BRCTV 13 Logo
Follow Us!
What's On?
Local News

Carnival Controversy Continues In Middle Smithfield Township
Thursday July 31st 2014

Middle Smithfield Township officials held a public meeting today to take the next step in stopping a carnival along Route 209 from operating. The reason-- They say the property owner and carnival operator didn't have a permit for the amusement event. But the carnival continues to go on as scheduled.
Property Owner John Petrizzo maintains his stance today that more is going on behind the scenes of Middle Smithfield Township officials wanting to shut down a carnival on property he owns.
Petrizzo says, "This action is prejudicial and it's also violating my rights to use my property."
Cease and desist papers have been served alleging there's no carnival permit, but it was open again last night. The township held a public meeting this morning to vote on continuing with a legal injunction.
Supervisor Mike Dwyer says, "Every property owner has to follow the same rules, every business owner has to follow the same rules so we have to do what we have to do."
But Petrizzo says he's being singled out. According to him Bushkill Group got away without having a permit and still is.
Petrizzo says, "This bridge was being used to ferry people across Sand Hill Creek to the carnival site [when it was there in June.]"
There's also a dump site on Fernwood's property that he says the township has known about for six months. The township solicitor said no comment, it involves litigation. Township officials say Petrizzo was only supposed to present information about the motion on the floor-- to which Petrizzo says he has a flea market permit that allows for the carnival parking and vendors on that parking. Zoning Officer and Building Code Official Shawn McGlynn says this is a special event that requires its own permit, and it's something that needs to be officially planned out.
McGlynn, "Where the different rides are, how it can meet the parking requirements, where the bathrooms will be located, all the things that would demonstrate to the township that the fair can be conducted in a safe manner."
While officials say Petrizzo could apply for a permit at any time, it wouldn't fix the problem now. We're told the development of the plan could take over a month. Township supervisors voted to get the court involved to ask the parties to stop the operation until everything can be sorted out.
Dwyer says, "There was a statement made today that the property owner was working with the vendor for over a year and never inquired about a permit so I think that's poor planning by the property owner."
But no matter who is right or wrong, or what decision is made, carnival officials tell us the show plans to go on.
S&S Amusement Owner Stephen Swika Jr. says, "I intend to be open tonight, yes, until they come and arrest me and carry me away."
The township filed their request this afternoon and a judge signed the injunction. A hearing will take place tomorrow in Courtroom 2. The carnival is scheduled to run tonight, but whether it will finish its run will be determined at tomorrow's hearing.

Three Receive Funding To Preserve Land
Thursday July 31st 2014

Applications to purchase land for open space are in for Paradise, Chestnuthill and Smithfield Townships.
Chestnuthill is seeking 54 acres, Paradise $175 and Smithfield Township $167 acres.
Monroe County Commissioner, Suzanne McCool says they've preserved over 20,000 acres of land and green space, with the new applications.
So far McCool says, they've probably spent about $90 million, but the money is running out.
Chestnuthill and Paradise received $50,000 grants from the county and Shawnee Valley, located in Smithfield Township approved for $26,000.
Although the county has given the ok for grant funding officials say, it's a possibility the land won't be purchased if the townships don't come up with the remaining funds for purchase.

Lehighton Meth Lab Bust
Thursday July 31st 2014

A Kunkletown man is arrested in Lehighton for a suspected mobile meth lab. According to court documents, someone called police saying 26-year-old Matthew Haydt brought items inside a house that are used to manufacture meth. When police went to the South First Street home, Haydt ran out the back door but was tackled by an officer. The patrolman by an officer. The patrolman says he knew Haydt from a previous overdose this month and also knew Haydt had an outstanding warrant for his arrest. Haydt first denied a cooler and equipment to manufacture the drugs at the home where his. He later told police everything belonged to him, and he was planning to manufacture meth later that night but police arrived prior to him starting the cooking process. He is charged with multiple offenses and was taken to jail.

Flagger Struck and Killed, Mahanoy Twp.
Thursday July 31st 2014

A flagger for a tree service company is hit by a vehicle and killed while working in Mahanoy Township this afternoon. The accident happened around 1 o'clock on Morea Road just west of Route 54. State Police say 66-year-old William Hoffman of Pottsville was directing traffic when he was struck by a van. Hoffman died at the scene. 67-year-old Cathy Moss of Barnesville was driving the vehicle. She was not hurt. State Police are still investigating.

Unemplopyment Down, Jobs Up
Wednesday July 30th 2014

Monroe County unemployment numbers are in for June, showing a decrease. According to reports released by the state Department of Labor and Industry, the unemployment rate is currently at 6.9%. In June of last year, officials say it was almost 10.
Officials say about 1200 jobs were added in June and the job market is growing the most in manufacturing and tourism.
Careerlink has had nearly 300 new job postings since last Monday.

