RED BANK: RATS INFEST NEIGHBORHOOD

Rats were easily evident in the yard of a McLaren Street home Thursday morning. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank officials promised quick action Wednesday night after East Side homeowners said their neighborhood has been infested by rats.

Worthley Street residents Jeff and Allison Welker, joined by a handful of neighbors, told the borough council that they cannot allow their children or pets into their backyard because of a recurring “fireworks display” of the rodents.

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TWO CRASHES IN RED BANK

mclaren-crashA Nissan crashed into a utility pole on McLaren Street in Red Bank Thursday. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Two car crashes occurred within minutes of each other in Red Bank Thursday morning.

mclaren-crash1

One was reported on McLaren Street, right, sending two women away in an ambulance. Another, appearing to be minor, was on Branch Avenue.

Immediate details on the two accidents, which occurred at around 11 a.m., were not immediately available.

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RBFD PUTS OUT FRIDAY MORNING FIRE

mclaren-fire1Red Bank Fire Department put out a McLaren Street fire this morning. The cause of the fire, which was called in at around 11:10a Friday at 105 McLaren, was unknown at the time. “We don’t know what it was,” Chief John Mego said. “We had heavy smoke pouring out the top.” Firefighters quickly had the fire extinguished and were working on cleanup and an investigation by 11:30a. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

AFTER 50 YEARS, STILL AFLAME FOR DUTY

wm-stratzFifty of Bill Stratz’s 80 years have been with the Red Bank Fire Department. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

It’s an unlikely warm Saturday afternoon in Red Bank and Bill Stratz is waiting for his four-year-old great-grandson to barrel through the front door of his McLaren Street home at any time. Stratz is on babysitting duty for a few hours, after which he’ll try to do some cleaning in the basement.

There isn’t much for Stratz to do these days on account of a bum knee that’s kept him in physical therapy the last few weeks, and will continue a few more. He’s not happy about this. It gets between him and a passion he’s had for a half-century: chasing fires in Red Bank.

At 80, Stratz, who for the last 18 years or so has stayed active with Relief Engine Company as a member of the fire police, is still eager to answer the call of duty in Red Bank — a call that seemed unavoidable when he moved to town in 1961.

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