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March 2013

NEWSMAKER

Saturday, March 30, 2013
CAROL ZICKLER/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Brooke Turner
CAROL ZICKLER/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Brooke Turner

Attends HOBY seminar

Brooke Turner, daughter of Herman and Kristie Turner, was selected to represent Panther Valley High School at the annual Hugh O'Brian Leadership Seminar on May 16 at Shippensburg University. HOBY was established by veteran actor Hugh O'Brian to seek out, recognize and develop outstanding leadership potential from our nation's youth. Her future plans are to attend college and pursue a career in anthropology.

Talent show entertains visitors at Tamaqua Community Arts Center

Saturday, March 30, 2013
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/TIMES NEWS Various entertainers, ranging from children to adults and singers to musicians, showed up Thursday evening to entertain visitors during the center's free open stage event. For more information about the center, visit them online at www.tamaquaarts.org Katy Sprenkle, 12, of Tamaqua, sings in front of a lively crowd during her performance. Sprenkle also played the piano.
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/TIMES NEWS Various entertainers, ranging from children to adults and singers to musicians, showed up Thursday evening to entertain visitors during the center's free open stage event. For more information about the center, visit them online at www.tamaquaarts.org Katy Sprenkle, 12, of Tamaqua, sings in front of a lively crowd during her performance. Sprenkle also played the piano.

49 years of love

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Dear Editor:

As I sit here in my favorite chair relaxing before I retire for the evening I sit back and think about a special day 50 years ago, the day that I adopted my daughter. And the happy years that my daughter added to my life. With each recollection the memories implant a warm glow of love and affection that a parent has for their children.

Do the Irish speak Gaelic?

Saturday, March 30, 2013
A Republic of Ireland highway sign gives directions in the country's two languages: English and Irish (Irish Gaelic).
A Republic of Ireland highway sign gives directions in the country's two languages: English and Irish (Irish Gaelic).

In the wake of St. Patrick's Day, a Lehighton woman couldn't keep herself from sharing an old family fable. Connie Cunningham tells the story of her great-grandfather, Joseph Michael Cunningham, and how he taught Gaelic to the Irish.

Joseph Michael Cunningham grew up on a farm west of the midlands of Ireland, just outside the town of County Galway, Ireland. The town's name, Tuaim, is derived from the Latin "tumulus"which means "burial mound".

Hunters take 343,110 deer

Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Pennsylvania Game Commission reports that in the state's 2012-13 seasons, hunters took an estimated 343,110 deer, which is an increase of about two percent from the previous seasons' harvest of 336,200.

Hunters took 133,860 antlered deer in the 2012-13 seasons, an increase of about five percent from the previous license year's 127,540.

Also, hunters took 209,250 antlerless deer in 2012-13, which is a slight increase over the 208,660 antlerless deer taken in 2011-12.

Recipe for wildfires

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Spring is a time the weather begins to change, the air begins to warm and spring breezes begin to dry the dead vegetation and other debris left from the previous fall and winter. Recent temperatures have been cold and regular precipitation events. However, this wintry weather will succumb to warmer temperatures and lower humidity. These conditions coupled with the breezy afternoons are a recipe for high wildfire potential.

Chimney fire in Franklin

Saturday, March 30, 2013
LARRY NEFF/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS
LARRY NEFF/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS

Franklin township fire fighters were called to a dwelling fire Friday afternoon along the 900 block of Hemlock Street. The alarm was sounded at 2:30 p.m. when residents reported a fire in their chimney. A quick response by firemen kept the damage to a minimum and the fire mostly contained to the chimney area. Fire personnel were on the roof using chimney chains to open up the clogged combustible material. Franklin Township fire police maintained traffic control at the scene while Lehighton paramedics stood by at the scene.

Taking cheap shots at the Pope

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Dear Editor:

Times news columnist Claire Castagnera, writing in the Times News her column, The Generation Gasp, March 23, 2013, shows her disdain for the Pope and all things Catholic.

Due to the nature of her weekly column, Ms. Castagnera's persona is that of a voice of her generation. I follow her column weekly and mostly enjoy her fresh perspective. But not this week. We get it, Claire. You're not one of the 1.2 billion faithful. You seem to go out of your way to disparage the entire institution.

Can modern people be religious?

