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Litter Creating An Eyesore All Over Monroe County
Tuesday February 28th 2017

With spring-like weather hitting earlier than usual, garbage is just as much of a problem as potholes. Officials are looking for help to clean it up.
Michelle Holva of Stroudsburg is fed up by the endless amount of bottles, tires, trash bags-- you name it, strewn all over roadways throughout Monroe County. And she's not the only one. Call of complaints have been coming in to the Monroe County Municipal Waste Management Authority. It's something that happens every year when the snow melts but officials say the uncovered garbage is all time high this year. PennDOT officials are in charge of cleaning up state roads and the Waste Authority has already called them to take care of Route 115. PennDOT will be picking up things like a mattress this week. They're also picking up litter on Interstate 80 whenever they have work zones set up. But it takes time with so much work on their plate right now fixing what winter weather left behind. Plus winter isn't technically over yet. That's why Waste Management officials would like to recruit more hands to help. They'd like to have more convicted low-level non-violent criminals serve time through community service. They'd also like to encourage the public to pick up litter on their local roads. You can register with the Waste Management Authority and they will provide you with the supplies.

Woman Charged With Concealing/Abusing Dead Baby
Thursday February 23rd 2017

A woman is charged with concealing and abusing a dead baby in Monroe County. Those charges come six months after the death was discovered at a home in A Pocono Country Place. Investigators say 33-year-old Lauren Gillard of Philadelphia locked herself in a bathroom. Once officials got in, they discovered a full-term baby girl wrapped in a towel underneath garbage in a trash bag. Wounds were also found on the body. Police say Gillard told them the baby came out while she was going to the bathroom and her daughter wasn't moving or breathing. She was going to go to the hospital once her mom left because she didn't want her to know she was pregnant. She also planned to put her up for adoption. Gillard admitted to police she took pills for her teeth and results showed painkillers were found in her system and the infant. The case is still under investigation. Gillard is free on unsecured bail awaiting her court hearing.

Good Samaritans Help Crash Victim
Wednesday February 22nd 2017

Good samaritans made a big difference today at a Monroe County car crash. Sergey Kistol was on his way to New Jersey from Ohio this morning around 11 when he spotted a flipped over vehicle on Interstate 80 eastbound in Pocono Township near the Tannersville exit. He didn't think anything of stopping along the side of the road to lend a hand and he wasn't the only one. What we noticed first pulling up was at least a dozen people surrounding the crash victim. Kistol and his friend were walking back to their vehicle once emergency officials arrived on scene. Off-duty police officer Eric Hernandez broke one of the windows on the car and everyone pitched in to safely remove the entrapped woman from her upside down position in the driver's seat. Police say 37-year-old Lisette Burden-Caez of Stroudsburg sustained only a minor injury to the back and was transported to St. Luke's Hospital in Bartonsville. Luckily she was wearing her seatbelt and no other vehicle was involved when she drove off the road from the right lane. Police suspect the driver to have been under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance and she was take for forensic analysis.

