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December 2011

Lady 'Dawgs to defend tourney title

Tuesday, December 27, 2011
MIKE FEIFEL/TIMES NEWS
MIKE FEIFEL/TIMES NEWS Northern Lehigh's Rachel Harris looks for a teammate as Lehighton's Maria Magyar applies some pressure.

The Northern Lehigh girls basketball team has enjoyed immense success in recent years at the annual Lady Indians Holiday Classic.

In fact, it has been able to capture the Classic the last three seasons, with center Aimee Oertner winning the tournament MVP in each of those years.

Oertner and the Lady 'Dawgs once again showed no signs of giving up their spot as Classic champs, routing Lehighton 50-9 in the opening round of tournament play on Monday night.

Northern Lehigh attacked Lehighton right from the tip, using Oertner to dismantle the Lady Indian defense inside.

ARD probabtions revoked for five by Schuylkill judge

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The ARD (Accelerated Rehabilative Disposition) Program is a probation program offered by the district attorney's office only to first offenders who committed non-violent crimes to allow them to serve a one-year probation period to clear their names.

The district attorney is the only one who can recommend defendants be placed in this program and makes his recommendation to court. A judge's order places them in the program and sets conditions they must abide for 12 months in order to clear their criminal record.

Fake money passed in Lehigh County

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A case of counterfeit currency being passed in Lehigh County is being investigated by state police at the Fogelsville barracks.

Police said the incident was reported at 1:34 p.m. Dec. 19 by the Wal-Mart Store, Lower Macungie Township.

Police said someone purchased a Visa gift card from the store and paid for it with the counterfeit bills.

Hallowed ground

Tuesday, December 27, 2011
The elegant Veterans Memorial
The elegant Veterans Memorial at Indiantown Gap National Cemetery, Annville, Lebanon County.

Fallen soldiers are memorialized forever at the Indiantown Gap National Cemetery

Standing tall against gunmetal gray skies, the Veterans Memorial at Indiantown Gap National Cemetery, in Annville, Lebanon County, one recent Saturday welcomed a steady stream of visitors. Some came to mourn the loss of a loved one, others to explore the clean, elegant and poignant design of the largest veterans memorial in the country.

Panthers fall in overtime

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Panther Valley girls took Shenandoah Valley to the wire before falling in overtime on Monday night.

With nine seconds left, Ali Semanchick hit a open shot from underneath to lift Shenandoah Valley to a thrilling a 47-46 overtime victory over the Lady Panthers in the opening game of the Second Annual Senator James Rhoades Tournament.

Semanchick was also fouled on the play, but missed the bonus shot. Panther Valley (3-2) rebounded the miss and pushed the ball up the court. A walking violation ended any hopes it had of earning a berth in tonight's title game, however.

PMRP take man into custody

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Pocono Mountain Regional Police report they took Thomas G. Dreyfus, 20, of Baltimore, Md., into custody on Dec. 21 after police learned that he was residing in the Poconos while being wanted in Maryland.

Police said the man was residing at 2130 Rosemount Drive, Pocono Country Place. Police said they learned he was wanted in Baltimore County, Md., on charges of burglary and theft. He was taken into custody and committed to the Monroe County Correctional facility, Snydersville, where he is awaiting extradition to Maryland.

Annual ball drop all set for Little Gap

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

New Year's event will also celebrate the reopening of the Covered Bridge

Ring out the old year, bring in the new.

What better place to do so than at the ninth annual New Year's Eve Gala and Ball Drop in Little Gap Square at the Covered Bridge Inn?

The festivities will get under way when Covered Bridge Inn's executive chef, Jillian LeClair, creates exciting entrées prepared with the fresh farm and ocean ingredients hand selected by owner Ron Gilbert from noon until 10 p.m.

Tolls go up

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Turnpike users without E-ZPass being affected

If you don't have an E-ZPass, traveling on the Pennsylvania Turnpike is going to be more expensive beginning Jan. 1.

Effective Sunday, cash rates on the turnpike are increasing 10 percent.

