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    Pennsylvania voters overwhelmingly think privatizing management of the state lottery is a bad idea with some saying they'll no longer play if that happens, according to a new Franklin & Marshall poll released Tuesday.

    The poll also found widespread support for legalizing marijuana use for medicinal purposes and majority support for legalizing gay and lesbian marriage.

    Fewer than one in five voters (18 percent) said they either strongly or somewhat favor Gov. Tom Corbett's plan to hand off management of the lottery to a private company. Almost two-thirds (64 percent) either somewhat or strongly oppose privatization.

    Almost one in five (19 percent) said they would play less frequently, one in a hundred (1 percent) said they would play more and three quarters (75 percent) said they would play about as often as they do. The vast majority (84 percent) of voters said they favor requiring state General Assembly passage of the privatization of a government function.

    "You know what's going on there, in my humble opinion? I think we have thought of this lottery as ours," said G. Terry Madonna, director of the F&M poll. "Pennsylvania Lottery going to Pennsylvania citizens for Pennsylvania needs. And all of a sudden we're turning it over, the management, to a British company. ... I think that has raised real concerns to people."

    The poll surveyed 622 registered voters between Jan. 29 and Sunday and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.9 percentage points.

    Corbett wants to hire Camelot Global Services PA LLC to generate more money for the lottery because of the expected growth in use of the senior citizen programs the lottery supports. He did not plan to ask for the General Assembly's approval of the deal.

    Speaking to reporters Tuesday after an appearance at the Osterhout Free Library in Wilkes-Barre, Corbett shrugged off the poll results, saying maybe his administration hasn't done enough to explain privatization's benefits.

    Corbett said lottery tickets are printed, sold and advertised by private companies.

    "We're bringing in another (private) layer," he said. "And the important thing is so that as we see the (senior citizen) population grow - in the next 17 years one in four Pennsylvanians will be 60 or older - we're going to have money at that level," he said. "We weren't growing, consistently, anywhere near what we needed to grow to keep up. If we don't keep up at the lottery, then we've got to take it out of the budget side."

    The lottery has provided $22 billion in revenue for senior citizen property tax and rent rebates, free bus rides, prescription drugs and long-term living services. Camelot has submitted a bid to manage the lottery for 20 years and promised to produce $34 billion in profits.

    In other results, the poll found:

    - More than half of Pennsylvanians (55 percent) oppose legalization of marijuana with only more than a third (36 percent) in favor of legalization. The numbers shift dramatically when the question focuses on medicinal use of marijuana with more than three quarters (51 percent strongly, 31 percent somewhat) favoring allowing adults to use marijuana if a doctor recommends it.

    - A majority of Pennsylvanians (53 percent) at least somewhat in favor of selling the state's liquor stores to private companies and about a third (34 percent) at least somewhat opposed.

    - More than half (52 percent - 36 percent strongly, 16 percent somewhat) of Pennsylvanians favor allowing gays and lesbians to legally marry. More than four in 10 (41 percent - 34 percent strongly, 7 percent somewhat) oppose gay marriage.

    - More than four out of five (82 percent) Pennsylvanians think the state should spend more on repairing roads, bridges and transit systems, but they are ambivalent about paying more money to get them fixed.

    Only a bit more than 4 in 10 (43 percent) at least somewhat favor increasing driver and vehicle fees and lifting the cap on the oil company franchise tax to pay for it. Almost half (47 percent) at least somewhat oppose the idea.

    - The vast majority (94 percent) support requiring background checks for all gun sales. Three out of five (61 percent) support a ban on high-capacity magazines, a ban on assault weapons and limiting handgun purchases to one per month.

    - Corbett's job approval rating reached the lowest for a sitting governor in the more than 20-year history of the F&M poll.

    Only about a quarter (26 percent) of registered voters believe the governor is doing a good or excellent job. Two-thirds (67 percent) think he is doing only a fair or poor job. Only a quarter (25 percent) view him at least somewhat favorably with more than four in 10 (43 percent) voters viewing him unfavorably and more than three in 10 (31 percent) viewing say they were undecided or don't know.

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    WASHINGTON, D.C. - In the spirit of bipartisanship, U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-Pa.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) announced they will sit together during President Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday. Democrats and Republicans have traditionally sat on different sides of the House chamber during the speech until 2011.

    "Our nation confronts a host of challenges that will require serious bipartisan solutions," said Casey. "Sen. Toomey and I work together regularly on behalf of Pennsylvanians. I look forward to once again sitting with him at the State of the Union and hope this small gesture will help foster a spirit of bipartisanship in Congress."

    "I am proud to sit with my fellow colleague from Pennsylvania, Sen. Bob Casey," said Toomey. "We plan to work together - as we have in the past - to help our fellow Pennsylvanians. Bipartisan seating at the president's speech is symbolic and sets a civil and cooperative tone for the challenging work ahead of us. Sen. Casey and I will meet that symbolism with action in this Congress."

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    Local beer distributors are worried that the changes to the alcohol business proposed by Gov. Tom Corbett might just be the end of their livelihood.

    Under the governor's plan, announced Jan. 30 in Pittsburgh with further details included in this week's 2013-14 budget address, state liquor stores would be privatized and the licenses for 1,200 stand-alone wine and spirits stores would be auctioned off. It sets up a situation where beer distributors could bid for wine and liquor licenses and become the only places to get all three - wine, beer and liquor.

    But can they compete is the question for at least two local distributors.

    Coal Township-based Irish Isle owner Earl Sheriff and Sunbury-based Brewers Outlet manager Cory Fasold think there's a good possibility that large market stores such as Weis, Giant or Walmart will scoop up the licenses and drop prices so low that small business owners can't compete.

    "They can put any price they want on it. It will never be normal again. They'll put every distributor out of business," said Sheriff, 60, owner of Irish Isle, 911 W. Arch St.

    The big business will "knock us out," and the personal touch of mom

    and pop shops will never be available again, said Sheriff, who has operated businesses for 41 years.

    Fasold, a manager at Brewers Outlet at 231 Reagan St. for more than 30 years, also argues there should be an equitable way to compensate those who acquire beer licenses, since he thinks the plan will diminish the value of what the distributors already have.

    "People have put up a lot of money and assets to get those in the first place," he said.

    Projected revenue

    The money generated by the governor's plan, which needs the Legislature's approval, is estimated at $1 billion over four years. It would help fund public education.

    Most of the revenue, a projected $575 million, would come from the sale of wholesale liquor licenses.

    An additional $224 million is anticipated from the auctioning of 1,200 wine and liquor licenses, with 800 reserved for large retail stores and 400 for smaller ones. Those licensees would be required to set up separate stores to sell wine and liquor. A business would be able to hold a maximum of 40 licenses statewide and 10 percent in any county (or one in a county with fewer than 10 stores).

    Every county would be allocated at least as many wine and liquor stores as it now has, and is likely to gain more, officials said.

    Other revenue would flow from the sale of beer and wine licenses to retailers, including big-box stores, grocery stores, pharmacies and convenience stores.

    Bidding war?

    Beer distributors, in addition to bidding to sell wine and liquor, could also obtain an enhanced license that allows them to sell beer in smaller quantities rather than by the case, as is the current limitation.

    But that's where the good news ends, local distributors say.

    The big-box stores, grocery stores, pharmacies and convenience stores could pay a one-time application fee and annual license fees to sell wine and beer. There would be no limit on the number of licenses, but limits on how much beer and wine they could sell, based on the type of license.

    Fasold said the prices of the liquor licenses should be different depending on the county, since one in Philadelphia would be worth more than one in Northumberland County.

    If there's a bidding war for those licenses, Fasold said, the "little man of the state" will lose, which is why he would support beer distributors getting first pick.

    "As long as it's a fair ballgame, I would look at the price. I'd be very interested," Fasold said of purchasing a liquor license.

    If he would have the additional beverages, Brewers Outlet would be a "one-stop shop for all your beverages," he said, noting not only alcohol, but soda, water and sports drinks.

    Sheriff said he doubts he'll be able to afford to bid for a license.

    "Why would you invest in a liquor license when you can't compete? You might as well put a lighter to it and burn it up," he said.

    The two businessmen are concerned with more than just the auctioning of the licenses.

    Sheriff criticized Corbett's plan, asking what would happen to the state employees once the liquor stores were sold and privatized.

    If the stores are going to be privatized, then, Fasold said, wholesalers should also be independent, so no one is forced to buy it from a particular place.

    "It will keep the pricing down for the consumer. If they don't do that, the consumer loses," Fasold said.

    According to Corbett's plan, the state would negotiate wholesale licenses to distribute wine and liquor products to stores, bars and restaurants by brand. After paying a license fee based on valuation, a wholesaler would have the exclusive right to distribute that brand throughout Pennsylvania.

    Sheriff isn't sure what will happen.

    "Am I mad? Yeah, but there's nothing I can do about it. If worse comes to worse, I'll have to close up," he said.

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    All Saints

    All Saints Evangelical Lutheran, 12th and Scott streets, Kulpmont.

    Pastor - The Rev. Alfred J. Bashore.

    Worship service with word and sacrament - 9 a.m.

    Participants - Marsha Karnes, communion assistant, acolyte and altar guild.

    Assumption BVM

    Assumption BVM Ukrainian Catholic Church, Paxton Street, Centralia.

    Pastor - The Very Rev. Archpriest Michael Hutsko.

    Confessions - Sunday, 10:30 a.m.

    Divine liturgy - Sunday, 11 a.m.

    Augusta Baptist

    Augusta Baptist Church, 1371 Boyles Run Road, Sunbury.

    Pastor - Robert S. Commerford.

    Sunday school - 9 a.m.

    Morning worship - 10:15 a.m.

    Evening service - 6:30 p.m.

    Activities - Sunday, youth group, 6 p.m., Kids Club, 6:30 p.m.; Tuesday, Bible study and prayer meeting, 6:30 p.m.; fourth Thursday of the month, L.I.F.E. for seniors age 55 and up, noon.

    Augustaville Wesleyan

    Augustaville Wesleyan Church, 2556 State Route 890, Paxinos.

    Pastor - Greg Clendaniel.

    Sunday school - 9:30 a.m.

    Worship service - 10:40 a.m.

    Evening service - 6 p.m.

    Activities - Wednesday, adult Bible study, Faith Weaver Friends and youth Bible bowl, 7 p.m.

    Bethany Bible

    Bethany Bible Fellowship Church, 654 Wilburton Road (across from Mount Carmel Estates), Mount Carmel.

    Pastor - Philip Norris

    Sunday school - 9:30 a.m.

    Morning worship - 10:45 a.m.

    Message - "The Millennial Kingdom."

    Evening worship - 6 p.m.

    Message - "Daniel's 70-Week Prophecy."

    Activities - Tuesday, Senior Saint Fellowship, 10 a.m., Pine Burr; Wednesday, children and youth programs, 6:30 p.m., adult prayer and Bible study, 7 p.m.; March 2, men's conference, 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

    Bethany EC

    Bethany EC Church, 1238 Market St., Ashland.

