RED BANK: NEW LADDER TRUCK IN THE HOUSE

Truck committee chairman Mike Welsh backs the new truck into its home on Mechanic Street Thursday. (Video by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_01Red Bank’s new million-dollar firetruck has arrived.

Borough residents are beginning to see the truck on training runs as volunteer firefighters take it out to get familiar with its high-tech gadgetry and assure themselves that it can navigate all the town’s streets.

“It’s awesome. very maneuverable,” said firefighter Mike Welsh, who headed the committee that selected the truck’s features. He’d just returned from a spin that included narrow, curving Caro Court and Hubbard Park, “and it handled them no problem,” he said.

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RED BANK: CHIEF FACES PERIOD OF CHANGE

tommy welsh 120313Tommy Welsh arrives at the Westside Hose Company following his election as Red Bank fire chief last week. Below, the borough-owned Liberty Hose firehouse is in the process of being vacated because it needs upgrades the town cannot afford. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

liberty hose 120513 2A new, million-dollar ladder truck, firehouse consolidation and pervasive manpowwer issues are on the table as Red Bank’s next fire chief takes the helm on January 1.

For chief-elect Tommy Welsh, it’s the second time around as head of of the all-volunteer department, having served as chief in 1996. This time, however, the department is on the apron to some of its biggest changes in a generation.

“We’re in the middle of some history here,” he told redbankgreen at a party to celebrate his election last week.

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SEA BRIGHT CELEBRATES COMMUNITY

Dozens of Sea Bright residents gathered for a potluck supper at the firehouse to mark the first anniversary of Hurricane Sandy Tuesday night. After sunset, with an onshore breeze whipping the flames like like a flag, they gathered around a beach bonfire next to the ocean that had risen to swamp their town. When Governor Chris Christie arrived, they encircled him, posing with him and getting his autograph. And all night long, they took turns writing messages on a ‘Canvas of Hope.’  (Photos by John T. Ward.)

JUDGE TOSSES CONVICTION IN BRAWL CASE

A state Superior Court judge has overturned the harassment conviction of one of three Sea Bright firefighters involved in a firehouse scuffle 18 months ago, redbankgreen has learned.

In an unwritten opinion, Judge Anthony Mellaci ruled from the bench in Freehold Friday that a municipal court judge had given “misplaced” credibility to the accusers of firefighter Justin Hughes, said Hughes’s attorney, Scott Servilla.

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SENTENCINGS DELAYED IN FIREHOUSE TUSSLE

One of two videos of a firehouse fight involving three Sea Bright firemen last October. The second video is below. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The lawyer for two Sea Bright volunteer firefighters convicted of assaulting a third in the town’s firehouse last year has obtained a delay in their sentencings, which had been scheduled for today.

Brothers Steven Lang, 25, and Peter Lang IV, 33, are facing banishment from the fire company, under a sentence sought by the prosecutor in the case, Mike Halfacre. But defense lawyer William Wilson won a one-month adjournment by questioning whether the town’s governing body really wants to see the Langs kicked to the curb.

Meantime, redbankgreen has obtained the two video views of the October 9, 2010 scuffle, which occurred during a wet-down celebration for a new fire truck.

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PRESS: BOROUGH & Y SETTLE A LAWSUIT

51-monmouthA proposed sale of the former borough hall by the Community YMCA has been tied up in litigation for nearly three years. (Click to enlarge)

One of two lawsuits pitting the Community YMCA against the borough of Red Bank has reached a tentative settlement that could be approved by the town council Monday night, the Asbury Park Press reports.

The deal would cost the borough $125,000 and clear the way for the Y to sell the former borough hall at 51 Monmouth Street to Red Bank Catholic High School, the newspaper reports.

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