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You are here: brctv13.com Local News

BRCTV-13 News Archive

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.

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.

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.

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)

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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: Tommy’s Restaurant, Angela Triplex Theater
Lansford: Sports Zoo, JJ’s Hair & Tanning, First Niagara Bank, Jim Thorpe National Bank
Summit Hill: Hiles Brothers, Batter’s Box
Nesquehoning: Classic Beverage
Jim Thorpe: Mauch Chunk 5 & 10
Lehighton: Midas, Beacon 443
Tamaqua: Dr Puddu’s office, M&S Hardware, AAA
Palmerton: Carbon County Office on Aging

The deadline is December 12.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

November 28, 2014

While Black Friday shoppers got a jump start on Christmas presents, kids from the "Dream Come True" Lehigh Valley and Blue Ridge Chapters actually got to go to Santa's workshop. That's of course after they took a train ride to the North Pole.
The popular children's movie "The Polar Express" came to life today in Jim Thorpe.

November 28, 2014

The Socks for Seniors Project is in full swing once again for the third year. Mary Ann Dulaney and daughter, Jessica Kutza, coordinators for the project, with the assistance of 15 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: Tommy’s Restaurant, Angela Triplex Theater
Lansford: Sports Zoo, JJ’s Hair & Tanning, First Niagara Bank, Jim Thorpe National Bank
Summit Hill: Hiles Brothers, Batter’s Box
Nesquehoning: Classic Beverage
Jim Thorpe: Mauch Chunk 5 & 10
Lehighton: Midas, Beacon 443
Tamaqua: Dr Puddu’s office, M&S Hardware, AAA

The deadline is December 12.

November 26, 2014

It's a treacherous winter wonderland. At least that's what drivers experienced today. Many had a tough time traveling on Paradise Valley Road in Monroe County. The wet, heavy snow and ice was unforgiving. We found many simply stuck and others crashed into either another car or a tree. But luckily the ones we talked to weren't hurt, giving them one more thing to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.

November 25, 2014

Thanksgiving is two days away but students at Clear Run Intermediate in Coolbaugh Township are already bursting at the seams-- With excitement that is, to say thank you to local law enforcement. Today the school held an assembly that honored officers in creative, thoughtful ways. Students shared their talents in the form of rapping, singing, dancing, telling jokes and reading their own poetry to convey the message. Officers were even presented with ceramic medals, "Paws of Honor" that the students made. PAWS stands for pride, ambitious, warriors.

November 24, 2014

It's the third year in a row that bear hunters were able to start on Saturday in Monroe County. But that convenience isn't paying off in numbers and officials say there's a large population of bear this year.
Hunter Stephen Becker proudly poses today in Tobyhanna with the biggest bear he's killed yet. But his fifth bear was no easy task. Becker shot the bear in Long Pond on Saturday. Since then, he's been looking for it and finally stumbled upon it this morning.
Becker's was the first brought into the bear checking station at Tobyhanna State Park today around noon. A new location for just this year. The station usually operates out of the Game Commission's maintenance building a few miles away. But it's currently under construction.
The lack of bears coming in today reflect the numbers on opening day. Wildlife Conservation Officer Michael Beahm says, "We did 26 bears here at the Tobyhanna Bear Check Station, normally we'll do somewhere around 30 to 40."
Beahm says that's frustrating. He was hoping for a larger harvest on Saturday, and not only to maintain the population in Pennsylvania.
Beahm, "Officers in Monroe, Carbon and Luzerne County areas, it's been a very busy summer from them dealing with nuisance complaints and conflicts with people."
The largest bear brought to the Tobyhanna Check Station so far us a male at 418 pounds, but there's still plenty of time to top it and get out into the woods. The season ends December 6th.

November 24, 2014

The Tamaqua Salvation Army handed out turkeys and bags full of the traditional Thanksgiving fixings today to qualified families. School kids and community members held food drives to help collect the items, and the United Way also donated funds. Everyone is welcome to come enjoy a free Thanksgiving dinner at the Salvation Army between 11 am and 3 pm Thursday - Thanksgiving day. Volunteers are also delivering meals to those who can't make it. Just call the Tamaqua Sal Val to order: 570-668-0410

November 24, 2014

The President of the United States and his family will once again spend Christmas morning around a Carbon County grown tree. Crystal Spring Tree Farm in Mahoning Township won the National Christmas Tree Association contest earlier this year to nab the honor. The Botek family cut down the 19 1/2 foot tall concolor fir tree Sunday afternoon. It's on the road today to Washington, D.C. Tree farm owner, Chris Botek, will personally deliver the tree to the First Lady Friday morning. This is the 4th time Crystal Spring is providing the White House tree.

November 24, 2014

A vacant Stroudsburg building gets a new lease on life.
What used to be an abandoned building in Downtown Stroudsburg for about five years is now being used by Weitzmann, Weitzmann & Huffman law office.
Partner, Deborah Huffman says, they were previously renting, but now they have a place of their own.
This building is only one of many in Downtown Stroudsburg being restored and renovated. The Carlton House, damaged by fire in 2009 has been knocked down. Kitchen Chemistry and Sew N Vac have also been damaged by fire and are in the process of being cleaned up.

November 24, 2014

Over 40 Million Americans are expected to travel more than 50 miles this Thanksgiving week. Officials tell parents a few minutes to double check your child's car seat could save a life.
Pennsylvania State Police held a car seat check at Kovatch Sales in Lehighton today. The purpose is to educate parents on how to correctly install a car seat. The car seat check is part of PSP's "Click it or Ticket" campaign. A spokesperson for state police says extra patrols are on the roads to help keep drivers safe during holiday travel, but she encourages all drivers to do their part.

November 21, 2014

20-15 will be the third year in a row that there will not be a tax increase.
The Monroe County Commissioners announced the budget today at a special meeting. At 95 million, it's slightly higher from this year's. The major difference from last year is added capital projects.

November 21, 2014

Monroe County has a new emergency management team, but with some familiar faces.
Emergency Management is reorganizing and adjusting to the changes.
Brue Henry started out as operations and training officer. About 8 years ago he was promoted to deputy director. Now he's the new director of emergency management. The deputy director position now belongs to Maryellen Keegan. She was mainly in charge of planning and community outreach. The new training and operations officer, Ronald Eick is coming from the Monroe County Coroner's Office.
However, he's worked with emergency management in the past.
Although there haven't been any recent disasters.
Officials are preparing for intense winter storms and Ebola if they come our way.
They did assist in the manhunt for Eric Frein, providing food and equipment.
Officials say, majority of the funding was provided through a homeland security grant. They already had the equipment used in the search.

November 20, 2014

This afternoon representatives from Northeastern, PA EMS council recognized the West End Community Ambulance association for their achievements.
They are now the 5th agency in the 6 county, EMS council region to receive the gold standard of excellence. Officials say, they are the only EMS agency with these credentials in Monroe County. They were also awarded for excellence in child care.
The recognition for West End Ambulance will be valid for three years. Officials are hoping more local ambulance companies will achieve this recognition in the future.

November 20, 2014

For the second year in a row there will not be a tax hike in Carbon County. Commissioners made the announcement today. The county expects to spend just over $62,000 more next year compared to his year. The expected growth in the tax base is less than one tenth of a percent for next year. Officials say a sluggish housing market is to blame. In order to avoid a tax increase, officials have implemented several measures including a hiring freeze. They are also denying requests for new equipment for some county offices.

November 20, 2014

The cold is no match for warm giving hearts, and there were plenty of them on hand today. It's The Salvation Army's annual Thanksgiving Food Distribution.
This morning vehicles stretched from The Salvation Army in East Stroudsburg down Washington Street to Day Street. Families patiently waited to receive their Thanksgiving meal. It's something that happens annually but each year more and more are added on to the long list of people in need.
Assistant Food Pantry Director Lewann Stewart says, "Right now, we're at 436 families so I mean it is up from last year. But we're still doing applications so it's going to go up even more."
Unfortunately, Stewart says donations are still down so families are getting less in their grocery bags.
But the people in line are just thankful. The ones we talked to tell us they don't know what they'd do without the Salvation Army's food.
And the weather today somehow makes it mean more. That's what's keeping the volunteers going-- recipients smiles.
The shelves inside The Salvation Army are full now, but after today they will be bare. And the Christmas season is right around the corner.
That distribution is December 12th, just call The Salvation Army for more information if you'd like to donate at 570-421-3050.

