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Verizon Stirke Ends
Tuesday May 31st 2016

The forty-five day national Verizon strike is finally over. At least 40,000 Verizon landline workers participated in the strike because they felt they were being mistreated and feared their jobs were going overseas. Verizon officials say they wanted to make changes to their landline service because its sales have gone down by 2% and they have lost 1.4 million customers. Officials say the wireless business is booming and officials want to put more money into that. On Friday officials were able to come to terms with the Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers union. Ed Mooney International VP of the Communications Workers of America says, "We've reached an agreement that did secure our jobs here in the Northeast, brought back 1,300 call center jobs that were being sent to either contractors or to foreign countries." "It also addressed many of the work place issues that we were discussing we were having problems with such as abuses in forced overtime discipline and other areas." Officials say the company is behind in their work and they hope everything will start to go back to normal as all those on strike will begin working again tomorrow.

Man Guilty Of Double Homicide Asks Judge To Reconsider Sentence
Tuesday May 31st 2016

A man guilty of killing two co-workers in 2012 is back in Monroe County Court. Luis Vasquez of Pocono Summit is serving 30 to 80 years in state prison after admitting to fatally shooting Bertoldo Velez and Joseph King. Today he asked a judge to reconsider the sentence. He murdered them at the Coolbaugh Township Park off of Route 423. Vasquez's defense attorney argued he deserves a shorter sentence because not only did he live a peaceful law abiding life prior, but his life and his family's lives were threatened over his unpaid debt.
The judge denied their request and says she already considered everything when handing down the sentence. Vasquez now plans to appeal with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and has 30 days to do so.

Two more incidents at Glen Onoko
Tuesday May 31st 2016

Rescue crews were called to a popular tourist spot in Carbon County for two separate incidents over the holiday weekend. On Sunday crews helped rescue a lost hiker who got separated from her group. That same day a man was rescued from the area of the first falls. Officials remind visitors to heed all warning signs and exercise extreme caution. Venturing off a trail can put you at risk of injury and can also leave you with a hefty bill. Volunteers can't bill you for their time, but they can bill you for equipment used in the rescue.

Marine Receives Memorial Day Present
Friday May 27th 2016

Sam Montalvo is brought to tears over the thought he no longer has to fear losing his home. The Marine and his wife have been dealing with a leaking and falling apart roof, which was causing all sorts of issues including mold. They were using pots to catch the falling water. The veterans group "The Valor Clinic" organized the effort called "Sam Stays." Founder Mark Baylis learned about Montalvo's horrible situation and volunteers started working on the home back in February, despite the falling snow. Today we heard the sounds of the job being almost completed thanks to Mountain Roofing and Repair. Employees are putting on a brand new roof as a Memorial Day present to Montalvo. But lots of organizations and people in Monroe County helped Valor make it happen by offering their skills, materials and money. And it's life changing to the Marine. Next week the dry wall is scheduled to get done and some other finishing touches. They just need a couple more materials to give Montalvo the safe and healthy home he deserves. If you'd like to help, just text Baylis at 570-994-5188.

Camelbeach Memorial Day Weekend
Friday May 27th 2016

Camelback officials will be opening their summer resort Camelbeach this Saturday. After a tough ski season officials look to get back on track. Officials anticipate a great turnout this weekend because they say their hotel is already sold out. Dru Brooks Marketing/Sales Director of Camelback says, "Mother nature wasn't too kind to us this winter so it was a pretty mellow winter, but we've really turned it around into a beautiful summer." "We have Camelbeach opening this weekend so we are really excited." Officials say there will be free admission for all military and their families for this holiday weekend.

Carbon County Farmerís Market Vouchers 2016
Thursday May 26th 2016

The Senior Farmerís Market Program will be offered again this year to eligible Carbon County Senior Citizens age 60 and over. This program is made possible through the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Food Distribution. The Carbon County Area Agency on Aging staff will be distributing $20.00 in vouchers, free to eligible seniors for the purpose of encouraging older adults to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables from local growers who make their produce available at farmerís markets.
Eligibility requirements:
You must be a Carbon County resident age 60 or older by December 31, 2016. Total gross annual income must be at or below $21,978 for a one person household and $29,637 for a two person household. A couple is entitled to $20.00 each. Proof of age and residency is required by showing your driverís license or photo ID. If you cannot go to the distribution sites, a representative can pick up the vouchers for you as long as the representative brings a completed proxy form signed by you. A proxy form is needed for those picking up for their spouse as well. Proxy forms are available in advance at all five senior centers and the Area Agency on Aging (1-800-441-1315).
Distribution dates and locations are:
All times are 12:00 noon to 2:00:
Friday, June 3 at Lehighton Senior Center, 243 S 8th St. Lehighton
Monday, June 6 at Weatherly Senior Center, 335 third St. Weatherly
Tuesday, June 7 at Nesquehoning Fire Company, 953 E Catawissa St. Nesquehoning
Thursday, June 9 at Jim Thorpe/Penn-Kidder Senior Center, Bear Creek Plaza, Route 903, Jim Thorpe
Monday, June 13 at Palmerton Senior Center, 501 Delaware Ave. Palmerton
For those unable to be present on those dates, and provided there are vouchers still available, there will be an additional distribution on Friday, June 17 at Lehighton Senior Center, 243 S. 8th St. Lehighton from 12:00 to 2:00.

