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December 2011

Thefts from motor vehicles reported

Monday, December 26, 2011

State police at the Fogelsville barracks have reported five cases of motor vehicles being entered and items from them being stolen.

Gladys M. Pickering, 73, of Allentown, reported someone broke into her vehicle and stole a handbag from the rear seat. That incident happened at 11:36 a.m. Dec. 19 in the parking lot of the WalMart Store in Lower Macungie Township.

On this date

Monday, December 26, 2011

December 26, 1972

Two local women have received notification that they have successfully passed the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing Examinations and are now registered nurses (RNs). They are Janice Black, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Fenton Black, Summit Hill, and Jeanne E. Deininger, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Deininger, Tamaqua. Miss Black is a graduate of Panther Valley High School and the Pottsville Hospital School fo Nursing. Mis Deininger graduated from Tamaqua Area High School and the Reading Hospital School of Nursing.

Lansford financial woes mount

Monday, December 26, 2011

Council disputing population numbers which determine CDBG money

The small, struggling borough of Lansford depended on Community Development Block Grants to fix streets, improve water and sewer facilities and tear down deteriorated buildings.

Now, it seems, that money is being taken away as of next year because the borough's population has fallen short of the minimum needed to qualify for the funds, a contention borough officials dispute.

Palmeron girls get Colonial victory

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Palmerton girls were the only area winner in Friday's scholastic basketball action.

GIRLS BASKETBALL

Northwestern-Bangor

Bangor defeated Northwestern in a battle of unbeatens, 40-34.

A slow start was responsible for the Tigers' Colonial League setback as the Slaters raced out to a 15-6 first quarter edge and then held on down the stretch.

Morgan McCollian and Sam Hopkins both had 11 points for Bangor.

For Northwestern (5-1 overall, 3-1 CL), Trista Cunningham had 11 points.

Bangor remains undefeated at 5-0.

NORTHWESTERN

Once an environmental disaster, the river's fortunes changed in the1960s

Monday, December 26, 2011
In 1976, the Carbon County Bicentennial Canoe Expedition, a sojourn of 32 canoes led by Roger Appleton of Palmerton and Phil Rodgers of Jim Thorpe, put in at the Jim Thorpe train station on the Lehigh River and arrived to Washington's Crossing on the Delaware River four days later.
In 1976, the Carbon County Bicentennial Canoe Expedition, a sojourn of 32 canoes led by Roger Appleton of Palmerton and Phil Rodgers of Jim Thorpe, put in at the Jim Thorpe train station on the Lehigh River and arrived to Washington's Crossing on the Delaware River four days later.

(Note: This is the second in a series of four articles offers a brief history of Lehigh Whitewater).

By AL ZAGOFSKY

TN Correspondent

azagofsk@ptd.net

The Lehigh River, a once wild and scenic river, became stagnant when it was dammed in the early 1800s to allow shipment of anthracite coal on the Lehigh Canal System.

The canal opened in 1827 and by 1855, it was on its way to technologic obsolescence through the introduction of a competitor, the Lehigh Valley Railroad.

Christmas program at Tamaqua Elementary School

Monday, December 26, 2011
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/TIMES NEWS Santa and his elf, Forrest Rolko, reads a Christmas story to all the kids during the assembly.
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/TIMES NEWS Santa and his elf, Forrest Rolko, reads a Christmas story to all the kids during the assembly.

Hundreds of parents and family members were on hand as students in grades 2 to 5 took part in the Tamaqua Elementary School's annual holiday program Friday in the school's gymnasium.

The program involved music, songs, dances and a holiday chorus video students could sing to.

Brayden Knoblauch, 10, made the audience and students laugh with his surprise worm dance during one of the songs.

Santa also arrived and read a story to the children.

Parker Green's 'best Christmas'

Monday, December 26, 2011
Gail Maholick/TIMES NEWS
Gail Maholick/TIMES NEWS Carissa Sevin, left, was brought to tears by Parker Green's reaction after receiving his new bike. Alyssa Wentz is at right.

Fellow students showed up in a big way to make his holiday memorable

Christmas day was certainly made more memorable for 14-year-old Parker Green of Lehighton, thanks to a large group of his fellow friends and classmates.

Parker, a freshman at Lehighton Area High School, had the surprise of his life when 65 of his friends gathered around him last Thursday to present him with some valued gifts.

The effort to make Christmas brighter for Parker, who attends some special classes, was the brainchild of Carissa Sevin and Alyssa Wentz.

"He is so nice and so friendly all the time that we wanted to do this for him," said Sevin.

