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BRCTV-13 News Archive

GAS STATION EMPLOYEES' FIRST-HAND ACCOUNT OF ARMED ROBBERY
February 27, 2015

Employees at Sunny's Xpress Mart on Route 209 near Kresgeville are breathing a sigh of relief today and thanking police. 39-year-old John Myers III of Effort is now behind bars after police say he robbed the gas station at knife point Wednesday afternoon. Employee Parth Pitroda was at the register when it happened. He says no other customers were in the store at the time. But his aunt and sister-in-law who also work there were eating lunch.
Pitroda says, "He came in as a normal customer and after he stood up here, he just pulled out a knife. He came this close (motioning to a few inches from his chest) and was like "I'll kill you, give me all the money that you have."
Pitroda says he immediately backed away trying to avoid being stabbed and called out to his aunt to alert her. Pitroda says the giant of a man then threatened her, swinging the knife wildly. Pitroda says his aunt screamed for him to give Myers the money. Pitroda opened the register and believes Myers grabbed $250 before running out. Pitroda called 911 while bravely running out after him trying to take a picture of his car.
Pitroda explains, "He just parked his car behind those trees so I couldn't see that."
Luckily the owner has surveillance cameras both outside the store and inside in high definition- to not only capture the action but very fine detail.
That day his picture went out and the next day police arrested him without incident.
Lehighton PA State Police Trooper Shaun Flynn explains, "Someone had recognized him and called the barracks. We got information that he was at the Brick Lounge on Route 115 and we were able to locate him and brought him back here. He did give a full confession."
Police say Myers is currently at the Monroe County Correctional Facility awaiting his preliminary hearing that hasn't been yet been scheduled.

MONROE COUNTY HOMELESS NUMBERS COME IN
February 27, 2015

Preliminary numbers from the annual point time count, showing how many homeless we have in Monroe County are in.
Officials say, they were able to find more people in need this year vs. previous years. Last year they counted 69. This year they found 167 unsheltered and the results for sheltered aren't in yet.
Officials expect to have final numbers by May. The Wesleyan Church Emergency Shelter is scheduled to close Sunday.

LINCOLN FLAG MOVES TO NATIONS CAPITAL
February 27, 2015


Pike County's famed Lincoln Flag is being moved to Washington D-C for the 150th anniversary of the lincoln assassination. After the sixteenth president was shot attending a play at fords theater, this flag was used to cushion his head. Jeanie Gourlay, one of the play's performers took the flag, she later gave it to her only son, who donated it to the historical society in 1954. The flag will join other relics to be displayed at fords theater for the next three months. The Historical Society will have a sendoff for the flag, at 9am tomorrow at the Columns in Milford.

STROUD AREA REGIONAL POLICE CAPTAIN RETIRES
February 26, 2015

Stroud Area Regional Police Captain, Brian Kimmins, is retiring after serving Monroe County for more than 30 years.
A retirement celebration is being held tomorrow night with friends, colleagues and members of the community.
Kimmins will be turning in his badge and uniform tomorrow.
He's been in law enforcement for over 30 years and with the Stroud Area Regional Police Department for 28 years.
Lt. Jennifer Lyons will become the new captain, starting March 1.
She will be the first woman at Stroud Area Regional Police to serve as captain.
if you would like to come celebrate the captains retirement it starts at 5 tomorrow night at Floods in Stroudsburg.

FIGHT TO STOP TWO CATHOLIC SCHOOLS FROM CLOSING
February 26, 2015

The fight is on to keep two Catholic schools from closing in Roseto at the end of this school year. The Diocese of Allentown announced in January it can't keep open Pius X and Our Lady of Mount Caramel because of low enrollment and high financial debt. But a group called the Blue and White Foundation is determined to change that with your help.
Pius X High School and Our Lady of Mount Caramel Elementary being slated to close came without warning. Pius alumni Andrea Richmond currently has two kids that attend there. Her disbelief quickly changed to anger that resulted in action. She and hundreds of others are now working on different job committees to save the schools. But the Blue and White Foundation has their work cut out for them in convincing the Bishop. First they need to raise 1.2 million dollars by June. It's a debt they had no idea existed. They say the large amount doesn't discourage them, they're rallying together. Just this week alone Richmond says they brought in over $10,000 and money is constantly coming in on four different accounts they set up. For example a Go Fund Me page: www.gofundme.com/ktpfos.
Then there's the issue of declining enrollment. Currently both schools have students not only from the Lehigh Valley but some drive 45 minutes from the Poconos and New Jersey to attend. They need 150 students signed up for the elementary- Richmond says they're at 83 and just gained 23. Pius needs 220 and Richmond says they're at 165.
And it doesn't just matter to the alumni and the current students wanting to complete their education at Pius, but there's also a lot of elementary students that have been looking forward to going to high school there. They say it's tradition and it's family.
While they're busy getting the word out for both goals, they've also set up events to get all communities to participate. One is a dance/wine tasting happening this Saturday night starting at seven at Blue Ridge Estates Vineyard and Winery in Saylorsburg. For more information, just email them at bluewhitefoundation@gmail.com.

LEGISLATORS HOLD MEDICAL MARIJUNA HEARING
February 25, 2015

Discussion on legalizing medical marijuana is underway in Harrisburg.
Legislators, medical professionals, researchers and members of the public attended a hearing today to express support or opposition of a proposed bill.
Pennsylvania legislators are showing bi-partisan support for Senate Bill 3, which would legalize medical marijuana, also known as cannabis.
Officials say, they've found it affective treating cancer patients, children suffering from seizure disorders, veterans with PTSD and other disorders.

RIVER ICE FISHING IS RISKY BUSINESS
February 25, 2015

Catfish seem to be jumping out of the water today for river anglers. But ice fishing on the Delaware River is risky business. In fact, park rangers strongly discourage it, especially with temperatures expected to rise by next week.
A group of anglers from New Jersey say they will be eating well tonight. It's an exciting day, catfish after catfish takes their bait while ice fishing on the Delaware River near the gap. Despite the abnormally chilly weather this winter, Mark Rayder says he's been ice fishing since the water first froze over. While he admits it's dangerous, he says the conditions today for fishing this river are as good as it gets- the ice is a couple feet thick.
But park rangers say the great catch isn't worth risking your life. It's much safer to go to a lake to ice fish than the Delaware River. The moving water is the problem. If you fall through the ice and you get sucked under the ice by the current, no one is coming to rescue you.
Supervisor Law Enforcement Ranger Chris Kross says, "We practice for ice rescue and we have equipment. However, in that situation, we would not be able to go get you underneath the ice."
Rayder agrees beginners should stick to the lakes. And as temperatures begin to rise he says even the allure of catfish can't get him to fish on the river.
Rayder says, "I don't want to be down there with them! It only takes like a day of warm weather and the river is no longer safe."
But rangers say the best chance for survival on any ice means being prepared: Never go alone, wear layers of clothing including a lifejacket, bring a rope and carry some sort of safety spikes.

FIRE GUTS BUSINESS IN WAYNE COUNTY
February 25, 2015

A fire ripped through the George W. Kinsman building on Main Street in Honesdale. Flames shot out through the roof, and over 20 different Fire Departments pitched in to extinguish the flames. Deputy Fire Chief Brian Dulay says "It took a substantial amount of water and around 2 and a half hours to get under control." The fire was contained to just the top floor of the building, but smoke caused extensive damage. No one was hurt in the blaze, but if not for the quick response of the fire fighters, the blaze could of spread and caused significant damage to the historic drag in Honesdale. Fire Marshalls on the scene say they are still investigating what caused the fire, but its not being considered suspicious.

MILL CREEK RD. TO CLOSE IN 2 WEEKS FOR CONSTRUCTION
February 24, 2015

The Mill Creek Road Bridge in Stroud Township is scheduled for construction in a couple weeks.
Area residents and businesses are expecting this to be a inconvenience, but their biggest concerns are how long it will take to complete.
Penn Dot officials say the project, replacing the bridge should be finished by November 2017.
Starting March 9, drivers will be forced to detour, taking longer Routes using Rt. 191 and Rt. 447.
Penn Dot officials say, they put signs up warning drivers of the closure yesterday. They estimate an average of 8,240 vehicles that travel over the bridge daily.
The project is expected to cost almost $3.5 million.
Penn Dot officials say the construction could be pushed back, depending on winter weather.

NURSING HOME RESIDENTS NEED YOUR HELP
February 24, 2015

A nursing home in Monroe County would like to get new TVs for its residents. So Pleasant Valley Manor officials are turning to a new fundraising website called "Go Fund Me." They've seen it help others and they're hoping it will do the same for their residents. Currently, the more than 160 seniors living there only have the option of providing their own television or borrowing a donated one in need of an upgrade.
Resident Accounts Manager Jeff Rinker says, "A lot of people here can't afford them so we have a number of older TVs that have been in service for many years. They're the old style tube style TVs that are just not of good quality and we're looking to replace those."
Officials say more than half have the old fashioned tube televisions and some don't work at all.
Rinker says, "I was just walking down the hallway one day and peeked in a couple of resident rooms and saw how close some people had to sit to their TVs to even see a good picture."
If you'd like to help, you can either send a check directly to the facility or use the website here: http://www.gofundme.com/ljdu94

RESIDENTS OPPOSE PLANS FOR BIRCHWOOD RESORT
February 23, 2015

The old Birchwood Resort in Tannersville that's received a lot of attention, after the Eric Frein manhunt could be re-developed.
The C. Castle company plans to bring an indoor and outdoor waterpark, hotel and spa in place of what's now falling into disrepair, calling it "Spa Castle."
A group of residents are planning to fight the proposed plans.
Pocono Township officials, say plans haven't been submitted formally, but they're looking at possible obstacles.
One concern is the sewer system.
"What they propose is currently not in our sewer district so we would have to open up a new district and make sure we have enough capacity to do so," said Pocono Township Manager, Greg Schuster.
The Birchwood Resort happens to be in a quiet residential neighborhood and many residents want to keep it that way. They're opposed to the amount of traffic that could come with the new development.
Residents tell me they're planning to round up fellow neighbors and address their concerns to the township and the developers.

HELP AWSOM: FOSTER A CAT
February 23, 2015

Officials at AWSOM Animal Shelter are looking forward to having a dream come true. Their Cat House is now closer than ever to getting a makeover that will include the shelter's very own spay/neuter clinic.
Operations Director Rich Homar says, "We're waiting for approval on the permits to start construction. Some time in mid-March we're hoping to start knocking down walls and fixing things."
But the cats all need a place to stay while the construction is happening. Luckily many people have already stepped up. They're currently down to 15 cats that need either a foster or "forever" home. That means they can't take any surrenders right now. They're asking you to care for your cat a little longer and are hoping to open up space in their main shelter.
Board Member and Volunteer Sandra Fellin says, "If you have an animal to surrender, we're always interested. We'd rather take a name, put you on a waiting list. We also have other organizations that we can recommend."
They're planning to get the new cat rooms done first so you'd only have the cat for 6-8 weeks if you choose to foster. There are also great adoption deals. For more information, just call AWSOM at 570-421-3647.

WEATHERLY FATAL FIRE
February 23, 2015

State police are investigating a fatal house fire in Carbon County. It happened Friday night at a home on Entwistle Street in Weatherly. The fire claimed the life of 82-year old Dolores Rayno. Authorities say the fire started in the basement of the home. Although a cause hasn't been determined, they don't think it's suspicious.

A MURDER/SUICIDE IN PIKE COUNTY
February 23, 2015

A father and son are both dead after a domestic dispute turned violent last night in Westfall Township. According to Police, the incident took place around 8pm last night outside the home on Green Acres Lane. The argument quickly escalated, where according to police the father, 82- year old, Joseph Matrongolo came outside with a firearm, firing several shots. One of the bullets struck his 40 year old son, also named Joseph in the head, killing him. After killing his son, Police say the father turned the gun on himself, and shot himself in the head. Police are still investigating what led up to the fatal shooting.

ACCUSED ROSS TOWNSHIP SHOOTER IN COURT
February 20, 2015

Rockne Newell is charged with killing three people and injuring two at a Ross Township Supervisors meeting in August 2013. Today he was at the Monroe County Courthouse for a competency hearing. The defense told the judge Newell isn't capable of going to trial. They describe Newell as exhausting to work with and not being able to concentrate long enough to discuss the case. They asked the court to have Newell removed to a state hospital for mental illness treatment so he can come back and work with them on his case. The prosecution says their experts disagree with the defense's. They say it's a personality disorder, not a mental illness, and that Newell picks and chooses who he wants to work with and how. It's up to a judge to decide whether Newell is competent to stand trial. He could face the death penalty if he is found guilty.

