Category: Englishtown

Monmouth County Voting Information And Video Tutorial

October 8, 2020

Visit: https://www.monmouthcountyvotes.com/ for the latest voting information in Monmouth County

FREEHOLD, NJ (MONMOUTH)–As you may be aware, this year’s November General Election in New Jersey is being conducted primarily by mail-in ballots, per State mandate. On November 3, 2020, Election Day, limited polling locations will be open for voting on paper provisional ballots only, except for disabled voters. 

Voters across Monmouth County are receiving their mail-in ballots this week and are encouraged to contact the County Clerk’s Election Office at 732-431-7790, Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with any questions about the delivery of their ballots. 

Due to this unprecedented change in our election process, Monmouth County Clerk Christine Giordano Hanlon has provided a comprehensive webpage on MonmouthCountyVotes.com, explaining this year’s election process.

In addition, our office has provided video tutorials, including an animated step-by-step video informing Monmouth County voters of how to properly complete and return their mail-in ballots. The tutorial also explains how the paper ballots are reviewed and verified by the Monmouth County Board of Elections.

The video can be viewed on our Facebook and YouTube pages. We encourage you to share this important information with your friends and neighbors.







Election Hotline Established to Secure Election Integrity

To help ensure free and fair elections in Monmouth County, the County Election Offices and Prosecutor’s Office have established an election hotline. To report any issues of voter fraud or misconduct in Monmouth County, residents can call the County Prosecutor’s Office hotline at 855-786-5878.

“Our democratic system of government depends on free and fair elections and, as such, election integrity and security is important to all of us,” said County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni and County Clerk Christine Giordano Hanlon. “For these reasons, our offices are working together to further safeguard the electoral process.”


Upcoming Dates and Voter Deadlines

  • Monday, October 12th: All County Offices closed in observance of Columbus Day
  • Tuesday, October 13th: Voter Registration Deadline for the November General Election
  • Friday, October 30th: Application Deadline for General Election Mail-In Ballots by Electronic Means for Qualified Overseas Civilian and Military Voters 
  • Tuesday, November 3rd: General Election Day!
  • Tuesday, November 3rd at 8 p.m.: Close of the polls; Deadline to deliver mail-in ballot by U.S. Postal Service mail, Drop Box, or in-person to the County Board of Elections at 300 Halls Mill Road in Freehold or at assigned Polling Place.

Monmouth County Secure Ballot Dropbox Locations:

LocationAddressEntry
1Aberdeen Municipal Building1 Aberdeen Square
Aberdeen, NJ 07747
2Allentown Borough Hall8 North Main Street
Allentown, NJ 08501
3Asbury Park City Hall1 Municipal Plaza
Asbury Park, NJ 07712
City Council Chambers (Bangs Avenue Entrance)
4Borough of Belmar Municipal Building601 Main Street
Belmar, NJ 07719
5Eatontown Borough Municipal Building47 Broad Street
Eatontown, NJ 07724
Rear Entrance
6Board of Elections Office300 Halls Mill Road
Freehold, NJ 07728
Side Entrance
7Hazlet Agency – NJ Motor Vehicle Commission1374 Highway 36
Hazlet, NJ 07730
Airport Plaza
8Howell Township Municipal Building4567 Route 9 North
Howell, NJ 07731
Rear Entrance
9Long Branch City Hall344 Broadway
Long Branch, NJ 07740
10Manalapan Township Municipal Building120 County Road 522
Manalapan, NJ 07726
11Middletown Municipal Building1 Kings Highway
Middletown Township, NJ 07748
12Croydon Hall900 Leonardville Road
Leonardo, NJ 07737
13Neptune Township Municipal Building25 Neptune Boulevard
Neptune, NJ 07753
Library Entrance
14Ocean Township Town Hall399 Monmouth Road
Oakhurst, NJ 07755
15Red Bank Borough Municipal Building90 Monmouth Street
Red Bank, NJ 07701
16Rumson Borough Hall80 East River Road
Rumson, NJ 07760
17Wall Township Municipal Building2700 Allaire Road
Wall, NJ 07719

Middlesex County Man With An Englishtown Accounting Firm Charged In $385,000 Swindle

October 8, 2020

FREEHOLD, NJ (MONMOUTH)–A Middlesex County man with an Englishtown-based accounting firm is charged with stealing about $385,000 in tax payments from a wholesale distributor now based in South Carolina, announced Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.

