RED BANK: ALL SAFE AS FIRE DAMAGES HOME

Volunteers with the fire department auxiliary transported three cats to an animal hospital. Below, firefighters released smoke from a second-floor window. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

A Red Bank couple and their six dogs and cats safely escaped a fire that caused extensive damage to their home early Saturday morning.

The fire may have been caused by a bug-repellent candle.

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FAIR HAVEN: CHEERING HEALTHCARE HEROES

With the sound of sirens blaring in the distance, residents of Jackson Street joined their neighbors across Fair Haven in giving a noisy, pots-and-pans cheer to healthcare workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 battle Thursday night.

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LITTLE SILVER: RESPONDERS GET SPOTLIGHT

little silver ambulance 041020A Little Silver ambulance outside Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

little silver light the night logoLittle Silver plans to salute first-responders on the frontlines of the COVID-19 battle next month with a townwide “Light the Night” celebration.

The event will also serve as a fundraiser for the borough’s all-volunteer fire department and first aid squad.

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VIRUS UPDATE: CARE-HOME DEATHS CONTINUE

red bank marine park closed 041820The Wharf Avenue entrance to Marine Park in Red Bank, which remains closed along with all borough parks. (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topic

Governor Phil Murphy reported  “undeniable” progress in New Jersey’s battle to quell the spread of COVID-19 Saturday.

He also blasted an Atlantic County official as “irresponsible” for calling for a reopening of the state’s economy “without restrictions.”

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VIRUS UPDATE: PEAK STILL “COMING” TO AREA

red bank foodtown toilet paper 041420A common sight in the pandemic: sparsely stocked paper products at the Red Bank SuperFoodtown earlier this week. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

[See UPDATE below]

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topic

The COVID-19 strain on hospitals showed signs of easing even as the death toll surpassed five times the number of New Jerseyans killed in the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, Governor Phil Murphy said Friday.

At the same time, data suggests that while the peak of the crisis has now occurred in the northern end of the state, it’s still “coming” to the central and southern regions, said state health Commissioner Judy Persichilli.

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VIRUS UPDATE: DEATH TOLL UNYIELDING

red bank train station 041420The parking lot at the Red Bank train station was nearly empty Tuesday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topic

COVID-19 continued to claim New Jersey lives by the hundreds even as other crisis metrics signaled improvement, data released by Governor Phil Murphy’s administration Thursday showed.

With 362 fatalities added at Murphy’s latest daily briefing on the crisis, more than 1,200 have been reported since Sunday, and the number of residents testing positive for the coronavirus is still on the rise, though at a slowing rate.

VIRUS UPDATE: DEATH TOLL SOARS AGAIN

fair haven healthcare heroes 041420A temporary sign on River Road in Fair Haven as seen Tuesday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topic

New Jersey’s loss of life from the COVID-19 soared past the 3,000 mark in recent days as another 351 residents were added to the ledger, Governor Phil Murphy reported Wednesday.

The fatalities, including more than 700 in recent days, was accompanied by evidence that “people are getting better and they are overcoming this illness,” said state health Commissioner Judy Persichilli.

VIRUS UPDATE: ‘WORST CASE’ REVISED DOWN

  red bank social distancing 041420Observing social-distancing recommendations, well-spaced customers wait their turns to be admitted to the Bank of America branch on Broad Street in Red Bank Tuesday morning. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topic

Three-hundred-sixty-five more New Jerseyans have died as a result of COVID-19, the largest increase reported in the month-old crisis, Governor Phil Murphy reported Tuesday.

The spike was reported as administration officials unveiled a dramatically improved worst-case scenario in coming weeks, based on data projections.

VIRUS UPDATE: POSITIVE SIGNS AMID BRACING

phil murphy 041320 Governor Phil Murphy speaks at his Monday briefing, with a sign language interpreter seen in inset at left. (YouTube screengrab. Click to enlarge.)

[See correction below]

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topic

More positive signs emerged in the COVID-19 crisis Monday even as New Jersey’s government braced for critically ill patients to soon swamp the state’s hospitals, officials said Monday.

The preparation included issuing triage guidance to hospitals for use in “last resort” scenarios, they said.

VIRUS UPDATE: LOCAL CASE GROWTH EASING

Firefighters, first aiders and police from 10 towns converged on Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank to cheer frontline healthcare workers Friday night. Check out the photo gallery here. (Video by Allan Bass. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topic

Both Monmouth County and New Jersey saw further softening in new COVID-19 positive cases and other encouraging signs in the pandemic, government agencies reported Sunday.

At the same time, another 167 New Jersey residents died from the illness, including 8 in Monmouth County, according to the state health department’s COVID-19 web page.

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RED BANK: CHEERS FOR HOSPITAL STAFFERS

red bank thanks riverviewEmergency workers packed the front parking area for the surprise as hospital personnel responded from upper-floor windows. (Photos by Allan Bass. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

red bank thanks riverviewRed Bank-area police and volunteer firefighters delivered a massive surprise cheer to healthcare workers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 battle at Riverview Medical Center Friday evening.

