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FRIDAY, JAN. 31, 2014

For a review of “Labor Day,” see Page 3

We saw you at...

Greater Pottsville Winter Carnival Royal Tea

Haily Mervine, left, and Maureen McDonald, both of Saint Clair

From left, Julia Botto, Helena Fredericks and Payton Kleckner, all of Pottsville For more photos from the event, see Page 5

Crowning royalty See Page 2

“When they open the curtain that night they are all princesses.”

A night to remember Carole Lee, coordinator for the Snowdrops

Snowdrop, Snowflake princesses to be crowned Saturday



n Saturday, two girls will join the ranks of Winter Carnival royalty. The Snowdrop and Snowflake Pageant will be held at 7 p.m. at the Robert W. Wachter Auditorium at Pottsville Area High School. Doors will open to the public at 6:15 p.m. Tickets are $6. The pageant is part of the 47th annual Greater Pottsville Winter Carnival. “It’s a wonderful pageant, it really is,” said Carole Lee, coordinator for the Snowdrops. Lee said 29 second- and third-grade girls are competing for the Snowdrop Princess crown. There are 21 high school juniors vying for the title of Snowflake Princess. The girls have prepared If you go for the showcase all month. Judging took What: Snowdrop place at various events and Snowflake throughout the carnival, Pageant including fashion shows. When: 7 p.m. The event will begin Saturday; doors open 6:15 p.m. with the Snowdrop coronation, followed by a Where: Pottsshort intermission featurville Area High ing entertainment from School Robert W. Wachter Audi- local talent Reiley Lonertorium gan. Lee said Lonergan Tickets: $6 will perform a few songs before the Snowflake contestants take the stage. “It’s just enough to get the little girls off and Snowflakes on,” Lee said. With two coronation pageants in one night, Lee said the high school auditorium is packed with people. “It’s usually very crowded because the little girls bring a lot of family with them and the Snowflakes bring lots of friends and family,” Lee said. Lee said she has been working with the Snowdrops for more than a decade. Over the years, she said the girls rarely get upset with 2


Helena Michelle Fredericks, the 2013 Greater Pottsville Winter Carnival Snowdrop princess, walks the stage after being crowned. the outcome when it’s not in their favor. “The little girls seem to cheer each other on,” she said. Lee said the event is special for the girls who are competing for the last time. She said those girls are the ones who really show the emotion after the pageant ends. “That’s what the girls get upset about,” she said, adding that some former contestants returned for a visit at the Royal Tea held Jan. 25 in Pottsville. Following the coronations, an after party will be held at Hillcrest Hall, Minersville. Lee said there will be a charge for the public to attend. Lee said the party has been the favorite part of the Winter Carnival for the girls over



Devan Direnzo, right, is crowned the Greater Pottsville Winter Carnival Snowflake princess by the 2012 Snowflake Princess, Holly Parrish, during last year’s pageant. This year’s coronation ceremonies will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday at Pottsville Area High School. the years. She said long after she leaves, the girls continue to “dance the night away.” “They are so excited about the party,” she said. Most of all, Lee said the pageant gives the girls a night to have fun and remember.

“When they open the curtain that night they are all princesses,” she said. The 47th Greater Pottsville Winter Carnival will conclude Feb. 8 with the crowning of the Queen of Snows, also at Pottsville Area High School.

This ‘Labor Day’ no holiday The funniest unintentional laugh in “Labor Day” is the way adaptor/director Jason Reitman treats this eye-rolling, melodramatic romance novel as if he’s got his hands on the works of Dostoevsky or Tolstoy. A genteel escaped convict hides out with a grieving divorcee and offers another chance at love? It’s “The Prisons of Madison County.” Kate Winslet conveys a quivering, emotionally crippled vulnerability as the single mom and Josh Brolin suggests the proper balance of menace and chivalry as the convicted murderer. And young Gattlin Griffith is the 13-year-old who realizes that he is never going to be adequate as mom’s substitute husband. The boy Henry is the one the goateed and bloodied Frank (Brolin) approaches in the small-town supermarket. The pitch for a getaway, first to him thentohismother,ispolitewith just a hint of threat: “Frankly, this needs to happen.” Frank assures them he just needs to lay low until the law passes by their house, just until he can hop a freight train in the morning. But he sees Adele’s shaky hold on sanity, the ruin she’s let the house fall into, her loneliness. Before you know it, he’s cleaning the house, cooking dinner and — ever so lovingly — tying her up to keep up “held hostage” appearances. Henry, who narrates this story as an adult (voiced by Tobey Maguire),isconfused.Hebonds with the new man in their house, is impressed by Frank’s masculine tenderness and consideration. Henry might even learn a thing or two about the fairer sex, useful tips he can try out on the pushy-edgy big-city girl who’s new to town (Brighid Fleming). Reitman, for whom the glories of “Up in the Air” are

