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Examiner News Briefs, Nov. 24

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The Allentown Village Initiative (TAVI) is planning four community-wide programs for the Christmas season. Full details and registration information is available at www.allentownvinj.org

Registration is open for TAVI’s holiday wreath decorating contest. Individuals may register to display their creations at one of Allentown’s Main Street businesses.

Wreaths can be hung as soon as Thanksgiving weekend and will be up through the end of December. All are welcome to vote for their favorite wreath.

The wreath with the most votes will win a gift basket valued at $75, with $30 and $20 gift cards for runners-up, according to a press release.

Residents may also sign up their home lighting and decorations display for the second annual “Great Christmas Light Driving Tour.”

Individuals who are decorating their house for the holidays may notify TAVI and have their address added to TAVI’s map of Allentown and Upper Freehold Township, which will be posted on Dec. 1 and updated through Christmas.

Start at the McCormicks’ drive-through Christmas village and light display. Then follow the map for a driving tour showcasing the community’s Christmas spirit. This is a free event.

The “Trees & Treats” house tour will take place on Dec. 12. Visit the inside of the McCormicks’ home in Upper Freehold to see a Christmas wonderland of more than 200 decorated trees and thousands of lights.

Tickets are $10, with all proceeds benefiting TAVI’s community service projects, and are available with timed entry at www.allentownvinj.org

Finally, residents may participate in TAVI’s “Operation Holiday Giving” to support the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen. Assemble holiday care packages with the items listed at www.allentownvinj.org and then call 609-208-9991 to arrange for a convenient pick-up or drop-off, according to the press release.


The Monmouth County Clerk’s Office has named James Cignarella and Gabriela Ramalho the winners of two one-year unexpired terms on the Millstone Township K-8 School District Board of Education. Cignarella and Ramalho won the seats as write-in candidates during the 2021 general election.

No residents filed nominating petitions to run for the unexpired terms, leaving open the possibility that one or both terms could be won by write-in candidates. During the election, 951 write-in votes for the unexpired terms were cast, according to the clerk’s office.

The write-in winners were announced on Nov. 16. The 2021 general election was conducted with vote by mail ballots; with early in-person voting on nine days in late October; and with in-person voting on Election Day, Nov. 2.

According to the clerk’s office, Cignarella received 254 write-in votes and Ramalho received 251 write-in votes to win the seats on the board. Incumbent board member John Saxton, who was not seeking re-election, received 179 write-in votes. Saxton’s term will end in December.

Cignarella and Ramalho are expected to be sworn in at the board’s annual reorganization meeting in January. Their terms will run through 2022. In November, 2022, the unexpired terms they are filling will appear on the ballot as full three-year terms.

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