Category: Monmouth County

No Serious Injuries Reported In Old York Road Crash

May 26, 2022

ROBBINSVILLE – UPPER FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP — Around 9:44 p.m. 9-1-1 calls were received for a crash at the intersection of Old York Road and Herbert Road, NJ State Police and Robbinsville Police responded to the scene. It appeared that a vehicle proceeded though a stop sign on Herbert Road and crossed Old York Road and came to rest on an embankment on the opposite side of Old York Road.

Hope Fire Company of Allentown and Robbinsville Township Fire Department and EMS were detailed for reported injuries. Upon arrival of emergency services, it was determined that the injury was minor, and no transport was needed.

Firefighters stood by while a tow truck from Treat’s Garage, Mackey’s Towing removed the vehicle.

Robbinsville Township Police Department is investigating the accident.

No further details are available.


Flyers For Another “Pop-Up Party” Called “Beach Linkup Part 2” Circulating On Social Media

May 23, 2022

LONG BRANCH, NJ (MONMOUTH)–An Instagram accounts named @sosactivated and @percc30_dickk have posted flyers for Beach Linkup Part 2 to be held in Long Branch on Sunday June 19, 2022. This past weekend a Beach Linkup was held where 11 adults and 4 juveniles were arrested causing a public safety emergency and a curfew to be ordered in Long Branch at 9:00 p.m.

A large-scale gathering encouraged by a flyer posted on social media caused thousands of people to arrive in the town of Long Branch, specifically, areas in and around Pier Village. The majority of those people arrived by train. At certain points the crowd was estimated to be several thousand people. A public safety emergency ensued as a result of multiple fights breaking out throughout parts of the city involving the partygoers.

Similar flyers for a similar event called Beach Linkup Part 2 are circulating on Social Media.


Previous MidJersey.News story here:


Below current flyers for Beach Linkup Part 2 as currently circulating on Social Media:




Social Media “Pop-Up Party” Leads To Long Branch Curfew; 11 Adults, 4 Juveniles Arrested

LONG BRANCH, NJ (MONMOUTH)–The Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office says, a social media flyer calling for a ‘pop-up party’ on Saturday resulted in thousands of people converging in Long Branch, creating a public safety emergency that resulted in a 9 p.m. curfew imposed by the city, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Lori Linskey announced.

A large-scale gathering encouraged by a flyer posted on social media caused thousands of people to arrive in the town of Long Branch, specifically, areas in and around Pier Village. The majority of those people arrived by train. At certain points the crowd was estimated to be several thousand people. A public safety emergency ensued as a result of multiple fights breaking out throughout parts of the city involving the partygoers.

Law enforcement officials from the Long Branch Police Department, Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, Monmouth County Emergency Response Team (MOCERT), Monmouth and Middlesex Rapid Deployment Forces (RDF), Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office, New Jersey State Police, Department of Corrections and NJ Transit Police, all responded to the area. One flash bang and the deployment of smoke was used by Department of Corrections officers assisting in limited situations in response to fights taking place and bottles and rocks being thrown where the crowd would not disperse. The vast majority of those present left peacefully after the announcement of the curfew. 

“I would like to thank all of our local law enforcement agencies and our state partners for their response to today’s incident. Responding agencies worked in unison to create a swift, professional, and tactical response to what was evolving as a dangerous situation. We appreciate the efforts of Long Branch City Officials issuing tonight’s curfew in response to the public safety situation. Their efforts are to be commended.” Linskey stated.

As of 11:30 p.m. last night after the incident concluded, there were 11 adults and 4 juvenile arrests stemming from the fights that took place. One police vehicle was vandalized, but there were no significant injuries or property damage reported at this time. The person who damaged the police vehicle has been arrested.


Items Posted to TikTok:

@ric02suave

WE OUTSIDE SATURDAY MAY 21st BEACH LINK UP 😎🌊LOCATION – PEAR VILLAGE LONG BRANCH NJ 🏖12pm -UNTIL TELL FRIENDS TO TELL A FRIEND

♬ We Outside – Tory Lanez



A copy of the flier circulated on TikTok


90-Minute Underground Railroad Waling Tour On Juneteenth In Allentown, NJ

May 16, 2022

ALLENTOWN, NJ (MONMOUTH)–Did you know that Allentown New Jersey was a stop on the Underground Railroad?  Local historian John Fabiano will tell the amazing story during a free 90 minute walking tour sponsored by The Allentown Village Initiative (TAVI) on Saturday, June 18, 2022 beginning at 10 a.m. in Pete Sensi Park, Main Street Allentown, NJ. With Mr. Fabiano’s introduction, “They Came for Freedom” will lead participants past historic homes, shops, cemeteries and landmarks which played a part in helping escaped slaves from the South reach freedom in the North. 

A long-time Allentown resident, Mr. Fabiano serves as the Executive Director of the Monmouth County Historical Commission and is an avid local history expert. He has conducted extensive research on Allentown history and is a frequent presenter, sharing a wealth of knowledge with our community. Allentown’s Underground Railroad history is unique thanks to documented sources of this activity, which are rare due to the secrecy kept. Please register in advance for a timed tour start at www.allentownvinj.org  Registrants will be assigned timed starts in 30 minute intervals beginning at 10 a.m., Saturday, June 18, 2022.




Wawa’s Community Care Coffee Vehicle Visits Hackensack Meridian Jersey Shore University Medical Center for Nurses Week, Distributes Free Coffee to Healthcare Heroes

May 16, 2022

NEPTUNE, NJ (MONMOUTH)–On Friday May 13, 2022 WaWa’s Community Care Coffee Vehicle visited Hackensack Meridian Jersey Shore University Medical Center for Nurses Week. The visit was part of Wawa’s Nurses Week Coffee & Care Tour, a series of 10 stops across the company’s Mid-Atlantic operating area. A total of 3,000 free cups of coffee was distributed to healthcare heroes.



Wall Township Man Charged With Aggravated Assault With A Deadly Weapon In Jackson Township Fight Involving A Machete

May 16, 2022

JACKSON, NJ (OCEAN)–Jackson Police reported that on Wednesday May 11, 2022 at approximately 5:15 pm, officers were dispatched to respond to East Pleasant Grove Road on the report of a group of subjects engaged in a fight in the street in front of a residence.
While enroute to the location, Police Officer Travis Ceppaluni was flagged down on Frank Applegate Road by a vehicle containing several occupants who had been involved in the incident. A male in the vehicle had sustained a severe head laceration which was reportedly caused by another subject at the location striking him in the head with a machete. The victim and the other occupants in the vehicle identified the suspect by name and all alleged that he had used the machete to attack the victim. The victim was treated by First Aid at the scene and then transported to an area hospital for further treatment.
Officers and detectives who had arrived at the residence on East Pleasant Grove Road made contact with the suspect and others from the residence. During the following investigation, a machete which displayed evidence of having been used in this incident was recovered and a suspect was taken into custody after being positively identified.
The officer’s investigation, which was also supported by videos of the incident which were obtained by detectives, revealed that the victim was reportedly involved in an ongoing dispute with the suspect and had gone to the residence to confront the suspect. The victim exited a vehicle which was parked in the street across from the residence and while standing in the street began calling to the suspect to come out from the residence. The suspect then exited the residence and immediately retrieved the machete from a car parked in the driveway and then walked the length of the driveway and into the street to directly confront the victim, who had obtained a beach chair from the trunk of the vehicle when he observed the suspect get the machete. The two then swung the items at each other and during the ensuing fight, the victim was struck several times with the machete. It appears the incident was ultimately broken up by uninvolved persons who stopped and intervened.
Also discovered in the investigation was that multiple other subjects from the residence were involved and that while the victim was on the ground, he was kicked in the head by a second male subject who had exited the residence. Additionally, a female passenger inside the car was forcibly pulled from the vehicle and thrown to the ground and assaulted.