SS. Peter & Paul students complete D.A.R.E. program

Monday, December 26, 2011
AMY MILLER/TIMES NEWS
AMY MILLER/TIMES NEWS D.A.R.E. report winners Mary Grace Wilhelm, front left; and Caleb Kovach, front right; stand with special guests and school officials during SS. Peter and Paul Catholic School's D.A.R.E. graduation, held Wednesday in the school. Twenty-five fifth and sixth graders received certificates for completing the nine-week program.

25 students say 'no' to drugs and peer pressure

Twenty five students from SS. Peter and Paul Catholic School in Lehighton pledged to remain drug and violence free recently.

During the D.A.R.E. graduation on Dec. 21, 11 fifth and 14 sixth grade students listened as their D.A.R.E. instructor, Lt. David Midas of the Carbon County Sheriff's department, as well as Assistant District Attorney and Carbon County Judge-elect Joseph Matika, Lehighton Officer in Charge Joseph Lawrence, and SS. Peter and Paul principal Sherry Sernak and teacher Jennifer Lorenz, congratulated them on a job well done.

A necessary part of the health-and-fitness equation

Monday, December 26, 2011

A half-truth can do just as much damage as a blatant lie. Especially when it comes to your health and fitness.

That's why last week's article stressed the importance of critically reading health-and-fitness related information while being on guard for what I call "misinformation," information that's not really false, but is to some degree deceptive.

Carbon property transfers

Monday, December 26, 2011

Recent Carbon County deed recordings included the following:

Banks Township

Anna J. Bodnar to Anna M. Carr, 9 E. Oak St., Tresckow, two transactions, properties at 9 E. Oak St., $1 each.

East Penn Township

Chris C. Wehr to Judy L. Mantz, 240 Windy Lane, Andreas, 4.316 acres along High Point Road, Andreas, $39,000.

HSBC Bank, U.S.A., N.A., to Dean A. Berger Jr., 12 Kittatinny St., Lehighton, property at 12 Kittatinny Road, $99,900.

Franklin Township

Sophia Soltys to Sophie Soltys, Garfield, N.J., Kriss Pines Estates Lot A0524, $1.

Woman escapes injuries in Monroe

Monday, December 26, 2011

Adriana Kulik, 40, of Saylorsburg, escaped injuries in a one-vehicle crash Dec. 21 at 1 a.m. on State Route 715 in Chestnuthill Township.

State police at the Fern Ridge barracks said she was driving a 2006 Dodge Caravan southbound when it went out of control on a curve, exited the southbound lane of travel and struck a sharp turn arrow sign and two pine trees.

Police said she will be cited for driving on roadways laned for travel.

Tamaqua native Bill Arner Jr. receives special aviation award

Monday, December 26, 2011
Special to the TIMES NEWS
Special to the TIMES NEWS William S. Arner Jr., 75, right, a native of Tamaqua, is presented with The Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award by Eugene McCoy, manager of the FAA flight standards district office.

His sons, both pilots, were present at Allentown ceremony

A Tamaqua native recently received the coveted Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award, one of aviation's most prestigious honors.

William S. Arner Jr., 75, of Allentown, was presented with the award during a ceremony held at the Copperhead Grill in Allentown.

Arner, who soloed in March 1959 as a Naval Cadet, retired from the Navy in 1978 as a commander.

Since 1978, he has been employed in civilian aviation and is still employed full-time as a corporate pilot.

Suessville Christmas at West Penn Elementary School

Monday, December 26, 2011
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/TIMES NEWS 5th graders Morgan Lusch, 10, left, Angeline Castagna, 11, center, and Emily Amershek, 10, wear holiday caps as they race against other groups to be the first to wrap a gift box.
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/TIMES NEWS 5th graders Morgan Lusch, 10, left, Angeline Castagna, 11, center, and Emily Amershek, 10, wear holiday caps as they race against other groups to be the first to wrap a gift box.

Along with their whipped cream and hot chocolate, West Penn Elementary School students enjoyed a fun-filled day of games and activities during the school's Suessville Holiday Program last Friday.

Some activities consisted of dancing in the library, art projects, Christmas card mailing races, gift wrapping/unwrapping contests, tree decorating contests and much more.

PTO members also helped teachers with the program.

Judicial, county officials to be sworn in on Thursday

Monday, December 26, 2011

Seventeen judicial and county officers elected in last November's general election, will take their oath of office on Thursday, 10 a.m. in the Ceremonial Court Room Number One at the Schuylkill County Courthouse in Pottsville.

Court Administrator Lois Wallauer said this will be the largest group to be sworn. President Judge William E. Baldwin will administer the oath.

Late season hunting opens today

Monday, December 26, 2011

For everyone who enjoys the song of the beagles and the chatter of squirrels, there is something special about the late season for hunting small game.

Perhaps it's the chance of hunting in a blanket of fresh snow, or the opportunity to hunt with family members and friends that makes the second season so appealing. Regardless of the reason, the season arrives Monday for – in addition to rabbit and squirrel snowshoe hare, ruffed grouse and – in specific wildlife management units – pheasant.

