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News from Monmouth County, New Jersey

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    A man has been charged with swiping 38 kegs from the rear of an Asbury Park restaurant

    A former employee of Porta pizza in Asbury Park has been charged with stealing 38 empty beer kegs from the back of the restaurant.

    Asbury Park police say the restaurant on Kingsley Street reported numerous kegs had been stolen in April and May and they tapped Detective Dillon Gourley to investigate.

    He identified Ryan Kircher, 35, of Neptune City, as a suspect. On Wednesday, Kircher gave the detective a full confession, admitting he swiped 38 kegs and was selling them to a local scrap yard, police said.

    Gourley was able to locate 14 kegs and return them to Porta.

    The empty kegs are worth $150 each, police said, and Porta lost out on $1,200 in fines for not being able to return the empties to breweries.

    Kircher was charged with third-degree theft of property and released from police custody on a summons with a pending court date, the police department said.

    Porta also has locations in Jersey City and Philadelphia. 

    Kevin Shea may be reached at Follow him on Twitter@kevintshea. Find on Facebook.


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    Hatchet houses that offer ax throwing are cropping up across the state, inviting locals to try their hand at lodging the metal implements in wood targets. From Stumpy's Hatchet House to Bury the Hatchet, Axehole's Hatchet House and Chopper's, there's no shortage of ways to throw an ax in New Jersey.

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    Many New Jersey celebrities have listed their luxury homes this spring real estate season.

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    The L Street beach along the Shark River in Belmar was closed after raw sewage seeped into the water

    The river beach in Belmar that was temporarily closed after sewage got in the water has been reopened after passing water tests taken on Thursday, officials said. 

    Department of Environmental officials retested the water at the L Street beach along the Shark River and the bacteria level proved to be well within safe limits when the got results on Friday, spokesman Larry Hajna said. 

    "They re-sampled the water, not just at the location where it failed, but (also) on either side of location," Hajna said.

    The 10 most contaminated beaches in New Jersey

    Tests earlier this week showed the water contained bacteria levels more than twice as high as what's considered safe. Sewage overflow discharged into a storm drain and contaminated the water, the DEP said. 

    The beach is adjacent to Maclearie Park and near the Belmar marina, several blocks from the town's popular ocean beaches. 

    All beaches are now open along the Jersey Shore heading into the weekend.

    Weekly testing is done near public swimming beaches to identify potential bacteria problems throughout the summer.

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



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    Colts Neck High School held its 2018 prom on June 1st at Ariana's Grand. The students danced to the music played by Noble Productions. Be sure to check out our complete prom coverage at BUY THESE PHOTOS Are you one of the people pictured at this prom? Want to buy the photo and keep it forever? Look for the blue link "buy photo"...

    Colts Neck High School held its 2018 prom on June 1st at Ariana's Grand. The students danced to the music played by Noble Productions.

    Be sure to check out our complete prom coverage at


    Are you one of the people pictured at this prom? Want to buy the photo and keep it forever? Look for the blue link "buy photo" below the photographer's credit to purchase the picture. You'll have the ability to order prints in a variety of sizes, or products like magnets, keychains, coffee mugs and more.

    Aristide Economopoulos can be reached at and you can follow him on Twitter at @AristideNJAM and Instagram at @aeconomopoulos  Find on Facebook

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    Howell High School held their on Friday prom at The Addison Park in Aberdeen.

    Howell High School's students celebrated their prom on Friday at The Addison Park in Aberdeen. 

    Dressed to impress the prom-goers enjoyed the evening as they socialized, posed for photos and danced the night away.

    Check back at for other local high school prom coverage. And be sure to check out our complete prom coverage at 


    Are you one of the people pictured at this prom? Want to buy the photo and keep it forever? Look for the blue link "buy photo" below the photographer's credit to purchase the picture. You'll have the ability to order prints in a variety of sizes, or products like magnets, keychains, coffee mugs and more.

    Patti Sapone may be reached at Follow her on Instagram @psapo, Twitter @psapone. Follow on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

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    Shore Regional High School's students held their prom on Friday at the Waterview Pavilion in Belmar

    Shore Regional High School's students celebrated their prom on Friday at the Waterview Pavilion in Belmar.

