BRCTV 13 Logo
Follow Us!
Navigation
What's On?
Local News
Keyword(s)

Hunters Take Aim Opening Day
Monday November 30th 2015

Opening Day of Rifle Deer Season had hunters out in full force this morning. While they just want to bag a trophy buck, the State Game Commission has something different in their sights this year. Officials have designated some areas for hunters to target with the goal of thinning the herd. Signs that read "Deer Hunter Focus Area" are posted throughout the state and one happens to be in Monroe County. Officials say they're in areas known to attract white tails.
Hunter Ron Gottstein would love to run into a Deer Hunter Focus Area sign. He didn't have any luck bagging a trophy buck this opening morning of rifle deer season. We ran into him as he was trying to scout a new spot around noon today.
The Game Commission introduced the program this year. The new signs are located on more than 30 different game lands across the state that have recently undergone habitat improvement projects like timber sales. Previously these areas were protected by deer fences. Now they're calling in the hunters to ensure the forest grows back without the disturbance of a lot of deer feeding.
What Gottstein didn't know is the designated area in Monroe County was to the right of him. He was driving on a logging road through the state game land surrounding Bradys Lake. It's off Route 940 in Coolbaugh Township.
But some hunters near Tobyhanna tell us they didn't even bother with the new areas known to draw in their target. They're sticking to what they know.
The season runs through December 12th. If you're interested in those focus hunting areas, you can find a detailed map of each location throughout the state on the Game Commission's website.

Socks for Seniors Drive Underway - Carbon/Schuylkill
Friday November 27th 2015

The annual Socks for Seniors Drive is underway in Carbon & Schuylkill Counties

COLLECTING NEW UNWRAPPED ITEMS FOR AREA NURSING HOMES FOR THE HOLIDAYS
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Adult Socks Ė any kind Ėmany request NON SKID
Soft Tissues Back Scratchers
Personal Care Items Sm. Hand Sanitizers
Garden Gloves (great for wheelchair use) Dial (liquid & solid)
Fashion Scarves Snacks: Small bags
Hair brush/comb/barrettes/hair picks Shower Caps
Menís baseball caps Holiday Decorations
Costume Jewelry Aftershave
Nail Polish/Lipstick/Chapstick
Lg. Print Puzzle Books

ANYTHING to make a Seniorís holiday special

DEADLINE 12/08/15

DROP OFF SPOTS
Tamaqua: Dr. Pudduís office, M&S, AAA
Coaldale: Tommyís Restaurant, Angela Triplex Theater
Lansford: Sports Zoo, JT National Bank, First Niagara Bank
Summit Hill: Hiles Brothers,
Nesquehoning: Classic Beverage
Jim Thorpe: Mauch Chunk 5 & 10
Lehighton: Beacon 443, Pathstone Head Start

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT

FMI: madula@ptd.net

Last year gifts were distributed to Hometown Nursing/Rehab, The Summit at Blue Mountain, Edgemont Nursing/Rehab, Mahoning Valley Nursing/Rehab, Maple Shade and St. Lukeís Minerís Nursing/Rehab.

Holiday Shopping Season Kicks Off In Middle Smithfield Township
Friday November 27th 2015

The hustle and bustle of the holiday shopping season has officially started today with big sales for Black Friday. And Middle Smithfield Township has a discount card to get its stores an extra cash-in on the action.
East Stroudsburg Resident Nick Conklin always shops local, especially at Starting Gate Action Sports located on Route 209 in Middle Smithfield Township. He was happy not to fight with the Black Friday crowds today and still get a great deal.
Conklin says, "I just bought snowboard boots because I'm going over to Big Boulder today to snowboard. They have 15 percent off the bottom floor and 10 percent off the top floor for anything."
He had no idea the store and other in Middle Smithfield Township also have a shop local discount card offer available. It's something that could really benefit him this holiday season.
Middle Smithfield Township officials started the discount program to keep customers shopping in their area.
Supervisor Annette Atkinson says, "You call, you activate the card and then you go in and get a discount just for shopping local because we like to keep the cheer here."
Each participating business offers a different incentive, usually a percentage off regular priced items or services, and you can find them all online. Places to eat, stay and visit in the area are also included. Owner Mal Law of Starting Gate Action Sports says, "Offer a half-price tune-up special. It's regularly 30 dollars to have your skis or snowboards sharpened, hot waxed and gone over maintenance."
He expects the card to bring in even more people this time around now that the program is in its second year and says, "The card was good through Christmas so we did see a gradual building of the customer usage."
Owner Seth Richards of Richards Tree Farm agrees and is ready for people dropping in to spread holiday cheer around their home. He says, "We're all set up with wreaths, garland, poinsettias, cut trees, plenty of gifts. We have a big sale on garden gifts."
Richards Tree Farm is offering a free bundle of firewood with every tree or wreath purchased.
Richards adds, "Really feel like the small businesses of America are supporting our economy and really appreciate when people come to support us."
Every Middle Smithfield Township residents should have received a shop local discount card in the mail last week, but anyone can participate just by stopping by the township building to pick one up.

