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Toast To 2016 Without A "Bang"
Thursday December 31st 2015

Police are asking you to plan ahead before you cheers to 2016. According to statistics, January first is the number one day of the year with the highest percentage of deaths related to alcohol. There are numerous options to get home without getting behind the wheel intoxicated such as a designated driver and calling for a cab. And those arrangements should be made right away. Otherwise a DUI could empty out your wallet. Police will be out in full-force tonight, expect to see roaming and stationary DUI patrols to catch drunk drivers. And if that isn't an incentive to plan ahead, it could cost you more than just money. It could result in lives lost.

Neighbors Rush To Help A Man Trapped By Fire In Carbon County
Wednesday December 30th 2015

Ernesto Gonzalez says he was walking his dog last night when he heard a woman screaming for help and that her son was trapped inside. Gonzalez saw the flames coming from the home located on South Avenue in Jim Thorpe and ran home to grab his girlfriend's two brothers for assistance. Two of them entered the burning house from the back using their clothes as masks and one went around to the front where the fire was concentrated.
Gonzalez says, "I didn't see nothing at all. She said that he was sleeping, he had to go to work at three o'clock in the morning. So I just went in there, I didn't care, she said her son was in there so my intentions were just to go help."
They had to come out because of the smoke. But luckily the guy made it out the front on his own. Fire officials tell us he climbed out a window onto the lower roof and jumped to his neighbor's porch. The guys then carried him to safety from the fast moving fire.
Gonzalez says, "The propane or something that was in there and ammunition in there so we started hearing that pop so her brother grabbed him and layer him over here."
That's when firefighters and EMTs arrived on scene. The call came in just before ten-thirty.
Jim Thorpe Fire Chief Bill Diehm says, "When we got here the fire was already blowing out the front windows and had the front porch pretty much engulfed and was up into the second floor."
Diehm says more than 50 firefighters from multiple surrounding areas battled what he calls a stubborn blaze.
Diehm explains, "We pumped water here for over five, six hours you know on this building, we just couldn't get into the debris or the stuff that was in the attic area."
Fire officials focused on saving the surrounding houses. While everyone made it out safely, both the mother and son were taken to be checked out.
Diehm adds, "[He] Got a little bruised up and was a little singed and they took him to the hospital."
Fire marshals were on scene this morning investigating the cause.
Gonzalez says, "People were saying that it was a candle that got knocked over by a dog and then I heard that it was an electrical fire."
Diehm didn't know about the neighbors entering the building before they got there and tells us they're heroes for doing whatever they could to help.

Tourism Alternatives
Wednesday December 30th 2015

With the local ski resorts lacking snow Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau officials have been busy telling people what else the Poconos has to offer. If you're interested in finding out what activities the Poconos has to offer call the bureau at 570-421-5791.

New Floor And Ceiling Needed At Monroe County's Nursing Facility
Tuesday December 29th 2015

The season of giving doesn't have to end. As the saying goes-- "When Christmas is over save some Christmas cheer." And you could really help a non-profit group raising funds for a special project at Monroe County's nursing home.
The competition was on this morning for residents playing a game in the recreation room at Pleasant Valley Manor. Georganna Troxell has been living at the nursing facility for five years. Every day there are three activities in the room and Troxell says she attends them all. But the place known as the "social hub" where everything happens hasn't changed much since the sixties. That's why a non-profit group called Friends of Pleasant Valley Manor are trying to raise funds to give it a fresh look, something both residents and staff would really appreciate.
Troxell says, "Dire need of a facelift. I mean it's our home and we want to be proud when visitors come, the entertainers come. We want to be proud to say you know look at this."
Their goal is 25 thousand dollars for a new floor, ceiling, and storage cabinets. Part of that amount will be used for a larger flat screen tv and entertainment center for movie night, but we're told somebody already contributed those funds.
The Friends group previously raised 50 thousand dollars for a new van to transport residents to doctor appointments.
If you'd like to help with the activities room project, just send a check to the Manor located in Syndersville made our to "Friends of PVM." Your donation is tax deductible.

