Senator Argall E-Newsletter

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In this update:

  • Touring “The Castle” in Hazleton
  • Saturday: Hometown Vintage Christmas in Lehighton
  • National Miners Day: Honoring the Past and Present
  • Remembering Pearl Harbor
  • New Apartments at the Altamont Hotel
  • Congrats Jonah Ahner, Eagle Scout
  • Touring Lehighton Area High School
  • New Municipal Building Under Construction in Hegins
  • Happy Hanukkah!

Touring “The Castle” in Hazleton

This week, Rep. Dane Watro and I were invited to tour “The Castle” – a very historic and distinctive elementary/middle school—which served Hazleton for many years as its High School, first built in 1926.

We heard from Superintendent Brian Uplinger, Principal Debbie Faith Kupsho, and several local teachers about the biggest needs for the district. I also met Tarah Castillo – the younger sister of Nicole Castillo, who works as an intern in my Hazleton Office.

Read the Standard Speaker’s story about our tour here or watch WBRE’s coverage here.

Saturday: Hometown Vintage Christmas in Lehighton

Visit Lehighton on Saturday for Hometown Vintage Christmas – a great way to get into the holiday spirit! All proceeds from the event, hosted by Lehighton Downtown Initiative, will benefit the revitalization of their downtown.

Earlier this year, Rep. Doyle Heffley and I visited Lehighton to meet with local employers and learn about their efforts to breathe new life into the area. We worked with local officials to secure a highly competitive state grant to better connect the waterfront businesses along the Lehigh River to their downtown.

National Miners Day: Honoring the Past and Present

This week we observed National Miners Day – a perfect day to thank the thousands of anthracite mine employees who work in our area. It’s also a great opportunity to remember our grandparents and great-grandparents who labored in the mines. America would not be what it is today without them!

Last month, I visited the Coal Miners’ Bar and Grill in Lansford. In addition to a great burger, we saw many pictures spotlighting the reality mine employees like my grandfather Miller faced every day in St. Clair, and beyond. Of special interest to me was this picture of mules hauling coal deep underground.

If you’re interested in learning more about the rich coal mining history of our area, there are many good options: No.9 Coal Mine & Museum, Eckley Miners’ Village Museum, Pioneer Tunnel Coal Mine & Steam Train, Schuylkill County Historical Society, Greater Hazleton Historical Society and Museum, Mauch Chunk Museum and Cultural Center, and more!

Remembering Pearl Harbor

The attack on the U.S. Naval Station at Pearl Harbor 82 years ago galvanized support for U.S. entry into World War II. We remember the more than 2,400 Americans killed and the unity of purpose that followed this cowardly, surprise attack.

Following the attack, many answered their country’s call to service. My dad’s uncle, Bill Needs from Shenandoah, saw terrible combat in 1945 in Iwo Jima and Okinawa and brought home this Japanese army bayonet, which now hangs in my Mahanoy City office in honor of all our veterans – especially those who fought to free the world from fascism in WWII.

New Apartments at the Altamont Hotel

The conversion of the historic Altamont hotel into new apartments is making progress. Recently, the scaffolding was taken down. They plan to open their door to residents soon – stay tuned!

There’s no issue I hear about more from employers and employees than the need for more housing in Schuylkill, Carbon, and Luzerne Counties. One of the best solutions to this problem is transforming old, unused buildings into apartments. In addition to the Altamont, we’ve seen successful restorations like this at the St. Francis Orphanage in Orwigsburg and ongoing efforts at the Schuylkill Trust Co. building in Pottsville, and – hopefully – the former St. Joseph’s Hospital in Hazleton.

Congrats Jonah Ahner, Eagle Scout

Congratulations to Jonah Ahner, who was honored for earning his Eagle Scout on Sunday afternoon.

Jonah is a member of Troop 209 in Palmerton. For his service project, Jonah repaired the Towamensing Soccer Club’s shed and concession stand at Beltzville State Park. He held many positions in his troop and as you can see from the picture, earned many more merit badges than necessary.

To all the parents and volunteer leaders who guided Jonah along this path, congrats on a job well done!

Joining me: Rep. Doyle Heffley and Carbon County Commissioners Wayne Nothstein and Chris Lukasevich.

Touring Lehighton Area High School

Rep. Doyle Heffley and I were invited to tour Lehighton Area High School on Monday. We visited many different classrooms and discussed a number of current issues, including dual enrollment and teacher shortages.

Schuylkill County’s Thea Sten to Kick Off 2024 PA Farm Show

Congrats to Thea Sten of Schuylkill Haven, who will sing the National Anthem at the opening ceremony for the 2024 Pennsylvania Farm Show! Thea is an eighth grader who attends Blue Mountain Middle School.

She’ll be performing on January 6th at the Giant Expo Center in Harrisburg. Schuylkill County is proud of you, Thea!

New Municipal Building Under Construction in Hegins

Hegins Township has begun construction on its new municipal building to better serve their over 3,300 residents. The township was awarded a highly competitive state grant to support this important project.

Currently, township meetings are held in their garage—this will be a BIG improvement!

When Rep. JoAnne Stehr and I announced the grant award, she noted that “this is excellent news and a very important investment in our community that we never before had the funding to make happen.”

Happy Hanukkah!

Hanukkah, the Jewish festival that celebrates the ancient miracle of the oil burning a candle for eight nights, runs from Dec. 7-15. In honor of the holiday, people of the Jewish faith light a candle on their menorahs each evening for eight nights.

As our friends celebrate the rededication of the Holy Temple, we wish them Chag sameach!


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