WVIA Recognized for Impact with Six Prestigious PAB Awards

WVIA, Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania’s public media station, is honored to announce it has received six awards from the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters (PAB) for its outstanding work in 2023. 

These prestigious honors recognize WVIA’s commitment to delivering essential local news, informative programs, and captivating arts and entertainment content for our region.

“These awards represent so much more than success for WVIA. They acknowledge the important role we play in informing, educating, and entertaining our neighbors, and inspire us to continue delivering essential public media that strengthens our region.” said WVIA Chief Content Officer, Ben Payavis II. “We are deeply grateful for the continued trust, support, and encouragement from our communities, and look forward to building upon this success in years to come.”

The PAB Awards represent the pinnacle of broadcasting excellence in the state, judged by a panel of industry professionals. WVIA’s six recognitions span a variety of categories, reflecting its commitment to serving audiences across various interests and representing all facets of its communities.

Outstanding Use of Digital Media

  • WVIA presents PIZZA!, Digital Short-Form Documentary Series
  • ROAR: The Story of the Southern Columbia Football Tigers, Documentary Launch
  • Mind Over Matter, Season Recap

Outstanding Feature Story/Report

  • The Hooded Graves of Catawissa, VIA Short Take
  • Conversation group in Scranton Helps refugees from around the world, WVIA News story

Outstanding Television Documentary

  • ROAR: The Story of the Southern Columbia Football Tigers, Documentary

In addition to these awards, WVIA’s impact extends far beyond broadcast. In 2023, the station reached over 2 million viewers and 1 million listeners, provided educational resources to thousands of students, and hosted community events that engaged residents across the region. 

“These awards are a reflection of the countless hours, late nights, and passionate hearts poured into every story we tell,” stated WVIA President & CEO, Carla McCabe. “We do this together, for our communities.” 

Winners were announced online on Friday, February 9th, and a luncheon will be held at The Harrisburg Hilton on Friday April 26th, 2024, at noon, where winners will receive their awards.

Dale Carnegie Course to Offer Discount for Chamber Members to Attend Immersion Seminar

The Dale Carnegie Course to Offer 10% Discount for all Chamber members to attend Immersion Seminar!
Hello fellow chamber member:

Professional development is exciting and essential for companies to thrive! With the challenges of 2024 still not entirely known, now is the time to prepare us and our teams!
Who might you consider sending?

The Dale Carnegie Course is a comprehensive learning journey that is suitable for those who yearn for professional growth. Based on his famous book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, this course provides the tools and strategies to better deal with challenging people and situations, and as a result, become more confident and effective in all aspects of life.

Course Specifics:
1. Strictly Business: The Dale Carnegie Immersion Seminar
2. 3 Full Days – March 12-14 from 8:30 am – 5:00
3. Learning Objectives:
4. Build Greater Self-Confidence
5. Strengthen People Skills
6. Enhance Communication Skills
7. Develop Leadership Skills
8. Reduce Stress and Improve Our Attitude

Location – Hilton Garden Inn, 242 Highland Park Blvd. Wilkes-Barre
Virtual Kickoff will be Mar. 5, 12-1:30, 90 minutes
Original registration fee $2195 per person. Use 10% discount code enter

DALE10 fee will be $1995 per person with discount applied.

If you have any questions or need assistance – please contact Rick Franks). 724-480-2221 or richard.franks@dalecarnegie.com

Settlers Hospitality to Host Chili & Wing Cookoff Return

It’s the hottest ticket in town! The Chili and Wing Cookoff returns to Silver Birches in Hawley on Sunday March 3, 2024. The event, hosted by Settlers Hospitality, brings together over 20 of the best chefs from local restaurants, schools, and organizations as well as talented home cooks. Contestants vie for the title of Best Chili and Best Wings during a heated competition at the Waterfront at Silver Birches.

The action begins at noon with the awards presentation slated for between 3:30 and 4 p.m. Contestants include local favorites such as Runaway Train Brewery, Draft’s Bar & Grill, Gresham’s Chophouse, The Dock on Wallenpaupack, Hop Baron’s and Paupack Watering Hole. A panel of guest judges will select the winners. In addition to bragging rights, first place winners receive a $100 cash prize and a trophy. Second and third place winners also take home a trophy. Everyone who attends gets a ballot for the People’s Choice Award and a chance to vote for their favorite dishes. The coveted title also brings a $100 cash prize for the winners plus trophies for first, second and third place.

A ticket entitles guests to sample each of the wing and chili offerings. Tickets are $30 per person and $15 for children ages 5-10. Silver Birches not only hosts the tasty competition, but also supplies each participant with 80 pounds of wings and all the cups, plates, spoons, napkins, and wet naps necessary for service, at no charge. All proceeds from the Cookoff benefit the Settlers Cares Foundation, which aids local hospitality employees in times of crisis.

