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A new tick-borne illness is sending people to the hospital in Ocean County. That story and more in today’s Monmouth and Ocean County news from Townsquare Media.

A man visiting from France drowned off the Jersey Shore. He was swimming with friends off Island Beach State Park when he began to struggle and disappeared under the waves. A fisherman found his body this past weekend.

Police have arrested a Camden man and charged him with sexually assaulting a girl on Keansburg Beach. The 15-year old’s relative called police after becoming concerned with her behavior. According to reports, police set up a perimeter and arrested 20-year old Victor Bennett after finding him in the parking lot of a condo complex. He is being held on $400,000 bail, charged with sexual assault, sexual contact, child endangerment and criminal restraint.

There’s a tick-borne illness popping up in Ocean County, and it’s not Lyme Disease. Health Department officials say they’ve already seen 7 confirmed cases of Babesiosis so far this season. The disease causes flu-like symptoms and can lead to hospitalization.

Ocean County Prosecutors are awaiting blood test results in connection to a car crash that injured 2 Pine Beach police officers Friday night. Investigators say 44-year old Jeffrey Carstens of Belmar may have been drunk when he crashed into a parked police car on Rt. 9, sending it into a second cruiser, which then struck an officer. Carstens has not yet been charged. Both of the injured officers were airlifted to the hospital and are recovering.

Monmouth County could be the first in our state to get designated lanes for bicyclists. The Fair Haven Mayor reportedly has proposed the idea to 11 Eastern Monmouth County towns to allow cyclists to travel safely from town to town.

A state assemblyman’s push to require video cameras in NJ police cars could be less than a month away from becoming law. Both chambers have overwhelmingly approved the measure, giving Governor Christie until August 11th to veto. The same bill fell to a pocket veto earlier this year.

Five NJ colleges are experimenting with an initiative to offer students college credit for showing what they’ve learned from their jobs and life experience. Backers of the move say students will have to take tests or prepare portfolios of their work but it will allow some to get credit without paying for some classes, which would cut their college bills.

Monmouth Beach officials say sand dredged from the Shrewsbury River will be used to help rebuild dunes damaged by Superstorm Sandy. The dredging operation is one of 3 federal projects set to start after Labor Day. Another, shared with Sea Bright, will use Sandy Aid funds to repair the sea wall.

Some Shore communities still recovering nearly two years after Sandy are encouraged by beach badge sales this summer. The Seaside Heights mayor says beach revenue is up about $650,000 — a huge boost from last year. He says while weekend events have been extremely strong, there’s tremendous room for improvement Monday through Friday. Seasonal beach badges are up considerably in Bay Head too, where the mayor says daily sales were slow until the Fourth of July.

The recent closing of several restaurants in Asbury Park is opening the doors for new ones to step in. Old Man Rafferty’s is being taken over by a new owner, a new French restaurant is coming to the downtown and Mogo, a Korean Fusian restaurant on the boardwalk, is moving downtown as well. All of this on the heels of Bistro Ole, Synaxis, The Kissing Booth and Ivan and Andy’s closing. Asbury’s Director of Economic Development also says beach revenues this season are up 45%.

Our state’s housing recovery is certainly moving at a slower pace than in other parts of the country. Many who want to sell their homes aren’t able to do so, and they’re basically stuck until conditions improve. The dilemma that faces many homeowners who’d like to sell and move, according to economic analysts, is that the price they’d have to offer to sell their home is too low, while the prices are too high on the homes they’d want to purchase. There was an almost 6% drop in NJ home listings during the first 4 months of this year compared to last.

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