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Baseball Stars in Hazleton
Friday December 19th 2014

Chicago Cubs Manager Joe Maddon grew up in Hazleton. During the offseason, Maddon would visit his hometown and progressively saw the city taking turns for the worse. He decided to act. Maddon helped establish the Hazleton Integration Project 18 months ago to bring kids from across the city together. The project got a major boost last night as the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation donated $180,000 to help renovate HIP's headquarters at the Hazleton One Center. MLB Hall of Fame shortstop Cal Ripken, Jr. was on hand to present the check along with various other baseball greats. HIP runs largely off volunteer help. If you'd like to get involved, visit the project's website at www.hazletonintegrationprojcet.com

Crackdown On Prostitution In Pocono Township
Friday December 19th 2014

Three massage parlors were raided today on Route 611 in Bartonsville and Tannersville. Pocono Township Police Chief Kent Werkheiser says employees at Tokyo Luxury Spa, American Dolls Spa in Pocono Peddler's Village and Affinity Massage located across from The Crossings Premium Outlets were engaged in acts of prostitution. Police shut down all three businesses after executing search warrants with assistance from Monroe County Adult Probation, Department of Homeland Security, Pennsylvania Department of State and the Monroe County Detective Office. It's the end result of a two year investigation by Pocono Township Police and the Monroe County District Attorney's Office. Police say it's not only a warning to the owners of the properties but a message from the community-- prostitution won't be tolerated. Police say the investigation is ongoing and charges are pending. Those businesses will remain closed.

Mixed Feelings On New Cuba Relations
Thursday December 18th 2014

Locals react to what some call an historic change with American-Cuban relations. President Barrack Obama is normalizing trade and tourism after over a 50 year embargo. It's an important topic to a growing Latino population in Monroe County. And East Stroudsburg Resident Professor Emeritus of Brooklyn College Anthony Stevens-Arroyo says it's exciting for all Latino's future.
"At the end of a Cold War, people always ask who won and who lost. And the good thing is we don't have to ask that question today. We're just starting a new."
While it is a step in the right direction, Cuban-American and Member of the Pocono Republican Hispanic Alliance Jorge Estevez doesn't believe it was done in the right way.
"Obama will put an embassy in Cuba. What is that going to do? It's going to cost us millions of dollars. It's not going to help the Cuban people, it's just going to help the regime. All the money coming in, they have control over."
Estevez says Cubans are still suffering under the Communist government. Good or bad the process is still in its early stages.

Officials Project Impact of 80 Project
Thursday December 18th 2014

Penn Dot officials are narrowing down various alternatives and weighing the impacts of all of them.
Penn Dot officials are predicting as many as 106 people could lose their properties, through eminent domain.
Construction is expected to begin in 2022. You can keep up with progress, and sign up for alerts on the project website.

Community Bringing Christmas to Less Fortunate
Wednesday December 17th 2014

Members of the community are working to bring Christmas to the less fortunate.
Simcard Wireless in Stroudsburg is offering free cell phones to people in need and the Wesleyan Church is giving away cold weather supplies with the help of the community and a Stroudsburg girl scouts troop.
Simcard Wireless is collecting old cell phones you may have. You can drop them off Monday through Friday from 11am - 5pm.

The Salvation Army Spreads Christmas Spirit
Wednesday December 17th 2014

Monroe County's Salvation Army transforms today into Santa's workshop. An estimated 20,000 toys will be distributed to those in need in hopes of making their kid's Christmas bright.
Toys, toys and more toys, plus stocking stuffers and clothing at the Salvation Army located in East Stroudsburg. Major James Gingrich says enough to provide five to seven items under the tree for an estimated 4,000 children. Right now 300 more than last year, but that's expected to increase. Today is the first day parents get to come in and shop for what their sons and daughters would really want for Christmas. Some were brought to tears. The generous community is everything to them.
And the Major tells us this will mean so much more to the community than just toys underneath the tree for the kids, and it's all thanks to the Marine Corp.'s Toys for Tots and the Pocono Record's Toys for Joy.
Gingrich says, "They've kept our costs way down because of their phenomenal effort this year in collecting toys. And we will continue to experience the effects of that well into the new year."
Now the thousands of dollars the Salvation Army saved will help people with things like utility bills and renters' insurance. The Salvation Army's annual Christmas distribution continues through Monday. They have plenty of toys for people who missed the sign-ups, just call them for more information at 570-421-5711. One gift at a time is making a huge difference and spreading the true meaning of Christmas.

