Category: Lawrence

Truck Fire Extinguished On Route 1 In Lawrence Township

June 30, 2022

LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–At 11:10 a.m. Lawrence Township Fire Companies were dispatched to a truck fire on Route 1 South Bound near Franklin Corner Road. Firefighters arrived to find a box truck well involved in fire. Firefighters pulled handlines and quickly extinguished the fire. Route 1 south bound was closed by Lawrence Police during the firefight. No further details are available at this time.



Above photos by: Brian McCarthy


Lawrenceville And Trenton Men Arrested For Theft And Desecration Of “Angel of Hope”

The pair scrapped the statue for $1,626.00 at a Philadelphia, PA, Scrapyard

June 21, 2022

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Police say that on May 7, 2022, the “Angel of Hope” statue was stolen from in front of 140 N Warren St. in Trenton, New Jersey. During the course of the investigation, it was found that Kevin L. Hampton, 51 years of age from Lawrenceville, New Jersey, and Zachary Carey, 48 years of age from Trenton, New Jersey were identified, charged, and arrested for the theft. During the investigation. detectives found that in the early morning hours of May 5th the statue was cut from its base in front of St. Mary’s Church, loaded into Hampton’s GMC Sierra pickup truck, then taken to a scrapyard in Philadelphia Pennsylvania, where Hampton and Carey scrapped the statue for $1,626.00

Both individuals were charged with Theft and Desecration of Venerated Objects.





File Photos by: Brian McCarthy


TPD Photo


Fire On Spruce Street In Lawrence Township Quickly Knocked Down

June 20, 2022

LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Around 9:56 p.m. the Trenton Radio Room was receiving multiple 9-1-1 calls for a reported fire at the corner of Spruce Street and Brunswick Avenue and the Trenton Fire Department was dispatched to the fire. Within a couple of minutes, the address was updated to an address in the 800 Block of Spruce in Lawrence Township and all Lawrence Township Fire Departments were dispatched to the scene. First arriving firefighters found heavy fire on the first-floor rear of the building and went in service with a 1 3/4″ hose line. Firefighters called for an “All Hands” sending additional equipment to the scene. Firefighters reported that primary and secondary searches were negative. Firefighters quickly knocked down the fire and remained on scene for overhaul. No additional information is available at this time.



Two Trenton Men Arrested In Lawrence Township For Residential Burglaries

May 13, 2022

LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Lawrence Township Police Chief Brian Caloiaro announced the arrest of 50-year-old Carlos Gomez of the first block of McKinnley Ave (Trenton, NJ) and 46-year-old Miguel Gomez of the 2000 block of Riverside Ave (Trenton, NJ) for residential burglaries that occurred in Lawrence Township. The men are responsible for two separate burglaries that occurred. The first home burglary took place on Slack Ave in December of 2021, and the second on Cresthill Rd in April of 2022. Both of the men arrested have been charged with committing the burglaries and will be held at the Mercer County Correctional Center pending a court appearance.

The Lawrence Township Police Department would like to thank the many Lawrence Township residents who provided important information that assisted with the successful outcome of this investigation. Detective Todd Caruso led the investigation, and was assisted by the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office.

Reminder all persons are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.


Developing: Reported Armed Robbery at Quaker Bridge Mall

May 6, 2022

LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Around 9:00 p.m. an alert was sent out on the Mercer County Crime Alert System reporting that Lawrence Police were looking for an armed robbery suspect fleeing from the Quaker Bridge Mall. The suspect vehicle was reported as a black Mercedes Benz sport utility with a broken out back window with black garbage bags taped over the broken window. It was unclear exactly what store was robbed or what was taken. Lawrence Township Police cars were seen in front of the 2nd floor entrance to Macy’s. This is a developing story. Once more information becomes available the story will be updated.



Million Dollar Replay Grand Prize Winner from Lawrenceville, NJ, Hamilton Man Wins 100K

$1,000,000  Ronald Demura Lawrenceville 

$100,000 Christopher Croux Hamilton 

April 29, 2022

New Jersey Lottery’s Million Dollar Replay Grand Prize Drawing was held today at Caesars Atlantic City Hotel and Casino, where more than $1,500,000 in prizes were awarded to our lucky players. Today’s top prize winner was Ronald Demura of Lawrenceville in Mercer County. The winner stood up in shock as his name was called out as New Jersey Lottery’s newest millionaire. Fourteen other Lottery players also received prizes ranging from $10,000 to $100,000 as part of the Grand Prize Drawing.

Throughout 2021, New Jersey Lottery players from all over the state submitted their non-winning instant tickets online for a second chance to win big prizes. Each quarter, 100 names were selected and awarded a $250 prize, as well as entry into today’s Grand Prize Drawing. An additional 19 raffle prizes were awarded to Million Dollar Replay finalists in attendance at the event today: seven $1,000 drawings, seven $300 Scratch-Offs drawings, and five gift basket drawings (containing $200 in Scratch-Offs plus Lottery swag). In addition to these drawings, there were 16 prizes drawn for the livestream sweepstakes open to the public, including one gift basket and 15 $200 Scratch-Off prizes. Guests also enjoyed the photo booth and prize wheels that provided many other opportunities to win.

New Jersey Lottery Executive Director James Carey, who assisted in the drawing, said, “I am thrilled to hold our 11th annual Million Dollar Replay.  After last year’s event was virtual due to the pandemic, we are excited to be back in-person.  Being able to add the excitement of minting a new millionaire makes it even better.”

Master of Ceremonies Steve Trevelise of NJ101.5 entertained the audience with jokes and witty banter throughout the event by interacting with the guests and prizewinners. Host Lauren Berman, conducted the drawing for the semi-finalists with the help of Lottery staff. The entire drawing process was completed under the observation of Mercadien, P.C. Certified Public Accountants.

