People Staying Close to Home This 4th of July Weekend

by News Department on 07/02/15

by Paul Schriner, WPPA T102 News

As the July 4th weekend comes upon us, it’s time to decide how you will spend your holiday weekend. Will you stay at home or will you travel to be with family or go on some kind of vacation?

The National average gas price is $2.78 which is 88 cents down from last year at this time and is the lowest price in 5 years. According to AAA, they project nearly 42 million Americans will travel for the July 4th holiday which is the biggest amount since 2007. With gas prices as low as they are compared to the last few years, this statistic isn’t surprising. But with all these facts, people in the area for the most part aren’t travelling for the holiday.

In interviewing people at the Schuylkill Mall in Frackville and the Fairlane Village Mall in Pottsville, we found that the majority of the area would stay in Schuylkill County. They said they would partake in activities like lighting off fireworks, barbequing, swimming, or even just watch patriotic movies like Independence Day.

When asked why they wouldn’t be traveling, people feel like gas prices were still too high or they didn’t feel like going through the hassle of making arrangements to stay at hotel when they could stay at home and save money. This is a good way of thinking because even though gas prices are dropping, hotel costs are on the rise with prices that are 5-10% higher than last year according to AAA’s Leisure Travel Index.

So no matter if you’re staying in Schuylkill County or leaving the area for the weekend, have a great July 4th holiday. If you’re consuming alcohol, do it responsibly and don’t drink and drive.      

2 Apprehended...

by News Department on 07/02/15

On Saturday June 27th, West Mahanoy Township Police apprehended Dillon Fogarty at Granny's Motel in Frackville. 

Fogarty had an arrest warrant from State Parole. Along with Fogarty officers also found Jarrett Castelonia, who attempted to hide his identity by providing a false name and driver’s license. 

It was determined Castelonia had active arrest warrants from Snyder and Northumberland Counties along with one in Virginia. 

Castelonia was also in possession of a firearm illegally due to his criminal history. 

He was remanded to Schuylkill County Prison. Charges will be filed on Castelonia with District Court Frackville.

Veterans remember Vietnam...

by News Department on 07/02/15

The Veterans of the Vietnam War Post 29, in Schuylkill County, will remember the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War on Sunday at St. Ambrose Roman Catholic Church in Schuylkill Haven. 

The Fourth of July celebration mass will be held at 10:30 a.m. at St. Ambrose where Vietnam Veterans will present and retrieve the colors. 

All are welcome to attend and show support.

Contract with S.A.M. renewed...

by News Department on 07/02/15

Schuylkill County commissioners have extended the over $6.03 million purchase of the service agreement with Service Access Management, of Pottsville, for another year. 

SAM, first hired in 2004 to replace ReDCo, oversees mental health, drug and alcohol, and disability services for the county. It was hired after commissioners learned of a $3.2 million cost overrun in the county's mental health/disability services budget in 2003. There had also been hundreds of thousands of dollars in cost overruns in 2001 and 2002. 

Commissioner George F. Halcovage Jr. said the money for the services comes from the state.

Attorney General files legal action against Nursing Facility...

by News Department on 07/02/15

Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane announced Wednesday that her office has filed a legal action against a chain of nursing home companies accused of misleading consumers by failing to provide basic services to elderly and vulnerable residents. 

The legal action asserts Golden Gate National Senior Care LLC, which manages and operates 36 facilities statewide, commonly known as Golden Living Centers, one of which is in Pottsville, also known as York Terrace, violated the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law by deceiving consumers through its marketing practices. 

The investigation also included a review of staffing levels self-reported by Golden Living facilities and deficiencies cited in surveys conducted by the state Department of Health. 

Those with concerns regarding Golden Living facilities or other health care facilities are encouraged to contact the Office of Attorney General's Health Care Section by calling 877-888-4877.

Cost for killing eagles, increases...

by News Department on 07/01/15

Those who kill golden and bald eagles could face stiffer penalties under Pennsylvania law. 

The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners, Tuesday, gave preliminary approval to a measure that would increase to $2,500, the replacement cost, for killing bald or golden eagles. 

The bald eagle had been classified as a state-threatened species until early 2014 when, it was removed from the threatened list because its recovery met objectives outlined in the state’s bald-eagle management plan. 

While golden and bald eagles both remain protected by federal and state law, the fact that neither bird was classified as threatened meant that killing a golden or bald eagle resulted at the state level in $200 in replacement cost, in addition to fines. 

