Winners Of The Armed Forces Drawing & Essay Contests Announced

The Lackawanna County Communications, Community Outreach and Community Relations Departments once again received a large response to its second annual Armed Forces Drawing and Essay contests with eight school districts submitting over 150 entries.

The competition, which kicked-off in February and ran through April, generated 73 drawings/designs and 91 essays/poems.

The categories for the contest were as follows: kindergarten to second grade involved the youngsters preparing a patriotic drawing; third to eighth graders were asked to develop an essay on the topic of “Why I Appreciate America’s Veterans;” and ninth through twelfth grade students had to reflect on the topic of “What I Would Tell America’s Founding Father’s About Our Country.”

The drawing’s size was 8 1/2 x 11 inches.  The writing exercise for grades 3-8 was in the 100 words to 300 words range, while the upper grades was set at 300 to 500 words.

The format for the writing contests was a traditional essay or a poem.

The Old Forge and Riverside School Districts were the largest participants in the competition with the Scranton School District, the Lutheran Academy, St Gregory’s, Carbondale Area School District, St. Mary’s – Dunmore, Valley View School District, Pittston Area School District, LaSalle Academy and the Dunmore School District submitting entries.

The winners, who received a voucher for two general admission lawn tickets for a Scranton/Wilkes Barre RailRiders game, included: Adrianna Hoover, Riverside; Christopher Rotell-Tierney, Carbondale; Sarah Wolfe, Riverside; Cadie Lewis, Dunmore; Mariah Mancuso, St. Mary’s Dunmore; and Matthew Nichols, The Lutheran Academy.

Also, Emil Nischal, The Lutheran Academy; Michael Minick, St. Mary’s Dunmore; Emma Connolly, LaSalle Academy; Kate DeFrancesco, Riverside; Maddie Loftus, Dunmore; Morgan Mickavicz, Riverside; and Peter Miles, Riverside.

Hurricane Awareness Week

History teaches that a lack of hurricane awareness and preparation are common threads among all major hurricane disasters. By knowing your vulnerability and what actions you should take, you can reduce the effects of a hurricane disaster.

Hurricane hazards come in many forms, including storm surge, heavy rainfall, inland flooding, high winds, tornadoes, and rip currents. The National Weather Service is responsible for protecting life and property through issuance of timely watches and warnings, but it is essential that your family be ready before a storm approaches. Furthermore, mariners should be aware of special safety precautions when confronted with a hurricane.

Download the Tropical Cyclone Preparedness Guide (PDF) or follow the links for more information. But remember, this is only a guide. The first and most important thing anyone should do when facing a hurricane threat is to use common sense.

National Hurricane Preparedness Week 2014 runs from May 25th through May 31st.

Please visit for more information!


Lackawanna County Commissioners Declare “Code Blue” Frigid Weather Alert

Based on current cold weather information, the Lackawanna County Commissioners are declaring a “Code Blue” frigid weather alert.

Based on forecasts from the National Weather Service at Binghamton, NY, and in consultation with the Lackawanna County Emergency Management Agency, a “Code Blue” will be declared for Lackawanna County beginning at 3:00 a.m. on Wednesday, March 26, 2014, and ending at noon on Thursday, March 28, 2014.

A “Code Blue” alert is issued when the forecasted temperature in Lackawanna County (including wind chills) is expected to reach 20 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. If necessary, based on weather conditions, an extension of the alert may be issued.

The goal of this notification is to make people aware of the extremely cold conditions, provide information relating to health and wellness in cold weather, and to provide the locations of emergency homeless shelters that are operated by area social service agencies.

During a “Code Blue” alert, homeless individuals can access an emergency shelter at the following locations:

-  Bethel AME Church Shelter, 716 N. Washington Avenue, Scranton (hours: 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m.)

-  St. Anthony’s Haven, 409 Olive Street, Scranton (hours: 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m.)

-  Community Intervention Center, 445 North 6th Avenue, Scranton (hours: 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.)

Information on personal health and safety during freezing weather can be found on the Lackawanna County homepage by visiting, and clicking on the “Code Blue Alert” icon on the right side of the screen. Alerts will also be posted on the County’s social media outlets for the duration of the advisory period.