MOVIE REVIEWS but a fading memory, ladles on the sap in scenes where Frank grabs Adele’s hands and shoves them into the pie he’s making, or cradles her as he teaches her to hit a baseball. Adele teaches Frank to rumba and cha cha and over the course of a Labor Day weekend in 1987, and dares to think they have a future. Skip past the eye-rolling unlikeliness of this scenario — the fact that nosey, personal-space violating neighbors never notice that the guy whose picture is all over TV is cleaning the gutters of the divorced woman’s house — and treasure the film’s tense moments of kidnapping and near discovery. Reitman, using a pulsing, quietly pounding Rolf Kent score and a lot of silence, tightens the screws in these scenes like an old pro. But as with “Young Adult,” he’s chosen material too thin to support a deeper, more ambitious story. “Labor Day,” a Paramount release, is rated PG-13 for thematic material, brief violence and sexuality. Running time: 105 minutes. ★★

“That Awkward Moment” That’s the dating man’s lesson of “That Awkward Moment,” that “For girls, nothing good ever comes after ‘So.’ ” It’s a chatty romantic comedy in the modern mode — rude, nude and crude — with some funny, writerly riffs on relationships and how to avoid them. There are laughs, in the lead couple’s “meet cute” moment in a bar, when she (Imogen Poots) trots out that fortunetelling trick common to sexobsessed sitcoms: Rebuffing a suitor by forecasting an entire

failed relationship based on how a guy is dressed, the manner of his approach and his lame pick-up line. But the movie, like star Zac Efron and writer-director Tom Gormican, never lets us forget that it’s trying too hard, straining to spit out sexy, silly patter, reaching for that raunchy costume failure at a dinner party, grasping for gross takes on trips to the toilet. Efron, Miles Teller (“The Spectacular Now”) and Michael B. Jordan (“Fruitvale Station”) play three New York pals who vow, when the doctor of the trio (played by Jordan) is dumped by his wife, to stay single and enjoy the mingling. Together, they will build “a roster” of booty calls. And the moment a woman starts “the

talk” with “So,” they’ll bail. That’s the plan. Which all of them ignore. Jason (Efron), a smart-aleck designer of book covers, falls for this cute one-night-stand, Ellie (Poots), who works for a publishing house. The hilarious chatterbox Daniel (Teller) starts to realize that his gorgeous, able-bodied lady wingman (Mackenzie Davis) is all the woman he’d ever need. And Mikey (Jordan) clings to the hope that his cheating lawyer wife (Jessica Lucas) will hear his reasoned, “We checked off all the boxes” appeal to maintain their partnership masquerading as a marriage. “That Awkward Moment” is a writer’s comedy, and it’s easy to see why this cast was

drawn to Gormican’s script. It’s a less emotional, less consequential updating of “About Last Night,” the David Mamet play (“Sexual Perversity in Chicago”)-turnedmovie which, coincidentally, has earned an urban/African-American remake this Valentine’s Day. The quips and riffs are sharp and sometimes spot-on. Efron never quite holds his own with the much funnier Teller, whose swagger and confidence always seem to be compensating for his awareness that he’s nobody’s idea of a hunk. Poots, a British actress whose real accent only pops up in the outtakes at the end, is game but never quite achieves “You had me at hello.” Jordan has few demands

And Chris’s Electronic Cigarettes

Schuylkill Mall

Julia Quandel stop in for your Free Video Rental

For Showtimes: 570-874-2505 • Playing 1/31 - 2/6

12 YEARS A SLAVE (R) 4:00P, 9:30P DALLAS BUYERS CLUB (R) 1:00P, 7:00P FROZEN 2-D (PG) 12:15P, 3:00P FROZEN SING ALONG (PG) 5:30P I, FRANKENSTEIN 3D (PG-13) 4:00P, 9:45P NUT JOB 2D (PG) 12:00P I, FRANKENSTEIN 3D 21+ (PG13) 1:00P, 7:15P LONE SURVIVOR 21+ (R) 12:30P, 3:30P, 6:45P, 9:30P

NUT JOB 3D (PG) 3:00P, 6:00P, 8:30P RIDE ALONG (PG-13) 12:45P, 3:45P, 6:30P, 9:15P SAVING MR. BANKS (PG-13) 9:30P THAT AWKWARD MOMENT (R) 1:00P, 7:00P DEVILS DUE PXC (R) 3:45P, 9:40P JACK: SHADOW RECRUIT PXC (PG-13) 12:15P, 6:45P