Saturday, March 30, 2013
James F. Drane
James F. Drane

The surprise resignation of one Pope, followed by an ancient system for selection of his successor has filled strongly secular news channels with streams of religious images and religious discourse. The resignation and election events in Rome actually provided members of today's society with an opportunity to take a look into history, and to see how people used to dress and how things used to be done. All the religious news coverage however amounted to a missed opportunity unless some background is provided for understanding all the historical buildings and vestments and practices.

Health System receives $20,000 check from Blue Mountain Ski Area

Saturday, March 30, 2013
TERRY AHNER/TIMES NEWS Barbara Green, center, owner of Blue Mountain Ski Area, presents a check in the amount of $20,000 to Joe Guardiani, left, Blue Mountain Health System director of Fund Development, and Andrew Harris, Blue Mountain Health System president and CEO. The check was from proceeds from the BMHS Slip, Slide, Sold Auction and Carbon County Ski Night held this past January.
TERRY AHNER/TIMES NEWS Barbara Green, center, owner of Blue Mountain Ski Area, presents a check in the amount of $20,000 to Joe Guardiani, left, Blue Mountain Health System director of Fund Development, and Andrew Harris, Blue Mountain Health System president and CEO. The check was from proceeds from the BMHS Slip, Slide, Sold Auction and Carbon County Ski Night held this past January.

Slip, slide, sold!

That proved to be quite the recipe for success for Blue Mountain Health System, which received a $20,000 check donation from Blue Mountain Ski Area.

On Wednesday, Barbara Green, owner of the ski area, presented the check to Andrew Harris, BMHS president and CEO, in the third floor conference room of the Palmerton campus.

The check was from proceeds from Blue Mountain Health System's Annual Auction and Carbon County Ski Night, which was held back in January at the ski area.

Grill and Outdoor show planned

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Dunbar Bottling, Maiden Lane, Lehighton, will host a BBQ Grill and Outdoor Show from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 13. There will be beer tasting, cooking demos, entertainment and gifts, plus a chance to win a Weber grill.

Limit their terms

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Dear Editor:

Well it happened again.

Congress proves that all they worry about is getting reelected.

They don't care about the country or the people or your kids.

They aren't going to pass a bill on assault weapons.

When are the people going to learn all Congress wants to do is keep their jobs.

Think we should limit their terms and cut their pay by three percent. Also ban big companies from supporting anyone who runs for PUBLIC OFFICE.

We are the public not the big companies. Give the government back to the people

I remain,

Three arrested for Monroe break-in

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Three men were arrested earlier this week for a burglary at a Monroe County residence.

Pocono Mountain Regional police said about 1:38 p.m. on Wednesday, March 27, they received a call from a neighbor of 115 Skyline Drive, Tunkhannock Township, that three males had entered the home and it appeared they had broken into the residence.

The witness also stated they observed the three exit the residence carrying items and placing them at the edge of the property. The caller also provided a description of the three.

What if you were told you were dying?

Saturday, March 30, 2013

My friend Pat is so inspirational that her friends call her Saint Francis. From early morning until she falls asleep each night, she devotes herself to helping others.

Before Pat moved to our town there was no such thing as an organized community-wide ministry to help the poor. When she moved here, she went to her pastor and said she wanted to start that ministry.

He backed her efforts and gave it the sanction of the church. But the work to establish the ministry was done by one woman.

Identity theft action plan

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Dear Editor:

Did you know that Identity theft is our nation's fastest growing crime? Although it is important to know how to prevent identity theft, it is as equally important for you to know what to do if you have become an identity theft victim.

1. If your credit cards are lost or stolen, notify one of the three credit reporting agencies and ask that a "fraud alert" be placed on your account. The agency that you notify will contact the other two EQUIFAX 1-800-525-6285, www.equifax.com

EXPERIAN 1-800-397-3742, www.experian.com

EEC hosts tomato growing program

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Carbon County Environmental Education Center will host a program on growing tomatoes from seed at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 6.

Presenting the program, "Tomatoes From Seed to Table," will be Master Gardener Diane Giffels.

Giffels will discuss different types, best varieties, caring for young plants, harvesting and even tomato recipes. Participants will leave with four planted pots of four varieties of tomato seed.

The program is open to all ages, but space is limited. There is a donation fee to attend.

Registration will be taken by phone at (570) 645-8597.

St. Jerome holds open house in Tamaqua

Saturday, March 30, 2013

St. Jerome Regional School in Tamaqua will host a special Open House on April 9. Prep, kindergarten, first grade and the Lion's Den classrooms will all be open for tours. Participants will have the opportunity to meet the teachers and register for the 2013-2014 school year.

