RUMSON: AUTHORITIES MUM ON VNA CRASH

One passenger was airlifted to a trauma center after the VNA van at right collided with the dump truck, at left. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

A passenger injured when a tour van collided with a dump truck in Rumson Thursday is in critical condition, authorities said Friday.

Details about the incident remained undisclosed as authorities withheld the identity of the victim, by name, age, town of residence or gender. The passenger was transported by helicopter to Jersey Shore Medical Center in Neptune after the crash.

Nine people were in the Visiting Nurse Association van, said First Assistant Prosecutor Rick Incremona of the Monmouth County Prosecutor‘s office, which is investigating. Two incurred minor injuries, he said.

No charges have been filed, said Incremona, who declined to identify the van’s driver.

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RED BANK: ANTIQUE DEALERS ENDURE CHANGE

A working nickelodeon, below, and old seltzer bottles are among the thousands of items that lure shoppers back in time at the Antique Center of Red Bank. Dozens more photos can be seen at redbankgreen‘s Flickr page. (Photo by Alexis Orlacchio. Click to enlarge)

By ALEXIS ORLACCHIO

Looking at it, shoppers at the Antique Center of Red Bank might not guess the glossy oak casing of the 117-year-old Regina Upright Nickelodeon was once caked with numerous layers of paint that had chipped and peeled over its lifetime. Standing near the front of the dimly lit emporium, light gleams off its intricate carvings.

The restored music box again flawlessly performs the task it was built for: insert a nickel into the side slot, and watch a music disc slowly rotate behind a glass pane, producing a melody of delicate chimes. Taped to its window is a small, handwritten note that reads, “Not for sale.”

“It’s too special,” said store owner Guy Johnson, who found the player at a garage sale in Shrewsbury. It had been sitting in the owners’ basement before they decided to sell it, “and thank God they did,” he said.

But while Johnson may have saved the Regina, whether Red Bank’s vaunted antiques district can be saved is an open question. About a year ago, the home of Monmouth Antiques Shoppes, across West Front Street from the Antique Center, was knocked down  to make room for the MW West Side Lofts, a residential and retail project now under construction. That left a huge hole not only in the space it had long occupied, but in an antiques district that vendors have struggled to keep going.

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YOUR WEEKEND OPTIONS, RIGHT HERE

Images of 20th century Red Bank and other Monmouth County locales are featured in a show of photos from the Dorn’s Collection beginning Saturday at Red Bank Frameworks. (Click to enlarge)

By ALEXIS ORLACCHIO

Friday, May 10:

RED BANKSandy Hackett’s Rat Pack infests Count Basie Theater. Join faux Frank, Sammy and Dino for performances produced by the legendary Buddy Hackett. Tickets are $19.50, $29.50 and $39.50. 99 Monmouth Street.

RUMSON: The third annual “Gayla!” prom, a fun and safe evening with food and DJ takes place at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School. The Rumson Fair Haven Gay-Straight Alliance partners with Make it Better for Youth to provide support kids ages 13-19 in middle, high, or home school. The prom runs from 7 to 10 p.m. tickets are $20; parental permission required. 74 Ridge Road.

RUMSON: The boys from Madison Avenue are back and will perform at Molly Maguire’s Black Point Inn. The show begins at 9 p.m.132 East River Road.

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RED BANK: FARMERS RETURN TO MARKET

Among the myriad culinary and craft-shopping options available throughout the Green on Mother’s Day is one that bristles with green freshness: the Red Bank Farmer’s Market, above, which reopens Sunday for its six-month season in the parking lot of the Galleria of Red Bank, at West Front Street and Shrewsbury Avenue. The open-air market runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays through mid-November. (Click to enlarge)

RUMSON: COPPER FROGS TO PERK UP THE YARD

At Bain’s in Rumson: outdoor furniture and frog sculptures. (Photo by Alexis Orlacchio. Click to enlarge)

By ALEXIS ORLACCHIO

Looking to add some levity to the yard? Hop over to Bain’s Outdoor Living in Rumson to see Beau Smith’s chic home décor frog sculptures.

Store owners Tom and Donna Bain came across Smith’s sculptures featured in a magazine. They contacted the artist, interested in selling his pieces.

“They actually drove down to Atlanta to get some of my work and sell it in their store,” said Smith.

