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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RED BANK: ALARMS SHUT OFFICE BUILDING

The building, seen here in 2016, abuts the Red Bank train station. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

A large Red Bank office building was closed to employees for the second consecutive day Wednesday over concerns about carbon monoxide.

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RED BANK: FIRST WORKSHOP’S A MARATHON

Instead of taking their usual places on the dais, the mayor and council members sat around a large conference table for the meeting. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

The Red Bank council’s first-ever workshop-only meeting proved to be a marathon of matters large and small Wednesday night.

Among the topics discussed at the three-and-a-half-hour session: ways to “deal with the issue” of vehicles parked indefinitely outside the home of an unspecified Bank Street resident, though it was widely understood who that was.

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RED BANK: FIRE VICTIMS SEEK HELP

Owen Duncan and Mildred Johnson, below, speaking with acting Fire Marshal Tommy Welsh as firefighters battled the blaze in their home on May 27. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Two Red Bank siblings who lost their lifelong home in a fire last month are seeking the public’s help as they watch their funds dwindle.

Mildred Johnson and Owen Duncan escaped their burning house on Washington Street on May 27.

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RED BANK: STREET VIGIL HONORS FIREFIGHTER

Lit by candles and streetlights, participants shared memories of Andrew Hill at the event. Below, Hill in a selfie posted to his Facebook page last November. (Above photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

On the Red Bank corner where he suffered a fatal stab wound, dozens of mourners gathered for a hushed vigil in memory of 26-year-old firefighter Andrew Hill Saturday night.

Many wore t-shirts bearing the emblem of the firehouse where he served, located just four blocks away. And everyone, it seemed, had been affected by Hill’s irrepressible positive attitude.

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RED BANK: MURDERED FIREFIGHTER RECALLED

Andrew Hill in a 2015 Facebook photo. Below, fire Chief Stu Jensen’s badge bore a black band in memory of Hill and others. (Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

He had just made the last payment on his dress blues, the uniform that Red Bank volunteer firefighters wear to ceremonial occasions like the Memorial Day remembrance of colleagues who have died in the previous year.

But 26-year-old Andrew Hill was absent from Monday’s ceremony. Instead, he was among those being honored less than 36 hours after he was murdered just four blocks from the firehouse he loved.

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RED BANK: RIVERFRONT POOL CONDEMNED

The pool and dock at Riverview Towers are off-limits after the pool tore loose on Tuesday, officials said. (Photo by Google Satellite. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank officials have condemned the swimming pool at a residential high-rise on the Navesink River after it was displaced Tuesday.

The Riverside Towers pool, built over the river, rose several feet, apparently on incoming tide, upheaving the surrounding deck, officials said. Read More »

RED BANK: OLDEST FIRE COMPANY RETIRED

Relief Engine Company retains the second-floor meeting space in its longtime home on Drummond Place. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

[CORRECTIONS: The original version of this post mistakenly identified the Relief Engine Company as the oldest firefighting unit in Red Bank. That honor belongs to the Navesink Hook and Ladder, which was established in 1872, eight years before Relief, which was the town’s second fire company. Additionally, the Drummond Place firehouse is now owned by St. James Church, not the borough, as previously reported.redbankgreen apologizes for the errors.]

By JOHN T. WARD

Making Red Bank history, one of the borough’s six volunteer fire companies is being retired from active duty.

Under a consolidation plan in the works for three years, the Relief Engine Company, stranded for the past two years without a firetruck, will become a keeper of borough firefighting history, Chief Stu Jensen announced Wednesday.

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RED BANK: THREE HONORED FOR LONGEVITY

The Red Bank council and two state legislators honored three people for longevity Wednesday night. Among them: Edith Blake, above, who celebrated her 100th birthday on Sunday.

Blake told redbankgreen she didn’t know what all the “fuss” was about.

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