Category: Lawrence

County Executive Hughes Calls For Answers, Changes In Wake Of Election Challenges; Robbinsville Mayor Dave Fried Provides Update

November 12, 2022

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–In the wake of numerous issues with voting and counting on Election Day, challenges that are still under investigation, Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes is calling for a thorough public review of what went wrong and a comprehensive overhaul of the elections process in Mercer County.

“After issues in the last two elections, I have come to the conclusion that we must fundamentally change the management of the election process in Mercer County because it is clearly not working,” the County Executive said. “There are legal limits to what I can do as County Executive but rest assured that I will do everything within my power to ensure the integrity of elections in Mercer County and will tolerate nothing less.”

In Mercer County, three separate entities, the Board of Elections, the Superintendent of Elections, and the Office of the County Clerk each plays a role in elections. Board of Elections commissioners are appointed by the respective County Chairs of the Republican and Democratic Parties, the Superintendent of Elections is an appointee of the Governor, and the County Clerk is an elected position.

“I am happy that Mercer County Clerk Paula Sollami-Covello requested that the County Prosecutor look into the election. But we also need a more thorough and public review. We’ve got too many people in control and the quality of our elections has suffered as a result, undermining peoples’ faith in the democratic process,” Mr. Hughes said.

Moving forward, County Executive Hughes proposes the following:

  • Request a special meeting of the Commissioner Board to bring together the Clerk, Superintendent and Election Board Chair explain to the public what went wrong.
  • Reform and simplify our election process by merging and unifying the Office of the Superintendent and the Board into one, and having an experienced Executive Director oversee our elections.
  • Call on legislators to enact changes that will allow Mercer County to reform our system.
  • Pledge any county resources needed to ensure every vote is counted and help get to the bottom of what went wrong hasten and conclude investigation.

“I pledge to you that we will get to the bottom of this and that every vote will be counted,” Mr. Hughes said. “I have listened to the people of Mercer County and have spoken with election officials, and we are committed to finding out how we can improve the election process and to prevent future incidents as the one on Election Day.”

In Mercer County, the Office of the County Executive does not supervise the Board, their offices, nor does it have jurisdiction. The board is responsible for selecting polling places, training board workers, receiving and counting vote-by-mail ballots, and counting and certifying provisional ballots. The Superintendent of Elections handles voter registration, renews registration records, investigates provisional ballots, and is the custodian of voting machines. The County Clerk designs and prints all election ballots, processes vote by mail applications, and officially certifies the election results.

File photo: Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes


File photo: Robbinsville Township Mayor Dave Fried

Robbinsville Township Mayor Dave Fried said in a Facebook post:

“Regarding the events of Election Day, here is what we know so far.

Either the machine scanners did not work, or the ballots were printed incorrectly and the machines did their jobs and correctly spit them out as invalid. An investigation is reportedly under way, and Robbinsville will join other elected officials across Mercer County to see that the investigation is complete and transparent.

Let me be clear: I am not blaming anyone. Honestly, I do not know how this happened. Pointing fingers without all the facts is not productive. We do know that this is the second straight year the County process did not work as it should have, and I am not happy with much of what I saw.

One of the basic tenets of our democracy is the right to vote, and that every vote will be counted.

As of today, it appears our District 5 ballots (Library) have been found after having been misplaced. That information was given directly to our Municipal Clerk Michele Seigfried from the County.

Just a quick note about our clerk’s office. Michele and her team of Deputy Clerk Kaitlyn Macellaro and Sandy DeLorenzo performed exceptionally under extremely difficult conditions this past week. I cannot thank them enough for their service to our Township. The same goes for our Administration team, led by B.A. Joy Tozzi, each of whom worked all hours of the day and night in the chaotic aftermath of Election Day.

Over in Princeton, it seems they discovered ballots still in their machines. During in-person voting on Election Day, two slots for placing ballots were used. The first was the so-called emergency slot. This was used in the early part of the day because officials had hoped the scanner problems could be fixed before polls closed. As the day went on, that emergency bin became full and the scanners were removed so the main bin could be used. They discovered Princeton’s ballots were still in some of those containers since both sides were not emptied. It also appears that the documentation of the chain of custody regarding our ballots was quite poor, allowing the ballots to be apparently misplaced for a time.

The courts have ordered all the machines returned to the Mercer County Board of Elections for inspection to ensure there are no more ballots in those machines, including the ones deployed in Robbinsville.

I DO NOT believe there was any type of fraud, and I DO NOT believe there are any conspiracies at work here. I do believe mistakes were made at a time in our nation when it can ill-afford to stumble on Election Day.

We have spent millions of dollars on these machines and ballots, and they clearly did not work as advertised. It is time to reassess and come up with a better system. Those of you who voted early did not seem to have any issues. Perhaps we need to consider moving entirely in that direction. I will be attending all upcoming Mercer County Commissioner’s meetings until we have a real and fortified plan. Together, I am hopeful we will come up with a solution. Robbinsville has no intention of paying for this process unless real change is implemented.

I have no reason to believe, even with ballots that may or may not still be out there, that our local results will change.

Thus, I sincerely congratulate our three new Board of Education members – Jeffrey Pierro, Raghu Nandan and Peter Oehlberg. I wish each of you the best of luck, and I am sorry your first election was fraught with so much turmoil.

I have always said putting your name on a ballot is one of the most difficult – but potentially rewarding things – a person can do. Although no candidate should have to wait days for results in 2022, each of you earned your rightful place among your other BOE members.

While Ballot Question #1, which sought to combine our Planning and Zoning Boards into a consolidated Land Use Board, did pass, Ballot Question #2 regarding an increase in our Open Space tax to preserve more land and slow development did not. I know times are tough. That is why we put items such as these questions on the ballot. Sometimes we think we know what the residents want, but this process helps us know for certain.”





Missing Votes Found And Being Counted In Mercer County

November 10, 2022

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Mercer County Clerk Paula Sollami Covello told MidJersey.News in an email, “Although this is under the board of elections, I have been informed that they were all found by them and are being counted.”

As reported yesterday by MidJersey.news a bag of Robbinsville emergency ballots went missing, and also 3 Princeton districts also appeared to be missing as of this morning.

The Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office Spokesperson  Casey DeBlasio, told MidJersey.news in an email, “I can confirm the county clerk did reach out to the prosecutor today.  We are reviewing her concerns to determine what further action should be taken.”

MidJersey.news did reach out to Mercer County Board of Elections this morning and have not received a reply yet.

Check back with MidJersey.news we will update as information becomes available.

