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RED BANK: EXTRA CASH FUNDS TEACHER HIRES

An increase in state aid enabled the district to add two teachers Tuesday night, with more coming, says the superintendent. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The Red Bank Board of Education approved the hiring Tuesday of two teachers whose jobs were made possible by an increase of $512,682 in additional state aid.

Up to six more teachers and instructional aides are expected to be added to the district’s payroll for the coming school year under what Superintendent Jared Rumage called a “gigantic” cash infusion from Trenton into the still-underfunded district.

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RED BANK: PEDIATRIC SURGEON INDICTED

A 72-year-old pediatric surgeon from Red Bank was indicted last week on two counts of criminal sexual contact with a 17-year-old female patient, according to an announcement Monday by Monmouth County Prosecutor  Christopher J. Gramiccioni.

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RED BANK: NEW STINK OVER BELLHAVEN COSTS

A 2012 image outlines the extent of wetlands at Bellhaven Natural Area at the western terminus of Locust Avenue. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Two years after abandoning a controversial “sprayground” proposed for the Bellhaven Natural Area, the Red Bank borough council is moving ahead with plans for a playground at the site.

At its semimonthly meeting Wednesday night, the council approved nearly $20,000 in additional engineering costs for the site, a move that prompted fresh objections.

“This is deja vu all over again,” said Bill Meyer, owner of a downtown commercial building. The borough has already spent $73,000  engineering fees on the site, and “that money was burned and wasted,” he said. Read More »

RED BANK: NEW MURAL POPS INTO VIEW

A colorful new mural bloomed to life on the Catherine Street wall of Kitch Organic restaurant in Red Bank over the weekend.

Executed by local children — and some adults who pulled a couple of all-nighters — the mural promotes two cultural events: the Indie Street Film Festival, which returns to town for a four-day run starting July 26; and the Crossing Borders Festival, featuring five days of free-admission Latino-flavored plays and food at the Two River Theater beginning August 2.

Artist Misha Tyutyunik, also known as MDot, created the design, reprising his role from the 2016 Indie Street mural on Monmouth Street. Click read more for additional pix. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

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MIDDLETOWN: ‘GIANTS OF SCIENCE’ POP BY

Their not-so-secret identities include familiar names that span centuries: founding father Ben Franklin, inventor Thomas Edison, anthropologist Dian Fossey and Silicon Valley visionary Steve Jobs. Considered together, they’re the American Giants of Science — a superteam with a mission to rekindle a young nation’s intellectual curiosity in a tech-driven age when scientific inquiry appears under siege.

On Wednesday morning, explorers aged 7 and up are invited to take part in an interactive “whirlwind tour through time,” with the point of departure the Middletown Township Public Library.

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RED BANK & MIDDLETOWN: T-REX RETURNS

A 15-foot-long T-Rex puppet from Field Station: Dinosaurs, seen here in 2012, returns to the Red Bank Public Library Tuesday. (Photo by Stacie Fanelli. Click to enlarge.)

He’s scaly, maybe a bit scary, some 15 feet long, and usually spotted in the company of a singing paleontologist known as the Dinosaur Troubador. He’s the traveling T-Rex from Bergen County attraction Field Station: Dinosaurs, and he’s returning to libraries in Red Bank and Middletown this week.

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RED BANK: BOOKMARKS MARK FAVORITES

St. James first-grader Declan Duffy chose to draw Red Bank’s Molly Pitcher Inn as his favorite place in town, above. Below, the other winners by grade. (Click to enlarge)

[Press release from the Friends of the Red Bank Public Library]

The Sixth Annual Friends oft he Red Bank Public Library Bookmark Contest has announced this year’s winners!  At a well-attended party on May 20, the Friends presented the winners with certificates and gift cards to local businesses.

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RED BANK: SCHOOL TO GET 500 BOOKS

[Press release from the Office of the Governor, June 9, 2017]

Supporting the development and enhancement of student reading skills, First Lady Mary Pat Christie announced today that Red Bank Primary School in Red Bank is receiving 500 books as part of the 11th annual Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge. Last year, 43 Governors’ Spouses, Governors and Lieutenant Governors participated as Reading Ambassadors for the summer program.

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LITTLE SILVER: ESSAY LAUDS “TINY” TOWN

Jack Stamer gets a smooch from his grandmother, Edie Levine, after reading his essay to the Little Silver council Monday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

What’s special about growing up in Little Silver? A Red Bank Regional senior’s essay on that theme earned him $1,000 toward college expenses Monday night.

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RUMSON: RUTTY GO-KARTS TO FUTURE

A champion Go Kart racer, Forrestdale School fifth-grader Christian Rutty has excelled both in the classroom and on the track.