    Dressed to impress the prom-goers enjoyed the evening as they socialized, posed for photos and danced the night away.

    Check back at for other local high school prom coverage. And be sure to check out our complete prom coverage at 


    Are you one of the people pictured at this prom? Want to buy the photo and keep it forever? Look for the blue link "buy photo" below the photographer's credit to purchase the picture. You'll have the ability to order prints in a variety of sizes, or products like magnets, keychains, coffee mugs and more.

    Patti Sapone may be reached at Follow her on Instagram @psapo, Twitter @psapone. Follow on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

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    Tristan Reyes,19, of Howell, faces up to 20 years in prison for each count of armed robbery, aggravated sexual assault and attempted burglary charges

    A Monmouth County man is facing a 13-count indictment over accusations that he followed multiple women to their homes where he attempted to rob and sexually assault them, according to authorities. 

    In a total of three separate incidents that took place between February and March, police say Tristan Reyes, 19, of Howell, was armed with a knife when he followed the women home.

    One incident was caught on a woman's home surveillance camera. In the video, the woman can be seen unloading groceries from her car while Reyes is lurking in the driveway. However, the woman's Rottweiler chased Reyes away.

    The woman's husband posted the chilling video on Facebook where it received over 3 million views, but it has since been taken down. 

    howell stalker mug full.jpgTristan Reyes, 19 of Howell (Courtesy Howell Police Department)

    Reyes was indicted Friday on two counts of attempted armed robbery, four counts of attempted aggravated sexual assault, two counts of attempted burglary, two counts of possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, two counts of unlawful possession of a weapon, and one count of attempted burglary, Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni said in a release.

    He faces up to 20 years on each sex assault, robbery and burglary charge, according to the release.

    He remains incarcerated at Monmouth County Correctional Institution.

    Taylor Tiamoyo Harris may be reached at Follow her on Twitter @ladytiamoyo.

    Find on Facebook  

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    There were more guns than I could count at the expo just outside the crowded downtown Gettysburg on Memorial Day Weekend.

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    The 1915 home, built in the American Foursquare architectural style, goes period.

    N.J. home makeover is a regular feature on that showcases designer, contractor and DIY renovations, large and small. To submit your renovation for consideration, email with your full name, email address, phone number and town/city. Attach "before" and "after" photos of what you renovated.

    When Patricia Papovitch and her husband, Steve, learned a house in Spring Lake was going to be demolished, they wanted to preserve a piece of of it.

    "It was of the same period as our house, so my husband went over and asked if he could buy the floor before they tore it down. We had a company bring it over plank by plank and mill it in the backyard," she said.

    The couple had just started a renovation, and the salvaged floor would be installed in the kitchen and breakfast area of their 1915 home, built in the American Foursquare architectural style.

    "We wanted the same wood floors that were used throughout the house," Papovitch said. "The wood is red pine in widths that are no longer standard, so it was a good find."

    Over the nine years they've owned their home, the couple has worked to restore it with authentic or period-appropriate materials and decorative effects.

    The three-story house, with its basement finished to replicate an old-time movie theater, is one of five houses on the Spring Lake Historical Society's annual house tour on June 7.

    Historic tour stops, including seaside resorts (one of which is now a condominium complex), a 19th-century carriage house and the borough's oldest church, will be open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for the self-guided tour.

    Tickets are $35 in advance and $40 on tour day when they will be sold at Spring Lake train station from 10 to 11:30 a.m. For advance purchase information, see or call (732) 974-1476.

    Every level of the Papovitch residence will be open for the tour, and visitors will find rooms elaborately dressed in velvet, silk and lace, with some of the window and bed draperies made by Papovitch's own hands.

    "I do my best work with push pins and a staple gun," she says with a laugh, describing how she assembled the soft canopy of pale purple fabric that hangs above their bed from a crown-like valance. "I bought it online, and I painted it to be the same color as the bed."