Arrested:
Julian Ogle, age 20 of Wall NJ. The Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office was contacted and an Assistant Prosecutor approved the second degree charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. He was also charged with possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and unlawful possession of a weapon. He was processed and later lodged in the Ocean County Jail.


This investigation is still ongoing at this time and additional charges may be pending. Anyone who may have information on this incident is asked to contact Jackson Detective Stephen Purtell at 732-928-1111.

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

One Injured After Vehicle Crashes into Fence in Upper Freehold Township

May 3, 2022

UPPER FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP, NJ (MONMOUTH)–At 5:36 p.m. The Hope Fire Company of Allentown and Capital Health – Allentown EMS were dispatched to Route 526 for a vehicle into a fence. The vehicle was found crashed into the Hot Lead Stables (White Birch Farm) fence and the driver was injured. Firefighters and EMS worked to remove the occupant from the vehicle and move them to the ambulance. The occupant was transported to Captial Health Regional Medical Center in Trenton. It was unclear why the vehicle left the roadway and crashed. New Jersey State Police is investigating the crash. No further details are available at this time.



Two Manalapan, NJ Men Busted in String of Car Burglaries in Millstone, and Upper Freehold Twps. in Monmouth County

Multiple car burglaries in Millstone Township and Upper Freehold Township. Troopers discovered that 20 vehicles were burglarized in the area and that various items were stolen.

May 3, 2022

MILLSTONE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MONMOUTH)–New Jersey State Police Report that they have arrested Michael Guzman, 38, and David Voight, 27, both of Manalapan, N.J., for a string of car burglaries in Monmouth County.

During the month of April, troopers from Troop “C” Hamilton Station began investigating multiple car burglaries in Millstone Township and Upper Freehold Township. Troopers discovered that 20 vehicles were burglarized in the area and that various items were stolen.

While investigating these crimes, troopers obtained surveillance footage from a residence that captured two suspects burglarizing several vehicles. Through various investigative means, troopers identified Guzman and Voight as the suspects.

On April 27, detectives from Hamilton Station along with members of the State Police Fugitive Unit located and arrested Guzman and Voight at their residence in Manalapan. During the ongoing investigation, a search warrant was executed at the residence and Voight’s vehicle. As a result, detectives recovered numerous items linked to the burglaries that will be returned to the victims in this case.

Michael Guzman and David Voight were charged with burglary and theft. They were lodged at the Monmouth County Jail.

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



Hightstown, NJ Man Sentenced to Life in Prison for 2018 Roadside Slaying of Freehold Woman

May 3, 2022

FREEHOLD, NJ (MONMOUTH) – The Mercer County man who fatally shot a Freehold woman as she drove along on a state highway – a crime that took place four years ago today – has been sentenced to life in prison, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Lori Linskey announced Tuesday.       

Kader Mustafa, 40, will not become eligible for parole before reaching the age of 104, under the provisions of New Jersey’s No Early Release Act and the terms set down Monday by Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Vincent N. Falcetano, Jr.

Shortly before 11:45 p.m. on Thursday, May 3, 2018, members of the Freehold Township Police Department responded to a 911 call originating from a vehicle stopped along Route 33 West near the exit ramp for Halls Mill Road. At that location, officers found three occupants of the vehicle, a 1997 Mazda Protégé: 24-year-old Sciasia Calhoun, who had sustained a single gunshot wound to the head, and her boyfriend and 1-year-old daughter, both of whom were not physically harmed.  

Calhoun was rushed by Freehold First Aid, with the assistance of Monmouth-Ocean Hospital Service Corporation (MONOC), to nearby CentraState Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead approximately one hour later.

An intensive joint investigation by the MCPO Major Crimes Bureau and the Freehold Township Police Department, with significant assistance from the Manalapan Police Department, revealed that Mustafa was driving a 2005 Chevrolet Impala when he fired a single shot at Calhoun, after several minutes of following her vehicle, at one point even colliding with its rear bumper. Mustafa was apprehended at his cousin’s residence in Manalapan in the area of Oakland Mills Road at approximately 8:10 a.m. the morning after the shooting, when two handguns were recovered from the vehicle.

While recounting the facts of the case on Monday, Judge Falcetano noted that Sciasia and her loved ones were en route to Asbury Park on the night of the shooting when they suddenly realized that their vehicle’s headlights weren’t operational – only the high beams were working. They had already turned around and were heading back home when they encountered Mustafa. “Her last act,” Falcetano said, was to somehow safely pull over the vehicle to the side of the road, despite having been shot by a man he described as a “cauldron of rage” who was “marauding … aimlessly” that night, while armed. 

“This was completely random,” Falcetano said. “I don’t have enough words in my vocabulary to describe it.”

Several members of Calhoun’s immediate family, spanning three generations, made remarks in court before Monday’s sentencing was rendered. They described a “diamond in the rough” with ample ambition and a fierce independent streak, who stubbornly refused to let anyone help her learn how to ride a bicycle as a young child – despite bumps, bruises, and scratches piling up – until she had perfected it on her own.

“The defendant chose to randomly fire a shot and randomly kill a 24-year-old who had done absolutely nothing to him,” said MCPO Director of Investigations Christopher Decker, who represented the State at sentencing. “There’s nothing more depraved or heinous.”

Monday’s sentencing followed a multi-week trial that concluded in October 2021, when the jury convicted Mustafa on all six charges against him: first-degree Murder, second-degree Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose, two counts of second-degree Unlawful Possession of a Weapon, and two counts of third-degree Endangering Another Person. MCPO Investigation Division Director and Assistant Prosecutor John Loughrey, who has since retired, handled the prosecution.  



Perennial Home Opens in Allentown, NJ

Ribbon cutting celebrated during the Allentown Spring Stroll on May 1

May 3, 2022

ALLENTOWN, NJ (MONMOUTH)–Perennial Home celebrated their ribbon cutting ceremony during the 2022 Allentown Spring Stroll on May 1st, officially opening in Allentown after relocating from Hightstown after almost 20 years in business. Owner Karen West did the honors cutting the ribbon with Mayor Tom Fritts officiating.
Artist were painting and carving in front of the store during the event which was well attended by local villagers and many more customers that followed from the former location.
Perennial Home brings a wealth of experience with a unique variety of home furnishings and accessories including one of a kind items and products from local artisans. Furniture, jewelry, cards, baby items and artwork fill the sunlit interior of the store making it a warm inviting space to shop.  

Opening Perennial Home in Hightstown in 2002 and bringing her experience to her customers has been a rewarding step in extending Karen’s decorating skills to help her clientele with their decorating dilemmas. Above all, she helps her customers love their home whatever their style may be. Now located in the heart of Allentown at 24 South Main Street, Perennial Home is accessible from most major central New Jersey highways.

Hours, Directions and Contact information:

Email: perennialhome@verizon.net
Phone: 609.448.8830
Address: 24 South Main St, Allentown, NJ 08501
Perennial Home is located in the heart of downtown Allentown on South Main Street and is easily accessible from Routes 33 ,130, 195,539,524 and 526 as well as exit 7 of the turnpike.

