WVIA to premiere ROAR on May 11

WVIA has announced its next original documentary film ROAR: The Story of the Southern Columbia Football Tigers will premiere May 11th at 8 p.m. on WVIA television. The documentary chronicles the 2022 Southern Columbia Area High School Football Tigers as they chase a PIAA (Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association, Inc.) record sixth consecutive state championship.

Award-winning WVIA filmmaker Alexander Monelli tells the story of their season from the locker room to practices to the sidelines of the games, giving viewers an up close and never-before-seen look at one of the top high school football programs in the state. Located in rural Catawissa, Pennsylvania (near the world-renowned Knoebels Amusement Resort), the film aims to discover what makes the small-town team so successful year after year.

The film will feature interviews with the 2022 Southern Columbia football team and its coaches alongside interviews with former NFL players Henry Hynoski (Southern Columbia, New York Giants) and Bo Orlando (Berwick, Houston Oilers), as well as former WNEP sports director Jim Coles, who covered Southern Columbia and regional high school football for 33 years, and current WNEP sports reporters, Landon Stolar and Steve Lloyd.

“We have this incredible story right in our own backyard. The Southern Columbia football program was almost shut down in 1979 because of a 26-game losing streak and poor player turnout. It is now the perennial state champion with the winningest high school football coach in Pennsylvania history,” said filmmaker Alexander Monelli. “Everyone has their theory (good and bad) about how Southern is so dominant every year. I’m trying to shed some light on that with this film. It was such a dramatic season with so many surprises, injuries, and losses. I don’t think anyone could have predicted how their story unfolded.”

“What I hope people will say after this documentary is ‘they do things the right way,” said head coach Jim Roth. “As far as the way we work, the way we treat players, the way we interact, and then the rest takes care of itself and translates into wins.”

“Southern Columbia High School football is a unique story, and we are excited to give our viewers an up-close and personal view of this team,” said Ben Payavis II, WVIA Chief Content Officer. “WVIA takes pride in shining a light on the stories of our region and giving them a platform to be shared with the world.”

The trailer for ROAR: The Story of the Southern Columbia Football Tigers can be viewed here: https://www.wvia.org/roar-the-story-of-the-southern-columbia-football-tigers

About Southern Columbia Area High School Football Tigers

The Southern Columbia Football Tigers are the most decorated high school football team in the history of Pennsylvania. Prior to the 2022 season, they have won 12 PIAA state titles (1994, 2002-2006, 2015, 2017-2021). Head coach Jim Roth has a record of 475-64-2, which is the most wins by any head football coach at any level in state history.

Geisinger to Start Assessment across Pennsylvania

On Wednesday, March 1, Geisinger, in collaboration with other regional hospital systems, will start the triennial Community Health Needs Assessment to identify challenges and solutions to local health-based topics.
As in prior Community Health Needs Assessments (CHNAs), Geisinger will partner with Evangelical Community Hospital and Allied Services Integrated Health System on the assessment. Partnership among regional organizations allow for a better understanding of health needs across the communities served and encourages collaboration to address the identified needs.
“The CHNA provides us with a snapshot of key health challenges affecting our communities,” said Matt Walsh, executive vice president and chief operating officer for Geisinger. “It leverages information from a variety of reliable resources — Pennsylvania Department of Health, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Anne E. Casey Foundation, U.S. Census, for example — and marries it with information from people in our community. It informs our strategy and helps us identify what we can do to improve our communities. Finally, the CHNA assists other organizations who can provide additional services to our area.”
The assessment will be conducted by Community Research Consulting, a woman-owned business based in Lancaster, Pa. that partners with healthcare providers, social service agencies, foundations, government entities and other community organizations to build vibrant, healthier, and sustainable communities by addressing community health, housing, socioeconomic disparities, capacity building, population health management, and other similar challenges.
Nonprofit hospital organizations are required to conduct a CHNA every three years and develop implementation strategies that address the identified health needs. These reports identify needs through data collection and analysis. The CHNA expands the hospital’s focus to include health issues impacting the greater community and promotes collaboration among local advocates, partners and hospitals.

