Sunday, April 30, 2017

Friday Feature

Friday, May 24, 2013
Sergeant Major Steve Trubilla (USMC RET) spent 30 years in military service to his country, retiring in 2001. He is pictured here in Afghanistan, where he also served as a civilian security consultant.

Once a Marine, always a Marine is one motto that seems to perfectly fit former Tamaqua resident Steve Trubilla. Although retired from the Corps since April of 2001, Sergeant Major Trubilla remembers his fellow Marines every day and hopes his fellow Americans remember the sacrifices made by America's military men and women. With Memorial Day fast approaching, he felt compelled to write an article honoring his fellow patriots and was gracious enough to submit it to what he still considers to be his hometown newspaper.

Friday, May 17, 2013
ELSA KERSCHNER/TIMES NEWS Pack 20 Scouts Gavin Scott, Mat Semmel, Ben Everett, Collin Green, Shawn Gardner, Braden Gower, Grant Scott, Egan Bellesfield, Dereck Wentz and Jacob Bachert helped build fish habitat structures on May 4. The finished box pictured is for catfish spawning.

Boy Scout Troop 20, Palmerton, chartered by St. John's Church, Fireline Road, was camping at Stoney Ridge Park in Lower Towamensing Township on May 3-4. After the camping gear was packed on Saturday, the boys with some fathers and grandfathers, planned to work on its newest project.

Jimmy Schneck is scoutmaster.

Friday, May 10, 2013
DONALD R. SERFASS/TIMES NEWS A $4.75-million investment by the John E. Morgan Foundation was parlayed into a $10-million campus that has turned Tamaqua into a college town.

Twelve years after his death and the closing of his namesake mills, John E. Morgan has a growing influence in his Tamaqua hometown and the region.

The industrialist's philanthropy supports medicine, arts, education, sports and science.

Friday, May 3, 2013
The John E. Morgan Memorial Fountain was unveiled at Tamaqua's Depot Square Park, August, 2002, one year after the industrialist's passing.

It was ten years ago when a town of 7,174 lost several hundred jobs. The end of an era.

The announcement came on November 12, 2002, crashing down on the community like a tidal wave of shock and disappointment.

After 57 years, J.E. Morgan Knitting Mills would fade away and lock the doors, with the loss of 460 livelihoods.

"We're phasing out the textile operations in Tamaqua," said Christopher Romano, then vice president, manufacturing.

The longtime reign of Schuylkill County's largest employer had ended. And everyone felt the hit.

Friday, April 26, 2013
J.E. Morgan Knitting Mills employed 1,500 workers at its peak. The company's flagship plant, shown here, was in Hometown, just 3 miles of where the company began.

J.E. Morgan Knitting Mills was the economic backbone of the area for decades, its name synonymous with Tamaqua. The firm also was the innovator and world leader in thermal underwear.

But that proud status belied the humble origins of an anthracite coal-region business that began on a shoestring by an enigmatic Tamaquan.

John E. Morgan was born in Tamaqua, the son of Danus and Lottie Morgan. He was a simple, private gentleman with conservative values and he founded a company in a modest way.

Friday, April 19, 2013
DONALD R. SERFASS/TIMES NEWS An infusion of $500,000 into the former First National Bank building, Tamaqua, will reinvigorate the Tamaqua Historical Society Museum, which is set to house two permanent collections of national importance, along with other local memorabilia.

A 1/2-million-dollar project spanning two years is expected to result in a new tourist attraction in the center of Tamaqua, giving the downtown business district a substantial shot in the arm.

Plans are under way for major renovations at the 1905 First National Bank building. When completed, the structure will become a center for tours and the anchor for a 'Visit Tamaqua' entertainment venue that will allow guests to stroll through the museum and then walk to nearby restaurants, art galleries and historic sites, such as the nearby 1894 train station.

Friday, April 12, 2013
DONALD R. SERFASS/TIMES NEWS  Donna Kaminitsky, left, and Amy Hayes, grandmother and mother, respectively, are heartbroken over the unexpected loss of 14-year-old HaiLee.

HaiLee Hayes was a healthy, happy teenage girl.

The Tamaqua student had many interests - from cooking to NASCAR and her favorite driver Jimmie Johnson.

Everyone agrees she was a sensitive and sensible young girl who cared deeply about others and had lots of love to give.

"She was everybody's little mentor," says Donna Kaminitsky, Summit Hill, HaiLee's "Nana."

That's how HaiLee was, friends say. She was nurturing and always thought of others, not herself. And she was never one to complain.

But she did speak up a few weeks ago when she sensed something bad.

Friday, April 5, 2013
DONALD R. SERFASS/TIMES NEWS Tamaqua Historical Society volunteers Dale Freudenberger, left, Bill Harleman and Julian Huegel, kneeling, display what is titled '1858 Official Plan Map of Tamaqua,' by Civil Engineer D.H. Goodwin.

According to early maps, there was once an island in the middle of Tamaqua.

The presence of the island corresponds to early written accounts about moving the river.

An 1858 map of Tamaqua clearly illustrates that the Little Schuylkill River - then called the Tamaqua River - split in the center of town and created an island. But town fathers didn't like the topography and did something about it.

As the town grew, a new river channel was excavated and the river diverted.

Friday, March 29, 2013
LINDA KOEHLER/TIMES NEWS The Bunny Trail sign leads the way to the woods behind Bruce and Wanda George's Kunkletown home where lots of Easter surprises wait for the Georges' family, friends and grandkids.

Wanda George adores her family. And holidays. And decorating. Collecting. Nature ...

Being a very loving and creative person, she finds ways to combine all her passions into special events as her gift to family and friends.

Wanda enjoys visiting flea markets. She can always find treasures to fit every holiday. In unique and clever ways, she showcases her antique and flea-market-found treasures in her charming home in Kunkletown.

Friday, March 22, 2013
DONALD R. SERFASS/TIMES NEWS The Rev. Joseph T. Whalen, pastor, St. Richard's Roman Catholic Church, performs a traditional blessing on items in an Easter food basket.

A rich Eastern European tradition centers on having a basket of food blessed on Holy Saturday. The food is then enjoyed on Easter Sunday, maybe for breakfast, or maybe saved and eaten for Easter dinner.

The ritual is especially prevalent in families with Slovak background - Polish, Ukrainian, Czech, Russian and others.