Facebook: @PerennialHomeNJ
Instagram: @perennialhome

Hours:
Monday – Saturday | 10am – 5pm
Sundays (after Thanksgiving & December) | 12:30 – 4pm





Reminder: Spring Stroll in Allentown, NJ, Main Street Closed Between Church and High Streets

May 1, 2022

ALLENTOWN, NJ (MONMOUTH)–The Spring Stroll is today Sunday, May 1st on South Main Street (between Church Street and High Street). The roadway will be closed starting at 7:30AM on Sunday and will remain closed until 5:30PM Sunday night. Detour information will be posted. The event will kick off at 10 a.m. and ends at 4 p.m.. Residents are asked to remove their cars from South Main Street starting at 6 a.m. on Sunday. 

Event parking is available at the Newell Elementary School. There will be a shuttle bus there to take visitors to the event. Handicapped parking is also available at Newell Elementary School and the shuttle bus is equipped for handicapped individuals. Additional handicapped parking is available behind Bruno’s One Sweet Ride. 

Restroooms will be stationed at: the Old Mill, on Lakeview Drive, and at the gas station next to Allentown Wine and Liquors. Handicapped restrooms are available at Old Mill and next to the gas station. All restrooms will have hand washing stations. 

Unicorn rides, pony rides, and two bounce houses will be stationed near Pete Sensi Park and on the bridge by the Old Mill. There will be live entertainment in front of the Old Mill. The 4H petting zoo and Hope Fire Company touch-a-truck will be placed on Lakeview Drive near Sluder Law Firm. There will be food trucks, crafters, vendors, and more on South Main Street. There will be no activities in Heritage Park this year. 



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

$1,000,000  Ronald Demura Lawrenceville 

$100,000 Christopher Croux Hamilton 

April 29, 2022

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

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

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

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

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

Grand Prize Winner Story:

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


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


$10 Million Investment in License Plate Recognition Technology to Combat Rise in Auto Thefts Fueling Violent Crime in New Jersey

Funding Responsive to Spike in Vehicle Thefts in Suburban and Urban Areas Statewide

April 29, 2022

MARLBORO, NJ (MONMOUTH) – Governor Phil Murphy and Acting Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin today announced a $10 million investment in automated license plate recognition (ALPR) technology to reduce violent crime and motor vehicle theft in New Jersey through the federal American Rescue Plan (ARP) State Fiscal Recovery Fund.

The funds will be used to purchase and expand existing high-speed, automated camera systems to capture and store computer-readable images of license plates in a centralized database accessible to law enforcement. The technology will be installed at both fixed locations throughout New Jersey and mounted on mobile units. This equipment provides law enforcement agencies additional tools to address the increase in motor vehicle thefts and a corresponding rise in violent crime seen in both suburban and urban areas of New Jersey. 

“The alarming uptick we are seeing in vehicle theft is unacceptable, and our administration is making investments to combat these occurrences statewide,” said Governor Murphy. “To aid law enforcement in this endeavor, an investment in ALPR technology will provide them with the tools they need to reduce these incidents and make our communities safer.”

“Thanks to Governor Murphy, we are investing significant resources to give law enforcement officers the tools they need to combat the rise in auto thefts across the state,” said Acting Attorney General Platkin. “Because stolen vehicles are increasingly used in the commission of violent shootings, deploying these automated license plate readers will save lives.”

Through the Murphy Administration’s $10 million ALPR program, a portion of the funding will be allocated to the New Jersey State Police (NJSP) to deploy cameras along major roadways that run throughout the state. Intelligence gathered will be shared by NJSP in real-time through the Regional Operations Intelligence Center and Real Time Crime Centers operated by the NJSP with relevant law enforcement partners as appropriate for investigative and operational need. 

The remaining funding will be made available to county and local law enforcement agencies, through a competitive process, for the purchase, installation, and expansion of additional units and systems, in strategic locations throughout the communities they serve. All entities receiving funding under the program must abide by ARP rules and agree to share captured license plate information with the NJSP.

The investment into ALPR technology advances ongoing efforts by OAG to combat the rise in auto thefts, including public service campaigns to raise awareness of the risks associated with leaving cars unlocked with the key or key fob inside. In March, OAG expanded the NJSP Auto Theft Task Force by adding detectives and prosecutors, as well as bringing on additional police departments from around the state. Additionally, $125,000 in federal Justice Assistance Grant funds is being made available to maximize the Task Force’s capabilities.

“The allocation of these financial resources to increase the use of automated license plate reader technology is, quite simply, a game changing moment in terms of our investigative capabilities,” said Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “This investment will undoubtedly help combat the growing number of motor vehicle thefts and the associated rise in violent crime. I commend Governor Murphy and Acting Attorney General Platkin for their staunch efforts in supporting law enforcement’s mission to target auto theft and make our communities safer.” 

“Marlboro police officers do a great job for our community and I support their efforts 100% but they need to have the tools to do their job effectively,” said Marlboro Mayor Jonathan Hornik. “I reached out to Governor Murphy to share my concerns and thank him for his meaningful acknowledgement of the unique needs and concerns of New Jersey’s many suburban communities.”

“Today’s visit to Marlboro Township highlights Governor Murphy’s commitment to work hand in hand with local law enforcement agencies as we strive to continually improve our service to the communities we have sworn to protect,” said Marlboro Chief Peter Pezzullo. “I am sure that I speak for other law enforcement leaders throughout the state when I say that Governor Murphy’s investment in these technologies will help provide much needed data that can be utilized to detect possible criminal actors in a wide variety of investigations.”

The State has seen a serious spike in motor vehicle theft since the pandemic’s onset, an all-time high of 14,320 vehicles in 2021 in comparison to the previous five years. The first quarter of 2022 is on track to have a 53% increase in motor vehicle thefts from 2020. Increases in motor vehicle theft have occurred across the state, in both suburban and urban areas. Stolen cars are frequently associated with other violent crimes, particularly shootings. A significant percentage of individuals who commit auto theft offenses have also been involved in shootings.

“Communities throughout New Jersey have witnessed an increasing number of stolen motor vehicles and this funding will help upgrade technology available to law enforcement and provide additional tools to help bolster our ability to investigate these serious crimes,” said NJSPBA Executive Vice-President Marc Kovar.  “We appreciate Governor Murphy’s initiative in working to secure this critical funding and would also like to remind everyone of the importance of locking your car doors and taking your key fob along with you as you exit your vehicle.”  

“We need to do many things to stop the rise in car thefts in our shore communities and this announcement today is one of the many pieces which will help combat it. This allocation will help make our communities safer, our roadways less likely to be used for criminal enterprise, such as human trafficking or gun-running, and will enable officers to stem the rising tide of motor vehicle thefts across the state,” said Senator Vin Gopal. “I commend Governor Murphy and Acting Attorney General Platkin for seeing this urgent need, and responding to help suburban law enforcement enhance their capabilities, increase efficiency and better protect the neighborhoods they patrol by implementing the very latest in anti-crime technologies.”

Two Teens Killed and 3 Other Teens Injured in Tragic Route 9 Crash

A 15-year-old from Allentown High School and a 17-year-old from Freehold Regional High School District were pronounced deceased.

April 20, 2022

FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP, NJ (MONMOUTH)–A single-car crash has claimed the life of two passengers in Freehold Township Tuesday evening, announced Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Lori Linskey.

On Tuesday April 19, 2022, at approximately 10:38 p.m., the Freehold Township Police Department responded to a report of an overturned vehicle. The subsequent investigation revealed that a 2004 Chevrolet Malibu, driven by a 17-year-old male from Howell, was travelling southbound on Route 9, in the vicinity of 3468 Rt. 9, when the vehicle changed lanes and the driver lost control of the vehicle, causing the vehicle to spin out. The vehicle ran off the road to the right side, striking a curb and several concrete bollards. The vehicle then rolled over and came to a final stop in front of 3468 Rt. 9.

