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Teacher Strike In ESU's Near Future?
Friday August 26th 2016

A possible teacher strike is looming over East Stroudsburg University. The faculty contract for all 14 state owned colleges expired over a year ago and collective bargaining negotiations are moving slowly.
The faculty union is considering a strike at all state owned universities. Soon members will take a strike authorization vote. But officials want to make it clear that the academic year will start as planned on Monday. Both sides do agree they don't want a strike and they have the students' best interests in mind. But they disagree on what exactly is best for the students. Officials of the state system tell us the union's requests for things like a reasonable increase in salary and fitness memberships for themselves and spouses have no direct benefit to students. And their requests don't take into consideration the serious fiscal situation the universities are facing.
Union officials disagree. They say they're trying to maintain the wonderful teaching at state schools and to do that they need a contract that not only keeps the professors in place but attracts new ones for future students. Plus they're worried about the systems proposal to have more graduate and adjunct teachers and them being given more sections to teach. They say those actions would reduce the quality of education. And they're skeptical when they hear there's not enough money. They're seeing the number of managers and building projects increase.
We're told an increase in pay and benefits would directly affect the students' tuition. And the students we spoke with today have mixed feelings.
The current salaries of the state system faculty are among the highest in the nation. The two sides are continuing to meet in an attempt to negotiate a contract.

Vehicle Auction Supports Drug Program
Friday August 26th 2016

The Monroe County District Attorney's office was auctioning off vehicles this morning that their drug task force seized at crime scenes. Officials say the drug task force doesn't operate at any cost to the tax payers and they only get money through auctions like todays and drug forfeitures. Kim Lippincott Monroe County detective says, "Coming out here and supporting the drug task force keeps us out on the streets actively seeking out drug dealers, drug users getting the help that they need, sending the bad guys away that are delivering these drugs to people, this is what keeps us going and what we look forward to." Today officials were able to sell 12 vehicles for a total of $15,150.

Marshalls Creek Bank Robbery Update
Thursday August 25th 2016

Police are still searching for the suspect who held up the Wayne Bank yesterday on Route 209. Today they released the surveillance video of the armed robbery in Marshalls Creek.
Police say the robbery is similar to the one that happened at the same bank earlier this year. The bank was robbed yesterday just after 12:30 and the one four months ago happened around one. But that's not the only similarity. In both cases the man is described as short and thin. In May he was said to be wearing a clown mask and a black shirt. Yesterday surveillance video shows the male wearing a dark colored zip up hoodie and dark colored pants, along with glasses and police say what appears to be a fake beard.
The video reveals a scary situation for those inside the bank at the time of the robbery. The white male entered the bank and pointed what appears to be a small handgun at two tellers and demanded money. You can see the two tellers hand over the money and the suspect flee the bank in an unknown direction. Last time police didn't mention a weapon involved. But the suspect told a teller to place money in a bag and then fled on foot.
Those visiting the bank today are happy to see a security officer patrolling. The same one was on duty after the last incident but only for a few weeks. We're told bank officials are looking into better security measures.
Police say the investigation is continuing to determine if the two robberies were done by the same actor. Swiftwater State Police are asking anyone with information on yesterday's robbery to please contact them.

West End Fair wants Concerts
Thursday August 25th 2016

The West End Fair always has games, rides and food, but big name entertainment has been missing over the past decade. That's because the cost of some of these acts has really gone up, but officials are working to bring the big name artists back. Jim Johnston Advertising Agency at the West End Fair says,"People that come to the fair are saying 'hey when can you bring back the big shows again', so we are working towards that." Officials are holding a concert tomorrow at the arena that will feature a couple of tribute bands and a local group called Zed D'Lance.

Police Searching For Bank Robber In Monroe County
Wednesday August 24th 2016

Police say the Wayne Bank located on Route 209 in Marshalls Creek was robbed just after 12:30 this afternoon. Employees at East Coast Barbers which is located just behind the bank tell us police asked if they saw a white man in the area dressed in a black hoodie. Police are still searching for the suspect. They have not released anything further. If you have any information on this incident, you're asked to contact Swiftwater State Police.

