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August 2011

Good night Irene ... and good riddance!

Monday, August 29, 2011
Larry Neff/Special to the Times news The waters of a raging Aquashicola Creek left one street and many back yards along Lehigh Avenue in Palmerton under water.
Larry Neff/Special to the Times news The waters of a raging Aquashicola Creek left one street and many back yards along Lehigh Avenue in Palmerton under water.

Loss of power was one local hardship; PPL calls it the second worst storm in the company's history

Hurricane Irene stormed through our region late Saturday and into Sunday, unleashing pounding rain and whipping winds. Lehigh and Monroe counties were stomped, while Irene's skirts brushed Carbon and Schuylkill counties.

Police attribute three deaths on Sunday morning in our area to the storm. Jason Dahm of Hellertown apparently lost control of his vehicle on the Northeast Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, tumbling down an embankment and striking a utility pole.

class reunion

Monday, August 29, 2011

THS Class of 1971

The Tamaqua High School Class of 1971 is planning a 40-year anniversary reunion for Oct. 22 and is in need of current contact information for numerous class members.

Addresses, phone numbers and/or email addresses would be helpful. Classmates or individuals with information about classmates may contact Jerry Zubey at (570) 668-1175; Mary Allen Cooper at (570) 386-5220; or Mary Ann Rother Bright at (570) 778-0948.

The class has established a Facebook page at TAHS class of "71" or emails can be sent to tahsclass of 71@hotmail.com.

Tree barricade

Monday, August 29, 2011
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/TIMES NEWS
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/TIMES NEWS

A fallen tree blocks Route 443 in East Brunswick Township, near New Philadelphia Road.

Some near Pa. waterways still prepare for worst

Monday, August 29, 2011
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/TIMES NEWS PennDOT was out in force yesterday clearing trees, branches and other windborn debris from state roads. Pictured are PennDOT employees removing a fallen tree from SR443 near Clamtown.
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/TIMES NEWS PennDOT was out in force yesterday clearing trees, branches and other windborn debris from state roads. Pictured are PennDOT employees removing a fallen tree from SR443 near Clamtown.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Residents along many eastern Pennsylvania waterways continued to prepare for the worst of Tropical Storm Irene's wrath that may be to come as swollen waterways continue to rise.

Along the Delaware River, communities readied for the water, with Easton and New Hope bracing for major flooding that the National Weather Service said could come Monday morning or afternoon if the river crests to 31 feet, or nine feet above flood stage.

Bench swallowed by Ontelaunee Creek

Monday, August 29, 2011
Larry Neff/special to the times news
Larry Neff/special to the times news

Teacher-student interaction highlights Palmerton session

Monday, August 29, 2011
TERRY AHNER/TIMES NEWS  John Audi, of Sweets, Stevens Law Firm, speaks recently at Palmerton Area High School.
TERRY AHNER/TIMES NEWS John Audi, of Sweets, Stevens Law Firm, speaks recently at Palmerton Area High School.

There are many traits teachers and staff should exhibit as professional public employees.

Tips on how they should interact with students were shared recently with teachers and staff in the Palmerton Area School District.

The district presented an educational program to all staff as part of an in-service day recently in the high school auditorium.

School board president Barry Scherer and Superintendent Carol Boyce welcomed those in attendance.

The program was conducted by PSEA UniServe Representative Sheila Saidman and John Audi of Sweet, Stevens, Law Firm.

Don't take life for granted

Saturday, August 27, 2011

By RON GOWER

rgower@tnonline.com

Sometimes life deals us some very painful hands.

I was thinking this week when I read about Kimberly (Mateyak) Griffith, 45, and her two young daughters, Brenna, 12, and Mikaela, 8, drowning in their minivan during a flash flood last Friday in Pittsburgh.

How painful for Kimberly's husband and their two other children! Kimberly is a former resident of Tamaqua.

