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Local News

Thursday, January 16, 2014
DONALD R. SERFASS/TIMES NEWS Coaldale Fire Chief Richard Marek said Tuesday the bank account is at zero and firefighters desperately need the full amount promised in the annual borough budget, which fell short by $8,944.88 over the past two years. Looking on is Councilman Harry Hontz Jr.

Coaldale Fire Chief Richard Marek says the bank account is at zero and part of the reason is that the fire company's been shorted from an annual budget allotment.

At Tuesday's Coaldale Borough Council meeting, Marek said the fire department received about $16,000 from what was a $20,000 borough budget item in 2012.

The same thing happened again in 2013, Marek said. In fact, Marek did the math to see where the situation stood.

"The difference is $8,944.88. We rely on that $20,000," he told council.

Thursday, January 16, 2014
Carbon County Commissioner Thomas Gerhard, left, and Paul Phillips from Paul Phillips Hardwood Flooring, of Hanover Township, discuss the replacement of a section of flooring in the visitors center in the train station.

The visitors center inside the Old Mauch Chunk Train Station, Jim Thorpe, is getting a facelift.

Renovations on the Pocono Mountain Visitors Bureau's visitor center began earlier this month.

Renovations include repairing and refinishing the hardwood floor; reconfiguring the current help desks inside the center; painting; installing video kiosks and updated brochure racks; and updating the town's timeline display.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Hearts were noticeably heavy at Wednesday night's meeting of the Walnutport Canal Association as members discussed finding a new president and also the possibility of establishing a new position of historian.

As the meeting began, 1st Vice President Doug Boehrer informed anyone present who did not yet know that longtime WCA President Everett "Buddy" Kaul had passed away at the end of December.

Buddy's wife, Marilyn Kaul, who serves as the association's 2nd vice president, sat beside Boehrer as he made the announcement.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

It is a somber mood when people gather for prayer. While the nation waited for word that Saddam Hussein would pull his troops out of Kuwait, 151 area residents believed in the power of prayer last night as they gathered for a prayer vigil in Zion United Church of Christ, Lehighton.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) Struggling department-store operator J.C. Penney announced it will cut 2,000 jobs and close 33 stores as it tries to get back on the path to profitability.

The store at the Laurel Mall in Hazleton is one of the stores closing.

The news raises concerns that Penney's holiday season sales were not what the company hoped for and that the chain needs to do even more to recover from a turnaround plan that has had disastrous results.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Schuylkill County Employees Retirement fund reached a new high as Controller Cristy Joy reported to market value of the fund as of Wednesday reached $121,807,212.11. This means the retirees could get a cost-of-living increase this year for the first time in eight years.

At the monthly meeting Wednesday at the courthouse, Joy, who serves as secretary of the retirement board, reported the market value of the fund as reached a record high.

Thursday, January 16, 2014
BOB FORD/TIMES NEWS Carbon Career & Technical Institute's adult education center will be put up for auction.

The Carbon Career & Technical Institute's adult education center, located across from the school on 13th Street in Jim Thorpe, may soon have a new owner.

Randall Smith, chairman of the Carbon County Area Vocational Technical School Authority, said that the authority, which owns the school's buildings and grounds, is looking to sell the center. The building, which formerly housed CCTI's day care and GED instruction programs was vacated Dec. 31, and the day care discontinued.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

More than 12,800 entries were entered in the Carbon County Recorder of Deeds office in 2013, according to an annual statistical report released by Emmett P. McCall, the current officeholder.

As a result of the department's activities last year, the Recorder collected and remitted $3,502,409 in revenues.

Breakdowns of filings

Thursday, January 16, 2014
SHARON STANLEY/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS The Walnutport Authority's reorganization meeting included both elections and reappointments, including, from left, engineer Jason Newhard of Spotts, Stevens and McCoy Group; Vice Chairman Mark Queen; Chairman Ron Kuntz; treasurer Susan Schneck; board member Chris Green; secretary Robert Treskot; and solicitor Leo DeVito.

The Walnutport Authority, which is charged with operating, maintaining and setting the rates for Walnutport's water and sewer systems, chose its officers, solicitor and engineer at its reorganization meeting Tuesday night.

Though it was first noted that previous Chairman Ron Kuntz and board member Dennis Green will need to be officially reappointed by borough council, Kuntz was again chosen as the authority's chairman, subject to that reappointment.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

The 14th Annual Pocono Polar Bear Plunge will be held at 1 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 16 at Hennings Pond, Albrightsville.

Participants must preregister at Robert Christian's Restaurant, Route 940, Pocono Lake or by calling 570-646-6600 by Feb. 9. Participants must also sign a liability waiver. There is a fee.

Proceeds from the event will be donated to April Schaefer, who is fighting a serious illness. The goal is to raise $5,000 for the Schaefer family.