Friday, February 28, 2014

Rush Township Police Make Arrest For Burglary

Rush Township Police arrested David Halaburda, 19, Barnesville for a burglary on Forest Ave in Rush Township.

Halaburda has been placed in Schuylkill County Prison after being arraigned by Judge James K. Reilly.

Halaburda was out on bail for a previous Burglary.

Posted from Rush Township Police Department Facebook Page

PIAA District 11 Championship Scores

District 11 Championship Scores


District 11 Class AAA Championship
Allentown Central Catholic - 64
Pottsville - 34

District 11 Class A Championship
Mahanoy Area - 62
Pius X - 42

Consolation Game
Blue Mountain - 70
Bethlehem Catholic - 63


Distrist 11 Class AA Championship
Minersville - 48
Salisbury - 29

District 11 Class A Championship
Marian - 47
Shenandoah  - 22

Gilberton Decides To Disband Police Department

Now that the Gilberton Borough has settled with Mark Kessler, they have decided to disband their police department all together.

During this week's borough council meeting, the council decided it would be best to disband the department and use that money elsewhere.

Last week, the borough settled with Mark Kessler for $30,000 and in return Kessler retired.

Schuylkill County Obituaries for 2/28/14

Schuylkill County Obituaries for 2/28/14

Man Arrested on Warrant, In Possession of Marijuana and Drug Paraphernalia

On February 10, 2014, Officers were on patrol in the area of East Centre and Grant St. when they observed Nathaniel Shoup walking in the area. Officers were aware of warrant for Shoup that had recently been issued through Schuylkill County Probation.

One Man Injured in Overnight Crash in Ryan Twp.

Posted from

A man was taken to the hospital via ambulance after flipping his sport utility vehicle just before 12:30 AM today (Friday, Feb. 28, 2014) along SR54, near the Lakeside Ballroom, in Barnesville (Ryan Township). Responding were Ryan Township Police, Ryan Township Fire/Rescue, Ryan Township Ambulance/Emergency & Rescue Squad, Delano Fire Company, Citizen’s Fire Company of Mahanoy City and Hazleton APTS Ambulance.

St. Clair Man Dies in Overnight Crash on Route 61

Just after 1 am,  crews were called to the area near the Tiger's Den where Ann St. and  Route 61 intersect in St. Clair for a vehicle rollover over an embankment.

UPDATE:  The Republican Herald has released the name as George W. Williams, 62, of Saint Clair.

Deputy Coroner, Joe Pothering, is investigating. A virtual autopsy is scheduled for today.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Man and Woman From Ashland Arrested After Lehigh Valley Bank Robbery

Images from WNEP
A man and woman from Ashland, have been arrested in connection with a bank robbery in the Lehigh Valley.

Beth Marsteller and Joseph Misero, both of Ashland, are charged with the bank robbery of the Bethlehem Wells Fargo Branch. Marsteller and Misero are both suspects for a mini market in the Bethlehem area as well.

Schuylkill Haven Police Investigating Hit and Run

The Schuylkill Haven Borough Police are investigating a Hit and Run that occurred at 8:36 PM at the intersection of Dock Street and East Main Street. The white male driver estimated to be in his late teens to mid 20's fled the scene driving a Gray or silver colored Subaru possibly an Outback or Legacy. The vehicle would have damage to the front driver side bumper and possibly additional damage to the driver side of the vehicle.

Anyone with information on the identity of the driver can contact the Schuylkill Haven Police Department at 570-385-9111

Attorney General Concerned About Spikes in Electric Bills

The Attorney General's office posted the following article on their web site yesterday regarding their concern in the spikes in electric bills this winter.

They've received hundreds of complaints regarding unexpected spikes.  They reported that they've received almost 300% more complaints in recent months.

In order to help them investigate or file a complaint, they've provided instructions on what to do and submit your information.

Did you see an unusual spike in your bill?

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

PIAA District 11 Schuylkill County Basketball Scores - 2/25/14

The PIAA District 11 Schuylkill County Basketball playoff scores are as follows:

PIAA District 11 Schuylkill County High School Basketball Scores

PIAA District 11 Schuylkill County High School Basketball Scores

Quick Update: Snow tomorrow?

By: Ryan Fannock

7:00PM Update: Good evening! Temps will continue to drop overnight. By early Thursday morning lows will end up between 0 and 5 degrees across the county. As we head through the day on Thursday, snow showers and/or squalls will be possible. A quick coating to one inch of snow cannot be ruled out. During the afternoon winds will increase. Gusts could reach 30mph at times. Brief whiteout conditions are possible during bursts of snow or squalls.

