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News from Monmouth County, New Jersey

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    The staff didn't realize the dog was gone until the adoptive owner came in to pick up the animal.

    A dog was stolen from an animal shelter in Eatontown on Christmas Eve, officials said.

    tub-tub.jpgTub Tub, a 9-year-old Pomerian, was stolen from an shelter in Eatontown on Sunday. 

    The thief swiped the 9-year-old Pomerian named Tub Tub around 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, the Monmouth County Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said in a Facebook post. 

    The dog's microchip was also stolen, the SPCA said. The agency did not elaborate.

    Executive Director Ross Licitra says animal facilities are busy before the holidays with people looking to adopt, so staff didn't realize the dog was gone until the dog's adoptive owner came in to pick up the animal.

    Anyone with information may call Eatontown police at 732-542-0100.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report. Jeff Goldman may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @JeffSGoldman. Find on Facebook.

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    He was hit in Deal just before 6 a.m.

    A man was struck and killed by a train on Christmas morning in Deal.

    Described by NJ Transit as a trespasser, the man was hit near the Sherman Avenue crossing at 5:51 a.m., an official said. 

    NJ Transit is a 'national disgrace,' Murphy says

    The northbound train was traveling between the Allenhurst and Elberon stations along the North Jersey Coast line when it struck the man, according to an NJ Transit spokesman.

    There were 15 people aboard train No. 4708, which departed Bay Head at about 5:21 a.m. en route to Long Branch.

    The man's age and name have yet to be released as officials attempt to notify his family.

    Jeff Goldman may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @JeffSGoldman. Find on Facebook.



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    The new planks should last for 3-7 years

    Asbury Park has announced plans for upgrades to the city's boardwalk.

    The Asbury Park Press reports the city is accepting business proposals for a $400,000 wooden plank replacement project. According to city officials, contract proposals are due Thursday.

    The Big 6 Jersey Shore boardwalks: Asbury Park

    City Manager Michael Capabianco says the city replaces boardwalk planks annually. The planks are expected to have a lifespan between three and seven years.

    Developer Madison Marquette is renovating two boardwalk pavilions in a separate project. Company spokesman Adam Nelson says the firm will add more commercial space and new restaurants. A new rooftop entertainment space has also been included in the renovation project.


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    A roundup of who sold, who listed, who cut their asking price and who had their home foreclosed upon in 2017.

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    The pooch was safely returned to the animal shelter, police said.

    Woman arrested for stealing dog from animal shelter on Christmas EveSusan Bajew, 63, of Neptune, was arrested for stealing a dog from the Eatontown SPCA on Christmas Eve. (Courtesy of the Eatontown Police Department)

    A 63-year-old woman stole a small dog from an animal shelter on Christmas Eve, Eatontown police said in a statement on Facebook.

    Police on Wednesday announced the arrest of Susan Bajew, of Neptune, saying she confessed to stealing the 9-year-old Pomeranian because she did not have "any money to buy it," according to officials. Bajew, police said, was a former volunteer at the shelter.

    The Pomeranian, named Tub Tub, was taken around 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, the Monmouth County Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals had said in a Facebook post.

    The SPCA had said the dog's microchip was also stolen.

    Monmouth County SPCA Executive Director Ross Licitra had said that animal facilities are often busy before the holidays with people looking to adopt, and that staff didn't notice the dog was missing until its adoptive owner came in to pick up the animal, police previously said.

    Bajew, police said, was a customer at the shelter on Christmas Eve when Tub Tub was stolen. The dog was returned to the shelter Wednesday, police said.

    Spencer Kent may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @SpencerMKent. Find the Find on Facebook.

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    The best of 2017.

    We reach the end of another year and the end of another series of galleries featuring vintage photos from New Jersey; here's a group of our favorites snapshots from 2017.

    Why these? There really isn't any criteria - they're just the photos that touched an emotion as we sorted through thousands throughout the year.

    MORE: Vintage photos around New Jersey

    I know our readers have countless wonderful photos that would be perfect for the galleries we do. And, I invite you to submit them for possible publication.

    At times, people will ask what types of photos we look for. The answer is rather simple - any picture taken in New Jersey prior to 1988.

    Having said that, I will add that we especially like un-staged photos of people going about their daily lives at school, at work, relaxing outdoors or kicking back inside. Photos from going down the shore or enjoying recreational activities in the summer and winter; photos of and from the great bars and taverns around the state. Pictures of patriotic celebrations and observances, photos from proms and graduations.

