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Local News

Thursday, July 21, 2011

An Andreas R. 1 woman is more than a half-million dollars richer, thanks to the Pennsylvania Lotto game. A spokesperson for the Bureau of State Lotteries said Mrs. Elizabeth Vavro, 65, won $507,631. Mrs. Vavro, an employee at Bright's Department Store in the Carbon Plaza Mall, Mahoning Township, will receive 11 annual installments of $46,147.39, less 20 percent of the Federal Withholding Tax, the lottery spokesperson said.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

An employee of a credit union who admitted to embezzling more than $50,000 was one of four people who entered guilty pleas to criminal charges in the Schuylkill County Court and were sentenced by President Judge William E. Baldwin.

Jennifer Lee Doyle, 31, Saint Clair, pleaded guilty to a theft charge and was sentenced to serve six to 23 months in the county prison. The sentence is to begin Monday, Sept. 12, at 9 a,m.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Concern for senior citizens during the current heat spell was expressed by the Schuylkill County commissioners who asked the Office of Senior Services to offer what relief it can provide in action taken at the work session held Wednesday at the courthouse in Pottsville.

Commissioner chairperson Mantura Gallagher discussed with Georgene Fedoriska, head of the senior agency, ways to help senior citizens beat the heat as temperatures reached the 90's this week.

Thursday, July 21, 2011
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/TIMES NEWS A filled crowd watched as six finalists battled for the title of Tamaqua Idol yesterday evening at the Hang Loose Restaurant. A total of more than 100 contestants tried for the title of American Idol. Taking the title was Cassandra Minnick. Finalists pictured from left are first place Minnick, second place Matt Coccio, third place Jonathan "Lucky" Myers, fourth place Brian Blashock, fifth place Cody McGeehan, 16, and sixth place Frank Walton.

A large crowd watched as six finalists battled for the title of 2011's Tamaqua Idol Wednesday evening at the Hang Loose Restaurant in Tamaqua. A total of more than 100 contestants tried for the title of American Idol. The event, sponsored by Hang Loose and V.I.P. Dj and Karaoke Service, was free and open to people of all ages.

Taking the title of 2011 Tamaqua Idol was Cassandra Minnick.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Pennsylvanians are invited to share their ideas for highway planning during a series of public hearings to update the state's 12-Year Transportation Program.

Updated every two years, the Transportation Program serves as a "blueprint" of prioritized transportation projects. The update is overseen by the 15-member State Transportation Commission, or STC, which includes the Transportation Secretary, 10 private citizens appointed by the governor, and the majority and minority chairs of the state Senate and House Transportation Committees.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011
LIZ PINKEY/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Daniel Lattanzi, who could be facing a $25,000 bill to connect to the sewer main, called the wildcat sewer situation in Tamaqua a "moral issue" and requested that the borough provide some relief for residents facing large bills as they connect to the sanitary sewer.

Members of Tamaqua's Borough Council got an earful last night from several citizens who are unhappy about the fact that they are responsible for footing the bill to connect to the sanitary sewer, after years of illegally, and in most cases, unknowingly, discharging waste into the Wabash Creek.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Rush Township board of supervisors approved, but failed to unanimously agree on approving Alfred Benesch & Co. to do the work needed for the township to meet Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) regulations. The vote came during the meeting held Tuesday evening at the township municipal building and created a lot of discussion before approval was finally granted.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Citizens have voiced concerns about oversized loads coming through the crowded streets of Jim Thorpe. Jim Thorpe Police Chief Joseph Schatz, checked with PennDOT about future notification of wide loads and offering assistance with traffic controls.

"The state police escort the wide loads through Jim Thorpe. They are 100 percent in charge of the wide loads. It is not the Jim Thorpe police responsibility to direct traffic," stated Mayor Michael Sofranko.

However, the state police may ask the borough for assistance in maintaining the traffic.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/TIMES NEWS

The finals for the first annual Tamaqua Idol are planned today starting at 9 p.m. at the Hang Loose Restaurant located at 300 East Broad Street in Tamaqua. Two winnerS have advanced over the past nine weeks to get to this point. The event is free and open to people of all ages. The event is sponsored by Hang Loose and V.I.P. Dj and Karaoke Service. Pictured during recent try-outs, from left, are Natasha Scerbo, 17, Jonathan "Lucky" Myers, Josh Guscott, 19, Frank Walton, Danielle Seymour and KK Joseph.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011
LIZ PINKEY/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Tamaqua Mayor Christian Morrison (left) presents long time borough employee Jeffrey Oakes with a certificate of appreciation on behalf of the Borough of Tamaqua. Oakes is retiring from the borough workforce after 40 years of service. Council president Micah Gursky thanked Oakes for his dedication and wished him well on his retirement.

Tamaqua's traffic woes have steadily been increasing as several construction projects are starting, including the Center Street bridge replacement and the traffic signal upgrades along Route 309. However, they could get much worse before the summer is over. Borough manager Kevin Steigerwalt said he has been advised PennDOT intends to shut down Route 309 completely for one weekend in August so the railroad company can replace track.