Family Run Food Pantry Needs Your Donation
Tuesday February 21st 2017

A food pantry in Monroe County is all about a family helping other families in need. The Oasis of Love located in Stroudsburg on Monroe Street is the extra helping hand hundreds of people depend on each week. For some, it means not going hungry. Cheryl Beck of Marshalls Creek and her husband are on disability. They pay their bills first and the money that's left goes to food-- that amount is usually $20 dollars. The pantry is Beck's lifesaver. For others, it also means the support needed to do more good work in the community. Claudette Lynch of East Stroudsburg is a foster parent. She's able to take care of three kids but if the pantry wasn't there, she says she'd only be able to house one child at a time. The Oasis of Love was established 10 years ago. Program Director Frank Medero and his wife first started it as a couple of shelves inside a mental health clinic based upon need. Then it soon became its own thing and a family affair. Their daughter helped come up with the name and designed the logo. Medero is dedicated to keep it going as long as he can because it's his passion. The nonprofit is funded by community donations. Some local stores provide food but the pantry's main supplier is Second Harvest Food Bank in Nazareth. People are able to call Medero whenever they are in need and come shop for their items. William Figueroa of East Stroudsburg and his wife are on a fixed income. They find themselves short on groceries and the Oasis of Love is always there for them. Plus, Figueroa is the caretaker of his ill wife and the convenience is also means a lot. Right now the shelves are filled but quite often, they become empty. It's becoming tougher to keep them stocked due to Second Harvest now charging five cents per pound of food. Medero doesn't blame Second Harvest for changing its $30 shipping fee to the newly enacted handling fee and understands it's because of growing costs. He just hopes more people and businesses in the community will step up to help fulfill the Oasis of Love mission. If you would like to donate, just contact him at 570-972-0838 or you can send a check to 814 Monroe Street, Site 101 Stroudsburg, PA 18360. For more information, just go to the website at www.theoasisofloveinc.org.

Two Killed In Motorcycle Crash In Paradise Township
Monday February 20th 2017

A community in Monroe County is mourning the loss of two people killed in a crash. The motorcycle accident happened just before five yesterday afternoon on Carlton Road in Paradise Township. 33-year-old Angela Mistkowski of Cresco and 39-year-old Christopher Shanaberger of Mount Pocono were traveling eastbound when police say Shanaberger lost control while negotiating a left hand turn in the road. Through investigation they determined the motorcycle slid on its left side before striking a tree and then a telephone pole. A neighbor tells us it's known as a dangerous curve. Flowers now sit where the motorcycle and riders came to rest. Police are still investigating the incident. We're told a celebration of life ceremony id being planned for both victims.

Mini-THON Takeover At Pleasant Valley School District
Friday February 17th 2017

A dance marathon is Monroe County's West End is raising money to fight against childhood cancer. The Mini-THON is modeled after Penn State's THON which is also happening this weekend. It's the first year that the entire Pleasant Valley School District is participating in a Four Diamonds Mini-THON and it's the only district-wide fundraiser that's happening in Pennsylvania. The money raised will help cover the medical expenses for families that have children battling pediatric cancer at Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital, along with supporting researchers looking for a cure. Their goal is to raise $40,000 but we won't find out if they did until tomorrow morning. The high school will be dancing the night away. What they raise tonight plus what all the schools raised today will be announced at 7am.

Brodheadsville Little League Baseball Fields Destoryed
Friday February 17th 2017

A group of teenagers drove their vehicles all over the little league baseball field behind the Pleasant Valley Presbyterian Church in Brodheadsville last Friday. Officials are still on the lookout for a possible fourth vehicle involved with an unidentified person in a tan ford explorer. The total estimate to repair the fields are over $10,000 which officials say will be split among the three identified culprits. The offense is a felony but the church decided to make the teens perform community service so they won't harm their future. Church Trustee Bill Campbell says, "One of these young men is planning to go to the military I'm retired military I know that that would destroy his potential of going into the military, another one is planning to start school at East Stroudsburg University this next Fall. Officials say new security measures will be in place at the church this weekend.

Penn Hills Resort Under Contract After Being On Market For Month
Thursday February 16th 2017

An eyesore in Monroe County is potentially getting a new owner. After only being back on the market for a month, Penn Hills Resort is now under contract. The current owner listed the former couples resort in Stroud Township for sale a year after buying it. There were multiple inquires and a couple of offers on the now listed $899,000 property but one was recently selected. Coldwell Banker officials tell us the developer who has real-estate here and outside the area offered more than the $400,000 it sold for last year. He plans to use what's there and rebuild to make the property's resort commercial zoning use fruitful once again. The potential new owner wasn't ready to tell us exactly what he has planned because it's not a done deal, the idea has to be approved by the township first. Township officials would like to see the property back on the tax rolls and benefitting the public. They're looking forward to hearing the new plans.

