Sports

New Jersey Devils Honor Somerville Police Officer at Center Ice

74cd2ff3052d6f54ee03_sompixhockeycenterice2.jpeg
Students and staff from the Somerville Martial Arts Academy visited center ice after the New Jersey Devils hockey game Saturday night.   Credits: Gary Wiesner
acaa168282a98ff05d1b_sompixhockeyarena.jpeg
It was "Somerville Night" Saturday at the Prudential Center in Newark, home of the New Jersey Devils hockey team. Credits: Gary Wiesner
5217175dc9683682f4f3_sompixhockeyconcourse.jpeg
Students from the Somerville Academy of Martial Arts put on a demonstration on the concourse prior to the game. Credits: Gary Wiesner
863cf3ce9b621ea2b2ae_sompixhockeytumble.jpeg
The Somerset Valley YMCA gymnastics team performed in a freestyle demonstration prior to the game. Credits: Gary Wiesner
aa99649f60ceb30658e9_sompixhockeysection226.jpeg
The Party Zone and sections 225 and 226 were reserved for the Somerville crowd at the Prudential Center. Credits: Gary Wiesner
77a4531da9f7b9b851d0_sompixknockhockey.jpeg
When they weren't watching the game on the ice down below, youngsters played knock hockey and video games in the Party Zone. Credits: Gary Wiesner
7b75d73018333347bf45_sompixcolorguard.jpeg
The Somerville Police Color Guard presented the American Flag during the singing of the National Anthem prior to the start of the game. Credits: Gary Wiesner
90100d588fbce4bb6d28_sompixhockeyjumbotron.jpeg
Somerville Police Officer Tim Franks was honored on the Jumbotron by the New Jersey Devils as a Hometown Hero during the game. Credits: Gary Wiesner
749c6db9d6434b0d3f12_sompixhockeytimfrankfamily.jpeg
Somerville Police Officer Tim Franks, at left, with his son Tim, 14, at right and daughters Angelia, 10, Isabela, 10 and Elizabeth, 8, at Prudential Center prior to the game. Credits: Gary Wiesner
753ab956e59cd5067e91_sompixhockeyxmas.jpeg
The New Jersey Devils extended holiday wishes to the crowd during Somerville Night at the Prudential Center in Newark Saturuday night. Credits: Gary Wiesner
74cd2ff3052d6f54ee03_sompixhockeycenterice2.jpeg

NEWARK - The Devils made them do it.

Somerville and some of its residents were in the spotlight Saturday night at the Prudential Center in Newark, home of the New Jersey Devils NHL franchise, including borough police officer Tim Franks, nominated by Police Chief Dennis Manning as a Hometown Hero.

"Somerville Night" was organized by the Somerville Martial Arts Academy and included a 15-minute pre-game demonstration team of 7- to 14-year-olds working through a 15-minute routine that included choreographed movements, weapons demonstration forms, board breaking and katas. The group performed in red and black gis on the main concourse prior to the game.

Sign Up for E-News

Instructor Steve Mandraccia, who is also a juvenile probation supervisor for Somerset County, said the academy performs demonstrations throughout the year at parades, nursing homes and other functions.

"We want to get them involved," Patrick Mehrtens, owner of the academy, said.

Between the first and second periods of the game, the Somerset Valley YMCA gymnastics team executed a 4- minute tumbling performance before doing a freestyle demonstration of somersaults, cartwheels and backflips for about 10 minutes. Part of a traveling competition team, the evening performance prepares them for competition season beginning in January.

When the kids weren't showing their stuff, they were either watching the game or more likely in the building's "Party Zone" that featured a wide screen TV, video game console loaded with NHL '14, air hockey and foosball. There was also plenty of open space to run around.

Ty Lindia, 11, of Bridgewater said this was the second hockey game he's ever attended. "Everyone at my school is a Rangers fan, but I like the Devils." Ty said.

Some liked being so close to the Party Zone at the top of their seated section. "It's nice," Glenn Reinhardt of Branchburg said. "It gets you through the whole game with kids, especially girls."

One of those girls, Chelsey, is not a hockey fan.

"The food is good," she said. She also liked to work on her martial arts.

"It's good to be here with people from the community," Justin Chan, 14, of Hillsborough, a first degree black belt said. "We have a fun time."

When you're in the fun zone, it's sometimes difficult to tell there is a pro hockey game being played nearby.

Some parents chatted with other parents while their kids played in the party zone. Others were watching the game.

"They [have to] stop finessing it," Dan Voorhees said of the Devils. "They [have to] rifle it in."

Voorhees' daughter Dana, 15, agreed. "[The Devils] need to do better...just shoot." she said several minutes after her dad made a similar comment. "I love watching hockey."

Dana, a 1st-degree black belt, was having fun, but she couldn't wait to get to the end of the game.

"I just like that we go on the ice after the game and take a picture," she said. "I really want to meet the players."

After the players left the ice, the Somerville entourage spilled out onto the ice along with other groups to have pictures taken. Everyone gathered behind the center ice logo for pictures, while some took pictures in front of the net and sitting on team and penalty benches.

During the game, the Devils honored Franks as its hometown hero from Somerville. With 9:08 left in the second period, there was a loud standing ovation when Franks image appeared on the big video screen.

Though nominated Franks for the honor, he may not have known known that Franks has been a Devils fan since the team moved here from Colorado in 1982.

Somerville's hometown hero for the evening has dozens of awards and commendations and police officials say he is the department’s most decorated officer.

"It's not about me," Franks said. "I work with a great group of guys."

Franks said a man recently collapsed "right there on the show room floor" of Fullerton Ford on Route 22, and he, some colleagues and paramedics used a portable defibrillator and CPR to bring him back to life. "The guy was technically dead." He said he and others that were on scene contributed and the timing had to be right. Even seconds later can mean the difference between life and death.

