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Features

Saturday, April 13, 2013
D&L Trail Tender Steve Krentler demonstrates how to lay a stone wall as he repairs a damaged section of the Lehigh Canal in Freemansburg.

Along with building the 165-mile Delaware & Lehigh Trail, the Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor's Trail Tenders have been working to preserve the historical places along the canal corridor.

In the Freemansburg borough, along the Lehigh River just east of Bethlehem, is the heritage site of Canal Lock 44 - consisting of a canal and canal lock, a locktender's house, a mule barn, and a mill raceway.

Friday, April 12, 2013
DONALD R. SERFASS/TIMES NEWS  Donna Kaminitsky, left, and Amy Hayes, grandmother and mother, respectively, are heartbroken over the unexpected loss of 14-year-old HaiLee.

HaiLee Hayes was a healthy, happy teenage girl.

The Tamaqua student had many interests - from cooking to NASCAR and her favorite driver Jimmie Johnson.

Everyone agrees she was a sensitive and sensible young girl who cared deeply about others and had lots of love to give.

"She was everybody's little mentor," says Donna Kaminitsky, Summit Hill, HaiLee's "Nana."

That's how HaiLee was, friends say. She was nurturing and always thought of others, not herself. And she was never one to complain.

But she did speak up a few weeks ago when she sensed something bad.

Saturday, April 6, 2013
For the 50th anniversary of the 1963 graduating class of Jim Thorpe High School, Jeanne Sterling Radley donated three scrapbooks of the events of her 1962-1963 senior year. Her brother, Jack Sterling, suggested donating them to the Dimmick Memorial Library where his wife, Susan Stirling, is the librarian.

Fifty years ago, sports were all the rage, and at Jim Thorpe High School, basketball was king. In 1962, the Olympians won their league's state championship, and in 1963, came within two points of bringing home a second state title.

As Jeanne Sterling, now Jeanne Sterling Radley, was entering her September 1962 - June 1963 senior year at Jim Thorpe High School, she felt this year would be special, and so she began a scrapbook that by the end of the school year grew to three volumes.

Friday, April 5, 2013
DONALD R. SERFASS/TIMES NEWS Tamaqua Historical Society volunteers Dale Freudenberger, left, Bill Harleman and Julian Huegel, kneeling, display what is titled '1858 Official Plan Map of Tamaqua,' by Civil Engineer D.H. Goodwin.

According to early maps, there was once an island in the middle of Tamaqua.

The presence of the island corresponds to early written accounts about moving the river.

An 1858 map of Tamaqua clearly illustrates that the Little Schuylkill River - then called the Tamaqua River - split in the center of town and created an island. But town fathers didn't like the topography and did something about it.

As the town grew, a new river channel was excavated and the river diverted.

Saturday, March 30, 2013
A Republic of Ireland highway sign gives directions in the country's two languages: English and Irish (Irish Gaelic).

In the wake of St. Patrick's Day, a Lehighton woman couldn't keep herself from sharing an old family fable. Connie Cunningham tells the story of her great-grandfather, Joseph Michael Cunningham, and how he taught Gaelic to the Irish.

Joseph Michael Cunningham grew up on a farm west of the midlands of Ireland, just outside the town of County Galway, Ireland. The town's name, Tuaim, is derived from the Latin "tumulus"which means "burial mound".

Friday, March 29, 2013
LINDA KOEHLER/TIMES NEWS The Bunny Trail sign leads the way to the woods behind Bruce and Wanda George's Kunkletown home where lots of Easter surprises wait for the Georges' family, friends and grandkids.

Wanda George adores her family. And holidays. And decorating. Collecting. Nature ...

Being a very loving and creative person, she finds ways to combine all her passions into special events as her gift to family and friends.

Wanda enjoys visiting flea markets. She can always find treasures to fit every holiday. In unique and clever ways, she showcases her antique and flea-market-found treasures in her charming home in Kunkletown.

Friday, March 22, 2013
DONALD R. SERFASS/TIMES NEWS The Rev. Joseph T. Whalen, pastor, St. Richard's Roman Catholic Church, performs a traditional blessing on items in an Easter food basket.

A rich Eastern European tradition centers on having a basket of food blessed on Holy Saturday. The food is then enjoyed on Easter Sunday, maybe for breakfast, or maybe saved and eaten for Easter dinner.

The ritual is especially prevalent in families with Slovak background - Polish, Ukrainian, Czech, Russian and others.

Saturday, March 16, 2013
Special to the TIMES NEWS This sign greeted Julian Gonzalez of Slatington at the Good Shepherd Health & Technology Center in Allentown as part of a celebration to honor Julian, who recently graduated from Pediatric Therapy at Good Shepherd.

No matter what life throws our way, it's important to keep on keepin on.

With all he's had to endure, Julian Gonzalez of Slatington ought to be the poster child for that train of thought.

It was over a decade ago when Julian, then 8, sustained a traumatic brain injury after he was hit by a car.

Rather than wilt under the pressure of adversity, Julian persevered through hard work, sacrifice, and determination.

The fruits of his labor paid off in a big way for Julian, who defied the odds when he graduated from Pediatric Therapy at Good Shepherd.

Friday, March 15, 2013
LINDA KOEHLER/TIMES NEWS The Rev. Elizabeth Ann Melot of Zion Lutheran Church with her St. Bernard, Maisie, says her trip to the Holy Land was an incredible experience.

To walk where Jesus walked. To pray where Jesus prayed. This is what Elizabeth Ann Melot dreamed of doing some day.

The Rev. Elizabeth Ann Melot has read about the Holy Land all her life. She studied at Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Ohio, graduating in 2000. She was ordained July 2000 and accepted the call to St. James Evangelical Church in Hobbie, Pa. She then accepted the call to Zion United Lutheran Church in Brodheadsville in 2004, where she now works and lives with Maisie, her St. Bernard, two cats and a pair of orange cheeked finches.

Saturday, March 9, 2013