October 27, 2023

By Donald Gilpin

Carol Kelley has resigned, effective August 31, 2024, after serving fewer than two and a half years as superintendent of the Princeton Public Schools (PPS). She will be taking a paid leave of absence effective immediately.

In a Friday morning, October 27 email to staff she announced that “for personal and professional reasons, I must take some time to reset and recenter myself.”

Kelley’s email was followed later Friday morning by an email from the PPS Board of Education (BOE) announcing Kelley’s leave of absence and resignation, thanking her for her service, and announcing a special meeting of the BOE on Monday, October 30 at 7 p.m. to act on Kelley’s departure and presumably begin the process of hiring an interim superintendent.

Kelley took over as superintendent in July 2021, succeeding Barry Galasso, who had served as interim superintendent for a year after taking the reins from Superintendent Steve Cochrane.

Kelley weathered a number of controversies during her tenure as superintendent, most notably in response to the dismissal of Princeton High School Principal Frank Chmiel last spring and then this fall in problems arising with the elementary schools’ afterschool care provider, which resulted in the termination of the provider’s contract.

Before coming to PPS, Kelley served as superintendent of the Oak Park Elementary School District 97 outside Chicago.

August 31, 2023

By Anne Levin

A man was killed Thursday afternoon, August 31, in a helicopter crash in South Brunswick, near the Princeton border. The crash happened near Route 27, Euclid Avenue, and Academy Street. The helicopter had taken off from Princeton Airport on Route 206 in Montgomery.

According to Lt. Gene Rickle of the South Brunswick Police Department, it appears that the man was the only victim of the incident.

“At about 4:25 p.m. this afternoon, we got multiple calls from people, including a captain with the fire department in town, regarding a helicopter that appeared to be having some problems,” Rickle said. “We dispatched a unit, and the fire captain managed to locate a helicopter that had crashed in a remote body of water in Kingston. When we approached, we were able to see part of the operator submerged in the water, still inside the helicopter. We were able to get him out. They brought him to shore, and checked his injuries, which were severe, and he was later pronounced dead at the scene.”

The man’s identity has not been released.

“As this remains under investigation, and until we can confirm his identity and make contact with his next of kin, we are not releasing information other than saying it was a male,” Rickle said.


On Friday morning, September 1, Rickle issued an email stating that the pilot has been identified as Josef Yitzhak, age 44, of Israel.

South Brunswick Police worked with the Israeli Consulate and Israeli police to notify his family overnight.

The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating the cause of the crash.


Cecilia Birge, Princeton High School (PHS) assistant principal since 2020, will be recommended by Princeton Public Schools Superintendent Carol L. Kelley to be the next PHS principal.

Kelley announced the selection in an August 30 email to the PHS community. Birge, whose appointment is expected to be approved by the PPS Board of Education at a special virtual meeting today, August 31 at 6 p.m., will succeed Frank Chmiel, who was dismissed in March of this year. Kathie Foster has served as PHS interim principal since April.

“After careful consideration of community input from surveys, listening to our staff, and a rigorous interview committee process, I am pleased to share that I will be recommending Cecilia Birge as the next principal of Princeton High School,” Kelley wrote in her announcement.

She continued, “During this selection process, Ms. Birge showcased her exceptional leadership qualities, along with her deep commitment to the success of all students, her passion for education, and her respect for the entire Princeton High School community. For these reasons, I know she will be successful as the next principal of Princeton High School.”

Community members are invited to attend the BOE special virtual meeting on August 31 at 6 p.m. through the Zoom link on the PPS website at princetonk12.org.

August 26, 2023

By Donald Gilpin

A bomb threat this morning, Saturday, August 26, at the Bayard Rustin Center for Social Justice (BRCSJ) on Stockton Street forced about 50 participants in the Drag Queen Story Hour community gathering to evacuate the building.

Police searched the building as event headliner Carrie Dragshaw (Dan Clay) moved down the street to a nearby stoop, and the presentation and dialogue took place in somewhat curtailed form as children and adults sat and stood on the sidewalk and grass alongside Mercer Street.

Police protocols in the building continued, and police were unable to provide any further information as of early Saturday afternoon.