Local educator draws national recognition
Tuesday December 16th 2014

Shoppers at the Lehigh Valley Mall were treated to a free concert featuring holiday music today. Middle school students from Parkland school district showed off their talents under the direction of orchestra director, Debra Reilly. She's in the running to receive a Music Educator Award presented by the Recording Academy and the Grammy Foundation. Seven thousand music teachers were nominated. Reilly is among the top ten. The winner receives a $10,000 honorarium. The recipient will be honored at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards scheduled for February.

Spread Holiday Cheer To AWSOM Dogs And Cats
Tuesday December 16th 2014

Our four-legged friends deserve to be part of the holiday festivities and spirit too. That's why AWSOM Animal Shelter is offering a program to get its dogs and cats out of their cages and home for the holidays. You're invited to come chose one and pick it up starting this Friday or any time before Christmas and then return it after New Year's Day by the fourth. If you fall in love with the pet, you're welcome to adopt it. For more information, just go to their website at www.awsomanimals.org.

Avoid The Holiday Rush To Save Your Holiday Cheer
Monday December 15th 2014

With just 10 days left until Christmas, there's a lot to do with a little time. Which usually results in aggressive driving, and that can easily lead to an accident. Police say to give yourself enough time so you don't have to rush and drivers agree-- take a deep breath and keep your holiday spirit alive.
They say not to let it bother you and drive defensively-- let them speed, they'll get caught.
It's also important not to become the victim. Police say not to get involved. Call them instead with a description of the vehicle and let police handle it.

Towers Rise In Bushkill
Friday December 12th 2014

Better electricity comes at an ugly price on Route 209 in Bushkill-- at least that's what people are saying about two power line poles that just arrived there about a week ago. They stand at 195 feet and people say they're hard to miss.
People we talked to today say the towers on Fernwood Resort's property are a rusty mess and look like they could fall over. They're part of the multiphase, multimillion dollar Susqehanna Roseland Power Line Project that stretches about 80 miles to Berwick. Bushkill is the final area of construction. The idea is to provide more reliable electric service to everyone in Pennsylvania and throughout the multi-state region.
PPL Electric Utilities officials tell us that grid hasn't been updated in decades and the new line is actually replacing one that was there for 90 years. The people we talked to today say it is necessary. They just don't understand why it couldn't have been done in a more tasteful way for the area.
While people driving by wish the towers could be hidden or covered up, the PPL Spokesperson says that's not going to happen. But he does say they may look better in a couple of months.
Spokesperson Paul Wirth says, "It'll weather to an even more darker brown and that'll be the permanent color."
And you'll be happy to know the steel that they used is designed to rust and preserve itself so that PPL's customers are saved money in maintenance in years to come. The entire project is expected to be completed this May.

Socks for Seniors Collection Wrapping Up
Thursday December 11th 2014

The Socks for Seniors Project is wrapping its third year. Mary Ann Dulaney and daughter, Jessica Kutza, coordinators for the project, with the assistance of area businesses are collecting donations to distribute to local nursing home & rehab center residents for the holiday season.
Suggested Donations:
- non-skid & regular socks
- personal care items (shampoo, lotion, chap stick, deodorant, brushes, combs, aftershave, shower caps, small hand sanitizers)
- individually wrapped snacks or sugar free candy
- soft tissues
- costume jewelry
- garden gloves (for wheelchair use)
- back scratcher
- puzzle books

