Members of the West Penn Township Lions Club, District 14-U, met Thursday morning to gift wrap packages of food to distribute to people in the area. The group packed 17 boxes. From left are: Joe Bednarik, Paul Barth, Gary Kistler, Bob Neumoyer, Wilma Wentzel, Marie Barth, Leroy Wentzel, Al Martinez, Becky Neumoyer, Judy Miller and Bob Miller. Their efforts support the national Lions Feeding the Hungry Global Action Campaign.
State police at the Fern Ridge barracks said a 15-year-old boy from Battle Creek, Mich., was driving a vehicle on Interstate 80 in Tobyhanna Township when he fell asleep at 2:59 a.m. Dec. 28.
Police said the accident resulted in injury to Narinder Singh Munder, 55, also of Battle Creek, who was one of two passengers in the vehicle. The other one was not hurt, nor was the teen.
The Panther Valley boys basketball team picked up a close win over Shenandoah Valley on Monday night.
Panther Valley held off a late rally to upend Shenandoah Valley 51-47.
Jake Szczecina led the Panthers (6-3) with 17 points, while Kyle Ferryman added 13 points, including two three-pointers.
Angelo Maskornick paced the Blue Devils (1-7) with a game-high 22 points. John Storm was also in double figures, scoring 11.
Panther Valley was also victorious in the JV game, 39-30.
With the clock winding down to the new year, West Township supervisors met Monday to formally adopt a 2014 budget, which includes no tax increase.
In a near mirror of figures from the past two years, the total income and expenditures for 2014 are each estimated at $1,863,932.
The milage rate will remain at 4.75, which means that a home with a taxable value of $25,000 will have a real estate tax of $118.75.
All three supervisors, Chairman Al Martinez, Jim Dean and Jim Aikens, voted to adopt the budget.
The board will meet to reorganize at 6 p.m. Monday, Jan. 6.
A Tamaqua man was injured in a one-vehicle crash at 6:08 p.m. Dec. 25 on Route 100 in Lowhill Township.
State police at the Fogelsville barracks said Harold G. Wagner Sr., 83, sustained minor injuries.
He was a passenger in a 1996 Buick Regal that was operated by Alexander J. Wagner, 22. Two other passengers, Harold G. Wagner, 48, and Harold G. Wagner III, 23, were uninjured, as was the driver.
Two persons were committed to the Monroe County Correctional Facility, Snydersville, after they were caught stealing during Christmas week in Monroe County.
Pocono Mountain Regional Police said Tyler Desoto, 27, and Kia M. Evans, both of Tobyhanna, were arraigned and jailed. Bail for Desoto was set at $30,000.
They were arrested after separate incidents.
Four vehicles were damaged in a chain-reaction crash that happened at 2:03 p.m. Dec. 27 on Route 61, just north of the entrance to the Cressona Mall in North Manheim Township.
State police at the Schuylkill Haven barracks said the driver of one of the vehicles, Daniel Q. Guers, 88, of Pottsville, sustained minor injuries and was transported to the Schuylkill Medical Center South, Pottsville, for treatment.
Donald B. Fetherolf, 56, of New Tripoli, was cited for driving too fast for conditions after a two-vehicle crash at 10:50 a.m. Dec. 28 on Old Route 22 in Weisenberg Township.
State police at the Fogelsville barracks said he was driving a 2012 Chevrolet Equinox westbound on Old Route 22, when a 2009 Subaru Forester operated by Laurel P. Loveless, 62, of Newark, Del., which was also westbound, slowed to make a left turn onto Cemetery Road.
Police said Fetherolf failed to stop in time and his vehicle struck the rear of the Forester with its front end.
AARP Tax-Aide Volunteers will provide free assistance with filing federal, state and local tax forms for seniors and low to moderate income taxpayers in our local communities.
Persons interested in this free service should bring their current tax documents, plus a copy of last year's tax returns to one of the following locations on the days listed below.
These locations will be open from 9 a.m. until noon beginning Feb. 3 through April 15.
Ÿ Salem United Church of Christ, Route 209, Gilbert Road, Gilbert; Mondays and Thursdays
Rush Township Police Sgt. Duane Frederick accepted a $500 check from Robert Hughes, Allentown, who is the new owner of the McDonald's restaurant in Hometown. The monies are for the township's police and volunteer fire departments. Hughes, along with McDonald's regional supervisor Brian Latshaw and local McDonald's manager Tammy Brobst, also treated Rush Township employees and volunteer firefighters to breakfast Thursday morning. Hughes began his career began 40 years ago, when he made burgers at a McDonald's in the Reading area.
