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Local Fire Companies Giving Away Free Smoke Detectors
Wednesday April 23rd 2014

Everyone likes "freebies"... and these aren't cheap novelty items, either; they are legit, working smoke detectors! Fire Companies in Carbon County are giving away free detectors to local residents. Deputy Fire Chief Bill Diehm of Jim Thorpe Fire Companies and Fire Chief John McArdle of Nesquehoning Hose Company No. 1 stresses the importance of properly maintaining smoke detectors. Detectors have a shelf life of 10 years; Diehm and McArdle says toss your old fire detector and obtain a new one, along with fresh batteries. Residents can contact their local fire company to get a free smoke detector.

Traffic Back-Ups Creating Monroe County Driver Headaches
Tuesday April 22nd 2014

Complaints to PennDot about massive potholes, the litter the snow left behind and other driving concerns the harsh winter caused has them taking action on Interstate 80. The roadwork is having a big affect on traffic, and not just on the Interstate, gridlock is occurring throughout the towns. PennDOT is asking for your patience as 37 bridge decks between Scotrun and New Jersey need maintenance. PennDOT is trying to get it all done before the end of May when heavy summer traffic starts. PennDot officials say westbound bridges will be done in a week or so, weather permitting, and then eastbound bridges will start.

Carbon County Job & Career Fair
Tuesday April 22nd 2014

There will be over 40 employers at tomorrow's job fair at Jim Thorpe Memorial Hall. Kathy Henderson, Economic Development Director at the Carbon Chamber and Economic Development Office, says jobseekers must remember "first impressions" are "lasting impressions." Jobseekers are advised to "dress to impress," bring carbon copies of your resume to leave with potential employers. The job fair will be from 11 am to 4 pm and is free to attend.

Decision To Be Made On Township Building
Tuesday April 22nd 2014

A decision on what should be done with the Ross Township building could be made in a couple weeks.
After the tragic shooting last summer, township officials say, the building not only has bad memories, after the tragic shooting last summer, but it's old and it's time for new.
At their last meeting the issue came up, but they were unable to agree on a solution.
They received a grant for $369 dollars to build a new building, but now renovations to the existing building are being considered. The question is not only do they want to change gears, but can they with the allocated funds?
"To do renovations...the money would be adequate, but as you know if you build a new building it's not going to be adequate," said Howard Beers, a supervisor of Ross Township.
Russel Presge, also a supervisor for Ross Township says the reason they applied for a grant was specifically to build a new building. If they decide not to build a new building he says, he's concerned they'd be going against the purpose of the grant and the procedure they've been through.
After the shooting, Kresge says, they spent $15,000 of insurance money to patch the place up.
If they remodel the building he says, that money would be a waste.
On top of that, Kresge says they've spent thousands of dollars on planning.
"We spent $2,500 for an architect to draw up a plan for design, hired a surveyor to survey an acre of land and make swap with open space, said Kresge.
Township officials say they've received a ton of support from the community and local legislators.
State Representative, Rosemary Brown played a big role in getting funding for a new building, but she says she will support whatever decision the township makes.
"If they change direction in how they want to use those funds they just have to submit a new application for review to the commonwealth financing authority...then the board will have to review the application," said Brown.
A decision has still not been made. Township officials say they will have more discussion at their next meeting, May 5th.

It's Easy Being Green!
Tuesday April 22nd 2014

It's Earth Day. Let's celebrate! The staff at the Carbon County Environmental Center says the celebration should continue everyday. Recycling is a simple and effective way to take care of mother nature. Most people know you can recycle plastic bottles and glass jars, but did you know you can recycle your shoes? The center is accepting shoes. Some will be given to local charities, others will be broken down and the materials will be used to make other products such as lining for basketball courts. For more ideas on how you can Go Green everyday or to find recycling drop off bins in your area log onto

Monroe Farmers Market To Move and Split
Monday April 21st 2014

The annual Monroe Farmers Market has outgrown its nearly decade long location on Ann Street in Stroudsburg. That's why Monroe Farmers Market Vice President Brian Bruno says it wants to move to Courthouse Sqaure.
The move presents many avantages too like partnering with the town, involving more local businesses and a more prominent location. Bruno also the owner of Apple Ridge Farm, an 11 year vendor, finds it to be a perfect fit in being more community oriented.
But the new location isn't pleasing all vendors. Gould's Produce and four other vendors are staying at the parking lot because they need extra space.
Stroudsburg Borough Council hasn't approved the move yet, but it looks like the market will split in two. Both sides are in support of one another and wish each other to do well. They just want to see you there. Both markets will be held every Saturday starting May 3rd through October from 8am till noon.

Jordan Faces Charges In Preliminary Hearing
Monday April 21st 2014

Forty year old, Shicon Jordan faces a dozen charges for a driveby shooting at the Econo Lodge March 27th, a random shooting at the Super 8 March 24th and an assault back in February.
Jordan had his preliminary hearing this afternoon at the Monroe County Courthouse.
Both sides were able to hear testimony from the shooting victim and two other witnesses.
The Judge decided to hold all charges against him, execpt for one.
"It's not really surprising to me at this point it's based entirely on her testimony and we don't really provide evidence at this level.
While the defense was only able to drop a retaliation charge, his defense attorney says it's a good start.
"It's really about gathering evidence and what people are going to testify to later on.
The prosecution was able to uphold the other charges with a hefty amount of evidence presented today. The prosecuting attorney was unable to speak with us, but the detective on the case say, they're happy with the decision.
"We got lucky in that route. The cameras were availablen to us," said Richard Wolbert, the detective from Stroud Area Regional Police.
Jordan's next court date has not been scheduled yet. He remains in jail without bail.

