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Stroudsburg Firefighters Are Excited To Be Back Home
Wednesday September 28th 2016

Volunteers of the Stroudsburg Fire Department are excited to be back home. The firehouse on Sarah Street had been closed for renovations for the past 15 months. But now it's back up and running once again.
A new ladder truck can finally be parked inside the Stroudsburg firehouse. It was purchased three years ago but it didn't fit in the garage. Thanks to a 1.5 million dollar makeover now there's plenty of room. They had to reinforce the floors with more steel, lengthen the bay and extend the doors. We're told those major renovations were long overdue. The building dates back to the 1930s and it hadn't seen an update in over 30 years. Assistant Fire Chief John Stevens says the apparatus today are getting bigger due to the admissions regulations from the federal government.
And the ladder truck isn't going to be the only new apparatus, Stroudsburg Borough Council has already ordered a new engine truck and it'll be parked in the garage by the end of this year.
While the project was underway for more than a year, firefighters were relocated to a shed on 10th Street, behind the public works building. The renovations were only supposed to take six months but discovering asbestos caused set backs. Now the crew is all moved back in. So far this year the department has responded to over 270 fire calls.

Habitat for Humanity Needs Homes
Tuesday September 27th 2016

Monroe County Habitat for Humanity officials have set a goal to fix 30 homes in the county this year. As of now they've repaired nine, so if you have work that needs to be done and you're in need you may be able to get some help if you meet certain requirements. Kelly Kemmerer Executive Director of Monroe County Habitat for Humanity says, "A family of two has to make below $44,100, they have to be a home owner, they have to have home owners insurance and they have to be up to date on their mortgage and property taxes." The requirements vary based on the number of people living in the home, so if you feel you might meet the requirements officials urge you to contact the Monroe County Habitat for Humanity at 570-476-9846 for more information and to apply.

SARP Cracks Down On Commerical Vehicle Violations
Tuesday September 27th 2016

Stroud Area Regional Police are now working in another manner to keep you safe. Officer Michael Smapere recently received training to enforce the federal regulations on commercial vehicles. He says three-quarters of the almost 60 inspections he's done in the past four months have resulted in out-of-service violations. He mostly finds bad brakes and overweight loads. Both, especially together is an accident waiting to happen. State police have their own detail but we're told they primarily stick to Interstate 80. With Sampere on duty locally, more areas are now being covered.

Meth Lab Busted in Polk Township
Monday September 26th 2016

A Monroe County man is now facing charges for producing meth. Police say 39-year-old William Knibbs' lab was busted over the weekend in Polk Township. According to court paperwork, police received a call from a neighbor on Lower Middle Creek Road around three Saturday afternoon that a young child was running in the roadway unsupervised. When police arrived they discovered three children living in poor conditions in an upstairs apartment at 116 Lower Middle Creek Road. Knibbs, the father, seemed to be under the influence of something. Upon further investigation, police found a list of items consistent with the production of meth. Knibbs is in jail awaiting his preliminary hearing scheduled for October 3rd.

Residents Fed Up With Bridge Closure
Friday September 23rd 2016

Timber Hill residents in Price Township are fed up with only having one access road in and out of their private community. The bridge on Route 447 that's also Alpine Mountain Resort's main entrance has been closed-off since the Spring.
They've been dependent on only using Brown Hill Road to go in and out of their development which connects to Route 191. Their other access road to Route 447 remains blocked by boulders. Officials of the Timber Hill Community Association placed them there because of safety concerns.
The problem- no one knows who's responsible for fixing it. That's what we were told about six months and that's the same answer we received today. Representatives of the association say a title search is currently going on and it's in their lawyers' hands. In the meantime, residents say they're stuck dealing with the extra traffic from the resort. And they don't want to think about ski season starting. Some residents are even afraid to have their kids play outside because of the tourists speeding through. But residents' biggest worry with the access point being blocked off is the fact that emergency personnel take longer without using Route 447. Resident Joyce Miller was livid earlier this week after witnessing that firsthand when a car crash happened on Timber Hill Road. There's no word on when the bridge will be fixed, but residents say it better be before ski season.