As a result of the crash, two of the vehicle’s passengers, a 15-year-old male from Allentown, and a 17-year-old male from Manalapan, were pronounced deceased. The driver and two remaining passengers were taken to a local hospital. The driver and one passenger, a 15-year-old Manalapan girl, were treated for minor injuries and subsequently released; one other passenger, a 17-year-old Allentown male, remains held pending medical observation.

The crash remains under investigation by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, Monmouth County SCART and Freehold Township Police Department.

Anyone who witnessed the crash or has information to assist the investigative team is urged to contact Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office Detective Brian Boryszewski at 800-533-7443, or Freehold Township Police Department Officer Alexander Fay at 732-462-7908.


Dear UFRSD Community,

This morning, we received news of a tragic accident. Last night, one of our Allentown High School students was killed in a car accident. We also know that another student from an area high school was also killed. There were three survivors of the accident, one of which was from AHS.

News like this is the worst type of news for anyone to hear. Today, we are thinking of the parents, siblings and family of all families involved. Any support we can offer our families, we will.

In the meantime, we know that this can be an enormous challenge for students to process and understand; at times, it’s even hard for adults to comprehend a tragedy like this. Therefore, today and tomorrow, we are offering counseling services to students and staff. Today, we will have counselors available from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. and tomorrow (Thursday) from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. at Allentown High School (go to the main entrance).

If anyone needs any special help and support, please reach out directly to Mrs. Embley at embleyc@ufrsd.net.

The UFRSD will do whatever we can to support our students, staff and the families involved in this accident. We will keep everyone updated as information becomes available.

My best,

Mark Guterl

Superintendent of Schools


Bradley Beach Man Charged in Death of Fellow Inmate from Ocean Grove

April 17, 2022

FREEHOLDA 29-year-old male inmate of the Monmouth County Correctional Institution has been charged in the death of a fellow inmate, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Lori Linskey announced Sunday.

Evan Raczkiewicz, of Bradley Beach, is charged with first-degree Aggravated Manslaughter in the death of Daniel Ferrara.  An investigation began after Ferrara, 49 of Ocean Grove, was found unresponsive in the kitchen area of jail at around 5:20 a.m. Medical staff began life-saving efforts; however, Ferrara succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced deceased at 6:03 a.m.

A joint investigation was immediately launched by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office and investigators from the Monmouth County Correctional Institution.  As a result of the investigation, it was determined that Raczkiewicz had struck Ferrara multiple times prior to his death.

The incident remains under investigation by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office. Anyone who has information to assist the investigative team is urged to contact Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office Detective Jason Gold at 732-431-7160 x4025.

If convicted, the defendant faces up to 30 years imprisonment subject to the No Early Release Act. 

The case is being prosecuted by Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutors Caitlin Sidley and Joseph Cummings.

Despite these charges, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, following a trial at which the defendants have all of the trial rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and State law.


Three Men Charged with Aggravated Sexual Assault at Marlboro Residence

April 11, 2022

FREEHOLDThree men have been arrested and criminally charged in connection with a sexual assault that took place earlier this month at a residence in Marlboro Township, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Lori Linskey announced Monday.

Andrew J. Gallucci, of Marlboro, Richard S. Gathy, of Manalapan, and Ronald W. Hondo, of Monroe Township (Middlesex County), each 24 years of age, are all charged with first-degree Aggravated Sexual Assault, second-degree Sexual Assault, and third-degree Criminal Restraint.   

An investigation by members of the Prosecutor’s Office’s Special Victims Bureau and the Marlboro Township Police Department revealed that on the night of Saturday, April 2, the three defendants gathered at a Marlboro Township bar, where they met the victim, an adult female, for the first time. Later on in the evening, the investigation revealed, the defendants brought the victim back to Gallucci’s residence, where they allegedly restrained her against her will in a bedroom and repeatedly sexually assaulted her.    

All three men were taken into custody on Friday, April 8 and transported to the Monmouth County Correctional Institution (MCCI) in Freehold Township pending detention hearings to take place in Monmouth County Superior Court.

“This was a disturbingly coordinated and predatory attack,” Acting Prosecutor Linskey said. “We commend the courage of the victim in coming forward to report what happened to her, and we look forward to bringing those responsible to justice.”

Investigators are actively seeking additional information about the activities of these three defendants, and photos of each are being distributed along with this press release. Anyone with any information is urged to please contact Detective Kayla Santiago of the MCPO Special Victims Bureau at 732-431-7160, Ext. 3588, or Marlboro Township Police Department Detective Ed Ungrady at 732-536-0100.

Anyone who feels the need to remain anonymous but has information about a crime can submit a tip to the Monmouth County Crime Stoppers by calling their confidential telephone tipline at 1-800-671-4400; by downloading and using the free P3 Tips mobile app (available on iOS and Android – https://www.p3tips.com/1182), by calling 800-671-4400, or by going to the website at www.monmouthcountycrimestoppers.com.

This case has been assigned to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Joseph Cummings of the Office’s Special Victims Bureau. Gallucci is being represented by Yan Katsnelson, Esq., while Gathy and Hondo are being represented by Mario Gallucci, Esq., both attorneys with offices on Staten Island.

If convicted, these defendants would face up to 20 years imprisonment on the Aggravated Sexual Assault charges, up to 10 years on the Sexual Assault charges, and up to 5 years on the Criminal Restraint charges. In addition, the defendants would be subject to Parole Supervision for Life and required to register under Megan’s Law. 

Despite these charges, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, following a trial at which the defendants have all of the trial rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and State law.



Andrew J. Gallucci, of Marlboro, Richard S. Gathy, of Manalapan, and Ronald W. Hondo, of Monroe Township (Middlesex County), each 24 years of age, are all charged with first-degree Aggravated Sexual Assault, second-degree Sexual Assault, and third-degree Criminal Restraint.   


Freehold Teacher Wins $25,000 Milken Award, Honored as One of America’s Top Teachers

Taylor Matyas, a former Freehold Township School District student, returns to teach in her community

April 1, 2022

FREEHOLD, NJ (MONMOUTH)–In a surprise assembly earlier today, Taylor Matyas, an instructional coach at Laura Donovan Elementary School, received a $25,000 Milken Educator Award for her excellence as a student-and-teacher mentor who models collaboration, data-driven teaching, and creatively using technology to make education more engaging for her students.

Milken Educator Awards Senior Vice President Dr. Jane Foley and New Jersey Acting Commissioner of Education Dr. Angelica Allen-McMillan surprised Matyas with the honor before cheering students, colleagues, state and local officials, and the media. Matyas is the first-ever recipient in Freehold and among more than 60 educators nationwide to receive the recognition during the 2021-2022 school year. She is one of only two recipients in New Jersey this year.

Hailed as the “Oscars of Teaching,” the Milken Educator Awards celebrate, elevate and activate the American teaching profession and inspire young, capable people to join it.

“Each year, the Milken Educator Awards team searches the country for think-outside-the-box educators like Taylor,” said Dr. Foley, who herself is a 1994 Milken Educator from Indiana. “Her creativity in the classroom, collaboration with students and parents, and dedication to using data to bring best practices to life for her students are what make her our latest Milken Educator Award recipient. We are proud to celebrate her today!”

The Milken Educator Award is not a lifetime achievement honor. Recipients are heralded while early to mid-career for what they have achieved — and for the promise of what they will accomplish given the resources and opportunities inherent in the Award.

