Six months after the death of the woman who founded it, Norma Todd’s Lunch Break has named a new executive director.


The volunteer outfit on Drs. Parker Boulevard in Red Bank that provides a hot meal a day to anyone who wants one, no questions asked, has chosen Gwendolyn O. Love of Howell for the job, today’s Asbury Park Press reports.

“Gwen has over 20 years of experience dealing with the public, including recruiting and organizing community volunteers, which will be vital as she leads Lunch Break on its mission to give support to those in need,” said Memone Crystian, vice president of Lunch Break’s board of trustees.

Love has her work cut out for her, as more people are turning to Lunch Break for help and as a resource in the current economic crisis, Crystian said.

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Today’s Press has a brief item on a code-red search for a missing four-year-old Rumson boy that ended an hour later when the child was found asleep in a closet in his own home.

Police used an infrared camera to find the boy after he’d been reported missing in the Ward Lane and Rumson Road area of the borough, Chief Richard Tobias said.

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Goldmans2David Goldman with his son, Sean, who was taken to Brazil on “vacation” by his late wife four years ago and never returned.

Today’s Asbury Park Press has a lengthy piece about David Goldman of Tinton Falls, who has been locked in a bizarre international custody battle for his son for the past four years.

Columnist Bill Handleman recounts how Goldman’s life plummeted into one of inexplicable heartache soon after he saw his wife and son off for a two-week trip to her native Brazil:

He hugged them. He kissed them. After she passed through security, his wife turned and mouthed the words “I love you” to her husband. She pointed to her eye, then to her heart, then to him. It was a little thing they did.

“I can still see her doing that,” Goldman says now.

That was the last time he ever saw her.

She called the next day from Brazil and told him she was never coming back. If he ever wanted to see his son again, she added, he would have to come down and sign some papers and agree to a series of demands.

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Dolphin_boatA boat nears a dolphin in the Shrewsbury River early last summer, before the pod headed upriver along the Navesink.

The Asbury Park Press is reporting that dolphins have been spotted in the Shrewsbury River in recent days, giving rise to speculation that the remaining pod of visiting bottlenose dolphins may be trying to make it back to the open sea.


Teri Frady, a spokeswoman for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration‘s Fisheries Service, tells the Press she received a call on Saturday morning from a citizen who reported seeing one dolphin in the Shrewsbury River.

And Bob Schoelkopf of the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine tells the newspaper that five dolphins were spotted last night just north of McLoones Rumrunner in Sea Bright, where they were frequent visitors early last summer.

“We have no reports today at all where they are,” he said this afternoon.

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Pressing ahead with a campaign to address alcohol and drug abuse, Red Bank Regional High will host a two-pronged program Thursday.


At 7p, John Underwood, president of the American Athletic Institute, will give a presentation for parents in the school auditorium.

The AAI counsels school districts and sports organizations nationwide on how to create and enforce athletic codes of conduct regarding drug and alcohol use, hazing and other issues. According to a press release from RBR, Underwood will offer data on underage drinking and drug use as well as scientific evidence of its affects on adolescents and, particularly, athletes.

That will follow a series of informational sessions that AAI representatives will hold with the entire student body over the course of the school day.

School officials say the sessions mark the next step in a process begun last spring to fashion a “fair, consistent and community supported” code of conduct that will hold all students engaged in athletic and co-curricular activities to the same standards of behavior.

It follows a controversial decision by the administration last February to discipline student athletes after a police-raided party in Shrewsbury.

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RbpdofficersFrom left, with their new ranks: Lt. Daniel Bannon; Sgt. Robert Gannon; Capt. Thomas McDonough; Lt. Eliot Ramos; Capt. Darren McConnell; Sgt. Robert Kennedy; Lt. Richard Mangold and Sgt. Errico Vescio. (Click to enlarge)

Following through on a recent department restructuring that Red Bank officials say will save $10,000 this year, the borough council last night promoted eight officers, including two to captain.

Lieutenants Darren McConnell and Tom McDonough were elevated to captains. With the recent elimination of the vacant deputy chief slot, the department now has four officers at the captain’s level just below that of the chief.

Sergeants Daniel Bannon, Richard Mangold and Eliot Ramos were boosted to lieutenants.

