The Wright Center to Host Trunk-N-Treat

The Wright Center for Community Health is hosting its annual “Trunk-N-Treat” celebration in multiple locations for all children and families of the region.

Saturday, Oct. 30 at 4 p.m. at its Hawley Practice, 103 Spruce St., Hawley.

Friday, Oct. 29 at 5:30 p.m. at its Mid Valley Practice, 5 S. Washington Ave., Jermyn.

The free safe trick-or-treating event enables children and their families to participate in the annual Halloween tradition in a safe and socially-distanced manner during the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID masking will be required for everyone who participates in the event. Physicians, administration, staff and board members will decorate their vehicles and distribute candy and healthy treats to children who participate in the annual program.

Participate in the Electric City Trolley Museum Trim-a-Tree Challenge

This holiday season the staff of The Electric City Trolley Museum is inviting a team of students of your choice plus an adult coordinator to participate in our 5th annual Electric City “Trim-a-Tree” Challenge.

Our Plan is to provide undecorated trees for your group to trim with your own decorations following a theme. This year’s theme is “Popular Board Games”. Clear light, 7-7.5 foot pre-lit trees will be available for trimming starting November 1st through November 24th. All participating students will receive a gift certificate for two for our 2022 season.

Cash prizes will be issued for 1st, 2nd, 3rd and honorable mention.
1st place: $275 gift card
2nd place: $225 gift card
3rd place: $175 gift card
Honorable Mention: $125 gift card

Winners will be determined by our visitors’ votes for their favorite tree. Participating school may collect money on their own at $1 per vote and/or encourage family, friends and school personnel etc. to come enjoy our museum plus all the trees at $2 admission and vote for their favorite tree. All participants and their families and friends are invited to a reception held in our museum on Thursday December 30th from 2 to 3 p.m. during which time all winners will be announced and gift certificates will be distributed.

Space for this event is limited so reservations are required. We will begin taking reservations on October 1st. If interested, please contact us with any questions and to reserve a tree. Reservations should be made no later than October 31st. Our museum is open 7 days a week from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Phone: 570-963-6590

Payroll Preparation Tax Calculator

The City of Scranton and Scranton School District have taken steps to eliminate the Business Privilege and Mercantile (BPM) taxes for 2022, in favor of a Payroll Preparation Tax (PPT).

While only select businesses are subject to the BPM taxes, the PPT will be applied more broadly to entities doing business in the City of Scranton.

By law, this transition must be revenue neutral – which means neither taxing body can generate more total revenue than what is collected under the BPM from the previous year. For some businesses this will result in a decrease in tax liability, while others will see an increase.

If fully approved, beginning in January 2022, the PPT will be imposed on a percentage of a business’s total payroll—at a rate of 0.002786775 by the City and 0.008064 by the School District. Likewise, all BPM liabilities will be eliminated.

Learn more about the details of this proposed action here.

To estimate your anticipated PPT liability, use the calculator below.*

*Please note, calculator is for estimation purposes only.

Johnson College Awarded Scholarship by Villa Capri Cruisers Car Club

The Villa Capri Cruisers Car Club, Inc. awarded $1,000 scholarship to be given to a Johnson College Automotive Technology student. Front row, left to right: Karen Baker, Senior Director of College Advancement; Villa Capri President Joe Carra; Dr. Katie Leonard, Johnson College President & CEO; Mike Macedonia. Back row, left to right: Dave Thomas, Patty Valvano, Frank Valvano, Nick Tielli, Mike Greenstein, and Charlie Leavesley.

The Villa Capri Cruisers Car Club, Inc. awarded a $1,000 scholarship to be given to a Johnson College Automotive Technology student. This year marks the 11th year for the scholarship by the club, which raises funds through donations, volunteer work, sponsorships, and annual calendar sales.

Johnson College’s two-year Automotive Technology associates degree program prepares students as entry-level technicians in the automobile and diesel industries. Graduates can work for employers in the automotive career fields of automotive, truck, farm, and earthmoving equipment dealerships; truck, power generation, and construction companies; automotive service centers; engine repair/machine shops; automotive equipment distributors; independent service garages; automotive parts manufacturers; sales representation; and auto insurance companies.

Gunn-Mowery, LLC Hires Two New Employees

Gunn-Mowery, LLC is pleased to welcome Samantha Hanlon and Kate Bear to the Gunn-Mowery, LLC team!

