Category: Trenton

Trenton Fire Department Quickly Knocks Down Fire

January 23, 2021

Photos, video and story by: Michael Ratcliffe

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Quick work by the Trenton Fire Department this morning (Jan. 23, 2021). The fire department was alerted at about 11:17 a.m., crews from E1, E10, E9, L1, R1 and Bn1 arrived to find a working fire at the rear of the duplex at 688-690 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. The “all hands” was transmitted, adding E7, L4, SS1 and Bn2 to the assignment. Multiple hoselines were stretched and the blaze was quickly brought under control.


Photos, video and story by: Michael Ratcliffe

Photos, video and story by: Michael Ratcliffe

Wall Collapse Seriously Injures Person In Trenton

January 23, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Around 10:00 am Trenton Police, Trenton Fire Department, TEMS and Capital Paramedics responded to Farragut Avenue between Garfield Ave. and Oakwood Alley for a person trapped by a collapse. Upon arrival the person was removed from a wall collapse and was seriously injured. Trenton EMS and Capital Health Paramedics transported the person to the Trauma Center at Capital Health Regional Medical Center and a “trauma alert” was called. No further information is available at this time.

Mercer County Sheriff Warns Of Phone Scam

January 22, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Once again, Mercer County Sheriff Jack Kemler has issued a warning to area residents regarding telephone scammers posing as Mercer County Sheriff’s Officers. Over the past month, the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office has received numerous complaints about suspected phone scams asking residents for personal bank account information or cash payments. Some calls have reached residents throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The scammers identify themselves as Mercer County Sheriff’s Officers along with fictitious badge numbers. The callers state they have an arrest warrant related to money laundering charges and need access to their bank accounts. The scammers also suggest meeting at a location and to bring cash for bail or fines. Otherwise, they will be taken into custody. “I can state with confidence the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office will never call anyone and ask for their bank account number or to meet in an odd location to pay bail or fines with cash,” said Sheriff Kemler.Unfortunately, it is difficult to crack down on telephone scammers because calls are often generated from phone banks located out of state. While the calls remain under investigation, the best advice is to exercise common sense. If a resident suspects a particular telephone call may be a scam, do not give out any personal information and simply hang up. Anyone who receives such a call and is uncertain of its validity should report the call to the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office at 609-989-6111.

Mayor Gusciora to Veto City Council Ordinance Creating Separate Legislative Counsel Position

January 21, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Mayor. W. Reed Gusciora today gave the following statement announcing his intent to veto City Council Ordinance 20-60, which seeks to create a new Legislative Counsel position in Trenton government that replicates many of the powers and responsibilities that already fall under the City Attorney:

“To put it simply, this ordinance clearly violates the Faulkner Act, which outlines the separate powers of the Council and Mayor, the latter of which appoints the City Attorney per statute. And despite repeated warnings from the City’s Law Department that this effort was illegal, it still passed by a 4-3 vote.

As Judge Jacobson already ruled in McBride v. Gusciora in May 2020, ‘the Council has limited authority under the Faulkner Act, and cannot, on their own, appoint counsel to represent them.’

So why are we treading back down this path? We share Council’s concerns for unnecessary legal fees. But understand that we are bound to uphold municipal law and would have no other choice but to oppose this ordinance in court. This ordinance would in effect create a separate law department that would be a waste of taxpayer dollars. 

When I heard that Council President offered an ‘Olive Branch’ to the administration, I was hopeful that it was out of a sincere desire to better cooperate moving forward. I’m still hopeful that is the case. But this ordinance is not an olive branch: it’s a thorn bush.

As such, I will veto this ordinance to spare us more legal battles, so we can focus our renewed cooperation on the major issues affecting our community, including crime, economic development, and COVID-19.”

UPDATED: Man Stabbed On South Broad Street Near Liberty Street

Updated January 20, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–According to Captain Peter Weremijenko, on Tuesday, January 19, 2021 at approximately 9:31 pm, Trenton Police Officers J. Rose and S. Demko responded to 1200 S. Broad Street on a report of a stabbing in progress. While en-route to the location, the dispatcher relayed further information stating that a victim was inside the liquor store with a stab wound and that unknown suspects attempted to rob him.

Upon arrival, Officers were able to ascertain from the victim that he was walking near the area of Liberty Street and Adeline Street, when he was approached by 3-5 males, all wearing dark colored clothing. One of the males struck the victim in the back of the head and stabbed him about the right side of his body with what he believed to be a knife. The suspects relieved the victim of $50 dollars and fled the scene in an unknown direction. The victim was able to run from the scene and contact police. The victim sustained non-life threatening injuries. 


January 19, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–There were reports of a stabbing tonight in the 1200 Block of South Broad Street near Liberty Street around 9:30 pm. Sources said a man was found stabbed in the side and a group of individuals were on scene trying to control the bleeding. Sources also said that the main was hit over the head and stabbed for $50.00 Trenton EMS and Trenton Police responded to the scene. The main was taken to the Trauma Center at Capital Health Regional Medical Center. No other information is available at this time. If official police information becomes available the story will be updated.

Hamilton Police seeking assistance in locating man missing since August

January 19, 2021

By: Tyler Eckel

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP (MERCER): Hamilton Police are seeking information in regards to a man that hasn’t been seen since August of 2020.

On January 14, 2021, Todd Dekis was reported missing by a family member. The family member told police that they have not seen Dekis since August of 2020. Dekis’ family also reported seeing anonymous Facebook posts suggesting that Dekis may be hospitalized. Police contacted all local hospitals, but Dekis was not located.

Dekis is described as a 35 year old white male, 6’0”, 140 lbs., blue eyes and black hair. It is unknown what Dekis is wearing and the family does not believe he has a cell phone. Dekis may be homeless at this time and may be in the Trenton area.

Anyone with any information regarding the missing person is asked to contact Detective Dan Inman of the Hamilton Police Criminal Investigation’s Section at 609-581-4035 or the the Hamilton Police Division Tip Line at 609-581-4008.

65 Year Old Long Branch Teacher Arrested in Manalapan for Endangering the Welfare of a Child

January 19, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–A 65-year-old science teacher at Long Branch Middle School was arrested this morning and charged with one count of third-degree attempted endangering the welfare of a child, Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri reported. 

Jesse Rosenbaum was taken into custody during a motor vehicle stop near his home in Manalapan by detectives with the prosecutor’s Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Unit and Special Victims Unit (SVU).  He is being held in the Mercer County Correction Center pending a detention hearing.

Rosenbaum was the subject of a recent ICAC investigation into the sexual exploitation of children online.  The investigation revealed he was soliciting underage males online to participate in sexual acts and also sexual conversation.  The complaint alleges Rosenbaum engaged in sexually explicit emails, text messages and phone conversations with an individual he believed to be a 14-year-old male.

The investigation is ongoing.  Anyone with information on this investigation should contact Sgt. Joe Paglione of the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit at (609) 273-0065.