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made on him, dramatically. The quirkiest “awkward moments” in the picture come from Josh Pais, as the pathologically shy and clumsy boss who re-introduces himself to his creative team (Jason and Daniel) every time he meets them: “Hi, it’s Fred.” Squirm-inducing and funny. The rest of “That Awkward Moment” isn’t awkward at all. It’s overfamiliar, a movie that plays like recycled, R-rated outtakes from “Rules of Engagement” or “How I Met Your Mother.” “That Awkward Moment,” a Focus Features release, is rated R for sexual content and language throughout. Running time: 94 minutes. ★★

I, FRANKENSTEIN (PG13) (1:30, 4:45), 7:20 RIDE ALONG (PG13) (1:05, 4:05), 7:05, 10:05

THAT AWKWARD MOMENT 21+ (R) 4:30P, 9:45P



THE NUT JOB (PG) (1:20, 4:10), 7:00 DEVIL’S DUE (R) (2:00, 4:40), 7:40, 10:00 LONE SURVIVOR (R) (1:15, 4:15), 7:15, 10:10 AMERICAN HUSTLE (R) (1:05, 4:05), 7:05, 9:40 FROZEN (PG) 9:30




Show a little love for Schuylkill County At the risk of alienating all of you, I’m going to state the obvious here, but I refuse to use “the V word”; it’s SO darned cold! In fact, it’s so cold you may not feel like leaving your house, but I’m going to encourage you to do just that anyway. After all folks, it is winter in Pennsylvania and none of us should really be too surprised with Mother Nature’s cold shoulder. Freezing or not, February is the month of love. So, thoughtfully consider showing a little love for Schuylkill County by shopping local for your loved ones this Valentine’s Day. We have a Local Shopping Guide on our website at under local deals to help you out. And although I’m sure you’re all tired of hearing me say it, I’m going to say it anyway: For every $100 you spend in a locally owned business, $45 circulates back into your community. That same $100 in a chain store only puts $13 back into the community. That’s money

Anne's Bakery and More Branchdale Call 570-544-5105 We Have Mackerel

Weekend Special Denver or Seattle Omelet w/ Homefries


Thur.-Fri.-Sat.-Sun. 6 a.m.-12 noon

Regina Gargano

and jobs in our community folks and it is important to all of us! As per usual, there are several Valentine-themed events going on in the community you’ll want to get to as well. The Walk-In Arts Center kicks off February with their Fall in Love with the Arts Open House on Saturday. The Walk-In is also hosting a Wine & Chocolate Benefit on Feb. 8, featuring the Sterling Koch Band. I guarantee this is one evening you will thoroughly enjoy! The Arts Barn is having a coffee painting workshop on Feb. 8, complete with wine,

chocolate and coffee and even if you’re not in the mood to explore your artistic capabilities, The Arts Barn is the perfect place to shop for your valentine. Speaking of wine and chocolate, several of our local wineries are joining in on the fun, too. Benigna’s Creek Vineyard & Winery in Klingerstown will thrill your taste buds with wine and chocolate truffles on Feb. 8, 14 and 15. Stone Mountain Wine Cellars is having its annual Wine and Chocolates Weekend Feb. 1516. And our friends at Galen Glen in Andreas are ready for you on the weekends of Feb. 8-9 and Feb. 15-16 with Wine, Chocolate and a Triple Good Time. Make time to drop by the Sweet Barista at The Simon Kramer Institute for Songs & Serenades on Feb. 8. Their handmade sweets are truly a luxury that your darling will savor.

Blu Tavern Restaurant & Motel

Sunday Brunch 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Sunday NFL Ticket w/$1.50 Coors Light or Miller Lite drafts For more info

of interest this month as well: Basic Boating Course on Feb. 8; Program on Peregrine Falcons on Feb. 11; FlyTying Classes on Feb. 3, 20 and 27; Cabin Fever Hike with Porcupine Pat on Feb. 15 and Winter Botany on Feb. 22. In Schuylkill County, we love our local history and heritage. The history of Schuylkill County is inextricably bound to the history of the United States anthracite industry. Although the settlement of Schuylkill County occurred long before the discovery of the “black diamonds” that would fuel the nation’s industrial revolution, it is anthracite coal that forged our region into the rich diverse community it is today. The Fairlane Village mall will once again host the annual History Fair on Feb. 8. This event offers an abundance of photographs, artifacts and collectibles detail-

Public Welcome – Weekly Specials

All You Can Eat



ing our county’s rich cultural heritage and is sure to have something for everyone. I’m sure you all know by now that I love Schuylkill County. For me, it’s a special place; a place I’m proud to call home. A place I’m privileged to live, work and support economically and personally. A place where I’ve learned the same things we all learn here: to work hard, to play fair, and to be honest, helpful and proud of our community. We have perhaps the greatest of all resources, good people. I hope you will support the businesses and organizations in our community this month and every month. For more information on the events I’ve talked about as well as others, please visit our website at www. (Gargano is executive director of Schuylkill County Visitors Bureau)


BREAKFAST BUFFET Sunday, February 2nd

“The Donna Nye Band” One of the area’s best female guitarists!! 10pm-1am


Adults $6.00, Children under 8 $3.00


Immaculate Conception Social Hall Saint Clair 570-429-0302

Sunday February 2nd Super Bowl Party!

