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  • Dance Theatre of W-B brings ‘Little Mermaid’ to Kirby Park

    Dance Theatre of Wilkes-Barre’s production of ‘The Little Mermaid’ featured, first row: Lucy Lew, 13, of Dallas as Flounder; Julia Godfrey, 14, of Forty Fort, as Scuttle; Emma Granahan, 17, of Exeter, as Ariel and Jordan Medley, 13, Hallie Dixon, 12, and Melina Ospina-Wiese, 11 as Ariel’s sisters. Second row: Gabriella Randazzo, 16, of Dallas as Sebastian; Kaitlyn Smith, 16, of Mountain Top as Ursula, and Chloe Organella, 14, Giuliana Latona, 12, and Mckenna Granahan, 14, as Ariel’s sisters.

    Emma Granahan of Exeter had the title role in Ballet Theatre of Wilkes-Barre’s production of ‘The Little Mermaid.’ A recent graduate of Wyoming Area High School, she intends to continue her dance studies at Widener University while studying physical therapy there.

    Gina Malsky, artistic director of Ballet Theatre of Wilkes-Barre, gets a hug from two of her younger dancers, Gianna and Aubrey Ellman.

    What is a dance theater to do when no young male dancer is available to share a waltz with Ariel in “The Little Mermaid?”

    Do you scour the kingdom and probe the ocean deep? Peer through clusters of sea anemones? Pry open a few large clam shells? Sift through the treasure in a sunken chest?

    When the Dance Theatre of Wilkes-Barre found themselves in just a prince-less situation, they found a priceless solution.

    They asked Ken Granahan of Exeter to appear onstage and dance with his 17-year-old daughter, Emma, a recent graduate of Wyoming Area High School who had the title role in the Dance Theatre’s ballet rendition of the classic tale.

    An audience of about 200 people, gathered outdoors early Thursday evening on a lawn in front of the Kirby Park Pavilion, applauded wildly when dad and daughter enjoyed a brief dance together — he in his shorts and t-shirt; she in her flowing costume of green and purple.

    “That was fantastic,” he said after the show as he and Emma’s mom, Chris, packed up their chairs and camera. “Scary as heck,” he added with a grin.

    “There was no one better than her dad,” artistic director Gina Malsky said from the stage. “We thank him for jumping onboard.”

    Throughout the performance, which lasted about an hour, there was much to applaud, including the outdoor venue, where it was easy to maintain social distance.

    Audience members also appreciated Emma’s fine dancing as well as her acting ability, especially when she portrayed Ariel’s vulnerability as the young mermaid made a bargain with the sea witch and then when she got used to the legs that replaced her fish tail.

    Lucy Lew as Flounder the fish, Kaitlyn Smith as Ursula the sea witch and Julia Godfrey as Scuttle the seagull greatly enhanced the performance with graceful moves and abundant personality, as did Gabriella Randazzo, who also treated the audience to some vocals in her role as Sebastian the crab.

    People who are familiar with the story of The Little Mermaid know she is the youngest daughter of King Triton, who rules an underwater kingdom. She has a bevy of sisters, who were portrayed in the local production by Melina Ospina-Wiese, Hallie Dixon, Giuliana Latona, Chloe Orfanella, Jordan Medley and Mckenna Granahan, who is Emma Granahan’s sister in real life.

    Emma Granahan was the only high school senior in this year’s production, and artistic director Malsky said she’s sorry to see her leave. But when “Ariel” begins her studies as a physical therapy major at Widener University this fall, she will also continue to study dance in the university’s visual and performing arts department.

    When I spotted tender new potatoes at the Wilkes-Barre Farmers Market last week, I knew I’d have no trouble meeting the challenge I’d given myself: Put together an entire Times Leader test kitchen meal using Farmers Market produce.

    And, for dessert, I’d mix together some sweet cherries from Brace’s, plus some semi-sweet cherries that were also from Hoagland’s.

    The potatoes were all fairly small, but some were smaller than others. I divided them into two groups, and cooked the bigger ones in their jackets in a saucepan of boiling water for about 3 minutes before adding the little ones. Within a few minutes they were all soft when pierced with a knife.

    I drained them, cut them in halves or thirds, depending on size, and topped with a pat of butter and some chopped parsley from our garden. Mmm.

    I trimmed the little points off the ends and cut the beans to bite-size, mostly because I learned to do that when I was a little kid. In recent years I’ve noticed some restaurant serve the beans full-length. Anyway, I steamed them until tender and added absolutely nothing to them. Delicious.

    Making this dish a few hours before serving, I sliced the raw cucumbers, added a few little slices of raw onion, a splash of vinegar, and salt. Then I chilled them in the refrigerator until it was time for dinner. In retrospect, I probably didn’t need the salt. But I think this cool veggie added a nice contrast to the rest of the supper plate.

    These can be eaten raw, pods and all, and I considered doing that, but then decided to shell them. I steamed the shelled peas for a few minutes and added nothing to them. You certainly could add butter or salt or a splash of lemon juice, if you like, but I was trying to keep it the preparation simple. And they were so tender and yummy!

    Hoagland’s Farmstead is a 70-acre, family-owned operation in Elysburg that’s diverse enough to grow vegetables, fruit (including cherries) and hay in addition to raising pigs. It sounds like the opposite of a factory farm, and well worth the few extra dollars you might spend for their meat.

    To make the pork chops (I had purchased a total of four) I put them into a frying pan, turned the heat to medium, and seared them on all sides to seal in the juices. Then I topped them with a few slices of garlic, added a little bit of water to the pan so the chops wouldn’t burn, covered it with a lid, checking them frequently to make sure they weren’t burning.

    When they were cooked through, the pork chops weren’t quite as brown as I wanted them to be, so right before I took them out of the pan I uncovered it and let the water evaporate. The pork chops got a little darker. They still weren’t as dark as I wanted them to be, but they did taste juicy and tender. So I was happy.

    I mixed two different kinds, mostly because they were different shades of red and yellow and I thought that looked extra good.

    Since buying the Pasta & Pizza Presto cookbook (Maxine Clarke and Shirley Gill) — on a previously mentioned trip to Vermont — I’ve made Fiorentina (with spinach, though I skipped the egg in the center), Marinara (tomato and garlic, no cheese), and smoked chicken with yellow peppers and sun-dried tomato pizzas, to name a few.

    But our overwhelming favorites are Margherita (with both fresh sliced tomatoes and a tomato sauce) and Quattro Formaggi (four cheeses, no sauce, on a layer of onions). I routinely make one of each for company, and sometimes make both just for MT and me. It’s so good I can down half a pie without trying sometimes, and may finish leftovers later that night.

    You’ll note there is meat in only one of the pies I’ve mentioned, and the chicken/pepper/sun dried tomato pie has just 6 ounces of smoked chicken (or turkey). Don’t know why, but I haven’t craved the recipes in the book that feature meat. At least, until I sat one recent evening and had an urge to use up some hot Italian sausage in the freezer.

    This recipe fit the bill, especially since I had everything I needed at home, including the fresh herbs in our back yard. And if I haven’t suggested starting your own herb garden, either in an available plot of land or even on a windowsill or wall with a kit, let me urge you now. Nothing beats fresh herbs in some recipes.

    As is my wont, I added a little extra garlic and cheese. And like I said, I used hot Italian sausage, skipping the chili powder, but what sausage you use is your preference. Note you add the sliced garlic raw to the toppings, so the only cooking it gets is during the bake. This softens the flavor, but keeps garlic high on the list of things you’ll likely taste.

    I’m including the recipes for a pizza dough I always use, and for the “one quantity of tomato sauce” required in the pizza ingredients.

    By the way I Googled what is supposed to be the equivalent of “bon appetit” in Slovak (my family’s ancestral language, about which I know next to nothing). Those better versed in the tongue should feel free to correct me.

    To make the dough, mix 1-1/2 cup flour (try 3/4 whole wheat and 3/4 white for a bit more flavor and color), 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon rapid rise dry yeast. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and 2/3 cup warm water, though don’t add all the water at once, reserving some until you see the texture of the dough. You can add water or flour to get it to where it needs to be — not too sticky, not too dry, cohesive enough to roll out). Cover and let rise at least 45 minutes, longer is better if you used some whole wheat flour.

    While it’s rising, make the sauce. Finely chop one onion, and crush one garlic clove. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet. Add onion and garlic and saute gently (medium low heat) until soft, about 5 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon tomato paste and 1 14-ounce can of chopped or chopped tomatoes. Smaller pieces (diced) make a more spreadable sauce. I usually use a can with some other flavoring, particularly garlic and/or onion, included. This time I used a can of “fire-roasted diced tomatoes with garlic.”

    Add some chopped fresh herbs (thyme, basil and oregano are my favorites) to taste. Dry herbs work if that’s all you’ve got. Season with a pinch of sugar and salt and pepper if you feel it needs it. heat on medium low until thickened a bit. You’ve got one “quantity” of tomato sauce. This is good for a lot of different pizzas.

    Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet. Add sausage. You can either form it in small balls for aesthetics or just break it up into smaller pieces. I did the latter. Cook until evenly browned, 2-5 minutes or so. Remove from the pan onto paper towels to drain grease.

    Preheat the oven to 425°. Roll out dough to the size of your pizza pan or stone, or make it rectangular for a cookie sheet if you lack pizza ovenware. Raise the edge a bit to hold everything in.

    Brush the rolled out dough with olive oil. spread the tomato sauce, then scatter the sausage, garlic, onion and herbs over the sauce. Sprinkle the mozzarella and parmesan on top.

    Bake 15-20 minutes — though I always check after 12 minutes or so just in case your oven burns hotter than others — until crisp and golden.

    Earlier this week I asked my husband if he could easily find “that photo of me crawling across the ice.”

    It’s an image from early January 2011, shot by former Times Leader photographer Pete G. Wilcox on a day when I had interviewed two ice fishermen on the frozen lake at Frances Slocum State Park in Kingston Township.

    I wanted to look at it because today marks my 39th anniversary at the Times Leader. The newspaper brought me on board in the summer of 1981, when I was still a student at King’s College.

    But as I think about all the adventures a reporter can cram into 39 years, somehow that odd little jaunt on a wintry afternoon sums up so much of what this job has been like.

    For me, it’s meant encountering people who don’t want to talk to the media, persisting until I find willing sources, adapting when the situation calls for it and, when all is said and done, having a good laugh at myself.

    The assignment that took Pete and me to Frances Slocum that day was to bring back a story and photos of people who were outdoors experiencing some very cold weather.

    As I recall, few people were out and about, and two individuals who were hiking vigorously through the parking lot had waved us away. No publicity, please.

    Pete strode out toward the middle of the lake in a sure-footed manner despite the slick surface, sort of like Thumper in the Bambi movie.

    I followed, much more gingerly and since I had not yet acquired the trusty set of traction aids that would slip over my boots and change my life, I soon realized I‘d make better progress if I crawled.

    So I shoved my notebook into my purse and, pushing it ahead of me on the frozen lake surface, I crawled out to the anglers.

    The fishermen watched this unusual procedure with curiosity, and I sensed we was about to reap a benefit. After all the trouble Pete and (especially) I were going through to reach them, these guys would not have the heart to wave us away with a “no comment.”

    No, they’d tell us how thick the ice was and how the fish were biting. They’d obligingly give their opinions on the weather. They wouldn’t object to pictures.

    After the interview Pete offered to take my elbow and help me back to shore but I declined, telling him I felt more secure going back the same way I’d come out. “This way, I don’t have far to fall,” was my philosophy.

    So he went on ahead, then turned around and shot the crazy photo, which he emailed to Mark. For his collection.

    I never really took a good luck at the image until this week. It shows the anglers, waiting for a nibble. It shows the pages of my notebook, fanning out like feathers from the top of my purse. What I like best is the look on my face. I am laughing from sheer exhilaration.

    Leo Joseph Arcangeli, son of Ryan and Alison Arcangeli of Mountaintop, celebrated his first birthday on July 12, 2020. Leo is the grandson of Joe and Mary Carr of Sugar Notch and Mike and Patricia Arcangeli of Swoyersville. He is the great-grandson of Donald and Beth Williams of Pittston. Leo has an older brother Henry, 5 years old.

    Therese Inverso doesn’t smoke and her diet is packed with organic edibles — everything from bok choy to arugula to dandelion greens — from her backyard garden.

    So the 69-year-old Wilkes-Barre resident was astounded earlier this year when a lump on her forehead and a pain in her hip led her to seek medical attention — and to receive a diagnosis of lung cancer that had spread.

    “I’m lucky, though,” said Inverso, a retired teacher who taught music in countries as far away as Jamaica and Iran. “I have the EGFR mutation (that stands for epidermal growth factor receptor and refers to a protein that exists on cell surfaces) and the treatment is to take a pill every day for the rest of my life. That will shrink the tumors.”

    While she’s feeling lucky, and still busily harvesting her rye crop and her garlic scapes — so she can use the grain in homemade rye bread and the scapes in homemade pesto — Inverso said earlier this week she wants to make people more aware of radon, an invisible, odorless radioactive gas that the Environmental Protection Agency cites as the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers.

    She admits she can’t prove that’s how she got Stage IV lung cancer; but it’s her strong suspicion.

    According to the state Department of Environmental Protection website, Pennsylvania has “one of the most serious radon problems in the United States. Approximately 40 percent of Pennsylvania homes have radon levels above the Environmental Protection Agency’s action guideline of 4 picocuries per liter.”

