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Features

Saturday, June 18, 2011
Travel companion Layla and I visit the Three Pagodas at Dali built in the Tang Dynasty about 1,200 years ago.

(This the final part of a series of articles about Taylor's recent trip to south China's Yunnan Province. More photos appear at http://www.btay200.blogspot.com/.)

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Standing amid a sea of yellow wheat, the tall golden grains waving ever so gently in the wind, I was just about as out of place as you could get. Wearing jeans and a fake black North Face jacket, I stood out from the Chinese workers in their iconic saucer-shaped field hats and torn pants.

Friday, June 17, 2011
Rob Evans holds up a charred brick from a pile located at the H. A. Weldy Powder Mill. The charring suggests that the bricks were part of a smokestack or oven.

Explorer Rob Evans makes his way through brush, ferns and trees covering an abandoned 21-acre industrial complex.

Like Indiana Jones, Evans watches every step, prepared for the unexpected.

"It's not too overgrown. I've seen worse," notes Evans, an Auburn resident and former employee of Atlas Powder Company.

The lush, moist woods carry a sweet smell, along with the low roar of the rushing Little Schuylkill River as it rolls along its rocky course. But there's an invisible demon - the woods are filled with dangerous ticks.

Friday, June 10, 2011
A late 1800s lithograph depicts the Weldy plant, with the Tamaqua Tunnel visible far right.

Coal, railroad and iron turned Tamaqua into a bustling small city in the late 1800s, but it was explosives that created a boom town.

Explosives for mining and industry, plus gunpowder for war, helped one local man build an empire

With the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, there is renewed interest in rediscovering one of the town's first great industries - H. A. Weldy Powder Works of Tamaqua.

According to an early publication by J. H. Beers & Co., Henry A. Weldy was born Sept. 13, 1831, and spent his early life at Reading, Berks Co.

Friday, June 3, 2011
Kids can't resist fresh baked chocolate chip cookies

If you travel along an old country road in Kunkletown, it's not unusual to pass by a barn now and then. But there's one old dairy barn that no longer gives shelter to some of God's four-legged creatures. Instead, it offers shelter to some of God's children who have doubts, fears, questions about life and their own place in this world. It is a sanctuary for many each Thursday night.

It is known simply as The Barn.

It is a ministry to youth that began as a dream of a young couple many years ago.

Saturday, May 28, 2011
BRANDON TAYLOR/TIMES NEWS Dai residents gather for a re-enactment of a water splashing festival, usually held every April during the Dai's New Year celebrations In Dai culture, water symbolizes purity or the ability to wash away the past and start anew. Splashing water is a gesture of goodwill toward one's family, friends, neighbors or anyone who happens to get in the way of a water-filled bowl.

(Editor's Note: This is the first column in a four-part series on Taylor's recent trip to south China's Yunnan province.)

Yunnan, one of China's southernmost provinces, means "south of the clouds." It's a name fit for fairy tales and other childhood stories, one that hints at hiding something behind its cloudy veil. The name couldn't be more spot on.

Friday, May 27, 2011
Curator Ed Pany of the Atlas Cement Museum

When the Atlas Portland Cement Company closed in 1982 Ed Pany went to homes, churches and newspapers to get the names of 2,376 people who worked at the plant. It was to remember these people that he started the cement museum in the municipal building of Northampton Borough. The names were placed on stainless steel plaques in the lobby.

Five cement companies remain in the area but all are foreign-owned: Keystone, LaFarge, Heidelberg, Essoc and Hercules.

Friday, May 20, 2011

May is National Lyme Disease Awareness Month which hopes to make everyone aware of the symptoms, prevention and treatment of Lyme disease.

Ticks are everywhere. You can be exposed to them as easily as a walk outside your home or petting the family dog. They can be found in lawns, shrubs, gardens and edges of woodlands.

How can you reduce the chances of a tick bite?

*Educate yourself about tick-borne diseases.

Friday, May 20, 2011
LINDA KOEHLER/TIMES NEWS Kristina Corbo, center, has been battling debilitating effects of Lyme disease for six years. With the help of her parents, Lenny and Linda Corbo of Reeders, they are hoping she will find the help she needs after seeing a Lyme disease specialist next week.

Kristina Corbo, 22 of Reeders woke up one March morning in 2005 dizzy, off balance and nauseous.

"I thought I had the flu," the pretty young brunette says.

She wishes that was all it was because the last six years have been "horrible!"

Her symptoms lasted about a week. All went away except for the dizziness. Her doctor referred her to an ear, nose and throat specialist because the dizziness had become so severe. He found nothing wrong with her.

She went to see a cardiologist to see if it was heart-related. He found nothing wrong with her.

Saturday, May 14, 2011
AL ZAGOFSKY/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Artists Victor Stabin of Jim Thorpe and Mary Kocher of Palmerton in front of a painting by Kocher of her daughter's wedding day discuss their common Oak Ridge, Tennessee history. Stabin's father and Mary and her husband worked there on the Manhattan Project.

Two Carbon County artists, who had never previously met and are a generation apart in age, have one thing in common.

They are both connected to the town that didn't exist.

Friday, May 13, 2011
The Monroe County Historical Association museum is housed in this 1795 building at Ninth and Main St., Stroudsburg

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The Monroe County Historical Association museum is located at 900 Main St., Stroudsburg. It is open 11 a.m. - 4 p.m., Tuesday through Friday; 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., the 1st and 3rd Saturdays. There are one-hour guided tours at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.