Stroudsburg Bus Driver DUI
Wednesday November 25th 2015

On November 2nd at 6:35 in the morning Vanessa Baillis was operating a school bus for the Stroudsburg School district holding seven middle school students. As Baillis was driving the students to school she fell asleep at the wheel while the bus was stopped during traffic. She also drove off the right side of the road near the intersection of Strawberry Hill Road and almost struck a utility pole. She then tried to make a u-type turn at the green view drive intersection but due to the size of the bus she couldn't so she backed the bus off of green view drive and headed south on 209. Due to concerns students had her pull into the parking lot of the Old Mill Pub. Students had texted their parents with concerns on the driving and parents got in contact with the Stroudsburg Transportation Department and police arrived on the scene. Baillis was given a sobriety test and showed signs of impairment. Officials say she wasn't intoxicated and the Monroe County DUI center officials found lorazepam and oxycodone-free in her system. Baillis was arrested and charged and the case will continue next week. She resigned from her job two weeks before the results of the toxicology reports.

Thankful For Lower Gas Prices
Wednesday November 25th 2015

Drivers traveling for Thanksgiving are experiencing an early holiday gift. AAA officials say gas prices are the lowest they've been in seven years.
William Biddle of Walnutport is one of the many people pumping gas today in anticipation of traveling for Thanksgiving plans tomorrow. He can't help but to smile-- he's heading to visit his family in New Jersey and knows the trip won't empty his wallet.
While he's go no matter the cost, officials say over four million people getting behind the wheel has increased from last year by point seven percent in the Mid-Atlantic Region, and the lower price at the pump is definitely an incentive. The money saved per gallon compared to just last year is significant. Legislative Affairs Director Theresa Podguski of AAA East Central says, "In Pennsylvania our average is $2.29 a gallon, which is down about 68 cents."
Everyone we spoke with is thankful the lower gas prices are expected to continue. They consider it an added gift for next month's holidays.

Pocono Township Tax Cut
Tuesday November 24th 2015

Last week Pocono Township commissioners gathered to vote on the new proposed budget which includes a 1.25 millage rate decrease. Officials say 1 millage in Pocono Township is give or take 170,000 dollars. The commissioners voted in favor of the budget 4-1. For the average tax payer they will save around 60-70 dollars, but the amount varies based on the property. A final vote will take place next month.

Big Bears Weigh In At Beltzville Check Station
Tuesday November 24th 2015

The state's rifle bear season kicked off in a big way in Carbon County. Not only is the number of bears being brought to the Beltzville check station above average. but they're also some of the largest reported on the first day of the season.
PA Game Commission Management Division Chief Ian Gregg says, "An unusual number of big bears here at Beltzville so far this year. The biggest one was estimated live weight at 640 pounds that was taken near Weatherly."
They currently have received 51 bears. Officials say it's important for every taken bear to be processed through the system so the state can maintain a stable population.
Over 22-hundred bears were taken in Pennsylvania in the first two days of the season. That number is slightly highly than last year. The season continues through Wednesday but hunters in our area can still shoot a bear during part of deer season next week.

