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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: RETHINKING RIVERCENTER’S JOB

The downtown promotion agency RiverCenter kicks off a mission review next week, and is seeking public input, its officials say. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Through his Monmouth Street store, the Cheese Cave, Steve Catania has been doing business in Red Bank for seven years. And for much of that time, he’s been involved in efforts to advance the interests of downtown retailers like himself.

But if you ask them, most probably couldn’t tell you what Red Bank RiverCenter‘s job really is, says Catania. And that’s a problem, given that it’s supposed to be their advocate.

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RED BANK: NEW ‘CLASSIC’ 5K SET TO RUN

Runners head down Branch Avenue in the 2015 edition of the George Sheehan Classic, which turned out to be the last. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

After a three-year rest, Red Bank is set to again lace up its running shoes Saturday with the debut of Red Bank Classic, organizers said.

Here’s what you need to know:

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RED BANK: REPORT RIPS TOWN OPERATIONS

A management review found that “at least 12” full-time positions could be eliminated from borough government. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Citing numerous examples of “dysfunctionality,” an unsparing review of Red Bank’s management recommends widespread overhauls, from a new form of government to improved courtroom security.

The Management Enhancement Report, commissioned last October and posted on the borough website Friday, includes insider comments highly critical of the way things work, or don’t work, at borough hall.

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FAIR HAVEN: A DAY OF COMMUNITY

The seventh annual Fair Haven Day once again offered borough residents an evening of food, games, music and community at Fair Haven Fields Saturday.

redbankgreen was there to capture the event in pixels, right down to the spectacular fireworks finale. Click ‘read more’ for additional photos. (Photos by Mariah Woodbury. Click to enlarge.)

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RED BANK: MIXED-USE BUILDING WINS OK

An architect’s rendering, below, of the new building proposed for 160 Shrewsbury Avenue, above. (Rendering by Michael Monroe. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

The Red Bank planning board last week approved a mixed-use structure proposed for the site of a home on Shrewsbury Avenue.

Developer Bekim Kosovrasti’s plan calls for the demolition of the existing house at 160 Shrewsbury, at the corner of Earl Street, and replacing it with a 7,500-square-foot, mixed-use structure.

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RED BANK: SIGNS OF CHURN DOWNTOWN

Sonya Cashner plans to open Broad & Brush at 26 Monmouth Street, one of two similar shops coming to town this summer. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Two businesses that offer do-it-yourself instruction in making rustic signs plan to open in downtown Red Bank this summer.

Yeah, that’s a thing, apparently, part of what one of the new contenders calls a trend in “farmhouse decor.”

Read all about that, and more of course, in this custom handcrafted edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn.

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RED BANK: HABCORE EXPANSION APPROVED

HABcore plans to add a four-apartment addition to the rear of the two-family home it owns at 119 River Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank-based nonprofit housing provider HABcore won approval Thursday night for an expansion plan that would triple the size of a home it owns on the West Side.

The zoning board unanimously OKd the plan to add four apartments to what’s now a two-family house on River Street after several borough residents spoke in favor of it and no objections were raised.

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RED BANK: SCARLET KNIGHT ON A SUNNY DAY

The Rutgers Scarlet Knight mascot visited Red Bank for a video shoot at ad agency Spitball Thursday, and took advantage of the cool, sunlit afternoon to frolic in a crosswalk, exchange high-fives and pose for photos with passersby on Broad Street.

Friday should be another nice day worth cheering about on the Greater Red Bank Green, with mostly sunny skies and temperatures peaking in the low 80s, according to the National Weather Service. Here’s the extended forecast. (Photos by Mariah Woodbury.  Click to enlarge.)

RED BANK: WAWA MEGASTORE PLAN YANKED

Former Red Bank mayor Ed McKenna, left, grilled Wawa engineer Mark Whitaker over the proposal at a zoning board hearing in March. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

[UPDATE: This post contains comments from site ower Frank Sala, who was unavailable at the time of the original posting.]

By JOHN T. WARD

Wawa’s coffee, subs and gasoline prices may have earned it a devoted following, but a controversial plan to build a supersized convenience store and filling station on Red Bank’s southern border has been withdrawn, redbankgreen has learned.

