PennDOT Announces Winners of Paint the Plow Contest

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is pleased to announce the District 4 winners of the Paint the Plow safety outreach contest.

North Pocono High School of Lackawanna County won the “Fan Favorite” award, which was determined by online voting through Dunmore High School of Lackawanna County was the honorable mention.

Members of the public were invited to vote for their favorite plow from 13 area high schools that entered this year’s regional contest. Votes were accepted from January 3 to January 10, 2023. North Pocono High School received 928 of votes to win the 2022 “Fan Favorite” honor.

The winner of the “Judges’ Pick” award was Carbondale Area High School of Lackawanna County. Dunmore High School of Lackawanna County was also the honorable mention in the “Judges’ Pick” category, which was determined through judging by PennDOT representatives.

Photos of the plows and winners can be found by visiting the PennDOT District 4 press release online.

During the winter weather season, the blades, as well as those painted by Abington Heights High School, Carbondale Area High School, Delaware Valley High School, Dunmore High School, Hazleton High School, Montrose High School, Mountain View Junior Senior High School, North Pocono High School, Northwest Area High School, Riverside Junior Senior High School, Scranton High School, Susquehanna Community Junior Senior High School and West Scranton High School students, will be used to maintain state-owned roadways in six counties in PennDOT District 4.

Paint the Plow is a collaborative effort between PennDOT and area high schools aimed at promoting winter driving safety and fostering an appreciation for student art programs and creativity. Students are invited to paint a plow blade with an original design based on a provided theme. The 2022 statewide theme is “Put Down the Device in Snow and Ice,” which was chosen to draw attention to the need for motorists to give driving their full attention and eliminate distractions, like cell phones, especially during winter weather events.

For more information on PennDOT’s winter preparations and additional winter-driving resources for motorists, visit the department’s winter website.

Motorists can check conditions on major roadway miles by visiting 511PA, which is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information, and access to more than 1,000 traffic cameras.

511PA is also available through a smartphone application for iPhone and Android devices, by calling 5-1-1, or by following regional Twitter alerts accessible on the 511PA website.

Subscribe to PennDOT news and traffic alerts in Lackawanna, Luzerne, Pike, Susquehanna, Wayne and Wyoming counties at

Information about infrastructure in District 4, including completed work and significant projects, is available at

Follow local PennDOT news on Twitter and like the department on Facebook and Instagram.

MEDIA CONTACT: Jessica Ruddy, (570) 963.4044

Greater Scranton YMCA Provides Tips and Programs During Heart Month

February is American Heart Month, and with recently published research indicating blood pressure control has worsened in both men and women since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Greater Scranton YMCA urges community members to make their health a priority by getting a blood pressure screening. Blood pressure guidelines from American Heart Association indicate that nearly half of all Americans (46 percent) have high blood pressure. High blood pressure is often referred to as “The Silent Killer” because there are typically no warning signs or symptoms.

While high blood pressure and heart disease are serious conditions, the good news is a healthy heart is an achievable goal through lifestyle changes such as lowering sodium intake, eating healthier, and getting more physical activity. Getting help can be as easy as contacting the Y and taking part in the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program.

The Greater Scranton YMCA is continuing its increased availability of the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program – which is part of the CDC-led National Diabetes Prevention Program. The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program helps adults at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes adopt and maintain healthy lifestyles to help reduce their chances of developing the disease. Type 2 diabetes is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease and people with diabetes are twice as likely to have heart disease or suffer a stroke as those who do not have it.

Here in the Greater Scranton region, we have offered the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program for 12 years. The program provides a supportive environment where participants work together in a small group to learn about eating healthier, increasing their physical activity and making other behavior changes with the goal of reducing body weight by 7 percent in order to reduce their risk for developing diabetes. A trained Lifestyle Coach leads the program over a 12-month period. Increased physical activity and moderate weight loss not only reduce diabetes risk, but also have an impact on lowering blood pressure and cholesterol.

The Greater Scranton YMCA has seen many participants who had previously been living a sedentary lifestyle come through the program and not only improve their quality of life, but go on to attend multiple group exercises classes a week, as well as regularly visit our wellness center and weight room. The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program introduces
people to the benefits of a healthy lifestyle and is essential in creating healthier habits both
inside and outside the gym.

