PRESS: FOUR DEAD IN MIDDLETOWN FIRE

just_in1Four people have died in a house fire in Middletown, the Asbury Park Press reports on its website Tuesday.

The fire occurred on Statesir Place, between Pine and Chestnut Streets, the Press says. No time of the fire is given, though the newspaper says that firefighters remained on the scene at 8a Tuesday.

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WHEN HARRY SALLIES FORTH IN RED BANK

harry-connick-jr-new-appr_t588A renaissance guy in Red Bank: Harry Connick Jr. makes his first-ever two night stand at the Count Basie this week — and the man from NOLA might stand a bit of sightseeing while in town.

By TOM CHESEK

They walk among us, sometimes — shopping in the broad daylight of Broad Street, spelunking the nooks and crannies of the Antique Center, sampling the fare at everything from the most sophisticated sit-downs to way-cool WaWa.

We’re talking celebrities, baby — many of them in town for a whistle-stop tour gig at the Count Basie Theatre. While the pimped-out tour buses come and go outside the Monmouth Street landmark with regularity, however, every so often a headline act plants it here in the greater Red Bank Green for something more than a one night stand. So it is this Wednesday and Thursday, as the Count’s crib plays host to a still-young veteran who’s long worn the mantle of Renaissance Guy: Harry Connick Jr.

When the jazz pianist, pop stylist, songwriter, composer, Broadway leading man, screen actor and Krewe founder visits the Basie-birthing borough for a pair of concert events on April 20 and 21, he’ll be bringing along his big band (with perhaps a separate trailer just to tote that résumé) in a full-on recreation of his most recent studio set, the collection of jazz and pop interpretations known as Your Songs. Having ably prosecuted his long-playing career through a deft mix of fanbase-friendly favorites and a pretty delightful flair for the unexpected, we’re hoping that New Orleans-rooted Connick (who, we should point out, maintains a place in the city with his family) gets to feeling a little exploratory during his hours in Red Bank — and we’re here to toss out a few suggestions to play that stay to the fullest.
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GUN WAVER AMONG M’TOWN ARRESTEES

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

mtown-cop-carsOne man was arrested for waving a gun and threatening to use it, another was arrested for stealing from a food store and two were cuffed after a fight on Middletown Avenue.

They’re all part of this week’s crime roundup provided by Middletown police.

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ANOTHER ACCIDENT SENDS TWO TO HOSPITAL

towerhill-accidentTwo were sent to the hospital in an accident at the intersection of Spring Street and Towerhill Avenue Monday, a block away and less than an hour after another crash injured nine. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

A second car accident on Spring Street Monday sent two people to the hospital with minor injuries, Fire Chief John Mego said.

The two-car accident, involving a blue Mazda 626 and black Jaguar, was called in at about 5:20p — about an hour after a collision a block away — and appeared to be caused by a driver failing to stop at a stop sign at the intersection of Spring Street and Tower Hill Avenue, Mego said. He was unsure at the time of the accident which driver was at fault.

“Somebody didn’t stop,” he said.

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EIGHT INJURED IN RED BANK ACCIDENT

rb-accident-041811-1Volunteer first aiders move one of the victims from the van to a waiting ambulance. (Click to enlarge)

A late-afternoon accident left eight passengers in a van with neck injuries and other non-life-threatening injuries Monday afternoon, Red Bank police said.

The accident, at Harding Road and Spring Street, involved a van carrying a special-needs adults, according to police Captain Darren McConnell.

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MIDDLETOWN MOTORCYCLE CRASH KILLS MAN

just_in1By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

A 28-year-old man was killed in a motorcycle accident in Middletown Sunday night, police said.

Grzegorz Przybojewski, of Franklin, was pronounced dead on the scene after his motorcycle hit a tree on Everett Road, a release from Lieutenant John Maguire, of the police’s traffic bureau, said.

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RED BANK TREE PLAN GETS PLANTED

wfrontSpring blooms along West Front Street at the entrance to Riverside Gardens Park last week. (Click to enlarge)

The Red Bank Shade Tree Committee hopes to plant 200 new trees in the borough over the next five years, according to an action plan filed with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection last week.

