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Monmouth County News Briefs, July 27

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The Monmouth County Park System has announced upcoming artist talks for its current art exhibit Summer Nights. Held in the “Gallery” at the Thompson Park Creative Arts Center, Lincroft, these talks feature several participating artists discussing their creative process and favorite inspirations.

The first talk will be held from 1-4 p.m. Aug. 10 and features artists Ann Marie Fitzsimmons, Padma Aleti and Marie Maber. An additional talk is planned from 12:30-3:30 p.m. Aug. 17 with artists Joe Valencia, Laura Mandile and Konstantin Zingerman, according to a press release.

Featuring a selection of traditional and non-traditional art mediums inspired by the long days and short nights of the summer, the Summer Nights exhibit runs through Aug. 20. Exhibit hours are noon to 4 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday. Admission and parking for the artist talks and the exhibit are free.

To learn more about these talks, the Summer Nights exhibit, or the Thompson Park Creative Arts Center, visit www.MonmouthCountyParks.com or call 732-842-4000. For persons with hearing impairment, the park system TTY/TDD number is 711.

 

The Monmouth County Board of County Commissioners is reminding residents there are mental health services available through the Monmouth County Department of Human Services.

“With the 988 National Suicide Prevention Hotline launching nationwide, we want residents to remember Monmouth County stands ready to help anyone who may need assistance coping with a mental health issue or emergency,” Commissioner Director Thomas A. Arnone said.

According to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 988 has been designated as the new three-digit dialing code that will route callers to trained counselors who will listen, understand how the caller’s problems are affecting them, provide support and connect them to resources if necessary.

The current Lifeline phone number (1-800-273-8255) will remain available to people in emotional distress or suicidal crisis, even after 988 is launched nationally, according to a press release from the county.

“Monmouth County is proud to offer mental health resources and services through our Stigma Free program, which is a county-wide initiative that aims to reduce or eliminate any negative beliefs or stereotypes associated with mental illness and substance use disorders,” said Commissioner Deputy Director Susan M. Kiley. “Anyone who would like to learn more is strongly encouraged to visit our website, stigmafree-monmouth.org.”

Officials said there are resources available through community-based organizations to help those in need of mental health services or related services. An individual who is in need of immediate access to mental health counselors may dial 988 to be connected to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. If there is an emergency, dial 911.

 

A Manalapan man has admitted using online chat applications to entice an adolescent to engage in prohibited sexual activity, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced on July 18.

Angelo N. Curato, 30, pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Judge Brian Martinotti to a superseding information charging him with one count of online enticement of a minor, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

According to documents filed in the case and statements made in court, from February 2017 through June 2017, Curato used online chat applications to misrepresent his identity and entice or coerce an adolescent to engage in prohibited sexual activity, knowing the adolescent was under the age of 18.

The online enticement charge carries a maximum penalty of life in prison, a mandatory minimum prison term of 10 years and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 29, according to the press release.

 

Seven community-minded professionals from central New Jersey have joined the YMCA of Greater Monmouth County’s board of directors.

The 45-member board of volunteers guides the nonprofit organization’s strategic direction, sets policy and raises philanthropic support to strengthen community by connecting all people to their potential, purpose and each other, according to a press release.

“We are thrilled to expand our board of directors with community leaders who bring a diverse set of skills, experiences and perspectives to support the Y’s mission to serve all,” said Chief Volunteer Officer Ted Nappi, who oversees the board of directors.

The new board members, elected to three-year terms, are:

• Annamarie Cutroneo, vice president of operations and support services at Jersey Shore University Medical Center, and a resident of Matawan;

• Natasha Davis of Tinton Falls, lead consultant at Davis Synaptic Solutions, LLC, and a public health advocate;

• Susan Harbison of Fair Haven, a retired special education teacher and former member of the Fair Haven and Rumson-Fair Haven boards of education;

• Molly Kroon, a nonprofit communications and marketing consultant and former news reporter, who resides in Rumson;

• Loryn Lawson, senior counsel with Byrnes, O’Hern & Heugle and a resident of Tinton Falls;

• Pamela Scott-Johnson, Ph.D., provost, and senior vice president of academic affairs at Monmouth University. She lives in Long Branch;

• Jennifer Phillips Smith of Matawan, an attorney with Gibbons Law specializing in redevelopment, land use and regulations.

“As our Y moves forward with our vision for a healthy, unified community where all people reach their fullest potential, I could not be happier to welcome our newest distinguished board members,” said Y President and CEO Laurie Goganzer.

 

The New Jersey Department of Education has released the 2022 Taxpayers’ Guide to Education Spending to help interested individuals learn more about the spending practices of school districts across the state.

For the 2021-22 school year, the average Budgetary Cost Per Pupil was $18,208. This represents the state average for districts that serve students in preschool through grade 12, charter schools, county vocational school districts, and county special services school districts, according to a press release.

The Budgetary Cost Per Pupil calculation excludes costs that are not directly comparable from district to district, such as transportation, payments on school construction debt and tuition for out-of-district programs. The 2021-22 budgeted amount is an increase of $1,385 (8.2%) over districts’ average actual spending from the prior year.

The Budgetary Cost Per Pupil matches the advertised per pupil costs provided to the public in each school district’s user friendly budget, according to the press release.

The Taxpayers’ Guide to Education Spending also provides a measure of “Total Spending Per Pupil,” which includes the budgetary costs, plus all other district expenditures, including tuition payments for students sent out of district, lunch programs covered by student fees, transportation for public and non-public students, and pension payments made by the state on behalf of school districts.

The latest available Total Spending Per Pupil, which is for the 2020-21 school year, is $24,543, an increase of $1,618 (7.1%) from the prior year, according to the press release.

The Taxpayers’ Guide to Education Spending reports can be found at https://www.nj.gov/education/guide/

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