Category: Other Towns

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

BREAKING: Wildwood 4th Of July Fireworks Canceled

June 30, 2020

Wildwood may be out of our normal coverage area but since many people from our area vacation there information is provided below:

WILDWOOD, NJ (CAPE MAY)–The Greater Wildwoods Tourism Improvement and Development Authority (GWTIDA) and the City of Wildwood are disappointed to announce the cancellation of July 4th fireworks in the interest of public safety.

Wildwood Mayor Pete Byron and Commissioners Mikulski and Fitzsimons are making the call in an effort to discourage large gatherings on what is traditionally the busiest holiday of the year which also happens to fall on the busiest day of the week: Saturday.

“Wildwood is ready, willing and able to produce a spectacular fireworks show,” stated Mayor Pete Byron. “However, as we’ve seen with the delay of opening indoor dining this week, the public is not adequately following Covid-19 public safety rules such as social distancing. We can’t take a chance that Wildwood sees a spike in cases and shuts down our businesses who have already suffered immensely due to closures.”

“Even though we moved the location to the widest part of the Wildwoods, we expect large crowds to gather in and around Rio Grande Avenue for the display,” said Commissioner of Public Safety, Steve Mikulski. “We cannot take the chance that the public will be unable to practice social distancing due to crowds.”

Commissioner Fitzsimons said, “We are hopeful that the City, GWTIDA and SID [Boardwalk Special Improvement District] can come to some resolution for the Friday Night Fireworks that the city and visitors have come to know and love since 1995. We expect a decision on that in the near future.”

Tilton Fitness Powered by Hackensack Meridian Health Closes Doors For Good

June 24, 2020

JACKSON TOWNSHIP, NJ (OCEAN)–Tilton Fitness Powered by Hackensack Meridian Health will be permanently closing due to the COVID-19 restrictions on gyms.

Locations were: Jackson, Manahawkin, Northfield-Egg Harbor, Hazlet, Edgewater, Galloway, Brick and prior to COVID-19 was scheduled to also open in Atlantic City.

Below is a letter to members of the clubs:

Dear Tilton Fitness Members,

I am writing to share some difficult news. Tilton Fitness Powered by Hackensack Meridian Health will be permanently closing its doors on July 1, 2020.

Unfortunately, like other fitness centers across the country, our facilities have been hit hard by the mandatory closures due to the coronavirus pandemic, forcing us to make this difficult decision. I want to express my deepest gratitude to all of you for your loyalty to the Tilton Fitness organization over the years and to our hard-working staff who worked tirelessly to support you on your health and wellness journey.

At Tilton Fitness, we have always prioritized our members and guests. We were committed to changing people’s lives by promoting total health and wellness and providing the best customer experience possible. Our seven fitness centers serving roughly 20,000 members represent a lifetime of effort and devotion. As you might imagine, this announcement is heartbreaking. You are as much of a part of our life as Tilton Fitness was part of yours. You have our deep and sincere appreciation.

Some of you may have questions regarding your membership. Please understand that it will take some time for us to respond to all inquiries. To the extent that you have any questions or concerns, we will be providing you the contact information of the individual who will be assigned to oversee the orderly dissolution in the next few days.

I have always believed we are more than a gym — we are a community. A community I deeply care for. A community I will sadly miss.


Sam Young
President and CEO
Hackensack Meridian Fitness & Wellness

Announcement from President Trump Following Tonight’s Dinner with Governor Murphy at Bedminster

June 13, 2020

BEDMINSTER, NJ (Somerset)–President Trump’s Tweets following dinner with Governor Phil Murphy:

“Just finished dinner in Bedminster, New Jersey, with Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) and his wonderful wife, Tammy. Talked about many things, including the opening of the beautiful Garden State, getting people back to work, and……rebuilding America’s infrastructure with projects like the Portal North Bridge, which I have given authorization to proceed!”

NJ Attorney General Releases Audio And Video Recordings Related To Fatal Officer Involved Shooting on GSP On May 23, 2020

June 8, 2020


TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–The Attorney General’s Office today released audio and video recordings related to the shooting on May 23, 2020 on the Garden State Parkway in Bass River, N.J., in which a New Jersey State Trooper fatally shot Maurice Gordon, 28, of Poughkeepsie, N.Y. The Attorney General’s Office today also released the identity of the State Trooper who shot and killed Mr. Gordon.  He is Sgt. Randall Wetzel of Troop “D” of the New Jersey State Police. The shooting remains under investigation by the Attorney General’s Office. However, the audio and video recordings are being released pursuant to Attorney General Directive 2019-4, the “Independent Prosecutor Directive,” which governs use-of-force investigations in New Jersey and requires that such records, if requested, be released to the public once the initial phase of the investigation is substantially complete, generally within 20 days.   The recordings depict five episodes involving Mr. Gordon over an approximately 30-hour period: a 911 call placed by one of Mr. Gordon’s friends on the morning of May 22, 2020, followed by interactions between Mr. Gordon and law enforcement officers in Brick, Waretown, Stafford, and Bass River, New Jersey, on the morning of May 23, 2020. The recordings are contained in 12 files, which have been posted online. Click here for files. To facilitate their review, the file names are numbered and described briefly below. 911 Call

  • Recording 01: “911 Call – Dutchess County (redacted).” At approximately 3:23 a.m. on May 22, 2020, Mr. Gordon’s friend called 911 from Poughkeepsie, New York to express concerns about Mr. Gordon’s wellbeing and whereabouts. Towards the end of the recording, the 911 operator transferred Mr. Gordon’s friend to the Poughkeepsie Police Department. (NOTE: Personal information regarding the caller and Mr. Gordon has been redacted; an unredacted version of the recording will be provided to Mr. Gordon’s family.)
  • Recording 02: “911 Call – Poughkeepsie (redacted).” This audio recording is a continuation of Recording 1, picking up once Mr. Gordon’s friend was connected to the Poughkeepsie Police Department. (NOTE: Personal information regarding the caller and Mr. Gordon has been redacted; an unredacted version of the recording will be provided to Mr. Gordon’s family.)

Interaction in Brick, NJ

  • Recording 03: “Red Bank MVR.” At approximately 3:13 a.m. on May 23, 2020, an off-duty Red Bank Police Officer driving a police vehicle pulled up near Mr. Gordon’s car, which had run out of gas and was stopped in the middle lane of the southbound Garden State Parkway near Exit 91 in Brick, N.J. The interaction was recorded by the mobile video recorder (MVR) attached to the dashboard of the Red Bank patrol vehicle, as depicted in Recording 3. The Red Bank officer called a tow truck.  (NOTE: A short time later, an off-duty State Trooper driving to work in his personal car pulled over to assist Mr. Gordon and the Red Bank officer. The off-duty State Trooper provided assistance and then departed. Because the State Trooper was in his personal vehicle, there is no MVR footage of this encounter.)
  • Recording 04: “Stop 1 MVR – Pt. A.” A short time after the off-duty Trooper departed the scene, a second, on-duty State Trooper pulled up to assist Mr. Gordon and the Red Bank officer. Because this second State Trooper was in his patrol vehicle, the encounter was captured by his vehicle’s MVR, as depicted in Recording 4. That second State Trooper set out flares and departed.
  • Recording 05: “Stop 1 MVR – Pt. B.” The second State Trooper later returned to the scene where Mr. Gordon was stopped with the tow truck driver on the southbound Garden State Parkway in Brick. Recording 5 is MVR footage captured by the State Trooper’s patrol vehicle during this encounter.

Interaction in Waretown, NJ(Includes Visit to Wawa in Barnegat, NJ)

  • Recording 06: “Stop 2 MVR.” At approximately 4:54 a.m. on May 23, 2020, a different State Trooper pulled up behind Mr. Gordon’s car, which was stopped in the left lane of the southbound Garden State Parkway near Exit 72 in Waretown, New Jersey. The Trooper called a tow truck, set out flares, and then departed.
  • Recording 07: “Wawa (redacted).” After the State Trooper departed but before the tow truck arrived, a civilian vehicle pulled alongside Mr. Gordon’s car and the occupants offered Mr. Gordon a ride to a nearby Wawa convenience store to get gas. A surveillance camera inside the Wawa (in Barnegat, New Jersey) captured Mr. Gordon and others entering the store at approximately 5:33 a.m. Afterwards, Mr. Gordon returned to his vehicle and continued driving southbound on the Garden State Parkway. Customer and employee faces are blurred. Screen shots where Mr. Gordon does not appear are blurred.

Interaction in Stafford, New Jersey

  • Recording 08: “Stop 3 MVR.” At approximately 6:13 a.m., a State Trooper stopped Mr. Gordon for speeding on the southbound Garden State Parkway near Exit 62 in Stafford, New Jersey. The Trooper issued a ticket to Mr. Gordon, who had allegedly been driving 101 miles per hour.

