Spaghetti Supper is Monday

Our Coming Events column has been listing the wrong date for the White Haven Lions Spaghetti Supper. The event at St. Patrick's Parish Center is indeed on Monday, but the date is the 12th, this coming Monday from 3 to 7.

Helping Veterans and Active Duty Military Cope With Social Isolation

(StatePoint) As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of veterans and active duty military personnel are on lockdown, many suffering from traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or substance abuse. With the additional challenge of social isolation, finding ways to combat depression, anxiety and loneliness is critical.

That is why Help Heal Veterans (Heal Vets), a nonprofit founded during the Vietnam War, has gone into overdrive, shipping more than 90,000 free craft kits since the beginning of the pandemic and creating a newly designed kit to help veterans make the masks they need to stay healthy and safe.

Operating on the principle that not all medicine comes in a bottle, Heal Vets distributes kits in craft categories like masks, leatherwork, models, woodwork, jewelry, paint-by-numbers, needlecrafts, poster art, scrapbooks and more. Crafting can provide therapeutic and rehabilitative benefits, including improving fine motor skills, cognitive functioning, memory and dexterity, and can help alleviate feelings of anger and the severity of negative behaviors triggered by PTSD and TBIs.

With demands flooding in due to the COVID-19 pandemic, kits have been distributed to more than 90 Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers around the country and a large number of military bases, state veteran homes and other locations where the need is great.

“The coronavirus is overwhelming, but being alone in a pandemic crisis can be terrifying and deeply debilitating,” says Joe McClain, retired Navy captain and Help Heal Veterans CEO. “Our goal is to give our veterans what they need to heal during this time of enforced isolation.”

In a recent survey of vets, 94 percent of those polled who use Heal Vets craft kits said the kits helped them have a more positive outlook on life, and 98 percent said the kits took their mind off problems.

With many of the nation’s veterans labeled high-risk now in lockdown with little contact from others, (no visitors, no family allowed, no volunteers and limited staff interaction), it is particularly important to address suicide prevention, according to McClain.

“We’re working closely with the VA Suicide Program to start including VA-produced suicide prevention awareness and education material with our kits,” he says. “Our concern is that during this time of increased stress from isolation and financial uncertainty, some veterans may be at higher risk of taking their own life. We are hoping to raise awareness and improve access to craft therapy kits to help mitigate that risk.”

To learn more about Heal Vets and the organization’s COVID-19 efforts, as well as find out how you can help, visit HealVets.org.

Anxiety, depression and other mental health challenges can be exacerbated during this quarantine period. Luckily, there are tangible ways to support isolated and sick veterans in their most significant time of need.
 

PennDOT Extends Expiration Dates on Driver Licenses, ID Cards, and Learner’s Permits

Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced today that expiration dates for driver licenses, identification cards, and learner’s permits, will be extended for Pennsylvania residents in response to statewide COVID-19 mitigation efforts.
Effective April 30, 2020, expiration dates for driver licenses, photo ID cards and learner's permits scheduled to expire from March 16, 2020 through May 31, 2020, are now extended through June 30, 2020.
These extensions are in addition to those announced on March 27.
Additionally, all Driver License Centers and Photo License Centers and the Harrisburg Riverfront Office Center in Pennsylvania are closed until further notice effective close of business on Monday, March 16
As a reminder, customers may complete various transactions and access multiple resources via the Driver and Vehicle Services website, www.dmv.pa.gov. Driver and vehicle online services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and include driver's license, photo ID and vehicle registration renewals; driver-history services; changes of address; driver license and vehicle registration restoration letters; ability to pay driver license or vehicle insurance restoration fee; driver license and photo ID duplicates; and driver exam scheduling. There are no additional fees for using online services.
More COVID-19 information is available at www.health.pa.gov. For more information, visit www.dmv.pa.gov or www.PennDOT.gov.

 
White haven ambulance

Amid Coronavirus Uncertainty, Resources Extended to Older Pennsylvanians

Senator Lisa Baker is reminding older Pennsylvanians and their caretakers that a number of steps have been taken this week to protect seniors during statewide efforts to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

The Pennsylvania Department of Aging recently issued guidance to help older adult day centers, adult protective services, and senior centers continue to meet the needs of older adults while coronavirus mitigation measures remain in effect.

Some of the guidance addresses temporary senior center and adult day center closings, congregate meal alternatives, and processes that can temporarily be completed via telephone rather than in person. These guidelines are available here.

The department is also relaxing restrictions in the PACE prescription assistance program that require a person to use 75 percent of their medication before seeking a refill. Enrollees who wish to receive an exception must have their pharmacy provider contact PACE at 1-800-835-8040.

All enrollees should be able to receive free home delivery of medications from their pharmacy. Enrollees who have difficulty obtaining their refills can call Cardholder Services at 1-800-225-7223.

In addition, the deadline for older Pennsylvanians and disabled state residents to apply for the Property Tax Rent Rebate Program has been extended from June 30 until December 31. The program provides rebates of up to $975 for eligible Pennsylvanians age 65 and older; widows and widowers age 50 and older; and people with disabilities age 18 and older. The income limit is $35,000 a year for homeowners and $15,000 annually for renters, and half of Social Security income is excluded.

The Online Customer Service Center remains open for applicants who have questions about the program.
 

National Museum of Industrial History Launches ‘Virtual Museum’ with Live Programming, Lectures, and More

BETHLEHEM, Pa. – With individuals and families across the nation practicing social distancing and self-quarantine, the National Museum of Industrial History (NMIH) is taking its mission of educating the public about America’s industrial past and inspiring the visionaries of tomorrow online. 
 
