Category: Howell

“Remains” Found At Allaire State Park Were Fake Possibly Discarded Halloween Decoration

April 18, 2021

HOWELL-WALL TOWNSHIP, NJ (MONMOUTH)–There were unconfirmed reports of a skull and “remains” found last night and a crime scene investigation at Allaire State Park.

Sgt. Philip Curry of the New Jersey State Police, Public Information Unit told MidJersey.news “NJSP detectives responded to the report of recovered human remains in Allaire State Park.  An analysis of the remains determined that they were fake and not actual human remains.”

Another source told MidJersey.news that the remains could have been a realistic discarded Halloween decoration.


$1,000 Reward For Capture Of Robbery Suspects Who Stole Chain Saws And Other Equipment From Barg’s Lawn And Garden

UPDATE 63/3/2021: According to Detective Vincent Bonner of the Howell Township Police Department Detective Bureau the robbery occurred at approximately 2:30 am on March 2, 2021. The robbers smashed though the front door using a sledgehammer and took $15,000. Worth of merchandise. Police are looking for a Silver Ford Expedition 1997-2002 operated by heavyset Hispanic male. If you have information relevant to the robbery please call Detective Bonner of Howell Twp. Police Department at 732-938-4575 extension 2647 with any details.

March 2, 2021

HOWELL TOWNSHIP, NJ (MONMOUTH)–Barg’s Lawn and Garden posted several videos of a robbery last night on their Facebook page and is reportedly offering a $1,000.00 reward. This family owned and operated business since 1954 and if you happen to know anything about the robbery contact please call Detective Bonner of Howell Twp. Police Department at 732-938-4575 extension 2647 with any details. In the videos you can see the robbers break in and steal several chain saws and other small equipment before leaving.




BPU Sets March 16 Hearing in Optimum/ Altice Investigation

ROBBINSVILLE-HAMILTON TOWNSHIPS, NJ (MERCER)–In response to a wave of complaints regarding poor service and unfair consumer pricing by Optimum/Altice USA, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) has found sufficient cause to investigate Optimum/Altice USA and convene a public hearing on March 16, 2021.

The BPU said in a February 17 order it had:

“reviewed the various complaints, municipal government official resolutions and requests for Board investigation and intervention in this matter, and HEREBY FINDS that there is sufficient cause to convene a proceeding to afford the municipal officials and Altice customers the opportunity to voice their concerns about the services received from Altice; as well as afford the company the opportunity to respond to these concerns before determining what corrective action may be warranted and should be taken in this matter.”


The Board designated Commissioner Mary-Anna Holden as the Presiding Officer. Holden “is authorized to rule on all motions that arise during the proceedings and modify any schedules that may be set as necessary to secure a just and expeditious determination of the issues.”

The public hearing will be held virtually. Information concerning participation in the public hearing will be posted on the BPU website. Attorneys for the Townships of Robbinsville and Hamilton filed dual letters to Lawanda Gilbert, Director of the BPU Office of Cable Television and Telecommunications, requesting an investigation into the under performing utility in August, 2020.

In addition to Hamilton and Robbinsville, the order lists the boroughs of Dunellen and Sayreville, along with the Townships of Green Brook, Howell, Jackson, Montville, North Brunswick and Piscataway. The BPU received complaints and resolutions from at least 10 municipalities and several state legislators concerning various issues their residents and constituents cited alleging inadequacy and lack of service provided by Altice USA. In the complaints, the municipal and legislative officials cited: “Frequent and lengthy service disruptions (across all services), inconsistent connections and fluctuating Internet speeds, long telephone wait times, poor customer service, and an inability to get a satisfactory response to these issues from the company both before and after the COVID-19 pandemic.”


READ THE ROBBINSVILLE HAMILTON LETTERS TO BPU 

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

“It is the duty of Optimum (Altice USA) as a utility to furnish safe, adequate and proper service for its customers … and they have failed in that duty,” Robbinsville Township Mayor Dave Fried said last summer. “We should not have to continuously pressure this provider to do its job.”

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


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

Related MidJersey.news stories here:

Mayors Testify At NJ Senate Committee On Law And Public Safety About Utility Company Problems

Hamilton and Robbinsville Request BPU Investigation Into Optimum/Altice







Howell Man Charged With Vehicular Homicide

January 6, 2021

MANCHESTER, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer has announced that on January 5, 2021, Stephen McGuire, 43, of Howell, was charged with Vehicular Homicide in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:11-5a, as well as Strict Liability Vehicular Homicide in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:11-5.3a, in connection with the death of James Grover, 62, also of Howell, on December 12, 2020.  Additionally, McGuire was charged with three counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4a(2), Criminal Trespass in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:18-3b, and the motor offenses of Driving While Intoxicated in violation of N.J.S.A. 39:4-50, Driving While Intoxicated with a Minor as a Passenger in violation of N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.15, and Reckless Driving in violation of N.J.S.A. 39:4-96.