Share the Road
Monday April 21st 2014

Every year about 19,000 car accidents involve a bicyclist. Some people suffer only minor injuries. Others are seriously hurt and some are even killed. Officials remind drivers that bicyclists and motorcyclists have the same rights as cars. In turn, bicyclists and motorcyclists must follow the same rules as motorists do, such as obeying traffic signals and stop signs. Officials suggest bicyclists wear bright clothing when riding on a roadway to be better visible to drivers.

Route 2001 Concerns
Friday April 18th 2014

The next phase of a road reconstruction project in pike county is put on hold, after new roadblocks are discovered.The work was only days away from getting started, but thats when pyrite (a form of acid rock) was discovered in various locations along the project area. This iron sulfide reacts to wate while producing an acid that leeches heavy metals from rocks - causing pollution. "This is going to put the project on hold for at least another year and a half" says Lehman Township Supervisor John Sivick.
Penn Dot officials still need to run more tests to determine how much acid rock plagues the project area. There is currently no timeline in place for resuming construction.

Shred Days
Friday April 18th 2014

Mauch Chunk Trust is bringing a "shred mobile" once again to our community. The bank encourages customers and non-customers to use the free service. Officials say it's an opportunity for people to dispose of documents with sensitive information safely. For information on dates and locations visit the bank's website

New Technology Provides Parents Peace Of Mind
Friday April 18th 2014

The tough situation of parents having a premature newborn or hospitalized infant is becoming less unbearable at Lehigh Valley Hospital's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit or NICU. A web camera is now positioned above the baby and a live video stream is available to parents 24/7 through a secure website. Parents who live far, wake up in the middle of the night or work are more connected to their child and aren't as worried.

Easter Draws Tourists To the Poconos
Friday April 18th 2014

Easter is just days away and representatives from resorts in the area say they're expecting quite a few guests this weekend.
Rob Howell from Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort says their resort is full.
Skytop is not far behind.
"Easter is really busy for us we're about 80% occupied for this weekend," said Jason Nubile, the revenue and reservations manager at Skytop Resorts.
Nubile says they have a lot of people coming from New York, New Jersey and Philidelphia, who just want to get away for the weekend.
Today they're having easter egg coloring. Once they're decorated, Nubile says, staff will be hiding them around the property. Tomorrow, there'll be an easter egg hunt and a easter bunny, but not the average bunny.
"We're working on all the decorations for the hotel and that includes our giant easter bunny that will be in the lobby tomorrow at 10 o'clock. He's going to be covered head to toe in about 3,000 carnations," said Kate Lewis, the creative director and manager of the flower shop.
Lewis says, kids and adults help them decorate the bunny.
On Sunday, Skytop is having a brunch. If you're looking for a live easter bunny, Rob Howell, the general manager at Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort says, he'll be stopping by their resort Sunday. On Saturday, Howell says, they'll be coloring easter eggs as well and having an easter egg hunt.
To find out more information on these easter festivities, contact the resorts.

Stroudsburg Spring-Clean Up Needs Your Help
Thursday April 17th 2014

Spring cleaning takes on a whole new meaning after a unbearably messy winter.
The Sherman Theater and Kiwanis Club of the Stroudsburgs are partnering together to help host a Downtown Stroudsburg Spring-Clean Up Day next Saturday. There's plenty to do like removing trash and weeds from the tree wells, cleaning benches, trash cans, light poles and picking up garbage and cigarette butts. And they're asking for your help. The goal is to get ready for tourist season and have a beautiful place residents can enjoy.
So if you'd like to lend a helping hand, just go The Sherman Theater's Living Room on Main Street in Stroudsburg Saturday, April 26th at 9am.

Local Police Prepare To Take Back Drugs
Thursday April 17th 2014

Local police are teaming up with the federal drug enforcement administration to fight the prescription drug epidemic in our country.
Next Saturday, law enforcement across the country will be participating in National Drug Take Back Day in efforts to keep expired, unused and unwanted medications out of the wrong hands.
"We do handle cases that there are drugs that are taken that don't belong to the individual and they either overdose or end up getting into trouble," said Joseph Fittos, the Chief Of Police for the Summit Hill Police Department.
On the last drug take day in November, the attorney general's office says, more than 647,000 pounds of prescription medication were collected.
They removed more than 3.4 million pounds, since the program began in 2010.
Collection times will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m..
To find different locations log on to the DEA's website at

Great American Cleanup
Wednesday April 16th 2014

Pennsylvania's Department of Transportation, along with the Department of Environmental Protection are seeking volunteers for this year's Great American Cleanup of Pennsylvania. The Cleanup runs through May 31st. Volunteers are encouraged to sign up through the website: PennDOT will provide trash bags, gloves, and safety vests.

Monroe County Plans Ahead
Wednesday April 16th 2014

Monroe County is looking toward the future again and preparing to provide a better way of life for everyone.
Every 10 years Monroe County is required by the Commonwealth to come up with a comprehensive land use plan. But the County Planning Commission takes it a step further by being proactive.
For the past two and a half years a new plan was worked on. The Monroe 2030 Plan will be an update to the last one called Monroe 2020, which the Monroe County Commissioners accepted at today's meeting. Monroe 2020 laid the foundation for balance between open space and economic development. You may have noticed signs designating areas of open space and farm preservation throughout the county. Monroe 2030 will now focus on implementing a new economic paln with the goal of eliminating the heavy school tax burden.
The plan is up for review over the next 45 days and can be viewed on the county's website. Your suggestions can directly affect the next 16 years.

Bill For AEDs On Governors Desk
Wednesday April 16th 2014

Legislators are working to make it easier for schools to have Automatic External Defibrillators on hand in their facilities. In December 2000, 15 year old Greg Moyer, went into into cardiac arrest during a high school basketball game at East Stroudsburg North High School. At the time the school didn't have an AED, which could've saved his life.
State Representative Rosemary Brown sponsored a bill to establish a new AED program that would give schools the opportunity to buy AEDs at a cheaper price.
"What we struggle with at the state level is sometimes forcing the schools to pay for them," said Brown.
Brown says she would like to see legislation in the future that would require all schools in Pennsylvania to have AEDs available.
This bill is currently on the governors desk, waiting for approval.

