Construction on track for Lehighton Fire Station
Wednesday July 31st 2013
After almost 6 months of construction improvements at the Lehighton Fire Station the project is said to be on time and under budget, according to Fire Department Chairperson Steve Ebbert. The project, which primarily features a two-story addition to the existing fire station, was initiated in order to support improved fire response in a growing community. “When completed, the new fire station will provide an efficient and updated facility by rehabilitating two older fire stations that are located within the same block,” says Ebbert. Features of the 14,000 square foot expansion include five new fire truck bays, locker rooms, a kitchen, and an elevator. Construction crews believe the project will be completed by November of this year.
A Homeless Veterans Outreach Program is Coming to Monroe County
Wednesday July 31st 2013
Howard Schoch, who's homeless, is thankful for the clothes and supplies brought to him a brutally cold night last winter by Operation Chillout. It's inspired him to help out others in his situation. Schoch now volunteers at the Homeless Initiative Day Center in Stroudsburg, where a chapter of Operation Chillout will permanently be located. Pennsylvania has the fourth largest population of veterans in the country.
Operation Chillout got its start in New Jersey 13 years ago and is a non-profit volunteer veterans rescue and outreach program, where volunteers go out and find veterans in need.
Veterans become homeless for many reasons, but a lot do because of a disability. The mission is to connect veterans to services that will help them, but if they're not ready for that, they supply them with what they need to survive easier in the outside elements. Whether that be backpacks full of warm clothing, tents, sleeping bags, water, bug spray and other items needed for a particular season, and all of these items are brand new. Operation Chillout respects the individual dignity of every homeless person and wants to give homeless people what they wear, new clothes.
The name Operation Chillout comes from the idea of keeping the chill out of veterans trying to survive in the winter. This all started by discovering three veterans living under a trestle and the need kicked in to do something about it. Operation Chillout officials say it's important to help veterans because we owe it to them for what they've done for us and our country.
The program is in desperate need for volunteers, supplies and vehicles for this new chapter. If you'd like to help email them at operationchillout.org or stop by the day center at 350 Main Street.
An East Stroudsburg Man is Charged with Abusing a Dog
Tuesday July 30th 2013
Neighbors came to court today to testify against an East Stroudsburg man charged with abusing a dog at his home. Lamont Scott is accused of causing 29 bone fractures to a brown and white pit bull named Lexi, and then, denying Lexi veterinary care for her injuries. But according to court documents, Scott says Lexi got hit by a car. He also denies owning the dog, claiming Lexi belongs to his brother.
The SPCA told Scott his brother would have to agree to surrendering the dog if he could not provide veterinary care. A man called officials identifying himself as Scott's brother and backed up his story of Lexi being hit by a car. He lives in New Jersey and through text messages agreed to surrender the dog because of financial issues. Lexi was then picked up and immediately taken to a local veterinarian where she received many forms of rehabilitation.
Radiographs and analysis proved the fractures to be of different ages so the treating veterinarian ruled the bone fractures were caused by repeated beatings and abuse over many months.
Veterinary officials tell us Lexi is doing well at her permanent foster home and is always wagging her tail. The summary trial was continued today because Lamont Scott does not have a lawyer.
Missing Boater's Body Recovered From Beltzville
Tuesday July 30th 2013
Rescue crews have pulled a body from Belztville Lake. Authorities confirm it is the local man who went missing over a week ago. 57-year-old Dean Christman of Towamensing Township was fishing at Beltzville Lake early July 22nd. He fell out of his boat and hadn't been seen since. The lake has been closed to boat traffic since then, as rescue crews searched for Christman's body. Hundreds of volunteers from all over the region helped in the recovery effort. Christman's body was recovered around 4 o'clock this afternoon from approximately 90 feet of water. Both the Pine Run and Preachers Camp boat launches have reopened and boating is now permitted.