William A. Berry, of South Plainfield, was arrested and charged Tuesday with second degree Theft by Failure to Make Required Disposition. Berry was arrested with assistance from the Englishtown Police Department following a 10-month investigation by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office.

If convicted, Berry faces up to 10 years in a New Jersey state prison.

Berry, who will be 49 years old next week, is the owner of William Berry & Associates, an accounting and tax preparation business in Englishtown. The investigation found Berry stole funds in the aggregate amount of $385,000 for his personal use from the victims between March 2017 and July 2019. The investigation revealed Berry received funds from the victims’ personal and business banking accounts for the purposes of remitting federal and state quarterly taxes on behalf of the victims.  In turn, Berry failed to remit tax payments to the proper tax collecting authorities.

The Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office was contacted in December 2019 by a civil attorney for victims, the owners of a multi-million-dollar wholesaler distribution company that specializes in holiday décor currently based in Charleston, South Carolina.

The victims, former New Jersey residents, were subsequently contacted by law enforcement and reported hiring Berry to file and remit corporate taxes for their business after their former accountant retired.  The victims reported having previous business dealings with Berry at his Englishtown-based practice.  The investigation revealed Berry corresponded with the victims to advise them of the amounts to be remitted to the federal and state tax collection authorities on a quarterly basis. The victims sent funds between March 2017 through July 2019 at the direction of Berry, from their Bank of America accounts to a Wells Fargo bank account held in the name of William Berry and Associates.  The victims received subsequent notifications from the State of South Carolina and the Internal Revenue Service for failure to file and remit taxes for the years 2017 and 2018. 

The case is being prosecuted by Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Kristen Anastos.

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.

Lawmaker Wants Restoring Public Utilities In Rural Areas To Be A Top Priority

October 1, 2020

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–The lengthy process of restoring public utilities after a major storm has been an issue plaguing rural residents for quite some time. Assemblyman Ron Dancer wants to ensure rural areas are given the same level of priority as the rest of the state and has introduced two bills speed up restoration after thunderstorms, snowstorms, and other major events. 

The first bill (A4761) would give public utilities and cable television companies the ability to use drones to survey damaged infrastructure.

“Drones are a powerful tool in assessing damage and assisting with repairs after a major storm,” said Dancer (R-Ocean). “Other states have allowed utility companies to use drones with much success. We cannot afford to continue to have slow restoration times, so it makes sense to allow the utility companies to use drones to speed up the process.”

Dancer’s second bill (A4763) would require the Board of Public Utilities to create new regulations to require that electric companies prioritize communities where at least 40 percent of residents rely on private wells for drinking water and septic systems for sanitary disposal of waste. Additionally, watering stations would also be required.

“Many people do not realize when a home in a rural area loses power, they often lose access to drinking water, as well as, flushing and refilling toilets,” said Dancer. “A priority restoration plan must be put into place to avoid leaving rural areas without access to their basic life essential necessities.  When people are without basic necessities for days, it could lead to major public health and safety issues.”

NJ Legislative District 12 covers: Allentown, Chesterfield, Englishtown, Jackson, Manalapan, Matawan, Millstone (Monmouth), New Hanover, North Hanover, Old Bridge, Plumsted, Roosevelt, Upper Freehold, Wrightstown

Vote-By-Mail Drop Box Arrives In Allentown

September 22, 2020

ALLENTOWN, NJ (MONMOUTH)–An Allentown resident told MidJersey.News that around 11 pm last night a delivery crew installed a Vote-By-Mail Drop Box in front of Allentown at Borough Hall on Main Street. There are currently 17 Vote-By-Mail Drop Box locations for Monmouth County, this is the furthest west serving Western Monmouth County.