Gouldsboro Missing Man Update
Wednesday August 24th 2016

The remains of a Northern Monroe County man missing for almost three months may have been located. Officials say things they found with the decomposed body lead them to believe it might be the Gouldsboro man Richard McClain. Chief Chris Wagner of Pocono Mountain Regional Police says, "We did locate what in fact are human remains in State Gamelands 127 approximately 3.3 miles away from where Mr. McClain's vehicle was found within that site." "We also located a medical alert necklace which identified Richard McClain so at this point in the investigation we are fairly confident that the remains found were that of Mr. McClain. McClain's daughter Richelle says she has no comment until officials are 100% sure the body found is her fathers.

Misunderstanding Erupts Over Possible Closure Of Shafers Schoolhouse Road
Tuesday August 23rd 2016

Stroudsburg Borough and Stroud Township Officials are confused. They tell us they both received an email from PennDOT saying they requested two new traffic signals for the possible closure at Route 209 and Shafers Schoolhouse Road. The problem- they say they never requested a temporary traffic signal on Main Street or an emergency flashing light where the traffic light is on Shafers Schoolhouse Road. PennDOT in return requested the borough accept ownership and maintenance responsibilities of the temporary proposed traffic light at the Interstate 80 Ramp on West Main Street, as they would any other light in their area. They say it would remain in place until the Interstate 80 widening project that's estimated to start nine years from now. Officials recently declined.
A PennDOT spokesperson says the proposed lights both resulted from meetings with municipal officials and emergency responders. Officials wanted improvements to the surrounding roads and responders still wanted access to be able to cross Route 209 at Shafers Schoolhouse Road to answer resident calls. The closure is still under review and no final decision has been made. PennDOT officials say there are other alternatives that could be used if the municipalities won't take responsibility of the lights. Stroudsburg, Stroud Township and Hamilton Township have all adopted resolutions against the complete closure of the intersection.

West End Fair Ride Safety
Tuesday August 23rd 2016

This summer alone has been a nightmare for roller coaster and ride safety, the most recent incident at Hershey Park left 27 riders stranded. With that in mind officials from the West End Fair are working hard to ensure their twenty five rides are completely safe and functioning well. Irvin Good Owner of Goodtime Amusements at the fair says, "We are in contact with everybody when an accident happens in this country no matter where it is we are on top of finding out why it happened and if we have a ride like that we want to make sure that ours is okay." Officials say you can rest assure that the rides at the fair are inspected everyday and you should enjoy them as the fair runs until Saturday.

Fire Leaves Four Homeless
Monday August 22nd 2016

Four people are homeless after a fire in Monroe County. Flames broke out last night around eight at a 700 block building on Stroudsburg's Main Street. A vacant business and three apartments suffered smoke and water damage, but firefighters from four different departments succeeded in saving the structure. Three of the four residents are being helped by the American Red Cross. Officials handed out care kits, blankets and a hug. They try to assist in any way they can. The fire is under investigation and there is no word yet on the cause. The Red Cross is always in need of volunteers so if you'd like to make a difference just contact their Stroudsburg office.

Community Divided Over Proposed Rehab Center
Friday August 19th 2016

A community is divided over a proposed drug and alcohol rehab facility. The former Brookdale on the Lake Resort just off of Route 611 in Scotrun has been a ghost town for almost a decade. Now three Monroe County businessmen want to transform it into a state-licensed treatment center. Last night at a special Pocono Township Commissioners meeting, residents got to hear their plans for the first time. Those living near the property have a lot of concerns over the initial 80 to 100 bed facility opening. Some are angry. They're worried about their safety and their property value being affected. Plus the request to rezone all of the property as commercial has many alarmed. Right now a small portion is zoned commercial but the majority of the site is zoned for recreational development.
Project officials say the voluntary patients would not be allowed to walk out of the facility and it would be gated. They also confirm property values won't be negatively affected. Officials add the for-profit center would also benefit the township by being back on the taxrolls, boosting the local economy and creating hundred of jobs. There are a lot of people on board too.
No decision was made at the informational meeting. Township officials tell us they need the rehab plans formally submitted before they can move any further.