The museum is launching a series of live online lectures and presentations, featuring staff from Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, rare looks inside Martin Tower prior to its implosion from NMIH’s staff photographer, and a fascinating and timely look at how the 1918 influenza pandemic affected Bethlehem Steel and industrial manufacturing.  Additional programming includes a daily online ‘industrial story time’ featuring award-winning and New York Times bestselling children’s books focused on industry and architecture.
 
Virtual patrons can also take a 360 degree tour of the entire museum on Google Maps, a service donated by Bethlehem’s HomeSpot Media.  “While it’s no substitute for the real museum experience, we hope this e-tour will give residents of the Lehigh Valley and our fans across the world a little respite in these trying times,” said Glenn Koehler, Director of Marketing and Public Relations at NMIH.  The museum is also offering its self-published book, “The Big Green Machine,” about the story and restoration process behind its massive 115-ton Corliss steam engine, in digital format for the first time.  For $18 patrons will be able to download the book and receive a physical version shipped to them following the museum’s reopening.  One-hundred percent of the proceeds go towards helping the museum recover from the effects of the coronavirus closure.
 
The museum realizes that millions of businesses and workers are feeling the effects of the current situation right now. As a non-profit museum, we’re no different. We’re deeply grateful for any help provided to the museum during these trying times.   Additional ways patrons can help support the museum’s mission include purchasing memberships, shopping in the online gift shop, adopting an artifact, making a gift to the museum’s annual fund, or booking a future event.  For a full list of ways you can help the museum, please visit http://www.nmih.org/nmih-coronavirus-update. 
 
Online Family Industrial Storytime
with Amanda Steele, Family Engagement Manager and Leap Into Science educator at Community Services for Children
Saturday, March 21st at 1PM

Sunday, March 22nd at 7PM
Monday, March 23rd at 10AM
Tuesday, March 24th at 1PM
Wednesday, March 25th at 7PM
Thursday, March 26th at 10AM
Friday, March 27th at 1PM
Saturday, March 28th at 7PM
Sunday, March 29th at 10AM
Monday, March 30th at 1PM
Tuesday, March 31st at 7PM

 
To see a full list of story time books and how to stream, go to nmih.org/virtualmuseum.
 
Scheduled live lectures include: 


Monday, March 23rd at 2pm
Inside the Demise of Martin Tower with NMIH Director of Marketing and Public Affairs Glenn Koehler

As part of the museum’s staff, Koehler accompanied volunteers, the museum’s curator, and the museum’s historian as they recovered artifacts for the museum’s collection prior to demolition of Bethlehem Steel’s former headquarters in May 2019.  This intimate look spans five years of photography, from when the building was still intact to its final, gutted form prior to implosion.  His presentation and Q&A will show views and areas few got to see, from the boiler room in the basement of the building to the sweeping vistas as seen from the rooftop. 
 
Tuesday, March 24th at 2pm
Bethlehem Steel, Industry, and the 1918 Influenza Pandemic with James Higgins

102 years ago, the great influenza pandemic swept across the globe, claiming as many as 50 million lives. In the United States, Pennsylvania was hit the hardest. More than 67,000 Pennsylvanians died during the crisis' most acute phase. This haunting and timely look will examine the virus’s impact on industry, and detail how the then-prosperous Bethlehem Steel helped the community around it suffer some of the lowest mortality rates.
 
James Higgins is a historian of medicine and concentrates especially on the history of the influenza pandemic in Pennsylvania and Texas. He now lectures at Jefferson University in Philadelphia and Rider University in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. 
 
Thursday, March 26th at 2pm
The President’s Pump with Mark Connar
It is well known that Bethlehem is the home of the first municipal water pumping system in the United States. A replica of this machine is located in its’ original stone building in Historic Bethlehem’s Industrial Quarter. Much less known is that, little more than a century later, the largest steam driven single cylinder stationary water pumping engine in the Americas was erected only a few miles away at a zinc mine in the Upper Saucon Township village of Friedensville. This engine, renowned at the time as The President Engine, was designed and constructed by Cornish engineers using time tested old-world technical know-how coupled with American manufacturing talent. Although not publicly accessible, the remnants of this machine still exist today. This talk will focus on efforts underway to preserve the surviving engine house ruins and to convert the surrounding property into an open-air interpretative museum and heritage park.

Mark W. Connar is a retired businessman with an AB degree in anthropology from Brown University (1972) with post graduate study in archaeology at the University Museum, University of Pennsylvania. He has participated in archeological surveys in the United States and the United Kingdom. He also holds an MBA degree from Lehigh University (1984). He is on the Board of Trustees, Historic Bethlehem Partnership and is a Founding Member of the National Museum of Industrial History. Further, he is a member of the Mine History Association and the Society for Industrial Archeology. 

 
Monday, March 30th at 10am
From the Archives: Mining Photography of George Bretz
Shari Stout from The Smithonian's National Museum of American History will be presenting an online lecture featuring the historic mining photography of George Bretz. The National Museum of American History is home to an array of mining lamps, hats, and safety equipment, much of it from the anthracite mines of Pennsylvania. In 1884, the Smithsonian displayed a series of photographs taken inside a mine in Pennsylvania by George Bretz, a photographer from Pottsville, PA. Shari will show us some of these photos, talk about the history of these collections, some of the materials collected with them, and the original curator who initiated the photo shoot.

Shari Stout is a collections manager in the Offsite Storage Program at The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington, DC, and holds an M.A. in Museum Studies from George Washington University. She has worked at the Smithsonian since 1999, installing exhibitions and caring for a wide range of collections, including the mining collections. Ms. Stout works with everything from glassware to sculpture to locomotives, but specializes in planning and overseeing the movement of the museum’s largest objects. Ms. Stout played a key role in the installation of the Smithsonian collections for the 2016 opening of the National Museum of Industrial History.

