Join Neighborworks at the West Scranton Fall Festival

This year, NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania is excited to present the West Scranton Fall Festival in collaboration with the City of Scranton! This two-part event is FREE to the public and will be held on Saturday, October 22!

The first part of the festival will be at Clover Field (400 W Locust St, Scranton) from noon to 3pm. There will be food, bounce houses, children’s activities, and entertainment! The second part will be at Allen Park (corner of North Main Avenue and Price Street) from 6-9pm. There will be live music, smores, hot chocolate, and more!

El Buen Amigo and Paradise Soul Food & Sweets are among the food vendors that will be at Clover Field. Grupo Zona and Jack Bordo & Jim Cullen, joined by Sharon Ambrozia, will be playing music at Allen Park. More details to come.

Lackawanna College Police Academy Scranton Class Graduates

Their hard work, dedication and commitment paid off.

“We are proud to have trained generations of law enforcement since the inception of our program,” said Lackawanna College President Dr. Jill Murray. “Our graduates get their training at Lackawanna College, find jobs in their hometowns or stay regionally and are well prepared to serve their local communities. These fine men and women are an example of how Lackawanna College is continuing its tradition of preparing quality graduates for careers in law enforcement.”

Twenty-seven cadets recently graduated as part of Lackawanna College’s Police Academy Scranton Class 257, becoming the newest members of law enforcement.

All graduates have either obtained or have been offered full-time employment.

“Lackawanna College’s Police Academy helps fill the need for quality municipal law enforcement officers in our area,” said Kevin Mahoney, Director of Academy Operations. “There is currently a shortage of police officers not only statewide but nationwide. Lackawanna College’s Police Academy is known for its rigorous training program and those who graduate are among the finest in law enforcement.”

To be eligible to join the Academy, cadets must undergo an interview with Academy staff, a psychological test, a pre-entrance physical test and other testing requirements. Once accepted, cadets then begin their classroom training.

“We have nearly 1,000 hours of training that includes academic training, physical training, firearms training and scenario training. It takes a special individual to complete this course,” Mahoney told the graduates and their families at the graduation ceremony in Scranton. “We have such a unique and diverse cadre of instructors. We have active and retired law enforcement from federal, state, county and local agencies. They all bring a level of expertise and experience that really makes our program second to none.”

Mahoney thanked the family and friends of the cadets for their support as their loved ones went through the program.

Dominick DeNaples, former member of the Lackawanna College Board of Trustees, performed the cadet inspection at graduation. During his post inspection address, he told the cadets they are an elite group of men and women who will now be role models.

“Class, the certification you get today does not come alone,” DeNaples said. “It takes a certain additional responsibility on your part. All of the sudden you are going to be somewhat of a role model. You’re going to be looked up to by your friends, your neighbors, your family and more importantly the youth and the children you come in contact with.”

Besides DeNaples, other dignitaries participated in the ceremony. They included Deacon Donald Crane, deputy chief, Wilkes-Barre Police Department 9retiured), who performed the invocation; Lt. Seth Kelly, Pennsylvania State Police, Troop M, Bethlehem, IACP Trooper of the Year 2017; and Dick McLane, who played the bagpipes.

Class 257 also selected Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Branden T. Sisca as their Fallen Officer Tribute. A drunk driver struck and killed Sisca and Trooper Martin Mack at 1 a.m. on March 21, 2022 on southbound Interstate 95 in Philadelphia.

Sisca had served with the Pennsylvania State Police for 13 months and was assigned to Troop K. He is survived by his wife, Brittany, and daughter, Brynn Tyler Sisca.