Zika Update
Friday August 19th 2016

As of today officials have yet to find any cases of the zika virus transmitted locally in the state of Pennsylvania, nor have mosquitoes here tested positive for the virus. Local hospital officials are working on keeping that number at zero by educating people on how to prevent that mosquito bite. Dr. Luther Rhodes Chief of Infection Control at Lehigh Valley Health Network says, "We are on guard we do advise people to take precautions this is a hot and now wet summer there is a lot of mosquitoes." "It is very important that people take precautions to prevent/lessen the chance of a mosquito bite." Officials say you should wear long sleeve shirts and pants and should wear CDC approved mosquito repellent when outdoors for a long period of time.

Getting Ready For The Fall Semester At ESU
Thursday August 18th 2016

Staff at one college campus in Monroe County are putting in a little extra elbow grease to get ready for the arrival of students. The start of the new semester at East Stroudsburg University is now less than two weeks away. We're told enrollment is up and residence halls are going to be packed.
Overgrown shrubbery, garbage and weeds didn't stand a chance today at East Stroudsburg University. About 50 faculty and staff members volunteered to make the campus beautiful for the arrival of students. The new semester starts on the 29th, but the move-in date for freshmen is next Thursday. It's the fourth year for the annual clean-up day. And those participating tell us they look forward to pitching in. They started getting their hands dirty at eight this morning and finished up around noon.
And it's not just about making the campus look good. It's also about keeping it in good repair. This summer the entire front of Stroud Hall got redone and Dansbury Commons got a facelift with new paint and flooring.

Electric Rates Possibly on the Rise
Thursday August 18th 2016

Met Ed officials are requesting an annual increase in rates of 9.5 percent.
Officials say for your average residential customer that would be around an 18 dollar increase. So with the prices of many of the energy sources such as gas, oil and coal going down, why is electricity going up? Scott Surgeoner Spokesperson of First Energy says, " We want to continue to improve customer reliability, customer service, we need to expand our infrastructure, get after our infrastructure rebuild some of the infrastructure that provides better service to the customer that's what this rate increase is all about." Officials say the decision is still not set in stone and the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission has until January 2017 to decide if the increase will happen or not.

Grandparents Are Taking A Stand Against The Opioid Epidemic
Tuesday August 16th 2016

Beth O'Boyle wants to give children and grandparents dealing with parents addicted to opioids a platform. She's part of the group "Grandparents Raising Grandchildren" and is currently raising her nine-year-old grandson. She and the other members want to help fix the problems surrounding the epidemic. They say incarcerating addicts isn't working. The statistic "a baby is born addicted to opioids every 25 minutes" reveals the severity.
Right now grandparents have to adhere to custody and visitation laws set up in the 1980s for a divorce setting. Plus there are no federal funding and limited state funding to help grandparents with both the financial and emotional burdens. Most older Americans are on a fixed income due to being on social security. They voiced those concerns today with Congressman Lou Barletta. He's pushing for new laws to attack the opioid problem, including his own legislation which specifically protects babies born into addiction. He's also co-hosting a forum on the topic this Thursday in Harrisburg. Barletta says he will work in Washington for grandparents to get financial assistance and to modernize the social system. There is a support group available for grandparents in the Wilkes-Barre office of Catholic Social Services which meets the second Monday night of every month from 6 to 7:30.

Fatal Lightning Strike
Monday August 15th 2016

Officials say on Saturday just after 7:30 pm Jose Lopez-Hernandez, 38, of Camden, New Jersey was swimming in the lake at Beltzville State Park in Franklin Township when he was struck by lighting. Officials say he managed to get himself back onto the beach but became unresponsive. The next day he was pronounced dead at Lehigh Valley Hospital. Officials say a 33 year old father and his 12 year old son were also found injured and were taken to Palmerton Hospital for treatment. Officials say the best shelter is either in a building or in your vehicle. Devin Buzard the Park Manager of Beltzville State Park says the park is over 3,000 acres and it attracts many people so they try to do the best they can to monitor the area especially when bad weather is approaching. Buzard says "Typical protocol is hear the first sound start making announcements urging people to evacuate the area and seek shelter." Buzard says Saturday night before the strike the alarm was sounded and an announcement was made for people to get out of the water.