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ON THE GREEN: A FULLY-BOOKED WEEKEND

A weekend of belly-busters and bargains awaits visitors to Red Bank’s International Flavour Festival on Sunday, above, and the Townwide Yard Sale on Saturday, below. (Photo by Alexis Orlacchio. Click to enlarge)

By ALEXIS ORLACCHIO

Friday, April 26:

LINCROFT: Score some points at the “Hoops for Hope” basketball tournament to support the Community YMCA’s Strong Kids Campaign and Dreams for Kids at Brookdale Community College.  The night consists of a series of basketball matches between the Dreams for Kids All-star team, featuring current and former NFL players, and community teams including the Red Bank Police Department, Red Bank Charter School, Red Bank Catholic Girls Varsity Basketball Team and the Monmouth University Women’s Basketball Team. Other activities include a VIP reception with the NFL athletes, NFL store, student performers, gift and silent auctions, a 50/50 raffle and community organization booths. Tickets prices vary and family packs are available; purchase them online or at the door. “Hoops for Hope” runs from 6 to 10 p.m. Robert Collins Arena. Newman Springs Road.

RED BANK: “The Electric Baby” continues its run at Two River Theater.  The drama follows three pairs – a middle-aged couple, a hopelessly devoted lover and the apple of her eye, and a Romanian mother and Nigerian father caring for their child – who discover the ways in which their lives are connected. The play, by Stefanie Zadravec, runs through May 5. Tickets are $24-$42 and the show begins at 8 p.m. 21 Bridge Avenue.

RED BANK: Sing your heart out at “Rock N Roll Karaoke,” a weekly happening hosted by the band from NYC’s Arlene’s Grocery. Attempt to master the vocals and music of classic rock favorites at The Downtown. The event begins at 10 p.m. 10 West Front Street.

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OH, BABY, ANOTHER TODDLIN’ WEEKEND

A video promo for ‘The Electric Baby,’ which opens tonight at the Two River Theater. Author and motivational speaker Selwyn Collins, below, makes an appearance at the Red Bank Public Library on Saturday.

By ALEXIS ORLACCHIO

Friday, April 19:

LINCROFT:  Presented by Make it Better for Youth and the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Monmouth County, “Breaking the Silence, Celebrating Our Voices” concludes the “Day of Silence,” a national student-led action in honor of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students and their families and friends taking a stand against bullying, harassment, abuse and more. Performances by Kailynn Barbour, poet, blogger and 2012 recipient of the Lionel Cuffie Award for Activism and Excellence, and the New Jersey Gay Men’s Chorus begin at 7 p.m. 1475 West Front Street.

RED BANK:  “The Electric Baby” births at Two River Theatre.  The drama follows three different pairs – a middle-aged couple, ahopelessly devoted lover and the apple of her eye, and a Romanian mother and Nigerian father caring for their child – who discover the ways in which their lives are connected.  The play, by Stefanie Zadravec, runs through May 5. Tickets are $24-$42 and the show begins at 8 p.m. 21 Bridge Avenue.

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ON THE GREEN: YARD SALE SEASON

Shots from the 2012 edition of the Red Bank Townwide Yard Sale, which was bustling despite periodic drizzles. (Click to enlarge)

Tis the season wherein one person’s junk becomes another’s bargain find, and the next two weekends on the Green promise riches for sellers and buyers alike in Lincroft and Red Bank.

First up, this Saturday: the Lincroft Village Green Association holds its ninth annual Lincroft Community Yard Sale at homes throughout that corner of Middletown from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

A week later, on April 27, comes the Red Bank Townwide Yard Sale, a borough-spanning extravaganza of household goods recycling

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POP, CLASSICAL AND JUKEBOX CRIMINALS

Sudden pop star Ryan Beatty, seen here in a video shot recently on Broad Street, returns to Red Bank with a show at the Basie tonight. (Click to enlarge)

By ALEXIS ORLACCHIO

Friday, April 12:

MIDDLETOWN: Manga fans mingle at the Middletown Public Library for the bi-monthly Manga Club meeting. The event is free and begins at 3:30 p.m. 55 New Monmouth Road.

RED BANK: Overnight web celebrity teen sensation Ryan Beatty, whose EP made number one on iTunes – and who made the girls swoon when he popped in recently at Yo Mon yogurt on Water Street  – makes an appearance at the Count Basie Theatre after an opening set by Jackson Harris. Call to reserve VIP Meet and Greet Passes ($65) 732.842.9000, or buy general tickets $15. The concert starts at 7 p.m. 99 Monmouth Street.

RED BANK:  “The Electric Baby” continues production at Two River Theatre through May 5. This adult drama, by award-winning playwright Stefanie Zadravec, follows the lives of three strangers and traces how their paths cross in ways they’d never imagine. Tickets are $24 to $42 and the show begins at 8 p.m. 21 Bridge Avenue.

