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The Opening of a Monroe County Library is on Pause
Thursday January 31st 2013

Anxious residents will have to wait a few more months before they can use the new Pocono Mountain Public Library. If you walk inside now, you'll find ruined carpeting, damaged ceiling tiles and some walls that need to be ripped down. Library officials say a coil broke in the attic, spilling around 1,000 gallons of water into the nearly finished building. This incident came after nearly a year and a half of construction to the new $5.6 million dollar library. The current library, which is just feet away from the new building, is still open. The new library is expected to open late March/ early April.

Pike Trains for Disaster
Wednesday January 30th 2013

Pike County workers are getting some special training provided by the department of Homeland Security.

Today leaders from all county department meet at the New 911 Training Center to take a course on the National Incident Management System. The 6 hour course taught officials everything from flood management to how to react in the event a terrorist attacks.

"Its very important that we expand that core group of employees who will form the foundation of all emergency operations for the county should we have another emergency or rather when we have and emergency." says George Boedecker Pike County Training Facility Director

Once county official complete online training they will take what they learned back to their staff members.

Mortgage Problems? Listen Up!
Tuesday January 29th 2013

Monroe County is facing major backlog problems when it comes to helping people with mortgage problems. The Pennsylvania Housing Financing Agency is stepping in and trying to get things back on track. Monroe County has a special court for those in danger of losing their home. There, they can speak directly with a lender who can change their loan terms. The problem is - the court is backlogged around 300 cases. That means, they can't get to any new cases for another 5 months. Since Monroe County already has one of the highest foreclosure rates in the state, the PHFA is bringing in 4 additional counseling agencies. Come this Friday, they’ll be at the East Stroudsburg University Innovation Center and you can meet with them for free. If you're on the verge of foreclosure, this seminar runs from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. There will be a number of workshops and you can also have one-on-one time with a counselor. Just bring any foreclosure notices you may have received and proof of income.

Fire in Marcel Lake Estate
Tuesday January 29th 2013

A Pike County Business is asking the community to help a family who lost it all in a massive fire last night.
Sisters Deli on Silver Lake Road says it took just minutes for the blaze to destroy a life time of memories inside a families Marcel Lake Estate home. According to the home owner the fire started while he was using a propane torch to fix a broken pipe. Fire crews responded to the blaze just before 9 o'clock but when they arrived a thick sheet of ice on the road made it difficult for fire trucks to reach the home.

Sisters Deli has set up a fundraiser for the family and they are accepting monitory donations along with clothing and other personal care item at their store in Dingmans Ferry.

Cell phone users more likely to engage in risky behaviors
Monday January 28th 2013

A survey conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety say motorists who use cell phones while driving are more likely to engage in additional dangerous behaviors such as speeding, driving drowsy, driving without a seatbelt and sending texts or emails. Driver use of cell phones impairs reaction times and quadruples risk of crashing. AAA advices motorists to turn off their phones and refrain from checking texts or emails until you're safely at your destination.

RSV on the Rise
Monday January 28th 2013

Doctors are warning of an illness on the rise that affects infants. R-S-V is a dangerous disease that spreads as easy as the common cold. This respiratory viral infection can be more serious, because the lungs and chest of babies are not fully developed. Leigh Valley health Network's Dr. Jarret Patton says the first step to treating RSV is recognizing the symptoms. Children can have high fever, difficulty breathing or a severe cough.To help reduce the risk for RSV, doctors recommend using hand sanitizer and washing your hands.

New Credit Card Surcharge
Monday January 28th 2013

When you go shopping, do you pay with a credit card? If the answer is yes, you may notice your bill go up. It's all because of a deal credit card companies struck with merchants. Now Master Card and Visa are giving merchants the ability to charge their customers an extra surcharge or checkout fee. That fee can range anywhere from 1.5% to 4% of your total purchase. Many small business owners in Stroudsburg say they won't implement that extra fee, unless their competition does. When you go shopping, don't worry about being blindsided. Participating merchants must let their customers know if they'll be charged that extra fee. Also if you use a debit card, breathe a sigh of relief because this fee only applies to Visa and Master Credit card users.