PA Turnpike Toll Increase for 2014
Tuesday July 30th 2013
The cost to drive on the Pennsylvania Turnpike will increase next year and cash customers will feel the pinch more than those using E-Z Pass. A 12% increase for cash customers happens in January of 2014. The Turnpike Commission also approved a 2% increase for E-Z Pass customers. Turnpike officials say the revenue will be used to fund the Turnpike's capital improvement plan. It will completely rebuild the 73-year-old toll road and widen it from four to six lanes. The increase takes effect January 5, 2014.
Restoration Effort Moving Forward with Land Acquistions
Monday July 29th 2013
Federal and state officials celebrated the acquisition of more than 400 acres for state game lands and the Cherry Valley National Wildlife Refuge today. The two properties are the Moreton and Alpine Motorsports tracts east of Palmerton in the Aquashicola Creek watershed, a cold water fish habitat harboring high water quality and the endangered bog turtle. People will soon be able to come on the property and enjoy nature either by bird watching, nature walking, fishing or hunting. Most of this was made possible through the Palmerton Zinc Natural Resource Damages Settlement. The Superfund site provided the supporting funds for the 90-acre MOreton property on the north slope of Kittatinny Ridge and the 354-acre Alpine Motorsport property, that the former owner had planned to develop into an auto sport driving facility with hotels and restaurants. But the property is now under the PA Game Commission as part of the State Game Lands 168. It was a very long battle fought by locals who formed the Blue Mountain Preservation Association, because they believed in preserving the unique forest ecosystem of the Blue Mountain and the creek. So nothing would have happened without all of the agencies coming together for a common goal.
The Alpine property is currently open for everyone to enjoy and the Moreton property will become available sometime after the fall.
Lansford Police Warrants
Friday July 26th 2013
Lansford Police are asking for the public's help in locating three men wanted for seperate incidents. A felony warrant has been issued for 19-year-old Kyle Frantz of Lansford. He's accused of stuffing a bandana into a woman's gas tank and starting it on fire back in May. In another case, a warrant has been issued for 29-year-old Greg Muffley of Tamaqua. Police say he fled from a traffic stop March 29th. Police also have an active search warrant for 22-year-old Jonathan Findley of Lansford. On April 3rd, he allegedly spray painted two quotes on the side of the Panther Valley Football Stadium. Anyone with information on Frantz, Muffley or Findley is asked to contact the Lansford Borough Police Department.
Beltzville Lake Boat Launches Closed for Search
Friday July 26th 2013
The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has closed the boat launches at Beltzville State Park to the public. A man fell out of a boat Monday morning and has not been found yet. Although authorities have not relased the victim's name, his family has identified him as 57-year-old Dean Christman. The boat launches will remain closed until further notice. Other activities at Beltzville such as picnicking, swimming and hiking are proceeding as usual.
Cook-off For Hunger
Friday July 26th 2013
The pressure was on today, Second Harvest and Meals on Wheels representatives compete in a cook-off.
It's the second annual Senior Epicurean Challenge. The goal is to introduce nutritious recipes seniors can easily make from the food they receive inside the Food Bank's SUNshine Box. The monthly boxes contain supplemental food, and the focus is on stopping hunger in the community. A federal-run program called The Commodity Supplemental Food Program is focusing on low-income seniors.
It's important seniors know they can receive both Meals on Wheels and the SUNshine Box from Second Harvest so they can have as much food as possible and lower their costs at the grocery store. Everyone who tried the dishes felt like a winner. But when the votes came in, Meals on Wheels took home both awards.
Monroe County District Attorney is Cracking Down On the Sale of Stolen Goods to Secondhand Stores
Thursday July 25th 2013
Monroe County's 20 municipalities are being asked to enact an ordinance requiring pawn shops, secondhand stores and scrap yards to register purchases of everything from precious metals, electronics to antiques and other valuables. The main reason is the problem of drug abusers burglarizing homes and then selling the stuff they stole at secondhand stores.
