Test Your Fitness: Registration Opens for ‘Clash for Cash’ 2018

It’s a chance to flex your muscles and put your workouts to the test!

This all surrounds “Clash For Cash,” one of Northeastern Pennsylvania’s largest charity fitness competitions.

It takes place June, 23, 2018 inside the convention center at Mohegan Sun Pocono near Wilkes-Barre.

Money raised benefits this fall’s WNEP’s Ryan’s Run 9 which helps kids and adults with disabilities served by Allied Services.

The charity campaign is led by Newswatch 16’s Ryan Leckey.

Beginners to advanced athletes are welcome at Clash For Cash.

The two-person teams consist of either two men or two women.

WNEP-TV is proud to be a media sponsor of this competition.

Head here to signup and to learn more about the workouts involved in the charity fitness competition.

The fourth annual event brings exercise enthusiasts together from around the region who compete for prizes by performing various workouts. Check out highlights from last year at this link.

Don’t want to compete, but want to be apart of the fun? You can still support this charity competition by donating at the actual event on June 23, volunteering your time, or becoming a vendor if you own/run/or work for a company dedicated to improving health and wellness. Contact Charlotte at CWrigh@Allied-Services.org or Erin at EBurns@Allied-Services.org to learn more on how you can get involved.

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Automotive Business Damaged by Fire

MONTOUR TOWNSHIP — Fire damaged a business in Columbia County.

Crews were called to R & S Automotive in Montour Township outside of Bloomsburg around 11 a.m. Saturday.

There was smoke damage to the business and some equipment inside was damaged.

Firefighters were able to get the fire under control in a few minutes.

A fire marshal will look into the cause, but officials tell Newswatch 16 it does not appear suspicious.

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In Your Neighborhood

Luau Fundraiser

Warm the season with a Luau Fundraiser to benefit the NEPA Youth Shelter. You must be 21 years to attend the Hawaiian food and fun with beer & wine, entertainment, raffle baskets & a 50/50 chance. The Luau is at the NEPA Youth Shelter, Wyoming Ave. in Scranton on Saturday, Feb. 24 starting at 5 p.m. To attend it’s $30 per person with tickets available on Facebook at nepayouthshelter.

Lehighton Area Pool Pals Cabin Fever Dance

Lehighton Area Pool Pals sponsor a “Cabin Fever Dance”. Enjoy food, dance and an evening of fun at the Orioles Pavilion on Orioles Drive in Lehighton on Saturday, Feb. 24 starting at 5:30 p.m. It’s DJ dance music with Doc Layne Roberts. There’s a dance contest and finger food included in the ticket price. Tickets are $15 per person. There are discounts for advanced sale tickets for couples with 2 tickets for $25. For additional information contact Mark or Diane at 610-377-5275. All profits support the Baer Memorial Pool.

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Woman Injured by Tires from Truck

BERLIN TOWNSHIP — A woman was flown to the hospital after being hit by tires that came off a truck.

A witness said the woman was outside her home on Perkins Pond Road in Berlin Township, near Beach Creek, around 9:30 a.m. Thursday when two tires came off a truck going down the road.

Troopers said the truck did not stop.

There is no word on the woman’s condition.

State police are investigating.

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USA Today: Adam Rippon Turns Down Meeting with Vice President Pence

US Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon turned down a meeting with Vice President Mike Pence after criticizing him for his stance on gay rights, USA Today reported Wednesday.

After reading a January 17 interview in which Rippon criticized Pence, the vice president’s staff asked the US Olympic Committee to set up a conversation that same day between the athlete and the politician, which Rippon ultimately declined, USA Today’s Christine Brennan reported, citing two sources with knowledge of the situation. Brennan is also a CNN sports analyst.

The vice president’s office did not respond to a CNN request for comment earlier Wednesday. After CNN’s story published, Jarrod Agen, the vice president’s communications director, disputed USA Today’s reporting.

“The USA Today report is false and should be corrected. The vice president’s office did not reach out to set up a conversation with Mr. Rippon. As we’ve said before, the vice president is supporting all the US athletes in the Olympics and is hoping they all win medals,” Agen said.

Rippon’s publicist Lynn Plage offered no further comment on the matter.

Last month, Rippon, who is one of two openly gay American Olympians at the Games, blasted the White House for tapping Pence to lead the official US delegation to the 2018 Winter Olympic opening ceremony.

“You mean Mike Pence, the same Mike Pence that funded gay conversion therapy?” Rippon said in a January 17 interview with USA Today.

Alyssa Farah, a spokeswoman for Pence, provided the newspaper with a rebuttal to Rippon’s remarks.

