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Interstate 80 Crash Had Motorists Stuck For Hours
Thursday December 29th 2016

An accident in Monroe County this morning had motorists stuck waiting for hours. It happened on Interstate 80 Westbound near the Blakeslee exit closing both lanes. Officials tell us around 10, a tractor trailer jack-knifed and another tractor trailer ran into it. No injuries were reporter. The backup of traffic reached past the Route 380 exit. And those at a standstill found ways to pass the time like build a snowman. The two lanes remained closed until 12:30 and traffic really didn't start moving till one this afternoon.

Closure Alert Sign Confuses Drivers
Wednesday December 28th 2016

Drivers are being alerted that a bridge in Stroud Township will close for construction early next year. But we discovered the posted sign on Bridge Street is very misleading.
A new neon orange sign posted just before the construction site on Bridge Street reads "This Road To Be Closed For Construction 1/6/2017." Work started on the span crossing the Pocono Creek last July. Traffic has been one way going north since then. The alert is very alarming to some drivers. They believe it means indefinitely. But we found out the bridge will only remain closed four to six hours starting after 10 that night so three beams can be placed on the new structure. While many people were relieved when we told them, others seemed quite annoyed by the misleading sign.
And drivers will also be happy to know the bridge is expected to be completely done by early summer between May and June. The new bridge will be wider and slightly longer. The single lane will remain in place until the bridge is replaced.

New Recycle Site Opens To Eliminate Dumping Problem
Tuesday December 27th 2016

A dumping problem in Stroud Township is being cut off with a new restricted recycling site.
Two days after Christmas and it seems the recycling site in Analomink off of Route 191 is the place to be. Unfortunately piles of garbage were an obstacle, which included a toilet. Officials from Monroe County Municipal Waste Management Authority tell us it was more than a truck load. The Municipal Waste Authority operates its nine recycle sites through the revenue generated from the material. If they can't eliminate the dumping at the few problem sites, they'll be forced to close them all. That's why officials have come up with a final intervention. The worst site- the Analomink one is closing after the New Year. It's being replaced by one with restricted access. The new site complete with a fence, personal on duty and limited hours opened today on Military Road off of Shafers Schoolhouse Road near Route 611. Everyone we spoke with didn't mind traveling to the new location and are all for it. For operational hours just go to their website thewasteauthority.com.

SUMMER CAMP IMPACT ON THE POCONOS
Monday December 26th 2016

A new study is looking at the financial impact summer camps have on the Poconos. The Wayne County Camp Alliance which represents 30 Pocono summer camps released the study today. It looked at 60 summer camps across Wayne, Pike Monroe and part of Susquehanna County. The study found that combined camps contributed more than 120 million dollars to the local economy. On average each camp paid more than 100-thousand dollars in local property taxes and spent more than three million dollars on wages, food and supplies. A link to the full study can be found here - www.shepstone.net/PoconoCamps.pdf

Road Tax May Be Coming To Mount Pocono
Monday December 26th 2016

Mount Pocono officials are taking a vote this week on whether or not to implement a three mill road tax.
Ashley Quinteros just started driving and has noticed some of the roads in Mount Pocono Borough are a safety hazard. Some are deteriorating and others are filled with pot holes. That's why Borough officials are proposing a three mill dedicated road tax for 2017. It's been 10 years since residents have seen an increase. Last year they tried to catch up on the roadwork they've been putting off but it's too far gone. Residents we spoke with today had mixed feelings about the tax. A public hearing is scheduled for tomorrow night at 6:45 with a special meeting directly after. Let your own voice be heard.

LCCC Workforce Training
Friday December 23rd 2016

We've all heard the saying everyone deserves a second chance,
well thanks to Lehigh Carbon Community College people will be able to do just that with their employment retraining opportunity program. Anyone who lives or used to work in Schuylkill, Lehigh or Carbon counties and has been permanently or indefinitely laid off as of February will be eligible to take 4 classes of their choice worth 12 credits for free. Leslie Bartholomew LCCC Director of Returning Adult & Veteran Student Services says, "We really felt that it was important to give them this as a resource to either pursue a new career or maybe reinforce the position they're in so they have some education behind them to make them more marketable." The classes start January 13th and officials say there will be important info sessions starting the first week of January at the college. Officials urge people to check their website for the official dates, times and any other information.

