Wolf Administration Hosts Roundtable Discussion with Teens on Safe Driving

During a face-to-face forum at Red Land High School in Lewisberry today, representatives from the Pennsylvania departments of Transportation (PennDOT) and Education and Pennsylvania State Police, as well as local education and law enforcement representatives shared their collective driver safety knowledge with students from Red Land and Cedar Cliff high schools.

“Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for teens,” said PennDOT Deputy Secretary for Driver and Vehicle Services Kurt Myers. “Parents and teachers have an important role to play in helping new drivers establish safe driving habits.”

The forum was held to call attention to teen driver safety and share important information directly with teen drivers during the nationwide observance of Teen Driver Safety Week October 16-22, and gave students an opportunity to directly ask questions of the panel.

From 2017 to 2021, there were 81,364 crashes involving at least one 16- to 19-year- old driver in Pennsylvania, resulting in 480 fatalities. 66 percent of those crashes involved a teen driver driving too fast for conditions (25,721 crashes), driver inexperience (8,707), driver distraction (12,411) or improper/careless turning (13,092). There was a total of 53,673 crashes with one or more of these factors. 

The risk of a crash involving any of these factors can be reduced through practice, limiting the number of passengers riding with a new driver, obeying all rules of the road, and using common sense.

“Setting a good example in the driver’s seat is one of the most important things you can do as a parent or caregiver of a teen driver,” said Colonel Robert Evanchick, commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police. “Positive examples include eliminating distractions in the vehicle, obeying the speed limit, never driving while impaired, and remembering to buckle up every time.”

PennDOT suggests that parents consider the following recommendations to help their children become safe and responsible drivers:

  • Set a good example with your own driving habits.
  • Have regular conversations with your teen about safe driving skills before they get their learner’s permit.
  • Establish a parent/teen driving contract.
  • Ride with your teen occasionally after they receive their license to monitor driving skills.
  • Enforce observance of speed limits and other rules of the road.
  • Strongly encourage your teen to avoid distractions behind the wheel, such as talking or texting on their cell phone.
  • Limit the number of passengers they have in their vehicle. Limit the number of passengers they have in their vehicle.  State law prohibits 16- and 17-year-olds with a junior license from driving with more than one unrelated passenger under the age of 18 years old for the first six months.  After the first six months, a junior driver shall not drive a vehicle with more than three unrelated passengers under 18 years old.
  • Limit dawn, dusk, and nighttime driving until your teen gains more experience and enforce a curfew. Remember, state law prohibits 16- and 17-year-olds with a junior license from driving between 11:00 PM and 5:00 AM
  • Gradually increase the amount of time/distance your teen is permitted to drive.

“Driving a car requires experience, skill, and undivided attention – all factors that improve with repetition and training,” said Acting Department of Education Secretary Eric Hagarty. “Through driver education training programs, teenage drivers receive valuable instruction that prepares them to get behind the wheel, keeping themselves, their passengers, and fellow drivers safe on the road.”

As part of ongoing efforts to educate and assist teen drivers, PennDOT invites teens, their parents, teachers, and others to share video messages on Instagram about the personal costs of a crash, close calls, and advice on avoiding crashes. Anyone can join in this important conversation by using the hashtag #PATeenDriver.

Representative Karen Boback News

Boback’s Bill to Rename a Wyoming County Bridge in Honor of Veterans and First Responders Awaits Governor’s Signature

A bill sponsored by Rep. Karen Boback (R-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Wyoming) to rename a Wyoming County bridge in honor of local veterans and first responders was sent to the governor’s desk for his signature after its unanimous final approval by the House of Representatives on Tuesday.

“As majority chairman of the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, I have a great understanding of the sacrifices made by our veterans and first responders,” said Boback. “Now everyone who travels over this bridge will forever be reminded of their contributions to our country and communities.”