A current list of Vote-By-Mail Drop Box locations for Monmouth County can be found here.

Vote-By-Mail Drop Box Locations

Pursuant to State law, the November 3, 2020 General Election will be conducted primarily by Mail-In Ballot in New Jersey.

If you wish to place your Mail-In Ballot in a secure drop box, below are the locations throughout the County which will be available starting the week of September 15. Addresses in the list below are clickable and will bring up Google Maps.

Voters can drop their voted Mail-In Ballot into these Board of Elections Drop Boxes anywhere in the County up until 8 p.m. on November 3, 2020. You do not have to be a resident of the town where the drop box is located. Be advised that these drop boxes are under video surveillance and are monitored by the Monmouth County Board of Elections, which can be reached at 732-431-7802.

For more information about the General Election process, click here.

LocationAddressEntry
1Aberdeen Municipal Building1 Aberdeen Square
Aberdeen, NJ 07747
2Allentown Borough Hall8 North Main Street
Allentown, NJ 08501
3Asbury Park City Hall1 Municipal Plaza
Asbury Park, NJ 07712
City Council Chambers (Bangs Avenue Entrance)
4Borough of Belmar Municipal Building601 Main Street
Belmar, NJ 07719
5Eatontown Borough Municipal Building47 Broad Street
Eatontown, NJ 07724
Rear Entrance
6Board of Elections Office300 Halls Mill Road
Freehold, NJ 07728
Side Entrance
7Hazlet Agency – NJ Motor Vehicle Commission1374 Highway 36
Hazlet, NJ 07730
Airport Plaza
8Howell Township Municipal Building4567 Route 9 North
Howell, NJ 07731
Rear Entrance
9Long Branch City Hall344 Broadway
Long Branch, NJ 07740
10Manalapan Township Municipal Building120 County Road 522
Manalapan, NJ 07726
11Middletown Municipal Building1 Kings Highway
Middletown Township, NJ 07748
12Croydon Hall900 Leonardville Road
Leonardo, NJ 07737
13Neptune Township Municipal Building25 Neptune Boulevard
Neptune, NJ 07753
Library Entrance
14Ocean Township Town Hall399 Monmouth Road
Oakhurst, NJ 07755
15Red Bank Borough Municipal Building90 Monmouth Street
Red Bank, NJ 07701
16Rumson Borough Hall80 East River Road
Rumson, NJ 07760
17Wall Township Municipal Building2700 Allaire Road
Wall, NJ 07719

31 Arrests in Santander ATM Scams In Monmouth County

August 21, 2020

FREEHOLD, NJ (MONMOUTH)–Investigations into regional criminal scams across the state involving the fraudulent use of debit cards to make unauthorized cash withdrawals at Santander Bank ATMs led to the arrest of more than two dozen people in Monmouth County on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020, announced Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.

The thieves were able to exploit a glitch in Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) belonging to Santander Banks, allowing them to use prepaid debit cards to make continuous withdrawals of cash from the ATMs. The prepaid debit cards, like the Green Dot cards used by other scammers involved in telephone schemes, can be purchased at most retail stores. The bank was alerted to higher-than-usual ATM withdrawals and eventually closed down its ATM locations.

Santander Bank has subsequently corrected the glitch in their ATM machines.

“This is a great example of inter-agency cooperation and how it works to everyone’s benefit. These local police departments received the information about this growing scam from state and federal authorities and they kept a watchful eye that resulted in arrests. Everyone involved did an outstanding job,” said Prosecutor Gramiccioni.