DICKSON MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP
Tuesday December 29th 2015

Penn State University has created a scholarship fund in memory of slain State Trooper Byron Dickson.
Dickson was shot and killed while leaving the Blooming Grove State Police barracks in September of last year. He had graduated from Penn State with a degree in criminology in 2003. P-S-U is hoping to raise 50-thousand dollars to create a scholarship of at least two thousand dollars a year for criminology students. Gifts to the Trooper Dickson Memorial Fund can be made by mailing a check made payable to The Pennsylvania State University and sent to Kathie Alterio, Alumni Relations and Development, College of the Liberal Arts, 139 Sparks Building, University Park, PA 16802. Add code SCL7B to the memo line.
Gifts can also be made online by visiting www.giveto.psu.edu/TrooperDicksonFund

First Winter Storm Of The Season Hits Tonight?
Monday December 28th 2015

Old man winter is finally about to rear his icy head tonight. At least that's the weather prediction for the first winter storm of the season.
While it is a bit colder today, it's still hard to imagine winter weather will finally set in tonight. People are describing the current season as a second summer with temperatures reaching 70 degrees just last week. And those coming into Cramer's Hardware Store located in East Stroudsburg this morning are still expecting to take full advantage. Customer Gus Theo says building is continuing despite tonight's forecast, something that wouldn't have been thought of last year.
But there were a couple of people anticipating ice tomorrow and purchasing salt. A winter weather advisory says snow/sleet accumulations could start after six tonight but mostly likely after 10, leaving slippery roads and sidewalks to deal with on the morning work commute.
Without any of the white stuff falling so far, Cramer's is fully stocked with snowblowers to shovels and everything else used to combat old man winter. But the warmer weather hasn't been hurting their bottom line since builders are still in full-swing.
Last year bags of salt were hard to come by. This year Cramer's is all stocked up and ready to go and PennDOT officials say it's better to be safe than sorry. They recommend giving yourself extra time tomorrow to travel into work so you can slow down and drive safely. PennDOT crews will be staged and ready to go with trucks full of salt if the precipitation does come down as predicted.

Jackson Township Fire
Monday December 28th 2015

Yesterday afternoon a fire at a Jackson Township home left a family of twelve homeless. Fire officials say the fire started in a row of garbage cans outside of the home and worked its way to the house. The local Red Cross came to aid the family and has provided them with shelter and money to help them during this tough time. The family has insurance so they will eventually be able to live in the home again.

Last Minute Shoppers In Monroe County
Thursday December 24th 2015

The hustle and bustle continues right up until the last minute in Monroe County.
The jingle of cash registers sounded all over the Stroud Mall this Christmas Eve. Practically every parking space was filled early this morning with shoppers eager to complete their holiday wish lists just in time for the big day. The line to see Santa was long too. Kids just had to get in some last minute requests before his sleigh takes off tonight.
While some stores are extending their hours this Christmas Eve in case you forget a much needed gift, that's not the case at the Stroud Mall.
Those getting last minute gifts agree- tonight is all about the true meaning of Christmas, being with the ones you love.
Mall officials say it's been a steady holiday shopping season but they're expecting a huge crowd today.
The non-existent winter wonderland isn't putting a damper on anyone's Christmas spirit and the mall added new decorations this year, something store owners really appreciate.
Even though the clean roads are making traveling easier, officials say the lack of snow could be hurting their bottom line just like online shopping.
Owner Dawn Vititoe of Speakeasy Partners says, "We don't have the snow plowers, the people at the resorts with the cash coming in, everybody seems to be watching every penny."
The mall is closed tomorrow but will be open bright and early Saturday at 7AM for all of the after-Christmas sales.

Pocono Township Ambulance Change
Wednesday December 23rd 2015

Monday the Pocono Township commissioners voted 3-2 in favor of naming Suburban EMS as the designated emergency service for the township over Central Pocono Ambulance. The former ambulance service Central Pocono Ambulance has joined forces with St. Luke's. Central Pocono Ambulance officials hope at the beginning of the year when the township receives new commissioners they will reconsider the change. Suburban EMS will be the primary service effective on January 1, 2016.

