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BRCTV-13 News Archive

EASTER DRAWS TOURISTS TO THE POCONOS
April 18, 2014

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

NEW TECHNOLOGY PROVIDES PARENTS PEACE OF MIND
April 18, 2014

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

SHRED DAYS
April 18, 2014

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

ROUTE 2001 CONCERNS
April 18, 2014

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

LOCAL POLICE PREPARE TO TAKE BACK DRUGS
April 17, 2014

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

STROUDSBURG SPRING-CLEAN UP NEEDS YOUR HELP
April 17, 2014

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

BILL FOR AEDS ON GOVERNORS DESK
April 16, 2014

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

MONROE COUNTY PLANS AHEAD
April 16, 2014

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

GREAT AMERICAN CLEANUP
April 16, 2014

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

JOB SEEKERS MEET EMPLOYERS AT JOB FAIR
April 15, 2014

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

SPRING FLOODING CONCERNS
April 15, 2014

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

MORE E-FILING IN 2014
April 15, 2014

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

A HIKER DIES AT GLEN ONOKO FALLS
April 14, 2014

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

TROUT SEASON BRINGS BUSINESS
April 14, 2014

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

A NEW AND BIGGER LOCATION FOR SMITHFIELD'S LIBRARY
April 14, 2014

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

WALKER TOWNSHIP SHOOTING
April 14, 2014

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

OFFICIALS PROPOSE NEW BUILDING HEIGHTS
April 11, 2014

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

EQUAL PAY?
April 11, 2014

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

UPDATE: CAR IN THE LEHIGH CANAL
April 11, 2014

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

LEHIGHTON CATHOLIC SCHOOL CLOSING
April 11, 2014

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

NEW HOMELESS DAY CENTER OPEN
April 10, 2014

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

BOY MAY BE CHARGED IN CYBER BULLYING CASE
April 10, 2014

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

SUMMIT HILL MAN SENTENCED IN FEDERAL DRUG TRAFFICKING CASE
April 10, 2014

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

FATAL SCHUYLKILL COUNTY CRASH
April 10, 2014

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

CARBON PLAZA MALL STORE RE-OPENS AFTER ARSON FIRE
April 10, 2014

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

TROUT FISHING IN THE POCONOS
April 10, 2014

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

TWO SHOOTING SUSPECTS CHARGED IN STROUDSBURG
April 9, 2014

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

COALDALE POLICE OFFICERS RETURN TO FULL TIME HOURS
April 9, 2014

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

CAR SUBMERGED IN LEHIGH CANAL
April 9, 2014

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

YOUR HELP IS NEEDED IN MONROE COUNTY
April 9, 2014

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

MAN SENTENCED FOR ATTEMPTED MURDER
April 8, 2014

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

CARBON COUNTY FIREMEN'S DRILL TOWER CLOSED
April 8, 2014

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

FORMER LEHIGHTON MAN SENTENCED FOR CHILD PORN
April 8, 2014

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

SS PETER AND PAUL SCHOOL CLOSING?
April 8, 2014

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

BARN COLLAPSES IN JACKSON TOWNSHIP
April 8, 2014

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

LEHIGH TOWNSHIP BABY DEATH INVESTIGATION
April 7, 2014

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

AN AUTISTIC, STROUD TOWNSHIP MAN FOUND
April 7, 2014

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

35TH ANNUAL ACS TELETHON
April 7, 2014

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

STROUDSBURG ELEMENTARY SCHOOL MOLD FOLLOW UP
April 7, 2014

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

NATIONAL SAFETY WORK ZONE AWARENESS WEEK
April 7, 2014

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

ROBBERY AT LEHIGHTON PHARMACY
April 7, 2014

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

PIKE COUNTY CONSIDERING VETERANS COURT
April 7, 2014

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

JIM THORPE TRAIN STATION BURGLARY ARRESTS
April 7, 2014

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

PMC OPENS NEW BARTONSVILLE LOCATION
April 4, 2014

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

A COMEDY SHOW FOR BARKS, MEOWS AND GIGGLES
April 4, 2014

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

SECTION OF ROUTE 248 CLOSED OUTSIDE WALNUTPORT
April 4, 2014

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

LEHIGH VALLEY PRESCRIPTION DRUG RING BUST: CARBON CO. WOMEN CHARGED
April 4, 2014

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

MAHONING TOWNSHIP WOMAN STEALS GUNS TO FUND DRUGS
April 4, 2014

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

GOOD NEWS FOR JOBSEEKERS
April 4, 2014

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

WEATHERLY WOMAN IN COURT FOR SNATCHING TEACHER'S PURSE
April 3, 2014

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

SCHUYLKILL COUNTY BURN BAN
April 3, 2014

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

ESU HOSTS LAW ENFORCEMENT DAY
April 3, 2014

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

ACT 89 MONEY TO FIX ROADS.
April 3, 2014

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

NEW FIRE TAX IN LEHIGH TOWNSHIP?
April 2, 2014

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

WEATHERWOOD NURSE IN COURT
April 2, 2014

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

FORMER CHOIR DIRECTOR HEADS TO TRIAL
April 2, 2014

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

TWITTER PAGE CAUSING CONTROVERSY AT LOCAL COLLEGE
April 2, 2014

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

LANSFORD MAN SENTENCED FOR FEDERAL FIREARMS CHARGE
April 1, 2014

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

TAMAQUA HIGH SPEED CHASE ARREST
April 1, 2014

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

BANKS TOWNSHIP FATAL CRASH
April 1, 2014

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

NEW BUILDING APPLICATIONS SHOW SIGNS OF GROWTH
April 1, 2014

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

TAMAQUA CHURCHES TO MERGE
April 1, 2014

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

MORE DRIVER FEE INCREASES
April 1, 2014

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

MAN WANTED IN DRIVEBY SHOOTING FOUND
March 31, 2014

The suspect wanted for an attempted homicide in Stroudsburg last week has been foung in New Jersey.
Police say 40 year old Shicon Jordan drove by the Econo Lodge in Stroudsburg thursday afternoon and shot at a woman parked in front of one of the rooms.
Bullets hit the vehicle and the room window, but no one was hurt.
They received a tip saturday that the suspect was in New Jersey. He was spotted and taken into custody by Irvington Police Department.
"When we have someone as dangerous as he is we want to get that person off the streets...He was involved in two other violent incidents before the attempted homicide. We got this guy off the street and the victim can sleep a little better," said Captain Brian Kimmins of Stroud Area Regional Police. Right now Jordan is still in New Jersey. Police are waiting for the suspect to be brought back to Pennsylvania.

TROUT STOCKING IN THE POCONOS
March 31, 2014

Opening Day of Trout Season for the Poconos is just around the corner. But Mother Nature isn't making it easier to fill the still frozen lakes with trout.
As the saying goes, "The third time is the charm." The harsh winter weather has caused the trout stocking at Lake Minisink to be cancelled twice prior to today.
PA Fish and Boat Commission Waterways Conservation Officer Eric Weredyk says, "I've never cancelled a stocking in 15 years."
Over 1,500 trout are toppling over each other into the still frozen-over water. You'd think the lake's condition would be a problem but we're told, the cold water is better for the fish, and it's not the reason why the stocking was postponed.
Weredyk says, "We couldn't get the trucks or the helpers to the lake because of all the snow."
Anyone can fish Lake Minisink as long as they have a license and trout stamp on Opening Day of Trout Season April 12th. The only change involves using a boat. You're required to wear a life jacket until April 30th.

SPRING HOME SHOW AT STABLER ARENA
March 28, 2014

The Spring Home Show at Stabler Arena in Bethlehem features about 270 vendors. Homeowners can expect to find everything from landscaping to home interior design to hot tubs. Organizers expect about 12,000 people to visit the weekend long event. For more information on the show and for a list of vendors visit lvba.org.

PENN HILLS OWNER CLEANS UP RESORT
March 27, 2014

The old Penn Hills Resort has been cleaned up after being covered in graffiti.
John DeCusatis, who's the planning administrator for Stroud Township says they recently reached out to the owner to figure out what to do with the property. He agreed to try to spruce it up a little and painted over the grafitti.
The resort is currently on the market and DeCusatis says he would like to see another resort there.
"The poconos is known as a tourist resort area. Having a viable resort positioned in that area of the township or the county would expand some other coordinating businesses," said DeCusatis.
"Nothing should be left that it's just deteriorating it's dangerous for the young people around here and it's just ugly," said Donna Wisbruch, who's an Analonmik resident.
David Johnson who's a Snydersville resident says he would like to see the property replaced by nature.
"I was thinking maybe just clear it up, clean it out, put a park there or something like that, people can enjoy, said Johnson.
The resort has been closed for 5 years and it's been picked apart piece by piece; copper stolen, windows broken and painted in grafitti.
"The property has some great value to it. It's located right along the Broadhead Creek, prime trout fishing stream, it's 60 acres so it definately has some good potential possibilities for a development.
"They used to have little night clubs. People could go there to eat in the evening you didn't even have to stay there," said Wisbruch.
While there's still a lot of work to be done officials hope someone will come forward and bring the place back to life.

KOCH ROAD BRIDGE TO BE REPLACED SOON
March 27, 2014

A historic bridge in Carbon County is finally being replaced. Carbon County Commissioners approved a bid of nearly 1.4 million dollars to replace the bridge on Koch Road today. Carbon Engineering, Inc. has been working on construction plans for the Towamensing Township bridge since 1999. Once work begins, drivers will be detoured to Trachsville Hill Road. No word on when work will begin, but officials expect the project to be completed before the end of the year.

OBAMACARE: HURT OR HELP SMALL BUSINESSES?
March 27, 2014

The Affordable Care Act, better known as "Obamacare" is a mandatory health care reform. It impacts businesses differently, depending on its size. It's a complex issue that has several local business owners scratching their heads. Today, Mauch Chunk Trust Company hosted a panel of experts to help business owners clear the confusion. The event was held at Mahoning Valley Country Club today. Companies with less than 50 employees don't have to provide insurance. Those with 50 employees or more must provide health coverage, or pay a penalty of $2,000 per person. The penalty is not tax deductible. Experts advise hiring a lawyer or a consultant to help make sound decisions.

SOLAR FARMS ANTICIPATE FUNDING CUTS
March 26, 2014

The current alternate energy credit program could change in a big way. The state public utility commission has proposed a plan that would no longer pay some solar farms for excess energy.
"It's looking at people building large solar farms strictly for the sake of making money," said Jennifer Kocher, who's the press secretary for the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.
During the day the solar farm absorbs light from the sun and converts it into electricity.
Not only does the owners of the farm benefit, but officials say homeowners do too.
"Whatever we're not using, the excess we generate is going to the grid and our neighbors unknowingly are using solar power to power their homes.
The change would affect solar farms under 5 megawatts. Brandon Igdalsky who's the president of Pocono Raceway says their system is 3 megawatts, which worries him.
"They want to make it a lot harder for people to do projects. It's going to limit a lot of the larger producers like us who want to put up systems like we have here...power companies want to make more money...plain and simple, said Igdalsky.
According to the Public Utility Commission changes made would not affect existing solar farms. If you would like to share your comments and concerns, contact the commission @ (717) 772 -7777.

D&L DROPS MARATHON
March 26, 2014

The Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor marathon won't happen this year, but race organizers have added an event for walkers. The D&L announced they've dropped the annual fall marathon. However, the half-marathon run will still happen along with a new half-marathon walk. Runners and walkers will enjoy the fall foliage along the Lehigh River. The race goes through five municipalities in Northampton, Lehigh and Carbon Counties. The races start in Northampton and finish in the Lehigh Gap. Registration is now open for both events. This year's half-marathon run and walk will take place November 2nd. www.delawareandlehigh.org/marathon

COP IMPERSONATOR IN SCHUYLKILL COUNTY
March 26, 2014

State Police say someone is impersonating a cop in Schuylkill County. A woman says Saturday night around 10 she was driving south on Route 61 in West Brunswick Township when she saw red and white lights behind her. When she pulled over, the vehicle pulled in behind her. A man approached her saying he was a police officer and requested to see her driver's license. He said he was giving her a warning for littering. He then got back in his vehicle and left. At no time did the suspect attempt to lure the motorist or take her into custody. The impersonator is described as a white male in his late 30s to 40s. He's about 6' 3" tall with a medium to muscular build. He had a bald or clean shaven head and did not have facial hair. He was driving a new SUV, possibly a black or dark blue Ford Explorer. The vehicle had a red and white light bar across the roof. Anyone with information is asked to contact State Police at Schuylkill Haven.