The following arrests were made:

By Englishtown Police Department:

  • Cesar Armando Ortiz, Jr., 25, of Brooklyn, New York, is charged with fourth degree Conspiracy – Theft by an Unlawful Taking, third degree Criminal Attempt – Theft by an Unlawful Taking; and disorderly persons offenses of Possession of Less than 50 grams of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.
  • Asaun Stone, 24, of Brooklyn, New York, is charged with fourth degree Conspiracy – Theft by an Unlawful Taking, third degree Criminal Attempt –Theft by an Unlawful Taking; and disorderly persons offenses of Possession of Less than 50 grams of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.
  • David Gorin Redding, 23, of Brooklyn, New York, is charged with fourth degree Conspiracy – Theft by an Unlawful Taking, third degree Criminal Attempt –Theft by an Unlawful Taking; and disorderly persons offenses of Possession of Less than 50 grams of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.
  • Noel Machado, 29, of Brooklyn, New York, is charged with fourth degree Conspiracy – Theft by an Unlawful Taking, third degree Criminal Attempt –Theft by an Unlawful Taking; and disorderly persons offenses of Possession of Less than 50 grams of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.
  • Denzel I. Gravenhise, 26, of Brooklyn, New York, is charged with fourth degree Conspiracy – Theft by an Unlawful Taking, third degree Criminal Attempt –Theft by an Unlawful Taking; and disorderly persons offenses of Possession of Less than 50 grams of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.
  • Teru J. Pratt, 26, of Brooklyn, New York, is charged with fourth degree Conspiracy – Theft by an Unlawful Taking, third degree Criminal Attempt –Theft by an Unlawful Taking; and disorderly persons offenses of Possession of Less than 50 grams of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.
  • Gregory M. Harrington, 31, of Brooklyn, New York, is charged with fourth degree Conspiracy – Theft by an Unlawful Taking, third degree Criminal Attempt –Theft by an Unlawful Taking; and disorderly persons offenses of Possession of Less than 50 grams of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

By Freehold Township Police Department:

  • Damon C Joseph, 23, of The Bronx, New York, is charged with third degree Theft, fourth degree Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance and fourth degree Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance with Intent to Distribute.
  • Quran E Martin, 25, of East Harlem, New York, is charged with third degree Theft, fourth degree Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance and fourth degree Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance with Intent to Distribute.

By Holmdel Township Police Department:

  • Derrick Jackson, 23, of Brooklyn, New York, is charged with third degree Criminal Attempt – Fraudulent Use of a Credit Card.

By Little Silver Police Department:

  • Robert F. Aiello, 55, of Mountain Lakes, is charged with fourth degree Credit Card Theft, third degree Fraudulent Use of a Credit Card, third degree Conspiracy – Theft by Unlawful Taking, third degree Receiving Stolen Property, Theft of United States Currency, and a disorderly persons offense of Possession of Less than 50 mg of Marijuana.
  • Raim A Duplessis, 23, of  Newark, is charged with fourth degree Credit Card Theft and fourth degree Conspiracy to Commit Credit Card Theft.
  • Zamir Zhaire Knox, 21, of Union, is charged with fourth degree Credit Card Theft, third degree Fraudulent Use of a Credit Card, third degree Conspiracy – Theft by an Unlawful Taking, two counts of third degree Receiving Stolen Property; and fourth degree Obstruction.
  • Giovanni Neville Tyrell, 24, of Teaneck, is charged with fourth degree Credit Card Theft, third degree Conspiracy to Commit Credit Card Theft, and a disorderly persons offense of Possession of Less than 50 mg of Marijuana.
  • Martin J. Rosendary, 24, of Union, is charged with fourth degree Credit Card Theft, third degree Fraudulent Use of a Credit Card, third degree Conspiracy – Theft by an Unlawful Taking, and fourth degree Obstruction.
  • Briana Aviles, 22, of Newark, is charged with fourth degree Credit Card Theft, third degree Fraudulent Use of a Credit Card, third degree Conspiracy – Theft by an Unlawful Taking, third degree Receiving Stolen Property; and a disorderly persons offense of Possession of Less than 50 grams of Marijuana.
  • Markeem Louise Jackson, 36, of Brooklyn, New York, is charged with fourth degree Credit Card Theft, third degree Receiving Stolen Property; and disorderly persons offenses of Possession of Less than 50 grams of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.
  • Wayne Hill, 22, of Brooklyn, New York, is charged with fourth degree Credit Card Theft, and third degree Conspiracy – Theft by an Unlawful Taking.

