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May 2011

Tamaqua cyclist cited after crash

Friday, May 27, 2011

A Tamaqua motorcyclist was cited following a crash that occurred about 5:28 p.m. on Wednesday, May 25, along SR209 in Blythe Township, Schuylkill County.

State police at Frackville said Molly M. Petro, 29, was driving a 2004 Honda bike northbound when she lost control while rounding a curve.

She laid the bike on its side and left the road traveling onto the east berm. Petro sustained moderate injuries in the crash, troopers said, and was transported to the Schuylkill Medical Center-S. Jackson St., Pottsville, for treatment.

As big as a baseball

Friday, May 27, 2011
BILL O'GUREK/TIMES NEWS
BILL O'GUREK/TIMES NEWS

Hail that was as big as a baseball pounded the Panther Valley-East Schuylkill region late Thursday afternoon, causing severe damages to vehicles, homes and properties. The above photo shows varying sizes of the ice, compared to a baseball.

Tamaqua YMCA offers fitness class

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Tamaqua YMCA will begin offering a Silver Sneakers Fitness Class on May 31. Classes will then meet every Tuesday and Wednesday, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Silver Sneakers is an innovative health, exercise and wellness program for older adults. For more information, call (570) 668-2903.

No escape from record hail

Friday, May 27, 2011
CHRIS PARKER/TIMES NEWS
CHRIS PARKER/TIMES NEWS

Unless your vehicle was covered, there was very little you could have done to protect it from dents and window damage during Thursday's record hail storm that damaged thousands of vehicles and hundreds of properties. Almost every uncovered vehicle in the Panther Valley area was damaged from the record storm. While Panther Valley school board candidate Mike Celentano was attending a meeting inside the high school, fist-sized hailstones smashed the back window of his Mazda and cracked the windshield.

Subject of search

Friday, May 27, 2011
Subject of search
Copyright 2011

Pamela Boiko, 52, of Lehigh Township is the target of an intense search along the Lehigh River, after she entered it Wednesday night in a canoe in an attempt to save a dog in the river.

Sign of the times

Friday, May 27, 2011
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS

Tamaqua American Legion volunteers, surrounded by fallen hail, lift a heavy metal sign back to its original location after a strong wind gust toppled it minutes prior to the heavy rain and record hail.

Landscape trees uprooted

Friday, May 27, 2011
DONALD R. SERFASS/TIMES NEWS
DONALD R. SERFASS/TIMES NEWS

Thursday night's thunderstorm caused blackouts and uprooted trees. Here, a pear tree on the 100 block of West Broad Street in Tamaqua was ripped from its roots. The tree was only a few years old, planted as part of a recent Streetscape Program.

Portions of Palmerton without power this a.m.

Friday, May 27, 2011
This was the scene at 6th and Lafayette Avenue early this morning as this work crew attempts to clean up the remnants of last evening's ferocious storm.
This was the scene at 6th and Lafayette Avenue early this morning as this work crew attempts to clean up the remnants of last evening's ferocious storm.

Last night's ferocious storm that downed trees left portions of the municipalities within the Palmerton Area School District without power into early this morning.

Palmerton borough manager Rodger Danielson told the TIMES NEWS this morning that portions of the borough were without power from 9:30 p.m. last evening until 1 a.m. today.

While he wasn't certain of the actual cause, Danielson said very high winds contributed to the power outage.

Architect hired to design fire station

Friday, May 27, 2011

Palmerton has hired a Lehigh County architectural firm to design the borough's new fire station.

Borough Council unanimously agreed on Thursday to hire S.J. Elton Architect, of Bethlehem, to develop the blueprint.

Borough Manager Rodger Danielson said the work will cost about $40,000, which the borough will take out of a $906,000 grant it received last fall.

Danielson said construction of the fire station - which will be built in the borough lot at Fifth and Lehigh Avenue - is expected to get under way this fall.

On this date

Friday, May 27, 2011

May 27, 1937

Johnny Woods, human fly, climbed the Central Hotel building in Mauch Chunk this evening and presented a program of daredevil stunts, assisted by his wife, the former Evelyn Peschel, of East Mauch Chunk. The Woods arrived in town recently in their trailer from a tour that included California, Texas, and Mexico. Among the stunts Woods did was carry his wife on his shoulders along the edge of the building, while he was blindfolded. Woods also balanced himself on his head while standing on the building's ledge.