Interaction in Bass River, New Jersey

  • Recording 09: “Stop 4 MVR – Pt. A.” At approximately 6:26 a.m., Sgt. Wetzel stopped Mr. Gordon for speeding on the southbound Garden State Parkway near Exit 50 in Bass River, New Jersey. Sgt. Wetzel started to write a ticket for Mr. Gordon, who had allegedly been driving 110 miles per hour. During the stop, Mr. Gordon’s vehicle became disabled in the left shoulder and Sgt. Wetzel called a tow truck. While they waited for the tow truck to arrive, Sgt. Wetzel asked Mr. Gordon if he would prefer to sit in the back seat of Sgt. Wetzel’s vehicle, and Mr. Gordon stated that he would. (NOTE: The beginning of the recording depicts footage from Sgt. Wetzel’s forward-facing MVR camera, which shows Mr. Gordon’s car stopped on the southbound Parkway. Once Mr. Gordon enters the back seat of Sgt. Wetzel’s vehicle, the car’s backward-facing MVR camera becomes the primary camera view. A diagram depicting the approximate location of the two vehicles is included with the materials posted as part of this release.)
  • Recording 10: “Stop 4 MVR – Pt. B (redacted).” Recording 10 is a continuation of the MVR footage captured by Sgt. Wetzel’s vehicle, as described in Recording 9. After a total of approximately 21 minutes inside Sgt. Wetzel’s vehicle, Mr. Gordon exited the vehicle when Sgt. Wetzel attempted to offer him a mask, resulting in a confrontation with Sgt. Wetzel. During this confrontation, Mr. Gordon attempted to enter the driver seat of Sgt. Wetzel’s vehicle on two occasions. After the first occasion, Sgt. Wetzel deployed oleoresin capsicum (OC) spray. After the second occasion, Sgt. Wetzel removed Mr. Gordon from the vehicle and, after a physical struggle on the left shoulder of the southbound Parkway, Sgt. Wetzel shot and killed Mr. Gordon with his service weapon. Sgt. Wetzel fired six times and then placed handcuffs on Mr. Gordon. (NOTE: The backward-facing camera footage shows a reversed or “mirror image” of the events captured because the camera was set to record in that manner. Consistent with Department practice, the audio component of the recording has been partially redacted to remove the sound that Mr. Gordon makes immediately upon being shot.)
  • Recording 11: “Enhanced Clip (redacted).” Recording 11 contains a two-minute segment of Recording 10, but zoomed in on the view out the back window of Sgt. Wetzel’s vehicle. As with Recording 10, the audio component of the recording has been partially redacted.
  • Recording 12: “NJSP Radio Transmissions.” Recording 12 contains audio recordings of law enforcement radio transmissions regarding the events in Bass River. Because the radio system only records audio when an individual is speaking, the recording is “compressed,” insofar as it does not include the portions of the encounter when no one was communicating over the radio system.

 At approximately 7:25 a.m., a State Trooper attempted to provide aid to Mr. Gordon, but did not detect a pulse. Shortly thereafter, a second State Trooper attempted to administer aid. EMS arrived at the scene at approximately 7:28 a.m. and pronounced Mr. Gordon deceased. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, which is an independent agency housed in but not of the Department of Health, has not yet completed its medical examination report, including any conclusions about Mr. Gordon’s time of death.

Once that report is complete, the findings will be shared with Mr. Gordon’s immediate family. The information at the following link was previously made public pursuant to the Open Public Records Act, N.J.S.A. 47:1A-3.b., which lists specific criminal investigatory information that must be

The investigation is being conducted pursuant to a state law enacted in January 2019 (P.L.2019, c.1), which requires that the Attorney General’s Office conduct investigations of a person’s death that occurs during an encounter with a law enforcement officer acting in the officer’s official capacity or while the decedent is in custody. 

The investigation is ongoing and no further information is being released at this time. Under state law and the Independent Prosecutor Directive, when the entire investigation is complete, the case will be presented to a grand jury, typically consisting of 16 to 23 citizens, to make the ultimate decision regarding whether criminal charges will be filed. The Administrative Office of the Courts has temporarily suspended the convening of grand juries due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The investigation is being conducted in compliance with procedures and requirements established in the Independent Prosecutor Directive, which is available at this link: 

The Independent Prosecutor Directive, issued by Attorney General Grewal in December 2019, outlines a 10-step process for conducting independent investigations of use-of-force and death-in-custody incidents in compliance with state law. The directive establishes clear procedures governing such investigations to ensure that they are done fully, fairly, and independently of any potential bias. A summary of that 10-step process is available at this link:

Atilis Gym Bellmawr, LLC. Files Federal Lawsuit Against Phil Murphy, AG Grewal and NJSP Patrick Callahan, DOH Judith Persichilli

May 27, 2020

MidJersey.News has now obtained a full copy of the Federal lawsuit and is waiting on comments.

TRENTON (MERCER)-BELLMAWR (CAMDEN), NJ–Atilis Gym Bellmawr, LLC. has filed a Federal lawsuit in the United States District Court For The District Of New Jersey against Governor Philip D. Murphy Governor, Attorney General S. Grewal , New Jersey State Police Superintendent Patrick J. Callahan and NJ Department of Health Commissioner Judith M. Persichilli. The pages of the lawsuit obtained from a Facebook group and as asked for comment and waiting for a reply. The full document is now posted below:

Update: 25 Year Old Trenton Man Dead In PA Shooting At Holiday Inn Express

Trenton Shootings Are Spilling Out Of The City

See earlier story here:

Large Crowd From Trenton, NJ In PA Shooting At Holiday Inn Express

May 25, 2020

On 24, May 2020 at 0103 AM, The Falls Township Police Department (FTPD) responded to a report of shots fired at the Holiday Inn Express located at 3101 Cabot Blvd. W, Langhorne, Falls Township, Bucks County, PA. Responding officers found a large number of people attempting to leave the area, according to Falls Police Lt. Nelson Whitney. A male victim, later identified as Davon Frink (25 years old, from Trenton NJ) was found in the parking lot near the front entrance with gunshot wounds to his face and neck. Officers called for an ambulance and began providing medical care to Frink. An ALS Unit from Levittown Fairless Hills Rescue Squad arrived and transported Frink to St. Mary’s Medical Center. Frink later died from his wounds. It was later determined that the victim was part of a large group of individuals from Trenton NJ that had rented several rooms at the hotel. Investigation into this homicide is ongoing. Lt. Whitney thanked the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office, Middletown Township Police, Lower Makefield Township Police, Morrisville Borough Police and the Levittown Fairless Hills Rescue Squad for their assistance. Anyone with information on this case is asked to contact FTPD Detective John Vella at 215-949-9100 X 431 or

Sourced via CRIMEWATCH®

Large Crowd From Trenton, NJ Involved in PA Shooting At Holiday Inn Express

Have Trenton shootings gone on the road?

May 24, 2020

FALLS TOWNSHIP, PA (BUCKS)–According to the Falls Township Police, Crimewatch website the Falls Township Police Department (FTPD) and the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office are investigating a shooting at the Holiday Inn Express located at 3101 Cabot Blvd. W., Langhorne, Falls Township, Bucks County, PA.  

Falls Township Police Department officers responded to a report of shots fired at the hotel at 0103 AM this morning.  The officers arrived and found a large crowd of individuals from Trenton NJ.  A male victim with gunshot wounds to the face and neck was taken to the hospital.  The investigation is ongoing.  

Governor Murphy Tours Field Medical Station at Atlantic City Convention Center

April 21, 2020

Pool Story by: David Danzis, The Press of Atlantic City

ATLANTIC CITY — The federal government’s field hospital at the Convention Center is operational and officials expect to take in the first patient as early as today.

Gov. Phil Murphy, Mayor Marty Small Sr. and Casino Reinvestment Development Authority Executive Director Matt Doherty toured the 258-bed medical facility Tuesday morning along with other officials from the New Jersey State Police, New Jersey National Guard and health professionals.

The field hospital site mirrors those already set up at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus and the New Jersey Convention and Exposition Center in Edison. “That’s the shortest runway between one of these tours and a patient walking through the doors,” Murphy said, following the brief 10-minute preview of the facility. “That’s a good sign in the sense that it’s ready to go.”The pop-up site will be for non-COVID-19 patients to help alleviate pressure on local hospitals.