“Chili and Wing Cookoff is a signature event for us. We are delighted to host this fun, community gathering and be able to support a cause that’s near and dear to our hearts,” states Settlers Hospitality Owner/CEO Justin Genzlinger. Attendees may buy a chance for a 50/50 raffle, which will also aid the hospitality employee crisis fund.

Settlers Hospitality, Bold Gold Media Group, and Runaway Train Brewery sponsor the Chili and Wing Cookoff. Tickets are $30 and are available at the door. Call 570-226-4388 for more information or visit SilverBirchesResortPA.com

America250PA Announces Semiquincentennial Bell at the Hawley Silk Mill

The Pennsylvania Commission for the United States Semiquincentennial (America250PA), in partnership with Settlers Hospitality, announced today that it will place a bronze, permanent Semiquincentennial Bell at the Hawley Silk Mill later in the Fall of 2024, in commemoration of the 250th anniversary of the United States in 2026.

America250PA staff; Settlers Hospitality founders, the Genzlinger family; and special guests, including Congressman Matt Cartwright, Drew Popish from the Office of Governor Josh Shapiro, PA State Senator Lisa Baker, PA State Representative Joseph Adams, and Wayne County Commissioner James Shook, attended the announcement today in celebration of the upcoming bell installation later this year.

“The America250PA Semiquincentennial Bells will lift up the stories of communities that have been untold or not widely known yet shaped the history here in the Commonwealth,” said Cassandra Coleman, Executive Director of America250PA. “America250PA is so excited to be dedicating its second Semiquincentennial Bell at the Hawley Silk Mill this fall to highlight the remarkable work of the individuals—immigrants, primarily women—who helped forge this great nation during the Industrial Revolution right here in Pennsylvania.”

Justin Genzlinger, CEO/Owner of Settlers Hospitality—the presenting sponsor of the Semiquincentennial Bell—shared his thoughts on the importance of the bell: “The Semiquincentennial Bell at the site of the Hawley Silk Mill will herald the story of immigrant labor that helped fuel the Industrial Revolution,” he said. “We’re proud to honor their place in history and preserve that legacy for their descendants who continue to call this community home. We look forward to this becoming another important destination along Pennsylvania’s Route 6 that will enrich the cultural experience for residents and visitors to the Pocono Mountains Lake Region.”

The Semiquincentennial Bell will include an inscription reading, “In the fabric of the 19th century, immigrant women and children were essential threads to the industrial economy as they worked in silk mills and factories like this one. Their descendants remain here.”

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Hawley Silk Mill, located in the scenic Pocono Mountains, has been a vital part of the region since 1880. Originally known as the Bellemonte Silk Mill, this beautiful landmark is still preserved today through the generous support of The Settlers Hospitality Group and includes two additional properties, the Cocoon Coffeehouse and Bakery, originally constructed for silk storage, and the J.S. O’Connor American Rich Cut Glassware Factory (now Ledges Hotel), a technological marvel of its time as one of the first in the nation to be powered by water and lit by electricity generated from its own electrical plant. Both are also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Hawley Silk Mill is architecturally as impressive today as it was in 1880, constructed by hand with primarily immigrant labor in the High Victorian Gothic style, and believed to be the largest Bluestone building in the world. It also remains a symbol of the entrepreneurial spirit, grit and determination of the early settlers and immigrants, primarily young women, whose hard work ushered in the Industrial Revolution. This region is well known as the beginning of the labor movement, which included championing safer working conditions, child labor laws, and mandatory public education. The young female immigrants employed at the Hawley Silk Mill played a significant role in shaping the workplace safety and benefits that we all enjoy today.

Bohlin Cywinski Jackson will design the Semiquincentennial Bell site at the Hawley Silk Mill campus. The Wilkes-Barre, PA, based firm was the architect for the Liberty Bell Center in Philadelphia and designed the plan to repurpose the Hawley Silk Mill into the vibrant lifestyle center that it is today.

For more information about America250PA and the Semiquincentennial Bell project, visit: https://america250pa.org/.

For more information about the Settlers Hospitality, visit: https://settlershospitality.com/.

For more information about the Hawley Silk Mill, visit: https://hawleysilkmill.com/.

Alumnus and Trustee to Chair Marywood’s Community Leadership Celebration

Michael E. Bugno, a Marywood University alumnus and trustee, will chair Marywood University’s 11th Annual Community Leadership Celebration on Thursday, May 2, 2024, 5:30 p.m., at the Center for Athletics and Wellness on the University’s campus. The event will honor community leader and Marywood alumna Mary Ellen McDonough, with a special spotlight on retiring Marywood president, Sister Mary Persico, IHM, Ed.D.

