by News Department on 05/27/16


by News Department on 05/27/16

Students win medals...

Two students at the Schuylkill Technology Center won medals last month at the annual SkillsUSA Pennsylvania competitions at the Hershey Convention Center and one will represent the state in the national competition next month. 

According to the Republican Herald, Kevin Graff, a senior in the Shenandoah Valley School District, won a gold medal in the small engine repair event and Brandylynn Witmer, a junior at Blue Mountain High School, won third place in welding sculpture. 

Founded in 1965, SkillsUSA is a national organization serving teachers and high school and college students who are preparing for careers in technical, skilled and service occupations, with state and national winners eligible for technology scholarships. 

Graff, who had a bye in the district competition, will represent Pennsylvania in the national competition next month.


by News Department on 05/27/16

Charges filed...

Sexual Assault...

A Girardville man has been charged with sexually assaulting a teenage girl. 

According to authorities, 22 year old David J. Whipple was charged by state police Trooper Alan Zulick of the Frackville station with felony and misdemeanor counts due to incidents involving a 15 year old girl, that occurred at his home at various times between Aug. 29, 2015 and Sept. 17, 2015. 

Whipple was arraigned by Magisterial District Judge Christina E. Hale, Frackville, and committed to Schuylkill County Prison, unable to post $100,000 straight cash bail.


by News Department on 05/27/16

Memorial Day Services...

As Memorial Day weekend approaches, people across the United States will be honoring the men and women who died serving in the armed forces. 

Services and events are scheduled over the holiday weekend in communities throughout Schuylkill County. 

The city of Pottsville will begin with a Parade that starts 10 a.m., at 12th and Market streets with a memorial service to follow at Garfield Square.


In Frackville, American Legion Post 398 has a full day of activities Monday, highlighted by a dedication ceremony for its new monument.
The day will begin at 9 a.m. with a parade to Memorial Park that will be followed by a program to honor veterans. The monument dedication will begin at 11:30 a.m. with the honor guard and a prayer ceremony. A free buffet will be held from noon to 3 p.m. with entertainment provided by One Last Rider from 2 to 5 p.m.

In Schuylkill Haven, the veterans’ sacrifice will be honored with a service at the Schuylkill County Vietnam Memorial.
Organized by the Veterans of the Vietnam War Post 29, the service to remember the lives of those lost in Vietnam will be held from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Monday at the memorial on Route 61 near Penn State Schuylkill.

Ashland — Parade starts 10:45 a.m. Monday from Memorial Field, followed by program at 11 a.m., Mother’s Memorial. Veterans of Foreign Wars O’Donnell-Martin-Baldino Post and American Legion Bernard J. Dolan Post will participate.

Auburn — Parade starts 11 a.m. Monday, followed by service at Auburn Church of God, South Third Street. In case of rain, parade canceled and service held at church. Sponsored by Auburn VFW.

Branch Township — Parade starts 8 a.m. Monday, Llewellyn, followed by ceremony at 10 a.m., Friedens Lutheran Church and Phoenix Park Union Church, Branch Township.

Cressona — Parade starts 9:30 a.m. Monday, forms 9 a.m. at SAPA parking lot, followed by program at Legion Plaza. Sponsored by Cressona Lions Club and American Legion.

Donaldson — Service 9:15 a.m. Monday, Community Cemetery, followed by parade at 10:15 a.m. Sponsored by American Legion.
Frackville — Parade to Memorial Park, 9 a.m. Monday, followed by program. Celebration and monument dedication, 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Frackville American Legion, 40 S. Mahanoy St. Free buffet-style dinner. Entertainment by One Last Rider.

Gilberton — Program, noon Monday, Veterans Memorial, Maizeville.

Girardville — Parade 9 a.m. Monday, followed by program at Veterans Memorial, near Third and C streets.

Gordon — Service at 9 a.m. Monday, parade starts 10 a.m., Gordon Municipal Hall, Plane and Otto streets. Annual block party, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Gordon Fire Company.