Double Fatal on Rt. 6
Monday January 28th 2013

Snow and ice may have contributed to a car wreck that took the lives of two people on Route 6.
The accident happened just before 12 o’clock on the west bound lane of Route 6 in Shohola. Four people were in the car two escaped with minor injuries. According to first responders the vehicle with New York license plates lost control on a blind corners in State Game land. The area where the wreck happened is the same area where a fatal accident occurred 3 years ago. Many drivers are now questioning why a guide rail has not been installed

AWSOM Trying to Stop Animal Cruelty
Friday January 25th 2013

AWSOM Animal Shelter in Stroudsburg is working with the PSPCA to make animal cruelty laws and penalties stiffer.
As of now, tying up your animal - also known as tethering - is completely legal here in Pennsylvania. But, when you throw neglect into the mix, animals run the risk of getting injured or even killed.
David Carbone from AWSOM wants tethering to be a summary offense, meaning a person could face a fine anywhere from $50 to $750 and/ or up to 90 days in jail. Officials would like to make tethering illegal from 10 p.m., to 6 a.m., or during times of extreme heat or cold. Local legislators support this issue and do plan to bring it to Harrisburg.

Heated Debate Between Pocono Township and Tax Payers
Thursday January 24th 2013

For the past month, Pocono Township residents have been up in arms over a supervisor voting himself into a paid municipal position. Last night, about 200 of those residents came together and let township officials know exactly how they feel – betrayed! Here's the problem -- for the past five years, Harold Werkheiser has been the road-master in Pocono Township. But earlier this month, supervisors Henry Bengel and Frank Hess voted Bengel into the position. That essentially fired Werkheiser. Residents are asking supervisors to put the road-master position up for bid. Supervisors say they may reconsider their vote at their next meeting, which is scheduled for February 4th.

Skiers Hit The Slopes Despite Bone-Chilling Weather
Wednesday January 23rd 2013

Less green on the ground means more green in the cash register for local ski resorts. That’s why places like Camelback in Tannersville are welcoming today’s frigid temperatures. As of now, Camelback is still not 100% open, but thanks to the perfect snow-making weather, come this weekend they'll have their last two slopes open and ready for business. Today, the ski slopes were filled with people. Officials say the key is just to bundle up and take a few trips to the lodge every now and then to warm up.

Lehighton Water Advisory Lifted
Tuesday January 22nd 2013

Lehighton residents no longer need to boil their water. This afternoon, the Lehighton Water Authority lifted the boil advisory. It was put in place Friday after a large water main brak near the Orioles.

Cold in Pike
Tuesday January 22nd 2013


Home heating specialists are working overtime due to today’s frigid temperatures.

News 13 caught up with repair men from combined energy service in Dingman Ferry earlier this afternoon. Since the cold snap hit the heating company has been inundated with requests to fix a variety of gas heaters. Repairmen say this is typical this time of year.

Repair men say to avoid long waits home owners should turn on and check their heater for problems in September.

PPL Brings New Technology to Monroe County
Monday January 21st 2013

PPL Electric Utilities is bringing automated grid technology to Monroe County -- helping to restore power faster to the 70,000 people they serve in the area.
Here's how it works – within minutes, the device locates an outage and switches the bulk of impacted customers to another power line. This $10 million project means no more calling your utility company and waiting hours for them to find the source of the problem. This new technology is for “localized outages” not tragic hurricanes like Sandy, where miles of power lines are down. In that instance, there's no other line PPL to re-route you to. For the bulk of our power outages, however, this new technology will help. 200 of these devices will be installed throughout the county by November.

4 Teens Hurt in Mahoning Township Crash
Monday January 21st 2013

Police say speed played a role in a Sunday crash that left four teens hurt in Mahoning Township. Emergency responders were called out just after 12:30 yesterday afternoon for the crash on Orioles Drive. According to police, 18-year-old Ariel Shiffert of Lehighton was driving at a high rate of speed. She lost control of the vehicle which spun and slide across the road into a tree. There were three passengers in the car ages 15, 16 and 17. Two of them were taken to Lehigh Valley Hospital with moderate to severe injuries. Shiffert and another passenger were transported to Gnaden Hutten for minor injuries. Police say none of the teens were using seatbelts. Charges against the driver are pending completion of the investigation.

