It’s no secret that COVID-19 is ramping up all around the world. New Jersey has also seen a significant surge throughout, once again, causing concern. Since last week, New Jersey has reported three COVID-19 deaths and over 24,000 confirmed new positive cases. These new results, which are seemingly a result of travel and group gatherings over the holidays, have pushed counties to delay the in-person return to school for the new year. Starting January 3rd, Trenton, as well as Jersey City, Elizabeth, Bayonne, Camden, Carteret, Harrison, Irvington, New Brunswick, North Bergen, Paterson, Pennsauken, South Orange-Maplewood, Union City, West New York and many more, have decided to switch to virtual learning for between one to two weeks. Mercer County school districts, Hamilton and Lawrence, have announced their delays for January 3rd to the 7th, with Hamilton hopefully looking to return to in-person learning on Monday, January 10th while Lawrence will make their decision on a return date by Friday January 7th.
Tolls are increasing in New Jersey on Jan. 1. Check out where.
A new year often brings changes. For New Jersey drivers, this new year will bring increasing toll prices. On January 1st, the state’s three largest toll roads, as well as some smaller toll agencies have raised their toll rates, reasons for the hike could be that they are self-sufficient, as they do not receive state funding to operate. The thing is that some of these agencies are increasing rates not long after recent increases. But here’s a list of the toll booths where you can expect to pay more during your travels:
New Jersey Turnpike Authority
Not even two years after a large 36% increase on the Turnpike with a 27% Parkway upsurge in September 2020, the authority has implemented a 3% toll increase for 2022.
Atlantic City Expressway
The Atlantic City Expressway, similarly to the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, increased tolls back in 2020 and will again implement a 3% toll increase.
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
Although drivers of passenger vehicles (cars, minivans and SUVs) will not see a toll increase this year to use the Authority’s six Hudson River crossings, buses and certain other larger passenger vehicles will see a toll increase. As a note, private bus companies did not see any COVID relief aid from the government. Bus tolls will increase by $3 per bus or from $14 to $17.
Cape May County Bridge Authority
If you’re looking to use the five Jersey Shore bridges that connect beach towns in Cape May and Atlantic counties, you can expect an increase by 50 cents starting on Feb. 1, from $1.50 to $2 for passenger vehicles.
Surely, no one can forget the January 6 insurrection that happened almost one year ago, where we saw a violent and angry mob of Trump supporters break into the United States Capitol looking to overturn the 2020 election. Though the attack was unsuccessful, people lost lives and investigations were launched. This year, to mark the anniversary of these attacks, many activists throughout the country will hold rallies and candlelight vigils. These movements were created in response to those feelings behind the attack, demanding elected officials to pass “urgent” voting-rights legislation, which includes the Freedom to Vote Act, the Protecting Our Democracy Act, the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and DC Statehood. Sponsored by the Coalition for Peace Action, Indivisible Cranbury and RepresentUs, Princeton is also getting in on the act, which is said to be one of more than 200 happening around the nation. The Princeton Rally and Candlelight Vigil, which will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in Hinds Plaza will feature confirmed speakers, Witherspoon Street Presbyterian Church pastor the Rev. Lukata Mjumbe, Coalition for Peace Action executive director the Rev. Robert Moore and Indivisible Cranbury coordinator Laura Zurfluh. Those in attendance are encouraged to hold battery powered candles, wear masks and to social distance as much as possible. For more information, visit peacecoalition.org.
Unfortunately, Trenton has matched its 2020 record high of 40 murders right before 2021 came to an end at 7 p.m. on December 31st. Police responded to a man being shot multiple times on the first block of Beakes Street. The victim was later pronounced dead at the hospital. At this time, Mercer County Police Department has a Trenton man in custody and charged for the homicide. The rising murder rates in the city is definitely cause for concern, and an ongoing issue plaguing Trenton residents. Something has to be done. Rest in peace to the below homicide victims who lost their lives last year.
Names of the 40, 2021 Trenton homicide victims:
1) 2/18/2021 Jabree Saunders, 26, from shooting on May 14, 2018
2) 2/22/2021 Khalil Gibbs, 25, of West Windsor, shooting
3) 2/25/2021 Lovelle Laramore, 60, of Trenton shooting
4) 4/15/2021 Kaheem Carter, 22, of Trenton, shooting
5) 4/20/2021 Shaquan McNeil, 25, of Trenton, shooting
6) 4/24/2021 Cheryl Jones, 65, of Trenton, shooting
7) 4/29/2021 Ramire Harvey, 25, of Trenton, shooting
8) 5/15/2021 David Williams 36, of Trenton, shooting
9) 5/29/2021 Edgar Geovani Sis-Luis, 34, of Trenton
10) 7/05/2021 Dion Ellis, 16, Trenton, Shooting
11) 7/14/2021 Pablo Herrera Chun, 53, Trenton, Shooting
12) 7/19/2021 William Mitchell, 33, Trenton, Shooting
13) 7/19/2021 Jermel Carter, 38, Trenton, Shooting
14) 7/29/2021 Leonard Pettigrew, 58, Trenton, Shooting
15) 7/30/2021 Shaquil Loftin, 23, Shooting, Trenton
16) 8/01/2021 Daquan Basnight, 30, of Ewing, Shooting
17) 8/13/2021 Javier Chaj-Ajtun, 33, of Trenton, Shooting
18) 8/19/2021 Herberth Ramirez Pimentel, 37, of Trenton, Shooting
19) 8/23/2021 Yanquai Edwards, 25, of Rancocas, NJ, Shooting
20) 8/25/2021 Daron Cheston, 18, Trenton, Shooting
21) 8/27/2021 Ziare Jones, Shooting
22) 8/30/2021 Fred Davis, 43, Trenton, Shooting
23) 9/06/2021 Shamiem Young, 26, Trenton, Shooting
24) 9/17/2021 Jeff Charles, 37, Trenton, Shooting
25) 9/25/2021 Shemiah Davis, 15, Trenton, Shooting
26) 10/2/2021 Omar Burgess, 49, of Trenton, Shooting
27) 10/3/2021 Elias Juarez Lopez, 31, of Princeton, Shooting
28) 10/4/2021 Candice Ruff, 19, of Trenton, Shooting
29) 10/7/2021 Douglas Munn, 50, of Trenton. Shooting
30) 10/13/2021 Melvin Williams 26, of Trenton, Shooting
31) 10/29/2021 Edwin Obdulio Gomez Interiano, 41, Shooting
32) 10/29/2021 Everth Barrera, 56, of Ewing, Shooting
33) 10/30/2021 Dartanian Ames of Lawrence, 41, Shooting
34) 11/1/2021 Hector Torres, 43, of Trenton, Shooting on 10/31
35) 11/17/2021 David Johnson, 39, of Trenton
36) 12/11/2021 Michael Degrass of Trenton
37) 12/18/2021Unidentified male, shot Garfield Ave
38) 12/25/2021 Selvin Lima, Arson
39) 12/25/2021 Dilman Canpos, Arson
40) 12/31/2021 Emanuel Ross, 47, of Trenton