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MIDDLETOWN COPS TO TEST BODY CAMERAS

The Middletown police department is one of three in Monmouth County that will test the feasibility of video cameras worn on the uniforms of patrol officers, county Prosecutor Chris Gramiccioni announced Thursday.

AUTHORITIES_MTOWN2The test, coming amid rising public attention to cases of actual and alleged police abuse, may lead to countywide deployment of body cameras, Gramiccioni said in a prepared statement.

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RED BANK: GOP KICKS OFF EARLY CAMPAIGN

whelan taylor 052715Mark Taylor, right, and running mate Mike Whelan were joined by GOP bigwigs for a campaign kickoff on Monmouth Street Wednesday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

After a quarter-century in the minority, will Red Bank Republicans be able to harness their momentum of the last two elections to take control of the borough government?

Getting an early jump on this year’s race for two council seats, the local GOP trotted out some big local names for a kickoff event Wednesday night.

And they held it out on Monmouth Street, just feet away from both borough hall and new parking kiosks they believe symbolize the “arrogance” of Democrats, who now hold a 4-2 majority on the council as well as the mayoralty.

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RED BANK: FOUR MEN FOR ALL SEASONS

midtownmenThe Midtown Men return to the Basie stage Saturday for a stylish salute to the music of Frankie Valli and his 1960s jet-set contemporaries. 

The sleek-suited Mad Men of TV may have linked their last cuff – but we’ll always have The Midtown Men, that quartet of actor-singers whose 60s sharkskins and smooth retro style has taken the music of Frankie Valli and his contemporaries to all new audiences (and heights).

As group member (and Tony winner) Christian Hoff observed during one of their previous forays to the local stage, “You know it’s hot up there when the color of your suit changes from light blue to deep purple…but something about wearing those clothes keeps you focused, keeps you in the period…like wearing the uniform of a great ball team.”

Being former cast members from the Tony-winning Broadway smash Jersey Boys — and co-producers of their own internationally touring and recording act — the Midtown Men (Christian Hoff, Michael Longoria, Daniel Reichard, J. Robert Spencer) continue to sweat the details of a project that pays particular tribute to the soaring sound and catalog of the Four Seasons, as “home team” an act as the Garden State’s ever produced. And when the guys take it to the Count Basie Theatre stage this Saturday, May 30, they’ll more than just follow in Frankie’s footsteps — they’ll be on the turf of Steven Van Zandt and the E Street Band, with whom they collaborated on the single “All Alone on Christmas.”

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RED BANK: BACK IN THE ARMS OF SAMARITANS

bucky moran 052615Bucky Moran at home earlier this week. Below, Moran gets a hug from one of his saviors, Paramedic Lori Corson. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

bucky moran 052715The last thing Richard ‘Bucky’ Moran remembers prior to his heart attack  last month was asking a motorist to move his car from the City Centre Shopping Center in Red Bank, where he works part-time.

So he knew nothing of the Edison Township fireman who, while driving by, saw Moran crash to the pavement and pulled over to start doing CPR. He didn’t know about the Red Bank policeman who happened to be coming out of a store at the mall, and had a defibrillator in his patrol car. He was unaware of the deputy fire chief who also pulled over and contributed the CPR effort, during which Moran was revived but “coded” again at least three times. And he’s a complete blank about the EMTs and paramedics who intubated him and blasted him with twice the standard amount of juice to get his ticker working again.

But on Wednesday night, the retired mail carrier and current school crossing guard got to meet, and hug, many of his Good Samaritans, at a packed-room meeting of the borough council.

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RED BANK: BELLHAVEN GETS HOSED AGAIN

Bellhaven Wetland Map 1Critics contend the Bellhaven sprayground has little popular support.  (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03It wasn’t on the agenda, but a proposed water playground on Red Bank’s West Side spewed back to the fore Wednesday night.

At issue: whether to keep spending money on prep work for the controversial four-year-old project, which has been temporarily derailed by the discovery of heating oil in the soil.

Counting at least three prospective “no” votes on the six-member council, Republican Cindy Burnham asked: “Why do we continue to use taxpayer money to pay [engineering consultant] T&M Associates for soil testing and permits?”

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RED BANK: METERS AND MORATORIUM TABLED

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Two hot topics were removed from the Red Bank council agenda Wednesday night:

• a proposed $2 million bond to pay for replacing every residential and business water meter in town

• and possible end to a moratorium on parking fees paid in the past by downtown developers.

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RED BANK: REC DIRECTOR QUITS

memone-kidsMemone Crystian with Red Bank Little Leaguers in 2010. Tamila Bumback, below, will head the department on an interim basis. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi)

By JOHN T. WARD

tamila bumback 052614 1Red Bank’s parks and rec director resigned without advance notice last week.

Memone Crystian, who’d been in the post for five years, cited time away from her three children as driving her decision.

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RED BANK: WHAT TO EXPECT AT RIVERFEST

KevinJohnAllen JustinAlinaAmericana troubador Kevin John Allen and sibling act Justin & Alina are among the live and local performers entertaining at Riverfest 2015 beginning Friday evening.

rb rivfest 053114 4More than anything else, it’s about the music; a sonic smorgasbord of local-organic talent that’s every bit as much a source of Jersey pride as the plump and juicy product of our Garden State farms.