Delano man arrested on child porn charges

Monday, December 26, 2011

State police at the Frackville barracks report the arrest of Timothy Russell Steward Jr., 38, of Delano, on child pornography charges relating to incidents that happened eight years ago.

Police said he was arraigned on Dec. 23 and committed to the Schuylkill County Prison, Pottsville, in lieu of $100,000 bail.

Steward is charged with sexual abuse of children, pornography, videotaping, depicting on computer or filming sexual acts; indecent assault; unlawful contact with a minor (three counts); obscene and other sexual material and performances; and corruption of minors.

Parks, Forests offer a variety pursuits

Monday, December 26, 2011

Pennsylvania's forest and park system offers a wide range of ways for visitors to enjoy spending time outdoors during the winter, according to the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. To view scheduled activities around the state, visit on the Web at www.getoutdoorspa.state.pa.us.

Tamaqua playground damaged by vandals

Monday, December 26, 2011
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/TIMES NEWS
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/TIMES NEWS Justin Startzel shows the inflatable Santa Claus decoration slashed by vandals Friday night.

South Ward hit just before Christmas, Crime Watch offering a $250 reward

Vandals caused over $500 worth of damage to Christmas decorations and a metal fence at the South Ward Playground Friday night in Tamaqua.

A neighbor who wishes to remain anonymous called 911 after seeing three male teens use a knife to slash the park's inflatable Christmas decorations, cut Christmas lights and knock the park's Christmas tree over at about 10 p.m.

He said the vandals ran off after he yelled to them that he called the police. The neighbor also stated one of the teens allegedly pulled a knife on him when he approached.

Christmas celebration held at Tamaqua YMCA

Monday, December 26, 2011
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/TIMES NEWS Tom Cara, YMCA board member and Air Products employee, make "LIN" ice cream via liquid nitrogen. Air Products has been a long time company in Rush Township. Pictured from left are Cara, Merissa Smith, 10, Ryan Smith, 10, Debi Dodson, and Teegen Phillips, 3.
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/TIMES NEWS Tom Cara, YMCA board member and Air Products employee, make "LIN" ice cream via liquid nitrogen. Air Products has been a long time company in Rush Township. Pictured from left are Cara, Merissa Smith, 10, Ryan Smith, 10, Debi Dodson, and Teegen Phillips, 3.

Hundreds of children and their family members took part in the annual Tamaqua YMCA Community Christmas Celebration held Friday night at the Y.

The free event, organized by board members and staff of the Tamaqua YMCA, consisted of holiday activities, music, food and games.

Volunteers, Jeffrey Walker, Kyra Dale, Christine Boyle, Heather Souders, were recognized for their efforts.

15-year-old boy facing charges

Monday, December 26, 2011

A 15-year-old Jim Thorpe boy is facing harassment charges after he assaulted two persons on Dec. 23 at 3:15 p.m. along State Rt. 903 in Penn Forest Township.

State police at the Lehighton barracks said the victims are Scott Reese, 29, of Lansford, and Patrick Rodgers, 39, of Jim Thorpe.

Police said the 15-year-old struck Reese in the head area several times with a closed fist and then attempted to choke Rodgers.

Both victims were treated for minor injuries.

Clean bill of health for eateries

Monday, December 26, 2011

Lansford's eateries have been give a clean bill of health.

A Nov. 27 letter to borough officials from Health Inspector Duane Dellecker said he had done 21 inspections and one re-inspection and found no problems.

The letter was made public at council's Dec. 14 public meeting.

The re-inspection was of a school and required by state law.

Slatington lawyer honored with legal excellence award

Friday, December 23, 2011
Contributed photo
Contributed photo

Charles W. Stopp with 30 years legal experience

Charles W. Stopp, esquire, senior partner of the law firm of Steckel and Stopp in Slatington, was recently honored with the AV Preeminent Rating, a professional excellence award earned through a strenuous peer review rating process managed by the world's most trusted legal resource, Martindale-Hubbell.

Stopp is a practicing real estate, estate planning and estate attorney with more than 30 years of legal experience. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Kutztown University and a Juris Doctor from Temple University School of Law and is licensed to practice in Pennsylvania.

Equipment taken at ski resort

Friday, December 23, 2011

State police at the Lehighton barracks are investigating the theft of ski equipment at the Blue Mountain Ski resort, lower Towamensing Township.

The incident was reported at 6 p.m. Dec. 17.

The victims are a 17-year-old female from Hampton, N.J., who has boots stolen, and a 15-year-old Quakertown boy who had a snowboard stolen.