After Massive Preparation For Armed Protest, 1 Anti-Protest Protester And A Few Skateboarders Seen In Trenton

January 17, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Several streets and bridges in downtown Trenton were closed off with concrete blocks weighing thousands of pounds on Sunday. State offices closed, NJ Motor Vehicle Commission Offices closed, and some businesses boarded their buildings for reports of a possible nationwide armed protest in all state capitals today.

Police were seen patrolling empty streets, while one anti-protest protester, seen wearing an Obama mask with a sign reading, “GO HOME,” and a few skateboarders were seen about in Trenton, NJ.

NJ State Police patrolled areas in front of City Hall and the NJ State House on mountain bikes. The closures stem from rumors and Internet chatter of a nationwide protest against the presidential election by right wing extremists that never materialized today. The armed insurrectionists were a no-show in Trenton.


Photos by: Brian McCarthy OnScene News




COVID-19 Vaccination Sites Planned At CURE Arena And MCCC

January 16, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Mercer County plans on opening an COVID-19 vaccination site at CURE Insurance Arena in Trenton in partnership with Capital Health System. An additional vaccination site is planned at Mercer County Community College and will be managed by the County Health Officer’s Association. See full press rease below from Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes:

Dear Mercer County Community,

The State of New Jersey this week ramped up its COVID-19 vaccination efforts, and Mercer County is preparing to do the same. The County will open a vaccination site at CURE Insurance Arena in Trenton in partnership with Capital Health System, which will manage the site. The opening date is dependent on vaccine supply but a soft opening is planned next week.

We had a successful partnership with Capital Health during the COVID-19 testing program we established last spring, and I can’t think of a more fitting partner for this next phase of the pandemic response – the vaccination phase. Like other vaccination locations, this site will be for those eligible under the state’s phasing plan that is designed to ensure that those most at risk are prioritized.

Mercer County also is working on opening a vaccination site  at Mercer County Community College that would be managed by the County Health Officers Association and utilize all of the resources and staffing available from the municipal and county health offices. The arena and MCCC vaccination locations will supplement, not replace, smaller sites including those currently being operated by municipal health departments and other health care facilities in Mercer County. If you have questions about the CURE Insurance Arena or MCCC vaccination sites, please email publichealth@mercercounty.org.

As of this morning, at least 7,342 vaccine doses had been administered in Mercer County, according to the state Department of Health. While we all want to see that number grow exponentially, we are simply not getting enough vaccine from the federal government, and we are using every single dose we receive. 

I ask that everyone be patient throughout what will be a months-long vaccination process and continue to take basic preventive measures to reduce the spread of the virus, which is still rampant in our community and seemingly everywhere else. Wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth; keep a least 6 feet away from other people; practice good hand hygiene; avoid large gatherings; and stay home if you are sick.

Anyone can – and everyone should – pre-register to receive a vaccination by visiting the state’s online portal at https://covidvaccine.nj.gov. The state expects to have a consumer call center up and running soon to assist people without Internet access in scheduling appointments, and to help answer general inquiries and questions. Those who have pre-registered will be notified when they are eligible to make a vaccination appointment. The state is compiling a list of designated vaccination locations for eligible recipients. That list will continue to grow.

For more information on who is eligible, and how to get vaccinated if you are eligible, please visit the state’s COVID-19 Vaccine website.

In addition to vaccinations, Mercer County continues to respond to the pandemic through testing, contact tracing and support. The County, in partnership with Vault Health Services, is offering a free COVID-19 saliva test on the next two Tuesdays – Jan. 19 and 26 – at the CURE Insurance Arena in Trenton. For details, please visit the COVID-19 Testing page on the County website, where you’ll also find information on the County’s at-home testing program.

These are trying times but we will get through them. Let’s continue to support each other and keep each other safe. Let’s continue to work together.

Brian M. Hughes

Mercer County Executive



Trenton Fire Responds To 3rd Serious Call All Within Hours, Another All Hands Fire Extinguished

January 15, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Trenton Fire Department’s third serious call in a matter of a couple of hours, this time 9-1-1 calls reported a fire in the 300 Block of Commonwealth Avenue around 1:45 pm. First arriving Trenton fire units reported heavy fire on the third floor. An “all hands” was called sending additional fire apparatus and personnel to the scene. The fire was brought under control in less than a half hour. No further details are available.

All this after firefighters responded to an 11:00 am fire on MLK Blvd near Calhoun Street and 12:10 pm rescued a man from a Trench. See other MidJersey.News stories at links below:

11:00 am All Hands Fire In Trenton

12:10 pm Man Rescued From Trench In Trenton

Trenton NJ MVC Closed Due To Heightened Security Measures

January 15, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–The NJ Motor Vehicle Commission announces due to heightened security measures the Trenton Regional-Vehicle Center will close on Saturday January 16 and Wednesday January 20, 2021. Check the website for further details here: http://bit.ly/MVCLocations.

Due to the state’s heightened security measures, TRENTON REGIONAL/VEHICLE CENTER will CLOSE Saturday, Jan. 16 and Wednesday, Jan. 20. For the most up-to-date information on MVC facility closures and openings, check http://bit.ly/MVCLocations.

All Hands Fire In Trenton

January 15, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)—Around 11:00 am., the Trenton Fire Department responded to 1200 Block of Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard near Calhoun Street for a fire in a two-story building. First arriving crews reported heavy smoke and fire on the second floor and called for an “all hands” sending additional equipment and personnel to the scene. The fire was located next to the old Jo Jo’s Steak House on MLK Blvd. The building appeared vacant and the fire was quickly brought under control.

Photos by: Brian McCarthy OnScene News

Photos by: Brian McCarthy OnScene News

Man Rescued From Trench In Trenton

January 15, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)—At 12:10 pm., Trenton Fire Department, Trenton EMS and Paramedics responded to a reported man stuck in trench at 61 Hobart Avenue. Trenton Fire Department quickly pulled the man out of the trench. The man was treated by Trenton Fire, Trenton EMS and Capital Paramedics on scene. No further information is available.

Photos by: Brian McCarthy OnScene News

NJ State Police Mounted Unit Patrols State House Area On Horses

January 15, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Members of the New Jersey State Police Mounted Unit were seen around noon patrolling West State Street near the Governor’s Office and the State House. A few children got to meet the members of the mounted patrol and pet the horses. Today’s weather was cloudy with a high of 51F in the area.

Photos by: Brian McCarthy, OnScene News

Mercer County Prosecutor’s Detectives Arrest Trenton’s H-Block in Operation Eight-Ball

January 14, 2021

By: Tyler Eckel

Six-Month Investigation Yields 18 Arrests, Guns, $228,000 in Drugs

TRENTON (MERCER): Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri today announced that a six month, multi-jurisdictional investigation of narcotics distribution and violent crime in the  Mercer County area has culminated with the arrest of 18 individuals and the seizure of  approximately 1,000 grams of heroin, 1,000 grams of methamphetamine, 15 pounds of  marijuana, 11 guns, six vehicles and more than $22,000 in cash.  

