Category: Robbinsville

2020 Police Unity Tour Bike Ride Held In NJ


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


September 27, 2020

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

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

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

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


History of the Police Unity Tour:

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

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

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

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

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

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





Video provided by: Bucky For Sherriff

Police Unity Tour Memorial Service And Blessing Of Riders

Police Unity Tour “We Ride For Those Who Died”


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


September 26, 2020

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

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

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

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

Some history on the Police Unity Tour:

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

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

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

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

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

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




#WHATSMYNAME 5k Run/Walk Held In Robbinsville In Honor of Samantha Josephson


Related recent MidJersey.News story here: “Sami’s Law” Passes The House


September 26, 2020

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–Hundreds turned out for the #WHATSMYNAME 5K Run/ 1M Walk in honor of, Samantha Josephson. The run/walk supports the What’s My Name Foundation’s efforts regarding Ride Share Safety education. 

The 5K run kicked off a little after 9 am and the 1 mile walk started about the same time this morning.

Samantha grew up in Robbinsville and was Robbinsville High School graduate and was attending University of South Carolina when a rideshare tragedy happened.

On March 29, 2019, Samantha Josephson, a 21 year-old senior at the University of South Carolina, was kidnapped and murdered when she was targeted by a person posing as a rideshare driver.  Immediately following this unfathomable tragedy,  Samantha’s parents, Seymour and Marci Josephson, set out to educate others on the importance of ride share safety so that no other family would have to suffer this kind of loss.   

“Sami’s Law” was authored by Rep. Chris Smith and passed the house in July by a unanimous read more about it here: “Sami’s Law” Passes The House



The #WHATSMYNAME Foundation was established in honor of, Samantha Josephson.  Our mission is to educate the world on ride share safety, supporting charitable organizations and providing college scholarships to selected high school seniors.  Samantha may be gone but our goal for the rest of our time on earth is to share her story and make a lasting change.

Before you get in a ride share ask

“What’s my name?” and remember hers.

Link to #WHATSMYNAME FOUNDATION HERE


Police And Firefighters Have Siren Parade To Support Child With Stage 4 Cancer

September 25, 2020

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–Robbinsville Township Police and Robbinsville Township firefighters were joined by several area departments from three counties in providing Tyler a siren parade. Tyler has a rare stage 4 cancer called Hepatoblastoma. Tyler is fighting the cancer and is undergoing chemotherapy and makes weekly visits to CHOP – Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Tyler also had the chance to meet Robbinsville Township’s K9 Officer Quori and several super heroes prior to the parade event.

Participating departments:

Robbinsville Township Police, NJ State Police, Hamilton Police, Trenton Police and others.

Robbinsville Township Fire Department, Hamilton Township Fire Department, East Windsor Fire Company, Hightstown Fire Company, Princeton Fire Department, Lawrence Township Fire Department, West Windsor Fire Company, Princeton Junction Fire Company, West Windsor Emergency Services, East Windsor Rescue Squad, Monmouth Junction Fire Department, Franklin Fire Company (Mansfield), Kingston Fire Department.



Go Fund Me page here: https://gf.me/u/yz9uws

As some of you may already know, Heather and Jason’s world has been shifted and forever changed by the recent cancer diagnosis for their son Tyler. Doctors  recently found a tumor on Tyler’s liver called Hepatoblastoma.

In early July, Tyler was having fevers and not feeling well. After 3 weeks of him not feeling well, his parents decided to take him to the hospital for additional testing. In the hospital, the doctors ordered an ultrasound for his abdomen. It was there that they learned Tyler had a mass on his liver.

That night Tyler was transferred to CHOP. Tyler quickly had blood work, MRI and CT scans, a PET scan, and a biopsy of his liver. On August 17, 2020 it was confirmed that Tyler’s tumor was Hepatoblastoma. He started chemotherapy soon after his diagnosis.

Fortunately, the scans have shown that the cancer is isolated to Tyler’s liver. Tyler has one very large mass, and several other masses all over his liver, which classifies his cancer as stage IV. Chemotherapy will be the beginning of Tyler’s journey. He will require a future surgery, followed by more chemotherapy. 

Tyler has been a rockstar at every single doctors appointment and chemotherapy treatment. He loves to help the doctors and nurses. When he is home from treatment, he enjoys playing outside with his twin brother Chase, eating Chinese food, and chips. 

