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Local News

Wednesday, February 16, 2011
LARRY NEFF/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS A FedEx truck is parked in a weigh station area off I-81 in Schuylkill County. The second trailer of the truck was leaking a chemical substance that forced the closing of the two southbound lanes for three hours Tuesday afternoon.

A chemical leak forced a section of Interstate 81 in Schuylkill County to be shut down for several hours Tuesday which resulted in a major traffic jam for area roads and four state troopers being exposed to the material.

State police at Frackville said the incident began about noon when a team of troopers were performing truck inspections along the southbound lanes at a weigh station in Delano Township, just south of the McAdoo-Tamaqua exit.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Lansford council will seek another round of bids for the job of replacing the oil burner in the borough hall, this time casting a wider net.

The new bids are needed because council believed the sole $80,000 bid submitted from the last solicitation was too high. Council will follow the recommendation of borough engineer Eric Snyder and publish the bid solicitations in a wider area. "This is a pretty specialized thing. There are not a lot of companies that do this," he said.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Jim Thorpe Planning Commission Committee will look into utilizing the current 903 bridge for walking and bicycling after the new 903 bridge is completed. The 903 bridge project is projected to begin in 2013 and take approximately 2 years to complete.

Last week, consultants of the bridge project met to discuss the impact of historical resources due to this project. Members of the Jim Thorpe Planning Commission and Borough Council attended this meeting. Committee and board members were given the chance to ask questions and share ideas.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Members of the Nesquehoning Borough Water Authority met to reorganize with all of the same officers retained.

Serving as president is David Hawk, vice president is Frank Parano, secretary is Denny Creitz, treasurer is Bill Hausman, and assistant secretary treasurer is Gary Porembo.

Bills paid in January totaled $11,877.23.

Solicitor Robert Yurchak said that any new residential construction is state mandated to have two water lines going into the home. This is a requirement for the sprinkler system.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011
ELSA KERSCHNER/TIMES NEWS Tom and Kathy Woodley listen as Bud Cole talks about some of the bones he brought.

Last week naturalist Bud Cole brought a wildlife program usually presented to children to a group of adults at the Lehigh Gap Nature Center. More than once he said, "Come on, kids. You know the answer." It showed his background as a teacher.

The program was at the 3B's Nature Center. The B's are Bev, his wife; Bear, his dog; and Bud.

Dan Kunkle, director of the Lehigh Gap Nature Center, spoke on the background of the center because there were people there for the first time. He said they began to restore the habitat of the mountain in 2004 and it has been very successful.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

St. Mark's Episcopal Church, 21 Race St., Jim Thorpe, will hold a free community summer from 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 27. The menu is meatloaf and macaroni and cheese. For additional information, call (570) 325-2241.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Taxpayers who live in the Palmerton Area School District could see a 12.6-percent increase in their property tax rates next year.

The school board on a 5-4 vote Tuesday agreed to adopt the 2011-12 preliminary budget, which as of now calls for a 5.5-mill increase in property taxes.

Directors Darlene Yeakel, Michael Ballard, Susan Debski, Clarence Myers and board President Barry Scherer voted in favor. Directors Carl Bieling, Carol Dwyer, Tina Snyder and Stuart Henritzy were opposed.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Stephen P. Toth

Tamaqua Area High School has a new principal.

The school district's board of education appointed Stephen P. Toth to the principal's post during its monthly meeting Tuesday evening.

The move, effective today, promotes Toth from his position as assistant high school principal, replacing RuthAnn Gardiner, who in December, 2010 became the district's director of special education after Jennifer Aponick left for a position with the Northwestern Lehigh School District.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Some Palmerton residents of Lehigh Avenue who were flooded out of their homes by the rampaging Aquashicola Creek four weeks ago have asked President Clinton to visit and to help them with their problem. In a letter faxed to the White House, the "Palmerton Coalition for a Flood-Free Neighborhood" said Clinton was visiting Wilkes-Barre to view flood damage and Palmerton is just one hour away. A White House spokesman said Clinton has not changed his itinerary.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011
DOUGLASS GRAVES/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS NWLSD Vice President Sally Schoffstall's comments that the "district has not managed the transportation department effectively" over the 20 years caused some drivers to abruptly leave the school board meeting. School board President Greg Snyder, tried to lessen the impact of Schoffstall's comments saying it was "unfortunate" that some bus drivers walked out. "She was not talking about the bus drivers but the abilities of the administration," said Snyder

The Northwestern Lehigh School District school board on Feb. 9 released their evaluation of the two transportation companies that made the cut as finalists in the board's consideration of alternate ways to bus students while reducing costs.

More than 40 people attended the meeting as NWLSD Superintendent Dr. Mary Anne Wright read the results of "interview sheets" collected from board members.