A man who took a $6,200 payment from a Rumson resident in the post-Hurricane Sandy era and failed to deliver and install a generator, as contracted, has been indicted on a theft charge and is facing, if convicted, a three- to five-year sentence in state prison, a release from the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office said.
A Monmouth County grand jury on Monday charged Mark E. Herrneckar, 51, of Riverwood Drive, Toms River, with one count of third-degree theft by failure to make required disposition of property.
Herrneckar, the indictment said, took the $6,200 payment from the Rumson resident in December of 2013 for a generator that was never delivered and installed. Herrneckar never returned the money to the homeowner, either, according to the indictment.
Herrneckar was arrested in December by members of the Monmouth County Superstorm Sandy Fraud Task Force. He is currently free on $5,000 bail, as set by Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Joseph W. Oxley, J.S.C.
The case is being prosecuted by Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Andrew S. Fried of the office’s Financial Crimes and Public Corruption Bureau. Fried serves as coordinator of the Superstorm Sandy Fraud Task Force.
The task force processes and investigates all complaints related to the storm. Homeowners or citizens are urged to report complaints via the following:
Knollwood School fifth grader Addie Cope probably can. The 10-year-old Fair Haven resident has just been declared the winner of the school’s second annual spelling bee, according to a Fair Haven School District press release.
Cope won the final round and title on Feb. 2 by spelling the word jocularity correctly, the release said.
The win qualified her to go on to participate in the 31st annual Asbury Park Press/Home News Tribune Spelldown to be held at Monmouth University in West Long Branch on March 16 and 17.
Spelldown will feature 8- through 14-year-olds declared champions at their school levels in Middlesex, Monmouth and Ocean counties. The winner will move on to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C.
“We are so proud of Addie and all of the students who participated in the grade level spelling bees at Knollwood,” Knollwood School Principal Kevin Davis said in the release. “We wish Addie the best of luck at the Spelldown and we hope to see her at the National Spelling Bee.”
Preliminary spelling bees were held in all Knollwood grades (fourth through eighth) to determine grade-level participants prior to the school-wide event.
Competing along with Addie in the Knollwood School Spelling Bee were: fourth grader Annie Kersten, sixth grader Abby Tuorto, seventh grader Aaron Bernstein and eighth grader Bridgette Simpson.
It takes a village to put together a St. Patrick’s Day parade. That village in the Rumson-Fair Haven area is Rumson.
The third annual Rumson St. Patrick’s Day Parade marches into town on March 8.
But, leading up to the main event are several fundraisers to help offset the cost of the new tradition and help out area charities to boot. Those fundraisers kick off at 1 p.m. on *Sunday at Val’s Tavern in the borough.
Parade costs include extra policing, set-up and clean-up for the event. This year, according to the parade website, the charities to benefit from the surplus of parade fundraising events are Jason’s Dreams and S.P.U.R. (Special People United to Ride). Last year, “more than $25,000 was donated to local charities,” according to the narrative on the website.
With an estimated 900 participants in and roughly 7,000 attendees at the 2014 parade, this year’s has lined up “15 bands, floats, active military & veteran’s groups, Irish Step Dancers, antique cars, scouting organizations, non-profit clubs and organizations, novelty acts, and area business and civic groups and a few great surprises,” organizers say on the site.
The fundraising festivities are as follows:
• Sunday, Feb. 22, Val’s Tavern in Rumson from 1 to 5 p.m. … Music by Kevin Feehan & Friends, $10 donation includes music, buffet and bag pipers.
• Friday, Feb. 27, Molly Maguire’s in Rumson from 8 to 11 p.m. … Bloody Callan Band playing Gaelic, American Rock Classics & “a lorry-load of rebel music, $10 donation includes music, buffet and bag pipers.
• Sunday, March 1, Victory Park in Rumson from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. … Lighting of the Green Tree, Irish music and refreshments.
• Thursday, March 5, Salt Creek Grille in Rumson from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. … Rumson St. Patrick’s Day Parade Investiture Cocktail Reception, $75 for tickets.
• Saturday, March 7 at 11 a.m. … KDM Rumson Run 5K, register at www.kdmfoundation.com.
