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You are here: brctv13.com Local News

BRCTV-13 News Archive

August 21, 2014

Residents and businesses are displaced, after a fire this morning at the Holland Thread Mill Building on lower main st.
Occupants say there's quite a bit of water damage, but no one was hurt.
Firefighters say the blaze started in the kitchen of a second floor apartment. The tenant believes the fire may've been caused by an electrical issue.
One occupant says her uncle is a firefighter and he told her the tenant left a book on top of her stove burner, which caused the fire.
The fire chief says they're investigating what caused the fire.

August 20, 2014

A long awaited bridge project in Schuylkill County will be done soon. Concerns about work on the Route 209-East Broad Street Bridge over the Little Schuylkill River in Tamaqua started in the spring of 2013. Now a year and a half later, residents just want to breathe a sigh of relief. Tamaqua Borough Council officials tell us the work is right on schedule to be done before November and there's only roadwork left to do.

August 20, 2014

A Lehighton man is dead after a head-on crash with a truck this morning in Luzerne County. The accident happened just after 4:30 am on Route 940 in Foster Township. Police say 34-year-old Jamin Zimmerman crossed the centerline and crashed into a tractor trailer. Zimmerman was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the truck, David Kleppinger of Palmerton, was not hurt.

August 19, 2014

With less than a week before school starts, Jim Thorpe officials are still working on an agreement with the Youth Services Agency. In June, officials at the center announced they had been in discussions with Jim Thorpe School District for over a year. Y-S-A is looking for the district to provide more financial support to allow continuation of the on-site school at its residential treatment center in Penn Forest Township. If they can't get that, their students could attend Jim Thorpe schools. Today the Jim Thorpe superintendent, Brian Gasper, released a statement saying the district and Y-S-A representatives met last week. Olympian officials met Friday to review and offer adjustments to the potential agreement. No details of the agreement are available to News 13. But Gasper says the district is hopeful there will be a mutual agreement in place soon. Jim Thorpe students go back to school Monday.

August 19, 2014

A Northampton County couple is in court after they're accused of not getting their daughter adequate dental care. In June, Kenneth Wanamaker Junior and Jessica Hoffman, both of Lehigh Township, were charged with endangering the welfare of a child. Their 6-year-old daughter was diagnosed with severe dental disease. She was scheduled for surgery but the couple allegedly failed to take her twice. Wanamaker and Hoffman were in district court today for preliminary hearings. A judge ruled the charges will be upgraded from misdemeanors to felonies. The pair must now face charges in Northampton County Court. Today the judge also revoked Wanamaker's bail saying he wasn't compliant with his bail conditions. Hoffman remains free on bail, but is not to have unsupervised contact with her children. The pair are expected to be in county court in October.

August 19, 2014

Today it's silent where the old Resica Community Playground used to be. Volunteers are nowhere to be found, lumber isn't being cut and mulch deliveries still lie untouched. That's because the building of a new playground is no longer starting tomorrow.
Resica Community Playground Co-Coordinator Karen Conway says, "It's a very sad thing. We really wanted to have it up and ready for the new school year for the kids to play on. It would've been a great back to school gift."
Volunteers tore down the playground behind Resica Elementary in June with plans to build a safer one in July. But a counted on donation didn't come through. Now other setbacks have added up pushing this week's construction date far into the future. A lumber supplier didn't deliver on time and there isn't enough money or volunteers.
Conway says the date to build is now set for July 2015 so that the kids are out of school, unless the community lets them down again.
Conway says, "We're hoping the community does come out, that they do volunteer for the committees, that they do step up."
If you would like to donate, there's a Go Fund Me webpage set up for Resica Community Playground. And for more inforemation on upcoming fundraisers or how to get involved in the cause, just contact Conway at 570-807-0602.

August 18, 2014

Parents have been fighting to reopen Ramsey Elementary, after a 5-4 vote by the Stroudsburg School Board in May to close the school in June and Clearview at the end of this year.
Today a judge decided Ramsey should remain closed.
Students who attended the school will now go to Morey, not too far away.
Parents argued the closing process for Ramsey was too quick and there should've been more research done, before making a decision.
School representatives on the other hand argued that no violations were made and it would be a bigger inconvinence to reopen the school now after removing all the resources.
The judge decided it would be too later to put the school back together, before school starts and no rules were broken.

August 18, 2014

The renovations project taking place at Stroudsburg High School is nearly finished. For the first time since 2010, students won't be greeted this school year by contractors working inside.
Stroudsburg High School students will get to see the new building as a whole this year. Construction phases on the inside are complete. While students saw most of it in May, they will be introduced to some new classrooms when they return August 25th. Superintendent John Toleno says he's happy everything is updated with enough room for both students and all educational programs.
Now the concentration is on completing the outside. Work is currently being done on the high school's sports fields, tennis courts and parking lot. The work is contracted to be done September 2015, but Toleno says he hopes the heavy equipment disappears after November 1st and it's done early.

August 15, 2014

Camelback Resort in Tannersville will soon always be a splashing good time, from outside to inside. It's called Camelback Lodge and Aquatopia and it'll be the first ski in/ski out indoor waterpark hotel in the Poconos. The $163 million project will be 533,000 square feet with 453 hotel rooms and it's expected to open this coming Spring. The goal is the month of May. For more information or to make a reservation for the Spring opening date, just go to www.camelbackresort.com.

August 15, 2014

Stroud Area Regional Police say, several vehicles in Stroudsburg were hit by thieves, early Tuesday morning.
Tyler Metzger and Luis Santos are now facing charges for theft from a motor vehicle, loitering and prowling.
Although police have caught up with these two men, the community is still on high alert. Some neighbors say it's not the first time.
Police say electronic devices, money and a rolex watch are some of the items that were stolen.
About a month ago, there was a similar incident in East Stroudsburg.
Police encourage residents to secure their vehicles and homes. Most of the incidents have involved unlocked vehicles.
Several victims have already retrieved their stolen items. Police are still trying to return more recovered property. If you're a victim contact Stroud Area Regional Police.

August 14, 2014

Some Pocono Township business owners are upset over a newly enforced sign ordinance. At least one says he is being unfairly targeted for placing signs and balloons out by the roadway. And some township officials are divided over the sign ordinance. Pocono Township's Board of Commissioners say the original ordinance was passed in 2003 and it was never enforced by the previous board. They're looking to change that but also update it.
Commissioner Jerry Lastowski admits the controversy has been going on for awhile among the township and businesses. He says the township had a meeting for business owners to voice their concerns and says the sign ordinance needs to be revamped. The commissioners have asked the Planning Commission to make a new one. But they're recommending it stays as it is. Only a sign on the building and a permitted sign plaza is allowed.
We're told the businesses have been notified by the zoning officer what they're doing wrong and some have received fines. Vincent's Deli and Catering Owner Vincent Difrancisco says having balloons out got him a $400 fine. He believes he's being discriminated against because other businesses still have theirs out.
Both he and Tom Sforza, Co-Owner of Best Auto Service Center, tell us they don't mind following the rules. They just want the township to be fair and work with them to come up with something everyone can be happy with. They'd be happy with one sign.
Planning Commission Chairman Ronald Swink says they are for business but owners need to follow the rules. Everyone will be fined if they don't. Difrancisco says businesses have already closed because of the new enforcement.
While the Chairman of the Planning Commission doesn't want to make any changes. He says that's just a recommendation and the decision is left up to the commissioners.

August 14, 2014

Business owners in an East Stroudsburg shopping plaza on 209 and Eagle Valley Lane are crying out for power.
They've been in the dark since July 27th when a car hit their building, killing a passenger.
They've been using generators to keep business going, but the frustration is building.
The owner says, he's waiting on the contractor and insurance company, which could take about three weeks or longer to fix the problem.

August 13, 2014

A child struck by a car this afternoon in Washington Township, Lehigh County has died from her injuries. It happened just after 3:30 pm in the 4200 block of Mountain Road near Loop Road. Authorities say 21-month-old Farrah Munoz was in front of her house when she was hit by a jeep. The child was flown to the hospital where she was pronounced dead just before 5 pm. Police say 33-yer-old Daniel Watt was the driver of the vehicle. State Police and the Lehigh County Coroner's Office are still investigating.

August 13, 2014

Pocono Mountain Regional Police are warning drivers to be on their best behavior. Starting today, police will be on heavy watch for drivers breaking the rules, especially at the five point intersection in Mount Pocono.
If you're stopped, the fine is at least $127, plus points on your license.

August 13, 2014

Artists are needed to help paint two towns in Monroe County.
Project Street Art-- the team responsible for beautifying an empty lot eyesore on Main Street in Stroudsburg is expanding to part two. Ten different mural locations are now planned-- seven in Stroudsburg and three in East Stroudsburg.
The contest is already on for who will touch the walls of the buildings, businesses and bridges on the list with creativity. Submissions are pouring in from LA, the Bronx and even Brazil to be one of the 10 chosen artists to splash their designs. Each will then put a team together at each location on September 27th and a giant paint party will take place.
If you'd like to submit a design send an email to stroudsburgstreetart@gmail.com and for more information check out the group's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/projectstreetart.

August 12, 2014

A proposed natural gas pipeline would cut through Northampton and Carbon Counties. PennEast Pipeline Company announced the plans today to construct a 100-mile pipeline to bring natural gas produced in the Marcellus Shale Region to homes and businesses in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The pipeline would begin in Luzerne County and end at Tansco's Trenton-Woodbury interconnection in New Jersey. PennEast will begin preliminary engineering studies in the coming months, along with a formal application before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. If all local, state and federal approvals are timely approved, construction of the pipeline could begin in 2017.

August 12, 2014

A Lehighton man is suspected of driving under the influence after he hits several parked cars. The incident happened Monday night around 6:30 in the 200 block of South Fourth Street. Police say 56-year-old Scott Smale was taken for a blood test after striking six cars. No one was hurt in the incident but two cars were seriously damaged. Lehighton Police are still investigating.

August 12, 2014

A Local teen who lost his grandmother to breast cancer is using his talents to help with cancer research. He published a book about three weeks ago and now he's putting a golf fundraiser together at Shawnee Inn.
If you would like to donate log on to Golfgrandmaandme.com. The tournament will take place October 5th at 1pm.

August 12, 2014

Just a month ago we talked to dismayed business owners when northbound traffic on Route 611 was detoured onto Bartonsville Avenue. Today we talked to the same business owners to see if things are better or worse.
Businesses along Route 611 tell us they're thankful for the great job Penndot is doing. A completely different outlook to what they said at the start of the detour on July 24th. They were worried their busiest month of the year just wouldn't happen. While business has been negatively affected as the structurally deficient bridge over the Pocono Creek is fixed, those at Dale's Cafe, Knights Inn and Giant Floor say it's a whole lot better than what they anticipated. Dale's Cafe Owner Lee Crowell feared the closed lane would cut his business in half and he'd be forced to lay off staff. Luckily that's not the case. The businesses hope PennDOT stays on schedule to be done in October that way they say business will remain as it is and they'll be ok.

August 11, 2014

A Brockton man is killed in a Friday evening crash in Rush Township. Police say 28-year-old Zachary Hess lost control of a Honda motorcycle while driving on Route 54 in Hometown. He crashed into several trees. Officers say he was not wearing a helmet. Witnesses say they saw sparks coming from Hess's motorcycle before he crashed. Police are still investigating that fatal accident.