However, officials said the field hospital’s primary purpose could quickly change if necessary. The site is under the operation of the Federal Emergency Management Agency in partnership with the State Police, state health officials and the region’s Level 1 trauma center, Cooper Medical Center.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers selected the regional site and was responsible for the construction.State Police Sgt. 1st Class Marc Pellegrino told Murphy and other officials that the Atlantic City Convention Center’s infrastructure made the two-week conversion an easier process than at the other locations.”It’s the same setup as the other locations,” Pellegrino said, “but you definitely have more sophistication (here).”Rows of one-bed units blocked off by white curtains lined the Convention Center floor. The field hospital includes an on-site pharmacy and lab testing center.

The Convention Center has the ability to expand to accommodate nearly 3,000 hospital beds.”We need the capacity,” Murphy said. “Whether we need it next week, or a year from now, we don’t ever want to be caught (off guard) again.” 

Dr. Richard Scott, a retired chief medical officer for Meridian Health and orthopedic surgeon, is overseeing the medical operations of the facility. Scott, who drove up from Wilmington, North Carolina to volunteer, said his main objective is ensuring the safety and well-being of the hundreds of medical personal who will be staffing the site.”There are a lot of people that left their left their jobs and left their families to come help others,” Scott said. “So we’re making sure they’re following good safety procedures and protocols and that we’ve got all the personal protective equipment we need.”

April 20, COVID-19 Update

April 20, 2020

World: Cases: 2,463,357 Deaths: 168,906 Recovered: 644,262 as of 4:38 pm. ET

United States of America: Cases: 778,176 Deaths: 41,313 Recovered: 71,921 Tested: 3,893,815 as of 4:38 pm. ET

Check the Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 Tracker for the latest numbers

New Jersey: Cases: 88,806 Deaths: 4,377

Some good news in NJ: Recovered

Five weeks ago, former Ridgewood High School lacrosse standout and Bates College All-American Jack Allard was confirmed positive for #COVID19. He was put on a ventilator. Last Thursday, he walked out of the hospital. For Jack and the hundreds more who have recovered, we’re optimistic.

We now have 88,806 confirmed #COVID19 cases.
• Atlantic: 410
• Bergen: 13,011
• Burlington: 1,663
• Camden: 2,255
• Cape May: 212
• Cumberland: 338
• Essex: 10,729
• Gloucester: 770
• Hudson: 11,150
• Hunterdon: 419
• Mercer: 2,591
• Middlesex: 8,346
• Monmouth: 4,787
• Morris: 4,236
• Ocean: 4,868
• Passaic: 8,479
• Salem: 120
• Somerset: 2,488
• Sussex: 680
• Union: 9,972
• Warren: 613
• Under Investigation: 660

We’ve now lost 4,377 New Jerseyans to COVID-19.
• Atlantic: 19
• Bergen: 787
• Burlington: 61
• Camden: 81
• Cape May: 15
• Cumberland: 4
• Essex: 751
• Gloucester: 25
• Hudson: 492
• Hunterdon: 18
• Mercer: 122
• Middlesex: 345
• Monmouth: 230
• Morris: 269
• Ocean: 222
• Passaic: 263
• Salem: 4
• Somerset: 170
• Sussex: 64
• Union: 387
• Warren: 47
• Unknown: 1

•6,986 #COVID19 patients reported hospitalized
•2,018 individuals listed in critical or intensive care
•1,594 ventilators were in use
•74 patients are at one of our field medical stations
•583 New Jerseyans discharged

Monmouth County has 4,783 positive cases
of COVID-19

FREEHOLD, NJ – Monmouth County Freeholder Director Thomas A. Arnone and Freeholder Deputy Director Susan M. Kiley have announced that, as of April 20, the State is reporting 114 new positive cases of COVID-19 in Monmouth County, bringing the total to 4,783.

The Freeholders noted that the number of cases in Monmouth County seem to be stabilizing. They will talk more about this at their Freeholder meeting, which will be live streamed at 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. tomorrow, Tuesday, April 21, on the Monmouth County Government Facebook and YouTube Channel.

The breakdown by municipality is as follows:

  • Aberdeen: 133
  • Allenhurst: 2
  • Allentown: 4
  • Asbury Park: 98
  • Atlantic Highlands: 18
  • Avon-by-the-Sea: 9
  • Belmar: 13
  • Bradley Beach: 22
  • Brielle: 22
  • Colts Neck: 56
  • Deal: 23
  • Eatontown: 138
  • Englishtown: 20
  • Fair Haven: 17
  • Farmingdale: 10
  • Freehold Borough: 173
  • Freehold Township: 414
  • Hazlet: 182
  • Highlands: 20
  • Holmdel: 150
  • Howell: 414
  • Interlaken: 1
  • Keansburg: 82
  • Keyport: 57
  • Lake Como: 12
  • Little Silver: 26
  • Loch Arbour: 1
  • Long Branch: 280
  • Manalapan: 329
  • Manasquan: 25
  • Marlboro: 319
  • Matawan: 119
  • Middletown: 372
  • Millstone: 57
  • Monmouth Beach: 18
  • Neptune City: 24
  • Neptune Township: 250
  • Ocean: 189
  • Oceanport: 42
  • Red Bank: 98
  • Roosevelt: 2
  • Rumson: 27
  • Sea Bright: 7
  • Sea Girt: 9
  • Shrewsbury Borough: 27
  • Shrewsbury Township: 7
  • Spring Lake: 8
  • Spring Lake Heights: 16
  • Tinton Falls: 106
  • Union Beach: 31
  • Upper Freehold: 33
  • Wall: 169
  • West Long Branch: 54
  • Unknown: 48

Monmouth County news updates and information regarding the COVID-19 situation are posted at

Covid-19 Total Cases (4822) In Ocean County:

Total as of Monday, 4/20/2020 at 11:00 am

Effective as of March 28, 2020, the data represented below identifies the municipality or mailing address which was self-reported by the resident at the time of testing. It may not necessarily represent the municipality of residence.

Town NameNumber of Cases
Barnegat Light2
Bay Head6
Beach Haven5
Harvey Cedars0
Island Heights7
Little Egg Harbor76
Long Beach Township17
Ocean Gate7
Ocean Twp. (Waretown)27
Pine Beach8
Point Pleasant Beach28
Point Pleasant Borough102
Seaside Heights21
Seaside Park3
Ship Bottom6
South Toms River52
Surf City4
Toms River847
Total Positive Cases: 4822 

NJ Man’s Death At Vail Resort: Witness, “lift operator was not paying attention,”

April 11, 2020

Previous article on the accident where a New Jersey man died hanging from a ski lift accident at Chair 37 in Vail, Colorado

Complete report at Vail Daily, a local news outlet in Vail, Colorado

VAIL, COLORADO–The sheriff’s department released a report this week on the ski lift accident that killed New Jersey resident Jason Varnish, 46, of Short Hills at Chair Lift 37. as reported by Vail Daily

The report shows that a witness stated a seat was folded up so that a rider was not able to sit down as the witness and Varnish tried to ride Chair 37. The witness was able to get out of the way while Varnish’s clothing was caught on a rubber stopper according to the witness. Varnish was lifted 20 to 25 feet off the ground.

“The lift operator was not paying attention and had been cleaning off snow in the area,” according to the witness, the report states. “A few seconds later the lift stopped and (the witness) observed (Varnish) hanging from the lift.”

See the Vail Daily article for more information.

We have e-mailed the Sheriff’s Department to get a copy of the report and will updated with further information

Governor Murphy Tours Field Medical Station at Meadowlands Exposition Center

April 2, 2020

Press Pool Coverage From Governor’s Office

Story by: Dustin Racioppi Statehouse reporter –

Gov. Phil Murphy and U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez spent about 20 minutes Thursday touring the state’s first field hospital in response to the coronavirus and thanked the state troopers and Army Corps of Engineers for their speedy work that they said would save lives.The 250-bed hospital at the Meadowlands Exposition Center should be ready to take non-COVID-19 patients Monday, said Col. Patrick Callahan, superintendent of the State Police. COVID-19 is the disease caused by the coronavirus.Murphy called it an “extraordinary effort” to build the hospital.“Of course, this is only the end of the beginning as opposed to the beginning of the end,” Murphy said to a room of workers. “God bless you all and thank you for everything you’ve done to get this going.”Menendez, who led the effort to get the hospital as well as two others under construction, in Edison and Atlantic City, told the workers, “we’re hopefully going to save lives.”The field hospital will serve as a “step-down” facility for patients that would otherwise go to area hospitals to alleviate pressure on them. However, Callahan said the field hospital could be ramped up for intensive care use.“It’s rudimentary,” Callahan said, “but the care will be the same as every hospital in the state of New Jersey.”Rows of one-bed units are set up in blocks inside the exposition center. The beds look similar to Army cots and each has a white curtain for privacy. Murphy, looking inside one of the units, said it looks like a “very basic setup.” Workers also outfitted the center with a temporary pharmacy, showers, sinks, toilets, nurse’s station and break room for health care workers.Major Gen. Jeffrey Milhorn, Commanding General of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ North Atlantic Division, called the field hospital a “simple solution to a complex situation.”The Army Corps worked with the State Police to build the hospital over the last seven or eight days, Callahan said. The Federal Emergency Management Agency, National Guard and health officials also worked on the hospital to ensure it met federal specifications. Millhorn gave much of the credit for the build-out of the hospital to State Troopers.“We’re just enablers,” Millhorn said. “We want to enable you to move fastest by providing the ICU capability and acute care in the existing hospital footprints.”The other two field hospitals should be ready to open soon, Callahan said, though he did not have firm dates. A fourth hospital that was planned to open in Monmouth County was instead folded into the project under construction in Edison and will hold 500 beds, he said.“We expand capacity and we pray every day that we don’t need it,” Menendez said.On his way out of the tour, Murphy praised Millhorn and his team.“At some point when I can I’m going to give you a hug, but I can’t do that today,” Murphy said.