On December 12, 2020, at approximately 8:30 p.m., Officers from the Manchester Township Police Department responded to Heritage Minerals Mine, also known as ASARCO, on Route 70 in Whiting, for a report of a motor vehicle accident with a submersion. Responding Officers spoke to a group of individuals who were operating Utility Terrain Vehicles (UTVs); the group related to the Officers that a UTV had entered the lake at the center of the property, causing the UTV and its passengers to be submerged in the lake. 

See Related MidJersey.news story here: 62 Year Old Drowns 25 Feet Of Water As UTV Crashes Into A Forming Mining Lake

An investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Vehicular Homicide Unit and Manchester Township Police Department revealed that a UTV being driven by McGuire, which included James Grover and three minors as passengers, had entered the lake.  The UTV and Mr. Grover did not resurface.  The other passengers and members of the group attempted to locate Mr. Grover but were unsuccessful.  Manchester Township Police and members of the Manchester, Ridgeway and Whiting Volunteer Fire Companies conducted an underwater dive search and rescue operation and located the UTV overturned and submerged in 25 feet of water.  Mr. Grover was attached to the UTV by his safety harness.  Mr. Grover was removed from his safety harness, and life saving measures were performed by Manchester Township Emergency Medical Technicians and Robert Wood Johnson Paramedics.  Mr. Grover succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.

In furtherance of the investigation, McGuire was taken to Community Medical Center in Toms River.  A search warrant was obtained for a draw of his blood; laboratory results from the blood draw – received by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office on January 5, 2021 – revealed that McGuire had a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of .127 %.  In the State of New Jersey, an operator of a motor vehicle is presumed to be over the legal limit for purposes of alcohol consumption where his/her BAC is .08 or greater.

On January 5, 2021, McGuire was arrested without incident at his residence in Howell by Detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Vehicular Homicide Unit and Officers from Manchester Township Police Department.  He is currently lodged in the Ocean County Jail pending a detention hearing.

Prosecutor Billhimer commends the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Vehicular Homicide Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Victim Witness Advocacy Unit, Manchester Township Police Department, New Jersey State Police Aviation Unit, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, Manchester Volunteer Fire Company, Ridgeway Volunteer Fire Company, Whiting Volunteer Fire Company, Manchester Township Emergency Medical Services, Robert Wood Johnson Paramedics, and Ocean County Medical Examiner’s Office, for their collaborative efforts relative to this investigation.

The press and public are reminded that all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Man Admits Animal Cruelty In Death Of 4 Puppies

November 5, 2020

FREEHOLD, NJ (MONMOUTH)–A man pleaded guilty today to charges of animal cruelty admitting his neglect caused the deaths of four German Shepard puppies in his care, announced Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.

Daniel McDonald, 26, of Freehold, pleaded guilty to four counts of third degree Animal Cruelty before Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Vincent N. Falcetano, Jr. The charges are related to the deaths of four German Shepherd puppies found deceased on a property in Howell where he was temporarily residing.

McDonald also pleaded guilty to third degree Receiving Stolen Property after admitting he was in possession of a John Deere front end loader reported stolen out of Monroe.  

McDonald is scheduled to return for sentencing on January 8, 2021.  Per the plea agreement, the sentencing recommendation is five years in a New Jersey state prison to run concurrent to McDonald’s pending charges in Middlesex and Bergen counties.  As part of the plea, McDonald will be required to perform community service, and agreed to an order to never to own or reside with animals. 

The remains of two deceased German Shepherd puppies were found in a fire pit on a property in Howell where McDonald was temporarily residing on Monday, May 18, 2020.  The Howell Township Police Department and Monmouth County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Law Enforcement Division, conducted an investigation leading to the discovery of the remains of two more deceased puppies which had been buried on the property.    

The joint investigation ultimately revealed that the puppies were stolen from a farm in Somerset County on or about May 12, when the puppies were only three weeks old.  Investigators learned McDonald was staying at the Somerset County farm prior to the time the puppies went missing. Investigators also learned the puppies were ill, in distress, and were struggling to breathe prior to their deaths.  A necropsy performed on the two buried puppies revealed the puppies suffered from parasites and also were severely emaciated and malnourished with “no indications of recent nutritional ingestion.”  During his plea, McDonald took full responsibility for not getting the puppies the proper care resulting in their deaths.

This case is assigned to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Melanie Falco, Director of the Office’s Professional Responsibility and Bias Crimes Unit, and liaison to the Monmouth County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Law Enforcement Division. 

McDonald is represented by Paul Zager, Esq. of Red Bank.

Another Close Call On NJ’s Highways – This Time At Howell Township Crash Scene, Slow Down, Move Over, It’s The Law

PUT THE PHONE DOWN AND MOVE OVER!