 
Other Programming includes:


Virtual Watch Party: Bethlehem Steel’s Last 20 Years - Building Bridges and Buildings
Saturday, March 28th at 2pm
Join retired Bethlehem Steel Civil Engineer Gordon Baker as he talks about the history of Bethlehem Steel’s bridgemaking operations, which saw some of the world’s most famous structures come from its mills. From the Golden Gate to the Verrazano-Narrows Bridges, Bethlehem Steel helped build it all.  Four people from the audience will become part of a live suspension bridge and we will learn how a suspension bridge works.

 
Gordon Baker worked for twenty years at Bethlehem Steel’s Fabricated Steel Construction Division working on bridges and buildings. During this period, he was a Field Engineer in New York, worked in the Engineering department in Bethlehem, was Assistant Works Engineer in the Leetsdale Pittsburgh plant, and was Superintendent of the large Pittsburgh shop facility. His career included working on two suspension bridges in New York, the Commodore Barry Bridge, Martin Tower, the world’s largest radio telescope in Puerto Rico and numerous other structures. Gordon is a retired Licensed Professional Engineer and a graduate of Lehigh University’s civil engineering program.
 
Virtual Museum Tour
Virtually visit NMIH with this 360 degree tour that HomeSpot Media graciously did for us back in December. https://goo.gl/maps/GzRevYyvCGERZnuc6
**For best results please view on a laptop or desktop. Mobile users may experience some compatibility issues.**

For more information on how to stream lectures and see additional programming, go to nmih.org/virtualmuseum.

About the National Museum of Industrial History
A Smithsonian Institution-affiliate, the National Museum of Industrial History is dedicated to preserving America’s rich industrial heritage. Housed in an 18,000-square-foot, 100-year-old former Bethlehem Steel facility on the largest private brownfield in America, the Museum is home to exciting exhibits, engaging programs and amazing history.  Learn more at nmih.org.

Appeals Process Created for Business Impacted by Wolf Shutdown; Businesses Affected by COVID-19 Can Apply for Disaster Loans

HARRISBURG – Senator Lisa Baker is working to reduce the impact of Governor Wolf’s order on Thursday for all non-life-sustaining businesses to close. A list of business types that would be affected by this order is available at www.pasenategop.com/covid-19-resources.

Any company that believes they should be considered a life-sustaining-business can apply for a waiver at this email address: RA-dcexemption@pa.gov. Business owners can address questions about whether they need to close by emailing ra-dcedcs@pa.gov.

Senator Baker is also encouraging businesses and non-profits who have suffered economic losses during the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak to consider applying for low-interest loans through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

Loans are available through SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, which helps businesses that are unable to meet financial obligations and operating expenses during an emergency situation. Loan amounts are calculated based on the actual economic injury and a company’s financial needs.

Additional information is available by contacting SBA’s disaster assistance customer service center by calling 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or e-mailing disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.
 

COVID-19 Small Business Financing Assistance

Carbon County – March 19, 2020-   Our communities and businesses in Carbon County continue to feel the increased impact of COVID-19. Carbon Chamber and Economic Development Corp. (CCEDC) along with our partner Northeast PA Alliance (NEPA) have been engaged since the onset of this outbreak to be sure businesses stayed informed and know what assistance is available. 

CCEDC will assist businesses with the following:
State:
  • The Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA) will provide up to $100,000 to eligible small businesses at 0% interest with no payments due for 12 months after funding. 
CCEDC is currently awaiting guidance from PIDA on the application process and more information will be available shortly. CCEDC will assist all business with these applications.


NEPA will assist with the following:
  • Federal:
    • SBA will soon have the Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance available for businesses. These loans can be used to cover expenses still incurred during the shutdown period.  
  • Local:
    • NEPA Alliance has 11 small business loan programs that are available to assist small businesses during this time.
       
Information relating to the available programs is changing rapidly, please be sure to check CCEDC’s website, social media and media releases for any updates about the various programs noted above. For information on the Federal and Local assistance programs, CCEDC will refer businesses to NEPA.
 

Urgent Blood Drive in White Haven

The American Red Cross now faces a severe blood shortage due to an unprecedented number of blood drive cancellations in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Healthy individuals are needed now to donate to help patients counting on lifesaving blood.

To date, nearly 2,700 Red Cross blood drives have been canceled across the country. These cancellations have resulted in some 86,000 fewer blood donations.. This blood shortage could impact patients who need surgery, victims of car accidents and other emergencies, or patients suffering from cancer.  We must ensure a readily available blood supply for patients who are counting on us.

An Urgent Need blood drive will be held:

Wednesday, March 25
White Haven VFW Post 6615
3 VFW Rd  White Haven PA
1:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Drive is open to the public.  Walk in donors welcome.
All presenting donors will receive a Red Cross t-shirt.

About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission.
 

Centenary UMC in Weatherly cancels services

As numbers continually increase within our country and even right here in Pennsylvania, starting immediately, Centenary UMC will be taking precautionary measures to do our part in preventing the spread of this virus. Our Sunday services for March 22, and March 29 are hereby canceled. We ask you to please refer to our website for information and live streaming worship opportunities. The website can be located at  https://www.weatherlycumc.org/
 The prayer shawl group will also be canceled until  after Easter.
Services will resume once we can be sure it is safe to do so. Until then, please contact us via email if there is any way we can be of service to our community during this difficult time. And remember, God is with us. It is in these difficult, trying, and uncertain times in which Jesus often shows up in the most powerful ways to offer comfort, strength, and peace, throughout scripture, and here, now, today.

Journal-Herald to provide free emergency subscriptions

If you know people in White Haven or Weatherly area who are not going out and who do not have access to the internet, please let me know. We are going to provide free subscriptions for the duration of the emergency to them.