Carnival Issues Ensue In Middle Smithfield Township
Wednesday July 30th 2014

Issues continue for a carnival in Monroe County that's been ordered to cease and desist. The property owner hosting the carnival on Route 209 is also the longest standing business owner in Middle Smithfield Township. He claims the township is corrupt and unfriendly to business. This statement comes after he and the carnival operator were both served cease and desist orders before the carnival got underway last night.
Business Owner John Petrizzo says there's a bigger issue behind Middle Smithfield Township officials wanting to shut down a carnival on property he owns. Petrizzo was served papers yesterday alleging he doesn't have a permit and should stop the operation right away. The carnival went on as scheduled last night and Petrizzo says it will continue through its scheduled August 2nd date, because Petrizzo insists his paperwork is in order.
Petrizzo says, "I have a flea market permit and I have spaces for over 100 vendors, and that's what's on the property now--vendors."
The township zoning officer was unavailable for comment today. While Supervisor Annette Atkinson won't speak on his behalf, she offers the township code goes against Petrizzo's reasoning. And the township needs to address complaints made by others following the rules.
Atkinson says, "Different uses need different kinds of permits so if I was a bookstore, I can't suddenly serve eggs, you know that would make me a restaurant."
Petrizzo feels attacked by the township because they helped find a location for the carnival.
Petrizzo says, "When contacted by S&S Amusement, they showed every piece of property except mine."
Atkinson says private property wasn't shown and they focused on safe areas. Petrizzo maintains in the last 20 years he's received all kinds of township violations. He claims none of them have been valid. If the carnival is shutdown, Petrizzo says an added tourist attraction is lost and businesses in the area lose that added revenue. He's seen it happen in the past.
Petrizzo says, "Poor leadership like this results in 50 businesses being closed from East Stroudsburg to Marshalls Creek."
But township officials say that's simply not the case.
Atkinson says, "Someone who's unhappy because they didn't get what they want, it's not unusual to hear them complain or say things of that nature. But I would just point to the Economic Development Committee and other businesses that are saying the exact opposite."
Tomorrow morning at eight a public meeting is scheduled for township officials to consider continuing with a legal injunction-- meaning the court will then ask the parties to stop what they're doing until everything can be sorted out.

Fist Bumps Less Germy than Handshakes
Tuesday July 29th 2014

A new study from the United Kingdom shows that our traditional handshake may not be the safest way to greet someone. According to the findings from the team at Aberystwyth University, shaking hands spreads 10 times as many bacteria as a high-five and 20 times as much as a 'fist bump.' However, most doctors believe most of the germs that are transmitted aren't harmful to humans. A good regiment of hand-washing should keep you clean and safe.

Kidder Twp. Man Child Porn Charges
Tuesday July 29th 2014

46-year-old Todd Kowar was indicted today by a federal grand jury on charges of producing and possessing child pornography. The grand jury alleges Kowar persuaded and induced a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing images of such conduct. The indictment alleges that Kowar committed the crimes between 2008 and December 2012. He faces a maximum sentence of 40-years in jail if convicted of both charges.

Lehigh Township Crash, Rt. 145
Tuesday July 29th 2014

One person is flown to the hospital and three others hurt in a 2-car crash this morning in Northampton County. The accident happened just after 9 am on Route 145 in Lehigh Township. Witnesses tell police 51-year-old David Wanamaker of Slatington was trying to turn left from Route 145 onto Washington Drive when his Chevy Impala collided with the other car. Wanamaker and his passenger, 25-year-old Andrew Warner of Kunkletown, were both taken to the hospital. The driver of the other vehicle, 78-year-old Leroy Goldberg of Lehighton, was flown to the hospital. His passenger, 74-year-old Audrey Goldberg, was also hurt and taken to the hospital by ambulance. Lehigh Township Police are investigating.

Dancing in the Street
Monday July 28th 2014

People in Slatington, Lehigh County, are celebrating an anniversary by dancing in the street. They're going to be part of a "flash mob" to perform during the town's 150th Anniversary Celebration. A flash mob is when a group of people gathers at a public place and performs a random act, like dancing. The owner of Rhythm & Sole Dance Center on Main Street came up with the idea. There's one more practice scheduled tomorrow night at the dance studio. If you can't make it, you can still be part of the flash mob. Check out the tutorial on the studio's Facebook page. Then show up by the fireman's statue at 4PM on Saturday August, 16th.

Restaurant Burns, Community In Shock
Monday July 28th 2014

A community is in shock today over the loss of a popular eatery in Monroe County's West End. Fire destroyed the Luna Rossa restaurant and bar on Route 209 in Gilbert early yesterday. Today, vehicle after vehicle pulls up along the side of the road stunned by what's left of the Luna Rossa Cafe, which has gone by several names over the decades. Some people try to get a closer look, while others take pictures of what they call a landmark in the area.
Firefighters arrived on scene Sunday morning around five, about two hours after it closed to put out the blaze.
The Cafe's Head Chef Michael Thornton is emotional as he came back today for another look. He tells us he's been an employee for six years and it's a depressing day as realization sets in. Thornton says this was home for over 24 employees and patrons were treated like family. Now everyone is out of a job.
Thornton says Sunday seemed like a nightmare, but he's thankful for firefighters effort and that no one was hurt. Residents tell us it's going to be greatly missed and they just hope it comes back.
The property has been listed for sale for the past year. The owner wasn't available for comment today, but Thornton speaks on his behalf and says he plans to rebuild as soon as possible.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Local Students Share Talents With Broadway
Friday July 25th 2014

Students from Pocono Mountain and East Stroudsburg School Districts are taking the stage with broadway stars tomorrow night to present the production, "Come To The Cabaret: A Celebration Of Kander And Ebb. Students spent this morning and afternoon rehearsing for the last time, before their debut.
This Come to The Cabaret performance happens tomorrow night at Pocono Mountain East High School. Sunday morning there'll be a jazz brunch and Sunday night a shuffle concert will be held. To buy tickets or to check out the schedule, log on to their website at The festival runs from Saturday to August 10th.