The excitement of winning was already in the air when after Host Lauren Berman directed attention to the Big Spin wheel located next to the stage. The Big Spin game is New Jersey Lottery’s revolutionary new Scratch-Off that  allows  players  the  opportunity  to  extend  their  play  beyond  the  paper  ticket  to online for a chance to spin a large mechanical wheel to win up to $300,000. Two players won an opportunity to spin the wheel. Both contestants won $50,000 each. For information on The Big Spin Scratch-Off ticket and jackpot, visit our website at: https://www.njlottery.com/en-us/scratch-offs/01728.html

Grand Prize Winner Story:

Ronald Demura is a regular Lottery player, who plays consistently at the same two retailers near his home. He came to the Million Dollar Replay hoping to win something and was in shock when his name was called to win the million dollar prize. His wife and the rest of the room cheered as he began walking toward the winners’ table. Saying that he was ecstatic is an understatement. Ronald has been retired for a few years, enjoying life with his family. Now he will get to pay off his house and, hopefully, his wife can join him in retirement.


PrizeNameCity/State
$1,000,000 Ronald DemuraLawrenceville 
$100,000 Christopher CrouxHamilton 
$100,000 Thach HieuCamden 
$50,000 Rick Bunnell Rockaway
$50,000 Kevin LindholmWoodbridge 
$50,000 Richard San AndresFreehold 
$25,000 Daniel DesantoIselin 
$25,000 Mike SeminaraLedgewood 
$25,000 Patrick SweeneyRahway 
$25,000 James WelshmanBayville 
$10,000Andrea Giedosh Pitman 
$10,000 Dwayne AngleroCream Ridge 
$10,000 Kenneth OliverRoselle 
$10,000 Michelle SperberBeachwood 
$10,000Linda Handel Clifton 


Reefer Madness Hits New Jersey; Legal Pot Sales Brisk

Some customers waited in line for over 2+ hours on the first day of legal sales.

April 21, 2022

LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Customers waited in lines as long as the DMV was during Covid for their first fully legal recreational cannabis sales that started today on April 21, 2022. Customers told MidJersey.News that some were waiting in long lines for over 2+ hours at Zenleaf Dispensary in Lawrenceville as lines wrapped around the building.


Press pool story by: Brent Johnson 

Gov. Phil Murphy joined New Jersey’s top two state lawmakers Thursday on a tour of a dispensary as legal recreational marijuana sales began in the state.

“Congratulations,” Murphy told officials and staff members as he walked around Zen Leaf in Elizabeth, one of 12 locations that opened for adults 21 and over to buy weed legally.

Murphy got applause from people in line as he entered the facility, five years after he campaigned on legalizing marijuana. He was joined on the tour by state Senate President Nicholas Scutari, D-Union, state Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, D-Middlesex, and Elizabeth Mayor J. Christian Bollwage.

Murphy asked Coughlin: “You trying anything?”

“No,” Coughlin replied. “You?”

“No,” Murphy said. 

The governor noted this week marijuana is “not my thing” and he prefers Scotch.

Murphy also congratulated Scutari, who led the legislative effort for years to legalize pot. 

“Congratulations,” Murphy said. “We couldn’t have done it without you.”

“Thanks for the help,” Scutari said.

Zen Leaf General Manager Sonny Achrekar told Murphy there are separate lines for recreational and medical customers. He also said the dispensary opens for one hour each at the start and end of the day for patients only.

A staff member showed Murphy and the officials a bottle of sour watermelon gummies that cost $80 a bottle. 

Cashier was Israel DeJesus told Murphy that sales Thursday are expected to be “off the charts” and they have extra staff coming in.

“Thanks to you, man, everything is possible,” DeJesus told the governor. “This is what everyone is waiting for.” 


Photos by: Brian McCarthy, OnScene News

Long lines wrap around the building at Zenleaf, Lawrenceville:


Press Pool Photos below by: Michael Mancuso


Find a legal licensed dispensary at the following link:

https://data.nj.gov/d/uyq5-2c2g



DEVELOPING: Reported Fatal Motorcycle Crash Along the D&R Canal State Park Trail in Lawrence Township



March 21, 2022

LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Around 3:15 p.m. a 9-1-1 call was received reporting a vehicle crashed into the Delaware & Raritan Canal State Park, canal and was under water. Initial reports for the crash were for several locations including in the Whitehead Road area and Route 1, and behind WaWa near Bakers Basin Road. Lawrence Police, Lawrence Fire Departments, EMS and Capital Health Paramedics entered the trail from several points to try and find the exact location of the crash.

Lawrence Fire Department (Tower 20 crew) found a person on Route 1 waving the fire truck down near Mile Post 4.4 on the North Bound Side of the highway. It was the 9-1-1 caller; a companion who witnessed the motorcycle crash into the canal and pointed to the location of the accident.

The fire crew ran down the embankment toward the reported location and found a person in the water suffering from severe trauma and pulled the person out of water and began CPR. Police, EMS, along with Paramedics were directed to the proper location. The person was rushed to Capital Health Regional Medical Center in critical condition.

A dirt bike type motorcycle was found in the water. Lawrence Township Police had the D&R Canal path blocked off from Whitehead Road to Carnagie Road for the investigation.

MidJersey.News has not been able to officially confirm this was a fatal accident, but all indications are that the person was pronounced at the hospital. Lawrence Police Department and the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office referred press information to the New Jersey State Park Police, were a reporter was told that the public information officer was not available. Information contained in this report is from radio reports and on scene reporting, once official information becomes available the story will be updated.