Life Saving Device Takes Center Stage In Monroe County
Monday November 23rd 2015

Pocono Medical Center officials donated an Automated External Defibrillator today to the Sherman Theater. They tell us heart disease is the second leading cause of death in Monroe County.
The silent threat of cardiac arrest is now diminished at the Sherman Theater located on Main Street in Stroudsburg. Thousands of people patron the venue for concerts and events.
Sherman Theater Operations Vice President Lorna O'Farrell says, "We have great security but we don't have the ability to save a life if something happens. And I think that was something that was missing. Pocono Medical Center recognized it as well and stepped right in."
Pocono Medical Center presented the non-profit with an AED today through their partnership program. Officials say the device and the cabinet can cost between $800 and $1,000.
PMC Community/Public Relations Director Geoffrey Roche says, "This is something that is really a drop in the bucket when we consider what we can do in support of our community and what we can do to provide life saving care."
To get the device, Hospital officials partnered with the Moyer Family who's dedicated to raising awareness on the importance of having an AED available everywhere in Monroe County. Commissioner John Moyer and his wife Rachel lost their 150year-old son Gregory to cardiac arrest during a high school basketball game 15-years-ago. It's something that can happen to anyone at any time.
O'Farrell says, "As a paramedic, I've seen it from newborns straight up to the elderly. It would be horrible to stand there and not be able to do anything and just stare at the incident happening."
That's why every employee at the theater is being trained in CPR and how to use their AED. Luckily their new device is self-explanatory.
PMC EMS Continuing Education Administrator Steven Kulick says, "It's all automatic, it talks you right through what to do. It takes you from A-Z as to what to do if you're nervous or if you're unsure."
Many establishments still do not have an AED and officials hope today's event serves as an eye-opener. Time is of the essence if someone goes into cardiac arrest.
Kulick explains, "After five minutes if nothing's been done, that patient only has a fifty percent chance of survival. That's from the American Association Guidelines."
For more information on how your business or organization can get an AED just contact the Gregory Moyer Fund. So far it's helped to purchase over 100 devices at a discounted price.

Thanksgiving Meal Donation
Monday November 23rd 2015

Notre Dame Elementary in East Stroudsburg donated food to the Monroe County Children and Youth Services this morning. Students and officials gathered this morning to transport food from the school to the Monroe County Children and Youth Services facility. The school donated 40 complete dinners which will help 200 members of the community and around 41 families.

Camp For Homeless Pets About To Open
Friday November 20th 2015

An animal sanctuary to help Monroe County's overwhelming stray dog and cat population will be ready to open in two weeks. Up till this point, Camp Papillon has been placing rescued pets in foster care until they're adopted. Now with your help the non-profit will have a home at a property they purchased in Hamilton Township.
A safe haven for all animals in need of a forever home is coming together at the former Camp Brainerd property located in Snydersville. They'll go from helping 10 to 30 dogs and cats at a time to hopefully 200 with both volunteers fostering and their new headquarters. They've been busy cleaning, painting and building different accommodations at the various houses. The idea is to make it a camp for pets to stay at until they're adopted. So far, they have both free roaming rooms for cats and elder dogs where both include a sun room. The dogs will also be able to go to a fenced in outside area. There will also be a puppy room and a large dog kennel room.
Animals will receive 24 hour care and be in a nice relaxing setting. Special needs animals won't be turned away and training will be available.
The shelter is actually opening ahead of schedule because of the great community support and businesses like Gak Construction that's responsible for putting in kennels. But more is needed to be fully operational. They need building materials, plumbers and electricians to make sure that they're compliant for all required codes. And they always need funding and volunteers. If you'd like to volunteer, their first training class is happening December 5th at noon at the camp. For more information on how to get involved, just go to their Facebook page.

Monroe County Election Tiebreakers
Friday November 20th 2015

This morning officials cast lots to determine winners of three positions still up for grabs in this years election. The winners of the tiebreakers were Lucille Piggott-Prawl for Polk Township Auditor, Mark Major for Jackson Township Auditor, and Barry Karasiewicz for Constable 5th Ward of Stroudsburg.

