Oceanport PD track down suspicious person

By Walter J. O’Neill, Jr

Oceanport – Several quick-thinking girls using technology were able to call police on July 29, around 4:30 in the afternoon to report a suspicions person at Wolf Hill School.

According to one of the girls’ mother, we will not mention names as minors are involved, a man in a red car had called a young boy over to his vehicle. The children were playing on the playground at the elementary school located on Wolf Hill Avenue.

The boy moved closer to the other children who were also at the playground. According to the parent, the girls noticed the man, who was white, bald, bearded and wearing sun glasses. Allegedly the car was an older model with a driving school logo on the door.

When the driver noticed the girls using their phones he is said to have sped away. The young boy’s father wanted to give a heart-felt thank you to the girls for calling the police and then making sure his son was safely escorted home. “They stepped up and took action rather than choosing to be bystanders. God bless them,” the father said. We are also withholding his name to protect his son’s identity.

At 9:30 p.m. Oceanport Police Chief Daniel W. Barcus issues a statement to the residents of Oceanport in regards to the incident. “Contact was made with the driver of the suspicious vehicle from the incident at Wolf Hill School earlier today. The subject was interviewed and it is believed that there was no intent to do harm,” wrote Barcus. That statement brought a sigh of relief to many on social media sites. “It was confirmed that he was in the area picking up his own child.”

Residents posted how thankful they were to the chief and his officers for conducting a thorough investigation and keeping them updated on the status.

It is always wise to use caution with small children. Have a code word that only you and your child know, so if a stranger says your mom and dad sent me to pick you up, and they don’t know the code word, its stranger danger. Make sure your child is with a friend and not alone, and best of all, stay with them when you can.

Oceanport call to action: over crematorium

What can I do?

That is the question many Oceanport residents have been asking in regards to the crematorium going to operate at Woodbine Cemetery on Maple Avenue, in a residential neighborhood.

The Oceanport governing body had no idea that the cemetery had applied and been approved for and been approved for an “Air Pollution Control Permit” from the New Jersey Department of Environment Protection (DEP).

In fact, the borough has no authorization whatsoever in approving or stopping the cemetery from expanding their business to include cremations. No zoning, no variance or taxpayer input is needed. Today only authority is the New Jersey Cemetery Board.

Well, that didn’t sit well with the residents and borough leaders. A call to action was sent out and those opposed are asked to call New Jersey Commissioner of Health Mary O’Dowd; 1-800-367-6543 or 609-292-7838, according to Councilman Joe Irace. The fax number to that state office is 609-292-0053. “We know Oceanport can do great things when we work together,” said Irace

Congratulations Superintendent Michael Salvatore

Long Branch Public Schools Superintendent of Schools Michael Salvatore received a huge honor on July 24, 2014 he received his doctoral degree in education. It is something that the father of three has been working on for the past three years.

Salvatore is highly respected in the educational community and is constantly recruited by state agencies and out of state districts. During his short tenure at the top educational leader in Long Branch he has changed the culture of learning, given teachers all the training and tools they need to succeed.

Michael Salvatore, Ph.D., Superintendent of the LBPS, received his doctoral degree in education last week.

He has also implement new educational programs for students and test scores and graduation rates are improving. The motto of the Long Branch Public Schools is “Where Children Matter Most” and Salvatore is one man that has proven that actions are more than just words.

Congratulations Michael Salvatore, Ph.D., Superintendent of the Long Branch Public Schools.

Officer James Christie saves Eatontown man with Narcan

Eatontown – Around 1:57 a.m. on July 26, Ocean Township police dispatchers received a call that a man was unconscious and not breathing. The address of the victim was in the Borough of Eatontown; however the dispatchers stayed on the phone with the caller walking them through the process of CPR, which others notified Eatontown Police of the emergency on Azalea Drive.

Lieutenant Kenneth Kleinman of the Eatontown Police Department stated that his officers arrived and found a 34 year old male on the living room floor unconscious, but breathing. It appears that the CPR performed at the scene was able to get the victim’s heart going.