According to the D&R Canal website: The historic towpath along the main canal from Bakers Basin Road (Trenton) to New Brunswick has a natural surface for hiking, jogging, horseback riding, and biking. From Mulberry Street to Bakers Basin Road, the trail is crushed stone. Horse trailers may be parked in some of the parking areas located along the main canal. The trail along the feeder canal is made of fine textured crushed stone and is for hiking, jogging and biking. No horses are permitted on the feeder canal trail. Motorized vehicles or ATV’s are not permitted on trails in the park.



Trenton Man Admits to Participating in String of Armed Robberies in NJ and PA in May and June of 2019

Armed Robberies took place in Trenton, Hamilton, Lawrence, Rahway in NJ and Bristol and Morrisville in PA

March 15, 2022

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Omar Feliciano-Estremera, 44, of Trenton, today admitted participating in a string of armed robberies of businesses in New Jersey and Pennsylvania in May and June of 2019, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.

Feliciano pleaded guilty court before U.S. District Judge Peter G. Sheridan in Trenton federal court to a five-count information charging him with one count of conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robbery, three substantive counts of Hobbs Act robbery, and one count of aiding and abetting the possession of a firearm which was discharged during a crime of violence.

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

Feliciano and his conspirator Gabriel Lopez, [deceased], formerly of Trenton, committed a string of armed robberies in May and June of 2019 of businesses located in Mercer County, New Jersey, Union County, New Jersey, and Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Lopez entered the businesses, brandished a handgun, and demanded money from the store clerks working the register. After stealing the money, Lopez fled the scene with the assistance of Feliciano, who acted as the getaway driver. While fleeing the scene of one of the robberies, in Union County, New Jersey, Lopez fired a handgun at passing witnesses, shortly before being picked up by Feliciano. Feliciano admitted to conspiring with Lopez to commit eight robberies and aiding and abetting three robberies, including the Union County robbery at which a firearm was discharged.

Each of the Hobbs Act charges carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. The charge of aiding and abetting the possession of a firearm that was discharged during a crime of violence carries a maximum penalty of life in prison and a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison. Each count also carries a maximum fine of up to $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense, whichever is greatest. Sentencing is scheduled for July 18, 2022.

U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr. in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea. He also thanked officers of the Hamilton Township, Trenton, Rahway, Morrisville, Bristol Township, and Lawrence Township Police Departments for their assistance.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexander E. Ramey of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Trenton.

22-094 

Defense counsel: Santos A. Perez Esq., Rochelle Park, New Jersey




NJ Convoy to DC North Route Day 1

March 5, 2022

The New Jersey Convoy to Washington DC started in North Jersey today near Mahwah and proceeded down several highways on their way to New Egypt Speedway for a rally at 6:00 p.m. On Sunday the Convoy will leave New Egypt Speedway and proceed to several highways and meet at Salem County Fairgrounds for a final send off to Washington DC on Monday.

According to NJTruckerConvoy.com In solidarity with our brothers and sisters nationwide in the global Freedom Convoy phenomenon, a peaceful, nonpartisan convoy & event has been planned statewide in New Jersey from March 5th – March 6th, 2022. We Americans love our freedoms and our country. This convoy aims to restore our civil liberties and freedoms. Our goal is to protect the freedom of choice for future generations. It’s not about political parties, but more so, we believe our government has forgotten its place and has no regard for our Founding Fathers’ instructions, The Constitution of the United States of America. We believe that the power of politicians on all sides has been abused. We demand our voices be heard once again. We, The People, of all political affiliations & walks of life, demand the restoration of our democracy and an end to all unconstitutional mandates.





Overturned Salt Truck on Route 1 in Lawrence Township in front of Shake Shack

February 24, 2022

LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Lawrence Township Police, Fire Departments and EMS were dispatched around 9:33 p.m. for an overturned truck with reported entrapment in front of Shake Shack on Route 1. Upon arrival it was found that a truck carrying salt overturned and ended up in front of Shake Shack narrowly missing the building. The driver was uninjured and was able to self-extricate and there was a small spill of fluids. Heavy duty tow trucks arrived and were working to upright the truck. The Lawrence Township Police Department is investigating the crash. No further information is available at this time.

Mercer County Proposed 2022 Budget Calls for Flat Tax Levy

February 22, 2022

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)– Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes has presented to the County Board of Commissioners his administration’s proposed 2022 budget, a $358 million spending plan that stays within the state-mandated 2-percent cap and would result in no increase to the tax levy.

Mr. Hughes on Feb. 22 presented an overview of his administration’s budget proposal to the commissioners, who will review the document over the coming weeks before voting on its adoption.

Of the total budget, $269 million would be collected through property taxes, the same levy as last year.

“This document represents our effort to provide the best possible government in the most cost-effective manner to the taxpayer,” Mr. Hughes said. “The ongoing pandemic has tested us as never before. While we may have changed the way we deliver some services, I am proud of the fact that we have continued to provide resources our residents expect, and I applaud the creativity of our county workforce, including this board, for their flexibility.”

A resident’s actual tax rate will rise or fall depending on his or her municipality once the county rate is equalized to reflect the difference between municipal property assessments and property market values.

The budget proposes that $6.5 million of the County’s surplus be used, leaving a $33 million balance, along with $22 million from the federal American Rescue Plan fund to “help offset the enormous expenditures incurred during the unprecedented pandemic response,” Mr. Hughes said. The spending plan “reflects our continued response to the challenges brought by the pandemic and the toll it has taken on the health of our residents, as well as our county finances, and as a result of our responsible planning, we can propose a budget that is considerate of our taxpayers and offers relief by holding the line,” Mr. Hughes added.


Robbinsville Ice Hockey Shuts Out Lawrence 6-0

February 11, 2022

WEST WINDSOR, NJ (MERCER)–The Robbinsville – Allentown High School Cooperative Ice Hockey team shuts out Lawrence Township High School with a final score of 6-0 in the Mercer County Tournament.

