SOMERSET HILLS NJ -  Happy New Year from TAP! TAP into Somerset Hills officially launched in October 2015, so our first “Top Stories” list doesn’t represent a full year.  The Somerset Hills “Top Five of 2015” were the five most read stories of our short first year.

5.  Bernardsville Resident Chosen for NASA Program (October):  The fifth most popular story of 2015 comes from the “local student does good” category.  The Somerset Hills produces students who succeed in all areas of endeavor, and our residents are proud of their success.  In 2015, NASA chose Raritan Valley Community College student and Bernardsville resident Trevor Rokosky to participate in their Community College Aerospace Scholars program.  In October, Rokosky traveled to NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville Alabama where he worked with other scholars and NASA engineers on projects directed at future exploration of Mars. 

4.  Mount Airy Road Reopens (November):  It seemed like an eternity, but it was only ten months.  For those ten months, Mt. Airy Road looked like it had been the victim of an air raid.  Somerset Count undertook and funded a comprehensive reconstruction process in which the road, sidewalks and retaining wall were stripped to the soil and replaced.  The County completed the project in time for downtown Bernardsville’s Christmas shopping season.  When Freeholder Director Mark Caliguire announced that Mt. Airy Road would re-open, the story became our fourth most popular of 2015.

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3.  Proposed condo development at the Mosle estate (August):  When residents of Mosle Road and St. Johns Drive in Gladstone received notice of a proposed development, some went into panic mode.  Initially some of the residents feared that the development would create a traffic safety problem, which may have caused TAP’s story to attact a lot of attention.  Information became public in the week after TAP broke the story, and cooler heads prevailed.  For now.

2.  Warren Shooting Rampage (August):  A frightening event in a neighboring Somerset County town produced our second most read story.  A double murder in Warren Township led to a massive police response, which included officers from the Somerset Hills.  The perpetrator of the double murder took his own life instead of being apprehended by the authorities.

1.  The Untimely Passing of Coach Kyle Kirst (June):  By far, our most read story of 2015 was about an event that broke the hearts of two communities.  To the Somerset Hills, Kyle Kirst was a beloved father and husband and friend.  He had a smile that could light up a room, and was a cheerleader for all.  To Summit, Kyle Kirst was a coach who was at the heart of a winning Summit High lacrosse program.  In both communities, he touched countless lives.  The Kirst family lost Kyle suddenly in June.  Coach Kirst’s passing was tragic, but it did reveal the generosity of the Somerset Hills as the community rallied around the Kirst family.