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH ESU OUTBREAK STATEMENT
February 20, 2015

"The Department of Health has determined that there is now enough accumulated evidence to say the recent ESU outbreak is due to norovirus.
The Department commends the cooperation weíve received through our investigation working with ESU, the Pocono Medical Center (PMC), as well as the community. ESU and PMC made exceptional efforts to implement prompt and comprehensive preventative measures to reduce the spread of the infection in accordance with DOH guidance.
Though an outbreak of norovirus is unpleasant, it is not uncommon. The winter months are traditionally the time of year when most gastrointestinal illness due to norovirus is seen in Pennsylvania. Norovirus can spread quickly in institutional or group settings, such as schools, child care, and health care settings. The virus is in stool and vomitus, and can spread through food, water, on hands, and even by aerosol during vomiting episodes.
Because norovirus is very contagious, sudden outbreaks can result when people bring the infection into facilities such as hospitals, residential and nursing homes and schools. It is important to note that no one who has suffered from vomiting and diarrhea should visit or work in crowded places until they have been completely free from symptoms for at least 48 hours.
Infectious virus may be shed in stool for two weeks or more after the patient recovers from illness. Furthermore, the virus can survive on surfaces for 3-4 weeks at room temperature. These factors make it difficult to control the spread of norovirus. Personal hygiene (especially hand washing) and environmental sanitation are critical factors in preventing and controlling outbreaks.
The spread of norovirus can be prevented by following some simple guidelines:
∑ Frequently wash your hands, especially after using the bathroom and changing diapers, and before eating or preparing food.

∑ Anyone ill with diarrhea should not prepare food for other people. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that people with diarrhea should not work in restaurants, day care centers, or medical settings until they have been completely free from symptoms for at least 48 hours.

∑ Carefully wash fruits and vegetables, and steam oysters before eating them.

∑ Thoroughly clean and disinfect contaminated surfaces (including toilets) immediately after an episode of diarrhea or vomiting by using a bleach-based household cleaner or other disinfectant registered as effective against norovirus by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

∑ Immediately remove and wash clothing or linens that may be contaminated with virus after an episode of diarrhea or vomiting (use hot water and soap).

If an individual has symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea, the individual should try to stay home and practice good hygiene, like washing their hands frequently and thoroughly, to avoid spreading the illness to others.
Norovirus symptoms often begin suddenly and can include nausea, stomach cramping, vomiting and diarrhea. Norovirus illness can be a difficult experience for those affected, but most people normally recover within 12 to 60 hours.
For most healthy individuals, drinking plenty of fluids and resting at home is sufficient to recover from a norovirus infection and there is no need for hospital treatment. However, the elderly or very young can sometimes get more severe infections. If this is a concern, an individual should consult their doctor.
The Department will continue to work with East Stroudsburg University and Pocono Medical Center to manage any more possible norovirus cases and provide educational resources to the public on good hygiene habits. For more information on the norovirus, please contact 1-877-PA-HEALTH (1-877-724-3258).

BARLETTA TOURS PENN FOREST TOWNSHIP
February 19, 2015

U.S. Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) made a pit-stop in Penn Forest this afternoon as part of his "Main Street Tour". Barletta met with state and local officials to discuss some of the big topics in the area, including the controversial PennEast Pipeline. The Congressman says he hopes to gather good information from local residents and representatives to bring back to Washington D.C. Penn Forest was Barletta's 24th stop on his "Main Street Tour". He'll continue his tour in March when Congress is out of session.

MAN SENTENCED ON CHILD RAPE CHARGES
February 19, 2015

A Monroe County Judge sentenced 34 year old Paul Depaoli of Canadensis to 23 years and 3 months to 48 years in state prison for having sexual intercourse with two preschool girls.
He will also be registered as a lifetime sex offender. The defense attorney plans to appeal the decision. They have 10 days to file one.

POLAR PLUNGE FOR DOGS AND CATS
February 19, 2015

Bitter near record breaking cold and wind chill alerts are no match against a group's love for their furry friends. The second annual Polar Plunge for AWSOM Animal Shelter is happening next week, and your help is needed.
You'd probably choose the fetal position in a nice warm bed over doing a cannon ball into the snow covered, mostly frozen McMichaels Creek in Stroudsburg, Monroe County. But dogs and cats don't get to decide. Animals are found left out in the cold by their owners or often times abandoned. That's why the Polar Plunge was started last year.
Co-Organizer Eric German says, "Friend had contacted me about an animal that was left out in the cold for a couple days and the police couldn't do anything about it so we wanted to raise some awareness and help out AWSOM as well."
Fifteen people bared all for their furry friends and took an icy dip into the creek. They raised over $3,000 for AWSOM Animal Shelter and spread the hope for stiffer laws against animal cruelty.
German says, "They can't do anything legally. I mean, there was a frozen dish of water and that was acceptable by law."
This year German wants the teeth-chattering, bone-chilling time to do even more. But it can't be done without you plunging on February 27th or donating (Just go to www.awsomanimals.org and on the homepage you'll see Polar Plunge Donate).
AWSOM is currently full to capacity and they just received eight new puppies looking for homes so any money raised by this plunge could really make all the difference.
The WillowTree Inn and Pocono Mountain Harley Davidson are once again sponsoring the event.
German says, "Everyone that jumps will get a free lunch at WillowTree at noon and then we're getting in the creek around two."
So just put your bathing suit on next Friday for the love of animals. For more information, just contact AWSOM Animal Shelter.

STORES RUNNING LOW ON SALT SUPPLY
February 19, 2015

Salt continues flying off the shelves in stores across the Poconos. The Tractor Supply Store in Milford, along with the Home Depot in Westfall Township, were completely out of stock. The True Value Hardware store in Milford had only a small supply of rock salt remaining. Managers that we spoke to at all the stores, say they don't expect receive any more shipments this winter season. Even Penn Dot officials say, they have almost burned through 10 thousand-tons of salt this season, but they are expecting a delivery of another 3 thousand tons to survive through the winter.

PROPOSED GUN RANGE STIRS UP CONTROVERSY
February 18, 2015

A proposed outdoor gun range in Eldred Township is stirring up controversy.
Supervisors held a public workshop with locals and the Right to Self Protect, shooting range company out of New Jersey, looking to purchase land.
There was a lot of discussion today; voicing concerns, support and sharing ideas.
There are many who're against this facility and others who are for it.
Representatives from Mrs. Bush's Personal Care Home attended the meeting and expressed concerns regarding safety and a disturbance for their residents.
The RTSP company currently has an indoor range in N.J., but they want to have a place where people can learn and practice long distance shooting here.
Supervisors say, some zoning changes will have to happen for a gun range to be permitted.
RTSP President, Peter Miscia says, the range will be fully baffled, bermed and sound abated. People will also be able to shoot firearms at a distance of up to 600 yds.
Some supervisors are also concerned the range will bring lead poisoning.
Some argued a similar operation has been successful at the location and other nearby ranges are operating without noise complaints.
Miscia says, he would just like to get a chance to go to a hearing and let their experts prove that we're going to keep sound levels below the prescribed decibel level for what the ordinance says.
Supervisors plan to have another public workshop before they make a decision on whether or not there should be a public hearing.

GIVING HEARTS
February 18, 2015

A school of hearts is beating together to help fight our nation's number one killer- Cardiovascular Disease.
Today students from the Carbon Career & Technical Institute presented the American Heart Association with a $500 check. Since October Kaylee Murphy and Jeanna Struble sold heart healthy inspired t-shirts, bracelets, pens and paper hearts at school and in the community to raise the money.
American Heart Association Youth Market Director Kim Gear says, "Every donation is so important to our mission to help save lives, help fund our lifesaving research and education."
And they couldn't have picked a better time, it's American Heart Month.

CARBON PLANS EMERGENCY TRAINING FACILITY
February 18, 2015

Carbon County commissioners announced their intentions to build a new training facility for their first responders. The multi-million dollar, state-of-the-art site will be located near the 9-1-1 center and will house a fire tower and classroom building. Carbon County has been without a fire training tower since the summer when the site at Baer Memorial in Lehighton was torn down. Commissioners say they haven't secured all the funding for the project, but are optimistic that a combination of state and local funds will keep taxpayer dollars out of the way.

VOLUNTEERS HELPING PEOPLE WARM UP IN LACKAWAXEN
February 18, 2015

Today in Lackawaxen Township, people piled into the warming center to escape the bitter cold temperatures. Volunteers prepared over 40 meals to hand deliver to people who couldn't get out of the house. However, many people can't afford to stay home because of the exorbitant cost of heating the house. That's why at the Warming Center, for only $2.50, people can enjoy a hot meal, decadent desserts, games, and the warmth of good company. The Lackawaxen Warming Center is open Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9am - 2pm.

PALMERTON FOOD PANTRY ALERT
February 18, 2015

The Palmerton Food Pantry out of St. John's Lutheran Church on Fireline Road will not be serving families this Friday! A delivery was delayed and volunteers tell us there is not enough food for everyone. Families who use the pantry can pick up their food February 27th.

NO WATER AT RESICA ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
February 17, 2015

The cold weather is causing more problems for one school in Monroe County. Many residents are still dealing with frozen water pipes and malfunctioning heating systems. But one East Stroudsburg school is dealing with an even bigger problem-- a frozen water tower.
While every school in the district had a two hour delay today from the early morning snow, Resica Elementary closed due to no water.
Maintenance crews are working around the clock to thaw Resica Elementary's water tower. School officials discovered it froze at the top, about 140 feet up around two Monday morning, resulting in no water. Principal Gail Kulick says the tower was no match for the extremely cold weather, even with heat on it as a prevention tool.
That's why the school closed today. Kulick says propane heaters are being used to get the water flowing and as you can imagine, it's no easy task.
But the workers are taking the abnormally low temperatures in stride. They say it's all part of the job.
While the hallways stand empty without the 538 students enrolled, most of the staff could be seen still hard at work. So far Kulick says they've had seven snow days and the school year has been extended to the second week of June. This day isn't included yet. The district is petitioning the state for forgiveness.
Kulick explains, "[It's] an unexpected emergency. Unlike a snow day, this is obviously something that just affects our building and not the entire district."
Kulick says not only do they have to be flexible getting the required 900 minutes of instruction in, but students are also falling behind in extra curricular activities. They need to be ready for two plays coming up.
Kulick says, "The kids are doing wonderfully. They're making sure they maintain and keep practicing at home."
School officials tell us they believe the kids will have school tomorrow but the issue at this point isn't resolved. Crews will be working on it all night.

CAMELBACK MOUNTAIN SEASON EXTENDED
February 17, 2015

Camelback Mountain officials are planning to stay open longer than ever this season, not bringing it to a close until April 12th.
They have a snow making and grooming plan to keep snow on the mountain until then.
The Camelback Lodge and Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark is also expected to open in April.
Officials say, the indoor waterpark hs 13 of the most innovative slides of their kind. Three of those slides have never been installed anywhere in the country.
The venus slyde trap is a three to six person family rafting ride. Kartrite's quest is an interactive water play structure and the storm chaser is a one to two person water based coaster that travels up on jetted water. Slides travel indoors to outdoors. Officials say, guest can expect a number of themes inside the building. There are rocks on the walls, airplanes and antiques.

LOCAL TEACHER SENTENCED FOR SEXTING
February 17, 2015

Former Lehighton Area High School teacher Matthew Fisher was sentenced to two years probation this morning. The 31-year-old plead guilty to Corruption of Minors, a misdemeanor charge, after he was found to have sent inappropriate, sexual text messages to a 16-year-old former student. Fisher voluntarily relinquished his teaching certificate and will not have to register as a sex offender. The former Business Ed teacher could have been facing jail time. But because Fisher had cooperated with the investigation and had no physical contact with the victim, Judge Joseph Matika found two years probation to be fitting (County recommended at least one year as part of plea deal). As part of his probation, Fisher will have to complete 100 hours of community service and undergo a mental health evaluation. He can also have no contact with the victim.

REWARD FOR PEDESTRIAN HIT & RUN IN LEHIGH COUNTY
February 17, 2015

Lehigh Valley Crime Stoppers is offering a cash reward for information leading to the arrest of a man wanted for a pedestrian hit and run in Lehigh County. The incident happened on Route 873 in North Whitehall Township January 20th just before 9 pm. Troopers say a 42-year-old Coplay woman was struck by a car heading northbound as she crossed near the McDonalds. Officials say she is still hospitalized in critical condition. Police believe a white male was driving. They're looking for a blue Ford Ranger with the name "Ehrlich" in white lettering on the driver side door. The company confirmed the vehicle is not in their fleet, but they sell retired vehicles at auction.

Vehicle Description:
- 1998 - 2000 blue Ford Ranger
- "Ehrlich" written on side in white
- Orange & yellow horizontal stripes on sides
- Cap on bed or storage cabinets
- Damage to front passenger and headlight area
Lehigh Valley Crime Stoppers: 1-800-426-TIPS

MAN WANTED IN BERKS COUNTY FOR KIDNAPPING
February 17, 2015

PSP Hamburg is currently looking for Marshall Glenn McGinty (w-n/m 43 YOA). Troopers are investigating a kidnapping which occurred on February 16, 2015 at a residence in the 1300 block of Hawk Mountain Rd., Albany Twp., Berks County. The victim was house sitting at the previously mentioned residence. When he came home around 4:45 PM McGinty was in the house. Upon entering the house McGinty pointed an assault rifle (AK 47) at him. McGinty then ordered the victim to lay on the floor face down. McGinty tied the victimís wrists together and took his wallet and keys. Sometime around 6:00 PM McGinty drove the victim in his car to a Santander Bank at 120 South Centre Ave (Pottsville City Schuylkill County) where he withdrew $60.00 from the victimís account. After going to the bank McGinty drove back to the Hamburg reservoir where he cut the victimís hands free and drove off in the victimís car.