    “Hands down, the smartest thing to do is to test your home for radon, no matter where you live,” the DEP advises.

    Inverso agrees whole-heartedly, and said she arranged after her diagnosis for a 2-day test of her home. An early reading showed 1.1 picocuries per liter, but then, after a change in the weather, it registered at 2.9.

    Technically, the 2.9 was below the EPA guideline, but it wasn’t below the World Health Organization’s recommendation, which since 2009 has been the equivalent of 2.7 picocuries.

    Besides, Inverso reasoned, if the radon level could fluctuate so quickly during a 2-day test, how much might it fluctuate during a week or month or year?

    “Radon levels change all the time,” Ruth Gilmore, a salesperson from SWAT Environmental, a radon-mitigation business with offices in Allentown, said Thursday in a telephone interview.

    “It’s a gas and it moves around in pockets under the earth,” she said. “In winter the level could double because the ground might be frozen and the gas is trying to evacuate, looking for the path of least resistance. That could be into your basement.”

    Sometimes people have a house checked for radon before they buy it, Gilmore said, but then never think about testing again.

    SWAT (Soil, Water and Air Technologies) Environmental doesn’t conduct radon tests, Gilmore stressed, but comes on the scene after a homeowner learns about a radon problem and contacts the company, seeking to eliminate it.

    “We are mitigators,” she said, explaining it’s better not to have the same entity say you need a product and then sell you that product.

    Inverso has been renting her home, so she knows it’s not her decision whether or not to install a mitigation system. She thinks she might look for a new place to live.

    In the meantime, she’s going to thresh her rye and harvest — or as she prefers to call it, glean —various plants.

    “I put dandelion greens in a salad,” she said, giving a visitor a tour and enough background information to make her sound like Euell Gibbons. “I have Jerusalem artichokes everywhere … yesterday I cooked pigweed. My sister says to call it amaranth because that sounds better … I used some spicy leaves from the horseradish …”

    “My peas are using okra stalks (from the last growing season) to climb,” she said, continuing the tour. “I had corn last year and peas are growing up the (leftover) cornstalk.”

    “These are ‘volunteer tomatoes.’ I call them that because they come up on their own, ” she said, pointing to a tomato patch. “In theory I should thin them, but I don’t.”

    “… I have thyme and rosemary; the dill comes up on its own … when the cilantro goes to seed, the seeds are coriander … This is mache, and it’s a salad green …. the sweet Williams were my husband’s favorite flowers …”

    On Thursday night, my uncle and I set out on a little drive up the mountain to one of our favorite eateries: the Bear Creek Inne.

    We love making the short trek up Route 115, admiring the stately homes and seeing the gorgeous greenery on our way.

    It’s an idyllic setting with picturesque views surrounding the property, which you notice as you make your way up the long circular driveway on Bear Creek Boulevard.

    I’m always enthralled by the beauty and the quaintness of its gazebo, benches and light posts in the front of the restaurant, often feeling as though I’m walking into an experience, rather than just a dinner place.

    On this particular night, it was quiet in the dining room, which in the age of COVID-19 is no surprise.

    Seating is meticulously arranged in accordance with health guidelines, but there were only a few other tables of which to speak while we were there.

    We don’t need a crowd to have a good time and we always get a kick out of seeing Denise, the owner’s daughter, who is perhaps one of the most pleasant people I know.

    For years she’s been greeting us with smiles, always taking the time to have a short conversation with us before we order.

    It’s those little things about dining out that I’ve missed during the pandemic: the camaraderie, the catching up, the gossip and so much more.

    Our meals were fabulous, as always, with a large serving of chicken parmigiana for me and beef tenderloin tips with onions for him.

    What I love about a family owned restaurant like this one is all of the additional items that come with the entrée: soup, salad, potato, vegetable and dessert.

    But the Bear Creek Inne is just one of many restaurants we like to frequent on our Thursday night outings. Others include Vino Dolce, Andy Perugino’s and Buona Sera.

    There are some I’m missing, of course, but that’s because we live in an area that’s fortunate to have such a vast selection.

    What is a dance theater to do when no young male dancer is available to share a waltz with Ariel in “The Little Mermaid?”

    Do you scour the kingdom and probe the ocean deep? Peer through clusters of sea anemones? Pry open a few large clam shells? Sift through the treasure in a sunken chest?

    When the Dance Theatre of Wilkes-Barre found themselves in just a prince-less situation, they found a priceless solution.

    They asked Ken Granahan of Exeter to appear onstage and dance with his 17-year-old daughter, Emma, a recent graduate of Wyoming Area High School who had the title role in the Dance Theatre’s ballet rendition of the classic tale.

    An audience of about 200 people, gathered outdoors early Thursday evening on a lawn in front of the Kirby Park Pavilion, applauded wildly when dad and daughter enjoyed a brief dance together — he in his shorts and t-shirt; she in her flowing costume of green and purple.

    “That was fantastic,” he said after the show as he and Emma’s mom, Chris, packed up their chairs and camera. “Scary as heck,” he added with a grin.

    “There was no one better than her dad,” artistic director Gina Malsky said from the stage. “We thank him for jumping onboard.”

    Throughout the performance, which lasted about an hour, there was much to applaud, including the outdoor venue, where it was easy to maintain social distance.

    Audience members also appreciated Emma’s fine dancing as well as her acting ability, especially when she portrayed Ariel’s vulnerability as the young mermaid made a bargain with the sea witch and then when she got used to the legs that replaced her fish tail.

    Lucy Lew as Flounder the fish, Kaitlyn Smith as Ursula the sea witch and Julia Godfrey as Scuttle the seagull greatly enhanced the performance with graceful moves and abundant personality, as did Gabriella Randazzo, who also treated the audience to some vocals in her role as Sebastian the crab.

    People who are familiar with the story of The Little Mermaid know she is the youngest daughter of King Triton, who rules an underwater kingdom. She has a bevy of sisters, who were portrayed in the local production by Melina Ospina-Wiese, Hallie Dixon, Giuliana Latona, Chloe Orfanella, Jordan Medley and Mckenna Granahan, who is Emma Granahan’s sister in real life.

    Emma Granahan was the only high school senior in this year’s production, and artistic director Malsky said she’s sorry to see her leave. But when “Ariel” begins her studies as a physical therapy major at Widener University this fall, she will also continue to study dance in the university’s visual and performing arts department.

    The Luzerne County Historical Society, which is hoping to preserve the oral history of the COVID-19 crisis, recently received a donation of 19 recorded interviews focusing on the pandemic. The interviews, which were conducted by Alan K. Stout, discussed how COVID-19 has affected the local arts, entertainment and musical community. Stout is a radio show host with The River. (100.7-FM. 103.5-FM, 104.9-FM)

    Stout covered arts and entertainment for The Times Leader and The Weekender from 1992-2011. His weekly music column, “Music On The Menu” appeared in The Times Leader from 1994-2005 and in The Weekender from 2005-2011. He continues to contribute occasional stories to both publications as a freelance writer. Stout’s weekly radio show, also called “Music On The Menu,” has aired every Sunday night since 2004. The show was put on hiatus on March 29 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the closing of Mohegan Sun Pocono, from where the program is broadcast. Shortly thereafter, Stout began conducting phone interviews from home with various people involved in the music scene of Northeastern Pennsylvania. Titled the “Music On The Menu COVID-19 Podcast Interviews,” the conversations were posted to the Music On The Menu channel on YouTube and posted to the Music On The Menu page on Facebook.

    “Initially, when we put radio the show on ice for a while, due to COVID-19, I thought I’d just take some time off from Music On The Menu,” said Stout. “Between the newspaper column and the radio show, I’d been doing something with local music, every week, for 26 years. But after about two weeks, I guess the old newspaper reporter in me kicked in. I wanted to talk to people. I wanted to interview people. I wanted to see how they were doing, personally, and how all of this was affecting them professionally. Because we’d never seen anything like it.”

    The first interview was posted on April 15 and the last on June 1. The series included conversations with Bret Alexander, Jimmy Harnen, A.J. Jump, Bill Kelly, Joe Nardone Jr., Will Beekman, Dustin Douglas, Richie Kossuth, Ellie Rose, Joe Wegleski, Patrick McGlynn, Chris Hludzik, Richard Briggs, Eddie Appnel, Loreen Bohannon, Tom Flannery, Mike “Miz” Mizwinski, Aaron Fink and Michael Cloeren, Most interviews ran 30-40 minutes in length. They have been donated to the Luzerne County Historical Society as a 10-CD set and also in mp3 form.

    “They are timepieces,” said Stout. “Some of the first ones were done pretty early on when we were just getting into the stay-at-home orders and everything was shutting down. And, like everywhere else, the affect on the music industry was pretty devastating.”

    The interviewees ranged in age for those in their twenties to sixties. Stout says his intent was to talk with not just working musicians, but with people from all walks of life working in the music industry.

    “Quite a few of those that I spoke with were working musicians, and with all of their gigs suddenly being cancelled, they certainly had a unique perspective on everything,” said Stout. “Most of them got very creative right away and started doing live web streams from home on social media. But the series wasn’t just about musicians. I also talked to people who produced records in local recording studios, and people that managed music venues, both large and small. And so you have A.J. Jump from Karl Hall talking about postponing about 40 shows and Will Beekman from Mohegan Sun Arena talking about postponing concerts and sporting events.”

    “Jimmy Harnen, a native of Plymouth, is the president of one of the largest record labels in Nashville, and he shared his perspective. Joe Nardone Jr. talked about the challenges of keeping his record stores in business. Richie Kossuth co-owns a music store and sound company and plays in a band, so he had thoughts on everything. Loreen Bohannon tours the country as a sound technician and all of her summer tours were canceled. Richard Briggs talked about canceling the Briggs Farm Blues Fest. Bret Alexander had played with The Badlees. Aaron Fink had played with Breaking Benjamin. Both were national recording artists and had seen a lot, but nothing like COVID-19.”

    Stout says that some of the interviews were done shortly after the passing of Jerry Hludzik, a legendary local musician who had been a member of national acts The Buoys and Dakota. Thus several of the guests in the interview series who had known and worked with Hludzik also shared their thoughts on him. In early June, when most of Northeastern Pennsylvania began to enter the yellow and green phases of re-opening, he felt the series had covered every topic and thus decided to end it at #19.

    “Nineteen seemed like the appropriate number to wrap up the COVID-19 series,” said Stout. “When we started, everyone was still a bit shell-shocked by everything that was happening and nobody really knew what direction things were heading. And about six weeks later, when we did the last one, Micheal Cloren, who manages the Penn’s Peak concert venue, was talking about trying to put some shows back on the calendar for the fall. There was a light at the end of the tunnel which, hopefully, will remain bright. But there’s still a lot of uncertainty.”

    “This is great donation,” said Mark J. Riccetti Jr., director of operations and programs at the Luzerne County Historical Society. “I think it will be a great impetus for future donations, and it also shows that you don’t necessarily have to be what we call one of the ‘front-line’ workers. It doesn’t have to be the stories that you see on TV. We’re looking to collect any oral histories. We want to know how this affects every single person in the valley.”

    Stout says that, through the interviews, he’s grateful to have helped play a small role in helping preserve some local history. His weekly radio show will return to the airwaves on August 2.

    “I love the Historical Society,” said Stout. “I’ve worked on some projects with them in the past. And when I saw a post on their Facebook page asking for people to contribute some oral history stories regarding COVID-19, I thought the interviews that I had done might interest them. Granted – they deal mostly with arts, entertainment and music – but their stories are also a part of the story. Everyone, no matter what your profession may be, has a story. And these people from our local music community talked about how the pandemic has affected people’s creativity and their livelihoods. And I’m grateful that they took the time to share those stories.

    “Hopefully,” he added, “more people from all walks of life will do the same. If you’re a doctor or a nurse and you were, or still are, working in the ICU with COVID-19 patients, take 20-30 minutes some night and document your story. If you worked in a supermarket, do the same. If you had COVID-19, or someone close to you did, document it. You can record your thoughts and memories as a voice-memo right on your smart-phone and e-mail it right to the Historical Society. It’s easy. And it’s something that future generations will certainly be interested in. This has been one of the most significant historical events of our time.”

    (For more information about submitting COVID-19 stories to the Luzerne County Historical Society, call 570-823-6244.)

    Not everyone understands this and a majority take for granted the fact that there is someone who has been doing your job longer, and has probably seen what you see to be a new problem a hundred times over their careers. These mentors have been there, and done that, and the good ones are always willing to share their past experiences to make your new ones as smooth as they can.

    Hard-headed people should read carefully, and not take for granted the wisdom that these old dogs have accumulated over the years.

    Fortunately, I’ve been blessed to work with a few dedicated and extremely knowledgeable people over my years of hospitality. Knowingly or not, these few people kept and still keep the drive alive in my career. I’m also fortunate enough that when I was younger, I was smart enough to listen before I spoke, from there learning first then acting second.

    Strong leadership and mentorships are what got me to where I am today. It’s something I’ll never forget, and something hopefully I can pass on to younger people that want to grow in hospitality.

    I took a job as a server at a fine dining restaurant for a man who I knew of, but didn’t know. He branched off from a very successful hotel, conference and catering venue to try to make it on his own.

    An immigrant, this man created a life for himself in hospitality with hard work, passion and personality. Through spending eight years day in and out with this man, I learned about dedication and drive toward success. Sadly, this man passed away a few years ago, but I’ll share my fondest memory of him with you.