November 19, 2014

Now that suspected cop killer Eric Frein has been captured, businesses are trying to get back to normal. Today a Pocono Region Business Recovery Event at Skytop Lodge was held to help owners get to that point quicker. State and local agencies were on hand to provide information and assist businesses that were negatively impacted by the manhunt.

November 19, 2014

As winter rolls in, officials from the Monroe County Homeless Initiative are looking for ways to end homelessness. They've been working to provide shelter for the homeless, feed them and keep them warm. They've supplied them with warm tents, cots and other cold weather supplies. Now someone is going around robbing the homeless and cutting their tents.
Some homeless believe the woman robbing the homeless and cutting tents is also accused of stealing from a family who welcomed her into their home. A report has been filed and Stroud Area Regional Police are investigating that incident.
The woman suspected of the theft and vandalism has not yet been charged.

November 18, 2014

A windy day leads to power problems in Lehighton Borough and in Franklin Township. Around 11 am wires were reported down at Long Run and Maury Roads in Franklin Township. A PPL crew was working on scene for several hours to repair the lines. According to PPL's outage page, over 500 customers were left in the dark. Shortly after that outage was reported, a pole fire was called in on Bridge Street in Lehighton. That was around 11:15 am. Borough Power and Light officials tell us a tree branch fell on a line. Power was knocked out to the south half of town. Power was restored within an hour.

November 18, 2014

State Police are searching for a man who held up a bank this afternoon in Penn Forest Township. It happened around 4 pm at the Jim Thorpe National Bank on Route 903. The bank had just closed but there were tellers still inside. Police say the man gained access by breaking the front door. He took an undisclosed amount of cash. At the time the suspect was wearing a black ski mask, a dark jacket and shirt and blue jeans. He was also carrying a black handgun. The man fled the bank, running across route 903 and into the woods. No one was hurt. Anyone with information is asked to contact State Police at Lehighton.

November 18, 2014

State and local officials gather today to say thank you to the Pocono Community for all of the support during the Eric Frein manhunt. The celebration at Pocono Mountain East High School recognized 500 organizations and businesses involved in some aspect of the search like delivering food, cooking meals and collecting money. It's all about a new catchphrase-- Pocono Proud.

November 17, 2014

A Carbon County Psychologist is sentenced on charges he had sexual contact with a patient. A judge has ordered Doctor Michael Degilio of Penn Forest Township to serve between 4 and 8 years in state prison. In May, a jury found him guilty of having inappropriate sexual contact with a female patient. According to court testimony, Degilio coaxed the victim into performing a sexual act on him during a visit to his Lehighton office. The victim had recently checked herself out of the behavioral health unit at the hospital - and was suicidal and on a strong anti-depressant. Degilio is in Carbon County prison on $100,000 straight bail. He has 30 days to appeal his sentence.

November 17, 2014

A jury is deciding on the sentence of a Monroe County man. On Friday, 40-year-old Charles Hicks of Tobyhanna was found guilty of first degree murder in the death of 36-year-old Deanna Null of Scranton. Now the penalty phase of the trial is underway to determine whether Hicks will face life in prison or death. Today Hicks shed some tears while hearing his mother and two sisters testify on his behalf. They don't want to lose him.
The defense is focusing on drugs being the culprit behind his grisly act. They say since Hicks has been in prison, he's been "somewhat of a model person," having extra duties that he's earned and started a work out program for him and fellow inmates. Hicks' family and ex-girlfriend describe him as very routine oriented, being a body builder and being in the Navy before getting involved with drugs.
Testimony is expected to continue over the next several days before the jury decides whether he will face life in prison or death.

November 14, 2014

Police are searching for a Jim Thorpe man in connection with several stolen vehicle. 20-year-old Avery Ziegenfus is accused of stealing the vehicles over the past two days. Police believe he first stole a PennDot pick-up truck. Then he took a green Ford Escort from a house on White Street in Bowmanstown. The Escort was located on Long Run Road in Franklin Township. Now police believe he is driving a stolen blue Nissan Sentra. Ziegenfus is also accused of burglarizing a house in Bowmanstown and taking a Smith and Wesson revolver and cash. Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Avery Ziegenfus asked to contact State Police at Lehighton.

November 14, 2014

A Monroe County jury has found 40-year-old Charles Hicks of Tobyhanna guilty of first degree murder in the death of 36-year-old Deanna Null of Scranton six years ago. He's also guilty of tampering with evidence and abusing a corpse.
The jury found Hicks guilty on all charges after deliberating for about two hours this afternoon. Closing argument wrapped up just before noon.
Earlier today, the defense told the jury Hicks admits to dismembering Null and dumping her body parts along Interstates 80 and 380. But that he did not kill her. Instead, the defense argues alcohol and cocaine were found in her system and she died of a drug overdose.
The jury will return Monday for the penalty phase of this case. Hicks faces life in prison or the death penalty.

November 13, 2014

Every year the Blue Ridge Chapter of dream come true strives to fulfill the dreams of seriously ill children in the area.
This Sunday you'll be able to hear from kids whose dreams have come true at their annual telethon.
The event is from 5-9 at Penns Peak. It will also be live on TV-13.

November 13, 2014

A Monroe County municipality is looking at cutting its police force. Barrett Township Supervisors say costs keep going up and balancing the budget is getting tougher. The township police force cost 712 thousand dollars to operate this year. One option is to disband the department and join with Pocono Mountain Regional Police at a savings of 235 thousand dollars. And at the same time, have Barrett's current officers move to Pocono Mountain Regional. Supervisor Chair Ralph Megliola says no decision has yet been made and the board hasn't voted.
Residents don't think it's the answer and it's bad timing right after the Eric Frein manhunt primarily took place in their town. They would rather pay more taxes and keep the department as it is. Police Chief Steven Williams wishes it didn't come out during a peak in community support, but says now openings are available. Williams also says 24/7 coverage will continue. Residents fear it won't be the same type of coverage and familiarity.
Supervisors say taxes in Barrett Township are maxed out and can't be increased without court approval. They plan to meet with the Pocono Mountain Regional Police Chief on the 25th to discuss options.

November 12, 2014

A Lehighton man accused of robbing a borough pharmacy will now face charges in Carbon County Court. On October 18th, 50-year-old John Eremus is accused of brandishing a gun as he demanded Oxycodone from the First National Pharmacy. Investigators later discovered the gun was a toy painted to look real. He got away with over $1,200 worth of drugs. The next day Eremus's mother reported he had stolen her vehicle. His family told police he was acting suspicious, even giving one of them an Oxy tablet to hold for him. Investigators say he was hospitalized twice for overdosing before they were able to question him. He later admitted to the robbery. Today Eremus waived his right to a preliminary hearing. He now faces multiple charges in county court.

November 12, 2014

Come summer-- an African Safari experience will open in the Poconos. We're talking about the Kalahari Resort from Wisconsin currently building its first hotel and waterpark on the east coast at Pocono Manor. Today we were on the hard hat tour of the 350 million dollar project construction site.
The infrastructure is in place for all four phases of the Kalahari Resort. The first phase is right on schedule to open sometime in June despite last winter's severe weather.
The family owned resort will initially have 457 guest rooms, 100 thousand square-feet of indoor waterpark space, an outdoor waterpark, 65 thousand square-foot convention center, 10 thousand square-foot spa, restaurants and entertainment all with an authentic African theme.
Owner Todd Nelson says businesses are already booking the convention center and they are also taking room reservations. For more information, just go to their website at www.kalahariresorts.com.

November 12, 2014

The Canadensis man mistaken for Eric Frein, during the 48 day manhunt has been doing some car shopping. Today he was at Halterman's Toyota in East Stroudsburg and he left the lot with a new 2007 Subaru Outback. He paid a little under $10,000.
Tully says, the rest of the money is going to be saved for maintenance and gas.
The community raised over $24,000 for him to buy the car, through go fund me.com, after he claimed he was assaulted by a law enforcement officer who'd mistaken him for Frein.
He was taken to the hospital with bruised ribs.
The last time we spoke with Tully he was trying to find the officer who assaulted him to press charges. Now Tully says he doesn't plan to file any suit. He's planning to just enjoy his new car and continue to support his family.

