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Aggressive Driving Crackdown
Thursday March 31st 2016

Pocono Mountain Regional Police are cracking down on aggressive drivers. They're one of 235 municipal departments in Pennsylvania that was awarded a grant to address aggressive driving concerns. And the only one in Monroe County. The coordinated enforcement runs through May 1st. Typical aggressive driving behaviors include speeding, tailgating and work zone safety violations. The goal of the wave is to ensure the safety of roadways by reminding people to slow down and pay attention at all times.

Monroe County Habitat for Humanity Looking For Home Repair Projects
Wednesday March 30th 2016

Spring has sprung and that means you're probably getting ready to do some home repair projects. But if you're unable to do the work and are in need, Monroe County Habitat for Humanity would like to pitch in. They're looking for applications to come in for their Home Preservation Projects. From July till next June they're able to complete 30 repairs. The goal is to have people live in safe, decent homes. For more information on how to qualify and to apply, just call them at 570-476-9846.

School Employee Charged With Stealing Student's Medication Speaks Out
Tuesday March 29th 2016

An East Stroudsburg School District Employee charged with stealing a student's medication appeared in court today. And shared exclusively with us her side of the story.
57-year-old Karen Palaia of Bangor tells us she isn't worried about what she's accused of because she's innocent. Palaia is charged with stealing a student's medication from a locked cabinet in the nurse's office at East Stroudsburg High School South. Monroe County Detectives discovered 12 prescription Adderall pills were taken from the student's designated bin on December 9th. Palaia was working as a school security officer at the time and detectives say surveillance video shows she was the only person to go into the locked medicine cabinet that night. According to court paperwork, Palaia admitted to detectives that she found a key without anyone's knowledge and opened the cabinet. But she says she only took her own prescription.
Once Palaia was charged, school officials say she was placed on immediate leave. Palaia waived her right to a preliminary hearing today and faces misdemeanor charges of theft and possessing a controlled substance. She says she can't wait to get everything cleaned up, get back to work and clear her name. Palaia''s next court appearance will be at the Monroe County Courthouse May 18th.

Eldred Township Fire
Tuesday March 29th 2016

Fire officials responded to a house fire this morning on Frable Road in Eldred Township. Fortunately the person who noticed the fire first was the son-in-law of the Fire Chief in Kunkletown. Fire Chief Leon Frable says, "He (Son in-law) was the first one here they were going shopping my daughter, my granddaughter and my son in law Lou they came upon here and they seen all the smoke, so he said when he came here with the winds that were coming out through here it was a working structure fire." Fire officials say the blaze destroyed the families entire home and due to the magnitude many fire departments from Monroe and Carbon counties were called to assist. Fire officials say nobody was hurt but the status of the homeowners pets are unknown. "We had a few pets I think they said there was a dog, a cat and something else they said there was three pets that they cant account for so we'll be looking to see if we can locate them", says Frable. Officials are now investigating the cause of the fire.

Saylorsburg Man Waives Hearing For Animal Cruelty Charges
Monday March 28th 2016

Vet officials weren't too sure if Michaella was going to make it when the English Mastiff first arrived at Creature Comforts. She was found at a home in Ross Township after a citizen called the PSPCA Abuse Hotline for assistance. SPCA officials say 31-year-old Brandon Cramer of Saylorsburg hit Michaella on the head with a hammer and stabbed her in the chest. But we're told frost bite is what's keeping her on a long road to recovery. The aftermath can be seen on her nose, ears, tail and legs-- she ended up losing her paws. According to court documents, Cramer admitted to SPCA officials that he did both acts after deciding to put Michaella down. It reads, his dog had given birth to some still born puppies and she was swelling a lot. He told officials since she was so skinny and looked so bad afterward, he didn't want to take her to the vet.
Cramer had nothing to say on his way in and out of court, and he waived his preliminary hearing. But residents of Monroe County who heard about Michaella's injuries had a lot to say. They showed up to support her and the need for stricter animal cruelty laws. One tells us he talked to Cramer who told him it wasn't done maliciously. But the group says it shouldn't have happened at all. Cramer is charged with one count of animal cruelty and three counts of denying veterinary care. Cramer also agreed to surrender his two other dogs and two puppies.
Despite everything that Michaella's been through, we're told she's sweet and never stops wagging her tail.
And the people that showed up today aren't the only ones rooting for her. She's received fan mail from all over the nation. For now Michaella uses a special cart and crawls to get around. But vet officials are hoping she'll walk again with prosthetics at her new forever home. Cramer is due to appear next at the Monroe County Courthouse May 18th.