Three Die in Northern Wayne County Crash
Thursday May 26th 2016

It happened at the intersection of Como Road and Stockport turnpike in Preston township. A Camp Shoshamin Van with five employees was traveling down the road, lost control, went over the guard rail, and crashed into Lake Como.
Three are dead, including the driver, two were male the other was female. The other two passengers are currently being treated for injuries at Wayne Memorial Hospital in Honesdale.
The Camp released a statement to the press, " they grieve the loss of the three members of the staff and the two who are still battling injuries at the hospital. They added, " the five members decided to use the van for personal reasons without our authorization and we are working with authorities to clarify details surrounding the accident. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and staff during this sad event."
The Wayne DA, Janine Edwards believes both speed and alcohol could have played a part in the fatal crash. The accident still remains under investigation. An autopsy is expected to be conducted tomorrow.

Convicted Sexual Predator Sentenced For Child Porn
Thursday May 26th 2016

An East Stroudsburg man is sentenced today for child pornography. Authorities are glad he's behind bars because of the immediate danger he posed to society.
40-year-old David Bohm will serve 17 to 34 years in state prison. Monroe County Detective Brian Webbe discovered Bohm on a file sharing network offering to disseminate videos of children engaged in sex acts. A search warrant was served at Bohm's home that he shared with his mother on Brodhead Avenue last July. Investigators found 384 files of pornography on his computer depicting children as young as eight years old with some of the sex acts involving animals and bondage. Authorities acted fast because he was already registered as a sexually violent predator under Megan's Law. He was convicted of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl. This arrest came only nine months after he was released. Bohm plead no contest to all of the charges in exchange for prosecutors agreeing to not seek the maximum minimum sentence of 25 years.

Community Aviation Day & Fly-In-Drive-In Breakfast
Thursday May 26th 2016

Imagine taking a plane ride all while helping children fulfill their dreams. You can do just that on Sunday at the Community Aviation Day and Fly-In-Drive-In Breakfast at the Pocono Mountains Municipal Airport. The event has been going on for over twenty years and has grown into the Mount Poconos Rotary Club's largest fundraising event. Vern Moyer owner of Moyer Aviation and a member of the Mount Poconos Rotary Club says, "It's getting bigger of course bigger is not always better as we all know, but I think it is getting better we have a tremendous amount of local volunteers that help us on this." There will be free plane rides for children ages 8 through 17. The event will begin with a breakfast and officials will be raising funds for the Make A Wish Foundation.

Two Men Behind Bars for Election Fraud
Wednesday May 25th 2016

Dmitry Kupershmidt and Myron Cowher, were found guilty on numerous charges related to a scheme to fix an election in the private community of Wild Acres Lakes in Delaware Township. The convictions came after a four day jury trial. Cowher was found guilty of all 217 counts charged against him relating to Forgery, Identity Theft, Criminal Attempt, Criminal Conspiracy, Tampering with Records, and Criminal Use of a Communication Facility. Kupershmidt was found guilty of 190 counts relating to acting as an accomplice and co-conspirator. At the time of the offenses, Cowher was the Secretary on the Board of Directors and Kupershmidt was the Chairman of the Board.
The Pike County DA says the two men face time in state prison.

Governor Wolf wants Beer sold at Local Gas Stations
Wednesday May 25th 2016

State officials are calling it "Free the Six Packs". It's Governor Tom Wolf's movement to allow beer and malt liquor to be sold at gas stations. There are over 300 authorized grocery stores in the commonwealth that sell alcohol and a dozen of those sell gasoline. Governor Wolf has recently been in contact with the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board because he wants gas stations to be able to sell alcohol too. He wants stations that already serve and prepare food and have seating for customers such as Wawa, Sheetz, and Rutters. We spoke with locals who say they wouldn't mind the change. Scott Boylan of Stroudsburg says, "It would bring revenue to the state and it would help increase sales here at the store I'm all for it." Nicolas Serrano says, "Sometimes it's late at night and you want to get a beer or something and you can't, but Wawa is open 24/7." "Just like New York City you go to any beer store or any corner store you get beer it should be the same out here." The Pennsylvania Supreme Court is now reviewing the code that doesn't allow gas stations to sell alcohol. Supreme court officials will most likely make a decision in 2017.

Panhandling And Loitering Complaints In Stroudsburg
Wednesday May 25th 2016

Stroudsburg business owners are calling out for help against panhandlers and loiterers. The official start to the summer tourist season is less than a week away and they're worried vagrants will hurt their businesses on Main Street. They say the problem has gotten worse and they're asking for action. They'd like stricter laws on panhandling and loitering. Borough officials say they're working on regulations but it's not easy. Panhandling is basically considered freedom of speech and loitering is a general term that's hard to define.
They'd also like a police presence on foot patrolling Main Street. They acknowledge that police constantly drive by but say that makes them disconnected. Stroud Area Regional Police say it's a problem that doesn't just exist on Main Street and they can't effectively address it without a community response.
And it isn't necessarily a homeless problem. While there are many people in Monroe County who have fallen on hard times, officials at Street2Feet Outreach Center tell us they're usually not the ones panhandling. They actually just asked their clients if that's something they do and were told they have enough food from all of the resources in Monroe County and have no need to panhandle.
In the meantime, police are asking you to call 911 immediately if you witness panhandling or loitering that you believe is in violation with the law.

Lehighton Schools Awarded $10,000
Tuesday May 24th 2016

Learning is paying off in a big way for students in the Lehighton Area School District. The National Education Foundation awarded its 2016 STEM Leadership Award for $10,000 to Lehighton Schools. Students K-6th advanced a grade level in math and in reading through a combined total of 53 learning hours. The district started the program last year as part of their curriculum. STEM stands for Science-Technology-Engineering and Math. The Foundation's President- Dr. Appu Kuttan says the goal is to have students learn at a higher level while enjoying it. Part of the motivation is the awards. A lot of students received iPads and there were a lot of pizza parties throughout the schoolyear.

