PennDOT Announces Application Period for 2022 Rail Freight Grant Programs

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced today that the application period for the grants under the Rail Transportation Assistance Program (RTAP) and the Rail Freight Assistance Program (RFAP) is now open.

“Pennsylvania’s rail freight network is critical – it keeps goods moving and supports the economy,” said PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian. “We’re proud of our commitment to supporting the business community and keeping rail lines safe.”

Pennsylvania ranks first in the country in the number of operating railroads, with 65, and ranks near the top in total track mileage, with more than 5,600 miles. 

In the 2021 grant period, PennDOT awarded $33 million for 25 rail freight projects. PennDOT manages two grant programs: RTAP, a capital budget grant program funded with bonds; and RFAP, which is underwritten through the Multimodal Fund, created by Act 89. 

For eligible organizations wishing to apply for funding through either program, applications will be available on the application website  beginning 8:00 AM on Monday, August 8, 2022 and ending at 4:00 PM on Friday, September 2, 2022.

Program information can be found on the PennDOT website and application questions should be directed to Steve Panko at or 717-787-1202. 

Scranton Comedy Club Show and Fundraiser

Scranton Comedy Club’s Monthly Show on Aug 13th will be a fundraising event for Animal Care Associates Scranton, PA & also the Taylor Police Department’s K9 Unit Fund! A portion of the proceeds from tickets sold by each organization will benefit them.

Located in the Holiday Inn Scranton East – Dunmore at 200 Tigue St, Dunmore, PA 18512.

Tickets $20 in advance or $25 at the door. VIP Tickets closest to the stage are available for $35. For Tickets visit or call or text: 570-357-2693

Show starts at 8pm and Doors open at 7pm.

The Wright Center Brings Mural Project to Scranton

The Wright Center for Patient & Community Engagement is bringing “The Good of the Hive,” a global mural project by artist Matt Willey that raises awareness about the importance of pollinators, to downtown Scranton as part of Scranton Tomorrow’s Mural Arts Program. The month-long project is scheduled to begin the week of Sunday, Aug. 14.

Academic sponsor, Lackawanna College, will host a lecture by the artist on Friday, October 14 at 6 p.m. at the institution’s theater, 501 Vine St., Scranton. Seating for the free event is on a first-come, first-served basis.

The mural, on the side of the Civic Theater Building, 234 Mifflin Ave., will bring the artist closer to his personal commitment of hand-painting 50,000 honeybees — the number of bees in a healthy, thriving hive — in murals around the world.

“We are both excited and honored to be the premier sponsor of this unique mural project in Scranton,” said Kara Seitzinger, director of public affairs and advisor liaison to the president and CEO of The Wright Centers for Community Health and Graduate Medical Education. “We hope it will inspire the community to think collectively, in the same way honeybees do. The health of the honeybees is predicated on the health of the hive, not an individual bee.

“It’s the perfect metaphor for the COVID-19 pandemic: The health of the community is based on the behaviors and health of us all, not just one individual,” she added.

Willey’s mission is to ignite curiosity and active engagement around planetary health issues through art, bees and storytelling. His vision is a world filled with people that see and experience the beauty and connectedness of all things. “The hive I’m creating is a metaphor for us all: No matter your color, nationality, religion, gender, age or economic status. This piece of art is an idealized picture of health to focus on as we work toward solutions,” he said.

The worldwide mural project demonstrates perseverance in the face of adversity. Six years into an estimated 20-year project, Willey has created 35 murals and installations with more than 8,600 hand-painted bees. He has reached hundreds of thousands of people and created large-scale works at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington D.C., Dag Hammarskjold Plaza in New York City and Burt’s Bees Global Headquarters in Durham, North Carolina.

The artist has collaborated with the World Council of Peoples for the United Nations (WCPUN) and New York City’s Art in the Parks Public Art Program. He has painted his murals at schools across the country and in the United Kingdom. In October of 2021, his art was displayed at the American Embassy in Beijing, China.

Willey has shared the stories of “The Good of the Hive” through speaking engagements at the United Nations, the Food and Agriculture Organization, and the German and French Embassies in Washington D.C., Smithsonian’s National Zoo, Duke University, Georgetown University, the Planetary Health Alliance 2018 annual meeting in Scotland, many podcasts, including the National Education Association, and educational institutions throughout the United States.

His work has been featured in The New York Times, Reuters London, The Today Show, The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, and countless other publications and media channels.

The Wright Center for Patient & Community Engagement’s mission is to improve the health and welfare of the community through education, advocacy and patient-centered services and efforts directed toward the social and economic determinants of health. Its 18-member board, comprised of Wright Center for Community Health patients and area professionals, helps the region’s less fortunate, including those experiencing homelessness, poverty, food insecurity, social isolation and other hardships.

