PennDOT, PA Turnpike Announces Work Zone Speed Enforcement Pilot

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC), in partnership with the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP), today announced the implementation of a statewide Automated Work Zone Speed Enforcement (AWZSE) pilot program to reduce work zone speeds, change driver behavior, and improve work zone safety for workers and motorists.

“The Automated Work Zone Speed Enforcement program isn’t about issuing violations, it’s about saving lives,” said PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards. “Last year, 23 motorists were killed in a Pennsylvania work zone. Through this program we are urging motorists to slow down and pay attention while driving, especially in work zones where roadway conditions can change on a daily basis.”

The AWZSE program was established by the Pennsylvania General Assembly in Act 86 of 2018. A minimum 60-day pre-enforcement pilot period will begin next week. During the pre-enforcement period, violations will not be issued. Enforcement is expected to begin in early 2020.

Automated speed enforcement units will be deployed to a number of active work zones during the pre-enforcement period. These work zones will be in various types of projects and will initially focus on our interstate and other limited access work zones, such as Interstate 78 in Berks County. Work zones are selected by a data-driven process to maximize the effectiveness of the systems and will be marked with signage in advance of the enforcement area.

“When a crash occurs in an active work zone, it’s just as likely to result in death or injury to a driver or passenger inside that vehicle,” said PA Turnpike CEO Mark Compton. “This program is about protecting everybody’s safety. If not for these workers in an active work zone, I ask you to slow down for yourself and other travelers.”

Pennsylvania’s AWZSE program uses vehicle-mounted systems to detect and record motorists exceeding posted work zone speed limits by 11 miles per hour or more using electronic speed timing devices. AWZSE systems are only operational in active work zones where workers are present. Once enforcement begins, registered owners will receive a warning letter for a first offense, a violation notice and $75 fine for a second offense, and a violation notice and $150 fine for third and subsequent offenses. These violations are civil penalties only; no points will be assessed to driver’s licenses.

In 2018, there were 1,804 work zone crashes in Pennsylvania, resulting in 23 fatalities, and 43 percent of work zone crashes resulted in fatalities and/or injuries. Since 1970, PennDOT has lost 89 workers in the line of duty and the PA Turnpike has lost 45 workers since 1945.

“We are committed to facilitating the efficient movement of traffic through work zones while ensuring the safety of drivers, passengers, and workers,” said Director of the Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Patrol Major James Basinger. “PSP continues to work closely with our safety partners to explore how to best leverage evolving technology to make Pennsylvania’s roads safer.”

For more information on the Automated Work Zone Speed Enforcement program, visit

Teenager to Share Story of Life with Autism to Misericordia University

The Misericordia University Department of Teacher Education is presenting the free program, “Autism: What is It? A Glimpse Inside What It is Like to Live with Autism Spectrum Disorder,” on Wednesday, Nov. 20 featuring a talk by 13-year-old Trey DelGrosso of Swiftwater, who will discuss his life growing up with autism.

The American Education Week program begins at 5 p.m. with poster presentations on autism-related research by Misericordia students, along with a display on children’s literature about autism. DelGrosso’s talk is from 6-6:45 p.m. A question-and-answer session with a panel of autism experts will follow the presentation.

The program, in the Catherine Evans McGowan Room of the Mary Kintz Bevevino Library, features the following panelists: Amy Linnen, director of special education, Pittston Area School District; Kelsey Suponcic, autistic support classroom teacher, Dallas School District; Jen DelGrosso, Trey’s mother, and Lori Charney, O.T.D., O.T.R./L., assistant professor and chair of the Department of Occupational Therapy at Misericordia University.

An eighth-grade student at Pocono Mountain East Junior High School, DelGrosso has made many public presentations on what it is like to live with autism. His challenges began at a young age, according to Mrs. DelGrosso. Born with a cleft palate, DelGrosso had to work hard to learn basic skills, such as eating. The challenges continued throughout his early years as he was diagnosed with a hole in his heart, an inward turning eye, a connective tissue disorder and loose joints, developmental delays, celiac disease, sensory processing disorder, and autism spectrum disorder.

