Students staging Elf Jr.

Students staging Elf Jr.

From left, Mid Valley Elementary students Kaira Hughes, Chase Richmond, Abby Zerechak, Avery Tinney and Isabella Barilka will star in Elf The Musical Jr. later this month.

Mid Valley Elementary students will present Elf the Musical Jr. later this month in the high school’s auditorium.

The students, ranging in age from 5 to 13, will perform the show at 7 p.m. on Dec. 9-11. Tickets are $7 for adults and $6 for kids and available at the door or by calling 570-307-3120.

Elf The Musical JR. is based on the 2003 movie and features songs by Tony Award nominees Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin, a book by Tony Award winners Thomas Meehan and Bob Martin.

The musical tells the story of a young orphan who mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported to the North Pole. The would-be elf is given the name Buddy and raised by elves in the North Pole. Buddy lives happily unaware that he is actually a human until his enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth.

With Santa’s permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father and discover his true identity. Faced with the harsh reality that his father is on the naughty list, and his stepbrother doesn’t even believe in Santa, Buddy is determined to win over his new family and help New York remember the true meaning of the holidays.

Elf The Musical Jr. is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International.

Carbondale honors seniors

Carbondale Area held its Senior-Parent Recognition Night in honor of graduating seniors for football, marching band/drill team and cheerleaders.

The night took place during the final home game for seniors against Mid Valley. There were 26 seniors recognized.

The senior football players honored were: Captains Liam Misko and Carlos Orta, Daniel Battle, Logan Colonna, Will Durst, Luke Kovaleski, Aaron Lee, Nicholas McCord, Guy Mushow, Jonathon Purvis, Paul Salvatore, Josh Tierney, Logan Wormuth and Assistant Coach Logan Arthur.

“It was a great way to honor the kids that put so much into the sport,” Josh said about the ceremony. “It meant a lot to all of us.”

Arthur thanked seniors for their leadership this year.

“I will miss these guys,” he said. “I enjoyed being their coach. These guys should be proud of themselves. As Coach Gabriel always says, ‘You are successful if you leave the program better then you found it’, and these guys did that. I wish them all the best in their future endeavors. I hope they realize I’ll always be there for them if I’m ever needed.”

The marching band and drill team seniors were also honored: Band Representative Keefer Wease, Band Member/Uniform Manager Cora Wylie, Drill Team Member/Equipment Manager Sarah Parry and Band Member Patricia Green.

“I enjoyed the last six years in the band- it has really felt like another family,” Patricia said. “The bus rides with everyone and just the moments in general have felt beyond amazing. Band is a major part of my life, and it is not just about playing all the right notes; for me, it’s about hearing and playing the music with the people I love the most.”

Senior cheerleaders were also honored: Captains Sophia Calzola, Makenna Fedorchak and Madison Regal, as well as Alyssa Cosklo, Ellie Higdon, Ashley Johannes, Mia Perri and Kaylee Steele.

“Senior Night was very emotional after spending four years on the squad cheering,” Sophia said. “Friday Night Lights will be a memory I always hold close.”

Chik-Fil-A honors local heros

Dickson City’s newest fast food restaurant honored local heroes with free food for a year.

Chik-Fil-A opened Dec. 2 at 4005 Commerce Blvd., in the shopping plaza near Kohls and Regal Cinemas. It will employ more than 90 part-time and full-time workers and will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Saturday.

In place of the traditional Chick-fil-A First 100 Grand Opening celebration, the business surprised Dickson City police officers and firefighters with free meals for a year, according to a press release from the company. Additionally, to celebrate the restaurant’s opening, Chick-fil-A will donate $25,000 to Feeding America. The funds will be distributed to partners within the greater Scranton area to aid in the fight against hunger.

Help available for heating bills

With colder temperatures set to increase energy usage — and inflation impacting the cost of energy supply sources — PPL Electric Utilities wants to remind customers of multiple assistance programs for those struggling to pay their energy bills.

It’s estimated that nearly half of a U.S. households’ annual energy bill is spent on heating costs. And, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, families will spend more money on energy this winter than last winter.

“We understand that these market conditions could potentially create additional financial strain for our customers over the coming winter,” said PPL Electric Utilities President Steph Raymond. “We want our customers to know we are here to help during these difficult times. I would encourage anyone who needs assistance paying their electric bill to connect with us to see what programs are available to them.”

From programs like the Winter Relief Assistance Program, which can help customers find ways to save energy, and in turn lower their bills, to the federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program, which has millions of dollars to help eligible customers with their rent and utilities, there is likely an assistance program that fits the needs of most struggling customers.

Income-eligible programs available to customers include:

  • Emergency Rental Assistance Program: a federal program that helps renters affected by financial hardships during the COVID-19 pandemic with free money to cover rent, utility bills, fees and past-due balances.

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program: a federal program that provides grants to income-eligible households to help with home energy bills or to pay off past-due balances.

  • OnTrack payment plan: a program that makes managing energy bills easier with lower fixed monthly payments and debt forgiveness for qualifying customers.

Operation HELP: a fuel fund supported by donations from PPL Electric Utilities employees and customers that provides grants to help customers with their energy bills.

Winter Relief Assistance Program: a program that offers free energy-efficiency products, such as LED bulbs, to income-eligible customers to help them reduce the amount of energy they use, and in turn, reduce their bill.

All customers, regardless of income, can also take advantage of other bill help

services, including budget billing or choosing a payment due date that works for

their budget.

Thousands of customers have already received help through these programs over the years. Even if a customer doesn’t think they’d qualify, but is struggling to pay their bill, PPL Electric Utilities encourages them to reach out to find what may work for them.

Additionally, PPL Electric Utilities is urging all its customers to share this information with anyone they think may benefit from these programs.

For more information on these customer-assistance programs, including how to apply, visit