More E-Filing In 2014
Tuesday April 15th 2014

The tax deadline is today. The IRS says in March taxpayers filing from a home computer has increased from last year by six percent. But there are still many people sticking by old habits and waiting till the last minute.

Spring Flooding Concerns
Tuesday April 15th 2014

We may be done with snowstorms, but officials are warning people about Spring season's danger: flooding. Spring storms can bring several inches of rain in just hours. It can over saturate the ground, overfill storm drains, and cause streams and creeks to spill over their banks. Emergency officials are cautioning drivers to stay away from flooded areas; moving water is very dangerous and can lift and carry a vehicle away. Drivers should also drive carefully to avoid hydroplaning.

Job Seekers Meet Employers at Job Fair
Tuesday April 15th 2014

Lots of people looking for work came out to a job fair in Tannersville today.
Over 60 businesses in the poconos were on hand looking for employees.
Some of the employers at the fair included representatives from the tourist industry, law enforcement, retail, armed forces and the medical field.
Officials say the expansion of Camelback and the addition of Kalahari are expected to provide thousands of jobs alone.
"The unemployment numbers are coming down. We were over 10% 6 months ago and it's down to about 8% right now," said John Casella, the administrator for the Careerlink in Monroe County.
Monroe County commissioner, Charles Garris says, there are 36,000 people employed in Monroe County in the resort business.
This event only takes place once a year, but Careerlink is always working to help people find jobs to find information contact the Careerlink in Tannersville.

Walker Township Shooting
Monday April 14th 2014

State Police want to know what happened on Saturday night in Walker Township, Schuylkill County that led to 27 year Mark Sheitrum in critical condition. Police say what started as a verbal argument between 58 year John Clause and 27 year old Sheitrum ended with Sheitrum suffering from a gunshot wound to the jaw. Sheitrum was flown to Lehigh Valley Hospital for treatment. Police arrested Clause and have charged the man with criminal attempted homicide. He is currently in Schuylkill County Prison.

A New and Bigger Location For Smithfield's Library
Monday April 14th 2014

Storytime, adult books, teen corner, computer terminals and a children's area, to name a few, all have a designated place at the newly opened Smithfield's Library Branch. It's located at the RGB Plaza on Seven Bridge Road in Marshalls Creek. A big change from the old one room location at Pocono Square Plaza off Route 209 and the end of a ten year search.
Librarian Sue Young beams with pride as she admires the new bookshelves, furniture and spacious new branch home, part of the Eastern Monroe Public Library System. It's open and busy, but the grand opening will take place May 17th.

Trout Season Brings Business
Monday April 14th 2014

Trout season is underway in the poconos. It kicked off over the weekend and the great weather helped bring out the anglers.
Now that trout season is here, Thomas Setler from Dunklebergers says business has started to pick up and they've been working to keep things on the shelves.
Setler says they've sold a lot of fishing licenses, bait and flies.
Along with the weather, fisherman say water conditions are much better this year.

A Hiker Dies at Glen Onoko Falls
Monday April 14th 2014

Hazleton State Police say 20-year old Jesse Crossley of Catasaqua died when he fell some 30 to 40 feet onto jagged rocks while hiking with friends. Authorities say his death is not suspicious. Crossley had visited the falls before. Authorities say he fell off by the second fall. Police discourage people from venturing to visit the falls and stress to stay on the biking and walking trails.

Lehighton Catholic School Closing
Friday April 11th 2014

After rumors swirled -- it is confirmed Saint's Peter and Paul School is shutting its doors. The pastor whose parish sponsors the Lehighton school announced after a nine-month study that because of enrollment and financial challenges - the school will close at the end of the current year. A letter to parents was sent home today with students. Students will be eligible for $1,500 grants to defray tuition at other Catholic schools in the Diocese of Allentown next school year. Enrollment at Saints Peter and Paul has been below 100 for ten straight years and stands at 86 this year. Only 71 students had registered for next year.

Update: Car in the Lehigh Canal
Friday April 11th 2014

Police are citing the man who drove his car in the Lehigh Canal earlier this week. Early Wednesday morning, emergency officials fished a car out of the water. At the time the driver was nowhere to be found. Franklin Township Police say the driver of the vehicle is from West Chester. The driver claims the last thing he remembers was "partying" at a club in Bethlehem. When he woke up, he was wet. He says he does not know how he ended up in the Lehigh Canal. Police say the driver admitted to climbing out of the car through a window. He then walked barefoot to the Hampton Inn and got a room. After he napped, he called police to claim his vehicle. The West Chester man will be cited for failure to report an accident.

Equal Pay?
Friday April 11th 2014

President Obama is calling for legislation to bridge the equal pay gap between men and women. But Pennsylvania is ahead of the federal government and has already taken steps toward change. Many people say the process needs to be sped up.
Chair of the Labor and Industry Committee, Representative Mario Scavello is behind House Resolution 716, which was introduced by Representative Katherine Watson. The resolution calls for a study to be done examining workplace pay inequality.
Scavello says progress has been made since the signing of the Equal Pay Bill in 1959 but it's unacceptable women are still paid less for the same job as men.
The resolution just needs to pass the House Floor and Scavello believes the study will occur next year.

Officials Propose New Building Heights
Friday April 11th 2014

Stroudsburg Borough officials are working on a proposal to raise building height restrictions.
Right now the height restriction is 50ft in the central commercial district.
The proposal would establish an overlay district, which would allow 15ft more in certain circumstances.
"The demolition of existing buildings to build new buildings would not be permitted unless we've had circumstances like we've had in the past like fires, burnt buildings that have been destroyed and removed," said Jeff Wilkins, the zoning officer for Stroudsburg.
Officials say there'll be discussion on parking issues that may come with the new buildings.
A public hearing will be held June 3rd. At that time, council members and the public will be able to share comments and concerns.