“Life became even more difficult for Trey as he progressed through school,” Mrs. DelGrosso said. “The sensory, academic and social demands of middle school completely overwhelmed him.  He began to have anxiety and panic attacks both at school and at home, and was physically and emotionally consumed by simply trying to survive the school day.”

Help arrived at the start of sixth grade, when DelGrosso’s developmental pediatrician suggested that he speak to his classmates about what it is like to live with autism. The goal for explaining what life is like for him was to make his classmates more accepting of him.

“His classmates were interested in what he had to say and willingly shared challenges that they face in their own lives,” Mrs. DelGrosso added. “This speech changed everything for Trey. Students viewed him as a leader and he had a presence and a purpose in school and in life. To this day, his mantra is, ‘There is nothing wrong with me,’ and he continues to offer his story as a way to help others understand what it is like to live with autism spectrum disorder.”

For more information about the program, please contact Roberta “Bobbi” Yeager, Ed.D., assistant professor, Department of Teacher Education at Misericordia University, at 570-674-8144 or

For more information about the Department of Teacher Education at Misericordia University, please call 570-674-6400 or visit Founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1924, Misericordia University is Luzerne County’s first four-year college and offers 56 academic programs on the graduate and undergraduate levels in full- and part-time formats. Misericordia University ranks in the “National Universities” category of U.S. News and World Report’s 2020 edition of Best Colleges. The Princeton Review recognizes Misericordia as a 2020 “Best Northeastern” college and Money Magazine includes Misericordia in its 2019-20 “Best Colleges” list. College Consensus and the Wall Street Journal and Times Higher Education rank Misericordia among the top colleges and universities nationally.

Wilkes University Pain and Addiction Summit Announces Keynote

The host of “Loveline” and “Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew” is the featured speaker on Friday, April 3 at Mohegan Sun Pocono.

Leaders at the forefront of battling the opioid crisis will present at Wilkes University’s Pennsylvania Pain and Addiction Summit on Friday, April 3 at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Dr. Drew Pinsky, known nationally as “Dr. Drew,” will deliver the keynote address, “The Opioid Epidemic: How Did We Get Here and What Do We Do Now?”

During the full-day conference, medical, legal and law enforcement professionals will discuss the current state of the opioid crisis, share methods in dealing with these issues, and identify opportunities to treat pain and substance abuse. Continuing education hours are available for counselors, dentists, pharmacists, physical therapists, physicians, nurses and social workers.

Dr. Drew is a practicing physician and board-certified internist and addiction medicine specialist. For more than 20 years, he served first as the director of medical services and later as the program medical director of chemical dependency services at a full-service psychiatric hospital. He has also served in a variety of clinical professor roles at Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California and the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

Dr. Drew is a national lecturer in medical training programs and presents to the public on health and addiction issues. He hosted the nationally syndicated radio show Loveline for over 32 years. He also produced and starred in the hit reality series Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew on VH1 which chronicled the struggle for sobriety and the cycle of addictive disorders of a group of celebrities.

Dr. Drew received his undergraduate degree from Amherst College and his M.D. from the University of Southern California, School of Medicine, where he remained for his residency. He then became chief resident at Huntington Hospital in Pasadena. He has been appointed to the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society and is a Fellow with the American College of Physicians.

According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, “overdose deaths, particularly from prescription drugs and heroin, have reached epidemic levels, now making drug overdoses the leading cause of death for Americans under the age of 50.” Locally, overdose deaths in Luzerne County have increased annually, with deaths at an all-time high of 156 in 2018.

The cost to attend the full-day program is $150. Half-day participation is $75 and does not include lunch and the keynote address.

Presentation proposals are being accepted. Sponsorship opportunities are also available. Attendees can learn more and register online at For more information, contact Margaret Petty, director of the center for continued learning, at (570) 408-4460 or

For more stories about Wilkes University and its students, faculty and staff, please visit News@Wilkes.

