WVIA Launching New Multi-Platform Current Affairs Series

For more than 50 years, WVIA has served the people of Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania by identifying and addressing the region’s most pressing needs through constructive journalism. WVIA connects viewers and listeners with resources to affect change in their neighborhoods. 

With this idea in mind, WVIA is proud to present Keystone Edition, a new multi-platform public affairs series.

Keystone Edition facilitates a conversation among viewers, change agents, and visionaries who impact their communities while providing an accurate portrayal of socially relevant topics from multiple perspectives.

“This weekly, half-hour, multi-platform series goes beyond the headlines to offer thoughtful insights and perspectives, with the thorough attention to detail and authenticity viewers expect from public television,” said Carla McCabe, WVIA President, and CEO. “There has never been a more important time to stay in touch with current affairs and we want to encourage audience engagement, that is why the multi-platform approach is key.”

Keystone Edition will air live Thursday nights at 8 p.m. on WVIA TV starting October 1st. The series will feature four “editions” each month: Reports, Business, Arts, and Health. Viewers can join in the conversation by emailing keystone@wvia.org before the show, online on WVIA’s social channels, or by calling 1-800-326-9842 during the show.

Keystone Edition Reports will air the first Thursday of each month featuring WVIA’s Larry Vojtko as moderator. Vojtko will lead discussions that will explore issues like poverty, child welfare, 

homelessness, education, and the effect of COVID-19 on our region. The topic of the first episode is Voting in 2020: What You Need to Know

Keystone Edition Business premieres on Thursday, October 8th at 8 p.m on WVIA. Moderator Kris Jones (Entrepreneur/Author) will talk with entrepreneurs, executives, creators, and consumers to get their insights on what it takes to make it in today’s modern marketplace while examining an array of topics including workforce development, professional advancement, startup culture, new technology, and regional commerce. The topic of the October premiere is The Future of Working from Home.

Keystone Edition Arts will premiere on Thursday, October 15th at 8 p.m. on WVIA. Witness first-hand the creativity of Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania as WVIA Radio senior producer and classical music host, Erika Funke convenes area artists, musicians, performers, authors, and their audiences. Erika will explore how members of the arts community have had to adapt and examine their visions for what the future holds in our changing world. The first episode will cover the State of the Arts During the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Finally, Keystone Edition Health will premiere on Thursday, October 22nd with Tonyehn Verkitus (Executive Director of the Lackawanna and Luzerne County Medical Societies) serving as moderator. Verkitus will address the issues that are important to the people in our community, including the ongoing pandemic, concerns about vaccines, food deserts, childhood trauma and child abuse, environmental issues, and the rising cost of staying healthy with leaders and experts who are making a positive impact in our region. The first episode will talk about the social determinants of health in the region.

“Guided by research from The Institute for Public Policy & Economic Development and ideas from a volunteer editorial advisory panel, including veteran journalists throughout the region, Keystone Edition explores important topics in economic development, community affairs, education, workforce development, business, public health, organized labor, climate change, arts and culture, all with a goal of improving the quality of life in our region,” said Ben Payavis II, WVIA’s Chief Content Officer.

To learn more about Keystone Edition on WVIA, visit wvia.org/keystone.

Keystone Edition will air live on WVIA TV Thursdays at 8 p.m.; it will simultaneously stream online at wvia.org as well as on WVIA’s social channels. Viewers can watch rebroadcasts of the episodes Saturdays at 6:30 p.m. and Sundays at noon on WVIA TV and on-demand anytime on the WVIA app.

Listen to the Keystone Edition radio broadcast Sundays at 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on WVIA Radio 89.9 FM, or stream individual stories any time at wvia.org/keystone.

Psychiatrist Vinod, M.D., Joins The Wright Center for Community Health

Vinod Sharma, M.D., a board-certified psychiatrist, has joined The Wright Center for Community Health to treat both children and adults.

At The Wright Center, Dr. Sharma will provide consultations and evaluations to develop behavioral health and medicinal care plans that help patients suffering from depression, anxiety and various mental illnesses and disorders. Additionally, Dr. Sharma will serve as physician-faculty for resident doctors and fellows training with The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education, giving clinical guidance to physicians-in-training that integrates mental and behavioral health with primary medical care.