Werry's Pub And Motel Gets New Owner
Thursday November 19th 2015

A business known for controversy in Monroe County now has a new owner. The former owner of Werry's Pub and Motel in Middle Smithfield Township tried to open a strip club at the site. But the new owner has a different direction for the establishment on Route 209.
Employees at the new Werry's Pub and Motel are busy today cleaning and getting the place ready to open later this month. Manager Tavish Soman says his father purchased the 7.8 acre foreclosed property from the bank for over $900,000. They're keeping the name because it's actually an historical landmark. The father and son team know about the establishment's negative reputation in recent years and aren't worried about it. Soman says adult entertainment has no business being in a residential area and they're focused on being family oriented.
Those living near Werry's couldn't be happier with their new neighbor and are breathing a sigh of relief. The new owner has the goal of bringing the community out- they'll have nightly food specials and are planning on redoing the pool so that everyone who visits the restaurant and bar this summer can also swim.
Township officials say they're already showing interest in getting involved in the community. They plan to be a part of their shop local campaign and restaurant week.
The new owner is hoping to add more cottages on to the property by next summer. Right now the goal is to hire more employees. If interested, just call Werry's Pub.

Pike Library Feels Impact of Budget Impasse
Wednesday November 18th 2015

The State Budget impasse continues taking its toll on non-profit organization who rely on that money to survive. The Pike County Library receives close to 180-thousand dollars per year from the state, but with that money on hold, the library needs to make some cuts. Officials from the library say they'll be reducing staffing, hours of operation, and can no longer accept any new programs until the budget is resolved. The library has already applied for a 50-thousand dollar line of credit to meet expenses. These changes are not expected to take place until the start of the new year.

ESU In Home Stretch For Approval Of Keystone Project
Wednesday November 18th 2015

A proposed new student center at East Stroudsburg University is inching forward after a three-year hold up over zoning. Borough officials approved the land development plan for the Keystone Building Project at last night's meeting. But they tell us it's still not all systems go for construction to begin on the 100 million dollar four-story center and adjoining library.
Manager Jim Phillips says, "They still have to do the development agreement and the storm water maintenance agreement but those will hopefully be worked on in the next month or two that I would guess would probably be finalized."
Those agreements are added to the other terms the college is working on under the conditions of use. That application was approved this summer after a long hearing process involving parking and traffic issues. Borough officials tell us the conditions have to be completed before the university can start any other projects. A new residence hall is currently on hold.

River Road Fatal Crash
Wednesday November 18th 2015

Police responded early this morning to an accident in Smithfield Township involving four vehicles. Fourty four year old Guiliano Joseph was driving northbound down River Road to his job in New York City this morning when he was struck head on by a vehicle traveling southbound with three passengers in it. State Police say the vehicle had sideswiped two other vehicles before hitting Mr. Joseph's vehicle head on. Joseph was pronounced dead at 5:24 this morning. The vehicle that hit Joseph had three passengers inside. The driver and the back seat passenger were seriously injured and flown to a hospital in Allentown and the front seat passenger was taken from the scene to Pocono Medical Center and later flown to Sacred Heart Hospital in Allentown. Tomorrow officials will be doing an autopsy test in order to determine the extent of injuries and possibly charge the driver. Police officials will also be getting blood results to determine if alcohol was involved in the incident.

Project To Protect Monroe County Historical Buildings
Tuesday November 17th 2015

A state pilot project to protect historic properties from the threat of natural disasters continues in Monroe County. Crews were in Stroud Township today documenting structures in a flood-prone area. The idea is to compile a comprehensive list and then come up with strategies to prevent flood damage. So don't be alarmed if you see surveyors in yellow vests outside your home.
Monroe County is one of the first areas in the state selected to gather this inventory and then incorporate it into the county's Hazard Mitigation Plan for 2017. County officials say it's tied to recovery funding after a disaster and every day grant funding that municipalities take advantage of.
The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission is behind the project and they're investing $130,000 into it in Monroe. County officials say it was initiated because of Hurricane Sandy hitting in 2012.
Expect to see crews surveying places in Monroe County until the end of January. Then work will begin on how to protect each historic structure.

