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Local News

Friday, May 30, 2014
RON GOWER/TIMES NEWS Members of the Pennsylvania State Police Clandestine Lab Team look through items taken from the residence of Eric Joseph Willing, 34, of 132 E. Railroad St.,  Nesquehoning, during a raid on his residence Thursday.

A Nesquehoning man is in prison after police raided a suspected methamphetamine lab at his residence Thursday.

Eric Joseph Willing, 34, of 132 E. Railroad St., was jailed in lieu of $200,000 straight bail after his arraignment before District Judge Casimir T. Kosciolek of Lansford.

The raid came following an extensive investigation headed by Nesquehoning Police Chief Shawn Smith.

Smith and Charles Horvath, an agent with the Pennsylvania Attorney General's office, are the arresting officers.

Friday, May 30, 2014

One of four people charged in a prescription fraud ring entered a guilty plea to 28 criminal counts in Carbon County court on Thursday.

Charles F. Daniel, 27, of Effort, pleaded to the charges before President Judge Roger N. Nanovic II, admitting his part in a ring in which a nurse for a Palmerton doctor would forge prescriptions for the drug oxycodone. The prescriptions then would be filled at various pharmacies in a three-county area. The other two counties involved in the criminal acts were Monroe and Northampton.

Friday, May 30, 2014
SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Our Lady of the Angels Academy students who read during the Memorial Day program are, front, from left, Alexa Sandefer, Antonina Zeleniak, Max Vermillion and Andrea McArdle. Back row: Seth Feisel and Keith McCall.

The students of Our Lady of the Angels Academy recently participated in a Memorial Day program at St. Katharine Drexel Church in Lansford.

Seventh grader Keith McCall acted as the master of ceremonies, welcoming everyone to the program.

The kindergarten and first grade students then led the school in the Pledge of Allegiance and the national anthem, played by the school band.

Max Vermillion explained the meaning behind the celebrations of Memorial Day.

Throughout the remainder of the program, students read several famous historical pieces.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Carbon County is seeing a decrease in its insurance costs.

The commissioners Thursday voted to renew the 2014-2015 insurance policy with the Pennsylvania Counties Risk Pool at a total premium cost of $242,926. This is a $23,132 decrease from last year.

Commissioner William O'Gurek said the board is happy with the policy.

"We got good news this week and part of it was due to the efforts of all our people in trying to reduce claims and stress safety," he said.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Panther Valley School District residents can anticipate a real estate tax increase of either two or three mills for next year, and even then the district could be in trouble in two years.

The district budget and finance committee debated cost-cutting measures for nearly two hours Thursday, discussing tax increases and what appears to be the district's dire financial future.

Some board members said the school district could be broke in two years unless state legislators increase funding to local districts.

Friday, May 30, 2014

At the May 7 Eldred Township supervisors' meeting, supervisor vice Chairman Mary Anne Clausen reported that Pleasant Valley School District's Superintendent Carol Geary met with the board to query the interest of the township acquiring the Eldred Elementary School.

The building and property has been appraised at $1 million.

Chairman Gretchen Gannon Pettit asked if the district would be willing to donate it to the township. The supervisors are waiting to hear back from the school district.

Friday, May 30, 2014

A proposed wind farm in Carbon County has some kinks that need to be worked out before Nesquehoning Council will give the project approval.

During the borough council meeting this week, the board voted to give the plan, submitted by Tihali Wind Turbine Farm LLC of Brick, New Jersey, conditional rejection until all conditions are adequately met.

Friday, May 30, 2014

The word "hero" is defined in the dictionary as a person who is a mythological or legendary figure endowed with a great strength, or ability; "heroic" as a person exhibiting or marked by courage or daring; and "heroism" as the extreme self-sacrificing courage in obtaining a noble end.

Thus was the case Tuesday morning when six members of the Tamaqua Rescue Squad risked paying the supreme sacrifice while rescuing an accident victim from the rain-swollen waters of the Little Schuylkill River.

Friday, May 30, 2014
MARY TOBIA/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS The Palmerton Area Library was the setting for the annual Concourse Club of Palmerton to disperse donation checks to various clubs and organizations in the Palmerton area. Representatives present to accept the checks on their organization's behalf were, seated, from left, Debbie Balch, Care Net of Carbon County; Pam Andrews, Palmerton Area Recreation Committee; Bonnie Green, CACPAC; Diane Danielson, Palmerton Area Library; Tammy Rodgers, Domestic Violence; Darlene Nothstein, Meals Wheels; Marge Porambo, Breast Cancer Research and PSA Breast Cancer Coalition; and Anita Harry, Palmerton Bandstand Committee. Middle row, Marie Williams, chairwoman for the Concourse Ways and Means Committee; Larry Zawaly, Palmerton Municipal Fire Co.; Robbi Ahner, Palmerton Band; Carolyn Spairana, Bowmanstown Fire Company; Marg Federanich, chairwoman for the Concourse Ways and Means Committee; Dan Kunkle, Lehigh Gap Nature Center; and Bill Smelas, Palmerton Historical Society. Back row, Frank Hass, West End Fire Company #2; Bill George, Aquashicola Fire Co; Wayne Knirnschild, Towamensing Fire Company; Larry Ahner, Palmerton Memorial Park; Matt and Chris Anthony, Carbon County Special Olympics; and Joe Koma, St. Vincent DePaul.

One Basket Spectacular equals 21 appreciative area organizations.

The Concourse Club of Palmerton held its annual Spring Basket Spectacular in April in Holy Trinity Lutheran Church Hall in Palmerton.

Each year the club disperses profits from the event to Palmerton area organizations and fire companies.

"This is just our way to say thank you to each and every one of you for the hard work you do in our community," said Marg Federanich, Concourse chairwoman for the Ways and Means Committee.

Friday, May 30, 2014
SHARON STANLEY/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Debra Rausch, whose son was in a unit that received wish list items from the VFW two years ago, stands with soldier Michael Kistler's relatives, from left, grandfather Ted Kistler, mother Kathy Kistler, brother Ted Kistler, grandmother Linda Kistler, step-grandfather Robert Mohring, and grandmother Joyce Mohring as they gather around the contents of one of the care packages being sent to Michael's army unit in Afghanistan.

Just in time for Memorial Day this year, the Walnutport VFW was able to put together about 35 care packages on Wednesday evening and ship them off later in the week to an Army unit it recently adopted that is stationed overseas.

The R.W. Fritzinger VFW 7215 Post held a Surf & Turf Raffle on April 27 to gather money for the purchase of requested wish list items for the unit. One of the unit's members is the grandson of former quartermaster and current member Ted Kistler.