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Local News

Saturday, February 4, 2012
Elissa Garofalo (far right) holds ribbon as it is cut by State Senator Dave Argall to celebrate the opening of a 2.9 mile section of the Delaware & Lehigh Trail between East Penn Township and the Lehigh Gap last October.

TN Correspondent

editor@tnonline.com

Elissa Garofalo has been promoted to President and Executive Director of the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor.

She becomes the fourth executive director to lead the D&L since its formation in 1988, replacing Allen Sachse, the organization's executive director for the past 12 years. Sachse will serve on half-time status with emphasis on legislative issues in Harrisburg and Washington D.C., as well as with strategic partnerships.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Lansford property owners will likely pay 1 mill more in real estate tax this year, but they have been relived of occupational and per capita levies.

The four members of borough council who met on Friday evening all agreed on a $1,506,184 budget that calls for the tax increase.

The boost brings the property tax levy to 33.47 mills. That means the owner of a home assessed at $25,000 would pay $836.75 this year, up from $811.75 last year.

Saturday, February 4, 2012
RON GOWER/TIMES NEWS

Serendipity is an adult female presently being housed at Carbon County Friends of Animals in Jim Thorpe. She is a black and tan tabby, and is described as very friendly and a good lap cat. To learn more about Serendipity, or any of the other cats at Friends of Animals, call them at (570) 325-9400, or visit them. They are open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Faith Alive Church, 678 Pine St., Bowmanstown, is offering a seven-week children's group, called Kid's Honor Club, beginning from 7 to 8 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 22, during Lent.

The curriculum includes Bible lessons, crafts, activities and snacks. The group will meet for six Wednesdays and one Thursday.

There is no cost.

Parents who want their child to attend should contact Faith Alive Church at 610-852-2805 or email fasgm@ptd.net.

Saturday, February 4, 2012
Ron Gower/TIMES NEWS Thomas "Tom" C. Gerhard, left, was a Carbon County Commissioner from 1992 to 2003. His son, Thomas J. Gerhard, is currently a Carbon County Commissioner, having been elected in November. It's the first time a father and son had held commissioner seats in Carbon County.

Back in 2003, when Thomas "Tom" C. Gerhard fulfilled his third term as a Carbon County Commissioner and opted not to seek re-election, he asked his son, Thomas J. Gerhard, to run for the office.

"I wasn't ready," the younger Gerhard said.

In March 2010, the son was asked again to run for the commissioner post, this time by Wayne Nothstein who was seeking re-election and needed a running mate. This time Gerhard responded affirmatively.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

A Summit Hill man was sentenced Friday in Carbon County court to serve 18 to 36 years in a state prison for setting 16 brush fires in the spring of 2008 in the lower end of the county.

Frank Duane Swartz, 45, was sentenced to the term by President Judge Roger N. Nanovic II on 60 counts of arson and related offenses. A county jury of 11 women and one man found Swartz guilty of setting the fires in Lower Towamensing and Franklin townships and Parryville during a period of March 17 to April 18, 2007.

He was found not guilty of just six counts.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

A brutal storm struck the area, beginning at about 10 p.m. yesterday and continuing into most of today. About 10 inches of snow fell, but the storm was accompanied by high winds and cold temperatures. A peak wind of 47 miles per hour was measured in Allentown. The National Weather Service said wind chills tonight could reach as low as 30-to-40 degrees below zero, although the actual farenheit reading won't be that bad.

Saturday, February 4, 2012
CHRIS PARKER/TIMES NEWS Gary Wentz, Administrator of Carbon County Workforce Training at CareerLink in Jim Thorpe, watches as Diane Fritzinger of PrimeTech Training teaches Tim Snyder of Palmerton and Michelle Turner of Albrightsville how to look for jobs via the Internet.

A life-long hard worker, Scott Pompa now lies awake at night, worrying about how he'll be able to support his wife and two young children.

The Jim Thorpe man was laid off from his management-level job when his company downsized in Sept. 2010, and despite his best efforts, has yet to find another full-time job that pays enough to make a living.

"Unemployment is a pretty damn depressing thing. If I can't support my family, what am I going to do?" he says.

Pompa, 50, isn't alone.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Carbon County ranks third highest and Schuylkill fifth among Pennsylvania's 67 counties in unemployment rates as of December, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry. Here is a list in descending order:

Cameron: 11.5

Philadelphia: 10.6

Carbon:10.4

Pike: 9.8

Schuylkill: 9.2

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Huntingdon: 9.1

Luzerne: 9.1

Monroe: 9.1

Bedford:8.9

Fulton: 8.9

Fayette: 8.6

Lackawanna: 8.6

Northumberland: 8.5

Clarion: 8.4

Clearfield:8.4

Forest: 8.4

Lehigh: 8.4

Saturday, February 4, 2012
Bernard Pheiffer, Lehighton "No snow. With the snow it costs you a whole lot more than a winter with no snow.

Do you favor a winter with no snow, or one with lots of snow? Why?