NPS Closes Dangerous Creek
Tuesday May 24th 2016

Adams Creek was a popular attraction for adventure seekers last summer. Many people drove hours to cliff jump off the falls, but after nine people suffered injuries from jumping off the cliffs, the national park service is keeping thrill seekers safe from themselves. The Adams Creek drainage from the lower waterfall pool upstream to the park boundary including the Sproul Road and Long Meadow Road trailhead will be shutdown all summer. Officials from the Park Service say, If you are caught in the restricted area, you will face fines.

Major Monroe Transit Changes
Tuesday May 24th 2016

A bridge replacement project on Bridge Street will begin in mid-June. The local transit authority is already changing their routes to accommodate for the 6 month construction period. One of the changes consists of a new route called the Stroudsburg Circulator. Rich Schlameuss Monroe County Transit Authority Assistant Executive Director says, "By Stroudsburg High School towards West Main Street to Bridge Street we are going to provide a route that just goes in a loop from 8:15 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. Monday through Friday." "So folks who need to get to the grocery store or need to go to downtown Stroudsburg or other places can use that route and just jump on and hop off wherever they need to along the route." Officials say the new bus route changes will take effect June 6th. You can find all the additional changes on the MCTA website.

Pohopoco Driive to Reopen
Tuesday May 24th 2016

After over two years of being closed, Pohopoco Drive in Franklin Township is set to open by July 4th. The PA Turnpike Commission closed part of the road so crews could replace two mainline bridges. A project with a price tag of $22 million dollars. Although the road will reopen by the 4th, crews will continue to work on the project through mid July.

Foster Parents Needed In Monroe County
Monday May 23rd 2016

Joya Zimmerman says being a foster parent gives a child a brighter future and she's speaking from first-hand experience. Over the past 35 years, she and her husband have been foster parents to over 300 children in Monroe County. They've also adopted seven of those children and have two of their own. Zimmerman was recognized on Saturday at Monroe County Children and Youth's Open House for her amazing service. The event celebrated May being Foster Care Awareness Month. The goal- to thank those who have made a difference in a child's life and recruit more people for the calling.
Officials really appreciated the great turnout. They are experiencing a heightened number of children in foster care because of the heroin epidemic. Currently the county has 171 children ages newborn to 21 in foster care. The number has gone up from just the beginning of this month and they're in desperate need of families. That's why they're asking you to answer the call and change a child's life for the better. To be a foster parent you just need to go through an interview process and receive training. And it can happen right away. Training is offered all the time at the agency's location on Phillips Street in Stroudsburg. If you'd like more information on becoming a foster parent just call 570-420-3590 and ask for the foster care recruiter.

Body Identified as Missing Teen
Friday May 20th 2016

The Human Remains found at a former llama farm in Milford have been positively identified as missing teenager, Leanna Walker. Walker had been missing since April 18th, after she left her parents home with her boyfriend Sky McDonough. McDonough, was arrested on unrelated charges hiding out at the same llama farm Leanna's remains were found.
Pike County District Attorney, Ray Tonkin, says Leanna's death will be investigated as a homicide.
The family has changed the facebook page from support the search for Leanna Walker to Justice for Leanna Walker. They have also started a gofund me account to raise money to pay for her funeral expenses.
If you would like to donate, the link can be found below.

Route 715 Bridge Replacement
Friday May 20th 2016

A bridge on route 715 in Chestnuthill Township that was originally supposed to be replaced in 2015 will now be worked on starting Monday. It was delayed because of permit and right of way issues. The bridge will be closed Monday and one of the detours forces drivers to travel down Effort Neola Road leading to Route 115. That news has a local business on 115 anticipating more business. Graham Phinney Cashier/Clerk Route 115 Sub Shop says, "Oh my gosh closing down like that all the traffic that's going to come down Effort and Neola we ought to have some signs at our gas station, we'll pick up a little bit of business." Officials say the work should be completed in ten weeks and the newly constructed bridge should last over 100 years.

Charges Upgraded To Homicide in Drug Delivery Arrest
Thursday May 19th 2016

Wayne County DA, Janine Edwards, announced Edmond O'Connor of Hawley will be the first person she's ever charged with drug delivery resulting in death. Police say O'Connor delivered heroin to Ralissa Gibson, and also shot her up with a needle in the arm. She died a few hours later. According to the criminal affidavit, O'Connor also failed to call 911, leading to additional charges.
The maximum sentence for a delivery resulting in death charge is 40 years in prison.
O'Connor is locked up in the Wayne County Correctional Facility on 750 thousand dollars bail.

Bill Hopes To Stop Repeat Drunk Drivers
Thursday May 19th 2016

Pennsylvania lawmakers want to require first-time convicted drunk drivers to use ignition interlocks. That consequence would replace having a suspended license for a year. They passed the bill yesterday that would require all convicted drunk drivers with an illegal blood alcohol concentration of .10 to use the device. Currently only repeat offenders are required to use the device. The governor is expected to sign it into law soon. According to PennDOT, convicted drunk drivers will pay $1,000 to lease the device. Plus, they'll have to pay for a notation on their license that they should be driving a vehicle with a device attached.

Future Monroe County Rail Service
Thursday May 19th 2016

Officials have been talking about a passenger train line running from the Poconos to New York for many years. Officials say with the two recent grants from the state, the idea is even closer to being a reality. Officials say the project would cost around 1 billion dollars but the economic impact would be worth it. Bob Hay Chairman of Pennsylvania Northeast Regional Railroad Authority says," It's also for economic development and that's creating jobs in the region and I think that's going to be a real good driver in getting this project completed." Railroad officials say they aren't sure when Monroe County will have a passenger train line, but they feel they are getting closer and closer each day.

Black Bear Sightings
Thursday May 19th 2016

Pennsylvania is home to an estimated 10,000 bears. As the weather warms up officials say we should expect to see more of them. Although black bears are notoriously non-aggressive, officials urge people to keep their distance. If startled, a black bear will stand on its hind legs and clack its jaw. It may also make a false charge. If you encounter a bear, officials say you should back away slowly.

