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Local News

Friday, February 11, 2011
DONALD R. SERFASS/TIMES NEWS Tom and Nancy Pilla are in the final stages of construction at Hometown Village Square, 220 Claremont Avenue, north of Tamaqua. The area's newest shopping complex will open next month.

Nancy Pilla was only 12 years old when she stood on a wooden Coke box and learned how to cut and prepare meats as taught by her father, the late John Risteter.

"I had to stand on the box to reach the meats," she said.

The Risteter family owned John and Bob's Friendly Market in Lansford for 20 years. Nancy went on to work at Drigan's Market, Nesquehoning, and Agosti's IGA in Hometown.

Due to her extensive background in fresh cut meats, Pilla developed special skills in working with whole beef hanging on a hook. She knows how to break it down from into various cuts.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Action was taken Wednesday by the Schuylkill County Commissioners to seek a grant of $8,000 from the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs to obtain bullet proof vests for deputies in the sheriff's office.

Friday, February 11, 2011

The economy may be dormant in most of the country but two massage parlors in Schuylkill County appeared to be doing a booming business until closed by District Attorney James P. Goodman and charged with operating an alleged prostitution business.

Detectives from the district attorney's office converged on the two massage parlors, Spa 61, located along SR61 between Pottsville and Schuylkill Haven in the former state police barracks, and Aroma Spa located on south side of SR61 south of Schuylkill Haven.

Friday, February 11, 2011

At a Capitol news conference Wednesday, state Sen. John Yudichak advocated for legislation that would use the General Assembly's $189 million budget surplus to finance the adultBasic program for another year. Currently, the program is set to end on March 1.

"AdultBasic provides critical healthcare to over 40,000 people – a remarkable program that was started back in 2002 and really put Pennsylvania at the forefront of providing affordable healthcare to workers," Yudichak said at the news conference.

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Walnutport Borough Council is considering requiring landlords to register properties and provide tenant occupancy information. Currently, landlords only need a business license to rent a property in the borough. Council is also discussing requiring periodic inspections of rental properties.

The board is going to review ordinance requirements to set up an appeals court for landlords who violate the maintenance code. The maintenance code requires that council appoint three board members (who are not employees of the borough and have experience with property maintenance issues.)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Panther Valley Kindergarten students will be receiving an improved form of feedback next year. The school board approved a new report card for the youngsters that will provide more specific information to parents on their child's literacy and numeracy readiness. "This report card will mirror all of the programs," said Superintendent Rosemary Porembo, "it's a better representation of what their skills are."

Friday, February 11, 2011
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Officials from each of the five municipalities signed the Peer-To-Peer Technical Assistance Articles of Agreement form, officially starting the regionalized police force feasibility study. From left are Joe Hnat, Coaldale borough councilman; Bill McMullen, Walker Township vice chairman; Dave Price, Walker Township supervisor; Linda DeCindio, Schuylkill Township chairwoman; and John Baujan, Peer-to-peer consultant/Stroud Area Regional Police chief. Pictured sitting from left are Christian Morrison, Tamaqua borough mayor, and Ron Stern, Local Government Policy Specialist, DCED.

Officials and residents from Tamaqua and Coaldale boroughs and West Penn, Walker and Schuylkill townships came together on Thursday at Tamaqua Borough hall to further discuss a regional police force for all participating municipalities.

The idea of a detailed feasibility study pertaining to a unified regional police force was initiated by Tamaqua Mayor Christian Morrison over a year ago and has since attracted the attention of surrounding municipalities.

Friday, February 11, 2011
LINDA KOEHLER/TIMES NEWS Karyn Thomas, front row, left, a Brownie of Troop 3112 and Bethany Thomas, right, a Junior Girl Scout of Troop 3112, help deliver 1,210 cans and packages of soup from the Palmerton Area Girl Scout Souper Bowl of Caring campaign to the CACPAC pantry. The event coincided with Super Bowl Sunday. Back, left to right, are Linda Finley, co-service unit manager of Palmerton Area Girl Scouts, Charlie Silliman, CACPAC pantry coordinator and Laura Thomas, co-leader of Troop 3112, Bowmanstown.

More than just a football game was won this past Super Bowl Sunday. The Palmerton community won first place in generosity and the Palmerton Area Girl Scouts think they are pretty super because they helped them with their fundraiser, Souper Bowl of Caring.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Horsehead Industries and the Environmental Protection Agency have agreed to an extensive cleanup of 24 Palmerton-area homes found to contain high levels of lead dust. The agreement wraps up months of negotiations over the homes, which were found to contain high levels of the toxic metal when tested last year by the agency. Under the terms of the pact, Horsehead has committed itself to cleaning the porches, decks, and interiors of the homes in order to reduce high lead dust levels.

Friday, February 11, 2011
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS

For the second time this year, very cold temperatures struck our area again as temperatures in some local areas fell below 5 degrees, as is seen here on Dutch Hill in Tamaqua at 6:40 a.m.