A BLESSING FOR SOME OF MONROE COUNTY'S HOMELESS IS COMING TO AN END
March 26, 2014

The Stroudsburg Wesleyan Church has been able to take in 18 homeless people overnight from 10PM until 6PM. Stroud Township Zoning Board allowed the church to provide a cold weather shelter this year, but now that option will no longer be available. Co-Pastor Dana Antal says, "It ends March 29th for us so on April 1st, they will no longer have a place to go."
When church officials applied for the permit and determined the time limit, they never anticipated the horrific winter would drag on. Antal says, "We can't house them because we have to abide by the agreement that we made. But we're just praying that somebody else or some other organization might be able to pick up the tab and place them somewhere at least until the weather breaks."
The Wesleyan Church is set to open up the shelter this November for six months, but what about the cold temperatures predicted for next week?
The homeless people we talked to tell us they're dreading being back on the street at night and are calling out for help.
If the cold continues and the church would like to extend the cold weather shelter, Stroud Township Zoning Officer says it would need to be addressed with the township.


FIRE FIGHTERS SEEK HELP TO FIX FIREHOUSE
March 25, 2014

The old Delaware Water Gap firehouse is in need of repair.
Recently, new windows were donated and put in.
Fire fighters say they need a new roof, electrical work, plumbing and heating improvements.
"If we don't get the funding we need eventually we could be shut down and we might have to merge which makes it difficult for home owners in the long run," said Micheal Smith, the Captain of the Delaware Water Gap Volunteer Fire Company.
Smith says insurance rates will go up and the reponse times will be longer. The firehouse improvements are expected to cost $50,000- $60,000.
They need to upgrade equipment too.
If you would like to make a donation to help out log on to gofundme.com/2ttv5g.

HOME HEATING HELP EXTENSION
March 25, 2014

Pennsylvanians struggling to pay home heating bills have extra time to apply for finacial help. The federally-funded Low-Income Home Energy Assitance Program was slated to end April 4th. But today, the Governor announced an extension through April 18th. Since the beginning of the LIHEAP season on November 4th, the state has processed approximately 357,000 applications for cash assistance to help low-income families pay for heating fuel. Grants are based on household income, family size, type of heating fuel and region. To apply visit www.compass.state.pa.us or call the toll-free hotline: 1-866-857-7095

DNA ANALYSIS RESULTS IN ARRESTS FOR 2012 COPPER THEFT
March 25, 2014

Barry McFarland III, Vincent Janssen, Thomas Helman, Timothy Shay and Christopher Smith are all charged with burglary, theft by unlawful taking and criminal trespass, mischief and conspiracy. Back in 2012, Barrett Township Police were investigating a string of burglaries occurring at the Buck Hill Inn. More than $1,000 of copper piping was reported missing by contractors actually working for the owners to rid the abandoned resort of anything valuable. The idea was too slow down the numerous break-ins that had previously been occurring. By the third or fourth time contractors discovered it, police were able to uncover usable evidence. What was left behind was submitted to State Police for DNA analysis. Adequate DNA was submitted to a nationwide database. Investigators say the genetic materials collected at the inn matched McFarland.
Barrett Township Police Chief says, "Through interviews, through additional evidence, through documents we obtained, through local recycling centers we were able to tie additional people into that investigation."
A preliminary hearing is scheduled before Judge Riley on May 1st in Mountainhome. Police hope other potential intruders heed this warning--
Williams says, "Technology will eventually catch up with you and you will be successfully prosecuted."
Barrett Township Police say the investigation is ongoing and they're expecting to make more arrests.

PMC JOINS NEUROSCIENCE NETWORK TO IMPROVE CARE
March 24, 2014

Pocono Medical Center recently joined the Jefferson Neuroscience Network to improve care for stroke patients in our area.
Thomas Jefferson University is located in
Philidelphia, but with a new robot PMC medical professionals will have access to neurologists miles away.
" More and more hospitals have telemedicine and teleconsulting, which is what this is...We are the only hospital in this region that is coordinating with Thomas Jefferson University," said Joe Brooks who's the administrator for the Department of Nursing at Pocono Medical Center.
Brooks say they've been working to bring these capabilities to the region since August 2013.
"We've found there's a need for this service and we're bringing those services to the patients rather than having the patients go where the services are," said Brooks.
Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in the country, but the leading cause of disibility.
"Getting treatment to stroke patients very quickly is very important. Time is brain, so when a patient has a stroke we actually have three hours to diagnose, see what kind of stroke it is and be able to administer a clot busting drug we call TPA," said Jonathan Goldner who's the chief medical executive of medicine and chronic diseases.
Goldner says the robot allows neurologists at Thomas Jefferson to examine the patient and give PMC medical professionals advice on the best treatment.
"Some patients who get here too late we're not able to give the drug...they have to be here within three hours...thats why it's important for patients to really understand the symptoms of a stroke," said Goldner.
If you suddenly have weakness in an arm or leg, you have trouble seeing, speaking or swallowing, Goldner says you should immediately head to the emergency room.

MORE CUTS AT EAST STROUDSBURG UNIVERSITY
March 24, 2014

Students at East Stroudsburg University will be forced to rely on their peers for extra help starting this fall. The current professional tutor program is cancelled.
We're told cost savings for the university's budget isn't at the heart of this decision. Tutoring services solely depending on students has been in the works for a little over three years now.
ESU is just catching up to what other universities are doing when it comes to eliminating their professional tutors in favor of using student tutors. Vice President of Academic Affairs Van Reidhead says it's a proven win-win situation-- The students learn just as well and the tutors gain professional experience, along with a higher-level of learning.
The idea comes from a recommendation in 2010. The college has been in transition since, but officials are expecting to save budget money. Professional tutors make between 17 and 22 dollars an hour, while student tutors make $7.25 an hour.
While the Writing Studio at ESU uses peer tutors and everything is going well, other students in various majors are still concerned.
Professional tutors will be available until the start of the fall semester.

ALCOHOL FUELED JOYRIDE ENDS IN TRAGIC CONSEQUENCES
March 24, 2014

Forty seven year old Richard Matsick of Nesquehoning is charged in the death of 44 year old Rebecca Ann Pilla and 46 year old Richard Zabroski, both of Nesquehoning. State police say on August 3rd 2013, Matsick was speeding on Fireline Road in Packer Township, Carbon County. Matsick crashed into a tree. Pilla and Zabroski were killed on impact. Matsick and another passenger, 45 year old Julie Ann Williams of Nesquehoning, sustained severe injuries and were taken to Lehigh Valley Hospital and Saint Luke's Hospital. In District Court today in Weatherly, surviving passenger Julie Williams took the stand and recounted the night of August 3rd. She admitted they were all drinking at the time of the accident. Troopers say Matsick was very cooperative after the crash, but his blood alcohol content was above the legal limit for driving. Charges against Matsick were bound over to court. Matsick's new court date is set for May 2nd.

LOCAL PARK RANGER HONORED FOR SERVICE
March 24, 2014

A local Ranger for the National Park Service was recognized for her outstanding service. The Harry Yount award is a National honor given to one outstanding Park Ranger in the Northeast Region. After five years of hard work and dedication to the National Park Service, Ranger Michelle Schonzeit was recognized with the Award.
National Park Superintendent John Donahue says Schonzeit personifies what the position is about.
" Shes a leader in serach and rescue, Emergency Medical Response, EMS teams, and shes emblamatic of all her peers."
Schonzeit was honored to be recognized in such an elite class and believes this could be the highlight of her career.
" This will probably be the highlight of my career, just to receive this incredible honor from the Park Service.
Though only one individual could be recongized, the Park Service says it was a major accomplishment for the entire team.

WEBSITE ERROR CAUSES CONFUSION FOR RESIDENTS
March 21, 2014

An error on the East Stroudsburg School District Website had taxpayers asking lots of questions about their tax bills. Questions were raised after some residents noticed a change in mileage numbers online. The word traveled, causing more concern. Now officials are trying to clear things up.
"The way it was explained to me was that the mileage rates were incorrect in a way. That we were charged more than we should have been...I said wow, that means i'm getting a rebate," said Cynthia Lynch who's a resident of Lehman Township.
Lynch says she remembers a time when mileage rates were 80-85. As a senior citizen she says, it's been a challenge keeping up with the high taxes and she wouldn't have been suprised if she'd been overcharged.
This week, officials from the school district posted a letter on their website to inform residents of the problem and to ensure that their tax bills are correct.
"Both Pike and Monroe had lower mileage rates than the prior year, but the assessed value was low. It just can't drive out that way, said Jeff Bauer who's the business manager for the East Stroudsburg School District.
On the website, Monroe County's mileage rate was posted at 180.55 and Pike126.92 for this year. Bader says the board approved 180.81 for Monroe and 128.94 for Pike this year and last year. Those numbers were submitted to the Board of Education.
"Once that's filed I can't go back and change it," said Bader.
Officials from the East Stroudsburg tax office and Pike County Assessment Office confirm the tax bills are correct.

IT'S ANOTHER GREAT YEAR FOR AUTO SALES
March 21, 2014

A harsh winter with record breaking snowfall drove car dealers crazy putting the brakes on business. Spring has finally sprung people's interest in a new vehicle. And they're all finding what they like at the 17th annual Greater Lehigh Valley Auto Show.
The people we talked to today seem to be backing up what this year's auto sales will be like. Executive Director Tom Kwiatek of the Greater Lehigh Valley Auto Dealers Association says, "2014, predicted by the experts, is going to be the sixth straight year that auto sales increase. And that hasn't happened since the 30s."
For people who are interested, this show is the place to come. There's no pressure, no sale pitches-- just information. The auto show runs until Sunday. For more information just go to their website at GLVautoshow.org.

AUTISM AWARENESS
March 21, 2014

Autism affects 1 in 88 kids. It's a scary diagnosis for a parent, but early intervention is key with a sensory disorder. "I didn't think much of it at the time because I didn't know what autism was," says Rose Kelly. The mother of two tells us it was at her son's 18 month well visit, his pediatrician at the time, noticed some behavior that could have fallen into the autism spectrum. "He really didn't play the same with other kids. He was kind of socially awkward," says Kelly. Two years later, the mom noticed her son still had the same behaviors and tendencies so she consulted with another pediatrician. Since then, Kelly is proactive in meeting her son's needs to help him develop more sociably acceptable behavior. She encourages other parents in her shoes to be open minded and seek help. Notify your pediatrician if you have concerns about your child's behavior. From there, you'll be referred to a specialist.

WEATHERWOOD NURSE CHARGED WITH TAKING PILLS
March 21, 2014

A nurse is accused of stealing drugs meant for residents of the Weatherwood Nursing Home. 29-year-old Keri McArdle of Palmerton has been charged with theft, receiving stolen property and unlawful possession of a controlled substance. Police say McArdle took prescription drugs like oxycodone from patients at the Weatherly facility. According to court papers, Jim Thorpe Police first spotted the drugs on February 12th after an incident in their borough. When Weatherly Police spoke to other employees at the nursing home, co-workers admitted seeing pills in McArdle's backpack and say on occasions she would slur her words and wasn't able to keep her eyes open. McArdle is in Carbon County Prison.

POLICE INVESTIGATE DOUBLE HOMICIDE
March 20, 2014

An Eldred Township man is accused of fatally shooting two next door neighbors.
At about 7 o'clock last night, police say, fifty four year old Garry Flyte called 911 to report that he'd shot three people with a long gun.
Police say, Jeffrey Place andn Steven Powell who were father and son were killed, along with a family dog. The mother missed being hit by the bullet.
Police say, they've been called to that address in the past for disputes, but not all directly related to Flyte and the victims.
"Checking our incidents there were 15 incidents at 428 Meixsell Valley Rd. from 2012 until present. Only one dealt with Mr. Garry Flyte," said David Peters, who's a State Trooper with the Hazelton Barracks.
It was reported that the suspect may have been a meth user and he was paranoid that his neighbors were watching him. Police say they have no evidence of that or any substance abuse in this case. The suspect is in police custody and State Police are investigating.

PRAYERS ARE ANSWERED FOR A MONROE COUNTY FIREFIGHTER
March 20, 2014

Friends and family are rejoicing now that their local hero is home and making a full recovery. 39-year-old Rob Kramer is a member of Blue Ridge Hook and Ladder Volunteer Fire Company in Syndersville and an EMT with Wind Gap Ambulance. Fellow volunteers responded to his home back in January after he suffered a brain aneurysm. Until now, instead of fighting to save others-- he was in a battle for his own life.
After being in a medically induced coma and having numerous surgeries, Kramer finally came around at a rehab facility over a month later-- wondering what happened to him. His best friend of 22 years Charles Frantz tells us he's now walking, talking and going to physical therapy two-three times a week.
Frantz tells us Kramer's glad to be spending time with his four kids and is amazed by the community support he's received, not only through prayers but fundraisers. We're told Kramer did not have health insurance. So friends have been raising money for the medical bills. And they're hoping the community support continues. This Sunday Blue Ridge Hook and Ladder and Wind Gap Ambulance, along with the help of Plainfield Township Volunteer Firefighters, are putting on a benefit spaghetti dinner between 4 and 8PM. It's taking place at Plainfield Township Volunteer Fire Company on Sullivan Trail in Wind Gap. You can purchase tickets at the door. If you can't make it but would still like to donate, just go to the "Help Rob Kramer" Facebook Page.

