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RED BANK COPS “HAVE AN IDEA” OF SHOOTERS

rb community 122314Residents packed a hastily organized community meeting on the recent shootings Tuesday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_01Red Bank police believe they know who’s behind a recent spate of West Side shootings, including one Monday night, but are hamstrung by a lack of evidence sufficient to obtain search warrants, Chief Darren McConnell said Tuesday night.

“Do we have an idea who’s doing this? Yes, we do,” McConnell told a packed community meeting at borough hall, less than 24 hours after the latest gunfire, on West Westside Avenue, “but we can’t prove it yet.”

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‘TWAS THE NIGHTSHIRT BEFORE CHRISTMAS…

mtown nightshirtsSeen outside a home on Hubbard Avenue in Middletown Monday. The sign at right reads “Claus Bed & Breakfast.” (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)

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MIDDLETOWN: WHO’S BEEN BUSTED

Recent arrest reports, unedited, as provided by the Middletown Township Police Department.

AUTHORITIES_MTOWN2-2014Scott Rubman, age 45, from Heights Terrace in Middletown, NJ, arrested on November 21, 2014 by Corporal Lawrence Seymour for Aggravated Assault on a Police Officer and Resisting Arrest. He was held on $10,000.00 bail set by Judge Richard Thompson.

Daniel Kwiatek, age 29, from Monmouth Avenue in Leonardo, NJ, arrested on November 21, 2014 by Patrolman Nicholas Fenezia for Simple Assault and on a Contempt of Court warrant issued by the Ridgefield Park Municipal Court. He was held on $5,750.00 bail.

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RED BANK: COMMUNITY MEETING SLATED

just_in1A string of shootings on the West Side, including one Monday night, has prompted Red Bank officials to schedule a community meeting for Tuesday night.

From an announcement sent out by the borough at noontime Tuesday:

Mayor Pasquale Menna and Police Commissioner Arthur Murphy have scheduled a Community Meeting for 7pm tonight, Tuesday, December 23, 2014 in the Council Chamber/Courtroom on the first floor of the Municipal Building at 90 Monmouth Street to address concerns about a recent incident on West Westside Avenue.  Police Chief Darren McConnell will be available to address the situation.

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RED BANK: COPS WERE NEAR SHOOTING SCENE

rb shooting 122314A view east along West Westside Avenue, the scene of Tuesday night’s shooting, in which a parked car was struck by two bullets and at least eight shots were fired. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_02Off-duty Red Bank police officers out delivering Christmas presents for the PBA heard the gunfire in Monday night’s shooting on the West Side, police Chief Darren McConnell tells redbankgreen.

“They were literally a block and half away” and immediately responded to the scene, on West Westside Avenue just a few doors east of Leighton Avenue, arriving even before nearby residents had called in the 8:39 p.m. shots, he said.

By the time they got there, however, the shooter or shooters, and any intended targets, were gone, McConnell said.

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RED BANK: SHOOTING ‘TARGETED,’ MENNA SAYS

AUTHORITIES_RB2-2014By JOHN T. WARD

A shooting in which a vehicle was struck by at least one bullet Monday night is believed to be related to two shootings in November, Red Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna tells redbankgreen.

“The good thing is no one was injured” in the latest incident, which occurred at about 8 p.m. near Leighton Avenue and West Westside Avenue, Menna said.

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RED BANK: FREE CHRISTMAS EATS

church dinner Continuing a tradition of nearly 30 years, the First Baptist Church, above, offers a Christmas Day dinner. JR’s Burgers, below, will offer free meals on Christmas Eve. (Click to enlarge)

jrs burgersAt least two Red Bank operations will be feeding those in need of a hot meal for Christmas.

On Wednesday, Christmas Eve, from 6 to 8 p.m., JR’s Burgers on West Front Street will be giving out free burgers, sodas and fries.

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RED BANK: SHOTS FIRED AGAIN ON WEST SIDE

AUTHORITIES_RB2-2014By JOHN T. WARD

A vehicle was struck but no one was injured when shots were fired on Red Bank’s West Side Monday night, NJ.com reported.

The shooting occurred within the same three-block area of a November shooting that left two people critically injured and another shooting in which a parked car was shot up in broad daylight two days later.

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LINCROFT: A BOOK SIGNING FOR PETE’S SAKE

121814 caruso2Frank Caruso signs a copy of ‘Outlaw Pete,’ which he illustrated. Below, Caruso added an on-the-spot illustration to each book he autographed. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

121814 caruso3Jerry Ferrara had heard the ballad ‘Outlaw Pete’ at a Bruce Springsteen concert, but he had “never heard of Frank Caruso” until Caruso illustrated the song’s tale in book form.