Pike County Seeks Drug Court
Friday March 25th 2016

Officials in Pike County are looking to find alternative ways to punish non violent drug offenders. According to DA Ray Tonkin, drug arrests rose significantly in 2015, while arrests like burglary and theft, commonly related with drug addiction went down.
Tonkin along with other County Officials want to bring a Drug Court to Pike County to get these offenders help instead of locking them up.
In a drug court, the judge would supervise these offenders, it would provide long term treatment, where the offenders are rewarded if adhering to the judges program, however if straying from the treatment, a harsher sentence would be handed out.
Statistics show that 75 percent of adult criminals that graduate the drug court program never see another pair of handcuffs, and its something Tonkin has plans to rolling out in the future.
Tonkin tells us, the County needs money to establish a full-fledged drug court, but his goal is to have an intermediate punishment program set up in the next few months.

Good Friday Work in Stroudsburg
Friday March 25th 2016

This morning people of all ages gathered at the St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church in Stroudsburg to participate in the walking of the cross. The event is supposed to emulate the journey of Jesus Christ when he was bearing the cross. We spoke with the pastor of the church Eric Moser who says this will be his first time participating in the event here in Stroudsburg. Moser says, "I've been here since December so I'm slowly getting to know the community...I would say I'm most looking forward to just being together." The walk stops at churches and courthouse square for brief spiritual presentations. The journey is led by a person carrying the cross and that person changes after each stop. We spoke with Brycen Butz who was the first cross bearer, who says he's participated in the event previously but has never had this role. "Very special knowing that I'm kind of the leader of it all it feels good, says Butz.

Easter Flower Sale To Benefit Community
Friday March 25th 2016

When it comes to Easter, one of the first things you think of is flowers. Volunteers at a sale in Northampton County are hoping you stop by their location for that symbol of the holiday. The money raised at the Walnutport Borough Park goes to the community for events and sports played at the playground like baseball. If you'd like to pick up some flowers to benefit the community, volunteers will be back at 8AM tomorrow until they sell out.

Protesters Rally in Pike County
Thursday March 24th 2016

Over 40 protesters showed up at the Corporal Bryon Dickson exit in Blooming Grove to send Penn Dot a message. Nick Santelli says he want Penn Dot to find another location to dump acid rock that is being dug up from a road reconstruction project nearby.
The pyrite, an acid rock, is being moved from the massive rebuilding of Route 2001 in Lehman Township, and buried in Blooming Grove.
Penn Dot officials say the pyrite is found naturally all over Pike County, and presents no danger once they bury it, cover it in lime and encapsulate it, however residents still fear it could contaminate their drinking water down the road.
Senator Lisa Baker stopped by to assure residents, that no rock would be moved to Blooming Grove until Penn Dot and DEP met with the residents to discuss these issues.
That meeting is scheduled to take place in the next few weeks.

Early Allergy Season In Monroe County?
Thursday March 24th 2016

Right now Pennsylvania is experiencing one of the highest pollen counts according to reports. But officials in Monroe County say an early allergy season hasn't kicked up yet. That doesn't mean it isn't time to start getting prepared.
Winter this year in Monroe County has been odd. A lot of people have referred to it as spring-winter with many days being quite warm. While there have been many reports nationally of an early allergy season from the higher temperatures. We're told trees in our area aren't pollenating yet because the cold has also hung on.
But that doesn't mean the season isn't going to come earlier than usual. Spring has sprung so it's best to be prepared. Once the symptoms start, it's harder to get them to stop. And you don't need a prescription for anti-allergy medication. Plus you can also start using nasal sprays and saline solutions. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, you may need to ask an allergy specialist.

