RUMSON: WORKOUT IN MEMORY OF HENNE

robert henne 032014In honor of Robert Henne, right, a 23-year-old Fair Haven special police officer who died in March, the borough PBA plans a heavy-duty Crossfit “hero workout” challenge on Saturday, July 18.

The daylong outdoor event featuring a 1,000-meter row, sled pull and more – is to be held at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High, where Henne played football and was a member of the track team.

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FAIR HAVEN: FATAL CRASH CASE SETTLED

cole porter 3 10313An outpouring of support for cyclist Cole Porter, below, included a bicycle painted pink – his favorite color –and left at the scene of the accident that led to his death. (Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

cole porterThe widow and children of Cole Porter, a Shrewsbury man who died as a result of injuries suffered in a crash during the 2013 Tour de Fair Haven bike race, have settled a lawsuit in the matter for $7.1 million, NJ.com reported Thursday.

Agreement on the deal was reached June 3 as jury selection was about to begin for a trial over the civil suit in New Brunswick, according to the report.

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FAIR HAVEN BIDS GOODBYE TO YOUNG OFFICER

fh flag 032315A flag flew at half-staff outside borough hall Monday night in honor of Robert Henne, below, a 23-year-old special police officer who died earlier in the day. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

robert henne 032014Fair Haven Mayor Ben Lucarelli issued this statement Tuesday afternoon:

The Borough of Fair Haven wishes to acknowledge the very sad and untimely passing of Special Police Officer Robert Henne. Officer Henne passed away at his family home in Fair Haven, on March 23, 2015.

Officer Henne grew up in Fair Haven and graduated from Rumson Fair Haven High School. He was also a graduate of the 39th Monmouth County Police Academy.

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LITTLE SILVER: RBR WORKER WAS ’80 ALUM

rbr 090414 3James King had worked at the school for more than 30 years. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

Red Bank Regional officials identified the employee who died after a medical issue on campus Thursday as a maintenance worker who was also a graduate of the Little Silver school.

In a statement issued Saturday, the deceased was identified as James King, a Neptune resident a member of the class of 1980.

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LITTLE SILVER: RBR WORKER DIES

rbr 090414After-school activities were canceled on the first day of school following the death of a worker. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The death of a school employee after a medical issue suffered on campus at Red Bank Regional High led to the cancellation of student activities Thursday, the first day of the new school year.

School officials declined to identify the employee, pending notification of family members.

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RBR ROCKED BY ANOTHER STUDENT DEATH

just_in1A Red Bank Regional student died Monday night, one day after concluding her run as a cast member in the school’s production of “42nd Street.”

The death of sophomore Grace Giffen, 16, marks the third time in two years that the school community has been affected by a student death.

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RBR SPOTLIGHTS HEROIN EPIDEMIC

rbr drug forum 022014 rb drug forum 022014 2Recovering drug addict Dave Dolan, right, spoke of his rapid descent from model student to heroin user during a forum on teen substance abuse that attracted dozens of parents and kids to Red Bank Regional Thursday night. Now a graduate student at Monmouth University, Dolan was part of a panel of health professionals, parents of addicts and ex-users assembled to discuss the warning signs and responses to drug use.

“We’re not going to arrest our way out of this problem,” said Charlie Webster, a spokesman for the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s office, which regards an increase in heroin deaths in the Shore region over the past two years an epidemic.   (Click to enlarge)

RED BANK’S LAST CONSTABLE DIES AT 99

people-in-the-newsSaul Diamond, the last person to hold the position of Red Bank constable, died Sunday at his home at Riverview Towers, on Riverside Avenue.

He was 99 years old.

Diamond’s obituary in the Asbury Park Press says he served as borough constable from 1969 to 2000, when the post was abolished and its duties transferred to the Monmouth County Sheriff’s office.

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MIDDLETOWN: FAMILY WANTS CRASH CHARGES

AUTHORITIES_MTOWN2-2014The family of a motorcyclist killed in a crash on West Front Street in Middletown last September is pressing the Monmouth County Prosecutor to bring charges against a motorist, NJ.com reported Tuesday.

According to a press release issued two days after the September 4 crash by township police, 69-year-old Raymond Depalma was travelling eastbound on West Front Street when he was struck by a westbound vehicle attempting to make a left turn onto Harbor Green Circle.

Depalma was flown by helicopter to Jersey Shore Medical Center in Neptune, he died five hours after the 3 p.m. crash

The driver of the other vehicle, Daniella Coccurello, 23, of Lincroft, was not immediately charged, police said at the time.

But Joel DePalma, one of Robert DePalma’s four sons, told NJ.com that Coccurello was issued a summons for using a phone while driving. He also said it’s undisputed that his father was not violating any traffic laws.