The AK 47 is property of the homeowner. The AK 47 was not located in the house.

The victimís car is a dark blue 2012 Honda Fit with Pa registration GTD-7635.

McGinty should be considered armed and dangerous. McGinty has no current address.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to contact police or Crime Alert Berks.

RAPTOR CENTER BENEFIT CONCERT
February 17, 2015

After a blaze broke out on January 8th at the Delaware Raptor Center, the community is pitching in to rebuild.
The Fire destroyed the clinic in the basement, where director Bill Streeter operates on wild raptors, and insurance isn't covering all the cost.
To help get the center back on its feet, this Friday, Harmony Presents along with Riverfolk Concerts are putting on a benefit show at the Hawley Silk Mill. If you want to help, you can log on www.dvrconline.org and use the pay-pal link to donate. Tickets to Friday's Benefit Concert are also available online.

PLANS TO SOLVE STROUDSBURG'S PARKING PROBLEM
February 16, 2015

People visiting downtown Stroudsburg describe parking as a nightmare- sometimes you get stuck blocks away from you destination or waste a lot of time searching for a spot.
General Manager George Strunk of Dein Properties believes he has an idea to solve that problem. The company bought the former Carlton House with plans to construct a five-story retail and apartment building. Strunk started thinking not only what would stimulate commerce, real estate and employment there, but also in the borough.
He proposed a parking deck located at the intersection of South 8th Street and Cherry Alley that would be four to five levels with 400 to 500 spaces. It'll occupy the current municipal parking lot, a duplex and an office building. It will be operated by technology, open to the public and have monthly rented spots available.
Strunk says, "The borough would need to contribute the municipal lot, which they expressed some interest, nothing has been approved yet, and those two other properties would need to be bought. Dein Properties, my employer has [the office building] under contract to be purchased at this point."
And business owners in downtown Stroudsburg say it's exactly what they need and can't wait to have it.
But the estimated $6 million cost for the construction of the project needs to be funded first. A major step was recently taken thanks to the Pocono Mountain Economic Development Corporation.
Strunk says, "Just submitted the initial application, the first step for a Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program Grant for $3 million."
Strunk has the goal of starting construction Spring of 2016. He'd like to know funding is in place and plans are approved by the end of this year. If anyone is interested in helping to further the project, just call Stroudsburg Borough.

LOCALS PREPARE FOR SUBZERO TEMPERATURES
February 16, 2015

Subzero temperatures are causing problems for some people in the Poconos.
Many woke up to frozen water pipes this morning.
Officials recommend you use pipe insulation, heating tape or keep your faucet running low. They advise not to use an open flame to warm the pipes. Officials say, heating pipes with a blow dryer is ok, but the best way is to hire a professional or prevent the problem.
Some are protecting their vehicles from the ice cold weather also. Parking cars in the garage, keeping their gas tank full and air in their tires. The owner of the Citgo gas station in Tannersville
says they've been stocking up products to combat the weather like antifreeze and De-Icer for car doors and windows.
More freezing temperatures are expected into the rest of the week.

FIRE DESTROYS HOME IN CARBON COUNTY
February 16, 2015

A three alarm fire destroyed a home on Wintergreen Road in Lower Towamensing Township today. The fires started just before eleven this morning. Four people and two pets managed to get out of the home safely. The homeowner says her son was attempting to thaw out a frozen pipe in their basement with a hairdryer when she noticed smoke pouring out of the vents inside the home. The fire chief believes that even though the homeowner used a hairdryer, either cob webs or insulation caught on fire causing the blaze.

NEW SIGN ORDINANCE COMING
February 13, 2015

When you drive along Route 611 in Pocono Township, business signs are everywhere and advertisements come in every size, shape and form. Officials call it "sign littering" and say it will soon be cleaned up. Changes are coming to Pocono Township's sign ordinance. The township planning commission has presented its first official draft to both commissioners and the public.
Township Manager Gregg Schuster says, "We already have a sign ordinance but a lot of it wasn't enforced. Going forward the Board of Commissioners has made it very clear that they want our current ordinances enforced and they want to go ahead and tighten up those ordinances."
Regulations could include limiting sandwich boards, the amount and locations of signs on a property and eliminating moveable signs like a trailer. But that's not all. The idea is to make all advertisements uniform.
Schuster says, "Limitations on how illuminated a sign can be particularly those electric sign boards, and also it's going to put some size limitations on some billboards and off-premises signage."
Schuster says residents at yesterday's meeting seemed to be in agreement, but the business community was not represented.
While we found business owners having differing opinions, many wouldn't even talk to us because of being such a controversial issue. Schuster says they will have other opportunities to voice and have their opinions included. From here the commissioners need to accept it. Then it's sent to the Monroe County Planning Commission to make comments, which normally takes 30 days. When they get it back, they'll have a public hearing.
Schuster says, "We are always welcoming of the public and the business owners to come and give us some feedback to make sure we have an ordinance that's workable and serves everyone as best we can."
Schuster estimates the whole process will take two to three months and then they will have a new adopted sign ordinance.

TEENS GIVE GIFTS OF LOVE THIS VALENTINES DAY
February 13, 2015

Local teens are hoping to make someone smile this Valentine's Day who maybe hasn't smiled in a while
Members of the African American Network Youth of the Poconos have been collecting toiletries, blankets, perishable foods, infant supplies and other items to give to Womens Resources of Monroe County, that helps abused women and their children.
Last year, Women's Resources director of Monroe County, Lauren Peterson says over 200 women and children came to the shelter to escape domestic violence or dealing with sexual abuse and the numbers are growing every year.
Students will continue collecting items until the end of March at their office, located at 556 Main St. in Stroudsburg. There's a box right outside of their door.

ESU STUDENT SPEAKS OUT AFTER HOSPITAL VISIT
February 12, 2015

ESU officials believe a gastrointestinal infection is what's been affecting over one hundred students.
Students found themselves seeking medical attention, after suffering from diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and headache symptoms.
Melyssa Vasquez was one of them. She was diagnosed and released from Pocono Medical Center today.
"Basically they told me that I had a bacteria that was found in chicken. It's called campylobacter...It was contaminating the food in the cafeteria," said Melyssa Vazquez, a freshman at ESU.
ESU officials couldn't comment on whether the infection was caused by poor hygiene or undercooked foods prepared on campus. We contacted the Department of Health who's investigating. They were also unable to comment.

CAMP RECIEVES BIG BOOST
February 12, 2015

Camp Speers-Eljabar in Delaware Township struggled to stay in business. In a last ditch effort to remain open, they reached out to the Philadelphia YMCA, who invested eight- million dollars to keep the camp open. the money will be used to give the camp a massive facelift. Already the renovations have started, they are putting in new flooring, restoring the dining hall, year round lodges, while also making repairs to the electrical and heating systems. Camp officials tell us, renovations are expected to completed by 2017.

POLICE SAY DON'T GIVE MONEY TO PANHANDLERS
February 12, 2015

Stroud Area Regional Police say panhandling has recently increased dramatically in their coverage area. And they say it's more of a problem than meets the eye.
People holding signs begging for help or food are now a common sight in East Stroudsburg, Stroudsburg and Stroud Township. Over the past several months we've witnessed panhandlers at Interstate 80 exits and heavily traveled intersections. Police say it's directly related to a huge problem in their coverage area.
Officer Chris Shelly says, "I'm seeing mostly the influx of it being predominantly drug induced or for drug use is where the money is going towards."
Shelly says the use of heroin and prescription pills is an epidemic so an increase in panhandling comes at no surprise.
Shelly explains, "A glitch in the system if you will that they can still receive money legally and that can support their drug habit on a daily basis."
And Salvation Army officials have witnessed their signs may say they're hungry but that's not actually the case.
Shelter Director Edward Smith for Monroe County's Salvation Army explains, "If you walk up to these panhandlers and you offer them food, you know they often times do not accept the food. However, they prefer the money."
Smith says while many people are homeless in Monroe County, they're usually not the ones panhandling.
Smith adds, "Them being there and not necessarily homeless, it gives a poor reflection on people that are actually homeless and is in need of help in the community."
Smith says instead they're coming to the Salvation Army's soup kitchen, the Homeless Initiative's Day Center and various churches in the community for either food, shelter or other means of support. That's why police are asking you not to give money to panhandlers.
Shelly says, "Most likely by providing them money, all you're doing is supporting the organized drug operations in the area, basically organized crime."
Also police say you're putting yourself at risk.
Shelly explains, "You're letting these people come to you car and get close to you that's a very dangerous situation, especially imagine if you have you kids in the back seat, they can rip you out and car jack you."
Instead, if you want to help, police suggest donating money directly to the organizations catering to the homeless like the Salvation Army. That way you'll know your money is going straight to the cause.

WINTER BRINGS MORE SUV SALES
February 11, 2015

U.S. auto sales numbers are showing a huge demand for trucks and SUVS last month.
Ray Price from the Ford Dealership in Stroudsburg says, 95% of the trucks and SUVS they sale are 4 wheel or all wheel drive.
At Suburu all of their vehicles have all wheel drive, which Jim Ertle from Ertle Suburu says is why they're one of the most popular carmakers in the world.
About six years ago, he says, they were selling 180,000 cars a year. Ertle says, this year they sold 500,000 cars.

STUDENTS DEDICATED TO CHANGING THE WORLD
February 11, 2015

The first high school group in the world to be officially affiliated with the United Nations is in Monroe County.
The students from East Stroudsburg South have been given United Nations Aspire status, typically it's for college level students, and their work is used internationally as an example.
The students take what they learn at the UN and put it into action. Over the years, they've made an impact in our community and around the world, making it a better place.
Advisor Michael Healey says his current group of students have taken the initiative and their relationship with the United Nations to a new level. They've been the host group for the United Nations Academic Impact third and fourth anniversary conferences, and students have been panelists. One is nominated for the 2014 Pennsylvania State Education Association Student Leader Award in Human Rights and Civil Rights. Junior Leila Bouchkouk uses aspects of herself such as being diabetic, Muslim and Algerian to help and teach others a better way.
Students tell us they feel they are making a difference around the world from the little town of East Stroudsburg.

SAFE HAVEN OF PIKE COUNTY RECEIVES GRANT
February 11, 2015

Safe Haven of Pike County got a helping hand to further its mission. Thanks to a thirty-six thousand dollar grant from the PA Commission on Crime and Delinquency, the organization is able to add a new staff member. The new position, a multi-disciplinary investigative coordinator, will monitor professionals who investigate child abuse in Pike County. The organization plans to fill the position in the next few weeks, but Safe Havens ultimate goal, establish a Child Advocacy Center in Pike County.

SAVE OUR BUBBLE
February 11, 2015

Andrea Davis of Nesquehoning has had enough. Recently her daughter was robbed at gun point as she walked through the borough. Thankfully, the teen was unharmed. Now Davis is calling on residents to step up to the plate and got to bat for their neighborhood. Over twenty people showed up at the Hill Top Community Center in Summit Hill last night to support Davis' movement called, "save our bubble." Davis is reaching out to police, borough council members and residents to help restore the diminishing sense of community. Anyone interested in learning more about the group can visit their Facebook page.

MAN FACING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY CHARGES
February 10, 2015

51 Year old Kenneth Schiff of New Jersey is being investigated for allegedly videotaping numerous people at a home he rented with friends in Lake Harmony. Schiff is already serving a sentence in state prison for separate, but similar charges. Once those charges were filed, a man came forward who suspected he and his family had also been victimized. The unidentified victim tells police he and Schiff rented a home on North Lake Drive over New Year's eve weekend 2013. The victim says Schiff was acting unusual, frequently checking a smoke detector in the second floor bathroom. The victim found the behavior troubling since Schiff had his own bathroom on the first floor. A search at Schiff's NJ home resulted in the discovery of a smoke detector casing, a camera, memory card and a laptop. Almost 550 video files were recovered showing people using the toilet and showering. At least 6 victims are minors Schiff faces several charges including child pornography. Schiff is expected to be arraigned on the charges on Thursday.

MEASLES CONCERNS IN CARBON COUNTY
February 10, 2015

Since late December, the U.S. has seen an outbreak of the measles virus. Now, doctors in our area a warning parents that the disease could spread to our area. As of January, over 100 cases have been reported in 11 states. Doctors say many people have stopped receiving the measles vaccination for religious or personal reasons, and that has contributed to the most recent outbreak. Although doctors have yet to see a case in our area, they are encouraging parents to have their children vaccinated if they haven't done so already. Adults can have their anti-bodies tested to see if they're eligible for the vaccine.

