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RUMSON: RFH CELLPHONE POLICY CHALLENGED

james-rue-092016Rumson-Fair Haven senior James Rue before the start of Tuesday night’s school board meeting. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03

A Rumson-Fair Haven Regional senior wants the school to drop a ban on student use of cellphones in school hallways between classes.

James Rue, 17, of Fair Haven, presented the school’s board of education with a petition Tuesday night calling for changes to the policy, which administrators said is being enforced anew after some unintended laxity.

Students, however, contend the crackdown was triggered by an incident last year in which a male student took “upskirt” videos of female students in stairwells without their knowledge.

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MIDDLETOWN: EX-FINANCIER EYES TRENTON

phil murphy 051616 3Phil Murphy in a campaign photo, apparently taken at Edie’s Luncheonette in Little Silver. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Middletown resident and former Democratic national finance chairman Phil Murphy has declared his run for New Jersey’s governorship, even though voters won’t cast their ballots for another 18 months.

Murphy declared his expected candidacy in a video released Monday on YouTube.

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M’TOWN: TEACHER DUMPED OVER TRUMP VIDEO

In the February 28 edition of his cable show,“Last Week Tonight,” comedian John Oliver urged viewers to “make Donald Drumpf again.” 

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_02A Middletown High School South history teacher has been forced to resign for showing students a video of comedian John Oliver skewering Republican presidential candidate Donald Drumpf… er, Trump.

According to various news reports, including the New York Post and NJ.com, the forced resignation of Joe Ventre drew protests from supportive students and parents at the school’s board of trustees meeting Wednesday night.

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RED BANK: TIME-LAPSE OF VANISHING BREAD

NJ.com video reporter and Red Bank resident Brian Donohue and a colleague set up time-lapse cameras in the bread aisle of two supermarkets, including the SuperFoodtown on Broad Street, to capture a slice of the predictable, pre-blizzard stockup on staples Friday. Enjoy. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: DEMS TAP BALLARD FOR COUNCIL

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03The Red Bank Democrats named board of education member Michael Ballard to replace former Councilman Art Murphy on the November election ballot, according to an announcement Monday night.

Ballard, who also serves on the parks and recreation advisory committee, joins three-term incumbent Councilman Mike DuPont in trying to maintain the Democrat’s 4-2 majority on the governing body into 2016.

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RUMSON: BLITHEWALD RAZED

76 buena vista 081815rumson fire 042015 2Five months after a devastating fire, the Rumson mansion known as Blithewald was demolished Monday.

The 132-year-old home, on Buena Vista Avenue, was undergoing extensive redecoration for use as a designer showcase for the monthlong VNA Stately Homes by the Sea when it burned down in April. Investigators ruled the cause of the blaze accidental. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: MURPHY TO RESIGN, REPORT SAYS

dupont-murphyArt Murphy, at far right, high-fives running mate Mike DuPont on their re-elections to the council in 2009. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

just_in1Red Bank Council President Art Murphy plans to resign next week, according to a published report.

Murphy told Art Gallagher of More Monmouth Musings that he’ll make it official at next Wednesday’s council meeting, and that he won’t stand for re-election in November.

Murphy’s departure creates an opening for borough Republicans to take control of the governing body.

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RED BANK: MURPHY MOCKS POOL HALL CLIENTS

A video posted on YouTube shows Red Bank Council President Art Murphy deriding the customers of the former Lucky Break Billiards at a party. Below, Murphy and Lucky Break partner James Hertler square off at a November, 2013 council meeting. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

[Update: Within 25 minutes of this article’s posting, the YouTube video had been removed, but a redbankgreen reader sent us a downloaded version, posted above.]

 

By JOHN T. WARD

hertler murphy 112513A video posted on YouTube Monday shows Red Bank Council President Art Murphy mocking the customers of a now-closed billiards hall as “hippie mother****ers dying for a ****ing quarter” who wouldn’t pay for parking, leading to the demise of the business.

“They don’t want to put the money in the meter,” Murphy insists to a group of young men surrounding him at a social event. The business, Lucky Break Billiards, would still be ****ing open” if the clientele had more money, he insists to one.