But there Ferrara was Thursday night, standing in line at Brookdale Community College’s Pen and Quill Bookstore, to meet the illustrator and have his books signed.

“If Springsteen shows up, well, that would be a bonus,” he told redbankgreen.

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CHURN: ROOK, GOTHAM, PLATYPUS, NO APPLE

rook 122214 1 Kate Henderson brews one of the first cups at Rook Coffee Roasters Monday morning. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallClosing out a busy year, redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn delivers news of a coffee place and an art-filled nightspot, both in downtown Red Bank, and some churnings in the groves of Shrewsbury, where the perennial rumor of an Apple Computer store is again in the air.

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LINCROFT: FASHIONABLY, FESTIVELY LATE

MM galleryThe Holiday Gift Gallery at Monmouth Museum returns on Tuesday — and continues through January 11 — for the benefit of late-blooming gifters.

For something that seems to start as early as Back to School Days, the holiday shopping season never seems to have enough hours and days loaded up on the back end. It’s not so much that “we need a little Christmas, right this very moment” — it’s that we need a lot more moments, right now and on into the new calendar year.

It’s for straggling souls that one of the Red Bank area’s unsung treasures, the Monmouth Museum, maintains an annual Holiday Gift Gallery that offers up eleventh-hour shopportunities beginning Tuesday.

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RED BANK: BURNHAM WINS ZONING CASE

cindy burnham 121814Cindy Burnham with her attorney, Ron Gasiorowski, at Thursday night’s zoning board hearing. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03The fix wasn’t in – not this time at least.

Cindy Burnham, the lone Republican on the Red Bank council who often lambastes the Democratic majority for what she contends are back-room  development deals, went before the zoning board Thursday night seeking an OK for a new garage and back porch for her home at 71 Wallace Street.

She came loaded for bear.

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RED BANK: COLORFUL SHAPE-SHIFTERS @TRT

th-vhc-orangesTHE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR and other stories by Eric Carle are brought to colorful life on the stage of Two River Theater by the puppeteers of Mermaid Theatre. (Photo by Margo Ellen Gesser)

It represents a departure from past Holiday Family Show productions at Two River Theater, in that it’s not a homegrown production in the spirit of 2012-2013’s A Wind in the Willows Christmas. It’s also a limited engagement that offers just three days of public performances — nearly all of which are sold out at this point.

That said, the touring production known as The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Other Eric Carle Favorites fits in nicely with the pro-literacy theme of past Two River offerings, being based upon a trio of works by the prolific children’s book creator whose vividly illustrated fables have delighted “kids of all ages” for nearly 50 years.

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RUMSON: MENORAH LIGHTS THE NIGHT

121714 menorah11121714 menorah2Congregation B’nai Israel’s menorah lit up the second night of Hanukkah in Rumson Wednesday evening. Rabbi Jeff Sultar led the group of more than a hundred congregants in two prayers, one for each candle. Many of the children took part by holding signs reminding everyone of the different parts of the prayers. They then proceeded inside to a symbolic meal of fried potato latkes,  jelly donuts and spinning dreidels while Rabbbi Sultar made his way to the Red Bank train station to light the menorah there.  (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

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RED BANK: GO TELL IT ON THE HILLTOP

ChristmasConcert-960x300Matthew Van Dyke directs the 50-voice Tower Hill Choir in a free, public-welcome performance of traditional Christmas choral music, Saturday evening at First Presbyterian Church. 

From the sacred to the secularly sophisticated, lovers of classical music — which is to say, music other than the classic rock sounds that permeate the Count Basie Theatre in the nights to come — can find comfort and joy in a pair of back-to-back events that are offered free of charge this Saturday, at two of Red Bank borough’s most musically minded institutions.

The music begins at 4 pm on the afternoon of December 20, at a venue that remains one of the community’s best kept secrets — the Monmouth Conservatory Of Music, host for the latest in an acclaimed series of public-welcome guest artist concerts. December’s spotlight falls on a special program of Baroque era chamber music, as composed by J. S. Bach, Diego Ortiz, Frescobaldi, Mayone, Scarlatti and Graupner — and performed by a pair of Russian-born specialists: violist Elena Kraineva, and pianist Raisa Isaacs. The international touring artists and educators perform in the casual and quite convenient setting of the MCM’s downtown White Street all-purpose room — just steps from the hustle/bustle of that last shopping-season Saturday in Red Bank, but a world and an ocean of time away from the Yule Log’s slow-burn, high-pressure smolder and spark. Best of all, admission’s by free-will donation exclusively, and the hour-long program leaves plenty of time to catch a bite, maybe do a bit of shop, and head up the hill to the next must-see event.

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