Bids Come in for Multi- Million Dollar Construction Project
Wednesday March 23rd 2016

Bids came in for the new addition to the new Pike County Courthouse in Milford. Many General Contractors showed up to the Commissioners meeting in Milford to submit their bids. The numbers that were read out loud were all pretty close, but Commissioner Rich Caridi tells us it won't just boil down to the dollars. " We need to find the most responsible lowest bidder, so that means beginning the vetting process, checking references and seeing who is qualified to handle the work.
The County took out a seven million dollar bond to get the Courthouse completed, and so far, Caridi was pleased with the numbers he's seeing.
" Our concern is that we weren't going to have enough money but from what I see, we are in good shape.
Caridi says he expects construction to start in a few weeks. County officials expect to have construction of the new courthouse completed by spring of 2018.

Brussels Attack
Wednesday March 23rd 2016

There were multiple explosions at the airport and metro station in Brussels a region in Belgium yesterday. The attacks took the lives of about 31 innocent civilians. Officials say incidents like this is the reason for the Northeast Pennsylvania Regional Counter Terrorism Task Force. Robert Werts the Program Manager at the Task Force says, "I want to make sure that everybody is ready for whatever type of event whether it be a catastrophic event a man made or just a natural disaster, that they are prepared they are well trained and they are well equipped to deal with whatever comes up."

No Show Defendant Found Guilty
Wednesday March 23rd 2016

A defendant who didn't appear for his trial is found guilty in Monroe County Court. A jury decided in about an hour this afternoon that the Long Pond Man committed homicide by vehicle in June of 2014. While his absence did not impact the trial, a warrant has been issued for his arrest along with extradition from anywhere in the world.
47-year-old Kirk Randler's only appearance since his trial started Monday was his picture being hung up today on the Monroe County Sheriff's Wanted Wall. It happened just before the jury said he's guilty of causing the death of 42-year-old Katrina Strausser, along with injuring four others. Police say Randler was speeding in a Chevy Camaro and passing vehicles on Route 611 Northbound near Mount Pocono when he hit an SUV head on. Strausser and her two sons were thrown from the Camaro. Strausser's family tells us it's been a very long and horrendous journey, and they're relieved to finally hear Randler is guilty on all 18 counts.
But they tell us the fight for justice isn't over. They'll be working with the Monroe County District Attorney's Office to change homicide by vehicle to a higher felony. They say three and a half to seven years isn't a long enough sentence. The family tells us they won't receive total closure until they see Randler face the consequences for his actions. His sentencing date is scheduled for June 21st and it can happen without him being there.
We're told a very aggressive search has started for Randler.
Because there were five victims involved in this case, we're told Randler could be sentenced to 17 to 35 years in prison. Plus he'll have to answer for not showing up in court.

No Show Defendant For Trial Day 2
Tuesday March 22nd 2016

A Long Pond man charged with homicide by vehicle is still a no show today for the second day of his trial. 47-year-old Kirk Randler is charged with causing the death of 42-year-old Katrina Strausser in June of 2014. Police say he was speeding in a Chevy Camaro on Route 611 near Mount Pocono when he hit an SUV head-on. The judge decided to go ahead with the trial without Randler attending. If there is no appropriate reason for Randler's absence during his trial, it can proceed to a jury verdict and even sentencing. Evidence concluded today and closing arguments will start first thing tomorrow.

Veterans Walk of Honor
Monday March 21st 2016

A group in Wayne County wants to preserve the memories of countless veterans.
The Wayne County business and professional women has been checking out over 150 cemeteries and logging the names of everyone who's served to build a veterans walk of honor.
By Veterans Day in November, the group plans to have a memorial in place outside the Wayne County Courthouse in downtown Honesdale.
To bring this vision to life, the group still needs help in a variety of areas. If you want to lend a hand, you can contact Kim Erickson at the email below.

kimeric1967@yahoo.com

Some Eldred Township Residents Being Targeted?
Monday March 21st 2016

Five Kunkletown residents believe they're being targeted. They say they're experiencing different degrees of vandalism since they began opposing the Nestle Company's plans to withdraw water from a well in Eldred Township. The five filed a land use appeal to stop Nestle because they say township and Monroe County officials didn't follow proper procedure. Back in 2014, the township's zoning ordinance was changed from commercial to industrial. We're told they made a list of mistakes and the public wasn't notified of the potential land use change. If the court decided in their favor, the ordinance change in 2014 will be null and void and as a result, Nestle won't be able to extract water. Officials of the Monroe County Planning Commission wouldn't answer our questions because the matter is in litigation. All others involved did not return our calls for comment.

