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March 2014

Night bridge work resumes today

Monday, March 31, 2014

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation will resume work tonight on the Thomas McCall Bridge. Restrictions on traffic will be from 6 p.m. to 4 a.m. through Wednesday.

The Route 209 Thomas J. McCall Memorial Bridge will be reduced to one lane in each direction for the installation of a paint removal containment system.

The work is part of the $11.8 million project to rehabilitate the US 209/Thomas J. McCall Memorial Bridge over the Lehigh River, Lehigh Canal and Norfolk Southern Rail Road. The project began in November 2013 and is expected to be complete in May 2015.

Three die in separate crashes over weekend

Monday, March 31, 2014

Three people died in three separate crashes over the weekend in the TIMES NEWS coverage area.

Two died in crashes in Schuylkill County and the third was killed in an accident in Carbon County.

Schuylkill crashes

A Shenandoah man died when his car was hit head-on by another vehicle early Saturday morning along SR54 in Mahanoy Township, just west of Mahanoy City.

The fatal collision occurred shortly after Shirl M. Mumie, 37, 0f Shenandoah, operating a 1997 Chevrolet 1500 pickup truck, struck a pedestrian a short distance away from the fatal crash scene.

Allentown Diocese: 'Time has come'

Monday, March 31, 2014

The Diocese of Allentown said plans for consolidation of two Tamaqua churches have been under discussion for a long time and the time has come, according to a statement issued by spokesman Matt Kerr.

In a letter from Diocese of Allentown Bishop John Barres read at all Masses this weekend in Tamaqua, it was announced that effective July 1, 2014, St. Jerome and SS. Peter and Paul Parishes will merge and become the new St. John XXIII Parish.

Attorney General takes aim at opiates

Monday, March 31, 2014

HARRISBURG Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane today reiterated her support for legislation to help address the state's opioid prescription drug abuse epidemic after agents from the Attorney General's Bureau of Narcotics Investigation along with agents from the Philadelphia DEA Diversion Task Force arrested and charged a Philadelphia woman on 257 counts of fraud, forgery and identity theft for obtaining prescriptions for narcotics.

Winter's last hurrah?

Monday, March 31, 2014
RON GOWER/TIMES NEWS
RON GOWER/TIMES NEWS

Many people were surprised this morning when they woke up to find the lawns and roads covered with snow and ice. Amidon Street in Summit Hill has a coating of mostly ice. In Tamaqua, snow covered the streets. Up to 10 inches of snow fell in counties north of us, according to reports. The snow and ice caused schools to have two-hour delays this morning.

Coaldale makes up costs related to harsh winter

Monday, March 31, 2014

Despite three months of being buried in snow, Coaldale has managed to keep its head above water.

Like other area boroughs and townships, during the first three months of 2014 Coaldale has exceeded its yearly budget for winter staples such as heating oil, salt, anti-skid material, outside contracting for snow removal and repairs to borough trucks. But by applying vigorous cost-cutting measures, the borough has managed to cover the additional costs and remains solvent.

Refunds coming from settlement of e-book price fixing lawsuit

Monday, March 31, 2014

Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane announced that Pennsylvania consumers will begin receiving account credits or checks this week as part of a partial settlement of a 2012 e-book price-fixing lawsuit brought by the U.S. Department of Justice and Attorneys General from 33 states.

ON THIS DATE

Monday, March 31, 2014

March 31, 1988

Tamaqua Area School Board last night approved a $450,000 bond issue, authorized $24,500 for asbestos removal from the swimming pool area, and accepted the resignation of board member Andrew Tuzinski.

Board President Harry Everhart also announced plans to seek an early contract with the Tamaqua teachers.

The bond issue will finance a major renovation program mostly at the senior high school.

Schuylkill driver seriously injured

Monday, March 31, 2014

A Schuylkill County driver was seriously injured in a one-vehicle crash that occurred about 1:45 p.m. on Friday along Mountain Road in North Union Township.