LEHIGHTON FIRE FOLLOW
March 20, 2014

A Lehighton Family is thanking those who came to their rescue as a fire ripped through their home Tuesday night. The blaze broke out just before midnight at the Bridge Street duplex. Linda Nuccio says her oxygen tank caught fire. She and her three other family members made it out of the home safely along with several pets. Lehighotn Police Officers Matthew Bender and Ryan Kennedy, along with Mahoning Township Police officer Tyler Meek also helped rescue a pot belly pig and a parrot. The family has several cats. They're not sure if they all made it out of the fire, but they do believe several may have escaped. Anyone who spots a cat near the Bridge Street home is asked to contact the family at 610-379-4558. They're currently staying at the Mahoning Inn. Managemet is allowing the pot belly pig "Stell Dora von Swineburg" to room with the family.

MONROE COUNTY PREPARES FOR FLOODS IN A NEW WAY
March 19, 2014

Monroe County Commissioners want to try to prevent the devastation flooding has caused residents in the past. That's why they adopted a resolution at today's commissioners meeting. It calls for New York City to lower its reservoir levels. Commissioner John Moyer says the amount of water flowing down the Delaware River that could affect county residents would be diminished. It's not a guarantee flooding won't happen in the future, but Moyer says, "It seemed to be an appropriate insurance policy to work toward."

THIEVES TARGET UNLOCKED CARS
March 19, 2014

People in the Meadowcrest Development in Carbon County woke up to find their cars ransacked. It happened overnight. Mahoning Township police and Lehighton Borough Police received a total of 12 reports of thefts from unlocked cars. The thieves made off with cash, electronics and a firearm. Police remind residents to lock their car doors. Also to report any suspicious activity to police.

JIM THORPE MAN CHARGED WITH CORRUPTING MINOR TAKES IT BACK
March 19, 2014

In 2009 and 2010, Michael Gallagher of Jim Thorpe was charged with multiple indecent assault and indecent exposure charges, along with corruption of minors involving two separate victims. This morning Gallagher, now 32 years old, was in Schuylkill County Court for his sentencing. Gallagher withdrew his initial plea of "guilty" and hired a new lawyer. A request for comments from Gallagher's new attorney was not returned. This turn of events has shocked and angered the families of the victims while they await further details on the new trial.

LANSFORD MEN IN COURT FOR DRUGS
March 19, 2014

Two Lansford men arrested on drug charges were in district court today. On March 6th search warrants were served at the homes of 22-year-old David Wagner and 42-year-old Vito Molle III. The men lived in seperate houses on East Ridge Street. Inside Wagner's house authorities found 197 bags of suspected heroin, dozens of hypodermic needles and other drug paraphernalia. In Molle's home, agents found 22 bags of suspected heroin, six hypodermic needles and plastic water bong. This afternoon both men waived their rights to preliminary hearings. Charges have been bound over to Carbon County Plea Court.

METH LAB SUSPECT WAIVES HEARING
March 19, 2014

A woman arrested after a Tamaqua meth lab bust in late January will face charges in Schuylkill County Court. 38-year-old Jacqueline Slavin waived her right to a preliminary hearing yesterday on numerous drug related charges. Slavin was arrested after police raided a home on Elm Street in Tamaqua. They found a meth lab, drugs, needles and cash. She is also facing charges for endangering the welfare of her 7-year-old daughter who was at the scene. The girl is now in the custody of her father. Slavin was also arrested last May on similar charges after a bust of meth lab in Lansford.

PIKE COUNTY COURTHOUSE SUPPORT
March 19, 2014

For months the plans to expand the Pike County Courthouse have come under heavy scrutiny. To expand, would involve sacrificing an historic building, which some residents are strongly against. Today, however a different group attended the Commissioners meeting, to show their support for the expansion. Delaware Township Supervisor Tom Ryan, says its only a small faction of Milford residents who have opposed expansion, and its time the rest of the county has their voices heard. " Its the occupy Milford movement 1% is speaking for the 99% of people in the County, and its just not right, its incorrect"
County officials have listened to all sides over the past several months, but they are now preparing to take their expansion plans to the architectual review board for approval.

LOCAL MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL TRAVELS ABROAD
March 19, 2014

A doctor from Pocono Medical Center is sharing his talents abroad.
A few weeks ago Dr. Jonathan Goldner returned from an annual trip overseas to Guatemala.
Goldner works with a group by the name of Do Care International that sponsers medical missions to Central and South America, Africa and Mexico.
"These people have absolutely no access to healthcare ever...except for the times we go to their villiage," said Goldner.
Pocono Medical Center is also working to provide medical care for people in need in our area.
"Our goal is to bring health care services to the homelss residents. The Salvation Army is specifically for those residents there and the one at the Monroe County Homeless Initiative will be for those residents in the community who go to the day center for different community services," said Geoffrey Roach who's on the advisory board for the homeless initiative and is the spokesperson for Pocono Medical Center.
Both clinics are expected to be up and running next month.

OFFICIALS PREPARE FOR NEW HOMELESS DAY CENTER
March 18, 2014

The homeless day center that used to be located on lower main st. in Stroudsburg is closed, but a new one is coming soon.
Members of the Monroe County Homeless Initiative moved all their things out of 350 Main in St. As final improvements are made to the new location on 1st st. their things wait in storage and the excitement is building day by day.
This morning the homeless initiative advisory board met with various officials in the community who've been active in the initiative. They discussed current improvements they're working on and those on the way.
Geoffrey Roach who's one of the board members says they received an emergency solutions grant to hire a case manager and social worker for the center.
They were also approved for a grant to purchase a van for transportation.
"We've worked both from a medical side to a case management side to a housing side. We're trying to meet all of thier needs and this new day center will be a wonderful addition, because it'll bring all those services under one roof and allow for street outreach," said Roach.
Right now the space is empty and there's still work to be done, but they're hoping it'll be ready by the end of the month.
"It's so beautiful...it's spacious...we have a facility for laundry and showers...seperate bathrooms, there's a kitchen, a small kitchenette," said Leslie Perryman, who's the program director at Crossroads Community Services and the director of the new day center.
Perryman says there'll be a meeting room, a clinic, a sanctuary for Salt of the Earth Ministries, office space and computers for them to search for jobs, housing and other resources.
"I think it's been amazing how strong the community has been in partnering and pulling thier resources together," said Perryman.
If you would like to come check out the new day center the open house is scheduled for April 8th. To RSVP contact the day center at (570) 269-8916.


MARCH MADNESS TAKES OVER EAST STROUDSBURG
March 18, 2014

For the first time, East Stroudsburg University is hosting the Atlantic Region in the NCAA Division II Tournament. Out of the 43 teams competing for the Tournament Championship, the Warriors are one of two teams left to take the title. That game is happening tonight against West Liberty University, and fans are expected to fill the stands. Typically the dorms and dining hall close for Spring Break. Since students are more excited about basketball than beach balls, they stayed open to support the students' school spirit.
ESU students aren't the only ones pumped up about the game tonight. The buzz is reaching local businesses. Spring Break is usually slow time for food places like Cluck-U, but the manager tells us sales have doubled from last year. The business boost is also appreciated by a local hotel and diner. Owner Barth Rubin of Budget Inn and Suites and The Roasted Tomato Diner says, "A lot of the teams have come to stay with us and the related families." He says it'll help future business also because this event is putting the Poconos on the map.
The community is rooting for ESU tonight and if you'd like to be there in person it's not too late. They'll be selling tickets at the door starting at 6PM. The game starts at 7 tonight at the Koehler Field House.

POTENTIALLY BAD SPRING ALLERGY SEASON
March 18, 2014

After a frigid winter, the upcoming Spring season will be a welcome sight... but doctors warn the new season could bring more than just warmer weather... allergists say Spring may be a potentially powerful allergy season. Allergists advise allergy sufferers to stay indoors and use air conditioning if needed.

SUPERVISORS PETITION FOR REBUILD OF PIKE ROAD
March 18, 2014

Supervisors in Northern Pike County are asking PennDOT to rebuild a local road that they say has become dangerous. Lackawaxen Township Supervisors have started a petition calling for Towpath Road to be totally rebuilt at the website change dot org. Supervisors say the road’s poor condition has been responsible for flat tires, bent rims and accidents. Supervisors say they understand that PennDOT has limited funds to repair the road but they’re hoping to re-start a conversation about it. You can find the petition at this link - http://chn.ge/1g4tO8Z

MAN ACCUSED OF KILLING TAMAQUA WOMAN TO FACE CHARGES IN COUNTY COURT
March 18, 2014

An Allentown man charged with killing a Schuylkill County woman will face trial. 25-year old Anthony Heath was in court this morning for his preliminary hearing. He's charged with strangling Angela Steigerwalt of Tamaqua and setting her body on fire along Flagstaff Road on Jim Thorpe back in January. According to court papers, Heath admitted to strangling her with an electrical cord inside his Allentown apartment. Heath's roommate tells police the two were romantically involved. Fire fighters discovered Steigerwalt's burnt body the day after her disapperance. Police later arrested Heath in North Carolina driving Steigerwalt's car.

WANTED MAN IN CARBON PLAZA MALL FIRE
March 18, 2014

Mahoning Township Police have issued an arrest warrant for 41-year old Epifanio Garcia-Rivas. He's wanted for starting a fire inside the Beverly Hills Nail Salon in Lehighton back on December 15th. Police say Garcia-Rivas is the ex-boyfriend of the salon owner. He's charged with arson, burglary and risking catastrophe. His last known address is in Allentown. Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to contact Mahoning Township Police at (570) 386-2242.

GROWING CONCERN
March 17, 2014

With Winter hanging on, growers are getting a late start to the season. The ground is partly frozen at Seltzer's Nursery and Landscaping in Lehighton where workers would normally be busy planting this time of year. It's a similar story at Merkel Farm and Nursery in Mahoning Township where the grower tells us he would normally have peas in the ground. Growers we spoke to are optimistic they'll be able to catch up once the weather breaks.

SHAWNEE HOME GOES UP IN FLAMES
March 17, 2014

At around 11:30 this morning a home in Middle Smithfield Township went up in flames.
No one was home at the time and no one was hurt, but the structure is a total loss.
Fire Chief, Donald Fuller from Shawnee Fire Comapany says, flames were fully involved in the kitchen and porch area.
Sometimes it can be a challenge for volunteer fire fighters to get man power. A lot of them work other jobs.
Fuller says, they had more than enough help to fight this fire. They were able to respond quickly and put the fire out.
"We had Bushkill come in and supply us with two tankers which worked out really well...Marshalls Creek were here to supply us with some water and man power," said Fuller.
Usually when there's a fire it's called in by a neighbor or someone nearby, but in this case it was a fire fighter.
"I live down the road ...I was going to take the dogs for a walk, I came out looked left and I saw a bunch of smoke," said Dave Steglik, who's a volunteer fire fighter with Shawnee Volunteer Fire Company.
When Steglik went to check things out , he says the fire was through the roof.
Steglik says he couldn't battle the fire himself so he called in the structure fire, then responded.
"I Used to see them all the time walking back between houses because they were all friends, but apparently they left this morning so I wasn't afraid there was anybody in the home or I would've came straight here, said Steglik.
Steglik says Shawnee Mountain uses the home for employee housing in ski season and people are usually in and out.
"They bring in internationals to do internships and work throughout ski season and then they go back home, said Steglik.
"It's a unfortunate event, but ski season is almost over. It's fortunate no one was hurt, said Jim Tust from Shawnee Mountain Ski Area.
Right now the cause of the fire is unknown and the fire marshall is investigating.

FINAL SUSPECT IN COURT TODAY FOR A FATAL HAMILTON TOWNSHIP SHOOTING
March 17, 2014

19-year-old Brandon Wilson had his preliminary hearing today. He is one of five people charged with criminal homicide, conspiracy to commit homicide, tampering with evidence and six counts of recklessly endangering another person... Police say the five were involved in the drive-by shooting January 14th at a mobile home on Old Timber Road near Bartonsville. They had gone there looking for revenge after one of the defendants was robbed during a drug deal set up by a resident inside the home. One of the shots hit Darcey Kravchenko in the head killing him. Police say he was not the target. Wilson's Defense Attorney James Swetz says, "There are allegations that have been made concerning my client that are totally untrue and it's going to take some time to sort those out."
The defense did come away with a win today. Since the State Trooper who took the stand as a witness could only verify three people were inside the home at the time, the six counts of reckless endangerment were dropped to three.
Swetz says, "When the Commonwealth doesn't bare its burden of proof, charges go to the wayside. We're confident more charges are going to fall by the wayside as well."
Wilson is now back at Monroe County Correctional Facility. He and the four others all await trial.

