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Features

Saturday, March 22, 2014
AMY MILLER/TIMES NEWS Richard E. Forgay sits in his favorite seat in his home in Lansford.

When you walk into Richard E. Forgay's Lansford home, you are greeted by the warmth of love and memories of family that have settled into the walls over the decades.

Richard sits in his favorite armchair, a beige floral print high-back chair, enjoying one of his favorite beverages.

His eyes are kind, his smile inviting, and he is dressed like he just came home from a day at the office.

He is sharp as a tack, even at 84 years old, remembering the good ol' days as if they were yesterday.

Richard is one of the remaining gatekeepers of Lansford's rich history.

Friday, March 14, 2014
Left, Shawn Noonan and right, Joe Campbell, both Pennsylvania State Police troopers of the Lehighton barracks, presented the Aquashicola Fire Company a check for $4,984.67, the proceeds from the first Gary "Lumpy" Koons Golf Tournament. AFD's Second Assistant Chief/Treasurer Chris Jahelka accepted on behalf of AFD.

Aquashicola Volunteer Fire Company (or Department, AFD), has it all ... everyday heroes in its volunteer firefighters, dedicated members and a community that supports it successfully.

On March 1, AFD held an 85th anniversary party, recognizing many neighboring community emergency responders.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Aquashicola Volunteer Fire Company's 85-year history:

1929-water mains laid with hydrants in Towamensing Township and a volunteer fire department formed. Aquashicola firemen responded to fires on Front and Mill streets as far as their hoses would reach from fire hydrants. They relied heavily on assistance from Towamensing Township Fire Co. #1 (also known as Palmerton Fire Department).

1949-A Thanksgiving Day fire claimed three lives and sparked an interest for an organized fire company.

Friday, February 28, 2014

By DONALD R. SERFASS
dserfass@tnonline.com
Tamaqua is known as the Land of Running Water.
But in early days, a good portion of the water was mixed with malted barley, hops and yeast.
The town hosted a budding beer industry second to none.
In fact, the manufacture, bottling and distribution of beer was so popular, the town is believed to have spawned one of Lancaster’s largest breweries.
Empire Brewery, a former industry giant, might have been an outgrowth of a smaller brewery in 1877 Tamaqua.

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.