Heather and Jason have a long road ahead to ensure that Tyler receives the best treatment. He has a busy schedule between blood work appointments, physical therapy, chemotherapy, and various hospital stays. Heather has already taken a leave of absence from work in order to care for Tyler and support his treatment. 

Tyler is a strong little boy, and Heather and Jay are the best parents he could possibly have, who will fight alongside him. That being said, they can’t do this alone! So many people have asked how they can help, right now –  this is it. The donations will help with covering insurance costs, medical bills, physical therapy copays, prescription costs, meals at the hospital, gas, tolls, and coffee for mom and dad.  Any donation will help take some of the burden that comes along with extensive medical treatment, so they can focus on Tyler and Chase.

Although this type of cancer is rare, it is treatable and curable. Tyler has a wonderful team of doctors at CHOP. Tyler has a long road ahead of him, but his positive attitude keeps everyone going each day.  Tyler is our super hero!!!

Please keep Tyler in your prayers. All the continued support you can offer will be forever appreciated by the Odman Family.

Love,
Heather, Jason, Tyler, and Chase


Quick Knockdown Of Machinery Fire Saves Large Commercial Printing Facility In Robbinsville

September 23, 2020

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–At 6:55 am Robbinsville Township firefighters were dispatched to the 1st block of Applegate Drive for a building fire in a commercial building.

Mutual aid was also sent from Hamilton Township Fire Department and Hope Fire Company of Allentown-Upper Freehold. The fire was also at Robbinsville’s shift change making available an additional engine for the firefight.

When fire apparatus first arrived crews found a large industrial printing press on fire in a 190,000 square foot printing facility. Firefighters stretched a hand line and quickly extinguished the fire inside the building, perhaps saving millions of dollars and loss of jobs.

Firefighters remained on scene to help evacuate smoke from the building and overhaul the fire. The Robbinsville Township fire marshal is investigating the fire.

Robbinsville Senior Center Re-Opens To Non-Profit Organizations On A Limited Basis Effective Immediately

September 21, 2020

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–On Friday, September 18, Mayor Dave Fried signed an Executive Order 2020-59 re-opening the Senior Center multi-purpose room and adjoining bathrooms on a limited basis to non-profit organizations effective immediately.

Organizations using the multi-purpose room will be required to complete a COVID-19 waiver and agree to abide by all rules and regulations promulgated by the State of New Jersey and Township of Robbinsville regarding indoor activities during the declared State of Emergency and Public Health Emergency, including face coverings and proper social distancing.

As part of the order, a sanitization fee of $75 per use shall be paid by each organization for each separate use of the multi-purpose room. This fee shall be used to cover the Township’s costs to clean and sanitize the room after each use.Reservations and approvals are required to both enter the Senior Center and to take part in outdoor activities. Please contact Renee Burns at (609) 259-1567 or reneeb@robbinsville.net.

On March 16, 2020, the Township of Robbinsville proclaimed a Local Disaster Emergency and closed the Senior Center to the public due to the global outbreak of COVID-19, which has affected the health, safety, and/or welfare of people around the world.

Although a State of Emergency and Public Health Emergency continue to exist in the State of New Jersey, and a Local Disaster Emergency continues to exist in Robbinsville, great strides have been made in terms of lowering the infection rate, along with the understanding and treatment COVID-19. This has allowed for the easing of restrictions put in place by the State to “flatten the curve.”

The easing of those restrictions has allowed the Township to reopen the Senior Center Multi-Purpose Room on a limited basis, and provide limited outdoor activities beneath the Bocce Pavilion to Senior Center members (limited to 15 persons per class) beginning Monday, September 21.


