Laurel promotes firemen; media was not invited

At least eight Laurel firemen received promotions Monday, including the pinning on the badge of the department's new battalion chief.

Captain Jimmy Bunch was officially named new battalion chief this morning while three firemen were promoted to Lieutenant and four were promoted to Captain.

As you may remember, Bunch had sued the city over unfair hiring practices, which prompted officials to administer tests to prospective applicants.  Bunch made the highest score.  Mayor Melvin Mack says interim battalion Chief Joey Blackwell will return to a Captain's rank with a Captain's pay.

The media did not find out about the 9:00am pinning ceremony until this afternoon.