About Wilkes University

Wilkes University is a private, independent, non-sectarian institution of higher education dedicated to academic and intellectual excellence through mentoring in the liberal arts, sciences and professional programs. Founded in 1933, Wilkes is on a mission to create one of the nation’s finest doctoral universities, offering all of the programs, activities and opportunities of a large university in the intimate, caring and mentoring environment of a small college, open to all who show promise. The Economist named Wilkes 25th in the nation for the value of its education for graduates. In addition to 46 majors, Wilkes offers 24 master’s degree programs and five doctoral/terminal degree programs, including the doctor of philosophy in nursing, doctor of nursing practice, doctor of education, doctor of pharmacy, and master of fine arts in creative writing. Learn more at

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University of Scranton to Host Chief of Staff to President Obama


Chief of Staff to President Obama Featured at Inaugural Humanities in Action Lecture at University

The outlook, skills and training required for jobs in the future will be discussed by Denis McDonough, former chief of staff to President Obama and current senior principal at the Markle Foundation, where he chairs the Rework America Task Force.

“From the White House to the Work Force,” featuring a conversation with McDonough, will launch The University of Scranton’s Humanities in Action Lecture Series, which is sponsored by the Gail and Francis Slattery Center for Humanities. The discussion will be held at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 13, at the McIlhenny Ballroom of the DeNaples Center. The event is free of charge and open to the public.

Markle is engaged in a nationwide initiative aimed at driving innovations that expand opportunities for employment and broaden ways for all Americans to learn and train for the work of the future, according to its website. The foundation’s Rework America Task Force, which McDonough chairs, is a national initiative to transform the labor market so that all Americans can thrive in the digital economy.

At the Humanities in Action Lecture, University of Scranton philosophy professor Matthew Meyer, Ph.D., and Scranton Times-Tribune education reporter Sarah Hofius Hall will lead a question and answer session with McDonough. Audience members will have the opportunity to ask questions as well.

About Denis McDonough

From February 2013 to January 2017, McDonough served as White House chief of staff for President Barack Obama. In that role, he managed the White House staff, as well as cabinet secretaries and agency leaders. He advised the president on domestic policy and national security challenges facing the country, management issues facing the federal government and devised and enforced plans and accountability for performance and goals, maintaining the Obama Administration’s reputation for an effective, ethical operation. He planned and coordinated efforts to recruit and retain key talent – including an unprecedented expansion of technology experts and engineers within the White House and across the federal government.

Prior to his role as chief of staff, McDonough was assistant to the president and principal deputy national security advisor. He chaired the National Security Council’s Deputies Committee. Throughout the 2008 presidential campaign, McDonough served as senior foreign policy advisor for Obama for America.

Currently, McDonough also serves as senior advisor for technology and global policy for Macro Advisory Partners, a strategic advisory firm which helps to navigate the intersection of global markets, geopolitics and policy. In addition, he is executive fellow at the University of Notre Dame’s Keough School of Global Affairs, teaching a global policy seminar for graduate and undergraduate students. He serves on the board of directors for Catalyte, the National Democratic Institute and the SAFE Project, and is on the advisory council for the Tent Partnership for Refugees.

McDonough earned his bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, from St. John’s University in Minnesota and his master’s degree from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service.

About the Gail and Francis Slattery Center for Humanities

In May 2019, the University established the Gail and Francis Slattery Center for Humanities to advance the University’s liberal arts tradition and enhance the core role it plays in the formation of students to become “men and women for others.” The Center, named after the parents of benefactor and current University Trustee James M. Slattery ’86 and his wife, Betsy, will serve as a national model for humanities in action. Through the Center’s programs, elevated discourse on an array of topics and civic engagement will be encouraged by members of the University community, as well as by residents throughout the greater Scranton area.

For more information about the Humanities in Action Lecture, call 570-941-7401.

Marywood University to Hold Crisis Communications Event

Marywood University’s Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America/American Advertising Federation is pleased to present “A Commonsense Guide to Online Reputation Management,” a networking and educational event for communication arts students and professionals. The event will take place on Thursday, November 21 from 5 – 8 p.m., in the Latour Room, at the Nazareth Student Center on the University’s campus. This event is free and open to the public.