NJ FMBA Reports, Passaic, NJ Firefighter Passed Away From COVID-19

Passaic Firefighter Local 13 member Israel Tolentino lost his life to COVID-19, coronavirus.

An e-mail from the NJ FMBA also available at the NJ FMBA website:

March 31, 2020

Israel Tolentino, rest easy brother.

Earlier today we received the devastating news that Passaic Firefighter Local 13 member Israel Tolentino lost his life to COVID-19, coronavirus.

We can’t provide him with a true firefighter’s funeral. We can’t have hundreds of firefighters at his house playing with his children and consoling his wife and family. We can’t have food sent to a grieving family and friends because no one can gather. We couldn’t spend time with him in the hospital when he took his final breaths because no visitors are allowed.

This is hardest for our members because this is so out of character for us.  We take care of our own, and while it may not be today, we will give our brother the tribute he deserves. 

This is the true impact of the devastating coronavirus, and a reminder of the added danger firefighters, EMTs, and dispatchers, as well as other first responders and health care providers, face every shift we report for.

The increased risk of exposure is exactly why the NJ FMBA has been fighting every single day to make sure that our members are equipped with the knowledge, and equipment, needed to keep us as safe as possible during this extraordinary time.

While washing hands and practicing social distancing is good advice for the general public, it is not enough for the men and women of the fire service.This was why it was imperative that we got access to information sharing related to positive COVID-19 cases, recognizing that no firefighter or EMT should have to respond to a call before being made aware of the additional hazards. 

Now, more than ever, we must look out for ourselves, and each other. That means both physically and mentally. 

While we continue to protect the front lines of our communities, your Union will forge forward on the front lines of State and Federal policymaking by bringing forth legislation and new initiatives that will provide the protections we greatly need and richly deserve.  

As we look towards a brighter and more certain future, today we pray for our brother Israel, his family and our brothers and sisters in Local 13/213

As more information becomes available, we will share it. 

Be Well,

Eddie Donnelly



Most Beaches/Boardwalks, Some Parks, And Great Adventure Closed Due To COVID-19 Concerns, Even Plastic Bag Ban Suspended In Long Beach Twp

March 31, 2020

Ocean County Park System is closing all their parks starting 6 pm March 31, 2020 according to a NIXLE notice here:

Most public parks in NJ that have running trails, hiking trails are open. Check with each individual town or park system for updates on closures or modifications.

Almost all towns have closed places where people could congregate such as pavilions, shelters, certain athletic fields, skate parks, playgrounds, etc. Most parks have left running and hiking trails open so people can get out and get exercise while still be able to maintain a 6 foot physical/social distance from each others. Check with your specific park system or town for specific closures prior to heading to any parks.

As of right now State of NJ Parks and Wildlife Management Areas are open. Restrooms, pavilions, buildings, etc. are closed. Open areas and hiking trails are open, please maintain social distancing while out and about.

Island Beach State Park information here

List of all NJ State Parks

Great Adventure:

Six Flags, Great Adventure, Jackson, NJ has postponed opening day for both parks Hurricane Harbor and Great Adventure & Safari. Please follow the official Facebook and Twitter pages for Six Flags listed below concerning park updates.

Most public beaches, boardwalks and promenades are closed or have some kind of modified restrictive access:

You should stay home but if you are at the shore check with your individual town for specifics and updates on closures. Some towns beaches and boardwalks are closed. Some have boardwalks closed but beaches open.

Long Beach Township—Due to this Local/State/Federal Emergency, we have suspended the ordinance that doesn’t allow the use of single use plastic bags.
We are also not allowing dogs to access bay beach beaches at this time due to the size and limited space and over use of these areas.
Thank you for your cooperation during this State of Emergency.

Seaside Heights beach, boardwalk and bay areas closed see website here.

Seaside Park, boardwalk closed beach open.

Seaside Park Boardwalk to be closed
Effective immediately, by order of the Seaside Park Office of Emergency Management the boardwalk
will be closed to the public until further notice. The Beach entrances will remain accessible to
the public while the boardwalk is closed. This closure is to further protect borough employees and
the public during Governor Murphy’s executive order to limit non-essential travel. We appreciate
everyone’s cooperation as we try to limit exposure during the Covid-19 pandemic so we can flatten
the curve and
get through this situation together as a community.

March 27, 2020 8:32 AM

Asbury Park Boardwalk Closed to the Public to Mitigate Spread of COVID-19 Effective 3/27/20

Effective immediately, Asbury Park Boardwalk will be closed to the public until further notice to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Asbury Park Beaches will remain open for now, but are subject to closure should social distancing guidelines not be followed. Access across the boardwalk to the beach will be available at First, Third and Sunset Avenues. Access to the beach will also be available at Deal Lake Drive.

March 26, 2020

Lavallette website
Lavallette The Beach and Boardwalk are Closed to the Public.
The entire length of the municipal boardwalk from Ortley Ave south to Dover Ave and the entire length of the municipal beach (from northern border of Ocean Beach, Toms River, south to the border of Ortley Beach, Toms River) shall be closed to any public use until the Governor of New Jersey lifts the State of Emergency in the State of New Jersey.

USNS Comfort, Arrives In New York City

March 30, 2020

Story by: US Navy 2nd Fleet Public Affairs

Photos by: Dennis Symons, Jr. – from Liberty State Park

NORFOLK, Virginia (NNS) — The Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) arrived in New York March 30, 2020 in support of the nation’s COVID-19 response efforts.

While in New York, the ship will serve as a referral hospital for non-COVID-19 patients currently admitted to shore-based hospitals, and will provide a full spectrum of medical care to include general surgeries, critical care and ward care for adults.  This will allow local health professionals to focus on treating COVID-19 patients and for shore-based hospitals to use their Intensive Care Units and ventilators for those patients.

Comfort is a seagoing medical treatment facility that currently has more than 1,200 personnel embarked for the New York mission including Navy medical and support staff assembled from 22 commands, as well as over 70 civil service mariners.

“The USNS Comfort arrives in New York City this morning with more than 1,100 medical personnel who are ready to provide safe, high-quality health care to non-COVID patients,” said Capt. Patrick Amersbach, commanding officer of the USNS Comfort Military Treatment Facility. “We are ready and grateful to serve the needs of our nation.”

Comfort’s primary mission is to provide an afloat, mobile, acute surgical medical facility to the U.S. military that is flexible, capable and uniquely adaptable to support expeditionary warfare. Comfort’s secondary mission is to provide full hospital services to support U.S. disaster relief and humanitarian operations worldwide.

“Like her sister ship, USNS Mercy (T-AH 19), which recently moored in Los Angeles, this great ship will support civil authorities by increasing medical capacity and collaboration for medical assistance,” said Rear Adm. John Mustin, vice commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command. “Not treating COVID-19 patients… but by acting as a relief valve for other urgent needs, freeing New York’s hospitals and medical professionals to focus on the pandemic.”

“This USNS Comfort team of Sailors, Marines and Civilian Mariners came together during the transit to New York City  and our medical professionals are ready to begin receiving patients from local hospitals tomorrow,” said Capt. Joseph O’Brien, mission commander of Task Force New York City. “Our personnel are our strength—the men and women of our military services accomplish incredible things every day, and I am confident in their abilities as we start the next phase of this mission.”

The ship expects to begin receiving patients 24 hours after arriving in New York City. All patient transfers will be coordinated with local hospitals, thus ensuring a consistent handoff of care between medical providers. Patients will not be accepted on a walk-on basis, and should not come to the pier with any expectation that they can receive care.