HELP POCONO WILDLIFE
March 13, 2014

The endless outdoor playground of the Poconos is not only home to you but a wide variety of wildlife. When you need answers or care for the animals you come across, there's only one organization to call.
Pocono Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Center helps animals in need with the purpose of releasing them back into the wild healthy. Right now, they're anticipating a busy animal baby boom after such a harsh winter.
Director Kathy Uhler says, "This is when they're all born. It's going to be from March to August. People find them and things happen to them like abandonment, injury and sickness. They need a second chance."
Taking care of wild animals yourself is not only illegal and dangerous, but special care is required. In the case of newborns it's formula, and each type of animal needs their own kind. Uhler says it costs about $200 for a 20 pound bucket. Since they're an all-volunteer, non-profit organization they depend on people's donations.
Money isn't only needed to help their furry friends, but also towards a goal with what they do best-- Educate people in the Poconos. Currently the animals are brought to schools for children to learn more about them. But they want to have their own education center on site so people can come see the animals in their close-to-natural habitat. That's where an old barn on the property comes into play. It's in the process of being renovated as an Eagle Scout Project but it needs a new roof.
If you'd like to contribute to the center and help them with their mission, go to their website at www.poconowildlife.org.

UPDATE: LANSFORD HOME INVASION
March 13, 2014

A man wanted for a home invasion in Lansford is now behind bars. Earlier today, Lansford Police say they arrested 30-year-old Brian Kehl whose last known address is in Summit Hill. Kehl and 31-year-old Joseph Becker of Coaldale face several charges for a home invasion on February 27th. According to court documents, the men showed up at a home on West Water Street looking for another man. But a boy home alone told the suspects no one lived there by that name. One suspect restrained the boy and the other took his cell before they entered the home. When he was let go, the boy ran to get his grandfather who confronted the men with a handgun. Kehl and Becker now both in jail.

TRAFFIC PROBLEMS CAUSE ONE WOMAN TO TAKE ACTION
March 13, 2014

If you were driving on Sullivan Trail and stopped at the 715 Intersection in Tannersville, you may have read this homemade billboard-- "New York and New Jersey you can turn right." Pennsylvania Law states you can turn right on red after stopping if there in no sign posted that you can't. Pocono Township resident Kim Markou is so fed up with the traffic backup because people are not abiding by this law at this intersection that she created her own sign. SHe would like to see official signage posted reminding people they can turn right on red. And she's not the only one. Everyone we talked to today is aware of the same problem. The handwritten sign has now blown away, and the need for a real sign is met with harsh reality.
PA State Representative Mario Scavello says, "There's a huge expense to this, because if you put a sign up, everybody's going to want signs and the state will not spend that kind of money."
That's part of the reason it's a general rule in PA. And if a sign was to just be posted at this intersection, Representative Scavello says it could cause problems at other intersections.
Scavello says, "What it'll do is confuse people. If they don't see the sign now, then people will say we can't make a right because it's not posted."
The good news-- Scavello says a solution is already in the works. Construction to widen the roads there for turning lanes is expected to start this year.

VANDALS HIT FORMER RESORT IN STROUD TOWNSHIP
March 13, 2014

What used to be Penn Hills Resort in Stroud Township has become subject to vandalism over and over again.
Most recently, the abandoned building painted in graffiti.
Township officials say they would like to see something done with the property. It has been closed for about five years now and it's just become an eyesore in the community.
"It was once a vibrant resort.We're hoping the property can be revitalized back to a resort," said John DeCusatis, who's the planning administrator for Stroud Township.
Stroud Township officials are currently looking for the owner of the resort to figure out what steps need to be taken.
It's in need of some repair...fresh life...I don't know what the property owner would want to develop it as with new buildings if it was to be developed," said DeCusatis.
Captain Brian Kimmins from Stroud Area Regional Police says blight and vandalism are two big problems, but abandon buildings attract a number of other problems as well.
"When the Penn Hills Resort closed, that started a series of events common to any place that goes vacant for an extended period of time...suspicious vehicles, break ins, vandalism, grafitti, stealing copper for scrapping," said Kimmins.
At one point, Kimmins says the owners had their own patrol that watched over the property. Kimmins says they would be called out to handle these sort of things, but in the last year things have calmed down. This is the first incident in a while.
"We definately don't want properties going down hill to a non-repairable condition, said Decusatis.
Decusatis says the property has been up for sale for the past year. The owner reduced the price by $40,000, but still no luck. Decusatis is hoping they can come up with a plan.

COALDALE POLICE DEPARTMENT
March 12, 2014

A change could be coming to the Coaldale Police Department. In 2012, borough council turned three of its full time officers into part time officers, citing a lack of funds, but sources tell us, the same council gave a pay increase to existing part time officers. Since then, the police department and the borough have been in litigation. Borough officials tell News 13, they hope to iron out the issue soon and have the police department back in full force. The borough is expected to make a decision on the matter during a special meeting later this month.

POCONO MOUNTAIN REGIONAL POLICE FORCE IS OFFICIALLY ON THE MAP
March 12, 2014

A national magazine focuses on a Monroe County Police Force in a big way. Pocono Mountain Regional Police is on the cover of "The Tactical Edge," highlighting innovative resources you may not be aware of in your backyard.
The article explains how their SWAT Team and K-9 Unit work together to better serve the community.

OBAMA TO ORDER OVERTIME EXPANSION
March 12, 2014

Those salaried employees who work over 40 hours a week may soon be paid for working overtime.
The White House says, president Obama will use his executive privledge to order more overtime compensation for employees in managerial or professional roles.
Current regulations require overtime compensation for salaried workers paid under $455 per week. The president wants to raise that number. Some would benefit, but officials say some won't.
"It's really a double edge sword and it's the same arguement that's going on with minimum wage. If you raise minimum wage...what does the owner do?...Does he increase the price of his products or does he lay off other individuals," said John Casella, who's the administrator at Careerlink in Tannersville.
An announcement is expected to be made tomorrow by the president. How much the requirement will be raised to has not been disclosed.

HOUSE FIRE IN ALBRIGHTSVILLE
March 12, 2014

The normally quiet Towamensing Trails community in Albrightsville was disturbed by sounds of sirens and large fire trucks, as firefighters responded to calls of a dwelling fire around noon today. David Vukovic, Fire Chief at Penn Forest Fire Company #2, tells us the fire at a home located on Crane Road started in the basement. Firefighters were able to bring the fire under control. The home is gutted, with damage on all three floors. The state police fire marshall is investigating what caused the blaze.

PEDESTRIAN KILLED IN WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP
March 12, 2014

A North Whitehall Township woman is dead after a pedestrian accident earlier today in Washington Township. The accident happened just before noon on Route 873 outside of Neffs. The Lehigh County Coroner says 47-year-old Angela Pope was struck by a car and killed. The roadway was shut down for several hours while state police and the coroner were on scene.

MAHONING TOWNSHIP HIT & RUN INVESTIGATION
March 12, 2014

Mahoning Township Police are looking for a driver involved in a hit and run crash last week. Officers say a gray colored Mazda spun out while driving on Mahoning Mountain Road around 9:15 Friday night. The Mazda crossed the center line and struck the passenger side of a pick-up truck. After impact, witnesses say the young male driver of the Mazda reversed into the truck causing additional damage before fleeing. The vehicle then ran a stop sign at Mahoning Mountain and Dinkey Roads where it turned south onto Dinkey. The Mazda is possibly a model 3 or 6 ranging in year from 2003 - 2010. It will have damage to the passenger side with broken windows and a missing passenger side mirror. Anyone with information is asked to contact Mahoning Township Police.

ARREST MADE AFTER LOCK DOWN AT LEHIGH ELEMENTARY
March 12, 2014

A person believed to be armed with a weapon nearby a Northampton Area Elementary School puts the building on lock down. No one was allowed in or out of Lehigh Elementary School after a traffic stop went awry. Township Police say around 9:15 a.m. an officer tried to stop a vehicle recognized as belonging to a person with active arrest warrants. The driver, Ryan Redline, fled on foot into the woods near Blue Mountain Drive and Route 946. When police received information that he may be armed with a handgun the school was put on lock down as a precaution. Redline emerged from the woods in the area of the Blue Mountain Drive-in Restaurant and was taken into custody. Police did not find a handgun in his possession. He now faces new charges for today's incident. The lock down at the elementary school ended just before 11:45 a.m.

CONSTRUCTION CONFUSION
March 11, 2014

Lehighton School Board voted a few months ago to move forward on renovation plans to its existing elementary schools, but now there's a proposal to build a new elementary center instead. The board held a workshop meeting last night to clarify some concerns voiced by residents. No decision has been made. Members weighing the options to determine the most cost effective option. A link is posted on the district's website entitled "Building Updates and clarifications." School officials hope the six page document helps answer residents questions. Next school board meeting is scheduled for March 24th.

OFFICIALS PREPARE FOR NEW RACE SEASON
March 11, 2014

The new season for Pocono Raceway is right around the corner. Yesterday, officials celebrated their success over the years and what's coming next.
The big races don't start until June, but track rentals begin in early April.
Right now the track is covered in snow but once thesnow melts track officials say the races will begin and they'll be doing a number of things to improve traffic.
"We're really going to streamline the way fans enter the facility. The governor yesterday talked about the road project which is a few years away, but this year we're going to start that project in house with phase two of our sign and way finding plan that we started last year," said Brandon Igdalsky, who's the president of Pocono Raceway.
Last year, officials say they added 837 new signs around the raceway to help fans find their way around. This year they're adding 2500
signs and new walkways.
Yesterday the governor announced that $5,000,000,000 will be spent to widen route 115, from route 903 to the raceway to improve traffic on the roads.

SEVERED ANIMAL HEADS FOUND IN TUNKHANNOCK TOWNSHIP
March 11, 2014

Patricia Drive in Long Pond is typically a quiet road and the residents tell us they usually go unnoticed. That's why Mary Zeldenrust was shocked to find a horrible scene while walking her dogs like she always does. She didn't know what to think at first.
Zeldenrust says she saw two plates with a goat or sheep head and chicken heads on top of it. An arrangement of feathers lined the perimeter of each plate. A third larger plate was wrapped in white linen. Zeldenrust says, "I took a peak under that and it was some kind of dead bird. I just saw a lot of blood and parts, and I just put the thing back down."
Zeldenrust says it was something she's never seen before and called the police. She thinks it could be some kind of ritual because you could tell someone spent a lot of time on it. Police say it doesn't seem criminal at this time but they are looking into the bones to make sure none are human. Residents are feeling better now that the remains have been removed by Tunkhannock Township municipal workers.

OFFICIALS INVESTIGATE HOMICIDE, SUICIDE
March 10, 2014

State Police were called out to the home of Michael and Diana Buckley for a welfare check friday evening in Hamilton Township.
The driveway had been plowed, but the car still was still snowed in.
Police say there weren't any indications of forced entry or random acts of violence, when they arrived on scene.
Diana and Michael were found with bullet wounds to the head in their downstairs bedroom.
Autopsies were performed today and Bob Allen who's the Monroe County Coroner says they had been deceased for about 3 weeks.
Allen and police are calling the events a homicide and suicide. Officials say the wife shot her husband and then shot herself.
Allen says the couple had a couple medical issues, they were able to confirm through an autopsy today.
In memory of the couple, loved ones have left flowers that sit in front of the Buckley home.

FROM "PAIN TO GLORY"-- A POCONO TOWNSHIP MAN'S STORY OF INSPIRATION
March 10, 2014

Three-year Scotrun resident James Hagner never thought he'd be in a battle for his own life. Living in New York as a volunteer fireman, he was use to fighting to save others. But nothing like what he experienced being a first responder during 9/11.
James Hagner says, "It's hard at night, you go to bed, you think about what you saw and what you experienced, and things that you saw down there."
To this day it's hard for him to talk about the 42-days he spent looking for people in the rubble. But every day he lives with it, not only with horrific memories but health problems. First Responders of 9/11 were unaware they were working in an extremely toxic area. Hagner was diagnosed with the lungs of a 92-year-old man. He was placed on disability and 22 medications a day to sustain him. One led to a new nightmare.
Hagner says, "I gained a lot of weight from Prednizone from being on it for seven years, 80 milligrams a day."
Hagner was 409 pounds and in May 2013
suffered a diabetic coma. When he came to, he was given only two years to live.
Hagner's daughter Jasmine says, "I'm happy that I got him better because it would kill me to see my dad not here. My dad is my best friend, he'll always be there for me."
His wife and four children's reaction was the turning point. It was the motivation
he needed. From June 2013, he lost 107 pounds in 119 days and beat a Guinness World Record. He's now down to 240 pounds without surgery, only on three medications and now non-diabetic. He did it by going back to the basics-- diet and exercise-- eating only organic, juicing and hunting animals for his meat. He says if he can do it, you can do it.
Hagner says, "It's been a struggle because of all the weight and I couldn't breathe so I had to take baby steps before I got to where I am today. But I focus on trying to live as long as I can for my children."
He's found the secret to help himself and now wants to share that to help others. He encourages you to contact him on his website www.jameshagner.com and for more information. He's going back to saving lives from "Pain to Glory.