RESIDENTS APPRECIATE POLICE CRACKDOWN
February 10, 2015

People living in the Birches Development off Route 715 are thanking Fern Ridge State Police today. They've seen a huge improvement after complaining about speeders flying through stop signs where they live.
Birches III Resident Robin Dahl appreciates police immediately answering her call for action. Back in November, she contacted News13 worried someone was going to get hurt. The main road through her development- Hawk Terrace- has two stop signs that drivers completely ignore at high speeds. We got police involved after we witnessed an accident waiting to happen. Fern Ridge State Police say they then led several enforcement details in that area, which resulted in 37 citations and 11 warnings being issued to motorists not completely complying with the laws of the stop sign. Police will continue to monitor the situation. Dahl says their presence is now well known.
Dahl adds, "Even if [drivers aren't] completely stopping, they're going way slower than they were before so it's a big improvement."
We were there today for about an hour and noticed right away what she's referring to-- eight vehicles didn't stop.
And while residents are thankful for police, they say the problem isn't solved and they want more done.
Resident Mark Mclean suggests speed bumps. He says not abiding by a stop sign is inexcusable. He walks his daughter to the bus stop and doesn't feel safe. He says police being there is what keeps it from happening but doesn't think their constant presence is the solution.
Mclean says, "That'd be a waste of resources, you know."
We contacted officials at Chestnuthill Township about putting in speed bumps and we're waiting to hear back. Police tell us they encourage more people to call about any concern they may have. They're here to help.

STUDENTS MARCH TO LOCAL THEATRE FOR SELMA
February 10, 2015

East Stroudsburg University students will be marching from campus to Pocono Community Theatre to see Selma tomorrow, in honor of Black History Month.
They're hoping members of the community will join them for this event and others they've planned this February.
The film highlights Martin Luther King's fight for voter rights and the historic march from Selma to Montgomery Alabama in 1965.
Participants will even be able to register to vote onsite.
For those interested in being a part of the march tomorrow, tickets are available at the door and the first 50 students watch for free.
Students will meet at 96 Normal St. at 6:30. The march will begin at 6:45. The movie starts at 7:15.

Other Events Are Listed Below:
Thursday, Feb 12
"Race"ing toward a United ESU Panel Discussion
7pm- Stroud Hall 117

Monday February 16 - Saturday, Feb 28
University "Black Lives Matter" Display Case at the University Center - Student Photo Campaign

Tuesday, Feb 17
Guest Speaker Amil Cook, a Hip Hhop Generation Educator, Journalist
7pm - Stroud Hall 113

Thurday, February 19
Soul Food Dinner
5pm - Dansbury Commons

Wednesday, Feb 25
Honest Conversations
7pm
Shawnee Lounge

Saturday, Feb 28
African American Festival
1pm to 4pm Keystone Room
$3 Admission Fee

February 16 - 28
Residence Hall Banner Contest



SNOW DAYS KEEP PILING UP
February 10, 2015

It hasn't been an easy school year for the Wallenpaupack District. They were forced to close school for three days for security reasons, while police searched for Eric Frein. Now, the District has more obstacles standing in the way, thanks to the weather. So far, the District has cancelled nine days of school. Already, they have taken one day out of the Presidents Day Weekend Holiday, and if the weather continues to be problematic, they will cut into Spring Break as well. The District says, they have two days that are available from Easter break, along with an in-service day towards the end of the school year at their disposal. Superintendent Michael Silsby however is confident, diplomas will be handed out as scheduled, the last day of school, June 19th.

MONROE COUNTY GIRL NEEDS YOUR HELP
February 9, 2015

Imagine the worst headache you've ever had not going away and your life disrupted from the pain.
Stroudsburg High School Sophomore Jada Johnson has been cheerleading since the age of four, now it's a struggle to just sit on the sidelines. Participating in any normal activity comes at a price to pay.
Jada's Mom Stefanie Merritt explains, "She's at her worst pain for two days just to go out for an hour or two so she's starting to withdraw and stay in more."
It all started a little over a year ago when she woke up with a severe headache that never went away.
Since then they've tried everything-- costly tests, medications and doctor visits haven't brought any relief to her condition called "New Daily Persistent Headache." Johnson now maintains her good grades being home-schooled, but spends most of her time sleeping.
Johnson's mom refuses to let this be her life. The only thing that has helped is finding people like Jada and learning about a cure called Nerve Decompression Surgery. It costs $21,000 and insurance won't cover it because it's considered experimental. That's why they need your help. A Go Fund Me page for Jada's surgery is now set up and has already collected over $300. Just go here to donate: www.gofundme.com/NDPHjada. Johnson says she's determined to get through this and then help others with the condition. For more information on how to get involved just email her mom at stefaniej8@aol.com.

RADIOSHACK FILES BANKRUPTCY
February 9, 2015

Thousands of RadioShack locations are expected to close very soon.
John Magluilo, the owner of the Broadheadsville store, which is family owned wants people to know they're staying open.
RadioShack has approximately 4,000 company owned stores in the U.S. and more than 1,000 dealer franchise stores in 25 countries, not included in the chapter 11 bankruptcy filing.
Magluilo says business has improved over the last year.
Unlike most RadioShacks, the Broadheadsville location offers in house computer repair services, THEY sell toys and install generators.
They repair desktops, laptops, cell phones and tablets, fixing water damage and replacing screens and buttons.
As stated in a news release, General Wireless and Sprint are looking to acquire up to 2400 company owned stores. Up to 1,750 of them will be "store within a store" locations. We reached out to other locations in Monroe County, but they were unable to comment.

ICY ROADS MAKE DRIVING DANGEROUS
February 9, 2015

Earlier today, the Interstate was a sheet of ice. Penn Dot reduced the speed limit on Interstate 84 to 45 miles per hour. At rest stops along the Interstate, many big-rigs were pulled over, waiting for conditions on the highway to improve. Penn Dot was out salting the roads, however officials say its going to take some time, before the Interstate is cleared up. Penn Dot is asking all drivers to please avoid getting behind the wheel tonight, unless absolutely necessary.

WINTER DRIVING TIPS
February 9, 2015

PennDOT District 5 Press officer Sean Brown says drivers need to be extra cautious when sleet and rain are in the forecast. Even if you have a four-wheel drive SUV. Officials say two of the most important things to keep in mind when driving in winter weather is to give yourself extra time to reach your destination and to slow down. If your car goes into a slide, stay calm and don't slam on the brakes. It goes without saying always wear your seatbelt and make certain your car is in good working condition. Check that your tires have adequate tread and are properly inflated. Plus, check your brakes periodically.

OUTAGE PREPAREDNESS
February 6, 2015

Winter brings unpredictable weather, including snow and ice storms. With winter in full swing, emergency responders remind people to be prepared in case of a weather related incident like a power outage. Some things to keep on hand are bottled water, flashlights with fresh batteries, non-perishable food and a batter6y powered radio to stay informed during the emergency.

HOME INVASION/ROBBERY IN MONROE COUNTY
February 6, 2015

Police are actively investigating a home invasion/robbery in Ross Township. It happened yesterday around noon at a house on Laurel Lane in Saylorsburg. Police say two white males wearing masks forced their way into the door at gunpoint. Once inside, they bound the victims-- a mother and daughter.
Police say they took several items from a second floor bedroom-- including a loaded AR15 Rifle, a box containing $3,000 cash and the victims' cell phones. The victims ages 55 and 26 were left unharmed. Police received information the suspects fled the scene in a vehicle described as a dark green older model coupe. Police believe the residence was targeted and not a random act.
Police are asking anyone to come forward with any information he or she might have, even if you just see a vehicle like the old style coupe they've described. Just call the Lehighton State Police Barracks at 610-681-1850.

CURE YOUR CABIN FEVER
February 6, 2015

Starting today Sculpted Ice Works kicked off their ninth annual Crystal Cabin Fever. This years theme, takes us ten-thousand leagues under the sea. Over one -hundred tons of ice are hand carved and sculpted to create the ultimate underwater experience. Sea Horses, Whales, Dolphins, Sharks are all being carved out to give guests the perfect underwater illusion. The event even features a full bar, shaped as the lost city of Atlantis, where guests can enjoy homemade vino from the Antler Ridge Winery. Crystal Cabin Fever runs until February 22nd.

ESU ADDS SHUTTLE ROUTE
February 6, 2015

East Stroudsburg University administrators are trying out a new shuttle route.
Students will be able to catch a ride to a variety of stops in town after school hours.
Right now this is a part of a 5 week pilot program, but it could stick around.
They're calling the shuttle "The Downtown Warrior Shuttle."
On campus, the new shuttle stops at University Ridge and Normal Street Near Hemlock Suites. Off campus, students can go to Walmart or 7th and Main.
It runs on a continuous loop Thursday through Saturday from 8:30pm to 2:30a.m.

CAREER AND TECH SCHOOL MONTH
February 6, 2015

February began National Career and Tech School Month and one of our local schools is celebrating. The Carbon Career and Technical Institute in Jim Thorpe is having their students show off the skills they've learned all month long. The school also opened its' doors to potential Freshmen for tours and honored their current students from the five Carbon-County districts. Educators say it's important to honor career and technical jobs because of the growth their industry has seen, especially in this county. The festivities at CCTI will continue throughout February. For more information, log on to the school's website at carboncti.org.

AFFORDABLE CARE ACT & TAXES
February 5, 2015

The Affordable Care Act is affecting some people this tax season. The act required all people to purchase health insurance for 2014 or face a tax penalty. People who have insurance through an employer aren't affected by the new law. If you purchased insurance through the marketplace you will receive a 1095-A and your return will include two additional forms. These forms will help determine your tax credit. If you didn't purchase health insurance last year and you should have, you may be able to file an exemption and avoid a penalty. For more information contact your local tax advisor.

CONCERN OVER ANOTHER BUSINESS CLOSING IN NEWFOUNDLAND
February 5, 2015

Local business owners in Newfoundland have grown extremely concerned after PNC Bank announced they will be closing its doors in April. This will be the fourth business to shut down in a very short time span. Recently, Gumble Bros. Construction, Franks Pharmacy, and Litening Auto, all on the main drag have closed up shop. Owner of the Newfoundland Hotel, Mike Seagraves chalks up the circumstances to people leaving the area. " I just think there the income here is lower than some other places and there aren't that many people anymore in Newfoundland". However Seagraves does believe that it can be fixed. "The Sterling industrial Park that's nearby, it we can get that up and going, it could mean 100 jobs, or even 60 jobs and just that alone can get the economy moving in the right direction". Though Seagraves is hopeful, only time will tell, if the town of Newfoundland can return to the bustling destination area it was once before.

TEEN FACES CHILD PORNOGRAPHY RELATED CHARGES.
February 4, 2015

A 14 year old student in the Pocono Mountain School District is facing child pornography and theft by extortion and transmission charges.
Police say, the juvenile set up a fake facebook account, posing as a young female back in November.
Police say, he contacted at least 100 boys.
Police say, he asked other boys to send nude pictures in exchange for nude pictures he downloaded of young girls. He threatened to post them online if they didn't send more. Pocono Mountain Regional Police Chief Chris Wagner says, they've obtained evidence connecting the suspect to the crimes.
Under the juvenile system, Wagner says, it's geared towards rehabilitation so they don't make the same mistakes in the future.
He encourages parents to be vigilant and check phones and computers to see who they're talking to and what they're doing.
The boy has been released to his parents. His next juvenile court date has not been set.

PIKE COUNTY LOOKS TO MAKE A BIG SPLASH AT GREAT AMERICAN OUTDOOR SHOW
February 4, 2015

Pike County's unloading the big guns at next week's American Outdoor Show in Harrisburg. They are bringing Kahr Arms owner, Justin Moon, to speak to the crowd about his positive experience since relocating to Pike County from Pearl River New York. The large arms manufacturer broke ground back in June, and construction on their facility is scheduled to wrap up in the fall. The addition of Kahr Arms, is estimated to create over one - hundred local jobs in the area. In addition, Pike County officials invited some other large manufacturers who could benefit from relocating to attend the show. They are confident using this show as their platform, Pike County will take a big step in the right direction.

TAX SEASON PHONE SCAMS
February 3, 2015

As we enter tax season, some are trying to take advantage of the hectic time. Phone scammers in our area are now posing as I.R.S agents and telling consumers the owe money. There are some important things to remember when receiving one of these calls.

1. The IRS will never call you without previous notification.
- Almost all interactions with the IRS will come through the U.S. Postal Service. Others will be sent as certified mail.

2. Scammers will try to intimidate you.
- Criminals will often become hostile and short with people on the phone. If they refuse to give some sort of information that would verify their credibility, hang up.

3. You can always call the I.R.S. back.
- If the call doesn't feel right, hang up. You can always look for the number to contact the I.R.S. and get things straightened out.

For more information, log on to irs.gov.