November 11, 2014

The Former Hotel Jonas in Polk Township is now operating as the Major Paul Syverson Veterans Sanctuary. And it's already making a huge difference in getting local homeless veterans back on their feet.
Veterans Day means much more today to 31-year-old Corporal Army Veteran Daniel Turner who served during the Iraq War.
Turner says, "Past Veterans Days have really just come and gone. I have the opportunity to be surrounded by veterans and people that care about veterans, which means a lot to me."
Community volunteers stepped up to renovate the Hotel Jonas into a veterans rehabilitation center. It's something that's been Valor Clinic Founder Mark Baylis' dream for three years. And now, Turner is thankful to participate in the program.
Since Turner was honorably discharged in 2011, he ran into some tough times living in Maine. He ultimately ended up in Stroudsburg trying to get help dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Turner was basically homeless staying with different people, had no family contact except his five-year-old daughter and couldn't keep a job.
Turner says, "A lot of veterans look for and why they join is to be a part of something bigger than themselves. Coming back, they kind of don't know what to do with themselves."
Turner is now helping others through the program's community service outreach. The program also focuses on a daily routine and proper nutrition. Tonight life skills classes start and peer sessions start Thursday. It's only been a week out of the 90 days Turner will be staying at "Paul's House" but says the light at the end of the tunnel is now in plain sight.
Turner says, "It's going to give me coping skills to help with PTSD. It's going to help me get back out into the real world and basically make that transition from solider to civilian."
Four other veterans currently live there that range from the Iraqi War all the way back to the Korean War. But there are 12 rooms in total.
Baylis says by the end of next week Paul's House should be full through their own recruiting and partnerships. Right now he says it's been amazing to know the ones being helped currently are already planning on coming back to pay it forward.
If this mission inspires you and you'd like to help the cause, they could use wood to alleviate heating costs and warm footwear to hand out to homeless people in the community this winter.

November 11, 2014

Superintendent of the Panther Valley School District, Dennis Kergick, says the lawsuit has been in the works for about a year and a half. Six school districts are involved in the case and are suing several top officials including, the PA Department of Education, Governor Tom Corbett and the PA State Board of Education. According to the lawsuit, the state has implemented tough academic standards, but hasn't supplied equal resources to students who need them. The lawsuit says although the cost of meeting state academic standards has increased funding cuts continue. The plaintiffs are calling for changes to the way money is distributed among schools in the commonwealth.

November 10, 2014

Monroe County's Salvation Army is ringing out for your help. Like every year, it's Red Kettle Campaign started November first. It provides money for food, clothing, toys and emergency assistance to community members in need of a helping hand. Last year the effort fell short by $36,000. While they were able to balance their budget, the food program suffered. They had to make the tough decision whether to cut back on food per person or not serve everyone. This year officials hope to change that.
Commanding Officer Major James Gingrich says, "We made the choice of giving less food to each family in order to continue to help all the families. Now we would love to get back to the point where we're helping families with as much food as we did before."
And that depends on you. Luckily so far, money from the first week is up $200 from last year. But there's still a long way to go to reach the required $150,000. You just need to find a bell ringer.
And the Red Kettle Campaign isn't just for Christmas, it also provides for Salvation Army programs all year long, including a new program. The Soup Kitchen is expanding to better serve the homeless population. Now instead of just lunch, it's open for breakfast from 6:30 to 9:30 in the morning Monday through Friday. Right now 28 people are having breakfast but that number is expected to rise because they average 70 people coming in for lunch. The Salvation Army can always use more volunteers and donations, just call them at 570-421-3050.

November 7, 2014

Reckless driver's are wreaking havoc in Monroe County's West End. People living in the Birches Development off of Route 715 are tired of speeders flying through stop signs in their development. Those Chestnuthill Township residents are calling for action.
Birches III Resident Robin Dahl contacted News13 worried someone is going to get hurt. The main road through her development-- Hawk Terrace-- has two stop signs that people not only don't abide by, they speed through. One sign is in front of her home.
We were there today for just a half hour and caught two vehicles on camera, but all together witnessed six. There's even a warning sign alerting drivers they need to stop soon. Like Dahl, many other residents worry about their children's safety. Hawk Terrace is also a bus route.
Neighbor Saveena Mclean says, "Seems like a raceway because even days when the school bus stops, people tend to ignore the stop sign that school kids are there. And they just zoom by."
Dahl says it's a neighborhood where you have to be afraid your dog could get hit. And Mclean agrees-- taking a walk is at your own risk.
Dahl runs a business out of her home called "Lighten Up Décor." Customers have noticed the problem too.
They say other neighbors have called police. They want the laws to be enforced and violators reprimanded. But so far there hasn't been an officer present. We checked with Fern Ridge State Police who cover the area and they say nothing's been reported. Now they'll check into it, and continue enforcement depending on what they find.
Station Commander Sergeant Joseph Racho of the Fern Ridge State Police Barracks says, "What we do is we set up a traffic memo and the troopers are instructed to go to that area, look for those violations and report back."
But residents also believe a police presence isn't enough and have other solutions. They say speed bumps and speed limit signs could help.
We also spoke with the Chestnuthill Township Road Master. He didn't know anything about it either, but says he's now checking into it too.

November 6, 2014

A truck driver survives a tractor trailer rollover this morning in Snydersville at the Route 33-209 split. The dirver tells us he's lucky to be alive and more surprising, he's not injured. He says a simple decision saved his life.
Looking at the twisted rolled over tractor trailer, it's hard to imagine you'd see the driver standing a few feet away simply making calls on his cell phone. But that's exactly how we found truck driver Arvinder Nahal. He's thanking God and a seat belt.
Nahal tells us he was traveling on Route 33 South in the right lane just before the Business Route 209 Snydersville Exit when a car in the left lane pulled into his lane and slowed down.
BGF Truck Driver Arvinder Nahal says, "There was nothing in the left side, he could've stayed on the left side because of that. I tried to control it, if I didn't stop I would've crushed him."
Blue Ridge Hook and Ladder Volunteer Firefighters were called to the scene because of a fuel spill.
Nahal says he was glad he was doing the speed limit because the slippery conditions could've made it worse. He says he's been driving for five years and this is his accident. State Police were still investigating and had no comment. Nahal is glad he had eye witnesses since the car that cut him off never stopped.
Schlier's Towing company had their work cut out for them with the mangled truck. But there was a positive-- only one lane was closed going 33 South.
Nahal's trailer was filled with appliances making it heavy, so it's harder for him to stop. He hopes other drivers heed this warning, "Please maintain distance as much as you can for the truck drivers. Because it's a big machine and we try to stop as much as possible, but all the weight, someone could lose their life."
Nahal says he talked to his boss and the damage is covered by insurance. He's just happy to go home to his family.

November 4, 2014

A Carbon County man will become the Army's highest ranking enlisted soldier. U.S. Army Command Sergeant Major of Training and Doctrine, David Dailey, will take over the position of Sergeant Major in January. The Palmerton native is one of four brothers and comes from a military family. The Command Sergeant Major has been deployed five times over his 25 year career. He's married and has a son in college. Dailey says he wouldn't be where he is today if it wasn't for his family. The Command Sergeant Major is currently responsible for training and mentoring soldiers.

November 4, 2014

People are once again visiting the Poconos now that suspected cop killer Eric Frein has been caught.
But a little survey could mean big help for Monroe County businesses negatively impacted by the Frein Manhunt. Officials with Monroe County Emergency Management just need business owners participation to figure out exactly how much money has been lost. So far only nine businesses are, and that's not enough to get a clear picture.
Deputy Director Maryellen Keegan says, "There are certain programs state and federally that we could potentially qualify for, but at this point there is no guarantee that we will qualify. It is really important that we get these surveys back so that we can see what impact we've had and where we can plug that into."
If you would like to participate, just call Monroe County Emergency Management at 570-992-4113. You have until the end of this month.

November 3, 2014

Drug use in our communities has reached epidemic proportions in our area. That's why Weatherly borough is taking the next step in an effort to get drugs off the streets. With the help of The Carbon Monroe Pike Drug and Alcohol Commission and local officials, Weatherly has put together an informational brochure. The brochure highlights local resources for those battling an addiction. The customizable brochure template is available for other Carbon County communities to use and officials challenge other communities to follow Weatherly's lead.