The following are the graduates of Class of 257:

  • Celia Bond, Lords Valley
  • Shawna Bower, Edwardsville
  • James Brown, Moosic
  • Matthew Brunetti, Clarks Summit
  • Benjamin Busko, Selinsgrove
  • James Coslett, Kingston
  • Robert Farris, E. Stroudsburg
  • Preston Gehring, Schuylkill Haven
  • Patrick Gill, Bloomsburg
  • Matthew Grippo, Scranton
  • Isaiah Guerrero, Riverton, NJ
  • Peter Gutowski, Jr., Roaring Brook Twp.
  • Jakob Kerby, Pottsville
  • Benjamin Kreuzer, Mountain Top
  • Kade McNally, Easton
  • David Nicholetta, East Stroudsburg
  • Brian David Nolan II, Archbald
  • Scott Roper, Mountain Top
  • Justin Royce, Moosic
  • Stacie Sala, Pen Argyl
  • Morgan Schaszberger, Monroe Twp
  • Lucas Schultz, Clarks Summit
  • Jared Simon, Nicholson
  • Christopher Taylor, Waymart
  • Mia Vieira, Scranton
  • Jacob Williams, Exeter
  • Brandon Winn, Duryea

Marywood University to Honor Alumni Award Winners

Marywood University will welcome alumni back to campus, along with families of current students, during its combined celebration of Alumni & Family Weekend, set for Friday, September 30, through Sunday, October 2, on the university’s campus. To see a full listing of the weekend’s events and to register for any events, visit:

Alumni Award winners will be honored at a dinner on Friday, September 30, at 6 p.m., in the Latour Room at Nazareth Student Center. Reservations are required to attend, and the cost is $40 per person. This year’s honorees include:

  • Sister Mary Persico IHM ’69, Ed.D., who is receiving the 2022 Sister M. Denis Donegan Award for Long Term Service to Marywood.
  • The Honorable Anne Healey ’72, who is receiving the 2022 Golden Marywoodian Award.
  • Dr. Joseph Trunzo ’93, who is receiving the 2022 Distinguished Alumni Award.
  • Dr. Amy Freeman ’98, MSW ’07, MBA ’22, who is receiving the 2022 Distinguished Alumni Award.
  • Dr. Matthew Nice, MS ’15, who is receiving the 2022 Outstanding Recent Alumni Award.
  • Kristinia Beckage Luke ’11, who is receiving the 2022 Alumni Community Achievement Award.
  • Lia Richards-Palmiter, Ph.D. ’09, who is receiving the 2022 Faculty and Staff Alumni Impact Award.

Outreach To Hold Annual Mighty Oak Awards

Outreach – Center for Community Resources will host its annual Mighty Oak Awards honoring pillars in our community for their leadership and contributions on September 29, 2022 from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm at Glenmaura National Golf Club in Moosic.

The 2022 Mighty Oak honorees include:

Daniel Santaniello, President and Chief Executive Officer of Fidelity Bank. Dan has dedicated his life not only to his profession but also to his community’s civic engagement through supporting philanthropic organizations throughout northeastern Pennsylvania.

Linda Ciampi, former Executive Director of Outreach, spent six of her over 25-year career forwarding the mission of Outreach through her commitment to overseeing operations and providing leadership that ensured excellence in providing evidence-based programming to families, adults, and children in northeastern Pennsylvania.

A new award, the Beth Beh Community Spirit Award, will be presented this year to The Lackawanna County Penn State Master Gardeners. The award is to recognize their service in beautifying the grounds of Outreach and partnering with local organizations to provide instruction on gardening while improving neighborhoods throughout Lackawanna County.

NET Credit Union Celebrates New Taylor Branch

NET Credit Union held a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Taylor, PA location on Monday, September 19th. The groundbreaking ceremony was held at the branch’s new location, the former Via Appia Catering Building, 900 S. Main Street, Taylor, PA 18517. This building will open as NET Credit Union’s third branch in 2023.

Having been located in Scranton and Olyphant for so many years, NET Credit Union is excited to join another community in Lackawanna County. Opening this new branch will not only welcome new members, but it will also be conveniently located for a large number of our current membership. NET would like to thank our volunteers and employees for their sustained hard work as we continue to grow. NET would also like to thank our members for their continued support as we continue to grow and develop in order to serve them better.

