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Local News

Friday, December 23, 2011
SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS

Both the Hometown and Lehighton Wal-Mart Supercenters were recognized by members the Tamaqua Salvation Army and Schuylkill Carbon Marine Corps League (SCMCL) for being key annual supporters and collection areas for the Tamaqua Salvation Army Angel Tree program and Schuylkill Carbon Marine Corps League Toys For Tots campaign.

Friday, December 23, 2011
Contributed photo

Charles W. Stopp, esquire, senior partner of the law firm of Steckel and Stopp in Slatington, was recently honored with the AV Preeminent Rating, a professional excellence award earned through a strenuous peer review rating process managed by the world's most trusted legal resource, Martindale-Hubbell.

Stopp is a practicing real estate, estate planning and estate attorney with more than 30 years of legal experience. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Kutztown University and a Juris Doctor from Temple University School of Law and is licensed to practice in Pennsylvania.

Friday, December 23, 2011
ADELE R. ARGOT/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS

The piles of gifts grew as more and more folks walked into the Effort UMC's annual St. Nick dinner. Extra tables were set up to accommodate the unexpected large group of guests. All had come to enjoy a fantastic meal at no cost other than a donation of a gift for anyone of the families the Effort church helps for the Christmas holiday through the St. Nick project currently spear headed by Linda and Don Ernst of McMichaels. During the dinner the Children's Choir sang and Elf Steve Johnson played the keyboard.

Friday, December 23, 2011
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/TIMES NEWS Pastor Gaitan Gideon, laughs as he tries to "dance the sticks."

A Philippine-American Ethic Christmas Celebration was held recently at the Tamaqua Community Center to celebrate and display the diversity between Christmas cultures.

The celebration, which was offered to the public with any donation, involved a wide array of both Philippine and American music, contests, dancing, singing and ethnic foods. One of the highlights was a bambo stick dance via Filipino Christmas Performers.

Guest were also encouraged to bring in, share and explain their special foods. The children were also cheered by a visit from Santa Claus.

Friday, December 23, 2011
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/TIMES NEWS

Members of the Coaldale VFW held a Toys For Tots dance recently to raise funds for Toys For Tots. The band "God Only Knows" donated their services. Pictured from left are VFW members Mike Vigoda, trustee; John Pireda, lead singer; Santa, Wilbur Schoch; Faith Richards, president, Auxiliary; and Darrell Hoppes, bass player. Not pictured Auxiliary members Stacey Fortin, senior vice president; and Bethany Bachert, treasurer.

Friday, December 23, 2011
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/TIMES NEWS

Students at the Rush Elementary Schoolin Tamaqua held their annual food drive to benefit the Tamaqua Salvation Army's food pantry, which provides food year round to needy families. James Fasnacht, Elementary Schools Assistant Principal, is thankful for all the students and families who came forward to provide the many donations. All the Tamaqua elementary schools support the Tamaqua Salvation Army and Toys For Tots. Pictured from front left are students Haley Leary, 5, Khalan VanBlargan, 7, Joseph Hoser, 6, Ella Morrison, 6, Abigail Kistler, 6, and Alex Zehner, 5.

Friday, December 23, 2011

STERLING, Va. Customs and Border Protection officers arrested a Hazleton man and seized nearly 10 pounds of heroin, worth an estimated $315,000, allegedly concealed inside the lining of sporting pants last Saturday night at Washington-Dulles International Airport.

CBP officers arrested Elias Casiano, 29, and turned him over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents. The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia is prosecuting Casiano.

Thursday, December 22, 2011
LINDA KOEHLER/TIMES NEWS

The Toys For Tots parade was held at Pleasant Valley Elementary School where students got to be Santa's elves for a day. The school collected 1,001 toys for underprivileged children in Monroe County for children of ages from 0-17. One student did some fundraising and earned enough money to buy 70 toys for the drive. This is the seventh year PVE participated in the Toys For Tots collection. Members of the Pocono Marine Detachment of the Marine Corps League #492 and current enlisted Marines pick up the toys which will be separated and ready for distribution.

Thursday, December 22, 2011
AMY MILLER/TIMES NEWS

In today's economy, families who are struggling receive help through local food pantries.

In Summit Hill, the food pantry serves nearly 140 families and supplies them with boxes filled with necessities and goodies and by the generosity of the community and various organizations holiday meats and trimmings.

Thursday, December 22, 2011
Panther Valley High School

Panther Valley School District Superintendent Rosemary Porembo on Tuesday congratulated two students and a teacher for their outstanding accomplishments.

Senior Courtney Lazar has qualified for a Special Merit scholarship provided by Ametek, one of the National Merit Scholarship program's corporate sponsors.

The designation allows Lazar to advance to finalist standing for the Ametek Special Scholarship.