The event begins with a networking opportunity, followed by a one-hour presentation and Q&A session by Jon Goldberg, founder and chief reputation architect of Reputation Architects Inc., New Jersey.

This presentation will reveal:

  • The troubling techniques that many online reputation consultants (ORCs) use and the long-term dangers they pose for reputation, public perception and search engine optimization.
  •  What kinds of search results can actually be managed, and what kinds are steadfastly resistant to change;
  •  Time-tested content-based strategies for influencing what appears at the top
    of organic search that all communications professionals are capable of applying
  •  How to approach online reputation management discussions with senior executives (for client-side professionals) and clients (for agency counselors) to keep them out of harm’s way, manage expectations, and deliver the best possible results.

Reputation Architects Inc. is a strategic communications and reputation risk management advisory firm dedicated to building, protecting, and restoring reputations in a world of evaporated trust and unprecedented stakeholder engagement.

Mr. Goldberg founded Reputation Architects in 2009, after more than twenty-five years as an advisor to corporate executives and boards, a senior leader at some of the world’s most prominent communications firms, and a front-line spokesperson for major corporations and non-profit organizations. His reputation risk experience has included everything from activist attacks, technology failures and privacy, data security breaches and government investigations to global product recalls, class action lawsuits, labor disputes, and workplace and environmental disasters.

Prior to founding Reputation Architects, Mr. Goldberg was partner and director of the corporate affairs practice of Porter Novelli, the international communications consultancy. Earlier, he was executive vice president, general manager, and national director of crisis and litigation communications at Edelman; he served in senior client management roles at J. Walter Thompson; and was a principal media spokesperson for The Prudential Insurance Company.

A frequent speaker on crisis and reputation topics, Mr. Goldberg serves on the executive committee of PRSA’s Counselors Academy and as a board member of PRSA’s New Jersey Chapter. He holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master of business administration, both from New York University.

For additional information, or to register for this event, please contact Ashlynn Gallagher, at

Geisinger to Host Session on Mako Joint-Replacement Surgery

Geisinger will host an information session on Mako joint replacement surgery on Thursday, Nov. 14, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Dunmore Community Center, 1414 Monroe Ave.

John Mercuri, M.D., a Geisinger orthopaedic surgeon who specializes in hip and knee surgery, will discuss the benefits of Mako robotic surgery and answer questions from participants. Mako procedures allow for a faster recovery time and a shorter hospital stay following surgery, and Geisinger is the exclusive provider of Mako joint-replacement surgery in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

“Mako joint-replacement surgery has been life-changing for many people in our area,” said Dr. Mercuri. “This technology helps get people back on their feet and back to their lives more quickly.”

The session is open to the public. To register, visit

About Geisinger
Geisinger is committed to making better health easier for the more than 1.5 million consumers it serves. Founded more than 100 years ago by Abigail Geisinger, the system now includes 13 hospital campuses, a 600,000-member health plan, two research centers and the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine. With 32,000 employees and 1,800 employed physicians, Geisinger boosts its hometown economies in Pennsylvania and New Jersey by billions of dollars annually. Learn more at or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

FNCB Bank Provides Grant to Township Baseball for New Scoreboard

FNCB Bank, locally based since 1910, is pleased to announce our latest project supporting the community with a $7,000 grant used to purchase a scoreboard for Township Baseball Little League in Jenkins Township.

The new scoreboard replaces one that stood for many years at the field located at 2 May St.

“We expect the new electronic scoreboard to last many years and add to an already beautiful sports complex,” said Michael Cummings, FNCB Bank Vice President, Marketing Manager.

The scoreboard donation represents part of FNCB’s larger Community Caring initiative. Through outreach programs, donations and an employee volunteer network, FNCB is committed to helping the communities they serve.