State police at Frackville said David D. Singley, 57, of Oneida, was driving a 1995 Dodge Intrepid northbound when he failed to negotiate a left-hand curve. The car went through the curve and began to slide onto the shoulder. The car then spun, crossing the double yellow line and entering the southbound lane.

ON THIS DATE

Monday, March 31, 2014

March 31, 1977 Panther Valley, behind two homers from Roberta Spezialetti, explodes for 27 runs in the first inning en route to a 33-10 softball victory over Weatherly. Spezialetti finishes the contest with three hits and nine RBIs, with one of her homers being a grand slam. Lynn Degatis contributes to the rout by collecting five hits, knocking in four runs and scoring five times. Marcy Polumbo, the game's winning pitcher, adds three hits amd five runs scored. PV also receives two hits from Ann Kusko, Christy Phillips, Abby Bliss and Mary Lou Kennedy.

Morning ice provides perfect topper for wacky weather month

Monday, March 31, 2014

March has been one crazy month for weather patterns.

The month began like a lion like the old saying goes, with the polar vortex dipping down for a third time this winter, causing temperatures to drop below normal and wind chill values to plummet to subzero.

But it also went out like a lion instead of a lamb as this past weekend was a washout with an icy ending.

Over 2 inches of rain fell in the coverage area over the weekend, and on Sunday afternoon, as temperatures hovered near freezing, the precipitation changed over to sleet and freezing rain.

Van burns in Summit Hill

Monday, March 31, 2014
RON GOWER/TIMES NEWS
RON GOWER/TIMES NEWS

The Summit Hill Fire Department extinguished a fire that destroyed a van early Sunday morning on West Hazard Street. The fire was discovered at about 4 a.m. It was initially reported as a structure fire. When firefighters arrived at the scene, they discovered the vehicle fully involved in flames. The Lansford Fire Department was also dispatched but remained on standby status. There were no reported injuries and no other information was available this morning.

Ump's call overturned, 1st time by expanded replay

Monday, March 31, 2014

MILWAUKEE (AP) — An umpire's call was overturned Monday for the first time under Major League Baseball's expanded replay system, with Milwaukee Brewers star Ryan Braun ruled out instead of safe.

Atlanta Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez challenged the sixth-inning play at Miller Park in the season opener won by Milwaukee, 2-0. Braun was originally called safe at first base by umpire Greg Gibson on a leadoff infield single fielded by third baseman Chris Johnson.

Palmerton Telephone schedules upgrade

Monday, March 31, 2014

Palmerton Telephone Company announced that an upgrade in its central office switching equipment will take place overnight Tuesday.

The process is scheduled to begin at 10 p.m. on that date and should be completed before 6 a.m. the following morning. If all goes as planned, customers in the Bowmanstown, Kresgeville, Kunkletown and Palmerton exchanges will wake up Wednesday with service provided by a new state-of-the-art telephone switching exchange capable of new advanced services.

Seek re-election to state committee

Monday, March 31, 2014

Scott Thomas of Pottsville and Mary Beth Dougherty of Girardville have announced their intention to seek re-election to the Republican State Committee of Pennsylvania.

Dougherty was first elected in 2000, while Thomas began his term of service in 2008.

The team was also elected as delegates to the Republican National Convention in 2012, representing the voters of the 17th Congressional District.

Aside from leadership roles in the Republican Party, Thomas and Dougherty are both active in their respective communities.

State police report Schuylkill crashes

Monday, March 31, 2014

State police at Schuylkill Haven reported investigating the following crashes on Schuylkill County roads over the past weekend.

A hit-and-run accident was reported at 2:50 p.m. Saturday in a parking lot of the Fairlane Village Mall in Norwegian Township. Troopers said a driver was backing out of a parking space and traveling southbound in the lot while Lindsay M. Andrews, 19, of Pottsville, was traveling eastbound through the lot operating a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt.