Franks was astonished when the patient signed himself out of the hospital seven days later.

It's the moments like that he cherishes most.

Franks, 48, served eight years in the military, signing up when he was a high school junior so he could train on weekends, and has spent the last 26 years in uniform as a patrol officer, which is almost unheard of. "I've been on the beat the entire time," he said proudly.

He has also been involved with Martial Arts for more than 30 years. "That's a passion too.... almost as much as being a cop."

Additionally, he coaches youth football and basketball. In fact, he and his family had to hurry to the arena as soon as the late afternoon basketball game was over.

Unfortunately, the game didn't end well."We got kind of blown out," he said, but "I can't let the kids down."

The Devils have been recognizing New Jersey towns for several years now, according to Devils group event specialist Rachel Geurso. "People ... have a lot of pride from being there," she said. "Last year we did it and it was a great event."

Local singers Nalani and Sarina Bolton performed the national anthem while members of the Somerville Police department served as the honor guard.

The Devils lost the game 2-1 to the Anaheim Ducks.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Piscataway

Staci Berger for Ward 3 Piscataway Township Council, June 5 Democratic Primary

April 24, 2018

1. Why are you running for election for Piscataway Township Council, Ward 3?

I am running for the Piscataway Township Council Ward 3 position because our community needs new leadership. I will be the independent, principled, and collaborative advocate our neighborhood deserves.

I have been a Piscataway homeowner for 20 years.  I am proud that my husband, Bill Irwin, and I are raising ...

Dr. Jacqueline Littlejohn - Candidate for Piscataway Town Council

Why are you running for election to the Piscataway Township Council?

I am running for election to the Piscataway Township Council because I believe that a vibrant democracy only flourishes when the governed have a voice in their government, be it in the form of compromise, protest, or even becoming viable candidates themselves. I have chosen the latter approach. As a candidate I want to be the ...

The Piscataway Democratic Organization Names its 2018 Ward Slate

The Piscataway Democratic Party is putting forward an incredible slate of ward candidates for the Township Council.  “Frank Uhrin, Jim Bullard, Steven D. Cahn and Michele Lombardi have brought us a 12 percent drop in the tax rate, many new job opportunities for hard working residents, and a rise in property values,” party chair and former mayor, Ted Light said.  ...

Bristol-Myers Squibb Chemist Used Thallium to Poison Husband

April 24, 2018

MONROE, NJ - A local woman who killed her husband using "the poisoner's poison" did not win an appeal yesterday to have her life sentence repealed.

Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey announced that a Monroe Township woman’s 2013 murder conviction was affirmed today by the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division.

Tianle Li, 48, of Monroe Township ...

Obituaries

Piscataway – Reinhard Rudolf Kiefer, 85, died Sunday March 11, 2018 at home. Born in ...
Read more
Piscataway, NJ – Manuela Cruz, 94, born July 17, 1923, passed away peacefully on March 8, ...
Read more

Step Outdoors and Into Spring with the Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Middlesex County

April 24, 2018

EARTH CENTER, SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ - Looking for something to do outdoors? The Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Middlesex County is pleased to announce its spring and summer events! There will be opportunities for kids and adults to learn the basics of gardening, for experienced gardeners to sharpen their skills and for bargain hunters to add to their collections.

These events are ...

Craft Brew Fest Pours Into Westfield April 28; TAPinto Readers Get $20 Off

Westfield Hops – A Craft Beer Experience will be taking place on at the Westfield Armory April 28 with one session from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Enter code TAPINTO when you order your tickets and get $20 off! Tickets are available online at  http://www.westfieldhops.com. All tickets include unlimited tastings and a souvenir tasting glass. 

Westfield Hops – A Craft Beer ...

Ready for Rutgers Day this Saturday?

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - RU ready for Rutgers Day?

You will not want to miss the university’s annual welcome and show-and-tell for New Jersey residents of all ages. It all takes place this Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

It is already thr 10th anniversary of Rutgers Day, There will be more than 700 free performances, demonstrations and interactive activities. Last ...

Upcoming Events

Wed, April 25, 5:00 PM

Piscataway

Better Together

Giving Back

Carousel_image_e1c86484bd07288a6140_bike_blessing_sickle_cell

Sat, April 28, 11:00 AM

New Market Firehouse, Piscataway

Sickle Cell Fundraiser and Bike Blessing

Education Giving Back

Sat, April 28, 7:00 PM

Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church, Plainfield

Plainfield Symphony Mahler's 9th Symphony

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_f725af9823f099a5b919_pway_5k_full_flyer

Sun, April 29, 9:00 AM

Piscataway High School, Piscataway

PWay 5K Run/Walk 2018

Education Sports

Sun, April 29, 2:00 PM

Otto Kaufman Community Center, Skillman

Relax, Rejuvenate, Renew

Health & Wellness

Kurt Steiner, a Holocaust Survivor, tells Life Story as 106th Birthday Draws Near

April 23, 2018

CRANFORD, NJ – In a quaint white house near the border of Cranford and Garwood, 105-year-old Kurt Steiner sat at his dining room table, surrounded by cabinets that held his collection of Viennese glass and antique Limoge plates. At his table, he had his carefully taped together passport and exit papers from Vienna, Austria, stamped with a large “J” and “Jude,” the ...

Cluelessly Clueless

I teenaged my way through high school under the assumption that my parents had no idea what I was doing.  I like to think I was pretty good at withholding information and presenting situations in ways that were other than they really were.

 

Still, sometimes they found things out.  Like the time my friends plopped me on our front door step at one o'clock in the morning ...