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Local News

Friday, April 25, 2014
RON GOWER/TIMES NEWS Darrin Fry, of the Teamsters Union, talks to the Panther Valley School Board about the potential layoff of 11 custodians and outsourcing janitiorial services to an out-of-state firm.

A union official asked the Panther Valley School Board to reconsider a decision to hire an outside firm for custodial services.

Darrin Fry, business agent for Teamsters Union Local 773, said the jobs of 11 full-time and five part-time custodians are in jeopardy.

In January, the school board agreed to hire an outside firm to perform janitorial services within the district.

"The decision to outsource custodial jobs will have an adverse impact on the school district and the community at large," Fry said.

He said these impacts include:

Friday, April 25, 2014
TERRY AHNER/TIMES NEWS  This bush caught fire and spread into this double garage at 460 Franklin Ave. in Palmerton Thursday night. Pictured by the garage is borough fire Chief Larry Zawaly.

One half of a double garage in Palmerton sustained minor damage after fire spread Thursday evening.

Borough fire Chief Larry Zawaly said the incident occurred around 7:15 p.m. when a bush outside the garage at 460 Franklin Ave. caught fire and spread into that half of the structure.

Several beams inside the garage were burned, but the garage itself is salvageable, Zawaly said.

"It was originally called in as a brush fire," Zawaly said. "As we got there, the bush caught fire and spread inside the garage."

Friday, April 25, 2014
TIMES NEWS CITIZEN BEE WINNERS

2013

First: James Ostergaard, Marian

Second: Dylan Andrew, Lehighton

Third: Tyler Butkus, Tamaqua

Fourth: Michael McHale, Marian

2012

First: Jake Tokosh,Panther Valley

Second: Peter Petrack, Lehighton

Third: Alden Everette, Lehighton

Fourth: Andrew Kelly, Marian

2011

First: Jason Gates,Panther Valley

Second: Michael Hoffman, Northern Lehigh

Third: Schuyler Schmidt, Tamaqua

Fourth: Brent Green, Palmerton

2010

First: Zach Werner, Lehighton

Second: Oliver Schultz, Jim Thorpe

Friday, April 25, 2014

Schuylkill County residents are invited to participate in two public meetings to discuss grant planning for the county's shared ride van and fixed route bus programs.

Officials may also discuss the possibility of dropping or changing Pine Grove Route 70.

The meetings will be held at 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Tuesday, May 6, in the Schuylkill Transportation System conference room, on the third floor of Union Station, 300 S. Centre St., Pottsville.

Friday, April 25, 2014
BOB FORD/TIMES NEWS Carbon Career and Technical Institute senior, Blake Kilraine, gets a correct response signal with a green card during the Pennsylvania Citizen Bee at the Carbon County Courthouse. Kilraine was the only participant to answer all five questions correct in the oral round.

Blake Kilraine, a newcomer to the Pennsylvania Citizens Bee and a senior at Carbon Career and Technical Institute, earned first place in this year's event.

The annual event took place in courtroom No. 1 of the Carbon County Courthouse in Jim Thorpe.

Kilraine is the son of Michael and Amy Butterfield of Lehighton. He plans to attend college and major in chemistry.

Kilraine was surprised to learn he had won the contest, and thanked his adviser, Michael Baumgardt, for preparing his team for the event.

"I enjoyed it a lot," he said. "We worked hard."

Friday, April 25, 2014

More road work will be taking place along Park Avenue in Nesquehoning in the near future.

Currently, work on a drainage project on Park Avenue between Route 54 and Fourth Avenue is being finished. The installation of new drainage is expected to be done next week.

Mike Tirpak of Carbon Engineering said that he looked at the cross pipes going under Park Avenue that drain into the creek on the north side of the road. Seven cross pipes were blocked and deteriorated and should be replaced. Of those seven, six were in the current project area.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Four first time offenders were placed in Carbon County's Accelerated Rehabilitation Disposition probation program on Tuesday by Judge Joseph J. Matika.

If a person successfully completes all conditions of the program, their record is wiped clean. However, if they fail to complete it, or are revoked from it, they will face trial on all pending charges. A person does not admit guilt in entering the program.

The four were placed for a year.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

A man is facing DUI charges following a crash in Franklin Township Saturday night, according to township police.

The man and a small child escaped serious injury at 6:30 p.m. in a crash along Long Run Road in Franklin Township.
The man was traveling east and lost control striking a rock wall on the right berm causing the car to roll. Police and Lehighton paramedics separated the two with the 18-month-old child being held in the arms of Lehighton paramedics and the man placed into the rear of the Franklin township police cruiser.

Thursday, April 24, 2014
Judy Dolgos-Kramer

A 63-year-old man who drowned Thursday in the Lehigh River near East Side Boro was identified as Paul Philip Oravec Sr. of McAdoo.
Oravec was fishing in the Lehigh River near the East Side Boro and White Haven border at about 4:30 p.m. when he waded into the water.
State police at Hazleton said he fell and then was swept downstream by the current.

His body was found about one mile downstream in Kidder Township.

Oravec was pronounced dead at the scene by a member of the Carbon County Coroner’s office.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Fire broke out at a home on Spruce Street in Lehighton just after 8:30 tonight.

Several departments battled the blaze.

The owner was Mike Fairchild, who said five or six pets were lost in the blaze.

Earlier in the evening crews extinguished a garage fire in Palmerton. Damage was minimal.