August 11, 2014

The State Department of Transportation has given drivers the ok to go a little bit faster in parts of Monroe and Lakawanna counties.
Penn Dot workers spent this morning and afternoon taking the old 65mph signs out and putting the new 70 mph signs in, starting at exit 8 of interstate 380.
Originally, Penn Dot planned to start the new speed limit in Mount Pocono, but now it starts in Tobyhanna and goes to I-84.
State Representative, Mario Scavello, asked Penn Dot officials to reconsider that area of Monroe county, because of upcoming Kalahari construction.
Right now Penn Dot officials say they want to see how this goes, then they may look at raising speed limits in other areas.

August 11, 2014

A building established to help those in need is making huge strides in Tobyhanna Township. Today, the former Lake House Restaurant is once again serving food, but now as a pantry called Five Loaf House in Pocono Pines. And church members are hoping it becomes so much more with the community's assistance.
Volunteers are working hard today and will be, again tomorrow distributing food to people in need at the Five Loaf House. Pocono Lake Wesleyan Church purchased the foreclosed Lake House Restaurant a year and a half ago to be a permanent home for the Top of the Mountain Ecumenical Council Food Pantry. We were there when the transformation began and now it's working out perfectly.
Food distributions take place the second Monday and Tuesday of every month. And it's currently helping up to 200 families representing around 530 people. Those qualifying receive a food supplement that makes all the difference. Community members are also able to bring home donated clothes and household items. But the great system in place wouldn't be possible without the great volunteers.
Community support has been wonderful. People are not only donating the clothes but are also helping to donate extra food. But more assistance is needed. The church is currently in the process of raising funds to replace 28 windows and siding on the second floor of the building. The goal is to make it be a homeless resource center where people in need can also stay there. For more information or to donate to the project, just go to their website at fiveloafhouse.org.

August 8, 2014

State Police are on the lookout for two hispanic males in their early to mid thirties, who may be driving a blue and gray, possibly metallic 4 door sedan. Sgt. Joseph Racho from Fern Ridge State Police says, the individuals stopped by two children and asked them if they wanted a ride. Racho says one of the suspects has a widows peak hairline. The mother of one of children has posted a warning message on facebook that has been shared several times. In the post by the concerned mother she also mentions a second incident in Sierra View, involving two men with a similar description, but in a green pick up truck.
If your kids are going to play outside police recommend you always have someone watching them, if not have them make a lot of noise to alert someone if they're approached.
While State Police are investigating the incident at Sierra View they have only been made aware of a suspicious vehicle spotted there. No kids were actually targeted.
Sgt. Racho says, they received a couple calls on the blue and gray vehicle being spotted and he believes those reports were mixed up with the green pickup truck reported.
If you have any further information for police, contact Fern Ridge State Police at (570)646-2271.

August 8, 2014

Today at least 10 local fire companies responded to a fully engulfed summer home on Laurel Drive, also known as Route 902. Luckily no one was staying there at the time. The blaze started around noon at the five acre property that has a pool and what was once an "L" shaped residence. Fire company tanks drew water from nearby Mauch Chunk Lake in the rural area. Fire officials tell us the cause of the blaze remains under investigation.

August 7, 2014

Two cats and nine kittens were found jammed in a tiny carrier this week, behind the Coolbaugh Township Firehouse.
Firefighters found homes for five of them. The rest are being taken care of by Creature Comforts, until they can find homes.
The cats are in pretty good condition, but the smallest one has an eye infection.
Sherri Frisbie from Creature Comforts says, they've also taken in abandoned dogs.
A pit bull and shepard mix were brought in Tuesday, after being found abandoned near Alpine Mountain.
Alpine Mountain owner found another two dogs on his property a few weeks ago. He says shelters were full at the time, but he was able to find them homes.
and there's more...
Three others were found since the weekend.
Two were found near Saylors Lake and the other near the Saylorsburg Haunted House.
The sooner shelter officials can find homes for these animals, the sooner they can help more. If you would like to adopt contact Creature Comforts, located in Saylorsburg or AWSOM in Stroudsburg.

August 7, 2014

The owners of a Stroudsburg business hit by fire a month ago are getting a fresh start. Instead of cakes and cupcakes, the focus is on a different concoction.
While plans to rebuild Kitchen Chemistry on Main Street will hopefully have it up and running again by the holidays. Owner Lisa Diemer has something to be excited about now that was luckily already in the works before the tragedy happened. Pocono Soap- a one-of-a-kind shop that will feature everything local and homemade including body care products, hand-crafted gifts, soap supplies, classes and birthday parties. Pocono Soap is located in Courthouse Square and its grand opening will be tomorrow and Saturday.

August 6, 2014

Today Monroe County Commissioners recognized Pocono Family YMCA's 100th Anniversary and presented a resolution commemorating the organization's community effort. While the official date of the anniversary already passed in July, a community celebration is happening this weekend. The Centennial Fitness Fest is this Saturday from 10am to 5pm at Stroudsburg High School's Stadium. It's for families, kids and adults of all ages. There will be class demonstrations, field day type activities, raffles, games, vendors and food. If you'd like to participate, you can preregister at the YMCA's front desk or just show up and pay at the stadium on Saturday. Adults are $10 and kids are $5.

August 5, 2014

State Police are investigating the death of a baby girl in Schuylkill County. The infant was found in a trash bag around 12:30 this morning. A resident on Winfield Drive in Blythe Township made the discovery and contacted police. 22-year-old Tara Lynne Patanavage of Middleport was taken into custody and charged with endangering the welfare of a child and concealing the death of a child among other charges. Her bail was set at $250,000 and she was sent to the Schuylkill County Prison. An autopsy on the infant is scheduled for tomorrow.

August 5, 2014

Mail is stolen from several drop boxes in Lehigh and Northampton Counties. Lehigh Township Police say they were notified this morning that a mail drop box outside the Cherryville post office on Blue Mountain Drive was one of the boxes targeted. Someone vandalized the box and stole mail overnight. According to the US Postal inspector for the region, mailbox break-ins have also been reported in Northampton, Catasaqua, Coplay, Whitehall and Laury's Station. Police recommend anyone who may have used these drop off locations take proper measures to safeguard any credit or personal information that may have been stolen.

August 4, 2014

Police are asking Weatherly residents to be on the lookout after a man approaches a little girl. Officers say the incident happened yesterday afternoon around 3 on Hudsondale Street. A silver vehicle pulled up alongside a 7-year-old girl who was riding her bike. The man tried to get the girl inside his car. The child said no. As she was riding away the male driver kept yelling and said he would give her a ride home. The child does not know the man and never saw him before. She made it home and ran inside. The man drove off toward Route 93. The suspect is described as a white male around 30 to 40 years old. He was driving a silver car with a white sticker in the rear window. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Weatherly Borough Police Department.

August 4, 2014

Just a month ago and only two blocks away on Main Street in Stroudsburg, a fire broke out inside an apartment building. This time only one business is damaged but authorities say 17 people are out of their homes. Fire officials say the fire started Saturday in a second floor apartment above Pocono Sew and Vac around 9:30 in the morning.
Today Pocono Sew and Vac employees are thankful to be conducting business across the street at what was once Main Street TV and Appliance. They tell us the owners allowed them to set up shop while the fire has left their place damaged by water and smoke.
Pocono Sew and Vac Service Technician Joe Jermaine says, "I can't say that we're going to sell anything today because of insurance purposes, I don't think we can bring anything over. But if you need repairs picked up or if you want to bring in something for repair, we will be happy to do that today."
Residents can't believe this is the second apartment building fire to happen within a couple of weeks. The first was at Kitchen Chemistry. Real Estate Broker Jack Muehlhan says the four responding fire departments did a great job stopping the blaze. He hopes the building is repaired as soon as possible.
Pocono Sew and Vac is keeping a positive outlook too. This is their third location and the third time they've been struck by fire from a neighboring property.
Jermaine says, "The owners tell us and encourage everyone that we're going to get right back on our toes and we'll be better yet."
Pocono Sew and Vac Employees say to check their website and facebook page for how they're going to proceed from here. Fire marshalls tell us the fire doesn't seem suspicious at this time and it remains under investigation.

August 1, 2014

The new Route 903 bridge in Jim Thorpe will be named in honor of a Carbon County soldier killed in Iraq. Sergeant Andrew Baddick died on September 23, 2003 while trying to save a fellow soldier from his submerged military vehicle. Local legislators announced the bridge currently under construction over the Lehigh River will be named for Baddick. He was a graduate of Jim Thorpe Area High School and grew up along the Lehigh River. The new bridge will replace the Jim Thorpe Memorial Bridge which was built in 1953. The $28 million project is scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2017.

August 1, 2014

The Poconos is known for holding festivals celebrating and sharing various cultures with the community. But there's never been one for Latinos, until now. The first-ever Pocono Latin Fest is happening tomorrow at Alpine Mountain Resort and Ski Area from 11am to 7pm. There will be everything from food vendors, to live music, children's activites and there will even be zumba to get people excited about the Latin culture. Admission is free and you're recommended to come out for a fun time with Latin flair. For more information just go to the event's website at www.poconolatinfest.com.

July 31, 2014

A flagger for a tree service company is hit by a vehicle and killed while working in Mahanoy Township this afternoon. The accident happened around 1 o'clock on Morea Road just west of Route 54. State Police say 66-year-old William Hoffman of Pottsville was directing traffic when he was struck by a van. Hoffman died at the scene. 67-year-old Cathy Moss of Barnesville was driving the vehicle. She was not hurt. State Police are still investigating.

July 31, 2014

A Kunkletown man is arrested in Lehighton for a suspected mobile meth lab. According to court documents, someone called police saying 26-year-old Matthew Haydt brought items inside a house that are used to manufacture meth. When police went to the South First Street home, Haydt ran out the back door but was tackled by an officer. The patrolman by an officer. The patrolman says he knew Haydt from a previous overdose this month and also knew Haydt had an outstanding warrant for his arrest. Haydt first denied a cooler and equipment to manufacture the drugs at the home where his. He later told police everything belonged to him, and he was planning to manufacture meth later that night but police arrived prior to him starting the cooking process. He is charged with multiple offenses and was taken to jail.

July 31, 2014

Applications to purchase land for open space are in for Paradise, Chestnuthill and Smithfield Townships.
Chestnuthill is seeking 54 acres, Paradise $175 and Smithfield Township $167 acres.
Monroe County Commissioner, Suzanne McCool says they've preserved over 20,000 acres of land and green space, with the new applications.
So far McCool says, they've probably spent about $90 million, but the money is running out.
Chestnuthill and Paradise received $50,000 grants from the county and Shawnee Valley, located in Smithfield Township approved for $26,000.
Although the county has given the ok for grant funding officials say, it's a possibility the land won't be purchased if the townships don't come up with the remaining funds for purchase.