November 3, 2014

An investigation into arson fires where suspected cop killer Eric Frein was captured last week puts rumors to rest.
After police left the former Birchwood Resort area near Tannersville late Friday afternoon, someone started two fires. It seems many people are attracted to the area, wanting to see where Frein was found.
Many people tweeting Friday night thought the fires were set inside the hangar where police found Frein's weapons. But that's actually not the case.
Pocono Township Police Officer Jack Manuel says no buildings were damaged at the abandoned Birchwood Resort Friday night. The only thing that went up in smoke was leaves and brush along the main road, Birchwood Road that runs through the resort. Both Pocono Township Volunteer Firefighters and police responded to the incident before eight.
Manuel says, "There was actually a match book collected which was probably thrown from a moving vehicle."
Police aren't exactly sure what was behind what is believed to be thrown matches. Friday night was Halloween but it was also when police finished searching the area for evidence and Birchwood Road was opened back up to the public.
Manuel says, "I don't know if it was just people coming out and they wanted to cause more attention for the area, I mean I don't know, it's still under investigation at this point, but as far as we can tell, it was just a simple mischief thing."
What is for sure is people are definitely curious and are coming to see where Frein-- who'd been on the run for over a month-- was taken into custody. We ran into two women doing exactly that this morning heading toward the high grass near the hangar.
The former resort is private property and police are trying to keep people out.
Manuel says, "It's a vacant resort. We don't want anybody else getting hurt. There's spots in the floor that are rotted out, the buildings are dilapidated. We don't need any more issues back there than we've already had."
Pocono Township Police say it's fine if you want to drive by. Birchwood Road is a public road. But don't walk on the property.

October 31, 2014

Pocono Township Police sit at road blocks today leading to where law enforcement cautiously comb the woods around the rundown Birchwood Resort. State police say suspect Eric Frein was outside an airplane hanger there when he was caught by surprise unarmed. His weapons were found inside. Frein surrendered without incident.
Frein was taken away in the handcuffs and cruiser of the trooper killed Corporal Bryon Dickson. The State Police Commissioner says Frein looked healthier than he would've expected and did not need medical attention.

October 28, 2014

In the wake of the ambush at the Pike County State Police Barracks last month, which killed a trooper, the Barrett Township Department is beefing up security. The local police are in the center of the search for suspected cop killer Eric Frein.
Barrett Township's Police Department is exposed. It's surrounded by residential homes and a small wooded area. Officers coming and going are in plain sight. Within the next couple of weeks that will no longer be the case.
State Police believe Eric Frein ambushed two troopers outside the Blooming Grove Barracks during a shift change. They had no way of defending themselves. State Police say Frein is out to get all law enforcement officers. Frein lived with his parents in Barrett Township. State Police say another possible sighting was reported in that area today. That's why Barrett Township Police Chief Steven Williams asked for security fencing one week after the incident. This morning supervisors met and finalized the details.
Williams says, "When the project was first discussed, we requested some bids. The bids were in excess of $25,000 so we tried to get an alternative way."
The board unanimously approved purchasing the fencing materials and having the township maintenance department complete the project. Supervisor John Seese estimates the cost will be between three to five thousand dollars.
Seese says, "The manpower is already paid for, budgeted for the year so it's just a materials cost. I would think if it's not out of the general fund, it'll probably come out of the LST, which goes to emergency services."
The fence will include an automatic gate on the right side of the township building. It will be eight feet high and made of wood. Construction is expected to start next week and take about a week to finish.

October 28, 2014

Hospitals in our area are preparing for the worst after a case of Ebola is diagnosed on the East Coast. A spokesperson for Blue Mountain Health System tells us their staff is constantly going through training, but now the hospital is specifically teaching staff how to handle an Ebola patient. Patient Care Coordinator of the Emergency Departments at BMHS, Toby Goida, is busy training staff on how to put on personal protective equipment or PPE and how to take it off. Last week, Goida trained 50 staff members. More training sessions are scheduled this week. Goida tells us, BMHS has an agreement to transfer Ebola patients to Lehigh Valley Health Network. Lehighton Ambulance has agreed to handle the patient transfer.

October 27, 2014

A Berwick man is electrocuted while working on a job today in Towamensing Township. A PPL Electric spokesperson tell us around 11:45 am, a private contract, Harlan Electric, had a crew working on a 69 kilovolt power line behind Country Junction. The line had been de-energized for the work, but PPL says there were other lives lines in the area. PPL is currently investigating to figure out what caused the fatal accident. The Carbon County Coroner has identified the victim as 42-year-old Peter Balliet. PPL Electric says their thoughts and prayers are with the Harlan team and the employee's family.

October 27, 2014

A Kidder Township man pleads guilty to producing child pornography. Today, 47-year-old Todd Kowar admitted to persuading and inducing a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing images. He was indicted in July by a federal grand jury on charges of producing and possessing child pornography. Kowar is accused of committing the crimes between 2008 and December 2012. After pleading guilty today, a judge ordered a pre-sentence report to be completed. Kowar is detained in prison pending the sentencing. He faces a maximum of 30 years.

October 24, 2014

One of the companies leading in job growth in Carbon County is KME Kovatch in Nesquehoning. The company added over 350 jobs in the last two years. Nikolas Wasko of Jim Thorpe says he was unemployed for 8 months before a chance encounter with a Kovatch family member helped change that. Wasko shared his story with legislators today at KME where officials say business is booming. Since 2011 the unemployment rate in Carbon County h as gone from 9.9 percent to 7.1 percent. Local lawmakers say although the numbers look good. There's always room for improvement.

October 24, 2014

Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Monroe County is working to create leaders of the future, but they need current leaders to show our youth the way.
Right now there are at least 50 kids still on the waiting list for a big brother or sister, 95% of them boys.
You can learn more about the program on their telethon that will air November 2nd from noon to 10pm.

October 24, 2014

While state troopers' wives continue to sell the PSP Strong t-shirts to help the families of the two ambushed at the barracks in Pike County, a group is putting the "Barrett Proud" slogan on t-shirts to help their own local law enforcement.
Barrett Township Police needed new safety vests to better protect themselves assisting in the search. So the township purchased them not knowing where the money was coming from to pay the bill.
The majority of the search for suspect Eric Frein is centered in Barrett Township and it's turned the town upside down. People are scared to come to the area and local police are stepping up to assist state police. That's how "Barrett Proud" Committee Member Shannon Price got an idea to help.
Price, along with a committee of fellow community volunteers, purchased and started selling "Barrett Proud" T-shirts to help the township pay for their officers new bullet proof vests. Each one costs $13,000.
They sold out of their first 50 shirts immediately and have received donations to buy more. T-shirts are $20 for a long sleeve and $15 for both short sleeve and children's sizes. They'll be selling 150 this weekend at three different events.
"Barrett Proud" Committee Member Annie Grill says, "What we're interested in is helping to promote Barrett businesses as well, we're not just selling t-shirts on the street."
That's why the first event is at The Forks Restaurant at Buck Hill Inn tomorrow night starting at 5. Appetizers will be free to enjoy too. The other two are Sunday. The Trunk R Treat event at Monsignor McHugh School from 2 to 4pm and then at The Pourhouse Restaurant from 5 to 7pm. If you wear a "Barrett Proud" T-shirt, they'll give you a 10% discount.

October 24, 2014

Haunted houses and hayrides are a staple during Halloween. But behind Stone Haven Supply in Orefield, they're doing things a little differently. Lehigh Valley Zombies is bringing the fight to you. Now, you can take a ride on their army-grade truck through a 52-acre terrain and shoot paintballs at the walking dead. The ride begins with a story and allows players to take on zombies from the truck. Lehigh Valley Zombies also has two haunted houses on site. People of all ages are welcome.

October 22, 2014

Come Spring-- Camelback Resort will have the largest indoor waterpark in the Northeast. And it's expected to be a vital economic boom for both the state and the region. Today we got our first behind-the-scenes, sneak peek hard hat tour of the construction site in Tannersville.
Today's weather couldn't be more perfect to reveal what Camelback Resort has had up it's sleeve for quite some time now. The owners are introducing what will soon be a splashing good time all-year-round.
Co-Owner Ken Ellis says, "It's pretty special. It's kind of been a dream for my partner and I to get a project like this done. We've been working at it for over 10 years."
It's called Camelback Lodge and Aquatopia and it'll be the first ski-in, ski-out indoor waterpark hotel in the Poconos.
Ellis says, "The attractions here are mainly for the hotel guests or Camelback guests so if you're coming to ski at camelback and let's say part of the family wants to ski and the other part doesn't, there's an opportunity to use amenities here."
The 163 million dollar project will be 533 thousand square feet. It includes 453 hotel rooms, four acres of indoor fun with both the waterpark and Arcadia-- a family game center, conference room, grand ballroom, spas, restaurants and much more.
It's right on schedule to open this March and will create 500 new jobs-- 300 of those full-time positions. But it's actually already provided 500 jobs to local subcontractors and suppliers.
A job fair is scheduled for November 5th and 8th. For more information or to make a reservation for the spring opening date, just go to their website at www.camelbackresort.com.