PENNSYLVANIA MAY UNSCREW A DISTILLERY RULE
March 7, 2014

Sometimes ordering a product online is a lot easier than driving to a store. It's an idea a local distillery in Jackson Township is hoping to take advantage of thanks to a rule change being considered in Pennsylvania. Mountain View Vineyard, Winery & Distillery may soon be able to ship their spirits directly to their customers. A Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board Spokeswoman says the new shipping rule only needs approval from the Attorney General, if that happens, small distilleries could start shipping by mid-april.

A GREAT ACHIEVEMENT FOR MONROE COUNTY'S LARGEST EMPLOYER
March 6, 2014

Tobyhanna Army Depot is honored today with this year's Governor's Award for Safety Excellence. They're not only one of 10 industries in Pennsylvania to receive this award, but the only non-commercial.

HAMILTON MANOR EXPECTS A MAKEOVER
March 6, 2014

Monroe County Commissioners want to make a local senior home more energy efficient for residents.
John Moyer, who's one of the Monroe County Commissioners says, the facility has to come up with half of the money.
Moyer says the cost of the project will be in the range of $400,000.
Commissioners have agreed to allow them to use $200,000 of money reserved to put with their contribution if that's what they need to make the units more efficient.
Moyer says they plan to add more efficient heating and cooling systems and new windows.
Officials from the housing authority held a meeting with seniors to let them know of the expected improvements. Officials say they plan to provide residents with a place to stay, during the renovations.

COUNTY OFFICIALS PICK UP WORKERS COMP EXPENSE
March 5, 2014

If you slip and fall on the job or hurt yourself in any other way, workers compensation comes in handy.
Pleasant Valley Manor has been facing financial challenges and county officials want to make sure they have the funds to provide employee benefits.
John Moyer who's one of the Monroe County Commissioners says there are a number of unsettled workers compensation claims out there right now.
Not too long ago, county officials were considering the sale of the nursing home, because of financial issues.
Even though they decided to keep it for three years, officials say it's affected other areas.
Looking at the facility's financial history, Joseph Pierce, who's the county bond counsel says banks have become leary for lending to them.
Pierce says, employers are required to reserve a certain amount, based on how much the claim is going to cost.
Pleasant Valley has to have $2.3 million put aside for back up.
Previously, Pleasant Valley Manor received the funding through a letter of credit from M&T Bank. Since their financial troubles they pulled their support.
Pierce says, PNC has agreed to consider an application for a letter of credit only if it comes from the county.
Pleasant Valley Manor will still be responsible for the costs. The reserve funds will be available as a last result.

POLICE REGIONALIZATION MAKES A BIG DIFFERENCE
March 5, 2014

It's been 14 years since Stroudsburg, East Stroudsburg and Stroud Township formed a regional police force department. And now it's needed more than ever. Stroud Area Regional Police say they're experiencing a significant rise in crime-- Not only because of the current state of the economy but a rise in drug use. The regionalization has provided a better use of resources, especially in crimes like the recent attempted radio shack robbery. Captain Brian Kimmins says they were caught because enough officers were concentrated in that area.
"In the old days, East Stroudsburg would have gone to that call with one or two guys and would've called for backup as needed."
The Poconos is a targeted area because of the proximity to large cities. Operations Lieutenant Kevin Transue tells us his territory in particular seems easy to pull off a crime.
"People still consider East Stroudsburg/Stroudsburg area to be a remote location or a smaller town minded area, and certaintly we're not."
But as the saying goes-- Looks can be deceiving. The police force has got it covered because of the efficiency regionalization has provided.

DISASTER RELIEF RESPONDERS
March 5, 2014

When disaster strikes, these people are some of the first on scene, American Red Cross Disaster Relief Volunteers. The non-profit provides victims displaced by fires or natural disasters with lodging, clothing and financial support. Disaster Relief Responders help the victims through the process. The Lehigh Valley Chapter services Lehigh, Northampton and Carbon counties. Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer, log onto the organization's website www.recross.org.

LAKE ARIEL OIL SPILL
March 5, 2014

Officials from D-E-P, Fish and Boat commission, and Wayne County Emergency Management assembled in Lake Ariel to adddress an oil spill and what needs to be done to resolve it.

Today an enviornmental protection cleanup crew was out attempting to clean up the mess. The company was using absorbent pads to blot the oil and interceptor trenches to divert the fuel.

D-E-P says the amount of oil that spilled into the lake cannot be determined. However, officials for D-E-P say Howe Oil will be issued a notice of violation.

ST. PATRICK'S DAY PARADE PREPS
March 4, 2014

Businesses in downtown Jim Thorpe are gearing up for one of their busiest day of the year, parade day. The Carbon County community is hosting its 17th Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade this Sunday. Restaurants are prepping extra food and plan on having plenty of staff on hand to help with the rush. Bed and Breakfasts in the area are booked for the weekend. Some B&B owners tell us their guests book the weekend a year in advance. The parade will be held rain or shine. It marches down Broadway starting at 1PM. News 13 will broadcast the Jim Thorpe Parade Live!

ESU RADIO NOMINATED FOR MTV AWARD
March 4, 2014

East Stroudsburg University is one of the top ten colleges nominated for an MTV Award in the nation.
The community has played a big part in getting them to this point, but they need votes to get the big win.
Amanda Woods who's the business manager for WESS Radio at East Stroudsburg University says they've been working to gain more publicity so they can do more and this is a great opportunity for them. Woods says she would like to have more music and have bands come in.
If you would like to help support ESU'S radio station, the last day to vote is Thursday by five. There is a link on ESU'S Website where you can vote. Log on to esu.edu/WESS.

KALAHARI RESORT IS RIGHT ON SCHEDULE DESPITE OLD MAN WINTER
March 4, 2014

The Kalahari Resort is still set to open in June 2015 at Pocono Manor. Despite the fact that this year's winter hs been especially hard on outdoor construction.
Coming from Wisconsin, Kalahari Resort Owner/President Todd Nelson isn't new to the winter wrath Monther Nature can produce. But local construction workers were thrown for a loop. Constant snow storms and a lot of snow to deal with, along with below normal freezing temperatures have caused numerous weeks of lost work. A lot more concrete was supposed to be poured with many more walls erected for phase one of the Kalahari Resort. Yet, Nelson is confident the opening date won't change and says workers are extremely committed to getting caught up. Nelson says everyone can look forward to enjoying phase one's 457 hotel rooms, one hundred thousand feet of indoor water park, a convention center and other fun amenities June 2015. He's already focused on phase two expected to open March 2016 that will add onto both the hotel and water park area. And don't expect it to end there, six more phases are already planned with more room available to keep adding beyond that.

TWELVE PEOPLE ARRESTED AT SHERMAN THEATRE
March 3, 2014

Police say 12 people were arrested this weekend at a popular barstool party hosted by the Sherman Theatre.
Two people are facing felony charges for possession of cocaine with the intent to deliver and one for Molly. Molly is an ingredient in ecstasy. Nine people were arrested for misdemeanors, six of them drug related.
Police say there were also, 26 non-traffic citations, seven traffic and thirty-five traffic warnings.
Captain Brian Kimmins from Stroud Area Regional Police says they had the help of state police, the Monroe County Drug Task Force, The Pennsylvania Liquor control , county probation and parole agents.
Robin Olson, who's the chief of police at East Stroudsburg University says some of their students attended the event. Some were even hospitalized.
We tried to contact the Sherman Theatre, but we were unable to get a comment.

CONCERNS CONTINUE FOR HICKORY HILLS RESIDENTS
March 3, 2014

A spokesperson for Hickory Hills tells News 13 about half of the homes in the community are now hooked up to individual propane tanks and expects to have all the homes hooked up over the next few days. Residents have been on edge in the Northampton County community after a mobile home explosion claimed the life on a neighbor. A state police fire marshal ruled the blast accidental, caused by a liquid propane gas leak. There were reports over the weekend of more leaks, but management tells us the reports turned out to be false alarms.

NATIONAL NUTRITION MONTH
March 3, 2014

Healthy eating and exercise are needed year round, but many of us need a friendly reminder to get ourselves back on track. March is National Nutrition Month, designed to focus attention on the importance of developing healthy habits, like food choices. Dieticians say replacing your unhealthy habits with smarter choices, like portion control, is needed for a healthier body.

FURINO'S PIZZA OWNERS PLAN TO REBUILD
March 3, 2014

At a glance Furino's Pizza in Hamilton Township looks like it's open for business, but take a look inside, and it's obvious you're not getting served today.
The fire started prior to Sunday's opening. No one was inside at the time. Firefighters were called to the scene around 10 in the morning. Blue Ridge Hook and Ladder Fire Chief Leon Clapper says the fire started in the kitchen. But the cause is still under investigation, something fire marshalls were on scene to determine today.
The loss of the pizza parlor is felt by the community. People are dropping by today offering their support. Coleen Montague tells us she was a regular customer and couldn't say enough nice things about her experiences. She's really going to miss it.
The owners didn't want to be on camera, but tell us investigators say it's not suspicious and they're hoping to rebuild. In the meantime, the Furino's will stay busy with their other restaurant-- The Village Deli in Tannersville.

TWO ARRESTED FOR THEFT IN RUSH TOWNSHIP
March 3, 2014

Rush Township Police arrest two people in the Walmart parking lot after the pair's 5th time stealing. According to officers, 36-year-old Steven Smith and 34-year-old Barbara Figueiredo, both of Plains, were picked up by police over the weekend. Officers say they've been arraigned on several charges including retail theft and drug paraphernalia. The pair is also facing charges for four other theft related incidents at Walmart. Police say they've stolen over $2,000 worth of items. Neither were able to post bail and remain at the Schuylkill County Prison.

JIM THORPE MEN ARRESTED FOR DRUGS
February 28, 2014

Two Jim Thorpe men are in prison after a drug bust. 49-year-old Gregory Acevedo and 29-year-old Joseph Demuro were arrested this morning after a raid. Authorities served a search warrant at 10 West Sixth Street in Jim Thorpe around 10:30 a.m. Police say they found heroin, marijuana, drug paraphernalia and over $3,000 in cash. The two were arrested and arraigned and sent to the Carbon County Prison on $40,000 bail each.

VIOLENT CRIME IN EAST STROUDSBURG ENDS WITHOUT INJURY
February 28, 2014

Five suspects are behind bars today after trying to rob the Radio Shack in the Pocono Plaza last night at gunpoint. Police say a black male wearing a face mask and carrying a gun came in through the front door. Luckily an employee in the back of the store went unnoticed and called 911. Police were then able to arrive with the robbers still inside. The suspects ran through the back door to a get-away car. Police were ready and blocked the vehicle from escaping. Five people were inside and arrested without injury. All are from New York and are now under investigation. They tried to get away with about 25 thousand dollars worth of electronics and an undisclosed amount of cash. Stroud Area Regional Police Lt. Kevin Transue says, "We don't know if they have any ties to this area or if they picked it to attempt to rob Radio Shack." All five suspects are being housed at Monroe County Correctional Facility on 100 thousand dollars bail each.

COPPER THIEVES TARGET BUCK HILL INN
February 28, 2014

Two men are in police custody, after the closed Buck Hill Inn is burglarized.
Christopher Petyo of New Jersey and George Kerr of Tannersville are accused of stealing copper from the hotel.
Police say they took copper on more than one occasion in January.
Chief Steven Williams of Barrett Township Police says they were assisted by the security department with surveillance and Pocono Township Police.
Williams says, Pocono Township police assisted in the interview process and the arrest.
According to police the perpetrators took the material to APS Recycling for cash and they received about five hundred dollars.
They are facing a number of charges.

NEW CONCERNS AT HICKORY HILLS
February 28, 2014

About 80 homes in the Hickory Hills community in Moore Township had their gas shut off yesterday afternoon. Residents tell us they received a phone call from management stating "there was a major gas leak." Residents have been referred to three gas companies to have an individual propane tank installed. This comes just two weeks after a gas leak caused a deadly explosion in the park. Since then, management has been under scrutiny. News 13 reached out to management, who had no comment.

NUTRITION FACTS LABEL IN NEED OF A MAKEOVER
February 27, 2014

Choosing to eat healthy may become an easier decision. The Food and Drug Administration is unveiling proposed changes to nutrition labels found on most food packages and drinks. The goal is to have an easier than ever way for consumers to make better informed choices that will support a healthy diet. It's the first big upgrade since the labels were required 20 years ago.
The new design recalculates serving sizes based upon what people are actually eating today. Calories and serving size become the prominent focus in large, bold text. And information about added sugars will be required. These are just a few of the possible changes that are currently under review.

