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Meth Lab Bust in Tamaqua
Friday January 31st 2014

Tamaqua Police, along with Rush Township Police Department and the State Police Clandestine Lab Response Team, busted an apartment on 29 East Elm Street early this morning for a suspected meth lab operation. They've been staking the residence for months after receiving tips of illegal drug activity. The Police Department executed a search warrant to Apartment #2 at 9 this morning. Inside the residence, several people were detained. Police found various drugs and the makings of a meth lab operation. All were let go except for the renter of the apartment, 38 year old Jacqueline Slavin. Slavin was previously arrested in Lansford for operating a meth lab operation back in May 2013. One child was found inside the residence at the time. The child was taken into custody. Slavin is charged with manufacture of methamphetamine, manufacture with intent to deliver methamphetamine, possession of a controlled substance, possession of heroin with intent to sell, possession of drug paraphernalia and recklessly endangering the welfare of a child. Other arrests may follow.

Court Upholds Life Sentence For Drug Tafficker in Carbon
Friday January 31st 2014

A drug trafficker's life sentence is upheld in appeals court. The United States Attorney's Office says 44-year-old Krishna Mote was convicted in 2012 by a jury. They say he participated in a drug trafficking conspiracy that was responsible for distributing large amounts of crack cocaine in the Lehighton area between 2005 and 2007. A federal judge then sentenced him to life in prison. In affirming the sentence, the court explained that with three prior felony drug convictions, the district court properly sentenced Mote to mandated life imprisonment.

Local Moms Fight To Keep Children Safe In Vehicles
Friday January 31st 2014

An automobile accident can happen anywhere, at any time, without warning. Stroudsburg resident Erica McCabe understands that first hand after losing two children close to her in crashes. Something she never wants to experience with her own kids or hear of again. That's why she teamed up with fellow mom Abbie Patterson who founded the business "Super Car Seat Geek." They want all children to be as safe as possible by making sure they're in appropriate seats and positioned the right way. Automobile crashes are the leading cause of death for children under the age of 13, but both moms agree-- it doesn't have to be. They're on a quest to stomp out car seat usage malfunction together. Both moms are certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians and it's their business to help lessen the fatalities. They have community events coming up and public demonstrations. Just check out their Facebook page "Super Car Seat Geek" for more information and to contact them. They also offer classes, shopping service and free installations.

ESU Officials, Local Police Oppose Concert
Friday January 31st 2014

If you're a fan of electronic music and a little dancing, a barstool blackout is coming to The Sherman Theatre in about a month.
In the past East Stroudsburg Universary officials and local law enforcement say these concerts have led to trouble and drugs play a big role.
Captain Brian Kimmins from Stroud Area Regional Police says they're used to dealing with the regular parties on Main St, after people have had a couple drinks, but it makes their job more complicated when they have people who have drugs in their system.
In September at a similar party, Kimmins says they arrested 12 people and 8 people had to be taken to the hospital after overdosing.
According to Doreen Tobin who's the Vice President of Student Affairs at ESU, students have experienced problems with their eyes and skin because of foam that's released into the audience.
While there may be ESU Students at these parties, officials say, people come from all over. Stroud Area Regional Police and ESU Police will be beefing up patrols to make sure things aren't taken too far. We tried to reach the Sherman Theatre President, but we were unable to speak with him.

East Penn Township House Destroyed by Fire
Thursday January 30th 2014

East Penn Volunteer Fire Company, with help from Bowmanstown and Mahoning Valley Volunteer Fire Companies suited up in the wee hours of the morning to battle flames destroying a house located on 369 Schleicher Lane. The report of a burning house was called in around 4 a.m. Robert Kleintop, assistant fire chief at East Penn Volunteer Fire Company, admits it took hours to bring the blaze down. The report of a burning house was called in around 4 a.m. Firefighters were forced to head back to the scene after reports of rekindling. The blaze finally died down around 9 a.m. We're told the home was vacant at the time. No one was hurt in the fire. The state fire marshall is currently investigating to figure out what caused the blaze.

Donate Food & Help Local Food Pantries
Thursday January 30th 2014

The 12th annual Blue Ridge Communications "Community Cupboard" Food Drive kicks off on February 1st and lasts through March 1st. The goal is to help stock our local food pantry shelves during the annual "dry spell" -- food pantries struggle after the holidays when food donations tend to be at its lowest. Donations can be dropped off at any Blue Ridge Communications office, Penns Peak or Penns Peak Radio, and any of the Pencor Superstore locations. The donations will be handed out to various food pantries and Salvation Army locations throughout the entire Blue Ridge Communications viewing area.

Townhomes Go Up For Auction After Court Order
Thursday January 30th 2014

About a week ago, The Court of Common Pleas of Monroe County ordered the sale of 49 fully furnished townhomes in the Northslope II community.
The townhomes near Shawnee Ski Resort were timeshared by several people who decided they wanted to sell their units.
Next Saturday an auction will begin and the townhomes will go to the highest bidder.
Prices are starting at $49,900.
Officials say these sales would be a benefit to not only buyers, but the county, owners, timeshare owners and real estate.
If you're interested in the townhomes, officials encourage prospective buyers to research what all the costs are. Along with the unit comes tax expenses, association fees along with utilities and other costs.
Auctitons will run from next Saturday to February 23rd. If you're interested in participating in the auction you're required to register online at Shawneetownhome.com.

