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RED BANK: A RED-CARPET, NAME-DROP NIGHT

Drummer_Carmine_Appice_(right)_works_with_Basie_Rockit!_students_in_advance_of_their_Vanguard_Awards_performance_on_August_29th.Legendary rock drummer Carmine Appice, above at right works with members of the Rockit! band in preparation for Saturday’s show, which also honors local music legend Bobby Bandiera, below.

bandieraA lieutenant governor, a captain of industry and a rock ‘n roll field marshal are the honorees — with some music royalty in the house — when the Count Basie Theatre presents its 2015 Vanguard awards in Red Bank Saturday night.

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SEA BRIGHT: MAN OK AFTER FALL FROM ROOF

HOT-TOPIC_03A worker was reported to be OK after he fell from the roof of the McLoone’s Rum Runner restaurant under construction in Sea Bright Thursday, police Chief John Sorrentino tells redbankgreen.

Michael Cruz, whose name and town of residence were not immediately available, fell an estimated 30-to-40 feet in the accident, Sorrentino said.

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LITTLE SILVER: VYING FOR TOP TOMATO

tomatoThe stakes are high once again, as three-peat champion (and top-seeded competitor) Michael Mansfield prepares to defend his crown in the 2015 Biggest Tomato Contest, scheduled for Saturday at Sickles Market.

It’s fast becoming one of the most highly anticipated homegrown competitions of the summer season — an annual event that’s been dominated by a single champion whose reign is ripe for a challenge.

This Saturday, August 29 marks the 2015 edition of the Biggest Tomato Contest, sponsored by Sickles Market and hosted for the fourth consecutive year at the garden center of the Little Silver landmark. With weigh-in time at 1 pm, this is scarcely your run-of-the-mill county fair contest, as three-time winner Michael Mansfield is expected to make another bid for dominance and heavyweight bragging rights. The Oceanport resident’s current record holder of 4.4 pounds pasted the competition last year; leaving all other tomato growers to stew for another season (and vow to ketchup this year).

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MIDDLETOWN: CRIMES & ARRESTS

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

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Michael Kiernan, age 61, from Monmouth Avenue in Atlantic Highlands, NJ, arrested on August 13, 2015 by Patrolman Adam Colfer for Driving While Intoxicated, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and Possession of Heroin. He was released pending a court date.

Sean Figaro, age 21, from Garfield Avenue in Middletown, NJ, arrested on August 16, 2015 by Sergeant Anthony Bagileo for on a Contempt of Court warrant issued by the East Orange Municipal Court. He was released after posting $250.00 bail.

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RED BANK: GUN REPORT LEADS TO ARREST

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A Red Bank man faces gun- and drug possession charges after a family dispute at the Montgomery Terrace apartments Tuesday morning, police Chief Darren McConnell tells redbankgreen.

Officers responding to the West Side complex on a disturbance call at 8:35 a.m. were told by witnesses that one of the men involved in the dispute had a handgun in the waist of his pants, McConnell said.

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CHURN: PROWN’S TO LEAVE RED BANK

david prown 042615Prown’s Home Improvements owner David Prown, seen at the Red Bank International Flavour Festival in April. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn small After 90 years in Red Bank, Prown’s is leaving town.

The windows-and-doors dealer, a former five-and-dime that won enduring devotion as a retailer of “everything” needed for household upkeep, plans to move to Middletown, its owner said Wednesday.

More details, and news of a bagel store eyeing a Red Bank location, right around the “read more” corner.

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FAIR HAVEN: ALL’S FAIR AT AUGUST CLASSIC

fair haven fairIt’s that time of year again as the week-long Fair Haven Firemen’s Fair returns for an extended encampment starting Friday.

