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Local News

Thursday, February 5, 2015

WILKES-BARRE (AP) A man charged with killing a Pennsylvania pharmacist and the pharmacist's girlfriend used plastic ties to restrain a jeweler during a 2003 home invasion and robbery in Saylorsburg the same kind he had used to strangle his victims months earlier, prosecutors said Wednesday.

Hugo Selenski is on trial in the slayings of Michael Kerkowski and Tammy Fassett, who prosecutors say were killed as part of a plot to rob the pharmacist of proceeds from an illegal prescription drug ring.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Tamaqua Mayor Christian Morrison raised concerns about the borough's homeless population at Tuesday night's council meeting.

"There are people out there that don't have a place to stay," he said. "It's not something that Small Town America is used to dealing with. Our police department isn't set up to take them in. St. Luke's isn't equipped to take them on."

Morrison said officials anticipated as many as 10 people would show up to register as homeless at the Salvation Army last week. Five did.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

A longtime advocate for women's health, Rep. Julie Harhart, R-Lehigh/ Northampton, has once again authored legislation to raise awareness of heart disease in women by recognizing Friday as National Wear Red Day in Pennsylvania.

The American Heart Association's Wear Red campaign encourages everyone to wear red in an effort to raise awareness and encourage more women to talk to their doctors about the risk factors for heart disease and take steps to prevent the disease.

For more information, visit www.GoRedForWomen.org.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

An East Penn Township resident is required to install a chain-link fence at the 2105 East Lizard Creek Road property he leases or face 30 days in county prison.

Clair Troxell and the township have been locked in a legal battle for several years over vehicles, junk tires and other scraps on the property, which he uses as a truck terminal. The most recent development is designed to hide items behind the fence.

The stipulation between the two parties was made official when Common Pleas Judge Joseph Matika signed a court order on Jan. 29.

Thursday, February 5, 2015
Linda Koehler/Times News File Photo The Jonas Bake Oven was moved from its original location at the Jonas Hotel to the West End Fairgrounds in 2010.

The Monroe County Historical Association has recognized the Polk Township Historical Society for its preservation of the Jonas Bake Oven.

The association will honor the 2015 Historic Preservation Awards winners at its 93rd annual meeting and awards luncheon on Feb. 22 at Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort in Shawnee-on-Delaware.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Mahoning Township supervisors Wednesday night moved to form a committee to develop a resolution regarding the proposed PennEast pipeline and the possibility the township could be affected by it or future pipelines.

Chairman John Wieczorek is asking any interested residents to contact the Secretary Natalie Haggerty in the office at 570-386-4002.

Township resident Sue Ann Levine, who appeared before the supervisors last month, told supervisors she discovered how PennEast could seize land by eminent domain.

Thursday, February 5, 2015
FILE PHOTO/TIMES NEWS Commissioners agreed Wednesday to sell Rest Haven to Nationwide.

Schuylkill commissioners on Wednesday agreed to sell the county nursing home, Rest Haven, to Nationwide Health Care Services for $12.25 million.

That works out to $86,267 per bed.

That's a good deal for the county, as the average price per bed from the past five sales of county nursing homes was $76,000, according to Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, the Harrisburg law firm the county in August hired for $250,000 to handle the sale.

The sale will be final in May.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

The word "revitalization," in regard to downtown Lehighton has come up several times in the past, with not much progress to show for the efforts. Dale Freudenberger, Lehigh National Heritage Corridor Market Towns manager, is hopeful this time will lead to more positive results.

About one dozen people attended a public meeting in the Lehighton Municipal Building to discuss the ways and means of bringing serious change to the district.

The group agreed to focus on the area around the Lehighton Park.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Following the January reorganization meeting for Washington Township, it was believed George Kern, emergency management coordinator, had not been reappointed. At the Jan. 6 meeting, supervisors said they would see if Kern wanted the position.

Kern attended the Feb. 3 meeting and said his appointment came from former Gov. Dick Thornburgh and he did not need the local appointment. He said his appointment would remain in effect until a replacement was found and appointed by the governor.

Thursday, February 5, 2015
RON GOWER/TIMES NEWS  Panther Valley Elementary School principal Mary Figura presents a championship medal to National Geographic Geography Bee winner Gabe Heaney, a fifth-grade student. At right is runner-up Bradley Hood, a fourth-grader.

Many schools no longer have geography as a separate course in their curriculum.

Panther Valley Elementary School is no exception.

Despite this, 10 fifth- and sixth-grade finalists answered questions that had adult audience members raising their eyebrows: Questions about Africa, the Rio Grande, Cape Canaveral and New York City landmarks.

It was part of a nationally recognized geography bee held Wednesday in the Panther Valley Elementary School.