October 26, 2020

HOWELL TOWNSHIP, NJ (MONMOUTH)–A week has gone buy since we celebrated National Move Over Day when Howell Police investigating an accident scene on Route 9 North Bound near Casino Drive with emergency lights activated when a North Bound Driver on their cell phone ran into their patrol vehicle that was at the accident scene. Luckily no one else was injured at the emergency scene.








UPDATE: NJSP Col. Callahan And Govenor Phil Murphy Provide Update On Crash; Trooper Will Be OK After Being Thrown 30 Feet June 22, 2020




HOWELL TOWNSHIP, NJ (MONMOUTH)–This evening, Howell Police were investigating a collision on Rt.9 in the northbound lanes near Casino Drive. While the officers were out of their vehicles, another motorist who admittedly was using her phone struck one of the unoccupied patrol vehicles. The other motorist who is a Howell resident was not impaired or injured. Thankfully no one else was injured at the scene. The motorist was issued summonses. This is another reminder that it only takes a second to possibly ruin the rest of your life or someone else’s. We all are guilty of it on occasion but when there’s an active emergency scene that’s definitely not the time to be doing so. Move over or significantly slow for stopped emergency vehicles. This includes our tow/wrecker services.


New Jersey Statute 39:4-92.2

Procedure for motorist approaching certain stationary vehicle.

1. a. The operator of a motor vehicle approaching a stationary authorized emergency vehicle as defined in R.S.39:1-1 that is displaying a flashing, blinking or alternating red or blue light or, any configuration of lights containing one of these colors, shall approach the authorized emergency vehicle with due caution and shall, absent any other direction by a law enforcement officer, proceed as follows:

(1) Make a lane change into a lane not adjacent to the authorized emergency vehicle if possible in the existing safety and traffic conditions; or

(2) If a lane change pursuant to paragraph (1) of subsection a. of this section would be impossible, prohibited by law or unsafe, reduce the speed of the motor vehicle to a reasonable and proper speed for the existing road and traffic conditions, which speed shall be less than the posted speed limit, and be prepared to stop.

b. The operator of a motor vehicle approaching a stationary tow truck as defined in section 1 of P.L.1999, c.396 (C.39:3-84.6) that is displaying a flashing amber light, a stationary highway maintenance or emergency service vehicle that is operated by the State, an authority or a county or municipality and displaying flashing yellow, amber, or red lights, or a stationary sanitation vehicle displaying a flashing amber warning light pursuant to section 1 of P.L.2011, c.3 (C.39:3-54.27) shall approach the vehicle with due caution and shall, absent any other direction by a law enforcement officer, proceed as follows:

(1) Make a lane change into a lane not adjacent to the tow truck, highway maintenance or emergency service vehicle, or sanitation vehicle if possible in the existing safety and traffic conditions; or

(2) If a lane change under paragraph (1) of subsection b. of this section would be impossible, prohibited by law or unsafe, reduce the speed of the motor vehicle to a reasonable and proper speed for the existing road and traffic conditions, which speed shall be less than the posted speed limit, and be prepared to stop.

c. A violation of this section shall be punished by a fine of not less than $100 and not more than $500.

L. 2017, c.43, s.1.

15 Arrested In Monmouth And Mercer County For Possessing and/or Trafficking Child Sexual Abuse Materials

October 19, 2020

FREEHOLD, NJ (MONMOUTH)–Separate investigations have netted fifteen Monmouth County individuals for possessing and or trafficking child sexual abuse materials, announced Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.

Between July 21, 2020 and October 15, 2020, the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office Computer Crimes Unit and Monmouth County Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force arrested individuals. Assisting in this Operation were members of the New Jersey State Police Digital Technology Investigations Unit (DTIU), the New Jersey ICAC Task Force, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Monmouth County Sherriff’s Office, The Monmouth County Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, which includes members from the following police departments: Eatontown, Howell Township, Long Branch, Manalapan, Marlboro, Neptune Twp., Spring Lake, Tinton Falls, and Holmdel; and support from the following Monmouth County Police Departments: Asbury Park, Aberdeen, Middletown, Highlands, Freehold Township and Freehold Borough.

            These arrests were designed to reduce online threats to Monmouth County to decrease the market for child sexual exploitation by focusing on those individuals seeking out and trafficking in child pornographic-materials.

The following individuals were arrested:

Antonio Mejia, 38, of 806 5th Avenue, Asbury Park. Mejia was arrested on July 21, 2020 following an investigation that revealed he transmitted numerous images of child sexual abuse materials and engaged in sexual conversations with 3 males under the age of 16. Mejia was charged with one count second degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child (Distribution of Child Sexual abuse materials, contrary to N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4b(5)(a)(i), one count of Attempted Endangering the Welfare of a Child (Manufacturing an Image of Child Exploitation Material), contrary to N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4b(3), one count of Endangering the Welfare of a Child (Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Materials), contrary to 2C:24-4b(5)(b)iii, three counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child, N.J.S.A 2C:24-4a(1) and three counts of Attempted Obscenity to Minors, 2C:34-3. On July 30, 2020, defendant appeared for a detention hearing before the Honorable Paul X. Escandon, J.S.C. was released on the condition that he have no contact with the victims, no access to social media and no contact with anyone under 18. Mejia is represented by Joy Anderson, Esq. of Eatontown.