Stroudsburg Bank Robbery
Monday March 21st 2016

At approximately 9:25 AM police were dispatched to First Keystone Bank on Main Street in Stroudsburg for a reported armed robbery. The suspect displayed a black handgun and was able to flee from the scene. Police identify the suspect as a male, thin build, about 5'8 to 6'0 tall, wearing blue jeans, a face mask, a black hat and carrying a backpack and a black bag. The suspect remains on the loose and if anyone has any information on the bank robbery contact Stroud Area Regional Police.

Firefighters Battle Flames At Monroe County Business
Friday March 18th 2016

About 30 firefighters battled an early morning fire at a landscaping material business in Monroe County. Employees at Scott Farms located in Saylorsburg on Mt. Eaton Road are trying to pick up the pieces today. Blue Ridge Hook and Ladder Volunteer Firefighters were dispatched a little after 1:30PM. A storage area and workshop space was up in flames. It's an affiliate of A. Scott Enterprises which is a fleet and equipment shop located right next to what burned. The quick response from Blue Ridge and firefighters in the surrounding areas kept it from spreading. They used a creek nearby and ran a tanker shuttle back and forth to extinguish the blaze. A fire marshal was on scene today and the cause remains under investigation.

Fatal Crash On Route 115 In Monroe County
Thursday March 17th 2016

A fatal crash happened just before two this morning on Route 115 in Chestnuthill Township. Police say two vehicles struck head-on a little north of Sugar Hollow Road and before Heckman Orchards. Nicholas Hicks, Trevor Roberts and Haylee Rosenberg were pronounced dead at the scene and two others were taken to the hospital for moderate injuries. The five people involved were between the ages of 19 and 26. Police believe speed and heavy fog contributed to the crash. Both drivers were killed. Hicks was in one vehicle and the other four were in the second vehicle. Police say they're continuing to investigate the crash.

Five Women Honored In Monroe County
Wednesday March 16th 2016

March is Women's History Month and Monroe County is officially celebrating it for the first time thanks to the new Women's Commission. The theme is "Women in Politics" and today certificates of appreciation were presented to five women at the Commissioners Meeting. Those awarded all served to be local leaders and positive role models in paving the way for equality. All five were the first woman to be elected in their office in Monroe County- President Judge Margherita Patti-Worthington, State Representative Rosemary Brown, Commissioner Nancy Shukaitis, Township Supervisor Nancy May and Court of Common Pleas Judge Linda Wallach-Miller.
Monroe County Women's Commission meets the fourth Thursday of every month and everyone is welcome to attend. For more information, just go to www.womenscommissionofmonroecountypa.com.

Dress Collection and Sale
Tuesday March 15th 2016

Donate your prom and wedding dresses and help grant the dream of a seriously ill child. New and gently-used prom and wedding dresses can be dropped off now until March 22nd at the following Blue Ridge Communications Offices: Stroudsburg, Gilbert, Palmerton, Walnutport, Lehighton, and Lansford. We will be selling the dresses collected on March 30th at Pennís Peak in Jim Thorpe from 3pm-6pm. Dresses just $10 (cash only). All proceeds benefit Dream Come True, Blue Ridge Chapter.

Shavelle Mills Jr.'s Preliminary Hearing
Tuesday March 15th 2016

Shavelle Mills Jr. 18, of East Stroudsburg appeared in district court this morning after he brought a loaded .22 caliber revolver to his classroom at East Stroudsburg South. The weapon was never fired and nobody was hurt in the incident. Mills Jr.'s family was at the hearing this morning and Mills Jr.'s father had this to say about his son. "We love our son God loves our son and we are not giving up on him and he's in Gods hands." Mills Jr.'s bail is set at $50,000 and he will appear at the Monroe County Courthouse in May.