Loder Protest
Tuesday November 17th 2015

Many seniors citizens gathered this morning in protest at the Loder Center in East Stroudsburg. They fear their state run center will be closing soon since the current budget impasse has reached month five. The center will be financed by the commissioners until the end of the year, but after that the fate of the center is up in the air. Loder Center officials say they will be protesting for the majority of this week.

Students Reminded To Drive Safely Over Thanksgiving Break
Monday November 16th 2015

Some of the busiest travel days of the year are just around the corner. That's why officials were at Penn State Lehigh Valley today to encourage students to follow safe driving practices as they head home for their holiday break. It's all part of the 2015 Thanksgiving Click It or Ticket Seat Belt Enforcement Mobilization.
Students at Penn State Lehigh Valley experienced firsthand today trying to function while under the influence. They wore both alcohol and drug fatal vision goggles playing a bean bag game. They were also tested on their alcohol IQ. It's all to remind students to not drive impaired and to wear a seat belt. Too many people are killed each year who do the opposite. The Lehigh Valley DUI Highway Safety Task Force holds the program annually at a college in the area.
And if safety isn't your concern before you get behind the wheel, then think about your wallet. Something as simple as buckling up could save you a lot of money.
Police everywhere will be out in full force the week of Thanksgiving and the travel days afterward. They'll be cracking down on driving under the influence, aggressive driving and seat belt usage. Their goal is to help prevent accidents from occurring.

Stroudsburg Shooting
Monday November 16th 2015

Saturday at around 12:28 AM Stroud Area Regional police department responded to calls of multiple gunshots fired in the area of Cherry Alley near Bill Deihl's Tire in Stroudsburg. Police officials say the shooter or shooters were driving in a White Dodge Durango. There were two victims in the shooting a 19 year old female who was struck once by gunfire and a 25 year old male who sustained lacerations to the hand and arm. Both were transported to an area hospital and were treated and later released. Police officials say there were many fights that broke out near the area that night but they believe it was unrelated to the shooting. Police say they don't believe the incident to be a random act. Blood was found on a vehicle being serviced at the tire shop and a window was broken on the garage of the shop. Stroud Area Regional Police are asking anyone with more information on the white Dodge Durango to please contact the station at 570-421-6800.

New Wellness Trial In Monroe County's West End
Friday November 13th 2015

It's a beautiful fall day to take a walk on the Dave Fleetwood Trail located with the West End Regional Park. But now you can also get a complete workout. Fitness equipment stations were recently installed along the three quarter mile in Chestnuthill Township. The LifeTrail Wellness and WorldTrail Fitness Systems were made possible by an ESSA Foundation Grant Award in the amount of $13,000. The WorldTrail Fitness System is a full body challenge that has six stations designed for all ages and skill levels. While the LifeTrail Wellness System has two stations that are designed for older adults and the physically challenged focusing on building a body capable of doing real-life activities and positions.
The trail itself was established a couple years ago in memory of Chestnuthill Township Supervisor Dave Fleetwood. He was killed during the ambush at the Ross Township Municipal Building.

Monroe County Combats Problem Of Families Affected By Substance Abuse
Thursday November 12th 2015

Monroe County is one of seven counties in Pennsylvania stepping up to form a joint effort in helping families affected by substance abuse. The effort was hosted at the East Stroudsburg University Innovation Center today by Monroe County Children's Roundtable, which has the mission of promoting welfare. The goal is to raise awareness to the statistic one out of every four Pennsylvania families suffers from drug and alcohol abuse and the need for better coordination between the various organizations and agencies.

Salvation Army Holiday Prep
Thursday November 12th 2015

The Salvation Army in East Stroudsburg partnered with E-S-U Greek Life a couple of months ago to help raise money to purchase turkeys for those in need during the Thanksgiving Season. Salvation Army officials say the students have helped them purchase over 770 turkeys. Now the Salvation Army needs help to provide food for the Christmas season. They are always excepting donations and they will have their Thanksgiving food distribution Nov. 19th from 9-1.

Tannersville War Memorial
Wednesday November 11th 2015

The community and veterans gathered this morning at the Tannersville War Memorial to honor those who lost their lives while serving our country. A local eagle scout Brett Patterson decided for his scout project to add another portion to the memorial adding six flag poles and a wooden landscaping bed in order to honor all the U.S. Military branches. The Pocono Mountain Junior High School students participated in this ceremony and they do so each year. Next year American Legion Post officials will be rededicating the park to be called the Pocono Township Veterans Memorial Park.