By Marlboro Township Police Department:

Marlboro police officers observed individuals loitering in a lobby of the ATM at Santander. The suspects were subsequently detained during a traffic stop by Old Bridge Police Department, who charged the following individuals:

  • Ishmil Q. Harmon, 28, of Brooklyn, New York, is charged with third degree Theft by Unlawful Taking and third degree Computer Crime to Access with the Purpose to Defraud.
  • Devaim K. Fulmore, 23, of Brooklyn, New York, is charged with third degree Theft by Unlawful Taking and third degree Computer Crime to Access with the Purpose to Defraud.
  • Shyiem L. McLean, 22, of Brooklyn, New York, is charged with third degree Theft by Unlawful Taking and third degree Computer Crime to Access with the Purpose to Defraud.
  • Charles E. Sprowal Jr., 22, of Brooklyn, New York, is charged with third degree Theft by Unlawful Taking and third degree Computer Crime to Access with the Purpose to Defraud.

By Wall Township Police Department:

  • Anthony J. Kelly, 31, of Brooklyn, New York, is charged with one count of third degree theft by unlawful taking and possession of marijuana under 50 grams, a disorderly persons offense.
  • Clifton Davis, 29, of Brooklyn, New York, is charged with one count of third degree theft by unlawful taking, one count of third degree possession of oxycodone and possession of marijuana under 50 grams, a disorderly persons offense. 
  • Barrington L. Wright, 25, of Brooklyn, New York, is charged with one count of third degree theft by unlawful taking and possession of marijuana under 50 grams, a disorderly persons offense.
  • Sean Bennett, 22, of Chester, New York, is charged with one count of fourth degree theft by unlawful taking, possession of marijuana under 50 grams and possession of drug paraphernalia, both disorderly persons offenses.
  • Robert J. Glisson Jr., 24, of The Bronx, New York, is charged with possession of marijuana under 50 grams and possession of drug paraphernalia, both disorderly persons offenses.
  • Timothy Gonzalez, 26, of The Bronx, New York, is charged with one count of fourth degree theft by unlawful taking, possession of marijuana under 50 grams and possession of drug paraphernalia, both disorderly persons offenses.
  • Quenton L. Price, 24, of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania is charged with one count of fourth degree theft by unlawful taking, possession of marijuana under 50 grams and possession of drug paraphernalia, both disorderly persons offenses.
  • Tyrell T. Mingo, 24, of Teaneck, is charged with one count of third degree theft by unlawful taking, possession of marijuana under 50 grams and possession of drug paraphernalia, both disorderly persons offenses.  Mingo is being held the Monmouth County Correctional Institution and pending a future court date.
  • Leroy C. Woods-Williams, 24, of Hackensack, is charged with one count of third degree theft by unlawful taking, possession of marijuana under 50 grams and possession of drug paraphernalia, both disorderly persons offenses.  Woods-Williams is being held the Monmouth County Correctional Institution and pending a future court date.

If convicted of a third degree crime, each defendant faces a sentence of three to five years in a New Jersey State Prison. 

If convicted of a fourth degree offense, each defendant faces up to 18 months in a New Jersey State Prison.

A disorderly persons offense carries a sentence of up to six (6) months.

Authorities are aware of multiple attempts that were made in municipalities across Monmouth County but have not resulted in any arrests. If anyone has additional information about this statewide scam, please call your local police department or contact Detective Elethia Baldwin of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office at 1-800-533-7443 and ask to speak to a detective in the Financial Crimes and Public Corruption Bureau.

