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Gottheimer Helps Sussex County Senior Apply for and Win $7,500 USDA Grant

Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5), Vernon Mayor Harry Shortway, and Sussex County Resident Ann McGivney at Ann’s home in Vernon. Credits: provided
Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5), Vernon Mayor Harry Shortway, and Sussex County Resident Ann McGivney at Ann’s home in Vernon. Credits: provided
Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5), Vernon Mayor Harry Shortway, and Sussex County Resident Ann McGivney at Ann’s home in Vernon. Credits: provided

VERNON TOWNSHIP, N.J. -- Today, July 3, 2018, Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) joined Vernon Mayor Harry Shortway and 85-year-old Sussex County resident Ann McGivney to tour improvements made to her home through a $7,500 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Office of Rural Development. The grant was used to repair Ann’s front steps and walkway, put in new overhead lights in her kitchen, replace outdated plumbing in her bathroom, and clean off moss and repair her roof.

Back in 2015, Ann began the application process for a USDA grant that helps remove health and safety hazards to help seniors stay and retire in their homes. However, she ran into a number of roadblocks, in part due to issues with her eyesight. In September 2017, Ann came to Gottheimer’s office hours in Vernon to get help with the grant process. Gottheimer’s office immediately got to work. They contacted the USDA to determine what was stalling the process, sent over staff to Ann’s home to help finish paperwork, worked with local contractors to secure quotes for the home repairs, and stayed in touch with contractors to ensure the construction process was completed on schedule.

Earlier this year, Gottheimer had nominated Ann’s grandson Thomas for the U.S. Service Academies. Thomas will be completing the Navy ROTC program at Norfolk State University on a full scholarship. Gottheimer had also honored Thomas and his brother Jesse with Congressional Certificates of Recognition for earning the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest rank in the Boy Scout program.

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Gottheimer is focused on lowering taxes by clawing federal tax dollars back from Washington to New Jersey. Earlier this year, Gottheimer announced that, by working together to get a better return on investment, the Fifth District clawed back from the federal government $290 per household -- a 16% increase from recent years, through programs like the USDA’s Home Repair Program, the Law Enforcement Support Office (LESO) excess equipment program, the Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG), and the Department of Justice’s Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grant program.

Just last week, Gottheimer was thrilled to announce a $1.42 million loan from the USDA Rural Development Program to Camp Louemma, a 152-acre nonprofit sleepaway camp ground for children in Vernon. The campground had been operating for more than 77 years, serving 200 children per year and employing 41 full-time workers. If it were not for the USDA investment, the property would have been sold to developers. Instead, the camp will be growing and adding 14 new jobs, saving and creating a total of 55 jobs in the area, and maintaining a critical community organization. In addition, the Wantage Fire Department recently received $102,000 in federal funds for safety and operations as part of the Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grants, which allows fire departments to purchase or upgrade equipment. Finally, since Gottheimer’s been in office, Vernon and Franklin Borough have become the first towns to enroll in the LESO excess equipment program, and the Sussex County Economic Development Partnership was awarded $35,000 to help local businesses access the resources they need to succeed and create jobs.

“I was so thrilled to be able to help 85-year-old Sussex County resident Ann McGivney get the home repairs she needed to retire safely in her home, while also clawing back our federal tax dollars back to New Jersey. Ann has worked her entire life--up until she was 76 years old--and she deserves a happy and safe retirement close to her many children and grandchildren,” said Congressman Gottheimer (NJ-5). “I want to thank Ann for helping claw back dollars to the District, and for reaching out to my office so I can be of help. That’s why I’m here. I want anyone having trouble dealing with a federal agency or obtaining a grant to contact me.”

“This is another example of the local and federal government working together to get things done for the citizens. This was just absolutely awesome. You just saw the smile on that eighty-five-year-old’s woman face. That’s what this job is all about,” said Vernon Mayor Harry Shortway.