Rimrock Road Bridge Set to Open Soon
Wednesday May 18th 2016

Officials expect the Rimrock Road Bridge in Hamilton Township to be completed next week. Ever since the closure of the bridge local motorist have had to rely on detours which business officials feel has been hurting them, so they anticipate business to increase. The bridge has been closed since July and has been delayed because of an unexpected issue with the old bridge support system being in the way. Rory McGlasson from Eastern Region Rapid Bridge Replacement Project says, "Each one of these was eight feet in diameter right where the pile was driving to the new bridges center support was supposed to be." "It's a pretty huge structure that went about forty feet into the ground that hadn't shown up on our pre-construction survey." Officials say the project should be done by the end of next week.

Hundreds Of Monroe County Properties Up For Grabs At Judicial Sale
Wednesday May 18th 2016

The first floor lunchroom inside the Monroe County Administration Center was bursting at the seams today with bidders. Over 400 properties were offered for sale free and clear of all tax and municipal claims, mortgages, liens, charges and estates. The properties are available at the annual judicial sale because the owner was delinquent on his or her taxes. County Commissioner Charlie Garris says the enormous amount up for grabs speaks volumes about the local economy and it isn't good. He doesn't believe it's going to get better any time soon. Property taxes are too high in our area. Garris says legislators need to figure out how they're going to fund the school systems and the state pension plan.
While the sale means a horrible situation for some, it can also be a great opportunity for others with a good deal.

Fatal Crash in Pike County
Tuesday May 17th 2016

A six-year old child was killed in a car crash in Pike County.
State police say the child died when two vehicles collided on 84 East near Milford yesterday afternoon.
The child was in the back seat of the car and according to Police, she was not wearing her seatbelt.
State Police say the accident is still under investigation.

Eldred Township Supervisor Appointed
Tuesday May 17th 2016

Eldred Township officials have unanimously voted in Gary Hoffman as a new supervisor. He will be replacing longtime Township Supervisor Sharon Solt who resigned for personal reasons. Eldred Township officials have been battling with Nestlť's water extraction plan within the area for a while. Hoffman says he has nothing against the company but he feels the project doesn't help his community at all. "I ask the question several times I said, 'what good is this water extraction project going to be for the residents of Eldred township' no one has been able to answer the question", says Hoffman. Eldred Township officials will be holding a zoning board hearing with Nestle tomorrow at 7 p.m.

Monroe County Man Charged With Attempted Homicide
Tuesday May 17th 2016

Neighbor Charlene Bond couldn't imagine why police seemed to be searching all around her home on Route 611 in Stroud Township Sunday afternoon. Stroud Area Regional Police were called to a home right up the road from Bond just before three. Police say they received a call from a child stating that his mom was hurt. She was on the floor and there was an angry man outside.
When officers arrived at the house, the man outside was gone. But they discovered the woman inside had suffered a stab wound to the left side of her stomach by her husband. Police began searching the area for suspect Christopher Reinersten. Police say they took him into custody less than a mile from his home on Route 611.

Pedestrian Safety
Tuesday May 17th 2016

According to the CDC, over 4,700 pedestrians were killed on the roads in 2013. Safety experts remind drivers to be extra cautious this time of year. As the weather warms up, expect more and more people to be out and about. Driveways can be just as hazardous as roads. An average of 9,000 kids end up in the hospital each year with driveway accident related injuries. Before getting in your car, walk around the vehicle, to make sure there aren't any little ones around.

Human Remains Found in Pike County
Monday May 16th 2016

Human Remains were discovered at the llama farm in Milford where Police were searching for missing 17-year old, Leanna Walker. Walker, has been missing since April 18th, when she left her home with her boyfriend Sky Mcdonough. Mcdonough, was arrested by Police at the llama farm last month, but Walker was not found anywhere on the property. The DA's office will not tells us what condition the remains were found in, or if the body belongs to Leanna Walker.
District Attorney Ray Tonkin says " The case is being investigated as a criminal homicide but it will take a few days to identify the remains of the individual and conduct an autopsy."
Tonkin tells us this is the first time in his career as DA, that an anthropology team has ever been brought on a case in the county. He hopes the onsite experts can make a positive ID within a few days.

Charges Files In 2011 Cold Case Burglary
Monday May 16th 2016

A suspect from a 2011 cold case burglary in East Stroudsburg is now facing charges. It happened at a town house apartment on Analomink Road. Items taken totaled about $3,750. Stroud Area Regional Police discovered entry was gained through a rear window that was broken. Blood was found on the interior rear sliding door frame and blinds. That DNA matched evidence found in a 2013 burglary by state police. Then this year PSP arrested Edwin Burgos, Jr. of Chester, PA and his DNA matched the evidence found in the first two cases. It was uploaded and checked through the Combined DNA Index System or CODIS. Police say it's all thanks to agencies working together and technology that an arrest can be made in a cold case. Burgos will face burglary charges for the 2011 incident at his preliminary hearing scheduled for June 17th in Monroe County.

The School of Rock
Friday May 13th 2016

Lance Miley and his wife Robin are looking to take over the Old Paupack School on Route 507 and turn it into a music venue. The couple, operates Rock School, they teach a variety of different instruments to children of all ages. Just last year, they started the free non profit, Making Music Matter to Kids, bringing musical education to unprivileged kids who's parents couldn't afford private lessons.
Last week, they pitched the idea, of either renting or purchasing the Old Paupack School, the building has been abandoned since 1988, and the only stipulation for taking it over, you must either be a non profit, education, or government agency.
Miley says the school has a huge stage and would be a perfect venue for these kids to perform. It would also present the opportunity to bring in national acts to entertain crowds in the area and have his students open up for them.

