Three People Dead, 13 Injured In I-380 Wreck

COOLBAUGH TOWNSHIP, PA — What caused a fatal collision between a tour bus and two tractor-trailers that killed three and wounded more than a dozen on a busy stretch of Poconos interstate remained unknown Wednesday afternoon as state troopers continued an investigation.

Wednesday’s wreck involved two tractor-trailers and an Italian tour bus on Interstate 380 North near mile marker 4. The crash happened at 10:09 a.m., state police said. The bus carrying an Italian tour group left the New York City metro area at 7:30 a.m. for Niagara Falls, a spokesman for Academy Bus said this afternoon.

“We can confirm that one of the deceased is the bus driver,” Brian Dickerson said in an email. “We offer our condolences to the family of this valued member of our Academy team, as well as to the families of others tragically affected by this accident. We also extend our thoughts to the injured.”

Dickerson did not identify the bus driver, who had “more than a decade of experience behind the wheel.”

Read more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/three-people-dead-13-injured-in-i-380-wreck-1.1892786

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Lehigh Valley Health Network, Pocono Medical Center Want To Merge

Lehigh Valley Health Network and Pocono Health System are seeking to merge in a move that will expand LVHN’s scope further north.

The board of directors of both organizations authorized a letter of intent to merge in separate meetings, LVHN announced Thursday afternoon in a news release.

Additional due diligence, negotiations and regulatory approvals will be necessary before any deal becomes official, the release states.

PHS’s flagship property is the Pocono Medical Center in East Stroudsburg. It’s a mid-sized, acute care facility that employs more than 200 physicians and 1,850 staff members, according to the PHS website.

Read more: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/breaking-news/index.ssf/2015/05/lehigh_valley_health_network_p.html

Suspected Cop-Killer Frein Held Without Bail; D.A. To Seek Death Penalty

HAWLEY, PA – Eric Frein, the captured suspected cop-killer who for six weeks was the target of a Poconos manhunt involving more than 1,000 law enforcement officers, on Friday was ordered held without bail on murder charges.

Frein, his hair slicked back and sporting a goatee and bruises on the cheeks, nose, and eyes, answered politely as Pike County District Judge Shannon Muir asked if he understood the charges against him and the purpose of the arraignment in the packed, one-room 19th Century courthouse.

To taunts of “you’re a coward,” and “rot in hell,” from a crowd of about 150, after the proceeding he was led out by state police from the front steps and marched to the rear of the building. He was taken to the Pike County Correctional Facility.

During the arraignment, with Frein’s hands bound in the handcuffs that once belonged to slain State Police Cpl. Bryon Dickson, a state trooper turned the pages of the complaint, which Frein appeared to read intensely.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20141031_Suspected_cop-killer_Frein_taken_into_custody.html#bAKjqlRmGyKDhfM2.99

Manhunt Impacts State Police’s Future

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Monroe County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Monroe County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

HARRISBURG, PA — As the intensive manhunt for suspected cop killer Eric Matthew Frein ends its fourth week, Harrisburg is taking the first steps to address how this unprecedented event will affect the future operations of the Pennsylvania State Police.

Officials here discuss the topic with the caveat that the manhunt isn’t over yet. Considered armed and dangerous, Frein, 31, of 308 Seneca Lane, Canadensis, is the sole suspect in the Sept. 12 sniper attack at the Blooming Grove state police barracks in Pike County that killed Cpl. Bryon K. Dickson II of Dunmore and wounded Trooper Alex T. Douglass of Olyphant. Since then, authorities have been searching for Frein, a self-described survivalist, in the dense state forest that straddles Barrett and Price townships in Monroe County.

The estimate by a state police spokesman this week that the manhunt has cost several million dollars so far is one issue emerging on the radar screen of Corbett administration officials and lawmakers. Policy makers are starting to focus on related matters such as security at state police barracks, equipment needs of state troopers, impact on local governments and schools and assistance of local fire companies, 911 centers and the Red Cross with the manhunt.

Sen. Lisa Baker, R-Lehman Township, has requested a Senate committee hearing in Pike County once the manhunt is over to delve into these issues.

Read more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/manhunt-impacts-state-police-s-future-1.1769039

Terrain Difficult In Hunt For Frein

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Monroe County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Monroe County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

PRICE TWP., PA — Eric Matthew Frein could make the roughly 30 mile hike from the scene of a murder to his hometown without ever seeing another person.

The terrain state police believe the suspected cop killer is hiding in could make him invisible.

“That whole area is pretty remote,” said Gary Alt, a retired state Game Commission officer and wildlife biologist.

