Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Three Injured, One Flown to Hospital After Tuesday Morning Crash

Photo Courtesy of Andrew Leibenguth /
TamaquaArea.com Public Forum
Around 10:30am Tuesday morning, emergency crews were called to the border of Tamaqua and Schuylkill Township along Route 209 for a motor vehicle accident with injuries.

Schuylkill County Ambulance Catches Fire on Interstate 81 in Lebanon County

Photo Courtesy of Andrew Leibenguth/TamaquArea.com
Public Forum
A Schuylkill County Ambulance caught fire Tuesday afternoon in Lebanon County.

Big Diamond Speedway Point Standings as of May 27

Big Diamond Speedway Point Standings as of May 27

Lottery Winning Employees Charged for Stealing Money from Store

The Pennsylvania State Police have charged four employees of a Schuylkill County store with stealing money and using it on the Pennsylvania Lottery and other items.

According to Police, Kerry Titus, 54, Joan Lechleitner, 51, Samantha Schaeffer, 25, and Tyler Schappell, 21, all of Pottsville were arraigned Tuesday afternoon on charges of theft by unlawful taking and theft by deception for allegedly stealing over $175,000 from the Cressona Agway, located on 22 North Second Street where they all worked.

The thefts were reportedly made through fraudulent product returns between May 2011 and March 2016.

The accused then reportedly spent the money on various items including Pennsylvania Lottery tickets.

According to the Pennsylvania Lottery, the four hit the Cash 5 Jackpot on September 11, 2015 for $261,000.

The four were arraigned before Magisterial District Judge James Ferrier, Orwigsburg.

USDA Rural Development Funds Two New Minersville Trucks through a Loan and Grant Combo

USDA Rural Development is funding the purchase of two new trucks for the use of the Borough of Minersville, Schuylkill County. The Borough of Minersville is an eligible rural area in the state of Pennsylvania.

“USDA Rural Development is happy to fund vehicles for communities like Minersville,” said Rural Development State Director Tom Williams. “Funding these vehicles will ensure that the Borough of Minersville continues to respond to calls around the community in a timely and efficient manner.”

The funding comes in the form of a Rural Development Community Facility loan of $96,600 as well as a Community Facility grant of $20,600. This loan and grant combination will be used to purchase two 2016 Chevrolet 3500HD trucks. One truck will come equipped with a dump box, snow plow, and salt spreader packages while the second truck will come equipped with a snow plow package. A $200 applicant contribution puts the total project funding at $117,400.

In Pennsylvania last year, the USDA Community Facility Program invested over $199 million in rural Pennsylvania through 58 community facilities loans and grants. Community Facilities programs help build, expand, rehabilitate, purchase, and support the development of police and emergency fire stations and equipment, museums, child care centers, hospitals, clinics, schools, and more.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Upcoming Schuylkill County Road Work

Upcoming Schuylkill County Road Work

Hawk Mountain Council to Host Service to Youth and Community Breakfast

The Hawk Mountain Council, Boy Scouts of America will hold a Distinguished Citizen Breakfast to honor the Schaeffer Family, H. Slayton Altenburg and other local community leaders.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Yuengling to Present Donation to VFW at National Convention

D.G. Yuengling & Son, Inc., announced Thursday that it will recognize the sacrifices that America’s veterans have made by presenting a generous donation to the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW) at the 117th VFW National Convention in Charlotte N.C. this July. The donation will go toward the VFW’s many veteran and military assistance programs which help countless veterans, service members and military family members each year.

Man Charged with Sexually Assaulting Teenage Girl

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

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Wednesday's Schuylkill County Weather Forecast - 05/25/16

Wednesday's Schuylkill County Weather Forecast - 05/25/16

Fire Company to Celebrate Engine Milestone

The Rangers Hose Company, Girardville, is planning a day of activities for June 4th, 2016 to celebrate their 1916 Ford Model T fire engine turning 100 years old.

Pennsylvania Gas Stations Will Soon Be Allowed to Sell Six Packs

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

Fire Crews Called to Fire in Shenandoah

Around 11:30am Wednesday,  fire crews were called to 219 West Oak Street, Shenandoah for a house fire.