“It was wonderful to meet Josh and Mayor Shortway. I’m so grateful for their help in fixing up my house and getting the USDA grant. This grant will allow me to stay in my house and stay close to my family and my nine grandkids. Before, my daughter didn’t want me to use my front door because of the crumbling steps. I’m legally blind and I couldn’t see well in my kitchen. Now I have a new walkway and bright lights that help me see,” said Sussex County resident Ann McGivney.

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Sparta Police: Wanted Man Gets Additional Charges

July 18, 2018

SPARTA, NJ -  A man from Hackettstown with an active warrant faces additional charges when officers stopped him because the registered owner of the car had a suspended license.  On July 2 around 2 a.m. Police Officer Ericks Finley stopped a car registered to Shanicqui Nelson on Route 15 police said.

The driver Shaun Reid, 36 was also found to have a suspended license and an ...

Sparta Police: Road Rage and Racing on Route 15 End in Arrest

SPARTA, NJ – A man from Plainfield was stopped for racing on Route 15, going 93 MPH in a 55 MPH zone.  Sparta Police Officer Erick Finley was able to stop one of  two cars racing on July 6 around 11:45 p.m. police said.

Driving a four door Chevy, Santos Vides-Guardado, 21, told Finley that he and the other driver had gotten into an argument that led to the two men racing each ...

Sparta Police: Two Injured in Car Versus Motorcycle Accident

SPARTA, NJ — An accident on Route 15 with a motorcycle and a car sent two people to the hospital. On July 12 Sparta police responded to the crash at the intersection of Route 15 and Wilson Drive around 6:37 p.m. police report.

According to police, while turning left on to Wilson Drive from Route 15 north, Carmen Emery of Highland Lakes cut in front of Richard Keim on a Harley-Davidson ...

No Dog Beach on Lake Hopatcong?

July 9, 2018

Hello Editor, 
 I have spent considerable time trying to find somewhere on Lake Hopatcong to bring my dog for a swim.
What I have found is ridiculous - this lake has approximately 28 miles of shoreline and I found NO PLACE am allowed to bring him.  Am hoping you can make the public aware and maybe someone will know more than me and inform where dogs are allowed?
Many thanks for ...

Chemist Congratulates Sparta High School Chem Olympians

Congratulation to the ladies from Sparta High School who finished first and second in the Chemistry Olympics.

I am very pleased to see women succeeding in chemistry.

Martin Feil,

Newton, NJ
Retired Chemist and Chemistry Teacher

Upcoming Events


Sat, July 21, 7:45 AM

Saint Kateri Parish, Sparta

Sussex County Blood Drive

Health & Wellness


Sat, July 21, 8:00 AM

Newton Moose Lodge, Fredon

Newton Moose Lodge Sunday Breakfasts

Food & Drink


Sat, July 21, 9:00 AM

Sparta Health and Wellness parking lot, Sparta

Sparta Farmers Market


Sun, July 22, 1:00 PM

Van Kirk Homestead Museum, Sparta

Sussex County Views: The Art of Toni Chaplin

Arts & Entertainment


Mon, July 23, 10:00 AM

Sparta Public Library, Sparta

Watercolor Workshop

Arts & Entertainment

Tue, July 24, 7:00 PM

Kinnelon Public Library, Kinnelon

Northern NJ Libertarian Party Monthly Meeting



Fri, July 27, 10:00 AM

Sparta Public Library, Sparta

Watercolor Workshop

Arts & Entertainment


Sat, July 28, 8:00 AM

Newton Moose Lodge, Fredon

Newton Moose Lodge Sunday Breakfasts

Food & Drink


Sat, July 28, 9:00 AM

Sparta Health and Wellness parking lot, Sparta

Sparta Farmers Market


Sat, July 28, 2:00 PM

Montville Animal Shelter, Montville

Summer Adoption Event at the Montville Animal ...

Home & Garden Other

Newton High School FFA Students Dominate at State Convention

July 11, 2018

LONG BRANCH, NJ - The Newton FFA Chapter won several of their events at the 89th New Jersey State FFA Convention in May at Monmouth University. The students brought home several awards competing against the best in the state.

Freshman Kirk Avondoglio took first place in the state FFA Creed Public Speaking competition.  The event requires participants to recite the creed in front of a ...