Currently, state law requires any business that buys secondhand jewelry and other precious metals to obtain permits from county sheriff's departments. They have to make and keep copies of what is bought and of the seller's identification. All of that information is sent to authorities on paper. If this ordinance goes through, photocopies of sales information will be fed into a Northeastern Pennsylvania website that authorities will be able to quickly search when tracking thefts.
Even though the county is pushing the idea, they need the support of each individual community to make it work. Jackson, Chestnuthill, Eldred and Hamilton Townships will learn more about the idea at a special meeting tonight.
Mahoning Valley Interchange Work
Thursday July 25th 2013
Drives using the Mahoning Valley Interchange of the turnpike can expect some delays starting Monday for a re-surfacing project. The Turnpike Commission expects construction related activities to begin next week, weather permitting. Work will include milling and paving operations on the turnpike and on the ramps to the interchange. Crews will also be working on highway lighting and guiderail upgrades along with other utility work. Work impacting traffic will be done overnight from 6 p.m. to 7 a.m. the next day. Drivers should expect minor delays. The work is expected to be complete in early November.
Health Care Changes Coming Soon
Wednesday July 24th 2013
Starting next year, anyone who doesn't have health insurance will have to purchase it under the new rules of Obamacare. And for the first time, they'll be able to make choices in a "marketplace." Consumers will be able to access the different plans and compare which one is best suitable for their individual needs. The Marketplace will be available online on a brand new website called healthcare.gov. People will know if they're eligible for additional help by filling out an online application form on the Marketplace, and that'll tell them in real-time, once they pick their plan, what their premium will be. So as of now, there are no typical costs as to what people can expect to pay because the premiums aren't available yet. Open enrollment begins October 1st of this year and runs through March 31st 2014. This goes for small businesses too. Owners will be able to utilize the website and have a separate tab dedicated to their businesses' needs. The point is people who couldn't afford health insurance before will now be able to. There are currently 1.2 million Pennsylvanians uninsured.
One benefit to the Affordable Health Care Act is you can no longer be penalized due to a preexisting condition. It'll be an even playing field for everyone.
Health care representatives recommend familiarizing yourself with the website and if you have questions or need further information today, there's help available. Just call the call center at 1-800-318-2596.
If you have medicare, medicaid or insurance through your employer, nothing changes for you. This only affects those currently without health insurance.
Help the Homeless Center On Main Street, Stroudsburg
Tuesday July 23rd 2013
Homeless people in Monroe County are believing in the potential of the homeless initiative center. It's located inside the Salt of the Earth Ministries on Main Street and aims to give them a better life. The center strives to be the place for the homeless to get started in the right direction. It's expected to receive computers in 10 days for job hunting and obtaining a GED. For now, it provides an address for homeless people to use to obtain forms of identification and receive mail. Photo IDs are also given out so the homeless can shower at the nearby Stroudsburg YMCA. Volunteers want to be able to supply a place for everyone to go at night. It's only open Monday through Saturday from 10AM to 2PM for people to hang out. They say there are currently almost 200 people homeless in Monroe County.
The goal is to get the homeless jobs and a shelter for a fresh start, but in the meantime, it's a community effort. You can help just by donating whatever you can, like bug spray or hygiene products. When they first walk into the day center, volunteers hand clients an intake form. They use the information to supply the client with whatever they may need. Over 40 people have come by since it opened in June, about 15 people come in daily, but they're working on helping many more.
If you'd like to donate items to help the homeless, you can drop them off in the back parking lot 350 Main Street where the entrance is located for the day center. Volunteers are always needed too. For more information call (570)269-8916.
Trayvon Martin Vigil Planned for Saturday in East Stroudsburg
Friday July 19th 2013
George Zimmerman's controversial trial has spawned a heated debate across the country. Two East Stroudsburg women are taking a peaceful approach to get their point across. Friends Cassie Tucker and Akila Hayden wanted to bring the community together, no matter what their opinion, as an alternative reaction to how others are negatively expressing their viewpoint. Both believe Trayvon Martin didn't receive justice and want to show they care.