Kitchen Hours

Rt. 209, Llewellyn • 570-544-9919

Featured Entrees • Prime Rib of Beef • Chicken Basil with Pasta

The Anthracite Philharmonic will be at the Schuylkill County Council for the Arts on Feb. 16 with Valentines, Voices and Vino. February also brings us Groundhog Day. Now, while we all know that it matters little whether our famous marmot friend sees his shadow or not (the calendar says there will be another six weeks of winter folks!), it’s still a fun tradition. The good people at Sweet Arrow Lake County Park, Pine Grove, are celebrating Groundhog Day on Saturday with breakfast, PA Dutch presentations, storytelling, music and more. This is a family-friendly event with something for everyone. Afterward, head over to the Shoppes at the Meck Knitting Mill for lunch at the “Souper Bowl Saturday” annual Soup Cook-off Competition. Sweet Arrow Lake County Park has a few other items

Friday 4-8 p.m. Saturday & Sunday 7-11 a.m. & 4-8 p.m. Thursday 5-8 p.m. Seafood & Steaks Thursday & Friday 7 a.m.-10 a.m. Saturday & Sunday 7 a.m.-11 a.m. Saturday, February 1, 9-12

Coming Feb. 8 “Liz Krome &The Surge” Guests Accompanied By Members Only – ID a Must Visit Us On Facebook

8:00 AM - 11:30 AM

Saturday February 1st

Featuring Drink Specials and Half Price on Most Appetizers!! Breakfast Saturday and Sunday 7am-12pm For Our Full Menu and List of Events Check Our Website

1120 Centre Street, Ashland • 875-3292



(570) 429-1237 36 N. 2nd St., St. Clair PA

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2501 West End Ave., Pottsville Come in outta the cold! We’ve got FUN for EVERYONE!

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Saturdays & Sundays Friends & Family Rent-A-Lane Any 2-hour period 2-6pm $34.95/lane includes shoes

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Fridays & Saturdays Glow Bowl Rent-A-Lane Any 2-hour period 8pm-10pm $49.95/lane includes shoes & only $44.95 after l0pm. Don’t Forget, Birthdays with us are NO MESS, NO FUSS! Call & book your party today! Strike Zone Alleys



St. Michael The Archangel Parish Center 538 Sunbury St., Minersville

- $10 Per Ticket, 5 Tickets for $40 Game Dinner: $25 pp

- Includes Dinner & Door Prize Chance Salad, Venison Sausage, Boar, Smoked Duck, Potatoes, Veg. & Dessert

Doors Open at 5:30PM with Dinner At 6:30PM

Reserve Your Seat And Purchase Your Raffle Tickets Now! Call 570-544-4741




We saw you at ... Royal Tea on Saturday From left, Gillian Blankenhorn, Zowie Zokuskie, Paige Mervine and Emilee Clews, all of Saint Clair

Front, from left, Sarah and Regan Campbell; back, from left, Mandy Campbell, all of Ringtown; Nancy Souchack, Frackville

Lily Anna, left, and Amy Eades, Minersville

From left, Maya Golden, Kaitlin Painter and Livia Hable, all of Pottsville

New Ringgold Fire Co. 2501 West End Avenue Pottsville - 570-622-8741

Tonite Happy Hour 4-8 pm

$2.25 “You Call It” 60¢ Wings Music By “CIRCUS FREAKS” Saturday - “DJ GUARDIAN” Sunday Super Game 4-10 pm $2.00 “You Call It” 60¢ Wings

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Mackerel Breakfast

Mackerel, Eggs, Bacon, Sausage, Ham, Pancakes, S.O.S., French Toast, and Omelets 25 North Railroad Street, New Ringgold

(570) 943-2212

Photos by Jacqueline Dormer

From left, Meadow Eckert, Pottsville; Ava DiSante, Orwigsburg; Alivia Trostle, Auburn; Madison Yorski, Schuylkill Haven

TOOM’S PUB 204 Peacock St., Pottsville


Open Friday 3 pm Sat., Sun., Mon., & Thurs. 6 pm Tonite 9 pm “PARTY TYME” Karaoke & DJ SAT., 9 PM “DJ 1:01” FEB. 8TH "FAT CATS" FEB. 15TH Guinness "STEVIE C"

on Tap Friend us on Facebook


for the Big Game Feb. 2nd

West End Hose Co.