Samantha  Hanlon

Samantha joins the Gunn-Mowery team as a Personal Lines Assistant. In her role as a Personal Lines Assistant, Sam uses her skills to analyze the needs of our clients and recommend the best coverage for their specific needs. Sam graduated from Millersville University with a degree in Business Management. Upon joining the Upside she has successfully obtained her Property & Casualty license. Prior to starting her career in Insurance, Sam worked in the service industry for twenty years.

Learn more about Samantha Hanlon by visiting her Meet the Team page on our website.

Kate Bear

Kate joins the Gunn-Mowery team as an Employee Benefits Specialist. As an Employee Benefits Specialist, Kate is responsible for servicing a designated group of customers, providing support to account executives and assisting with implementing and renewing group employee benefit plans. Kate started her career in the insurance industry right after high school where she obtained her Property & Casualty, Life and Health licenses. For the past 6 years, she worked at agencies in Maryland learning the ins and outs of Employee Benefits.

Learn more about Kate Bear by visiting her Meet the Team page on our website.

PennDOT Honors Star of Excellence Recipients

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) Secretary Yassmin Gramian recognized 32 PennDOT employees for their outstanding performance with the Star of Excellence Award, PennDOT’s highest recognition.  Two employees from PennDOT’s District 4-0 which represents Lackawanna, Luzerne, Pike, Susquehanna, Wayne, and Wyoming counties were among the honorees.

“These employees represent the incredible people on the PennDOT team,” Gramian said. “With a focus on innovation, customer service, mobility and connectivity, they work tirelessly each day to provide safe and efficient transportation for Pennsylvania’s residents.”

Gramian and other department executives honored winners Lonell Shalkowski and Dawn Kidder during a virtual ceremony.

“Both Loni and Dawn have truly excelled in their service to the travelling public in northeast Pennsylvania.  They are both stars within our organization and work at a very high level everyday” said Richard Roman, District Executive for PennDOT Engineering District 4, based in Dunmore.

Loni has been the lead of the District Maintenance Permit Task Force since 2019. The District Maintenance Permit Task Force is a district-wide initiative where a group of engineers focus on the design and submission of maintenance permits to reduce the District’s priority bridge items.

The success of the District Maintenance Permit Task Force requires open, proactive communications between the Design, Construction and Maintenance Divisions to ensure priority bridge items are addressed in a cost-effective and timely manner. This success is also bolstered by the rapport Loni has built with the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to expedite the review and approvals for priority item permits.

Loni’s leadership in setting priorities and giving direction to the team members has increased the level of service to the county bridge/maintenance forces and has improved the communication between the District Office and County Managers.

Dawn is a Roadway Programs Manager in the Maintenance Division for Engineering District 4-0. Dawn’s work ethic and dedication to getting the job done truly sets her apart and makes her a valuable asset to the Department. She is hard working, dependable, and dedicated to the Department. Dawn creates a positive work environment where teamwork is encouraged and valued. She is a true leader and an outstanding co-worker.

Dawn filled the void created when Wayne County’s Roadway Programs Coordinator (RPC) retired and kept the county moving forward.

Dawn is the embodiment of ideal customer service and an exemplary representative of PennDOT. When dealing with difficult situations Dawn always stays calm. Even with all the extra duties Dawn has taken on, she never waivers and always delivers information on time and accurately. She is a role model to all and leads by example. She is an asset to the Department.

The Star of Excellence Awards are presented annually to employees who represent the department’s values of service, performance, and integrity. The recipients represent a variety of organizational positions, spanning from highway maintenance and driver and vehicle services workers, to traffic control specialists, communications staff and design and engineering specialists.

For more information on PennDOT activities in Lackawanna, Luzerne, Pike, Susquehanna, Wayne, and Wyoming visit 

Mohegan Sun Arena to Host Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Benefit Griffin Pond Animal Shelter

Larry Magid Entertainment Group along with 98.5 KRZ and WNEP-TV are proud to welcome the multi-platinum, progressive rock group, Trans-Siberian Orchestra (TSO) when they return to Wilkes-Barre for their 2021 North American tour!

TSO will perform two spectacular shows at 3 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 21, at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza, 255 Highland Park Blvd., Wilkes-Barre Twp. Tickets for both shows are on sale now with a portion of the ticket proceeds benefitting Griffin Pond Animal Shelter courtesy of TSO and 98.5 KRZ.

Tickets can be purchased online at

Ticketmaster: or

98.5 KRZ:

Tickets also are available at the Mohegan Sun Arena Box Office.

