MIDDLETOWN MAN INDICTED FOR BANK FRAUD

just_in1Six months after he was arrested on charges of trying to defraud a Shrewsbury bank branch out of $93,000, a Middletown man has been indicted on related charges.

Sandy Masselli, 48, faces charges of theft by deception and forgery, according to an announcement by Monmouth County Prosecutor Peter Warshaw.

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TRADER JOE’S FANS REVEL IN NEW STORE

tjs3Customers got the aloha treatment, complete with leis, at the opening of the new Trader Joe’s store in Shrewsbury Friday morning. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Aaaaaaaand exhale, Trader Joe’s fans.

On this damp and gray Friday morning, the wildly popular grocer opened its doors in Shrewsbury — an event full of pageantry, with Caribbean music blasting, a Hawaiian-shirted steel drummer at the entrance and TJ employees forming a tunnel and placing leis around the necks of some 30 customers who lined up well before the 8a opening to get their fix.

“We’re so happy to be here,” said Fran Waldmann, of Red Bank.

Happy, she said, because now she can sleep.

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WHERE HAVE I SEEN THIS?

where_022411_ir1

Ok, all you pillars of the community we call Whereopolis: Where is this one?

If you know or want to hazard a guess, drop us a line here, with the words ‘Where Have I Seen This?” in the subject line, please.

A number of readers roared in instant recognition last week, when we featured a large, sculpted lion’s head.

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TRADER JOE’S MUM ON SHREWSBURY OPENING

trader-joeTrader Joe’s is coming to Shrewsbury’s Treasure Island Plaza, but hasn’t said exactly when. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Trader Joe’s appears to be gearing up for its Shrewsbury opening sometime in the near future.

How near is the big question. Sorry, we don’t know when exactly the supermarket chain will open its doors to its rabidly faithful followers, but you can thank corporate reticence for that.

Anyway, signs, including the big red one in Hawaiian-style lettering erected in the Treasure Island Plaza last week, point to “soon.”

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SHREWSBURY DOC MUSCLES HER WAY TO FAME

karyn-marshallKaryn Marshall, seen below in competition in the 1980s, will be inducted into the Weightlifting Hall of Fame next month. (Click to enlarge. Photo above by Dustin Racioppi.)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

karyn-marshall1She’s won five world championship gold medals, and was the first woman in history to clean-and-jerk more than 300 pounds over her head. She’s set 60 world and American records. She was, in 1985, dubbed by World Weightlifting Magazine “the World’s Strongest Woman.”

In the world of weightlifting, Karyn Marshall, set just about every standard for her gender.

Now, here’s another superlative she can add to her résumé: Hall of Famer.

Next month, the 54-year-old weightlifter-turned-chiropractor, who has a private practice in Shrewsbury, will be inducted into the Weightlifting Hall of Fame in York, Pennsylvania, capping an illustrious career that started with anything but promise.

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ART WALK: THE GALOSHES EDITION

leslies_sentinels“Sentinels” by Leslie Backlund whose works will be among those displayed Sunday at Shrewsbury’s Guild of Creative Art.

The virtual Art Walk is back on redbankgreen as February pops from the groundhog-hole with a newfound momentum toward those first gloriously slushy days of the long-awaited Big Thaw. Like charging into a snowdrift and hoping for the best, we proceed apace — and if the walking’s still a bit slippery out there, we did mention that we’re kicking it “virtual” in here.

This weekend brings an annual event that, while it doesn’t claim to compete for attention with the Super Bowl, remains an eagerly anticipated seasonal signifier around the greater ‘green. Hosted at Christian Brothers Academy in Lincroft and presented by the CBA Mother’s Club, the 36th Annual CBA Professional Art Show and Sale brings together some 100 pro artists from all over the region for a fundraiser that kicks off with a preview reception tonight. Tickets for the 7p event ($40 in advance, $50 at the door) benefit the school and include hors d’oeuvres, wine/beer open bar, live music, first dibs on all artworks offered for sale, plus unlimited return visits for the duration of the weekend.

The show continues Saturday and Sunday between 10a and 4p, with $5 admission once again dedicated to special event programs at CBA. There’s a 50/50 raffle, drawings for featured art works and refreshments available for purchase from “the unique Artist’s Palette Café.” Take it here for full details — and take it ’round the corner for more arty action.

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SNOW: ARE WE IN FOR IT OR WHAT?

poblanaDee Patel’s grocery store on Shrewsbury Avenue in Red Bank cleared an early path for customers during the December 26-27 storm. (Click to enlarge)

The too-white winter of 2011 is expected to lay a fresh blanket of snow up to 13 inches thick on the Red Bank region Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, according to the National Weather Service.

It begins around 4p, the forecast says, with light accumulation until about 7p, when the snow dump begins in earnest.

The Red Bank police department has issued a request urging that vehicles not be left parked on-street overnight, to make it easier for plows to do their work.

In addition, there are borough streets for which an ordinance prohibits parking when the road is snow-covered, subjecting vehicles to tickets and towing.