Historical Society Needs Help
Wednesday February 15th 2017

Director of Pike County Historical Society, Lori Strelecki is nervous about the future of the Columns Museum. " Its really hard, and I don't want to beg people but I want them to want to help us". The State cut off funding to the Historical Society five years ago, Strelecki says over the years, that money adds up. " If you take the last five years that's 50,000 dollars, that's money we don't have."
The only money the Historical Society receives is ten-thousand dollars a year from the County, through hotel taxes. Strelecki says that money doesn't help tackle the biggest problems...
" It doesn't help fix the chipping paint, the celing that needs to be repaired, keeping the heat on."
The Historical Society is looking for donations, but if you can't afford to cough up money, people can help in other ways.
" Just volunteer, bring a paint brush, mow the lawn, plow the snow, fix the ceilings, whatever you can do, because all of this cost money.
If you would like to donate you can contact the Pike County Historical Society at the website below.

http://pikehistorical.org/

Man Found Murdered In Monroe County's West End
Wednesday February 15th 2017

46-year-old Kyle Kresge is charged with criminal homicide, abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence. Caution tape now surrounds the home Kresge was renting on Glenwood Road in Effort. Police say 34-year-old Lawrence Purcell Jr. of Kunkletown was shot by Kresge inside the home sometime yesterday between 11AM and before an anonymous call came into 911 around 12:30. Officials traced the call that just had a female voice say "he's dead" to the Glenwood residence. According to court documents, Purcell went to the home with two other guys. Police interviewed the one who told police he saw Kresge produce a handgun, heard it go off and saw Purcell crumble to the floor. Before the gun went off, he also said the two were arguing. Police say the accused dragged the body from the residence and attempted to conceal it outside underneath some debris and a tarp alongside the residence. Purcell had a gunshot wound on the upper part of his chest that police say is consistent with a small caliber weapon. Police found Kresge inside the home upon arrival and according to court papers with a spent small caliber shell casing in his pants pocket. They also noticed signs of a struggle inside the living room with a possible bullet hole in the ceiling. Police are asking anyone with any information on the incident to please contact the Fern Ridge Barracks. Kresge is now behind bars at the Monroe County jail awaiting his preliminary hearing.

Murder in Saw Creek
Tuesday February 14th 2017

A domestic dispute escalates to murder in a private community in Pike County. A wife shot and killed her 53 year old husband, Joseph Davis, inside Saw Creek Estates. The incident happened around 5:30 last night, according to police, he was shot in the chest and head. Davis was rushed to Lehigh Valley hospital where he died. Pike County DA Ray Tonkin tells us the couple had two adult children, one of them was home when the shooting took place. The wife's name has not been released by police, but she was taken into police custody for an evaluation. State Police say the shooting still remains under investigation.

Cross-Over Crash Sends Two To Hospital
Tuesday February 14th 2017

A head on collision this morning in Monroe County sends two to the hospital. It happened around 10am on Paradise Trail not far from where Route 191 meets Route 447 in Stroud Township. Officials say a white Cadillac Escalade traveling in the north bound lane crossed over and hit a tan Nissan SUV in the south bound lane head on. We're told the 50-some-year-old woman in the Escalade was taken to a nearby hospital in an ambulance while the 70-some-year-old woman in the Nissan was airlifted to Lehigh Valley Hospital by a helicopter. Stroud Area Regional Police say both were reported at the scene to have non-life threatening injuries. The road is known for crashes and people living nearby tell us this is just another reminder to slow down. Police are still investigating why the crossover crash happened but there is a possibility it was related to a medical condition.