Fourth Person Charged In Hamilton Township Drive-By Shooting
Thursday January 30th 2014

Monroe County First Assistant District Attorney Michael Mancuso says Defendant Kaylynn Bunnell was initially the only one to tell the story of the drive-by shooting that happened in Hamilton Township. That cooperation bought her extra time before she was charged for her involvement. Today the 20-year-old turned herself in to authorities.
Bunnell, along with four other passengers, traveled to the mobile home on Old Timber Road looking for revenge earlier this month. Bunnell was allegedly robbed during a drug deal set up by a resident inside the home. After Bunnell discovered the one who robbed her was inside, Mancuso says she drove the car past the house knowing that shots were going to be fired at it. Police say six shots were fired from the car, one of them killing occupant Darcy Kravchenko who was not the target. His son was involved in the drug deal.
Bunnell is charged with criminal homicide and other charges, along with three other suspects previously arrested-- Jacqueline Harrigan, Bruce Murray Jr. and 16-year-old alleged gang member Dygunn Mitchell. Police are still looking for the fifth passenger and alleged gang member Brandon Wilson.
Bunnell is now in Monroe County Correctional Facility without bail. She awaits her preliminary hearing, along with the other charged suspects, tentatively scheduled for February 10th.

Lehighton Snake Shop Owner in Plea Court
Wednesday January 29th 2014

A man who police say ran an illegal snake store several years ago in Lehighton pleads guilty in the case. According to records, in 2009 50-year-old Steven Markevich was accused of abandoning the snakes. Animal caseworkers rescued over 160 snakes from the "Serpents Den" on First Street. The Northampton man plead guilty yesterday in Carbon County Court to several charges including animal cruelty and keeping prohibited animals. Some of the snakes rescued were venomous. Court officials say Markevich has been sentenced to pay fines and restitution.

Allentown Man In Carbon Plea Court - Police Chase
Wednesday January 29th 2014

An Allentown man who dragged a state trooper with his car pleads guilty in the case. The incident happened in November in Franklin Township. State Police say they pulled over 23-year-old Robert Burns III for a traffic stop. He appeared to be under the influence. When the trooper tried to get him out of the car, Burns allegedly drove off while holding the trooper's wrist. The trooper freed himslef and pursued burns who was clocked going over 100-miles-per-hour. Burns crashed and was hospitalized. Yesterday he plead guilty to several charges in Carbon County Court where officials say he was sentenced to up to two years in Carbon County Prison.

Deer Kill Petition
Wednesday January 29th 2014

A method of reducing the deer population in a private Pocono Community has spawned controversy. Saw Creek Estates in Bushkill has hired sharpshooters to help thin the herd, but this has residents firing back. Pat hammond has spearheaded this anti-kill campaign for weeks.. According to the private communities bi-laws ,200 signatures are required to request a public hearing. After receiving over six-hundred signatures, residents in the community are looking forward to having their voices heard.

School Make Up Days
Wednesday January 29th 2014

Weather related delays and closing have school districts finding creative ways to make up the days. Weatherly School District closed five times this school year, due to the inclement weather. Students made up a day this month and two other make up days are already scheduled. At Northern Lehigh School District, a similar story. The district is working on making up three snow days. School officials tell us they hope the worst is behind us. At this time, snow days aren't keeping local seniors from graduating on time.

School Officials Look Into Cyber Attack
Wednesday January 29th 2014

At about 7 yesterday morning I.T. officials from the Stroudsburg School District noticed a overflow of incoming signals coming through their network. Their systems shut down and they lost internet access.
School officials say this sort of thing is unusual and I.T. professionals are currently working to figure out who's sending these signals and why?
Dr. John Toleno, who's the super intendent for the Stroudsburg school district says they found out the signals were coming out of Taiwan and China and they believe they were trying to crash their firewall.
Toleno says they've had issues with our system before, but they've never experienced anything like this.
By 11:15, Toleno says the incoming traffic decreased and things were back to normal, but then it started again around 6 in the evening after school let out, blocking signals again.
As of today school officials say things are back to normal. Toleno says no data was lost or compromised from this attack.

Pocono Resort Going Above And Beyond Super Bowl Sunday
Wednesday January 29th 2014

We're just days away from Super Bowl 48. Parties are happening all over the Poconos for those not going to the game, but one resort is going above and beyond.
Skytop Lodge employees are putting the finishing touches on a first-ever indoor food truck for their celebration this Sunday from noon till midnight. Many hours have gone into building it to look truly authentic. But what's even more amazing is what's going to come out of it for your taste buds. They're having everything you could want like wings, mozzarella sticks, onion rings, cheesesteak sliders, just to name a few. If you'd like to join in the fun, tickets are $25 a person for outside guests and $15 a person for hotel guests providing unlimited access to food and the Super Bowl on a big screen TV. You can buy tickets by phone at 1-885-345-7759 or on Skytop's website.

Deadly Heroin Mix
Tuesday January 28th 2014

The Attorney General's office reports 22 people have died in Western Pennsylvania from overdosing on a heroin-Fetanyl mix. Fetanyl is a drug typically used in cancer patients to manage pain and usually comes in the form of a patch. Authorities report people are making the drug at home and lacing it with heroin. The heroin mix is believed to be making the rounds in bags stamped with the words "Theraflu," "Bud Ice," and "Income Tax." The deadly mix doesn't appear to have reached our community and authorities are working to keep it that way.

