Facebook0Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Adopt-A-PetMeet Skookum! He is a handsome, rusty fawn-colored, “chill”, and sweet boy who is looking for an active forever family to be his very own. A securely fenced yard should be just the ticket to keep Skookum happy and safe. Skookum is 3-years-old, weighs 67 pounds, loves bacon, car rides, tennis balls and playing outdoors. He is such a nice dog that he always has a big smile on his face.When you pet him (which he likes a lot) he wrinkles up his forehead and scrunches his ears up high, and that is when shelter volunteers tell him is adorable. Skookum knows basic commands, believes it is impolite to jump on people, and is an all-around tail-wagging boy. He likes to greet you with a raised paw if you decide to come for a visit, and is hoping to meet you soon.If you would like to schedule an appointment to meet Skookum or have further questions, please contact the adoption team at Shelton Adopt-A-Pet. Emails are the preferred method of communication.Adopt-A-Pet has many great dogs and always need volunteers. To see all our current dogs, visit the Adopt-A-Pet website, our Facebook page or at the shelter on Jensen Road in Shelton. For more information, email email@example.com or call 360-432-3091.
Facebook21Tweet0Pin1Submitted by Joint Animal ServicesJoint Animal Services we all think about the temperature and what we need to keep ourselves warm but here are a few things we also need to be aware of to keep our pets safe.Cats and dogs should stay indoors during cold weather, but be aware that heat sources such as fireplaces and space heaters can burn pets. Make sure your space heaters are pet-proofed. Provide plenty of fresh water. When we heat our homes it can dry out the air inside making our pets susceptible to dehydration.Don’t let pets drink water in driveways and roadways. It might have antifreeze which can be deadly, even in small amounts. If it’s icy outside, wipe your dog’s feet after walks to remove chemicals or salt that might they might have walked through which can irritate foot pads.Know your pet’s limits. Like people, cats and dogs can get frostbite and hypothermia if left outdoors for too long. Consider a sweater or coat for short haired dogs while outside.Do you have an emergency kit? Remember to include your pet’s needs including food, water and any medications they may need to get them through for up to 5 days.Contact your veterinarian if you notice any lack of energy or appetite. Pets get sick, too!Featured photo credit: Candra Burns
Facebook21Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Washington Governor Jay InsleeGov. Jay Inslee issued guidance further clarifying outdoor recreation requirements in Phase 1 and Phase 2.Through the Washington “Safe Start” plan, more businesses and activities will re-open in phases, with adequate safety and health standards in place. Each phase will be at least three weeks.Additionally, counties with less than 10 new cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 residents over a 14-day span can apply for a variance to move to Phase 2 of “Safe Start” before other parts of the state. County variance applications will be approved or denied by the secretary of the Department of Health. Twenty-one counties have received the variance.Guidance documents:Memo: Outdoor Recreation, Phase 1 Clarifications and Phase 2 RequirementsOutdoor Recreation Phase 1 Clarifications and Phase 2 – Update No. 2 COVID-19 RequirementsFull list of guidance for all current businesses.