Also among the objectives of the Community Forestry Management Plan: complete an ongoing inventory of every tree not on private property.

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A QUICK RUN-THROUGH FOR EASTER

rb-easter-huntOn a cold, wind-whipped afternoon, it took borough children all of about 90 seconds to charge through Eastside Park and collect all the eggs during Red Bank’s annual Easter Egg Hunt Saturday. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

COPS: THIEVES TOOK KITCHEN APPLIANCES

rbpd6 doorThe crime reports below were provided by the Red Bank Police Department for the week of April 8 to April 15, 2011. The information appears here unedited.

Theft occurring on 4-8-11 at Newman Springs Rd. Victim reported that unknown person(s) removed several items from her residence while she was gone which included kitchen appliances, couch, dishes and other kitchen items. Ptl. Ashon Lovick.

Burglary occurring at Bank Street residence on 4-9-11. Victim reported that upon returning home found two unknown males inside residence that abruptly fled. Stolen was cash from bedroom. Ptl. Michael Zadlock.

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THE WEEK IN REARVIEW

mittA catcher’s mitt at Rumson Little League’s opening day. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Break-ins were the breaking news that dominated locally last week, topped by word of an arrest of an suspect in a string of high-end residential burglaries that included pop star Bon Jovi among the victims.

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COPS: JEWELRY THIEF HIT BON JOVI MANSION

bon-jovi-house-2008A gate to the Bon Jovi mansion, as seen in 2008. (Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Turns out the 21-year-old accused of burglarizing four Navesink River Road homes over the last month got into rocker Bon Jovi’s Navesink estate.

Nicholas Tracy, who also featured on redbankgreen last month when he was spotted driving around with a bust of Napoleon Bonaparte, hit the Bon Jovi 15-acre, Navesink River estate on April 3, Detective Lieutenant Steve Dollinger confirmed.

Tracy’s alleged crimes took place over a month, and included stealing jewelry and watches from four homes, Dollinger said.

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BON JOVI FINDS NEW KITCHEN SPACE IN RB

soul-kitchenPlans for Jon Bon Jovi’s Soul Kitchen will keep the bay doors for now. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Bon Jovi’s Soul Kitchen has found itself a new home in Red Bank. It just needs a thumbs-up from the borough to fire up the grill.

The mega-star and super-philanthropic Middletown resident’s non-profit, the JBJ Soul Foundation, has filed plans with the borough’s planning and zoning office to move into a former auto repair shop on Monmouth Street, just west of the train tracks.

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AT 17, SOCIALIST SEEKS FREEHOLDER SEAT

pat-noble-041211Patrick Noble on Broad Street in his hometown, Red Bank. (Click to enlarge)

Forgive us our presumptions, but when Patrick Noble invited redbankgreen to meet for coffee earlier this week to discuss his Socialist Party candidacy for Monmouth County Freeholder, we imagined someone… different, yes. Offbeat, certainly. Embittered, possibly.

We did not expect to find a pink-cheeked young man with a pleasant demeanor who lost his only prior run for elective office: vice president of his high school’s student government. In the current school year.

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FOR RETIRED CARPENTER, IT’S HAMMER TIME

hammersFrank Scordo with one of his favorite conversation pieces, a double-handled hammer. Some 1,200 tools from his collection are on display at the Shrewsbury Historical Society. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

For many retirees, the entry into the golden years is a chance to travel, spend more time on the golf course or play the spoiling grandparent.

But for retired carpenter Frank Scordo, post-employment means keeping up with a hobby that, for most, might just instantly pound the brain’s snooze button: cultivating a collection of hammers.

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COPS SAY M’TOWN BURGLAR NETTED $500,000

nick-tracy1An alleged 21-year-old burglar bagged more than $500,000 worth of jewelry from four homes along ritzy Navesink River Road in the last two months, Middletown police said Thursday.

Nicholas Tracy — who was recently featured on redbankgreen for driving around Red Bank with a bust of Napoleon Bonaparte in the front seat of his car — was caught in the act Wednesday when officers responding to a residential alarm found him hiding in third-floor bathroom, police said in a press release.

