TRUCK FIRE DOUSED IN TINTON FALLS

Firefighters quickly doused a fire that sent smoke billowing across Shrewsbury Avenue from a burning car carrier on Gilbert Street West in Tinton Falls Monday afternoon. No information about the cause of the blaze was immediately available. (Photo above by Dianne Patterson. Click to enlarge)

FIVE CHARGED IN ROBBERY BEATINGS, ARSON

Three Red Bank residents face robbery, assault and other charges after a pair of beatings nearly a week apart that ended with one borough man stabbed and another’s SUV left burning in Mohawk Pond, police say.

Last Thursday and Friday, police arrested four men – all admitted or suspected members of the Bloods gang –  and one woman on charges arising out of the attacks, said police Captain Darren McConnell.

The motive in both cases was robbery, and unrelated to gang grudges, McConnell said.

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TINTON FALLS COUPLE CLAIM $70M PRIZE

The winners of last week’s $70 million Powerball pot are a married couple from Tinton Falls, the Star-Ledger and other news outlets report.

Joseph and Celeste Tamburello claimed the whopping prize at state lottery offices in Trenton Monday, nine days after Celeste bought the winning ticket at the Little Silver Family Pharmacy in Little Silver, the Asbury Park Press reports.

Today, on her fifteenth anniversary working at a food services company, Celeste plans to give her two-week’s notice, according to the reports.

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LAST STOP FOR TOLLBOOTHS: TINTON FALLS

Decommissioned tollbooths in a yard in Tinton Falls, as photographed by the Star-Ledger’s Robert Sciarrino. (Click to enlarge)

Wednesday’s Star-Ledger has a quirky story about what happens to all those New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway tollbooths after they’re decommissioned by E-Z Pass technology.

They’re put out to pasture in a yard near the Asbury Toll Plaza in Tinton Falls, the Sledger reports.

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HISTORIC PRESERVATION GRANTS DOLED OUT

The Broad Street home of the Woman’s Club of Red Bank is in line for some spruce-up funds from Freehold. (Click to enlarge)

The Woman’s Club of Red Bank and three historic structures in Shrewsbury are among the local nonprofits set to share in $71,200 in grants awarded by the Monmouth County Historical Commission, the county government announced Friday.

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MYSTERY HAMPTON INN PLAN OPPONENT ID’D

Lawyer Ron Gasiorowski, left, said the owners of a Tinton Falls hotel have been paying his fees for representing Hampton Inn opponent Stephen Mitchell, right. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

After months of secrecy, the lawyer for the most vocal opponent of a proposed Hampton Inn in Red Bank has identified the moneybags paying for his services.

They’re the operators of the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel on Hope Road in Tinton Falls.

Attorney Ron Gasiorowski ended his cat-and-mouse game over Stephen Mitchell’s backing Thursday night, when he told the borough zoning board that brothers Carey and Doran Tejfal of Tinton Falls Realty Lodging were picking up the tab for his services.

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FIVE BUSTED FOR RED BANK BREAK-INS

riverside-concession-2Two burglaries at the Riverside Gardens Park concession stant a crackdown on loitering in the park, borough officials said. (Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Red Bank police closed the book on a quartet of burglary cases over the past two weeks, including a double break-in at a park concession stand.

Five suspects were arrested in total, for burglaries that committed over the last two weeks, police said. All suspects were locals.

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RED BANK CHARGES CAR BURGLARY SUSPECT

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

just_in1

A Farmingdale man already in jail on charges of breaking into unlocked cars all over the redbankgreen coverage area and beyond now faces additional charges for the same crimes in Red Bank, police said.

Rodney Tyler, 19, was charged with five counts of burglary and theft on Thursday, closing the book on a round of break-ins that occurred on the East Side of town, police Captain Darren McConnell said Wednesday.

“It was back when we had a slew of them, back in March,” McConnell said.

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STATE AID BOOST COMES WITH QUESTIONS

c-christieGovernor Chris Christie at a Middletown town hall meeting in January. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Governor Chris Christie’s announcement Wednesday of how he’s apportioning $850 million in aid to school districts was welcome news to superintendents, who last year took axes and scalpels to their budgets when Christie froze funding.

But while any additional funds are welcome, local school leaders say they’re still in the dark over one big question: how are they going to be able to use it?

“We’re still, right now, sort of waiting for additional guidance from the Department of Education how they would like us to proceed with additional funding,” said Jim Stefankiewicz, superintendent of Red Bank Regional High School in Little Silver. His school got a whopping 147-percent boost in state aid. “Information from the governor’s office said that they would really like it to be earmaked more for property tax relief, which we are very open to and considering.”

But until official word comes down what the money can be used for, Stefankiewicz, like other leaders, is in a holding pattern.

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COPS: PAIR FOUND WITH WEAPONS, HEROIN

fhpd-carFair Haven police arrested a man with a dagger, stun gun and heroin Sunday. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

A routine traffic stop early Sunday morning led to the arrest of a man with a dagger, stun gun and heroin in Fair Haven, police said.

Police also brought other charges against Bruce Thompson II, of Red Bank, and his passenger, Todd Gunderson, of Middletown.

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BREAK-IN SUSPECT CHARGED IN TWO TOWNS

tf-cruiserTinton Falls and Rumson police charged a man in car break-ins that occurred over months. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Tinton Falls and Rumson police have brought close to 75 charges against a Farmingdale teenager for his alleged role in car break-ins that occurred over the course of four months in each town.

