WVIA to Air Special Rebroadcast of Award-Winning Documentary Film: Ubaldo

WVIA will air a special rebroadcast of the award-winning original documentary film Ubaldo on Saturday, May 23 at noon & 9 p.m., as well as on Sunday, May 24 at 2 p.m. on VIA TV.

WVIA will air a special rebroadcast of the award-winning original documentary film Ubaldo on Saturday, May 23 at noon & 9 p.m., as well as on Sunday, May 24 at 2 p.m. on VIA TV.

“In light of the announcement of the cancellation of this year’s Saint Ubaldo Festival in Jessup, PA WVIA hopes this helps the people of Northeast Pennsylvania celebrate the annual tradition safely in their homes as they anticipate the events return in 2021,” said Chris Norton, Senior Vice President of VIA Public Media.

Premiering in 2009, Ubaldo is a one-hour documentary film about a cultural festival steeped in 800 years of tradition and Italian folklore. Known as “La Festa Dei Ceri” this event can only be found in two places in the world, Gubbio, Italy, and Jessup, Pennsylvania.

Ubaldo and all other VIA original documentary films can also currently be watched anytime on-demand at wvia.org and on the PBS & VIA Apps for free as part of VIA Public Media’s response to the COVID-19 crisis.

Completion of Wi-Fi Project at Mohegan Sun Arena Announced

The Luzerne County Convention Center Authority announced today that the installation of an enterprise-grade, controller-based wireless LAN system at the ASM Global managed Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza in Wilkes-Barre Township has been completed, pending final inspection. The system will provide wireless network coverage throughout the venue including the event floor as well as outdoor coverage near the sidewalks and security checkpoints by the venue entrances.

“We are really excited to announce the completion of this project,” said Gary Zingaretti, chairman of the Luzerne County Convention Center Authority’s Board of Directors.  “It is another major upgrade, not only for our facility, but also for all of our performers and especially for all of our patrons.  We can’t wait until we can all be together again to enjoy the benefits that will come from this enhancement.

Synergistic Networks, Inc. of Wilkes-Barre provided consulting services and developed the RFP for the publicly-bid project.  In November of 2019, LCCCA awarded the contract to Turn-Key Technologies, Inc. from Sayreville, NJ. The final project cost was $762,558, which came in under the LCCCA’s approved not-to-exceed amount of $775,000. Partial funding in the amount of $126,365 for the project came from the Local Share Account (LSA) grant awarded to Luzerne County Redevelopment Authority.

“Turn-key Technologies, Inc. is proud to have completed the upgrade of the wired and wireless infrastructure at Mohegan Sun Arena,” said Robert Elgart from Turn-key Technologies, Inc. “Utilizing the most powerful wireless standard currently available, Wi-Fi 6, the patrons of Mohegan Sun Arena will now be able to experience fully immersive events and all the additional interactions with social media that were previously unsupported.”

More than 45,000 feet of cable and fiber, 3,000 feet of conduit, 191 access points and 14 network switches to power the access points and manage the network traffic were all installed during the project. Hundreds of hours went into the bid preparation, meetings, site walks, gear staging, installation and tuning of this solution.

“As a long-time technology partner of the Mohegan Sun Arena, it was our pleasure and a privilege to work side by side with the LCCCA and ASM Global in overseeing the wireless project,” said Kris Wingard, Director of Technical Services for Synergistic Networks, Inc. “Turn-key Technologies did a great job on the implementation and we are extremely excited to see the wireless system ready for use.  We can’t wait to get back to the Arena for a show or hockey game and see the system in action!”

“In addition to Turn-key Technologies, Inc., Synergistic Networks, Inc., and the Luzerne County Redevelopment Authority, we would also like to thank our venue partners at Service Electric and Pen Tele Data for helping to provide the bandwidth service and fiber connections for this project,” said Zingaretti.

