Thursday, December 25, 2014


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Halloween spending is expected to reach $7.4 billion this year.

That's a lot of candy.

According to a survey conducted by the National Retail Federation, the average person will spend $77.52 this Halloween, up $2.49 from last year. And it's not just candy; that amount also includes cards and decorations, as well as costumes.

"There's no question that the variety of adult, child and even pet costumes now available has driven the demand and popularity of Halloween among consumers of all ages," says NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay in a news release late last month.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014
This Sept. 22, 2014 photo shows spicy sweet mole pumpkin seed clusters in Concord, N.H. The granola-like snack takes a more balanced approach to our Halloween sugar rush. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

It's true ... Despite what the kids think, not all Halloween treats need to rot your teeth on contact.

Which isn't to say the goodies we've gathered here a muddy punch and a granola-like snack don't have a sweet side. Rather, we decided to take a more balanced approach to our sugar rush. You know, just in case somebody over the age of 12 wanted some.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014
PHOTO COURTESY METROGRAPHICS One lump or two? Real sugar or artificial?

When it comes to buying sweetener in the grocery store, your choices are nearly unlimited.

You'll find bags of plain white sugar, found in sugar bowls across America. There's brown sugar, light and dark. And don't forget the small packages of artificial sugars in a rainbow of colors from pink and blue to yellow and green.

While they all do the same job, each has a different role. Artificial sugar has no calories or carbohydrates and is often the first substitute people make when trying to cut calories or carbs.

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Monroe County Historical Association has announced a competition and scholarship event for Monroe County high school juniors.

The Monroe County History Challenge will be held at 6 p.m. April 23 in the Monroe County Court House in Stroudsburg. Each county high school is welcome to select two juniors to participate.

The competition will consist of four rounds of questions related to history and government. The first round will deal with international and national questions.

Monday, October 20, 2014
LINDA KOEHLER/TIMES NEWS LaRue Smith of Palmerton, is a sprightly 100-year-old as of Oct. 17.

LaRue Smith of Palmerton celebrated her 100th birthday on Thursday.

Born in Aquashicola, she attended Aquashicola School for eight years.

She helped her parents on their chicken and turkey farm until she married Albert Smith.

LaRue and Albert celebrated 24 years of marriage before he passed away in 1966.

They had four children, six grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren.

Smith worked several years in the garment industry until she retired.

Monday, October 20, 2014
COURTESY OF MARIE GRIFFITHS/HAIR MECHANICS Going a hair shade or two darker is a great way to rebuild your hair after a summer of sun and sand. Proper preparation is essential to taking care of those pesky roots.

Summer has come and gone.

As the time you spend outside shortens, your sun-kissed look and highlights will start to fade.

It's time to replenish, restore and rebuild your hair from roots to ends.

The saying goes, "Sweater weather is better weather." But the change in temperature can really confuse your hair and we're talking both color and texture.

Here are a few tips from Jen Dardas, owner of Cutting Edge Hair Design in Coaldale.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Jamie Tworkowski, founder of "To Write Love On Her Arms," will be speaking at 7 p.m. Nov. 17 at Moravian College in Bethlehem.

The event is free. Music will be by Eric James of The Last Royals.

"To Write Love On Her Arms" is a nonprofit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide.

Its purpose is to encourage, inform, inspire and invest directly into treatment and recovery.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Michele L. Yondura and William M. Spatz, Tamaqua

Bernadette M. Beckett and Neal D. Confer, Tamaqua

Friday, October 17, 2014
This undated photo provided by Generac shows a portable generator available for homeowners. Portables are powered by gasoline and need to be manually started. Although built-ins are more expensive and require professional installation, they turn on automatically in power outages. (AP Photo/Generac)

As storms have become more severe in many parts of the country and power outages more frequent, home generators have gone from luxury items to mainstream ones.

Prices have come down, thanks to growing demand and cheaper technology. But the idea of buying and installing one can still be daunting, mainly because there are so many variables to consider.

Much depends on how much you want the generator to do.

A look at some generator basics:


or portable

Friday, October 17, 2014
MUM'S the word

No other season is as colorful as fall. From the rich, vibrant shades of autumn leaves to the brilliant azure blues of an October sky to the happy hues of Halloween pumpkins.

It seems almost an embarrassment of riches to also be surrounded by the beauty of the iconic fall mums.

With a little care, you can enjoy your mums through the season as annuals, or with a little more care and a bit of luck, you might even be able to coax them back to life next year.

"Fall mums are hardy mums," says Barbara Zehner, from the Flower Tent on Route 443 in Lehighton.