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Thursday, November 30, 2006

FSU's Buster Davis First Team All-American

From The Democrat -

Senior linebacker Buster Davis became the first FSU linebacker since Sam Cowart in 1997 to be named to the America Football Coaches Association All-America team. Davis was named All-ACC first-team by the Associated Press earlier in the week.

“I'm really honored that the coaches thought that much of me to give me this award,” Davis said. “It's as much of a tribute to the other guys on the defense as it is to me. I would have never been able to receive this honor if it wasn't for them. You always hope that you can be an All-American, and I'm just really proud to receive this award.”

Bill York - Panther Valley Science Teacher - Died - He was 77

Bill York was the co-operating teacher at Panther Valley High School when I was a student teacher there in 1970. Little did I realize that for most of our careers we would be members of the same science department. At the time I wished that I could become the seventh grade science teacher at Panther Valley. One must be careful what they wish for - 33 years later I retired from that position.

Many people do not know that when Bill was at Girard College and Temple University in Philadelphia he was a Golden Gloves boxer. Somehow it was remarkable because he was such a gentleman.

Bill was an excellent science teacher and an even better man. He will be missed.

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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Schlorf Fire Story from The Times News

Fire damages Tamaqua home

Two escape by climbing onto second floor roof

Enlarge Image

DONALD R. SERFASS/TIMES NEWS Firefighters rush into the rear of this 216 North Lehigh Street home late Tuesday as smoke can be seen pouring from the Tamaqua residence. The owner and his son escaped serious injuries by fleeing onto a second story roof and climbing down a tree.
Two Tamaqua residents fled to safety out of a second story bedroom window late Tuesday when fire erupted in the rear portion of their home.

Flames and heavy smoke at the George Schlorf residence, 216 North Lehigh Street, forced Schlorf and son Derek, 16, to climb out onto a second floor porch roof and then make their way down a large tree and into the safety of a side yard, suffering only minor cuts or abrasions.

Schlorf is a brother to Tamaqua Fire Chief Tom "Okie" Schlorf, an Orwigsburg Street resident and one of the first to arrive on the scene.

"Flames were shooting out when I got here," said Chief Schorf, who grabbed a garden hose and played a stream of water on the blaze until firefighters arrived moments later.

The building was Schlorf's boyhood home and has been in the Schlorf family for many years.

Firefighters responded to a 10:36 p.m. call for a "working structure fire," which summoned all four Tamaqua companies, Coaldale Fire Department and Pottsville Fire Department.

The blaze appeared to be most intense at the rear portion of the large, wood-frame Victorian home, with flames shooting upward from a kitchen located on the first floor. The kitchen area appeared to be gutted by the flames.

"There was a lot of heat in there. It blew out a window and a door," said Chief Schlorf.

Neighbors said flames at the rear of the building initially could be seen shooting high into the air.

Fast response by firefighters helped to contain the blaze. However, the eight-room house sustained considerable damage from heat, smoke and water. Schlorf said it was too early to determine an exact cause.

Also responding were members of Coaldale fire police, Tamaqua fire police, Tamaqua ambulance and Tamaqua rescue. Fire police re-routed traffic in the west end, particularly around West Rowe, West Broad, Lafayette and Lombard streets. Firefighters were still on the scene at 2 a.m.

Gustavus "Gus" Schlorf, brother to Tom and George, told the TIMES NEWS that the house has been in the family for at least three generations and was once owned by his grandfather, Gustavus Knies. The home has been the site of many family gatherings for the large Schlorf family and was the site of a few weddings.

There Was a Bad Fire at Our Neighbor's Home in Tamaqua Last Night

Late breaking news. Last night while we all slept comfy in our beds - a fire broke out in our Tamaqua neighbor's home. George and Derrick Schlorf live in an old three floor frame house on Lehigh Street. From the bedroom in our Tamaqua House you could see across the alley - Lombard Street - into George's kitchen.

The fire appears to have started in the basement. George woke up on the third floor to smoke and crackling flames. He quickly ran to Derrick's room and got him outside. The house is pretty bad - smoke damage - burnt walls and roof - windows out. Single wood frame houses that are over 100 years old - burn fast.