Barletta applauds top court's decision on Hazleton-style law

Friday, May 27, 2011

WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative Lou Barletta, PA-11, applauded the decision by the United States Supreme Court that upheld a Hazleton-style illegal immigration law.

The decision, which was handed down Thursday morning, supports Arizona's "Legal Arizona Workers Act" a law that was specifically modeled on the law Representative Barletta spearheaded when he was mayor of Hazleton in 2006. Both laws were drafted by one of the nation's leading immigration law experts, Kris Kobach.

GAR Cemetery to hold annual tree dedication

Friday, May 27, 2011

Grand Army Cemetery Association will hold its annual tree dedication program led by Board Treasurer Dr. Louis Vermillion on Saturday, May 28, 2011 at 10 a.m. near the garage on the 500 block of East White Street at the upper gate of the cemetery. Following the short program, there will be a complementary walking tour of the grounds in which several veterans interred at the cemetery will be profiled by members of the board of directors.

Career Day at Tamaqua Area Middle School

Friday, May 27, 2011
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS

More than 70 local professionals, ranging from a politician to a massage therapist, spent time talking to Tamaqua Area Middle School students during the school's annual Career Day.

Career Day is a day where professionals are invited to talk to students concerning the benefits and duties of their profession.

One of the speakers was Donald Serfass, who is the managing editor-features at the TIMES NEWS. He spoke about the field of journalism.

Safe, money stolen from Friends of Animals

Friday, May 27, 2011

Jim Thorpe police are investigating a burglary at the Carbon County Friends of Animals shelter.

According to the Jim Thorpe police report, the break-in occurred between 6:30 p.m., May 24, and 9 a.m., May 25. Taken from the shelter was a safe and a cash lock box.

Susan Yaich, a member of CCFOA, said the employees discovered the theft when they went to place money in it from an adoption. She noted that about three weeks worth of checks and cash totaling $1,500 from donations and adoptions were secured in the safe.

Panther Valley Library to initiate book club

Friday, May 27, 2011

A book club is starting for adults at the Panther Valley Public Library. The first meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 31. The group will discuss what kinds of books people want to read, and when and how often the club will meet.

Also, the library's summer hours start on June 6: Mondays: 10 a.m. .-1 p.m.; Tuesdays: 9 a.m. - noon, then from 4 p.m. -7 p.m.; Wednesdays: 10 a.m.. -1 p.m.; Thursdays: 10 a.m.. -1 p.m.; Fridays: 10 a.m.. -1 p.m.; Saturdays: 10 a.m.. -1 p.m.

Damages in the millions

Friday, May 27, 2011

Thursday night's record-size hail, which spread through multiple counties, is expected to result in millions of dollars in hail damage as tens of thousands of area drivers take their vehicles to local auto body and glass shops to repair dents and replace windows.

"Hail damage repairs easily range from around $300 to a couple thousand dollars," said Matt Hope, owner of Hope's Collision and Towing in Tamaqua.

Hope and many other auto body shops throughout our area are overwhelmed with phone calls as people push to get their vehicles repaired.

Penn Kidder PTA holds volunteer staff appreciation luncheon

Friday, May 27, 2011
VICTOR IZZO/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS
VICTOR IZZO/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS

Some of the present and past officers of the Penn Kidder PTA attending the Penn Kidder PTA Volunteer Staff Appreciation Luncheon in the school's gym were, left to right : Trish Kellar; Christine Baldwin, Treasurer; Marge Steen, President; Nadia Corino, Secretary; Cheryl O'Rourke; and Nesa Ciobanu, Vice President.

L.B. Morris kindergarteners honor veterans

Friday, May 27, 2011
Kindergarteners at L.B. Morris Elementary wave American Flags during their performance of "Yankee Doodle" at their Memorial Day program May 26.
Kindergarteners at L.B. Morris Elementary wave American Flags during their performance of "Yankee Doodle" at their Memorial Day program May 26.

A special Memorial Day service starring kindergarten students from L.B. Morris Elementary School, Jim Thorpe kicked off the Memorial Day weekend Thursday.

Each year the kindergarteners put together a Memorial Day program for veterans and their families.

"They've been doing it for longer than I can tell you," said kindergarten teacher Shawn Bierman, "But this is our third year doing this program."