Trout Fishing In The Poconos
Thursday April 10th 2014

Mother Nature is still leaving signs of what some called the winter that wouldn't end. Fish and Boat Commission officials say a lot of the lakes will still be frozen Saturday for the Opening Day of Trout Season. 3.2 million fish are stocked each year so your chances of catching one seem high... But there's never any guarantee to reeling in a fish, or is there?
Trout are just a cast-away at Angler's Cove Fish and Pay, also opening this Saturday. The catch and keep facility is located behind Alpine Ski Shop in Tannersville with five scenic ponds and you don't need a fishing license.
Since you may have trouble with ice in your usual fishing spot, admission is free this Saturday for an adult and child who show a license.

Carbon Plaza Mall Store Re-opens After Arson Fire
Thursday April 10th 2014

A Mahoning Township clothing store is back open months after an arsonist set blaze to a nearby salon. Mahoning Township police say it was 41-year-old Epifanio Garcia-Rivas who set fire to his ex-girlfriend's nail salon at the Carbon Plaza Mall back in December. The sprinkler system went off in adjacent stores forcing some to close for days. "The Hanger" clothing store was put out of business for almost four months. The store re-opened Monday. While all stores including the Beverly Hills Nail Salon are open, Garcia-Rivas still remains at large. Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to contact Mahoning Township Police.

Fatal Schuylkill County Crash
Thursday April 10th 2014

A Pottsville man is killed in a car crash last night. Investigators say speed played a role in the fatal wreck. According to State Police, 41-year-old Christopher Gibas was driving on Route 209 in East Norwegian Township around 6:15 p.m. when the accident happened. Troopers say he was traveling at a high rate of speed when he lost control of his jeep. The vehicle went airborne, struck a tree and then flipped onto its roof. Gibas was killed. His passenger, 48-year-old Rick Reilly of Pottsville, was taken to the hospital with moderate injuries. Route 209 was closed in both directions for approximately 2 hours while troopers investigated.

Summit Hill Man Sentenced in Federal Drug Trafficking Case
Thursday April 10th 2014

A Summit Hill man is sentenced today in federal court on cocaine trafficking charges. According to the United States Attorney's Office, 48-year-old Alexander "Butch" Sommers previously plead guilty to assisting others in distributing crack and powder cocaine between January 2011 and December 2012. He's been sentenced to over 3 years in prison. Sommer's former girlfriend, 34-year-old Victoria Argott of Lansford, was previously sentenced in the same case.

Boy may be charged in cyber bullying case
Thursday April 10th 2014

Charges are pending against a 13-year Palmerton old boy accused of cyber bullying. Lehighton State Police are investigating the case. According to the report the teen is accused of threatening and harassing other middle school students through social media sites, ooVoo and Instagram. The suspect allegedly threatened to physically harm the victims.

New Homeless Day Center Open
Thursday April 10th 2014

The new homeless day center in stroudsburg is open.
Not only is there a new location, but new staff and a new name.
The new "Street To Feet Outreach Center" is up and running and serving our homeless in new ways.
It has more room and more opportunities for those who need a helping hand.
Elizabeth Bogart, a supervisor at the day center says, it's been a busy week. They opened Monday, but she says they've served about 15-20 people a day so far.
The homeless can come in and get out of the weather, take a shower, or have a nice cup of coffee.
Bogart says they'll be helping with job applications, housing referrals and skill building. She says they have volunteers who are retired teachers and want to have GED classes.
They also assist them with local benefits, like food stamps, medical assistance, health care, mental health and substance abuse.
"It's good to have a bridge back into the community," said Sean Rilloran, who says it's been a tough year for him.
Bogart says they expect to serve 16 patients a month at their in house clinic. Starting in May, the clinic will be open every 1st and 3rd Tuesday to help establish them with a primary care doctor.
On Tuesday Bogart say 10-15 people were able to come in and get Shingles vaccinations. Next month they'll be doing TB testing.
"Anything for your medical needs is a good thing, especially when you're out on the streets...i'm out in the woods, I can get lime disease from a tick or who knows what?," said Rilloran.
For those who don't know where the new center is located, they're at 130 N. 1st. St. in Stroudsburg. Staff will be out in the community to find people in need.

Your Help Is Needed In Monroe County
Wednesday April 9th 2014

It's the first time in five years public donations have decreased at the Salvation Army. Officials are worried services like shelter and food programs will have to be cut if more revenue doesn't come in within the next few weeks. The Salvation Army is asking for your donation. If you've never given to the Salvation Army, now is the time to experience the wonderful feeling of helping others. Just contact them for more information at 570-421-3050 ext. 25.

Car Submerged in Lehigh Canal
Wednesday April 9th 2014

Eyewitnesses discovered a maroon Mazda 4 door sedan submerged in the canal early this morning. Holly Andrews of Franklin Township contacted Franklin Township Police when she noticed a car with its lights on in the middle of the canal. A window was rolled down. The driver possibly used it as an exit out of the car. A tow truck pulled the car out of the water, but the driver was nowhere to be found. The car was registered to a person from West Chester. Police called the residence; a woman answered and said the Mazda belongs to her son, but she has no idea why he would be in the Weissport and Franklin Township area.

Coaldale Police Officers Return to Full Time Hours
Wednesday April 9th 2014

Coaldale Borough Council voted last night to restore three part-time police officers to full time. Two years ago, council voted to reduce their hours citing a lack of funds. The officers begin their new hours Monday. Critics argue the move will cause taxes to increase. There is still a lawsuit between the borough and the officers for lost wages.