Concerns Over The Soon To Be Fastest Road In Monroe County
Friday July 25th 2014

PennDOT recently announced it's raising the speed limit on part of the Interstate 380 to seventy miles per hour. But most of the members of Monroe County's Safe 80 Task Force spoke out today that they are not on board.
The five mile per hour increase on 21 miles of 380 is from the Interstate 84 junction in Lackawanna County south to the Mount Pocono exit.
Members of the Safe 80 Task Force don't see the point and they don't understand why that particular corridor was chosen with so many other conflicting issues that can easily make it unsafe for drivers like deer and bear impacts that are huge in that area, fog, wintertime, ice and it's up on a plateau. Chairman Jim Becker says it's going to take away a person's ability to avoid an accidents.
PennDOT Officials say they're also sensitive to those issues and they will be a focus after the speed limit signs are installed the week of August 11th.
PennDOT District 5 Traffic and Operations Engineer Dennis Toomey says, "This is a pilot and there will be studies done."
State Representative Mario Scavello is also worried about the traffic that will result from the new Kalahari Resort. PennDOT Officials say it is already accounted for but Scavello says there's a meeting next week that could change plans to increase the speed limit.

Bucket Truck Accident Lehigh Twp., Northampton County
Friday July 25th 2014

A Wind Gap man is thrown from a bucket truck after an accident this morning in Lehigh Township. Police say 55-year-old Charles Austin was trimming a tree at a home in the 700 block of Walnut Drive. Around 10:30 am, the bucket truck he was using either rolled or slid down a grass hill where he was working and slammed into a tree. He was flown to the hospital for treatment.

Beltzville Re-opens
Friday July 25th 2014

The beach at Beltzville State Park in Carbon County re-opens to swimming after another closure. They found safe bacterial counts in water samples taken on July 23rd. The beach has been closed since July 16th.

Bridge Detour Concerns In Pocono Township
Thursday July 24th 2014

Businesses along Route 611 say the detouring today of northbound traffic onto Bartonsville Avenue got off to a rocky start. While it's something they've been expecting for a long time as part of the project to repair the structurally deficient bridge over the Pocono Creek-- the official start today isn't reassuring their concerns with how the construction is going to go.
All the businesses are worried how they'll be affected with just southbound traffic continuing to use Route 611. And business owners say this construction is going hurt way more now that it's happening during their busiest month of the year. They tell us it was supposed to start in April. Press Officer Sean Brown for PennDOT says, "All schedules were subject to change and based on what the weather was. We had a rough winter and this was when the construction was able to go into the detour pattern."
PennDOT officials say the project is right on schedule to be done in October and they're doing everything they can to help the situation. The detour will be 24/7 but work is only contracted to be done during the day.

Lifeguard Shortage
Thursday July 24th 2014

Mauch Chunk Lake is in need of more lifeguards. The public isn't in danger, but officials say staffing all shifts is a challenge. The park usually staffs ten lifeguards. This year they're manning shifts with only six. Carbon County Commissioners are already thinking of how they can avoid a shortage next year and are considering raising the hourly rate. Despite the lifeguard shortage, park officials tell us they expect to have a successful year.

Teens Get a Taste of Mother Nature
Wednesday July 23rd 2014

A group of teenagers from the Monroe County Conservation Camp are spending a little time with mother nature this week.
Today they had a few laughs, food, a little fun on the river and hiking.
"If we can expose them to as many different things as possible they can make better decisions both presently and in the future...Some of them have gone on to be environmental engineers and work for state agencies in the environment.
Teens are only allowed to attend the camp once, but many come back as camp counselors. This year's camp ends Saturday. If you're interested in participating next year you can sign up starting in January on their website.

Ready To Start School In A Brand New Campus
Wednesday July 23rd 2014

The brand new Northampton Community College on Route 715 in Tannersville opened its doors today to its first freshman class. Registration and orientation is in full-swing at the 72 million dollar Monroe Campus. Students enrolling for the fall semester are thrilled seeing their new home today for the first time. The fall semester officially starts August 25th and anyone can register up until then.

Wednesday July 23rd 2014

The Carbon County Firemen's Association Drill Tower is now a thing of the past. The long standing tower was demolished yesterday. Crews spent the day cleaning up the rubble.
Workers first punched out blocks from the bottom sections of the four-story tower. Next, they hooked about 60-feet of chain around the structure and yanked it with an excavator. Officials closed the doors to the drill tower after an inspection in November deemed it unsafe.

Driver Cited After Hitting Bicyclist
Wednesday July 23rd 2014

A Tamaqua man is cited after police say he hit a bicyclist with his pick-up truck this afternoon in East Brunswick Township. According to police, 44-year-old Harry Zaprazny of New Ringgold was riding his bike on Route 895 when he was struck from behind by a pick-up truck heading in the same direction. Zaprazny was thrown into the grass. He suffered a cut but refused medical transport to the hospital. Troopers say 25-year-old Michael Kemmerer is being cited for hitting the bicyclist.