There is no rate increase for people who have an E-ZPass transponder. E-ZPass users will pay about 17 percent less than cash customers.

From the Mahoning Valley exchange to the Lehigh Valley, the new rate will be $2.05 for a passenger car, up from the present rate of $1.85. The rate increases are rounded off to the nearest nickel.

The E-ZPass rate is $1.66.

Christmas fire damages Penn Forest home

Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Larry Neff/special to the times news A Christmas day fire extensively damaged this home in Towamensing Trails.
Larry Neff/special to the times news A Christmas day fire extensively damaged this home in Towamensing Trails.

A fast-moving fire extensively damaged a Carbon County home Christmas day.

The fire was first reported at 2 p.m. when reports of flames shooting from a home at 618 Old Stage Road in Towamensing Trails, Penn Forest Township.

When firefighters arrived on scene flames were through the roof. Quick response and good tactical firefighting saved a major portion of the two-story wood frame single-family dwelling. Workers at the scene Monday reported the home is owned and occupied by John Hom.

Graduates from Penn State University

Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Price
Price

Ryan Price, son of Jody and Lisa Price of Coaldale, graduated from Penn State University with a bachelor's degree in Accounting with a minor in Economics. Commencement exercises were held on Dec. 17. While attending Penn State, for the Spring 2011 semester, Price completed an internship with Urish Popeck in Pittsburgh.

The 2007 graduate of Martan Catholic High School has accepted a position, Master of the Accounting program, with the University of Gainseville in Florida, beginning in January.

Police are probing attempted break-in

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

State police at the Schuylkill Haven barracks are investigating an attempted burglary that happened between 8 p.m. Dec. 24 and 8 a.m. Dec. 26 at a home in Cressona.

Police said the owners of the home at 58 Schuylkill St. in the borough, Irvin Ebling, 86, and Ora Ebling, 84, told them someone broke the glass portion of the wooden basement entrance door and proceeded to unlock the door.

Police said, however, that there were no signs of entry after the door was broken.

Nothing was reported missing from the residence.

New Philly woman caught shoplifting

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

State police at the Schuylkill Haven barracks said Renee Gibas, 39, of New Philadelphia, is facing retail theft charges after she was caught shoplifting on Dec. 24 at 3:41 p.m. at Super Shoes in the Fairlane Village Mall, Pottsville.

Police said she left the store without paying for a pair of duck boots valued at $69.99.

Police said store employees witnessed Gibas placing the boots into a bag and leaving the store before they apprehended her.

No one is injured in Lehigh mishap

Monday, December 26, 2011

State police at the Fogelsville barracks said no one was injured in a mishap at 5:48 a.m. Dec. 19 on Route 22 in Upper Macungie Township.

Police said Julio Perez-Mota, 45, of Allentown, was driving a 1992 Toyota Camry that sustained a flat tire/blowout while traveling westbound. After he brought the vehicle to a stop, it was struck in the rear by another westbound vehicle, a 2005 Pontiac Sunfire operated by Michael A. Gold, 24, of Albrightsville.

police said both vehicles sustained disabling damages.

ON THIS DATE

Monday, December 26, 2011

December 26, 1984 Brett Jones sinks two free throws with five seconds left to play to help seal Northern Lehigh's 64-63 win over Parkland in the opening round of the Slatington Rotary Tournament. The Bulldogs, coached by Glenn Rissmiller, lead by one when Jones is sent to the line. After Jones converts both free throws, the Trojans score a meaningless bucket at the buzzer. Jones finishes with a team-high 22 points while Jeff Jones tallies 18. Randy Howell also chips in with 10.

Man is arrested at hearing location

Monday, December 26, 2011

State police at the Lehighton barracks said they arrested Richard Hartranft, 46, no address given, after the man reported for a hearing at the magisterial district office in Jim Thorpe while he was under the influence of alcohol.

The incident happened at 4 p.m. Dec. 21 at the office of District Justice Edward Lewis, Center Avenue, Jim Thorpe.

Police said Hartranft was arrested for a summary charge of public drunkenness.