PTSD
Tuesday January 28th 2014

It's common for a person to experience a traumatic event at least once in their lives... but sometimes, a reaction so severe can cause a person to develop "PTSD"-- or post traumatic stress disorder. It's common among veterans. The Veterans Center urges veterans to stop by their offices; they provide tools and therapy to cope with symptoms associated with PTSD.

http://www.vetcenter.va.gov/

Police Investigate Gas Station Robbery, Assault
Tuesday January 28th 2014

Stroud Area Regional Police are on the look out for a man who robbed and attacked a Stroudsburg gas station attendant in broad daylight yesterday.
Police say the suspect is a black male in his late thirties, he's about 6'2 and 230 lbs. He was dressed in a long blue coat, a dark skull cap and white sneakers.
The victim was taken to Pocono Medical Center with injuries to the head and the face. Police say some of the bones in his face could even be broken.
Police say the suspect got away with money, but how much money isn't being disclosed at this time.
According to police, the suspect was seen in a small black car, driven by a black female, but after the robbery he took off on foot.
If you have any information regarding this robbery you're asked to contact the Stroud Area Regional Police Detective Unit.

Fernwood Hotel and Convention Center Unexpectedly Closes
Tuesday January 28th 2014

Employees of Fernwood Hotel pass through the doors today not knowing if they still have a job. All of them telling us they just found out the hotel and convention center is closed, but none have a clue as to why. A woman who was employed as a housekeeper is shocked at the situation.
(Did not want to be named.)"It was out of the blue. Everybody was expecting to come to work, and the next thing you hear is no more job. What can you say?"
Fernwood Hotel and Convention Center Marketing Manager Steve Ertle wants everyone to know the closure comes from the need to restructure and secure additional financing to bring the property up to today's standards. He believes it will reopen this summer.
The housekeeping employee did not want to be identified as the face speaking for all employees, but she says they do all feel the same.
"It's very unprofessional how this all went down."
A mandatory meeting was scheduled for all employees to be informed of the situation last night, but that was cancelled. Many employees ended up finding out through text message or social media.
Ertle sent us another statement explaining why employees found out the way they did. "Management felt because most employees did not work that day it was better to contact them directly by phone or text message than to have them spend finances on having them come in that day." He says the confusion came from the word spreading faster than they could get the truth out themselves. Ertle says Fernwood Hotel employs around 40 people and not all of them are laid-off, but the majority is.
Ertle reassures us the staff is working on contacting area hotel and resort partners to help find employment for those laid-off, along with relocating booked events, parties and hotel guests. Fernwood Hotel and Convention Center officials are honoring refunds for any deposits on current bookings of events or parties that cannot be relocated or rebooked. Fernwood Sales Office can be reached at 1-800-528-5560 for more information.

Heroin Sale in Weatherly - Sugar
Tuesday January 28th 2014

Weatherly police arrest a couple for dealing heroin in the borough. The drugs they were selling turned out to be sugar. According to court records, last week an under cover informant arranged to buy heroin from 26-year-old Joseph Gennaro on two occasions. During one buy, 30-year-old Jamie Scatton allegedly pulled the heroin from her pocket. On Thursday Weatherly Police followed Gennaro and Scatton's car after the buy. Police say Gennaro was driving at a high rate of speed and was swerving. During a traffic stop police say he appeared to be under the influence. Both were taken into custody where they later told officers they replaced the heroin with sugar. They each face multiple charges.

Life Jacket Saves Life
Monday January 27th 2014

51 year old John Stravalle of Newburgh NY, considers himself extremely lucky after falling into the frigid waters of the Upper Delaware River last week. Stravalle was attempting to retrieve his anchor, when he found himself falling overboard from his canoe into the below freezing waters of the river. Luckily for Stravalle, reading a simple sign, made the largest impact. Before heading into the water, Stravalle happened to notice the sign reading "Mandatory Wearing of the Life Jacket from Nov 1st- April 30th." At that point, he made the lifesaving decision to strap on his life jacket, which made all the difference that day. Thanks to the life vest , the man was able to use the current of the water to float back to shore, where he was found and rescued.

SJRA POLAR BEAR PLUNGE
Monday January 27th 2014

Dozens of people turned out to Mauch Chunk Lake in Jim Thorpe, over the weekend, to support Saint Joseph Regional Academy. The school held its first annual Polar Bear Plunge on Saturday. Thirty-five men and women braved the icy water and plunged. The event raised $7,500 for the school. Organizers are already gearing up for next year's plunge.

Lansford Man Admits to Cocaine Trafficking
Monday January 27th 2014

A Lansford man pleads guilty to federal cocaine trafficking. According to the United States Attorney's Office, 21-year-old Joseph Revell today admitted to distributing cocaine in Carbon County between January 2011 and September 2012. Revell is the fifth defendant to enter a guilty plea in connection with a join federal-local investigation. Locally the Nesquehoning and Lansford Police Departments assisted. In this case, the maximum penalty is 40 years in jail.

New Tripoli Man Killed on Route 22
Monday January 27th 2014

A New Tripoli man is dead after his parked car is hit on the side of Route 22 in Northampton County. State Police say 56-year-old Mark Durrenberger had stopped his car along the eastbound lanes Saturday morning. His car was hit from behind. Durrenberger was taken to Saint Luke's Hospital where he died Saturday night. His death has been ruled an accident. The Whitehall woman who struck his car was not hurt.

Fatal Crash in West Penn Township
Monday January 27th 2014

A Coaldale man is dead after crashing early Sunday in West Penn Township. The accident happened around 2:15 yesterday morning on Andreas Road. A Schuylkill County Coroner says 21-year-old Bryn Mark Watkins was pronounced dead at the scene. The pick up truck he was driving went off the road and hit a utility pole before flipping onto its side. The roadway was closed for about 2 hours. West Penn Township Police are investigating.