Two Shooting Suspects Charged in Stroudsburg
Wednesday April 9th 2014

Shicon Jordan was not happy about being in court today.
He was brought back to Monroe County this afternoon to face charges after a driveby shooting at the Econolodge a couple weeks ago.
He got a little worked up and his arraignment was interrupted. He had to be arraigned by video for two other charges.
"He's been arrested so he's agitated...She denied him bail so that's additional aggitation.
Police say his target was a woman parked in front of one of the rooms. He fired at her vehicle, hitting the tire and a room window.
Police say Michelle Walden was in the car with Jordan at the time of the shooting. The gun belonged to her. He was not allowed to own a firearm. She recently came forward taking the blame for the shooting. She is being charged with conspiracy.
Jordan says he was in New York at the time, but police say they have him on video.
He is also facing charges for an assault in February, involving the same victim. He struck her in the face fracturing her right eye bone.
Then, only two days before the driveby shooting, police say multiple gun shots were fired in the air at the Super 8 motel in East Stroudsburg.
Jordan and Walden were caught on video there also.
Jordan was denied bail for the other two charges as well. He has two preliminary hearings scheduled for April 21st and 22nd.

SS Peter and Paul School Closing?
Tuesday April 8th 2014

Saints Peter and Paul Catholic School in Lehighton has been around since 1925. It's currently the only school in the Allentown Diocese under a study looking at its financial and enrollment challenges, which worries parents of students enrolled in the Catholic School. Catholic Churches and its schools all over the country have been closing or consolidating, but parents remain firm in their hope it does not happen to SS Peter and Paul. They're hoping to beef up enrollment in order to keep the school going. Currently, there are 86 students enrolled at SS Peter and Paul.

Barn Collapses In Jackson Township
Tuesday April 8th 2014

A barn collapsed in Jackson Township today while contractors were inside working on it. The owners of a farm on Mountain Road in Reeders hired Bob and Mike Wallingford Mason Contractors to fix up a barn on the property. The 911 call came in implying Linda Wallingford's Stepson Mike was trapped, but luckily that didn't turn out to be the case. Jackson Township Assistant Fire Chief Cliff Oppelt says, "At first it came in as entrapment and I guess the father pulled him [Mike] out from what fell on top of him. When we got here, he [Mike] was just sitting off to the side."
Mike was conscious and only seemed to have hurt his leg.
Wallingford's Stepmom says, "Possible broken leg but we're not sure. Other than that he was ok."
Fire officials believe the incident to be an accident.

Former Lehighton Man Sentenced for Child Porn
Tuesday April 8th 2014

A former Lehighton man is sentenced to jail for receiving and distributing child pornography. According to the United States Attorney's Office, 32-year-old Stephen Puza III previously plead guilty to using a computer to download and share numerous images of child porn from July - September 2011. Puza was living in Bethlehem at the time of his arrest. He was indicted by a federal grand jury in 2013 as result of an investigation by several agencies including the Lehighton Borough Police. Today was sentenced to over 15 years in prison followed by 10 years of supervised release. He must also register as a sex offender and undergo sex offender treatment.

Carbon County Firemen's Drill Tower Closed
Tuesday April 8th 2014

The Carbon County Firemen's Drill Tower closed its doors for good. An inspection on the facility back in November revealed several structural flaws, including extensive corrosion and cracks through most of the brick walls. Officials are asking surrounding communities to use their facilities for training. The drill tower has been in place since the 1960's. Officials say the next steps are to demolish the structure, then they'll develop a plan for a new facility and prepare a cost analysis before securing funding.

Man Sentenced For Attempted Murder
Tuesday April 8th 2014

Four victims nearly murdered by Joseph Shuman, asked a judge for mercy sentencing him today.
The judge ordered Shuman up to 21 years in a state correctional facility and 3 years of probation.
"We Think it's fair. It takes into account the common wealth's need for justice in this instance," said Kimberly Butts, the prosecuting attorney in this case.
On May 16, 2013 police responded to a suspicious house fire at Pocono Country Place in Coolbaugh Township.
Shuman was charged with setting the fire and endangering four deaf people who lived in the home. When police arrived the electric meter designed to alert them in case of an emergency was removed.
The defendant says he was
dating Mahogany Suarez, who lived in the home and they had a fight before the fire.
"Gratefully, none of the victims were hurt it was a serious offense," said Butts.
While people who live in Pocono Country Place were happy to hear the news, some wish he would've received more punishment.
Back in January, Shuman didn't admit guilt, but instead pled no contest to the charges.
The defense attorney, Fred Cataio, says, he plans to appeal the decision. Cataio says there are legal issues in this case that brought about the sentence that should be reconsidered.
"They knew the defendant. They don't want to see this be the end of his life. They want to see him punished and held accountable for what he did, but they want to make sure the court knows that they saw him as a different person," said Butts.
An appeal in this case has not been filed yet, they have 10 days to submit one.

Jim Thorpe Train Station Burglary Arrests
Monday April 7th 2014

Four people have been charged with breaking into a railroad ticket booth in Jim Thorpe back in November.
Those four have been identified as 30-year-old Andrew Gilchrist of Norristown. 30-year-old Neil Young of Plymouth . 23-year-old Rachael Thompson - and her sister. 27-year-old Marie Thompson both of Royersford. They are all accused of breaking into the "Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway -- Reading Northern Railroad" ticket booth in the early morning hours of November 29-th ... 20-13. Gilchrist and Young are faces numerous charges and both remain in jail... The Thompson sisters are each charged with receiving stolen property - and are both free on 25-thousand dollars unsecured bail.

Pike County Considering Veterans Court
Monday April 7th 2014

Could a new criminal court system be in the works in Pike County? Officials are looking to establish a veterans court designed exclusively for veterans breaking the law. Establishing a Veterans court in the County would give offenders the optiopn of rehabilitation as opposed to incarceration. Under this system, a team would be assembled, consisting of the V.A, County Commissioners, and the District Attorney to Recommend treatment. In this system, violent offenders would not qualify.

