Tuesday, July 29, 2014
     

Features

Saturday, July 26, 2014
SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Best friends and biking buddies, Anne Messick, left, and Tracy Smith, are in training as they prepare for a 150-mile bike Ride to Conquer Cancer in October.

Tracy Smith of Palmerton is in training.

She's biking her heart out and is planning on participating in The Ride to Conquer Cancer, a 150-mile bike ride Oct. 11-12.

Conquering cancer is a personal crusade for Smith. Her father, Manuel Muniz, recently lost his battle with pancreatic cancer.

Even closer to home, her husband of 27 years, Scott, is currently battling the incurable multiple myeloma, which he was diagnosed with four years ago.

Friday, July 25, 2014
ARCHIVES/DONALD R. SERFASS Sister Bernard Agnes, IHM, principal, Marian High School, is flanked by Ralph Cipko, left, and brother Daniel on June 1, 2001, on occasion of a Cipko donation, one of many.

They were rich and mysterious.

Caring and kindhearted.

And without question, eccentric.

In fact, on an eccentricity scale of one to 10, they scored a 20.

Daniel and Ralph, the brothers Cipko, were Carbon County's dynamic duo of donations.

Some believe they gave away the lion's share of $10 million, or maybe more.

In the process, the black-garbed pair became a media sensation. The men were subject to intense scrutiny, even controversy. At one point, they spawned a fan club which had its own newsletter filled with Cipko trivia.

Friday, July 18, 2014
LINDA KOEHLER/TIMES NEWS Carol Sue and Kerry Gougher of Palmerton sit at a table made from a willow tree trunk that was on neighbor Terry Eckhart's property. Frank Hagar wanted to make a table out of it and encouraged Kerry to do the same. Kerry made this table and benches and one other with four tree stump chairs for their backyard paradise.

When Carol Sue and Kerry Gougher sit on their backyard porch, they can view a 10-year labor of love.

What they have created is a stunningly beautiful natural oasis. It's almost like visiting a botanical garden.

Saturday, July 12, 2014
Jordan Reabold/Times News Mark Mason gently coaxes Mykonos to behave like the champion he is. "Horses respond to kindness," he said.

Mason Training Stables in Lehighton took home a number of awards from the Western New York Morgan Horse Show over Memorial Day weekend.

The show took place from May 23 to 25 at the Show-plex at Erie County Fairgrounds in Hamburg, New York.

There were about 250 horses present at the show, belonging to stables from Pennsylvania and surrounding areas, including Massachusetts, Ohio and New York.

To prepare for the show, owner Mark Mason begins each horse with a standard type of training.

Friday, July 11, 2014
Coal cars, left, wait to be hoisted from the foot of the Mahanoy Plane in this 1890s image.

In 1868, the most powerful engines in the world were located 16 miles west of Tamaqua.

The power was necessary to hoist coal up a mountainside, coal that helped to build the country.

The engines were part of an amazing coal-car inclined railroad known as the Mahanoy Plane, an engineering marvel that boosted coal cars from the valley town of Mahanoy Plane, part of Gilberton, up a mountainside some 2,460 feet to Frackville.

The inclined plane railroad spanned two points separated by a rise of 524 feet.

Saturday, June 28, 2014
LISA PRICE/TIMES NEWSCSI CAMPER TERRA STEIGERWALK USES THE "MEASURING MASTER" WHEEL TO CHECK THE LENGTH OF SKID MARKS.

Here are a couple clues that this is not your typical summer day camp experience: the Med-Evac helicopter landed, firefighters cut a crash victim out of a vehicle, and a narcotics dog found some pot in the garage.

On the last day of camp, a "body" was found on the floor inside, along with a couple of bloody footprints, fingerprints on the cash register and bullet holes through the walls. A possible "witness" to the crime, Bubba Ray, was a tough interview, since he was more concerned about his lost dog.

Friday, June 27, 2014
Tamaqua's Amos Moser Whetstone, who died 120 years ago, is remembered as a civilian accidentally shot on the Fourth of July during the Battle of Gettysburg.

Tamaqua's Amos Moser Whetstone was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and because of it, earned a place in American history.

It was the summer of 1863, and Whetstone was standing on a second-floor porch in Gettysburg when he called out to a neighbor to be careful crossing the street.

The Battle of Gettysburg was underway and bullets were flying everywhere.

The woman crossed safely, but then, in an instant, it was Whetstone who took a hit.

He survived, but the wound may have haunted him for the rest of his life and possibly contributed to his death.

Friday, June 20, 2014
ELSA KERSCHNER/TIMES NEWS The Merwinsburg Hotel is along Merwinsburg Road in Chestnuthill Township.

Brush was growing up and reclaiming the land around the Merwinsburg Hotel.

Water ran in at several places and rotted the wood.

But then Chestnuthill Township recognized the historic value of the hotel and bought it.

It is a treasure rediscovered.

A swale was dug around the building to stop most of the water. The Chestnuthill Township Historical Society helped with clearing the grounds. Everyone was anxious to get inside and see what was left. But first the mold had to be abated.

Saturday, June 14, 2014
RON GOWER/TIMES NEWS Laura Kennedy, director for the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway, looks over the hundreds of bicycles packed into passenger car for Scenic Bike Rides, which were held on Saturday and Sunday. Kennedy said the event was such a success that there's a good possibility it will be held again in the fall.

It was a first in Jim Thorpe.

Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway partnered with Pocono Biking of Jim Thorpe for what it called "Scenic Bike Rides" last weekend.

Laura Kennedy, director for the railway, termed the event the first of its kind "a huge success."

A total of four trips left from Jim Thorpe to White Haven, with seven passenger cars on each train. Every trip was sold out.

An estimated 1,400 people participated, ranging from small children to senior citizens.

Saturday, June 14, 2014
(ACME) COURTESY TAMAQUA HISTORICAL SOCIETY Bullet holes and broken glass in the Amber Lantern's side door attest to the violence on Flag Day 1938.

The first clues were the bodies themselves.

Police reports noted all three victims were of Italian descent and exceptionally well dressed.

Deputy Coroner Mary Jones released the bodies to Tamaqua undertaker E. Franklin Griffiths and autopsies were performed by Dr. A.B. Fleming.

The story became clearer.

Pugliese apparently was shot four times as he ran, twice in the neck, once in the right shoulder and once on left side of his mouth, which knocked out and broke off a number of teeth.