    It’s a day I’ll never forget. I’d never seen someone as happy as him and I didn’t know why? We worked through the day, and after the shift he opened a bottle of champagne. He told me he paid off the loan on the business and from that point he’d known he finally made it. I loved and respected that man dearly, and you will read countless stories about him, but this is something I still smile about.

    2010 was a pivotal year for me. My first mentor sold his restaurant and after a great eight years, I found myself at a crossroads.

    Luckily, I found a new home a couple blocks away and met a man who knows many people. He had heard about me through friends ,and we immediately connected. Some readers may know who I’m referring to when I say if you have ever had anything to do in the general Kingston area over your life you’ve probably come across a story or two about this person.

    Bar owner, restaurateur and all-around good guy, this man has stories to tell about everything and everyone. This is the person who taught me the lesson of compassion and friendship. A friend to all, I’ve seen him sit with a table and tell stories through the night, host concerts, birthday parties and everything conceivable in between to be the best host he could be.

    I learned valuable insights from him through the next five years of my career, and ultimately what I took away most is: 1. You can never have too many friends, and 2. Building strong relationships is key to maintaining a strong business. He’s a self-taught entrepreneur, and his mentorship was invaluable to carving me into the person I am today.

    When he retired in 2015, I was essentially handed the keys to the car. He sold the restaurant to an amazing family who wanted to be in the restaurant business. I enjoyed my time with them very much because he was a numbers guy who taught me a lot about the bookwork and growing a business through the numbers, and his wife was amazing because she was an idea person.

    We would sit down on occasion and discuss what we could do to set trends. We tried a lot of things through their tenure and the thing I appreciate most and ultimately what I took most from is that a very successful restaurant needs to be a trendsetter. Others that copy your ideas should be the best form of envy, and that I felt good about.

    Thereafter, they sold the business to a man with such business acumen. It was more than a pleasure to work for him because he gave me all of the freedom to run his day to day business. He is an extremely insightful and knowledgeable man. The thing I learned most about him was that you can trust someone to do the job better than you if you provide them the tools for success. All of these people are still very successful today.

    Recently, I accepted a position at one of the oldest, most prestigious clubs in the city of Wilkes-Barre. Growing myself to be a general manager of a successful restaurant was, at a point in my life, where I thought my ceiling was in hospitality and someday maybe thoughts of opening up my own restaurant would come into play.

    Things changed when I accepted this position. I happened upon a man who is at the top of the mountain in hospitality management. Accepting this position created an entirely new learning experience for me. Pretty much everything I’d learned in the past had to be about-faced.

    The person I work for today has been awarded the highest accolades in club management, has the drive that I thought only I and a handful of others had and has a lifetime of knowledge about a business that I had no clue about.

    This learning experience has been nothing but a good ride so far, and continues to teach me new things every day.

    Dedication to craft is something that I acquired a long time ago, but recently, watching this person work has lit a fire under me to reach even further, try harder and ultimately strive for a legacy that he has carved for himself.

    Leadership is an attribute that cannot be taught. Watching and learning from a great leader is a great daily experience.

    I think I’ve personally hit the lottery being able to learn from all of these men and women over the years. I’m thankful for every bump in the road, and every learning experience I’ve gone through because without them to hold me up and push me forward, I wouldn’t be the person I am today.

    Mentors and managers don’t typically get a thank you at the end of the day. They just do their job and help along the way.

    If you happen to spot Uma cruising around Harveys Lake in her dad’s boat, or riding around town in her mom’s convertible Volkswagen bug, you’ll probably notice she’s a friendly dog — with quite a wardrobe.

    “Everybody recognizes Uma,” said her “mom,” Tammy Ginochetti, of Dallas. “She’s just a ham. I’ve had tiaras on her … boas and tutus … an Amish bonnet.”

    “She goes and rolls in the grass,” Ginochetti said. “She can still play ball. She plays Frisbee in the water. She swims like crazy. Sometimes I think she doesn’t realize she doesn’t have another leg back there.”

    During the weeks of coronavirus isolation Uma — her full name is “Uma Goodness” — has joined Ginochetti for drive-by visits to nursing homes and drive-by birthday celebrations.

    As recently as Tuesday, she rode along as Ginochetti honored the birthday of her co-worker Rose Norton.

    Coincidentally, it was also Uma’s “birthday,” the anniversary of the day the Ginochetti family rescued her seven years ago.

    “This dog was running up slides; she’d run down slides; she’d go on the trampoline with my daughter,” Ginochetti said.

    The family’s concern about Uma’s lingering problems led them to Cornell University in New York where veterinarians found an infection was attacking the bones in her leg.

    Additional surgery to save her leg didn’t have the hoped-for result and the Ginochettis — dad Gino, son Alec, daughter Franceska and mom Tammy — had a difficult decision to make.

    “We have had many sleepless nights,” Ginochetti said. “We took turns sleeping on the floor with her in the finished basement because she couldn’t go up the stairs.”

    “She’s a very stoic dog,” Ginochetti said. “She never cried. She does not whimper. She just looks at you, with faith, and gives you a lick.”

    “They really were our saviors at Cornell,” Ginochetti said, explaining she felt encouraged not only by the doctors but by other families she met there, families whose pets had lost a limb.

    The family decided amputation was the best option for Uma. “It was the only way she would feel better.”

    Twelve weeks of recovery followed, with the Ginochettis never leaving Uma alone. She lay on the bedding they had put together for her, “we were right there to feed her,” and when it was time for her to do her business, they lifted her hindquarters for her.

    “I had to go to work and my husband did, too, but I can’t say enough about my stepdad, Papa Joe (Pascavage). He lives in Mountain Top and we live in Dallas but he’d come every morning to stay with her while we were at work. I don’t know how we could have done it without him.”

    Uma recovered, then had another setback. In January she tore the crusciate in her other rear leg. She had an operation to resolve that tear in February and, Ginochetti said, it’s been “a long, long recovery.”

    “She has her ups and downs, and she’s slowed down,” Ginochetti said. “But she can walk now. She can go down steps but not up them. We have to hold her back leg up and then she goes up on her front legs.”

    As my mother-in-law, Mary Guydish of West Hazleton, approached her 96th birthday last week, I asked my sister-in-law Deb if I could bake a cake, something sweet to top off the wonderful surf-and-turf dinner Deb had planned.

    So Deb sent me the recipes for “Mom’s favorite cake,” which is a hearty, old-fashioned concoction chock-full of dates and nuts, as well as “Mom’s favorite icing,” which is also known, according to a recipe typed on an index card, as Your Basic Fluffy Icing.

    You know, I firmly believe a mother of nine who worked hard all her life and reaches the age of 96 deserves whatever kind of cake she prefers, even if the frosting — ahem — throws her daughter-in-law for a loop.

    “I made the cake and Mark made the icing,” I told the little family group that gathered for the birthday dinner.

    No one would consume my first awkward attempt at Your Basic Fluffy Icing — but that’s not important.

    It’s more important that Mary enjoyed her dinner and her cake, that she’s healthy enough to live at her long-time home, and that she has family members and caregivers who watch out for her.

    And even if some children and grandchildren live far away, they try to stay connected. As we sat down to dinner her granddaughter Rachel made a Facetime call from South Carolina. We could all see her and her little boys, Bear and Wyatt, who said they miss their great-grandmother and want to visit.

    Deb praised me for having the patience to “cut up all those dates and nuts” but believe me, I didn’t find that difficult. Just give me a little knife and 5 or 10 minutes. The cake batter was no problem.

    My challenge was that fluffy frosting. I have to admit I am not very experienced at icing, fluffy or otherwise. Most of the cakes I’ve ever baked have been blueberry or applesauce cakes that look and taste just fine unadorned.

    I may have made icing only once before in my life and I remember that confectioners sugar, milk and butter formed the basis.

    This recipe called for granulated sugar, which perplexed me a little, and it also described a procedure of mixing flour into milk while heating it.

    Trying to follow the instructions, I added the flour to the milk and, since it seemed to blend almost immediately, I stopped heating it. That probably was my mistake, Mark later explained, as I tried without success to beat the icing into submission, I mean, into some degree of fluffiness, with an electric mixer.

    This icing wasn’t smooth. It never became fluffy. Its texture was even sort of granular, but apparently that wasn’t because of the granulated sugar that went into it. It was because I hadn’t spent enough time stirring and heating the flour and milk together.

    Anyway, we started a new batch from scratch, with Mark heating the flour in the milk and stirring it until it had a smooth, thick consistency.

    When it was cool he added the other ingredients, including the granulated sugar, and beat it until it was quite fluffy.

    Pour into greased and floured tube pan or Bundt pan. Or bake in 9×13 pan at 350 degrees F for 30 to 35 minutes.

    Mix 2/3 cup milk and 3 tablespoons flour in a small saucepan. Cook and stir until thick. Let cool completely.

    Cream together in mixing bowl: 2/3 cup granulated sugar, 6 tablespoons margarine and 5 tablespoons shortening (Crisco).

    Add milk mixture to sugar mixture. Add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Beat until fluffy. The margarine makes it slightly yellow. For really white icing you can reduce or eliminate the margarine and use Crisco to take its place.

    Odds are if I tallied all the meals I’ve eaten in restaurants (excluding fast food and pizza joints), shrimp scampi would be the entree I ordered most. I tried making a recipe of it years ago and was unsatisfied. When I saw the gang on America’s Test Kitchen take a crack at it by poaching the shrimp rather than sauteing it, I expected it to be a solid winner.

    While MT enjoyed the finished product very much, I was a tad disappointed with my first try at this, though I blame myself and not the recipe. When I cook it again I’ll be sure to make three changes.

    First, I left the shrimp in the brine way too long, completely forgetting about it in the fridge. MT didn’t seem to notice, but I thought it was too salty once it was done.

    Second, I hesitated to add any pepper (it calls for a little bit of red pepper flakes and even less of black pepper), but put it anyway. I usually try not to tamper with a new recipe the first time, to see how I like it the chef’s way. For one thing, that gives me a better idea of whether I’ll be interested in trying other recipes from the chef. I’ve almost completely scratched one or two celebrity chefs off the list of those I’ll try after a few recipes that looked good on paper but turned out less than satisfying.

    All that said. No pepper next time. It’s something you can always put on the table for guests to add if they (or you) want. Regular readers know MT and I are big fans of the king of herbs. In our house, the primary directive about a garlic dish is don’t interfere with the garlic, and for me scampi is all about the garlic. I felt the pepper — particularly the red stuff — took away from that.

    This isn’t to say you should skip any of the ingredients. If you like the heat of a little red pepper and the flavor of some parsley amid your garlic, go to town. The rule with all recipes is pretty simple: Adjust to taste.

    And believe me when I say I’ll revisit this scampi concoction again. The sauce avoids the frequent separation of butter from the rest of it by using a cornstarch and lemon juice binder to keep it all emulsified, while poaching the shrimp keeps them from getting rubbery or dried out. I just have to remember to set the timer for that 15 minutes in the brine.

    To brine the shrimp, mix 3 tablespoons salt and 2 tablespoons sugar in one quart of water. Whisk, add peeled shrimp, cover and keep in refrigerator 15 minutes. Remove from brine onto paper towel and pat dry.

    To make shrimp stock, heat 1 tablespoon oil in skillet, add shells and cook until they start to brown and show spots. Remove the pan from heat and add the wine and thyme sprigs. Simmer about 5 minutes. Strain stock into bowl, pressing shells to get extra flavor out of them.

    To cook the shrimp, wipe out the skillet with a paper towel (no need to wash it). Heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium high heat, add garlic and pepper. Cook, stirring occassionally, 3-4 minutes until garlic begins to brown. Add the shrimp stock and the shrimp. Cover and poach 5 minutes, stirring occassionally.

    To make the sauce, remove the pan from heat and remove the shrimp from pan. Combine the lemon juice and cornstarch to make a thickener (or binder, if you prefer). Return the pan to the heat, add thickener and whisk in, cooking about 1 minute. Take pan off heat, whisk in butter and parsley

    “On behalf of the President of the United States, the United States Air Force, and a grateful Nation, please accept this flag as a symbol of our appreciation for your loved one’s honorable and faithful service.”

    With those touching words veteran Pete Puhulla formally presented an American flag on Sunday to Theresa Komar, widow of U.S. Air Force veteran Sgt. John R. Kumar.

    Sgt. Kumar, a veteran of the Korean War, had died in 1987, but his wife cancelled plans for a military funeral at the time, fearing it would be too emotional of an experience.

    Admitting she later regretted the decision, she told reporters on Sunday she felt at peace after hearing the playing of taps, watching the formal flag ceremony and receiving the flag.

    The Mayor of Olyphant John Sedlak Jr. made remarks and the Olyphant American Legion Post 327 was on hand to provide the military honors.

    And Kumar was not the only veteran honored on Sunday. The town also rededicated more than 200 Hometown Heroes banners in ceremonies coordinated by Kim Atkinson.

    For Diane and Jordan Fritz of Avoca, it was the mother and daughter’s first visit to Ricketts Glen State Park.

    For Silvia Ramos, who traveled all the way from Long Island, N.Y., Thursday morning, it was her first hike. As in first hike, ever.

    And, for some of the other eight participants, a 3.5-mile adventure led by environmental education specialist Rhiannon Summers, was the first time they wore a mask for a walk in the woods.

    With coronavirus mitigation practices now in place at Pennsylvania state parks, group events such as naturalist-led hikes, yoga on the beach, sunset paddles and programs that teach about trees and wildlife, have resumed.