MONROE COUNTY RESORT AND COMMUNITY WITHOUT WATER
February 3, 2015

No one has been able to turn on a faucet at The Inn at Pocono Manor and the surrounding homes since yesterday morning. But today we found people are taking it well. It's the well that's the problem afterall.
Assistant General Manager Greg Corvelle can't thank guests enough for being so understanding. Guests are now being notified before they arrive they may not be able to take a hot shower or flush the toilet.
Maintenance crews have been working around the clock to fix the problem, while dealing with a lot of snow. The well, about 600 feet down, -- that provides water to the inn and surrounding homes-- needs a new pump.
Corvelle says, "We shipped one in from Oklahoma, it's here. We had to remove 600 feet of casing that's ten feet per casing and we have to unscrew it, it's a lot of labor."
Now the snow may be adding to the difficulty of fixing the problem but the guests we spoke with say the snow is helping their situation. They say they're having a great time out playing in it and taking in the beautiful scenery.
The 47 guests staying today are no longer able to dine in. They'll have to leave the property for dinner tonight.
Corvelle explains, "Health inspector is notified when something like this happens and water is not at a resort like this so it's more of a precautionary and safety measure."
Corvelle says a free continental breakfast will be provided tomorrow morning. His goal is to make guests as happy as possible.
Corvelle says, "We've been giving guests all the bottled water they can drink and we have a coffee station in the lobby that's open all day and night."
We're told the water is expected to be back on tonight. If that happens, a boil advisory will be in effect for the next two days or until the water is determined safe.

MORE SNOW CLEANUP, SNOW EMERGENCY EXTENDED
February 3, 2015

Snow clean up in Monroe County continues and municipal officials are asking for the public's help to get the job done.
We found cars still buried in snow today. Some sidewalks and driveways are still covered. Stroud Township is offering snow removal services to some who need it the most. Residents could be fined if sidewalks aren't cleared.
Stroudsburg will be under a snow emergency through tomorrow morning at 9 a.m. On the borough website, municipal officials have posted a list of streets where parking is restricted, during the clean up process.
Officials will also be out looking for snow covered sidewalks and handing out tickets.

HEIDELBERG TWP NEW AMBULANCE SERVICE PROVIDER
February 3, 2015

For more than four decades, Heidelberg Township was serviced by Northwestern Ambulance Corps, but now township residents have a new ambulance service provider. Northern Valley Emergency Medical Services or NOVA EMS is now covering the area. In November, the township was notified that Northwestern Ambulance Corps was closing effective February 15th, 2015. Heidelberg Township has about 3,500 residents. Next week, Lynn Township will vote on whether or not it will also hire NOVA.

PALMYRA TOWNSHIP URGES RENTAL PROPERTY OWNERS TO REGISTER
February 3, 2015

After receiving several noise complaints from neighbors, Township Supervisor, Tom Simons, decided some action must be taken to control the amount of people staying in rental properties. "There is no parking near many of these homes and these people are taxing the septic with a large number of people obviously". The Township passed an ordinance, anyone who owns property, must register with the Township. To register their property initially costs three hundred dollars, but its only a one-hundred dollar renewal fee. Since sending out letters to homeowners, the Township has received fifteen applications. They estimate around fifty vacation homes in Palmyra Township, so that number has been encouraging. The deadline to submit your application with Palmyra Township is March 1st.

COMMUNITY CUPBOARD FOOD DRIVE UNDERWAY
February 3, 2015

Help Blue Ridge Communications make a difference by donating non-perishable food items to BRCís Community Cupboard. Drop off unopened, non-perishable donations from February 2nd through March 2nd at all Blue Ridge Communications offices, Palmerton Telephone, Pennís Peak, Pennís Peak Radio, Roadies, and Pencor Superstore locations. Donations will be given to food banks and the Salvation Army through out the BRC service area. Together we can end hunger!

PUPPY THROWN INTO SNOW BANK
February 2, 2015

Monroe County's AWSOM Animal Shelter volunteers need your help.
A puppy is now in their care after being thrown into a snow bank at the Walmart in East Stroudsburg. They're looking for any information on who could've done such a thing and they want justice.
Shelter officials say it happened late Thursday afternoon. A good Samaritan saw the female puppy thrown from a car window, but couldn't get any information on the car. He/she brought the pup to AWSOM. The staff describes her as a German Shepherd/Hound Mix and about five weeks old. They named her Bonnie Bell because it matches her cuteness.
They hope Walmart's surveillance cameras positioned on the outside of the building caught the animal cruelty in action or someone comes forward with information.
We checked with Walmart officials and they say they're more than willing to let police view their footage, and Stroud Area Regional Police tell us they will be doing just that.
Calls are already coming in with people looking to adopt Bonnie Bell, but she's too young right now. If interested in adopting her or any of the dogs and cats, contact AWSOM for more information at 570-421-3647. The shelter's staff could also use donations for help with the puppy's care.

PENNDOT ARE EXPECTED TO WORK WELL INTO THE NIGHT
February 2, 2015

PennDOT District-5 crews are working around the clock in 12 hour shifts to maintain 8,300 lane miles of road across six counties. Crews have been out since yesterday afternoon in anticipation of the storm and will continue to treat the roads with anti-skid material as the temperature is expected to drop tonight. Officials remind drivers to exercise caution and to take it slow.

PIKE GETS PUMMELLED WITH SNOW
February 2, 2015

People in Pike County were greeted to another heft helping of snow this morning. Many in Milford were up since early this morning, trying to clean up the mess mother nature dished out. Rick Farina, a Milford Resident, said " I didn't even want to look out my window when I woke up, I dreaded it. Once he did look outside, he realized, he had a heavy workload ahead of him. " I thought it was done, but here it comes again, I am going to be out here all day, again, just one of those days ". Penn Dot is out right now, trying to manage the mess the snow and ice created. They are asking everyone to please avoid getting behind the wheel unless absolutely necessary.

SUPER BOWL PREPARATIONS IN THE POCONOS
January 30, 2015

Restaurants and bars in Monroe County are gearing up for the big kickoff this Sunday. The New England Patriots will go head to head with the Seattle Seahawks for Super Bowl 49. And locals we talked to are just ready to celebrate no matter who plays.
The Poconos isn't as close to the action this year, but Super Bowl 49 in Arizona is still number one on locals minds. Everyone just seems to have plans getting together and eating great food. That's why restaurants and bars are already preparing for the big game between the Seahawks and the Patriots. Rooting on a team has taken a backseat as some people today couldn't even tell us who was playing.
Whether you want to order in or eat out, Monroe County establishments have got you covered. Employees at Dickey's Barbecue Pit located near Bartonsville are especially looking forward to Sunday. Last year they had just opened and weren't that busy.
General Manager Matt Bonefede says, "We have a lot of catering options. We have a lot of extra large family packs and family packs, and hopefully people come out and grab them all."
But if today's lunch crowd is any indication, we're sure they'll be getting a lot of calls for their one-of-a-kind taste.
Bonefede says, "All kind of smoked meats, all kinds of different sides, and we have our own smoker in house so it's not like we're bringing it in already smoked."
Now even if your team loses, there's still a place in Stroudsburg that you could leave still being a winner.
Jock N' Jill's Owner Barry Lynch explains,"200 prizes to give out, yeah a lot of the beer companies get involved and you know we have things like mountain bikes, beer refrigerators and an entertainment center."
Lynch says this is their fifth year throwing a Super Bowl party and it just keeps getting bigger. He says besides just a perfect atmosphere with about 28 TV screens and of course the prizes, there's great deals and themed food, along with their regular menu.
Lynch adds, "Chef is doing a wing sauce for each team this Sunday so there'll be one for the Patriots and the Seahawks."
Kickoff is at 6:30 Sunday night and no matter where you celebrate, stay safe, don't drink and drive.

NORTHAMPTON COUNTY MURDER IN COURT TODAY
January 30, 2015

The highly-profiled disappearance and murder of Jessica Padgett of Northampton was brought to the courtroom today. Gregory Graf, Padgett's step-father is accused of murdering the 33-year old to perform sexual acts on her corpse. Graf was advised to waive his right to a preliminary hearing today and did so. Northampton County District Attorney, John Morganelli believes the county has overwhelming evidence to convict Graf of the murder-one charge. However, Graf's defense attorney Jack McMahon says the defense will be looking deeply into his client's mental state mental state at the time of the murder. Graf is due back in court in April.

NURSES AT PMC DECIDE NOT TO STRIKE
January 30, 2015

JNESO unionized registered nurses at Pocono Medical Center have ratified a new contract with officials at PMC, avoiding a strike of roughly 500 nurses. Understaffing is one of their biggest concerns.
Hospital spokesman Geoffrey Roach released the following statement:
"We have reached an agreement that is fair and in the best interests of our patients, employees and community."
JNESO Director of practice, Barbara Conklin says they've agreed to look at understaffing in 3 of the worst areas: the emergency room, the med surge areas and the telemetry floor.
Conklin says they will still continue pursuing staffing ratio issues through legislation.
The current contract expires tomorrow. Officials are working to finalize the new one which will come into effect Feb 1 and extend through Jan 31, 2018.

STEPPING IS MORE THAN JUST ABOUT THE BEAT
January 29, 2015

February is Black History Month, and there are plenty of ways to celebrate. One club at a local community college always honors the culture.
They call themselves Shadow Steppers- the Northampton Community College stepping club that meets and practices at the Monroe Campus dance studio in Tannersville. Their stomp, clap and slap the body routines have everything to do with African American roots.
Shadow Steppers Club Advisor Denise Harris explains, "When the men and women had to work in the coal mines, they were not allowed to speak so they had to learn other ways to communicate."
Now those movements of communication have transformed into the entertainment art form you see today. But it's still bringing home the message of Black History Month.
Shadow Steppers Club Co-Advisor Aliya Kenyatta adds, "Moving forward and bringing everyone together to celebrate a specific culture too so it's not to take away from its origin but we want to include everyone. And that's what Black History Month is all about."
That's why they're looking for more students to join in on the beat. And they've also incorporated dance into their routines.
Harris started the club in 2011. She only requests commitment in showing up for every practice and being ready to perform in front of people. They are willing to teach you. So if you're an interested student, just come to Kapp Hall Room 22 and join in on the fun Tuesdays and Thursdays at 11 in the morning.

STATE LEGISLATORS RECONSIDER MEDICAL MARIJUANA BILL
January 29, 2015

The state could be closer to allowing medical marijuana use.
Legislators are taking another look at legalizing medical marijuana in Pennsylvania. Last year the senate passed bill 1182 to allow it, but it died in the house of representatives.
Senate Bill 3, vey similar to that bill is before legislators again, but it may have new supporters this time around. State Senator Mario Scavello is one who's had a change of heart.
No votes have been taken yet, but there has been discussion. Legislators in the senate are expected to pass the bill and the governor has shown support.

POLICE NEED YOUR HELP
January 28, 2015

Police ask for your help finding a suspected drug dealer. Earlier this month, our viewers tipped us off to authorities making an arrest on Main Street in Stroudsburg. Now we know it was a drug bust, but the man taken into custody is currently on the run.
Stroud Area Regional Police and Monroe County Detectives are in search of Randy Cruz. Police say they arrested several heroin addicts in the Stroudsburg-East Stroudsburg area. Interviews led police to Cruz being the supplier. Police say Cruz's distribution of heroin led to other crimes in their area, and it became a quality of life issue for residents.
Police say an investigation began a little over a month ago with the help of detectives. They had someone buy narcotics from Cruz on two occasions. Then a third meeting was set up early afternoon on January 12th for his arrest.
The drug bust happened on Main Street in Stroudsburg in front of Jock N' Jill's. Many people couldn't believe what they saw, especially FBI agents.
Detective Joseph Coddington of the Monroe County District Attorney's Office says FBI agents from Scranton were in the area for another case and they appreciated the manpower.
Cruz was then released, and is now on the run. He's described as 26-years-old, Hispanic, having a face piercing and covered in tattoos. There is now a felony warrant for his arrest.
Police say they held off on providing information on the drug bust for their informant's safety and it was still an on-going investigation for a possible bigger supplier. If you have any information on Cruz, please contact either Stroud Area Regional Police or Monroe County Detectives.

ALPINE BACK IN BUSINESS
January 28, 2015

Skiers are enjoying all the left over snow we got over the last couple days at Alpine Mountain.
The winter started out slow for them with a lack of snow, but now the owner says mother nature is making up for it.
Alpine is considered a beginner and family friendly ski and snowboarding resort. They use wider skis that help with balance.
They begin lessons at 4 years old.
The owner wants to build a nursery next year that can entertain kids while parents ski if they're not up for it.

THE COST OF WOOD STOVES MAY DRAMATICALLY RISE
January 27, 2015

A popular heating source in the Poconos that saves people money, may no longer be as affordable to newcomers. The Environmental Protection Agency proposed last year updated regulations to reduce air pollution by wood stoves and wood heaters. If the law goes into effect, manufacturers producing new stoves will need to redesign them this May. The standards haven't been changed in more than two decades, but Manager Doreen Carmean at Stoves 'N Stuff located on Route 611 in Stroud Township says the EPA is missing the real problem. Carmean says stoves created after 1988 are already of great quality.
Doreen adds, "It's the old products that people can't afford to replace, and we need them to have an incentive to replace anything built prior to 1988 with things built now."
Stoves 'N Stuff actually has an example of a wood stove with the new regulations at a cost of about $4,000. That's a difference of about $2,000 over current stoves. The reason- besides just normal redesigning costs- is the stove will transform into a double re-burning system with a catalytic filter and second chamber.
Carmean says, "We believe it will harm not only people who can't afford a wood burning stove, but also businesses like ours that depend on selling wood stoves."
Carmean also says what the EPA wants is an attack on the entire industry:
"We actually have legislators and lawyers that are constantly going to the EPA and fighting this process."
An EPA spokesperson says Carmean's comments and nearly 6,000 others, either for or against the new regulations are being considered. You are no longer able to weigh in and a public hearing was held. The agency is under a court order deadline to sign a final rule by February 3rd.

