Food and Fire BBQ Depot Grand Opening

Taphouse is excited to invite you to the grand opening of its 3rd location, called the Food & Fire BBQ Depot, opening on December 8, 2021! Located at the Public Market in Steamtown, Food & Fire BBQ Depot will be offering a one-of-a-kind BBQ experience in an easy grab-and-go fashion for lunch lovers! December 8th will be our official grand opening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, including members of our local chamber of commerce, local dignitaries, and members of our community.

Food & Fire BBQ ~ Taphouse originated in Binghamton, New York, and is the culmination of a dream shared by co-owners Jose Moreira, Dan Polhamus, and Jeff Tiderencel. They instantly fell in love with Northeastern Pennsylvania upon touring for expansion, and quickly found a “home” in Moosic! Their staff is experienced in providing world-class service with delicious food, great drinks, and an amazing atmosphere!

When they were met with the opportunity to expand into Scranton, they immediately jumped on board. Their passion for the food industry is unparalleled and they plan to bring the same high-quality food and service to their location at the Market in Steamtown. They will be featuring a rotating array of American-style food favorites, including hand-crafted sandwiches, their signature smoked gouda mac and cheese, mouthwatering BBQ combos and platters and so much more for those that want a taste of southern luxury, within the time frame of a lunch hour.

Food & Fire BBQ Depot at the Public Market in Steamtown is centrally located. Its location is the perfect place to purchase a gift card or order catering for your lunch meetings, office parties, holidays, or weddings!

Food & Fire BBQ ~ Taphouse’s mission is simply to provide the best quality food and service to all patrons, and they are excited to do so in the Electric City! For more information, please check them out online at

We encourage you to join us on December 8th for samplings and to celebrate our grand opening.

The Dime Bank Contributes to the Wayne County Library

Pictured: Tracy L Schwarz, System Administrator of the WLA; Jessica Kjera, Outreach Coordinator; Deborah Unflat, The Dime Bank Vice President Marketing; Melanie Seagraves, The Dime Bank Vice President and Newfoundland Area Public Library Treasurer; Stacy Gager, Assistant Vice President Deposit Operations and WCPL Board Member.

The Dime Bank recently contributed $30,000.00 to the Wayne County Public Library (WCPL) toward approved innovative educational programs. The libraries of Wayne County strive to support students in the three local school districts, as well as homeschooled students, to ensure they get the help they need to improve their grades, increase their confidence, and encourage them to expand their educational explorations.

This donation, which was made through the Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) Program, will provide funds for several programs such as Learning@theLibrary and Teen Tech@theLibrary. Both include the purchase of, Teen Health and Wellness, Learning Express Library, Core Concepts (Biology, Chemistry, Periodic Table), PowerKnowledge (Earth/Space, Physical, & Life Science), and Prenda Coding.

In addition, some of the funding is allocated for after school Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematic, and Arts programs. Along with holding enriching programs within the walls of the library, Outreach Coordinator, Jessica Kjera, heads out into the schools and the community. She teaches STEAM programs and familiarizes students/families with the awesome selection of E-resources, fun, and learning they have access to with their library card. Jessica has recently transitioned into the roll with the assistance of retiring long time outreach coordinator, Mary Fritz. Another portion of the funding supports AWE computers for K-2nd grade students and hybridization of library programs which allow libraries to do virtual as well as in person programs.

WCPL Director Tracy L. Schwarz said, “The resources provided by The Dime Bank kept families connected during the Covid shutdown and beyond. The funding helped keep and other STEAM related online resources running for families who were forced to teach their school aged students at home. It also provided a set of laptops, microphones, lighting, speakers, and all the items required for each of the seven libraries to go virtual with programs as needed. The funding helped provide Make and Take STEM and Craft kits that families could pick up and use to learn from home. Thank you! There is no way our libraries could’ve kept county families connected, nor could we have supported the schools as much as we did during the shutdown without this funding from The Dime Bank. EITC funding is vital to keep up with online resources and provide lerning and teen tech at our libraries.”

