SMASH & GRAB BURGLARY AT THE INBETWEEN

in-betweenThe Inbetwen Café was burglarized over the weekend. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Not a nice pairing with the Sunday paper and an omelette: a flower pot and an empty cash register.

That’s what the owners of Red Bank mom-and-pop breakfast spot Inbetween Café found Sunday morning.

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THE WEEK IN REARVIEW

sb-beach-plowPlowing the sand mounds in Sea Bright. Can summer be far behind? (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Welcome back to another week at redbankgreen. Here’s a glance back at the stories that filled our cyberpages last week.

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SNOW ADDED TO TOP PED SAFETY CONCERNS

snow-sidewalkIt doesn’t do much good if snow blocks access to a shoveled sidewalk, residents say. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

The list of concerns related to pedestrian safety are well-documented. Red Bank needs more traffic lights, better signage, sidewalk improves and more, residents say.

But now, with snow packed into blocks of ice at the end of sidewalks throughout town, fears are heightened that something bad is going to happen.

That concern, along with the usual gripes, were aired at Wednesday night’s monthly West Side Community Group meeting with police and Mayor Pasquale Menna.

“It’s not that the sidewalks are not shoveled. It’s just that the curbing is blocked with snow,” said Carl Colmorgen, a school crossing guard. “The crosswalks are there, but you can’t get to them because of the snow.”

But the problem is going to take time to resolve, officials said.

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FIREWORKS: FEES IN, FINES UP

fight2-070310Several fights broke out among teenagers gathered at Broad and West Front streets at the 2010 fireworks. (Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

A waterfront view of this year’s Kaboom fireworks is going to cost you. So will acting out of line.

Following the recommendations of the provisional Kaboom! Task Force, the borough council intends to charge for seating at borough-owned waterfront property — the library, Riverside Gardens Park and Marine Park.

The fee, which hasn’t been established, would help the fireworks committee raise money for the $250,000 display and cover the borough’s expenses for police enforcement and cleanup efforts, Administrator Stanley Sickels said.

In an effort to curtail the number of alcohol-related incidents and “shenanigans,” Red Bank will also bring in more cops and increase fines for offenses including disorderly conduct, urinating in public and having an open container of alcohol, said Councilman Michael DuPont.

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RED BANK DENTIST GETS TOOTH PULLED AGAIN

toothThe hanging tooth sign outside Harry Mahoney’s dental office on River Road was stolen again this week. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Somebody’s done it again.

Just four months after replacing his dental office’s landmark tooth sign after its theft, Harry Mahoney came into work Wednesday to find somebody had once again extracted the molar from his River Road lawn.

“It’s getting ridiculous,” said Mahoney, who’s had to replace the sign a handful of times over the years, most recently in September. “This was the shortest amount of time ever.”

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RBC RAISES KICK-IN ON BASIE FIELDS UPKEEP

count-basie-fieldsRed Bank Catholic will pay more for its use of Count Basie Fields to help defray the cost of the turf upgrades. (Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Red Bank Catholic‘s rent is going up.

The borough council Wednesday night voted to amend the parochial school’s annual lease of Count Basie Fields in order to help cover the $878,000 cost of a recent artificial turf job. Most of the cost — $537,500 — was covered by two grants, said borough Administrator Stanley Sickels said.

RBC will now pay $80,000 a year for use of the fields for the next 15 years, up from $55,000. It will also contribute $50,000 a year over the next three years into the field’s capital improvement fund, Sickels said.

Here’s the resolution on the agreement: 10-255draftresolution

Here’s a rundown of other happenings from Wednesday night’s council meeting:
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CHIEF TALKS HOT TOPICS ON THE WEST SIDE

westside-group21Red Bank Police Chief Steve McCarthy gave a crime update to West Side residents Wednesday night, part of his monthly meeting at River Street Commons. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Red Bank Police Chief Steve McCarthy comes to River Street Commons every month, and usually opens up with a crime update.

While it’s an important element of his regular appearances in front of the West Side Community Group — especially this month, with a rash of violence on the West Side — it’s only one reason for the visits.

It’s on nights like these he gets to hear the concerns from residents. And they have plenty.

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PEDESTRIAN’S DEATH PROMPTS SAFETY TALKS

maple-w-frontBorough officials have asked the state DOT to look into safety improvements at the Maple Avenue/West Front Street intersection, where a pedestrian was killed two weeks ago. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

The death of a 40-year-old pedestrian two weeks ago has spurred Red Bank police and other officials into discussions with  the New Jersey Department of Transportation over safety at the intersection in which she was hit by a truck.

Additionally, local leadership is brainstorming ways to make walking on borough streets less hazardous, they say.

On the list to accomplish that goal: speed-limit reductions, more four-way stops, and changes to signs and lighting, specifically at the intersection of West Front Street and Maple Avenue, where Laura Martin was hit and killed by a New Jersey Transit truck on October 27.

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WEEKLONG DETOUR KICKS IN WEDNESDAY

tracksWest Bergen Place will be OOC for about a week in November for railroad work. (Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

If the neon orange sign hasn’t done it for you already, consider yourself warned. More traffic delays are imminent in Red Bank and getting crosstown will require a new route for many motorists.