New, unwrapped items can be dropped off at:
Coaldale: Tommyís Restaurant, Angela Triplex Theater
Lansford: Sports Zoo, JJís Hair & Tanning, First Niagara Bank, Jim Thorpe National Bank
Summit Hill: Hiles Brothers, Batterís Box
Nesquehoning: Classic Beverage
Jim Thorpe: Mauch Chunk 5 & 10
Lehighton: Midas, Beacon 443
Tamaqua: Dr Pudduís office, M&S Hardware, AAA
Palmerton: Carbon County Office on Aging

The deadline is December 12.

Northern Lehigh Fatal Crash Leads to Petition
Thursday December 11th 2014

After a fatal crash claims the life of a Northern Lehigh teen, community members are calling for changes to the roadway. 17-year-old Crystal Schaller died Tuesday after crashing on Mountain Road in Washington Township. A moveon.org petition is asking for a guide rail to be installed in that section of the roadway. The organizer says two young people have died on that deadly turn. Penndot tells us the District Traffic Engineer went to the location this morning to take a preliminary look. However, due to the snow he could not get too in-depth. The Traffic Unit will return when conditions are more favorable to conduct a traffic study. Penndot officials say they will then determine what, if any changes are warranted. Schaller was a junior at Northern Lehigh High School. A candle light ceremony will be held in her memory tomorrow night at the Covered Bridge in Slatington. It starts at 6:30 pm

Volunteers Plan Fundraiser For Fire Victims
Thursday December 11th 2014

The Tobyhanna family whose home on Main St. went up in flames last week is receiving a lot of community support. Carmen Bonilla and her family lost everything in a fire a week ago. While no one can replace memories lost, members of the community are working to help replace what they can. A fundraiser is planned at Black Horse Bar and Grill to help do that. Volunteers held a planning meeting today at the Amazon Art Studio.
The Fundraiser at Black Horse Bar and Grill is December 20th from 11am to 2pm.
A go fund me account has been set up to help. So far, over $2,000 has been raised. The goal is to raise at least $6,000.

Click On The Link Below to Donate
http://www.gofundme.com/i92sgk

Wildlife Care Center In Need Of Permanent Home
Thursday December 11th 2014

Saylorsburg Resident Jim Vogt rushed into the Pocono Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Center worried an animal he found wasn't going to make it. He's just one of the many people Pocono Wildlife helps with an animal in crisis. For the past 34 years, it's the only facility in a six-county area that takes in all Pennsylvania native birds, mammals and reptiles. Director Kathy Uhler says the center yearly cares for about 1,100 animals with the goal of releasing them back into the wild healthy. And that's not all they do that's important to the area.
Uhler says, "If they have a skunk living under their deck and they want to encourage him to live elsewhere, we can help them with that. It's not just injured and orphaned animals, we're a resource for the community."
But the center has never owned the property it's located on in Stroudsburg. For over a decade it's been leasing from the Nature Conservancy. Now the offer is on the table to buy their portion. The idea is to have a permanent home forever.
First Pocono Wildlife has to raise $300,000 to cover the cost and renovations. The goal date is March and that's where you come in. The center is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization that depends on donations.
Uhler says, "We really, really need help and we need corporate sponsors too, not just individuals. But if everyone could kick in 5 or 10 bucks even."
There's also incentives to donate more. You receive a tax receipt and a sterling silver paw pin for $50, $100-- add on a Center license plate and for $500 either a personal tour of the facility for up to six people or a live educational wildlife presentation anywhere you want. The money is actually going to more than you may realize.
Uhler says, "It will eventually go to the Nature Conservancy so they can buy another piece of property to protect so everybody's donation is going to do double good."
If you'd like to contribute to the center and help provide them with a permanent home, just go to their website at www.poconowildlife.org.