Gonzalez Preliminary Hearing Continued
Monday March 14th 2016

This morning Michele Gonzalez appeared in District Court after she allegedly stole money from her job. Michele Gonzalez has been working as the business manager at the Pocono Family YMCA since 2008. According to police reports the YMCA CEO Matt Rumph began looking through the organization's financial accounts because he heard there were some financial issues involving Gonzalez. Officials discovered Gonzalez had written a check to herself of $1,056 after she already received her weekly paycheck and when she was asked about it she quit shortly after. Officials would later find that Gonzalez had allegedly been stealing large sums of money since 2011 in total $56,441.71, all money officials say she wasn't authorized to take. Gonzalez's attorney Thomas Mincer explains why the amount of money was so high. "The allegations are checks to Wal-Mart...Staples things like that or the bulk of what seems to be in there are some advances on payroll, but advances on payroll as we are all aware get paid back so obviously that wouldn't be theft", says Mincer. Gonzalez's preliminary hearing was continued this morning because officials are awaiting a forensic audit.

Distracted Driving Hits Home With Students
Monday March 14th 2016

Every day in the United States eight people are killed due to distracted driving. Today students at Pocono Mountain West High School in Monroe County experienced how easily they could become a statistic. Lehigh Valley Health Network and North Central Highway Safety Network demonstrated driving stimulators that showed them first-hand the consequences of not paying full attention when behind the wheel of a car. Every student we spoke with says distracted driving of any kind just isn't worth it and they're definitely not going to text and drive.

Help Make A PTSD Retreat Center Happen In Monroe County
Friday March 11th 2016

An estimated 22 Veterans a day commit suicide in the United States. That's why a veterans' group is trying to bring a permanent PTSD retreat center to Monroe County. They've already found the perfect property in Stroud Township. Now they just need your help in getting grant money.
The Valor Clinic's program "Veterans Unstoppable" takes members on three long weekend retreats spread over six months and are given some homework projects in their life. They dig into their pain, anxiety and nightmares with other veterans who understand how and why they have those feelings. Currently the retreats are only held at places the Valor Clinic can lease out. If the foundation had a place of its own, the program could help a lot more veterans. It's something that doesn't exist in Monroe County or anywhere else in Northeastern Pennsylvania. That's why they'd like to purchase this four bedroom home with over 170 acres off of Route 447 in Stroud Township. Officials believe over time they'd be able to help 600 veterans per year.
Officials have already put in an application for an LSA Grant to help cover the 750 thousand dollar cost, while they're also looking for other funding. If you'd like to help, just call or write to your local state representative to voice your support for the Valor Clinic Foundation's LSA Grant.

East Stroudsbug Student with Weapon
Friday March 11th 2016

This morning Shavelle Mills 18, of East Stroudsburg was charged after he came to school with a loaded revolver. School officials received a tip that Mills had a weapon and alerted the school police and Stroud Area Regional officials. East Stroudsburg South school police came to Mills home room classroom. The weapon was found in his backpack and the guns serial number was scratched off. School police escorted him to the main office where Stroud Area Regional Police took over the investigation. Earlier this morning the school parking lot was bustling with parents picking up their children because they feared the worst. Mills has been placed in the Monroe County Correctional Facility in lieu of $50,000 bail and is now awaiting his preliminary hearing.

Three Arrested in Mahoning Twp. Business Break-in
Thursday March 10th 2016

Three people are accused of breaking into New England Motor Freight including an employee. The Mahoning Township business reported the burglary Wednesday morning. Police say they've charged 42-year-old Daniel Gruber who worked there along with 45-year-old Martin Konze and 22-year-old Nicholas Sickonic both of Palmerton. Investigators say the men cut the fence surrounding the facility and placed stolen items in the woods behind the business. Officers seized more than $6,000 in merchandise frpm the woods including tires, tools and furniture among other items. The investigation is ongoing and further charges are expected.

