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Features

Friday, August 20, 2010
LINDA KOEHLER/TIMES NEWS Pam Hubbard of Astolat Farm in Effort, welcomes visitors to her English Cottage Garden, broken up into several smaller gardens. She is ready to enter the Shade Garden.

As an elementary school principal, Pamela Hubbard, of Effort, knew that when she retired, she wanted a less stressful existence. She imagined spending her golden days tending an English cottage garden, just like her grandmother's and the ones she grew up with in her native country of England.

Some dreams do come true because that's just what she has been doing for the last five years.

"I retired to garden," says Pam, with a gentle English accent.

Saturday, August 14, 2010
Steve Boyd, the Volunteer Re-entry Coordinator for the Carbon County Correctional Facility is looking for volunteers to help with a developing Re-entry Program.

"When I went to the prison, doors started opening for me," said Steve Boyd, a director for Yokefellowship Prison Ministry and the Volunteer Re-entry Coordinator for the Carbon County Correctional Facility.

After searching for a lifetime for the meaning of life, at the age of 62, Boyd retired to his Lehighton farm from a career as an operations manager at the Automatic Switch Company in New Jersey.

Friday, August 13, 2010
LINDA KOEHLER/TIMES NEWS The new Monroe County Control Center is located on the second story of the Monroe County Public Safety Center building at 100 Gypsum Rd., Suite 2 in Snydersville, just off Rt. 33, across from the Monroe County Correctional Facility.

The Monroe County Control Center is located in Snydersville, just off Rt. 33, across from the Monroe County Correctional Facility. Gary Hoffman, director of communications at the Control Center, started out as a dispatcher in 1978.

"We had three radio channels. Now we have over 40. We had one tower site and now we have 11. As the county grew, the Control Center grew," he says.

The Control Center receives about two million transactions (calls) a year.

The following timeline that shows the history of the Monroe County Control Center:

Friday, August 13, 2010
Gary Hoffman, Director of Communications for the Monroe County Control Center, displays the choices that the townships will have for the new addressing which will begin on Aug. 13 of this year.

David Koerner, a dispatcher, sits at his desk with five computer monitors in front of him at the Monroe County Control Center. A call comes in from a husband whose wife is in labor. They are en route to the hospital. He doesn't think they're going to make it.

Koerner advises the distraught man where to pull off the road safely and dispatches an ambulance to the location.

Friday, August 6, 2010
"It was like a thud hitting me," explains Dan Reigel as he recovers at his home. The Tamaqua plumber survived a cave-in June 28 that buried him beneath nine feet of dirt.

Dan Reigel bends down low in order to position a reciprocating saw. He's working deep below ground level between walls of earth nine feet high.

The 49-year-old plumber is inside an excavation in the front yard of a private residence on Lombard Street in Tamaqua, a serene neighborhood of 1960s-era bi-levels.

Reigel stoops low to cut off another piece of pipe in preparation for a new sewer line.

Friday, July 30, 2010
LINDA KOEHLER/TIMES NEWS (PLEASE USE THIS BARN AS THE LEAD PICTURE WITH THE POEM UNDERNEATH IT) The Shafer/Howerter/Hartman barn, located along Mountain View Road, has long been neglected and falling into disrepair. But it is a reminder of a farm that once flourished and provided sustenance to the families who owned it. It is a sign of the times with farms disappearing across our nation's landscape.

Roy Christman of Towamensing said he heard a statement that America loses one barn a day.

With that thought in mind, two members of the Polk Township Historical Society, Norman Burger, president, and Elmer Heissam decided they were going to record as many barns in Polk Township as they could. To date, they have documented 33 standing barns and 47 that no longer exist. At one time there were estimated to be over 80 barns in the township. With their search came knowledge about some of the history of the area.

Friday, July 23, 2010
ELSA KERSCHNER/TIMES NEWS On the left, the Osprey House is connected to the new building. It awaits restoration, but served as office, storage and library for many years.

A reception was held with tables of food and beverages outside on the porch of the Lehigh Gap Nature Center on July 16 for the grand opening of its visitor-education building. Chairs were filled in the "great room." The walls were lined with people and the hallway was crowded.

Bob Hoopes, as master of ceremonies and a board member, gave an overview of the center. Members of the board were recognized: Michal Kubik, Ronald Kline, Kathy Romano, George Beam, Fritz Brock, Anita Collins, Jeff Frantz, Geryl Gritz, Diane Husic, Bill Mineo, Grant White and director Dan Kunkle.

Saturday, July 17, 2010
AL ZAGOFSKY/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Carole Walbert and Eddie Lukasevich release butterflies at the Denise O'Donnell memorial service on a rainy Saturday morning at the Immaculate Conception Cemetery in Jim Thorpe. "She didn't dream her life. She lived her dreams," Lukasevich said.

More than 80 friends bade farewell to Denise O'Donnell on a rainy Saturday, July 10 morning at the Immaculate Conception Cemetery in Jim Thorpe. The Buddhist ceremony overseen by a saffron and maroon-robed monk prayed to set her spirit on the path to rebirth on a higher plane of existence.

Carole Walbert, executor of the Denise O'Donnell estate, read "An Irish Funeral Prayer" that began, "Death is nothing at all. It does not count. I have only slipped away into the next room."

Friday, July 16, 2010
Nancy Thatcher of the Lehigh Township Historical Society accepts a book, "The One-room Schoolhouse," from Lenny Szy of the Lower Saucon Historical Society.

A simple, one-roomschool was built in connection with St. Paul's Indianland Union Church in 1865.

One hundred and forty-five years later, it's back in the business of education.

After years spent renovating the schoolhouse, the Lehigh Township Historical Society reopened it as a teaching tool.

The school was in use until 1951. It is still owned by the church, now a United Church of Christ church, and is leased by the society.

Friday, July 9, 2010
DONALD R. SERFASS/TIMES NEWS Citizen volunteers scrutinize anonymous early photos of the Tamaqua area, hoping to find clues to help identify either time or place.

Any detective knows that one of the best ways to obtain information is to enlist the help of the general public.

Many sets of eyes can see what one pair cannot.

That's the idea behind the successful 'I Spy' program of the Tamaqua Historical Society.

Several times a year, the society sets up tables inside Downtown Tamaqua headquarters and scatters hundreds of anonymous photos on the table tops.

The public is invited to stop in and examine the pictures to see what they can identify.