Last Minute Shopping Paying Off For Some
Friday December 23rd 2016

The final countdown has started- there's now only one full shopping day left before Christmas. And people who had off today were taking advantage of completing their lists at the Stroud Mall. Store owners tell us the economy seems to be better this year. People have continuously been filling the mall and leaving with their arms full of bags. Today is no exception. Some shoppers tell us getting items last minute pays off. There are a lot of doorbusters and great sales.

Boy Drops Off Toys At Local Hospital
Thursday December 22nd 2016

Going to the emergency room can be a scary trip for children, especially around the holidays. That's why a Coaldale boy wanted to have a surprise ready for them at the hospital in Lehighton. He collected new toys and donated them today.
10-year-old Connor Reighard is all about spreading the true meaning of Christmas. He dropped off bags of new stuffed animals today at the Gnaden Heutten Hospital for sick and terminally ill children. He's been doing the toy drive for the past three years for various hospitals and says he'll continue to do it every year. It's something that warms his Dad's heart and brings tears to his eyes. It was Connor's idea to give back. Connor's mission is to bring a little bit of Christmas cheer to children entering the emergency room because of what he went through as an infant. At six months, he needed open heart surgery due to a rare heart disease. Hospital officials really appreciate his Christmas spirit and they know it'll mean the world to their patients. Connor's toy drive is something they hope will catch on. You can deliver toys to your local hospital in Connor's name.

Strike Looming Over Stroudsburg School District
Wednesday December 21st 2016

A teacher's strike is looming over the Stroudsburg School District just one day before the holiday break. The school district's solicitor says contract negotiations are at an impasse and a work stoppage is likely going to happen starting January 3rd. But the teacher's union is still hoping it won't come to that. The teachers have been working under an expired contract since August 2015. The solicitor says they're about 12 million dollars apart on negotiations but the union says that's just not true. Stroudsburg Area Education Association members believe it's very easy to come to an agreement where both sides are able to benefit from it. They say they're willing to give and take to avoid a strike. We're told the most the teachers could strike is eight school days. At the end both sides would be in a non-binding mandatory arbitration where each would put in their last offer and a panel would provide a recommendation. After that recommendation, the teachers are able to strike again. Both sides want to avoid the first strike but in different ways. The solicitor would like to go straight to non-binding arbitration and work it out in that forum while the union still wants to solve it locally. The superintendent has been meeting with the union's chief negotiator recently and we're told they've been making great progress. They are also willing to meet over the holiday break.

Grants for Lehighton Parks
Wednesday December 21st 2016

Thanks to a nearly $300,000 grant from the state and federal budget to the Borough of Lehighton, Baer Memorial and Grove Parks will have new looks. Officials plan on spending $200,000 to install basketball courts, an all purpose field and a track around the football field at Baer Memorial Park. Meanwhile they'll be spending $40,000 for a study at Grove Park to determine if they should add another recreation center. Carbon County State Rep. Doyle Heffley says, "Anything you can do to help the community to keep our young kids and our senior citizens active is great and I think it's important that those programs are funded." Officials say the tennis and basketball courts at Grove Park will be revamped as well. As of now there is no date set on when the project will begin.

More People Are In Need Of A Place To Stay This Holiday Season
Tuesday December 20th 2016

Officials in Monroe County say the homeless problem seems to be getting worse. In fact more people are in need of services right now than any past December. Officials say normally this time of year the homeless situation quiets down. That's because family and friends usually step in to help those they know get out of the cold. But this year the number of those in need of shelter keeps going up. Officials say the only way to change it is to have better paying jobs and affordable housing. In the meantime, the founder of the Valor Clinic says zero degree sleeping bags could really mean the difference between life or death for people stuck outside. If you would like to drop off a sleeping bag for a homeless person this Christmas, contact the Valor Clinic or Street2Feet Outreach Center.

Drive Sober Or Get Pulled Over
Monday December 19th 2016

Monroe County police are already out looking for drunk drivers this holiday season. It's all part of a special year-end drive sober or get pulled over enforcement mobilization. They've teamed up with the Monroe County District Attorneys Office Detectives and local alcohol establishments. Officials held a special meeting this morning to raise awareness. Officials add if you observe someone driving under the influence, you should contact your local law enforcement immediately.