Drug Bust In Stroudsburg
Friday May 13th 2016

Stroud Area Regional Police along with the Monroe County Detectives served a search warrant around seven this morning at a home on West Main Street in Stroudsburg. Officials say they obtained drugs from the residence. They couldn't tell us much more because it's an ongoing investigation at this time. We're told drug activity is happening everywhere and this is an example of how police are continuing their fight against it.
Neighbors tell us they saw what was happening and went back inside their own homes worrying about their safety. We're told officers surrounded the home with weapons drawn.
Police say that's exactly what residents should do. They recommend staying inside until officers leave the area. Officials are prepared for the worst case scenario with a special response team.
Neighbors say they're glad the police are on top of things and appreciated their efforts this morning.

Commuters Told to Park Elsewhere
Thursday May 12th 2016

Commuters who take the Shortline bus from Lords Valley to New York City were told they can't use a gas station lot to park in.
Many commuters were caught off guard last week, when being informed by the new tenants of the Sunoco station in Lords Valley, that its parking lot was off limits.
Many of these commuters have been forced to park their vehicles across the street on Madden Road. Today, we spotted at least ten cars lined up back to back, since the gas station told these commuters to hit the road.
Blooming Grove Township Supervisor Nick Mazza says, "he hopes to sit down with the new tenants and work out a deal to open the lot back open to the 20 or so people who park in the lot everyday". However, he tells us, they are within their rights to refuse anyone to use the lot at the gas station.

Monroe County School Tax Hike For Some, Relief For Others
Thursday May 12th 2016

Two school districts in Monroe County are on both ends of the spectrum when it comes to next year's taxes.
Stroudsburg School District is facing a five and a half million dollar deficit next year. Last night the school board passed its final proposed budget which includes a six and half mil increase. Officials say the tax hike is needed along with staff demotions, furloughs and cuts to balance the spending plan.
This comes as Pocono Mountain School District plans to lower its taxes by two mil. If its passed, officials will have successfully decreased taxes over the past few years by 10 mil.
Over the past few years both districts have been dealing with declining enrollment and state funding issues. Pocono Mountain made the tough decisions early, but the unpopular acts of closing four schools and cutting teachers is paying off now. While Stroudsburg is just now really dealing with it.
The Superintendent says there's nothing Pocono Mountain is doing that they're not doing. Pocono Mountain refinanced their debt and saved a significant amount of money by taking advantage of lowering their interest rating and increasing their bond rating. Stroudsburg is trying to do the same this September when they're eligible. But Stroudsburg is also in the middle of teacher contract negotiations, and high healthcare costs are a problem. Pocono Mountain officials say its union agreed to a better solution. Chief Financial Officer Joseph Colozza explains they changed their third party provider to obtain significant discounts and savings through its network.
Pocono Mountain officials are proud they did not have to cut any programs through their harder times in dealing with a deficit and it has yet to be seen if Stroudsburg will fair the same.

Hope for Shafers Schoolhouse Road
Thursday May 12th 2016

The Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania was in Monroe County today. During his visit he looked at a Stroud township intersection that PennDOT officials plan on closing because they say it's dangerous. He thinks there are ways to keep the intersection of Route 209 and Shafers Schoolhouse Road open and says doing so will save money. Michael Stack Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor says, "Would be far less than it would take to even close the roads down so at the end of the day we are going to also save a lot of money and I think most taxpayers, they like that when you do that." The lieutenant governor says he will talk with PennDOT officials on ways to keep the intersection open.

Next Step in Demolition of Former Elks Building
Thursday May 12th 2016

Lansford officials have been working n having the former Elks building torn down for over two years. Today, Carbon County commissioners took the next step in the process to make the project a reality. The Lansford borough president says taking the building down is a necessary step in revitalizing the town.

Regional Police Commission Hopes to Join Two Police Departments in Pike County
Wednesday May 11th 2016

The Eastern Pike Regional Police Commissioners sent a letter to the Milford Borough Council, asking if there would be interested in joining both departments. Commissioner, Robert Bostinto says, the Milford Police Department doesn't have the man power to cover most 24-hour shifts, and by uniting with Eastern Pike Regional, it would provide 24/7 coverage, 365 days a year.
In addition, Bostinto says the money has dried up, and by adding the Milford Borough Police Department, it would increase the opportunity to get grant money. That funding would help purchase new equipment like weapons, scanners, computers, cars, and other resources for the job.
Though the Milford Borough Council rejected the Police Commissioners letter, they don't plan on letting the conversation die. Bostinto tells us, he hopes to make a formal presentation to the council next month, explaining all the benefits of joining the departments.

Stroudsburg Traffic Jam on Route 611
Wednesday May 11th 2016

PennDOT crews have been working on North Ninth Street on Route 611 since Monday, leaving drivers at a complete stand still. The work has not only affected motorists but also the businesses in that area. Tony Ferrara Owner of Pizza One says, "As you see it, we have nobody inside in a pizzeria just because of this work on the roads." Charles Jaynes Owner of Lisa's Fish N' Chips says, "Aw man business has been brutal these last couple days because of this traffic, the whole lot hasn't been getting that many customers in." PennDOT officials expect the roadwork to be completed today and traffic flow should go back to normal.

Senior Games End
Wednesday May 11th 2016

The 28th Annual Carbon County Senior Games wrapped up today with dancing at the Lehighton Recreation Center on South 8th Street. The winner of this year's games is the South Team! Competitors will get together one more time for a banquet at Jim Thorpe Memorial Hall tomorrow at 4PM.