    The best answer? We're looking for photos that you think others would enjoy seeing. All you need to do is scan them and send them to me at with as much background information as you can provide, such as the names of the people in the photo, where and when it was taken and memories you have about it.

    Help make 2018's galleries even better than this past year's - send in your vintage New Jersey photos. And here are some favorites from past years.

    Our favorite photos: 2016

    Our favorite photos: 2015

    Greg Hatala may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @GregHatala. Find Greg Hatala on Facebook.

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    A wedding brawl, a botched getaway and a cop and a pig together.

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    A firefighter also fell into the water but was unhurt

    Police officers, emergency management personnel and firefighters sprang to action Thursday afternoon to rescue a pet dog that had fallen through the ice of a partly frozen pond in Howell Township.

    A resident of the Villages development called 911 around 1:30 p.m. and reported that her nine-year-old Golden Retriever, "Duke," was struggling in the frigid water after taking off to chase some geese.

    Patrolwoman Stephanie Regina of Howell police and members of the Adelphia Fire Company -- firefighters Brian Prochnow and William Kruse -- placed a ladder on the pond and formed a human chain to reach Duke. During the rescue, Kruse too fell through the ice but not before managing to grab the dog, both of whom were pulled to safety.

    Duke was taken to a local vet as a precaution but he, as well as Kruse, were expected to be fine, police said.

    Paul Milo may be reached at Follow him on Twitter@PaulMilo2. Find on Facebook.  


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    The bizzarre, offbeat stories that could only happen in the great Garden State.

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    Though it will be as low as 13 degrees Friday, outdoor workers are enduring the bone-chilling day for their jobs.

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    This list includes those facing charges ranging from murder to terroristic threats. This selection of New Jersey's most wanted is sourced from the FBI, New Jersey State Police and most wanted lists from the top five most populous counties across the Garden State.

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    A judge said HUD needed to implement new rules as of Jan. 1 that would make it easier for low-income families with Section 8 vouchers to afford living in more affluent areas.

    Low-income families in parts New Jersey will have the opportunity to move to better neighborhoods with better schools starting next year, after a federal judge this week directed the immediate implementation of an Obama-era desegregation rule.

    Bergen, Passaic, Monmouth and Ocean counties are among 23 metro areas that will have to change how federal housing subsidies are calculated under a new formula designed to give poorer residents the chance to live in more expensive areas. 

    Advocates said the anti-segregation measure will break the cycle of relegating low-income families to poor neighborhoods. 

    "N.J. is a very diverse state and at the same time, one of the most segregated," said Nina Rainiero, a spokeswoman for the Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey. "The ruling provides an opportunity for New Jerseyans who are struggling to make ends meet but want to raise their family in a safe, decent home in a great neighborhood with great schools."

    Ben CarsonRepublican presidential candidate Ben Carson speaks to the crowd at an economic forum, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2016, in Columbia, S.C. 

    The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and HUD Secretary Ben Carson were sued by a group of civil rights activists in October after the agency delayed implementing a rule that changed how Section 8 vouchers were calculated, court records show. 

    The rule directed housing voucher values be calculated using median rent values in each Zip Code, not in entire metropolitan areas. Because rental prices vary dramatically, using metro-wide numbers lowers the amount of a Section 8 subsidy -- largely disqualifying families from moving to higher-opportunity neighborhoods. 

    In her ruling, Chief Judge Beryl Howell said HUD's two-year delay to enact "small area fair market rents" in 2020 instead of 2018 was "arbitrary and capricious." She ordered the rules be implemented on Jan. 1. 

    HUD did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday. In deciding to delay the rule implementation, the agency said it wanted to conduct further research to assess the impact of the changes, according to its blog post

    Those who qualify for Section 8 vouchers typically pay 30 percent of their income toward rent, the rest is paid by local housing authorities directly to landlords. 

    Using more targeted rental calculations broadens housing choices for families so that those who want to live in more affluent communities can receive higher subsidies to afford to do so, advocates argue.

    For many low-income families, the opportunity to live in more expensive areas also means access to better-quality schools and lower crime rates. 

    "Federal housing policies are a major cause of the racial segregation that stubbornly persists to this day," said Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund in a statement. "It's long overdue that our federal government remedy the massive disparities in wealth and education its policies continue to produce, and modest rules like this one play an integral role in leveling the playing field for Blacks, Latinos, and low-income Americans."  