    Pastor - Mark Brownson.

    Sunday school - 9:15 a.m. (adults and children).

    Worship service - 10:30 a.m.

    Activities - Wednesday, Bethany Bible club, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., kindergarten through sixth grade, prayer meeting, weekly, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.; free clothing closet, every first and third Saturday of each month, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

    Bethel Union

    Bethel Union Chapel, West Cameron Township.

    Pastor - Dave Butler.

    Sunday school - 9:30 a.m. (all ages).

    Morning worship - 10:30 a.m.

    Special music - MacKenzie Brouse.

    Nursery - Caeb Keefer and Sandy Wells (10:30 a.m.).

    Junior church - Opal Lenig and Audrey Ditty.

    Evening service - 6 p.m.

    Activities - Today, Valentine's Day party, 6 p.m.; Monday, ladies' fellowship, 5 p.m.; Tuesday, prayer worship, 6 p.m.; Wednesday, Bible study, 6 p.m., King's Kids, 6:30 p.m.; Thursday, ladies Bible study, 6:30 p.m.

    Calvary Bible

    Calvary Bible Fellowship Church, 35 S. Second St., Shamokin.

    Pastor - Ferdie Madara.

    Sunday school - 9:30 a.m.

    Morning worship service - 10:35 a.m. Message by Pastor Madara. Praise team service.

    AWANA children's group and youth group - 5:45 p.m.

    Evening prayer service - 6 p.m.

    ­Christ's Reformed UCC

    Christ's Reformed UCC, Helfenstein.

    Pastor - Jerry Schlegel.

    Worship - 10:15 a.m.

    Scripture - Revelation 21: 1-7.

    Message - "The Gospel Truth."

    Participant - Jeff Haas, organist; Dorene Choffel, worship assistant.

    Ash Wednesday service, 7 p.m., at St. Paul's

    Church of Our Lady

    Church of Our Lady, 47 S. Market St., Mount Carmel.

    Pastor - The Rev. Francis J. Karwacki.

    Weekday Masses - 8 a.m. Monday through Saturday.

    Weekend Masses - Saturday, 4 p.m.; Sunday, 8:30 and 11 a.m.

    Confessions - Daily before 8 a.m. Mass; Saturday, 3 to 4 p.m.

    Church of Nazarene

    Church of the Nazarene, Route 901, Lavelle.

    Sunday - 9:30 a.m.

    Sunday school classes for all ages - 11 a.m.

    Clark's Grove UMC

    Clark's Grove United Methodist Church, Irish Valley Road, Paxinos. Handicapped accessible.

    Pastor - Billy Frick.

    Sunday school for all ages - 9 a.m.

    Praise singing - 10:10 a.m.

    Worship service - 10:15 a.m.

    Divine Redeemer

    Divine Redeemer Church, West Avenue and Poplar Street, Mount Carmel.

    Pastor - The Rev. John A. Szada Jr.

    Weekday Masses - Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, 7 a.m.; Saturday at 8 a.m.

    Weekend Masses - Saturday, 4 p.m. (Sunday obligation); Sunday, 8 and 10:30 a.m.

    Holy day Masses - 6 p.m. eve of holy days. 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. (holy day).

    Holy hour - First Friday of the month, 3 to 4 p.m.

    Confessions - Saturday, 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.; after morning novena Thursday, during First Friday Holy Hour or any time by appointment.

    Novenas - Monday, Miraculous Medal novena after morning Mass; Thursday, St. Jude Thaddeus novena after morning Mass; Saturday, St. Francis novena after morning Mass.

    Elysburg Alliance

    Elysburg Alliance Church, 113 W. Alpha Ave., Elysburg.

    Pastor - The Rev. Chad Froelich.

    Morning worship services - 8 and 10:30 a.m. The Rev. Stan Sanger.

    Sunday school for all ages - 9:15 a.m.

    Kids' Konnection - 6 to 7:30 p.m. Ages 4 to 11.

    Activities ­- Wednesday, Collide youth group with Pastor Froelich, 6:45 to 8:15 p.m., adult Bible study/prayer, 7 p.m.

    Elysburg Presbyterian

    Elysburg Presbyterian Church, 320 W. Valley Ave. (Route 487), Elysburg.

    Pastor - Matthew Young.

    Sunday school for all ages - 9 a.m.

    Worship service - 10:30 a.m., with nursery provided.

    Pastor Young will preach part four of an eight-part "Winter Series on Stewardship." Sunday's title, "Work to help the weak, remembering it's more blessed to give than to receive."

    Scripture - Acts 20: 33-35.

    Message - "All Giving is Blessed."

    This week is Boy Scout Sunday. The local Boy Scout troop will assist with the service.

    Musicians - Debbie Cecco, organist; Eileen Reigel, pianist; contemporary praise group.

    Activities - Sunday, junior high youth group, 4 to 6 p.m., senior high youth group, 6 to 8 p.m.; Tuesday, deacons' meeting, 7 p.m.; Wednesday, choir practice, 6:30 p.m., bell choir practice, 7:30 p.m.; Thursday, women's prayer group, 6:30 p.m.; Friday, Breakfast with Jesus, 8:30 a.m.

    Elysburg UMC

    Elysburg United Methodist Church, 171 W. Center St., Elysburg.

    Pastor - The Rev. Michelle Beissel.

    Morning worship - 9 a.m. Nursery care provided for children up to four years of age. Children's Sunday school during worship. Fellowship brunch following service.

    Participants - Richard Swank, head usher; Pam Yeager, scripture reader; George and Nancy Nesbitt, greeters; Cooper Rouse, acolyte; Lynne Homiak, pianist; Lucy Bidelspach, shepherding; Nan Weller, choir director.

    Activities - Monday, Lydia's Club, 6 to 8 p.m.; Tuesday, Circle of Prayer, 10 a.m., Rotary, 6 p.m.

    Emmanuel UMC

    Emmanuel United Methodist Church, 328 Center St., Coal Township.

    Pastor - The Rev. Betty Ford.

    Coffee fellowship - 8 to 9 a.m.

    Worship - 9:30 a.m., with children's Sunday school.

    Activities - Tuesday and Thursday, exercise class, 6:30 p.m.; third Wednesday of the month, cookie ministry, 5 p.m.; second Saturday of the month, health screening, 8 to 10 a.m.; fourth Sunday of the month, movie night, 5 p.m.

    Faith Bible

    Faith Bible Church, Burnside.

    Pastor - Perry Ross.

    Pianist - Robert Witmer III.

    Sunday school - 9:30 a.m.

    Worship service - 10:30 a.m.

    Evening service - 7 p.m.

    Activities - Wednesday, Kids Club, Bible study and prayer, 7 p.m.

    Faith Community Church

    Pastor - Dale Hill, 751-5101.

    Sunday worship - 10:30 a.m.

    First Baptist, Shamokin

    First Baptist Church, 10 E. Lincoln St., Shamokin.

    Pastor - The Rev. Samuel Derr.

    Church school - 9:45 a.m.

    Morning worship - 10:45 a.m.

    Choir organist - Judith Pensyl.

    Evening worship - 6 p.m.

    Organist - Judith Pensyl.

    Activities - Wednesday, choir rehearsal, 6 p.m., prayer, praise and testimony, Bible study, 7 p.m.

    First Baptist, Trevorton

    First Baptist Church, 510 S. Ninth St., Trevorton.

    Pastor - Dan Conklin.

    Associate pastor - Andy York.

    Sunday school - 9:30 a.m.

    Worship service - 10:40 a.m.

    Evening worship - 6 p.m.

    Activities - Sunday, youth group, 5:45 p.m., choir practice, 7 p.m.; Wednesday, AWANA, 6:30 p.m., prayer and Bible study, 7 p.m.

    First Presbyterian

    First Presbyterian Church, Sunbury and Liberty streets, Shamokin.

    Worship - 10:30 a.m. New officers will be installed.

    Minister - The Rev. Ted Plott.

    Guest speaker - Ron Marcheskie.

    Participants - Noriene Ladd, organist; Mary Anne Stump, assistant organist; William Milbrand, choir director; Andrew Ladd, acolyte; Kelly Jones and Carole Oxenrider, ushers and greeters; Charlene Lesher, Terry Persing and Wendy Wary, Sunday school; Wendy Wary, secretary; William Persing Sr., sexton.

    Activities - Monday, Christian education meeting, 6:30 p.m.

    First UMC, Kulpmont

    First United Methodist Church, Ninth Street, Kulpmont.

    Pastor - Beverly Petrovich.

    Worship - 9:30 a.m., with children's Sunday school.

    Activities - Second Saturday of the month, Angels Table luncheon, 11 a.m. All are welcome.

    First UMC, Mt. Carmel

    First United Methodist Church, 46 N. Hickory St., Mount Carmel.

    Pastor - The Rev. Susan J. Roehs.

    Worship service - 9:45 a.m. in the social room, with refreshments afterwards.

    Sunday school - 10 a.m.

    Sermon - "Preparing for Lent," by Pastor Roehs.

    Participants - Sharon Styer, organist; Rick Schnee, head usher; Kevin Styer, sound technician; Deborah Beck, liturgist; Jillian Maurer, acolyte; Pastor Susan, children's time; Rick Schnee, counter.

    Activities - Today, Vital Congregations, program, 9 a.m. to noon.; Monday, worship committee, 6:30 p.m.; Tuesday, Brownie troop, 6:30 p.m., Al-Anon, 7 p.m., board room; Wednesday, special service at Clark's Grove United Methodist Church with Bishop Peggy Johnson. Anyone needing a ride, contact Pastor Susan.

    First UMC, Shamokin

    First United Methodist Church, Sunbury Street, Shamokin.

    Pastor - Zachary Hopple.

    Adult and children's Sunday school - 9:15 a.m.

    Worship - 10:30 a.m.

    Participants - Mary Hollingshead, liturgist; Walt and Sharon Slanina, greeters.

    Activities - Monday, Bible study in the parlor, 6 p.m.

    Good Shepherd

    Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 35 N. Ninth St., Ashland.

    Pastor - The Rev. Dana Heckman-Beil.

    Worship service - 9 a.m.

    Grace Chapel

    Grace Chapel, 126 Airport Road, Shamokin.

    Pastor - Alan Langelli.

    Sunday school, adult Bible study and fellowship - 9:30 a.m.

    Morning worship - 10:30 a.m.

    Evening worship, youth group and Discovery Kids - 6:30 p.m.

    Wednesday Bible study and prayer - 6:45 p.m.

    Nursery child care is provided for all Sunday services.