BRCSJ Chief Activist Robt Seda-Schreiber expressed gratitude to the Princeton Police Department for their support. He described the scene shortly before the 11 a.m. scheduled start of the event.

“There were a bunch of families on the back porch and there were folks in the parking lot,” he said.  “That’s when the police officer showed up. Dan [Carrie Dragshaw] was putting his wig on, and I was making sure that everything was ready for this wonderful Drag Queen Story Hour. That’s when they said we had to leave. So, we took a stroll down the street to a neighboring stoop — a fabulous field trip with kids, adults, and families that were with us.”

He added, “We will never give in to any sort of threat from folks who want to try to not allow us to gather in our beloved community as we deserve, as we need to, as we always will. And whatever we need to do we will.” more

August 18, 2023

By Anne Levin

Princeton Mayor Mark Freda has been named as a defendant in a lawsuit related to a fatal crash that took place on Route 27 in November 2021. Freda, who is president of the Princeton First Aid & Rescue Squad and is a volunteer firefighter, was allegedly involved in a chase that took place before the fatal collision.

A teenager from Newark and a woman from Kendall Park were killed in the high-speed chase, which followed the theft of an SUV from a home on Dodds Lane. The teenager, Damajia Horner, who was 15, was driving one of the vehicles. The other was driven by Jodi Marcou, a 61-year-old fundraising coordinator at Rutgers University. Both drivers died after the SUV crashed head-on into Marcou’s Acura near Carnegie Drive.

The lawsuit naming Freda is the latest in court filings related to the case. According to a report by the radio station and website New Jersey 101.5, which first reported the suit by Marcou’s family this week, Freda’s name was added on July 21.

The lawsuit reads that he “flipped on the blue lights of the vehicle he was driving at the time and joined the police chase,” actions in violation of township, police, and First Aid/Rescue policies, it reads.

Reached by email on Friday, Freda declined comment.

March 31, 2023

By Donald Gilpin

Evan Gershkovich, a 31-year-old reporter for the Wall Street Journal and a 2010 graduate of Princeton High School (PHS), was arrested in Yekaterinburg, Russia, on Wednesday and was accused, without evidence, by Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) of spying for the U.S. government.

The Wall Street Journal strongly denied the FSB allegations and demanded Gershkovich’s immediate release. After his arrest in Yekaterinburg he was transferred to a Moscow court. He has been ordered to pretrial custody until May 29.

Gershkovich’s arrest, according to The Washington Post, was apparently the first arrest of a foreign journalist for spying in Russia since the end of the Cold War more than 30 years ago.

Princeton Public Schools, describing Gershkovich as “an active and engaged member of the community,” noted in a statement Thursday, “It has been a difficult morning for Princeton High School alumni, particularly the many PHS soccer players who were close to Mr. Gershkovich.”

PHS head soccer coach and physical education teacher Wayne Sutcliffe recalled, as quoted in the statement, “I knew Evan Gershkovich well. He was captain of the Princeton High School 2009 soccer team, which won the New Jersey State Championship. I have been fielding text messages all morning from our Princeton High School soccer alumni, all of whom are trying to find a way we can help to support Evan’s family.”

The statement goes on to say that Gershkovich “is remembered by his peers as being an outstanding student and an exceptional athlete during his time at Princeton High School.”

Gershkovich went on from PHS to Bowdoin College in Maine and graduated from there in 2014.  Fluent in Russian, having grown up speaking Russian at home with his bilingual parents, Gershkovich has been living in Russia and reporting on Russia since 2017, working for the Moscow Times and Agence France-Press before joining the Wall Street Journal in January 2022.

Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12) issued the following statement on Thursday: “The detention of Evan Gershkovich is outrageous and completely unacceptable. He must be safely and immediately returned to his family. I’m working with my colleagues in the New Jersey delegation and the Administration to ensure his immediate release.”

March 25, 2023

By Donald Gilpin

In a statement issued the evening of Friday, March 24 in response to reports that Princeton High School (PHS) Principal Frank Chmiel has been put on administrative leave and recommended for nonrenewal, attorneys David P. Shroth and Ben Montenegro have written that Chmiel, who is their client, “has not done anything illegal regarding the management of Princeton High School or anything wrongful toward students, faculty, or staff.”