Since 2017, The LCCCA has invested more than $3 million dollars in capital improvement projects to enhance the fan experience at Mohegan Sun Arena including the installation of an LED Ribbon Board and lighting system last Fall and acoustic panels and parking lot upgrades back in the Summer of 2017.

HNB Makes Milk Donations to Local Food Pantries

The Honesdale National Bank stayed local bringing farm to table by donating hundreds of dollars’ worth of milk to the Caring Community Food Pantry and Feed the Sheep Food Pantry as part of Coronavirus (COVID-19) relief.

HNB President & CEO David Raven stated, “Ensuring our local families and neighbors are able to keep food on the table is important now and always.” He continued, “We wanted to do our part to assist and wanted to do so while also supporting local businesses. Helping others is at the core of who we are and we’ll continue to make ourselves available to assist others now and always.”


The milk was purchased from Mountainside Fruit Market in Choconut, PA.

The Caring Community Food Pantry is managed by the Great Bend United Methodist Church, Route 11 (Main Street) in Great Bend. Distribution takes place most Fridays from 3:30-5:30pm. Proof of Great Bend or Hallstead residence is required. The milk was donated on May 1.

The Feed the Sheep Pantry is managed by the New Milford United Methodist Church on Church Street in New Milford. Distribution takes place on the fourth Saturday of each month from 11:00am-1:00pm with registration on the day of distribution. The milk was donated on April 24.

Marywood Student Attends Team USA Symposium

Nick Macano, Dunmore, Pa., junior exercise science major, recently attended the Team USA Symposium at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, March 8-March 11, during Marywood’s spring break. While searching for internships, Mr. Macano came across the Team USA Symposium website and registered for the event.

Mr. Macano said, “I will absolutely attend this event again next year, as it was a great opportunity to network, to gain insights into how others in the exercise science field got their starts, and it gave a lot of valuable information about how Team USA professionals train top-level athletes.”

The Team USA Symposium, which is held annually at the Colorado Springs Olympic and Paralympic Training Center, is a three-and-a-half-day event that offers attendees the opportunity to learn more about the “Team Behind the Team.” Throughout the conference, participants hear from employees of the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) and National Governing Bodies (NGBs), participate in various sport experiences, and network with staff at the career and internship fair. This annual event is the only conference of its kind that provides an in-depth look at the functions and operations of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic movements.

Prior to attending Marywood University, Mr. Macano attended Palmyra-Macedon High School, Palmyra, N.Y., and attended Finger Lakes Community College, where he began his studies in athletic training. Taking some time off between community college and entering into Marywood University, Mr. Macano said, “I found the transfer process to be an easy one. I researched colleges, visited Marywood University, met with faculty members and counselors, and as soon as I returned home, I filled out an application for admittance.”

In addition to majoring in Exercise Science at Marywood University, Mr. Macano also serves as an officer for the Exercise Science Club and works for Athletic Republic, Moosic, Pa., where he is a sports performance coach and aids high school and college athletes. He is looking forward to pursuing a career in the strength and conditioning field post-graduation.

For additional information about the Exercise Science department at Marywood University, please visit, marywood.edu/ates/exercise-science/index.html, or call the Office of Admissions at the University, at (570) 348-6234.

Crystal Lee Named 2020 Outstanding Adult Learner at Misericordia University

The Center for Adult and Continuing Education at Misericordia University recently named Crystal Lee, South Abington Township, Pa., as the 2020 Outstanding Adult Learner of the Year.

The Center for Adult and Continuing Education at Misericordia University recently named Crystal Lee of South Abington Twp., as the university’s 2020 Outstanding Adult Learner of the Year. She was one of five students recognized by the Luzerne County Council on Adult Higher Education for overcoming obstacles and demonstrating perseverance, innovation and extraordinary dedication to reach their educational goals.

Lee, a single mother of an 11-year-old daughter, works full time as a private duty home health and hospice aide, and volunteers in her community. As a part-time student at Misericordia University, she has achieved academic excellence while balancing work, education and family responsibilities. She is scheduled to receive her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree in August.

