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Local News

Monday, October 14, 2013

A committee is beginning the planning for Lehighton borough's 150th anniversary, which will be in the summer of 2016.

Autumn Abelovsky of the 150th anniversary committee said a kick-off meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. today in the Lehighton Municipal Building.

Monday, October 14, 2013
CHRIS PARKER/TIMES NEWS John Arner, whose 7-year-old daughter Madison died in a house fire in McAdoo on June 22, puts a helmet on Michael Brown, 4, during a fire safety class for children attending Pathstone HeadStart's Coaldale program. Arner, an experienced firefighter, is volunteering his time to the Coaldale Fire Company.

Children attending Pathstone HeadStart's Coaldale program visited the Coaldale Fire Company Friday to learn how to stay safe. The program was held in conjunction with Fire Prevention Month.

Firefighter Jonathan Oakes put on turnout gear and equipment, once piece at a time, to show the children a friendly face was under all the gear.

Later, the children, some of whom had cried in fear at Oakes's appearance, giggled as one of their teachers' aides donned the same gear.

Monday, October 14, 2013
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/TIMES NEWS Pictured during the ribbon cutting are, from left, Dan DeCindio, ESRC member; Dave Horst, project engineer, Alfred Benesch and Company; Elizabeth Borger, borough councilwoman, park association member and ESRC representative; Wendy Dempsey, ESRC member and park association member, holding Avery Leshko, 3; Amanda Leshko, park association member, holding John Leshko, 10-months; Linda DeCindio, ESRC member; and Jason Boris, executive director, ESRC.

The Borough of Middleport, with support from the Eastern Schuylkill Recreation Commission and state Rep. Neal P. Goodman's office, held a grand opening and ribbon cutting event Thursday evening for the recently rehabilitated Middleport Playground and Community Park.

"The flood in 2006 completely destroyed the playground, except for a toddler unit," said Jason Boris, executive director of the ESRC. "Now the community has an impressive new park to be proud of, as well as to enjoy for many years to come."

Monday, October 14, 2013

A Palmerton man died last week after being electrocuted during an apparent attempt to steal copper wire from the New Jersey Zinc Co.

Borough police Chief Randy Smith said the man, identified as Joshua Vacaro, 32, of Palmerton, was found dead at around 3 p.m. Thursday on the grounds of the site.

"We're surmising that he was attempting to steal copper wire from utility poles," Smith said.

He said police found a big bolt cutter laying next to the body.

"We didn't find any wire cut or any wire laying around," Smith said.

Monday, October 14, 2013

A New York City man died in a one-vehicle crash Saturday morning on the Northeast Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

State police identified the man as driver as Jack B. Kodesh, 35. Police said he was the only one in the vehicle.

The crash occurred in the northbound lanes of the turnpike, which is Interstate 476, near mile marker 70 in Washington Township, Lehigh County.

Police said a deer crashed through the windshield of Kodesh's vehicle.

The man was transported to the Palmerton Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Monday, October 14, 2013
DONALD R. SERFASS/TIMES NEWS Ted Naratil, left, returns a valuable savings bond to Richard and Loretta Beltz in Tamaqua Saturday morning. Naratil and wife Vanessa, far right, found the bond in a secondhand dresser drawer.

Two couples, total strangers, became instant friends Saturday morning in Tamaqua after a valuable, lost savings bond was found and returned to the rightful party.

Ted and Vanessa Naratil, Aquashicola, discovered the $100 U.S. savings bond two weeks ago inside the drawer of secondhand bedroom dresser purchased at Life's Second Hand Treasures Thrift Store, 217 South Center St., Tamaqua.

The Series E bond was bought for $75 on Sept. 3, 1964. It has since accrued interest of $855.44, reflecting a current value of $930.44.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Summit Hill Lions Club is continuing its American flag program this week.

The program was resurrected earlier this year as a means of honoring and/or memorializing veterans from the community.

For one-week periods, the club will fly the American flag at the Ludlow Park site to remember current and former town residents who gave service to our country.

As the program continues this week, the flag will fly in honor of borough resident Jeffrey Rossman.

Monday, October 14, 2013
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/TIMES NEWS Organizers Rich Chwastiak, left, and Aaron Berger, along with other volunteers, have spent many months preparing the bicycle paths for the Oct. 19 event.

Hundreds of cyclists are expected to take to the valleys and hills surrounding Tamaqua during the annual Reading Anthracite Coal Cracker Classic planned for next Saturday.

"Our race is unique because the trail is located on old mine land and open to any age," said co-organizer Rich Chwastiak. "This provides a style of riding that is specific to the coal region."

The Coal Cracker Classic is the resurrection of a bike race that was held in Tamaqua seven years ago.

Monday, October 14, 2013
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/TIMES NEWS Nick Zigmant, Executive Director, Tamaqua YMCA, receive lunch snacks from La Dolce Casa employees Robert Craigle and Eushina Leibenguth during the United Way luncheon held Thursday afternoon in Tamaqua. The Tamaqua YMCA receives funding from the Schuylkill United Way.

"Together we can!," said Brian Connely, Tamaqua Campaign Chairman, Schuylkill United Way, during a mid-campaign luncheon last week at La Dolce Casa in Tamaqua. "Without all the efforts of the Schuylkill United Way, many of our local agencies wouldn't be able to offer their services to our communities."

Connely added that there are a lot of dedicated United Way volunteers and supporters behind the scenes. In addition, he spoke to the crowd and offered words of encouragement to continue their charge towards the goal in the 2014 "Together We Can" Campaign.

Monday, October 14, 2013
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/TIMES NEWS

West Penn students are being taught to reduce, reuse and recycle during the Schuylkill Keep It Pretty phone book recycling project. From left are students Lorelei Plasha, 8; Kurt Breiner, 7; Tyler Hasains, 8; Logan Betz, 7; Ryan Lusch, 7; and Tamaqua Area School District Elementary School Principal Stephen Behr.