Housing Crisis Takes Center Stage In Monroe County
Thursday September 22nd 2016

While most areas in Pennsylvania have seen property values rebound after the latest recession, a hearing was held today on the housing crisis that officials say is still happening in Monroe County. Property values in the county remain half the amount of what they were in 2008.
The Majority House Policy Committee held a public hearing today at the Stroud Township Municipal Building to illustrate the real estate crisis thousands of Monroe County residents are facing. Officials say property values remain low due to nearly half the homes being sold under financial distress. The county still has the highest number of foreclosures in the state. The two contributing factors discussed today are one- high property taxes. School property taxes consume almost eight percent of the homeowner's income which is three times the state average. And two- the lack of economic development. Committee members will take today's information and set up other meetings to come up with solutions.

Stroudsburg Skatepark
Wednesday September 21st 2016

Borough officials have decided to temporarily close down the skatepark next to Stroudsburg High School for thirty days. That's because police say it is becoming a hub for illegal activity, and they believe this time of year can cause even more issues. Captain Jennifer Lyon of Stroud Area Regional Police says, "It's also football season at the high school which means there is a lot more foot traffic, a lot more students not just from our school and our community but other communities coming in which leads to these problems." Officials say the closure starts today and after the thirty day period they will reopen the park in hopes that it will be better.

Taking A Giant Stand To Show Party Affiliation
Wednesday September 21st 2016

As the presidential election heats up, more and more people are going to great lengths to show which side they're on. The atmosphere is something one-long time voter has never seen before where people are voting against somebody and not for somebody. Now a 16 foot sign has appeared on Route 33 right at the Monroe County line in Saylorsburg mocking Hillary Clinton. It shows her full figure and reads, "She belongs in prison, not the White House." In the 24 hours it's been up, it's already creating a lot of buzz. The business owners of A. Scott Enterprises and Scotta Hauling tell us their passion took over and the sign shares how they feel about the candidate. Co-Owner Tighe Scott says he's tired of her lies and wants someone who is accountable in office. His parents were democrats but he says the party has gotten lost. He's for Donald Trump who isn't a career politician and believes Trump would bring Congress together. Scott feels strongly about American values and he needs change.
And he isn't the only one who feels that way. Trump signs line Route 209 in Monroe County's West End but in other areas, there's a different opinion. Other people we talked to are for Clinton and believe Trump is a despicable manipulator who's in it for his own gain. But no matter which candidate you're behind, everyone we spoke with tells us it's important to vote and do you're own research.

Defendent Sentenced While Still On The Run
Tuesday September 20th 2016

A defendant who's still on the run was sentenced today in Monroe County. Back in March a jury decided that the Long Pond man who didn't appear for his trial committed homicide by vehicle in 2014. Now the victims' family is still without complete closure as a warrant is still out for his arrest, along with extradition from anywhere in the world.
48-year-old Kirk Randler's picture still hangs on the Monroe County Sheriff's Wanted Wall as he was sentenced today to spend 11 and a half to 23 years in a state correctional facility. Now his mother's house may be forfeited to the county next week because she put it up as a guarantee he'd show up for the court proceedings. Randler skipped out on the entire trial and the jury determined his guilt in causing the death of 42-year-old Katrina Strausser in June of 2014, along with injuring four others. We're told the search is active for his whereabouts and US Marshals are involved.
Police say Randler was speeding in a Chevy Camaro and passing vehicles on Route 611 Northbound near Mount Pocono when he hit an SUV in the Southbound lane head-on. Strausser and her two sons were thrown from the Camaro. Strausser's mother tells us it's been torture reliving the crash and they were robbed of being able to see Randler's reaction during the process. She says the fight for justice isn't over and not just because Randler is still on the run. The family is striving for stiffer sentences in cases like this. BUt him avoiding the consequences of his actions is making the situation even harder on everyone. We're told Randler will have to answer for not showing up in court. He could even face more time for his absence in regards to a state parole detainer but state officials will determine that.