Press release from Rumson School District

In 2016, Rumson resident Christian Rutty was chosen as a contestant on season two of LifeTime TV’s Child Genius. His family, however, chose not to pursue that opportunity due to scheduling conflicts — among them a commitment to the sport known as “karting.”

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FAIR HAVEN: A GALLERY OF FUTURE ARTISTS

A large crowd of visitors admired an array of art created by students in grades K through 8 at Sickles and Knollwood Schools at the April 25 Fair Haven School District Art Show.

The event was organized by borough art teachers RoseAnn LaBrocca, Jessica Data and Chris Dudick.

Above, Sickles School first-grader Jude Burkhardt and third-grader Brody Burkhardt with Brody’s mixed-media painting. At right, Sickles School third-grader Celia Cope and her mom Carolyn admire Celia’s “Kitty Kitty Love” papier-mâché creation.

RED BANK: SCHOOL TAX TO RISE 3.26 PERCENT

Facilities are growing tighter as enrollment rises, said Superintendent Jared Rumage. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The Red Bank Board of Education approved a $22 million budget that would raise the local school portion of property tax bills by 3.26 percent Tuesday night.

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RED BANK: CHARTER SCHOOL TO BUY BUILDING

The building, in which the charter school now rents space, has several commercial tenants, and another slated to take the retail space formerly leased by Prown’s Home Improvements. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The Red Bank Charter School plans to buy a commercial building that adjoins its Oakland Street home under a plan approved by the school’s board of trustees Tuesday night.

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RED BANK: CURTAIN UP FOR BASIE KIDS

Press release from Count Basie Theatre

Each year, the historic Count Basie Theatre welcomes thousands of students to experience live art — and for many, it’s their first or only opportunity to do so. From classical music with modern twists, to the diversity of Asian and African artistry or historical plays like I Have a Dream, the Basie allows students to dream forward through the experience of culture and artistic expression.

Last week, the theatre announced its participation in the OceanFirst Charity Challenge, a crowdsourcing fundraiser which will assist the Basie in raising money for its “Curtains Up For Kids” educational performance program for schools.

Individuals are encouraged to visit thebasie.org and click the “Curtains Up For Kids” icon, which will take them to a page where donations can be taken, and individuals and schools can spin off their own fundraisers to assist the cause.

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RED BANK: A SENSES-FRIENDLY SUMMER CAMP

As part of its 2017 Summer Theater Camp, Red Bank’s Two River Theater will offer its first classes for students with autism ages 10-17, plus a special “sensory-friendly” performance of the play ‘The Way Back Home’ on June 10.

Press release from Two River Theater Company

Two River Theater, under the leadership of Artistic Director John Dias and Managing Director Michael Hurst, has announced two new initiatives designed to support young people on the autism spectrum, and welcome them to the theater.

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RED BANK: CYMCA HOSTS HEALTHY KIDS

Press release from The Community YMCA

This coming Saturday, April 29, marks the the annual appearance of Healthy Kids Day, a free community event, hosted by The Community YMCA, to inspire more kids to keep their minds and bodies active now and all summer long hosting.

Between the hours of noon to 3 p.m., the Y’s Family Health and Wellness Center (166 Maple Avenue in Red Bank) will be the scene for a fun afternoon in which families will enjoy face painting, Kids Hip/Hop and Zumba, a Teddy Bear Clinic led by Hackensack Meridian Medical Health and Riverview Medical Center’s ER staff, race relay and free throw contests, Giant Jenga, a gift card raffle to local businesses, and more.

Healthy snacks from Wegmans and giveaways will be available. Families interested in a healthy start to summer can sign up for a special priced three-month membership.

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RED BANK: COP PLANS MENTORING PROGRAM

Patrolman Mike Zadlock, who’s spearheading a project called ‘Club 109’ to engage middle school boys. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The boy hadn’t been showing up at school, so a Red Bank police officer was dispatched to the family’s home to make sure everything was OK one day in January.

Nothing was amiss when Patrolman Michael Zadlock arrived. But the boy’s single-parent mother said she simply couldn’t get her son to go to school, and so she would reluctantly leave the pre-teen at home when she went off to work, Zadlock said.

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RED BANK: A BIG EVENT FOR BIG BROS/SISTERS

Press release from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Monmouth and Middlesex Counties

For generations in Monmouth and Middlesex counties, the area chapter of the nationwide nonprofit Big Brothers/ Big Sisters has offered children in our community access to One-to-One Mentoring Programs that have made a tremendous difference in the lives of our young people. And, each spring for much of the past two decades, the BBBSMMC has engineered a very tasteful way for supporters to get involved with these acclaimed programs.

Going up for its 18th edition on Thursday, May 4, the  annual Food and Wine Tasting Event offers an opportunity to “tantalize your taste buds with a selection of wine and cocktails…indulge in hors’ doeuvres, raw bar, pasta, specialty stations and dessert,” and “try your luck at silent and chance auctions.”

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