“Operation Eight-Ball was an enormous investigative endeavor and as a result, many  violent offenders have been taken off of the street,” said Prosecutor Onofri. “I cannot  thank our many law enforcement partners enough for their dedication and assistance in  providing safer neighborhoods for the residents of Trenton and Mercer County.” 

“Our law enforcement challenges this year required a coordinated plan, and I’m thankful  for the city, county, state, and federal officers who stepped up to make Trenton a safer  place to live,” said Trenton Police Director Sheilah A. Coley. “In just this operation alone,  their hard work yielded multiple firearms, high-capacity magazines, kilograms of  narcotics, and more than 15 arrests, six of which are connected to several homicides.  This multi-tiered response awaits any criminal group that seeks to plague our streets with  drugs and violence.”

“This investigation makes clear the violence associated with drug trafficking,” said Susan  A. Gibson, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New Jersey  Division. “Those targeted in this investigation brought violence and misery to the residents  of Mercer County. Their arrests have made the community safer, and DEA will continue  to work with our partners to pursue those who violate the law.” 

“In the spring of 2020, as the number of shootings and homicides in Trenton began  increasing at an alarming rate, we set out to expose trends and connections that might  be responsible for triggering the uptick in violence,” said Prosecutor Onofri. 

The Mercer County Narcotics Task Force, the Mercer County Homicide Task Force and  the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Economic Crime Unit, along with the Drug Enforcement  Administration, Homeland Security Investigations, the Federal Bureau of Investigation,  and many state, county and local police agencies, began their hard-hitting investigation  a short time later and dubbed the job “Operation Eight-Ball,” representing the eight-ball  logo used by Trenton’s H-Block, a violent criminal street gang responsible for numerous  shootings and murders in the city. According to Prosecutor Onofri, the initial investigation  focused on the alleged drug activities of H-Block, and through informant information,  controlled buys, surveillances and intelligence, authorities were able to obtain and  execute more than 40 warrants of individuals, vehicles and locations in New Jersey and  Pennsylvania.  

On November 4, 2020, search warrants were executed and arrests were made as this  investigation progressed. On this day, an undercover officer made arrangements to  purchase a quantity of heroin from Joseph Kaite. After conducting the narcotics  transaction with the undercover detective at a gas station on North Olden Avenue in  Trenton, detectives attempted to arrest Kaite, however, he fled in his vehicle. When  detectives attempted to stop Kaite, he collided with a police vehicle causing heavy  damage to both vehicles. He then attempted to flee on foot but was apprehended after a  brief struggle. Also arrested inside the vehicle were Vincent Bowman and Zaire Jones.  Search warrants related to the investigation were subsequently executed and detectives  located 30 bricks of heroin and a shotgun. At an apartment on Beakes Street in Trenton,  detectives located evidence related to murder of Derek Colley that resulted in homicide  charges being filed against Kaite and Tabika Hale. 

The investigation continued into 2021 and last week, search warrants were executed at  locations in Trenton and Ewing, New Jersey, and Bristol and Morrisville, Pennsylvania.  Prior to the execution of these warrants, surveillance officers followed Deshawn Abner as  he traveled by cab from Bond Street in Trenton to the Extended Stay Motel on Route 1 in  West Windsor where Abner and a second individual, identified as Aziz Stroman, were

observed searching a wooded area around the hotel. After searching the area for about  30 minutes, Abner was seen retrieving a box containing 210 bricks of heroin from the  bushes in the hotel parking lot. After retrieving the package, Abner entered the Mercedes  Benz Stroman had arrived in, and the two men departed the area. Arrest teams converged  on the area and both Abner and Stroman were eventually detained after attempting to  flee. A search warrant for Stroman’s Mercedes Benz was obtained and detectives located  210 bricks of heroin on the front passenger floor. Both Abner and Stroman were charged  with first-degree narcotic offenses. 

After Abner and Stroman were taken into custody, detectives contacted officers in Pennsylvania who had an individual identified as Ricardo Moise under observation.  Through the investigation, authorities had pinpointed Moise as the supplier of heroin to  North Trenton. At that time, Moise was seen moving items out of his apartment on Beaver  Street in Bristol Township, and detectives from the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, with assistance from Bucks County District Attorney’s Office and the Bristol Borough  Police Department, arrested him for outstanding warrants as a result of distributing 75  bricks of heroin to an undercover officer in the spring of 2020. Search warrants were  subsequently executed at related locations. 

According to Prosecutor Onofri, the total retail value of the confiscated drugs is $228,000.  The heroin is valued at $60,000; the methamphetamine is valued at $100,000; and the  marijuana at $68,000. 

In addition to the narcotics, authorities also seized 11 guns, six vehicles and  approximately $22,000 in cash. Approximately 24 bank accounts in connection to the investigation were frozen and continue to be investigated by the Mercer County  Prosecutor’s Economic Crime Unit. 



As a result of this cooperative investigation, the following arrests were made with the  listed charges:  

Ricardo Moise, 31, Bristol, Pa. – Numerous narcotic-related offenses

Deshawn Abner, 31, Trenton – Numerous narcotic- and weapons-related offenses

Daishawn Dickerson, 30, Trenton – Numerous narcotic-related offenses

Aziz Stroman, 31, Trenton – Numerous narcotic- and weapons-related offenses

Zaire Jones, 20, Trenton – Conspiracy 

Vincent Bowman, 20, Trenton – Conspiracy 

Kashawn Batts, 33, Trenton – Numerous weapons-related offenses

Jaquane Leonard, 32, Trenton – Numerous weapons-related offenses

Joseph Kaite, 19, Trenton – Homicide, numerous narcotic and weapons offenses

Tabika Hale, 26, Trenton – Homicide and weapons offenses 

Aniyah Boone, 20, Bensalem, Pa. – Numerous narcotic-related offenses

Casimer Phillips, 22, Newtonville – Numerous narcotic-related offenses

Kevonte Bivens, 23, Montgomery, Alabama – Numerous narcotic-related offenses

Aleque Williams-Dixon, 21, Blackwood – Numerous narcotic-related offenses

Prince Attoh, 20, Trenton – Numerous narcotic-related offenses 

Additionally, information obtained during Operation Eight-Ball directly linked Tyzir Hamilton, 19, Treizon Thompson, 20, and Darnell Davis, 19, to the murders of William  Irizarry and Julius Vargas. Arrest warrants for the three defendants were obtained in  October 2020 and search warrants were also executed at several locations, which led to  the recovery of several weapons. 