Boback’s measure designates the bridge carrying State Route 29 over the Susquehanna River in Tunkhannock Borough and Eaton Township, Wyoming County, as the “Wyoming County Veteran and First Responder Bridge of Valor.” The bill also directs PennDOT to erect and maintain signs in both directions displaying the new name of the bridge.  

Boback’s legislation was one of two dozen bridge or highway renaming proposals included in House Bill 2637.

Boback Receives Guardian of Small Business Award   

Rep. Karen Boback (R-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Wyoming) was honored to receive the Guardian of Small Business award from the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) for the 2021-22 session of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. The award is based on a voting record which encourages the success of small and independent businesses. Pictured with Boback are, from left, Jeff Wakeen and Warren Hudak, NFIB Pennsylvania Leadership Council members. 

Boback Receives Lifetime Achievement Award from City & State Pennsylvania Magazine

Nearing the end of her eighth and final term in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, Rep. Karen Boback (R-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Wyoming) has received a Lifetime Achievement Award from City & State Pennsylvania Magazine. The award was presented during a ceremony last week in Philadelphia.  

In its latest issue, the magazine honored 50 of the “most prominent leaders in Pennsylvania government, advocacy, labor, business, academia and media who are over the age of 50.” Ten of them, including Boback, were also Lifetime Achievement Award winners, “who have made lasting contributions to Pennsylvania by helping shape their communities through successful business endeavors, civic engagement and service to local and state government.” 

“What a surprise to be recognized in this way for a lifetime of accomplishments, including my years in the Legislature,” said Boback. “This is certainly a highlight in my life!”

Boback holds a doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania and taught in the public school system for 33 years. She served as majority chairman of the House Children and Youth Committee and currently serves as majority chairman of the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee. Boback sponsored and helped to initiate a myriad of legislative measures that make Pennsylvania a better place to live and raise children.

Lackawanna Winter Market – Chamber Holiday Showcase

The 2022 Holiday Showcase is an opportunity for you to feature 1-3 products and/or services in a brief live interview conducted by The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce. This event will recorded and shared on The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce and Lackawanna County social media platforms throughout the holiday season. 

Vendor set up must be completed by times noted below at The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce offices, 222 Mulberry Street, Scranton, PA. Vendor space not set up by start time will be forfeited.  Off street parking in the chamber driveway is available for unloading, set up and duration of filming.  

Set up by 9:15 AM – Show starts at 9:30 AM
Set up by 1:15 PM – Show starts at 1:30 PM 

Vendors will be assigned 5’ of table-top space in the Chamber boardroom, which are pre-set tables, secured together and cannot be moved.  (We will work with any special requests for vendors with larger products.)  Camera and host will move around the room from vendor to vendor interviewing individually for maximum of five (5) minutes per vendor.  

After your recording you will have a few minutes to pack up your products, please keep your set simple to allow easy transition to the next businees.

Questions and additional information:

Vendors should be prepared to have one (1) representative on-camera who can speak with host about featured products at minimal length and answer questions from host as part of the sales process. On-air representative should also be knowledgeable about vendor purchasing, payment, delivery/shipping options and product availability.

Lackawanna Winter Market Vendors please contact Anthracite Events for more information.

Commonwealth Health Earned National Recognition

Regional Hospital of Scranton and Wilkes-Barre General Hospital have earned national recognition from the American College of Cardiology (ACC) in U.S. News & World Report’s 2023 “Best Hospitals” guidebook. ACC uses this publication to highlight hospitals and health systems that implement high standards in patient care and protocols to ensure best cardiovascular outcomes are delivered to every patient, every time.

Commonwealth Health’s two hospitals are recognized for their participation in four ACC registries, honored with four accreditations and Regional Hospital of Scranton has achieved a HeartCARE Center designation. Regional Hospital of Scranton and Wilkes-Barre General Hospital are the only hospitals in Northeastern PA with this level of commitment to proven quality heart programs.

“We are proud of this recognition,” said Dr. Nishant Sethi, Regional Hospital of Scranton Heart & Vascular Institute interventional cardiologist. “This national recognition demonstrates the level of commitment our entire team has for delivering quality care to heart patients in our local community.”