Tamaqua Hunger Walk Preperations
Thursday March 10th 2016

The 3rd annual Tamaqua Hunger weekend is two months away, but organizers are looking for support now. The weekend of May 13th will be used to collect funds and food for the Tamaqua Salvation Army, Trinity United Church of Christ and Primitive Methodist. Organizers say 47% of students in the Tamaqua School District are eligible for free or reduced lunches which shows there's a need. Last year's program raised over $3,600 in funds and collected 48 boxes of food. To make this year's effort even more successful organizers are hoping to start fundraising now. They're looking for businesses to sell hunger donation cards for a dollar each. Anyone who wants to participate in the Hunger Walk on May 15th can also get sponsors. For details call the event coordinator - Paul at 570-668-0289.

Plan In Place For Hallet Road Bridge
Thursday March 10th 2016

Residents calls have been answered. The Penn Estates community in Stroud Township received a notice saying the bridge on Hallet Road will remain closed indefinitely. We talked to many people yesterday outraged over the news. They called their local legislators looking for help.
First- Senator Mario Scavello and State Representative David Parker are putting a meeting together with all emergency officials involved. Second- they got the repairs funded through a plan with PennDOT. Scavello says he asked officials to look in the 40th Senate District to see if there was a bridge that wasn't in a state of emergency to be repaired so the money for that project could go to Hallet Road. The delay was a result of the unexpected project not being in the budget. A supporting wall of the bridge collapsed during a heavy rainstorm a couple of weeks ago. Now that PennDOT is using bridge preventative maintenance funds, the bridge will be fixed in an estimated 6 to 12 months at a cost between 500 to 750 thousand dollars.
PennDOT Officials say bridge engineers are currently devising a work plan to make those repairs which include identifying any right-of-way or permits needed.
Before the bridge was closed it had a 15-ton weight restriction. After the repairs that will be removed. PennDOT officials say it should then remain in good health for at least 10 to 20 years, if not longer.

Hallet Road Bridge To Remain Closed Indefinitely
Wednesday March 9th 2016

Penn Estates residents are up in arms after receiving notice today a bridge in Stroud Township will remain closed indefinitely. We're told the one lane bridge on Hallet Road is used as a main artery by at least five thousand people in the community. Residents contacted us outraged. The supporting wall of the bridge collapsed during a heavy rainstorm a couple of weeks ago and they were expecting it would only be closed until March fourth.
The community only has two entrances and half of the people used to taking Hallet Road are hugely inconvenienced. We're told the detour adds at least 15 minutes to their trip. Plus they're already dealing with delays from other construction projects in Monroe County.
But more importantly, residents are worrying what the extra time will mean to emergency vehicles responding to the two thousand home gated development.
The chief of Stroud Township Volunteer Fire Company says they do have a valid concern. He estimates it will take about six to ten minutes more to reach them depending on traffic, the time of day, how quick he can volunteers to the station and how quick they get on the road. Chief Bill Unruh does want to reassure residents the fire trucks are capable of using the detour's underpass.
Residents are calling out to State Representative David Parker for help to get the bridge back in use as soon as possible. PennDOT officials tell us it's an unplanned project that wasn't budgeted. Parker says he's working on seeing what money is available to fund the project. Officials say it's unclear whether the bridge will be fixed or replaced.

Jim Thorpe Atlas Burglary
Wednesday March 9th 2016

Jim Thorpe Police are looking for a man they say stole two atlases from the 1800s worth approximately $10,000 from a home on West Broadway Sunday night. Police say there was a lot of activity in the area during the break-in and they're looking for witnesses. Surveillance shows the male start checking around the residence around 7:30 pm. A short time later he walked down toward the Opera House where he went toward Hill Road. Later on around 8:45 pm is when he broke in through the back of the house. Around 10:03 pm he exited the front door on West Broadway and walked west. Surveillance video showed at least one female walking up the street around the same time the suspect exited the home. The white-male would have been carrying two large books. Anyone with information is asked to contact Jim Thorpe Police at 570-325-4995.

Officials Say Accident Shows Need To Keep Significant Detour Open
Tuesday March 8th 2016

Monroe County officials say yesterday's accident on Interstate 80 proves it's necessary to keep Shafers School House Road in Stroud Township open. Due to that tractor trailer crash at the East Stroudsburg exit, local roads were jammed for hours. It's something that happens every time Interstate 80 has a problem in Monroe County. And now with PennDOT looking to close a significant detour like Shafers School House Road, officials say it'll just get worse. Yesterday access to Interstate 80 East was blocked on four-lane Route 209. Traffic was detoured on to Shafers School House Road. Stroud Township officials say alternatives to the proposed closure were presented to PennDOT and they're hoping PennDOT will try something else to make the intersection safer. PennDOT officials say they're looking into all concerns and there's no word on when a final decision will be made.

