shrewsbury-fire-061209Firefighters cut through the roof to access the blaze in the attic, as seen from the Allen Street side of the house.

A 28-year-old Shrewsbury man was hospitalized after a fire tore through a Patterson Avenue home during a thunderstorm early Friday morning.

The blaze was the second major fire battled by borough volunteers and those from neighboring towns in less than a week. Last Friday, a fire reported to be electrical in origin destroyed the Memory Bowling lanes on Newman Springs Road, just two blocks from the scene of this morning’s blaze.

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We don’t yet know who he is. But this firefighter was surely feeling the heat of today’s blaze at Memory Bowling in Shrewsbury as flames suddenly tore through the roof just feet from where he’d been standing.

The entire roof later collapsed. So far, there are no reports of injuries.

To enlarge the slideshow, click in the box in the lower right hand corner of the frame.


A Red Bank fireman backs down a ladder as flames erupted through the roof where he’d been standing just seconds before. (Click to enlarge)

Firefighters from Shrewsbury and Red Bank are battling a blaze at Memory Bowling alley on Newman Springs Road late this morning.

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Those three spheres featured in last week’s ‘Where’ seem to be quite the eye-catchers.

Installed outside the TD Ameritrade office on Broad Street (Route 35) at Monroe Avenue in Shrewsbury, they’re clearly decorative, and lend a touch of whimsy to the site.

But many of the 17 (wow) readers who wrote in — and every one of them got the location right — mused that the spheres also serve a protective purpose against errant vehicles. Matt Villa of Fair Haven referred to them as bollards.

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Hot Topic
As noted in a redbankgreen reader comment, the state Attorney General has backed off a plan to fine 81 percent of the state’s bowling alleys $3,000 each for violating raffle regulations.

From a statement issued by the AG’s Consumer Affairs office on Wednesday:

The Legalized Games of Chance Control Commission (LGCCC), which regulates raffles and bowling alleys, today voted at its monthly meeting to suspend the fines and instead issue warning letters to each bowling alley. The $3,000 fine, which is less than half the maximum $7,500 fine that the LGCCC could have imposed, will be returned to those who have already paid and not be collected from the other facilities.

The LGCCC also will conduct outreach to ensure bowling alley operators understand the raffles law.

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The state Consumer Affairs division took the action as part of a raffle-licensing enforcement.

Memory Bowling in Shrewsbury was among 59 bowling alleys statewide cited for conducting 50/50 raffles that violate New Jersey regulations, the state Attorney General‘s office announced Monday.

The Newman Springs Road facility was cited for conducting 50/50 raffles even though licenses for such events may only be obtained under the law by “veterans organizations,
religious congregations, charities, and civic
and service clubs… in addition
to educational and fraternal organizations,
senior citizen associations and clubs, volunteer
fire companies and volunteer first aid rescue
squads,” according to a press release issued by the AG’s office

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Rogers & Lloyd
RBR Source program director Gilda Rogers and parent Karen Lloyd discuss plans for last year’s ‘Surviving the Teen Years’ event, which will be reprised next week.


Teens can deplete medicine cabinets just a pill or two at a time. To parents, it often goes unnoticed, much like the booze-filled water bottles and fruit smoothies kids might be drinking.

Teens drive around with friends stuffed in the trunks of their cars to bypass a law that limits the number of passengers they’re allowed to have in their cars. It’s called “trunking.”

And as if texting secrecy doesn’t worry parents enough, now “sexting” is making life miserable for teenage girls who send nude photos via camera phone to their boyfriends. After the breakup, everyone gets a copy. Then they end up on the Internet. And stay there.

These pitfalls of teenage life have parents scrambling for ways to help their vulnerable kids navigate away from potential risks. Problem is, many parents just don’t know what where to turn for guidance.

To help, Karen Lloyd, parent of two teenage sons and chairperson of the Shrewsbury Alliance, helped organize a panel of area professionals for an “evening of frank discussion on the most important and enigmatic people in your life — your teenagers.”

‘Surviving the Teen Years: Everything You Wanted to Know About Your Teen… But Were Afraid to Ask,’ returns to Red Bank Regional High School for its second year next Thursday, March 26, from 7-9p.

The event is free and all parents are invited to attend, whether or not they live in the school district.

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Luis Cortez hand-rolls some 250 cigars a day, using techniques and equipment much like generations of women in his family used. (Photos by Laura Koss)


There's nothing fancy about Cortez Cigars. Occupying a former home on Broad Street (Route 35) in Shrewsbury, it has no novelty gadgets or souvenirs on display, no teddy bears in undersized t-shirts smoking oversized cigars.

No, this place is not just a store, it's a workshop, each half of the business sharing a singular purpose. Here, 27-year-old proprietor Luis Cortez makes traditional, hand-rolled Cuban cigars, and that's all he sells.

"We focus just on cigars, and only sell cigars we make," he says. "We enjoy what we do and have a passion for it."

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Call in the authorities
Good one from the annals of amusing crime stories courtesy of the Asbury Park Press:

SHREWSBURY — A Red Bank man walked into a department store, asked a cashier for a pen, then used it to write a holdup note, police said.