In the publication, the ACC recognizes all hospitals and facilities that participate in National Cardiovascular Data Registries (NCDR) or have received an accreditation or certification from ACC Services.

ACC’s NCDR is cardiology’s most established, comprehensive registry offering. Participants are committed to ensuring evidence-based cardiovascular care, improving patient outcomes and lowering health care costs. Facilities achieving an ACC accreditation are committed to establishing a method for sustainable quality improvement.

Allied Services Receive Donation

Allied Services Integrated Health System | Scranton Physical Therapy

Local business, TOPP Business Solutions, recently presented Allied Services with a donation of $6,500 in support of the Team Allied Services and You. This annual charity campaign raises awareness and funds for children and adults with disabilities, life-changing injuries, and chronic illness served by Allied Services.

TOPP Business Solutions is headquartered in Scranton and is a provider of printing equipment, document management solutions, IT services, and other support services to businesses throughout Northeast, Central, and the Leigh Valley of Pennsylvania. They are long-time supporters of Allied Services, regularly supporting the non-profit’s vocational training and employment programs for individuals with disabilities.

“Allied Services is an asset to the communities it serves. You don’t realize the true scope of what it does for our area until you or a member of your family needs to utilize their support. TOPP is proud to be part of Team Allied Services and You,” says Chris Falzett, Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Topp Business Solutions.

The charity campaign will culminate on November 6, 2022, when a team of more than 70 runners will participate in the TCS New York City Marathon. Among them will be Michael Cummings of Cummings Insurance in Scranton. Michael and the other runners are raising funds for patients and residents at Allied Services.

The University of Scranton Events

November and December Events Planned at The University of Scranton

Through Nov. 18     Art Exhibit: “Mayan Narratives: San Lucas Tolimán, Guatemala” photographs by Byron Maldonado. Hope Horn Gallery, Hyland Hall. Free during gallery hours. Call 570-941-4214 or email darlene.miller-lanning@scranton.edu.  

Nov. 6 9 a.m.     Open House for prospective students and their families. Various locations on campus. Registration required. Free. Call 888-SCRANTON or email admissions@scranton.edu.  

Nov. 8 7:30 p.m. 36th annual Henry George Lecture: “Still Worth the Trip? Modern-Era Busing and other Lessons from Urban School Reform” presented by Parag Pathak, Ph.D., professor of economics, MIT. McIlhenny Ballroom, DeNaples Center. Free. Call 570-941-4048 or email janice.mecadon@scranton.edu

Nov. 10     Noon. Schemel Forum’s World Affairs Luncheon Series: “On Democracy, Inequality and Jazz Improvisation” presented by Wayne Winborne, Ph.D., executive director, Institute of Jazz Studies, assistant professor arts culture and media, Rutgers University-Newark. Rose Room, Brennan Hall or remote. Registration required. Fees vary. Call 570-941-7816 or email kym.fetsko@scranton.edu

Nov. 12     7:30 a.m. Schemel Forum bus trip to New York, New York, to August Wilson’s “The Piano Lesson” $150. Registration required before Sept. 30. Spaces are limited. Call 570-941-7816 or email kym.fetsko@scranton.edu.  

Nov. 12     7:30 p.m. Performance Music: “In Concert” featuring The University of Scranton Symphonic Band. Houlihan-McLean Center. Free. Call 570-941-7624 or email music@scranton.edu

Nov. 17     7 p.m. Lecture: “Forced Removal of the Lenape People: History and Homecoming” presented by Curtis Zunigha, enrolled member of the Delaware Tribe of Indians and co-founder/co-director of the Lenape Center. The event is part of “Scranton’s Story, Our Nation’s Story,” a project supported by a NEH grant led by The University of Scranton and community partners.  McIlhenny Ballroom, The DeNaples Center. Free. Call 570-941-4419 or email community@scranton.edu.  