Car batteries are stolen from store

Monday, December 26, 2011

State police at the Fogelsville barracks are investigating the theft of between 30 and 40 car batteries from the Wal-Mart Store in Lower Macungie Township.

Police said the incident was reported at 5:43 a.m. Dec. 20 after someone broke into an enclosed area behind the store and took the batteries.

Schuylkill CountyCourt news

Monday, December 26, 2011

The following actions were taken recently in Schuylkill County:

Claim defaults

Danielsville woman facing DUI charge

Monday, December 26, 2011

Megan Focht, 23, of Danielsville, is facing drunk driving charges after a one-vehicle crash at 3 a.m. Dec. 24 along the Little Gap Road in Lower Towamensing Township.

State police at the Lehighton barracks said she was driving a motor vehicle that veered off the roadway and struck a utility pole headon.

She was transported to the Palmerton Hospital for treatment of injuries.

Police said the woman showed signs of impairment and was arrested for DUI. She submitted to a blood test at the hospital to determine her blood-alcohol level.

Tamaqua woman among 8 people entering guilty pleas

Monday, December 26, 2011

A Tamaqua woman was one of eight people who entered guilt pleas in the Schuylkill County Court and were sentenced by President Judge William E. Baldwin.

Car flips on roof, Tamaqua driver hurt

Monday, December 26, 2011

One person sustained minor injuries in a one-vehicle crash at 10:32 a.m. Dec. 24 on Route 895 in East Penn Township.

State police at the Lehighton barracks said Gary L. Kryzmalski, 30, of Tamaqua, was hurt after a 1996 Chevrolet Cavalier he was driving crashed and landed on its roof.

Rigs crash on I-81 in Ryan Township

Monday, December 26, 2011

A tractor trailer crash at 4:45 a.m. Dec. 21 on Interstate 81 in Ryan Township resulted in minor injury to the driver.

State police at the Frackville barracks said Miguel Cotto of Lebanon was operating the rig north on the interstate when he became distracted and drove off the west side of the road. The tractor trailer went down a slight grass embankment into the median between the north and south lanes, and traveled about 150 feet into a wooded area where it struck several trees.

Police said the rig was moderately damaged and was removed after daybreak.

Derek Marouchoc recognized as Nesquehoning Fireman of the Year

Monday, December 26, 2011
SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Derek Marouchoc, center, receives the Nesquehoning Fire Company's Fireman of the Year award from Nesquehoning Mayor Tony Walck, left; and Nesquehoning Hose Company President Matthew Evans.
SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Derek Marouchoc, center, receives the Nesquehoning Fire Company's Fireman of the Year award from Nesquehoning Mayor Tony Walck, left; and Nesquehoning Hose Company President Matthew Evans.

Derek Marouchoc, an 18-year-old volunteer firefighter with the Nesquehoning Hose Company, was recently named Fireman of the Year.

The annual award recognizes members who go above and beyond what is routinely expected.

Marouchoc has been a member of the company since the age of 14, and has recently completed his Firefighter 1 certification.

Marouchoc is known as the go-to person at the station. Whenever there is a need, members know that they can turn to him to get the job accomplished.

Water Authority's audit completed

Monday, December 26, 2011

John M. Nonnemacher, a certified public accountant for Snyder and Clemente in Hazleton, presented the Nesquehoning Water Authority's audit findings for 2010 and 2011, at a special meeting last Thursday.

The authority received an unqualified opinion, which means that the "financial statements are presented fairly and in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America."

Man threatens state trooper

Monday, December 26, 2011

Gregory S. Zahradnick, 44, of Doylestown, Ohio, will be charged by state police at the Lehighton barracks with harassment as a result of an incident at 11:30 a.m. Dec. 24 in Towamensing Township.

Police said the man threatened Trooper Christopher Bonin as he was conducting an investigation into the accused.

The incident happened at the state police barracks located at 5730 Interchange Road.

Teen drivers

Monday, December 26, 2011

New law has some teeth

By tomorrow, Pennsylvania's new laws will be in place to better protect teens younger than 18 who have a driver's permit or junior license.

