MIDDLETOWN: ONE DEAD IN CRASH AND FIRE

[Update, November 11, 2014: Middletown police have identified the victim as Walter Burke, 43 from the Hillside section of the township.]

By JOHN T. WARD

AUTHORITIES_MTOWN2-2014One person died in a single-vehicle crash on Navesink River Road in Middletown early Sunday morning, police said.

The vehicle caught fire in the accident, which occurred at about 3:18 a.m. along the 700 block of the road, said Detective Lieutenant Stephen Dollinger, spokesman for the township police department.

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MIDDLETOWN: ROAD CLOSING THIS WEEK

nrrd detour 081514Signs on Navesink River Road warn of the closure. (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)

The start of emergency repair work on the New Jersey Transit railroad crossing at Navesink River Road in Middletown appears to have been delayed, but will still take effect this week, according to signage in the area.

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MIDDLETOWN: RR XING CLOSURE SET

nrrd closing 080714A flashing sign on Riverside Avenue in Red Bank warns of the closure later this month. (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)

Emergency repair work on the New Jersey Transit railroad crossing at Navesink River Road in Middletown will mean a shutdown of the crossing to vehicular traffic for up to 12 days later this month, the township announced Thursday.

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DRUNK DRIVING RAMPANT IN MIDDLETOWN

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

mtown-police-carThe recurring — and alarming — theme for Middletown’s police officers this week was dealing with alleged drunks crashing into things.

There were five reported car accidents in which the drivers were arrested for driving while intoxicated, said Detective Lieutenant Steve Dollinger in his regular roundup of crime activity. One driver fell asleep at the wheel and hit a parked car, two crashed into utility poles, another man went through a road barrier and another ended up on the side of the road after crashing his vehicle, Dollinger said.

That’s not counting the two incidents of wrong-way drivers.

More reports from MTPD are unedited below.

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RED BANK MAN VICTIM OF HIT AND RUN

just_in1By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

A 26-year-old Red Bank man was seriously injured after being hit by a vehicle whose driver fled the scene Tuesday night, police said.

The accident, which occurred on Route 35 south in Middletown, between Coopers Bridge and Navesink River Road, left the victim, whom authorities are not yet publicly identifying, in critical condition, Middletown Sergeant Fred Deickmann said.

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TEEN BUSTED FOR NAVESINK BURGLARY

mtown-police-carA Middletown police cruiser. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

In this week’s roundup of police activity, Middletown police made a burglary bust at a home off Navesink River Road. An 18-year-old is accused of breaking into the home while the owners were on vacation, stealing jewelry and electronics worth about $16,000, and then using the homeowners’ car to deliver the stolen items to be pawned.

More police activity, provided by Detective Lieutenant Steve Dollinger, appears unedited below.

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TREE LAW SPLITS FAIR HAVEN COUNCIL

tree-chopWorkers cut down a tree in front of a Third Street home in Fair Haven Monday. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Months of discussion and a handful of proposed revisions to Fair Haven’s tree preservation ordinance still haven’t gotten the six-member council in agreement on just what to do with the contentious law.

Half want to keep it as is. The other half, in the name of preserving property rights, want it updated.

When the latest would-be updates, proposed by Councilman Bob Marchese, came up for an introduction vote Monday night, the motion passed with a tie-breaking ‘yes’ by Mayor Mike Halfacre.

But that doesn’t mean they’ll will go into effect when a final vote comes.

“I will tell you gentlemen, if this same ordinance comes before me again, on a 3-3 tie I will vote no,” Halfacre said.

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SPRING 2011: HELLO YELLOW

flowers1A field of daffodils spotted on an embankment off Navesink River Road in Middletown last week. April showers dominate the weather forecast for the coming week. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

M’TOWN: THEFT, SHOPLIFTING, BURGLARY

authorities2aBy DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Shoplifting, car break-ins and credit card theft are among the crimes that have kept Middletown police busy as of late.

The department made six arrests for the various crimes in the last 11 days.

Details after the jump.