“The last time that this great hospital ship was here was in the wake of 9-11, where she served as respite and comfort for our first responders working around the clock,” said Mustin. “Our message to New Yorkers – now your Navy has returned, and we are with you, committed in this fight.”

The U.S. Coast Guard is providing a security escort of USNS Comfort into New York Harbor, comprised of crews and assets from around the region to include the Coast Guard Cutter Shrike, Coast Guard Cutter Sitkinak, Maritime Safety and Security Team New York, Coast Guard Station New York, and Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod.

U.S. 2nd Fleet exercises operational authorities over assigned ships, aircraft, and landing forces on the East Coast and the Atlantic.

Coverage of USNS Comfort in New York and USNS Mercy in Los Angeles continues at

For more news from U.S. 2nd Fleet, visit and for more information visit or

In Letter to President Trump, Governor Murphy Requests Support of U.S. Military and Army Corps of Engineers to Assist New Jersey’s Efforts to Expand Hospital and Intensive Care Unit Capacity

TRENTON – Governor Phil Murphy today requested the support of the United States military and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to assist New Jersey’s efforts to expand hospital and intensive care unit capacity in preparation for the continued spread of COVID-19. The Governor’s request was made in a letter sent to President Trump in response to the President’s comments this morning that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is “ready, willing, and able” to pursue such efforts. “This public health crisis is a direct threat to our national security and the safety of our people, and the Northeast region, which is the densest region by population in America, is the most susceptible to a virus that rapidly transmits among individuals,” said Governor Murphy. “By working together to identify buildings that can serve as facilities to provide emergency and intensive care, we can save many thousands of lives.”At the direction of the Governor, the New Jersey National Guard and the Department of Health Commissioner, Judith Persichilli, are currently working on efforts to expand New Jersey’s hospital capacity. Commissioner Persichilli is working closely with hospitals in the State to examine the feasibility of reopening shuttered hospital wings and hospitals. The letter cites estimates from the Senator Walter Rand Institute for Public Affairs at Rutgers-Camden that New Jersey could be facing a peak shortfall of anywhere from 123,000 to 313,000 hospital beds, sometime between May and October. It also notes that New Jersey may need an additional 2,000 critical care beds in the next two weeks.Governor Murphy’s letter, which notes the extensive social distancing efforts he ordered yesterday to slow the spread of COVID-19, also reiterated his call for additional supplies to support health care workers on the front lines of statewide response efforts.“Additionally, even as we identify and secure additional facilities, those efforts will be futile unless we have the personal protective equipment needed to allow health care workers to operate and the ventilators that are needed to treat patients,” added Governor Murphy. “I urge you to assist us as we seek to rapidly expand these critical supplies.”A copy of the Governor’s letter can be found here.

Governor Murphy, Governor Cuomo, and Governor Lamont Announce Regional Approach to Combatting COVID-19

March 16, 2020

The three States will limit crowd capacity for recreational and social gatherings to 50 people – effective by 8 PM tonight 

Restaurants and bars will close for on premise service and move to take-out and delivery only effective 8 PM tonight

Movie theaters, gyms and casinos will temporarily close effective 8 PM tonight

Uniform approach to social distancing will slow spread of COVID-19 throughout the tri-state area

PRESS RELEASE FROM GOV. MURPHY’S OFFICE: TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)—Amid a lack of federal direction and nationwide standards, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, and Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont today announced a regional approach to combatting the novel coronavirus – or COVID-19 – throughout the tri-state area.

These uniform standards will limit crowd capacity for social and recreational gatherings to 50 people, effective 8 PM tonight. This follows updated guidance that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued yesterday recommending the cancellation or postponement of in-person events consisting of 50 people or more.

The three governors also announced restaurants and bars will close for on premise service and move to take-out and delivery services only. These establishments will be provided a waiver for carry-out alcohol. These measures will take effect at 8 PM tonight.

Finally, the three governors said they will temporarily close movie theaters, gyms and casinos, effective at 8 PM tonight. 

This uniform approach to social distancing is meant to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19. 

Governor Murphy said, “With all we are seeing in our state – and across our nation and around the world – the time for us to take our strongest, and most direct, actions to date to slow the spread of coronavirus is now. I’ve said many times over the past several days that, in our state, we are going to get through this as one New Jersey family. But if we’re all in this together, we must work with our neighboring states to act together. The work against coronavirus isn’t just up to some of us, it’s up to all of us.”

“Our primary goal right now is to slow the spread of this virus so that the wave of new infections doesn’t crash our healthcare system, and everyone agrees social distancing is the best way to do that,” Governor Cuomo said. “This is not a war that can be won alone, which is why New York is partnering with our neighboring states to implement a uniform standard that not only keeps our people safe but also prevents ‘state shopping’ where residents of one state travel to another and vice versa. I have called on the federal government to implement nationwide protocols but in their absence we are taking this on ourselves.”

Governor Lamont said, “The only way to effectively fight the spread of COVID-19 is by working together as states. We have shared interests, and a patchwork of closures and restrictions is not the best way forward. I know that because of this collaboration, we will save lives.” 

Census 2020 Survey Is Arriving By Mail

March 13, 2020

By: Dennis Symons, Jr.

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)—The 2020 Census count is underway and I received my invitation by mail today. As per the instructions I logged onto and entered my code Census ID Code. There were some very basic questions of who was living in the home and birthdays. It was one of the easiest census forms I have ever completed and took less than two minutes to complete from start to finish, even though it says it could take an average of 10 minutes to complete.

The Census is counted every 10 years and many things from voting districts, financial aid, Federal, State and Local government services and more use this government data. A response is required by law and should be very easy to complete if you have received the invitation from United States Census Bureau.

Frequently asked questions of the Census Bureau:

  1. What is the 2020 Census?The goal of the census is to count every person living in the United States, once, only once and in the right place. Article I, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution mandates that this population and housing count occur every 10 years. Census data guide how more than $675 billion of federal funding is distributed to states and communities each year.
  2. Am I required to respond to the 2020 Census?Yes, you are required by law to respond to the 2020 Census (Title 13, U.S. Code, Sections 141 and 193). We are conducting the 2020 Census under the authority of Title 13, U.S. Code, Sections 141, 193 and 221. This collection of information has been approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The eight-digit OMB approval number is 0607-1006. If this number were not displayed, we could not conduct the census.
  3. Are my answers confidential and private?Yes. The Census Bureau is required by law to protect your information. The Census Bureau is not permitted to publicly release your responses in a way that could identify you or your household. Per the Federal Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2015, your data are protected from cybersecurity risks through screening of the systems that transmit your data. All web data submissions are encrypted in order to protect your privacy.Title 13 of the U.S. Code protects the confidentiality of all your information. Violating the confidentiality of a respondent is a federal crime with serious penalties, including a federal prison sentence of up to five years, a fine of up to $250,000, or both. Only authorized individuals have access to the stored data, and the information you provide to the Census Bureau may only be used by a restricted number of authorized individuals who are sworn for life to protect the confidentiality of your individual responses. Your answers cannot be used against you by any government agency or court.For more information about how we protect your information, please visit our website at and click on “Data Protection and Privacy Policy” at the bottom of the home page. This page also includes information about the collection, storage, and use of these records. Click on “System of Records Notices (SORN)” and look for Privacy Act System of Records Notice COMMERCE/CENSUS-5, Decennial Census Program.
  4. Who should complete the 2020 Census questionnaire?This 2020 Census questionnaire should be completed by the person who owns or rents the living quarters or any other person who is at least 15 years of age with knowledge of the household.
  5. How do I change my answers?For questions where you must choose a single response from a list, clicking another response will change your answer to that response.If it is a “select all that apply” question, you may click on a selected check box to unselect the box and remove it as one of your answers.
  6. How long will the 2020 Census questionnaire take?The Census Bureau estimates that completing the questionnaire will take 10 minutes on average.
  7. How will the Census Bureau use the information I provide?By law, the Census Bureau can only use your responses to produce statistics.
  8. Is it safe to complete the 2020 Census questionnaire online?Yes. For each online questionnaire, we are required to provide an explanation to respondents about the confidentiality of the data and the laws that protect those data (e.g., Title 13, U.S. Code Section 9 (a)).Per the Federal Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2015, your data are protected from cybersecurity risks through screening of the systems that transmit your data. All web data submissions are encrypted in order to protect your privacy, even in the remote chance that your responses are intercepted.More information on this topic can be found on the Data Protection and Privacy Policy webpage (
  9. Will the results be published?Yes. By law, the Census Bureau can only use your responses to produce statistics. The Census Bureau is not permitted to publicly release your responses in a way that could identify you or your household. The Census Bureau plans to make results of this study available to the general public. Results will be presented in aggregate form and no personally identifiable information will be published.Information quality is an integral part of the pre-dissemination review of the information disseminated by the Census Bureau (fully described in the Census Bureau’s Information Quality Guidelines at Information quality is also integral to the information collection conducted by the Census Bureau and is incorporated into the clearance process by the Paperwork Reduction Act.
  10. Do I have to complete the 2020 Census questionnaire for my household members?Yes, you will be asked to provide information for each household member.

