The Morning Call from Allentown, Pennsylvania on July 15, 2005 · 19
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The Morning Call from Allentown, Pennsylvania · 19

Allentown, Pennsylvania
Issue Date:
Friday, July 15, 2005
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THE MORNING CALL COMMUNITY REPORT Engineer: 'Difficult Jim Thorpe pipe project on track More than 4,000 fect of water line installed in two months. By Matt Birkbeck Of The Morning Call A massive project to replace nearly four miles of water lines in Jim Thorpe is moving very well, the project engineer told Borough Council on Thursday. "The project has been difficult and a challenge, but the Public speaks out on cell tower posed for Polk Township Supervisors have 45 days to decide if it can be built near schools. By Sharon Stanley Special to The Morning Call A wireless cellular phone service provider may need to wait 45 days for Polk Township supervisors to decide whether it can put a 160-foot tower on land leased from the Pleasant Valley School District. Cingular Wireless hopes to put the monopole tower and an accompanying equipment shelter at Burger Hollow and Polk Township roads, 2,000 feet from one Pleasant Valley school and 1,000 feet from another school's athletic playing fields. Township supervisors on Wednesday heard from several people who objected to the board granting a conditional use exception for the project, mainly because of its proximity to the schools and fields. Supervisors have up to 45 days to approve or reject the tower proposal. Cingular attorney Michael Grab provided four expert witnesses to testify in favor of the board's approval. Most objections were raised by parents, who said they fear for their children's health and safety. Sam Fierman, whose children attend schools near the tower site, said his 11-year-old daughter, who once battled cancer, is concerned about the tower. But township solicitor Michael Kaspczk said federal law does not permit municipalities to deny permit approval to cell tower applicants based on environmental issues, which case law has said includes health concerns. But he said the board would allow questions and comments after testimony by Cingular witness Kenneth Foster, a University of Pennsylvania bioengineering professor, and also at the end of the meeting. Foster said radiomagnetic radiation emitted by the tower's transmitters would be Weatherty Area Three finalists have been interviewed. Pick expected Wednesday. By Sarah Fulton Special to The Morning Call Weatherly Area school directors plan to replace outgoing high school Principal Stuart Tripler with one of three finalists during a special meeting Wednesday. BETHLEHEM MOTHER SENT TO PRISON ON ENDANGERMENT CHARGES A 40-year-old Bethlehem woman accused of locking her two children in a room while she tried to kill herself more than a week ago was sent to Northampton County Prison on Tuesday, Bethlehem police said. Patricia Gaffin, of 760 Pawnee St., was charged with two counts of child endanger-ment and possession of drug paraphernalia after the inci contractor is doing a very good job," said Kim Mazur of En-tech, the Pottsville engineering firm overseeing the project. Mazur said more than 4,000 feet of pipe nearly half of the entire 10,000-foot project down W. Broadway and Broadway has been installed. Construction on the $6.7 million project, which took a decade of planning, finally began in May. The Broadway project is expected to be completed by October, and another 10,000 feet of new pipe will be installed along North Street. below Federal Communication Commission maximum exposure standards, even at the location of its strongest signal. Foster said the FCC has determined it would take 1,000 times more exposure than the tower will emit at its strongest signal location to cause health problems. He said the only way one could exceed FCC standards at the cell tower site would be to climb the tower and stay less than 10 feet from the front of one or more of the transmitters for an extended period of time. But some parents said they still were not convinced the tower would be harmless and should be on school property. Brodheadsville resident Sue McShane even offered a piece of her property in Polk Township near the West End Fairgrounds as an alternative location. Jay Young, a radio frequency design engineer acting as a witness for Cingular, said the FCC requires all carriers to provide reasonably reliable coverage throughout their service areas. He said the Burger Hollow Road site was the best option for providing reliable coverage because the township has so many deep ravines and other terrain features that block cell phone signals, specifically along Route 209. But Supervisor Chairman H. Lee Everett said he has never had trouble with his cell phone along Route 209 near Burger Hollow Road. And, when asked by Fierman to produce statistics on the number of complaints he has gotten about cell phone service interruption along that stretch of road, Young said he didn't have statistics immediately available. But he gave examples of several school districts, such as Parkland, that have allowed cell towers on their property. If approved, Cingular still would need to submit a land development plan for the project. Sharon Stanley is a freelance writer. The