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Local News

Saturday, March 8, 2014

A new director for the Carbon County Geographic Information Systems department has been named.

During the county commissioners' meeting on Thursday, the board voted to hire Jason P. Shellhammer of Jim Thorpe as the new director of the department, effective March 10. He will be paid $31,453.50 a year.

Shellhammer fills the vacancy created in November, after Lawrence Stawiarski passed away unexpectedly. Stawiarski served as the director of the department for 21 years and implemented the G.I.S. system for the county and its municipalities.

Saturday, March 8, 2014
fyi

Tamaqua Tax Collector Pam McCullion has new hours for her office at 6 S. Lehigh St.

From March through October, the office will be open from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. Mondays; from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays; and from 9 a.m. until noon the last Saturday of each month.

There are NO Friday hours.

For more information or directions, call 570-668-6220.

Saturday, March 8, 2014
CHRIS PARKER/TIMES NEWS Tori Kunkle, 17, of Lehighton, in the driver's seat, enjoys the freedom of being a newly licensed driver. But her mother, Deb Kunkle, keeps a close watch and sets firm rules.

Tori Kunkle's eyes light up as she talks about getting her driver's license. Tori, 17, is thrilled with her newfound freedom.

Her mother, Deb Kunkle, isn't so sure.

"She's very cautious, very responsible. But I worry about the other drivers on the road," Kunkle said.

Kunkle's concerns are well-founded: car crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens. Per mile driven, drivers ages 16 to 19 are three times more likely than drivers age 20 and older to be in a fatal crash, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Matthew Koncsler was found dead in Schuylkill County prison cell at 7:30 a.m. Sunday, March 31, 2013, six days after his 21st birthday and five days into a three-to-18 month sentence for selling a $40 bag of marijuana. He was last seen alive by jail staff when they locked him in his cell at 10 p.m. the previous night.

Now, almost a year later, an inquest is being held in Schuylkill County court to try to determine the manner of Koncsler's death, what killed him, and whether it was natural or at his own or another's hand.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Assault cases made up the bulk of preliminary hearings scheduled before District Judge Stephen Bayer in Tamaqua this week.

Michael J. Tracy, 27, of 18 E. Market St., Tresckow, was in Judge Bayer's court for two different cases, one involving an assault, the other for allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Carbon County's tribute to Irish ancestry and heritage will take stage tonight and Sunday, March 9, when the 17th Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade and related activities will be held. Highlighting the weekend will be the three-division march down Broadway in Jim Thorpe, when Matthew P. Stinson Jr. will be recognized as the grand marshal of the parade that is likely to attract thousands of visitors, as it has since 1998.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Regulators have closed small lenders in Virginia and Pennsylvania, bringing U.S. bank failures this year to five after 24 closures in 2013.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said that it has taken over Millennium Bank, N.A., based in Sterling, Va., and closed the single branch of Vantage Point Bank in Horsham, Pa.

Millennium Bank, which operated two branches, had $130.3 million in assets and $121.7 million in deposits as of Dec. 31. WashingtonFirst Bank, based in Reston, Va., has agreed to assume its deposits and buy its assets.

Saturday, March 8, 2014
JOHN STOJ/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS

This photo was taken at sunrise recently on a frozen pond in Albrightsville. We liked it so much that we used it as a cover photo on our Facebook page. This spot will be dedicated to reader photos whenever they are available. Upload your photo at www.tnonline.com. Scroll down to the bottom of our homepage to the gallery section. Or, send your photos to tneditor@tnonline.com.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

The Carbon Knitwear Mill strike in East Mauch Chunk entered its 17th day today with no immediate solution in sight.

Representatives of the Textile Workers of America which is the reported representative of the striking mill workers, conferred with management and its legal counsel yesterday, but no agreement was reached. The workers met again this morning and voted to continue the strike until their demands for union representation in the mill are met.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation in December 2011 tightened its laws concerning teenage drivers.

Here are the rules:

Ÿ Increase the number of hours of supervised behind-the-wheel skill-building for those with learner's permits from 50 to 65 hours. Ten of those hours are nighttime driving and the other five must be driven in poor weather conditions.