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ALS survivor takes to the sky
Friday August 30th 2013

Gary Beech has been battling ALS for more than 5 years, and has started a bucket list of things to do before the disease takes his life. On his list Beech said he wanted to fly, so members of Pennsylvania Paragliding helped Beech take to the sky. Beech says the ride was better than he had imagined. “It was just once in a lifetime to fly to be up in the air I can't describe it,” said Gar Beech after his flight. This was the first special needs person Pennsylvania Paragliding has helped fly, and they hope to help more people live their dream.

Summer Is Coming To A Close
Friday August 30th 2013

It's Labor Day Weekend, and that means the summer vacation season is coming to a close. But Pocono Officials say it's been a good summer for tourism. And this weekend should help boost those numbers.
The Pocono Mountain Visitors Bureau is already looking to the fall season, and has come up with an idea to help keep traffic to the Poconos flowing.
They're introducing a new social media contest where residents and visitors post pictures on Instagram of fall foliage in the Pocono Mountains. Just use #takeonpocono when you capture and share the fall beauty of the Poconos, and you could win numerous prizes including an over-night stay and vacation opportunities. The contest starts Tuesday.

Two Men Plead Guilty in Armed Robberies
Thursday August 29th 2013

Two former New Jersey residents plead guilty yesterday to participating in multiple armed robberies in Carbon, Schuylkill and Luzerne Counties. 20-year-old Tysheed Hargrove - also known as "Sincere" - admitted to 11 counts of robbery including two at Fegley's Mini Mart in Tamaqua and the Turkey Hill in Hometown. And 20-year-old Jose Nunez - also known as "Skillz" - plead guilty to seven robberies. The two held up a variety of stores and businesses between December of 2011 and February of 2012. Sentencing will be held at a future date.

3 Charged in Burglaries in 4 Counties
Thursday August 29th 2013

Three men are charged in more than 30 burglaries and attempted burglaries in four counties netting over $21,000 worth of stolen goods. Police say 21-year-old Ralph Abreu, 23-year-old Alex Ramos, and 22-year-old Jose Cortes targeted commercial businesses between May 29th and July 19th in Lehigh, Berks, Northampton and Montgomery Counties. Police say they took registers, cigarettes and other items. The three are also accused of causing $33,000 worth of damage. The Shell Gas Station and Subway Restaurant on Route 309 in Heidelberg Township was one of the places hit.

monroe man charged after fight over dog
Thursday August 29th 2013

A Stroudsburg man is under arrest and facing charges after police say he beat a woman during a fight over their dog. 27-year old Christian Bogart faces a list of charges including aggravated assault. Police say he and an unidentified 22 year old woman were arguing about their dog at a home on Shafer Road in Hamilton Township early Wednesday morning. Officers say Bogart punched and kicked the woman's head -- and choked her until she was almost unconscious. The woman was taken to the hospital for treatment. Bogart was arrested by police at his home. His bail is set at 50-thousand dollars.

maintenance work closes parking area
Thursday August 29th 2013

The National Park Service is closing a parking area so it can inspect and perform maintenance work on a dam. That closure is planned for next Wednesday from 6 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the Hidden Lake dam parking area in Middle Smithfield Township. Work will consist of inspecting the outflow pipe and clearing any obstructions. According to Park Service Superintendent John Donahue - doing this type of inspection and preventative maintenance makes the dam safer for everyone that uses the lake. Barring any unforeseen circumstances the area will reopen at the end of the day.

No Charges for Schuylkill County Homeowner Who Fatally Shot Intruder
Thursday August 29th 2013

A Schuylkill County homeowner who fatally shot an 18 year intruder is free of charges. Forty nine year old Curt Stein shot and killed his neighbor Zachary Foster after discovering Foster in his East Brunswick Township home late Saturday afternoon.

Today, Schuylkill County's District Attorney Karen Byrnes announced that no charges will be filed in what she called an "unfortunate incident." Stein is protected under the castle doctrine self defense law...where a homeowner has the right to protect his home and property.

Prevailing Wage Law Reform
Thursday August 29th 2013

Pennsylvania's Prevailing Wage Law requires that all workers on state funded construction projects that exceed 25 thousand dollars be paid the state prevailing wage. The problem is work, like paving roads, isn't being done because certain government officials can't afford the set costs. Therefore, State Representative Mario Scavello would like to establish a clear definition of maintenance work and raise the threshold from 25 thousand dollars to 100 thousand dollars, because the wages are based off Philadelphia rates.
Those wanting to keep the prevailing wage law as it is, believe there are other ways to trim costs of a public project, and should not come at the expense of the workers wages.
Union officials and citizens showed up at today's hearing with concerns for the construction workers. Taxpayer Brian Victory says they're creating a problem when they think it's a solution.
Representative Scavello is hoping the reform hearings bring forth an agreement between the two sides.

