 130 was closed to traffic for approximately 5 hours while the investigation was conducted and debris removed.
 
No criminal or motor vehicle charges are anticipated at this time, but the crash is still under investigation.
 
Anyone with information on this crash is asked to contact Ptl. Merkler at (732)329-4000 ext. 7412.

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.


Three Lawrence Township Police Officers Charged in Internal Affairs Investigation

May 21, 2020

LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri reported today that three Lawrence Township police officers face criminal charges as a result of an internal affairs investigation.

The Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office was contacted by Lawrence Township police earlier this month regarding allegations of deceptive conduct and falsification of records by three of its officers in the pursuit of personal interests.

The investigation revealed that the officers engaged in intentional misrepresentations of their actual locations, which included falsifying reports and records.  One of the officers is also accused of realigning his in-car video recorder. – These officers allowed their purely personal interests to infect the proper performance of their legal obligations as police officers.

As a result of the investigation, Officer Hector Nieves, 44, was charged with falsifying government records, tampering with records, and violation of Governor’s Executive Order No. 118.  Officer Liubove Bjorklund, 32, was charged with falsifying government records and violation of Governor’s Executive Order No. 118.  Officer Timothy Wallace, 28, was charged with falsifying government records.  All three officers were served summons complaints Thursday morning.

It was determined that Nieves falsely documented his location in CAD records on 19 occasions between March 21, 2020 and May 11, 2020.  He violated an executive order by entering the New Jersey Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park in Princeton on April 23, 2020, while the park was closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, for a purpose unrelated to any official function or capacity.  It was also discovered that, on multiple occasions, Nieves altered the view of the camera in his assigned patrol vehicle so that it did not capture him covertly meeting with an off-duty female police officer.  In one incident, the camera’s position was altered so that it would not record Nieves and the off-duty officer meeting or entering the closed park, thereby concealing the unlawful conduct.

Bjorklund is charged with falsifying her location in meal break CFS documents on 11 occasions between March 20, 2020 and May 4, 2020.  She also violated an executive order by entering the New Jersey Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park in Princeton on April 23, 2020, while the park was closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, for a purpose unrelated to any official function or capacity.

Wallace is charged with falsely documenting his location in a CAD record on May 4, 2020. 

Tampering with records is a fourth-degree charge.  Violation of an executive order and falsifying government records are disorderly persons offenses.

All three officers have been suspended from the police department without pay.

NJ Salutes Fly Over Honoring Frontline Workers Today

May 12, 2020

See previous MidJersey.news story: New Jersey Air National Guard To Conduct “NJ Salutes” Flyover To Honor COVID-19 Frontline Workers Tuesday

MILLSTONE-UPPER FREEHOLD-EAST WINDSOR, NJ (MERCER/MONMOUTH)–As seen from the East Windsor Cemetery, three F-16 Fighting Falcons from the 177th Fighter Wing and a KC-135R Stratotanker from the 108th Wing fly over Millstone, East Windsor and Upper Freehold Townships as part of the NJ Salutes Fly Over honoring frontline workers in the COVID-19 battle.

The first to be seen at 11:40 am was the large KC135R Stratotanker as it made its way from the Freehold direction and turned over the “Robbinsville” FAA beacon on the Assunpink Wildlife Management Area then proceeded north towards Cranbury to continue the mission. Three F-16 Fighting Falcons were following the tanker.

Photo gallery below:

Salute To Healthcare Workers At Capital Health Hopewell Campus

May 1, 2020

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

Additional content provided by: Brian McCarthy OnScene News

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

April 28, 2020

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

Previous MidJersey.News story on the event

Photos of Operation America Strong from the Trenton Area today:

Stolen Pickup Truck Found In Water

April 27, 2020

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP-LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Around noon today a pickup truck with a small trailer was found in the water in the Assunpink Creek off 5th Avenue and Assunpink Blvd. reported originally to be in Hamilton Township. Hamilton Township Fire Department and Police Departments responded and on arrival the vehicle was found in the water on the Lawrence Township side of the creek. Firefighters from Hamilton Township deployed boats to search for a possible victim but found out that the vehicle was dumped after being stolen. Hawks Towing and Recovery was on scene evaluating on how to remove the vehicle from the water.