July 31, 2014

Middle Smithfield Township officials held a public meeting today to take the next step in stopping a carnival along Route 209 from operating. The reason-- They say the property owner and carnival operator didn't have a permit for the amusement event. But the carnival continues to go on as scheduled.
Property Owner John Petrizzo maintains his stance today that more is going on behind the scenes of Middle Smithfield Township officials wanting to shut down a carnival on property he owns.
Petrizzo says, "This action is prejudicial and it's also violating my rights to use my property."
Cease and desist papers have been served alleging there's no carnival permit, but it was open again last night. The township held a public meeting this morning to vote on continuing with a legal injunction.
Supervisor Mike Dwyer says, "Every property owner has to follow the same rules, every business owner has to follow the same rules so we have to do what we have to do."
But Petrizzo says he's being singled out. According to him Bushkill Group got away without having a permit and still is.
Petrizzo says, "This bridge was being used to ferry people across Sand Hill Creek to the carnival site [when it was there in June.]"
There's also a dump site on Fernwood's property that he says the township has known about for six months. The township solicitor said no comment, it involves litigation. Township officials say Petrizzo was only supposed to present information about the motion on the floor-- to which Petrizzo says he has a flea market permit that allows for the carnival parking and vendors on that parking. Zoning Officer and Building Code Official Shawn McGlynn says this is a special event that requires its own permit, and it's something that needs to be officially planned out.
McGlynn, "Where the different rides are, how it can meet the parking requirements, where the bathrooms will be located, all the things that would demonstrate to the township that the fair can be conducted in a safe manner."
While officials say Petrizzo could apply for a permit at any time, it wouldn't fix the problem now. We're told the development of the plan could take over a month. Township supervisors voted to get the court involved to ask the parties to stop the operation until everything can be sorted out.
Dwyer says, "There was a statement made today that the property owner was working with the vendor for over a year and never inquired about a permit so I think that's poor planning by the property owner."
But no matter who is right or wrong, or what decision is made, carnival officials tell us the show plans to go on.
S&S Amusement Owner Stephen Swika Jr. says, "I intend to be open tonight, yes, until they come and arrest me and carry me away."
The township filed their request this afternoon and a judge signed the injunction. A hearing will take place tomorrow in Courtroom 2. The carnival is scheduled to run tonight, but whether it will finish its run will be determined at tomorrow's hearing.

July 30, 2014

Issues continue for a carnival in Monroe County that's been ordered to cease and desist. The property owner hosting the carnival on Route 209 is also the longest standing business owner in Middle Smithfield Township. He claims the township is corrupt and unfriendly to business. This statement comes after he and the carnival operator were both served cease and desist orders before the carnival got underway last night.
Business Owner John Petrizzo says there's a bigger issue behind Middle Smithfield Township officials wanting to shut down a carnival on property he owns. Petrizzo was served papers yesterday alleging he doesn't have a permit and should stop the operation right away. The carnival went on as scheduled last night and Petrizzo says it will continue through its scheduled August 2nd date, because Petrizzo insists his paperwork is in order.
Petrizzo says, "I have a flea market permit and I have spaces for over 100 vendors, and that's what's on the property now--vendors."
The township zoning officer was unavailable for comment today. While Supervisor Annette Atkinson won't speak on his behalf, she offers the township code goes against Petrizzo's reasoning. And the township needs to address complaints made by others following the rules.
Atkinson says, "Different uses need different kinds of permits so if I was a bookstore, I can't suddenly serve eggs, you know that would make me a restaurant."
Petrizzo feels attacked by the township because they helped find a location for the carnival.
Petrizzo says, "When contacted by S&S Amusement, they showed every piece of property except mine."
Atkinson says private property wasn't shown and they focused on safe areas. Petrizzo maintains in the last 20 years he's received all kinds of township violations. He claims none of them have been valid. If the carnival is shutdown, Petrizzo says an added tourist attraction is lost and businesses in the area lose that added revenue. He's seen it happen in the past.
Petrizzo says, "Poor leadership like this results in 50 businesses being closed from East Stroudsburg to Marshalls Creek."
But township officials say that's simply not the case.
Atkinson says, "Someone who's unhappy because they didn't get what they want, it's not unusual to hear them complain or say things of that nature. But I would just point to the Economic Development Committee and other businesses that are saying the exact opposite."
Tomorrow morning at eight a public meeting is scheduled for township officials to consider continuing with a legal injunction-- meaning the court will then ask the parties to stop what they're doing until everything can be sorted out.

July 30, 2014

Monroe County unemployment numbers are in for June, showing a decrease. According to reports released by the state Department of Labor and Industry, the unemployment rate is currently at 6.9%. In June of last year, officials say it was almost 10.
Officials say about 1200 jobs were added in June and the job market is growing the most in manufacturing and tourism.
Careerlink has had nearly 300 new job postings since last Monday.

July 29, 2014

One person is flown to the hospital and three others hurt in a 2-car crash this morning in Northampton County. The accident happened just after 9 am on Route 145 in Lehigh Township. Witnesses tell police 51-year-old David Wanamaker of Slatington was trying to turn left from Route 145 onto Washington Drive when his Chevy Impala collided with the other car. Wanamaker and his passenger, 25-year-old Andrew Warner of Kunkletown, were both taken to the hospital. The driver of the other vehicle, 78-year-old Leroy Goldberg of Lehighton, was flown to the hospital. His passenger, 74-year-old Audrey Goldberg, was also hurt and taken to the hospital by ambulance. Lehigh Township Police are investigating.

July 29, 2014

46-year-old Todd Kowar was indicted today by a federal grand jury on charges of producing and possessing child pornography. The grand jury alleges Kowar persuaded and induced a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing images of such conduct. The indictment alleges that Kowar committed the crimes between 2008 and December 2012. He faces a maximum sentence of 40-years in jail if convicted of both charges.

July 29, 2014

A new study from the United Kingdom shows that our traditional handshake may not be the safest way to greet someone. According to the findings from the team at Aberystwyth University, shaking hands spreads 10 times as many bacteria as a high-five and 20 times as much as a 'fist bump.' However, most doctors believe most of the germs that are transmitted aren't harmful to humans. A good regiment of hand-washing should keep you clean and safe.

July 28, 2014

A community is in shock today over the loss of a popular eatery in Monroe County's West End. Fire destroyed the Luna Rossa restaurant and bar on Route 209 in Gilbert early yesterday. Today, vehicle after vehicle pulls up along the side of the road stunned by what's left of the Luna Rossa Cafe, which has gone by several names over the decades. Some people try to get a closer look, while others take pictures of what they call a landmark in the area.
Firefighters arrived on scene Sunday morning around five, about two hours after it closed to put out the blaze.
The Cafe's Head Chef Michael Thornton is emotional as he came back today for another look. He tells us he's been an employee for six years and it's a depressing day as realization sets in. Thornton says this was home for over 24 employees and patrons were treated like family. Now everyone is out of a job.
Thornton says Sunday seemed like a nightmare, but he's thankful for firefighters effort and that no one was hurt. Residents tell us it's going to be greatly missed and they just hope it comes back.
The property has been listed for sale for the past year. The owner wasn't available for comment today, but Thornton speaks on his behalf and says he plans to rebuild as soon as possible.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

July 28, 2014

People in Slatington, Lehigh County, are celebrating an anniversary by dancing in the street. They're going to be part of a "flash mob" to perform during the town's 150th Anniversary Celebration. A flash mob is when a group of people gathers at a public place and performs a random act, like dancing. The owner of Rhythm & Sole Dance Center on Main Street came up with the idea. There's one more practice scheduled tomorrow night at the dance studio. If you can't make it, you can still be part of the flash mob. Check out the tutorial on the studio's Facebook page. Then show up by the fireman's statue at 4PM on Saturday August, 16th.

July 25, 2014

The beach at Beltzville State Park in Carbon County re-opens to swimming after another closure. They found safe bacterial counts in water samples taken on July 23rd. The beach has been closed since July 16th.

July 25, 2014

A Wind Gap man is thrown from a bucket truck after an accident this morning in Lehigh Township. Police say 55-year-old Charles Austin was trimming a tree at a home in the 700 block of Walnut Drive. Around 10:30 am, the bucket truck he was using either rolled or slid down a grass hill where he was working and slammed into a tree. He was flown to the hospital for treatment.

July 25, 2014

PennDOT recently announced it's raising the speed limit on part of the Interstate 380 to seventy miles per hour. But most of the members of Monroe County's Safe 80 Task Force spoke out today that they are not on board.
The five mile per hour increase on 21 miles of 380 is from the Interstate 84 junction in Lackawanna County south to the Mount Pocono exit.
Members of the Safe 80 Task Force don't see the point and they don't understand why that particular corridor was chosen with so many other conflicting issues that can easily make it unsafe for drivers like deer and bear impacts that are huge in that area, fog, wintertime, ice and it's up on a plateau. Chairman Jim Becker says it's going to take away a person's ability to avoid an accidents.
PennDOT Officials say they're also sensitive to those issues and they will be a focus after the speed limit signs are installed the week of August 11th.
PennDOT District 5 Traffic and Operations Engineer Dennis Toomey says, "This is a pilot and there will be studies done."
State Representative Mario Scavello is also worried about the traffic that will result from the new Kalahari Resort. PennDOT Officials say it is already accounted for but Scavello says there's a meeting next week that could change plans to increase the speed limit.

July 25, 2014

Students from Pocono Mountain and East Stroudsburg School Districts are taking the stage with broadway stars tomorrow night to present the production, "Come To The Cabaret: A Celebration Of Kander And Ebb. Students spent this morning and afternoon rehearsing for the last time, before their debut.
This Come to The Cabaret performance happens tomorrow night at Pocono Mountain East High School. Sunday morning there'll be a jazz brunch and Sunday night a shuffle concert will be held. To buy tickets or to check out the schedule, log on to their website at BuckHillFest.org. The festival runs from Saturday to August 10th.

July 24, 2014

Mauch Chunk Lake is in need of more lifeguards. The public isn't in danger, but officials say staffing all shifts is a challenge. The park usually staffs ten lifeguards. This year they're manning shifts with only six. Carbon County Commissioners are already thinking of how they can avoid a shortage next year and are considering raising the hourly rate. Despite the lifeguard shortage, park officials tell us they expect to have a successful year.

July 24, 2014

Businesses along Route 611 say the detouring today of northbound traffic onto Bartonsville Avenue got off to a rocky start. While it's something they've been expecting for a long time as part of the project to repair the structurally deficient bridge over the Pocono Creek-- the official start today isn't reassuring their concerns with how the construction is going to go.
All the businesses are worried how they'll be affected with just southbound traffic continuing to use Route 611. And business owners say this construction is going hurt way more now that it's happening during their busiest month of the year. They tell us it was supposed to start in April. Press Officer Sean Brown for PennDOT says, "All schedules were subject to change and based on what the weather was. We had a rough winter and this was when the construction was able to go into the detour pattern."
PennDOT officials say the project is right on schedule to be done in October and they're doing everything they can to help the situation. The detour will be 24/7 but work is only contracted to be done during the day.

July 23, 2014

A Tamaqua man is cited after police say he hit a bicyclist with his pick-up truck this afternoon in East Brunswick Township. According to police, 44-year-old Harry Zaprazny of New Ringgold was riding his bike on Route 895 when he was struck from behind by a pick-up truck heading in the same direction. Zaprazny was thrown into the grass. He suffered a cut but refused medical transport to the hospital. Troopers say 25-year-old Michael Kemmerer is being cited for hitting the bicyclist.

July 23, 2014

The Carbon County Firemen's Association Drill Tower is now a thing of the past. The long standing tower was demolished yesterday. Crews spent the day cleaning up the rubble.
Workers first punched out blocks from the bottom sections of the four-story tower. Next, they hooked about 60-feet of chain around the structure and yanked it with an excavator. Officials closed the doors to the drill tower after an inspection in November deemed it unsafe.

July 23, 2014

The brand new Northampton Community College on Route 715 in Tannersville opened its doors today to its first freshman class. Registration and orientation is in full-swing at the 72 million dollar Monroe Campus. Students enrolling for the fall semester are thrilled seeing their new home today for the first time. The fall semester officially starts August 25th and anyone can register up until then.