Pocono Mountain SD to provide meals for students in need during emergency school closure

Pocono Mountain School District will begin offering students grab-and-go meal service beginning Tuesday, March 17, 2020, between the hours of 9 a.m. to noon.

Meals will be provided on weekdays only, from March 17 through March 20, and March 23 through March 27.

The District will offer this free meal service at the following schools for all District children regardless of which schools they attend:
 
  • Pocono Mountain East High School – Swiftwater Campus
  • Pocono Mountain West High School – Sullivan Trail Campus
  • Clear Run Intermediate School – Clear Run Campus
Meal service will consist of a drive-up, grab-and-go type service.  Families are asked to follow the signage on campus to drive up to the front of the school where meals will be brought out to their vehicle. One bagged lunch and one breakfast item will be provided for each child each day for as long as supplies last.

Pocono Mountain SD officials ask that parents be patient as there may be lines of cars waiting for meal service.

Access to Pocono Mountain SD schools will not be permitted.

PHLT events cancelled

In light of the recent COVID-19 outbreak, PHLT is taking precautionary measures to prevent the spread of this virus.
 
As of Saturday, March 14th, 2020, Brodhead Creek Heritage Center will be closed to the public until March 31st. Fortunately, PHLT staff members are able to work remotely throughout this time, and can be reached by email.
 
Events planned for March, including the Pour and Sip Fundraiser on March 24th and the Wild Teas Workshop on March 26th, will be postponed to a later date and those already registered will be kept informed of new dates.
 
PHLT will continue to make decisions as this public health issue develops and will follow local and state guidelines as to how to handle this issue. Thanks for your understanding.

LVHN and St. Luke’s Create Common Hospital Visitation Restrictions to Limit Any Confusion in the Community

With the health and safety of patients, staff and the community in mind during the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) and St. Luke’s University Health Network are implementing a common “No Visitation, No Access Policy” for all their hospitals and outpatient facilities, including Lehigh Valley Physician Group (LVPG) and St. Luke’s Physician Group (SLPG) offices.
The “No Visitation, No Access Policy” takes effect for all LVHN hospitals and outpatient sites as of Sunday, March 15 at 12:01 a.m. and at 5:00 p.m. Monday, March 16 at St. Luke’s.
In our hospitals and inpatient facilities, no visitors are permitted except under these special circumstances:
Visitation of a patient nearing the end of life
Parent visitation of a child in a pediatric ICU or neonatal ICU
One coach or partner per patient on labor and delivery unit
One visitor at a time for patients in inpatient hospice unit
One parent/Guardian at a time for pediatric patients
One visitor to accompany patients for hospital discharge
One visitor for patients undergoing same-day surgeries and procedures
One visitor per patient in the Emergency Department
No child under age 12 is permitted to visit in the hospital.
For all outpatient appointments, one visitor is permitted to accompany a patient for an outpatient appointment, procedure, same-day surgery or LVPG/SLPG office visit. We will make reasonable accommodations for pediatric visits, provided any sibling visitors are in good health.
Visitors allowed by exception must be in good health and are subject to a health screening, if necessary.
image002.pngLVHN and St. Luke’s understand these revisions in visitation policies might present difficulties for some patients, family members and friends and we are sympathetic to those concerns. At the same time, we must be responsible to the communities we serve and do what’s best to protect everyone. We urge those who might be impacted to please cooperate with our physicians, nurses and staff as they help our organizations fight COVID-19.
A united effort following this common policy will allow us to return to the more normal lifestyle and activities we are all accustomed to as quickly as possible.

LVHN cancels programs

During the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, health care organizations all over the world are taking steps to ensure the health and safety of their patients and employees. Lehigh Valley Health Network is no different. That is why we have made the decision to suspend all community programs that were scheduled up to April 15. This precautionary step helps ensure the health and safety of all.
If there is a program you regularly attend and want to see when the next one is scheduled, please go to LVHN.org/calendar.

Lions postpone Spaghetti Supper

As a precautionary measure in response to the current COVID-19 situation, the White Haven Lions Club Spaghetti Supper, originally scheduled for April 21st, 2020 has been postponed until a later date, to be announced.

LVHN Establishes Coronavirus (COVID-19) Patient Testing Centers Throughout the Region

Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) remains vigilant as the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) evolves. The health network’s latest action as a leader in infection control and prevention is to immediately establish designated, stand-alone COVID-19 assessment and testing centers throughout the region.
“We are taking extraordinary steps to deliver the smart, comprehensive care people need through new ways to screen, assess and test,” said Brian Nester, DO, MBA, FACOEP, LVHN’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “We are reassuring the community that they can continue their routine and essential appointments and care while staying safe.” 
At the same time Nester is urging if someone has a doctor’s appointment or procedure already scheduled, keep it. LVHN hospitals and practices are operating as usual.
For those who think they have COVID-19 or may have been exposed to someone who does, stay home. LVHN is providing free COVID-19 screenings online and by phone. Call the MyLVHN Nurse Information line at 1-888-402-LVHN or complete an LVHN Video Visit  by downloading the MyLVHN app.  We want to screen community members via these technologies so that they can remain in their own home and only need to leave if testing is needed. This screening helps reduce the spread of COVID-19, and it helps keep our doctors’ office open and available to provide other important care.
COVID-19 Assess and Test Locations
Nester says that during the screening, if LVHN’s medical professionals determine a patient has COVID-19 symptoms, they will be directed to one of LVHN’s eight standalone COVID-19 Assess and Test locations. Patients will qualify for a test ONLY if they have symptoms (fever, cough and shortness of breath). The test detects active disease and cannot determine if a patient has been exposed. It is important tests are reserved for those who need them most.
You must receive guidance via the nurse line, video visit or your doctor to be assessed and, possibly tested. If you do not have insurance, you will receive a bill but you won’t be required to pay.
Open now
LVHN COVID-19 Assess and Test–MacArthur Road
2741 MacArthur Road, Whitehall, PA 18052
Daily: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.