Eatontown police discovered that the victim had ingested heroin before he passed out. Heroin is has become such a problem in the state that law enforcement officers are now carrying naloxone hydrochloride, or better known as “Narcan” which is administered via a nasal spray.

Officer James Christie gave the victim one dose of Narcan, which usually does the trick and bring the person back from the overdose condition. According to Kleinman, that is what happened to the victim in Eatontown as he became responsive and conscious.

Paramedics from MONOC were at the house and treated the man who was then transported to Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank by the borough First Aid Squad.

This was the first time that Narcan was used to save a life in Eatontown. It was only distributed to police department in June. Assisting Christie was Officers Arthur Ehrmantraut, Christopher Quackenbush and Sergeant David Brown.

Star of the Sea Learning Annex sold

Long Branch – Michael Salvatore, Superintendent of Schools, announced on July 23, that the district had not received any bids on the West End School. That was third the third the old school was put out to bid. The district had also put two other properties out for bid; Church Street School in the North End section of the city and the former Star of the Sea Learning Annex on Chelsey Avenue.

Back in January the BOE stated that they received a bid from the Menachem Learning Institute, also known as the Chabad of the Shore, for just over $3 million. However, over the next few months a dispute erupted between the BOE and Chabad on the appraisal of the property. Salvatore stated at the time the Menachem Learning Institute felt it was valued at much less and wanted to amend their bid, which is not permitted by law. So they withdrew.

Former Star of the Sea Learning Annex and school used by the LBPS

The July meeting it was announced that no bids were received for the West End School; this was the third time it was put out to bid. The school closed to students in June, as the new George L. Catrambone Elementary School will open and replace the former Elberon School.

Lucy Perez, president of the board, then told the public that the members needed to go into executive session to discuss matters privately on the matters of real estate and possible action might be taken when they return in 25-30 minutes.

Upon their return Salvatore stated that the board was approached by someone wishing to purchase the former Star of the Sea Annex School, and a price is being worked out that will be in the area of $700,000. The buyer has plans for housing at that location.

Currently, Church Street and West End School are two vacant schools which are still up for sale. The BOE and Salvatore will have to take a look at what strategy they will have for future sales of those properties. The other closed school the district has is the former high school on Westwood Avenue; however the State of New Jersey has just approved funds for the start of renovations to the interior.

Oceanport burned up over crematorium

By Walter J. O’Neill, Jr

Oceanport – The borough was recently informed by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) that Woodbine Cemetery located at 14 Maple Avenue was seeking an Air Pollution Control Permit to operate one human crematory.

A crematorium is basically a furnace, or the incinerator that is used to dispose of human remains. A standard size cremator can complete a cremation every 75 to 90 minutes, for up to six cremations in ten hours. And all crematoriums have smoke stacks.

Back in 2002, Woodbine Cemetery, which is beautifully kept, attempted to build a crematorium. However, word quickly spread throughout the borough with neighbors complaining to the governing body who also objected to the use.

Woodbine Cemetery in Oceanport wants to build a crematorium in a residential area

Following the resignation of Governor Christie Todd Whitman in 2002, New Jersey State Senate President John O. Bennett served as Acting Governor for three and half days. During that time he signed into law a requirement that the placement of any crematorium must secure the permission of the Governing Body of the municipality where the proposed crematorium was to be located.

That bill seemed to kill the idea of building a crematorium in Oceanport at Woodbine Cemetery. However, in 2011 that law was repealed and the new law says that the only body authorized to approve the construction of a crematory in the state is the New Jersey Cemetery Board. As one upset resident who lives near Woodbine Cemetery said, “It’s like giving Dracula the keys to the blood bank.”

The NJ Cemetery Board must notify the Commissioner of Health whenever an application for a new crematory is filled. Today, no local municipal governing body or taxpayers, have a voice in the process.

