News from Ocean and Monmouth Counties and around New Jersey.

NJ food stamps, SNAP

TOMS RIVER - Ocean County see's a significant spike in food stamp request. Social Service Board Director Mary Fran McFadden says about 200 applications are being processed each week. The increase is attributed to the shaky economy and changes in state and federal eligibility requirements. They're asking residents who are considering applying for food stamps to begin the work on line at the state Department of Human Services web site.

MANCHESTER - An estimated $9000 in cocaine is seized along with two arrests during an early morning raid in Toms River. Members of the Ocean County Prosecutors Office special operations group executed a search warrent at a Crescent Court residence a little after 6:30 Thursday. Officials say 5 ounces of cocaine and assorted drug paraphernalia were seized. Arrested were residents Santiago Kennedy and Alnique Terry after a month long probe.

TOMS RIVER - A 14-year-old boy remains in critical condition at Jersey Shore University Medical Center after being hit by a car in Toms River. Police say it happened yesterday evening on Chestnut Street. The driver of the vehicle's identity has not been released.

HIGHLANDS - Authorities call it a miracle. A woman in her mid 40's deliberately jumped off the Route 36 Highlands Bridge into the frigid waters below and survived. The 65-foot plunge happened Wednesday. She suffered injuries - none are life threatening. No word on why she did it.

TOMS RIVER - Ocean County's first official historian has died. Pauline Miller, best known for her books on the local area, died Wednesday at the age of 92. Miller wrote several books and even a documentary on Toms River. She also served on the state historic sites council for 20 years.

POINT PLEASANT - The Point Beach governing body has a new member. Reports say Stephen Reid, who lost his run for Mayor in this year's election. Has been named to replace resigning Councilman Jeffrey Dyer. The 47-year-old's interim term will expire next year.

OCEANPORT - The future of horse racing at Monmouth Park is in jeopardy. Negotiations to transfer ownership of the Jersey Shore track to private management have broken down. The dispute threatens to derail Governor Chris Christie's plan to privatize both Monmouth and the Meadowlands racetrack.

TOMS RIVER - Piles and piles of toys for children of active-duty soldiers serving overseas are filling up the Toms River Armory tomorrow. The gifts were donated by people in Colts Neck, Tinton Falls, Freehold Township and Borough, and six more towns in State Senator Jennifer Beck's 12th legislative district. Beck will deliver the toys this morning at 10.

EATONTOWN - Don't close it! That's what 12th district representatives are saying about the Eatontown Post Office. The facility could be one of the many that shut down due to a decline in people using the postal service. Senator Jennifer Beck and her Assembly team of Declan O' Scanlon and Caroline Casagrande introduced a resolution to urge congress to keep it open. A public hearing on the plan is set for December 15th at Monmouth Regional High School in Tinton Falls.

SOMERS POINT - Six arrest and the confiscation of cocaine and marijuana in Atlantic County. The Prosecutor's Office guns, gangs and narcotics unit launched the raids Thursday morning following a four month probe to crack down on drug dealing at the Somers Point Village apartments and the surrounding area. Arrested were Leroy and Samuel Harris, Robert Freeman, Alexis Suarez, Robert Payne and Barry Harris. All are being held in the Atlantic County Jail.

OAKHURST - A Saturday melee at the Oakhurst VFW is still under investigation while one brawler recovers from injuries. Ocean Township, Deal, Allenhurst and Long Branch Police were sent to break up the ruckus during a sweet-16 party. A female VFW worker was also attacked. Ocean Township police urge you to call them if you can help the probe.

ASBURY PARK - An Asbury Park man sought in connection with the theft of an iPod in Neptune City now also faces drug charges in Ocean Township. Police say they found heroin and marijuana in Bobby Murphy's SUV Saturday night after pulling him over for running a light on Route 35.


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