That incident made me think about a tragedy that happened 45 years ago this month, when I was growing up in Weissport.

Kathryn's first trip to the park

Saturday, August 27, 2011

What a week this has been. First on my way home from Allentown last Friday, I get caught in a powerful thunderstorm which I was fortunate to skirt around, but not before it started pelting my car with hail in a manner reminiscent of our May storm. Two days later we received another torrential downpour and on Tuesday of all things, the area rocked and rolled from an earthquake centered just northwest of Richmond, Virginia. Now at the time I am writing this column we may be faced with a major hurricane that was bearing down on the East Coast as of Wednesday.

Impact of impending storm concerns Lehigh Canal Commission officials

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Projects at the Lehigh Canal Park are moving along, but the impending storm this weekend has members of the Lehigh Canal Recreation Commission concerned about the damage that could occur to the towpath.

The Commission has not yet finished making repairs from the last high water event that took place in March.

Scott Everett of the Delaware and Lehigh National Corridor Commission said that a blade (a trail marker) has been installed at the trail head at Weissport and that the aging sign at the entrance also needs replacing.

Palmerton firemen limit damage from dwelling fire

Saturday, August 27, 2011
TERRY AHNER/TIMES NEWS  Firefighters from the Palmerton Fire Company work to extinguish a dwelling fire that occurred late Friday morning at 867 Mauch Chunk Road in Palmerton.
TERRY AHNER/TIMES NEWS Firefighters from the Palmerton Fire Company work to extinguish a dwelling fire that occurred late Friday morning at 867 Mauch Chunk Road in Palmerton.

A lit match is believed to have caused a dwelling fire late Friday morning in Palmerton.

The Palmerton Fire Company was dispatched to a half-double home at 867 Mauch Chunk Road at around 11:30 a.m.

When firefighters arrived, the fire was smoldering. The fire was extinguished within five to 10 minutes. No injuries were reported.

Fire Chief Dennis Behler said the incident occurred after a child went upstairs and lit a match, which caused a bed to burn.

Behler said the fire caused major damage to the bedroom and minor water damage downstairs.

More thoughts and puns

Saturday, August 27, 2011

By BOB URBAN

rurban@tnonline.com

I just had to pass on this quote from Peter Schmuck, a Baltimore sports writer, concerning the indictment of Roger Clemens:

"Isn't it great to live in a society where the penalty for lying to a congressman can be up to 30 years in jail, but the penalty for a congressman lying to you is another two years in office?"

– Atheism is a non-prophet organization

Most of us take those summonses for jury duty seriously, but enough people skip out on their civic duty that a new and ominous kind of fraud has surfaced.

Marian opening a new school year Monday with freshman orientation

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The new school year opens next week at Marian High School, Hometown, principal, Sister Bernard Agnes, IHM announced.

Orientation Day for ninth grade students is scheduled for Monday, Aug. 29. Students in grades 10-12 will begin classes on Tuesday, and all students grades 9-12 will report on Wednesday.

The orientation will familiarize the new students with each other, the school and in addition to their teachers, administration, counselor and school staff. Student Council members will be available to assist students throughout the day.

Bypassing Congress and ruling by regulation

Saturday, August 27, 2011

When the Dream Act failed to pass the Congress, the President lost a key pillar in his "road to citizenship" plan to legalize "undocumented aliens".

Having failed in law, the Obama administration, through Janet Napolitano (a.k.a. Big Sis) has issued a directive that the administration will review all cases of illegal immigrants slated for deportation. According to the Federation for American Immigration Reform this new policy is "blanket amnesty".

The fight for healthy blood

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Some local residents are developing a rare disorder in which their bone marrow makes too many red blood cells, sometimes referred to as thick blood. The condition is called polycythemia vera (PV) and those who acquire it may have few or no symptoms. But they're prone to develop blood clots and are at increased risk of a heart attack or stroke.

Part of the treatment involves going to the hospital for regular bloodletting sessions.