Yesterday’s MidJersey.News story here:




Mercer County Unofficial Results

November 9, 2022

MERCER COUNTY, NJ –See below for unofficial election results at of 11/9/2022 at 4:00 p.m.

https://results.enr.clarityelections.com/NJ/Mercer/116247/web.307039/#/summary

*Results are not official until all votes are counted and certified. This includes ballots cast by mail, provisional, and ballots requiring a signature cure. These first two reports above must be ADDED for a cumulative total (until further notice)! –Note the PDF files below and the above link must be added together to get the most accurate until updated by County Clerk’s Office

See the Mercer County Clerk’s Official Website for latest information here






Rider University: Ewing Township Man Charged With Burglary, Criminal Trespass, Harassment After Following Two Girls Into Their Residence Hall Dorm

November 8, 2022

LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Lawrence Police reported that at approximately 12:35 p.m. on Monday, November 7, 2022, Lawrence Township Police Officers were dispatched to the campus of Rider University for a report of a suspicious male. The suspicious male was reportedly loitering on-campus prior to following two female students on foot toward their residence hall. As the girls entered their residence hall, the suspicious male was able to enter behind the girls, following them toward their dorm room.

Once the girls entered their dorm room, the male remained in the hallway and approached their room door. The male was observed to be standing directly in front of their room, and was observed to be bending over, and attempting to look under the door and into the girl’s dorm room.

The students contacted Rider University Public Safety who responded and located the male in the residence hall. The male identified himself as a food delivery driver and was escorted off-campus.

Detective James Steimle of the Lawrence Police Department was able to identify the suspicious male as Johnny Rodriguez-Brito, (26 years old), of the 700 block of River Rd, Ewing, NJ. At the completion of Detective Steimle’s investigation, Rodriguez-Brito was charged with Burglary: 2C: 18-2a(1) 3rd degree offense, Criminal Trespass – Peering: 2C: 18-3C 4th degree offense, and Harassment: 2C: 33-4C, (P.D.P.) offense. Rodriguez-Brito was arrested at his residence on November 7, 2022, he was subsequently transported to Mercer County Correctional Center awaiting a detention hearing.

This incident is under investigation by Detective James Steimle, Detective Ryan Dunn and Officer Kamil Zander of the Lawrence Police Department. Anyone with information regarding this investigation is asked to contact Lawrence Township Police Detective Steimle at jsteimle@lawrencetwp.com or 609-844-7135.


File Photo

Election Problems Reported In Mercer County, NJ

November 8, 2022

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–Robbinsville Township reported on social media that due to a Mercer County-wide system outage, all voting machines are currently down in each district across the County.

Voters can still report to their respective polling locations and vote on a standard ballot and insert their ballot into the “emergency slot” in the machine. However, Mercer County officials will be unable to tally those votes tonight and are working to fix the system issue.

8:00 a.m. UPDATE:

Mercer County Clerk Paula Sollami Covello posted on Facebook that there is a glitch with the Dominion scanners. Voters can still vote by completing their ballots and placing them in the top of the scanning machine in the slot where the emergency ballots are placed. Everyone can vote manually, so rest assured no one will be disenfranchised.

8:08 a.m. UPDATE:

Mercer County reports: The Board of Elections has advised the county of issues with voting machines. Poll workers will be on hand to walk voters through the process. The board is working with Dominion, the machine maker, to resolve the issue.



“All votes cast in this General Election will be scanned on high capacity scanners by the Mercer County Board of Elections, at their central location, instead of at the polling locations by the voters. The Board of Elections is a bipartisan commission. Fortunately, we have hand-marked paper ballot system.

The Mercer County Clerk’s Office does not oversee voting machines or the voting equipment, but all three offices work together to make sure that the process is secure and transparent.

We made it through Hurricane Sandy, through 2020 and we will make it through this one too and no one will be disenfranchised.”

******************************************************************

Update from the Mercer County Superintendent of Elections Nathaniel Walker

November 8, 2022 – 2 p.m.

Soon after polls opened this morning, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, poll workers became aware of an issue with the voting machine scanners. Voters are being asked to fill out the ballot as they normally would. A contingency plan is in place for all ballots cast at all locations to be scanned at the secure Board of Elections office.

Again, ballots will be scanned just as they would at the polling location. Every ballot that has been cast will be counted, no voter will be disenfranchised, and the integrity of the election is intact and secure.

Additionally, provisional ballots are available to those who would prefer to vote provisionally. A provisional ballot can be obtained at a voter’s polling location.

Further information will be reported as it becomes known.

– Nathaniel Walker, Mercer County Superintendent Of Elections

nwalker@mercercounty.org

Crash On Route 1 In Lawrence Township Creates Major Delays

October 26, 2022

LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER) – Traffic along Route 1 was reduced to a crawl in both directions for several hours today after a traffic collision involving a dump truck and a sport utility vehicle took place in the area of Quaker Bridge Mall. As traffic backed up and ground to a near standstill, several secondary accidents occurred along Route 1 in Lawrence and West Windsor that added to the traffic nightmare.

The initial accident occurred about 3:10 p.m. along the southbound side of Route 1 just prior to the Kelly Viaduct (the overpass linking Route 1 South with Quaker Bridge Mall). During the crash, the dump truck reportedly struck the Jersey barrier that separates the southbound lanes of Route 1 from the northbound lanes. That impact tore down several lengths of chain link fence that sit atop the barrier and punched several holes in the barrier itself, sending chucks of concrete and other debris scattering into the northbound lanes. The dump truck and SUV then came to rest near the Kelly Viaduct ramps.

The driver of the SUV reportedly complained of pain following the crash but declined medical aide. The dump truck’s saddle fuel tank was ruptured at some point in the crash and started to leak diesel fuel onto the roadway. Lawrence Township firefighters were called out to try to contain the diesel fuel as it spilled and prevent it from running into a nearby storm drain. The tank reportedly contained as much as 70 gallons of fuel. A large portion of that amount reportedly spilled onto the roadway. Firefighters used absorbent pads, booms and other materials to build a berm around the storm drain to keep the spilled fuel from flowing into the drain and any local waterways that might be connected to the drain.

A New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection response team and the hazardous materials task force from the Trenton Fire Department were later called out to help contain and cleanup the diesel and minimize any potential impact from the spill. A heavy-duty tow truck was used to remove the wrecked dump truck. The cause of the accident is under investigation by Lawrence Township police.

NJDOT was also on scene assisting with traffic control, lane closures and debris cleanup.


Lawrence Township NIXLE Alert: Major Crash Route 1 in the area of Quakerbridge Mall.

Avoid Route 1 in the area of Quakerbridge Mall due to a motor vehicle crash with much debris on the roadway.  Major delays in both directions.


Trenton Fire Department responded to the scene for the hazardous material incident. Firefighters used booms, oil absorbent and pads to help keep additional fuel from spilling into the waterway.


