FIVE BUSTED FOR RED BANK BREAK-INS

riverside-concession-2Two burglaries at the Riverside Gardens Park concession stant a crackdown on loitering in the park, borough officials said. (Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Red Bank police closed the book on a quartet of burglary cases over the past two weeks, including a double break-in at a park concession stand.

Five suspects were arrested in total, for burglaries that committed over the last two weeks, police said. All suspects were locals.

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URBAN OUTFITTERS: SALES UP, INCOME DOWN

urban-070411The crowd outside the Red Bank Urban Outfitters store before this year’s KaBoom fireworks show. (Click to enlarge)

Clearance sales helped boost Urban Outfitters to the highest quarterly sales in its history, the clothing retailer reported Monday.

But markdowns also led to lower profits at the Philly-based company, which has had a store in downtown Red Bank since November, 2009. Results are not disclosed by location.

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LIGHTNING HIT REPORTED AT HALL MANSION

hall-rumsonRumson firefighters prepare for the trip down the long driveway at Long Point, the home of financier/horseman George Hall, after a report of a lightning strike around 5:20 p.m. Monday. Responders said there were no known injuries or structural damage to the 18,000-square-foot main residence, but they were still checking. “It’s a big house, with a lot of lightning rods,” said one fireman. (Click to enlarge)

FLOWERS REPLACE FENCE AT STATION SITE

ray-rap-081211The ugly temporary fence that surrounded a former filling station site on Harding Road in Red Bank for the past four years has come down. (Click to enlarge)

A vacant lot that has blighted its Red Bank neighborhood for years has gotten a bit of sprucing-up recently.

There are still no immediate plans to build on the property, its owner tells redbankgreen, but stay-tuned, he says.

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MIDDLETOWN COPS ARREST ALLEGED GROPER

authorities2a • On August 12, 2011 Patrolman Robert McNair responded to a residence on Monmouth Avenue in reference to a report of a subject who was groping himself in front of children. Officer McNair located the subject, identified as Louis Bono, age 57, from Monmouth Avenue in Port Monmouth, NJ, standing in the street.

Officer McNair conducted an investigation which resulted in Bono being arrested for two counts of Sexual Assault, one count of Endangering the Welfare of a Child and two counts of Lewdness. He was transported to police headquarters where he was processed and held on $105,000.00 bail with no 10% option set by Judge Thomas Scully of the Monmouth County Superior Court.

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YARBROUGH DEATH INSPIRES CALL FOR UNITY

yarbrough-vigil3 Mourners gathered outside the Bank Street house where a melee led to the fatal knifing of Larry Yarbrough and the serious wounding of another man on August 7. (Photos by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

yarbrough-vigil2By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Almost a week after the stabbing death of Larry Yarbrough, friends and relatives by the dozens filled a Red Bank street Saturday to push for action against his alleged killers while urging others to band together to prevent another tragedy from happening again.

Members of Yarbrough’s family led a procession down of about 200 down Shrewsbury Avenue to the Bank Street scene of the killing and held a vigil at a makeshift memorial where balloons, candles, pictures and bottles of liquor lay next to the sidewalk.

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GETTING THE OLD CROWD TOGETHER AGAIN

For the second year in a row, former Red Bank residents, newcomers and old-timers gathered for a “family reunion” block party on Drs. James Parker Boulevard Saturday. Photographer Stacie Fanelli was there for redbankgreen.

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A FAIR WIND CARRIES DELI DOWN THE BLOCK

fairwindsFairwinds Deli made its move down east last week. Below, the late-lunch crowd crams the counter Thursday. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

fairwinds1The surest sign that the lunching public caught wind of Fairwind Deli‘s long-awaited move east could be measured by the number of bicycles outside.

By noon Saturday, the sidewalk outside 798 River Road had become a clutter of beach cruisers, ten-speeds and BMX-es, indicating what was going on inside.

“Madness,” said Warren Abrahamson, owner of the borough’s lunchtime hub for more than 30 years.

As customers shouted compliments to Abrahamson on his new digs, young employees kept taking orders and wrapping them up fast enough to beat back the snaking line inside the fresh new space.

It was pretty clear an expansion had been in order for this Fair Haven institution.

“It’s all positive” feedback, Abrahamson said. “It’s nice. All good things.”

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AFTER NEXT ONE, YARD SALE MOVES TO SPRING

south-st-2009Activity was brisk on South Street at the 2009 event. (Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Red Bank’s fourth annual townwide yard sale is still more than a month away, but organizers are already looking at the fifth.