Widening Interstate-80: Approved, Funded, Launched
Monday January 27th 2014

Interstate-80 is about to go through a huge transformation. People won't have to imagine what a six-lane Interstate-80 will be like for long-- The project is approved, funded and launched. A stretch of about seven miles on Interstate-80 will go from four-lanes to six-lanes between the Delaware Water Gap Toll Bridge west to the Ninth Street Exit in Stroud Township. State Representative Mario Scavello says the widening project design is already underway. He acknowledges two overpass bridges have already been built to accomodate six-lanes of traffic. The new design is in response to frequent accidents, and will address numerous safety issues like short on-and-off-ramps. PennDOT Spokesman Sean Brown says the cost of the project will be over 200 million dollars, and has been funded through the Transportation Funding Bill that just passed the State Legislature. The entire project is expected to be completed in six to eight years.

Michaels Warns Customers of Security Breach
Monday January 27th 2014

Criminals have been targeting U.S. Retailers, hacking into data systems to obtain credit card information.
A month ago, Target released a disclosure to customers, informing them of fradulent activity.
Now Michaels Arts and Crafts Store is notifying their customers of another possible data security attack. Michaels officials are working closely with the federal government and data security experts to find the person or persons responsible.
If you find out you've become a victim of fradulent credit card charges, officials encourage you to report it to law enforcement and notify your credit card provider.

Lansford Police Officer in Court
Friday January 24th 2014

The charges against a suspended Lansford Police officer accused of having an inappropriate relationship with an underage boy, will be heard in Carbon County Court. Robert Shubeck waived his right to a preliminary hearing in Palmerton District Court today. He's accused of furnishing alcohol to an underage boy and engaging in sexual acts with the alleged victim. According to court documents, the teenage boy attempted to break off contact with the defendant. That's when Shubeck allegedly stalked the teen at his home and repeatedly contacted his friends inquiring on his whereabouts. The alleged incidents happened between July and December 2012 when Shubeck was an active police officer. Shubeck faces several charges including Corruption of Minors and Stalking.

Summit Hill Eatery Burglarized
Friday January 24th 2014

The Summit Hill Police Chief says someone gained entry to the Batter's Box Sports Bar and Grille last night. An undetermined amount of cash was taken from the restaurant. Police are still investigating. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the borough police department at 570-645-7429.

Summit Hill Water Main Break
Friday January 24th 2014

The Summit Hill Water Authority says the water suppy to the town has been shut down due to a water main break this afternoon. A crew is working to resolve the problem. It's not known how long it will take to fix the line. Updates will be posted on the borough web site: www.summithillborough.com

Vehicle Fires Common in Winter?
Friday January 24th 2014

The thought of your vehicle going up in flames this winter is not only scary, it's baffling. Typically an auto fire is associated with overheating in the summer. But just this week two vehicles ignited in Carbon County, and many more are popping up in surrounding areas. Nesquehoning Fire Chief John McArdle says it's due to people letting their vehicles idle for long periods of time. With uncommon sub-zero temperatures plaguing the weather forecast, it's no wonder why people are warming up their cars longer. Chief McArdle recommends keeping an eye on the vehicle as it idles. But a mechanic says there's another contributing culprit that may just shock you. Service Manager Tim Snyder of Bennett Lehighton Dodge says it's common for animals to build nests inside vehicles because they're looking for warmth. The debris left by the animals inside the hood is what catches fire as a vehicle idles too long. That's why Snyder not only recommends keeping up on maintenance, but spending extra time under the hood looking for leaks (some fluids are highly flammable), and signs of nests.
If you should have a vehicle fire, Chief McArdle says to call 911 and leave it to the professionals.

Jim Thorpe Bank Supervisor Charged
Thursday January 23rd 2014

A former Carbon County bank supervisor is charged with embezzling over $300,000. 42-year-old Shelly Ann Kocher of Lehighton worked at the Jim Thorpe National Bank at the time. The United States Attorney's office says she took the money from customer accounts while she worked as a customer service supervisor at the bank. It happened between 2010 and 2013. If convicted Kocher faces up to 30 years in prison and $1 million in fines.

Franklin Township House Fire
Thursday January 23rd 2014

Flames drive out an elderly couple from their home. Officials tell us the couple got out safely. Crews responded to a house fire on Main Road in Franklin Township, Carbon County. The afternoon fire started around 2PM. Firefighters arrived on scene to find flames shooting out of the front of the home. The cause of the fire is not know at this time.

Free Health Program for Carbon Co. Seniors
Wednesday January 22nd 2014

A new program, free to senior citizens is being offered by the Carbon County Area Agency on Aging. Attend educational workshops to learn about healthy aging preventative services provided by Medicare. Learn how to maintain healthy bones, regulate blood pressure and glucose levels, lower LDL, combat depression, stop smoking and more. Workshops will run every Wednesday from 10 to 11:30 starting January 29th. They will be held at the Jim Thorpe/ Penn Kidder Senior Center on route 903 Jim Thorpe. A certified health professional will conduct each session and counselors will be on hand to answer individual questions. Lunch and refreshments will be provided to registered attendees. For more information and to register call the Senior Center at 570-325-4980

Legalizing Medical Marijuana?
Wednesday January 22nd 2014

A new bill could make Pennsylvania the 21st state to legalize medical marijuana. Senators Daylin Leach and Mike Folmer argue legalizing medical marijuana would ensure people have every weapon in their arsenal to battle diseases. The drug would be prescribed in liquid drops that don't contain THC, the compound in marijuana that gets your high. Senator Leach has been trying to get this bill off the ground for awhile now; he's been shot down before, but hopes this year the bill sees progress in the state senate.