QUESTIONS SURROUND A TRAFFIC PLAN
January 23, 2015

No matter who we talked to today shopping at Steele's True Value Hardware Store in Pocono Township, they all referred to the Route 715 and Sullivan Trail intersection in Tannersville as the biggest travel pain on the weekends. The shopping, skiing and various other destinations are too big of a draw. Pocono Township officials announced this week The Crossings Premium Outlets will provide a way to alleviate the problem. According to the minutes of the Commissioner's meeting-- The Crossings would pay Pocono Township Police to direct traffic at the intersection on the known busy days.
Today, the general manager of the Crossings sent us a statement that the announcement made by township officials was premature and no agreements have been reached yet.
Other details were hired flaggers directing parking in the Crossings' lot and possibly using Northampton Community College's lot for parking. While Crossings' officials agree these are all on the table, they're not able to confirm anything at this time.
We will keep you updated on this story as we receive more information from the Crossings' management.

LB MORRIS CLOSED - NO HEAT
January 23, 2015

A Jim Thorpe School is closed today after the heating system fails. The superintendent says boilers at LB Morris were not operational this morning and as a result school was cancelled. Parts of both boilers failed and prevented them from operating at full capacity. As of mid-morning, one boiler was back up and running. A part for the second boiler was on the way. The superintendent says school will be back in session Monday unless the district is affected by the forecasted snow.

THEFT FROM FATAL CRASH MEMORIAL
January 22, 2015

A Palmerton woman is accused of stealing from a memorial site set up for victims of a fatal crash in Lower Towamensing Township. Troopers say 24-year-old Amanda Everitt stole a sliver and ruby necklace from a memorial on Dairy Road. Four teens were killed there December 19th. Everitt took the necklace between December 20th and January 20th. She's then accused of trying to sell the jewelry on Craig's List and Facebook. The family of one of the deceased saw a picture Everitt posted and a description of the necklace. Troopers got the necklace back and charged Everitt with theft and other related offenses.

STROUDSBURG SCHOOL BOARD MEETING DISAPPOINTS ATTENDEES
January 22, 2015

Residents attending last night's Stroudsburg School Board Meeting say they have a lot to be upset about.
First, their efforts to get Superintendent John Toleno's contract renewed have failed. The board voted five to four again. Students used social media, handed in a petition of 400 student names and community members manned phones getting the word out to #savetoleno.
While Toleno can apply for the superintendent position, he says he's looking to move on to another district.
Toleno says, "I have some future plans. I'm sure I'm going to land on my feet. I'm holding my head high. I'm very proud of what we did have here in Stroudsburg."
Then, the board approved a plan to close Clearview at the end of this school year and use the other four elementary schools as kindergarten through fourth grade. The next step is to finalize transportation and organization plans.

NORTH WHITEHALL HIT & RUN
January 21, 2015

State Police are looking for a vehicle that hit a Coplay woman last night on Route 873. The incident happened just before 9 pm near the McDonald's in North Whitehall Township. Troopers say the vehicle hit 42-year-old Jennifer Dietrich as she was walking across the street. The driver is believed to have fled north on Route 873. The vehicle is either a truck or SUV, dark in color. The vehicle may have damage to the front passenger area and a smashed passenger side headlight. The pedestrian was admitted to the hospital in critical condition. Anyone with information is asked to contact State Police at Bethlehem.

STROUDSBURG MUSIC TEACHER ARRAIGNED
January 21, 2015

A Stroudsburg music teacher accused of having sexual contact with a minor was arraigned on related charges today.
According to police 90,000 messages exchanged from Brandon Flatley and a 17 year old girl were found. Police say he met her in one of his classes, when she was 10 years old.
A judge set bail at $75,000 with special conditions. Flatley is not allowed to be around any minors with the exception of his children or use social media. His preliminary hearing is scheduled January 30th.

SNOW SAFETY
January 21, 2015

Skiing, snowboarding and sledding...the perks of living in the Poconos. Winter sports can be a lot of fun, but can be dangerous too. According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission more than 440,000 people were treated at hospitals, doctor's offices and emergency rooms for winter sports related injuries in 2010. That's why safety experts emphasize the importance of wearing the proper gear, like safety helmets. Physical therapists also recommend stretching your calves and hamstrings before hitting the slopes.

SECURITY UPGRADES AT MONROE COUNTY DISTRICT COURTS
January 21, 2015

Many high profile and dangerous cases come through the local magistrate offices first before going to the courthouse. Sometimes things can get out of hand. So Monroe County officials are focusing on providing security upgrades to be proactive. One is a new response plan called "All-Call." Now if staff at a district court hit a panic button, the closest officer can respond. And that's not all that's happening thanks to state grant money.
Monroe County Deputy Court Administrator for Special Courts Deb Rivera says, "Door buzzers to secure areas where people just can't walk into to. Most of the offices are expanding their security cameras to include back hallways and parking lots."
Rivera also says more panic buttons will be provided. District Judge Michael Muth's office recently also got approved for bullet resistance glass. His staff currently works behind a thin pane of sliding glass. They're the last magistrate office to get it out of the ten.

SCHUYKILL COUNTY HOMELESS COUNT
January 20, 2015

The Salvation Army in Tamaqua is one of 11 base sites participating in the Schuykill County Local Housing Options Team homeless count. On January 29th, people who are homeless are encouraged to show up at the Salvation Army between 5 and 7 PM. The non-profit will be offering a meal to those who stop by and vouchers to a local grocery store, plus temporary accommodations at area motels.

CONTROVERSY IN BARRETT TOWNSHIP
January 20, 2015

Some Barrett Township residents are outraged. They believe their supervisors have no fiscal responsibility. It comes after the part-time township executive secretary/treasurer was replaced with a full-time employee with benefits.
Everything discussed at today's supervisor meeting will be handed over to the township solicitor to be addressed. Supervisors hope everyone shows up for the next meeting on Tuesday at 9:30AM.

RAPID BRIDGE REPLACEMENT FINALIZED
January 20, 2015

Penn-DOT has finalized a new program to replace more than 550 bridges across the state. The rapid bridge replacement project will replace two bridges in Pike County, eight bridges in Wayne County and 16 structures in Monroe County are also on that list. Some of the projects will start this summer and all of the bridges must be replaced within three years. The full list of bridges included in rapid replacement is available through this link
http://www.dot.state.pa.us/Internet/P3info.nsf/Bridge?ReadForm

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MLK!
January 19, 2015

Today East Stroudsburg University held its annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration breakfast. The event continues to grow every year. This year 450 people attended, the most ever. That's why they moved the 18th annual event to a larger space on the campus-- the Mattioli Recreation Center.
ESU Multicultural Affairs Director and Event Host Cornelia Sewell-Allen says, "Last year we had it in Keystone and we had about 326 attendees, but it was pretty tight, almost to a fire hazard."
Eventually the breakfast will be moved back to Keystone. School officials confirm plans for a new building.
Sewell- Allen says, "The new Keystone Room will be able to accommodate over 500 people."
In the meantime they're hoping even more people come out next year to honor the iconic man with a dream.

GETTING DOWN TO BUSINESS
January 16, 2015

Some new legislators representing Monroe County are just getting started. That's why a lunch was held today with the business community to meet and greet their newly elected: State Senator Mario Scavello and State Representatives David Parker and Jack Rader. It was put on by the Greater Pocono Chamber of Commerce in an effort to get the conversation started on a plan for the economy. All three have a lot on the agenda in Harrisburg this year including property tax reform.

CARBON COUNTY COMMUNICATIONS CENTER REPORT
January 16, 2015

The number of calls going to the communications center continue to increase, but funding continues to decrease. That's according to the recently released annual report. Dispatchers at the center handled nearly 76,000 calls than in 2013. However, revenue from phone bills last year was nearly 24,000 less than the previous year. The communications center receives $1.50 for every land line directly from phone companies. Wireless callers pay a $1.00 911 fee on their cell phone bill, but that money goes to the state and requires the center apply for it. Legislation scheduled to be implemented this summer is expected to address the issue.

PERSISTENCE PAYS OFF
January 15, 2015

A home in Stroud Township is slated to be demolished. That's something the Casalino's living next to the eyesore in Penn Estates have been pursuing for two years.
Teresa Casalino says, "The house is so deplorable that it's brought down the value of our house, and even if we try to sell it to move, we can't get what we want for it because it wouldn't even cover the mortgage."
Stroud Township officials confirm it is a lengthy process because it adheres to the property owners' rights. They did find the home is in disrepair and unsafe.
Stroud Township Planning Administrator/Zoning Officer John DeCusatis says, "The hearing was held in December. The property owner received notice to demolish the property on December 26th, giving her 30 days."
The property owner now has until January 25th. If it isn't demolished by then, township officials will begin proceedings to demolish it themselves. Township officials say the Casalino's did the right thing by seeing it through and thank them for their patience. The Casalino's tell us it was all worth it.

VOLUNTEERS PLAN FOR ANNUAL HOMELESS COUNT
January 15, 2015

Volunteers are preparing for the region's annual homeless count.
Representatives from the Monroe County Homeless Initiative are looking for helping hands. The more people they find, the more money they get from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban development.
Volunteers from the Valor Clinic are using their military skills to map out old and new areas where homeless are staying.
So far they have 20 volunteers prepared to help in the search.
Volunteers are also receiving help from ESU students.
Day center officials will be holding a meeting for volunteers on the 20th and 26th at 4pm. On the 27th the valor clinic is holding a meeting at 7pm.
The count is scheduled for the 28th.














THE MONROE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS ARE TAKING IT TO THE SKIES
January 14, 2015

Monroe County officials will be taking a closer look at your property. It's part of the aerial photography project county commissioners just agreed to have done this year and in 20-18. The goal is to update the Geographic Information System (GIS) and tax assessments.

ESU STUDENT SENTENCED FOR RAPE
January 13, 2015

A 19 year old ESU student will spend up to 4 years in state prison, after a judge's decision this morning.
The sexual assault happened in a dorm room, back in November 2013.
Before this incident, attorney's say the young man had no criminal record.
Now he's not only serving prison time, but he'll be on the Meghans law list for the rest of his life.

LONG TIME TRAFFIC PROBLEM IS COMING TO A HEAD
January 13, 2015

Traffic may be flowing freely today at the Route 715 and Sullivan Trail intersection in Tannersville, but on the weekends it's a different story. The shopping, skiing and various other destinations are too big of a draw.
Pocono Township Chief Kent Werkheiser says, "It's backed up on Route 80, the 715 Corridor, Sullivan Trail which then equates into 611, and I've seen it as long as all the way down to Bartonsville."
And now a procedure used to help alleviate the traffic jams is no more.
Pocono Township Manager Gregg Schuster explains, "The Crossing's had contracted out with crossing guards and the township police had shut down the traffic light and turned it over to a private party. That made all of us somewhat nervous."
Concerns over safety and liability with the hired flaggers directing traffic are now forcing a better solution. Unfortunately a permanent one is a few years from occurring.
Schuster says, "There's nothing you can do with roads that are not designed for the traffic that they're handling. PennDOT has some preliminary plans to go ahead and improve that intersection and widen some of those roads."
And locals are fed up.
Schuster believes a lot of the problems can be alleviated by people abiding by the traffic lights. But meetings have been set up with Crossing Outlets and Camelback officials to brainstorm other ideas to help fix the problem in the meantime. The first one is scheduled for this Thursday. They hope to come up with a plan for the next heavy traffic time-- Presidents Day in February.

DINGMAN SHOPPING CENTER UPDATE
January 13, 2015

A vacant lot in pike county could soon be turned into a retail shopping complex. Back in July, plans were announced to build a major retail shopping complex on route 739 near the intersection of log tavern road. The complex would be anchored by a supermarket along with 15 additional retail stores. This morning, Mike Sullivan had a promising conversation with one major supermarket chain, though he wouldn't answer directly what store it was, he did say things are moving very quickly and they have expressed serious interest.