Wayne County Honors Veterans
Wednesday November 11th 2015

Nearly 50 people gathered at Veterans Park in Honesdale today to honor the men and women who risked their lives, to protect our freedom. Unlike most traditional ceremonies, todays wasn't only focused around the solider, but the families who sacrifice so much while their loved ones are away. " Veteran Jim Carbone says "many times these people are the breadwinner in the household and they have no idea if or when they are coming back so its important to honor them." Around fifty people came out for todays ceremony.

ESU Advancing Eligible Students State Grant Money
Wednesday November 11th 2015

Both Jonny Simaan and Stephen Samaan are breathing a sigh of relief today- East Stroudsburg University will be advancing them the rest of the PHEAA Grant money held up by the state budget impasse. The college already did everything it could to help its over 15 hundred eligible students within the confines of the campus based on that expected financial aid, such as waiving tuition, housing and textbook payments. But some were still having a tough time with off-campus expenses. Simaan had to limit his spending to afford food, gas and rent. At first he couldn't afford to get a university parking pass for $55. He says he'll use the grant money to pay for $75 worth of parking tickets his acquired. While Samaan had to take other loans out and pick up a part time job. The worry to pay bills was a heavy burden.
Officials tell us the university receives on average about five million dollars in PHEAA grants per fiscal year. This fall they should have received over 2.6 million. Part of that money is given to students as a refund for indirect education expenses. Officials expect to advance about one million dollars to over 900 students eligible for those refunds. The goal is to alleviate financial pressure so that students can focus on final exams.

C.A.R.E.S. Volunteers Help Out At AWSOM
Tuesday November 10th 2015

Employees at AWSOM Animal Shelter look forward to every Tuesday morning. That's because for a year and a half a group with developmental disabilities has been lending a huge helping hand. Volunteers from C.A.R.E.S. are dedicated to making AWSOM sparkle. From eight to eleven, they're sweeping the floors, cleaning cages, washing dog bowls and anything else needed to get the place ready to open for the day.
C.A.R.E.S. Program Specialist Antoinette DeMaria says, "Empower adults with disabilities. We try to get them active in the community. We try to give them the skills to get jobs, we implement those skills at places like AWSOM."
And now AWSOM officials depend on the great job they do. Since they have limited staff, it means everything. Their help is making a huge difference at AWSOM, not only with the work they do but in just playing with the dogs and cats.
If you'd like to make a difference at AWSOM too, they can always use volunteers. Just got to their website at www.awsomanimals.org.

ESU Veterans Celebration
Tuesday November 10th 2015

This morning East Stroudsburg University held a celebration in honor of the men and women who served and are currently serving our nation. The keynote speaker this morning Colonel Douglas Douds is the son of the ESU football coach and he has served for the U.S. Marines for over 25 years. Today also marks the 240th anniversary of the U.S. Marine Corps.

Police Investigating Accident That Killed Pedestrain In Stroudsburg
Monday November 9th 2015

Stroud Area Regional Police say 63-year-old Joseph Coda of Stroudsburg was crossing Main Street when he was struck by a southbound vehicle. They were called just after 5:30 Saturday night to the 800 block in front of St. Luke's Church and say the victim seemed to be heading toward Williams Street. Coda was airlifted to Lehigh Valley Hospital where he later passed away from his injuries. Eight and Ninth Streets were closed until just before 11pm as police investigated the accident.
Main Street has a history of pedestrian accidents and Police want to remind people to use the crosswalks and adhere to the associated traffic signals. The victim crossed the street just yards before the four-way intersection on Ninth Street where there's a crosswalk with signals and many people today can't understand why he didn't use it.
The circumstances of the accident are still under investigation. Police are also waiting on blood test results to come back to determine whether the driver or the victim was under the influence at the time. We're told the results could take a few weeks.

