Archive for category whitehall township

Another local Kmart to close as Sears realigns, looks online

The region will lose two stores by the end of November.

Within weeks, the Allentown area will go from three Kmarts to one, the discount store’s parent company said.
In late …

Ex-employee arrested for $23K in unauthorized spending, cops say

The 44-year-old faces eight felonies in the alleged scheme involving a Lehigh Township company and two of her bosses.

A Lehigh County woman is accused of racking up nearly $10,00…

Shots fired report turns out to be burglary, cops say

There was a language barrier with the 911 caller, police said.

A report of gunfire Wednesday night at a Whitehall Township home turned out to be a burglary, township police said….

Stained glass from 12 churches goes on sale in the Lehigh Valley

More than 200 pieces of stained glass will be included in Saturday’s sale.

The Diocese of Allentown is selling more than 200 pieces of stained glass.

The pieces — from 12 closed churches, two convents and a chapel — go on sale at 9 a.m. Saturday at St. Elizabeth of Hungary Church, 618 Fullerton Ave. in Whitehall Township

The stained glass sale, the diocese’s seventh, is very popular and previous sales have sold out in hours.

“People like being able to have a remembrance of the former churches,” said diocese spokesman Matt Kerr.

The ready-to-hang pieces range in size from 8-by-11 inches to 24-by-50 inches, and prices will run from $25 to $700. Several of the pieces are windows, without religious art, still in their wooden frames, the diocese said.

Proceeds go to the parishes into which the closed parishes were consolidated or merged. Philadelphia-based Beyer Studio is running the sale.

The stained glass pieces are from:

  • St. Joseph Convent, Ashland
  • St. Mauritius Church, Ashland                                  
  • St. Stanislaus Church, Bethlehem
  • SS. Cyril & Methodius Church, Coaldale                
  • St. Anthony of Padua Church, Cumbola
  • St. Joseph Church, Frackville
  • St. Joseph Church, Girardville                                  
  • Our Lady of Good Counsel Church, Gordon          
  • St. Kieran Church, Heckscherville
  • Missionaries of Charity Convent, Mahanoy City
  • St. Kunegunda Church, McAdoo
  • Immaculate Heart of Mary Chapel, Middleport
  • Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church Minersville    
  • Sacred Heart Church, Nesquehoning                    
  • St. George Church, Shenandoah

Sarah Cassi may be reached at scassi@lehighvalleylive.com. Follow her on Twitter @SarahCassi. Find lehighvalleylive.com on Facebook.

Brothers find success with childhood invention sold in Lehigh Valley

The game, known as “QB54” retails for $99.54 at Bed, Bath and Beyond and various online retailers, including Amazon.

An idea launched in their childhood to get out of washing dishes after holiday meals has turned two now-adult brothers into promising entrepreneurs.

Michael Silva recalls what he and brother, Frank Silva, an East Stroudsburg University grad who now lives in Georgia, would do the second Thanksgiving dinner was over and the boys saw their mother starting to collect mounds of dishware from the table.

“It was our time to duck out,” Michael, of South Brunswick, New Jersey, said with a chuckle. 

The brothers, Manalapan, New Jersey natives, would retreat to the back yard and set up a game they crafted similar to football without tackling, called both “The Thanksgiving Classic” and “The Quarterback Challenge.”

The premise was to throw a football into one of two garbage cans for a touchdown and then kick the ball through antennas placed on their father’s pickup truck for the extra point.

The first to 54 points wins, Michael said.

Little did the brothers know at the time that their childhood creation someday would be marketed at retailers across the Lehigh Valley and beyond.

The creation,”QB54″ or “Quarterback 54,” currently is on shelves at Bed, Bath and Beyond in the Southmont Shopping Center in Bethlehem Township and at the Whitehall Mall in Whitehall Township.

The game retails for $99.54, but on Thursday was going for $115 on Amazon. Since being marketed in November 2016, Michael estimates thousands of games have been sold.

Adolescent Invention

The brothers never actually thought about patenting their adolescent invention until there was a fear someone could steal their intellectual property rights, Michael said.

That thought occurred when Michael in November 2015 traveled down to Georgia to see Frank and his family for Thanksgiving. After dinner, the pair decided to give their childhood game a whirl and began setting up 5-gallon buckets in Frank’s yard.

The brothers began tossing the football around when a male neighbor walked by and wanted to get in on the game. The neighbor stuck around for three hours, clearly hooked on the game, and began telling the brothers he was stunned no one thought of the concept before, Michael Silva said.