July 23, 2014

A group of teenagers from the Monroe County Conservation Camp are spending a little time with mother nature this week.
Today they had a few laughs, food, a little fun on the river and hiking.
"If we can expose them to as many different things as possible they can make better decisions both presently and in the future...Some of them have gone on to be environmental engineers and work for state agencies in the environment.
Teens are only allowed to attend the camp once, but many come back as camp counselors. This year's camp ends Saturday. If you're interested in participating next year you can sign up starting in January on their website.

July 22, 2014

Shafers Schoolhouse Rd. at the underpass of I-80 has been closed for a few weeks now, but some drivers are growing more and more frustrated with the detours.
Some decided to reopen the road themselves to make life easier, which officials say is against the law.
Barricades are back up and officials are hoping these will keep them drivers out. The road is expected to reopen before school starts.

July 22, 2014

Monroe County now has a Latino Countywide Services Partnership. It's in response to better serve the growing Latino community in the Poconos. The Federation of Latinos for Education about the Cultures of Hispanic America or "FLECHA" has secured funding from Monroe County's Grant Office and support from Catholic Social Services to reliably serve the hispanic population.
Now Spainish-speaking people and their families can come to one location at Penn Square Office Park in Stroudsburg to get all the information and referrals they need. The over $27,000 grant provides a part-time bilingual case worker to help hispanics comfortably address any issues they may have with available resources.
For more information or to make an appointment just call 570-517-0892 Monday through Friday.

July 22, 2014

Slatington Police are investigating what appears to be a robbery at a laundromat in town. Sunday evening police were called to the business for a reported stabbing and robbery. They found a woman bleeding from the head. Further investigation shows the woman was not stabbed, but may have hit her head. The victim was treated at the hospital. Police believe she's already been released. Officers are now treating the case as a robbery and are following leads at this time.

July 22, 2014

A Jim Thorpe man faces multiple charges after fleeing from police on an ATV last week in the borough. State Police say they were helping Jim Thorpe Officers with an aggressive driver detail on Wednesday when they spotted 34-year-old Derrick Feller riding an ATV down Center Street. Troopers had to perform an "induced stop" on Reservoir Road to keep Feller from fleeing further. When he was told to get off the vehicle, he allegedly put the ATV into reverse to flee again. Feller was then tasered but still resisted arrest. Once he was taken into custody, officers found a concealed loaded pistol, a small amount of marijuana and drug paraphernalia on Feller. He's been charged with numerous offenses.

July 21, 2014

Residents of Price Township Community have been using an access road to Alpine Mountain Ski Resort as a short cut to Route 447 for years.
Now there's a new owner of the ski area and that access road has been blocked off.
Residents at Timber Hill Community want the road back open.
The owner plans to meet with the Timber Hill Community Association Friday. He's hoping they can reach a solution.

July 21, 2014

It's about the irritating traffic backup that happens at the intersection at 715 and Sullivan Trail near The Crossings Outlets in Tannersville. A right turn signal is now in place to Kim Markou's delight. Back in March we reported the Pocono Township Resident created a handmade sign and posted it telling people they could turn right on red. Markou was fed up with people not abiding by the Pennsylvania law and the traffic backup that ensued because of it. She requested official signage be posted reminding people they can turn right on red, but this new signal provides more than just a quick fix.
District Five Press Officer Ron Young of PennDOT says,"Do that movement in a protected set-up, meaning all the other traffic movements that would conflict with what they're doing will be stopped, while they have they right turn arrow."
At the intersection today we witnessed a constant flow of traffic. PennDOT offficials tell us the traffic signal modification is a result of the new Monroe Northampton Community College Campus. The campus needed access to the state road so they got a permit throught PennDOT. Young says, "As part of that, they have to regulate any traffic that they generate, regulate the community impact that traffic generates on the roadway system."
People we talked to today agree with Markou that they couldn't be happier.

July 18, 2014

A representative from the Monroe County Conservation Districrt is taking heat for a comment he made involving the Kalahari Resort, currently under construction.
Back in January, the Conservation District Manager, Craig Todd said that Kalahari had their pants down, which has caused all the fuss. He was talking about two pollution violations.
"What that meant was they had a lot of ground exposed, but didn't have their controls in to prohibit sediment pollution from the swiftwater creek," said Todd.
Now board members are working on a new policy that will change how information is released to the public.
What the conservation board will decide for the new policy in unknown. As for Kalahari, Todd says violations have been corrected.

July 18, 2014

A forest pest known as the Gypsy Moth may be coming back in full force next year. People are seeing them in their yards now and are concered. And they shouldn't be ignored because they can cause a great deal of damage to your entire property, including losing trees completely as time goes by. Right now, they're making their egg masses that are going to be hatching in the Spring. The caterpillars that come out are going to eat the trees. Co-Owner of Pocono Tick and Skeeter Control Jacqui Hakim says a full-size Gypsy Moth Caterpillar can eat one-square-foot of leaf surface a day.
While PA DCNR District Forester Tim Dugan confirms many have died off from a natural bacteria and fungus, the few dry spells we've experienced allowed a portion of the population to live. Dugan says the Bureau of Forestry is monitoring it right now and they've noticed next year Gypsy Moths may be a huge problem.
Dugan says, "The indications are that we may have a spray program next year if the budget and funds are available."
Hakim says there's nothing to do now except to look around your yard for the brown splotches of eggs on trees to know whether or not you'll have a problem in the spring. If you see a lot, Hakim recommends to get in contact with a sprayer. She says the state has a list available. Just call 570-875-6450.

July 17, 2014

Dein Properties Officials can't wait to transform the biggest eyesore on Main Street in Stroudsburg into a brand new five-story brick building that will fit-in with the rest of the downtown area. General Manager George Strunk says the first floor will be upscale retail and the second through fifth will be office space and residential apartments. Strunk says the company bought the former Carlton House on Eighth and Main Streets about two years ago with that goal in mind. The property has been condemned since a 2009 fire.
Demolition is expected to start within the next few weeks. Strunk says parts of Eighth Street will be closed from time to time, but doesn't expect Main Street to be affected.

July 17, 2014

Penn Dot will be closing parts of woodale rd. next week to fix one of the many bridges in need of repair.
Penn Dot Maintenance Manager, Bob Mudrick says they have to fix the beams, pour concrete, rebar and put a new deck on it. The open grate bridge currently has weight restrictions.
Mudrick says, there are other bridges they hope to finish by this summer as well.
One on Silver Springs Blvd on the west end and Traffic Route 715 from tannersville to 115.
In order to fix those roads, Mudrick says they have to get into the creek. During the summer he says the creeks are much lowe, but the weather hasn't been cooperating this year. They can't begin until the water goes down.
Construction on the Woodale Rd. Bridge will begin Monday. They're hoping to have it done before school starts.

July 16, 2014

The building of Resica Community Playground in Monroe County is halted due to a lack of funding. Last month volunteers tore down the playground behind Resica Elementary School in Middle Smithfield Township because it was considered unsafe. A newer and safer one was supposed to be built in its place last week, but Volunteer Karen Conway says a counted on $30,000 donation didn't come through from East Stroudsburg School District. That's because the project on school grounds actually needed to be put out to bid under the Pennsylvania School Code.
Volunteers have already raised most of the $130,000 the project needs through grants, fundraisers and the community. They just need your help for the rest. If you would like to donate, there's a Go Fund Me webpage set up for Resica Community Playground and for more information on upcoming fundraisers or how to get involved, just call Conway at 570-807-0602. The playground is expected to be built late August and more volunteers are needed.

July 15, 2014

The Valor Veteran's Clinic is bringing the Jonas hotel back to life. The structure has been vacant for years, but organizers plan to put it to good use,housing at least 13 veterans.
It needs quite a bit of work, but with a few helping hands, organizers says it's nothing they can't handle.
Volunteers will be cleaning up for the rest of the week from 9 in the mornign to 6 in the evening.
They're looking for carpenters, masons and anyone to donate cement or gravel. Contact the Valor clinic if you would like to help.

July 15, 2014

The first case of West Nile Virus is discovered in Monroe County. Vector Control Officials say a mosquito sample from Middle Smithfield Township recently tested positive.
Coordinator Michael Pula says, "We had our first positive mosquito pull come in. It was reported yesterday at 7:14. It was collected at the Winona Lakes Sewage Treatment Plant in Middle Smithfield Township."
So far there are no human cases of West Nile in Pennsylvania this year. Vector Control Officials say the mosquito population isn't as bad this year. But with all the recent excessive rainfall, there's a greater risk for more. Vector Control takes a proactive approach and tries to treat breeding areas before the mosquito larva become adults. And you can help by ridding your property of collected rainfall. Mosquitos breed in standing water.

July 15, 2014

After being in the works for five years, Lehighton State Police have a new home. Dozens turned out today for the grand opening ceremony of the new Lehighton Barraks on Interchange Road in Towamensing Township. Among those present were State Senator John Yudichak and State Representative Doyle Heffley. PA State Police Commissioner, Frank Noonan, thanked troopers for keeping the community safe. The new facility has twice the room as the old one and features a state of the art computer system.

July 15, 2014

The Historic Century old Pond Eddy Bridge is up for grabs to the highest bidder. Penn Dot needs to replace the current bridge for safety reasons, and will offer potential buyers the opportunity to bid on the bridge and preserve it at a new location. Penn Dot says they will move the bridge at no cost, but its the buyers job to maintain it. Anyone interested in purchasing the historic landmark needs to submit a bid to Penn Dot by September 5, 2014.

July 14, 2014

Last night's storm left quite a bit of damage in parts of Stroudsburg.
Many trees came down, landing on roadways, vehicles and even powerlines.
A number of roads were closed, south of Stroudsburg.
The American Red Cross is usually giving help, but today local contractors offered a helping hand, after a tree fell on one of their disaster trailers.
Most of the damage has been cleaned up and roadways are back open. Officials say they're prepared for more possible storm damage tonight or tomorrow.

July 14, 2014

An apparent murder-suicide in Banks Township is bringing to light a serious problem in our community, domestic violence. Paula Triano is the Executive Director for the Domestic Violence Service Center in Wilkes-Barre. The center offers help to victims in Luzerne and Carbon counties. She says there are many reasons why victims don't leave an abusive situation. Such as, to protect children involved or lack of money, but she reminds victims there's help. If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic abuse call the hotline 1-800-424-5600. You can make an anonymous call and callers are never forced to take a plan of action.

July 11, 2014

The State Attorney General's Office is cracking down on heroin users.
A recent investigation led to the arrest of two people in East Stroudsburg, distributing several packets of heroin.
Officials from the Attorney General's Office say Pennsylavania has the third highest number of heroin users, behind California and Illinois, with an average of 40,000 users.
To fight this epidemic she says they're actively collaborating with county, state, federal and local law enforcement partners.

July 11, 2014

Swimming is allowed just in time for the weekend at Beltzville State Park in Carbon County. The beach at the lake was closed on Wednesday after tests showed high bacteria counts in the water. This afternoon state officials say it's back open. Water samples from July 10th came back with acceptable bacterial counts.

July 11, 2014

Harmony is restored at a popular concert venue in Carbon County. Noise complaints against the Mauch Chunk Opera House are costing the concert venue thousands of dollars in fines. Opera house officials and neighbors of the venue say they have reached an agreement in a closed door meeting this week. The owners will continue to soundproof the concert venue and neighbors say they will refrain from calling the Bureau of Liquor Enforcement at this time. Both parties plan to meet again in the near future.