Pottsville Take Out 1-4 pm


Allison, left, with Llewellyn



The Pottsville Zone Sports Bar & Grill

ForThe Big Game OrderYour Wings and Food In Advance!

337 Peacock Street Pottsville • 570-628-9793


Tuesdays Tapas 5/$5

Wine Down Wednesdays

Thursdays Ribs & Beer

Coal Creek Plaza, Saint Clair





ANNUAL GREATER POTTSVILLE WINTER CARNIVAL EVENT — Yuengling Night, 9 p.m., Humane Fire Company, Pottsville. MEETING — Success with MS self-help group, 1 to 3 p.m., Schuylkill Rehabilitation Center, 300 Schuylkill Medical Plaza, Pottsville. Presentation by Jennifer Marlow, RN, of Concept Medical, Ashland. SHENANDOAH AREA FOOD PANTRY — 10 a.m. to noon last Friday of odd months, Francis Cardinal Brennan Knights of Columbus Council 618, 201 W. Cherry St., Shenandoah. Pantry serves Shenandoah and Gilberton boroughs and West Mahanoy Township. Primary site contact, Jason Schally of Schuylkill Community Action, at 570-6221995. VETERANS BENEFITS PROGRAM — Conducted by representative from U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, 6 p.m., Ashland American Legion Post 434, Centre and Fifth streets, Ashland. Representative will answer questions on veterans benefits and provide information on how to apply for them. All area veterans invited to attend.


EN POT PIE DINNER — 4 to 7 p.m., Liberty Fire Company No. 4, 223 Columbia St., Schuylkill Haven. Adults $8, children $4, quarts $6. Menu includes lettuce with hot bacon dressing, bread, desserts and beverage. Takeouts available. Free delivery in Schuylkill Haven area by calling 570-385-3341. ANNUAL GREATER POTTSVILLE WINTER CARNIVAL EVENT — Snowdrop and Snowflake Pageant, 7 p.m., Pottsville Area High School auditorium, followed by ball at Hillcrest Hall, Minersville. ANNUAL “SOUPER” SATURDAY SOUP COOK OFF — 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. today and Sunday, Shoppes at the Meck Knitting Mill, 101 W. Main St., Schuylkill Haven. Call 570-385-2700. Tasting $6 adults, $4 children 12 and under. ANNUAL GROUNDHOG DAY CELEBRATION — Starts 9 a.m., Sweet Arrow Lake County Park, Clubhouse Road, Pine Grove. Entertainment by Pine Grove Grundsau Lodge 5. Free. Breakfast available at 7:30 a.m., clubhouse. Adults $5, children $3.50. Event held blizzard or shine, except for breakfast. Call 570-345-8952 or email revanchalk@co.schuylkill. CHEESESTEAK DINNER — 3 p.m. to sellout, William

Pine View Acres

Restaurant & Cocktail Lounge

Sonny’s Smoked & Tiki Bar Now Open

SUNDAYS SPECIALS FRIDAY SEAFOOD BUFFET BIG BREAKFAST BUFFET King Crab Legs-Steamed Clams Open Saturdays 4 - 8 pm Haddock-Shrimp (Fried & Cocktail) Includes Dessert & Salad Bar & 12 other items Open Tues Thru Fri 11:30 am - 8 pm $19.95 For lunches & dinners FEBRUARY SPECIALS Line Dancing Yuengling Breaded Scallops $10.95 Stuffed Haddock w/ Crabmeat $18.95 Every 2nd Friday of the Month Twin Lobster Tails $38.50

Saturday, Feb. 2nd.