A vigil will take place tomorrow at 7PM in front of the former Bargain Book Warehouse in the Kmart plaza in East Stroudsburg. It's called the "JustUs" Justice for Trayvon Martin Balloon Release. Over 100 people are expected to come out and all are welcome.
Bear Attacks A Pet Goat In Pocono Township
Thursday July 18th 2013
Neighbor Maylyn Persico is shocked to hear of the bear attack that occurred one street over from her home and worries about her children's safety. Pocono Township Police were called to Summit Road in Scotrun yesterday afternoon for a reported bear attacking a pet goat. The goat had been in its pen when a bear scaled a four foot fence and took the bear by the throat. Police arrived within five minutes and the bear had left the scene. Police tell us the owners tried to stop the attack by using a patio umbrella to shoo the bear away. They succeeded in saving a second goat in the pen. The 60-pound female died while the male was unharmed. Police say the owners have since moved the male goat to safety out of concern the bear will come back and attack. PA Game Commission will be coming to the area to set up traps in an effort to remove the bear from the area.
Neighbors say they hope the bear is caught and removed, but where there's one bear, there's probably others. So it's important to take preventative measures. Pocono Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Center Director Katherine Uhler says to protect your animals outside by putting up an electric fence. Uhler says the attack was opportunistic. She thinks the bear smelled the sweet scent of the goat's food and the goat was simply in the way. Bears are more interested in eating berries and bugs, but they are on the hunt for food. Uhler suggests to keep your barbeque grill clean and only put your garbage out on garbage day. If you have any questions on how to deal with wildlife conflict, email the wildlife center at email@example.com.
Heidelberg Township Man Hit By Car, Dies
Thursday July 18th 2013
A Heidelberg Township man is dead after being hit by a car last night near his home. The accident happened around 6 o'clock. Police say a Kempton woman was heading east on Mountain Road when she struck 71-year-old James White. Investigators say he was crossing the roadway. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The Lehigh County Coroner has ruled the death an accident. State police are asking anyone with information on the collision to contact the Bethlehem barracks.
Port Carbon Pedestrian Killed
Thursday July 18th 2013
A pedestrian accident in Schuylkill County has taken the life of a Port Carbon man. It happened around 1:15 this morning on Route 209 in the borough. Police say a Pottstown man driving a freightliner was heading south on Route 209. He didn't notice the pedestrian crouched over in the middle of the southbound lane. The trucker wasn't able to avoid the man who police have identified as 40-year-old Sean Malone. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Route 209 was closed for about 3 1/2 hours between Anderson and Coal Streets while the crash scene was investigated.
Mahoning Man Charged with Jewelry Theft from Family
Thursday July 18th 2013
A Mahoning Township man is accused of stealing jewelry from a family member. According to police, on July 1st a resident of Jamestown Street reported jewelry had been stolen from her home. Police determined the victim's son, 25-year-old Jay Abelovsky, had stolen and sold the jewelry. Officers recovered the pieces at a gold and coin store in Lehighton. Abelvosky has been charged with misdemeanor theft by unlawful taking and receiving stolen property.
Monroe County Commissioners Discuss Prison Overcrowding Problem
Wednesday July 17th 2013
Monroe County Commissioners say the correctional facility is worn out. They're hoping the discussion today at the commissioner's meeting sparks action. Vice-Chairman Charles Garris says the facility was made for 225 prisoners per day and now 400 people are coming in.
Commissioners agree the best way to solve the problem is to remove the drug and DUI offenders, along with other prisoners serving on minor offenses, from the prison to alleviate the overcrowding. They say these prisoners don't require as much security, and people who are more of a danger to society should remain in the prison. Commissioner Suzanne McCool believes this can be done through other types of programs, such as electronic monitoring and work release. McCool says other counties have jumped on innovative ideas and Monroe County hasn't jumped on the bandwagon. Garris, on the other hand, has been looking into more space to house those offenders.