    For the master bathroom, she needed eight shower curtains. Two were hung in front of the shower - "I wanted it to be thick and plush" - and the others were cut to the appropriate length and hand-hemmed for each of the bathroom's four windows. What she couldn't make herself, she had made to replicate images from period photographs. She would shop Manhattan's garment district for fabrics and trims and then hire a professional to execute her designs. The couple divides their time between Spring Lake and Manhattan, where they own a law enforcement-related business.

    The third-floor master suite of their Spring Lake home, which includes a laundry room, is within a footprint that had originally been five small bedrooms.

    "All the walls between what had been the bedrooms came down," Papovitch said. A structural support beam was installed in the ceiling, along with columns that help support the roof's weight.

    Papovitch says their contractor, Mastapeter Building Contractors, worked with them to renovate every part of the house and a free-standing, three-car garage that they remodeled with carriage doors, stained glass and dormers to match the house. The driveway leading to the garage features reclaimed cobblestones that Papovitch says once paved the early streets of Manhattan.

    Over the years, they have repaired the plaster and restored all the home's wooden molding.

    "Most woodwork throughout the house is original, and great care was taken when doing repairs to make sure to match the existing woodwork," Papovitch said.

    Every room in the four-bedroom, four-bathroom house was upgraded and remodeled to reflect how it might have looked 100 years ago.

    "All repairs and upgrades were carried out with an eye toward recreating the original style," she said.

    Their remodeling efforts also had the goal of concealing modern appliances. Televisions and microwaves are hidden within cabinetry, and the refrigerator is surrounded by an enclosure that resembles an ice box. Papovitch says their kitchen has three dishwashers to support the washing required by their frequent entertaining. The dishwasher doors are covered by cabinet fronts so they blend into the kitchen.

    "Unless someone told you, you wouldn't know they are dishwashers," she said. "I didn't want to see a big microwave or TV because they wouldn't have been in a house in the early 1900s."

    Papovitch says she adores period light fixtures, and there are at least 20 chandeliers in the house.

    "I have a chandelier in every single nook and cranny, including the laundry room and closets," she said.

    As with other elements in the house, some are antiques and some replicate antiques. When the couple upgraded wiring for the home's lighting, they had all the flip switches converted to a push-button type that would have been used in the years after the house was built.

    In the finished basement, there is a poker room and a home theater with blue velvet curtains on a sliding track. The ticket booth at the theater's entrance is "staffed" by a costumed mannequin named Maxine.

    "We had a friend make her outfit from some pictures of an old-fashioned movie theater matron," Papovitch said. "I bought her wig online."

    The remodeled house has carefully reconstructed features and improvements too numerous to mention.

    "We've worked hard on it," Papovitch said. "It's a labor of love that never seems to end, but we're enjoying the process. I'm excited to show it off."

    What they renovated

    A 3,000 square-foot Spring Lake house and grounds. The property was renovated and remodeled top to bottom, inside and out.

    Who did the work?

    Mastapeter Building Contractors did all work in and around the house; landscaping was done by Always Shore Landscaping of Spring Lake.  

    How long it took

    "Nine years and still going."

    How much it cost

    "Please don't ask," Patricia Papovitch says, "but over a million dollars so far."

    Where they splurged


    What they did themselves

    Papovitch took on several DIY projects in a house-as-hobby decorating pursuit. She also conceived the home's interior based on historic photographs.

    "We wrote a lot of checks, which is the hardest work," she says.

    What they like most

    "We are pleased with so many things about the house that it would be hard to pick a favorite."

    What they'd have done differently

    "We took our time to make sure everything was just as we wanted it, so there's really nothing that we would do differently."

    Kimberly L. Jackson may be reached at Find Entertainment on Facebook.

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    Dogs and cats throughout New Jersey await adoption.

    There's summer heat, and then there's oppressive summer heat.

    We're beginning to experience some of the latter, and while we do everything we can to keep ourselves cool, it's important to remember our pets as well.

    "If it's hot to you it's just as hot for your dog or cat, and probably even worse," said John Gickling, a board certified veterinarian in emergency and critical care. "We're better equipped to handle the heat because we perspire."

