Author Archives: Crystal Feliciano - All the Chatter

TPD Arrests Trenton Man Who Allegedly Committed Three Armed Robberies in 10 Days

Trenton, N.J. – Trenton Police Director Sheilah A. Coley today announced that a Trenton man suspected of committing three armed robberies from March 21, 2021 through March 29, 2021 has been taken into custody and charged with multiple firearm and robbery offenses.

Maurice Davis, 23, of Trenton, was arrested on the morning of March 29, 2021 and charged with two counts of armed robbery, one count of strong-arm robbery, three counts of unlawful possession of a handgun, two counts of possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, one count of unlawful possession of hollow point rounds, and one count of hindering apprehension.

On Sunday, March 21, 2021 at approximately 5:50 p.m., TPD officers responded to a report of a commercial armed robbery on the 1200 block of S. Clinton Avenue. During the investigation, officers discovered that the store was robbed of several hundred dollars by a man wearing a mask and armed with a handgun.

On Monday, March 29, 2021 just before 9:00 a.m., officers responded to the 1000 block of S. Broad Street after a victim there reported being robbed at gunpoint. Officers on scene were given a description of the suspect that was like the one provided from the previous crime. That description was broadcast to all police units in the city.

Later that morning at 9:30 a.m. – while officers were still investigating the 1000 block of S. Broad Street robbery – other officers responded to another robbery taking place at the same S. Clinton Avenue location that was robbed on March 21, 2021. This time officers were told that the same suspect returned and stated, “I’m back, give me the money.” After the robbery, the suspect fled the scene on foot.

Officer Jeffry Donaire and Detective Angel Turner were investigating the robberies when they spotted a man who fit the description provided in all three robberies and attempted to stop him. When they approached the suspect, he drew a semi-automatic handgun from his waistband. The officers were able to de-escalate the situation and the suspect dropped the gun. He was taken into custody without further incident.

“This case speaks to the resilience of TPD officers in pursuing and apprehending individuals that threaten our residents and businesses with violence,” said Director Coley. “Thankfully, no one was harmed during this investigation. My thanks go out to the residents that provided the intelligence and the officers who took this dangerous individual off our streets.”

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

Gusciora Administration Presents Amended Budget with No Tax Increase

Trenton, N.J. – Mayor W. Reed Gusciora announced today that following an extensive budget review with the N.J. Department of Community Affairs (DCA), his administration has developed an amended budget that will not increase taxes for the 2021 fiscal year.

“I hear from community members every day about the difficulties posed by the pandemic, and how the last thing they need is another tax increase,” said Mayor Gusciora. “Our City Council echoed those sentiments. Well, we heard you loud and clear. We spent the last month working closely with DCA to look for more efficiencies in each department budget. Thankfully, with that hard work, along with critical support from Lieutenant Governor Oliver and Director Suarez, we’ve been able to amend the budget so that there is no property tax increase on Trenton residents this year. While we cannot expand many city services at this time, we’re optimistic that substantial federal funding that is already on its way will help mitigate our shortfalls in the future.”

Property taxes have increased in Trenton during 25 of the last 29 years. Instead of an approximate two percent increase as outlined in the initial budget presented earlier this year, this amended version has no tax increase at all.

This amended budget will be presented before City Council at tonight’s meeting and will be available to view online later this week. If adopted by the April 1, 2021 deadline, tax bills will go out on time, which will help the City avoid some of the delays that impacted this year’s budget.

Most Mercer County offices to be closed for Good Friday

TRENTON — Most Mercer County government offices, including all branches of the Mercer County Library System, will be closed Friday, April 2, 2021, in observance of Good Friday. County government offices will reopen – with visits by appointment only – on Monday, April 5. Information on visiting county offices and facilities, including hours of operation and contact information, can be found here.

The following County offices and facilities will remain open: Trenton-Mercer Airport (except for administrative offices), Correction Center, Sheriff’s Office and the Emergency Services Communication Center.