    Participants - Scott Reed, Scotty Reed, Ray Petro amd Vic Klein, ushers; Ed Begis, Bible reading and prayer; praise team; Cathy Klinger, music director, pianist and vocalist; Rob Klinger, drums; Marcy Donmoyer, flute; Emma Donmoyer, keyboard; Edwin Karns, Donna Blue, Diane Seger, Karen Graboski, Lori Langelli, Sandy Thomas and Ed Begis, vocalists; Luke Donmoyer, sound system; Joe Long, camera; Shawn Hine, computer system.

    Activities - Tuesday, business meeting; Wednesdayy, ladies fellowship; Thursday, men's prayer breakfast; Friday to Feb. 17, Weekend to Remember; Feb. 21, men's Bible study.

    Grace Evangelical

    Grace Evangelical Independent Church, Locustdale.

    Pastor - The Rev. Rose M. Marquardt.

    Sunday school - 9:45 a.m.

    Worship service - 11 a.m.

    Children's Sunday school - 11 a.m.

    Grace Lutheran

    Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church, 10 S. Seventh St., Shamokin.

    Pastor - The Rev. David M. Byerly.

    Sunday school - 9 a.m.

    Service of the Word and Sacrament - 10:15 a.m.

    Participants - Bruce Romanic, worship assistant; Austin Joraskie, acolyte and crucifer; Mr. and Mrs. William Hoffa, communion bearers; Judy Shade and Jeanne Romanic, altar care; Nancy Joraskie, nursery; Jeannie Hoffa, Tonia Adams, Beverly Deitz, Fran Hand, Nancy Joraskie, Trev Madison, Jeanne Romanic and Kimberly Tharp, ushers; Walter Boyer, organist; Charlene Pell, choir director, and Shelley Faust, cantor.

    Activities - Monday, Brownies, 5 p.m.; Tuesday, Grace Church council, Lamar Grow classroom, 7 p.m.; Wednesday, joint Ash Wednesday service, Grace Church, 7 p.m.

    Grace Lutheran

    Grace Lutheran Church, 146 W. Avenue, Mount Carmel.

    Interim pastor - The Rev. Joan Brown.

    Service with Communion - 10:45 a.m. The Transfiguration of Our Lord or Last Sunday after the Epiphany.

    Guest speaker - Ronald Weller.

    Participants, Linda Rubendall, organist; Zachary Hunter, lector; Robert and William Brass, ushers; Charles Barnes, bell ringer and sexton; Judy Barnes, secretary.

    Services for February will be held at Grace Lutheran Church, 146 W. Avenue, Mount Carmel.

    Activities - Ash Wednesday service, 7 p.m., at Grace Lutheran. Carol Black will be supplying.

    Grace UCC

    Grace United Church of Christ, Third and Market streets, Mount Carmel.

    Pastor - The Rev. Joan A. Brown.

    Worship service - 9 a.m.

    Sunday school - 9 a.m.

    Participants - Bryan Lapinski, organist; Aurora Froutz, acolyte; Don Hildenbrand and Carol Tarlecki, ushers.

    Activities - Monday, confirmation class at the parsonage, 3:30 p.m.

    Harvest Worship

    Harvest Worship Ministries, 2079 Upper Road, West Cameron Township, 850-4280,

    Pastor - Sandy Wary.

    Sunday school - 9:30 a.m.

    Worship service - 10:30 a.m.

    Hidden Valley

    Hidden Valley Community Church, 162 Hidden Valley Lane, Mifflinburg. A non-denominational Bible church.

    Pastor - Gary L. Owens.

    Worship service, 10 a.m., clubhouse. Casual dress welcome.

    Himmel's Church

    Himmel's Church, 1941 Schwaben Creek Road, Rebuck, 425-2200.

    Pastor - Pastor Jane H. Compton.

    Sunday school - 9 a.m.

    Worship service - 10:15 a.m.

    Communion is celebrated the first Sunday of every month.

    Holy Angels

    Holy Angels Church, 855 Scott St., Kulpmont.

    Pastor - The Rev. Andrew Stahmer.

    Confessions - Saturday, 4 to 5 p.m.

    Weekday Masses - Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, 8 a.m., Thursday, 6:30 p.m.

    Weekend Masses of Obligation - Saturday, 5:30 p.m.; Sunday, 8:30 and 10:30 a.m.

    Activities - Today, Mardi Gras at Brady Fire Company, doors open at 6:30 p.m.; Sunday, Holy Name Society at 8:30 a.m. Mass with meeting to follow, PREP Classes, grades 6, 7 and 8, at 9 a.m.; Monday, PREP classes, grades 1 to 5, at 5:30 p.m.; Tuesday, bingo at Holy Angels Activity Center, doors open at 4:30 p.m., games begin at 6:15 p.m.; Wednesday, Ash Wednesday Masses at 8 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.; Thursday, finance council meeting, 7:15 p.m. in rectory; Friday, Stations of the Cross, 2 and 7 p.m. fish dinner at Holy Angels Activity Center, 4 to 6 p.m.

    Holy Trinity

    Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, 150 E. Lincoln St., Shamokin.

    Interim rector - The Rev. Father Kimberly Brooks.

    Celebrant - The Rev. Deacon Richard A. Hazzard.

    Worship - 10 a.m.

    Handicapped accessible. Church school for children. Nursery care available.

    Hope Community Church

    Hope Community Church, non-denominational Bible church, 551 W. Fourth St. (formerly Lazarski's Banquet Hall), Mount Carmel.

    Pastor - Dan Renno.

    Christian education for all ages - 9 a.m.

    Fellowship time - 9:45 a.m.

    Praise and worship service - 10:15 a.m.

    Irish Valley UMC

    Irish Valley United Methodist Church, Irish Valley Road, Paxinos.

    Pastor - Beverly Petrovich.

    Sunday school - 9:30 a.m.

    Worship service - 11 a.m.

    Johnston City UMC

    Johnston City United Methodist Church, 200 Main St., Ranshaw.

    Pastor - Dan Siddle.

    Worship service - 9 a.m.

    Participants - Barbara Cummings and Janette Nute, greeters; Rena Keegan and Jane Klembara, acolytes; June Ramer, Rena Keegan and Janette Nute, ushers; June Ramer, Jane Klembara, Rena Keegan and Myra Golden, liturgists; Jane Klembara, musician.

    Miller's Crossroads

    Miller's Crossroads UMC, 1929 Plum Creek Road, Stonington, Sunbury RR 4.

    Pastor - Michelle Beissel.

    Sunday school - 9:30 a.m.

    Worship service - 10:45 a.m.

    Participants - Betsy Bradigan, organist.

    Ministry of the Water and Spirit

    Ministry of the Water and Spirit Church, 110 Church St., Locust Gap.

    Pastor - James Bowers.

    Sunday service - 10:30 a.m.

    Mother Cabrini

    Mother Cabrini Church, North Shamokin Street, Shamokin.

    Pastor - The Rev. Martin Kobos, O.F.M. Conv.

    Parochial vicar - The Rev. Adam Ziolkowski, O.F.M. Conv.

    Sunday Masses - Saturday, 4 p.m.; Sunday, 7, 9 and 11 a.m.

    Confessions - Daily, 7:30 to 7:50 a.m.; Saturday, 3 to 3:45 p.m.

    Recitation of the Rosary - Monday through Friday, 5 p.m., in the church.

    Activities - Sunday, religious education classes, 10:15 a.m., Shamokin Street religious education building; Monday, bingo 6:15 p.m., church hall; Tuesday, choir practice, 5:45 p.m.; Wednesday, Ash Wednesday, distribution of Ashes at 8 a.m. Mass, 5 p.m. prayer service, 7 p.m. Mass. Ashes and Communion will be distributed to all scheduled parish homebound, nursing home and boarding home parishioners after 9 a.m., RCIA, 6:30 p.m., Pauline Center; Friday, Stations of the Cross, 7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, Easter egg-making, 9 a.m., church hall.


    Mountainside Assembly of God, 1900 Trevorton Road, Coal Township.

    Pastor - The Rev. Richard H. Earl.

    LIFEQuest breakfast for all - 9 a.m.

    LIFEQuest classes for all ages - 9:30 a.m. with nursery available.

    Morning worship - 10:30 a.m.

    Evening activities - 6 p.m.

    Activities - Wednesday, SUPERKids for ages 5 to 11 and adult discipleship, 6:30 p.m.

    Mount Zion

    Mount Zion Welsh Congregational United Church of Christ, Grant and Church streets, Shamokin.

    Pastor - Gerald Lloyd Jr.

    Worship service - 10:30 a.m.

    Scripture - Exodus 34: 29-35, Luke 9: 28-36.

    Sermon - "Astounding Glory."

    Participants - Philip Maue, organist.

    New Life Church

    New Life Church of God, 129 W. Second St., Mount Carmel.

    Interim pastor - The Rev. John D. Ashbaugh.

    Sunday school - 9:30 a.m.

    Prelude - 10 to 10:30 a.m., flute solo.

    Worship service - 10:30 a.m., with junior church and nursery available.

    Handicap accessible, wheelchair available, church side/back entrance.

    Activities - Prayer room open mornings; prayer, fellowship and coffee, Saturday mornings, 9 a.m.; Feb. 24, Sunday evening praise and worship service, 7 p.m.

    Oak Grove UMC

    Oak Grove United Methodist Church, Marley Road, Overlook.

    Pastor - The Rev. Zachary Hopple.

    Worship - 9 a.m.

    Sunday school for all ages - 10:35 a.m.

    Activities - Monday, Bible study, 6 p.m., at First United Methodist Church; Thursday, free karate classes at church, children ages 5 to 12, 6:30 to 7:15 p.m.; 13 and up, 7:30 p.m.; Open Arms outreach, 6 to 8 p.m., first and third Fridays of the month.

    Our Lady of Fatima

    Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church of the East, 110 E. Avenue and Hickory Street, Mount Carmel.

    Pastor - Most Rev. Ramzi R. Musallam, bishop.

    Confessions - Before Mass and upon request.

    Rosary - 2:30 p.m.

    Holy Mass - 3 p.m.

    Activities - Thrift shop open, Thursday, noon to 5 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

    Our Lady of Hope

    Our Lady of Hope Parish, Chestnut and First streets, Coal Township.

    Pastor - The Rev. Adrian Gallagher, O.F.M. Conv.

    Daily Masses - Monday through Friday, 7 a.m., Holy Spirit chapel.

    Weekend Masses - Saturday, 4 p.m.; Sunday, 7 and 11 a.m.

    Holy Day of Obligation Mass - 5:30 p.m. Vigil Mass and 7 a.m. morning of the Holy Day.

    Sacrament of Reconciliation - Saturday, 3 to 3:45 p.m.

    Peifer's Evangelical

    Peifer's Evangelical Congregational Church, Mandata Road, Herndon.

    Pastor - Bradley D. Hatter.

    Sunday school - 9 a.m.

    Worship - 10:30 a.m.

    Queen of the Most Holy Rosary

    Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Church, 599 W. Center St., Elysburg.

    Pastor - The Rev. Alfred P. Sceski.

    Masses - Weekdays, 8 a.m.; Saturday, 5 p.m.; Sunday, 8 and 10:30 a.m.