Nov. 17-19     8 p.m. Thursday and Friday; 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday. “Rent” presented by Liva Arts Company. The Royal Theater, McDade Center for Literary and Performing Arts. $5. Call 570-941-7401 or email livaartscompany@gmail.com.  

Nov. 18     6 p.m.. Schemel Forum with the Friends of the Weinberg Memorial Library Collaborative Program: The Royden B. Davis, S.J. Distinguished Author Award Event honoring Ayad Akhtar, Pulitzer Prize winning and Tony Award nominated playwright, novelist and screenwriter. McIlhenny Ballroom, The DeNaples Center. Registration required. Fees vary. Call 570-941-7816 or email kym.fetsko@scranton.edu

Nov. 18     7:30 p.m. Performance Music: “In Concert” featuring The University of Scranton String Orchestra. Houlihan-McLean Center. Free. Call 570-941-7624 or email music@scranton.edu

Dec. 2     Noon. Schemel Forum’s Munley World Affairs Luncheon Series: “How Putin’s Invasion of Ukraine Changed the World” presented by Trudy Rubin, Worldview columnist, The Philadelphia Inquirer. Rose Room, Brennan Hall or remote. Registration required. Fees vary. Call 570-941-7816 or email kym.fetsko@scranton.edu

Dec. 3     8 p.m. Performance Music: “54th Annual Noel Night” featuring The University of Scranton Singers and Chamber Ensembles. Houlihan-McLean Center. Free. Call 570-941-7624 or email music@scranton.edu

Dec. 5     5 p.m. Community Relations Roundtable: “The Journey from ‘Immigrant’ to Citizen” featuring local resource speakers from a range of backgrounds, in collaboration with the Schemel Forum. The event is part of “Scranton’s Story, Our Nation’s Story,” a project supported by a NEH grant led by The University of Scranton and community partners. PNC Board Room, Brennan Hall. Free. Call 570-941-4419 or email community@scranton.edu.  

Dec. 9     Noon. Schemel Forum’s World Affairs Luncheon Series: “Process of Peace, Palermo: An Experience, a Model” presented by Leoluca Orlando, professor, former mayor of Palermo, honorary mayor of Palermo Huila Columbia and cofounder of Global Parliament of Mayors. Rose Room, Brennan Hall or remote. Registration required. Fees vary. Call 570-941-7816 or email kym.fetsko@scranton.edu

Dec. 11     7:30 p.m. Performance Music: “Empty Stocking Fund Benefit Concert.” Performance Music student musicians perform solo, duet, trio and small group renditions of a variety of Christmas favorites. Houlihan-McLean Center. Admission: one new unwrapped toy, new toiletry items or a monetary donation. Call 570-941-7624 or email music@scranton.edu

The University of Scranton Will Present a Recital by Pianist Llewellyn Sanchez-werner

On Sunday, Oct. 23, Performance Music at The University of Scranton will present a recital by critically and popularly acclaimed award-winning pianist Llewellyn Sanchez-Werner. The performance begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Houlihan-McLean Center, Mulberry Street and Jefferson Avenue. Admission is free, with seating on a first-come, first-seated basis.

Conductor and Director of Performance Music Cheryl Y. Boga says, “I first became of aware of Llewellyn and his incredible talent when my son (Joseph) would text me from his classes at Juilliard to tell me about this amazing 13-year-old who was already enrolled in pursuit of his undergraduate degree and – according to Joseph – ‘played piano like craaaazy!’ Now, at age 25, he is already one of the most virtuosic, vibrant and socially committed musicians of his generation.”

Described as “a gifted virtuoso” by the San Francisco Chronicle, Sanchez-Werner has been performing with orchestras since the age of 6. The California native has played internationally with the Royal Concertgebouw in the Netherlands, CultureSummit Abu Dhabi, the Louvre and Grenoble Museums in France, Smetana Hall in the Czech Republic, State Philharmonic Hall in Slovakia, Verbier Festival in Switzerland, Ashford Castle in Ireland and the Gijon International Piano Festival in Spain. In the United States, he has performed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Lincoln Center and National Sawdust in New York City, Mary B. Galvin Hall in Chicago, Richardson Auditorium at Princeton University, Paramount Theater in Oakland, and the Kennedy Center, the Smithsonian Art Museum and Warner Theatre in Washington, D.C.