Lehighton Boil Advisory Still In Place
Monday January 21st 2013

The Lehighton Water Authority issued a boil advisory Friday after a water main break near The Orioles. A water sample was taken Sunday and again today. Two consecutive samples must come back clean before the boil advisory is lifted. The following areas are reamin under a boil advisory:

400 block of N. 4th Street
All of N. 5th Street
N. 6th Street from Cypress Street North to dead end
N. 7th Street from Mahoning Alley to Jamestown Road
N. 8th Street from Cypress Street to Jamestown Road
N. 9th Street from Cypress Street to Jamestown Road
All of N. 10th Street
Beaver Run Road from Mahoning Street to Jamestown Road
N. 11th Street from Hamilton Street to Coal Street
N. 12th Street from Hamilton Street to Cypress Street
Cypress Street from 6th Street to 9th Street
Coal Street from 4th Street to 11th Street
All of Jamestown Road

Small Jobs Crew
Monday January 21st 2013

A group of do good-ers are working for free to help out needy community members in pike and Wayne County.

For the past two years the volunteer group known as "The Small Jobs Crew" have been taking on charity work such as home repairs and moving furniture. The crew has helped over 50 people but they want to build their volunteer group so they can serve a larger number of people.

The Small Jobs Crew says they post a number of volunteer opportunities on their Facebook page. No skills are needed. to get involved email wfmc.smalljobscrew@gmail.com

Post Office Meeting in Tresckow
Friday January 18th 2013

The United States Postal Service is facing major financial challenges. One way of cutting back on costs is cutting hours. Last night a "post plan" meeting was held in the Village of Tresckow in Banks Township. The postal service is expected to reduce the hours of the office to six. Hours are expected to be 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday thru Friday with a two hour lunch period. The Postal service will determine the exact hours and post them in about a week. The hours are expected to go into affect within a few months. Similar "post plan" meetings have been scheduled for Wednesday in Beaver Meadows and Barnesville, Schuylkill County.

Boil Advisory in Place for Parts of Lehighton
Friday January 18th 2013

A water main break near the Orioles has many Lehighton Water Authority customers under a boil advisory tonight. The advisory remains in place until further notice.
400 block of N. 4th Street
All of N. 5th Street
N. 6th Street from Cypress Street North to dead end
N. 7th Street from Mahoning Alley to Jamestown Road
N. 8th Street from Cypress Street to Jamestown Road
N. 9th Street from Cypress Street to Jamestown Road
All of N. 10th Street
Beaver Run Road from Mahoning Street to Jamestown Road
N. 11th Street from Hamilton Street to Coal Street
N. 12th Street from Hamilton Street to Cypress Street
Cypress Street from 6th Street to 9th Street
Coal Street from 4th Street to 11th Street
All of Jamestown Road

Prank Calls to 9-1-1
Friday January 18th 2013

It's an alarming new trend that has police responding to what is reported as a dangerous situation, but it's actually a hoax. It’s called swatting because it's an attempt to trick 9-1-1 operators.
A prank caller reports a fake incident like shots fired to initiate a huge emergency response. Emergency officials say it puts too many people in danger.These prank calls also cost tax payers money and when it’s a false alarm it ties up police from handling a real situation.Anyone who commits a prank call can face jail time, filing a false report is a misdemeanor.

Schirmer Testifies
Friday January 18th 2013

Today, former Reeders Pastor - Arthur Schirmer - surprisingly took the stand in his own defense, discussing the death of his second wife. He told the jury on the night of July 15th, 2008, his wife - Betty - woke him up, complaining of jaw pain. Schirmer tried to take her to the hospital. He says on the way, "Betty was uncomfortable. She began to undo her seatbelt. As she did, a deer came out. I swerved to avoid the deer." He then told the jury, he tried to slow down, but ran into a guide rail. Schirmer says he was scared and never called 911. While today he told the jury he didn't get a chance to, on the night of that crash he told police he was waiting alone in the car with an unresponsive wife for at least 5 minutes. The prosecution says Schirmer didn't rush to call police because that crash was staged. They feel Schirmer beat his wife to death with a crow bar. Throughout today's testimony, Schirmer beat around the bush with a large number of questions. As far as his demeanor - prosecutors say it was suspicious. While Schirmer said sentimental things: For example, when referring to cutting off Betty's life support, Schirmer says: "In many ways it was extremely difficult. It was agonizing. We wanted her to live." His tone said something different -- Schirmer remained calm and he never shed a tear. Court will reconvene Tuesday with closing arguments.