Image Courtesy: FPJ/Twitter(@KabaddiIndia)Advertisement dx5NBA Finals | Brooklyn Vs7biomWingsuit rodeo📽Sindre E2lnv92( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) 88kWould you ever consider trying this?😱3l7hd4Can your students do this? 🌚6c32Roller skating! Powered by Firework The tensions between India and their immediate neighbours Pakistan is never dropping, and it has made its impact in the world of sports. Recently there were clashes between BCCI and PCB, and now there’s a new controversy. A team of circle kabaddi players consisting 60 players have travelled to Pakistan for the upcoming unofficial ‘Kabaddi World Cup 2020’, while India has officially disowned the team and its decision to go to Pakistan.Advertisement Image Courtesy: FPJ/Twitter(@KabaddiIndia)The Indian team, which have flown to Pakistan without any formal intervention from the Union Sports Ministry, consists players mostly from the state of Punjab, and even the Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India (AKFI) have officially denied to have given any clearance to them.“We came to know about it only after information was sought. AKFI does not support any such activity. Legal action may be taken against the defaulters,” AKFI’s retired Justice S P Garg said regarding the incident.Advertisement In an interview with ANI, India’s Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju officially stated that India did not give any permission to any kabaddi players to go to Pakistan.He also added that no players or team has the right to misuse the Indian flag or the national kabaddi team’s name in any unofficial tournaments.Advertisement “Misusing the Indian flag or Indian team’s name cannot be allowed for unauthorised tournaments. I will ask the players if they’ve gone to Pakistan with Kabaddi federation’s approval,” he added.Along with the controversy of no official statement from India, the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) has also charged Pakistan Amateur Circle Kabaddi Federation (PACKF) for allowing 60 Indian players for the tournament, accusing them for adjusting the Indian players into the unofficial teams from other countries.According to sources from the Times of India, the Indian players travelled to Pakistan via the Attari international border on 6th and 7th February, and were received by Rai Taimoor Khan Bhatti, the current sports minister of Pakistan’s Punjab province.The tournament, which is scheduled to kick off from 12th February in Faisalabad, will see Australia, UK, Canada, Germany, Iran, Kenya, Sierra Leone and Azerbaijan taking part, along with India and Pakistan. The final match, which is scheduled on 16th February, will take place in Lahore, and the winning team will be awarded a monetary award of 1 crore Pakistani rupees.Also read-Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju wants kabaddi to be included in 2024 Olympic Games Advertisement
Rescue MissionA graphic artist by trade, Katharine Koehler has always had a “passion for junk.” Her Middletown house and those of friends’ are filled with furniture, knickknacks and assorted items that she has rescued and refurbished.She admits that one of her favorite lines is: “Why are you getting rid of that?”Koehler wanted to turn this obscure talent into a way to help people who may not have the extra money to decorate their homes.“Then Sandy came along and I knew this is where I can help. This is what I feel passionate about,” she said.Koehler recruited friends with decorating, artistic and even garage-sale shopping skills, and started a blog and the arduous paperwork to set up a nonprofit. She then began collecting furniture, odds and ends and called for donations.Although not specifically intended to be a Sandy-relief organization, with 85 percent of Union Beach affected by the storm, Koehler said it made sense to start there. She created Room in Our Hearts to help people in crisis. “This is where our focus is right now.”With a motto: “I can fix that,” Koehler and her volunteers have turned discarded items into treasured pieces.Along with the revamped items, Room in Our Hearts has received generous donations of new items from individuals, corporate sponsors and local businesses. Value City Furniture in Middletown has donated floor models and slightly dinged furniture, and Middletown’s Carpet Value Outlet provided free carpeting for each family’s newly decorated room.“I love to be creative but, it’s good to mix the new with the old,” said Koehler, who stressed the importance of recycling and reusing items and not adding to landfills.When Kathryn Rodgers agreed to be the first recipient of a Room in Our Hearts room redo, she didn’t know what to expect.“Katharine (Koehler) came to my house and we were under construction,” Rodgers said. “We were sitting on buckets while we were spackling. I couldn’t even fathom what could be done with that room.”But the result, she said, was remarkable. Theresa Carbone, the room’s project manager, Koehler and the volunteers created a beautiful space.“Their vision came from a construction site,” Rodgers said. “And now the room is absolutely gorgeous … And they are an amazing group of people.”The family could not move back home until the kitchen and bathroom were functioning and Room in Our Hearts finished the living room at the same time. So after five months, Tyler and family moved back home the day of the “big reveal.”From the terra-cotta bench and the play area designed for Tyler to the simple white coat rack that greets visitors in the entryway, Rodgers said she’s thrilled.