    Karen Yi may be reached at Follow her on Twitter at @karen_yi or on Facebook

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    Gaten Matarazzo, the Little Egg Harbor native performed with his band, Work in Progress, at the legendary Stone Pony in Asbury Park

    Gaten Matarazzo, the 15-year-old star of "Stranger Things," kicked off another exciting chapter in his career Friday night by performing with his band, Work in Progress, at the legendary Stone Pony in Asbury Park.

    The Little Egg Harbor native was suitably impressed by the venue, recording a brief video on the Asbury Park Boardwalk Instagram account, about the honor of performing at the "amazing venue."

    Matarazzo, who shot to fame playing one of the wily teenagers in the Netflix show  set in a spooky 1980s Midwest town, has already demonstrated his singing chops,  singing alongside American idol winner and award-winning pop star Kelly Clarkson at the 2017 WE Day Toronto event.

    He also performed classic 80s hits along with his "Stranger Things" pals and late-night host James Corden in October.

    @work_in_progress_band @flukesband

    A post shared by Gaten Matarazzo (@gatenm123) on

    On Friday night, Work in Progress performed the first of two sold-out shows. The band was a Matarazzo family affair with Gaten singing alongside his sister Sabrina, also an actor.

    a really fun night :) [?] [?]

    A post shared by Erica [?] [?] (@ericaavillanii) on

    And based on the crowd reaction, it was a winning combination.

    Meantime, Netflix announced on Dec. 1 that there will be a season 3 of Stranger Things. 


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    New Jersey has plenty of beautiful spots, but here are the top 15 posted on Instagram.

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    A new year to find homes for dogs and cats throughout New Jersey.

    What can responsible pet owners do to make sure they are keeping their pets safe from frostbite and other winter dangers?

    Here are some tips from BluePearl Veterinary Partners to help pet owners protect dogs and cats in winter.

    * Limit time outside for your dog or cat. A dog might spend all day in a doghouse or the backyard on some spring or fall days, but definitely not in the freezing cold. Animals can experience hypothermia; they also can get frostbite.

    * It's fine to let your dog outside to do his business, or to go on a walk, even in the snow. But don't make it an 8-hour hike, even if you're up for it yourself. And don't let a dog run off a hiking trail into the snow; you never know how deep the snow is going to be.

    * When pets are outside, make sure to give them plenty water. Staying well hydrated is important to circulation, and good circulation helps keep the body warm.

    * If a de-icer is used on your driveway or the sidewalk outside your apartment, make sure it is a pet-friendly variety. Many types are toxic to dogs, who will lick the salt from between their toes after getting back inside. Talk to your landlord about this if necessary.

    * Winter creates a range of hazards for pets. Cats love to find a warm auto engine to curl up in - which can be tragic when starting the car. Antifreeze, which sometimes pools on the garage floor, seems tasty to pets but is deadly. If possible, don't leave pets unattended in the garage.

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    The 16-year-old has been charged as an adult with four counts of murder, prosecutors said. Watch video

    UPDATE: Mystery shrouds teen's alleged killing of parents, sister, family friend

    A 16-year-old armed with a semi-automatic rifle shot and killed his parents, his sister and a family friend just before midnight on New Year's Eve in Long Branch, authorities said Monday.

    The teen, whose name was not released because he is a juvenile, has been charged as an adult with four counts of murder and a weapons charge.

    "It's a terribly tragic incident," Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni said during a press conference in Long Branch.

    The teen was taken into custody without incident, Gramiccioni said. Law enforcement officials would not comment on the teen's possible motive for allegedly shooting his family.

    Neighbors and friends said the 16-year-old had special needs, did not attend regular public schools and was cared for by his mother. Police said there was no history of domestic violence at the house.

    The 16-year-old killed his father Steven Kologi, 44, mother Linda Kologi, 42, sister Brittany Kologi, 18, and family friend, Mary Schultz, 70, of Ocean Township, Gramiccioni said.

    Two other family members were also at the house, but were not hurt, prosecutors said.

    "The grandfather of the suspect as well as the brother of the suspect thankfully left the home," Gramiccioni said.

    A 911 call reporting the shooting was made at 11:43 p.m. from inside the duplex on the 600 block of Wall Street, Gramiccioni said.

