Let me be the 500th person and maybe the last to wish you a Happy New Year as this is the first Hometown View of 2014.  

Senior guard KaShaun Barnes earned WOBM Christmas Classic MVP honors with a team-high 20 points in the championship game. (Cliff Lavelle)

I was, as most of you know, tied up with the WOBM Christmas Classic and then took a few days off to try and re-charge the battery.  As a postscript to our 30th annual high school basketball tournament I was especially happy for the Manchester Township boy’s team which won the title for the first time ever and did so in very impressive fashion.

Manchester has been in the WOBM Classic since the beginning and their joy at winning was evident afterwards as they celebrated on the court with family and friends for nearly a half an hour.  The championship provided some much-needed good news for a school that had just learned of the sudden and unexpected death of a popular teacher the day before.

Congrats again to coach Ryan Ramsay and the Hawks and the same for Manasquan’s Lisa Kukoda who guided her team to the girl’s title.  A final thank you to our sponsors, especially Barnabas Health and the incredibly hard-working team that put in 7 long days during what was for many their holiday break.  Without people like Joe Arminio, Paul Barnoski, Ed Sarluca, Jim Hibbs and Bob Czarniewski we could not pull it off.

What a shocker to walk outside this morning at 3:15 and be greeted by 55 degree temperatures.  Enjoy it while you can because the deep freeze is coming.

Speaking of which, you have to marvel at how the 49ers and Packers handled the frigid conditions in Green Bay Sunday.  Think of how we will bundle up tomorrow and still express our displeasure with the cold and yet football players performed at high levels in below zero wind chills with many not wearing gloves or shirt-sleeves.  Maybe they are overpaid but how many of you would have wanted to change places yesterday?

Craig Korb on the cover of the January, 2014 edition of Gardener News (Gardener News)

Congratulations to Craig Korb, the executive chef at the Crab’s Claw Inn of Lavallette who was recently named the Gardener News “Person of the Year.”  The Point Pleasant resident was honored for his use of locally produced items, including Jersey Fresh produce which he picks himself at farmer’s markets and local farms.

Korb, who is also featured in the 2014 New Jersey Agriculture magazine, was also saluted along with the Crab’s Claw for their annual fall Jersey Fresh dinner which highlights not only produce but local seafood and wine.

Manchester Wins WOBM Christmas Classic--Highlights from Bob Migliaccio on Vimeo.