WWE Friday Night Smackdown at Mohegan Sun Arena

WWE is back on the road! For one night only, see your favorite SMACKDOWN superstars LIVE in Wilkes-Barre at the ASM Global managed Mohegan Sun Arena on Friday, October 29th at 7:45pm.

Universal Champion Roman Reigns and SMACKDOWN Tag Team Champions The Usos will battle Finn Balor and The Street Profits! Plus see SMACKDOWN Women’s Champion Becky Lynch, Bianca Belair, Seth Rollins and many more! *Card subject to change.

Tickets start at $20 (plus fees) and go on sale Friday, October 1st at 10am online at Ticketmaster.com or in person at the NBT Bank Box Office at Mohegan Sun Arena.

For more information, please visit www.wwe.com

Homers That Help Campaign to benefit Wyoming Valley Challenger Baseball

Minor League Baseball™ has announced the creation of a charitable component to Triple-A Baseball’s Final Stretch, the 10-game close of the 2021 season, that will benefit a 501(c)3 charity in each Triple-A city. For each home run hit by Triple-A teams (home and road games) during the Triple-A Final Stretch, Minor League Baseball will donate $50 per home run to a local charity selected by the team.

Wyoming Valley Challenger Baseball has been tabbed as the benefactor of each home run that the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders hit during the final 10 games of 2021.

In addition to the $50 per home run donation, the Triple-A team that hits the most home runs over the upcoming 10-game span will generate an extra $5,000 donation for their charity.

“Minor League Baseball teams have long been great community partners, and we are pleased to make a donation to each of these local charities on behalf of our Triple-A teams for their performance during the Triple-A Final Stretch,” said Major League Baseball’s Vice President, Minor League Operations and Development, Peter Woodfork. “These charities provide a variety of valuable services to their community, and it is our honor to recognize their efforts.”

“The yearly support we have received from the Scranton/Wilkes Barre RailRiders has been remarkable and such a huge boost for our organization,” said Larry Wills, President of Wyoming Valley Challenger Baseball. “I would really like to thank the front office staff and players for the continued support and all that they do for these incredible kids. Now… Let’s swing for the fences!”
The RailRiders host the Syracuse Mets from September 22 through 26 before traveling to Rochester from September 29 through October 3 for their Final Stretch. Tickets are available at swbrailriders.com.

The University of Scranton Named Among Top Colleges in America

Forbes ranked The University of Scranton among “America’s Top Colleges” for the 13th year. Scranton is the only college in Northeast Pennsylvania to be named among the 600 elite colleges listed in the 2021 ranking, which was published online on Sept. 8. Scranton, ranked No. 425, was among just 35 colleges in Pennsylvania that Forbes selected as “America’s Top Colleges.”

The ranking by Forbes analyzed “outputs” of a college education, weighting alumni salaries at one to four years and 10 years after graduation the most at 20 percent of their overall score. The methodology used by Forbes also looked at graduation rates (15 percent), student debt (15 percent) and the number of alumni making the Forbes “American Leaders” lists (15 percent), such as its “Forbes 400” and “Richest Self-Made Women” lists, as well as alumni who won national and international awards or positions, such as winners of the Nobel Prize and graduates who are members of the Supreme Court. Forbes also rated retention rate (10 percent), academic success (10 percent), as measured by alumni winning prestigious academic scholarships, such as Fulbright and Truman scholarships, and a “return on investment” measurement (15 percent), which calculates the time it takes for students to pay their college debt based on the “post-enrollment earnings boost students get compared their typical salary of a high school graduate in their state.”

Also in September, U.S. News & World Report ranked Scranton No. 5 among the “Best Regional Universities in the North” in the 2022 edition of their “Best Colleges” guidebook, marking the 28th consecutive year that U.S. News ranked Scranton among the top 10 universities in its category. U.S. News also ranked Scranton No. 14 in its category in its “Best Undergraduate Teaching” listing of the top colleges in the nation expressing “a strong commitment to undergraduate teaching;” No. 45 as a “Best Value Regional University in the North;” and No. 138 in its category in “Top Performers on Social Mobility.” In national rankings, U.S. News ranked Scranton No. 166 among America’s “Best Undergraduate Business Programs;” No. 185 among “Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs;” and No. 148 among the nation’s “Best Undergraduate Nursing Programs.”

Marywood to Offer Free, Confidential Depression Screenings

Marywood University’s Psychological Services Center (PSC) will offer free and confidential depression screenings as part of National Depression Screening Day on Thursday, October 7, 2021, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., at the Psychological Services Center, located in the McGowan Center for Professional Studies. No appointment is necessary, the screenings are free and open to the public, and people of all ages are welcome.

Held annually, National Depression Screening Day (NDSD) raises awareness and screens people for depression and related mood and anxiety disorders. The screenings are anonymous and confidential, and no commitment is necessary.