Lee attributes her decision to enroll at Misericordia University to a very persistent patient, Minnie Occhipinti, and says pursuing a degree changed her life. “At a time in my life when everything seemed like it was falling apart, she believed in me and encouraged me to complete my degree,” Lee said. “Nursing school is stressful, yet it was the crucible I needed to burn away self-doubt and change into an independent, confident and sometimes outspoken woman. I don’t take this ability to provide for my family or complete my degree for granted.

“I went to college right out of high school, but traditional higher education programs at the time were not designed for those who needed to work full time to support themselves. Misericordia is different because they have many programs designed specifically for working adults. Right from day one, I felt that Misericordia faculty were invested in my success,” she added.

One such faculty member, Catherine Luksic, M.S.N., R.N., assistant professor of nursing, described Lee as a student “who demonstrates a love of learning and a level of commitment necessary to succeed in a demanding nursing program and beyond,” in her letter of recommendation. “I consider Crystal a positive role model and an inspiration to others,” Luksic added.

Lee plans to further her education by earning a Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree and specializing in women’s health. “If we want to see positive change in this world, we need to start with helping mothers because they are the ones raising the next generation,” she stated. She noted that females of childbearing age have the highest rate of intimate partner violence, leaving many women to raise children alone.

“We can reduce this number by making it easier for single mothers like me to receive a quality education,” Lee said.

In Lackawanna County, 37 percent of children live in single parent households and in Luzerne County that number climbs to 42 percent, according to County Health Rankings from 2017. In Pennsylvania, 31 percent of single parent households live below the poverty line overall, according to spotlightonpoverty.org.

“It’s been a challenging four years – taking classes part time in the evenings and online. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without the support of my friends and family, who helped me with everything from childcare to housekeeping,” Lee said. “Many women out there don’t have the same support system I have. If we want women to succeed, we need more programs like the Women with Children program here at Misericordia.”

The Ruth Matthews Bourger Women with Children Program is one of only eight programs in the U.S. that provides housing for economically disadvantaged single mothers and their children on campus so student-mothers can complete a four-year college degree.

An active parent, Lee volunteers with a variety of her daughter’s extra-curricular activities and also spends time in service to her community. She coaches an Abington Heights Odyssey of the Mind team and volunteers at the Waverly Community House, where she assists with several annual events, including the Artisan Market and Spring Home & Garden Show.

For more information about the Center for Adult and Continuing Education at Misericordia University, please call (570) 674-6400 or visit www.misericordia.edu/cace.

Scranton Chamber Further Postpones 2020 Empower Conference, Moves Venue

As we work together to control the impact of COVID-19, leadership at The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce has decided to further postpone its Empower: Women’s Leadership Conference to Thursday, September 10, 2020, as well as move the event to Kalahari Resort in the Pocono Mountains.

The event was originally planned for April 17, then postponed to June 10. But, to ensure the continued safety of our community, the Chamber felt it best to postpone the event to later in the year, as well as move it to a venue that can better accommodate social distancing guidelines.

“The Chamber wants to ensure that the safety of our guests and staff comes first and foremost. With this, we felt it best to move our Empower Conference to a larger venue that allows us plenty of space to practice safe distancing practices, in line with CDC guidelines,” Bob Durkin, president of The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce, explains.

For continued COVID-19 updates, as well as news regarding Chamber events, visit www.ScrantonChamber.com. Register for Empower here.

Woodloch Gives Back in Multiple Ways

The COVID-19 crisis has hit the hospitality industry particularly hard, and Woodloch Pines, an all-inclusive family resort located in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains, is no exception. The property closed its doors back in mid-March with hopes to reopen on May 22, but with much still unknown, Woodloch refused to simply stand by and wait. Having been in business for 62 years, the Poconos resort has emerged triumphant from its fair share of challenges, never shying away from difficult times and always working to turn negatives into positives.

