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Local News

Monday, January 5, 2015

MILFORD, Pa. (AP) - The ambush on a northeastern Pennsylvania state police barracks played out Monday on a courtroom screen: a mortally wounded trooper crumbling to the ground; a bullet striking a comrade kneeling by his side; and the comrade, his legs immobilized by the gunfire, crawling into the lobby on his stomach.

Prosecutors played surveillance video of the Sept. 12 attack on the Blooming Grove barracks and its aftermath at a preliminary hearing for Eric Frein, the survivalist suspect who led police on a 48-day manhunt through the Pocono woods.

Monday, January 5, 2015
TIMES NEWS file photo Grand Ole Opry performer Little Jimmy Dickens clutches Raggedy Ann doll while performing the story song, "Raggedy Ann," at his Penn's Peak performance in June 2008.

Little Jimmy Dickens, a country music legend who was small in size but was a giant in his genre, has died at the age of 94.

Dickens was hospitalized after a stroke on Christmas, days after his last appearance on the Grand Ole Opry to mark his birthday. He died of cardiac arrest. He is survived by his wife, Mona Dickens, whom he married in 1971, and two daughters.

Dickens had appeared at numerous local venues over the years including Penn's Peak in Jim Thorpe in June 2008; at the West End Fair in Gilbert, and at the former Ontelaunee Park in New Tripoli.

Monday, January 5, 2015
AP GRAPHIC Map from AccuWeather at State College indicates the rest of the week could be might cold, thanks to a blast of Arctic air headed toward us.

We had rain and above-normal temperatures during Christmas week, which saved money on heating bills.

But it was short-lived.

Unfortunately, unless you're a skier or ice fisherman, you probably won't like what's coming down the pike.

Changes began this weekend with freezing rain and snow causing crashes Saturday.

Sunday, temperatures rose to 50 degrees in some areas, melting the ice from the previous day.

Later in the day the wind picked up, gusting overnight to over 40 miles per hour, according to the National Weather Service.

Monday, January 5, 2015

ALLENTOWN (AP) A man has been jailed on charges he lured people into robberies in southeastern Pennsylvania by posting Craigslist ads seeking to sell them items in person.

Allentown police say they arrested 19-year-old Noel Bautista on Saturday after they traced an ad to him after he allegedly robbed a 29-year-old man outside a motel. Police say Bautista pulled a gun and forced that man to withdraw money from an automated teller machine.

Monday, January 5, 2015
Larry Neff/Special to the Times News

A young male driver escaped injury Sunday morning in a crash along Adamsdale road in North Manheim Township. The crash occurred just after 10 a.m. as he was traveling east and failed to negotiate a curve in the roadway. His car left the right berm, hitting andsnapping off a utility pole. The pole carried power lines as well as telephone and cable lines. The roadway was blocked for several hours. State police at Schuylkill Haven are investigating.

Monday, January 5, 2015
DONALD R. SERFASS/TIMES NEWS This section of West Broad Street in Tamaqua is anchored by the 1925 Edward W. Jennings Building, left, later called Mitchell's Furniture Gallery. It is a section of the downtown that potentially could benefit by improvements through Tamaqua's designation as Pennsylvania's first small-town CRIZ site.

Gov. Tom Corbett last week announced that Tamaqua qualified for the first City Revitalization and Improvement Zone.

But what does all of this mean?

The CRIZ is a pilot zone designation that allows a town to create a financing authority to be used to leverage state tax dollars in a way that launches private investment in under-utlilized properties.

So what will the pioneer program do for Tamaqua? It will help the borough attract businesses to revitalize downtown areas.

What it won't do, state officials say, is raise taxes for local residents.

Monday, January 5, 2015
 DONALD R. SERFASS/TIMES NEWS Tamaqua is now officially Pennsylvania's first small-town City Revitalization Investment Zone, which could benefit the town through a more targeted return on tax dollars and resulting investment opportunities.

Over the past two years, a deterrent to seeking City Revitalization and Improvement Zone designation has been the program's strict eligibility requirements.

In July 2013, Gov. Tom Corbett signed the CRIZ program into law in conjunction with the 2013-14 state budget to spur new growth in eligible cities to attract development, revive downtowns and create jobs for residents in the regions.

However, at that time, the program was available only to cities of 30,000 population or greater, with a limit of only two awards.

Monday, January 5, 2015
LARRY NEFF/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS

West Penn Township police are investigating an incident which was first reported as a crash, but when police arrived on scene they found a gunshot victim.

Just before 10 p.m. emergency personnel were dispatched to Apple Jack Lane at the intersection with Roads End Road for a crash.

A revised dispatch reported the victim of the crash had a gunshot wound to the back and that the scene was unsecured.

Police from West Penn Township raced to the scene, along with Tamaqua and Summit Hill.

Monday, January 5, 2015
Larry Neff/Special to the Times News

White Street in Bowmanstown was closed as state police investigate this crash which brought down a utility pole and live electrical wires. The crash occurred just after 4 p.m. Sunday. Neighbors at the scene reported a young male was operating a sport utility vehicle west on White Street when he struck a parked vehicle. The impact of the crash sent the parked vehicle into a utility pole, snapping it off at the base. Live electrical lines are down lying along the sidewalk. State police at Lehighton are investigating the incident.

Monday, January 5, 2015

It's a somber, gray winter afternoon, with drizzle in the air, as members of Bravo Company boarded buses at the Hometown Armory for travel to Fort Indiantown Gap. Bravo Company, formally known as Company B, Second Battalion, 103rd Armored Division, Pennsylvania National Guard, has been mobilized for deployment to Iraq.

The tank company, based in Hometown, is deploying 50 of its 75 soldiers in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.