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Local News

Tuesday, January 4, 2011
CHRIS PARKER/TIMES NEWS Longtime West Penn Fire Co. Chief Leroy Breiner, left, is thanked for his years of service by township supervisors James Akins, Chairman Alfonso Martinez and David Zeigler.

West Penn Fire Company Chief Leroy Breiner has stepped down from the office he's held for 11 years. In his place, township supervisors have named Breiner's assistant chief, Dennis Fritzinger Jr.

Supervisors honored Breiner's dedication and service on Monday by presenting him with a handsome wooden plaque, prompting the roomful of residents and fire company members to break into applause.

Breiner, who became chief in 1999, in his typically quiet fashion, didn't say much as supervisors praised his years of hard work. Fritzinger, known as "Junior," also took a low-key approach.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Ron Gower/TIMES NEWS Johnny Krasniqi and his daughter, Vanessa, stand inside Johnny's Restaurant and Pizza II, 111 N. First St., Lehighton. Krasniqi said he spent about $180,000 on a renovation project that took over a year to convert the former bank building into the restaurant.

Johnny Krasniqi of Bangor, originally from New York City, took a drive to Jim Thorpe about two years ago to see about opening a pizza parlor and restaurant there.

He never completed the trip. Instead, while en route, he saw a building for sale in downtown Lehighton, liked it, "and I bought it the first day I came through."

The building formerly housed a bank that closed several years ago.

It now is the site of Johnny's Restaurant and Pizza II, 111 N. First St. Krasniqi said Johnny's Restaurant and Pizza I is located on Washington Boulevard in Bangor.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS

Just before 8 p.m. Monday, emergency personnel were called to a vehicle rollover on the southbound side of Claremont Ave ( SR309), in Hometown, rush Township. Reportedly, while driving south a young female driver lost control and flipped her red 1998 Saturn sedan while undershooting a turn. The car hit a guard rail, became airborne, flipped, and came to rest just past the entrance to the Still Creek Water Treatment Filtration Plant. The female driver was given a field sobriety test and taken into custody. A sleeping male passenger was also in the vehicle when the accident occurred.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

West Penn Township officials reorganized on Monday:

*Alfonso Martinez is chairman with David Zeigler as vice chair.

*Karen Wittig remains as treasurer at a salary of $17,821.

*Susan K. Gibiser remains as secretary to the board at $11.85 an hour. She will also serve as meeting/recording secretary and as meeting/recording secretary for the planning commission, all at $11.85 an hour.

*Jeremy Frable remains as road crew leader at $17.20 an hour.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The following recalls were issued Dec. 26 - 30 by federal and state agencies:

Snow blowers: American Honda Motor Co. Inc. is recalling snow blowers sold April 2005 - November 2010. The fuel tank joint and o-ring located on the underside of the fuel tank can seep or drip fuel over time, posing a fire hazard. Consumers should contact any Honda Power Equipment dealer to arrange for a free fuel tank joint and o-ring replacement. Consumers can also contact Honda, www.hondapowerequipment.com, 888-888-3139.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The start of a new year brought nothing new for the Summit Hill Borough Council as far as delinquent trash collection customers are concerned. The council agreed unanimously to have the police department issue citations to individuals who haven't paid their annual $125 fee. Residents can make bi-annual payments, with the second installment having been due in mid-September, said secretary Mary Scapanda. She said there are more than 50 customers on the delinquent list.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011
GAIL MAHOLICK/TIMES NEWS The $3.1 million reconstruction project of the Harrity Road bridge in Franklin Township will begin this week.

PennDOT is getting ready for its $3.1 million reconstruction project of the Harrity Road bridge in Franklin Township.

From 6 o'clock tonight until about 5 a.m. tomorrow, the bridge will be closed so PennDOT can install a concrete barrier.

Traffic will be detoured on US 209, Canal Street and Fairyland Road, according to Sean A. Brown, safety press officer for PennDOT.

Brown said there is a possibility the bridge may have to be closed again tomorrow night for the same purpose.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Carbon officials are clarifying information regarding cost of living increases for county retirees.

Robert Crampsie, county controller, explained that the 90 percent cost-of-living raise for county retirees in 2011 is based on the Consumer Price Index information for 2010.

In an article, published in the TIMES NEWS on Dec. 17, the Consumer Price Index increase was omitted.

Crampsie said that the CPI is 1.6 percent and retirees will see a 90 percent increase on that 1.6 percent figure.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011
DONALD R. SERFASS/TIMES NEWS Barry Messerschmidt, right, accepts a resolution passed on Monday by the Rush Township board of supervisors naming the fire chief Volunteer of the Year for 2011. Seen from left: Chairman Stephen Simchak, Supervisor Robert Leibensperger, and in the background, Marie Skripnek, administrative assistant.

When residents of Rush Township find themselves in a jam, Fire Chief Barry Messerschmidt is just a phone call away.

That reputation has won the admiration of many, prompting the board of supervisors to name the 52-year-old man Volunteer of the Year for 2011.

"Through the years, he thought of the fire company as his second family," explained Chairman Stephen W. Simchak at a meeting Monday morning in the Rush Township Municipal Building.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Carbon County Salary Board set the salaries for county employees in the court system for 2011 during its annual meeting on Monday. Motions to establish this year's salaries were made by President Judge Roger N. Nanovic II.

Court Administration

Ÿ Established the position of three law clerks** at $31,158.40 per year;

Ÿ Established the position of one certified court reporter at $23.49 per hour;

Ÿ Established the position of one certified court reporter at $22.14 per hour;

Ÿ Established the position of one certified court reporter at $20.87 per hour;