Operation Eight-Ball developed over six months of investigation. It initiated with the  Mercer County Narcotics Task Force, the Mercer County Homicide Task Force and the  Mercer County Prosecutor’s Economic Crime Unit, and received support and resources  from 16 additional agencies including: 

  • Drug Enforcement Administration
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • Homeland Security Investigations
  • New Jersey State Police Crime Suppression Central
  • Mercer County Sheriff’s Office
  • Bucks County District Attorney’s Office (PA)
  • Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office
  • Ewing Police Department
  • Hamilton Police Department
  • Lawrence Police Department
  • Princeton Police Department
  • Robbinsville Police Department
  • Trenton Police Department
  • West Windsor Police Department
  • Bristol Borough Police Department (PA)
  • The College of New Jersey Police Department

In the interest of investigative security and pursuant to established court requirements,  the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office is limited in discussing specific details regarding  the ongoing investigation and the alleged conspiracies. Despite having been charged, all  persons are presumed innocent until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court  of law. 


BREAKING: 2nd Alarm In Trenton

January 13, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Sometime before 10:30 am the Trenton Fire Department received a call for a house fire at 824 South Clinton Avenue. First units responding reported a “column of smoke in the air” and upon arrival found heavy fire conditions. Shortly after a 2nd alarm was called calling more city units to the scene and additional firefighters from Hamilton Township Fire Department to the scene. Also multiple cover companies were also dispatched to the City to handle other calls during the firefight.

Firefighters and investigators are still on scene at the time of this report.

Trenton Police Department, Public Information Officer, Captain Peter Weremijenko, told MidJersey.news this afternoon: The fire was in a vacant building and there is no indication that there are any victims. A dog was called to the scene to help locate evidence during the investigation.

Further details and video to follow.





NJ Parole Board Appoints Hamilton Resident David Wolfsgruber To Executive Director

David Wolfsgruber of Hamilton to lead agency that serves important reentry mission throughout the State of NJ

January 11, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–The New Jersey State Parole Board announced today the promotion of David Wolfsgruber, who will lead the agency’s day-to-day operations as Executive Director. In this role, Mr. Wolfsgruber will oversee and manage a critical state agency with a total of just over 600 sworn law enforcement and civilian staff who are charged with processing and supervising more than 16,000 offenders currently under state parole supervision.

New Jersey State Parole Board Chairman Samuel J. Plumeri, Jr. said, “David is a true leader in every sense of the word and his strong knowledge of criminal justice will undoubtedly be an asset to the State Parole Board. As a dedicated public servant, David has seen many changes within the complex world of parole which makes him the obvious choice to lead this agency as we continue to meet our two-fold mission of ensuring public safety while reducing the state’s overall recidivism rate through our supervision efforts.”

“I am very fortunate to have spent my entire professional career at the State Parole Board and am eager to help lead this agency during a time where New Jersey’s criminal justice system is undergoing transformative changes,” said Mr. Wolfsgruber. “The determined commitment of dedicated agency employees who consistently work to advance public safety measures and successful community reintegration is both inspiring and impressive.”

Prior to his new position, Mr. Wolfsgruber held the position of Assistant Director of the Community Programs Division. In that role he oversaw the development and administration of statewide community programming for parolees at 18 individual contracted residential and community resource center program locations.

Mr. Wolfsgruber oversaw the significant expansion of licensed substance abuse and co-occurring mental health outpatient and residential substance abuse treatment services for parolees within the Mutual Agreement Program, in partnership with the Department of Human Services, Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services. Community programming, which plays a significant role in the reentry process, assists individuals in their community reintegration process.

Mr. Wolfsgruber also held several diverse positions within the State Parole Board including coordinator of specialized programs and chief of the Parole Revocation Hearing Unit. Additionally, he is a certified public manager, a title that he received following the successful completion of the comprehensive State Certified Public Manager Program. A graduate of Trenton State College (now The College of New Jersey), Mr. Wolfsgruber is a lifelong New Jersey resident. He resides in Hamilton Square with his wife and two children.

The New Jersey State Parole Board is committed to promoting public safety, utilizing effective methods to aid supervised offenders in reentering society, and in reducing the state’s recidivism of offenders while addressing the needs of crime victims. As required by law, appointed parole board members and staff conduct approximately 13,500 hearings per year, solicit input from victims, and decide upon parole matters. Approximately 400 sworn parole officers supervise more than 16,000 offenders and act as New Jersey’s primary law enforcement agency responsible for sex offender supervision. Additionally, state parole officers are also active partners with a variety of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies and task forces. The agency’s Community Programs Division partners with government, non-profit, and private agencies to connect former inmates with vocational, mental health, addiction services, and related services.


Governor Murphy Directs U.S. and New Jersey Flags to Fly at Half-Staff in Honor of U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick

January 9, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Governor Phil Murphy today ordered that the U.S. and New Jersey flags be flown at half-staff at all state buildings and facilities on Monday, January 11, 2021, in honor of United States Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, a former resident of South River, who died following injuries sustained while defending the Capitol during the violent insurrection on January 6th. 

In a statement, Governor Murphy said: 

“United States Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick embodied the selfless spirit of his native state. Officer Sicknick was a product of South River and a graduate of the Middlesex County Vocational and Technical Schools. 

“Before joining the Capitol Police, he was Staff Sergeant Sicknick with the New Jersey Air National Guard. He was a Fire Team Member and Leader with the 108th Security Force Squadron, 108th Wing, at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, and his six years of service included overseas deployments in support of Operation Southern Watch and Operation Enduring Freedom. 

“Tammy and I send our deepest condolences to Officer Sicknick’s family and friends, as well as to his United States Capitol Police colleagues and the Guardsmen and Guardswomen he served alongside. We thank him for his service to our nation. 

“Officer Sicknick gave his life protecting the United States Capitol, and by extension, our very democracy, from violent insurrection. His needless murder at the hands of a mob bent on overthrowing the Constitution he had dedicated his life to upholding is shocking. It is my fervent hope that the rioters whose actions directly contributed to his death are quickly identified and brought to justice.” 

Copy of Executive Order #212

Trenton Catholic Academy Will Close Its Doors In June

January 8, 2021

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)-It was announced today that Trenton Catholic Academy will close its doors in June 2021.

Statement from Mayor Jeff Martin:

“It is a sad day for the Diocese of Trenton, Trenton Catholic Academy (TCA) and Hamilton Township, said Hamilton Mayor Jeff Martin.  Whether known as St. Anthony’s, McCorristin or TCA, there has always been a great partnership between the school and the Township.  Hamilton is committed to helping TCA and the Diocese in the months to come.  On behalf of the Township, I thank them for their nearly 60 years of providing a high quality, well-rounded education to those in our greater Hamilton community.”    

Statement posted on the Diocese of Trenton website:

TRENTON CATHOLIC ACADEMY TO CLOSE IN JUNE; DIOCESE TO OFFER RESOURCES FOR STUDENTS TO CONTINUE CATHOLIC EDUCATION

In the last 15 years, Trenton Catholic Academy’s Upper and Lower Schools in Hamilton Township have built a strong legacy in the areas of academics, athletics, faith formation and service to the community. With limited funding and resources, the pre-K3 through 12th grade school has successfully served tens of thousands of students from diverse ethnic, racial and socioeconomic backgrounds, aided significantly through diocesan subsidy and a specially-established fund, as well as a strong network of benefactors, community partners and supporters of its mission.

