ORWIGSBURG - The efforts to save a Shenandoah landmark are continuing, including the 7th edition of a golf tournament fundraiser.
The J.W. Cooper Community Center, headed by Schuylkill Haven's Kent Steinmetz, held its 7th Annual Cooper Cup golf tournament at the Schuylkill Country Club in Orwigsburg on Friday, August 11.
Besides the golf tournament, door prizes were awarded, and golfers and guests were treated to lunch at the club, with entertainment provided by the band Dark Horse
The golf tournament is part of the ongoing fundraising effort to save the J.W. Cooper High School, which served as Shenandoah's high school until 1981, and then the school district's elementary center, after the borough's smaller grade schools were consolidated into either the elementary center or the junior high school.
The building closed in 1994, after the completion of the current Shenandoah Valley Elementary Center, and sat abandoned until Steinmetz took ownership of the property in 2009.
FRACKVILLE - Police in this borough are searching for a man after a late night stabbing on Wednesday.
Police say a 43-year-old male was stabbed at the rear of a 101 East Chestnut Street residence around 10:30pm Wednesday.
The victim was transported to Lehigh Valley Hospital - Schuylkill - South Jackson Street in Pottsville for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.
Police are still searching for the suspect, who is is described as a white male, in his mid-twenties, with a scruffy beard, curly brown hair, weighting approximately 120lbs
The suspect was last seen wearing a red shirt and dark colored jeans.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Frackville Police Department at 570-874-2040 or Schuylkill County Communications at 570-462-1991.
By David Lindenmuth
SHENANDOAH - In May, California-based Alumni Football USA created a Facebook page for a game between the alumni of Shenandoah Valley and Mahanoy Area, in an effort to gain local support for the full-contact football game, and make it a reality.
Friday night, that game took place, renewing one of the fiercest football rivalries in the coal region.
Among the players were Joe Ruth, Angelo Maskornick, and Nick Krusinsky for Shenandoah Valley, and Jim Wronski Jr., Freddy Petritsch, and Bryan Ogrodnick for Mahanoy Area.
51 players competed in the game, 27 for Shenandoah Valley, and 24 for Mahanoy Area.
The Shenandoah Valley and Mahanoy Area High School Marching Bands were also in attendance, along with cheerleaders from both schools.
By David Lindenmuth
MAHANOY CITY - In January 2017, the Mahanoy City-based youth-led newspaper Coal Cracker Kids acquired the former Mahanoy City Lumber Company building at 435 West Centre Street.
Recently, the non-profit quarterly paper received a grant to repaint portions of the 12,500 Square-Foot building's exterior.
"Coal Cracker Kids got a grant for $50 and twenty gallons of paint to repaint the building, and we need volunteers for (Saturday and Sunday) September 9 and 10" said Sara Dimmick, one of the newspaper's writers.
Coal Cracker Kids will be hosting a Fresh Paint Days event that weekend to repaint the building, and they're looking for volunteers to help make the project a reality.
"Volunteer help is needed throughout the Fresh Paint Days weekend September 9 and 10. People of all ages are welcome to participate by sharing skills like sanding, scraping, painting, and basic carpentry. Gifts of funding or refreshments are also needed to support the project." A news release from the group states. "Interested Fresh Paint Days volunteers should register with Coal Cracker Kids prior to September 9 and 10 by sending an email or calling 570-647-6407."
The grant was provided by Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful, BEHR, and The Home Depot through Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful’s Fresh Paint Days Pennsylvania Program.
By David Lindenmuth
SHENANDOAH - According to a notice posted on their website, Susquehanna Trailways will suspend scheduled bus service effective September 1, which includes a route that winds through our area, connecting much of the Lower Anthracite Region to the rest of eastern Pennsylvania.
"Effective 9/1 Susquehanna Trailways will no longer provide scheduled service routes. Please call 1-800-692-6314 for questions. Thank you" the notice reads.
Currently, the bus service runs two buses a day through the northern Schuylkill communities of Ashland, Frackville, Shenandoah, and Mahanoy City, as part of their "Sunbury/Shamokin-New York & Philadelphia" scheduled route.