A fan of the ABC Network’s “Shark Tank, a reality show in which entrepreneurs get the chance to bring their ideas to fruition, Michael said he began seriously contemplating it. And up until that point, the neighbor was the first person to ever express the same interest the brothers had — a fear others could catch on and steal the idea, he said.

“The guy (neighbor) came out the next morning, said he researched it over the Internet and said, ‘I don’t think this exists,’ ” Michael Silva recalled. “That was the aha moment. I said to Frank, ‘I think we got something here, bro.'”

Consumer interest

The Silva brothers then began constructing kits and came up with the idea to use two fold-able chairs instead of cans and added thick goal posts made out of PVC, a football and a large bag to store it all in.

This way spectators could bring the game to sporting events or use it during tailgating, Michael said. They eventually added colors of sports teams, such as black and gold for the Pittsburgh Steelers; midnight green and black for the Philadelphia Eagles; and blue for the New York Giants.

The next step was trying to secure an invention patent, which is currently pending and could take several years, Michael said.

They initially began ordering bulk sets of 500 folding chairs from China and custom assembling each set as orders came in. They sold the kits at sporting events their children were playing in and quickly the games were selling out.

“People started walking by asking, ‘What is this?’ and ‘Where can I get it?'” Michael said. “I knew then we had lightning in a bottle and had to go after it.”

Their success quickly began to exceed the growing operation and the brothers eventually partnered with a manufacturer to fully assemble the kits before shipping them out nationally and internationally.

It wasn’t until the friend of a Bed, Bath and Beyond regional manager turned out to a lacrosse tournament in Delaware, where Michael gave a player some kits to sell, that the pair eventually got their big break into retail stores. The Bed, Bath and Beyond manager was responsible for more than 50 stores iand was eager to sell the game on his shelves, Michael said. 

Shortly after, a producer for the ABC Network’s “Funderdome,” a business reality competition show hosted by Steve Harvey, saw a Kickstarter campaign video by the brothers online and and contacted them offering a spot on the show. The Silvas appeared this past August and were able to broadcast QB54 before millions of viewers.

“It’s been a crazy ride,” Michael said of the success.

Aside from Bed, Bath and Beyond, QB54 also has been picked up at Amazon, Olympia Sports, Scheels, Schuykill Valley Sports and some online retailers. And the brothers have even more aspirations to grow the brand.

A goal is to obtain NFL and college football licensing to place the logos of sports teams onto merchandise. They currently are working on co-sponsorship deals with such companies as The Greene Turtle in North Brunswick, the snack brand company UTZ and a major beer distributor.

They’ve also reached out to such nonprofit organizations as “Play for Freedom,” which offers wellness workshops conducted to better the lives of local hospitalized U.S. war veterans. Through his work with the nonprofit, Michael was introduced to former New York Giants player Odessa Turner, who recorded a testimonial for QB54 after seeing veterans use it.

“We’re not a one-trick pony,” Michael Silva said. “We have lots of ideas upstairs that we can’t wait to execute.”

Pamela Sroka-Holzmann may be reached at pholzmann@lehighvalleylive.com. Follow her on Twitter @pamholzmann. Find lehighvalleylive.com on Facebook.

Brothers find success with childhood invention sold in Lehigh Valley

The game, known as “QB54” retails for $99.54 at Bed, Bath and Beyond and various online retailers, including Amazon.

An idea launched in their childhood to get out of washing dishes after holiday meals has turned two now-adult brothers into promising entrepreneurs.

Michael Silva recalls what he and brother, Frank Silva, an East Stroudsburg University grad who now lives in Georgia, would do the second Thanksgiving dinner was over and the boys saw their mother starting to collect mounds of dishware from the table.

“It was our time to duck out,” Michael, of South Brunswick, New Jersey, said with a chuckle. 

The brothers, Manalapan, New Jersey natives, would retreat to the back yard and set up a game they crafted similar to football without tackling, called both “The Thanksgiving Classic” and “The Quarterback Challenge.”

The premise was to throw a football into one of two garbage cans for a touchdown and then kick the ball through antennas placed on their father’s pickup truck for the extra point.

The first to 54 points wins, Michael said.

Little did the brothers know at the time that their childhood creation someday would be marketed at retailers across the Lehigh Valley and beyond.

The creation,”QB54″ or “Quarterback 54,” currently is on shelves at Bed, Bath and Beyond in the Southmont Shopping Center in Bethlehem Township and at the Whitehall Mall in Whitehall Township.

The game retails for $99.54, but on Thursday was going for $115 on Amazon. Since being marketed in November 2016, Michael estimates thousands of games have been sold.

Adolescent Invention

The brothers never actually thought about patenting their adolescent invention until there was a fear someone could steal their intellectual property rights, Michael said.

