RBR SPOTLIGHTS HEROIN EPIDEMIC

rbr drug forum 022014 rb drug forum 022014 2Recovering drug addict Dave Dolan, right, spoke of his rapid descent from model student to heroin user during a forum on teen substance abuse that attracted dozens of parents and kids to Red Bank Regional Thursday night. Now a graduate student at Monmouth University, Dolan was part of a panel of health professionals, parents of addicts and ex-users assembled to discuss the warning signs and responses to drug use.

“We’re not going to arrest our way out of this problem,” said Charlie Webster, a spokesman for the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s office, which regards an increase in heroin deaths in the Shore region over the past two years an epidemic.   (Click to enlarge)

RBR HOSTS ADULT FORUM ON HEROIN EPIDEMIC

TimeToActMonmouth County professionals and citizens involved with the February 20 forum “Time to Talk…Time to Act” include (left to right): Jennifer McCarron, RFH intern; Suzanne Fico, RFH Student Assistance Coordinator (SAC); Jacqueline O’Hara, Nurse Practitioner Intern; Lori Todd, RBR SAC; Kathleen Booth, Red Bank Catholic SAC;  Ben Day, RFH Community Alliance; Enza Massa, RFH Social Worker; Virginia Carreira, Nurse Practitioner, Long Branch High School; Donna DeStefano, RFH Community Alliance; Nikki Barreca, Shrewsbury Community Alliance.

Over the past six months, the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s office has been sounding the alarm on the insidious heroin epidemic that is addicting and killing our young people, regardless of the community in which they live. As a follow-up to that awareness campaign, area school districts and drug alliance organizations are sponsoring an adult forum “Time to Talk…Time to Act” at Red Bank Regional High School on Thursday, February 20. The 6:30 pm program will take place inside the RBR auditorium .

All parents and adults are encouraged to attend the two-hour presentation, during which information on heroin addiction will be presented by medical professionals. Additionally, the personal stories of young people in recovery and the parents of people whose lives have been impacted by this highly addictive and deadly drug will be featured.  A panel of professionals will then inform the public on the resources and treatment options available to help prevent addiction, identify it and promote recovery. A Q&A session will follow the presentations.

This event is jointly sponsored by the School Districts of Fair Haven, Little Silver, Red Bank, Red Bank Catholic, Red Bank Regional, Rumson, Rumson-Fair Haven Regional, and Shrewsbury, as well as the Rumson-Fair Haven Community Alliance and the Shrewsbury Community Alliance.

RUMSON: OXFORD HOUSE FILES FEDERAL SUIT

oxford rumson 1 011214Oxford House says in a court filing that the group home at 61 South Ward Avenue is getting new residents. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Oxford House has gone on the legal offensive against Rumson.

The parent organization of the embattled group home for recovering alcoholics and drug addicts filed a federal lawsuit against the borough on Friday, alleging discrimination in violation of fair housing and Americans with Disabilities laws.

The suit claims the town and borough Administrator Tom Rogers “have interfered with operation and occupancy” of the residence in the aftermath of two drug overdoses at the house since it opened in August – one resulting of the death of a 25-year-old Holmdel man in October, and the second in December, in which a resident required emergency treatment.

Read More »

RUMSON: ALL QUIET AT OXFORD HOUSE

oxford rumson 2 011214.JPGThe manager of Oxford Houses for New Jersey says the Rumson group home is still occupied, but declines to say if there’s a proctor on site. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Rumson officials failed in their attempt to get a court order forcing a group home for recovering addicts to be vacated. But they appear to have effectively gotten what they wanted:
an empty Oxford House.

Or have they?

Contrary to the impressions of town officials and some neighbors, “it’s not vacant,” according to George Kent, who manages the house, at 61 South Ward Avenue, for the nonprofit Oxford House.

If it’s not vacant, tid Oxford follow through on a purported plan to change the facility from all-male to one for women and children?

“All I can say is nothing’s changed,” Kent told redbankgreen last week. “There’s people living there.”

Read More »

MIDDLETOWN K9 SNIFFS TWO POUNDS OF POT

AUTHORITIES_MTOWN1Middletown police arrested a Lincroft man after they found two pounds of marijuana in a car he was driving Wednesday, according to a police department press release.