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RED BANK: MING CHEN FLIES WITHOUT A CAPE

Ming Chen, right, talking smod with Michael Zapcic at Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash last month.  (Photos by Dan Natale. Click to enlarge)

By DAN NATALE

Bites2_SmallAMC’s Comic Book Men, a reality TV show set at Red Bank’s Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash that airs its season finale tonight, features a cast renowned for snide and jaded banter on the world of comic books, movies, and television.

Throughout their playful, occasionally ball-busting discussions conducted online on ‘smodcasts‘ that anchor the show, store employee Ming Chen tends to be the brunt of the jokes due to his laid-back, friendly and unassuming disposition.

Chen, 38, started on his path to comic book heaven in 1996, while attending the University of Michigan. There, he studied everything from economics to organic chemistry, until he found himself skipping class to follow his true passion: web design. Chen says he “fell backwards” into his life as a professional nerd after he created a fan website for Kevin Smith’s movie ‘Clerks,’ which prompted Smith to offer him an internship. Since then, Chen has formed lifelong friendships with Smith and the cast, which includes Bryan Johnson, Michael Zapcic, Walt Flanagan, and “Steve-Dave.” This chemistry, Chen says, is what creates the show’s natural feel.

redbankgreen sat down with Chen, who also hosts the show “Puck Nuts” and is often featured on the podcast “Tell ‘em Steve-Dave,” for an installment of our infrequent Human Bites feature, which focuses on people and their passions.

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FAIR HAVEN: 69-YEAR-OLD COPS TO ROBBERY

Blue Stove Antiques was robbed at gunpoint last June 2, with some $200,000 in jewelry and other valuables taken. (Click to enlarge)

A 69-year-old man admitted robbing Blue Stove Antiques in Fair Haven at gunpoint last June, federal law enforcement officials said Wednesday.

Robert A. Fiolka, of Staten Island, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Freda L. Wolfson in Trenton to an Information charging him with Hobbs Act robbery and use of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence.

He faces up to life in prison at sentencing, scheduled for July 11.

As reported by redbankgreen, Fiolka was also linked to three other robberies dating back to 2007, according to the FBI. Those cases were not mentioned, however, in the announcement of Fiolka’s plea by U.S. Attorney for New Jersey Paul Fishman.

Nor were Fiolka’s priors, which included a 1967 armed robbery of a bank in Matawan in which a bank employee was taken hostage, redbankgreen has confirmed.

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WEEKEND: BOOK SHOPPING, RUNNING, ART…

The Friends of the Red Bank Public Library three-day book sale kicks off Friday night with a reception, hits its stride Saturday, and concludes with a fill-a-bag coda on Monday. (Click to enlarge)

Friday, February 1

SHREWSBURY: Shrewsbury’s branch of the Monmouth County Library will host Dr. Janice Thomas from Brookdale Community College at 11 a.m. To kick-off the First Friday for Seniors series, Thomas will put on a presentation outlining her trip to India during which she learned about the culture and education system. 1001 Route 35 North.

MIDDLETOWN: Athlete Kyllian Warman returns to her Middletown roots to discuss how she was able to achieve her 2012 New Year’s resolution of running 2012 miles– and plans to run 2013 miles this year – at the Main Library at 2 p.m. Tying into this, she will also share the ways she sets goals and overcomes obstacles. 55 New Monmouth Road.

LINCROFT: Christian Brothers Academy starts its annual art show and sale by hosting a preview celebration from 7 to 11 p.m. The event will feature wine and hors d’oeuvres by Merri Makers, plus live music. The $60 admission also includes reentry to the weekend’s art and antique show. RSVP online here. Newman Springs Road.

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RETAIL CHURN: FUR, BOOZE & YOGURT

Steven Corn Furs plans to nestle in at 21 Broad Street, former showroom for Agostino Antiques. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Rcsm2_010508In:  a century-old fur retailer and a liquor store.

Out: the oldest of Red Bank’s three frozen yogurt shops.

It’s the never-ending Churn…

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WEEKEND: BLUES, BOOKS AND SO MUCH MORE

Heavy-chops bluesman Matt O’Ree plugs in at Jamian’s in Red Bank tonight, and author Karen Schnitzspahn autographs her new book on the history of food at the Shore, below.