The statement sent by Shroth, a lawyer in the Hamilton-based firm of Destribats Campbell Staub and Schroth, LLC, points out Chmiel’s success — including many positive evaluations and references — in his previous school district in Franklin before coming to PHS in 2021.

The statement goes on to note that state law gives the Board of Education (BOE) the right to renew Chmiel’s contract, with or without the recommendation of the superintendent, after he is granted the right to address the Board.

The statement also noted that, “Principal Chmiel is humbled by the outpouring of support he has received from students, staff members, families, and community members, anyone upon whom he has had a positive impact. This is a testament to the wonderful work and accomplishments he has achieved in his time at Princeton High School. It has been brought to my attention that some involved are pulling students aside to cast doubt, discourage, and even instill fear regarding their right to speak and assemble in response to how the district has treated their Principal. I want to put them on notice that abuse of power and position by scaring students regarding their constitutional rights guaranteed by the First Amendment of freedom of speech and assembly, is not only legally actionable but contrary to the core principles of empowerment espoused within the halls of Princeton High School.”

The Princeton Board of Education released the following statement in response on Sunday afternoon:

“Mr. Frank Chmiel’s attorneys released a statement on Friday regarding his current employment status. Because Mr. Chmiel has not waived his rights to privacy, the Board will continue to refrain from releasing information related to Mr. Chmiel’s personnel file. The Board also wants to emphasize that at no time has it or its members. representatives, or district staff or administrators suggested that students, staff, or community members cannot or should not exercise their First Amendment rights regarding Mr. Chmiel  or any other topic. On the contrary, the Board dedicated over two hours at its last meeting for the community to speak about matters concerning the schools, including Mr. Chmiel, and even prioritized comments from students.

“While the Board understands that community members will, at times, disagree about personnel decisions, it sincerely hopes that the community will continue to express their opinions in a respectful manner, without denigrating or interfering with the rights of others to express their own views.”

The controversy over Chmiel’s March 17 replacement continues in Princeton and on social media. Nearly 1,000 attended the March 21 Zoom meeting of the BOE Long Range Planning Committee, with almost all who spoke in the two hours devoted to public comment supporting Chmiel. A large turnout is anticipated for the next meeting of the full Board, which will be on March 28 at Princeton Middle School, with the public session beginning at 7:30 p.m. The BOE is expected to take up the recommendation of a new interim PHS principal, Kathie Foster, at that meeting.

Meanwhile a petition initiated by parents, calling for Princeton Public Schools Superintendent Carol Kelley’s resignation and the reinstatement of Chmiel, had 1,912 signatures as of Saturday noon and a student-initiated petition demanding Chmiel’s return had 2,939 signatures.

This story was updated on March 27.

March 20, 2023

By Donald Gilpin

Last Friday afternoon’s replacement of the Princeton High School (PHS) principal Frank Chmiel has prompted a strong reaction from students, parents, and other members of the community, with a demonstration planned for 12:30 p.m. today, March 20 at PHS, as well as  the creation of various petitions and online groups in support of Chmiel.

Following up on its March 17 announcement that the assistant principals would be taking over at PHS, the Princeton Public Schools (PPS) Board of Education (BOE) issued another statement on Sunday, March 19 in responding to “numerous inquiries” regarding Chmiel’s status. The email stated that, in accordance with state law and public employee privacy rights, the BOE could not discuss the replacement of Chmiel, but noted, “The Board unanimously supported, and unanimously supports, the superintendent and the difficult decisions that needed to be made.”

The BOE missive continued, “We know that changes in leadership during the school year are difficult, but please know that whenever these occur, the Board and the administration always engage in a lengthy deliberative process, consider the impact of those changes, and discuss those with all affected employees (as well as their legal representatives).”

The Tuesday evening March 21 previously-scheduled BOE meeting, at 6 p.m. via Zoom, will devote the first hour to public comment, with further opportunity for public comment following discussion of other items on the agenda.

