Curtis “Turk” Mattern — a man who has ridden his motorized wheelchair decorated with mummer string band- style feathers in Hazleton’s Funfest parades for nearly a decade — will lead this year’s parade Sunday as grand marshal.
Mattern, of Fritzingertown Senior Living Community in Butler Township, has been a musician since grade school. He joined the Keystone Mummers’ String Band from Pottsville in 1987 and, in later years, when he needed a scooter to get around, band members outfitted it with feathers, and he led the band in performances until it disbanded in 2002. His favorite event was always the Funfest Parade, he said.
“His obvious love of the event and his enthusiasm make him a crowd favorite, so the committee was unanimous in their vote to give him this honor,” said Funfest public relations coordinator Julie Ferry.
Instead of riding in a special vehicle, the World War II veteran will be in his scooter. Keeping with this year’s Funfest theme, “A Totally 80s Weekend,” he will be dressed as a “senior rocker.” Mattern’s daughter will drive a car behind him with signage identifying him as grand marshal.
The parade is set to begin at 2:30 p.m. Sunday near Citizens Bank in West Hazleton and will move east along Route 93, ending at North Pine Street in Hazleton. Funfest runs 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
The Disaster Recovery Coalition of Luzerne County will present a Report to the Community on Monday, which marks the second anniversary of flooding from tropical storms Irene and Lee.
The coalition will host a reception from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Luzerne County Management Agency building, 185 Water St., Wilkes-Barre.
Michael Zimmerman, chief executive officer of the Family Service Association of Northeastern Pennsylvania, called the event “an extremely important gathering for our community to speak about the past, present and — most importantly — future responses to large-scale disasters that may strike our community. For any organization, municipality or entity that gets involved in disaster response and/or recovery, this should be a mandatory attendance.”
The coalition’s long-range goal is to maintain structure and communication among its membership to avoid the delays previously experienced in providing long-term recovery assistance.
Bank of America’s “Museums on Us” program offers free weekend access to Bank of America and Merrill Lynch cardholders at select museums across the country, including the Everhart Museum of Natural History, Science & Art in Scranton.
The promotion applies to cardholders only; guests are not eligible for free admission. The program excludes fundraising events, special exhibitions and ticketed shows. Learn more at http://museums.bankofamerica.com.
kill at least 11
Eleven people were killed and 262 others were injured in the 661 crashes investigated by the Pennsylvania State Police during the four-day Labor Day holiday weekend driving period of Friday through Monday. Those figures do not include crashes investigated by local police.
During the holiday, troopers cited 819 individuals for not wearing seat belts, 111 for not securing children in safety seats and 9,149 for speeding. They arrested 351 operators on suspicion of driving under the influence. Of the 661 crashes investigated, 77 of them, including two of the fatal crashes, were alcohol related.
During last year’s Labor Day weekend, six people died and 262 others were injured in 746 crashes to which state troopers responded.