No Serious Injuries Reported In Lawrence Township Crash

October 26, 2022

LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–At 10:22 a.m. Lawrenceville Fire Departments, EMS and Lawrence Police were dispatched to Franklin Corner Road near Lewisville Road for a motor vehicle crash with reported entrapment. Upon arrival of emergency services, it was determined that there was no entrapment and fire departments were recalled. EMS remained on scene tending to non-life-threatening injuries. Lawrence Police Department is investigating the crash. No additional details are available at this time.


Above photos by: Brian McCarthy, OnScene News


Pickup Truck Crashes Into House In Lawrence Township

October 21, 2022

LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–A driver having a medical event lost control of his vehicle on Lawrence Road and crashed into a home on Lawrence Road. Lawrence Township Fire, Lawrence Township Police, Lawrence EMS and Captial Health Paramedics responded to the scene at 10:00 a.m. The person was transported to Captial Health Regional Medical Center in Trenton for treatment, a “trauma alert” was called en route to the hospital. Lawrence Township Police are investigating the crash. No further details are available at this time.

Photos by: Brian McCarthy:


Legionella Found In Homes Served By Trenton Water Works; NJ Department Of Health Investigates

October 15, 2022

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–New Jersey Department of Health announced today that more homes within municipalities served by Trenton Water Works just days after the Murphy Administration announced they would launch an initiative to better support and improve TWW

Back on September 22, 2021, four cases of Legionnaires’ disease were reported in Hamilton Township, Mercer County between May-August 2021, along with an additional reported case from November 2020. On August 29, 2022 Two cases of Legionnaires’ disease were reported in August 2022 from the section of Hamilton Township, Mercer County, served by Trenton Water Works (TWW). Two additional cases were reported, respectively in April 2022 and December 2021. Of the four, one individual has died.

Today the NJ Department of Health made this announcement: The presence of Legionella bacteria was identified in water samples collected from more than half of 30 homes within several municipalities served by Trenton Water Works (TWW), the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) announced today. This includes homes from Trenton, Ewing, and parts of Lawrence and Hopewell Township served by TWW.

The testing was conducted in September 2022 following the detection of Legionella, the bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ disease, in several homes that were voluntarily tested within the Hamilton Township area served by TWW in July 2022. The homes tested in Hamilton Township were part of an ongoing investigation to determine potential causes of Legionnaires’ disease previously detected in Hamilton Township, with five cases including one death reported since December 2021. The most recent case was reported to health in September 2022.

To determine if other municipalities served by TWW were affected, health officials recruited an additional 30 homeowners from across the TWW distribution area, focusing on areas outside of Hamilton Township, to voluntarily have their homes tested for Legionella. NJDOH has notified all volunteer homeowners of the results from this sampling.

Legionnaires’ disease is a type of pneumonia that people can get after breathing in aerosolized water (small droplets of water in the air) containing Legionella bacteria. Individuals cannot get Legionnaires’ disease by drinking water that has Legionella. Though uncommon, people can get sick when water containing Legionella is aspirated into the lungs while drinking (“goes down the wrong pipe”). NJDOH receives approximately 250-350 reports of Legionnaires’ disease each year throughout New Jersey.

NJDOH is now urging that all residents and building owners who receive water from TWW to take actions to reduce the risk of Legionella growth in their household and building plumbing. These recommendations are available below.

It is not known if individuals with Legionella detected in their homes are more likely to develop Legionnaires’ disease. While it remains rare for a healthy person who is exposed to Legionella to become sick with Legionnaires’ disease, people who are 50 years or older, especially those who smoke, or those with certain medical conditions, including weakened immune systems, chronic lung disease or other chronic health conditions, are at increased risk.

Symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease include cough, shortness of breath, fever, muscle aches, and headaches, which are similar to symptoms caused by other respiratory infections, including COVID-19. Legionnaires’ disease can be fatal but is treatable with antibiotics. It is important that anyone who thinks they have symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease contact their health care provider and seek medical evaluation immediately.

Health officials are urging healthcare providers to collect lower respiratory specimens for Legionella PCR and/or culture, in conjunction with use of the urinary antigen test, when suspecting Legionnaires’ disease. This is especially important among residents who receive water from TWW. The urinary antigen test is the most common diagnostic method but can only detect Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1. PCR and culture of lower respiratory specimens can detect all Legionella species and serogroups.

NJDOH continues to partner with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) and TWW to investigate factors that may be promoting the growth of Legionella bacteria and to evaluate remedial actions that can be taken to reduce Legionella in the system.

Following NJDEP’s finding of significant concerns with TWW’s operations and management, including intermittent failures to fully maintain treatment processes, monitor water quality, employ adequately trained operating personnel, and invest in required maintenance and capital needs such as upgrades to aging infrastructure, Governor Phil Murphy  NJDEP Commissioner Shawn M. LaTourette issued a Unilateral Administrative Order that will, among other things, facilitate the immediate deployment of a capacity-building force comprised of managerial and technical experts who will focus on improving routine operations and maintenance, as well as resolving immediate capital needs.

More information about this initiative can be found at dep.nj.gov/trentonwater.

How to Decrease Risks of Legionella Exposure

According to NJDOH, individuals, particularly those at high risk, can follow recommended steps to decrease the risk of Legionella exposure and best practices to limit the growth of Legionella in household water systems and devices:

  • Avoid high-risk activities. If you are at an increased risk for Legionnaires’ disease, consider avoiding hot tubs, decorative fountains, power washing, or similar activities, which may generate increased amounts of aerosols or mist. A conversation with your health care provider may help you assess your individual level of risk based on underlying health conditions and co-morbidities. Your health care provider may recommend that you consider installing specialty biological 0.2-micron filters on your showerhead if you are severely immunocompromised and receive water from Trenton Water Works.
  • Maintain in-home medical equipment. If using medical equipment that requires water for use or cleaning such as non-steam generating humidifiers, CPAP or BiPAP machines, nasal irrigation devices such as Neti Pots, and attachments for nebulizers, follow manufacturer’s instructions for use and maintenance. This often includes using sterile water instead of tap water in the device.
  • Clean and/or replace your showerheads and faucet aerators (screens) per manufacturer’s instructions whenever buildup is visible. This is particularly important if you haven’t cleaned your showerheads or faucet aerators recently. Cleaning might require you to remove the showerhead and hose and soak in a solution (such as white vinegar or a bleach solution) to remove buildup. If using chemicals, follow instructions found on the back of the bottle for safe use.
  • Keep your water heater set to a minimum of 120This temperature will reduce Legionella growth and avoid potential for scalding (hot water burns). Setting the heater to a higher temperature may better control Legionella growth, especially if you have household members at increased risk for Legionnaires’ disease. However, if the temperature is set to greater than 120F, make sure you take extra precautions to mix cold and hot water at the faucet and shower to avoid scalding. If you have household members at increased risk of scalding, such as young children or older adults, you may consider installing a thermostatic mixing valve. A mixing valve allows your water to be stored at a higher temperature within your water heater to help kill bacteria while eliminating concerns with water being too hot at sinks or showers. If you decide to install a mixing valve, be sure to follow manufacturer’s instructions for routine cleaning and maintenance to avoid bacteria growth within the valve. Consider consulting with a licensed plumbing professional and ensure you are following your local codes and ordinances for home plumbing repairs.

