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Local News

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Pennsylvania’s state animal is the whitetail, but you’d never know it judging by the fervor that envelopes the state on Feb. 2, Groundhog Day, when Punxsutawney Phil is pulled from his burrow to let us know whether or not to expect six more weeks of winter.

The Germans who settled in Western PA started the tradition in 1886. Back in Germany, it had been a hedgehog pulled out of its burrow to predict the weather; finding none in PA, they substituted the groundhog.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Jan. 28PNC Bank shrunk its branch network by 160 offices last year, the most of any bank nationwide except for Bank of America, an analysis released Monday by SNL Financial found.

Collectively, banks cut their branch total by 1,487 locations in 2013, SNL said, as the industry contended with persistently low interest rates, slow loan growth and escalating costs.

Saturday, February 1, 2014
TIMES NEWS FILE PHOTO State Sen. John T. Yudichak, standing center, listens as Jeanne Miller, director of the SHINE afterschool program, third from right, explains what the students are learning in the SHINE program. Surrounding the pair are former fourth and fifth grade Jim Thorpe area students who participated in the SHINE program in 2010.

It started with a 2011 federal report confirming the fearful suspicions that street gangs had infiltrated Northeastern Pennsylvania.

Not long after, plans were laid out by a bipartisan pair of elected officials to create awareness of gangs in the public.

They hoped that together, they could halt the grip that gangs were tightening on area youths.

The U.S. Department of Justice report contained research that pinpointed an increase in illegal street gang activity and drug trafficking in the Interstate 80-81 corridor.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

LEHIGH VALLEY, Pa. Air Products (NYSE: APD) today reported first quarter results with strong performance in Electronics and Performance Materials, and Equipment and Energy. For the quarter ended December 31, 2013, net income was $287 million, up four percent, and diluted earnings per share (EPS) was $1.34, an increase of three percent, compared with results for the first quarter of 2013.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

LSI Corp. has laid off workers from its Lehigh Valley facility in recent weeks, a month after the semiconductor chipmaker agreed to sell itself to a competitor.

LSI spokesman David Miller said in an email that the job cuts were "part of previously announced cost controls" and "not related to the acquisition."

In December, Avago Technologies Ltd., whose semiconductor chips are used in Apple products, announced it would buy LSI Corp. of San Jose, Calif., for $6.6 billion.

Saturday, February 1, 2014
AMY MILLER/TIMES NEWS

Sophia Samoleski, left; dressed in a polar bear blanket, huddles with her cousin, Sophia Tessitore; and Madison Moore wait to cheer on the plungers during the first annual St. Joseph's Regional Academy Polar Plunge on Saturday, Jan. 25, at Mauch Chunk Lake. Samoleski and Moore are students at St. Joseph's Regional Academy; while Tessitore goes to Panther Valley Elementary.

Saturday, February 1, 2014
SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS

The Hazleton office of Fine Line Homes earned the Top Performing Office of the Year award for 2013. The award is based on sales goals, number of homes started and sales volume. Lori Gordon was named Top Housing Consultant for 2013. She led all housing consultants throughout the five offices in sales volume. Fine Line Homes serves Central PA, Northeast PA and Southern NY from locations including Harrisburg, Lewisburg, Hazleton, Sayre and State College. From left, Gordon, Craig Kemmerer and Janet Gerhard receive the award for Fine Line Homes.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Cass A Chies, with Diamond 1st Realty, Palmerton, has been awarded the Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES) designation by the Seniors Real Estate Specialist Council of the National Association of Realtors.

Chies joins more than 16,000 real estate professionals in North America who have earned the SRES designation. All were required to successfully complete a comprehensive course in understanding the needs, considerations, and goals of real estate buyers and sellers aged 55 and older.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

While many people will spend their weekend prepping for Sunday's Super Bowl extravaganza, one local school director will spend his in our nation's capitol.

Lehighton Area School Board director Rocky Ahner left today to participate in the National School Boards Advocacy Institute, scheduled Feb. 2-4 in Washington, D.C. The Institute will advance federal issues, as well as state issues of significance.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

The Relay for Life for Tamaqua and surrounding communities will meet at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 3, at the Tamaqua Salvation Army, 105 W. Broad St. The main topic for discussion will be the upcoming Power of Purple event.