Prosecutor: 36-Year-Old Area Man Arrested on Child Sexual Exploitation Charge

A 36-year-old area man is facing a child sexual exploitation charge after he was found to be in possession of materials depicting the sexual abuse of minors, Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni said on Wednesday.

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Focus: Riverfront Sunny Side Leg Up

It’s always good to get a leg up on brighter days, especially when it involves a simple riverside adventure, a friendly hand from a childhood friend.

The picture says it all.

Soaking up the sun on the horizon is more than symbolic these days. Basking in it all at an iconic spot down by the Navesink River at Barnacle Bill’s in Rumson is, well, tradition. But it’s more poignant than ever as we begin to head out of pandemic darkness and into the light. Better weather ushers that better view into a fuzzy warm focus.

Looking to the bright side of spring …

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Retro RFH Baseball

Baseball at RFH in the 1970s Photo/George Day
Baseball at RFH in the 1970s
Photo/George Day

Play ball! Well, spring has arrived and RFH Baseball season is set to start soon — on April 9 with a home JV game at Meadow Ridge. Time will tell whether or not vaccines will hit COVID-19 out of the park, but the game is on and the RFH players are set for a home run season.

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Fair Haven: Missing Kayker’s Body Recovered

The search for a kayaker who went missing on the Navesink River in Fair Haven on Friday morning ended with the recovery of a 78-year-old man’s body that evening, Police Chief Joseph McGovern said in a released statement on Saturday morning.

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Retro ‘Oliver!’ Show Time at The Barn Theater

The Barn cast of Oliver! circa 1972
Photo/Jeff Blumenkrantz

“Consider yourself at home. Consider yourself one of the family. We’ve taken to you so strong …”

The line in the song from Oliver! captures the tenor of the actors’ bond in community theater. And it couldn’t be better encapsulated than in a photo of the cast of Oliver at the iconic Barn Theater in Rumson in 1972.

With the March 10 passing of Mark Hughes Jr., the snapshot is a reminder of the beginning of something big that lasted a lifetime … a family legacy of theater and togetherness. Playing together, staying together via the stage.

This show was a special one for the Hughes family. It was their first at The Barn. Mark Jr. played Mr. Brownlow. Nan was the Artful Dodger. The rest were somewhere on or off stage. It was a Hughes family affair. Can you spot the rest of the clan? And the connection lasted a lifetime and built a legacy.

“How he loved the Barn,” Nan said. He went on to play Mr. Darling (in Peter Pan) to Mimi’s Mrs. Darling (and Paul and Patrick as John and Michael Darling), Mark as a pirate and Nan as slightly soiled the island boy).

This “led to his using a Mr. Darling quote in our house occasionally ‘A little less noise, please! A little less noise.’

“It was also very funny to see this well dressed man (bow ties were his ‘casual look’) dress in a t-shirt and suspenders, waving a cigar in the role of the stage manager in Gypsy.”

Some in this Barn snapshot of the past by Jeff Blumenkrantz are gone. Anyone remember Billy Fansler, who also worked extensively as an actor and director with Monmouth Players? The rest are mostly still in touch, a living testament to the title song/credo in Annie Get Your Gun: “There’s No Business Like Show Business!”

So, let’s go on with the show of forging and keeping longtime bonds, on or off stage! Curtain up! Encore!

Prosecutor: 20-Year-Old Arrested on Attempted Murder Charges in Shooting

A 20-year-old man has been arrested and charged for his role in a shooting incident in Keansburg, Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni announced.

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Mark F. Hughes Jr.: Legacy of a Rumson Dad

“He was a great man, and a humble man … His hearty laughter at a good story or joke, his warm-hearted and frequent expressions of love and support for all of us, his kindness to people from all walks of life, and his keen intellect and insight will be missed, while memories of him live on.”

Nan Hughes Poole, Mark Hughes Jr.’s daughter

Memories. Moments. They’re what live on after we’re gone — what takes on a life of its own, indelibly etched in the minds of future generations. Legacy. There are so very many of those moments, those memories that many could call to mind as they put on their best bowtie and tip their hat to all that comprise the legacy left by longtime Rumsonite Mark F. Hughes Jr..

The husband, dad, grandfather, lawyer and rarest of gems among gentleman died on March 10, just four days shy of his 90th birthday. He and his wife, Marie H. “Mimi” Hughes, a longtime Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School (RFH) English teacher, lived in Rumson for more than 55 years. They raised their four children there, in their home right across the street from the high school. They welcomed many into the Hughes home, like family, with open hearts and a voracious interest in the passions of all they met and cared to know better.

Anyone who has crossed the Hughes home threshold or been on stage with one or many has a story to tell. One of patriarch Mark, always the gentile Mr. Hughes to me, stands out in my mind. It tells his legacy tale in a mind’s snapshot. It’s a little lost-and-found snippet of a dad and grandfather steeped in a moment that had become tradition — a generational one to be carried on for lifetimes.

In my mind’s eye, a locked frame-freeze cache, it remains …

“Somehow, we’ve lost Dad,” said a content, grinning Paul Hughes, Mark’s son and my longtime friend, at closing day of an RFH show. Decades before, it was we who were at the RFH auditorium, mingling, crying over the ending, collecting accolades and bouquets. “He got caught up chatting with people and he’s still at the high school somewhere. Somehow, he got left behind. Gotta go find him.”

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Focus: Bloomin’ Fair Haven Spring

Spring is officially in the air and budding up all over in Fair Haven — from home to the Navesink riverfront and in between.

Take a look at some of the scenery. (And click to enlarge and scroll!) Enjoy! Ahhhhhhh …