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The sun reflects on the Delaware and Raritan Canal in South Brunswick on Jan. 3.

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Simple note has made the holidays brighter

I feel this is a very apropos story for this time of year to remind people that there is still kindness and thoughtfulness to be found in the simplest of gestures.

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CILU volunteers working to educate about issues

Citizens for Informed Land Use (CILU) has worked diligently for more than 18 years to inform Holmdel residents of issues affecting land use and our natural resources, motivated by the desire to preserve the semi-rural nature of our town while protect our watershed and air.

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Vietnam veterans continue to educate public

The year 2015 marked the 20th anniversary of the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial, which pays tribute to the 1,563 New Jerseyans who did not return home from the Vietnam War. The memorial is on the grounds of the PNC Bank Arts Center at Exit 116 on the Garden State Parkway in Holmdel. The year 2015 also marked 49 years since I first landed in Vietnam after being drafted by the U.S.

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Library has programs for children in January

The Middletown Township Public Library is offering programs for children during January at 55 New Monmouth Road. Registration is required for each program unless otherwise noted.

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Meridian expands system

By KAYLA J. MARSH Staff Writer

Meridian Health and Raritan Bay Medical Center have completed a merger that will expand the population the health networks serve, while enhancing residents’ access to critical care and services.

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Monmouth County Parks System birding program set to begin January

Not an expert, but think birding might be fun? Then join the Monmouth County Park System for its free nature program, “The Casual Birder,” on select Thursdays, beginning Jan. 7.

The program is for children age 8 and up and adults. Join a Park System naturalist and meander through local parks looking for birds. The program will begin at 9 a.m. at the following locations.

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College’s radio station earns top award

LINCROFT — For the 15th year in a row, Brookdale Public Radio 90.5 The Night has been recognized for its continued support of live, local music.

On Dec. 17, the member-supported radio station was named “Top Radio Station in Support of Live Music” during the annual Asbury Music Awards at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park.

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Mild winter affects business, recreation

By KAYLA J. MARSH Staff Writer

The unseasonably warmer weather this winter has had both positive and negative impacts on many industries and individuals throughout New Jersey.

A typical Garden State winter, infamous for snow, ice and frigid temperatures, offers the pleasures of outdoor activities such as skiing, ice skating, sleigh riding and snowboarding.

But not yet this winter.

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Unequal DUI laws

Q: My nephew has been picked up for driving impaired at least four times. Very little in the way of punishment ever happens. And still he drives. In my part of the country, he would have lost his license years ago, and probably would have done time. He lives in Pennsylvania.

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Automakers accelerating on auto-braking

By Jim Gorzelany CTW Features

Perhaps as the first step toward driverless cars, expect advanced safety systems that can help drivers avoid, or at least lessen the effects of a crash to become widespread in the not-too-distant future.

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Things to consider before downsizing your home

The decision to downsize a home is often bittersweet. Many couples who downsize their homes do so after raising a family. A home might be filled with memories, but downsizing a home helps couples save more money, and that financial flexibility often allows men and women to more fully enjoy their retirement.

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Firm advice: Consider both agent and brokerage

If you’re thinking of buying or selling, chances are you’ll select your real estate agent based upon a name referred from a friend, neighbor or relative.

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SPORT SHORTS

The Monmouth County Park System is keeping several of its golf courses open for play this winter: Bel-Aire Golf Course in Wall, Charleston Springs Golf Course in Millstone and Shark River Golf Course in Neptune. Golfers will enjoy reduced rates at these courses starting Jan. 1.

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Eagles’ girls look to build off last year’s state hoops title

By WAYNE WITKOWSKI Correspondent

Middletown High School South’s girls’ basketball team has picked up where it left off with four starters back from its NJSIAA Group III championship team (26-6), rolling convincingly past its first four opponents and holding two of them under 20 points.

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Mission Belief is NJ’s Horse of the Year

Trotting filly Mission Brief has been named the winner of the Secretary of Agriculture’s Trophy as New Jersey Standardbred of the Year for 2015.

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Raritan’s wrestling team relying on balanced lineup

By MATTHEW ROCCO Correspondent

Despite having some big shoes to fill on its roster, the Raritan High School wrestling team is primed to remain a postseason favorite this season.

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Merli Invitational

Middletown High School North’s Tyler Downing won the boys pole vault at the Merli Invitational held at the John Bennett Indoor Athletic Complex in Toms River on Dec. 26. He scaled 10-6 to win the competition.

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Race, ride and party into 2016

iPlay America rings in the New Year with a blast during the Fifth annual New Year’s Eve Bash from 7:30 p.m.-1 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 31.

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Shrewsbury Chorale welcomes conductor

Do you like to sing? The Shrewsbury Chorale invites all interested local singers to participate in open rehearsals on January 5 and 12 from 7:45-10 p.m. The group practices weekly on Tuesday evenings at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Monmouth County, 1475 W. Front S., Lincroft. Scores will be provided and there is no charge.

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