Batten down the hatch! Pa. under state of emergency as storm nears

Saturday, August 27, 2011
Bob Ford/Times News Rafts from Pocono Whitewater Rafting make their way through the Bridal Veil rapid in the Lehigh Gorge State Park Friday afternoon. Boaters were treated to high water levels thanks to the Army Corps of Engineers' decision to release water from the Frances E. Walter Dam due to the hravy rain expected tonight and tomorrow from Hurricane Irene.
Bob Ford/Times News Rafts from Pocono Whitewater Rafting make their way through the Bridal Veil rapid in the Lehigh Gorge State Park Friday afternoon. Boaters were treated to high water levels thanks to the Army Corps of Engineers' decision to release water from the Frances E. Walter Dam due to the hravy rain expected tonight and tomorrow from Hurricane Irene.

rgower@tnonline.com

State officials, weather experts, and emergency rescue personnel are issuing stern warnings regarding Hurricane Irene, which is expected to begin impacting our weather this evening.

On Friday, Gov. Tom Corbett declared a statewide disaster emergency to enable state, county and municipal governments to respond effectively to the impact of the massive storm expected to affect the eastern half of the state especially.

The Readers Turn

Saturday, August 27, 2011
Donald Fegley Jr., CEO, Fegley Oil Company Inc. "I have delayed equipment purchases, expansion projects and sold underutilized equipment."
Donald Fegley Jr., CEO, Fegley Oil Company Inc. "I have delayed equipment purchases, expansion projects and sold underutilized equipment."

"During these trying economic times, what are you doing to save money?"

Preparing for a worse-case scenario Preparation, common sense are key when facing a threat the size of Hurricane Irene

Saturday, August 27, 2011
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/TIMES NEWS Major Margaret Johnson holds a windable radio as she goes through a disaster supply kit on display at the Tamaqua salvation Army.
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/TIMES NEWS Major Margaret Johnson holds a windable radio as she goes through a disaster supply kit on display at the Tamaqua salvation Army.

When facing the kind of threat posed by a storm the size of Hurricane Irene, two of the biggest problems we face are simply not preparing yourself and lacking common sense.

Hurricanes always carry with them the possibility of strong winds, heavy flooding, power outages, food shortages and evacuations, and Irene's size and strength has the potential to be a once-in-a-lifetime event.

Simple things like creating an emergency supply kit, a family emergency communications plan and knowing how to prepare and deal with multiple types of disasters can be potential life-savers.

Beth Ann Seymour assumes duties as Lansford's secretary-treasurer

Saturday, August 27, 2011
AMY MILLER/TIMES NEWS Beth Ann Seymour of Coaldale was introduced on Wednesday as Lansford's new borough secretary-treasurer. She began her new position on Aug. 1.
AMY MILLER/TIMES NEWS Beth Ann Seymour of Coaldale was introduced on Wednesday as Lansford's new borough secretary-treasurer. She began her new position on Aug. 1.

Lansford has a new borough secretary-treasurer.

During the borough council meeting on Wednesday, council President Adam Webber introduced Beth Ann Seymour of Coaldale as the borough's new secretary. She began her new position on Aug. 1 and replaced former secretary Renee Slakoper, who resigned on May 25.

Councilwoman Rose Mary Cannon commented that Beth, as well as councilwoman Mary Kruczek, have gotten a "tremendous amount of work done in the office" and that it is "starting to look like a real office again."

State police urge motorists to use caution

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Pennsylvania State Police, in cooperation with municipal Police Departments urge motorists to obey temporary traffic control devices and detours, and to avoid driving through high, fast moving water during extreme weather conditions.

Members of the public can help to reduce flooding conditions by maintaining open storm drains.

Motorists are urged to notify police if they discover a flooded roadway so appropriate resources may be directed to the area promptly.