Both commissioners agree on the importance of rehabilitation, but they have different ideas on how to execute it.
Beat the Heat in the Poconos
Tuesday July 16th 2013
We couldn't wait for summer to get here, but now the excessive heat is beating us down. And American Red Cross officials say it's caused more deaths in recent years than all other weather events. So people are doing what they can to stay cool in this ninety degree heat.
Seniors enjoy themselves at the Loder Center in East Stroudsburg and find it to be the place to beat the heat. The seniors say staying inside, drinking plenty of water and enjoying each others' company is key to not being overcome by the sun's rays.
But what about those stuck outside?
Pencor maintenance workers know how to keep hydrated and stay in the shade as much as possible when completing a job in ninety degree heat, but lifeguards at CamelBeach have one up on them. While stuck to their chair, overseeing everyone stay safe, they've incorporated a trick to keep their cool. It's becoming a trend to put their visors in water and stick them in the freezer to keep their heads cool.
So don't let the heat wave melt you out of summer fun, American Red Cross officials recommend being hydrated and inventing ways to keep cool.
Mahoning Walmart Theft Suspect Caught
Monday July 15th 2013
A Kunkletown man is caught by police after allegedly stealing from Walmart in both Monroe and Carbon Counties. Investigators say 22-year-old Sean Dohn stole $1,000 worth of jewelry from the Mahoning Township Walmart on Wednesday. He is also accused of taking $5,300 worth of jewelry from the Walmart in Mount Pocono on July 6th. Dohn was arrested by state police on Saturday and taken to the Monroe County Prison.
FBI Honors Police And A Citizen
Monday July 15th 2013
Pocono Township Police are honored by the FBI today for their contribution in solving a home invasion ring. Three years ago, on January 26th, five men broke into a home in Pocono Township, which turned out to be the home of one of the Asian business owners targeted by a violent robbery crew. The suspects believed the owner had a large amount of money from two nail salon businesses, one in the Bartonsville Plaza and one located inside the Stroud Mall. Four other houses had already been hit in other states for the same reason, Maryland, Virginia and New Jersey. Because police were able to catch one suspect in the act, 35-year-old Teo Van Bui, all five men are now behind bars.
But this whole operation wouldn't have been shut down without the owner's son taking immediate action. 19-year-old Jimmy Tran was also recognized by the FBI for his role. The robbers had entered his house when he was taking out the trash. He witnessed his father and sister being duct taped and held at gunpoint by masked men through a window, and ran to call 911.
FBI agents tell us they couldn't do their job without the assistance of local law enforcement and citizen involvement.
Volunteer Firefighters in Decline
Friday July 12th 2013
The average age of a volunteer firefigher is 45...currently, no one is suiting up for the job. Fire departments in Carbon County and across the commonwealth are struggling to find volunteers to sign up. Any male or female interested in volunteering or helping out in any form are encouraged to contact your local fire department.
Walmart Suspect Identified - Warrant Issued
Friday July 12th 2013
Police have identified a man they say stole $1,000 worth of jewelry from the Mahoning Township Walmart on Wednesday. Surveillance video from the store shows the suspect cutting a security cable from a jewelry display case. He then concealed the case inside a plastic tote and fled the store in a black 2006 Chevy Cobalt. Police say the suspect is 22-year-old Sean Dohn of Kunkletown. Investigators say he commited a similar theft at a Walmart store covered by Pocono Mountain Regional Police. Warrants for his arrest have been issued. Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to contact police.
Lynn Township Market Burglary
Friday July 12th 2013
Police are investigating a burglary at a Lehigh County business. It happened Wednesday morning around 5:30 at Blose's Market on Route 309 in Lynn Township. Police say someone threw a cement paver through the glass door to get into the store. The burglar then stole multiple items before fleeing the scene. Anyone with information is asked to contact State Police at Fogelsville.