In addition to monitoring your blood pressure, reducing sodium intake is a great way to
keep your heart healthy. Per the American Heart Association (AHA), too much sodium in
your system puts an extra burden on your heart and blood vessels. In some people, this
may lead to or raise high blood pressure. Everyone, including kids, should reduce their
sodium intake to less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium a day (about 1 teaspoon of salt).
Having less sodium in your diet may help you lower or avoid high blood pressure.

“While there are many ways to keep your heart healthy, making a conscious effort to tackle
your blood pressure and decrease sodium intake are two quick, effective ways to prevent
heart disease,” said Trish Fisher, President & CEO, Greater Scranton YMCA. “No matter what
your heart health goal is this year, the Y has a variety of resources to help you get started
and achieve them.”

The Greater Scranton YMCA offers a community of diverse individuals who can support all
people in meeting their health and well-being goals. Learn more by visiting or stopping into the facility, located at 706 N. Blakely Street,
Dunmore, PA 18512.

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Railriders Announce Field Staff

Shelley Duncan’s first SWB field staff features five returnees from the 2022 staff and three newcomers

The New York Yankees have announced the field staff for each of their minor league affiliates. The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Railriders Manager Shelley Duncan will be joined in the dugout by Pitching Coach Graham Johnson, Hitting Coach Trevor Amicone and Athletic Trainer Jimmy Downam, each of whom returns for their second season at Triple-A.
José Javier joins the field staff this season as the club’s new Defensive Coach. Additionally, Ryan Williams is the new Strength & Conditioning Coach and Sullivan Lyons will be the team’s new Video & Travel Assistant.

Jim Billington and Nick Loeffelholz both return to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in the same roles they held last season. Billington is the RailRiders’ Home Clubhouse Manager while Loeffelholz is the Advance Scouting Analyst.

New York announced Manager Shelley Duncan’s return to the organization on January 20. Duncan was drafted by the Yankees and appeared in 905 games while a Yankees’ farmhand. 2023 marks the fifth season in Duncan’s managerial career and the first at Triple-A for the 2009 International League Most Valuable Player.

Johnson, 37, served as the RailRiders Pitching Coach in 2022, providing tutelage to a staff that finished with an International League-best 3.89 ERA and the third-most strikeouts. He spent several seasons in the Houston Astros organization as a pitching coach in the lower levels of Minor League Baseball before joining the Yankees farm system last year. Johnson played at Culver-Stockton College in Canton, MO, before becoming a graduate assistant at Lindenwood University, completing his Master’s of Education with an emphasis in strength and conditioning degree in 2010. After a stint with Western Illinois University, he joined the staff at Morehead State. Johnson was the pitching coach for the Eagles from 2012-17 and also served as an assistant head coach, overseeing field maintenance and the academic development of all student-athletes involved in the baseball program.

Amicone, 35, also returns to the role he held in 2022 with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The RailRiders hit .249 last season with 173 home runs, though the club had the second-best batting average and fourth-best on-base percentage over the final 95 games of the 150-game slate. Amicone joined the Yankees organization in 2020 and spent last season with New York’s Dominican Summer League team. The Sandy, Utah, native has served as an assistant coach and camp coordinator for the Dixie State baseball program as well as the head baseball coach at Woods Cross High School in Utah. He has also worked privately with hitters at the professional, college, high school and youth levels. His father, Marc, is the General Manager of the Salt Lake Bees in the Pacific Coast League.

Javier, 30, will serve as the Defensive Coach for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He was initially signed by New York as a non-drafted free agent in 2010 and played six seasons in the Yankees’ minor league system. 2023 will be Javier’s seventh season as a coach in the organization, having spent time at each level, including serving as the Defensive Coach for the Hudson Valley Renegades last year.
2023 marks Downam’s eleventh season with the Yankees as an Athletic Trainer and his second straight year in Triple-A. He joined the Yankees in 2013 as the trainer for Staten Island and also spent three seasons with Charleston from 2014 through 2016. Downam spent five seasons as New York’s Double-A trainer between time in Trenton and Somerset. He attended Liberty University, where he received his B.S. in Athletic Training in 2009 and an M.S. in sports administration in 2012.
Williams has spent the last two seasons with the Somerset Patriots as their Strength & Conditioning Coach. He is a 2019 graduate of Limestone University and interned at both the University of South Carolina Upstate and Campbell University. Williams also served as a strength & conditioning coach at Cressey Sports Performance before joining the Yankees organization.

