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July 2011

Inmate found dead in cell

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

An inmate in the State Correctional Institution (SCI) at Frackville, Schuylkill County, was found dead in his cell on Sunday, July 24.

Luis Diaz, 31, formerly of Pottsville, was found unresponsive and hanging in his cell at about 10:20 p.m. Staff was making rounds when they found Diaz, said prison Superintendent Robert Collins. The staff immediately started CRP as medical staff responded to the scene.

Faulty extension cord cause of fire

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A faulty extension cord was the cause of a fire that extensively damaged a Schuylkill County home.

State police at Frackville said the fire occurred at the residence of Jason and Bethany Clark, 215 Chestnut St., village of Mar Lin, Norwegian Township, on Saturday, July 23. The fire was discovered about 7:30 a.m. when Bethany Clark and her 11-year-old son were awakened by a neighbor, James Santai, who entered the home and escorted them to safety, troopers said.

Panther Valley news

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Harry Potter party

The Panther Valley Public Library will host a birthday party for one of Hogwarts' most famous students, Harry J. Potter, on July 30, starting at 10:30 a.m.

Feel free to dress in Wizard or Muggle (non-wizard) clothing depending on your preference. At the celebration quests will be sorted, have activities to win points for their house, have snacks and will be given the opportunity to win prizes. The festivities will end at 12:30 p.m.

Jim Thorpe man jailed following gun incident

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Jim Thorpe man was jailed last evening following a gun pointing incident.

Borough police identified the suspect as Thomas D. Dobbie Jr., 38, of 241 Center Ave.

According to the police report Douglas Smela, of 209 Center Ave., was driving home from work about 8 p.m. when he said a man stopped him in front of 241 Center Ave. and began yelling at him. Smela said the man, later identified as Dobbie, was yelling at him about urinating on his garage. Smela told officers he had no idea what Dobbie was talking about.

Domestic incidents leads to arrests

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Three domestic incidents led to arrests and jail for two men in Monroe County. Pocono Mountain Regional police reported on the incidents.

Treasurer promoted to borough mgr.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011
RON GOWER/TIMES NEWS Nicole (Tessitore) Beckett, left, Lehighton borough treasurer, is congratulated by council President Grant Hunsicker after the council named Beckett the new borough manager in Lehighton effective Oct. 1. Beckett was selected from a list of nine candidates for the position.
RON GOWER/TIMES NEWS Nicole (Tessitore) Beckett, left, Lehighton borough treasurer, is congratulated by council President Grant Hunsicker after the council named Beckett the new borough manager in Lehighton effective Oct. 1. Beckett was selected from a list of nine candidates for the position.

Nicole Beckett, 30, who has been serving as treasurer for Lehighton Borough since March 2010, is being elevated to borough manager.

The borough council chose Beckett over a field of nine candidates for the position. She was hired by a 6-1 vote, with only council member Dale Traupman opposed.

"She's been with us over a year. We know her work ethics," remarked council President Grant Hunsicker.

Beckett, who has an associate degree in public administration from Kutztown University and is working on her master's, assumes her new position Oct. 1

Kunkletown man runs for his health and Semper Fi

Wednesday, July 27, 2011
LINDA KOEHLER/TIMES NEWS Angelo Stambolis of Kunkletown, finishes up a training run for his next 5K race to benefit the Semper Fi Fund.
LINDA KOEHLER/TIMES NEWS Angelo Stambolis of Kunkletown, finishes up a training run for his next 5K race to benefit the Semper Fi Fund.

Angelo Stambolis admits he wasn't getting the exercise he should have.

Then one day, the national construction firm where he works as an electrical estimator presented health insurance incentives to its employees.

"That's when I decided to go from a couch potato to a 5K runner," says the 45-year-old Kunkletown man.

In order to motivate and commit himself to the health pledge he made, he added another commitment to the Semper Fi Fund as a Community Athlete.