    After cleaning showerheads and faucet aerators and increasing the temperature of the water heater, thoroughly flush the water at each tap (e.g., sink, showerhead) for 20 minutes. Try to minimize exposure to splashing and mist generation, for example, by leaving the room while the water is running.
  • Conduct routine flushing. Sinks and shower taps that are not used often can increase the risk of Legionellagrowth in other areas of the home. Let your faucets and showers run for at least three minutes when they have been out of use for more than a week. Minimize exposure to splashing and mist generation, for example, by leaving the room while the water is running. Additionally, you may consider flushing your water following any water disruption to your home, such as low pressure or discoloration, resulting from a water main break or nearby hydrant flushing.
  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions for maintaining your water heater and expansion tank, including periodic flushing, draining, and removal of sediment. If manufacturer’s instructions are unavailable, seek advice from a licensed professional.
  • Clean and/or replace all water filters per manufacturer’s instructions. All whole-house (e.g., water softeners) and point-of-use filters (e.g., built-in refrigerator filters) must be properly maintained.
  • Drain garden hoses and winterize hose bibs. Detach and drain the hose, shut the water valve off inside the home, and drain the pipe when not in use for the season.
  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions for maintaining your hot tub.Ensure disinfectant levels (e.g., chlorine) and maintenance activities (e.g., cleaning, scrubbing, replacing the filter and water) are followed. For more information, be sure to review CDC’s recommendations for residential hot tub owners.
  • Operate and maintain your indoor and outdoor decorative fountains according to manufacturer’s instructions to limit your exposure to Legionella. Household members at increased risk for Legionnaires’ disease should avoid exposure to decorative fountains. If manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and maintenance are not available, minimum cleaning frequency recommendations can be found in CDC’s Legionella Control Toolkit.
  • Remove, shorten, or regularly flush existing dead legs. Plumbing renovations can lead to the creation of dead legs, a section of capped pipe that contains water but has no flow (or is infrequently used). For future renovations, ensure your plumber avoids creating dead legs.

RECOMMENDED ACTIONS FOR BUILDING OWNERS

  • Complete this quick yes/no worksheet to determine if your building, or certain devices in your building, need a Water Management Program. Resources to help you develop a Water Management Program and for Legionella control in common sources of exposure are available at NJDOH’s Legionella website.
  • Store hot water at temperatures above 140°F and ensure hot water in circulation does not fall below 120°F (or at highest temperature allowable by local regulations and codes). Install thermostatic mixing valves as close as possible to fixtures to prevent scalding while permitting circulating hot water temperatures above 120°.
  • Clean and maintain water system components.This includes devices such as thermostatic mixing valves, aerators, showerheads, hoses, filters, water heaters, storage tanks, and expansion tanks, regularly per manufacturer instructions.
  • Flush hot and cold water at all points of use (faucets, showers, drinking fountains) at least weekly to replace the water that has been standing in the pipes. Healthcare settings and facilities that house vulnerable populations should flush at least twice a week.
  • Remove dead legs or, where unavoidable, make them as short as possible. Where a dead leg (a section of pipe capped off with little or no water flow) cannot be avoided, it should be flushed regularly to avoid water stagnation. This may require the installation of a drain valve.
  • Monitor water quality parameters such as temperature, disinfectant residuals, and pH regularly. Adjust the frequency of monitoring based on stability of values. For example, increase frequency of monitoring if there is a high degree of measurement variability. Pay particular attention to water quality parameters following a water disruption event, such as low pressure or discoloration, resulting from a water main break or nearby hydrant flushing.
  • Safely operate and conduct regular maintenance of cooling towers to protect staff, visitors, and the adjacent community from exposure to LegionellaUse a Water Management Program to establish, track, and improve operation and maintenance activities.
  • Follow recommendations from the NJ Department of Health when reopening your facility following a prolonged shutdown or reduced operation due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Recommendations are available at: https://bit.ly/3CG2s8S

ABOUT LEGIONNAIRES’ DISEASE AND LEGIONELLA

Legionnaires’ disease is a type of pneumonia (lung infection) caused by Legionella bacteria. Legionella is a type of bacteria found naturally in freshwater environments such as lakes and streams and becomes a health concern when it enters and grows inside human-made water systems. People can get Legionnaires’ disease by breathing in aerosolized (small droplets) water containing Legionella. Aerosolized water can come from plumbing systems and devices such as cooling towers (part of the cooling system for large buildings), hot tubs, cooling misters, and decorative fountains. Less commonly, people can get sick by aspiration of tap water containing Legionella. This happens when water accidently goes into the lungs while drinking (“goes down the wrong pipe”). People at increased risk of aspiration include those with swallowing difficulties. Home A/C units do not use water to cool, so these home units do not aerosolize water and are not a risk for Legionella growth. Legionnaires’ disease is generally not spread person to person. Additional information regarding Legionnaires’ disease and Legionella can be located at NJDOH’s website.

Follow the New Jersey Department of Health on Twitter @njdeptofhealth, Facebook /njdeptofhealth, Instagram @njdeptofhealth and LinkedIn /company/njdeptofhealth.






Murphy Administration Launches Initiative to Support and Improve Trenton Water Works, Ensure Safe Drinking Water

October 12, 2022

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Following a months-long compliance evaluation of conditions affecting Trenton Water Works (TWW), Governor Phil Murphy, Commissioner of Environmental Protection Shawn M. LaTourette, and Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora today announced the launch of a new Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) initiative to better support and improve TWW. Through this initiative, the State will work with the City to enhance TWW’s technical and managerial capacity with the goal of improving the operations and maintenance of TWW to ensure that the system reliably produces safe drinking water that meets all requirements of the New Jersey Safe Drinking Water Act.

Despite many recent efforts at the local level to improve operating conditions and advance long-overdue capital improvements at TWW, the system continues to struggle in maintaining compliance with regulatory obligations and requirements. To ensure that maintenance and operational needs crucial to the protection of public health are met, and that long-overdue capital improvements may receive the benefit of new and considerable state and federal funding, DEP has determined that a capacity-building program with direct operational oversight is necessary to ensure TWW’s near- and long-term success in meeting the needs of the 200,000+ residents served by the system in Trenton, as well as portions of Ewing, Hamilton, Hopewell, and Lawrence.