Mahanoy City — Program, 2 p.m. Sunday, Veterans Memorial, Centre and Catawissa streets. Sponsored by Mahanoy Area United Veterans. Parade begins 11 a.m. Monday from Mahanoy Area High School parking lot.

New Philadelphia — Parade begins 8:30 a.m. Monday, post office, Valley Street. Program follows at the Square. Conducted by American Legion Post 677, Catholic War Veterans 1079 and AMVETS Post 256. In case of rain, program and awards held at Good Intent Fire Company.

Palo Alto — Service, 1 p.m. Sunday, War Memorial monument, Bacon Street.

Port Carbon — Service, 6 p.m. Sunday, Grace United Methodist Church, Pike Street. Parade starts 9 a.m. Monday, followed by service at Veterans Park Gazebo, near Janet Eich Library.

Pottsville — Parade starts 10 a.m., 12th and Market streets, service at Garfield Square follows parade.

Ringtown — Service at 10 a.m. Monday, Old White Church, Brandonville Road. Sponsored by Ringtown American Legion and Auxiliary.

Saint Clair — Ceremony, 1 p.m. Sunday, Saint Clair Area Elementary/Middle School, South Mill Street. Sponsored by Saint Clair American Legion Post 719.

Schuylkill Haven — Parade starts 10 a.m. Monday, will go down Main Street to Parkway, where a service will be held. Lions Club pancake breakfast in high school cafeteria.

Schuylkill Haven — Service, 1:30 p.m. Monday, Vietnam Memorial, Route 61. Conducted by Vietnam Veterans Post 29.

Shenandoah — Service, 9:30 a.m. Sunday, Bethel Primitive Methodist Church, Jardin Street. Parade starts 9 a.m. Monday, Jardin and Centre streets, ends at borough hall. Sponsored by Shenandoah Combined Veterans.
Tower City — Parade starts 10:30 a.m. Monday, followed by program at Public Square. Sponsored by American Legion Post 468. In case of rain, program held at post home.

Tremont — Service, 1 p.m. Sunday, Pete Wiscount Veterans Park, Main Street. Parade starts 10:45 a.m. Monday, service 11:15 a.m., St. John’s Lutheran Cemetery. In case of rain, service at Clay Street school.

Wiconisco — Service begins 8 a.m. Monday at Honor Roll. In case of rain, program at Calvary United Methodist Church, Pottsville Street.
Wiconisco — Program, Remembering Wiconisco’s Civil War Soldiers, 7 p.m. Sunday, Calvary United Methodist Cemetery, Cemetery Road. Presented by Jake Wynn. Tour begins at flag pole in lower part of cemetery at 6:45 p.m.

Williamstown — Parade starts 9:45 a.m. Monday, services follow at Veterans Memorial Park. Sponsored by Williamstown American Legion Post 239 and Williams-town VFW Post 6497.


by News Department on 05/27/16

Citations against Landlord...

A landlord with properties in Schuylkill County and other communities, apologized Thursday, in Schuylkill County Court, for not responding to a citation. 

George Atiyeh, of Mount Carmel, cited personal matters to Magisterial District Judge James K. Reiley, for not responding, during the summary trial. Atiyeh was found guilty 11 times for code violations at 1117 Mahantongo St., 730 N. Third St., 413 Adams St., 517 and 918 W. Race St., 530 E. Norwegian St. and 708 W. Norwegian St., in the city.

 Regarding the property at 730 N. Third St., Atiyeh said he did not acquire the property until 2015. For that property, he was found not guilty of five citations and guilty of two quality of life citations. The property has since been demolished by AMC Enterprises, Girardville, after a house fire in October 2015.


by News Department on 05/26/16


by News Department on 05/26/16

Traffic restrictions...

Pottsville police have issued a traffic warning in preparation for the upcoming Memorial Day activities in the city. 

On Monday, The City of Pottsville will host the annual Pottsville Mile charity run, followed by the Memorial Day Parade and the Honor Ceremony in Garfield Square. Police Chief Richard F. Wojciechowsky said the following temporary parking restrictions and road closures will be in effect beginning at 6 a.m. Monday until the conclusion of the events about 12:30 p.m. 

