RED BANK AREA SCHOOLS BIG BASIE WINNERS

OPENING-NUMBER-BASIE-AWARDS-2016A multi-school ensemble, led by Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama winner Laura Diorio, opened the Basie ceremony. (Photo by Andrew Musser – Count Basie Theatre)

HOT-TOPIC_03Students and faculty from five Red Bank area schools dominated the balloting in the 11th annual Basie Awards, presented  Wednesday night to honor excellence in Monmouth County high school theatrical productions.

Musicals and dramatic presentations from Red Bank Catholic, Red Bank Regional, Rumson-Fair Haven Regional, Mater Dei Prep and Middletown High School South combined to take or tie for top honors in 17 of 27 categories.

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LEGRAND REFLECTS ON JOURNEY FROM INJURY

Eric LeGrand with a fan after his speech at R-FH Friday night. (Photo by Rebecca Desfosse. Click to enlarge)

By REBECCA DESFOSSE

The newest “honorary members” of the Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High community are a football player who suffered a spinal-cord injured two years ago and his mom.

Radiating positive energy from his wheelchair, former Rutgers defensive end Eric LeGrand addressed a packed-to-capacity auditorium at R-FH Friday night, recounting his journey from the injury that left him paralyzed from the neck down.

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RUMSON-FAIR HAVEN PLANS LEGRAND VISIT

By: REBECCA DESFOSSE

Just over two years ago, Eric LeGrand’s life changed in a flash.

During the fourth quarter of a football game against Army, LeGrand, a Rutgers University defensive lineman, suffered a catastrophic spinal-cord injury as a result of a head-first tackle. Paralyzed from the neck down, LeGrand began on an emotional journey of rehabilitation – determined to walk again.

In honor of LeGrand’s recently released memoir entitled “Believe,” River Road Books in Fair Haven and Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High will host a book talk on Monday, October 29.

Slated for 7 p.m. at the school, the event will feature LeGrand himself answering questions about his life, football career, and of course, his new book.

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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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TWEETING ASTRONAUT ORBITS INTO R-FH

astronautU.S. Army Colonel and NASA astronaut Douglas Wheelock stopped by R-FH Tuesday morning after spending six months in outer space. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

There are certain aspects of sailing through outer space that Hollywood chooses, perhaps wisely, not to include in blockbuster portrayals of life in the ether.

There’s the blistering heat, sometimes reaching temperatures upwards of 350 degrees, which can really put a damper on a six-hour space walk; the food, which Colonel Douglas Wheelock says tastes more like heated plastic; and then there’s the absence of a bathing facility, which, if you’re like Wheelock, who recently returned from a six-month voyage in space, can make the return to Earth all that much sweeter.

“When they popped open the hatch, I said, ‘you guys smell really good,'” said Wheelock, who stopped in at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School Tuesday to talk to students about his astral travels. “They said, ‘it’s called soap.'”

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FAIR HAVEN TAX UP, RUMSON’S DOWN AT R-FH

r-fhThe high school’s budget will raise taxes in Fair Haven, but lower taxes in Rumson. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Rumson-Fair Haven Superintendent Pete Righi says he hasn’t seen a tax increase this small in about 15 years, and as a result, one of the two sending towns to the high school will see a drop in taxes.

The other will see an increase.

The school’s $16.3 million budget for 2011-’12, of which $15.1 million will be raised through local taxes, calls for an increase of $10.92 per every $100,000 of assessed property value in Fair Haven; in Rumson, the budget, if approved, would mean a drop of $1.41 per every $100,000, Business Administrator Frank Gripp said.

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RUMSON: NO DAWGS ALLOWED ON THE LAWN

dawgs

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

You can show school spirit all you want in Rumson. Just keep it off the lawn.

A request that had sailed through in Fair Haven didn’t make the cut in Rumson Tuesday night, when the borough council rejected a request from a couple of moms to sell lawn signs to raise money for the Rumson-Fair Haven boys lacrosse program.

The reasons, council members said: one, it’s against local ordinance, and two, if they lifted the ban, it could set a precedent for cluttered frontyards throughout town. And that, you know, is not how Rumson rolls.

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RUMSON HOLDS ITS OARS IN ON CREW SWITCH

hot-topic rightBy DUSTIN RACIOPPI

At the request of some 50 residents and Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High students,  the Rumson council on Wednesday revisited its controversial decision to take back the spring rowing program from the school.

And the council isn’t backpaddling on this one.

“We’re still going to move it” to the borough recreation department, where it began four years ago, said Mayor John Ekdahl.

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TROPHY, CHARITY UP FOR GRABS IN GAME

r-fhRumson-Fair Haven will match up against Matawan tomorrow for the state sectional championships. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Mike Halfacre: mayor, triathlete, gambling man.

As Rumson-Fair Haven preps for the NJSIAA sectional state championship matchup against Matawan tomorrow, Fair Haven’s Hizzoner has placed a wager with Matawan’s mayor on the outcome.

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IN R-FH CREW DEAL, R-FH IS OUT

hot-topic rightBy DUSTIN RACIOPPI

The Rumson-Fair Haven sports triplet is back intact.

Two weeks after locking up a deal with Fair Haven to keep lacrosse and flag football as part of Rumson recreation, the Rumson council decided last week that crew, the third sport that was on the chopping block, will stay as well.

Keeping the alliance alive, though, means Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School‘s crew program will be dropped.

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CASEYS TOP DAWGS IN ANNUAL RIVALRY

rbc-rfhRBC topped R-FH 40- 14 in their annual Thanksgiving matchup. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

It’s an annual tradition that’s getting a little lopsided: Red Bank Catholic posts a “w” in its annual rivalry matchup with Rumson-Fair Haven.

In front of a typically huge crowd at R-FH’s Borden Field, the Caseys topped the Bulldogs 40-14, notching their eighth straight Thanksgiving game win.

“The Thanksgiving turkey might taste a little sour today, but that’s alright,” said Billy Crow, a former R-FH outside linebacker and a 1987 graduate.

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R-FH CONFRONTS HARASSMENT OF GAYS

gsa_think_b4_youR-FH students have been proactive in educating people about tolerance and GLBTI issues. (Photo courtesy of Kate Okeson; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

A rash of suicides by gay teens, and its spotlight in the national media, is simultaneously a tragedy and opportunity, said Kate Okeson, who heads Rumson-Fair Haven regional high’s Gay-Straight Alliance.

So when journalist and author Beth Greenfield, a native of Eatontown, comes to the school Friday night to speak about living as an out journalist and memoirist, the event takes on a little more importance than usual, Okeson said.

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FORMER R-FH TEACH FILLS SCHUNDLER’S SPOT

hot-topic rightBy DUSTIN RACIOPPI

A veteran educator with local roots will fill Bret Schundler’s spot as head of the state education department, a post he commanded less than a year before being fired Friday.

Rochelle Hendricks, who got her start teaching in the Rumson-Fair Haven Regional School District, got the nod from Governor Chris Christie to replace Schundler, who was ousted from the administration after failing to secure federal funds for education. Schundler and his cabinet lost out on coveted Race To The Top money because of a budget error, the Star-Ledger reported.

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