RED BANK: FIRE DAMAGES VACANT STORE

rb fire 062716 1rb fire 062716 2Fire damaged a vacant retail building at the corner of Shrewsbury Avenue and Catherine Street in Red Bank at about 8 p.m. Monday evening. The blaze was quickly brought under control by volunteer firefighters. Information about the cause was not immediately available.

The building, located at 203 Shrewsbury, next door to On the Rocks Wines and liquors, was last used as a fish market, but has been vacant since the 1990s. Property records indicate it is owned by Sandyriver LLC of Holmdel.   (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

Read More »

RUMSON: MAN INDICTED IN OVERDOSE DEATH

oxford rumson 2 011214.JPGRumson officials said they learned that Oxford House had created the recovery home at 61 South Ward Avenue only after a resident’s death there. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03An Avon-by-the-Sea man has been indicted for the overdose death of a resident of Rumson’s Oxford House addiction recovery facility, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni announced Monday.

Michael Renna, 26 of Sylvania Avenue,  faces two counts arising from the October 2013 death of 25-year-old Christopher L. Pesce, according to Gramiccioni.

Read More »

SEA BRIGHT: PLAN FOR SCHOOL’S NOT COOL

sb school 021015 2Vacant since 1978, the old Sea Bright School, below, would be refashioned into a 12-unit apartment building, as shown in the rendering above. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

sb school 011614 2Eight years after winning approval to turn Sea Bright’s long-abandoned former schoolhouse into 13 condos, a developer ran into resistance with proposed changes to the plan Tuesday night.

Aldo Frustaci, who paid $100,000 for the River Street structure in 1996, will go back to the drawing board again, his lawyer said, after the planning board raised questions about a proposed flat roof and other aspects of the proposal – including the aesthetics.

“This just looks like an ugly box,” board vice chairman Dave Deseo told the architect, Darius Toraby.

Read More »

RUMSON: MAN CHARGED IN OXFORD O.D.

oxford rumson 2 011214.JPGThe overdose death of an Oxford House resident has resulted in charges against a man described by authorities as an acquaintance.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

An Avon-by-the-Sea man has been charged for allegedly supplying the heroin that led to the overdose death of a resident of Rumson’s Oxford House rehab facility last October, the Monmouth County Prosecutor announced Tuesday.

Michael Renna, 25, was charged with one count of first degree strict liability for a drug-induced death and one count of third-degree distribution of a controlled dangerous substance, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni said in a prepared statement.

News about the death of 25-year-old Christopher Pesce was the first that word that nearby residents had that the recovery residence had opened two months earlier in their residential corner of Rumson, and ignited a firestorm of objections.

It also led to a pair of countervailing lawsuits by the borough and Oxford House, litigation that now appears to be close to settlement.

Read More »

RUMSON: OXFORD HOUSE FILES FEDERAL SUIT

oxford rumson 1 011214Oxford House says in a court filing that the group home at 61 South Ward Avenue is getting new residents. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Oxford House has gone on the legal offensive against Rumson.

The parent organization of the embattled group home for recovering alcoholics and drug addicts filed a federal lawsuit against the borough on Friday, alleging discrimination in violation of fair housing and Americans with Disabilities laws.

The suit claims the town and borough Administrator Tom Rogers “have interfered with operation and occupancy” of the residence in the aftermath of two drug overdoses at the house since it opened in August – one resulting of the death of a 25-year-old Holmdel man in October, and the second in December, in which a resident required emergency treatment.

Read More »

RUMSON: ALL QUIET AT OXFORD HOUSE

oxford rumson 2 011214.JPGThe manager of Oxford Houses for New Jersey says the Rumson group home is still occupied, but declines to say if there’s a proctor on site. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Rumson officials failed in their attempt to get a court order forcing a group home for recovering addicts to be vacated. But they appear to have effectively gotten what they wanted:
an empty Oxford House.

Or have they?

Contrary to the impressions of town officials and some neighbors, “it’s not vacant,” according to George Kent, who manages the house, at 61 South Ward Avenue, for the nonprofit Oxford House.

If it’s not vacant, tid Oxford follow through on a purported plan to change the facility from all-male to one for women and children?

“All I can say is nothing’s changed,” Kent told redbankgreen last week. “There’s people living there.”

Read More »