082214 fhfair18The rides and midway that transform River Road into a festival of lights and happy crowds. The tantalizing aromas that waft forth from the on-site seafood cafe. The fire truck excursions, “Out Back” snack bar, strolling Super 50/50 ticket vendors, and all of the other sights, sounds and smells that have come to define summertime’s grandest hurrah on the Navesink are back — as the annual Fair Haven Firemen’s Fair returns for an incredible 56th consecutive edition this weekend.

Beginning Friday evening and continuing every night (except for August 30) through September 5, the community tradition commandeers the grounds of the borough firehouse for an eight-day extravaganza that’s come to be described as an “iconic” signpost of summer along the Navesink. At the same time, the fair represents one last bittersweet blast against the encroaching season of back-to-school supplies, summer-love goodbyes, and that first sweater-weather breath of breeze through the window.

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SANDY HOOK: SUNKEN VESSEL LOCATED

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Authorities searching for a 40-foot boat reported to have sunk off Sandy Hook Tuesday afternoon have found a sunken vessel, the New Jersey State Police reported Wednesday morning.

But they haven’t confirmed if it’s the “Jefe,” which was reported missing, according to a statement issued by the agency.

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HUBBARD’S BRIDGE REOPENS… MOSTLY

rb w front 082515HOT-TOPIC_03After a two-week closure that slowed traffic to a crawl, the new Hubbards Bridge on West Front Street between Red Bank and Middletown reopened to traffic Wednesday morning.

The closure was required to allow for reconstruction of the intersections on both ends of the spans the Red Bank side is shown above, as seen Tuesday afternoon.

The shutdown was also needed to permit crews to relocate overhead utilities running alongside the old bridge to underneath the new span. That work is still underway, and may require alternating traffic flows Wednesday and Thursday, Red Bank police Chief Darren McConnell tells redbankgreen(Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

SANDY HOOK: SEARCH ON FOR SUNKEN BOAT

sheriff boat 082215The Monmouth County Sheriff’s boat Marine 1, seen here in the Navesink on Saturday, is involved in the search. (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)

Authorities launched a massive search for a 40-foot boat reported to have sunk off Sandy Hook Tuesday afternoon, according to news reports.

The search, involving Coast Guard and police vessels, divers and helicopters, began with a 4:30 p.m. report of a 40-foot vessel sinking in the Sandy Hook Channel, abc7ny.com reported.

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CHURN: SIGNS OF THE PAST… AND FUTURE

18 broad 082415Builder Mike Rovere uncovered turn-of-the-century signs in gold leaf on either side of the facade at 18 Broad, home to a series of shoe stores dating back to 1883. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallSummer doldrums? Not in this installment of redbankgreen’s Retail Churn, which finds downtown Red Bank abuzz with Churnage, as usual.

We’ve got renovation work uncovering history at the site of a planned restaurant; progress on two other new businesses; and more news, right around the “read more” corner.

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RED BANK: FRANK TALK ABOUT RACE AT RBPL

Gilda RBPLGilda Rogers is your host, as Red Bank Library presents the first in a series of free presentations entitled LET’S TALK ABOUT RACE.

It’s being branded by the Red Bank Public Library as “a dynamic series of discussions exploring race, cultural identity and class in the context of literary works,” and it’s presented under the title Let’s Talk About Race — the kind of call to action that often causes many otherwise well-intentioned souls to want to talk about anything else. But frank talk and community engagement have always been specialties of Gilda Rogers, whose old Frank Talk Art Bistro and Bookstore was the storefront setting for an expansive schedule of activities that ranged from personal appearances by  famous writers, live jazz sets and civic debates, to pie-tastings, yoga classes, hair stylings, and invitations to share your favorite old record albums and dance.

Beginning this Wednesday evening, August 26 and continuing a once-monthly schedule through mid-November, Rogers serves as host, curator and moderator for a slate of free events in which “guest speakers and compelling mixed media will support the theme of these discussions” — offerings for which the author, activist, educator (Brookdale Community College, Red Bank Regional) and founder of Frank Talk Multimedia Network promises an open and honest dialogue.

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