LVHN COVID-19 Assess and Test–Stroudsburg­
1655 W. Main St., Stroudsburg, PA 18360
Monday-Friday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Saturday-Sunday: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.


LVHN COVID-19 Assess and Test–Palmerton
528 Delaware Ave., Palmerton, PA 18071
Monday-Friday: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Saturday-Sunday: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.


LVHN COVID-19 Assess and Test–Macungie
6451 Village Lane, Macungie, PA 18062
Monday-Friday: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Saturday-Sunday: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

LVHN COVID-19 Assess and Test­­–Richland Township
320 W. Pumping Station Road, Suite 3, Quakertown, PA 18951
Monday-Friday:  8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Saturday-Sunday: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

LVHN COVID-19 Assess and Test–Hazleton
140 N Sherman Court, Hazleton, PA 18201
Monday-Friday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

LVHN COVID-19 Assess and Test–Cressona
35 Sillyman Street, Cressona, PA 17929
Monday-Friday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.



Starting Monday, March 16
LVHN COVID-19 Assess and Test–Nazareth
863 Nazareth Pike
Nazareth, PA 18064
Monday-Friday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Health Network Labs manages and processes the tests, and results are available within four days. If you need care for another condition, you can continue to visit any other ExpressCARE location or Lehigh Valley Physician Group (LVHN) practice.  
LVPG practices located near the Assess and Test locations have been relocated to help ensure the safety of our patients and colleagues. Here are the practices that have been temporarily relocated and their temporary locations.
Practice
Temporary location

LVPG Family Medicine–MacArthur Road
3691 Crescent Court East
Whitehall, PA 18052

LVPG Family Medicine–Macungie
6900 Hamilton Blvd.
Trexlertown, PA 18087

LVPG Family Medicine–Richland Township
3080 Hamilton Blvd., Suite 250
Allentown, PA 18103

LVPG Pediatrics–Richland Township
3800 Sierra Circle, Suite 100
Center Valley, PA 18034

LVPG Obstetrics and Gynecology–Richland Township
Providers will see patients at numerous other LVPG Obstetrics and Gynecology locations

LVPG Family Medicine–Nazareth

2401 Northampton Street
Easton, PA 18045

LVPG Internal Medicine–Cressona


6 South Greenview Road
Schuylkill Haven, PA 17972

LVPG Pulmonology–Pocono
600 Commerce Blvd.
Stroudsburg, PA 18360


Tips to protect yourself and your family
  • Keep your essential doctor appointments, tests and procedures.
  • Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds or use a hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Avoid large crowds.
  • Carefully consider your travel plans, and follow government travel guidelines.
  • Practice social distancing by staying at least six feet away from others. If you are over 80, this is especially important.
Other actions LVHN is taking to keep you safe
  • Temporary hospital visitation policy. If you are sick, please do not visit any of our LVHN hospitals. Children under age 12 are not permitted in the hospital to visit. We are asking that patients pre-identify two people who can visit while they are in the hospital.
  • Pre-surgery screening. We are screening all patients for scheduled surgery for COVID-19 the day before surgery. If the patient has symptoms and is deemed as possibly infected, we would reschedule their elective procedure so not to put them and others at risk.
  • Limiting nonclinical personnel in the hospital. This includes employees who are not located at our hospitals, vendors, consultants and volunteers.

Stay up to date
Visit LVHN.org/COVID19 for ongoing updates.
 

Trout Unlimited Program postponed

The Western Pocono Trout Unlimited program scheduled for Tuesday, March 17 at the White Haven Area Community Library has been postponed.

Soup sale postponed

The soup/bake sale scheduled for March 21st at McMichaels United Methodist Church has been postponed.

Aaron Lewis Concert Postponed until May 29th
at Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes-Barre

 In light of ongoing developments resulting from the coronavirus and recommended provisions put in place by the State of Pennsylvania, Aaron Lewis “The State I’m In Tour Acoustic Songs & Stories” concert scheduled for Friday, March 13th at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza has been postponed until Friday, May 29th at 8pm.
Tickets for the originally scheduled performance will be honored on May 29th.

For complete event details, please visit our website at www.mohegansunarenapa.com.
 

Shows Postponed at Kirby Center

The performance of Dinosaur World Live at the F.M. Kirby Center has been postponed at the recommendation of Governor Tom Wolf.  The safety and health of our audiences is our highest priority and we encourage everyone to follow the guidelines put forth by public health officials.  Dinosaur World Live! will be canceled but the Kirby Center is excited to announce Dragons and Mythical Beasts created by the same producers as Dinosaur World Live! for next January 15 at 6:30pm.  All Dinosaur World Live tickets will be honored or refunds are available. We can't wait to open our doors again and bring in the quality entertainment our customers are used to.  In the meantime, stay safe and take care of each other.

Refunds available at your point of purchase. The Sundance Vacations Box Office at the F.M. Kirby Center will be open today, Friday March 13 until 5:00pm in or call 570-826-1100.


THE SHOW(Doo Wop & Legends) SATURDAY MARCH 28 AT THE F.M. KIRBY CENTER  HAS BEEN RESCHEDULED. To Protect Our Fans , The Performers , Our Families, F.M . KIRBY CENTER-- Due to circumstances beyond anyone’s control , JOE NARDONE will reschedule  to help contain and diminish the chances of spreading the Coronavirus./ COVID-19 .....Date to be announced...(refunds available for those who cannot make rescheduled date)
These are unprecedented times, and we appreciate your support and patience as we navigate through this together.

Refunds available at your point of purchase. The Sundance Vacations Box Office at the F.M. Kirby Center will be open today, Friday March 13 until 5:00pm in or call 570-826-1100.
 