When the fifth annual edition of Red Bank Riverfest pitches its tents and stages at Marine Park for another three-day stay starting Friday night, it’ll once again stake the borough’s claim to one of the major keynote events of the season, a tradition with roots in the modestly scaled Red Bank Food Festivals of yesteryear, and the big-league Jazz and Blues events at the century’s switch.

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FAIR HAVEN: THEME FROM A SUMMER PLACE

Mary Kay AndrewsBest-selling author (and summer romance specialist) Mary Kay Andrews returns to Fair Haven on Thursday evening for a reading and signing event at Raven and the Peach, sponsored by River Road Books.

It’s got all the hallmarks of the work that’s made her one of the most popular “beach-read” novelists in the English language — the Southern coastal small-town setting; the strong protagonist whose focus has been on matters of career rather than affairs of the heart; the suspense. Not just the kind of suspense found in her earlier mystery novels, but the sexy tension that occurs when a pair of supercharged opposites set off undeniable sparks.

If it’s the start of summer, it must be time for a new novel by Mary Kay Andrews, the Georgia-based author (of Savannah Blues, Summer Rental and Save the Date) whose book tours in recent seasons have always made sure to include a whistle-stop in one of her favorite pockets of fandom: Fair Haven. This Friday, May 29, borough-based River Road Books once again welcomes back the best-selling scribe for a special appearance keyed to the latest Andrews opus, Beach Town.

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RED BANK: FLEEING MAN PULLED FROM RIVER

AUTHORITIES_RB3A motorcyclist was forcibly pulled from the Swimming River in Red Bank after he sped off from a traffic stop in Little Silver Saturday night, authorities said.

According to Little Silver police Chief Dan Shaffery, a patrol attempted to pull over Armando Cruz, 27, of Red Bank, for a traffic violation on Branch Avenue at 10:36 p.m. when he took off.

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SHREWSBURY: POLICE BLOTTER

Crime and arrest reports, unedited, as provided by the Shrewsbury Police Department for the period of May 16 to May 22, 2015.

AUTHORITIES_SBURY3Crimes

Report of Burglary in the area of Birch Drive on 5/17/15. Victim reports unknown subject(s) entered residence and removed property. Ptl. Derek Myers investigating.

Report of Shoplifting in the area of Victoria Secret, Broad Street on 5/17/15. Victim reports unknown subject(s) removed merchandise. Damages totaling $1200.00. Ptl. Derek Myers investigating.

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LINCROFT: RARE FLOWERS, REAL HOUSEWIVES

Robin-Fox-Headshot2“Mother of all standup comics” Robin Fox returns to the Monmouth Museum for a Girl’s Night Out evening of “fun, food and drinks.”

We’ve said it before, but You Might Be a Mom If… you can appreciate the inherent humor in topics like long-term marriage, suburban lifes and the glories of being part of the “sandwich generation” between aging parents and growing kids. Also if your idea of a “Girl’s Night Out” is an art gallery excursion that’s over by 9 pm.

That said, there’s a definite appeal to the event that returns for a second annual edition to the Monmouth Museum Wednesday. Billed as an evening of “fun, food and drinks” — and once again spotlighting the standup skills of  Robin Fox, the “real New Jersey housewife” who parlayed her observations on family life into a successful career on the New York area radio, cable and comedy club circuit — the Girl’s Night Out raises funds for the museum’s ongoing slate of programs, in a way that’s infinitely more entertaining than a dry-as-dust lecture or stuffy recital.

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OCEANIC BRIDGE: CLOSURE BEGINS

oceanic 052515Boaters and kayakers shared the Navesink River with a construction barge at the Oceanic Bridge on Monday, Memorial Day. The 75-year-old span, which links Rumson and Middletown, was scheduled to close to all but marine traffic starting at 6 a.m. Tuesday for repairs to the steel bascule.

During repairs in April, deterioration was discovered in two areas of the bascule not previously accessible, Monmouth County officials said last month. The latest repairs are expected to wrap up with a reopening of the bridge on Saturday, June 13. In the meantime, seasonal rules and scheduling will be in effect for marine traffic. (Photo by Peter Lindner. Click to enlarge)

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MEMORIAL DAY 2015 COMMEMORATIONS

rb memorial 052614 5Red Bank, above, and Fair Haven, below, return with traditional Memorial Day events Monday. (Click to enlarge)

RED BANK:

Memorial Day Commemoration, Monday, 11 a.m., Veterans’ Monument, 51 Monmouth Street, corner of Drummond Place. The event follows a 10 a.m. ceremony hosted by the volunteer fire and first aid squads at borough hall, 90 Monmouth Street.

FAIR HAVEN

Fair Haven’’s Memorial Day Parade will take place on Monday at 9 a.m., beginning at Knollwood School, on Hance Road, and ending at Memorial Park, River Road.

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RED BANK: CRIME & ARREST REPORTS

AUTHORITIES_RB3The crime and arrest reports below were provided by the Red Bank Police Department for the period of May 14 to May 21, 2015. This information is unedited.

CRIMES

Theft occurring on 5-13-15 at Bridge Ave. parking lot. Victim reported that unknown perpetrator(s) entered parked vehicle and stole a duffle bag containing clothing and prescription pills. Lt. Errico Vescio.

Theft occurring at Monmouth St. parking lot on 5-15-15. Victim reported that unknown person(s) cut the lock on bicycle which was secured to a pole and stole same. Bike described as a Schwinn Mountain Bike, color grey. Sgt. David Hicks

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