Mr. Bugno, formerly of Clarks Summit, is an accomplished experiential marketing and strategic global events leader, with more than 20 years of planning and executing successful corporate trade shows and events for mid-sized and Fortune 150 companies. Presently, he is the Vice President, Enterprise Experiential Marketing, at Fiserv, based in New York, N.Y.

Prior to Fiserv, Mr. Bugno held a number of leadership positions at Lectra, Food Network, and Comedy Central. He began his career at Walt Disney World, where he was involved in College & International Marketing and Recruiting. Mr. Bugno graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in theatre arts administration in 1998, and he has had a longstanding relationship with the university ever since. He received the Marywood Alumni Association Recent Graduate Award in 2004 and served as a Marywood University trustee from 2006-2015. In 2019, he again joined Marywood’s Board of Trustees. Mr. Bugno has co-chaired and/or worked on sponsorships for the Annual Community Leadership Celebration (CLC) since its inception in 2014.

The CLC is Marywood’s signature fundraiser, providing special support to Marywood students and honoring individuals in the community who exemplify Marywood’s core values in leadership and service to others. Proceeds from this year’s event will benefit campus improvements as part of the EMPOWER Campaign.

To join Marywood University in honoring Mary Ellen McDonough and in recognizing Sister Mary Persico, IHM, at the 11th Annual Community Leadership Celebration on May 2, please visit marywood.edu/clc for ticket and sponsorship information, or call (570) 348-6238.

WBRE/WYOU Produce Super Bowl Commercial

WBRE and WYOU produced a 30-second commercial promoting the 28/22 News Team and their Home Field Advantage. The commercial aired last night in Super Bowl LVIII on WYOU 22. 

LINK TO COMMERCIAL: https://www.pahomepage.com/news/28-22-news-homefield-advantage-makes-big-game-debut/

The WBRE 28 and WYOU 22 news team has the most locally born and raised journalists. This gives our team and therefore our viewers the Home Field Advantage in Northeast Pennsylvania. The commercial takes its inspiration from the Notre Dame football classic film, Rudy.

“I love the commercial and I especially love how the team came together to brainstorm and produce this spot. The excitement can be felt throughout the whole building.” Said Andrew Wyatt WBRE’s Vice President and General Manager.

This commercial is the 7th in the award-winning series. It was announced on Friday, February 9, 2024 that the series has been recognized by the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters for Outstanding Television Station Marketing. 

The Home Field Advantage commercial aired Sunday night during Super Bowl LVIII on WYOU 22.  

The RailRiders Pinstripe Pals Program Returns to Support Local Youth Leagues

The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, in partnership with US Foods, are thrilled to announce that the Pinstripe Pals program has returned in support of area youth softball and baseball leagues. Applications are being accepted now and 10 youth leagues will be selected for the program once again this year.

League representatives are encouraged to fill out the Pinstripe Pals application form and submit a 500-word (or less) essay describing why their league should be chosen. Each of the ten leagues selected will receive a $500 sponsorship from the RailRiders to assist in league expenses, as well as a $500 gift card courtesy of US Foods, which can be used to help teams pay for concession stand products and supplies. Applications are due by March 1.

Each league selected will have the opportunity to participate in a pre-game parade at PNC Field before a RailRiders home game and the opportunity for RailRiders assistance with league fundraising. Selected leagues will have a photo of their choice placed in the GuideRail game day program on their league’s designated night. One of the teams in each league will serve as the “Field of Dreams” club on that night and take the field with the RailRiders players.

Applications can be found on our website under the Community tab or upon request. Completed applications can be emailed to Robby Judge at rjudge@swbrailriders.com, faxed to (570) 963-6564 or mailed to:

SWB RailRiders

Attn: Pinstripe Pals

235 Montage Mountain Rd.

Moosic, PA 18507

Winning leagues will be announced on March 8. For more information on the Pinstripe Pals program, presented by US Foods, please contact Krista Lutzick or Robby Judge at (570) 969-2255. 

The 2024 season begins on March 29 in Buffalo with the RailRiders home opener slated for April 2 against the Syracuse Mets.  Season ticket plans are available now on www.swbrailriders.com or by calling (570) 969-BALL.

Wayne Bank Announces Third Quarter Earnings

James O. Donnelly, President and Chief Executive Officer of Norwood Financial Corp. (Nasdaq Global Market-NWFL) and its subsidiary, Wayne Bank, announced earnings for the three months ended September 30, 2023 of $4,119,000, which represents a decrease of $3,990,000, from the $8,109,000 earned in the same three-month period of 2022.

The decrease in earnings was due to a $3.1 million decrease in net interest income, an $882,000 increase in the provision for credit losses, and a $1.1 million increase in total other expenses during the three-months ended September 30, 2023.

For the three months ended September 30, 2023, earnings per share (fully diluted) were $0.51, which represents a decrease from the $1.00 earned in the three months ended September 30, 2022.