    A Century Arms semi-automatic rifle was seized at the scene, Gramiccioni said. The rifle was legally owned and registered to a resident of the house, though authorities did not say who owned the weapon.

    The 16-year-old is being held at the Middlesex Youth Detention Facility and will have his first court appearance at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, according to a spokesman for the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office.

    The shooting is being investigated as an isolated domestic violence incident, and there is no danger to the public, Gramiccioni said.

    Neighbors said they were shocked by the deaths in the suburban Jersey Shore neighborhood on the border of Long Branch and West Long Branch.

    Jalen Walls, a neighbor who went to school with Brittany Kologi, said his mother woke him up Monday morning to let him know about the shooting at his friend's house two blocks away.

    Walls, who frequently went to the Kologi's house, said their 16-year-old son required special assistance and was cared for by his mother. The teen did not attend Long Branch High School, where his brother and sister graduated.

    "But he was fully functional and comprehended what we were saying," said Walls, 18.

    Brittany Kologi had recently finished her first semester as a freshman at Stockton University in Galloway, where she was a heath sciences student and lived on campus, according to the school.

    "We are shocked and saddened by the reports of the death of freshman Brittany Kologi under such tragic circumstances," the school said in a statement, adding that counseling staff are available for her friends and classmates at Stockton.

    Gary Patel, owner of the Welsh Farms convenience store across the street from the home, said the Kologi family frequently shopped in his store. Linda Kologi regularly purchased lottery tickets, he said.

    "She was a nice lady. She was always smiling and very happy," Patel said.

    Investigators were still at the scene, walking in and out of the family's brick duplex, on Monday morning.

    Tributes to the family were posted on social media by stunned friends.

    "I love you, Linda and Brittany with my entire heart. You all made up the best years of my life, I'm so blessed to have had the time i did with your family," read one Facebook tribute from a friend who grew up with Brittany.

    Another friend wrote that Steven Kologi was loved by his friends and teammates on his softball team.

    "For this to happen to this man and his family just simply can't be explained. I've known Steve 'Kujo' Kologi for decades and I can say this, I've never had an argument or disagreement since I've known him," according to another Facebook tribute.

    Staff writer Erin Banco contributed to this report.

    Kelly Heyboer may be reached at Follow her on Twitter @KellyHeyboer. Find her at KellyHeyboerReporter on Facebook.

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    Adventurers in Asbury Park and Atlantic City will be taking an ocean dip on New Year's Day Watch video

    Hundreds of bold New Year's Day revelers will be braving subfreezing temperatures and dashing into the Atlantic Ocean at two polar bear plunge events.

    While two Jersey Shore towns have cancelled their events and a third was rescheduled, organizers of the polar bear plunges in Asbury Park and Atlantic City are undeterred by the bitter cold.

    polar.jpgMatt Andras, at right, during a polar plunge in Asbury Park 

    "It is a go," Sean Clifford, an organizer of the 15th annual Sons of Ireland Polar Bear Plunge in Asbury Park, said on Sunday.

    "I would expect it to be a lower turnout, just because of all the hype around the weather," he added.

    Count Matt Andras, a participant since 2011, among the unfazed.

    At about 1 p.m. Monday, when the temperature in Asbury Park is forecast for 18 degrees, Andras said he will be running toward the water wearing only a bathing suit, tutu and a feathered boa. 

    "It's actually colder outside the water than inside the water," said Andras, 47.

    Mitchell Martin, another organizer in Asbury Park, said some accommodations to the subfreezing temperatures might occur. 

    "I think we may have to call a few audibles," Martin said, such as possibly moving the Pledge of Allegiance and other pre-plunge ceremonies inside to minimize exposure.

    Martin added that he will be taking the plunge, but due to the conditions will not be permitting his 9-year-old daughter to join him.

    Clifford said he will be wearing a bathrobe until just before entering the water.

    In Atlantic City, Michael Kahlenberg, organizer of the Atlantic City Polar Bear Plunge for the past 27 years, said no serious consideration was given to cancelling or postponing it.

    "I've gone in when it is snowing. I've gone in when it is raining," Kahlenberg said, though he acknowledged that "it's going to be a tough one."

    The polar plunges in Asbury Park and Atlantic City both serve as fundraisers for charity.

    Andras said he is going with a group, as in prior years, and all are paying the $25 registration fee

    "We go diving. We go swimming. We play. We do photographs," Andras said.