The BOE email concluded with a brief appreciation of Chmiel’s contributions to PHS. “We are thankful to Frank Chmiel for his service at Princeton High School and his strong connection with students, which was especially important as the students returned from the isolation of COVID,” it stated. “We wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”

Another email, sent out Sunday afternoon to PHS families from PHS Assistant Principals Rashone Johnson and Cecilia Birge, who are temporarily taking on the principal’s responsibilities, promised a smooth transition, with ongoing support for the students.

Opposition groups were not assuaged. A contingent of parents moved ahead with plans for a peaceful demonstration at the flag pole at the main entrance of PHS to demand “transparency and accountability from the superintendent and the BOE.”

One of the online petitions, which calls for the Board to rescind Chmiel’s termination, had collected more than 2,300 signatures by early Monday morning, and a parent-organized GoFundMe site had collected over $8,000 for Chmiel’s possible legal defense. Parents have also created a private Facebook site in support of Chmiel.

By Bill Alden

A late rally fell short for the 10th-seeded Princeton University women’s basketball team as it lost 63-56 to second-seeded Utah in the second round of the NCAA tournament Sunday night in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The Tigers trailed 40-30 midway through the third quarter and narrowed the gap to 50-48 with 7:00 left in regulation but could get no closer than that as they ended the season with a 24-6 record. Junior guard Kaitlyn Chen tallied 19 points to lead the Tigers, with senior Grace Stone chipping in 16 points in her final appearance for Princeton.

While the defeat stung, Princeton head coach Carla Berube had no qualms with the effort she got from her scrappy squad.

“We feel like we came up short of our goal, but you know I think we battled from minute one to minute 40, and I couldn’t be prouder of my team and how hard we played,” said Berube, whose team is the first Ivy League women’s program to post NCAA tourney wins in consecutive seasons.

“Some shots just didn’t fall for us,” said Berube. “They fouled a little bit too much. Utah is a very, very good team — very talented, hard to guard. Really great at every position. We had our work cut out for us. But I think we were right there. I’m just so happy that I get to coach them every single day and when I put on my Princeton shirt every day and represent them, it’s such a great gift.”

March 19, 2023

By Bill Alden

Advancing to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1967, the 15th-seeded Princeton University men’s basketball team whipped seventh-seeded Missouri 79-63 in a second-round contest Saturday night in Sacramento, Calif.

Senior guard Ryan Langborg scored a game-high 22 points to pace the Tigers, who jumped out to a 33-26 halftime lead and then reeled off a 13-2 run midway through the second half and cruised to victory. Princeton, now 23-8, will head to the South Regional in Louisville, Ken., where they will face the winner of the second-round game between third-seeded Baylor and sixth-seeded Creighton in the Round of 16 on March 24.

For Princeton head coach Mitch Henderson, a former Tiger standout who helped the program win NCAA first round games in 1996 and 1998, making the Sweet 16 is a literally a dream come true.

“I’ve always dreamed of playing deep into the tournament,” said Henderson, who got 17 points off the bench from sophomore Blake Peters with senior star Tosan Evbuomwan contributing nine points, nine rebounds, and five assists. “As a player, I got to the second round a couple times. Never got beyond it. I feel like for these guys, it’s unbelievable.”

Evbuomwan, for his part, shared Henderson’s sentiments.

“I can’t really put the feeling into words right now, to be honest,” said Evbuomwan. “It’s just an unreal feeling to do this with my guys and my teammates, coaching staff. Like coach said, it’s been a few years in the making, I think. We just have such a close group. We love to work with each other. We love to push each other. It’s showing. Just a group of really tough guys. It’s all coming together at the right time I think.”

March 18, 2023

By Donald Gilpin

Frank Chmiel, Princeton High School (PHS) principal since July 2021, is out, according to a March 17 afternoon announcement from the Princeton Public Schools (PPS) superintendent and the 10 members of the PPS Board of Education.

Chmiel’s employment has apparently been terminated by the BOE, though the announcement sent out to PPS families, students, and staff, did not mention reasons for Chmiel’s departure, and, in accord with New Jersey Public Meeting Laws, school officials did not provide further details on this personnel issue.

