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Friday, September 16, 2011
How did it start?

Unitarian Universalism is a liberal religious tradition formed from the consolidation of two religions: Unitarianism and Universalism. Both began in Europe hundreds of years ago. The Universalist Church of America was founded in 1793, and the American Unitarian Association, 1825.

Friday, September 16, 2011
DONALD R. SERFASS/TIMES NEWS "We all feel it, but everybody calls it something different," says Barbara Poncelet, Schuylkill Haven, a proponent of establishing a Unitarian Universalist Church in Schuylkill County.

Imagine a church that embraces the principle of a world community of peace, liberty and justice people who recognize that wholesome, good-hearted human beings reside in every corner of the globe and share a common sense of spirituality.

Imagine a church that recognizes the goodness in all, and opens its arms to everybody, including all faiths and all individuals, even those who might happen to be atheist or agnostic.

Friday, September 9, 2011
ELSA KERSCHNER/TIMES NEWS Roger Heckman makes adjustments to a 1917 New Holland engine, one of many he was exhibiting.

Roger Heckman said that before rural America was electrified in the mid-1930s every farm had the hit-and-miss engines that were on exhibit.

They powered pumps, corn grinders and shellers and in the house they made clothes washing easier. If there was a job, an engine could be adapted to the use.

They were scrapped during World War II when the military told farmers the equipment could be used to make shells. It was a guilt trip that found many of the engines turned into scrap.

Friday, September 9, 2011
Steven Staples shovels corn into a box on a corn sheller. Wyatt Staples feeds it into a chute. A hit-and-miss engine provides the power. Steven said his equipment is in pieces but "We're all friends here" so he was demonstrating someone else's equipment.

The Olde Tyme Farm Equipment Association antique farm equipment, gas engine and tractor show was held recently at the West End Fairgrounds.

Vice President Dennis Borger, one of the founding members, said people in the West End of Monroe County had been talking about hosting a local show when they attended a tractor pull at the fairgrounds.

Bill Gethen said if anybody was interested in starting a show they could meet in his garage. From that lowly start in 1995 the club now has over 400 members.

Friday, September 2, 2011
ELSA KERSCHNER/TIMES NEWS Rabbi Melody Davis put on a prayer shawl.

As members of the Palmerton Area Historical Society were welcomed to the basement of the Temple Israel Synagogue in Lehighton, Secretary Betsy Burnhauser said the group wanted to visit for a long time and this year it worked out.

Board director Marvin Schwartz said his family members were founders. He thinks there may have been an earlier synagogue in Lansford but was not sure. Today, the one in Lehighton is the only one in the county.

Friday, August 26, 2011
ELSA KERSCHNER/TIMES NEWS Chris Satow's daughter knew the person who designed the POW-MIA flag. The museum received a signed copy because of that.

One of the people depicted in a mural across the back of a display about industrial sewing is still alive, said Ken Marsh, a Lehigh Township Historical Society member. Unfortunately her face is hidden by a thermostat. The mural was made on four panels of silk copied from a photograph of women working in a sewing mill in 1951.

Malcolm Gieske made the mural copying a picture donated by the Seilers. The museum has the names of some of them. It forms the background for a textiles exhibit.

Friday, August 19, 2011
DONALD R. SERFASS/TIMES NEWS  "He was murdered. There is no way it was an accident," says William Morgans, Easton, grandson of fallen Lansford Police Officer Morgan Morgans.

It appears Lansford Police Officer Morgan Morgans might have been wearing the proverbial bull's-eye target when he walked his night beat. If that was the case, his death was no accident. The officer might have been set up and murdered.

Morgans died about 4 a.m. on October 9, 1912, two hours after suffering a single gunshot wound to the forehead. He had gone to investigate a reported break-in at the Ridge House, a downtown tavern and residence.

Saturday, August 13, 2011
PHOTO BY BRANDON TAYLOR Even fast food chains in China, like this Beijing Subway sandwich shop, have been targeted for improper food safety practices.

Four. That's the number of times I've had food poisoning since moving to China. I'm not talking about a little bellyache here and there, but stomach infections that induce Exorcist-like projectile vomiting. The kind of sick where Pepto Bismal and Immodium are the equivalent to sticking your finger in hole in a dam about to break brief relief followed by a deluge. On one of those occasions, I was thoroughly convinced that a small "Alien" creature would be bursting from my stomach any second.

Friday, August 12, 2011
PHOTO COURTESY WILLIAM MORGANS  The only available photo of Lansford Policeman Morgan Morgans depicts him as part of this early Lansford football team. Morgans is seen standing in the back row wearing a light-colored uniform, fourth from the left.

After 99 years, it's time for the truth to come out.

"He was murdered. There is no way it was an accident. I have no doubt in my mind," says William Morgans of Easton.

Morgans, who will turn 85 in January, wants the truth to emerge about what happened to his grandfather, Officer Morgan Morgans, the only Lansford cop to die in the line of duty.

William Morgans isn't alone in his wishes. Local law enforcement would like to know the details surrounding the death of a brother in blue so that family members might have answers and so the case can be properly recorded.

Saturday, August 6, 2011
AL ZAGOFSKY/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Upon entering the room, Mark Davalos is quiet-a most mannerly Clark Kent or perhaps a Dr. Jekyll, who can turn around, and in an instant become a Mr. Hyde-in the guise of his ring persona, Bad Billy Walker.

Is pro-wrestling a sport or a performance? According to Mark Davalos of Lansford, pro-wrestling is both. Each match is a mythic performance of good versus evil set against a demanding feat of athletic punishment.

Davalos should know. He and his wife, Renee, have been pro-wrestlers since the 1990s as headliners in the Johnny Rodz World of Unpredictable Wrestling. Mark Davalos teaches up-and-coming wannabes the skills to become pro-wrestlers.