Sunday, November 29, 2015


Friday, February 10, 2012
DONALD R. SERFASS/TIMES NEWS Tamaqua native Susie McHale Brockel discusses the advantages of almond oil during a recent educational session on aromatherapy held in Rush Township.

Essential oils might be the right gift to give the Valentine who has everything.

On the other hand, essential oils might be the right gift to give yourself to help attract the Valentine of your dreams.

Friday, February 10, 2012
The wide variety of colors, shapes and sizes of aromatherapy.

Aromatherapy is the practice of using natural oils extracted from flowers, bark, stems, leaves, roots or other parts of a plant to enhance psychological and physical well-being.

A form of alternative medicine, aromatherapy is gaining momentum. It is used for a variety of applications, including pain relief, mood enhancement and increased cognitive function.

There are a wide number of essential oils available, each with unique healing properties.

Saturday, February 4, 2012
AMY MILLER/TIMES NEWS Tyler Black, front left, and Allison Slakoper, front right, students at Our Lady of The Angels Academy in Lansford, hold up The Respect Program activity packets, which students must earn from their teachers. With them are Sister Regina Elinich, IHM, principal of OLOAA; and Nicole Hager, education coordinator for J.P. Mascaro and Sons and The Respect Program.


That was the topic of a recent program at Our Lady of The Angels Academy in Lansford.

This week, the students were treated to The Respect Program, sponsored by J.P. Mascaro and Sons of Audubon, Pa. The event was held in conjunction with Catholic Schools Week.

During the presentation, Nicole Hager, education coordinator for J.P. Mascaro and Sons and The Respect Program, taught the children how to respect people, property and the environment.

"We're all about educating the community and children about respect," Hager said.

Friday, February 3, 2012
For 50 years, Tamaqua's John 'Sonny' Trudich, Jr., and his siblings have wondered what happened to kind-hearted Aunt Mary. Mary Chizmar Trudich was savagely attacked and bludgeoned to death in the area's most brutal unsolved murder.

A kind-hearted widow is brutally murdered in the quiet village of South Tamaqua.

The killing is so savage that people are shaken to the core. But so far, the culprit hasn't been identified and answers have been hard to come by.

Sgt. George Durilla, deceased, headed the Pennsylvania State Police probe and kept in touch with the victim's family. A Tamaqua resident, Durilla was diligent in pursuing the case, even if leads were few.

Friday, January 27, 2012
COURTESY LARRY NEFF COLLECTION River Run Inn on Route 309 in South Tamaqua served as a tavern and cafe, and was site of the Tamaqua area's most brutal murder, still unsolved.

Mary Trudich had no enemies.

An innkeeper, she was the perfect hostess.

In fact, people around South Tamaqua say her heart was as big as the mountain behind her warm roadside cafe.

If you were hungry, she fed you. If you were in a jam and needed a few dollars, she'd reach into her apron pocket to help you out.

"She'd give you the shirt off her back," says nephew John 'Sonny' Trudich, Jr., of the Owl Creek section of Tamaqua.

Mary never had children. But in many ways, the gracious 56-year-old widow was seen as a motherly type.

Friday, January 20, 2012
Lansford Historical Society President Bill Harleman, right, welcomes Jim and Robin Telepchak to the East Bertsch Street museum.

Local historians are making sure that the rich history of Lansford, the heart of the Panther Valley, is never lost.

For visitors, it's easy to see that the volunteers approach their mission with passion. And it's a passion reinforced on a deep, emotional level after the passing of cherished volunteer Stephen Brunda, a Lansford native.

Brunda, of Nesquehoning, passed away last October at age 74. He is remembered as a devoted civic volunteer in many different arenas, and the society was one of his foremost loves.

Friday, January 13, 2012
The Victoria Theatre commanded a dominating presence when it opened on West Broad Street in Tamaqua in 1914.

The Tamaqua Victoria Motion Picture Theatre began as a showcase for Vaudeville, located at the site of the former Beard's Hotel on West Broad Street, a site now hosting the Tamaqua Salvation Army.

The place advertised a seating capacity of 1,200 persons and was ornate and spectacular by any standard.

Friday, January 13, 2012
DONALD R. SERFASS/TIMES NEWS  Forty years ago, Pete Patterson transported the massive Tamaqua Victoria Theatre organ to center city Allentown. The ducts visible overhead are not heating pipes, but actually part of the organ's blower system.

A special part of Tamaqua's past has been found in center city Allentown and there is talk about bringing it home where it belongs.

Everyone thought it had been destroyed. But they were mistaken.

Friday, December 30, 2011
LINDA KOEHLER/TIMES NEWS As a "daughter" of the house, Samantha Krabutler demonstrates what it was like making cookies in the 1890s. "Mama says if you don't fill a wash basket full, you didn't bake enough." She explained that almost all the ingredients come from the farm from the eggs, milk, butter and honey. The grain they raise, her father takes to the mill to have it ground into flour. A visiting tinsmith makes the cookie cutters, like those hanging behind her, even a silhouette of "Grandmother." They made cutouts of fish and hung them on a string to represent the Trinity and hung them on the tree and in the windows. They'd keep a basket of cookies for the Belsnickle, the mythical southern Germany version of Santa Claus.

Many have Christmas traditions handed down to them from generation to generation. Baking cookies, trimming a Christmas tree and caroling are just a few.

When families gather, they often tell and retell their stories of past Christmases.

What if you could relive Christmas days of yore? What would it have been like to have a Christmas tree with no electric lights or to bake cookies in the oven of a wood stove or to work on making homemade Christmas presents by candlelight?