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AHH 24-Hr. News

IMAGE Middletown Police Identify Shoplifter with Assistance of Social Media
Monday, 26 January 2015
MIDDLETOWN, NJ - On January 22, 2015 Detective First Class Laurence Schachtel arrested Amanda Lind, age 21, from Sycamore Avenue in Tinton Falls, NJ, on two counts of Shoplifting as a result of an investigation into the theft of $725.00 of hygiene... Read More...
IMAGE Middletown Police Arrest Three on Narcotics Offences
Monday, 26 January 2015
MIDDLETOWN, NJ - On January 23, 2015 the Middletown Police Detective Bureau executed a search warrant at a Hudson Avenue, Middletown, NJ, residence which resulted in the arrest of three suspects for narcotic offenses. The warrant was a result of a... Read More...
IMAGE Fashion Show and Gift Auction to Benefit RBR Latino Scholarship Fund Set for February 8
Monday, 26 January 2015
Pictured are members of the Latino Scholarship committee (left to right): Linda Ensor, Middletown, Suzanne Keller, RBR Source Supervisor, Dede Rumph, Red Bank, Didi Friedman, Little Silver, Anita Camaano, RBR Guidance Counselor and Rose Powers, RBR... Read More...
IMAGE Highlands Issues Coastal Flood Warning - Parking Ban
Monday, 26 January 2015
HIGHLANDS, NJ - The following message is from the Highlands Police Department: A coastal flood warning is in effect from 11 PM until Tuesday at 7 AM.  High tide will be at 01:07 am at Sandy Hook. Expect hurricane force conditions with strong... Read More...
New Jersey School Choice Week Starts Today
Monday, 26 January 2015
420 Events Across Garden State TRENTON, NJ – School Choice Week starts today in New Jersey and across America. Throughout the Week, which runs until January 31, there will be 420 school choice events across the Garden State. The events are part of... Read More...

Columns

IMAGE What’s that Flock in the Bay?
by Joe Reynolds
Sunday, 25 January 2015
This was a week of counting wintering water-birds. The other day I looked out onto New York Harbor and saw a large raft of diving ducks. I counted at... Read More...
IMAGE Just Sayin...
by Anne Mikolay
Sunday, 25 January 2015
While watching this month's news broadcasts, I have concluded the world is steeped in irony. This tendency to fore-go common sense and do the... Read More...
IMAGE Father Trying to Build Understanding
by Daniel J. Vance
Saturday, 24 January 2015
You won't find too many dads that love like this. Joseph Hernandez of Auburn, Washington, knew before his son's birth that his son would have a birth... Read More...
IMAGE My Encounters with Police Officers
by George Hancock-Stefan
Tuesday, 20 January 2015
During the past few months when there has been so much discussion about police officers, I started to think a lot about how I view police officers,... Read More...
IMAGE An Untold Story - Part 1
by Daniel Murphy
Tuesday, 20 January 2015
This is a subject that I have not written or talked about before.  Some people, I am sure, will be looking at me as if I have finally lost a bit... Read More...

Upcoming Events

 

ImageIt is January 1, New Year’s Day! The new year begins just as the old year ended: cold and windy. At first light it was 17°F with icy north winds gusting up to 25 knots. The wind chill is a brutal -5°F. Although the sun will be shining brightly today, it will not be generating much heat. High temperatures are still expected to be well below freezing.

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(At the stroke of 1pm on New Year’s Day, hundreds of people took the plunge into the Atlantic Ocean at Asbury Park)

 

Mother Nature is being aloof today. No sense looking for lots of wildlife down by the bay. It is too unpleasantly cold. Most critters I am sure will be out of sight waiting for the unfriendly winds to die down.  Normally active Gray Squirrels in my backyard have taken the cue. They have gone into dormancy for the day.

 

On average, January is the coldest month of the winter, with average temperatures around 31 degrees.  The cold, however, does not scare away polar bears along the Jersey Shore.

 

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(Historic Convention Hall in Asbury Park played host to the annual Sons of Ireland Polar Bear Plunge this year.)

 

As winter tightens its grip, the Jersey Shore takes on a robust, rugged, and wicked nature that only polar bears can handle. Let’s face it, spending winter along a Jersey Shore beach is not for the delicate and soft. This is why many critters migrate south. If a creature can survive winter along the Jersey Shore, then it can live on and endure.

 

So, on a bright, sunny, yet cold late morning day I headed down to Asbury Park for a unique winter attraction, only to be experienced along a winter beach. At 1pm, next to the legendary Asbury Park Convention Hall, will be the 6th annual Sons of Ireland Polar Bear Plunge.

 

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(Bagpipes and flags flying were leading polar bears to the plunge)

 

Now, I have to be honest. While I enjoy winters along the Jersey Shore, I am not that resilient. Plunging into chilly oceans waters that are 42 degrees in just a bathing suit is not a test I am keen on. Yet, I certainly give credit to those polar bear people that can endure the icy Atlantic Ocean waters.  They certainly believe in the old saying that every day is a beach day!

 

More to the point, the plunge is for a good cause. The event will raise hundreds of dollars for several important local non-profit organizations: the Special Olympics of New Jersey, Campership of Monmouth County, which raises funds to send disabled and underprivileged children to summer camp; and Clean Ocean Action, a leading regional environmental organization based at Sandy Hook. The annual Polar Bear Plunge event it is great celebration of winter and the start of a new calendar year.

 

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(For a brief moment, it seemed like a small part of the Atlantic Ocean was filled with polar bears)

 

Nearly five minutes before the big plunge, there are approximately 1,000 people on-hand for the event, with about 250 brave and hardy people getting ready for the plunge of their life. The procession of potential hardy polar bears to the beach was evident with bagpipers and the display of U.S. and Ireland flags from the Sons of Ireland. The polar bears trudged onto the chilly sand wrapped in towels, bathrobes, blankets and sweat suits, anything to stay warm.

 

Then came the big moment for everyone at the stroke of one, the polar bears casted off their warm layers and charged whooping and screaming into the frigid ocean. The brave swimmers marked the beginning of 2009 by taking a dip in the frigid waters of the Atlantic Ocean at Asbury Park. I am sure there were those people that thought about chickening out, but then saw the many children and grandmothers getting wet. It's just kind of a crazy thing to do, warmth be damned

 

Brrrrr! Then it was over. About 30 seconds later, it was all over for most folks. They had proven something this day while dripping wet and with a slight blue tinge to their skin. Actions quickly turned to finding something warm to wear and something hot to drink as their legs felt as if they were on fire.

 

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(Then it is over and there is quick dash to get out and find something to warm your body)

 

The Polar Bear Plunge along the northern Jersey Shore is quickly becoming a beloved New Year's Day tradition in Monmouth County.  It has become one of the most popular ways to start the new year.  The uniqueness of this event, unlike many others, is that it involves being outdoors, in clean water, with many people of all genders, age groups, income levels, and every demographic area of the region all coming together, with one goal in mind, - a craving for cold-water swimming and a chance to find people just as crazy as you are.