RED BANK: FORTUNE TO HONOR PARKERS

Fortune Center Executive Director Gilda Rogers in the newly designated Parker Family Legacy Room. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

A new, permanent exhibit opening this month at the T. Thomas Fortune Cultural Center in Red Bank pays tribute to three African-American men of medicine who played vital roles in the community.

The unveiling also marks another milestone for the three-year-old center, housed in the onetime home of an influential journalist and civil rights advocate.

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RED BANK: POLICE ACCOUNT DISPUTED

By JOHN T. WARD

Collectible toy dealer Robert Bruce was not living in the storage unit where he was found dead Friday, as reported by police and the media, family members contend.

The owner of the storage facility supported the family’s contention.

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RED BANK: MAN FOUND DEAD IN STORAGE UNIT

Robert Bruce on Broad Street during taping of the ‘Comic Book Men’ series in 2014. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

A Red Bank man was found dead in a storage facility Friday evening, police said.

Robert Bruce was known to fans of the Kevin Smith reality show ‘Comic Book Men‘ as a dealer of rare toys and other pop culture artifacts.

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RED BANK: FORTUNE TO HOST VIEWING PARTY

Press release by the the T. Thomas Fortune Cultural Center

On January 24, 2022, HBO Max will start streaming a new series,“The Gilded
Age.” The show will feature the character of T. Thomas Fortune, played by actor Sullivan Jones.

It takes place in New York in 1882 during the American Gilded Age, a time of economic change and conflict between the old world and the new world.

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RED BANK: PHOTO CONTEST WINNERS

James Donachy’s black-and-white image of the Red Bank train station was the overall winner in the second annual ‘Red Bank Always Beautiful Photo Contest,’ the borough library announced Tuesday.

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RED BANK: GRANT BOOSTS LIBRARY WIFI

Scenes from the recent installation of enhanced wifi at the library. (Click to enlarge.)

Press release from the Red Bank Public Library

The Red Bank Public Library has been selected as one of 27 libraries and was recently awarded $10,000 of grant funding by The NJ State Library to
support the CARES ACT Mini-Grant for Public Libraries.

The grant award supplemented the cost of an improved WiFi system that is now strong enough to provide service to anyone on the library grounds, inside or outside the building.

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RED BANK: KEEPING FORTUNE’S VOICE ALIVE

Suubi Mondesir with Fortune Foundation co-chair Gilda Rogers last month. Below, Mondesir, second from right, on a 2016 tour of the Fortune house led by builder Roger Mumford. (Photos by Chris Ern, above, and John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By CHRIS ERN

In the summer of 2016, Suubi Mondesir was a rising junior at Red Bank Regional High School when she participated in a tour of a crumbling Red Bank house.

At the time, preservationists envisioned the building on Drs. James Parker Boulevard as a cultural center in honor of its onetime owner, the civil rights journalist T. Thomas Fortune, and Mondesir was present as a participant in the Hugh N. Boyd Journalism Diversity Workshop at Rutgers University.

Flash forward to 2021: The house has been fully restored as the T. Thomas Fortune Cultural Center, and Suubi (pronounced SOO-vee) manages its media outreach efforts as an intern. But it’s not just a job. Her work at the center aligns with a personal passion for social justice, inspired by Fortune’s work in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, she told redbankgreen in an interview last month.

“What he did is what I am hoping to do as well: to inspire people with my writing, and to speak truth to power,” Mondesir said.

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LITTLE SILVER: O’SCANLON DEMANDS APOLOGY

State Senator Declan O’Scanlon in Red Bank in May. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03New Jersey state Senator Declan O’Scanlon accused Twitter of “Orwellian” behavior after the social media giant banned him over a three-week-old tweet Saturday.

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RED BANK: FOOD WRITER SUSAN ERICSON DIES

Susan Ericson, notepad in hand, at New Corner Pizza in Red Bank in 2014. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Food writer Susan Ericson of Red Bank died Friday at home under hospice care after a lengthy illness. She was 66 years old.

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RED BANK: LIBRARY REOPENS, WITH LIMITS

Make an appointment, show up and ring the doorbell for admission. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

Easing its way out of the pandemic of 2020-2021, the Red Bank Public Library began allowing visitors into the West Front Street institution for the first time in more than a year Monday.

The new reality, however, requires appointments, masks, limits on usage and self-checkouts, among other limitations.

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SANDY HOOK: SPRINGSTEEN BUSTED FOR DWI

Bruce Springsteen outside the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank in 2014. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njCould Bruce Springsteen be in need of a presidential pardon soon?

The rock star was arrested for DWI and other charges at Sandy Hook in November, federal officials confirmed Wednesday.

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RED BANK: JOURNALIST JOHN F. BURTON DIES

John F. Burton at the Red Bank Mayor’s Ball in 2015. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

John F. Burton, a longtime chronicler of Red Bank-area people, government and more, died Sunday.

The senior reporter for the weekly Two River Times had battled illness for the past three years.

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RED BANK: RAPES UP, OVERALL CRIME DOWN

An increase in violent crime in 2020 mirrors a national trend, said Chief Darren McConnell. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank’s crime rates continued a long trend of gradual decline in 2020, police Chief Darren McConnell tells redbankgreen.

One glaring exception: an increase in reported rapes.

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PUBLISHER’S NOTE

hot topicDear redbankgreen reader:

You are no doubt aware that the local-news industry is collapsing, and understand what that might mean for the future of an informed public and for democracy itself.

And yet, redbankgreen has somehow managed to provide original and intensely local coverage of the Red Bank area for 14 years, at no charge.

Yeah, so how’s that work?

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RED BANK: LIBRARY HOSTS PHOTO CONTEST

Among the entries in the Red Bank Public Library’s “Red Bank: Always Beautiful” photo contest is this one, titled “Empty Bleachers,” taken at Count Basie Fields by an unidentified photographer.

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RED BANK: LIBRARY PLANS PUBLIC SURVEY

The library, which opened in the onetime home of manufacturer Sigmund Eisner in 1937, is now looking ahead to 2026. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

The Red Bank Public Library plans to solicit public input as it develops a new five-year strategic plan, its board of trustees announced Thursday. Read More »

RED BANK: CRIME RATE DROPPED IN 2019

red bank darren mcconnellFor the sixth straight year, no Red Bank police officer was found to have used unwarranted force in 2019, said Chief Darren McConnell. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

red bank policeRed Bank’s crime rate saw a sharp drop in 2019, police Chief Darren McConnell tells redbankgreen.

In addition, incidents in which officers used some degree of force in dealing with the public were at an “all-time low,” and none were found unwarranted, he said.

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RED BANK: ALTERNATE-SIDE PLAN REVISED

red bank spring street parkingBorough officials say streets with one-side-only parking, including Spring Street, above, will allow parking on the other side during street sweeping.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njAfter a number of complaints were raised, a proposed alternate-side parking ordinance for Red Bank will be revised to make the system monthly rather than weekly.

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RED BANK: FORTUNE CULTURAL CENTER OPENS

red bank fortune house Dozens of supporters gathered on the front lawn for the opening of the T. Thomas Fortune Cultural Center. Below, a view of the ceremony from inside the restored house. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

red bank fortune houseMore than a century after the departure of its most famous resident, the T. Thomas Fortune House in Red Bank reopened Thursday as a cultural center dedicated to his mission of advancing civil and human rights.

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