Eldred Township news

Friday, May 27, 2011

Memorial Day

Observance

Everyone is invited to attend a Memorial Day Observance at Eldred Township's Veteran's Memorial on Monday, May 30 at 11 a.m.

St. Matthew's cemetery

The St. Matthew's UCC cemetery committee asks that during the summer months no one put any flower pots or baskets on a grave site. It makes it hard for the mowing crew to mow and keep the cemetery neat. Only items able to go on the tombstone are allowed.

St. Matt's youth group

Tamaqua youths witness funnel cloud

Friday, May 27, 2011
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS

A number of witnesses in Tamaqua reported seeing a funnel cloud or similar-shaped cloud heading south behind the Tamaqua Senior High School. Pictured are Tamaqua youths that observed the funnel cloud appear for approximately two minutes behind the Tamaqua High School. They also stated that it was only in sight for less than five minutes prior to the start of the heavy winds, rain and sleet. The hail struck so fast, that they had to seek quick cover from the falling hail. They also pointed out that the hail stung when it impacted their skin.

Coaldale news

Friday, May 27, 2011

Coaldale

Veterans service

The annual Veterans Memorial Day Service will be held at 9 a.m. Sunday, May 29, at First Congregational Church, Coaldale. Participating will be the Panther Valley High School JROTC and the Community Choir.

Veterans from World War I to the present will be honored for their service.

The service is open to the public.

On Wednesday, June 1, the church ministry group will visit St. Luke's Miners Memorial Hospital and Maple Shade at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., respectively.

LCCC lists summer hours

Friday, May 27, 2011

Lehigh Carbon Community College has announced its Summer hours for the northern tier campuses in Tamaqua and Nesquehoning. The Summer schedule will begin on May 31.

The LCCC Carbon Center in Nesquehoning will be open Tuesdays and Wednesdays, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The LCCC Morgan Center in Tamaqua will be open Mondays and Tuesdays, 8 a.m. tp 2:30 p.m.; and Thursdays, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Admissions and registratrations will be open at both sites. For more information, call 570-669-7010 (Carbon) or 570-668-6880 (Tamaqua).

Firefighter who admitted to arson fires gets long state prison term

Friday, May 27, 2011

The last of four volunteer firefighters who pleaded guilty to starting fires in vacant buildings and barns on farms in eastern part of the county was sentenced by President Judge Willliam E. Baldwin in the Schuylkill County Court.

Shawn Matthew Hoy, 22, Long Run Road, Pine Grove, pleaded guilty to 92 charges and received a sentence 13 to 26 years in a state correctional institution and ordered to make restitution to a number of victims which totaled $725,982.42. He was sentenced on 10 counts of arson.

The restitution he was ordered to pay were to victims as follows:

One hail of a storm

Friday, May 27, 2011
RON GOWER/TIMES NEWS A trio of cars in the parking lot of St. Catherine Drexel Catholic Church, Lansford, have back windows missing as a result of the hail storm last evening. Hail the size of oranges smashed windows on about a dozen cars of people attending the graduation of preschoolers of Our Lady of the Angels Academy. Throughout the Panther Valley and Tamaqua area, literally hundreds of cars were damaged.
RON GOWER/TIMES NEWS A trio of cars in the parking lot of St. Catherine Drexel Catholic Church, Lansford, have back windows missing as a result of the hail storm last evening. Hail the size of oranges smashed windows on about a dozen cars of people attending the graduation of preschoolers of Our Lady of the Angels Academy. Throughout the Panther Valley and Tamaqua area, literally hundreds of cars were damaged.

Area receives damaging ice, winds, rain, lightning, power outages

Balls of hail larger than anyone can remember ever falling on the region caused widespread damages last night, especially in the Tamaqua and Panther Valley areas where literally hundreds of cars were damaged. Many of those cars had windows knocked out.

The National Weather Service confirmed the hail that fell in Lansford and Summit Hill was three inches in diameter, about the size of an orange.

The hail was part of a series of storms which swept through the region, packing winds that felled power lines and trees. There were widespread power outages throughout the region.

Bears win on homer

Friday, May 27, 2011

Pleasant Valley's Dianne Klapatch was only trying to hit a fly ball to the outfield.

As it turns out, she got a little extra.

With teammate Kasey Meckes on third base with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning of a tie game, Klapatch knew a sacrifice fly would chase home the winning run in Thursday's District 11 Class AAAA quartefinal game against Emmaus.