    Some tips on making sure your pets can deal with excessive heat:

    * If you walk your dog, pick the coolest time of the day, follow a shady route and bring water for your pet.

    * Older pets, overweight animals and dogs with short snouts suffer more in high heat.

    * If your pet is outdoors, make sure it has a cool place to lay and that water is always available. Avoid taking your pets anywhere that has concrete or blacktop until temperatures normalize.

    * Dogs may be overheating if they can't get up, aren't alert or can't stop panting. If you suspect overheating, hose your dog off but never use ice water, which worsens the situation. If this doesn't work, a visit to a veterinarian is important.

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    The Gaslight Anthem will hit the Jersey Shore this summer on its '59 Sound anniversary tour


    When the alt-rock band The Gaslight Anthem announced in January that it would perform its most beloved album, "The '59 Sound," at The Governors Ball festival in New York, local fans waited and waited for the New Jersey outfit to announce a local show to celebrate its best record 10 years later.

    Well, on the heels of a rousing set at Governors Ball on Saturday night, the New Brunswick-bred four-piece announced Monday that it will rock the Stone Pony Summer Stage in Asbury Park on Aug. 17. Longtime rocker pals Dave Hause and Jared Hart will open. "The '59 Sound" will be played in its entirety. 

    Tickets go on sale 10 a.m. Friday. Various presales begin 10 a.m. Tuesday. Be prepared, Gaslight fans, these tickets are likely to sell out immediately.

    Here's the set list from Gaslight's Governors Ball performance Saturday night. 

    • "Stay Vicious"
    • "Handwritten"
    • "Boomboxes and Dictionaries"
    • "The Queen of Lower Chelsea"
    • "Great Expectations"
    • "The '59 Sound"
    • "Old White Lincoln"
    • "High Lonesome"
    • "Film Noir"
    • "Miles Davis and the Cool"
    • "The Patient Ferris Wheel"
    • "Casanova, Baby!"
    • "Even Cowgirls Get the Blues"
    • "Meet Me by the River's Edge"
    • "Here's Looking at You, Kid"
    • "The Backseat"
    • "The Diamond Church Street Choir"
    • "Wherefore Art Thou, Elvis?"
    • "We Came to Dance"
    • "Underneath the Ground"
    • "45"
    • "Howl"
    • "1930"
    • "Blue Jeans & White T-Shirts"
    • "American Slang"

    Bobby Olivier may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @BobbyOlivier and Facebook. Find on Facebook  

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    Check out who earned multiple gold medals at the 2018 track and field group championships.

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    You can't say Asbury Lanes isn't all in on its reopening. Bruce is coming back to Asbury Park.

    You can't say Asbury Lanes isn't all in on its reopening. 

    The Asbury Park venue, which officially reopened last month after two years of renovation at the Jersey Shore, announced Monday a grand reopening performance June 18 by Oregon rockers Portugal. The Man, with Tangiers Blues Band opening and featuring special guest Bruce Springsteen.

    Yes, you read that correctly. Special guest Bruce Springsteen. 

    The New Jersey rock legend will perform at the venue on Fourth Avenue, though we don't yet know how long. Will he play a full set? Just a few songs? 

    Though we do know his presence will all but shut the 750-capacity club down. On the strength of its massive hit "Feel It Still," Grammy winners Portugal. The Man would have easier sold the club out on its own. 

    Here's how you get tickets: You can enter a sweepstakes to win two tickets plus a room at the adjoining Asbury Hotel. Only one winner will be selected.

    Or if you live in Asbury Park, 100 local residents will be selected to win tickets in a lottery that can be entered here. Admissions will be accepted until 8 a.m.Thursday. 

    That's it. No general sale. 

    The event is in support of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Monmouth Countyand waterfront developer iStar plans to make a donation to the organization.  

    This historic bowling alley and music venue Asbury Lanes reopened May 18 after two years of renovation, as part of iStar's multi-billion-dollar revitalization of the popular shore town. New York entertainment company Bowery Presents is booking the venue and already has big-name bands like Thursday and The Hold Steady on the summer bill. 