TAMAQUA DRUG SWEEP
January 12, 2015

Schuylkill County officials continue to crack down on drug dealers.
District Attorney Christine Holman is hands on, making sure drugs won't be tolerated. She's one of the many assisting Tamaqua Police in a drug sweep that started at seven this morning.
Tamaqua Police Chief Rick Weaver says, "The District Attorney supports us wonderfully to say the least and other police departments under the Drug Task Force. We had Rush Township, Higgins Township, state police and county detectives here."
Tamaqua Police are happy a six month investigation into people selling either heroin or meth is finally coming to a close. Six of the eight charged are now arrested, arraigned and behind bars at the Schuylkill County Prison. The two still wanted are Derek Hunsicker and Zachary Hoffman. Police warn not to help them avoid capture.
Weaver says, "You're in a house and they're there and you tell police they're not there and we find out they are there, you could be arrested for hindering apprehension."
That's what one defendant's girlfriend was charged with in today's arrests.
Weaver says, "She was put in Schuylkill County Prison under $10,000 straight cash bail."
If you have any information on Hunsicker or Hoffman, please contact Tamaqua Police at 570-668-6100.

RESTAURANTS CAN NOW DELIVER BEER
January 9, 2015

Ever want a cold six-pack with that large cheese pie? Well soon you might be able to get both delivered right to your door. According to the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, establishments that currently have a license to serve beer, can apply for to deliver it.
But this isn't a new rule. It's simply one businesses didn't know about until recently.
Many local businesses are on the fence, however. Those we talked to either wanted more time to look into the rule or weren't for it at all. But they didn't completely dismiss the idea. It remains to be seen if any restaurants in our area will apply for the license.

FREE COMMUNITY COLLEGE FOR STUDENTS?
January 9, 2015

President Barrack Obama proposes students could get the first two years of community college education free, if they're willing to work for it. It's called "America's College Promise" and it would mean a savings of $3,800 in tuition per year for full-time students.
Northampton Community College President Mark Erikson believes the plan will open up increasing opportunities for students and change lives.
Erikson says, "Breaks my heart when I see a student who I know could and should come here, but for financial reasons is not able to do that."
Under Obama's proposal, students would have to attend at least half-time, maintain a 2.5 GPA and stay on track to graduate. It's something that most students we talked to say they're behind, but they wonder where the money is going to come from and if taxes will increase.
Obama says federal funding will cover three-quarters of the average cost and states will pick up the rest of the tab. Other students are just opposed altogether and are just content with how things are now.
Northampton Community College student Katelyn Vettel says, "I don't think it's realistic. Personally I work for everything I have. Nothing really is free. I go to work, I work a full-time job and I work two jobs actually. I have to pay for everything that I do."
If lawmakers pass the president's plan, it's estimated it could help nine million students. The plan has not been presented to Congress at this time.

WORKING IN THE COLD
January 9, 2015

Temperatures again today were well below freezing, but many arctic warriors were out fighting the freeze to pay the bills. Construction workers like Michael Dye, got up at six this morning to finish a home he's been working on for a week. For Dye, it takes plenty of layers, coffee, and sheer will to battle these unruly elements. Other workers like Nick Shoules, also has been out all day in the bitter cold, he tells us that it takes a certain mindset, to battle through frigid temperatures. No matter how these people worked through the frigid weather, both were clear, that one thing acted as the true motivator. Michael Dye told us he needs to pay the bills no matter what, and Shoules echoed that sentiment saying "Im fortunate enough to have a job, while others aren't, besides I love what I do " He might need that strong passion, the Pocono Region is expected to be hit hard by an ice storm early next week.

BOARD DECIDES NOT TO EXTEND TOLENO CONTRACT
January 8, 2015

The Stroudsburg School Board decided not to extend Dr. John Toleno's contract as superintendent at last night's board meeting.
His contract runs out at the end of the school year and they're currently looking for a new superintendent.
Under state school code, the board had to decide on extending his contract this month. Some parents weren't happy about the news.
Dr. Toleno will be the Stroudsburg superintendent until the end of June. One of his options is to re-apply for the position.

GOOD DEEDS PAY OFF
January 8, 2015

An East Stroudsburg boy spends his time helping people who need it most. Now the saying "good deeds pay off" is coming true in a big way for him.
Brett Ruben wants those going through a hard time to know there will be brighter days. That's why the East Stroudsburg High School South Senior has spent his time volunteering since seventh grade. He started at Headstart which helps low-income preschool kids and then moved on to soup kitchens--most recently the one every Monday at East Stroudsburg United Methodist Church...
At one point hope was all Ruben had. He says his mom helped him but he didn't have a good family situation growing up and money was scarce.
Now all of the hope he's given to others is coming back to him with a full ride to East Stroudsburg University. It happened on Immediate Decision Day when ESU Director of Admissions Jeff Jones came to the high school and sat down with Ruben. Jones says he opened up to him and something about him touched him deeply. Jones wanted to make it easier for Ruben to just think about being successful. He didn't even know about his community service. It wasn't until members of the University Relations Department volunteered at his soup kitchen. They learned Ruben's story and then got his permission to publish it on the website.
Ruben is set to start in the fall and be a physics major with the goal of being an engineer. He will continue to volunteer at the soup kitchen and will strive to get other ESU students to participate in community service projects. A little hope goes a long way in Monroe County.

CELEBRATING RECOVERY
January 7, 2015

Blue Mountain Community Church in Towamensing Township is commemorating two years of its "Celebrate Recovery Program." The program deals with issues like alcoholism, drug addiction and anger management or "life lessons" as they're called in the program. The church is now offering its services to people outside its congregation. Anyone interested in learning more about the program is invited to attend an open house at the church on February 13th starting at 6:30PM.

FLU EPIDEMIC HITS MONROE COUNTY
January 7, 2015

Flu season is here and doctors are predicting a record year of flu cases.
According to The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention 21 children have died from influenza and 43 states are experiencing a widespread of flu activity. Pennsylvania is one of them.
Pocono Medical Center in Monroe County has had 6 hospitalizations and 50 people diagnosed with the flu, but not hospitalized.
The latest CDC Flu View Report shows that flu related doctor visits are almost high as the 2012/2013 peak season. Doctors say it's important for parents to pay attention to symptoms, treat them as soon as possible and properly. Flu symptoms usually include severe body aches, tiredness, high fever, headaches, diarrhea and vomiting.
Doctors also recommend you wash your hands frequently and avoid crowds or people who look sick.

CHARGES IN MISSING MONEY CASE AT SCHUYLKILL CONSERVATION OFFICE
January 7, 2015

A Pottsville woman is accused of stealing thousands of dollars from the Schuylkill Conservation District while working there. State Police say an audit shows over $449,000 was stolen by 52-year-old Virginia Kunigonis. Investigators say she wrote fraudulent checks to herself and made personal unauthorized credit card purchases. She's accused of forging the names of employees at the conservation district and then altering the cancelled checks. The thefts took place between 2007 and May of 2014 when the investigation was launched.

JIM THORPE BANK SUPERVISOR SENTENCED
January 7, 2015

A former Jim Thorpe National Bank supervisor is sentenced to prison for embezzlement. According to the United States Attorney's office, 42-year-old Shelly Ann Kocher of Lehighton was sentenced today to 27 months in jail. She's also ordered to pay over $444,000 in restitution and serve three years supervised release. She's accused of taking over $376,000 while she was employed as a customer service supervisor at one of the Jim Thorpe branches. She made unauthorized withdrawals from customers' CD and savings accounts. When they learned of Kocher's actions, the bank reimbursed the victims for their losses.

ST. LUKE'S HOSPITAL COMING TO MONROE COUNTY FALL 2016
January 7, 2015

St. Luke's officials say it's now all systems go for a permanent home in Monroe County. They estimate about 1,000 Monroe County residents per year travel to Lehigh and Northampton counties for their hospital services there. Thanks to the Monroe County Commissioners this morning they soon won't have to. An inpatient facility, emergency room and outpatient services will be in their backyard.
St. Luke's Hospital Chief Financial Officer says, "They approved that St. Luke's could finance up to 100 million dollars in tax-free bonds for the construction of our hospital."
The hospital will be located on 41 acres previously purchased off of Route 611 in Bartonsville on Blue Bird Drive, which allows for easy access from Interstate 80. The Monroe Campus will mirror the St. Luke's Anderson Campus located on Freemansburg Avenue in Bethlehem. Phase one will just be the hospital but plenty of room will be left for growth if needed. The new hospital will have approximately 108 beds. Officials estimate over 200 local construction jobs will be created and about 300 employees will be required once it opens. Construction is expected to start in March and be completed in the fall of 2016.

HICKS SENTENCED TO DEATH, VICTIM'S FAMILY SPEAKS OUT
January 6, 2015

The family of a murder victim whose body was thrown on a Monroe County Highway speaks out for the first time today. 36-year-old Deanna Null of Scranton was killed almost seven years ago by a Tobyhanna man, and a jury found him guilty back in November. Today the President Judge officially sentenced 40 year-old Charles Hicks to death.
Charles Hicks showed no emotion as he stood before the judge today now shackled awaiting his formal sentencing. Both Deanna Null's mother and sister addressed the court, finally sharing who she was and telling Hicks how they felt, calling him evil. A jury found Hicks guilty of murdering Null in 2008. He then dismembered her body and threw the body parts along Interstates 80 and 380.
Null introduced her sister to her brother-in-law. They're now taking care of three of her four kids now ranging between 13 to 23. The family describes her as loving and always smiling. Null's mother showed her graduation picture and said she played soccer and loved rollerskating. She was someone who was always there for them, now it's hard to bare she was taken away.
The family is satisfied with the judge's decision of the death penalty. Hicks didn't say he was sorry to the family, instead he complained his lawyers did a bad job. Monroe County First Assistant District Attorney Michael Mancuso says this is the most brutal murder he's ever seen and it may not be the only one Hicks is guilty of. Similar crimes have occurred in Texas and authorities there are looking into a possible link to Hicks.
Null's family is grateful for his work and everyone else who tried to get Deanna justice, they'll be donating money to the Tri-State Troopers' Fund.

CASE OF 4-YEAR-OLD DEATH GOES TO TRIAL
January 5, 2015

A Stroudsburg woman appeared in court today for the death of a four-year-old.
57-year-old Mary Winbush is charged with involuntary manslaughter and other offenses. She's accused of giving the girl Oxycodone, causing the child to overdose back in May. Officers say they were called to Winbush's home on North Second Street for the unresponsive girl, Janessa Davis. A later search warrant revealed the controlled substance in Winbush's possession, but the caregiver denies giving Davis Oxycodone.
Stroud Area Regional Detective Richard Wolbert says, "When she realized what was in the toxicology (report) that Janessa passed away from Oxicodone overdose, she went upstairs and tried to hide the pills from me. It's a consciousness of guilt as far as I'm concerned."
Police also found at least four other kinds of controlled substances without a valid prescription. All charges are held for a later Monroe County court date. Winbush remains out on unsecured bail set at $250,000 and is to have no contact with minors unless supervised by officials from Monroe County Children and Youth.

DONATE TO EAST STROUDSBURG FIRE VICTIM
January 5, 2015

http://www.gofundme.com/j4vtjw

SCARY START TO THE NEW YEAR FOR BUSINESS OWNER
January 2, 2015

Police are investigating a case of attempted arson in Hamilton Township. It happened New Year's Eve morning at a business located at the intersection of Route 209 and Rim Rock Road in Snydersville. Someone threw a Molotov Cocktail through Shooting For The Moon Spiritual Development Center's side window. Luckily it failed to light.
Owner Kathy Agate Brown doesn't know if she was targeted. A bail bondsman is also located in the building. Brown says no threats have been made and no one comes to mind who would want to do her harm. Swiftwater PA State Police are actively investigating the incident and ask anyone with information to contact them at 570-839-7701.

BIG MOVE FOR CAT SHELTER
December 31, 2014

Carbon County's only cat shelter is actually making a long-time New Year's Resolution come true for 2015. It's a move to a new building in Jim Thorpe where there's enough room for the cats to be free-roaming.
Carbon County Friends of Animals is now located across the bridge on West 13th Street. Volunteers are busy preparing and cleaning everything to be open for the public on the first Friday of the new year.
The shelter could still use your help. They need volunteers, handymen and donations. For more information, just contact them at 570-325-9400.

PA FARM SHOW PHOTO CONEST
December 31, 2014

Capture the spirit of the 2015 PA Farm Show in a photograph for your chance to win. Anyone visiting the show is eligible, and the top three entries will be featured in the 2016 farm show visitor's guide. First place wins $100 and a VIP parking space for the 2016 show. Second-place gets $75 cash prize, and third-place earns a $50 prize.

Contest guidelines:

- Photograph must be taken at the 2015 Farm Show.
- Photograph must be in color, sized 4x6 inches.
- If a digital camera is used, the resolution must be at least 300 dpi.
- Entries are limited to one per person and must be submitted by March 31,
2015.
- Include contact information (name, address, phone number, email address) and caption with entry.
- All photo entries become the property of the Pennsylvania Department of
Agriculture.
- Department of Agriculture employees are not eligible.
- The contest is only open to non-professional entries.
Email digital photos and entry information to farmshow@pa.gov. Mail print photos and entry information to the department's Farm Show Complex and Expo Center (care of Farm Show Photo Contest), 2300 N. Cameron Street, Harrisburg PA 17110

RINGING IN THE NEW YEAR WITH MOCKTAILS
December 31, 2014

Drink responsibly this new year's eve or skip the alcohol altogether. We did just that here at News 13. Here's the recipes of the "mocktails" we mixed.

