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Local News

Monday, March 18, 2013
Michael Sofranko

Four years ago, when Michael J. Sofranko ran for his first term as mayor of Jim Thorpe, he made six promises to the voters of the community.

Sofranko, proud to have kept all six promises, has announced he will seek the Republican nomination for mayor once again in this year's Primary Election.

Not only were the goals met, but under his guidance, various other accomplishments were brought to light. The Jim Thorpe Police Department, through various programs, received a total of over $17,000 in additional funds.

Sofranko restructured the department by rank.

Monday, March 18, 2013
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/TIMES NEWS Participating during the chilly event are Tamaqua YMCA volunteers, from front left, Sckylar Souders, 12, Lansford; Nikole Haller, 11, Shenandoah; Rune Souders, 8, Lansford; Heather Dunning, Lansford; Jenny Zona, Lansford and Gabe Zumberger, Tamaqua. Middle row from left are Eric Becker, Shenandoah; Chris Lech, Tamaqua; John Quigley, Summit Hill; Laurie Campomizzi, Tamaqua; and Rachael Maly Smith, Tamaqua. Back row are Travis Gibiser, Coaldale; Susan Deesing, Barnesville; Dawn Benner, Andreas; John Deesing Jr., Barnesville; and Linda and John Yanick, Coaldale.

Temperatures in the low 30's and snow didn't prevent Tamaqua YMCA members and volunteers from plunging into chilly water during the 7th annual YMCA St Patty's Marsh Madness Ice Plunge for Kids event held Saturday at Blue Marsh Lake in Berks County. The Tamaqua YMCA team, who chose to dress as 80's characters, traveled via the Tamaqua YMCA bus to participate in the annual ice plunge event. More than 300 people, representing area YMCA branches, participated in the chilly event. Pledge funds raised prior to the event go to each YMCA's youth programs.

Monday, March 18, 2013
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/TIMES NEWS

Recent highs and lows made for heavy winds throughout our area. Pictured is a fallen tree located along Hometown Hill, SR309, in Tamaqua.

Monday, March 18, 2013
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/TIMES NEWS Event coordinators Mary Ann Dulaney, left, and her daughter Jessica Kutza, both of Coaldale, pose with some of the 600 prizes available next Sunday during the 14th Annual Chinese Auction and fundraising event held at the Lakeside Ballroom in Barnesville, Rt. 54. Doors open at noon and the auction drawing starts at 3 p.m.

Joining the crusade to find a cure for cancer, event organizers Jessica Kutza and her mother Mary Ann Dulaney, both of Coaldale, have been working non-stop preparing for the 14th annual Carbon-Tamaqua Unit of the American Cancer Society Chinese Auction set for Sunday (March 24) at the Lakeside Ballroom in Barnesville. Both Kutza and Dulaney, who've worked together to organize the action for eight years, stressed, "In addition to helping fight cancer, the event will serve as a fun afternoon the whole family can enjoy."

Monday, March 18, 2013
AMY MILLER/TIMES NEWS Winners of St. Joseph's Regional Academy's first annual Potato Pageant were announced Friday during a school assembly. They are, first row, from left, Nick Pantages, St. Patrick's Day potato; and Keegan Wyshosky, Pop star. Second row, Emily Reaman, Prettiest; Cassity Dixon, School Spirit; Madison Bunso, Silliest; and Logan Gage Bauer, St. Patrick's Day. Third row, Jeff Thomas, Sports; Kobie Arndt, Sports; and Macayla Almeida, Scariest.

St. Joseph's Regional Academy in Jim Thorpe was filled with the sounds of the Irish Friday as students celebrated St. Patrick's Day in style.

Students and teachers wore green, in honor of the holiday, and enjoyed a demonstration of Irish dancing by students of McElligott School of Irish Dance in Stroudsburg. The dancers ranged from 8- to 12 years old.

The dancers travel around the area from February until April, performing their numbers at schools and other events.

Monday, March 18, 2013

The Jim Thorpe Area High School Class of 1983 will hold a meeting on Friday, March 22, at 7 p.m. at Terpstra's Bar, 501 North St., Jim Thorpe.

Plans will be started for the 30-year class reunion. All classmates are welcome to attend.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Palmerton Borough will implement its street sweeping program on April 1.

Signs are posted on streets indicating the parking restrictions, and so remember to check your sign and remember the date when your street is to be cleaned.

Citizens are also reminded that the time change for street cleaning is the same as snow removal; cars should be moved between 7 and 8 p.m. the evening before your scheduled sweeping day. This will allow an early start for our street sweeping crew.

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Avenue B 200 block North 1st Monday

Monday, March 18, 2013
Ron Gower/TIMES NEWS Tom Bonner, third from left, a retired teacher, football coach, and track coach, accepts the Shamrock Award of the Panther Valley Irish American Association from his son, Thomas Bonner Jr., during the 66th annual St. Patrick's Day Banquet at Kelly's Irish Pub in Lansford last evening. Looking on are, from left, John L. Crampsie, a lifelong friend of Bonner, who was the guest speaker at the banquet; Jim Kurchak, president of the Irish American Association, and Paul McArdle Jr., master of ceremonies.

Tom Bonner, a Summit Hill native who is a retired educator and coach, was honored by the Panther Valley Irish American Association last night.

But he, in turn, focused the tribute to others.

"A lot of people have helped me down the way," he said. "I feel very blessed to have the family I have and the friends I have."

Bonner, 63, of New Ringgold, received the association's annual Shamrock Award during the 66th annual St. Patrick's Day Banquet, which was held at Kelly's Irish Pub in Lansford.

Saturday, March 16, 2013
These male goats are kept in a separate enclosure from the female goats.

A dozen goats drift along the hillside, browsing on brambles and brush. Roosters challenge each other - and sometimes an unsuspecting human - in the yard, as their harem of hens feeds in the area around the snug log cabin.

The woman of the house has worked at a church for a few hours this morning, joining other parishioners to prepare food from scratch for an upcoming Lenten food sale. This afternoon, she'll put in a few hours on her spinning wheel, as the final step in turning a fleece from one of the goats into fine strands of Angora yarn for knitting.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Pennsylvania counties that have eliminated the jury commissioner positions will have to reinstate them.

On Thursday, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, the state's highest court, overturned Act 108 of 2011, which allowed counties to abolish the jury commissioner positions, in a 6-0 vote.

Carbon County is one of the counties that will be affected by the ruling, having already abolished the positions during a May 2012 meeting. The positions, which are currently held by Joanne Poluka-Maurer and Joe Steber, were set to expire at the end of this year.