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Local News

Friday, December 5, 2014
SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS In honor of the Great American Smoke-Out, Weatherly area students participated in a variety of activities to educate themselves about the dangers of smoking. Pictured, from left, are Weatherly Area High School TATU members Paul Eckert; Louis Mastroddi; Evan Kunkle; Michael Kennelly; Christina Caravella; Nalani Lowman; and Caitlin Lesko of Geisinger Health Systems.

Weatherly Area High School recently participated in "The Great American Smoke-Out."

It is a day when the school encouraged all people who smoke to quit for at least one day.

Students from the Weatherly Area High School Teens Against Tobacco Group participated in an activity to help spread the message that tobacco use is deadly.

Friday, December 5, 2014
DONALD R. SERFASS/TIMES NEWS  Two four-story buildings on West Broad Street in Tamaqua were evacuated early Friday when smoke, believed to have originated within a heating system, wafted through upper floor apartments.

Thirteen residents in the upper floors of two large downtown Tamaqua apartment buildings fled to the streets in bitter 22-degree air shortly after midnight when smoke filled one apartment and began wafting through floors and walls of others.

The Tamaqua Fire Department and emergency medical units were dispatched to 12 West Broad St. at 12:15 a.m. Friday by the Schuylkill Communications Center for a report of smoke filling a second-floor apartment and moving elsewhere.

"The man who called said he'd get everyone out of the building," said the dispatcher.

Friday, December 5, 2014

This evening's 33rd Annual Olde Time Christmas Festival tree lighting in Jim Thorpe figures to have an even more heartwarming ring to it than usual.

That's because a hometown hero will be honored when the tree lighting ceremony at Josiah White Park kicks off the festival at 6 o'clock along with Santa's arrival via firetruck.

Jim Thorpe native State Police Cpl. Mike Dugan has been tapped to light this year's Christmas Tree as a show of appreciation by the Jim Thorpe Tourism Agency, sponsor of the event.

Friday, December 5, 2014
JANET FISHER/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS A reorganization of the Panther Valley School Board was held Thursday, with all officers reappointed. The board consists of, seated from left, treasurer Anthony DeMarco, Brian Dolena, Bill Hunsicker, Irene Genther; back from left, John Williams, vice president; Michelle Markovich, secretary; Jeffrey Markovich, president; Dan Heaney; and Roy Angst.

Jeff Markovich was re-elected president of the Panther Valley School Board at its reorganization meeting on Thursday.

John Williams will continue serving as vice president.

All the officers were reappointed.

Michelle Markovich is the board secretary and Anthony DeMarco is treasurer.

Michelle Markovich will also continue to serve as the board's representative on the Joint Operating Committee of the Carbon Career & Technical Institute. Irene Genther will be the alternate representative.

Friday, December 5, 2014

NEW YORK The flu vaccine may not be very effective this winter, according to U.S. health officials who worry this may lead to more serious illnesses and deaths.

Flu season has begun to ramp up, and officials say the vaccine does not protect well against the dominant strain seen most commonly so far this year. That strain tends to cause more deaths and hospitalizations, especially in the elderly.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Pocono Greyhound Adoption will be hosting Pet Photos with Santa at Tractor Supply Co., 486 Blakeslee Blvd. in Lehighton, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 13 and from noon to 4 p.m. Dec. 14.

There is a charge.

Visit www.poconogreyhound.org, or call 570-856-0377 for more information about adopting or fostering a greyhound.

Friday, December 5, 2014

According to an article in the July/August edition of Pennsylvania County News, the state department of Community and Economic Development listed reasons why it is shifting administration of Community Development Block Grants from entitlement communities to their counties.

Ÿ Reduce the volume of required contracts, monitoring and oversight that DCED staff must accomplish;

Ÿ Help improve the capacity of local administrators, who are responsible for significant and complex federal regulatory requirements in managing CDBG fund;

Friday, December 5, 2014

The Northern Lehigh School Board approved the following personnel items:

Ÿ Appointed Michelle McCormick as temporary replacement, first-grade teacher, replacing an employee on family medical leave, at the substitute teacher rate, $45,680, with a termination date on or about March 30, 2015.

Ÿ Accepted the resignation of Diana Beltran as office aide at Slatington Elementary School.

Friday, December 5, 2014

A team effort has enabled students in the Northern Lehigh School District to make progress in the classroom.

That was reaffirmed on Tuesday when the school board heard a more detailed report on the results of the School Performance Profiles.

Assistant Superintendent Karen Nicholas said each of the four buildings in the district were in good academic standing.

"All of our schools are in the green range, which means they are doing well," Nicholas said. "We have no schools going through school improvement."

Friday, December 5, 2014

Packerton Yards is still up for sale.

On Thursday, the Carbon County Commissioners anticipated opening bids for the sale of the property, which straddles Mahoning Township and Lehighton

And for the second time, no bids were there to open.

One bid for the site, submitted by Northface Development LLC of Palmerton, was submitted before the deadline, but was withdrawn on Wednesday.

Robert Crampsie, county controller, said that it was very unusual that a bid was pulled twice once during the first time the land was bid and now.