WHEREAS, Coronavirus disease 2019 (“COVID-19”) is a contagious, and at times fatal, respiratory disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus; and
WHEREAS, on March 9, 2020, pursuant to Executive Order No. 103, the Governor of the State of New Jersey declared the concurrent invocation of both a State of Emergency pursuant to N.J.S.A. App.A.:9-33 et seq. and a Public Health Emergency as contemplated by N.J.S.A. 26:13-1 et seq.; and
WHEREAS, on March 13, 2020, pursuant to my Executive Order No. 2020-34, the Township suspended all Senior Center activities beginning Friday, March 13, 2020; and
WHEREAS, on March 16, 2020, pursuant to Executive Order No. 104, Governor Murphy directed several actions, with limited exceptions, designed to enhance the practice of “social distancing” to prevent community spread of COVID-19; and
WHEREAS, on March 16, 2020, the Township of Robbinsville proclaimed a Local Disaster Emergency by reason of the serious conditions which existed or would continue to exist in the Township of Robbinsville due to the global outbreak of COVID-19 which has affected the health, safety, and/or welfare of the people; and
WHEREAS, although a State of Emergency and Public Health Emergency continue to exist in the State of New Jersey and a Local Disaster Emergency continues to exist in the Township of Robbinsville, great strides have been made in understanding and treating COVID-19 that have allowed for the easing of restrictions put in place by the State to “flatten the curve”; and
WHEREAS, the easing of the restrictions put in place by the State has provided the Township an opportunity to reopen the Senior Center on a limited basis and provide limited outdoor activities to the Township’s Senior Center members; and
David Fried, Mayor 2298 Route 33, Robbinsville, NJ 08691
(609) 259-3600 ext. 1102
WHEREAS, it is the Township’s belief that these activities can be provided in a safe manner and in accordance with the State’s rules and regulations currently in effect;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, David Fried, Mayor of the Township of Robbinsville, Mercer County, hereby order and direct for following:

  1. The Township of Robbinsville shall reopen the Senior Center on a limited basis beginning Friday, September 18, 2020.
  2. Organized outdoor activities provided for members of the Senior Center will begin the week of September 21, 2020, utilizing the Senior Center’s Bocce Court.
  3. Organized outdoor activities shall be limited to fifteen (15) individuals per class.
  4. Participants in the organized outdoor activities will be required to complete a COVID-19 waiver and agree to abide by all rules and regulations promulgated by the State of New Jersey and Township of Robbinsville regarding outdoor activities during the declared State of Emergency and Public Health Emergency.
  5. Indoor use of the Senior Center shall be limited to use of the multi-purpose room and adjoining bathrooms by non-profit organizations only.
  6. Organizations using the multi-purpose room will be required to complete a COVID-19 waiver and agree to abide by all rules and regulations promulgated by the State of New Jersey and Township of Robbinsville regarding indoor activities during the declared State of Emergency and Public Health Emergency.
  7. A COVID-19 cleaning/sanitization fee, in the amount of $75.00 per use, shall be required to be paid by each organization for each separate use of the multi-purpose room. This fee shall be used to cover the Township’s costs to clean and sanitize the multi-purpose room after each organization’s use of same.
  8. This Order shall take effect immediately and shall remain in effect until such time as I modify or rescind same.

DAVID FRIED, MAYOR
DATED September 18, 2020


Recovery Advocates Of America’s 8th Annual 5k Run/Walk For Recovery

September 20, 2020

WEST WINDSOR, NJ (MERCER)–Recovery Advocates Of America’s 8th 5k Annual Run / Walk held at Mercer County Park yesterday. There was a great turn out of support for the event.

This year, our 5K Run/Walk for Recovery fundraising goal is $100,000. All proceeds from the event will go directly into sustaining and expanding RECOVERY ADVOCATES C.A.R.E. Program that is now endorsed by Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo Onofri and the State of New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal, and our new education/prevention and awareness program throughout all New Jersey High Schools.

Substance use disorder has become a national epidemic. During the ongoing global pandemic, drug overdoses and substance abuse relapses have increased over 20% and we can’t stress how important your support is during such a critical time. Please join us in celebrating recovery and supporting those who are also fighting for their lives in the continuous struggle with alcoholism and addiction.

OnScene News Photos by: Brian McCarthy, OnScene News

OnScene News Photos by: Brian McCarthy, OnScene News

American Flags Replaced On NJ Turnpike Overpasses In Robbinsville By Police Union

September 11, 2020


Previous MidJersey.News stories on the flags here:

NJ Turnpike Authority Removes American Flags From Bridges, Flags Have Been In Place 19 Years Since Terrorist Attacks On The United States, September 11, 2001

Governor Murphy Directs Turnpike Authority To Stop Removing American Flags, Senator O’Scanlon and Assemblywoman DiMaso Sponsor Legislation To Keep American Flags On Overpasses


ROBBINSVILLE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Flags that were in place for 19 years since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks were removed recently by the NJ Turnpike Authority. Today a “Replacing American Flags” event was held at Community Park on West Manor Way and Gordon Roads hosted by Robbinsville Township Police PBA Union #344 that has been maintaining flags in Robbinsville, NJ.