George Schlorf is a good friend. He is about 50 years old and his son Derrick is a teenager. George was always helpful and is an excellent mechanic. One time - we put a new engine in my Suzuki Jeep together. I should say - George did it and I gave him moral support.

The irony of all this is that George's Dad - Stix Schlorf - was the fire chief in Tamaqua for 30 years. He lived in that house. Now George's brother - Tom - is the fire chief in town.

Goerge is one of the few remaining coal miners in town - he has worked off and on at the Greenwood Breaker.

My friend and neighbor - George Taylor - is starting a rescue fund to help the Schlorf's out. More on that later. If you can spare a couple bucks during this holiday season - George Schlorf - Lehigh Street - Tamaqua, PA 18252 - it would really be nice. Tell him Harry sent you.

When the story makes the newspaper - I will cut it and paste it here.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Florida State Going to the Emerald Bowl - Will Play UCLA - in San Francisco

Florida State football coach Bobby Bowden and his players will have another chance to finish with a winning record when they play in a bowl game next month, most likely the Emerald Bowl in San Francisco.

But, with FSU at 6-6 after Saturday's 21-14 loss to No. 4 Florida (11-1), the alternative exists, too. UCLA is 6-5 and will have the home crowd. This is the first time in FSU's short 60 year history that they will play UCLA.

“When we were in that winning streak we were in, I didn't think I'd ever lose again,” said Bowden, referring to 14 consecutive seasons of 10 or more wins and top-five rankings. “I was thinking, 'Man this is easy.' ”

Is the Glass half full or half empty? The Emerald Bowl guaranteed each team at least $750,000. The positive side is that it could be Boise.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Seminole Fall to 6-6 - Worse Record in 30 years

These two pictures were taken when FSU fought back to a tie from being down 14. Unfortunately it did not hold.

We had good seats - row 2 on the 40 - the sun was at our back. We were in the sun for 3 quarters - then shadow. The sky was clear blue - temp was about 70. Face value of the tickets was $48 each - Nancy paid $20 for them.

At the half - we were happy we were not getting slaughtered. Some fans were booing around us. In the second half we came out and had them beat. We looked good - then a couple bad breaks and it was over.

The Gators did not look like world beaters. I suspect they will be passed over for the BCS game even if they win the SEC title game.

6-6 - the worse season in 30 years. Well we were in all the games but one. I wonder if Bobby can capture the magic again. I hope so - this seems so much like Penn State all over again.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Stephen Simchak - My Former Student and Present Friend - Came to Visit

I met Stephen Simchak in 1970 in the first science class I taught at Panther Valley. But that was not this Steve - that was Steve the father. Around 1990 - Stephen Simchak Junior became one of my all-time favorite students. Stephen was on one of my student trips to Florida - he also flew out to visit us in Hawaii. Now he was one of the first to visit our home in Tallahassee.

Stephen is 30 now and handles Computer Technical Services for the Federal Aviation Administration in Washington DC. Stephen also earned a Master of Science degree in Environmental Science at the University of Maryland and loves the great outdoors.

While Stephen was here - we went GeoCaching - which is using a GPS to find things other people have hidden. We took the bikes and the paddle boat down to the Gulf of Mexico. We explored the St. Mark's Wildlife Refuge and had Steve's passport stamped there. We enjoyed lunch at the Riverside Restaurant looking through the floorboards at the St. Marks River. We ended the first day with a sunset jungle cruise on the Wakulla River at its source Wakulla Springs where Manatees, Bald Eagles and lots of Gators accompanied us.

Next day - we viewed Tallahassee from the obervation deck on top of the Capitol. Then we visited the Old Capitol Museum and the Florida History Museum.

Steve had flown into Tampa for a wedding. But he had time to spend so he drove a rental car the 4 hours to Tallahassee. He also planned to visit his sister who is a school teacher in Fort Myers - about 8 hours away. Then he will return to Tampa for the wedding where his wife Annelise will join him.

In the picture you see Stephen voting for Al Gore on the famous "butterfly ballot" at the Old Capitol Museum. Knowing Stephen - he is probably one of the few people that used that ballot that "really" wanted to vote for Pat Buchanon.