Judges Locked In
Wednesday August 28th 2013

President Judge Margherita Worthington, along with the other five judges, stay in their chambers at the Monroe County Courthouse until prisoners are moved through the halls. Then a deputy has to come back for each judge and escort he or she to a different courtroom. Many times people are still in the hallway and Judge Worthington says you can never tell who is friend or foe.
The lack of space in the courthouse has been a problem on everyone's mind for awhile now, but the Ross Township shooting has really driven it home.
On average, about 750 people pass through the courthouse daily, not including employees and police. And Judge Worthington says criminal activity has sky-rocketed. Next year, she has three death penalty cases in her caseload. Judge Worthington says a comprehensive plan needs to be put in place to solve the space issue. She says it needs to be done to industry standard where certain separations of people should be in place. For example, people in custody should never be mixing with the general public. She's requesting a study be done be an objective expert so that there are viable options. Judge Worthington also says an added judge would help solve the problem because the caseload is overwhelming.
From Judge Worthington's standpoint, it's about the bigger picture in leading to a better future. The court needs to be involved because that's who the space problem directly affects.

Jim Thorpe businesses gear up for Labor Day Weekend
Tuesday August 27th 2013

Travel experts at AAA are saying more than 34 million Americans will travel be traveling for the upcoming Labor Day weekend. This would be a 4.2 percent increase compared to last year's holiday.
Businesses in Jim Thorpe are gearing up for the last big weekend of summer foot traffic.
"We will do pretty well through the fall into Christmas, but then we have a couple of slow months so we need this time to push us through," said Michael Guy who owns Rainbow’s End Candy Shop.
Tourists we talked to give dozens of reasons why people should flock to Jim Thorpe for the remaining days of summer.
“I wouldn't stay anywhere else,” says Scott Prefer who is visiting from Long Island. “It's the most beautiful place on earth as far as a little town goes. And when I came up here last night I just walked around until 3 o'clock in the morning and it was like I took drugs, that's how nice it was.”

Intruder Killed in East Brunswick Township
Monday August 26th 2013

An intruder is shot and killed in Schuylkill County after the home owner walks in on an alleged burglary. The incident happened at a home on Steep Mountain Road in East Brunswick Township near McKeansburg Saturday evening. According to police, 18-year-old Zachary Foster damaged two exterior entrance doors forcing his way inside the house. He was still inside when 49-year-old Curt Stein came home. Police say the teen initiated a physical altercation with the resident. He was then shot by Stein who suffered injuries in the scuffle. Foster was pronounced dead at the scene. No charges have been filed at this time. The Schuylkill County District Attorney is investigating with police to determine if the shooting was justified.

Lehigh County Pot Plant Busts
Monday August 26th 2013

200 marijuana plants are found in cornfields and wooded areas through out Lehigh County. The National Guard Counter Drug Aviation Unit and the Lehigh County Drug Task Force conduct aerial searches every year. According to the district attorney's office, on August 19th and 20th, the detectives flew over the county to spot marijuana plants that aren't easily detected from the ground. Investigators found 200 plants in seven different locations including Lynn, Weisenberg and Heidelberg Townships. Detectives used machetes to cut down the plants and then burn them. No one was charged because there's no evidence to indicate the property owners were aware the plants were growing on their land.

West Penn Township Pair Killed in Berks County Crash
Monday August 26th 2013

The Berks County coroner has identified two local men who were killed in a fiery crash Thursday night in Albany Township. The victims are 21-year-old Daniel Miller and 15-year-old Jacob Troxell both of West Penn Township. According to state poolice, Miller was driving north on Route 143 when he lost control on a curve. The truck went off the road and plowed into four trees before bursting into flames. Miller and Troxell were found dead in the car. The coroner's office says the cause and manor of death are still pending.

Fire truck burns in Mahanoy City
Monday August 26th 2013

A Schuylkill County fire company lost an truck to fire this Saturday. The Washington Hook and Ladder Co. in Mahanoy City caught fire just hours before the annual Schuylkill County Volunteer Firefighter's Convention.
The quarter million dollar ladder truck is a complete loss and the build has extensive fire and smoke damage. No one was hurt in the blaze.