Since opening its doors, the Upper School has graduated nearly 1,000 students, sending many of them to top colleges and universities.  TCA alumni have gone on to prestigious careers and several have advanced to play professional sports.  Most importantly, the school has succeeded in meeting the hopes of the school’s late founding president St. Joseph Sister Dorothy Payne, who wanted her students to be: “Good kids that live good lives that make the world a better place.”

Unfortunately, the growing cost of providing a quality, innovative education has consistently outpaced tuition and fundraising income, leaving the school with a $2 million deficit each year and a cumulative need for $24 million in financial support over the past 12 years.  Additionally, the special fund once established for the school has been nearly depleted.  The economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic has dealt a serious blow to families’ abilities to afford tuition and to strategic plans that had aimed to increase revenue.  As a result, the Diocese of Trentonhas regretfully accepted the recommendation of TCA president Michael Knowles that the Upper and Lower Schools — which together educate some 550 students — should close this coming June.

Acknowledging that every possible option was considered before reaching this conclusion, Knowles stated, “We have truly been blessed by so many generous people who believed in this mission and backed it up with their ‘sweat equity.’”  Knowles, who has served as president since the death of Sister Dorothy in 2019, added, “We have had the most incredible leadership and dedication in our administration, our faculty and our staff. We are very proud of all of our students and the difference they will continue to make in their communities and beyond.”

Diocesan Superintendent of Catholic Schools Dr. Vincent de Paul Schmidt pointed to steps that the Diocese will take to assist TCA students transitioning to a new Catholic school next year.  He said, “TCA students will be welcomed at Notre Dame High School in nearby Lawrenceville and at a number of Catholic elementary schools in close proximity to TCA so that Catholic education might continue to be available in Mercer County.”

Dr. Schmidt also announced that the Diocese of Trenton intends to make some transitional scholarship monies available for the 2021-22 school year to students seeking to continue their education in one of the Catholic schools affiliated with the Diocese or its parishes.  Knowles said that with the funds made available by the Diocese, a transition plan will be worked out with TCA families.

A team of diocesan representatives will meet with the 57 TCA employees to review severance and benefits packages, and to offer assistance in finding employment.


UPDATE: Trenton man arrested in Hamilton crash that left two pedestrians seriously injured

January 8, 2021

By: Tyler Eckel

See previous MidJersey.News story here: Two pedestrians left seriously injured in hit & run crash


HAMILTON TOWNSHIP (MERCER): On Tuesday December 1, 2020 at approximately 9:12am, a motor vehicle crash occurred on E. State St and Norway Ave, where two pedestrians were struck by a 2013 black Honda Civic 4 door. Both pedestrians were transported to Capital Health at Fuld for serious injuries in the crash. After the collision, the operator and passenger fled the scene on foot.

During the investigation by Officer J. Galant, probable cause was determined that Daquan Picott, 31 year old male from Trenton, was the driver that fled the scene of the crash. Arrest warrants were issued for Picott for Assault by Auto, Knowingly Leaving the Scene of a Crash with Serious Bodily Injury, and Endangering an Injured Victim.

On January 8, 2021, Picott was located and taken into custody by the Trenton Police Department.  He was transferred to the Mercer County Detention Center and held without bail.

Every defendant is presumed innocent until being found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.



Governor Murphy Marks Start of COVID-19 Vaccination Effort for Sworn Law Enforcement and Fire Professionals

Morris County Regional Vaccination Center Now Open to Frontline Health Care Workers, Police and Fire First Responders

January 8, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)/ROCKAWAY, NJ (MORRIS)–Ernest Doggett, III., Trenton Firefighter, who also is also an EMT, and rides Engine 6 as the Interim Captain, received his COVID-19 vaccine today in Morris County. Governor Phil Murphy was in attendance to observe police and firefighters receiving their vaccinations.

Governor Phil Murphy, joined by New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli, Attorney General Gurbir Grewal, Superintendent of the State Police Colonel Patrick Callahan, Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill, Morris County Commissioner Director Stephen Shaw, and labor officials, visited the Morris County Regional Vaccination Center today to highlight the beginning of New Jersey’s vaccination effort for sworn law enforcement and fire professionals.

All sworn law enforcement and fire professionals in New Jersey are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, which is estimated to include about 55,000 individuals. These first responders are the first individuals in Phase 1B to become eligible for vaccination. EMS professionals, also considered first responders, are already eligible for the vaccine under Phase 1A as health care workers.

“Throughout this pandemic, our first responders have continued to save lives and protect our communities, and I am proud today that we are able to provide them with this added level of protection as they continue to do their jobs,” Governor Murphy said. “When we’re ready to move forward, this site will serve as one of six megasites for the general public to receive their vaccinations. With hundreds of thousands of preregistrations already received, we know there will be a strong demand when that day arrives.”

“We’re all used to charging head-on into potentially dangerous situations, but COVID-19 has added a whole new layer of uncertainty and change for all of us,” said John Alderton, a career firefighter and EMT with the Morris Township Fire Department. “This vaccine is the first step of us moving in the right direction.  Thank you Governor Murphy for bringing this vaccine to not only first responders, but hopefully in the near future, to every New Jersey resident.”

“These megasites will be able to handle a large volume of individuals as we continue to move through eligible phases of vaccination toward the general public,” Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said. “The sites are part of a growing network of community-based sites that will help ensure fair and equitable access and distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines.”

“I’m grateful that Governor Murphy, Commissioner Persichilli, and the Department of Health have opened these mega-sites, and have made vaccinations for COVID-19 available for police and fire professionals across the state,” said Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal. “Our first responders have demonstrated extraordinary heroism, dedication, and resilience in answering the call to serve during this pandemic, and routinely put themselves in harm’s way. I strongly encourage all law enforcement who live or work in the state to get vaccinated and help stop the spread of this virus.”

“We memorialized a lot of New Jerseyans over the past several months,” said Colonel Patrick Callahan, Superintendent of the State Police. “This vaccine will save lives. The fact that this megasite and sites like it around New Jersey are up and running is a testament to this collective team effort.”

“This vaccine megasite in Morris County marks a monumental step for New Jersey residents, particularly our healthcare providers and first responders who have gone above and beyond during the pandemic,” said Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill. “The collaboration across state, county, local levels alongside the incredible team at Atlantic Health puts all of us on the path to greater safety and well-being. I fought for vaccine distribution funding in the latest coronavirus package and I’ll continue to fight to get the resources necessary from the federal government.”

“This is a tremendous logistical undertaking by Morris County in partnership with Atlantic Health System and the State of New Jersey,” Stephen H. Shaw, Director of the Morris County Board of Commissioners said. “Our Offices of Public Health and Emergency Management worked tirelessly through the holiday season with Atlantic Health to identify and transform an empty retail space into a large scale, safe, secure regional vaccination facility. Morris County remains steadfast in its commitment to allocate the resources necessary to protect the public health. We anticipate being able to inoculate as many as 2,400 individuals daily at this facility. Our thanks go out to Atlantic Health for its contributions of staff and assets, Governor Murphy for his support, everyone in our Offices of Public Health and Emergency Management, the National Guard, our Sheriff and all the healthcare workers who have made this possible.”