Pulitzer Prize-winning Author Ayad Akhtar Honored at University of Scranton

Pulitzer Prize-winning and Tony Award-nominated playwright, novelist and screenwriter Ayad Akhtar will receive the 2022 Royden B. Davis, S.J., Distinguished Author Award from The University of Scranton’s Friends of the Weinberg Memorial Library on Friday, Nov. 18. The award will be presented at a reception and dinner in the McIlhenny Ballroom of the DeNaples Center. Reservations and tickets are required for the dinner and award presentation, which begins at 6 p.m. Proceeds from the event benefit the Friends of the Library Endowment Fund, which supports special gifts for the Weinberg Library collections and services.

Akhtar was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2013 for his play “Disgraced,” which also received a Tony Award nomination. The play examines the role of religion, politics and identity in post-9/11 America. His play “Junk,” about junk bonds and Wall Street culture of the 1980s, won the 2018 Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama Inspired by American History. His work has been published and performed in over two dozen languages.

Akhtar is the author of “Homeland Elegies,” which The Washington Post called “a tour de force” and The New York Times called “a beautiful novel…that had echoes of ‘The Great Gatsby’ and that circles, with pointed intellect, the possibilities and limitations of American life.” His first novel, “American Dervish,” was published in over 20 languages. In addition to “Junk” and “Disgraced,” his plays include “The Who & The What” and “The Invisible Hand,” which received the Obie Award, Outer Critics Circle John Gassner Award and Olivier, among other accolades.

PennDOT, KPB Name Students Chosen for Young Ambassadors Program

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful (KPB) today announced the slate of Young Ambassadors of Pennsylvania for 2022-2023. The new-to-Pennsylvania program seeks to build community stewards and civic leaders by inspiring, engaging, and empowering young Pennsylvanians to not only keep their communities clean and beautiful but also become ambassadors in their community for a shared vision of a clean and beautiful Pennsylvania.

The program, being administered by KPB, was recommended in the commonwealth’s litter action plan, announced by Governor Tom Wolf in November 2021. Students applied to the program and were chosen through a competitive application process.

The students have committed to eight months of service as an ambassador while representing and upholding the mission and values of KPB. From October through May 2023, they will also develop civic leadership skills and experience to champion and advocate for clean and beautiful communities across Pennsylvania.

2022-2023 Young Ambassadors of PA:

Allegheny County

  • Andy Forrester, Grade 11, Pine-Richland High School;
  • Cale Klaff, Grade 12, Pine-Richland High School;
  • Eli Majocha, Grade 12, Highlands High School; and
  • Luke Anderson, Grade 10, Pine Richland High School.

Bradford County: Corben Conklin, Grade 11, Athens Area High School.

Butler County: Carmen Skal, Grade 12, Butler Senior High School.

Cambria County

  • Jensen Westrick, Grade 12, Central Cambria High School; and
  • Maddie Ostinowsky, Grade 12, Bishop Carroll Catholic High School.

Chester County

  • Henri Brunel, Grade 12, Conestoga High School; and
  • Naomi Tzoanos, Grade 11, Owen J. Roberts High School.

Columbia County: Brady McNamara, Grade 11, Central Columbia High School.

Cumberland County

  • Ania Chandra, Grade 12, Cumberland Valley High School;
  • Morgan Stellfox, Grade 10, East Pennsboro Area School District; and
  • Zahra Anjum, Grade 11, Cumberland Valley Virtual Academy.

Dauphin County: Eleana Rijo, Grade 10, Susquehanna Township High School.

Delaware County

  • CJ Chen, Grade 11, Strath Haven High School; and
  • Sage Baker, Grade 10, Strath Haven High School.