From the MTPD:

On January 8, 2014 at approximately 12:15 pm Detective Keith Hirschbein and Officers Richard Belmonte and Anthony Dellatacoma stopped a motor vehicle for a motor vehicle violation on Dwight Road. Upon stopping the vehicle the officers detected a strong odor of raw marijuana coming from inside the car. The officers called a narcotics canine to the scene to sniff the car. Sheriff’s Officer Joseph Aretino of the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office and his canine partner Ari arrived on scene and conducted the sniff. K-9 Ari showed positive indications on multiple locations on the vehicle.

Read More »

MIDDLETOWN: ARREST IN DRUG ROBBERY

AUTHORITIES_MTOWN2•Middletown police released the following on Friday afternoon regarding a robbery Thursday evening:

On December 19, 2013 at approximately 6:45 p.m. the Middletown Police Department responded to a report of an armed robbery at the Rite Aid Pharmacy located on Newman Springs Road in Lincroft, NJ. The suspect, Jayson Turegano, age 24, from Hurley’s Lane in Lincroft, NJ, entered the store and jumped over the pharmacy counter. Turegano then grabbed the pharmacist, placed a scissor blade to his neck, threatened him and demanded Oxycodone pills. He then fled the store with a bottle of pills.

Read More »

RUMSON: OXFORD WAS TO GO FEMALE

61 so ward rumson 101413The house at 61 South Ward Avenue has been occupied by Oxford House since August. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Officials overseeing Rumson’s Oxford House were planning to turn the four-month-old addiction recovery facility for men into one serving addicted women and their children by the end of the year, redbankgreen has learned.

What will become of that plan is unclear, however, in the aftermath of a purported second drug overdose at the house in nine weeks and the filing of a borough lawsuit that slams Oxford House as a failure on its own terms and a danger to the neighborhood.

Read More »

RUMSON: APPARENT OD SPARKS LEGAL ACTION

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_02Rumson officials have launched an effort to evict the residents of an addiction-recovery house following what Mayor John Ekdahl called an apparent drug overdose there early Tuesday morning.

Ekdahl said the town filed suit in Superior Court in Freehold Tuesday afternoon asking for an order that Oxford House residents, at 61 South Ward Avenue, clear out immediately, and that Oxford be barred from using it as a home for drug addicts and alcoholics.

The action follows the overdose death of an Oxford House resident on October 13 and a medical emergency involving another resident shortly before dawn on Tuesday.

Read More »

RUMSON: EMERGENCY REPORTED AT OXFORD

oxford house 121713Oxford House on South Ward Avenue at about 6:30 a.m. Tuesday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

A medical emergency at Oxford House, the controversial addiction recovery residence that opened in Rumson without public notice in August, had neighbors buzzing about a possible second overdose there Tuesday.

Police Chief Scot Patterson tells redbankgreen that paramedics were called to the house on South Ward Avenue sometime after 5:30 a.m. on a report of an unresponsive person inside. Paterson said he did not know the nature of the emergency.

“All I know is that when the person left, he was alive and being treated by paramedics,” Paterson said.

Read More »

SHREWSBURY CRIME REPORTS

Crime and arrest reports, unedited, as provided by the Shrewsbury Police Department for the period of November 30 to December 6, 2013.

•AUTHORITIES_SBURY1Report of Theft in the area of Harmon’s Cosmetics, Broad Street on 12/6/13. Victim reports merchandise taken by unknown subjects. Damages totaling $1,949.90. Ptl. Derek Myers investigating.

Arrests

Jodi L. Stavola, female age 37 of Colts Neck was arrested on 12/5/13 for Driving Under the Influence in the area of Shrewsbury Avenue by Sgt. Michael Gallagher.

Read More »

RED BANK: HEAVY PLANNING BOARD AGENDA

train-76209Newly oepned Carlo’s Bake Shop seeks permission to offer table service. Also on the agenda: the Walgreen’s plan for lower Broad Street, below. (Photo above by Peter Lindner. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rb walgreens 2 091613Red Bank’s planning board has a lot on its plate Monday night.

The agenda calls for the board to hear testimony on three high-profile plans:

• The controversial Walgreen’s application for a 14,200-square-foot store at the former Rassas Buick car lot on Broad Street.

Read More »

RUMSON: OXFORD HOUSE REACHES OUT

61 so ward rumson 101413“Not the best mix” of residents formed the initial population at the Oxford House when it opened in Rumson in August, a facility official told neighbors Tuesday night. One of the residents died of a drug overdose. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_02The addiction-recovery residence that popped up unannounced in a quiet Rumson neighborhood this summer “did not get off to a good start,” an official with the organization that sponsors the facility told residents Tuesday night.

