LAPPING IT UP AT THE GROVE

Molly, Dexter, Denali, Cappucino, Skippy and Harry were among the one-named attendees at Doggie Date Night at d’jeet? restaurant at the Grove shopping center in Shrewsbury Friday night.

The occasion was a fundraiser for Project Animal Worldwide’s effort to save street dogs in Puerto Rico. redbankgreen was there to get the dog’s-eye view of the proceedings.

To enlarge the photo display, start it, then click the embiggen symbol in the lower right corner. To return to redbankgreen, hit your escape key.

LITTLE SILVER SQUAD WANTS A LITTLE HELP

ls-emsLittle Silver EMS crewmembers Mike Very, Liz Uliano, Chris Faherty and  Carolyn Bogdon hope to bring in a few new volunteers at an open house Sunday. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Some things are certain if you join Little Silver’s EMS squad. Sirens, stretchers and blood are a given.

Other things, not so much.

Like meeting your future spouse or, working alongside your uncle who never intended to join, but liked the idea of driving an ambulance – both of which happened to Liz Uliano.

“That’s a story that a lot of people have, like, oh, I just want to drive,” said Uliano, the 22-year-old squad vice president. “Then they get addicted.” She got to know her fiancé, police officer and EMS captain, Peter Giblin, through the squad.

Uliano and the other volunteers in Little Silver want more people addicted. So they’ve planned a day to showcase the squad in hopes it will bring on new members to help carry the call load.

Read More »

MEMORIAL DAY ROUNDUP

american-flagsA home on Bingham Avenue in Rumson displays a row of miniature American flags in recognition of Memorial Day, which is Monday. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Memorial Day is this Monday, signifying not just a long weekend and the unofficial start to the summer season, but most importantly a holiday to pay tribute to the American soldiers who’ve died in service to the country.

Here’s a roundup of Decoration Day events around the redbankgreen.

Read More »

‘CRASH’ SENDS MESSAGE IN GORY DETAIL

rbr-mock2Local volunteers ready a mock patient to be removed from a staged car crash and transported via a helicopter. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

With red lights flashing, power tools humming, glass shattered into crystal rocks on the pavement and twisted metal — what just minutes prior had been car roofs and doors —  tossed to the side, the jaws slowly lowered and the cell phones were pointed in ‘capture’ mode.

After firefighters muscled the jaws of life to tear aluminum and carbon fiber from two cars that had become cages to its passengers, EMS volunteers broke out the neck braces and popped the stretchers into position, ready to take away the victims of a head-on collision Friday morning.

Then the hearse arrived, and somebody was being zipped into a white body bag.

This high school tradition, a morbid mise en scene intended to spring the neck hair of prom-going seniors, couldn’t get more real short of somebody’s heart actually stopping.

Read More »

FEDS CHARGE LOCAL DOC IN DRUG RING BUST

lopresti-officeJacqueline LoPresti, who has an office on Prospect Avenue in Little Silver, is one of two doctors indicted for allegedly writing illegal prescriptions. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

A Little Silver osteopath is among 21 people facing federal drug distribution charges for her alleged role in a massive scheme to peddle the painkiller oxycodone, the Associated Press reports.

Jacqueline LoPresti, 50, who lives in Fair Haven and practices in an office on Prospect Avenue in Little Silver, is one of two doctors arrested Wednesday for “illegally writing more than 6,000 prescriptions for more than 500,000 oxycodone tablets between January 2009 and December 2010,” the AP reports.

U.S. Attorney for New Jersey scheduled a noontime press conference in Newark on the case.

Read More »

ENOUGH TO GIVE ONE GAS

sb-gasAmid a national spike in gasoline prices, Sea Bright Service Station is the apparent winner in the race to $4-a-gallon gas in the greater Green. On Tuesday, the Ocean Avenue filling station advertised regular at $4.03 a gallon. Lukoil on Newman Springs Road in Shrewsbury hovered at $3.99 a gallon, according to gasbuddy.com. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

THE WEEK IN REARVIEW

pink-linePink striping down River Road in Fair Haven in celebration of Pink Week, which continues this week. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

You’ll notice the redbankgreen masthead’s looking a more on the red side than green these days. That’s because last week kicked off Pink Week, Riverview Medical Center and Red Bank RiverCenter’s annual push for breast cancer awareness, detection and treatment.

We’re not here just for supportive graphics, but on this Monday morning to keep you abreast (couldn’t help it) of what that’s all about, and other news from the end of April. Click on.

Read More »

FROM GARAGE, POP’S PLANS TO HIT THE ROAD

pops-extProduce from the vegetable garden outside Pop’s Garage in the Grove West will be used in dishes. (Click to enlarge)

food

Pop’s Garage, a popular Mexican restaurant on the boardwalk in Asbury Park, opens its third outlet today in the Grove West shopping center in Shrewsbury.