Tractor Trailer Driver Causes 2 Accidents in Tamaqua

Photos courtesy of Justin Startzel

Updated story from

Two people were taken to the hospital after the driver of a tractor-trailer crashed his rig into multiple vehicles this afternoon (Feb. 26, 2014) along southbound SR309 in borough of Tamaqua.

Shenandoah Police File Charges for Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

Shendandoah Police have filed misdemeanor charges against three women that were in possession of drug paraphernalia.

Minersville Police Seeking Identity of Individual in Picture

The Minersville Police are looking for the identity of the individual in the picture to the left in relation to a theft investigation.  Anyone who may know the identity of this person, please call Minersville Police at (570) 544-6212.  All information will remain confidential.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Mahanoy City Native Loses Round in Appeal of Murder Conviction

Robert Russell, a Mahanoy City native, who in 1991 was the first person to be convicted of first degree murder with no crime scene, in Federal Court, in the United States, lost another appeal of his conviction Monday.

Felony Warrant Issued By Rush Township Police

The Rush Township Police have issued a felony warrant for Tonya Napolitano, 30 for the theft of a firearm and cash.

Anyone with information on her whereabouts are asked to contact the Rush Township Police at 570-668-4242 or the Schuylkill County Communications Center at 570-668-6100.  She is possibly in the Tamaqua Area.  All tips will remain confidential.

This information is from the Rush Township Facebook page

Monday's Motor Home Fire in Mall Parking Lot

Just before 3pm Monday, crews were called to 958 Mall Road in New Castle Castle Twp (Holiday Inn Express, Schuylkill Mall) for a motor home fire.

When crews arrived the found the motor home engulfed in flames.

No injuries were reported and fire crews were clear of the scene within a half hour.

New Castle Twp Police are investigating.

Altamont and Englewood Fire responded.

3 Day Outlook

By: Ryan Fannock

3 Day Outlook:

Tuesday: Mostly Cloudy. A scattered snow shower or snow squall is possible. Highs will reach the mid 20's. Winds will occasionally gust to 20-25mph at times.

Tuesday Night: A snow shower or snow squall is possible. Lows will bottom out in the middle teens.

Wednesday: Mostly Cloudy. Chance of a morning snow shower. Highs in the lower 20's.

Wednesday Night: Clouds begin to clear out. This will help our temps dip down even further. Lows will bottom out between 4 and 9 degrees.

Thursday: Sunny skies with highs in the mid 20's.

Thursday Night: Clear. Lows between 3 and 8 degrees.

Monday, February 24, 2014

BEST OF SKOOK: And the winner of the "Best Photographer" in Schuylkill County is . . . . . .

Ladies and gentlemen, with almost 700 votes cast for the "Best Photographer" in Schuylkill County, the winner is . . . . . .

Two Charged with Theft of Electricity in Shenandoah

As reported from the Shenandoah Police Department Facebook page

Police have filed charges against Santos Torres and Christina Ponce for theft of services with respect to an investigation conducted by Shenandoah Police and PP&L.

Sunday's Fire at the Majestic House Apartments in Tamaqua

Image from
Posted from

Tenants living in the Majestic House Apartments in Tamaqua evacuated while firefighters responded twice Sunday (Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014) to an apartment fire on the third story.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

One Arrested for Methamphetamine Lab in Coaldale


A methamphetamine laboratory was seized and man arrested during a police raid Friday evening (Feb. 21, 2014) at a Coaldale home. Pennsylvania State Police, Coaldale Police and Lansford Police took part in the raid at the home of 11 East Ruddle Street. Coaldale resident Jason Shiffert, 33, was arrested in connection with the meth lab and is being lodged in the Schuylkill County Prison in lieu of bail.

A sign on the front door of the property reads: “A clandestine laboratory for the manufacture of illegal drugs and/or hazardous chemicals was seized at this location on 02/21/14 by Pennsylvania State Police. Known hazardous chemicals have been disposed of pursuant to law. However, there still may be hazardous substances or waste products on this property either in buildings or in the ground itself. Please exercise caution while on these premises.”

Sunny Saturday! Warmer temps, too!


Friday, February 21, 2014

PIAA District 11 Schuylkill County Boys Basketball Scores

District 11 Schuylkill County High School Basketball Scores

Temperatures Dip Below Freezing Tonight

Temps this evening will dip below freezing. It's not projected to dip below 32 until after the 9pm hour. So if you have any traveling to do late tonight, be alert for patches of black ice. Any untreated surface which is wet could glaze over. We'll eventually bottom out in the mid 20's across the county by tomorrow morning.

