RED BANK: EX-FIRE CHIEF MEGO DIES

One arm still in a cast, John Mego was sworn in as first deputy fire chief in January 2010, three weeks after he was struck by a vehicle while working as a school crossing guard. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

[UPDATE: Obituary and service information added below.]

Former Red Bank Fire Chief John Mego has died, Mayor Pasquale Menna said Friday morning.

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RED BANK: FIREHOUSE GETS MORE TIME

red bank what's going on hereRED BANK 40 white streetIt’s been almost six years since Red Bank sold the former firehouse on White Street to a private developer. More than two years have passed since a start-up brewery announced plans to set up in the space. And yet, the 109-year-old structure remains idle and empty.

What’s Going On Here? You ask, and redbankgreen answers…

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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: OLD BRICK BUILDINGS REVIVED

red bank nest 32 mechanic 112119 2The facade of Nest, at 32 Mechanic Street, the former Independent Engine firehouse. Below, Bottles by Sickles anchors an addition to the former Anderson Storage Building. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

RED BANK bottles by sickles 200 monmouth st.Two red brick buildings with deep roots in Red Bank have begun new lives in recent days – with assists from Brooklyn and Seattle.

One is the landmark Anderson Storage Building near the train station, where a wine shop owned by Sickles Market opened Sunday. And the former Independent Engine Company house on Mechanic Street is now home to a retail furniture store.

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RED BANK: KITCHEN FIRE DISPLACES ONE

red bank fire 94 leighton AVERed Bank firefighters in the smoke-filled kitchen at 94 Leighton Avenue. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

A kitchen fire damaged a Red Bank home and displaced its lone occupant early Friday morning.

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RED BANK: POOL LAWSUIT CLAIMS NEGLIGENCE

red bank riverview towers pool 091319 2Work to replace the Riverview Towers pool was underway last week, as seen from a balcony. The deck of the Atrium at Navesink Harbor is visible at left. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

red bank riverview towers 091319Sixteen months after their swimming pool mysteriously popped out of the ground, residents of the Riverside Towers high-rise in Red Bank are rebuilding their treasured riverfront amenity.

Meantime, they’re also in court against a number of vendors, offering an unusual explanation for the, um, floating pool.

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RED BANK: REMEMBERING VICTIMS OF ‘MALICE’

red bank september 11 2019 darren mcconnellEighteen years after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on America, Red Bank Police Chief Darren McConnell led a pledge of allegiance for about two dozen participants in a memorial service held in Riverside Gardens Park Wednesday morning.

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RED BANK: FIREFIGHTERS KEEP FREE Y ACCESS

red bank ymcaThe Red Bank nonprofit says no families of kids now in a free membership program will be turned away. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank’s volunteer firefighters will get to keep their free memberships to the local YMCA, the organization announced Wednesday.

Police will still have to pay, though now at a discount, a spokeswoman for the nonprofit said. But there’s no change to the plan unveiled last week to end across-the-board free memberships for borough schoolchildren.

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RED BANK: MENNA ‘IRATE’ OVER YMCA ACTION

red bank pasquale mennaRed Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna speaking at the the Memorial Day ceremony last month. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna on Thursday blasted a decision by the Community YMCA to end free memberships for borough schoolchildren and emergency first-responders.

Menna went on the offensive after the Y’s “unilateral” action, which he said was made without any advance notice to or discussion with his administration.

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RED BANK: KIDS, RESPONDERS LOSE FREE YMCA

red bank ymcaThe Red Bank YMCA says affected families can apply for subsidies to replace the free memberships. Below, the letter sent to parents of children in the Healthy Kids program. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank YMCA letter 061919Red Bank’s schoolchildren and emergency first-responders will lose their free access to the borough YMCA in September.

The Maple Avenue nonprofit’s executive director, Katie McAdoo, tells redbankgreen the change was driven by its need to be “accountable” to funders.

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RED BANK: 12 FAMILIES DISPLACED BY BLAZE

red bank oakland square fire The fire began in mulch ignited by a discarded cigarette or match at the 12-unit Oakland Square apartments, officials said. The top of a smoking pole is visible at right. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

this just in redbankgreenA discarded cigarette or match appears to have ignited a blaze that sent two people to the hospital and left 12 families without a home Sunday morning, officials said.

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RED BANK: FIRE AT NEW APARTMENT BUILDING

red bank oakland square fireRed Bank firefighters on the roof of Oakland Square, as seen from the rear parking lot, above, and Oakland Street, below. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

red bank oakland square fireFire heavily damaged a two-year-old affordable-housing apartment building in Red Bank Sunday morning.

Ninety minutes after the first alarm at 9:05 a.m., firefighters remained on the scene at Oakland Square, where fire had burned through the roof above the third floor.

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RED BANK: SPEAKEASY ON ZONING AGENDA

21-23 broad red bank The former Agostino antique store space at 21 Broad Street, vacant for seven years, is the site of a proposed food market and ‘speakeasy.’ (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njOn Thursday’s Red Bank busy zoning board agenda: a proposal for a downtown food market and speakeasy, plus a plan to build a new house on the site of a devastating fire, and changes outside the Two River Theater.

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RED BANK: “TENACIOUS’ INSPECTOR CITED

RED BANK menna woods yassinFire inspector Frank Woods, flanked by Mayor Pasquale Menna and Councilman Hazim Yassin, was honored for averting possible catastrophe at an apartment complex. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

A “tenacious” Red Bank employee won recognition from the borough council Wednesday night for efforts that officials said headed off a possible disaster at an apartment complex last month.

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RED BANK: NO INJURIES IN CAR FIRE

red bank car fire The driver and occupants, if any, of car that caught fire while being driven on Maple Avenue in Red Bank escaped without injury shortly after midnight Tuesday. The vehicle, a Mercedes, was destroyed. Further details weren’t immediately available.  (Photo by John T. Ward. 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: FIRE BLAMED ON RIGGED HEATER

The portable heater and duct, visible at center, were removed from the porch before firefighters arrived, officials said. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njThe fire that destroyed a Red Bank house Wednesday was blamed on a portable heater, according to the borough’s top fire inspector.

The heater had been rigged to keep contractors warm while the house was undergoing illegal renovation work, redbankgreen has learned.

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RED BANK: FIRE DESTROYS VACANT HOME

red bank fire 28 rector p. Dec. 12, 2018Volunteer firefighters on Ladder 91 returning after cutting into the roof shortly before an evacuation alarm was sounded. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njFire destroyed a vacant Red Bank house under renovation Wednesday morning.

The rush-hour blaze at 28 Rector Place sent a blanket of white smoke over the downtown and points east for about two hours.

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LITTLE SILVER: TWOFER SALE AT SICKLES?

Little silver NJ accident Little silver NJ accident No one was injured, police said, when a Mercedes SUV and a sedan wound up in the same parking space, one atop the other, at Sickles Market in Little Silver shortly after noon Friday.

Volunteer firefighters from Little Silver and Red Bank were on the scene, working to separate the vehicles, which had a light pole pinned between them. Police were investigating the cause of the accident. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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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