Fire Crews at the Scene of a Fire in East Brunswick Township

Around 9:00am, Wednesday, fire crews were called to 111 Bear Creek Drive, East Brunswick Township for a house fire.

The fire is reported to be a trailer.

More details when they are available.

Hallmark Closing in the Fairlane Village Mall

Photo from HeritageShop.com
The Hallmark Heritage Shop in the Fairlane Village Mall announced Monday that they will be closing.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Auditor General Reports that 42,000 Calls to Child Abuse Hotline Went Unanswered

HARRISBURG (May 24, 2016) – 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.

Tuesday's Schuylkill County Weather Forecast - 05/24/16

Tuesday's Schuylkill County Weather Forecast - 05/24/16

Gone But Not Forgotten Race to Wrap Up May Races at Big Diamond and Current Point Standings

MINERSVILLE, PA. -- Over the years, Big Diamond Speedway has been blessed to have some of the greatest people in racing grace the track as drivers, car owners, crew chiefs, mechanics or dedicated fans.

On Friday, the speedway will honor their memories with the Mark’s Service Station will present the Gone But Not Forgotten Race.

A list of names appears on a billboard behind the scoring tower for fans to see at the speedway and one of those names is Fran Purcell.

A long-time racer and car owner, Purcell died in November of 2008 and he was remembered in victory lane last Tuesday night by Ryan Watt while celebrating his win in the 50-lap Short Track Super Series Anthracite Assault modified feature.

“It’s a real big thing as I never ran Big Diamond that much and he gave me a shot at it and we got along real well,” Watt said. “Fran was so well known and to be involved with someone who was a big supporter of Big Diamond is really big to me.”

Friday’s race will be the first point race for the CJ’s Tire & Automotive Services 358 modifieds in a month thanks to rain outs.

They’ll be joined on the card by the U.S.S. Achey sportsman, Savage 61 roadrunners, No Sweat Service Group street stocks and the vintage cars.

General admission is $15, $13 for seniors and kids 12-and-under along with active military with a valid ID are free.

The gates opens at 5 with warm ups at 7:45 and racing getting underway at 8:15.

Current Point Standings
CJ's Tire & Automotive Services 358 Modifieds:
1. Ryan Godown 837
2. Billy Pauch Jr. 779
3. Jeff Strunk 774
4. Ryan Grim 749
5. Ray Swinehart 702
6. Rick Laubach 669
7. Ryan Watt 659
8. Duane Howard 653
9. Brett Kressley 628
10. Shawn Fitzpatrick 541.

U.S.S. Achey Sportsman:
1. Brandon Grosso 1466
2. Tim Fitzpatrick 1369
3. Wayne Witmer 1282
4. Ray Woodall Jr. 1182
5. Doug Hendricks 1065
6. Chuck Fayash 993
7. Matt Clay 972
8. Ed Mrochko 964
9. Ray Woodall Sr. 929
10.Kyle Gruber 888.

Savage 61 roadrunners:
1. Kody Sites 1133
2. Andrew Fayash III 1129
3. Terry Kramer 996
4. Tim Fitzpatrick Jr. 972
5. Jim Kost 972
6. T.J. Fitzpatrick 904
7. Steve Gromis 892
8. Kris Ney 875
9. Chuck Eckert 854
10. Devin Trexler 823.

No Sweat Service Group street stocks:
1. Eric Tripp 614
2. Rich Bossinger 577
3. Chris Derr 537
4. Jeremy Becker 505
5. Jasen Geesaman 480
6. Leroy Long 460
7. Bobby Kupp 459
8. Jim Somers 452
9. Scott Strickler 438
10. Elvin Brennan III 404.

Fishing Licenses Available; Price to Increase June 1st

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

Fire Crews Battle 2nd Alarm House Fire Tuesday Morning

Just after 5:00am Tuesday morning, fire crews were called to the scene of a working house fire in Orwigsburg.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Fatal Motorcycle Accident on Interstate 81 Monday Afternoon

The coroner has been called to the scene of a motorcycle crash on Interstate 81 Monday afternoon.

COPS Television Show to Film in Hazleton

The City of Hazleton announced Monday that the hit TV show "COPS" will be filming episodes in the city for the next 8 weeks.