Anyone who feels the need to remain anonymous but has information about a crime can submit a tip to Monmouth County Crime Stoppers by calling their confidential telephone tip-line 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), or by going to the website at www.monmouthcountycrimestoppers.com

The case is assigned to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Barbara Suppa, Director of the Office’s Financial Crimes and Public Corruption Bureau, and Assistant Prosecutor Lawrence Nelsen.

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.

Salute To The Great Cities Of The American Revolution As Seen In Transit Though Mercer County

July 4, 2020

ROBBINSVILLE, EAST WINDSOR, HAMILTON, NJ (MERCER)–If you were lucky enough to be outside this afternoon around 5:15 you would have seen a military fly over called “Salute To The Great Cities Of The American Revolution” en route from New York City to Philadelphia.

Trenton, NJ the home of the Crossroads of the American Revolution National Heritage Area where just north of there General George Washington crossed the Delaware on December 25, 1776 was not on the official list of the “Great Cities”

Still the region from the Monmouth Battlefield, extending though Cranbury, Hightstown, Robbinsville, Hamilton and turning at Trenton towards Philadelphia was still able to see the fly over even though it was not officially on the program.

Spectators were able to see a variety of aircraft from the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Marine Corps including: U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, followed by B-1, B-2 and B-52 bombers, F-15 and F-22 fighters and U.S. Marine Corps F-35 fighters in transit from New York City to Philadelphia.


Secretary Esper approved a Department of the Interior request for DOD support to the 2020 Salute to America. DOD will provide aerial, musical and ceremonial support to this year’s celebration in Washington, D.C. This year’s support will also include a flyover of the Mount Rushmore National Memorial, as well an aerial salute to several cities that played roles in the American Revolution.
 
The highlight of this year’s celebration will be our salute to the Great Cities of the American Revolution. The flyovers will begin in Boston and proceed to New York City, Philadelphia and Baltimore. From there they will join other Department of Defense and heritage aircraft in the Salute to America over our nation’s capital. In all, roughly 1,700 service members will support the celebrations.

The aircraft are scheduled to overfly each of the cities, beginning at approximately 4:00 pm, then fly on to the next city. U.S. Air Force and U.S. Marine Corps jets will fly over in five waves. The flyovers will be led by the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, followed by B-1, B-2 and B-52 bombers, F-15 and F-22 fighters and U.S. Marine Corps F-35 fighters.  

BOSTON:  The aircraft are scheduled to overfly the center of the city at approximately 4:00 pm approaching from the northeast at 1,000 feet above the ground.  Multiple aircraft will overfly the U.S.S. Constitution and then proceed over Fenway Park before departing the city. 

NEW YORK:  The aircraft are scheduled to fly down the Hudson River at approximately 5:00 pm and pass just east of the Statue of Liberty.  

PHILADELPHIA:  The aircraft are scheduled to overfly the center of the city at approximately 5:15 pm approaching from the northeast at 1,000 feet above the ground.  Multiple aircraft will fly over Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell and then proceed southwest out of the city.

BALTIMORE: The aircraft are scheduled to overfly Fort McHenry at approximately 5:30 pm approaching from the northeast at 1,000 feet above the ground.  Multiple aircraft will overfly Fort McHenry before turning south out of the city.

The flyovers provide an opportunity for DOD to demonstrate the capabilities and professionalism of the United States Armed Forces. Flying hours are a sunk cost for the Department of Defense, and these aircraft and crews would be using these hours for proficiency and training at other locations if they were not conducting these flyovers.
 
DOD is proud to help celebrate the nation’s 244th birthday. We are grateful for our nation’s support as we defend our country, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.