    “I’m always looking for a hike, but don’t want to go alone,” said Barb Meyer, who traveled about 20 miles from Muncy Valley with her friend Cathy Harriman to attend Thursday’s hike.

    “I made a decision a couple years ago to get outdoors more,” said Melody Derr, of Coal Township, who added she appreciates being able to venture into a forested area with a group large enough to scare away bears and with a leader who knows the area.

    Tony and Sue Omeis, who made the trip from Bellefonte to visit the popular Ricketts Glen, said they had been keeping their eyes open for distinctive plants in the area.

    “It would be interesting to see a lady slipper, even if it’s not in flower,” said Tony Omeis, who is retired from managing a greenhouse at Penn State University. “I’ve been surprised at the amount of trillium.”

    “We saw blueberries, and some were even ripe. And jack-in-the-pulpit,” Sue Omeis said, adding they’d also seen flowers taht looked like mountain laurel but were very pink.

    Soon the group started its hike, which Summers promised would be “an enjoyable hike, not an endurance hike,” and the pace was relaxed enough to pause and listen to birds.

    “That’s a hermit thrush,” Summers said at one point. “Its song is so cool. It can sing two notes at the same time and they harmonize with each other.”

    The environmental educator also stopped to talk about the park’s history and geology, including the difference between “wedding-cake” waterfalls and “bridal-veil” falls.

    During the two-hour walk the group spotted red efts on the Highland Trail and were careful not to step on the tiny salamanders; chatted along the Bear Walk Trail about how large bears can grow —though they didn’t see any bruins — and posed happily for photographs near the F. L. Ricketts Falls and the Ondandago Falls, two of the 24 named waterfalls in the park.

    Park visitors will have a chance to sign up for a similar 3.5 hike Discovering Ricketts Hike on the Highland Trail and Bear Walk Trail that will take place 3 to 5 p.m. July 11. The meeting spot is in Beach Lot #2 by the bulletin board closest to the road. You must bring a mask to attend the program, and registration is required by emailing Rhiannon Summers at rhsummers@pa.gov or calling 570-477-7780.

    Other upcoming events include a Bird Walk with Doug Gross, retired PA Game Commission biologist and eBird coordinator, who will guide the walk from 8 a.m. to noon July 9. Meet at the Park Office in Ricketts Glen State Park. Good boots are recommended for walking. Please bring your own bug spray and binoculars. You must bring a mask to attend this program. Registration required by emailing Rhiannon Summers at rhsummers@pa.gov or calling 570-477-7780.

    A Sunset Paddle along Lake Jean is planned for 7 to 9 p..m. July 11. Park and meet at the Western Boat Launch on Lake Jean. You must have previous kayak experience to participate. Bring your own boat, life vest, and equipment. You also must bring a mask to attend this program. Registration required by emailing Rhiannon Summers at rhsummers@pa.gov or calling 570-477-7780.

    As we’ve all been navigating our way through the current green phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, many seem a little anxious – myself included.

    We’ve been through a lot these last few months: new ways of connecting with friends, new work routines, more time at home than ever before, and more. The list goes on.

    A lot of what we’ve been through is unfamiliar to us, so I take comfort in this weekend because every year when it rolls around, I think about how lucky we are to live in America.

    As I said last week, it will be a more subdued holiday than ever before, but we can still make it fun with our families and perhaps some close friends, as long as we follow all health precautions.

    I’ve been doing my best in following the health protocols recommended by the Centers for Disease Control.

    Anyone who knows me knows I can’t sit home, especially now being in the green phase, so I’ve made several stops around town and have been impressed by all of the precautions business owners are taking.

    State Street Grill in Clarks Summit was a lunch stop last week, and everyone I saw followed the rules, wearing masks and sanitizing as needed.

    It’s been great to see so many businesses reopen, and I’m also ecstatic that other places, like City Market and Café in Dallas, have made expansions and improvements during this ordeal.

    Last weekend, I stopped at the massive new bar that was recently installed and was enthralled by its beauty.

    You simply have to check it out when you’re in the Back Mountain – whether you opt for a bar seat or one of the tables surrounding it. It’s a sight to behold.

    On my visit, I marveled at how gracious the staff was, including co-owner Christian Switzer who greeted and thanked the various folks who stopped in to check out the new spot at a limited capacity.

    As life slowly returns to normal and more and more folks are looking for places to relax and socialize, this is one to add to your list.

    I appreciate the hard work that goes into running a small business during a time like this, so I’ll do what I can to support these places.

    While we’re still dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, and there’s still uncertainty throughout the country, we have to be careful.

    No matter what you do this weekend – whether it’s support a small business or stay home with your families – I hope you do so safely.

    But, whatever you choose, let’s make sure to celebrate the very thing this weekend is all about: our independence.

    The classes will be small, with registration limited to six or eight participants in some cases, but The Dietrich Theater of Tunkhannock has announced a schedule of classes of events for 2020, ranging from Robotics for ages 8 and older to drawing camp for ages 5 to 12.

    Robotics, class limit, 8; instructor Rand Whipple; Monday through Friday Aug. 3 to Aug. 7; Camp 1 is 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. for ages 6 to 7. Camp 2 is 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. for ages 8 and older. Cost is $65. If what you want to do is build a robotic army and dominate the universe, this class is where you start. You’ll build your own robot using the phenomenal Lego Mindstorms EV3 system, program it, run it through a maze, teach it to talk, race and even avoid certain socks. This class is hands on and a definite brain builder. Join us for a week so not so artificial intelligence. Registration is required. To register call 570-836-1022 ext#3.

    LEGO. Class limit, 8; instructor Rand Whipple, Monday through Friday, Aug. 3 to Aug. 7; Camp 1 is 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. for ages 6 to 7 and Camp 2 is 10:30 a.m. to noon for ages 8 and older. Cost is $65. Ready, set, build! (And film and then build some more.) We will build with LEGOS and learn to make LEGO animated films! Explore the filmmaking as you shoot, edit and add cool special effects in this all LEGO camp. Registration is required. To register call 570-836-1022 ext#3.

    Pottery Camp, for ages 5 – 12. Class limit, 6 students. Camp 1 is 2 to 3:15 p.m. from July 6 to July 10 and Camp 2 is 2 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. Aug. 3 to Aug. 7. Instructor is Steve Colley. Cost is $65. Students will have the opportunity to throw pots on pottery wheels as well as learn hand building techniques such as slab building and creating coil pots. Registration is required. To register call 570-836-1022 ext#3.

    Sculpture Camp, ages 5 – 12. Class limit, 6 students. Camp 1 is 4 to 5:15 p.m. July 6 to July 10 and Camp 2 is 4 to 5:15 p.m. Aug. 3 to Aug. 7, instructor Steve Colley, cost $65. Students will explore a variety of mediums including clay, wood, and using recycled objects to create their three dimensional masterpieces. Registration is required. To register call 570-836-1022 ext#3.

    Drawing Camp, ages 5 – 12. Class limit, 6 students; 2 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. July 14 through July 17. Instructor Steve Colley. Cost $65. Students will use a variety of drawing materials as they learn about composition, positive and negative space, and scale while they draw from their imaginations as well as from life. Registration is required. To register call 570-836-1022 ext#3.

    Painting Camp, ages 5 – 12. Class limit, 6 students. 4 to 5:15 p.m. July 13 to July 17. Instructor Steve Colley. Cost $65. Learn all about color in this Painting Camp where campers will create their own color wheels, as well as learn watercolor and tempera painting techniques. Registration is required. To register call 570-836-1022 ext#3.

    Build & Bang Band Camp, ages 5 – 12. Class limit, 11 students. From 10 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. July 13 to July 17. Instructor Tim Zieger. Admission free. Sponsored by Overlook Estate Foundation. Join us for a week of musical fun! We’ll build simple homemade instruments out of household objects, play with drums and boom whackers, and try our hands (and feet) at body percussion. Registration is required. To register call 570-836-1022 ext#3.

    Theatre & Visual Arts Camps: HOORAY FOR ART, LETS MAKE EVERYTHING! For ages 5 to 12, class limit, 6; from July 20 to July 24. Camp 1 is 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and Camp 2 is from noon to 1:30 p.m. Instructor is Michaela Moore. Admission $65. What is the best part of life? CREATING! Campers will learn all about the incredible things people have built, created, invented and made through out history. Best of all they will create an original play and all the characters, costumes, props and amazing ideas that are hearts desire. A casual performance will conclude the camp that family and friends can watch via Zoom. Come to camp and bring to life your wonderful ideas! Registration is required. To register call 570-836-1022 ext#3.

    For ages 5 to 12. Class limit, 6. From July 27 to July 31. Camp 1 will be 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and Camp 2 will be from noon to 1:30 p.m. Instructor Michaela Moore. Admission $65. It’s raining cats and dogs and so much more! Come to this camp where we will explore all about animals the wonderful ways that animals helps humans and humans help animals. From service dogs and animals that rescue people in peril, to the amazing works pollinators, pets and worker animals and we will explore it all. And most exciting of all, each camper will get to create all kinds of animal themed art, costumes props and characters that will be presented at the end of the week in an original play of their own creation, that family and friends can watch via Zoom. Come join us on an animal adventure! Registration is required. To register call 570-836-1022 ext#3.

    Acting Camp for Kids, ages 5 to 12. Class limit, 10. Camp 1 is 2:30 to 4 p.m. July 20 to July 24. Camp 2 is 2:30 to 4 p.m. July 27 to July 31. Instructor Michaela Moore. Admission $65. In this fun-centered camp, campers will use their imagination and learn all about acting through exciting theatre games, improvisation, storytelling, character creation, costume play and more! Campers will get to create their very own characters and original play based on those characters. Family and friends can enjoy a casual performance via Zoom at the end each week. Come join the fun! Registration is required. To register call 570-836-1022 ext#3.

    All Star Players – Take the Stage Virtually this Summer! Join the Dietrich Theater ALL STAR PLAYERS this summer for a virtual theatre camp exploring character development through fun theatre games and exercises designed to be played online. Learn the ins and outs of vocal and facial expression to portray characters in a play through the unique avenue of virtual theatre. All of this will culminate in the performance of a short play on Friday through Zoom with family and friends invited to watch! Registration is required. To register call 570-836-1022 ext#3.

    Jewelry Making, Right Angle Weave Bracelet. For ages 16 to adult. Class limit – 9. Thursdays, July 30 & Aug 13 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Instructor: Toni Hockman. Cost: $35, materials provided. Learn right angle weave to create a beautiful bracelet with all Swarovski bicone crystals or a combination pearls and bicone crystals. Right-angle weave is a love-it-or-hate-it-beading stitch in the beading worldThe right angle weave stitch definitely has its advantages when it comes to creating durable and beautiful beaded jewelry. It is one of the most versatile bead weaving stitches– you can even use it to create a right-angle weave beaded “fabric” that can be folded and stitched. If you are interested in taking a class a cubic right angle weave necklace class this summer, this right angle weave class is a pre-requisite. Call the Dietrich at 570-836-1022 ext#3 for more information or to register. Registration is required. To register call 570-836-1022 ext#3.

    Simply Yoga at the Park. At Tunkhannock’s Riverside Park, Wednesdays, July 8, 15, 22, 29 at 10 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. Instructor: Donna Fetzko Admission: $10 per class. Yoga is an ideal exercise to promote overall health, strengthen the body, improve flexibility, increase energy and decrease stress. Classes are suitable for all levels and presented in a user-friendly, safe and effective YogaFit style. Please wear comfortable clothes, bring a mat, towel or blanket, water…and be prepared to enjoy the enlightening experience of yoga. You will leave refreshed and renewed. Registration is required. To register call 570-836-1022 ext#3.

    Kundalini Yoga at the Park, At Tunkhannock’s Riverside Park. Mondays, July 6, 13, 20, 27, Aug 3, 10, 17, 24, 31 at 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Instructor: Barbara Tierney. Admission: $10 per class. Experience the gifts that Kundalini yoga, as taught by Yogi Bhajan, has to offer as you explore breath, movement and mantra. Kundalini yoga is challenging to everyone yet can be done by everyone. Please bring a yoga mat, a blanket and water. Registration is required. To register call 570-836-1022 ext#3.

    Pottery & Sculpture, ages 13 and up. Class Limit – 6. Wednesdays at 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. Session 1: July 8, 15, 22, 29. Session 2: August 5, 12, 19, 26. Instructor: Steve Colley. Cost: $65 per 4-class session. Students will learn techniques such as coil building, slab construction, and slump molding along with the opportunity to throw a pot on the pottery wheel. Registration is required. To register call 570-836-1022 ext#3.

    Open Studio & Portfolio Prep, ages 13 and up. Class Limit – 6. Tuesdays at 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. Session 1 – July 7, 14, 21, 28. Session 2 – August 4, 11, 18, 25. Instructor: Steve Colley. Cost: $65 per 4-class session. Students of all levels of experience will have the opportunity to work at their own pace with the medium of their choice, whether it is pottery, sculpture, drawing or painting. Students will also learn how to create a portfolio to showcase their work for college, professional or personal reasons. Registration is required. To register call 570-836-1022 ext#3.

