WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA - Before a crowd of hundreds of the nation's most accomplished journalists gathered in our nation's capital, David Lindenmuth, a 2017 graduate of Shenandoah Valley Jr./Sr. High School and Publisher/Editor/Multimedia Journalist for The Shenandoah Sentinel was recognized and awarded a scholarship for is efforts with the website.
Lindenmuth was awarded the National Press Club's Richard G. Zimmerman scholarship, a one-time award of $5,000, and afforded the opportunity to speak at the club's 44th Annual Journalism Awards event, held Friday night in the ballroom of the National Press Building.
"David created and maintained, on his own, The Shenandoah Sentinel newspaper website that covers Schuylkill County. The Facebook page for The Sentinel has upwards of 3,000 followers. Besides covering daily local news, in high school, David was active in his Gifted Program, Quiz Bowl, and is a member of his band's Honor Guard." National Press Club President Jeff Ballou said, introducing Lindenmuth. "Haley Bianco, a reporter with WBRE/WYOU in Scranton wrote David a recommendation letter for the scholarship. Here's an excerpt: 'One of the sites I check daily is The Shenandoah Sentinel. It is a professional site, with interesting and compelling news stories. When I found out that high school senior David Lindenmuth was the only person behind the operation, I was shocked, impressed, and curious... David's high school does not offer any journalism opportunities, but that didn't stop him. He wanted to learn, he wanted to experience, he created his own website and he learned by doing. When he's not at school, he's out covering stories. He works at borough hall and school board meetings, around the clock waking up in the middle of the night when the fire alarms go off, spending hours at borough hall, just to get a story that no one else will have.'"
SHENANDOAH - In a seven minute special meeting Wednesday night, the Shenandoah Valley School Board named Stuart Tripler as the new high school principal, effective August 3.
Tripler, a principal for 15 years at various districts, succeeds Phillip Andras, who has held the position at Shenandoah Valley since 1999 until announcing his retirement in June.
The school board voted unanimously to select Tripler, a Harvey's Lake, Luzerne County resident, as principal at a starting salary of $80,000.
"I'm excited to come here (to Shenandoah Valley), I'm looking forward to working with the great team that I met here and I met during the interview process. I was really impressed with what the district wants to do, and with the students and staff I've interacted with." Tripler said following the meeting. "In previous districts, I've had the very good fortune of working with the teaching team and we've been able to improve our school performance profile scores, our Keystone scores. We've been able to adjust curriculum to make it what's best for the kids, and that's what I hope to do here too, as well. We hope to make sure our curriculum is relevant and rigorous for the kids in getting them ready for the college careers they want to go to."
SHENANDOAH - Recently, PennDOT applied an "oil and chip" treatment to Route 924 between Shenandoah and Frackville, more commonly known as the Gold Star Highway, leading to numerous reports on social media regarding broken windshields and other vehicle damage caused by loose stones laid in the treatment.
Why does PennDOT continue to use the treatment? A tight budget and a massive road network - over 40,000 miles - are likely the primary reasons.
Using the Oil-and-Chip method costs on average $15,488 for a 24-foot-wide by 1-mile-long section of road, to the $107,712 to repave the same sized section.
According to PennDOT's Maintenance First publication, the treatment "is used as a way to extend the life of low-traffic-volume roads for another three to five years."
According to PennDOT's Traffic Volume map, the Gold Star Highway between Shenandoah and Frackville had an Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT) count of 11,000. AADT is the typical daily traffic on a road segment for all the days in a week, over a one-year period.
FRACKVILLE - A Lycoming County company is looking to build a Family Dollar in Frackville, right at the northern entrance to the borough.
In order to build the store - Upper Schuylkill's third - Moonrise Acquisitions, LLC, of Williamsport, had to receive approval for several zoning variance requests.
The property where the company is looking to build the store is irregularly shaped, meaning, to move forward with the project, it needs zoning relief.
According to Moonrise, the building would be 7,044 square feet. The Schuylkill County zoning ordinance requires one space per 200 square feet, therefore the proposed project would need 36 spaces. Moonrise requested approval for 26.
According to the county zoning board, the parking lot would face North Lehigh Avenue.
Submitted Public Notice
SHENANDOAH - Notice is hereby given by that a public hearing will be held on July 31, 2017 at 6:30 P.M in the Borough Council Meeting Room, Borough Hall, 15 West Washington Street, Shenandoah. This meeting is accessible to persons with disabilities and/or persons with limited English proficiency.
If you wish to attend and require special accommodations, please notify Gary Bender, Schuylkill County Administrator, 570-628-1222 or gbender@co. schuylkill.pa.us. TDD users 7-1-1 PA Telecommunications Relay Center.
The purpose of the hearing is to discuss the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program in general, the needs of the community that can be met with CDBG funding, and performance under the previously funded CDBG program years and the Three-Year Community Development Plan.
The Borough of Shenandoah expects to receive an allocation of approximately $91,700 in FY 2017 CDBG funds from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. At least 70% of the funds must be used to benefit low and moderate income persons.
The proposed activities must benefit at least 51% low-moderate income persons in the service area to qualify as an eligible project. Neither the schedule for submission nor the specific allocation figures have not yet been issues by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) but we anticipate a November submission.
The following types of activities may be eligible for funding under the CDBG Program: water and sewer line replacement and improvements; housing rehabilitation; construction or improvements to community facilities such as community centers, roads, sidewalks and recreational facilities; public services; removal of architectural barriers; code enforcement; economic development; acquisition of property in support of other activities; demolition; and general administration.
If activities undertaken with grant funds would result in the displacement of families or individuals, then the Schuylkill County Anti-Displacement and Relocation Policy, would be in effect.
