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Update on the driver whose female passenger from Howell was ejected in a horrific car accident in Belmar on Easter and more Monmouth and Ocean County news from Townsquare Media.

Monmouth County Authorities have accused Edwin Martinez of Camden of driving recklessly and under the influence of alcohol in a crash that claimed the life of a female passenger in Belmar on Easter. Authorities say the 22-year old drove off at a high rate of speed after an altercation outside a bar. Authorities say he ran a red light, collided with a vehicle and his 26-year old passenger was ejected from his car. The Howell resident, Tiffany Soto, was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Authorities say a highly intoxicated Brick woman beat her grandmother in the township home they shared. Katherine Schubert was charged with aggravated assault Sunday. Mary Francis Driscol suffered multiple injuries, including bleeding to her brain.

Remember that Pit Bull found bleeding on Rt. 9 in Burlington County in March? It was an Ocean County family’s pet, and now 3 members are accused of shooting the dog. State Police have charged Anthony Sammarco of Barnegat, his son and the son’s girlfriend and say more counts are pending.

A Neptune 23-year old might wind up in prison for life for the 2012 armed robbery rampage that terrorized 5 shore towns in 24 hours and left a cab driver shot. Quam Wilson has pleaded guilty. He has a September sentencing date.

The fire that damaged several businesses in downtown Toms River, including the charity Hometown Heroes, started accidentally, likely from failed electrical equipment. Fire officials say the blaze began above the drop ceiling in the back of the East Coast Gamers store on Robbins Street. Neighboring Capone’s restaurant has reopened.

A major road that was damaged by Superstorm Sandy will be ready for the Memorial Day holiday weekend. Transportation officials say that all of Rt. 35 along the 12-and-a-half mile stretch of the highway will be halted beginning Thursday and will not resume until after Labor Day. Work on other sections will be suspended beginning on June 13th. Reconstruction along side streets in some towns will continue through the summer. Utility crews who don’t work for the DOT may be replacing poles or gas lines.

The state has awarded a $24 million contract to build a 4 mile protective steel wall along the ocean in Brick and Mantoloking. Construction is expected to begin next month and be completed within 6 months.

Joseph Veni has stepped down from the Brick Township Municipal Utilities Authority 2 weeks after being fired as an engineering consultant for Ocean County for allegedly sending explicit emails from a work account. His resignation letter was accepted last night.

A shoplifting suspect is caught by Brick police hiding in a dumpster at a construction site in woods off Cedarbridge Avenue. Cops from Brick and Lakewood searched for 45 minutes for the suspect yesterday afternoon, who also was wanted on other warrants.

Marlboro teen Aidan Benavides, who stood up to intimidation in school and founded the Aidan’s Voice nonprofit, leads Friday’s Teen Truth Anti-Bullying Rally at Six Flags Great Adventure. Also attending will be Miss Teen NJ Alexandra Marschall of Jackson.

Out of all the homes with a mortgage in our state, nearly 20% are considered ‘seriously underwater’ financially. More than 241,000 NJ properties get that distinction, meaning the homeowner owes at least 25% more than the property’s estimated market value. Our state’s numbers are above the national average. On the flip side, 18% of NJ properties are considered equity rich, with owners having at least 50% equity in their homes.

One of the most popular selling plants is becoming harder to find in our area. Downy mildew is to blame for ruining the supply of colorful Impatiens that so many love to plant. The devastating soil-born disease has made its way up from the south. But there is a ray of hope. The Sun Impatiens and regular New Guinea impatiens are resistant to the disease.

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