In the early years the flags were placed initially on many overpasses by unknown individuals throughout the State. In Robbinsville Dino Colarocco (retired) from Public Works along with Joy Tozzi Township Administrator were instrumental getting flags replaced early in the process. Currently the Robbinsville Township Police Union has been maintaining the flags and recently purchased 20 flags to replace old tattered flags on the overpasses.

Robbinsville Township Mayor Dave Fried said, “This institution is non-negotiable. Proud to help re-hang Old Glory on the NJ Turnpike overpass near Community Park on this most solemn day.”

Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) was in support of hanging the flags and helped hang a flag on the Turnpike overpass. Rep. Smith also talked about the the flags hanging since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Lieutenant Commander, US Navy (Retired) Steven Rogers who is part of Campaign for America was also on scene helping with replacing the flags.







Remembering the Victims of 9/11

September 11, 2020

By: Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ)

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–Everyone remembers where they were and what they were doing when terrorists hijacked four airliners in order to commit the worst act of terrorism in American history.

Nearly 700 New Jerseyans—147 from Monmouth County alone—lost their lives that day.

No one remembers the shock, horror and numbing sorrow more, however, than the families and close friends of the victims.

              Because it was a surprise attack, there was no chance to fight back that day although when Todd Beamer and other passengers learned what happened to the Twin Towers, Todd famously said “let’s roll” and they attacked the terrorists on board the flight that crashed in a Pennsylvania field.

              Who can forget the courageous first responders running up the stairs of the burning buildings—with total disregard for their own safety.

              On the morning of 9/11, I got a mere glimpse—I say again, a mere glimpse—into the sense of horror suffered by the victim’s families when I couldn’t reach my own brother Tom—an American Airlines 757 Captain who often piloted Flight 11 from Logan to LA, the flight that crashed into the North Tower.

              Evacuated from the Capitol and stuck in traffic within sight of the burning Pentagon, cell phones were all but gridlocked. About noon I got through.  He and his flight attendant wife Sandy were safe but were in anguish because they knew the pilots and crew on board Flight 11.

For 19 years, the families and friends of those who died that day and since have had to endure their loss and a broken heart.

              Both then—and now 19 years later—words are inadequate to convey our empathy for those who died and for the victims’ families.

              For many, their faith in God has helped them survive and overcome.

              Some, including the Jersey Girls—four amazing women who lost their husbands at the World Trade Center—pushed the Congress to create the historic and transformative 911 Commission that was led so effectively by former Governor Tom Kean.

              As you know, 19 years later, the consequences—the ongoing loss of life and health attributable to 9/11—are even worse than anyone could have ever imagined.

              Congress enacted the World Trade Center Health Program Fund (WTCHP) & Victims Compensation Fund to provide health services for responders at the three crash sites, and others in the vicinity of the WTC site for health conditions related to toxic exposures from the attacks.

              Of the  105,272 individuals enrolled in the program—9,157 are from New Jersey alone—and a total of 19,150 responders and survivors have been diagnosed with cancer and more than 3,500 have died after September 11th .

Rigorous testing and early interventions offer some hope to those manifesting illness.

        So today, we remember and honor all the victims of 9/11—past, present and future.  

Robbinsville Remembers September 11

September 11, 2020

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–Robbinsville Township Fire Department, IAFF3786 members along with the police department and government officials conduct a September 11 memorial service today in the Town Center section of town at the memorial on Lake Drive. The site is dedicated to Robbinsville resident Pamela Gaff who was lost that day at the World Trade Center in NYC.

Chief Dan Schaffener began today’s annual remembrance ceremony honoring the 343 firefighters and all those who perished on September 11, 2001. We also remember those who have passed since from cancer and other complications from 911.

Red, White & Blue Thrift Store Donates 2,000 Pairs Shoes For Soles4Souls In Robbinsville

September 10, 2020

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–The Red, White and Blue Thrift Store in Hamilton has given 2,000 pairs of shoes to Zachary Miller a Robbinsville resident that collects shoes for Soles4Souls

So far Zachary reports that he has collected 19,000 pairs of shoes with today’s donation from the Red, White and Blue Thrift Store. The donation was made possible though with help of the store’s manager Roselia Campos and Richard Carmichael who dropped off the shoes today at the Old School House without Zachary knowing. Zarchary was surprised arriving at the Old School House to see the donation of 2,000 pairs of shoes.

