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Features

Friday, April 1, 2011
LINDA KOEHLER/TIMES NEWS Cathy Wells is an admitted "Gourd Lady." Her passion is taking dried gourds and turning them into works of art. She is working on a gourd bowl with a butterfly design with a removable lid in her home workshop in Saylorsburg.

Some days Cathy Wells thinks she's going out of her gourd. Especially when she's surrounded by all the unpainted gourds in her workroom in her Saylorsburg home.

"I wait until they 'speak' to me. They tell me what they want to be," explains the avid gourder.

Some want to be birdhouses. Others want to be bowls. Then there are some that want to be vases, lamps and even purses.

Gourds became Cathy's passion when she could no longer work in her garden.

Friday, March 25, 2011
Nicole Kuehner, 9, a third grader at Polk Elementary School, takes a fortune cookie while visiting the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of the Poconos at PVSD's "A Night of Unity."

"What we need to do is learn to respect and embrace our differences until our differences don't make a difference" is a quote by Yolanda King, human rights activist and eldest daughter of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Pleasant Valley School District's staff, students, parents, family, friends and members of the community celebrated the 10th annual "A Night of Unity" in the high school gym.

Friday, March 25, 2011

The population of the United States is becoming increasingly diverse, with the minority population reaching 98 million by 2005, one-third of the total population.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau's information released in 2006, Hispanics remained the largest minority group in the United States, numbering almost 43 million. They are also the fastest growing segment of the population, having increased their numbers by more than 1 million in the year from 2004 to 2005 alone.

Monday, March 21, 2011
ELSA KERSCHNER/times news Lisa Spahr reads the letter from Flavius Jankauskas. On the screen is one of the letters from the book.

A seldom-mentioned aspect of World War II was found in a cigar box inside a trunk.

The contents were written about by Lisa Spahr, granddaughter of a German prisoner of war. She brought the letters and the book she wrote from those stories to Mrs. Bush's Personal Care Home in Kunkletown on March 4.

Carrie Shafer, activities director, said Spahr contacted her. Whenever she is in the area she tries to schedule appointments either at homes such as Mrs. Bush's or at veterans' events. She was to speak at a convention near Philadelphia.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Daniel Pearson wrote for the New York Times. When he moved to the local area he switched to the Morning Call. That was his life for 28 years, writing everything from hard news to reviews.

Pearson was born in New York City. He said he was following his interest in life and it led him to Pennsylvania.

But before that, "I was in World War II but not in combat," he said. He was trained on the tanks and jeeps as part of the mechanized cavalry but was never called to go to war.

He enjoys the speakers that come to Mrs. Bush's "especially if they are good."

Friday, March 11, 2011
DONALD R. SERFASS/TIMES NEWS  The Tamaqua Anthracite Model Railroad Club display is an HO gauge extravaganza that meanders 1,000-square-feet.

Frank Huegel of South Tamaqua has seen many trains, planes and ships in his military career.

A Boston native, Huegel spent 20 years in the U. S. Navy's Heavy Attack Air Squadron, which included three deployments to Vietnam, Cuba and the South Pacific. The extensive travel help Huegel, a machinist, to cultivate his interest in railroads, ships and aircraft. However, it was trains that always captivated his imagination.

"I've seen trains all over the world. I'm fascinated by steam trains," he says.

Saturday, March 5, 2011
Roy Ziegler is the past president of the New Hope Historical Society. His new book, The Parrys of Philadelphia and New Hope: A Quaker Family's Lasting Impact on Two Historic Towns is available available through barnesandnoble.com.

The story of Daniel Parry, founder of Parryville, Pennsylvania, is told in a newly published book, The Parrys of Philadelphia and New Hope: A Quaker Family's Lasting Impact on Two Historic Towns by Roy Ziegler.

This 140 page history tells the story of one of eastern Pennsylvania's most storied families who helped transform early nineteenth-century Philadelphia from a population able to support 40,000 to one that housed 2 million, created industries, and were fathers of the towns of New Hope and Parryville.

Friday, March 4, 2011
Photos by Elsa Kerschner taken at the Mack Museum The oldest Mack bus was used for touring in Chicago in summer and was taken to New Orleans for touring in winter. It had between 750,000 and 1 million miles on it when it was retired. As with all the trucks on exhibit, Curator Don Schumaker said it is in running condition.

At the end of October the popular Mack Museum was moved to what had been the testing center on Lehigh Parkway from its Postal Road location. The test department has been moved to North Carolina.

Entry is through a Heritage Room that traces the growth of the company from 1900. A grandfather clock belonging to John "Jack" Mack and a safe from the Mack Bros. Motor Car Company precede showcases. Trucks and pieces of trucks fill the testing areas.

Friday, February 25, 2011
SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS  Two Jim Thorpe men, Ralph Clay and Zach Miller, are seen in this photo taken in North Carolina at the 145th Anniversary Battle Reenactment of Bentonville. From left: Scott Kuchta, unit president and captain, shown wearing the uniform of a private; Bill Polachek, Clay wearing corporal stripes; Chris Henn and Miller.

Exactly 150 years ago, big things were about to happen in Carbon County. Something similar was happening in Schuylkill County, too, and at other locations.

It was a call to arms; a fever that would redefine the country.

"It was August, 1861, when they started recruiting in Carbon County," says Ted Dombroski, West Hazleton.

Friday, February 18, 2011

According to the 2000 Census, Schuylkill County has a population of 150,000. The largest community has a population of only 15,000, the county seat of Pottsville. The next largest community is Tamaqua, 7,174. Other towns include: Ashland 3,283; Butler Township, 3,588; Frackville, 4,361; Mahanoy City, 4,347; Minersville, 4,552; Orwigsburg, 3,106; Pine Grove, 2,154; Pine Grove Township, 3,930; Rush Township, 3,957; St. Clair, 3,254; Schuylkill Haven; 5,548; Shenandoah, 5,624; Wayne Township, 4,721 and West Penn Township, 3,852.