COLUMBUS, NJ -
Less than 24 hours after residents in the Northern Burlington Sending District approved a $39.7 million Referendum that promises increased security, hundreds of Northern students participated in a nationwide "Walk-Out" demonstration honoring lives lost to gun violence.
NBC Superintendent Dr. Sarruda tweeted pictures Wednesday morning of local students engaging in the protest, and included a message explaining what the protests were for. This differs from other schools around the nation, some of which promised to discipline students who participated, even threatening suspension.
According to Administration, approximately 200 high school students and 200 middle school students "conducted peaceful and organized demonstrations in separate locations in a planned 17 minute time frame to pay tribute to the 17 victims of the Parkland Florida tragedy."
Dr. Sarruda also thanked the Mansfield Police Department for an "increased presence" at today's demonstrations.
Other schools in the area took part in today's protests, as well as across the nation.
COLUMBUS, NJ -
The Northern Burlington Referendum passed Tuesday night with a final vote of 2300 YES to 1446 NO. (these numbers do not reflect provisional or absentee ballots)
Residents in all 4 townships of the Northern Burlington County Regional School District cast their ballots in a special school election Tuesday night. Voters in Chesterfield, Mansfield, North Hanover, and Springfield were charged with deciding the fate of a 30 year $39.7 million bond referendum for the Northern Burlington High School.
Northern Burlington County School District Superintendent Dr. James Sarruda post on Facebook Tuesday night, saying "On behalf of the Board of Education, administration, faculty, and students, I want to express a most sincere “thank you” to all of the NB’s advocates for supporting this referendum and I want to recognize all who served on our strategic planning committee. So many gave so much to this effort. Your unwavering support and deep commitment to the Northern Burlington County Regional School District and to the communities NB serves is what makes this school so great and what keeps our tradition so strong."
The overall project qualifies for 26% state aid coverage, which reduces the project to $29.4 million. According to the Referendum website, the average assessed home in Chesterfield is worth $391,063, making their monthly tax impact at $15.38.
NUMBERS BY THE TOWNSHIP:
Chesterfield - YES 722, NO 236
North Hanover - YES 319, NO 187
Springfield - YES 242, NO 316
Mansfield - YES 1017, NO 707
These numbers do not reflect absentee or provisional ballots.
Story: Press Release
MANSFIELD, NJ -
On Friday, February 16, 2018 at approximately 3:45 p.m., a medium build Hispanic male approximately 5’5” tall knocked on the front door of a residence on Jacksonville Road. When the resident answered the door, the subject identified himself as a PSE&G employee. The subject tried convincing the resident that he needed to come in and check his electrical panel.
When questioned further, the subject changed his story and said PSE&G was doing work in the area and that after completion he would have to come back and check his circuit breakers. During the conversation, the subject received a phone call, but didn’t answer it, and the resident noticed a newer style gray pickup drive past. A short time after, the subject left and the resident could not locate him again.
PSE&G advises that all employees carry a photo identification badge. If you are ever in doubt whether someone is a legitimate representative of a utility company, do not allow them into your home and call police. Its better to be safe than to become a victim.
COLUMBUS, NJ -
Last month, WBNC News took a tour of the NBC High School ahead of the March Referendum. Here is that report.
Story: Press Release
HAMILTON, NJ -
The Hamilton Police Division is asking for the public’s assistance in identifying the individuals captured on video surveillance. Please take a moment to review and share the pictures. The suspects are wanted for questioning regarding a burglary attempt that took place on January 16, 2018 on the 200 block of Yardville-Allentown Road, Hamilton, NJ. The suspects attempted to pry open the door.
Anyone with information regarding the identity of the above pictured individuals is asked to contact Detective Daniel Inman of the Hamilton Police Division’s Criminal Investigations Section at (609) 581-4035 or the Hamilton Police Crime Tip Hotline at (609) 581-4008.
Story: Marisa Murphy
BURLINGTON CITY, NJ -
A fatal car accident, where a vehicle was pulled from the icy Delaware River at around 1:00 pm, occurred earlier today in Burlington City, NJ. The vehicle left the road, crashed through the fencing, and plunged into the Delaware River. Two people were inside the car when the accident occurred- a male driver and a female passenger. The driver was able to escape the submerging car, but the passenger was still inside when first responders arrived on the scene. The woman was rushed to Lourdes Medical Center of Burlington County.
A witness and city resident tried to help those trapped in the vehicle, along with several other bystanders. They spoke to The Burlington County Times: “Three or four of us pulled him out. He was soaking wet and panicking, saying his girlfriend was in there. Then he took off. I guess he was in shock,” witness Joe Entwistle said, referring to the driver.
The driver ran from the scene but was later located by police and taken to Lourdes for a medical evaluation. Identity of the driver and the deceased victim were not released, notification of families were still pending. No charges were filed for the driver as of Sunday night.
This is the second fatal accident this weekend involving submerged vehicles. Around 4:30 pm on Saturday, a vehicle, believed to be moving at an excessive speed, struck a minivan at a red light by the jug handle on Route 130 and Bridgeboro Road in Willingboro, sending the minivan through the guard barrier, crashing into the Delaware River, where it, too, became submerged.
The occupants in the minivan, Robert Stephens, 52, and his wife, Janet, 50, were pulled from the water by several rescue crews. Both were pronounced dead at Lourde Medical Center of Burlington County. No criminal charges were made against 29 year old Amish Patel, the driver who caused the initial accident.
