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Local News

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Despite the fact that snow removal efforts are still ongoing in Tamaqua, there are signs that spring is just around the corner.

Tamaqua Borough Council approved a long list of items related to the opening of the Howard D. Buehler Memorial Pool for the 2014 season at Tuesday night's meeting.

The pass fee schedule will remain the same, at $10 per school district resident and $50 per non-resident. Council approved the opening of the pool for the "day after school ends," which is uncertain at this point.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Renovation costs, outlined by director Rocky Ahner:

(As submitted to the Department of Education, termed, "status quo")

East Penn Elementary: cost, $3,817,950, reimbursement, $1,799,160

Franklin Elementary: cost, $5,367,825, reimbursement, $3,079,440

Mahoning Elementary: cost, $4,235,200, reimbursement, $2,092,440

Shull-David: cost, $4,766,250, reimbursement, $2,808,720

Middle school: cost, $12,719,000, reimbursement, $7,136,760

High school: cost, $8,198,880; reimbursement, $6,881,200.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Beltzville State Park will be hosting a basic boating course instructed by the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission on April 7 and 9. The course will be held from 6 to 10 p.m. each day.

There is no charge for the course. All participants must preregister and must attend both sessions.

Call Beltzville State Park at 610-377-0045 to register.

The course is designed to supply boaters with practical information so they can make better informed decisions on the water.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Panther Valley School Board doesn't anticipate any state funding to help with its $5.8 million construction project.

The board last week voted 8-1 to approve the "self-certification application for non-reimbursable construction project."

Board member Irene Genther was the sole opposing vote.

The self-certification application, if approved by the state, would be submitted instead of a PlanCon.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014
KATHY KUNKEL/TIMES NEWS

Students from this year's Tamaqua D.A.R.E classes help their training officers compete in a dance off during Tamaqua's 21st D.A.R.E. Challenge, which was held Saturday at the Tamaqua Elementary School. The Drug Abuse Resistance Education classes are offered to fifth-grade students in the Tamaqua Area School District and St. Jerome's Regional School and are taught by Cpl. Dwayne Hacker and Patrolmen Michael Hobbs and Jason Lorah of the Tamaqua and West Penn Township Police Departments. D.A.R.E graduation is scheduled for April 10, beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014
RON GOWER/TIMES NEWS Gerri Gardiner, second from right, of Summit Hill, displays rough sketch of the commemorative artwork she will be doing for St. Luke's Miners Memorial Hospital's Black Diamond Garden Party, which ill be held May 31 in Jim Thorpe. Looking on are, l-r, Micah Gursky, director of development for the hospital; Bill Moyer, president of St. Luke's Miners Memorial Hospital, and Wilfred Gardner, who is Gerri's husband.

Artist Gerri Gardiner of Summit Hill has had her sketches featured in some prestigious locations in the local community.

Her rendition of the Switchback Railroad is on the wall of the Summit Hill Post Office, she did a large wall painting at the Italian Club in Summit Hill, and it's her artwork that is on a miners' historical monument in Ludlow Park.

Gardiner's artwork will be getting widespread exposure when it will be highlighted during the sixth annual Black Diamond Garden Party, a formal, fund-raising event for St. Luke's Miners Memorial Hospital.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

A former bar will soon look a lot more like a residence, as Tamaqua's Historical and Architectural Review Commission met Monday and approved a plan to add windows to its first floor.

Three windows will be added to the first floor north wall of the former Tiki Bar, located at 20 E. Mauch Chunk Street. Last month, Tamaqua's Zoning Hearing Board granted variances that would help change the building's use from bar to residence, which is a goal of the Tamaqua Area Community Partnership.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

One Lehighton Area School director believes taxpayers in the district could save in excess of $20 million if the board decides to renovate its existing schools rather than build a proposed elementary center.

Director Rocky Ahner recently presented figures to the school board, saying the taxpayer share would be $20,333,878 less if the board were to move ahead with renovations to its existing schools and shelve construction of a new elementary center.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

How best to address road repairs in Bowmanstown was a topic of conversation at Tuesday's borough council meeting.

Council members discussed which borough roads could best be served using 2014 Community Development Block Grant money.

Mayor William Ravert said that Lincoln Avenue was sorely in need of repair, calling it "really, really bad … from one end to the other."

Fire Chief Mike Spairana, a guest at the meeting, asked if he could also make a suggestion, saying that, "Craig Street is horrendous."

Wednesday, March 5, 2014
ELSA KERSCHNER/TIMES NEWS Ed Simpson told about the early geology of Pennsylvania. Above him is one of the slides he used to illustrate his talk.

Ed Simpson, chairman of physical sciences at Kutztown University, talks about very early geology as early as 400 years ago.

He came to the Lehigh Gap Nature Center on Feb. 23 as part of its Speakers' Series.

Simpson has traveled to Australia, South Africa, California, Utah, New Mexico and Pennsylvania to research trace fossils. Trace fossils are those with footprints or small insects captured in mud that became rock.

One of the most prolific of sites was the red rock near what is called Marshalls Hill outside Palmerton.