July 11, 2014

Debra Elmire never imagined her littlle request would turn into a big 19 year project.
"One day I was sitting looking out my back window and I said, "Honey, wouldn't a little stone wall look very nice over there?"
Stone upon stone has been stacked into the now 1,000 foot wall that stretches around the Elmire's two acre property in Reeders. Love, memories and a lot of local history has gone into building the wall. There's even a time capsule hidden inside the wall. Builder Howard Elmire says there's only a day's work left with about five feet left to cover with stones. The Elmire family just hopes other people will get to enjoy the wall someday as much as they have, and their memories will live on.

July 10, 2014

A Schuykill County couple is counting their blessings after fire rips through two storage sheds on their property. The fire happened last night on a property on Rabbit Run Rd in West Penn Township. One of the homeowners reported hearing a loud blast, like an explosion, around 9:30PM. He believes lightning started the blaze that leveled two storage sheds just yards away from his home. Firefighters managed to get the blaze under control quickly. No reported injuries in that West Penn Township Blaze.

July 10, 2014

A chain reaction crash in the Carbon Plaza Mall parking lot leaves five cars damaged. Mahoning Township Police say 93-year-old Angela Ouly of Nesquehoning driving a red neon, made an illegal left turn into the mall parking lot. She then traveled at an excessive speed through the parking lot and hit a shopping cart pushed by a pregnant woman who fell out of the way. The Neon then struck two unoccupied parked cars. One of those cars then hit another car with two people inside. The shopping cart ran into a fifth vehicle. The pregnant woman was taken to the hospital. No one else was injured. Police say Ouly will be cited for careless driving among other charges.

July 10, 2014

Resident 63-year-old Darlene Bancey of Lakewood Personal Care Home was discovered this morning around 5:40 submerged in the facility's lake. Coroner Bob Allen says about 40 feet from the shoreline. Northeast PA Search and Rescue were called to assist in locating her at 10:51 Wedneday night after the facility on Cherry Lane Road in Stroud Township reported Bancey missing. The 15 member crew, along with dogs found her after an overnight search. Allen pronounced her dead at the scene. Bancey has been a resident of the personal care home for the past year. It's not a locked facility and residents are allowed to come and go as they please. Officials say Bancey was on prescribed medications for her medical and psychiatric conditions before she left. The facility is licensed by the PA Department of Welfare to provide personal care. Our calls to the bureau went unanswered. A forensic autpsy is scheduled for tomorrow at Lehigh Valley Hospital to determine the exact cause of death.

July 10, 2014

Drivers will be taking detours around Shafers Schoolhouse Rd. for the next six weeks at the underpass of I-80.
The area has been closed off for a week already and some motorists say the closure is an inconvinence.
Sean Brown from Penn Dot says they found movement in one of the wing walls, used to stabilize the bridge. He's worried the wing wall could collapse onto the roadway.
Traffic over the interstate bridge has not been affected. Brown says the bridge is stable and there's no risk of it collapsing.
Brown says it should take about 6 weeks for steel to arrive for them to make the repairs.


July 9, 2014

Four East Stroudsburg University Officials were soaked in ice water today for a social media challenge, growing popular around the nation in colleges and universities.
Northhampton Community College President, Mark Erickson, challenged ESU president, Marcia Welsh to participate in "chillin for charity', a cold water challenge that raises money for cancer research through the Kay Yow Foundation.
Once the videos are recorded the challenger has to post it on youtube within 48 hours. Welsh recruited three others to be soaked in ice water with her.
If the person challenged doesn't get water dumped on them within 48 hours Welsh says, they're required to donate at least $200. If they do, like ESU Officials they donate $50.

July 9, 2014

A rescue dog inspires a family to start a new business in Carbon County. It's called "Stray Dog Candles & Stuff." The Hill family, of Lehighton, recently adopted "Butchie" from a shelter. Just like they gave him a new home, they're giving old wine bottles and corks new life. The corks are turned into decorations and old wine bottles are upcycled and filled with soy candles. The candles feature their original labels, but sometimes the Hills encounter bottles with unsalvageable labels. In that case, they use one of their own "Recue Dog" labels. A portion of the proceeds from sales of those products will benefit our local animal shelters.

July 9, 2014

Pocono Mountain Regional Police Chief Harry Lewis now knows the department will be in good hands. Lewis is set to retire August 8th after 21 years of service, 6 years as chief.
Last night the Police Commission majority appointed Lieutenant Christopher Wagner as interm chief until a permanent one is selected.

July 8, 2014

Noise complaints are costing a well-know concert venue thousands of dollars in fines. Owners of the Mauch Chunk Opera House recently purchased a liquor license. Since then, they've been subjected to the state's noise ordinance, which says a business can be cited if noise is heard off the property. State Representative Doyle Heffley visited the opera house today. He'd like to propose legislation to exempt historic districts from the noise regulation under the Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement. Owners tell us they're trying to comply and have spent over $20,000 on sound proofing the building.

July 8, 2014

Ross Township residents living on Owl Hollow Drive want to know what's planned. Recently they've noticed construction taking place on their road but weren't informed. They tried calling the township but couldn't get a striaght answer. That's why they showed up to the township meeting last night. The supervisors say they just want to pave the road like they're supposed to. But the shoulders being pushed back matter to the residents. We stopped by Lori Smith's house today and she showed us pictures of what previous paving did to her property in 1994. You can see more dug out on her side in the pictures and she's not the only one wanting it to change this time around. Smith says moving the center line back to where it's supposed to be would help fix the problem. Residents also just want it done right. They say there's already a drainage problem and the township isn't addressing it with the repaving. Ross Township Officials tell us they have agreed to have an engineer look at the situation. And they will be paving the road, but no wider than the 20 feet that it is, with the average two feet shoulder on each side.

July 8, 2014

Stroud Area Regional Police Officer, Ruben Torres passed away yesterday morning, after a 3 month battle with cancer.
Fellow officers, family and people in the community celebrated his life at Big Daddy's in Bartonsville from 11am-9pm.
A number of items donated from local business were raffled off to raise money and give thanks to the community for all of theh support.
50% of today's proceeds will go to the family.

July 8, 2014

Construction on Interstate 84 started only a few months ago, but the number of traffic tickets that have been handed out may shock you. Penn Dot say over one-thousand tickets have been issued to drivers during that short span. Penn Dot says the construction on 84 will be ongoing for years, and don't expect the entire rebuild to be completed until August 2016. They are urge drivers to please remain patient and slow down while driving in the construction zones.

July 7, 2014

Officials say a woman was reportedly bitten by a venomous snake at the Glen Onoko falls in Jim Thorpe over the weekend. The call came in just after eight, Saturday evening. It took crews about two hours to rescue the woman from the top of the falls. She was taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital. No word on her name or condition at this time.

July 7, 2014

A weekend fire at a building on Main Street in Stroudsburg leaves 21 people homeless and closes three businesses. Fire officials tell us the fire started around 2:30 Sunday morning and have determined the flames originated from business Kitchen Chemistry's stand alone air conditioning unit.

July 7, 2014

Swiftwater State Police are on the lookout for copper thieves.
Officials say, Alpine Mountain Ski Resort has been targeted at least five times over the last three weeks.
Kevin Fabiano purchased the ski resort earlier this year, after being on the market for about two years.
Fabiano says they're currently renovating to bring the resort back to life. Now they have to fix what's vandalized on top of that.
Fabiano says about a miles worth of copper wiring has been stolen and there's about $100,000 worth of property damage, including wiring to operate lifts and snow making equipment.
The perpetrators even hot wired a backhoe to remove a PPL transformer on the property. Then they used a torch to cut out a hole looking for more wire.

July 7, 2014

State Police are looking for a Tamaqua man they say tried to get money for stolen goods. One June 26th, Troopers say 26-year-old Nathan Fritz brought stolen property to J.W. Zaprazny Inc., in East Brunswick Township, to be recycled for cash. The metal that Fritz had was allegedly stolen drainage grates from roadways in East Brunswick and Walker Townships. Criminal charges have been filed, and an arrest warrant has been issued for Fritz. Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to contact State Police at Frackville.

July 7, 2014

Emergency teams responded to a potential drowning at Beltzville Lake on Saturday night. An un-named woman was pulled from the lake's designated swimming area and given CPR by medical officials.
She was then rushed to Blue Mountain Health System's Gnaden Hutten campus for further treatment. Much information is still unknown at the time.

July 7, 2014

Police say a Mahoning Township man may have been driving under the influence when he crashed his car yesterday seriously injuring a passenger. The accident happened around 5:30 am on Orioles Drive. Mahoning Township Police say Pasquale Verrastro Junior was speeding when his car went off the road and hit a tree. A Louisiana man was in the passenger seat and was trapped in the wreckage with major injuries. Lehighton Fire Fighters worked for about an hour to free the man. He was then flown to the hospital. Police say charges against Verrastro are pending the results of a blood test.

July 7, 2014

A Schuylkill County man's body is found inside a burning home Sunday. Officials say there were no working smoke detectors in the victim's house. Fire fighters were called to a working structure fire with possible entrapment around 2:45 yesterday morning. When they got to the scene in Cass Township, heavy flames were coming from the home at 33 South Maple Avenue. Rescue crews were unable to get to 65-year-old Richard Dermo. His cause of death is still being investigated at this time. A next door neighbor was able to escape. The home at 35 South Maple Avenue sustained heavy smoke and water damage.

July 2, 2014

A Palmerton man has died from injuries he sustained in a car crash several weeks ago in North Whitehall Township. The Lehigh County Coroner says 76-year-old Joseph Ebeley was pronounced dead early this morning at Lehigh Valley Hospital. Ebeley was a passenger in a car that crashed on June 12th on Route 145. His death has been ruled an accident.

July 2, 2014

The beach at Beltzville State Park is closed again. State officials say tests from June 30th showed high bacteria counts in the water. The swim area was closed this morning. As a precaution, the beach will remain closed until acceptable water samples come back. Other activities at the park are continuing as normal including boating and fishing.

July 2, 2014

Stroud Area Regional Police are looking for 21-year-old Stroudsburg Resident Aaron Hernandez. They believe he stabbed an 18-year-old in the lower right abdomen, which caused a laceration to the victim's liver last night just before six outside Stroud Mall's Food Court. Captain Brian Kimmins says the incident between the two men started inside verbally over a female and escalated outside. The suspect is described as 5'8, 150 pounds with brown eyes and black hair.
Kimmins says mall security was first on the scene and were great. He wants people to be alert these things can happen anywhere at any time.
Hernandez is facing aggravated assault and other charges. Stroud Area Regional Police are asking you to contact them with any information on Hernandez's whereabouts.

July 1, 2014

Neighbors on Flyte Road in Ross Township can't believe a property they called a dump is finally completely cleaned-up.
It was formerly owned by Rockne Newell who is currently in jail. Police say Newell opened fire at a Ross Township Supervisor meeting last August, killing three people and injuring others. The shooting occurred a few days after Newell's condemned property was bought at a sheriff sale by the township. Newell fought the township for several years over cleaning it up.
Ross Township officials estimate the clean up took about 10 days and surrounding neighbors are impressed. They say it's like Newell was never there. His two buildings and a culvert pipe bridge have also been demolished.
Township Supervisor Howard Beers Jr. says they voted to hire Papillion Contracting in Stroudsburg for the project and it cost the township $11,500. Beers says it's free of garbage and says the township will strive to keep it that way from now on. He says the property will simply remain open space in the future. And there will be consequences for anyone caught dumping there like any other property.

