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Local News

Friday, November 7, 2014
LINDA KOEHLER/TIMES NEWS Rocco Seiler, principal of Pleasant Valley Middle School, and eighth-grader Skyler Jennings apply some Chalk Walks magic to the sidewalks at Pleasant Valley Middle School to promote the message that "Positive is Powerful."

We've all heard about Happy Meals. But have you ever heard of Happy Walks?

That's what Pleasant Valley Middle School students saw as they arrived for school Wednesday morning. All the sidewalks, front, back and sides, at the school had been chalked with smiley faces, rainbows, hearts and a multitude of positive quotes.

Friday, November 7, 2014

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania reported that a 34-year-old Freeland resident was sentenced Thursday to 37 months in prison by U.S. District Court Judge Robert D. Mariani for his role in a drug trafficking conspiracy that operated in Monroe and Berks counties during 2010 to 2013.

According to U.S. Attorney Peter Smith, the defendant, Arnando Diaz-DeJesus, previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute heroin, cocaine, cocaine base (crack), and Oxycodone.

Friday, November 7, 2014

AccuWeather.com reports the atmosphere is preparing to send part of the polar vortex southward toward the United States next week with an outbreak of arctic air and lake-effect snow.

The polar vortex is a large pocket of very cold air, typically the coldest air in the Northern Hemisphere, which sits over the polar region. Occasionally, this pocket of very cold air can get dislodged farther south than normal, leading to cold outbreaks in Canada and the U.S.

Friday, November 7, 2014
Allyson Kusko/Special to the Times News Fallen autumn leaves on railroad tracks located in Nesquehoning.

Winners in the Times News Fall Foliage photo contest were selected in a random drawing this week.

Allyson Kusko of Nesquehoning and Barbara Scott of Summit Hill will each receive a $25 gift card for Claude's Creamery in Palmerton.

Their winning photos are printed here.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Panther Valley Middle School Principal Lisa Mace has announced the honor roll for the first marking period of the 2014-2015 school year.

Sixth grade

Distinguished Honors: Jacqueline Kokinda, Jason Lin, Antonio Perilli, Hailey Shreffler, Elizabeth Surotchak, Lilith Vogel

Friday, November 7, 2014

HARRISBURG (AP) The NCAA is defending how it handled sanctions against Penn State over the Jerry Sandusky scandal, following the recent release of internal emails that were exchanged before the 2012 consent decree.

The unprecedented penalties have been a target of criticism, and the new emails reflect doubts within the NCAA about whether they were legal or fair. In one email, an NCAA official characterized the disciplinary response as "a bluff" and said asserting its jurisdiction would be "a stretch."

Friday, November 7, 2014

Motorists that need to travel over bridge 17, the covered bridge, in Lower Towamensing Township will soon be able to again.

On Thursday, Commissioners' Chairman Wayne Nothstein announced that the county hopes to have the bridge, located along Covered Bridge Road, open to vehicles Monday morning, weather pending. If weather plays a factor, the latest the bridge would open is Wednesday.

Friday, November 7, 2014
TIMES NEWS FILE PHOTO The historic bell tower will have to come down after the Walnutport Fire Company's hall was damaged by fire Sunday. Fire officials believe the building, and the bell, can be saved.

Paramount on the minds of residents throughout the borough since last Sunday's devastating fire, news of what will become of the historic building that housed Diamond Fire Company's social hall was announced at Walnutport's Borough Council Workshop meeting Thursday.

"Right now, the main concern is a safety issue ... we're worried about a collapse," said fire restoration experts Rick Hoyt, branch manager, and Greg Miller, estimator and emergency service manager, of Mellon Certified Restoration, of Allentown.

Friday, November 7, 2014
Sharon Stanley/Special to the Times News From left, Army National Guard veteran Kevin Long of Lehighton stands next to Lehighton Masonic Lodge 621 Worshipful Master Patrick Totaro along with fellow Navy veterans Glenn Troutman, Todd Zellers and Gary Beaver, all of Lehighton.

Lehighton Masonic Lodge 621 honored veterans at program on Thursday evening.

Lehighton Masonic Lodge 621 Worshipful Master Patrick Totaro, an Army veteran, said the lodge's new ceremony to honor veterans was open to the public for members of all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces and will be held again next year.

"It's an honor to do this," he said, "this was a great turnout."

In all, 29 veterans and their families attended the ceremony, during which each received a personal thank-you and an honorary pin.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Samantha Mason of Jim Thorpe earned a Certificate of Merit in Law Practice at the Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School.

She is a graduate of Bloomsburg University, where she earned her B.S./B.A. in finance in 2010, and of Marian Catholic High School in Tamaqua. Mason is the daughter of Richard and Jayne Mason.