“This accusation is totally false and has no basis in fact,” Farah said in a statement. “Despite these misinformed claims, the vice president will be enthusiastically supporting all the US athletes competing next month in Pyeongchang.”

As governor of Indiana, Pence signed the controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act in 2015, which allowed business to turn away gay and lesbian customers in the name of religious freedom.

In that same January 17 interview, Rippon said he “wouldn’t go out of my way” to meet with Pence during the meet-and-greet between the US Olympic athletes and the US delegation before the opening ceremony.

“If it were before my event, I would absolutely not go out of my way to meet somebody who I felt has gone out of their way to not only show that they aren’t a friend of a gay person but that they think that they’re sick,” Rippon told the newspaper.

The US men’s figure skating champion, however, said, “If I had the chance to meet him afterwards, after I’m finished competing, there might be a possibility to have an open conversation.”

“He seems more mild-mannered than Donald Trump … But I don’t think the current administration represents the values that I was taught growing up. Mike Pence doesn’t stand for anything that I really believe in,” Rippon added.

During a conference call with reporters last Monday, Rippon insisted that he was not “trying to pick a fight” with the vice president, but instead remain focused on training, according to USA Today.

Rippon, 28, and U.S. skier Gus Kenworthy, 26, are the first two openly gay Winter Olympic athletes representing Team USA. Kenworthy also took issue with the vice president leading the U.S. delegation, calling it a “strange choice in an interview with Ellen DeGeneres Monday.

Both Rippon and Kenworthy said they would skip visiting the White House when President Donald Trump invites Team USA after the Olympics.

This story has been updated to reflect comment from Pence’s office.

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Working in the Elements in the Poconos

STROUDSBURG — It’s not easy maneuvering the slushy streets of downtown Stroudsburg in any vehicle, let alone a small mail truck. But U.S. Postal worker Armond Beniamino says someone has to do it.

“It’s a little slippery. You gotta go slow. Take it easy. It’s very slippery. It’s worse than just driving on snow,” said Beniamino.

Armond is just one of many others who have to work outside on this snowy February day. And if you ask this mailman how he feels about the weather, he will give you the honest truth.

“I feel bad for anyone who has to be working out here. This weather is not fit for man nor beast. It’s really not,” said Beniamino.

Besides the cold and the slush, some workers we spoke to, like delivery drivers, say working in these conditions is difficult, especially when it comes to dropping off mail and packages because a lot of businesses close.

Rich Young is a delivery driver for Pitt-Ohio. He made the trek to the Poconos from Hazleton. He says loading and unloading become twice as hard when Mother Nature isn’t cooperating.

“Bad, it’s bad trying to get stuff through the snow. You have to drag it through the snow and everything,” said Young.

Justin Luciano works at Hybrid Landscaping and Masonry in Stroudsburg and shovels snow on Main Street sidewalks.

But with one arm in a sling, he says the job can get a little tricky.

“Typically, it’s easy but one hand kind of sucks. Other than that, slipping, falling, but that makes it fun,” said Luciano.

Other workers say even though snow is to be expected during winter months here in northeastern Pennsylvania, warmer weather will be welcomed back at any time.

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Photo of Child Bound With Duct Tape Surfaces on Instagram, Leading Officers to Cleveland Mom

CLEVELAND – A picture posted by a mother on social media was so alarming that a tip about the disturbing image was sent to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, according to WEWS.

Investigators in Virginia then traced it back to Cleveland and that’s when the Ohio Internet Crimes Against Children heard about it.

ICAC Commander Dave Frattare said the picture showed a young boy bound around the wrists, ankles and mouth with duct tape.

“We believe that someone at Instagram saw the picture or one of her 23,000 followers saw the image and reported it to Instagram directly,” said Frattare.

The tip came in Wednesday afternoon and by Wednesday evening police officers with the Cuyahoga County Metropolitan Housing Authority and ICAC taskforce members converged on the apartment of the mother and young son. The little boy was fine.

“Nothing online is a joke or meant to be funny when it involves children being abused, ” Frattare said.

The 21-year-old mother was arrested and appeared in Cleveland Municipal Court but the paperwork showed the case was dismissed at the request of the county prosecutor’s office.

That’s why WEWS is not disclosing her name. But, this case is not over. In fact, authorities said the investigation was just beginning.

“We want to follow through with this case. We want to make sure the child is safe. We want to make sure if there is punishment it is handed out accordingly,” Frattare said.

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Chemical found in McDonald’s fries may be cure for baldness, study finds

What if we told you french fry oil could cure baldness?

Researchers say a chemical used to keep fry oil from bubbling over can do just that.

Scientists at Japan’s Yokohama University have found dimethylpolysiloxane can grow hair on bald mice and they think it could do the same on bald humans.