US Junior Amateur: Chinn Earns Medalist and Top-seed honors, Misses Rain Delay, after Second Day of Stroke Play

July 18, 2018

Tuesday’s Second Round Scores, playoff participants (8 for 3 spots)

Wednesday’s Round of 64 matchups

SPRINGFIELD, NJ - Kelly Chinn of Great Falls, Va., continued his stellar play Tuesday morning and missed an afternoon four plus hour rain delay on arguably Baltusrol Golf Club’s toughest layout, the Lower Course.

After shooting a five under 66 on the Upper Course Monday, ...

What You Need to Know About the Mortgage Process


Many buyers are purchasing a home with a down payment as little as 3%.

You may already qualify for a loan, even if you don’t have perfect credit.

Take advantage of the knowledge of your local professionals who are there to help you determine how much you can afford.  This means call Team Nest Builder’s Lynn Garafola at 973-222-3777 ...

You DO NOT Need 20% Down to Buy Your Home NOW!

The Aspiring Home Buyers Profile from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) found that the American public is still somewhat confused about what’s required to qualify for a home mortgage loan in today’s housing market. The results of the survey show the main reason non-homeowners do not own their own homes is because they believe that they cannot afford them.

This brings us to ...

Get Rid of Your E-Waste This Saturday in Sussex County

Team Nest Builder knows it’s easy for e-waste---tv sets, printers, laptops, etc.--to pile up. Here’s your opportunity to rid yourself of it in Sussex County! It’s the Sussex County Municipal Utilities Authority E-Waste Collection Event! The scoop:


Saturday, July 21st


7 am - 2 pm


Up to 5 Units per vehicle at no charge.  Scale charges for ...

4 Top Tips for Kitchen Remodels

Getting ready to remodel your New Jersey home's kitchen? Team Nest Builder shares these top 4 tips for maintaining your sanity (and budget)!

Expect the Unexpected

Even the best-laid plans go awry during a kitchen remodel--be prepared!  Add a 10% cushion to your finanical plan for problems that may arise. In case something happens, this could save your time and budget.

Make A ...

Get Out and Garden During FREE Open Gates Weekend

Team Nest Builder wants you to discover the beauty and diversity of Morris County’s Community Gardens through the people, plants, and planting techniques that make gardens thrive. It's Morris County Community Garden FREE Open Gates Weekend!

Tour the many gardens, discover how to start one in your town, and learn more about growing your own food. Enjoy food tastings and demonstrations ...

Homes More Affordable Today than 1985-2000

Concerned that your family will no longer be able to afford the most precious piece of the American Dream – your own home? Let Team Nest Builder assuage your fears...

It’s not just a home’s price that determines its affordability--it’s also the monthly cost determined by the price and the interest rate on the mortgage used to purchase it.

Today, mortgage interest ...

Be a Triathlon Volunteer!

Summertime is here and upon us Sparta residents, bringing a variety of exciting events to our area. Well, Pass It Along is BACK with the 9th Annual Triathlon at Lake Mohawk Country Club, located in Sparta, on Saturday, July 28, 2018!

This athletic event draws in several hundred people, both participants and spectators, to Lake Mohawk. Volunteers are needed to assist with the event in ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 18

On this week’s AtlantiCast, you’ll find out how accessing care at Atlantic Health System is now easier, more affordable and closer to home than ever, learn which item from the produce aisle could be the newest weapon against cancer, see what Atlantic Health System, the New York Times and Instagram all have in common and much more.



The Sussex County Freeholders July 11 meeting video

NEWTON, NJ - The Sussex County Freeholders July 11 meeting video


Teen Pianist Raises Funds for Project Self-Sufficiency

July 20, 2018

Pianist Olivia Coyle, 18, recently created a CD of her performances and made it available for sale to raise funds for local non-profit agency Project Self-Sufficiency.  The CD is a compilation of works.  “I wanted a mix of different types of music, but I also wanted it to be slower-paced and soothing,” explained Coyle, who ultimately selected some favorite pieces by Chopin ...