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Local News

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Slatington's as-yet-unapproved 2014 borough budget took center stage at a special meeting Monday night held immediately after the Finance/Planning/Zoning, Public Safety, and Human/Community Services Committee Workshop meeting.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

A Lehigh County corporation is the defendant in a civil action filed in the Carbon County Court of Common Pleas that seeks over $40,000 in damages.

John Witcofsky and Kristen Hope, 100 Innsbruck Drive, Lehighton, filed the complaint against Finishing Edge Inc., Zionsville, alleging breach of contract and unjust enrichment charges.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013
RON GOWER/TIMES NEWS John C. Poko, center, receives the "Firefighter of the Year" award for the Summit Hill Fire Department from Fire Chief, Shawn Hoben. At left is Kevin Matzen, the financial officer of the fire company, was was given the "Volunteer of the Year" award.

John C. Poko, a 22-year-member of the Diligence Fire Company in Summit Hill, was named the fire department's "Firefighter of the Year" for 2013.

Poke received the Paul Yuricheck Fireman of the Year award during the department's annual Christmas party, held at the Summit Hill Community Center. About 75 people attended the event.

Fire Chief Shawn Hoben presented the award.

"I'm speechless," said the surprised award recipient during the presentation.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013
CHRIS PARKER/TIMES NEWS Vicki Benack of Grace Community Church, Lansford, holds a gift bag as 3-year-old twins Xavier, center, and Ali, right open presents provided by the church through the Angel Tree program.

Three-year-old Ali and her twin brother Xavier keep close to their great-grandmother in the tiny kitchen of their Franklin Township home, braving occasional curious glances at the brightly wrapped gifts a stranger had lugged in.

Vicki Benack, whose husband Jeremy is pastor of Grace Community Church in Lansford, has brought the presents under the auspices of the Angel Tree program, which delivers Christmas gifts from jailed parents to their children in an effort to keep family bonds strong.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013
Blow-mold figures and inflatables surround the Grant house, 40 Church St., Weatherly.

Sometimes Christmas lights are more than Christmas lights.

Sometimes they help us to connect in a special way. Or maybe they prompt us to contemplate.

And in at least one case, Christmas lights are therapy.

For Fred and Angel Grant of Weatherly, the yuletide display carries much deeper significance and plays a more important role than most folks' holiday lights.

The glow outside of the Grant house provides a spark of awareness, a boost of inspiration, and a touch of comfort for one of their children.

At birth, Roman Grant, struggled to survive.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013
KATHY KUNKEL/TIMES NEWS David C. Miller Jr. of MaryD tells news media he just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time Monday morning when firefighters discovered a meth lab in Tamaqua.

A suspected methamphetamine lab in Tamaqua drew fast and furious response from firefighters and law enforcement Monday morning. Officials wanted to control the situation as quickly as possible, due to the danger to the entire neighborhood. Even a small amount of meth can be deadly to the people making it and the greater community at large.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013
CHRIS PARKER/TIMES NEWS Kathy Henderson of East Penn Township with the Easy Bake Oven given her by her husband, Jim.

Those brightly wrapped gifts under the Christmas can hold anything from mundane socks, underwear, or a toothbrush to the coveted video game, cashmere sweater or diamond earrings.

But for some folks, Christmas presents can hold the truly unexpected.

One Christmas morning, Kathy Henderson of East Penn Township gleefully unwrapped a gift box from her husband, Jim, only to find an Easy-Bake Oven.

Henderson smiles warmly as she recalls husband Jim's playful gesture.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013
MICHAEL A. HEERY/Special to the TImes News Celebrating 50 years of Christmas magic, "The Real" Mr. and Mrs. Santa A. Claus will appear for photos in Main Street Commons in Bethlehem as part of the festivities of Christmas City Village known as Weihnachtsmarkt.

In 1991, "The Real" Mr. and Mrs. Santa A. Claus spent the Christmas Season in Orr's Department Store in Bethlehem. Twenty-two years later, they're back not only in "Christmas City," but in the former Orr's building itself.

This year marks a special milestone for the Clauses 50 years of Christmas magic. 2013 is Santa A.'s 50th anniversary as the "jolly old elf" 30 years professionally. He started at the Catasauqua Fire Company in 1963.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The PV schools' staff, students and parents helped several PV families during the holiday seasons: Polk Elementary donated 320 items to Toys for Tots; PVE collected 1,000 toys to Toys For Tots and partnered with PVI to donate food and toys for 24 families; PVI's PTO helped 17 PVI families with clothing, toys and food; PVMS helped 25 families.

High School principal John Gress reported that a PV alumnus donated $3,000 at Thanksgiving and $3,000 this Christmas to be used to help families in need in the district.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Carbon County's prison board will have a new leader in 2014.

During the monthly meeting of the prison board, the group voted unanimously to name Carbon County Commissioner Thomas J. Gerhard as the president of the prison board for 2014 and 2015.

Prior to the vote, current president Robert Crampsie, who also serves as the county controller and secretary to the county retirement board, announced that he was stepping down as the head of the prison board, effective Dec. 31.

He thanked the board and prison administration for their support over the last two years.