That thought occurred when Michael in November 2015 traveled down to Georgia to see Frank and his family for Thanksgiving. After dinner, the pair decided to give their childhood game a whirl and began setting up 5-gallon buckets in Frank’s yard.

The brothers began tossing the football around when a male neighbor walked by and wanted to get in on the game. The neighbor stuck around for three hours, clearly hooked on the game, and began telling the brothers he was stunned no one thought of the concept before, Michael Silva said.

A fan of the ABC Network’s “Shark Tank, a reality show in which entrepreneurs get the chance to bring their ideas to fruition, Michael said he began seriously contemplating it. And up until that point, the neighbor was the first person to ever express the same interest the brothers had — a fear others could catch on and steal the idea, he said.

“The guy (neighbor) came out the next morning, said he researched it over the Internet and said, ‘I don’t think this exists,’ ” Michael Silva recalled. “That was the aha moment. I said to Frank, ‘I think we got something here, bro.'”

Consumer interest

The Silva brothers then began constructing kits and came up with the idea to use two fold-able chairs instead of cans and added thick goal posts made out of PVC, a football and a large bag to store it all in.

This way spectators could bring the game to sporting events or use it during tailgating, Michael said. They eventually added colors of sports teams, such as black and gold for the Pittsburgh Steelers; midnight green and black for the Philadelphia Eagles; and blue for the New York Giants.

The next step was trying to secure an invention patent, which is currently pending and could take several years, Michael said.

They initially began ordering bulk sets of 500 folding chairs from China and custom assembling each set as orders came in. They sold the kits at sporting events their children were playing in and quickly the games were selling out.

“People started walking by asking, ‘What is this?’ and ‘Where can I get it?'” Michael said. “I knew then we had lightning in a bottle and had to go after it.”

Their success quickly began to exceed the growing operation and the brothers eventually partnered with a manufacturer to fully assemble the kits before shipping them out nationally and internationally.

It wasn’t until the friend of a Bed, Bath and Beyond regional manager turned out to a lacrosse tournament in Delaware, where Michael gave a player some kits to sell, that the pair eventually got their big break into retail stores. The Bed, Bath and Beyond manager was responsible for more than 50 stores iand was eager to sell the game on his shelves, Michael said. 

Shortly after, a producer for the ABC Network’s “Funderdome,” a business reality competition show hosted by Steve Harvey, saw a Kickstarter campaign video by the brothers online and and contacted them offering a spot on the show. The Silvas appeared this past August and were able to broadcast QB54 before millions of viewers.

“It’s been a crazy ride,” Michael said of the success.

Aside from Bed, Bath and Beyond, QB54 also has been picked up at Amazon, Olympia Sports, Scheels, Schuykill Valley Sports and some online retailers. And the brothers have even more aspirations to grow the brand.

A goal is to obtain NFL and college football licensing to place the logos of sports teams onto merchandise. They currently are working on co-sponsorship deals with such companies as The Greene Turtle in North Brunswick, the snack brand company UTZ and a major beer distributor.

They’ve also reached out to such nonprofit organizations as “Play for Freedom,” which offers wellness workshops conducted to better the lives of local hospitalized U.S. war veterans. Through his work with the nonprofit, Michael was introduced to former New York Giants player Odessa Turner, who recorded a testimonial for QB54 after seeing veterans use it.

“We’re not a one-trick pony,” Michael Silva said. “We have lots of ideas upstairs that we can’t wait to execute.”

Pamela Sroka-Holzmann may be reached at pholzmann@lehighvalleylive.com. Follow her on Twitter @pamholzmann. Find lehighvalleylive.com on Facebook.

Coroner seeks relatives of 60-year-old Whitehall woman

Mary Jo Biely died of natural causes, the coroner says.

 
The Lehigh County Coroner’s Office is seeking the next of kin for a 60-year-old Whitehall Township woman….

Coroner seeks relatives of 60-year-old Whitehall woman

Mary Jo Biely died of natural causes, the coroner says.

 
The Lehigh County Coroner’s Office is seeking the next of kin for a 60-year-old Whitehall Township woman….

Dan McNeill’s widow nominated to fill his Pennsylvania House seat

The executive committee of the state Democratic Party nominated Jeanne McNeill for the Dec. 5 special election.

The wife of Democratic state Rep. Dan McNeill has been nominated t…

Hours of negotiations lead to arrest of man wanted by U.S. Marshals, cops say

The suspect wanted by U.S. Marshals holed up inside a Whitehall Township home before being arrested, police said.

Local and federal authorities arrested a wanted man hours after …