Twist in Monroe County Murder Trial
Thursday January 17th 2013

Today posed a twist in the Arthur Schirmer murder trial. Up until this point, witnesses have said a car crash the night of Schirmer's wife's death was staged. 64-year-old Arthur Schirmer faces trial for allegedly murdering his second wife, Betty, by brutally beating her with a crow bar. Prosecutors say he then covering it up by getting into a car crash. But today, Doctor Jonathon Brisken told the jury, Betty's injuries were consistent with a car crash at the speed they were traveling -- around 20 miles per hour. After looking over paperwork, Doctor Brisken found bruises on the surface of Betty's brain and the bones in her head were cracked. If she was hit with a crow bar, he feels the bones would have actually shattered and those bruises would have been deeper. Today's testimony goes against all prior witnesses.

Smurf Returns from Space
Thursday January 17th 2013


Students from Lehman Intermediate School are welcoming home a self acclaimed cosmonaut they helped send into outer space.

Last May a Russian rocket took a Smurf action figure from Joe Fluhrs science class to the International Space Station. The action figure spent eight months in the space station and circled earth 2000 times. For over 30 years the Smurf was used as a test pilot in model rockets made my Mr. Fluhr's science class. Now the figure will be used to teach students about the space program.

Russian cosmonauts also brought a photo of the science class onto the space station and took a picture of the kids in the photo with the earth in the background.

Rash Of Burglaries in Slatington
Thursday January 17th 2013

Several thousand dollars are stolen from numerous churches and one restaurant in Slatington. 26 year old Michael Weaver and 20 year old Allen Miller junior allegedly broke into four different churches and the shack restaurant early Wednesday morning. St John's united church of Christ got hit the hardest, but church officials are just happy that no one was hurt. Weaver and Miller are being charged with numerous counts of burglary, conspiracy, theft by unlawful taking, criminal mischief and vandalism to a place of worship. Both are being held at the Lehigh county prison. Weaver and Miller were unable to post bail; a preliminary hearing has been set for January 24th.

Winter Weather Hits Poconos
Wednesday January 16th 2013

From slick roads to snowy driveways, winter weather is far from safe. Locals say they’ve definitely seen worse driving conditions than today's wintery mix, but it’s still important to be cautious. Officials say the key is to slow down.
Also, to get prepared for our next snow storm, EMA officials recommend putting together an emergency kit to keep in the back of your car. That kit should include blankets, snacks, a small shovel and kitty litter.

Obama calls for stricter gun laws
Wednesday January 16th 2013

President Obama and Joe Biden addressed the nation a month after the tragic shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut. Biden says there's a "moral obligation" to make sure the tragedy isn't repeated. President Obama wants a universal background check to keep guns away from potentially dangerous people. Obama also wants to improve mental health and school safety programs and renew the ban on assault weapons that expired in 2004.

Area Ski Resorts get a lift.
Wednesday January 16th 2013

After a luke warm start to the ski season, area resorts are hoping for an increase in business after Tuesday's snow. While Jack Frost was off to a bitter in the beginning of ski season, they are now smooth sailing. Ski resorts don't depend on Mother Nature for the fluffy white stuff, but they do need old man winter. Wednesday snow enthusiasts filled the slopes, taking advantage of Tuesday’s snow fall. Area businesses are hoping the extended weekend for Martin Luther King Day will bring many to the slopes.

Walmart Hires Vets
Tuesday January 15th 2013

One of pike county's biggest employers is specifically looking to employ a large number of men and women who served in the armed forces.

Today Walmart has announced they plan to hire over 100 thousand veteran’s nationwide this year. News of the opportunity has many veterans and community members commending the corporation. Walmart managers say they have had a history of hiring veterans because they are reliable and dependable and hope other employer start taking advantage of their skills.