Did you know Monroe County Rocks?
Monday August 15th 2016

There's a new easy way to explore the natural beauty of Monroe County right at your fingertips. Now the over 125 parks and open space properties can be found on a website called "Monroe County Park Locator." It's the perfect tool to plan out your fun. And right now is the perfect time to check it out. The Planning Commission is asking you to share your experiences through the "Monroe County Rocks" Photo Contest that runs till Labor Day. To enter the contest, just visit any of the parks. Then take a picture with a blue rock and submit your photo on their facebook page (Facebook.com/MonroeCountyParkLocator). ROcks are available for free at each municipal administrative office or you can make your own. Each week you can win Rita's Italian Ice and the grand prizes include restaurant and resort gift certificates.

Mill Creek Bridge
Friday August 12th 2016

The Mill Creek Bridge in Stroud Township has been closed for repair since March 9th of last year. It was expected to be closed until December of this year, but now officials anticipate the bridge to be completed by October. The word has spread quickly that officials expect the bridge to be completed sooner than later and it has many business owners breathing a sigh of relief. Jim Weiss Owner of Jim Weiss Auto Body & Towing says "It's fantastic it is going to make things easier and better for all the people, it had to be done the bridge was old and needed work but finally its done and going to get back open, so great." All the business owners we spoke with say they're grateful for all of the support from their customers during this time and they hope everything will be back to normal soon

Officials Talk Safety At Glen Onoko Falls
Friday August 12th 2016

Lawmakers addressed concerns today over a known dangerous Carbon County hiking trail. The safety meeting comes after countless rescues and fatalities at Glen Onoko Falls. And it's in answer to a letter written by local officials saying the state needs to take action.
First responders left the Glen Onoko Trail Safety Meeting this morning feeling accomplished. Not only is the beautiful falls the site of serious accidents and deaths every year, but when an incident occurs it causes a manpower shortage.
One problem that was addressed was parts of the trail have deteriorated. We're told those overgrown spots will be cleaned up and officials also want to implement a readily available safety task force on the trail.
There are already signs on the trail that tell you to wear proper attire and that it is dangerous, but officials say they want to add more signs and start a public service announcement.
It can also take a lot of time just to find someone who is lost or hurt because the person doesn't know where she or he is. Officials will work to change that too by placing identifiers throughout the area.
Legislation is also moving forward to provide volunteer firefighters with workers' compensation coverage through the state. Right now if one got injured on state game lands, a municipality would have to foot the bill.

Lehighton Elementary Center
Thursday August 11th 2016

Officials are now one step closer to building a new Lehighton Area Elementary Center. Officials decided to build this center after they realized the district's four elementary schools are all in need of repair, instead of remodeling each school they decided to combine them into one center. Today school officials got an idea of how much it's going to cost, bids were opened from contractors hoping to work on the project. Despite the plan to move forward many residents are still concerned about a potential tax increase, but officials say not to worry. Jonathan Cleaver Superintendent of Lehighton Area School District says, " As far as the debt service there is no anticipated increase in that, so we were able to keep our debt payment the same as it currently is with the borrowings for all our projects." Officials will be announcing their final decision on which contractors they will hire on August 22nd at their next school board meeting.