Robbinsville Mayor Dave Fried presented the Mayor’s Service Award to Zachary Miller for his drive to collect 25,000 pairs of shoes.

Soles4Souls turns unwanted shoes and clothing into opportunity, by keeping them from going to waste and putting them to good use. This provides relief, creates jobs and empowering people to break the cycle of poverty.

Soles4Souls disrupts the cycle of poverty by creating sustainable jobs and providing relief through the distribution of shoes and clothing around the world. The organization repurposes product to supply its micro-enterprise, disaster relief and direct assistance programs. Since 2006, we have distributed more than 35 million pairs of shoes in 127 countries. Visit soles4souls.org for more information.

If you would like to learn more about Zachary Miller’s 25,000 Robbinsville Shoe Drive click here.



Governor Murphy Signs Legislation Designating Juneteenth as a State and Public Holiday

September 10, 2020

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Governor Phil Murphy today signed legislation (S19), which designates the third Friday in June as a State and public holiday, known as Juneteenth Day. Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, when Union General Gordon Granger rode into Galveston, Texas to inform enslaved people of the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation and their freedom.

“It gives me great pride to celebrate emancipation and New Jersey’s great diversity by designating Juneteenth as an official State holiday.” said Governor Murphy. “Commemorating this date is just one component of our collective approach to end a generational cycle of pain and injustice that has gone on for far too long. Every Juneteenth, we will celebrate the end of the physical chains which once held Black Americans down. While more work lies ahead to undo the oppression that remains, Juneteenth is important marker that reminds us of our mission to create a society that enables our Black communities to achieve the full equality which they deserve.”

“Juneteenth has always been an important day in the African American community. It represents a day of true liberation of Black people from slavery in America. It’s also a reminder that centuries later, not all of us are treated equally and that freedom and democracy are not a given. Our fight for civil rights and freedom from discrimination and oppression continues today,” said Lt. Governor Oliver, who serves as Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs. “Now, Juneteenth will forever be observed and celebrated so that we can collectively reflect upon the indelible mark that slavery has left on our country as we fight for meaningful reforms. I commend and thank Governor Murphy and the legislators who have chosen to make Juneteenth a State holiday.”

“I am a direct descendant of slavery. My great grandmother, my great-great grandmother, that is my family. It is not even a past stain,” said SZA. “It is a current reality that we are living through the post traumatic slave syndrome, the PTSD, and the effects of that currently, right now. Thank you, Governor Murphy for this.”

“Juneteenth marks a day of freedom for Black Americans who suffered the cruelty of slavery and an opportunity to honor the history and contributions of African Americans,” said Senate President Steve Sweeney. “This takes on greater significance as the entire country is confronting the racism and inequality that is the bitter legacy of slavery. We can use June 19th and the days that follow to undue past harms and renew our commitment to justice and equality for all.” 

We have a lot to learn from our history and unfortunately the delay in ending slavery and the lasting impact the institution has on our country is not taught enough,” said Senator Sandra Cunningham. “We want everyone to remember that Juneteenth is part of the history of all Americans. Hopefully, through this law, as well as deeper education and a more honest review of our nation’s history, more New Jerseyans can realize the significance of Juneteenth and understand the systemic issues that have continued to plague our country since that day in 1865.’”

“Juneteenth is not only a holiday on the ending of slavery in this country, but also a reflection on the history of slavery and the suffering sustained by the Black community since 1619,” said Senator Ron Rice. “Black history in this country is a continued battle for social progress, and right now we are seeing people from all backgrounds fight for that progress and improve upon what has been gained. I am glad more people are learning about Juneteenth because the more we educate people, the more we can start a dialogue on how to fix the racial divide in this country. I look forward to Juneteenth next year where everyone in New Jersey will celebrate and reflect together.” 

“This is a way of recognizing the end of slavery in America as an important milestone in the Nation’s history,” said Senator Joe Cryan. “A state holiday won’t change everything, but it will provide a platform to increase the understanding of what has happened in the past so that we can learn from it. When we recognize the experiences of history, we are better for it. We can be enriched as a state and more able to move towards equality for everyone.” 