The announcement from superintendent and BOE did not mention Chmiel’s name but noted that “Princeton High School assistant principals Rashone Johnson and Cecilia Birge have jointly assumed the responsibilities of the principal of PHS on a temporary basis as Princeton High School undergoes a transition in the school leadership.”

The short email continued, “We anticipate appointing an interim principal who is a veteran educator with many years of experience to take the helm and serve as principal for the remainder of the school year.  We know that change is never easy, but we have a dedicated staff who is committed to the students’ well-being, security, and educational needs. These will remain the top priority for our educators at PHS.”

Chmiel, who was not available for comment, has received widespread support from many members of the school community. A petition “In Support of Principal Chmiel” garnered about 1,200 signers in May of last year when rumors circulated that his contract might not be renewed for the 2022-23 school year.  At that time his contract was renewed through June 30, 2023. He does not have tenure in the PPS.

As rumors emerged on social media earlier this week, Chmiel proponents rallied again. Another petition, initiated by PHS students and titled “Chmiel Has Been Fired. We Demand Transparency and that the Board Rescind His Termination” had more than 1,700 signatures by late Saturday morning.

“We want to highlight how Principal Chmiel has positively impacted our school and how significant of a person he has become in our community,” the petition states.

By Bill Alden

Winning a NCAA tournament game for the second straight year, the 10th-seeded Princeton University women’s basketball team rallied to a 64-63 victory over seventh-seeded N.C. State Friday night in Salt Lake City, Utah in a first-round contest.

Senior star Grace Stone drained a three-pointer from the corner with 4.7 seconds left in regulation to provide the margin of victory as the Tigers came back from a 63-55 deficit with 5:44 remaining in the fourth quarter. Princeton, now 24-5, will host face host and second seeded Utah (26-4) in a second-round contest on Sunday night.

The Tigers, who had upset Kentucky in the first round of the 2022 NCAA tourney, made it a historic weekend for Princeton and Ivy League basketball. With the 15th-seeded Tiger men having rallied to shock second-seeded Arizona 59-55 a day earlier in an NCAA opening round game, it marked the first time ever that two Ivy teams have advanced to the second round of the tournament in the same year.

 “I am just so thrilled with that win; I mean, that is what it is about at this time — getting wins,” said Princeton head coach Carla Berube, who got 22 points from both Stone and junior guard Kaitlyn Chen in the win. “We certainly didn’t play a great 40 minutes of basketball, but we made the plays we needed to down the stretch. The defense came up big. We made really big shots when we needed to. We had to grind it out and get gritty and just make the plays and make the shots.”

March 17, 2023

By Bill Alden

Rallying from a 10-point deficit with 7:43 left in regulation, the 15th-seeded Princeton University men’s basketball team stunned second-seeded Arizona 59-55 in the first round of the NCAA tournament Thursday in Sacramento, Calif.

Senior forward Tosan Evbuomwan sparked the comeback, tallying 15 points with seven rebounds and four assists as the Tigers improved to 22-8. Princeton, which held the Wildcats scoreless for the last 4:43 of the contest, will now face seventh-seeded Missouri in a second-round contest on Saturday.

The triumph marked the first win for the program in the NCAA tournament since 1998 and came 27 years to the day of Princeton’s historic 43-41 upset of defending NCAA champ UCLA with current Tiger coach Mitch Henderson as the point guard of that squad. more

March 15, 2023

By Anne Levin

A student from Princeton University’s class of 2023 has been arrested in connection with the riot at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. Larry Fife Giberson, a politics major from Manahawkin, was charged March 14 with civil disorder, a felony, and related misdemeanor offenses, according to a report by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Based on video footage, Giberson was seen “obstructing, impeding, and interfering with law enforcement officers guarding the United States Capitol.” A review of surveillance footage and videos posted on YouTube and other platforms revealed Giberson “engaged in a violent assault against multiple law enforcement officers in the tunnel,” the report reads, identifying the tunnel as a narrow point of entry on the Lower West Terrace of the Capitol.

