Schuylkill Valley Elementary School: Ms. Emerson’s class answers ‘What is your favorite holiday movie, television show or song?’ |Dec 22, 2014

Bret E.: My favorite holiday movie is “The Polar Express” because the train slides across the ice and the ice starts to crack and it is really exciting.

Schuylkill Valley Elementary School: Mrs. Gwiazdowski’s class answers ‘What is your favorite holiday movie, television show or song?’ |Dec 22, 2014

Richard L.: My favorite holiday show is “Frosty the Snowman.” I love snowmen!

Schuylkill Valley Elementary School: Ms. Reimert’s class answers ‘What is your favorite holiday movie, television show or song?’ |Dec 22, 2014

Isaiah R.: My favorite holiday show is “Frosty the Snowman.” I like the part when Frosty melts and Santa bring him back to life.

Tilden Elementary Center: Mr. Schaeffer’s class answers ‘What is your favorite holiday activity?’ |Dec 22, 2014

Cameron K.: My favorite tradition is opening Christmas presents on Christmas morning.

Tilden Elementary Center: Mrs. Haring’s class answers ‘What is your favorite holiday activity?’ |Dec 22, 2014

Raymond A.: I like decorating our house for Christmas. I also like decorating the tree.

Schuylkill Valley Elementary School: Mrs. Lafko’s class answers ‘What is your favorite holiday movie, television show or song?’ |Dec 22, 2014

Brianna S.: My favorite movie is “The Happy Elf” because it makes me laugh.

Amity Township residents to see no tax increase |Dec 22, 2014

The Amity Township Board of Supervisors unanimously approved on Dec. 17 a 2015 budget of $4 million with no tax increase.

Tilden Elementary Center: Mrs. Smith’s class answers ‘What is your favorite holiday activity?’ |Dec 22, 2014

Carson B.: My favorite holiday tradition is baking cookies. I also like decorating my house.

Tilden Elementary Center: Mrs. Biehl’s class answers ‘What is your favorite holiday activity?’ |Dec 22, 2014

Olivia K.: At Christmas my family decorates the tree together.

From the Item Editor: Happy holidays and thank you |Dec 22, 2014

Thank you to all of the students, teachers and principals for participating in the holiday letters. We have the last batch set to go in the Dec. 31 issue. We also want to wish all of our readers the happiest of holidays and a wonderful start to the new year.

Hamburg Rotary hears history of Christmas carols |Dec 22, 2014

Rotarians Sandy Christman and Jeanette Heckman gave the club a brief history lesson on Christmas carols. Our piano player Mary Alice Heffner who shares her music talent each week played the carols for the members to sing,

Santa stops for breakfast at Schuylkill Valley Community Library |Dec 22, 2014

Santa Claus has been quite busy this month making multiple stops throughout the area including hardware stores, train stations, motorcycle shops, workshops at various locations, farmers markets and more.

St. Mary youth present ‘First Christmas’ play |Dec 22, 2014

A nativity play is an honored tradition in churches across the nation, and the youth of St. Mary Parish, Tilden Twp., were no exception this year. The church held a program, “The First Christmas” featuring the children and teenagers of the congregation on Saturday, Dec.

Colebrookdale Elementary second graders share favorite holiday traditions |Dec 22, 2014

Isaiah Elwell: My favorite tradition is going to my grandparent’s house for Christmas. I like spending time with my family. I also like buying, giving, and opening presents. This makes me feel happy.

Christmas tradition continues for Boyertown Girl Scout Troops |Dec 22, 2014

It is a tradition for the Girl Scouts of Brownie Troop 1759 and Junior Troop 1854 to visit Walnut Woods each year to sing Christmas carols.

Pine Forge Academy receives $1M ransom demand from hacker |Dec 21, 2014

Douglass (Berks) >> State police are conducting an investigation after Pine Forge Academy received an anonymous email threatening the school’s computer system.

A Look Back in History: Pennsylvania Dutch and their reverence for stone |Dec 19, 2014

The widespread use of fieldstone for houses, barns, and mills is quite well-known and a number of structures survive in the area remain in fine shape. However, the stone culture of early Pennsylvania was quite elaborate, and stone was used for practically for every purpose.