July 1, 2014

If you're headed to the Lehigh Valley Friday night to watch Dorney Park's fireworks display, police warn you to watch where you park. State Police say motorists often park on the on and off ramps of Interstate 78. And in some cases spectators set up chairs outside of their vehicles. Trooper say this is not only illegal, it's unsafe. State Police will be patrolling the area Friday night to keep the area clear. State Police remind motorists it is unlawful to stand - or stop a vehicle on a limited access highway and motorists will be cited.

July 1, 2014

A missing Carbon County girl is found unharmed. A search was called this morning for a 10 year-old girl with special needs, from Summit Hill. Authorities tell us the girl is a foster child recently placed with a summit hill family. According to officials, the girl had an argument with her foster parents and took off just before eleven. Police were notified and a search began immediately. the young girl was found about three hours later unharmed. A couple who had seen the girl's picture on a Facebook alert spotted her leaning against a car in town.

June 30, 2014

The family of 20-year-old Defendant Dylan Frantz never expected him to shoot one of his good friends earlier this month. But they understand why it happened.
Defendant's Sister Tia Henneborn says, "If it was just him, then he would've just taken it. But being that there were females there, he would've done anything to make sure they were ok. Because that's how my brother is."
The shooting happened after police say Frantz stole cocaine and guns from 22-year-old Albert Guzman. Guzman went looking for him and set up a meeting at a gas station on Route 209 through a third party. Frantz was in a vehicle with two friends when Guzman immediately started assaulting him and took control-- driving to his grandfather's house against their will. Police say Guzman threatened to kill all three of the occupants, especially Frantz. Once there, the assault on Frantz escalated until Frantz admitted the stolen items were stashed at the home of the two women inside the car. Upon arrival at Sycamore Drive in Eldred Township, the two women exited the vehicle and Frantz shot Guzman with a .45 caliber gun in the upper torso. Guzman underwent emergency surgery and is recovering.
Henneborn says there's a lot of drugs and gang related activity in Effort. Both boys are good people. They just got caught up in the wrong crowd. The family hopes this is the turn-around they've been waiting for.
Henneborn says, "To get him out of the environment he was in and away from all the people. But I don't think he should stay in jail. He needs to go to rehab."
Frantz's prelim was continued today after Guzman didn't show up. There is now a warrant out for Guzman's arrest. He also is facing charges involving this incident such as kidnapping. Frantz's next hearing is scheduled for July 7th.

June 30, 2014

A bridge near the Lehigh Valley Zoo is now re-open to traffic. The Schlicher's Bridge on Game Preserve Road was closed in 2009 when officials deemed the span unsafe. A project began in July 2013 to rehabilitate the historic covered bridge in North Whitehall Township. The work included replacing the wooden structure with a combination steel and wood structure. The original bridge was built in 1882. The bridge serves as a main access to the Lehigh Valley Zoo. Officials there are planning a ribbon cutting in July to celebrate.

June 30, 2014

1.9 million dollars has been set aside to repair Bushkill Falls Road. Penn Dot is replacing all the rusted galvanized piping with new plastic piping, along with re-paving the entire stretch of road. Starting tomorrow, the road will be completely shutdown, while Penn Dot digs up the ground to install the new piping. Officials from Penn Dot expect this to be only temporary, and hope to have the road reopened by early next week. Penn Dot says the entire project should be completed by August, right before the school year begins.

June 27, 2014

Bees trying to take over a church in Palmerton are buzzed out. But they weren't swatted or sprayed. The 15 to 20 thousand bees are saved.
Holy Trinity Lutheran Church isn't just buzzing about God's word this week. A colony of bees decided to make their new home at the church. While many were discovered Monday on the floor dead, many more could be heard inside the wall. Instead of getting rid of them, fearing the sting, the church called in a bee keeper to take them to a safe location.
Honey Bees are one of God's creatures after all. But more importantly right now, they're scarce. And that's a serious threat to our food supply. Just a few days ago, President Obama sent out a Memorandum calling for a strategy to promote the health of honey bees and other pollinators.
While most of the bees have been removed, a few are still lingering. Bee Keeper Chris Maxwell is working to help get them out, but says they'll 'bee around' for two to three more days.
So the church is taking precautions-- Saturday's breakfast is now taking place in the Parrish Hall and Sunday's service will be outside. But church members do see bees in a new light. Council Member Eric Reif says, "Not to be afraid, run away or swat them or anything. They're really not there to sting you."
When faced with bees on your property, many people may want to turn to spray to kill the bees. But Maxwell points out the honey and comb left behind will attract other insects and rodents, and you'd have a whole new problem. So it's best to call an expert.

June 26, 2014

This morning emergency management officials received a report of a tractor trailer leaking an unknown substance westbound on I-80 in Tannersville.
A hazmat crew responded to the scene. Parts of I-80 and Rt. 33 were blocked off, causing major traffic backups throughout the area.
Emergency responders are in the process of cleaning up, making sure it's safe before those roads are reopened.
Northhampton Community College was evacuated and all classes were cancelled for the rest of the day.
One officer was injured and taken to the hospital.

June 26, 2014

The annual Carbon County Fair is about six weeks away. Organizers are looking for their queen! There are still a few days left for young ladies to enter this year's program. It's open to girls ages 16 to 20 who live in Carbon County or West Penn Township, Schuylkill County. The queen represents the fair throughout the year by promoting the event and all its programs. In addition to the crown, the winner receives scholarship money as does the runner up. The deadline to apply has been extended to June 28th. Girls must fill out a simple application and write a short essay. All the details can be found on the Carbon County Fair web site. The queen will be crowned on the opening night of the fair, August 4th.

June 26, 2014

A traffic stop leads to the arrest of a Mahoning Township man after drugs are found in his car. On June 17th, police say they stopped on Ashtown Road. The Mahoning Township Officer detected an odor of marijuana. He found a backpack filled with the drug, a grinder, a box of baggies, and a scale. Beckett is charged with possession with intent to manufacture or deliver among several other related offenses.

June 26, 2014

The fire was first reported around 2am today at the Bethany Wesleyan Church located along Blue Mountain Drive. Firefighters had their work cut out for them. The flames were hard to get to coming from the top of the gymnasium's roof. In order to battle the blaze, they climbed ladder trucks and once on the same level, had to construct holes in the roof for ventilation and to completely put the fire out. Lead Pastor Kevin Fetterhoff praises their efforts and is thankful no one was hurt. Besides the holes in the roof, the worst of the fire resulted in smoke damage. The church is already starting the cleanup process. Lehigh Township's Fire Marshal says the cause remains under investigation.

June 25, 2014

A Carbon County woman accused of hitting her kid with a baseball bat is in district court for her preliminary hearing. Police say back on April 27th, 40-year-old Christine Mertz of Mahoning Township hit her daughter with a bat for blocking a toilet. The juvenile was also bitten twice and punched about 10 times. A sibling reported witnessing the assault. Mertz waived her right to a preliminary hearing today. She now faces charges in Carbon County Court. She is out on $20,000 unsecured bail and was ordered not to have any contact with the victim.

June 25, 2014

East Stroudsburg officials meet today to review East Stroudsburg University's keystone building project.
It includes a large student center a library.
Before the project may begin officials have to address parking and traffic concerns that could come with it.

June 25, 2014

Five hundred miles in five days- Today, "Pedaling 4 Paws" stops in Carbon County. The cyclists' goal is to raise money and awareness for the needs of animal shelters they support along their route from West Chester, Pennsylvania to Canada. And they couldn't have pedaled through at a better time. Carbon County Friends of Animals in Jim Thorpe is set to buy a new facility. The shelter just needs $55,000 more. Vice President Denise Sebelin says they outgrew their current property years ago. They have too many cats and not enough space. The goal is to be able to have the cats free roaming.
"Pedaling 4 Paws" is asking you to help your local furry friends by stopping in or sending money. You can use their website at www.pedaling4paws.org to donate to the shelter.
This is the sixth year for the cause. And "Pedaling 4 Paws" is hoping to raise $55,000 (doubling what they raised last year) for the 19 shelters along the way.

June 25, 2014

Lehighton State Police gets a new home. The new station sits 3.4 miles North of the current station on Interchange Road in Towamensing Township. A spokesperson tells us, the new station features state of the art computers, a storage facility and more security cameras. The station comes with a new telephone number, which is (570) 681-1850, but the current number will be in service for the next six months. A grand opening ceremony is scheduled for July 15th.

June 24, 2014

Summer is the peak time for lightning strikes in North America.
This week happens to be dedicated to raising awareness.
During a thunderstorm, officials recommed you seek shelter in a building or vehicle, but preferrably a building.
Depending on the circumstances officials say both can be dangerous: down power lines on vehicles and house fires especially.
In 2014, Angel Gillette, the director of emergency management says there were 64 lightning strikes in the United States.
To stay safe indoors officials recommend you stay off corded phones, computers, electrical equipment, avoid pluming, baths, faucets, stay away from windows, stay away from doors, don't lay on concrete floors or lean against concrete walls.

June 24, 2014

School's officially out, which means there's no school lunch. But students in the Lehighton School District won't go hungry this summer. That's all thanks to the annual Zion United Church Summer Lunch Program.
It's the second day for the program that runs all summer long, Monday through Friday during the day from 11 to 12:30 until August 23rd. Every student that comes in gets a free nutritious lunch provided by the Department of Education. And the program is definitely needed. Many students piled in today, but about 120 students are expected to show up daily as the summer goes on. For more information and other courses offered like "Cooking Matters," go to the church's website at zionucc.com or contact them at 610-377-1191.

June 23, 2014

Pocono Mountain Regional Police Chief Harry Lewis is set to retire August 8th after 21 years of service, 6 years as chief. While there's been a lot of speculation as to why Chief Lewis is retiring, he sat down with us today to explain his decision. He's been offered a new job opportunity in sales and management. He says it has more to do with putting his family first.
The new chief position is left to the Pocono Mountain Regional Police Commission to decide. A meeting is planned for tomorrow night at 7 regarding the process.

June 20, 2014

Marshall's Creek firefighters are honoring brothers who lost their lives in an explosion, almost 50 years ago.
Tommorrow they're hosting a memorial ceremony at their firehouse at 1pm.

June 20, 2014

Business owners meet with PennDOT officials and State Representative Doyle Heffley to voice their problems over the McCall Bridge Project. Lehighton business owners report a loss in revenue since the project began. They blame traffic back ups for prompting area clients to avoid the area. During the meeting PennDOT officials said they'll review the traffic light cuing to improve traffic flow.

June 20, 2014

Carbon County District Attorney Gary Dobias is retiring. Dobias is currently serving his 6th term, which runs through December 31, 2015. However, Dobias confirms he will be leaving by August 2014. The D.A. is in his 23rd year serving for Carbon County, but his career started as a prosecutor in 1980. His retirement isn't out of frustration with the job, but rather feels it's the right time to go. The D.A. cites age as a factor, adding he would like to spend more time with his family. In recent years, the criminal case load has gone up exponentially. Dobias says the intensity and demands of the job was a key factor in handing over the role. First Assistant District Attorney Jean Engler will take over once Dobias officially retires.