The Robbinsville – Allentown will advance to the semifinal round to be held at 8:00 p.m. on February 16, 2022. The match up will be decided after Notre Dame and Hopewell play their quarterfinal game on Monday, February 14, 2022.

Mercer County Sites Offer Tax Help to Qualified Citizens

February 8, 2022

Free tax preparation assistance available in Mercer County

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)— Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes reminds residents that many sites throughout Mercer County offer free income tax preparation assistance to help them prepare and file their 2021 taxes. The deadline for filing 2021 tax returns for both state and federal taxes is April 18, 2022. Below is a list of sites where free income tax preparation assistance is being provided to qualified individuals. Call the site for required paperwork.

AARP Tax-Aide program sites in Mercer County

The AARP Foundation provides Tax-Aides to assist people with low to moderate incomes with 2018 tax preparation at Mercer County Connection, libraries and other sites. For more information, including a list of documents to bring to the Tax-Aide site, visit www.aarp.org/money/taxes/aarp_taxaide/.

Ewing Branch, Mercer County Library System, 61 Scotch Road, Ewing
Wednesdays, 1:30 to 5 p.m. Appointment necessary; call (609) 882-3148.

Ewing Library Hollowbrook Branch, 320 Hollowbrook Drive, Ewing
Thursdays, 9 a.m. to noon. Appointment necessary; call (609) 883-5914.

Hamilton Senior Center, 409 Cypress Lane, Hamilton
Thursdays, 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Appointment necessary; call (609) 890-3686.

Hopewell Branch, Mercer County Library System, 245 Pennington Titusville Road, Pennington
Tuesdays, 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Appointment necessary; call (609) 737-2610.

Lawrence Headquarters Branch, Mercer County Library System, 2751 Brunswick Ave., Lawrence
Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Appointment necessary; call (609) 882-9246.

Lawrence Senior Center, 30 East Darrah Lane, Lawrence
Tuesdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Appointment necessary; call (609) 844-7048. Seniors preferred.

Mercer County Connection, through United Way, 957 Route 33 (Acme shopping center), Hamilton
Mondays and Wednesdays, 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Appointment necessary; call (609) 890-9800. Mercer County residents only.

Princeton Public Library, 65 Witherspoon St., Princeton
Mondays, 10:15 a.m. to 2 p.m. Appointment necessary; call (609) 924-9529, ext.1220

Princeton Senior Resource Center, 45 Stockton St., Princeton
Fridays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Appointment necessary; call (609) 924-7108.

Robbinsville Branch, Mercer County Library System, 42 Robbinsville Allentown Road, Robbinsville
Wednesdays, 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Appointment necessary; call (609) 259-2150.

RWJ Fitness and Wellness Center, 3100 Quakerbridge Road, Mercerville
Wednesdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Appointment necessary; call (609) 584-5900.

West Windsor Senior Center, 271 Clarksville Road, Princeton Junction
Tuesdays, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Appointment necessary; call (609) 799-9068.

IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program sites in Mercer County

The VITA Program generally offers free tax help to people who make $54,000 or less, people with disabilities, and limited-English-speaking taxpayers who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to qualified individuals in local communities. For more information, visit www.irs.gov/Individuals/Free-Tax-Return-Preparation-for-You-by-Volunteers.

Boys & Girls Club of Trenton, 212 Centre St., Trenton
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, noon. to 3 p.m. Walk-ins welcome; call (609) 392-3191 for required paperwork.

Boys & Girls Club of Mercer County, 1040 Spruce St., Lawrence
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, noon. to 3 p.m. Walk-ins welcome; call (609) 392-3191 for required paperwork.

Catholic Charities of Trenton, 39 North Clinton Ave, Building 1, Side Door, Trenton
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, noon to 3 p.m. Walk-ins welcome; call (609) 394-5181 for required paperwork.

United Way of Greater Mercer County, 3150 Brunswick Pike, Crossroads Corporate Center, Suite 230, Lawrence
Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 5 to 8 p.m., Thursdays, 9 a.m. to noon, and Saturdays, noon to 3 p.m. Appointment required; call (609) 896-1912, for required paperwork.


$7 Million Investment in Gunshot Detection Technology and Other Police Equipment to Reduce Gun Violence

25 Grant Recipients of $8.2 Million in Community-Based Violence Intervention Funding, the Largest Such Program in State History

January 27, 2022

 Governor Phil Murphy and Acting Attorney General Andrew J. Bruck today announced a $7 million investment in gunshot detection technology and other law enforcement equipment to reduce gun violence using federal American Rescue Plan funds. In addition, Governor Murphy and Acting Attorney General Bruck announced that 25 non-profit organizations will receive $8.2 million in grant funding for community-based violence intervention (CBVI) programming, the largest such investment in New Jersey’s history.


“Combating gun violence is a multi-faceted problem that requires a multi-faceted approach,” said Governor Murphy. “The funding announced today will provide resources to both law enforcement agencies and community partners, equipping them with much-needed resources as we continue to fight the epidemic of gun violence. Today’s announcement allows us to make our communities safer while we continue advocating for commonsense gun safety measures.”


“Today’s historic investment in gun violence prevention reflects the Murphy Administration’s commitment to protecting the safety of all New Jersey residents,” said Acting Attorney General Bruck. “I applaud Governor Murphy for recognizing that we cannot reduce gun violence unless we invest in both law enforcement and the community, and for demonstrating that one of the best ways to strengthen public trust is by ensuring public safety.”


New Jersey is investing $7 million in technology-driven violence reduction to allow communities across New Jersey to acquire and enhance gunshot detection technology and related infrastructure improvements, making it easier for first responders and law enforcement to more effectively respond to—and reduce—gun violence in New Jersey’s communities. This funding comes amid a national spike in gun violence.