    Plein Air Drawing & Painting at the Park. At Tunkhannock’s Riverside Park. Thursdays from 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Session 1 – July 9, 16, 23, 30. Session 2 – August 6, 13, 20, 27. Class Limit – 10. Instructor: Steve Colley. Cost: $65 for each four-class series; a supplies list will be provided. Plein Air simply put is a French term for painting outside. There is no better way to learn to paint the landscape than to get outside and paint it! This class is open to beginner students as well as more advanced students. The class will address issues with handling the changing light and weather conditions as students work in the medium of their choice. Registration is required. To register call 570-836-1022 ext#3.

    Writers Group. Every other Thursday at 7 p.m. July 9, 23 Aug 6, 20. Come and read your work or listen and be inspired. Learn the craft of writing as you write toward a goal of publication. All genres and levels of writing are welcome. Registration is required. To register call 570-836-1022 ext#3.

    Miss Troy. Principal of the Wyoming Valley West Middle School, is pleased to announce the following students who have attained honor roll status for the 3rd marking period.

    Eighth Grade – Nora Ahmetaj, Riley Bobkowski, Brayden C. Bogdon, Damian Cavuto, Jlynn M. Correa, Noah C. Dunbar, Salem I. El-Dabsheh, Ava K. Elgonitis, Madelyn P. Evan, Kyla R. Hand, Amayah J. Harris, Christopher N. Hummel, Tessa R. Kopetchny, David M. Longfoot, Gabriella E. Marosevitch, Breanne A. Nice, Olivia F. Nicewicz, Chloe E. Orfanella, Paul K. Rossmell, Evelyn R. Saltz, Peyton J. Sprague, Aliya Tikhtova, Antonio C. Torres, Will D. Wojciechowski

    Seventh Grade- Evan B. Allen, William A. Bartolomei, Mackenzie E. Bucheister, Paul F. Carnecki, Isabel E. Carrozza, Duo Chen, Jackson Czajkowski, Simona T. Debru, Daniel J. Dempsey, Chloe A. Dixon, Jake C. Dubaskas, Anthony P. Evan, Sarah Feifer, Aaron J. Girvan, Ava T. Grossman, Julianna R. Heffron, Alexis P. Hoffman, Damon M. Iracki, Benjamin M. Isamoyer, Darcy L. Kizis, Trevor Klem, Kelvin C. Kocher, Adyson R. Kosakowski, Vicky Lin, Tyler J. Lynch, Isabelle Marosevitch, Alyssa K. McClellan, Aniyah K. McGill Racine, Alyvia M. McLaughlin, Emma J. Moses, Anna K. Novrocki, Madison L. Orrson, Sarah J. Park, Kali G. Piczon, Wyatt L. Reynolds, Lily A. Romanowski, Sarina R. Rowe, Tyler J. Ruddy, Dylan K. Shedlock, Lily A. Shymanski, Abigail C. Singer, Heath C. Stochla, Elijah C. Stroud, Max Weihbrecht, Lola D. Wojciechowski, Jake A. Yanalis, James T. Youells, Laila G. Zdancewicz

    Sixth Grade- Grayson C. Ader, Anthony M. Antonatos, Lily G. Bankes, Saleah Barber, Emily G. Bolan, Emma A. Butcher, Mackenzie M. Carnecki, Brianna N. Castro, Ariel Chu, Michael Connolly III Liam A. Corbett, Kenneth P. Craig, Lesley M. Cruz, Jaxson J. Davis, Evangeline M. Dick, Taylor J. Eastman, Riley Eckstein, David W. Fassett Jr, Gianna Gabel, Breanna P. Gallagher, Luke D. Ginocchetti, Gage E. Gowisnok, Jaidy Gutierrez, William R. Hebda, Aziyah K. Jones-Ransome, Kaylen Koschinski, Seth L. Kranson, David R. Lee, Dennis R. Lee Jr, Abigail M. Lewis, Kierra I. McAndrew-Scalzo, Brady T. Munster, Rowan A. O’Leary, Aiden Ogle, Hannah M. Pitcavage, Addison K. Rysz, Layla R. Sarris, Olivia S. Seiwell, Elijah M. Serota, Libby M. Shonk, Noah R. Siegfried, Noah Sienkiewicz, Cassandra M. Snopeck, Jayden S. Studenroth, Emma F. Sudnick, Emma R. Tienken, Xin Wang, Luke A. Whitaker, Jamie L. Wilczewski, Brianna E. Williams, Nora B. Zekas, Jason R. Zimmerman Jr

    Eighth Grade- Tajae J. Albritton, Cody I. Anderscavage, Madison D. Austra, Miguel Balbuena, Rebecca M. Bealla, Robert J. Bell, Samuel A. Bellanca, Jacob A. Benczkowski, Tylor D. Berrini, Emily R. Berry, Lexie J. Bonning, Rebecca P. Brandreth, Sierra A. Brunson, Adrianna J. Buchanan, Jalen P. Buchinski, Arianna K. Budzyn, Gabriella F. Bufalino, Bradley Bushinski, Brandon Bushinski, Natalia L. Cameron, Juliana Camp, Kiaralyn A. Castillo, Donna A. Castro, Sebastian J. Catanzaro Iv, Dejahnay N. Cook, Raegan C. Czyzycki, Ayvri A. Diaz, Kaylee P. Dorish, Irviona A. Dunham, Margaret E. Elmir, Cieraena J. Eppley, Lizbeth Espinoza, Julian I. Everitt, Xavier Flory, Emilia G. Frasier, Mackendrick J. Fuschino-Moss, Gabriel M. Ganz, Rylee M. Geffert, Lauren Gluchowski, Julia V. Godfrey, Donovin N. Golden, Alivia Gregorowicz, Kristen G. Griffiths, Bailey J. Grove, Jadiel R. Gutierrez, Odenis Gutierrez Tavarez, Nasir Hall, Jose L. Hernandez Jr, Noah J. Hiedcavage, Amaranth S. Holmstrom, John R. Homeier, Cole C. Hospodar, Kamdyn B. Josefowicz, Bara’A Kamal, Ashlee F. Karaliunas, Jatym M. Keller, Isabel M. Kilgallon, Aaron W. Klosko, Alexus E. Kuklewicz.

    Also, Shakura B. Kurilla, Ella P. Kurovsky, Isabella Lachinova, Alissa M. Laudenslager, Dinah M. Lazinsky, Sharon Lin, Nicole Lucero, Margaret C. Lupcho, Sonya B. Ly, Caiden A. Magee, Lilian W. Mahoney, Abbygail M. Makaravage, Gabrielle T. Marsola, Taylor C. Martin, Neil R. Massaker, Genevieve H. Matello, Mason E. Matello, Saidique Maxwell-Hill, Chloe C. Mazur, Anna E. McKenney, Nevaeh R. Meininger, Reilyn M. Melton, David P. Moser, Ryan B. Muskas, Keira E. Nilson, Emily R. Nowikowski, Anna S. O’Neil, Dorothy J. O’Neil, Isabella A. Olisewski, Taleah R. Parkes, Brian S. Paucar-Bermejo, Mackenzie T. Perluke, Annabella G. Piczon, Eliana I. Pileggi, Adriana Pitts, William R. Potera, Aiden J. Presto, Alexus M. Pugh, Riley M. Purcell, Makayla M. Roberto, Britney M. Rodriguez, Matthias J. Ryder, Devin J. Sahonick, Yara Saldivar-Castro, Richard C. Schweizer, Joelle K. Scibek, Aloysious M. Sennett, Stephen A. Shonk Jr, Joseph J. Souder, Allyson M. Spangenberg, Jameson J. Stavish, David M. Storm, Nathan L. Swetz, Cheyanne E. Turner, Madalyn Turowski, Carla Vargas Tejada, Cody M. Vincent, Richard A. Vitale, Jelena M. Wanyo, Brayden J. Warman, Gavin J. Weisgable, Maki C. Wells, Jacob D. Whitehead, Olivia M. Yelen, Abigail Yenalevitch, Lucas Zdancewicz

    Seventh Grade- Gary M. Aidi, Diego Arriola, Matthew A. Baggett, Chase M. Bailey, Spencer W. Ballentine, Angel M. Barofski, Joseph F. Baynock Iv, Nasheema A. Benbow, Saraya L. Bienkowski, Max J. Bowen, Kaine D. Brewster, Carson R. Brown, Sean C. Brown, Caidence J. Burgette-Shovlin, Alanni G. Cabrera, Alexa D. Canchucaja, Lily R. Cannon, Christian J. Cardona, Raymond J. Chimock Jr, Connor J. Ciehoski Weldon, Gianna N. Cintron, Alexander Cirne, Rowan A. Clark, Logan Z. Colianni, Tessa L. Collura, Callisto Correa, Phoebe E. Cowder, Davion Crutchfield, Randy J. Czuba Iii, Devyn A. Dane, Derek Davis, Olivia M. Davis, Haylie J. Dearmitt, Patrick A. Denny, Patrick J. Depriest, Jordayn N. Dermody, Kaden Dittus, Riley M. Dwyer, Carson C. Evans, Jack T. Faber, Riley J. Falchek, Alexis J. Fassett, Riley L. Frail, Yadiel E. Garcia, Abel J. Giddings, Casimir L. Glaude, Croix A. Hamersley, Mary E. Harris, Amanda L. Harvey, Arti Haxhijaj, William P. Heckman, Caleb W. Hoffman, Colby A. Homeier, Khayyona M. Jackson, Emma R. Janis, Zachary Jaskulka, Aidan E. Kaminski, Christopher J. Kasper, Lily M. Kerrick, Noah Kocher, Jordyn R. Kuharcik, Marcus Kuzminski, Tallah N. Laban, Analiese N. Lamoreaux, Ava E. Leary, Tristan R. Libby, Jacob C. Libus, Nicole M. Littman, Addison C. Marcin, Jaidyn S. Martin, La-Ziyah I. Mattox, Julian L. Meade, Andrew Menaker, Noah M. Milburne, Annelise E. Miliano, Maci L. Morren, Drydin P. Moser, Zariyah C. Mulligan, Logan Murnock, Collin P. Murphy, Brooke L. Neyman, Victoria T. O’Konski, Galo Ortiz, Sarah A. Pashinski, Natalie L. Pinder, Janylah P. Porchea, Isabella R. Powell, Nevaeh L. Powell-Womelsdorf, Jayslin G. Pritchard, Kaden J. Pulaski, Karen Quezada-Rodriguez, Carleigh M. Quigley, Anya M. Richet, Paul M. Riggs, Olivia M. Riviello, Sydney A. Roccograndi, Annabel Rodriguez, Derek Romero, Caleb P. Rousseau, Adele D. Ryder, Jordan S. Schultz, Summer L. Schultz, Tyler J. Sciandra, Isabella R. Seip, Isis I. Shaver-Cooper, Kaylee R. Shaw, Saydee N. Sheposki, Jade E. Shields, Michael E. Shovlin, Olivia S. Sims, Stanley M. Sims, Logan J. Smith, Dequan T. Solomon, Aleese Stair, Roger E. Staron, Julia E. Steele, Melida A. Stenson, Samuel J. Stiles, Colton N. Storm, Meia M. Stull, Kaitlyn R. Tapia, Carlos M. Vargas Tejada, Kevin A. Wagner, Cyrus K. Wairiuko, Madison Warnack, Christian A. Weachock, Natalie L. Wilson, Ava-Lyn Wolfe, Addison A. Wood, Lola Wood, Naythan Z. Woods, Nora Yurko, Janaya Yusko, Benjamin Zera

    Sixth Grade- Colten J. Adamski, Leona Ahmetaj, Keira R. Allabaugh, Bryan R. Almanzar Torres, Mason J. Antonik, Jordan Atherton, Nathan D. Baggett, Sara Balbuena, Aliyah P. Barron, Kaylie E. Bartleson, Michael M. Bartleson, Bardia Belabadi, William J. Bell, Benjamin C. Bienick, Sophia M. Blockus, Blake A. Bohn, Benjamin R. Boland, Cole M. Bolesta, Matthew B. Bozek, Christian A. Brito Osoria, Mackenzie H. Brown, Teianna M. Brown-Garcia, Camrin T. Burgette Shovlin, Camila M. Campusano, Lowrie M. Campusano, Samya Cobb, Makenna L. Colleran, Kacey R. Conrad, Caden M. Conti, Nevaeh D. Dailey, Savannah R. Daniels, Ally Davis, Andrew R. Davis, Anne Davis, Serenity F. Denman, Mackenzie N. Doris, Nia Dorsey, Mackenzie O. Doyle, Ilana G. Drak, Molly M. Duesler, Jamir A. Dutchin, Alanna L. Elgonitis, Kacie L. Emmert, Kevin T. Emmett, Nicole D. Evans.

