Rachel “Phyllis” Soffen, 88

September 14, 1931 — February 29, 2020 — Rachel “Phyllis” Soffen died at age 88 on Saturday, February 29. Phyllis was born in Washington D.C. on September 14, 1931. She spent her early years growing up in Red Bank, where she attended elementary school in a one-room schoolhouse. Later, the family moved to a Washington Crossing, PA. Phyllis graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1952 with a BA in Education and then earned a MA in Child Psychology. While in college, she met Marvin Soffen on a blind date, but dismissed him quickly because he kept agreeing with everything she said. Later, while still in college, she fell ill with the mumps and returned home to Washington Crossing to con

Montgomery Resident Arrested for Purchasing Gas with Fake Money

South Brunswick police arrested a Montgomery Township man on February 18 who they say used a fake $100 bill to purchase gasoline at a local gas station. The money can be identified as counterfeit because it reads "Motion Picture Use Only." The incident happened at the Exxon Station at Route 27 and New Road. According to police, Thaimu Kargbo, 20, of Montgomery Township, is responsible for two incidents late last year in which he pulled into the gas station and left without paying. And, on Christmas Day, Kargbo allegedly paid for his gas with the fake $100 bill. Police say Kargbo pulled his BMW into the Exxon gas station on Rt. 27 on Christmas Day and asked for gas, say police. After receivi

Marie Richey Staats, 89

Marie Richey Staats August 12, 1930 – February 20, 2020 Long-time Belle Mead Resident Marie Staats, 89, passed away on February 20. Marie was born in 1930 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and grew up in Princeton, New Jersey. She was the daughter of the late Rocco and Adele (Kuchinsky) Richey. Marie graduated from Princeton High School in 1947 and the next year she married the love of her life, Robert (Bob) Staats. Together they raised a family of seven children in Belle Mead. After raising her family, Marie worked at Bamberger’s Department Store in Princeton and Epstein’s at Market Fair. She worked for Federal Express for several years, retiring in 1993. She was a member of the Griggstown Re

African American Museum Newly Opened on Hollow Road in Skillman — Is Among the First of Its Kind

A water color painting of the Mount Zion AME Church (by Martha Haude) on Hollow Road in Skillman. Prints are available to donors of $5,000 or more. To support the museum at a more affordable rate, sign-up to attend the February 22 Gospel Brunch fundraiser. The historic Mount Zion African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church on Hollow Road is open as the Stoutsburg Sourland African-American Museum — by appointment only at this point. In the near future, the one-room church house grounds will expand to include an education and cultural center, a traditional vegetable and medicinal garden, a parking lot for cars and buses, and office space. “The purpose of this museum is to create awareness and edu

Rocky Hill Architect earns AIA Merit Award

Susan Pikaart Bristol of Rocky Hill was recently awarded the AIA NJ Merit Award for Excellence in Architecture for her project, Garden State Studios. “The Garden State Studios that we created for the NJIT School of Architecture tests resiliency and sustainability principles with real environmental design challenges” presented in New Jersey neighborhoods, towns, and cities, according to Bristol’s website at spbarchitecture.com/garden-state-studios. Architect Susan Pikaart Bristol of Rocky Hill The studios address today’s architectural challenges in the environment, specifically: flooding, post-industrial sites, global warming, historic preservation, Super Fund site re-purposing, suburban spra

Car Burglaries on Cherry Valley Road

The Montgomery Township Police Department (MTPD) is investigating a series of motor vehicle burglaries that took place during the overnight hours of February 3 and 4. Police did not say how many cars were burglarized, but they did mention that all the vehicles were unlocked. Please contact the MTPD at 908.359.3222 if you can assist in this investigation.

Risk of Contracting Coronavirus Is Low for Montgomery Area Residents for Now

The Montgomery Township Health Department, which serves Hopewell, Pennington, and Rocky Hill in addition to Montgomery, is working with the NJ Department of Health (NJDOH) to closely monitor the Coronavirus (nCoV) situation and to distribute guidance documents for health care professionals to develop an effective response for any reported cases that may be identified in the state. Montgomery Health Officer Stephanie Carey reminds residents that the immediate health risk from the 2019-nCoV to the general American public is considered low at this time, based on information as of February 5. “Let’s do a reality check here," Carey says. "There is a lot of (regular) flu in our community right now

Montgomery Man in Search of Kidney Donor

More than 115,000 people in the United States are waiting for a life-saving transplant, and nearly 4,000 live in New Jersey, according to the NJ Sharing Network. Marty Sliwicki, a 17-year Montgomery resident, a cyclist, and computer guru who works in cyber security at AT&T, lives in the Montgomery Hills section of town. He needs a kidney. Marty Sliwicki, 57, with his beautiful niece Skylar Demichele, 9. During a routine physical checkup in 2015, Sliwicki says his doctor noticed his blood test results showed his creatinine numbers were declining. The doctor sent him to see a nephrologist, who sent him for a biopsy at Robert Wood Johnson Hospital, where Sliwicki learned the bad news that he ha

Fencer Julia Yoon Is The Montgomery News Athlete of the Month

Montgomery High School Senior Julia Yoon (right) with her two teammates. For senior Julia Yoon, fencing became a part of her life five years ago in seventh grade, when she first tried out a class at the Otto Kaufman recreation center. She was a competitive swimmer at that time. Soon fencing became her main athletic focus. “Fencing is more than just a sport to me,” Julia said. “I’ve met some of my best friends through the fencing community. I’ve learned how to control my emotions and set reasonable goals to improve myself. Plus, fencing has taught me about discipline and perseverance, and helped me develop as a student and person as well.” Julia’s weapon of choice is the epee. In fencing, ath

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