$7,500 in LSD Seized by the Mercer County Narcotics Task Force

February 27, 2020

The Mercer County Narcotics Task Force (MCNTF) concluded a three-month investigation last week with one arrest and the seizure of almost $8,000 in drugs, Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri reported.

Onofri stated that, on Friday evening, February 21, 2020, detectives with the MCNTF initiated surveillance of the investigation’s target, Viktor Drobyshevskiy, as well as his Monroe Township residence on Fernhead Avenue.  A motor vehicle stop of Drobyshevskiy was conducted at Meadow Road and the Route 1 bypass in West Windsor, NJ, and he was taken into custody without incident.  Mercer County Prosecutor’s Sergeant Joe Angarone utilized his K9 partner Bela to conduct a narcotics search of Drobyshevskiy’s 2011 Mazda and Bela indicated positive to locating narcotics within the vehicle.  A search warrant for the vehicle was obtained and detectives located liquid LSD in a clear jar, five tabs of LSD and eight grams of marijuana.  The investigation revealed that Drobyshevskiy was transporting the LSD to sell at a party in West Windsor.

Detectives with the MCNTF, the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Unit and the Monroe Township Police Department executed a search warrant for Drobyshevskiy’s residence after he was taken into custody.  During the search, detectives located liquid LSD in a clear jar, approximately 10 grams of psilocybin, 232 grams of marijuana, a .22 caliber rifle, a 9mm handgun and $505 in cash.

Onofri stated that the total amount of LSD seized was about one and a half ounces with an approximate street value of $7,500.  The psilocybin and marijuana have approximate street values of $200 and $250, respectively.

Drobyshevskiy, 28, was arrested and charged with first-degree narcotics offenses.  He is being held at the Mercer County Correction Center pending a detention hearing.

Officers with the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office, the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, the Monroe Township Police Department, and the Hamilton and Princeton police, under the command of the prosecutor’s Special Investigations Unit, assisted with the investigation.

Despite having been charged, every defendant is presumed innocent until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Viktor Drobyshevskiy, 28, was arrested and charged with first-degree narcotics offenses.  He is being held at the Mercer County Correction Center pending a detention hearing.

Update: NJ Man Dies From Asphyxia At Chair 37 in Vail Mountain’s Blue Sky Basin By Hanging From Ski Coat

February 14, 2020

Updated to include town in NJ and additional information.

Special thanks to Vail Daily for contributing to this report.

VAIL COLORADO (EAGLE)–According to reports a New Jersey man has died by Chair 37 Skyline Express Lift in the Blue Sky Basin area of Vail’s legendary back bowls. Jason Varnish, 46, of Short Hills, New Jersey, died Thursday on Vail Mountain, coroner Kara Bettis has confirmed.

Update from Vail Daily:

Coroner Kara Bettis said the death has been ruled an accident.

Bettis, in a text, wrote: “We are still investigating how this whole situation happened. According to our initial investigation, the deceased slipped through the seat of the chair lift and his ski coat got caught up in the chair. The coat ended up going up around his head and neck area putting his neck in a position that compromised his airway.”

See Vail Daily for further updates on the investigation

Blue Sky Basin was closed after the incident:

Please also follow this breaking story at Vail Daily for the latest information.

Softball Coach Charged With Stealing Team Money

February 12, 2020

FREEHOLD – A Neptune Township man who coached a competitive youth softball team is facing charges of theft after he misused about $14,000 of the team’s funds earmarked for traveling expenses and tournament costs, announced Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.

Michael Lane, 54, of Neptune Township, was charged Monday with third degree Theft by Unlawful Taking and third degree Misapplication of Entrusted Property by detectives from the Tinton Falls Police Department with assistance from the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office.

Lane, in his capacity as the coach for the Monmouth Surf softball team (a youth sports travel team) since 2013, received money from players to cover traveling expenses and tournament costs. But last July 2019, parents for the players were informed by Lane he misused the funds given to him for personal use and the money was no longer available. He then informed parents he would pay back the funds but the player’s participation would have to be cancelled. When money was not paid back, parents reported the crime to law enforcement and an investigation by the Tinton Falls Police Department, with assistance from the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, revealed the defendant did not utilize the funds for the softball team and instead deposited approximately $14,000 of the stolen money into his personal account.

If convicted of the third degree crimes, Lane faces up to five years in a New Jersey state prison on each count.The case is assigned to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Diane Aifer. Lane is represented by Jacqueline E. Cistaro, Esq. of New York.

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.

New Jersey EMS System Has Needed Life Support For A Long Time!

January 26, 2020

Editorial by: PFANJ, Professional Firefighters of NJ

The Emergency Medical Service (EMS) system in New Jersey has long been in need of revamping and overhauling. Since 2010, the Professional Firefighters Association of New Jersey (PFANJ) has been working with the New Jersey State Legislature to enact critical changes to our EMS system that will help keep our communities safe. In fact, a law to rebuild the system was passed by the Legislature in 2012, but was vetoed by Governor Christie.

State Senator Declan J. O’Scanlon Jr. (R-13) is taking advantage of the union-busting shut-down of MONOC – New Jersey’s Hospital Service Corporation on April 1 to advocate for swift passage of a bill he is sponsoring (S-617) that would fundamentally change EMS delivery in New Jersey. Make no mistake, this bill will impact the method in which emergency medical help is provided to every neighborhood and family in our great state. The O’Scanlon bill is not the lifeline the NJ EMS system needs.

Instead of strengthening New Jersey’s EMS system, O’Scanlon’s bill lowers standards. It takes highly trained paramedics out of advanced life support units and replaces them with lower-paid EMTs with significantly less training and life-saving capabilities. While O’Scanlon’s bill claims to allow more staffing flexibility, it merely gives hospital systems shortcuts to higher profits. Some of these same hospital systems are the very ones responsible for the dismantling of MONOC.

MONOC, which provided ALS service in New Jersey for 40 years, is being dismantled and shutting its doors on April 1, 2020. MONOC was run by a board of directors that included management from RWJBarnabas HealthHackensack Meridian Health and CentraState Healthcare System. These hospitals systems now will absorb MONOC’s service area. MONOC’s International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) union EMS professionals will all lose their jobs and are offered no guarantee of employment in these takeover areas.

Senator O’Scanlon has stated that MONOC’s business model was no longer sustainable. One must ask, if these hospital systems were responsible for MONOC when MONOC collapsed, how will they effectively run this new EMS service?

The needed overhaul of our EMS system should be about giving the citizens of New Jersey the best possible emergency medical services available. The PFANJ and Professional Emergency Medical Service Association PEMSA – IAFF Local 4610 (PEMSA) have worked constructively in the past with Senator O’Scanlon on this overhaul, but more work needs to be done before this current and flawed legislation moves forward.

Paramedics know that hurrying through an emergency scene can lead to unintended mistakes. Deliberative care is always best for the patient and results in a better long-term prognosis. The same can be said for legislation. Instead of rushing to pass legislation like O’Scanlon’s bill that front-line EMS professionals are uncertain will help our communities, it is far more prudent to work with all stakeholders to create sustainable solutions that will have a proven positive impact on how EMS is delivered.

The citizens of New Jersey deserve the best emergency medical system the world has to offer. The PFANJ looks forward to continuing to modernize and increase professionalism of our state’s EMS system. We fear that the forced closure of MONOC and the rushing of O’Scanlon’s bill takes us in the wrong direction and makes us all less safe.

Don Marino
Professional Firefighters Association of New Jersey

West Windsor Man Under Indictment for 40 Burglaries

December 18, 2019

TRENTON — A Mercer County grand jury returned a nine-count indictment this week charging Billy M. Woodard, 54, in connection with five residential burglaries in Mercer and Middlesex counties, Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri announced.  The charges include three counts of burglary in West Windsor Township and two counts of burglary in Plainsboro Township.

In September 2019, a Mercer County grand jury returned a 55-count indictment charging Woodard with 19 burglaries in West Windsor, four in Robbinsville, six in Princeton, four in Lawrence and two in Hopewell.  He was also indicted on many third- and fourth-degree theft charges related to the burglaries.

Assistant Prosecutor Kathleen M. Petrucci presented both cases to the grand jury.