Brody Sullivan, 20, of 2 Ithaca Court, Aberdeen was arrested on July 22, 2020 following an investigation that revealed that he was in possession of child sexual abuse materials. Sullivan was charged with one count of second degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child (Possession of Child Sexaul Abuse Material), contrary to 2C:24-4b(5)(b)ii and released on the condition that he have no contact with anyone under 18 and no internet access. Sullivan is represented by Anthony Palumbo, Esq. of Cranford.

Anthony Lichtenau, 36, of 72 Brentwood Road, Eatontown was arrested on July 24, 2020 following an investigation that revealed he was in possession of child sexual abuse materials. Lichtenau was charged with one count of third degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child (Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material), contrary to 2C:24-4b(5)(b)(iii) and released on the condition that he have no contact with anyone under 18 and no internet access. Lichtenau is represented by Mitchell Ansell, Esq. of Ocean Township.

Matthew Fahmie, 33, of 30 Northover Place, Middletown, was arrested on September 10, 2020 following an investigation which revealed that he possessed over 1,000 images of child sexual exploitation material. Fahmie was charged with one count of second degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child (Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Materials), contrary to N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4b(5)(b)(ii) and was released on the condition that he have no contact with anyone under 18 and restricted internet access. Fahmie is represented by Richard Incremona, Esq. of Freehold Township.

Valentin Valdetano, 20, of 359 North Bath Avenue, Long Branch, was arrested on July 31, 2020 following an investigation that revealed he possessed and traded images of child sexual abuse materials using a chat platform. Valdetano was charged with second degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child (Distribution of Child Sexual Abuse Materials), contrary to N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4b(5)(a)(i) and third degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child (Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Materials), contrary to N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4b(5)(b)(iii). Valdetano was released on the condition that he have no contact with anyone under 18 and that he not use the internet. Valdetano is represented by Charles Moriarty, Esq. of Long Branch.

Zachary Barnett, 24, 984 Twilight Way, Aberdeen, was arrested on August 7, 2020 following an investigation that revealed he possessed images of child sexual abuse materials. Barnett was charged with one count of third degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child (Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Materials), contrary to N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4b(5)(b)(iii). Barnett was released on a summons. Barnett is represented by Allison Friedman, Esq. of Freehold.

Brian Wioncek, 62 of 317 Shore Drive, Apartment C, Highlands, was arrested on September 9, 2020 following an investigation that he possessed child sexual abuse materials. Wioncek was charged with one count of third degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child (Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Materials), contrary to N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4b(5)(b)(iii). Wioncek was released on the condition that he have no contact with anyone under 18 and that his internet usage is restricted.

John Hynes, 21, of 90 Bannard Street, Freehold, was arrested on August 21, 2020 following an investigation that revealed he possessed images of child sexual abuse materials. Hynes was charged with one count of third degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child (Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Materials), contrary to N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4b(5)(b)(iii) and one count of disorderly persons possession of a controlled dangerous substance contrary to N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10(a)(4). Hynes was released on a summons. Hynes is represented by Charles Clark, Esq. of Freehold.

Michael Townend, 19, 203 Colts Neck Road, Howell, was arrested on August 25, 2020 following an investigation that revealed he possessed images of child sexual abuse materials. Townend was charged with one count of third degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child (Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Materials), contrary to N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4b(5)(b)(iii). Townend was released on a summons. Townend is represented by Steven Nelson, Esq. of Neptune.

Robert Sherman, 62, of 112 Route 36, Highlands, was arrested on September 1, 2020 following an investigation that revealed he possessed images of child sexual abuse materials. Sherman was charged with one count of third degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child (Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Materials), contrary to N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4B(5)(b(iii). Sherman was released on a summons. Sherman is represented by Michael Polloway, Esq. of Red Bank.

Michael Pipitone, 38, of 157 Rutledge Drive, Middletown, was arrested on September 2, 2020 following a proactive investigation which revealed he shared over 1,000 images and/or videos of child sexual abuse material. Pipitone was charged with one count of first degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child (Distribution of Child Sexual Abuse Materials), contrary to N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4b(5)(a)(iii) and second degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child (Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Materials), contrary to N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4b(5)(b)(ii). Pipitone was released on the condition of home detention, no internet usage and no contact with anyone under 18. Pipitone is represented by John Hogan, Esq. of Woodbridge.

George Ichkitidze, 39, of 27-08 Whistler Drive, Freehold Township, was arrested on September 25, 2020 following a proactive investigation which revealed he shared over 1,000 images and/or videos of child sexual abuse material. Ichkitidze was charged with one count of first degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child (Distribution of Child Sexual Abuse Materials), contrary to N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4b(5)(a)(iii) and second degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child (Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Materials), contrary to N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4b(5)(b)(ii). Ichkitidze was released on the condition of home detention, no internet usage and no contact with anyone under 18. Pipitone is represented by Kevin Clark, Esq. of Ocean Township.