DePalma tells NJ.com that he and other family members have been asking the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office whether criminal charges will be filed, but aren’t getting answers.

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FAIR HAVEN SPARED IN SUIT OVER RACE DEATH

fh tour 091513 2Racers during last September’s Tour de Fair Haven. Cole Porter, below, died after an accident in the first race that day. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

cole porterA lawsuit by the estate of the Shrewsbury man who died after a crash during the Tour de Fair Haven last September does not name Fair Haven as a defendant, contrary to an earlier report that the town would be sued for $10 million.

A civil complaint filed Wednesday on behalf of cyclist Cole Porter‘s widow and two children instead names the race organizer, event sponsors and the race official Porter slammed into on September 15, resulting in injuries that led to his death less than three weeks later.

With litigation pending, Mayor Ben Lucarelli said he he does not expect the popular event to return for a sixth running this year.

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RUMSON: OXFORD WAS TO GO FEMALE

61 so ward rumson 101413The house at 61 South Ward Avenue has been occupied by Oxford House since August. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Officials overseeing Rumson’s Oxford House were planning to turn the four-month-old addiction recovery facility for men into one serving addicted women and their children by the end of the year, redbankgreen has learned.

What will become of that plan is unclear, however, in the aftermath of a purported second drug overdose at the house in nine weeks and the filing of a borough lawsuit that slams Oxford House as a failure on its own terms and a danger to the neighborhood.

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RUMSON: APPARENT OD SPARKS LEGAL ACTION

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_02Rumson officials have launched an effort to evict the residents of an addiction-recovery house following what Mayor John Ekdahl called an apparent drug overdose there early Tuesday morning.

Ekdahl said the town filed suit in Superior Court in Freehold Tuesday afternoon asking for an order that Oxford House residents, at 61 South Ward Avenue, clear out immediately, and that Oxford be barred from using it as a home for drug addicts and alcoholics.

The action follows the overdose death of an Oxford House resident on October 13 and a medical emergency involving another resident shortly before dawn on Tuesday.

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RUMSON: OXFORD HOUSE REACHES OUT

61 so ward rumson 101413“Not the best mix” of residents formed the initial population at the Oxford House when it opened in Rumson in August, a facility official told neighbors Tuesday night. One of the residents died of a drug overdose. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_02The addiction-recovery residence that popped up unannounced in a quiet Rumson neighborhood this summer “did not get off to a good start,” an official with the organization that sponsors the facility told residents Tuesday night.

“We haven’t been good neighbors,” said George Kent, a regional manager with Oxford House, “and I take full responsibility for that.”

Standing at a lectern in the nave of St. George’s by the River Episcopal Church just a block from the Oxford House on South Ward Avenue, Kent fielded sometimes hostile questions from about 40 residents of the West Park neighborhood, hoping to establish a dialogue in the aftermath of a drug overdose death at the house.

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RUMSON: WRITE-IN DRIVE HEATS UP ELECTION

rumson writein 110313A write-in campaign for two candidates billing themselves as the Rumson Family ticket emerged in the wake of the Oxford House controversy last month. Below, Tim McCooey at the October 22 borough council meeting, the night before he became a candidate. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

tim mccooey 102213If the trend over the past century holds on Election Day, Rumson will seat an all-Republican borough council in January.

Ah, but which Republicans?

In a development that may add drama to Rumson’s usual election-night snoozer, two political newcomers have mounted an eleventh-hour write-in campaign, hoping to harness what they say is frustration with their party’s incumbents.

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RUMSON: OXFORD REHAB HOUSE SPARKS IRE

rumson council 102213An overflow crowd jammed Rumson’s council chambers to air concerns about an addiction recovery house in town. Below, Barbara Russell returns to her seat after speaking with borough Attorney Marty Barger. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

barger russell 102213Rumson residents packed a borough meeting Tuesday night to demand action regarding Oxford House, an addiction-recovery residence where a tenant died of a suspected drug overdose 10 days ago.

Seated on the floor and standing in the hallway outside the bimonthly meeting of the town’s governing body, neighbors teed up Oxford House for setting up a residence at 61 South Ward Avenue without notice and for a self-governance model they say isn’t working.

“They’re sitting on the porch and they are drinking,” in violation of Oxford’s own bylaws governing locally chartered houses, Washington Avenue resident Barbara Russell said of the house’s nine residents.

Having recently completed alcohol and drug treatment programs and then allowed to live together without supervision, Oxford’s young clients are naturally “going to come out and have a party,” said Russell, who described herself as a recovering alcoholic for 26 years.

