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Sickles tomatoOne of the championship tomatoes grown by two time winner Mike Mansfield of Oceanport is weighed by Sickles Market garden manager Natale Siclare, in a past edition of the annual Biggest Tomato Contest. Top-seeded contestants will attempt to ketchup with the record when the annual event returns to the Little Silver landmark on Saturday, with LEGENDARY LOCALS author Eileen Moon also on premises. (File photo by Peter Lindner) 

The competition is hot and heavy as a Sunday Sauce — and the stakes, it goes without saying, are high — as Sickles Market will once again play host to an event that salutes the end of summer in inimitable Jersey style: the Biggest Tomato Contest. The third annual edition of the popular promotion returns to the Little Silver landmark this Saturday, August 30, with weigh-in time at 1 pm.

Judging will take place in two age groups — adults, and kids aged 5 to 13 — with the winning junior champ awarded a Sickles Market Gardening Kit, and the adult category winner presented with a $100 gift certificate. Contest rules require that a tomato must be presented by the grower, with entries judged by weight only. Mike Mansfield, an Oceanport resident and winner of both previous contests, is the current record holder with a 2012 entry that sagged the scales at 3.26 pounds.

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9-bank-door2Broken glass littered the porch of the Bank Street house where Larry Yarbrough Jr., below, was murdered in 2011. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)


larry-yarbroughA Red Bank man was sentenced to 14 years in state prison for  stabbing death of another borough resident three years ago.

Four months after he pleaded guilty to aggravated manslaughter and aggravated assault, Jose Olivares-Palma, 26, was sentenced Wednesday for killing Larry Yarborough, 39, Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni said in a prepared statement released Thursday morning.

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sandy hook 061712Sandy Hook as seen from the Azzolina Bridge in 2012. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

A Middlesex County teenager died hours after being pulled unresponsive from the Atlantic Ocean at Sandy Hook Tuesday evening, NJ.com reports.

Sarmad Rizvi, 17, of South Plainfield, “disappeared into the ocean” while swimming with family and friends off an unguarded beach between areas C and D,  the news site reported.

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St George artistSt. George’s-by-the-River Episcopal Church takes its place among the works of art on display, with tours offered during the annual Canterbury Art Show that begins on Friday, August 29.

Returning to St. George’s by the River Episcopal Church in Rumson for the third consecutive year — and relocated to Labor Day weekend for the first time — the annual Canterbury Art Show…A Tapestry of the Arts event brings one of the area’s largest exhibitions and sales of juried and non-juried artwork back to the banks of the greater Green — with a grand “new” work of art taking center stage.

According to church Rector Ophelia Laughlin, “The building of St. George’s by-the-River is itself a masterpiece of art and 19th century architecture” — and this Saturday and Sunday, attendees will be able to take guided Architectural Highlight Tours of the church property at 7 Lincoln Avenue; a setting that’s framed by Laughlin as “a beloved venue for local artists to show off their God-given gifts for the rest of us to enjoy.”

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rb fishing 082614Under sunny skies, an unidentified boater fished the blue waters of our beautiful Navesink River near the Route 35 Cooper Bridge Tuesday. A boatload of sunshine fills the forecast through Saturday, with Sunday expected to be partly sunny and Labor Day giving summer a mostly cloudy goodbye, according to to the National Weather Service. (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)


oxford rumson 2 011214.JPGThe overdose death of an Oxford House resident has resulted in charges against a man described by authorities as an acquaintance.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)


An Avon-by-the-Sea man has been charged for allegedly supplying the heroin that led to the overdose death of a resident of Rumson’s Oxford House rehab facility last October, the Monmouth County Prosecutor announced Tuesday.

Michael Renna, 25, was charged with one count of first degree strict liability for a drug-induced death and one count of third-degree distribution of a controlled dangerous substance, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni said in a prepared statement.

News about the death of 25-year-old Christopher Pesce was the first that word that nearby residents had that the recovery residence had opened two months earlier in their residential corner of Rumson, and ignited a firestorm of objections.

It also led to a pair of countervailing lawsuits by the borough and Oxford House, litigation that now appears to be close to settlement.

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UncleFunkyThe men from Uncle Funky commandeer the Red Bank Woman’s Club for a Reckless Steamy Night house party on Friday, August 29.

It’s a house party unlike any other — and a best-kept-secret attraction that’s uniquely Red Bank. Hosted at the historic Woman’s Club on Broad Street and presented by the Jersey Shore Jazz and Blues Foundation, the long-running series of Reckless Steamy Friday Nights has granted music connoisseurs an intimate audience with American sounds that range from Delta blues, Dixieland and Chicago styles, to West Coast cool and Manhattan cabaret.