In a joint-statement, Assemblymembers Jamel Holley, Benjie Wimberly, and Verlina Reynolds-Jackson said: 

“We’re at another set of crossroads in this country’s history—just as we were in 1863— where we can decide to move humanity forward by once again acknowledging the wrongs committed against African Americans and taking bold action to correct them. A visual illustration of the impact of centuries of systematic and institutionalized racism has our country reeling over the question, ‘Why?’ Why does this continue to persist in our communities today? Juneteenth was a defining moment in American History, claiming the beginning of African American independence in this country. It is time for the commemoration of a pivotal moment in history to become an official state holiday, underscoring its importance to our communities and giving time for reflection on how far we have come and have to go to achieve equality and justice for all.”


Governor Murphy Directs Turnpike Authority To Stop Removing American Flags, Senator O’Scanlon and Assemblywoman DiMaso Sponsor Legislation To Keep American Flags On Overpasses

O’Scanlon and DiMaso requested legislation Monday to ensure that NJAC 19.9-1.13 undeniably permits the American flag to be attached to a highway overpass or any other state-owned property so long as it is safely secure and respectfully maintained.


Updates to MidJersey.News related stories here:

American Flags Replaced On NJ Turnpike Overpasses In Robbinsville By Police Union

Related MidJersey.News story here: NJ Turnpike Authority Removes American Flags From Bridges, Flags Have Been In Place 19 Years Since Terrorist Attacks On The United States, September 11, 2001


Don’t forget the Robbinsville Township Police PBA will be replacing flags in Robbinsville on Friday, September 11, 2020 at noon. Please bring your flags to show support.

For all those attending the event this Friday, remember to bring your American Flags and patriotic spirit! We are hoping for a field of red, white, and blue!

We will be meeting at Community Park, where I invite anyone who wishes to speak to say what the American flag means to them. After that, we will all take a short walk up the West Manor Way overpass together and re-post the flags.

Thank you all for your immense support!

Event page on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/events/597290697826772/


September 8, 2020

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Governor Phil Murphy said Tuesday he’s asked the Turnpike Authority to suspend taking down the flags. “I didn’t like what I heard. We are the greatest nation on earth even though we are far from perfect, and our flag represents that nation,” Murphy said. “At least for the time being the Turnpike Authority has suspended doing that until we can find a good way forward.” The governor didn’t say under what conditions or when the practice might resume.

Senator Declan O’Scanlon and Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso (both R-Monmouth) today condemned the misguided removal of American flags by the New Jersey Turnpike Authority (NJTA) from highway overpasses and moved forward with legislation to unequivocally allow them to be flown.

“We are deeply saddened to learn that the Turnpike Authority would choose to remove dozens of American flags under the guise of a regulation for advertising material — it is unpatriotic and completely unacceptable,” said O’Scanlon. “While the NJTA claims they are unable to monitor all of the flags affixed to bridges, we clearly have a massive group of private citizens, veterans and police officers dedicated to ensuring that those flags are safely and securely hung, and respectfully maintained. This is an instance where government oversight obviously is not needed. We have requested legislation to undo this arbitrary, unnecessary, offensively unpatriotic action immediately.”

O’Scanlon and DiMaso requested legislation Monday to ensure that NJAC 19.9-1.13 undeniably permits the American flag to be attached to a highway overpass or any other state-owned property so long as it is safely secure and respectfully maintained.

“It Is unfortunate, actually ridiculous, that we even need to pass legislation to allow for the display of the American flag, the symbol of freedom and democracy, at these locations,” DiMaso continued. “Our local police, residents, and veterans will not simply drive by tattered and unsecured flags. They already make efforts to ensure the flags are respectfully maintained and regularly replaced. Sadly, this is what our state has evolved into. We hope that the Governor will override the NJTA’s faulty logic and decision here. If not, we call on our colleagues in the legislature to stand behind our bill and prove that we as New Jerseyans love and respect our country.”


Update: Pedestrian Motor Vehicle Crash With Serious Injuries

See Previous MidJersey.News story here: BREAKING: Police Investigate Serious Crash Involving Pedestrian

September 7, 2020

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)—On Saturday September 5, 2020 at approximately 9:15pm a motor vehicle crash occurred on Rt. 33 near George Dye Rd where a pedestrian was struck by a 2015 Honda Cr-V.  The pedestrian was identified as Juan B. Morales, 64 year old male from Trenton.  Mr. Morales suffered serious injuries and was transported to Capital Health Regional Medical Center by ambulance. The driver of the vehicle, 17 year old male from Robbinsville was uninjured.