Treatment options for depression will be offered. For additional information on National Depression Screening Day at Marywood University, please contact the Psychological Services Center, at (570) 348-6269, or visit the Center’s web page, at www.marywood.edu/psc.

Johnson College Announces New Two-Year Associates Degree Program

Students can enroll in Johnson College’s new two-year Civil Design Technology associates degree program launching during the spring 2022 semester.

This two-year associate degree program prepares students as entry-level technicians in the field of civil engineering. This program provides the foundation for applying basic engineering principles and technical skills to support civil engineers engaged in designing and executing public works projects such as highways, dams, bridges, tunnels, and other facilities. The program also emphasizes professional interpersonal skills.

Students will acquire the skills necessary to obtain an entry-level position in the civil design field, which has a 3% growth potential through 2029 per the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  They will also demonstrate professional behavior and ethics to meet work challenges and develop critical thinking and decision-making skills.

Graduates will work as civil designers, CAD technicians, survey technicians, design engineering technicians, or similar roles in the civil engineering industry and have the opportunity to make a medium annual income of up to $53,410. Typical employers in the civil design career field are civil design and engineering firms, structural engineering companies, environmental engineering firms, surveyors, consulting firms, construction companies, and government design agencies.

“The launch of the Civil Design Technology program is a great example of how Johnson College continues to answer industry demand for highly skilled technicians,” said Dr. Katie Leonard, Johnson College President & CEO. “The College will work with industry partners to ensure our Civil Design Technology students are introduced to industry from day one and get the hands-on education needed for this in-demand career.”

To learn more about Johnson College’s new Civil Design Technology Program visit Johnson.edu/civildesign.

Luzerne Bank Welcomes Three Experienced Bankers

Luzerne Bank welcomes Sara Chisdock Hogan as a new Manager of the Branch located on South Main Street in Pittston. Hogan earned her bachelor’s degree in business from East Stroudsburg University and her MBA from Wilkes University. She began her banking career in student lending working with post-secondary schools and has come to Luzerne Bank with over 10 years of retail banking and lending experience.

Luzerne Bank’s Commercial Lending Department has announced that Walter Sarafinko joined the team as Vice President of Commercial Lending and will assist the bank in expanding the commercial lending footprint into Lackawanna, Wyoming, Bradford, and Susquehanna Counties and continue the banks role as a consistent funding source for small businesses in Luzerne County. A commercial banking officer and relationship manager, Sarafinko has more that 36 years of progressive experience in the banking industry. A graduate of the Pennsylvania State University, Sarafinko has completed numerous banking certificates and diplomas, including Leadership Lackawanna and his diploma through the Pennsylvania Bankers Association Central Atlantic School of Commercial Lending with Honors.

Luzerne Bank is excited that CJ Rinaldi has accepted his new position as Commercial Lender. As a commercial banking officer and credit professional, Rinaldi has 10 years of experience in the banking industry. He will work to expand the Luzern Bank presence in Lackawanna County and continue to serve the small businesses in Luzerne County. Outside of the office he serves on the board of Day Nursery Association, as an advisor board member of Lackawanna County CASA, Advisor for Leadership Lackawanna, and a member of the Keystone Chapter of UNICO. Rinaldi is a graduate of Marywood University and has also completed the Core Program of Leadership Lackawanna.

PennDOT Announces Public Comment Period for Transportation Plans

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) today announced the launch of a Public Comment Period for the draft 2045 Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) and Freight Movement Plan (FMP). The plans are available for review through October 19, 2021. The LRTP sets an overall strategic direction for Pennsylvania’s transportation system for twenty years and the FMP reviews current and future trends in freight transportation to improve multimodal freight movement for five years.

The LRTP and FMP represent a multi-modal approach to improve mobility, safety, fairness, resilience, and sustainability for moving people and goods throughout the Commonwealth.

“For the past two years, PennDOT has been working closely with our fellow state agencies, local officials and our partners in the private sector to shape a vision for Pennsylvania’s transportation future that supports continuing economic growth and opportunity, connectivity, thriving communities, a cleaner environment and safe travel,” said PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian. “We now need Pennsylvanians to join this conversation to help us make these plans even more responsive to future public needs.”

Public and stakeholder involvement is critical to understanding the needs and concerns across the commonwealth. Pennsylvanians already provided essential feedback and perspective which is reflected in the draft plan documents. In fact, broad engagement with underrepresented interests resulted in wide-ranging feedback, so much so that a major goal and objectives specific to equity are a key part of the LRTP.

Gramian added that the value of these plans will only be as good as their implementation, and that will require sufficient funding resources during the decades ahead.