Commissioners said the $2,500 replacement cost emphasizes that although golden and bald eagles are recovered in Pennsylvania, they still require further protection.

2 Cited for child endangerment...

by News Department on 07/01/15

Coaldale police have cited two people after a May 17 incident involving a 2-year-old child. 

Police say the child’s father, 34 year old Noel Abadia and mother, 26 year old Kayla Leibowitz were charged after the toddler swallowed prescription medication and was not immediately taken for treatment.

 Police contacted Schuylkill County Children and Youth, to remove the child from the home immediately and had the child transported to a local hospital for evaluation and treatment. 

Both parents face charges for endangering the welfare of a child.

Tamaqua area damaged by storms...

by News Department on 07/01/15

Tamaqua suffered significant damage from a series of heavy rain storms that seemed to stall over the community on Tuesday, pushing the Little Schuylkill River to dangerous levels and sending the Wabash Creek over its banks. 

The Wabash Creek, which flows beneath downtown streets, filled to capacity and broke through West Rowe Street, lifting the macadam and flooding Rowe, Berwick, West Broad, Nescopec and South Railroad streets. 

Businesses in the unit block of West Broad Street report basements flooded to the 8-feet level. Homeowners along West Rowe Street are dealing with 1/2 to one foot of water at the basement level, as is the Tamaqua train station. 

Elsewhere in the community, the Tamaqua Pool and Bungalow Park was overwhelmed by swollen mountain springs which flooded the facility, filling the pool complex with muddy water and causing extensive damage. 

There is no word yet on damage costs.

12 Year old seriously injured/struck by car...

by News Department on 07/01/15

A 12-year-old Schuylkill County boy was seriously injured after being struck by a vehicle on Monday. 

State police at Frackville said the incident occurred about 4:20 p.m. at the intersection of Coal and Pine streets, in the village of Cumbola, Blythe Township. 

Troopers said the boy was traveling downhill on Pine Street operating a non-motorized toy scooter while 18 year old Herman Garcia, of Reading, driving a 1999 Honda Accord, was southbound on Coal Street.The boy failed to stop for a posted stop sign at the intersection where the front of the Honda impacted the scooter in the middle of the intersection. 

The victim was flown to the Lehigh Valley Hospital, Cedar Crest. Troopers termed his injuries as severe. 

Garcia and two rear passengers, a female and male, both age 5, were all not injured.

June 30, 2015

by News Department on 06/30/15

Holiday driving enforcement...

by News Department on 06/30/15

PennDOT, Pennsylvania State Police and local police forces thru ought Schuylkill and surrounding counties are partnering to help decrease impaired driving and aggressive behaviors through the Independence Day holiday weekend. 

Troopers will focus enforcement efforts on speeders, aggressive drivers and those who drink and drive during the holiday weekend. As part of this high visibility impaired-driving enforcement effort, State Police and local law enforcement will conduct checkpoints and roving patrols. 

This effort is funded through PennDOT's statewide distribution of more than $4.7 million in federal funds from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Charges from threats...

by News Department on 06/30/15

A McAdoo man sentenced to federal probation, after former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin filed a restraining order against him, was charged with harassment by communication Monday. 

According to the Republican Herald, the charge against 23 year old Shawn R. Christy, involves a teacher at the McCann School of Business, where he was a student. 

Palin took out a restraining order against Christy in 2010, claiming he had been threatening her since the previous year. 

Last year, Christy’s probation was transferred to Pennsylvania from Alaska, where he served time in a prison for a parole violation. 

Christy was charged Monday, by state police and is scheduled for a preliminary hearing before District Judge James Dixon, Hazle Township, on Aug. 5. 

He is being held in Columbia County Prison.

Charges in death of 4 year old...

by News Department on 06/30/15

45 year old Phillip G. Moeller, of Ashland, was arrested Monday by Butler Township police and charged with one felony count of involuntary manslaughter, in connection with the death of a 4-year-old boy in 2013. 

Police Chief Edward Tarantelli said the charge is the result of an investigation into the Oct. 9, 2013, death of Tanner Geiger, the grandson of Moeller’s girlfriend. 

The chief said he was called to the home just after 12:30 a.m. to assist for a report of an unresponsive child and found Moeller standing over a couch holding the child, attempting to administer emergency breaths. 

 He was arraigned by Magisterial District Judge Christina E. Hale, Frackville, and released after posting bail.