Salt Supplies
Wednesday January 22nd 2014

Despite the continuous snow, salt sheds at local communities are well stocked. Towamensing Township Secretary, Lora Nothestein, says the municipality is staying ahead of the game. The township received 100 tons of salt and 100 tons of anti-skid material this week. In Palmerton, Borough Manager Roger Danielson, says its sheds are also well stocked. The borough has ordered salt supplies four times this winter and is well within its snow removal budget.

"Animals Can't Talk" Fundrasier
Wednesday January 22nd 2014

Animals aren't always found abandoned in perfect health. One business in Bartonsville is trying to ease the burden for one local non-profit animal rescue and adoption organization's medical bills. Moe's Southwest Grill is holding a fundrasier for "Animals Can't Talk." The group is dedicated to every unwanted, lost and abused animal they find. The goal is to get the animals healthy enough to be adopted to a permanent happy home. Moe's is sharing their profits on Wednesday, February 12th with this great cause. All you need to do is show up and eat that day to make a difference, no flyer required!

Ski Diva Clinic
Tuesday January 21st 2014

The Ski Diva Clinic is now in session at Jack Frost, Kidder Township. The free lesson is held every Tuesday. It's for women of all ages and all abilities. The program was established in 2005 by Women's Program Director, Bernie Oldryod. Instructors say the message behind the program is to build courage and build friendships.

Too Many Abandoned Animals, Not Enough Room
Tuesday January 21st 2014

Justice is just another dog found abandoned among many. But this time Stroud Area Regional Police is getting involved and they want justice.
Police named the pit-bull mix "Justice," after finding the dog tied to a park's tree. They ended up housing him, until room opened up at AWSOM Animal Shelter through adoptions. Anger with the dog's predicament sparked this post to Stroud Area Regional Police Department's Facebook Page:
"Our system is broken. We have no state funded shelters. They are all private organizations. And not mandated to take strays from us."
Captain Brian Kimmins says, "We're required by state law to apprehend dogs that are at large. What we do with them afterwards is now something to our creativity." He believes all police in Monroe County are challenged by this issue. They understand AWSOM, the only no-kill shelter, has limited resources. Police sometimes have to drive 2-3 hours to a shelter in another county that has room.
Currently, no individual has an answer for what needs to be done to solve this problem. But at least the conversation has started. PA SPCA Humane Society Police Officer Elizabeth Anderson says, "It's a communal problem. It's not going to be just one agency or one organization. I think we all need to work together."
Part of the problem is hard economic times are are getting in the way of people providing for their pets, so they want to give them up. AWSOM officials want the public to know they're always willing to provide food and other resources so that people can keep their animals.

monroe firefighter struck by brain aneurysm
Monday January 20th 2014

People are praying for a Monroe County firefighter and E-M-T who's fighting for his life. The 39-year old father of four remains in critical condition after suffering a brain aneurysm last week. Friends and colleges came out to a candlelight vigil for Rob Kramer Saturday Night at Wind Gap Park. Kramer is a member of Blue Ridge Hook and Ladder in Snydersville and an E-M-T with Wind Gap Ambulance. Fellow volunteers responded to his home last Wednesday after he suffered a brain aneurysm. Kramer is being kept in a medically induced coma. He has had two surgeries and will likely require more. Updates on his condition are being posted at the Facebook page
https://www.facebook.com/helprobkramer
Friends are raising money to help with medical expenses on the website
http://www.gofundme.com/69vs4w

Flu Deaths in Pennsylvania
Monday January 20th 2014

According to the Department of Health, the flu has claimed 14 lives across the commonwealth. Health experts say flu season is in full swing, but hasn't peaked yet. If you haven't already, you're encouraged to get the flu shot. It's not too late. If you or a loved one is experiencing flu-like symptoms including: a high fever, nausea, and body aches, consult your doctor immediately.

Help Your Furry Friends
Monday January 20th 2014

Oh Snap! Another cold front is on the way. Starting tomorrow night, temperatures are expected to drop to near zero. AWSOM Animal Shelter Officials recommend bringing your animals inside and not letting them outside for long periods of time. If you're cold, they are too, and like us, they can get frost bite. That's why officials are asking for your help with homeless animals. Blankets, coats, and food are needed for both dogs and cats. "Yelp for Help" fundraiser is happening all this week until Friday at 2PM. You can drop all donations off at AWSOM or Sit, Stay, 'N Play in Stroudsburg. They could also use your help to assemble the care packages on Friday. Just call AWSOM for more information at (570) 421 -3647.

PA Voter ID Law Struck Down
Friday January 17th 2014

The law requiring voters to show photo identification at the polls is ruled unconstitutional. The law was passed in 2012, despite opposition from groups who say it hinders people's right to vote. Supporters of the law say its purpose is to prevent voter fraud. The decision is expected to be appealed in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

A Monroe County Commissioner Is Calling For Property Reassessment
Friday January 17th 2014

Monroe County is going on 25 years without a property reassessment. A significant problem brought up at today's "Monroe Commissioners Report to Business" meeting at the Chateau Resort in Tannersville. Commissioner John Moyer says that's unheard of for any community, and wants a reassessment done in the next four to five years.
The idea is to have an assessment be representative of values in the community today. Right now, people may be paying more taxes than someone else who has the same type of house. That's because a lot has changed since the last assessment in 1989.
While Commissioner Moyer believes now is the opportune time for reassessment, some audience members aren't too sure. The uncertainty comes from how the reassessment will affect individuals and their neighbors, whether their taxes will go up, down or stay the same. But implementing reassessment is still up in the air with many questions. Leaving the audience more concerned about a more known problem plaguing everyone in Monroe County-- high school property taxes. But everyone appreciates the commissioners successfully lowering the budget for the past three years, and believes they're doing a good job.

