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Local News

Tuesday, January 10, 2012
BOB FORD/TIMES NEWS

The late John "Jack" Kuller, who was fire chief in Lehighton at the time of his untimely death last April 22, was remembered during a program announcing a $1.75 million state grant toward the construction of a fire company addition. Kuller was a strong advocate of the building project and worked hard to achieve the goal. State Sen. John Yudichak, right, presents a proclamation honoring Kuller to the fire company. Looking on are, from left, state Rep. Doyle Heffley; assistant fire chief Patrick Mriss; and Steve Ebbert, president of the building committee, who accepts the certificate.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

For the third consecutive year, Northern Lehigh School District has made the grade.

Assistant Superintendent Karen Nicholas told the school board on Monday that the district has once again met Adequate Yearly Progress, a key measure of school performance established by the Federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.

In order to achieve it, schools and districts must meet target percentages with all students, as well as with every subgroup of 40 or more students, scoring at the Advanced or Proficient level.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Victor Izzo/special to the times news

Last weekend, many Christian congregations around the world celebrated the "Epiphany of the Lord," the day that the Three Kings are believed to have visited the baby Jesus. Bearing gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh at St. Joseph Church in Jim Thorpe, the Three Kings are portrayed by, left to right, Johnny Malarkey, Daniel Simmons, and Rhiannon Malarkey.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012
AMY MILLER/TIMES NEWS Liz Mele, Gerry McConnon, and Audrey Damiano, seated holding the check, officers of the New Columbus Fire Company Ladies Auxiliary present the New Columbus Fire Company with a donation of $10,000, which is from the proceeds of the auxiliary's monthly hoagie sales. With them are members of the fire company, kneeling, from left, Heidi Warman and Mike Hrebik. Second row, Tyler Leslie; Don Schlier, assistant fire chief and secretary; Dave Chapman, president of the fire company; Jim Nardozzi, fire chief and treasurer; and Lt. Joe Folk. Third row, Josh Jacobs, Richard Staneck and Nate Hrebik. Missing from photo are Mary Lukca, auxiliary secretary; Mike Matalone, vice president of the fire company; and Chris Gogal, assistant fire chief.

A little bread along with thin cuts of turkey, ham or salami; a few slices of cheese; and a dab of mayo has helped the women of the New Columbus Fire Company Ladies Auxiliary raise a lot of dough for the New Columbus Fire Company over the years.

The women of the auxiliary used the winning combination of meats and cheeses to sell thousands of these delectable deli creations during their monthly hoagie sales, held on the third Tuesday of each month at the fire hall. Each hoagie costs $3.50, with proceeds from the sales given to the fire company at the end of the year.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012
AP Photo Turnpike Commission CEO Roger Nutt disputes statements by state Auditor General Jack Wagner that the system is facing a financial crisis. Nutt does agree that in the long-term, new funding (toll increases) requirements may need to be considered.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission could default on billions of dollars of debt leaving taxpayers holding the bag if the commission fails to change or challenge a 2007 law, Act 44, that requires it to give $450 million a year to the state Department of Transportation to build, improve or repair roads and bridges, state Auditor General Jack Wagner said in a press release issued Friday.

Wagner suggested the commission is teetering on the edge of default.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Carbon County Commissioner Wayne Nothstein, chairman of the board of commissioners, and project engineer Ron Tirpak discussed the Packerton Yards project with Mahoning supervisors Monday, asking for a spirit of partnership in moving the project forward.

The county officials promised a new level of transparency and a willingness to work with the township, Lehighton Borough and other municipal entities to make the project successful.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A Pocono Lake man changed his mind and entered a guilty plea to a driving under the influence (DUI) charge in Carbon County court Monday.

Frederick R. Koeser Jr., 48, pleaded to one count each of DUI and driving under suspension. He was arrested along SR940 in Kidder Township in March 2011 after being involved in a crash. Given a test, the result was .16BAC.

Judge Steven R. Serfass accepted the plea but deferred sentencing to give Koeser a chance to apply for placement in the county's Intermediate Punishment Program (IPP) with electronic monitoring.

Monday, January 9, 2012
TIMES NEWS FILE PHOTO Carbon County Friends of Animals has outgrown its space for felines at its present location and is actively seeking a new place.

Carbon County Friends of Animals is looking for a new "furever" home.

Denise Sebelin, president of CCFOA, said recently that the shelter has outgrown its current location at 900 Walnut Ave., Jim Thorpe and the group is actively looking for a new place for the felines. Currently, CCFOA shelters over 100 cats and kittens at the facility.

According to a letter on the CCFOA website regarding a new location, CCFOA is asking for the support of the community in this endeavor.

Monday, January 9, 2012
TERRY AHNER/TIMES NEWS

A Chinese restaurant in Palmerton will expand its business at the site of the former Golden Key IGA Market. John Cheng, owner of the Hunan House Chinese Restaurant, 472 Delaware Ave., confirmed to the TIMES NEWS that the business has purchased the vacant building across the street from its present location at 493 Delaware Ave. The move to the new site isn't anticipated for about five months.

Monday, January 9, 2012
RON GOWER/TIMES NEWS Model trains have been a passion for Michael and Erica Heery, shown with their Old Mauch Chunk display, which has been a Jim Thorpe tourist attraction for 26 years. The display is closing on Sunday.

A popular tourist attraction in Jim Thorpe is nearing its final whistle.

The Old Mauch Chunk Model Train Display, located in the historic Hooven Mercantile Building along Susquehanna Street, will have its final runs on Sunday, Jan. 15.

Michael Heery of Lehighton, who operates the display with his family, said the decision to close the display was made because the building housing the trains is for sale.

The closing is a tough decision, considering Heery's passion for trains.