    "It's exhilarating. It's a lot of fun," he added.

    Mitchell said he doesn't expect anyone to linger too long in the ocean.

    "Even if it's 60 degrees and sunny, how much time do you really want to spend in freezing water? The rush is fun, but the rush does go away," Mitchell said.

    Rob Jennings may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @RobJenningsNJ. Find on Facebook. 

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    Police are seeking to question Fabian Vazquez-Quiroz in the stabbing

    A 27-year-old Asbury Park man was stabbed to death on New Year's Eve and authorities are seeking another man for questioning in the killing, prosecutors said Monday.

    The stabbing at a Sewall Avenue apartment was reported at 11:05 p.m. and the man was pronounced dead at Jersey Shore University Medical Center less than 30 minutes later, according to the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office.

    The man's name was not released. Authorities are seeking Fabian Vazquez-Quiroz for questioning in the incident.

    "The subject is only wanted for questioning and no charges are pending," the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office said. 

    Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Patrick Petruzziello of the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office at 800-533-7443 or Detective Sgt. Daniel Kowsaluk of the Asbury Park Police Department at 732-774-1300. 

    Information may be shared anonymously by calling the Monmouth County Crime Stoppers confidential telephone tip-line, 1-800-671-4400; texting "MONMOUTH" plus their tip to 274637; or, emailing a tip via the website at

    Allison Pries may be reached at Follow her on Twitter @AllisonPries. Find on Facebook.  

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    From Sussex to Atlantic Counties, New Jersey's newest residents arrive within the first few hours of 2018.

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    The 15th annual Sons of Ireland Polar Bear Plunge in Asbury Park was held on New Year's Day Watch video

    The coldest New Year's Day ever recorded in New Jersey did not deter about 500 adventurers in Asbury Park from running into the Atlantic Ocean on Monday, with an especially hardy few diving under the waves.

    Turnout at the 15th annual Sons of Ireland Polar Bear Plunge was about half of what it was in peak years, longtime organizer Mitchell Martin said afterward.

    "There were more spectators than plungers. Usually, it's the other way around," Martin said, referring to those who lied the boardwalk or climbed the rocks near the shoreline for a better view.

    Martin, though, said he was more than satisfied, under the circumstances.

    "I thought it was going be a dead year," he said.

    Elsewhere in New Jersey, two other polar plunges were cancelled and a third was postponed, while the Atlantic City Polar Bear Plunge joined Asbury Park in continuing as planned.

    In a concession to the elements, the Pledge of Allegiance was performed inside the Asbury Park Convention Hall, enabling participants to minimize their exposure. The sand was covered in some places with a thin layer of snow.

    It was low tide when the plunge began at 1:30 p.m., after a half-hour delay due to some late arrivals. Rescue workers were stationed by a sand bar, about 100 feet out, and not letting anyone go further.

    Matt Andras, taking part in his eighth straight Asbury Park plunge, said he was among those reaching the sand bar.

    "It was freaking cold," Andras said.

    "The water wasn't the problem. The water was fine. It was the outside air temperature. Your fingers and toes were numb before getting into the water," he said.

    The polar plunge itself lasted only a few festive minutes. Some were wearing costumes, including a festive-looking Santa Claus, while others were clad in no more than their usual summer swimming gear.

    Andras was especially hard to miss. He was wearing a tutu and feathered boa with his bathing suit.

    All were drying out afterward inside the convetion hall.

    Mandy Hamigan, unlike many others, had visibly damp hair.

    Hamigan, taking part in the plunge for a fourth year, explained that she wanted to maintain her streak of going underwater.

    "I do it every year, so I was like, I've got to do t again. I don't know if it was the wisest choice," Hamigan said with a smile.

    "It was really hard. Really painful," Hamigan added.

    In the hours leading up to the plunge, organizers had expressed some sensitivity to blowback from those questioning the wisdom of proceeding.

    Martin, who got busy with logistics and abandoned his planned dip, said no injuries or other problems were reported.

    "As soon as everybody came inside, I started running around the floor, checking on people, seeing how everbody was. Everybody said they were cold, but they were warmed up," Martin said.

    Participants paid $25 apiece for the event, which was a fundraiser for charity. The proceeds were still being tallied as of 6 p.m.

    Rob Jennings may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @RobJenningsNJ. Find on Facebook. 

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