Arrests Made In Two Year Old Shoot Out
Wednesday December 10th 2014

Three people are charged with attempt to commit criminal homicide for a shooting over two years ago in Mount Pocono. Pocono Mountain Regional Police say this weekend they arrested 29 year old Kerey Cousar of Stroudsburg, 26 year old Ronnie Washington of Tobyhanna and 41 year old Gregory Cousar, who's currently serving time at the state correctional institute in Pitsburgh. They say the three exchanged gun fire with 38 year old Eric Williams of Marshalls Creek outside the Copa Bar on Fork Street in Mount Pocono. It happened on March 5th of 20-12. Both Williams and Gregory Cousar were treated for gunshot wounds. The shooting was a result of a confrontation three weeks earlier.

Gang Activity In Monroe County Becoming Alarming
Tuesday December 9th 2014

Gang activity in Monroe County is on the rise and the crimes are becoming increasingly more violent. Most notably this year you may remember the gang related drive-by shooting in Hamilton Township where an innocent bystander-Darcey Kravchenko- was killed inside his home.
Currently there's not enough resources to address this new challenge. That's why the District Attorney is asking the Monroe County Commissioners for help.
District Attorney David Christine says, "They very graciously granted to me in the budget for 2015 three new positions in the District Attorney's Office-- a secretary, a county detective and a part-time prosecutor."
Before Monroe County Detectives primarily focused on drugs when it came to gang related activity. But now they'll be able to branch out and go for all aspects. The now sixth detective will focus primarily on gang investigations. The District Attorney says the extra support will help combat the problem.

Snow Day Turns Rainy
Tuesday December 9th 2014

Area schools were closed today due to winter weather.
It's just been raining for most of the day, but roads were slushy this morning and schools were closed as a precautionary measure.
We ran into a few students today, staying indoors.
Even though you may not see snow on the roads, Penn Dot officials say, there may be ice and drivers should slow down and drive safely.

Snow Is No Joke In The Poconos
Monday December 8th 2014

Another winter storm is in our forecast starting tomorrow. We caught up with a lot of people preparing to hibernate. Many say they don't want to take a chance with having to go out in nasty conditions.
Bushkill Resident Lourdes Rodriguez doesn't know how much snow to expect but she says after last winter and the first major snow storm this year, it's just better to be prepared-- It's the Poconos. She has two shopping carts full of enough food for a week.
But grocery stores weren't the only busy place. Cramer's Home Building Center in East Stroudsburg sees people picking up what they need to dig out but some are also trying to make some quick fixes.
Bushkill Resident Darryl Arawjo says. "Two days before the last storm my generator kicked out on me so I brought it in here to get it fixed and now I'm kinda worried about losing power again for this storm so I want to see if my generator is fixed."
And while it's been a busy day with people coming in for last minute preparations, Cramer's employees tell us the sales have been great, especially when it comes to snow throwers. If you didn't get one yet, now is the time.
Sales Employee Stephen Manhart says, "Pretty much out, we have four single stage throwers left here, good for sidewalks or pavement and that's about it. Usually we have snow throwers going into February and March."
If we've learned anything from last year's winter, the snow is nothing to take lightly.

Stroudsburg Home Goes Up In Flames
Monday December 8th 2014

Eight people are displaced, after a four unit apartment building went up in flames, around 4 o'clock this morning.
Tenants say the fire started upstairs in a rear apartment, where most of the damage is.
Luckily no one was injured and everyone got out, including the pets.
Former Pocono Township Supervisor, Frank Hess owns the building.
The Red Cross is providing shelter for the family, along with food and other necessities.
The cause of the fire is currently under investigation.

Fatal Pedestrian Accident
Monday December 8th 2014

A Slatington man is killed in a pedestrian accident on Route 873. The incident happened Saturday night around 9:30 in Washington Township near Airport Lane. State Police say 23-year-old Keanu Davis was wearing dark clothing at the time. He was either standing or walking on Route 873 when he was struck. Davis was pronounced dead at the scene. The coroner ruled his death an accident. The driver of the car 40-year-old Douglas Albert of Slatington was not injured. State Police say they are still investigating.

