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RED BANK: COPS HONORED AS LIFESAVERS

shea doremus albert 012716donegoodlogoThe Red Bank borough council honored three police officers — from left, Tanner Shea, TD Doremus and Cevin Albert — as lifesavers Wednesday night for their roles in the rescue of a senior citizen from smoke-filled apartment at the Wesleyan Arms apartments on January 1.

Seventy-nine-year-old Michael Malloy was asleep when a lighted cigarette set his mattress on fire, authorities said. The officers, responding to a medical call, heard his cries for help and then crawled through the smoke-filled unit to rescue him and ensure no other victims were present, said Councilman and Police Commissioner Mike Whelan. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.) 

RED BANK: MEET THE NEW DEPARTMENT HEADS

cliff keen 122315Cliff Keen, above, is the new director of public utilities, and Charlie Hoffmann, below, runs parks and rec. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

charlie hoffmann 122115Recent months have brought some new faces to Red Bank government.

In particular, three departments that residents have regular interaction with, and occasional strong opinions about, are under new leadership: parks and recreation; planning and zoning; and public utilities.

Here’s a quick intro to the new directors.

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RED BANK: A SAVE, AND THEN A SWEARING-IN

CHRIS SODEN 010116Chris Soden gives his oath as Red Bank fire chief at the Union Hose Company. Behind Soden are deputies Pete DeFazio, left, and Stu Jensen, partly obscured. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

donegoodlogoChris Soden’s term as Red Bank’s new fire chief got off to a smoky start Friday.

Eight hours before he was sworn into office, Soden and other volunteer firefighters worked their way up six flights of stairs to save a 79-year-old man who’d set his mattress ablaze when he fell asleep with a lit cigarette.

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LINCROFT: ROCKER BRINGS EARLY XMAS TO CBA

FallonCBAAs a last minute surprise before winter break, The Gaslight Anthem’s lead singer Brian Fallon (holding CBA shirt) came to Christian Brothers Academy to speak with over 100 students.

Press release from Christian Brothers Academy

Christmas came early for the creative writing students at Christian Brothers Academy when Brian Fallon, lead singer of The Gaslight Anthem, held a special guest lecture. The Red Bank-born songwriter, on the cusp of beginning a national tour, took some time to speak with students after a truly impressive ask on social media.

Fallon coming to CBA started as a conversation between students in Mr. Cusick’s creative writing class about who would make for a great guest speaker. Fallon’s name came up as many students were fans of the local rocker’s band. With the idea of asking nicely through social media, the students took to Twitter and Facebook, using the hashtag #FallonToCBA and inspiring fellow students, alumni, and even several media outlets to draw a spotlight to the cause. Several days and several hundred Twitter interactions later, Fallon (@thebrianfallon on Twitter) made his acceptance known, tweeting: “Dear @CBALincroft – get ready!!!!!!!!!!!!! The people have spoken!”

On Thursday, December 17, the dream became a reality, with Fallon arriving at the Lincroft campus to speak to over 100 students.

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RUMSON MAN LANDS RHODES SCHOLARSHIP

By JOHN T. WARD

Evan Soltas 112315 2A 22-year-old Rumson resident was among 32 Americans chosen Saturday for a prestigious Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University in England.

A senior economics major at Princeton— and former redbankgreen summer intern — Evan Soltas (seen at right) said he plans to use the two-year opportunity, worth $100,000, to refine his pursuit of economic truths and falsehoods underlying government policies.

“I’m still in shock, like, 48 hours later,” he told redbankgreen on Monday. “I’m totally thrilled, but in the moment, there was something of a panic attack. You don’t really believe it.”

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RUMSON: RALLO TO OPEN ‘SURF BBQ’ HERE

molly maguire's 102011Restaurateur Victor Rallo plans to transform the former Molly Maguire’s Gastropub into a smoked barbecue joint. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Surf-BBQ-LogoThe Greater Red Bank Green, teeming with culinary variety but short on ribs, is about to get some finger-lickin’ fare.

The former Molly Maguire’s Gastropub in Rumson, which closed Tuesday, will reopen in January as Surf BBQ, buyer Victor Rallo tells redbankgreen.

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RUMSON: MOLLY MAGUIRE’S CLOSING

molly maguire's 100615Molly Maguire’s, above, and Kathy Maguire on her first day as owner in 2011, below. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

kathy-maguire-1Just three weeks shy of their fourth anniversary in the business, Kathy and Mike Maguire are closing their Rumson restaurant, Molly Maguire’s Gastropub.

The Tuesday night finale is in preparation for sale of the East River Road establishment to restaurateur Victor Rallo, owner of the nearby Undici, on West River Road, and Birravino, in Red Bank, Kathy Maguire said Monday.

