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Local News

Tuesday, May 24, 2011
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS

Firefighters from the New England and Tamaqua fire companies responded to an automatic alarm call at 3:16 this morning from the home of Robert Lemasters at 668 Valley Road in Lewistown Valley. Upon arriving, firefighters noticed smoke emanating from the home. Firefighters quickly extinguished the flames. The fire appeared to start accidentally from a pile of newspapers. Firefighters used exhaust fans to pull all the smoke outside the home. No injuries were reported. Tamaqua's South Ward and East Fire Company and New England Fire Company responded.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011
DONALD R. SERFASS/TIMES NEWS

Hometown Fire Police Captain Merle Wertman, Tamaqua, stands watch over a flooded section of Grant Street while homeowners affected by Monday's flood can be seen standing in the background. Heavy rains caused washouts, downed trees and basement flooding throughout the TIMES NEWS coverage area.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

H. A. Williams Inc. of Allentown was given the contract for general construction of the Gnaden Huetten Memorial Hospital, Lehighton, when the directors tentatively awarded contracts. Other tentative contracts awarded were: George DeLallio of Hazleton, heating and ventilation, $83,738; H. A. Cleveland of Stroudsburg, plumbing, $56,087; and Keystone Engineer Company of Allentown, electrical work, $33,950. "With the action taken...Carbon County is assured of having the finest war memorial in the state of Pennsylvania," said Wilbur Warner, board chairman.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011
DONALD R. SERFASS/TIMES NEWS

Hometown Fire Chief Tom Messerschmidt, left, and firefighters George Gerhard and Jim Stewart prepare to unblock clogged drains along SR309 in Hometown Monday evening. Heavy rains sent a swift, deep cascade of water down Grove Street and Meadow Avenue, flooding two storm drains and basements of nearby buildings. Local residents say the situation is a recurring problem as water in the vicinity of Rush Elementary School a few blocks away finds its way to the drains, which quickly clog.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS

Even though Monday evening's heavy rainfall and high winds only lasted 10 minutes, that didn't stop it's damaging effects in the Tamaqua area. The flash rainfall resulted in dangerous driving conditions as roads became quickly layered with lengthy puddles of water runoff and rain. High winds also caused havoc at the end of town, near the Sisters Cantina Restaurant on East Broad Street, in which trees and two power line poles were snapped and bent by the high winds. Responding were borough police, firefighters and fire police. No injuries were reported.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Bill and Stephanie Wittig's home at 154 Penn St. had the deck taken down by several large trees following the storm last night.

Clean up efforts were under way in Franklin Township this morning following what some people say was a tornado at about 7:15 last night.

Whether it was a tornado or not is yet to be determined, but the wind-damaged-homes, cars, a church, plus upended bleachers at the Little League field were proof enough for residents. Also many mature trees were uprooted on several properties.

First in the line of damage was the roof over the preschool at St. Matthew's Church. This morning a tarp covered the hole.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Lehighton United Veterans Organization will host the 2011 Memorial Day services on Sunday, May 29, and Monday, May 30.

Monday's servcies

The main speaker at the 11 a.m. Monday services at the Lehighton cemetery will be LTC John O'Boyle, deputy commander, 213th ASG, Pennsylvania Army National Guard. The invocation and benediction will be given by UVO chaplain James H. Wentz. Harry J. Wynn III, post commander American Legion, will be in charge of the service. Mayor Donald Rehrig will give greetings.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Possible tornado damage wreaked havoc on a home in Franklin Township, while a funnel cloud was spotted in Walnutport heading toward Palmerton, as part of a wicked storm Monday evening.

Mark Nalesnik, Carbon County EMA Coordinator, told the TIMES NEWS he boarded a helicopter this morning to check on damage that occurred on Fairyland Road and Penn Street in Franklin Township.

Nalesnik said he was able to observe numerous backyards where storage sheds were completely destroyed or ripped apart in those areas of Franklin Township.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Memorial Day events kick off Sunday in Lansford with a special Memorial Mass at St. Catherine Drexel Roman Catholic Church.

Then on Monday, the annual parade followed by the special program in Kennedy Park will be held.

The Mass at St. Catherine Drexel will begin at 8 a.m. with Rev. Father Kenneth Medve presiding.

Richard D. Pogwist, Lansford U.V.O. coordinator, said area veterans "are welcome to join the Lansford U.V.O. at this service in the reserved seats."

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

It's a day to fly the flag at half-staff, visit cemeteries and memorials.

It's also a day to commemorate our soldiers who have died while in the military service, as will be the case at Palmerton's Memorial Day Parade.

The parade will start at 10 a.m. Monday, May 30, at Second and Delaware Avenue. It will form at 9:30 a.m. at Dynamite Woodworking, at Second and Delaware Avenue. From there, it will continue on to Fifth and Delaware, where it will turn left at the former IGA Golden Key Market to Franklin Avenue, and then back to the park, where it will disband.