Commuters React To Bombings In New York and New Jersey
Monday September 19th 2016

East Stroudsburg resident Peyton Barnes commutes to New York for work but today she also plans to meet up with her best friend who lives near the vicinity of 135 West 23rd Street where a bomb went off Saturday night around 8:30. Barnes says her best friend was sleeping when she felt her building shake and heard the loud noise. 29 people were injured from that explosion. Another bomb was then discovered several streets over that wasn't detonated. That morning a pipe bomb also went off in New Jersey before a 5K race started at Seaside Park. Investigators then found three more linked pipe bombs down the road. More bombs were also found in a backpack in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Barnes says we need to put our trust in the law and hopefully they'll do what they have to do. Other commuters at the Martz Bus Station in Delaware Water Gap tell us they feel the same. They're not changing their routines today either. And they say they're always aware of their surroundings and that they take precautions. The program manager of the Northeast Pennsylvania Counter Terrorism Task Force tell us that's exactly what people should be doing. But adds if they see something say something.

Blakeslee Diner Fire
Friday September 16th 2016

Fire crews were dispatched at 7:58 this morning for a working structure fire at the Blakeslee Diner in Tobyhanna Township. Above the diner are rooms that the owner of the diner rents out, even though there were tenants in the building at the time everyone was able to make it out safely. American Red Cross officials were on scene to assist the ten residents who live above the diner that now need shelter, food, and clothing. The owner of the diner says there is no timetable on when the diner will be open again but he hopes it will be soon.

Crothers Verdict
Wednesday September 14th 2016

A former Florida man has been found guilty after he stabbed and killed his brother at his Chestnuthill Township home. The jury deliberated more than 8 hours over the past two days before announcing the voluntary manslaughter verdict today. First Assistant District Attorney of Monroe County Michael Mancuso says, "I applaud the jury I forget how many hours, but it was from yesterday afternoon to the evening from this morning to nearly noon, so it was a lot of time and effort they put into it, truly they thought it was significant and serious and they gave it the attention it deserved." The defendant will appear in court for his sentencing on October 28th, both the defendants attorney and family stated they may be appealing the ruling.

Putting For Prevention
Tuesday September 13th 2016

An organization in Monroe County is making a big difference in the lives of children who are abused. The Children's Advocacy Center of Monroe County provides a safe environment for kids who are abused to share what happened. The goal of the organization is to reduce the trauma for the child and allow for successful prosecution of the defendant. It's something that took a long time to form in the county with various fundraisers. Now the third annual "Putting for Prevention" fundraiser is happening this Saturday from noon till five at the Shawnee Village Mini-Golf Course located on Buttermilk Falls Road to keep the program operating. It's $10 for adults and $8 for kids under 12. There will also be a cookout, face painting, games, crafts and other activities. A rain date is scheduled for Sunday.

Cardinal And Panther Fans, You're Invited!
Monday September 12th 2016

Students at Pocono Mountain School District are all set to win this sports season. Both the West and the East campuses will have new fields for their athletes to score on. The Panthers will dedicate their turf field behind the West High School this Thursday with a varsity double-header. The ceremony starts at 3:45. Then the Cardinals will get their chance 6:45 Friday night at the football stadium. You can see that game live on channel 113. And the Panthers will have a second dedication next Saturday morning at 11:45 for their upgraded natural grass field. It'll be the first time the varsity football team will be able to have a game at their home campus since the school opened in 2002. Both Cardinal and Panther fans are invited to all three dedication ceremonies and admission is free. You're just asked to wear your school's colors.

