Tuesday, September 26, 2017


Thursday, July 23, 2015

A smart idea catching on in northern Schuylkill County could pay larger dividends if it spreads to other areas of the county as well.

In that area, some municipalities and school districts are joining forces to create the Schuylkill County Land Bank, which would acquire blighted properties and return them to tax rolls.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development describes a land bank as a public or community-owned entity established to acquire, manage, maintain and repurpose vacant, abandoned and foreclosed properties.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

People come from near and far, lured by tales of its breathtaking beautiful waterfalls guarded by rugged mountain terrain. But the dangers of this siren call to nature can be overlooked or minimized; too many have failed to pay heed and have paid a steep price, including death.

During the weekend, there were two more rescues at Glen Onoko Falls. Happily, these hikers, both women, were not critically injured. One had a lower leg injury; the other, a broken ankle.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

An ironic image from last week's shooting scene at a recruiting station in Chattanooga, Tennesse, was a sign in the window indicating the building was s gun-free zone.

The glass around the sign was riddled by 33 bullet holes fired by gunman Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez, the Kuwaiti-born gunman who killed four defenseless Marines and one sailor who later died from his wounds in the attack.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Ever since March, a chorus of legislators across the country has begun pushing to change the legal smoking age from 18 to 21. This isn't just a coincidence. It is tied to a study done by the Institute of Medicine, which concluded that by doing so, smoking among these young adults would decline by 12 percent. Three-quarters of adults and 70 percent of smokers surveyed favor raising the smoking age.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Just what Pennsylvania doesn't need another sensational story of misconduct. On the heels of the Jerry Sandusky-Penn State fiasco, which "Sports Illustrated" called the worst college sports scandal of all time, Pennsylvania is now dealing with what could become one of the largest mayoral scandals in recent history.

The home of Stephen Reed, ex-mayor of Harrisburg, was searched by investigators who found world-class antiques and artifacts allegedly purchased by Reed using money diverted from the Harrisburg Authority.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

We were encouraged to see last week's American Red Cross blood drive at Pocono Raceway, which paid tribute to the state police and those troopers who have fallen in the line of duty.

Last September's seven-week manhunt through rugged Pocono Mountain terrain for accused cop-killer Eric Frein showed us just how dangerous law enforcement work can be and how frayed nerves become when a killer is at large.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The operator of a water extraction operation, MC Resource Development Co. in East Brunswick Township, wants to expand with a new facility in West Penn Township.

But the proposed operation at 1 Fort Franklin Road is meeting with opposition by concerned residents.

There appear to be at least two major issues. First, residents say they're already inconvenienced by existing truck traffic from the operation.

A new facility in West Penn would bring even more truck traffic to rural Blue Mountain Drive and Dorset and Retreat roads.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Whether the guy strapping their kid into a carnival ride has a criminal past likely isn't on the minds of most parents as they chase their child from one amusement to another. And it shouldn't be.

Criminal background checks are a pretty standard part of the hiring process these days. So parents shouldn't have to worry about the histories of the mostly transient individuals who work at community fairs and church carnivals, which are both common and popular over the summer.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Those who are crying over the veto that Gov. Tom Wolf used last week to dispose of a controversial bill to privatize the state-controlled sales of wine and liquor are shedding what we would call crocodile tears, with apologies to the crocodiles.

On Friday, a commentator for the Commonwealth Foundation, a conservative-libertarian policy organization, cried foul over Wolf's action, which the governor said was because of his objections to it as a business proposition.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Toss a paper bag full of trash out your car window and you could be fined up to $900 by the state of Pennsylvania. Kill a bald eagle, and you'll pay just $200.

That measly penalty would not deter most poachers, so the Pennsylvania Game Commission proposes to increase the fine to $2,500.

That, combined with the punishment set out in the federal Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, is a penalty that commands attention and one that will ensure eagles in the commonwealth will continue to thrive.