Dense Fog Advisory In Effect For Schuylkill County







SKOOK EVENTS: Hometown Fire Company, Spaghetti Dinner, March 30, 2014

Overnight Motor Vehicle Accidents in West Penn and East Union Township

West Penn Township Fire was called to 1002 West Penn Pike Street, along Route 309 just after 11pm Thursday evening for a motor vehicle accident with a vehicle on an embankment.  Injuries were originally reported with the call but no other information was available.

About an hour later, just after midnight, E. Union Twp Fire was called to Holmesville Road/Green Mountain Road for a vehicle into a tree with injuries.  No other information or the severity of the injuries are available at this time.

Father, Mother, and Son Charged With Assault After Disturbance in Shenandoah

Updated with names:  02/25/14 at 8:20am

Around 7PM, Wednesday evening (February 19, 2014), Shenandoah Borough officers were called to the 100 Block of North Jardin St. for a fight in progress.  While enroute, officers were advised that the fight involved weapons in the form of shovels and that the fight was escalating.

When officers arrived, they found several people in the street with shovels.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Mark Kessler No Longer Police Chief of Gilberton, Signs deal for Reality Show?

Mayor Mary Lou Hannon, Gilberton Mayor, has confirmed with WNEP news that suspended borough Police Chief, Mark Kessler, is no longer the police chief.  Both the borough and Kessler came to a settlement on Thursday.

WNEP's story

The out of Harrisburg reports that he has signed with a national production company for a reality show.

Win Tickets to See Cesar Millan at the Santander Performing Arts Center

Skook News is pleased to announce, in conjunction with the Santander Performing Arts Center, your chance to win 2 tickets to see Cesar Millan, The Dog Whisperer, at the Santander Performing Arts Center in Reading, PA on Sunday, March 15th at 3 pm.

More details will be announced Monday, February 24th, 2014 when the contest starts on how you can win these tickets.

Below is some information about the show itself and if you are interested in buying tickets.

Dozens Arrested in Heroin Sweep in Hazleton

Image from
The Attorney General's Office announced that 30 people were arrested today in a heroin sweep in Hazleton.  Over 9,000 packets of heroin were seized in the operation.

You can read the full list of people from the link above, but some of the people arrested were from Schuylkill County.

Schuylkill County Basketball District 11 Playoff Schedule

The PIAA District 11 Schedule for District playoffs are as follows:

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Schuylkill County High School Basketball Scores

Schuylkill County High School Basketball for 2/19/14


Lehighton - 85
Tamaqua - 59

Interstate 81 Open Again After Being Closed for Over 4 Hours

Interstate 81 Southbound near the Pine Grove exit and above is reportedly open to at least 1 lane after being closed for over 4 hours.

The Interstate has been closed to traffic at the 104 (Ravine), 107 (Tower City), and 112 (Hegins) exits.

Tuesday Morning Fire in Mahanoy City

 Posted from

A woman is displaced after a fire destroyed her Mahanoy City home Tuesday morning.

Schuylkill County School Closings/Delays for 2/19/14

Schuylkill County School Schedule Changes for 2/19/14

Due to the the icy weather conditions, schools have changed dismissal times or cancelled.

Icy Road Conditions Wednesday Morning

The freezing rain that was predicted for this morning proved to be dangerous once it began falling just after 8am this morning.

Accidents have been reported from Route 61 in Orwigsburg, Route 61 near Port Clinton, Owl Creek Road in Tamaqua, and all over Interstate 81.

The Interstate is reported to be closed southbound from at the exits at 104 (Ravine), 107 (Tower City), and 112 (Hegins).  Multiple accidents were reported within a 2 mile stretch of the Interstate near the Pine Grove exit.  One of the accident was reportedly to involve a car and a tractor trailer.

There were also accidents reported Northbound on Interstate 81 near milemarker 131.

Current Closures (at 9:56am)

 - Interstate 81 Southbound - Milemarker 112-100
 - 209 between Tamaqua and Coaldale
 - Hometown Hill near Hometown
 - Owl Creek Road, Tamaqua

Tuesday's 3 Vehicle Accident in West Penn Township

Just after 2 PM, Tuesday, crews were called to a 3 vehicle head on accident along Route 443 in West Penn Twp.