Check Out Eldred Township Community Center
Friday February 10th 2017

Volunteers are working hard to ensure an old school turned community center in Monroe County remains open. The building is a major staple of Eldred Township and serves thousands of people each month. But your support is needed to keep that going.
You never know what you're going to find at the Eldred Township Community Center. Today we walked in and fashion came to life inside the community thrift store. Volunteers held a mini fashion show revealing their favorite looks at an unbelievable price. That $10 or $12 price includes the shoes, clothes, jewelry, purses and everything the model had on. Two large rooms are dedicated to the store. Plus a couple of racks in the hallway, and they literally have everything including prom dresses, household items and toys. Besides offering great deals, the thrift store also helps people. Another room is dedicated for free stuff to handed out to people in need. That's not the only former classroom transformed into a helping hand. The West End Food Pantry is also in operation down the hall which feeds thousands of people each month. Plus, there's a children's library and music club to name a few of the offered programs. Eldred Township Elementary School closed in 2010. The township bought the building from the Pleasant Valley School District for just a dollar. Since 2014 it's had this new purpose. Now volunteers are striving to keep it from being sold, abandoned or demolished. There's currently a budget shortfall. But you can help by dropping by to explore all the hidden treasures they have, including taking classes like art and sewing. Plus there's plenty of rooms that you can rent for the day for just $10 per hour. If you'd like to participate, volunteer or help fund the center, just drop by. Checks made out to the Eldred Township Community Center can also be mailed to the municipal building. All donations are tax deductible.

Fresh Snow A Big Draw To The Slopes
Thursday February 9th 2017

Some people only have one thing on their mind when they hear about a snow storm in Monroe County. Skipping the shoveling and heading straight to the slopes.
The excitement skiers and snowboarders felt waking up to the best snow storm of the season in Monroe County can only be compared to Christmas morning. Analomink resident Casey Morris and her family can't believe their luck. They just got back from a skiing trip in New Hampshire to find out fresh powder would soon coat their home turf ski areas. Others in New York put their bets on Old Man Winter and made the trip to Shawnee Mountain before the first snowflake fell. They tell us it was a winning decision. Camelback Mountain is also packed with people. Some got really lucky with their planned trip. We spoke with a family from Florida who just flew in before the storm hit. They're pumped to have a couple more days to enjoy what Mother Nature has finally whipped up. Both resorts welcome the real white stuff with open arms, but officials tell us it's still been a great winter season.

Monroe County Snow & Strike
Thursday February 9th 2017

The teachers strike continues in the Stroudsburg area school district and today marks day four. Many parents say the strike has put pressure on them to find ways to keep the kids active, but yesterday's snow gave some parents a much needed break today. Many parents and children were sliding down the public sledding hill in Stroud Township. Nick Milonas says, "Cabin fever has set in that's why we are out here, this is the perfect Pocono weather so we are taking advantage by hitting this mountain hard and doing some sledding today. School officials have already announced school is closed tomorrow as the strike continues.

Preparing For Snow In Monroe County
Wednesday February 8th 2017

It feels like spring today but come tomorrow, officials say Old Man Winter will return in a major way. It's predicted the most snow we've seen all season is going to start falling overnight. We caught up with township officials who say they are ready for it and people preparing just in case.

Barber Trial
Wednesday February 8th 2017

A trial gets underway for a man charged with the death of his stepson in Monroe County. Christopher Barber, 47, of Ross Township got 5 to 10 years for causing permanent brain damage to his stepson Christopher Kostenbader in 1991. Those injuries left the child in a vegetative state until he died in 2014. Now he is being charged with homicide, today during opening arguments prosecuting attorney's say Barber should face additional time because his actions in 1991 have been proven to have led to the death of the child. Meanwhile the defense says the stepson had many medical problems since birth that may have contributed to his death. Officials say the case will continue tomorrow at 9 at the Monroe County Courthouse no matter if it snows.

