GIRARDVILLE - Signs posted in the window of Marrone's Cafe on New Year's Eve notified customers that the Girardville staple would serve its last customers today.
The business opened in 1933 as "Marrone’s Italian American Cafe", and soon became known by many in the Anthracite Region simply as "Marrone's".
The owners are in their 70's and say the work running a restaurant takes is becoming too much for them.
Marrone's is up for sale, and its owners hope someone will purchase the business and carry on its legacy.
Marrone's will be open from 4:00pm to "about 8 or 9pm". Walk-ins are welcome, but will have to wait for an open table. According to the owners, many regular customers have booked reservations for the final day, with as many as 23 coming for 5:00pm.
SHENANDOAH - One of the oldest churches in Shenandoah is closing after 150 years.
The Bethany-First United Methodist Church, formed in 1866 shortly after the incorporation of the borough of Shenandoah, cites dwindling membership, rising expenses, and falling revenue as reasons for the closure, just as many churches in our area have over the past several years. This year, the church had as few as 62 members.
The church began in 1866, with services held in the Old Brown Schoolhouse at Lloyd and West Streets, until a church was built in 1868.
The church held its final worship service at 11:30am today.
SHENANDOAH - If you have a friend, family member, or loved one from the Shenandoah or Ashland areas, you can honor their service with a Hometown Hero banner in their respective community.
In Shenandoah, the Anthony P. Damato American Legion Post 792 is hosting the project, and invites all local veterans and their families to participate. All veterans, living or deceased, and active service members can be honored with a banner, which will be 24" Wide and 48" High, consisting of their picture, the branch they served in, the time they served, the conflict they were in, and the banner sponsor's name. The cost for a banner is $100. Applications can be picked up at the Downtown Shenandoah, Inc office at 116 North Main Street in Shenandoah.
In Ashland, the borough of Ashland, in conjunction with the Ashland VFW, Ashland Downtown, Ashland American Legion, Ashland Chamber of Commerce, and Ashland Rotary, is hosting the project. The banners will be placed along Centre Street and Hoffman Boulevard in downtown Ashland. Each banner will be unique and honor a specific soldier including their picture, branch of service and era of service. The banners will be 30" Wide and 60" High, and will be displayed from Memorial Day to Veteran's Day in 2017 and 2018. The banners will also acknowledge area first responders. The cost is $200, and applications can be picked up at these locations
SHENANDOAH - The charges against Dorothy Robinson and John Latshaw will be held for Schuylkill County Court. That's what Magisterial District Judge Anthony Kilker, Shenandoah, ruled following a preliminary hearing held on Tuesday.
Mahanoy City Police charged the couple, both of whom reside in the borough, with felony third degree murder, felony neglect of a care dependent person and misdemeanor offenses of involuntary manslaughter and recklessly endangering another person in August, following an investigation into the 2015 death of Elaine Latshaw, John's mother.
John Latshaw, 58, and Robinson, 53, were Elaine Latshaw's caregiver.
Mahanoy City Police say responding officers found Elaine in her bedroom, covered in bodily fluids. Her left foot appeared to be mummified as well.
Mahanoy City Police said the death appeared suspicious at the East South Street home.
The hearing on Tuesday lasted six hours and included testimony from Schuylkill County Coronor Dr. David Moylan III, Deputy Coroner David Truskowsky, RN Supervisor Deborah Wassil and Social Services Coordinator Kelly Feaster, from Weatherwood Nursing and Rehabilitation, Weatherly, Carbon County, where Elaine resided for several months, among others.
According to Kilker, the Commonwealth met the burden of proof required to send the case to Schuylkill County Court.
SHENANDOAH - The J.W. Cooper Community Center is collecting supplies to assist the victims of the devastating wildfires in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
The Center is requesting donations of personal hygiene items for adults (shampoo, razors, deodorant, etc), baby related items (diapers, food, lotions, desitin), pet food (mostly dogs and cats), underwear and socks (new) and non-perishable food items and water.
The supplies will be delivered to Tennessee by A&S Kinard Trucking, driven by Shenandoah resident and A&S Kinard employee Tommy Dargis.
Donations can be dropped off at the Shenandoah Youth Center in the J.W. Cooper Center building.
For access to the storage area, contact
For more information, visit their website at http://www.jwcoopercenter.org/tennessee-fire-relief or their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/JW-Cooper-Center-Tennessee-Fire-Relief-Project-1274914749218169/
SHENANDOAH - Earlier this morning, Shenandoah Police, working with the Schuylkill County District Attorney's Office, Schuylkill County Sheriff's Office, Pennsylvania State Police, US Marshals, and the FBI, served 27 Arrest Warrants in an effort to combat drug crime in Schuylkill County.
We broke the story around 7:00am as law enforcement agencies searched two residences in the unit block of North Gilbert Street in the borough, leading to the arrest of three suspects. Another 24 suspects were arrested by noon today. All were arraigned by Magisterial District Judge Anthony Kilker, Shenandoah, on charges of Possession to Manufacture or Deliver a Controlled Substance. Bail for all individuals was set at $50,000.
Ten others are still wanted following this morning's searches.
HARRISBURG, DAUPHIN COUNTY (December 6, 2016) - The state’s Autonomous Vehicles Testing Policy Task Force has delivered recommended guidance to PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards for developing policies to oversee testing of highly automated vehicles (HAVs) and has scheduled an on-line public forum for Dec. 12 to review the report.
