Lakewood Briefs – January 10, 2021

LAKEWOOD -

Uptick in Lakewood COVID Cases

Lakewood saw a significant uptick in reported COVID cases last week totaling 457. The previous week ended with a total of 356 cases.

During each month since Succos, the town has seen an increase of roughly 100 in reported cases per week. As the level reached the mid to high 300s, hospitalizations have increased as well, from an average of two or three per week for most of November and early December to roughly one per day in more recent weeks.

As cases rise quickly through the state, COVID vaccine distribution has become slightly more available, being now open to police and firefighters as well as frontline medical personnel and nursing home residents. Ocean County expanded its vaccination sites which include Lakewood’s CHEMED Health Center.

The Murphy administration continues to face criticism for slow roll out of the vaccine as many of what the state received from the federal government are yet to be distributed.

Driver Involved in Car Accident That killed Yechiel Feingold z”l Pleads Guilty

Mashon Wilson, pleaded guilty to charges he faced for his role in the accident that lead to the death of Yechiel Feingold, z”l.

Yechiel Feingold and a friend were driving on West County Line Road near Cedar Road on November 25, 2018 when the accident occurred. Later in the day, authorities went to Mashon’s home where two other individuals, Shana Lee and Iyanna Hall, claimed falsely that Lee had operated the vehicle that was involved in the accident.

Subsequent investigation revealed that Wilson was the actual driver.

Last week, Mashon, 30, pleaded guilty to knowingly leaving the scene of a fatal motor accident and driving with a suspended license. He also pleaded guilty to a burglary charge unrelated to the accident.

Mashon’s sentencing is scheduled to take place on February 8.

Rep. Smith Condemns Capitol Violence and Mourns NJ Native Officer Killed

Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ) condemned violent protests that overran police and vandalized the Capitol during demonstrations to support claims of electoral fraud claimed by President Donald Trump. The Congressman also honored the memory of Brian D. Sicknick, a New Jersey native and Capitol police officer who was killed during the riots.

“Despite its many flaws, the U.S. Congress continues to be an extraordinary marketplace of ideas and differing opinions,” said Rep. Smith. “The enactment of wise public policy to benefit all Americans requires robust dialogue and debate—and genuine respect for one another especially when there is fundamental disagreement. We must be committed to zero-tolerance towards violence in any form.”

Officer Sicknick was killed while attempting to fight off protesters and protect Congress which was engaged in a joint session to certify elections results and formally declare President-Elect Joe Biden the winner. Prior to joining the Capitol Police, he served as a member of the New Jersey National Guard and was deployed in Operation Southern Watch in 1999 and Enduring Freedom in 2003.

“He died a hero and deserves our eternal gratitude for his sacrifice,” said Rep. Smith. “The perpetrator(s) of this heinous crime must be swiftly brought to justice.”

After the violence was subdued and the session resumed, Rep. Smith called for investigations into election irregularities and called for reform of election laws, but voted to certify the vote citing that former Attorney General William Barr had said that US attorneys and the FBI had failed to find evidence of large scale fraud.

Rep. Kim Calls for President Trump’s Removal from Office

Following riots that occurred in and around the Capitol during protests to support claims of electoral fraud claimed by President Donald Trump, Congressman Andy Kim (D-NJ) lent his support to calls for the President’s immediate removal from office.

“The violent insurrection we saw play out at our Capitol was the direct results of actions by President Trump. His urging of actions that put our basic institutions at risk directly contradicts the oath he swore as President,” he said. “If we don’t act decisively and aggressively, we risk sending a message to future presidents and generations that such dangerous behavior is allowable. We must draw a clear line that these actions from the President are, and will always be, unacceptable. This can never happen again.”

Following the violence, images of Rep. Kim sweeping up the floor of debris left by rioters gained wide media attention. In a statement, he said that his actions were not intended as a photo opportunity.

“We are all ordinary people in extraordinary times,” he said. “What I did isn’t special, it’s the same thing that drives us to volunteer at a homeless shelter or donate to a food bank: the idea that if something is broken, we can work to fix it.”