Toys for Tots Jar Stolen
Monday December 19th 2016

The Brodhead Brew, Lackawanna Hotel, Tony's Pizzeria and the Beerhouse Café all in East Stroudsburg on Crystal Street have fallen victim to some petty thefts over the last two weeks. Now you can add the Arlington Diner which is only ten minutes away in Stroudsburg to the list. Diner officials have surveillance footage of the man snatching the jar at around 6:20 pm during business hours. George Halas the Owner of the Arlington Diner says, "We've been doing this fundraiser for as long as I can remember this is my 13th year and first time we've had anything like that happen in my recollection." The diner has raised thousands of dollars for toys for tots over the last few years all in an effort to bring gifts to misfortunate children. Halas says the community has already began stepping up to donate more during this time and he says they'll be working alongside Toys for Tots to ensure the kids will be taken care of. Officials say if you have any details on the robbery to call Stroud Area Regional Police at 570-421-6800.

Turkey Giveaway
Friday December 16th 2016

This morning Lehighton Ford officials gave out 100 turkeys and 100 bags of potatoes to 10 church congregations in Carbon County for them to pass on to the community. Bill Klepeiss General Manager of Lehighton Ford says, "We want to reinvest in the community and it's easy to say invest looking for something we are not looking for anything in return other than knowing that we helped somebody, that to us is the greatest blessing." Lehighton Ford officials have been holding this giveaway for many years and they say they don't expect that to change.

Man In Court Charged With Vehicular Homicide
Friday December 16th 2016

A man is in court today charged in the fatal accident that killed his girlfriend. It happened two years ago in Monroe County's West End. 33-year-old Brian Petix of Macungie is charged with driving under the influence and causing the death of his passenger, his girlfriend 22-year-old Casey Hoffman. The crash happened just after 6PM on November 10th of 2014 in the area of Weir Lake Road and Frantz Road in Chestnuthill Township. Petix waived his right to a preliminary hearing. We're told he's been in treatment to come to grips with what happened. Petix was driving a Buick around a curve when he lost control and went off the road into a tree. Police say he was going over 65 miles-per-hour in a 40 mile-per-hour zone. They add Petix had bloodshot, glassy eyes and appeared to confused, slow and sluggish when he was placed in an ambulance. Hoffman was flown to a hospital and later died. An empty beer can and empty Reddi-Whip container were both found on the passenger side. The Commonwealth says both alcohol and drugs were found in his system. While the defense says it was legally prescribed medications and the amount of alcohol was under the legal limit. All charges were bound over to Monroe County Court.

Accident Reconstruction On Interstate 80
Wednesday December 14th 2016

Police are investigating whether a third vehicle may have been involved in a November fatal crash on Interstate 80. The accident reconstruction closed 80 westbound between the Tannersville and Scotrun exits for four hours today. Traffic was diverted off of 80 at the Tannersville exit, onto Route 715 to Sullivan Trail and then re-entered 80 at the Scotrun ramp. Meanwhile state troopers were busy taking pictures and measuring out marks left behind from the crash on November 18th. A box truck crossed the grassy median and collided with a car carrying a family of five. Four people died including the truck drivers and two kids. Police originally thought only the two vehicles were involved, but eyewitnesses called in and reported otherwise. Police hope today's reconstruction determines what role the third vehicle played and if charges should be filed.

Gas Prices Are On The Rise
Tuesday December 13th 2016

Gas prices may be heading toward three dollars per gallon. Fuel typically drops in cost during the winter months, but not this year. Oil prices are over 50 dollars per barrel after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and several non-member states agreed to slash oil output. Retailers have already responded to the deal by increasing prices for motorists. But there is no guarantee the trend will continue. There are ways to save on gas. AAA officials say to shop around for prices, combine errands and vehicle maintenance are all ways to be fuel efficient.

Ski Areas Preparing To Open
Monday December 12th 2016

Officials are giving the start of the ski season two thumbs up. At this time last year, ski resorts in Monroe County were pleading with Mother Nature to have cold weather for the holiday season. But they ended up missing it completely. Today the ski resorts are in full preparation to open this week. Shawnee Mountain will open this Wednesday with five trails and Friday snow tubing will also be available. Officials tell us the phone is already ringing with eager skiers and snowboarders. After last season, the snow storm over the weekend was a great sign from Mother Nature things will be different this time around. Last year opening day didn't come till January. Officials have their eyes on this coming holiday week and they're expecting a great gift from Old Man Winter. Their goal is to have the majority of the trails open by Christmas. Businesses located near Camelback Mountain are also looking forward to the trickle down effect. Last year the opportunity melted away. The owner of Barley Creek Brewing Company and The Morning Toast has put his faith in Camelback. Snowmaking is also in full swing there and they're also planning on opening this week.