Please direct all interview requests to Adam Marco, the Director of Communications for the RailRiders. He can be reached at (570) 558-4637 or via email at

The RailRiders’ 2023 season begins at PNC Field on March 31 against the Buffalo Bisons. Season ticket memberships, including full, half, partial and flex plans, are available now. Visit for more information.

Precision Software Launches Self-Service Kiosk

Locally owned and operated in Jessup, Precision Software Innovations is now offering
an array of styles for restaurants and bars, including Free-Standing, Tabletop, and Wall
Kiosks. The past three years have changed the restaurant industry and how businesses
operate. Hiring and retaining staff has become harder and contact-less ordering is now
preferred by customers.

Precision’s Self-Service Kiosk offers a variety of benefits that could improve your
business and simplify your life.

1) Improve Customer Experience with Self-Service Kiosks
Having the ability to order contact-less will give customers more time to make sure their
order is perfect for them. Almost 65% of all customers would visit a restaurant more
often if a Self-Service Kiosk was available (Admin, 2019). Customers ordering at their
own pace and having more control of their order, results in greater customer

2) Increase Sales
Precision’s kiosks offer suggestive up sell to your customers, which can and will,
increase average ticket sales. Customers are likely to increase their order by 20% by
ordering on a kiosk (Rodgers, 2022).

3) Provides Visuals
Like menus, images and visuals of a business’s food give credibility to customers. Items
with images associated to them have an average of 6.5% increase of being ordered than
those that don’t (Robinson). All menu items on Precision’s Kiosks will have an image,
giving customers a visual of everything a restaurant has to offer. Also, Kiosks can be
used to advertise specials and promotions when the device is not in use.

If you would like to learn more about our Self-Service Kiosks and how they would
improve your business today call us at 1-855-673-3700 or visit us online at

Allied Services Celebrates Miracle Makers

Allied Services Integrated Health System recently honored the contributions and successes of employees from various divisions with their bimonthly Miracle Maker breakfast. The gathering was held at the Convention Center at Mohegan Sun Pennsylvania, Plains, Pa. 

“To be surrounded here today by so many skilled, compassionate, and professional people is truly a blessing,” commented Atty. Bill Conaboy President & CEO, Allied Services Integrated Health System. “And to know that this is just a  sampling of the tremendous people we employ – it gives me great faith in the strength and future of our integrated health system.”

PHOTO ID: Seated left to right: Ann Ruddy, Personal Care Attendant, Allied Services Terrace; Roseanne Fisne, Director of Clinical Applications, Allied Services Information Systems; Christina Bolcavage, Systems Analyst, Allied Services Information Systems; Margaret Augustatus, Dietary Supervisor, Allied Services Meade Street Skilled Nursing; Richard McFarlin, Janitorial, Center City Skilled Nursing; Sophia Hamilton-Gibson, Certified Nurse Aide, Allied Services Skilled Nursing Center Scranton; Standing left to right; Brianna Hoban, Allied Services Assistant Vice President of Skilled Nursing Administration; Judy Oprisko, Allied Services Vice President Human Resources; Wally Sokolowski, Physical Therapist Assistant, Allied Services Scranton; Patrice Powell, Coordinator, Allied Services Hospice & Palliative Care; Jamie Mackey, Unit Manager, Allied Service William Warren Scranton Residence; Kristi Green, RN, CHPN, Allied Services Hospice & Palliative Care; Atty. Bill Conaboy, President & CEO, Allied Services Integrated Health System; Dr. Robert Cole, Senior Vice President & Chief Analytics Officer, Allied Services Integrated Health System.

Absent from photo: Brittnee Smith, Director of Social Services, Allied Services Center City Skilled Nursing; Chrystal Morgan, Mental Health Worker; Allied Services Behavioral Health Division; Abdulmjid Alsharari, Supervisor, Allied Services Behavioral Health Division 

Erin Burns

Multimedia Production Manager
Allied Services Integrated Health System

Office: 570-348-1341

Fax: 570-341-4331

The Ritz to show “Italian Bred”

For one night only, Friday, March 31, 2023 at 7:30 PM you can see Italian Bred at The Ritz Theater & Performing Arts Center.

About the show: Having written down everything her loving and outspoken grandmother ever uttered, Candice slips in and out of family characters as she cooks up an hilarious show of growing up Staten Island style. Italian Bred features several Virtual Celebrity Cameos by Steve Schirripa (Blue Bloods & Sopranos), Mario Cantone (Sex and the City & The View), Emmy Winner Leslie Jordan, and more!