Being Proactive Against Zika In Monroe County
Thursday August 11th 2016

Officials are working to lessen the chances of a Zika outbreak in Monroe County.
Every week Ryan Baldwin sets 15 mosquito traps throughout the county that target the species known to carry West Nile Virus. Now the coordinator of Vector Control has added two more thanks to a $12,000 grant given by the Department of Environmental Protection. The two are specially designed to attract the mosquito that may carry the Zika virus. Zika has been known to be primarily in the Caribbean Islands but recently it was detected in Florida. What's most concerning is the associated birth defects if you contract Zika while you are pregnant or right before becoming pregnant. You've probably heard of babies being born with small heads. That's why Baldwin took it upon himself to get bio-degradable mosquito traps donated to better control the population.
Monroe County residents tell us they really appreciate their local officials being proactive. If the biodegradable pots are successful in getting rid of mosquitos, officials hope to use them instead of spraying pesticides.

You're Being Asked To Slow Down In Mount Pocono
Wednesday August 10th 2016

Changes are coming to slow drivers down in an area of Monroe County. Over one thousand people have signed a petition to stop the speeding problem on Route 611 in Mount Pocono. Now officials have come up with short-term and long-term solutions. Mayor Fred Courtright says they'll be working to have a better police presence and better warnings of the 30 mile per hour speed limit within the next few weeks. They'll be replacing the signs with ones that have flashing LED lights and painting signs on the pavement. The Mayor tells us a traffic light and crosswalk signals are also under discussion. They'll take a bit longer because of the cost and required approval by PennDOT.

Historic Bridge Replacement Underway
Tuesday August 9th 2016

Contractors are hard at work, laying tons of rock, replacing the Pond Eddy Bridge in Shohola. The current structure is over a century old and its the only access across the Delaware for about a dozen residents living on the other side.
The 17 million dollar Pond Eddy Bridge will be built right next to the old one and share many of the same historical characteristics. It will be a single lane with a two span truss, but there will be one glaring difference; the bridge will have no weight limit allowing emergency vehicles to cross.
The work is expected to be finished by the fall of 2018.

Bartonsville Traffic Light Causing Backups On Route 611?
Tuesday August 9th 2016

People are complaining a traffic light is causing backups on Route 611 in Monroe County. Traffic congestion seems to be the norm in Bartonsville where Interstate 80 and Route 33 converge with Route 611. Local drivers say the traffic light at Routes 611 and 33 and the one at the Giant are in sync with each other for better traffic flow but the traffic light at Rimrock Drive isn't. Pocono Township is in charge of maintaining that light, but officials tell us they haven't received any complaints. They tell us they will send a technician out to take a look.
Stroud Township officials tell us they want to work with Pocono Township officials to fix the problem on Route 611. There's a plan to coordinate all the lights starting at the Home Depot intersection up to the Giant Supermarket intersection as part of the St. Luke's project in that area. They'd like to add in the Rimrock Drive intersection so traffic is managed and flows much better.

Northampton Man Kills Father
Tuesday August 9th 2016

A Northampton man is accused of killing his father. Police say around 3:17 this morning they responded to a call about shots fired at a Main Street home in Northampton. Police say they heard gunfire when they approached the home, upon entering they were greeted with more gunfire. They've identified the shooter as Jason Myirski, 36, of Northampton. Police would eventually get Myirski to surrender, laying deceased in another room was his father Joseph Myirski. Neighbors tell us the son served in the army, during his arraignment this morning he told the judge he is being treated for a heroin addiction and is taking suboxone and currently suffers from PTSD. Officials are currently unaware of the motive and the suspect is now in jail with no bail and is awaiting his next court appearance.

Community Unites To Help Two Families Displaced By Fire
Monday August 8th 2016

Hundreds of calls are coming in to help two families displaced by a weekend fire in Carbon County. Fire departments from three different counties were called to the blaze around 2:30 Saturday morning. Two homes were heavily engulfed upon arrival, but firefighters saved a third from being completely destroyed. Officials say it started in the middle vacant home and the cause remains under investigation. There were no reported injuries and everyone made it out.
A community bakesale is being held on Sunday from 9am to 1pm in front of the borough building on Wilber Street to raise money for the two families.