Alleged Accomplices in Pocono Township Beating in Court Today
Monday August 26th 2013

30-year-old Lisa Stavish and 37-year-old Anthony Caiby are charged in the 2005 murder of David McEntire. The charges-- criminal homicide, tampering with evidence, abuse of a corpse and possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance. Police say Stavish was interviewed in 2010, where she admitted to being present when McEntire was attacked and murdered at a home in the Crescent Lake Development, and that she helped dispose of his body and vehicle after the incident. The homeowner at the time, Edwin Kelly, is behind bars for his role in the murder, and came to testify at today's preliminary hearing. Stavish and Kelly had the same story of extensive drug activity occurring at the residence and Caiby being the main supplier. McEntire was a customer and the attack occurred because Kelly and Caiby believed he stole their money and cocaine. He was badly beaten by them both and another unidentified man called Budda. Then dragged into the basement and shots were fired. The body was brought to the backyard where it was burned. The remains were dumped, along with the victims vehicle, in a junk yard in Hazleton. Where they differ is how the victim died.
Kelly says Stavish had the idea of giving McEntire a "hot shot," injecting him with a needle that contained bleach and cocaine. Police say Stavish, after denying it in numerous interviews, finally admitted to doing so but that she was forced by Caiby. Kelly says Stavish injected him twice because the first one didn't kill him. Pinning Caiby and Stavish against each other for who is to be blamed.
Caiby's Defense Attorney Michael Ventrella says it's too early in the proceedings to know if what Kelly says will hold up in court. All charges were bound over to county court and the alleged accomplices remain behind bars.

Oh My, A Bear Strolling On Main Street!
Friday August 23rd 2013

Seeing a wild bear strolling along Main Street in Stroudsburg can only compare to a celebrity sighting. People were shocked, excited and scrambling to take a picture yesterday afternoon as the bear passed by. But the Poconos are known for black bears. And yesterday's encounter is not that surprising when you learn why they are on the move. Pocono Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Center Director Kathy Uhler says bear mating season is July and August, and at the beginning of that mating season, the female bears who have young from last year, kick those youngsters out. Young bears, like the one on Main Street, haven't established their own territory yet and are wandering around looking for food. When encountering a bear in a residential area, Wildlife Officials recommend getting into a building so the bear can run it's course. Also, never feed a bear. Uhler says to only put garbage out on garbage day and to make sure the lid is secure. And if you're feeding birds, now is the time to take the feeders down. Or you'll end up with a bear in your backyard, like the one we found today in Hamilton Township. Call Pocono Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Center for any other questions you have about bears at (570) 402-0223.

The West End Fair's Got Talent
Thursday August 22nd 2013

If you're looking to be entertained this Sunday night, make sure you're at the Main Stage at the West End Fair from seven to nine. There's a talent show this year sure to get your feet tapping and your hands clapping. From dancing, to singing, the competition is on! This is the first year for a talent show called the West End Fair's Got Talent. Thirty-seven kids auditioned to be in the show by sending in YouTube videos showing off their talent. But only 15 acts were chosen.
One of the judges will be one of our very own reporters Nicole Walters. We think she'll have a tough decision to make.

Help Linda Kozic After The Ross Township Shooting
Wednesday August 21st 2013

Linda is in awe of the national support she's received. People's desire to help and Linda's medical bills have inspired her sister-in-law to create the help Linda Kozic Fund. A memorial service for Jerry is this Saturday from 9am to 12pm at the Kresge Funeral Home in Brodheadsville, where you can contribute to the fund. You can also contribute online at or at the fund's Facebook page. You'll also find plenty of events planned, and look for Linda Kozic support bracelets at the West End Fair. We wish Linda a speedy recovery.

Four Alledged Sexual Offenders Charged In Six Days
Tuesday August 20th 2013

Monroe County Detective Brian Webbe has a great sense of job satisfaction knowing he is the first line of defense in preventing sexual offenders from molesting a child. And that satisfaction is running high after he just charged four Monroe County men with downloading child pornography within a six day span.
These types of arrests can only happen when people are actively looking on networks for child pornography because they're being monitored. Recently, the increase in charges occurred because Detective Webbe had training in an additional file sharing network. As there are different networks, there are also different software tools used to investigate.
Luckily, a lot of the software tools are automated so that there's a constant search going at all times. Detective Webbe concentrates on suspects that come up in Monroe County. Once a target is identified, authorities track it to where it originated from and get a search warrant.
Detective Webbe says it's important to stop the sharing of these types of videos and images because the watchers are further perpetuating the abuse of the children in them. If you have any information concerning this matter, contact Detective Webbe at (570) 517-3052.

Carbon County Offers Free Program Where You Can Learn Life Saving Skills
Tuesday August 20th 2013

Being prepared for a widespread disaster can make a difference in the aftermath of a traumatic event. Carbon County's offering a free program, the Community Emergency Response Team, also known as "CERT." CERT teaches citizens to help themselves and their neighbors in the event of a disaster. CERT teams provide immediate assistance to victims, with the critical role of helping others until trained emergency personnel arrive. The CERT program takes about 20 hours to complete. Carbon County will be offering classes on Monday nights beginning in September. Those interested should contact Mark Nalesnik or Tom Newman at Carbon County Emergency Management Agency at 570-325-3097.