Robbery at Lehighton Pharmacy
Monday April 7th 2014

Lehighton police are looking for a suspect who allegedly robbed the First National Pharmacy on First Street. The crime happened on Saturday around 3:00PM. Police say the suspect walked into the pharmacy and approached the counter with a weapon in his right hand. He demanded money. The woman behind the register moved aside as the suspect rushed behind the counter and grabbed cash out of the register before taking off. No one was injured in the robbery. Anyone who may have seen the suspect is asked to contact Lehighton Police at (610) 377-4003.

National Safety Work Zone Awareness Week
Monday April 7th 2014

After a brutal winter, construction crews will be out fixing our roads to keep driving conditions safe. Penn Dot is urging motorists to slow down. It's National Work Zone Safety Awareness Week, meant to highlight the dangers that crews deal with when out patching up our roads. Last year there were more than 1800 crashes in Pennsylvania work zones. Sixteen people were killed. Penn Dot wants drivers to slow down and pay attention.

Stroudsburg Elementary School Mold Follow Up
Monday April 7th 2014

Stroudsburg Area School Officials say there is no mold at the Intermediate Elementary School. They have the test results to prove it and tell us they have nothing to hide. Stroudsburg Area School District Board President Richard Pierce is standing behind what he said at last week's school board meeting. And would like to address any parent concerns about mold in the elementary school.

35th Annual ACS Telethon
Monday April 7th 2014

The Carbon-Tamaqua unit of the American Cancer Society celebrates its 35th annual telethon.
The event was held Saturday and Sunday at Penn's Peak in Jim Thorpe... Things kicked off friday night with a new benefit concert. The first ever telethon raised 15-thousand dollars. Last year's telethon raised over 200-thousand dollars.
Thank to community support ... the 20-14 telethon raised
213, 330-dollars!!...

An Autistic, Stroud Township Man Found
Monday April 7th 2014

An autistic man from Stroud Township is found today after being missing most of this morning.
Police say eighteen year old Micheal Destefano walked away from his residence at Penn Estates at about 2 o'clock this morning. He was found after about 8 hours.
"Last month he ran away...his idea was to go to Arizaona. He was found in Pocono Township...this month we understand he's fixated on walmart to buy fishing tackle," said Brian Kimmins, Captain from Stroud Area Regional Police.
In January, a federal law maker proposed Avonte's law that would fund tracking devices for individuals with autism. The law was proposed after an autistic kid in New York went missing and was found dead. That bill has yet to be signed into law.

Lehigh Township Baby Death Investigation
Monday April 7th 2014

Authorities are investigating the death of a Northampton County baby. The coroner says 3 month old Sklyer Cantalupo of Lehigh Township was pronounced dead Friday night at Lehigh Valley Hospital - Muhlenberg. The baby lived at a home in the 3000 block of Banyan Drive. An autopsy was expected to take place today. The Lehigh County Coroner's Office is investigating along with Lehigh Township Police.

Good News for Jobseekers
Friday April 4th 2014

Recent statistics from the Labor Department show the economy is rebounding from a harsh winter. More employers are adding jobs as we go into the spring season. Garry Wentz, Director at Carbon CareerLink, says employers are looking to fill in seasonal and part time positions. While the unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.7 percent, half a million Americans started looking for work last month, and most were able to land jobs. The increase in job-seekers suggest more applicants are optimistic over their prospects.

Mahoning Township Woman Steals Guns to Fund Drugs
Friday April 4th 2014

A Mahoning Township woman is charged after stealing guns to support her drug addiction. Police say 20-year-old Marissa Pekurny turned herself in Wednesday and admitted she stole 6 firearms from her father. Perkurny says she sold the guns to fund her addiction to heroin. Five of the guns were sold to firearm stores in Carbon and Monroe Counties. The sixth was sold to a man on the street in Hazleton. She's been charged with theft by unlawful taking which is a felony.

Lehigh Valley Prescription Drug Ring Bust: Carbon Co. Women Charged
Friday April 4th 2014

Two Summit Hill women are among 9 people busted in an alleged prescription drug ring that operated in the Lehigh Valley. The Attorney General's Office says 33-year-old Alison Monfre and 61-year-old Barbara Monfre were both charged for their involvement in the ring. According to the criminal complaint, Alison Monfre, who worked at an Easton doctor's office, wrote multiple prescriptions for oxycodone and signed the doctor's name without his knowledge. Monfre's boyfriend allegedly sold the forged prescriptions to acquaintances and also occasionally sold pills from filled scripts on the street.

Section of Route 248 Closed Outside Walnutport
Friday April 4th 2014

A section of Route 248 eastbound is shut down for several hours after a tractor trailer hits a traffic light. The accident happened around 1:45 p.m. as a truck driver tried to turn right onto Route 248 from Route 145 in Lehigh Township, Northampton County. Westbound traffic is still making its way through the area. PPL Electric cut power to the Lehigh Township owned traffic light. The road closure was expected to last several hours.

A Comedy Show For Barks, Meows And Giggles
Friday April 4th 2014

A Comedy show is stopping in the Poconos this weekend-- to get some laughs and also raise money to help abused animals.
Hope for Hannah, a local non-profit animal rescue, is honored "Comedy's Best Kept Secret Tour" will be raising money for their cause this Saturday night. They're dedicated to saving as many dogs as they can by finding them happy homes. But you may know them by their outreach in the community.
President Susan Gilbert says, "We do assemblies in schools. We really feel that education is the key to change. So if we can educate younger people, they're the dog owners of tomorrow."
It all started when Susan Gilbert was working for another rescue and a call came in for a dog no one would take. An English Bulldog named Hannah was severely injured by breeders.
Gilbert says, "Both of her legs were caught in the cage that she was in and her feet were pulled off and it was going to have to be amputated."
Gilbert took her in and was determined to make her better. But Hannah required extensive surgeries and physical therapy. She soon realized a better way to raise money for injured dogs was needed. Hope for Hannah was then born.
Gilbert says, "Our actual shelter is in West Virginia. Once the puppies are down there for three weeks, or the dogs, and are deemed healthy, then they're brought up here to foster homes and adopted out."
The inspiration behind Hope for Hannah will come alive onstage by comedians trying to help their furry friends.
"Comedy's Best Kept Secret Tour" is performing center stage at Poconuts Comedy Club located inside the Pocono Brewing Company in Swiftwater. It's happening tomorrow night at 9. And will be raising money for local animal rescues-- Hope for Hannah and Animals Can't Talk.
For more information about either rescue, just go to their websites at and And come out this weekend for a good cause and good time.