LUNCH SPECIALS Spaghetti, Italian Meatball & Salad $6.95

Chicken Wings $6.95 doz. Everyday

570-628-3207 • Chamberlaine Ave., Pottsville 6


We Now Accept EBT Cards

Penn Fire Company. Cost $8 per platter. For orders and free local delivery, call 570462-0338. DANCE — 9 p.m. to midnight, Newtown Volunteer Fire Company, 36 Wood St., Zerbe. Music by Hooligans. Cover charge $5. Call 570695-3777. FREE SOUP SOCIAL — 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., First United Methodist Church, 144 Carbon St., Minersville. Call 570-544-8951. MEETING — Celebrate Recovery, 9 to 11 a.m., Fearnot Assembly of God Church, 1152 W. Mountain Road, Hegins. Christ-centered and Bible-based program focusing on dealing with life’s hurts, habits and hangups. Free. For more information or directions, call Brian at 570-205-2813. OPEN HOUSE — Fall in Love with the ARTS, 1 to 6 p.m., Walk-In Art Center, 220 Parkway, Schuylkill Haven. Art, music and Valentine children’s activities. PENNY AUCTION — 2 to 4 p.m., Locustdale Fire Company, Firehouse Hill, Locustdale. Cost $2 plus gift. THEME BASKET RAFFLE — 1 p.m., doors open 11:30 a.m., Holy Ascension Orthodox Church, 209 S. Lehigh Ave., Frackville. Lunch avail-

able. Basket raffle, $5. Tickets available at door. FREE SATURDAY TRAINS PROGRAM — 10 a.m. to noon, Christ Memorial Episcopal Church, Pine and East Market streets, Danville. Dozens of trains available for children and adults to play with.

SUNDAY ALL-YOU-CAN-EATBREAKFAST BUFFET — 8 to 11:30 a.m., Immaculate Conception Social Hall, Saint Clair. Adults $6, children 8 under, $3. Takeouts available. Call 570-429-0302. Proceeds benefit St. Clare of Assisi parish. ALL-YOU-CAN-EATBREAKFAST — 8 to 11:30 a.m., Frackville Elks, 307 S. Third St., Frackville. Adults $8, children $4. ALL-YOU-CAN-SPAGHETTI DINNER — 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., St. Patrick Roman Catholic Parish Center, 313 Mahantongo St., Pottsville. Adults $7.50, children $3. Takeouts available. BREAKFAST AND BAKE SALE — 8 a.m. to noon, MaryD Fire Company, North Main and Walnut streets, MaryD. Adults $7, with mackerel $8, and children $4. CELEBRATE RECOVERY — 5 to 6 p.m., Faith Church, 1168 Centre Turnpike, Route

315 N. Centre St., Pottsville


Friday Night, January 31st

“Boys Upstairs” Starting at 8:00 pm Dine with us Feb. 4th thru Feb. 13th for your chance to win a 1/2 Carat Heartbeat Diamond (retail value $900) Courtesy of Sophy Jewelers.

- Friday, February 14th Special Valentine’s Dinner Menu

Sweetheart Horse Drawn Carriage Rides $30 Advance Reservations / $40 On A Whim Complementary Gift Bag If Dining & Riding With Us! (advance reservations only)

-Sunday, February 16th -


11:00 am to 2:00 pm • Call Today For Reservations


61, Orwigsburg. Biblical and balanced program created to help people overcome life’s hurts, habits and hangups. Free. Mailing address is P.O. Box 323, Orwigsburg, PA 17961. ORDER DEADLINE FOR APPLE PIE AND DUMPLING SALE — Pick up Feb. 6, Congregational Free Church of Christ, 81 McKeans Ridge Road, McKeansburg, or 367 S. Wayne St., Orwigsburg. Apple dumplings $2.50 each, applies pies $8. Call Mary at 570-366-2286 or Anna at 570-366-2049. SUNDAY BREAKFAST — 7:30 a.m. to noon, Mountaineer Hose Company, Third and South streets, Minersville. Open menu. SUPER BOWL WINGS SALE — Pick up 1 to 4 p.m., West End Fire Company, 1219 W. Market St., Pottsville. Takeouts only. Call 570-622-5770. SUPER BOWL WINGS AND PIZZA SALE — Pick up 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Good American Hose Company, 738 E. Mahanoy St., Mahanoy City. Wings $8 per order, pizza $10 for unbaked, $12 for baked. Call 570-7733473 to place order. SUPER BOWL PARTY — 5 to 11 p.m., St. Richard Roman Catholic Church, 799 Barnesville Drive, Barnesville. Admission $3. Call

570-467-2315. SUPER BOWL SUNDAY BINGO — 1:30 p.m., doors open at noon, Mother Cabrini Roman Catholic Church Hall, Shamokin. FREE BREAD, PASTRY AND ROLLS — 12:15 to 1:30 p.m., pick up at Living Waters Church of God, 155 S. Balliet St., Frackville. Accepting non-perishable food for redistribution. Call 570874-1585. FREE FEEDING PROGRAM — Soup kitchen open 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. every Sunday, New Life in Christ Ministries, 217-219 Market St., Cumbola. Full meal for families in need. Call 570-277-6041. FREE COMMUNITY DINNER — 4 to 5:30 p.m., Grace Evangelical Free Church, 101 Graeff St., Cressona. Open to community. MEETINGS — Alcoholics Anonymous, noon and 7 p.m. Sunday, Monday, Thursday and Friday; noon to 8 p.m. Tuesday; noon Wednesday and Saturday, St. Stephen Center, 45 W. Fourth St., Mount Carmel. WINGS — Noon until sellout every Sunday, Rainbow Hose Company, Dock Street, Schuylkill Haven. Cost $9 per dozen. Also burgers, cheesesteaks and chicken finger platters. Free delivery in town, including businesses. Call 570-385-1511.