Slatington Robbery Investigation
Tuesday July 22nd 2014

Slatington Police are investigating what appears to be a robbery at a laundromat in town. Sunday evening police were called to the business for a reported stabbing and robbery. They found a woman bleeding from the head. Further investigation shows the woman was not stabbed, but may have hit her head. The victim was treated at the hospital. Police believe she's already been released. Officers are now treating the case as a robbery and are following leads at this time.

ATV Chase Arrest in Jim Thorpe
Tuesday July 22nd 2014

A Jim Thorpe man faces multiple charges after fleeing from police on an ATV last week in the borough. State Police say they were helping Jim Thorpe Officers with an aggressive driver detail on Wednesday when they spotted 34-year-old Derrick Feller riding an ATV down Center Street. Troopers had to perform an "induced stop" on Reservoir Road to keep Feller from fleeing further. When he was told to get off the vehicle, he allegedly put the ATV into reverse to flee again. Feller was then tasered but still resisted arrest. Once he was taken into custody, officers found a concealed loaded pistol, a small amount of marijuana and drug paraphernalia on Feller. He's been charged with numerous offenses.

Monroe County Now Serving Latinos In A Bigger Way
Tuesday July 22nd 2014

Monroe County now has a Latino Countywide Services Partnership. It's in response to better serve the growing Latino community in the Poconos. The Federation of Latinos for Education about the Cultures of Hispanic America or "FLECHA" has secured funding from Monroe County's Grant Office and support from Catholic Social Services to reliably serve the hispanic population.
Now Spainish-speaking people and their families can come to one location at Penn Square Office Park in Stroudsburg to get all the information and referrals they need. The over $27,000 grant provides a part-time bilingual case worker to help hispanics comfortably address any issues they may have with available resources.
For more information or to make an appointment just call 570-517-0892 Monday through Friday.

Move The Barricades, Drivers Coming Through
Tuesday July 22nd 2014

Shafers Schoolhouse Rd. at the underpass of I-80 has been closed for a few weeks now, but some drivers are growing more and more frustrated with the detours.
Some decided to reopen the road themselves to make life easier, which officials say is against the law.
Barricades are back up and officials are hoping these will keep them drivers out. The road is expected to reopen before school starts.

Solution To Monroe County Residents' Complaints
Monday July 21st 2014

It's about the irritating traffic backup that happens at the intersection at 715 and Sullivan Trail near The Crossings Outlets in Tannersville. A right turn signal is now in place to Kim Markou's delight. Back in March we reported the Pocono Township Resident created a handmade sign and posted it telling people they could turn right on red. Markou was fed up with people not abiding by the Pennsylvania law and the traffic backup that ensued because of it. She requested official signage be posted reminding people they can turn right on red, but this new signal provides more than just a quick fix.
District Five Press Officer Ron Young of PennDOT says,"Do that movement in a protected set-up, meaning all the other traffic movements that would conflict with what they're doing will be stopped, while they have they right turn arrow."
At the intersection today we witnessed a constant flow of traffic. PennDOT offficials tell us the traffic signal modification is a result of the new Monroe Northampton Community College Campus. The campus needed access to the state road so they got a permit throught PennDOT. Young says, "As part of that, they have to regulate any traffic that they generate, regulate the community impact that traffic generates on the roadway system."
People we talked to today agree with Markou that they couldn't be happier.

Alpine Mountain Blocks Off Access
Monday July 21st 2014

Residents of Price Township Community have been using an access road to Alpine Mountain Ski Resort as a short cut to Route 447 for years.
Now there's a new owner of the ski area and that access road has been blocked off.
Residents at Timber Hill Community want the road back open.
The owner plans to meet with the Timber Hill Community Association Friday. He's hoping they can reach a solution.

Trouble Brewing In Your Backyard?
Friday July 18th 2014

A forest pest known as the Gypsy Moth may be coming back in full force next year. People are seeing them in their yards now and are concered. And they shouldn't be ignored because they can cause a great deal of damage to your entire property, including losing trees completely as time goes by. Right now, they're making their egg masses that are going to be hatching in the Spring. The caterpillars that come out are going to eat the trees. Co-Owner of Pocono Tick and Skeeter Control Jacqui Hakim says a full-size Gypsy Moth Caterpillar can eat one-square-foot of leaf surface a day.
While PA DCNR District Forester Tim Dugan confirms many have died off from a natural bacteria and fungus, the few dry spells we've experienced allowed a portion of the population to live. Dugan says the Bureau of Forestry is monitoring it right now and they've noticed next year Gypsy Moths may be a huge problem.
Dugan says, "The indications are that we may have a spray program next year if the budget and funds are available."
Hakim says there's nothing to do now except to look around your yard for the brown splotches of eggs on trees to know whether or not you'll have a problem in the spring. If you see a lot, Hakim recommends to get in contact with a sprayer. She says the state has a list available. Just call 570-875-6450.

