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Features

Friday, July 12, 2013
DONALD R. SERFASS/TIMES NEWS Bob Perrin has assembled artifacts and created a showcase display to start what will become the Coaldale Historical Society.

In one unexpected moment, Bob Perrin's direction in life changed.

Incredibly, it happened as he took a bite of pizza.

No, it wasn't a conscious decision; instead, it was a startling medical crisis that took place over Christmas vacation.

"It was December 23, 2003, and I was in Frackville Mall eating pizza when it happened," says the Coaldale resident.

Within a split second, Perrin's eyes rolled back in his head and he lost awareness.

At that point, Perrin, now 48, had suffered a midbrain aneurysm.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Editor's note: This is the first in an ongoing series of individual stories devoted to 'Our Miracle Kids,' children in the TIMES NEWS coverage area who, for one reason or another, are faced with unusual obstacles to their health, well-being, and, at times, their very survival. We invite you to look into the lives of these special youngsters and the remarkable circumstances faced by them and their families as together they assemble building blocks of happiness despite obstacles that challenge the imagination.

Friday, July 5, 2013
Stephen Behun (glasses) races with his younger siblings, Will and Katie, despite what some would consider a handicap - a three chambered heart.

Okay, he turns blue once in a while, but that doesn't stop seven year old Stephen Behun of Tamaqua from doing anything and everything every other boy his age does.

Climbing trees, playing tag, wrestling, swimming, karate and fighting space aliens are just a few of the pastimes of this dynamo. Sounds like your everyday, average first grader, but Stephen is just a teeny bit different. He does it with a three chambered heart, instead of the four chambers like his friends' hearts.

Friday, June 28, 2013
TN PHOTO ILLUSTRATION/DONALD R. SERFASS On June 28, 1963, nobody seemed to notice when the final commuter train left Tamaqua for good, a scene recreated in this photo illustration.

The final whistle blew just after 9 a.m.

The day was June 28, 1963.

It was a Friday morning, exactly 50 years ago today. A lone, wailing whistle signaled the end to a way of life.

Eight passengers rode on the final excursion out of Tamaqua.

After 131 years of rail industry, it was the end of an era. A turning point in history. Tamaqua would be forever changed.

But, at the time, nobody noticed.

Saturday, June 22, 2013
Courtesy: DreamWorks SKG Studios In the Lincoln film, Tommy Lee Jones portrayed Pennsylvania Representative and radical Republican abolitionist Thaddeus Stevens. Because of the success of the film, interest in Stevens has prompted four senators to work together to establish a commemorative stamp honoring Thaddeus Stevens.

Civil War Sesquicentennial fever is sweeping the country, with the most noticeable of its homages being Steven Spielberg's film, Lincoln.

While the Best Actor Oscar went to Daniel Day-Lewis, who portrayed President Lincoln, to many people it was Tommy Lee Jones, in the role of Pennsylvania Representative and radical Republican abolitionist Thaddeus Stevens who stole the film.

His mercurial portrayal of the power behind the Emancipation Proclamation served as a reminder that, as Otto von Bismarck once said, "Laws and sausages are two things you do not want to see being made."

Friday, June 21, 2013
Nick Kershner throws darts made from corn cobs at a hoop.

It was the third year that excited students from Willow Lane School, Macungie, came to Ontelaunee Park, Lynn Township, to learn about Indian culture on the day before the annual powwow, May 17.

Teachers accompanying the kids were Lisa Van Ormer, Lori Merrill, Matt Weimann and Joe Bigley.

The cultural displays were set up in the old pavilion and every 10 minutes students changed stations.

Friday, June 14, 2013
LINDA KOEHLER/TIMES NEWS The Palmerton Area Heritage Center's latest display features over 150 hats worn by men and women from the 1800s-1900s. The hats are on loan for the display like this collection of hats from the '40s, 50s and 60s, ranging from a stylish swimming cap, far left, to the pink pillbox, center, that belonged to Helen Halmi and the orange straw hat, right, was worn by Helen Snyder, a teacher at Delaware School.

Hold on to your hats. A great display has come to Palmerton. Come hang your hat at the Palmerton Area Heritage Center and take a walk down Memory Lane and see a delightful hat display.

In the "olden days," a woman would never have left the house without wearing a hat. A man always wore a hat, whether it was a straw bowler, a derby, top hat or cap.

But for some women today, we only remember wearing dressy hats to church and weddings when we were younger. Men wore fedoras to work and straw hats to work outside. Baseball caps started becoming the norm.

Friday, June 7, 2013
LINDA KOEHLER/TIMES NEWS Members of the PVSD Hope Initiative helped Polk Elementary students make tee shirts with painted bear paw prints for Field Day and talked to them about positivity, kindness and hope. They are, front, left to right, PVHS juniors Jolene Wolverton, Victoria Soares, Nina Rose Giambalvo, back, left to right, Marquis Brown and Frank Chambers.

As a teacher, you never quite know what seeds you plant.

Mrs. Patty MaClain, a Pleasant Valley High School English teacher had her students read Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech. She asked her students what were their dreams and what could they do to change the world?

She never could have imagined how that little seed could have sprouted into something the students and staff at PVHS now call the HOPE Initiative or the HOPE Movement.

McClain says it began in a few different places simultaneously.

Friday, May 31, 2013
ELSA KERSCHNER/TIMES NEWS John Mankos and Anne Jacoby attended with their granddaughter Monica Mankos. She had both sets of grandparents present.

Bob and Carol Brazes used the occasion of the Northern Lehigh Middle School National Junior Honor Society's Senior Prom to make up for the prom they missed as seniors at school. He wore a white jacket, she was in a beautiful navy dress and they both had corsages.

The event is a community service project for Society members. Community service is required before moving up to the National Honor Society. It was held May 4.

Dawn Kemery and Jason Graver, Sue Bowser and Rick Eckhart, Society advisers, organized the program with a Chinese theme.

Saturday, May 25, 2013
AL ZAGOFSKY/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS University of New Hampshire journalism professor Tom Haines has begun a trans-USA journey to research America's energy frontier, and his journey began this week in Carbon County.

University of New Hampshire journalism professor Tom Haines has begun a trans-USA journey to research America's energy frontier, and his journey began this week in Carbon County.

The 2003 and 2005 Society of American Travel Writers Foundation's Travel Journalist of the Year is visiting the energy epicenters of the US to gather information about energy in America, and plans to write a series of magazine articles and ultimately a book about his journey to America's energy frontier.