Tamaqua High School Nude Photo Incident
Tuesday March 8th 2016

According to the Tamaqua Police Chief, on March 2nd officers were called to the Tamaqua High School for a student possessing nude photos of classmates. After an investigation, police determined there was not enough probable cause to result in charges. However, Tamaqua Police warn students that if probable cause is established in these types of incidents, whether that be possessing, sending, taking or forwarding these types of photos, they will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

PennDOT Working To Prevent Potholes
Monday March 7th 2016

It seems Spring has sprung, over the next few days the temperature will rise in to the seventies. And people in Monroe County plan to take full advantage, including PennDOT workers. Potholes are everywhere and PennDOT is getting an early start. Workers were out in full-force today all over the county and drivers appreciate their efforts. They're doing crack sealing, which prevents water from getting in the road to stop potholes from happening.
So far PennDOT officials haven't received as many complaints about potholes compared to the past two years. But they believe the worst is yet to come. If you'd like to alert them of an area in need of their attention, just call 1-800-FIX-ROAD.

Pocono Mountain Tax Shot Down
Monday March 7th 2016

A tax referendum will not be on the ballot in Coolbaugh Township and Mount Pocono during the Spring primary. That after Mount Pocono shot down a request to have the tax increase question brought in front of voters. "We were looking from the public a third of a mill increase for twenty years, so for someone like me I live in Pocono Farms I have a reasonably small house it would've been about seven dollars a year", says Pocono Mountain Public Library Director Ann Shincovich. The Pocono Mountain Public Library opened its doors to the public in its new location in 2013 and has been servicing a little under 16,000 people. The library has found itself in trouble after defaulting on a 500,000 dollar loan from East Stroudsburg Saving Association, which was due in April 2015. Unfortunately they weren't able to come up with the amount because of many troubles throughout the construction period. "When you add the weather and the troubles we had with our contractor and with the insurance claim we had to make, it just put a lot of delays on the project which cost us more money", says Shincovich. Library officials say now is when they need the publics help because they fear the libraries days may be numbered. Currently residents pay a one mill library tax and library officials are now talking with the municipal officials to help get an increase.

Good Samaritans Free Woman in Crash
Monday March 7th 2016

Two people helped save a motorist who crashed Monday afternoon in Mahoning Township. Police say 40-year-old Jennifer Wuttke of Palmerton hit a utility pole on Route 902 near Grist Mill Road. Her vehicle then rolled and caught fire. A passing motorist Raymond Franke of Bath used his bare hands to pull the windshield out and free Wuttke from the car. Another motorists, Amy Sell of Tamaqua, also helped get her out before the car erupted in flames. Wuttke was taken to the hospital for treatment.

New Food Pantry Already Expanding
Friday March 4th 2016

Hundreds of people are getting donations from a new food pantry in Monroe County's West End. The pantry has expanded to keep up with the need. It's located inside Eldred Township's Community Center and it's called the West End Food Pantry. Chair Karena Thek saw a need for it after working with Pleasant Valley Ecumenical Network and decided to partner with their pantry. Before the food pantry opened last November, officials believe people were either going hungry or had to drive much farther for services.
It started out feeding 37 families, now it's up to over 100. The goal is to get people through the week without having to choose between buying food or other essential needs like medicine. Due to the increasing need, it's now located in a different room inside the building. The original spot was too small for the choice pantry's operation which distributes the first and third Saturday of every month from 9am till noon. A choice pantry basically gives people a grocery store experience where they can use a shopping cart and pick out what they'd like.
The shelves are full of food currently but after tomorrow's distribution they'll be bare. So your donation is always needed. You can drop it off at the Eldred Township Community Center. Right now they could use peanut butter and jelly along with cereals. For more information or to volunteer at the pantry, just call Eldred Township's Municipal Building at 610-381-4252.