What worries the residents of Oceanport is that every human body has toxins, poisons in their systems. Most crematoriums are located away from residential areas as the smokestacks emit microscopic partials into the atmosphere.

Oceanport is fortunate to have former Governor Bennett as its current Borough Administrator. He stated that he checked with the DEP and the only public notification of this pending permit was published in the Home News, which is not even distributed in the Borough. In fact, that newspaper is based in Somerville.

Bennett issued a strong statement on behalf of Mayor Michael Mahon and the council condemning such action and entering the Borough’s objection to the issuance of this air permit. Even the engineer for Oceanport was not advised on the project and he has also issued his own objections as well as raising technical questions that should be addressed.

Mahon has also requested that a public hearing be conducted on this permit in Oceanport. The governing body has reached out to its legislative delegation and advised them of what has taken place and asking for their assistance.

“The entire Governing Body will take whatever steps permitted under the law to stop this invasion into a prime residential section of our town,” said Bennett. Directly across the road (Eatontown Blvd.) is Wolf Hill Farms, a Monmouth County Park, and just a few blocks down the street is Wolf Hill Elementary School. “Smokestacks do not belong in residential neighborhoods and we are opposed to this attempt. We also feel that there has not been sufficient notice to allow the residents of Oceanport to be heard on the issue that concerns many of them. A notice in an out of town paper is just wrong.”

Asbury Park police arrest four Long Branch residents with guns

Asbury Park – The city’s Narcotics and Gang Unit was on patrol Wednesday afternoon on the 1100 block of Atlantic Avenue as a result of the pervious shooting and violence in that area according to Deputy Chief Anthony Salerno.

That specialized unit came across two cars that had suspicious individuals in them at the Asbury Park Gardens apartments around noon time. Sergeant Amir Bercovicz heads of the team and conducted an investigation that uncovered two handguns, one in each car. According to Salerno the officers also discovered marijuana and crack and cocaine in one of the cars.

“Over the past twelve months the Narcotics and Gang Unit with the help of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office took 144 guns off the street,” said Salerno. Asbury Park has been hit hard these past few years with gang violence and shootings, and Salerno added that the unit now operates seven days a week.

The four individuals in the two cars were all from Long Branch. Arrested were Alexis Delima, 21, Kevin Hart, 23, and sisters Ashley and Heather Watkins, 23 and 26 years old. Everyone was charged with unlawful possession of a weapon.

Ashley Watkins, Delima and Heart were also booked with possession of marijuana under 50 grams and possession of crack cocaine. Each had bail set at $150,000 with no 10 percent option, and was taken to the Monmouth County Correctional Facility in Freehold in lieu of bail.

Heather Watkins, 26, had her bail set at $100,000 with no 10 percent option. She is also at the Monmouth County Correctional Facility.

Jackson man arrested for drug paraphernalia and strong arm robbery

Ocean Township – Matthew McCudden, 23, Jackson, was arrested yesterday afternoon in the area of Lewis Street after police received a report of a suspicious person.

In a prepared statement issued by Detective Lieutenant Kevin L. Faller, the Public Information Officer, he stated that upon arrival of the officers they were able to identify the suspicious individual as McCudden and found him to be in possession of drug paraphernalia. “He was also in possession of a brightly colored backpack,” wrote Faller.

Officer Kathleen DeLanoy noticed that the backpack had matched one that was worn by a suspect that was involved in a strong arm robbery on July 19, at the CVS Pharmacy. Officers conducted a review of the store’s CCTV video surveillance system and identified McCudden as that unknown accused suspect.

“The video shows McCudden forcibly pushing a store employee and fleeing after the employee attempted to stop him for shoplifting a drink,” Faller wrote. He also added that the employee was not injured during the ordeal.

Police have charged McCudden with the July 19 robbery and possession of drug paraphernalia that was located on his possession during his arrest. Bail was set at $7,500 with no 10 percent option by the Honorable Timothy McGouhran.