    Confessions - Saturday, 4 to 4:30 p.m.

    Restoration Ministries

    Restoration Ministries Church, 525 W. Chestnut St., Shamokin.

    Pastor - Paul K. Eby.

    Pre-service prayer - 9 a.m.

    Sunday school - 9:30 a.m. for all ages, JoAnne Long, superintendent.

    Sunday worship service - 10:30 a.m. Pastor Paul will speak. The worship team will lead praise and worship. Special prayer will be available. Nursery care will also be available.

    Children's church - 11:15 a.m. for ages 4 through 11, directed by Shirley Cintron.

    Student Life Ministry youth service - 6:30 p.m. for all teens ages 12 to 18.

    Activities - Monday, God's Grub for the community, 5 to 7 p.m.; Tuesday, cross training youth disciple class, dinner at 3 p.m., class taught by Fran Jones from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.; Saturday, Soul Seekers group for ages 18 and older, 7 p.m.

    St. John Lutheran

    St. John Lutheran, High Road Danville.

    Interim Pastor - Bruce Amme.

    Sunday school - 9 a.m.

    Worship service - 10:30 a.m. The Transfiguration of Our Lord.

    Participants - Pat Burlone, lector

    Activities - Wednesday, Ash Wednesday service, 7 p.m.

    St. John's UCC

    St. John's United Church of Christ, 117 N. Eighth St., Shamokin.

    Pastor - The Rev. Dr. Robert B. Peiffer

    Sermon - "Astounding Glory."

    Contemporary service - 9 a.m., Fellowship Hall. Special music by the worship band.

    Coffee social hour - 10 a.m.

    Sunday school - 10:10 a.m., with classes for children, teens and adults.

    Traditional service - 11 a.m., Lark Chapel. Special music by the youth choir.

    Participants - David L. Spotts, youth choir director; Margaret Morris, adult choir director and organist; Casey Henninger, pianist; Carole Young, lay reader; Brittany Bendas, acolyte.

    Activities - Sunday, confirmation class, 1 p.m., pastor's study; Monday, Shamokin Area Industrial Corporation, 4 p.m., church parlor, Cub Scouts, 5:30 p.m.; Tuesday, prayer group, 1 p.m., church parlor, coupon swap, 6 p.m., Fellowship Hall; Wednesday, Ash Wednesday communion service, 7:30 p.m., Lark Chapel; Thursday, lectionary study group, 1 and 7 p.m., pastor's study, worship band rehearsal, 6 p.m., Fellowship Hall, Girl Scouts, 6:30 p.m., Boy Scout leaders meeting, 7 p.m., church parlor, adult choir rehearsal, 7 p.m., Lark Chapel; Saturday, prayer group, 9 a.m., church parlor.

    St. John's UMC

    St. John's United Methodist Church, 1218 W. Arch St., Coal Township.

    Pastor - The Rev. Karyn Fisher.

    Lay leader - Paul Stehman.

    Worship - 9 a.m. (nursery up to age 4).

    Nursery available during worship for infants and toddlers. Children's church available during worship following the children's message for ages 4 to 11.

    Sunday school for all ages - 10:15 a.m.

    First Sundays, holy communion; Sundays, confirmation class, 10:30 a.m., junior choir practice, 6:30 p.m.; Wednesday, Bible study, 6:30 p.m.; Saturday, choir practice, 8 a.m., women's book club, 9:15 a.m.; prayer chain, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

    St. Joseph's Church

    St. Joseph's Church, 11th and Walnut streets, Ashland.

    Pastor - The Rev. John W. Bambrick.

    Sister Elizabeth Kealy, IHM, director of religious education.

    Confessions - Saturday, 3 to 3:30 p.m. Any time by appointment.

    Rosary prayed before all Masses.

    Mass schedule - Today, 4 p.m. (Vigil for Sunday); Sunday, 8:30 a.m.; Monday and Tuesday, 8 a.m.; Wednesday, adoration all day from 9 a.m., concluding with night prayers, benediction and Miraculous Medal devotions at 4:45 p.m., Mass at 5 p.m.; Thursday, 8 a.m.; Friday, noon; first Fridays Sacred Heart devotions.

    St. Ann's Chapel, open each day for prayer. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Wednesday, 6 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m. to noon; Sunday, 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.

    St. Mark Lutheran

    St. Mark's Lutheran Church, 225 N. Market St., Elysburg.

    Interim pastor - Bruce Amme.

    Worship service - 9 a.m. The Transfiguration of Our Lord.

    Participants - Pat Fahringer, lector.

    Activities - Wednesday, Ash Wednesday service at St. John's, Danville, 7 p.m.

    St. Matthew Lutheran

    St. Matthew (Slovak) Lutheran Church, 301 W. Avenue, Mount Carmel.

    Interim pastor - The Rev. Joan Brown.

    Service with communion - 10:45 a.m. The Transfiguration of Our Lord or Last Sunday after the Epiphany.

    Guest speaker - Ronald Weller.

    Services for February will be held at Grace Lutheran Church.

    St. Michael Orthodox

    St. Michael's Orthodox Church, 131 N. Willow St., Mount Carmel.

    Pastor - The Very Rev. Michael H. Evans.

    Divine liturgy - 9 a.m.

    St. Patrick

    St. Patrick Church, 331 W. Shamokin St., Trevorton.

    Pastor - The Rev. Adrian Gallagher, O.F.M., Conv.

    Weekend Masses - Sunday, 9 a.m.

    Weekday Mass - 8 a.m. Wednesday.

    Sacrament of reconciliation - Wednesday after morning Mass or during the day.

    St. Paul Lutheran

    St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church, 4663 Upper Road, Gowen City.

    Pastor - The Rev. David Byerly.

    Service of Word and Sacrament - 8:15 a.m.

    Participants - David Henninger, lector; Claire Bonshock and Stephanie Boyer, communion assistants; Brianna Bonshock, acolyte/crucifer; Walter Boyer, organist and choir director.

    Activities - Wednesday, Ash Wednesday joint service at Grace Church, 7 p.m.

    St. Paul's Reformed

    St. Paul's Reformed United Church of Christ, Gowen City.

    Pastor - Jerry Schlegel.

    Worship time - 9 a.m.

    Scripture - Revelation 21: 1-7.

    Message - "The Gospel Truth."

    Participants - Cliff Artman, organist.

    Activities - Ash Wednesday Service, 7 p.m.

    St. Pauline Visintainer

    St. Pauline Visintainer Center, 1150 Chestnut St., Box 115, Kulpmont.

    "Chapel of the Crucified."

    Eucharistic adoration - Friday, noon to midnight, and Saturday, 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.

    St. Pauline Visintainer Center, open Saturday, Sunday, noon to 6 p.m.

    Relics on display of Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Joseph, spouse of Mary, and St. Peter Apostle.

    St. Peter's Lutheran

    St. Peter's Evangelical Church, Aristes.

    Interim pastor - The Rev. Joan Brown.

    Service of sacrament and communion - 9 a.m.

    Participants - Linda Rubendall, organist; Carol Buffington, choir director; Carol Snyder, lector.

    SS Peter and Paul

    SS Peter and Paul Ukrainian Catholic Church, Avenue and Beech Street, Mount Carmel.

    Pastor - The Very Rev. Archpriest Michael Hutsko.

    Confessions - Saturday, 3:15 p.m. and Sunday, 8:15 a.m.

    Weekday Divine Liturgy - 8 a.m. on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

    Weekend Divine Liturgies - 4 p.m. Saturday and 9:15 a.m., Sunday.

    Religious education classes are held Mondays from 6 to 7:15 p.m.

    St. Peter's UCC

    St. Peter's United Church of Christ, Overlook.

    Pastor - Paul T. Gurba Jr.

    Morning worship - 8:30 a.m.

    Sermon - "Behave Wisely."

    Scripture - Ecclesiastes 9:18 - "Wisdom is better than weapons of war: but one sinner destroyeth much good."

    Organist - Virginia Nefsky.

    Activities - Wednesday, Lenten service, 7 p.m. and running through Lent; Feb. 23, special wildlife presentation and spaghetti dinner with featured speakers Ray Roth and Paul Gurba, 5 p.m.

    St. Stephen's

    St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, Fourth and Maple streets, Mount Carmel.

    Clergy - Rev. Frederic Stevenson.

    Service - 8:30 a.m., Holy Eucharist.

    Handicapped accessible.

    Activities - Second and fourth Saturdays, 6:15 p.m., Holy Eucharist at the St. Stephen Center.

    Salem UCC

    Salem United Church of Christ, 1300 W. Pine St., Coal Township.

    Pastor - The Rev. Jean Eckrod.

    Morning worship - 10 a.m.

    Participants - Ashley Shamblen, acolyte; Brian Williams, lay leader; Carolyn Weaver, organist; Julie Updegrove, beginners class; Barbara Skrivanek, junior class; Joann and Larry Diorio and Linda Glosek, Larry Diorio, lighting/sound; Ruth Bresslin, usher; Bill and Gerry Woland, greeters.

    Pennies for Sergio will be received this Sunday. Members are asked to bring pennies to support the sponsored child from Guatemala.

    A quiet room for young infants and toddlers is available during the morning worship hour at 10 a.m. Christian education is provided for children 3 to 12 years old immediately after children's time at the beginning of morning worship.

    Activities - Monday, making devil crabs, starting at 8 a.m.; Tuesday, pick up devil crabs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Wednesday, Senior Day, going to Olive Garden at Buckhorn; Thursday, Bible study, 6 p.m., all-purpose room.

    Salvation Army

    Salvation Army Christian Enrichment Center, 1300 W. Spruce St., Coal Township.

    Commanding officer - Maj. Tina Streck.

    Holiness meeting (worship) - 9:30 a.m.

    Sunday school - 10:45 a.m.

    Seibert Evangelical

    Seibert Evangelical Congregational Church, Route 147, Herndon.

    Pastor - Bradley D. Hatter.

    Worship - 9 a.m.

    Sunday school - 10:15 a.m.

    Seventh Street

    Seventh Street Primitive Methodist Church, 34 N. Seventh St., Shamokin.

    Pastor - The Rev. David Wildoner.

    Sunday school - 10 a.m.

    Worship service - 11 a.m., with communion.

    Bible study - 7 p.m.

    Participants - Kathy Albright, station steward; Joseph Rodman, head usher; Benjamin Brudnicki and Alaina Glowatski, acolytes; Bryan Lapinski, organist; Jennifer Brudnicki and Kathy Albright, greeters of the month; Dr. Richard Albright, servant of the month; Maggie Moore, nursery worker; Kathy Albright, children's church teacher.

    A nursery is available for children birth to age five during the morning worship service. Children's church is provided for children over age five with a focus on lessons from the Bible.