    Also, Liam L. Evarts, Willianny M. Familia, Caleb J. Fay, Lenia A. Fernandez, Aiden Fetterman, Alyssa N. Fox, Mickayla C. Gagatek, Elizabeth R. Ganz, Jayla Gardler, Leah M. Gardzalla, Noah Geisinger, Riley Giacobbe, Gunner R. Giza, Adrien L. Guadalupe, Leonidas W. Gumina, Savannah D. Harvey-Deluca, Mikhail I. Hazlak, Rebecca L. Hernandez, Hunter M. Hivish, Serenity A. Hulsizer, Zhennoir R. Joseph, Jack Keating, Katherine E. Kelly, Jacob M. Kenderdine, Grace E. Kishbach, Nikolas J. Klem, Chelsea A. Kolesar, Luke L. Kollar, Sophie Kurbanov, Brandon R. Longfoot, Grace K. Lopez, Jacob M. Mahoney, Kyle J. Manfre, Dylan T. Mattis, Riley A. McElwee, Teagen McKay, Christopher W. McNew, Kimora B. Moore, London-Marie A. Moore, Jeremy J. Muller Jr, Autumn R. Murphy, Gianna S. Nieves, Donald A. Norton Iv, Gabrielle A. Novitski, Makenzie M. O’Donnell, Kenadee A. Pega, Anilia I. Perez Perez, Amelia I. Pileggi, Isabella M. Pockevich, Olivia L. Pope, Rorey Purcell, Meg Ratchford, Rylee Reakes, John J. Richards Iii, D’Vonte Rivers, Ryan G. Rusnock, Emma L. Shyner, Kiera P. Sims, Joseph T. Skursky, Lorelai E. Smith, Preston P. Sninsky, Ava M. Solomon, Kaedyn S. Sopko, Harolys P. Sosa De Los Santos, Shane J. Stettler, Macy L. Stull, Lauren R. Sweet, Beylliam D. Tejada Azcona, Savannah M. Thomas, Tristan Valenti, Draven J. Vallone, Savannah M. Valyo, Olivia J. Varner, Hunter Warke, Tiffany N. Warman, Mack P. Weisgable, Jude Isabel Welgoss, Conner B. Wilkes, Meadow M. Wilson, Vayda Wood, Ava I. Woodruff, Mariska Wyberski, Jacob R. Yelen, Anna E. Zomerfeld

    Eighth Grade- Samantha L. Baker Hokien, Thomas Bartleson, Abigail L. Bleich, Evan J. Boyd, Ryan T. Bradbury, Gavin J. Breha, Anna M. Britt, Evander C. Brown, Katrina A. Castagnaro, Jhamir I. Clifton, Aaron R. Cohan, Ryan C. Collins Jr, Foungnigue D. Coulibaly, Mason R. Daniels-Shouldis, Alshareef L. Davis Millirons, Ni’Geel H. Davis-Johnson, Javone Dawson, Justin M. Degale, Zachery T. Dell, Joel H. Dunsil III, Wyntrell T. Ealey, Dajaun Edwards, Mark Elgonitis, Matthew F. Emmett, Jacob C. Fember, Courtlynn M. Fine, Reily E. Fisher, Lauren Franco, Tomas J. Garcia, Zyailah M. Gonzalez, Joseph J. Gronchick Iii, Mason J. Gronkowski, Benjamin A. Hartmann, Arianna M. Johnson, Dahlia Kane, Karley R. Krashnak, Dylan J. Lasorsa, Kaleb P. Lauver, Jhormy A. Liz, Christian T. Lostrick, Niccolo R. Mackaman, Ty Makarewicz, Robert G. Malia, Kamar M. Mando, Paige Marcincavage, Trista M. Martinez, Cole J. McKenzie, Mikayla S. McRae, Courtney A. Merillat, Koa T. Meyer, Elliot C. Miller, Jalaiah Y. Morris, Zachariah J. Neely, Brody W. Nichol, Tiffany M. Norton, Dorian C. Oldziejewski, Olivia S. Onley, Lilliann J. Palchanis, Kayla F. Palencar, Kelly A. Piper, Kiersten M. Rinehimer, Zachary T. Roberts, Mya L. Rodriguez, Tatianya L. Rodriguez, Aleister V. Roper, Carley M. Rushnock, Thorin Sacipi, Taylor L. Schwarz, Kayla T. Shannon, Anthony D. Shaw, Sierra L. Shoemaker, Braden T. Shortz, Molly B. Simon, Lavish L. Smith, Michael E. Smith, Dominik M. Spece, Elizabeth Stephens, Kaitlyn S. Stephens, Janiyah A. Stroman, Christian J. Tereska, Alex M. Thomas, Lily M. Thorne, Nathalie Tineo, Adam E. Turner, Landynn T. Turner, Nayyan J. Veale, Breanna E. Vino, Kaleigha A. Walker, Christopher P. Whitmore Jr, Mark A. Wiggins Jr, Lance L. Williams, Gianna Winston, Makayla C. Woods, Jaime A. Wright, Kiannah R. Yale

    Seventh Grade- A’Esha B. Abdul-Azim, Leland Z. Alexander Jr, Breanna M. Amos, Tafarie Ashraf, Dakota J. Bartleson, Samantha L. Bartleson, Xzavier Beam, Mackenzie R. Benjamin, Ethan P. Benson, Jacob T. Best, Jayden M. Brinzo, Francis Brizgint Jr, Lily M. Brown, David Burton Iii, William C. Buzinkai, Alexandra M. Comitz, Anthony J. Cox, Julia R. Davison, Tiernan E. Dunsmuir, Savanna R. Eddy, Isabella M. Ermert, Isabella A. Fenner, Princess Isabella G. Franklin, Cierra A. Gaffney, Pedro J. Garcia Iv, Alyssa M. Good, Alexander Groff Jr, Marcus T. Harrison, Diamondique Y. Henry, Daliris Y. Herrera, Noah Hinz, Haylee M. Howe, Bocar Jallow, Erick D. Justiniano, Jasmine M. Konze, Abigail T. Kowalczyk, Brandon E. Ktytor, Chrystine M. Locascio, Keira E. Long, Melina Lopez, Nicolas A. Maclunny, Dabian R. Maldonado, Trinity A. Malivert, Hellion F. Martines, Diego Martinez, Tyler A. Mattis, Tavia S. McClennon, Masayiah Z. McLendon, Carly G. Miller, Brian A. Mitchell Jr, Jazmine L. Noriega Stewart, Alaycha M. O’Kane, Syheed A. Parks, Tanner M. Pearson, Yaira M. Perez, Yasmine S. Perez, Rain A. Plattner, Stanley D. Postell, Matthew K. Preiman, Jacob P. Ranieli, Zoe L. Ratchford, Erik Reyes Jr, John A. Roberts, Delia X. Rodriguez, Ryan J. Roth, Brilee N. Russo, Abigail M. Salmonsen, Ethan D. Salvatore, Haylee J. Sartin, Molly L. Savage, Davonte J. Serota, Cheyanne J. Shiller, Jiasen E. Smith, Jayden R. Spece, Corey-Taylor B. Steransky, Jacob Stevens, Robin M. Stitzer, Julianna E. Stull, Carlos D. Tecotl, Anthony M. Tinney, Gabriel A. Turner, Luis R. Vaquero Jr, Briana C. Vega, Olivia T. Vest, Avezja K. Warman, Shawnna R. Washko, Jack Wilson, Lila J. Wolff

    Sixth Grade- Allison M. Adams, Joseph T. Andrews Iii, Zakiyah M. Archer, Markes J. Asbury, Briana M. Barbier, Robert J. Basile Iii, Derek M. Bowden, Travis W. Bowden, Howard H. Briggs V, Benjamin M. Britt, Janessa M. Cardona, Joseph C. Cervone, Malaisa S. Cummings, Cameron Danko, Joseph R. Davis, Tristan J. Dileo, Tyr A. Distasio, Tyson T. Dixon, Jayden B. Eason, Willenny R. Familia, Trent M. Ferguson, Raquel T. Franklin, Xavier J. Fudge, Hannah M. Garner, Isadora S. Gilroy, Aidan B. Gittens, Emilia Hernandez, Kareen A. Huapaya, Brandon Hunter, Thalia M. Irizarry, Saige M. Jacobs, Al-Amin T. Keshinro, Olivia L. King, Alivia C. Kuklewicz, Serenity I. Kyles, McKayla G. Lanunziata, Adam J. Lavallie, Nicholas W. Lawson, Eamon R. Lee, Evan C. Lee, Jaylen Linton, Gabriela K. Lopez North, Jacob T. Marino, Jonathan J. Martin, Angelina M. Martin Pablo, Andrew M. McConnell, Heath L. McKenney II, Bradlee E. Meininger, Gianna M. Merendino, Karyn V. Miller, Luis Mines, Aryiah Moses, Kaleb X. Nace, Zachary A. Okane, Justin R. Patrick Jr, Emily G. Paucar-Bermejo, Jaslynn S. Petersen, Sha Rel J. Peterson, Jayden R. Powell, Thomas F. Punko, Elijah M. Ramos, Matthew L. Rivas, Floyd H. Robinson Iii, Elvis Sanchez Perez, Madden P. Sandly, Lakota S. Santee, Katlyn A. Shoppel, Lee J. Shulzitski Jr, Iyanah P. Slade, Isaiah J. Smith, Riley D. Sorber, Danica S. Symons, Nyree L. Taylor, Alissa H. Thomas, Shawn E. Wandel II, Ronierah C. West, Natahliya-Ann V. Whitmore, Kristofer A. Yaroshenko

    We genealogists are as excited as anyone else as the reopening of society progresses. Many of our favorite sources of information closed in an attempt to control the covid-19 pandemic, and we’ve probably fallen behind in the pursuit of our elusive ancestors.

    What every genealogist now needs is a plan to get going again as facilities and contacts return. Of course, everyone’s plan will have to be different. But here are some suggestions.

    Get serious about DNA: If you have not taken a test, do so. The various testing companies have websites telling you if they offer general purpose testing, Y-chromosome (male) testing or testing for a specific region.

    Regardless of your choice, understand that a DNA test gives probabilities – not answers – about your ancestry. You still have to do the research, though the test can help guide you. Understand also that, while you’ve pushed your genealogy back probably no more than a few centuries, your DNA test gives you information from thousands of years ago. If they don’t seem to match, that’s probably why. Keep extending your genealogy research back through the generations until patterns line up.

    Join the regional research organizations: Your two major windows to the past are the Northeast Pennsylvania Genealogical Society and the Luzerne County Historical Society, both in downtown Wilkes-Barre. Watch their websites and Facebook pages for reopening dates. Then sign up.

    They have immense resources – everything from out-of-print local histories, censuses and old city directories to massive cemetery and church listings. Many of your questions will be answered right there with a little work.

    Same goes for the smaller historical societies with research materials – such as those of Nanticoke, Plymouth and Pittston. Other groups, such as Kingston’s, do not archive but focus on significant projects. Public libraries often carry historical materials for their towns.

    Check out online sources: A lot of material is readily accessible online, sometimes free and sometimes behind a paywall. Many use newspapers.com, a subscription service for old papers from all over. The huge site familysearch.com adds millions of records every week to its free data base. There are many more such sites.

    If you search for specifics online, you’ll find everything from Pennsylvania mining records offered by the state to privately operated Civil War regimental rosters to foreign historical material. Just keep looking.

    Volunteer: This is a great way to help your fellow genealogists. You can catalogue photos and records for an historical or genealogical group or museum, serve as a guide or set-up person at historic homes, or cut weeds and restore head stones at an old cemetery. You can assist with fund-raisers, help set up museum displays or volunteer hours at a library or association to do look-ups for family historians needing information.

    News Notes: Congratulations to the Luzerne County Historical Society on receiving a $30,000 federal grant that will help with costs of personnel and digitizing of materials. It comes from the National Endowment for the Humanities Cares Act. The office of U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-Moosic) announced the grant. The digitizing will make materials more available to researchers.

    Additionally, the LCHS is preparing an exhibit on the 19th Amendment, the one that affirmed the right of women to vote. Information on opening the museum to the public will be forthcoming, the society said on its Facebook page.

    Just 61.9 percent of U.S. households have responded to the 2020 U.S. Census, the Bureau of the Census announced this week. Pennsylvania is a bit ahead of the average, with a response rate of 65.1.

    These are only some of the attributes that make a great chef. The minute-to-minute grind of a chef is ever changing. What they anticipate at the start of the day is 99 percent of the time a complete farce.

    These men and women adapt and adjust to anything and everything, all while continuing to do everything to a laundry list of items on a never-ending list of tasks. This week, I’ll take a step back and give tribute to these chefs who are the backbone of any bar, restaurant, club or other.

    Hopefully, you enjoy my perspective on what I see on a day-to-day basis and relish in the fact that you’re next dining experience was crafted by the most hard-working men and women in the business. I could write a book detailing their day-to-day rigors from my eyes about the stories I’ve seen and heard through the years, but sticking to what matters most looking through my eyes is the story we’ll go through today.

    Projecting leadership in a positive way while getting the best results out of any kitchen is different in every scenario. With changes flying into a kitchen by the minute, any great maestro of a kitchen who has a good developed working relationship with their staff have the ability to adjust on the fly. This is a quality that can be employed in different ways.

    Certain intricate delegation is key, and with the best of the best doing it in such a high quality, you would never know that these people squeeze 12 hours of tasks into 10 hours of intense, grueling laborious hours of service. Entering the building knowing that they have dining service, catered events, and parties, with all of which planned on being held at the same time are no match for these seasoned veterans.

    With no restraint, they just pick up a knife and get to work. The sense of urgency to complete their tasks is masked by the professionalism of these great leaders to make sure that their respective kitchens are designed in the way that at that when it’s close to crunch time everything comes together perfectly organized and ready. Then dinner is served!

    Anyone that has ever worked in a kitchen should understand that chefs have a certain mental timer in their head always attune to when they should start cooking your meal. This timer enables them to make sure your food is ready when you are ready.

    Also, the mental timer for your food isn’t the only thing on their mind. They are also cooking three other tables appetizers, two other tables dinners, and dancing in between the others on the line and trying to synchronize timing to make sure that their food is ready at the exact same time as their partners on the other side of the line.