Murphy called the YouTube posting evidence of “a cynical world.” James Hertler, a Lucky Break partner who alleges local officials forced him out of business, said it shows a “command performance” by Murphy.

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SEA BRIGHT: WHALE OF A DAY AT THE BEACH

sb whale 070515Reader Betsy Lunney photographed a whale feeding in the Atlantic off the Sands Beach Club in Sea Bright Sunday afternoon. Nearby, a reported shark sighting off Driftwood Beach Club prompted police to issue a warning to bathers at about 4:30 p.m., but the warning was cancelled around 8 p.m. with a message that the shark was actually a sunfish. (Photo by Betsy Lunney. Click to enlarge.)

RUMSON: FIRE RULED AN ACCIDENT

rumson fire 042015 3Monday’s fire at the Rumson mansion known as Blithewald appears to have been accidental, according to the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s office.

Spokesman Charlie Webster told redbankgreen on Thursday that investigators believe the fire began in a wall between a guest room and an en-suite bathroom on the second floor. But they were unable to determine if a live electrical circuit or equipment was the cause, he said.

At the time of the fire, Blithewald, on Buena Vista Avenue, was undergoing extensive redecoration for use as a designer showcase for the monthlong VNA Stately Homes by the Sea fundraiser fundraiser, which was to have begun Saturday but has now been cancelled. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

RUMSON: FIREFIGHTER’S VIEW OF BLAZE

Here’s a Sea Bright firefighter’s view, courtesy of a helmet-mounted camera, of Monday’s fire at the Rumson mansion known as Blithewald.

A message on the Sea Bright Fire Rescue Facebook page says this about the footage:

“We feel that releasing this film will not only give the public insight on what we do but will allow our brothers and sisters of the service an opportunity to better both themselves and ourselves in the future. The members made multiple attempts to try and gain control of the fire with an interior attack but were subsequently driven back. Please excuse some of the language as the guys were in the heat of the moment.”

 

FAIR HAVEN: TEACHER REINSTATED

fh boe 022515At a packed meeting, above, the board of ed voted to reinstate teacher Basil Henning, below. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

basil henning 2014Fair Haven’s school board reinstated a sixth-grade Spanish teacher Wednesday night, 10 days after he was placed on administrative leave over crass satirical web videos in which he appeared.

Following a recommendation by Superintendent Nelson Ribon, the board ended the administrative leave of Basil Henning, a tenured teacher whose paid removal, announced in an unusual Sunday night email to parents, was prompted by at least one parent’s complaints.

Henning is free to return to work Thursday morning, though an investigation continues, Ribon told redbankgreen following the meeting, at the Knollwood School.

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FAIR HAVEN: TEACHER SUSPENDED FOR VIDEOS

Warning: video featuring Basil Henning, also seen below in a 2014 photo, includes graphic language. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

basil henning 2014A Fair Haven middle school teacher has been suspended for his sideline in crass comedy.

Superintendent Nelson Ribon announced in a Sunday night letter to parents and teachers that Knollwood School Spanish teacher Basil Henning had been placed on administrative leave. No reason was given for the action, and Ribon declined to comment to redbankgreen Monday, citing rules concerning personnel matters.

But Henning’s suspension followed complaints by at least one parent about videos in which Henning plays a foul-mouthed Jets fan who keeps up a constant patter about hookers, oral sex and other adult matters in addition to football.

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RED BANK: O’SCANLON BEATS RED-LIGHT CAMS

declan o'scanlon 111714 1 Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon in his Red Bank office Monday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

declan o'scanlon 111714 4After five years of pedal-to-the-floor critiques, Red Bank-area state legislator Declan O’Scanlon appears about to beat a ticket.

Or, to be more precise, the 13th-District Assembly member from Little Silver is on the verge of killing automated red-light ticketing of motorists, a system for which he holds back almost nothing in the way of condemnation.

“Sanctioned theft” he calls the system. “Robbery.” “Injustice.” And no, he’s never gotten one of the tickets, he tells redbankgreen.

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