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Sanctuary plans new construction

Lacawac Sanctuary is seeking funding from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and from private foundations and donors to renovate and construct an environmental education center where children and educators can come together to understand, appreciate and protect natural resources. Lacawac’s future Environmental Education Center will also be a gathering place in a stunning setting for the entire community.

For more than 50 years, Lacawac Sanctuary Field Station and Environmental Education Center has inspired a love for nature and ecology among families, researchers and students throughout Pennsylvania and beyond.

Local law firm relocates

Vinsko & Associates P.C., a general practice law firm with offices in Wilkes-Barre and Philadelphia, recently relocated to a larger building in downtown Wilkes-Barre at 37 N. River St. The move reflects Vinsko’s growth and expansion since the firm opened 15 years ago. The Philadelphia location remains at 1700 Market St., Suite 1005.

Vinsko & Associates P.C. provides legal counsel and exceptional representation to individuals, families and professionals throughout Pennsylvania.

Colleges announce transfer agreement

Wilkes University and Lackawanna College have entered into a new articulation agreement that will help Lackawanna graduates transfer to Wilkes to complete their bachelor’s degree. Under the new agreement, students who earn an associate degree in early childhood education from Lackawanna can transfer into the Wilkes bachelor’s degree in elementary and early childhood education as a junior.

Wilkes President Patrick F. Leahy and Lackawanna President Mark Volk signed the agreement on March 27 at Wilkes University. It formalizes the relationship between the institutions, streamlining the admission process for interested students.

As part of the agreement, 60 credits earned at Lackawanna College may be applied toward the bachelor’s degree at Wilkes.

Travel agency marks milestone

Boscov’s Travel, a local travel agency with 18 locations in five states, announced their 45th anniversary since the company’s founding in April 1974, with more than half a million trips planned for leisure, group and corporate clients.

In 1974, local businessmen Albert Boscov and Edwin Lakin — along with Eunice Boscov and Alma Lakin — decided affordable vacations should be available to everyone. The operation began as a small travel agency at Boscov’s East in Reading, Pennsylvania. The company has grown into a full-service travel management company specializing in leisure, corporate, group, and meetings and incentive travel.

The Boscov and Lakin families set out to create a then-revolutionary approach toward travel, and four-and-a-half decades years later, Boscov’s Travel operates on the same basic principles and community service as the family-owned department stores.

Nursing program achieves ranking

Career Technology Center of Lackawanna County has been named the No. 8 PN school program out of 53 accredited practical nursing schools in Pennsylvania by in its sixth annual State PN Program Rankings.

Law school degree affiliation inked

The University of Scranton and Boston College Law School have signed an early admissions agreement that will allow Scranton students who meet program requirements to be eligible for admission to the prestigious Jesuit law school after three years at Scranton. The agreement will take effect beginning with the 2019-20 academic year. The agreement, commonly referred to as a “3-3 program,” will allow Scranton students to earn a bachelor’s degree from Scranton and a juris doctor degree from Boston College in six, rather than seven, years. After completion of their junior year at Scranton, the agreement allows eligible students to earn up to 30 credits for their bachelor’s degree requirements during the first year at Boston College Law School.

Orthopedic office joins network

Orthopedic Consultants, Luzerne County’s longest-standing and most established orthopedic practice, has joined Commonwealth Health Physician Network, the area’s largest physician network. Board-certified orthopedic surgeons William Charlton, M.D., Johnny Hernandez, M.D., James Mattucci, M.D., and Michael Raklewicz, M.D., officially became Commonwealth Health physicians April 1.

The office will remain at 390 Pierce St., Kingston, specializing in orthopedic surgery (knee, hip and shoulder joint replacement, robotic-assisted knee replacement, arthroscopy, sports medicine and fracture care), as well as nonoperative care of orthopedic patients (arthritis, autoimmune disorders and osteoporosis). On-site radiology services are also offered at the same location.

Hospitals receive recognition

Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center and Geisinger South Wilkes-Barre achieved Magnet Recognition on April 17 as a reflection of their nursing professionalism, teamwork and superiority in patient care. The American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Magnet Recognition Program distinguishes organizations that meet rigorous standards for nursing excellence.

With this credential, GWV and GSWB join the global community of Magnet-recognized organizations. Just 484 U.S. health care organizations out of more than 6,200 hospitals have achieved Magnet recognition.

Med school launches degree program

Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine announced it will offer a master’s degree that will prepare scientists for careers in laboratory research in industries including biotech, life science, pharmaceutical, academia and government. The program is designed for working professionals, with evening classes held exclusively at the Doylestown campus located within the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center. Applications are now being accepted at

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Employment projects the need for medical scientists will grow 13 percent through 2026, faster than the average for all occupations.