Real Estate Market Picks Up
Thursday January 16th 2014

Officials have been waiting for the real estate market to pick back up, since the recession.
For 2013, officials say commercial sales are up by 30%, Residential pending sales are up by 30%, closed sales are up by almost 20% and days on the market numbers are down 14% from 2012.
Right now prices for homes are relatively low...interest rates are under 5% and realtors say it's a good time to buy.

Cashing-In with Consignment Sales
Wednesday January 15th 2014

Budget conscious parents are turning to consignment sales to make and save money. "The Kids Close Sale" in Carbon County has more than doubled in size since its inception in 2010. Organizers are gearing up for this season's sale coming up in mid March. With about 200 consigners expected and over 35,000 items, the sale needed a larger venue. It's being held at Penn's Peak in Jim Thorpe. For more information, visit the website www.thekidsclosetsale.com

Officials Hold First Disaster Assessment Meeting
Wednesday January 15th 2014

Monroe County Emergency Management officials held thier first emergency planning meeting today.
Various officials in the county attended and they discussed damage assessment protocol, in case of a natural disaster.
When there's a natural disaster emergency responders are out there working to assess the damage. The quicker they're able to assess the damage, the faster funds can come in to rebuild.
Maryellen Keegan who's the Emergency Preparedness Planner for Monroe County says they have a lot of new faces who've never worked with them. We haven't had a big storm this year, but in the event we have one Keegan wants everyone to be ready. She's hoping their planning meetings will help.
Several more meetings are scheduled between now and May. Officials say they plan to keep having them and they hope other counties will do the same.

Three Charged In Hamilton Township Drive-by Shooting
Wednesday January 15th 2014

A Monroe County Couple and 16-year-old boy are charged with homicide in the Hamilton Township drive-by shooting. The three were arraigned last night and are scheduled to be back in court January 27th. According to court papers, police believe 23-year-old Bruce Murray Jr., 20-year-old Jacqueline Harrigan and 16-year-old Dygunn Mitchell went to a mobile home on Old Timber Road looking for revenge after a drug deal went bad. Early Tuesday morning shots sprayed through the mobile home, killing Darcey Kravchenko who lived there. Police say Kravchenko was not the target.
Mitchell is being charged as an adult, along with the other two suspects. All three are being held at Monroe County Correctional Facility without bail.

Expect to See More Medicine Drop Boxes
Tuesday January 14th 2014

Slatington Police Department is one of 250 locations statewide housing a Medicine Drop Box. The boxes are part of the Governor's Drug Take-Back Initiative. It's goal is to help keep prescription drugs off the streets. You can find a box near you by logging onto the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs Website(www.ddap.pa.gov). Then click on the "Healthy PA" graphic on the right hand side. Then click on the "Find a Location" graphic. You can search by County.

Stroudsburg Officials look To Close Schools
Tuesday January 14th 2014

The district is facing a deficit of roughly 4 million dollars and officials from the Stroudsburg School District are looking into closing schools.
Clearview, Ramsey, Morey, Arlington and Hamilton Elementary schools could be the ones to close.
Toleno says the Stroudsburg Intermediate school is expected to remain open.
Superintendent Dr. John Toleno says, there's a lot that goes into moving kids into different schools. They have to change transportation routes and figure out what to do with staff.
The superintendent will be presenting different scenarios to the Board of Education and the public Wednesday evening at 6:30 in the high school cafeteria.

One Man Dead After Shooting
Tuesday January 14th 2014

It's not clear how many shots were fired at a mobile home on Old Timber Road in Hamilton Township. But Monroe County Coroner Bob Allen confirms 39-year-old Darcey Kravchenko died as a result of the shooting that happened around 12:30 this morning. Allen says other family members were in the home when the incident occurred, and Kravchenko was in bed.
Allen says, "When he heard the shooting, he must've gotten up, because there were no witnesses at that point, and one of the bullets that entered the trailer actually hit him in the head."
Kravchenko was pronounced dead at Pocono Medical Center Emergency Room at 1:52 AM. He was only shot once.
Police have been conducting forensic work since early this morning in an attempt to discover what actually happened. TV13 will update you as more details become available.

Tamaqua Water Main Break
Monday January 13th 2014

Tamaqua Water Authority had their hands full Sunday afternoon with a water main break in Tamaqua. Authorities discovered a 2 inch break in their largest water line. Crews worked immediately to fix the problem. The repair took hours, but according to Kevin Steigerwalt, Borough Manager, no one in the borough lost access to water. The borough is unsure what caused the break, but they believe cold weather is the culprit.

Teens Burglarize Penn Forest Township Homes
Monday January 13th 2014

Two Albrightsville teens are accused of burglarizing 8 homes in Penn Forest Township. Troopers say all the homes are located in Indian Mountain Lakes and the Mount Pocahontas communities. The 14 and 15 year old boys allegedly forced their way into the homes in July and August 2013. They caused approximately $38,000 worth of damage to the interior and exterior of the properties. Troopers say the teens stole $1,800 worth of items including toys, bikes, video game consoles, jewelry and alcohol. Both teens have been charged with multiple felonies.