“I love it all,” she said. “There’s lots of organization and storage and complementary colors.”There’s still so much to do, inside and outside the home, but the family is reinvigorated by the new living room.“To have at least one finished room gives us this boost,” said Rodgers. “We can push forward to finish our home.”For information or to donate furniture and décor items, visit http://roominourhearts.org/. By Judy O’Gorman AlvarezGroup Offers Hope and a Room RedoFive-year-old Tyler Blewitt and his family were greeted by friends, well-wishers and dignitaries, as they moved back to their Union Beach home last month. The family had fled after Super Storm Sandy roared through their house in late October.Five-year-old Tyler Blewitt, his dad Jay Blewitt and mom Kathryn Rodgers of Union Beach smile in their newly refurbished living room supplied by Room in Our Hearts.Although Tyler’s dad and older siblings worked hard to get their house fit to live in again, the family was overwhelmed and grateful to find a crisp, new, warmly decorated living room, with handsome furniture and a brightly organized play area complete with toys and books to cheer a 5-year-old boy.“The room looks like it belongs in a magazine,” said Kathryn Rodgers, Tyler’s mom.Thanks to some big-hearted and creative volunteers from Room in Our Hearts, a nonprofit organization that creatively and sustainably redesigns a room in the home of people affected by disaster, Tyler and his family had a brand new living room.Each room redesigned by Room in Our Hearts includes furniture, artwork, home décor and other artifacts from recycled or refashioned items. Volunteer decorators, artists and craftspeople create a space – mixing the old with the new – to bring warmth, comfort and a sense of normalcy to a family who has experienced loss and disruption in their lives.Tyler, a pre-kindergartner, was born prematurely with supraventrical tachycardia (SVT), a heart condition that causes the heart to beat abnormally fast. Despite a tough start in life, he has been living without medication for the last few years. When Super Storm Sandy hit Union Beach, the youngster had just celebrated his birthday. The family was forced to evacuate, leaving everything – including Tyler’s birthday presents. When the storm surged through their house, it destroyed the contents of the family’s first floor.Tyler Blewitt, 5, jumps right into his newly designed play area.The stress pushed Tyler into an SVT episode a few days later and he was rushed to the emergency room. Afterward, he wound up in Saint Peter’s University Hospital’s CHOP – Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia – pediatric cardiology unit.Since then, the family has focused on getting Tyler well – he is doing better now on medication – and cleaning out and repairing their home. Tyler’s dad has spent almost every day since the storm repairing the home in preparation for the family’s return.That meant the family was a perfect candidate for a Room in Our Hearts renovation.
By Liz Sheehan and John Burton Correction Nov. 19: The story “Vast Majority Testifying Opposed to LNG Proposal” in the November 12-19 edition of The Two River Times incorrectly stated U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. appeared and commented at the public hearing. A representative of the congressman appeared and read his statement. EATONTOWN – The majority of those in attendance at the final two hearings about a controversial deepwater liquid gas (LNG) terminal that would be 24.9 miles off Long Branch, were opposed to the project citing environmental and security concerns and urged Gov. Chris Christie to veto it.Opponents, and a few proponents, who argued it would result in jobs and cheaper natural gas during peak months, gathered at the Sheraton Inn, Nov. 3 and 4 to speak at the hearings held by the U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Maritime Administration on Port Ambrose.Christie earlier refused permission for a similar proposal by the same development entity, Liberty Natural Gas, in 2011 and 2012, also citing environmental and security reasons. The public can continue to submit comments until Nov. 30 and then the governors have until Dec. 21 to make their feelings known, according to U.S. Coast Guard lawyer Curtis Borland.Christie and Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New York, have the power to approve or cancel the proposed deepwater LNG terminal, which would also be 27.1 nautical miles from the entrance of New York Harbor. Cuomo’s office has not spoken publicly about the proposal.Among the 50-plus speakers on Wednesday, most who included public officials, including State Senator Jennifer Beck, (R-11) and Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), environmental groups, religious groups and the public, were against the project. The few who favored it were from labor and business organizations that said having the gas import facility would supply additional supplies in peak demand in cold weather and summer months thus avoiding price swings for customers. They said the port would use state-of-the-art equipment and also best practices