Monroe County Habitat for Humanity Loves Their New Home
Tuesday February 7th 2017

Monroe County Habitat for Humanity's new home in Coolbaugh Township is already paying off. The nonprofit moved from its Stroudsburg location to an office in the new Mountain Center located on Route 611. Officials tell us their work is more efficient because it's a much bigger space than what they were used to. They can have all their supplies and meetings under the same roof. Plus employees have plenty of room to work. Their spot further north is also helping to connect them with more people that could use their services. They've had quite a few more applications coming in since they moved in. Habitat is still looking for more people to sign up for their home repair projects before July. You can fill out an application on their website, habitatmc.org, to see if you qualify. And they could always use more volunteers.

Teachers On Strike At Stroudsburg Area School District
Monday February 6th 2017

A strike cancelled classes today for Stroudsburg Area School District students. The teachers' union has been working under an expired contract for two years and now the two sides are still millions of dollars apart on several issues. Both sides are scheduled to meet tomorrow morning at 11 to discuss what's next. It has been announced that school will be cancelled tomorrow.

Vivitrol Coming to Northeastern PA Counties
Thursday February 2nd 2017

While Wayne County has high hopes for the new drug court, Monroe County is taking a different approach to the heroin epidemic. Officials hope to get addicts off the drug by seeking aid in the form of an R-V. Officials inside the camper will be serving a medicine that's supposed to stop addicts from craving heroin. Jamie Drake Treatment Program Manager of Carbon Monroe and Pike Drug & Alcohol Commission says," Working with a company called Positive Recovery Solutions to bring mobile vivitrol unit to our counties on our northeastern part of the state." "They've been working on the western part of the state with 20 counties at this point and looking to expand and bring additional resources to help the epidemic we are experiencing." Officials say Positive Recovery Solutions will park their mobile vehicle in different authorized areas throughout Wayne, Monroe, Pike, Carbon and other northeastern counties, providing treatment for those seeking help.

Two In Court Charged With Forging Documents At Mount Airy Casino
Thursday February 2nd 2017

Emmanuel Sirleaf of Philadelphia and Larry Wolfe of Maryland are charged in a scheme using a stolen identity to fraudulently open, deposit and withdraw a total amount of $299,000 from a Mount Airy Casino player's club account. Police say on two separate occasions in December, Wolfe used victim Glenn Greenbaum's Florida driver's license with Wolfe's picture on it, along with his social security card to cash a cashier's check payable to Greenbaum. Officials of the casino tell us this is the largest amount of money ever stolen from them and they couldn't have done anything to stop it because they followed all of their legal controls and procedures. On December 31st police stopped a vehicle in Montgomery County occupied by both defendants and a driver on suspicion of a counterfeit plate. Police discovered money wrapped in Mount Airy Casino money bands and multiple fraudulent identification cards. Both also were discovered to have warrants out for their arrest in other states. Wolfe waived his right to a preliminary hearing today but during Sirleaf's, one trooper testified Wolfe admitted Sirleaf had contacted him to cash a check and make some money. Wolfe told police Sirleaf provided him with the cashier's checks and false identification. Both defendants had no comment on their way out of court. Police contacted the real Greenbaum who related he hadn't lost his driver's license or social security card, He had reported being a victim of identity theft since June of 2016 and that fraudulent back accounts and home equity loans would be opened in his name. Wolfe's attorney tells us the federal government is looking into possibly pressing additional charges against his client. All charges were bound over to Monroe County Court and both were sent back to jail on half a million dollars bail.

Underground Railroad in the Poconos
Wednesday February 1st 2017

Today marks the first day of black history month. During this time officials highlight the growth and impact African Americans have had on this country and officials say there's lots of black history lying beneath the Pocono region. The owner of the Valor Clinic in Jonas believes a building they currently use was apart of the underground railroad. Mark Baylis Founder of the Valor Clinic says, " This used to be a stop on the underground railroad they would bring in freed slaves North, but they would stop and hide in the cellar here on their way further North up to Massachusetts and New York. Officials believe another building used with the underground railroad was the Pocono Indian Museum in Bushkill.

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