    Multitasking is the most essential part of the job. Understanding this, communication from the service staff and management is crucial in their timing. Some people don’t eat as fast as others. Some guests like to enjoy a break between their soup or salad and dinner. And just the opposite (like me), some people like to fly through their meal. Chefs are blind to what service staff see in the dining room. You don’t typically see them popping their heads into their dining rooms because, frankly, they don’t have the time to do it.

    This timer is their tool to know exactly when your steak should go on the grill, but the most crucial part of your dining experience is the communication between the server and the chef. If you know of a place that gives you a constantly consistent experience, take solace in the fact that that team in the kitchen knows how to do it right!

    Watching these people work through a busy Friday or Saturday is an amazing sight. Flowing through ticket after ticket, constantly “talking” to other kitchen staff to carefully manage their timing of your dining experience is something close to watching a team carefully orchestrate a play-by-play drive toward an ultimate touchdown at the end of a night.

    Learning their shorthand language and listening to them communicate messages in all of two words tells me these people are in sync. The team in the kitchen that is finely tuned and in sync is the kitchen that is getting your meal to you in the most perfect way possible. Not only is your steak cooked properly, your potatoes hot, but every meal at your table has been perfectly timed and balanced between every party in the kitchen so your entire parties experience is the most enjoyable one.

    It’s always a great feeling at the end of a great night to see the kitchen staff smiling. Watching a well-trained and organized staff run through a production to perfection is everything they strive for in our business. After a great night, seeing these people huddled around their kitchen talking about the perfect events that unfolded that evening is something that everyone should see.

    Your kitchen staff works hard for you. Although the appreciation isn’t always there, they show up day in and day out to satisfy your needs and wants. They strive for perfection. They stay ahead of the dining curve. They do this because they love it, and they love that you love their food.

    I’m perfectly capable of quick and easy; I choose to try the more demanding stuff. I’m frequently delighted to find flavor combinations I never would have thought of coming out so well, and there’s both adventure and satisfaction in getting it right, or in figuring out tweaks that make the meal suit your own tastes or your guests (which you should know better than the person who created the recipe).

    Still, there are plenty of times work goes on too long or the cooking window is too short, and you may crave something more than a can of baked beans, soup with a grilled cheese sandwich or some frozen offering nuked to edible. This is a really good recipe for those times.

    I have only one suggestion: Consider increasing the amounts of balsamic vinegar and honey to make yourself more sauce that can be sopped up with rice or mixed with appropriate sides (roasted potato wedges and asparagus, I suspect, would work well, though I haven’t tried that yet).

    And as to who “Lucky” is? The website from which this comes, allrecipes.com, credits “Lucky Noodles,” and conveniently has a page with a tiny dog apparently as the profile pic and an “about me” bio blurb insisting Lucky likes to “curl up with a cookbook like it was a steamy romance novel.”

    Seriously, what difference does it make? If you like this as much as we do, call yourself lucky … to have tried it.

    Heat olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Cook and stir chicken in the hot oil until chicken is no longer pink in the center, about 3 to 5 minutes. Stir basil, honey, and balsamic vinegar into chicken and cook for 1 more minute.

    When the Wilkes-Barre Farmers Market opened last Thursday on Public Square, I made the rounds of the stands and bought strawberries, cherries, and peaches.

    Plus some tender young rhubarb, because I had the vague intention of making a pie in time for the Fourth of July.

    As I walked the three short blocks to my car, which was parked in the Times Leader lot even though I was working from home that day, I thought about how healthy those young tomato plants had looked.

    I wanted to buy more. It occurred to me that even if the garden in our yard, where Mark and I perennially try to wrest a little harvest, was already pretty full, there was still a sunny patch in my mom’s nearby yard where I could squeeze in a few more plants.

    “Are you buying these for someone else?” farmer Larry O’Malia asked when I returned for four more tomato plants.

    Gentle readers, I tell you all this to show you the clock was ticking, and while I was trudging back to my car for the second time, some of the strawberries already in the vehicle may have been absorbing a tad too much heat.

    Sampling a few at home, I realized they were very sweet and tasty, but teetering on the verge of over-ripe. So I ate some, shared some and decided to somehow preserve the rest.

    But, of course! Duh. They could join the rhubarb in one of the great flavor marriages of all time — strawberry rhubarb pie.

    Consulting a cookbook titled “How to Cook Everything,” I saw the author recommended “a total of five cups of fruit in any combination you like.”

    I liked that flexibility, and since my sliced up rhubarb equaled about 3 cups, I added 2 cups of strawberries for the filling — along with 3/4 cup of sugar and 4 tablespoons of instant tapioca for thickener.

    For the pastry I turned to a Better Homes and Gardens cookbook, just to verify the proportions: 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 2/3 cup lard or shortening (I used butter) and 6 to 7 tablespoons cold water (I used 8 and made sure it was cold by scooping it, tablespoon by tablespoon, from a glass of water cooled by a few ice cubes.)

    As I rolled the dough out on a floured board, with a floured rolling pin, I thought about family legends about expert pie bakers of the past who reportedly could roll pie dough out into a perfect circle with little more than two strokes.

    I’ll admit, it takes me several more strokes than that to roll out pie dough. And it’s never perfectly round. And sometimes when I put that bottom layer in the pie plate and realize how it’s overly generous on one side yet skimping on the other, I end up cutting little pieces off the generous side and patching them onto the skimpy side.

    I try to do all this quickly, of course, because of the old adage about the less you handle pastry dough, the better.

    Mark visited the kitchen just in time to watch me weave the lattice-top layer of the crust and he seemed amused by the way my level of finesse resembles a little kid making some kind of Play-Doh patchwork.

    Everyone who tasted the pie eventually said he or she liked it, rustic charm and all, with Times Leader page designer Lyndsay Bartos praising the yin-yang combination of sweetness and tang that you get from the two very different kinds of fruit.

    Of course my strawberry rhubarb pie was gone several days before the Fourth of July, but maybe I’ll bake another. Or maybe this week’s Farmers Market (set for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 2) will inspire me in a completely different direction.

    Slice rhubarb into 1-inch pieces. Hull and halve strawberries, or leave them whole. Put in a bowl with sugar and tapioca or cornstarch, stirring gently to coat fruit with other ingredients.

    In a mixing bowl stir together flour and salt. Cut in shortening or lard until pieces are the size of small pies. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the water over part of the mixture. Gently toss with a fork. Push to side of bowl. Repeat until all is moistened. Divide dough in half. Form each half into a ball.

    On lightly floured surface, flatten one ball of dough with hands. Roll dough from center to edges, forming a circle about 12 inches in diameter. Wrap pastry around rolling pin and unroll onto 9-inch pie plate. Ease pastry into pie plate, being careful not to stretch pastry. Trim pastry even with rim of plate.

    For top crust, roll remaining dough. Cut slits to allow steam to escape. Fill the pastry in the pie plate with desired filling. Place top crust on top of filling and trim 1/2 inch beyond edge of plate. Fold top crust under bottom crust and flute edges. Bake at 350 until top crust is golden brown.

    For a lattice top, cut top pastry into strips that are 1/2-inch wide and weave them on top of filling.

    Gerald William Ladamus III, son of Sally Sosa and Gerald William Ladamus Jr. of Wilkes-Barre, celebrated his second birthday June 23, 2020.

    Gerald is the grandson of Minerva Tiro and Pablo Sosa, of Wilkes-Barre and Mary Lou and Michael John Marley, Jr., of Wilkes-Barre.

    He is the great grandson of the late Joan Marie Ladamus, the late John George Ladamus, Joan Helen Marley and the late Michael John Marley, Sr., of Wilkes-Barre.

    The 2020 Artists’ Tour of Landmark Churches that Jan Lokuta has planned for 9 a.m. July 25 begins not in a church, but in the Freeland Post Office.

    That’s because when you step into the lobby, you’ll see a mural that showcases the town of Freeland as it appeared in the 1930s, when the federal government tried to ease the pain of the Depression by hiring artists for various New Deal projects.

    As part of the New Deal Pennsylvania Impressionist John F. Folinsbee ascended a hill outside the borough and painted an overview in which the local colliery and churches stand out.

    “It’s beautiful,” Lokuta said of the mural. “Folinsbee really played up the purples and crimsons of autumn.”

    From the post office, the tour will progress to five Freeland churches, each of which promises its own version of art and beauty. Local attorney, history buff and artist Lokuta — yes, he’s all three — expects the tour will appeal most to artists, photographs, arts educators and other devotees of the arts.

    “I’m planning it as a sort of pilgrimage,” Lokuta, of Pittston, explained. “People have been isolated and shut inside for so long. This will give them a time to walk around.”

    The first church on the list, right across the street from the post office, is St. Luke Evangelical Lutheran Church, where Lokuta predicts people on the tour will marvel at the native stone exterior, Gothic style and stained glass windows.

    Next will be St. John Reformed United Church of Christ on Washington Street, followed by Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception at St. Ann’s Church on Center Street and St. Michael Orthodox Church on Fern Street.

    The tour will conclude at St. Mary’s Byzantine Catholic Church, which is one of the two churches depicted in Folinsbee’s mural. It’s one of the oldest Byzantine Rite churches in Pennsylvania, Lokuta said. In the church hall, people on the tour will see a folk-art style mural that depicts a festival in the old country, somewhere in or near the Carpathian Mountains.

    Lokuta has planned the tour in honor of the Rev. Dan Mensinger, a Freeland native and pastor of St. Michael’s Byzantine Rite Church in Pittston.

    Mensinger’s mother had been a parishioner of St. Mary’s Byzantine Catholic Church, Lokuta noted, and Mensinger’s father had been a member of St. Luke’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, so the Freeland church tour pays tribute to the heritage of both of Mensinger’s parents.

    There is no charge to participate in the tour, but Lokuta space is limited. Lokuta urges people to call him to reserve a space at 570-655-3437 or 609-774-4177.

    The day after the tour in Freeland — on July 26 — Lokuta will hold another tour to celebrate the art and history of churches in Dupont. This tour, beginning at 1 p.m. at Sacred Heart of Jesus Chuch on Lackawanna Avenue, will encompass the history and art at that parish, which recently celebrated the 100th anniversary of the dedication of its church building, as well as the history and art at Holy Mother of Sorrows Polish National Catholic Church, which was established after a schism.

    At Holy Mother of Sorrows, Lokuta said, “The pastor will speak to us about the rich history of Poland.”

    Mrs. Colleen Robatin, Principal of G.A.R. Memorial Junior & Senior High School, proudly presents the members of the Third Quarter Honor Roll.

    12th Grade: Highest Honors: Alejandro Arzola, Nasirah Biao, Keyana Lopez, Zuleima Mero, Collin Mosier, Miracle Ruiz, Bryce Unvarsky, Emely Valenzuela, Timothy Wielgopolski. High Honors: Trinity Caballero, Melissa Castillo, Melissa David, Rachel De Las Rosa-Santana, Katlyn Denoy, Laisa Espinoza, Christian Farfan, Jovelissa Francisco Rodriguez, Katelyn George, Samantha Guzman, Lizbeth Guzman-Tapia, Kisayri Hernandez Antigua, Steven Nieves, Kaitlyn Ondish, Logan Padden, Sharleen Peralta, Ilisha Perez, Ashley Saldivar, Michael Smeraglio, Yamilet Sosa, Chloe Sromovski, Jalil Timmons, Jeanette Wilgus. Honors: Chariza Abreu, Paige Barbini, Justin Bowles, Yunior Cedano Jr., Melanie Garcia-Morel, Gorqui Grullon Taveras, Justin Hero, Tannikia Jordan, Melissa Laureano Martinez, Honesty Lopez, Edwin Molina, Casey Molina-Vergara, Geremy Mota Rodriguez, Megan Panaway, Lyann Pena, Arieli Rodriguez Martinez, Yaritza Sanchez, Sheyla Torres Diaz, Andy Vivar, Jasmine Watson.

    11th Grade: Highest Honors: Vivian Anaya, Asma Badaway II, Da’Najah Barner, Kelsey Bellus, Amerie Daniel, Teara Deonarine, Emily Engle, Cindy Espinoza, Warren Faust, Alexandra Gomez, Elyzabeth Hock, Jamese Holmes, Erin Leonard, Laura Meininger, Brady Melovitz, Giovanni Molina-Bernal, Jailen Parise, Jonatan Rosario-Rohena, Madea Stortz, Elizabeth Torres, Joselyn Vergara, Jason Victoria-Bonilla, Anala Williams. High Honors: Selene Amigon, Alexis Amigon-Vasquez, Luisa Angel, Kidist Assefa, Nancy Baez Nunez, I’Niyah Candelaria, Luis Cespedes, Miguel Evertz, Maria Fonseca, Dylan Fox, Emmanuel Francisco, Kalina Hock, Emmanuel Lucas, Bernarda Matute-Esteves, Michael Ortiz, Stephen Plaza, Lizbeth Polanco Gonzalez, Brendan Quinn, Rosio Rojas Gonzalez, Madelyn Slivinski, Cristian Sosa Sanchez, Susan Suero Trinidad, Kameron Taylor, Felishia Torres, Cody Williams. Honors: Alexis Altenor, Laniez Betances, Andrew Brooks, Jordyn Catina, Josiah Curtis, Thaily Espinoza-Onofre, Charisa Fuller, Stephanie Hummell, Jordan Kazoun, Neazah Kelly, Makhia Kenner, Yanilsa Laureano Frias, Celestina Leva, Brian Norbert, Leahvella Rambus, Abu-Bakr-As-Saadiq Samake, Holly Sladin, Maylyn Zaruta.