and ensure environmental and public safety. Cindy Zipf, the executive director of Clean Ocean Action, a Long Branch-based environmental group, in a statement about the proposed facility said, “Port Ambrose has been haunting our coast for seven long years and it is now time to put an end to this harmful, dangerous and unnecessary project. Hundreds of people have attended public hearings, tens of thousands have sent in public comments, and over 99% are in opposition. We are not buying what Liberty Natural Gas and their secret corporate backers in the Cayman Islands are selling. The consensus is clear, the project must end now.”On Thursday Zipf returned and added, “It’s like the tobacco industry denying tobacco is harmful. It’s like Exxon/Mobile denying climate change,” she said. “They both lie.”Over the course of several years, federal agencies have accepted roughly 80,000 public comments from the New York-New Jersey area and more than 90 percent have been opposed.The terminal would be used by LNG vessels to deliver liquid natural gas that would be vaporized on site and delivered to a buried subsea pipe 18.8 nautical mainline that would connect to an existing lateral, according to the Federal Register.From left to right: Cindy Zipf, director COA; Tim Dillingham, AmericanLittoral Society exec. director; Dina Long, Sea Bright mayor. Photo: Tina ColellaAt the Wednesday session of the hearings, Carl Cooper, Holmdel, said “inadequate attention had been given to security considerations at the proposed Port Ambrose beginning with the present lack of identification and security vetting of all Liberty Natural Gas principals.” On its website Liberty Natural Gas identifies itself as a developer for Port Ambrose and “as a portfolio company of a fund advised by West Face Capital, a Toronto, Canada based investment fund.” Cooper also said that Port Ambrose “would be a magnet for terrorist attacks, and security considerations for handling, mitigating and recovering from such attacks (or accidents) are inadequately treated in the FEIS (Final Environmental Impact Statement).”Many speakers who were against the proposal said they believed that it would be converted to a facility that could export natural gas since the prices for gas were so much lower in the U.S. since there was a large supply here because of fracking and it make no sense to ship in higher priced gas. A Reuters article from April, 2015 said that the CEO of Hoegh LNG, a company which Liberty Natural Gas said on its website is its partner in developing Port Ambrose and Port Meridian, (a deepwater port project in northwest England),” said “The plan is to buy the LNG in the United States which will be taken to “Port Meridian” by LNG vessels.” The LNG will be transferred “to a British pipeline and sold to consumers,” the CEO said. The article did not say from where in the U.S. the LNG would be shipped.John Toth, who represented the New Jersey Outdoor Alliance and the Jersey Shore Anglers Association, cited the 30-foot waves caused by Superstorm Sandy and questioned if the LNG port “could be adequately secured from the effect of this type of storm? If not, it will be tossed into the ocean with devastating economic effects on our entire region, including loss of life.” Toth said that fishing would be excluding “two miles from each docking buoy” of the port “eliminating the ability of fishing vessels to anchor in the affected area. Commercial and recreational fisherman will be excluded from these important fishing grounds.” He said that “gas itself presents challenges to issues of safety.’’“What if the gas lines from the LNG port to their shore locations rupture from some mechanical or pressure problem and spill into the ocean?” he asked. “The BP problem in the Gulf showed that repairs to mechanical systems in the sea can be problematic,” he said.Kari Martin, Oceanport, offered how she and her husband and children “enjoy the ocean” regularly and said “This project is destructive” noting the industrialization of the ocean.Among those who supported the plan was Daniel Ortega, who represented the labor group Engineers Labor Cooperative. He said the proposal to build and operate the facility would create many temporary construction jobs and create permanent positions. “This job will help protect the whole area,” he said. One speaker at the hearing held a different opinion. Araiya Casriel, 9, of Highlands, said “I am speaking on behalf of those who could not attend this meeting, the ocean creatures themselves. Imagine if a stranger come to your house while you were still in it and started to drop bombs on it. That is what it will feel like to them,” she said. “During construction, millions and millions of plankton, larvae, and fish eggs will be extracted, destroying the very base of the food chain. The sea floor will be demolished. Shellfish beds decades old, gone in days. The migration patterns of marine mammals will be disrupted. Some of the species that are endangered could die out, like the North Atlantic Right Whale.” She also said the Port Ambrose pipeline would cross a fault line “presenting a risk of an explosion…” Erika Casriel, Araiya’s mother said her daughter had written the presentation herself. The governors have until Dec. 21 to express their feeling on the proposal. according to Curtis Borland, a lawyer with the U.S. Coast Guard.