“We commend Mrs. Matyas on this well-deserved recognition,” said Dr. Allen-McMillan, New Jersey Acting Commissioner of Education. “She immerses herself into the curricula, then identifies numerous access points for students to make meaning of the content prior to personalizing their learning so they have the confidence to succeed. Ms. Matyas is representative of all engaging and passionate educators who strive daily to improve student outcomes.”

Oprah, a longtime education advocate, shared her congratulations to this year’s winners in a video message shared earlier this year thanking “the most incredible educators around the country” and acknowledging her deep appreciation for the “tireless work” they do.

More about Taylor Matyas:

Models Mentoring: Matyas prioritizes connection and relationship-building in Freehold Township School District, with both the fourth graders she taught until this year and the teachers she now works with. Matyas mentors and supports Donovan’s teachers through modeling, coaching and professional development. Focused on improving and accelerating student achievement through quality curriculum and instruction, she observes in classrooms, collaborates with staff on collecting and analyzing data, researches best practices and contributes to curriculum.

Prioritizes Professional Development: A former student in the Freehold Township School district herself, Matyas hosted pre-certification teachers in her class and opened her doors to staff from Freehold Township and other districts. On the district curriculum team, Matyas has designed integrated ELA units and project-based learning cross-curricular units that push students to think critically, collect and analyze information, ask questions, and tackle real-world issues. When she taught at nearby Joseph J. Catena School, she served on the STEAM committee, planning design challenges and demonstrating robots, 3D printers and green screen technology. Matyas also serves on the district data team and technology vetting committee. As the district transitioned to standards-based reporting, Matyas designed standards-tracking protocols and parent communication tools, which are now used across Freehold Township. At district EdCamp days, Matyas facilitated professional development on blended learning, Freckle Math, personalized learning plans and student learning portfolios. In cooperation with High Point University, she delivered a webinar to North Carolina teachers on blended learning, using print and video examples from her classroom practices.

Uses Technology to Enhance Education: At Catena, remote learning during the pandemic brought challenges, but Matyas used technology to make both academic and social-emotional learning seamless and fun. She arranged virtual lunch tables, reading circles and writing discussion groups using Zoom breakout rooms. Family members, pets and beloved stuffed animals joined the class’s online morning meetings and weekly dance parties. Students “visited” a turtle hospital while studying animals and biomes during one of Matyas’ virtual field trips. Every Friday, Matyas asked students to submit Flipgrid videos reflecting on successes for the past week and setting goals for the days ahead. Matyas’ students trusted her and were eager to be their best selves in her class; it’s no surprise that they demonstrated consistent growth and top district and state assessment results in ELA and math.

Encourages Student-Led Learning: Matyas blends whole-group, small-group and individualized instruction across each day. In her classroom at Catena, students led their own learning using data from lessons and formative assessments, as well as digital content providers like Freckle, Achieve3000 and NoRedInk. Effective best practices, including mini-lessons, direct instruction, reading and writing workshops, guide reading and math, and cooperative groups helped ensure engagement. Matyas used various modes of instruction and learning experiences to meet students’ needs through targeted intervention and enrichment, including digital content providers, adaptive learning programs and project-based learning. During “Genius Hour,” students researched and pursued subjects that resonated and inspired them: ship design, fashion, video production, history. Pupils used this time to create prosthetic limbs, teach themselves to play musical instruments, and design skateboards.

Commitment Extends Beyond School: At Catena, Matyas led extracurricular programs before and after school, including study skills, Lego and computer clubs, and the school news broadcast, helping students plan scripts, take photos, and record and edit weekly programs. In her popular Elementary Entrepreneurs program, third, fourth and fifth graders designed products to sell at a holiday event, raising more than $2,300 for a local pediatric cancer organization, in memory of a Catena student who had passed away a few months earlier.

Education: Matyas earned a bachelor’s in elementary and special education in 2013 from the University of Delaware.

More information about Matyas, plus links to photos and video from today’s assembly, can be found on the Milken Educator Awards website at: https://www.milkeneducatorawards.org/educators/view/taylor-matyas

More about the Milken Educator Awards: “The future belongs to the educated.”

Along with the financial prize, Milken Educator Award recipients join the national Milken Educator Network, a group of more than 2,800 top teachers, principals and specialists. The network serves as a rich resource for fellow educators, legislators, school boards and others dedicated to excellence in education.

·       The honorees will also attend an all-expenses-paid Milken Educator Awards Forum, where they will network with their new colleagues as well as veteran Milken Educators and other education leaders about how to increase their impact on K-12 education. In addition, they will learn about how to become involved in the Milken Friends Forever (MFFs) mentoring program, in which freshman Milken Educators receive personalized coaching and support from a Milken Educator veteran on ways to elevate their instructional practice and take an active role in educational leadership, policy and practice.

·       Over the years, more than $140 million in funding, including $70 million for the individual cash awards, has been devoted to the overall Milken Awards initiative, which includes powerful professional development opportunities throughout recipients’ careers. 

·       Veteran Milken Educators frequently go on to serve in leadership roles at state, national and international levels. 

·       “We find you. You don’t find us!” Unlike most teacher recognition programs, the Milken Educator Awards initiative has no formal nomination or application process. Candidates are sourced through a confidential selection process and then reviewed by blue ribbon panels in each state. The most exceptional candidates are recommended for the award, with final selection made by the Milken Family Foundation. 

·       The $25,000 cash award is unrestricted. Recipients have used the money in diverse ways. For instance, some have spent the funds on their children’s or their own continuing education, financing dream field trips, establishing scholarships, and even adopting children. 

To get regular updates on the surprise Milken Educator Award events or to watch the award events unfold, follow and use the #MilkenAward hashtag on Facebook (@MilkenEducatorAwards), Twitter (@Milken), YouTube (/MilkenAward), Instagram (MilkenFamilyFdn), and TikTok (@MilkenAward).

For more information, visit MilkenEducatorAwards.org




Pickup Truck Fire Extinguished in Brielle

March 31, 2021

BRIELLE, NJ (MONMOUTH)–Yesterday March 30, 2022, Brielle Police and Fire Departments responded to a pickup truck on fire at a residence in the 400 Block of Riverview Lane. Residents and Police used extinguishers and a garden hose to keep the flames from extending into a nearby garage. Once firefighters arrived, they pulled a handline off the fire engine and extinguished the fire. There appeared to be some minor extension to the garage. No other information is available about the fire.




Check Your Tickets $50K Powerball Winners Sold in Millstone Township and Neptune

March 24, 2022

TRENTON (March 24, 2022) – Two New Jersey Lottery tickets matched four of the five white balls and the Powerball drawn for the Wednesday, March 23, drawing winning the $50,000 third-tier prize. Those tickets were sold at the following locations:

  • Monmouth County: Millstone Liquors, 514 Route 33 W., Millstone Township; and
  • Monmouth County: 7-Eleven #34275, 40 Steiner Ave., Neptune.

The winning numbers for the Wednesday, March 23, drawing were: 31, 32, 37, 38, and 48. The Red Power Ball number was 24. The Power Play was 2X. There were 19,843 other New Jersey players who took home an estimated $104,447 in prizes ranging from $4 to $200. The Powerball jackpot rolls to $181,000,000 for the Saturday, March 26, drawing.

Double Play Results

The Double Play drawing is an additional drawing for players who opted-in to the Double Play feature on their tickets. The Double Play drawing results for the Wednesday, March 23, drawing were: 15, 18, 24, 26, and 62. The red Double Play Power Ball number was 01.


