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Local News

Thursday, December 23, 2010
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS

Employees and customers of Schick's Sports Bar in Tamaqua contributed over $240 to the Schuylkill Carbon Marine Corps League's annual Toys For Tots campaign through collection efforts and by selling paper trains. Schick's is an annual supporter of Toys For Tots. Pictured holding check are Schick's Sports Bar owner Steve Schickram's children from left are Tavio Pavia, 5, Lucas Schickram, 7, Josie Schickram, 5, Metta Pavia, 3, and Zowie Schickram, 10.

Thursday, December 23, 2010
LINDA KOEHLER/TIMES NEWS

Secret Sisters of St. Matthew's UCC held their annual Christmas party when their secret identities were revealed. They celebrated with a potluck lunch and an exchanging of gifts. Through donations, the group was able to purchase fleece material for blankets to be made for Layers of Love and after they exchanged gifts, they knotted the fringes on the blankets. The blankets will be given to chemotherapy patients at area hospitals and cancer treatment facilities to keep them warm during their treatments. The event was organized by co-chairs Diane Huber and Renee Keiper.

Thursday, December 23, 2010
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS

The St. Luke's Sports and Rehabilitation department of the St. Luke's Miners Memorial Hospital Center in Coaldale spent time helping the less fortunate by holding their 4th annual food drive to benefit the Tamaqua Salvation Army Food Pantry and Lansford Shepherd House Food Pantry. The food donation will benefit families in Carbon and Schuylkill counties through the Tamaqua Salvation Army and Lansford Food Pantry and benefit families in Monroe County through Christ the King Food Pantry. Hundreds of food donations were collected at a number of on-site and off-site locations.

Thursday, December 23, 2010
VICTOR IZZO/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS With, left to right, County Commissioners Charles Getz and Wayne Nothstein, and Fire company Vice President Gerry Dotter holding the ribbon, County Commissioner Bill O'Gurek did the honors of cutting it to the applause of all.

The long-awaited grand reopening of Penn Forest Township Volunteer Fire Co. No. 1's renovated banquet hall was celebrated with a ribbon cutting ceremony and open house on Saturday, December 18th.

With dignitaries, fire company personnel, and local residents looking on, County Commissioner Bill O'Gurek did the honors of cutting the ribbon to the applause of all.

This was a million dollar investment made possible with a grant for $632,000 received through Speaker of the House Keith McCall and financing by the fire company obtained through the Jim Thorpe National bank.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Despite a projected deficit of $3.5 milllion, the Schuylkill County Commissioners adopted a budget for 2011 calling for no increase in real estate taxes for the seventh consecutive year and also granted a three percent pay hike to 175 non-union county workers, in action taken at the public meeting held Wednesday at the courthouse in Pottsville.

Thursday, December 23, 2010
LINDA KOEHLER/TIMES NEWS

Rosa Torres, 7, asks Santa Claus to bring her a laptop at Chestnuthill Township Park's Christmas party. Santa's helpers are, Tori Franks and Makallia DeMund. There were candy cane gifts, coloring and crafting activities and of course, Christmas cookies and punch for refreshments.

Thursday, December 23, 2010
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS

Students in all the classes at the Rush Elementary School in Hometown collected more than 600 individual food items for their annual holiday food drive for the Tamaqua Salvation Army. Top classes received an initiative party for hard work and caring efforts. Assistant Principal James Fasnacht also helped to organize the drive. Students representing each class, from front left, are Alex Dotter, 6 from Mrs. Sassaman's class; Mckenna Meckes, 6, from Miss McBreen's class; Hannah Benderavicz, 5, from Mrs. Rascavage's class; and Robert Soda, 6, from Mrs. Pester's class.

Thursday, December 23, 2010
Photo illustration by AL ZAGOFSKY

The following questions apply to the driving laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

True or False.

1. It is illegal to use a hand-held cell phone or to text while driving?

2. All passengers must wear a seat belt?

3. If a police car is parked on the shoulder of the road, traffic must move out of the right lane.

4. In poor weather, when windshield wipers are used, motorists must turn on their headlights.

5. It is illegal to drive with snow or ice on your vehicle.

6. All motor vehicles are required to pass an annual emissions test.

Thursday, December 23, 2010
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS

The employees of the Tamaqua Dollar General Store at the "Jamesway Plaza" donated manyhousehold items to the Tamaqua Salvation Army as well as organized a new toy drive in their store for the Schuylkill Carbon Marine Corps League's annual toy drive. Pictured with a portion of their store's donations is Dollar General employee Betsy Heffelfinger. The Dollar General is a yearly supporter of numerous community charities.

Thursday, December 23, 2010
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS

More than 20 members and soldiers of the Tamaqua Salvation Army church, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church, celebrated the birth of Christ during its first annual Live Nativity play held recently in the chapel of the Salvation Army Corps located on West Broad Street in Tamaqua. Tamaqua Salvation Army members Mel Latham, playing Mary, and Kevin Schank, 13, playing Joseph, reenact the nativity scene while other group members play an angel and shepherds.