Robert Gannon, Robert Kennedy and Errico Vescio rose from patrolmen to sergeants.

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BonjovimanseA judgment of that size could hit home at the Bongiovanni residence on the Middletown side of the Navesink.

A Boston-area man has filed a $400 billion lawsuit against Bon Jovi, Major League Baseball and TBS over a song he says was stolen from him and is now being use to promote the baseball playoffs, according to and other sources.

The song is “I Love This Town,” and while the sum sought is a laugh line, writer Dan Lamothe thinks BoJo may have something to worry about on the merits of the suit.

The background is complicated, but it boils down to this: Samuel Bartley Steele, of Chelsea, says that Bon Jovi’s song mirrors his 2004 ode to the Red Sox, “(Man I Really) Love This Team.”

I’ll be honest: My initial reaction was to blow Steele off as a crank — right up until I went back and read the definitive piece on this controversy, which ran back in the spring in Boston Magazine.

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Voting_booth_legsYou gotta be in it for your candidate to win it.


It’s deadline time for citizens who want a voice that counts in the Nov. 4 elections.

New Jersey law requires that would-be voters register no less than 21 days before an election. This year, that means Tuesday, October 14.

To be eligible to register, you must:

• Be a citizen of the United States

• Be a resident of New Jersey and county at your address at least 30 days before the next election

• Be at least 18 years of age by the time of the next election

• Not be serving a sentence or on parole or probation as the result of a conviction of any indictable offense under the laws of this or another state or of the United States

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The kids were wide-eyed, learning how to use fire extinguishers, how to drop-and-roll, and how to escape from a smoke-filled house — in this case, a specially-rigged mobile home.

But the adults also no doubt learned a thing or two about keeping their homes and families safe at Sunday’s Fire Prevention Fair, sponsored by the Red Bank Volunteer Fire Department in the White Street parking lot. The event drew several hundred attendees under brilliant autumn skies.

We’ve got some pix. As usual, click to enlarge…

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Unedited entries from the Red Bank Police Department crime blotter for the week of October 3 to October 10.

Theft occurring between 10-5-08 and 10-6-08 at Count Basie Field. Victim reported that his cell phone T Mobile Sidekick Slide, color black and purple was stolen from coat pocket which was on the side of the playing area. Ptl. Jorge Torres.

Criminal Mischief occurring at Broad St. on 10-7-08. Victim reported that unknown person(s) damaged a wooden sign by breaking same in half. Ptl. Dawn Shields.

Stolen Vehicle reported on 10-7-08 from Catherine St. Victim reported that vehicle has been missing for approx. one week. Description: Mercury Sable, brown in color. Ptl. Jorge Torres.

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NavesinklocustThe view downriver from the Oceanic Bridge, the route the remaining dolphins would need to travel to reach the Shrewsbury River and, ultimately, Sandy Hook Bay.

Federal marine experts this afternoon outlined two acoustics-based approaches to moving the remaining bottlenose dolphins out of the Navesink River before they become stranded inland for the winter.

Scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said they’ll first trying luring the animals out to Sandy Hook Bay, and possibly out to sea, using a prerecorded sounds of other dolphins feeding and interacting socially.

Plan B, should the “pied piper” effort fail, would be to herd the animals by broadcasting disturbing sounds upriver of the pod, driving it downriver.

A third option, of capturing the individual pod members, is also under consideration, though the experts said the risks there would be greater both for the animals and the humans involved.

At the moment , though, no firm timetable for any removal effort is in place, they said. It will depend on the health conditions of the dolphins, the availability of prey, water temperatures, and the relative location of other bottlenose migrating south in the Atlantic Ocean, said spokeswoman eri Frady of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration‘s Fisheries Service.

“The seasons are changing, and we would expect the dolphins in the Navesink to leave soon,” said Frady. “However, should they need to be moved, we certainly want to do that while they are still fit and have a good chance of surviving.”

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NavarroJesus Navarro of Cali Painting, Long Branch, adds some white shine to a picket fence along Fair Haven Road in Fair Haven this morning.

Sun, sun, sun: that’s what the weatherlady is saying the weekend holds in store.

We’ve gotten a jump on it with today’s spectacular conditions, if sunshine and moderate temperatures are your preferences.