school district received 17 applications to replace Tripler, who leaves Aug. 5 for a job in the East Stroudsburg Area School District. District Superintendent Kathleen Makuch said she and the school directors interviewed the three finalists Monday. "References are being checked and further information is being gathered during the next few days," Makuch said. dent July 3 and was taken to Lehigh Valley Hospital-Muh-lenberg for evaluation, police said. Her children were left in the care of a relative, police said. On Tuesday she was arraigned by District Judge Nancy Matos-Gonzalez and sent to prison under $20,000 bail. Police said they received a call from Gaffin's 14-year-old daughter, who told them her mother was high on crack cocaine and had a knife. ft The water lines were installed in 1896. Decades of wear and tear have left the undersized lines crumbling and leaking, often requiring emergency repairs and raising concerns over adequate water pressure to fight fires. Mazur said there were no homes on either side of W. Broadway where the first 2,000 feet were installed, allowing the project to move along better than expected. Now that the contractor has reached the residential area, construction has slowed a bit. yf: i V No takers for By Chris Parker Of The Morning Call The response to Panther Valley School District's call for someone to replace a recently resigned school director has gone unanswered. "We have not had any letters received in my office applying for the position at this point," said Superintendent Chris West. "Not a one." The district is seeking someone to replace William Mansberry Jr., who resigned by letter at a meeting June 28. Mansberry was last elected in 2003 and his term would have ended in Decem ! M poised to fill principal's job Tripler has been with Weatherly Area for four years. He will follow former Superintendent Rachel Heath, who left Weatherly last year to become East Stroudsburg Area superintendent. Tripler was prepared to temporarily assume the top job during the search to replace Heath when the board hired Makuch, who also was Weatherly superintendent before Heath, Makuch said Weatherly is POLICE report Officers had to kick in a back door to get in the home and found Gaffin bleeding from her neck and legs, police said. Her two young sons were in the house and one was playing with a plastic baseball bat covered in blood. When officers prepared to take Gaffin to the hospital, she ran into the kitchen, grabbed three knives and tried to plunge them into her abdomen, but the officers stopped her, police said. The contractor, Linde Construction of Wilkes Barre, has come across unknown and undocumented piping, which is hampering construction. "They are finding unknown pipe, rock, boulders and water," Mazur said. Traffic delays have been kept to a minimum, he said, with work crews flagging cars on the two-lane road while a street sweeper is brought in to clear the work area once the piping is covered. Mazur said as the work crews get closer to the busy A little tender loving care i a Mimvr 'V" vacant Panther Valley seat ber 2007. Thursday was the deadline to file applications. The seat will appear on the November general election ballot as a two-year office. However, anyone the board appoints would serve through the end of the year. The next general school board meeting is July 28, which would not give the board much time to choose a replacement for Mansberry. The board could appoint a replacement when it meets Aug. 11. "But that would only give the person 2 l'i months," West looking for a principal who can manage a student body of 275. The school board requires the principal to have a principal certificate, strong academic record, three good references, related experience and knowledge of current educational research, special education laws and federal and state mandates. "I updated the job description and created screening criteria for the position," Makuch said. WHITEHALL TOWNSHIP POLICE SAY WOMAN FORCED INTO BARRIER IN HIT-RUN State police in Bethlehem are investigating a hit-and-run accident on Route 22 in Whitehall Township in which a 42-year-old Allentown woman was forced into a concrete barrier Monday evening. Police said a car, possibly a blue or gray Ford Taurus, carrying two or three males traveled onto the highway eastbound from southbound MacArthur Road and forced lelissa Hens- downtown on lower Broadway, there could be some night work. Mazur said the first 2,500 feet of piping could be charged and running by mid-August, though residents and businesses should not notice a difference. Borough Councilman Jay Miller, who warned residents and businesses in the winter that the project would be disruptive, said he was pleased with the project so far. "They're doing a fine job," he said. Vet Shadowing Camp participants, top, Kaley Miller, 11, of Upper Macungie Township (clockwise from left); Cairlin Oehler, 11, of Coopersburg; Jenna Kistler, Tl, of Allentown; and Caitlin Keim, H, of Schnecksville practice wrapping bandages on stuffed animals Thursday at the Wright Veterinary Medical Center in Bethlehem Township. At left, veterinary technician Gypsy Garrett of Easton explains the care of Popeye to 12-year-old Katelyn Sten of Macungie. Harry Fisher The Morning Call observed. School board