NET Credit Union is excited about this new chapter and is eager to meet all of our neighbors in Taylor, PA. Further details on the official opening date will be announced. Follow NET Credit Union on all social media platforms for updates.

Second Row Pictured L to R: Mike Burke, NET Supervisory Committee Volunteer; Bob Durkin, Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce President; Janelle Kaczmarek, CFO of NET; Clarence Baltrusaitis, CEO of NET; Chuck McKeel, Taylor Borough Councilman

Front Row Pictured L to R: Don Bailey, NET Board Chairman; Karen Clifford, NET Board of Director; Mayor Loni Kavulich Loiselle, Mayor of Taylor Borough; Rich Surridge, NET Board Treasurer; Dick Nezlo, Taylor Borough Councilman; Paul Franceschelli, NET Board of Director; Lori Doherty, NET Board of Director

Geisinger Welcomes Pediatric Cardiologist Into Leadership Role

Shuping Ge, M.D., has joined Geisinger as system chair of the Department of Pediatric and Adult Congenital Cardiology.

A specialist in pediatric cardiology, Dr. Ge cares for babies before and after birth, children and adolescents with congenital heart disease. He has clinical and translational research interest and expertise in non-invasive cardiovascular imaging, fetal cardiology and pediatric preventive cardiology.

Dr. Ge joins pediatric and adult congenital cardiac surgeon Gerhard Ziemer, M.D., Ph.D., to lead Geisinger’s congenital heart program, which cares for patients from their prenatal days through adulthood. An avid academic, Dr. Ge will also mentor future providers and scientists as a Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine, Pediatrics, and Obstetrics and Gynecology at Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine.

He earned his medical degree at Shandong University School of Medicine in Jinan, Shandong, China, and conducted research in cardiovascular ultrasound at Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland and Wake Forest University Bowman Grey School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Dr. Ge completed his residency in pediatrics at St. Vincent’s Hospital & Medical Center in New York City and his fellowship training in pediatric cardiology at The Children’s Hospital, University of Colorado School of Medicine, in Denver. 

Before joining Geisinger, Dr. Ge held clinical leadership roles at Children’s Hospital of Iowa, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, in Iowa City, Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia, and Deborah Heart and Lung Center in Browns Mills, New Jersey.

He’s also held professorships at University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Drexel University College of Medicine and Temple University College of Medicine.

Dr. Ge is certified in pediatrics and pediatric cardiology by the American Board of Pediatrics, and he has a subspecialty certification in pediatric cardiac magnetic resonance imaging from the American College of Radiology.  He has practiced fetal, pediatric, and preventive cardiology for 20 years and has been named a Top Doctor by Castle Connolly, US News and World Report, Philadelphia Magazine and America’s Most Honored Doctors.

His collaborative and translational research in cardiovascular imaging, fetal cardiology and pediatric preventive cardiology has been funded by the American Heart Association and National Institutes of Health, and he’s authored or co-authored about 250 published scholarly works.  

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Treasurer Stacy Garrity: U.S. Supreme Court To Hear Pennsylvania Unclaimed Case

The U. S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on Monday, October 3, in a dispute first filed in 2016 by Pennsylvania against Delaware involving unclaimed property. Following Pennsylvania’s lead, 29 other states later joined the suit.

It’s estimated that Delaware could owe as much as $400 million in escheated funds to other states – including nearly $19 million to Pennsylvania – as unclaimed property from MoneyGram Payment Systems, Inc., a provider of money transfer and bill payment services.

“Pennsylvania was the first state to challenge Delaware’s actions in court six years ago,” said Pennsylvania Treasurer Stacy Garrity. “We’re pleased that so many other states have adopted our position and followed our lead. I’m optimistic that the Supreme Court will make the right decision to return these funds to Pennsylvania and the other states so that we can work to return the money to the real owners of this unclaimed property – hardworking taxpayers across Pennsylvania and the nation.”

This is the first time in almost 30 years that the Supreme Court will consider a question involving the laws governing unclaimed property.

