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$12 Million Wesley Lake Restoration Project Underway

  The first phase of a proposed $12 million restoration project to Wesley Lake is underway and more funding is being sought to complete the project. “This is just the beginning and we have a lot more planned,” said Neptune Mayor Michael Brantley, who also chairs the Wesley Lake Commission. The Wesley Lake Commission held a press conference and groundbreaking ceremony on March 19 to celebrate the beginning of the project. “We are aggressively seeking more money,” Brantley said. Under the current $1.4 million project, both Wesley Lake, between Asbury Park and Ocean Grove, and Fletcher Lake, between Ocean Grove…

Ocean Grove Architects Win Award for Asbury Park Building

  The New Jersey chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA-NJ) has awarded Ocean Grove-based architectural design firm Shore Point Architecture with a Merit Award in the “Un-built” category of its annual Design Day Competition. The agency recognized the firm for its innovative design of Asbury Park J.A.M.S. community performing arts building in Asbury Park. “Asbury Park J.A.M.S. is a prime example of the type of dynamic project that will advance and elevate the state of architecture in New Jersey,” said Kurt Kalafsky, FAIA, president of AIA-NJ. “Shore Point Architecture demonstrated incredible vision in designing the building, and is…

Wesley Lake Will Be Dredged; Retaining Wall Repaired

  By DON STINE If the water in Wesley Lake looks very low at the western end, it is all for a good reason – the lake will be dredged soon. “Everything is taken care of (for the project),” said Neptune Township Committeeman Michael Brantley, who also chairs the Wesley Lake Commission. Under the proposal, both Wesley Lake, between Asbury Park and Ocean Grove, and Fletcher Lake, between Ocean Grove and Bradley Beach, will be dredged under a $1.4 million project. About 400 linear feet of retaining wall along the southerly side of Wesley Lake will be replaced and an…

New Operating Officer at Ocean Grove Camp Meeting

  By BONNIE GRAHAM Ocean Grove residents and homeowners were introduced to the new operating officer of the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association at a meeting Sat., Jan. 25. J.P. Gradone, who assumed the post of Camp Meeting Association Chief Operating Officer on Nov. 5, told homeowners he grew up in Wanamassa and is a 1976 graduate of Ocean Township High School. He met his wife, Cheryl, while attending college and worked for 23 years in corporate positions in Florida and Kentucky. During the last decade, Gradone was an executive pastor in large churches in Sarasota, Florida, Birmingham, Alabama, and…

Alleged “Ocean Grove” burglar caught

  By Don Stine Neptune police arrested an alleged burglar Thursday night that they believe has been a major source in a rash of recent break-ins in Ocean Grove. Police report that Neptune resident Thomas Lockhart, 54, was arrested around 8 p.m. Thursday night after leading police on a foot chase to apprehend him. In addition to suspicion of burglary, Lockhart was also arrested on other active warrants and is now also charged with resisting arrest and receiving stolen property. Property found by police in Lockhart’s possession has been traced to a recent burglary in Ocean Grove. He has been…

Police Investigating 30 Burglaries in Ocean Grove

  More than 30 break-ins and burglaries have been reported in Ocean Grove in the last three and a-half months and while police are actively looking for the perpetrators, they urge residents to use due diligence in protecting their properties. “Everybody is working on this. It is not something where we are just sitting back and taking reports on break-ins. We are on this,” said Neptune’s Chief Financial Officer Michael Bascom, who is also the township’s acting-police director. Bascom also said residents should be mindful not to provide criminals with opportunities to commit crimes. “These are crimes of opportunity with…

Ocean Grove Wins Boardwalk Appeal

  By DON STINE Ocean Grove officials announced this week that the Federal Emergency Management Agency has overturned a previous ruling and has now determined that the historic district is eligible for federal funding to repair its boardwalk, which was damaged during Superstorm Sandy in 2012. “We are delighted and grateful to have just recently learned that FEMA has determined that the (Ocean Grove) Camp Meeting Association is eligible for assistance in funding of the boardwalk restoration. Although this eligibility determination does not guarantee us full funding from FEMA, it does allow us to proceed further in the process,” said…

Colorful Ocean Grove Resident to Reveal Secrets

  By DON STINE Herb Herbst may have retired from his longtime job but he has certainly never retired from helping improve his community and now everyone can spend an evening with the well-known and ever-engaging Ocean Grove resident Sat., Nov. 16. “An Evening with Herb” will be held at 7:30 p.m. at the Jersey Shore Arts Center- an institution that would never have existed without Herbst. “The secrets and history to restoring the arts center shall be revealed and they are both dramatic and humorous,” he said about his upcoming performance. During “An Evening with Herb,” this man on…

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…

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…

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