A Tornado Touches Down In W-B Twp.; Unbelievable, But True
Who would have thought that the township would experience a disaster such as what happened Wednesday, June 13, at two of the township’s business centers! I knew from the constant thunder, lightning strikes and sheets of rain that were pounding our area that evening that there could possibly be some damage caused by the storm, but a tornado? When I was finally able to watch my TV after the storm had passed, I was astonished beyond words when the local stations interrupted their regular programs to report on the “breaking news” of all the structural destruction that had occurred in two of the shopping centers in the township. When I went to see these disaster areas several days later, I was appalled by all the structural damage to the businesses by the EF 2 tornado. Thanks to all the dedicated first responders in our area who responded immediately to the disaster, they were able to close off the entire area that evening, preventing anyone from getting hurt by the hanging wires and debris. Many of these responders did not leave the scene for many hours, foregoing their sleep for the public’s safety. Even though the damage to the businesses is estimated to be in the multi-millions of dollars, it was still a “blessing in disguise” because there were absolutely no fatalities from the EF2 tornado due to the fact that the stores were closed at the time of the disaster. Township has ordinance regarding fireworks Even though the state has recently legalized the sale of fireworks to the public, local authorities can regulate the sale and use of fireworks within their communities if they choose to do so. Wilkes-Barre Twp. had adopted an ordinance in 1995 that prohibits the use and sale of fireworks within the township with the “exception of novelty-type fireworks.” According to the township ordinance, fireworks which are described as “any combustible or explosive composition or any substance or combination of substances, or any article prepared for the purpose of producing a visible or an audible effect by combustion, explosion, deflagration, or detonation, including blank cartridges and toy cannons in which explosives are used, the type of balloons which require fire underneath to propel the same, firecrackers, torpedoes, skyrockets, Roman candles, aerial fireworks, or other fireworks of like construction, and any fireworks containing any explosive or flammable compound or any tablets or other device containing an explosive substance” are all prohibited. When caught setting off any of the prohibited fireworks, the individual can be fined up to $500 for violating the township’s ordinance. Residents are advised to call 911 if any of these prohibited fireworks are being set off in their vicinity. Camp applications available Girls and boys overnight camp applications are available. In just a few more days, many young campers, boys and girls, will be enjoying the beautiful, scenic outdoors at the rustic Wilkes-Barre Twp. Settlement Camp in Bear Creek Twp. The boys overnight camp will be held from 10 a.m., Monday, July 9, to 9 a.m. Saturday, July 14. Girls overnight camp will be held from 10 a.m. Sunday, July 15, to 9 a.m. Friday, July 20. The overnight camp is for boys and girls (regardless of where they live) from 6 to 13 years of age. Cost is $175 for township residents and $200 for non-residents per week. If your child would like to be assigned to the same cabin with their friend, please fill in that particular section of the application when registering. The theme for this year’s boys and girls camping season is “Harry Potter.” Applications can be obtained at the municipal building during regular office hours. Senior citizens news The township senior citizens and their guests enjoyed their recent trip to Knoebels Amusement Resort for Senior Citizens’ Day. The weather was favorable and everyone enjoyed a day of fun. The time, however, went by so quickly that before we knew it, we were all on the bus and on our way back home. At the recent bingo party, 50-50 winners were Tina Cherkauskas, Helen Novak and Sue Pohutski. Special games were won by Gerry Andrzejewski (twice). Members honored Mary Ann Shumoski on the occasion of her birthday. The seniors are recruiting new members from age 55 to join them during their “New Membership Drive.” Anyone wishing to join the seniors’ group is asked to attend any of their weekly Wednesday bingo parties at 10:30 a.m. in the township municipal building’s community room. Yearly dues are $6. Membership is open to any non-resident who wishes to join the group. Bus transportation is provided to any township resident who has no means of transportation to the municipal building. The senior citizens annual outing will be held on Sunday, Aug. 19, at the Wilkes-Barre Twp. Settlement Camp. The seniors will attend the Bloomsburg Fair on Monday, Sept. 24, for Senior Citizens’ Day. Non-members are invited to both events. Call Bernadine Elick at 570-823-7540 to make reservations. Township firemen planning annual bazaar Members of the Wilkes-Barre Twp. Volunteer Fire Dept. will hold their annual bazaar from 5 p.m. to midnight Thursday, Aug. 2 and Friday, Aug. 3, and 3 p.m. to midnight Saturday, Aug. 4, on the fire department grounds, Watson Street. There will be plenty of food, raffles and games for young and old to enjoy. The fireman’s parade will be held through the township at 6 p.m. Friday, Aug. 3. Line-up will be at the Kmart parking lot at 5 p.m. Trophies will be awarded to the fire departments for the most firemen attending, the newest engine, the oldest apparatus and best appearing fire department. Judges, Fire Chief Rich Hart, Clyde Moyer, Molly Hart and Kevin Halecki will award trophies at 7:30 p.m. the day of the parade. Entertainment will be provided by DJ Jay Edwards at 6 p.m., Aug. 2; by Billy Fink and Friends at 6 p.m., Aug. 3 and by “Rockaholics” at 5 p.m. Aug. 4. Fire Chief Rich Hart stated that plans are in the works for the township volunteer firemen’s chicken barbecue dinner on Sunday, Aug. 26. More information will be forthcoming. Our Lady of Hope news Since there is no summer Bible camp scheduled this year at Our Lady of Hope, parents are asked to get in touch with Martha at 570-823-4168 (Our Lady of Fatima parish) in order to register their child. The Bible school will be held from 9 to 11:30 a.m. July 9–13. The Gate of Heaven Church in Dallas has scheduled a special program for anyone involved in parish ministry on Thursday, July 19. Anyone involved with children is required to participate in this program. To register, contact Dede Scafella at email@example.com, or call the Safe Environment Office at 570-207-1453. St. John B.C. Church news St. John’s Church is renovating its parish hall kitchen. Donations to help with this project are welcome and appreciated. Send donations to St. John B.C. Church, 526 Church St., Wilkes-Barre Twp., PA 18702 marked “Hall Kitchen.” Due to the many renovations that are being made in St. John’s parish hall, the Guild has announced that their annual rummage sale will be held at a later date. The Guild has also announced that they will no longer be accepting any clothing in their future rummage sales. Bernadine Elick writes “Wilkes-Barre Twp. Talk” every other Thursday. She could be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 570-823-7540.