Defendant Gets A Second Chance
Wednesday December 23rd 2015

A Monroe County man who pled guilty to three different crimes over the past few years gets a second chance today at his sentencing hearing. It's all thanks to a probation program and a dedicated foster parent.
Foster Parent David Perry of Bushkill showed up today to support 21-year-old Christopher Klement at his sentencing hearing at the Monroe County Courthouse. Klement was nothing but thankful leaving the proceeding.
Klement previously pleaded guilty to three separate crimes. Back in 2013 he assaulted and robbed a man walking in Stroudsburg. In 2014 he lured, sexually assaulted a woman and tried to force her into prostitution. Then while in jail at the beginning of this year he assaulted a fellow inmate.
Officials say his incarceration period is outside the guideline ranges so his sentence today focused on allowing him to create a better future for himself. He was entered into a 14-month faith-based recovery program called Teen Challenge. It's a national non-profit and Klement will start at a center in Pennsylvania next month. Officials add he'll be provided with job skills and a strong foundation to make it on the outside.
It's an opportunity to help prevent him from being a repeat offender, one that he applied for and wanted to do. Perry says he's seen a huge improvement in him and is sorry for his past offenses.
Perry just learned of the program today. The program costs 500 dollars and he happily stepped up to pay it.
The decision for the program was made because of his past and willingness to change. Perry tells us Klement was a good kid to him and his mother when he came to live with them at 12-years-old. But his dysfunctional past as a foster child led him to get mixed up with the wrong crowd at 16-years-old.
We're told the program has a 78 percent success rate and two people from Monroe County are now counselors at the center after taking the program. Everyone can only hope Klement has the same success and turns his life around.

Swiftwater Food Pantry
Tuesday December 22nd 2015

The Swiftwater Food Pantry holds a weekly food distribution and recently the pantry's refrigerator and freezer broke. Officials from Second Harvest Food Bank of Lehigh Valley and Northeast Pennsylvania were notified that the pantry was in need, and used money from a 30,000 dollar grant they received from BJ's charitable foundation to buy the pantry 2 new refrigerators. Officials say the pantry services over 250 people each Saturday. In order to receive help you have to provide an identification card and write your name on a list. The pantry has an emergency service for anyone who may need help during the week and they say to call the office and they will provide you with help. Call- 570-895-2344

Governor's Death Penalty Reprieves Authorized To Continue
Tuesday December 22nd 2015

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf's death penalty reprieves are upheld by the Supreme Court. The decision will allow him to continue to postpone executions, including one from our area. Northampton County Death Row Inmate Michael Ballard pleaded guilty to four counts of first-degree murder in a June 2010 stabbing rampage. Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli says it's a huge set back not only for prosecutors doing the work and the jurors making the decision, but for the victims' family. They aren't receiving closure or justice.
Wolf says he's pleased with the Court upholding his authority and adds in this released statement, "My decision to issue temporary reprieves came after significant consideration and reflection and was in no way an expression of sympathy for the guilty on death row."

13-Year-Old Dies After Being Hit By Vehicle
Monday December 21st 2015

A Monroe County school district community is coping with the loss of a student. A 13-year-old girl from Pocono Mountain West Junior High died over the weekend at a hospital after being struck by a vehicle last Tuesday. It happened in Tunkhannock Township just after three thirty. Police say Ashlee Smahaj of Tobyhanna Township was walking with two other girls when she was hit at the intersection with Candlewood Drive. A coroner ruled her death accidental after her autopsy this morning and the cause to be blunt force head injuries. Police say the driver is fully cooperating.
Donald Mastrogiovanni who lives nearby in the Sierra View development says his daughter goes to school with Smahaj and knows she's a very nice girl. His daughter is very upset over the whole thing and says they were good friends. A school spokesperson says their crisis team was activated last week and they will continue to have counselors available.
Mastrogiovanni says speeding is a huge problem on Allegheny Drive and has warned his own daughter about walking home from school.
Police say speed does not seem to be a factor in this case and call it a tragic accident.
Pocono Mountain Regional Police are asking anyone with any information on the accident to please contact them. Any charges will not be determined until the investigation is completed.

Early Christmas Present At Camelback Resort
Friday December 18th 2015

The ski season is about to kick-off in Monroe County. Camelback Resort is determined to win the battle against Mother Nature this weekend. Officials are planning on making enough snow to have trails open on Monday.
One of the warmest Decembers in history isn't melting away people's desire to hit the slopes. That's why officials say an early Christmas present is about to arrive on the mountain. They're taking full-advantage of the expected drop in temperatures this weekend. Starting tonight around eight o'clock the snowguns will come to life with winter magic. Come Monday they're hoping to make enough snow to have five lifts and eight trails open, along with the snowtubing park. But how long will it last? Right now they can only dream of a white Christmas like the rest of us. The forecast is looking like they'll need a Christmas miracle. You're encouraged to check their website for up-to-date information on the snow status. With a limited terrain, discount tickets will be available.