June 19, 2014

Stroudsburg Area School Board officials are bringing in a new solicitor, terminating their contract with Daniel Coveleyn and his law firm.
Richard Pierce, the school board president says, Coveleyn's retainer, which is a fee paid to secure his services will end at the end of the month.
Jeffrey Sultanik will then take over his position.
He has worked with school law, since the beginning of his career, that began 35 years ago. He'll be taking care of new contracts for administrators.
In a letter to Toleno, Coveleyn thanked the district for his time there, but he says, he wasn't told why he was let go.

June 19, 2014

Officials in Carbon County are aiming to begin construction on a new county owned firing range. Last month, the county received approval from the Nesquehoning Zoning board to move forward with its proposed firing range. The range will be used to train local law enforcement. Commissioners expect the cost of the project to be minimal. Construction of the range includes clearing trees, leveling the land and building a berm to trap bullets. No start date is set on the firing range project.

June 19, 2014

Residents at Nis Hollow Estates, a mobile home park in Mahoning Township, are frustrated with management. According to Debra Keiper of Lot 96, she has repeatedly tried contacting management and the owners of Nis Hollow Estates. Keiper has not received a response. Residents say they have not had running water since Saturday, and want to know what is going on. Water was turned back on Wednesday. The Department of Environmental Protection is aware of the issue and met with the park manager and system operator last Thursday. The facility has low-water pressure and has begun issuing boil water advisory for park residents. Calls to Nis Hollow Estates management have not been returned.

June 18, 2014

A felony arrest warrant has been issued for a man police say is connected to a bomb scare over the weekend in Nesquehoning. The Allentown Bomb Squad was called to a home on 6th Avenue Saturday morning. The homeowner found a suspicious package outside with "tick tock" written on it. As a precaution, a robot was used to detonate the packaged. Tires were also slashed on vehicles in the driveway. Nesquehoning Police are looking for John Large. Officers found evidence at his Lansford home that they say connects him to this incident. Anyone with information about his whereabouts is asked to contact police.

June 18, 2014

The beach at Beltzville State Park is back open. The swimming area was closed last Thursday after high bacteria counts were found in water samples. State officials say the lake was tested again on Monday and the water samples came back clean. The beach re-opened to swimming this morning.

June 18, 2014

A Lansford woman is suspected of driving under the influence with children in her car after a mishap at a Mahoning Township gas station. Just before 1:00 pm, police were notified of a vehicle at a bank on Route 443 with 3 small children inside who were unbuckled. An officer then spotted the car at the Giant fueling up. That's when the driver pulled away with the nozzle still in her car ripping the gas line off the pump. After questioning the woman, identified as Kathleen Gannecilli, police suspected she was under the influence. Gannecilli was taken to the hospital for a blood alcohol test. Officers say the children ages 2, 5 and 7 were not in proper safety seats. They were placed into the care of Children and Youth. Charges are pending.

June 18, 2014

Govenor Tom Corbett has issued a statement acknowleding the harsh budget reality we've endured over the last year. He says federal funding was reduced by $700 million. The state budget is currently $29.4 billion.
He would like to eliminate our pension debt of roughly $50 million.
One area Corbett says he would like to make cuts in is human services. Over the last couple years Monroe County Commissioner Suzanne McCool says they've been able to reduce expenses, but she's hoping there won't be anymore cuts.
To prevent more cuts McCool encourages you to reach out to your legislators. There's about a week left before the deadline on June 30th.

June 18, 2014

Route 54 in Nesquehoning was shut down this morning after a Ford Escape SUV collided with a Redners Tractor Trailer. The accident occured around 7AM. Chief Sean Smith of Nesquehoning Police Department says the driver of the tractor trailer actually tried to prevent the crash from happening. Scott Smith of Leesport was driving westbound on Route 54 when he noticed a driver, Michael McLaughlin of Tamaqua, traveling eastbound on Route 54. McLaughlin was drifting into Smith's lane, so he attempted to swerve out of his way to avoid the SUV. The 18 wheeler crashed into a utility pole. Smith sustained arm injuries. McLaughlin suffered serious injuries and was flown via helicopter to Saint Lukes Hospital in Bethlehem. It is unknown whether McLaughlin fell asleep behind the wheel.

June 17, 2014

A Carbon County judge rules the owner of an old school house in Weatherly most pay thousands of dollars in fines. Weatherly officials say in 1997, Larry Halstead of Virginia purchased the historic Schwab School with a promise to restore the building - but he hasn't. Property maintenance code violations have been piling up against the 62-year-old man because of the building's current condition. Halstead was due in Carbon County Court in April for the issue but never showed up. Last week, the judge ruled Halsted must pay fines by August 9th. He has 30 days to appeal to the Superior Court.

June 17, 2014

Two Carbon County men are in jail on burglary and related charges. Mahoning Township Police report on Sunday they found John Ruzicka and Robert Ruzicka in a home on Oak Grove Drive. An officer spotted them in the garage area holding copper. The house had been damaged by fire back in February and the homeowner had not moved back in yet. The two are in prison on $25,000 bail.

June 17, 2014

Today the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission approved a 5% toll increase for all drivers. The hike goes into effect on January 4th. Officials say yearly turnpike toll increases are necessary for the commission to satisfy the financial plan of the transportation-funding law enacted in 2007. Under act 44 the Turnpike must give money to Penndot in addition to funding maintenance and projects on the turnpike itself. While next year's increase is the same for both cash paying and EZ-Pass customers, EZ-Pass users will continue to save at least 35 %. This is the first time since 2011 that EZ-pass rates have gone up by the same percent as cash rates.

June 16, 2014

Early this morning, Schuylkill County Drug Task Force, along with over two dozen police officers from various departments served warrants to 17 suspected drug dealers in Schuylkill and the surrounding areas. The suspected dealers were caught in a sting operation that took 8 months in the making.

Thomas Bilsak
Percy Brown
Latia Matrician
Adam Cruz
Ashley Weirich
Patricia Derau
Noelle Parisi
Michael Kabana
Maria Motroni
Jason Hill
Kelly Delessio
Justin Nahf
Terri Kates
Sally Hartung
Kristine Martin
Peggy Hill
Stephanie Forrester
Glen Bowman
Jimmy Troy
Juvenile Male

The suspected dealers are in custody and taken to jail. Their bail is set at around 25 thousand dollars each.

June 16, 2014

A house on River Road in Damascus exploded around 10:30 last night. The home belongs to Frank and Carol Kay, who owned the local Callicoon Flea Market in town. Neighbors were out with the Kay's just an hour beforehand celebrating Frank's birthday. If it wasn't for the neighbors declining a late night invitation for coffee, they could of easily been victims as well. Close friend, Pat Ray says she was tired and decided to go home instead, that simple decision, saved her life. The Fire Marshall tells us, it was a propane leak that torched the Kay residence. Frank and Carol Kay leave behind two sons.

June 13, 2014

Coolbaugh Township officials have a list of concerns involving the Pocono Mountain Regional Police Force. They're threatening to seek police services elsewhere.
Three of the issues on the list include accountability, fuel usage and billing hours. If Coolbaugh officials decide to leave, the department would lose a good amount of revenue.
Chief Harry Lewis tells us he's stepping down. We don't know it this decision is related to Coolbaugh Township's concerns. A special meeting will be held Wednesday night at 7, open to the public.

June 13, 2014

A 128-year-old school in Lehighton closes its doors forever. The Saints Peter and Paul School leaves the community will an all-day picinic celebration today. This comes after the pastor announced the decision in April due to enrollment and financial challenges. It's a bittersweet day for everyone, but they tell us they're glad to have experienced it and that they'll always have the memories.

June 12, 2014

A local group dedicated to serving veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder needs your help. The Valor Clinic Foundation is currently converting the vacant Hotel Jonas in Polk Township into a veterans rehab center thanks to grant money. The goal is to get homeless veterans off the street and back on their feet. It's something Founder Mark Baylis was trying provide for about three years. Now it just needs to be renovated to its original condition. Baylis says it can't happen without the community's support. If you'd like to donate your time, talents or money contact the Valor Clinic. The grand opening is scheduled for October 1st.

June 12, 2014

After ten years of delays, the Walnutport Water and Sewer Authority has a new filtration plant.
This time of year officials say water sources are in high demand. Alot of people are filling up their swimming pools, watering their grass or using water for other reasons.
The new system will be able to filter
200,000 more gallons of water a day.
Over the last couple years officials say they had to raise rates to pay for the project.
There are two other filtration systems, but this one is a more modernized version.

June 12, 2014

Today at the Pike County Emergency Management Center, county officials gathered to discuss response plans in a worst case scenario. The simulation was based on a terrorist attack on the Pike County Courthouse that resulted in numerous casualties. County officials however, were well prepared for what to do in such a crisis. The County has evacuation plans already set up in addition to using the E-M-A facility to relocate all essential personnel. After todays seminar, presenter, Rocco DiPietro, was impressed with the County's preparedness. The County Commissioners tell us, these emergency plans have been in the works for over two years.

June 12, 2014

Today at the Pike County Emergency Management Center, county officials gathered to discuss response plans in a worst case scenario. The simulation was based on a terrorist attack on the Pike County Courthouse that resulted in numerous casualties. County officials however, were well prepared for what to do in such a crisis. The County has evacuation plans already set up in addition to use the E-M-A facility to relocate all essential personnel. After todays seminar, presenter, Rocco DiPietro, was impressed with the County's preparedness. The County Commissioners tell us, these emergency plans have been in the works for over two years.

June 11, 2014

Hidden cash under a mattress is stolen from a Penn Forest Township home. State Police say last Wednesday they were called to a home on Bayberry Road for a report of a burglary. Investigation showed the suspect crawled through an unlocked window and stole $4,000 in cash from under the victim's mattress.

June 11, 2014

Most people we talked to today say they don't use websites like Craigslist because of exactly what happened at Stroud Mall yesterday. Stroud Area Regional Police say a man made arrangements to sell a cell phone and instead was robbed by the suspect using a stun gun. The exchange took place inside the mall around three in the afternoon with plenty of people and security around. Police say the victim caught up to the suspect in the parking lot and a scuffle began with the suspect using the taser more forcefully. A mall employee then intervened.
Captain Brain Kimmins says, "He withdrew his legally licensed to carry firearm and pointed it at the suspect, telling him to drop the phone and leave. And the guy did."
Police say the victim did everything right. It's good to take safety precautions, but this is a perfect example of the risk you're taking when selling to a stranger. Police say it can go wrong anywhere, at any given time.
Police are asking anyone with information on the suspect or incident to contact them.

June 11, 2014

President Barack Obama signed an executive order earlier this week to expand student loan debt forgiveness for millions of Americans.
The president says the average debt burden is about $30,000.
In 2011, legislators passed a law that would reduce monthly payments to 10% of the borrowers income. Overtime the debt could be forgiven, but that law only applied to people with newer loans. With the new order The President says everyone will be included.
Yesterday through Tumblr Obama was able to hear from Americansn and answer questions on education and affordability.
President Obama says changes may not take effect until the end of next year A vote on a similiar bill is coming up this week, that would reduce interest rates.

June 11, 2014

Today the Pike County Library started a new service for the more mature citizens. The Area Agency on Aging opened up the new Milford Senior Center today. Seniors in attendance enjoyed coffee, lunch and a nice gathering with new friends. The Milford Senior Center will be open on Wednesdays and Fridays from 9:30 am to 2:30 pm.

June 10, 2014

A second suspect in a Lansford armed robbery is now in custody. Rush Township Police took Joseph Becker into custody earlier today at a doctor's office. According to police, Becker and another man robbed a Lansford resident last Thursday. That other suspect, Christopher Keer, was arrested Friday. Both men are charged with robbery, unlawful restraint - simple assault and theft.

