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Local News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Jim Thorpe Borough will soon begin civil service testing for potential full-time police officers.

Mayor Michael Sofranko said during Thursday night's borough meeting that while a resolution approved by council starts the process, the police department is not looking to hire an officer at this time.

"Our list of candidates has expired," Sofranko said. "Officers occasionally want to move on to bigger and better things, and we don't want to be left without a pool of qualified candidates if that should happen."

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Weissport is considering making a major purchase of equipment to mow the grass on the flood levee.

Mayor Jonathan Troutman said council should consider purchasing atractor with a16-foot boom and a 4-foot flail.

Troutman said apiece of equipment such as that could cost about $20,000.

"No question, maintaining the levee is hard work," said Sue Pywar, council vice president. Her husband is a part-time borough worker.

"Everyone has full-time jobs," Pywar said . "No one wants to do the work because it is so hard."

Tuesday, September 16, 2014
AP Photo/The Times-Tribune, Michael J. Mullen Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett, right, leaves the Blooming Grove Baptist Church in Pike County after speaking to the press Monday about the shooting Friday night that took the life of a Pennsylvania State Police trooper and critically injured another. Corbett said investigators won't rest until they capture the gunman.

The killer had a grudge against the Pennsylvania State Police. He regularly visited a local shooting range to keep his skills sharp. He made several trips to a state police barracks in northeastern Pennsylvania, picking just the right hiding spot from which he could launch an ambush and make his escape.

This chilling profile, developed by state police hunting for the gunman who opened fire on two of their own outside the Blooming Grove barracks late Friday, was released to the public Monday in hopes it might help authorities catch him.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014
TERRY AHNER/TIMES NEWS Long-lost siblings, from left, Gary Neifert Sr., Barbara Andrews, and Art Diehl recently met for the first time.

Separated by different time zones and located in opposite ends of the country, it seemed as though they were worlds apart.

For decades, Gary Neifert Sr. was aware he had a long-lost stepbrother and stepsister.

The three shared the same birth father, Andrew Diehl, who was raised in Lehighton.

Neifert's grandfather at one time owned Bossard's Hotel in Lehighton.

When Neifert, who lives in Cherryville, was young, his mother Dorothy (Christman) Diehl, got remarried to an Irvin Neifert.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014
DONALD R. SERFASS/TIMES NEWS  Tamaqua Area School District Superintendent Carol Makuta and attorney Jeffrey Bowe, center, accept a $3,500 donation to the Tamaqua Blue Raider Foundation from Brian Fuhrman of Waste Management Inc. on Monday at the law offices of Bowe, Lisella and Bowe.

The firm that coordinates waste collection and disposal at one area school district has stepped forward in support of education.

On Monday, a representative of Waste Management Inc., Lancaster, donated $3,500 to the Tamaqua Blue Raider Foundation.

"It's a privilege we're able to do this. We like to see the funds go to where it'll do the most good," said Brian Fuhrman, Waste Management's major account manager.

Fuhrman met Monday with attorney Jeffrey Bowe, foundation secretary, and Carol Makuta, school superintendent.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Special to the Times News @$:Ann Baddick Adams, a Gold Star mother from Jim Thorpe, stands with Staff Sgt. Erik Olson, host of Warrior Summit Outdoors. Back, from left, are Sgt. Eric Bailey, Iraq War veteran; Sgt Jonathan Potts, Afghanistan War veteran; and Sgt. Chris Geiser, Afghanistan War veteran.

A Gold Star mother from Jim Thorpe will appear in Episode 4 of Warrior Summit Outdoors hosted by three-tour combat veteran retired Staff Sgt. Erik Olson, set to premiere at 9 p.m. Wednesday on WYLNTV35 from Hazleton.

Olson and three other veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan tackle a whitewater kayaking challenge on the Lehigh River under the instruction of Jerry McAward and his team at Northeast PA Kayak School in Jim Thorpe.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014
AP Photo/Pennsylvania State Police This photo provided by Pennsylvania State Police shows Trooper Alex Douglass. Investigators on Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014 returned to scour the woods across from a state police barracks where two troopers were ambushed, injuring Douglass and killing Cpl. Bryon Dickson.

Trooper Alex Douglass, who served at the Frackville state police barracks and who was wounded Friday in a shooting in Pike County, is a stickler for details.

He could always be counted upon to show up at hearings armed with sharp recall and meticulous documentation, said Schuylkill County lawyer Tom Campion.

Cpl. Daniel Conville, who worked with Douglass at Frackville, recalls him as a "very good trooper. He did his duties well, his performance was outstanding."

Tuesday, September 16, 2014
SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Dorothy Patzek, Blue Mountain Health System vice president of nursing, left, and Ruth Brennan, vice president of clinical services, accept the Safety Across the Board Excellence Awards for both Palmerton and Gnaden Huetten campuses. Both hospitals were honored recently by the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania's Hospital Engagement Network for their achievement of exceptional performance.

Patient safety and the quality of care are two of Blue Mountain Health System's main goals.

On Sept. 3, the health system's Gnaden Huetten and Palmerton campuses received the Safety Across the Board Excellence Award by the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania's Hospital Engagement Network for their "achievement of exceptional performance." The community hospitals were two of only 26 PA-HEN participating hospitals throughout the state that received the award.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Two Monroe County residents pleaded guilty to drug dealing charges in federal court on Monday and are facing prison terms at the time of their sentencing.

The United States Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania said Tamika Davis, 33, of Effort, pleaded guilty before Senior U.S. District Court Judge A. Richard Caputo to conspiring with others to distribute heroin in the Monroe County area during a six-month time period.

According to U.S. Attorney Peter Smith, the defendant admitted to committing the crime between November 2013 and April 22.

Monday, September 15, 2014

A Gold Star mother from Jim Thorpe will appear in Episode 4 of Warrior Summit Outdoors hosted by three-tour combat veteran SSG Erik Olson, Retired is set to premiere at 9 p.m. Wednesday on WYLNTV35 from Hazleton.

SSG Olson and three other veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan tackle a whitewater kayaking challenge on the Lehigh River, under the instruction of Jerry McAward and his team at Northeast PA Kayak School in Jim Thorpe.