by News Department on 08/25/16


by News Department on 08/25/16

No electronics in clean up...

Schuylkill County’s annual Fall Cleanup in September will not include an electronic collection this year. 

The county commissioners rescinded the notice of award Wednesday to Environmental Coordination Services and Recycling Inc. as the electronic vendor for the cleanup from Sept. 12 to Sept. 24. 

Joseph Scribbick, county solid waste and recycling coordinator, said market conditions have changed and state reimbursements would not match the cost to run the program, plus, more than 20 regional recycling sites have closed in western Pennsylvania. 

Last year, the county collected about 576,000 pounds of electronics. Projected costs, which also include hauling and materials, were upwards from $180,000. 

Scribbick said Wayne and Luzerne counties discontinued electronic collections for 2016 and five more counties in Northeastern Pennsylvania have already ended their programs as it is no longer cost effective.


by News Department on 08/25/16

Kessler acquitted...

For the second time in three days, former Gilberton police chief and North Schuylkill school board member Mark Kessler, of Frackville, walked out of the Schuylkill County Courthouse a free man. 

The Republican Herald reports that on Wednesday, a jury acquitted him of harassing a borough councilman in August 2015 in a Frackville store. 

Frackville borough police had charged Kessler with harassing Councilman William Creasy about 7 p.m. Aug. 19, 2015, at Boyer’s Food Market. 

Schuylkill County Judge Jacqueline L. Russell presided over the one-day trial. 

Another jury on Monday had found Kessler not guilty of terroristic threats and harassment in connection with an alleged road rage incident on Aug. 22, 2015, on Route 61 between Saint Clair and Frackville. 

Russell, who also presided over that trial, found him not guilty of disorderly conduct.


by News Department on 08/25/16

No Trespassing signs posted...

“No trespassing” signs were posted Wednesday, in the area of the Peace Rock. 

According to the Republican Herald, Neil Shader, press secretary with the state Department of Environmental Protection, said signs have been posted at various points on the property, which is state-owned, and not open to the public for safety reasons. 

Tilden Township Police Chief William McEllroy III said DEP is planning on installing signs on the Tilden Township side today. 

Anyone found on the property could face potential charges for criminal trespass and trespass by motor vehicle.

 Shader also said those parked illegally near the property will be ticketed and towed.


by News Department on 08/25/16

Sexual assault charges...

State Police at Frackville arrested a Shenandoah man, on Tuesday, for sexual assault charges. 

According to authorities, 30 year old Charles Welna was charged with several counts including statutory sexual assault and child pornography after allegedly having sex with a 15 year old girl. 

Police say the assaults took place between July 1 and Tuesday when they came to light. 

Welna was arraigned by Magisterial District Judge James K. Reilly, Pottsville and committed to Schuylkill County Prison, unable to post $75,000 bail. 

Welna will now have to appear for a preliminary hearing before Magisterial District Judge Anthony J. Kilker in his Shenandoah courtroom.


by News Department on 08/24/16


by News Department on 08/24/16

Shenandoah man guilty of selling meth...

A Schuylkill County jury, on Tuesday, found a Shenandoah man guilty of selling methamphetamine to a confidential informant, in his hometown. 

Shenandoah police charged 28 year old Marc Benjamin Jr. with selling methamphetamine on Oct. 5, 2015, on the sidewalk in front of the Burger King restaurant, in the borough. 

Judge James P. Goodman, who presided over Benjamin’s one-day trial, did not immediately schedule the defendant’s sentencing. 

Goodman allowed Benjamin to remain free on $50,000 unsecured bail pending sentencing.


by News Department on 08/24/16

Wanted man...

Authorities are asking for the public’s help in locating a Minersville man, wanted by police. 

Police have obtained an arrest warrant for 19 year old Israel Martinez, whose last known address was 329 Laurel St., Minersville. 

Martinez is charged with felony Aggravated Assault and related charges. 

Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to contact Minersville Police at 570-544-6212.


by News Department on 08/24/16

Safety for school start...

The Pottsville police are starting a program to raise awareness for safe travel of all school students. 

According to the Republican Herald, Police Chief Richard F. Wojciechowsky and Mayor James T. Muldowney announced Tuesday that the city will be using a program called “Safe School Start,” with the Pottsville Bureau of Police conducting extra mobile and foot patrols during the first days of school.

