A RED BANK WEDDING, TELEVISED

oyster-pointStephanie Agresta and Chris McCaffrey used only local businesses for their wedding, which took place at Oyster Point Hotel, and their journey will be televised tonight. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Before taking part in March’s Wedding Walk, Stephanie Agresta had already planned on having a Red Bank-heavy wedding.

But, as she pointed out, “the wedding walk really brought to life all the opportunities in Red Bank.”

It also brought another opportunity, which airs tonight.

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SRO FOR LUNCH BREAK

crowdThe lobby was filled, and bellies were, too, as donors and other supporters packed the theater lobby. (Photos by Peter Lindner. Click to enlarge)

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An event billed as a food-tasting extravaganza drew a full-house crowd to the spacious lobby of the Two River Theater Monday night.

The occasion was a $100-per-plate fundraiser for Lunch Break, Red Bank’s soup kitchen for the needy. More than a dozen local restaurants and spirits retailers offered their wares, and live entertainment created a “night of songs and tastes of old Italy” — the event’s theme.

Lunch Break’s shelves and coffers have been sorely tested by the recession, and donations of cash, canned food, clothing and volunteer time are welcome, officials say. To help out, go here.

LOANS TARGETED TO BUYERS WHO WORK HERE

live-rb1Tony Marchetta, executive director of the state Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, introduced the Live Where You Work Program in Red Bank Friday. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Red Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna says all too often people hear that residents that are fleeing New Jersey for cheaper places to live. He doesn’t necessarily buy it, and suggests those reports be taken with a grain of salt.

At the same time, though, he said he understands the state needs to move on a different, more sustainable course, particularly in the housing market, which has been shaky at best the last few years.

“Municipalities need to change. Red Bank needs to change,” Menna said.

Part of that change began Friday, he said, when the borough became the fifth municipality in Monmouth County, and the 34th in the state, to join a statewide program to help make employees residents of the towns they work in.

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COULDA USED AN EIGHTH BRIDGE

7bridge_01Motorists encountered flooding on Seven Bridges Road in Little Silver last night. (Click to enlarge)

The wetness continues Tuesday morning, though not with the steadiness of Monday’s rain, according to the National Weather Service.

Here’s the forecast:

Today: Periods of rain, mainly before noon. High near 61. North wind 7 to 10 mph becoming southwest. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible.

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DINE DOWNTOWN: THE FIXE IS IN, AGAIN

_DSC0003Dish is one of nearly 30 Red Bank restaurants joining in, as the townwide Dine Downtown promotion returns every Tuesday and Wednesday in October. (Photo by Peter Lindner. Click to enlarge)

A quick look at the list reveals a couple of newcomers — so new they hadn’t even opened their doors a year ago.

Then there are the handful of homecoming favorites who’ve made it back to the list after sitting things out for a few years. And of course, there are the perennials; the names who can be sure to appear on the list  each and every time — as surely as they helped make Red Bank the destination for fine dining that it’s been for more than a generation.

We’re talking about the roster of restaurants that are taking part in the semi-annual Dine Downtown promotion, going on every Tuesday and Wednesday evening for the month of October. The brainchild of the folks at Red Bank RiverCenter, it’s a great and proven way for the borough’s bistros, boites, banquet rooms and before-show hangouts to greet friends old and new — by serving up special prix fixe menus that include appetizer, entrée and dessert for a lusciously low price (beverages, tax and gratuities not included).

And, with nearly 30 participating restaurants in the downtown, riverfront and theater/antiques districts — as well as three distinct pricing levels ($15, $25 and $30), there’s probably never been a better range of choices offered to frugal foodies in search of a fixe; a streetside smorgasbord that spans Irish, Italian, Mediterranean, Mexican, seafood, sushi, contemporary American, vegetarian and European (in addition to some flavorful fusions that you’ll have to triangulate for yourself).

We’re getting peckish just thinking about it, so flip the menu over for more details and a rundown of restaurants.

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BLOTTER: BUSY ON BANK STREET

authorities3The crime reports below were provided by the Red Bank Police Department for the week of September 24 to October 01, 2010. The information appears here unedited.

Theft occurring between 9-23-10 and 9-24-10 at Gold Street. Report of a parked vehicle having the windshield shattered by unknown person(s). Ptl. Dawn Shields.

Burglary occurring between 9-26-10 and 9-27-10 at Broad Street. Victim reported that unknown subjects broke into the business and stole a Playstation 3 and video games. Lt. Michael Clay.

Theft occurring on 9-28-10 at East Bergen Place-residence. Owner of property reported that unknown person(s) entered house through basement and stole a cherry flat top desk. Ptl. Michael Campanella.