Stop in at any of the seven Wayne County Libraries to sign up for a library card to access the wide variety of free e-resources available through their website

The EITC program, which is administered by the PA Department of Community and Economic Development, provides a tax rebate program. The Dime Bank is dedicated to supporting education in our communities through the sponsorship of many different programs and venues. If you are passionate about your future, choose The Dime Bank as your financial partner. Community banking yields community benefits. For more information on The Dime Bank, visit

The Holiday Season Shines at Settlers Hospitality

Settlers Hospitality helps light up the holidays with a host of festivities that capture the magic of the season. Celebrations at The Settlers Inn, Ledges Hotel, Silver Birches, the Hawley Silk Mill and Hotel Anthracite deliver the quintessential traditions, flavors and entertainment of Christmastime in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

Candlelight Christmas, December 3 through 5, at The Settlers Inn ushers in the most wonderful time of the year. The annual event is a signature celebration and an eagerly anticipated festivity in the Pocono Mountains Lake Region. Guests are greeted with live music and décor that features natural greens, artisanal and handcrafted decorations and an offering of mulled wine or syllabub. Horse and carriage rides plus an oversized gingerbread replica of The Settlers Inn enhance the festive atmosphere. A lavish holiday meal features entree such as sirloin au poivre and garlic and thyme braised lamb shank among other delectable options. Indulgent dessert choices include peppermint pillow baked Alaska, chocolate yule log and English toffee pudding.

There are two weekends to enjoy the festivities and fineries of Winterfest Brunch at The Settlers Inn. The event December 4-5 and 11-12 features live music by Julie Eschler and harpist Kristy Chmura accompanied by a prix fixe menu of holiday inspired fare. Guests may enjoy the celebration from 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. each day.

Shoppers to the Winterfest Artisan Fair on December 11 and 12 can wrap up their gift list with the purchase of distinctive finds. Vendors fill the Hawley Silk Mill offering fine artisanal goods and unique gifts. The marketplace operates from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. each day. An outdoor ice bar at Cocoon Coffeehouse and Bakery will help get visitors in the holiday spirit. From December 10 through 12 order specialty cocktails served on a High Noon ice bar handcrafted by Sculpted Ice Works.

Set a course for The Waterfront at Silver Birches on December 12 to enjoy Breakfast with Santa. Savor a bountiful meal, take photos with Santa Claus and soak in the merriment. Purchase a gingerbread house and spend some time creating your masterpiece.

The Jolly Old Elf also makes a special appearance at Hotel Anthracite in Carbondale on December 12. Families are invited to Brunch with Santa from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. for a festive meal and an opportunity to take photos with Santa Claus.

New Year’s Eve celebrations run the gamut from elegant and intimate to laid-back and lively. There are two ways to send off 2021 at The Settlers Inn. The Undercroft provides a cozy setting for a Masquerade Ball from 8-11:30 p.m. Attendees will enjoy an elaborate farm to table meal and live music. Upstairs in the dining room, guests may linger over a special holiday menu while listening to live piano music by Dan Bradley.

Ring in 2022 in the Pioneer City. New Year’s Eve Dinner at Kōl Steakhouse features a delectable prix fixe menu from 5-10 p.m.

Celebrate New Year’s Eve with a Bash at The Waterfront at Silver Birches. A buffet meal, DJ music and dancing lead up to a balloon drop at midnight and champagne to toast the start of  2022. 

New Year’s Eve at Glass- is cool and casual. Festivities include live music by Eric Rudy, hors d’oeuvres, champagne and a special tasting menu. Enjoy early seating until 7 p.m. and late seatings after 8 p.m.

Welcome the first day of 2022 with a New Year’s Day Brunch at The Settlers Inn. The holiday meal features a prix fixe menu, live piano music and bottomless mimosas.

Beloved traditions and time-honored tastes ensure the merry making goes on this holiday season. For more information, visit

Blippi the Musical to Resume North American Tour with a Special Stop in Wilkes-Barre

Today, children’s YouTube sensation Blippi announces additional cities on the tour across North America, with a date in Wilkes-Barre on March 8th at 6pm at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. Blippi The Musical is set to bring the vivacious, energetic, and educational children’s character from the screen to the stage for an all-ages extravaganza of fun, dancing, singing and meeting amazing new friends onstage.

Tickets for Blippi The Musical go on sale Friday, December 3rd at 10am with fan club pre-sales beginning today. Tickets are available at or in person at the NBT Bank Box Office at Mohegan Sun Arena.

Fans can visit now for tour dates, ticket information and one-of-a-kind meet and greet packages. Follow Blippi The Musical social media for pre-sale access and exclusive tour content.

Blippi The Musical brings the energetic and loveable character Blippi off the screen and onto the stage with world-class production, audience engagement and amazing music. Children across the world have quickly taken to Blippi’s charismatic personality and innovative teaching lessons. In the live show they will continue to learn about the world around them while singing and dancing along with this one-of-a-kind show. In just a few years since his inception, Blippi has become a global sensation with over 34 million YouTube subscribers and one billion views per month. Blippi is also available on some of the largest premium streaming services such as Hulu, Amazon Prime, Roku, Virgin Media and Kidoodle.