Prosecutor Onofri stated that, between June 2018 and May 2019, West Windsor Township and surrounding jurisdictions were inundated with a rash of residential burglaries.  A comprehensive and massive investigation was conducted by the West Windsor Police Department’s Detective Bureau, under the leadership of Chief Robert Garofalo, to determine if they were the acts of the same person or persons, and to identify those responsible and apprehend the culprits.  The exhaustive efforts led to identifying Woodard as the lone actor in more than 20 residential burglaries during the aforementioned time frame. In almost every single case, the burglaries took place while the residents were at home and asleep.

During the extensive investigation, lead West Windsor Detectives Eric Woodrow and Jason Jones sought assistance from the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office Special Investigations Unit (SIU).  Ultimately, Woodard was apprehended during the commission of a residential burglary in Lower Makefield Township, Pennsylvania, on May 30, 2019. He remains in custody in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and is charged with numerous burglaries in that jurisdiction.

“Although Woodard has been linked to 22 residential burglaries in West Windsor Township, the investigation is ongoing,” Chief Garofalo said.  “The Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office and the WWPD ask residents to continue your vigilance and be observant and considerate to your neighbors.  If you feel something is abnormal in your community, please don’t hesitate to contact your local police department immediately.”

Prosecutor Onofri and Chief Garofalo thanked the following agencies for the support and resources provided during the investigation:

  • West Windsor Police Department
  • Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office
  • Hopewell Township Police Department
  • Lawrence Township Police Department
  • Princeton Police Department
  • Robbinsville Township Police Department
  • Plainsboro Township Police Department
  • Lower Makefield Township (PA) Police Department

Despite having been indicted, every defendant is presumed innocent until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

A Mercer County grand jury returned a nine-count indictment this week charging Billy M. Woodard, 54, in connection with five residential burglaries in Mercer and Middlesex counties, Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri announced. Photo provided by: Mercer County Prosecutors Office

Updated: Serious Bus Accident on NJ Turnpike, One Fatality Reported, Several Injured

November 29, 2019 (updated 11/30/2019 to include official information from NJSP)

By: Dennis Symons, Jr.

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP–One person has died in a bus accident on the NJ Turnpike and several others had moderate to minor injuries. A bus traveling south on the NJ Turnpike was en route from New York City to Philadelphia, PA., NJ State Police said.

The south bound bus was in the area of mile marker 56.9 lost control and ran off the roadway by the Crosswicks Creek Bridge. It appears the guardrail and barrier had kept the bus from falling off the embankment of the bridge and into the creek below.

The Robbinsville Township Fire Department, IAFF Local #3786, Bordentown Township Fire Department IAFF Local #3091 were dispatched at 8:49 pm, also numerous first aid squads were requested and responded to the scene.

New Jersey State Police said that there were at least 20 passengers on board the bus at the time of crash and some passengers left the scene on their own.

There were seven injuries reported, six were minor and one moderate. The one “moderately” injured person had to be extricated and was transported to Capital Health in Hopewell. One injury was taken to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital at Hamilton and five refused treatment.

The NJ State Police did not release the name of the deceased, pending notification of family members.

The bus was operated by Skyliner Travel and Tours Bus Corp from Astoria, NY

A Hyundai traveling behind the bus was damaged by debris of the crash but did not impact the bus. The cause of the crash remains under investigation by the NJ State Police.

Dancer, Clifton district awarded more than $3.25 million in transportation grants

November 29, 2019
TRENTON, N.J. – Thirteen municipalities in the 12th legislative district will receive more than $3.25 million in grants from the Department of Transportation, Assemblymen Ron Dancer and Rob Clifton announced today.
“This funding will help get vital roadway projects moving and will make much-needed improvements for the benefit of motorists,” said Dancer (R-Ocean).
The towns in Dancer and Clifton’s district will use the money for roadway preservation, one of the seven project categories under the municipal aid program. The others include roadway safety, quality of life, mobility, bikeway, pedestrian safety and bridge preservation.
“Local commuters and families deserve safer roads, resurfaced roads and peace of mind when travelling in our district. These funds will provide a better and safer experience,” said Clifton (R-Monmouth).
NJDOT provides 75 percent of the grant amount when a town awards a contract and the remaining 25 percent upon completion of the project.
The following towns and projects in district 12 have been awarded funding:

Municipality                     Grant Amount         Name of Project
Chesterfield Township $244,000.00 Sykesville Rd Improvements Phase II
New Hanover Township $244,000.00 Cookstown Hockamick Road
North Hanover Township $240,000.00 Schoolhouse Road Phase II
Old Bridge Township $312,338.00 Phillips Drive Improvements
Allentown Borough $180,000.00 Improvements to Waldron Road, Quinn Road, and Hamilton Street
Englishtown Borough $154,000.00 Heritage Drive and Raymond Court Improvements
Manalapan Township $270,000.00 Improvements to Gordons Corner Road
Matawan Borough $200,000.00 Overbrook Lane Improvements
Millstone Township $180,000.00 Nurko Road
Roosevelt Borough $255,000.00 Improvements to School Lane
Upper Freehold Township $330,000.00 Burlington Path Road
Jackson Township $425,000.00 Improvements to Wright DeBow Road, Phase II
Plumsted Township $218,000.00 Tower Road Resurfacing

NJ Senate Bill S 4204 Will Harm “Independent Contractors” in Current Form

November 22, 2019


When I started this website I was not going to write opinion pieces or editorials since this directly will harm me here is the first opinion piece:

TRENTON, NJ—I started in the “news business” around 1987 photographing for the now defunct Messenger Press in Allentown, NJ. I was in college at the time and brought some photographs into the Messenger Press to see if they would want to run them and they did, I was now “published” The editor told me to send them a bill for $15. Per photo for a total of $30.

For a college kid at the time that was pretty good money for photographs, I could get a tank of gas and a few rolls of film to keep me going. The editor liked my photographs enough to start sending me on assignments as a “freelance photographer” also known as “stringer” As I would find out this is how many entered into news organizations eventually working their way  up to full time employment or a regular part time employee of the news organization.

On assignments I would meet others from different media organizations and was offered additional jobs as a stringer at the time and ended up working for around 13 newspapers and magazines. As a stringer I owned the rights to my work so when a magazine such as Sports Illustrated called looking for a photograph of a football player, I would then sell my photo directly to SI.

Over the years I would generate enough income to have 1099 forms sent to me at the end of the year for non-employee compensation also known as a “independent contractor” I had to do  lot of things they did not teach you in high school or college such as, register as a business, learn accounting, learn to file taxes, open checking accounts, sales negotiations, contracts, inventory, equipment purchases, collect and pay sales taxes and many other things that it takes to run a small business.

A good majority of people working in the news business are also stringers or freelancers. Photographers, writers, editors, delivery persons, and the list goes on and on of all who are employed to bring you the news.

Over the past few years the news business has taken a massive hit from online publishing and the recession of 2007, and has never really recovered. Many newspapers are no longer published, some larger organizations merged, laying off and consolidating staff, many news organizations no longer send reporters or photographers out for a story, they rarely even use stringers as much anymore. Everyone has a phone with a camera so why not get the photographs for free though social media, and of course used with permission for a “photo credit” that pays nothing.

The news still needs to be reported but, larger traditional news organizations can afford to have several full time and part time regular employees. News gathering, editing and publishing takes a lot of time and most have staff large enough to cover the daily operation. When multiple events happen and there are not enough employees to cover everything, so editors reach out to the stringers. Not to mention stringers usually cover regular employees while they are on FMLA, out sick, on vacation, regular time off or a host of other issues when a regular employee would not be able to make an assignment. Other times stringers are useful are during “spot news” events a stringer can sometimes get there faster and able to cover a breaking news story while a staff photographer is tied up on an assignment.

One of the dangers to our democracy is that as we lose newspapers, magazines and other media, we also lose the watch dog that keeps government and others in check. Losing more freelance journalists will just accelerate the process.

Fresh out of college, a fresh start switching careers, or maybe as a second job just trying to make ends meet, being an independent contractor is a great way to try and make it.

New Jersey State Senate President, Stephen M. Sweeney has proposed Senate Bill S-4204 that restricts the ability of employers to use legitimate services of independent contractors and it appears this bill has been “fast tracked” to rush it though the legislature. It is understandable the Senator is trying to stop misclassification of independent contractors that should be bona fide employees and that is understandable. The wording with the current bill pretty much eliminates most independent contractors and will put them out of business causing harm to this already sensitive economy.

It is time to call and write your legislators to have them modify NJ Senate Bill S-4204 to keep private contractor’s jobs alive.

This issue bleeds over to other industries but I am writing on my experiences as a private contractor since 1987.

