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Tuesday, December 31, 2013
 COUNTDOWN ENTERTAINMENT LLC Times Square in New York City will come alive tonight during the annual New Year's Evecelebrations. The history of New Year's can be traced back thousands of years and has become one of the largest party days of the year.

When the ball drops in Times Square at midnight, millions of Americans will again make their New Year's resolutions.

Some will resolve to lose weight; while others will promise to save money.

But, after the confetti is cleaned up in Times Square, the New Year's Eve Ball again sits silently atop the One Times Square building and the days of 2014 tick on, many of those resolutions will fall by the wayside.

So how did New Year's celebrations become such a big "to do" in the world, and why do we make New Year's resolutions knowing that we will probably break them?

Tuesday, December 31, 2013
LISA PRICE/TIMES NEWS

Members of the West Penn Township Lions Club, District 14-U, met Thursday morning to gift wrap packages of food to distribute to people in the area. The group packed 17 boxes. From left are: Joe Bednarik, Paul Barth, Gary Kistler, Bob Neumoyer, Wilma Wentzel, Marie Barth, Leroy Wentzel, Al Martinez, Becky Neumoyer, Judy Miller and Bob Miller. Their efforts support the national Lions Feeding the Hungry Global Action Campaign.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Tamaqua Area School District athletic director Mike Hromyak, a football and track standout in his high school days there, can't help but stay in touch with athletics at his alma mater.

He hopes to soon be part of a new team, the Tamaqua Area Athletic Alumni Association. The group will hold its first meeting at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 9, at the high school.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013
SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS

Students of Mountain Karate Academy, Lehighton, participated in a food and toy drive to benefit the Blue Mountain Food and Toy Drive, which provides food baskets and toys to needy families in Carbon County. The items are distributed by members of the Carbon-Mountaineers Marine Corps League Detachment 996. The owner of the MKA are Masters Paul and Rich Maglionico.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Thrivent Financial for Lutherans is hosting a free educational workshop to help teach farmers steps to take to keep their business in the family.

Called "Keeping the Farm in the Family," the 50-minute workshop will be held at 4 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014 at East Penn Sporting Club, 61 Club Lane, Lehighton. The workshop is presented by Susan E Lovejoy, financial representative with Thrivent Financial for Lutherans in Lehighton.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Northeast is bracing for its first winter storm of the New Year Thursday.

But, exactly where it will hit and how much snow we can expect has yet to be pinpointed.

According to the National Weather Service, snow may begin to overspread the area after 8 p.m. Wednesday.

By Thursday morning, there is a 70 percent chance of snow with highs in the upper 20s. It will continue through Thursday night and end Friday morning. No expected accumulation totals have been announced.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Weissport homeowners will pay the same tax rate in 2014 as they paid in 2013.

Weissport Council on Monday night adopted the budget retaining the same tax rate as was set in 2013. Taxes were last increased in 2011, when council raised the tax millage by 2 mills, but residents were spared an increase for this year. Council set the millage at 10.9 mills by adopting the 2014 tax ordinance.

All council members were present, including Gene Kershner, president; Sue Pywar, vice president; and members, Arland Moyer, Paulette Watson and Tim Rehrig.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013
TIMES NEWS FILE PHOTO Russell Young set fire to the Lehighton home in which he lived with his mother.

Unfortunately, there was no shortage of police and fire activity in 2013. We've included just a few of the many stories.

Ÿ Last Jan. 30, Russell Young of Lehighton was charged with setting a fire which heavily destroyed the home he lived in with his mother on Carbon Street. He allegedly then went to a North Third Street residence, where his sister lives, and attempted to burn down her house. On Oct. 17 in Carbon County Court, he pleaded guilty to one count of arson while three other charges against him were dismissed. Sentencing is scheduled for this coming February.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

SHENANDOAH A preliminary hearing for a Mahanoy City man charged with severely beating a woman and then setting her house on fire has been scheduled for next month.

Joseph C. Yeich, 28, of 1229 E. Mahanoy Ave., was charged with assaulting Elrena L. Gibson inside a home at 1031 E. Pine St. and then setting a fire in the basement that damaged that building and others attached to it just before 9 p.m. Dec. 11.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Here's a look at New Year's traditions.

Ÿ The annual ball drop: According to the Countdown Entertainment LLC and Times Square Alliance, the idea of a ball drop began in 1833, when the first "time-ball" was installed on England's Royal Observatory in Greenwich. The ball was designed to drop every day at 1 p.m., to allow captains of nearby ships to set their chronometers for navigational purposes.

In 1907, the idea was modified and used in Times Square, where it became a universal symbol of New Year's celebrations.