Come In From The Cold! Souper Saturday at The Shoppes at the Meck Knitting Mill, Saturday, February 1st • 11:00 am to 3:00 pm. Enter your crock pot of soup for a chance to win a trophy and bragging rights for the year! Judges needed to decide the winner. $6 judging fee for adults, children 12 and under $4. Sample soups from local restaurants as well as individual soup enthusiasts. What a fun way to have lunch! Limited menu available at the Country Café for this event! Call 570-385-2700 or email

to register your soup. Walk-In Arts Center Fall in Love with the Arts Open House Saturday, February 1st, 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm.

Schuylkill County Visitors Bureau MONDAY - FRIDAY: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM 570-622-7700 • One Progress Circle, Suite 100, Pottsville

Progressives can offer winning chances Dear Mark: I only play progressive video poker machines. You have stated in the past that a higher progressive jackpot will not make a machine any more likely to hit. That said, do you ever recommend playing on machines with lower jackpots? The best paying paytables on progressives where I play are 8/5 Jacks or Better machines. What is the “breakeven point” on those machines? Jim C. The rate at which the progressive meter advances upward on a video poker machine is based on a preset percentage of all the money cycled through the machine. The meter rates will vary from machine to machine, casino to casino. On your typical video poker machine, the meters rise on the average of between 0.25 and 2 percent with 1 percent being the industry average. The cards drawn for use in a video poker hand are selected at random, without regard for what has happened in the past, no matter what the value of the current progressive jackpot is. Commit this to memory, Jim. Video poker machines

expectation to a positive expectation. Many successful video poker players, Jim, do just Deal Me In that — play progressives only when they’re positive. When the progressive is hit, and the jackpot returns to its reset amount, smart players pack their bags and move on are never due. because the house has an The main reason for play- edge again. ing a high paying progresAll the above said, Jim, sive video poker machine is with an 8/5 machine (8 for a that the jackpot can actually full house, 5 for a flush with reach a size in which the one coin inserted), I recomplayer has a positive expecmend a progressive meter tation. that reads at least $440 on a This does not mean the nickel, $2,200 on a quarter house suddenly loses its and $8,800 on dollar video built-in edge, only that the poker machine. money deposited from previThese numbers represent ous losing players has the breakeven point where pushed the jackpot to the the long-term payback for point where it causes the the machine is 100 percent. machine’s payout potential to cross over from a negative

Mark Pilarski

Sovereign Majestic

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18 N. Delaware Ave., Minersville

Steak Night

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when losing. Be it flat, progressive, or betting the farm once you are ahead, none of these Increasing bet methods will affect the Dear Mark: house advantage, nor guarFor the blackjack player, is antee that you will win more there a set amount of winmoney. ning hands in a row where If the casino has an you would recommend advantage before money increasing your bet size? management, it still has that Jed C. same advantage even after When wagering at blackyou apply any type of money jack, I lean toward the winmanagement technique. ning progressive method of The reason I like the probetting, setting a predetergressive method of wagermined percentage increase ing is that after the second after each winning bet. $10 win, you are now betting For example, you increase just your winnings, and by your winning bets by 50 per- doing so, you minimize your cent after the second win: losses. $10, $10, $15, $22, etc., but Remember one thing, Jed, maintain the continuously and that is whether you won flat bet (the table minimum) or lost the previous hand, it

Below these payout levels, move along since there remains a house edge.



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Lakeside Ballroom Presents

The 46th 2014

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3 Brackets of Starting Times for (Each Date) 10:30AM • 12:30PM • 2:00PM All Pairs Luck of the Drawl on arrival

Awards to ALL Teams that make the Finals Finals held Saturday February 22nd 10:30AM No Food or Alcohol permitted in Tournament (PA Law) For Information/Directions Please call 570-467-2630 or Visit www.lakesideballroom,net 40 Crystal Lane • Barnesville • 570-467-2630

I have slept less than any man who ever lived. — Nick “The Greek” Dandalos, “Gambling Yesterday and Today” (1973) (Pilarski can be reached at 14-16 Sunbury St. • Minersville

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Gambling wisdom of the week


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has no effect on the results of the next hand. Yes, with smart play, blackjack offers you some of the best odds against the casino. But any time you increase your bet, the cost of playing blackjack increases because you are exposing more of your current bankroll against the built-in house edge.