“The arrival of safe and effective vaccines represents a landmark moment in our fight against COVID-19, making this center a place of hope and healing for our entire region,” said Brian Gragnolati, President and CEO, Atlantic Health System. “On behalf of patients and caregivers across New Jersey, I want to thank Governor Murphy and Morris County leaders for their tremendous support and partnership.  Together, we are taking the next big step forward in protecting our friends, neighbors and communities.  I encourage everyone to take advantage of the opportunity to receive their vaccinations as soon as they are eligible.”

“We are happy to see that Governor Murphy is moving forward quickly to make Covid-19 vaccines available to law enforcement and firefighters,” said Bob Fox, President of the New Jersey Fraternal Order of Police. “His immediate response is greatly appreciated by law enforcement.”

“PFANJ fire fighters & EMT’s serve as the first link in the COVID-19 response,” said Steve McConlogue, President, Professional Firefighters Association of New Jersey. “These environments are unstructured, unprotected and place our members near COVID-19 patients, causing increased exposure for the responder. Many COVID- 19 patients are treated by a fire fighter or EMT before they are transported to a hospital for further care. Additionally, fire fighters and EMTs often respond to emergencies unrelated to whether a caller has COVID-19 only to later learn that they were exposed to the virus. We are encouraged to see the availability of the COVID-19 vaccine made available to all firefighters in New Jersey, we have been on the frontlines battling this virus since March.  A COVID-19 vaccine is one of the best ways to protect fire and EMS personnel from this pandemic. Along with ensuring that the proper PPE is available, priority access to a vaccine allows emergency responders to have another tool to protect themselves and the community as a whole. Scientific reports have indicated that fire fighters, paramedics and EMTs are proportionately far more likely to contract COVID-19 than the general public due to their on-the-job exposures. We thank Governor Murphy and his team for answering the call on behalf of firefighters.  The International Association of Fire Fighters have worked tirelessly with federal, state and local officials to protect their members, and make fire fighters, paramedics & EMTs a top priority level for COVID-19 vaccines.”

“Our members battled through this pandemic since last March and we have shared in the struggle and pain with the residents we protect,” said Wayne Wolk, Executive Vice President, New Jersey Firefighters Mutual Benevolent Association. “We are grateful to have worked with Governor Murphy and his administration to be sure NJ first responders had the tools to safely provide the front line protection day in and day out.  Being moved up in the queue to receive the COVID-19 vaccination is another testament to that support.”

“I would like to thank the Governor and the Health Departments decision to listen to our pleas and move our states brave law enforcement and firefighters up on the vaccine list,” said Pat Colligan, President of the New Jersey State Police Benevolent Association. “Our law enforcement officers, whether they were working on a cell block or responding to calls for service were truly “first responders” from the very beginning of this pandemic and continue to be the first on the scene on virtually every call for service. We are looking forward to putting this pandemic in the rear view mirror and we are sure this will help expedite that.” 

“We are very proud to announce that due to the support of Governor Murphy, along with the clinical guidance of New Jersey’s top medical professionals, we have completed one of our first mega sites located in Morris County for administering vaccines to New Jersey’s citizens,” said Pete J. Stilianessis, President, State Troopers NCO Association. “We’re very proud to have played our part in this very important milestone to recovery for New Jersey and the citizens that we have served throughout this pandemic. We are appreciative to have one of our NCO’s take the lead on being the first Trooper to receive this life changing breakthrough vaccine. We look forward to working with our Governor and other branches in government for further successes until we can finally return to normalcy.”

“The State Troopers Fraternal Association applauds Governor Murphy and his entire team for their aggressive, swift, and committed response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Wayne Blanchard, President, State Troopers Fraternal Association. “Since March, Governor Murphy has had to make many difficult decisions in order to keep the best possible containment of the COVID-19 virus. The arrival of the vaccines has given us new hope in curbing the COVID-19 pandemic and the Governor and his administration have been on the front lines and have been efficiently distributing the vaccines since their arrival. Today marks a special place in the history in the fight against COVID-19 as Governor Murphy has recognized the significant challenges and risks the STFA members face daily in the performance of their duties during the pandemic. To date, over 150 STFA members have contracted the COVID-19 virus and the safety of the citizens of the State of New Jersey depends on their health. We are truly grateful to Governor Murphy for streamlining the vaccination process for our men and women who must respond when called upon even during the perils of the pandemic. In addition, we laud the Governor and his team for the coordination of many vaccination sites but in particular sites such as the Morris County Mega Vaccination site, which has tremendous capabilities for safe, orderly, and large-scale vaccinations.”




Governor Signs Dancer Legislation Allowing Employees To Live On Horse Farms

January 7, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Home is where the horse is— at least that’s the case in New Jersey after Gov. Phil Murphy signed Assemblyman Ron Dancer’s bill permitting full-time, year-round farm employees to reside on premises where horses are boarded. 

“Groomers, trainers and other full-time farm employees often need extended access to the horses they care for,” said Dancer (R-Ocean). “Permitting them to live on the premises will allow them to fully perform their duties and take better care of these animals.”

The legislation (A2768/S1245) amends the Right to Farm Act to allow housing for equine-related farm employees as long as it is in a separate area or level from the horses, has its own ventilation system and meets all uniform construction code standards, including fire ratings. The Right to Farm Act protects responsible commercial farms from public and private nuisance actions and unduly restrictive municipal regulations.  

“Taking care of a horse is one of the most demanding and worthwhile jobs one could do,” said Dancer. “The horse industry is important to New Jersey’s economy, providing over 13,000 jobs, as well as to our environment with more than 7,200 horse farms providing 176,000 acres of green pasture land and open space.” 

New Jersey has more horses per capita than any other state in the nation. Horses are so important to the state’s economy, history and culture that they are designated the state animal. 


Governor Murphy Signs Historic Economic Recovery Legislation

Bill Will Provide Aid to Small Businesses and Usher in New Era of Economic Development

January 7, 2021

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Governor Phil Murphy today signed into law the landmark New Jersey Economic Recovery Act of 2020, which will provide economic support for small businesses, while propelling New Jersey’s economic recovery and growth for much of the next decade.


“These programs are the product of nearly three years of hard work, during which we received input from hundreds of voices on how best to structure our state’s recovery and growth,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “I am immensely proud of the result, which will not only provide much needed relief for our small businesses, but will also fundamentally change economic development in our state while creating thousands of high-paying job for our residents.”

The legislation includes a host of new initiatives including the Main Street Recovery Finance Program, which will provide a direct $50 million appropriation for grants, loans, loan guarantees, and technical assistance to small and micro businesses. 



