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News from Monmouth County, New Jersey

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    The fire began on an outdoor kitchen in the backyard, officials said.

    Two firefighters suffered non-life-threatening injuries while battling a house fire in Monmouth County that began on the back deck and ended up engulfing the entire home, officials said. 

    Fire crews and the Holmdel Township Police Department responded to a call of a fire on an outdoor kitchen in the backyard of a home at 6 Barrister Drive in Holmdel just after 7 a.m. Saturday morning, according to a release from the Holmdel Township Facebook page. 

    About 20 minutes after the fire was called in, the home was fully engulfed in flames and crews weren't able to contain the fire until 10:50 a.m., the release said. 

    One firefighter was injured while falling through the floor of the home while battling the blaze. The other suffered from smoke inhalation.

    Both firefighters were treated on scene before being taken to Bayshore Medical Center for further evaluation.

    "My thoughts and prayers are with the injured fire fighters and their families," Holmdel Township Mayor Tom Critelli said in a statement.

    "Due to their bravery, and the valor and swift action displayed by their fellow responders, this blaze was contained before further damage could be done. On behalf of our community I thank all of the fire departments, first aid units, and police officers on site for their heroic efforts."

    All residents were evacuated from the home without injury. 

    Over a dozen fire crews and first aid units were called to the scene for assistance.

    The fire is under investigation by the Holmdel Township Police Department, Monmouth County Fire Marshall's Office, and the Holmdel Fire Prevention Bureau. 

    Alexis Johnson may be reached at Follow her on Twitter @alexisjreports. Find on Facebook.


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    Two people are on the boat, a Coast Guard spokesman said Sunday.

    A 20-foot boat with two people aboard was taking on water Sunday afternoon when it put out a distress call, a Coast Guard spokesman said Sunday.

    A Coast Guard vessel from Sandy Hook and a New York City Fire Department vessel arrived to help drain the boat, about three miles off the Sea Bright coast, Petty Officer Steve Strohmaier said.

    After the water was drained, the engines would not start, so the Coast Guard vessel is towing the boat back to New Jersey, Strohmaier added.

    No injuries were reported from the incident.

    Joe Brandt can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @JBrandt_NJ. Find on Facebook

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    County authorities said both drivers were taken to an area hospital for treatment.

    A Freehold police officer was one of two people injured in a crash in the township Sunday afternoon, county authorities said.

    The Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office, in a statement, said the officer was on duty when their vehicle and a motorcycle collided at the intersection of County Route 537 and Kozloski Road around 2:22 p.m.

    Both drivers were taken to Jersey Shore University Medical Center for treatment of their injuries, the severity of which authorities did not specify Sunday evening.

    The prosecutor's office did not immediately identify the officer or the rider of the motorcycle, or specify the type of vehicle the officer was driving at the time of the crash.

    Authorities said the crash remains under investigation by the county's Serious Collision Analysis Response Team and township police.

    Thomas Moriarty may be reached at Follow him on Twitter at @ThomasDMoriartyFind on FacebookHave a tip? Tell us.


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    Dogs and cats throughout the Garden State await adoption.

    Some fun and interesting facts about cats and dogs from Nationwide pet insurance:

    *  Dogs only sweat from the bottoms of their feet, the only way they can discharge heat is by panting. Cats do not have sweat glands.

    *  Dogs have about 100 different facial expressions, most of them made with the ears.

    *  A cat can jump as much as seven times its height.

    *  Dogs do not have an appendix.

    *  Cats have over one hundred vocal sounds, while dogs only have about ten.

    *  Using their swiveling ears like radar dishes, experiments have shown that dogs can locate the source of a sound in 6/100ths of a second.

    *  A cat's tongue is scratchy because it's lined with papillae--tiny elevated backwards hooks that help to hold prey in place.

    *  When faced with the choice of going the way around something that untangles herself or the way that makes it worse, my dog will choose the wrong way 101 times out of 100.

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

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    A Top 10 upset shifted the football Top 20 after an eventful Week 0.