Juvenile, of Freehold Borough, was arrested on September 11, 2020 following an investigation that revealed he possessed images of child sexual abuse materials. The juvenile was charged with one count of second degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child (Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Materials), contrary to N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4b(5)(b)(ii).

Thomas Vilanova, 49, of 133 Newbury Road, Howell, was charged on October 13, 2020 following an investigation that revealed that he possessed images of child sexual abuse material. Vilanova was charged with one Count of third degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child (Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material), contrary to N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4b(5)(b)(iii). Vilanova is currently on probation for a 2017 conviction for third Endangering the Welfare of a Child (Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material), contrary to N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4b(5)(b)(iii). Vilanova is scheduled to appear in court before the Honorable Paul X. Escandon, J.S.C. for a detention hearing on October 22, 2020. Vilanova is represented by Michael Wenning, Esq. of Bradley Beach.

Jamie Khan, 43 of 19 Oxford Drive, East Windsor, was charged on October 15, 2020 following an investigation that revealed he was viewing and sending child sexual abuse material while working for his employer in Freehold Township. The investigation further revealed that he was also in possession of child sexual abuse material at his home in East Windsor. Khan was charged with one Count of third degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child (Possession of  Child Sexual Abuse Material), contrary to N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4b(5)(b)(iii) and one count of second degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child (Distribution of Child Sexual Abuse Material), contrary to N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4b(5)(a)(i). Khan was released on the condition of no internet usage and no unsupervised contact with anyone under 18.

If convicted of the first degree Endangering charge, a defendant will face a maximum sentence of 20 years in New Jersey State Prison, Megan’s Law, and Parole Supervision for Life. If convicted of the second degree Endangering charge, a defendant will face a maximum sentence of ten years in New Jersey State Prison Megan’s Law and Parole Supervision for Life. If convicted of the third degree Endangering charge, a defendant will face a maximum sentence of five years in New Jersey State Prison and Parole Supervision for Life. A conviction for disorderly persons Possession of Less than 50 Grams of Marijuana exposes a defendant to a maximum sentence of six months incarceration.

Ichkitidze’s case is assigned to Assistant Prosecutor Diane Aifer, Financial Crimes and Public Corruption Unit; the remaining cases are assigned to Assistant Prosecutor Stephanie Dugan, Computer Crimes Unit.

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), by calling 800-671-4400 or by going to the website at www.monmouthcountycrimestoppers.com

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.

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

Howell Township Closes All Parks Due To Uptick In COVID-19 Cases

October 7, 2020

HOWELL TOWNSHIP, NJ (MONMOUTH)–Yesterday the Howell Township Office Of Emergency Management posted a notice to all residents closing all parks in the township. The notice states parks were closed due to an uptick in COVID-19 cases, parks filled to capacity, users not practicing social distancing and users not wearing masks per Executive Order 107.

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

Sayreville Man Admits Role In Area Heroin Conspiracy Distribution In Monmouth and Middlesex Counties

September 22, 2020

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–A Middlesex County, New Jersey, man today admitted that he conspired to distribute more than 100 grams of heroin as part of a conspiracy responsible for distributing significant quantities of heroin and cocaine in the Bayshore area of Monmouth and Middlesex counties, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Daniel McHugh, 50, of Sayreville, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Brian R. Martinotti via videoconference to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin. McHugh also admitted to conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute a quantity of cocaine and possessing with intent to distribute a quantity of crack cocaine.

Today’s guilty plea follows a coordinated takedown in November 2018 of 15 defendants charged by complaint with conspiracy to distribute heroin and cocaine. To date, 13 defendants have pleaded guilty, including supplier Gregory Gillens and lead defendant Guy Jackson. Gillens was sentenced on Sept. 8, 2020, to 10 years in prison. Jackson is awaiting sentencing.

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

From May 2017 to November 2018, McHugh and others engaged in a narcotics conspiracy that operated in the Raritan Bayshore region of Middlesex and northern Monmouth counties. Through the interception of telephone calls and text messages pursuant to court-authorized wiretap orders, controlled purchases of heroin and cocaine, the use of confidential sources of information, and other investigative techniques, law enforcement learned that McHugh regularly obtained heroin and cocaine for further distribution from Jackson. Some of the heroin distributed by the conspiracy contained fentanyl, a dangerous synthetic opioid.

On the date of his arrest, McHugh gave consent to search his residence. During that search, law enforcement recovered quantities of heroin, cocaine, and crack cocaine intended for further distribution.