October 22, 2014

An Eric Frein look alike who says he was assaulted by a law enforcement officials is demanding answers.
James Tully says he's been stopped over 20 times in Barrett Township during the manhunt walking to and from work.
On Friday morning he says, he was walking from work when a silver suv stopped and a man dressed in hunting
camouflage, wearing a tactical vest wearing a tactical vest jumped out with an assault rifle pointing it at his head. He says the man ordered him to the ground and digging his foot into his back, leaving him with bruised ribs.

October 21, 2014

There are now more possible sightings of suspected cop killer Eric Frein in the Swiftwater area. Today K-9 units, local and state police responded to a reported sighting on Route 611 across the street from the Swiftwater Recycling Center. We watched as police checked a clothing bin.
State Police confirm the Swiftwater Barracks has extra security and the Pocono Mountain School District decided to close school today.
We saw people on Facebook this morning complaining and upset with the district closing all Pocono Mountain schools today, but parents we talked to were glad.
Another reported sighting of suspect Eric Frein near the Pocono Mountain School District East Campus is alarming parents. Pocono Mountain Regional Police confirm one of their officers on duty for extra security at the school saw someone suspicious in the woods near the Swiftwater Post Office. But school wasn't called off until early this morning.
Last night the district said the school would be open today with extra security. A school spokesperson tells us the decision was changed this morning because officers wanted to do a thorough search of the grounds. Officials say as of now absences due to the search yesterday won't be excused because buses ran throughout the school district.
More alarming-- a rumor surfaced that Frein broke into a school shed. School officials say that the shed was broken into. The lock on the shed door was broken off the door. However police tell us it wasn't forcibly broken into. Also, they say the school was unable to tell them if anything was missing. Therefore, the whole shed incident can't be attributed to Frein or anyone else.
Parent James Hagner says, "If there was a sighting of him in Swiftwater, he goes over to Sanofi's property which comes into Scotrun Estates, it's an easy way out."
Hagner says he spotted Border Patrol Officers where he lives in Scotrun Estates and showed them where the secluded routes are located. Hagner feels for the families of the troopers ambushed and is glad he saw the officers taking his advice last night.
Hagner says, "There was a few vehicles and I showed them around and showed them the area. They were complete gentlemen and liked the fact that I helped them out."
School officials say no decision has been made regarding whether school will be open tomorrow. That decision will be made later tonight.

October 21, 2014

Weatherly officials say drugs are taking over their community, but they plan to do something about it. It was a hot issue at last night's borough council meeting. Council member, Joe Cyburt, says drugs are significantly impacting the community. According to court documents since the beginning of the year there have been 31 criminal cases in the borough. More than half of them are drug related, including burglary and simple assault cases. Local officials feel part of the problem is a lack of resources for addicts. Cyburt says he's reached out to the Weatherly School District PTA, together they're working on creating a support group to aide families in finding help and to educate people on the dangers of heroin.

October 21, 2014

Search and rescue divers are refreshing their skills at The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area this week.
Every three years they're required to brush up on their knowledge and performance. Yesterday divers spent their time in the classroom, but today they were in the Delaware River.
"The dive team is mostly known for their work with search and rescue operations, but a lot of people don't know they do a lot of other things in the national park," Kathleen Sandt, spokesperson for The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.
Sandt says their dive team does biology and fish studies, they check underwater for vegetation, install booey systems to let swimmers know where it's safe to swim, they do dam maintenance and they even study old wrecks.
Tomorrow divers will be learning how to use a decompression chamber and treat pressure- related injuries.

October 20, 2014

The manhunt for suspected cop killer Eric Frein is now in the Swiftwater area. A sighting Friday night near Pocono Mountain High School East Campus has State Police now searching in that area. State Police believe the sighting is highly credible, but today all schools within the Pocono Mountain School District were open to some parents' dismay. Others were happy with the heightened security provided. We also witnessed an increased police presence at the high school.
State Police say Frein is familiar with the area, he attended the high school and worked at Sanofi Pasteur. Police ask residents to continue to be vigilant, they're not backing down until Frein is caught.

October 20, 2014

Local, state, federal and international officials are working to stop the Ebola Virus from spreading any further.
Senator Bob Casey joined medical professionals at Pocono Medical Center today to discuss the region's preparedness and funding just
in case Ebola comes our way.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention there have been 3 cases of Ebola in the United States and 1 death, however it's affected multiple countries around the world, starting in West Africa.
As of October 12th, CDC has reported 4,493 deaths worldwide.
"We're very prepared with over protective gear you would need, protocals, training and the communication out to our staff," said Jeff Snyder, President/ CEO of Pocono Medical Center.
Funding for the existing hospital preparedness program has been cut fifty percent. Right now U.S. Senator Bob Casey says, the program is funded 8.1 million dollars, but there's over 200 hospitals that have to share that money.
He's been working with Richard Burr, a North Carolina senator, to change that and provide the needed resources and planning for public health emergencies. According to CDC, the 2014 Ebola epidemic is the most deadly in history.

October 20, 2014

Police are investigating an armed robbery at First National Pharmacy on 1st Street in Lehighton. It happened Saturday afternoon around 4:30. Police say the borough's annual Halloween parade was in full swing when they got the call. Authorities say a man armed with a gun entered the pharmacy and took off moments later on foot with some undisclosed items. The pharmacy was the target of another armed robbery in April. Police are investigating if the incidents are connected. Police say they're following credible leads on the suspect.

October 17, 2014

Local school superintendents are working with state representatives to lower charter school expenses.
Representatives from Monroe, Pike, Carbon, Lehigh and Northhampton counties would like to see change in charter school legislation. On top of high cost, officials say, there's a lack of accountability, transparency and exemplary test scores.
Officials say, cyber charter students are under performing the ones in the classroom and they're spending more money than it cost to operate them.
Officials have been fighting the issue for years, but they feel like they're getting closer.
They're hoping new legislation will come soon.

October 17, 2014

State police continue to search for Suspect Eric Frein along Route 447 in Barrett and Price Townships, and now they're looking under the road. Frein is accused of ambushing Pike County's Blooming Grove State Police Barracks 35 days ago, leaving one trooper dead and one injured.
Spray painted numbers and letters have appeared on Route 447 and people driving past can't help but wonder why.
PennDOT Press Officer Sean Brown says, "We got a request from the Pennsylvania State Police to mark inlets and drainage on PA 447."
Both PennDOT officials and a state police spokesperson tell us officers are utilizing the markings in the search for Frein.
Brown says, "Some of these are a little harder to see so we went out there and made them visible and easier to see. We wanted to help make their job easier."
Police have been searching both sides of Route 447. Barrett Township Resident Harry Fox says he's heard Frein hasn't been seen crossing the road but there have been sightings of him on both sides. Fox says he saw state troopers peering in one pipe as he drove by earlier this week.

October 16, 2014

Tamaqua Police are investigating after they find a suspected meth lab in a vacant building. Police say it was around 11:30 this morning when a neighbor reported an open-door at a vacant building on Broad Street. Once inside police say they found materials used to make meth. Members of the state police mobile meth lab removed the items from the home. Nobody was inside at the time of the incident. Residents who may have seen someone in the building are asked to call Tamaqua Police.

October 16, 2014

Two Carbon County men are busted for selling heroin. Police say Joseph Franklin of Lehighton and Steven Mika of Weissport have been charged with the sale of heroin to an undercover officer. It happened yesterday near Mallard Market. Both men face numerous drug charges and were taken to jail. Mika is also charged with resisting arrest after trying to flee from police on foot yesterday - and for physically fighting with an officer in the middle of the street.

October 16, 2014

Northwestern Elementary student Haley Schantz is no average fourth grader. Her uncle, a state trooper in Pittsburgh, was called into the Eric Frein manhunt. That made Haley want to do her part to help her uncle and the rest of the troopers. Last week, Haley and her classmates made over 260 cards, letters and posters to show their support for the state police. But Haley won't stop there. This weekend, she'll hold a food drive to bring them snacks. The drive will be held this Sunday at the Germansville Fire Company from 9am to 5 pm, and all are encouraged to donate.