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

April 27, 2020

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

See previous Stories on the event here:

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

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

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

Mosquito Spraying In Mercer County Today

April 22, 2020

See Mercer County DOT Notice Here

Aerial Mosquito Larviciding Notice 

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

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

***PLEASE NOTE***

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

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

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

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

March 28, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

West Windsor Township Health Department COVID-19 Investigation Update

March 20, 2020

WEST WINDSOR, NJ (MERCER)–West Windsor Health Department is reporting 3 additional cases of COVID-19, bringing the Township’s total to 4 residents. Public health investigations are actively underway and potential contacts will be notified. Our investigations have found that a symptomatic person positive for the illness attended a local gym. The facility has been notified by the Lawrence Township Health Department and management is in the process of contacting the membership directly. The individual attended the New Jersey Athletic Club located at 4152 Quakerbridge Road, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648 between the hours of 4 pm and 7:30 pm on March 9th, 11th, and 12th .

The purpose of this notification is to increase awareness to potential contacts, to encourage selfmonitoring for symptoms and isolation from those most at risk to serious health outcomes. This report reinforces the importance for those with underlying health conditions, pregnant women and the elderly to stay at home. As more cases are observed in New Jersey, we are urging all people to practice social distancing.

The public is advised to practice social distancing, avoid crowds and take every day preventative steps to protect themselves and others. It is very important to stay home when you are ill and avoid others with symptoms. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Cover your coughs and sneezes using a tissue or sleeve. If you become ill, you must call the doctor or hospital before you go. Wear a mask, if available.

Everyone and every organization must do their part to help prevent the spread of this virus. Working together as a team we can help lessen the impact of this outbreak on our local community.

For more information, visit the West Windsor Township website at http://www.westwindsornj.org or the New Jersey Department of Health website at http://www.nj.gov/health or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at http://www.cdc.gov .

NJAC Cancels All Remaining Spring Sport Competitions & Championships

March 18, 2020

Member institutions:

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

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

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

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

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

Westminster Conservatory student tests positive with COVID-19

Letter from University Communications to students, family members, faculty and staff

PRINCETON, LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–See letter below or download at link above:

03/16/2020

Dear Rider Community,

Rider has been notified that a Westminster Conservatory student, who is not enrolled at Westminster Choir College or Rider University, and their parents have tested positive for COVID-19. The family remains under self-isolation.

The University is notifying individuals who were in direct contact with the Conservatory student and her family on the Princeton campus. Those individuals are also self-isolating as a result. The buildings that were accessed by the Conservatory student and family over the weekend of March 8 and 9 will be closed for cleaning. These buildings include the Conservatory (Princeton Hall), Marion Buckelew Cullen Center and Robert L. Annis Playhouse.

Out of an abundance of caution, Rider is announcing that all on-campus private instruction, lessons and classes offered through the Conservatory on the Princeton campus and its extension sites are suspended until further notice. All ensembles are postponed. Conservatory teachers will provide remote learning to their students if possible. If teachers decide to conduct lessons remotely, they will contact students directly with instructions.

The University remains open. Residence Halls, Dining Services and other services are continuing to operate as normal.

There are currently no other confirmed cases of COVID-19 among students, faculty and staff on the Princeton or Lawrenceville campuses.

The University has been in contact with local health authorities and continues its enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols overnight and throughout the day, using disinfectants recommended by the CDC for killing viruses like coronavirus. Additional cleaning and disinfecting are being conducted in the residence halls during the extended spring break. This includes individual residence rooms, common areas and bathrooms.

We encourage all members of our University community to continue the preventive practices recommended by public health officials to help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses like coronavirus. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.

If you believe you have been exposed to coronavirus or start experiencing symptoms of respiratory illness like the flu or coronavirus, call ahead first to your personal healthcare provider or the Student Health Center. Students who live off campus are encouraged to contact their primary healthcare providers first. The Student Health Center will be available to provide guidance via telephone consultation. Students who currently live on campus should contact the Student Health Center.

The official source of information about Rider’s response to COVID-19 is www.rider.edu/coronavirus. It will be updated to reflect new information as it becomes available. For questions and general inquiries, please email coronavirusquestions@rider.edu.

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

March 16, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Census 2020 Survey Is Arriving By Mail

March 13, 2020

By: Dennis Symons, Jr.

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

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

Frequently asked questions of the Census Bureau:

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

West Windsor Police Find Missing Autistic Person

March 5, 2020

WEST WINDSOR, NJ (MERCER)–At 5:33 pm, March 4, 1010, Police Dispatch advised all available Units that an 29 year old, Autistic adult male had run away from his caregiver in the parking lot of Wegmans.  Further information was relayed via the Communications Center that the adult male had a disagreement with his caregiver and ran away in the direction of the Target store.  K9 Officer Zicha arrived on scene and met with the caregiver who advised him that the victim commonly runs away after an argument, but usually this occurs when they are in Hamilton Township.  Therefore, the male was unfamiliar with the area of Nassau Park (including the surrounding wooded area/waterways with sundown approaching at 5:52 pm).  In addition, the adult male would sometimes not return until the next day.
 