    10th Grade: Highest Honors: Irvin Aguas Cuautle, Christofer Andeliz Martinez, Lanashia Blyther, Brandon Casterline, Jonathan Flores-Salazar, Krystal Francisco, Reina Gil Contreras, Felix Gonzalez, Denny Mizhquiri, Jenny Nguyen, Alana Rawlins, Jeremy Shimko, Kylie Snipas, Ryu Torres. High Honors: Jessica Airhart, Juan Alcantara, Jimmy Ardito, William Briones Soriano, Jonathan Cabrera Fernandez, Ashley Duran Rojas, Selena Evertz, Jeanelys Freyre Rodriguez, Nina Germano, Kaylee Hoyt, Dakota Leach, Nathalie Olarte, Kimberly Onofre-Aragon, Griselle Rosado Echevarria, Madison Savage, Kimberly Ventura-Legora. Honors: Chase Albritton, Michael Andrzejewski, Yahir Aulet Oquedo, Alan Cardoso, Angelina Cerda, Yazlin Chavez, Brianna Davidson, Collin Deininger, Vanessa Diaz, Kimberly Dooling, Kelsey Ford, Zaireem Ford, Ruendy Garay Murillo, Jan Paul Garcia Lopez, Kaitlyn Hart, Anthony Hernandez, Reagan Holden, Samaria Hubbard, Jazmin Hughes, Jaden Jack, Leonard Miguel Mercado Quinones, Danayjha Moore, Luisanna Morel, Donia Nazmy, Kevin Placencio, Larymar Rivera Perez, Daniel Rowe, David Slavish, Stephanie Slusarik, Dynastie Thomas, Kevin Thwaites, Victor Vazquez, Maleena Vue, Bradley Wright, Arnell Yarashus.

    9th Grade: Highest Honors: Tsegenet Assefa, Halle Evelock, Troy Mitchell Jr., Angel Novelo, Darlene Nunez, Savier Nunez, Abigail Rolon, Alejandro Sanchez Segura, Justin Sickler, Zayd Williams. High Honors: Leonel Anaya, Shelby Ardo Boyko, Jose Castillo Restitullo, Angeleek Cuello, Allan De La Cruz, Jalem Espinal, Aleica Francisco Peralta, Jessica Guzman-Tapia, Ariana Martinez, Rylee O’Donnell, Maribel Olea, Tayon Onkuru Jr., Lazaro Ponce Jr., Alicia Ramia, Angeles Reyes Mateo, Rachel Reyes-Torres, Jacob Shinal, Madison Toole, Kenneth Vargas, Matthew Vivar, Camron Zuczek. Honors: Katherin Brito, Danna Bueno Rodriguez, Raeann Butromovich, Amy Candelario, Kristopher Crespo-Colon, Craig Gayle, Joel Javier-Maria, Alexus Johnson, Kaydi Lopez, Melanie Lopez, Sarah Lugo-Grom, Waliyat Oseni, Julia Quezada Arroyo, Ingrid Thwaites, Muneerah Tyler.

    8th Grade: Highest Honors: Thifany Olmedo, Raymond Ortiz Jr., Jason Popeck Jr., Joshua Ruiz, Aidan Tanner, Italia Torres-Perez, Deangelo Tyson, Frank Ventura-Aguilar. High Honors: Haneef Adams, Giselle Aguilar, Niccoli Barbini, Ceandra Chandler, Maura Cook, Eddie Corbin III, Robert Delescavage, Jacqueline Edoukou, Matthew Faust, Ehily Fernandez, Victoria George, Adrian Hernandez, Kalil Hobson, Sabrina Krause, Tyjahreik Latham Robinson, Jennifer Martinez, Yarely Morales Monge, Anthony Nazario, Hailey Ondish, Valerie Rodriguez Avila, Oscar Rojas Aguilar, Selena Santos Osoria, Isabel Vazquez. Honors: Jean Carlo Banegas, Desmone Battle Jr., Christopher Bickley, Isauri Blanco Brito, Stephon Carpenter, Kaprie Cottle, Haneidy Cruz Diaz, Raiquan Daniel, Jahzahier Fisher, Leanna Garcia, Nickolas Gomez, Lee Gryskavicz, Seth Hernandez, Monique Jones, James Kennedy, Victor King, Nicholas Kratz Jr., Elliot Lisojo, Joshua Lord, Shaquel Moore, Julie Nguyen, James O’Connor, Gianna Palmer, Ariana Pena, Zackary Zurn.

    7th Grade: Highest Honors: Dayna Adams, Nancy Aguas-Cuautle, Jimena Amigon, Abigale Baluski, Keishanna Black, Amy Canongo, Abigail Cuello, Jevahnie Hernandez, Lacey Kephart, Stacey Marmol, Noah Matta, Nemesy Nunez Rijo, Genesis Rodriguez Pinales, Ezequiel Ruiz Diaz, Velanie Valle. High Honors: Brian Baez, Ashley Buestan Jr., Alease Epps, Gerardo Farfan, Shayla Faria, Edward Guzman Bonilla, Kiaralisha Jackson, Sheily Jimenez, Kaiasia Jones, Na’Jamar Lampley, Joseph May, Gabriella-Symone McCoy, Kaitlyn Nguyen, Aliyah Pitters, Sebastian Ruiz, Giavona Sabalesky, Yamilet Santos Osoria, Adriana Sosa, Aden Stone, Luis Vanegas, Saranece Whitehead, Sierra Yost. Honors: Wyatt Baker, Ashley Cannon, Keiyara Chamberlain-Blake, Ariana Colon, Gianna Farrakhan, Ariane Freyre Rodriguez, Kelisbeth Gonzales, Itzel Guzman-Herrera, Bryan Hernandez, Gabriel Hernandez, Emani Howlett, Makayla Kazoun, Melanie Laureano Martinez, Israel Marmolejo, Yossis Martinez Lopez, Isiah McClure, Janea Morgan, Jason Nazario, Alissa Newton, Emily Nieves, Mia Pelaez, Christopher Perez, Tyrone Phanelson, Evelina Polanco Encarnacion, Luke Pollard, Adamari Ponce, Omar Redditt Jr., Brayan Rodriguez Mateo, Josue Rodriguez Pinales, Alexander Ruiz, Xavier Santos, Isaiah Soto, Jaycie Stone, Kaitlyn Tlatenchi, Jaedon Torres, Joseph Torres, Nevaeha Valentin, Omar Vergara, Koralina Wallace, Juvell Williams, Breyale Williams-Perry, Desteny Zeferino.

    WILKES-BARRE — City police are investigating after a bicyclist was struck by a motor vehicle earlier this week and later died of his injuries.

    HARRISBURG — Gov. Tom Wolf followed through on his threat to yank COVID-19 funding from a county that defied his shutdown orders, while his administration targeted bars, restaurants and large gatherings statewide Thursday in an effort to prevent a wider resurgence of the virus that officials say could jeopardize students’ return to school.

    PITTSTON — A man from Pittston was arrested Thursday on allegations he downloaded and shared images of children engaged in sexual acts.

    WILKES-BARRE — The Pennsylvania Department of Health on Thursday reported six new confirmed case of COVID-19 in Luzerne County and no new deaths.

    WILKES-BARRE — Ruth Corcoran was announced Thursday as the 2020 recipient of the Athena Award, presented by the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce.

    HANOVER TWP. — An 18-year-old man charged with stealing an American flag and a POW/MIA flag from the Hanover Area High School has been released on unsecured bail.

    Saying Pennsylvania is now at a “tipping point” with another emerging coronavirus wave, Gov. Tom Wolf imposed new statewide restrictions impacting bars and restaurants, group gatherings and remote working that took effect early today.

    WILKES-BARRE — Riverside Cafe owner Bob Hogan says he has gone to great lengths to abide by Pennsylvania’s regulations for operating his establishment during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    We asked readers to share their thoughts on Gov. Tom Wolf’s order imposing new COVID-19 restrictions on businesses and gatherings through comments on our website and Facebook page.

    WILKES-BARRE — An invitation to bid on repairs to the roof of the Irem Temple signals renovations to the historic building aren’t too far away.

    WILKES-BARRE TWP. — The Mohegan Sun Arena looks a little bit different these days: the stage is outside now, for one thing. And that new outdoor stage is getting ready for some of the area’s most popular local bands to raise money for venues and nonprofits negatively affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

    HANOVER TWP. — In a brief special meeting held virtually Tuesday the Hanover Area school Board voted to hire two new special education teachers in a move that, Superintendent Nathan Barrett said, could save about $400,000 by bringing services previously contracted to outside agencies “in house.”

    UNION TWP. — At a Wednesday board meeting streamed live on YouTube, The Northwest Area School Board approved the re-opening plan for this coming school year, but both Superintendent Joseph Long and Athletic Director Matthew Mills pointed to very recent events that demonstrate how rapidly things can change.

    WILKES-BARRE — Pennsylvania Bar Association President David E. Schwager on Wednesday said citizens and the business community must have access to the legal services they need at all times — especially in a time of crisis.

    WILKES-BARRE — Thursday night’s broadcast of the much anticipated “30 Rock” reunion will not be aired on local NBC affiliate WBRE.

    HAZLETON — With the Wilkes-Barre show rained out last week, the Hazleton performance in the Rockin’ the County summer concert series is now set to be the first, and the route for the parade-style concert was announced on Monday.

    A long-standing tradition at the St. Aloysius worship site of St. Robert Bellarmine Parish in Wilkes-Barre will take place again this year, with the annual Novena to St. Ann set to begin Saturday, July 18, and conclude on her feast day, Sunday, July 26.

    On Wednesday, Gov. Tom Wolf announced new restrictions in the state’s fight against COVID-19 that will affect bars, restaurants, other businesses and gatherings.

    WILKES-BARRE — The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania filed a suit against an inmate at SCI-Dallas this week, seeking court approval to forcibly feed him, as he has been on a hunger strike for weeks.

    WILKES-BARRE — The new restrictions aimed to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus prompted city council to switch its in-person meeting Thursday to a virtual session.

    Saying Pennsylvania is now at a “tipping point” with another emerging coronavirus wave, Gov. Tom Wolf imposed new statewide restrictions impacting bars and restaurants, group gatherings and remote working that took effect early today.

    WHITE HAVEN —A woman from White Haven was arraigned Wednesday on charges she stole money from Joe’s Kwik Mart’s Exxon service station while she was employed as a cashier, according to court records.

    It’s way too early to pop the champagne corks, but Wednesday’s news regarding Wilkes-Barre’s Irem Temple felt like a real boon in a county where — as often lamented in this space — preservation of historic (and distinctive) buildings seems like a crap shoot in which the dice are loaded to always come up snake eyes.

    I want the people of our region to know of a local business, Corcoran Printing, which recently printed a booklet which is used in a grief counselling ministry.

    As a result of Chinese deceit a worldwide pandemic that might well have been prevented is costing countless lives. It has been staggering to see how thoroughly the Chinese government initially mishandled the new coronavirus epidemic.

    Even as Pennsylvania counties have reopened for business, COVID-19 cases are still being reported, and there are still emerging hot spots across the country. This is certainly a time of continued uncertainty, and it’s no time to let our guards down.

    In Denmark, Germany and Austria, kids began returning to classrooms in April and early May, and there haven’t yet been spikes of new cases. Schools reopened in Norway, but the spread of infection in the country keeps trending downward. Italian kids will go back to classes in September.

    “The N.F.L. Needs More Than a Song,” we were reminded Wednesday by the headline above an on-point guest op-ed column in The New York Times by former pro football wide receiver Donte Stallworth.

    In October of 2001, I was given the task of riding in a limousine to pick up Pete Rose in Philadelphia and bring him to a Make-A-Wish Foundation of Northeastern Pennsylvania benefit dinner.

    WILKES-BARRE — State Rep. Aaron Kaufer this week said those who commit Medicaid fraud don’t just hurt the system, but those who depend on it most.

    WILKES-BARRE — The tragedy that left two Plymouth boys dead this week was all too familiar to one local family.

    The Supreme Court has decided, 7-2, that teachers in Catholic elementary schools are not covered by employment discrimination law. This is a highly important expansion of religious exemptions from government regulation.

    WILKES-BARRE — In yet another great episode of “Seinfeld,” Kramer adopts a highway — the fictional Arthur Burghardt Expressway.

    President Donald Trump began a week in which the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread, with devastating consequences for public health and for the economy, by bashing NASCAR for banning Confederate symbols and Black NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace for not apologizing for … well, it wasn’t exactly clear what he thought Wallace should apologize for. At any rate, it put Trump squarely on the other side of the issue from NASCAR, and from (for example) most White state legislators in Mississippi, who recently voted to remove Confederate symbolism from their state flag.

    WILKES-BARRE — Back in the day, the only flatbed trucks traveling through our neighborhood were carrying fruit and produce or rags.

    Of all the grand historic buildings Wilkes-Barre and the Wyoming Valley have failed to preserve, The Central Railroad of New Jersey station has long been the most frustrating to watch languish toward demise.

    WASHINGTON — At Gettysburg, where the bloodiest and most decisive battle of the Civil War occurred, no fewer than 1,320 monuments are scattered across the rolling Pennsylvania landscape. Some memorialize Union generals and their men; others remember Confederates.

    Larry Newman put it succinctly. “We’ve been yelling about this since 2013, and yet here we are.”

    Post time: Jul-17-2020