Blue Mountain Health System will host an Alzheimer's Caregiver's Support Group from 7-8 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 7, in the third floor conference room at the Palmerton Hospital Campus, 135 Lafayette Ave. Palmerton. After Jan. 7, the meetings will be held every other Tuesday at the same time and location.
Catherine Miller, community liaison for Behavioral Health at BMHS, will facilitate the group. The intent will be to provide emotional, educational and social support for caregivers of people with Alzheimer's and other types of dementia.
Designate a driver on New Year's Eve
In order to begin the New Year with those thoughts in mind; one of the most important safety tips to remember is to designate a driver or make your alternate plans in advance of consuming alcohol for the New Year's Eve holiday party that you may be attending.
Most adults have no idea how much alcohol it takes for them to reach the PA legal limit of .08% B.A.C. Or how much alcohol their drink of choice might even contain. (Check out www.lcb.state.pa.us - alcohol impairment chart) One drink may not really be one drink depending on the drink.
State police at the Frackville barracks are investigating the theft of a cell phone between 8 a.m. and 9:20 a.m. Dec. 28 at the E Z Pull & Save parking lot in East Brunswick Township.
The victim is Zachary Crammer, 29, of Reading.
Police said someone stole the phone from the front seat of his car while it was parked in the lot while he was in the junkyard.
State police at the Fogelsville barracks are investigating a theft from a motor vehicle incident that happened between 6 p.m. Dec. 20 and 8 a.m. Dec. 21 at Werley's Truck Stop, 2333 Golden Key Road, Weisenberg Township.
The victim is a 28-year-old male who police did not identify.
Police said he reported someone removed items from his locked vehicle during the above period of time.
A 16-year-old Saylorsburg boy was injured in a one-car crash at 10:49 p.m. Dec. 27 on Rodenbach Lane in Chestnuthill Township.
State police at the Fern Ridge barracks said the boy was transported to the St. Luke Hospital, Fountain Hill, in a medical helicopter for treatment of what they said were moderate injuries.
Students of Mountain Karate Academy, Lehighton, participated in a food and toy drive to benefit the Blue Mountain Food and Toy Drive, which provides food baskets and toys to needy families in Carbon County. The items are distributed by members of the Carbon-Mountaineers Marine Corps League Detachment 996. The owner of the MKA are Masters Paul and Rich Maglionico.
SHENANDOAH A preliminary hearing for a Mahanoy City man charged with severely beating a woman and then setting her house on fire has been scheduled for next month.
Joseph C. Yeich, 28, of 1229 E. Mahanoy Ave., was charged with assaulting Elrena L. Gibson inside a home at 1031 E. Pine St. and then setting a fire in the basement that damaged that building and others attached to it just before 9 p.m. Dec. 11.
Highlights of events that shaped the year
2013 was an eventful year for our region.
Here is a look at some of the events:
Rockne Newell, 59, a disabled junk dealer, is charged with shooting and killing three people at a Ross Township supervisors' meeting.
He is charged with killing Gerald J. Kozic, 53, and James V. LaGuardia, 64, both of Saylorsburg, and Ross Township zoning officer David Fleetwood, 62, who was a Chestnuthill Township supervisor.
Kozic's wife Linda was severely wounded and faces a long recovery.
Police officer dies
St. Joseph Regional Academy, Jim Thorpe, will host a "Be Cool for Our School" Polar Plunge on Saturday, Jan. 25 at Mauch Chunk Lake in Jim Thorpe. Registration is $35 and begins at 9:30 a.m. The first plunge starts at 11 a.m. All proceeds go toward operating costs for the school.
The event will feature Amanda Salovay, the principal of St. Joseph's, as one of the "premiere plungers."
Mr. and Mrs. Dennis J. Serfass recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. They were married Dec. 21, 1963 at Grace Lutheran Church, Lehighton by the Rev. Allen Hanson.
Mrs. Serfass is the former Doris Blose, daughter of the late Melvin and Irene (Koch) Blose of Parryville. Her husband is the son of the late Russell and Lorraine (Clay) Serfass of Lehighton.
They have two children: a daughter, Lisa Haydt of Palmerton, and a son, Judge Steven R. Serfass, and his wife Jenny Cheng Serfass of Palmerton.
State police at the Schuylkill Haven barracks are investigating the theft of a pickup truck and tools that were located in its rear compartment. The incident happened between 6 p.m. Dec. 26 and 4 a.m. Dec. 27 at Rachel's Place, Porter Township.