We had a great visit with Steve that was way too short.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Tamaqau Flooded by 5.5 Inches of Rain in 2 Hours - Worst Flood in 40 Years

Click on the title for the story. The worst rain I remember was 4 inches in 1 day.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Hacking Democracy

HBO, this Saturday, Nov. 18 at 6:00 PM.
Hacking Democracy is a film about how an election can be fixed with the new voting machines.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Today Mr. Mom Installed a New Stainless Steel Sink

Even though our old sink was only 4 years old - it was in bad shape. It was one of those composite - fiberglass and plastic sinks. It had stains - scortch marks - it was even melted in some places. So Nancy picked out this Kohler Stainless Steel Sink. The granite counter had to be cut along both the length and width. It made tons of gritty dust. The finished results are pretty nice though.

New AAA Baseball Team - Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs

Kurt Landes, General Manager of the Lehigh Valley AAA baseball franchise, and Chuck Domino, team president were set on one thing when they opened a promotion over a month ago to find a nickname for the team that will open play in the spring of 2008.

They both wanted the public to be involved in choosing it.

When Ron Steele, a 31-year old circuit layout designer from Northampton, submitted the name, he never realized how much of a big deal the nicname chosen out of 3,500 entries would turn out to be.

And the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs it is.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Dog Then Man Killed by Stump Grinder

Fla. man killed while pulling dog from stump grinder

LAKE WALES - (AP) -- A man trying to save a dog being pulled into a stump grinder was caught in the machine and killed, authorities said.

Robert J. Wagner, 25, and his friend, John Santilli, of Port St. Lucie, were using the grinder while at a hunting camp in the River Ranch area about 9:40 a.m. Sunday, said Polk County sheriff's spokeswoman Donna Wood. Santilli's dog got entangled when the animal's leash got caught in the machine, Wood said.

Wagner tried to rescue the 6-month-old Weimaraner but was pulled into the machine's blades. He died of lacerations and major head and body trauma, Wood said.

Deputies had to use four-wheel drive vehicles to get to the scene. Wagner and the dog were dead by the time authorities arrived.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

FSU Closes Home Volleyball Season with 3-0 Win over VT

It was Senior Day today as FSU closed the home season beating Virginia Tech. The games began at 1 PM and were followed by honoring the seniors with plaques and flowers.

This is a picture of the 4 seniors.

Cat Lovers Will Love This - Click Here

Bobby Bowden's First Shutout at Home

These are times that try men's souls. Wake Forest 33 - Florida State 0.

Friday, November 10, 2006

100 MPH Chase Kills Motorcyclist

A deadly combination of speed and alcohol may have led to the deaths of a young motorcyclist and his female passenger in Miami Beach early this morning, police said.

The horrific accident occurred about 2 a.m. when a police officer spotted the motorcycle speeding south on Meridian Avenue, said Miami Beach police spokesman Bobby Hernandez.

Instead of slowing down when he saw the police car's flashing lights, the 21-year-old motorcyclist accelerated to more than 100 mph near the 400 block of Meridian.

The chase came to a stop when the motorcyclist hit a white, four-door Ford Taurus at the 10th Street intersection. The motorcycle operator flew off off the bike and died immediately.

The passenger, who would have turned 20 years old today, died en route to Jackson Memorial Hospital. Both were wearing helmets.

Passengers in the Taurus were treated at the hospital for minor injuries.

Hernandez said the motorcyclist, whose body was still on the scene of the crash as the morning commute began, had a ''business purposes only'' license as a result of a May DUI offense.

The now mangled Suzuki Hayabusa motorcycle -- often touted as the ''world's fastest motorcycle,'' Hernandez said -- was rigged with a modified exhaust system and nitrous oxide to increase power.

From the Miami Herald

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Volleyball Team Loses Two This Weekend

Just one week ago - FSU volleyball was flying high - challenging Duke for its top spot in the ACC. But now after a horrible weekend of losing to Clemson on Friday - 3-0 - and Georgia Tech today - 3-1 - we are in a real tailspin.