Schuylkill man gets long state prison term for drug deal

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Fifteen defendants entered guilty pleas to criminal charges in Schuylkill County court this week and were sentenced by President Judge William E. Baldwin as follows:

Keith Lamont King, 38, Pottsville, three counts of delivery of a controlled substance (CS) and criminal use of cell phone, sentenced to serve nine to 18 years in a state correctional institution, pay $400 to Substance Abuse Education (SAE) fund, $200 to Criminal Justice Enhancement Account (CJEA), $767 to Bethlehem Regional Lab and $300 to Pottsville Police Drug Task Force. He was cited by Pottsville police.

Turbulent waters close road

Tuesday, July 26, 2011
LARRY NEFF/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS
LARRY NEFF/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS

Officials closed off Gypsy Hill Road in Mahoning Township Monday when torrential rains passed through the area. A river of water was found flowing down a private drive into a storm drain marked by a safety cone. The force of the water could easily consume a child or small adult in seconds.

Palmerton Jr. High student named All-American Scholar

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The United States Achievement Academy announced that Jenna Wallace, of Palmerton, has been named an All-American Scholar.

The All-American Scholars must earn a 3.3 or higher GPA. Only scholars selected by a school instructor, counselor or other qualified sponsor are accepted.

Wallace, who attends Palmerton Junior High, was nominated for this honor by her school. Wallace will appear in the All-American Scholar Yearbook, which is published nationally.

Panther Valley makeup physicals

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Panther Valley School District will be holding fall make up sports physicals on Wednesday August 3.

The sports physicals will be held in the Panther Valley high school nurses office at 4:00pm.

Cheerleading, Volleyball, 7th and 8th grade Girls Basketball , Freshman, JV and Varsity Football and 7th and 8th grade Football are all included.

In order to receive a physical, student athletes must have a physical form and consent to random mandatory drug testing paper work signed by a guardian.

Grandma-to-be wonders what's changed since she was new mom

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Q. I'm going to become a grandmother for the first time and I was wondering how things have changed since I took care of a newborn many years ago.

Probably the most important change is in the approach to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), the abrupt, unexplained death of an infant younger than a year. SIDS is often called crib death because many victims are found in their cribs.

ON THIS DATE

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

July 26, 2003 Bobby Karman slugs a two-run homer and Anthony Bumbulsky has a good day at the plate to help lead Tamaqua to an 8-7 win over Franklin Township in the Panther Valley Little League Tournament. Bumbulsky finishes with two hits, one an RBI double, two runs scored and earns the pitching win. Tyler Rother adds a two-run double while Chris Pilla also collects two hits. For FT, Tim Sulzer hits a two-run homer and Kyle Hunter knocks in three runs with a pair of hits.

Theft of vehicle being probed

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

State police at Frackville are investigating a theft of vehicle incident that occurred Monday night.

Troopers said Tyler Jaye Watkins, 20, of Freeland, stopped in the parking lot of the New Ringgold Market, located near the intersection of state routes 895 and 443, in New Ringgold, about 11:42 p.m. to "relieve himself."

Deluge quenches area's thirst for much needed rain

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

4.83 inches recorded in Lehighton

After a days-long stretch of extraordinarily hot, dry weather that turned lawns brittle and brown, the region's thirst was quenched by a deluge Monday.

The storms rumbled through in the afternoon and early evening, bringing some thunder and lightning and dumping 4.83 inches of rain on the Lehighton area as of 8:30 p.m., according to the National Weather Service.

The Lake Hauto area, still cleaning up from a severe storm on July 7, got 2.56 inches.

In Tamaqua, weather-spotter Ron Yurchak measured 2.10 inches of rain from the storm.

Coaldale resident among 11 to enter guilty pleas

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Eleven defendants who entered guilty pleas to criminal charges in Schuylkill County court were sentenced by Judge Jacqueline Russell as follows:

Jose Enrique Paulino Jr., 35, of 139 Second St., Coaldale, theft of scrap metal, placed on probation six months, and ordered to pay $50 to Criminal Justice Enhancement Account (CJEA), perform 20 hours community service and make restitution of $28 to victim. Paulino was cited by Trooper Arthur Wink.