TV Reality Star Speaks In Monroe County
Wednesday May 11th 2016

A TV reality star flew in from California to share her inspiring story at today's annual breakfast for the Interagency Council of Monroe County. Mia Schaikewitz of the show "Push Girls" explained how she developed a disability in high school went from the worst day of her life to the best. Audience members sat in awe of Schaikewitz at Northampton Community College, some even cried over her message. Having the courage to be unstoppable is something everyone can relate to. No one makes it through life without facing unexpected challenges. The people attending are representatives of human service agencies who help others in crisis and appreciated what Schaikewitz shared with them.

Neighbors React To Child Homicide Case
Tuesday May 10th 2016

Residents on Ridgeway Street in East Stroudsburg didn't have a clue their neighbor is charged with causing the death of his infant child. Police say 25-year-old Anthony Gudino ran out of his second floor apartment Friday afternoon with his five-month-old daughter and approached an East Stroudsburg University officer behind the Wawa on Prospect Street. He said the child was having a hard time breathing and asked to be taken to the hospital.
Pocono Medical Center officials called Stroud Area Regional Police after they discovered the baby suffered multiple traumatic head injuries which are normally caused by blunt force. She had a fracture and severe bleeding. Detective Richard Wolbert says Gudino's explanation of what happened did not match her injuries. He said she was in a swing with a bottle he gave her when he heard her making funny noises. He picked her up and she went limp. He realized she wasn't breathing and tried to do CRP.
And an autopsy confirmed the head injuries resulted in her death.
Wolbert says the defendant admitted to smoking marijuana the day before and hospital staff says he appeared intoxicated when he arrived.
We spoke with family members at the home today who tell us they held a vigil for the little girl. Stuffed animals and candles are still sitting on the front porch. They tell us the mother is in New York making funeral arrangements. She was at work when the incident occurred and was called to the hospital.
Gudino was the only one home at the time and is charged with criminal homicide. He's being held without bail awaiting his preliminary hearing scheduled for May 17th.

Vandalism in Hawley
Tuesday May 10th 2016

Graffiti was found in the Woodledge Village Community in Pike County. Early this morning, a photo was shared on the Hawley Crime Watch Facebook page. The photo, depicted a graffiti, the image was a swastika spray painted in red with the words the end is near printed above it. The graffiti was covered up by 9:30 this morning and no trace of the image remains.
The property manager tells us, he suspects it was kids who did the vandalism and hopes the security cameras near the bridge on the property will show who is responsible for the graffiti.

David Parker Fair Funding
Tuesday May 10th 2016

Officials say certain Monroe County School Districts are being underfunded by millions of dollars each year. The reasoning for it dates back to 1991, when a policy was passed that would give districts the same amount of funding each year with a 2-3 percent increase. Officials say the old policy neglects an important factor which is now hurting schools. State Representative David Parker of Monroe County is fighting against the policy and says, "If you lost half your students you still got the same money and if you doubled your student count you still got the same money it took population out of the equation." Stroudsburg, East Stroudsburg and Pocono Mountain School Districts are annually underfunded by a total of 49.6 million dollars each year. Parker says if you're interested in joining the fight against the policy to sign the petition on their website

More Victims Coming Forward
Tuesday May 10th 2016

Last week News 13 told you about Randy Bollinger, a Mahoning Township Tax Preparer accused of taking people's money and not filing their taxes. Police say more than 80 people have filed an incident against Bollinger's actions. A note on the door of his home office says he no longer lives at the Ashtown Road residence.

Pike Plasters Posters to Raise Drug Awareness
Monday May 9th 2016

Pennsylvania ranks third in the nation in heroin abuse. One of the biggest problems, stems from many addicts not knowing where to turn for help. County officials with the help from the Carbon Monroe Pike Drug and Alcohol Commission are rolling out a new drug poster program. Hundreds of posters will be plastered on walls in churches, libraries, and community associations throughout the counties. Attached to these posters will be a rip-off note pad with information on where to contact for help.

New West End Summer Child Lunch Program
Monday May 9th 2016

Two nonprofits are teaming up so children in Monroe County's West End won't go hungry this summer.
Officials of PVEN Food Pantry are trying to bridge the summer meal gap for approximately 250 children, which is roughly 10 percent of the ones who receive free or reduced lunch in the Pleasant Valley School District. They found it's a huge need in the rural area due to a lack of transportation. Besides a limited public bus route and families only having one vehicle, officials say East Stroudsburg is one of the only school districts offering an on-site summer meal and the location is about a 40 minute drive.
That's why officials started thinking outside the box and decided to deliver meals twice a week to areas they're calling pockets of poverty. Those visits will provide children with a lunch for every weekday.
The Salvation Army in East Stroudsburg is making the delivery possible by donating drivers, plus the use of two vans and their canteen truck. The Army's Food Pantry will also be used to house the lunch items since it's a much bigger area compared to PVEN's location. The nonprofits need a total of 13,750 meals for 11 weeks starting on June 13th through August 24th, which would cost about $48,000. That's where your help is needed- they're looking to partner with as many people as possible. You can donate money or drop off food items like juice boxes, fruit snacks and canned pasta at either food pantry. A list of needed items will be posted on PVEN's website. In the meantime, you can contact the Community Services Director for more information at 570-992-3136.

ESU Transit of Mercury
Monday May 9th 2016

It's an astronomical phenomenon that happens only a few times each century. Lucky for the Pocono community, East Stroudsburg University has the tools to allow the public to see it. We're talking about being able to see the planet Mercury as it travels across the face of the sun. David Buckley a Professor of Physics at East Stroudsburg University says, "We see this little dot the silhouette of the planet Mercury as it passes through the suns disk, a very rare event only happens about thirteen times a century and we are lucky enough for the nice sunny day for it today." Officials say the next time the Mercury transit will take place will be May 9th, 2019.

