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Local News

Friday, June 8, 2012

Carbon County Commissioners on Thursday awarded a $25,760 job of repairing the courthouse chimney to a Schuylkill County company.

Spotts Brothers, Inc., of Schuylkill Haven, was the lowest bidder for the work. Commissioners Chairman Wayne Nothstein said the work would likely be done in the evenings and on weekends in order to avoid disrupting court activities.

He said that the leaks have damaged the interior of the courthouse.

In other matters, commissioners:

Friday, June 8, 2012
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/TIMES NEWS Weicker's Home Improvement, a 37-year institution in Tamaqua, has closed its retail doors. The owners pointed out that they are still offering contracting services.

A long time institution in Tamaqua has decided to close their retail doors after serving its customers and the community for over 37 years.

Weicker's Home Improvement auctioned off their entire inventory recently while owners and employees spent time taking care of customers and other related tasks. The walls grew barer as people could be seen snatching up the large variety of paint-related items being sold during the auction.

"It is hard to compete with retail box stores," said brothers and owners Edward "Ed" and Reginald "Reggie" Weicker.

Friday, June 8, 2012

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) voted to approve a lower rate increase request than requested by Aqua Pennsylvania (Aqua).

The Commission voted 5-0 to approve a settlement for an annual increase in rates of $16.7 million (4.1 percent).

Aqua Pennsylvania serves customers in Carbon and Schuylkill Counties.

The settlement was reached among Aqua, the Commission's Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement, the state's Office of Consumer Advocate and the Aqua Large Users Group.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Recent acts of vandalism, drug use and traffic violations have prompted the Walker Township board of supervisors to hire a part-time police officer.

Todd Woodward, a fulltime Summit Hill officer, will be the first cop regularly on duty in Walker Township since Eric Leiby retired nearly six months ago.

Chairman William McMullen said among the incidents that led to the hiring were vandals spray painting "4:20" on a stop sign. He said Woodward explained to the board that this was a drug reference.

Friday, June 8, 2012

A section of Route 895 in Schuylkill County, between Routes 61 and 443, will be closed for construction work this weekend.

PennDOT says the highway will be open for local traffic to Church Road on the west side and Hawk Mountain Road on the east side.

All through traffic must use the detour that utilizes PA 61 and PA 443.

Closure will begin at 9 p.m. today and will end at 5 a.m. Monday morning.

Friday, June 8, 2012

A Carbon County woman was sentenced by a Schuylkill County judge to serve a state prison sentence because of her criminal record. In other criminal matters, jurors returned verdicts in two criminal cases at trials held this week.

Lansford woman

Friday, June 8, 2012

HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today issued for comment a settlement with Windstream Pennsylvania that includes a $15,000 civil penalty and an agreement to change its billing practice.

The Commission voted 5-0 to issue the settlement for comment, which stemmed from a May 2011 informal investigation by the PUC's Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement (I&E) into Windstream's practice of "no proration" billing.

Thursday, June 7, 2012
LARRY NEFF/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS

This Downy Woodpecker is a year round constant visitor to many bird feeding stations, especially those with blocks of peanut and peanut butter suet. This adult male feasts on the suet before giving up to much larger birds also wanting the delicious treat.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Services for the uninsured, such as cancer screenings, immunizations, needed medications and diabetes management testing, are among the areas of need addressed by grants just awarded by The Blue Ribbon Foundation of Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania.

Five grants were approved at the May 31 meeting of The Foundation's board of directors, providing $47,975 in funding to regional nonprofit programs that will serve more than 2,000 uninsured individuals.