Fisher Program cancelled

The Fisher in Pennsylvania educational program that was scheduled to be presented at the Pennsylvania Anthracite Heritage Museum in McDade Park on Sunday, March 15, at 2:30 p.m. has been cancelled.
            Questions can be directed to William Williams at the Game Commission Northeast Region Office in Dallas at (570) 675-1143 Ext. 55008 or by contacting Lackawanna Audubon President Susan Zenke at (570) 563-5352.

Madden announces changes to district office operations effective March 13

MONROE, March 12 – State Rep. Maureen Madden D-Monroe, is alerting residents that her district offices will close to the public and operations will be by phone, mail and email only starting Friday, March 13 to reduce the potential spread of COVID-19 and for the safety of the public.

Madden said constituents can email her at RepMadden@pahouse.net.

“My office will be closed starting tomorrow and we will reassess the situation as warranted,” Madden said. “We have access to voicemail, and we will be responding to messages and email.”

Madden’s phone numbers are: (570) 420-2850 in the Stroudsburg Office.
                                                      (570) 894-7905 in the Tobyhanna Office.

Residents are also advised to take precautions to protect themselves from COVID-19, such as the following:
 
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (time to sing Happy Birthday song twice).
  • Cover coughs or sneezes with your elbow or use a tissue. Do not use your hands.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not readily available.
  • Clean surfaces frequently, including countertops, light switches, cell phones, remotes, door handles, stair rails and other frequently touched items.
  • Avoid touching your hands to your face, eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or disinfectant wipe.
  • If you are sick, it is safer to stay home until you are feeling better, and if you are concerned with symptoms or contact, check with your primary care provider.

Madden also recommends everyone follow the PA Department of Health’s website for the latest information on COVID-19.
 

Coronavirus: Monroe County Commissioners Ask Voters to Consider Voting By Mail-In Ballot

3/12/2020 – Stroudsburg, PA ---The Monroe County, PA Commissioners share the concern of the community regarding the COVID 19 (coronavirus) virus. We are taking the same steps that other prudent organizations should consider to limit the spread of the virus:
 We encourage our staff to heighten their practice of good health habits (frequent hand washing with warm soapy water, sneezing into the crook of their arm, staying home when they are ill, and resisting the urge to shake hands).
 We have distributed effective cleaning/sanitizing materials so that counters, door knobs and other points of public contact are clean.
 Gloves have been distributed to those offices that accept money and documents from the public.
 We have eliminated all official travel to areas identified as high-risk by the Center for Disease Control and we are requiring staff returning from these areas to quarantine themselves for
fourteen days.
 Our cleaning staff is being more vigilant in cleaning bathrooms and other high-traffic areas.
There are two cases of the Corona virus in Monroe County presently. It is our belief that practicing good health habits and restricting travel to and contact with people from high-risk areas will reduce the chance of the virus spreading.
Should anyone be concerned that they may be exposed to the coronavirus while voting on April 28, 2020, we encourage you to vote via Mail-In Ballot. This type of ballot is new to Pennsylvania and just happened to come along at a time when people are concerned with the spread of the coronavirus. In fact, it can be used in this and all future elections.
The application for a Mail-In Ballot must be received in the Monroe County Voter Registration Office by April 21, 2020 at 5:00 PM. Once the application is approved, a ballot will be sent to you. This ballot is used for voting and it must be returned by April 28, 2020 at 8:00 PM. Because this form of voting may prove to be very
popular, we encourage you to apply early.
Directions for applying for a Mail-In Ballot can be found on the website: http://votespa.com/applymailballot
This site also describes how you can apply for an application by mail or in person.

Carbon County Band Festival cancelled

Carbon County Band Festival at Jim Thorpe High School that was scheduled for next week is officially cancelled due to the Coronavirus Pandemic.  We will do what we can to plan for a one or two day festival later in the school year if possible.

Tobyhanna Twp Postpones Public Meeting

POCONO PINES, Pa. – The Work Session to discuss a new C-1 zoning district in Long Pond is postponed, the Board of Supervisors announced today.

The call comes in light of the spread of COVID-19 to Eastern Pennsylvania, with confirmed cases in Montgomery, Monroe, Wayne, and Bucks counties.

“The health and well-being of our residents is our top priority,” states John Kerrick, Chair. “Our Board understands the concerns surrounding the coronavirus and will be postponing our meeting this evening until a later date.”

The decision follows suit with other local organizations and schools who are postponing large public gatherings. While the meeting may be on hold, this will not affect the daily operations of the township.

“For our residents who are choosing to stay home, we are always available by phone, email, our website, and Facebook,” states Julia Heilakka, Community Engagement Coordinator. “Our staff stands ready to work with anyone who has been impacted, and we are taking the necessary steps to evade any potential disruption of government services.”

The C-1 district work session will be rescheduled at a later date. Further information will be disseminated to affected property owners and over our social media platforms.
 

National Museum of Industrial History to Celebrate International Women’s Day with Weekend of Events

Sponsored by: Keystone Savings Foundation, Just Born, and OraSure Technologies
 
BETHLEHEM, Pa., - This weekend the National Museum of Industrial History (NMIH) will kick-off a month-long commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of Women’s Suffrage with International Women’s Weekend. Women’s Weekend will celebrate the voices and stories of women in industry through a full schedule of youth educational activities, guided tours and exhibit enhancements, live historical reenactments, Girl Scout badge programs, film screenings and lectures.
 
The weekend will have several great photo ops, from speakers and discussions to youth activities and re-enactments.  Select speakers will be available for media interviews. Please use the below contact information to arrange.