    Bobby Olivier may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @BobbyOlivier and Facebook. Find on Facebook  

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    Your neighbors lean red or blue? Here's how many Republicans and Democrats are in all 21 counties.

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    An undercover officer took over the girl's phone and posed as her when the man allegedly sent her explicit texts and photos

    A former Lake Como man was indicted on six crimes for sending sexually explicit texts to an undercover officer who he believed was an 11-year old girl, the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office announced.

    Michael Camacho, 55, contacted a female child on her cell phone, prosecutors allege, and she alerted police.

    Camacho, formerly of Lake Como, was arrested on March 14 in New Bedford, Massachusetts, where he had just moved.

    Screen Shot 2018-06-04 at 3.35.57 PM.pngMichael Camacho (Monmouth Co. Prosecutor) 

    After the girl contacted authorities, an undercover detective with the Ocean Township Police Department used the girl's phone to communicate with Camacho, posing as the girl.

    During February and March, Camacho sent the girl messages about engaging in sexual activity and discussed meeting up with the child, the office said.

    Prosecutors allege Camacho also sent the girl explicit photos of himself and tried to talk her into sending him photos. 

    Local police agencies, with the help of Massachusetts law enforcement, tracked down and arrested Camacho in Massachusetts. He was extradited back to New Jersey and is being detained here pending trial.

    A grand jury indicted him on charges of second-degree luring, two counts of second-degree attempted endangering the welfare of a child, two counts of third-degree attempted endangering the welfare of a child, and one count of third-degree attempted obscenity to a minor.

    If convicted, Camacho faces up to 10 years in state prison and will be forced to register as a sex offender, and could face life-long parole, the prosecutor's office said. 

    Paige Gross may be reached at pgross@njadvancemedia.comFollow her on Twitter @By_paigegross. Find on Facebook.


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    Seven people were arrested following a fight involving about 200 teens at Hamilton Mall in Atlantic County on Saturday night.

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    The Seastreak Commodore is the largest high speed ferry of its type in the nation and we went aboard for a sneak peek. Watch video

    It's big, it's fast, and it's the latest entry in an increasingly competitive market.

    The Commodore, Seastreak's newest 600 plus-passenger ferry, is the largest and fastest vessel on the water, increasing competition between high-speed ferry carriers operating between New York and Monmouth County.

    Company officials said it was built to meet passenger demand as ferry ridership increases. The new vessel is also an answer to NY Waterway's new ferry, the 400-seat Molly Pitcher that began sailing between New York and  Monmouth County in September 2015 and was joined by a sister ferry, the Betsy Ross. 

    "It is the largest, high-speed, sub-chapter K (vessel type) passenger ferry in the nation," said Brett Chamberlain, Seastreak's marketing director.

    seastreak0521ap12643.JPGSeastreak's new Commodore ferry, docked at Atlantic Highlands, will enter service soon. (Alexandra Pais | NJ Advance Media for 

    Increasing ridership prompted Seastreak to build the Commodore. In 2017, Seastreak carried 1.06 million passengers, a 6.7 percent increase over 993,000 passengers who rode in 2016, Chamberlain said.

    "Ridership is such that we needed interior passenger room," he said. "This is to accommodate existing riders."  

    Ferry ridership has increased year after year, which has been helped by "difficulties in other mass transit," Chamberlain said. NY Waterway officials also reported increased ridership between 2015 and 2017. 

    Seastreak's new ferry has "room to grow" if ridership increases, and construction has started on a second vessel, he said. Fares were increased in July 2016 to finance improvements, such as re-powering the carrier's older vessels.  

    Which carrier wins the battle of the new ferries?

    The Commodore is 150 feet long and wider than Seastreak's other large ferries. It has 525 interior seats, and 240 exterior seats on the sundeck, Chamberlain said.

    By comparison, the 109-foot-long $5.2 million Molly Pitcher and Betsy Ross have fewer seats, but they set the bar for passenger accommodations for SeaStreak to meet or beat. 