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RUMSON: REHAB HOUSE FOCUS OF COMPLAINTS

61 so ward rumson 101413The Rumson house where a man was found dead of a suspected drug overdose Sunday quietly became an addiction recovery residence in August, neighbors say. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Nestled in a quiet Rumson neighborhood still recovering from floodwaters that tore through a year ago, the grey house at the corner of South Ward and Washington avenues stands out, towering over its neighbors.

It also stands out as the subject of complaints to the police.

“They party all the time,” a neighbor who asked not to be identified said of the home’s occupants. “They are up all night. Partying on the front porch. Running through the neighborhood.”

Sunday evening, though, the police were at the house for another reason: looking into the death of one of its residents from a purported drug overdose.

To the surprise of many in this affluent community, the house turns be a drug- and alcohol-rehab residence.

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RUMSON: REHAB HOUSE DEATH INVESTIGATED

just_in1The death of a person found at a Rumson residence Sunday is under investigation, police Chief Scott Paterson tells redbankgreen.

Kin of the deceased haven’t been notified, so he’s unable to release any information about the matter, including the name or age of the victim, Paterson says.

Oxford House, a nonprofit drug rehab provider, lists the house, at 61 South Ward Avenue, as a residence for up to nine males in rehab. Drug or alcohol use by residents is cause for eviction.

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MEMORIALS FOR A BELOVED BICYCLIST

cole porter 3 10313cole porter 1 100313A bicycle painted pink, said to have been the favorite color of Shrewsbury resident Cole Porter, and a solitary candle were left Thursday night on River Road in Fair Haven at the site of the September 15 racing accident that resulted in Porter’s death Wednesday. At right, the marquee at the Shrewsbury Hose Company, where Porter was a volunteer firefighter.

Services in the form of a three-hour viewing that begins at 9 a.m., followed immediately by a funeral mass, are scheduled for Monday, both at the Church of the Nativity in Fair Haven. (Click to enlarge)

 

SCHOOL RECALLS BIGHEARTED ALBERT MARTIN

Isaac Coates and Garret Sickels reflect on their classmate and teammate Albert Martin, who died suddenly Monday. (Photo by Rebecca Desfosse. Click to enlarge)

By REBECCA DESFOSSE

Moving through the crowded hallways at Red Bank Regional, on the football field or in the paint on the school’s basketball court, Albert Martin cut an imposing figure.

In reality, though, he was six-foot-four and 220 pounds of “teddy bear,” a young man “just coming into his own” as a student and athlete, one with a future full of promise, his fellow students, coaches and others recalled Tuesday.

Less than 24 hours after collapsing during a basketball scrimmage, tearful members of the school community struggled to come to terms with the Red Bank 17-year-old’s sudden and thus-far-unexplained death.

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RED BANK WOMAN DIES AFTER ACCIDENT

A 27-year-old Red Bank woman died after being struck by a vehicle while walking in a Middletown parking lot Monday morning, township police said.

Janet Ramos-Morales, whose street address was not immediately given, was hit at 11:24 in the lot of the Bank of America branch at the intersection of Route 35 and Navesink River Road, the MTPD said in an announcement issued late Monday night.

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STUDENT’S DEATH PROMPTS RASH OF RUMORS

By JOHN T. WARD

An 18-year-old senior at Red Bank Regional died suddenly at home early Monday morning, and authorities were racing to dispel rumors that she had been murdered, a police spokesman tells redbankgreeen.

Riyadhna Farrow (right, click to enlarge), was pronounced dead shortly after emergency personnel were summoned to her family home at the Montgomery Terrace Apartments at around 1:30 a.m., said Captain Darren McConnell.

Officers arriving on the scene found the girl unresponsive and attempted to revive her with CPR, McConnell said.

There were no signs of foul play, and authorities don’t believe Farrow took her own life, he said.

“It looks to be from natural causes, but we don’t yet know from what,” McConnell said. “The medical examiner has ruled it’s not a homicide, pending toxicology and small-tissue test results, and its not being looked at as a suicide, either.”

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RED BANK TEEN TAKES PLEA IN AUTO DEATH

just_inAn 19-year-old Red Bank man has pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide following an automobile crash in Middletown that killed a passenger in his car nearly a year ago.

Adam Sofio, no address given, faces up to 10 years in jail for “recklessly causing the death of one Middletown teen, and severely injuring another, by operating a motor vehicle at a high rate of speed while drunk,” Monnmouth County Prosecutor Peter Warshaw said in an announcement Thursday.

Warhsaw’s office will recommend a six-year term at Sofio’s sentencing, scheduled for May 18, according to the announcement.

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