     Multiple units arrived and began a systematic search of the nearby stores and the walking paths in & around the Nassau Park Pavilion.  Traffic Officer/Drone Pilot McQuade deployed his Drone while K9 Officer Zicha & his partner K9 Hodge began a search along the wooded areas surrounding Nassau Park Pavilion including the area of the D&R Canal (*see attached photo, using thermal imaging, of K9 Officer Zicha & K9 Hodge as provided by Drone Pilot McQuade*).    
     
     The Communications Center advised Princeton PD and Lawrence Twp. of the unfolding incident and requested they check their areas that abut the Nassau Park border.  As the WWPD continued their arduous store to store search for the missing man, Ptl. Pollini and Ptl. LaForge were advised by staff at Michael’s that there was a subject fitting the description of the individual.  Ptl. LaForge subsequently located the male at the rear of the store.  The male was ultimately reunited with the Program Manager without any further incident. 
 
     Chief Garofalo wanted to thank our partners at Princeton PD and Lawrence Twp. PD for their assistance.  In addition, Chief Garofalo wanted to praise the actions  of our Communications Center & our Officers who worked together seamlessly and with all of our resources to locate the man.  Chief Garofalo is fully aware how this situation could have easily had a much different and tragic ending.

Prescribed Burning In Mercer County Today And Other Areas

February 24, 2020

Today, February 24, the New Jersey Forest Fire Service will be conducting prescribed burning operations in the following areas.

DIVISION A

Mercer County – Mercer Meadows

DIVISION B

Ocean County
– Little Egg Harbor – Stafford Forge Road
– Barnegat – Greenwood Wildlife Management Area
– Lacey – Double Trouble State Park

DIVISION C

Atlantic County
– Buena Vista – Highland Ave/Old Landis Ave
– Estell Manor – River Road
Camden County
– Waterford – Wharton State Forest

This schedule is weather dependent and subject to change.

If in doubt about the source of smoke or fire, call 9-1-1 or 877-WARN-DEP (877-927-6337).

More information about prescribed burning can be found here: https://www.nj.gov/dep/newsrel/2019/19_0029.htm

Ice Hockey: Robbinsville over Lawrence 7-2

Febuary 5, 2020

By: Dennis Symons, Jr.

WEST WINDSOR, NJ (MERCER)–The Robbinsville-Allentown hockey team defeated Lawrence Township High School tonight at Mercer County Park Skating Center with a final score of 7-2. It was Lawrence High School’s Senior Night and was celebrated by seniors and family members.

The Robbinsville team is a combined team from Robbinsville and Allentown High Schools.

The Lawrence team is a combined team from Lawrence Township High School, Hightstown High School and Ewing Township High School.

Photo gallery:

Mercer County Wrestling Tournament

February 2, 2020

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–The Mercer County Wrestling Tournament was held today at Robbinsville High School. Joey Lamparelli (Allentown) received the 2020 Most Outstanding Wrestler award. (more to follow on Joey). Hopewell Valley High School was first place team.

Individual Results 1st through 6th:

106 Pounds

  • 1st Place – Shailen Savur of Robbinsville
  • 2nd Place – Robert Fattore of Hightstown
  • 3rd Place – Nicholas Ricigliano of Steinert
  • 4th Place – Chloë Ayres of Princeton
  • 5th Place – Kyle Doherty of Hopewell Valley
  • 6th Place – Johnae Drumright of Trenton Central
106 Pounds

113 Pounds:

  • 1st Place – Sudesh Gurung of Nottingham
  • 2nd Place – Christian Micikas of Hopewell Valley
  • 3rd Place – Cory Stallworth of Trenton Central
  • 4th Place – Martin Brophy of Princeton
  • 5th Place – Aiden Weil of Robbinsville
  • 6th Place – Rommel Mendez of Lawrence

120 Pounds:

  • 1st Place – Joey Lamparelli of Allentown
  • 2nd Place – Jacob Venezia of Hopewell Valley
  • 3rd Place – Dylan Cifrodelli of Robbinsville
  • 4th Place – Joseph Obst of Hightstown
  • 5th Place – Silvia Aparicio of Hamilton West
  • 6th Place – Gavin White of Notre Dame