    Activities - Today, ladies praise and worship seminar at Union Evangelical Free Church, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.; Sunday, Gideons will be here for worship service; Monday, quarterly conference meeting, 7 p.m.; Feb. 13, Ash Wednesday service, 7 p.m.

    Manna for the Many item for this month is soup. The church exceeded its goal for Souper Bowl of Caring with 216 cans collected.

    More details to follow on the new mission project by children's church students.

    Shamokin Alliance

    Shamokin Christian and Missionary Alliance Church, Second and Arch streets, Shamokin.

    Pastor - Samuel Bellavia.

    Sunday school - 9:45 a.m. Classes available for all ages.

    Worship services - 8:30 and 10:50 a.m.

    Evening service - 7 p.m.

    Offered are small groups and cottage prayer meetings for adults. Contact church at 644-1718.

    Shamokin Seventh-Day Adventist

    Shamokin Seventh-Day Adventist Church, 7 E. Sunbury St., Shamokin (former Jewish synagogue), 648-7770.

    Pastor - John Peters.

    Saturday sabbath school - 9:30 a.m., with classes for children and adults.

    Saturday worship - 11 a.m.

    Activities - Tuesday, family Bible studies, 7 p.m.

    Stonington Baptist

    Stonington Baptist Church, Hosta Road, Paxinos.

    Pastor - The Rev. J. Douglas Hallman.

    Sunday school - 9 a.m.

    Morning worship - 10 a.m.

    Evening service - 7 p.m.

    Activities - Wednesday, AWANA clubs for children in kindergarten through sixth grade and Word of Life clubs for grades 7 to 12, 6:30 p.m., prayer service, 7 p.m.

    Trevorton UMC

    Trevorton United Methodist Church, Shamokin Street, Trevorton.

    Pastor - The Rev. Al Schell Jr.

    Sunday school - 9:30 a.m.

    Worship service - 10:45 a.m.

    Participant - Nancy Korenkiewicz, pianist, organist and choir director.

    Activities - Thursdays, Bible study taught by Roxanne Klinger, 7 p.m.; second Tuesday of the month, United Methodist Women, 7 p.m.

    Trinity Evangelical

    Trinity Evangelical Congregational Church, 28 W. Arch St., Shamokin.

    Pastor - Brian Betsworth.

    Sunday school - 9:50 a.m.

    Worship service - 11 a.m.

    Trinity Lutheran

    Trinity Lutheran Church, 65 E. Sunbury St., Shamokin.

    Pastor - The Rev. David Hauck.

    Worship service - 10 a.m.

    Participants - Ned Moser, lector; Mary Tharp, communion assistant; Mindy Shingara, supply organist; Mary and Syd Tharp, altar guild.

    True Grace Bible Ministry

    True Grace Bible Ministry, 950 W. Arch St., Coal Township.

    Pastor/teacher - Michael Marcheskie.

    Sunday school - 9:30 a.m.

    Sunday service - 10:30 a.m., with children's study time.

    Activities - Tuesday morning, Bible study and prayer service, 10:30 a.m. For information, call 648-9776.

    Union Evangelical

    Union Evangelical Free Church, Ashland/Locustdale.

    Pastor - The Rev. Larry Coutlee.

    Sunday school - 10 a.m. for all ages.`

    Junior church available for ages 12 and under.

    Morning worship - 11 a.m.

    Informal evening service - 6 p.m.

    Activities - Tuesday, Crossfire Youth meeting for boys and girls at Gordon Youth Center, 6 to 9 p.m.; third Tuesday of each month, community hot dog night, 6 to 8 p.m., all welcome, free hot dogs, chips, soda, coffee and juice; Wednesday, devotional and prayer meeting, 6:30 p.m.; Thursday, Fit for the Kingdom, 5:45 p.m., Crossfire Youth meeting for boys and girls at Ashland Youth Center, 6 to 8 p.m.; Saturday, Crossfire youth meeting for boys and girls at Ashland Youth Center, 2 to 5 p.m.

    United Presbyterian

    United Presbyterian Church, 100 E. Fifth St., Mount Carmel.

    Lay minister - William Ronald Dixon.

    Worship service - 11 a.m.

    Scripture - John 2: 1-12.

    Message - "Six Water Pots."

    Participants - Dale Schimpf, organist; Deb Wydra, acolyte; Ellsworth George and Andrew Mekosh, ushers; Dorothy Snyder, greeters.

    Victory Bible Church

    Victory Bible Church, Snydertown Highway, three miles from Elysburg.

    Pastor - Kevin Kline.

    Worship - 10 a.m., with Sunday school for youth at the same time.

    Evening worship - 7 p.m.

    Wilburton UMC

    Wilburton United Methodist Church, Wilburton.

    Pastor - Rose M. Marquardt.

    Worship service - 8:45 a.m.

    Children's Sunday school - 10 a.m.

    Zion Primitive

    Zion Primitive Methodist Church, 33 N. Market St., Mount Carmel.

    Pastor - The Rev. David E. Wildoner.

    Worship service - 9:30 a.m. with communion. Gideons will be at the service.

    Saturday, Bible study, 10 a.m.

    Participants - Elizabeth Broda, Stan Broda, Ken Angeli, Cy Kufu and Gene Leatherman.

    All of February will be Souper Sundays. Bring a can of soup or other groceries for food pantry.

    Activities - Sunday, Gideons will be at morning worship service at 9:30 a.m.; Monday, time to make donuts at 10 a.m.; Tuesday, donut day, pickup is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., trustee board at 2 p.m.; Wednesday, Ash Wednesday service, 5 p.m.

    Zion UMC

    Zion United Methodist Church, Aristes.

    Pastor - The Rev. Rose M. Marquardt.

    Worship service - 9:50 a.m.

    Children's Sunday school - 10 a.m.

    Zion Methodist

    Zion United Methodist Church, Trevorton Road, Coal Township.

    Pastor - Rev. Betty Ford.

    Sunday school - 10:30 a.m.

    Worship - 11 a.m.

    Activities - Wednesday, Bible study, 1 p.m.; first Tuesday of the month, United Methodist Women, 7 p.m.

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    CATAWISSA RR - The Southern Columbia Area senior class and art club announced Friday they are planning the inaugural Empty Bowl fundraiser to be held Feb. 24 in the high school cafeteria.

    The goal is to raise as much money as possible and donate 100 percent of the funds to Manna For The Many, a local book bank in Shamokin.

    Tickets for $5 will be sold in advance and at the door, and will include a hand-crafted bowl made by art students and unlimited soup, bread and drinks.

    Guests are asked to keep their selected bowl as a reminder of all the empty food bowls in the world.

    Manna For The Many feeds more than 700 families in the area, and provide food and other staples at a rate of 15,000 items every three months.

    The fundraising organizers are asking local businesses to support the cause and donate homemade soup, bread or crackers. Since other items are needed as well, the businesses are encouraged to contact the students for more specific ideas.

    They can be reached by calling Abby Menefee at 259-5126; Jasmine Olvany at 259-6621; and Kelly Henry at 317-7058; or by emailing

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    POTTSVILLE - A Northumberland County man faces state prison time after being convicted Monday in Schuylkill County Court of breaking into a Shenandoah home in May.

    Dale R. Heintzelman, 35, of Bear Gap, Elysburg, said nothing as the jury found him guilty of burglary, criminal trespass, theft, receiving stolen property and loitering and prowling at nighttime. The jury of seven men and five women deliberated about two hours before reaching its verdict.

    Judge John E. Domalakes, who presided over Heintzelman's one-day trial, found him guilty of a summary charge of criminal mischief, ordered preparation of a presentence investigation and scheduled the defendant's sentencing for 9:30 a.m. April 2.

    Domalakes also increased Heintzelman's bail from $5,000 unsecured to $10,000 percentage, which requires him to post $1,000 cash in order to be released pending further court proceedings. Heintzelman failed to post the money and was handcuffed and led to prison.

    Shenandoah police charged Heintzelman with breaking into 15-17 S. Catherine St. about 2:15 a.m. May 5, and taking $285 in currency, miscellaneous coins and six DVDs.

    "'You got me,' " was what Heintzelman said as he left the house, Frackville police Patrolman Christopher Hand, who had been called in to assist Shenandoah officers, testified.

    Shenandoah Patrolman Michael O'Neill said Heintzelman still was in the house when he entered it.

    "I could hear footsteps on the second floor," O'Neill testified.

    O'Neill said he found the coins, currency and DVDs on Heintzelman when he search the defendant.

    Heintzelman testified he went in the house just to get out of the rain, and had no intention of taking anything but was curious and did not deny pocketing the items once he was in the building.

    "I thought the place was abandoned," he said.

    Assistant Public Defender Kent D. Watkins, Heintzelman's lawyer, said in his closing argument that his client was not guilty of burglary and criminal trespass because of that lack of intent.

    "He's not on a burglary-stealing binge," Watkins said. "The proof is not there."

    Assistant District Attorney Douglas J. Taglieri said quite the opposite in his closing argument.

    "The defendant's testimony, as to his intent, is nonsense," Taglieri said. "He took his time there. He was gathering what he could, he was caught red-handed."

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    MOUNT CARMEL - The preliminary hearings for a young couple who allegedly stole a sports utility vehicle in December and eluded police for nearly nine hours while transporting an unrestrained 9-month-old child are scheduled for Wednesday in the Mount Carmel office of Magisterial District Judge Hugh A. Jones.

    The Mount Carmel Township charges against David Anthony Pavloski II, 22, of 42 N. Maple St., Mount Carmel, and Courtney Klemick, 21, of 222 Second St., Wilburton No. 1, are not the same charges that the couple appeared for in front of Magisterial District Judge John Gembic III in Shamokin Tuesday, but are related to the same incident.

    Pavloski and Klemick were arraigned in front of Jones Tuesday on charges of one felony count each of criminal conspiracy, receiving stolen property and fleeing or attempting to elude police and four misdemeanor counts each of flight to avoid apprehension, resisting arrest, recklessly endangering another person and endangering the welfare of a child. The charges were filed by Mount Carmel Township Patrolman Daniel Politza.

    According to the criminal complaint, the couple stole a 2003 Buick Rendezvous from a friend, Jessica Long, of 1125 W. Gowen St., Coal Township, at 2:28 a.m. Dec. 12. They eluded police for nearly nine hours, and were eventually apprehended without further incident in Pavloski's home that morning.

    Additional charges - felonies of theft by unlawful taking and receiving stolen property, and a misdemeanor of criminal mischief - were filed in Coal Township by Patrolman Christopher Lapotsky.

    On Tuesday, the couple appeared before Gembic for these Coal Township charges and were ordered to appear March 25 in the Court of Common Pleas, where they can plead guilty or no contest, or seek trial by pleading guilty.

    Pavloski remains in Northumberland County Prison Thursday in lieu of $50,000 bail in relation to the Mount Carmel Township charges, but is awaiting transfer to a state correctional institution for a parole violation.

    Klemick, who was released by Gembic on unsecured bail on the Coal Township charges, also remains in county prison Thursday in lieu of $50,000 in relation to the Mount Carmel Township charges.