Erie County

  • Emma Burkett, Grade 12, Northwestern High School;
  • Tanvi Udgiri, Grade 11, Northwest Pennsylvania Collegiate Academy; and
  • Gianna Stewart, Grade 11, Northwest Pennsylvania Collegiate Academy.

Indiana County 

  • Anna Layden, Grade 11, Purchase Line Junior Senior High School; and
  • Via Krimin, Grade 12, Indiana Area Senior High School.

Lackawanna County: Grace Beckish, Grade 10, North Pocono High School.

Lancaster County: Stella Blue Weaver, Grade 12, JP McCaskey High School.

Lehigh County

  • Adrian  Chavez, Grade 10, Nazareth Area High School; and
  • Siddhant Khandelwal, Grade 12, Parkland High School.

Lycoming County: Jaden Nixon, Grade 12, St. John Neumann Regional Academy.

Monroe County: Rese Schlameuss, Grade 11, East Stroudsburg High School South.

Montgomery County

  • Claudia Brach, Grade 12, Perkiomen Valley High School;
  • Ri Sringari, Grade 12, Perkiomen Valley High School; and
  • Rudra Patel, Grade 12, Souderton Area High School.

Philadelphia County: Minping Nie, Grade 11, Central High School.

Pike County:

  • Fawn Dutcher, Grade 10, East Stroudsburg High School North; and
  • Angelique Smalls, Grade 11, East Stroudsburg High School North.

Washington County: Abby Salzman, Grade 12, California Area High School.

Precision Software Innovations To Meet Restaurants Across the US

Precision Software Innovations has been developing technology solutions for the
hospitality and restaurant industry since 2009. The founder and CEO, Gino Piccolino is a
former restaurant owner and knows the struggles restaurant owners face on a daily
basis. That is why he created a company designed to help grow and improve
restaurants with their personalized solutions. They are currently set up in restaurants
across the US and Canada.

Precision offers an array of solutions for a variety of restaurant types. They are known
for their Cloud POS Systems, but they also offer 3rd party integration, Handheld Tablets,
Online Ordering/Branded Apps, a Management Platform on multiple formats, Self-
Service Kiosks and much, much more!

“Our team loves traveling to demo our products for restaurant professionals across
the country. It gives us the opportunity to show potential customers how we can
simplify their business and solve their daily challenges. We also get to network with a
range of business and integration partners that help us see new ways to improve our

In the upcoming weeks, Precision will be attending culinary and restaurant tradeshows
across the US showcasing their Cloud POS and other restaurant solutions to potential
clients. They will have their newest product, Self-Service Kiosk, on full display at all
tradeshows, which they offer in free standing, tabletop, counter and wall.

“Tradeshows allow us to meet a wide variety of restaurateurs who share their
experiences and how they operate.

As a result, it is a win-win for Precision since we gain new clients and use their
expertise to enhance our offerings.”

Marywood University’s “Dietitian for a Day” Program

Marywood University is hosting a “Dietitian for a Day” program on Tuesday, November 15, from 9:15 a.m. – 1:15 p.m., in the O’Neill Center for Health Families on the University’s campus. The program is free and open to anyone considering a career in nutrition and dietetics.

The program offers students an opportunity to learn what a dietitian is and about the different areas in which dietitians practice. Attendees will gain hands-on experience in several practice areas including sports, clinical and community nutrition, food science, and food service. The program also includes a session with admissions and financial aid counselors, a tour of Marywood’s campus, and lunch. Attendees will have the opportunity to interact with the nutrition and dietetics faculty as well as current students.

Attendees will gain a clearer picture about the career opportunities for a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and the types of classes, course material, and supervised practice involved in being a nutrition and dietetics major. Marywood’s Nutrition and Dietetics department provides coursework that prepares students to provide nutrition care in a variety of settings.

Register online by November 10 at https://admissions.marywood.edu/register/DietitianNov22 to attend “Dietitian for a Day.”