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RED BANK: CANDIDATES’ FORUM SET

From left at top: Democrats Michael Ballard and Michael DuPont square off against Republicans Mark Taylor and Michael Whelan at the annual Candidates’ Night on October 1. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Election 2015 graphicWith the balance of power at stake, election season for two open seats on the Red Bank council kicks into high gear on October 1.

That’s when the West Side Community Group is scheduled to host its 19th annual Candidates’ Night.

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RED BANK: WITH LEE’S RETURN, WOMEN RULE

sharon lee 090915Sharon Lee, flanked by Mayor Pasquale Menna and former Councilwoman Juanita Lewis, gets ready to swear the oath of office while Councilman Mike DuPont takes a photo. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03For the first time in Red Bank’s 107-year history, women now outnumber men on the borough council.

Former Councilwoman Sharon Lee returned to the dais Wednesday night, following unanimous approval by the governing body to complete the three-plus months remaining in the term of former Council President Art Murphy, who resigned last month.

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BON JOVI PICKS O’REE FOR ASIAN LEG OF TOUR

matt o'ree 1 062913Matt O’Ree playing in Red Bank’s Marine Park in 2013, will share in guitar duties for the band led by Middletown’s Jon Bon Jovi, seen below at JBJ Soul Kitchen in 2011. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

bon-jovi-101911In a headline-making realignment of local music stars, pop singer Jon Bon Jovi has chosen blues guitar monster Matt O’Ree as the road replacement for Bobby Bandiera, according to reports by the Asbury Park Press and other news outlets.

The Holmdel-based leader of the Matt O’Ree Band will join Bon Jovi as touring guitarist for the band’s upcoming shows in Asia and the Middle East starting in Indonesia on Friday, the Press reports, citing multiple unnamed sources.

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WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? HOT DOGS IN SEA BRIGHT

rooney hot dogs 082715Hot dogs from the cart of Frances Rooney, below. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

mrs rooney 082715It’s noontime on a gorgeous, late-summer day in beautiful downtown Sea Bright, and PieHole is hungry.

What’s for Lunch? Plenty, and more to choose from every month, it seems, on this back-from-the-brink spit of sand. You’ve got pizza, seafood, Japanese and more, at places ranging from beachware casual to near elegance, all within a one-mile stretch of Ocean Avenue.

But it’s not just food we’re craving. We’re nursing a palpable, please-don’t-ever-end yearning to make this day of blue skies and soft breezes just keep going and going. Sitting down indoors just seems… criminal.

So, hello, Mrs. Rooney.

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RED BANK: PROWN MADE HONORARY ROTARIAN

2015_Honorary_Rotarian(L-R): Red Bank Rotary Club committee members Joseph Greca and Michael Toscano and Past President Denise Benbrook selected David Prown as Honorary Rotarian at a club meeting earlier this summer. (Photo by Anthony Micale)

Press release from Red Bank Rotary Club

During the June 25 meeting of the Red Bank Rotary Club at Navesink Country Club in Middletown, Red Bank business owner and youth advocate David Prown was named an Honorary Rotarian in recognition of his outstanding community service and volunteer leadership.

Starting in 1988 and for each year since, the Red Bank Rotary has sought to present an Honorary Rotarian Award to a non-Rotarian in the area, recognizing someone who best exemplifies the true spirit of Rotary’s motto: “Service Above Self.”  For many years, third-generation local business owner Prown has demonstrated a strong commitment to ensuring that the youth in greater Red Bank have the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive. He has passionately volunteered his time (on average 2-4 hours a day, every day) and talent in a most unpretentious and often unsolicited manner, thereby exhibiting the true ideals of unselfish service to those in need.

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FAIR HAVEN: CHIEF HANGING UP HIS HAT

darryl breckenridge 081715Darryl Breckenridge is winding down a career of 35 years with the police in his hometown. He’s seen below at a 2012 Veteran’s Day commemoration with World War II veteran Ray Taylor.  (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

taylor breckenridge 111112He was only four-and-a-half years old, but Darryl Breckenridge remembers the day he decided to become a policeman.

There was a knock on the family’s front door in Fair Haven, and when he looked up, “I saw that policeman’s hat” through the topmost pane, he told redbankgreen this week.

Wearing “that hat” was police Chief Carl Jaubecy, who let young Darryl sit in his lap as he offered the boy’s mother a job as a school crossing guard.

“That was it,” said Breckenridge, who’s now closing out a 35-year career in law enforcement, the last 10 as chief himself. “From that day, I knew I was going to do it.”

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RED BANK: GOODBYES AND HELLOS

art murphy 061414Councilman Art Murphy, who resigned last week, seen here in 2014. Below, George and Gladys Bowden, who were honored for decades of volunteer work. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

bowden 081215It was a night for farewells and greetings at a packed Red Bank council meeting Wednesday night.

Elected officials and residents bid goodbye to a longtime councilman and a retired couple who put in many years of preservation and beautification work.

And they welcomed a new member of the police department while cheering on on a seven-year veteran of the force on her promotion to sergeant.

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