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    MOUNT CARMEL - Borough Code Officer Robin Williams cited eight people for multiple ordinance violations:

    - Gulzar Ali, 44, of 550 W. Third St., was cited Jan. 25 for two counts of property maintenance violations. Williams said Ali's home was unfit for human occupancy as it lacked heat and had electrical hazards, and also open burning within the structure, where he resides with his family.

    - Melissa Aparicio, 34, of 46 N. Spruce St., was cited for two garbage violations Jan. 24 for failing to remove seven bags of garbage from a rear porch at her residence.

    - George Atiyeh, P.O. Box 151, Mount Carmel, was cited Jan. 29 for failing to register a rental property, 220 S. Orange St., with the code department and also for renting that property without inspection or occupancy certificate.

    - Jennifer Benner, 42, of 48 N. Spruce St., was cited Jan. 24 for a junkyard ordinance for failing to remove a large refuse pile and other items from a residence after she had moved out.

    - Nicholas Bizzaro, 50, of 48 S. Vine St., was cited for a Dec. 19 incident in which 16 bags of garbage were found inside his residence.

    - Dorothy A. Kogut, 68, of 36 S. Hickory St., was cited Jan. 28 for a garbage violation for failing to remove trash, household furniture and construction materials left in the back yard of a property she owns at 36 N. Hickory St.

    - Stanley Oraczewski, of 417 E. Spruce St., Shamokin, was cited Jan. 17 for a garbage violation for failing to remove seven garbage bags and household furniture from the back yard of a property he owns at 47 N. Market St.

    - Allison Thorpe, 31, of 33 N. Locust St., was cited Jan. 24 for a garbage violation after eight garbage bags were left behind in a residence she had moved out of.

    All charges were filed at the office of Magisterial District Judge Hugh A. Jones.

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    LCE violations

    SHAMOKIN - Friendship Fire Engine and Hose Company, Rock and Chestnut streets, Shamokin, was cited Thursday by the Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement (LCE) for failing to have a board-approved manager complete RAMP training within 180 days of being appointed by the board.

    LCE reported the violation occurred Dec. 9 and other times within the past year.

    The Mason Jar, 101 Front St., Northumberland, also was cited by the LCE for a loudspeaker violation involving music being heard beyond the licensee's property line Nov. 17.

    The violations will be brought before an administrative law judge who has the authority to impose penalties ranging from $50 to $1,000 for minor offenses and up to $5,000 for more serious offenses. In addition, the judge can impose a license suspension or revocation of the license based on the severity of the charge that is filed. The judge can mandate training for the licensee in an effort to educate them on the requirements of being a licensee.

    Stolen vehicle

    COAL TOWNSHIP - Alan Lichty, 48, of 1401 W. Fern St., reported to the Coal Township Police Department that sometime between Thursday evening and Friday morning, his 1996 blue Mercury vehicle with a red stripe was stolen while it was parked alongside his residence.

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    Property transfers

    Joseph A. Bressi to David J. and Susan C. Friel, property in Riverside, $127,000.

    Jason and Angela S. Kurtz to Angela S. Kurtz, property in Rockefeller Township, $1.

    Eugene I. Boyer, Edward L. Boyer, Eleanor R. Kashner, Linda S. Sitlinger, Tina M. Branswich to Joseph M. and Jacqueline A. Kofalt, property in Upper Mahanoy Township, $63,500.

    William S. Snyder estate, James W. Snyder, executor, to James W. Snyder and Sharon E. Oxenrider estate, property in Jackson Township, $1.

    Harold Emory and Sandra Leigh Fetterman to PennDOT, property in Lower Augusta Township, $1.

    Fred L. and Janet L. Shipe to PennDOT, property in Lower Augusta Township, $1.

    Ralph C. Teats estate, Wayne L. Teats, executor, to Robert S. Harper, property in Sunbury, $65,000.

    Matthew C. Zarick and Sandra K. Zarick to Stacy Zanella, two properties in Shamokin and Coal Township, $1 each.

    Cory C. Worgen and Donna J. Ansley to Ansley Rentals LLC, property in Shamokin, $1.

    Donna J. Ansley to Ansley Rentals LLC, property in Coal Township, $1.

    Mary Ann Percoskie to Mary Ann Percoskie and Mary Ann Percoskie Trust, property in Jackson Township, $1.

    Darwin Jr. and Barbara Ann Feese to Darwin R. Jr. and Barbara A. Feese, Feese Irrevocable Residential and Income Trust, two properties in Jackson Township, $1 each.

    Edna E. Long (by agent), Rodney H. Long (agent) Brett M. Fausey and Darla D. Fausey, property in Ralpho Township, $88,000.

    David Wengerd to Andre Jarrell and Nicole Hafer, property in Coal Township, $5,000.

    Thomas J. Lawler to Dewart Street Properties LLC, property in Shamokin, $195,000.

    Travis A. Raker and Marilee A. Raker to Tonya M. Henninger, property in Shamokin, $1.

    Rachael M. Delaney to Ronda Pollock, property in Mount Carmel, $5,000.

    Sharon L. Tobias and Sharon L. Styer and Kevin B. Styer to Sharon L. Styer and Kevin B. Styer, property in Zerbe Township, $1.

    Lois Herb to Lori A. Wenrich, Gregory W. and Stacy E. Herb, property in Lower Augusta Township, $1.

    Joan M. Tumolo to Susquehanna Bank, property in Shamokin, $1.

    Gary G. Welliver and Barbara J. Welliver to Robert Wolfe and Patricia Wolfe, property in Coal Township, $79,000.

    Northumberland County Sheriff, Rachealyn Berezovske and Gregory Berezovske Sr. to Bank of America NA, property in Mount Carmel, $1,404.88.

    Northumberland County Sheriff, Robert E. Mull, Deborah Shirk-Mull and Deborah Shirk to US Bank NA and Bank of America NA, property in Rockefeller Township, $1,047.62.

    Northumberland County Sheriff, Calvin J. Adams and Amy Adams to Union National Bank of Mount Carmel, property in Mount Carmel, $1,710.10.

    Northumberland County Sheriff, Timothy Schminkey and Irene C. Schminkey to HSBC Bank USA NA, property in Coal Township, $1,425.20.

    Northumberland County Sheriff, Mary E. Manny to Federal National Mortgage Association, property in Shamokin, $1,023.33.

    Charles D. Wolfe estate, Mae D. Keim, individually and executrix, to Lawrence J. Keim Jr. and Mae D. Keim, property in Washington Township, $1.

    Bertha V. Snyder, Bertha S. Snyder, Mitzi Jane Straub Snyder and Elsie L. Straub, executrix, to Elsie L. Straub and Martha E. Emery, property in Rockefeller Township, $1.

    Dorothy M. Wynn estate, Diane L. Kieffer, executrix, to Roy A. and Patsy E. Adams, property in Lower Augusta Township, $20,310.

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    In his first two budgets, Gov. Tom Corbett slashed and slashed.

    Critics say slashed and burned.

    Faced with the disappearance of federal stimulus funding and having promised not to raise taxes, including not imposing a Marcellus Shale gas extraction tax, Corbett decided instead to cut spending on education, social services, economic development and a host of other programs.

    The cuts angered many, a fury partly reflected in the governor's poor poll numbers. In the latest Franklin & Marshall College poll released just last week, Corbett's 26 percent job approval rating is the lowest for any sitting governor in the 20-year history of the poll.

    This year, the year before Corbett must go before voters to earn a second term, the cuts are largely gone, replaced by flat funding or small increases such as the $90 million more for basic education funding for public schools and $8.5 million more for the Children's Health Insurance Program.

    Corbett took the CHIP program hike and turned it into a photo opportunity Wednesday, the day after his budget address. With news photographers peeking in, the governor chatted up young children at the Osterhout Free Library in Wilkes-Barre.

    "What do we have here?" the governor asked as he sat down with the kids and their drawings.

    It was a first step toward the rehabilitation of Tom Corbett in the public eye.

    "I can't think of a better place to do this," Corbett said as he began addressing the room. "What a good place to be able to communicate our message."

    He wasn't necessarily talking about his upcoming makeover, but he could have been.

    Democrats, whose candidates are weighing a run against him next year, say Corbett's budget is part of his makeover.

    "In any year, if a governor wants to find the money to do the right thing, a governor can find the money to do the right thing," state Democratic Party chairman Jim Burn said. "In this year, a year before the election, where the governor's (poll) numbers are at record-breaking lows, he is trying to placate folks who are very upset with his abysmal leadership by a little intermittent gratification with a few minor streams of revenue."

    This budget and his next one, which Corbett will announce a year from now, will frame his re-election, but the governor dismissed the notion that his latest spending plan is about politics.

    "My response is the last two years we made the tough decisions that had to be done in order to get our spending under control," he told reporters after his appearance. "When you have the money, then you could put it in there. We didn't have it the last two years."

    But even the choice to highlight increased CHIP funding could be read with a political overtone.

    "It's also fitting that we're here because this is Gov. (Robert) Casey's stomping grounds up here in the northeast and the CHIP program was actually established under Gov. Casey," he said. "As we all know, the health of our children does matter."

    Especially to moderate Democrats, whose support Corbett will need if he plans to win a second four-year term. Casey is an icon for moderate Democrats.

    In a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans by more than 1.1 million voters, it does not help Corbett that three-fifths of Democrats (60 percent) have an unfavorable view of him; only about a fifth of people (21 percent) who consider themselves moderate view him favorably; and less than a quarter of independents (23 percent) have a favorable view, according to the latest F&M poll.

    Even Republicans and conservatives struggle to like him with only about four in 10 (42 percent) of Republicans and between four and five in 10 (45 percent) conservatives having a favorable view.

    "I see Pennsylvania turning the corner, maybe before other states are even turning it because we have a great deal of resources here in Pennsylvania," Corbett said, clearly hoping that he turns the corner with voters, too. "So that when I announced my budget yesterday, we made some decisions that we think we can actually spend more money the last few years and still stay within budget and not raise taxes."

    Well, not exactly. Tax rates aren't going up, but tax revenues will rise to get more money for fixing roads and bridges because he is proposing to gradually lift the cap on the oil company franchise tax. Drivers will pay more for that, regardless of what the governor says. Otherwise, he couldn't claim it would raise $5.4 billion in new revenues.

    Mr. Corbett is counting on people understanding that the pain of the last two years was necessary and that now that revenues are improving, he's trying to fix the roads and bridges they complain about and help reduce the waiting lists for services caused by his cuts.

    "Everybody says it's not enough. I understand that," he said. "We'd love to have all the money in the world, but we don't. We have a finite amount of resources and an infinite amount of requests. There are more people that would like to see more money going into roads, going into welfare programs, going into a number of different programs. But we have to live within our means.