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CRAWLIN’ FOR A CAUSE

bfbMore than 200 people registered for Saturday’s breast cancer research fundraiser in Red Bank Saturday. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

As Susan Kinslow, a lifelong Red Banker, was battling a second bout with breast cancer last year, her daughter, Jill was turning 21.

Somehow it seemed appropriate to Jill Kinslow to marry the to events and create something positive they could share.

Thus, the Boozin’ For Boobs bar crawl was born. It returned Saturday to Brannigan’s with more than 200 locals in pink t-shirts who toured Red Bank’s bar circuit, imbibing for cancer research.

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SUV SMACKS POLE IN PRE-DAWN CRASH

car-v-pole1A Jeep Cherokee lies on its side after Saturday’s early-morning crash on East Front Street. (Photo by Peter Lindner. Click to enlarge)

A collision with a utility pole on East Front Street in Red Bank early Saturday knocked out electrical power to area homes and businesses and led to a shutdown of the heavily traveled road for much of the day.

The one-vehicle accident occurred at about 2:30a opposite the Welsh Farms convenience store just east of Spring Street.

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RECALLING “A GOOD DOSE OF HUMOR”

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Our Comment of the Week comes from beneath the story “LEHNERT LAID TO REST,” about the funeral of the late Fair Haven Councilman John Lehnert.

The very publication of the article, which included three photographs from the funeral, miffed a couple of readers, while others saw it as as respectful.

But a reader who identified herself as Claudia stayed away from that debate. Instead, she took the opportunity provided by the comments to deliver an overdue thank-you to Lehnert, who served as a Fair Haven police officer for 14 years before retiring in 2006.

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ORGANIST CHARGED IN CHILD SEX ASSAULT

just_in1The organist at the Presbyterian Church at Shrewsbury is facing charges arising from an alleged sexual assault of a child, according to the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s office.

Kenneth Clayton, 65, of Red Bank, who also serves as the church’s choir director, was arrested September 17 by Red Bank police and charged with second-degree sexual assault and second-degree endangering the welfare of a minor. A Superior Court judge set bail at $100,000, according to first assistant prosecutor Peter Warshaw.

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‘APPAREL’ A CUSTOM FIT FOR TRTC

intimateapparel284Stacey Sargeant commands the stage as Esther in INTIMATE APPAREL, the drama that continues its limited run through October 10 at Two River Theater. (Photos by T. Charles Erickson)

By TOM CHESEK

Is it a bit too early to proclaim the finest production of the local professional stage season?

It probably wouldn’t be fair to a lot of folks — least of all the people of Two River Theater Company, who after all are just now getting underway with the 2010-2011 slate of mainstage entertainments at their branded Bridge Avenue arts center. Still, based on the opening night evidence, this season’s curtain raiser is going to be one gloriously tough act to follow.

Onstage now through October 10, Intimate Apparel is that too-rare sort of show that reinforces the idea that choreography isn’t just confined to musicals — it’s in the awesome teamwork of a top-shelf cast, precision tech squad, visionary designers and a production unit who GET it — working from the foundation of a genuinely worthy script. It’s a work with the kind of power that can really only be served up by a great theatergoing experience — and a reminder that Red Bank, New Jersey, boasts a professional organization that’s truly poised to serve.

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CITING RISKS, MEGO QUITS CROSSING GUARDS

j-megoJohn Mego’s last day as a crossing guard is today. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

He’s in line to be Red Bank’s next fire chief, but a rainstorm last week convinced John Mego that the risk associated with being a crossing guard in town isn’t for him anymore.

Saying he’s “tired of being a hood ornament,” Mego’s last day directing traffic is today.

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DENTIST & WIFE NOT GUILTY IN FRAUD CASE

A Red Bank dentist and his office-manager wife were acquitted earlier this week of all charges in a Medicaid fraud case, the Asbury Park Press reports.

After a four-week trial, a jury in state Superior Court in Freehold found dentist Marc Weber not guilty of all four counts that remained against him following an 11-count indictment a year ago, the Press reports. Weber’s wife, Jennifer Barbers, was acquitted on all five counts left against her.

Weber’s Broad Street dental practice, Weber Dental Associates, was also acquitted of all charges, which included health care claims fraud. Barbers alone faced charges of identity theft and theft by deception.

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TRIATHLON SUNDAY IN RED BANK

marine-parkAthletes will take off from Marine Park in Sunday’s first Sandy Hookers Triathlon. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

For some people, there’s nothing like a little half-mile swim, a 21-mile bike ride and a 5-mile run to start the day.

If you’re one of those people, Sunday is your day.

The Sandy Hookers Triathlon Club, the oldest and largest triathlon club in New Jersey, is coming to town to host the first Red Bank Triathlon.

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