Conservation District Representative Takes Heat
Friday July 18th 2014

A representative from the Monroe County Conservation Districrt is taking heat for a comment he made involving the Kalahari Resort, currently under construction.
Back in January, the Conservation District Manager, Craig Todd said that Kalahari had their pants down, which has caused all the fuss. He was talking about two pollution violations.
"What that meant was they had a lot of ground exposed, but didn't have their controls in to prohibit sediment pollution from the swiftwater creek," said Todd.
Now board members are working on a new policy that will change how information is released to the public.
What the conservation board will decide for the new policy in unknown. As for Kalahari, Todd says violations have been corrected.

More Bridge Construction Starts Next Week
Thursday July 17th 2014

Penn Dot will be closing parts of woodale rd. next week to fix one of the many bridges in need of repair.
Penn Dot Maintenance Manager, Bob Mudrick says they have to fix the beams, pour concrete, rebar and put a new deck on it. The open grate bridge currently has weight restrictions.
Mudrick says, there are other bridges they hope to finish by this summer as well.
One on Silver Springs Blvd on the west end and Traffic Route 715 from tannersville to 115.
In order to fix those roads, Mudrick says they have to get into the creek. During the summer he says the creeks are much lowe, but the weather hasn't been cooperating this year. They can't begin until the water goes down.
Construction on the Woodale Rd. Bridge will begin Monday. They're hoping to have it done before school starts.

Main Street Eyesore On Its Way Down
Thursday July 17th 2014

Dein Properties Officials can't wait to transform the biggest eyesore on Main Street in Stroudsburg into a brand new five-story brick building that will fit-in with the rest of the downtown area. General Manager George Strunk says the first floor will be upscale retail and the second through fifth will be office space and residential apartments. Strunk says the company bought the former Carlton House on Eighth and Main Streets about two years ago with that goal in mind. The property has been condemned since a 2009 fire.
Demolition is expected to start within the next few weeks. Strunk says parts of Eighth Street will be closed from time to time, but doesn't expect Main Street to be affected.

Lack Of Funds Halt Playground Build
Wednesday July 16th 2014

The building of Resica Community Playground in Monroe County is halted due to a lack of funding. Last month volunteers tore down the playground behind Resica Elementary School in Middle Smithfield Township because it was considered unsafe. A newer and safer one was supposed to be built in its place last week, but Volunteer Karen Conway says a counted on $30,000 donation didn't come through from East Stroudsburg School District. That's because the project on school grounds actually needed to be put out to bid under the Pennsylvania School Code.
Volunteers have already raised most of the $130,000 the project needs through grants, fundraisers and the community. They just need your help for the rest. If you would like to donate, there's a Go Fund Me webpage set up for Resica Community Playground and for more information on upcoming fundraisers or how to get involved, just call Conway at 570-807-0602. The playground is expected to be built late August and more volunteers are needed.

Pond Eddy Bridge Giveaway
Tuesday July 15th 2014

The Historic Century old Pond Eddy Bridge is up for grabs to the highest bidder. Penn Dot needs to replace the current bridge for safety reasons, and will offer potential buyers the opportunity to bid on the bridge and preserve it at a new location. Penn Dot says they will move the bridge at no cost, but its the buyers job to maintain it. Anyone interested in purchasing the historic landmark needs to submit a bid to Penn Dot by September 5, 2014.

Grand Opening Ceremony
Tuesday July 15th 2014

After being in the works for five years, Lehighton State Police have a new home. Dozens turned out today for the grand opening ceremony of the new Lehighton Barraks on Interchange Road in Towamensing Township. Among those present were State Senator John Yudichak and State Representative Doyle Heffley. PA State Police Commissioner, Frank Noonan, thanked troopers for keeping the community safe. The new facility has twice the room as the old one and features a state of the art computer system.

West Nile Virus In Monroe County
Tuesday July 15th 2014

The first case of West Nile Virus is discovered in Monroe County. Vector Control Officials say a mosquito sample from Middle Smithfield Township recently tested positive.
Coordinator Michael Pula says, "We had our first positive mosquito pull come in. It was reported yesterday at 7:14. It was collected at the Winona Lakes Sewage Treatment Plant in Middle Smithfield Township."
So far there are no human cases of West Nile in Pennsylvania this year. Vector Control Officials say the mosquito population isn't as bad this year. But with all the recent excessive rainfall, there's a greater risk for more. Vector Control takes a proactive approach and tries to treat breeding areas before the mosquito larva become adults. And you can help by ridding your property of collected rainfall. Mosquitos breed in standing water.

Volunteers Clean Up The Old Hotel Jonas
Tuesday July 15th 2014

The Valor Veteran's Clinic is bringing the Jonas hotel back to life. The structure has been vacant for years, but organizers plan to put it to good use,housing at least 13 veterans.
It needs quite a bit of work, but with a few helping hands, organizers says it's nothing they can't handle.
Volunteers will be cleaning up for the rest of the week from 9 in the mornign to 6 in the evening.
They're looking for carpenters, masons and anyone to donate cement or gravel. Contact the Valor clinic if you would like to help.

Domestic Violence Help
Monday July 14th 2014

An apparent murder-suicide in Banks Township is bringing to light a serious problem in our community, domestic violence. Paula Triano is the Executive Director for the Domestic Violence Service Center in Wilkes-Barre. The center offers help to victims in Luzerne and Carbon counties. She says there are many reasons why victims don't leave an abusive situation. Such as, to protect children involved or lack of money, but she reminds victims there's help. If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic abuse call the hotline 1-800-424-5600. You can make an anonymous call and callers are never forced to take a plan of action.