Church Billboard Vandalized in Mahoning Township
Monday January 13th 2014

A Jim Thorpe church's billboard on Route 209 in Mahoning Township is vandalized again. Police are looking for the public's help. The billboard was last targeted in September. Officers got a report on Wednesday that the Ebenezer Evangelical Congregation Church was vandalized overnight. While the graffiti has already been cleaned up, a bottle of Radiant Colors Ink in Tribal Black was found next the the billboard Wednesday. Police say the ink is commonly used by the tattoo industry. Officers are again asking for the public's help in identifying the person responsible. Anyone with information is asked to call the Mahoning Township Police Department.

Former Restaurant In Pocono Pines Takes On New Vision
Monday January 13th 2014

The before and after shots of the former Lake House Restaurant in Pocono Pines reveal a dedicated church congregation and group of volunteers to a new vision. Pocono Lake Wesleyan Church CoPaster Luke Richards says, "To bring together the resources of the community, large and small, and watch as those resources are used for greater good." That vision comes from a bible story known as the "Miracle of Five Loaves," where Jesus takes limited resources and multiplies them to meet hungry people's needs. Hoping to serve the community in that spirit, Pocono Lake Wesleyan Church is transforming the foreclosed building into a food pantry and homeless resource center called "Five Loaf House."
But the church first purchased it a year ago as a permanent home for the Top of the Mountain Ecumenical Council Food Pantry. Comprised of six churches, the pantry has been around for several years and currently helps up to 200 families a month.
The main focus is to get the food pantry fully-functioning. Eventually Habitat for Humanity will be remodeling the whole house to serve the community in many different ways. Habitat for Humanity not only builds houses, but it takes on projects that will serve the community through their Brush of Kindness Division. And they're in need of more volunteers for this one. The goal is to have the food pantry open in March. It doesn't matter your experience, they will teach you and put you to work. To volunteer, just go to the Monroe County Habitat for Humanity website at www.habitatmc.org and fill out your information.

Casey Requests More Money for LIHEAP
Monday January 13th 2014

As the White House works on finalizing its 2015 budget, Senator Bob Casey asks Congress to consider an increase to LIHEAP. The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program has steadily decreased its aid since 2010. The income based, heating aid program helped nearly 385 thousand Pennsylvanians in 2012. We won't know if Casey's request was upheld until the White House reveals its budget plan, expected out, next month.

DONATIONS SOUGHT FOR FAMILY HIT BY FIRE
Friday January 10th 2014

A website is collecting donations for a Monroe County family hit by fire earlier this week. Flames destroyed the Morse family home Tuesday on Bristol Circle East at the Wilderness Acres community in Middle Smithfield Township. The family had started a car in an attached garage when it caught fire. The flames spread to the home. Firefighters saved part of the home but the family is unable to live there. The family has three young children all under the age of four and they lost most of their belongings. Donations are being accepted on the website youcaring.com. The goal is 12-thousand dollars and so far, about half of that has been pledged. You can find a link to that site here http://www.youcaring.com/other/help-the-morse-family-/123858

HOUSE FIRE IN RUSH TOWNSHIP
Friday January 10th 2014

Authorities say one person was taken to the hospital after an early morning house fire in Schuykill County. It happened at a home on Ben Titus Road, Rush Township. Firefighters say three people were home at the time. According to officials, all managed to get out safely, but an elderly woman was taken to the hospital for burn injuries to her feet. Authorities believe the fire was electrical in nature and started in a room in the rear of the residence. It's not considered suspicious.

Officials Warn Drivers Of Flying Ice In Winter Weather
Friday January 10th 2014

We've had quite a few hard hitting snow storms this year and winter weather has been creating problems on the road.
By law motorists are responsible for keeping the top of their vehicles clear of snow and ice. If they aren't kept clear they can cause injuries or damage to vehicles.
When it comes to truckers it's not as easy as cleaning off a car.
There are stations where truckers can go to clear off snow and ice on top of thier trucks. However, Mike Miller who's a truck driver says they can't always get to them quickly enough and they don't have the resources to do it themselves.
If you're ever driving behind a tractor trailer officials encourgae you to keep a good distance between you.

Safety on the slopes
Thursday January 9th 2014

Skiers and boarders are enjoying the continuous rounds of snow this winter season. Snow sports is part of enjoying winter in Pennsylvania. Safety experts remind people to always wear a helmet when going down the mountain. Plus, keep to the "Skiers Responsibility Code." The code was developed by the National Ski Areas Association to remind skiers and boarders that a little common sense and personal awareness can help reduce risk in snow sports. Most importantly, never go above your ability and seek out classes from trained instructors, if needed.

State Proposal Stirs up debate in Harrisburg
Thursday January 9th 2014

The Board of Govenors from the state system of higher education held a hearing this morning in Harrisburg to talk guns on campus. The board and representatives from various schools attended the hearing to share their opinions and concerns.
The proposal prohibits anyone from possessing or carrying weapons in certain locations on campus.
Several people at the hearing arguing that this policy is too vague, it's risky and it would be hard to enforce.
Right now the policy is only a draft and officials say they have more to look at, but in the meantime they want to continue to hear from the public. They'll be holding the next meeting January 22nd and 23rd to discuss it further.

Too Many Cases Of Animal Abuse
Thursday January 9th 2014

It's hard to understand how anyone could hurt an innocent animal. But as the images of abuse and neglect pile up, people are noticing and wanting to take a stand for their furry friends.
State Representative Michael Carroll's office has received numerous phone calls from people upset over the reoccurring problem of animal abuse. That's why Carroll has co-sponsored a bill that calls for an animal abuser registry in Pennsylvania. It would be similar to the current Megan's Law Sex Offender Registry where the animal abuser's name and address would be publicly searchable online. If enacted, those on the list would be banned from owning an animal. The bill remains in the Judiciary Committee. Carroll is hopeful it'll be acted upon because of all the attention it has received. If you'd like to help call your state representative to gain his or her support.

