Local News

Friday, 27 March 2020 14:19

1918: Influenza hits Monroe County

By Amy Leiser, Executive Director
Monroe County Historical Association

The influenza virus has been in existence for thousands of years. Since humans began domesticating livestock and living alongside them, the flu has been an illness that has plagued our species. Greek philosopher, Hippocrates, first described flu symptoms 2,400 years ago, but it wasn’t until 1933 that the influenza virus was correctly identified in humans by scientists and researchers Christopher Andrews, Patrick Laidrow, and Wilson Smith.

There have been documented epidemics and pandemics of the influenza virus for hundreds of years, but the Influenza Outbreak of 1918 was the worst on record. During the Spring of 1918, mild cases of the flu were reported across the globe, but by autumn of that year, the flu virus had hit pandemic proportions all over the world. The 1918 flu, also known as The Spanish Flu or La Grippe, killed an estimated 50 million people. By comparison,16 million people died during World War I. Individuals who caught this particular strain of the flu deteriorated quickly; some died within 24 hours of contracting the virus.

Looking out for our customers We’re facing this public health challenge together. Here are some of the things we’re doing to look out for our customers during this coronavirus pandemic.

Delivering on our core mission Our homes, health-care facilities and grocery stores need reliable electricity to keep moving during this crisis. Powering our communities remains our number one responsibility.

Rest assured, throughout this crisis and beyond, we’re working every day to maintain a strong, resilient and reliable power grid. You need us to keep your lights on, and we’re here for you. And we’re doing it safely by limiting direct interaction between our employees and customers and respecting social distancing at all times.


Offering assistance to customers in need

If you can’t pay your bill during this crisis, we will not cut off your electric service. We’ve also waived late payment charges for all customers, effective March 16, 2020.

Beyond that, a variety of payment assistance programs are available if you’re struggling to pay your bill during this time.

  • OnTrack offers a lower, fixed monthly bill and debt forgiveness for customers who are income-eligible.
  • Operation HELP is a fund supported by our company, employees and customers. It provides grants to help eligible customers pay their heating bills. We’re happy to say that our PPL Foundation recently donated an extra $500,000 to Operation HELP.
  • LIHEAP is a federal program that provides cash and crisis grants to eligible customers. It’s open through April 10, so there’s still time to apply.
  • Budget billing can smooth out your payments so they’re consistent and predictable throughout the year.
  • We may be able to set you up with a payment arrangement to split up past due balances into installments.

Learn more and apply for assistance  

Registered voters can sign up today at VotesPA.com/ApplyMailBallot

For more voting information in the state of Pennsylvania, visit: VotesPA.com

(The Center Square) – The Pennsylvania House of Representatives unanimously agreed Tuesday on a plan delaying the primary election until June 2 amid the coronavirus pandemic.

I hope everyone is safely hunkered down - in response to the COVID-19 outbreak:


1.  I have activated the message board on BarrettCommunity.com.  Please share the link with local friends & family:


2.  I have created a #Slack workspace, I think it might be a great way to communicate.  Here is the link to join - please share with local friends & family: 


3.  I have also enabled "Live Chat" on the BarrettCommunity.com site (green button in the lower right corner). Please feel free to stop in and say 'Hi' or let me know if you have any issues with items #1 or #2 above.  You can also email me directly at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

New legislation introduced this month in the Pennsylvania House aims to add fees and limits to how Keystone Staters buy their ammunition.

Pennsylvania House Bill 2344 was referred to the chamber’s Judiciary Committee last week with a dozen sponsors. Filed by state Rep. Tom Murt, R-Montgomery, it would wrap the ammo buying process in layers of Harrisburg red tape.

I hope you and your families are all well during this very concerning time. As a leader in our community, I would encourage you to follow guidance offered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state Department of Health and stay home (unless for groceries, gas, prescriptions and other essential services). I am asking for tremendous help, focus,personal responsibility and seriousness to this virus to be recognized by our residents, so we can best protect you and your families and the medical services that are needed in many levels. I am asking you to be consistent and serious about staying home so we don't end up in a situation of stronger restrictions or panic. Thank you for caring for one another and if my office can be of assistance please call 570-420-8301.

Update on Coronavirus Impact in PA

Information about the presence and spread of coronavirus here in the Commonwealth is quickly and constantly changing. To help you keep up-to-date on the information that matters most to you, I put together a page of online resources that includes links to the Pennsylvania Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as news about school closures, PennDOT information and more. I encourage you to visit frequently for updates.  


PUBLIC NOTICE REGULAR MEETING SCHEDULE Notice is hereby given that the 2020 regular meetings of the Barrett Township Planning Commission will be held at the Barrett Township Municipal Building, 993 Route 390, Cresco, Pennsylvania 18326, on the first Wednesday of each month at 5:30 p.m., unless otherwise noted. Regular meetings are scheduled as follows: April 1, May 6, June 3, July 1, Aug. 5, Sept. 2, Oct. 7, Nov.4, and Dec. 2. If any person with a disability wishes to request that special accommodations be made to allow his or her participation, he or she is asked to contact the Township at 570-595-2602, at least one business day in advance to make arrangements. Weitzmann, Weitzmann & Huffman, LLC By: Deborah L. Huffman, Esquire 700 Monroe Street Stroudsburg, PA 18360 Barrett Township Planning Commission Solicitors P - March 20

Monday, 16 March 2020 16:19

COVID-19 Coronavirus Updates

Developing Story - Check back for updates

I also wanted to share this poem - in case you didn't see it:

An Imagined Letter from Covid-19 to Humans


Update 3/25/20 @ 5pm:

Monroe County Commissioners Issue Quarantine Request PRESS RELEASE


Following the suspension of service of Martz Trailway’s NYC bus service, the Monroe County Commissioners request any individuals who have been in New York City, or surrounding areas quarantine themselves for 14 days effective immediately.

We thank Martz Trailways for their service and care given to the residents of Monroe County.




3/23 @ 9pm:



3/23/20 @ 5pm:



Update 3/23/20 @ 10:30am:


I want to encourage everyone to send an email into the office of US Senator Bob Casey urging immediate passage of the coronavirus legislation.  The bill provides for immediate assistance to small and medium sized businesses to keep workers employed.  Critical to stabilizing the economy.

This is not a time for political games.  The legislation had been negotiated between rank and file Senate Republicans and Democrats,

Below is a link.  A simple one sentence email is sufficient. 



Update 3/23/20 @ 7am:


Update 3/20/20 @ 4pm:


Update 3/20/20


Update 3/19/20


Original Post 3/16/20


Stay safe, everyone.  


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  • COVID-19 Coronavirus Updates
    COVID-19 Coronavirus Updates Developing Story - Check back for updates I also wanted to share this poem - in case you didn't see it: An Imagined Letter from…

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