RED BANK: COP AIDED EVENTUAL VICTIM

RED BANK BALMER 060820Patrolman Stan Balmer, at right, with a State Trooper on the Parkway early on the morning of May 23. (Screenshot from release by New Jersey Attorney General. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

A Red Bank cop came to the aid of stranded motorist last month in the first of a series of related encounters between police and the driver, who was later shot dead by a State Trooper, authorities said Monday.

Patrolman Stan Balmer, who leads one of the borough’s two K9 teams, was off-duty and enroute home following his shift when he came upon a car broken down in the center lane of the Garden State Parkway in Brick Township on May 23, according to Chief Darren McConnell.

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RED BANK: GETTING FED, AND HELPING TO FEED

red bank lunch break 042020.JPGThe kitchen at Lunch Break remains busy preparing grab ‘n go meals as well as meals for delivery to the homebound. (Photo courtesy of Lunch Break. Click to enlarge.)

[UPDATE: The Parker Family Health has paused its monthly food distribution, so that entry has been removed from this list.]

With job and income losses in the COVID-10 crisis, food insecurity is spreading, and Red Bank-area charities are stepping up to help ensure no one goes hungry.

At Lunch Break in Red Bank, for example, volunteers have distributed 65 percent more meals and 56 percent more groceries since March 16 than in the comparable 2019 period, said executive director Gwen Love.

Here’s a starter list of charitable efforts to feed the hungry in Red Bank, with links to make monetary donations. This list will be updated periodically.

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RED BANK: A HEAD-TURNING SIGHT

red bank deer elk 041520A cyclist did a double take when a vehicle with what appeared to be the head of a deer or elk strapped to the roof passed by on Bridge Avenue in Red Bank Wednesday afternoon.

From a distance, it wasn’t clear if the large-antlered animal head was real. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

RED BANK: DREARY, DAMP, AND NOW, WINDY

A pair of deer seen wandering Locust Avenue in Red Bank near the Bellhaven wetlands Thursday afternoon

A string of wet, dreary days continued with heavy fog Friday morning, along with a National Weather Service warning of possible strong winds through 7 p.m., with gusts up to 60 miles per hour. Sunshine was expected to return Saturday.

Check out the extended forecast below. (Photo by John T. Ward.  Click to enlarge.)

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MIDDLETOWN: GEORGE BOWDEN DIES

red bank george bowdenGeorge Bowden, right, with Historic Preservation Commission members Charles Nickerson and Michaela Ferrigine in 2016. Below, Bowden spearheaded the borough’s centennial celebration and parade in 2009.(Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

red bank george bowdenGeorge Bowden, once dubbed “the Energizer bunny” of historic preservation in Red Bank, died at home in Middletown Sunday. He was 92 years old.

Galvanized into action in 2001, after the borough allowed the demolition of an old house on West Front Street, Bowden became a champion for old and neglected structures in town.

Not least of those was the T. Thomas Fortune House, which was resurrected from near-oblivion earlier this year, more than a decade after Bowden and others launched a campaign to save it.

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RED BANK: NICE PLACE YOU GOT HERE…

red bank nj turkey vulturered bank nj turkey vultureAffecting the air of a thuggish gang, a group of vultures loitered outside Les Gertrude apartments on Broad Street in Red Bank Thursday morning. One enjoyed a sidewalk breakfast of fresh kill. 

Any ornithologists out there who can identify these gray-headed birds? (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge.)

MIDDLETOWN: FUNDRAISER FOR BOWDENS

Family and friends have raised more than $12,000 to help two former Red Bank volunteers injured by a fire in their Middletown home earlier this month.

George Bowden, 91, and his wife, Gladys Bowden, 88, were both injured when their condo in the Shadow Lake Village complex in the River Plaza section of the township was heavily damaged by an electrical fire on December 15.

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RED BANK: APARTMENT PLAN WITHDRAWN

316 Shrewsbury Avenue, red bank, nj, renderingA rendering of the apartment house proposed for 316 Shrewsbury Avenue. Below, the existing house during the fire in July. (Drawing by Michael Monroe; photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

A plan to replace a fire-damaged single-family home in Red Bank with a three-family apartment house was withdrawn amid neighborhood opposition Thursday night.

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RED BANK: K9 VEST, MAYOR’S BALL, PINS

Eko, one of two canine members of the Red Bank police force, has a new ballistic vest, courtesy of the Elks. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

The Red Bank mayor and council were in an appreciative mood last Wednesday, spotlighting  good works by three charitable organizations.

And the town now has an official lapel pin. Read on for details.

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RED BANK: PUPPY MILL LAW WITHDRAWN

The owner of Bark Avenue Puppies on West Front Street had threatened to sue the borough if it enacted the proposed ban on dogs supplied by breeders. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

After seven months of controversy, Red Bank’s proposed ban on the sale of “puppy mill” pets was withdrawn over a failure to win council backing Wednesday night.

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RED BANK: WHAT NEXT FOR ONE-EYED ROBIN?

For the past week, Lisa Keele of Red Bank and her family have cared for a fledgling robin they found lying in the road outside their Branch Avenue home. Named ‘Sam,’ the bird cannot fly and was born without a right eye.

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RED BANK: RATS INFEST NEIGHBORHOOD

Rats were easily evident in the yard of a McLaren Street home Thursday morning. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank officials promised quick action Wednesday night after East Side homeowners said their neighborhood has been infested by rats.

Worthley Street residents Jeff and Allison Welker, joined by a handful of neighbors, told the borough council that they cannot allow their children or pets into their backyard because of a recurring “fireworks display” of the rodents.

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RED BANK: PARKING, TAXES & MORE

A consultant was hired to conduct a long-awaited parking study following the failure last year of plans to redevelop the White Street lot, above. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

At last Wednesday’s meeting of the Red Bank council, these things happened:

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