126 Pounds:

  • 1st Place – Drake Torrington of Robbinsville
  • 2nd Place – Allen Lopez of Hopewell Valley
  • 3rd Place – Anthony Verdi of Steinert
  • 4th Place – Giovanni Morina of Hightstown
  • 5th Place – Kolin O`Grady of Allentown
  • 6th Place – Bakhtiyar Bajwa of Lawrence
126 Pounds

132 Pounds:

  • 1st Place – Kether Thornton of Hightstown
  • 2nd Place – chris Sockler of Princeton
  • 3rd Place – Cole Cifrodelli of Robbinsville
  • 4th Place – Joe Vannozzi of Hopewell Valley
  • 5th Place – Alexander Samayoa of Ewing
  • 6th Place – David Aboasu of Nottingham
132 Pounds

138 Pounds:

  • 1st Place – Aaron Munford of Princeton
  • 2nd Place – Alejandro Lopez of Hopewell Valley
  • 3rd Place – Mason Louderback of Notre Dame
  • 4th Place – Isaiah Lederman of Robbinsville
  • 5th Place – Reece Schenck of Lawrence
  • 6th Place – Isaiah Thornton of Hightstown
138 Pounds

145 Pounds:

  • 1st Place – dominic Riendeau-Krause of Princeton
  • 2nd Place – Careem Frost of Lawrence
  • 3rd Place – Elijah Rodriguez of Hightstown
  • 4th Place – Owen Weigle of Ewing
  • 5th Place – Andrew Nixon of Hamilton West
  • 6th Place – Jeremy Murray of Robbinsville
145 Pounds

152 Pounds:

  • 1st Place – james romaine of Princeton
  • 2nd Place – Matt Paglia of Allentown
  • 3rd Place – Sean Mills of Lawrence
  • 4th Place – Brian Zeglarski of Hopewell Valley
  • 5th Place – RJ Stradling of Robbinsville
  • 6th Place – Robert Doss of Hightstown
152 Pounds

160 Pounds:

  • 1st Place – Nicholas Golden of Allentown
  • 2nd Place – Alex Stavrou of Hightstown
  • 3rd Place – Kwanir Edwards of Nottingham
  • 4th Place – Te`amo Nazario of Trenton Central
  • 5th Place – Ben Shevlin of Hopewell Valley
  • 6th Place – matt elsworth of Princeton
160 Pounds

170 Pounds:

  • 1st Place – Ryan Bennett of Hamilton West
  • 2nd Place – Jake Dallarda of Lawrence
  • 3rd Place – Tommy Zovich of West Windsor-Plainsboro North
  • 4th Place – Nicodemus Leaver of Hightstown
  • 5th Place – Gael Vasquez of Hopewell Valley
  • 6th Place – Manuel Roman of Nottingham
170 Pounds

182 Pounds:

  • 1st Place – Josh Beigman of Hopewell Valley
  • 2nd Place – Connor Verga of Lawrence
  • 3rd Place – Paskal Miga of Allentown
  • 4th Place – Dorian Henry of Nottingham
  • 5th Place – Ireayo Kuku of West Windsor-Plainsboro South
  • 6th Place – Clayton Resch of Steinert
182 Pounds

195 Pounds:

  • 1st Place – Chris Stavrou of Hightstown
  • 2nd Place – Brian LaCross of Hopewell Valley
  • 3rd Place – Timothy Glynn of West Windsor-Plainsboro North
  • 4th Place – Jaylen Bynes of Notre Dame
  • 5th Place – Jayson Williams of Trenton Central
  • 6th Place – Ricardo Cruz of Lawrence
195 Pounds

220 Pounds:

  • 1st Place – Bryan Bonilla of Hightstown
  • 2nd Place – Christian Cacciabaudo of Hopewell Valley
  • 3rd Place – Daniel Schweitzer of Allentown
  • 4th Place – Eric Brown of Trenton Central
  • 5th Place – Jonathan Jupiter of Nottingham
  • 6th Place – Mohamed Abdelatty of Lawrence

Heavyweight:

  • 1st Place – Brenden Hansen of Hightstown
  • 2nd Place – Matthew Moore of West Windsor-Plainsboro North
  • 3rd Place – John Snyder of Hopewell Valley
  • 4th Place – Jacob VanDenBogart of Allentown
  • 5th Place – Mateo Cruz of Robbinsville
  • 6th Place – Moaamen Nasr of Lawrence
Heavyweight