First grade students will present iPad and smartboard demonstrations. For the 2013-2014 school year, first and second grade students will be completing their daily class work on iPads.

The event will be held from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the school's Early Childhood Center Building on West Broad Street.

Why accept plea bargains?

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Dear Editor:

With all the controversy and misrepresentation of the gun control issue, I must comment on a few items.

One point to make right from the start is in the time it take you to read this viewpoint, more people will be killed or injured by drunk drivers or driving under influence drivers, than by gun violence.

There are strict gun laws already on the books in Pennsylvania.

Breaker Boys fall in opener

Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Panther Valley Breaker Boys opened their season against the defending champion Harrisburg Sharks in Harrisburg and dropped a 33-20 decision.

The underdog Breaker Boys, who had a busy off-season picking up talented rookies Jay Torres at running back, Damian Lewis at slot receiver and adding Brock Mitchell to their two headed quarterback threat, fell behind early before the new players began to make their mark.

The Sharks got two touchdowns from running back Yanic Corbin to build a 19-0 lead.

Schuylkill driver facing DUI count

Saturday, March 30, 2013

A Schuylkill County driver is facing a charge of driving under the influence (DUI) and other counts following an incident that occurred about 11:37 a.m. on Wednesday, March 28.

State police at Schuylkill Haven said troopers responded to Calvary Cemetery, located along Cressona Road, in North Manheim Townshihp, to a report of a suspicious vehicle. On scene the vehicle was located and was being driven by Paula Marberger, 42, of Pottsville.

Chester County driver facing DUI

Saturday, March 30, 2013

A Chester County driver is facing a charge of driving under the influence (DUI) in Monroe County.

Pocono Mountain Regional police said Heather Dawn Weigner, 32, of Coatesville, was stopped about 3 a.m. on Thursday, March 28, along SR940 in Pocono Pines, for a vehicle code violation.

At the stop Weigner was found to be under the influence and failed field sobriety tests. She was taken into custody and transported to the Pocono Medical Center, East Stroudsburg, for a blood test.

The DUI charge is pending the test results, police noted.

Column was disrespectful

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Dear Editor:

It is as a Christian that I write to you concerning one of your contributors.

It is not the first time that I have found the views expressed by Miss Castagnera offensive. I am sure that she would cite the First Amendment as her "free pass" to be a bigot, but I would disagree. To publish her opinion on Pope Francis ("Pooped out on the Pope") the weekend of Palm Sunday, which leads in to Holy Week-the most sacred time of year for Christians, is disrespectful, self-serving, and, quite frankly, immature.

Lansford Legion donates $1,700 towards new firefighting equipment

Saturday, March 30, 2013
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/TIMES NEWS After hearing about the needs of local firefighters, the Lansford American Legion Post 123 and its members donated $1,700 towards new firefighting tools for the American Fire Company No. 1 in Lansford. The donated money will be used to replace old tool fasteners and old-style flashlights with new multiple PAC tool mounts, a PAC Irons Lok system and five lighter, rechargeable flashlights. Pictured are the old style mounts and heavy flashlights. Due to current hardware limititations, some equipment sits loose on the floor of the cab of the firetruck. Firefighters added that the new equipment will resolve this and make it safer, as well as NFPA compliant.
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/TIMES NEWS After hearing about the needs of local firefighters, the Lansford American Legion Post 123 and its members donated $1,700 towards new firefighting tools for the American Fire Company No. 1 in Lansford. The donated money will be used to replace old tool fasteners and old-style flashlights with new multiple PAC tool mounts, a PAC Irons Lok system and five lighter, rechargeable flashlights. Pictured are the old style mounts and heavy flashlights. Due to current hardware limititations, some equipment sits loose on the floor of the cab of the firetruck. Firefighters added that the new equipment will resolve this and make it safer, as well as NFPA compliant.