WHEN: 10am to 5pm Saturday, March 7th and Sunday, March 8th
WHERE: National Museum of Industrial History, 602 E 2nd St, Bethlehem, PA 18015
 
Speakers include:
 Dr. Louise Krasniewicz, Department of Anthropology— UPenn, discussing Emma Allison, a 19th century steam engine engineer
 Charlotte Edwards, CPP, Senior Packaging Engineer at Just Born, presenting how her childhood spent tinkering lead to a career combining mechanical and industrial engineering, robotics, and physics to deliver the Just Born’s famous marshmallow PEEPS ®
 
• Constance Thompson, CCDP Senior Director for Women’s Engagement at The Manufacturing Institute, lecturing on women of color creating a better future through manufacturing
 
 Lisa Jane Scheller, Chairman and President of Silberline Manufacturing Co., Inc, a Lehigh University alumnus whose company is a world leader and global supplier of high-quality special effect and performance pigments based in Tamaqua
 
…and more.


A full schedule of events, with bios, headshots, and descriptions can be found at http://www.nmih.org/event/international-womens-weekend/

 

Shopping for Energy Suppliers Can Help Cut Costs


By State Rep. Jack Rader (R-Monroe)

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) is alerting consumers about the potential for large winter energy cost increases for electric customers who do not shop for competitive electric suppliers.

To avoid the possibility of “sticker shock” from high bills during the coming cold months, the PUC reminds consumers that the start of winter is an important time to compare prices for electric generation and evaluate competitive supplier options.

A half dozen of the state’s major electric distribution companies increased their “price to compare” (PTC) as of Dec. 1. The PTC averages 40 to 60 percent of the customer’s total utility bill.  However, this percent varies by utility and by the level of individual customer usage. PPL announced that its PTC went up from 7.585 cents to 7.632 cents per kilowatt hour (less than 1%). 

In most areas of Pennsylvania, consumers can choose who supplies their electricity, based on price or other factors, such as renewable energy. To learn more about how to shop for your energy supplier, or to make a change, visit www.PAPowerSwitch.com.

Customers not choosing a supplier continue to receive default service from their local utility, with the cost per kilowatt hour set quarterly or semiannually based on electric generation procurement plans developed by those utilities.

According to the PUC, more than 1.8 million (31%) residential and business customers currently have their electric generation provided by competitive suppliers, representing approximately two-thirds of the state’s regulated power load. In the residential rate class, more than 1.5 million customers (about 24%) are enrolled with competitive suppliers.
 

Our new phone number

The Atlantic Broadband phones are in, and working great. Our new number is 570-215-0204.

MATT ~ The Marker Advocates of Tobyhanna Township

This video is about MATT MARKER DISCOVERY inviting you to explore the northeast Pocono Mountains in Tobyhanna Township. An odyssey through history examining what transpired in the development of northeast Pennsylvania, specifically Tobyhanna Township and the surrounding area.

New Obituary Page

Obituaries published in The Journal-Herald and The Journal of the Pocono Plateau will now also be posted to the Obituary page on this website. Because the papers are not published daily, some obituaries may appear first on the web, so people can be informed about calling hours and service details.

When to Take Away the Car Keys from Aging Parents

Figuring out when it’s time for a loved one to stop driving is one of the tougher challenges a family can face. Driving means independence, which is an increasingly precious commodity as we get older. While you don’t want to make your parents miserable by taking away their keys, you don’t want to see them get into a serious accident, either. But how do you know when it’s time to intervene? Griswold Home Care of Luzerne & Lackawanna Counties offers some tips for family members:
Know the dangers. Safe drivers need eyesight and reflexes that are up to the demands of driving, and sometimes have to make snap decisions. When debris blows onto the road or someone makes an unexpected turn, the difference between a close call and a total disaster is often less than two seconds. Age only makes vision and reaction time worse, which is why 80-year-old drivers get into just as many accidents as 18-year-old drivers, according to a study by Consumer Reports.
Look for warning signs. Fortunately, it’s easy to spot many of the signs that it’s time to quit driving. When a driver becomes easily distracted, has trouble maintaining the correct lane, has significantly impaired vision, tends to drive too fast or too slow, or starts hitting curbs frequently, these are warning signs that shouldn’t be ignored. If you don’t spend much time in the car with your loved one, the signs you’re looking for might be minor scrapes or dents appearing in the car or garage.
Be Thoughtful of the Life Change. Giving up driving can lead to emotional, physical, and practical concerns about how to get around. Seniors are already at-risk for isolation and depression, and making it more difficult to get around can only worsen outcomes. Nobody wants to feel like they’re imposing on their family or friends, especially not every time they want to go out on a whim. Services like Lyft or Uber can help provide safe transportation on demand. And in-home caregivers can sometimes provide transportation.
Rely on Judgement, Not the Law. Most states don’t require older drivers to undergo additional testing, and legal authorities are generally powerless to strip someone of their right to drive until they’ve actually done harm. That means families have to work out these issues for themselves. Telling someone it’s time to hang up their keys is a tough topic to broach, but ignoring the signs it’s time to quit is a mistake many people don’t live to regret.
For more information, visit www.griswoldhomecare.com or call 570-338-4060.
 

Tips for Traveling with Someone Suffering from
Dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease

A dementia or Alzheimer’s diagnosis doesn’t necessarily mean the end of all travel, but it does mean taking extra precautions and making extra preparations in order to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all. For those seniors who are able, travel is part of a healthy balanced lifestyle in preventing and slowing the onset of dementia.

Griswold Home Care of Luzerne & Lackawanna Counties offers some tips for caregivers who are traveling with someone living with dementia:

Determine If Travel Is Appropriate
Travel may simply be impossible for some, including those with Stage 6 or 7 Alzheimer’s. Signs that travel is impracticable include high fall risk, unstable medical conditions, severe mood swings, or agitation and aggression. Before you embark on the trip, evaluate whether travel is right for your loved one.