The crash investigation is ongoing and any witnesses are asked to contact Officer Galant of the Hamilton Police Traffic Unit at (609)581-4000 or the Hamilton Police Crime Tip Hotline at (609)581-4008.

Photos by: Brian McCarthy, OnScene News

NJ Turnpike Authority Removes American Flags From Bridges, Flags Have Been In Place 19 Years Since Terrorist Attacks On The United States, September 11, 2001

After 19 years the NJ Turnpike Authority has a sudden change of heart and ripped American Flags from the bridges. Robbinsville PBA releases statement. Protest held in Searen, NJ Woodbridge Township over removed flags


See updates to MidJersey.News story here:

American Flags Replaced On NJ Turnpike Overpasses In Robbinsville By Police Union

Governor Murphy Directs Turnpike Authority To Stop Removing American Flags, Senator O’Scanlon and Assemblywoman DiMaso Sponsor Legislation To Keep American Flags On Overpasses


UPDATE Robbinsville Township PBA is hosting a replace the flags event at 12 noon September 11, 2020 see link below. The NJ Turnpike Authority has been removing flags placed and replaced on bridges by the local PBA

https://facebook.com/events/s/replacing-american-flags/597290697826772/?ti=as

September 6, 2020

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)- WOODBRIDGE – SEWAREN, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–The New Jersey Turnpike Authority has removed American Flags from bridges along the highway recently. The flags were replaced with signage that reads, “Placement of signage or items of any nature on this structure is strictly prohibited.” Many American Flags have been placed on bridges after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States. Many people including veterans, police and other organizations have been maintaining these flags on bridges since the attacks.

After 19 years the NJ Turnpike Authority has a sudden change of heart and ripped American Flags from the bridges citing a “distraction”


Statement by the NJ Turnpike Authority on the flags:

Turnpike Authority Statement on Posting of Flags, Posters, and Signs on Turnpike and Parkway Bridges:

The New Jersey Turnpike Authority appreciates and applauds patriotism. We try to express patriotism ourselves every day by maintaining dozens of American flags at properties in our right of way — office buildings, toll plazas, service areas, maintenance facilities, State Police buildings, warehouses. Those flags are treated with the utmost respect by Turnpike Authority personnel. They are flown on suitable staffs. They are illuminated at night. They are lowered to half-staff when the state is in mourning. They are removed, properly destroyed, and promptly replaced when they become faded or worn and are no longer suitable symbols of our national ideals.

The long-standing policy of the New Jersey Turnpike Authority has been to prohibit the display of any flags, signs, or banners by private parties on Turnpike Authority property. While we appreciate the desire of some New Jersey residents to express their patriotism in these turbulent times by displaying flags on Turnpike and Parkway overpasses, Turnpike Authority regulations do not allow it, and for good reason. The Turnpike and Parkway run through more than 100 municipalities and include more than 1,100 bridges and other structures. The NJTA cannot adequately monitor flags mounted by private citizens to make sure they are safely and securely hung, properly displayed, and respectfully maintained. While we hope that everyone who wants to display the American flag finds a suitable location to do so, we believe that limiting the flags displayed on Turnpike Authority property to ones hung and maintained by Turnpike Authority staff is the best way to assure that all flags in the Turnpike and Parkway right of way are treated with the respect they deserve.


Several Facebook users have posted their dissatisfaction with the removal of the flags on the NJ Turnpike Facebook Page below:


Statement from Robbinsville PBA Local #344:

Last month, Robbinsville P.B.A. Local 344 purchased over a dozen American flags to replace those that were either missing or tattered on the overpasses covering the New Jersey Turnpike and I-195.  The amount of support we received via social media and throughout town was incredible, and our post reached nearly 8,000 viewers.  The reason we decided to replace the flags was to continue the tradition of honoring our veterans and those lost in service for our country.  American flags have been flown on overpasses throughout the state and throughout the nation since 9/11.

