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Week in News: Fallen Soldier, Teen Found Safe, Murderer's Conviction Upheld

News from our Monmouth and Ocean County neighbors that you may have missed.

Marine Killed In Afghanistan Left Behind Wife, Three Children

Manchester- Christopher M. Monahan's last tour of duty in the Middle East was his third deployment away from his wife and three small children.

The young man joined the U.S. Marines after he graduated from Central Regional High School in 2006. He lived most of his life in Ocean Gate, but had moved to Island Heights before his deployment, according to his obituary from Anderson and Campbell Funeral Home in Toms River.

Read more on Manchester Patch.

Missing Autistic Teen Found Safe in Texas

Ocean City- The Ocean City Police Department announced Monday morning that Natalie Woollerton has been found safe and healthy in Mesquite, Texas.

Woollerton was found by a Texas police officer who was investigating a suspicious vehicle and was able to identify it as the one taken by Woollerton when she left Ocean City on Nov. 28. She was found at 3:30 a.m. Monday.

Read more on Ocean City Patch.

Sandy Response Bill Could Top $1 Million

Wall Township — When township officials sit down with a representative from the Federal Emergency Management Agency later today they’ll be discussing how the town can be reimbursed for the approximately $1 million it has shelled out to combat the November storms.

Township Administrator Jeffry Bertrand said Wednesday the bills are still coming in and the exact cost of the response to Hurricane Sandy and the Nor’Easter that followed has not been finalized. But he said the cost, he believes, will be around the $1 million mark, or more.

Read more on Wall Patch.

What Will Rebuilt Belmar Boardwalk Look Like?

Belmar- The Belmar boardwalk will upgrade its ability to weather major storms, but otherwise the borough is planning to rebuild its major tourism destination very similar to its pre-Sandy look.

Destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, the Belmar boardwalk will be rebuilt in a $20 million project that will use current codes — an upgrade from the 1970s-90s building codes when pilings were 12 feet. The new boardwalk will be built with 25 foot pilings and be banded underneath with hurricane straps, but will otherwise be the same length, width and height.

Read and see more on Manasquan-Belmar Patch.

Travelers Hope To Save Ortley Beach From Sandy

Manchester- Craig Sternage and Sharon, his "significant other," had wanted to visit and help with the recovery efforts following Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

But the Washington state natives couldn't get away from work, and spend countless hours to help save the Louisiana area that was swallowed by the devastating storm.

Now semi-retired, it was time. Only New Jersey - specifically Toms River, and its maligned Ortley Beach section in the aftermath of Sandy - would provide the setting, as well as the moment of opportunity.

Read more on Manchester Patch.

R-FH Student's Sandy Video Inspires 'Train' Appearance at Sea Bright Event

Rumson- It's a hometown, home-spun story that all started with a documentary diary video of Hurricane Sandy through the eyes of Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School student Charlotte Nagy.

The teen decided to start filming her narrative thoughts and observations of the superstorm and its foreboding threats on her Rumson hometown and neighboring Sea Bright before, during and after the storm.

The video, posted on YouTube, quickly caught the attention of people near and far, many of whom have strong ties to the area. One of those people was the band Train's lead singer, Pat Monahan.

Read more on Rumson-Fair Haven Patch.

Ellen Helps Another New Jersey Family

Point Pleasant - The Ellen DeGeneres Show just donated a new Chrysler convertible to a Point Borough family whose home and cars were flooded by Superstorm Sandy.

Scott, Kathy, Megan and Madison Emery, who live on Christine Court, cannot live in their home yet because it was so severely flooded.

Kathy Emery, a hairdresser, wrote to the Ellen show about how her family's home and two cars were flooded.

Read more on Point Pleasant Patch.

Red Bank Regional Community Remembers a Senior Who Was 'So Easy to Love'

Red Bank — Albert Martin was a gregarious young man who was just beginning to reach his potential when his life was cut tragically short while playing the game he loved.

Martin, 17, a Red Bank Regional High Schoolsenior, died at Riverview Medical Center Monday after collapsing during a basketball scrimmage against Point Pleasant Beach High School. 

Read more on Red Bank-Shrewsbury Patch.

Sandy Totals Molokai Drive Home, Family Seeks to Rebuild

Lacey Township — Walking into 1304 Molokai Drive, you can see daylight and not just from windows but from a fissure in the wall where the house separated during Hurricane Sandy’s forceful winds and storm surge. The foundation has shifted and a water line still remains at more than two feet high.

Timothy and LeeAnn Rooney, who primarily live in New Milford, have already cleaned out the house. The Forked River home is their secondary residence.

“We wanted to make it our primary soon,” Timothy Rooney said.

The Rooney’s are the first to go before the Zoning Board of Adjustment seeking to rebuild their home. The application was unanimously approved Monday night.

Read more on Lacey Patch.

FEMA: Housing Prospects for Sandy Victims Daunting, Not Dire

Jersey Shore — The numbers are dramatic. In theory.

According to a report from the state's Disaster Housing Task Force, a looming housing shortfall exists for thousands of residents impacted by Hurricane Sandy. Potentially, of course.

What the data collected in the report — comprised of current Hurricane Sandy data and data culled from historical disasters — doesn't factor in, however, is experience, Federal Emergency Management Agency officials said. And though furture housing does remain an unknown for many residents, especially in Sandy-ravaged areas of Monmouth and Ocean counties, FEMA has yet to experience the presaged crush.

Read more on Little Silver-Oceanport Patch.

UPDATE: No Sentence Reduction for Toms River Killer Robert Marshall

Toms River — Convicted murderer Robert Marshall, the Toms River insurance broker whose sensational case inspired a book and a T.V. movie, lost a bid to reduce his life sentence this week, according to a statement from the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office.

Marshall applied to Superior Court Judge Wendel E. Daniels to reconsider his 2006 decision to sentence Marshall to life with 30 years parole ineligibility. Marshall cited his deteriorating health as a reason for applying.

Read more on Toms River Patch.

Officials: Eatontown Received Too Much FEMA Money For Hurricane Cleanup Costs

Eatontown — After last week's announcement that Eatontown will receive just more than $1.5 million from FEMA Hurricane Sandy-related cleanup costs, borough officials are now saying they received too much

"FEMA says Eatontown is getting $1.5 million as a result of the storm damage that we experienced," Mayor Gerald Tarantolo said during Wednesday night's council meeting. "That's nowhere near where we had calculated it.

Read more on Long Branch-Eatontown Patch.

In Little Silver, When Do Fences Make Good Neighbors?

Little Silver — It is said that fences make good neighbors but for one Little Silver neighborhood, the opposite seems to be true.

Joe Harvier, who lives on the corner of Fox Hill Drive and the rocky access road that leads up the hill off Branch Avenue, installed a split rail fence last spring in an effort to deter speeders, but the move left his neighbors miffed.

About 20 of those neighbors, along with Harvier, showed up at the Little Silver Borough Council's workshop meeting on Monday night to try to come to a resolution on the issue.

Read more on Little Silver-Oceanport Patch.

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