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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RED BANK: SPEAKEASY ON ZONING AGENDA

21-23 broad red bank The former Agostino antique store space at 21 Broad Street, vacant for seven years, is the site of a proposed food market and ‘speakeasy.’ (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njOn Thursday’s Red Bank busy zoning board agenda: a proposal for a downtown food market and speakeasy, plus a plan to build a new house on the site of a devastating fire, and changes outside the Two River Theater.

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RED BANK: MAN ADMITS KILLING FIREFIGHTER

Firefighter Andrew Hill in a 2018 photo on his Facebook page. (Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

A 24-year-old Red Bank man has admitted guilt in the 2018 stabbing death of volunteer borough firefighter Andrew Hill, the Asbury Park Press reported Tuesday.

Hill, a 26-year-old second lieutenant at the Westside Hose Company, died in the early hours of May 27, shortly after being stabbed just blocks away from the Leighton Avenue firehouse where he found his purpose in life.

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RED BANK: SIGNAGE MARKS COUNCIL AGENDA

red bank sandwich board signsThe council plans to allow sandwich-board signs on downtown sidewalks through 2021. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The Red Bank council is expected to take up a number of housekeeping measures concerning signs, false alarms and more Wednesday night.

Here are the highlights.

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RED BANK: HOUSING & MORE PACKS AGENDA

red bank vna 176 riverside aveThe former home of the Visiting Nurse Association is seen as the answer to a chunk of Red Bank’s affordable housing obligation. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank nj

A plan to resolve Red Bank’s so-called Mount Laurel affordable housing obligation is up for resolution Wednesday night.

Also up for votes: a series of small-bore zoning changes, help for motorists at a dicey corner and more. Here’s a look at the busy agenda.

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RED BANK: “TENACIOUS’ INSPECTOR CITED

RED BANK menna woods yassinFire inspector Frank Woods, flanked by Mayor Pasquale Menna and Councilman Hazim Yassin, was honored for averting possible catastrophe at an apartment complex. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

A “tenacious” Red Bank employee won recognition from the borough council Wednesday night for efforts that officials said headed off a possible disaster at an apartment complex last month.

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RED BANK: HOOPS, A PARADE, PIRATES & MORE

red bank middle school girls basketballThe Red Bank Middle School girls’ basketball team was honored for an undefeated season. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

red bank, nj, done good,The Red Bank  council’s filled-to-bursting agenda Wednesday night included a ton of feel-good news and event lookaheads.

Here’s a quick recap.

 

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MIDDLETOWN: FUNDRAISER FOR BOWDENS

Family and friends have raised more than $12,000 to help two former Red Bank volunteers injured by a fire in their Middletown home earlier this month.

George Bowden, 91, and his wife, Gladys Bowden, 88, were both injured when their condo in the Shadow Lake Village complex in the River Plaza section of the township was heavily damaged by an electrical fire on December 15.

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RED BANK: FIRE BLAMED ON RIGGED HEATER

The portable heater and duct, visible at center, were removed from the porch before firefighters arrived, officials said. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njThe fire that destroyed a Red Bank house Wednesday was blamed on a portable heater, according to the borough’s top fire inspector.

The heater had been rigged to keep contractors warm while the house was undergoing illegal renovation work, redbankgreen has learned.

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RED BANK: FIRE DESTROYS VACANT HOME

red bank fire 28 rector p. Dec. 12, 2018Volunteer firefighters on Ladder 91 returning after cutting into the roof shortly before an evacuation alarm was sounded. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njFire destroyed a vacant Red Bank house under renovation Wednesday morning.

The rush-hour blaze at 28 Rector Place sent a blanket of white smoke over the downtown and points east for about two hours.

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RED BANK: APARTMENT PLAN WITHDRAWN

316 Shrewsbury Avenue, red bank, nj, renderingA rendering of the apartment house proposed for 316 Shrewsbury Avenue. Below, the existing house during the fire in July. (Drawing by Michael Monroe; photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

A plan to replace a fire-damaged single-family home in Red Bank with a three-family apartment house was withdrawn amid neighborhood opposition Thursday night.

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RED BANK: HUNT FOR GRANTS CONTINUES

red bank, nj, broad streetA grant seeking $821,000 for improvements to Broad Street is among the nearly three dozen applications pending, according to a report. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Six months after hiring a professional contractor to seek out grant funds, the Red Bank council is hopeful that a cash pump has been primed.

Business Administrator Ziad Shehady told the council last week that while no grants have yet been secured under the contract with Millennium Strategies, there is now “several million dollars” worth of potential funding “in the pipeline.”

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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: ‘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.)

 

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: 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: 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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