This upcoming CHNA will be conducted throughout 2023 and will cover Jan. 1, 2024, through Dec. 31, 2026. The region’s current CHNA runs through Dec. 31, 2023.

Marywood University Sets Open House for Prospective Undergraduates

Marywood University will hold a spring undergraduate open house for high school students and their parents on Saturday, April 15, 2023. Registration begins at 9 a.m. in the Fireplace Lounge at the Nazareth Student Center on the University’s campus, and the last campus tour departs at 1:30 p.m.

The event will include informative tours of the campus, complimentary continental breakfast and lunch for all guests, and the opportunity to meet with current Marywood students, faculty, and athletic coaches. Information sessions with admissions and financial aid counselors will also be available.

For more information and to register, visit marywood.edu/openhouse, email YourFuture@marywood.edu, or call Marywood University’s admissions office at (570) 348-6234.

PHRIENDS Murder Mystery Comes to Mohegan Pennsylvania

On Saturday, April 15th beginning at 8:00pm, the Keystone Grand Ballroom at Mohegan Pennsylvania will host the popular special event known as PHRIENDS: The One That’s Parody – Interactive Murder Mystery Show. This 13+ event allows the audience to become a part of the action during a 90-minute murder mystery. Guests will be tasked with following clues, interrogating suspects and more. Tickets are available now for $35.00, available online through EventBrite.

This fun-filled event coming to Mohegan PA will also have cocktails and other drinks available for purchase. For more information, guests can also visit WithOutaCue.com

ABOUT PHRIENDS: The One That’s a Parody – Interactive Murder Mystery Show:

It’s been a few years since everyone’s favorite group of friends have all been together at the same time, but this calls for a celebration! Gunther has successfully opened a chain of cafes and his six best customers have taken a trip down to Pennsylvania for the grand opening of “Perk Place.” The party isn’t all fun and games, however. Ross and Rachel are on a break…again, some unexpected guests cause tension for Monica and Chandler, Phoebe is having issues finding a babysitter for her nieces and nephew and is someone actually trying to SHARE food with Joey?! Before the night is out, someone might be a victim of some “friendly” fire. …No one told you death was gonna be this way.


There will be several opportunities to take selfies with the characters (and a fun race to see who can get them all first), hidden clues, and even an opportunity to get your mug shot. Once the performance begins, you will become part of the action as you play detective and try to solve the mystery.

Lackawanna County Offers Small Business Grant

Lackawanna County will be providing a $5,000 grant to small businesses. The funds can be used to pay employees, add staff, buy new equipment, pay normal expenses, and expand businesses.

The purpose of the grants will help businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligible businesses must: be already operating with between two and 100 employees; have faced pandemic-related hardship; comply with all applicable federal and state laws; be current in paying federal, state, and local taxes or on a payment plan; and spend all the money in the county. No one convicted of a financial crime in the last five years is eligible. The money may also be used to pay mortgages, rent, utilities, and other operating costs.

Application forms and full instructions are available online at the county’s website, www.LackawannaCounty.org. Look for the Department of Planning and Economic Development on the homepage drop-down menu.

The Combat Inflation Business Grant can be found at this link.

Indraloka Animal Sanctuary Host Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony

The NEPA Rescue Veterinary Clinic, a project of the Indraloka Animal Sanctuary along with the NEPA Animal Welfare Collaborative, will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday, March 2, at 5:00 p.m. at Indraloka Animal Sanctuary in Dalton.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony will launch the opening of the NEPA Rescue Veterinary Clinic, which aims to increase access to quality, low-cost veterinary care for animals in the care of 35+ animal welfare organizations across the Northeastern Pennsylvania region that are part of the NEPA Animal Welfare Collaborative, including Griffin Pond Animal Shelter, Adopt-a-Boxer, Quigley’s Shelter Pets, and others.

