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Local News

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Carbon County

George M. Bevich Jr.

Date of birth: July 10, 1944

Hometown: Summit Hill

Military branch: Air Force

Rank: Airman second class

Date of Casualty: Dec. 4, 1966

Neal G. Bollinger

Date of birth: Nov. 11, 1947

Hometown: Palmerton

Military branch: Army

Rank: Specialist

Date of Casualty: Sept. 17, 1968

Ronald S. Christman

Date of birth: June 1, 1948

Hometown: Lehighton

Military branch: Marine Corps

Rank: Lance corporal

Date of Casualty: Feb. 28, 1968

Leon D. Eckhart

Saturday, August 2, 2014
@$:RON GOWER/TIMES NEWS Ron Nimblett of Palmerton looks over photos on his wall, one from flying over the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001 and the other from a Vietnam veterans reunion.

If there was one thing Ron Nimblett of Palmerton got from serving in Vietnam, it was a career.

After his military duty, he had private helicopter jobs, flew air medical for 20 years and was part of the response team when the Pentagon was attacked on Sept. 11, 2001. A picture of his chopper flying over the ruins of the Pentagon appeared in national magazines.

Nimblett didn't plan to become a helicopter pilot.

He was attending the University of Maryland in 1968 but left college. The Vietnam War was flaring at the time.

Saturday, August 2, 2014
BOB FORD/TIMES NEWS Live Free Ride Alive, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation's comprehensive motorcycle safety program aimed at reducing the number of motorcycle crashes and fatalities on Pennsylvania roadways through education and interaction among riders, is sponsoring a booth at Pocono Raceway this weekend.

LONG POND - Motorcycles are more prominent than ever in Pennsylvania and across the nation. The increase in two-wheel traffic has brought a heightened awareness about safety, which has prompted the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to create a training program known as Live Free Ride Alive.

The focus of the wide-ranging safety initiative is to reduce the number of motorcycle crashes and fatalities on Pennsylvania roads through education and interaction among riders.

Saturday, August 2, 2014
Ron Gower/Times News Bruce "Scotty" Morrison

Bruce "Scotty" Morrison of Lehighton considers himself more fortunate than many Vietnam veterans.

Morrison served in the Navy during the conflict and spent most of his eight-month tour on a ship, the USS Strong which was a destroyer ship.

"Our main job was harassment intradiction," he said.

He enlisted in the Navy on Oct. 12, 1966, six days before his 18th birthday.

There were two times that Morrison had tense moments.

He was in Vietnam during the seizing of the USS Pueblo by the North Vietnamese.

Friday, August 1, 2014
AP Photo/David McKeown, The Republican-Herald

Three-year-old Gracelynn Kimmerle of Orwigsburg sits on Chezzy, a quarter horse, during the horse show at the Schuylkill CountyFair in Summit Station on Wednesday. The fair, which runsthrough Saturday, provides food, fun, competitions, demonstrations, activities, shows and entertainment.

Friday, August 1, 2014
SPECIAL TO THE times news Tom Frendak of Coaldale will ride in a truck with NASCAR drivers at the start of the race Sunday.

Coaldale resident Tom Frendak will get the chance of a lifetime this Sunday.

Frendak will be up close and personal with two NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers when he climbs aboard a Chevy silverado truck after driver introductions.

He will then take a wave lap with the two Sprint Cup stars before the start of the GoBowling.com 400 at Pocono International Raceway.

He won't know which drivers he'll be riding with until the race on Sunday.

Friday, August 1, 2014
LARRY NEFF/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS William R. Hoffman, 66 of Pottsville, was killed Thursday afternoon when he was struck by a van in Mahanoy Township.

A tree service construction worker was struck and killed by a vehicle early Thursday afternoon in Schuylkill County.

State police at Frackville said the incident occurred at 12:51 p.m. along the Morea Road, just west of Route 54, in Mahanoy Township.

Troopers identified the victim as William R. Hoffman, 66, of Pottsville.

Troopers said Cathy Ann Moss, 67, of Barnesville, was driving a 2001 Dodge Caravan westbound toward Frackville when she struck Hoffman, who was controlling traffic at the time as a flagman.

Police did not identify his employer.

Friday, August 1, 2014
DONALD R. SERFASS/TIMES NEWS Tamaqua firefighters were dispatched to Penn Street on Thursday afternoon for a potential carbon monoxide incident, the second such call in two weeks in the same general neighborhood.

For the second time in two weeks, firefighters responded to a potential carbon monoxide incident in Tamaqua's South Ward community.

A Schuylkill Communications Center dispatch at 3:10 p.m. Thursday sent emergency responders to a wood frame house at 206 Penn St.

However, there were no reports of illness at that location, and firefighters believe a carbon monoxide detector triggered for an unknown reason.

"It looks to be a malfunctioning unit," said Capt. Jason Hartz, Citizens Fire Company.

Friday, August 1, 2014
Sgt. 'A.J.' Baddick

Andrew Joseph "A.J." Baddick was a good kid growing up in Jim Thorpe, an affable young man who offered up his free time and energy to volunteer with fire and ambulance crews.

And on Sept. 29, 2003, Baddick, then 26 and a sergeant in the U.S. Army, offered up his own life as he dove into a murky canal near Abu Ghraib prison, Iraq, to rescue a soldier whose Humvee had plunged into the water during a mortar attack.

When it became clear the man had died, Baddick, an avid swimmer, again dove into the water, this time to recover the fallen soldier's body.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Where does a 4 1/2 foot boa constrictor sleep? In the case of a Summit Hill man, nap time is in the dashboard of a 1996 Pontiac.

The car, owned by Joseph Kupec, became the home of the snake after Kupec and two other Summit Hill residents purchased it for $225 from a farmer's market in Quakertown.