    Seating in both the Commodore, Molly Pitcher and Betsy Ross provide increased legroom, compared to older ferries.The ergonomic seats in both vessels have back-support and fold-down tray tables in the seat backs. 

    seastreak0521ap12651 (1).JPGSeastreak's new Commodore ferry has more seats across its cabin than a jumbo jet. (Alexandra Pais | NJ Advance Media for 

    NY Waterway built the Molly Pitcher and Betsy Ross with tiled restrooms while Seastreak opted for black quartz floors in the Commodore's toilets.

    Both companies equipped their vessels with snack and cocktail bars and flatscreen TV's. The Molly Pitcher was named for the New Jersey Revolutionary War heroine.

    The Commodore was named for Cornelius Vanderbilt, who founded and ran successful ferry and steamship lines before he turned to railroad building, said James A. Barker, Seastreak president. 

    However, the Commodore was designed with a second floor that gives passengers a panoramic view through front windows, because the vessel's wheelhouse was built on the third deck. Windows wrap around three-quarters of that level. 

    Other seating areas have tables and there are electrical outlets and USB ports for charging devices along the walls.

    Four diesel engines produce 7,274 horsepower and Rolls Royce water jets to propel the Commodore at a top speed of 40 mph, he said.

    The Molly Pitcher and Betsy Ross are powered by powered by twin 2,300 horsepower turbocharged engines, that has a top speed of 33 mph through propellors.

    The $13 million Commodore ferry was built by Gulf Craft LLC of Franklin, Louisiana, which rebuilt some of Seatreak's older, large ferries, Chamberlain said. 

    A climate control system uses infrared sensors to adjust the ambient temperature in various zones inside the cabin, he said. 

    In the wheelhouse, the Commodore has the most high-tech electronics, including GPS and infrared radar to allow crews to safely navigate in fog and bad weather.

    Larry Higgs may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @commutinglarry. Find on Facebook.



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    Gear up for Saturday's action at Northern Burlington

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    Andrew Carnegie chipped in for the stunning stained-glass and the original pipe organ.

    No one congregates here anymore. There are no pews and no organ projecting hymns here every Sunday.

    But even though it has been recently renovated and on the market for $550,000, this Cream Ridge home, enclosed by bright stained-glass windows, still has the feel of a church, and it may just be one of the most distinct looking homes on the market in New Jersey.

    And to no surprise, the longtime church turned two-bedroom, two-bathroom home has an interesting backstory.

    According to a previous Asbury Park Press story on the home, after a fire destroyed the previous church, the Upper Freehold Baptist Church raised $10,000 to rebuild in 1904.

    To put the finishing touches on the new place of worship, legendary philanthropist Andrew Carnegie stepped in and put his money into purchasing the stained-glass windows, some of which are taller than 20 feet, and a new pipe organ, according to the APP.

    More than 100 years later, declining numbers eventually led to the Upper Freehold Baptist Church, which started in 1737, disbanding. The congregation put the 5,900-square-foot church on the market, according to the APP, allowing Dennis Murphy and his parents to swoop in and buy it for $110,000.

    Murphy told the APP his family had put $750,000 into renovations to make the church habitable. According to the listing, the home has a new gourmet kitchen, new hardwood floors, new electrical system, new well and septic system, and a new heating and air conditioning system.

    Inside, the home proves a church without pews is really the ultimate open floor plan, offering a vast amount of space in the now-home, which is located on more than an acre.

    It also received a bright coat of paint. (No, the first settlers of Middletown did not worship in a purple church.)

    But luckily for the next owner, Murphy, a Colts Neck resident, didn't touch the home's most stunning asset, which is scattered throughout the space.

    "People actually ask, are we going to take the windows out?" Murphy told the APP. "That's half the beauty of this place. It looks different in all the different lights. The window in my room looks pink right now, but when the sun goes down in looks blue. It changes."

    Property taxes were $2,609 in 2017. After Murphy bought the home for $110,000 in March 2016, the home first hit the market May 15 for $575,000 before its asking price was reduced at the end of the month.

    A phone call to the listing agent for the home was not immediately returned.

    Joe Atmonavage may be reached at Find on Facebook

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