What:  All members of the media are invited to attend the NEPA Rescue Veterinary Clinic ribbon-cutting ceremony, with the opportunity to tour the new facility and to learn more about this groundbreaking vet clinic, which is the only one of its kind in the area.

When: Thursday, March 2, 5:00 pm

Where: Indraloka Animal Sanctuary (336 Oak Dr, Dalton, PA 18414)

The Clinic will be led by Dr. Leslie Interlandi, DVM, a rescue medicine specialist and resident veterinarian at Indraloka.

The NEPA Rescue Veterinary Clinic was designed to address the incredible veterinary shortage in our area, which has only worsened following COVID-19, and which has made accessing veterinary appointments difficult for local shelters and rescues,” stated Laura Ducceschi, President & CEO of the Scranton Area Community Foundation, which houses the NEPA Animal Welfare Collaborative. 

The NEPA Animal Welfare Collaborative is a collective of animal shelters, rescues, advocates, and sanctuaries in the region that have come together to advance various causes in animal welfare and to increase the collective resources available to these agencies. Its mission is to work on initiatives aimed at ensuring animals in Northeastern Pennsylvania achieve a happy and healthy life—free from abuse and neglect. The Scranton Area Community Foundation serves as the convener of the NEPA Animal Welfare Collaborative, which aims to bring together individuals, shelter and rescue groups who are working together to help solve challenges for the benefit of people and animals in NEPA.

The NEPA Rescue Veterinary Clinic is supported by the NEPA Animal Welfare Collaborative and grant funding from the Robert H. Spitz Foundation,  the Scranton Area Community Foundation, and other regional funders.

Indraloka Animal Sanctuary rescues animals from the most desperate circumstances. “They all need immediate emergency vet care. Getting that care has proven to be one of the most difficult aspects of running a sanctuary,” stated Indra Lahiri, Founder of the Indraloka Animal Sanctuary. “Dog and cat rescues also struggle to get rescued animals the particular care they need,” she added. “The NEPA Rescue Veterinary Clinic aims to provide high-quality, low-cost emergency vet care quickly.”

The NEPA Rescue Veterinary Clinic offers services to 501(c)3 rescues, shelters, and sanctuaries located in Northeastern Pennsylvania that are part of the NEPA Animal Welfare Collaborative. To become involved with the NEPA Animal Welfare Collaborative, contact the Scranton Area Community Foundation at awc@safdn.org.

RailRiders University Community Series Begins April 5

Annual series puts local high school and special needs teams on PNC Field 13 times this year.
The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders are pleased to announce the schedule for the seventh annual RailRiders University Community Series, presented by Geisinger. Each year, the RailRiders welcome local high school and special needs teams onto PNC Field to showcase their talents.

2023 RailRiders University Community Series
Date Time Game Details

April 5 4:30 P.M. Wyoming Seminary High School vs. Holy Redeemer High School
Doubleheader A battle of first-year head coaches starts the schedule when Kyle Ofier and the Blue Knights take on Ryan Knowles and the Royals.
Riverside High School vs. Holy Cross High School
RailRiders University instructor Sean Hughes leads the Vikings against the defending District 2 Champion Crusaders, led by Sandy Menichetti.

April 6 4:30 P.M. Hanover Area High School vs. Greater Nanticoke High School
Eric Spencer’s Trojans and Todd Kolbicka’s Hawkeyes return to PNC Field.

April 10 3:00 P.M. Western Wayne High School vs. Mid Valley High School
Wildcats John Bonyl takes on RRU instructor Ryan Kropa’s Spartans.

April 17 4:30 P.M. Delaware Valley High School vs. North Pocono High School
RRU instructor Brian Jardine and the Trojans host Sean Gilbin and the Warriors, who are making their PNC Field debut.

April 21 4:30 P.M. Panther Valley High School vs. Abington Heights High School
The Comets and RRU’s Billy Zalewski, host the Panthers from District 11.
April 24 4:30 P.M. West Scranton High School vs. Scranton High School

Jamie Higgins, a RRU instructor, and the Knights host Brian Minnich and the Invaders in this classic rivalry match-up.
Triple-A Affiliate of the
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRidersPNC Field 235 Montage Mountain Road Moosic, PA 18507 570-969-2255 www.swbrailriders.com
media advisory
April 28 4:30 P.M. Blue Ridge High School vs. Mid Valley High School
The Spartans host coach Rob Dibble and the Raiders.