“Since the outset of my Administration, the provision of clean, affordable drinking water and the promotion of healthy communities have remained among our foremost priorities,” said Governor Murphy. “Protecting our children, families, and businesses is a responsibility that all levels of government share, and one that we must leverage every existing partnership to fulfill. Under the leadership of the DEP and in coordination with the City of Trenton, we will work tirelessly to safeguard our residents and return water system quality to the level our communities deserve.”

“The health of the residents is of paramount importance and we want to see Trenton succeed at all levels of government,”  said Lt. Governor Sheila Y. Oliver, who serves as Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs. “Ensuring public health and safety is a core principle of municipal services. The Division of Local Government Services, which has some fiscal oversight of the City, will assist DEP in any way it can to ensure TWW succeeds in providing safe drinking water for its residents.”

“Clean and safe drinking water is a human right but delivering this public good is a far more complex undertaking than one might expect,” said Commissioner LaTourette. “The depth of managerial, technical, and financial expertise required to ensure consistent operation, maintenance, and improvement of a water system is significant. Yet, not all systems are created equal, and we must invest more time, attention, and resources in those that need our help. Through direct operational oversight, DEP will help Trenton Water Works build the capacity necessary to better serve the public. Through this initiative, DEP and the City will more fully assess the system’s needs, meet its challenges, and ensure its long-term success for the benefit of the people of Trenton and the surrounding communities that this system serves.”

“We are committed to strengthening Trenton Water Works, improving its operations, advancing capital projects, and maintaining high water quality in partnership with the New Jersey Department of Environmental,” said Mayor Gusciora. “As we’ve dealt with City Council obstruction, we are resolute and determined in our efforts to build on the substantial progress we’ve made, fulfilling the promise I made to modernize the TWW system to ensure clean and safe drinking water for our customers and service-area residents for generations to come.”

TWW draws water from the Delaware River to provide water to more than 200,000 people in Trenton, as well as portions of Ewing, Hamilton, Hopewell, and Lawrence. The system has intermittently struggled to fully maintain critical treatment processes, monitor water quality, employ adequately trained operating personnel, and invest in required maintenance and capital needs, including significant upgrades to aging infrastructure such as the seven-acre, open-air finished water reservoir that stores and provides already treated water to about 70 percent of TWW’s distribution system. The initiative launched by the Murphy Administration today with the support of the City is intended to remedy these concerns.

This initiative, which will be implemented in accordance with an administrative order issued by DEP, has two primary phases that will be pursued concurrently: (1) immediate retention and deployment of a capacity-building force comprised of managerial and technical experts who will focus on improving routine operations and maintenance, as well as immediate capital needs; and (2) a full-scale assessment and preparation of organizational and operational recommendations.

To effect Phase 1, TWW will facilitate the direct oversight and monitoring of the system by DEP and its consultants, including a third-party adviser that will be embedded in the system for the purposes of monitoring and assessing all system operations and maintenance, adding necessary technical and managerial capacity to the system, and making technical, managerial, and financial recommendations necessary to bring the system into full compliance with applicable law. 

To effect Phase 2, the third-party adviser will undertake a comprehensive technical, managerial, and financial capacity assessment of the system that will result in a report of organizational and operational recommendations, as well as short- and long-term asset management and capital improvement recommendations that will serve the basis of future action and investment.

DEP and the City will collaborate to ensure that the progress and outcomes of this initiative are open and transparent to the public. 

As of October 12, 2022, water quality sample results submitted to DEP by TWW reflect that the water system meets applicable water quality standards. DEP will continue to closely monitor water quality parameters and other indicators of the status of the TWW system.  If TWW exceeds a regulatory standard for drinking water quality, or if DEP otherwise determines that an acute risk to public health exists, the public notification would be issued to all TWW customers.

“First, I want to thank Governor Murphy and NJDEP Commissioner LaTourette for their decision today to bring Trenton Water Works (TWW) under direct oversight of NJDEP,” said Mayor Martin.  “I want to also thank my fellow Mayors, State Legislators, County Officials, and the Hamilton Township Council who have remained steadfast in their focus on ensuring TWW meets their most basic obligations to their customers.” Hamilton Mayor Jeff Martin

“Said in a more simple way – today the State is taking over running TWW,” continued Mayor Martin. “This is a major step towards reaching our simple goal: to ensure all TWW customers have reliably clean and safe drinking water.  Further, the Order from NJDEP requires the City Council to approve all items necessary to ensure our goal is reached; guaranteeing a road block to progress is neutralized.” Hamilton Mayor Jeff Martin

“Hopewell Township residents, particularly those in Brandon Farms, depend on Trenton Water Works for safe drinking water. We are grateful to the state Department of Environmental Protection for their quick response to our concerns about the facility,” says Hopewell Township Mayor Peters-Manning. “Thanks go to Hamilton Mayor Jeff Martin for his leadership on this issue. The staff at Trenton Water Works has been nothing but professional in their dealings with the Township, and we look forward to continuing to work with them and the DEP to safeguard the future of our water supply.”


For more information about DEP’s direct oversight of Trenton Water Works, visit https://dep.nj.gov/trentonwater/

For information on DEP’s regulation and oversight of drinking water systems in New Jersey, visit DEP’s Division of Water Supply & Geoscience website at: https://www.nj.gov/dep/watersupply/

For information about water infrastructure investment opportunities provided by DEP, visit: https://www.nj.gov/dep/wiip/



Trenton Water Works Responds to State Report on Operations and Compliance

September 30, 2022

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER) – Trenton Water Works (TWW) Director Mark Lavenberg today responded to a New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) letter and report this week discussing ongoing compliance obligations and TWW’s water quality improvements. 

“First and foremost, Trenton Water Works has acted with full transparency in self-reporting ongoing assessments to NJDEP. Many details in the report come directly from our staff. We speak daily and meet weekly with NJDEP,” Director Lavenberg said. “Given that level of coordination, the letter and report issued this week unnecessarily seem like snapshots from the past. Many areas of concern in this report are currently being or have been addressed. Forward strides made by TWW are not reflected in the least in these documents.”

TWW’s ability to correct some of the deficiencies in the letter has been diminished by City Council decisions regarding dozens of major legislative approvals for project funding and awarding of bids. The NJDEP letter points out City Council’s rejection of a $15 million bond request as a destabilizing decision. 

This decision adversely effected TWW operations and projects, but discussions with NJDEP regarding alternative options or revised timelines have been ongoing. Many of the items declined by Council this year can be presented to a newly-formed body in 2023.

“We are addressing specific requirements from NJDEP. We have been lead-compliant since 2019 and have made major upgrades, for instance the raw water intake which was a recommendation in the 1976 report quoted by NJDEP,” Lavenberg said. “We are being asked to correct nearly 50-year-old problems in four years, which included a global pandemic. Through all of that, we never once had an interruption in service.”