Fatal DUI Motorcycle Crash Route 903
Monday August 19th 2013

A Jim Thorpe woman is dead after a crash between a car and a motorcycle. Police say both drivers are suspected of being under the influence. Police were called out just after 10:30 last night. The crash happened on Route 903 in Penn Forest Township, near the Jim Thorpe Borough line. Both vehicles were heading north on 903 when the crash occurred. Debra Vanpatten was a passenger on the bike. She was pronounced dead at the scene. Paul Herman of Jim Thorpe was driving the motorcycle, and Steven McKenzie of Jim Thorpe was driving the car. Police did not indicate if either of the men were hurt. The fatal crash is still under investigation.

PA Ranks 20th Most Obese State in Nation
Monday August 19th 2013

Obesity rates in the United States have reached a record high. It's not officially classified as a "disease." The country's obese population is fifty percent greater than it was about twenty years ago. Pennsylvania ranks 20th as the most obese state in the nation. Approximately 65 percent of Pennsylvanians are overweight, with 29 percent of adults obese. Dieticians stress good nutrition as part of a healthy lifestyle. Pennsylvanians are encouraged to remember "portion control" during meals...half of your plate should be vegetables and/or leafy greens; 1/4th should contain whole grains...and healthy protein--like chicken breast, or salmon--should be the size of your palm.

Middle Smithfield Township Economic Growth
Monday August 19th 2013

College students home for the summer were shocked by their surroundings. Many new businesses have recently set up shop in Middle Smithfield Township like the supermarket Price Chopper that is now bringing in other stores within the strip mall it's located, including an Asian buffet and an Urgent Care. A Wawa was also built recently farther down 209.
Existing businesses have also been expanding, further adding to the economic growth, like Fernwood Resort that has just opened Pocono Tree-Ventures-- a new aerial ropes adventure course. And an all season tubing park called Blue-Lightning Summer Tubing opening tomorrow!
Township officials say business is booming and find these new businesses bringing in even more businesses to the area. And they're located in an ideal location, because so many people pass through daily on 209.
Middle Smithfield Township residents tell us they hope it continues, as economic times are still tough everywhere else.

West Penn Township Bank Robbed
Friday August 16th 2013

The Sovereign Bank in West Penn Township was robbed this morning just before 10 a.m. The bank sits at the corner of Routes 895 and 309. Police say the suspect is a white male is in his mid 30s or 40s. He stands around 5 feet 6 inches tall and has brown hair. The man got away with an undetermined amount of cash. He did not have a weapon with him. The suspect wore a dark blue or black hooded sweatshirt with blue jeans. He fled the scene on a motorcycle and was last spotted on Route 895 headed toward New Ringgold.

Stroudsburg Eyesore May Get A Makeover
Friday August 16th 2013

Strauser Nature's Helpers landscape business owner Zech Strauser plans to turn the vacant lot at the corner of Quaker Alley and Sixth Street in Downtown Stroudsburg into a park/community garden. Strauser recently began working with the "Come Alive Outside" campaign based in Cleveland and wishes to start a Pocono chapter. The campaign works with local landscapers to help them develop outdoor community projects in their local towns. Strauser has already approached Monroe County Commissioners about the idea and about starting a community garden. That's when the vacant lot came up as the perfect location. It;s owned by the county now and has been vacant for quite some time. It previously was a warehouse-type building that burned down.
Strauser then came up with a design on how to landscape the lot that includes such amenities like an outdoor performance area, park, community garden and a space for a farmer's market.
Right now, the project is in the very early stages and still requires approval from county commissioners and Stroudsburg Borough officials. But in the meantime, Strauser is looking to community members for help, whether from a financial, labor or idea standpoint. He's planned a meeting for 9am September 7th. If you would like more information on how to get involved, contact them through their website

Ross Township Sinkhole Continuing Problem
Thursday August 15th 2013

Leisure Court residents in Ross Township have been driving around an obstruction, like we did today, for almost two years now when Hurricane Irene washed out the road. Four of the six families received money from FEMA to fix the road, but one family took the money and moved, leaving the other families without enough money. So the sinkhole remains and gets worse as time goes on. Homeowner George Lamp recently bought one of the foreclosed houses, but not before looking into the road problem. Ross Township officials said it was a private road so the residents could fix it however they wanted.
Lamp then hired a contractor who gave him an affordable price to fix the sinkhole. But the Department of Environmental protection got involved after he bought the house. They then mandated the construction be done a certain way because of the stream which runs below it. That has upped the price to fix it, which Lamp can't afford.
Lamp just wants to do what he was originally told and has actively been trying to fix the problem, but hasn't gotten anywhere. He's now back to asking FEMA for help.
Lamp is waiting to contact Ross Township officials out of respect for the shooting that just occurred, but says the road needs to be fixed before winter. Last winter, the residents had to park their cars at the bottom and walk to and from their houses, and a car slid down the hill and almost went into the hole. Not to mention other inconveniences-- septic tanks can't be pumped, fuel can't be delivered and snow plows can come through. But even more pressing, what will happen when an emergency occurs?
The residents have anxiety just thinking about what could happen, especially if there's a fire. We spoke to State Representative Rosemary Brown who tells us she is deeply concerned about emergency vehicles not being able to access the homes and sent us this,
"I am actively researching possible funding from DEP that may be available for this situation if an environmental concern is present. However, that information has not yet been confirmed."
For now, residents are left waiting.