The report says Giberson was wearing a blue baseball cap with the words “TRUMP Make America Great Again” on it, a black and grey gaiter with the American flag on it, and a Trump flag around his neck. The report is accompanied by numerous images captured from the footage. The footage shows man identified as Giberson and a group of rioters leading the effort to push into the building, and says he started chanting “Drag them out!” and cheering when weapons and pepper spray were used on Capitol police officers in the tunnel.

The report says Giberson confirmed he was the person in the photographs during an interview with the FBI at the Princeton Police Department. He is to make his first appearance in federal court on March 21. Since January 6, 2021, the Department of Justice has charged more than 1,000 people with crimes related to the riot, which disrupted a joint session of Congress that later confirmed Joe Biden as winner of the 2020 election. more

October 20, 2022

Misrach Ewunetie (Princeton University photo)

By Anne Levin

The body of Misrach Ewunetie, the 20-year-old Princeton University undergraduate who has been missing since early Friday, October 14, was found on Thursday afternoon, October 20, at approximately 1 p.m. Her body was located outside on the University’s Facilities grounds, behind the tennis courts, by a Facilities employee.

The news was announced by Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri and Kenneth Strother Jr., the University’s assistant vice president for public safety. “An autopsy by the Middlesex County Medical Examiner’s Office will determine Ms. Ewunetie’s cause and manner of death, however there were no obvious signs of injury and her death does not appear suspicious or criminal in nature,” reads a press release from Onofri’s office.

Ewunetie was last seen in her dorm, Scully Hall, at 3 a.m. on Friday, October 14. The University’s fall break began Saturday, October 15.

According to The Daily Princetonian newspaper, Ewunetie was volunteering at Terrace Club, one of the University’s 11 eating clubs, on Thursday night, October 13, doing housekeeping tasks during a live music performance at the club.

Terrace Club’s student officers said in a statement to the campus newspaper, “On Thursday night, one of our members who was initially signed up for duty was unable to attend our event, and Misrach volunteered to cover their shift. After the club had closed and all of the duty responsibilities had been fulfilled, Misrach — as well as the other members on duty — left for the night.”

Ewunetie’s family contacted the school’s Department of Public Safety (DPS) on Sunday, asking them to do a wellness check since they had not heard from her in days. more

February 1, 2021

By Anne Levin

With the winter storm projected to get worse, bringing snow, sleet, and strong winds to New Jersey and the Northeast, Gov. Phil Murphy is urging people to stay home and keep off the roads. As of this afternoon, February 1, New Jersey State Police had already responded to 340 crashes and assisted another nearly 300 drivers across the state. Snow is expected to linger through Tuesday and could hit 24 inches in some areas.

In Princeton, police are asking all residents to remove their vehicles from the roadway to allow the Public Works Department to clear the streets. Drivers are encouraged to park at the Spring Street garage or any of the public parking lots, but not in either municipal lot at Monument Hall and Witherspoon Hall.

Recycling pickup that was canceled today will be done on Saturday, February 6. Trash collection is canceled for Tuesday, February 2. The hauler will begin collection again on Wednesday, February 3, and will likely be collecting through Saturday.

November 6, 2020

By Donald Gilpin

Incumbents Michele Tuck-Ponder and Beth Behrend, and new candidate Jean Durbin are currently leading over the five other challengers in the heated race for three positions on the Princeton Public Schools Board of Education (BOE).

At last count on November 5, Tuck-Ponder, currently BOE vice president, had received 5,032 votes (19.74 percent of the votes cast in Tuesday’s General Election), Behrend, BOE president, had 4,869 votes (19.10 percent), and Durbin was in third place with 4,011 votes (15.73 percent).

 Among the other contenders, Adam Bierman had garnered 2,792 votes (10.95 percent), Paul Johnson 2,674 votes (10.49 percent), Karen Lemon 2,465 (9.67 percent), Bill Hare 2,208 (8.66 percent), and Hendricks Davis 1,350 (5.30 percent). Each voter designated three choices for the three open BOE seats.

Also on the ballot, Mark Freda was the winner in the uncontested race for Princeton mayor, and incumbents David Cohen and Leticia Fraga regained their seats in the uncontested election for Princeton Council.

The Mercer County Board of Elections will continue to accept ballots that arrive in the mail through November 10, as long as they were postmarked by 8 p.m. on November 3, with November 20 the last day to count ballots in New Jersey. The results will be official when certified by the county clerk on November 23.