Walmart is accepting resumes now and veterans can file for a number of positions online or at the store.

pike man charged with marijuana growing operation
Tuesday January 15th 2013

A Pike County man has been arrested on charges he was growing a large amount of marijuana. Members of the Pike County Drug Task Force served a search warrant at the home of 28 year old Victor Salib Friday on Turkey Hill Road in Greeley. Inside they found 16 marijuana plants growing, 9 plants that had been harvested and equipment used to support a growing operation. Officers also seized brass knuckles, throwing knives, one handgun, two rifles and a shotgun. Salib was released after posting 10-thousand dollars bail.

pastor's murder trial continues
Tuesday January 15th 2013

The doctor who performed autopsies and examined Arthur Schirmer's first and second wives took the stand today and in his words - both deaths are ruled homicides. 64-year-old Arthur Schirmer is charged with murdering his first wife - jewel - in 19-99, and his second wife - Betty - in 2008. He is currently on trial in Monroe County for allegedly murdering his second wife and then covering it up by getting into a car crash in Reeders. Today, Doctor Wayne Ross told the jury both Jewel and Betty died from traumatic brain injuries and he feels Schirmer used a metal bar in the alleged murders. The trial is expected to continue for more than a week. Schirmer also awaits a trial in Lebanon County for his first wife's death.

inmate's death ruled homicide
Tuesday January 15th 2013

The death of an inmate killed in a fight at a federal prison in Wayne County has been ruled a homicide. 29 year old Ephraim Goitom of Connecticut died at a hospital after the fight Friday morning. It happened in a prison housing unit at the United States Penitentiary in Canaan Township. An autopsy revealed Goitom died of multiple stab wounds. The other inmate involved in the fight has not been identified. Prison officials say the case is being investigated by the F-B-I and the agency has not released any information about the case. Goitom was serving a 25 year sentence for his shooting of a police officer during a raid at his home in Connecticut.

mellow ordered to South Carolina prison
Tuesday January 15th 2013

Former State Senator Robert Mellow has been ordered to begin serving a sentence later this week at a federal prison in South Carolina. Mellow has been ordered to appear at the federal correctional institution in Williamsburg by this Friday. There he will serve time at a minimum security prison camp that helps maintain an adjacent federal prison. The 70 year old former democratic leader had requested to serve time at the United States Penitentiary Canaan in Wayne County. Mellow's attorney made the request so he could be closer to his daughter who suffers from muscular dystrophy. Mellow plead guilty to mail fraud and tax evasion charges in November.

monroe man found with fake drugs
Monday January 14th 2013

An East Stroudsburg man is arrested after police say he was found with drugs and a substance he may have been trying to pass off as heroin. State Police at Swiftwater say 24-year old william Patterson the third was found sleeping in the cabin of a sailboat parked on Rim Road in Middle Smithfield Township Friday night. Police say Patterson had some suspected marijuana and 59-packets of containing a counterfeit substance in place of heroin. Smith was arrested on several drug law violations and is being held in the Monroe County jail.

fight leaves one dead at wayne federal prison
Monday January 14th 2013

The F-B-I is investigating a fight that left an inmate dead at a federal prison in Wayne County. That fight happened Friday morning in a prison housing unit at the United States Penitentiary in Canaan Township. 29 year old Ephraim Goitom of Connecticut was taken to the hospital with life threatening injuries. He died about an hour later. The Wayne County Coroner has called for an autopsy. The other inmate who was not identified was treated for minor injuries. An investigation into the fight is underway. The prison was placed on lock-down after that fight.

Victim Betty Schirmer's Son Takes Stand in Muder Trial
Monday January 14th 2013

On the night of Betty Jean Schirmer’s death, her husband 64-year-old Arthur Schirmer allegedly staged a car crash on Route 715. Betty was found unresponsive. She was then taken to the hospital and put on life support. Today, Betty's son, Nate Novack, said, that night Schirmer told nurses to pull the plug. Schirmer had Betty cremated shortly after, even though a teary-eyed Nate told the courtroom he didn’t think his mother wanted to be cremated.
During Nate's testimony a photo of Betty after that crash was shown. Nate and Schirmer both broke down in tears.

Eagle Watching Season
Monday January 14th 2013

Two environmental preservation groups are teaming up to make eagle watching along the Lackawaxen River a more enjoyable experience.

Right now is the peak of winter migration for our nations bird, and the Eagle Institute has banded together with the Delaware Highland Conservancy to show tourists some of the paperers prime hunting grounds. Starting January 19 the two organizations will begin bus guided eagle watching tours. The three hour interpretive bus ride will take bird watchers to Some of the most spectacular eagle spotting areas in both New York and Pennsylvania.
Reservations for the tour can be made by log gin onto The Delaware Highland conservancy's web site. Tours will run through the end of February.