The funding will allow recipients to acquire a fully integrated network of three distinct systems, including an acoustic detection system, a video management system, and a system of automatic license plate readers. When combined, these systems allow first responders to more quickly render lifesaving medical aid to victims of gun violence and assist law enforcement in identifying shooters, leading to faster apprehension and reduced instances of retaliatory violence.


Through this investment, agencies like the Paterson Police Department will be able to direct resources to areas where they are most necessary and at the exact time when such service means the difference between life and death. The technology will also help prosecutors obtain the kind of evidence necessary to meet their burden of proof and uphold community faith in the justice system.


“The $7 million we announced today for New Jersey police departments will help provide state-of-the-art technologies to combat the scourge of gun violence in our communities,” said U.S. Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr. “This funding comes directly from President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, which I proudly helped pass last year. With it, our communities’ Finest will have the tools and resources they need to prevent and respond to gun violence. As we continue to mourn the tragic loss of Robert Cuadra, let us redouble our efforts to stomp-out gun violence in our streets. Enough is enough.”

“Gun violence has impacted far too many precious lives in Paterson and across our state,” said Assembly members Shavonda Sumter and Benjie Wimberly, whose district includes Paterson. “This senseless violence is upending the lives of families and our communities. The funding announced today by Governor Murphy and Acting Attorney General Bruck will help us combat the violence on our streets by both empowering law enforcement and community-based organizations that do critical groundwork. We must continue to work to create secure and healthy environments for all. We look forward to working with the administration to continue making Paterson safe.”


“Public safety is a high priority in Paterson,” said Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh. “We are combating gun violence in Paterson and this initiative will enhance our efforts. We appreciate the Governor’s leadership in making Paterson a safer city.”

Also announced today are the recipients of $8.2 million in state grant dollars for violence intervention programs, including 25 community organizations in 15 municipalities covering every region of the state. This historic investment will support intervention strategies that provide alternatives to violence and embody a community-based public safety model.


Among the recipients are two non-profit organizations that serve the Paterson area: Reimagining Justice, Inc. and the Juvenile Education and Awareness Project, both of which work to build community support for violence reduction. In 2021, law enforcement reported 110 shooting incidents in Paterson, resulting in 18 homicides by gunfire.


“The NJVIP community advocates have worked tirelessly to advocate for investment for community based public safety organizations to get meaningful investment for the lifesaving boot-on-the-ground work we have been doing in our communities to end gun violence,” said Dr. Liza Chowdhury of Reimagining Justice. “This investment today will help our organizations address the pain people face in communities most impacted by violence, provide desperately needed resources that help communities thrive and do the important prevention work that is needed so we don’t have to wait for someone to be the next gunshot victim. We thank the Governor’s office and leaders around the state who continue to support our work and honor their commitment by their investment.”


The complete list of grant recipients receiving funding under the CBVI program is as follows:


1. Juvenile Education and Awareness Project, Passaic ($47,087)
2. Reimagining Justice, Inc., Paterson ($500,000)
3. Newark Community Street Team, Inc., Newark ($499,996)
4. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Coastal & Northern NJ, Asbury Park ($93,416)
5. Mighty Writers, Camden ($500,000)
6. Advocacy Foundation, Inc., Atlantic County ($365,758)
7. HMH Jersey Shore University Medical Center, Neptune ($499,957)
8. Hope and Future, Inc., West New York ($250,000)
9. James R Halsey Foundation of the Arts, Trenton ($50,000)
10. After School All Stars New Jersey, Newark ($118,950)
11. Salvation and Social Justice, Trenton ($500,000)
12. Center For Family Services, Inc., Camden ($245,008)
13. United Community Corporation, Newark ($500,000)
14. Life Worth Living, Inc., Bridgeton ($430,885)
15. Elizabeth Youth Theatre Ensemble, Elizabeth ($380,240)
16. Prevention Education, Inc. T/A PEI Kids, Lawrence ($348,990)
17. United Advocacy Group, Inc., Bridgeton ($261,310)
18. The Alcove Center for Grieving Children and Families, Inc., Galloway ($52,545)
19. Anti-Violence Coalition of Hudson County, Jersey City ($500,000)
20. Nicholas Luciano Safe Way Out A NJ Nonprofit, Mount Laurel ($200,000)
21. Inside Outside Circle Foundation, Newark ($181,153)
22. The HUBB Arts & Trauma Center (FP YouthOutCry Foundation, Inc.), Newark ($487,343)
23. Hear My Cries A NJ Nonprofit Organization, Newark ($498,000)
24. REFAL, INC., Newark ($500,000)
25. Weequahic Park Environmental Authority, Newark ($227,000)
 
These violence intervention and reduction announcements are part of the Murphy Administration’s ongoing efforts to prevent gun violence by addressing the root causes of violence, supporting innovative policing initiatives, building the technological infrastructure to improve response times, and engaging and empowering traditionally underserved communities to cope with the trauma gun violence leaves in its wake.



Mercer County Prosecutor’s Internet Crimes Against Children UnitArrests Lawrence Township Man

January 26, 2022

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri reported today that an investigation into online child exploitation has resulted in the arrest of a Lawrence Township man.

Kelly Skeel, 45, of Lawrence, NJ, is charged with second-degree possession of child pornography.  The prosecutor’s office has filed a motion to detain Skeel pending trial.

Detectives with the prosecutor’s Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Unit recently received information from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that an individual in Mercer County was uploading child pornography.  An investigation was initiated and Skeel was identified as a subject.  On Tuesday, January 25, 2022, detectives with ICAC executed a search warrant at Skeel’s residence in Lawrence.  He was detained without incident and several electronics were seized.  Forensic previews conducted on multiple DVDs at the home along with further investigation revealed thousands of images and videos of child pornography and erotica.

