Youngster shows strength in battle against cancer

By CHRISTINE BARCIA Staff Writer Gracie West, a seventh-grader at the Barkalow Middle School, Freehold Township, has been battling cancer for two years and recent scans showed no evidence of the disease. In December 2014, Gracie traveled to Rome and received a blessing from Pope Francis. CHRISTINE BARCIA/STAFF Gracie West literally jumped for joy with …

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The Force was strong at the Plumsted Library in Plumsted Township, Ocean County, on Dec. 16 when a celebration of all things “Star Wars” was held in conjunction with the opening of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER ERIC SUCAR

Long Branch to renovate police officer memorial

By KENNY WALTER Staff Writer A memorial commemorating Long Branch Police Officers fallen on duty is expected to get a makeover. Jason Roebuck, Long Branch director of Public Safety, said during the Dec. 22 City Council’s workshop meeting, an outside group has proposed restoning and incorporating granite in the memorial that is currently sitting outside …

New year offers opportunity to organize

By CHRISTINE BARCIA Staff Writer Mise en place is a French culinary term that means “putting in place.” For chefs, having ingredients prepared and arranged before the cooking process begins allows for greater organization and efficiency in executing a recipe. Applying that concept in everyday life can bring that same organization to almost any task. …

Long Branch beachfront proposal will be revised

Developers of a 47-unit condominium complex in Long Branch presented plans to slightly modify the development, which was approved last year. James Monteforte, the architect representing FEM Real Estate, said during the City Council’s Dec. 22 workshop meeting, the developer will reconfigure the outdoor balconies in an effort to expand the size of the units, …

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Greater Media Newspapers held a holiday food drive in the Manalapan office from Dec. 9-21. Donations were brought to the Food Bank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties in Neptune. PHOTOS BY KATHY McBAIN/STAFF

Cancer care center rising in Middletown

By KAYLA J. MARSH Staff Writer Residents of Monmouth County will soon have easier access to cuttingedge cancer care, treatments and medicines when Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) Cancer Center opens a new 304,000-square-foot outpatient treatment facility in Middletown in December 2016. “Construction at the site is currently underway,” said Richard Barakat, deputy physician-in-chief for MSK …