Parking restrictions will take place on the 100 block of North 18th Street; West Market Street, from North Centre Street to 19th Street; North Centre Street, from West Market to Arch streets; West Arch Street, from North Centre to North Fourth streets; and North Fourth Street, from West Arch to West Market streets and beginning at 8 a.m., temporary road closures will be in effect for the same areas. 

The chief said that on the conclusion of each event, available roadways will be reopened to normal traffic as soon as possible.


by News Department on 05/26/16


The Schuylkill County commissioners finalized another inmate housing agreement Wednesday, approving a contract to house Schuylkill County Prison inmates at the Columbia County Prison in Bloomsburg, with a cost of $60 a day per inmate. The agreement is renewable in yearly increments. 

According to the Republican Herald, Commissioners Chairman George F. Halcovage Jr., who also serves as prison board chairman, said the Columbia County Prison can currently house up to 20 inmates. 

Meanwhile, Halcovage said the county is finalizing a similar housing agreement with Berks County for the same rate of $60 a day per inmate. He said the Berks County Prison may be able to house up to 50 inmates.

 Last week, the commissioners approved an agreement to house inmates at the Centre County Correctional Facility, Bellefonte. The rate is $65 a day per inmate and 10 women are already being housed there.

 On May 4, the state Department of Corrections ordered that the Schuylkill County prison can no longer take any additional prisoners sentenced between six months to five years until its average monthly inmate population is at or below its approved capacity of 277. 

The DOC will review its order in three months.


by News Department on 05/26/16

Spelling Bee Contestant...

13 year old Jake Montgomery, a seventh-grader from Pottsville Area School District, is already preparing for next year’s Scripps National Spelling Bee after being eliminated, Wednesday in National Harbor, Maryland. 

He was one of 285 students who were competing in event, which continues today. Montgomery went to the 2016 Scripps National Spelling Bee after he won the 61st annual Regional Spelling Bee in March in Schuylkill County.


by News Department on 05/26/16

Six Packs to be sold at PA gas stations...

Governor Wolf announced Wednesday that Pennsylvanians will soon be able to buy six packs at local gas stations. 

A recent Commonwealth Court ruling clarifies this piece of Pennsylvania Liquor Code and allows for the sale of malt or brewed beverages at gas stations and other businesses and sets important precedent that affirms the PLCB’s authority to make purchasing beer more convenient for Pennsylvanians. 

Governor Wolf has requested a policy change at the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board to free the six-pack and allow for gas stations to sell six-packs of beer as long as they regularly and customarily prepare and sell food, have a serving area of not less than 300 square feet, and are equipped with tables and chairs accommodating at least 30 persons at one time. 

According to Wolf, "creating and following this precedent will make the commonwealth more inviting for customers and businesses, and it will address a long standing failing of our liquor and alcohol system.


by News Department on 05/25/16


by News Department on 05/25/16

Fishing Licenses available...

Schuylkill County Treasurer Linda L Marchalk is reminding all Schuylkill County residents that 2016 fishing licenses are available for purchase during regular business hours. 

Annual licenses are valid from December 1, 2015 thru December 31, 2016, with a price increase of $0.20 per transaction that becomes effective June 1, 2016. 

The cost for an annual resident adult license will increase to $22.90. The fee for annual senior licenses will increase to $11.90. The cost for the Trout /Salmon permit is $9.90. 

Multi-year licenses and fishing license buttons are also available for purchase. 

Residents can also purchase Labor Day 1-Day Resident and Tourist Fishing Licenses for September 5, 2016 only at a cost of $2.90.



by News Department on 05/25/16

Child Abuse Hotline...

Thousands of children across the commonwealth could have been left in dangerous situations, Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said Tuesday, because of severe deficiencies at ChildLine, the state hotline for reporting suspected child abuse and neglect. 

ChildLine, which operates 24 hours per day, 7 days per week and is operated by the Department of Human Services (DHS), began in 1975.

 In the last few years, sweeping changes to the Child Protective Services Law (CPSL) have meant increased call volumes at ChildLine.