The Bears' No. 3 hitter got her fly ball and then some. Klapatch's shot to left cleared the fence to give PV a 5-3 walkoff win and a berth in Tuesday's semifinals.

Weather impacts District 11 playoff games

Friday, May 27, 2011

Three District 11 playoff games involving TIMES NEWS area teams were impacted by Thursday night's powerful storms that swept through the area.

Marian-Tri-Valley

A severe thunderstorm and a tornado warning caused the suspension of the District 11 Class A baseball semifinal between Marian and Tri-Valley.

The Colts were leading 3-0 in the third inning. The game will be resumed at 5 p.m. today at Pine Grove.

No. Lehigh-Salisbury

Sizing up the hail

Friday, May 27, 2011
DONALD R. SERFASS/TIMES NEWS
DONALD R. SERFASS/TIMES NEWS

Andy Leibenguth, Tamaqua, uses a camera to document the size of hail that fell Thursday evening in Tamaqua, demonstrating that chunks of ice were about the size of a billiard ball, seen in the center of the ice chunks. Checking out the results is Courtney Postupack, 9, Tamaqua. The severe hail storm appeared to cause damage to virtually every automobile parked outdoors in the community. When the storm finally abated, vehicle owners were dismayed to find dents, like pock marks, on their vehicle roofs, hoods and trunks.

16th annual fishing derby held at Kellner's Dam

Friday, May 27, 2011
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Pictured from left are Kellner's Dam Association trustee Anthony McGeehan, secretary Amy Bieniek, president Pete Bieniek Jr., trophy winner Kailyn Ever, 9, who caught a 23.5 inch fish, Cody House, 15, who also caught a 23.5 inch fish, vice president Pete Bieniek III and trustee Marygrace House.
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Pictured from left are Kellner's Dam Association trustee Anthony McGeehan, secretary Amy Bieniek, president Pete Bieniek Jr., trophy winner Kailyn Ever, 9, who caught a 23.5 inch fish, Cody House, 15, who also caught a 23.5 inch fish, vice president Pete Bieniek III and trustee Marygrace House.

Members and volunteers of the Kellner's Dam Association held their 16th annual two-day Kellner's Dam Children's Fishing Derby for children ages 4 to 15 in Tamaqua.

Approximately 200 youngsters registered for the free fishing derby. More than 70 prizes were given out for catching tagged fish. Some of the prizes consisted of fishing poles, tackle boxes, bicycles, nets, and many other sport items.

Verta building to come down

Friday, May 27, 2011
TIMES NEWS file photo
TIMES NEWS file photo

A dilapidated former industrial building next to the Panther Valley stadium in Lansford will be torn down.

The Panther Valley School Board on Thursday agreed to seek bids for the job of demolishing the building, at 401 W. Bertsch St.

The school district in June 2010 bought the building for about $800 at a Carbon County tax sale. The building had been owned by Bennett Verta Jr., who had planned to operate an industrial soap factory, Everbrite Industries, there. But he eventually lost the building to back taxes.

Early runs help PA edge Tamaqua

Friday, May 27, 2011

If Pen Argyl's softball team received a scouting report about Tamaqua heading into their matchup against the seventh seeded Lady Raiders, it would have proven to be inconclusive.

With wins against quality programs, losses to sub-par squads, and an overall record of 9-11 heading into its District 11 Class AA quarterfinal matchup, Tamaqua was certainly a mystery.

Add into that mix, a heartbreaking loss by his own team in the Colonial League championship and Green Knight head coach Bill Schankel wasn't exactly sure what to expect.

Bulldogs ousted by North Schuylkill

Friday, May 27, 2011
RON GOWER/TIMES NEWS Northern Lehigh catcher Erika Bowman hurls the ball to first after fielding a bunt. Behind her is teammate Kristi Seiler.
RON GOWER/TIMES NEWS Northern Lehigh catcher Erika Bowman hurls the ball to first after fielding a bunt. Behind her is teammate Kristi Seiler.

There wasn't any power hitting by either Northern Lehigh or North Schuylkill in their first round, District 11 Class AA matchup Thursday. The only hits by both teams were singles.

The visiting Spartans won the game, 5-0, scoring early by capitalizing on errors and speed.

Also worth mentioning is a superb pitching performance by North Schuylkill's Cassie Lapotsky, who allowed only four N.L. hits, struck out 11 Lady Bulldogs, and walked just two.