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    The Manalapan resident hit a guardrail as he prepared to enter Interstate 78 west

    A 36 year-old Monmouth County man was killed in a single-vehicle crash near a New Jersey Turnpike toll plaza Sunday afternoon, authorities said.

    Rene Melendez Jr., of Manalapan, was driving a Ford van when he struck a guardrail that separates the local and express lanes of Interstate 78 in Newark, according to State Police. 

    77-year-old Bayonne woman killed riding bicycle

    Melendez had just passed through the Interchange 14 toll plaza when the the crash took place at 4:38 p.m. He was pronounced dead at 5:13 p.m.

    There were no passengers in the van.

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



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    Here's to the men and women who patrol our 140 miles of Jersey shoreline every summer.

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    The Shore season is far from over.

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    Significant delays due to volume are being reported up and down the Garden State Parkway as the holiday weekend comes to a close.


    You probably saw this coming.  

    In what could be the most predictable event of the year, pockets of significant traffic delays are beginning to appear up and down the Garden State Parkway as the holiday weekend comes to a close, according to the Department of Transportation's traffic monitoring website,

    A 16-mile backup is being reported from exits 77 to 91 along the Garden State Parkway north, in and around the Brick area. 

    Farther north, congestion is also being reported from exit 98 in Wall to exit 109 near Tinton Falls, according to the DOT.  

    A two-mile delay is also being reported on the Garden State Parkway north near the Driscoll Bridge.  

    The Parkway remains fairly clear farther South, but several feeder roads like Routes 47 and 50 are also reporting congestion due to heavy volume.  

    Stephen Stirling may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @sstirling. Find him on Facebook.

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    These towns, many in Ocean, Monmouth, Bergen and Cape May counties, have the lowest equalized tax rates in New Jersey.

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    The median salary in the top district is more than $100,000.

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    A look at the top players at ball-handling positions for the 2018 season.

    0 0 releases its first boys soccer Top 20 of 2018.

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    Where do you need to be on the first week of boys soccer season?

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    The best matchups Opening Week

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    The state medical examiner's office and New Jersey State Police's Forensic Anthropology Laboratory were also called to aid the investigation

    UPDATE: Skeletal remains found near storm-damaged bridge are human, authorities say 

    Skeletal remains were found Tuesday near a collapsed bridge in Howell, but investigators have not said whether or they are human.

    The bones were discovered by surveyors doing bridge work in a wooded area near the bridge on Ramtown-Greenville Road early Tuesday afternoon, officials said. The area was already closed after flood waters washed out the road in August.

    The Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office and Howell Police were investigating the find but did not have many details to share Tuesday evening.

    "Too early to guess what those remains may be at this time," Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office Spokesman Chris Swendeman said. 

    The state medical examiner's office and New Jersey State Police's Forensic Anthropology Laboratory were also called to aid the investigation, he said.  

    Chris Sheldon may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @chrisrsheldon Find on Facebook.


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    Unsurprisingly, people looking to stay in N.J. want to be either close to the Jersey Shore or New York City.

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    It's New Jersey vs. Pennsylvania in three nationally ranked showdowns and multiple rivalry games highlight the action.

    WashingtonTwp.JPGUnder second-year coach Mark Hendricks, Kingsway hits the road for this WJFL Royal matchup looking to extend its winning streak to five games against the Minutemen. The Dragons won last year's contest 25-0. The game will also mark the debut for Washington Township coach and 2008 graduate Mike Schatzman. The Minutemen are coming off back-to-back losing seasons. 

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    Surveyors performing bridge work located the bones off of Ramtown-Greenville Road in Howell

    The skeletal remains found Tuesday in a wooded area of Howell near a storm-damaged bridge are human, officials said Wednesday.

    Surveyors located the bones off of Ramtown-Greenville Road while performing bridge repairs.

    An autopsy and an examination of the remains will be performed Wednesday, a spokesman for the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office said. Officials don't know the gender of heavily decomposed remains, the spokesman added.

    The area where the bones were found was already closed after flood waters washed out the road in August.

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



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    More than 79 percent of the firearms seized by New Jersey law enforcement during the first six months of the year were first purchased out of state.

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