Healthcare Insurance Deadlines Approach
Friday December 5th 2014

Have you found health coverage for the 2015 year? Deadlines for health insurance are quickly approaching.
If you haven't health insurance agencies, such as Health Markets will help you find the coverage you need.
If you want to be covered starting January 1st, the deadline is December 15th. The very last day to enroll for 2015 health insurance is February 15th. The coverage will begin in March.

Good News For Downtown Stroudsburg
Friday December 5th 2014

What's good for one is good for all, at least for businesses on Main Street in Stroudsburg. Eyesores and empty store fronts are being filled, attracting more people to the downtown. Stroudsburg Borough Manager Cathryn Thomas describes it as an upswing and resurgence. For example, Tina Angradi and her son just opened "The Dog House" at the end of August in a spot that's not seen action in quite some time.
Angradi says, "I believe it's been vacant for about two years. It used to be a coffee shop for a long long time and then it went out of business."
Now lunch rushes are the norm.
Thomas believes the positive roll the downtown is on will only continue for the community.

Flu Strain Mutates
Thursday December 4th 2014

The Centers for Disease Control are notifying the medical community that this year's flu virus strain has mutated from the A-H3N2 vaccine component. Despite the drift, doctors are still urging people to get their flu shot, especially those who are at high risk for getting ill. The Director of Infection Control and Prevention at Lehigh Valley Health Network, Terry Burger, says it's not too late to get your shot. Flu season runs through April.

Family Seeks loved One's Killer For 7th Year
Thursday December 4th 2014

Today marks the 7th anniversary of a Monroe County man's murder.
In 2007, he was gunned down near state game lands and his killer is still out there. The family is determined to find the person who murdered him, no matter how long it takes.
The family and police are hoping someone will come forward, whether it's a hunter or shooter. If you have any information that could help in this investigation contact Pocono Mountain Regional Police or the District Attorney's Office. The family is offering a monetary reward.

Let's Talk Distributing Funds To PA Schools
Thursday December 4th 2014

Local school officials say it's time to fix the formula for distributing state funds to Pennsylvania schools. That's why a commission of legislators has been holding hearings since September to let experts and various communities weigh in. Today Monroe and Pike Counties got the chance to give testimony at East Stroudsburg High School South. Two areas experiencing the unfairness firsthand.
PA State Representative Rosemary Brown of the 189th District, who hosted the event, says, "You have areas getting 60 percent of their funding from the state and you have areas, such as some of our school districts, getting 21 percent of their funding from the state."
Brown says once the information is collected a report will be created for the legislators to change the formula. The majority will then have to agree to pass what is decided. Brown is hopeful that will happen because it's a big piece of the puzzle in solving the big issue of property taxes.

Theives Strike Another Business in Monroe County
Wednesday December 3rd 2014

Earlier this week we spoke to the owner of Fermato Enterprise in Stroud Township, who'd be burglarized twice this year. Now another business owner in Effort is coming forward.
Dot and Mark's Automotive shop owner, Mark Abrams came to work on the morning of November 2nd to find about $80,000 of tools and equipment missing.
He's working to replace material for the third time.
In January his previous shop was burned down, in March his storage unit was burglarized and now this.
They had security cameras, but they weren't working that day.
Vector Security sales consultant Jordan Madrid says, technology is advancing as the demand for security grows. If you have a surveillance camera, you can now monitor your business or home on your smartphone or laptop. Abrams plans to upgrade his security. Fern Ridge State Police are investigating this case. Abrams says police do have some leads. They found a few tools down the road, along with footprints and tire tracks, but no other results.