For more information about The Wright Centers for Patient & Community Engagement, go to 

Gibbons Ford Contributes to Johnson College

Johnson College received a $10,000 contribution from Gibbons Ford in support of the College’s comprehensive, five-year capital campaign, Innovation at Work.

Gibbons Ford is a long-standing industry partner with Johnson College. They support the College and its students by making monetary and in-kind contributions, participating in the Automotive Technology program advisory committee, hosting student interns, and inviting students to participate in live program labs inside their dealership in Dickson City, PA.

“The best thing we can invest in is our future and the students at Johnson College are that future,” said Darryl Jayne, General Manager, Gibbons Ford.

“Generous contributions to our capital campaign from industry partners like Gibbons Ford, help the College continue to deliver to students the real-world, hands-on experience for which we are known,” said Dr. Katie Leonard, President & CEO, Johnson College. “Working with industry gives our students a competitive edge in the workplace as they are exposed daily to new technologies, emerging fields of study and the most sophisticated equipment.”

The Innovation at Work campaign consists of four components that will create an environment for continued growth and success: the construction of Ideal Saldi Hall, a new gateway building that will become the official entrance to the campus and include new lab and classroom spaces; the expansion of Woolworth Hall, which houses on-campus lab space for programs including Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning and Electrical Construction Technology; the creation of a Transportation Education Center; and support of the College’s Annual Fund and student scholarships. For more details about the “Innovation at Work” campaign, visit

Johnson College provides real-world, hands-on learning in a caring environment and prepares graduates to enter into or advance their careers. Johnson College degrees become essential careers. Johnson College was founded in 1912 and is the region’s premier technical college, offering 17 associate degrees and 4 academic certificate programs. A low student-to-teacher ratio supports an emphasis on hands-on instruction. Located in Scranton on a 44-acre campus, the College is an accredited, private, non-profit, co-educational institution with a strong tradition of working with regional businesses and industries to ensure a skilled and qualified workforce. For additional information on Johnson College, please call 1-800-2-WE-WORK, email, or visit

Lackawanna College Remains Open

Lackawanna College is still enrolling students and providing student services even though Angeli Hall in Scranton is temporarily closed.

Admissions, Financial Aid and all student services remain operational and ready to serve the student community at their temporary location at 409 on Adams, the student-run restaurant at 409 Adams Street in Scranton.

Angeli Hall, at 501 Vine Street, temporarily closed Monday after an unforeseen water issue. College officials are working quickly to reopen the building.

“Lackawanna College is still open for business and enrolling students despite the situation at Angeli Hall,” said Lackawanna College President Dr. Jill Murray. “This was an unforeseen situation but we were able to meet this challenge and continue to offer our student services with no interruptions. We want students and prospective students to know we are here, open and ready to serve their needs.”

Murray thanked the following people and companies for the work on Angeli Hall. They are: Tom Bohns, Mechanical Systems; John Ondich, Advanced Electrical; Serv-Pro; Scranton Fire Department; UGI; PPL; Pennsylvania American Water; Lackawanna College facilities staff; and P&J Mechanical Contractors.

For questions or assistance, people can email or call (570) 955-3327.

Outreach – Center for Community Resources Children’s Career Fair

Outreach – Center for Community Resources will host its third annual Children’s Career Fair at Outreach, 431 North 7th Avenue, Scranton on Saturday, August 27, 2022, from 10 AM to 1 PM.

Driving Children’s Futures is this year’s theme as Outreach offers the opportunity for kids of all ages to learn about the multiple forms of vehicles utilized in careers today. A tank, ambulance, fire truck, skid steer, and several other large trucks will be on display for kids to explore while interacting with the professionals that handle them on a daily basis.

It’s never too early for children to think about a career, and research shows that every experience of a child helps develop their understanding of the world. An innovative event that encourages parents and their young or elementary-aged children to engage in career exploration, the Outreach Children’s Career Fair provides an opportunity for children to interact with professionals from numerous businesses and career fields and then dream about what they want to be when they grow up! By introducing young children to potential career options early on in life, parents can keep children focused and engaged in academics throughout their school years, a building block needed to create a well-educated workforce, and help them gain an understanding of their place in the world as productive, employed adults.

Children and parents will have the opportunity to explore over 30 careers through fun and interactive activities. Several local companies will also be offering information on current employment opportunities within their companies.  The Outreach Children’s Career Fair is free and open to all families with children interested in interacting with businesses and exploring future career possibilities!

For more information, please call Lori Ryan at (570)-558-7565.