Thursday, November 27, 2014


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

A meeting called Monday morning to air concerns about the Thomas J. McCall Memorial Bridge resurfacing project resulted in positive dialogue by local officials and some good news.

The good news is that the project is on schedule and will be completed by Sept. 5. That means only five more weeks of the frustrating traffic jams.

The McCall Bridge carries traffic on Route 209 between Lehighton and Franklin Township. It spans the Lehigh River, Weissport borough and the Lehigh Canal.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Last week, a vintage B-17 bomber soared over the grave site service of Theodore "Dutch" Van Kirk in Northumberland County before landing at the Sunbury Airfield.

It was a fitting tribute to the last surviving member of the Enola Gay crew who landed on the same airstrip when he returned home from war 70 years ago. Van Kirk died of natural causes at the age of 93 at home in Stone Mountain, Georgia on July 28.

Friday, August 1, 2014

In its landmark report last year on the cost of health care, "Bitter Pill," Time magazine argued that the most effective insurance system in the nation is Medicare. That's because rather than negotiate prices down from hospitals' wildly inflated "chargemasters," as private insurers do, Medicare determines the actual cost of procedures and pays providers based on the averages.

But even Medicare can't control the runaway pricing of prescription drugs.

Friday, August 1, 2014

During the summer months we're used to seeing news releases from churches advertising Vacation Bible School.

Last week, one of the most popular stories from our Bible school days – the story of the Jonah and the whale – was thrust into real-time headlines by the violence in Iraq. The shrine of the Christian biblical prophet in Mosul, which was revered by Muslims and Christians alike, was destroyed by radicals from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Theodore "Dutch" Van Kirk died Tuesday at 93.

The northeastern Pennsylvania man was like many of the Greatest Generation, called to duty in service to his country during World War II.

But Van Kirk's assignment stood out.

He trained as a navigator for the U.S. Army Air Forces and was tapped to be part of the flight team of the Enola Gay, the plane that dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, killing upward of 166,000 citizens and devastating the city.

He was the last surviving crew member of that mission.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Pennsylvania is known for its natural outdoor beauty but with that comes a caution to those unfamiliar with the territory.

We know too well how easy it is for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts to fall victim while trying to navigate the rugged terrain. Glen Onoko, where we've seen a number of rescues and at least one snake bite victim already this year, is a good example.

In the past 10 days, the Allentown area experienced a pair of deadly outdoor tragedies that were likely preventable had better judgment been used.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Any ambulance driver knows that precious minutes can sometimes mean the difference between life and death. Those minutes can also determine if a stroke victim recovers or suffers from permanent paralysis.

That's the reason lawmakers let ambulances have flashing, attention grabbing lights and wailing sirens. It's so motorists allow ambulances to reach their emergency destinations as quickly as possible.

Monday, July 28, 2014

We've heard the stories or read articles about how animals can help military veterans living with combat-related post- traumatic stress disorder adjust back into civilian life and lead a more productive life.

The Service or Therapeutic Companion Dogs, most of which are rescued from local shelters, are the most common. The veteran and dog train together to build a trusting relationship, thus helping to save two lives at once.

Friday, July 25, 2014

A Christmas gift given to me when I was in the second grade, "Maverick" was one of the first hardcover books I ever owned.

Our television channel choices back then were limited to the Big Three Networks, so everyone knew Maverick as the popular TV western hero.

In true comic book style, the cover of the book had splashy colors to catch the eye of an impressionable kid hungering for role models. The scene showed a confident James Garner, six shooter at his hip, confidently striding to confront some tough outlaws in the Wild West.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Within the past few days, we got a police report of a woman, driving by herself, getting pulled over on Route 248 near Palmerton by who she thought was a police officer.

The "cop" asked for her credentials. She suspected it wasn't a real policeman so she declined, at which time he displayed a revolver.

The woman was fortunate enough to speed away without further incident.

It's not the first time there have been complaints about fake police officers terrifying innocent motorists usually women.