3-Alarm Fire Quickly Extinguished in Millstone Township

March 21, 2022

MILLSTONE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MONMOUTH)–Around 11:00 a.m. multiple 9-1-1 calls were received about a garage fire in the 1st Block of Hamton Hollow Drive. Fire Officers also reported seeing a large column of smoke in the sky at the same time and called for 2nd alarm on arrival. First arriving firefighters found a 2-story home with a garage fully involved that was extending to the rest of the home. Firefighters quickly pulled a 2 1/2″ hand line as well as several 1 3/4″ handlines and quickly went to work knocking down the fire in minutes keeping fire from consuming the entire home. The fire went to 3-Alarms before being brought under control, about a 1/2 hour after initial dispatch. Investigation crews from the Monmouth County Fire Marshal’s Office are still on scene investigating the cause of the fire.

Fire Departments responding were: Millstone Township, Monroe Township, Robbinsville, Hightstown, Hope Fire Company of Allentown-Upper Freehold, Manalapan, Plumsted Township-New Egypt, Freehold Township and others. Capital Health Allentown EMS responded to the scene for EMS and monitoring. New Jersey State Police were also on scene.

The investigation is still active and crews are still on scene at the time of this report.

No further information is available at this time.




Off-Duty Police Officer Charged with Vehicular Homicide

March 18, 2022

FREEHOLDA police officer who was off duty and on his way to work in Union County when his vehicle drifted off the Garden State Parkway in Tinton Falls last fall has been arrested and charged with being criminally responsible for the motor vehicle collision that occurred as a result, killing two people, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Lori Linskey announced Friday.

John P. McClave III, 34, a resident of Toms River and a sworn member of the Hillside Police Department, is charged with two counts of second-degree Vehicular Homicide.

Shortly before 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 9, 2021, members of the Tinton Falls Police Department and Wayside Fire Company responded to a report of a collision that had taken place on Asbury Avenue, in the area of the Parkway overpass.

Upon arrival, officers encountered the two involved vehicles: a 2018 GMC Canyon pickup truck driven by McClave, and a 2020 Toyota Corolla driven by 40-year-old Angel L. Acevedo, Jr. of Baltimore, Maryland.

Acevedo and his wife, 35-year-old Daniela Correia Salles, sustained multiple severe injuries and were both pronounced dead at the scene. McClave was transported to Jersey Shore University Medical Center for treatment of serious but not life-threatening injuries.

An investigation by the multi-jurisdictional Monmouth County Serious Crash Analysis Response Team (SCART), the MCPO Fatal Accident Unit, and the Tinton Falls Police Department determined that McClave was driving his vehicle recklessly while under the influence of intoxicating substances at the time of the collision. The investigation further determined that McClave’s vehicle did not change direction or slow down significantly after it left the Parkway lanes, resulting in his vehicle becoming airborne upon hitting an embankment, eventually striking the car occupied by the victims.   

McClave was additionally issued summonses for Reckless Driving, Failure to Maintain Lanes, Failure to Wear a Seatbelt, and Having an Open Container of Alcohol in a Vehicle.

Anyone with information about this matter is still urged to contact Prosecutor’s Office Detective Kristian DeVito toll-free at 1-800-533-7443 or Tinton Falls Police Department Patrolman David Ebert at 732-542-4422.

The Prosecutor’s Office is filing a motion to have McClave detained pending the resolution of this case.

“This officer’s actions on the night of the collision far crossed the line separating passive negligence from active criminality, and as a result, a married couple have lost their lives,” Acting Prosecutor Linskey said. “We hope today’s announcement brings their loved ones some semblance of solace in knowing that the first steps have been taken towards achieving justice.” 

This case is being prosecuted by Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Meghan Doyle. McClave is represented by Timothy Smith, Esq., with an office in Fairfield.

If convicted of a second-degree offense of this nature, McClave would be subject to a term of up to 10 years in state prison, with 85 percent of the term to be served before the possibility of parole for each count, according to the provisions of New Jersey’s No Early Release Act (NERA).

Despite the aforementioned pending charges, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, following a trial at which the defendant has all of the trial rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and State law.



Colts Neck Man Indicted for String of Bank Robberies

March 15, 2022

FREEHOLD, NJ (MONMOUTH)A Monmouth County Grand Jury has returned an indictment against a Colts Neck man accused of committing three bank robberies in various local municipalities over the course of about a month last fall, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Lori Linskey announced Tuesday.

Conor Kavanagh, 29, is charged with three counts of first-degree Armed Robbery.  

Shortly after 1:15 p.m. on Saturday, November 13, 2021, a person later identified as Kavanagh approached a teller window at the PNC Bank inside the Stop & Shop supermarket on Route 36 in Keyport, passed over a note indicating he was in possession of a weapon, and made off with a quantity of cash, leaving the scene in a green Toyota pickup truck. 

At approximately 4 p.m. on Tuesday, December 14, a bank robbery occurred at the Wells Fargo branch on Newman Springs Road in the Lincroft section of Middletown. The bank robbery was committed in identical fashion to the earlier one in Keyport, with the suspect wearing similar clothing, and he left the scene in a green Toyota pickup truck.

Three days later, on Friday, December 17, the Wells Fargo branch on Route 36 in Eatontown was robbed. Again, a suspect passed a note demanding money, indicating that he was in possession of a weapon.

Following the bank robbery in Middletown, Detectives from the Middletown Police Department developed information that led to Kavanagh being identified as a potential suspect. After the bank robbery in Eatontown, Middletown Detectives and assisting members of the FBI observed Kavanagh driving a green pickup truck that matched the description of the vehicle used in the earlier bank robberies, and placed him under arrest.

Detectives searched the pickup truck and located proceeds from the Eatontown bank robbery and the clothing the suspect was seen wearing on surveillance footage. They also located information pertaining to a storage unit in Shrewsbury, and a search of that location revealed proceeds from the Keyport and Middletown bank robberies. Additionally, a search of the cell phone Kavanagh was using contained evidence of online searches for local bank branches.

The Prosecutor’s Office would like to thank its partners with the Eatontown, Keyport, and Middletown police departments, as well as members of the FBI’s Newark office, for their invaluable assistance in this investigation.

Anyone with information about Kavanagh’s activities is urged to contact MCPO Detective Brian Migliorisi or Detective Jason Gold toll-free at (800) 533-7443.

This case is being prosecuted by Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Stephanie Dugan. Kavanagh is being represented by Edwin Wu, Esq., with an office in Freehold Borough.

If convicted of any of these criminal charges, Kavanagh would face a term of up to 20 years in state prison.

Despite these charges, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, following a trial at which the defendant has all of the trial rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and State law.



26-Year-Old Middletown, NJ, Man Missing in Hawaii

March 8, 2022

HONOLULU — The Coast Guard suspended the active search for Matthew Preziose off Lumaha’i Beach, Tuesday.

Preziose, 26-years-old, remains missing. The active search has been suspended pending further information.

“During this case our crews have worked closely with the Kauai Fire Department, Kauai Ocean Safety, Kauai Police Department and Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources conducted 35 searches over 61 search hours and covered 652 square miles with no sign of Mr. Preziose,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Jonathan Lackey, a Sector Honolulu watchstander. “These are always the most difficult decisions to make in our line of work and our condolences go to Mr. Preziose’s family and friends.”

Preziose is described as wearing dark-blue shorts, no shirt, and 3 gold chains. Waterway users are requested to keep a sharp lookout for signs of distress and anyone with information is requested to contact the Sector Honolulu command center at 808-842-2600.

At 1:07 p.m., Saturday, Kauai County Dispatch received a report from a good Samaritan at Lumaha’i beach who witnessed two swimmers in distress 200-yards off shore. One of the swimmers was able to make it back to the beach while the other remained missing.