Storm Hits Stroudsburg, Leaving Damage
Monday July 14th 2014

Last night's storm left quite a bit of damage in parts of Stroudsburg.
Many trees came down, landing on roadways, vehicles and even powerlines.
A number of roads were closed, south of Stroudsburg.
The American Red Cross is usually giving help, but today local contractors offered a helping hand, after a tree fell on one of their disaster trailers.
Most of the damage has been cleaned up and roadways are back open. Officials say they're prepared for more possible storm damage tonight or tomorrow.

A Labor Of Love Much More To Reeders Man
Friday July 11th 2014

Debra Elmire never imagined her littlle request would turn into a big 19 year project.
"One day I was sitting looking out my back window and I said, "Honey, wouldn't a little stone wall look very nice over there?"
Stone upon stone has been stacked into the now 1,000 foot wall that stretches around the Elmire's two acre property in Reeders. Love, memories and a lot of local history has gone into building the wall. There's even a time capsule hidden inside the wall. Builder Howard Elmire says there's only a day's work left with about five feet left to cover with stones. The Elmire family just hopes other people will get to enjoy the wall someday as much as they have, and their memories will live on.

Mauch Chunk Opera House Agreement
Friday July 11th 2014

Harmony is restored at a popular concert venue in Carbon County. Noise complaints against the Mauch Chunk Opera House are costing the concert venue thousands of dollars in fines. Opera house officials and neighbors of the venue say they have reached an agreement in a closed door meeting this week. The owners will continue to soundproof the concert venue and neighbors say they will refrain from calling the Bureau of Liquor Enforcement at this time. Both parties plan to meet again in the near future.

Beltzville Beach Reopened to Swimming
Friday July 11th 2014

Swimming is allowed just in time for the weekend at Beltzville State Park in Carbon County. The beach at the lake was closed on Wednesday after tests showed high bacteria counts in the water. This afternoon state officials say it's back open. Water samples from July 10th came back with acceptable bacterial counts.

State Officials Crack Down on Heroin
Friday July 11th 2014

The State Attorney General's Office is cracking down on heroin users.
A recent investigation led to the arrest of two people in East Stroudsburg, distributing several packets of heroin.
Officials from the Attorney General's Office say Pennsylavania has the third highest number of heroin users, behind California and Illinois, with an average of 40,000 users.
To fight this epidemic she says they're actively collaborating with county, state, federal and local law enforcement partners.

Shafer Schoolhouse Rd. Underpass Closed
Thursday July 10th 2014

Drivers will be taking detours around Shafers Schoolhouse Rd. for the next six weeks at the underpass of I-80.
The area has been closed off for a week already and some motorists say the closure is an inconvinence.
Sean Brown from Penn Dot says they found movement in one of the wing walls, used to stabilize the bridge. He's worried the wing wall could collapse onto the roadway.
Traffic over the interstate bridge has not been affected. Brown says the bridge is stable and there's no risk of it collapsing.
Brown says it should take about 6 weeks for steel to arrive for them to make the repairs.


Tragic End To Missing Woman Search
Thursday July 10th 2014

Resident 63-year-old Darlene Bancey of Lakewood Personal Care Home was discovered this morning around 5:40 submerged in the facility's lake. Coroner Bob Allen says about 40 feet from the shoreline. Northeast PA Search and Rescue were called to assist in locating her at 10:51 Wedneday night after the facility on Cherry Lane Road in Stroud Township reported Bancey missing. The 15 member crew, along with dogs found her after an overnight search. Allen pronounced her dead at the scene. Bancey has been a resident of the personal care home for the past year. It's not a locked facility and residents are allowed to come and go as they please. Officials say Bancey was on prescribed medications for her medical and psychiatric conditions before she left. The facility is licensed by the PA Department of Welfare to provide personal care. Our calls to the bureau went unanswered. A forensic autpsy is scheduled for tomorrow at Lehigh Valley Hospital to determine the exact cause of death.

Crash in Carbon Plaza Mall Parking Lot
Thursday July 10th 2014

A chain reaction crash in the Carbon Plaza Mall parking lot leaves five cars damaged. Mahoning Township Police say 93-year-old Angela Ouly of Nesquehoning driving a red neon, made an illegal left turn into the mall parking lot. She then traveled at an excessive speed through the parking lot and hit a shopping cart pushed by a pregnant woman who fell out of the way. The Neon then struck two unoccupied parked cars. One of those cars then hit another car with two people inside. The shopping cart ran into a fifth vehicle. The pregnant woman was taken to the hospital. No one else was injured. Police say Ouly will be cited for careless driving among other charges.

Up in Flames
Thursday July 10th 2014

A Schuykill County couple is counting their blessings after fire rips through two storage sheds on their property. The fire happened last night on a property on Rabbit Run Rd in West Penn Township. One of the homeowners reported hearing a loud blast, like an explosion, around 9:30PM. He believes lightning started the blaze that leveled two storage sheds just yards away from his home. Firefighters managed to get the blaze under control quickly. No reported injuries in that West Penn Township Blaze.