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RED BANK: ‘GOING HOME’ FOR FIREFIGHTER

Engine 96 of the Westside Hose Company, bearing the casket of slain Red Bank volunteer firefighter Andrew Hill, leads a procession past the Leighton Avenue firehouse Tuesday. A contingent of pipes and drums, with representatives from Monmouth, Middlesex, Essex and Hudson counties, played ‘Going Home’ as the cortege passed, en route to a cemetery in Tinton Falls. (Video by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

 

ON THE GREEN: PRIMARY RESULTS

By JOHN T. WARD

Only eleven percent of Monmouth County’s registered voters participated in Tuesday’s Democratic and Republic primaries, with surprise outcomes hard to find on the Greater Red Bank Green.

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RED BANK: HONORS FOR SLAIN FIREFIGHTER

Firefighters gathered at Calvary Baptist Church for a special service in memory of Andrew Hill prior to his funeral. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank firefighters gave a formal sendoff Tuesday to one of their own, a 26-year-old volunteer slain just blocks away from the firehouse where he found his purpose in life, in the words of Mayor Pasquale Menna.

In an open casket at the Calvary Baptist Church on Bridge Avenue, Andrew Hill‘s remains were dressed in the formal blue firefighters’ uniform he’d recently finished paying for.

Outside, the fire engine on which he’d answered numerous alarms waited to carry his casket to a cemetery.

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RED BANK: CORNER PROJECT ‘TOO BIG’

The two buildings on the northeast corner of West Front Street and Maple Avenue would be replaced under Mark Forman’s plan. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank’s planning board asked the developer of proposed commercial and residential building at a key corner downtown to make it smaller Wednesday night.

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RED BANK: PARKING, TAXES & MORE

A consultant was hired to conduct a long-awaited parking study following the failure last year of plans to redevelop the White Street lot, above. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

At last Wednesday’s meeting of the Red Bank council, these things happened:

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RED BANK: CRIMES AND ARRESTS

The crime and arrest reports below were provided by the Red Bank Police Department for May, 2018. This information is unedited. For additional information, please scroll to the bottom of this post.

CRIMES

Criminal Mischief: On 05/14/18 in the area of Evergreen Terrace it was reported the two rear tires of a parked vehicle were flat and the gas tank was opened. The estimate for the tires is approximately $200.00. Ptl. Ashon Lovick.

Criminal Mischief: On 05/14/18 in the area of South Pearl St a parked car was reported to have been keyed. The damages estimate to be approximately $100.00.  Ptl. Ashon Lovick.

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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: FIREFIGHTER’S FUNERAL SET

A tribute marks the place on Tilton Avenue where Andrew Hill was found stabbed early Sunday. He died a short while later at Riverview Medical Center. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank emergency personnel are planning a white-glove sendoff for one of their own next week.

Volunteer firefighter and first-aider Andrew Hill, 26, died early Sunday, shortly after he was stabbed on Tilton Avenue at the corner of Bank Street, according to the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s office.

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RED BANK: OVERARCHING CLOUDINESS

The view across the Navesink River from Riverside Gardens Park in Red Bank was gray Thursday. So is the weather forecast for most of the next week.

According to the National Weather Service, the Greater Red Bank Green heads into the weekend with more “widespread dense fog,” and the possibility of rain through Saturday night. Partly sunny skies return Sunday, but there are no days filled with sunshine in the outlook until next Thursday. Check out the extended forecast below. (Photo by John T. Ward.  Click to enlarge.)

RED BANK: ‘PUPPY MILL’ BILL TABLED

Bark Avenue owner Gary Hager listens as Vyolet Jean Savage speaks in favor of a puppy mill ordinance in January. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

The Red Bank council averted, for now, a showdown over a controversial proposed ordinance that would ban the retail sale of puppies and kittens unless they come from animal shelters and rescue organizations.

At its semimonthly meeting Wednesday night, the council postponed a vote on the measure until June 27 to allow for a possible “compromise,” Councilwoman Kathy Horgan told redbankgreen.

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RUMSON: EKDAHL RETIRES AS MAYOR

 John Ekdahl, right, with former Red Bank Mayor Ed McKenna at the groundbreaking last September for an addition to the Count Basie Center for the Arts, where they serve on an advisory board.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

After 14 years at the helm of Rumson’s municipal government, John Ekdahl retired as mayor last week.

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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: TRUCK USED IN RUNDOWN TRY

A 2016 photo shows the fencing at Red Rock Tap + Grill, with the outdoor gathering area at left. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Closing time turned harrowing at a Red Bank bar when an angry patron tried to run over an employee with his pickup truck early Saturday morning, according to police.

Evan Lloyd, 23, of Little Silver, crashed his vehicle through safety gates surrounding the yard of Red Rock Tap + Grill in an attempt to mow down a bar worker, Chief Darren McConnell told redbankgreen.

 

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