The heroin conspiracy count to which McHugh pleaded guilty carries a statutory mandatory minimum term of five years in prison, a maximum of 40 years in prison, and a fine of up to $5 million. Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 20, 2021.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited Special Agents of the FBI, Newark Division, Red Bank Resident Agency, Jersey Shore Gang and Criminal Organization Task Force (including representatives from the Bradley Beach Police Department, Brick Police Department, Howell Police Department, Marlboro Police Department, Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office, Toms River Police Department, and Union Beach Police Department) under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr.; Special Agents of the FBI, Philadelphia Division, Scranton Resident Agency, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael J. Driscoll; the New Jersey State Police, under the direction of Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, Superintendent; the Matawan Police Department, under the direction of Chief Thomas J. Falco, Jr.; the Holmdel Police Department, under the direction of Chief John Mioduszewski; the Highlands Police Department, under the direction of Chief Robert Burton; the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni; the Old Bridge Police Department, under the direction of Chief William A. Volkert; the Keansburg Police Department, under the direction of Chief James K. Pigott; the Hazlet Police Department, under the direction of Chief Philip Meehan; and the Aberdeen Police Department, under the direction of Chief Richard A. Derechailo, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Elisa T. Wiygul of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Criminal Division in Trenton.

The charges and allegations against the two remaining defendants are merely accusations and they are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

20-308 

Defense counsel: James R. Murphy Esq., Princeton, New Jersey

Teen Charged With Murder Waived To Adult Court

September 16, 2020

FREEHOLD, NJ (MONMOUTH)–A judge ruled last week a Lakewood teenager charged in the October 2019 death of a man whose body was found lying in the roadway in Howell will now face those charges in adult court, announced Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.

Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Richard W. English waived Alberto Rojas Hernandez, now 18, from family court up to adult court to face charges of first degree Conspiracy to Commit Murder, first degree Murder, third degree Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose and fourth degree Unlawful Possession of a Weapon.

Rojas Hernandez, of Joe Parker Avenue in Lakewood, is being held in the Middlesex County Youth Detention Center in North Brunswick, pending a First Appearance and Detention Hearing scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020.  Rojas Hernandez has been held in the Youth Detention Center since his arrest in October. 

Rojas Hernandez’s uncle, Juan Carlos Rivera Rojas (also known as Omar Rivera Rojas), 29 of Linden Avenue, in Lakewood was previously charged in the killing with first degree Murder.  Rivera Rojas was ordered detained pending trial on Nov. 12, 2019 by the Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Paul X. Escandon.

The Howell Township Police Department responded to a 911 call at about 3:46 a.m. on Oct. 18, 2019, reporting an unconscious male laying in Hurley Pond Road just east of Route 547.  Upon arrival, a Hispanic male was located lying face down in the roadway.  The incident was initially investigated as a fatal hit and run motor vehicle incident.  However, upon the arrival of SCART investigators it was quickly determined that his death was not the result of a hit and run event.

The man, identified as Domingo Merino Rafael, 33, of Lakewood, was unresponsive and obviously deceased. MONOC personnel responded and the victim was pronounced deceased at the scene. Rafael was taken to the Middlesex County Regional Medical Examiner’s Office where an autopsy determined the cause of death was a Homicide.

A joint investigation by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office and Howell Township Police Department determined Rojas Hernandez, Rivera Rojas and Merino Rafael traveled from Lakewood to Middlesex County on the evening of Oct. 17, 2019.  The men were returning to Lakewood in the early morning hours of Oct. 18, 2019, when the trio got into an argument that culminated with the murder of Merino Rafael.

The Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office and the Howell Township Police Department also credited the Lakewood Police Department and the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office for their assistance during the investigation.

If convicted of Murder, Rojas Hernandez faces a minimum sentence of 30 years in a New Jersey state prison without parole and a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, subject to the provisions of the “No Early Release Act” (NERA) requiring him to serve 85 percent of the sentence imposed before becoming eligible for release on parole. He would also be under parole supervision for five years following his release from state prison.

The case is assigned to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutors Stephanie Dugan and Tara Wilson.

Rivera Rojas is represented by Joseph Champagne, Esq. of Toms River.

Rojas Hernandez is represented by Carlos Diaz-Cobo, Esq. of New Brunswick.

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.

Howell Police Break Up “Pop-Up” Party With 300 People

August 9, 2020

HOWELL TOWNSHIP, NJ (MONMOUTH)–Howell Police has requested mutual aid from Wall, Brick, Jackson, Freehold, Monmouth and Ocean County Sheriffs and State Police in response to the dispersal of approximately 300 people in attendance at a “pop-up” party.
Most of the attendees are compliant. Others are hesitant and are directing their anger towards the host who charged admission.

Roadways leading to Wilson Drive are blocked by police to prevent the steady flow of vehicles attempting to attend. Only residents will be allowed.