Release the Wine
Monday August 8th 2016

Have you ever wondered why bottled wine is not sold at your local grocery store? Well you won't have to ask that question anymore, thanks to a new law that takes effect today allowing local grocery stores to apply to sell wine. We spoke with officials from a local winery who say they have already been in contact with grocery stores.
Linda Rice Co-Owner of Mountain View Vineyard Winery & Distillery say," The grocery store is going to make it so much simpler and much more convenient for costumers and that's the goal." Officials expect wine to be sold at the local grocery stores by Thanksgiving.

Remembering The Victims Three Years Later In Ross Township
Friday August 5th 2016

Three years ago today a gunman opened fire at the Ross Township Municipal Building killing three people and severely injuring another. He has since been sentenced and will remain behind bars all his life. But the close-knit community will never forget the tragic incident.
It's still hard for many people to talk about that horrific night. But everyone's heart goes out to the innocent lives lost.
The shooting rampage at the township supervisors meeting ended with three audience members dead- Dave Fleetwood, James LaGuardia and Jerry Kozic, and others injured, including Linda Kozic who was severely wounded. A new addition to the playground near the municipal building was built in their honor. We spotted children playing on the equipment today. Ross Township Resident Kathy Morton tells us she comes to walk at the park daily and believes it's helping the area heal.
We also stopped by the Dave Fleetwood Memorial Trail in the West End Regional Park. Fleetwood was a Chestnuthill Township supervisor at the time. A memorial run and walk is also coming up this September in Fleetwood's honor that starts at the park. The 5k raises money for a scholarship fund also in his name.
The third annual Dave Fleetwood Memorial Run and Leisure Walk is happening Sunday, September 18th at 9am. It's 20 dollars to participate and you can sign up by going to www.weposc.org.

Food Pantry Finds New Home At New Community Service Center in Monroe County
Thursday August 4th 2016

Officials of Feeding Families Ministry no longer have to worry about their clients going hungry without them. The eviction notice they received two months ago at their Mount Pocono location may have closed one door, but now they're opening up two doors. Community volunteers are busy transforming the two classrooms into the food pantry. Pocono Services for Families and Children offered them the space at the former Coolbaugh Elementary Center. For the first time the ministry will have heat, running water and available parking. Pocono Services for Families and Children took out a loan to purchase the property for Head Start classrooms and early childhood care that's greatly needed in the area. And the extra space left over is being turned into a one-stop-shop for service agencies. Local non-profits such as the Monroe County Area on Aging, Women's Resources, Pocono Alliance and Habitat for Humanity are just a few that will have offices in the building.
The classrooms and non-profits will start serving the community the first week of September at what's now known as the Mountain Education and Service Center. If you'd like to lend a hand just contact Pocono Services for Families and Children. And Feeding Families Ministry is always in need of donations too.

Drought Watch in Carbon County
Wednesday August 3rd 2016

The Department of Environmental Protection has issued a drought watch for thirty four counties. Four of those thirty four are in our viewing area and they include Carbon, Lehigh, Northampton and Schuylkill counties. Officials say despite the recent stretch of rain these areas are still under watch. Officials say there is no timetable for when the drought will be over it strictly depends on when the area receives the proper amount of rain and the ground water levels are restored. For more information on the drought watch go to the DEP website. www.dep.pa.gov/drought

Senator Casey Talks Infant Opioid-Dependent Crisis At PMC
Wednesday August 3rd 2016

Researchers estimate more than one baby every 25 minutes is now born in the United States dependent on drugs and suffering from withdrawal. That statistic hits home in Monroe County. Last year Pocono Medical Center delivered and treated a significant amount of infants dealing with symptoms like tremors and seizures-- 3.5% of the over one thousand births.
That's why United States Senator Bob Casey visited the hospital today. He wanted to listen and learn how officials are dealing with the epidemic. Senator Casey's Law, the Protecting Our Infants Act, strives to fill the gaps in research, prevention and treatment. It also encourages states to partner with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hospital officials say there's been a lot of attention on the opioid epidemic as a whole but this is the first time great attention has been focused on how our future generation is being impacted. They hope this law brings necessary resources for care and starts a greater dialogue.