National Preparedness Month
Friday September 9th 2016

Home fires kill more people each year than all natural disasters combined. But that's probably not what you're thinking about when you hear National Preparedness Month. It's hurricanes and flooding. The goal is to be ready for the worst so you're not scrambling around adding to the already stressful situation. You've probably already checked your emergency kit and made sure you have enough supplies like food, water, blankets, batteries and a flashlight. And practicing your communication plans to shelter in place or evacuate must be on your to-do list. But Red Cross officials also want everyone to have a fire escape plan in place too. In the past year, American Red Cross officials in the Poconos have helped at the scene of over 50 fires. It's important to know two ways out of every room, you have two minutes to evacuate safely and to know where a safe meeting place is outside the home. You should also check all smoke alarms to make sure they're in working order. A smoke alarm is the first defense in getting out safely.

2016 Economic Outlook Summit
Friday September 9th 2016

The 2016 Economic Outlook Summit was held at East Stroudsburg University. This is the 4th year for the summit which takes a look at how Monroe County ranks in 6 key areas, but this year officials took it one step further with "a call to action" This afternoon Gary Olson President & CEO of ESSA Bank and Trust delivered the call to action in front of hundreds of local officials where he said the time is now for the local business leaders to unite. Olson says, "One of the things that frustrates me is there's many different groups as I said earlier involved in economic planning, economic development and economic issues there's not one plan that brings it all together." Officials are already working to bring everyone together with the Monroe County 2030 Task Force. The Economic Summit also included many other presentations spotlighting problems in the county and ideas on how to fix things.

NPS Prepares for the Worst
Thursday September 8th 2016

The National Park Service set up five double metal gates along route 209. The gates have been installed at all the critical intersections that run through the park service.
The gates allow the Park Service to shutdown the road completely or close it off in sections during an emergency. With the gates installed, the park service can avoid exhausting the efforts of dozens of employees to setup barriers and close down the roads. Superintendent John Donahue says it can get very costly " In the years 2004, 2005, and 2006 during the floods, we spent over 100 thousand dollars on overtime on park service employees.
Now, only one person can go out there, unhinge the gate, and close off the road during an emergency. Donahue says though the gates cost sixty-thousand dollars to install, they will save the taxpayers money down the road.

Mountain Center Opens In Tobyhanna
Thursday September 8th 2016

A former school in Monroe County that's been sitting empty for four years is now thriving as an educational and community serve center. Feeding Families Ministry held it's grand opening celebration today at the new Mountain Center in Coolbaugh Township. The food pantry will be open every Thursday and Friday from one to three. And Headstart preschoolers started class today. We're told a great need is now being met by providing the opportunity to serve pre-K, infant toddler and after-school care. The school has 168 new students which doubles the number participating last year in the program. And there's plenty of room at the center to grow further.

Dingman Township Approves Mt Haven
Wednesday September 7th 2016

Zoning Officer, Chris Wood from Dingman Township issued Harhaven LLC, a one-year certificate to operate Mt. Haven as a resort. Township officials hesitated giving the new owners a permanent certificate after many residents questioned the motives of the new owners. Many residents complain the new owners were running a camp instead of a resort and kids were running around unsupervised all over the property. Wood put those rumors to bed, " people don' t know what they are talking about, the new owners are not running the resort the same as we are used to, but they are still running it as a resort."
The new owners say the restaurant will be open for events and catering but may open down the road for private dining.

Smithfield Township Wants Residents To Decide On Their Water Quailty
Wednesday September 7th 2016

Smithfield Township Supervisors are looking to the future and they want to ensure their water remains high quality. We're told the majority of the homes and businesses in the township depend on well water. That's why they've been looking into ways to protect their rivers, streams, creeks and wetlands. They've been talking with officials from the Nature Conservancy on how to best do that. Officials have decided to ask residents if they would support a two million dollar floating bond that would enable them to protect lands that are key to protecting their water supply. It's estimated the cost to the average homeowner would be $2.40 each month. They want the question to appear on the November ballot. The idea was voted upon today at the Monroe County Election Board meeting. Everyone was in favor of adding the referendum but the supervisors need to submit a resolution to make the wording a bit more understandable. Supervisors tells us the decision to go ahead with the project or not will completely fall on the residents. Despite many people complaining about the already high taxes their facing in the county, residents we spoke with today say they don't mind paying a reasonable amount of money to ensure they have high quality drinking water. If Smithfield Township residents vote yes, the next step will be forming committees and holding public meetings to decide what's the best way to move forward and the best practices.