Howell Living History Farm, which is operated by the Mercer County Park Commission, will be closed Good Friday and Easter Sunday but will be open for programming Saturday. Mercer County Stables will be open Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., but will be closed Sunday. Park Commission administrative offices will be closed Friday. Tulpehaking Nature Center remains closed to the public, but patrons are invited to participate in self-guided nature activities on the Park Commission’s DIY Nature Programs page. The Mercer County Tennis Center, County golf courses and Wildlife Center will have regular hours Friday through Sunday. For more information on Park Commission facilities, visit www.mercercountyparks.org.

Henry J. Austin Pharmacy has extended hours and FREE delivery to Trenton residents.

The Henry J. Austin Pharmacy Department now has extended hours! They are now open Saturdays from 9 AM to 1 PM and during the week from 8 AM to 6 PM.
They also offer FREE medication delivery to the Trenton area. If you are interested in signing up or would like more information, call 609-278-5931 or visit https://henryjaustin.org/service/pharmacy/.
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Tenemos noticias emocionantes… ¡el Departamento de Farmacia de Henry J. Austin ha extendido su horario de atención al público! Estamos abiertos los sábados de 9 a. m. a 1 p. m. y entre semana de 8 a. m. a 6 p. m.
También ofrecemos la entrega GRATUITA de medicamentos a domicilio en el área de Trenton. Si le interesa apuntarse para dicho servicio o desea más información, llámenos al 609-278-5931 o visite http://henryjaustin.org/service/pharmacy/.

City of Trenton to Receive $73.8 Million in Direct Federal Aid

Trenton, N.J. – Mayor W. Reed Gusciora announced today that following the passage of the American Rescue Plan, the City of Trenton will assemble a committee of city officials, policy experts, and community leaders to evaluate upcoming projects that will take advantage of $73.8 million in federal aid coming to Trenton over the next year.

“Throughout the pandemic, we’ve taken advantage of every funding source we could to provide free testing for Trenton residents, offer emergency loans to support local businesses, hire critical first responders, and launch new online platforms to ensure remote access to essential services,” said Mayor Gusciora. “Imagine what we can do with nearly $74 million in funds dedicated to helping communities like ours get back on our feet. We’re grateful for the Biden Administration and our congressional delegation in securing these funds for the Capital City. We want to make sure every penny brings the maximum possible benefit to our residents, and this added expertise will help us get started as soon as we receive the funds and more guidance from the U.S. Treasury.”

The Trenton American Rescue Plan Advisory Committee will include the following:

  • Chair: Brenda Ross-Dulan, President and CEO, Ross-Dulan Group
  • Brandon McKoy, President of N.J. Policy Perspective
  • Marge Caldwell-Wilson, City Council Vice President
  • Elvin Montero, Director of Communications, Chemistry Council of New Jersey
  • Jeannine LaRue, Senior Vice President of the Kaufman Zita Group
  • Kelly Ingram, I Am Trenton
  • Adam E. Cruz, Business Administrator
  • Dr. Adela M. Ames-Lopez, Director of Health and Human Services
  • Maria Richardson, Director of Recreation, Natural Resources, and Culture
  • Wahab A. Onitiri, Director of Public Works
  • Andre McNair, owner of Octobers Vintage in Trenton
  • Shereyl Snider, UrbanPromise Trenton

The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan contains $360 billion in state and local aid to help employ essential workers, assist struggling families and small businesses, and make critical infrastructure investments. U.S. Treasury guidance outlining specific allowable expenditures is still pending.

The State of New Jersey will receive approximately $6.4 billion plus another $189 million to expand broadband internet across the state. Each of the 21 county governments will split $1.8 billion, with another $1.7 billion divided among all 565 cities and municipalities.

Trenton is due to receive $73.8 million of that aid, with the first half arriving within 60 days of the bill being signed into law. The other half will arrive within the next 12 months.

Peterson’s Breaking News Creator Diagnosed with COVID-19

After being tested 3 days ago, the results came in today, Thomas Peterson has tested positive for COVID-19. Always on the scene and ready to report the latest “breaking news,” our super star reporter has to rest up, quarantine and get better. Ironically, after being skeptical initially about getting the vaccine, Thomas was scheduled to get the Johnson & Johnson dose with his news correspondent, Crystal Sunday morning. “I can’t believe that this has happened now that I finally decided to get the vaccine,” Peterson said, “But as soon as I’m able, I will be getting it done for sure!”