Slatington Man Appears In Court Charged With Causing Passenger's Death
Tuesday August 2nd 2016

A Slatington man appears in court today charged with homicide by a vehicle while driving under the influence. The single-vehicle rollover crash happened back in February on Rextown Road in Washington Township. The front seat passenger took the stand today and said 26-year-old Joshua Moser lost control when he went around a right curve. They hit an embankment and then a tree stump. The passenger in the backseat, 24-year-old Nicole Gruber also of Slatington, was found a few feet from the roadway lying facedown. She was flown to the hospital where she later died. Court documents reveal Moser's blood alcohol level was 0.15.
The judge held all charges for county court and Moser remains out on unsecured bail awaiting trial.

Bidwell Arraignment
Tuesday August 2nd 2016

James Bidwell, 49, of Tobyhanna Township is accused of killing Kristen Wagner, 27. Officials say the two were having an affair and Bidwell used to supply her with Meth and Percocet's. On June 2, 2011 officials found Wagner hanging from an electrical heating wire tied to a refrigeration unit in a trailer at a scrap yard in Stroud Township owned by Bidwell. Officials say they reopened the case in 2014 when they received word that Bidwell admitted to a co-worker that he killed Wagner. Today the only thing he was admitting was the amount of love he has for the lord, "God has his hands wrapped around me that's all I have to say." Bidwell is now in prison with no bail, his preliminary hearing was scheduled for August 12th but officials say it will be continued.

19th Annual Free Clothing Giveaway Coming Soon
Monday August 1st 2016

A church in Jim Thorpe is striving to help hundreds of people with its 19 annual clothing giveaway. The event kicks off this week and everyone is welcome to come shop for free.
Volunteers have been working hard at St. John's Lutheran Church located on South Avenue. They're still busy today folding and organizing clothes for their 19th annual giveaway starting this Thursday.
They're giving back in a big way. We're told people come from all over including places as far away as Allentown and Scranton to choose what they'd like from the donated items. Last year they had around 450 shoppers and they're hoping to help just as many people this year.
You're pretty much guaranteed to find something you'd like to wear, and if you can't find it, the volunteers are happy to point you in the right direction. They have a little bit of everything from children's clothing, men's, women's to uniforms and maternity clothes.
And there's more than just clothes. There's a lot of other stuff like baby items, toys and household items to choose from.
The free giveaway is open for three weeks on Thursdays from 9am till 4pm, Fridays from 9am to 8pm and Saturdays from 9am to 1pm. For more information just go to the church's website at stjohnsinjimthorpe.org.

Cigarette Smokers Get Less Bang for their Buck
Monday August 1st 2016

People looking to purchase cigarettes today were blindsided by the new prices.
" I am in shock, I cant even believe this, these prices are ridiculous" says Amalia DeSantis of Milford. She typically pays 65 dollars for a carton of Marlboro lights, but with the new cigarette tax that went into effect today. that same carton is almost 80 dollars.
" its ridiculous, I am not paying 80 dollars, I will take whatever is cheaper at this point."
The new state budget raises the cigarette tax in Pennsylvania from $1.60 a pack up to $2.60 a pack. Its now the 10th highest cigarette tax in the nation.
E cigarettes, pipe tobacco, along with chewing tobacco will see a 40 percent tax hike. Those changes will go into effect starting October 1st.

Pocono Raceway Weather Problems
Monday August 1st 2016

After 138 laps raceway officials waived the red flag on the race due to severe weather conditions. Many people piled into Pocono Raceway today to enjoy the Nascar Sprint Cup Series Pennsylvania 400 race. It's a 400 mile 60 lap race around the Tricky Triangle and it features 40 Nascar drivers all fighting to add the 400 race trophy to their collection. Many raceway officials and fans may have been bummed out with the postponement yesterday, but that wasn't the case for many businesses around the area. Michael Kelly manager of Chat-N-Chew Café says "For business it's huge it definitely is because these guys a lot of them come in they have early starts got to get to the track early so if we are able to get them some breakfast and get them started on the right foot it's definitely a bonus for us." Nascar and raceway officials decided to end the race completely after four today.

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