May 1 4:30 P.M. Valley View High School vs. Abington Heights High School
Another great rivalry game that pits the Cougars, led by Jason Munley, against the Comets.

May 7 TBD Crestwood High School vs. Dallas High School
After the RailRiders host the Rochester Red Wings, Sean Foley’s Comets and Mike Viglione’s Mountaineers wrap our Community Series with a rivalry clash.

There is no parking or admission fee for any of the 2023 RailRiders University Community Series games.
The RailRiders are also proud to host the Wyoming Valley Challenger League as part of the Community Series on June 11, 25 and July 9.

RailRiders University will host three camps this summer – June 27-29, July 25-27 and August 15-17. Save the dates now and be sure to book your six to 14 year-old once registration begins. Contact Robby Judge at (570) 558-4612 or rjudge@swbrailriders.com for additional information.
The 2023 RailRiders University Community Series is presented by Geisinger as part of their continued commitment to Northeastern Pennsylvania. For more information, please contact the RailRiders front office at
(570) 969-BALL.

Gerrity’s Fresh Grocer Celebrates Employee Appreciation Week

The essential heroes at Gerrity’s The Fresh Grocer and Gerrity’s Ace Hardware will be getting some well-deserved recognition for their hard work. FMI (Food Marketing Institute), the food industry association has created a national initiative to thank the country’s supermarket workers, and Gerrity’s is joining the party. Wednesday, February 22, will be Supermarket Employee Day – a time for the food industry and the community to recognize employees at every level for the work they do, feeding families and enriching lives.  Gerrity’s will be including their Ace hardware team as well.

At Gerrity’s, “Mom” has some special surprises for her 1,300 team members, including a catered lunch on Friday, February 24th and a 20% discount on their weekly grocery order.  However, the most important component of the celebration is the effort to spread public awareness. “We try to show our appreciation to our team every day, but our main goal for this event is to make sure that everyone knows the critical role these everyday heroes play in our community,” said Joyce “Mom” Fasula, President of Gerrity’s.

Supermarkets are arguably the center of their respective communities, touching every life around them.  Across the country, millions of supermarket employees go to work every day, keeping shelves stocked and providing essential nutrition and services that help communities survive and thrive. This is especially true during periods of crisis. In the face of natural disasters – hurricanes, blizzards, fires, and floods – supermarket employees keep their towns and cities going.  When COVID-19 shut the rest of the world down, supermarkets and hardware stores stayed open.

“It has been an extraordinarily challenging few years.  Our team, and all grocery workers, have worked extremely hard. They have earned an extra pat on the back,” said Fasula.  All ten Gerrity’s Fresh Grocer locations and four Gerrity’s Ace locations will get the word out with signs, in-store announcements and social media posts throughout the week.

Gerrity’s is a family-owned supermarket business that began in 1895 as a small meat market. Today, the company is the largest family-owned supermarket business in Northeastern Pennsylvania and is led by Joe Fasula and his mom, Joyce Fasula, known to customers as “Mom.” The company includes ten supermarkets and four hardware stores in Lackawanna, Luzerne and Northampton counties and currently employs over 1,300 associates.

Treasurer Stacy Garrity Announces America Saves Week Webinars

Treasurer Stacy Garrity today announced three upcoming webinars as part of America Saves Week, which runs February 27 through March 3. America Saves Week is an annual event to encourage families to make informed choices when it comes to saving and protecting money, reducing debt, and building wealth.

“America Saves Week is the perfect time to highlight Treasury’s great savings programs and let families across Pennsylvania know that we can help them save more effectively,” Garrity said. “I’m excited to work with the Pennsylvania Bankers Association and PHEAA for these webinars to help get the word out about the great financial resources available to Pennsylvanians.”

