UPDATE! Wednesday Briefs From WOBM News
News from Ocean & Monmouth counties and around New Jersey.
TRENTON – A Rutgers professor is under arrest, charged with spreading kiddie porn videos across the Internet through his office computer. Biochemistry instructor Gavin Swiatek, 49, was apprehended Tuesday at his Hillsborough home. He’s charged with second-degree distribution of child pornography and fourth-degree possession. Investigators with the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office allege that Swiatek shared hundreds of files worldwide using peer-to-peer technology. A conviction on the higher count carries a possible prison term of five to 10 years.
LAKEWOOD – Lakewood Township’s unions could face layoffs if they don’t agree to a wage freeze to shore up a huge budget gap. Reports say the town has a 2 million dollar muncipal budget shortfall. During recent meetings, the pba were not pleased. Committeeman Steven Langert says he wants having to trim staff. They plan to look closer at the budget in the coming weeks.
TOMS RIVER – Some township apartment dwellers spent 15 minutes in a school district bus this morning, while five companies of firefighters quelled a blaze in their complex. Police say no one was injured during the fire in a vacant unit that broke out around 7 AM. Investigators traced it to a trash can containing freshly-dumped ashtray residue. They say damage was limited to the adjoining wall.
LAKEWOOD - Another setback for the homeless residents in Lakewood’s tent city. A log splitter was reported stolen from the encampment site last night by homeless advocate minister Steve Brigham. He’s concerned since they use it to cut firewood to stay warm during the cold winter months. The item was chained to a tree before it went missing. Anyone with information should call Lakewood Police at 732-363-0200.
SPRING LAKE HEIGHTS - A Spring Lake Heights gas station is down a pump after a senior crashed into one. It happened Monday afternoon at the Sunoco station on Route 71. Reports say 83-year-old Edward McGrady told police his pedal became stuck. Both he and his wife Joan were taken to Jersey Shore University Medical Center with neck, chest and face injuries. Edward was then transfered to a Philadelphia medical center for further treatment. No one else was injured.
TOMS RIVER – Ocean County Senior Services get a perfect score from the state. An assessment by the New Jersey Department Of Health And Senior Services rates the department at 80 out of a possible 80. Freeholder Joe Vicari is cautiously optimistic that census-based changes in federal funding formulas will help the county maintain its current service levels. Seniors constitute 21 percent of Ocean County’s population – eight percent above the state average.
BRICK - There could be an interruption of Brick Township’s municipal phone lines into this morning…including calls to police. However, officials say 911 emergency service is unaffected during required maintenance that started at 11 last night.
TOMS RIVER - Four vehicle batteries and four extenstion cords are missing from a secure fenced compound at the St. Joseph’s sports complex on Whitty Road in Toms River. Police say the suspects cut a chain link fence and removed the batteries from two parked buses sometime after 3 p.m. Monday and Tuesday morning.
TOMS RIVER - Loss prevention officers prevent the theft of a $600 dollar vacuum cleaner from a Kohl’s department store in Toms River Tuesday. Police say loss prevention personel spotted a 35-year-old white male leave the store with the Dyson vacuum cleaner in a shopping cart. The suspect fled on foot through the parking lot and towards the Garden State Parkway without the vacuum.