News from Ocean & Monmouth counties and around New Jersey.

TOMS RIVER - While former Toms River School Superintendent Mike Ritacco awaits trial on bribery and corruption charges, the school district is working to recoup some of the funds lost.  The Toms River Patch reports the district has filed a dishonesty policy insurance claim.  It was taken out to protect the district in the event of wrongdoings or thefts.  Terms and totals were not released.

LACEY - A large blaze damages four boats at the Ocean Beach Marina in Lacey Township.  Police confirm firefighters from Lanoka Harbor, Forked River and Bayville battled the early morning fire.  No one was injured. The boats were in dry dock for the winter.  The cause is under investigation.


ASBURY PARK - Asbury Park Police investigate another shooting in less than a week, this time near the city's middle school. A 19-year-old resident was shot and injured during an altercation on the 1200 block of Bangs Avenue at around 5 p.m. yesterday. Police say two people were arrested on obstruction charges. It follows the stray bullet shooting of an 11-year-old girl in her home Sunday on Monroe Avenue.

TOMS RIVER - Plans for a homeless shelter on the grounds of a Toms River church are being shelved. Leaders of the First Assembly Church Of God reportedly got a cool reception to the idea at a community forum that included homeowners beyond the mandatory 200-foot notification radius. It would have temporarily housed up to 50 men and women.

TRENTON - Stealing on the job, cheating on his taxes and scamming a federal agency nets a Manalapan man 18 months in prison. Eric Logiudice, 42, was sentenced in Trenton today for tax evasion and false statements following an earlier guilty plea. Logiudice admitted skipping $315,000 in tax payments on over $600,000 of income between 2006 and 2008, about a quarter of which he embezzled from the Union woodworking firm that employed him. It was there, said prosecutors, that Logiudice became general contractor for an Economic Revitalization Program in the City of Orange. With a city worker's help, he submitted fake payroll records to the Department of Housing and Urban Development amounting to more than $50,000.

RED BANK - Red Bank Police interrupt an armed home burglary in progress. Police say they arrested 25-year-old borough resident andrew Makuch early Saturday morning after observing him pointing a gun at a man inside a Hudson Avenue home. Makuch is charged with aggravated assault with a handgun, burglary with a firearm, unlawful possession of a weapon and possession of hollow point ammunition. He's in the Monmouth County Jail on $95,000 bail.

TOMS RIVER - That whooping cough advisory we told you about is developing some legs. Ocean County health officials report 14 cases, mostly in northern-end communities including Lakewood. The advisory committee on immunization practices recommends fighting the bacterial lung infection with a five-stage D-tap inoculation between two months and six years of age.


NEW BRUNSWICK - Flanked by consumer health advocates and parents in New Brunswick Wednesday, shore representative Frank Pallone (D) introduced the apple juice act of 2012. The bill requires the FDA to establish standards for arsenic and lead in fruit juices in two years. Pallone also calls on the FDA to take immediate action to avoid high levels of arsenic in baby formulas.

EATONTOWN - The Army is requesting nearly $10 million dollars in the fiscal year 2013 federal budget for the former ft. Monmouth property. Reports say, the money will go towards groundskeeping, building maintenance and security for the property that's still under army control. The final cost of closing the base now stands at $1.9 billion.

LANOKA HARBOR - A 33-year-old who lives in the borough faces charges of possessing and distributing kiddie porn. Federal investigators arrested Arthur Frazer, Jr., Wednesday. He's accused of e-mailing images of sexual assaults against children as young as four to eight months of age.

FREEHOLD - Monmouth County will be holding two public meetings about the possible replacement of the Rumson-Sea Bright Bridge over the Shrewsbury river. Reports say, both meetings take place monday February 27th. The first takes place at 1 p.m. at the Sea Bright Municipal Building. The second, starts at 6 pm. At the Rumson Municipal Building. Written comments can also be submitted until March 28th to the Monmouth County Division Of Engineering in Freehold.

STAFFORD - A Stafford home contractor heads for trial, suspected of fleecing victims for more than a million dollars. David Haugland was indicted for theft, money laundering and issuing bad checks. Investigators accuse Haugland of taking money from investors and trying to get a fraudulent loan for three Long Beach Island tracts that he didn't control or own.

RED BANK - A 36-year-old Red Bank mother of three is accused of disciplining her kids by attacking them. Imelda Paz is charged with aggravated assault and child endangerment for incidents involving her 13- and 10-year-old sons and her eight year old daughter dating back to 2007 in the borough and in Long Branch. Police cited one instance of tying one son in a plastic bag and tossing him down a flight of stairs. She's in the Monmouth County Jail.

JACKSON - Solar energy returns to the talking stages at the Jackson Board Of Ed. Reports say district officials are considering whether to rent school roof space to private solar contractors to cut energy costs that are projected at just under $4million next year. A $7million bond referendum stalled in the voting booths last year.

FREEHOLD - Officials here fail to derail T-Mobile's bid for a 120-foot cell tower on a residential lot on Robertsville Road. The New Jersey Supreme Court today denied the petition filed last October to overturn two lower court rulings that upheld the company's application. Zoning board members contended that the tower would have been outside zoning guidelines for the tract.