Technology Benefits Tourism In The Poconos
Wednesday December 3rd 2014

Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau says using technology is helping to market the region. President/CEO Carl Wilgus says their website is the most visited of any generated in the region. Also they've incorporated it to be on-the-go for mobile devices and tablets this year. A big hit is also their "Take On Pocono" campaign. Fourteen thousand images have been posted by visitors on social media.
Wilgus says, "In terms of website visits, in terms of Facebook friends, we have almost doubled what a convention visitors bureau our size would do literally anywhere else in the country."
To get all of the Pocono Mountains information at your fingertips, you can access the visitors bureau's mobile website through your phone or tablet's browser.

Creating Holiday Memories
Wednesday December 3rd 2014

Do the holidays have you stressed out? Mindy Graver is the Family Educator at Penn State Carbon County Extension. She says this time of year many parents are stressed about buying all the items on their child's Christmas list. Instead she says parents should buy one or two special items off the list. By doing so, your child will appreciate the gift a lot more and you won't break the bank. Instead of focusing on gifts, Graver reminds parents to focus on creating holiday memories like making a gingerbread house or making homemade gifts for family and friends.

Fatal Pedestrian Accident Reconstruction
Wednesday December 3rd 2014

A section of Route 209 is shut down in Franklin Township as police continue to investigate a fatal pedestrian accident. Around 9:30 this morning, the southbound lanes were shut down in the area of the Square One Mini-Mart as a State Police re-construction team investigated the November 24th incident. That night police say 89-year-old Agnes Szpak parked her car on the northbound side of the road and was crossing the highway to go to the mini-mart. The Nesquehoning woman was hit by a southbound PT Cruiser driven by a young woman from Kunkletown. Szpak was flown to Saint Luke's where she later passed away. The Kunkletown woman was taken to the hospital for a DUI test. Police tell us today they are still waiting for the results of the toxicology test. No charges have been filed at this time. Route 209 re-opened around 11:30 this morning.

West End Home Goes Up In Flames
Tuesday December 2nd 2014

A home on the West End is destroyed after an early morning fire. Volunteers from four fire companies responded to extinguish the blaze.
The husband and wife who lived in the home made it out with the dog, but they lost two cats.
The family dog is being called a hero for alerting the family of the fire. The owner believes the fire may have been caused by an electrical issue.
Fire Marshalls are investigating the cause of the fire. The family friend tells us they're staying with him in the meantime.

#GivingTuesday Catches On In Monroe County
Tuesday December 2nd 2014

You've heard of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but did you know today is "Giving Tuesday?" It's a relatively new term that's only in its third year.
We have a day for giving thanks. We have two days for getting deals. But today Giving Tuesday may be the one that needs to catch on the most. After all, it's what the entire holiday season is about.
Giving Tuesday is about celebrating generosity and unselfish acts. It's something the American Red Cross has fully embraced this year, including our Pocono Chapter. They're using all of their social media outlets to thank their supporters and to further their cause. The word is spread through the hashtag givinigtuesday and through a new selfie, hashtag unselfie. An unselfie is when you take a picture of yourself showing and getting recognition for what you're doing for the community.
And you don't have to pick an already established campaign, there's plenty of charities and causes going on in Monroe County that you can just simply take a picture and spread the word.
One you may not know about is happening at Frailey Insurance and Financial Services located in Stroudsburg. They were given 70 names of seniors through the Monroe County Area On Aging to give Christmas gifts. All you need to do is take an angel off their tree that has the senior's name and two wishes on it. Go get what they want and bring it back to the tree wrapped by December 10th.
Giving Tuesday is all about getting the awareness out throughout the holidays.

Holiday Shopping Safety
Tuesday December 2nd 2014

Chances are you've been hitting the stores since Black Friday, but while you're out shopping for the perfect gift, officers warn, others may be shopping for your personal information. Shoppers are encouraged to keep an eye out for "shoulder surfers." People who glance over your shoulder to snap a picture of your credit or debit card information. Also, keep your receipts and check your bank statements regularly. Mauch Chunk Trust Company President, Patrick Reilly, says despite the many security breaches at popular retailers, it's still a good idea to use your debit or credit card for your purchases instead of carrying around large sums of cash on you.

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