October 16, 2014

It's now been 34 days since Pike County's Blooming Grove State Police Barracks was ambushed, leaving one trooper dead and one injured. The search for suspect Eric Frein in Barrett and Price Townships has been a strain on the community. Luckily business seems to be coming back for some.
Before Mountainhome business owners told us the only cars on the roads were police cruisers, now owners at The Pour House Neighborhood Bar and Grill tell us things are looking up and in a big way.
Co-Owner Kimberly Stephens says, "This past week has been very busy, it's been busier than it's been in a long time and even busier than this time last year."
Stephens says they've served 270 dinners this past Saturday alone, which is great for any restaurant in the Poconos. But the fear is still there. The Pour House is usually open till 2am daily, now it closes a few hours earlier because people aren't coming in past 11pm.
But no matter what business is like, Stephens' mind is on the law enforcement officers still out in the woods. We saw police on Bear Town Road once again today looking for Frein. She came up with the idea of the blue bows to show the officers the town is behind them, and says there are now 1,000 posted.
While business is still the worst it's been for some, there's still a lot of positives.
Co-Owner Justine Knipe of Mountainhome Candle Company says people are going out of their way to buy her products both in person and on the phone. She says the support has been amazing during a tough time and wants to thank all of her loyal customers.
There has not been a news conference scheduled in over a week on the search status. State police emailed us today that there is no significant activity to report at this time.

October 16, 2014

The vice president of development and government relations at Blue Mountain Health system says staff at its Lehighton and Palmerton campuses are busy training for Ebola preparedness. It's a similar story at Lehigh Valley Hospital. Representatives tell us staff members are busy running drills on handling infectious diseases. St. Luke's University Health Network released this statement, "St. Luke's University Health Network is following the CDC guidelines regarding Ebola protocols." Health officials suspect with flu season upon us, more people will visit the emergency room fearing their symptoms could be Ebola. The public is reminded Ebola is not an air borne virus. For more information on the virus check out the cdc.org.

October 16, 2014

Barrett Township residents may have Halloween after all.
Earlier this month, supervisors cancelled Halloween in the township, because of the search for Eric Frein...FBI's 2nd Most Wanted Criminal is still at large, but the Holy Trinity Parish will be hosting a truncated celebration at the Monsignor McHugh Elementary School in Cresco.
Area residents will bring their vehicles, decorate them and kids will go trunk to trunk in their costumes collecting as much candy as they can.
They would also like people to donate non-perishable food items to their local food pantry. They're hoping to have a station set up to collect them.
Ribbons will be awarded for best costumes and decorated vehicles.
They ask that you don't bring pets.
If you would like to participate there's still time to register vehicles, floats and vendors the event is scheduled October 26th from 2-4.

October 15, 2014

Scarecrows are a sure-fire sign fall is here. But in two Carbon County boroughs, they're also a sign of local businesses. For the fourth year, Delaware Avenue shops in Palmerton lined the streets with their fall creations. This year, even houses joined the fun. Jim Thorpe also brought back their scarecrow program for 2014. In both cases, the objective was for businesses to show off what it is they do in a fun and festive way. Jim Thorpe held a contest for their participants with Dimmick Memorial Library winning for their band of Garden-Tool Readers.

October 15, 2014

It's hard to think about Thanksgiving and Christmas when we haven't even gotten through Halloween, but retailers and local resorts are thinking about the holiday rush and who's going to help them get through it. GameStop Regional Director, Eric McKinley, says the company is increasing its seasonal job force by 47%. Locally, GameStop is hiring about 900 associates for the Northeast PA region. Ski resorts in our own backyard are gearing up for a hiring influx. Blue Mountain Ski Area is holding three job fairs next month. The company is looking to fill various positions including ski instructors, to ticket sales, to rentals. A Carbon County Careerlink spokesperson suggests job seekers start their search online. Visit the webpage for a company you're interested in working for and see if they're hiring.

October 15, 2014

A Former Lehighton teacher accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a student was in district court today. In August, Matthew Fisher was charged with corruption of minors. The former business teacher and golf coach at the high school was charged after police say he shared sexually explicit text messages with a 16-year-old male student. Fisher confessed to sending the messages in July and August. Fisher resigned from his job with the Lehighton High School prior to the beginning of the academic year. Today he waived his right to a preliminary hearing. He now faces the charge in Carbon County Court.

October 15, 2014

Firefighters from five fire companies responded to a number of vacation villas on fire around 5 o'clock this morning at the Villas At Tree Tops and Fairway in Bushkill.
Bushkill Fire Chief Alex Dipolo says, he was first on scene. He believes high winds caused the fire to spread from one to the other.
No one was injured.
The Villas at Tree Tops are timeshare properties affiliated with Fernwood Resort.
Despite the fire, Bushkill Group Vice President of Marketing. Gina Bertucci says, they've relocated guest, but they are honoring all reservations. Firefighters say a total of 8 units were damaged by fire. Four neighboring buildings have exterior damage from the heat as well, melting the siding. We're even told there was an explosion.
Fire Marshalls are investigating the cause of fire. Timeshare owners say, it may be a while before they can start rebuilding.

October 14, 2014

Police are asking the public for help after a vehicle in Jim Thorpe is shot by a bb gun. Police say the incident happened Sunday afternoon around 3 o'clock in the area of North Street and West Front Street. A tan Ford Taurus was struck with a bb pellet which smashed out the rear window. Jim Thorpe Police is asking anyone with information about the incident to contact Detective Lee Marzen.

October 14, 2014

The search for Eric Frein in northern Monroe County for killing a state trooper and injuring another continues. Police seem to be back tracking now, going back over areas they've searched before.
A source tells us they're now leaving stickers or markings to identify searched areas as they cover them.
Today, state police blocked off Manzanedo Rd. in Price Township while they searched the area.
While there is still a police presence police say, they've scaled back to 200 troopers in 3 shifts per day.

October 14, 2014

If outrageous heating bills bogged you down last winter, PPL Electric Utilities has a program to help lower costs before you start shivering this year.
Lehighton Resident Nicole Heckman says last winter harshly elevated her electric bill. Her family's highest monthly bill was $760.
The Heckman's have lived in their rental home for only a year and a half. But the idea of another winter with high electric bills had them considering moving. That was until they learned about PPL Electric Utilities "WRAP" or Winter Relief Assistance Program.
It provides weatherization measures at no cost to the customer as long as they're income eligible. The program allows for a contractor to come in and seal up cracks letting in air and provide insulation for the house. The Heckman home didn't seem to be insulated at all.
The contractor then tests other items in the home to help with year-round savings.
Customer Programs Director Chris Schoemaker says, "We'll test the refrigerator, there's a few air conditioners as well, if they're inefficient, they'll be replaced. They have an electric water heater so we'll do things like low flow shower heads and pipe insulation. We also replace all the lights in the home if they're being used an hour or more each day with an LED lightbulb."
The program seeks to lower electric bills and increase comfort levels. And they can direct you to other programs which may help lower your energy costs as well. That's why now is the perfect time to sign up before winter starts. Just call 1-888-232-6302 for more information and to apply.

October 13, 2014

A Pine Grove man who admits to threatening to harm children if the Schuylkill County Courthouse didn't close earlier this month waives his preliminary hearing. According to court documents, 48-year-old Todd Dohner says he made the threats to avoid having to pay fines he owed. He left two voicemails on a county official's phone which weren't heard until the morning of October 3rd. Dohner demanded the courthouse be shut down by noon on the 3rd or he would shoot students as they exited school. He also stated he was a member of a terrorist group that would assist. The courthouse was evacuated, and schools were notified. Police were present at many schools as a precaution. Investigators traced the calls back to a cell phone used by Dohner. He now faces charges in Schuylkill County Court. He is jailed on a half a million dollars straight cash bail.

October 13, 2014

One woman is dead and several injured after a muli-vehicle crash at Rt. 209 and Shafers School House Rd.
One passenger was flown to a nearby hospital for injuries.
Officials have not yet released the names of the victims.
Police are investigating, but the coroner says they believe a tractor trailer is at fault.

October 13, 2014

The search for suspect Eric Frein is now going into its second month. Today marks 31 days since Pike County's Blooming Grove State Police Barracks was ambushed, Corporal Bryon Dickson was killed and Trooper Alex Douglass severely injured.
It's put a damper on people coming to the Poconos but one industry is still benefitting from the police presence.
Tourism is taking a hit, and business owners around the target search area in Barrett and Price Townships aren't the only ones noticing. As the manhunt for Frein is now past its one month mark, the attention is on him eluding law enforcement officers and not the beautiful fall scenery in the Poconos.
But hotels in Monroe County are still benefitting. Out-of-town officers coming in to add to the manpower need a place a sleep.
We witnessed troopers coming in and out of Pocono Inne Town today on Main Street in Stroudsburg. And General Manager Tony Ruggiero tells us more are planning to stay this week. Last week a viewer sent us a video showing the Days Inn parking lot filled with police cruisers in East Stroudsburg. Between 150-200 troopers were there for four to five days.
The Days Inn was so busy, they had to send people to other hotels in the area. So hotels are being filled, just not for the usual reason.
And hotel managers are also doing their part in helping law enforcement officers, by offering them a discount.
No matter how long the search takes, hotel managers say they're here for the officers.