Work Set To Begin On Hallet Road Bridge
Friday December 9th 2016

People living in the Penn Estates community in Stroud Township are breathing a sigh of relief. Work is now set to start the first week of January, weather permitting. PennDOT officials estimate it'll take about six months to fix and open it back up. The main road to the development has been closed since the bridge was damaged by heavy rain in February. The unexpected project got funding in March and the hold up was the result of securing right-of-ways and environmental permits.

Monroe County Hotel Brought To Life
Wednesday December 7th 2016

Officials have a plan to bring an old hotel in Monroe County back to life. Thanks to a $1.69 million state loan the former Penn Stroud Hotel also known as the Pocono Inne Town on Main Street Stroudsburg will be reopened. Officials have plans to completely remodel the historic hotel including adding new furniture, structural renovations, new conference and meeting rooms and more. Senator Mario Scavello says, "Result is you're going to have a better Stroudsburg because you'll have a hotel that's first class newly renovated and when they get people to the hotels they're going to be spending money downtown." There is no timetable on when the project will begin but officials expect it will create 14 full time and four part time jobs within three years.

School Spreads True Meaning Of Christmas
Tuesday December 6th 2016

A school in Monroe County is helping to spread the true meaning of Christmas. East Stroudsburg South High School is trying to raise money for 16 families in need from their district this holiday season. Two school employees started the initiative but now all of the students have gotten involved. They're purchasing t-shirts, having a dress down day benefit and there's a student-faculty basketball game. Local businesses have also stepped up but they currently only have enough money to help 9 of the 16 families. If you'd like to help them reach their goal, just send a check to the South High School by next Wednesday. You make it out to East Stroudsburg School District with the memo "Cavs Cares."

Man Robbed By Gunpoint At Turkey Hill
Monday December 5th 2016

Police are searching for two suspects who robbed a man by gunpoint in Monroe County. It happened last night just before midnight in the parking lot of the Turkey Hill in Middle Smithfield Township. Luckily the victim was not hurt after he handed over approximately 100 dollars. Surveillance video shows the suspect then fled with another man in a silver four-door Dodge Neon that was missing a front driver side hub cap. Police describe the first suspect as a bald white man in his mid to late 20s wearing a camouflage jacket. And the second suspect as an Hispanic man possibly in his 40s wearing a dark colored jacket. Officials say the incident is more common this time of year and want to warn you to be more cautious. If you witnessed anything or have any information on the robbery last night you're asked to call the Swiftwater State Police Barracks.

PennDOT: Two Options For Dangerous Monroe County Intersection
Friday December 2nd 2016

There's now have a new option on the table to make a dangerous intersection in Monroe County safer. PennDOT officials are still debating on closing the heavily traveled four-lane Route 209 and Shafers Schoolhouse Road intersection. But they're also thinking about only closing part of it so that people still have access. The idea would be to make the intersection free-flowing. The traffic lights would be removed. Drivers would still be able to make right hand turns on to Shafers Schoolhouse Road but the crossover left hand turn would be eliminated. The median that would be placed to block turns from the middle would have some kind of access available only to first responders, such as a gate. People we spoke with today tell us they would rather have some access than none at all, but they still prefer the intersection remaining as it is. No decision has yet been made. PennDOT officials tell us they are deciding between the two options and that could take another few months. They expect to be moving forward with one option by March of next year.

Help An ESU Student Organization Spread Holiday Cheer
Thursday December 1st 2016

Students at East Stroudsburg University are taking on the role of Santa's helpers, but they could still use some more community support. The Student Senate is getting ready for their holiday party this Saturday for kids in need they invited from Monroe County Children and Youth and Pocono YMCA. Today we caught up with members as they were busy wrapping the donated toys they've contributed and collected for the past three months. It's all a part of their 17th annual Teddy Bear Drive. They have plenty of stuffed animals but they could use more toys, especially for the five through seven-year-old age groups. If you would like to drop off a toy before Saturday, just go to the Student Senate Office on the top floor of the University Center which is located on Normal Street.

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