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FIRE DAMAGES LITTLE SILVER HOME

alden-fire-1With two firefighters manning Shrewsbury’s aerial ladder, a fireman knocks down the last of the flames under the eaves of a Little Silver home Friday night. (Click to enlarge)

Fire caused extensive damage to a Little Silver residence Friday night.

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FORECAST: ARTY, WITH CHANCE OF FLOWERS

lairds-in-winterMary Ann Goodwin’s “Laird’s in Winter” is but one of the applejack artworks of local scenery now on display at Middletown Main Library.

Babies, it’s cold outside as we suit up for a December edition of our monthly artwalk through the winter-greying ‘green. Cold enough to freeze your wine and cheese, for sure. Cold enough to geler your Giclée, and to turn a Plein Air painting session into just plein hell.

Fortunately, the galleries and public spaces of greater Red Bank offer up some warm and welcoming refuges from both the cold and the cacophony of the calendar-year caboose. So if squinting at your next-door neighbor’s hi-wattage holiday display isn’t doing it for you, join us for a change of scenery that begins just past that virtual velvet rope.

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POLICE IDENTIFY MISSING KAYAKER

njsp-marine1State Police will continue its search for a missing kayaker, “for the foreseeable future,” a spokesman says. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

State Police have identified a Tinton Falls man as the Shrewsbury River kayaker who’s been missing since Wednesday, and will continue to search for him “for the foreseeable future,” said Sgt. Stephen Jones, a spokesman.

The department, along with area volunteer fire departments, have been searching the river for David Civile, 36 26, since late Wednesday. The Coast Guard, which had been assisting in the search, has since called off its operation, Sgt. Dan White, also of the State Police, said.

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M’TOWN MAN CHARGED WITH CHECK FRAUD

call-in-the-authoritiesA Middletown man was arrested yesterday on check-kiting charges that authorities say defrauded a Shrewsbury bank branch of nearly $93,000.

Sandy Masselli, 48, was held on $100,000 bail and ordered to surrender his passport as a condition of being released, according to the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s office, which announced the arrest Thursday afternoon.

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POLICE PAY IN SLEDGER SPOTLIGHT

hot-topic rightSunday’s Star-Ledger had an eye-opening article on police salaries in New Jersey.

Analyzing 2009 pay data from police departments throughout the state, the Sledger concluded that

the average municipal cop in New Jersey is paid 80 percent more than the average resident, and three of 10 made at least $100,000 last year. In addition, police tend to be paid the best in small towns with little crime.

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KALISH GETS FIRST BIG-TIME HOMER V. YANKS

screen-shot-2010-08-07-at-113203-amFormer Red Bank Catholic standout Ryan Kalish continued his incandescent debut week in the majors last night by getting his first home run against the New York Yankees, at Yankee Stadium, for the Boston Red Sox.

Kalish, who grew up in Shrewsbury, had struck out on three pitches each in his first two at-bats. But in the sixth inning, with one on, the left-hander drove the first pitch over the fence in right-center field.

The Bosox website has video of the shot, with the announcer saying, as Kalish is congratulated by his teammates, “Kalish took a low fastball and just golfed this thing on a line out of Yankee Stadium, into that Yankee bullpen.”

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RBC’S KALISH MAY START V. YANKEES

Ryan Kalish in an interview in June, before he was called up to Boston to start in left field for the Red Sox. (Video from Cox Sports New England)

Shrewsbury product Ryan Kalish has been on fire this week, his first in major league baseball.

Five years after going straight to a Boston Red Sox farm team from Red Bank Catholic, Kalish was called up to Fenway Park from his post in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, to start against the Detroit Tigers last Saturday. In his first trip to the plate, he drove in a run with a single that shattered his bat.

Since then, he’s been “superb,” says the suburban Beantown Daily News Tribune. Going into last night’s game against the Cleveland Indians…

He was 7-for-13 in his first four games, and his batting average of .538 is the highest in Red Sox history through four games – Ted Williams is now third with a .444 average while Morgan Burkhart is down to second with a .533 mark.

Last night, he went 1-for-3, bringing his average to .471.

Tonight, locals are hoping to see their hometown standout under the lights at Yankee Stadium in the kickoff of a crucial series between the archrivals.

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GETTA LOADA THAT CANNOLI!

coolinside5_060410

OK, first, no, the cannoli above is not shown actual size. But if you wish it were, you’re definitely part of the demographic for this new feature, you decadent thing you.

Today, on a sweltering June day, redbankgreen busts open the freezer with the debut of Cool Inside, a sumerlong weekly feature. We’re kicking off this series by turning our eyes — and hanging tongues — in the direction of LaRosa’s Bakery in Shrewsbury.

Every Friday through Labor Day week, we’ll focus on one treat. What’s the selection criteria? Our aim is to call out deep-down, body-cooling desserts and other goodies available locally. Could be an Italian ice, a milkshake, a banana split. We’re open to ideas.

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BOWLING ALLEY ‘FULLY ENGAGED’ IN FIRE

A Red Bank fireman backs down a ladder as flames erupted through the roof where he’d been standing just seconds before. (Click to enlarge)

Firefighters from Shrewsbury and Red Bank are battling a blaze at Memory Bowling alley on Newman Springs Road late this morning.

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