Charges Filed for October Mahoning Twp. Crash
Monday January 14th 2013

Mahoning Township Police are charging a Lansford man in connection with a head-on collision on Route 902 back in October. 28-year-old Joseph Mongi is facing charges of recklessly endangering another person, simple assault and other offenses. Police claim Mongi had been driving a pickup truck that was tailgating an SUV. When the woman driving the SUV pulled over, he got out of his car yelling obcenities and kicked her driver's door. As she attempted to speed away, she collided with an oncoming car. Several people were injured in that crash.

Historic Dansbury Depot Will Open This Spring
Friday January 11th 2013

Crews are working hard to restore the historic Dansbury Depot in East Stroudsburg, after flames "de-railed" the structure more than three years ago. Now in phase two of the half million dollar project, crews are focusing on the interior. The electricity, heating and insulation are already in; the plumbing, walls and floors still need work. Project managers say the "new" depot will be home to community offices, a gift shop and a museum dedicated to local history. The Dansbury Depot will be open sometime this spring.

Possible Gun Control has Pike Buying Guns
Friday January 11th 2013


Guns of all kinds are flying off the shelves in Pike County as the Obama administration considers new gun control laws.

In the last year gun permits in Pike County have doubled. Local gun stores contributes the increased interest in owning a gun due to the series of mass shootings in America and consideration from the White House to ban certain fire arms. A gun store in Milford tells news 13 that many residents believe their second amendment rights are at risk. On January 19th gun shops across the United States will be holding the "First National Gun Appreciation Day" to build support for maintaining current gun rights.

Drug Investigation in Slatington Leads to Arrests
Thursday January 10th 2013

Seven people are charged after a drug investigation in Slatington in the summer of 2012. According to the Lehigh County District Attorney's Office, 42-year-old Otis Treiber and 42-year-old Stephen Howard were both taken into custody Wednesday. 25-year-old Stephen Sasdi has also been charged in the case. He is currently in the Lehigh County Prison on unrelated charges. 36-year-old Dale Green of Lehighton has also been taken into custody along with three juveniles. More arrests are expected. The investigation involved undercover purchases of various controlled substances including marijuana, heroin and xanax.

Day Two of Arthur Schirmer's Murder Trial
Wednesday January 9th 2013

It's day two in the murder trial of a former Reeders pastor, who allegedly murdered his first and second wives. Today, forensic specialists took the stand and presented new evidence in the death of 64-year-old Arthur Schirmer's second wife - Betty Jean. Back in December of 2008 police raided Schirmer’s home and found blood stains on the garage floor. People familiar with the case question why Betty Jean's blood was in the home, when Schirmer says his wife wasn't injured until they were miles down the road and got into a car crash.
The defense says Schirmer and his wife were moving stacks of wood from the garage to outside, when his wife started bleeding. But police told the jury they only found a small wood pit, with no blood or other evidence on that wood. The jury will next hear testimony from an accident reconstruction specialist to take a deeper look into the crash.

Lehigh County Man Guilty of Attempted Rape
Wednesday January 9th 2013

A Carbon County jury has found a Lehigh County man guilty of sexually assualting an elderly woman at her Lower Towamensing Township home. 29-year-old John Vega of Washington Township was found guilty last night of several counts of attempted rape, forcible compulsion, indecent assault, criminal tresspass and simple assault. Even after the victim testified during the trial, Vega still denies he tried to rape the elderly woman. The victim told the court Vega entered her home on two seperate occasions - October 2007 and May 2008. Vega has been charged in similar cases in Northampton and Lehigh Counties. He was sentenced last month to state prison for the incident in North Whitehall Township. A sentencing date for the Carbon County case has not yet been set.

Jury Decides Fate of Lehighton Man Facing Drug Charges
Wednesday January 9th 2013

A Carbon County jury decides the fate of a Lehighton man on trial afer being charged with selling a fatal dose of prescription drugs. Today it took a jury about two hours to find 22-year-old Donato Farole guilty of unlawful possesion, but they found him not guilty of possession with intent to deliver and delivery of a controlled substance. Farole's arrest came after a six-month investigation into the death of 20-year-old Brett Flexer of Lehighton. Witnesses told police Farole sold Flexer a pill at a Mahoning Township party hours before his death. Farole's defense attorney says his sentence calls for probation because Farole has no prior record. A sentencing date has not been set yet.