NJ Transit will be conducting rail work on the tracks at the crossing on West Bergen Place “on or about” November 11, and a 24/7 reroute will be necessary for about a week, Captain Darren McConnell of the borough police department tells redbankgreen.

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MAN IN CRITICAL CONDITION AFTER STABBING

By DUSTIN RACIOPPIjust_in1

A Long Branch man is in critical condition after being stabbed “numerous times” on Red Bank’s West Side early this morning, police said in statement.

No arrests have been made after Ja’Sheem Eyem-Supreme Allah, also known as Sean Stovall, 38, was assaulted and stabbed in an altercation in the parking lot of the Bates Lodge on Shrewsbury Avenue just after midnight, police said.

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RED BANK POLICE BLOTTER

rbpd-patrol-webThe crime reports below were provided by the Red Bank Police Department for the week of September 3 to September 10, 2010. The information appears here unedited.

Criminal Mischief occurring on 9-4-10 at South Bridge Ave. Victim reported that unknown person(s) broke two small side windows in parked vehicle. Ptl. James DePonte.

Theft occurring at E. Newman Springs Rd. on 9-7-10. Gas station attendant reported that unknown male subject stole cash from his hand while he was attempting to make change for the customer. Ptl. Gary Watson.

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COPS: TWO FOR TUESDAY

authorities2bThe crime reports below were provided by the Red Bank Police Department for the weeks of August 20 to 27, and August 27 to September 3, 2010. The information appears here unedited.

Theft occurring on 8-20-10 at West Bergen Place. Victim reported that unknown person(s) removed a license plate from motor vehicle trailer. Lt. Michael Clay.

Theft from a vehicle occurring at Locust Ave. between 8-19-10 and 8-20-10. Victim reported that unknown person(s) removed vehicle insurance card and registration from glove box. Ptl. Paul Perez.

Report of theft on 8-20-10 at Central Ave. Victim reported that plates were stolen off of vehicle. Ptl. Paul Perez.

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A WEEK OF HINDRANCES

rbpd-patrolcar

The crime reports below were provided by the Red Bank Police Department for the week of August 13 to August 20, 2010. The information appears here unedited.

Criminal mischief occurring between 8-13-10 and 8-14-10 on Mechanic Street.

Two victims reported that unknown person(s) threw eggs onto their parked vehicles. Ptl. Patrick Kennedy, Ptl. Ashon Lovick.

Theft occurring on 8-18-10 at Shrewsbury Ave. Victim reported that he heard a car alarm; and when he responded to the vehicle, he witnessed two unknown black male teen subjects running away. Taken from vehicle were screwdrivers, pliers, and money. Ptl. Jorge Torres.

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POLICE MAKE SHREWSBURY AVE. DRUG ARREST

just_in1By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

A Shrewsbury Avenue man was arrested on drug charges early this morning, Red Bank police said.

Pierre Gadson, 30, was arrested for possession of crack cocaine, possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute, possession of marijuana and possession of narcotic paraphernalia, according to a statement from the department.

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FED MONEY FLOWS FOR CROSSWALK OPS

cops-in-crosswalks2Sgt. Michael Furlong demonstrated the new “Cops in Crosswalks” program that will take place in Red Bank throughout the year. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Chief Steve McCarthy wasn’t just in a good mood or having a better-than-usual day on Thursday.

“I’m ecstatic,” Red Bank’s top cop said.

The reason for his cheer was one that he thinks will have a lasting effect on the borough, because it has a problem, he says: in the last five years, McCarthy says more people have died crossing the street than in homicides.

“That’s why one accident is too much,” he said.

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SITTING DUCKS: RBPD TOUTS CROSSWALK LAW

ped-decoy1Red Bank Captain Darren McConnell posed as a decoy Friday afternoon to see if drivers were obeying a new state law. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

In case you haven’t heard about the state’s new pedestrian safety law, Red Bank police are eager to fill you in, and probably when you least expect it.

They started off on Friday afternoon, when the head of the department’s traffic safety division, Captain Darren McConnell, ditched the uniform for a pair of khakis and a golf shirt to serve as a pedestrian decoy outside Riverview Medical Center on East Front Street.

The goal: to see who was stopping and who wasn’t.

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AFTER 35 YEARS, DeFAZIO PACKS IT UP

pete-defazioCaptain Pete DeFazio is leaving the Red Bank PD after 35 years.

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Pete DeFazio has always been a Green Bay Packers fan, which may seem odd given that he’s a  born-and-bred Red Banker living in a state with two pro football teams.

“I like cold weather,” he says, by way of explanation. “I’ve been to Wisconsin a few times”.

He sports a Packers sticker on his office door and, since his father passed away and was buried at Mount Olivet Cemetery in Middletown, where the late Packers head coach Vince Lombardi also rests, DeFazio jokes that his dad has the legendary coach for a neighbor.

The elder DeFazio didn’t really have a favorite team, so the son’s passion didn’t come from his father. But DeFazio’s sense of community service did. Like his dad before him, DeFazio has served on the Red Bank First Aid Squad and Relief Engine Co. since he was a young man.

He went one step further, though. When a spot opened up on the Red Bank police force in 1975, DeFazio started a career as a policeman — first as a dispatcher, then a patrolman and, eventually, captain, the highest rank within the force short of chief.

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