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Local News

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Chuck Gould will remain chairman of the Chestnuthill Township supervisors and Chris Eckert is vice chairman, with new supervisor Harry Miller rounding out the board.

Other township positions also remain the same with David Albright as township manager, Cathy Martinelli, secretary/treasurer/office manager/open records officer and Merton Whitney as roadmaster.

The board named the following to one-year terms:

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

An icy patch of Sweet Arrow Lake Road in Washington Township, Schuylkill County, caused a one-vehicle crash that took the life of an elderly woman passenger in the vehicle.

State police at Schuylkill Haven said the incident occurred about 8:05 a.m. Tuesday.

Troopers said Bonnie Neal, 61, of Pine Hill Road, Pine Grove, was driving a 1995 Subaru Legacy station wagon eastbound when the vehicle hit a patch of ice that covered the entire eastbound lane of travel.

Neal lost control of the vehicle which slid off the road and struck a tree with the front passenger side.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

West Penn Township supervisors recognized Al Martinez for his years of service on the board, presenting him with a plaque.

"You've helped guide the township," said Supervisor Jim Aikens, who was appointed to serve as chairman during the township's reorganizational meeting.

"And you've been very instrumental in my growth, and in (supervisor) Jim Dean's growth, in learning to serve as supervisors."

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The Lehighton Area School District was harshly criticized in an audit performed by the state's Department of the Auditor General.

The audit claims the district was paying a retired superintendent his full-time salary plus benefits for three months for consultant services it might not have even received.

That superintendent "did not attend any meetings involving personnel, on-going contract negotiations, or building and grounds, and had no dealings with the district's daily operations," during that period, the audit says.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Electricity usage demands skyrocketed Tuesday as temperatures dipped to near record lows with wind chills you would expect only in the arctic.

Paul Canevari, regional affairs director for PPL Electric, said a record peak of 7,784 megawatt-hours was set for the PPL coverage area between 5 and 6 p.m. Tuesday, with average power consumption throughout the day hovering in the low to mid-7,000 megawatt-hour range.

The new record means customers used 7.78 million kilowatt-hours of power in that hour, enough to power more than 700 homes for a year.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Palmerton Area School District's 2014-15 preliminary budget calls for a 2.8-percent increase in property taxes.

By a unanimous measure, the school board on Tuesday agreed to make the 2014-15 preliminary general fund budget available for public inspection in the business office at 680 Fourth St., Palmerton, from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The proposed preliminary budget calls for a 1.44-mill increase, that if approved, would raise the property tax rate from 51.44 to 52.88 mills.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Lower Towamensing Township has received a permit to access the lower gate to its recreation park.

Resident Herman Bollinger on Tuesday revisited the township's use of the lower gate to the Stoney Ridge P.A.R.C. along Fireline Road.

"I still ain't satisfied with this permit business at the playground because it's not put at the right place," Bollinger told supervisors.

He then questioned the board as to what took the township so long to obtain the permit.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

A Carbon County jury deliberated for about a half-hour on Tuesday afternoon before finding a Schuylkill County man not guilty of two assault counts.

The panel ruled Alfred Bond III, 27, of 135 E. Ruddle St., Coaldale, not guilty of aggravated and simple assault. President Judge Roger N. Nanovic II, who presided, found him not guilty of the summary offense of harassment.

He was charged by Jim Thorpe police with assaulting Aubrey Roth, of Lansford, at a residence at 21 W. Third St. The incident occurred on March 24, 2012, at the home of Roth's daughter.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Twenty area residents were among 102 defendants in criminal cases arraigned before District Attorney Christine Holman on Monday at the Schuylkill County courthouse:

Ashley Blum, 22, of 111 Gay St., Tamaqua, formerly of Lansford, charged by Rush Township Patrolman Bradley Hess, with theft of a laptop computer from Rent-A-Store, Plaza Drive, Hometown, by failing to make payments.

Nathaniel Davis, 64, of 222 E. Broad St., Apt. 507, Tamaqua, charged by Tamaqua Patrolman Joseph Krebs, with driving under the influence of alcohol and failing to drive at a safe speed.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Rush Township Supervisors are continuing their push to clamp down on residents who are late paying the sewer and garbage fees.