By John BurtonRED BANK – St. Anthony of Padua Roman Catholic Church is seeing more demand for its community service programs and hopes to have a new home for those programs.“Where we see needs in the community,” said the Rev. Alberto Tamayo, pastor of the church, 121 Bridge Ave., “we try to address them.”And the church’s parish has been having an increasing demand for its services, such as food pantry and clothing distribution, financial assistance and help facilitating social services for primarily residents of the borough’s West Side community.As it currently stands, the parish programs assist more than 1,000 community members monthly, according to Tamayo.“Our vision here really is, as a church, our main role is to give worship to God,” Tamayo said. “We also see ourselves as part of the community. If the community has needs that we can help with, we have an obligation to help address those needs, whatever they may be.”In response to those needs and growing demand for the services, church representatives will be appearing before the borough Zoning Board of Adjustment on March 3, seeking approval to construct what the representatives are planning to call St. Crispin’s Social Ministry House.The Herbert Street building used by St. Anthony of Padua Roman Catholic Church on Red Bank’s West Side will likely be demolished for the church’s St. Crispin’s Social Ministry House. Photo: John BurtonThe project calls for demolishing an existing structure – a sort of pink, beige and brown house that had been used for religious instruction, but aging and deteriorating – and garage that sit on parish-owned property next to the church on Herbert Street. The hope is to construct a new two-story, 4,500-square-foot building, that from the exterior would resemble a home, in keeping with the residential nature of much of the neighborhood.The upper level of the building will be used for sleeping and living quarters for visiting priests. The basement area will be dedicated for storage space. The first floor will contain office space for meeting with those seeking financial assistance for rent and utilities and other emergency needs and other social services. Along with those uses the facility will have the parish’s food, clothing/household and book distribution areas.A large portion of the ministry’s work in recent years has been dedicated to helping mostly recently arrived immigrants make their way with immigration and other legal issues and assimilate, making them aware of their rights, according to Tamayo.The site will also be able to accommodate community meetings. The parish has in the recent past played host to programs sponsored by such borough entities and the police and Parks and Recreation departments. These gatherings were intended as an effort in large effect to reach out to the increasingly burgeoning immigrant Hispanic community.Contingent on zoning board approval, “We’ll always have a place for those kinds of things to help strengthen connections and information flowing to the people,” Tamayo said.The construction would use prefabricated modular building components and “if everything goes smoothly, about a year it’ll be up,” the pastor said.The project will cost about $750,000 and will be paid for with donations from parishioners and friends of the church, he added.St. Anthony of Padua was built in1920, through the work of and donations of Italian immigrants, who relocated to Red Bank to find work at the textile factory on Bridge Avenue (now the site of the Galleria retail and commercial complex). The factory, which made U.S. military and Boy Scouts uniforms, was owned by Sigmund Eisner. Eisner, Tamayo pointed out, was a significant benefactor contributing to the church’s construction costs.And because of that history as well as the parish’s current efforts, Tamayo noted, “We have a special love and devotion to immigrants.”Besides, the work is in keeping with the Catholic Church’s teachings, he added. “It’s basically doing our best for Christ’s commands: to serve our neighbors, to feed the hungry, clothe the naked and to be good neighbors.”Tamayo’s decision to name the ministry after St. Crispin of Viterbo certainly has resonance for the parish and community it serves. St. Crispin, who was canonized in 1982 by Pope John Paul II is the patron saint of the poor and laborers. Crispin was also a member of the Franciscan order, as was St. Anthony, Tamayo explained.