For the last-Friday-of-the-month session on August 29, the old Anthony Reckless house welcomes a crew of Red Bank neighbors — Uncle Funky, a five piece combo (Bo Pezzullo on guitar, Mike Bukarica on bass and vocals, Joe Febb on drums and vocals, Jim Beckerman on piano/accordion and vocals and Drew Bolognini on vocals and harmonica) that brings its brand of “bluesy Nawlins rockin’ roots” to the parlor for a visit that offers “roof-raising twists to some of the best songs of all time,” in a manner that “refuses to live in the past…instead, we drag the present down to our level.”

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broad st rb 2 061512A view along Broad Street from 2012. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

HOT-TOPIC_03What’s your favorite New Jersey downtown?

The state chapter of the American Planning Association is asking the public for its input on the question, and Red Bank is among the candidates.

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

AUTHORITIES_MTOWN2-2014Robert Treadway, age 25, from Central Avenue in Aberdeen, NJ, arrested on August 13, 2014 by Patrolman Stephen Greenwood for Driving While Intoxicated. He was released pending a court date.

Bennett Jones, age 59, from Oakwood Place in Keansburg, NJ, arrested on August 13, 2014 by Patrolman Stephen Greenwood for Simple Assault and Criminal Mischief. He was released pending a court date.

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LittleParadiseThe last outdoor concert of the summer season hits the lawn at Middletown Arts Center, with a Tuesday night performance by Pat Benatar tribute band Little Paradise.

She’s won a shopping cart of awards; platinum-plated an entire wall of her home, and topped more Billboards than a literal flock of seagulls — but when it comes to getting her due in tribute acts, Pat Benatar falls far short of the Beatles, Zep, Floyd, Dead, Springsteen, Sabbath, or even Sublime. That said, if you must see just one Benatar tribute band this summer — let it be Little Paradise, the five-piece salute fronted by vocalist Cathy DaPrato. Armed with a hopper of 1980s-era hits (“Love is a Battlefield,” “Hell is For Children,” “Shadows of the Night” and of course, “Hit Me With Your Best Shot”), the band takes it to the north lawn of the Middletown Arts Center (MAC) this Tuesday evening, August 26, for the venue’s final free outdoor concert of 2014.

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Crime and arrest reports, unedited, as provided by the Shrewsbury Police Department for the period of August 9 to August 22, 2014.

AUTHORITIES_SBURY1Report of Shoplifting in the area of Spirits Unlimited, 1099 Broad Street on 8/12/14. Victim reports merchandise taken by unknown subject(s). Damages totaling $86.99. Ptl. Matthew Clark investigating.

Report of Credit Card Fraud in the area of Trader Joes, Broad Street on 8/14/14. Victim reports unauthorized purchases made by unknown subject(s). Damages totaling $307.53. Ptl. Tracy Polkinvestigating.

Report of Theft in the area of Victorias Secret, Broad Street on 8/15/14. Victim reports merchandise taken by unknown subjects. Damages totaling $705.00. Sgt. Adam Cerminaroinvestigating.

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082314 fhsidewalk sale1082314 fhsidewalk sale6In conjunction with the start of the Fireman’s Fair, the shops of Fair Haven held their annual sidewalk sale over the weekend. Cloudy skies made Saturday a better day for shopping than sitting on a beach, and from one end of River Road to the other, bargainhunters combed the tables and bins for deals. What did you buy? Who walked away with the steal of the century? (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)


Mr_TooleyMR. TOOLEY is among the paintings by Paul Hansen on display at Shrewbury’s Guild of Creative Art, beginning with a reception on Sunday afternoon.

“Hero worship, I’ve come to realize, is a fool’s folly,” says artist Paul Hansen in describing Under the Influence, a collection of new paintings grouped with photos of artisans of art, music and literature who have influenced Hansen’s work. “I’ve had to supplant what was once hallowed idolatry to authentic admiration…whether fooled by their own guile, or staying true to the course, these artists all had a major influence on me.”

For his third solo show, Hansen sets up shop inside the Guild of Creative Art in Shrewsbury, for an exhibit that opens with a public-welcome reception on Sunday, August 24 from 3 to 5 pm. The show remains on display at the Broad Street gallery through September 23 during regular hours (Tuesday – Friday 8 am – 4:30 pm; Thursday 8 am – 7 pm; Saturday 10 am – 3 pm) — and the reception is one of two special art happenings going on around the greater Green this Sunday.

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