Alt has spent more than a thousand hours in an airplane, flying low over the woods that stretch from Blooming Grove to Price Township, looking for bear. His experiences working in the game commission afford him intricate knowledge of the terrain Frein likely crossed to escape a manhunt that began in Pike County.

Read more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/terrain-difficult-in-hunt-for-frein-1.1768591

Chilling Cop Shooting Details Revealed

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Pike County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Pike County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

BLOOMING GROVE TWP., PA— Eric Matthew Frein hid in the dark across from the station and waited for a target. Any trooper would do.

State police Cpl. Bryon K. Dickson II just ended a shift he wasn’t originally scheduled to work. It was late when he walked out the front door of the Blooming Grove barracks and into Frein’s sights. The next 90 seconds were hell.

“Friday, Sept. 12, got a shot around 11 p.m., he dropped. I was surprised at how quick,” Lt. Col. George Bivens, deputy commissioner of operations, read at a news conference Wednesday from a first-hand narrative of the shooting they believe Frein penned and hastily abandoned later at a campsite. “I took a follow-up shot on his head and neck area. He was still and quiet after that.”

State police revealed the chilling account Wednesday of the ambush that killed Dickson and severely wounded Trooper Alex T. Douglass. Frein, 31, is the lone suspect of the crime and is still sought for the assassination.

Read more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/chilling-cop-shooting-details-revealed-1.1767923

Eric Matthew Frein May Have ‘Substantial Stash’

PARADISE TOWNSHIP, PA — Shelter, water and food, in that order, are the chief concerns of accused cop killer Eric Matthew Frein as he navigates the wilderness while dodging police, a defense department analyst and survivalist said.

Wilderness survival boils down to the rule of threes, said Bob Collins, a Defense Department analyst from Ambler who teaches survival classes for Montgomery County Community College and Bucks County Community College.

The human body can survive three minutes without oxygen, three hours of intense heat or cold exposure, three days without water and three weeks without food, said Collins, who is trained in survival by the U.S. Air Force, where he served 16 years after 10 years in the Army.

Collins dismissed the idea that Frein is living fully off the land. If he survived three weeks without a food cache, it would put him into a category of survival expert on par with Collins or others like him.

Read more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/suspect-may-have-substantial-stash-1.1766035

Frein Manhunt Moves North

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Monroe County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Monroe County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Barrett Township, PA. — The manhunt for a suspected cop killer shifted again Monday, but by nightfall had returned to the area where law enforcement focused their search efforts in recent days.

At about 11 a.m., state police cruisers, lights flashing, roared down Route 447, turning onto Spruce Cabin Road to establish a perimeter. More positioned themselves along the eastern edge of Route 447 and peered into the trees. The perimeter wrapped around to Route 390 and continued to the area near the Barrett Township Elementary Center, which was being used as a staging area, then it wrapped back east.

State troopers appeared on high alert.

Monday marked the 17th full day of searching for Eric Matthew Frein. Police accuse the 31-year-old of taking position outside of the Blooming Grove barracks Pike County with a .308-caliber rifle and opening fire during a late-night shift change on Sept. 12, killing state police Cpl. Bryon Dickson II and severely wounding Trooper Alex Douglass. State police said he then disappeared into the vast surrounding woodlands. Frein, of 308 Seneca Lane, Canadensis, left behind his parents’ Jeep Cherokee in a swampy retention pond two miles north of the barracks.

Read more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/frein-manhunt-moves-north-1.1762392

Residents Show Support For Police – Manhunt Continues

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Monroe County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Monroe County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

BARRETT TOWNSHIP, PA — Eight-year-old Natalie Winot has watched state police and investigators wandering through her neighborhood for days on end.

The two stationed near her house in Canadensis since the search for a suspected gunman Eric Matthew Frein began demonstrated to her and her brother, Nicholas, how their bomb-sniffing dogs perform their jobs. Natalie now keeps trading cards with the dog’s photos in her school folder.

The Winots showed the officers how to feed carrots to a people-loving deer they call Cindy. The officers snapped pictures of Cindy to send to their children.

Natalie wanted to show her support for the officers who have helped her family feel safe during a weeks-long manhunt for Frein 31, of Canadensis, who has eluded police since a Sept. 12 ambush and shooting at the Blooming Grove state police barracks which left Cpl. Bryon K. Dickson II of Dunmore dead and Trooper Alex T. Douglass of Olyphant critically injured.