Pair Burglarize 76 Homes in 4 Counties
Thursday August 15th 2013

Two Northampton County residents are accused of 76 burglaries in 4 counties. Police say 27-year-old Patrick Quinn and 22-year-old Kelly Cunningham targeted houses listed for sale including one on Little Gap Road in Lower Towamensing Township, Carbon County. 4 homes in Bucks County, 25 in Lehigh County, and 47 homes in Northampton County were also hit. The Hellertown area duo stole copper pipes and brass fittings and sold them to scrap yards. Stolen items were valued at more than $200,000. The thefts occured between November 2012 and May of this year.

Changes to Northampton Area School District's New School Year
Wednesday August 14th 2013

For Northampton Middle School students, their first day back will be much different than last year. Construction is underway for a new, state of the art middle school building and secondary campus; but for now, officials ask students and parents to please pardon the dust. There will be a new drop off and pick up buses will go up Stadium Drive, while parents dropping their child off must enter Laubauch Avenue to a top parking lot. Extra security will be on hand, as well as teachers guiding students to their classrooms. The new school year begins Monday, August 26th.

This Drug is Five Times More Potent than Heroin
Tuesday August 13th 2013

In Carbon County, opiates--like heroin---are the drug of choice. But there's a deadly drug out there that resembles heroin and is five times more potent. Derived from "fentanyl," a prescription drug commonly used by cancer patients, "acetyl fentanyl" is manufactured and distributed illegally. It looks like heroin and has the same consistency, color and packing. Users who unknowingly mistake fentanyl for heroin has a higher chance of fatally overdosing. It is also known as "Apache," "China Girl," "China White," "Dance Fever," "Friend," "Goodfella," "Jackpot," "Murder 8," "TNT," and "Tango and Cash."

MMA competitor takes on dog fighting
Tuesday August 13th 2013

Pennsylvania State Trooper and Mixed Martial Arts fighter, Pat Russo, is stepping into the octagon to raise awareness of the growing problem of dog fighting in the Lehigh Valley area.
"They're coming up with new ideas now since we've started to crack down on the dog fighting rings," says Russo. "They've started this thing called trunking. They put two dogs in the trunk of the car and blast the radio and drive around for an hour to see which one is victorious. Its pathetic."
Russo is a member of group of MMA fighters called Hammer Out Animal Cruelty, who try to raise awareness about dog fighting.
Russo has one of the headlining bouts for the Mixed Martial Arts competition XFE 25 which is to be held at the Sands Event Center in Bethlehem this Saturday at 7 p.m. He plans to donate all of his winnings to local animal shelters.

Panther Valley Pool to Become Classrooms
Monday August 12th 2013

The Panther Valley School District plans on renovating the high school swimming pool into classrooms for 7th and 8th graders. Superintendent Rosemary Porembo revealed at a public meeting last week the school board's thinking about reconfiguring the school system. Kindergarten through third grade will be housed in the elementary building. Fourth through sixth grade will be housed in an "intermediate center" at the middle school. Seventh and eighth graders will be in the same building as high school students. It's a five million dollar project that doesn't sit well with some parents...who say the idea of their 7th grade child crossing paths with 12th graders is "horrifying." Plans are not yet finalized.


The Man Accused of Stabbing Two People in Stroudsburg Appears in Court
Monday August 12th 2013

31-year-old Matthew Ecker appeared in court today for his preliminary hearing and faces felonies of aggravated assault and other charges. Victims Chris Oates and Connor Updike testified in court today that they and two other friends were leaving Flood's Tavern at closing time on Main Street in Stroudsburg last month when they witnessed Ecker and his girlfriend yelling at each other loudly. Ecker yelled to them, "What are you looking at?" Words were exchanged. He then came running at the group of friends with a k-bar military styled knife and started slashing at them. Ecker allegedly first stabbed Updike in the right bicep and then in his left tricep when Updike tried to shield himself. Then Ecker fled the scene. Oates chased after him. Ecker turned around and swung his knife at Oates, slicing his hand. That's when police showed up. Ecker was ordered to drop the weapon-- refused and was hit with a taser and taken into custody. At this time it is not known why he pulled the knife on the group.
Both victims had been taken to the hospital and received numerous stitches for their wounds. Updike was taken into surgery for his left stab wound. Both victims testified the girlfriend drove away as the incident was occurring and it is uncertain whether or not she will be charged with anything.
Ecker remains out on bail, under the one condition he not intimidate anyone connected with the case. And all charges are bound over to Monroe County Court.