By M. J. Alvarez |You don’t need any special equipment to enjoy an escape from the heat of the sun during summer. A pair of running shoes will be enough to help you enjoy the canopy-covered trails of our area. Here are just a few trails Monmouth County Park System offers.Hartshorne Woods contains trails that provide a more vigorous workout. The Grand Tour Trail running through the Monmouth Hills when combined with the contiguous Rocky Point Trail provides a challenging 5.4-mile hike with a number of ups and downs in a remote part of the park. The Rocky Point Trail will reward hikers with numerous elevated views of the Shrewsbury River and Sea Bright. The Cuesta Ridge and Laurel Ridge trails provide easier walks. Hartshorne trails are multiuse trails. Hikers should expect to share them with mountain bikers.The Pond Walk is a half-mile wooded walk in Holmdel Park. Photo courtesy MCPSHolmdel Park offers a number of trails for both casual walkers and serious runners. The Cross Country Trail is a 3.1-mile trail that is especially suited for runners and includes a challenging uphill stretch known locally as “The Bowl.” This trail is also the site of many high school cross-country races. For a more balanced workout, try the 0.8-mile Fitness Trail, a loop trail that includes exercise stations. Families can enjoy the 0.4-mile Pond Walk trail around the lower pond and Beech Glen an approximately half-mile wooded walk.The southern section of Holmdel Park, also known as the Ramanessin section, includes three trails of moderate difficulty – the Ramanessin Trail which runs along the Ramanessin Brook, the Steeplechase trail and the Homestead Trail and Fern Path. These trails cross less developed parts of the park through fields and wooded areas and are little used.Huber Woods in Rumson provides a number of moderate trails through wooded fields and mountain laurel valleys. Valley View, Claypit Run and Meadow Ramble are all moderate wooded trails. The Many Log Run Trail located in the northwest section of the park off of the Meadow Ramble Trail is a challenging 1.2 mile trail with a number of sharp hills to get your heart pumping. As with Hartshorne Woods, all of the Huber woods trails are multiuse trails so expect to share them with mountain bikers.Manasquan Reservoir in Howell contains the Perimeter Trail, a 5.1-mile flat, dirt trail popular with joggers, walkers and bikers, looping around the entire perimeter of the reservoir and crossing a number of wetland areas. This trail will give the walker a sense of the breadth of the reservoir and may even reward with a view of the bald eagles nest which is alleged to exist near the northwest corner of the reservoir. A shorter 1.1-mile scenic nature trail around the Environmental Center is suitable for families with young children.Thompson Park, located in the Lincroft section of Middletown, contains both paved trails for bikers and walkers, dirt trails traversing fields and wooded areas and a track loop around a rugby pitch. The Reservoir Loop is the longest trail in the park at 4.8 miles and runs along Marlu Luke located in the northwest section of the park and loops around the Swimming River Reservoir. The Paved Trail is a popular trail for walkers, runners and bikers that runs around the perimeter of the park along Longbridge Road, Cross Road and Route 520.Experienced hikers and trail runners know that tick season is in full swing in the Two River area. When venturing into any wooded area, stay on the maintained trails, wear loose clothing with long sleeves and pants and inspect arms and legs after a walk in the woods. Be especially careful inspecting children and pets for ticks. Sunscreen and a bottle of water in a small backpack will also make your day more enjoyable.And hit the trails on June 3 – National Trails Day.This article was first published Summer Kickoff section in the May 25-June 1, 2017 print edition of The Two River Times.