A Protest is Planned for An Islamic Site in Monroe County
Friday July 12th 2013
Representatives of the Golden Generation Worship and Retreat Center in Saylorsburg tell us they are baffled as to why hundreds of protesters are scheduled to come there tomorrow. The Islamic Retreat Center has been there for 14 years.
The protest is sparked by the Turkish cleric in charge of the retreat center. Millions support him, but his critics in Turkey's secular establishment, along with the people behind the protest, believe he is a dangerous man with a secret agenda. Retreat center officials say the protest is a misperception based upon people associating the preacher with typical Islamic stereotypes. They say he is the complete opposite and is on the side of peace, against all forms of violence.
Center officials believe in the First Amendment and aren't against the protesters. They just want it to be peaceful.
Furloughs Take Affect Tomorrow For Tobyhanna Army Depot Workers
Thursday July 11th 2013
Tobyhanna Army Depot civilian employees will have their work week cut short starting tomorrow. More than half a million Department of Defense workers will be furloughed for 88 hours to deal with federal spending cuts. Depot officials plan to shut down industrial operations for 11 straight Fridays from now until September 20th.
The Depot workers we spoke to today are not looking forward to the upcoming long weekends, but plan to make the best of it.
Along with the furloughs, the electronics maintenance workload has seen a huge decline since the war in Afghanistan and Iraq has ended, causing a freeze on hiring, limiting supply purchases and travel. Depot officials tell us 310 employees have accepted a voluntary early retirement program and over 300 contractors have been laid off since last October. Depot officials don't know what's next after the furloughs, but hope they only last until September.
A Man is Saved From Fire in East Stroudsburg
Wednesday July 10th 2013
Neighbor Andrew Young had just started pedaling his bike down Analomink Street in East Stroudsburg to work when he heard someone yelling for help behind the house next door. He found his neighbor yelling fire and to call 911. Young ran around the house to the front yelling, "Wake Up! Fire!" after his discovered his phone wasn't working.
Young says after a couple of minutes, someone woke up upstairs and was trying to get out the front door. Young thinks he couldn't get the dead bolt open because of all the smoke. The man inside then smashed a window next to the door and stuck his head out so he could breathe. Young immediately started trying to kick open the door and got it halfway open.
But he's not the only one to come to the rescue. Two others dropped everything to get involved. Local builders, Logan Baum and Tobin Hodson assisted Young in further breaking down the door, so that Young could pull the man inside to safety. Baum says he was disoriented, had a hard time breathing and was covered in blood from punching the window out.
All three don't think they should be called a hero. They say they just did what anyone would do, what they had do to. Hodson says the real heroes are the guys that went inside the burning home, the firefighters.
Firefighters battled heat exhaustion along with the fire and made sure the fire didn't spread to surrounding houses. The fire remains under investigation, but luckily, everyone made it out.
Civilian Heroes Rewarded By Pennsylvania State Police
Tuesday July 9th 2013
Three civilians are recognized today for their heroic actions in providing assistance to a Pennsylvania State Trooper. Almost one year ago, on August 29th, Trooper Derek Felsman investigated a complaint of a man who was physically attacking people in the area of Grizzly Lane in Smithfield Township. 22-year-old Joshua Widmer was initially compliant to the requests of the Trooper, but soon became aggressive. Trooper Felsman tried to use a taser to defend himself. After the device didn't have an effect, the trooper used pepper spray, which didn't work either.Trooper Felsman had to result to physical force to detain Widmer, who was under the influence of an illegal substance. Thomas Spataro, Joseph Corea and Anthony Hicks, all had the same instinct to pull over and assist the officer because something didn't seem right. Without thinking it through, they felt the need to help. Normally, law enforcement prefer citizens not getting involved because of the potential harm. But this time, state troopers don't want to think about what would have happened without civilian assistance. Trooper Felsman says it was the most violent encounter he's been involved in since he started six years ago. And that it was the first time he's needed the assistance of citizens to effect an arrest.
