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Here’s today’s news for Monmouth and Ocean Counties.

Two adults, three children and a dog are homeless after flames destroyed thier Howell home on Thoroughbred Drive yesterday afternoon. No one was injured. Fire officials say the blaze was sparked when a mulch bed and bushes in the landscaping ignited and spread up the side of the home.

Sandy victims in Monmouth and Ocean Counties still struggling with the stresses from the storm will be able to get behavioral health screenings. A $4 million state initiative is providing funding to community health centers and hospitals to offer the programs.

Public and private schools would be prevented from operating in most residential neighborhoods in Brick under a measure up for a final vote by the town council tomorrow night. The stricter limits come as Jackson continues debating whether to allow a private all-girls Jewish Orthodox school to be built in a neighborhood.

Police from neighboring towns were called in to help Asbury Park cops break up a large fight Saturday night on Springwood Avenue. Authorities say several people were arrested.

A brush fire in Brick isĀ under investigation. Authorities say a marsh blaze on Jordan Road yesterday in Brick scorched about 20 acres, caused partial evacuations and traffic detours.

A Lakewood homeless advocate will try to convince the township to start a pilot program offering transitional housing. Tom O’Mally, a former Old Bridge councilman, will be at the Lakeood library on Wednesday to explain the concept of micro housing. He wants to test 15 of the small, single occupant units. He says the units are better than someone sleeping in a tent.

A one-car crash in Upper Freehold claimed the life of a man last night. Authorities say the unidentified driver hit a tree on Eldridge Road shortly before 5:30 pm.

Reports say that one person was shot in Asbury Park last night. Further details are pending.

Middletown is considering a measure requiring reality show film crews to get permits. Officials say they want to minimize aggravation for residents following an increase in reality home-imporvement shows since Hurricane Sandy. The town is also the location for Jersey Shore star Mike Sorrentino’s reality show titled “The Situation”.

The owner of Rocky the bobcat must prove he is not a purebred in order for the pet to be allowed to return to his Ocean County home. A municipal court judge on Friday ordered the animal to remain at the Popcorn Park Zoo in Lacey until blood tests determine his makeup.



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