Funeral Services AnnouncedFuneral services for AbbieGail Kaylea Smith will be from 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday, July 23 at the Jacqueline M. Ryan Home for Funerals, 233 Carr Ave., Keansburg.A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:15 a.m. Monday at St. Ann’s Church, Keansburg. Burial to follow at Bayview Cemetery, Leonardo.In lieu of flowers the family will be accepting donations in AbbieGail’s name for a scholarship fund. Letters of condolences can be sent to www.jacquelinemryanfh.com. This article was first published in the July 20-27, 2017 print edition of The Two River Times. By John BurtonKEANSBURG — A small group of people, largely Keansburg residents but not exclusively, quiet and somber – as if in a house of worship – stood in front of McGrath Towers housing complex to pay their respects and reflect on the horrible events of last week and to remember an 11-year-old taken too soon and in a shockingly violent way.At the apartment complex’s 25 Hancock St. site, people gathered at a makeshift memorial made up of balloons, stuffed animals, sympathy cards, photos and candles being lit as the sun set on July 15. Some were willing to offer thoughts about AbbieGail “Abbie” Smith, 11, who lived at the affordable housing project’s 16 Hancock St. location, and was stabbed to death sometime between the evening of July 12 and the following morning.“Basically, it’s another senseless killing of a child,” observed Keansburg resident Robert Nugent, as he placed candles at the memorial.Nugent was joined by his wife, Daisy; both had lived in Keansburg for a number of years, but didn’t know AbbieGail or the Smith family. But the couple felt it was imperative to publicly express their feelings. “I think it is important,” Daisy responded when asked why she was there. “It was one of our children. It’s a tragedy.”A memorial grew near AbbieGail’s home.Brianna Cooper, 11 years old, came with family members. She attended the public school district’s Joseph R. Bolger Middle School with AbbieGail. “She was my best friend,” Brianna said, her eyes welling up with tears. Brianna said her friend “was always happy; she was always smiling,” and loved music and dancing. “She was just so amazing and caring,” Brianna said of AbbieGail, also confiding, “she was the only one who defended me against the bullies in school.“She was so good,” Brianna said.Keansburg police responded to a report coming in at approximately 9:24 p.m. on July 12 of a missing child at the 16 Hancock St. complex. Local authorities contacted the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office in the early hours of the following morning, mounting a joint investigation in their search for the girl.While investigators, joined by the prosecutor’s Forensic and Technical Services Bureau, continued their probe into the circumstances surrounding the disappearance, at roughly 10:20 a.m. they discovered on the roof area of the complex where the Smith family resided, an object wrapped in a blanket or comforter, according to the prosecutor’s office. Wrapped in the blanket was what authorities said was a deceased human body, a short time later identified by the Middlesex County Medical Examiner’s Office as the remains of AbbieGail Smith.Later that same day, law enforcement authorities arrested Andreas Erazo, an 18-year-old man who lived upstairs from the victim and her family. According to the prosecutor’s office, Erazo was charged with first degree murder, third degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and fourth degree unlawful possession of a weapon allegedly in connection with the child’s death.The medical examiner’s report concluded AbbieGail died as a result of a stab wound to the neck, according to Charles Webster, a spokesman for the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office. No other details from the report were immediately released.Andreas Erazo, 18, is shown during his initial appearance in Freehold Friday, July 14, 2017, where he was charged with the murder of 11-year-old AbbieGail “Abbie” Smith in Keansburg.Erazo, a slightly built teen, sporting a bushy haircut and wispy mustache and goatee, wearing handcuffs around his wrists, entered state Superior Court on Friday, July 14, for his initial appearance. The courtroom was packed largely with media representatives, including TV cameras, and the victim’s family. In a brief, perfunctory hearing, Judge Richard W. English laid out for the suspect the charges and his rights, with Erazo offering soft spoken and minimal responses that he understood and acknowledged he would like to have a public defender as his legal counsel.Seeing Erazo, the victim’s mother was emotional. “You need to rot in jail! You murdered my daughter!” she shouted in a heavy Jamaican accent, and was then led out of the courtroom surrounded by family members.Erazo was initially scheduled to once again appear before English on Wednesday, July 19, for a bail hearing; that hearing was delayed until Friday, July 28, at the request of Erazo’s lawyer.Afterwards, during a hastily convened press conference on the courthouse lawn in Freehold Borough, Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni told the gathering of reporters, “This is one of the worst crimes I’ve seen,” during his five-year tenure with the prosecutor’s office.