Along with the help of the brave citizens, Trooper Felsman was able to take Widmer into custody without further injury to the defendant or himself. Widmer is currently in jail, and the three heroes were each awarded the outstanding citizenship award for assisting the department in providing a significant service to the Commonwealth.
PPL Electric Appliance Recycling
Tuesday July 9th 2013
PPL Electric Utilites is looking for your old unwanted refrigerator and freezers. If they're taking up space at your house, you may be interested in a recycling initiative. Getting rid of old appliances can reduce energy use - and recycling ensures that refrigerators are being disposed of properly. PPL Electric will pick up old refrigerators - and customers can receive a $35 rebate for every old, working appliance collected by PPL. For more information you can call 1-877-270-3522.
Woman Suffers Heat Exhaustion at Beltzville State Park
Monday July 8th 2013
An ambulance was called to Beltzville State Park yesterday after emergency dispatchers received reports of a woman found unconscious at the park. The incident happened around 6 in the evening on Sunday, July 7th. Park rangers say she suffered from heat exhaustion. Paramedics took her in and later released her.
Fourth of July Incident Ends in Tragedy
Monday July 8th 2013
East Stroudsburg's annual Freedom Festival is a time for Fourth of July celebration, but this year, the worst-case scenario occurred. Ten-year-old Leila Cordova, vacationing from New York, died yesterday after being pulled out of the water July Fourth. Lifeguards noticed Cordova motionless at the bottom of the pool around 7PM.
Lifeguards rescued her immediately and found her unresponsive. They preformed several rounds of CPR, until Stroud Area Regional Police took over. The victim was transported to Pocono Mountain Medical Center, and later airlifted to Lehigh Valley Hospital. At the time, officials thought she had a seizure because Cordova's mother emphasized that her daughter had a medical history of them. But that remains unconfirmed.
Pool officials say they did everything they could. Safety and professionalism has always been their biggest concern. But there are always risks when swimming, especially during a busy holiday like July Fourth.
Prior to this incident, there had been three rescues. Two years ago, Lakeisha Kitts three-month-old baby went into cardiac arrest after getting water in her chest while swimming. Kitts owes her daughter's life to the the lifeguards that day and her daughter is currently taking swimming lessons there today. She and other parents trust Dansbury Park Pool staff in keeping their kids safe.
Pool officials plan to use this incident as a reminder how important safety is in the water.
Illegal Fireworks May Have Caused Fire in Price Township
Friday July 5th 2013
Theresa Guenst and her family still can't believe how their night of celebration turned to devastation. They had just come home from having ice cream and watching the fireworks show at Mount Airy Casino, when the smoke detector went off and her kids told her the front deck was on fire. Guenst, her husband and six kids made it out of the house just in time. Fire officials confirm the fire started on the outside of the house. The kids had just received new bikes and the packaging material was placed underneath the deck. A stray firework may have ignited that packaging material. Marshalls Creek Fire Company Chief Joe Quaresimo says there were a lot of fireworks going off around the development.
Fireworks and the Fourth of July go hand and hand, but what may have happened, is one of the many reasons why fireworks are illegal to shoot off in Pennsylvania. Fire Chief Quaresimo says it might not have been your house, but it could have been your fireworks that caused the problem.
The exact cause of the fire remains under investigation, but fire officials strongly suspect fireworks. That's why they recommend people going to see professional firework displays, where safety is the main concern.
The Guenst family started renting the house a month ago and their renter's insurance hasn't taken effect yet. They lost everything. The American Red Cross of the Poconos is currently helping the Guenst family, but that will run out soon. If you'd like to help assist the family further, contact the Red Cross at (570)476-3800.