The annualized returns on average assets and average tangible equity for the three-month period ended September 30, 2023, were 0.76% and 11.22%, respectively, compared to 1.57% and 21.48% for the three-month period ended September 30, 2022.

Net income for the nine months ended September 30, 2023, totaled $16,405,000, which is $5,688,000 lower than the same period of 2022. The decrease in net income includes a $4,390,000 decrease in net interest income, a $2.0 million decrease in total other income, and a $1.9 million increase in total other expenses during the nine months ended September 30, 2023.

Earnings per share (fully diluted) for the nine months ended September 30, 2023, totaled $2.03 per share compared to $2.71 per share for the nine
months ended September 30, 2022.

As of September 30, 2023, total assets were $2.179 billion, loans receivable were $1.611 billion, total deposits were $1.747 billion and stockholders’ equity was $164.7 million.

For the three months ended September 30, 2023, net interest income, on a fully taxable equivalent basis (fte), totaled $15,224,000, which represents a decrease of $3,145,000, compared to the three months ended September 30, 2022. Net interest margin (fte) for the three months ended September 30, 2023 was 2.94%, compared to 3.74% for the three months ended September 30, 2022. Net interest income (fte) for the nine months ended September 30, 2023 totaled $47,328,000, a decrease of $4,406,000, compared to the nine months ended September 30,2022, due primarily to the increased cost of interest-bearing liabilities in excess of the increase in the yield earned on interestearning assets. The net interest margin (fte) for the nine months ended September 30, 2023 was 3.09%, compared to 3.52% for the nine months ended September 30, 2022.

For the three months ended September 30, 2023, the Company recorded a provision for credit losses in the amount of $882,000 compared to $0 in the three-month period ended September 30, 2022. The increase in the provision for credit losses was required to replenish the allowance for credit losses to a level deemed appropriate after recognizing $2.3 million of credit losses during the current period. The current period losses include a $2.0 million charge-off resulting from deterioration in one large commercial relationship. The remaining balance of the relationship was transferred to nonperforming status, resulting in an increase in nonperforming loans and nonperforming assets. For the nine-month period ended September 30, 2023, the Company recorded a release of provision for credit losses in the amount of $568,000, compared to a provision of $600,000 in the nine-month period ended September 30, 2022.

Total other income for the three months ended September 30, 2023 was $2,306,000, compared to $2,178,000 for the three months ended September 30, 2022. For the nine months ended September 30, 2023, total other income was $6,001,000, compared to $8,006,000 in the same period of 2022. The decrease was due primarily to income recognized in 2022 on previously acquired purchased impaired loans that were carried at a discount.

Total other expenses were $11,276,000 for the three months ended September 30, 2023, compared to $10,139,000 for the three months ended September 30, 2022. For the nine months ended September 30, 2023, total other expenses were $32,649,000, compared to $30,768,000 for the nine months ended September 30, 2022. The increase was due primarily to a $1,069,000 increase in salaries and employee benefit costs during
the nine months ended September 30, 2023.

Mr. Donnelly commented, “Our results for the first nine months of 2023 reflect decreasing net interest spreads due to rising interest rates, which have impacted our cost of interest-bearing liabilities more than the increase in yield earned on interest-earning assets. We continue to compare favorably to peer banks who have also reported a reduction in their financial performance. We will continue to search out opportunities to maintain our position as a premier community bank, and to serve our local communities with their financial needs. We appreciate the opportunity to serve our expanded base of stockholders and customers.”

Norwood Financial Corp is the parent company of Wayne Bank, which operates from fourteen offices throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania and fifteen offices in Delaware, Sullivan, Ontario, Otsego and Yates Counties, New York. The Company’s stock trades on the Nasdaq Global Market under the symbol “NWFL”.

Forward-Looking Statements: The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 contains safe harbor provisions regarding forward-looking statements. When used in this discussion, the words “believes”, “anticipates”, “contemplates”, “expects”, “bode”, “future performance” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Such statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Those risks and uncertainties include changes in federal and state laws, changes in interest rates, the risks and uncertainty posed by, and the continued effect, and impact of, the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy and the Company’s results of operation and financial condition, our ability to maintain strong credit quality metrics, our ability to have future performance, our ability to control core operating expenses and costs, demand for real estate, government fiscal and trade policies, cybersecurity and general economic conditions. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly release the results of any revisions to those forward-looking statements which may be made to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.

Non-GAAP Financial Measures: This release references net interest income on a fully taxable-equivalent basis (fte), which is a non-GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) financial measure. Fully taxable-equivalent net interest income was derived from GAAP interest income and net interest income using an assumed tax rate of 21%. We believe the presentation of net interest income on a fully taxable equivalent basis ensures comparability of net interest income arising from both taxable and tax-exempt sources, and is consistent with industry