Salvation Army Food Distribution
Thursday December 17th 2015

This morning a multitude of cars were lined up on Washington Street in East Stroudsburg to receive some goods from the Monroe County Salvation Army food distribution. Salvation Army officials say they are expecting to serve approximately 860 families. Students from Notre Dame High School and Pleasant Valley High School helped out with the distribution. The Salvation Army will be holding a toy drive tomorrow morning from 9-3 and will continue to run them throughout next week.

Maximum Sentence For Fatal Crash Caused By Careless Driving
Thursday December 17th 2015

A Mount Pocono man received the maximum sentence today for a fatal crash three years ago. It happened on Interstate 380 near the Mount Pocono Exit after the defendant claims he fell asleep at the wheel. 34-year-old Daniel Rodriguez was sentenced 11 and a half to 23 months for killing 55-year-old Rocco Petrillo of Dunmore in a crash back in 2012. Petrillo's pick-up truck was hit from behind, forced into the median and flipped over. Both men were on their way to work early in the morning. Officials say he had a history of speeding and that he was caught speeding one year after the tragedy.

Proposed Hospital Merger Moves Forward
Wednesday December 16th 2015

Pocono Health System and Lehigh Valley Health Network are one step closer to becoming one. Today hospital officials announced they've signed an agreement for a full-asset merger.
Pocono Medical Center and Lehigh Valley Health Network are now in the final phase to completely join forces. Back in May they signed a letter of intent for the merger. And have now completed due diligence. The names won't change into a combined version until the regulatory approval goes through. That process is starting tomorrow. Healthcare officials say if everything checks out, they expect the proposed merger to take effect in the first half of 2016. The goal of the merger is to bring growth and greater access to the highest quality of care to Monroe County residents.

Warm December Weather Perks
Tuesday December 15th 2015

Record breaking high temperatures mean many outdoor road projects are able to continue. And some outdoor tourist attractions and businesses are benefitting too.
Pot hole patching and crack sealing isn't something you'd expect to come across driving through Monroe County this time of the year, especially after the last two Decembers. But that's exactly what PennDOT crews were doing today on multiple roadways. They're taking full advantage of the higher temperatures for as long as they last.
The warm weather is saving PennDOT money on winter costs and the extended maintenance work they're able to do now is helping them be better prepared for Old Man Winter's Wrath.
Spokesperson Ron Young says, "The more we can get that done before we get freeze thaw cycles, it really does help keep the road together better through the winter."
So sitting in summer-like work zone traffic is still something to plan for and be aware of.
Officials say contractors would also normally be laid off for the season by this time, but that's not the case either. Projects are still going strong.
Young adds, "They are extending their work season too which should be good for them and their families to have a little more money this holiday season."
And continued work isn't the only benefit, summer attractions are busier than ever. Officials at Pocono Tree Ventures located in Middle Smithfield Township says they're tripling, even quadrupling their numbers in visitors compared to last year. And winter weekends are the perfect time to swing through. There's a five dollar discount and you'll have more time to experience more of the park with it not being as busy as in the summer months.
But if you're still waiting on the white stuff to fall, you can still experience snow tubing at Fernwood Resort's Blue Lightening.
Other businesses are also benefitting. Officials at car dealerships tell us more people are inclined to come browse their lots when it's nice out.