“We haven’t been good neighbors,” said George Kent, a regional manager with Oxford House, “and I take full responsibility for that.”

Standing at a lectern in the nave of St. George’s by the River Episcopal Church just a block from the Oxford House on South Ward Avenue, Kent fielded sometimes hostile questions from about 40 residents of the West Park neighborhood, hoping to establish a dialogue in the aftermath of a drug overdose death at the house.

Read More »

AT RFH: TIME TO TALK, ON HEROIN EPIDEMIC

Acting MC Prosecutor Christopher GramiccioniMonmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni will address the area’s heroin epidemic tonight, November 18, during a presentation at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School entitled “It’s Time to Talk.”

Press release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School

According to local law enforcement officials, “It’s Time to Talk” about the alarming rise in heroin-related deaths in Monmouth County.

The general public is invited to participate in a conversation with Acting Monmouth County prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni, inside the auditorium at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School tonight, November 18.

RFH is sponsoring the  7 pm event, along with Red Bank Regional High School and the elementary school districts of Fair Haven, Little Silver, and Shrewsbury.

Read More »

RUMSON: WRITE-IN DRIVE HEATS UP ELECTION

rumson writein 110313A write-in campaign for two candidates billing themselves as the Rumson Family ticket emerged in the wake of the Oxford House controversy last month. Below, Tim McCooey at the October 22 borough council meeting, the night before he became a candidate. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

tim mccooey 102213If the trend over the past century holds on Election Day, Rumson will seat an all-Republican borough council in January.

Ah, but which Republicans?

In a development that may add drama to Rumson’s usual election-night snoozer, two political newcomers have mounted an eleventh-hour write-in campaign, hoping to harness what they say is frustration with their party’s incumbents.

Read More »

RED BANK: TURN IN YOUR OLD RX DRUGS

rx drugs 102513Got any out-of-date or no-longer-needed prescriptions in your medicine cabinet? Red Bank police will take them off your hands to make sure they don’t fall into the wrong ones, says Captain Darren O’Connell. Drop them off under Operation Take Back for safe disposal at the police station, 90 Monmouth Street, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday. (Click to enlarge)

RUMSON: OXFORD REHAB HOUSE SPARKS IRE

rumson council 102213An overflow crowd jammed Rumson’s council chambers to air concerns about an addiction recovery house in town. Below, Barbara Russell returns to her seat after speaking with borough Attorney Marty Barger. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

barger russell 102213Rumson residents packed a borough meeting Tuesday night to demand action regarding Oxford House, an addiction-recovery residence where a tenant died of a suspected drug overdose 10 days ago.

Seated on the floor and standing in the hallway outside the bimonthly meeting of the town’s governing body, neighbors teed up Oxford House for setting up a residence at 61 South Ward Avenue without notice and for a self-governance model they say isn’t working.

“They’re sitting on the porch and they are drinking,” in violation of Oxford’s own bylaws governing locally chartered houses, Washington Avenue resident Barbara Russell said of the house’s nine residents.

Having recently completed alcohol and drug treatment programs and then allowed to live together without supervision, Oxford’s young clients are naturally “going to come out and have a party,” said Russell, who described herself as a recovering alcoholic for 26 years.

Read More »

RUMSON: REHAB HOUSE FOCUS OF COMPLAINTS

61 so ward rumson 101413The Rumson house where a man was found dead of a suspected drug overdose Sunday quietly became an addiction recovery residence in August, neighbors say. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Nestled in a quiet Rumson neighborhood still recovering from floodwaters that tore through a year ago, the grey house at the corner of South Ward and Washington avenues stands out, towering over its neighbors.

It also stands out as the subject of complaints to the police.

“They party all the time,” a neighbor who asked not to be identified said of the home’s occupants. “They are up all night. Partying on the front porch. Running through the neighborhood.”

Sunday evening, though, the police were at the house for another reason: looking into the death of one of its residents from a purported drug overdose.

To the surprise of many in this affluent community, the house turns be a drug- and alcohol-rehab residence.

Read More »

RUMSON: REHAB HOUSE DEATH INVESTIGATED

just_in1The death of a person found at a Rumson residence Sunday is under investigation, police Chief Scott Paterson tells redbankgreen.