Photos below by: Dennis Symons from East Windsor looking towards Hightstown and Robbinsville


Photos below by: Brian McCarthy OnScene News from the Scenic Overlook on I-295 in Hamilton Township

Rep. Chris Smith’s Annual High School Art Competition Opens ‘Virtually’

April 24, 2020

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER) – For the first time ever, the annual Congressional Art Competition held by Rep. Chris Smith as part of a national competition for his district’s high school students, will be a “virtual” online show to ensure the safety of students, parents, teachers and the interested public.

    In response to the coronavirus national emergency, the artwork, which is normally displayed for a month at the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton’s Lakefront Gallery, will be posted on Smith’s congressional website ensuring that the students who have worked for many months can still take part in the national competition.

    “For these young student artists whose school year has been turned upside down by coronavirus, I am happy we found a way forward and I am grateful to the parents, judges and teachers for making needed adjustments,” Smith said.

    “We received strong support for a virtual art competition rather than cancel the show outright due to COVID-19 restrictions,” Smith said. “Safety is paramount, and a virtual gallery enables us to proceed safely not only for the students and parents, but for the patients and workers at RWJ-Hamilton, which has in the past, graciously hosted the show,” he said.

“I am delighted that this year’s show wasn’t canceled, but continued as an online competition,” said Wall High School art teacher, Jill Alexander, who has been preparing her students to enter the show every year for the past six years. “Students in the 4th district are thankful for the great show that Congressman Chris Smith puts on each year, but especially this year because of the challenges everyone is facing.”

“We love going to Robert Wood Johnson’s impressive gallery, and unfortunately that just wasn’t possible this year. My students start working in September preparing their best artwork to submit, and this show is the highlight of the year for us. 

“High school students across the country will miss the opportunity to participate in many events this year, including proms, sporting events and even graduation,” Alexander said. “We are really pleased the art competition survives.” 

             The 2020 show will be exhibited in a virtual art gallery, will use online judging, with winners to be announced in May. Smith’s three-member team of professional judges, whose works are also normally displayed at the show, will also have artwork posted in an online gallery.

     This year, students who place in the competition—as best-of-show, and first, second and third runners-up and honorable mentions—will receive ribbons and all participants will be mailed Congressional Certificates, instead of being presented them in person.

   The best-in-show winner will be displayed in the Capitol Building in Washington along the busy public corridor/tunnel between the Cannon House Office Building and the Capitol Building for one year with other winners from across the nation. All the artwork entered into Smith’s competition this year will be displayed in his online gallery for one year.

   Every year the Congressional Institute sponsors this national high school art competition to recognize and foster artistic talent in each congressional district. Since the competition began in 1982, more than 650,000 high school students have participated. Participation in the contest is at the discretion of each Member office. Currently, the Institute plans to accept the top winning artwork from every congressional show in America by June 18 and hold a reception in Washington on July 22.

     For information about the 2020 NJ-04 show or to view the 2019 and prior year winners visit Congressman Smith’s Congressional Art Competition web page.

County Freeholders: About Park Closings, COVID-19 and TakeoutInMonmouth.com

April 9, 2020

FREEHOLD, NJ – On behalf of the Board of Chosen Freeholders, Monmouth County Freeholder Director Thomas A. Arnone and Freeholder Deputy Director Susan M. Kiley held a press conference today to provide updates on the COVID-19 situation and additional support that the County will supply the business community.

“Since the start of the Take Out in Monmouth initiative last week, we have complied well over 750 businesses, which can be found at www.takeoutinmonmouth.com,” said Freeholder Director Arnone, liaison to the Divisions of Economic Development and Tourism. “Today, we are now adding breweries and wineries to this online list to further boost the local economy. These business owners are our friends, neighbors and community leaders and we owe our support to these individuals and their employees during this difficult time.”


Visit http://takeoutinmounmouth.com https://co.monmouth.nj.us/page.aspx?ID=5029 for further local listings.