 DePasquale said not providing the funding to enforce child abuse laws was a disturbing failure, after a report of 42,000 unanswered calls in 2015. DHS’s goal is for only 4 percent of calls to go unanswered. 

The goal was met in 2014, not in 2015. However, DePasquale called even that percentage unacceptable, stating that, “DHS and ChildLine officials need to take corrective action immediately to save children’s lives.”


by News Department on 05/25/16

Hallmark closing...

Another Hallmark store in the area will be closing its doors. The announcement came Tuesday that the Heritage Shop is closing at the Fairlane Village mall, in Norwegian Township. 

Andrew J. Cox, a consultant with J.I. Investment Holdings Inc., said store owner Chris Matus of Matus Enterprises Inc., Wilkes-Barre, who owns about 17 stores, wanted to close it. 

Matus said the gates were lowered at the close of business Friday at 9 p.m. to prepare for the sale, and the store will reopen at 10 a.m. Thursday for the closing sale. 

Hours will be 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. The last day of business for the Hallmark Gold Crown card and gift shop is July 23 or earlier if all merchandise and fixtures are sold. 

The store formerly at the Schuylkill Mall closed Feb. 22, 2014.


by News Department on 05/25/16

Fire leaves seven homeless...

Seven people were left homeless after fire gutted two homes and damaged two others in Orwigsburg Tuesday morning. 

The Republican Herald reports that crews were called out at 5:17 a.m. to an unoccupied home at 124 S. Liberty St., finding heavy smoke and fire upon arrival. 

The blaze was brought under control in about 1 1/2 hours but not before it gutted that home along with an attached home at 126 S. Liberty St. In addition, a home at 128 S. Liberty St. sustained severe damage while a home at 120 S. Liberty St. sustained minimal damage.

 The American Red Cross Tri-County Chapter organization is assisting those affected with housing, food and clothing. 

Fire officials at the scene said it is believed the fire started at the vacant 124 S. Liberty St. home.


by News Department on 05/24/16


by News Department on 05/24/16

Shots fired...

The report of shots fired has police in Hazleton investigating. 

According to authorities, the call came in around 2am of shots being fired in the city. Police do not believe anyone was injured, but say they are still investigating the incident.


by News Department on 05/24/16


Products containing sunflower seeds from a Minnesota-based company are under a voluntary recall in at least 24 states, with Pennsylvania being one of them. 

Certain products made by Planters, Sunrich Naturals, and Papa John’s Salads and Produce are included in the recall. 

The potentially-affected sunflower seeds were produced by SunOpta. The recall affects Planters and Sunrich Naturals sunflower kernels made between the dates of February 1 and April 21, the date when the facility stopped production of the seeds, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said in a release.

The FDA is urging consumers who bought any of these items matching these descriptions to promptly throw them away or return them to the store for a refund. 

The recall stems from concerns about possible listeria contamination, though no illnesses have been directly linked to the products.


by News Department on 05/24/16

"COPS" to be filmed in Hazleton...

For the next eight weeks members of the popular TV- Show 'Cops" will be riding along with members of the Hazleton police force. 

The announcement was made Monday that the hit TV show "COPS" which has been in production since 1989, will be filming episodes in the city. 

Producers are scheduled to film a total of 8 segments with each segment appearing over 8 episodes, which are expected to air in August on the Spike Network. 

The Hazleton police department will have the final say in what video is shown.


by News Department on 05/24/16

Crash kills motorcycle driver...

A Massachusetts man died in a crash Monday on Interstate 81 in Frailey Township, according to state police at Jonestown. 

According to the Republican Herald, the crash occurred at approximately 4pm when 73 year old Natale L. Lapriore, was traveling South on a 2014 Harley-Davidson in the right lane of Interstate 81, when he struck a tractor-trailer that was slowing in a single-lane construction zone. 

Schuylkill County Deputy Coroner Joseph Pothering could not confirm if the man was wearing a helmet. 

Police said the driver of the tractor-trailer, Edythe P. Bumgardner, of Florida was not injured. 

Schuylkill County Coroner Dr. David J. Moylan III said a virtual autopsy will be performed today at the Simon Kramer Institute, New Philadelphia.

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