Currently McCudden is residing at the Monmouth County Correctional Facility in Freehold waiting for a future court date.

Operation Predator Alert II nets 14 arrests in New Jersey

Including man who allegedly blackmailed a 16 year old girl to strip naked on a webcam & two school bus drivers.

TRENTON – Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman today announced that 14 men have been charged in a second round of arrests in “Operation Predator Alert,” a joint operation by the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice and ICE Homeland Security Investigations that has targeted offenders in New Jersey who used a file-sharing network to download and distribute child pornography, including child rape videos, on the Internet. A total of 28 defendants have been charged in two offender sweeps under Operation Predator Alert, including 14 prior arrests announced on Oct. 28, 2013.

Acting Attorney General Hoffman announced the results of the joint state and federal operation at the Hughes Justice Complex in Trenton with Director Elie Honig of the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice and Special Agent in Charge Andrew M. McLees of the Newark Office of ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). The New Jersey State Police and numerous local police departments, county prosecutors’ offices and county sheriffs’ offices have assisted with the arrests and investigations.

The new arrests, made from Feb. 10 through July 22, include two school bus drivers who drove children in Mays Landing and a Salem County man, Michael Van Culin, who allegedly hacked into the email account of a 16-year-old Canadian girl and used personal information he obtained to blackmail her into stripping naked on a webcam while he recorded her. He is charged under the state’s strict new child pornography law with first-degree manufacturing child pornography, which carries a sentence of 10 to 20 years in state prison, 85 percent of which must be served without possibility of parole.

All 14 men arrested in this round are charged under New Jersey’s new child pornography statute, signed into law by Governor Chris Christie on Aug. 14, 2013. It enhances the penalties for those who possess, distribute or manufacture child pornography. If convicted of distributing 25 or more computer files of child pornography under the new law, defendants would face a mandatory state prison sentence of five years without possibility of parole. Any defendant found to have possessed 100 or more files of child pornography on his computer will face a presumptive sentence of three to five years in prison.

“We allege that Van Culin is a new breed of child predator: one who lurks in the shadows of the Internet and can strike from hundreds of miles away, sexually exploiting a child with devastating consequences,” said Acting Attorney General Hoffman. “It’s a parent’s worst nightmare that a hacker could invade the private world of a young girl and use her innocence and fear to enslave her. We’re utilizing these child pornography sweeps to arrest these predators before they can harm more victims or pursue their victims offline.”

When we target those who share child pornography online, we routinely uncover offenders who are sexually abusing children or stalking them,” said Director Elie Honig of the Division of Criminal Justice. “That is why these operations are so critical. Viewing these vile images is a serious crime in itself, because it motivates those who sexually exploit children to create child pornography and it re-victimizes the children involved. And it also can be a strong indicator that we are dealing with a child predator.”

“Child predators come from all walks of life, and citizens everywhere must be vigilant as these threats aren’t always easily seen,” said Andrew M. McLees, Special Agent in Charge of ICE Homeland Security Investigations in Newark. “This case illustrates the important working relationship between HSI and the New Jersey Attorney General’s Division of Criminal Justice to locate and identify the perpetrators of these terrible crimes no matter what steps these criminals take to keep themselves hidden in the shadows.”

During Operation Predator Alert, special agents of HSI monitored an online file-sharing network that is popular with offenders who download and trade child pornography. Using advanced technology, the agents searched for telltale digital “fingerprints” of known child pornography, as well as search terms used by those who download and share child pornography. Through these and other methods, they identified New Jersey residents who were downloading child pornography and making child pornography available to others in “shared folders” on their computers. The files included videos showing pre-pubescent boys and girls being raped or being coerced into performing sexual acts on themselves or others.

The file-sharing networks used by offenders to distribute child pornography operate in the same manner as websites used for privately sharing music or movies. Those in possession of the illegal images can make them available on computers that they control for others to download. Because many of these videos and photos of child pornography keep recirculating, they result in the perpetual re-victimization of the children who were sexually assaulted or abused to produce them.

