Photo Credit: New Brunswick Today

Local Beat: Arrest, Then Thanks, for a Reporter

By NJ NEWS COMMONS

Local Beat is NJ News Commons’ weekly roundup of the best and most topical reporting from local news sites around New Jersey.

ARREST, THEN THANKS: THE STRANGE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN CHARLIE KRATOVIL AND THE NBPD
It’s been a busy year for New Brunswick Today and its editor, Charlie Kratovil. In February, Kratovil sued Rutgers University and the City of New Brunswick to get them to release maps showing the division of jurisdiction between the two police departments – and he won. In July, he personally witnessed a New Brunswick Police officer throw two ticket books in a public garbage can, one of which included parking tickets that were never filed in court, leading to an internal investigation.

Days later, he was contacted by someone who claimed to have information about the officer who threw away the ticket books. When Kratovil showed up, however, the “tip” turned out to be a sting and Kratovil was arrested on what he says were false charges. Luckily, he recorded the whole thing.

Despite the friction between NB Today and the NBPD, Kratovil cooperated with an internal investigation into the ticket books and two New Brunswick police officers were punished as a result. New Brunswick Police Captain J.T. Miller even thanked Kratovil for his cooperation during the investigation.

SOMETIMES THE NEWS COMES TO YOU
Most of the time, journalists spend their days chasing down stories and going after the news wherever they can find it – but in hyperlocal, the news might just land in your lap. That’s exactly what happened to John Ward of Red Bank Green when he woke up in the middle of the night, looked out his window, and saw one of his neighbors’ house fully engulfed in flames. The story is here but in Ward’s Facebook post, you could practically hear his heart pounding: “Our block was jolted awake to find a neighbor’s house fully engaged in fire shortly after midnight this morning. The homeowner, who was asleep, was saved by a smoke alarm. A fire official told me it was probably just a matter of seconds before she’d have been trapped in her bedroom. This is four doors away from our house.”

REQUIEM FOR A NEWSPAPER: THE END OF AN ERA
With most of the “Newark” Star-Ledger now relocated to Woodbridge, a group of Ledger alums, politicians, and academics gathered at Rutgers-Newark for a critical discussion on the impact of the paper decamping from its hometown. Click here to read the full coverage of the event by Andaiye Taylor of Brick City Live, who covered the event for us.

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