One Step Closer To Having A New Chief
Wednesday July 9th 2014

Pocono Mountain Regional Police Chief Harry Lewis now knows the department will be in good hands. Lewis is set to retire August 8th after 21 years of service, 6 years as chief.
Last night the Police Commission majority appointed Lieutenant Christopher Wagner as interm chief until a permanent one is selected.

Local Business Going to the Dogs
Wednesday July 9th 2014

A rescue dog inspires a family to start a new business in Carbon County. It's called "Stray Dog Candles & Stuff." The Hill family, of Lehighton, recently adopted "Butchie" from a shelter. Just like they gave him a new home, they're giving old wine bottles and corks new life. The corks are turned into decorations and old wine bottles are upcycled and filled with soy candles. The candles feature their original labels, but sometimes the Hills encounter bottles with unsalvageable labels. In that case, they use one of their own "Recue Dog" labels. A portion of the proceeds from sales of those products will benefit our local animal shelters.

ESU Officials Chillin For Charity
Wednesday July 9th 2014

Four East Stroudsburg University Officials were soaked in ice water today for a social media challenge, growing popular around the nation in colleges and universities.
Northhampton Community College President, Mark Erickson, challenged ESU president, Marcia Welsh to participate in "chillin for charity', a cold water challenge that raises money for cancer research through the Kay Yow Foundation.
Once the videos are recorded the challenger has to post it on youtube within 48 hours. Welsh recruited three others to be soaked in ice water with her.
If the person challenged doesn't get water dumped on them within 48 hours Welsh says, they're required to donate at least $200. If they do, like ESU Officials they donate $50.

Over One Thousand Tickets Issued on Interstate
Tuesday July 8th 2014

Construction on Interstate 84 started only a few months ago, but the number of traffic tickets that have been handed out may shock you. Penn Dot say over one-thousand tickets have been issued to drivers during that short span. Penn Dot says the construction on 84 will be ongoing for years, and don't expect the entire rebuild to be completed until August 2016. They are urge drivers to please remain patient and slow down while driving in the construction zones.

Community Remembers Local Police Officer
Tuesday July 8th 2014

Stroud Area Regional Police Officer, Ruben Torres passed away yesterday morning, after a 3 month battle with cancer.
Fellow officers, family and people in the community celebrated his life at Big Daddy's in Bartonsville from 11am-9pm.
A number of items donated from local business were raffled off to raise money and give thanks to the community for all of theh support.
50% of today's proceeds will go to the family.

Owl Hollow Drive Confusion
Tuesday July 8th 2014

Ross Township residents living on Owl Hollow Drive want to know what's planned. Recently they've noticed construction taking place on their road but weren't informed. They tried calling the township but couldn't get a striaght answer. That's why they showed up to the township meeting last night. The supervisors say they just want to pave the road like they're supposed to. But the shoulders being pushed back matter to the residents. We stopped by Lori Smith's house today and she showed us pictures of what previous paving did to her property in 1994. You can see more dug out on her side in the pictures and she's not the only one wanting it to change this time around. Smith says moving the center line back to where it's supposed to be would help fix the problem. Residents also just want it done right. They say there's already a drainage problem and the township isn't addressing it with the repaving. Ross Township Officials tell us they have agreed to have an engineer look at the situation. And they will be paving the road, but no wider than the 20 feet that it is, with the average two feet shoulder on each side.

Noise Complaints Against a Concert Venue
Tuesday July 8th 2014

Noise complaints are costing a well-know concert venue thousands of dollars in fines. Owners of the Mauch Chunk Opera House recently purchased a liquor license. Since then, they've been subjected to the state's noise ordinance, which says a business can be cited if noise is heard off the property. State Representative Doyle Heffley visited the opera house today. He'd like to propose legislation to exempt historic districts from the noise regulation under the Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement. Owners tell us they're trying to comply and have spent over $20,000 on sound proofing the building.

Fatal Fire in Cass Twp., Schuylkill County
Monday July 7th 2014

A Schuylkill County man's body is found inside a burning home Sunday. Officials say there were no working smoke detectors in the victim's house. Fire fighters were called to a working structure fire with possible entrapment around 2:45 yesterday morning. When they got to the scene in Cass Township, heavy flames were coming from the home at 33 South Maple Avenue. Rescue crews were unable to get to 65-year-old Richard Dermo. His cause of death is still being investigated at this time. A next door neighbor was able to escape. The home at 35 South Maple Avenue sustained heavy smoke and water damage.

Mahonig Township Crash - DUI?
Monday July 7th 2014

Police say a Mahoning Township man may have been driving under the influence when he crashed his car yesterday seriously injuring a passenger. The accident happened around 5:30 am on Orioles Drive. Mahoning Township Police say Pasquale Verrastro Junior was speeding when his car went off the road and hit a tree. A Louisiana man was in the passenger seat and was trapped in the wreckage with major injuries. Lehighton Fire Fighters worked for about an hour to free the man. He was then flown to the hospital. Police say charges against Verrastro are pending the results of a blood test.

Beltzville Near-Drowning
Monday July 7th 2014

Emergency teams responded to a potential drowning at Beltzville Lake on Saturday night. An un-named woman was pulled from the lake's designated swimming area and given CPR by medical officials.
She was then rushed to Blue Mountain Health System's Gnaden Hutten campus for further treatment. Much information is still unknown at the time.