All 14 of the defendants are charged with possession of child pornography, and most of the defendants also are charged with distribution of child pornography for allegedly using Internet file-sharing software to make files containing child pornography readily available for others to download from a “shared folder” on their computers. Investigators allegedly downloaded one or more files of child pornography from the computers of those defendants during the investigation. A few of the defendants are charged with possession of child pornography, but are not charged with distribution of child pornography at this time. However, the investigations regarding their conduct are ongoing.

The Division of Criminal Justice obtained arrest warrants, which they executed with HSI beginning on Feb. 10. Numerous state, county and local law enforcement agencies assisted. Those charged range in age from 23 to 74 and come from all walks of life. In addition to the two school bus drivers, they include a software engineer for an aerospace firm who has top security clearance, a healthcare company executive, a retired postal worker, and a man who sought to become a youth minister at his church.

The following defendants were arrested in Operation Predator Alert II:

Michael Van Culin, 30, of Monroeville (Salem County), was arrested on Feb. 10. He allegedly coerced a 16-year-old Canadian girl into stripping naked on her webcam while he recorded her remotely with his computer. He previously engaged in online chats with her in which he elicited information about her life that he allegedly used to hack into her email account and get other personal information, including email addresses for her family and friends. He had password decoding software on his computer that generates likely passwords for a person from basic information such as the person’s name, date of birth, favorite sports, and names of pets and siblings. It is alleged that Van Culin ultimately blackmailed the girl by threatening to expose personal information about her to her family using the contact information from her email account. He allegedly coerced her into taking off her clothes. Van Culin’s computer allegedly contained a video of the visibly shaken girl completely disrobing in front of a mirror under his orders. The investigation into Van Culin and other prohibited images and videos on his computer of underage girls is continuing, and investigators urge anyone with information about similar conduct by Van Culin with other girls to call New Jersey’s Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force Tipline at 1-888-648-6007. Van Culin is charged with manufacturing child pornography and possession of child pornography.

Andrew Schreiner, 28, of Williamstown, was arrested on July 11. He was employed as a school bus driver in Mays Landing by Sheppard Bus Company at the time of his arrest. He allegedly exchanged sexually explicit images with an underage male he met online. He is charged with possession of child pornography and endangering the welfare of a child.

Armando Nortez, 28, of Egg Harbor Township, was arrested on June 25. He also was employed as a school bus driver in Mays Landing by Sheppard Bus Company at the time of his arrest. He is charged with possession and distribution of child pornography.

Jonathan S. Fink, 41, of Cherry Hill, was arrested on July 16. Fink, an executive for a healthcare company, allegedly had at least 750 images and videos of child pornography on an external hard drive in his house. He is charged with possession of over 100 items of child pornography.

Michael Parker, 55, of Pennsauken, was arrested on July 8 and charged with possession of child pornography. When Parker’s computer was examined during execution of a search warrant, investigators allegedly found numerous items of child pornography and evidence of Internet activity indicating an interest in the sexual exploitation of prepubescent boys. Parker is very active with children at his church, First Presbyterian Church of Merchantville, and sought to become a youth minister. He had photos of young boys from the church on his computer. The boys in those photos were fully clothed, but investigators urge anyone with information about Parker that might be relevant to this investigation to contact the ICAC Tipline at 1-888-648-6007. Parker refused to answer his door when detectives arrived at his home. They could see him through a window working at his computer. Before he answered the door, he allegedly deleted nearly 200 items from folders on his computer that contained child pornography.

Thomas Pirretti, 31, of Flemington, was arrested on July 22. He allegedly engaged in an online chat with another defendant in Operation Predator Alert II in which they discussed their desire for prepubescent girls. Pirretti allegedly asked if he could “date” the other defendant’s 10-year-old daughter. He is charged with possession and distribution of child pornography.