Man threatens another with gun

Monday, March 31, 2014

A Monroe County man has been charged with terroristic threats and related counts in which he allegedly pointed a loaded shotgun at another man.

State police at Lehighton said the incident was reported at 9:28 p.m. Friday at 787 Meixell Valley Road, in Saylorsburg, Ross Township.

Troopers said Dwayne Riebel, 31, and Edward Blew, 33, both of Saylorsburg, got involved in a verbal argument which turned physical. Troopers said the investigation revealed that during the argument Riebel pointed a loaded double barrel shotgun at Blew. Blew fled the residence.

Schuylkill County

Monday, March 31, 2014

Angela M. Weliconis, 423 N. Railroad St., Tamaqua, and James J. Valentine, 17 Koenings, New Ringgold.

Angela M. Kupres, 587 Birch Crossing Road, New Ringgold, and Damian M. Boyle, 637 Arlington St., Tamaqua.

Opening day

Monday, March 31, 2014
Bob Ford/TIMES NEWS Dan Serfass and his 8-year-old son, Owen, of Lehighton fish the Mahoning Creek Saturday morning. Send us your photos at www.tnonline.com. Click on the "submit a photo" link in our gallery section.
Bob Ford/TIMES NEWS Dan Serfass and his 8-year-old son, Owen, of Lehighton fish the Mahoning Creek Saturday morning. Send us your photos at www.tnonline.com. Click on the "submit a photo" link in our gallery section.

Fishing season opened Saturdayin a limited area, including Schuylkill, Northampton and Lehigh counties and Lizard and Mahoning creeks in Carbon County. Trout fishing will be open statewide on April 12.

VIA All-star Classic: Local players compete in event

Monday, March 31, 2014
VIA All-star Classic: Local players compete in event
Copyright 2014

The high school basketball season concluded for a number of area schools on Saturday in the 39th Annual Via All-Star Classic held at Northampton Area Community College.

In all, four games (two boys and two girls) were held on "Super Saturday" as the Colonial League faced the Lehigh Valley West and the Mountain Valley Conference took on the Lehigh Valley East.

In the opening contest, the Colonial girls pulled out a narrow 64-62 win over the LV West. That was followed by another tight contest, as the LV West boys outscored the Colonial squad by a 97-96 score.

Lake Harmony man charged in string of copper burglaries

Monday, March 31, 2014

A Lake Harmony man was arraigned Monday afternoon and charged with stealing copper tubing from nine homes in the Lake Harmony area.

Erick James Rivera, 22, of 136 N. Lake Dr., was committed to the Carbon County Correctional Facility in lieu of $90,000 straight bail.
He was arraigned before District Judge Joseph D. Homanko of Weatherly.

Corporal Neil T. Yurchak of the Kidder Township Police Department said the value of the copper stolen was "just shy of $12,000."

Carbon crash

Monday, March 31, 2014

State police at Lehighton reported investigating a one-vehicle crash about 9:25 a.m. on Sunday along Behrens Road in Penn Forest Township.

Troopers said Darius R. Drumgo, 19, of Stroudsburg, was driving a 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse southbound when he crossed the center line and went onto the shoulder where the car struck a tree.

Drumgo was not injured but the vehicle had to be towed from the scene. He was cited in the incident.

Smoking blamed for Philly area. fire that left 20 homeless

Monday, March 31, 2014

PHOENIXVILLE, Pa. (AP) — Fire officials in southeastern Pennsylvania say smoking in bed is to blame for a fire that has left 20 people homeless.

Chester County Fire Marshal Harrison Holt also said Monday that the fire in Phoenixville caused $300,000 in damage.

It took firefighters an hour to bring the blaze under control early Sunday at the multi-unit building, which consisted of three attached row homes.

No one was hurt.

Tamaqua judge hears theft cases

Monday, March 31, 2014

A number of theft cases made up the bulk of the docket last Tuesday in the court of District Judge Stephen Bayer of Tamaqua. The hearings included two brothers charged with running a marijuana growing operation in their home.