A little early to be planning next year’s, you say?

Not quite. The interval between events is getting truncated by four months.

Once this year’s sale is done on September 24 – a change from the previously reported October 1 date – so is its traditional slot in September, says Friends of the Red Bank Public Library member Audrey Oldoerp. The 2012 edition will be held in May.

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MIDDLETOWN REPORTS POT, BURGLARY BUSTS

call-in-the-authoritiesRecent activity reports, unedited, as provided by the Middletown Township Police Department.

• On August 10, 2011 at approximately 9:10 pm Patrolman Richard Fulham was on patrol in the area of the Lincroft McDonald’s when he observed a suspicious vehicle in the parking lot. Officer Fulham approached the vehicle at which point he detected the odor of raw Marijuana coming from inside the car.

Officer Fulham conducted an investigation which resulted in the recovery of Marijuana and the arrest of Sean Powers, age 19, from Monmouth Avenue in Navesink, NJ, for Possession of under 50 Grams of Marijuana. He was transported to police headquarters where he was processed and released pending a court date.

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YARBROUGH: MEMORIES, QUESTIONS LINGER

l-yarbrough-srLarry Yarbrough Sr., with a picture of his son, also shown below, who was stabbed to death in Red Bank early Sunday. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

larry-yarbroughAs investigators continue to look into the stabbing death of a Red Bank man and the critical wounding of another early Sunday, little information remains available about the incident, and the victim’s father says he’s as in the dark about it as everybody else.

Friends and other family, too, are looking for answers in the death of one of Red Bank’s own, a fun-loving man who, despite a checkered past, was on the up and up and proud of his progress as a worker and father to a young daughter, they say.

Now is not the time to get caught in the negativity or the tension surrounding the death of Larry Yarbrough Jr., they said Wednesday night at the bimonthly meeting of the borough council. It’s the time to come together as a community.

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CONDO PLAN CHANGE APPEARS ON FAST TRACK

carriage-park-hearingRosemary Brewer, above, voiced frustration at Tuesday night’s planning board hearing over a townhouse development proposed in Little Silver. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

A previously approved but unbuilt townhouse development near the railroad tracks in Little Silver that local opponents had hoped to get a second shot at derailing is all but a done deal thanks to two-year-old state legislation, town officials say.

At Tuesday night’s planning board hearing, borough planner Richard Coppola said the 39-unit Carriage Park project on Eastview Avenue does not fall under the municipal land use law — the state’s usual planning guide — but rather, a newer one commonly referred to as the conversion law, which board Attorney Michael Leckstein said handcuffs the board and reduces its power.

“What this statute has done,” Coppola said, “is taken the rug from under the planning boards, or under the towns, and just pulled it.”

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MIDDLETOWN: POLICE BLOTTER

mtown-cop-carsBy DUSTIN RACIOPPI

A brief standoff with a knife-wielding man on Monday ended without injury and resulted in the man’s arrest for aggravated assault and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, Middletown police report.

The man, identified as James Wierzbicky, was holding a large knife in the backyard of a Navesink home when police arrived, said Lieutenant Detective Steve Dollinger. A number of attempts by police to get him to drop the knife were unsuccessful. After backup was called and a standoff with officers, he gave up the weapon and was arrested.

More police reports appear unedited below.

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LANDLORD CLAIMS POST-MURDER BURGLARY

yarbrough-memorialA curbside memorial to stabbing victim Larry Yarbrough decorates a tree outside 9 Bank Street. Below, the home’s cleared-out living room, with a broken window boarded over. (Click to enlarge)

living-roomThe owner of the Red Bank house that was the scene of a fatal knife-and-bottle melee early Sunday says the house was burglarized soon after crime-scene tape was removed by police Monday afternoon.

Landlord Sandra Meva tells redbankgreen that tenants contacted her shortly after investigators allowed them to return to the house at 9 Bank Street around 1 p.m. Monday and told her the house was in the process of being burglarized in broad daylight.

“They were just pulling stuff – their stuff – out of the house,” Meva said of the burglars.

Police, however, have a different account.

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RUMSON ESTATE GOES TO DERBY HORSEMAN

dawkins-estate3The Dawkins estate in Rumson as seen from the Navesink in 2008. (Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

In a record-setting deal for Rumson, a Wall Street hedge-fund tycoon and headline-grabbing horse owner has purchased Pete Dawkins‘ mega-estate on the Navesink.