Eric Greene, 23, of West Bergen Place, fled from the Marshalls store with a bag of cash, but with help from police in two other communities, he was taken into custody about 5 1/2 hours later, authorities said.

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Last week’s ‘Where Have I Seen This?‘ featured three views from the site of Shrewsbury’s Allen House, a history-drenched property that dates to the late 17th or early 18th century and functioned for many years as a tavern.

Now maintained by the Monmouth County Historical Association (and open for free tours May through September), it’s at the northwest corner of what’s known as ‘the historic four corners’ intersection of Broad Street (Route 35) and Sycamore Avenue.

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Img_456872Tad Emptage and MelissaMarie Wilhelm dazzled students with a sampling of flips, spins and slides from their aerial show Monday. The kids also got into the act.

A pair of performers from a show called Circurious rolled into the gym at the Shrewsbury Borough School yesterday, giving kids aged five to fourteen a taste of the aerial life.

The show features Tad Emptage, founder of Cirquetacular Entertainment, and MelissaMarie Wilhelm, who attended the school until third-grade, when her family moved to Chicago.

Now a 26-year-old Brooklyn resident, Wilhelm fondly recalls her first-ever stage role: as the ringmaster in Sally Bond’s first-grade circus.

The full Circurious troupe of 15 to 20 performers takes to the air above the stage of the Count Basie Theatre on December 27. Click for tix, and click pix to enlarge.


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Do not… zzzzt zzzzt… do not adjust your dial…

Ah, that’s better, a picture rendered at a state-of-the-art 72 pixels per inch.

Now: where was it taken?

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While Red Bank celebrated the completion of its first century as a borough, Shrewsbury, too, had a centennial to make note of over the wekend. This year is the 100th anniversary of the borough’s Hose Company No. 1 volunteer firefighting squad.

A modest parade of antique and modern firefighting equipment led borough residents from Patterson Avenue to the borough hall for an afternoon of festivities Saturday. The Asbury Park Press had a piece about the history of Hose Co. No. 1 last week.

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The tax for the Red Bank Regional High School district will rise for Little Silver and Shrewsbury property owners and decline for those in Red Bank under the proposed $23.3 million budget up for a vote April 15, today’s Asbury Park Press reports.

From the story:

Under the spending plan, taxpayers in Red Bank would see about a half-cent decrease, for a tax rate of 34.9 cents per $100 of assessed value. That means the owner of the average home, assessed at $406,627, would see a $20.33 annual decrease, according to the district.

Officials said Red Bank saw a decrease because that borough is sending fewer students to the high school. The Red Bank Regional high school tax rate does not include municipal, county or local school tax rates.

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Where’s Willard Scott? Where’s the cake? Where’s our SILLY PARTY HAT?

Red Bank Borough is 100 years old today!

Or next Monday, depending on which birth certificate you go by.

A century ago, on March 10, 1908, the New Jersey Legislature passed an act to incorporate Red Bank as a borough, “effective immediately.”

One week later the law “went into effect, when a certified copy of the bill was recorded at Freehold,” the weekly Red Bank Register reported in its March 18 edition.

The new law designated the form and powers of the government, which would consist of a mayor and six “councilmen” who, in addition to levying taxes, would have the authority to:

Stop animals from running at large.

Kill dogs running at large.

Stop fast driving.

Not to mention “license pedlers [sic], auctioneers, news stands, theaters, circuses, shooting galleries, bowling alleys, organ grinders etc.”

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Img_3809Boarding the bus for Friday night’s playoff game were, from left, Kerry Wilson and Katie Devin of Shrewsbury and Amanda Kohlbecker of Little Silver.

How this story stayed under the media radar we have no idea. But the Red Bank Regional ice hockey team somehow managed to make it nearly through its entire season without much attention to the fact that three of the boys were actually girls.

redbankgreen learned about the presence of senior Amanda Kohlbecker, junior Kerry Wilson and sophomore Katie Devin on the team two weeks ago through a press release from the school. Clearly this was noteworthy, if not historic, right? No other team in the Shore B conference had even one girl on the roster, let alone three.

Then again, maybe gender just doesn’t matter the way it used to. Maybe young women have established they can compete in rough sports that were formerly the exclusive games of boys, so that the appearance of however many females on a “boys” team no longer merits much more than a shrug.

Still, we wanted to meet them. But trying to pin the trio down proved a challenge akin to stopping a frozen slab of rubber zipping across the ice in a blur.

In addition to the school team, all three girls also play on travel squads. And though Devin lives in the RBR district, in Shrewsbury, she attends the Biotechnology High School in Freehold. So other than time on the ice, they were rarely together.

We finally caught up with them late Friday, just minutes before they boarded a bus to Wayne, where the Buccaneers would face Lakeland in the first-round public B division playoffs of the NJSIAA championship tournament. (The NJSIAA calls the sport “boys’ hockey,” whereas RBR lists it simply as “ice hockey.”)

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