Monday's Schuylkill County Weather Forecast - 05/23/16

Monday's Schuylkill County Weather Forecast - 05/23/16

NEPA Craft Beer Festival is coming to Wilkes Barre

Wilkes Barre, PA- SMG officials in Wilkes Barre are thrilled to announce Brew Crew Events present the inaugural NEPA Craft Beer Festival. 

Dense Fog Advisory Issued for Monday Morning

TA dense fog advisory has been issued by the National Weather Service for Schuylkill County on Monday morning.

According to the advisory,






Sunday, May 22, 2016

Saturday, May 21, 2016

PHOTO: Tamaqua Student Receives FARM Scholarship

Photo caption: (L to R) Kim Morgan, Scholarship Chairman presents the Foundation for Agriculture and Resource Management (FARM) to the 2015 Hannah Miller of Tamaqua. 2016 Scholarship appllications are due by June 1 and the application may be found on the Schuylkill County Fair web site at www.schuylkillfair.com

Police Investigating Gunshots at McDonald's Saturday Afternoon

The State Police in Schuylkill Haven are investigating a report of gunshots in a McDonald's Parking Lot Saturday afternoon.

Ray Woodall Sr., Wins First Ever Sportsman Feature

MINERSVILLE, PA. -- It was 30 years in the making but Ray Woodall Sr., would have been happy with just his heat race win on Friday night.

Instead, the veteran modified campaigner who began his career at the famed Flemington Fair Speedway in the sportsman division in 1983, held off challenges from Doug Hendricks and then Tim Fitzpatrick to score his first-ever win in the 20-lap U.S.S. Achey sportsman feature on Friday night at Big Diamond Speedway.

Other winners on Friday night were Brett Arndt (ARDC Midgets); Kody Sites (roadrunners); and Eric Tripp (street stocks).

The speedway is back in action on Friday, May 27 with the Mark’s Service Center Night for the Gone But Not Forgotten Race featuring the CJ’s Tire & Automotive Services 358 modifieds, U.S.S. Achey sportsman, Savage 61 roadrunners, No Sweat Service Group street stocks and vintage cars.

It took two attempts to get the sportsman feature underway as rookie Skylar Sheriff experienced mechanical issues with this car, but once the green flew it was a battle between Woodall Sr., and Shawn Light in the opening laps.

Light would fend off the charge on the outside of Woodall Sr. on the opening lap as the two raced side-by-side down the backstretch.

In what would turn out to be a caution-filled race, Woodall Sr. took the lead on a lap 1 restart as he battled Light going into Turn 3.

Light would see his night come to an end when he was part of a three-car accident on the restart of lap 7 on the front stretch.

Woodall Sr., would lead the way on the restart as Fitzpatrick and Hendricks battled for second. Fitzpatrick would take over the runner-up spot just past the halfway mark and set sail after Woodall.

As Fitzpatrick closed in on lap 17, a lapped car came into play as Woodall and Fitzpatrick had to go to the high side in Turns 1 and 2, thus slowing Fitzpatrick for just a moment which allowed Woodall to open up his lead with two laps to go.

“To leave here tonight with a feature win, this is incredible,” Woodall Sr. Said. “I’m an old guy. I’m 57 and I am just starting to do this again and I am having such a good time.”

Fitzpatrick gave Woodall Sr., all he could handle while settling for second place with Craig Whitmoyer, Hendricks and Mike Lisowski rounding out the top five.

“Thank God Tim Fitzpatrick has patience, because I know I got squirly in front of him a bunch of times,” Woodall said. “With two to go and even on the white flag lap, I was thinking there is no way I was going to win this. I was waiting for Tim (Fitzpatrick) to go by. There’s no way this was happening. I was there for my son Ray’s first win at Big Diamond and he was there for mine. I ran big blocks at Flemington and I never qualified. I had garbage equipment and these new cars are so nice to drive.”

Sixth through 10th were Brandon Grosso, T.J. Lilly, Wayne Witmer, Cale Ross and Ryan Shupp.

Heats for the 23 sportsman were won by Light and Woodall Sr.

Lapped traffic would play a role in the outcome of the 20-lap ARDC midget feature at Trevor Kobylarz who had a healthy lead late in the race, bobbled going into Turn 1 on the final lap allowing Arndt to get a run on the high-side of Turn 2 and pass him for the win, his second of the season.