Miller-Keystone Blood Center Launching New Online Donor Screening Application |Dec 19, 2014

Miller-Keystone Blood Center (MKBC) is pleased to announce the launch of iScreen, a secure, private way for donors to complete their donor history questionnaire. Starting on Tuesday, Jan. 6, iScreen will be used by donors to answer these questions in a private setting at a blood drive or donation center or online on the day of donation, prior to their arrival.

Reel Experiences with Robert Humanick: Intense musical-thriller ‘Whiplash’ earns its title |Dec 19, 2014

For all intents and purposes, “Whiplash” is a monster movie -- it doesn’t exactly take place in reality. Concerning an ambitious young man at a renowned music college under the tutelage of a conductor whose technical excellence is outweighed only by his ruthlessness in weeding out imperfections in his students, this is a film that approaches musicianship much like “Gravity” approached space travel.

An outpouring of kindness supplies local veterans with essentials |Dec 19, 2014

The holidays remind us to appreciate what we have, love those in our lives and give back to the community through donations, time and love.

Kutztown University Commencement a special day for stroke victim |Dec 19, 2014

This time last year, things were going well for Jennifer Sommers of Stroudsburg, Pa. As a special education pre-K - 8 and elementary education pre-K - 4 major at Kutztown University, she saw the light at the end of the tunnel and looked forward to graduating in the spring alongside her twin brother, Tim Sommers.

Kutztown Elementary Students, staff perform 1,000 acts of kindness |Dec 19, 2014

Kutztown Elementary students and staff performed more than 1,000 random acts of kindness and spread joy in the community during December.

WTIM: Music around town Dec. 24 edition |Dec 19, 2014

By Tim Dietterick Circulation Manager, Berks-Mont Newspapers

Hamburg’s From the Early Files |Dec 19, 2014

25 Years Ago Dec. 27, 1989 >> Army Captain Thomas Muir, 29, was injured last week in the U.S. invasion of Panama. Captain Muir is the son of Dr. and Mrs. Robert Muir, 100 Club House Drive, Bernville.

Oley farmer wins Sunoco’s Free Fuel 5000 Contest Grand Prize of $5,000 in fuel |Dec 19, 2014

Sunoco marks the first decade of its popular Free Fuel 5000 contest by giving out $5,000 Grand Prizes to 10 lucky customers from across the country.

Hamburg Area School District Superintendent’s resignation accepted |Dec 19, 2014

After eight years at the helm, Hamburg Area’s top administrator has decided that it’s time for a change.

Brinton Lodge hosts first Holiday Bizarre Bazaar |Dec 19, 2014

Historic Brinton Lodge hosted their first annual Holiday Bizarre Bazaar which featured local vendors and artists who specialize in unique, handmade, weird, vintage, sexy, esoteric, eco-friendly, and fun crafts, goods, and services.

Hamburg area church calendar |Dec 19, 2014

Salem-Berne United Methodist Church

Hamburg area calendar of events |Dec 19, 2014

Recurring Centerport Lions Club: Jamming Sessions will be held every 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month. Music starts at 5:30 p.m. All musicians welcome.

‘Tis the Season: A six-year tradition visiting Koziar’s Christmas Village |Dec 19, 2014

The first time I visited Koziar’s Christmas Village I was a fourth grade Girl Scout. Our leaders rounded us up in a bunch of cars, and we waited in the mile-long traffic to see the shimmering, magical lights.

Small Beginnings: Christmas confessions, getting caught up in the commotion of the holiday |Dec 19, 2014

I’m caught up in the middle of the hubbub. I’m shopping and frantically looking for the perfect gift for the people I love. I want them to have that WOW moment when they open the package and love what I got them.

Welcome to my World: The Christmas tree |Dec 19, 2014

Our Christmas tree is again decorated with glowing lights, ornamental glass balls, icicles of tinfoil, long strips of popcorn chains, and topped by an angel. Starry eyed, I repeat the familiar carol’s words: “Oh, Christmas tree, Oh, Christmas tree, How lovely are your branches!”

Roundabouts, widening and additional turning lanes planed for Route 222, Maidencreek, Richmond and Maxatawny townships |Dec 19, 2014

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation representatives presented plans for Route 222 during a public open house at Fleetwood High School Dec. 17.

Dairy recipe: ‘Tis the season to be dairy |Dec 19, 2014

Tis’ the season to be dairy! From setting cookies and milk out for Santa, enjoying hot chocolate by the fire or even baking one of your favorite holiday recipes, this time of year is filled with dairy.