According to the study, hair follicle germs using the silicon-based additive were transplanted onto the skin of the bald mice, and black fur sprouted within a few days.

“We demonstrated that the integrity of the oxygen supply through the bottom of the silicone chip was crucial to enabling both HFG formation and subsequent hair shaft generation,” Prof Junji Fukuda, of Yokohama National University told The Mirror. “This simple method is very robust and promising. We hope this technique will improve regenerative therapy to treat hair loss such as androgenic alopecia.”

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In Your Neighborhood

Kiwanis Of Sullivan County Winterfest

The Kiwanis Club of Sullivan County sponsors Winterfest to benefit local children and families. Winterfest is held at Camp Brule’, Route 154, North of Forksville on Saturday, Feb. 17 from 7:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Winterfest features an ice fishing tournament, polar bear plunge, scavenger hunt, lice auction, food and vendors. Admission price is $5.

Pie for Breakfast

A “Pie for Breakfast” event offered in Clarks Green benefits the Abington Christian Academy. The menu features quiche, savory fruit, cream, and cobbler pies, and even pizza pie! The all-you-can-eat “Pie for Breakfast” is at the Clarks Green Assembly of God Church on South Abington Road, Saturday, Feb 17 from 8:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Price is $7 for adults, and children ages 3-6 years $3.

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Dream Team: Running Backs!

The 15th Annual Super 16 Dream Team Showcase highlights its Running Backs:

  • Seth Vernon – Valley View
  • Ryan Obiso – Delaware Valley
  • Justin St. Hill – Jim Thorpe Area
  • Gideon Green – South Williamsport Area
  • Kobe Brish – Schuylkill Haven
  • Taquan Bradley-Chambers – Lehighton Area
  • Gaige Garcia – Southern Columbia Area
  • Zack Jayne – Athens Area & 2017 Super 16 Dream Team Scholar-Athlete
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Fire Damages Home in Jim Thorpe

JIM THORPE — A firefighter was injured and a family of three are without a place to stay after a fire in Jim Thorpe.

The fire sparked around 6 p.m. Sunday along South Street.

The three people who live there were home at the time. They made it out OK, but a woman was taken to the hospital to be checked out.

A firefighter suffered an ankle injury, and two of the family’s dogs are missing.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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1 Dead, 2 Wounded Following Standoff in Luzerne County

FOSTER TOWNSHIP — A woman is dead, and her mother and boyfriend are hospitalized after a standoff in Luzerne County.

Police say a caller from a nearby community called 911 warning that something bad might happen at the home on Spring Street in Foster Township near Freeland.

State police’s Special Emergency Response Team was outside the home for at least two hours on Sunday before going into the home.

Once inside, they found a 46-year-old woman shot to death. Police say her 52-year-old boyfriend shot himself, and her mother had a head injury.

Police say the two injured were flown to Geisinger Wyoming Valley. Authorities have not released their names or the severity of their injuries.

Newswatch 16 has a crew at the scene and will have more details as they become available.

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Man Mistakes Neighbor’s House for His Own, Kills Homeowner Thinking He Was an Intruder

RAYTOWN, Mo. — A Missouri man was charged with involuntary manslaughter after he allegedly went to his neighbor’s home, thinking it was his own, then choked the homeowner to death.

Police believe Michael G. Augustine was drunk at the time he allegedly killed 60-year-old Clifton King, according to WDAF.

Michael G. Augustine

King died in his front yard Friday night, after he came to his door to find Augustine, one of his neighbors, trying to come inside.

Neighbors told WDAF that Augustine, who lives further down the block, believed that it was his home, and that King had broken in.

During the incident, Augustine called 911 to report that he had an intruder in a choke hold. But when officers arrived at his address, no one was there. They later found both men about a block up the street at King’s house.

According to court documents, police believe Augustine was drunk because his speech was incoherent and officers noted a strong smell of alcohol.

A neighbor, who did not want her face to appear on camera because the incident has made her concerned for her own safety, said she watched paramedics try to revive King – a military veteran – for about half an hour.

“He served our country and that was not an honorable way to treat him,” the woman said. “I think that it’s sad. It’s sad! Someone had to give up their life because someone was so messed up they didn’t know it wasn’t their home.”

Other neighbors said that King had been homeless at one time in his life because he couldn’t find a job, but since moving on the block he was friendly and kind.

Some feel guilty about not immediately calling police themselves when they heard the commotion. They said there are often arguments on the block, and some say it’s better for them not to get involved.

Prosecutors have charged Augustine with first degree involuntary manslaughter, but neighbors said he’s already posted bond and moved out of the area. There was no answer at his door when WDAF tried to speak with him.

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