Day 5 Carbon County Senior Games
Monday May 9th 2016

It's day five of the Carbon County Senior Games. Competitors took over the miniature golf course at Heisler's Dairy Bar in Tamaqua today. Some seniors told us they hadn't played since their kids were little, but they were happy to break the streak. The games continue tomorrow with field day.

Playground Finally Nearing Completion
Friday May 6th 2016

A community playground in Monroe County is finally nearing completion after being in the works for four years. We caught up today with students from Monroe Career Technical Institute who helped add some of the finishing touches to the attraction behind Resica Elementary School. They've been busy since January engraving names into about 150 pickets now on the fence. The names represent people who helped raise funds to build the playground.
Organizers have all the materials and have paid for the about $190,000 project. Now they just have a few more pickets to be made by another volunteer and a playhouse and a water wheel left to be built hopefully next weekend. Then the Resica Community Playground will be 100 percent complete.

East Stroudsburg University LSD Drug Bust
Friday May 6th 2016

An East Stroudsburg University student Michael Mancini, 20, of Landenburg was arrested after he was ordering and selling LSD to other students. Mancini told police he was able to purchase the drugs twice through the "dark web" before being caught. Brian Webbe Detective at the Monroe County Distric Attorney's Office says, " You're not as anonymous as you think you are online and there's always a paper trail there's always a record a data trail so to speak that we can use to eventually track these activities back to someone." Mancini was taken to the Monroe County Correctional Facility where he was arraigned and bail was set at an unsecured amount, he is due in court later this month.

Stroudsburg School District Wants To Add Cyber Academy
Thursday May 5th 2016

Stroudsburg is the only school district in Monroe County that does not offer its own cyber academy. Now officials are working to change that. Implementing online learning into the curriculum was presented at last night's school board meeting. Currently the district pays to have a little over 180 students in cyber charter schools. We're told it costs anywhere from 13 to 25 thousand dollars per student. If they were accommodated by the district, it would only cost four thousand dollars per student.
That huge savings could really come in handy right now. The district is facing a five and half million dollar deficit for next year's budget. Officials say they've already received 43 verbal commitments from cyber charter students that they would return to Stroudsburg Area School District if the cyber academy would be offered. School board members say the district spends roughly three million dollars a year on cyber schools. If those students were to come back, it'd save about 700 thousand dollars per year.
Last night members of the audience became upset when they heard they could be facing a five mill tax increase. School district officials say the tax hike is necessary because they can't balance the budget. They say the superintendent has cut all the fat he can; which includes 21 teachers being demoted and that's the difficult choice they have to make.
But School Board Member Richard Pierce says implementing the cyber academy for next year's budget would both lessen the tax burden and save seven of the 21 teachers from being demoted.
The only difference between taking cyber school from a charter school and the district is that blended learning can happen. Where you can take the classes online but you can also go to the school.
The only thing standing in the way of implementation is the Stroudsburg Area Education Association. They need their agreement before the budget is due June 30th. It's currently part of their contract negotiations. Union officials tell us they are in favor of providing education in any manner possible. The issue is the district isn't bargaining appropriately. But board members say they are.

Mock Bedroom
Thursday May 5th 2016

The Carbon, Monroe, Pike Drug and Alcohol Commission brought their innovative approach to education to the Milford Health and Wellness Center today. The Mock Bedroom appears live your everyday teenagers room. Pictures, posters, cans, clutter, and typical things you would find in the room of a high school student. However some of these items reveal a darker secret. The cans of red bull, the top screws off, revealing a large storage area to store drugs. The bookshelf contains a dictionary, but that's even hollowed out, with plenty of space to stack drugs or anything else to you would want to keep hidden.
There were so many different items and places the mock bedroom brought to light, too many to even list.
The mock bedroom will appear next Thursday night at North Hampton Community College.

Dumping in Barrett Township
Thursday May 5th 2016

Officials from the Monroe County Municipal Waste Management Authority are currently investigating the illegal dumping at the Jewish campsite OHR Menachem after they initially received word of another problem nearby. Jacqueline Bagu
Captain of the Monroe County Municipal Waste Management Authority says, "We received a complaint last week it was an anonymous complaint regarding some debris that was in the stream, they didn't make mention of debris along the property but upon our investigation we did discover there was some more." Bagu says the dumping consists of a large pile of burned material and several broken televisions which can be harmful to the areas water. "Lead contamination would come from the broken glass from the televisions that are disposed on the property, if it seeps into the ground enough and if it's a large quantity I'm sure it'll affect the drinking water and vegetation around there", says Bagu. Officials say they have sent a warning to the property owners about the violation and are now waiting for them to clean the area.

Lyme Disease Task Force Fights Back
Wednesday May 4th 2016

Pennsylvania leads the nation in the number of reported cases of Lyme disease. Its the fourth year in a row, the keystone state has topped the country in this nefarious category. Dr. Robert Ollar, A microbiologist from Pike County assembled a task force last year, to help educate the public and medical professionals on what can be done to help improve these statistics.
However he says none of the research hes compiled is being put to use. Ollar says, he wants the state to establish a statewide guideline for doctors to follow in order to treat tick related diseases. Some of these include typhus, , babesia, rickettsia, and powassan virus.

Tannersville Drug Bust
Wednesday May 4th 2016

Police responded to a call for suspicious activity at an apartment above Jasmin Jewelers in Tannersville yesterday. The owner of the store was away on jury duty so his wife was covering, and she says it's a day she'll never forget. She says one minute she was talking to a police officer and seconds later she was witnessing a drug bust. Zorena Jagnandan
Employee of Jasmin Jewelers and wife of owner says, "He (police officer) ran out and he went to the side and he drew his gun and I'm like what is he doing and he's like get to the floor get to the floor and then all the cops just start showing up, it has been a bit of an eventful day today." Chief Kent Werkheiser of the Pocono Township Police Department says, "We had information of suspicious activity, a patrolman responded spoke with the concerned citizen who by the way was valuable and witnessed a hand to hand deal with some narcotics." Police say at this time one person has been arrested for possession and sale of illegal narcotics. Officials are continuing to investigate and are not releasing many details about the bust because they're hoping to make more arrests. If you have any information contact the Pocono Township Police Department.