Now, as we approach the anniversary of that horrific day, we are extremely disappointed to announce that the NJ Turnpike Authority saw fit to remove all flags on overpasses covering the N.J.T.P. last week, replacing them with signs citing N.J.A.C. 19:9-1.13. This is a code which is meant to apply to advertisement material or improper road signage.  We cannot understand why the N.J.T.P.A. has suddenly decided to abandon a tradition of patriotism and respect for our veterans.  It is not known what happened to the brand new flags that we put up, but we truly hope they were respectfully disposed of, if not displayed elsewhere.

The flags that we placed on the overpasses were firmly secured, and it was the P.B.A.’s full intention to continue maintaining them, to ensure proper respect was given.  They did not impede traffic and did not obstruct visibility for passing motorists.  The placement of the flags was done in the same manner that has been done for nearly twenty years.

I have written to the Director of Relations at the N.J.T.P.A. and hope to have a reason for the unexplained action soon.  If any share in our disappointment at the removal of the flags, please feel free to write/call their office (info@njta.com / (732)750-5300). 

We hope this matter is resolved soon, and we will continue to fly the American flag proudly.  Have a great Labor Day.

Thank you,

Michael Slininger

President – Robbinsville P.B.A. Local #344


A peaceful protest was held in Sewaren, Woodbridge Township, NJ today protesting the removal of American Flags from bridges on the New Jersey Turnpike.

Photos courtesy of Sewaren, NJ History Facebook Page:

Many Gyms Reopen Today At 25% Capacity Many Have Modified Hours

Many gyms reopened this morning, check with your local gym prior to working out.

September 1, 2020

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Governor Phil Murphy has allowed gyms to reopen today with a 25% capacity, you also have to wear a mask and follow other rules while working out.

In Robbinsville the crowds were light during lunch hour for the reopening of the gyms visit Jersey Stong’s web page for modified hours, cleaning schedules and other club information. It is highly recommended to download the Jersey Strong App to see what the club capacity is prior to visiting the gym. The application gives you an exact number of how many are working out in the club at one time.

The crowd was also light at Planet Fitness in Hamilton during lunch hour. Planet Fitness also has modified hours and is using a Crowd Meter available on the Planet Fitness App to give you a heads up how busy the gym is prior to arrival. There were not many cars in the parking lot at Planet Fitness during lunch hour and nothing was registering on the Crowd Meter.

Robert Wood Johnson Fitness and Wellness Center is set to reopen on Monday September 8, 2020 at 5:00 am. See RWJ Fitness and Wellness announcement here.



For Jersey Strong covid-19 reopening information go to this link.

Planet Fitness Covid-19 information here

Robert Wood Johnson Fitness and Welness Center



Hamilton and Robbinsville Request BPU Investigation Into Optimum/Altice

September 1, 2020

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–In response to a wave of complaints regarding poor service and unfair consumer pricing by Optimum/Altice USA that predate the COVID-19 pandemic, attorneys for the Townships of Robbinsville and Hamilton have filed dual letters to Lawanda Gilbert, Director of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities Office of Cable Television and Telecommunications, requesting an investigation into the underperforming utility.

The letters detail 11 examples from the hundreds of complaints received by the respective municipal offices at Robbinsville and Hamilton over the past several months citing poor customer service, unstable or insufficient internet connections, and allegations of price-gouging.

“It is the duty of Optimum (Altice USA) as a utility to furnish safe, adequate and proper service for its customers … and they have failed in that duty,” Robbinsville Township Mayor Dave Fried said. “We should not have to continuously pressure this provider to do its job. Since being assigned to Marilyn Davis, Director of Government Affairs, on April 15, 2020 with the promise of improved communications and timely issue resolution, our Township offices have been inundated with unanswered complaints. With school about to begin in our area, it is more important than ever that our hard-working families, many of which are under enormous strain, stay connected at prices commensurate with the quality of service.”

Hamilton Township Mayor Jeff Martin also has received a flood of complaints regarding Optimum/Altice USA (formerly Cablevision) and requests BPU Director Gilbert immediately commence an investigation into the services being provided to both Robbinsville and Hamilton pursuant to powers vested in the Board.

“Having reliable cable and internet service has never been more of a necessity than this year has proved it to be,” said Hamilton Township Mayor Jeff Martin. “Both municipalities’ residents have experienced similar, unacceptable issues and a lack of timely remediation from Optimum. Mayor Fried and I will fight for our residents by partnering together on this issue and hope that by doing so it will provide for a stronger likelihood of these concerns being taken seriously by the State. “