AUTHORITIES FIND MAN WANTED FOR SEXUAL ASSAULT
February 27, 2014

The search for Hector Suarez, wanted for sexual assault of a minor has come to an end. Authorities have been looking for him since October, now he's in police custody.
Stroud Area Regional Detectives have been working closely with U.S. Marshalls. They found him and local authorities went to pick him up.
Yesterday Detective Susan Charles and her partner transported this individual from Newark, NJ back to Monroe County. He was arraigned and placed into Monroe County Correctional Facility.
The preliminary hearing for Suarez is scheduled for Monday.

POLAR PLUNGE TO PROTECT PETS
February 26, 2014

It's hard to do anything besides bundling up and staying inside as much as possible on cold, snowy days like today. But a few people willingly jumped into the icy waters of the McMichaels Creek in Stroudsburg. No, they're not crazy. The Polar Plunge serves to protect pets.
Eric German and Robert Transue woke up this morning knowing a hard-to-bare swim in the McMichael's Creek would soon be their fate. They planned it all for their furry friends, who can't stick up for themselves against animal cruelty. No pet deserves to be left out in the cold for long periods of time, and no pet should be left abandoned on the side of the road. Plungers are hoping a few freezing moments will bring awareness to the need to stiffen laws so pets are better protected from abuse.
German says, "More than just a fine for abandonment and punishment for owners leaving pets outside for countless hours."
About 20 people dipped into the icy creek with Northeast Search and Rescue helping and EMTs on standby. Each one serving to raise money for AWSOM. Over $3,000 was donated.

AUTHORITIES LOOK FOR MOST WANTED CRIMINALS
February 26, 2014

Authorities are on the look out for some of Monroe County's Most Wanted Criminals.
Some of these fugitives have been wanted for as long as two years.
With the public's help they're hoping they can bring them to justice.
The faces of these four wanted criminals are plastered on the Monroe County District Attorney's Office website. Edwin Rosario-Aquino wanted for sexual assault of a minor, Gerard Maggio for fradulent real estate transactions, Mesunga McCree for section 8 housing fraud and Oliver Kipar for fleeing after a DUI charge.
Stroud Area Regional Police is looking for Rosario-Aquino as well.
His last known address was in Stroudsburg at Creekview Apartments on E.D. Christine Drive.
they have posted a link of the wanted criminals on their facebook page.
Lt. Jennifer Lyon says, they have over 2,000 likes so far, but they're trying to build their community outreach.
If you have any information of the whereabouts of these criminals contact local police or the District Attorney's Office at (570) 517-3052 .

SALT SUPPLIES ON THE WAY
February 26, 2014

Salt supplies are making their way from Wilmington Delaware to our area. The Governor urged PennDOT to speed up deliveries to areas hit hard with multiple snow storms. Trucks are picking up the supplies at the port for faster distribution and 8,000 tons is being delivered our way. Northampton, Lehigh and Monroe counties will split the delivery. PennDOT has used nearly 25,000 tons more of salt this winter compared to last.

TEACHER SENTENCED FOR SEXUAL RELATIONS WITH MINOR
February 25, 2014

Cynthia Hartopp was sentenced to 15-48 months in prison today for having sexual relations with two underage boys.
The defense argued that Hartopp has been cooperative over this process. Initially she turned herself in, she waived her right to a preliminary hearing and pleaded guilty to avoid a trial.
Steven Jones who represented the defendant said he was hoping for no jail time, but the judges decision was fair.
"They took into consideration her remorse...what she's done...the progess she's made after taking responsibility for these crimes," said Jones.
The prosecuting attorney argued that she wasn't cooperative. In the beginning she denied her actions and the truth came out in text messages. Then they found out about another victim.
Michael Rakaczewski, who's the prosecuting attorney says, "Sometimes when people come to sentencing they appear remorseful...they got caught and now they're more remorseful now that they're going to have to face the music and consequences of their actions.
Under Megans Law, Hartopp will be identified as a sex offender for the rest of her life. She will never be able to teach again.

FIRE COMPANY TO BILL FOR SERVICES
February 25, 2014

A recently adopted ordinance in Franklin Township, allows the volunteer fire company to bill a homeowner's insurance for its services. However, the homeowner himself, would not be billed. It's a measure several municipalities in the area already have in place. Brian Tirpak, of Tirpak Insurance, explains some policies have the coverage built in. Others, have it as optional coverage. A policy typically pays out between $500 to $2500 for fire services. The Franklin Township Fire Company is using a third party biller to handle the claims.

DEAD DEER PICKUP IN MONROE COUNTY
February 25, 2014

A hidden winter driving hazard isn't getting the attention is deserves in comparison to snow covered roads and black ice. Just because it isn't deer season, doesn't mean a vehicle deer strike can't happen. A lot of deer are being found along the side of the road right now.
Monroe County Municipal Waste Management Authority is asking for your help to pick the deer up within 24 hours of it being killed. The goal is to keep the roads clean and safe for residents and tourists.
Executive Director Jim Lambert says, "The longer they lay there, the more of a problem it becomes for odors, vectors, as well as, more people can see it."
Since 2012, the Waste Authority has taken over deer disposal in the county, allowing residents to save money and provide better efficiency. On averge they collect about 1,000 deer a year. Just call them at 570-643-6100 if you see a dead deer on any county road.

CONFUSION SURROUNDING FERNWOOD HOTEL AND CONVENTION CENTER
February 24, 2014

More and more questions surround the status of the Fernwood Hotel and Convention Center in Middle Smithfield Township. After closing in January, the owners reported it would reopen this summer after much needed renovations. But now the hotel, on-site restaurants, swimming pool, game center and convention center is now being advertised for sale on a real estate website. We spoke to Fernwood Hotel President Jim Ertle today who said he has no comment at this time.
The problem? People think Fernwood Hotel and Resort is one entity, when in fact, it's two. The Fernwood Hotel and Convention Center, owned by the Ertle Family, is closed. The Fernwood Resort, owned by the Bushkill Group Inc., is open. The 400 acre resort includes timeshare villas and outdoor recreational activities-- including three new amenities-- Blue Lightning Tubing, TreeVentures and Pocono Zip Racer. Bushkill Group officials tell us the resort is busier than ever. They would not comment on the status of the hotel because it has nothing to do with them. They simply want to make the separation clear.

ROOF OF CONTROVERSIAL BUILDING COLLAPSES
February 24, 2014

The heavy snow is still taking a toll on buildings in the Poconos.
What used to be Thrills Strip Club in Reeders has been vacant for a while after a court order to close the operation.
The owner has been fighting to reopen the facility as a restaurant, but now the roof is caved in.
In October, the owner's request to open the restaurant was denied by the zoning board, but the owner is appealing that decision. A hearing will be held in March.

MOORE TOWNSHIP EXPLOSION RULED ACCIDENTAL
February 24, 2014

A home explosion that killed a Northampton County man earlier this month has been ruled accidental. On February 14th, emergency responders were called out to a fire at 118 Hickory Hills Drive in Moore Township. The mobile home had exploded and 65-year-old William Neith Senior was killed. Today a State Police Fire Marshall says after an extensive investigation, the incident has been ruled accidental due to a liquid propane gas leak.

COALDALE METH LAB BUST
February 24, 2014

Two people are behind bars after Coaldale Police discover an alleged meth lab operation inside their house. Police raided the East Ruddle Street home Friday afternoon. They say they discovered materials consistent with the production of methamphetamine. 33-year-old Jason Shiffert was taken into custody and is facing several charges including operating a meth lab and unlawful possession of a controlled substance. Shiffert's roommate, 21-year-old Jenny Haydt was also taken into custody on Saturday after police discovered she knew about the illegal activity occurring in the home. Haydt's 18-month old child was in the residence during the production. Haydt is being charged with endangering the welfare of children and recklessly endangering another person. Police say she is currently 6 months pregnant.

SPRING BREAK IS CANCELLED
February 21, 2014

Northampton Community College students were notified today via email that spring break, is cancelled. The break was scheduled for the week of March 17th. A spokesperson for the college tells us by cancelling the break, the semester will end on time and graduation will go on as scheduled.

AWSOM ANIMAL SHELTER'S HUGE ANNOUNCEMENT
February 21, 2014

AWSOM Animal Shelter is bursting at the seams with excitement. The facility will be opening a spay/neuter clinic this summer where the "Cat House" is now. It'll benefit not only the shelter with its own animals but the whole community. AWSOM Animal Shelter President Marie Grimm says it'll help the shelter be more cost effective and productive.
"We'll be able to get the animals out for adoption quicker. Whereas now it can take two to three weeks. And it'll allow us to have more turnover space."
Low-cost spay/neutering will be offered for those who can't afford it. The number of unwanted aniamls will then be reduced, along with feral cats. AWSOM officials say 97 percent of the animals that come in are not spayed/neutered.
Grimm says, "If we can spay/neuter an animal before it breeds, we'll cut down on a lot of reproduction and a lot of animals that won't end up in the shelter.
One anonymous person who gave 50 thousand dollars in matching funds is making this all possible. But your help is still needed. You're being asked to donate to the "Make An AWSOM Difference Campaign" and show your support. Just call AWSOM or go on their website at www.awsomanimals.org for more information.

LAKE HARMONY TURNING INTO A SWAMP?
February 21, 2014

People vacation to picturesque Lake Harmony...taking advantage of its beauty...but can you picture Lake Harmony as a swamp? That's what geologists fear... through their findings, they discovered sediment settling into the bottom of the lake. A study done in 1914 showed the lake was 30 feet deep. Now, with all the sediment, deep parts are only at 15 feet. Geologists believe if nothing is done about this, the lake could turn into a swamp.
The sediment is coming from rapid construction and lack of storm drains in the community. Township supervisors are working to fix the problem.

WATER PROBLEMS IN EAST STROUDSBURG
February 20, 2014

Maintenance workers for the Borough of East Stroudsburg never expected to be digging up the ground today. Crews had the task of clearing snow from storm drains early this morning. That's when they noticed water leaking out on North Courtland Street in front of Dunkin Donuts. Public Works Assistant Foreman Dan Strunk thought it was a crack in the water main. Water was then shut off for everyone betweeen the railroad tracks and Nicoletti's Barber Shop. As a result, East Stroudsburg South High School had no school today and many businesses were closed. A water boil advisory was delivered to every door, leaving residents concerned. Luckily these measures were discovered to all be unnecessary. The water was turned back on at noon and the water main wasn't involved at all. The problem resulted from an old service line that wasn't disconnected from a house when it was torn down years ago. The line developed a crack that started leaking. New rules apply for homeowners today. East Stroudsburg Borough Manager Jim Phillips says it's now required to terminate the line to the main for this reason.
With so many snow days already this winter, East Stroudsburg School District officials are doing everything they can to not let this affect students. Superintendant Sharon Laverdure says they'll apply for a wavier to get credit for today since the situation is considered an emergency. Hopefully today won't have to be made up. With everything back to normal, students at the South High School will go back tomorrow.

FIRE DESTROYS HOME IN LEHIGH TOWNSHIP
February 20, 2014

An elderly man is injured and sent to the hospital after his mobile home in Lehigh Township, Northampton County goes up in flames. Firefighters battled the fire early this morning, but struggled to get to the home. The house was set in a wooded area, and the owner admitted he doesn't plow his driveway. Firefighters trekked through two feet of snow to try and get to the home. They were able to contain the fire in minutes. The cause of the fire is unknown.

MAN ACCUSED OF ABDUCTING DAUGHTER SPEAKS OUT
February 19, 2014

Timothy Simcsuk waived his right to a preliminary hearing today. He faces a charge of interference with custody of children. In December, Simcsuk allegedly abducted his daughter from her Palmerton home and set off an Amber Alert. A few hours later, police located Simcsuk at a hotel in Quakertown and recovered the girl unharmed. Simcsuk spoke exclusively with News 13 today. Here's what he said, "All the statements that were made about me killing my daughter was not true." Simcsuk is referring to a statement in court documents where he allegedly told police he considered killing his daughter and himself during the alleged abduction. When asked how much he cared for his daughter, Simcsuk replied, "how much do I care? Enough that I would never say that kind of stuff. That's all a big misunderstanding." In October, the girl's mother was charged with operating a meth lab. Twenty-two year old Emily Fatzinger was sentenced yesterday and is serving time in Carbon County Prison. According to Simcsuk, he was trying to keep his daughter safe, "I took my daughter because the grandmother was allowing a lot of drug addicts to live in her house." The grandmother, Lisa Fatzinger, says she didn't know of her daughter's drug issues. Simcsuk is in Bucks County Prison on $250,000 straight bail.