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BOSS BUSTED FOR EMPLOYEE BENEFIT THEFTS

authorities2bMiddletown police say they arrested a township-based employer Tuesday for theft of his workers’ Individual Retirement Account benefits.

David Crosby, 56, of Murphy Road in the Port Monmouth section, was arrested at his home by police and agents of the United States Secret Service. They allege that Crosby,  owner of Crosby Site Work and Utility in Port Monmouth, knowingly withheld $17,000 in company contributions to his employee’s IRA funds.

From MTPD press release:

The Middletown Police Department was contacted by the New York Field Office of the United States Department of Labor who informed them of the complaints they had received from employees of the business. Det. Daniel Sullivan conducted a joint investigation with the United States Secret Service and determined that Crosby had withheld approximately $17,000.00 in contributions to his employees IRA funds.

Crosby was arrested at his residence and processed and released on a summons pending a court
appearance.

Here’s some other recent Middletown activity, as provided by the police department:

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SPRING BLOOMS IN BULK ON WEST SIDE

bridge-aveMountains of household waste line Bridge Avenue, above, and Shrewsbury Avenue, below, as seasonal bulk waste pickups resumed in Red Bank Thursday morning. (Click to enlarge)

shrewsbury-aveAh, the smell of newly mown grass, fresh flowers and soggy, basement-fermented mattresses.

Yes, if it’s the second Thursday in April, it must be the surest sign of spring in Red Bank: the return of bulk waste pickups.

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RBR STUDENT DANCES HIS WAY INTO JULLIARD

By DUSTIN RACIOPPIanthonytiedeman3

The chances were about as good as getting struck by lightning, but a Red Bank Regional senior has made his way to one of the country’s most prestigious performing arts schools.

Anthony Tiedeman, right, has been accepted to Julliard, a highly sought-after school that has less than a five-percent acceptance rate.

After a three-round audition process, the school selected Tiedeman and 25 others from a group of 560 applicants, a release from RBR said.

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MATER DEI DEAN CHARGED IN SEXUAL ASSAULT

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Mater Dei High School‘s former dean of students was arrested by Middletown police Tuesday on sexual assault charges.

Police say William Miltner, who worked at the school for four years and was promoted to the dean’s post last year, sexually assaulted a student in 2009.

Twenty-eight-year-old Miltner, of Middletown, was charged with second-degree aggravated sexual assault and fourth-degree aggravated sexual contact.

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NO-SHOWS NIX RED BANK COUNCIL SESSION

rb-quorumThe council couldn’t hold its regular meeting Wednesday night because of a lack of a quorum. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Red Bank’s regular council meeting Wednesday night was, in the words of Mayor Pasquale Menna, a “legal nullity,” which is just a fancy way to say there would be no meeting at all.

Councilman Ed Zipprich is out of the country. So is Councilwoman Kathy Horgan. Councilwoman Sharon Lee was out of the state. And Councilwoman Juanita Lewis was stuck in Piscataway.

“So, consequently we cannot open this meeting,” Menna said.

Not that the governing body was going to do much anyway.

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IT’S LONG v. KALAKA-ADAMS IN SEA BRIGHT

jo-ann-kalaka-adamsFormer Mayor Jo-Ann Kalaka-Adams, seen here in 2007, will face councilwoman Dina Long, below, in this year’s mayoral election. (Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

dina-long-2011Seeing an opportunity to keep progress moving, Councilwoman Dina Long is seeking Sea Bright’s top elected spot.

Long, who teaches English composition at Brookdale Community College, has filed to run for mayor, filling the Democratic party’s ticket following current mayor Maria Fernandes’s announcement last week that she will not seek re-election.

The three-term councilwoman will go up against a former mayor in November, Republican Jo-Ann Kalaka-Adams, who’s making a return to politics after a narrow loss that was contested and drawn out for months in court.

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A GREEN DOUBLE-DIP

hot-topic rightBy DUSTIN RACIOPPI

It’ll be an environmental double feature in Red Bank at the end of the month.

The borough’s environmental commission and its subcommittee, the Green Team, will run back-to-back talks on environmental issues on April 28.

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