PMC Opens New Bartonsville location
Friday April 4th 2014

The doors are now open at a new Pocono Medical Center Building in Bartonsville. Officials hosted their grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony.
This new facility offers primary and specialized care: womens health, imaging services and vascular surgery are just a few.
"Health care is changing and we are changing with and we hope to be ahead of the curve. We're committed to our mission, which is really to provide the community with world class care close to home as we work towards building a healthier community," said Kathleen Kuck, the president and CEO of Pocono Health Systems.
If you would like to come check out the facility, the open house is scheduled for April 15.

Schuylkill County Burn Ban
Thursday April 3rd 2014

Schuylkill County is implementing a temporary open burning ban starting tomorrow. That means no outdoor burning of things like garbage or leaves is allowed in burn barrels - fire rings or on open ground. Violators face fines of $100 for the first offense, $200 for the second, and $300 for each additional. Violators are also responsible for the cost of extinguishing any wildfire they cause and that could amount to thousands of dollars. The Schuylkill County wide burn ban is in effect Friday at noon through May 4th at noon. In Carbon County, only two municipalities have burn bans as of earlier today - that's Jim Thorpe and Nesquehoning. Before any outdoor burning - contact your local municipality.

Act 89 Money to Fix Roads.
Thursday April 3rd 2014

In a news conference today, PennDOT District 5 Executive, Michael Rebert, highlighted road work projects slated to begin this construction season. The Transportation Bill - Act 89 - passed last fall, is making the construction work possible. Thirty seven projects across five counties is expected to begin early next month. Including work on Route 209 through Nesquehoning and Jim Thorpe, and work on Route 895 from Route 309 to Route 443 in the Orwigsburg area. Drivers are reminded to expect delays and congestion while travelling through those areas.

ESU Hosts Law Enforcement Day
Thursday April 3rd 2014

Students at East Stroudsburg University got a taste of what it would be like to have a job in law enforcement.
Police vehicles were parked across the lawn of ESU'S fieldhouse, information tables set up and students had the chance to learn about various law enforcement agencies: local, state and federal.
"Many times in the classrooms we speak about theoretical perspectives in criminal justice, but many times and often times our students just don't have the opportunity beyond their internships to really meet and mingle with members of the criminal justice community," said Richard Allen Ruck, the criminal justice professor at ESU.

Weatherly Woman in Court for Snatching Teacher's Purse
Thursday April 3rd 2014

A Weatherly woman is in district court after she's accused of stealing a purse from a school teacher. Police say surveillance video shows 38-year-old Debra Krum with a bulge in her jacket after leaving a Weatherly Elementary School classroom in March. Krum was at the school for a meeting regarding her son the day of the incident. She first denied the allegations but later admitted she took the purse home. After taking out cash, Krum says she burnt the purse and the rest of its contents. Then threw the remains into a creek. Items in the purse were valued at over $1,600. They include a cell phone, id cards and credit cards. Krum waived her right to a preliminary hearing today and was released on $10,000 unsecured bail.

Twitter Page Causing Controversy At Local College
Wednesday April 2nd 2014

A Twitter account called "NCC Confessions" is "vile and demeaning" to Northampton Community College-- That's what the College President Mark Erickson says in an email he sent out to the campus community. His concern comes from the posted tweets directed at hurting members of the college, which has campuses in Monroe County and Bethlehem. The letter asks students to stop the behavior, causing immediate reaction tweets like "...sensitive babies ruining our fun." Dean Matt Connell of the Monroe County Campus says the president did the right thing. He's not worried about the added attention. Connell says the bigger message sent is more important.
Connell says, "We're not going to stand for it and we're going to take steps to help individuals understand what they have to do to be contributing, involved and engaged citizens."
And the email is gaining a lot of new attention to the page. We heard students all over campus buzzing about it. The Monroe Campus students we talked to immediately went to check out the page. But tell us, they won't be joining the over 1,000 followers it now has. They're distrubed and disgusted.
College officials asked Twitter to remove the site, but they're not betting on it. Some students hope it happens.
Connell says he's heard some students will be starting a positive twitter page in response called "NCC Rocks. It's the positive attention the president was hoping for.
Connell says, "Pushing back and fighting against inappropriate behavior is another way to help resolve the issue."
Everyone we talked to said the tweets posted are immature and instead should just be said face-to-face. But the people tweeting just think it's funny.

Former Choir Director Heads To Trial
Wednesday April 2nd 2014

Seventy four year old Kenneth Benard Shade faces a number of sexual related charges involving a minor. Today he appeared in court.
Last month a former student of Shade reported he was sexually assaulted by him around 1995 or 96 at the time the victim was about 14 or 15. Now he's 32 and he appeared in court today, along with a number of supporters for Shade.
Shade is the former choir director of the singing boys of Pennsylvania. Today the defense and prosecution argued their case to the judge to determine if the charges would make it to county court. The judge decided to send the charges to a jury. On top of that, new details came out of the hearing today.
"We got our first chance to hear what the evidence is," said Phillip Lauer, the defense attorney in this case.
"I can tell you that police executed a search warrant... there was child pornography found. we anticipate there will be additional charges," said Micheal Rakaczewski, the prosecuting attorney in this case.
Rakaczewski says he didn't plan to disclose that information until later, but the defense went for less bail to release the defendant. Based on Shades access to minors, he thought it was neccessary to keep him behind bars.
It also came out that other victims have come forward.
If there is anyone else out there who may have been victimized or has information related to this case, you're encouraged to come forward.