Reactions To Police Shooting Armed Man At Walmart
Monday December 14th 2015

Customers are relaxed today shopping at the Walmart in East Stroudsburg. But Saturday night around 10 it was the exact opposite. A call came in to Stroud Area Regional Police that a man was threatening and pointing a weapon at customers. Officers responded and state police say those officers ordered him to drop his weapon. When he refused and continued to point the gun at officers, they fired and he was struck in the upper chest area.
Police have identified the dead suspect as 20-year-old Andrew Todd of Mount Bethel. We found his photo online through his sister's Facebook page, who's been posting a lot about what happened. Police took Todd into custody and provided first-aid until EMS responded. He was pronounced dead at Pocono Medical Center. The incident remains under investigation and there's plenty of questions surrounding Todd's actions.
His sister posted that he had no intention of hurting anyone but himself. She writes quote: Unfortunately, my brother suffered from depression, multiple personality and anxiety disorders.... The Andy we love and know didn't want to die but other drunk personality didn't want to live anymore." We tried to reach out to Nichole Todd to talk with us about her brother but she did not respond.
Everyone we spoke with today both on and off camera tell us they appreciated how police handled the situation. But many people commenting on Todd's sister's posts disagree. She posted that his weapons were two BB guns and a knife.
Hairstylist Samantha Medwynter at Diva's Hairstudio located near Walmart says, "The cops did their job and they did what they had to do to keep everyone safe and I'm glad they did."
She adds it's something that can happen anywhere and she feels better knowing how fast police responded. A Walmart Spokesperson also says Stroud Area Regional's reaction was appreciated and thanks them in an email sent to us.
Todd's sister says her brother was an awesome uncle to four beautiful children that loved him very much. State police tell us they will provide more information as it becomes available.

Vulgar Vandalism Hits Stop Signs In Chestnuthill Township
Friday December 11th 2015

Eight stop signs in a development off Jonas Road were spray painted in Chestnuthill Township with graffiti causing about 800 dollars worth of damage. Now police are asking for your help in locating who's responsible.
Birch Hollow Estates Resident Tara Madonna really appreciates Chestnuthill Township officials' quick response. She called complaining about the eight stop signs that were spray painted with obscene drawings and foul language last week. And the next day, officials replaced them with new signs. One happened to be located at her children's bus stop.
Now parents are left wondering who did such a terrible thing, especially right before the holidays. The display was the opposite of Christmas spirit. And they're not the only ones- Police are investigating the matter and asking anyone who witnessed anything suspicious to contact them.
Until someone is caught, the township is left footing the bill, which falls to the taxpayers.
Madonna tells us its worth it and police say they were also causing a safety hazard.
Whoever's responsible will face criminal mischief charges and be ordered to pay restitution.

Getting Gold For Going Green
Thursday December 10th 2015

Students at Northampton Community College's Monroe Campus are green with pride. The school received one of the highest awards for being built environmentally friendly. And students are dedicated to spreading the word.
Northampton Community College students today celebrated their Monroe Campus achieving LEED Gold Status which is one of the highest levels for leadership in energy and environmental design. The three buildings were built with environmental responsibility at the forefront, something that is really important to students. Officials say the college is the only one in the area and one of the few in the country to have the certification for the entire campus. And its features like solar panels and geothermal systems are something two students wanted to get the word out about. Taylor Natieloo and her sister Morgan challenged students to a video contest and those who won today were awarded 100 dollars.
The Monroe Campus is providing a brighter future-- taking care of our planet and in the minds of students.

Fire Destroys Home In Paradise Township
Wednesday December 9th 2015

It was all hands on deck this morning to knock down the blaze at a home on Echo Farm Road in Henryville, Monroe County. Pocono Mountain Volunteer Firefighters were first called to the scene around 7:30am. Then Barrett, Coolbaugh, Pocono and Stroud Townships' fire companies came to assist at the remote location. The water supply was not close by and part of Route 715 had to be closed off. Tankers had to pump water from about a mile away from the scene.
The fire was reported by neighbors who first-spotted the smoke. Officials say no one was inside the home when the fire started and only one person lives there. Neighbors say its their family member, but the residence is primarily used as a vacation home.
The main floor was already sacrificed when firefighters arrived so they were forced to fight the flames from the exterior.
A fire marshal was on scene this morning to investigate the cause of the fire.

Students Making A Difference In Monroe County
Tuesday December 8th 2015

A high school group in Monroe County is creating a movement to help people in their community. Students at East Stroudsburg South take what they learn in their AP Government class and put it into action. Right now they're collecting clothes to keep the homeless warm this winter. Student Brandon Robinson started the effort just two weeks ago and they've already collected numerous bag and boxes full of items. If you would like to help with their current mission, you can drop cold weather clothes off at two churches- East Stroudsburg United Methodist and Christian Life Assembly. Robinson will be distributing the clothes there at the end of this month.