Treasury is partnering with experts to present three free webinars that will cover cybersecurity, student financial aid, and an overview of Treasury’s savings programs, including the PA 529 College and Career Savings Program, Keystone Scholars and the PA ABLE Savings Program.

The America Saves Week webinar schedule is:

This session, presented by the Pennsylvania Bankers Association, will share information about the current cybersecurity landscape and provide tips on safeguarding your financial information. 

Presented by Treasury and the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA), this session will cover affordable ways to pay for college, including the benefits of PA 529 plans and other aspects of financial aid to cover funding gaps, such as PA Forward Student Loans.

Presented by Treasury, this session will illustrate how families can use Treasury’s savings programs to build a brighter future, including PA 529, Keystone Scholars, and PA ABLE.

The PA 529 College and Career Savings Program helps families steadily and strategically save for future education expenses. Treasury offers two plans; the PA 529 Guaranteed Savings Plan, which allows families to save at today’s tuition rates to meet tomorrow’s tuition costs, and the PA 529 Investment Plan that offers a number of investment options. Both plans offer significant state and federal tax advantages and can be used for a wide variety of qualifying technical, collegiate, apprenticeship and K-12 educational expenses.

Keystone Scholars jumpstarts educational savings by providing a $100 investment for every child born to a Pennsylvania family on or after January 1, 2019. The program uses no taxpayer money, and the funds are invested by Treasury to grow as the child grows. The funds can be used after a child’s 18th birthday for a wide variety of postsecondary educational expenses.

PA ABLE is a tax-free way for Pennsylvanians to save for disability-related expenses while maintaining government disability benefits. PA ABLE allows for up to $17,000 in savings annually, and up to $100,000 total without impacting important benefits like Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid. Funds are easy to access and may be used for a wide range of expenses.

To register for one or more of these free webinars, visit pa529.com/webinars.

To learn more about all of Treasury’s Consumer Savings Programs, visit patreasury.gov/consumer.

Media contact:
Samantha Heckel, Press Secretary, 717-418-0206 or sheckel@patreasury.gov

WVIA Receives Five 2023 Awards

WVIA has received five 2023 Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters (PAB) Awards for programs in three categories.

WVIA received two PABs in the Outstanding Documentary Program 2023 category for Agnes 50: Life After The Flood and VIA Short Takes: 201.

WVIA also received two PABs in the Outstanding Television Public Affairs Program/Program Series 2023 category for Keystone Edition Reports: Agnes 50 and Mind Over Matter: You Are Not Alone.

In addition, WVIA’s George Graham has been awarded the Radio Broadcaster of the Year Award.

“To be recognized by the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters for the work that we do is always an honor,” said Ben Payavis II, Chief Content Officer at WVIA. “The work that received awards this year tells the stories of our region, and we are proud to share them with the world.”

“WVIA creates programs that ask hard questions and dig deep into their subject matter,” said Carla McCabe, WVIA President, and CEO. “We are honored that these programs are being recognized, as they highlight the stories and people of Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania while maintaining the high quality that our viewers and listeners have come to expect from WVIA. Something that our own George Graham, who is also being recognized, has been doing for our region for decades.”

Agnes 50: Life After The Flood, VIA Short Takes: 201, Keystone Edition Reports: Agnes 50, and Mind Over Matter: You Are Not Alone are available to watch anytime, on-demand at wvia.org as well as on the PBS and WVIA Apps.

The Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters endeavors to promote collaboration between radio {“type”:”block”,”srcIndex”:10,”srcClientId”:”aa940bd4-652b-4470-8be5-130a79949482″,”srcRootClientId”:””}and television broadcast station owners, managers, and staff across the Commonwealth. We assist our member stations in serving their communities, audiences, and advertisers through FCC-licensed free over-the-air broadcast program operations.

To learn more about the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters, please visit https://pab.org.

WVIA Mission

WVIA educates, inspires, entertains and fosters citizenship, diverse cultures, and perspectives to nurture community.