A graduate of Government Medical College, Amritsar, Punjab, India, Dr. Sharma completed his general psychiatry residency at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock, Texas. He also completed a fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, Springfield, Illinois.

Dr. Sharma is a member of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and the American Psychiatric Association. He is fluent in English, Hindi and Punjabi. Dr. Sharma is accepting both children and adults as psychiatric patients at The Wright Center’s Mid Valley Practice, 5 S. Washington Ave., Jermyn, which is open 365 days a year, and its Scranton Practice, 501 S. Washington Ave. To schedule an appointment, call 570-230-0019

Cancer Institute Celebrates Annual Cancer Survivors Day Virtually

The Northeast Regional Cancer Institute’s 28th Annual Cancer Survivors Day- Honoring, Remembering, Sharing has moved to a virtual program this year due to the pandemic.
Our theme is Be A Part – Apart. We will feature cancer survivors, caregivers, family members, healthcare providers and physicians’ stories on our website and social media pages. Community members can be a part of our virtual Survivors Day by sending a photo, video, and/ or written testimonial of their story. 

This is your opportunity to give or receive inspiration from the community. Distance between us shouldn’t put an end to support and togetherness. 

For more information, go to www.cancernepa.org or call the Northeast Regional Cancer Institute at (570) 941-7984.  

PennDOT Resumes Issuance of REAL ID

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced that it has resumed issuing REAL IDs at reopened Driver License Centers offering driver license services throughout the state.

PennDOT paused REAL ID issuance throughout the state in March 2020 out of an abundance of caution and in the interest of public health, due to COVID-19. Additionally, the federal Department of Homeland Security postponed the enforcement date for REAL ID from October 1, 2020 to October 1, 2021 in response to COVID-19 and the national emergency declaration.

REAL ID is optional in Pennsylvania.

There is no requirement that any resident obtain a REAL ID; PennDOT continues to offer standard-issue driver’s licenses and photo IDs.

REAL ID is a federal law that affects how states issue driver’s licenses and ID cards if they are going to be acceptable for federal purposes. A federally-acceptable form of identification (whether it’s a Pennsylvania REAL ID driver’s license or ID card, a valid U.S. Passport/Passport Card, a military ID, etc.) must now be used on and after October 1, 2021 as identification to board a commercial flight or visit a secure federal building that requires a federally acceptable form of identification ID for access.

Customers can obtain a REAL ID by presenting documents for verification and processing at any driver license center. Federal regulations require that to be issued a REAL ID-compliant product, PennDOT must verify the below documents:

  • Proof of Identity: Examples include original or certified copy of a birth certificate filed with the State Office of Vital Records/Statistics with a raised seal/embossed or valid, unexpired, U.S. Passport;
  • Proof of Social Security Number:  Social security card, in current legal name;
  • Two Proofs of Current, Physical PA Address: Examples include a current, unexpired PA driver’s license or identification card, vehicle registration or a utility bill with the same name and address; and  
  • Proof of all Legal Name Changes (if current legal name is different than what is reflected on proof of identity document): Examples include a certified marriage certificate(s) issued by the County Court for each marriage, court order(s) approving a change in legal name or amended birth certificate issued by the State Office of Vital Records/Statistics. If current name is the same as what is reflected on proof of identity document (usually birth certificate or passport), a customer does not need to show proof of legal name changes.

Customers have three options for obtaining a REAL ID product: Customers may order their REAL ID online if they have been pre-verified and their REAL ID product will be mailed to them within 15 business days; they can visit any PennDOT Driver’s License Center that is open for driver license services, have their documents verified and imaged, and their REAL ID product will be mailed to them within 15 business days; or they can visit one of 12 REAL ID Centers and receive their REAL ID product over the counter at the time of service.

For a full list of opened driver license centers and their services, please visit the PennDOT Driver and Vehicle Services website.

When a customer gets their first REAL ID product, they will pay a one-time fee of $30, plus a renewal fee (current renewal fee is $30.50 for a four-year non-commercial driver’s license and $31.50 for a photo ID). The expiration date of their initial REAL ID product will include any time remaining on their existing non-REAL ID product, plus an additional four years, unless the customer is over 65 and has a two-year license. This expiration date structure means that the customer won’t “lose” time that they’ve already paid for. After the initial REAL ID product expires, the customer will pay no additional fee, beyond regular renewal fees, to renew a REAL ID product.