In November 2020, Round Room Live and Moonbug Entertainment released the Blippi The Musical Cast Recording for download and streaming on all major music streaming platforms. The original North American Tour Cast Recording features 13 family-friendly songs from the live show. Fans can download or stream the cast recording using this link:

Geisinger Recognized for Military Employment and Support

Geisinger has been recognized for its continued support of military veterans and active service members with two recent designations. The Pennsylvania-based health organization was recognized by Military Times on its 2021 Best for Vets: Employers rankings and earned the 2022 Military Friendly® Employer designation by VIQTORY.

Both honors recognize Geisinger’s commitment and efforts to building programs and opportunities for military veterans.

“Both of these honors recognize Geisinger’s commitment to building important programs and opportunities for our military veterans in the community and beyond,” said Kim Drumgo, Geisinger’s chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer. “We know that a diverse workforce with unique experiences and backgrounds makes our team stronger, and our veterans and their family members are an important part of our Geisinger family. We honor their many sacrifices and support their career growth and health.”

To be designated a Military Friendly Employer, Geisinger was evaluated using public data sources and responses from a proprietary survey. Methodology, criteria and weightings were determined by VIQTORY with input from the Military Friendly Advisory Council of independent leaders in the higher education and military recruitment community. Final ratings were determined by combining an organization’s survey score with an assessment of the organization’s ability to meet thresholds for applicants, new hire retention, employee turnover and promotion & advancement of veterans and military employees.

For the Best for Vets ranking, Military Times collaborated with Fors Marsh Group (FMG) to update the research methodology and analysis from previous years to provide a streamlined, user-friendly survey experience for participants. All survey changes were made based on subject matter expert reviews of the survey and rigorous qualitative research, including focus groups and in-depth interviews with Military Times subscribers. FMG designed, deployed, analyzed and wrote the report for this year’s survey.

The updated survey captured the areas of greatest importance to transitioning service members, veterans and their families when looking for an employer. Recruitment and employment practices, as well as retention and support programs, were given the most weight and importance in scoring and final rankings.

“Geisinger is committed to military veterans by providing care options and career opportunities to them in their local communities,” said U.S. Army veteran Chris Grill, program manager of Military and Veterans Affairs at Geisinger. “We know that employing talented people, like those from our veteran community, contributes to our overall goal of making better health easier for our patients and members.”

Geisinger employs more than 700 active-duty service members and veterans throughout the system. As part of its commitment to the military and its veterans, Geisinger introduced a paid military leave benefit, which provides service members employed by Geisinger to be paid for time at annual trainings, encampments and drills. It also recently established military fellowship program eases the transition of active-duty service members looking to move into a civilian career. To learn more about Geisinger’s veteran programs and career opportunities, visit

3 Allied Services Facilities Earn U.S. News & World Report Best Nursing Homes Awards

3 skilled-nursing facilities operated by Allied Services Integrated Health System are among the 13% of facilities nationwide that were recently recognized as a Best Nursing Home for 2021-22 by U.S. News & World Report.  As nursing homes and facilities across the country continue to grapple with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, U.S. News remains at the forefront of providing data-driven information and guidance to help residents, families, and caregivers understand their long- and short-term care options. 

Allied Services currently provides short- and long-term rehabilitation to more than 2100 patients each year at its 5 skilled nursing and transitional rehab facilities in Scranton and Wilkes-Barre.  

The following homes earned Best Nursing Homes status by achieving ratings of “High Performing,” the highest possible rating, for Short-Term Rehabilitation and/or Long-Term Care: 

  • Allied Services Scranton Transitional Rehab Unit: Short-Term Rehabilitation 
  • Allied Services Wilkes-Barre Transitional Rehab Unit: Short-Term Rehabilitation 
  • Allied Services Center City Skilled Nursing: Long-Term Care 

U.S. News gives the designation of Best Nursing Home only to those homes that satisfy U.S. News’s assessment of the appropriate use of key services and consistent performance in quality measures.  

This is the 5th consecutive year that the Allied Services Transitional Rehab Units have received the survey’s top rating of “High Performing” for Short-Stay Rehabilitation, earning them the title of “Best Nursing Homes.” The Short-Stay Rehabilitation rating was introduced in 2018 to provide patients with a clearer view of the quality of care provided by nursing homes to short-stay patients in need of intensive rehabilitation or nursing services before they return home after a surgery, stroke, accident or illness. 

“As a non-profit health system, we have made it a priority to give patients in our region access to the very best in clinical expertise and advanced rehab technology” commented Karen Kearney, MSW, Vice President, Inpatient Rehabilitation. “This carries through to our Transitional Rehab Units where patients receive nationally-acclaimed short-term rehabilitation under the direction of our Nursing Home Administrators, Chris Minich and Chris Fazzini.” 

A third Allied Services facility received recognition from US News. Allied Services Center City Skilled Nursing Center is the only facility in Northeast Pennsylvania to receive the survey’s top rating of “High Performing” for Long-Term Care. 

“This past year has been challenging for our patients, residents, staff and their families” reflected James Cooney, NHA, Vice President Skilled Nursing for Allied Services. “These awards are welcome recognition for the commitment to quality care that our staff exemplifies.  We are proud of the care that staff at all of our skilled nursing facilities provide, around-the-clock, 365 days a year.” 

Now in its 12th year, the U.S. News Best Nursing Homes ratings and profiles offer comprehensive information about quality of care, COVID-19 vaccination requirements for residents and staff, flu and pneumonia vaccination rates, and infection control violations listed on the resident safety summary. Individuals can easily conduct customized research for a highly rated nursing home by location, size, and Medicare and Medicaid coverage. 

This year’s methodology includes an emphasis on homes meeting certain standards of patient safety, which could limit a home’s ability to achieve a ‘High-Performing’ rating. These standards include a minimum threshold for the staff COVID-19 vaccination rate, overuse of antipsychotic drugs, and frequent visits to the emergency department, among other criteria. Homes that have below a 75% COVID-19 staff vaccination rate are not considered a leading facility. A significant percentage of Short-Term Rehabilitation and Long-Term Care programs that would otherwise have qualified as ‘High-Performing’ were downgraded at the time of publication. 

The ratings include data on staffing, success in preventing ER visits, and pneumonia vaccination rates among other metrics. Out of 13,175 nursing homes that received a Long-Term Care Rating, 1,063 were designated as High-Performing. The Short-Term Care Rating incorporates measures of quality including consistency of registered nurse staffing, use of antipsychotic drugs, and success in preventing falls. For 2021-22, 13,500 facilities received a Short-Term Rating, while only 1,651 homes earned a High-Performing Rating. 

Simplex Industries, Inc. Names David Boniello as President

Simplex Industries, a leader in the modular industry and one of the region’s leading employers, has announced a succession plan in which long-time Vice President David Boniello will become President of the company on January 1, 2022. The announcement was made by current President and managing partner Patrick Fricchione, Jr. Fricchione will remain Chairman and CEO of the company.

“Dave Boniello’s promotion to President is a natural progression that reflects his three-decades of expertise in the industry and successful leadership at Simplex Industries,” said Patrick Fricchione, Jr. “As a respected voice in the industry, Dave is uniquely positioned to take over the day-to-day operations of Simplex and I am confident he will lead in Simplex with integrity. This long-planned transition will allow Dave to focus on the daily operations and I’ll be able to devote myself to Simplex’s long-term future growth.”

Dave Boniello joined Simplex over 30 years ago and rose through a number of sales and management positions to his current role as Vice President of Simplex Industries and Cornerstone Building Solutions. Cornerstone is the local building division of the company.

In recent years, Boniello’s focus has been developing and maintaining relationships with large scale customers. In that role he has overseen some of the company’s largest apartment and town home projects in Philadelphia, suburban New York City and across the Mid-Atlantic region.

“I’m honored to lead Simplex during an exciting time of growth and opportunity, and am privileged to work with such a committed group of employees,” said Boniello. “I’ve dedicated the majority of my professional life to the company and formed close bonds with our employees, customers and vendors. As we celebrate 50 years of Simplex Industries’ history, I’m coming into the new role with the company in perhaps the best condition since our founding by the Fricchione family in 1971. As a leader in our field, it’s my goal and my challenge to continue on what our employees have built over the past 50 years.”

Dave Boniello is a native of Dunmore, PA and graduate of Johnson College (Scranton, PA). He is a past Chairman of the Johnson College Board of Directors and a long-time Johnson College Board member. Boniello has been an active board member of the Lackawanna Home Builders Association and Home Builders Association of NEPA alongside being a member of the Women’s Resource Center Golf Tournament Committee.

Scranton Penguins Teddy Bear Toss to Support Tobyhanna Operation Santa Claus December 4

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Toss a plush toy onto the ice after the Penguins’ first goal!

Support Tobyhanna Operation Santa Claus by bringing a new, unwrapped stuffed animal to the game and toss it onto the ice after the Penguins’ first goal. All toys will be collected and distributed to children in need throughout northeast Pennsylvania. Tobyhanna Operation Santa Claus is a charitable private organization operating at Tobyhanna Army Depot.

Buy tickets for the game here!