Minor injuries in Schuylkill crash

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Minor injuries were reported in a one vehicle crash in Schuylkill County. It was one of two reported by state police at Schuylkill Haven.

Troopers said Denise D. Olechnowicz, 58, of Pottsville, was driving a 2006 Ford F150 pickup truck southbound on SR61 in West Brunswick Township, about 2:05 p.m. on Monday, July 25. She lost control and the truck traveled onto the shoulder where it struck an embankment. The truck traveled for about 58 feet along the embankment before rolling over onto the passenger side, where it came to rest.

Construction site submerged

Tuesday, July 26, 2011
LARRY NEFF/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS
LARRY NEFF/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS

A construction site along Lehigh Drive in Lehighton was submerged Monday when torrential rains flooded the area.

Attains dean's list

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Andrew W. Watkins, Summit Hill, has made the dean's list Honor for the 2011 spring semester at Kutztown University. Watkins, a 2006 Panther Valley graduate, will graduate from Kutztown in December with a bachelor's degree in art education.

He is the son of Megan Watkins and grandson of William and Eleanor Watkins of Lansford.

Jim Thorpe news

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Address needed

A reunion for Jim Thorpe High School classes of 1955 through 1965 will be held in 2012. The committee for the class of 1961 is in need of the whereabouts of a classmate, Robert A. Balliet. If you have an address or telephone number for Robert, please contact Bob Zovak, (570) 325-3001.

Leaders needed

Palmerton to accept bids for vacant lot in west end

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Palmerton will accept bids for a vacant lot in the west end of the borough.

Bids will be received for the property at 910 Edgemont Avenue until 11 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 23, at which time they will be publicly opened and read aloud.

Borough Manager Rodger Danielson said the borough would like to see the property serve a useful purpose.

"The borough purchased it in order to be able to clean it up and abate a hazard," Danielson said. "We'd really like to get it back in private hands and back in the taxes."

Tamaqua board hears solar proposal

Tuesday, July 26, 2011
The proposal involves 676 solar panels to be placed east of the Rush Elementary School.
The proposal involves 676 solar panels to be placed east of the Rush Elementary School.

TASD could produce more solar power than any other district in the state

Officials with MetroTek Electrical Services, Kunkletown, recently gave a turn-key solar proposal presentation to Tamaqua School board and other District officials in the LGI room of the Tamaqua Middle School.

According to the proposed agreement, the District would allow MetroTek to construct and operate the solar electric systems on district-owned land on each campus, with the entire project being completed at no cost to the District, as the District will be paying them for power over the next 20-years.

Corn has 'popped' too early

Tuesday, July 26, 2011
LARRY NEFF/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS
LARRY NEFF/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS

"Knee High By The Fourth of July" is one phrase Pennsylvania farmers have used for generations of how they wanted their crops to be by early summer. But this year it was chest high. Now that bumper crop of corn is in jeopardy with the lack of substantial rains before Monday's downpours and the blazing record high temperatures. This crop of corn in West Penn Township shows just how blighted the corn is and another heat wave on the way for this weekend.

Palmerton Historical group's picnic slated

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Palmerton Area Historical Society will host its annual picnic on August 8 at the farm of member, Bert Holczman, 540 Sand Quarry Road, Ashfield.

The society will provide the hot dogs, hamburgers, rolls, condiments and beverages. Attendees are asked to bring a covered dish and/or dessert.

Please make a reservation by calling Jane at (610) 767-5638 before July 29.

Come any time after 4 p.m.

Rain date is August 8.

'Cruise to the Music' this Saturday in JT

Tuesday, July 26, 2011
VICTOR IZZO/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Displaying the "Cruise to the Music" banner in the Gazebo at Memorial Park in Jim Thorpe for this Saturday's upcoming United Way event are, left to right, Angela Nardini, vice president of PR Media & Marketing; Oscar Santizo, Human Resources; Donna Lennon, vice president of allocations; and Dr. Lisa Bleicher, vice president of campaign/fundraising.
VICTOR IZZO/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Displaying the "Cruise to the Music" banner in the Gazebo at Memorial Park in Jim Thorpe for this Saturday's upcoming United Way event are, left to right, Angela Nardini, vice president of PR Media & Marketing; Oscar Santizo, Human Resources; Donna Lennon, vice president of allocations; and Dr. Lisa Bleicher, vice president of campaign/fundraising.