Fatal Motorcycle Crash, Franklin Township
Monday August 12th 2013

An Allentown man is dead after a Saturday afternoon crash in Franklin Township. The accident happened around 5:30 at the intersection of Route 248 and Indian Hill Road. Police say a car turned across traffic and collided with a motorcycle. The biker, 51-year-old Frederick Moyer, was flown from the scene. The Lehigh County Coroner says Moyer died later at the hospital. His death has been ruled an accident. A male passenger in the car was taken to the hospital for treatment. Franklin Township Police say the crash is still under investigation.

Lehighton Man Sentenced for DUI, Hitting Fire Chief
Monday August 12th 2013

A Lehighton man is sentenced to Carbon County Prison for driving under the influence and hitting the Jim Thorpe Fire Chief. On July 7th, Chief Bill Diehm was directing traffic for a charity run. He was standing next to his vehicle when police say he was struck by 37-year-old Steven Schock who was driving a UPS truck. Diehm spent almost three weeks in the hospital after the incident. Schock was charged with multiple offenses including aggravated assault while driving under the influence. Tests showed his blood alcohol content was .154%.. In May he plead guilty to charges in Carbon County Court. Today a judge sentenced him to 8 to 16 months in jail.

Mahoning Drive-In needs to win national contest
Friday August 9th 2013

A local drive-in needs to win a national contest in order to stay up and running.
The Mahoning Drive-In is hoping area residents will use social media to spread the word about Project Drive-In, which is a contest started by Honda where 5 lucky drive-ins across America will win new digital projectors.
To vote for the Mahoning Drive-In go to and click on the Mahoning Drive-In logo. You can vote once a day on your computer and once via text message. You will need to text "Mahoning Drive-In" to the number 444999. Standard rates apply.

Beltzville Beach Re-Opens
Friday August 9th 2013

A local swimming hole is back open after being closed for several days due to high bacteria levels. The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources closed the beach at Beltzville State Park Tuesday evening. High bacteria counts were found in water samples on August 5th. The state said this afternoon that swimming is now allowed again since bacteria levels in the water samples today came back at a safe level.

Carbon County Fair Closed Friday
Friday August 9th 2013

Several days of rain has left the Carbon County Fairgrounds a muddy mess. Fair officials decided to close today. The fair will re-open tomorrow, and to make up for today's closure, they'll open up Sunday as well. The fair will run regular hours tomorrow, noon to 11 p.m. And will be open Sunday from noon to 9 p.m. Tonight's demolition derby will also be rescheduled to Sunday afternoon at 4 p.m.

Search Continues for Lehighton High School Graduate
Friday August 9th 2013

Thirty nine year Matt Greene has been missing for 24 days. A Lehighton High School graduate, Greene is a high school teacher in Nazareth. He was reported missing July 29th during a hiking trip in California. Tiffany Minto, younger sister to Greene, says the family is staying hopeful Greene will be found. Search and rescue attempts are continuing. Friends of Greene are planning a trip to the Mammoth Lakes area to help find him. Funds are being raised for the trip...donations are being accepting through their Facebook page "Find Matthew Greene."

Ross Township Shooting First Response
Thursday August 8th 2013

Blue Ridge Hook and Ladder Volunteer Fire Company Chief Leon Clapper got down to business Monday night, after he was the first volunteer called to help at the Ross Township shooting. It was all about communication and everyone working together to get staged to be ready to help. During an active shooting, emergency officials have to wait for state police to escort them into the scene. Chief Clapper made the decision to start towards the building and was met with a state police officer. He, his assistant chief and the state trooper all ran in together with an ambulance behind them. Chief Clapper describes the scene as seeing one victim after another, with civilians already administering CPR and holding down the gunman saving other lives. He says they're the real heroes.
Yesterday we interviewed Rockne Newell's father, who told us he knew what his son was planning and that everything that happened that night could've been avoided because he told the sheriff prior. But that's just not the case. We spoke to Monroe County Sheriff Todd Martin who tells us that's completely false and suggests state police should investigate Pete Newell's prior knowledge for the possibility of prosecuting him. The truth is the sheriff's office was threatened by the accused shooter months ago because of the court documents associated with the sheriff's sale of his property, and they were prepared to go back out there. Sheriff Martin says it would've been extremely difficult for anyone to stop Newell, except for his father.

Palmerton Man Arrested After Search
Thursday August 8th 2013

A Palmerton man who lead local and state police on a manhunt earlier this week has been arrested. Police had pulled 33-year-old Ryan Rehrig over on Route 248 near the Palmerton exit. They say he fled after being informed that a warrant was issued for his arrest. Rehrig took off on foot. Troopers said he fled into the woods and across the Lehigh River. Police couldn't find him during the search. However, Rehrig was arrested Tuesday morning at his home in Palmerton.