Jim Thorpe news

Monday, March 31, 2014

Rose Breakfast

The United Methodist Women of Grace-St. Paul's United Methodist Church will host a Rose Breakfast from 9:30 a.m. until noon on Saturday, April 5, at the church at 40 Church Road, Jim Thorpe, just off Route 903, next to Bear Mountain Butterfly Sanctuary.

The guest speaker will be Desha Utsick, a Christ Servant Minister of Grace-St. Paul's and a resident of Jim Thorpe. Her topic will be "Nature Change and Spiritual Transformation." Guest pianist will be David Westrip and guest flutist will be Nancy Moyer.

Soup and Scripture

1979 scare

Monday, March 31, 2014

35th anniversary of the Three Mile Island crisis

Last Friday marked the 35th Anniversary of Three Mile Island accident, the civilian nuclear power plant near Harrisburg that suffered a partial meltdown of one reactor. Although it resulted in no deaths or injuries, TMI became one of the worst nuclear disasters in our country's history, forcing the evacuation of 140,000 people.

Theft incident being probed

Monday, March 31, 2014

State police at Lehighton are investigating a theft incident that occurred at a residence in Carbon County.

Troopers said about 2:25 a.m. on Saturday Lou M. Strohl, 41, of 2615 Stagecoach Road West, reported that three Hispanic females drove into his driveway. The driver told Strohl that she was having problems with her vehicle. She then asked if she could use his phone to call for help.

The victim went to get his house phone at which time the three drove off in an unknown direction.

Coroner's inquest finds Schuylkill inmate died of overdose

Monday, March 31, 2014

An inquest jury found today that a Schuylkill County inmate died of an accidental overdose.

An inmate housed with Matthew Koncsler testified at an inquest into Koncsler's death said he saw Koncsler snort crushed medications in the cel.

James Landron Jr.  of Reading also testified Koncsler was slipped cigarettes beneath the cell door by other inmates Koncsler knew.

"I seen him snort pills, " Landron said.

Diocese merging Tamaqua churches

Monday, March 31, 2014
SS. Peter and Paul's Lithuanian Catholic Church of Tamaqua.
SS. Peter and Paul's Lithuanian Catholic Church of Tamaqua.

Two parishes to form new church, St. John XXIII; SS. Peter priest retiring

Two Tamaqua houses of worship with a combined total of 284 years of service to the community will merge on July 1 into a new church known as St. John XXIII Parish.

Parishioners learned Saturday that SS. Peter and Paul Church and the Church of St. Jerome will be consolidated under one clergyman.

The Rev. William Linkchorst, pastor of SS. Peter and Paul's, advised parishioners Saturday he will retire. Linkchorst made the announcement during regular service.

ACS Telethon to salute cancer survivors

Monday, March 31, 2014

The 35th Carbon-Tamaqua Telethon offers a Salute to Survivors at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 5.

During this segment, survivors are introduced and encouraged to talk briefly about their battle with cancer.

The telethon airs live from Penn's Peak just outside Jim Thorpe.

Survivors are asked to confirm their appearance at gtay200@verizon.net or by calling 570-668-4451. Callers are asked to provide their names and where they live.

The telethon benefits the American Cancer Society.

Marriage licenses

Monday, March 31, 2014

Carbon County

Louis John Larizzio Jr. and Kerianne Nicole Buss, 50 Stock St., Nesquehoning.

Bradley Joseph Brobst, 46 Andreas Road, Andreas, and Andrea Marie August, 1265 Third St., Palmerton.

Bryan Christian Gogal, 101 W. Columbus Ave., Nesquehoning, and Megan Norwood, 450 E. Center St., Nesquehoning.

Glen Alan Schaeffer, 363 1/2 N. Second St., Lehighton, and Joanne Tavares, 401 Minersville St., Seltzer, Schuylkill County.

Nathan White and Susan Williams, 45 Thornhurst Country Club Estates, Thornhurst, Lackawanna County.