Charges from surrounding towns and others in eastern Monmouth County may soon follow, officials said Monday.

The departments made the charges following the arrest of Rodney Tyler, 19, in Wall last Friday.

“It was a good catch for us,” Lieutenant David Scrivanic, of Tinton Falls police, said.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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M’TOWN POLICE MAKE 5 WEEKEND ARRESTS

mtown-cruiser

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Middletown police made five arrests over the weekend, with incidents including two failed burglary attempts and somebody allegedly trying to lift candy, socks and lawn care products from a food store.

Two others were picked up on active arrest warrants, police said.

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MIDDLETOWN COP ARRESTS BELT-SWINGER

authorities2bBy DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Yet another busy week for Middletown police, the department reports, with seven arrests the last five days.

In today’s weekly roundup from Detective Lieutenant Steve Dollinger, there’s a man wielding a belt with a combination lock tied to the end, a report of a car v. barrier on the Garden State Parkway and a couple of arrests on warrants.

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KISS ME, I’M HALF-IRISH

kissQuinn MacKinney, 3, leans in for a kiss from Valentina Roselle, a half-Irish, half-Italian two-year-old from Tinton Falls while having lunch in Red Bank. Does Quinn have a little crush on his lunch mate? “Yes,” his mother, Patti MacKinney said, “I think he does.” (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

SHOW TURNS BOMB SHELTER INTO MAN CAVE

man-cavesA Tinton Falls home was the site of an episode of DIY Network’s “Man Caves” show. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

When Tara and Brian Manley moved into their home on Sycamore Avenue in Tinton Falls nearly two years ago, there were plenty of projects to keep them busy.

In that time, Tara Manley said, the couple has done a pretty good job getting all but one space into the shape they’d like: the basement. Or, more appropriately, the bomb shelter.

“It actually has a bomb shelter,” Brian Manley said. “It was built during the Cold War time.”

He plays it down a little, calling it an empty concrete slab for storage. His wife describes it as a sad, frat-party room.

“You have to think college frat basement, like mostly cinderblocks, real dark and dingy,” Tara Manley, 24, said. “It kind of smelled weird.”

Regardless, it was the one space of the house that the Manleys admit they were hesitant to touch.

So they called in a contractor/TV host and former football defensive tackle to do it for them.

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MONMOUTH RUGBY CLUB FLIPPING OUT

A promotional video for Saturday’s Flip For Good fundraiser in Tinton Falls. (Video courtesy of Pat Moroney)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Ever find yourself up at some ungodly hour flipping through TV channels and suddenly becoming engrossed in a bunch of barrel-chested men with hard-to-pronounce names carrying oversized objects?

Here’s your live, local edition, and for a good cause.

On Saturday, members of the Monmouth Rugby Football Club will test their strength against tires as tall as they are and flip them for money in the first “Flip For Good” fundraiser.

“We’re picking up ridiculous things that you wouldn’t think are part of a workout,” said Rob Morello, the club’s president.

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TINTON FALLS McDONALD’S ROBBED

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI just_in1

Tinton Falls police are searching for a suspect they say robbed the McDonald’s on Shrewsbury Avenue late Tuesday afternoon.

The male suspect, of whom police didn’t have a full description, entered the fast food chain at about 5:57p, placed an order — then reached over the counter and took money from the register, said Lieutenant David Scrivanic

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HOT SEAT: MAN ESCAPES BURNING HOUSE

bank-st-fire-2The fire was fully involved when firefighters arrived on the scene. (Photos supplied by a redbankgreen reader. Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

The timing of Friday afternoon’s two-alarm house fire on Bank Street in Red Bank couldn’t have come at a more inconvenient time for James Green.

He was, um, on the commode.

“I don’t know what happened,” said Green, who has been staying with his friend at 13 Bank Street since May. “I’m in the bathroom, the alarm goes off and the house is burning down.”

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A THANKSGIVING BREAK

lunch-breakLunch Break fed more than 125 people on Thanksgiving. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Just a half a mile from the railroad track, you can get anything you want at Lunch Break.

Food, a football game, a smile.

On Thanksgiving, it was all of the above at Red Bank’s charitable mainstay.

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POLICE IDENTIFY MISSING KAYAKER

njsp-marine1State Police will continue its search for a missing kayaker, “for the foreseeable future,” a spokesman says. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

State Police have identified a Tinton Falls man as the Shrewsbury River kayaker who’s been missing since Wednesday, and will continue to search for him “for the foreseeable future,” said Sgt. Stephen Jones, a spokesman.

The department, along with area volunteer fire departments, have been searching the river for David Civile, 36 26, since late Wednesday. The Coast Guard, which had been assisting in the search, has since called off its operation, Sgt. Dan White, also of the State Police, said.

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POLICE PAY IN SLEDGER SPOTLIGHT

hot-topic rightSunday’s Star-Ledger had an eye-opening article on police salaries in New Jersey.

Analyzing 2009 pay data from police departments throughout the state, the Sledger concluded that

the average municipal cop in New Jersey is paid 80 percent more than the average resident, and three of 10 made at least $100,000 last year. In addition, police tend to be paid the best in small towns with little crime.

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