Dickson gets grant for park

Dickson City received a $310,000 environmental grant to rehabilitate Crystal Park.

The money, awarded through the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resource’s Community Conversation Partnerships program, will fund construction of pedestrian walkways, installation of play equipment with required safety surfacing, Americans with Disability Act access improvements, landscaping, project sign and other related site improvements.

“Modern recreational facilities allow families to get outside and enjoy fresh air together. I’m glad that Dickson City received this substantial grant so Crystal Park can be updated while ensuring that the cost of the project doesn’t fall on local taxpayers,” said state Rep. Bridget M. Kosierowski, who announced the grant earlier this month.

Grants awarded to local projects

Two local projects received grants totaling $636,000 from state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

State funding totaling $636,000 has been awarded for two outdoor recreational improvement projects in the 112th Legislative District, state Rep. Kyle Mullins announced today.

Jessup will receive $561,000 for the rehabilitation of the borough’s sports complex. Work will include construction of pedestrian walkways, parking area and stormwater management measures; installation of play equipment with required safety surfacing and fencing; ADA access, landscaping, project sign and other related site improvements.

Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority will receive $75,000 to implement an interpretive and wayfinding sign program in Carbondale, Olyphant and along the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail. Work will include an electronic written summary report.

“These state dollars will improve the outdoor recreation opportunities for the residents and visitors within our communities,” said Mullins. “I want to thank the state for recognizing the importance of these projects and I will always strongly advocate for efforts to improve the quality of life for the residents of our region.”

The state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources administered the grant through its Community Conservation Partnerships Program. The special fall grant round focused on underserved communities and on supporting the outdoor recreation sector, closing trail gaps, and planting trees along streams and communities.

Free tax help available

The United Way of Lackawanna and Wayne Counties is currently scheduling Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Appointments to residents in Lackawanna County.

VITA is a completely free tax return service backed by the IRS, with trained IRS Volunteers completing local, state and federal taxes. This program is for households and older adults from NEPA that have income of $60,000 or less.

To book an appointment, call 211 or 1-855-567-5341 or visit uwlc.net. Appointments can be booked between Feb. 3 and April 7.

The majority of the tax return appointments will be held at the Keyser Valley Community Center, Scranton. The VITA Tax Team will also be visiting Trinity Episcopal Church, 58 River St., Carbondale on March 9 and 10.

PA joins Carbondale practice



Wayne Memorial Community Health Centers welcomed certified Physician Assistant Casey Badik as the newest primary care provider at the Carbondale Family Health Center. Badik joins board-certified family physician T.J. Luma, M.D. and Sharon Savakinas, PA-C, at the practice located at 141 Salem Ave., where she’ll see patients ranging from newborn to the elderly.

“Carbondale is a busy and diverse family practice,” said Wynter Newman, administrative director for WMCHC. “Casey’s past experience and ability to implement treatment plans tailored to a patient’s individual needs will allow us to provide the same quality care as in the past.”

With nearly five years of experience as a PA-C at Geisinger Family Practice sites in Scranton and Kingston, Badik says she was impressed with WMCHC immediately after beginning the interview process, ”I was looking to transition to an organization where I would feel valued and appreciated. I truly think I made the right choice with WMCHC.”

Badik was born and raised in Scranton where she completed her graduate education with a master of science degree in physician assistant studies from Marywood University after earning a bachelor’s degree from West Chester University. Working at the Carbondale Family Health Center will allow her to continue to offer care for patients of Northeast Pennsylvania, she said.

To make an appointment with Badik, call the Carbondale Family Health Center at 570-282-2031. WMCHC accepts most private insurance, managed care plans and medical assistance. Additionally, a sliding-fee scale is offered for those who qualify. Visit www.wmhchc.net for more information.

Dickson business adds worker

Michael Karwaski has been promoted to the role of financial consultant in the Charles Schwab branch located in Dickson City.

He has worked at Schwab for three years and was previously associate financial consultant. He holds a series 7 and 66 license.

In this new role, he will work with clients to understand needs, create personalized plans and provide investing guidance.

Charles Schwab’s Dickson City is located at 1152 Commerce Blvd., Suite 102. As a provider of full-service brokerage services, the branch offers investors local access to a full suite of investing and personal finance guidance, tools and products.

Johnson College earns honor

The Pennsylvania Department of Education has designated Johnson College as a “Hunger-Free Campus.”

This pilot program, spearheaded by Pennsylvania First Lady Frances Wolf, aims to build a coalition of colleges and universities focused on addressing hunger and other basic needs for their students.

Johnson College received the designation in October before becoming eligible to apply for grant funding through the Department of Education to support student initiatives to address food security.

“We know that food and other basic need insecurities act as barriers that hamper our students’ abilities to focus on their education,” said Amy Driscoll McNulty, the associate director of student success at Johnson College. She will lead the campus-wide initiative. “With this designation and related efforts moving forward, our goal is to lessen or remove those barriers, increase awareness of resources and provide healthy food options so that students spend less time worrying about their next meal and more time pursuing their educational goals.”

According to national studies, over one-third of students know someone who dropped out of college due to food insecurity during the pandemic, and roughly 52% of students who faced food or housing insecurity in 2020 did not apply for support because they did not know how. Colleges and universities across the country are taking steps to address these issues.

Students who may need assistance at Johnson College may stop into the Office of Counseling and Disability Services in the Moffat Student Center on campus to access the student food pantry and to discuss other options and resources such as local food banks and the State’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

For more information about this initiative, visit www.education.pa.gov/Postsecondary-Adult/PAHungerFreeCampus.