Read more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/residents-show-support-for-police-1.1761947

Reports: Police Have Trooper Shooting Suspect Cornered

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Monroe County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Monroe County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Law enforcement apparently had state trooper shooting suspect Eric Matthew Frein trapped inside a house in Monroe County not far from his parents’ home Friday night.

Police surrounded a home where they believed Frein was hiding, a local government official told CNN.

The national Cable News Network, followed by other media outlets on-scene, reported the development shortly after 9:30 p.m.

The home, which was broken into, is not far from Frein’s family home in Canadensis, a village in Barrett Township, in the Poconos Mountains.

Read more: http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news-news/50349499/

Speed Limit To Rise To 70 Mph On Stretch Of I-380

English: Interstate 380 northbound at the Inte...

English: Interstate 380 northbound at the Interstate 84 split south of Scranton. Picture taken by Chris Wilson on February 18th, 2006 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

HARRISBURG — A stretch of Interstate 380 becomes an experiment next month when state transportation officials boost the maximum speed limit to 70 mph.

Another pilot will raise the speed limit to 70 mph on a 100-mile stretch of the Pennsylvania Turnpike in southcentral Pennsylvania. If all goes well, the rest of the 550-mile toll road system, including the Northeast Extension, could follow suit next spring, said Turnpike Commission CEO Mark Compton at a press conference on Wednesday.

On I-380, a 21-mile section selected for the pilot program will extend from the Interstate 84 junction in Lackawanna County to Exit 3 (Pocono Pines/Mount Pocono) in Monroe County.

“It’s about time,” said Elwood “Butch” Perry, a 60-year-old independent trucker who lives in Dupont. “They built the interstate system so you can run, not so you can crawl. … We live in a fast-paced society now. Everything has to be there yesterday.”

Read more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/speed-limit-to-rise-to-70-mph-on-stretch-of-i-380-1.1723951

Online Publication: Scranton Is Nation’s Most Hungover City

picture-0571Sam Bernardini had the Bog pretty much to himself Wednesday night.

The Scranton was packed with New Year’s Eve revelers the night before, but Bernardini rang in 2014 at home.

“Amateurs go out on New Year’s Eve,” he said, one of four patrons at the bar. Few city watering holes were open, and those that were had far more barstools than customers, suggesting that a study published by Business Insider might have merit.

The online publication ranked Scranton the “Most Hungover City in America” in a list of 25 communities where citizens were likely to be nursing sore heads and queasy stomachs Wednesday morning.

Read more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/online-publication-scranton-is-nation-s-most-hungover-city-1.1610427

East Strousdburg University Considers Cuts In Staff, Programs

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Monroe County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Monroe County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Facing a potential $7.6 million operating deficit, East Stroudsburg University officials say faculty and program cuts could be looming.

They will have a better idea once the university’s 2013-14 budget is finalized, said Kenn Marshall, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, which oversees the 14-state-owned universities, including ESU.

Student tuition and fees account for about three-quarters of ESU’s revenue, but calculating true enrollment figures isn’t straightforward, Marshall said.

During the first few weeks of classes, students can drop out or enroll late.

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/news/breaking/esu-considers-cuts-in-staff-programs-0915-20130915,0,5311635.story#ixzz2f0sxuRWX
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Easton Approves $1 Million Grant For Public Market Project

English: Skyline of Easton, PA from Lafayette ...

English: Skyline of Easton, PA from Lafayette College (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Easton will get a public market in every way.

City Council voted Wednesday to give the Greater Easton Development Partnership, a city-run and supported entity, $1 million toward turning the former Weller Health Education Center into a public market.  The market would occupy much of the first floor of the building, in the 300 block of Northampton St., and feature small shops run by local food producers and vendors.

Council voted 5-2 on the grant, with Elinor Warner and Roger Ruggles in opposition. GEDP plans to pay back the grant, but since the deal had to be structured as a grant, there is no guarantee of repayment.  That irked Ruggles. Warner questioned whether the market could generate enough money to payback the city, and whether it was a good investment of tax payer money.

“I just think the public market shouldn’t be paid for by the public,” Warner said.

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/news/local/easton/mc-easton-city-council-approves-alpha-building-sal-20130912,0,7723454.story#ixzz2egokxgcm 
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Scranton School Board Wants Metal Detectors After Ross Township Shooting

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The next time the Scranton School Board meets, members of the public will have to pass through a metal detector.

Just 18 hours after three people were killed at the Ross Township municipal meeting when a gunman opened fire, members of the Scranton School Board on Tuesday authorized the superintendent to have a walk-through metal detector placed at the entrance to the Administration Building.

“I think it’s a wake-up call,” Director Bob Sheridan, a retired police officer, said.  “Any municipal building should have metal detectors at all times.”