This year’s long-awaited TSO tour celebrates the 25th anniversary of the group’s landmark album Christmas Eve and Other Stories, the 3x certified platinum album that launched the group to superstardom and spawned the bring-the-whole-family rock holiday tradition.

For more information, please contact Jackie Galvin, M.S., development and communications director, at 570-586-3700 ext. 522 or

The University of Scranton Fall Lecture in the Humanities Set for Oct. 21

Columba Stewart OSB (@ColumbaStewart) | Twitter

Father Columba Stewart, O.S.B., executive director of the Hill Museum and Manuscript Library (HMML) at St. John’s University, will deliver The University of Scranton’s Fall Lecture in the Humanities on Thursday, Oct. 21, at 5 p.m. in the Moskovitz Theater of the DeNaples Center. He will present “Recovering the voices of our ancestors: preserving the world’s endangered manuscript heritage.”

The University will bestow an honorary degree upon Father Stewart at the lecture, which is open to members of the University community and invited guests.

“Through his drive and initiative, Father Columba has rescued, saved, digitally archived and shared with the world ancient religious texts that were in jeopardy of being lost forever,” said Rev. Joseph G. Marina, S.J., president of The University of Scranton. “We are delighted to recognize his lifelong commitment both to the Church and to the preservation of the world’s religious history by bestowing upon him an honorary degree.”

Father Stewart was named HMML’s sixth executive director in 2003. In that role, he travels extensively throughout the Middle East, Africa, Eastern Europe and South Asia cultivating relationships with communities possessing manuscript collections from the early medieval to early modern periods. Although HMML’s original efforts targeted primarily Christian collections in various European locations, under Father Stewart’s leadership, HMML’s non-European manuscript preservation projects have increased from one project in Lebanon to projects located in more than a dozen countries. During this time, HMML has photographed tens of thousands of manuscripts in many of the world’s most dangerous and difficult-to-reach places and given priority to preserving the manuscript collections of persecuted or endangered minorities.

“Father Columba believes it is important to preserve these early Christian and interreligious and intercultural documents, manuscript and artifacts from our past because they help us understand not only those specific societies and cultures, but also because they help us understand more fully our connectedness as human beings,” said Gretchen J. Van Dyke, Ph.D., associate professor of political science at The University of Scranton, who first met Father Stewart when she was a Resident Scholar at the Collegeville Institute for Ecumenical and Cultural Research in Collegeville, Minnesota, during the 2018-2019 academic year.

Since 2003, Father Stewart has secured more than $11 million in funding from leading private foundations and government agencies, including the Arcadia Fund, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Henry Luce Foundation, Institute of Museum and Library Services, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. These funders have fueled HMML’s increased field operations and supported the creation and expansion of HMML’s online platform, the largest and most comprehensive digital collection of manuscripts ever created. The online collections are available to registered users to browse through tens of thousands of manuscripts at no cost. Under his leadership HMML also completed a record-setting capital campaign in 2017 that raised more than $20 million to support HMML’s digital manuscript preservation goals and renovate HMML’s facilities in Collegeville.

Under his leadership, HMML was awarded the 2011 National Medal of Honor from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the highest award a library can receive in the United States. Father Stewart was named by the NEH as the 2019 Jefferson Lecturer in the Humanities, the highest honor the federal government confers for distinguished intellectual achievement in the humanities.

Fr. Columba has been featured on many national and international media outlets, including the CBS News program 60 Minutes, BBC World News, PBS’s Religion and Ethics Newsweekly as well as in The Economist, Harvard Magazine, Smithsonian Magazine, NEH’s Humanities Magazine, The Wall Street Journal and The Chronicle of Higher Education. In December 2019, he wrote a cover story for America specifically highlighting the long Benedictine determination to preserve ancient texts around the world.

Father Stewart has published extensively in his research field of early Christian monasticism and is much in demand as a presenter and lecturer. He has received numerous grants and fellowships for his own scholarship, including being named a Guggenheim Fellow and a resident member of the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, among others.

Father Stewart earned his bachelor’s degree from Harvard College and his master’s degree from Yale University. After further studies at Saint John’s University School of Theology, he earned his D.Phil. from the University of Oxford, England. He professed vows as a Benedictine monk of Saint John’s Abbey, Collegeville, in 1982 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1990. In 1989, he joined the faculty of the graduate School of Theology and undergraduate Department of Theology at Saint John’s University. He also currently serves as the Benedictine in residence at the Collegeville Institute.