A Call For Foster Parents In Monroe County
Wednesday May 4th 2016

The heroin epidemic is raising a need for people to become foster parents in Monroe County. Currently the county has 167 children ages newborn to 21 in foster care and 85 foster families. Drug issues and drug dependencies are causing the number of cases to spike so children can become in need of services at any time. And there's no better time to get the word out- May is Foster Care Awareness Month. The goal is to not only thank those who have made a difference in a child's life but to recruit more people. An Open House event is also being held Saturday, May 21st to continue the message. The celebration is from 11am-1:30pm at the Monroe County Children and Youth Services offices located on Phillips Street in Stroudsburg.

Senior Scams
Wednesday May 4th 2016

According to the US Census, one out of five seniors over the age of 65 have been victimized by some type of a financial scam. Today the Tamaqua Salvation Army hosted "Scam Jam," an event to educate seniors on the latest scams. The newest ones involve social media. Many users like to "check in" on Facebook to let friends know where they are at any given moment, but officials urge users not to do so. You're not only putting yourself at risk, you're also putting your family in a vulnerable spot. Organizers expect to hold another Scam Jam in the fall.

Fire Guts Barn in Wayne County
Tuesday May 3rd 2016

Dozens of chickens were killed when flames scorched a barn in Wayne County early this morning.
The fire broke out around at 5:30 a.m. on Tuesday at a barn on Mid Valley Road near Lake Ariel.
The barn was destroyed, killing at least 50 chickens and causing thousands of dollars in damage.
No one was hurt during the fire and investigators are still trying to determine what started the blaze.

Carbon County Senior Games Kick Off
Tuesday May 3rd 2016

The 28th Annual Senior games kicked off today at the Lehighton Senior games. Over 200 seniors from across the county are participating. Today's events were shuffleboard and corn hole. The competition continues tomorrow with basketball shoot and darts.

Interstate 380 is increasing to 70 MPH
Tuesday May 3rd 2016

Neighboring highways in the area including Interstate 380 in Monroe County are receiving a speed increase to 70 mph. Officials say the increase actually decreases the drivers speed. Senator Mario Scavello says, "They've come back with results that actually 70 mph...reduced the speed on that highway because when it was posted at 65 people were doing 75, now its posted at 70 and the average is about 72." Officials say the new speed will be posted over the next few days.

Fire Before Finals
Tuesday May 3rd 2016

Eight college students are displaced by a fire in Monroe County just before finals. Flames broke out last night around 11 on Ransberry Avenue in East Stroudsburg. The half double is unlivable and we're told the East Stroudsburg University students lost everything, including their final projects. Four students lived on each side of the house.
About 30 volunteers worked to put out the blaze from East Stroudsburg, Pocono Township and Stroudsburg fire departments. Fire officials tell us it started on the right second floor bedroom. One student woke up, saw the fire and tried to put it out. We're told he was taken to the hospital after receiving some burns.
The students are working with ESU faculty about missing their finals and we're told they won't be penalized. The school has offered to house them, provide their meals for the week and is holding a clothing drive even though the home was privately owned. But not everyone was so understanding. The landlord tells us he took four of the tenants to court earlier this month in an effort to get them evicted. He was trying to protect his property because he discovered damages. He says there were broken windows and all of the smoke detectors were removed.
Officials say the cause is under investigation but the fire does not seem to be suspicious. The entire building has smoke and water damage. If you'd like to donate clothes to the eight, just contact ESU. They're in need of men's sizes medium through extra-large.

Tamaqua Drug Sweep
Monday May 2nd 2016

Police are still searching for the following people as part of this morning's drug sweep:

Nicholas Tipton, 37, Tamaqua
Richard Hornbeck, 45, Tamaqua
Dustin Oncay, 31, Tamaqua
Tracey McCurdy, 35, Tamaqua
Kevin Moore, 34, Pottsville
Jason Dahm, 38, Tuscarora
Nikolas Taylor, 28, Tamaqua
Bruce Matalavage, 56, Tamaqua
Tina Hosier, 30, Tamaqua
Tonya Braun, 24, Tamaqua
Raymond Brown, 54, Minersville

Anyone with information is asked to contact Tamaqua Police at 570-668-5000

Teenage Girl Still Missing
Monday May 2nd 2016

Leanna Walker has been missing since April 18th. According to her sister, Lydia Rodriguez, she was last spotted leaving with her boyfriend, Sky Mcdonough.
Police arrested 24-year old, Mcdonough after, tracking him down at a Llama farm in Milford, where he was found hiding out, but no signs of Walker.
Police are still looking for help tracking down Leanna Walker. The family has started a facebook group and is even offering a 10-thousand dollar reward for information leading to her location. If anyone has any information on her whereabouts, they can contact the Blooming Grove State Police Barracks.

(570) 226-5718

Report Illegal Gang Activity In Monroe County
Monday May 2nd 2016

There's a new tool for dealing with gang problems in Monroe County. Detectives are intensifying their efforts on gang violence and crimes with your help. The Monroe County District Attorney's website now has a place to go for reporting suspicious gang activity. The link offers you a way to provide a tip anonymously and a way to contact the gang investigator directly, either by phone or email.
Just go to for more information on how officials are handling the gang problem and their services.

BRC13 News Archive