Further updates will be provided

Howell Happenings NJ Howell Patch Howell NJ Community News 12 New Jersey @what’s happening howell Jersey Shore Hurricane News Mayor Theresa Berger, M.D. Councilman Thomas Russo John Bonevich, Howell NJ Councilman

UPDATE: 8 pm update:
Most of the mutual aid departments have been released. Attendees left without incident. Host was arrested. Further investigation will continue.
Several patrol units will remain in the area to prevent others from arriving and/or returning and to monitor surrounding streets as there’s been reports of stragglers urinating on people’s property and vehicles.
A majority of those who attended are not local.

We thank all for their assistance and patience.

NJ State Police Arrest Man In Connection Of Upper Freehold Burglaries

July 10, 2020

UPPER FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP, NJ (MONMOUTH)–Troopers Arrest Man for Commercial Burglary and Theft of Services

The New Jersey State Police have arrested Christopher Woods, 56, of Howell, N.J., for allegedly committing several burglaries at storage facility in Upper Freehold Township, Monmouth County.

On Friday, July 3, troopers from Hamilton Station began investigating multiple burglaries at the Store and Lock Self Storage facility in Cream Ridge, Monmouth County. As a result of the investigation, troopers identified Woods as the suspect of three burglaries at the facility during the month of May.

Troopers determined on three seperate occasions Woods used bolt cutters and stole approximately $ 5,000 worth of personal property. Troopers also discovered he failed to reimburse the facility for contracted services on numerous occasions totaling $1500.

Troopers located Woods later that day at a residence in Howell and arrested him without incident.

Christopher Woods was charged with burglary of a commercial structure and theft of services. He was released pending a court date.

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

Howell Twp. Couple Charged With Animal Cruelty In Deaths Of 4 Stolen German Shepherd Puppies, Remains Found Burned and Buried

The investigation further revealed McDonald was in possession of a generator reported stolen out of South Brunswick, and a John Deere front end loader reported stolen out of Monroe.  

June 17, 2020

FREEHOLD, NJ (MONMOUTH)–A couple is facing charges of animal cruelty after four German Shepard puppies in their care died due to neglect, announced Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.

Daniel McDonald, 25, and Tricia Jaccoma, 24, are charged with four counts of third degree animal cruelty with respect to the deaths of four German Shepherd puppies found deceased on a property in Howell where they were temporarily residing.

The remains of two deceased German Shepherd puppies were found in a fire pit on the property in Howell on Monday, May 18, 2020.  The Howell Township Police Department and Monmouth County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Law Enforcement Division, conducted an investigation, which led to the discovery of the remains of two more deceased puppies which had been buried on the property. 

The joint investigation revealed the puppies were stolen from a farm in Somerset County on or about May 12, when the puppies were only approximately three weeks old.  Investigators learned McDonald and Jaccoma were staying at the Somerset County farm prior to the time the puppies went missing and were in possession of the puppies while residing in a camper on the property in Howell.  Investigators also learned the puppies were ill, in distress, and were struggling to breathe prior to their deaths, and that the pair did not get the puppies medical attention because of the costs associated with the care. The investigation further revealed McDonald disposed of the bodies of the deceased puppies by burying two of them and tossing the other two into the fire pit on or about May 16.  A necropsy performed on the two buried puppies revealed the puppies suffered from parasites and also were severely emaciated and malnourished with “no indications of recent nutritional ingestion.” 

In addition to the animal cruelty charges for failing to provide the puppies with the necessary care, both McDonald and Jaccoma were additionally charged with multiple counts of third degree Receiving Stolen Property, for being in possession of the stolen puppies in Monmouth County.  McDonald was further charged with four counts of Hindering Apprehension of oneself, disorderly persons offenses, for disposing of the deceased puppies bodies.

The investigation further revealed McDonald was in possession of a generator reported stolen out of South Brunswick, and a John Deere front end loader reported stolen out of Monroe.   McDonald was charged with additional counts of third degree and second degree Receiving Stolen Property, respectively, for being in possession of these stolen items.  

McDonald was ordered detained at the Monmouth County Correctional Institution by Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Paul X. Escandon on June 10, 2020. 

Jaccoma is currently a fugitive.  If you have any information about her whereabouts, please contact Humane Law Enforcement Officer Michael Magliozzo of the Monmouth County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals at 732 995-0329, or Patrolwoman Heather Scherbinski of the Howell Township Police Department at 732-938-4111.

If convicted of the second-degree charge, McDonald faces a sentence of five to ten years in a New Jersey state prison.

If convicted of any of the third degree charges, they each face a sentence of three to five years in in a New Jersey state prison on each count. 

This case is assigned to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Melanie Falco, Director of the Office’s Professional Responsibility and Bias Crimes Unit, and liaison to the Monmouth County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Law Enforcement Division. 

McDonald is represented by Paul Zager, Esq. of Red Bank. McDonald is scheduled for a Pre-Indictment Conference on July 6, 2020.

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.