Please contact us with any questions about the chart.

Please note that The Ritz was built in 1907 as a vaudeville theater. There are many steps to negotiate. Please let us know in advance if you will need assistance. If you need ADA seating and use of our chairlift, please contact us ahead of your visit – 570.252.4156/ and we will reserve your seats.

House opens 30 minutes prior to curtain. The Box Office table opens an hour before curtain. Concessions & light fare are available from The Black Box Cafe on the 1st floor of the Ritz Building. Food & drink from the Black Box Cafe only are allowed in the theater.

You can purchase tickets at or call (570)-252-4156.

The Ritz Theater 222 Wyoming Ave Scranton, PA 18503

Johnson College Announces New Satellite Campus

In an effort to transform education, the economy, and the quality of the workforce throughout the Greater Hazleton region, Johnson College has partnered with Greater Hazleton CAN DO to address the demands of industry in the area. Together, they are spearheading plans to introduce the College’s first-ever satellite campus, Johnson College at the CAN DO Training Center, located in the Humboldt Industrial Park in Hazleton.

During a press conference on February 1st, 2023 at the 30,000-sq.ft. industrial facility, which once housed the McCann School of Business and Technology, executives and board members from Johnson College and CAN DO, Inc announced exciting details about the new campus. Dr. Katie Leonard, President and CEO of Johnson College, led the presentation and was followed by key members of the partnership including Joseph Lettiere, President and CEO of CAN DO; Charles Burkhardt, Chair of the CAN DO Board of Directors; and Pat Dietz, Chairperson of Johnson College Board of Directors.

“We have heard from area employers and the programs that will be offered here are built to meet their needs,” Dr. Leonard said. “We look forward to hearing from the Greater Hazleton community in terms of how this building can once again become an asset that we all share. We are here to help meet the needs of our friends and neighbors in this great community.”

The goal of this new campus will be to create unique and affordable academic experiences for students in partnership with industry to prepare them for careers in the Hazleton region and beyond. The College is built on its reputation for providing hands-on learning in a supportive environment and members of its community are thrilled to share this experience in a new area.

CAN DO President & CEO Joseph Lettiere said, “For many years, CAN DO has worked to bring a technical school to Greater Hazleton to assist in improving the area’s access to career-ready job training.  It is our mission to improve the quality of life in Greater Hazleton through the creation and retention of a full range of employment opportunities and I strongly believe that the programs Johnson College plans to offer truly move the needle for our community. I’d like to thank Dr. Katie Leonard, the Johnson College Board of Directors, as well as the CAN DO Board of Directors for their willingness to take the risk in making this investment with us.” 

Johnson College at the CAN DO Training Center, pending approval by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, will offer an array of certificate and degree programs beginning in late August 2023. These will include academic certificates in Welding Technology, Industrial Technology, and Building & Property Maintenance and an associate degree in Electrical Construction Technology. It will also offer continuing education certificates in areas including Medical Assistant, Computer User Support & Security Specialist, and Class A CDL Driver Training. Students will be able to complete all programs and certificates at the Hazleton campus.

For more information about these programs, visit

Treasurer Announces Report Findings

Pennsylvania Treasurer Stacy Garrity, Center for Rural Pennsylvania Board Chairman Sen. Gene Yaw (R-23), Center for Rural Pennsylvania Vice Chairman Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski (D-121), and Center for Rural Pennsylvania Executive Director Dr. Kyle C. Kopko today announced the findings of a study analyzing the differences in how residents of rural counties use and benefit from the PA 529 College & Career Savings Program compared to residents of urban counties.

The analysis, performed by the Center for Rural Pennsylvania at the request of the Pennsylvania Treasury Department, concluded that urban county beneficiaries of PA 529 accounts have more savings for postsecondary education than rural account beneficiaries even after taking into account various statistical factors. Treasurer Garrity said the report shows the importance of emphasizing outreach to rural counties across Pennsylvania, which she has focused on since taking office.