Peterson so far has been experiencing moderate symptoms and has been quarantining since being exposed to someone with the virus several days ago.

We are asking everyone to keep Thomas in good spirits during this time.

TPD Busts Alleged Trenton Heroin Dealer

Trenton, N.J. – Trenton Police Director Sheilah A. Coley today announced that a Trenton man had been arrested for multiple drug offenses on Mar. 17, 2021 after a two-week operation seized 50 bricks of heroin and more than $1,000 in suspected drug proceeds.

Anthony Z. Jackson, 28, of Trenton, was charged with possession of heroin, possession of heroin with the intent to distribute, possession with the intent to distribute within 1000 feet of a school, and possession with the intent to distribute within 500 feet of a park.

The arrest was carried out following complaints of narcotic activity at 125 N. Hermitage Ave, which led to a two-week surveillance investigation of the location by the Violent Crimes Rapid Response Unit.

After executing a search warrant on March 17, 2021, members of the Street Crimes Unit entered the property and apprehended Jackson without incident.

During a search of the premises, officers confiscated 50 bricks of heroin and $1,343 in suspected drug proceeds.

“While our community seeks to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic, we cannot lose ground to the other disease that has claimed far too many lives for years,” said Director Coley. “The opioid crisis is still very real, and I thank the residents who report these crimes and the TPD officers who are out there every day ridding the streets of dangerous narcotics before they harm more Trentonians.”

These charges and allegations are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. This is an ongoing investigation.

Gusciora Administration and Trenton Water Works Celebrate First Ever Water Job Training and Apprenticeship Program in the Capital City

Trenton, N.J. – Mayor W. Reed Gusciora and Trenton Water Works (TWW) Director Mark A. Lavenberg today announced a second semester of the TWW Training and Apprenticeship Program (TAP), which for the first time in the utility’s history provides current employees with the education necessary to advance their careers and pursue higher-level jobs in water treatment and distribution.

TAP is a two-year program that is available to TWW employees of all ranks and various educational backgrounds. Ten students are already enrolled in this program – six from the water-filtration plant, three from construction and maintenance, and one from engineering. Ten additional students are scheduled to begin June 2021.

Five of those students participate in an apprenticeship component that is managed by the N.J. Water Association (NJWA) with support from Mercer County Community College and the N.J. Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) Growing Apprenticeships in Non-Traditional Sectors (GAINS) program. The GAINS program promotes the expansion of apprenticeship programs that drive economic development by providing the skills and education necessary for advanced credentials and better-paying jobs. Thanks to the GAINS program, half of the apprentices’ salaries are covered by NJDOL.

Apprentices are assigned water system licensed mentors who are TWW employees. Apprentices receive 290 hours of training, including 180 for the Operator Prerequisite Course at Mercer County Community College, which is being taught onsite at TWW headquarters on 333 Cortland Street by Andrew Pappachen, a water-industry executive with 46 years of experience in water system operation and management.

The TAP curriculum includes OSHA and FEMA emergency response training. Participants will ultimately become water system operation specialists or water treatment specialists who will be eligible to take the related state exams once they complete the required work hours.

“Having a major public utility right here in the Capital City puts us in a unique position to provide quality, high-skill jobs to our residents and the training to help them get there,” said Mayor Gusciora. “I’m grateful for our partners at Mercer County Community College, the N.J. Water Association, and the N.J. Department of Labor and Workforce Development who all came together to make this elite apprenticeship program available for the Trenton residents who work at TWW.”

“TWW always has a need for certified operators, and this program ensures that Trenton residents who already work at the water utility have the opportunities and resources to grow into those roles,” said TWW Director Mark Lavenberg. “We’re proud of the work TWW does for its service area and believe there isn’t a better place to develop a long-term water career than right here at one of the largest public utilities in the country.”

