RED BANK: STEEPLE STABLE, WEDDING’S ON

tower hill 110713Quick work by contractors and inspectors led to the reopening of the church Friday morning. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The landmark First Presbyterian Church at Tower Hill in Red Bank was back to doing the Lord’s work Friday morning following a 10-day shutdown triggered by a dicey steeple.

That means Sunday services will be held, dozens of students will return to their school and – most pressing – a wedding will go off as planned Friday evening.

The bride-and-groom-to-be, whose names were not disclosed, held a rehearsal Thursday night at their fallback sanctuary, the United Methodist Church on Broad Street, “but tonight they’ll be having their wedding here,” Tower Hill spokeswoman Karen Gyimesi tells redbankgreen.

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RED BANK: STEEPLE CRACK SHUTS CHURCH

tower hill 1 103013The 61-year-old steeple, which rises to 128 feet from the ground, has a failing timber inside, a church official says.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

tower hill 2 103013A cracked timber in the steeple has forced the temporary closure of the landmark First Presbyterian Church at Tower Hill in Red Bank.

Borough officials ordered the church and an adjoining school closed Tuesday morning after structural engineers could not rule out a catastrophic collapse of the 70-foot tall steeple, said construction official Stanley Sickels.

“In these situations, you either get to see it before it collapses or after,” he said. “There’s no way of knowing” what might trigger a failure.

The discovery prompted the shutdown of the Tower Hill School, as well as the relocation of Sunday services and community group meetings that serve hundreds of congregants and visitors each week, church property manager Rob Wallman tells redbankgreen. It could also derail a wedding planned for next week.

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TEEN BUSTED FOR NAVESINK BURGLARY

mtown-police-carA Middletown police cruiser. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

In this week’s roundup of police activity, Middletown police made a burglary bust at a home off Navesink River Road. An 18-year-old is accused of breaking into the home while the owners were on vacation, stealing jewelry and electronics worth about $16,000, and then using the homeowners’ car to deliver the stolen items to be pawned.

More police activity, provided by Detective Lieutenant Steve Dollinger, appears unedited below.

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POLICE MAKE SHREWSBURY AVE. DRUG ARREST

just_in1By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

A Shrewsbury Avenue man was arrested on drug charges early this morning, Red Bank police said.

Pierre Gadson, 30, was arrested for possession of crack cocaine, possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute, possession of marijuana and possession of narcotic paraphernalia, according to a statement from the department.

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FOUR ARRESTED IN CRACK RAIDS

just_in1

Red Bank Police have arrested four suspects after a two-prong raid on the West Side Thursday, they announced today.

The busts, which culminated a two-month investigation done in conjunction with the State Police, resulted in the seizure of two caches of crack cocaine, marijuana and a pair of handguns, according to an announcement by Chief Steve McCarthy.

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