Second-degree crimes carry a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $150,000.  Third-degree crimes carry a sentence of three to five years in state prison and a fine of up to $15,000.

Prosecutor Onofri urged anyone with information about suspected improper contact by unknown persons communicating with children via the internet or possible exploitation or sexual abuse of children to please contact his Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Unit at 609-989-6568 or the New Jersey Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force tip line at 888-648-6007.

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


Update: East Brunswick Man, Identified as Victim of Hopewell Township Crash on I-295

December 21, 2021

HOPEWELL TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–At 2:07 p.m. all Lawrence Township Fire Companies, Lawrence EMS, Captial Health Paramedics and NJ State Police were detailed to I-295 for a serious crash originally reported as in Lawrence Township. Firefighters found the accident well off the roadway into the woods behind a guardrail near the 71.6 South bound mile marker and it was determined that the accident was in Hopewell Township. 

A New Jersey State Police Spokesperson told MidJersey.news that at 2:07 p.m. troopers responded to a motor vehicle crash in which a vehicle had run off the road on I-295 southbound Mile Post 71.6 in Hopewell Township.  Preliminary investigation revealed that a Kia Optima exited the road to the left and struck several trees.  The driver, Michael Manne, 26, of East Brunswick, NJ, sustained fatal injuries.  The cause of the crash remains under investigation and there is no further information available.

Earlier MidJersey.News story here:

Developing: Fatal Accident Reported on I-295 in Hopewell Township

Update:


December 21, 2021

HOPEWELL TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–At 2:07 p.m. all Lawrence Township Fire Companies, Lawrence EMS, Captial Health Paramedics and NJ State Police were detailed to I-295 for a serious crash originally reported as in Lawrence Township. Firefighters found the accident well off the roadway into the woods behind a guardrail near the 71.6 South bound mile marker and it was determined that the accident was in Hopewell Township. Capital Health Paramedics were called to the scene for a “pronouncement” Firefighters started a recovery extrication at 4:20 p.m. The New Jersey State Police is currently on scene with an active accident investigation as of 5:45 p.m.

A New Jersey State Police spokesperson told MidJersey.news that Troopers are investigating a serious motor vehicle accident with life threatening injuries on I-295 southbound at milepost 71.6, Hopewell Twp, Mercer County.  This is an active investigation and the only information that is available at this time.


Update: Loaded Handgun at Lawrence Township High School Causes Lockdown; Student Charged with Weapons Offences

December 8, 2021

LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–On Wednesday December 8, 2021, at approximately 0830hrs, the administration at Lawrence High School was informed that a student was possibly in possession of a weapon. They, along with Lawrence Township Police Department School Resource Officer Steven Austin located the student and recovered a loaded handgun. The student was immediately taken into custody without incident.

The Lawrence Township Police Department in conjunction with the Lawrence High School administration, Mercer County Prosecutors Office and Mercer County Sheriffs Department began conducting a detailed investigation. At this time, the school was placed in lockdown and a K-9 sniff of all student’s book bags was conducted. No other weapons were located during this investigation. The exterior of the school and the surrounding area were also searched by officers which yielded negative results.

The student who was taken into custody is being charged with the following offenses:

• Possession of a Weapon

• Possession of a Weapon for Unlawful Purposes

• Possession of a firearm on school grounds

• Possession of a defaced firearm

All other questions can be directed to Chief Brian Caloiaro at (609)844-7101 or PIO Lt. Christopher Longo at (609)844-7128


Photos by Brian McCarthy, OnScene News


This morning’s MidJersey.News story:


DEVELOPING: Lawrence High School Locked Down When Weapon Brought to School

December 8, 2021

LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Lawrence Township High School was locked down this morning when it was reported a student brought a weapon to school. Police responded immediately and searched for additional weapons.

Shortly after 11:00 a.m. the situation was reportedly under control and there was no imminent threat to students. The building has been cleared by police. The school is in the process of returning belongings to students that were searched.

This is a developing story check back for further information as it is released.


Just for everyone’s information, the police are at Lawrence High School and there is no imminent threat at this time. An active investigation is being conducted and further information will be released in the near future



On Behalf of Dr. Adam:

Hello Lawrence High School,

I would like to thank you all for your patience and cooperation. Lawrence High School is now clear. We received information that a student brought a weapon to school which caused us to lock down the building. Once it was determined that there was no imminent threat to our students, staff or the school, we moved to a shelter in place (Lockdown with instruction).

With the support of the Lawrence Township Police Department and the Mercer County Prosecutors office, we searched all backpacks and belongings, which verified that there are no additional weapons.

At this time the building has been cleared.

We understand that this situation has been concerning but we thank you for your patience, as our #1 priority is to ensure that our students are safe and our building is secure. For any students or staff that needs to speak with someone, the counselors will be available.

We are in the process of returning all belongings to the students. Please note that there was no administrative directive to take away students’ cell phones, but it is possible that some were left in backpacks during the search process.

Again, we thank you for your patience and cooperation this morning!






Fully Involved Vehicle Fire On I-295 in Lawrence Township

November 25, 2021

LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–A vehicle fire disrupted traffic on Interstate 295 in Lawrence Township Wednesday evening, Nov. 24. Pennington Borough Fire Chief Jim DeForte was driving through the area when he spotted the fire on the northbound side of I-295 near Milepost 69.6, just north of the Exit 69 (Lawrence Road/Route 206) interchange, about 7 p.m. DeForte radioed for Lawrence Township firefighters to be dispatched. The vehicle was fully-engulfed in fire, so Pennington Fire Company’s 3,500-gallon tanker was also dispatched in case additional water was needed above the 500 gallons carried aboard Lawrenceville Fire Company’s first-due apparatus, Telesquirt 23. Northbound traffic was reduced to one lane while firefighters extinguished the blaze. Slackwood Fire Company also responded to assist. There was no reported injuries.