Marian Catholic student wins artwork contest

Friday, December 23, 2011
Annette Ritzko
Annette Ritzko

Sister Bernard Agnes, IHM, principal, at Marian Catholic High School, announced that Annette Ritzko, a freshman, was chosen as a winner in the Holy Childhood Association, Annual Christmas Artwork Contest 2011-2012.

She is the daughter of Nicholas and Marian Ritzko, Lansford.

At Marian, Annette is secretary/treasurer of the freshman class, member of the Future Business Leaders of America and Mock Trial team.

Ritzko's artwork, along with 22 others, will appear as Christmas e-greetings on Holy Childhood Association's website for kids www.hcakids.org.

Our politicians are dumber than dirt

Friday, December 23, 2011

As the Christmas break approaches, I thought that our elected representatives in Washington had pulled all the stupid stunts they could for the year. Over the holidays, we would finally get a break from their constant infringements on our rights and liberties.

Little did I know that our elected representatives still had some gunpowder left. In what has to be one of the most nonsensical acts of legislation, the Senate passed a bill to extend the Bush tax cuts for two months.

Three Tamaqua men receive prison sentences

Friday, December 23, 2011

Three Tamaqua men who pleaded guilty Thursday in the Schuylkill County Court to criminal charges received jail sentences imposed by President William E. Baldwin.

Cory Michael Whitley, 18, of 4 Rose Street, Tamaqua, on a charge of aggravated assault on James Medvetz, was sentenced to serve 16-32 months in a state correctional facility and will receive credit for spending 227 days in the Schuylkill County Prison. He was was fined $200 plus $50 costs on a charge of driving while his operating privileges were suspended.

Coaldale VFW holds dance for Toys For Tots

Friday, December 23, 2011
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/TIMES NEWS
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/TIMES NEWS

Members of the Coaldale VFW held a Toys For Tots dance recently to raise funds for Toys For Tots. The band "God Only Knows" donated their services. Pictured from left are VFW members Mike Vigoda, trustee; John Pireda, lead singer; Santa, Wilbur Schoch; Faith Richards, president, Auxiliary; and Darrell Hoppes, bass player. Not pictured Auxiliary members Stacey Fortin, senior vice president; and Bethany Bachert, treasurer.

Celebrating a Christmas birthday

Friday, December 23, 2011
Ruth Huhn
Ruth Huhn

Ruth Huhn, a resident at Heritage Hill Senior Community in Weatherly, is celebrating her 100th birthday on Dec. 25.

Born in Brooklyn, Indiana in 1911, Ruth has also resided in Palmerton, Connecticut and Weatherly. She was a secretary at Tung-Sol in Weatherly for 30 years.

Ruth was married to Fred Huhn in 1935 and they were married for 48 years. Over the years Ruth has belonged to the Salem Choir, Gray Ladies, and the Women's Guild.

She is a member of Salem UCC in Weatherly. Ruth is also an avid fan of Penn State football.

Hometown drive benefits Toys For Tots

Friday, December 23, 2011
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/TIMES NEWS Pictured in front of a trailer of toys are, from left, Rush Township Police Officer Duane Frederick, Rush Twp supervisors Jeanine Motroni, Shawn Gilbert, volunteer Cindy Messerschmidt and fire police volunteer Merle Wertman.
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/TIMES NEWS Pictured in front of a trailer of toys are, from left, Rush Township Police Officer Duane Frederick, Rush Twp supervisors Jeanine Motroni, Shawn Gilbert, volunteer Cindy Messerschmidt and fire police volunteer Merle Wertman.

Members of the Hometown Fire Company, Hometown Fire Police and Rush Township Police raised over $2,000 to purchase over 540 new toys for the Schuylkill Carbon Marine Corps League's (SCMCL) Toys For Tots campaign. Volunteer firefighters, fire police and police stood at the Hometown Wal-Mart on Black Friday collecting monetary and new toy donations. The organizations are thankful to all who donated to Toys For Tots.

Residents warned about break-ins to unlocked vehicles

Friday, December 23, 2011

Palmerton residents are urged to keep their vehicles locked amid a rash of car break-ins.

Mayor Brad Doll informed Borough Council on Thursday of the litany of unlocked vehicles that have been broken into recently.

"We're at the 100th level now of cars," Doll said. "They're going from one area of town to another."

Doll noted that the incidents have occurred "mostly at night", and that the thieves have stolen money only, and no other valuables such as radios and the like.

"We have several suspects," he said. "We'll be acting in a proactive way."

Lighthouse Two/ReDCo Group decorates Carbon court tree

Friday, December 23, 2011
SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS
SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS

Carbon County Commissioner Wayne Nothstein, back right, thanks members of the Lighthouse Two/ReDCo Group of Nesquehoning for decorating the county courthouse Christmas tree. The group decorates the tree annually.