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Week in News: Island Heights Loses a Soldier in Afghanistan

News from our neighbors that you may have missed.

Marine Killed In Afghanistan Left Behind Wife, Three Children

Manchester - Christopher M. Monahan's last tour of duty in the Middle East was his third deployment away from his wife and three small children.

The young man joined the U.S. Marines after he graduated from Central Regional High School in 2006. He lived most of his life in Ocean Gate, but had moved to Island Heights before his deployment, according to his obituary from Anderson and Campbell Funeral Home in Toms River.

Read more on Manchester Patch.

Missing Autistic Teen Found Safe in Texas

Ocean City - The Ocean City Police Department announced Monday morning that Natalie Woollerton has been found safe and healthy in Mesquite, Texas.

Woollerton was found by a Texas police officer who was investigating a suspicious vehicle and was able to identify it as the one taken by Woollerton when she left Ocean City on Nov. 28. She was found at 3:30 a.m. Monday.

Read more on Ocean City Patch.

What Will Rebuilt Belmar Boardwalk Look Like?

Belmar - The Belmar boardwalk will upgrade its ability to weather major storms, but otherwise the borough is planning to rebuild its major tourism destination very similar to its pre-Sandy look.

Destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, the Belmar boardwalk will be rebuilt in a $20 million project that will use current codes — an upgrade from the 1970s-90s building codes when pilings were 12 feet. The new boardwalk will be built with 25 foot pilings and be banded underneath with hurricane straps, but will otherwise be the same length, width and height.

Read and see more on Manasquan-Belmar Patch.

Travelers Hope To Save Ortley Beach From Sandy

Manchester - Craig Sternage and Sharon, his "significant other," had wanted to visit and help with the recovery efforts following Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

But the Washington state natives couldn't get away from work, and spend countless hours to help save the Louisiana area that was swallowed by the devastating storm.

Now semi-retired, it was time. Only New Jersey - specifically Toms River, and its maligned Ortley Beach section in the aftermath of Sandy - would provide the setting, as well as the moment of opportunity.

Read more on Manchester Patch.

R-FH Student's Sandy Video Inspires 'Train' Appearance at Sea Bright Event

Rumson - It's a hometown, home-spun story that all started with a documentary diary video of Hurricane Sandy through the eyes of Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School student Charlotte Nagy.

The teen decided to start filming her narrative thoughts and observations of the superstorm and its foreboding threats on her Rumson hometown and neighboring Sea Bright before, during and after the storm.

The video, posted on YouTube, quickly caught the attention of people near and far, many of whom have strong ties to the area. One of those people was the band Train's lead singer, Pat Monahan.

Read more on Rumson-Fair Haven Patch.

Ellen Helps Another New Jersey Family

Point Pleasant - The Ellen DeGeneres Show just donated a new Chrysler convertible to a Point Borough family whose home and cars were flooded by Superstorm Sandy.

Scott, Kathy, Megan and Madison Emery, who live on Christine Court, cannot live in their home yet because it was so severely flooded.

Kathy Emery, a hairdresser, wrote to the Ellen show about how her family's home and two cars were flooded.

Read more on Point Pleasant Patch.

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