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Neptune Crime Rate Down

  By DON STINE Neptune’s reportable crime rate, which includes both violent and property crimes, decreased by 12.5 percent last year, according to the department’s 2015 annual report. Presented to the Township Committee and public this weet, the report shows that violent and property crimes went from 1,541 crimes in 2014 to 1,347 last year, according to FBI statistics. Calls for service to the police department dropped from 38,611 in 2012 to 34,258 last year. “I am proud of our 74 sworn full-time police officers, our part-time special law enforcement officers, and our civilian staff who have accepted the responsibility…

Neptune OKs School Budget

  Current Neptune School Board President Jason A. Jones and incumbent board members Michelle A. Moss and Donna L. Puryear have won three-year terms on the Board of Education after running unopposed in Tuesday’s election. William S. Wells ran unopposed for a one-year unexpired term. Puryear was top vote-getter with 656 votes, or 32.83 percent. Moss was the next top vote-getter with 654 votes, or 32.73 percent, while Jones garnered 635 votes, or 31.7 percent. There were 53 write-in votes. Wells received 629 votes, or 98.28 percent since there were also 11 write-in votes. Voters also approved the total $94.4…

Neptune Going to Tax Court Over Hospital Tax Exempt Status

  By DON STINE Neptune officials are going to court in an effort to find out what portions of Jersey Shore University Medical Center is tax exempt and what portions are not. At this week’s meeting, the Township Committee passed a resolution that allocates up to $10,000 for Township Attorney Gene Anthony to file a tax complaint in the Tax Court of New Jersey appealing the present not-for-profit exemption status of the Jersey Shore University Medical Center on Route 33. Gov. Chris Christie recently vetoed a bill that would have kept hospitals tax exempt. The Governor’s veto means hospitals, which…

Retirement on Hold for Neptune Township Official

  By DON STINE Neptune Township Committee incumbents Randy Bishop and Carol Rizzo have officially received the nod from the local Democratic organization to be the party’s candidates in the Nov. 8 general election. Four candidates were put forward last Saturday by the local Democratic County Committee and Bishop, who will be seeking his fifth three-year full term, and Rizzo, who will be seeking her first full three-year term, will be on the ballot. Rizzo is currently filling the unexpired term of former Committeeman Eric Houghtaling, who was elected as a state Assemblyman last November. Rizzo ran unsuccessfully for a…

Neptune Committeeman Will Receive Award

  Neptune Township Committeeman Randy Bishop will receive the Golden Hearts Founders Award from Coastal Habitat for Humanity at is awards dinner April 21 at the Manasquan River Golf Club. The event began in 2015 to commemorate the organization’s 20th year of serving families in need of affordable housing in Southern Monmouth County. This year, Coastal Habitat once again honors its community partners and their dedication to providing affordable housing assistance to low-income families. The 2016 Hearts & Hammers honorees are Bishop, The New Jersey Bankers Association which will receive The Golden Hammer Award and the Star News Group which…

Disbarred Neptune Attorney Indicted

  A Monmouth County grand jury returned a four-count indictment this week naming a disbarred attorney for providing legal services and failing to properly handle a $17,000 settlement, announced Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni. Kim Andre Fellenz, 58, of Neptune, who was disbarred in 2012 for knowingly misappropriating client funds, was named in the indictment following a direct presentment of the facts to a Monmouth County Grand Jury. The charges stem from a client meeting Fellenz had on Sept. 17, 2012, seven days after he was disbarred by the New Jersey State Supreme Court. At that meeting, Fellenz…

Neptune Garden Growing Bigger

  By DON STINE Community involvement and living a healthier lifestyle in Neptune’s Midtown area will get a boost under a proposal to expand a community garden in the area. “The garden has proven to be successful and now we have a chance to expand it and get more people involved,” First Pentecostal Church Sr. Pastor Paul L. Brown said. In 2011, the Township Committee granted the First Pentecostal Church, 144 Oxonia Ave. and Midtown Urban Renaissance Corporation use of a 50- by 100-foot section Liberty Park on Monroe Avenue for a community garden. Church and MURC officials are now…

Neptune Police Officer Promoted to Captain

  A 19-year Neptune police veteran was promoted to the rank of captain at this week’s Township Committee meeting. Lt. Anthony Gualario was promoted during a special swearing-in ceremony attended by fellow police officers, family and friends. “Lt. Gualario has demonstrated a strong commitment to helping this police department and has served in various leadership roles,” Police Director Michael J. Bascom said. Gualario has served with the traffic bureau, the professional responsibility and internal affairs, departments, and served as a shift commander and patrol supervisor in the Operations Division. “He has demonstrated a strong commitment to helping this police department…

Free Winter Festival Offers Music, Refreshments, Performances

  By DON STINE Not only will it be good times at The Jersey Shore Arts Center’s Winter Arts Festival in Ocean Grove later this month but there is something extra special – all events are free! “We have a benefactor providing hors d’oeuvres and light refreshments for events. So, everything is free and there is no reason for tickets now,” JSAC President Herb Herbst said. The second annual festival will span three days, from Friday, Feb. 26 through Sunday, Feb. 28. Tickets for a dinner and the variety show to be held on Saturday night were originally priced at…

New Campaign to Save Madonna House

  By JOANNE L. PAPAIANNI The founder and director of Madonna House in Neptune is once again asking for donations so she can stay in the building where she also runs a thrift store. Madonna House, founded in 1987, is a non-profit organization supporting destitute women and children. Founder Rebecca Blonski said she recently received a letter from the mortgage holders of the building calling in the entire $123,000 mortgage on the property in 30 days. If the entire amount is not paid by then, the letter states, foreclosure proceedings will begin. The mortgage holder, whom Blonksi chooses not to…

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