    "With the work we're doing with our budget, we believe that we can start taking some of these people off the waiting lists. One of the worst things we can have in society, ... especially those who can't take care of themselves ... (is) to have them on waiting lists."

    Even Republicans only lukewarmly embraced Corbett's new budget, especially its plan to provide temporary new money for early childhood education through the sale of the state liquor stores.

    "I remind everybody the budget is the start of the process," he said in Wilkes-Barre.

    He meant that a governor's budget just initiates the annual debate on how to spend state taxpayer dollars, but he could have been talking about his political comeback, too.

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    SHAMOKIN - A Christian mission to the Shamokin area this summer is expected to bring more than 400 volunteers who will work to make light repairs on homes owned by the needy.

    The elderly, the poor, the disabled - anyone unable to make home repairs on their own - are encouraged to apply to have the volunteers work on their properties.

    Group Cares, a nonprofit, non-denominational, faith-based organization stationed in Loveland, Colo., recruits high school-aged volunteers and adult mentors from church groups and other organizations nationwide for its weeklong workcamps. It was created in 1976 and, according to a brochure, 275,000 volunteers have logged more than 6 million service hours since then.

    A mission was made to the Shamokin area in 2002 and work was performed at 25 homes in Shamokin and neighboring communities, said Robin Frahm, project manager for Group Cares.

    This time around, they're targeting between 50 and 70 homes, and similar missions are planned for more than 40 U.S. cities this summer.

    "They come to grow closer to Jesus, and that's how they do it, through service," Frahm said.

    About $375 per home

    While the mission is faith-based, the volunteers' help is open to anyone of any faith, or no faith at all, for that matter. Their is no income limit, but hardships - physical or financial - must exist to receive help.

    Frahm said all applications are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. "If they're a client who could really use the help, we don't want to turn them away," she said.

    One adult mentor is placed with each group of five youth volunteers. Examples of projects on include construction of wheelchair ramps and porches and exterior painting.

    Frahm said lower profile repairs include those to help bring a home up to code.

    She estimated an average of $375 is spent on each home.

    Bonding, too

    Apart from beautifying homes in need of attention, Frahm said the volunteers and homeowners tend to bond during their visit. "Some of those residents what we worked with in 2002 are still getting letters from the kids," she said.

    The group's visit from July 21 to 27 is cosponsored by Northumberland County Area Agency on Aging and the City of Shamokin, and is supported by Central Susquehanna Opportunities Inc. City council approved their visit last July.

    $19,000 sought locally

    Volunteers must raise $451 each to join the mission to Shamokin, with the money used to not only subsidize their trip through Group Cares, but also toward the purchase of some materials for the projects they'll undertake.

    The organization is awaiting approval from Shamokin Area School Board to stay at one of its buildings. Lodging is simple: sleeping bags. Meals are served on location.

    Another $19,000 is sought locally, and Steve Bartos, city clerk, said the cosponsors will turn to area churches and charitable organizations to help defray the cost.

    He said Group Cares estimated more than $300,000 will be pumped into the local economy during their weeklong visit. If all goes well, the volunteers could return in 2014 and pursue similar work at another 70 homes, he said.

    "I'm excited about it. It's something the area needs and it's a positive thing," he said.

    Bartos credited Area Agency on Aging and its fiscal officer, Ann Marie Shehata, for having Group Cares revisit the area.

    Patricia Rumberger, the agency's administrator, agreed: "She made all the contacts and really started the whole ball rolling."

    Applications, due March 1, can be picked up either at City Hall, 47 E. Independence St., or CSO Inc., Grant Street entrance of the Northumberland County Career and Arts Center.

    Call City Hall at 644-0876 or CSO Inc. at 644-6575 with questions.

    For information on Group Cares, visit

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    Driver 'serious'

    BEAR GAP - One person was injured Saturday in a crash on Route 54 in Ralpho Township.

    Reports from the scene indicate Cheryl Tammey was driving a Chevy Aveo about 10 a.m. near Bear Gap Road when her vehicle left the highway and sideswiped several small trees before coming to rest in a thicket.

    She was taken by Elysburg Ambulance to Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, and was listed in serious condition by a nursing supervisor.

    Ralpho Township Police Chief Stu Appel was investigating the crash. Attempts to contact Appel for more information were unsuccessful.

    Car strikes tree

    PAXINOS - Two Shamokin residents suffered minor injuries Saturday after the vehicle in which they were traveling struck a tree along Route 61 in Shamokin Township.

    Trooper Daniel Wilk, state police at Stonington, said Jennifer Leonard, 43, was driving north about 1:40 p.m. when her car crossed into the oncoming lane and off the road, where it struck the tree with its left front.

    A passenger in the vehicle was identified as Nathan Leonard, 40.

    Assisting at the scene were Elysburg Ambulance and Stonington Fire Company.

    Major injury

    FRACKVILLE - A 27-year-old Shamokin woman suffered what state police described as major injuries in a Saturday morning crash in Schuylkill County.

    Trooper Michael Allar, state police at Frackville, said in a public information release that Renee Austerberry was driving a 2001 Oldsmobile Alero north in the passing lane of Route 61 about 10:05 a.m. As she was about halfway up the Frackville grade, her vehicle drifted off the road and onto the slush-covered shoulder, causing it to slide down a dirt embankment and land in a deep, rocky drainage ditch.

    Emergency responders extricated her from the vehicle. She was flown by Med-Evac helicopter to Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, where a nursing supervisor said she was in serious condition late Saturday afternoon.

    She was not wearing a seat belt.

    Allar said Route 61 was clear of snow at the time of the crash.

    Austerberry will be charged for driving with a DUI-suspended license, driving without insurance, failing to wear a seat belt and failing to drive in a lane of travel.

    The vehicle's owner, Leroy Lebo Jr., of Shamokin, will be charged for allowing Austerberry to drive his vehicle with a suspended license.

    Still critical

    DANVILLE - Two people injured in area crashes last week remain in critical condition.

    Hazel Rooney was a passenger who was injured Tuesday in a two-vehicle crash on Route 61 near Walmart in Coal Township. Three others hurt in the crash were treated and released from Geisinger Medical Center, Danville.

    Glenn Meredith, 52, of Mount Carmel, remains at Geisinger after being injured when he drove head-on into an oncoming sport-utility vehicle Monday on Route 54 on Natalie Mountain near Strong.

    Two passengers in the SUV were killed - Charles D. Carl, 92, and Ronald E. Matejick, 76, both of Gordon. Its driver, Tina Alexander, 40, of Gordon, was released from the hospital Thursday. All three were related.

    Vehicles collide

    SEVEN POINTS - Two vehicles collided on a snow-covered Captain Bloom Road Friday in Rockefeller Township.

    Trooper Marc Yemzow, state police at Stonington, said in a public information release that Joshua M. Jurewicz, 24, of Sunbury, was driving a 2001 Jeep Cherokee east near Klein Road about 5:15 p.m. when his vehicle spun out ahead of another eastbound vehicle, causing a collision with a 2003 Chevy Monte Carlo driven by James C. Radel, 49, of Sunbury.

    Yemzow said both men were wearing seat belts. Both complained of pain, but refused treatment at the scene.

    Hit and run

    TREVORTON - State police at Stonington say an 18-year-old Trevorton man faces multiple vehicle code violations stemming from a hit-and-run crash Friday on West Coal Street.

    Trooper Marc Yemzow said in a public information release that Michael S. Lorenz was driving a 2006 Dodge Ram at 5:45 p.m. near Seventh Street when he drove into a parked and unattended 1992 Chevrolet S-10 owned by Timothy F. Lebo, of Trevorton.

    Lorenz fled the scene without stopping, Yemzow said. He was not injured.

    The trooper said the road was snow-covered at the time. He did not indicate what citations would be filed.

    Culvert crash

    ROCKEFELLER TOWNSHIP - A 39-year-old Shamokin woman escaped injury after crashing into a culvert on a snowy Route 890 on Friday.

    Trooper Todd Leiby, state police at Stonington, said in a public information release that Heather L. Comoss was driving a 2003 GMC Envoy south about 4:45 p.m. when her vehicle spun into a culvert and was disabled.

    She was wearing a seat belt, and will be cited for a speeding violation, Leiby said.

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    MONTOURSVILLE - Audrey Costill, clerk II, has been named the PennDOT Engineering District 3-0 district-office Employee of the Year for 2012.

    Costill operates the print room, plans room and supply room in the district office.

    She consistently does her job efficiently, and in the past two years she absorbed the work of another position that had been assigned in that area. She often goes beyond the call of duty, personally delivering prints and publications to staff when time permits.

    Costill fills many requests for right-of-way information and often receives accolades from those she helps for her efficient and comprehensive responses. She does an excellent job of keeping inventory filled and up-to-date and keeps the supply room and other areas of her responsibility organized and well-managed, while maintaining good records. She is a dedicated employee, and her helpful nature improves the workplace environment for all of her co-workers.

    Costill, a 13-year PennDOT employee, lives in Montgomery with her daughter, Stephanie, and grandson, Caleb.

    The district office Employee of the Year is chosen from among the 12 employees of the month during the previous year. More than 270 employees work out of the district office in Montoursville.

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    SUNBURY - The mother of a third teenager run over by an accused drunk driver in March while walking near Mount Carmel Area Elementary School has filed a civil suit against both the driver and a Coal Township restaurant.

    An attorney for Charlotte A. Schultz filed the lawsuit Jan. 15 in Northumberland County Court on behalf of her son, Jarret T. Schultz, claiming negligence against both Victor E. Swaboski III, 39, of 320 S. Beech St., Mount Carmel, and the owners of Brewsers SportsGrille.

    The lawsuit mirrors those previously filed by the mothers of Andrew Campbell and Seanna L. Zimmerman.

    All three lawsuits claim negligence against Swaboski for his alleged actions and against Brewsers for allegedly serving alcohol to what they claim was a visibly intoxicated person.

    They all seek more than $25,000 in compensation.

    Mount Carmel Township Police say Swaboski was drunk March 28 when he drove into a group of five teenagers walking on the berm of Locust Gap Highway in Beaverdale.

    Swaboski fled the scene and was apprehended a short distance away in a wooded area near his home. Chemical testing after the accident found his blood-alcohol level to be 0.225 percent, nearly three times the legal limit.

    Swaboski was an elementary school teacher at Shamokin Area at the time of the crash and has since resigned.

    He has contested his arrest and his attorney had three felony counts of aggravated assault dismissed, successfully arguing that injuries to three of the victims did not merit the charges.

    Two aggravated assault charges remain, which were filed for injuries suffered by Campbell and Zimmerman. Both teens were flown by LifeFlight helicopter to Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, following the accident.

    Schultz, who turned 18 years old after the lawsuit was filed, suffered a chest injury, rib contusions, a knee injury and post-traumatic stress disorder, according to the suit.