Kin of the deceased haven’t been notified, so he’s unable to release any information about the matter, including the name or age of the victim, Paterson says.

Oxford House, a nonprofit drug rehab provider, lists the house, at 61 South Ward Avenue, as a residence for up to nine males in rehab. Drug or alcohol use by residents is cause for eviction.

Read More »

RED BANK: DRIVE-THRU CHANGE SAILS THRU

rassas 7 052213The change will not apply to a proposed Walgreen’s store at the former site of Rassas Buick, officials said. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_01A change to Red Bank’s law on drive-thru businesses got quick service Wednesday night.

Setting aside opposition by the lawyer for a proposed Walgreen’s pharmacy and by Coffee Corral owner Russ Crosson, the council gave unanimous approval to a zoning change that requires new drive-thrus to be located 100 feet from a residential zone.

Read More »

RED BANK: NEW PHARMACY APPROVED

A drugstore and two adjoining stores would occupy space formerly used by a Chinese takeout restaurant and a portrait studio near the corner of Broad Street and Harding Road. (Click to enlarge)

By SARAH KLEPNER

Rcsm2_010508Less than a year after losing its last independent drug store, Red Bank is getting a new one, and it’s located just across the street from the vacant shell of its predecessor.

Pharmacist Kamlesh Patel won approval from the borough planning board Monday night for an independent pharmacy at 141-1431 Broad Street, nearly opposite the former home of the Professional Pharmacy, which closed up shop in December after 61 years in town.

RED BANK, SHREWSWBURY MAKE DRUG BUSTS

Red Bank and Shrewsbury police reported separate drug arrests Friday.

From Shrewsbury PD, regarding an incident that occurred at noontime Friday, according to Chief Lou Ferraro:

A Long Branch man has been arrested and charged with Possession of Cocaine, Possession of Cocaine with intent to distribute, Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Marijuana with intent to distribute, Possession of Synthetic Marijuana, and Possession of drug paraphernalia.

Read More »

M’TOWN: MAN CHARGED WITH DWI, LEWDNESS

Recent activity reports, unedited, as provided by the Middletown Township Police Department.

call-in-the-authorities• Michael Murphy, age 33, from Brainard Avenue in Port Monmouth, NJ, arrested on June 27, 2013 by Patrolman James Beirne on a Non-Support warrant issued by the Monmouth County Superior Court. He was help pending a court date.

• Stephen Smith, age 45, from Chapel Hill Road in Atlantic Highlands, NJ, arrested on June 26, 2013 by Patrolman Ryan Riffert on a Contempt of Court warrant issued by the Old Bridge Municipal Court. He was released after posting $500.00 bail.

• Danny Skinner, 3rd, age 20, from New Street in Toms River, NJ, arrested on June 27, 2013 by Patrolman Thomas Russo on a Contempt of Court warrant issued by the Middletown Municipal Court. He was held on $1,000.00 bail.

Read More »

RED BANK: FLAGPOLE, AND U.S. FLAG, STOLEN

call-in-the-authoritiesThe crime reports below were provided by the Red Bank Police Department for the period of June 20 to June 27, 2013. This information is unedited.

Burglary/Theft occurring on 6-20-13 at Cedar Crossing residence. Victim reported that unknown subject(s) gained entry into residence by removing screen and opening window. Once inside proceeded to steal a lap top computer. Lt. Eliot Ramos.

Criminal Mischief reported on 6-20-13 on Marion St.—Community Garden. Report of unknown person(s) pulling up two fence posts and damaging fence surrounding garden. Lt. Michael Clay

Read More »

RED BANK: ANOTHER DRUGSTORE WANTS IN

The proposed Red Bank Family Pharmacy and two retail stores would fill the space formerly occupied by Jade Garden restaurant and Kramer Photography. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Rcsm2_010508Walgreen’s isn’t the only drugstore sensing opportunity in Red Bank’s pulse.

A Middlesex County pharmacist hopes to open a drugstore on Broad Street, almost directly opposite the vacant former longtime home of the Professional Pharmacy, which closed up shop in December after 61 years in town.

Kamesh Patel’s application to open what he’s calling the Red Bank Family Pharmacy landed at the borough planning office Monday, less than two weeks after the giant Walgreen’s chain filed to build a 14,000-square-foot drugstore at the former Rassas Buick location, also on Broad Street.

Read More »