“We want to set the record straight: our drinking water is safe and, day by day, we are working to make it safer. The health of our customers and residents is our primary concern,” he said.



MidJersey.news file photos:



Mercer County Officials Call on State for Major Shakeup of Trenton Water Works 

September 28, 2022

HAMILTON – TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Hamilton Mayor Martin, State Senator Greenstein, Assemblymen DeAngelo, and Benson, Mercer County Executive Hughes, Mercer County Board of County Commissioners Chair Nina Melker, Ewing Mayor Steinmann, Hopewell Township Mayor Peters-Manning, and Lawrence Township Mayor John Ryan are joining together to call on the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) to take over direct supervision and operation of Trenton Water Works (TWW) after years of failure to comply with safe drinking water obligations.

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

In 2020, the Attorney General and DEP filed a lawsuit against TWW, which the municipalities served by the water utility joined, seeking to compel the City of Trenton and the water utility to take the necessary actions after failing to comply with Administrative Consent Orders to provide safe drinking water. These failures include but are not limited to filling vacancies critical to running the treatment plant and the covering of the Pennington Reservoir, which funding for was denied by the Trenton City Council months after the lawsuit was filed. This week, the NJDEP sent the City and TWW a letter again citing failure to comply with these orders and stating that the DEP is “disturbed by the current City Council’s continuing failures or refusals to authorize resolutions necessary to advance critical capital improvements and ensure that ordinary maintenance and operational needs crucial to the protection of public health are met.”

“The residents of Hamilton have suffered far too long due to the failures of Trenton Water Works and left us with absolutely no confidence in their ability to operate the utility,” said Hamilton Mayor Jeff Martin. “The Trenton City Council’s refusal to authorize public safety projects is putting people’s lives in danger and has prevented TWW’s ability to provide safe and clean drinking water. I call on the Governor and the State of New Jersey to immediately place TWW under direct state control to end the years of gross incompetence.”

“The most recent inspection report from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection validates the charge that, time and time again, the residents of this region have been failed by the Trenton City Council and Trenton Water Works,” said Senator Linda R. Greenstein. “Despite the actions of some to try and resolve these long-standing issues, it is readily apparent that a change in leadership is desperately needed. I call upon the State of New Jersey and NJDEP to immediately take all steps necessary to establish state control of Trenton Water Works, to ensure the health and safety of our residents remain top priority.”

“We shouldn’t wait for another disaster before taking action, the safety of our residents must come first,” said Assemblyman Dan Benson. “The NJDEP letter shows that the current operation of Trenton Water Works is unacceptable, it’s time for action,” added Benson.

“Trenton City Council has showed us time and again that they are not interested in bringing Trenton Water Works up to the standards set up by the Department of Environmental Protection,” stated Assemblyman Wayne DeAngelo. “At this point, the gross negligence that they have shown has led to an increased risk of waterborne pathogens that threaten the safety of not just Trenton but also the neighboring towns that it serves. I cannot, in good conscience, watch as this continues to escalate. That is why I believe that the control and maintenance of Trenton Water Works should be given to the State so that they can properly bring Trenton Water Works up to the standards of the New Jersey Safe Drinking Water Act.

“Access to safe drinking water and a well-functioning water system is not an unreasonable expectation by the Mercer County residents who have no alternative to the city-operated Trenton Water Works,” said Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes. “While I am encouraged by Mayor Reed Gusciora’s determination to address the ongoing compliance issues and substandard water quality noted by the NJDEP, I condemn the irresponsibility and recklessness of the City Council for its egregious neglect of the water system, its disregard for the directives set forth by the NJDEP and the injustices it has placed on communities of color and on all Trenton Water Works customers.”

“The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s latest Compliance Evaluation and Assistance Inspection dated September 27, 2022, of Trenton Water Works, is extremely disturbing and concerning,” stated Mercer County Board of County Commissioners Chair Nina Melker.” It is now evident that an intervention is needed at a state level to ensure that Trenton Water Works can fulfill their obligation to provide safe and clean drinking water to the residents throughout Mercer County in their service designation.”

“The findings in this report confirm why Ewing joined with its neighbors Lawrence and Hamilton to protect its citizens from this failing authority,” said Ewing Township Mayor Bert Steinmann. “ It is time for legislation that will provide a meaningful remedy to the suburban ratepayers being held hostage to the Trenton City Council’s intransigence. On behalf of the citizens of Ewing, we implore DEP to act immediately to compel TWW to correct these deficiencies and ensure the safety of the water provided by TWW to its more than 200,000 consumers.”

“Residents deserve safe drinking water. We are deeply disturbed by DEP’s findings regarding the lack of progress on long-term projects necessary to keep the residents of Hopewell Township and Mercer County safe,” said Hopewell Township Mayor Courtney Peters-Manning. “Hopewell Township has appreciated our working relationship with the professional staff at Trenton Water Works. However, change is necessary,” continued Peters-Manning.

“On behalf of the Trenton Water Works customers within Lawrence Township, it is time for the operations of the water utility to be taken from the City of Trenton,” stated Lawrence Township Mayor John Ryan. “For far too long, the customers of TWW have lived with the fear, and at times reality, that the water they drink and use daily is unsafe. The report from the NJDEP dated September 27, 2022, demonstrates that the City of Trenton cannot meet the needs of its water utility customers by producing clean and safe water. We stand with the other municipalities fighting for their residents’ health and safety. We must do better.”


Mayor Gusciora Responds to State and Local Concerns Regarding TWW

TRENTON, NJ – Mayor Reed Gusciora issued the following statement today regarding progress made at Trenton Water Works (TWW), compliance with State agreements, and attempts by state and local officials to enact a “major shakeup” at the City-owned utility.

“I share the concerns expressed by area officials that we want safe drinking water for our constituents. However, the comments made by those elected officials do not recognize the substantial progress made at Trenton Water Works over the last four years. I wholeheartedly agree that if the Trenton City Council had done their job, we would not find ourselves in this position. They voted down critical projects including decommissioning the reservoir, replacing water mains, lead remediation, heavy equipment, facility upgrades, chemical purchases, and debt service. Council leaders even engaged a court battle to stop executive action in support of various water quality improvements at TWW.

In addition, one of the main items I ran on was improving Trenton Water Works. In 2019, we developed a $405-million, six-year capital plan to undertake critical projects within its central pumping station, water-filtration plant, and distribution system. These projects are designed to maintain high water quality and make the 163-year-old public water system more resilient.