The sprawling West River Road gem known as Long Point went for $12 million to an entity controlled by George Hall, a financier who’s become a familiar railbird at big-stakes racing events.

Though Hall was widely rumored to be the buyer, official confirmation was unavailable until late last week, when a deed filed with the Monmouth County Clerk’s office was posted on that agency’s online database. It includes a document signed by Hall as the corporate officer of the named buyer, 80 West River Road LLC. Hall’s office in New York is given as the return address for 80 West River Road LLC in related documents.

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FAIR HAVEN: ARBORCIDE AT NATURAL AREA

fh-nature-areaNature enthusiasts want the borough to fund restoration of a mistakenly cleared-out area at the Fair Haven Fields Natural Area. Below, the affected site. (Photos by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

fh-nature-area1

Several years of toil by nature-loving volunteers was undone in Fair Haven last month when borough employees mistakenly destroyed some 150 baby trees, officials said Monday.

Sometime last month, public works employees, while doing routine maintenance at the Fair Haven Fields Natural Area, errantly bushwhacked about 150 small trees planted to protect the area from Asian Bittersweet vines, an invasive species that had destroyed at least 20 percent of the area’s plant life, said volunteer Richard Magovern.

Now, what was once a well-fortified thicket of small trees is an open patch of green, a visible chink in the armor used to fight off an invasive adversary.

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LONG-VACANT SPACE GETTING YOGURT SHOP

blissberry1Blissberry customers serve themselves and pay by the weight of their purchases, says the shop’s owner. (Click to enlarge)

Rcsm2_010508A Red Bank storefront that’s been vacant for at least four years is finally getting a tenant: Blissberry Frozen Yogurt.

Last occupied by the Internet-forgotten Altamonte Imports, the space at 90 Broad is tucked between Pho Le, a Vietnamese restaurant that opened in May, and Linda Martino’s beauty supply store Lux, which opened last year.

Owner Jill Pecoraro of Colts Neck says her shop is the first of an emerging franchise chain to hit New Jersey.

“There’s nothing like it around here,” she tells redbankgreen.

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MONMOUTH STREET: COCOON EMPTIES OUT

rema-josephRema Joseph closed her Monmouth Street women’s clothing and gift store on Sunday. (Click to enlarge)

Rcsm2_010508Rema Joseph had hoped to hang on until the end of the year.

Then it became a matter of making it at least until the end of month.

But a paucity of customers willing to open their purses  spelled an expedited end of her Red Bank clothing and accessories store, Cocoon.

Joseph shut out the lights one last time on Sunday, ending an eight-year run and joining the continual churn of businesses downtown.

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QUICKLY, RED BANK TAPS NEW CFO

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

money-full-columnBruce Loversidge can go back to retirement. Again.

Red Bank’s former chief financial officer and go-to guy to fill in for his outgoing successors will be relieved of his interim duties at the end of the month.

In speedy fashion, the borough has hired Spring Lake Heights’ financial chief to take over the post last held by Frank Mason, who left last month to become CFO in Montclair.

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TWO CHARGED IN STABBING DEATH

just_in1Two Red Bank men were arrested Monday on murder charges following a knife-and-bottle fight that left a third man dead on Bank Street early Sunday morning, Monmouth County Prosecutor Peter Warshaw tells redbankgreen.

A second victim remains hospitalized in critical but stable condition, Warshaw said.

Arrested in Lakewood on weapons and murder charges were Jose Francisco Oliveres-Palma, 25, of River Street and Genarro Guerrero-Montes, of 9 Bank Street, the house outside which police, responding to a report of a disturbance, found the two victims lying in the street with “multiple stab wounds” before dawn Sunday, Warhsaw said.

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DRUNK DRIVING RAMPANT IN MIDDLETOWN

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

mtown-police-carThe recurring — and alarming — theme for Middletown’s police officers this week was dealing with alleged drunks crashing into things.

There were five reported car accidents in which the drivers were arrested for driving while intoxicated, said Detective Lieutenant Steve Dollinger in his regular roundup of crime activity. One driver fell asleep at the wheel and hit a parked car, two crashed into utility poles, another man went through a road barrier and another ended up on the side of the road after crashing his vehicle, Dollinger said.

That’s not counting the two incidents of wrong-way drivers.

More reports from MTPD are unedited below.

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