This bill will also bolster the state’s startup and entrepreneur economy through implementation of the Innovation Evergreen Fund, a first-of-its-kind program that will combine state funds with private capital to support innovative new businesses.

The new legislation also includes several cutting-edge programs designed to promote growth in New Jersey’s urban centers, including the Brownfields Redevelopment Incentive designed to facilitate the redevelopment of environmentally contaminated properties; the Historic Property Tax Credit, which will incentivize the restoration of historic buildings, many of which are located in New Jersey’s oldest and most distressed neighborhoods; and the Community-Anchored Development Program, which will incentivize the construction of innovative new developments by partnering with universities, hospitals, arts, and cultural organizations and give the state an equity stake in the development. 



“This incentives package will not only help strengthen our economy, but it will help address some of the longstanding inequities faced by the most distressed communities in our state,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, who serves as Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs. “These renewed incentives are specifically directed toward reviving our local economies and helping main streets thrive throughout this crisis and beyond. I want to commend Governor Murphy and the legislature for their leadership in passing this bill which will put our state on a renewed path to prosperity.” 


“The New Jersey Economic Recovery Act of 2020 presents a strong recovery and reform package that will position New Jersey to build a stronger and fairer economy that invests in innovation, in our communities, and in our small businesses the right way, with the protections and oversight taxpayers deserve,” said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “Tax incentives and other investment tools are critical to economic development, and when used correctly they can drive transformative change that uplifts communities and creates new opportunities for everyone.”



“Renewal of New Jersey’s tax incentive program was essential to ensuring our state’s competitiveness in attracting and retaining jobs and businesses in our global economy,” said Senate President Steve Sweeney. “I am pleased that the compromise we reached includes a sufficiently high cap on total incentives to enable New Jersey to compete for mega-projects, and that it ensures that all regions and sectors of our state will benefit from the various programs. I would like to thank Senators M. Teresa Ruiz and Paul Sarlo, former Senator Ray Lesniak, who served as our special counsel, and of course, Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin and Governor Phil Murphy for working together to bring this legislation to fruition.” 



“This is comprehensive legislation which will grow new industries and foster innovation around the state. It will create greater investment in our communities by providing further incentives to locate in distressed municipalities, build affordable housing and redevelop brownfields,” said Senator M. Teresa Ruiz, the prime sponsor. “This law will help increase access to employment in high-growth industries, drive sustainable economic development and most importantly help our state to recover from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. This effort is balanced in its approach, it will ensure responsible investment, greater oversight and tangible community benefits.”

“This legislation provides the tax incentives we will need to spur business and job growth as we come out of a pandemic crisis that has devastated broad sectors of our economy,” said Senator Paul Sarlo. “Most importantly, it will provide tax incentives to attract the jobs we want – jobs that pay high salaries in cutting edge industries that will transform communities, partner with our higher education sector on R&D, provide valuable job training and be good corporate citizens.”



“This new law builds a new economic recovery and incentive program that will bolster businesses from Main Street small business to attracting new and larger job-creating corporations to make New Jersey home,” said Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin. “This legislation also creates programs that address the problem of food deserts giving families fighting hunger greater access to healthy food options in the future as well as others similarly aimed toward historically underserved communities disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. Reauthorization of a large scale job incentive package has been a long time coming in this state. This is a plan that will lead New Jersey to a stronger economic future.”

“We worked to develop a comprehensive piece of legislation that will put New Jersey on a path to economic recovery post-COVID-19 and beyond,” said Assembly Budget Chair Assemblywoman Eliana Pintor Marin. “It includes a wide range of critical business and redevelopment incentives, which will spur growth in many areas that have been longstanding concerns for the state. New Jersey has been without an incentive program for over a year and a half, and this measure will make our businesses competitive with those in other states again. When combined with incentives to invest in technological innovation, developing brownfields, and eliminating food deserts, among others, we can help those struggling and drive the entire state forward.”

The legislation also includes a groundbreaking Food Desert Relief program designed to ensure that all communities have access to fresh, healthy food. Incentives would offset the cost of development of a fresh-food grocery store in an area designated as a food desert, while also strengthening existing community assets like bodegas, corner stores, and mid-sized retailers by equipping them with the necessary equipment and infrastructure to provide healthier food options.

The legislation reforms the state’s two main tax incentive programs, placing caps on the amount of incentives awarded each year, as well as over the life of the programs. The programs, which incorporate many of the recommendations of the Governor’s Task Force on EDA’s Tax Incentives, greatly enhance compliance restrictions to ensure that money is being well spent and jobs are being created, including the creation of an inspector general post to investigate claims of abuses within the programs.

The New Jersey Emerge program is a job creation tax credit focused on bringing new middle-class and well-paying jobs to our communities, with base and bonus structure for targeted industries and geographies.

The New Jersey Aspire program is a gap financing program to support commercial, industrial, mixed-use, and residential real estate development projects, with an emphasis on higher need communities.

Separate from the Emerge and Aspire program cap is a set-aside for large, transformative projects. There can be a maximum of ten such projects over the life of the incentives program.

This legislation will provide additional protections for organized labor, a longstanding promise of the governor’s, as well as community benefit agreements, which are designed to ensure an award recipient will engage and stay engaged with local government. For the first time, New Jersey’s economic development programs will include prevailing wage for building service work and labor harmony provisions, which will protect building trades and building service workers from unfair practices.

This sweeping legislation revamps several existing programs, including the successful Film and Television Tax Credit, which was expanded and enhanced to attract large studio construction to New Jersey, and the Offshore Wind Manufacturing credit, which now encompasses the entire state and will allow more businesses to qualify.

Several existing NJEDA programs have been folded into the legislation as well, including the Angel Investor Tax Credit, the Net Operating Loss Credit, and the New Jersey Ignite Program.

For a list of over 100 New Jersey leaders – spanning government, the private sector, and organized labor – who urged passage of the New Jersey Economic Recovery Act of 2020, please click here.


Police And Firefighters Now Eligible To Get COVID-19 Vaccinations Per Governor Murphy

January 6, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Governor Murphy announced today that Police and Firefighters are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine starting Tomorrow, Thursday January 7, 2021. Some police and firefighters have already received the vaccination due to holding multiple roles such as a EMT or other health care provider. This will allow all police and firefighters to receive the vaccination starting tomorrow.


Statement from the NJ FMBA via Facebook:

FMBA: I am extremely pleased to announce, through the hard work of the NJ FMBA and the NJ Division of Fire Safety, under the direction of NJ State Fire Marshal Rich Mikutsky, Governor Phil Murphy has moved all active first responders into the first round of vaccinations. Starting tomorrow, firefighters and police officers will be moved into the same category as EMTs and health care providers for COVID-19 vaccinations. If you have any questions, please call the NJ FMBA office at 732-499-9250. We will also be discussing this topic in greater detail at the January virtual state meeting to be held on Wednesday, January 13th, at 0930hrs. Although this decision is up to each individual, I am pleased to announce many of our members have received the vaccine already. While it is unclear if dispatchers are included in this order, the NJ FMBA is working diligently with the NJ Department of Health to identify which category dispatchers should fall into. – Eddie


The State of NJ is reporting there have been 137,829 vaccinations statewide.