Despite the efforts of City Council to undermine TWW as a utility of the City of Trenton, I welcome working in tandem with the State DEP to resolve any outstanding issues and ensure safe drinking water for our consumers for years to come. In that vein, I will announce shortly our proposed plan to address the issues raised by the DEP and to give comfort to our ratepayers and residents by showing demonstrative improvements in our water delivery system.”

Purchased by the City of Trenton in 1859, Trenton Water Works is one of the oldest and largest publicly owned water systems in the United States. TWW supplies approximately 28 million gallons of water per day to a quarter-million consumers in a five-municipality service area comprised of Trenton, Ewing Township, parts of Hamilton Township, Lawrence Township, and Hopewell Township.

TWW operates a 60-million-gallon water-filtration plant and water-distribution system that consists of a 100-million-gallon reservoir, 683 miles of water mains, three pump stations, nearly 8,000 valves, 3,517 fire hydrants, and six interconnections between TWW and other water suppliers. TWW serves approximately 63,000 metered customers.



Lawrence Police Stops Man, Takes Into Custody For Outstanding Warrants; After Investigation Of Area Robberies, Also Charged With Burglary, Theft and Criminal Attempt Burglary

September 23, 2022

LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Lawrence Township Police reported that on Tuesday, September 20, 2022 at approximately 9:21 a.m., Lawrence Township Police Officers were dispatched to the Volvo dealership located on Brunswick Pike in Lawrence Township on a report of a Burglary that occurred in the early morning hours.

During the on-scene investigation, it was determined the suspect had entered the building at approximately 3:16 a.m. Once inside the building, the suspect proceeded to steal items from the service area and main office area. The suspect then exited the Volvo dealership with the stolen property. A short time later, the same suspect attempted to enter the Midas Muffler also located on Brunswick Pike in Lawrence Township.

On Thursday, September 22, 2022 at approximately 5:48 a.m., Officer Wells of the Lawrence Township Police Department was patrolling the Township and spotted a vehicle exiting a business that was closed on Brunswick Pike in Lawrence Township. Officer Wells conducted a motor vehicle stop and the operator, Jeremiah Kramer, 28 years old of Sycamore Court, Lawrenceville, NJ was subsequently taken into custody for outstanding warrants for his arrest.

Officer Steimle of the Lawrence Township Investigative Division completed an extensive follow up investigation and charged Jeremiah Kramer with Burglary, Theft and Criminal Attempt Burglary for the two separate incidents detailed above. Kramer was lodged at the Mercer County Correction Center pending a court appearance.

Anyone with any information regarding this incident is asked to contact the Lawrence Township Police Department @ 609-896-1111.



Teenagers From Trenton Busted In Lawrence Township Vehicle Break-ins; Glock Handgun With A High-capacity Magazine And Burglar Tools Seized


Police Officers arrested Omari Cartwright (18 years old) of the 800 block of Carteret Ave, Trenton, and a 17-year-old juvenile. Cartwright was charged with Hindering Apprehension, Unlawful Possession of a Firearm, Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose, Possession of a High-Capacity Magazine, Unlawful Possession of Ammunition, Burglary, Possession of Burglar Tools and Criminal Mischief. Cartwright was lodged in the Mercer Country Correctional Center pending a Detention Hearing.

The juvenile was charged with Burglary and Criminal Mischief, and was released.


September 17, 2022

LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Lawrence Township Police say that on September 17, 2022 at approximately 3:00 a.m., Lawrence Township Police Officers arrested Omari Cartwright (18 years old) of the 800 block of Carteret Ave, Trenton, and a 17-year-old juvenile. The two were arrested during a proactive initiative to address ongoing vehicle break-ins that have been reported throughout Lawrence Township.

While Officer Kraszewski and Officer Bystrek were patrolling Township neighborhoods during the overnight hours, they observed two individuals walking in dark clothing and full-face coverings in the area of Wittenborn Dr in the Society Hill South neighborhood. While Officers Kraszewski and Bystrek kept surveillance of the two individuals, additional officers found several vehicles in the area that appeared to have been entered, one with a window shattered.

Officers Kraszewski and Bystrek made contact with the two individuals on Wittenborn Drive and conducted an on-scene investigation. The two individuals were quickly identified as being responsible for shattering the window of a vehicle on Sherman Place just prior to having contact with the officers.

Both were arrested. During the arrest, Omari Cartwright provided a false name and was found to be in possession of a Glock handgun with a high-capacity magazine.

Cartwright was charged with Hindering Apprehension, Unlawful Possession of a Firearm, Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose, Possession of a High-Capacity Magazine, Unlawful Possession of Ammunition, Burglary, Possession of Burglar Tools and Criminal Mischief. Cartwright was lodged in the Mercer Country Correctional Center pending a Detention Hearing.

The juvenile was charged with Burglary and Criminal Mischief, and was released.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact Officer Kraszewski @ 609-896- 1111 or dkraszewski@lawrencetwp.com.


MidJersey.News file photos

2-Alarm Fire Reported In Lawrence Township


The two-alarm fire in Lawrence Township is now reported under control, firefighters are still on scene investigating the fire.


September 16, 2022

LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Fire Departments were dispatched to well involved vacant homes in the 1100 Block of Route 206 (Lawrenceville Road) near Carter Road at 4:40 a.m. Upon arrival the buildings were approximately 600 feet off the roadway in the rear of the property and firefighters had to lay hose up a long driveway to the rear of the property. Additional fire departments were called to the scene and the fire went to two alarms before being brought under control. A water tanker shuttle was set up to bring water to the scene.

Fire crews are still on location at this hour for the investigation. Further details are expected be released later.

Street and satellite views from Google Maps appears that the buildings on that property have been abandoned for quite some time.


Photos by: NJ Public Safety News Alerts



Photos below from the Pennington Fire Company Facebook Page:



WPVI CH 6 story here:

https://6abc.com/lawrence-township-nj-house-fire-mercer-county-lawrenceville-road-route-206/12233964/

https://6abc.com/video/embed/?pid=12233939


Willingboro Men Arrested For Mail Theft In Lawrence Township

September 6, 2022

LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–On September 5, 2022, Lawrence Township Police Department arrested 21-year-old Lyon S. Ellerbe, of the 200 block of Northhampton Dr, Willingboro, NJ, and 22-year old Richard D. Rowe of the first block of Hewlet Lane, Willingboro, NJ. The arrests concluded a three-month investigation conducted by the Lawrence Township Police Department and the United States Postal Inspections Service.

Since June 2022, the Lawrence Township Police Department has received numerous reports from residents reporting check theft / fraud. In all of the cases, residents reported that they had placed their checks into the USPS mailbox outside of either the Circle Branch Post Office (2601 Brunswick Pike, Lawrenceville) or the Craven Lane Post Office (Lawrence Rd @ Craven Ln, Lawrenceville).