Schuylkill County would be responsible for replacing all low and moderate income housing units that may be demolished or converted as a result of the use of CDBG funds.
All interested parties are invited to attend the public hearing and give oral testimony at the Public hearing or present written comments concerning the needs of the community, proposed CDBG activities, the prior use of funds, as well as the CDBG program in general.
Comments may be submitted to the Schuylkill County Administrator, Court House, 401 N. 2nd St., Pottsville, PA 17901 or gbender@co. schuylkill.pa.us by September 1, 2017.
By David Lindenmuth
SHENANDOAH - Shenandoah Borough Council announced during it's July meeting on Monday night that it's the recipient of a $41,875 grant from the Schuylkill County Land Bank.
The grant is part of a $200,000 Blight Remediation grant awarded by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development. Three boroughs, Shenandoah, Mahanoy City, and Minersville, participated in a matching grant program with the land bank in order to receive funding.
Shenandoah committed $50,000 towards the grant. Mahanoy City committed $106,168, and will receive $88,775.
According to council, that grant money will be used to research a low incoming housing project for elderly residents at an empty lot at Coal and Jardin Streets, where fire destroyed several homes in 2012. The borough acquired the lot in 2015.
The borough is looking to partner with Schuylkill Community Action to develop a taxable housing project on the site.
In order to receive the grant, the borough had to enter into a sub-recipient agreement with the land bank, which council approved at Monday's meeting.
Also regarding the land bank, Mayor Andrew J. Szczyglak was appointed to the land bank's board of directors.
SHENANDOAH - Downtown Shenandoah, Inc. announced its Grand Marshal for the upcoming Heritage Day parade at its July meeting Tuesday afternoon.
The organization selected the veteran news writer John E. Usalis, former staff writer at the Pottsville Republican-Herald and the former Shenandoah Evening Herald.
"I am very happy to announce that the grand marshal has been selected, and Mr. John Usalis has agreed to be our grand marshal." Promotions Committee Chairwoman Anne Taylor said at the meeting.
"Good Choice." Jeannie Stanulonis said.
Usalis, Girardville, was most recently the northern Schuylkill reporter for the Republican-Herald until it was announced in February that Times-Shamrock Communications, parent company of the newspaper, offered buyouts to 15-year-plus employees, in an effort to cut 62 positions company-wide.
Usalis currently writes a column on Facebook, titled "Still Roamin'" which can be viewed here: https://www.facebook.com/StillRoamin/
SHENANDOAH HEIGHTS - The West Mahanoy Township supervisors held a public hearing during its regular meeting on Tuesday night, hearing T&J Petroleum LLC's request to transfer a liquor license from the Clarion House in Saint Clair to the Frackville Exxon, 541 Altamont Boulevard, Altamont.
During the hearing, which is required by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, township residents voiced concerns about the potential negative effects of the license transfer.
"Is that a good idea to have alcohol sold at (the junction of Interstate 81 and PA Route 61), because we have a lot of people that come off 81. They come off to eat, to get gas, go to a place like this, get a couple of cases of beer, is that a good idea?" asked Evelyn Andrews, Altamont.
"You're going to put a bar, basically... you're going to add more of a problem for our police, and for our neighborhoods up there. We don't have the police coverage, and I don't think that's fair to our policemen, and it's not fair to our community." Ann Marie Wycheck added.
SHENANDOAH - Sunday morning, residents of Shenandoah, parishioners from the Divine Mercy Parish, among others, processed through the streets of Shenandoah's west side as part of the 103rd Annual Our Lady of Mount Carmel procession.
The event followed the parish's 9:00am mass, travelling from the parish to the Glover's Hill section of the borough and back, winding through side streets and alleyways.
Some families carried homemade “cintas,” or small shrines, some of which have passed from generation to generation, while other families volunteered for the honor of carrying the statue of Our Lady of Mount Carmel or the canopy held over the statue.
Residents and parishioners alike made donations to the parish by pinning dollar bills to the statue as it passed through town.
The procession was led by a Shenandoah Police escort and the Upper Schuylkill Marching Band, and was followed by a Shenandoah Ambulance chase vehicle.
EMTs and ambulances from Shenandoah Ambulance were staged throughout the parade route.
SHENANDOAH - One man is charged after a fight in the heart of Shenandoah, which sent two the hospital Friday afternoon.
According to police, officers were called to the Rite Aid in the borough's downtown around 3:10pm after a call regarding a fight with stab victims.
Shortly after arrival, officers identified Enrique Torres, Benjamin Vadiz, and Christina Torres, as suspects in the fight, all of whom had suffered injuries.
An investigation into the incident, according to police, revealed that Enrique Torres and Benjamin Vadiz were involved in an argument regarding loud music at the Shenandoah One Stop Shop two blocks away.
Later, police say Enrique and Christina Torres parked in the Rite Aid parking lot, sitting in their vehicle until Benjamin Vadiz arrived, when Enrique exited the vehicle, holding a knife, when the fight began.
Police say Vadiz began hitting Enrique Torres with a bookbag, and began punching him, all while being slashed by Vadiz' knife. Christina Torres was also involved, kicking and punching Vadiz, according to police.
Vadiz was taken to Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, for treatment of injuries to his back and face while Christina Torres was taken to Lehigh Valley Hospital-Schuylkill for treatment.
Enrique Torres, 52, of 116 West Laurel Street, was charged with two felony counts of aggravated assault along with one misdemeanor count each of possessing instruments of crime, recklessly endangering another person, simple assault, disorderly conduct and one summary charge of harassment and restrictions on alcoholic beverages, and arraigned by on-call Magisterial District Judge David J. Rossi, Tremont.
Enrique Torres was committed to Schuylkill County Prison, unable to post $50,000 straight cash bail.