Simplify the Trip
Look for ways to simplify travel, such as taking direct flights, avoiding unfamiliar modes of transportation, and keeping surroundings familiar to the largest extent possible. It’s also a good idea to cap total travel time to four hours.

Stick with the Familiar
Unfamiliar circumstances can give rise to mood swings, fear, and anxiety. For example, if your loved one has never ridden a subway, it’s best to avoid that situation now. If they have an object that brings familiarity to them, make sure you have it while traveling.

Travel During the Day
Daytime travel is often easier for seniors living with dementia, as it illuminates surroundings and allows for increased visibility. This, in turn, makes surroundings feel more familiar. Many seniors also have problems seeing and reading signs at night, which can increase the likelihood of wandering.

Place an Info Card
Before you begin traveling, write out a note card with your loved one’s name and information and the name of the hotel or address where they will be staying. Place this card in their purse or pocket. It may be useful if they wander off or become lost.

Keep Essentials Close By
Pack a bag with the essentials, including legal documents like identification cards and passports, a fresh change of clothes, itinerary, prescriptions and medical information, food allergies, and emergency contacts. Keep this bag close by at all times, whether in the car or on a plane.

For more information, visit www.griswoldhomecare.com or call 570-338-4060.
 

Protect Your Aging Relatives from Heat Exhaustion and
Dehydration This Summer

Of the 8,000-plus heat-related deaths reported annually in the United States, 36 percent are among those age 65 and older, according to a Centers for Disease Control Heat-Related Illness Survey. Hospitalizations for heat-related symptoms increase for those over 85.

Everyone wants to ensure their loved ones are comfortable and safe during the hot weather, but checking up on neighbors and non-relatives can go a long way toward stemming the tide of heat and dehydration deaths. Griswold Home Care of Luzerne & Lackawanna Counties offers the following advice:

Perform an air conditioner check. Air conditioning is the top protection against heat-related illness. If the home isn’t air conditioned, buy a room unit or encourage your loved one to go to a public place during the hottest hours of the day, like a library or senior center.

Avoid dehydration. Non-alcoholic beverages will replace the body’s salts and minerals released from sweating. Put a glass of water in every room, and encourage sipping from them throughout the day. Frequently drinking small amounts is the best way to stay hydrated. Check your loved one’s urine; light yellow means they’re getting enough to drink; darker yellow means they’re not. Other symptoms include very dry skin, dizziness, rapid heartbeat or rapid breathing.

Know the signs of heat exhaustion. Too much heat can cause heat exhaustion or, even worse, heat stroke. Heat exhaustion happens when you become dehydrated and your body is unable to replace the fluid and electrolytes it has lost. The signs of heat exhaustion include heavy sweating, nausea, and feeling light-headed and faint.

If body temperature continues to rise, it can result in heatstroke, a serious medical condition. Signs of heatstroke include fainting, a body temperature above 104° F, confusion, flushed skin, irritability, and acting delirious. If you’re around someone with signs of heat exhaustion, call 911.

For more information, visit www.griswoldhomecare.com or call 570-338-4060.
 

Pocono Springs proposal

In the most recent edition of The Journal of the Pocono Plateau, we promised to upload the Pocono Springs presentation made recently in Tobyhanna Township. We weren't able to upload it here, but we did put it on our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/Journal-of-the-Pocono-Plateau-115632595121731/#
Please view it there.

PennDOT Launches Video to Assist Pennsylvanians in Navigating Roundabouts

Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) today launched a video to assist Pennsylvanians in navigating roundabouts. The video instructs viewers how to use both single and multi-lane roundabouts whether in a vehicle, on a bicycle or on foot.

The video can be accessed by visiting the roundabout page on www.penndot.gov or by visiting the department’s YouTube channel.
“Data shows that modern-day roundabouts reduce crash severity and injuries while improving traffic flow,” said PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards. “This video illustrates how to navigate these intersections regardless of how you travel.”

A modern roundabout is a type of circular intersection where traffic flows continuously in a counterclockwise direction around a central island and where the entry traffic must yield to the circulating traffic. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) encourages implementing roundabouts as they have been proven to significantly improve safety and reduce traffic delays over traditional stop- or signal-controlled intersections. In tandem with the FHWA’s recommendation, the Pennsylvania State Transportation Innovation Council (STIC) has prioritized implementing roundabouts as alternatives to traditional intersections when possible.

Crash rates and severity of at least three years of data from before and after installation for the state’s first 10 modern roundabouts built at previous traditional stop-sign or signal-controlled intersections showed that fatal crashes were eliminated (two to zero) and major-injury crashes were also eliminated (four to zero). Additionally, moderate-injury crashes were reduced by 71 percent (seven to two) and minor-injury crashes by 25 percent (16 to 12) as well as the total number of crashes which dropped by 16 percent (63 to 53).

National studies have shown that modern roundabouts reduce fatal crashes by up to 90 percent and result in a 75 percent reduction in injury-causing crashes. Modern roundabouts also improve pedestrian safety by allowing people to cross shorter distances with slower moving one-way traffic.

Modern roundabouts have been being built in the United States for less than 30 years and in Pennsylvania for less than 15 years. In Pennsylvania, there are currently 32 completed roundabouts, 20 under construction and at least 10 more expected to go to construction over the next two years. To learn more about roundabouts, visit www.penndot.gov and enter “roundabouts” in the search bar.

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Set your bookmark right now, because this is a website you'll want to return to regularly. We will be posting news, pictures, last minute stories, events listings and much more to keep you informed about what's happening in and around our western edge of the Pocono Plateau. Watch for PDF postings of The Journal-Herald, The Journal of the Pocono Plateau, and The Journal of Penn-Kidder.

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