135,606 individuals have received their first dose 2,149 individuals have received their second dose.



Mayor Gusciora Appoints New Director of Health and Human Services

January 5, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Mayor W. Reed Gusciora announced today that Dr. Adela M. Ames-Lopez, a professional public administrator with more than two decades of child welfare, social work, and public-health experience and who most recently served as an Area Director for the N.J. Department of Children and Families (DCF) – Division of Child Protection & Permanency (DCPP), will start this week as the new City of Trenton Director of Health and Human services.

“Dr. Lopez will be a tremendous asset for the city and its residents,” said Mayor Gusciora. “Her extensive experience in providing critical resources for socially and economically disadvantaged youth and their families makes her a natural fit for the challenges we face every day. We couldn’t have asked for a better candidate to help us navigate the increasing demands of the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.”

“As Mary McLeod Bethune stated, ‘If I have a legacy to leave my people, it is my philosophy of living and serving,’” said Director Lopez. “This quote inspires me and exemplifies true integrity, transparency, character, servitude, dedication, and commitment to a community of great people. As head of this department, part of my mission is to provide quality and extensive resources and effective services through strategic innovation, cost effective measures, and evidence-based outcomes to the City of Trenton.

“Another objective is to put the citizens within the city of Trenton at the vortex of my mission by collaborating with internal and external constituents for the betterment of the community regarding their health, safety, and welfare by ensuring the execution of preventive care and intervention, with specific focus on the global COVID-19 pandemic,” Director Lopez continued.

Director Lopez has 25 years of experience in public administration, state government, and the non-profit sector. Previously, she was the Assistant Area Director for DCF-DCPP’s Hunterdon/Mercer/Somerset/Warren region, where she provided operational oversight for more than 500 employees who manage DCF’s various programs. She is an expert in providing services for vulnerable populations, including people with disabilities, juvenile offenders, individuals struggling with addiction and mental health, domestic violence and sexual abuse victims.

She was also an adjunct professor in Fairleigh Dickenson University’s Public Administration program and has been involved in various social service and mentoring programs with the Trenton public school system, the Big Brothers Big Sisters Program, and the Trenton Police Department. Director Lopez was an active member of the N.J. Child Fatality/Near Fatality Board and she is also a member of the Mercer County Commission on Abused, Neglected, and Missing Children.

Director Lopez will have to be approved by City Council within the next 90 days.

BREAKING: 2 Alarm Fire In Trenton, Dog Rescued, One Reported Injury

January 4, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Around 11:15 pm the Trenton Fire Department was dispatched to the 700 Block of Monmouth Street for a working fire with reported entrapment. Upon arrival firefighters found heavy fire conditions and performed searches looking for occupants. A dog was found and removed and treated by Trenton EMS for smoke inhalation across the street by the command post. Firefighters pulled multiple lines to combat the stubborn fire. A second alarm was transmitted sending more personnel and equipment to the scene. There was one reported firefighter injury that was transported by TEMS to Capital Health Regional Medical Center. PSE&G cut the power to the building and fire investigators were en route to the scene. No further information is available at this time.

NJWeedman Opens First Citizen Dispensary Sells Marijuana In Trenton

January 1, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Ed Forchion, NJ Weedman has opened up the first citizen dispensary and is now selling marijuana at the NJWeedman’s Joint. According to Forchion he sold the first “legal” weed in NJ at 12:01 am this morning. There was a party with a band and a Champaign toast at midnight celebrating what he said was the first legal sale in NJ.

NJ Weedman, Ed Forchion said, “New Jersey Public Question 1, the Marijuana Legalization Amendment, was on the ballot in New Jersey as a legislatively referred constitutional amendment on November 3, 2020. Public Question 1 was approved. A “yes” vote supported this constitutional amendment to legalize the possession and use of marijuana for persons age 21 and older and legalize the cultivation, processing, and sale of retail marijuana.”

Forchion told MidJersey.news that current State Government’s legislation is designed for big business and cuts out the small guys. He stated that the people voted for legal marijuana and not for big business. Marijuana should be for everyone that wants it.

Currently the Public Question passed during the General Election allowing legal marijuana in NJ starting January 1, 2021. The legislature and Governor have not worked out all details on a legal marijuana bill and the bill has been delayed. Some say it would create problems if sales are challenged in court of law until a marijuana law is passed.

See related MidJersey.news story here: New Jersey’s Cannabis Law May be Different Than You Thought, NJ Weedman Files Suit





NJ State Police Arrest Five, Seize Weapons, High-Capacity Magazines, Heroin, Cocaine, Ecstasy and Marijuana

Trenton, N.J. – The New Jersey State Police have arrested Bernard Porter, 46, Taevon Williams, 25, Kyet Horton, 42, Demetris Miner, 38, and Brandon Miner, 33, all of Trenton, N.J., for various drug and weapon offenses after a month-long investigation.

In November, detectives with the New Jersey State Police Crime Suppression Central Unit began investigating various crimes in the Trenton area. Through various investigative means, detectives determined that Porter, Williams, Horton, Demetris Miner, and Brandon Miner were distributing drugs from a residence on Hoffman Avenue.

On Thursday, December 24, detectives with the Crime Suppression Central Unit, along with members of the State Police K-9 Unit, Opioid Enforcement Task Force, and Trenton Police Department executed a search warrant at the residence and arrested Porter, Williams, Horton, and Demetris and Brandon Miner. As a result of the search, detectives seized a stolen carbine assault rifle, a 9mm handgun, 3 high-capacity magazines, 14 pounds of marijuana, more than 710 ecstasy pills, 5 bricks of heroin, 5 grams of cocaine, and paraphernalia consistent with the packaging and preparation of drugs.

The suspects were charged with the following:

Bernard Porter
•Unlawful possession of an assault rifle
•Certain persons not to possess weapons
•Possession of firearm during a CDS offense
•Receiving stolen property

Taevon Williams
•Unlawful possession of a handgun
•Certain persons not to possess weapons
•Possession of high-capacity magazines

Kyet Horton
•Unlawful possession of an assault rifle
•Certain persons not to possess a firearm
•Possession of firearm during a CDS offense
•Possession of ecstasy with intent to distribute
•Possession of heroin with intent to distribute
•Possession of cocaine with intent to distribute

Demetris Miner
•Unlawful possession of an assault rifle
•Certain persons not to possess a firearm
•Possession of firearm during a CDS offense
•Possession of ecstasy with intent to distribute
•Possession of marijuana with intent to distribute

Brandon Miner
•Possession of marijuana

All suspects were lodged at the Mercer County Correctional Center pending a detention hearing. The case is being prosecuted by the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office.

Charges are mere accusations, and the accused are considered innocent until proven guilty.