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Local News

Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Surveillance photos of the suspects in the Wal-Mart arson

The Rush Township Police Department has made an arrest in reference to the fire at the Hometown Wal-Mart Supercenter at 2:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Police have arrested Jonathan L Maldonado, 20, of Hazleton on numerous felony charges.

Maldonado was arraigned before Judge Ferrier and lodged in the Schuylkill County Prison on $50,000 straight cash bail.

At this time Maldonado is the only one facing charges, police said.

Police have released surveillance photos of all four suspects.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

An early morning blaze at the Hometown Wal-Mart sent shoppers and employees fleeing to the safety of the parking lot during a snowstorm and damaged a portion of the sales area.

Police have ruled the fire as an arson.

Police have released surveillance photos of four males they say are responsible for starting the fire near the lawn and garden section of the Wal-Mart store in Hometown this morning.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Frace

A Mahoning Township police officer ran into a burning building twice to save the life of an elderly woman.

Veteran Patrolman Jeffrey Frace responded to the fire on Oak Grove Drive, off Route 443, within three minutes of the alarm.

The incident happened at 11:31 p.m. Feb. 11.

Mahoning Township Police Officer In Charge Audie Mertz released details of the incident Monday.

Mertz said Frace ran inside the building, which was filled with smoke, and convinced the 81-year-old woman to leave.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014
SHARON STANLEY/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Slatington road crews spent Saturday morning using dump trucks and backhoes to clear out parking spaces along the 600 block of Main Street. Although the state clears the driving portion of Main Street that also serves as Route 873, the sides of the street, where much of that snow gets pushed, remains the town's responsibility. Borough Council President Daniel Stevens said it was the second time within a week crews had to clear out the spaces. He believes the last time this much heavy machinery was needed was in 2010.

The many headaches recent snowfalls have caused were a main topic of discussion in Slatington Monday night during the borough's Water/Sewer/ Highway Workshop Committee meeting.

Highway Committee Chairman Galen Freed explained how the continuous snow events have drained the borough's workers and resources this winter.

"We're getting cleaned up where we can, when we can," explained Freed. "The guys are working a tremendous amount of hours. They're been putting in a lot of overtime … and they'll be out again tonight."

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Bail has been posted for a Slatington woman who was caught by a camera on her son's tablet computer stabbing her husband over the weekend.

Kathleen Sell, 48, is free on bail. She was charged with aggravated assault and simple assault, and initially sent to Lehigh County Prison under $8,000 bail by District Judge Rashid Santiago.

The case will be sent to the office of District Judge Rod Beck of Slatington. Sell will have a preliminary hearing before Beck on a date that's yet to be determined.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Gail Maholick/TIMES NEWS State Rep. Doyle Heffley honored fire fighters and fire police with 20 years and more with a Pennsylvania House of Representatives Certificate of Recognition. From left are, front row, Dale Ahner, Francis Kresge, Bruce Wolfe; and Bob Mertz; and back row, Steven B. Everett; Kevin Lilly, Lynn Diehl and State Rep. Doyle Heffley. Also recognized were Mark Goodhile and Todd Hawk, firefighters; and Raymond Moyer and Russell Jeffries, fire police.

Cutting expenses for prizes didn't stop Franklin Township Volunteer Fire Company from recognizing firefighters and fire police at the annual Valentine's Day dinner and dance held Saturday at the fire station.

Instead of the usual array of prizes, State Representatives Doyle Heffley presented Pennsylvania House of Representative Certificates of Recognition to honor seven firefighters and four fire police for giving at least 20 years of service and dedication to the community through their efforts at the fire company.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014
DONALD R. SERFASS/TIMES NEWS  Members of the Tamaqua Fire Department crew with Aerial Ladder 778 cut through an overhead vent to tackle a blaze inside  Hometown Wal-Mart today at 2:30 a.m. Heavy smoke can be seen in the doorway.

An early morning blaze at the Hometown Wal-Mart is being investigated as an arson, according to Rush Township Police Sgt. Duane Frederick.

The fire damaged a portion of the sales area and sent shoppers and employees fleeing to the safety of the parking lot during a snowstorm.

Frederick released photos of four suspects and their getaway vehicle around 9:30 this morning.

Firefighters and other emergency responders from a wide region responded to the 2:25 a.m. alarm for a commercial structure fire at HT Commons Shopping Center, 35 Plaza Drive, in Rush Township.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Everyone seems to be doing a good job when it comes to recycling in Palmerton, said borough council last night. But some residents were told they could do a better job at snow removal.

Borough residents are currently recycling about 22 percent of their total trash load, according to borough manager Roger Danielson at last night's monthly session of council.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014
A charred pick up truck sits in front of a garage leveled by fire Tuesday morning on Dean Gray lane in Weatherly. Another vehicle inside the garage also sustained major damage.

Fire destroyed a detached garage and two vehicles just after 7 a.m. today on Dean Gray Lane in Weatherly.

A 2005 truck and a 1977 Ford Mustang were destroyed in the blaze.

Only the cinder block walls remained standing.

Fire departments on scene included Hazle Township, Weatherly, Freeland, Beaver Meadows, Treskow and Lehigh-Lausanne.

The cause of the fire is not known.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Deeds recorded

Banks Township

Sheriff of Carbon County to Deutsche Bank National Trust Company, West Palm Beach, Fla., property at 76-77 Coxeville, Beaver Meadows, $1.

Franklin Township

Sheriff of Carbon County to J.P. Morgan Chase Bank, N.A., Columbus, Ohio, property at 112 Circle Drive, $1.

Jim Thorpe

Sheriff of Carbon County to U.S. Bank, N.A., Plano, Texas, property at 104-106 North Ave., $1.

Peter J. Johnson to William Paul Shiffert Jr., 509 Oak St., Jim Thorpe, property at 509 Oak St., $91,000.