Sunday, February 26, 2017


Monday, January 23, 2017
If you’re planning a family, you may want to double up on your savings. The Department of Agriculture says it will cost $233,610 to raise a child from birth through the age of 17. PHOTO COURTESY METROGRAPHICS

Expecting a baby? Congratulations! Better put plenty of money in your savings account.

The Department of Agriculture says the estimated cost of raising a child from birth through age 17 is $233,610, or as much as almost $14,000 annually. That’s the average for a middle-income couple with two children. It’s a bit more expensive in urban parts of the country, and less so in rural areas.

The estimate is based on 2015 numbers, so a baby born this year is likely to cost even more. It’s a 3 percent increase from the prior year, a hike higher than inflation.

Monday, January 23, 2017

With the U.S. Department of Education reporting that more than 40 percent of all borrowers are late or in default, it’s no wonder fake or unethical student debt relief companies are popping up everywhere.

“Borrowers are more stressed than ever before about repaying their loans,” said Sarah Hamilton, student loan supervisor for Take Charge America, a national nonprofit credit counseling and student loan counseling agency.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Of all the whales that live in the sea, the largest are blue whales. In fact, blue whales are the biggest known animals to have ever lived on our planet, even bigger than dinosaurs. Enrico Pirotta, a researcher at Washington State University, explained that when baby blue whales are born, they are already massive. They weigh between 5 to 7 tons. They stretch about 22 feet long. They grow bigger and stronger, putting on a couple hundred pounds each day.

Saturday, January 21, 2017
Mr. and Mrs. Louis Marmas

Amy Louis Schmauch, daughter of Richard and Betty Schmauch of Tamaqua, became the bride of Louis Michael Marmas, son of Anthony Marmas of Schuylkill Haven, and Mr. and Mrs. Gladwin Groff of Andreas, on Oct. 29, 2016, at St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tamaqua. The Rev. Phyllis J. Wolford officiated the double ring ceremony.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Nicole R. Nace graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, San Antonio, Texas.

The airman completed an intensive, eight-week program that included training in military discipline and studies, Air Force core values, physical fitness and basic warfare principles and skills.

Airmen who complete basic training also earn four credits toward an associate in applied science degree through the Community College of the Air Force.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Inauguration Day is here, and just about everyone has something to say about it.

Clearly, it is a time of political chaos, social activism, and so much more. People are at each other’s throats. So I’m left to wonder — what would Rod Serling think about all of this?

I know that a lot of people may be scratching their heads, wondering what perspective the creator of the “Twilight Zone” could offer on the current news.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

I hate being late. It is my single biggest pet peeve, both when people are late, and when I am late myself.

Yet, here I am at 9:30 a.m., and I’ve already been late for three things today.

I want to change, really, I do!

If you want me to click on a link, or read an article, or a book, or have me devote 110 percent attention to something, just title it “How to Never Be Late Again.”

I’ve tried all the tricks.

Every clock in my house is set to a different time, anywhere between 5 to 10 minutes ahead.

Saturday, January 21, 2017
More bald eagles have been seen at Hawk Mountain in recent years. CONTRIBUTED PHOTOS

awk Mountain Sanctuary has been tracking migrating bald eagles since 1934. And it’s safe to say that 2016 was by far the most successful year in history.

With the official migration season coming to a close on Thursday, researchers have already observed 481 bald eagles. That not only surpasses, but obliterates the previous record of 406 set in 2010.

“We’ve been around over 80 years. Our last record was in 2010, we had 406. Now we’re hovering just under 500 — that’s an amazing recovery,” said Laurie Goodrich, the sanctuary’s director of long-term monitoring.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Alex Raub, of Palmerton, graduated cum laude with an Associate of Arts degree in justice and security studies from Valley Forge Military College, Wayne, Pennsylvania, during their commencement on May 20. He has recently enlisted in the U.S. National Guard and is scheduled to attend basic training at Fort Benning, Georgia, in Spring 2017. In the interim, Raub is attending LCCC and plans to continue his studies in criminal justice after completing basic training.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Cristi Marchetti is one of those people who inspires us to dream and to accomplish more in our lives.

Marchetti, a Lehighton Area High School English teacher, is inspiring in everyday life for her passion for the profession. She motivates people around her and enables them to believe they, too, can accomplish anything.

Marchetti will be embarking Wednesday on an educational experience of a lifetime, when she will board a plane with her daughter Vivian, 7, and head to Northern Ireland as a Fulbright Distinguished Award recipient.