RED BANK: PREPARING FOR THE NEXT ONE

Three days after a raging fire that destroyed a home and injured five people, including four firefighters just one block away, members of the Red Bank volunteer fire and first aid squads conducted a previously scheduled training exercise simulating multiple emergencies Sunday.

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RBR STUDENTS EARN SCOUTING’S TOP HONOR

zack forest michael maier jrRed Bank Regional students and Red Bank Troop 67 scouts Zackary Forest and Michael Maier Jr., were recently conferred with the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest achievement in Boys Scouts.

Press release from Red Bank Regional High School

Michael Maier, Jr., and Zackary Forest, both of Red Bank and both seniors at Red Bank Regional High Schoo, have grown up together in Boy Scouts. So it is fitting that the two recently earned scouting’s highest achievement of Eagle Scout in their Troop 67. Both young men are enrolled in RBR Academy of Pre-Engineering and are active in their school and community.

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PRO-LIFERS MARCH THROUGH RED BANK

The Diocese of Trenton and St. Anthony of Padua Roman Catholic Church held their annual pro-life march through Red Bank Saturday morning, ending with a prayer vigil at the Planned Parenthood facility on Newman Springs Road in Shrewsbury.

Council members Juanita Lewis and Ed Zipprich opposed a permit application for the event last month, with Zipprich citing a Virginia law that would require most women seeking abortions to undergo an invasive ultrasound procedure. “I believe religious organizations have funded this attack on women’s rights,” Zipprich said. The permit was approved by a 3-to-2 vote. (Click to enlarge)

RED BANK CRAMS FOR MORE PRE-K SPACE

pre-k-paintPre-kindergarten student Leslie Herrera at Red Bank Primary School. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Demand for Red Bank’s heralded pre-kindergarten program is spiking, and the school district is on the hunt for more space — and money — to offer every three- and four-year-old in Red Bank the chance to attend.

Superintendent Laura Morana said she’s involved in serious discussion and has a “pretty good lead” to add four more classrooms at a sixth location for the borough’s scattered pre-k classroom setup to accommodate a waiting list that precluded 76 three-year-olds from getting into the program in the 2011-12 school year.

“If we can get four more classrooms then everyone in Red Bank will have the opportunity,” she said.

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BON JOVI FINDS NEW KITCHEN SPACE IN RB

soul-kitchenPlans for Jon Bon Jovi’s Soul Kitchen will keep the bay doors for now. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Bon Jovi’s Soul Kitchen has found itself a new home in Red Bank. It just needs a thumbs-up from the borough to fire up the grill.

The mega-star and super-philanthropic Middletown resident’s non-profit, the JBJ Soul Foundation, has filed plans with the borough’s planning and zoning office to move into a former auto repair shop on Monmouth Street, just west of the train tracks.

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PRE-K AT THE LIMIT, AND LIKELY TO STAY

pre-k2Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction, John Bombardier, with a pre-k student. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

After two years of growth, the number of children in Red Bank’s lauded pre-kindergarten program is likely to stay static next school year, a direct result of the state’s dire budget situation.

“I don’t know that we’ll be able to expand, but we expect we’ll have the same number of children for next year,” Superintendent Laura Morana said.

Now taking up residence at various locations throughout the borough, the early education program tailored to three- and four-year-olds is at capacity, with 238 students, plus a waiting list.

And Morana can’t stop singing the praises of the state-funded initiative, in which only five school districts in the state were selected to participate.

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BON JOVI BRINGS ‘SOUL’ FOOD TO CHURCH

st-anthonySt. Anthony of Padua transforms into the Soul Kitchen on Friday nights, offering a community restaurant through a partnership with the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

You can add restaurateur to the résumé of Jon Bon Jovi.

Through his non-profit JBJ Soul Foundation, the megapopstar musician has teamed with St. Anthony of Padua to open a “community restaurant” they call the Soul Kitchen to offer fine meals to the indigent. There are no prices posted. If you can afford to make a donation, they’ll take it. If not, then you volunteer at the restaurant to work off your fare.

Operating most Friday nights since November, the innovative eatery has gotten a “phenomenal response,” said Ed Markiewicz, who runs the church’s food pantry.

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