“My career as a carpenter didn’t give me just a job – it gave me a career,” said Assemblyman Anthony S. Verrelli. “I know for a fact that there are people like me who are studying at undergraduate institutions as we speak but who are not making the most of the skills and talents that they have – and they are there because college is too often the only post-secondary path presented to high-school students. This is misguided. We need a strong, vibrant economy that works for everyone – not just the wealthiest and most privileged people. We will not achieve that goal if we do not present working people with good career opportunities that have few or no barriers to entry and that offer mobility. We need to connect our students to well-paying, fulfilling professions that don’t require a college degree and a lifetime of debt. Trenton Water Works is doing exactly that by giving Water Works employees the training and education necessary to advance their careers by giving them marketable, transferable skills. The Trenton Water Works Training and Apprenticeship Program is exactly kind of program we need for working people – barrier-free, on-the-job, credentialed training that can transform a job into a career.”

“The Murphy Administration is proud to have gone all-in when it comes to investing in partners like the City of Trenton and their new Water Job Training and Apprenticeship Program,” said N.J. Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo. “This is another example of how our Office of Apprenticeship has been working to change the way our state’s businesses and young workers think about the viable and valuable career pathway of apprenticeship.”

“Mercer County Community College is proud to be part of this initiative to provide valuable education that directly leads to gainful employment,” said Dr. Jianping Wang, MCCC President.

“The N.J. Water Association appreciates the opportunity to partner with the City of Trenton and the N.J. Department of Labor,” said NJWA Executive Director Richard P. Howlett. “Through our partnership, we are providing on-the-job learning and technical instruction that leads to the development of a highly skilled, licensed workforce. These licensed water and water operators will possess the qualifications required to provide clean, safe drinking water, and to protect New Jersey’s environment. Also, importantly, our partnership with Trenton and NJDOL will create and support good jobs and will increase the pool of licensed water and wastewater operators in New Jersey.”

Trenton Water Works is among the largest publicly owned, urban water utilities in the United States. It supplies an average of 27 million gallons of Delaware River-sourced drinking water per day to 63,000 metered customers. It services more than 200,000 people in Trenton, parts of Hamilton Township, Ewing Township, Lawrence Township and Hopewell Township in Mercer County, New Jersey. Established more than 200 years ago, TWW operates a 60-million-gallon water-filtration plant and water-distribution system that includes a 100-million-gallon reservoir. TWW’s system has 683 miles of water mains varying in size from four to 48 inches in diameter, three pump stations, and six interconnections between TWW and other water suppliers.

The Tyrell Ave Development Program-Trenton, NJ

On November 24, 2020, Trenton City Council approved a resolution designating Better Community Housing of Trenton, Inc. (BCHT), the redeveloper for 42 ½  Tyrell Avenue

Better Community Housing of Trenton seeks to create safe, quality housing in Trenton that low-income people can afford to buy or rent and support community action and development in at-risk urban neighborhoods.

Better Community Housing of Trenton plans to rehabilitate 42 ½ Tyrell Avenue as quality affordable housing to sell or rent to a low-income family. 

We caught up with BCHT Executive Director Pearleen Waters, BCHT Advisory Board Member and Grant Writer Linda Oliaro, and a Tyrell Avenue community member. They discussed their excitement for this project and its importance in revitalizing the North Trenton neighborhood. Click here to see the video.

You can visit bchtrenton.org to learn more about Better Community Housing of Trenton, Inc.

Trenton Central Highschool Students Win First Place!

Recently, the American Alliance for Theatre & Education held their, “Show Shirt Day” competition in which theatre students from schools and theatre groups around the nation were given the opportunity to submit their cast photo for a chance to win AATE’s annual competition.

Most of the TCHS cast from “Twisted Tales of Poe” took a Show Shirt Day photo and entered it hoping to get enough likes/loves on Facebook to secure the win. Thanks to help from the school, friends/family and the community, TCHS won 1st Place in the competition!

Felicia Brown, Theatre Teacher for TCHS, stated recently on a Facebook post “Thank you everyone. The students had 148 likes/loves, the highest amount for the Show Shirt Contest! I can’t wait to tell them in class.” Ms. Brown was also just awarded the Career Technical Education (CTE) Teacher of the Year for the State of NJ, another very commendable win for Brown and how appropriate for it to occur during Women’s History Month.

These phenomenal students along with Ms. Brown are doing a great job in showcasing how even during a pandemic, excellence is still possible!

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