October 10, 2014

A celebration of fall is being held tomorrow in East Stroudsburg.
The Dansbury Depot is hosting October Fest this weekend.
People will be able to come take a tour of the stationand switch tower, enjoy food, local musicians, dance groups
and more. A train from Steamtown will also be stopping by.
The train is scheduled to arrive at 11am. There will also be candy, apple cider, rides, sack races, crafts, a model train, scarecrow building and a magician. Festivities begin at 10:30 tomorrow morning.

October 10, 2014

Suspect Eric Frein is still on the run. It'll be four weeks ago tonight Pike County's Blooming Grove State Police Barracks was ambushed, Corporal Bryon Dickson was killed and Trooper Alex Douglass severely injured. As the search continues Barrett Township residents fully support law enforcement officers on the hunt, and are coming up with new ways to show it.
Officers are welcomed with open arms, and the community is taking care of their every need-- including the best protection to keep their own township police force safe in the search for suspect Eric Frein.
Barrett Township Police Patrolman Austin Anglemyer just came back from looking for Frein this morning. Assisting state police is something that's become a regular duty for the department since the majority of the search is centered in their township. But Anglemyer feels a whole lot better now wearing what the state police have on.
Chief Steven Williams requested township supervisors buy new bullet proof vests for his officers, since Frein allegedly is carrying a .308 riffle.
Williams says, "It will stop a long gun, a high powered riffle and multiple shots, unlike the concealed body armor that we usually wear, typically for small firearms, pistols and stuff like that."
Each vest costs $1,300. It's something the township didn't have in the budget, along with all the other associated manhunt costs that Supervisor Chairman Ralph Megliola estimates is at $50,000.
Megliola says, "A lot of the emergency stuff we can't budget for because we don't plan for it so we'll make it work. We want our police as safe as possible."
Williams says the support is amazing and we noticed today it continues to grow in new ways.
Mountainhome United Methodist Church Pastor John Keretzman invites everyone to come out each day and pray for the officers in the woods and the community while the manhunt continues-- someting that just started on Wednesday. The prayers are from noon to 12:15 every day and will happen inside if raining. Just take time on your lunch break and show up at the church on Route 390.

October 9, 2014

A brand new hospital is coming to Monroe County. Pocono Medical Center plans to construct a state-of-the-art second hospital in Tannersville. It'll be called Pocono Medical Center West and will be located on the site of the former Summit Resort on Route 715. A purchase agreement for it's 40 acres is currently in the works.
PMC officials have been looking for a site location for six months now in that area, but the need has been known for years due to the population growth.
President/CEO Jeffrey Snyder says, "That is what we've identified as our central growth area for Monroe County and our primary and secondary service ares, so right now we're situated in the east, we intend to have greater reach and access to our community by adding that location."
Over the past seven years, PMC has focused on enhancing and adding to clinical services at its headquarters campus in East Stroudsburg, like the Hughes Cancer Center and immediate care centers in its 20 different locations. Now it's about emergency services and more beds. The current inpatient wing is over 50 years old.
Senior VP and Chief Business Development Officer Stephen Cunningham says, "There have been plans for some time to replace those beds with more modern facilities, private rooms, which is what our patients ask us for."
And officials say they got the perfect location to accomodate future growth needs. Right now they're working on what the first phase of construction will be.
No word yet on what this project will cost or how large the actual hospital will be. Negotiations with the property owner are continuing.

October 9, 2014

Four entities have been sharing ownership of the Ridgeway St. Bridge in East Stroudsburg over the years, causing confusion.
From here on Penn Dot has vowed to take full responsibility of replacing and maintaining the bridge.
Officials now have funding to replace the bridge. Construction is expected to begin next summer and be completed by the end of the year.

October 8, 2014

As the search continues for suspect Eric Frein, the woods in seven townships in Monroe and Pike Counties remain off limits to recreational activity. Hunters and hikers are not allowed in those areas. But for loggers working on the Monroe-Pike border-- not working is not an option. At least, not yet. But the danger looms in the normally peaceful scenery.
Loggers are busy today clearing the woods of trees killed off by the gypsy moths in 2008. And their job just happens to be in the middle of the Eric Frein Manhunt.
The area in question- the Monroe-Pike border- the zone police believe Frein is hiding in- is where S&K Forest Resources LLC has set up shop. We were asked not to disclose the exact location for safety concerns.
So looking out into the woods isn't so calming. Before loggers just had to look out for heavy machinery, now there's a cop killer believed to be in the area.
The reason-- the surrounding woods, you can't see 10 feet in front of you and you don't know what's lurking behind you. That's why they understand exactly what's taking so long for police to find Frein.
Like everyone else, they just want him in custody. Until then, they could be shut down at any time.

October 8, 2014

It's National Fire Prevention week. Jim Thorpe Firefighters spent the day teaching students at Lawrence B. Morris Elementary School and St. Joe's Regional Academy about smoke detectors and what to do when you hear the alarm. The kids were also reminded to have their parents change the batteries in the smoke detectors once a year and to test them once a month. The JT Fire Department has new smoke detectors available for free to borough residents. Anyone interested should call the fire department.

October 8, 2014

Four people are facing charges, after being found with heroin in East Stroudsburg.
Police say, they recovered 30 bags of heroin and paraphernalia on Crystal St. in East Stroudsburg Monday.
Randy Cruz, James Wells, Catherine Abbey and William Young are facing related charges.
Police say, the problem has been growing over the last few months.
They believe a lot of the dealers and buyers are within the homeless population.
If you ever see any suspicious activity police ask you to report it.

October 7, 2014

The vacant Hotel Jonas in Polk Township is ready to open as a veterans rehab center. Today Senator Pat Toomey dropped by to take a tour and offer his support. Volunteers have been working around the clock since June to get it ready for a local group dedicated to serving veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Valor Clinic Foundation Officials named it the "Major Paul Syverson Veterans Sanctuary" to honor a fallen hero by using the hotel as a place to get homeless veterans off the street and back on their feet.
Senator Toomey wanted to sit down with veterans today and witness the tremendous work being done by the Valor Clinic. Toomey toured the renovated Jonas Hotel and believes the temporary shelter is just what homeless veterans need in Monroe County, especially with winter quickly approaching.
He says, "It's a place for training, a place for people to learn how to put together a resume, learn how to do a job interview, and really help a veteran get back on his or her feet."
It's been a dream of Valor Clinic Founder Mark Baylis for three years now, and Toomey say's he's on board to help it continue smoothly. He's already supported applications for federal grants. Now he's focusing on getting Veterans Affairs involved.
Toomey says, "It will pay for private non-government charitable organizations that are providing services."
But the soon-to-be home for 12 veterans wouldn't have been possible without dedicated volunteers. The run-down hotel now sparkles with pride. Volunteers are just busy with the finishing touches.
And it's not just the building that volunteers have been working hard on. There's also extras outside like a BarBQ pit, a dog kennel and storage units for the Valor Clinic's outreach program.
The grand opening is happening this Sunday starting at 1pm with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and the community is welcome to tour until 7pm. Next week the recruiting process will start.
There's still a few odds and ends that need to be worked on. If you'd like to lend a hand, just contact the Valor Clinic.

October 7, 2014

The National retail Federation projects holiday sales to be the highest they've been since 2011. Economists base the financial forecast on several factors including consumer credit and previous monthly sales. News 13 caught up with some shoppers at Kmart in Walnutport today who are already working on their Christmas lists. Adrienne Jones of Albrightsville is putting items on layaway. She says she's behind the eight ball and normally starts shopping in July. Retailers are banking on shoppers like Jones to put them in the black this holiday season. Although sales are expected to go up, experts say shoppers will be on the hunt for a good bargain and their purchases will be well thought out.

October 6, 2014

A pedestrian was hit on Route 248 over the weekend in Lower Towamensing Township. The incident happened Saturday morning around 9:30 in the eastbound lanes near the intersection with Route 873. According to police, 36-year-old Michael Potak of Lehighton was travelling east in the passing lane when he drove by a disabled vehicle. His passenger, Trevor Hawley of Northampton, asked Potak to pull over so he could offer aid. Potak pulled into the right lane and Hawley got out. Potak started backing up to the vehicle and hit Hawley knocking him down and driving over him with the rear wheels. Hawley crawled to the shoulder. He was taken to Lehigh Valley Hospital with lower body injuries.