 In addition to the foot patrols, uniformed officers’ specialized patrols will concentrate on highlighting the enforcement of state Vehicle Code violations with emphasis being placed on school travel safety issues, such as school zone safety speeds, distracted driving and duties at a school bus. 

Wojciechowsky said, also emphasized will be pedestrians in crosswalks, 15 miles per hour school zone speed limitations, meeting or overtaking a school bus and the Prohibiting Text Based Communications law. 

Officers will also be focusing on promoting safe pedestrian travel practices by students. 

The extra patrols, he said, will be both in the morning and afternoon.


by News Department on 08/24/16

Gas pump fraud...

Authorities in Schuylkill County are investigating a case of fraud after someone installed a "skimming device" on a gas pump at Moyer's Car Care Center on Route 183 in Schuylkill Haven. 

According to State Police, the device was installed on August 1, and captured personal credit card information for nearly three weeks before it was discovered and removed on August 19. 

The devices are capable of copying credit card information, which can then be loaded onto another card, police said. 

Troopers are urging anyone who used a credit card at the business between August 1 and 19 to check their statements for fraudulent purchases.

 People who believe their information was stolen should call state police at 570-739-1330.


by News Department on 08/23/16


by News Department on 08/23/16

Kessler found not guilty...

Former Gilberton police chief and North Schuylkill school board member Mark Kessler, of Frackville, was found not guilty of what police called a road rage incident. 

Judge Jacqueline L. Russell, who presided over Kessler’s one-day trial, ruled that he committed no crimes during the incident in August 2015 on Route 61.

 Frackville borough police charged Kessler with harassing and threatening Shannon Heiber, including briefly showing a gun to her, about 7 p.m. Aug. 22, 2015, on Route 61, beginning in New Castle Township and ending in the borough.


by News Department on 08/23/16

Woman's death considered horrendous neglect...

A woman's death in Mahanoy City is being considered a case of "horrendous" neglect. Borough Police arrested Dorothy Robinson and John Latshaw, of Mahanoy City for the death of 76 year old Elaine Latshaw, who died in August of 2015. 

Robinson told Police that she was the primary care giver for Elaine Latshaw, and that she just checked on her a half hour prior to calling 911 in which Elaine Latshaw was alive. However, according to a Mahanoy City Police Affidavit, Mahanoy City Police Police and Ambulance were called to the home at 325 East South Street in the borough around 11:00pm on August 14, 2015 and found John Latshaw and Dorothy Robinson at the home. Police said Elaine Latshaw was in an upstairs bedroom in deplorable conditions, pulse-less and was cold to the touch. 

Schuylkill Coroner Dr. David J Moylan III observed the autopsy on Latshaw, conducted at Reading Hospital, and stated the situation clearly was a case of elder abuse. 

District Attorney Christine Holman stated, that she would describe the condition as horrendous neglect. 

Both John Latshaw and Robinson were locked up in Schuylkill County Prison on Friday, August 19, 2016, on charges of murder of the 3rd degree, among other charges.


by News Department on 08/23/16

Schuylkill County business wants to grow medical marijuana...

A Schuylkill County business may soon be growing medical marijuana. Van Hoekelen greenhouses near Mcadoo will apply for one of the first state permits to grow marijuana to be used for medicinal purposes.

 State regulators are still trying to figure out the rules for the growing and distribution of medical marijuana, something made possible by the state legislature earlier this spring. 

Officials at the Greenhouses say they know there is a lot on controversy surrounding the issue but they insist they are taking one step at a time and will not do anything to harm the community. 

Van Hoekelen has operated in Kline Township for more than 30 years and says it wants to be on the cutting edge of the medicinal marijuana industry. 

Kline Township officials say Van Hoekelen has been very open in with them in this process. 

They plan to hold public meetings as the process moves forward.


by News Department on 08/23/16

State Prison sentence for murder charges...

18 year old Stanley E. Kralik was sentenced in Schuylkill County Court to serve 20 to 40 years in a state correctional institution for killing 24 year old Corey M. Samuels, of Coaldale. 