From the National Weather Service:

Today: Sunny, with a high near 75. North wind around 8 mph.

Tonight: Clear, with a low around 51. South wind around 5 mph becoming north.

Saturday: Sunny, with a high near 70. Northeast wind between 6 and 9 mph.

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SalmonClosing post offices at lunchtime is “stupid,” says Red Banker Tom Salmon.

It’s a loaded question, but it begs to be asked: is the U.S. Postal Service deliberately courting outrage among its customers?

How else to explain the newest changes to the hours of operation of three local substation/satellites of the Broad Street, Red Bank facility? According to postal service spokeswoman for our area Darleen A. Reid-De Meo:

• Starting Saturday, October 18, the Westboro office on Shrewsbury Avenue will be open from 8a to 4p, except for an hour for ‘lunch’ from 1 to 2p, when it will be closed.

• The Fair Haven substation will be open from 9a to 4p but also closed from 1 to 2p for ‘lunch.’ Just over four months ago, the office started closing at 4, an hour earlier than before, angering some merchants and residents.

• At Fort Monmouth, they’ll be closing for ‘lunch’ from 11 to 12, but that office will open at 9 and close for the night at 3p.

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DolphinwatchA boater stands for a better look at dolphins near the Oceanic Bridge Wednesday afternoon. (Click to enlarge)

The deaths of two dolphins in recent weeks has prompted a telephone confab among marine and federal officials to consider whether and how to get the animals out of the Navesink River before it freezes this winter, today’s Asbury Park Press reports.

From the Press:

A conference call today “presumably” will consider the current situation and “when, where and how an intervention could occur,” said Teri Frady, a spokeswoman for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration‘s Fisheries Service.

Participants will discuss “basically the contingency plan that we’ve had all along — either some form of herding and capture — and discuss those options and what would be required and what’s best, that sort of thing,” she said.

NOAA officials think that attempting to herd or capture the dolphins is very risky and could lead to deaths, Frady has said.

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The Laramie Project‘ is back in Monmouth County — minus, so far, any hint of the outrage that made it a hot topic last year in Ocean Township.

That’s when the high school principal and the district superintendent tried putting the kibbosh on a planned production as potentially offensive to playgoers.

But the play about the 1998 murder of Wyoming college student Matthew Shepard because of his homosexuality went on, minus some expletives. It also nabbed the ‘Basie’ award for Outstanding Dramatic Production among high school plays last May from the Count Basie Theatre Foundation.

Starting tomorrow night, the Visual and Performing Arts Academy at Red Bank Regional High School will stage a production of the play to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the events that inspired it.

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Councilcandidates08Incumbent Republican Grace Cangemi, left, and running mate John Tyler Jr., right square off against Ed Zipprich and Juanita Lewis, center, at next week’s candidates’ forum. (Click to enlarge)

Big night for the politically tuned-in next Wednesday — particularly those with a hankering for baked sweets.

Most prominently, there’s the third and final presidential debate between senators John McCain and Barack Obama on television at 9p.

That’ll be preceded, locally, by the 12th annual candidates’ night in Red Bank, where four candidates for two council seats will square off starting at 7p.

But while some voters may be wondering how they can squeeze both into their schedules, just as tempting to many, no doubt, will be the “National Presidential Community Dessert Fellowship & Debate Watch Night” at the Pilgrim Baptist Church.

That’s a cramped way of saying the church will be showing the presidential debate on a large-screen television, but first will throw down with desserts brought in by attendees. That event is open to the public, non-partisan, and begins at 7:30p.

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State_police_boatA State Police Marine Unit boat travels east along the Navesink yesterday afternoon, shortly after receiving the report of a dead dolphin on the Middletown side.

The decomposed corpse of a young dolphin was found in the Navesink River yesterday, a federal wildlife official confirmed.

It was the second such finding in two weeks, and lent urgency to calls for what remains of a visiting dolphin pod to be shepherded downriver and out to sea before more die in the river.

“We need to agree on a plan to get these dolphins out of there,” Bob Schoelkopf, codirector of the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine, told the Associated Press. “It’s a shame two animals had to die to get us to this point.”

