Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Local News-Tuesday, Feb. 20th

A Shenandoah woman is dead following a Saturday afternoon crash in Gilberton. We reported to you yesterday that 25-year-old Jamie Hossler and her 8-year-old son were involved in a head-on crash on Route 924. Hossler was ejected from the vehicle during the accident. Both were life-flighted to Geisinger Medical Center for treatment. Officials say that Jamie Hossler died Sunday.

Officials have released additional details about the crash that killed a New Jersey man Friday night. Cesar and Juan Taveras were traveling on Route 61 when they lost control on a patch of ice, went up a snow bank and plunged over the Schuylkill River bridge at Port Clinton. Officials say that the SUV went down 60 feet into the river, and 43-year-old Cesar Tavares died from drowning and hypothermia. 71-year-old Juan Taveras was taken to Lehigh Valley Hospital for treatment of minor injuries. Rescue workers from Hamburg and the Schuylkill Haven Fire Department dive team worked for over an hour to free the pair from the wreckage in the icy waters. State police are still investigating.

A Pottsville medical practice and pharmacy were closed Monday due to the weight of snow and ice on their roof. A portion of the roof of the building which houses the Pottsville Internists practice and the RXD Pharmacy showed signs of bowing due to the heavy snow and ice from last week’s storm, prompting the closure of those businesses. According to the Pottsville Republican, contractors were on-site to assess the situation, and that the roof was not in danger of collapse. The rear portion of the building, which houses the billing department for the practice, showed no signs of bowing under the weight. Officials say that the affected portions of the building will remain closed until the situation is taken care of.

Today is Shrove Tuesday, or better known as Fastnacht Day. The day before Ash Wednesday, according to Pennsylvania German tradition, is the day to get the fat out of the house before Lent starts. Its also the time to enjoy the deep-fried doughnuts known as Fastnachts. Traditionalists say that a true Fastnacht has no sugar coating or filling, but many people enjoy making them and eating them with a variety of toppings and fillings. Across the region, people make the pastry themselves, but many don’t have time to do so, and buy them from local churches and bakeries. The traditional fastnacht is made with mashed potatoes, and deep fried in lard. They may not be the healthiest thing to eat, but once a year, its okay.

A Tower City woman suffered minor injuries, and two passengers were not hurt in a crash last night in Porter Township. Schuylkill Haven State Police say that 20-year-old Rachel Rothermel was southbound on Route 209 when her car left the roadway and struck a tree. 19-year-old Richard Demyan and a 10 week old child, passengers in the car, were not hurt. All three were wearing their seatbelts. The crash happened before 8 o’clock last night.

A Carlisle woman was involved in a one vehicle crash on Interstate 81 Sunday. Frackville state police report that 19-year-old Nicole Hartman was southbound on the Interstate when she lost control , left the roadway and hit a snow bank. Her car careened across the road, hit another snow pile and rolled over. Hartman was not hurt. The crash happened at mile marker 113 in Foster Township around 2pm Sunday.

A county environmental group will hear from an internationally known engineer at their meeting tonight.
The Schuylkill Headwaters Association, an active participant in the effort to clean waterways of acid mine drainage, will hold their regular monthly meeting tonight at the Schuylkill Conservation District on the Gordon Nagle Trail. Their guest speaker is James Gusek, a Senior Consultant with Golder Associates, Lakewood, Colorado. Gusek specializes in mine closure, land reclamation and designing passive treatment systems for mine contaminated water. The meeting is open to the public, and local sportsmen’s groups are encouraged to attend. For information, contact Paul Lohin at 544-3418.

Residents in the Panther Valley School District may see a tax increase for the next budget year. At Monday’s board meeting, a preliminary spending plan of $20.7-million-dollars was approved. That plan would increase taxes for residents of Carbon and Schuylkill counties, which the district encompasses. Panther Valley school officials indicate that the district will apply for an exception to Act 1, in order to raise taxes more than the 2 mills allowed under the state Taxpayer Relief Act. If approved, Carbon County taxpayers would see their property taxes increase 19 percent, and Schuylkill County taxpayers of Panther Valley an increase of 18-point-9 percent. The spending plan is subject to changes, and a final budget will not be adopted until June of this year. Panther Valley lost about a half-million dollars in state reimbursement funds for their middle-school construction project due to an error made by Public Financial Management Incorporated, the bond management firm who worked on the financing for the school. The district has reduced their spending on the new school by about $450-thousand-dollars already to make up the shortfall.


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