ARREST IN HOMETOWN WALMART ARSON
February 19, 2014

One man is arrested after allegedly starting a fire early Tuesday morning at the Walmart in Hometown. 20-year-old Johnathan Maldonado of Hazleton was taken into custody last night and charged with arson. Rush Township Police say just after 2 a.m. Tuesday he shot silly string in the clearance section of the store and then lit it on fire. The fire spread to multiple shelves and caused more than $25,000 in damage. Maldonado and three other suspects ran out of the store and drove away. Eight fire companies evacuated employees and customers and battled the blaze. The Walmart store had to be shut down until three Tuesday afternoon. Police say two of the four men came forward and told them Maldonado started the fire. Officers say the other three men are not being charged at this time.

YET ANOTHER DAY OF THE WINTER BLUES
February 19, 2014

Freezing rain and sleet fell this morning on top of piles of snow. It's something only Mother Nature could cook up. But people in the Poconos are sick of that recipe.
Stores are always ahead of the schedule when it comes to displaying items for the next holiday or season. Many people normally roll their eyes. But this time the bathing suits are embraced with open arms.
People are welcoming anything that provides an escape from the harsh winter weather that seems to have no end in sight. While many businesses are frozen out, others are blossoming, especially on days like today.
Paradise Tanning in East Stroudsburg is an oasis to those delirious from all the white and cold. Employees tell us they've never had so many tanners this time of the year. A few minutes under the lights in a tanning bed can really take the bite out of old man winter. Paradise Tanning Customer Sarah Deisher says she's feeling better from the extra Vitamin D.
Just remember too much of anything is never a good thing. There's another place in the Poconos that'll help make winter a distant memory. No UV Rays involved. While people today are driving around worried about slipping and sliding, those inside Great Wolf Lodge's indoor water park are having a splashing good time. The resort is extremly busy. With so many snow days, people are finding refuge there.
Luckily Mother Nature seems to be warming up to our tastes. Over the next few days our weatherman Carl says higher temperatures are in our forecast.

FLU CLINICS IN TAMAQUA & LEHIGHTON - PA. DEPT. OF HEALTH
February 19, 2014

The Pennsylvania Department of Health has scheduled two upcoming influenza vaccine clinics. The first is Thursday, February 27th, from 9 a.m. to Noon, at the Tamaqua YMCA branch, 1201 East Broad Street. The other is February 28th, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., at the Gnaden Huetten Medical Office Building, 281 North 12th Street, Lehighton. Appointments are not necessary to attend. Vaccinations will be given at a low cost, or no cost, depending on each individual’s circumstance. Contact the Department of Health by calling 570-621-3112 for more information. Visit health.state.pa.us for facts on the flu and to find additional vaccination clinic locations available in the Commonwealth.

TURNPIKE TO BE CLOSED FOR 6 HOURS SUNDAY - CARBON COUNTY
February 19, 2014

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission cautions motorists that a 22-mile stretch of the Northeastern Extension (I-476) will be closed in both directions for six hours Feb. 23 between the Mahoning Valley (Exit #74) and Pocono (Exit #95) interchanges. The closure is necessary for the protection of motorists and workers during removal of steel girders from the bridge that carries State Route 903 over the Turnpike at milepost A87 in Penn Forest Township, Carbon County.

At 12:01 a.m. Feb. 23 weather permitting, all traffic will be diverted off I-476 southbound at the Pocono Interchange and diverted off northbound at the Mahoning Valley Interchange. Motorists stopped at the Hickory Run Service Plaza will not be permitted to reenter I-476 northbound once the Turnpike is closed. The Northeastern Extension will reopen to traffic by 6 a.m.

Locally, from midnight to 3 a.m., the contractor will utilize flagger-controlled, single-lane traffic restrictions for motorists traveling in both directions on State Route 903.

For more information visit www.paturnpike.com/constructionprojects/Rt903AEI.

In case of inclement weather, the closure will be rescheduled for Mar. 2 with times and detours still applicable

STRIP CLUB IN MIDDLE SMITHFIELD TOWNSHIP OPEN?
February 18, 2014

Middle Smithfield Township residents can't believe what they're seeing. Signs advertising an adult strip club at Werry's Motel property on Route 209 are posted- "Go Go Danny's Now Open." And residents want it to go-go-away. They're concerned and say it doesn't belong in their community.
The strip club has ignited controversy since it was proposed a few years ago. Werry's property owner Bob Spano Sr., once a township supervisor, got the strip club location approved on his own property in 2011. Since then the decision is being challenged by a group of township residents in a Monroe County Court lawsuit. So how is it open? Both the owner of Werry's and the township zoning officer refused to comment. Calls of concern are coming into the township. Township Supervisor Annette Atkinson says they're looking into it and addressing it. For now the signs remain up advertising the club as open.

SNOW BRINGS PROBLEMS TO ESU FIELDHOUSE
February 18, 2014

Heavy snow on top of East Stroudsburg University's Fieldhouse is causing a couple leaks.
Two ceiling vents on top of their gym have been damaged from all the snowfall. One is tilted and one is knocked completely off.
Officials are hoping to have a temporary fix in time for their basketball game tomorrow.
Syed Zaidi, who's the Facilities Management Director at ESU says, the game will go on. If they have to, Zaidi says they will close one of the bleachers.
Right now they have buckets underneath the leaks and the area's blocked off to make sure no one gets hurt.
The parking lot next to the building has also been blocked off due to snow running off the roof.
Zaidi says the building is old and at some point they would like to make improvements, but right now they're not worried about the structure collapsing.

FLOODING CONCERNS
February 18, 2014

Emergency personnel are concerned warm weather heading our way could cause flash floods throughout the area. Officials tell us flooding puts drivers in danger and could cause property damage to homes. Authorities encourage residents to have an emergency kit on hand in case flooding occurs and causes power outages. An emergency kit should include flashlights, non-perishable food and bottled water.

HOMETOWN WALMART FIRE RULED ARSON
February 18, 2014

Rush Township Police are trying to identify four men they say started a fire inside the Hometown Walmart early this morning. Authorities say crews responded around 2:30 a.m. to the 24-hour Walmart Supercenter. They say four men set the fire near the lawn and garden section of the store. Sources at the scene say shoppers had to be evacuated. No one was injured, but the store remained closed for several hours after the incident. Walmart re-opened late this afternoon. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Rush Township Police Department.

WOMAN RESCUED FROM MAHONING TWP. HOUSE FIRE
February 17, 2014

A Mahoning Township police officer rescues an elderly woman from her burning home, twice. The fire was reported Saturday night around 11:30 p.m. on Oak Grove Drive. A Mahoning Officer arrived within minutes of the call to find the 81-year-old woman still inside. The officer was able to get her out of the house which was filled with smoke. However she went back inside to try to save her belongings. The officer ran back in and rescued her again. Four fire companies responded and had the fire under control within an hour. Police say the house sustained heavy damage. The Red Cross was called in to help the woman. She has relocated with relatives. A State Police Fire Marshall is trying to determine what sparked that blaze.

TRAGEDY STRIKES AGAIN FOR A BARRETT TOWNSHIP BUSINESS
February 17, 2014

Mountainhome Candle Comapny owners are having a hard time dealing with something they didn't think possible. Justine and Chuck Knipe are still in shock today after recieving a phone call Saturday morning their candle factory/warehouse building was up in flames. That call came from neighboring business owner Ray Cawolsky of Mountainhome Deli. This is the second time Cawolsky had to be the bearer of bad news. He alerted Chuck back in 2006 that the company's previous candle shop and factory was ablaze.
Because it's President's Day, many people have off. Visitors are stopping by for their favorite candles and can't believe what happened. Tourist Andrea Hall tells us she's now going to stock up. The Knipe's say that's a good idea-- They haven't yet decided how they'll continue making candles. They only have the candles left in their retail store, Mountainhome Wicker and Gifts, that wasn't affected by the fire.
The fire marshall we spoke with today says the cause is still under investigation. Sadly the Knipe's did not have insurance on the warehouse building.

DEADLY HOME EXPLOSION
February 17, 2014

Moore Township Police and a State Police Fire Marshall are investigating a home explosion that left one person dead. The blast happened Friday night at the Hickory Hills Community in Northampton County. Neighbors say the victim reported smelling gas to the community's management just days before the deadly explosion. We reached out to Hickory Hills Management, but were unable to reach anyone for comment.

PEOPLE HIT THE SLOPES ON PRESIDENT'S DAY
February 17, 2014

We have tons of snow and some lucky people off work for President's Day, decided to hit the slopes.
Heather Schiffbauer who's the Director of Marketing at Jack Frost Ski Area in Blakeslee says, the weather has been perfect this season.
This weekend she says, a lot of people began their weekend friday, after the storm.
Today, Schiffbauer says, traffic was slower than usual.
Some people sking found less traffic beneficial and more enjoyable.

ROOVES COLLAPSE AFTER TOO MUCH SNOW, ICE
February 14, 2014

All the snow and ice has become too heavy and they're taking a toll on some rooves in the Poconos.
This Morning, Monroe County Emergency Management Officials say, they received a call on a barn and garage roof collapse and another roof concern, at a home.
If you notice any problems with your roof officials encourage you to get it checked out by professionals.
Officials say the best time to get your roof inspected is in the Fall or Spring. Once the snow piles up it is harder to fix the problem.

LOVE MELTS THROUGH SNOW AND ICE
February 14, 2014

Mother Nature must be immune to Cupid's arrow. The biggest snow storm to hit Carbon County this year fell the day before Valentine's Day. Florists worried-- Would they be able to deliver the tokens of love?
But love always finds a way. Arndt's Flower Shop employees were determined to think red and pink when everything seemed to be white. Florist Terri Andrews says being snowed in wasn't an option unless it was at the shop. Flowers in every color, balloon messages and cute added extras needed to be arranged.
Arndt's Florists worry people digging out won't have time to stop by, but another flower shop in Jim Thorpe has a reason to stay positive. Deezines Flowers and Gifts is typically too busy with deliveries the day before Valentine's Day to cater to walk-ins. Today they can! They're busy helping people like Jim Thorpe Resident Michael Coppie pick out his wife's favorite flower. He says no one should forget the one they love, no matter what, on a day like today.
The snow was a pain but love has melted it away. Happy Valentine's Day!

SNOW CLEANUP CONTINUES
February 14, 2014

Like all the communities in the area, Summit Hill Borough crews, spent the day plowing roads and clearing snow piles. Officials ask residents to adhere to the snow ordinance, which means tomorrow, crews will be plowing the North and West sides of the streets. Crews are expected to work through the weekend.

VALENTINES DAY GOES ON DESPITE THE WEATHER
February 13, 2014

The Poconos is known as the land of love and tomorrow is a big day.
Several places in Monroe County are celebrating Valentines Day in a number of ways.
This Friday Mount Airy Casino is hosting their second annual Valentines Day Vow Renewel Ceremony
The event is free and couples will receive cake, champaign, a dinner for two and even free game time.
At Paradise Stream Resort in Paradise Township, representatives say you and your significant other can enjoy a romantic dinner, entertainment, fun activities and a room made of love.
They have rooms with jacuzzis shaped as a champaign glass, a heart shaped pool, round beds, and a fireplace.
If you're interested in stopping by one of these locations for Valentines Day you could even win a piece of jewelry. Mount Airy is having a ring giveaway and Paradise Stream is having a necklace giveaway. To find out more information contact the casino or the resort.

BIGGEST SNOW STORM YET FOR MONROE COUNTY
February 13, 2014

It's a winter wonderland turning into a ghost town. Many businesses planned to be closed today for the expected storm, but some employees got sent home upon arrival. They had just the place to go while on their way back. Arlington Diner in Stroudsburg, family owned and operated since 1969, was open for business this morning and people appreciated that. Owner George Halas said they would close early to look out for their employees.
Safety is everyone's top concern. Emergency officials are asking people to stay home if possible. Much more snow is expected to fall in Monroe County and it's piling up rather quickly. Plows are working around the clock and the drivers say maneuvering around vehicles slows down the process. Middle Smithfield Township crews are focusing on keeping the roads wide to allow for more snow.
While many municipal buildings closed early, Middle Smithfield Township stayed open for residents. With power outages reported in the South, they're ready if one should occur. They'll be opening up Country Club of the Poconos Clubhouse if there is a severe outage for showers, a warming station and WiFi. Downed wires did knock out power for 75 people in Polk Township today. A line went down on Dorshimer Road but service in that area was restored around 3PM. If anyone would lose power, emergency officials are asking you to call your electric company first and not 911.

NEWS 13 ON SNOW PATROL
February 13, 2014

News 13 traveled through various communities today. Most of the roads were quiet, but we did find plenty of plow trucks busy clearing snow. We also found residents shoveling the powdery white stuff as it came down all day. Officials encourage drivers to stay off the roads. Crews will be out all night plowing.

MAN ON TRIAL FOR DEATH OF FELLOW BARBER
February 12, 2014

48-year-old Shawn Develvet of Coolbaugh Township is charged with murdering 34-year-old Quentin Thomas. It happened at Stylez Barber Shop on Route 196 back in May. Thomas worked for Develvet and the two barbers got into an argument which resulted in a fight. Afterwards Thomas couldn't breathe and was taken to the hospital where he died upon arrival. We saw Develvet cry at his preliminary hearing, but today he was confident at his second day of trial. Both the defendant and his family members tell us he's innocent, it was a mutual fight.