Schoelkopf told the Asbury Park Press the dolphin was found on the Middletown side of the river, opposite from the Fair Haven Yacht Works, where a dead juvenile dolphin was found September 24. It was later determined to have had pneumonia, though a cause of death has not yet been announced.

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Firefighters and other emergency personnel from a handful of towns were on the scene of a midmorning residential fire at 105 Rumson Road in Little Silver Wednesday.

As of about 10:45a, the fire, said to have started in the basement, was still generating a good deal of smoke.

Traffic on Rumson Road between Branch Avenue and Prospect Avenue is being detoured.


Buskerdoo_ir2Mark Mahon of Lincroft soaks up some rays while laying down some twang at Riverside Gardens Park in Red Bank yesterday.

We’ve got a fine fall day on tap today, according to the National Weather Service, with mostly sunny skies and temperatures peaking at about 69 degrees.

Tomorrow? Not as nice, with some rain forecasted, before the skies clear again Friday.

Read on for the outlook leading up to Columbus Day and beyond.

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Red Bank police say they arrested a gloved man yesterday afternoon shortly after he emerged from a Bank Street house he had broken into, according to the Asbury Park Press.


The suspect, Christopher J. Melendez, 21, of Asbury Park, was seen by a neighbor knocking on the front door of the house before prying a rear window open shortly before 1p, the Press reports.

Sgt. Eliot Ramos, Investigator Juan Sardo and Patrolman Dawn Shields reported seeing Melendez run from the rear of the house to a wooded area.

When they arrested him, he was wearing gloves, Ramos said. When police inspected the house they found someone had been going through the dresser drawers looking for valuables, Ramos said.

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A Red Bank man was among three Monmouth County residents indicted yesterday in an alleged attempt to defraud mortgage lenders of $4 million, the Asbury Park Press reports.


Thirty-six-year-old Kevin Deickman of Red Bank — no street address given — was charged along with Susan Pereless, 65, of Tinton Falls and her son, John Pereless, 40. A Monmouth County Grand Jury indicted them on theft-by-deception counts that carry prison terms of up to 10 years.

From the Press account:

An investigation by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office revealed that the defendants allegedly participated in a conspiracy to file fraudulent mortgage applications to obtain financing for seven different properties, six in Monmouth County and one in Florida, authorities said…

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A 22-year-year-old championship swimmer died early Sunday while on a visit to Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pa., according to Lancasteronline.


The cause of his death remains a mystery, the newspaper reports. From the article:

Police were called to the common area of a suite in Thomas Hall shortly before 5 a.m. Sunday and found Philip Rehders, 22, unresponsive, Lancaster city police spokesman Sgt. Todd Umstead said Monday.

Rehders, of Rumson, N.J., was taken to Lancaster General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

According to college President John Fry, Rehders, who graduated in May with a degree in English, traveled to F&M from Philadelphia on Saturday, arriving on campus about 8 p.m.

Fry said Rehders was accompanied by a friend, also an F&M graduate.

School officials are trying to determine what happened, Fry said, but little is known other than Rehders had been out with friends before he died.

“We’re trying to put together a chronology of events,” Fry said. “It’s fair to say he was with friends at an off-campus apartment, but that was not all the stops.”

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Rogers_gilda2Gilda Rogers in her new coffeehouse/bookstore on Shrewsbury Avenue.

Gilda Rogers wants to get conversations started — real conversations, about politics, race, sexuality, whatever it is that divides people.

So she’s started a new bookstore called Frank Talk Art Bistro & Books on Red Bank’s West Side to provide the forum.

Read all about her venture in today’s edition of Red Bank oRBit.

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60e_frontRiverview Medical Center bought the former Worden-Hoidal Funeral Home facility in July for $2.3 million.

Coming soon to East Front Street: another empty lot.

Riverview Medical Center
has asked Red Bank for a permit to demolish a longtime funeral home it bought this summer for $2.3 million and replace it with… nothing.

Tony Cava, the hospital’s vice president of strategic planning, tells redbankgreen that Riverview bought the property for its strategic location — one door east of the hospital’s dialysis center and directly opposite East Front Street from the medical center itself.

There were, and still are, no plans to use the existing structure or build something new there, he says.

So why tear down?

“We really have no use for it,” Cava says.

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