The State is after UBER, Lyft, delivery services and private trucking companies by having current private contractors forced to become employees of the company. The current version of the bill applies to most all independent contractors, if they pass a certain level that would require them to become a regular employee rather than be an independent contractor. This could include coaches, referees, fitness trainers, sports trainers, artists, photographers, sales, writers, photographers, entertainment, and the list goes on.

Use this link to find and write your legislature to save “Independent Contractor” jobs and appose NJ Senate Bill S-4204 in its current form.

I have worked 32 years on and off as a stringer/private contractor for news organizations and support our freedoms as Americans to decide whom and when we want to work. Private individuals acting as contractors should not be forced to become an “employee” of the organization and should have the freedom to choose who they want to work for. NJ Senate Bill S-4204 is a classic government overreach in its current form and needs to be changed.

DiMaso calls independent contractor bill ‘economically devastating’
TRENTON, N.J. – Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso (R-Monmouth) issued a statement in response to legislation that would severely impact the number of residents working as independent contractors:
“I’ve had dozens of calls, emails, and text messages from people terrified about what will happen to their livelihood,” said DiMaso (R-Monmouth). “How can we even be considering placing these sorts of economic restrictions on the countless New Jerseyans who are independent contractors? It is further troubling that we are pushing this through the legislature so quickly when it would have economically devastating effects to so many independent contractors.”

Amtrak Train Strikes Car On Tracks, Pedestrians Narrowly Escape Harm With Quick Action By PD, Toyota, 2 Police Cars Destroyed, Heavy Damage To Train, Driver Charged With DWI

November 20, 2019

WEST WINDSOR, NJ– For complex incidents such as this MidJersey News has decided to post the entire press release provided by the police department to retain accuracy in reporting. Ed Note: Knowing this area and covering many stories in the past, if it were not for the quick actions by the West Windsor Police not getting people out of the way of the train, this incident would of ended with fatalities. Good work WWTPD!

NCIDENT:   2019-32500 DWI, Amtrak Train Striking Vehicle on Tracks, Damage to (2) Marked Patrol Vehicles

DATE & TIME OCCURRED:  11/19/2019 at 11:57 pm

LOCATION OCCURRED:  West Bound Amtrak Train Track underneath Route #64 Bridge (just north of Washington Road at the Princeton Junction Train Station)

ACCUSED:  Amna S. Ahmed 23 year old A/F
                      Resident of Saddle Brook, NJ 07663

OFFICERS:  1)  Ptl. A. Pollini #99
                       2)  Ptl. B. Heath #103
                       3)  Ptl. C. Crawford #108


  1. Traffic Sgt. F. Bal #467
  2. Sgt. A. Magistro #473
  3. Traffic Officer F. LaTorre #68
  4. Det. E. Woodrow #101
  5. NJ Amtrak Police Department Police Officer G. Holman—Lead Investigator of Amtrak Train Collision

DETAILS:   At 11:57 pm on 11/19/2019, Patrol Units were detailed to the West Bound Train Tracks underneath the Route #64 bridge for a vehicle that was disabled on the Amtrak Train Track.  Ptl. Pollini arrived on scene in Car #11 while Ptl. Crawford parked nearby in his patrol car.  Upon arrival, Ptl. Pollini discovered the disabled vehicle, a 2012 Toyota Camry, facing in an easterly direction on the West Bound Amtrak Track.  The vehicle had been driven there by Amna S. Ahmed, who was on scene and met with Ptl. Pollini.  In addition, on an access road next to the train tracks was another vehicle, a white BMW, that was occupied by Amna’s father and sister, who had arrived to provide her assistance.  Dispatch began to make notifications to stop all train traffic due to the Toyota Camry being on a track and the persons in such close proximity to the train tracks.    
                   Immediately afterward, Ptl. Heath arrived on the scene and parked Car #4 directly behind the BMW.   As Ptl. Heath began exiting his vehicle, West Bound Amtrak Train #639 was approaching at a high rate of speed.  Ptl. Pollini began alerting everyone of the impending impact.  Ptl. Pollini, Ptl. Crawford, and Amna took cover behind a building along the tracks.  Amna’s sister & father remained in the BMW and the sister moved the car up slightly.  Ptl. Heath ran for cover behind the concrete bridge abutment as the Amtrak Train struck the Toyota Camry.  The  train struck the Toyota and sent heavy debris flying toward the area where our Officers had just been standing.  The Toyota was destroyed and sent directly into Car #11 which sustained extensive damage.  Car #4 sustained moderate damage, and the BMW had moderate damage after being pelted by a shower of debris from the Toyota.  Train #639 sustained heavy damage to the Engine Car #652 as well as numerous other trailing train cars.  Although the debris field was extensive and sent with such incredible force, no one was struck & there were no reported injuries due to the quick actions of our Officers.  The debris cone extended past Washington Road.  The train traffic disruption lasted approximately (3) hours.  As of the time of this release, all tracks are reportedly fully operational.     
                   Amna was determined to be DWI at the scene and was transported to WWPD Headquarters for processing.  Amna was issued summonses for Reckless Driving & DWI and released pending a future appearance at the West Windsor Municipal Court.    

**NOTE:  The still photographs are from In Car Camera Videos (Car #11 and Car #4) just prior to the impact of Train #639 and the Toyota Camry.    


DATE OF RELEASE: 11/20/2019

*Please note that charges are merely accusations and that the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Chief Garofalo has authorized the release of a portion of Video from this incident showing the Amtrak Train colliding with the Toyota Camry on the track track.  The Camry then strikes Car #11 violently as Ptl. Pollini and Ptl. Crawford lead Amna to cover behind a building.  

Lt. Lee

Dash from police car of collision. Viewer Discretion Advised:

Heroin Trafficking Operation Dismantled, 3 Arrested

November 18, 2019

Mercer County Prosecutor’s Press Release:


NORRISTOWN, Pa. (Nov. 18, 2019) —Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin R. Steele, Mercer County (N.J.) Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri and Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub announce the arrest of Sabree Burke, 30, of Huntington Valley in Montgomery County; Roderick McKinney, 24, of Trenton, N.J., and Stanley Akers, 21, of Hamilton, N.J., in New Jersey on charges related to heroin trafficking.

The arrests of the three defendants on Nov. 14, 2019, was the culmination of a multi-jurisdictional investigation into a heroin drug trafficking organization that spanned both states. Burke’s organization operated in and around Hamilton Township and Trenton, N.J., and in Montgomery and Bucks Counties in Pennsylvania. At the time of their arrests, all three defendants had a significant amount of heroin and cash on their person and in their residences. Burke was in possession of 130 bricks of heroin (equal to 6,500 packets), a loaded .40 caliber Ruger with an obliterated serial number and $1,454 cash; McKinney was in possession of 71 bricks of heroin (equal to 3,550 packets) and $500 cash; and Akers was in possession of 50 bricks of heroin (equal to 2,500 packets) and $3,730 cash. The heroin bricks, each stamped with “Louis Vuitton” in red lettering, were worth a combined street value of more than $100,000.

“Burke’s arrest and the arrest of two of his main lieutenants, Akers and McKinney, has cut off a significant source of heroin in Southeastern Pennsylvania and Central New Jersey,” said Steele. “Law enforcement is committed to working together to investigate and dismantle drug trafficking operations like Burke’s.”

“This investigation represents the tremendous good that can be done when law enforcement from all levels come together to work as a team,” said Onofri.  “We will continue to collaborate with our law enforcement partners to stem the flow of illegal drugs into our communities.”

The investigation was led by the Mercer County Narcotics Task Force, Montgomery County Detective Bureau’s Narcotics Enforcement Team (NET), and the Bucks County Detectives’ Strike Force. Also participating in this investigation were the Abington Township Police Department, Hamilton Township Police Division, Princeton Police Department, Trenton Police Department, DEA, U.S. Homeland Security Investigations, Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office Special Investigations Unit, Mercer County Sheriff’s Office and the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department K-9.

Burke was charged with felony Possession with Intent to Deliver, Person Not to Possess a Firearm, Possession of a Firearm with an Altered Serial Number and related charges. He was arraigned before Magisterial District Judge Christopher J. Cerski, who set bail at $500,000 cash. The defendant failed to make bail and was remanded to the Montgomery County Correctional Facility. A preliminary hearing was set for 2 p.m., Nov. 26, 2019, in front of Magisterial District Judge John D. Kessler. Montgomery County Assistant District Attorney Samantha Thompson, Captain of the Drug Unit, will prosecute the case against Burke.

McKinney and Akers were each charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance, possession with the intent to distribute and possession with the intent to distribute within 500 feet of a park.  They are being held at the Mercer County Correction Center pending detention hearings on November 20, 2019.  Mercer County Assistant Prosecutor Daniel A. Matos will prosecute the case against McKinney and Akers in Mercer County.

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