Local Editor Says Goodbye to East Windsor, Cranbury and Hightstown
Friday will be Ashley Peskoe's last day at Patch.
My first day on the job a local store was robbed at gunpoint, and Hightstown approved replacing the police chief position with a police director. Less than two weeks later Hurricane Irene struck the region, pouring several feet of water into the area.
To say I got off to a slow start is beyond an understatement – but this is exactly what I have loved at Patch. Between East Windsor, Cranbury and Hightstown, there is always something going on, and I have made a point to be in the thick of it.
After more than a year, I will be leaving Patch, as I have decided to take another reporting job. For those who want to get in touch, I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. My last day is Friday.
Even though Patch was my first full-time job, as many of you know, I have been reporting for years – dating back to high school spent right here in Hightstown at The Peddie School. In college I served as the youngest managing editor for Drexel University’s student newspaper, followed by internships at NBC 10 in Philadelphia with the investigators and at ABCNews.com in New York covering the royal wedding. I then wrote freelance stories for a Patch site in North Jersey before being hired to cover East Windsor Patch.
But throughout the years of covering news, there are those stories that will stick with you – and many of them were right here in town.
For crime and breaking news, there was the devastating fire on Bristol Way in East Windsor; the East Windsor recreation director was charged after police said he knew his secretary was falsifying township records to send her child to summer camp and lied about it to authorities; Hightstown police breaking up a credit card fraud scheme after a routine traffic stop; and a boy was abducted from a West Windsor apartment by his grandfather which touched off a multi-agency search, and was later found in South Carolina. The grandfather had previously published a YouTube video describing a custody battle around his grandson.
Then there was the controversial and local issues, including a solar farm dispute between a local farmer and the township in East Windsor; Hightstown replacing their police chief with a police director; Hightstown passing a taxi licensing ordinance after several months of deliberation; and East Windsor’s police chief retiring and a new one sworn into office.
And I can’t forget the new businesses and ones that have closed up shop, including Molto Bene relocating to Cranbury following Hurricane Irene; Mercer Street Charcoal Grill opening in Hightstown’s corner storefront; the International Roasting Post occupying a small shop that many thought was too small, followed by an upcoming expansion into Molto Bene’s former space. A new garden boutique opened in Cranbury, and a shop filled with South American treasures came to Hightstown.
The beloved Tiger’s Deli shut its doors after serving East Windsor for more than 46 years, and Charlie Brown’s returned after closing in 2010. Most recently, the Windsor Hights Shopping Center, which is 60 percent vacant, was sold.
And the feel-good stories, including the “Your Dog is Worth it Too” event held annually in Cranbury to raise money for Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Hightstown’s K9 officer demonstrating its drug-sniffing abilities to fifth graders and the local farmers’ market video, which happened to be my first assignment at Patch.
Let’s face it, I could go on forever if I tried to include everything, but most importantly it was you – the community – that helped me bring the stories to light. I thank each of you who called me with a news tip, commented on the site or on the East Windsor Patch Facebook page, or sent me an email with information. Patch wouldn’t be what it is without you.
News tips can be sent to guest editor Rachel Gillett at email@example.com.