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RED BANK: BASIE ISSUES ARTS SCHOLARSHIPS

Press release from Count Basie Theatre

When the red carpet is rolled out for the 11th annual Basie Awards on May 18, the Count Basie Theatre will do more than issue its customary honors for excellence in area high school theater and performing arts. The ceremony will also be the setting for the awarding of four arts impact scholarships — the Moser-Taboada Arts Impact Scholarship, the Monmouth Medical Center – Barnabas Health Arts Impact Scholarship, the Monmouth County Freeholders’ Basie Scholarship for Continuing Education and the new Siciliano Landscape Company Arts Impact Scholarship. 

The Monmouth County Freeholders’ scholarship will be awarded to a student attending a New Jersey-based college in the fall — and Basie board members are urging all interested students to prepare their applications now.

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RED BANK: FOURTH MAN CHARGED IN SLAYING

jonelle melton 111915 1Photos of slain Red Bank teacher Jonelle Melton, as displayed at a prosecutor’s press conference in November. Below, a state Department of Corrections photo of suspect Jerry J. Spraulding. (Photo above by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

spraulding

A fourth suspect in the 2009 killing of a Red Bank Middle School teacher has been charged, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni said Friday.

Like the the three men charged in November, the latest suspect, Jerry J. Spraulding, 38, of Keansburg, was already in custody, Gramiccioni said in a prepared statement.

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RED BANK/MIDDLETOWN: BRIDGE TO NOWHERE

hubbard's bridge 121015hubbard 091615 1After serving as the “temporary” Hubbard’s Bridge on West Front Street between Red Bank and Middletown for 11 years, the modular structure had been completely dismantled Thursday. The span, seen during deconstruction in September above right, was replaced earlier this year by a new one at a cost of $21.9 million. 

Monmouth County officials have previously said the modular structure may be reassembled elsewhere. (Photos by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: TRIO CHARGED IN MELTON MURDER

MCPO 111915 3Middle School Principal Maria Iozzi, left, and teachers Wendy Turnock and Mary Wynan speak with former Superintendent Laura Morana, back to camera, following the prosecutor’s announcement Thursday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_02Three Asbury Park men have been indicted in the “heinous” murder of Jonelle Melton, a Red Bank Middle School teacher they killed after breaking into her Neptune apartment six years ago, Acting Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni said Thursday.

The three, who were already in custody on unrelated charges when they were indicted Wednesday, are alleged to have broken into Melton’s apartment by mistake after planning to burglarize another one in the Brighton Arms apartment complex, Gramiccioni said at a press conference in Freehold Thursday morning.

The news brought relief to school administrators and teachers who knew Melton.

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LINCROFT: CALLING ALL CREATIVES

art showPress release from Monmouth County Park System

Calling all artists!  From now through January 18, 2016, the Monmouth County Park System is accepting entries into its Creative Arts and Music Festival.  This juried art show and sale is open to artists of all mediums, and those interested in entering are invited to submit images for consideration.

The Festival will run from 11 am to 5 pm on Saturday and Sunday, April 30 and May 1, at Thompson Park in Lincroft.  Besides the art show and sale, the event will feature music and food.  Thompson Park is home to the Park System’s Creative Arts Center, which hosts a variety of fine arts and craft classes throughout the year including ceramics, pottery, jewelry and painting.

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RED BANK: MENNA WANTS OUT OF REVAL

menna 010114Mayor Pasquale Menna called the Press findings “disturbing” and “somewhat surreal.” (File photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_02

The Red Bank council took steps to put the borough’s switch to a new property assessment method on hold Wednesday night, two days after an Asbury Park Press investigation found questionable dealings in the Monmouth County program.

Mayor Pasquale Menna told a small audience at borough hall that the Press article raised “troubling” questions about “unholy alliances” at the county level in the creation of the Assessment Demonstration Program.

At the same time, the program “removes a lot of protections” for taxpayers who want to challenge their assessments, Menna said.

“It’s very disturbing,” Menna said at a council hearing, adding later in an interview with redbankgreen that the tangle of relationships uncovered by the Press was “somewhat surreal.”

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SEA BRIGHT, LINCROFT HAVE THEIR DAYS

thompsonYou never know who’ll be popping up this Sunday, when Thompson Park Day returns to the spacious park located just off Newman Springs Road.

Despite the best efforts of professional sports leagues and TV programmers to lure us all back into the great indoors, the extended season of fresh-air fun simply refuses to crawl into its burrow here on the Greater Red Bank Green. And this weekend promises two more all-ages events, designed to highlight civic pride and some wonderful natural assets in Sea Bright and Lincroft.

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RED BANK/MIDDLETOWN: BRIDGE DISMANTLED

hubbard 091515 2hubbard 091615 1Motorists and pedestrians crossing the new Hubbards Bridge on West Front Street between Red Bank and Middletown in recent days have been treated to an unusual sight: the piece-by-piece dismantling of the “temporary” bridge it replaced.

As part of the $21.9 million bridge project, the modular span, which was in place for 11 years, is to be removed by next spring for possible reassembly elsewhere, Monmouth County officials have said. (Photos by John T. Ward and Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)

MIDDLETOWN: WRITTEN ON THE WIND

windsurf 092212 5The county Park System invites one and all to a first-ever Wind and Sea Festival on Saturday…while windsurfers of all skill levels return once more to Sandy Hook Bay this Sunday, for the annual summer’s-end Windsurfing and Watersports Fun Day. 