Proposed Resort In Pocono Township Runs Into Major Backup
Friday November 6th 2015

People living near the former Birchwood Resort have mixed opinions- a water park proposed there just got its request for a township sewage hookup denied. Pocono Township Commissioners say their central sewage system treatment capacity was meant for the Route 611 economic corridor and they're unwilling to give some of its two million gallons to the Spa Castle project. They voted against Spa Castle Resort tapping in. Township Manager Gregg Schuster says they approached other municipalities and they were also unwilling to grant access.
But the idea hasn't been flushed yet. The public has 30 days to review Spa Castle's 300-page application for sewage connection and submit comments. It will be available at the township building and on the township's website. Then a public hearing will take place Northampton Community College's Monroe Campus on December 17th at 6PM. After the hearing, the Commissioners will officially vote on the sewage request. Then Spa Castle's application goes to the Department of Environmental Protection. The company has the option of building their own sewage treatment facility. Spa Castle representatives did not return our call for comment.

Dress For Success
Thursday November 5th 2015

Dress for Success is a local organization that helps women prepare for the workforce by giving them business attire. Recently the organization has changed their focus from just giving women clothes to also preparing them on the ins and outs of job searching. They offer a free seven week program and during those weeks they teach the ladies how to write a cover letter, create a strong resume, how to stay confident during a job interview, how to use community resources to obtain jobs and more. The program is free and Dress for Success officials say to contact them if interested through their website- lackawanna.dressforsuccess.org or call their Scranton office 570-941-0339.

Crackdown On Prostitution In Monroe County
Thursday November 5th 2015

Prostitution is nothing new in the Poconos but recently there's been numerous arrests coming through Monroe County's court system.
Monroe County Detectives are trying to be as proactive as possible when it comes to prostitution. They're focused on putting a stop to human trafficking in the area. That's why they need to get 39-year-old Thurman Stanley of East Stroudsburg off the streets. Detective Kim Lippincott says the East Stroudsburg man has been running a human trafficking ring for quite some time. He's currently wanted on a felony arrest warrant for related charges. Lippincott says, "We had one victim come forward stating that he was forcing her into prostitution but we know there are several victims out there."
Yesterday detectives arrested Michelle Oswald and Jennifer Day for helping him. Oswald is in jail on $100,000 secured bail and Day was released on unsecured bail. Oswald helped Stanley advertise women on online sites like Backpage.com and gave the women rides to customers. Stanley met her while he was an inmate at the Monroe County Correctional Facility and she was a nurse there.
Lippincott adds, "She terminated her employment with the jail and resigned so one of the inmates could come and live with her and that inmate was Thurman Stanley and then the two of them ran this human trafficking/prostitution ring."
Detectives believe once Stanley is in custody, more victims will come forward.
Lippincott explains, "The girls are very afraid to come forward and talk to us about the people that are making them do this most likely because they're being threatened by them, threatened by physical violence or something of that nature."
The goal is to get the victims help through places like Women's Resources of Monroe County. They'll provide support so they'll no longer alone. They can provide them with an emergency shelter, counseling services, advocacy through the court system and they have a 24 hour hotline at 570-421-4200.
Both officials from the non-profit and the detectives unit say you can help by reporting to police if you witness something that looks like human trafficking happening at hotels and in parking lots.
You're asked to call the Monroe County Detectives at 570-517-3052 if you have any information or see Stanley. He is described as a black male, weighing 190 pounds and six feet tall. He's known to drive a grey 2015 Chrysler 200.

Budget Impasse Creating Crisis In Monroe County
Wednesday November 4th 2015

The budget impasse is creating crisis in Monroe County. Human Service Programs have now been held hostage for 127 days without state funding. The commissioners are able to help them keep their doors open, but how much longer can they bail them out?
That's a question on everyone's mind and exactly why the commissioners held a "call to action" meeting this morning. The threat could soon become reality.
Now entering a fifth month without a state budget- representatives from four major Monroe County human service programs expressed at today's commissioner meeting what will happen to their clients if their help ceases to exist. Some they say will end up in jail, homeless or hospitalized. Officials and the commissioners all agree legislators need to do what's right instead of trying to be right.
Monroe County is far better off than other counties that have had to cut services already, because the current commissioners created efficiencies and built up fund balance over the years. They've expended money to the agencies that would normally come from the state. So far they've spent about 3.9 million dollars to keep them going. If nothing is passed by December 31st that cost will be up to about 5.6 million.
Agency officials tell us they estimate the commissioners and lines of credit should get them through till the end of this year. If a budget isn't passed by then, they'll have to start making some tough decisions. But some are already at a critical juncture- they're not paying their providers.
If the agencies can't pay their providers, then eventually the providers won't be able to pay their staff. It's only a matter of time when the services will stop.