Walter Javier Vibanco, 47, of Lower Township, was arrested on July 1. Vibanco allegedly possessed at least 250 images and videos of child pornography on his computer. He is charged with possession of over 100 items of child pornography and distribution of child pornography.

Arlanda Johnson, 46, of Pemberton Township, was arrested on April 24. Johnson, a software engineer with an aerospace firm who has top security clearance, is charged with possession and distribution of child pornography.

Daniel Allen Corda, 46, of Bellmawr, an unemployed electrician, was arrested on May 2. He is charged with possession and distribution of child pornography.

Jerrell Harris, 28, of Elizabeth, was arrested on July 15. He is charged with possession and distribution of child pornography.

Matthew Hems, 23, of Tabernacle, who is unemployed, was arrested on May 21. He is charged with possession and distribution of child pornography.

Arnold M. Kay, 74, of Linden, a retired postal worker, was arrested on June 27. He is charged with possession and distribution of child pornography.

Jorge Geovani Lopez-Betancourt, 34, of Trenton, who has a home-based business servicing computers, was arrested on June 10. He is charged with possession and distribution of child pornography.

Raymond Purkis III, 48, of Montgomery Township, was arrested on July 2. He is charged with possession and distribution of child pornography.

The charges are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty. Because they are indictable offenses, the charges will be presented to a state grand jury for potential indictment. The investigation is ongoing and the defendants may face additional charges upon indictment. Bails set for the defendants range from $10,000 up to $150,000 for Van Culin. The defendants in Operation Predator Alert II will be prosecuted by the Division of Criminal Justice Financial & Computer Crimes Bureau, Computer Analysis and Technology Unit.

As indicated, the defendants will be prosecuted under New Jersey’s new child pornography statute, signed by Governor Christie last year. The new law changed the definition of “child” to any person under 18 years of age – up from 16 in the old law – and increased the punishment for virtually all child pornography offenses, bringing New Jersey law into much closer alignment with federal law. Under the law, causing a child to engage in a prohibited sexual act for purposes of creating child pornography is a first-degree crime for all persons, carrying a sentence of 10 to 20 years in prison. Previously it was a first-degree crime only for parents or guardians of the child, and a second-degree crime for others. If convicted of that offense under the new law, an offender must serve 85 percent of the sentence without parole. Van Culin is the only defendant charged with that offense at this time, but the investigations are ongoing, including forensic exams of computers and other evidence, including flash drives, memory cards, DVDs and cell phones, at the FBI’s Regional Computer Forensic Lab in Hamilton

The new law upgrades the charge of possession of child pornography from a fourth-degree crime to a third-degree crime, and it modifies the previously existing presumption against imprisonment for anyone with no prior felony conviction who is convicted of a third-degree crime. Under the new law, possession of 100 or more computer files of child pornography carries a presumption that the defendant will face a state prison term of between three to five years. Distribution of child pornography remains a second-degree crime, carrying a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison, but the new law imposes a mandatory minimum period of parole ineligibility of five years for distribution of 25 or more computer files of child pornography. In cases of possession or distribution of child pornography, the prosecutor can ask the court to impose a sentence of parole supervision for life under Megan’s Law.

The new child pornography statute specifically takes aim at distribution cases involving file sharing. It imposes strict liability on Internet file sharers who make child pornography files available for immediate downloading. This strict liability provision places responsibility on the user for having child pornography in a file-sharing “shared folder” on his computer. Whether the user knew he was sharing, or whether any other user ever found or downloaded the file, is irrelevant. Thus, if a defendant is convicted of possessing 25 or more files of child pornography in a shared folder on his computer after Aug. 14, 2013, he would be subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of five years without parole.