President David Hiles wonders if it would be worth the effort to appoint a replacement, especially given the lack of interest. "If we don't appoint someone within 30 days, it would roll over to the court," he said. "But if we put someone on, it would take them a month or two to get up to speed, and then they'd be off. I don't know if the board would even be interested in filling it." Hiles said it would be best to appoint someone interested in seeking the two-year seat in the election. The new principal must also be able to supervise teachers, evaluate staff development, effectively use technology and budgeting, and implement student discipline in a positive manner. School officials want the principal to begin work as soon as possible but are uncertain of an actual date because the candidate may be bound to another school contract. Sarah Fulton is a freelance writer. ley into the barrier about 6:49 p.m. She later went to her doctor, she said. Anyone with information can call Trooper Maurice Min-nifield at 610-861-2026. Hens-ley's family is offering a $500 reward. SMITHFIELD TOWNSHIP Burglary Reported Thursday at Gulf station. Route 209; front window smashed with cinder block and cartons of cigarettes taken by man who fled south on Route 209 in a car that may be an older model Cadillac or Buick. IN YOUR TOWN A BLOCK PARTY will be held 4-10 p.m. today, 4-10:30 p.m. Saturday and 4-9 p.m. Sunday at Franklin Township Volunteer Fire Company, Fairyland Road. There will be games, carnival rides, bingo, cake raffles and a used book fair, and fireworks at 10:30 p.m. Saturday. HICKORY RUN STATE PARK will offer a Pennsylvania bear program at 8:45 p.m. Saturday. For information call 570-443-0400. A PICNIC will bt 'ield at noon Saturday at Jem,, 'em Lutheran Church, 500 Church Road, Tr-achsville. There will be food, games and a cake walk, and music by the Perseverance Jazz Band at 6 p.m. The rain date is Sunday. For information call 610-681-3399. MOVIE NIGHT ON THE LAKE will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday on the clubhouse lawn at Sweet Arrow Lake County Park near Pine Grove. The feature is the children's classic "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang." The movie is free. Bring lawn chairs or blankets. The rain date is July 23. For information call 570-622-4124, ext. 113. BREAKFAST WILL BE SERVED 7 a.m. to noon Sunday at Polk Township Volunteer Fire Company, Route 209, Kresgeville. The cost is $4.50 for adults and $3 for children 3-12. A serving includes eggs, home fries and choice of meat; french toast, home fries and choice of meat; or creamed chipped beef on toast with home fries. Orange juice, coffee and tea are included. A bake sale will be held. A LOOK GOOD FEEL BETTER makeover workshop for female cancer patients will be held Monday at Pottsville Hospital To register call the American Cancer Society at 888-227-5445. "DAVEY AND GOLIATH'S CIRCUS SPECTACULAR" vacation Bible school will be held 6-8 p.m. Monday through Friday at St. Matthews Evangelical Church, 222 Church St., Weissport. For information call the church at 610-377-2972 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday. PALMERT0N AREA SCHOOL BOARD will hold a special meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the conference room next to the central administrative office at Palmerton Area High School, 3533 Fireline Road, Lower Tovva-mensing Township, to solicit bids for the field house project and approve plans. A BLOOD DRIVE by Miller Keystone Blood Center will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at First United Church of Christ, 457 Delaware Ave., Palmerton. For an appointment call 610-826-2097. LEHIGHT0N TOUCHDOWN CLUB will meet at 7 p.m. Wednesday near the Speed Camp area on the Lehighton Area High School grounds. If it rains the meeting will be in the school gym. People are welcome to help with the upcoming season. PANTHER VALLEY SCHOOL BOARD will meet at 7 p.m. Thursday in the family and consumer science Room at the high school, Route 209, Summit Hill. A SPORTS INJURY PREVENTION course will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 23 at the American Red Cross, 129 N. First St., Lehighton. The cost is $35. For information call 610-377-2100 or 610-865-4400, ext. 247. CARBON COUNTY FAIR'S deadline for livestock and still exhibit entries has been extended until July 23 because of recent dry weather. To place an entry, get a free copy of the premium book at Miller's Country Store or Marzen's Feed and Hardware in Franklin Township; the State Farm Agency office on Route 209 next to the state police barracks in Towamensing Township; Charles S. Snyder Ford Farm Equipment on Route 443 in Mahoning Township; the county Cooperative Extension office at the courthouse; Palmerton Borough Hall; Gregory Farms in Weatherly; or state Rep. Keith McCall's office in Lansford or Lehighton; or call Bob at 570-325-8685. Residents of West Penn Township in Schuylkill County are invited to display at the fair Aug. 10-14 on Little Gap Road in Lower Towamensing Township. Send items to In Your Town, The Morning Call, 179 Interchange Road, Lehighton 18235, e-mail them to panther or fax them to 610-379-3232. Items should be sent at least 10 days in advance.

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