Beltzville Busy for 4th of July
Friday July 5th 2013
Thousands spent their 4th of July holiday at Beltzville State Park. It's the park's busiest day of the year...yet by mid morning today, the park was in perfect condition with barely any trash on site. Park Manager Kevin Koflanovich says there has been a definite decrease in litter in the past couple of years. Koflanovich tells us trash clean up this morning was fairly easy; that more people are treating the park with more respect.
Sidewalk Bump-Outs in Downtown Stroudsburg Not the Issue
Wednesday July 3rd 2013
Phase two of the three million dollar project aimed at bringing local intersections up to Americans with Disabilities Act standards is taking place in Downtown Stroudsburg. Sidewalk bump-outs are currently being worked on at various intersections. The bump-outs serve as a device to slow down traffic in intersections, extend handicap accessible curbs and include special signals for visually and hearing impaired pedestrians. Thirteen parking spaces will be lost from the 788 metered spaces in the borough. But businesses are looking to the larger picture-- better pedestrian flow moving around Downtown Main Street.
Businesses are looking forward to the bump-outs, but say construction could have happened at a better time. Dunkelberger's Vice President of Operations Roy Horton says the construction was poor planning with every corner of the intersection worked on at the same time. And it's especially hard on businesses with the long Fourth of July holiday weekend. Business officials told us today how busy they normally are.
The work is expected to be finished this September.
Drug Trafficking Ring-Leader Appears In Court
Tuesday July 2nd 2013
36-year-old Andres Lopez appeared in court today for his preliminary hearing. He and four other people face drug dealing charges after police raided a home on Lackawanna Avenue in East Stroudsburg last week. Lopez, acting as the ring-leader, is an illegal immigrant living under the false name Jose Luis Torrez. Lopez's pregnant wife Jennifer and three children were in the home. Jennifer Lopez's sister Miriam Cuenca accuses state police swat teams of terrorizing her family. Cuenca says the kids were traumatized with guns being put in their faces and her sister was hit in her leg. Monroe County Detective Robert Burns says because there were indications of surveillance and fire arms at the residence, state police procedure is to have weapons drawn for their safety. The kids were not cuffed and not restrained. They were taken into Children and Youth Services Custody. Detective Burns also confirms everyone was compliant as they were taken into custody so there would be no reason for Lopez's wife to be hit. The raid occurred after a confidential informant advised a major drug dealer was operating out of Lopez's home.
The major drug trafficking operation had been under investigation since October. Last Friday, the Monroe County Drug Task Force obtained enough evidence to execute a search warrant. Detective Burns says approximately 171 grams of heroin, 150 grams of cocaine and crack cocaine, 94 grams of marijuana and 8 grams of methamphetamine were all found inside the home. These dangerous drugs approximately totaled $190,000 street value. Weapons, a bullet-proof vest, cash and drug packaging materials were also found.
The preliminary hearing was continued for two weeks for Lopez and two of his accomplices to obtain their own lawyers, as well as as a Spanish speaking interpreter. They remain in jail. Lopez's wife is out on bail.
Marshalls Creek Bypass Good For Many, Bad For Some
Monday July 1st 2013
Just a few years ago, a holiday weekend would mean long lines of traffic on 209 through Marshalls Creek. Now that the Marshalls Creek Bypass is finished, those traveling north to Middle Smithfield Township don't have to worry.
The new bypass has redirected traffic away from the intersection at Marshalls Creek, alleviating the traffic backup that has existed for over 30 years.
But some businesses have been severely affected. Sophie's Eats and Treats manager Kelly Howard used to own a deli in Jay Park on 209 in Smithfield Township. That business, along with others, all had to close their doors. Some of them luckily relocated. The construction of the bypass and its completion served as a one-two punch to the businesses' customers. Construction is still ongoing at the Marshall's Creek intersection, and is said to be completed late this summer.