Currently, it's the only regional bus service servicing northern Schuylkill County.
According to a WNEP-TV report, the daily bus service was supported by the state through an inner-city bus program, however, even with the grant, the company doesn't have the funding needed to continue the service.
ASHLAND - A few days after two other northern Schuylkill County communities, the Ashland Community Watch held the borough's first National Night Out event on Friday evening.
Residents gathered at Veterans Memorial Park outside of the Bernard J. Dolan American Legion at 5th and Centre Streets, where several organizations had stands set up, including the Ashland Boy Scouts, Ashland Black Diamond Football, and the American Red Cross.
Ashland's fire companies had their apparatus on display, and the Schuylkill County Sheriff's Department showed off its Ram Promaster prisoner transport van.
Younger residents had the opportunity to meet Smokey the Bear, receive their own firefighter helmet, and see what an old-time holding cell was like at the Ashland Station House on Chestnut Street.
Children could also have their face painted, and enter their name to win a bicycle helmet as well.
Full Photo Gallery: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1645305988835851.1073741914.1083997558300033&type=1&l=02422cf43c
SHENANDOAH - The annual block party for Shenandoah's Rescue Hook & Ladder fire company, 201 North Main Street, kicks off today at 11am, when food stands open for the day.
The three day event continues throughout today and into the weekend, with a fire truck parade through the borough beginning at 7:30pm.
On Saturday, August 5, a horseshoe tournament will be held, and food stands open at 5pm.
On Sunday, August 6, food stands open at 4pm.
The food stands will feature a variety of coal region favorites, including the fire company's regionally famous bleenies!
Games, music, and bingo will also be featured at the block party.
SHENANDOAH - In a short special meeting Wednesday evening, the Shenandoah Valley School Board unanimously approved a two year renewal and extension of the collective bargaining agreement between the district and the Shenandoah Valley Education Association (SVEA).
The agreement includes a wage increase of $1,550 per year, and a healthcare deductible increase from $250 to $400 per person, or from $500 to $800 for families, according to district superintendent Brian Waite.
SVEA approved the renewal on July 28, 2017.
According to Waite, the previous contract was for four years, and this current contract, which is retroactive to January 2016, lasts until January 2018.
"I'd like to commend those who worked together from both sides, the board and also the teachers' union, for coming together and working on this, to bring this, hopefully, to closure tonight." Waite said in the Superintendent's Report.
Present at the meeting were School Board President Daniel Salvadore, Board Members Thomas Twardzik, Helene Creasy, Margaret Shustack, Joseph Buchanan, Karen Kayes and John Petritsch. Absent were Board Members, Anita Monahan, and Joseph Alshefski.
In other business, the district hired Catherine Snitzer as elementary secretary, effective August 7, 2017, pending receipt of clearances.
SHENANDOAH - Led by a new director, the Shenandoah Valley Marching Band is preparing for the 2017 Season this week, week two of their Band Camp.
John Shoener, a 2017 graduate of Penn State University, was hired by the Shenandoah Valley School District in June as 5-12 Music Instructor and Band Director, replacing outgoing director Walter Choplick, who took a job at Gettysburg, Adams County.
"We had two evening practices in mid-July, and then we went into the two weeks of band camp. We're halfway through the second week right now," Shoener said Wednesday. "We've been learning our four songs. Our show this year is called 'Sounds of the Summer'."
The field show, which Shoener says is designed to "cater to the football crowd" using popular songs, consists of "Lips are Movin" by Megan Trainor, "Can't Stop the Feeling" by Justin Timberlake, "Light 'Em Up" by Fall Out Boy, and "Shut up and Dance" by Walk the Moon.
GIRARDVILLE & MAHANOY CITY - Two northern Schuylkill communities hosted events on Tuesday evening, as part of "National Night Out", and another is hosting their event on Friday.
Girardville and Mahanoy City held events on Tuesday, allowing local residents to connect with their emergency service providers, and see the equipment and vehicles they use.
According to the website for the national event, www.natw.org, National Night Out "is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live." According to the sight, a goal of the event is to enhance the relationship between neighbors and law enforcement "while bringing back a true sense of community. "
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