Monmouth County News Briefs, Nov. 23

The award-winning The Monmouth Civic Chorus presents Joy to the World: Your Favorites from Handel’s Messiah and the RJB Holiday Suite on December 18 at 3pm at the Meridian Health Theatre, Count Basie Center for the Arts, 99 Monmouth St., Red Bank.

The show includes an annual performance of the suite by artistic director Dr. Ryan James Brandau. According to a press release, there will be selections from Handel’s Messiah and Bach’s Mass in B minor, along with holiday classics such as “Silent Night”, “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” and “Auld Lang Syne”.

The 80+ voice choir is accompanied by a full professional orchestra and guest soloist, soprano Claire Leyden.

Premium seating tickets are $50 for adults, $40 for seniors, $35 for groups (10 or more), $20 for students; and for regular seating, $35 for adults, $32 for seniors, $30 for groups, $15 for students.

All singers are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The Count Basie Center for the Arts no longer requires viewers to provide proof of vaccinations. Masking is encouraged but not required. Tickets and information are available at or 732-933-9333.

The Bruce Springsteen The Archives and Center for American Music at Monmouth University, in partnership with the Basie Center, are hosting “An Evening with David Sancious” on January 6th at The Vogel, Red Bank. Joining Sancious will be drummer Living Color and multi-Grammy winner Will Calhoun.

“We are proud to present David Sancious in a concert that marks the Springsteen Archives and Center for American Music’s first public program in 2023,” said Archives Director Eileen Chapman. “David’s contributions to the E Street Band in the early 1970s are well known and his recordings as a solo artist are highly regarded.”

Sancious was a founding member of the E Street Band, having participated in the recording of Springsteen’s first two albums, Greetings from Asbury Park, NJ and The Wild, the Innocent and the E Street Shuffle. According to a press release, his original, jazz-inspired keyboard work helped define Springsteen’s early sound.

“I’m very excited to be returning to the Jersey Shore,” said Sancious. “Playing under the Bruce Springsteen Archives and Center for American Music banner makes the show even more rewarding for me.”

Tickets are now available. Visit for ticket information

An English teacher at Red Bank Regional High School, Little Silver was accused of having a long-term sexual relationship with a former student that began while she was enrolled in the high school, acting Monmouth County Attorney Raymond S. Santiago said announced on November 14th.

Michael F. Canning, 41, of Long Branch, has been charged with second-degree sexual assault, second-degree child endangerment and fourth-degree criminal sexual contact, according to a news release from the Monmouth County Attorney’s Office.

An investigation involving members of the Monmouth County Attorney’s Office’s Special Victims Bureau and the Red Bank Police Department found that Canning’s alleged criminal behavior began in 2015, when the girl was a junior in high school, and according to the press release, extended until 2019.

During this time, Canning is said to have engaged in sexual acts with the girl on numerous occasions at locations in Red Bank, Little Silver and Shrewsbury.

Canning was arrested without incident in Oceanport on November 12 and initially taken to the Monmouth County Jail, Freehold Township. According to the press release, the matter is still under investigation.

The County of Monmouth The Board of County Commissioners has announced that a “Holiday Made in Monmouth” event will be held on December 10th from 11am to 4pm at the Robert J. Collins Arena on the campus of Brookdale Community College, Lincroft.

“Holiday Made in Monmouth is a one stop shop with a variety of vendors and products for everyone on your holiday shopping list,” said Commissioner Director Thomas A. Arnone. “This free event helps promote and support our small businesses and encourages attendees to shop locally in preparation for the holiday season.”

The event is free for vendors and visitors. All vendors attending the event manufacture their products in Monmouth County. According to a press release, more than 150 vendors will showcase a variety of jewelry, art, food and drink, accessories, home decor and more.

To learn more about the Made in Monmouth program and to view a directory of more than 200 vendors who have participated in program events, visit

The partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey (PDFNJ) is calling on fifth through eighth graders from New Jersey to enter the PDFNJ Middle School PSA Scriptwriting and Video Challenge for a chance to win $1,000 and have their video as a part of the peer to share via PDFNJ’s social media-to-peer substance use message.

According to a press release, PDFNJ middle school’s PSA challenge, supported by Bridges Network, seeks middle school students to create a 30-second public service announcement with a message about drug use prevention.

The premise of the challenge is based on the understanding that peer-to-peer messaging helps children deal better with peer pressure when it comes to substance abuse or abuse

Middle School PSA Challenge entries are accepted now through March 31st. Scoring is based on prevention message, peer-to-peer matching, and ability to produce a video. Winners will be announced in spring. For information on how to participate, go to

Governor Phil Murphy signed it Legislation (S-721) into law aiming to strengthen the state’s threat response infrastructure by improving security requirements for large venues.

According to a Nov. 14 news release from Murphy’s office, the legislation requires certain public venues and places of worship to submit contingency plans to law enforcement to prepare for mass casualty and active shooter events.

The bill would require sports and entertainment venues with more than 5,000 seats, movie theaters with more than 1,000 seats and places of worship with more than 500 seats to annually establish and maintain an emergency response plan in coordination with local fire departments, law enforcement and emergency response agencies, according to the press release .

The emergency response plan must be submitted to the chief law enforcement officer responsible for the community where the sports, entertainment, movie theater or place of worship is located, according to the press release.

“…It is clear that we must do everything in our power to protect our communities and our residents from the senseless gun violence that is ravaging our country,” Murphy said.

“The gun violence epidemic underscores the urgent need for state, local and community partners to work together to ensure the highest standards of public safety are maintained.

“This legislation will improve security requirements for public venues and places of worship in New Jersey so law enforcement is best prepared to deal with threats and respond to emergencies,” he said.

On November 15th the members of the New Jersey Fish and Game Council voted to approve emergency regulations to change the Game Code and adopt a new Comprehensive Black Bear Management Plan (CBBMP) to control the state’s black bear population and reduce the risk of dangerous bear-human encounters through regulated hunting to reduce and non-lethal management measures.

After the council vote, the commissioner for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection approved the new CBBMP and agreed with the council’s determination that a hunt in December is necessary to protect the safety of residents, according to a news release from Gov. Phil Murphy’s office.

Murphy subsequently agreed with the council’s finding and signed Executive Order No. 310, repealing an earlier executive order in 2018 that directed the commissioner to take action to protect black bears on state-owned lands.

Under Executive Order No. 310, the commissioner then revoked the DEP’s earlier administrative order, which, according to the press release, banned hunting of black bears on all state properties.

“The facts on the ground have shown that we cannot rely solely on non-lethal methods to protect residents from a growing black bear population,” Murphy said. “Today’s actions will facilitate the reintroduction of a regulated black bear hunt this year to help limit dangerous human-bear interactions to protect public safety.”

According to the press release, the measure was taken in response to an increase in the black bear population and a 237% increase in black bear incidents from January to October compared to the same period in 2021. These incidents include 62 aggressive encounters with people, 89 property damage and attacks on livestock and pets.


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