The law affects current permit-holders younger than 18 who have not yet passed the driving skills test before Dec. 27 will have to meet the requirements of the new law.

In summary, the new law increases behind-the-wheel training requirements, places a limit on the number of passengers a young driver can transport and makes not wearing a seat belt a primary offense for young drivers.

Glen Campbell, Nitty Gritty Band to perform in 2012 at Penn's Peak

Monday, December 26, 2011
Glen Campbell
Glen Campbell

Visit by Campbell on April 19 is a stop on his 'Goodbye Tour'

Tickets went on sale this past weekend for two big concert events in 2012 at Penn's Peak:

Ÿ Glen Campbell will be at the venue on Thursday, April 19, with his "Goodbye Tour." Tickets are $45 and $40.

Ÿ The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band plays for the first time at Penn's Peak on Saturday, June 2. Tickets are $24 in advance and $29 the day of the concert.

In August, Campbell released his "final" studio album, "Ghost on the Canvas." The album was named one of the top 10 best new LPs of 2011 by the New York Daily News in its Sunday edition.

Live Wire to stage New Year's Eve concert at Penn's Peak

Monday, December 26, 2011
The Fabulous Greaseband
The Fabulous Greaseband will be performing Friday night at Penn's Peak, playing selections from the 50s through the 90s.

The Fabulous Greaseband brings oldies music on Friday night

The year 2011 is just about over, but there are still two nights of concerts left at Penn's Peak in Jim Thorpe.

On Friday night, The Fabulous Greaseband is back with a concert starting at 8 p.m. Tickets are $17 in advance and $22 on the day of the concert.

On New Year's Eve, it's going to be a rockin' time with Live Wire performing. Live Wire is considered "the world's greatest AC/DC tribute." The party begins at 9 p.m. and tickets are $22 in advance, $27 at the door. This is an "all ages" event.

Yost motivated by disappointment

Monday, December 26, 2011
Yost motivated by disappointment
Copyright 2011

Haley Yost didn't mind how she finished at the Colonial League meet last year, but it was the way she finished at the District 11 Class AAA meet that struck a nerve.

Yost followed a fifth-place finish in her first-ever league meet with a 17th place finish at districts, just one spot away from qualifying for the PIAA State championship meet.

Yost used that disappointment as a motivational tool for this season.

Two face assault charges in Slatington

Monday, December 26, 2011

Two individuals were charged with assault by Slatington borough police.

Shane Ehrich, 18, of 135 First Avenue, Walnutport, faces two counts of simple assault by mutual combat and two counts of harassment by physical contact.

David John Getz, 47, of 4036 Best Station Rd., Slatington, was charged with simple assault, conspiracy, and harassment by physical contact.

Both were arrested at 10:15 p.m. on Nov. 4 at Sal's Pizzeria, 116 Main Street, Slatington, police said.

Christmas program held at Rush Elementary School

Monday, December 26, 2011
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/TIMES NEWS Parents, family members and teachers enjoyed a holiday music performance by elementary students of the Rush Elementary School in Hometown on Friday. Showing off the Santa masks they made for their performance are Gabe Coleman, 6, Parker Oswald, 6, Eliana Milan, 6, and Tegan Devlin, 7.
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/TIMES NEWS Parents, family members and teachers enjoyed a holiday music performance by elementary students of the Rush Elementary School in Hometown on Friday. Showing off the Santa masks they made for their performance are Gabe Coleman, 6, Parker Oswald, 6, Eliana Milan, 6, and Tegan Devlin, 7.

Man given jail sentence for operating chop shop out of McAdoo property

Monday, December 26, 2011

A West Hazleton man received a jail sentence after pleading guilty in Schuylkill County Court to operating a chop shop in a garage of a vacant home in McAdoo.

The plea was entered by Jelly Roque, 23, of 130B Webster Avenue, West Hazleton, who was sentenced by President Judge William E. Baldwin to serve six months to 24 months in a state correctional facility with the sentence to run concurrent imposed by Lehigh County Court.