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Local News

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Anyone interested in learning more or having a say about the rehabilitation of the Thomas McCall Bridge is invited to the see the plans displayed at a meeting to be held Thursday, Jan. 5, at the Franklin Township Volunteer Fire Company.

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is holding preliminary engineering and environmental studies for the bridge. The bridge carries traffic on SR209 which goes over a Norfolk Southern rail line, the Lehigh River and the town of Weissport.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Gail Maholick/TIMES NEWS

Franklin Township Volunteer Fire Company has been issued a certificate of recognition from the Pennsylvania Department of Health and Office of the State Fire Commissioner for the successful completion of Swiftwater Rescue. The classes were offered the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission and Bucks County.

Although there was no fee for firefighters to attend classes, the firefighters paid their own expenses to travel to the classes.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011
ELSA KERSCHNER/TIMES NEWS

The Bowmanstown-Parryville Lions Club held its Christmas banquet on Dec. 17 at the Mahoning Valley Country Club.

President Earl Reabold gave the welcome. District Governor Scott Dudley was on hand as well as many past district governors and vice district governors. A clown, Dapper Dan and his wife Wilma, were invited in thanks for his entertaining at the summer picnic without charge.

Dan was grand marshal of the St. Patrick's Day parade in 1999.

Duane Hawk gave the invocation asking God to "watch over us."

The Lions' and Lionesses' toasts were given.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

George Ashman, the Historical Society acquisitions person, was given an Irving Jelly etching by Connie and Bob Reinhart at the Dec. 12 banquet of the Palmerton Area Historical Society.

He said it was being passed down and has found a permanent home with the society.

Member Mary Beth Beers said when she was a kid it didn't take much to make Christmas.

A dozen oranges were bought from Moony's for 69 cents. A big tree was brought in.

She is collecting Christmas memories for a book to be published.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011
DONALD R. SERFASS/TIMES NEWS

Twenty-eight years ago, one of the hottest gifts beneath local Christmas trees was the 'Game of Tamaqua.'

Today, at least one of those games still exists, and in near-perfect condition.

Carol Umbriac of Lake Hauto discovered the 1983 game in a closet and took it to her job at Nancy's Fresh Cut Meats, Hometown, where employees and visitors enjoyed a trip down memory lane. The item is proving to be a conversation piece.

"I don't think it was played much," said Umbriac. "I can't remember."

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Although the Panther Valley School Board on Tuesday approved a proposed $23,452,501 budget for next year that calls for a 5-mill property tax increase in Coaldale and a 2-mill jump in Carbon County, officials urged people not to panic because the spending plan has yet to reflect money expected from state gambling revenue.

The school board voted 6-2, with Mickey Angst and Irene Genther opposing, and Bill Hunsicker, Koreen Nalesnik, David Hiles, Anthony DeMarco, Michelle Markovich and president Jeff Markovich in favor.

Both Hiles and Demarco cautioned taxpayers to stay calm.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Christmas spirit appeared to have embraced the Panther Valley School Board on Tuesday, bringing the two warring factions together in unexpected harmony.

The board, currently composed of eight members with the resignation of Anthony Pondish, has been split on a contentious 4-4 on almost every issue.

But last night, peace reigned. Mostly.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Less than a year after undergoing some major changes, including requiring applicants to pay for the installation of the signs and designating the spaces as parking for the applicant only, Tamaqua's handicap parking policy is reverting back to most of the provisions of the old ordinance. Councilman Dan Evans, chairman of the parking and traffic committee, suggested that the $120 fee that was required with the application for a space be eliminated. The $120 was to help defray the cost of the installation of the signage, and had not been charged prior to February.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/TIMES NEWS

Tamaqua Borough Council has finally passed a balanced budget, however, it contains several drastic and some unexpected measures to meet the $229,000 deficit that existed prior to last night's meeting. Earlier this month, council discussed laying off one full time police officer. Despite several audience members' protests, council went ahead and approved the budget that contains that layoff. Additionally, the borough's community center is going to be put up for sale, a move that council members hope will generate $178,000, in addition to eliminating the costs of maintaining the building.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011
VICTOR IZZO/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS

Senior students Zach Confer and Danielle McArdle were looking for a meaningful experience for their required Senior Project at Jim Thorpe Area High School, and a way to honor in memory of their friend Hunter K. Wolfe of Jim Thorpe.

In this season of gift giving, they organized "Hunter's Hope Toy Drive" in memory of Hunter, who lost his battle with leukemia in July.

The two students visited schools in the Jim Thorpe area, asking each student to bring in one unwrapped toy.