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Grammy awards entertaining

It’s been a few days, but I’m still kind of confused. I, for the first time in a long time, was entertained by the Grammys this year. Because I work Sunday nights, I made a last-minute decision to DVR the show just as it came on through the power of the DIRECTV app on my phone. I expected to watch it later that night in hopes the sheer boredom of it would lull me to sleep, but at least three times, I was entertained. Listen, I don’t understand popular music and I, in no way, mean to sound snobby in saying that. I’ll admit to any music I like at the risk of losing “cool” points — I think I’m getting too old to even use that word, so I’m sure I lost a few there. Nevertheless, I admittedly fast forwarded through some performances, but some I just gave a shot because I was feeling adventurous. Here’s my take on what I saw in no particular order:

Beyonce and Jay-Z Beyonce is one of the most beautiful women in the entire world. Her marriage to Jay-Z seems super stable and lov-

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Katy Perry Jenna Wasakoski

ing; they seem to adore each other. All that aside, I don’t need a glimpse into what went on in order to create Blue Ivy. Beyonce is often referred to as “Queen Bey,” and for obvious reasons. One of the reasons she is held in such high regard is that she hasn’t fallen from grace, gotten arrested or shaved her head, so she has respect. She is humble, polite and on top of her game. Do I respect her for her performance on Sunday? Sure. Do I think it was a little much. Yes. First off, I think the song is terrible. Both Beyonce and Jay-Z have songs that I really like, but that song is awful and the performance was just a bit over the top for the time and channel. If I had kids, I wouldn’t want them simulating those dance moves.

I fast forwarded. Why? Because I don’t trust the taste of anyone who would marry Russell Brand and date John Mayer. And frankly, I find her voice very irritating. She rose from the stage in some kind of snow globe and I bailed.

The Highwaymen Oftentimes, you’ll ask someone what kind of music they listen to and they’ll say, “Pretty much everything except country.” To each their own, but I honestly don’t know how any music enthusiast can rule out country completely. Country music’s roots run deep and have, for decades, inspired and influenced genres like the blues and rockabilly and rock ’n’ roll as did those genres for country. So, if you’ve never heard of the Highwaymen, I kind of feel bad for you. Surely, you know who Johnny Cash is because of the movie “Walk the Line,” but you should have been onboard with him long before that. So, the Highwaymen were a supergroup comprised of

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Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson years after they made a significant stamp on the music industry individually. I could go on and on about each of their accomplishments, musical talent, lyrics and more, but let’s not get too lengthy. We can have that conversation in a bar someday. Back to the Grammys, the passing of Cash and Jennings left the group two short. Those spots were filled by none other than Merle Haggard — logical and amazing choice — and Blake Shelton. That kind of irritated some folks, being the rest are legends, but I’m going to stick up for Shelton. I think he held his own. I find myself strangely attracted to him, too, so that may have factored in as well. I guess it’s not so strange. He’s tall, he’s funny, he can grow a beard and he has tattoos — that’s pretty much the

formula that works for me. I even like some of his music as I find myself listening to more and more country these days. I used to stick to outlaw, alt-country, folk and bluegrass, but some of these mainstream guys are good. So good, iHeartRadio, which shies away from country, has sold out an all-country upcoming festival due to the popularity of artists like Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan and Eric Church. Anyway, the Highwaymen were probably the highlight of the Grammys for me.

Nine Inch Nails, Queens Of The Stone Age, Dave Grohl and Lindsey Buckingham Rude. The Grammys cut these guys off and rolled credits over their performance. Poor planning, Grammy organizers. Trent Reznor had every right to call you out on Twitter. I had to look


this up because my rude DVR actually cut the whole thing, but I would have liked to see it in its entirety. It was completely insulting to do that. All these guys are real musicians. Overall, I was surprisingly entertained, which was probably increased by my ability to fast forward through some of it. Oh, yeah and people won some awards, too. Although sometimes annoyingly feministic at times, the site Jezebel summed up in an article what the award winning process has become by describing the Grammys as “the annual straight white people give each other awards for doing black music about gay rights better than you convention.” Pretty accurate. (Wasakoski, a News-Item editor, is a graduate of Von Lee School of Aesthetics and is certified as a professional makeup artist.)



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Middleport Inn Coal St., Middleport

Friday Specials • Stuffed Pork Chops • Pineapple Salsa Chicken • Deviled Crabs • Beef Vegetable Soup Thursday - Wing Night



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Saturday February 1

Band “Red Halo”

10 PM - $5 Cover I.D. a Must