Ski Resorts In Monroe County Determined To Hold On To The Season
Thursday March 3rd 2016

Camelback, Alpine and Shawnee Mountain Resorts are all struggling with Mother Nature's mood swings. But none are ready to melt away. All three have snow and are working to keep it that way. Camelback's snow guns were on full blast today in Tannersville. They're hoping to keep the season going into April. Shawnee in Middle Smithfield Township is striving to make it till Easter. Alpine in Henryville is the only one that'll be open only on Fridays through Sundays from here on out. Officials are concentrating on making as much snow as possible over the next few days. They say running the guns in March is pretty much unheard of. They're hoping to go until March 20th.
All three have felt the warm weather and lack of snow in their wallets. They can't say this is the worst season they've ever experienced. And tell us March is really a great time to hit the slopes. Besides all three resorts have great deals and offers going on right now. For information, just go to their websites.

Welding Competition in Monroe County
Wednesday March 2nd 2016

This morning the American Welding Society held their annual welding competition at the Monroe Career and Technical Institute in Bartonsville. There were up to eight schools participating from Western New Jersey all the way to Bucks County, the students were judged by expert welders on various skillsets. Welding Program Manager of Northampton Community College Dino Forest says, "The scores on their written exam as well as the ability to follow directions and measurements as well as visual appearance of all their welds." Welding is the joining of metals and materials through pressure and heat which is essential for making buildings, turbines, bridges, and more. Officials say it's essential to teach the students at this age. According to officials one of the key factors of becoming a welder in this county is the fact you'll have to be willing to move because Monroe County isn't a welding area. Welding Instructor at MCTI Greg Smith says, "Most of the jobs if the kids don't want to travel such as to the Gulf of Mexico or California or around the world they'll go right down to the Lehigh Valley which is a very strong vibrant industrial base." Officials say the results to the competition will be presented in the next few days.

Monroe County Family Asking You To Donate Blood
Wednesday March 2nd 2016

31-year-old Corey Borger of Kunkletown is fighting for his life. Saturday he was involved in a head-on collision on Route 209 in Chestnuthill Township. He was flown to St. Luke's Hospital. His Uncle Gary Keesler tells us doctors originally thought his chances of making it were slim.
But he wouldn't of had a chance at all if blood wasn't available for him. Keesler says Borger needed a staggering amount of blood for all of his life-saving procedures. That's why the family is focusing on giving back while they're praying for Borger's recovery. The family would like to replace the blood Borger used to help others and are asking you to give blood. One pint of blood donated can save three lives. Borger's accident was one of three serious ones that happened in Monroe County over the weekend.
Miller-Keystone Blood Center Officials say you can give blood at any of their locations. You just have to say the donation is for Corey Borger. We were at one location today, Western Pocono Library in Brodheadsville. It's held there every Wednesday from noon till 6pm. For more information or other locations, just go to Miller-Keystone Blood Center's website at www.giveapint.org.

Industrial Site Marketing
Tuesday March 1st 2016

Pocono Mountains Economic Development officials have been working on reusing some of the available industrial sites around the county, because they still have much value. Officials say there have been some good signs of a possible revitalization of some old buildings within the county. Executive Director of Pocono Mountains Economic Development Chuck Leonard says, "We have a number of buildings in the Stroudsburg and East Stroudsburg area... as a matter a fact yesterday we toured two buildings in East Stroudsburg borough and also one in the Delaware Water Gap Borough." Pocono Mountains Economic Development officials have launched a phone application for information on available properties.

Two Local Heroes On Special Edition Cheerios Box
Tuesday March 1st 2016

A supermarket in Monroe County is being recognized for its work to fight hunger. Two employees from Kinsley's Shoprite in Brodheadsville are being featured on a special edition Cheerios box. They lent a huge hand in helping the store raise over 17 thousand dollars for local food pantries. It's part of Shoprite's "Partners in Caring Contest." The cause hits close to home for both Beth Everett and Rhianna Cenci, they've seen food insecurity first-hand at work. The money will be given to Second Harvest Food Bank. A 500 dollar check was also presented to the food pantry at Effort United Methodist Church. The extra money was a result of Kinsley's placing 14 out of the top 40 stores in six states.

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