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3 Arrests and a Plea for Help from County Prosecutor

  By JOANNE L. PAPAPAINNI Law enforcement officials arrested three Asbury Park men for the murder of Denzel Morgan-Hicks on Thanksgiving Eve, Nov. 22, outside of the Frederick Douglass housing complex in Asbury Park. Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni said a comprehensive investigation involving the prosecutor’s office Major Crimes Unit, the Asbury Park Police Department and the Neptune Township Police Department resulted in the arrests of Steven Taylor, 36, Michael Taylor, 33 and Avery Hopes, 23. All three were charged with murder, conspiracy, and weapons possession charges. Gramiccioni said Michael Taylor was arrested in Marlboro, while the other two…

City Developer May Begin Work on 60-Unit Apartments Along Lake Avenue

  By JOANNE L. PAPAIANNI A 60-unit apartment complex by Sackman Enterprises may begin construction at 545 Lake Ave., Asbury Park even though state permits are pending. At this week’s Planning Board meeting the developer’s attorney, Andrew Karas, said he has been given verbal affirmation that the permits will be granted within six weeks. An amendment is needed for a door located on the side of the building that is below flood level and plans may need to be changed. Karas said plans have been reviewed by the DEP and a representative told him they are adequate and a permit will…

Republican, Democrat Officials Hosting Fundraiser for Asbury Park Candidates

    By JOANNE L. PAPAIANNI In a unique show of shared support two area elected officials from different political parties have decided to forego party politics and host a bi-partisan, joint fundraiser for Asbury Park Mayor John Moor and Councilman Jesse Kendle who are each seeking reelection in November. Freeholder Thomas Arnone, a Republican, and Sen. Vin Gopal, a Democrat, offered to host a fundraiser for them. Election petitions are not due until the end of August for the non-partisan November election and thus far Moor and Kendle are the only residents who have filed. Mayor Moor was delighted…

Dance Academy in Asbury Park Celebrating 20 Years

  By JOANNE L. PAPAIANNI It was a directive from a famous dancer that set Asbury Park’s Michele Burrell on a path to her life’s work. As a young woman Burrell studied with Madame Maria Swoboda, the famous dancer and dance teacher, at a Spring Lake studio. Burrell says Swoboda, who had taught at leading ballet studios in New York including the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, American Ballet Theater and the June Taylor School, looked around at her students and came to the realization that there were not many opportunities for African American dancers. “She then looked at me…

City Developer Seeks More Welcoming Climate

  By JOANNE L. PAPAIANNI Asbury Park developer Pat Fasano, one of the pioneers who renovated and refurbished dilapidated buildings downtown and at the beachfront over the last 20 years, has decided to head south to Atlantic City. Fasano purchased 21 contiguous properties in the city where he will build a project called the Orange Loop, after the three orange properties, New York, St. James and Tennessee Avenue, in the Monopoly game. “Unfortunately it’s not possible for small developers to work in Asbury,” Fasano said. “I have a payroll to maintain and  it’s not possible to get approval and permits…

Memorial Day Weekend a Mix of Sun and Storms

  By JOANNE L. PAPAIANNI and DON STINE The summer season started strong with a hot and sunny Friday and Saturday. On Sunday, however, everything changed. The rain, wind and cooler temperatures kept people away from the beaches. Peter Mantas, manager at Langosta Lounge and Pop’s Garage on the Asbury Park beachfront said, “It was a wonderful, busy weekend. But we have had 60 percent of what we should have had.” Mantas said Friday and Saturday were busy but many people left on Saturday afternoon. “It would have been tremendous,” he said. But Mantas was happy with what he saw and predicts a successful summer. “Its going to be the…

Offshore Drilling was Topic at Hands Across the Sand

    By JOANNE L. PAPAIANNI Elected officials and environmental leaders gathered in the cold rain and wind on the Bradley Beach boardwalk Saturday to express their collective disdain for the idea of offshore drilling at the seventh annual Hands Across the Sand Event. Congressman Chris Smith and Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. both attended the event highlighting the bi-partisan support for prohibiting off shore drilling. “Seldom has any issue united the people of NJ, the congressional delegation, the State Legislature, and local public officials as our position on offshore oil has,” Smith said. “I am proud to stand with so…

Summer Kick-Off

  By JOANNE PAPAIANNI and DON STINE Shore residents have had enough of the dreary rain and cold temperatures and are ready for some fun in the sun. But it may not happen. The forecast for the three-day Memorial Day weekend is not the best with possible rain Sunday and Monday. But towns and businesses are still prepared for all scenarios. Asbury Park Asbury Park Beach Utilities Manager Gary Giberson said the city is ready for the first holiday weekend of the summer season. He said new signage is being “tweaked” to make them more accurate. He also said accessibility mats have been…

Bradley Beach Mourns Beloved Firefighter, Family Man

  By JOANNE L. PAPAIANNI and PETE WALTON Bradley Beach lost one of its most dedicated and beloved citizens this week with the death Mon., May 21 of John McLoughlin. Many in the audience at the Borough Council meeting May 22, who had not heard the news of his death, gasped when Mayor Gary Engelstad asked those assembled to stand for a moment of silence. The mayor described McLoughlin as “a giant in our community.” “He was a giant literally and figuratively in our town,” he said. “ He leaves a hole that will be hard to fill.” Councilman Harold…

Building Boom in Asbury Park

  By JOANNE L. PAPAIANNI Eastside, westside all around the town, there is a building boom taking place in Asbury Park the likes of which may not have been seen since the city was founded in the late 1800s. Mayor John Moor said this is “definitely” the most construction he has ever seen. “Everybody wants to come to Asbury Park. The two key buzz words in the Northeast are Asbury Park,” Moor said. The mayor also said the city, which earned record accolades last year, is in the running again for Best Littlest City and Best Beach. The increased positive…

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