“Every Pennsylvanian deserves access to quality postsecondary education opportunities – whether that means a four-year university, community college, technical school or an apprenticeship,” Treasurer Garrity said. “This report shows that we’re doing the right thing by increasing our outreach to our rural counties, which are all too often forgotten in Harrisburg. As a lifelong resident of Bradford County, one of our most rural counties, I’m committed to making sure every corner of the state understands the benefits of PA 529. I’ve visited every county in Pennsylvania each of the last two years, and I always talk about the benefits of PA 529 and how saving with PA 529 can help families reach their education goals.”

Between January 2018 and March 2022, more than 60 percent of all contributions to PA 529 accounts, went to PA 529 Investment Plan (IP) accounts in the 19 counties defined as urban by the Center for Rural Pennsylvania.

“The Center for Rural Pennsylvania was pleased to partner with the Treasury Department to analyze its data and publish this new research,” said Chairman Sen. Yaw. “This report will help raise awareness among rural residents about PA 529 accounts and how these accounts may be useful to them to save for future education and workforce training needs.”

 “As a former teacher, I know how important a quality education is for a student’s long-term success,” said Vice Chairman Rep. Pashinski. “PA 529 savings accounts can make quality post-secondary education possible and affordable for more families.”

“The data presented in this report yield several important findings,” said Dr. Kyle C. Kopko, Center for Rural Pennsylvania Executive Director. “Chief among them is the finding that there is a gap in 529 plan contribution levels between rural and urban account holders – even after accounting for a range of statistical factors that may influence contributions.” 

The report, Differences in Rural and Urban PA 529 Education Savings Accounts, 2018-2022, also found a sharp increase in PA 529 contribution amounts during the third and fourth quarters of 2021. This followed action by the U.S. Department of the Treasury to offer advances on the Child Tax Credit, allowing parents making less than $400,000 filing jointly to receive part of their CTC reimbursement as monthly checks. However, the report concluded that more evidence is needed as to whether those policy changes contributed to the increase.

To better reach rural communities across the Commonwealth, Treasury expanded its outreach team in 2022 by adding a Director of Outreach and Marketing and creating three regionally located outreach positions. The outreach team attends county fairs, senior expositions, legislative programs, and other events to connect with people directly. They also connect with community organizations and educational institutions to establish stronger partnerships.

The Keystone Scholars program has helped increase new PA 529 accounts for families in rural counties. Keystone Scholars provides $100 investment to every baby born to or adopted by Pennsylvania families on or after January 1, 2019, using no taxpayer money. PA 529 account ownership has increased in nearly all rural counties since the program’s launch.

PA 529 accounts are designed to help Pennsylvania families steadily and strategically save for future educational expenses – including universities, community colleges, trade schools, apprenticeships, and K-12 education – with significant state and federal tax advantages.

Treasury offers two PA 529 plans; the PA 529 Guaranteed Savings Plan (GSP), which allows families to save at today’s tuition rates to meet tomorrow’s tuition costs, and the Morningstar Silver-Rated PA 529 Investment Plan (IP), which offers a variety of investment options.

Treasurer Garrity has made many changes to ease access to PA 529 accounts and bolster savings for families using the program. She eliminated the minimum deposit to open a PA 529 account and lowered the minimum contribution to $1. PA 529 IP account owners have seen a state fee reduction, while PA 529 GSP account owners had asset-based fees waived for the current fiscal year and qualifying GSP accounts received a $100 deposit last summer funded by GSP fund surplus earnings.

The Center for Rural Pennsylvania is a bipartisan, bicameral legislative agency that serves as a resource for rural policy within the Pennsylvania General Assembly. It was created by Act 16 of 1987, the Rural Pennsylvania Revitalization Act. The Center works with the legislature, educators, state and federal executive branch agencies, and national, statewide, regional, and local organizations to maximize resources and strategies that can better serve Pennsylvania’s nearly 3.4 million rural residents.

For more information about PA 529 accounts, visit

Media Contacts:
Samantha Heckel, Press Secretary (Treasury), 717-418-0206 or

Christine Caldara Piatos, Communications Manager (Center for Rural Pennsylvania), 717-787-9555 or

Misericordia University Now Offering Accelerated Degree Options

Misericordia University’s Expressway Program is the quickest route
to a bachelor’s degree. It is designed for working adults who want to earn their degree in a timely manner, have prior college credits (not required), and have work or relevant life experience. Students have the ability to enroll and start taking classes 6 times during the year, not just in the fall and spring.

For more information, please contact the Admissions Office at (570) 674-6791, toll free at 1-866-262-6363, or e-mail