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Spanish Speaking Senior Volunteers Needed
Tuesday April 25th 2017

Some preschoolers in Monroe County are becoming bilingual. It's all thanks to the "SPECTACULAR" Program which stands for Spanish Early Childhood Training and Cultural Language Arts. Officials of the Local Retired and Senior Volunteer Program started the 10-week pilot. Seven kids are registered for the 45 minute classes scheduled every Tuesday. Through games, songs and pictures the kids are picking up the Spanish language. Knowing a second language when applying for jobs today puts you way ahead of the competition. The RSVP group wants to provide that opportunity to all preschoolers in the county. That's why they're looking for Spanish speaking volunteers 55 years and older. If you'd like to be a teacher or help grow SPECTACULAR just call 570-420-3747.

Don't Let Ticks Take A Bite Out Of Summer
Monday April 24th 2017

It's a busy season already for a small insect that can cause a lot of problems. People are pulling ticks off of them left and right in Monroe County. And scientists at East Stroudsburg University tell us the season is only going to get busier. The mild winter we experienced may have been great for heating bills, but now it's biting us on the butt- literally by some hard-to-see creepy crawlers also known as ticks. But despite the weather, the Poconos is known to have a lot of ticks because of the large amount of wildlife. That's why scientists at East Stroudsburg University's Northeast Wildlife DNA Lab tell us it's always important to take precautions when spending time outdoors. You want to prevent the tick bite. That's how you get their diseases like Lyme if they're infected. You should use bug spray that contains 40 percent DEET content and wear light-colored clothing to better notice a moving spot. Most importantly check yourself and your pets when coming indoors. And if you do find one attached, it's not only important to remove it right away but to remove it in the right way. Forensic Scientist Nicole Chinnici says if you agitate a tick, it'll actually regurgitate the bacteria in you so you want to use fine pointed tweezers, grab at the bite and pull straight up. As we were at the Innovation Center, an Effort resident brought in a tick found on his wife. He got the diagnoses and it was free. Steve Giannetto is relieved to hear the deer tick was only attached for seven hours. Usually it takes 18 to 24 hours to contract Lyme Disease. You can do the same with a tick discovered on your body. Just put it in a plastic sandwich bag and bring it to the lab inside the University's Innovation Center. Officials can also test the tick further for Lyme Disease and other pathogens.

Kmart To Close In East Stroudsburg
Monday April 17th 2017

A big chain box store is going out of business in Monroe County. The Kmart store in East Stroudsburg is set to close this summer, leaving numerous people without jobs. Next Thursday, the Big Kmart within the Pocono Plaza will start its liquidation sale that will continue until it closes to the public in mid-July. Officials of the corporation tell us they have been "strategically and aggressively evaluating their store space and productivity, and have accelerated the closing of unprofitable stores." Those shopping at the Kmart today were shocked by the news. While some tell us they thought it was very busy, if you compare the parking lot to Walmart's across the street, there is a big difference. Most people we spoke with don't want to deal with that big of a crowd and aren't sure where they'll go after July to shop. The shopping plaza already has one anchor store that sits empty so borough officials are hoping the Kmart building can be filled as soon as possible. The zoning and codes officer tells us there may already be some interest. Marv Walton says a local realtor inquired about the site development plan. Kmart officials would not disclose how many people are currently employed, but they did say most associates are part time or hourly. Those who are eligible will receive severance and have the opportunity to apply for open positions at area Sears or Kmart stores.

Minimum Wage Possibly on the Rise
Monday April 10th 2017

Minimum wage in Pennsylvania is currently $7.25, but officials say that may change soon. The Secretary of Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry was in Monroe County today and she says state officials have their eyes set on putting extra money in workers pockets. Governor Tom Wolf has proposed in the current state budget to increase state minimum wage to $12. Kathy Manderino Secretary Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry says, "We truly believe that raising a rising tide raises all boats and raise working peoples wages so that they can afford to provide for themselves and their family redistributes that money right back into our economy and really helps to grow small businesses and to grow our communities." State officials also plan on bringing manufacturing jobs back into the state.

Monroe County Woman Sentenced In Child Abuse Case
Thursday April 6th 2017

A Monroe County woman is sentenced today for abuse that happened in 2014 to her child while in her care.
25-year-old Ashley Buchanan was sentenced today for endangering the welfare of a child for failure to get treatment. She took that plea bargain after being charged with seriously assaulting her 13-month-old child. Buchanan addressed the court today saying quote, "I love my son. I would never intentionally put him in harms way or hurt him." But the Commonwealth isn't so sure, officials say she didn't show any remorse throughout the whole process for the injuries that her infant son sustained. Back in September of 2014, the father, Samuel Buchanan, picked up the child during a custody exchange and immediately noticed bruising. The defendant texted him prior trying to explain his son got hurt running into the corner of a table and falling head-first into the carpet. He had no idea how bad his son was hurt until he had him examined. The little boy suffered a skull fracture, arm fracture, bruises to the body and a bite mark on his shoulder. Medical officials found her excuses couldn't of caused such serious injuries. But it couldn't be proven 100 percent she inflicted them. The judge ruled that doesn't mean Buchanan shouldn't be punished. And the five people that addressed the court from the father's side agreed. The judge sentenced Buchanan to the Monroe County jail for 9 to 23 months for the abuse that happened to the child because the child was under her care at the time. Her family members and friends left angrily yelling at the father and his family that they lied. We're told the now three-year-old has healed from his injuries, but there's no way to know what the affects will be later on in life. Prior to today's sentencing the defendant was having supervised visits with her son. Whether or not those will continue was not determined today.

I-80 Roadwork
Monday April 3rd 2017

The eastbound lane of Interstate 80 in Stroudsburg was backed up all day. The reason behind the traffic jam was PennDOT crews filling in a giant pothole. That made officials enforce a single lane closure on 80 East between exits 305 and 307. Both lanes are now clear and traffic has gone back to normal but officials warn drivers to be prepared for traffic build up like today's throughout the week. PennDOT Press Officer Ron Young says, "We will have work going on in various areas on I-80 in Monroe County the rest of this week through Thursday and some bridge inspection work Thursday in the Stroud Township area." PennDOT officials say their work throughout the week will continue to be done during the day from 9-3.

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