CHESTERFIELD, NJ -
A power outage in Burlington County is leaving hundreds in the dark Sunday night. With temperatures dipping into the teens overnight, residents are hoping for quick repairs to the problem.
As of 9pm, PSE&G is reporting zero power outages in Burlington County, but JCP&L is reporting 925 outages across the county.
52 customers in Chesterfield Township have lost electricity, with power restoration expected Sunday at 11pm. North Hanover is not so lucky with nearly half of JCP&L's customers in that township without power. The company is reporting 851 outages with restoration expected at 12am Monday morning.
Also affected in Burlington County is New Hanover Township with less than 5 customers without power, and Wrightstown Borough with 18 customers affected. Both of these areas are expected to have power restored at 11pm Sunday night.
Story: Ben Wolverton
CHESTERFIELD, NJ -
It was a night of firsts at the Township Meeting Wednesday night. The reorganization meeting of the Chesterfield Township Committee brought a Democratic majority as well as a female majority, for the first time in the township's history.
The night was not without controversy, with Committeewoman Andrea Katz opposing the appointment of Rita Romeu as Mayor, saying it was the result of a deal between members of the Committee. Liedtka denied this, and said, "Last year, when I was Mayor, Rita Romeu was sworn in, and from that day forward she hit the ground running." Liedtka explained how he had Romeu take on the Township's budget, something he called the "most important task of the township... She deserves to be the Mayor." The vote was 4-1.
Romeu said after her Oath of Office as Mayor, "We are bipartisan. We have been for the past year. In my opinion, we've worked very well together, and got quite a bit accomplished."
"It seems that deals have been made and they're being spun as bipartisanship," Katz said following the Mayoral vote. "But making a deal isn't true bipartisanship. True bipartisanship is working together in the light of day to make the lives of the residents of your community better."
John Gillespie remained the Township's Solicitor this week in a 3-1 vote with 1 abstention. Katz opposed his contract renewal citing the same reasons she opposed Romeu and Liedtka's local appointments, suggesting a deal had been made.
"Sometimes you have to take a hard vote in government," Katz told WBNC News after the meeting. "It's what happens the next day. So, we all roll up our sleeves and get back to work."
This is not the first time Katz has opposed Gillespie as Township Solicitor. Her first act as Committeewoman on January 2nd, 2017 was to vote against Gillespie's renewed contract, which passed 4-1.
Denise Koetas-Dale, elected in November of 2017, joined the Committee this week, becoming the 4th woman in the Township's history to sit on the 5 person governing body. Koetas-Dale was elected to Richard LoCascio's seat, who did not seek another term this past year. "Im thrilled and excited to be on the Township Committee," Koetas-Dale told WBNC News following her first meeting. "We had a little bit of controversy at the first meeting, but I look forward to a really good group, working together for the betterment of Chesterfield."
After 4 years as Mayor, Jeremy Liedtka took the Oath of Office for Deputy Mayor Wednesday night. As Mayor, Liedtka saw the groundbreaking of the Municipal Building and the ribbon-cutting as the opened the new building.
Members of the Public
As Rita Romeu took the Oath of Office for Mayor, holding the Bible was former People Over Pipelines President Agnes Marsala, who was involved in a serious car accident back in July. Marsala originally ran for a seat on the Township Committee teaming up with Denise Koetas-Dale, but was forced to drop out following her accident. During the public comment portion, Marsala said "I really am so happy to see all these women up there. [to Liedtka and Davis] Nothing against you guys, but it just warms my heart. And I just want to say 'Let's show them that we can do the job'... you'll be seeing more of me."
Martha Veselka, a Bordentown resident and former member of Chesterfield Environmental Commission, spoke to air and water tests, so local residents could have a comparison to quality before and after the compressor station on 528 starts to run. Romeu announced that Chesterfield Township is teaming up with Eugene Fuzy, Bordentown's Deputy Mayor on tests.
Story: Ben Wolverton
TRENTON, NJ -
In one of his last acts as Governor, Chris Christie has declared a State of Emergency in several Jersey counties during the first Nor'easter of 2018. Around 8:30AM, Christie tweeted, closing all state offices and instituting a state of emergency in Cape May, Atlantic County, and Monmouth Counties.
Christie urged residents of New Jersey to "stay off the roads and stay sheltered and warm."
The Northern Burlington County Regional School District closed today, including Chesterfield Elementary. Around the region, Hamilton Public Schools, Bordentown Schools, and MCCC and RCBC also closed today.
NBC Superintendent Dr. Sarruda tweeted, praising the facilities department at Northern who were out early this morning "to make NB's campus safe."
The Township of Chesterfield is also closed today due to the Weather Emergency, and the Township has asked all residents to remove vehicles from the roads to allow the plows to get through.
Story: Ben Wolverton
PEMBERTON, NJ -
The search is still on for former Northern student Cody MacPherson, who has been missing since September.
In an update from NJ.com this week, Ashley King, the fiancé of MacPherson’s brother, expressed frustration with law enforcement who, in her words, have released little information about Cody’s disappearance.
Cody, who is 20 years old, was last seen in Pemberton at the home of a woman with whom he was romantically involved. The family tells NJ.com there was an altercation at that home, and Cody has not returned.
Anyone with information about Cody MacPherson’s disappearance is asked to contact police at 609-723-8300.
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