College offering new degree

Lackawanna College announced the launch of a new online cyber security associate degree starting in the fall. The program addresses a global cyber security staffing shortage. This shortage of IT professionals dedicated to cyber security is leaving businesses open to cyber security attacks. Without properly trained staffing, corporations could continue to experience major security breaches that compromise consumer data and cost millions of dollars.

Lackawanna’s new Cyber Security program curriculum is structured around guidelines set by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security, which sponsor the National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense.

UGI named in national survey

UGI Utilities Inc. was among 29 utility companies nationwide that were named a 2019 “Environmental Champion” in a recent study by Cogent Reports, a division of Market Strategies International – Morpace.

This is the second consecutive year that UGI has been named an Environmental Champion.

The Utility Trusted Brand and Customer Engagement: Residential study measures such company attributes as its dedication to supporting the environment by promoting clean energy, enabling consumption management, facilitating environmental causes, encouraging environmentally friendly fleets and buildings and consistently seeking ways to protect the environment.

Wayne Bank opens new office

The bank recently opened a new community office at 734 Sans Souci Parkway in Hanover Twp., its first location in the Luzerne County market.

This full-service office houses both retail banking and commercial lending professionals, offering the bank’s complete line of products and services for consumers and businesses.

Health foundation announces grants

Nonprofit groups providing health-related programs or services in Wayne or Pike counties, or Carbondale or Forest City areas, in need of support funding may qualify for a Community Grant from the Wayne Memorial Health Foundation (WMHF). Applications will be accepted from organizations whose focus includes health care-related services in the areas of injury and disease prevention and treatment and the promotion of good health and wellbeing for residents in the Wayne Memorial Health System service area.

Applications and guidelines are available at, or may be obtained from Wayne Memorial Health Foundation, Attn: Jack Dennis, executive director, 601 Park St., Honesdale, PA 18431, or by calling 570-251-6533 or emailing Applications are due no later than June 30.

University faculty, staff honored

Wilkes University recognized more than 95 students, faculty and staff April 25 at the Extracurricular Awards Luncheon for their contributions to activities outside the classroom.

Honored by Wilkes Student Government, Michael Steele, professor of biology was the recipient of the Faculty Choice Award. Jill Price adventure education coordinator was the recipient of the Staff Choice Award.

The Faculty and Staff Choice award recipients are nominated by members Student Government who select a variety of faculty and staff each year who have shaped their Wilkes experience. The final nominees are then put to a vote by the Wilkes student body.

Bank donates to scholarship fund

FNCB Bank, locally based for more than 100 years, announced a $27,500 Pennsylvania Education Improvement Tax Credit donation to Scranton Preparatory School’s P.J.H.S. Scholarship Fund.

The donation to Scranton Prep will help provide scholarship assistance to students and families who cannot afford full tuition costs.

The support of Scranton Prep is part of FNCB’s larger Community Caring initiative. As a true, local community bank, FNCB Bank is making a difference through volunteerism, donations and outreach programs.

Local hospice receives award

Hospice of the Sacred Heart has been named a 2019 Hospice Honors recipient by HEALTHCAREfirst, a leading provider of billing and coding services and advanced analytics. Hospice Honors is a prestigious program that recognizes hospices providing the highest level of quality as measured from the caregiver’s point of view.

FCC warns of phone scam

The Federal Communications Commission is alerting consumers to reported waves of “One Ring” or “Wangiri” scam robocalls targeting specific area codes in bursts, often calling multiple times in the middle of the night.

The calls are likely trying to prompt consumers to call the number back, often resulting in per-minute toll charges similar to a 900 number. Consumers should not call these numbers back.

Recent reports indicate the calls are using the “222” country code of the West African nation of Mauritania. News reports have indicated widespread overnight calling in New York state and Arizona.

Center announces inaugural season

Farm Arts Collective, a newly formed agricultural center based on Willow Wisp Organic Farm, announced its season events. Founded by organic farmer and artistic director Tannis Kowalchuk and Sue Currier (formerly of Delaware Highlands Conservancy), the collective’s mission is to nourish community through programs in farming, art, food and ecology. Workshops, performances and events are planned through November.

Senior center receives grant

The Wayne County Area Agency on Aging received part of $2 million in funding from the state Department of Aging’s Senior Community Center grants from the Pennsylvania Lottery.

The grant, totaling $57,656, will be used for upgrades at the Hamlin Senior Center, with the funding earmarked for a new roof, flooring and painting, as well as a new wellness program for the seniors.

Tire business expands internships

McCarthy Tire Service, a family-owned company and one of the top 10 independent commercial tire dealers in the United States, has expanded its corporate internship program with multiple placements at its headquarters in Wilkes-Barre. McCarthy Tire’s internship program offers high-caliber high school and college students the opportunity to gain firsthand experience in a fast-paced business environment. They develop tangible professional skills that make them competitive in the marketplace. They also learn what it takes to be successful in a multimillion-dollar corporation.

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