• Saturday, March 7 from 5 to 8 p.m. … Knights of Columbus in Fair Haven … Corned Beef & Cabbage Dinner, Irish music and games for kids … call 732-747-9199 for more information and tickets.
Middletown police have cited concern for the safety of the 55-year-old township man who went missing Monday night.
Police said, in a released statement, that on Tuesday morning, “the vehicle he (Anthony Tassello) was driving, a white 2008 Ford Escape, was one of five vehicles burned during a suspicious fire at the Tom’s Ford dealership on Route 35 in Keyport.”
Keyport police and the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office have now joined Middletown police in a collaborative investigation of the car fire and its connection to Tassello.
“Police are concerned for Mr. Tassello’s safety,” the statement from Middletown police said, now adding that they have reason to believe that he may be in the New York City area.
Anthony Tassello, who stands about 6-feet, 3-inches tall and weighs about 230 pounds, was last seen on Monday night at about 9:15 p.m.. He was driving the 2008 Ford Escape and wearing a gray tweed hat, a vest and jeans.
Anyone with any information in connection with this case “is urged to call Detective Keith Hirschbein, of the Middletown Police Department, at 732-615-2068, Detective Shannon Torres, of the Keyport Police Department, at 732-739-5151, or Detective Kevin Condon of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office at 1-800-533-7443.”
A slam dunk success is how Fair Haven’s Knollwood School sixth graders, borough police and firefighters described the recent Hoops for Hearts basketball game at the school to benefit the American Heart Association.
“The entire school was full of energy, camaraderie was high, and everyone put their heart into this effort,” Knollwood Physical Education/Health teacher and event organizer Kim Lagrotteria said in a release. “Hoops for Hearts is an event that you will see again at Knollwood School.”
The Feb. 6 basketball tournament, comprising several games, pitted the “celebrity” police officers and firefighters against two teams of sixth graders on the court in what was dubbed a “fast-paced Championship Basketball Game,” Celebrity Kock-Out, and Half-Court Challenge, the release added.
The “celebrities” garnered the top score in the Championship game. The sixth graders won the Celebrity Knock-Out Game, which left a sixth grader as the last player left standing. And the Half-Court Challenge was one which involved the students making donations to the American Heart Association getting chances to sink basketballs.
The participants took their best shots as Lagrotteria, Andrea Mrusek of the American Heart Association, “celebrities,” and classmates cheered them on. Prizes were awarded to those who made baskets.
The “celebrities” ended up with the top score in the Championship Game, but the $7,560 netted in event proceeds, which was more than double the $3,500 donation goal, was the bigger win, Lagrotteria said.
With roughly 119 students participating, they “helped motivate one another to reach their personal fundraising and physical education participation goals,” said Lagrotteria in the release. “Students in other grades were asking how they could become a part of the event in the future, and donated money to help achieve our school’s goal.
“This event not only brought great attention to a great cause, it also brought the school together.”
Hoops for Hearts activities took place during the month of February, designated American Heart Month by the American Heart Association.
There were incentives put in place by Lagrotteria for students to meet the original $3,500 fundraising goal.
Students were awarded small rubber ducks, which they donned during the school day, in recognition of their efforts. And Lagrotteria, herself, promised to wear a duck costume if the school’s goal was met. That promise was kept (the photo above shows).
In addition to the main fundraiser, Hoops for Hearts featured activities throughout the month that were designed to promote physical fitness. Another basketball tournament featuring all of the sixth graders was held during regular Physical Education classes.
Players in the Championship Basketball Game and cheerleaders were all members of the sixth-grade Physical Education class that raised the largest amount of funds for the American Heart Association.
Cheerleaders were: Brett-Cetnar Garrett, Caroline Danaher, Bridget Mikolajczyk, Charlotte Stant, Emma Walker, Maia Werner and Kitty White.
Basketball players were: John Baker, Jack Costello, Wyatt Kemler, Aidan Kilfeather, David Livingston, Michael Strulowitz, Robby Sypeck, Jack Theodore, Spencer Torine and Drew Venancio.