Thefts From Cars in Lynn Twp., Lehigh County
Thursday August 8th 2013

State Police are looking for the public's help after a rash of thefts from cars in Lehigh County. The incidents happened between Tuesday and Wednesday. According to state police, at least four cars were entered in Lynn Township in the area of Decatur and Madison Streets. Troopers say all of the vehicles were unlocked and the thief stole various items. Anyone with information is asked to contact State Police at Fogelsville.

Bacteria boom stops swimming in Beltzville Lake
Wednesday August 7th 2013

High levels of bacteria have been found in Beltzville Lake forcing the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to close the lake to swimmers.
"The bacteria levels in lakes fluctuate and that typically has something to do with the weather. We did get some extra rain last week," says Kevin Koflanovich, Beltzville State Park Manager. "We do also have a goose population that moves from place to place on the lake."
Area fisherman believe people are also to blame for the rise in bacteria.
"It's the weekenders," says James Behler, long time fisherman at Beltzville Lake. "They come up and bury stuff in the sand, you know, diapers. But it's quite common and that's not good for the lake."
Other activities at Beltzville State Park, such as picnicking, fishing, boating and hiking, are proceeding as usual. Testing will be done daily until levels are safe enough to let swimmers back into the water.

Behind the Alledged Shooter's Property Siezure
Wednesday August 7th 2013

A moment of silence started the Monroe County Commissioner's Meeting today in memory of Monday night's tragedy at Ross Township's Supervisor Meeting. Solicitor John Dunn was absent, and we are told, he's still in shock, as he was part of those targeted by the accused killer Rockne Newell. Monday's tragic event resulted from a decades-long property battle between Newell and Ross Township Supervisors. According to the Monroe County Sheriff's office, the alleged shooter lost ownership of his property to Ross Township less than two weeks ago. The sheriff's sale took place July 25th due to an unpaid fine and court costs, totaling over eight thousand dollars. Last year we interviewed Solicitor John Dunn on why Newell was being kicked out.
"Court orders specifically say he will vacate his dwelling within 30 days. After that date, he shall not use or occupy the structures on the property, until he has obtained an occupancy permit and a sewage permit from Ross Township."
Newell refused to do anything about the many violations of his property and would not cooperate with township officials. Monroe County Commissioner John Moyer says the supervisors believed they were doing what was right.
Moyer says, "At a point in time when you make a decision based on what you think could befall you personally, I think you don't belong to be in public office."

Ross Township Heroes
Tuesday August 6th 2013

Before police and emergency personal could arrive at the Ross Township Municipal Building, a man came running up to resident Frank Kositz's son and yelled to him to leave, there's been a shooting. The boy saw the man was bleeding in the back of the head and ran back to tell his mom, Kositz's wife Mary. Both had heard the gunshots walking their dog, but figured it was target shooting. Mary spotted the man bleeding on the swing set on the way back to their car and stopped to help him.
Kositz's wife didn't know the man at all and thinks the back of his head was grazed by a bullet. Kositz tells us emergency officials wouldn't enter without a police escort so Mary tried to help the bleeding man as best she could until officials could take over.
Kositz says his family came home traumatized and the scariest part was the alleged shooter was seen by his son on the swing walking back and forth with a gun in the parking lot only a few yards away.
Police report hero Bernie Kozen saw Rockne Newell leaving the building and retrieving more guns in the parking lot. And jumped into action when Newell was re-entering the building, tackling him to the ground. While they were wrestling, a shot went off hitting the shooter in the leg. Others were then able to jump in and control him until authorities came. Kozen was at the scene today walking authorities through what happened the night before. He was very shaken up and when asked to comment, he said at a later time, he just couldn't today.

Ross Township Victims
Tuesday August 6th 2013

The three who died at last night's Ross Township's Supervisor Meeting were attending a public meeting, and did not know their lives would come to a tragic end. It's something the community is just starting to comprehend.
Pete Scarfaro Junior was back at the scene again today, after feeling the need to come to the Ross Township Municipal Building last night because he knew all of the supervisors. He talked to the chief supervisor's daughters in the parking lot, who were very shaken up. They told him their dad was alright and that all of the supervisors were ok, just bruised and some hit by bullet fragments.
It's been confirmed that Chestnuthill Township Supervisor David Fleetwood and residents Jerry Kozic and James LaGuardia were killed in the shooting. Scarfaro knew Fleetwood and says he was a great man.
Deceased resident Jerry Kozic was a known local musician and was there last night because he was going to run for supervisor. His wife Linda was there with him and was injured. She remains in the hospital. Frank Piriano Junior was also reported injured.