On June 27, 2022 at approximately 1:00am, Officer James Gorski was conducting patrol in the area of the Circle Branch Post Office when he observed a BMW sedan parked in the area of the outside mailbox. As Officer Gorski attempted to contact the occupants of the BMW, the car fled the area at a high rate of speed. The vehicle was later located and secured by Lawrence Township Police Detectives. A search warrant was executed on the BMW by Lawrence Township Detective Sean Kerins, multiple stolen checks, forged checks, forgery devices and several stolen credit cards were recovered.

On September 5, 2022 at approximately 10:00pm, Lawrence Township Police Detectives and Agents from the United States Postal Inspections Service were conducting surveillance in the area of the Craven Lane Post Office. Officers observed a male (Rowe) approach the post office and open the outside mailbox using a key. Officers also observed a vehicle parked on Craven Lane next to the post office. As officers approached the male at the mailbox, he fled on foot and was placed under arrest a short time later. The waiting vehicle also fled the scene southbound on Lawrence Rd and crashed at the intersection of Lawrence Rd and Denow Rd. The driver of the vehicle (Ellerbe) was placed under arrest at the crash scene. There were no injuries as a result of the crash.

Rowe was charged with: 6 counts of burglary, 6 counts of theft, possession of burglary tools, Trafficking in Identifying information of Another, multiple counts of receiving stolen property, forgery and resisting arrest.

Ellerbe was charged as an accomplice to the September 5, 2022 burglary to the mailbox, resisting arrest, and assorted motor vehicle violations.

Anyone who has information regarding this incident is asked to contact Lawrence Township Police Detective Sean Kerins @ 609-844-7121.


Male Shoots At Person On D&R Canal Trail In Lawrence Then Barricades Self In Home For Almost 16 Hours

August 25, 2022 – Updated — Police say there were no injuries as a result of this incident.

LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–On August 24, 2022, at approximately 9:02 a.m., the Lawrence Township Police Department received a call from a person walking on the Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park Trail (Lawrence Twp.) who indicated that he was shot at by an unknown person. This incident took place adjacent to the footbridge connecting the trail system over Brunswick Pike just north of Bakers Basin Road.


Lawrence Township Police Officers heard the sound of gunfire coming from the same wooded area upon their arrival. Officers observed a male suspect run into a nearby home where he was believed to have barricaded himself. During the initial investigation, multiple spent shell casings were located.
Subsequent to the investigation, several search warrants were executed in the 3000 block of Brunswick Pike.

Multiple police units from the area were on scene until 1:00 a.m. August 25, 2022. Lawrence Township EMS and Lawrence Township Fire Department staged nearby at the AAA Building near Bakers Basin Road. Fire and EMS units cleared the scene around 1:00 a.m.

Police say there were no injuries as a result of this incident.


John Kachmar, twenty-two from Lawrence Township was arrested and charged with Aggravated Assault, Assault with a Deadly Weapon and Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose. The investigation is continuing and additional charges are expected to be filed.


Anyone who has information regarding this incident is asked to contact Lawrence Township Police Detective Sean Kerins @ 609-844-7121 / skerins@lawrencetwp.com or Detective Ryan Dunn @ 609-844-7125 / rdunn@lawrencetwp.com.

All persons are considered innocent until proven guilty in the court of law.



Trenton Police Officer Charged With Domestic Violence, Threat To Kill, Criminal Coercion, And Endangering Welfare Of A Child In Lawrence Township

LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–On Thursday August 4, 2022 at 3:20 p.m., the Lawrence Township Police Department became aware of a Domestic Violence incident which was originally reported to the Princeton Police Department but discovered to have happened in Lawrence Township.

Through the investigation, it was determined that on several occasions starting in March of 2022, the victim reported that she was assaulted by her boyfriend at their residence on Sturwood Way. It was later determined that the boyfriend was a City of Trenton Police Officer. He was identified as Elijah Mitchell, 28-years-old, 1,000 block of Sturwood Way, Lawrenceville, NJ. Subsequent to a thorough investigation, Mitchell was charged with 3 Counts of Domestic Violence Strangulation (2C;12-1B13), 2 Counts of Threat to Kill (2C:12-3b), 1 Count of Criminal Coercion (2C:13-5A7) and 1 Count of Endangering the Welfare of a Child (2C:24-4B1). Mitchell was taken into custody on Friday August 12, 2022 without incident.

Timothy J. Carroll, Public Information Officer for The City of Trenton told MidJersey.News that Mr. Mitchell is currently suspended without pay from the Police Department as a result of the pending criminal charges against him. The City has no other comment at this time.

All arrestees are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.



Suspect In Custody Involving Stolen Vehicle From Bristol, PA And Stolen Lawn Equipment From Princeton and Lawrence Townships

Suspect Was Tracked By GPS

August 15, 2022

LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Lawrence Township Police say that on Monday August 15, 2022 at approximately 8:41 a.m., the Lawrence Township Police Department received a call from Bucks County Pennsylvania relating that a vehicle was stolen from Bristol, PA over the weekend and that the GPS tracking device had it located at the WAWA store on Brunswick Pike in Lawrence Township.  Officers then checked the area but no vehicle was located. 

At 10:00 a.m. on Monday August 15, 2022, the Lawrence Township Police Department was again contacted by the Princeton Police Department who stated that the aforementioned stolen vehicle was in their jurisdiction but was traveling North Bound on Princeton Pike headed to Lawrence Township.  The owner of the stolen vehicle related that he tracked the vehicle to the parking lot of 2997 Princeton Pike, in Lawrence.  On arrival of Lawrence Police officers, a male party later identified as Douglas McIntyre, 38, of Butterfly Lane, Levittown, PA ran from the vehicle.  After a brief foot pursuit, McIntyre was taken into custody.  A subsequent search of the stolen vehicle located a backpack blower that was stolen out of Princeton, NJ and several gas cans that were stolen out of Lawrence Township.  McIntyre was subsequently charged with two counts of receiving stolen property, one count of theft and one count of obstruction. 


 

18-Year-Old Lawrence Resident Killed In Princeton Pike Crash Near Fackler Road

July 27, 2022

LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Police reported that at approximately 11:52 p.m. on Tuesday, July 26, 2022, the Lawrence Township Police Department responded to a one car motor vehicle crash on Princeton Pike in the area of Fackler Rd.

Lawrence Township resident Armando Rosario 3rd (18 years old) was the single occupant of the vehicle and sustained fatal injuries.

The crash is under investigation by Lawrence Township Police Detective Ryan Dunn, Police Officer Darren Gould and Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office Serious Collision Response Team Detective Ryan Minnick.

Anyone with information regarding this investigation is asked to contact Detective Ryan Dunn at 609-844-7125 or rdunn@lawrencetwp.com



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.