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Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Selects New Executive Director

  The Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association has named J. P. Gradone of Tennessee as its new chief operating officer and executive director. Dr. Dale Whilden, president of the association, said the selection marks the culmination of a lengthy, in depth search. “Our new COO exhibits an authentic commitment to Christ and brings an impressive record of combining business world savvy and ministry skills,” Whilden said. Gradone has had 20 years of extensive experience in the business world prior to serving for 10 years in Executive Pastor positions. He comes to the Camp Meeting from an executive pastor role in…

Bittersweet Anniversary in Shark River Hills

  By DON STINE Neptune’s Shark River Hills area was hit particularly hard during Superstorm Sandy and one year later residents are still in various stages of recovery. The storm, which hit the Jersey Shore on Oct. 29, was the second-costliest in American history, resulting in about $65 billion in damage. Large sections of the Jersey Shore were impacted, with everything from minor damage to total destruction. Low-lying areas in Shark River Hills, adjacent to the Shark River, saw heavy damage during the high storm surge and some people are still displaced one year later. Neptune Chief Financial Officer Michael…

New Sign for Neptune Park Will Be Unveiled Oct. 26

  While much work still remains to be done in Shark River Hills and all along the Jersey Shore, township residents will take a brief respite to mark the first anniversary of Superstorm Sandy on Sat., Oct. 26. At 11 a.m. on that day township officials, volunteers and residents will gather to officially rename Riverside Park as Volunteer Park. In August the Township Committee passed a resolution approving the name change. At the ceremony a new sign will be unveiled, which has been donated to the park through donations from residents. Also, at that time, the winners of two contests…

Time Running Out for Shark River Dredging

  By DON STINE The last best alternative to getting the Shark River dredged and insuring its future for the area is now at stake, officials told a standing room-only crowd at a special hearing this week. Freeholder Director Thomas Arnone, a former Neptune City mayor, urged the crowd to be patient but at the same time said a decision has to be made on a dewatering site. “This is it,” he said. “This is the last straw we are looking at.” Officials are looking at dredging navigation channels in the Shark River and depositing the spoils in Neptune to…

Investigation Sought on Alleged Forgeries in Neptune

  By DON STINE Allegations of fraud were raised this week over a petition seeking to overturn Neptune’s recent decision to establish rent control on buildings with more than four units. A 1,408-signature petition seeking to place a new rent control ordinance on a public ballot has been found to have many invalid and forged signatures, said residents who never signed the petition. The Neptune Committee to Repeal Rent Control recently submitted the petition requesting that the rent control issue be offered to voters in a referendum. However, after investigation, the petition was found to contain many forged signatures and…

Neptune Park Renamed, Fund-Raising Drive Underway

  Neptune Mayor Eric Houghtaling and the Neptune Township Municipal Committee have announced that Riverside Park along South Riverside Drive in Shark River Hills has been renamed Volunteer Park in honor not only of the volunteers that helped the residents of Shark River Hills after Hurricane Sandy, but all of the volunteers in Neptune year round. Partnering in the effort is the Shark River Hills Property Owner’s Association. On the weekend before the first anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, a renaming ceremony will be held at the park, opposite the Municipal Marina. Further information will soon be provided, but at that…

Newly-Renovated Gym Ready for Action at Neptune High School

  By JUSTIN SAUER This fall when the Neptune High School girls’ volleyball team takes the floor for the first time, it will also mark the first time that an athletic team will be using the school’s newly renovated gymnasium. Neptune High started renovations on its main gymnasium in June, when the 2012-13 school year ended, and is now ready to be used for the upcoming school year. The last renovations to be completed are the boys’ and girls’ locker rooms and they are scheduled to b completed by the end of September. According to Neptune H.S. Administrator of Athletics…

Neptune Seeks Skatepark Funding

  NEPTUNE TWP. – A public skateboard park in Neptune, at Neptune Boulevard and Stratford Avenue, will be built if a 2013 grant application being submitted to the Monmouth County Municipal Open Space program is approved. The Township Committee is submitting the application, which seeks at least $250,000 from the country program. There has been talk in the township for some time about building such a park and the Township Committee said it fully supports submitting the application. “I think this is a great application,” Committeeman Kevin McMillan said. Mayor Eric Houghtaling agreed. “We need to work to get this…

Saving the Dairy House in Neptune

  By DON STINE The old Wardell-Welsh dairy house, at 703 Old Corlies Ave. in Neptune, (pictured above) will be saved and refurbished under initial plans presented by the Township Committee. Committeeman Randy Bishop said he has always been a strong advocate of saving the house, if possible, and that tearing it down would be “a mistake.” “It is part of the fabric of the area and residents are anxious to try and save it,” he said. He said that it is best for the township’s history to save the building and seek grant money to refurbish it. He added…

Neptune Plans Rent Control Measure

  Rent control is coming to Neptune if an ordinance introduced by the Township Committee last week is adopted at a public hearing on Aug. 12. Other municipalities in Monmouth County with similar ordinances are Eatontown and Red Bank. The ordinance is being considered in the wake of complaints from residents living at the Winding Ridge townhouse complex about onerous rent increases. The privately-owned complex consists of 99 two- and three-bedroom affordable townhouse apartments and rents are being raised by several hundred dollars, or from $1,400 to $1,800 a unit for some. Winding Ridge residents recently complained to the governing…

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