Directors were conducting their monthly meeting Monday night when Sheridan received a news alert on his cellphone, alerting him of the shooting.  Sheridan then called for a moment of silence.

Read more: http://www.poconorecord.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20130808/NEWS90/308080312

Investigators: Man Caught Dealing Heroin Along Route 209 In Poconos

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Monroe County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Monroe County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A Dingman’s Ferry man has been charged with dealing heroin in the Poconos after detectives caught him selling the drug and trying to sell more, investigators said.

Steven A. Kern, 30, was spotted the night of July 18 getting into a vehicle outside a closed business on Route 209 in Smithfield Township, east of East Stroudsburg, Monroe County investigators said.

A county detective recognized Kern as the man who had sold 10 bags of heroin to undercover members of the county Drug Task Force earlier the same night, investigators said.

Detectives talked with Kern and the vehicle’s driver and determined they were planning another drug transaction in which Kern was to be the middle man, investigators said.

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/news/breaking/mc-n-poconos-heroin-arrest-kern-20130801,0,2253639.story#ixzz2agP6UAdd
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Corbett: Gas-Line Project Fuels Jobs

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Monroe County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Monroe County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

SWIFTWATER — Gov. Tom Corbett said Monday’s announcement to extend the Route 6/11 Corridor Natural Gas Line is about creating and attracting jobs but, more important, he said it’s about retaining jobs already in Pennsylvania.

Corbett visited the campus of Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of Sanofi in Monroe County, to announce the $5 million extension project, made possible in part through the recent release of a $5 million Economic Growth Initiative grant.

While Corbett said the project is expected to boost job creation and retention in the Northeast Pennsylvania region, he said by lowering utility costs to large employers such as the vaccine maker the 2,000 jobs at the Swiftwater facility — plus 500 contractor positions — are likely to stay.

Read more:  http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news/678739/Corbett:-Gas-line-project-fuels-jobs

Minimal Losses In Lackawanna, Luzerne, Wyoming Counties In Latest Census Estimates

Every county in the region lost population from 2011 to 2012, according to new Census Bureau estimates.

Data released by the government Thursday indicates nominal population losses in Lackawanna, Luzerne and Wyoming counties.

Pike County was the region’s largest population loser by proportion – 1.15 percent – and Monroe County experienced the largest population decline, 1,188. Wayne County, the third leg of the area’s Pocono Mountains territory, lost 365 residents, or 0.7 percent.

Susquehanna County‘s population decreased by 385 residents, or 0.9 percent, according to the data.

Read more:   http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/minimal-losses-in-lackawanna-luzerne-wyoming-counties-in-latest-census-estimates-1.1458576

Serious Crimes In Lackawanna County Jumped 5.3 Percent From 2010 To 2011

Locator map of the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Metro...

Locator map of the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Metropolitan Statistical Area in the northeastern part of the of . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Serious crime in Lackawanna County is on the rise, including the number of reported murders and rapes, according to new crime statistics released by state police.

Crimes in Lackawanna County, including murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft and arson increased 5.3 percent from 4,815 incidents in 2010 to 5,071 in 2011, the Pennsylvania Uniform Crime Reporting System figures show.  Statewide, these types of crimes increased just 2.1 percent.

Lackawanna County was home to five murders in 2011 – three of them in Scranton – and 48 reported rapes, a jump from just one murder and 38 reported rapes in the county in 2010.  Of the 48 rapes, 34 were in Scranton last year.

“I don’t think there’s any single factor that you could point your finger at and say this is the reason crime is up,” Acting Scranton Police Chief Carl Graziano said.

Read more:  http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/nepa-911/serious-crimes-in-lackawanna-county-jumped-5-3-percent-from-2010-to-2011-1.1379629

Driver Killed In Fiery Poconos Crash Under I-80

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Monroe County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Monroe County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A female driver was killed Thursday night when her car burst into flames after hitting a bridge abutment under Interstate 80 south of Route 940 in Tunkhannock Township.

The Monroe County Coroner’s office and Pocono Mountain Regional Police Department are investigating the 10:45 p.m. accident, which damaged phone lines.

The driver’s identity has not been confirmed, but an autopsy was in progress in Lehigh County Friday morning.

A news release from the Monroe County coroner’s office said the car drove off Stoney Hollow Road and hit a cement abutment to an Interstate 80 overpass, which is located between the Long Pond and Pocono Lake sections of the township.

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/news/breaking/mc-t-poconos-driver-killed-crash-fire-stoney-hollo-20120907,0,4181293.story