October 6, 2014

The John E. Morgan Foundation has enabled hundreds of Tamaqua graduates to attend college for free over the years. A recent donation is ensuring hundreds more can enjoy the same privilege. The foundation is awarding $250,000 to Lehigh Carbon Community College Tamaqua the Morgan Center. Some of the money is going to pay tuition for students participating in the dual enrollment program through Tamaqua area high school. The program allows students to take college credit courses while in high school. The rest of the money will be used to purchase a passenger van to shuttle students to various sites, especially from the Morgan Center in Tamaqua to main campus in Schnecksville. No word yet on when the shuttle will be available to students. Organizers say they have to work out the logistics.

October 6, 2014

Mignosi's Super Foodtown Grocery Store is raising money for the family of Cpl. Bryon Dickson, killed in the ambush at the Blooming Grove State Police Barracks on Sept 12.
Dickson leaves behind two young boys and a wife.
So far the owner says they've been able to raise close to $4,000. He's hoping to give the family at least $18,000.
If you would like to come down and donate, doors will be open until 10pm.

October 6, 2014

While the manhunt for the alleged cop killer continues, law enforcement officers and volunteers aren't the only ones putting in extra hours. In the first two weeks of the search, Monroe County's 911 Control Center accumulated over 700 hours of overtime. But now things are getting back to normal.
Supervisor Jeffrey Piccirillo has never experienced anything like the manhunt for suspect Eric Frein in the 12 years he's worked for the Monroe County 911 Control Center. The phone has been ringing off the hook the last three weeks with sightings along with the usual emergency call volume.
Typically every two weeks payroll overtime at the 911 center is a little over 130 hours. The last payroll involving the search totaled an excess of 755 hours.
Communications Director Gary Hoffman says, "We're fine, we're still within our budget."
Luckily now the required extra staff has decreased and Hoffman says this next payroll should be about average.
Hoffman says, "Compensated and became use to how we're handling those sighting calls."
It seems calls from residents spotting Frein are dropping off too going into this fourth week.
Piccirillo says, "Everybody's getting back to their norm. Everybody's going back to work, everybody's going back to school. They're not getting that nervousness where they're calling in everything."
The center takes every call seriously and encourages people to remain vigilant in reporting anything related to the search for Eric Frein.

October 3, 2014

Police arrested a Pine Grove resident for a threat that evacuated the Schuylkill County Courthouse today. The courthouse was shutdown today after a threat was left in an overnight voicemail demanding it be closed by noon. The caller stated if officials didn't comply, an unidentified county school would be targeted.
All schools in the county were notified, some were on lockdown and others took precautions. According to police the one responsible acted alone. Further information will be released from investigators after the individual is arraigned.

October 3, 2014

Pocono Medical Center fired up the grill for the 2nd annual Heros BBQ, in honor of all the men and women who put their lives on the line everyday.
EMTS, police and firefighters were able to grab as much food as they'd like: hamburgers, hotdogs, pulled pork sandwiches, corn on the cob and even baked beans.
A helicopter even made an appearance.
Emergency responders will be able to come get food until 8 o'clock tonight.
If you would like to donate food or supplies to state police in the search for Frein, call the Barrett Township Fire Company @ (570) 595 - 7777

October 2, 2014

It's been 20 days of searching for the man police believe fatally killed a state trooper, injuring another.
This morning we spotted police at Alpine Mountain again, but not with as much manpower as they had yesterday.
Today the search shifted to Pocono Township along Rt. 715 and Cherry Lane Church Rd.
If you spot the suspect or have any information, notify police. Do NOT approach him he is considered armed and extremely dangerous.

October 2, 2014

A well known establishment in Swiftwater, Monroe County closes its doors unexpectedly, leaving some residents in shock. Pocono Brewing Company is expected to open again in a few weeks with a new owner. For now, those employed by the restaurant wonder if they'll have a job.
Pocono Brewing Company located on Route 611 swiftly changed hands over the weekend. Former General Manager Robert VanThiel says he was notified by the then-owner James Caporuso Sunday night that the restaurant would be closed starting the next day. VanThiel then took it upon himself to inform the other employees.
VanThiel says while some employees knew the establishment was on the market for a year and a half, it wasn't talked about. Now 30 people seem to be without a job after only a few hours notice.
VanThiel says, "No one has been contacted by the new owners. We were waiting on a phone call, we were supposed to be receiving a phone call sometime this week to sit down with them to talk about future employment, but I'm still waiting on that phone call."
While VanThiel seems to be taking it well, PBC was also home to Poconuts Comedy Club. Producer Tom Riccobono says he's known Caporuso for 20 years and would constantly ask him of any changes before he'd book acts. Yet this week's show is cancelled without warning and all others including New Year's Eve.
Riccobono says, "Left me in a really bad position, and a bind. I have lots of contracts, lots of comics are affected, New Year's Eve, it's a mess."
We witnessed Riccobono taking his sign out of the building today. Now he's thinking about a new location and worried about being sued.
Riccobono says, "The big time guys on Letterman and have HBO shows and things like that, they have a real contracts and those are the ones I'm worried about."
While employees were notified the night before they shouldn't show up to work tomorrow, customers showing up seeing the posted sign couldn't believe their eyes after it being open for almost 20 years.
VanThiel says, "We had regulars that would eat there multiple times a week, if not more than that."
The owner of Luna Rossa Restaurant in Gilbert, which burned down earlier this year, has purchased PBC. Silvio Vitiello spoke with us today as he and his crew were busy fixing it up. He plans to reopen PBC in the next few weeks and keep the name. Former Owner Caporuso never returned our call.

October 2, 2014

After years of trying to develop a business park in an abandoned rail yard, Carbon County is selling the land. But no one seems to want it. Commissioners were expected to open bids on the property today. But the only bid submitted was withdrawn for the 71 acres of land that sits on the border of Mahoning Township and Lehighton Borough. The county is asking for a minimum bid of $300,000. Commissioners Wayne Nothstein and Tom Gerhard say they're not surprised. Commissioner Bill O'Gurek was unable to attend today's meeting. County officials will meet soon to discuss the next step which they say could include re-advertising the property at a lower price. No decisions were made today.

October 2, 2014

An Andreas man is charged after a baby in his care ends up with a fractured skull. Police say 25-year-old Travis Garris admits he was the only one home when the child's injury occurred - but he denies striking the infant. He claims the 4-month old boy fell. The victim's mother left her child with Garris while she was at work on September 29th. When she returned she discovered the baby had significant bruising to his head. At the hospital, the child was found to have a fractured skull and brain bleed. Investigators say the patterns are consistent with being slapped and not from a fall. Garris is charged with aggravated assault, endangering the welfare of a child and other offenses.

October 1, 2014

A Luzerne County man is killed in a two-car crash in Hometown this afternoon. 83-year-old Andrew Woytko of Hazle Township died due to the injuries he sustained in the accident. Police say he pulled out of Basile's Italian Restaurant onto Route 309 when he was struck by a car driven by 29-year-old Rosanne Levitt of Lansford. Both Levitt and a passenger in Woytko's car were taken to the hospital. Police continue to investigate.

October 1, 2014

The Pennsylvania Game Commission has temporarily halted hunting in 7 townships in the Poconos while the search for Eric Frein continues. Those municipalities include Barrett, Price and Paradise Townships in Monroe County as well as Blooming Grove, Porter, Greene and Lehman Townships in Pike County. The Game Commission says the closure effects hunting on both public and private land. State Game lands in those areas are also closed to public access. The closure was initiated after State Police announced yesterday that troopers had uncovered explosive devices apparently left behind in the woods by Frein.

October 1, 2014

Pipe bombs found in the search for Eric Frein are increasing tensions in the Barrett and Price Township communities.
Local officials say, upcoming community events could be canceled if Frein isn't captured soon, community day, an open house at the fire house and the Barrett Township parade that's been a tradition for years.
Officials say members of the community met yesterday to discuss rescheduling and canceling the events. Nothing has been decided yet.

October 1, 2014

As the search for suspect Eric Frein continues, Barrett Township residents are helping in a big way. They've decorated the town to show their support for law enforcement officers and have provided those working in the woods with meals. Now they're raising money to help the families of both troopers ambushed at the Pike County Blooming Grove State Police Barracks. It's called "Barrett Proud." Police believe suspect Eric Frein killed Corporal Bryon Dickson and wounded Trooper Alex Douglass.
Since September 25th, almost $3,000 has been raised for the families just by getting the word out on the Barrett Proud Facebook page. And donations are also coming in from all over the state.
If you would like to donate just go to Barrett Township's website at www.barrett.monroe.pa.us and click on Barrett Proud. That will bring you to the PayPal account.

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