NJ National Guard Major Promoted to Next Rank

November 12, 2021

LAWRENCEVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–U.S. Army Major Joshua Ferris Yorgey, Joint Operations Center, Operations Officer, New Jersey National Guard, was promoted to next rank, Nov 7, 2021, in Lawrenceville, NJ. The JOC Directorate, leads, plans, coordinates, and manages all aspects of NJNG Defense Support to Civil Authorities. (U.S. Army National Guard photos by SSG Diana Rossi)

Lawrence Township Police Officer Arrested on Charge of Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material

November 11, 2021

LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–According to the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office, a Lawrence Township police officer was arrested November 10 for allegedly possessing dozens of files of child sex abuse material (CSAM) on his mobile phone.

Officer Shane Hickey, 29, of Lawrence Township, N.J. was charged by complaint-summons with a charge of third-degree possession of CSAM. Following a tip to the New Jersey State Police’s Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Unit and a subsequent State Police investigation, Hickey is alleged to have emailed himself 45 files of CSAM using a cellphone. The cellphone account was traced back to Hickey.

A court appearance is pending. Hickey has been suspended from the Lawrence Township Police Department.

Third-degree charges carry a sentence of three to five years in state prison and a fine of up to $15,000. 

The charge is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty. 

Defense Attorney: Undetermined.



U.S. Department of Labor Announces Recipients of 2021 Hire Vets Medallion Awards

Employers recognized for commitment to veterans in the workforce

November 10, 2021


Within the greater MidJersey.news coverage area the following are listed:

Jingoli Power, Lawrenceville, NJ

EPS Corporation, Tinton Falls, NJ

Renaissance Global Services, Homdel, NJ

CMS Technology, Bridgewater, NJ

Messer North America, Bridgewater, NJ

Sigma Design Company, LLC., Middlesex Borough

Verizon, Basking Ridge, NJ

A complete list with map here: https://www.hirevets.gov/awardees


WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor today presented the 2021 Honoring Investments in Recruiting and Employing American Military Veterans Medallion Award to 849 employers from across the nation at a virtual ceremony. The annual awards recognize employers across the nation for their investment in recruiting, employing and retaining veterans.

As of 2021, the department has presented more than 2,200 HIRE Vets Medallion Awards to more than 1,400 employers.

During the event, Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh led a discussion with three employers who have received the award. Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Veterans’ Employment and Training James D. Rodriguez and Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Ramón Colón-López thanked this year’s recipients for their commitment to veterans in the workforce.

“More than 1,400 U.S. employers have now earned the HIRE Vets Medallion Award. These companies recognize the unique value that veterans bring to the workforce,” said Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh. “These employers are demonstrating their commitment to employ, retain and support America’s military veterans, and doing their part to recognize and repay the sacrifice made by those who have served our nation.”

Administered by the department’s Veterans Employment and Training Service, the department presents HIRE Vets Medallion Awards at the Platinum and Gold levels to large, medium and small employers. VETS assesses award nominees on criteria including veteran hiring and retention, providing veteran-specific resources, leadership programming, dedicated human resources, compensation programs and tuition assistance programs.

Learn more about the HIRE Vets Medallion Award




Film Premiere “A Two-Front War” Honoring African-American Veterans This Thursday November 11, 2021 At Rider University

November 9, 2021

LAWRENCEVILLE, NJ (MERCER)— Rider University’s Department of Film & Television and Veterans and Military Affairs Office are hosting a film premiere at Rider University on Thursday, Nov. 11 at 6:00 p.m. to honor the legacy of African-American World War Veterans.

“A Two-Front War” is a film directed by Rider University Senior Film and TV major, Dani Jackson. The docuseries explores the fight for civil rights by African-American World War Veterans.

“I hope viewers leave understanding the sacrifice, struggles, and achievements that African-American veterans have experienced in order to better the lives of all Americans,” said Jackson, who has been working on this project for two years. “My only goal on Thursday is to honor their legacy.”

The event begins at 6:00 p.m. with a reception being held at the Center for Diversity and Inclusion. The film showing will begin at 7:00 p.m. in the BLC Theater and will be followed by a panel discussion.

To reserve free tickets to the “A Two-Front War” film premiere, please visit: atwofrontwar.eventbrite.com.


The Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office ObservesDomestic Violence Awareness Month

October 28, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–As Domestic Violence Awareness Month comes to an end, the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office would like to remind the community that we are here to help. Domestic violence transcends all boundaries: age, gender, race, ethnic, geographical, economic and sexual orientation. Applications for temporary restraining orders are available Monday through Friday during business hours at the Mercer County Civil Courthouse located at 175 South Broad Street in Trenton. After business hours and on weekends, TRO applications can be made at your local police department. Our Office of Victim Witness Advocacy is here to assist you at (609) 989-6428. If you are in imminent danger or an emergency situation, always call 9-1-1.

Criminal Charges Filed Against Voorhees Man In Fatal Pedestrian Crash In Lawrence Township

October 13, 2021

LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri and Lawrence Township Chief of Police Brian M. Caloiaro announced today that an investigation into a fatal motor vehicle crash that occurred Monday morning in the area of Route 1 Northbound and Bakers Basin Road has resulted in criminal charges being filed against a Voorhees man.

Frank Claybrooks, 54, is charged with second-degree leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death and third-degree endangering an injured victim. He was processed and released pending future court proceedings.