Arson Charges...

by News Department on 06/30/15

A Mount Carmel woman told police a dispute with her landlord is the reason she torched her home over the weekend. 

The Mount Carmel home went up in flames on June 27 on North Maple Street. 

Susan Stanley told police her landlord was evicting her after 15 years and she didn't want to move. So, she used gasoline to set the home on fire. 

Stanley is locked up on Arson charges in Snyder County. 

Several row homes suffered smoke and water damage from the blaze but no injuries were reported.

Lane restrictions today...

by News Department on 06/29/15

PennDOT has updated that there will be additional lane restrictions today on Route 61 in Pottsville.

The lane restrictions will be in place on Route 61 for beam work that will take place from 9am to 3pm for the Bridge project that began in January 2014 and is scheduled to be finished by this fall. 

Drivers should expect delays and are urged to use caution.

5 Churches to consolidate...

by News Department on 06/29/15

The final weekend Masses of five Roman Catholic churches, that will be merging into one parish on July 1st, were celebrated Saturday and Sunday in Schuylkill County.

The merger of the five parishes in Ashland, Girardville and Gordon is effective Wednesday with a new parish being formed in Ashland for the region and will use the current St. Joseph Church on Ashland. St. with the Rev. John W. Bambrick to become pastor. He is currently the pastor of the Ashland and Gordon churches. 

The pastor of the Girardville churches, the Rev. Edward B. Connolly, will retire, effective Wednesday. 

The merger by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Allentown completes the process of restructuring and consolidation of churches in the diocese that began in 2008.

Mosquito Spraying...

by News Department on 06/29/15

The Department of Environmental Protection announced that it will conduct a mosquito control operation to reduce high populations of nuisance mosquitoes on July 1, 2015, in parts of Schuylkill Haven Borough, in Schuylkill County. 

Certain mosquito species carry the West Nile virus, which can cause humans to contract West Nile encephalitis, an infection that can result in an inflammation of the brain. 

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, all residents in areas where virus activity has been identified are at risk of contracting West Nile encephalitis.

The treatments will be administered via truck-mounted equipment, spraying residential and recreational mosquito habitat. 

For more information about West Nile virus and the state's surveillance and control program, please visit

Stuff the Bus...

by News Department on 06/29/15

The 13th annual Schuylkill United Way Stuff the Bus campaign is set to kick off. 

Through July, the Schuylkill United Way is collecting school supplies to fill at least 1,200 backpacks for children in need. 

Michelle Halabura, director of community relations at Schuylkill United Way, said every backpack is stocked with essential school supplies such as pens, pencils, erasers, notebooks, binders, folders, rulers, crayons, highlighters, staplers and markers. 

Drop-off bins for donations can be found in the Schuylkill, Fairlane Village and Cressona malls along with both entrances at the Saint Clair Wal-Mart. 

Backpacks will be filled from 9 a.m. to no later than noon Aug. 3.

 Those who wish to volunteer or make a monetary donation can call the Schuylkill United Way at 570-622-6421.

Community fireworks...

by News Department on 06/26/15

As communities launch fireworks to celebrate Independence Day this year, Thunder Over Ashland, sponsored by American Hose No. 1, will also be marking a milestone.The borough’s annual fireworks show will light up the sky for the 20th time on July 3. Phillip Groody, co-founder of the show, said the fireworks will launch at dusk. 

As Ashland celebrates two decades of fireworks, the Frackville Area Fireworks Committee will launch its fourth show this weekend. The fireworks are set to begin at dusk Sunday at the Little League/Softball Complex, located on West High Street.

For a complete list of community fireworks, go to the T102 fan page on facebook.

Jail sentence for statutory assault...

by News Department on 06/26/15

25 year old Matthew R. Eyer, of Pottsville, is headed to prison after being sentenced in Schuylkill County Court for sexually assaulting a teenage girl in August 2013 in West Brunswick Township. 

State police at Schuylkill Haven allege Eyer sexually assaulted a 15-year-old girl between 10 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. Aug. 31, 2013, at the Rock near the Schuylkill River just outside Port Clinton. 

Eyer pleaded guilty on March 18 to statutory sexual assault and was sentenced Thursday, by President Judge William E. Baldwin, to serve 11 and one-half to 23 months in prison, plus three additional years on probation. 

Baldwin also ruled that Eyer is not a sexually violent predator, a conclusion reached by the state Sexual Offenders Assessment Board, but still will be subject to 25 years of Megan’s Law sanctions due to his crime.

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