About FNCB Bank, Simply a better bank™

FNCB Bank, locally-based for over 100 years, continues as Northeastern Pennsylvania’s premier community bank — offering a full suite of personal, small business and commercial banking solutions with industry-leading mobile, online and in-branch products and services. FNCB remains dedicated to the communities they serve with an on-going mission to be: Simply a better bank™. For more information on the BauerFinancial 5-Star rated FNCB, visit

Marywood University to Hold Advocacy Day

A day dedicated to advocating for those less fortunate

 Marywood University will hold a daylong event dedicated to Advocacy on Wednesday, November 6, 2019, from 9 a.m. – 7 p.m., at various locations across the University’s campus. All of the events and simulations are free and open to the public.

Marywood University will host Jesuit Refugee Services for a sponsored refugee camp simulation known as “Walk a Mile in My Shoes” in the Latour Room at the Nazareth Student Center on campus. At the top of each hour, beginning at 9 a.m. and running through 4 p.m., participants can learn about a day in the life of a refugee. Participants will receive an identity card with the name, country of origin and background of a typical refugee. Throughout the simulation, participants will assume the role of that refugee’s daily life, including border, shelter, food, water, medical services, and education. At each station, participants encounter the everyday frustrations and hardships that refugees face. The final part of the simulation allows time for participants to reflect on their experience and to consider ways to advocate for refugee justice.

Marywood University hopes to raise awareness of the varied ways that students, staff, faculty and the community at large can learn to make a difference in our world. In addition to the “Walk a Mile in My Shoes” simulations, there will also be a Poverty Simulation, Climate Simulation, and Advocacy and Service Fair, as well as a Legislative Advocacy Workshop. The keynote speaker, Luis Canales, Esq., is a Marywood University alumnus who is now an Immigration Lawyer. Atty. Canales will share his own immigration/asylum story from 6 – 7 p.m. in the Upper Main Dining Room, at the Nazareth Student Center on the University’s campus.

For a complete schedule of events for Advocacy Day at Marywood University, please visit, or call Sister John Michele Southwick, IHM, at (570) 961-4723.

Scranton Named Among Standouts for Sustainability

The Princeton Review recognized The University of Scranton, and just 412 other colleges in the world, for expressing “strong commitments to green practices and programs” by inclusion in the 2019 edition of “The Princeton Review Guide to Green Colleges.” Most of the schools selected for the guide, which was published online in October, are in the U.S., with just 16 schools from Canada, one from Egypt and one from Greece also listed. This is the third consecutive year that Scranton has made this list.

The Princeton Review analyzed more than 25 data points to determine the final selection of colleges for the guide based on information from surveys of nearly 700 schools. The criteria broadly covered the schools’ academic offerings and initiatives, campus policies and practices, and green-career preparation for students. The colleges making the list “are standouts for their exemplary commitments to sustainability,” according to Rob Franek, The Princeton Review’s editor-in-chief.

According to Franek, college applicants and their parents are increasingly concerned about the environment and sustainability issues. He cited a solid majority (64%) of the 11,900 teens and parents that The Princeton Review polled for its 2019 College Hopes and Worries Survey as saying that having information about a college’s commitment to the environment would affect their decision to apply to or attend the school

Scranton’s long-established sustainability efforts include academics, facilities and community education and outreach. Scranton has infused issues of sustainability in courses across the curriculum, ranging from theology, to business, to the natural sciences, to education, as well as other disciplines. Scranton uses numerous “green” procedures in building maintenance practices, as well as in building design and construction. Scranton currently has three Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified buildings: Leahy Hall, the Loyola Science Center and the DeNaples Center, which became the city’s first LEED certified structure in 2008. The University also conducts multiple community educational programs organized through its Office of Sustainability, which include a community garden, an Earth Day Essay Contest, an Earth Day Fair and an Evening of Environmental Science program for area children and families.

In addition, the Sustainability Office began a Work Study Program that engages work-study students in service-learning opportunities to help them grow in knowledge practical applications of sustainability concepts taught in their classes.

In addition to its “Guide to Green Colleges,” The Princeton Review has listed Scranton in its “Best Colleges” guidebooks for 18 consecutive years, also ranking Scranton in its 2020 edition among the nation’s “Best Science Lab Facilities” (No. 7), “Best Campus Food” (No. 10), and “Best-Run Colleges” (No. 20).