Friday, December 7
MIDDLETOWN: Each year, Poricy Park Nature Conservancy hosts a seasonal shop with the help of a volunteer staff. Entering its 25th season, the handcrafted holiday craft shop runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. through December 2. Items for sale include all homemade quilts, jewelry, ornaments, jams and jellies and more. Kids can also get their picture taken with Santa for a small fee. 345 Oak Hill Road.

SHREWSBURY: At 11 a.m.m the Eastern Branch of the Monmouth County library will host a Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day observance featuring Tom Minton, who will discuss the activities that took place at Fort Hancock and around the Sandy Hook peninsula during World War II. Free admission. 1001 Rt. 35 North.

RED BANK: Free yoga session at the Red Bank Public Library by Amy Richardson at 1 p.m. No registration required, bring your own mat. 84 West Front Street.

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RED BUS IN RED BANK

A 1930’s-era White Motor Company tour bus made its way along Front Street in Red Bank on the back of a flatbed truck last Friday. According to the website of hotelier Glacier Park Inc., which has some interesting background on the vehicles here, 33 of the classic red buses are operated in Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park in Montana and Alberta, Canada. This one, though, belongs to a family in Rumson, and was being moved into storage, we’re told. (Click to enlarge)

IN FAIR HAVEN, A FANTASY WORLD ON RAILS


Railroad gardener Michael Humphreys could easily crush a dozen buildings if he were to lie across his “grown-ups’ playground.” (Photos by Stacie Fanelli. Click to enlarge.)

By STACIE FANELLI

In Michael Humphreys’ backyard are a covered wagon, a water tower, a livery stable, a totem pole, a sawmill and hundreds more relics of American history. Running through a miniature, imaginary town are his pride and joy: working locomotives built to scale.

Humphreys’ toy train collection, 20 years in the making, came to fruition eight years ago when he moved his family to Fair Haven, fenced in his yard, leveled the ground and built a railroad garden running half the length of his 60 x 35 foot yard.

“Basically, I’m a designer,” he said. “I’m making a theatrical effect.”

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STREET FAIR SIGNALS SUMMER’S END

Scenes from Sunday’s Street Fair in Red Bank. (Photos by Stacie Fanelli. Click to enlarge)

By DANIELLE TEPPER

Sunday’s balmy mid-70s temperatures brought locals out in droves to experience the eclectic collection displayed at the Red Bank Street Fair.

The annual event offers residents and visitors six hours of live music and 200 stands of crafts, clothing and flavorful foods – most of which have been dipped into a vat of frying oil.

This year was no different. Broad Street and Monmouth Street were overrun with excited kids in strollers, happy dogs on leashes, and adults of all ages eager to give the summer a proper send-off.

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FBI LINKS HEIST SUSPECT TO ROBBERY STRING

Blue Stove Antiques was robbed at gunpoint in early June by a man authorities have linked to armed robberies of New Jersey jewelry stores going back half a decade. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

A 68-year-old Staten Island man accused of robbing a Fair Haven antiques store at gunpoint in June has been linked to three jewelry store robberies dating back to 2007, the FBI says.

And just days before his arrest, the suspect appeared to be casing one of those stores for a second try, the FBI suggests in a document filed in the case.

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HOODS UP AT DOC HOLIDAY CAR SHOW

More than 300 eye-catching cars, and a handful of motorcycles, shone under the summer sun on White Street in Red Bank Sunday as the Liberty Hose fire company held its tenth annual Robert ‘Doc’ Holiday Car Show.

The event is a fundraiser for annual college scholarships in the name of the late firefighter name and for the volunteer company itself. (Click to enlarge)

JUANITO’S OPENS MEGABODEGA ON WEST SIDE

Juanito’s International Marqueta is the latest in a line of food-related businesses owner Juan Torres has created in town. Below, the store’s placeta-style checkout station. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Leading a visitor through the aisles of his new supermarket on Red Bank’s West Side, Juan Torres wended his way past employees busily stocking shelves and freezers just hours before he unceremoniously opened the store to shoppers Tuesday.

Reminiscent of midsized neighborhood markets long ago displaced by supermarkets, Juanito’s International Marqueta features four short aisles and two longer aisles stocked with dry goods, many of them grouped together by nation of origin: Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras and elsewhere, Torres said.

Likewise, along a wall of freezers, food is also grouped by nation of origin, including Salvadoran corn tamales known as pupusas.

The groupings, Torres said, were done to make shopping easier for Latino immigrants – as well as non-Hispanic shoppers – looking for beans, sardines and other products they used in their home countries, he said.

“People here take taxis to Long Branch to get ingredients,” he said. “Now, they can walk here.”

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