Since March 1,2019, PennDOT has processed about 4 million customers, with more than 912,000 individuals choosing to opt in to the REAL ID program.

More info about document requirements for REAL ID, including a printable document checklist, can be found on the Document Check page of the PennDOT Driver and Vehicle Services website.

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.

Johnson College’s Continuing Education Program to Offer 285 Hour Computer Numerical Control Training

Johnson College’s Continuing Education Program’s 285 hour non-credit certificate Computer Numerical Control training will begin on Monday, October 5, 2020 and will run Mondays through Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 10:15 p.m. on the Johnson College campus in Scranton. To learn more or enroll call 570-702-8979 or email continuinged@johnson.edu.

The training is designed for individuals looking to enter the high-demand machining field and will cover the theory and hands-on practice of both conventional and high-demand machining field. Students will learn blueprint reading, and math with an emphasis on the use of metals and the stresses placed upon them.

Johnson College’s Continuing Education Program distinguishes itself from the College’s 2-year degree programs and certificate courses by providing its adult students the opportunity to improve their skills to stay ahead of the competition, learn new technologies, and advance in their current career. The Continuing Education courses, many taught by industry professionals, are utilized and recognized by industry partners because they’re developed in partnership with industry. Johnson College strategizes with and listens to its partners when creating the most effective hands-on continuing education curriculum and programs. Some courses are specifically customized toward industry partners’ workforce needs in reducing possible skills gaps and industry requirements. Johnson College also assists individual students and industry partners in obtaining funding or grants so their continuing education courses are cost effective. Learn more about Johnson College’s Continuing Education Program at Johnson.edu/continuing-education.

For additional information on Johnson College, please call 1-800-2-WE-WORK, email enroll@johnson.edu, or visit Johnson.edu.

Hybrid Take-home and Virtual Programs for Children and Young Adults Offered by the Everhart Museum

Although the Everhart Museum is now open to the public; in-person programs are still not possible due to CDC and State restrictions. Accommodating the current environment, the staff has pivoted all educational programs to hybrid take-home kits and virtual platforms, all inspired by the Museum’s collection.

On Saturday, October 10 and running through Saturday, November 21, there will be two programs, one for those in kindergarten through fourth grade and the second for fifth through eighth-graders. Each program will run for seven weeks and consist of seven live open studio sessions and a take-home kit with all of the art supplies necessary to complete the program.

The students participating in the Everhart Minis will become Mini Masters by the end of the seven weeks, themed “Still Life Selt & Scene.” Everhart Juniors is an advanced museum art course for teens and pre-teens. Students will learn various art techniques and will have a better understanding of the cultural and historical context of each artwork they view. The fall sessions will be themed “Impressionism: Place & Home.”

“The programs offered this fall have great potential to enrich arts learning at home,” said Stefanie Colarusso, Director of Programs. “The minis and juniors classes will provide students with the technical skills needed to create a work of art, and the expression lab is a safe space for all learners to express themselves through active arts learning.”

In partnership with Marywood University Art Therapy Department , the Everhart Museum has created the Creative Expression Lab , inspiring kindergarten through six grade artists to express creativity and imagination and explore social and emotional growth . Weekly themes will integrate social and emotional concepts such as empathy, respect, understanding of one’s emotions, and developing positive social interactions. The Creative Expression Lab is hosted by Dr. Ashley Hartman, Assistant Professor of Art Therapy, a board-credentialed art therapist (ATR-BC) and licensed professional counselor (LPC) . Art therapists and students from Marywood University’s Art Therapy Program will participate in developing and co-facilitating Studio Sessions.

Virtual 90-minute Creative Expression Studio Sessions will take place Saturday afternoons October 10, October 17, October 24, October 31, November 7, November 14, and November 21. Studio sessions will be held for kindergarten through third grade artists from 1:00p-2:30p and for fourth through sixth grade artists from 2:30p-4:00p.