    Swaboski also faces five felony counts each of flight to avoid apprehension and accidents involving death or personal injury; five misdemeanor counts each of driving under the influence of alcohol and recklessly endangering another person; summary counts of failure to provide information and render aid, reckless driving, failure to drive in a single lane and restrictions on alcoholic beverages.

    Campbell, Zimmerman and Schultz were with Tyler Wondoloski and Chelsea Troutman at the time of the accident, and all five suffered varied degree of injuries. All were between the ages of 13 and 18 at the time of the accident.

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    SHAMOKIN - A retired police department veteran, a newly promoted corporal and three other police officers were honored Monday by the mayor and city council.

    Cpl. Darwin Tobias III and Patrolman Scott Weaver were each presented proclamations for their actions at an arson fire in the 600 block of East Sunbury Street Jan. 28.

    Tobias and Weaver were the first to arrive on scene of the fire. Their work helped lead to the arrest several hours later of James L. Neidlinger Jr., 21, of Shamokin, who remains jailed in county prison on arson and related charges.

    Patrolman Nathan Rhodes was issued a proclamation for being named Officer of the Year by the county court.

    Jarrod Scandle was promoted from patrolman to corporal upon successfully passing the corporal's test. After taking the pledge from Mayor George Rozinskie, his 7-year-old daughter, Madalynn, pinned his corporal's badge to his chest.

    John Brown, the 20-year department veteran who retired in October, was issued a proclamation for his service to Shamokin. Brown retired as a corporal and had served a stint as the department's police chief.

    Monday, Feb. 11, 2013, was dedicated by the city to both Brown and Scandle.

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    ATLAS - Sandra M. Brenner, newly elected state department president of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Ladies Auxiliary, will make her official visit to District 12 at 2:30 p.m. Sunday when she'll meet with the ladies auxiliary of the Atlas American Legion, Route 61. Prior to the meeting, there will be a lunch at the Pine Burr Inn in her honor.

    Brenner, of Mount Wolf, was elected at the 88th department convention n Erie June 16. Her theme, "Sharing Our Time" speaks of her effort to promote communication and compassion for all veterans, their families and communities.

    Brenner joined the ladies auxiliary of Susquehanna Post 2493 VFW in 1967 under the eligibility of her husband, John, a Vietnam veteran of the U.S. Army. As the daughter of a World War II veteran who joined the VFW upon his return from England in 1945, Brenner grew up working for veterans.

    Over the past 45 years, she has served in most all offices andcommittees on both the post and district levels. On the department level, she was elected guard at the convention in Philadelphia in 2007 and has worked her way through department chairs, culminating with her installation as president.

    Also, she takes great pride in serving as an active life time member of St. John Lutheran Church, Mount Wolf, where she teaches Sunday school.

    She and John have been married for 45 years. They have three children, John, Jane and Jeff, and are grandparents to six grandchildren.

    Auxiliary members are urged to attend the luncheon and meeting.

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    Although local priests and religious leaders were surprised and saddened to hear of Pope Benedict XVI's historic resignation, they praised his courage and faith in making the rare and difficult decision not to complete his papacy due to health reasons.

    The 85-year-old pope, whose resignation takes effect Feb. 28, is the first pontiff to resign since Pope Gregory XII in 1415 amid the Great Western Schism in which three men claimed to be the leader of the Catholic Church.

    The Rev. Francis J. Karwacki, pastor of the Church of Our Lady in Mount Carmel, said, "The last pope to resign under similar circumstances was

    Pope Celestine V in 1226 because he did not have the stamina needed for his ministry. Pope Benedict is demonstrating a lot of courage to admit that he no longer has the stamina necessary to serve as pope, but I am sure that in his retirement, he will continue to write new books since he is a Bible scholar and a prolific writer."

    Sister Margaret Quinn, elementary school principal at Our Lady of Lourdes Regional School, was surprised by the pope's resignation, but believes he did a great job in succeeding the very popular Pope John Paul II.

    "It's the first time in 600 years a pope has resigned," she said. "He's done a wonderful job following Pope John Paul II. I give him credit for realizing his health won't allow him to serve as pope any longer. I wish him well and I will pray for him and the Catholic Church as it begins the process of selecting a new pope."

    The Rev. Martin Kobos, pastor of Mother Cabrini Church, Shamokin, said Pope Benedict XVI's resignation took him by surprise, although he had heard recently from Franciscan friars in Assisi, Italy, who had a recent audience with the pontiff, that he was becoming more frail.

    "I think the pope demonstrated a great act of courage and faith in his discernment of how to leave the Catholic Church," Kobos said. "Our prayers and best wishes are with him here in the Catholic community of Mother Cabrini. It's certainly rare for a pope to resign, but the Catholic Church will persevere and follow the procedures in place to elect a new pope."

    "Heartbroken" was the word used by the Rev. John A. Szada Jr., pastor of Divine Redeemer Church, Mount Carmel, to describe his feelings about the pope's resignation.

    He said, "I think he's one of the most brilliant popes to sit on the throne of St. Peter. I think he was under appreciated and I'm very sad to see him resign."

    Szada said he had the privilege of concelebrating Mass with Pope Benedict XVI in 2005 at World Youth Day in Cologne, Germany, and Washington, D.C., in April 2008 during the pontiff's visit to the United States.

    The Rev. Andrew Stahmer, pastor of Holy Angels Church, Kulpmont, said he was somewhat surprised by the pope's resignation.

    "I realize he has been ill and appeared very tired at times," Stahmer said. "But his resignation still surprised me in a sense. I guess his age and the fact that he was carrying a heavy burden as a disciple of Christ led him to resign."

    He added, "I believe God inspired him to do what he felt was right. We put everything in God's hands and he will guide us."

    The Rev. Al Sceski, pastor of Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Church in Elysburg and chaplain at Our Lady of Lourdes Regional School, described the pope as a "very humble, simple and good man."

    "I was shocked to hear the news early Monday morning about his historic resignation," Sceski said. "I had great respect for him. He led a simple life and I believe his reputation as a stern disciplinarian was misconstrued at times by the media."

    While visiting the Vatican in 1995 to attend a Mass celebrated by Pope John Paul II, Sceski recalled seeing then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger walking across St. Peter's Square. "Although I never personally met him, he seemed like a very simple person who had a shy smile," he said.

    When he was elected the 265th leader of the Church on April 19, 2005, at the age of 78, Pope Benedict XVI was the oldest pope elected in 275 years and the first German in nearly 1,000 years.

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  • 02/11/13--21:00: Jeep floors shed wall
  • ARISTES - Dense fog on Big Mountain played a role in a Shenandoah man driving through a stop sign and crashing through the cement block wall of a maintenance shed at Zion Methodist Cemetery on Monday.

    Yazeed Azar, 50, was alone in a 2005 Jeep Liberty while driving east from Wilburton on Midvalley Road when he apparently missed the stop sign in the fog shortly after 4 p.m. He crossed both lanes of Route 42 before reaching the berm.

    A witness said his vehicle launched off an embankment, bounced off a cemetery road and again became airborne before crashing through the back of the maintenance shed.

    "I ran down and said, 'Yo, are you OK?' Then I called 911," said Billy Evans, 19, of Ashland.

    Evans was driving north on Route 42 through Aristes towards the Midvalley Road intersection when, "through the mist," he saw Azar's vehicle drive across the highway and off the roadway.

    The impact sent cement blocks flying through the shed, but the vehicle stopped short of driving clear through the other side. Its front end came to rest inside the shed while the rear end remained outside.

    Stored inside the shed were gasoline containers, a riding mower and other lawn care equipment.

    Metal supports were put in place from the ground to the shed roof to stabilize the structure while emergency responders worked to extricate Azar. The Jaws of Life were used to cut off the vehicle's roof and tailgate. He was lifted from the vehicle and placed onto a litter before responders walked carefully through slick snow and slush on the cemetery grass to an awaiting AREA Services ambulance.

    Azar was transported to Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, where was listed in serious condition at 9 p.m. Monday.

    Azar was conscious immediately after the crash. Evans said Azar complained of back pain. Officer-in-Charge William Spickler, Conyngham Township Police, said the man also suffered head trauma.

    While visibility was extremely low due to heavy fog, the roadways were mostly wet and not very slick.

    Spickler said the cemetery's caretaker estimated damage to the shed at more than $10,000.

    Monday's crash marked the third time a vehicle crashed into the shed in the past several years, he said.

    Assisting at the scene were Aristes and Conyngham Township fire companies, Mount Carmel Area Rescue Squad, AREA Services and local fire police.

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    SHAMOKIN - The city will use, if needed, $25,000 from its contingency fund on day-to-day expenses ahead of the receipt of tax revenue next month.

    Real estate, per capita and occupational taxes are mailed to city taxpayers March 1, which falls on a Friday, perhaps stalling some early bird payments until at least the next business day.

    City Clerk Steve Bartos estimated the city would take in about $100,000 in tax revenue in the first week of payments.

    A tax and revenue anticipation note (TRAN) totaling $275,000 was taken to start the new year, up $75,000 from 2012. The practice of taking a TRAN is common among some municipalities, including Shamokin, allowing them to pay bills in the first quarter until taxes are paid.

    This year's TRAN funding is running low. Councilman William Strausser said the city incurred no extraordinary expenses. Simply put, bills have been paid and, he said, they are more expensive.

    "If your electric bill goes up, so does ours. All our bills go up just like everyone else's," he said after Monday's council meeting, pointing out that health insurance alone costs the city about $46,000 each month.

    Councilman William Milbrand said during the meeting that new lighting units were installed in the council chambers. New units were also installed in other parts of City Hall and other city buildings. He said that should help the city incur long-term energy savings.

    There are three pay periods remaining until taxes are mailed to city taxpayers, although Bartos said this week's payroll is completed and accounted for.

    City officials have said in the past that payroll averages roughly $24,000.

    The general fund, from which most expenses are made, totaled $46,132.36 on Feb. 1. That figure fluctuates daily, either up or down, and may not be reflective of the account balance as it currently stands.

    The contingency fund stood at $20,694.15 as of Feb. 1; however, $18,804.34 is earmarked for recycling and $848.92 for vandalism repairs. If it comes to pass, that money would instead be used in the general fund and replaced when tax money arrives next month.

    Strausser said the city will be OK if it can make it through the next three weeks until tax funding is received.

    In other business, city council:

    - Hired Andrew Sikora as a temporary employee for the tax office beginning March 8 to cover for Kelly Haines, deputy treasurer, who will take family medical leave from May until August;

    - Terminated its contract with UniFirst and will seek out a new uniform company;

    - Approved police clerk Jill Bright as a full-time employee;

    - Finalized the 2013 salary of Code Enforcement Officer Rick Bozza at $30,337.01, a raise over his 2012 salary of $28,840.24;

    - Voted to advertise for the purchase of a new pump for the city pool;

    - Tabled a rental property inspection ordinance for further discussion, and also tabled discussion of terminating non-essential employees from the city cell phone plan ahead of a visit by a Verizon Wireless representative planned for the March 6 workshop.

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