Coast Guard Station Kauai launched a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew in response and notified Coast Guard Sector Honolulu watchstanders who issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast notice to mariners and deployed an Air Station Barbers Point MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew and the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Oliver Berry.

First responders from the Kauai Fire Department, Kauai Ocean Safety, Kauai Police Department, and the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources were also deployed to search and an incident command post was established.

Involved in the search:
Crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Oliver Berry
Station Kauai 45-foot response boat medium crews
Air Station Barbers Point MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crews
Kauai Fire Department Air 1 Helicopter crew
Ocean Safety Jet Ski operators
Kauai Fire Department ground crews
Kauai Police Department officers
Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources responders.

U.S. Coast Guard story and photos:


HONOLULU — The Coast Guard and Kauai County first responders continue to search for a 26-year-old missing swimmer off Lumaha’i Beach, Monday.

The male swimmer is described as wearing dark-blue shorts, no shirt, and 3 gold chains. Waterway users are requested to keep a sharp lookout for signs of distress and anyone with information is requested to contact the Sector Honolulu command center at 808-842-2600.

At 1:07 p.m., Saturday, Kauai County Dispatch received a report from a good Samaritan at Lumaha’i beach who witnessed two swimmers in distress 200-yards off shore. One of the swimmers was able to make it back to the beach while the other remained missing.

Coast Guard Station Kauai launched a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew in response and notified Coast Guard Sector Honolulu watchstanders who issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast notice to mariners and deployed an Air Station Barbers Point MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew and the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Oliver Berry.

First responders from the Kauai Fire Department, Kauai Ocean Safety, Kauai Police Department, and the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources were also deployed to search and an incident command post was established.

Involved in the search so far:


Crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Oliver Berry
Station Kauai 45-foot response boat medium crews
Air Station Barbers Point MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crews
Kauai Fire Department Air 1 Helicopter crew
Ocean Safety Jet Ski operators
Kauai Fire Department ground crews
Kauai Police Department officers
Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources responders

The weather on scene is winds of 7 mph and seas up to 4 feet.


LUMAHA‘I – Multiple agencies resumed search operations Sunday for a 25-year-old man of New Jersey who was swept out to sea Saturday in waters off Lumaha‘i on the North Shore.

The Kaua‘i Police Department has identified the man as Matthew Preziose.

According to a preliminary report, rescuers were dispatched shortly after 1 p.m., when two swimmers were in distress in waters off Lumaha‘i Beach, near Lumaha‘i River.

Lifeguards with the North Roving Patrol Unit were first on scene, where bystanders reported that one swimmer made it safely to shore while the second swimmer, Preziose, was last seen being swept out to sea.

Hanalei firefighters, Rescue 3 aboard Air 1, East Roving Patrol lifeguards on Jet Ski, and the on-duty Battalion Chief also responded to the scene and began an extensive search for the missing man – focusing from the reefs off Hā‘ena point to Hanalei Bay, with an emphasis on the Lumaha‘i Beach area. Officials from the U.S. Coast Guard also joined the search, utilizing their water and air assets.

Due to darkness, firefighters and lifeguards suspended their search Saturday evening at approximately 6 p.m. U.S. Coast Guard personnel continued to search through the night, with no sign of the missing swimmer.

The search was resumed Sunday morning with lifeguards and firefighters on Jet Ski, Rescue 3 aboard Air 1, Jet Ski assets from the state Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), along with air and water assets from the U.S. Coast Guard. Shoreline searches are also being conducted Sunday by the Kaua‘i Police Department and DLNR.

Updates on the search will be given as information becomes available.

Preziose is 5 feet, 11 inches tall and was last seen wearing blue swim shorts. Anyone with information about the missing swimmer is urged to call KPD Dispatch at 241-1711.

###

Photo of missing swimmer, Matthew Preziose, courtesy of Kaua‘i Police Department.



NJ State Golf Association’s Evans Scholarship Recipients Announced

March 8, 2022

GLENVIEW, IL–Seven students from New Jersey have been awarded the New Jersey State Golf Association Evans Scholarship, a full housing and tuition college grant offered to golf caddies, following a final selection interview held Feb. 8.
The result of a partnership between the Western Golf Association’s Evans Scholars Foundation and the NJSGA’s Caddie Scholarship Foundation, NJSGA Evans Scholars are chosen based on displaying a strong caddie record, excellent academics, financial need and outstanding character. Candidates must meet the qualifications of both organizations in order to earn the scholarship. Winners are listed below.
The students will begin college this fall as NJSGA Evans Scholars at leading universities across the nation, with most planning to attend Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. The Evans Scholarship is valued at more than $120,000 over four years. There are currently 15 NJSGA Evans Scholars in school this year.
“Our NJSGA Evans Scholars are part of an exceptional incoming class of New Scholars from around the nation,” said WGA Chairman Joe Desch. “They represent what the Evans Scholars Program has been about since 1930.”
“We are extremely excited to partner with the Evans Scholars Foundation to announce this group of NJSGA Evans Scholars,” said NJSGA President Michael McFadden. “They are all outstanding individuals and well deserving of the award.”
The Evans Scholars selection interviews are being held with applicants nationwide through the spring. When the 2021-22 selection meeting process is complete, an estimated 315 caddies from across the country are expected to be awarded the Evans Scholarship.
The Western Golf Association, headquartered in Glenview, Illinois, has supported the Chick Evans Scholarship Program through the Evans Scholars Foundation since 1930. Known as one of golf’s favorite charities, it is the nation’s largest scholarship program for caddies.
Currently, a record 1,070 caddies are enrolled at 21 universities across the nation as Evans Scholars, and more than 11,500 caddies have graduated as Evans Scholars since the program was founded by famed Chicago amateur golfer Charles “Chick” Evans Jr.
Scholarship funds come mostly from contributions by nearly 35,000 supporters across the country, who are members of the Evans Scholars Par Club program. Evans Scholars Alumni donate more than $17 million annually, and all proceeds from the BMW Championship, the penultimate PGA TOUR Playoff event in the PGA TOUR’s FedExCup competition, are donated to the Evans Scholars Foundation. In 2022, the BMW Championship will be held at Wilmington Country Club in Wilmington, Delaware, from Aug. 16-21.










About the Evans Scholars Foundation
The Western Golf Association, headquartered in Glenview, Illinois, has supported the Evans Scholars Foundation since 1930. One of golf’s favorite charities, the Evans Scholars Program is the nation’s largest scholarship program for caddies. Currently, a record 1,070 caddies are enrolled in 21 universities across the nation as Evans Scholars, and more than 11,500 caddies have graduated as Evans Scholars since the program was founded by famed Chicago amateur golfer Charles “Chick” Evans Jr.
Scholarship funds come mostly from contributions by nearly 35,000 golfers across the country, who are members of the Evans Scholars Par Club program. Evans Scholars Alumni donate more than $17 million annually, and all proceeds from the BMW Championship, the third of four PGA TOUR Playoff events in the PGA TOUR’s FedExCup competition, are donated to the Evans Scholars Foundation. The BMW Championship will be held at Wilmington Country Club from Aug. 16-21, 2022. Proceeds from the event will help support the Evans Scholars Program. To learn more about the WGA and ESF, visit www.wgaesf.org.


About the New Jersey State Golf Association
Founded in 1900, the New Jersey State Golf Association promotes and preserves the traditions of the game of golf in the State of New Jersey. Today, more than 250 member clubs, courses, and organizations represent nearly 65,000 members of the NJSGA. Most importantly, due to the variety and quality of services provided to its member clubs, courses, and golfers, the Association continues to grow. The NJSGA is proud of its diverse tournament schedule, which includes 24 State Championships for golfers of varying backgrounds and skill levels. To learn more, visit njsga.org.