August 8, 2020

Friday, August 7, 2020

Dear Princetonians,

With deep regret and sadness, I write to update you about our plans for the fall, and, in particular, to explain why Princeton has decided that its undergraduate program must be fully remote in the coming semester.  In brief, the pandemic’s impact in New Jersey has led us to conclude that we cannot provide a genuinely meaningful on-campus experience for our undergraduate students this fall in a manner that is respectful of public health concerns and consistent with state regulations and guidance.


June 25, 2020

Following a meeting held Wednesday, the Princeton Recreation Commission has decided to open Community Park Pool for a modified 2020 season beginning Monday, July 13. The pool, which normally opens Memorial Day, has been closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Information about the schedule, fees, aquatic programs, and critical changes to rules and regulations will be made available very soon, according to information from the Commission.

“Patrons should expect significant changes in many areas including the daily schedule, capacity restrictions, hours of operation, fee structure, and more as we work to comply with the recently revised New Jersey Department of Health guidelines and restrictions and CDC recommendations,” reads an email to patrons. “The safety of our loyal pool patrons and our dedicated staff is the top priority.”


June 19, 2020

The Recreation Commission met Thursday, June 18 to discuss the status of Community Park (CP) Pool for 2020 but has yet to make a final decision on whether to reopen the pool, which has been closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“A great deal of feedback was provided from pool patrons, local health officials, recreation staff and elected officials,” reads a statement. “After a lengthy discussion, it was decided to meet again early next week to resume the dialogue in hopes of finding a solution that can strike a reasonable balance between the public health, logistical, and financial intricacies of operating the CP Pool under the revised state Department of Health restrictions this summer. If a balance can be struck that addresses the key concerns, CP Pool is still on schedule to open no later than July 15, 2020.”

May 29, 2020

By Donald Gilpin

There have been just two new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Princeton in the past seven days and only 12 in the past 14 days. In its report today, May 29, the Princeton Health Department announced a total of 174 cases, only 59 active cases, and 90 cases recovered with isolation complete. There have been 18 total confirmed COVID-19-related deaths in Princeton and an additional seven probable (symptomatic but not tested) deaths from the coronavirus.

New Jersey health officials announced 131 new deaths today, for a total of 11,531 COVID-19-related deaths in the state, with 1,117 positive tests in the past 24 hours for a total of at least 158,844 cases.

In his press briefing today, Gov. Phil Murphy discussed ongoing reopening plans, announcing that child daycare centers will be permitted to open by Monday, June 15 with the Departments of Health and Children and Families soon releasing health and safety standards for reopening. Murphy also announced the restart of organized sports activities on June 22 and youth day camps, including municipal summer recreation programs, on July 6.

Outdoor activities, such as parks, beaches, and curbside pickup, have recently resumed, but non-essential retail stores are limited to curbside service and restaurants are permitted only takeout or delivery business. Outdoor gatherings are capped at 25 people, and indoor groups are limited to 10. more

May 22, 2020

By Donald Gilpin

The Princeton Health Department reported yesterday, May 21, a total of 17 confirmed COVID-19-related deaths in Princeton with seven additional probable (symptomatic but not tested) deaths of COVID-19 complications, 169 positive cases, 65 active positive cases, and 80 individuals recovered and released from isolation.

Recent focus has been on the long-term care facilities, where most of the COVID-19-related deaths in Princeton have occurred. Princeton Care Center has had 23 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among residents, 16 among staff members, and seven resident deaths from COVID-19 complications, according to the New Jersey Department of Health’s (NJDOH) report today, with suspected but untested cases excluded from the count. Fifteen residents and four staff members of Acorn Glen have contracted the virus, with seven resident deaths. There have been no reported COVID-related deaths of staff members in either Princeton facility.

In his coronavirus briefing from Trenton today, Gov. Phil Murphy announced 146 COVID-19-related deaths in the past 24 hours for a total of 10,985 deaths in the state, with 1,394 new positive tests and a total of 152,719 cases. New York is the only state with more COVID-19 cases and deaths than New Jersey.