Family-owned and operated since 1958, Woodloch’s core mission is built upon treating guests and staff like “company in our homes.” Although the property remains shuttered, it has been working hard to maintain the Woodloch spirit for guests, staff and the entire community in an effort to spread light in a time of darkness. Initiatives include the following:

  • The launch of Woodloch at Home, a treasure trove of activities and games that can be accessed remotely through both the resort’s website and social media channels. Activities include tried and true guest favorites such as scavenger hunts, “Olympics,” game show and athletic contests, deejay-led dance parties and even a “Concert on the Couch” series, featuring a diverse array of talent acts performed by both guests and employees. All programming takes place digitally so that individual families can remain in the privacy of their own homes while staying connected with Woodloch’s energetic staffers as well as each other.
  • On March 21, The Woodloch Family gave each of its 950 hourly team members an additional week’s worth of wages to compensate them during the first week of shutdown from March 16 – 22.
  • The Woodloch Family hosted two separate food drives, one on March 26 and the other on April 10, where they distributed over 800 care packages to staff members. These included an assortment of items such as pasta, meat, milk, eggs, juice, canned goods, toilet paper, baked goods from the resort’s in-house bakery as well as salad greens and herb bundles from the organic farm at Woodloch’s destination spa. An additional 300 packages were donated to local Pike and Wayne County food shelters.
  • Woodloch donated all of its available N95 respirator masks to the local community hospital, Wayne Memorial. Additionally, Woodloch’s bakery distributed care packages to hospital staff, local urgent care, and local EMS on Friday, April 17.
  • Woodloch owns and operates a stand-alone restaurant, The Boat House, in downtown Hawley, PA, and they have been providing a free weekly meal to Pennsylvania State Police from the nearby Blooming Grove station.
  • As part of its new program, “Goodwill Fridays,” the family resort will host charitable acts in the community every Friday during the crisis and beyond. On May 1, Woodloch supplied four of their local volunteer fire departments with of an assortment of homemade baked goods.

“Our tagline, ‘Together is the best place to be,’ has never rang more true. We are a family here at Woodloch, and that sentiment extends not only to our staff but also to our community. When bad things happen, we want to do everything we can to offer a helping hand,” said Brad Kiesendahl, C.E.O. of Woodloch Pines. “We extend our immense thanks to all of the frontline workers out there who are working tirelessly to combat this crisis. We wish everyone health and safety and look forward to much brighter days ahead.”

To obtain more information, please visit https://www.woodloch.com/woodloch-at-home/ and https://www.woodloch.com/woodloch-in-the-community/.

Geisinger Medical Students Deliver 300 Meals to Third Shift Staff

Third-year medical students from the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine spearheaded a program to deliver hot meals to third-shift caregivers at Geisinger Community Medical Center.

Partnering with Scranton Tomorrow, a non-profit economic development organization in downtown Scranton, the students helped to organize a Meals for Medics week, which saw the purchase and delivery of more than 300 individually wrapped hot meals from local restaurants for hospital staff Thursday evening.

“Most of the people who work third shift sleep during the day and their meal choices are often limited because many restaurants are not open late,” said medical student Alyssa Muchinsky, who has worked third shift in a hospital and has seen these challenges firsthand. “They also have the responsibilities of taking care of their families and it’s easy for them to forget to take care of themselves and pack food for the late night.”

Meals were purchased from The Black Box Café, Fit AF and Mansour’s Market Café and were individually wrapped. Communal or buffet-style meals, such as pizza, make it difficult to minimize contact and social distancing protocols. Meals were distributed to healthcare professionals who are caring for patients on all floors of the hospital. The program will continue as funds are available and the students hope to provide meals to additional hospitals in the future.

For more information on Meals for Medics, or to make a contribution, visit www.scrantontomorrow.org.