About the NJSGA Caddie Scholarship Foundation
The NJSGA Caddie Scholarship Foundation has been a paramount piece of the NJSGA since 1947. As it enters its 75th year, the CSF provides financial assistance to deserving New Jersey club caddies pursuing higher education. Most notably, since its inception the CSF has provided more than $16 million in college scholarship awards to over 3,100 caddies. For the 2020-21 academic year, the Foundation has provided 157 caddies with over $667,000 in scholarships. Caddie scholars are selected based on their academic performance, financial need, and length and quality of service as a caddie. The 157 Caddie Scholars for the academic year 2020-21 represent 81 colleges. To learn more, visit njsga.org/caddie-scholarship.



Former Long Branch Police Officer Sentenced to 10-Years for Home Meth Lab

March 7, 2022

FREEHOLD, NJ (MONMOUTH)A former member of the Long Branch Police Department has been sentenced to 10 years in state prison for manufacturing methamphetamine at his home last year, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Lori Linskey announced Monday.

Christopher Walls, 50, was sentenced Friday by Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Jill G. O’Malley, having previously pleaded guilty to charges of second-degree Causing a Risk of Widespread Injury and third-degree Manufacturing a Controlled Dangerous Substance (CDS). The term includes a two-year period of parole ineligibility, and as part of the plea, Walls also permanently forfeited public office, as well as his firearms and firearms ID card.

Police were called to Walls’s home on the 300 block of West End Avenue on May 15, 2021for a report of a domestic disturbance. While officers were on scene, another resident in the home alleged that Walls was involved in suspicious narcotics activity. The New Jersey State Police (NJSP) Hazmat Unit responded to the scene and located materials, chemicals, and instruments consistent with a methamphetamine laboratory in both the basement of the residence and in a shed on the property. 

The Unit confirmed that Walls was in possession of ingredients necessary to manufacture methamphetamine, and found meth residue in chemistry-related glassware on site. A joint investigation by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office’s Professional Responsibility and Narcotics Units and the Long Branch Police Department revealed that Walls had also been in possession of books related to making methamphetamine, explosives, and poison.

Additionally, a large unsecured gun safe was located in the home, and was found to be accessible to a child living there. Inside the safe were two long guns, four handguns, eight high-capacity magazines, and a large quantity of ammunition.

“In manufacturing illegal narcotics out of his home, Officer Walls threatened the safety and security of the very community he swore an oath to protect and serve,” Acting Prosecutor Linskey said. “We feel that this sentence sends an unmistakable message that such conduct among members of law enforcement will never be tolerated.  This former officer’s actions are also a profound disservice to all of the hardworking and dedicated members of law enforcement who work diligently each day to protect their communities with honor.”

The case was prosecuted by Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Melanie Falco, Director of the Office’s Professional Responsibilities and Bias Crime Unit.

Walls was represented by Mitchell Ansell, Esq., of Ocean Township.


NJ Convoy to DC North Route Day 1

March 5, 2022

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

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





Serious Crash in Upper Freehold Under Investigation

March 3, 2022 Update:

Trooper Charles Marchan from the NJ State Police Public Information Unit told MidJersey.News that Troopers responded to a motor vehicle crash at 4:22 p.m. on CR 524, milepost 11.03, in Upper Freehold Township. 

Based on a preliminary investigation a Toyota Rav4 was traveling northbound on CR 43 (Imlaystown- Hightstown Road). A Hona motorcycle was traveling eastbound on CR 524. At the intersection of CR 524 and CR 43 (Imlaystown-Hightstown Road) the Honda motorcycle impacted the driver side of the Toyota. The operator of the Motorcycle Victor J. Runner, a 60-year-old man of Millstone N.J. suffered serious injuries. 

The crash remains under investigation and there is no additional information available at the moment. 


March 2, 2022

UPPER FREEHOLD, NJ (MONMOUTH)–Around 4:20 p.m. a motorcycle and a Toyota collided at the intersection of Route 524 and Imlaystown-Hightstown Road collided leaving one person with severe life-threating injuries. New Jersey State Police, Hope Fire Company of Allentown-Upper Freehold, and Allentown EMS and Capital Health Paramedics responded. The injured person was transported to Capital Health Regional Medical Center in Trenton. New Jersey State Police Serious Collision Investigation Team has responded and investigating the crash. No further details are available at this time.


Occupants Escape Fiery Crash in Upper Freehold

February 28, 2022

UPPER FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP, NJ (MONMOUTH)–A Range Rover traveling east bound on Davis Station lost control near the curve in the area of Harvey Road causing the vehicle to leave the roadway. The Range Rover knocked over road sign, cut a cedar tree in half and burst into flames when it came to rest against a utility pole. The Hope Fire Company of Allentown-Upper Freehold, New Jersey State Police and Allentown-Capital Health EMS were dispatched to the scene around 2:24 p.m. Luckily, occupants were able to escape the fiery wreckage prior to first-responders arrival since the vehicle was found fully involved in fire. Hope Fire Company-Upper Freehold Firefighters quickly knocked down the flames. There was heavy fire damage to the utility pole and JCP&L and other utilities were notified. Occupants of the vehicle were walking around at the scene and appeared uninjured and may have been transported for a medical evaluation. The New Jersey State Police is investigating the crash. No further details are available at this time.


Marlboro Over Robbinsville Ice Hockey in NJSIAA State Tournament Public C

February 25, 2022

WEST WINDSOR, NJ (MERCER)–Marlboro-Holmdel won their game against Robbinsville-Allentown with a final score of 3-0 at the Mercer County Skating Center. Marlboro-Holmdel advances to the Quarterfinal Round in the NJSIAA State Ice Hockey Tournament Public C Division. Marlboro-Holmdel takes on Governor Livingston on Monday February 28, 2022.



Woman Charged with Stealing from Another Employer

February 25, 2022

FREEHOLDThe Howell woman who was criminally charged last month with swindling a former employer out of more than $2.2 million over the course of seven years has been additionally criminally charged with stealing more than $67,000 from her next employer, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Lori Linskey announced Friday.

Donna Cook, 52, is charged with third-degree Theft by Unlawful Taking, third-degree Forgery, and third-degree False Uttering.

After news coverage of Cook’s January arrest circulated, her next employer, a Shrewsbury-based excavating company, reviewed its financial records – and discovered that from early November 2021 into early January 2022, Cook had allegedly written multiple checks out to cash, and an additional check made out to directly pay a personal expense, with forged signatures, according to an investigation by the MCPO Financial Crimes and Public Corruption Bureau.

Cook turned herself in again to authorities on Friday, after which she was released with a pending first appearance to take place in Monmouth County Superior Court. The arrest was made a little more than a week after her scheduled first appearance in the initial case against her, which resulted in separate charges of second-degree Theft, third-degree Forgery, and third-degree False Uttering in connection with Cook’s alleged actions taken while at her previous employer, a Tinton Falls-based construction company.

The Prosecutor’s Office would like to thank the members of the Shrewsbury and Tinton Falls police departments who assisted the two investigations. Anyone with additional information about potentially problematic activities on the part of Cook at any of her places of employment is encouraged to contact MCPO Detective Michael Acquaviva toll-free at (800) 533-7443.

These cases are being prosecuted by Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Kristen Anastos. Cook is being represented by Allison Friedman, Esq., with an office in Freehold.

If convicted on the second-degree offense, Cook faces up to 10 years in state prison.

Despite the aforementioned pending charges, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, following a trial at which the defendant has all of the trial rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and State law.