Lehighton Neighborhood Crime Watch takes a 'road trip'

Saturday, March 30, 2013
MICHAEL A. HEERY/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS On Tuesday evening, Lehighton Area Neighborhood Crime Watch toured Carbon County Communications Center in Nesquehoning. In addition, the group learned about CERT (Community Emergency Response Team). Pictured, left to right, are Carbon County Emergency Management Planner/Trainer Tom Newman; Lehighton Area Neighborhood Crime Watch Coordinator Byron Schnell; and Lehighton Mayor Donald Rehrig.
MICHAEL A. HEERY/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS On Tuesday evening, Lehighton Area Neighborhood Crime Watch toured Carbon County Communications Center in Nesquehoning. In addition, the group learned about CERT (Community Emergency Response Team). Pictured, left to right, are Carbon County Emergency Management Planner/Trainer Tom Newman; Lehighton Area Neighborhood Crime Watch Coordinator Byron Schnell; and Lehighton Mayor Donald Rehrig.

Lehighton Area Neighborhood Crime Watch took to the road on Tuesday evening for a tour of Carbon County Communications Center in Nesquehoning.

In addition, the group learned about CERT (Community Emergency Response Team).

According to Carbon County Emergency Management Planner/Trainer Tom Newman, the CERT program is designed to acquaint county residents with introductory courses in basic first aid; triage; disaster preparedness; fire suppression; light search and rescue; and terrorism awareness.

"Neighbors helping neighbors is our goal," said Newman.

Mental Health First Aid Course scheduled

Saturday, March 30, 2013

A 12-hour Mental Health First Aid Course will be held at the Carbon County MD/DS office, 428 S. Seventh St., Lehighton, on April 29 and 30. The course, which will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., is free to all participants living in Carbon, Monroe and Pike counties.

It will discuss how to help a person who may be experiencing mental illness or crisis, including a five-step action plan to offer initial help. It will also show participants how to connect people with the appropriate professionals, peers or social or self help care.

LASD contract appears settled

Saturday, March 30, 2013
MICHAEL A. HEERY, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Student representatives recently reported activities taking place at their respective schools to Lehighton Area School Board. Pictured, l-r, are Lehighton Area High School junior Nicole Schnell and Carbon Career & Technical Institute seniors Haley Gower and Brook Dunbar.
MICHAEL A. HEERY, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Student representatives recently reported activities taking place at their respective schools to Lehighton Area School Board. Pictured, l-r, are Lehighton Area High School junior Nicole Schnell and Carbon Career & Technical Institute seniors Haley Gower and Brook Dunbar.

Tentative approval given

A tentative agreement has been reached in the contract negotiations between the Lehighton Area Education Association and the Lehighton Area School Board.

The teachers have been working with a contract that expired Aug. 31, 2012.

According to LAEA Past President Bruce Koch, "The Association addressed it (the tentative agreement) on Wednesday by reviewing the language, financial, and terms. Voting by the Association will take place next week after members have an opportunity to digest its content."

Child sexual abuse -it's time to talk

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Dear Editor:

If you follow the headlines, you know that child sexual abuse happens. It happens often and close to home. This reality can be overwhelming, but it's important to remember that child sexual abuse can be prevented when we all play our part.

Much to debate about radical anti-obesity plan

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Sometimes this column answers questions.

Today, it asks one, one specific question that has the potential to polarize the nation like hot-button topics such as abortion and gun control.

The question: Should the government create an environment that stigmatizes and to some degree ostracizes obese people as a way possibly the only way to solve what Daniel Callahan calls "[possibly] the most difficult and elusive public health problem the United States has ever encountered"?

Old folks driving

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Before I begin writing, I must state a disclaimer - I am old. I will turn 73 in May. For the record, I believe that I am still a decent driver. I know my limitations and won't take the wheel in the dark. Also, I stay at the speed limit and follow the rules of the road.

Living in Florida has been a revelation. There are so many senior citizens here that we are bound to have contact with them every day. For the most part, we enjoy that. However, dealing with senior drivers has been a challenge.

Easter is the celebration of life

Saturday, March 30, 2013

I was inspired to write this article, because of a "Dear Abby" column I had recently read, which bothered me to the point of wanting to respond to the wrong advice given to a mother who had supported her 22 year old daughter's decision to terminate the life of her unborn child, even though this mother had considered herself to be "pro-life".

Leh. Fire Dept. has 8 calls in Feb.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Lehighton Fire Department responded to eight calls during February.

They included three vehicle accidents, two odor investigations, one automatic alarm, one dwelling fire, and one electrical wire.

Fire Chief Gary Frable said time spent on calls was seven hours and 19 minutes.

Of those calls, four were in Mahoning Township, three were in Lehighton, and one was a mutual aid call elsewhere.

Three training sessions were held.