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Local News

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

ATLANTA (AP) — The winning numbers in Tuesday evening's drawing of the "Mega Millions" game were:

07-16-28-53-60, Mega Ball: 2 (seven, sixteen, twenty-eight, fifty-three, sixty; Mega Ball: two)

Estimated jackpot: $71 million

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

SCRANTON, Pa. (AP) — A northeastern Pennsylvania prosecutor says he will seek reversal of an appeals court ruling overturning kidnapping and second-degree murder convictions in a 2008 triple murder.

Thirty-one-year-old Randal Rushing is serving three consecutive life sentences in the murders of 20-year-old Justin Berrios, 22-year-old Dustin Hintz and 16-year-old Leslie Collier. Lackawanna County prosecutors said Ross used hammers and knives to kill the victims in a Scranton home, then stole jewelry, debit cards and video games and fled to Wilkes-Barre.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Graphic illustration by DAVID W. ROWE

On Tuesday, President Barack Obama delivered the annual State of the Union address, speaking to the challenges facing the country.

Local government leaders are also reviewing the state of their counties, and mapping out plans for cutting costs, raising revenue and providing services.

The heaviest budget burdens are the costs of emergency communications technology, prisons, and human services, compounded by stagnant revenues, said Doug Hill, executive director of the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Charles Bachert

Lehighton Area School Board approved the hiring of Charles Bachert as middle school assistant principal Monday night. The appointment is effective immediately.

"I have been very happy to be a teacher in this district and give back to the school and community that gave so much to me," Bachert said. "Now, I look forward to making even more contributions to the school and community as an administrator."

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A U.S. Army bomb squad this morning successfully disposed of an explosive device placed inside a Brodheadsville nightclub.

Surrounding businesses were closed, and traffic on Route 209 was rerouted for more than 10 hours.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Here's a snapshot of Carbon, Monroe and Schuylkill counties through the lens of the National Association of Counties' 2013 County Tracker:

Carbon County:

Its economic output growth rate rose to 0.4 percent from 2012 to 2013; its jobs growth rate rose 1.7 percent, and its median home prices growth rate edged up by 2.2 percent.

Carbon County's largest industries as of 2013 are telecommunications, at $295.8 million; local government, at $161.8 million; real estate, at $129.8 million; health care, at $103 million; and hospitals, at $81.9 million.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014
AMY MILLER/TIMES NEWS Pauline Homm, the new Mahoning Township tax collector, is ready to welcome residents at the new tax collector office, located inside the Normal Square Mini Mart, 1706 Blakeslee Boulevard, Drive West.

Pauline Homm knows how to keep good records.

She currently does the ordering and record-keeping for her family's business, the Normal Square Mini Mart; is the secretary to the Mahoning Municipal Authority and has previously worked as a bookkeeper at the TIMES NEWS.

Now, Homm is settling into her new position as the Mahoning Township tax collector. She replaces former tax collector Richard Swarcheck, whom she defeated in the 2013 primary election.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Brenda Koons, secretary of Lehighton Borough, announced the winners of the 2014 Lehighton holiday lighting contest.

The contest had two categories this year, residential and commercial.

The borough sponsors the contest.

Residential winners received a $25 discount on their utility bill. Commercial winners were given a $100 discount on their utility bills.

The borough owns its own electric distribution system. It purchases electricity wholesale and resells it to borough residents.

Residential winners are:

Ÿ Arlington Everett, 501 N. 10th St.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Carbon and Schuylkill Animal Response Teams are looking for sponsors for their second annual Hogs N Horses motorcycle ride this fall.

The ride benefits both teams, which are comprised of volunteers, as they work toward purchasing large animal equipment that can be used during emergencies and rescues. No details on date and time of the ride have been announced.

Michele Beckett, co-chairperson of the Carbon CART fundraising committee, explained that planning for the ride is under way and the groups hope to raise $15,000 to cover the cost of the equipment.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014
DONALD R. SERFASS/TIMES NEWS

After a record-breaking polar vortex, an ongoing arctic freeze will ensure that snow dominates the landscape, such as in this Tamaqua scene taken noon Thursday during a not-so-balmy high of 12 degrees. All of Pennsylvania is impacted by the polar plunge; Lake Erie reportedly is 95 percent ice-covered. Travel concerns and higher-than-normal home heating costs for many area residents will continue to be a factor as no warm-up is expected until February.