Researching family roots spurs Civil War historian

Saturday, August 27, 2011
AL ZAGOFSKY/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Joe Nihen at original grave stone which is located behind the new military grave stone of Charles Henry Neumiller at the Grand Army of the Republic Cemetery in Summit Hill. Neumiller died at age 19. From his 11th Regiment Company H Pennsylvania Volunteers, 340 men were discharged whole out of 1,890 men who served.
AL ZAGOFSKY/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Joe Nihen at original grave stone which is located behind the new military grave stone of Charles Henry Neumiller at the Grand Army of the Republic Cemetery in Summit Hill. Neumiller died at age 19. From his 11th Regiment Company H Pennsylvania Volunteers, 340 men were discharged whole out of 1,890 men who served.

Ten years ago, Joe Nihen of Lansford became curious about his family history, and so he drove to his ancestral home to visit his great great grandfather's grave site in Shamokin.

"I found by the epitaph that he served with the 208th Regiment," Nihen said. "I didn't know he was in the Civil War."

That's all he had to go on. "Finding his grave marker in Shamokin started me on a path," Nihen said. "I started looking for information on him, and as I did, I started to find information on the men who served with him."

Lehighton crash injures motorist

Saturday, August 27, 2011
Larry Neff/Times news A female motorist was injured in Lehighton Friday afternoon after apparently failing to stop at an intersection and ramming a pickup truck parked in front of a home on the 100 block of South Third Street.
Larry Neff/Times news A female motorist was injured in Lehighton Friday afternoon after apparently failing to stop at an intersection and ramming a pickup truck parked in front of a home on the 100 block of South Third Street.

One person was injured Friday afternoon in a crash along South Third street in Lehighton.

The crash occurred about 3:30 p.m. as the female motorist was traveling east on Cedar Street and apparently failed to stop at the intersection with South Third Street. The motorist continued through the "T"intersection, ramming a pickup truck parked in front of a home on the east side of the 100 block of South Third.

Lansford officials approve store owner's bench request

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Vote weighs on a determination that one of the benches was not borough-owned

Lansford officials approved a business's request for benches outside its store, but asked that the company returns the one bench it took from the borough park without permission.

During Lansford's Borough Council meeting on Wednesday, council members discussed a request, sent by Edward Kanick, owner of Sharpes News Agency on Ridge Street, on Jan. 27, asking that council again address his request to have one or two park benches in front of the store.

Lehigh Valley RR crash near Geneva had a high death toll

Saturday, August 27, 2011

By JIM ZBICK

jzbick@tnonline.com

Shortly before noon on Aug. 25, 1911, two rail cars connected to a Lehigh Valley Railroad's train derailed near a bridge in Manchester, N.Y., about 16 miles from Geneva, causing what one reporter called "one of the worst wrecks in the history of the state."

Train No. 4 was running 40 minutes behind schedule when it sped past the Geneva station. Among the passengers was a large number of Civil War veterans and their families returning from the national GAR encampment held in Rochester.

Location changed for Carbon fair picnic

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Due to the anticipated inclement weather, the location for the Carbon County Fair volunteer picnic being held to honor volunteers and sponsors at 1 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 28 has been changed to the Blue Mountain Health System Conference Center, Sixth and Iron streets, Lehighton.

Reservations for volunteers, sponsors and their family members are required and can be made by calling Alicia at 570-325-8685.

There will be food, fun and games. The 2012 fair will be held August 8-12, 2012 on Little Gap Road in Palmerton.

West End Fair adds an extra day

Saturday, August 27, 2011
Ron Gower/Times News Josh Smith of Kuss Brothers, Allentown, which supplies tents for some of the vendors at the West End Fair in Gilbert, hammers large stakes into ground holding tents. Smith said he doesn't feel the impending storm Irene will harm the tents, noting they are built to withstand wind speeds of 70 miles per hour.
Ron Gower/Times News Josh Smith of Kuss Brothers, Allentown, which supplies tents for some of the vendors at the West End Fair in Gilbert, hammers large stakes into ground holding tents. Smith said he doesn't feel the impending storm Irene will harm the tents, noting they are built to withstand wind speeds of 70 miles per hour.