Hamilton Township Drive-By Shooting Update
Tuesday September 6th 2016

An East Stroudsburg man is sentenced today for his involvement in a Monroe County drive by shooting. A jury found Brandon Wilson, 22, guilty of third degree murder earlier this year and now he faces up to 17 years in prison. He's one of five people charged with taking part in the drive by shooting death of Darcey Kravchenko, 39, two years ago at a home in Hamilton Township. Kimberly Metzger Monroe County Assistant District Attorney says, "We are satisfied with the judges decision and obviously she took careful consideration of all the factors everything that was said in court today and I think she made an appropriate ruling today." Wilson's family says they aren't going to give up on the legal fight and will most likely be appealing.

Pocono Dome Closes And It's For Sale
Tuesday September 6th 2016

A popular sports complex in Monroe County is now closed and for sale. Paul Bodogh lives next door to the Pocono Dome in Hamilton Township and recently noticed the traffic entering the facility had stopped. A sign at the entrance reads "temporarily closed" and the gate is locked. On the other side located on Route 33, a billboard says it's for sale. According to Monroe County officials back taxes were owed on the 38 acre property, forcing it into judicial sale this past May. It sold with delinquent taxes from 2013 to 2015 totaling close to 400 thousand dollars. The purchaser was only required to pay the federal and commonwealth liens on the property. Hamilton Township officials tell us while they lost out on an insignificant amount of money, Stroudsburg School District suffered a huge loss.
Prior to the dome, the area was a beer distributor and a flea market, among other things. People we spoke with today tell us they hope it remains close to its current use.
The owner declined to comment.

Uptick In Theft Cases
Friday September 2nd 2016

Thefts have been on the rise recently in Tannersville. A lot more people are out and about shopping for their kids going back to school. Pocono Township Police need your help identifying a few suspects. One incident happened at the Dollar General on Route 611. A male customer mistakenly left his wallet on the check out counter. The next customer- a black woman looking to be in her mid 30's to late 40's-- secretly stole the wallet and left the store with it.
Police are warning you to be extra careful with your belongings this weekend. Thousands of people will be coming to the area for Labor Day festivities at the resorts, waterparks and the casino located nearby. We're told most of the visitors make a pit-stop to shop at The Crossings Outlets where a lot of the incidents have been happening. Police tell us officers will be stationed at the busy intersection trying to all alleviate traffic and there will be extra officers ready to respond to the service calls they're expecting.
And it's not just the public that needs to be mindful. Employees at busy places not only have to watch out for counterfeit money but they need to keep an eye on their own belongings. Police are also looking to identify three suspects-- two black men and one black woman looking to be in their mid 20's-- who last week stole multiple credit cards from numerous stores at the Crossings. Officers say break rooms, locker rooms and lunch rooms were accessed by the three suspects. They left the cash and wallets behind but took the credit cards to various stores in the area like Target and bought some merchandise but mostly Visa gift cards. Still photos of surveillance video shows the three suspects leaving Target.
Police are looking to crack down on the thefts but part of that requires people ensuring their own items are secure and reporting the crime right away. If you have any information on the incidents, you're asked to call Pocono Township Police.

MOUNT POCONO ATTEMPTED ROBBERY ARREST
Friday September 2nd 2016

A Mount Pocono man is under arrest for an attempted robbery at a super market. Pocono Mountain Regional Police say 27-year old Ahmed Darwish tried to steal money from a cash register at the Weis supermarket in Mount Pocono on August 17th. Police say Darwish told the clerk he had a gun. He was confronted by a second employee and pulled out a large butcher knife and threatened the employee. Darwish was charged with armed robbery, aggravated assault and other crimes. He's being held on 250-thousand dollars bail and faces a court hearing September fifteenth.