The borough’s firetrucks, joined by gear from at least nine surrounding towns, twice sounded their horns in unison as staffers left and arrived for a shift change. Several hundred participants, most wearing protective masks, cheered and blew kisses from the parking lot as hospital employees in surgical masks and gowns acknowledged the love from upper floor windows.

Red Bank Fire Chief Scott Calabrese organized the unannounced event, which drew fire, police and first aiders from Fair Haven, Little Silver, Sea Bright, Shrewsbury, Rumson, Middletown, Tinton Falls, Eatontown and Oceanport.

The aim, he said, was “to say ‘thank you for your courage on the front lines of the battle.'”

(See more photos by Allan Bass and John T. Ward, below.)

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RED BANK: FIREHOUSE GETS MORE TIME

red bank what's going on hereRED BANK 40 white streetIt’s been almost six years since Red Bank sold the former firehouse on White Street to a private developer. More than two years have passed since a start-up brewery announced plans to set up in the space. And yet, the 109-year-old structure remains idle and empty.

What’s Going On Here? You ask, and redbankgreen answers…

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MIDDLETOWN: GEORGE BOWDEN DIES

red bank george bowdenGeorge Bowden, right, with Historic Preservation Commission members Charles Nickerson and Michaela Ferrigine in 2016. Below, Bowden spearheaded the borough’s centennial celebration and parade in 2009.(Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

red bank george bowdenGeorge Bowden, once dubbed “the Energizer bunny” of historic preservation in Red Bank, died at home in Middletown Sunday. He was 92 years old.

Galvanized into action in 2001, after the borough allowed the demolition of an old house on West Front Street, Bowden became a champion for old and neglected structures in town.

Not least of those was the T. Thomas Fortune House, which was resurrected from near-oblivion earlier this year, more than a decade after Bowden and others launched a campaign to save it.

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RED BANK: KITCHEN FIRE DISPLACES ONE

red bank fire 94 leighton AVERed Bank firefighters in the smoke-filled kitchen at 94 Leighton Avenue. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

A kitchen fire damaged a Red Bank home and displaced its lone occupant early Friday morning.

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RED BANK: THAI, MINI-DRONES, TACOS & MORE

red bank siam garden paradiseThe space vacated by Siam Garden, at the north end of the Galleria Red Bank, will soon get a new Thai restaurant run by a familiar chef. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallFans of Red Bank’s recently closed Siam Gardens will soon have a new Thai restaurant to check out, and won’t have to change their routes to get there.

This edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn has the dish, as well as word about a new indoor, mini-drone-flying course and other business churnage.

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RED BANK: FIREFIGHTER’S KILLER SENTENCED

Andrew Hill was a 26-year-old second lieutenant at the Westside Hose Company when he was killed. (Photo from Facebook. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

The admitted killer of Red Bank firefighter Andrew Hill has been sentenced to 13 years in prison for the crime, the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office reported Friday.

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RED BANK: FIREFIGHTERS KEEP FREE Y ACCESS

red bank ymcaThe Red Bank nonprofit says no families of kids now in a free membership program will be turned away. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank’s volunteer firefighters will get to keep their free memberships to the local YMCA, the organization announced Wednesday.

Police will still have to pay, though now at a discount, a spokeswoman for the nonprofit said. But there’s no change to the plan unveiled last week to end across-the-board free memberships for borough schoolchildren.

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RED BANK: MENNA ‘IRATE’ OVER YMCA ACTION

red bank pasquale mennaRed Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna speaking at the the Memorial Day ceremony last month. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna on Thursday blasted a decision by the Community YMCA to end free memberships for borough schoolchildren and emergency first-responders.

Menna went on the offensive after the Y’s “unilateral” action, which he said was made without any advance notice to or discussion with his administration.

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RED BANK: KIDS, RESPONDERS LOSE FREE YMCA

red bank ymcaThe Red Bank YMCA says affected families can apply for subsidies to replace the free memberships. Below, the letter sent to parents of children in the Healthy Kids program. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank YMCA letter 061919Red Bank’s schoolchildren and emergency first-responders will lose their free access to the borough YMCA in September.

The Maple Avenue nonprofit’s executive director, Katie McAdoo, tells redbankgreen the change was driven by its need to be “accountable” to funders.

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RED BANK: 12 FAMILIES DISPLACED BY BLAZE

red bank oakland square fire The fire began in mulch ignited by a discarded cigarette or match at the 12-unit Oakland Square apartments, officials said. The top of a smoking pole is visible at right. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

this just in redbankgreenA discarded cigarette or match appears to have ignited a blaze that sent two people to the hospital and left 12 families without a home Sunday morning, officials said.

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RED BANK: FIRE AT NEW APARTMENT BUILDING

red bank oakland square fireRed Bank firefighters on the roof of Oakland Square, as seen from the rear parking lot, above, and Oakland Street, below. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

red bank oakland square fireFire heavily damaged a two-year-old affordable-housing apartment building in Red Bank Sunday morning.

Ninety minutes after the first alarm at 9:05 a.m., firefighters remained on the scene at Oakland Square, where fire had burned through the roof above the third floor.

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