The “warm Summer Wind” of Sinatra’s song may be giving way to the Autumn Wind “raider” of NFL Films fame…but here on the cusp of the season’s change, a hardy lot of recreationally minded neighbors are inviting people of all ages and skillsets to fill their sails and their seining nets for one more dip in local bayside waters.

This Saturday, September 19, the folks at the Monmouth County Park System have something new in store: a first-ever Wind and Sea Festival, hosted at Bayshore Waterfront Park (Port Monmouth Road at Wilson Avenue in Middletown Township) between the hours of 11 am to 5 pm. It’s a celebration of the Bayshore area’s natural assets and recreational opportunities that includes stand-up paddling, kayaking, seining, fishing, crabbing, kite flying, sand casting, shelling, nature walks and more — and for those who haven’t visited this renovated county facility (next to Monmouth Cove Marina, and incorporating the historic Seabrook-Wilson House as well as views of NYC), it’s a great way to get acquainted with a site whose beach, nature center and fishing pier have come alive with activity in the seasons since Superstorm Sandy. Admission and parking are free (although a select few activities will feature a fee), but please note that the main parking lot will be closed for the duration of the event, with parking available at the nearby Belford Ferry Terminal (10 Harbor Way in Belford), and free shuttle bus transportation running to and from the terminal lot and the park. Call (732)787-3033 for house tour info and other details.

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RED BANK: RESIDENCY AN ISSUE IN RACE

mike clancy 091215 1Red Bank school board candidate Mike Clancy. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03One of six candidates on the ballot in this year’s Red Bank Board of Education election apparently doesn’t belong there.

Mike Clancy acknowledged to redbankgreen that he hasn’t lived in town for a year, as required by law — and said he didn’t know he had to.

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HUBBARD’S BRIDGE REOPENS… MOSTLY

rb w front 082515HOT-TOPIC_03After a two-week closure that slowed traffic to a crawl, the new Hubbards Bridge on West Front Street between Red Bank and Middletown reopened to traffic Wednesday morning.

The closure was required to allow for reconstruction of the intersections on both ends of the spans the Red Bank side is shown above, as seen Tuesday afternoon.

The shutdown was also needed to permit crews to relocate overhead utilities running alongside the old bridge to underneath the new span. That work is still underway, and may require alternating traffic flows Wednesday and Thursday, Red Bank police Chief Darren McConnell tells redbankgreen(Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

LINCROFT: BCC PLANS NEW CAMPUS PATH

2015-LIBRARY_VIEW_shrunkPlanned upgrades for Brookdale’s Lincroft campus include new seating alcoves, landscaping and art installations, as pictured in this design rendering of the college’s Bankier Library. (Photos courtesy of Partner Engineering and Science) 

Press release from Brookdale Community College

Officials of Brookdale Community College have approved a $1,986,000 renovation project that will create a new “pedestrian thoroughfare” on the Lincroft campus.

The project, funded by the state and Monmouth County through the Chapter 12 capital improvement program, will transform the college’s existing rear walkway into the “Campus Gateway Path,” featuring decorative pavement, new landscaping, fencing, seating alcoves, art installations and ornamental lighting. The renovations will stretch from the Performing Arts Center on the north end of the Lincroft campus, to the Collins Arena on the south end. Improvements will also be made to the entrance and walkway of the Monmouth Museum, with all phases of the project expected to be completed by the end of 2015.

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SHREWSBURY: COUNTY NAMES LIBRARY CHIEF

2015_Library_Commission_w_Tolchin_&_Burry_AugustIn a meeting at the Monmouth County Library’s Eastern Branch in Shrewsbury, Judith Tolchin (third from left in front row) was named director of the library system by the members of the County Library Commission.

Press release from Monmouth County Library System

Judith Tolchin, Acting Director of the Monmouth County Library system since January, 2014 was appointed Library Director at the recent meeting of the County Library Commission, held at the Eastern Branch location in Shrewsbury.

Tolchin, who has been with the library system for 23 years, immediately outlined a vision and her plan of action and expectation for the coming years through a Powerpoint presentation, covering everything from the need and desire for facilities improvements to the headquarters in Manalapan, to grants, corporate sponsorships and other means to raise funds to supplement county taxes that finance the library system’s 13 branches and 14 member libraries.

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RED BANK: PROSECUTOR ‘CLOSING IN’ ON KILLER

jonelle3

A poster displayed at the middle school during a February, 2010 memorial event for murdered teacher Jonelle Melton.  (Photo by Dustin Racioppi. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

just_in1The Monmouth County Prosecutor says his office is “closing in on” the killer of Jonelle Melton, a Red Bank Middle School teacher murdered in her Neptune apartment almost six years ago.

In an unusual move, Acting Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni said in a statement released Monday afternoon that his office has “recently developed new leads that make us confident that those responsible for this senseless crime will be brought to justice,” and appealed to the public for help.

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RED BANK: HERE’S WHY YOU’RE STUCK, AGAIN

rb traffic 081215 4Traffic was heavy on Bridge Avenue and other roads surrounding Hubbard’s Bridge during Wednesday’s morning rush. Below, an unidentified worker carries a granite block, one of many such paving stones and old red bricks unearthed during the first day of work on the intersection on the Red Bank side of the span.  (Photo below by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rb hubbard 081215 5Message to motorists stuck in the somewhat-suddenly-worse-again traffic surrounding Hubbard’s Bridge between Middletown and Red Bank: think of the kids.

That’s one spin that officials put on a two-to-three-week closure of the span that was announced late last Friday and took effect Wednesday morning.

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