Brandon Hill Sentencing
Tuesday December 8th 2015

Brandon Hill 34 of Tobyhanna was in court this morning after he and two others 26 year old Marilyn Normando of Effort and 31 year old Latina Davenport of Tobyhanna allegedly tried to extort $100,000 from Marvell Scott who is well-known for sports anchoring on WABC-TV in New York and is currently a doctor. Normando an exotic dancer in New Jersey began a relationship with Scott and told him she was pregnant with his child. Someone then contacted Scott claiming they had video footage of him snorting a white powdery substance and threatened to release the video if he didn't pay $100,000. Scott paid the three suspects $5,000 but later sought help from police officials when the three asked for more money. Detectives acting as the victim set up a meeting and Normando and Hill were arrested at the meeting site.

Musicians Band Together After Fire
Monday December 7th 2015

Musicians band together to help a fellow Monroe County artist who lost everything to a fire. Gary Wehrkamp's family's home and his New Horizons Recording and Music Instruction Studio in Snydersville were completely destroyed. Fire officials tell us they were called to the blaze just after one in the morning three days after Thanksgiving. Luckily no one was home at the time.
A neighbor called saying their house was on fire. Firefighters from five departments fought the flames.
Now the music community is rallying around the family to help them pick up the pieces. It's accumulating into a benefit concert happening at the Sherman Theater the day after Christmas at 5pm. It's $20 to attend and all proceeds go to the family.
The family is currently staying in a friend's apartment so the musicians are going to try to turn the Sherman into a home for the holidays.
Sherman Theater Booking and Production Assistant Bryan Schmidt explains, "That's what we want the feel of the benefit to be, we're providing them at least some of the comfort of the home with the love and support of the family and friends for the holidays."
Officials say emails and calls keep coming in with people looking to help. Gary raised thousands of dollars for local children over the years through his Wishmaker's Charitable Foundation. His wife Ginger volunteers countless hours with Maddy's Angels. And music students of his like Schmidt say his teachings have been the greatest gift.
Schmidt says, "I don't think you'd even be able to count all the musicians and recording artists that he has helped get on their way to careers."
If you'd like to help the Wehrkamp's get back on their feet, "A Home for the Holidays" Benefit Concert tickets are on sale now at the Sherman Theater box officer or online.

East Stroudsburg Stabbing
Friday December 4th 2015

Police responded to a call monday at 8:05 P.M. on South Courtland Street in East Stroudsburg where they met the victim of the stabbing identified as Dennis Lisa who suffered from lacerations to his body and elbow. The police located a group of males fitting the description on washington street and upon police arrival the group took off running. Police would arrest 18 year old Adrian Gonzalez of Mount Pocono charged with robbery and aggravated assault. Yesterday 15 year old Israel Berrios of Stroudsburg charged with robbery and conspiracy of aggravated assault and today 17 year old Allan Gonzalez charged with robbery and conspiracy of aggravated assault. Adrian Gonzalez said he had punched the victim but doesn't know who stabbed him. Police officials also identified Berrios and other males identified in the group to be involved in a shoplifting incident.

Nonprofits Concerned Over Losing Tax Credit Funds
Thursday December 3rd 2015

Time is running out for some nonprofits in Monroe County to benefit from a special program. The state budget impasse is standing in the way of them receiving funds from the Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program. If legislatures can't come together before December 31st, they'll lose those funds completely.
The state budget impasse is now in its sixth month and some Monroe County nonprofits are left praying for a Christmas miracle that it doesn't go into its seventh. The stalemate is stopping them from receiving funds from the Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program, which allows qualifying businesses to redirect their tax payment to a list of scholarship or educational organizations.
Pocono Alliance uses the program's funds each year to provide pre-K scholarships to families in need.
If the budget does not go through before December 31st, they'll lose those funds completely and the 40 or so children they normally assist will be without their help. Executive Director Michael Tukeva says those kids will most likely miss out on their jump-start to learn.
The Pocono Family YMCA is another nonprofit that depends on those funds to keep their doors open to people in need.
CEO Matt Rumph says, "It's going to put a strain on our financial assistance program. Really we can only fund what we can raise and right now we're struggling with that."
Their cause is to never turn anyone away due to the inability to pay. Rumph says families rely on the YMCA. Parents use their childcare services so they can go to work. About 150 kids come to their summer camp and 50 percent need help affording it. But seniors on a limited income also utilize their financial assistance program.
Currently the legislatures are in Harrisburg and are working on the budget. If not passed by the end of this month, the non-profits stand to lose a lot of funding.