The victims are Ricky Krause, 30, and Pine Creek Construction Co., Gratz, Pa.
Police said Krause's 2004 Ford F-450 crew-cab/pickup truck was parked behind Rachel's Place and was unlocked with the key inside it. Police said someone drove it from the scene by heading west on Main Street.
Weissport homeowners will pay the same tax rate in 2014 as they paid in 2013.
Weissport Council on Monday night adopted the budget retaining the same tax rate as was set in 2013. Taxes were last increased in 2011, when council raised the tax millage by 2 mills, but residents were spared an increase for this year. Council set the millage at 10.9 mills by adopting the 2014 tax ordinance.
All council members were present, including Gene Kershner, president; Sue Pywar, vice president; and members, Arland Moyer, Paulette Watson and Tim Rehrig.
Times News area athletes had plenty to brag about in 2013.
Here are just a few of the highlights:
Feb. 23 – Tamaqua's Colin Mashack, Northwestern's Mike Ortiz and Northern Lehigh's Ty Herzog win gold medals in District 11 AA Wrestling Tournament.
March 1 - Northwestern's Trey Shackleton and Palmerton's Katie Pielmeier grab gold medals during the District 11 Class 2A Swimming and Diving Championships. Shackleton's was in the 200 freestyle and Pielmeier's was in the 200 individual medley.
Why we celebrate New Year's; other tidbits we bet you didn't know
When the ball drops in Times Square at midnight, millions of Americans will again make their New Year's resolutions.
Some will resolve to lose weight; while others will promise to save money.
But, after the confetti is cleaned up in Times Square, the New Year's Eve Ball again sits silently atop the One Times Square building and the days of 2014 tick on, many of those resolutions will fall by the wayside.
So how did New Year's celebrations become such a big "to do" in the world, and why do we make New Year's resolutions knowing that we will probably break them?
Thrivent Financial for Lutherans is hosting a free educational workshop to help teach farmers steps to take to keep their business in the family.
Called "Keeping the Farm in the Family," the 50-minute workshop will be held at 4 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014 at East Penn Sporting Club, 61 Club Lane, Lehighton. The workshop is presented by Susan E Lovejoy, financial representative with Thrivent Financial for Lutherans in Lehighton.
It was a solid 2013 season for TIMES NEWS area football teams with five of our squads qualifying for the postseason. Pleasant Valley and Lehighton qualified for the district playoffs, while Northwestern, Marian, and Jim Thorpe all qualified for Eastern Conference.
The Tigers and Colts were the TN area's most successful teams this past postseason, each taking home an Eastern Conference Championship in their respective divisions.
There were also some impressive individual performances from a few of our TIMES NEWS All Star members that garnered All State recognition.
Here's a look at New Year's traditions.
Ÿ The annual ball drop: According to the Countdown Entertainment LLC and Times Square Alliance, the idea of a ball drop began in 1833, when the first "time-ball" was installed on England's Royal Observatory in Greenwich. The ball was designed to drop every day at 1 p.m., to allow captains of nearby ships to set their chronometers for navigational purposes.
In 1907, the idea was modified and used in Times Square, where it became a universal symbol of New Year's celebrations.
State police at the Schuylkill Haven barracks said Gerald Sinko II, 22, of Minersville, was arrested for retail theft (shoplifting) after an incident at 8:10 p.m. Dec. 29 at BG's in Norwegian Township.
Police said he was observed by store personnel concealing $6.49 worth of items in the front of his pants. He was stopped after passing all points of sale in the store.
December 31, 1981
For the first time in 40 years, members of the Lehighton Borough Council have received a raise. Last night the town solons, at a special session, voted unanimously to compensate themselves by doubling the salary they received in previous years, increasing the monthly payments to councilmen to $100.
Pocono Mountain Regional Police have reported the arrest of Brianna R. Hill, 20, of Bushkill, on charges of theft and receiving stolen property stemming from the theft of jewelry from a home in Tobyhanna Township in which the accused was a cleaning lady.
Hill was arraigned on the felony charges and committed to the Monroe County Correctional Facility, Snydersville.
Tamaqua Area School District athletic director Mike Hromyak, a football and track standout in his high school days there, can't help but stay in touch with athletics at his alma mater.
He hopes to soon be part of a new team, the Tamaqua Area Athletic Alumni Association. The group will hold its first meeting at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 9, at the high school.