The taqueria is the seventh in a cluster of varied restaurants owned and run by Marilyn Schlossbach, the brains behind Langosta Lounge, another Mexican place on the boardwalk; Trinity and the Pope, offering Cajun dishes in downtown Asbury; the Dauphin Grille, a seafood spot in that city’s Berkeley hotel, and the casual-themer Labrador Lounge, in Normandy Beach, where the third Pop’s Garage is also located.

But this one represents a breakout for Schlossbach, and not solely because it’s located in a highway shopping center. Along with her partner-brother Rich and husband Scott, Schlossbach created the Shrewsbury Pop’s as a prototype for what they hope will grow to into a national franchise.

redbankgreen caught up with 46-year-old Schlossbach – who is also running for state Assembly as a Democrat in the new 11th District – at a pre-opening party in Shrewsbury last Friday for the scoop on her empire-building plan.

Read More »

CABINET CLEAN-OUT SLATED FOR SATURDAY

old-rxLet’s see… almost three years old? Yeah, time to go. (Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

As you break out the feather duster and crack into the clutter in the attic for your spring cleaning routine, police are reminding residents not to forget about the medicine cabinet.

This weekend, local departments are participating in Operation Take Back, a national effort to collect unused and expired medications from households.

Read More »

SHREWSBURY NAIL SALONS BURGLARIZED

estella-break-inEstella Nails was one of two Shrewsbury nail salons broken into the last two weeks. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

A pair of Shrewsbury nail salons within blocks of each other on Broad Street were burglarized in the last two weeks, police said.

Nails Plus, at 427 Broad, and Estella Nails, 464 Broad, were targets of overnight smash-and-grabs, Chief John Wilson said.

The burglaries appear to be connected to a flurry of Monmouth County nail salon break-ins, he said.

Read More »

SHREWSBURY HIT WITH 21 CAR BREAK-INS

hot-topic rightBy DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Adding to a multi-town spree that police say may be the work of one individual or group, at least 21 vehicles were illegally entered and burglarized in Shrewsbury last Friday.

In all cases, the vehicles were unlocked, said police Chief John Wilson.

Read More »

SHREWSBURY POLICE OFFICER DIES AT 58

sbury-crepeShrewsbury Borough Hall has funeral bunting displayed in various locations after the loss of veteran officer Alan Morris. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Sergeant Allan Morris, a 25-year veteran of the Shrewsbury Police Department who was transitioning into retirement, passed away suddenly Friday.

The cause is suspected to be of natural conditions, Council President and Police Commissioner Thomas Menapace said. Morris, a sergeant in the department, was 58.

Read More »

THE WEEK IN REARVIEW

mittA catcher’s mitt at Rumson Little League’s opening day. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Break-ins were the breaking news that dominated locally last week, topped by word of an arrest of an suspect in a string of high-end residential burglaries that included pop star Bon Jovi among the victims.

Read More »

FOR RETIRED CARPENTER, IT’S HAMMER TIME

hammersFrank Scordo with one of his favorite conversation pieces, a double-handled hammer. Some 1,200 tools from his collection are on display at the Shrewsbury Historical Society. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

For many retirees, the entry into the golden years is a chance to travel, spend more time on the golf course or play the spoiling grandparent.

But for retired carpenter Frank Scordo, post-employment means keeping up with a hobby that, for most, might just instantly pound the brain’s snooze button: cultivating a collection of hammers.

Read More »

CAR BREAK-INS REPORTED ALL OVER

just_in1By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

A rash of car break-ins in Fair Haven has spread to neighboring towns, local departments said Monday.

In addition to break-ins reported in Red Bank and Fair Haven, Rumson, Shrewsbury and Little Silver have reported unlocked vehicles entered over the last few days, and police are putting residents on high alert.

Read More »

COUNTY OFFERS INSIDE DIRT ON COMPOSTING

ComposterTim Zebo of Red Bank with the composter he got as part of the Monmouth County course in 2008. (Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Gather up the banana peels, egg shells and coffee grinds, all you greenies and wanna-bes.

The Monmouth County Planning Board is offering local workshops at which experts will go over the ins and outs of backyard composting.

The 45-minute presentations get into the practical ways to reduce household waste and improving soil quality by tossing your waste to the worms.

Read More »

SHREWSBURY: SLIGHT LIMP BUT IN OK SHAPE

donald-burdenShrewsbury Mayor Donald Burden in his office at borough hall. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

The theme for Donald Burden the last two years has been ‘falling.’

In 2009, just two months before he was set to retire after 47 years at McGraw-Hill, Burden was cleaning his gutters when he took a fall from the roof, leading to four surgeries on his legs and a slight gimp.

Then, last year, Burden, who was Shrewsbury’s council president, was approached by then-Mayor Terel Cooperhouse, who said he wasn’t running for re-election and asked Burden if he’d like to take the spot on the ticket.

It wasn’t something he expected or envisioned when he moved to town in 1976.

“I just fell into it,” said Burden, a Republican who was elected mayor in an uncontested race in November.