“Whether we are speaking about more efficient freight movement, modernized public transit, reduced highway congestion or increased options for bicyclists and pedestrians, these improvements are only possible with a public commitment to a sustained level of investment for years to come,” Gramian said. “How we accomplish that equitably is an important part of this conversation, too.”

PennDOT encourages the public to review the draft LRTP and FMP and to provide comments. These documents along with a comment form will be available online under Tell Us What You Think at penndot.gov/planning and at public library locations throughout the state. Any questions or concerns regarding the comment period may be sent by email to penndotplanning@pa.gov. Those without access to the internet may request printed copies by calling 717-705-1478. 

The Public Comment Period for the 2045 LRTP and FMP is in accordance with PennDOT’s Public Participation Plan, outlining opportunities for public input in statewide transportation planning and programming as required by the Code of Federal Regulations (23 CFR 450.210). All comments received will be reviewed and taken into consideration by PennDOT for inclusion in the final plans.

Anyone who requires special assistance to participate, please contact the PennDOT Bureau of Equal Opportunity at 717-787-5891.

Broadway In Scranton Open House at Masonic Temple

This week, for three days only, Broadway In Scranton moves its office location to the Scranton Cultural Center at the Masonic Temple (420 N. Washington Ave.).

From Tuesday, September 28 thru Thursday, September 30, Broadway In Scranton will be hosting an Open House at the Scranton Cultural Center at the Masonic Temple.

During these three days, guests can visit the Cultural Center and purchase new season tickets in-person.  From 8A – 4P the theatre will be open and Broadway In Scranton staff will be on-site to walk patrons through the historic theatre and show them available seating options.  Patrons will be able to “test-drive” the seat locations prior to choosing and purchasing their seat(s) for the upcoming 2021-2022 Broadway In Scranton season.

“An open house provides patrons a wonderful opportunity to try out all of the available seats to get the true in-person view of the stage from the seat location” said Tom Combs from NAC Entertainment.  Combs went on to note that Broadway In Scranton has hosted open houses in prior seasons, but this time it feels much bigger and different than past years. “Having been shut down since March of 2020, the excitement and anticipation of Broadway’s return to the Cultural Center this fall is at an all time high.  The demand for season tickets is extremely robust and we expect the strong season ticket sales to continue.”

The 2021-2022 season includes Waitress, Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, South Pacific, and Cats.  Season Tickets are priced at $175, $235, $275 and $315.

Along with the four season shows, Broadway In Scranton presents three (3) specials coming to the Cultural Center this season:

RAIN – A TRIBUTE TO THE BEATLES opens its 2021 Tour in Scranton on October 6, 2021. Tickets for RAIN are now on sale.

See the international percussion sensation STOMP January 12 – 13, 2022 and the smash hit phenomenon BLUE MAN GROUP May 18-19, 2022. As a benefit for subscribers, STOMP and BLUE MAN GROUP tickets can be purchased before public on sale.

Frank Blasi, Executive Director of Broadway Theatre League of NEPA stated that the return to Scranton has been widely anticipated by the entire community.  “Our presentation of Broadway tours brings a large and diverse audience from near and far, which has a major positive economic impact on the restaurants, hotels, parking garages, and retail stores in our community. After 18 months, the community cannot wait to see theatre returning and we look forward to welcoming them back to the Scranton Cultural Center with open arms.”

For more information on the 2021-2022 Broadway In Scranton season, visit BroadwayInScranton.com or call the Broadway office at 570.342.7784.

COVID-19 Update: Please note that the Scranton Cultural Center at the Masonic Temple policy requires that masks must be worn when inside the building. 

For more information on venue policy, click here. 

Geisinger Raises Minimum Pay Rate

Geisinger is strengthening its commitment to its employees as it builds on its robust benefits packages and career development offerings by raising its minimum pay rate to $15 per hour for current and future employees, effective Sept. 26.

In addition to its competitive pay, Geisinger regularly invests in its employees by offering comprehensive employee benefits, including affordable healthcare coverage that starts on an employee’s first day of employment, contributions toward retirement, tuition reimbursement, career development programs and more.

“By investing in our Geisinger family, we’re investing in our patients, members and the communities we serve,” said Brion Lieberman, Geisinger’s chief human resources officer. “Increasing our minimum hiring rate, along with our other employee benefits, shows our ongoing commitment to our dedicated employees and increases our ability to attract talented candidates to fulfill our mission of making better health easier.”

In 2019, the health system also unveiled paid parental and military leave benefits. These benefits further supported employees by providing greater flexibility in balancing their commitment to their families and service to our country.

This most recent investment in raising the organization’s minimum wage positively impacts current employees and those joining the organization. The largest employee groups benefiting include nursing assistants, food service workers, medical assistants, and patient access representatives, among others.

To learn more about career opportunities or to apply for a job opening at Geisinger, visit jobs.geisinger.org.