Decision will be made Sunday on whether it opens on schedule

Vendors were pitching tents, putting together rides, and stocking inventory at stands Friday at the West End Fairgrounds in Gilbert

They know that getting ready for a fair is time consuming, so it has to get done well in advance of the fair's opening.

They also realize a potentially-dangerous hurricane is approaching which could create havoc.

The 90th annual West End Fair is scheduled to open Sunday at 10 a.m.

A reward in life 'truly worth it'

Saturday, August 27, 2011
Riley McCall
Riley McCall

Riley McCall is fulfilling a lifelong dream as Peace Corps volunteer

Intuition may have been the most influential factor in Riley McCall's lifetime aspiration regarding service learning.

"I've been day-dreaming about volunteering for the Peace Corps since high school," she said. "My family didn't believe me, but it's true. It (the decision to spend 27 months in Africa) feels so right for me; I am very excited about going there."

My know-it-all friend

Saturday, August 27, 2011

I have a buddy that's a total know-it-all.

Remember those black "magic globes" that could answer any question? They were fun, even if the answers were usually "maybe" or "it's doubtful."

Well, my buddy is way better than that because his answers are always long and informative. And, he's usually right.

My buddy answers to the name of Mac, as in iMac and he is next to useless without an Internet connection. But when I combine Mac and the Internet, I can find the answer to anything.

Indians, Raiders get wins

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Lehighton golf team and Tamaqua girls tennis team both posted victories on Friday.

GOLF

Lehighton-ES North

Lehighton picked up its first golf victory of the year, as the Indians knocked off East Stroudsburg North in Mountain Valley Conference action, 14 1/2-9 1/2.

North's Ken Dixon won the medalist honors with a 79. He was the only Timberwolf to shoot below 100.

Lehighton (1-2) were led by Alden Everett's 93. Jake Hoats (94), Nick Mantz (95) and PJ Salerno (96) shot under 100 as well.

Lehighton 14 1/2,

East Stroudsburg North 9 1/2

Entitled

Saturday, August 27, 2011

I spent some time recently at the Stanford, FL airport - waiting to pick up my sister who was flying in from PA. While I waited, I couldn't help overhearing a phone conversation.

Sitting next to me was a twenty-something young woman on a cell phone. She was well dressed and was apparently waiting for someone, too. She spent her waiting time talking on the phone. I was trying to read, but couldn't concentrate because she spoke loudly.

Northwestern splits

Friday, August 26, 2011

Northwestern's golf team earned a Colonial League split on Thursday, defeating Saucon Valley while falling to Bangor.

The Tigers narrowly lost to the Slaters , 411-414, but had no problems with the Panthers, 414-432.

Northwestern's Cole Miller and Nick Vecellio tied for medalists honors as both finished with 74s.

SAUCON VALLEY (432)

Troy Heffelfinger 77, Alex Butrie 85, Ryan Kern 86, Ethan Gaither 89, Paul Sloand 95

BANGOR (411)

Ben Lentine 80, Alex Colton 81, Mike Hartzell 82, James Lobb 82, Justin Kosman 86

NORTHWESTERN (414)

Here comes Irene

Friday, August 26, 2011

Carbon EMA coordinator has put towns on alert

Hurricane Irene appears to be on her way to our area.

The latest postings by the National Hurricane Center points to a direct hit in the Chesapeake Bay area at about 2 a.m. Sunday.

Mark Nalesnik, director of the Carbon County Emergency Management Agency, said there are conference calls with state and federal officials scheduled later today.

The latest information he has indicates we could have winds of 40-60 miles per hour with several inches of rain.

Of the wind, he said the area is used to dealing with these conditions.