Slatington Man Leads Police on Pursuit
Tuesday January 8th 2013

A Slatington man leads police on a pursuit with a child in the car - and he's accused of being under the influence at the time. According to court documents, an officer who knew 51-year-old Donald Lebo's drivers license was suspended tried to stop him after he saw him driving last night. Lebo allegedly fled from the officer at a high rate of speed. When Lebo finally stopped along Mountain Road he allegedly staggered out of the car. The officer also smelled alcohol and saw in plain view numerous empty bottles of alcohol inside the car. There was also a child in the rear seat who was not restrained. Lebo has been charged with multiple offenses.

Lehighton Man on Trial for Drugs
Tuesday January 8th 2013

A Lehighton man is on trial after being charged with selling a fatal dose of prescription drugs. 22-year-old Donato Farole was charged in October 2011 with unlawful possesion, possesion with intent to deliver and delivery of a controlled substance. His arrest came after a six-month investigation into the death of 20-year-old Bret Flexer of Lehighton - he was found dead in his bedroom in April 2011. Witnesses told police Farole sold Flexer a 40-milligram opana pill at a Mahoning Township party - hours before his death. The prescription drug is used to treat pain. It can be fatal when combined with other drugs or alcohol. Both Flexer and Farole were stand out athletes at Lehighton High School. Farole's trial began this morning in Carbon County Court.

High Profile Murder Trial Begins in Monroe County
Tuesday January 8th 2013

The trial is now underway for a former Reeders pastor charged with murdering both his first and second wives. This trial is to prove if Arthur Schirmer is guilty of murdering his second wife. Today, defense and prosecuting attorneys presented their opening statements to the jury and they have different opinions on what happened the night Schirmer's second wife’s death. Prosecutors pointed out, a suicide and affair within the church Schirmer worked in sparked police to take a second look at Betty's death, revolving around a car crash. The defense says, on the night of Betty Jean's death, she woke Schirmer up in the middle of the night. Her jaw was in pain. The defense says, Schirmer took his wife to the hospital, but on the way, he swerved to avoid hitting a deer and crashed into guide rails. One paramedic who responded to that crash took the stand today. She says Betty suffered severe brain damage and questioned how her injuries were so severe --especially when Schirmer walked away from the crash without a scratch. Police analysis revealed Schirmer was only going about 20 miles-per-hour. Prosecutors believe Schirmer brutally beat his wife, possibly with a metal bar. During the next few days, the jury will hear from forensic pathologists and other crime officials.

Shohola Looks to Reduce New Business Taxes
Tuesday January 8th 2013

A municipality in Pike County wants to lower taxes to entice employers to the area.

Shohola Township is looking into whats called a tax abatement. Basically the program will allow new employers to enjoy a sliding tax scale over their first 5 years in business. In year one the business will enjoy a 90 percent tax reduction by the fifth year they will only see a 20 percent reduction.

Shohola hopes to vote on the abatement this month.The Pike County Economic Development Authority is hoping other municipalities will look into the tax abatement to entice business growth as well.

Fire in Pike County Court House
Monday January 7th 2013

Quick response by sheriff deputies and the fire department saved the Pike County Court House from a fire this weekend.

A small fire in the Court House absent started early yesterday morning and filled the building with smoke. Fire Crews determined a malfunction with the heating coil in the air circulation system caused the smoke to spread throughout the building. Working smoke alarms are credited to quick response.

Smoke has been cleared and the court house alarm system and circulation system has since then been check and are now online again.

Murder Trial Begins Tomorrow for Former Reeders Paster
Monday January 7th 2013

A former Reeders pastor is awaiting trial in Lebanon County for the death of his first wife. But starting tomorrow, he faces a Monroe County judge for the alleged murder of his second wife. Today was jury selection in the high profile murder trial. After questioning about 100 potential jurors, defense and prosecuting attorneys have selected 7 women and 5 men who will sit on the jury. Shirmer faces trial for allegedly murdering his second wife Betty Jean back in July of 2008. Prosecutors say Schirmer brutally beat his wife. Then tried to cover it up by getting into a car accident. The defense says that crash occurred when Schirmer swerved to avoid a deer. Over the next few weeks, the jury will be exposed to graphic images and they'll hear testimony from about 40 witnesses. Those who take the stand will be asked about the deaths of Schirmer's first wife in 1999 and second wife. Trial begins tomorrow at 9 a.m. with opening statements.