In its 11th week, the pandemic is slowing, Murphy pointed out, with daily cases, deaths, and hospitalizations continuing to drop. He has been gradually lifting restrictions, allowing parks to reopen, non-essential businesses to offer curbside services, and permitting beaches, boardwalks, and lakes to open today, with social distancing guidelines, for the start of the Memorial Day weekend. more

May 15, 2020

By Donald Gilpin

The curve continues to flatten in Princeton, as only two new cases of COVID-19 have been reported by the Princeton Health Department since Monday, with a total of 161 cases, 62 active positive cases, and 79 COVID-19 patients recovered and released from isolation, according to today’s May 15 report.

There have been 15 confirmed COVID-related deaths and an additional seven probable (not tested but COVID symptomatic) deaths in Princeton.

At his Friday afternoon press briefing, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced 201 more deaths from COVID-19 in the state, bringing the New Jersey total to 10,138 deaths, with at least 143,905 total cases, 1,297 new cases reported over the past 24 hours.

Murphy emphasized that the state’s daily numbers of new deaths from COVID-19, confirmed cases, and hospitalizations continue to decline significantly, allowing an easing of restrictions and lockdown orders. more

May 11, 2020

By Donald Gilpin

The Princeton Health Department reported today, May 11, a total of 159 positive confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 69 active positive cases and 68 recovered cases with isolation complete. The Health Department has reported 15 confirmed COVID-19-related deaths and seven additional  probable (not tested, but symptoms indicate COVID infection) COVID-19 deaths in Princeton.

There have been nine COVID-19-related deaths at the Princeton Care Center, with 36 confirmed cases, according to the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH), and Acorn Glen assisted living facility has reported five deaths with 18 confirmed cases.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, in his press briefing today, reported 59 new deaths from COVID-19 for a total of 9,310 COVID-related deaths in New Jersey, with 1,453 new cases reported in the past 24 hours for a total of 139,945 cases.

Murphy continued to cite encouraging downward trends in numbers of new cases and numbers of COVID-19 patients in hospitals, as he emphasized continued slowing in the spread of coronavirus across the state.

The NJDOH reported today that 5,393 in Mercer County had tested positive for COVID-19 and that 340 Mercer County residents had died from COVID-19 complications.

There have recently been significant increases in testing in the state, but actual numbers of COVID-19 infections, locally and statewide, probably surpass confirmed case numbers because of testing backlogs.

For more information, visit princetoncovid.org or covid19.nj.gov.

May 8, 2020

By Donald Gilpin

The Princeton Health Department was notified today, May 8, of three additional COVID-19 deaths, which were previously noted as probable coronavirus deaths, but now confirmed by laboratory testing. Two of the deaths were from Princeton Care Center and one from Acorn Glen. The total number of reported COVID-19-related deaths in Princeton is now 14. About half of New Jersey’s confirmed coronavirus cases have been in long-term care facilities.

Backlogged reports from diagnostic laboratories over the past 24 hours resulted in a large bump in the total COVID-19 case count. With 16 additional positives, according to the Princeton Health Department,  Princeton has 157 confirmed cases, with 73 active positive cases and 63 recovered with isolation complete.

In his press briefing today, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy reported another 162 COVID-19-related deaths in New Jersey  for a total of 8,952, and 1,985 new positive tests in the past 24 hours for a total of  at least 135,454 cases of COVID-19 in New Jersey overall.

Murphy emphasized that the number of coronavirus patients in New Jersey hospitals has dropped below 5,000 for the first time in five weeks. As of Thursday night there were 4,764 New Jersey hospital patients with COVID-19 or suspected of having the virus, 1,439 in critical or intensive care and 1,089 on ventilators, both also declining numbers.

The number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in New Jersey is down 1,000 from last Friday and more than 40 percent less than at its peak in mid-April, according to Murphy.

Murphy continued to urge New Jersey residents to stay at home when possible and to practice vigilant social distancing, with face masks in public, in order to help continue to slow the spread of the virus. With Memorial Day weekend in just two weeks, Murphy is considering whether to lift further restrictions in the near lockdown of state businesses and facilities. more