With three months under his belt, Burden can readily declare his borough — and his legs, to a certain degree — in good shape for the future.

Read More »

RBR TO INTRO BUDGET, NEW SUPERINTENDENT

mr-s3By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Jim Stefankiewicz, right, will waste no time getting back down to business at Red Bank Regional.

Even though he won’t officially step in as the high school’s superintendent until April 1, he’ll re-introduce himself — and the 2011-’12 budget — to the public a couple of days prior.

The former principal and to-be school chief will hold a meet-and-greet next Wednesday, then take part in the district’s 2011-12 budget presentation.

Read More »

MIDDLETOWN MAN INDICTED FOR BANK FRAUD

just_in1Six months after he was arrested on charges of trying to defraud a Shrewsbury bank branch out of $93,000, a Middletown man has been indicted on related charges.

Sandy Masselli, 48, faces charges of theft by deception and forgery, according to an announcement by Monmouth County Prosecutor Peter Warshaw.

Read More »

FOR MARRIAGE NO.2, WEDDING WALK NO. 1

wed-walkPhyllis Merola and Dennis Evanchik, who plan to marry in May, took in Saturday’s Wedding Walk through Red Bank. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Though they were tucked at a table in a corner of a ballroom filled with young women teeming with excitement, Phyllis Merola and Dennis Evanchik were the standouts.

At 50 and 60 years old, respectively, they could have been the parents of just about any of the prospective brides sipping coffee and chatting at a soft roar in the Molly Pitcher Inn Saturday. And the story of how the two ended up at the Molly, to plan a May 7 wedding at the Shadowbrook in Shrewsbury, is one ripped from the pages of a Hollywood script.

They were friends for 30 years and had their own families. But within about a year of each other, the two went through divorces and, some time after, Evanchik made a proposition to Merola.

“He said, ‘if you can date a perfect stranger, why not date me?’ ” Merola said.

In November, another proposition: Will you marry me?

And so on Saturday, when 10 o’clock hit, the couple followed the procession out of the riverside hotel and headed for downtown Red Bank for the borough’s third Wedding Walk, ready to spend a full day tying up loose ends for their springtime nuptials — just like many of the 200 others who registered for the event.

Read More »

TRADER JOE’S FANS REVEL IN NEW STORE

tjs3Customers got the aloha treatment, complete with leis, at the opening of the new Trader Joe’s store in Shrewsbury Friday morning. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Aaaaaaaand exhale, Trader Joe’s fans.

On this damp and gray Friday morning, the wildly popular grocer opened its doors in Shrewsbury — an event full of pageantry, with Caribbean music blasting, a Hawaiian-shirted steel drummer at the entrance and TJ employees forming a tunnel and placing leis around the necks of some 30 customers who lined up well before the 8a opening to get their fix.

“We’re so happy to be here,” said Fran Waldmann, of Red Bank.

Happy, she said, because now she can sleep.

Read More »

RBR NAMES EX-PRINCIPAL AS NEW SUPER

mr-s1By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Jim Stefankiewicz (right) is returning for Act II at Red Bank Regional High School, this time to take the reins as superintendent.

Stefankiewicz, RBR’s former principal, was appointed Wednesday night as superintendent, filling a gap left by Howard Lucks, who left the post earlier this month to tend to his ailing wife.

Former superintendent Edward Westervelt will keep Lucks’s seat warm until Stefankiewicz, who is currently assistant superintendent for the Middletown school district, steps into the new role sometime in April.

Read More »

TRADER JOE’S MUM ON SHREWSBURY OPENING

trader-joeTrader Joe’s is coming to Shrewsbury’s Treasure Island Plaza, but hasn’t said exactly when. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Trader Joe’s appears to be gearing up for its Shrewsbury opening sometime in the near future.

How near is the big question. Sorry, we don’t know when exactly the supermarket chain will open its doors to its rabidly faithful followers, but you can thank corporate reticence for that.

Anyway, signs, including the big red one in Hawaiian-style lettering erected in the Treasure Island Plaza last week, point to “soon.”

Read More »

SHREWSBURY DOC MUSCLES HER WAY TO FAME

karyn-marshallKaryn Marshall, seen below in competition in the 1980s, will be inducted into the Weightlifting Hall of Fame next month. (Click to enlarge. Photo above by Dustin Racioppi.)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

karyn-marshall1She’s won five world championship gold medals, and was the first woman in history to clean-and-jerk more than 300 pounds over her head. She’s set 60 world and American records. She was, in 1985, dubbed by World Weightlifting Magazine “the World’s Strongest Woman.”

In the world of weightlifting, Karyn Marshall, set just about every standard for her gender.

Now, here’s another superlative she can add to her résumé: Hall of Famer.

Next month, the 54-year-old weightlifter-turned-chiropractor, who has a private practice in Shrewsbury, will be inducted into the Weightlifting Hall of Fame in York, Pennsylvania, capping an illustrious career that started with anything but promise.

Read More »