Registration is now open, and the deadline is September 25, 2020 . Member pricing is $35, and non-members are $40. Kits are unique to the Everhart Museum and can be shipped outside of Lackawanna County. To Register, visit “LEARN” on the Everhart Museums website at www.everhart-museum.org and click the link for member or non-member pricing.

Everhart Museum launches CultureConnect . Museum-goers from home can access rich content about the Everhart Museum’s permanent collection, temporary exhibitions, and educational program highlights. Listen to guided audio tours, view objects and artworks from the Museum’s extensive collection of natural history and art, and explore educational content using the Museum’s interactive mobile guide and interactive website. The Everhart Museum Culture Connect Mobile Guide App will downloadable through GooglePlay or the App Store in September 2020.

The Wright Center for Community Health Welcomes New Certified Registered Nurse Practitioners

Two certified registered nurse practitioners with more than 35 years combined experience in general nursing and acute patient care have joined The Wright Center for Community Health to provide primary care to people of all ages.

Drums resident Christine Wysocky joins The Wright Center’s Wilkes-Barre practice at 250 Old River Road. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing from Misericordia University, where she is currently a doctoral candidate scheduled for completion in December. Wysocky is a board-certified registered nurse practitioner and a member of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. She most recently worked as a registered nurse in the general cardiovascular intensive care unit of Wilkes-Barre General Hospital.

At The Wright Center, Wysocky will see infant, adolescent, adult and geriatric patients. To schedule an appointment with Wysocky at the Old River Road Wilkes-Barre practice, call 570-826-5038.

Scranton resident Kelly M. Worsnick joins The Wright Center’s Clarks Summit practice, 1145 Northern Blvd., South Abington Twp. She earned her associate and bachelor’s degrees in nursing from The Pennsylvania State University, and her master’s degree as a family nurse practitioner from Misericordia University. Worsnick is a board-certified registered nurse practitioner and member of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, the Nurse Practitioners of Northeastern Pennsylvania, and the Emergency Nurse Association. She most recently served as director of emergency services at Regional Hospital of Scranton.

At The Wright Center, Worsnick will provide family practice care to patients of all ages. To schedule an appointment with Worsnick at the Clarks Summit practice, call 570-585-1300.

Archbald, Carbondale, Old Forge, Olyphant and Scranton to Participate in the 2020 Child Passenger Safety Enforcement Mobilization

As part of National Child Passenger Safety Week, which runs from September 20 through September 26, the (Archbald, Carbondale, Old Forge, Olyphant and Scranton Police Departments), Buckle Up PA, and the PA Traffic Injury Prevention Project today announced they will partner in an enforcement mobilization to help reduce child injuries and fatalities. The mobilization, which takes place from September 13 through September 26, 2020, will also highlight National Seat Check Saturday on September 26.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for children. Every 32 seconds in 2018, one child under the age of 13 in a passenger vehicle was involved in a crash. Approximately one-third (33%) of children under 13 killed in passenger vehicles were not restrained in car seats, booster seats, or seat belts. In passenger cars, child safety seats reduce the risk of fatal injury by 71 percent for infants and by 54 percent for toddlers. The best protection for all vehicle occupants is to ensure that everyone is properly restrained using age- and size-appropriate car seats, booster seats, or seat belts.

Motorists are reminded that Pennsylvania’s primary seat-belt law requires any occupant younger than 18 to buckle up when riding in a vehicle. Children under the age of two must be secured in a rear-facing car seat, and children under the age of four must be restrained in an approved child safety seat. Children must ride in a booster seat until their eighth birthday.

Drivers and front-seat passengers 18 years-old or older are also required to buckle up. If motorists are stopped for a traffic violation and are not wearing their seat belt, they can receive a second ticket and second fine.

Archbald, Carbondale, Old Forge, Olyphant and Scranton Police will join other departments and highway safety partners across the state to provide child passenger safety information, presentations, provide fitting stations and, if necessary, write citations. Police will also use Traffic Enforcement Zones, which combine enforcement patrol and checkpoint tactics on roadways with high numbers of unbuckled crashes. Citations will be issued to motorists who are caught transporting unrestrained children. 

For more information on seat belt safety, visit www.PennDOT.gov/Safety.