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FAIR HAVEN MERCHANT MIFFED BY ROADBLOCK

shuttersThe parking lot at Shutters was opened up Monday afternoon, after eight days that put a dent in business. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

If there were a week that the Fair Haven decor shop Shutters Cottage Home needed its parking lot open, it was the one following Thanksgiving.

Unfortunately for owner Christine DeVincens, the start of her Christmas-season shopping rush was muted — a direct result, she says, of construction work being done on River Road.

As contractors take on biting weather while trying to wrap up Fair Haven’s River Road streetscape project, there’s frustration mounting within the business district related to parking and safety.

What’s more frustrating to DeVincens, though, is the lack of communication between the borough and its businesses.

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FINAL DAM REPAIRS SLATED TO BEGIN

nrrd-062910Navesink River Road over the Poricy Pond culvert shortly after it reopened in late June. (Click to enlarge)

A portion of Navesink River Road in Middletown will be narrowed to one lane of traffic as the final touches are made to earthen dam that collapsed in March, forcing a three-month closure, Monmouth County officials announced yesterday.

Work on the section of road adjoining Poricy Pond, between Hubbard Avenue and Route 35, is expected to start later this month and be is expected to be completed by mid-December, according to a county press release.

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ROAD REOPENS IN TIME FOR KABOOM SURGE

nrrd-062910A man checked out the newly rebuilt roadway over the earthen dam shortly after it reopened Tuesday night. (Click to enlarge)

A stretch of Navesink River Road in Middletown was reopened Tuesday night, 13 weeks after a culvert collapse that Monmouth County officials thought would take four weeks to fix.

The reopening eliminates one potential source of trouble in keeping huge numbers of cars moving into and out of Red Bank for the KaBoom Fireworks on the Navesink Saturday night. The event is typically watched by a crowd estimated at about 150,000 people.

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DAM SITE REPAIR OFFICIAL: ‘WE’LL MAKE IT’

nrr-062410David Yegelwel, in brown pants at center, watches preparations for the installation of storm drain Wednesday. (Click to enlarge)

The mishap-plagued replacement of an earthen dam on Navesink River Road in Middletown will be completed in time to provide traffic relief for the July 3 KaBoom Fireworks on the Navesink, a Monmouth County official tells redbankgreen.

That’s assuming, of course, that there are no more bursting water lines and other calamities of the kind that have beset the 12-week-old effort, says county bridge department supervisor David Yegelwel. His outlook also assumes no significant rain.

“We’ll make it,” Yegelwel said. “Our target is June 30.”

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MORE WOES IN ROAD FIX AS KABOOM LOOMS

A culvert collapse at Poricy Pond, marked by the blue bubble, has closed Navesink River Road between Hubbard Avenue and Poricy Lane for the past 12 weeks.

Monmouth County officials now say they are “hopeful” that a trouble-plagued repair of a collapsed portion of Navesink River Road in Middletown will be completed in time for the Independence Day weekend after a water line broke and flooded the worksite earlier this week.

And once again, they’re blaming New Jersey-American Water Co. for a mishap.

The latest delay threatens to add to traffic woes for Red Bank visitors traveling by car to and from the July 3 KaBoom Fireworks on the Navesink show. The event is estimated to attract some 150,000 spectators and customarily results in post-show traffic jams lasting 90 minutes or more.

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ROAD REOPENING STILL A MONTH AWAY

nrrd-060110Repair work underway on the culvert Tuesday morning. The view is toward the south. (Click to enlarge)

“Another round of unexpected delays” will push back the reopening of the western end of Navesink River Road in Middletown to the end of June, Monmouth County officials announced late last week.

The reconstruction of a culvert on Poricy Pond Brook that partially collapsed March 31 has been bedeviled by problems that  included the rupture of a mis-marked water line and a valve failure that caused water to pour into the work zone unabated for days.

“It’s like a comedy of errors,” says nearby resident John Patterson, who says he visits the site almost daily to check on its progress.

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WHERE HAVE I SEEN THIS?

where_091009

Thanks to Mark Molzon, Lindsey Hintelmann and J.C. Kelly for writing in about last week’s image, which zeroed in on an iron gate festooned with a bunch of grapes.

Each correctly identified the location as a vineyard on the north side of Navesink River Road in Middletown.

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