We have lost 5 of the last 7 matches. This weekend we have Virginia and Virginia Tech at home.

Nancy Stuck in Tampa

Nancy has been away for 5 days - meetings in Orlando and then Chicago.

Today she left Chicago early to fly home via Tampa and then Tallahassee. She had purchased two tickets for the flight home. As luck would have it - she missed the flight from Tampa to Tallahassee - the last flight to town.

So now she is stuck in Tampa. Will she get a rental car and drive the 4 hours home - or will she get hotel in the airport and fly home tomorrow morning at 7AM? I hope she gets the hotel - what's your call?

Added Monday - Nancy spent the night at the Marriot Tampa Airport - and flew home at 7 AM this morning. She spent most of the day in front of the fire warming up from 3 days in Chicago.

Tamaqua Football Coach Resigns

Following Tamaqua's season-ending 20-3 loss at Marian Friday night, an emotional Rick Bennett told his team that this was his last game as head coach as the Blue Raiders.

Bennett said he had told Tamaqua Athletics Director Mike Hromyak of his intention of stepping down earlier in the week but didn't tell the team until after the game, not wanting to interfere with the last game for his 16 seniors.

Bennett, a Tamaqua High graduate, posted an 8-22 record at the helm of his alma mater. He is 52-66 overall in 10 years, including stints at Mahanoy Area, Panther Valley and Palmerton.

Bennett said he is resigning due to the harassment of his family, particularly during and after last week's 26-3 loss to Minersville.

"It has nothing to do with the football players or the Tamaqua administration," said Bennett. "My son and daughter were attacked verbally last week by Tamaqua fans.

"My son went to get french fries at halftime and some fan had the guts to tell him his dad sucks. Another person stood and cursed me in front of my daughter while she was cheering during the game.

"I was born and raised here, I love Tamaqua football and I played it. This was my dream, and I'm not sorry I chased my dream, but my family comes first, and I will not put my family through this.

"I would love to stand in front of those persons' places of employment, if they even have jobs, and curse them in front of their children while they are trying to work," added Bennett.

Bennett thanked his players, assistant coaches, particulary Jim Barron, and the school's administration for their support.

"I'm going to leave here with my head held high," said Bennett, who said he doesn't know if he'll be a head coach again, although he might serve as an assistant coach if the opportunity arises.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

FSU 33 UVA 0

It was 60 degrees and breezy at game time - but it was chilly in many ways. Tons of good tickets were available on the street - speakng loudly of how unhappy the locals are. I bought two tickets on the 40 yard line in row 69 for $5 each. We chose the tickets a full 40 minutes before game time - I am sure the ticket traffic was even better closer to starting time.

FSU scored 2 quick touchdowns in the first 5 minutes - one by interception and the other by a blocked punt. But the FSU offense was lethargic during the entire first half. With the exception of the two turnovers - UVA was outplayng us.

So now FSU is 5-4 with 3 home games left. I am guessing we will win 2 out of the 3 games left - and head to a minor bowl game. The last game against the Gators will be tough.

Here are some game day pictures to show you where Wayne and I sat. Nancy was busy at a conference in Chicago.

Florida State Plays Virginia Here Today at Noon

It is only 56 degrees at 10:30. Kick off is at noon - supposed to be 61 by then.

I am going to the game by scooter today - picking up friend and neighbor Wayne at 11. Tickets should be very easy to get for this game. I expect to pay less than $5 a ticket - someone might even give me some free ones.

I am hoping to get tickets in Section 33 - 50 yard line - sun at our back. It will also be shady in that area - which might be cool and breezy. Better take a heavy jacket.

Nancy is in Chicago at a library convention. It is 22 degrees there. She will be home Sunday at 5 PM. The best part of these conventions to me is that I am not paying the bill.

Florida State is 4-4 this season - this is our worst start in 30 years. The last 4 games are at home - Virginia - Wake Forest - Western Michigan - Florida. I expect FSU to win 3 out of 4 of those games and we go to a minor bowl. I would prefer the Peach Bowl in Atlanta. Pretty arrogant with a 4-4 record huh?