POLICE INVESTIGATE INFANTS DEATH
Friday September 2nd 2016

Pocono Mountain Regional Police are investigating the death of an infant. Officers say they were called to a home on winding way in A Pocono Country Place on August eleventh for an unresponsive child. Medical personnel found the child in the bathroom area. They tried to resuscitate the infant but were not successful. The baby was pronounced dead at the hospital. Police say they're still investigating the cause of the child’s death and no further information has been released.

Wegmans Selling Wine
Friday September 2nd 2016

You can now add Wegmans to the growing list of Pennsylvania grocery stores that will be selling wine this fall. Joseph Greff Owner & Winemaker of Blue Mountain Vineyards says,"By being in a supermarket from our standpoint we are going to better distribution, we are going to have a much larger clientele,and as long as we have the production that we do to handle it I think it'll be a plus for us." The news has area wineries excited about the chance to sell their products at big chain markets. Officials expect by Thanksgiving you should be able to purchase your own wine at your local grocery store.

Monroe County Emergency Alert System Gets An Upgrade
Thursday September 1st 2016

Monroe County is upgrading its current emergency text alert system. ReadyNotifyMonroe will now become Monroe County CodeRed. This transition will occur over the next week and officials say it could result in some users not receiving messages in a timely manner. But they don't expect the delays to last more than one week. It will provide many benefits such as voice messaging and being available nationally as an app. CodeRed is funded by the Northeast Pennsylvania Counter Terrorism Task Force.

MIXED USE DEVELOPMENT PLANNED FOR PIKE PROPERTY
Thursday September 1st 2016

Developers are testing out something new a former farm property in Milford. It’s called mix used development, which allows commercial and residential spaces to share the same land. Legend properties agreed in principal to purchase the Santos farm that runs along route 6 and 209 in Milford. Developers plan to build apartment complexes along with others stores and offices on the 20 plus acres of land, but the problem is, Milford Township zoning doesn’t permit the residential and commercial properties to be combined. Legend properties developer, Doug Holmstead, says “he could possibly pull out of the deal to purchase the Santos farm if Milford Township doesn’t permit mixed used development on the land. Pike County EDA Director, Mike Sullivan tells us, he spoke with officials from Milford who are in support getting the mixed use passed on the Santos property. Sullivan says if passed, it would open new business and job opportunities in Pike County..

BUSHKILL MAN ARRESTED FOR ASSAULTING MINOR
Thursday September 1st 2016

A Bushkill man is in the Pike County Jail on charges he sexually assaulted a minor. State Police say 51-year old Morris Beverly was arrested yesterday on four counts of statutory sexual assault and corruption of minors. A 13 year old girl reported the incidents last weekend. She says Beverly assaulted her at his home four times earlier his year.. Beverly is in jail on 250-thousand dollars bail. State Police say they're still investigating the incident.

REWARD OFFERED FOR BANK ROBBERY INFORMATION
Thursday September 1st 2016

A five thousand dollar reward is now available to anyone with information that leads to the arrest of the person or persons responsible for robberies at a bank in Marshalls Creek. The Wayne Bank located on route 209 is offering the incentive. The bank was robbed twice this year, once back in May and most recently last month. The suspect in both incidents is described as a 5 foot 6 white male weighing about 160 pounds. In the first robbery the suspect disguised himself with a mask and fake beard and the latest also included a fake beard but with glasses. Anyone with information is asked to call State Police.

POLICE INVESTIGATE LURING INCIDENT
Thursday September 1st 2016

State Police are looking for a man who tried to lure a child into a van in Monroe County. State Police say it happened around three yesterday afternoon on North Rocky Mountain Drive in Chestnuthill Township. A fourteen year old girl tells police she was approached by a man with brown hair and a brown beard who offered her a ride home as she got off the school bus. The girl refused and the suspect asked are you sure and the girl refused again. Police say the suspect was a white male in his 40's or 50's driving a white van with New Jersey plates. It was last seen heading west on North Rocky Mountain Drive. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact State Police at Fern Ridge.

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