Friday, August 18, 2017


Saturday, December 6, 2014
DONALD R. SERFASS/TIMES NEWS  The decorated Fabrizio house in Brockton, six miles west of Tamaqua, includes 65,000 lights and an LED display capable of an estimated 20 million color and design variations.

Frank Fabrizio never married and has no children.

But that doesn't mean he can't relate.

In fact, it's quite possible the 51-year-old Brockton man knows how to talk to kids better than most parents.

He can speak to them without saying a word.

Fabrizio talks to youngsters through the music and lights of his holiday display, the largest private Christmas exhibit in Schuylkill County. It's an endless dialogue of holiday cheer and has been drawing rave reviews for decades.

Saturday, November 29, 2014
DONALD R. SERFASS/TIMES NEWS  Collector Bernie Krebs displays his 1868 Lehigh Valley Railroad stock certificate signed by Asa Packer.

Local history aficionado Bernie Krebs never stepped foot inside the fabled Hotel Wahnetah.

Truth is, the breathtaking Glen Onoko attraction burned down more than 100 years ago.

But the Jim Thorpe man who lives at Onoko Lane can tell you all about the place, such as when it was built, how it was celebrated, and what the room keys looked like. He can even show you a Wahnetah souvenir coin purse, a piece of china and signed flatware from the hotel table settings.

Saturday, November 8, 2014
LISA PRICE/TIMES NEWS Tara Stauffenberg looks at a dusty plaque from the former Coaldale High School trophy case.

The SS Leopoldville, a Belgian passenger ship pressed into service during WWII, carried 2,500 United States soldiers from the 66th Division, Army Infantry, through the rough waters of the English Channel. The men had ridden in crowded trains across England the previous day and were headed to combat in France.

Saturday, November 8, 2014
DONALD R. SERFASS/TIMES NEWS  Coaldale High School on Phillips Street.

1923 Coaldale High School opens, the first school in town to offer a four-year program.

Fall 1964 CHS joins the Panther Valley Jointure. The former high school building is used for junior high school and elementary grades.

June 1973 With the opening of the new Panther Valley High School building, CHS is closed.

June 1974 CHS is deeded to the Borough of Coaldale.

June 1975 A group of Coaldale residents headed by Mayor Ronald P. Plocinik appeals to all graduates to galvanize efforts to "Save the Tiger!" and turn the former school into a community center.

Saturday, October 18, 2014
Special to the Times News and file photos THE FIRST TWO PICTURES SHOULD GO TOGETHER BECAUSE THEY COMPARE THE OLD AND NEW This 1910 postcard is of a gristmill in Wickford, Rhode Island. The history of the mill is not known in the records of The Society for the Preservation Of Old Mills. European settlers arrived in Wickford as early as 1637. The mill has the appearance of early Greek and Roman mills 2,000 years ago.

Not all old mills are old, according to Jeff Donat, member of the Society for the Preservation of Old Mills, as he recently shared his interest in grist mills with the Palmerton Area Historical Society.

Donat went to see an old mill in Sudbury, Massachusetts, only to find it was built to look old in 1929 by Henry Ford as his method of preserving Americana.

Pepperidge Farms used the mill to grind its flour until it outgrew the building. Oldsmobile used it as a background for an advertising picture, unaware that Ford had built it.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Neil Ahner's life changed forever when he received the gift of a donor heart 22 years ago.

There are 123,276people who are waiting for an organ.

Eight people die each day waiting for an organ.

Just one organ donor can save up to eight lives.

In 2013, 28,953people received organ transplants.

In 2010, (the most recent data) there were almost 2.5 million deaths in the U.S. Imagine if every one of those people had donated.

Saturday, October 11, 2014
SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Neil Ahner II graduates from Pleasant Valley High School in 1995 after receiving a new heart. His mother and father, Sandie and Neil Ahner, are proud.

(Editor's note: This is the second part in the story of Neil Ahner II's journey of the heart. Having received a heart transplant 22 years ago, Neil celebrated by throwing a huge party.)

Neil Ahner II, now of Jonas, celebrated his 39th birthday on July 18. But 22 years ago, he was given another chance at life, sort of a rebirth. It was the day of his heart transplant.

Neil wanted to share this anniversary with all his family, friends and supporters as his gift to all of them.

Saturday, September 6, 2014
RON GOWER/TIMES NEWS Lisa Hiles, recording secretary of the Russian Citizens Club of Coaldale, looks at plaques on the wall of the club. The club is planning a centennial celebration during which all the plaques and trophies in the club will be given to participants on the respective teams that earned them.

The Russian Citizens Club in Coaldale is 101 years old this year. It was once a major social venue in town, attracting hundreds of people for Saturday night dances and other special events.

Today, not many people patronize the club, located at 169 First St. in Coaldale. The busiest nights are those when dart tournaments or shuffleboard games are held.

The club is planning a big event later this year that likely will have high attendance.

Friday, September 5, 2014
DONALD R. SERFASS/TIMES NEWS "Sniper" Zach Langley, Fleetwood, waits for shuttle cars filled with passengers to emerge from the No. 9 Mine on Sunday as part of a mock train heist that afforded guests plenty of photo opportunities.

Hidden by tall evergreens next to the old wash shanty, sniper Zach Langley crouched on the ground and aimed the barrel of his cold, steel rifle with the accuracy of a laser beam.

His innocent prey didn't have clue.

It was a chilling sight on a warm, muggy Sunday. But it was all in fun.

Langley, of Fleetwood, was part of a re-enactment in which everybody had a chance to take part. It was like reality TV. But much more realistic.

Saturday, August 30, 2014
PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY BOB FORD/TIMES NEWS Visitors to Jim Thorpe can learn about the history and architecture of some of the oldest buildings in the borough through the Mauch Chunk Historical Society's new app "Tour Jim Thorpe."

Want to know a brief history of the Harry Packer Mansion?

Love the architecture of many of the buildings in Jim Thorpe and want to know more about them?

There's an app that can help.

The Mauch Chunk Historical Society recently created the "Tour Jim Thorpe" app for iPhones and Androids.

The app helps visitors learn about the history of some of the most historic places in Jim Thorpe using their smartphones. It costs $0.99.