Gearing up for the Carbon County Fair
Monday August 5th 2013

Along with live music, a demolition derby, and all the delicious food you can expect to see lots of barn yard animals at this year's Carbon County Fair.
Members of 4-H have been spending the day preparing their livestock to be judged.
"My market steer I got him at about 400 pounds raise them up now he's probably about a thousand pounds now," says 13-year-old Melissa Nothstein.
The Carbon County Fair starts Tuesday at 3 p.m. and tickets are $5. Children under 6-years-old are free.

Residents Still Shaken From A Manhunt in Coolbaugh Township
Monday August 5th 2013

20-year-old Kenneth Botke originally was under arrest at his mother's house for allegedly stealing miscellaneous items for drugs Saturday night. The Pocono Mountain Regional Police Officer investigating the burglary was obtaining statements from the victim, when Botke was able to manipulate the his handcuffs and enter the driver's seat of the patrol car through a partition, and took off. Police Chief Harry Lewis says the officer did what he was supposed to and was allowed to have the car running for air conditioning. Chief Lewis tells us Botke admitted to police he is a survivalist and practices freeing himself from handcuffs. At this time, it is uncertain if any policies will be changed.
Botke then abandoned the police car two blocks away, took the shotgun inside and fled into the woods. The community was then locked down for a few hours, but police couldn't find him. Police regrouped Sunday morning and with the help of neighbors spotting Botke after seeing a description in the news, police were trailing him. But he entered a home before they could get to him.
Botke came in with a gun, needing a place to hide. Troy Silliman says he told them he wouldn't hurt them, but he needed a ride to Effort, PA. Silliman stalled him by saying he needed to get his cigarettes out of the car on the side of the house before they would take the car out front. Police were ready to step in.
A brief standoff took place, while the couple started to back away to safety. When Botke didn't respond to commands, officers tased him and took him into custody. Botke had two handguns on him that turned out to be BB guns, and the investigation continued because his handcuffs were cut apart. Botke's friends, two brothers Kyree and Khylil Caldwell were arrested last night on conspiracy charges.
All three arrested are at Monroe County Correctional Facility. Botke's bail is set at $250,000 and the preliminary hearing is scheduled for August 14th.

Food assistance cuts coming this fall
Friday August 2nd 2013

Nearly 2 million Pennsylvanians will see a cut in their food assistance in November and it could equal to 21 about lost meals per month for a family of four, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Volunteers in local food pantries worry even more people will need help putting food on the table. The cut is the result of an expiring provision included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act which temporarily added to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to ease hardship on the poorest families in the wake of the recession.
"This small increase in food assistance has been a lifeline for many Pennsylvanians, a majority of whom work but earn low wages," said Sharon Ward, Director of the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center. "It has allowed many families to stay afloat during the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression."
Emergency food banks in Carbon County are worried this will cause a large influx of people who will need food for the holiday season.

Local bridges to get more weight limits
Thursday August 1st 2013

You can expect to see more harsh weight restrictions on older bridges across Pennsylvania. In our areas their are almost 100 bridges which will get lower weight restictions or may even be closed all together. Many of these bridges are small and go over creeks. Representatives with PennDOT say state legislators haven't allocated any money to repair these bridges. Experts say this will not only have a huge economic impact, but there are also safety concerns.
"When people need emergency services like ambulances, if they are over the limit of that bridge, then they have to take the detour also," says Ron Young, Press Officer with PennDOT District 5.
A full list of all the dilapidated bridges with weight restriction changes is available on the PennDOT website.

Pyschiatrist Charged With Soliciting Sex From A Minor
Thursday August 1st 2013

43-year-old Michael Kessler was in court today for having improper conversations online with what he thought was a 13-year-old boy. It is known that Kessler was a psychiatrist in Monroe County for a few years prior to these charges, where he treated children with various mental illnesses. Monroe County District Attorney's Office Detectives arrested Kessler in June at his home shared with his mother. This resulted from an investigation detectives began in May, after a woman told police a suspicious adult had been contacting her 13-year-old son on Facebook. Detective Brian Webb gained permission to take over the account and pose as her son to continue the conversation. A lot of sexual content was discussed, as well as pornographic videos and pictures. Through investigation, Detective Webb was able to identify the address of the man on the other end of the conversation and obtained a search warrant, as Kessler was using the fake name of Marc Taylor. Detectives found enough evidence on his computer and cell phone to link him to being the actual person behind the Facebook messages.
According to the Pennsylvania Board of Medicine, the former psychiatrist has had his license revoked in three states including Pennsylvania, and served jail time in New Jersey for lewdness. Today, Kessler waived his right to a preliminary hearing and is out on bail on the conditions he will have no contact with children and no access to any communication device, except for employment. Kessler faces several counts of third degree felonies and his next step is county court.

BRC13 News Archive