The lap before that, Arndt showed his nose to Kobylarz but Arndt pushed up the track and lost some momentum.

“I think that he kind of felt like the only place that I was going to run was on the bottom and lapped traffic gave us plenty of room and I was definitely better than him a lane up and luckily it was a clean grove and we made a pretty cool pass; it’s been a long time since we took a win from somebody,” Arndt said. "The track was in great shape and we had a great surface to run on from top to bottom. We always enjoy coming here with ARDC."

Kobylarz battled with midget veteran Danny Stratton in the early goings before the two made contact coming off Turn 4 on lap 6, sending Startton spinning into the infield.

Arndt was busy holding off Alex Bright for most of the race as they closed in on Kobylarz for the lead in the final few laps.

Kobylarz held on for second with Bright third while Billy Pauch, Jr., and Ryan Wilson completed the top five.

Sixth through 10th were Brenden Bright, Nick Wean, Ryan Greth, Kyle Spence and Justin Grosz. Heats for the 19 midgets were won by Danny Stratton and Greth.

Cody Site is beginning to assert himself as an early-season title contender as he scored his second win of the year in the Savage 61 roadrunners 20-lap feature.

Sites held off Jesse Kranitsky on a lap 13 restart and pulled away for the win.

“This thing was a rocket tonight,” Sites said. “We had a rough night in the second week, but I think we got it now. I have to thank my dad. He did a lot of work on the car over the winter.”

While Sites was pulling away, five cars were battling for the runner-up spot as Kranitsky held off Andy Fayash III by less than a fender at the line for second

Heats for the 23 roadrunners were won by Andrew Fayash III and Chuck Eckert

Tripp continues to lead the way in the No Sweat Service Group street stocks as he held on for a last-lap restart for the win.

“We were pretty quick off the starts tonight and I wanted to be down low (inside grove) and I don’t know what happened, but I got by him and Chris is a heck of a driver, we were pretty lucky to get the win,” Trip said.

Jasen Geeseman, Chris Derr, Jim Bossinger and Bobby Kupp completed the top five.

Sixth through 10th were Dustin Hollinger, Jimmy Combs, Leroy Long Jeremy Becker and Tyler Stump. Heats for the 20 street stocks were won by Deer and Jasen Geeseman.

In the Kim’s Kreation’s Mechanics race, Andrew Walls (street stocks) and Shawn Marshall (roadrunners) took home the wins.

The gates will open at 5 p.m. on May 27 with warm ups at 7:45 and racing begins at 8:15. General admission is $15, seniors, $13, and kids 12-and-under and active military with a valid ID are free.

By Shawn Wood

Friday, May 20, 2016

Armed Ashland Man Shot By Secret Service at White House

(05/20/16) According to Fox News outlets, the man shot by the secret service was from Ashland.

Veterans Speak to Students on the Importance of Memorial Day

On Friday morning, Schuylkill County veterans spoke to students of the North Schuylkill School District.

Police Warn of Burglars Stealing Copper and Scrap

Mahanoy City Police are reporting that there have been multiple burglaries reported the last couple days in the borough.

The burglaries are reported to involve 3 males in a gold Mazda 4 door vehicle. The males have been stealing copper and scrap from abandoned homes in town. 

Police have identified all 3 and have obtained video and pictures of the accused. 

Anyone seeing this vehicle at any abandoned residences in the area is asked to contact police at (570) 773-2310.

Fire Damages 2 Homes Friday Morning

A fire has left at least 5 people homeless Friday morning.

Just after 7:00am Friday morning, fire crews were called to 421 Centre Street, Ashland for a working structure fire.

The fire quickly spread to an adjoining home at 419 Centre Street and was upgraded to a 3rd alarm.

Fire crews from all over Schuylkill and Northumberland Counties responded to help fight the fire.

No injuries were reported but 2 dogs reportedly died in the fire.

A third house suffered minimal damage.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Link to More Photos from Coal Region Fire

Suspicious Package Found at the Pottsville Post Office

According to authorities, a suspicious package was found at the Pottsville Post Office Friday morning.

Upcoming Schuylkill County Road Work

Upcoming Schuylkill County Road Work