Drug Recovery Program in Pike County Shows Big Results
Thursday December 3rd 2015

Nearly 100 pounds of drugs, ranging from oxycontin to run of the mill vitamins were bagged and packaged. The drugs were laid out on a table inside the Pike County District Attorneys office. The drugs were collected over the last several months, from the Drug Drop Box program. Two drop box locations are set up in Pike County ; inside the Sheriffs office along with outside the Eastern Pike Regional Police Department. The program was started back in 2014, residents take the pills, seal them in a zip lock bag and drop them off. This makes sure the pills don't get in the wrong hands.
The pills that were collected were collected by the State Attorney Generals Office, where they will be taken to an unknown location and destroyed.

Suspicious Package Investigated At Tresckow Home
Wednesday December 2nd 2015

A suspicious package arrived at a home today in Carbon County. This morning officials were called to the residence in Tresckow to investigate a white substance found inside the delivery. Luckily it was discovered to be a postal mix-up. But responders say incidents like this should never be taken lightly.
Kelly Sherkness and her family had quite a scare this morning. The post office dropped off a package at their door containing an alarming substance. Sherkness tells us she was expecting a delivery from the Department of Auditor General where she works, heightening her concern.
They immediately notified the authorities who then came to their home to investigate. Lehigh County Special Operations Officials found the product inside the package to be safe after conducting tests. It turned out to be a cleaning agent that was supposed to be delivered somewhere else.
While we're told suspicious packages aren't delivered often in our area, it is something to be aware of and taken seriously. If you receive a package that seems suspicious for any reason, it's important to call authorities. but you should also immediately call the post office if you receive a package by mistake. Officials say it's always a good idea to get it checked out.

Stroudsburg Borough Budget
Wednesday December 2nd 2015

Last night Stroudsburg Borough held a meeting to discuss the budget proposal which included funds for fixing the roads. The proposal would increase a typical homeowner's taxes by about 30 dollars. "The proposal included a one and a half percent millage increase and some of the citizens who attended the meeting said they did not want their taxes increased and some of the council members agreed they were not excited about voting in favor of increasing taxes", says Stroudsburg Borough Manager Cathryn Thomas. Council decided not to adopt the budget last night, but instead look at ways to cut it in order to keep from increasing taxes and possibly still have money to fix the roads.

Giving Tuesday
Tuesday December 1st 2015

Twenty four hours ago shoppers were browsing the internet for the best deals on items for Cyber Monday. Jump forward again 24 hours and people are out giving to local charities and organizations for "Giving Tuesday". The Red Cross of the Poconos is one of many non-profits that can use your donations today. The Red Cross has a Facebook page promoting the event today and allows you to access a catalog where you can choose what you want to donate your money towards. Officials say if you donate you can also receive a free gift in return. The Monroe County Salvation Army are focused on their red kettle campaign which will be at less stores and for a shorter period of time this year so they need your help. Due to the loss of time they are holding a five dollar kettle December 11th to influence people to give more.

Fatal Chain Reaction Crash In Monroe County
Tuesday December 1st 2015

NiBor's Coffee Barista Pamela Hetzler couldn't see the crash that happened just after 5:30 this morning on Route 209 in front of the ESSA Bank and Trust Branch in Brodheadsville. But from her location at the Monroe Plaza parking lot, she could hear it was going to be bad.
Hetzler says, "I could hear the crashing, crashing, crashing and then all the cars trying to swerve past it and avoid it."
Police say 46-year-old Jeanette Ferrara of Effort was traveling northbound when her car crossed into the southbound lane hitting a Waste Management garbage truck head on. Monroe County Coroner Bob Allen says she was on her way to work at the time.
Police say her car then rotated back and was struck by another car traveling in the northbound lane. Ferrara was pronounced dead at the scene. Allen says she didn't have her seatbelt on and was ejected from the vehicle.
The driver of the second car was transported to Pocono Medical Center for evaluation. Three other vehicles crashed into each other trying to avoid the wreck in front of them. A total of six vehicles where involved in the crashes.
The incident remains under investigation and an autopsy is scheduled for tomorrow.

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