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Local News

Tuesday, December 6, 2011
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/TIMES NEWS One of the stops on the tour was the Shepp House. The center-turret Eastlake Victorian was erected by Shepp, an early industrialist and key player in the development and use of electricity, working in tandem with Thomas Edison. The historic building now serves as the law offices of Atty. Gary Marchalk and Northeast Pennsylvania Abstract Co. Pictured from left are Maria Montero, volunteer tour guide; Linda Marchalk, law office; Sophie Gursky, 13, volunteer; and Beverly and Dave Knoebel, of Hometown, who've been married over 50 years.

Visitors taking part in the Victorian House Tour in Tamaqua over the weekend were given the opportunity to learn about multiple Victorian homes and venues.

As part of the Tamaqua Spirit of Christmas (SOC) Festival held over the weekend, the tours involved shuttling visitors amongst eight different locations via a chartered bus.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011
michael a. heery/special to the times news Lehighton Area Drug and Alcohol Task Force recently hosted an informational session at Lehighton Area High School entitled "The Latest Legal Drugs of Abuse." Making the presentation were, left to right, Rob Mikulski of Carbon-Monroe-Pike Drug and Alcohol Commission, Inc.; Dustye Sheffer and Thomas Scranton of Pyramid Healthcare, Inc.; and Lehighton Area High School Principal Tim Tkach.

Lehighton Area Drug and Alcohol Task Force recently hosted an informational session at Lehighton Area High School entitled "The Latest Legal Drugs of Abuse."

The program was presented by Pyramid Health Group, Inc.

In his welcome remarks, high school Principal Tim Tkach, said that this very informative presentation was made to the faculty and staff of the middle school and high school.

"Already since that time, changes have been made to the presentation. Things are changing so rapidly," said Tkach.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation recently deployed a new security hologram that makes it easier to spot fake drivers' licenses and identification cards. Pennsylvania is the first state in the nation to use this enhanced security feature.

"A driver's license or identification card has always been a trusted source for establishing a person's true identity," said PennDOT Secretary Barry J. Schoch. "We are steadfast in our resolve to combat counterfeit forms of identification, which ultimately jeopardize lives and hold great potential for harm to our national security."

Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Lindsey Kuntz, 4, and David Pignoli, 7, enthusiastically ring the bells for "Winter Wonderland."

The first Sunday in December once again found members of the Christian Action Council of Palmerton Area Churches sponsoring a carol sing at the bandstand in Palmerton's park.

Salem United Methodist Church provided the booklets with the words to the familiar carols that were sung. Charlie Silliman and his wife of Salem United Methodist were handing them out. Henry Wajda played the keyboard and Larry Ahner of Holy Trinity Lutheran led the singing.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A Summit Hill man went on trial yesterday in Carbon County court charged with deliberately setting 16 brush fires in the Lower Towamensing Township area of the county in 2008.

Frank Duane Swartz, 45, is facing 60 felony counts including arson-danger of death or bodily injury; arson-endangering property-reckless endangerment of inhabited buildings; possession of explosive/incendiary materials; risking a catastrophe; and maliciously setting/causing fire to a forest. If convicted of the charges he facing a minimum prison term of about 20 years.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

American Red Cross, Northeastern Pennsylvania Region will hold Red Cross bloodmobiles on the following dates.

For more information or to make an appointment, contact: Shannon Ludwig at (570) 823-7164, ext. 2103; or email LudwigS@usa.redcross.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS or visit www.redcrossblood.org.

* Friday, Dec. 9, noon to 5 p.m. Masonic Hall, 145 North 7th Street, Lehighton.

* Wednesday, Dec. 21, 1 to 6 p.m., Jim Thorpe Memorial Hall, 101 West 10th Street, Jim Thorpe.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011
TERRY AHNER/TIMES NEWS Northern Lehigh School Board directors on hand for Monday's reorganizational meeting include (front row, l-r) Robin Distler, Natalie Green, Donna Kulp, Lauren Ganser (back row, l-r), Mathias Green, board President Edward Hartman, Gregory Williams, Raymond Follweiler, and board Vice President Gary Fedorcha.

A pair of incumbents have retained their respective posts on the Northern Lehigh School Board.

Director Edward Hartman was unanimously reappointed as board president, while Director Gary Fedorcha was unanimously reappointed as board vice president.

Hartman was nominated for board president by Director Donna Kulp, while Fedorcha was nominated for vice president by Director Raymond Follweiler.

Afterward, both incumbents congratulated each other on their respective reappointments.

Also as part of the reorganization, one new director was seated on the board.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/TIMES NEWS Tamaqua Raider Cheerleaders who volunteered their time helping at the holiday event included, from left, Merranda Zehner, 13, Alissa Hollenbach, 12, Amy Bachert, 14, Gabby Freed, 15, Emily Ward, 15, and Krissy Gilbert, 16.

Santa greeted families during the Eastern Schuylkill Recreation Commission's annual Breakfast With Santa held on Saturday in the gymnasium of the Tamaqua Salvation Army community center as part of the Spirit of Christmas Festival.

The event also consisted of photos with Santa and entertainment by the Salvation Army handbell choir.

Event organizers Jason and Cindy Boris, who registered all the families as they arrive, were thankful to all who participated and volunteered their time for the event.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Gail Maholick/TIMES NEWS Michele Huszar recently opened Michele's Hair Salon at 170 S. Third St., Lehighton. Her shop is spacious and comfortable. She offers hair cuts for men, women and children, along with perms and color treatments.

About six years ago, Michele Huszar said she tried to fit into the traditional job scene, but found that she missed working with people and doing hair.

"I found that I didn't fit in the office work world," she said. "I missed the flexibility of owning my own shop and being my own boss. I really missed the work," she said. "I missed all my customers."

Today's she's fulfilling her ambition.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/TIMES NEWS Volunteers with the Tamaqua Salvation Army traveled via S.T.S. bus to Pottsville to entertain residents at the Golden Living Center-York Terrace. In addition to enjoying a handbell choir from the Salvation Army's Older and Bolder group, residents also got a suprise visit from Santa Claus, who handed out candy canes. Dina Depos, program's coordinator, Salvation Army, said, "The Schuylkill Transportation System also worked in partnership with the Tamaqua Salvation Army for the visit."Vincent Ferriazi, resident, plays Christmas songs on the piano during the event. Ferriazi was a member of the American Band Stand - American Steel Peer.