“By all accounts she was a lovely, lovely little girl,” the prosecutor said of AbbieGail.“We represent the state without passion or prejudice, but that doesn’t make us any less human,” he said as his colleagues, most with their own families, look to continue their emotionally difficult investigation.Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. GramiccioniGramiccioni was expectedly tightlipped on details, given the investigation is ongoing. But he did acknowledge “there’s no reason to believe” anyone else was involved in the crime; and investigators have collected considerable physical evidence and interviews allegedly linking Erazo to the crime.Gramiccioni requested the media respect the family’s wishes for privacy at this time. “They did ask me to convey to the public and the media what they want out of this is justice and it’s my job and my staff’s job to do the best at delivering that for them,” he added.“We’ll get details out in an appropriate time and manner,” he said.John J. Niesz, Keansburg’s superintendent of schools, issued a statement, posted on the district’s website, where Niesz said, “AbbieGail was a wonderful young girl who was a Titan through and through,” referring to the district’s mascot. “She will be greatly missed by the entire Keansburg School District family, especially her friends and family.”The district will provide grief counseling at the Bolger Middle School to help students dealing with the loss, Niesz’s statement indicated.Maribel Batista lives in East Brunswick but drives her ice cream truck through the borough where her parents continue to live, just a couple of blocks away from the site. She pulled up to Hancock Street in the ice cream truck placing a small item at the memorial. “I have four kids myself. I can’t stop thinking about this,” she said. “I can’t imagine what the family is going through.”Tommy Brown drove from Newark where he lives, not knowing the family but feeling a need to offer some small condolences. “I can’t understand this, an 11-year-old girl getting stabbed,” Brown said. “You have to ask yourself, why?”“I don’t know how you can do something like this,” said Keansburg resident Antonietta Carbone, speaking of the crime. Looking at the group gathered Carbone offered, “I just hope everybody comes out and joins together…Even if we don’t know each other.”“Hopefully, it shows the mother that people do care,” Robert Nugent said, “and are behind her 100 percent.”
Travis Wellman, with his league leading 14th goal of the season, killed any chance of the Beaver Valley comeback by scoring into the empty net.Tyler Moffat was solid between the pipes for the Leafs, stopping 20 shots.Josh Round to the loss in goal for Beaver Valley.Nelson remains in top spot in the Murdoch Division with a 7-0-1 record.The Leafs continue its swing through the Murdoch Division with a home-and-home series against the defending KIJHL champs from Castlegar.The teams hook up Saturday in Castlegar before completing the series Sunday in Nelson at 2:30 p.m. in the NDCC Arena.BLUELINES: The Leaf players saluted Breast Cancer Awareness month by wearing pink laces and using pink tape on their sticks. . . . Hockey fans were surprised to see Nelson native Linden Horswill back in the Green and White. The Nelson Minor Hockey grad had been suspended after leaving the Trail Smokies of the BCHL. However, the Trail management surprisingly lifted the suspension. . . . . The Friday, October 18th game against Beaver Valley is Bras at the Barn Night. Fans are asked to bring their bras to the game to raise awareness for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. Check out the Leaf website at www.nelsonleafs.ca for more information. The Nelson Leafs survived the first major test of the season, scoring twice late in the second period en route to a 5-2 Kootenay International Junior Hockey League victory over the Beaver Valley Nitehawks Friday night at the NDCC Arena.The game is the first of three meetings against Neil Murdoch Division rivals — Beaver Valley and Castlegar.Aaron Dunlap and Alex Wilkerson scored 94 seconds apart to snap a 2-2 tie to power Nelson to the win.The Leafs led 2-0 after the opening frame on goals by Linden Horswill and Dunlap.Michael Bell and Dallas Calvin scored power play goals for the Hawks to tie the game up midway through the second period.