Volunteers Deliver Food In Cold Weather
Wednesday January 8th 2014

Meals On Wheels Volunteers in Monroe County are continuing to make deliveries despise freezing temperatures.
Today and tomorrow they'll be delivering meals along with emergency bags to make sure those with limited mobility have food to eat in good or bad weather.
Usually their clients only get a warm and cold meal, but in the emergency bag they have more perishable foods. When the weather gets bad and volunteers can't make it out to deliver the emergency bag can be used.
Right now we're in flu season and officials say people start getting sick around this time of year so they're looking for more volunteers.
If you would like to help out you can contact meals on wheels at (570) 424 -8794.

The First Monroe County Commissioners' Meeting Of The Year Erupts In Debate
Wednesday January 8th 2014

Enraged minority Monroe County Commissioner Suzanne McCool says she can't keep silent any longer. McCool accuses her fellow two commissioners of unbalancing the Conservation District Board by appointing business developers instead of a better qualified farmer nomination. She says there's now only one conservationist on the board and that's "a travesty of justice." That's why she opposed one of the appointments today and tried to take the commissioner board member spot from appointed Commissioner Charles Garris. McCool fears a conflict of interest. McCool acknowledges that the point of the Conservation District is not to prevent economic development, but to ensure it's done correctly to protect natural resources. Commissioner Garris disagrees with McCool and says the board is being managed correctly and all members uphold conservation laws. But Conservation District Officials say the concerns brought up by McCool deserve attention because the makeup of the board has changed in recent years from "conservation oriented people to more private sector development oriented people." That's why McCool is asking for a list of the nominations submitted that the commissioners chose from. She believes the system is flawed. McCool would rather see those who recieved the majority of votes be appointed to the board.

Too cold for school
Tuesday January 7th 2014

Area schools closed today due to the severely cold weather. Officials say their primary concern is the kids' safety. Even a two hour delay would have left hundreds of kids outside waiting for a bus. School officials hope the worst is behind us, weather wise.

Church Gives Homeless Place to Stay in Cold
Tuesday January 7th 2014

The Stroudsburg Wesleyan Church has been working through zoning issues to open an overnight emergency shelter.
Church officials were shooting to open the shelter next week, but they were given the ok to open last night and again tonight with the dangerously cold temperatures.
This Sunday the church is teaming up with the American Red Cross and they're having training for shelter volunteers. If you 're interested you can contact the church or the Red Cross.

First Pocono Township Meeting As A First Class Township
Tuesday January 7th 2014

Pocono Township's meeting room burst at the seams with audience enthusiasm. People filled the room and poured out into the adjacent hallway. A new form of government was officially in session last night.
Voter approval in November elevated Pocono to a first class township-- replacing three township supervisors with five court-appointed commissioners, who will guide the township through a two-year transition until commissioner elections take place in November 2015.
The commissioners immediately got down to business and unanimously approved the appointment of Rich Wielebinski as the commissioners' board president, and named Jerry Lastowski vice president. Employee contracts were put on hold pending legal advice and do to what's best for the township. As of now, a temporary township administrator was appointed. They're expecting to appoint a permanent township manager by the end of March and appoint a solicitor as soon as possible for legal advice throughout the process.

Job Growth Outlook
Monday January 6th 2014

Unemployment experts hope trends in surrounding cities are a good sign of what's to come. A recent report by the Department of Labor and Industry shows the Lehigh Valley's unemployment rate dropped by two-tenths of a point. That's the best it's been since January 2013. Garry Wentz of PA Careerlink in Carbon County believes continuous growth in the transportation and healthcare field in the Lehigh Valley, played a role.

Local Business Expanding in 2014
Monday January 6th 2014

Hard economic times continue to plague many businesses in Monroe County. But 2014 looks to be an expansion year for one in Jackson Township. Mountain View Vineyard, Winery and Distillery employees beam with pride as they pop open some bubbly. What started as a local couple's dream in 2003, quickly has become a successful reality of the American dream. It's now set to expand it's vineyard by nearly doubling it and creating new jobs in 2014 through the purchase of an adjoining property.

Flu Activity On The Rise
Thursday January 2nd 2014

Some areas of the United States, including Pennsylvania are already experiencing high flu activity. And it's expected to increase in coming weeks with the peak of the flu season about to occurr. A health advisory is already circulating, warning people to take precautions. That's why doctors at Pocono Medical Center say there are indications this flu season won't be a mild one. It's recommended you do whatever you can to not get sick and not spread the virus.
The flu shot is the recommended defense for everyone above the age of six months.
Whether you get the flu shot or not, it's all about prevention. A simple step is washing your hands for 15 to 20 seconds, because the flu is spread by touching infected people or objects they've touched. So stop the virus from occuring by washing your hands frequently and covering your cough with your arm and not your hand.

Dangerously Cold Weather
Thursday January 2nd 2014

Health experts warn to keep warm and stay indoors. Frostbite and hypothermia can happen faster than people might think. When shoveling snow, dress warmly, and take breaks often. These are the symptoms of hypothermia: shivering, exhaustion, confusion, memory loss, slurred speech, extreme drowsiness, and bright red, cold skin. If you find you can't warm up and experience any of the symptoms mentioned, seek medical attention immediately.

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