NJSP Troop “C” Hamilton, 10th Anniversary Of When Trooper Was Struck By Passing Motorist On I-195

June 6, 2020

HOWELL TOWNSHIP, NJ (MONMOUTH)–Earlier today, troopers from Troop “C” Hamilton Station along with members of the Howell Township Police Department visited Trooper Marc Castellano’s memorial site on I-195 in Howell Township to pay their respects.

On June 6, 2010, Trooper Castellano was struck by a passing motorist while walking along the shoulder of I-195 while searching for a reported armed occupant of an abandoned vehicle.

In 2018, Governor Phil Murphy renamed a portion of I-195 as “Marc K. Castellano Memorial Highway” to honor Trooper Castellano’s memory.

Today marks the 10-year anniversary of his tragic death. We will never forget his sacrifice.

https://www.njsp.org/memoriam/2000s/castellano.shtml


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.

Smith: College Students, Schools in NJ04 get $24M in CARES Act Emergency Funds

Mercer County Community College – $3,851,115, West Windsor, Mercer County

Ocean County College – $4,265,169, Toms River, NJ

Brookdale Community College – $ 6,334,411, Lincroft, Monmouth County

April 13, 2020

More than $24 million has been approved for institutions of higher learning and career institutes in the Monmouth, Ocean and Mercer areas of Rep. Chris Smith’s Fourth Congressional District to help these schools and their students overcome the costs and the impact of the coronavirus, said Smith today.

   The $24 million on its way to educational facilities in or bordering Smith’s district is part of a broader $238 million award to colleges across the state which was announced today by the U.S. Department of Education—following a bipartisan letter by the New Jersey congressional delegation which Rep. Smith cosigned with his NJ colleagues in the House and which was led by NJ’s two senators.

   Smith said the funding—$24,147,003 which will help pay for the impact of COVID-19 of the higher education system—comes from the comprehensive, bipartisan $2 trillion stimulus bill to help communities devastated by the coronavirus pandemic which Smith supported and was signed into law by President Trump March 27.

   “Our students and colleges have seen immense financial challenges due to the coronavirus outbreak across America,” said Smith (NJ-04), who spoke on the floor in support of quick passage of the CARES Act. “This funding will help stabilize the higher education system which has been turned upside down in this health crisisIt’s good news from Education Secretary Betsy DeVos for our higher learning educational system in New Jersey.”

   Among the recipients are Brookdale County College which will receive $6.3 million, Ocean County College $4.2 million, Mercer County College $3.8 million, Beth Medrash Govoha of America $5.8 million and Georgian Court nearly $1.7 million.

   Numerous learning institutions in the Fourth District area Rep. Smith serves are receiving funds, including:

  • Advantage Career Institute – $41,609, Eatontown, Monmouth County
  • Bais Medrash Mayan Hatorah – $46,377, Lakewood, Ocean County
  • Bais Medrash Toras Chesed – $68,038, Lakewood, Ocean County
  • Beth Medrash Govoha of America – $5,899,593, Lakewood, Ocean County
  • Beth Medrash of Asbury Park – $109,145, Lakewood, Ocean County
  • Brookdale Community College – $ 6,334,411, Lincroft, Monmouth County
  • Georgian Court University – $1,690,335, Lakewood, Ocean County
  • Medical Career Institute – $332,030 Ocean Twp., Monmouth County
  • Mercer County Community College – $3,851,115, West Windsor, Mercer County
  • Ocean County College – $4,265,169, Toms River, NJ
  • Saint Francis Medical Center – $23,963, Trenton, Mercer County
  • Seminary Bnos Chaim – $255,559, Lakewood, Ocean County
  • Talmudical Academy – $122,458, Adelphia, Monmouth County
  • Yeshiva Bais Aharon – $64,039, Lakewood, Ocean County
  • Yeshiva Chemdas Hatorah – $112,892, Lakewood, Ocean County
  • Yeshiva Gedola Tiferes Yerachmiel – $179,422, Lakewood, Ocean County
  • Yeshiva Gedolah Keren Hatorah – $229,239, Lakewood, Ocean County
  • Yeshiva Gedolah Shaarei Shmuel – $85,372, Lakewood, Ocean County
  • Yeshiva Toras Chaim – $347,751, Lakewood, Ocean County
  • Yeshiva Yesodei Hatorah   $73,641, Lakewood, Ocean County
  • Yeshivas Emek Hatorah     $56,454, Howell, Monmouth County

    The CARES Act is the third and the largest phase of the federal response enacted into law. Smith supported Phase I, the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2020—which provided $8.3 billion for treatment and prevention measures in NJ. Phase II, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act—provided paid sick leave, family medical leave, free testing, and expanded unemployment benefits among other provisions to help working Americans.

     The CARES Act is also providing direct financial assistance of $1,200 for individuals making under $75,000 per year, $100 billion in grants to hospitals to address coronavirus-related financial damage, $150 billion to assist state and local governments, $600 extra per week to unemployment benefits for four months, and $16 billion to assist in the procurement of medical supplies for the Strategic National Stockpile.


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