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Features

Saturday, June 6, 2015
Bode Morin, site administrator, Eckley Miners' Village, hopes a groundswell of support will help to salvage the failing coal breaker built by Paramount Studios in 1968.

The Eckley breaker has seen better days.

Its future is in jeopardy.

Many say it's a situation that must be rectified.

That's because the structure might be the last surviving symbol of the old-time coal breakers that once dotted northeastern Pennsylvania.

"The Huber breaker is gone and the St. Nicholas is coming down," says Bode Morin, site administrator, Eckley Miners' Village, Weatherly.

"There will be nothing left in northeastern Pennsylvania."

Truth be told, the Eckley coal breaker was never actually a breaker.

Saturday, May 23, 2015
LISA PRICE/TIMES NEWS Center, from left, Tamaqua fourth-graders Zachary Markiewicz, Nathan Fannick and Sean Fischer start by choosing five Story Stones from a wooden crate. Seated at the desks are, left, Alex Collura and Brandon Long.

Tamaqua Elementary School fourth-grader Allie Clausius tapped her pencil thoughtfully, then repositioned the five stones on her desk.

"OK, we have to start to plan this out," she said to Tamaqua eighth-grader Kayla Zamudio.

"I'll start with the flamingo, as the main character, and the story will happen outdoors, at night."

Clausius moved the stone with a pink flamingo painted on it, placing it next to a stone painted dark blue, except for a quarter moon. Then she considered a stone depicting a lion.

Saturday, May 16, 2015
DONALD R. SERFASS/TIMES NEWS  The picturesque Cape Cod cottage at 405 N. Lehigh St., Tamaqua, has drawn national attention for the past 20 years.

More than 50 years ago, Doris Kehlor and husband John "Wes" found their perfect little dream home high atop a steep hillside.

There stood a picturesque Cape Cod-style brick house with gently sloping front and backyards.

Doris knew instantly, it was the right place.

"I bought the house for the garden," she says.

And then she went to work.

Saturday, May 9, 2015
LISA PRICE/TIMES NEWS The farmhouse on Fairview Street, owned by Marc Teprovich, where the Civil War letter was found.

October 1862 – Ellen Brause, widow of Charles, sells the farm to Daniel Brause.

1868 – Daniel and Leyanda borrow money against the property, along with Thomas and Catherine Campion, through mortgage broker David Reinbold.

1870 – Thomas and Catherine Campion take ownership of the farm. In the 1870 Census, Thomas Campion's occupation is listed as "speculator."

Feb. 10, 1906 – Timothy Flynn takes out a mortgage on the farm.

Saturday, May 9, 2015
LISA PRICE/TIMES NEWS Standing in his son Marc's farmhouse, Stanley Teprovich holds the Civil War letter near the wall of planks where it was found.

One night, surrounded by the odd glow created by shop lights beaming through clouds of plaster dust, Stanley Teprovich and his son Marc dislodged a water-stained, much-folded scrap of paper from a staircase wall. They were removing plaster as part of remodeling work on a farmhouse Mark had purchased about a year before on Fairview Street, Rush Township.

Saturday, May 2, 2015
The Schuylkill Historical Fire Society acquired the former Columbia Hose & Steam Fire Engine Co. in 1998 for $17,000.

"We're strong enough to move into the future ... but into the distant future, I don't know," says Michael Kitsock.

That sobering assessment sums up concerns at one of the country's top firefighter repositories.

The Schuylkill Historical Fire Society Museum, 105 S. Jardin St., Shenandoah, showcases the proud history of Schuylkill County firefighting.

It's housed in the former Columbia Hose & Steam Fire Engine Company No. 1, which also served as the police station and borough hall.

Saturday, April 25, 2015
DONALD R. SERFASS/TIMES NEWS Vintage speeder cars enter Tamaqua on April 12. All are occupied by rail fans en route to a photo session at the Hometown High Bridge and lunch in Jim Thorpe.

Train enthusiast Bob Knight would be the first to admit that speeder cars are probably mislabeled.

"They look like they speed along the rails," said Knight, of Sandwich, Illinois.

But speed is relative.

Truth is, most speeder train cars have a top speed of about 35 mph, so we're not talking NASCAR-type speed.

And with speeders, top speed is limited to the pace of the slowest car.

As a result, they typically zip along at 15 to 25 mph with frequent stops at scenic places and for bathroom breaks.

Saturday, April 18, 2015
Morgan Mengle holds a photo of herself just after birth in 1998.

Morgan Mengle is truly a miracle child. The 16-year-old Weatherly girl has gone through more than most people go through in a lifetime.

She has undergone not one, but four open heart surgeries to correct problems related to her congenital heart defects; had 13 cardiac catheterization procedures; and lived for months in the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia for various respiratory infections.

But through it all, Morgan has remained positive, and now the Weatherly High School junior wants to share her story while giving back to the hospital that saved her life.

Saturday, April 4, 2015
DONALD R. SERFASS/TIMES NEWS Paul Corinchock, Tamaqua, shows how plain eggs can be turned into colorful heirlooms though the art of pysanky.

Paul Corinchock and Georgine Postupack Borchack are serious about preserving a rich tradition.

Part of the reason is the sheer beauty. But just as important is its deeper meaning.

The two artisans joined forces to teach the intricate art of pysanky during an eight-week wintertime course held at the Tamaqua Community Arts Center.

A group of 25 took up the challenge to create art based on a custom that reinforces the promise of new life.

Corinchock said the magic begins with an egg, but not just any egg. Start with one that's fresh and untainted by processing.

Saturday, March 28, 2015
R. Thomas Berner's exhibition "60 Years Later" takes visitors on a trip to intriguing locations around the world.

An exhibit showcasing 60 years of photography by R. Thomas Berner will bridge generations by supporting activities of today's youth.

Berner's first show, "60 Years Later: A Photo Exhibition," premiered March 20 at the Tamaqua Community Arts Center, with proceeds to benefit local groups.

The presentation, to run through April 13, features dramatic photography employing innovative techniques by Berner, a 1961 Tamaqua High School graduate and professor emeritus of journalism and American studies at Penn State University.