Our Grow Monmouth Façade Improvement Program continues to be popular. We are still accepting applications and approving projects to help businesses improve the look of their building. We could not be more pleased with how the program is going. As part of the Grow Monmouth Initiative this past weekend there was a ribbon cutting ceremony to commemorate the opening of Little Dog Brewing, a microbrewery located on Steiner Avenue in Neptune City. Along with Mayor Brown, I was happy to attend and cut the ribbon at the brewery’s opening. The Grow Monmouth Business Roundtables will be continuing after the holidays. I look forward to getting back out to discuss the needs of Monmouth County’s business community.
We continue to assist our municipalities with ensuring the safety of Monmouth County and its residents. A few ways in which this is accomplished is through the upkeep of county roads as well as the upkeep of traffic signals. There was a traffic signal activation ceremony conducted a few days ago at the intersection of County Route 40A (Memorial Drive) and Evergreen Avenue in the Boroughs of Neptune City and Bradley Beach. The Activation Ceremony marked the completion of this much anticipated project. As liaison to the Department of Public Works and Engineering, I am happy to have been able to be a part of it from its inception through fruition.
A new program by the Middletown Veterans Affairs Committee will add deeper meaning and clarity to the remembrances of the brave men and women who gave their lives for our freedom.
For years, many communities, including Middletown, have named streets after fallen heroes. Now in Middletown there will be a commemorative sign under the official street signs that identifies the hero, their branch of service and the conflict in which they were sacrificed.
Wednesday afternoon in Port Monmouth, Congressman Chris Smith joined Mayor Stephanie Murray and Committeeman Tony Fiore joined Veterans Affairs Committee Members James Guerrieri, and Tom Garretson and William Bouw in honoring the life and heroism of Army Sgt Richard Belicose who died as the result of injuries sustained in Vietnam in May of 1967. Sgt Belicose’s brothers Ron and Robert were on hand for the ceremony.
Sean Powers, a twenty-two year old Middletown volunteer firefighter has been charged with starting the fire that left him with critical burn injuries. William Rohweder, 23 of Middletown was also charged with arson of an abandoned barn in a residential area. The fire at 251 Monmouth Ave was reported to Middletown authorities on Saturday morning at 5:48 AM. Powers’ address is 260 Monmouth Ave.
According to a statement from the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, both young men have been charged with one count of second degree Conspiracy to Commit Aggravated Arson, one count of second degree Aggravated Arson and one count of third degree Aggravated Assault.
Because of his status as a volunteer firefighter, Powers has also been charged with Official Misconduct, an offense that carries a maximum prison term of ten years and a minimum period of parole ineligibility of five years, upon conviction.
Powers is in critical but stable condition at The Burn Center at St. Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston. Judge Honora O’Brien Kilgallen set Powers bail as R. O. R. (Released On Recognizance) so long as he remains in an in-patient. Upon his release from The Burn Center, his bail will be reviewed.
R. Craig Weber was sworn in as the 8th Chief to lead the Middletown Township Police Department over its 86 year history last evening before an overflow crowd at Town Hall.
Mayor Stephanie C. Murray administered the Oath of Office as Weber’s family stood beside him.
During his remarks, Weber acknowledged the support and friendship of his Deputy Chiefs and all the members of the department. He welcomed the Chiefs of several area municipalities and law enforcement leaders from County, State and Federal law enforcement agencies. Weber said that under his leadership there would be an increased level of cooperation with other agencies.
Middletown Police Chief Robert Oches. Photo courtesy of Middletown Patch
Middletown Police Chief Robert Oches is getting $249,338 for unused sick and vacation time accumulated over his 40 year career upon his retirement at the end of this month. The payout is at Oches current pay scale, despite the fact that the time accumulated over a 40 year period.
The Township Committee approved the payment, reluctantly because it is required by State Law, at Monday night’s meeting.
Committeeman Tony Fiore said that most Oches’ unused time was accumulated prior to 1996 when the Township Committee passed a 150 day cap on retirement awards.
Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino was in custody for over 2 hours on simple assault charges
Fiore wants the Monmouth County Prosecutor to investigate
Middletown Committeeman Gerry Scharfenberger cuts the ribbon at Sorrentino’s tanning salon last March. photo via facebook
Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino was arrested in Middletown this afternoon after Township Police broke up a fight between the reality TV star schmuck and his brother Frank.
Detective Lt. Steve Dollinger told MMM that a call came into to the Middletown PD shortly after 2PM reporting a fight at the tanning salon owned by Sorrentino. The actor was arrested, charged with simple assault and released on $500 bail at around 5:15. Dollinger declined to comment further, but other sources told MMM that Frank Sorrentino had a black eye and that Mike’s hand was bandaged as a result of the fisticuffs.
The story of Sorrentino’s arrest was first reported by TMZ, the entertainment gossip website. Last week TMZ, which is located in Marina del Rey, California, broke the story that employees of the tanning salon filed complaints with the Middletown Police that their $100-$200 paychecks had bounced.
Trinity Hall, the all girls private school currently operating from Croydon Hall in the Leonardo section of Middletown Township, had its plans to develop a campus in the Chapel Hill neighborhood of the Township rejected by the Planning Board at 1am this morning, according to a report in The Asbury Park Press.
The board of trustees of Trinity Hall plans to appeal this decision, according to a press release posted on the school’s website. They are confident in the merits of their case and anticipate this decision will be reversed. The Middletown Planning Board had directed the application be submitted without variance from the ordinance and that Trinity Hall accept reasonable additional conditions or amendments, which the application did follow.
“As a Middletown resident and Trinity Hall board of trustees member I am disappointed in the decision of the Middletown Planning Board, which seems arbitrary and contrary to Township ordinance,” said Donna Winchell. “The school is committed to being a good neighbor and has given back to the community through almost 500 hours of community service in just nine months.”
Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden has picked up the endorsements of the elected officials from a third large municipality in his quest to replace John O. Bennett III as the Chairman of the Monmouth County Republican Organization.
Mayor Clint Hoffman, Deputy Mayor George Newberry and Township Committee Members Ann Marie Conte, Jeff Foster and Todd Luttman, the entire governing body of Wall Township, signed a letter on Wall Township Republican Organization letterhead and addressed to Monmouth County Republicans today, strongly endorsing Golden for Chairman. Their letter can be found here.
The Wall governing body joins the elected officials of Middletown and Howell in supporting Golden.
The Middletown Township Health Department has received confirmation of a sixth raccoon testing positive for Rabies. The raccoon was captured and tested after a resident noticed the animal was acting sickly. The raccoon was found on Highway 35 between Kanes Lane and Kings Hwy East.
Previous cases have been found over the last two months at the following locations:
Red Hill Road between Dwight Road and Deepdale Drive,
Michael Drive off of Nutswamp Road,
Ueland Road off Nutswamp Road,
Essex Street off of Bray Avenue, and
Clay Court off of Hartshorne Road,
The Middletown Township Health Department would like to remind residents to be aware of your pets when they are outside. Wildlife will be attracted to areas where residents put food out for their animals. Any dog or cat found to be in direct contact with a known rabid animal that is not properly immunized could be at risk. The domestic animal would be placed under either a strict 6 month confinement in a cage with no human contact or would be humanely euthanized to protect the family and the public from the Rabies virus.
MIDDLETOWN – Brookdale Community College celebrated the commencement of its latest graduating class on Friday. The more than 2,000 graduates hailed from 16 different countries and accounted for 203 distinguished scholars and 42 perfect 4.0 GPAs. “…