Weatherwood Nurse in Court
Wednesday April 2nd 2014

A Carbon County Woman accused of stealing pain medication from patients waived her right to a preliminary hearing. Twenty-nine year old Keri McArdle of Palmerton was very emotional in court. According to court documents she stole pain medication from various patients while working as a nurse at Weatherwood Nursing Home in Weatherly, from November until February, when she was charged. McArdle was released on bail on Wednesday, but is not allowed on Weatherwood property and is not allowed to contact the victims.

New Fire Tax in Lehigh Township?
Wednesday April 2nd 2014

Lehigh Township Board of Supervisors and the Lehigh Township Volunteer Fire Company held a public meeting to discuss future funding. The fire company is a volunteer organization... meaning the department relies solely on numerous fundraisers in order to provide their services to the county. The fire company covers 30 square miles, and even with numerous fundraisers, they're not making ends meet. Firefighters approached the Board of Supervisors over possibly enacting a new "fire tax" for residents. If Lehigh Township enacts a fire tax, a certain amount of tax based on the value of your home would go up. The board and firefighters listened intently to residents and their suggestions. Nothing is set in stone.

More Driver Fee Increases
Tuesday April 1st 2014

Today Pennsylvania rasied the cost of several driver services, as a trade off for better roads and bridges. The cost for driver fees like new identification cards and title certificates increased today. And more fee hikes like for vanity license plates will go into effect July 1st.
PennDOT District Five Press Officer Ron Young says, "It hasn't changed since 1997, 17-years-ago. You can do the math and figure out how much everyhting else whether it be buying a new car, house or a gallon of milk has gone up since 1997."
It's all part of the transportation bill that passed last year by the state legislature. You may have already noticed paying a few more cents at the gas pump since January 1st.
Young says, "We lead the nation in the number of structurally deficient bridges so that number will be reduced, and the many roads and bridges that we hear compliants from people all the time about the conditions of the roads-- they will be replaced."
PennDOT officials are asking for your patience. It's going to take time to see all of the benefits, but they tell us newly paved roads will be noticeable this year.

Tamaqua Churches to Merge
Tuesday April 1st 2014

Over the weekend, parishioners at SS Peter and Paul Church and St. Jerome's Church in Tamaqua learned the two will merge on July 1st. Father Bill of SSPP also announced his retirement, which will coincide with the merger. Both churches will remain open. Father John Frink of St. Jerome's will celebrate mass at both churches under the new parish name, St. John the XXIII. A shortage of priests is to blame for the merger.

New Building Applications Show Signs Of Growth
Tuesday April 1st 2014

There may be signs that the home building industry is growing again in Monroe County.
Stroud Township officials say they have several applications on their desk to bring more homes to the area.
Officials say it could be the weather breaking or the result of the economy picking up.
"In 2013 we issued nine new home permits for construction. In 2014 to date we've already received nine new home applications," said John DeCusatis, the planning administrator for Stroud Township.
Tom Wilkins, the CEO of Wilkins and Associates, Better Homes & Gardens says, these numbers are encouraging for the housing market.
"It doesn't suprise me because it's the spring time, but the quantity of them to equal what it was last year this early in the year ...that's definately a positive sign,"said Wilkins.
Joe Holbert, the President of the Pocono Builders Association says it's been difficult over the last few years , for the building industry.
" Last year we started to see an up tick. In 2012, Monroe County only had 145 new building permits. In 2013 we had 175.
While officials say new homes are a great thing, some want to see more done to existing homes.
"We have a lot of homes built in the 70s and 80s that don't meet todays energy standards...there's a lot of 2nd homes that became permanent homes that are sitting empty...I would like to see people buy them, renovate them and add on to them," said Richard Pierce, the president of Richard Pierce Builder Inc.
DeCusatis says, he would like to see positive new home growth, not vacant new homes,but to supply what's needed on the market.
"For years there was hardly anything going on. When a township gets 4 or 5 new structures going it's a exciting thing," said Pierce.

Banks Township Fatal Crash
Tuesday April 1st 2014

A Schuylkill County man is dead after a crash in Banks Township. The accident happened last night around 7. State Police say 63-year-old Andrew McAloose of Kelayres was driving east on Treskow Road near Banks Avenue when his vehicle went off the road. The jeep rolled several times. McAloose was not wearing a seat belt. He was pronounced dead at the scene from multiple traumatic injuries. State Police say they are still investigating.

Tamaqua High Speed Chase Arrest
Tuesday April 1st 2014

A Tamaqua man is in jail after leading borough police on a high speed chase last night. The incident began when an officer was called to a home on Washington Street for a domestic dispute. A woman said her soon to be ex-husband was assaulting her and taking their son. Police say 42-year-old John Roberts was in a car with his son crying for help in the backseat when the officer arrived. The policeman tried to block the vehicle from leaving but Roberts pulled away. He came back to the house twice before letting his son out of the vehicle. Police say he then lead officers on a chase going over 85 miles-per-hour. At one point officers say Roberts tried to pass a police car and in doing so forced a another vehicle off the road. Roberts then tried to run into the side of a cop car before driving on the running trails until he crashed into a tree. Roberts got out of the car and tried to flee on foot but fell and was arrested.

Lansford Man Sentenced for Federal Firearms Charge
Tuesday April 1st 2014

A Lansford man is sentenced to prison for a federal firearms offense. 29-year-old Jordan Bachert previously admitted to being an unlawful user of controlled substances in 2011 and 2012. A time period in which he purchased and possessed several firearms in Carbon County. Bachert pled guilty on October 9th. He was sentenced yesterday to 30 months in prison followed by two years of supervised probation.

BRC13 News Archive