RBMS HAS EYES ON NO.1 PRIZE

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Red Bank Middle School students Sandra Paz, Teddy Mitchell and Josh Bruce talk to the media Thursday about their involvement in “eInstruction Is The Key,” a video they made for an international competition. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

The Top 10 isn’t good enough for Red Bank Middle School anymore.

Over the last couple years, students have shown the nation they’ve got loads of talent with their rock operas and rap videos that have placed in the Top 10 in education contests. Their videos have won a nice amount of cash for the school district. But this year, the students are taking their talent international, and they have their eyes on a sweet technology makeover for the first place winner.

The middle school has entered its students’ video, “e-Instruction Is The Key,” into the third annual e-Instruction Interactive Classroom Makeover Competition, which draws talent from all over the world to compete for technology upgrades worth $30,000 at the winning school. After placing as finalists the last two years, the Red Bank’s faculty and students have high hopes and expectations for 2009.

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FAIR HAVEN REC HEAD THRIVES, FULL-TIME

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Charlie Hoffman just finished his first year as Fair Haven’s first full-time recreation director. Borough officials think the investment has paid off in spades. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

As mayor of Fair Haven, Michael Halfacre catches a lot of flak for decisions he and the Borough Council make. That was no different last year when the council decided to hire a full-time recreation director; Halfacre says there was a lot of collective grumbling going on.

But once Charlie Hoffman, a fresh-faced 29-year-old, stepped into that full-time role and got to work, the naysayers suddenly got quiet, Halfacre said.

“I’ve not heard a single complaint from anybody,” he said. “His on the job performance has been tremendous.”

Hoffman has been on the job for a little more than a year now, and all one needs to do is take a look at the borough’s existing and new recreation programs to see the impact Hoffman’s had in his inaugural year, his backers say.

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POLICE: TEEN CURFEW WORKS

curfew09This year, for the first time since 1998, the Mischief Night/Halloween combo falls on a Friday and Saturday. Does that portend trouble in the form of tissued utility lines, egged front doors and soaped-over car windshields?

Not as far asĀ  Red Bank police are concerned. They say crackdown on teenage after-hours loitering in general, and an annual curfew for two nights bookending Halloween in particular, has reduced problems dramatically in recent years.

Though the borough council’s Halloween curfew resolution is a pro-forma item approved each without much discussion, it has the intended effect, police Captain Steve McCarthy believes.

“Everyone respects it,” he said.

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