On Monday, October 11, 2021, at approximately 6:40 a.m., Lawrence police responded to area of Route 1 Northbound and Bakers Basin Road after receiving a call from a driver who observed a person down in the roadway. Upon arrival, patrol officers located a deceased female pedestrian who was later identified as Maria Angelica Moran-Moreira, 54, of Lawrenceville.

Detectives located area surveillance footage and spoke with witnesses. The investigation revealed that a flat-bed tractor trailer making a right turn onto Route 1 from Bakers Basin Road struck the victim in the roadway at approximately 5:55 a.m. Claybrooks was operating the truck.

The charges are the result of an investigation by Detectives Todd Caruso, Sean Kerins and Joseph Radlinsky of the Lawrence Township Police Department and Detectives Natalie Martinez and Ryan Minnick of the prosecutor’s Serious Collision Response Team.

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





Fatal Accident Investigation Closes Route 1 At Bakers Basin Road Backs Traffic Over 3 Miles Into Trenton

October 11, 2021 — Updated

On Monday October 11, 2021 at 6:38 a.m., the Lawrence Township Police Department Communications Center received a telephone call from a driver stating that he believes that he observes a person down in the roadway in the area of Route 1 and Bakers Basin Road.  On patrols arrival, a fatality was discovered in the roadway with a pedestrian struck. As a result, the roadway was shut down so that an investigation could be completed.

At this time, the motor vehicle crash is still under investigation. The identity of the pedestrian is unknown. Detective Joseph Radlinsky of the Lawrence Twp. Police Department is heading the investigation with assistance from Detectives from the Mercer County Prosecutors Office Fatal Motor Vehicle Crash Unit. If anyone was a witness to this crash or has any further information, please contact Detective Radlinsky at (609)844-7134 or jradlinsky@lawrencetwp.com


Earlier story here:

LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–The Lawrence Township Police Department and EMS responded to the intersection of Route 1 North Bound at Bakers Basin Road for a reported pedestrian accident around 6:45 a.m. Upon arrival of Police and EMS it was reported that it was a fatal accident. Lawrence Township Police and the Mercer County Prosecutors Office Serious Collision Response Team (SCRT) was at the scene investigating.

Since Route 1 was closed for the accident investigation traffic was backed up over three miles into Trenton. Continue to avoid the area until the investigation is completed.





Multi Vehicle Crash Causes Traffic Delays In Lawrence Township

September 15, 2021

LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)—Around 7:40 a.m. a multiple vehicle accident occurred on I-295 (near the Young’s Road-Lawrence Station Road Overpass) around the 66.6 North Bound mile marker. There were reports of multiple vehicles involved and initial reports said up to 11 vehicles were involved. Luckily there were no reported serious injuries that needed immediate transportation to the hospital. Traffic was backed up for miles until the vehicles were cleared from the scene.

No further information is available at this time.




Hughes Announces Opening Of FEMA/Mercer Disaster Recovery Center

Weekdays 7 a.m.-7 p.m.; weekends 8 a.m.-5 p.m., at Hollowbrook Center

September 14, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–

TRENTON – Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Mercer County has opened a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) at Hollowbrook Community Center, 320 Hollowbrook Drive, Ewing Township, to assist any Mercer County residents or businesses whose property was damaged in the remnants of Hurricane Ida. The DRC is open starting today, Sept. 14 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays, and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sunday. Residents do not need to schedule an appointment to visit the center, nor must they be Mercer County residents.

The DRC will be staffed by FEMA representatives who can provide information on FEMA disaster aid and answer questions. Again, the DRC is open to residents and businesses from every municipality in Mercer County, and residents from any other county that received the FEMA “Disaster” declaration.

On Sept. 10, Mercer County residents were declared eligible to register for Individual Assistance with FEMA. Residents who previously registered for assistance via the Internet or by phone do not need to visit the DRC, but can ask questions or seek further information in person at the DRC. The eligibility for FEMA Individual Assistance means residents or business owners whose properties were directly damaged by the flooding or storm events on September 1-3 can apply to recoup their losses.

What is a Disaster Recovery Center?

A DRC is a readily accessible facility or mobile office where applicants may go for information about FEMA or other disaster assistance programs, or for questions related to a specific case.

Some of the services that a DRC may provide:

  • Guidance regarding disaster recovery
  • Clarification of any written correspondence received
  • Housing Assistance and Rental Resource information
  • Answers to questions, resolution to problems and referrals to agencies that may provide further assistance
  • Status of applications being processed by FEMA.
  • SBA program information if there is a SBA Representative at the Disaster Recovery Center site.

Affected residents and business owners can begin the disaster application process by registering online at DisasterAssistance.gov or registering by phone at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired.

The toll-free numbers are available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. local time Monday through Sunday, and applicants registering for aid should be prepared to provide basic information such as their name, the name of the business, address, phone number, insurance coverage, and other information to help substantiate losses.

Individual Assistance, if awarded, can cover reimbursement for a variety of storm-related expenses.

These include, but are not limited to: rental payments for temporary housing for those whose homes are uninhabitable; grants for home repairs and replacement of essential household items not covered by insurance; low-interest loans to cover residential losses not fully compensated by insurance; loans for small businesses that suffered disaster-related cash flow problems; and loans for farmers and other agriculture operators to cover property loss.

Additionally, mall businesses and most private nonprofit organizations in Mercer County are eligible to apply for Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the Small Business Administration. For more information, visit https://disasterloanassistance.sba.gov/ela/s/.

Residents in need of assistance with damage from Tropical Storm Ida may call a Home Cleanup Hotline at 844-965-1386 to be connected with volunteers from local relief organizations and community groups that may be able to assist with cutting fallen trees, removing drywall, flooring and appliances, tarping roofs and mitigating mold.

The hotline will remain open through Sept. 17