June 10, 2014

Some former and current Monroe County Correctional Facility employees reveal problems at the prison. Many are accsuing the jail's administration of wrongdoing and harasssment. The claims are directed at Warden Donna Asure who tells us they're false. The workers tell us many have been unfairly terminated and others either quit or retired due to a hostile work environment going on behind the prison's walls.
But Asure says they're just complaining about now being held accountable for their actions.

June 10, 2014

Police are usually the ones who save our lives, but one local police officer needs you to save his.
A Stroud Area Regional Police Officer, Ruben Torres is dying of cancer, but specialized treatment overseas could save his life.
His wife has set up an account online to raise money.
So far a little over $9,000 has been raised. The goal is to raise $30,000.
Pocono Motion Body Shop in Stroud Township will be offering $10 exterior and interior car washes by hand. Proceeds will go to the Torres family. If you would like to donate, log on to gofundme.com or stop by Pocono Motion.
Car washes will be offered Monday - Through Friday from 8am-4pm, Saturday from 9am to 11am.

Link To Website

June 10, 2014

Pot holes and distracted drivers are just some of the dangerous obstacles motorcyclists face on the road. The General Manager at Keystone Harley-Davidson in Parryville, encourages his customers to wear protective gear including a helmet and gloves. He also reminds them to have their motorcycle regularly maintained. But bikers tell us even if they do everything right, there's one factor they have no control over, the road. A PennDOT spokesperson tells us crews are working on road repairs and filling pot holes. He says safety is PennDOT's top concern. If you'd like to report a severely damaged road call 1-800-FIX-ROAD.

June 9, 2014

Monroe County Conservation District has received numerous complaints about the brown water in Swiftwater Creek. Officials tell us contractors building the Kalahari Resort at Pocono Manor failed to follow approved plans to avoid sediment pollution, and in some cases, didn't have their erosion controls in place at all. Kraemer Brothers Construction lack of compliance started when building began in October. In a statement provided by Kalahari, Contractor Partner Kevin Kraemer says, "Unfortunately, the early onset of a very harsh winter delayed construction on some of the site improvements we planned late last year."
The water is clear now and they're in cooperation. The Conservation District hasn't assessed any paid penalties for noncompliance at the site. But they aren't ruling it out.

June 9, 2014

A lake in Pike County is almost completely drained. A leak in Gorson Dam forced officials to draw down Sunset Lake in Lehman Township. Last week, the Department of Environmental Protection ordered the lake to be drained, after it was leaking nearly 20-30 gallons of water per minute. The dam is privately owned by the Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania, so the fate of the lake, is in their hands. DEP officials estimate the cost to repair the dam is in the tens of thousands of dollar range, and the burden to fix it lands on the Girl Scouts. We spoke to a representative from the Girl Scouts who says they are still weighing options on how to proceed.

June 9, 2014

A 51 year old female fell 30 feet from a trail at Glen Onoko Falls into the Lehigh River on Saturday afternoon. Area fire departments responded to the scene. The woman, who is not from Carbon County, suffered severe head injuries and numerous lacerations on her body. She lost consciousnessness and was flown to Lehigh Valley Hospital Trauma Center. Officials have not released her identity or current condition.

June 6, 2014

Seventy-Years ago today marked one of the biggest turning points of World War II. On D-Day, the Allied Forces stormed the beaches of Normandy France, leading to the victory against Hitler's Nazi Germany. Navy Soldier, Bill Glanville, was one of the first soldiers to hit the beach, and shared his experience. " We got off the rubber boats and loaded them up with TNT and away we go. Glanville says the experience was surreal, as bullets whizzed by him and his unit from every direction. " Fire from all directions, the Germans were coming one way, and we were coming the other way. In the battle, Glanville lost many good friends " 31 Killed and 60 wounded." However, Glanville has no regrets. " Im not mad I did it, Im happy I did it, but I'd never do it again". He hopes that the younger generation doesn't take today for granted, but remember the blood that was shed, to give them their freedom.

June 5, 2014

Citizens who served our country have no business being on the street helpless- A belief of many, but one, Founder Mark Baylis of the Valor Clinic Foundation stands behind. The clinic is dedicated to serving veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder. He's been trying to provide a place to get veterans off the street and back on their feet for about three years now. That place will be the vacant Hotel Jonas in Polk Township thanks to grant money.
The need is huge in Monroe County, 137 homeless veterans have been counted. And Baylis says that number is deceiving, veterans in temporary shelters were missed.
The Veterans Sanctuary grand opening is scheduled for October 1st, 13 heroes will be housed for a period of time based upon needs. While others can also be helped by a rehabilitation program. But the new home needs a lot of work and requires more money before that can happen.
You're being asked to lend your repair skills July 13th through the 16th. Just show up at the hotel on Route 534 between 9am and 6pm. Donations are also always appreciated. For more information on how to get involved and help a great cause, contact the Valor Clinic.

June 4, 2014

Neighbors on Flyte Road in Ross Township can't believe a property they call a dump is on its way to finally being cleaned up. Ross Township Supervisors have voted to hire Papillon and Moyer Contracting in Stroudsburg for the project. The proposal cost is $11,500. The property was formerly owned by Rockne Newell who is currently in jail. Police say Newell opened fire at a township supervisor meeting last August killing three people and injuring others. The shooting occurred a few days after Newell's condemned property was bought at a sheriff sale by the township. Supervisor Butch Kresge says along with the debris being picked up, two buildings and a culvert pipe bridge Newell made will be demolished.

June 4, 2014

The number of volunteer fire fighters is dramatically down statewide and Pike County Emergency Response is stepping up recruitment efforts to change that. Since 1983, the number of volunteer fire fighters in Pennsylvania has dropped from 350-thousand to 52-thousand. To extinguish this problem before it spreads, Pike County Training facility director Tim Knapp is pitching the program to high school students. He finds once he gets them to experience the state of the art training center they have available, a lot of the kids are instantly hooked. Knapp says "Since the recruitment process started, he's noticed the classes at the center have been packed, so its definitely working " Knapp plans to continue attracting the younger generation to get them involved..

June 3, 2014

The Pocono Mountains used to be known as the honeymoon capital of the world. And that recognition may be coming back due to a recent change in state legislation.
Clerk of Orphans Court George Warden says about 11 same-sex couples have applied for marriage licenses so far in Monroe County. This comes after Pennsylvania's ban on same-sex marriage was overturned about two weeks ago. And even if same-sex couples aren't applying for their marriage license here, it doesn't mean they're not getting married in the Poconos. Co-Owner Richard Spezzano of Rainbow Mountain Resort in Marshalls Creek is already planning one wedding and is now in the process of getting honeymoon and ceremony packages together to add to their pamphelts. It's all in response to the state's new legislation.
Prior to the ruling, same-sex couples traveled to other states where gay marriage was legal. Spezzano says he and his partner traveled to New York because they couldn't wait.
Spezzano, "Marriage halls, caters, so much business will come to Pennsylvania because of it. It's insane that they had to go to other states and spend the money there."
Spezzano believes it will bring people back to the Poconos as a honeymoon destination. Resorts like his with breath-taking views make the hassle of airports not worth it. It's 25 acres are open to the public daily.
Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau is also looking to attract same-sex weddings to the region. Officials say they're currently in the planning stages.

June 3, 2014

This year in Carbon County alone, local police have successfully raided 10 homes operating amateur meth labs. But while hit television shows like "Breaking Bad" romanticize the idea of meth labs, local emergency responders say that's not what really happens. Criminals operating meth labs in the area you what is called a "one pot method": using a "shake and bake" style with two bottles in order to concoct a potentially lethal combination of methamphetamine. Police say those operating meth labs actually do it to fuel their own addictions to the illegal drug. To learn more about the dangers of drug addiction, check out the Carbon County Drug and Alcohol Awareness Expo at CCTI this Thursday, June 5, from 5 PM-8:30PM.

June 3, 2014

The newest population statistics released today concerns director of Economic Development Mike Sullivan. Over the past three years, the population in Pike County declined 1.4 percent. This lands Pike County in the top-fifteen counties in the state, suffering the most significant drop. However, Sullivan is not ready to panic, but focus on developing more local jobs to encourage people to stick around. He is targeting manufacturing companies, that require minimal sewer and water to operate. Sullivan tells us, he already has buyers lined up, and with more jobs available, the population report should look much better the next time around.

June 2, 2014

Jury selection started today in the trial for 75 year old, Richard Corkery of Coaldale. He faces 27 counts of possession of child pornography. According to court documents the charges stem from an investigation in 2011. Corkery worked as a DJ for Magic 105.5 in Nesquehoning at the time, when police received a tip the former mayor viewed child pornography while at work.
The trial is scheduled to begin next week.

June 2, 2014

Stroudsburg School Board President Richard Pierce and Vice President Bruce Stewart have upset a group of parents with how they're handling the closing of both Ramsey and Clearview Elementary Schools. That's why those parents have started petitions and are now raising money to pay recruited Stroudsburg Attorney Janet Jackson a retainer fee of $5,000 to help them remove both. They've been raising the funds on a GOFUNDME site that's connected to their website stroudsburgschools.org and are more than halfway to their goal.The parents already have about 500 signatures on both petitions. Now they just need representation to bring those signatures in front of a judge. It'll be up to the judge to decide whether or not the members actually violated the school code. Stroudsburg Parent Erica McCabe says Pierce and Stewart neglected their duties in their actions involving the closing of Ramsey next month and Clearview next year.
McCabe says, "Them not allowing us to speak. Them acting unethically and illegally by having discourse without public knowledge or even school board approval."
Both Pierce and Stewart tell us the group has the right to their opinions but say they aren't valid and they haven't broken any laws.
Pierce and Stewart believe they're being attacked for the decision to close the schools. McCabe says it wasn't in the interest of the students. But both say it is and is necessary.
Bruce says, "We've recognized that [the buildings] aren't as important as trying to preserve programs and putting as many teachers as we can in the classroom."
Pierce, "I've been on the board going on my fifth budget, and every budget we've had a deficit. You can only borrow money from the contingency fund for so long before you go broke."
By the end of the month, McCabe says the signatures will be turned into the Court of Common Pleas.

June 2, 2014

Howie and Marie Morana of Nesquehoning have started a "Heroes for Hope" group.Concerned with the nationwide crisis of bullying in schools, the duo shares a message to elementary age children through birthday parties, school programs, and fundraisers. The husband and wife duo dress as comic book characters Batman and Catwoman, kids to be a "hero" who never gives up and to banish bullying. Dressed in character, the couple teaches the following:

1. A Hero never gives up
2. A Hero always does the right thing
3. A Hero always helps others
4. A Hero never BULLIES

For more information, visit their Facebook page, "Hero's for Hope" or call at 570-645-3518.

June 2, 2014

Howie and Marie Morana of Nesquehoning have started a "Heroes for Hope" group.Concerned with the nationwide crisis of bullying in schools, the duo shares a message to elementary age children through birthday parties, school programs, and fundraisers. The husband and wife duo dress as comic book characters Batman and Catwoman, kids to be a "hero" who never gives up and to banish bullying. Dressed in character, the couple teaches the following:

1. A Hero never gives up
2. A Hero always does the right thing
3. A Hero always helps others
4. A Hero never BULLIES

For more information, visit their Facebook page, "Hero's for Hope" or call at 570-645-3518.

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