*Almond Palmer
12oz Iced Tea
12oz Lemonade
Garnish with a lime

*Coquito
1 can coconut cream
1 can evaporated milk
1 can condensed milk

*Tornado Twist
Cranberry-Raspberry Juice
Lemon-lime seltzer
Garnish with cherry

Serve all drinks over ice and enjoy!

HOME IN NEED OF A FAMILY
December 30, 2014

Monroe County's Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities and hope. Their latest home is waiting for a family. It's a townhouse vacant for a year in East Stroudsburg. That's why Habitat officials want to get the word out about their partner family program. Participating could really help a family out. They're offered an interest-free monthly mortgage.
Executive Director Kelly Kemmerer says, "They're able to have the security of being homeowners and saving some money. It would be a great gift for somebody who's a renter now. Rents are very high in the Poconos."
To qualify, applicants must have lived in Monroe County for at least a year and have a steady income to pay the mortgage payment. In this case $750 a month. They must also contribute to "sweat equity."
Kemmerer explains, "Office work, I need help with administrative tasks, we have a lot of committees that need help on, and also work on our houses or our home repair projects."
The income guidelines for an individual is $36,000 per year and about $48,000 for a family of four. For more information, just contact them at 570-476-9846.

MATCH DRIVE: YOUR HELP IS NEEDED
December 29, 2014

An anonymous donor is challenging people in Coolbaugh Township and Mount Pocono Borough to support their library. They will give $10,000 to Pocono Mountain Public Library if the community can match it. The money will be used to fulfill patrons' requests for more programs, computers, books and staff.
Director Ann Shincovich says, "With $10,000 of our own that we get through fundraising, then they'll give us their gift at the end of January, and in total we'll have received $20,000."
Since November the library has raised $2,500 toward the matching drive, but there's not much time left to raise the rest. The money has to be in by the end of January.
Shincovich says, "Really helpful for us to get a whole variety of gifts from people. Whatever they can give us, we certainly appreciate and it all goes into the pot to release this $10,000."
If you would like to donate, either come into the library on Route 611 for a form or you can print one off of their Facebook page. For more information just contact them at 570-894-8860.

2015 IMPROVEMENTS PLANNED IN STROUDSBURG
December 29, 2014

Stroudsburg borough officials are preparing for the New Year as 2014 come to a close.
There are a number of improvements in the works already, but more are expected in 2015.
Right now there are three projects they're focusing on for the new year.
At the first borough meeting, January 6th, borough manager, Cathy Thomas says, they'll be taking bids from contractors to decide who'll be doing the work. Architects already have plans drawn and the cost is around $2 million.
They're hoping it'll be completed by fall. Before renovations, Thomas says the fire department will have to move everything out and be relocated.
Stroudsburg Fire Chief, Mike Seip says, they've been pushing for these improvements since 2007. One of the things they're expecting is a better ventilation system.
Officials are also working to make Second St. from McConnel to Third and Clermont Ave. from Broad St. to Huston Ave more handicap accessible, adding ramps and curbing. On Clermont Ave. They're going to be paving the road as well.
Borough Officials plan to meet with engineers to come up with a list of other areas in need of improvement and then budget for those projects.

ALPINE MOUNTAIN TO OPEN
December 26, 2014

It's been a challenging year for officials at Alpine Mountain.
In July they were hit by thieves, then in September, they found themselves in the middle of the manhunt for suspected cop killer, Eric Frein.
Over the last several weeks their biggest challenge has been weather.
The owner is expecting to open for the first time Monday, under new management and a new look. The owner was hoping to open two weeks ago, but it's been too warm. We've been getting a lot of rain and not snow. They've made snow, but they can't keep it on the mountain. It melts too quickly.
Most of the renovations are done, but Fabiano plans to have all the work completed by Monday in time for the opening.

HOLIDAY BUSTLE WITHOUT THE HUSTLE
December 26, 2014

The holiday shopping season is not slowing down. Christmas may be over but there seems to be no end in sight for the doorbusters and deals to be had at the stores. The only difference shoppers tell us is the feeling they have.
Shopping takes on a new form of excitement the day after Christmas. The Stroud Mall's parking lot in Stroud Township this morning is still jam-packed but somehow that's the furthest thing from shoppers' minds. Sure they're making returns and getting more presents for themselves with giftcards, but it's all about special moments. Like bumping into people you know or spending time with family members. Shoppers tell us they are fully enjoying the relaxed and fun atmosphere.

PEACEFUL KNIGHTS EXPANDING THEIR CRUSADE
December 24, 2014

Peaceful Knights was founded in 2007 to help all homeless people in Carbon County. Before that the homeless had no where to turn. Now the group is expanding. Not only do they have a new director named Bob Fatzinger, but they're also working on acquiring a building that they can run their temporary housing program out of. They also hope to make that an emergency shelter. They're asking for volunteers to help with that like painters, cleaners, carpenters, ect. and also volunteers for daily duties and fundraising. For more information, just contact them by phone at 610-340-4786 or go to their website at www.peacefulknights.org.

SALVATION ARMY SHORT ON DONATIONS
December 24, 2014

Today marks the final day for the Salvation Army's bell ringers. But this year, they're coming up short. Coming into today, they had collected $36,000 out of their $60,000 goal. But starting a week late hampered the Salvation Army's plans. You can still donate through tonight as bell-ringers will be out across Carbon and Schuylkill County. Every penny counts!

ROTARY CLUBS GIVES LOCAL CHURCH X-MAS GIFT
December 23, 2014

Santa may be bringing the Stroudsburg Wesleyan Church a special gift to help people in need this Christmas.
The church has done a lot for the needy in the community with their homeless shelter and food pantry. The Stroudsburg Rotary Club group has ordered a freezer for the pantry to store more food for those in need. They're waiting on it to be delivered. Santa is a little busy this holiday season.
Church connections ministry director, MaryAnn Broschart says, they serve over 100 people at their food pantry twice a month, on the 1st and 3rd Friday. Officials are hoping they'll be able to store more meat with the new freezer especially.
Broschart says the rotary club matched donations from the congregation.
If you would like to volunteer at their food pantry you can contact the church at (570) 421-0750.

ATTENTION DRAWN TO COURTROOM RECORDINGS
December 22, 2014

Attorneys are calling for a change with audio recordings inside Monroe County Courtrooms. This comes after a county judge may have misused the recording during a recent trial.
Monroe County Courthouse officials are working to make sure everyone understands when and how recording devices are used inside the courtroom. New operating procedures and technological advances are also being discussed to make them better suited for both attorneys and the public.
Deputy Court Administrator Renee Kimball says. "Began a collaborative process with the Bar Association to review the policy in draft form and provide any comments."
Kimball says recording devices were implemented in 2002 to have a transcript of testimony and conversations on the bench. This is normal practice in most county courthouses. But these new discussions are a result of attorneys alarmed over recent allegations involving Judge Jennifer Sibum listening back to private conversations on those recordings.
Attorney Kimberly Fedrigon says, "I don't think anyone realized that we were being recorded when court was not in session."
Fedrigon says this knowledge has raised a lot of questions and is a huge problem.
"How do we know that now that comments made in what we think is private has been used against our clients or ourselves, we have no way of knowing that."
Currently Sibum is not hearing criminal cases. Kimball confirms shortly after the incident Sibum requested to be moved to civil trials because of a conflict of interest with the District Attorney's Office over recordings made in open court.
Fedrigon says the only solution is to have an on-off switch to determine when the recording is happening through their microphones. Kimball says that's part of the goal to the discussions but no funding requests have yet been made.

LOCAL POLICE ON HIGH ALERT, AFTER COP KILLINGS
December 22, 2014

Local police are on high alert, after recent police shootings. This Saturday, two New York Police officers were shot and killed, "execution-style" in Brooklyn. In September, two state troopers were ambushed in Pike County, which led to the 48 day manhunt for Eric Frein.
Early Sunday, another police officer in Florida was shot and run over, after responding to a noise complaint. He died also.

MONROE CRASH CLAIMS TEEN'S LIFE
December 22, 2014

Police are still investigating a crash that claimed a life early Saturday morning in Monroe County. Pocono Mountain Regional Police say 19 year old Alex Lugo of Tobyhanna died when the car he was a passenger in went off Route 196 in Coolbaugh Township. Officers say 22-year old Dominique Camacho was driving the dodge neon when it hit a tree. The crash happened around 4:30 Saturday morning. Lugo was pronounced dead at the scene. Camacho was taken to the hospital. Route 196 was closed for nine hours while police investigated the crash. An autopsy was scheduled for today.

PIPELINE COMPANY FINED
December 22, 2014

The state Department of Environmental Protection says a pipeline company will pay an 800-thousand dollar settlement for violations. D-E-P announced the settlement with Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company for multiple violations of the clean streams law in 20-11 and 12. D-E-P says the violations took place in Wayne Pike and two other counties. The 800-thousand dollar settlement includes a 210-thousand dollar civil penalty and 540-thousand dollar for a fund to clean-up illegal dump sites. D-E-P says inspectors found sediment pollution during the construction being released into high quality and exceptional value waterways.

FUND CREATED FOR FIRE VICTIMS
December 22, 2014

A fund has been created to help a family hit by a fire in East Stroudsburg. Half of a duplex was gutted by fire around five Friday night at 510 North Courtland Street. Firefighters were able to contain the blaze to the right side of the building. The left side sustained smoke damage. No one was home at the time but a single mother and three children lived there.
A go fund me account has been created at this link - www.gofundme.com/j4vtjw
The Red Cross also is accepting monetary donations for the family after that fire in East Stroudsburg.

FUNDS FOR CRASH VICTIMS
December 22, 2014

The families and friends of four teens killed in a two-vehicle crash on Friday night in Palmerton have set up fundraising sites to help offset funeral costs:

http://www.gofundme.com/j4sy24 (Nathan and Courtney Murray)

https://www.giveforward.com/fundraiser/y327 (Michael Muniz)

https://www.giveforward.com/fundraiser/dy17 (Austin Hunsicker)

CRACKDOWN ON PROSTITUTION IN POCONO TOWNSHIP
December 19, 2014

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

BASEBALL STARS IN HAZLETON
December 19, 2014

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

OFFICIALS PROJECT IMPACT OF 80 PROJECT
December 18, 2014

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

MIXED FEELINGS ON NEW CUBA RELATIONS
December 18, 2014

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

THE SALVATION ARMY SPREADS CHRISTMAS SPIRIT
December 17, 2014

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

COMMUNITY BRINGING CHRISTMAS TO LESS FORTUNATE
December 17, 2014

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

SPREAD HOLIDAY CHEER TO AWSOM DOGS AND CATS
December 16, 2014

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

LOCAL EDUCATOR DRAWS NATIONAL RECOGNITION
December 16, 2014

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

AVOID THE HOLIDAY RUSH TO SAVE YOUR HOLIDAY CHEER
December 15, 2014

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

TOWERS RISE IN BUSHKILL
December 12, 2014

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

WILDLIFE CARE CENTER IN NEED OF PERMANENT HOME
December 11, 2014

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

VOLUNTEERS PLAN FUNDRAISER FOR FIRE VICTIMS
December 11, 2014

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

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

NORTHERN LEHIGH FATAL CRASH LEADS TO PETITION
December 11, 2014

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

SOCKS FOR SENIORS COLLECTION WRAPPING UP
December 11, 2014

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

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

The deadline is December 12.

ARRESTS MADE IN TWO YEAR OLD SHOOT OUT
December 10, 2014

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

SNOW DAY TURNS RAINY
December 9, 2014

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

GANG ACTIVITY IN MONROE COUNTY BECOMING ALARMING
December 9, 2014

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

FATAL PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENT
December 8, 2014

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

STROUDSBURG HOME GOES UP IN FLAMES
December 8, 2014

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

SNOW IS NO JOKE IN THE POCONOS
December 8, 2014

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

GOOD NEWS FOR DOWNTOWN STROUDSBURG
December 5, 2014

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

HEALTHCARE INSURANCE DEADLINES APPROACH
December 5, 2014

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

LET'S TALK DISTRIBUTING FUNDS TO PA SCHOOLS
December 4, 2014

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

FAMILY SEEKS LOVED ONE'S KILLER FOR 7TH YEAR
December 4, 2014

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

FLU STRAIN MUTATES
December 4, 2014

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

FATAL PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENT RECONSTRUCTION
December 3, 2014

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

CREATING HOLIDAY MEMORIES
December 3, 2014

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

TECHNOLOGY BENEFITS TOURISM IN THE POCONOS
December 3, 2014

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

THEIVES STRIKE ANOTHER BUSINESS IN MONROE COUNTY
December 3, 2014

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

HOLIDAY SHOPPING SAFETY
December 2, 2014

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

#GIVINGTUESDAY CATCHES ON IN MONROE COUNTY
December 2, 2014

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

WEST END HOME GOES UP IN FLAMES
December 2, 2014

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

BRCTV-13 News Archive



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