Visit the Screaming Hill Brewery page for barnside pickup. Orders placed the day before will be ready the next day for pickup. Try the “Blood Orange” a midjersey.news favorite.

Visit Screamin Hill our local farm fresh brewery for barn side pickup. Remember to place order the day before for pickup the next day.

Heavenly Havens Has Ice Cream Takeout Window:

LaPiazza Delivers now, you might be lucky enough to have DJ Nebbs deliver for you:


Together, Monmouth County municipalities, local chambers as well as the County Divisions of Economic Development and Tourism continue to research and identify all food grocers, breweries, wineries and restaurants open. While the County works to maintain an updated list, email TakeOutInMonmouth@visitmonmouth.com to be listed or request a change in listing.


“As a result of mounting cases and more and more residents becoming increasingly frightened to leave their own home, the Monmouth County Aging Disability Resource Center has prepared the COVID-19 Resource Guide to assist seniors and residents with disabilities who may be struggling to acquire basic needs during this health pandemic,” said Freeholder Deputy Director Kiley, liaison to the Department of Human Services. “The County has been extensively collaborating with local officials and the guide will be frequently updated to reflect the most current services and resources offered by municipality.”

In addition to Monmouth County ADRC (Aging Disability Resource Center), Monmouth ACTS (Assisting Communities Through Services) has been directing residents to Monmouth Resource Net, an online directory of community and health resources and services, information about residential mortgage relief as well as mental health support.

The Freeholders also discussed the Executive Order signed on Thursday, April 7 by the Governor, closing all Monmouth County parks indefinitely.

“I would like to publicly state that I do not support the indefinite closure of all county parks in New Jersey. I also find it unacceptable that we have no input as to when they will reopen. There are a number of options that could have been considered as an alternative to completely closing county parks, including limiting hours, days, et cetera,” said Freeholder Director Arnone. “The Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders has felt, throughout this entire pandemic, that our County parks are essential for our residents’ mental health and a great choice for passive recreation. I promise that we will open our parks immediately as soon as the Executive Order is lifted.”

All public is restricted from parks and golf courses. Park and golf course entrances and parking lots are gated or barricaded and visitors who gain park access by foot or bike will be directed to leave, as the parks will still be patrolled. Marina services are suspended but owners will have access to their boats.

Monmouth County news updates and information regarding the COVID-19 situation are posted at www.visitmonmouth.com.

Monmouth County Man Charged with Producing and Distributing Child Pornography

March 26, 2020

NEWARK, N.J. – A Monmouth County, New Jersey, man is scheduled to appear before a U.S. Magistrate Judge today for allegedly producing and distributing images of himself sexually assaulting a child, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced today.

Christian Importuna, 24, of Englishtown, New Jersey, is charged by complaint with one count of production of child pornography and one count of distribution of child pornography. He will make his initial appearance today by telephone conference before U.S. Magistrate Judge Cathy L. Waldor. Importuna was arrested at his home this morning by special agents of the FBI.

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

Importuna produced at least two videos that showed him sexually assaulting a child. The videos came to the attention of law enforcement officials on March 24, 2020, when Importuna attempted to trade images of child pornography with an undercover law enforcement officer on an internet-based application. Law enforcement initially linked the videos to Importuna through business records indicating that they were sent from his Englishtown residence. The investigation further linked Importuna to the production of the images through physical identifiers that were visible in the subject videos.

The charge of production of child pornography, carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years in prison, a maximum potential penalty of 30 years in prison, and a $250,000 fine. The charge of distribution of child pornography, carries a mandatory minimum of five years in prison, a maximum of 20 years in prison, and a $250,000 fine.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited FBI Newark’s Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie in Newark, with the investigation leading to these charges. He also thanked the New Jersey Regional Computer Forensics Lab, Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, and Englishtown Police Department, for their assistance with the investigation.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Shawn Barnes of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Organized Crime/Drug Enforcement Task Force Unit in Newark.

The charges and allegations in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Read full complaint at this link