In May 2021, SCOTUS-appointed Special Master Judge Pierre N. Leval of the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in Pennsylvania’s favor – in a 100-page report – that Delaware improperly demanded and received uncashed MoneyGram checks purchased in other states.

Pennsylvania argues that uncashed “official checks” sold by MoneyGram in Pennsylvania are a form of money order. According to the Federal Disposition Act (FDA), uncashed money orders and similar instruments are to be escheated to the state in which they were originally purchased. Delaware argues that MoneyGram’s “official checks” do not fall into this FDA classification, and are therefore due to the state where the company is incorporated.

As part of Special Master Leval’s 2021 decision, he conclusively determined the disputed MoneyGram “official checks” should be returned to the state of original purchase in compliance with the FDA. He found Delaware’s argument to be logically “flawed” and both “insubstantial and unpersuasive.”

“Delaware has an aggressive, well-documented history of demanding unclaimed funds and then using those funds to cover a substantial portion of its state budget,” Garrity said. “In fact, when this matter began, Delaware admitted that unclaimed property was the third-largest budget source for the state. But – as demonstrated by the Special Master’s decision – these MoneyGram checks were claimed and received by Delaware and are rightfully due to other states, where the original owners will have a chance to reclaim their property.”  

Pennsylvania’s case was originally filed in February 2016 in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. The case was subsequently moved to the Supreme Court as a dispute between states that falls within the Supreme Court’s original jurisdiction. After Pennsylvania’s filing, 29 other states filed suit using the same legal arguments advanced by Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania is the only state directly represented by its unclaimed property administrator, Treasurer Garrity. Pennsylvania Treasury is represented by its Chief Counsel, Christopher B. Craig, along with Matthew H. Haverstick and Joshua J. Voss of Philadelphia-based Kleinbard LLC.

The other states include Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming, all of whom are represented by their respective Attorney General Offices.

Tobyhanna Army Depot Extends Strategic Planning Focus

Tobyhanna Army Depot has announced its newest strategic planning target: the year 2035.

An offshoot of the TOBY2028 effort, TOBY2035 has four strategic focus areas: Investing in Our People, C5ISR Readiness, Shape the Future and Strategic Communications – all aimed at posturing the organization for success in the year 2035.

The strategic refocus serves two main purposes, according to Organizational Development Specialist Heather Fiedler.

“It has always been our intent to continue moving the target. Readjusting our focus to 2035 allows us to be nested with the Army’s overall strategic plan and align with the 15-year modernization plan for all organic industrial base entities,” she said.

TOBY2035 represents a continuation of the depot’s aggressive, future-focused strategic planning efforts, building upon incredible success with the plan’s predecessors, TOBY2028, and TOBY2020.  Each plan resulted in significant accomplishments for each line of effort.

Under the Invest in Our People banner, Fiedler says employee development programs, such as the “In Their Boots” shadowing program and developmental rotation opportunities, have made a big difference.

“These voluntary opportunities encourage employees and supervisors to develop new perspectives of operations, broaden their network and knowledge, and increase empathy toward peers while learning about their experiences in the workplace.”

A key achievement by the C5ISR Readiness line of effort was the establishment of a dedicated Business Intelligence team, focused on consolidating and standardizing production reports – enabling leadership the tools they need to make the best decisions for the organization.

The Shape the Future line of effort is developing a microelectronics strategy assessment to determine if Tobyhanna can support the microelectronics market in support of domestic supply chain shortages.

“As a result of the supply chain challenges facing the Department of Defense Tobyhanna recognizes the need to build an agile and flexible microelectronics capability to support overarching defense strategies,” said Katlin Edmunds, Chief of the Strategic Initiatives Office and leader of the Shape the Future line of effort.

Among the Strategic Communications line of effort’s accomplishments is a major upgrade to audio systems across the depot, reducing downtime and increasing wide access to information disseminated audially. The team also re-tooled communications processes to heighten inclusivity to individuals with disabilities.