The United Way of Carbon County's Fourth Annual "Cruise to the Music" Festival and Car Cruise with The Juke Box Cruisers Car Club will be held on Saturday, July 30, from 1 to 10 p.m. at Memorial Park on East 10th St. in Jim Thorpe.

The event will be "Fun for All Ages" admission is free and there will be live entertainment beginning at 1 p.m. with the vocal trio "I.C.E.," vocal performances by Jim Thorpe and Carbon County Idol winner Hailey Hoherchak, as well as the 2010 Jim Thorpe Idol winner Caitlin Henninger and NYC and Poconos favorite musician Tom Riccobono.

Schuylkill property transfers

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Property transfers

Stanley J. and Gloria A. German to Andrew A. Asbury and Lisa M. Brown, tract containing two acres on western side of a dirt road leading from Blue Mountain to Summer Valley Road in East Brunswick Township, $225,000.

Carmen J. and Kathleen M. Forke to Carmen J. Forke III, a two and one-half story frame home on Lewis and Brock Street, Schuylkill Township, $1 (transaction from parents to son).

Elizabeth K. Coombe, Ryan Township, to Delroy G. Wagner, New Boston, a lot 53 feet by 138 feet on Church Street, Ryan Township, with improvements, $65,000.

Washington Twp. supers accepting bids for air breathing system

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Star Hose Fire Company in Emerald has a demand for an air breathing system.

To that end, Washington Township supervisors will accept bids for the purchase and installation of the system.

Bids will be received at the Emerald Fire Station until 3 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 3. They will then be publicly opened and read aloud at a workshop meeting of the board that day at 3:15 p.m.

In May, Fire Chief Keith Kibler asked supervisors to help prepare a bid package for a pump to fill air packs, as reported in an article that ran in the TIMES NEWS.

Lehighton district excels at PSSA tests

Tuesday, July 26, 2011
MICHAEL A HEERY/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS At last evening's Lehighton Area School Board meeting, Franklin Township resident Glenn Whiteman proposed adding another bus stop on Innsbruck Drive at the cul-de-sac in order to help improve safety for the students.
MICHAEL A HEERY/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS At last evening's Lehighton Area School Board meeting, Franklin Township resident Glenn Whiteman proposed adding another bus stop on Innsbruck Drive at the cul-de-sac in order to help improve safety for the students.

Jonathan Cleaver, director of curriculum, informed Lehighton Area School Board last evening that according to preliminary results that he recently received, "The school district hit every AYP target at every level."

Pennsylvania System of School Assessment also known as PSSA measures how well students have achieved in reading, mathematics, science and writing. By using these standards, educators, parents, and administrators can evaluate their students' strengths and weaknesses to increase students' achievement scores.

A missed PR opportunity

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Big airlines pocketing fed ticket tax windfall

A partial shutdown of the Federal Aviation Administratison due to a funding stalemate in Congress has halted airport construction projects around the country, directly affecting some 4,000 employees in 35 states.

Thankfully, the safety of airline passengers isn't being compromised since air controllers and those who inspect the safety of planes are not among the furloughed workers.

Brockton driver facing charges

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A Brockton driver is facing charges following a one vehicle crash that occurred about 4:10 p.m. on Monday, July 25, along Pinedale Industrial Road in West Brunswick Township, Schuylkill County.

Hometown couple celebrates 50 years

Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Rev. David and Beverley Knoebel
Rev. David and Beverley Knoebel

The Rev. David and Beverley Knoebel of Hometown recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.

They were married in Zion Lutheran Church in Tamaqua on June 24, 1961.

Beverley is the daughter of the late John and Mae Barton. David is the son of the late Rev. Arthur and Marion Knoebel.

A service of celebration was held on June 26 in the Muhlenberg College Chapel.