Liquor Control partners with 4 Universities: Town-Gown Pilot Project aims to prevent underage and dangerous drinking on college campuses and in community |Dec 19, 2014

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board announced a pilot program with Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Kutztown University, West Chester University, Alvernia College and Caron Treatment Centers to develop a Town-Gown Pilot Project aimed at preventing underage and dangerous drinking on college campuses and in the surrounding communities.

ReadingFilm presents free screening of Wyomissing High grad’s latest project |Dec 19, 2014

ReadingFilm, a GoGreater Reading program, is pleased to announce the latest in its ever-growing list of free screening premieres of films shot in Greater Reading or by filmmakers with ties to Reading.

Leader honored for 50 years of Scouting |Dec 19, 2014

John Mehltretter was not expecting a room full of Boy Scout leaders and members, family and friends yelling “Surprise!” when he walked into the weekly Troop 101 meeting at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Kutztown on Tuesday.

The Historian: Log Houses in the New Hanover area |Dec 19, 2014

When we think of early houses in the region, the images that usually come to mind are the large, stone farm houses and the associated bank barns.

Hollywood fairy tale for Fleetwood girl, 8, in Big Apple |Dec 19, 2014

Rodeo Marie Hanson, an 8-year-old girl from the Fleetwood area, got up close and personal with Hollywood’s A-List, at The World Premiere of Disney’s “Into The Woods.”

Mind Your Body: A Perfect Time for Turning Inward |Dec 19, 2014

Winter has arrived and the nights have grown longer. Along with increased darkness, there is more quietude. As we look around us, we see bare branches. Many plants have gone dormant, there are fewer birds about, and numerous animals hibernate or go into “light hibernation.

Historic State Theatre Of Boyertown Born Cross-Eyed To Celebrate St. Stephens Day Concert |Dec 18, 2014

The Historic State Theatre of Boyertown is proud to present Born Cross-Eyed in concert on Friday, Dec. 26 at 7:30 p.m. The concert will be held at 61 N. Reading Avenue in Boyertown.

Holiday food drive, Santa run slated for Lower Pottsgrove TWP |Dec 18, 2014

Shawn Watson wasn’t always the owner of three flourishing businesses in Lower Pottsgrove and Douglass Townships and a member of the Lower Pottsgrove Township Board of Commissioners. There was a time when he knew what it was to struggle through life.

Announcing the winners of the 8th Annual Festival of the Trees in Boyertown |Dec 18, 2014

From Boyertown Multi-Service The 8th Annual Festival of the Trees Event took place on Friday, Dec. 6, at Boyertown Multi-Service.

Boyertown Area Fire & Rescue reports to chimney fire |Dec 18, 2014

Boyertown Area Fire & Rescue was dispatched to a chimney fire at 142 West Philadelphia Ave., a single family residence, on Friday Dec. 12, at 1426 hours [2:26 p.m.].

Boyertown Area Fire & Rescue report to early morning structure fire |Dec 18, 2014

Boyertown Area Fire & Rescue was dispatched to a structure fire—garage at 220 North Reading Avenue—on Saturday, Dec. 13, at 0453 hours [4:53 a.m.].

Berks County Public Library System Awards libraries, individuals for making difference in their community |Dec 18, 2014

The Berks County Public Library System Board of Trustees recognized the efforts of libraries and individuals at its 13th annual awards presentation on Dec. 17, honoring people and programs who are driving forces and inspirations within the library community.

Pottstown MOMS Club holds Gift-A-Way Event |Dec 18, 2014

Most folks can use a little extra help from time to time—and what better time than the holiday season.

Schwank, Argall, Community and Business Leaders, First Responders meet on Route 222 |Dec 18, 2014

Heeding the growing concerns about the safety of Route 222, state Sens. Judy Schwank (D-11) and David Argall (R-29) met here last night with local leaders to work towards solutions that would make the highway less deadly.

Adorable Adoptables: This Chihuahua just wants to cuddle |Dec 18, 2014

#8008 Aren’t I just the cutest little ball of love you’ve ever seen? I am a 7-year-old neutered male Chihuahua.

Three families purchase toys for Haylee’s Christmas Tree Project |Dec 17, 2014

Three families from the Living Waters Fellowship congregation purchased toys for Haylee’s Christmas Tree Project.