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SEA BRIGHT: CHRISTIE PLEDGES SEAWALL FIX

sb seawall 051114Sea Bright will get $8.5 million from the state to repair and fill gaps in its seawall, adding protection from future storms for the downtown, Governor Chris Christie said in a visit to the borough Thursday, according to NJ.com. Financed by the state Department of Environmental Protection’s Shore Protection Fund, the project is scheduled to go out to bid later this year, with construction slated to begin next spring or early next summer, Christie said. Above, a portion of the barrier as it appeared in May. (Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: PARK CIRCLE MAY HONOR WHITE

rb marine park 082814Under an ordinance proposed by Mayor Pasquale Menna, the circle at Marine Park would be named for late Mayor Katharine Elkus White, seen below in 1948. (Photo above by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

katherine-elkus-white-1948Red Bank’s first and only female mayor, Katharine Elkus White, is up for a drive in the park.

Marine Park, that is. Mayor Pasquale Menna on Wednesday night proposed naming the parking area at the riverfront facility for White, who also served as the first chairperson of the New Jersey Highway Authority and four years as America’s ambassador to Denmark.

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RED BANK: JOAN RIVERS SHOW ON HOLD

joan rivers abcFriday’s show at the Basie was one of 26 appearances the 81-year-old comedian had lined up between now and late November, ABC News reports.  (Click to enlarge)

One day before she was scheduled to appear in Red Bank, comedian Joan Rivers was hospitalized in New York Thursday.

With the the tart-tongued 81-year-old said to be in critical but stable condition, the Count Basie Theatre has postponed a show slated for Friday night.

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LITTLE SILVER: LOCALLY GROWN & LEGENDARY

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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RED BANK: MAN GETS 14 YEARS FOR MURDER

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.)

By JOHN T. WARD

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: TEEN DROWNS IN OCEAN

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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RUMSON: ON THE ROAD TO CANTERBURY

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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SUMMER 2014: GONE FISHIN’

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)

RUMSON: MAN CHARGED IN OXFORD O.D.

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)

By JOHN T. WARD

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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RED BANK: HOUSE FULL OF UNCLES

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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RED BANK: IS THIS A ‘GREAT’ DOWNTOWN?

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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MIDDLETOWN: DWI, POT, LEWDNESS & MORE

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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MIDDLETOWN: THE LAWN IS A BATTLEFIELD

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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