Convicted Murderer's Request For New Trial Now In Judge's Hands
Tuesday November 3rd 2015

A convicted murderer is requesting a new trial in Monroe County. Michael Parrish was sentenced to death for the 2009 murder of his girlfriend Victoria Adams and their 19-year-old son Sidney at their Effort apartment. Today Parrish continued his attempt to overturn the first-degree murder convictions- something he started in July. He believes the jury was never given a fill picture of mitigating factors, meaning the defense did not have everything in its arsenal to argue for a lesser sentence. A mitigation expert testified at the hearing today that the mitigation specialist hired for Parrish's case did not do a complete and accurate investigation into Parrish's history. The Commonwealth's position is Parrish got a fair, adequate penalty phase.
Monroe County Assistant District Attorney Kimberly Metzger says, "He had his opportunity to present his case. The fact that there wasn't anything for the jurors to vote for life in prison instead of the death penalty doesn't mean he gets a new proceeding at this point."
The decision of overturning Parrish's conviction of third-degree murder is now in the hands of the President Judge. We're told it could take up to a year. Parrish has the right to appeal her decision in the State Superior Court.

Grant Money Helps get Prisoners back on their Feet
Monday November 2nd 2015

Pike County officials have received a thirty- thousand dollar block grant to help get those suffering from addiction back on their feet. With that money, the Pike County correctional facility will be able to add another in house treatment counselor to give inmates structure and help them overcome the addiction before they're released. The County has already invested fifty-five thousand dollars with in-house treatment. Pike County officials say they're always looking for more ways to fight back against the drug epidemic.

Anniversary of Eric Frein Capture
Monday November 2nd 2015

This past weekend marked the one year anniversary of one of the most memorable but tragic events to occur in the Poconos. After weeks of searching, Eric Frein was captured on October 30th at an abandoned resort, after he killed Corporal Bryan Dickson III at the barracks in Pike County. Frein would flee from the scene and the search began in Pike County and worked its way to Monroe County. The community has continued to make strides in moving forward ever since the incident.

Stroudsburg Man In Court For Crash That Killed Bicyclist
Monday November 2nd 2015

A Stroudsburg man appeared in court today for a fatal crash that killed a bicyclist on Main Street in Stroudsburg back in June.
28-year-old George Santana wanted to tell the victim's family today he is sorry. He is charged with homicide by vehicle, involuntary manslaughter and numerous summary traffic offenses. Police say Santana was driving a Ford Explorer that struck and killed 56-year-old Tyrone Miller early in the morning.
Court paperwork says the SUV crossed over the double line within the 700 Block and jumped the sidewalk curb in front of Floods Tavern striking several objects. It then continued traveling north down the sidewalk where a store surveillance camera recorded the vehicle striking Miller from behind as he was getting off his bicycle. The victim and his bicycle were then dragged 88 feet underneath the Explorer before it veered off to the right in front of Goomba's Pizza and crashed into two parked cars.
Santana's toxicology tests showed he was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time. He provided police this statement: "I fell asleep while driving and was woken up to loud noises, when I woke up, I noticed a bicyclist in front of my car and there was nothing I could do." Today he waived his right to a preliminary hearing.
Attorney Steve Wigrizer Representing the victim's family says, "We agree with the Monroe County District Attorney's Office the matter should be moved downtown to the Court of Common Pleas. This way all family members from both sides can attend."
The defendant and the victim both had numerous family members in attendance for today's hearing. Many of them had to stand in the doorway and out into the hall.
Santana was taken back to the Monroe County Correctional Facility on secured bail. The judge granted bail reduction from $50,000 to $25,000.

BRC13 News Archive
...