NO SALT!
February 12, 2014

The shelves at local hardware stores are empty of salt supplies. Lehighton Hardware, in Lehighton, received nine pallets of salt this morning and sold out of the product before lunch time. Lowe's on Route 443 is also out salt supplies. The company's command center is working with vendors trying to fill its shelves. No word on when that will be.

RUNNING OUT OF ROOM
February 11, 2014

The snow piles are growing and more snow is in the forecast. In Palmerton, we caught up with crews clearing snow piles from Edgemont Avenue. Like most communities, Palmerton is trying to get the snow piles off the roads before the next round of snow hits. In Lehighton, crews are removing snow off the roads without one piece of crucial equipment, a snow blower. The Superintendent for Public Works tells us, the parts are on their way and hopes to have the machine up and running by the end of the week.

OFFICIALS LOOKING TO UTILIZE ABANDONED HOTEL
February 10, 2014

The Valor Clinic Foundation is looking to put the old Jonas Hotel in Polk Township to good use for our veterans.
Officials have been working to find a facility for a long time. They found other buildings, they they didn't work out and they're hoping this one will.
This one is spacious, fully furnished with 17 beds and officials say it's perfect for what they're trying to do.
Not only would the facility serve as a shelter, but somewhere veterans can seek help for stress disorders or rebuilding their skills to survive out in the world.
The facility needs a little work, but officials say they're willing to make improvements if it will help veterans.
Right now officials are in the beginning stages of the process. They've applied for grant funding and they're waiting to hear if they're approved or not. Once they have the funding they need, they have to file an application with the township to get approval to run the operation.
In the meantime, they're hoping for the best.

NOT SHOVELING COULD COST YOU
February 10, 2014

Snowblowers and shovels are the must-have tools of the season... or are they? Some sidewalks in East Stroudsburg Borough don't seem to have been touched, and that's a problem. The borough ordinance requires sidewalks must be cleared 24 hours after a snowstorm stops. It's a safety concern that carries a hefty fine. Property owners could be cited and pay anything from $25 to $1,000 for sidewalks covered in snow.

MOTEL OWNER ASSAULTED
February 10, 2014

Twenty-one year old Jualian Weekes of Allentown is behind bars after allegedly assaulting a local business owner.
Lehighton Police responded to a call at the Mahoning Inn on Blakeslee Blvd in Lehighton around ten last night. General Manager, Bill Singh, tells us Weekes had been a guest, but requested a free night, saying he would pay him on Friday. Singh took pity on him and agreed. Weeks left the lobby, but shortly came back asking for a phone. Singh says he told him he didn't have a public phone. Once again, Weekes left, but a few moments later came back. According to Singh, that's when Weekes asked him to hand over whatever money he had. Court papers accuse Weekes of grabbing Singh by the throat and shoving him into a concrete wall. Also, of causing damage to the room he was staying in and the lobby. Weekes is in Carbon County Prison. He faces several charges including aggravated assault and resisting arrest.

CRISIS INTERVENTION TRAINING
February 7, 2014

Police officers from Carbon, Monroe and Pike Counties, met in Penn Forest Township this week to take part in Crisis Intervention Training. Program officials say, its goal is to teach officers to recognize the signs of a mental health illness and how to handle someone who has one. Police officers go through similar training in the academy, but not to this extent. Organizers plan on holding another training later this year.

NATIONAL BLOOD SHORTAGE
February 7, 2014

Red Cross officials say reoccurring severe winter is causing a blood shortage. More than 700 Red Cross Blood Drives were cancelled throughout the nation in January alone. Blood is now being distributed to hospitals as fast as it's coming in. That's why you're being asked to roll up your sleeves and donate. While Monroe County's supply isn't affected right now, Red Cross officials are hoping local blood donors will seek to support the patients in need and maintain the steady flow here. Just call 1-800-REDCROSS or look on their website for blood drives near you and to make an appointment.

STROUDSBURG BOROUGH SNOW REMOVAL WOES
February 6, 2014

Snow frustration is an understatement for Stroudsburg Borough Residents. Many are complaining about the lack of snow removal. But Resident Paul Shepperd believes the borough is doing a great job, it's his fellow neighbors who aren't. So now he's doing the shoveling for them and himself. The street can't get plowed if people don't abide by the alternate parking signs.
A snow emergency is in place for Stroudsburg. Borough officials are asking drivers to not park their vehicles on snow emergency routes until Friday at 9AM. They say all snow should be removed by next Friday throughout the municipality.

HEFFLEY'S RESOLUTION TO TACKLE HEROIN AND OPIOID PROBLEM
February 6, 2014

State Representative Doyle Heffley was joined by the Carbon County Commissioners and other officials today, to highlight a resolution he recently presented to the House. The resolution would create a task force to examine current laws we have regarding opioid prescriptions, such as codeine and fentanyl, and how they're being abused. If passed, Heffley hopes to have recommendations from the task force acted on, within a year.

LOCAL BUSINESS SHINES LIGHT ON BLACK HISTORY MONTH
February 6, 2014

The month of February is here which is dedicated to celebrating Black History. To learn a little more about black history month, Shoprite has provided Black History facts on their website.
If you would like to learn more about black history log on to Shoprite.com/blackhistory

TWO PEOPLE KILLED IN LYNN TOWNSHIP CRASH
February 6, 2014

Police have identified a Tamaqua couple killed in a crash Wednesday afternoon in Lehigh County. Troopers say 52-year-old Roger Jones and 58-year-old Geraldine Jones both died in that accident on Route 309 in Lynn Township. Investigators say Roger lost control of his pickup truck on the slush covered roadway. The vehicle crossed the center line and collided with a work van. The driver of the van, 29-year-old Matthew Amey of Allentown, was taken to the hospital with minor injuries. The Jones' deaths have been ruled accidental.

NEW HELP FOR THE HOMELESS IN MONROE COUNTY
February 5, 2014

Homeless Initiative Officials say they've received state grants totaling over $500,000 under Emergency Solutions. The Street Outreach Grant will help to find new people out on the streets and connect them with help. The Emergency Shelter Grant will not only help sustain operations at the Homeless Initiative Day Center and Stroudsburg Wesleyan Church Emergency Cold Weather Shelter, but will provide professional social workers inside. The goal of both is to provide personnel and advocates to help move people toward housing and then job income to support that housing.

COOLBAUGH TOWNSHIP RUNS LOW ON SALT
February 5, 2014

Coolbaugh township officials are waiting on salt to be delivered, while the winter weather keeps coming.
Steven Weber who's the Road Foreman for Coolbaugh Township says he ordered about 300 tons of salt about a month ago.
Usually Weber says they have 1,000 tons of salt and right now they're down to 40 tons.
With another possible storm Sunday, he's worried they won't have any salt at all to take care of the roads.
Weber says he called the company that supplies the salt yesterday and they told him it may arrive today, but he hasn't received it yet.

MORE ON STEIGERWALT MURDER
February 5, 2014

More details in the murder of a Tamaqua woman over the weekend whose body was found burned in Carbon County. 35-year-old Angela Steigerwalt was last seen Friday leaving work at the Kraft Foods Plant in Lehigh County. Her body was found on Flagstaff Road in Jim Thopre Saturday morning. Court papers indicate her body had metal wire wrapped around her neck and legs. A Walmart bag with a receipt was found near the body. Items on the receipt included lighter fluid and a lighter. The Carbon County Coroner says Steigerwalt died from strangulation. 24-year-old Anthony Heath of Allentown was found driving Steigerwalt's car Sunday in North Carolina. State Troopers travelled there to interview Heath yesterday. Officials say Heath was a Facebook friend of Steigerwalt. They are working to have him brought back to Carbon County.

WORLD CANCER DAY RAISES CANCER AWARENESS
February 4, 2014

Today people around the world are raising cancer awareness for world cancer day.
Local officials say cancer is the leading cause of death in Monroe County and they're encouraging the public to stop by Pocono Medical Center's Cancer facility for a screening.
All cancers are different, but if it's detected early you have a greater chance of surviving.
If you're interested in having a screening, Pocono Medical Center provides cancer screenings at no cost. To find out what days they're held, contact the hospital at (570) 421-4000.

FIRE DESTROYS HOME IN TUNKHANNOCK TOWNSHIP
February 4, 2014

The overwhelming smell of burning rubber is what alerted resident Cathy Farnon something was wrong. When she checked her home on Kuhenbeaker Road in Tunkhannock Township this morning, her mother's room was engulfed in smoke. She quickly called 911, scooped up the cat and ran out. Firefighters arrived shortly after to put out the blaze. Tunkhannock Township Volunteer Fire Chief Byron Witt says the fire started in the crawlspace after a torpedo heater was placed there to thaw out frozen pipes.
The home is unlivable but items can be salvaged. Luckily no one else was home at the time. Farnon's mother, who owns the home, is currently in Connecticut and her son was staying at a friend's house. Fire officials say the situation could've easily ended much worse. The heater was creating carbon monoxide in the home. Fire officials say tragedies associated with frozen pipes can easily be avoided by calling a professional.
















SNOW ECONOMICS
February 4, 2014

More snow is on its way! How is the white stuff affecting local businesses? Not surprisingly, we found Mallard Markets in Lehighton busy. People were stocking up, to get through, yet another storm. Alfie's Pizzeria is gearing up for a busy night of deliveries. Workers here tell us business always picks up during a snow storm.

CARBON COUNTY COUNTS THE HOMELESS
February 4, 2014

There has never been an official count of how many people are living on the streets in Carbon County--until now. Peaceful Knights participated in a state wide survey of those without shelter. So far they've counted 10; but there may be more. The non profit plans to build Carbon County's first emergency homeless shelter. Anyone interested can join the meeting at at Hope Community Fellowship Church in Weissport on February 22nd.

TAMAQUA WOMAN'S BODY FOUND IN JIM THORPE
February 3, 2014

Family members tell us the body found in Jim Thorpe on Saturday is that of Angela Steigerwalt. The 35-year old was last seen heading out to work on Friday afternoon. Her husband suspected something was wrong when he didn't hear from her all night during her shift. He called authorities. The next morning, borough firefighters discovered her body when they responded to a brush fire. Police recovered the victim's car in North Carolina. Anthony Darrell Heath, of Allentown, was with the car. He was taken into custody, and is facing theft charges. Heath has not been charged with Steigerwalt's murder.

GROUNDHOG PREDICTS SIX MORE WEEKS OF WINTER
February 3, 2014

Monroe County residents aren't only dreading more days like today, they're tired of the cleanup. Mail Carrier John Schulz was working his way through the snow in Stroud Township, and he's not looking forward to six more weeks of winter. No one likes driving in the snow, especially those forced by their occupation. And that thinking is keeping customers away from some businesses, like Palumbo's Pizza in Bartonsville. Manager Michael Hayes says he doesn't know how many more snow days like today he can take. Hayes says this harsh winter is melting away profits like no other before. Sales Manager Pete Hensel of Abeloff Kia couldn't agree more. People don't normally look at cars on snow days, and a lot goes into getting them cleaned off. While many businesses feel the same, there's one business looking forward to six more weeks of winter-- Contractors love this type of weather because they're busy plowing parking lots when they'd normally be laid off. PennDOT officials are also out keeping our roads clear, but they'd rather be doing other winter work for us that they can't accomplish with these conditions. And like Punxsutawney Phil, they don't see an end to the harsh winter any time soon.

OFFICIALS LOOK FOR CLARITY IN BRIDGE OWNERSHIP
February 3, 2014

The Iron Bridge on Ridgeway St. is one of the many structurally deficient bridges in the state.
For now the weight restriction has been lowered to 13 tons, but it needs to be fixed.
However, officials say it's not clear who's responsible to fix the bridge.
Jim Phillips, who's the Borough Manager of East Stroudsburg says, Penn Dot or the Northeast Regional Railroad Authority takes on that responsibility.
Ron Young who's the press secretary for Penn Dot on the other hand says they're only responsible for the bridge roadway and approaching roadways.
We tried to contact the president of The Northeast Regional Railroad Authority, but we were unable to speak with him.

COALDALE MAN MISSING
February 3, 2014

Search and rescue crews spent the weekend looking for a missing Coaldale man. 24-year-old Corey Samuels has been missing for about 10 days. Investigators believe he may be lost in the woods. On Saturday five rescue teams and local volunteer fire fighters searched the woods between Coaldale and Summit Hill. State Police and Coaldale Police searched by helicopter Sunday but did not find anything. The ground search has been called off, but Coaldale Police continue to investigate. Anyone with information on Samuels is asked to contact the Schuylkill County Communications Center: 570-668-6100

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