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Features

Friday, December 28, 2012
Paul Scepansky chops peppers for a delicious Ataulfo, Mango Salsa.

The Christmas feasting is now over. You ate the last cookie. Turkey sandwiches slathered in mayonnaise are gastric memories.

You're wearing baggy sweat pants because they're the most comfortable and roomy things you own.

You swear you're never going to eat again.

You make the New Year's resolution to eat only nutritious and healthy foods in 2013.

But how do you start?

What do you need to know?

Bill Scepansky of Smart Partner Solutions sums it up by telling us to "Eat the Rainbow."

Friday, December 21, 2012
PICTURE # 1 Luke 1:26-38 In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel (George Moretz) to Nazareth, a town in Galilee. A virgin (Brooke Scheckler) pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you." Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end." "How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?" The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God. " "I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said." Then the angel left her.

A friend of Renee Keiper of Kunkletown told her about how their church presented the Christmas story.

She excitedly told members of the CIA (Christians In Action) group at St. Matthew's UCC in Kunkletown last year of what she envisioned. The creative juices began to flow and the seeds for a "Journey to Bethlehem" began to grow.

Renee's original vision was to get the community involved so it would be a Kunkletown community event, not just a St. Matthew's Church event.

Saturday, December 15, 2012
The original charter for Pennsylvania set its southern border at the 40th Parallel. This would have place Philadelphia in Maryland. Fighting, followed by negotiations led to creation of a new border, surveyed by Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon.

The Mason-Dixon Line-what is it? Do you recollect that it had something to do with the Civil War?

Well, on this 150th anniversary of the Civil War, when films like Steven Spielberg's Lincoln are attracting a lot of buzz, it is a perfect time to dust off a long forgotten tale about the Mason-Dixon Line-it was not created to separate slave and non-slave states, no, it predated the Civil War by many years - it was created to help preserve the fledgling Pennsylvania colony by settling a festering intercolonial conflict.

Friday, December 14, 2012
DONALD R. SERFASS/TIMES NEWS From left: Grant Betz, Tamaqua; Chris Bartush, Orwigsburg and Dave Carl, Jim Thorpe, check cables and straps as the 101-year-old First National Bank clock is prepared for hoisting.

Lois Breiner had a secret. Nobody else knew it.

But it was only a matter of time.

What Lois knew for 48 years was that a fancy stained glass clock that helped to define Tamaqua's downtown since 1911 was stashed away inside a Cherry Street garage at the rear of her parents' Hunter Street home.

"It was carefully chained there," she recalls.

Her father, Henry, had salvaged the timepiece in 1960 when a name change at the Tamaqua First National Bank made the old clock obsolete.

Saturday, December 8, 2012
AL ZAGOFSKY/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS At the age of 30, shortly after birthing her first child, Jaqi Medaris of Palmerton experienced something greater than postpartum depression-her hormones went ballistic leading to a set of behaviors that her doctor diagnosed as manic depressive. Her book, The Missing Link, tells her story.

At the age of 30, shortly after birthing her first child, Jaqi Medaris of Palmerton experienced something greater than postpartum depression - her hormones went ballistic leading to a set of behaviors that her doctor diagnosed as manic depressive.

"My doctor said, that I will be a manic depressive for the rest of my life," Medaris said. "He told me that I would be taking medication for the rest of my life. I kept saying 'No! No! No!'"

Friday, December 7, 2012
John Dallas, Tamaqua

He wasn't a politician, entertainer, or public figure. He wasn't a member of clubs or organizations.

Yet John Dallas was known by just about everybody in town.

The colorful Tamaqua man passed away earlier this year at age 100. He carried the torch of an earlier era and it was a role he relished.

Folks say he marched to the beat of a different drummer. With trimmed moustache and a gleam in his eye, there was something special about the theatrical Italian man born on Halloween a century ago.

Friday, November 30, 2012
PHOTO ILLUSTRATION/DONALD R. SERFASS  A group of Tamaqua men apparently organized Hibernian Hook & Ladder Co. in the 1870s.

It was a group civic-minded men.

They lived in the 1870s and most or all were likely Irish Catholic. They were either immigrants or sons of immigrants.

They likely worked in the mines or performed manual labor.

They joined together and called themselves Hibernian Hook & Ladder Co. of Tamaqua. And they blazed a trail.

But they also left a trail of questions.

Three early units

To understand Hibernian H&L, one must first look at the earliest days of firefighting in Tamaqua.

Friday, November 23, 2012
DONALD R. SERFASS/TIMES NEWS After completing months of planning, volunteers of the Tamaqua Spirit of Christmas Festival grabbed a holiday wreath and, in a moment of fun, framed their hardworking chairwoman, Jean Ann Towle, center. Others, clockwise from bottom left: Leona Rega, George Taylor, Kathy Schock, Linda Heigele, Judy Hoppes, Linda Yulanavage, Gary Wayne Price, Karen Davison and Jason Boris.

The17th Annual Tamaqua Spirit of Christmas Festival will kick off next Friday, launching three days of attractions and events geared to all ages. The event sends a message that the special magic of the holidays is part of all of us, and it's right here at home, according to organizers.

A showcase of community spirit, the annual Tamaqua holiday festival brings together clubs, churches and organizations to stage one of the largest holiday festivals in Schuylkill County.

Saturday, November 17, 2012
AL ZAGOFSKY/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS John Drury, president of the Mauch Chunk Museum, holds a display box of packets of anthracite coal. The Jim Thorpe Lions Club supports local Jim Thorpe nonprofits and White's Residential & Family Services in Indiana by selling small packets of anthracite coal. In the background is an image of Josiah White and a print of a portion of the canal system that he engineered.

Recently, when the borough's elementary school children were asked who founded their town, two of the responses were Jim Thorpe and Mark Chunk.

They are hardly alone. The town was established as Mauch Chunk in 1818 by Josiah White, the founder of the Lehigh Coal & Navigation Company. In 1954, the east and west sides of the town merged to form a borough, and it was named Jim Thorpe in honor of the Native American Olympic athlete-whose body was laid to rest in the town but who during his life had never visited it.

Friday, November 16, 2012
Dorothy Baclawski discussed details about some of the Gilbert Cemetery burials.

The October tour at the Gilbert cemetery sponsored by the Chestnuthill Township Historical Society was a tremendous success with 175 people attending. It was organized by Nancy Christman.

The tour began at the Conrad Kresge monument and ended at the Kresge Mausoleum with 25 stops in between including the story told by a woman whose home is next to the cemetery.

It began in the old section and continued in the cemetery's new section, ending at a table offering refreshments.