The agencies that participated in Operation Predator Alert II with the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice and the Cherry Hill and Newark Offices of ICE Homeland Security Investigations include:

New Jersey State Police Digital Technology Investigations Unit
New Jersey State Police Buena Vista, Port Norris, Red Lion and Woodstown Stations
New Jersey Department of Children and Families
Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office
Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office
Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office
Camden County Prosecutor’s Office
Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office
Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office
Hunterdon County Prosecutor’s Office
Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office
Salem County Prosecutor’s Office
Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office
Union County Prosecutor’s Office
Bellmawr Police Department
Cherry Hill Police Department
Eastampton Police Department
East Brunswick Police Department
Egg Harbor Township Police Department
Elizabeth Police Department
Erma Police Department
Flemington Police Department
Delanco Police Department
Franklin Township Police Department
Elizabeth Police Department
Hamilton Police Department
Linden Police Department
Lower Township Police Department
Middle Township Police Department
Montgomery Township Police Department
North Hanover Police Department
Pemberton Township Police Department
Pennsauken Police Department
Pennsauken Fire Department
Trenton Police Department
Woodstown Borough Police Department
Camden County Sheriff’s Office
Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office
Salem County Sheriff’s Office
Somerset County Sheriff’s Office

Special agents for the ICE Homeland Security Investigations Cherry Hill and Newark Offices conducted Operation Predator Alert II under the supervision of Special Agent in Charge Andrew M. McLees. It was supervised and conducted for the Division of Criminal Justice by Supervising Deputy Attorney General Michael Monahan, who is Chief of the Financial & Computer Crimes Bureau, Supervising Deputy Attorney General Kenneth Sharpe, who is Deputy Bureau Chief, Lt. Lisa Shea and Detective Sgt. Thomas Turley; Deputy Attorneys General Jillian Carpenter, Lilianne Daniel, Denise Grugan, Naju Lathia, Marie McGovern and Anand Shah; Detectives Abraham Aquino, Richard DaSilva, Cheryl Smith, Kimberly Allen, Matthew Burd, William Jett, Ryan Kirsh, Suzanna Lopez, Jessica Maracacci, Heather Pittman, Robert Rosa, Katelyn Sake, Andrew Shrader, and Danielle Terracianno; and Executive Assistant Cynthia Ronan and Administrative Assistant Lori Pannone. It was supervised and conducted for the State Police by Detective Sgt. Christopher DeAngelis, Detective Sgt. Keith Young, and Detectives Christopher Camm, Brian Kearns, Brett Munch and Joe Santamaria.

Two research studies emerge as overall best among MMC resident physicians

Long Branch — Two studies by resident physicians at Monmouth Medical Center received top honors in the 2014 Ellen M. Cosgrove, M.D., Housestaff Research Awards competition.

Monmouth Medical Center recognizes outstanding researchers.

The annual review rewards excellence in scholarly activity in 14 categories among Monmouth’s 107 physicians-in-training.
“The research competition provides an opportunity for our resident and attending physicians to work together to develop habits of inquiry, learn to evaluate research findings and gain new knowledge in a wide range of medical and surgical areas,” says Joseph Jaeger, chief academic officer at Monmouth, which is a major regional medical campus of Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia. “The awards recognize the fact that we’re all dedicated to enhancing this collaborative environment among our physicians, which promotes both academic and clinical growth.”

Sharing the coveted Award for Overall Excellence were: Orthopedic surgery residents Adil Samad, M.D., and Alexander Willis, M.D., for “Radiographic Fusion of Mulit-Level Anterior Cervical Decompression and Fusion with PEEK Interbody Implants and Local Autograft,” — a study that also was honored with the F&J Orthopaedic Award. Mentoring and co-authoring the study were spine surgeons Steve J. Paragioudakis, M.D., program director for Orthopaedic Surgery, and Jason D. Cohen, M.D., chairman of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, and radiologist Andrew Kwak, M.D.

Pediatrics resident Jigar Chauhan, M.D., for “Improvement in the Timing of Administration of Antibiotics to Neonates with Suspected Sepsis.” Mentoring and co-authoring the study was pediatrician Richard DeGroote, M.D., director of pediatric inpatient services for The Unterberg Children’s Hospital.