Freezing Rain Morning Update


Freezing Rain Morning Update

5:50AM: Good morning! Our precipitation is currently out in Western Pennsylvania. It will begin to reach Eastern PA anytime after 8am. The main concern for freezing rain will be in the valleys.

Warmer air is moving in aloft. Basically the higher up you go, the warmer it is. In fact, elevations are pretty warm this morning. In Frackville it's already 30 degrees. These temps will continue to rise as we head through the morning hours. In the valleys, such as Tamaqua and Pottsville, we are stuck between 16-18 degrees. With that being said, freezing rain will hold on longer in valley locations. However, if an elevation starts to see rain and it's 33 degrees, it could still freeze. Ground temps are colder than the air temp. So until the ground warms up, freezing rain will be a concern for just about all of the area.

Best Chance for Freezing rain will be after 8am and lasting until noon. Beyond that, temps will be warm enough to support plain rain. Again, freezing rain will hold on longer in valley locations today. Highs today will reach the lower 40's later this afternoon. Just be careful out there if traveling between 8am and 12pm. Most main roads should be ok. It's the side roads and untreated surfaces that ya gotta worry about. Stay safe and have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

One Arrested in Connection with Wal-Mart Arson

One man was arrested Tuesday evening for allegedly setting a fire  in the lawn and garden section of the Hometown Wal-Mart.

WNEP is reporting that Police said Johnathan Maldanado, 20, from Hazleton admitted to starting the fire by lighting a can of Silly String and leaving it on a shelf in the store.

Johnathan L. Maldonado, 20, of Hazleton is in custody, arraigned and placed into Schuylkill County Prison on $50,000 straight cash bail.  
No word if there are any other persons of interest.
Link to earlier article with surveillance of other suspects

Schuylkill County High School Basketball Scores

Schuylkill County High School Basketball Scores for 1/18/14


Emmaus 60
Pottsville 54

Freezing Rain Advisory Issued For Schuylkill County



Charges Filed Against Man in Car Chase in Shenandoah

Photo from Shenandoah Police Department FB Page
Charges have been filed against man, Timothy Kelly, after he led Shenandoah Police in a vehicle pursuit during the morning hours of Thursday, January 13, 2014.

According to the Shenandoah Police Department Facebook page, Kelly led officers in a vehicle pursuit that began in the Turkey Run area of the borough then ended up going off road ending near Yatesville Road.

The chases ended when Kelly rammed a Shenandoah Police cruiser then fled.

Possible ice preceding warmer temps

By: Ryan Fannock

Rain showers are expected to move towards the county between 6am and 9am Wednesday morning. Along with the rain, temps will be stuck below freezing. Temps aren't projected to rise above 32 degrees until after the 9am hour. So with light rain moving in during the morning commute, ice is possible. Main roads are normally ok during events like this. It's the untreated surfaces and side roads which cause the most problems. I'll have more information this evening during my 7pm update. I just wanted to give you a heads up in case you haven't heard the news yet.

Highs on Wednesday will approach the 40 degree mark during the afternoon. Thursday will most likely reach the low 40's and Friday has a shot at hitting 50. Don't worry, winter will filter back in by next Monday with highs in the upper 30's.

Police Need Help Identifying 4 People In Relation to Arson Fire at the Hometown Wal-Mart

Posted from

Rush Township Police are asking the public’s help in identifying four individuals involved in an arson fire this morning (Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014) inside the Hometown Wal-Mart.


“These four individuals are responsible for starting the fire near the lawn and garden section of the store,” said Sgt. Duane Frederick, Rush Township Police Department. “The males ran out of the store and got into a black vehicle and fled the parking lot headed north on SR309.” Emergency personnel responded to the Wal-Mart Supercenter in Hometown at 2:26 AM for a report of flames and thick white smoke inside the lawn and garden section of the store.

Truck Overturns in Rush Township Tuesday Morning

Posted from

No one was injured after a driver flipped his full-size truck on its side around 8 AM today (Feb. 18, 2014) along Ye Old Hauto Road in Hometown, Rush Township. The incident occurred near the SR54 (Lafayette Avenue) intersection. Responding were Rush Township Police, Hometown Fire Company, Quakake Fire Police and Hometown Fire Police. Hope’s Towing removed the vehicle.

Overnight Fire At Hometown Wal-Mart

Posted from:

Shortly after 2:30 this morning (Tuesday, February 18, 2014), emergency personnel responded to the Wal-Mart Supercenter in Hometown for a report of flames and thick white smoke inside the lawn and garden section of the store.