Attempted Rape Trial in Carbon County Court
Monday January 7th 2013

A Lehigh County man's trial is underway for allegedly trying to rape an elderly woman in Lower Towamensing Township on two occasions. According to court papers, 29-year-old John Vega of Washington Township targeted a widowed elderly woman. In October 2007, Vega allegedly entered her home and told the victim he was going to rape her. Vega fled after the woman said she would die from such an attack. He allegedly returned to the home in May of 2008 and sexually assaulted her. Vega faces similar charges in Northampton and Lehigh Counties. Last month he was sentenced to state prison for the case in North Whitehall Township. All three of Vega's victims were women in their 70's. Vega's trial began this afternoon in Carbon County Court.

Monroe County Animal Shelter Needs Volunteers
Friday January 4th 2013

2012 was one of the hardest years financially for a Stroudsburg pet shelter. With a growing number of cats and dogs, the Animal Welfare Society of Monroe is faced with a growing number of bills. Meaning, they don’t have much money left to pay employees. They’re relying on volunteers to keep their doors open. While they already have more than 100 volunteers, they’re not steady. Officials say, many are in school or work. So AWSOM is asking for more help on weekdays – preferably the mornings. Volunteers can help out by walking dogs, giving baths, cleaning, doing paperwork and more. For more information on becoming a volunteer, check out their website: www.AwsomAnimals.org.

Warming Station Open in Honesdale
Thursday January 3rd 2013

Freezing temperatures are promoting a warming shelter in Honesdale to open its doors to the needy.

The Grace Episcopal Church in Honesdale is now offering a warm bed and hardy meal during the cold winter months. The church's services are welcome to anyone who may be homeless or just in need of good company or a free meal. Since the church began the "Warmth in the Night" program 3 years ago they have helped a number or people.

The warming shelter will be open through out the winter months from 7p.m. to 7 a.m.

Former Nesquehoning Priest Charged
Thursday January 3rd 2013

A former Nesquehoning priest has been charged with sexually assaulting a boy in 1981. According to the Ocean City Police Department, 70-year-old Bruno Tucci is charged with sexual assault and child abuse by a custodial person. Tucci allegedly brought a child to an Ocean City, Maryland motel room in August 1981 where illegal sexual acts occured. Tucci was the former pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Nesquehoning. Ocean City Police are asking anyone with information about Tucci to call them: 410-723-6632

STATE PARK "WINTER REPORT" NO AVAILABLE ONLINE
Wednesday January 2nd 2013

Winter is definitely here and people looking to venture outdoors at any state park can now check on the conditions there. A new section on the Pennsylvania State Park website is helping people find information on winter conditions as well as things to do. The winter report for Promised Land State Park says they have ten inches of snow and at Gouldsboro and Tobyhanna State Parks - eight inches of snow. That's enough for snowshoeing and cross country skiing but no parks in the area are reporting enough safe ice for ice fishing.
You can find the site by visiting the Pennsylvania State Parks Website - www.dcnr.state.pa.us. Select "Find a Park," "Things to Do," and then "Enjoy the Winter." Visitors also may call the nearest state park or state forest district office.

Proposal Would Hurt Local Police Department
Wednesday January 2nd 2013

Come next year, the Pocono Mountain Regional Police Department may lose half their coverage area. Mount Pocono Borough and Coolbaugh Township have already taken steps to pull away.
Funding the department is split between the 4 municipalities they serve: Coolbaugh Township pays the most, at 42%; Mount Pocono Borough,13%; Tobyhanna Township,32%; Tunkhannock Township,13%. Once Coolbaugh Township proposed pulling away from the department, Mount Pocono Borough officials started worrying the financial burden would fall on them. But the police chief assures that wouldn’t happen. Instead they would be forced to reduce manpower. Both Coolbaugh Township and Mount Pocono Borough have all year to negotiate with the police department and make a final decision.

Flu Hits Poconos
Wednesday January 2nd 2013

Flu season is here and according to the CDC this could be the worst year for the flu this decade.

Many doctors offices in Pike County are seeing a spike of influenza cases. Doctors are unsure exactly why there are so many cases this year but say the holiday season normally produces increased cases of the flu. Health care professionals tell News 13 that prescribing antibiotics due help but only for extreme cases of the flu. So if you are sick… rest, good hygiene and a vitamin enriched diet is the best cure. Doctors also not its not too late to get your flu shot.

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