According to the Republican Herald, state police at Frackville alleged Kralik, of Coaldale and 23 year old Oliver L. Trizarri, of Reading, fatally beat Samuels with a shovel between 11 p.m. Jan. 20, 2014, and midnight Jan. 21, 2014, in a wooded area off East Miner Street.

 Prosecutors said Samuels’ remains were not found until September 2014. 

On June 22, a jury convicted Kralik of third-degree murder and multiple other charges. 

Trizarri pleaded guilty Feb. 19 before Schuylkill County Judge John E. Domalakes to third-degree murder and conspiracy, and testified Aug. 16 for prosecutors and against Kralik. 

On June 27, Domalakes sentenced Trizarri to serve 15 to 30 years in a state correctional institution. Trizarri is serving his sentence at SCI/Camp Hill in Cumberland County.


by News Department on 08/19/16


by News Department on 08/19/16

Lunch changes...

The Tamaqua Area School District plans to change its point-of-sale system, effective this coming school year. 

Superintendent Ray Kinder told the school board that the district plans to change the system to a numeric code for students. With the new system, students will get a four- to six-digit number, and after their food is rung up, they will enter in their code. 

Kinder said the change will result in a more effective way for the district to get through its current consistency and reliability issues with the scanning in the cafeteria. 

The Primero system will cost the district about $8,400. However, Kinder said breakfast and lunch costs will remain the same for the 2016-17 school year.


by News Department on 08/19/16

Eight charged...

Eight people were arrested Thursday after a drug bust in Shenandoah.

 According to authorities, Shenandoah Police, Members of the Schuylkill County Drug Task Force, Schuylkill County Detectives, Schuylkill County Probation/Parole, State Parole and the Pennsylvania State Police Fugitive Apprehension Unit participated in the warrant sweep and drug bust. 

Police charged Ronexon Collado, Jeffrey Najunas, Jr., Sean Keating, Robert Sargent, Anthony Usewicz and Walter Navitsky, all of Shenandoah, along with Shane Reinoehl and Janelle Moyer, both of Ashland. 

Four bench warrants were also served by the Detectives Office for failure to appear in County court for various proceedings and four individuals are still wanted on outstanding arrest warrants. 

Police said the types of drugs involved in the bust were fentanyl, heroin and methamphetamine.


by News Department on 08/19/16

81 Permits for wine sales...

There are now more options for where you can buy bottles of wine in Pennsylvania. 

The state Liquor Control Board issued permits this week to 81 grocery stores and restaurants, allowing them to sell wine immediately. 

Up until now, wine was only available in state-owned liquor stores, but a new law that went into effect last week expands that. The state also approved permits that will allow wine to be directly shipped to homes in Pennsylvania, which was previously forbidden. 

Pennsylvania residents can now get up to 36 cases of wine shipped to them by a wine producer licensed by the PLCB. These changes are part of Act 39. It also added Sunday hours to many state-owned liquor stores across the state. 

Monday, the state issued its first round of permits to 81 businesses out of the 174 that applied. There are still wine permit applications under review. 

To view the interactive map on the website of the governor’s office showing the location of all the stores now selling wine, visit,


by News Department on 08/19/16

I-81 Crash claims one life...

A Tobyhanna truck driver died in one of three crashes that shut down both southbound lanes of Interstate 81, between the Mahanoy City and Frackville exits, for more than seven hours, early Thursday morning.

 According to the Republican Herald, Schuylkill County Deputy Coroner David Truskowsky identified the man as 34 year old Edward Rosario, who was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash at 5:15 a.m. 

State police at Frackville said the crashes occurred about 5 a.m. as a FedEx tandem tractor-trailer was traveling south when the driver lost control in the area of mile marker 126, about two miles north of the Frackville exit. The truck flipped over onto its driver’s side and came to a stop blocking the left, passing lane

Shortly after, a motor home towing a trailer with an SUV attached was involved in a second crash in the same area. The occupants of that vehicle suffered non-life threatening injuries while the driver of the FedEx truck was not hurt. 

The third crash, involving the fatality, occurred about a half mile north of the initial crashes, as Rosario was traveling south, apparently in the right lane, when he collided with a southbound tractor-trailer owned by Kane Freight Lines Inc., Scranton. The driver of the Kane Freight Lines truck was not injured.

 Police said their investigation into the crash is continuing.

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