Thursday, April 27, 2017


Saturday, February 22, 2014
Al Dietz

For the first time in 72 years, there's a story about the busy man behind the familiar name.

Veteran newsman Al Dietz, behind-the-scenes court reporter on the Schuylkill County beat, spoke this week about highlights of his legendary career.

That development, in itself, is news.

Dietz, 92, has turned down interview requests for decades, and in no uncertain terms.

"I don't make news. I cover it," said the courthouse news courier whenever asked for an interview.

Friday, February 21, 2014
PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE ZIZELMANN FAMILY The current generation of funeral directors includes Eric, Jon and Christine (Mateyak) Zizelmann.

Helping people through some of the most difficult moments of their lives has been a sort of mantra for Christine Mateyak Zizelmann for all of her adult life.

The 1978 graduate of Tamaqua Area High School attended the Geisinger Medical Center School of Nursing, earning her RN in 1980. When the nursing profession became even more technical, she headed back to school and earned a bachelor's degree in science and nursing from Immaculata College in 2005.

Friday, February 7, 2014
Soon to be destroyed, the majestic St. Nicholas Breaker near Mahanoy City is shrouded in ominous clouds that almost choke out a glimmering sun in this enhanced digital image by Tom Applegate. The scene portends the loss of the historic building, where the first phase of dismantling began last year.

Some camera buffs speak through their photos.

Tom Applegate is just the opposite.

He lets photos speak to him.

Applegate is an artist, photographer, technician and digital illustrator in a field that, in many ways, is still in infancy.

The Lansford man snaps a shot and then uses it as a blank canvas to further cultivate a message.

"It starts out as photography," he says. "But it goes elsewhere. It's enhanced photography."

Actually, some might call it magic. Or fantasy. Or a form of expression without words.

Saturday, February 1, 2014
Dave Bloss sits in tent while ice fishing in Tuscarora.

Snow squall? Bring it. Cold front blowing in from the west? So much the better.

Forget all you dislike about the cold dead batteries, frozen water lines, school delays and take a glimpse into the world of people who will sit for hours on a frozen lake or pond, just for the chance to catch a fish.

That's because actually catching a fish, while important, isn't as important as getting out there and making the attempt.

Friday, January 31, 2014
Ruth A. Steinert

Forty years ago, the late Ruth A. Steinert published a much-celebrated book that describes Tamaqua's early days in intimate detail.

But the legacy of "A Hill to Climb" is only one facet of a remarkable individual, a bon vivant who impacted her community more than, perhaps, any other woman in Schuylkill County.

Steinert was a civic leader, businesswoman, and author.

She also was a poet, actress, and playwright.

Although childless, she led her town in recognizing the importance of children and, at the same time, pioneered the cause of animal rights.

Saturday, January 25, 2014
AP Photo/Frank Eltman In this Jan. 10, 2014, photo, the control tower and hangars at New York's LaGuardia Airport are shown. Dark, dingy, cramped and sad are some of the ways travelers describe LaGuardia Airport, a bustling hub often ranked in customer satisfaction surveys as the worst in America.

NEW YORK (AP) – Dark, dingy, cramped and sad. These are some of the ways travelers describe LaGuardia Airport, a bustling hub often ranked in customer satisfaction surveys as the worst in America.

"It does not represent what people think of when they think of New York and Broadway shows and glamour. It's not very pretty," said Layla House, a sales manager for a medical supply company who travels from her home in Bullard, Texas, to New York at least six times a year.

That's about to change.

Friday, January 24, 2014
Joanne Harris brought paper-doll Valentines to share.

A program in which people bring their hidden treasures to the Palmerton Area Historical Society meeting to share with other members has always been the most popular meeting of the year.

That was true again Jan.13 as the group held the "What is it?" program.

Joanne Harris started off with sharing two valentines, little paper-doll-like cards featuring moving eyes. She has kept them a long time and still enjoys getting them out for Valentine's Day.

Friday, January 17, 2014
DONALD R. SERFASS/TIMES NEWS Auctioneer Doug Houser sells a vintage brass railcar plaque at Saturday's railroadiana auction at Mahoning Valley Fire Hall as clerk Jackie Zehner-Clemson tracks bids. The estate sale continues tomorrow in Schnecksville.

Rail history is on the auction block and collectors are jockeying for a piece of the action.

The Houser family of auctioneers has teamed with Summit Hill Atty. Joseph Velitsky in liquidation of an estate expected to produce four or five auctions of an extensive collection of railroadiana.

"I've been doing this since 1971 and I've never seen a collection of railroad memorabilia like this," said Doug Houser of Houser Auctioneers, Schnecksville and Allentown.

Friday, January 10, 2014
DONALD R. SERFASS/TIMES NEWS The ABC Tamaqua High Rise soars 175 feet, higher than any other building in Schuylkill County.

Four decades ago, a landmark monolith rose skyward in the center of Tamaqua.

It went up slowly, a steel skeleton built beam by beam. In almost a strange way, construction noise seemed to be drowned out by the drama and scope of the project, a spectacle of huge proportions.

Since that time, it has dominated Tamaqua's skyline, commanding a prestigious role as visual anchor to the downtown and boasting impressive statistics and rugged, modern looks.

Friday, January 3, 2014
LINDA KOEHLER/TIMES NEWS Emmanuel United Church of Christ, Bowmanstown, 509 Hamilton St., founded in 1903, is served by Pastor Dennis Schappell. The sanctuary was decorated in a blue and white theme this year, along with traditional poinsettias.

Palmerton, and its surrounding area, is rich in history and architecture. Prime examples are the churches that serve the people of the community.

Thanks to several of those churches and the Christian Action Council of Palmerton Area Churches and the Palmerton Area Historical Society, people could visit these churches when they opened their doors for a self-guided tour of 13 churches, all dressed in their Christmas finest.

Churches included: