Black Cat Bakery Grand Opening

The Black Cat Bakery grand opening will be help from 10am to 7pm on June 18th at 720 S Keyser Ave, Taylor, PA. If you like the unique, unusual and artsy we are the bakery for you. All are welcome.

We will selling tickets at the door and having raffle for a specialty cake (worth over $400!) at the end of the night. We will have a paired down menu upon opening with some very special treats for summer. Including Watermelon Jalapeño, Mango Salsa, Prickly Pear and Rose, and Strawberry Balsamic cupcakes.

Tobyhanna Army Depot News

Bridge Supplemental Set Workload Shows Tobyhanna’s Diverse Capabilities

The Bridge Supplemental Set (BSS) is a system designed to assist Bridge Erection Boats (BEB) on long-term bridging missions while our warfighters are on deployment. The widely used BSS concept dates back to the 1960s.

In certain situations, the BSS is pivotal to keeping soldiers focused on the task at hand. In the event a river must be crossed, BEBs would be brought in to build a surface that can be crossed by our warfighters. However, on long-term missions, BEBs can become expensive to maintain and take a lot of time to operate, affecting warfighter readiness.

This is where the BSS comes in.

The erection of a BSS over a body of water keeps the traveling surface in place and eliminates the need for BEBs on long-term missions. This supports our warfighters by allowing them not to worry about BEB upkeep and allows them to focus on their primary mission.

With ever changing challenges on the battlefield, the way the BSS is designed was due for an upgrade, so a set for the modern era has been created. Tobyhanna Army Depot (TYAD) has taken on the exciting challenge of constructing and delivering this new design to our warfighters and with it, comes the opportunity to not only benefit TYAD, but more importantly to assist in our mission of supporting the warfighter.

Logistics Management Specialist Tracy Kraftchisin worked with Production Engineering personnel to solicit and onboard the workload. Before obtaining the workload, TYAD first had to compete in a market questionnaire. The depot received formal notification that it was chosen to support the BSS in May 2019. The design, development and pre-production process was lengthy, as the asset comprises more than 20 cases of equipment containing almost 400 individual pieces – everything from shadowboxes, racks, casing and much more.

Kraftchisin said the opportunity to work on the BSS provided many benefits to TYAD.

“This was an opportunity to showcase TYAD’s test engineering, design development and fabrication in support of overhaul capabilities to expand sustainment operations for the BSS – ensuring support to both strategic and tactical Army readiness,” said Kraftchisin. “The BSS workload presented an excellent strategic opportunity for Team Tobyhanna in support of our TOBY 2028 Shape the Future efforts.” Kraftchisin works in the Strategic Initiatives Office.

Although the overall BSS design wasn’t created by TYAD, many of the asset’s components were designed by depot engineers. Producing the BSS kits is a complex process, involving numerous production shops in the Systems Integration and Support Directorate and spanning more than 3,488 hours.

The BSS workload is a unique one for TYAD as it comes from the U.S. Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM). Mechanical Engineer Joseph Samsell has been heavily involved with the workload ever since TYAD took it on and said that our ability to get the work done proves that the depot is capable of accepting diverse types of work.

“Taking on new and challenging missions demonstrates to our current and future customers that Team Tobyhanna is capable of supporting any warfighter requirement,” said Samsell.

Logistics Management Specialist Christopher Lupole agreed, saying that the depot has much to offer its customers.

“The successful completion of the BSS effort at TYAD has brought more notice to the depot’s overall life cycle logistics capabilities. Most potential customers that aren’t too familiar with TYAD hear the word ‘Depot’ and tend to think of us as a warehouse or strictly maintenance facility. In reality, TYAD has much more to offer potential customers.” said Lupole.

“BSS has put [our] additional capabilities at the forefront and allows the rest of the Department of Defense community to see how supportive TYAD can be for their weapon systems. In the end, our mission is to support the Warfighter to the best of our ability and BSS is only one great example of how TYAD has done that in recent years.” Lupole works in Tobyhanna’s Strategic Initiatives Office and is part of the team responsible for onboarding new workload.

The BSS program is expected to run through 2028. BSS Project Manager Stacey Taylor lauded the people behind BSS, emphasizing that their teamwork really helped push this workload past the finish line.

“[The] BSS [workload] has proved that unity is strength and when there is teamwork and most importantly collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved. I am proud to be part of such a talented, hardworking, & motivated organization,” said Taylor. “The BSS system will showcase the capabilities that TYAD has to offer to future customers. Team Tobyhanna is dedicated to our warfighter and we look forward to the future.”

Commitment, Selfless Service Lead to High Accolade for Packaging Center Employee

A distinguished career supporting military logistics requirements paid off in a big way last month for David Gomes.

The senior packaging specialist was the sole 2022 inductee into the Military Packaging Hall of Fame, an honor bestowed upon him by the National Institute of Packaging, Handling and Logistics Engineers (NIPHLE) during the organization’s annual training event in May.

Gomes, who works in the Army Sustainment Command’s Packaging, Storage and Containerization Center (PSCC), says the experience was humbling.

“I am truly honored and grateful that I was nominated and accepted into the Military Packaging Hall of Fame,” he said. “I couldn’t have achieved this without the wonderful co-workers I have had along the way.”

PSCC Packaging and Transportation Division Chief Rebecca Cimino nominated Gomes for the Hall of Fame. In her submission to NIPHLE, Cimino cited Gomes’ long and impressive career within the government – more than 26 years of dedicated service. He began his government career in 1996 at Sierra Army Depot, where he was selected into the Quality Assurance Specialist (Ammunition Surveillance) (QASAS) Internship Program in 2001. He eventually became a QASAS instructor, transitioning into a Packaging Training Development and Instructor position at the Defense Ammunition Center in 2008.

Gomes joined the PSCC team in 2015 and has accomplished much in a short amount of time. Perhaps his most notable achievement is leading the team responsible for the development and implementation of a redesigned PACK 2 Military Packaging Design Course. The training, which educates Department of Defense (DoD) personnel on techniques to properly design packaging, leverages the expertise of PSCC’s in-house personnel and the resources available in their Packaging Applications Testing Facility. He also serves as the Army Component Manager for the DoD Wood Packaging Materials Program and an Action Officer for PSCC’s Stock Readiness Compliance Inspections.

Cimino says there aren’t many employees like Gomes.

“He is the ideal logistics professional who continues to strive for innovative ways to improve packaging processes and develop new procedures, doctrine, or instructional aides to address gaps in the DoD packaging community. His contributions will have a positive effect on current and future packaging professionals for decades to come.”

Less than 100 people overall have been inducted into NIPHLE’s Military Packaging Hall of Fame, which was created in 1990 to recognize those whose leadership and technical expertise has contributed to the successful development of the packaging industry. Gomes is only the second inductee from PSCC. Past inductees include who served the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, DLA, GSA and the private sector.

PSCC, located on-post at Tobyhanna Army Depot, is the Department of Defense’s (DoDs) largest packaging applications testing facility, providing a wide variety of technical support for multiple DoD customers. Those interested in learning more about the course or about PSCC’s unmatched facilities and team, please call 570-615-7257 or visit PSCC’s website at

Lackawanna College Receives Grant

Lackawanna College was awarded a $5,142 grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation to support adult literacy. Funds will be used to offer two free English as a Second Language (ESL) programs for Spanish speakers at its Hazleton Center in the summer and fall of 2022. This local grant is part of the Dollar General Literacy Foundation’s recent award of a $10.5 million donation to support summer, family, and adult literacy programs, representing the organization’s largest one-day grant donation in its 29-year history.

“We are proud to continue our partnership with Dollar General,” said Casey Weisbeck, manager of the Lackawanna Language Academy (LLA) at the Hazleton Center. “The grant removes a significant financial barrier, giving Spanish speakers with little to no English proficiency access to educational resources. This opportunity opens the door for furthering their education, providing a pathway for future success in our Hazleton community.” 

Coordinated by the (LLA), the ESL classes will be offered in the summer and fall of 2022 and assist Spanish-speaking students with limited or no English proficiency. ESL classes will benefit 48 Hazleton residents. The 10-week evening courses will be in-person with take-home lessons. After completing the program, students will be eligible for Lackawanna College’s English Proficiency certificate program, an 18-credit program that continues English language learning and prepares students for college-level work.

“For nearly 30 years, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation has been proud to invest in literacy and education programs in our hometown communities,” said Denine Torr, executive director of the Dollar General Literacy Foundation. “The recent and significant shifts in the educational landscape have made the Foundation’s mission more critically important. As we work to create access to high-quality instruction for all individuals, we share our gratitude for the educators who are working to uplift and empower others. We hope these funds will have a meaningful impact on students and teachers across the country and look forward to seeing the positive impact they have on learners.”

Drive Your Business Forward With UGI Incentives

Are you looking to grow or expand your existing business?

The UGI Save Smart Home Energy Upgrades Program is searching for new contractors to join the program to offer UGI customers home energy evaluations and financial incentives when completing insulation and air sealing work. Offering energy efficiency services can expand your business, while UGI rebates can help increase your customer conversion rate. Over the last two years, UGI has paid over $280,000 in homeowner incentives and serviced nearly 500 homes!

What type of work is involved?

Participating contractors perform home energy evaluations, provide energy savings kits to customers, and offer energy efficiency recommendations for customers to improve their home’s energy efficiency and comfort. Customers who pursue insulation and air sealing work are provided incentives of 25% of cost up to $2,500.

What is required to participate?

UGI Save Smart Home Energy Upgrades participating contractors must be BPI-Certified, have a PAHIC license number and work within the UGI Gas service territory in Pennsylvania. Learn more about how to become a BPI-Certified contractor.

The UGI Save Smart Home Energy Upgrades Program incentives are summarized below:


  • Customer cost = $50 paid to participating contractor
  • UGI incentive = $150 paid to participating contractor


  • Air sealing & insulation – 25% of installed job cost up to $2,500

Contact Rob DiVenere at or (302) 379-2163 to learn more.

Hooked on State Street Free Meals for Father’s Day

Hooked on State Street is spreading the love with free meals for those who need them this Father’s Day. The free fish & fries will be served from 11am-3pm on June 19th in front of the Hooked on State Street Restaurant in Clarks Summit.

UPDATE: Due to a mechanical issue with our food truck our fish n fry giveaway headquarter will be moved from The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce Building to the Hooked on State Street restaurant in Clarks Summit on Sunday. Our doors will be open 11-4.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of NEPA to Host Rhythm and Wine Festival

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeastern Pennsylvania is excited to announce its 2nd Annual Rhythm & Wine Festival on Saturday, August 27 from 12-4pm. The event will be held again this year at the Moonlite Drive-In, 1190 Shoemaker Ave., West Wyoming. This year’s presenting sponsor is M&T Bank.

Come join us for a fun-filled afternoon with your friends, family, or business partners to enjoy a variety of wineries, cideries, breweries, food vendors and live music. Back by popular demand is the contemporary rock band, “Down by Five.”  Festival chair Dave Kuharchik says “We’re excited to have this fun event returning for 2022 after a successful first year.  All proceeds benefit critical one on one mentoring relationships through Big Brothers Big Sisters of NEPA.  Please consider supporting this great cause.”

Our alcohol distributing vendors include Deep Roots Hard Cider, Staggering Unicorn, Stone Lake Winery, Lucchi Family Cellars, Susquehanna Brewing Company, Nomad Distilling Company, Case Quattro Winery, and Bartolai Winery.

Food vendors include, Keystone Farms and Cheese, Fondippity, Sugar Plum Chocolates, Pittston Popcorn, Yogi’s Potato Pancakes, Marianacci’s Restaurant, and Fiamma Rosa.

General Admission Price is $40 (includes drink samples, & tasting glass). Designated driver tickets are just $10.  General parking is $10.  VIP Parking is $20 (limited to 100 spots – includes a tailgate spot & closest spots to the music stage.) Tickets can be purchased online at: Tickets go on sale Monday, June 6th.

If you are interested being a sponsor for Rhythm & Wine, please contact Camille Sicolo at or visit

Pennsylvania American Water Announces Water Storage Upgrades

Pennsylvania American Water announced its 2022 plans to rehabilitate 14 of its water storage tanks and construct seven new structures. Pennsylvania American Water’s tank rehabilitation program of inspecting, sandblasting, and repainting tanks extends their service lives and helps protect water quality. The total cost of the company’s water storage improvements this year is approximately $16.5 million.

“Storage tanks are critical to meeting the supply demands of our customers and providing fire protection for our communities,” said Pennsylvania American Water President Mike Doran. “Properly and proactively maintaining tanks benefits our customers because of the cost efficiencies we can achieve by rehabilitating rather than replacing them.”

This year, the company will rehabilitate and repaint ground storage tanks in the following municipalities:

  • Bradford Township, Clearfield County – 500,000-gallon 
  • City of Uniontown, Fayette County – 1.3 million-gallon
  • Clarks Green Borough, Lackawanna County – 300,000-gallon
  • Cross Creek Township, Washington County – 1 million-gallon
  • East Buffalo Township, Union County – 1 million-gallon
  • East Norriton Township, Montgomery County – 2.8 million-gallon
  • Lake Heritage, Adams County – 60,000-gallon
  • Lower Allen Township, Cumberland County – 3 million-gallon
  • Mount Pocono Borough, Monroe County – 108,000-gallon 
  • North Sewickley Township, Beaver County – 300,000-gallon
  • Spring Township, Berks County – 250,000-gallon
  • Turbotville Borough, Northumberland County – 298,000-gallon
  • Union Township, Washington County – 5 million-gallon
  • Union Township, Washington County – 500,000-gallon

To rehabilitate the tanks, crews will strip the original paint and apply a new coating, which serves as a protective barrier that prevents the steel from rusting and impacting water quality. During construction, customers should not experience impacts on their water service.

The company also is constructing seven new ground storage tanks in the following municipalities to provide additional water storage capacity, which will help the company continue to deliver reliable water service to meet customer demand and provide fire protection:

  • Luzerne Township, Fayette County – 560,000-gallon
  • White Township, Indiana County – 250,000-gallon
  • Jackson Township, Luzerne County – 109,000-gallon
  • Coolbaugh Township, Monroe County– 200,000-gallon
  • Parkesburg Borough, Chester County – Two 1 million-gallon tanks
  • Parkesburg Borough, Chester County – 750,000-gallon

Geisinger Breaks Ground on Next Cancer Center in Dickson City

Geisinger broke ground on a state-of-the art cancer center today, expanding services in Lackawanna County. The center will offer more appointments in the community while keeping world-class cancer care closer to home.

The need for cancer care continues to grow in Lackawanna County and is expected to increase over the next four years. Currently, one-in-five patients leave the county to receive care. The planned 55,000-square-foot facility will provide a broader spectrum of services while opening up Geisinger Community Medical Center in Scranton for the hospital to explore more acute care options. 

“The expansion of cancer care into Lackawanna County allows us to provide more world-class cancer services and contribute to a healthier, more vibrant community,” said Ron Beer, chief administrative officer of Geisinger’s northeast region. “We have served northeastern Pennsylvania for 40 years, and this investment is further proof that we intend to care for and grow with our communities for many years to come.”

When the center opens in late 2023, it will be home to 22 infusion bays, three multidisciplinary spaces and a hematology and oncology clinic with 17 exam rooms. The Dickson City facility will also provide radiation oncology — a first for Geisinger in Lackawanna County — a pharmacy, laboratory services and palliative medicine. It will also be home to a variety of patient amenities including food services and a coffee bar, a specialty boutique and a courtyard with lush gardens and natural views.

The new cancer center will complement the care already offered at the recently expanded Frank M. and Dorothea Henry Cancer Center at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center in Wilkes-Barre and its capacity for inpatient care. It will give our patients and caregivers the option of staying in the area to receive the level of care found in any major hub city. At the Henry Cancer Center, patients can receive inpatient treatment for complex blood cancers like leukemia and aggressive lymphoma. Together, the centers house a regional cancer program that offers everything a patient needs right in NEPA.

“Adding this new facility is another step toward making sure patients never have to leave the region for outstanding care,” said Rajiv Panikkar, M.D., chair of the Geisinger Cancer Institute. “The cancer program at Geisinger features top-tier providers and comprehensive care teams, and allows for leading-edge treatment, advanced technologies and clinical trials.”

To learn more about cancer care in Lackawanna County, visit