Police Looking for Tamaqua Man Accused of Theft
Monday July 7th 2014

State Police are looking for a Tamaqua man they say tried to get money for stolen goods. One June 26th, Troopers say 26-year-old Nathan Fritz brought stolen property to J.W. Zaprazny Inc., in East Brunswick Township, to be recycled for cash. The metal that Fritz had was allegedly stolen drainage grates from roadways in East Brunswick and Walker Townships. Criminal charges have been filed, and an arrest warrant has been issued for Fritz. Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to contact State Police at Frackville.

Alpine Mountain Ski Resort Hit By Copper Thieves
Monday July 7th 2014

Swiftwater State Police are on the lookout for copper thieves.
Officials say, Alpine Mountain Ski Resort has been targeted at least five times over the last three weeks.
Kevin Fabiano purchased the ski resort earlier this year, after being on the market for about two years.
Fabiano says they're currently renovating to bring the resort back to life. Now they have to fix what's vandalized on top of that.
Fabiano says about a miles worth of copper wiring has been stolen and there's about $100,000 worth of property damage, including wiring to operate lifts and snow making equipment.
The perpetrators even hot wired a backhoe to remove a PPL transformer on the property. Then they used a torch to cut out a hole looking for more wire.

Main Street Building Fire
Monday July 7th 2014

A weekend fire at a building on Main Street in Stroudsburg leaves 21 people homeless and closes three businesses. Fire officials tell us the fire started around 2:30 Sunday morning and have determined the flames originated from business Kitchen Chemistry's stand alone air conditioning unit.

Woman is reportedly bitten by snake
Monday July 7th 2014

Officials say a woman was reportedly bitten by a venomous snake at the Glen Onoko falls in Jim Thorpe over the weekend. The call came in just after eight, Saturday evening. It took crews about two hours to rescue the woman from the top of the falls. She was taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital. No word on her name or condition at this time.

Police Hunt For Stabbing Suspect
Wednesday July 2nd 2014

Stroud Area Regional Police are looking for 21-year-old Stroudsburg Resident Aaron Hernandez. They believe he stabbed an 18-year-old in the lower right abdomen, which caused a laceration to the victim's liver last night just before six outside Stroud Mall's Food Court. Captain Brian Kimmins says the incident between the two men started inside verbally over a female and escalated outside. The suspect is described as 5'8, 150 pounds with brown eyes and black hair.
Kimmins says mall security was first on the scene and were great. He wants people to be alert these things can happen anywhere at any time.
Hernandez is facing aggravated assault and other charges. Stroud Area Regional Police are asking you to contact them with any information on Hernandez's whereabouts.

Beach at Belztville State Park Closed
Wednesday July 2nd 2014

The beach at Beltzville State Park is closed again. State officials say tests from June 30th showed high bacteria counts in the water. The swim area was closed this morning. As a precaution, the beach will remain closed until acceptable water samples come back. Other activities at the park are continuing as normal including boating and fishing.

Palmerton Man Dies Weeks After Crash
Wednesday July 2nd 2014

A Palmerton man has died from injuries he sustained in a car crash several weeks ago in North Whitehall Township. The Lehigh County Coroner says 76-year-old Joseph Ebeley was pronounced dead early this morning at Lehigh Valley Hospital. Ebeley was a passenger in a car that crashed on June 12th on Route 145. His death has been ruled an accident.

Ross Township Property Eyesore No More
Tuesday July 1st 2014

Neighbors on Flyte Road in Ross Township can't believe a property they called a dump is finally completely cleaned-up.
It was formerly owned by Rockne Newell who is currently in jail. Police say Newell opened fire at a Ross Township Supervisor meeting last August, killing three people and injuring others. The shooting occurred a few days after Newell's condemned property was bought at a sheriff sale by the township. Newell fought the township for several years over cleaning it up.
Ross Township officials estimate the clean up took about 10 days and surrounding neighbors are impressed. They say it's like Newell was never there. His two buildings and a culvert pipe bridge have also been demolished.
Township Supervisor Howard Beers Jr. says they voted to hire Papillion Contracting in Stroudsburg for the project and it cost the township $11,500. Beers says it's free of garbage and says the township will strive to keep it that way from now on. He says the property will simply remain open space in the future. And there will be consequences for anyone caught dumping there like any other property.

Tuesday July 1st 2014

A missing Carbon County girl is found unharmed. A search was called this morning for a 10 year-old girl with special needs, from Summit Hill. Authorities tell us the girl is a foster child recently placed with a summit hill family. According to officials, the girl had an argument with her foster parents and took off just before eleven. Police were notified and a search began immediately. the young girl was found about three hours later unharmed. A couple who had seen the girl's picture on a Facebook alert spotted her leaning against a car in town.

Police Warning - Dorney Park Fireworks Parking
Tuesday July 1st 2014

If you're headed to the Lehigh Valley Friday night to watch Dorney Park's fireworks display, police warn you to watch where you park. State Police say motorists often park on the on and off ramps of Interstate 78. And in some cases spectators set up chairs outside of their vehicles. Trooper say this is not only illegal, it's unsafe. State Police will be patrolling the area Friday night to keep the area clear. State Police remind motorists it is unlawful to stand - or stop a vehicle on a limited access highway and motorists will be cited.

BRC13 News Archive