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This Week In News Around Monmouth and Ocean Counties

Ridiculously high gas prices and a fatal high speed chase top the headlines in Monmouth and Ocean Counties this week.

Surfing Heals: Autism Group Takes Kids Riding The Waves

Belmar — To say that he had been looking forward to it all week does a disservice to the magnitude of his newfound obsession.

Surfing. On a real surfboard. With a real surfer.  

Sunday could not come fast enough. And no neurotypical child can possibly fathom the fantastic, all-encompassing, living-and-breathing obsession that my 9-year-old son had lived these past few days.

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With One Weekend to Go, 69 Rescues This Season for Brick Lifeguards

Brick — Brick's lifeguards will call it a season this Sunday, after a summer that resulted in many lives saved and even more protected from the dangers that lurk within a day at the beach.

According to statistics compiled by township officials this week, township lifeguards completed 69 rescues, 43 water assists and 128 calls for medical aid this season.

Overall, the summer of 2012 produced 19 EMT calls, 19 administrations of oxygen to patients, 14 lost persons and five reports of disorderly conduct at the beach.

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City to Demolish Bellevue Hotel

Ocean City — Demolition of the Bellevue Hotel at Eighth Street and Ocean Avenue will take place within seven days, Ocean City Business Administrator Mike Dattilo said on Wednesday.

Constructed more than a century ago in 1909, the six-story building is a public safety hazard, and city officials want to remove it as quickly as possible. The hotel has been closed for more than a year.

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Ritacco Sentenced to More Than 11 Years in Prison

Trenton — Calling it the "worst case of public corruption he has ever seen," a federal judge sentenced the disgraced former superintendent of Toms River Regional, Michael J. Ritacco, to 135 months – just over 11 years – in prison.

 was sentenced by federal Judge Joel Pisano in Trenton as his family members, seated in the court room, wept as their relative's fate was decided.

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Former Superintendent's Home Raided by Prosecutor's Office

Point Pleasant — Investigators from the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office Thursday morning raided the Point Pleasant home of former Wall Township Superintendent of Schools James F. Habel.

Acting Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni was tight-lipped about the raid, saying only that the office "conducted an investigative action'' at Habel's residence.

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High Speed Chase in Tinton Falls Leads To Crash, Two Deaths

Tinton Falls — Two occupants of a car that was involved in a high-speed chase with the Tinton Falls police late Wednesday night are dead after a crash in the borough.

Monmouth County First Assistant Prosecutor Richard Incremona said two Tinton Falls police officers stopped a 2008 Subaru Impreza with three male occupants on Shafto Road around 10:30 p.m. Wednesday night. When one of the officers approached the vehicle, he spotted a .380 semi-automatic handgun in the car, the assistant prosecutor said.

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'Snookiville' Law Aims to Give Towns Say Over TV Productions

Manchester — Spurred by the filming of MTV shows throughout New Jersey in recent years, a bill to be introduced in the state Legislature "explicitly permits" municipalities to have a say in regulating productions. 

Dubbed the "Snookiville Law," the bill to be introduced by District 12 Republican Assemblyman Ronald S. Dancer would allow towns to license and regulate reality TV shows, like the "Snooki & JWoww" production that .

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Police Put Careless Drivers on Notice

Fair Haven — School has started. Children are out and about. So are careless drivers. The summonses issued in Fair Haven lately tell what is known as a familiar tale around town.

To send a strong message about protecting and serving the children and other pedestrians, especially during school season, Fair Haven police on a vigilant mission to rid the roads of inattentive and speeding drivers.

Read more on Rumson-Fair Haven Patch.

Little Silver GOP Fill Ticket for November Election

Little Silver — Longtime Little Silver resident Richard J. Scott has been tapped to fill the open spot on the November ballot for borough council following the 

GOP incumbents  and David Gilmour announced on Wednesday that Scott, who has lived in Little Silver for 20 years and served as a member of the planning board, would join them to run for borough council, according to a release.

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Prosecutor's Office Says Beachwood Cop Took 'Appropriate Action' In Fatal Shooting

Berkeley — Ocean County Prosecutor Marlene Lynch Ford has determined that Beachwood Police Sgt. Bruce Harris took appropriate action when he shot and killed  in the parking lot of the High Velocity Sports Bar in July, Senior Assistant Prosecutor Michel A. Paulhus said.

"It appears it's a lawful and appropriate use of deadly force," Paulhus said. "The investigation is by no means over. But at this stage, the prosecutor has determined it to be an appropriate use of deadly force."

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Employees File Lawsuit Against Howell Township, Others

Howell — Three Howell Township employees have filed a lawsuit in Monmouth County Superior Court claiming discrimination and a hostile work environment against the township, the township municipal court, Court Administrator Dominick Pondaco and others. 

The three women, Angela Martino, Donna Ennas and Donna Belton, had all worked in the municipal court office prior to the lawsuit being filed and have since transferred to other departments in the township. No specific amount of money is named in the complaint but the employees' attorney, Rosemarie Arnold, said they are seeking monetary damages for their emotional distress and other medical issues.

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