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Local News

Saturday, June 11, 2011
At the top of a hill in Shangri-la, hundreds of rainbow colored flags blow in the wind. The flags are used to bless a certain area. Each flag bears an inscription, which the Tibetans believe will be carried away by the winds to spread peace and good fortune.

(Editor's Note: This is the third of a four-part series)

Gone were the jungles. Gone were the gorges. Flat plains of brown replaced lush fields and rolling hills of green. The snow-capped peaks of the day before were still there, but instead of isolated mountains dotting the landscape, these new peaks were the fringes of the continent-spanning Himalayas. This was Shangri-la, on the Tibetan Plateau in the northwest of China's Yunnan Province.

Saturday, June 11, 2011
ANDY LEIBENGUTH/TIMES NEWS Some seniors receiving awards or scholarship from back left are Carl Wittig, Samantha Guth, Calvin Troxell, Jessica Leiby and Travis Veronsky. From front left are Schuyler Schmidt, Casey Sassaman, Alyssa Keich, Paige Baddick and Jordan Nowacky.

Tamaqua Area High School's top senior students were honored at the 53rd Annual Tamaqua Area Student Achievement Dinner held May 16 in the Tamaqua Elementary School gymnasium.

The dinner is sponsored annually by a student recognition committee not affiliated with the school district.

Among the top awards were five J.E. Morgan Foundation Scholarships, worth $16,000 each, which were presented to Dane DeWire, Jessica Leiby, Alyssa Keich, Paige Baddick and Samantha Guth.

The Ernest Scheller III Memorial Scholarship, worth $12,000, was awarded to Samantha Guth.

Saturday, June 11, 2011
SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS

Weatherly High School's Engineering Team was honored at a recent school board meeting for being "Best in the State" in the Division One JETS Engineering Competition. Team members each received a citation from Weatherly Area School Board President John Toft. The citations were sponsored by State Rep. Doyle Heffley. Pictured are WASD Superintendent Frank Victor, Coach Katie Leach, Andrew Vack, Michael Embick, Christopher Hunt, Daniel Douglas, Lucas Rinker and WASB President Toft

Saturday, June 11, 2011
Victor Izzo/special to the times news Salutatorian Brittany Alexis David and Class of 2011 valedictorian Andrew Joseph Vack stand with Weatherly High School principal Thomas McLaughlin.

Weatherly graduates were encouraged by their class valedictorian to "continue onward with their goals, no matter the obstacle," during last night's 123rd commencement held in the middle school gymnasium.

The graduates entered to the fanfare and processional, the evening started with the singing of "The Star Spangled Banner" by Rebekah McFadden.

High school principal Thomas McLaughlin gave opening remarks, followed by Frank Victor, school superintendent.

Saturday, June 11, 2011
LIZ PINKEY/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Recipients of the St. Luke's Miners Memorial Hospital Medical Staff Scholarships include (front, left to right) Amber Schock, Lydia Stianchie, and Rebecca Hoffner; (back, left to right) Hospital president Bill Moyer, Christian Malave, Alexia Follweiler, Brittany Hnkle, and medical staff president Dr. J. David Bohri, MD. Missing from the photo is Shelbey Lynn Kane.

St. Luke's Miners Memorial Hospital awarded a number of academic scholarships to area students recently.

Bill Moyer, hospital presidents, welcomed students and their parents to the awards reception.

"You have a lot to be proud of," he said. "It is inspiring to me that so many of you are pursuing careers in health care, that so many of you will make a difference."

Saturday, June 11, 2011

An Albrightsville man has been identified as the operator of the vehicle which damaged the historic covered bridge located in the Little Gap section of Lower Towamensing Township.

Lehighton State Police, which listed the incident as a hit-and-run, issued a statement saying that Joseph Chiariello, 42, has admitted to be the driver during the incident, which was reportedly damaged on June 3.

The police report stated that charges are pending.

Saturday, June 11, 2011
"Anything on the grill, like baked potatoes" Nancy George, Palmerton

What is your favorite summer food item?

Saturday, June 11, 2011
TERRY AHNER/TIMES NEWS  Members of the Jim Thorpe Area High School Class of 2011 celebrate at the conclusion of commencement exercises Friday in the high school gymnasium.

Up until this moment, they have perhaps only learned to accept themselves as a composition of numbers.

From this day forward, members of the Jim Thorpe Area High School Class of 2011 have the duty to make their own equations from those numbers.

That was among the many words of wisdom shared with the 127 students who composed the 57th annual graduation class as part of commencement exercises Friday in the high school gymnasium.

High school Principal Thomas Lesisko and school board President Michael Huber gave opening remarks.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

U.S. Congressman Tim Holden (D-17th), announced that three areas of Schuylkill County will receive Rural Development grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

New Philadelphia ($32,560), Gilberton ($40,250), and Blythe Township Municipal Authority ($19,340) will all use the funds to purchase new dump trucks that are equipped with plows and spreaders.

Saturday, June 11, 2011
This spring, amateur mycologist John Kupec harvested 130 wild morel mushrooms from an abandoned apple orchard in Carbon County. To a mycophile, a person who loves mushrooms, this diamond of mushrooms is your best friend.

If, in late April or early May, you spotted someone on his hands and knees crawling through an abandoned apple orchard, that someone may have been John Kupec, an amateur mycologist in search of the elusive gourmet delicacy, the morel mushroom.

The Summit Hill native patiently waits for the two-week period when the morel can be harvested. Earlier, they are hidden below the forest's leaf litter-later, they begin to spore and rot.