The task force’s goal is to create a framework for testing HAVs in Pennsylvania that balances public safety with innovation and provides for the flexibility required to keep the state in the forefront of the development of this emerging and potentially transformative technology. “Autonomous and connected vehicles will change transportation and could bring benefits of safer travel and greater ease of mobility for all if rules are in place to ensure passenger and pedestrian safety,” Richards said. “This guidance shows Pennsylvania’s understanding of public concerns and our commitment to being a leader in the research and testing of these technologies in ways that are both safe and innovative. “Since HAVs will bring major changes to our transportation system, it is vital for Pennsylvanians to be informed and engaged in this process, so I encourage the public to participate in the Dec. 12 on-line forum,” she added.
The guidance is the result of months of collaboration among state, federal, and private-industry officials, such as the Federal Highway Administration, AAA, Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), General Motors, Uber, the University of Pennsylvania, SAE and the Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association. PennDOT chaired the task force.
Safety was paramount in the Task Force’s approach. Among its recommendations:
• Testers of highly automated vehicles (HAVs) must submit testing proposals to PennDOT and enter contracts attesting that the vehicles meet all federal and state safety standards and meet the policies adopted by PennDOT.
• PennDOT has to be notified prior to any HAV being used without an operator in fully self-driving mode.
• PennDOT and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission may temporarily restrict HAVs from certain routes. Otherwise, HAVs may be tested on any road in the state. Municipalities can also ask PennDOT to temporarily restrict HAVs on local routes.
• Platooning of HAVs will be restricted to two commercial or three passenger vehicles. However, testers can ask to use more HAVs in platooning, but PennDOT can ask for a safety demonstration first.
• The HAVs must be able to record data that can be used to investigate crashes involving the HAVs. PennDOT will have access to the data.
• Testers must certify that cybersecurity protections are in place for the HAVs.
• PennDOT will collect data on total miles operated by HAVs, total number of hours of operation, and size of HAV fleets. PennDOT may also ask for other information such as counties where HAVs are being tested and percentage of testing done on limited access highways.
Adoption of polices will be contingent on the enactment of authorizing legislation in the next session in 2017.
The public is invited to participate in the online public meeting on Dec.12, from 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM. The public may join the meeting by visiting PennDOT’s automated vehicle testing page, and clicking on the webinar link at the time of the meeting.
During the live Webcast, Richards will join department Deputy Secretary for Driver & Vehicle Services Kurt J. Myers and Policy Director Roger Cohen, task force co-chairs, as well as the authors of the draft policy, to present the recommendations. They will also answer questions submitted before and during the meeting. The public is encouraged to review the policy on PennDOT’s website, and is welcome to ask questions of the panelists during the online meeting. Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Following the online meeting, the task force’s final recommendations will be posted on the PennDOT website, www.penndot.gov. Through January 12, 2017, the public may submit feedback by emailing email@example.com .
The Autonomous Vehicles Testing Policy Task Force consists of:
Kurt J. Myers, Deputy Secretary for Driver and Vehicle Services, PennDOT, Co-chair
Roger Cohen, Policy Director, PennDOT, Co-chair
Glenda Ebersole, Policy Director, Department of Insurance,
Steve D’Ettore, Policy Director, Department of Community and Economic Development
Major Ed Hoke, Bureau of Patrol, PA State Police
Lieutenant Brian Ianuzzi, Bureau of Patrol, PA State Police
Stacia Ritter, Director of Policy and External Affairs, PA Turnpike Commission
Captain Bruce Williams, Bureau of Patrol, PA State Police
Ted Leonard, Executive Director, AAA
Robert C. Pitcher, Vice President, State Laws, American Trucking Association
Kevin Stewart, President, PA Motor Truck Association
Dr. Raj Rajkumar, Carnegie Mellon University
Phil Bobitz, Assistant Safety Engineer/Transportation Federal Highway Administration Engineer
Jeffrey Perry, Director, Public Policy, General Motors
Erika Strassburger, Chief of Staff, City of Pittsburgh Council District 8
Larry Coben, PA Trial Lawyers Association
Bill Gouse, Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE)
Ashwini Chhabra, Head of Policy Development, Uber Technologies
Shari Shapiro, Head of Public Affairs for Pennsylvania and Delaware, Uber Technologies
Erick Guerra, Professor of City and Regional Planning, University of Pennsylvania
MAHANOY CITY - December 7, 1941, "a date which will live in infamy" as Franklin Delano Roosevelt stated, marked the beginning of World War II for the United States. Japan launched an aerial assault on the United States Naval Base at Pearl Harbor, HI, and the United States air bases on the island of Oahu.
According to a Pottsville Republican-Herald article published in 2013, 152 residents of Schuylkill County serving in the armed forces were at Pearl Harbor on December 7th. Unfortunately, three of those 152 would never see the coal region again.
Jerome Szematowicz, born and raised in Mahanoy City, enlisted in United States Army in 1939. He served with the 22nd Material Squadron at Hickam Field, on Oahu, and was working on a B-24 Bomber at the time of the attack. The Japanese attack would claim the life of Szematowicz and the lives of 26 others in his squadron. Szematowicz became Schuylkill County's first Gold Star of the war. According to a 2014 article published in the Republican-Herald, he would be the first of 962 losses for our county.
75 years later, Szematowicz's hometown school, Mahanoy Area, competes with rival Shenandoah Valley for a trophy named in his honor, and in honor of Shenandoah's Anthony P. Damato, who sacrificed his life to save his fellow Marines in the Marshall Islands in 1944.
75 years later, we remember Pearl Harbor, and we honor the sacrifices of Szematowicz and all from our area who lost their lives while serving our country.