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  • The overdose death rate of Black Pennsylvanians was twice as high as white Pennsylvanians in 2021, according to the state's drug and alcohol department. Grants of up to $400,000 that focus on addiction treatment services for hard-hit communities will be awarded later this year. The funding comes in part from settlements related to the nationwide opioid epidemic.
  • The City of Scranton has issued a code blue for two nights and will have an emergency shelter open.Due to the forecast of overnight temperatures dropping below 20 degrees with windchill and inclement weather, the city will be under a code blue on Sunday, Jan. 22 and Monday, Jan. 23.Weston Field House at 982 Providence Road will be open as an emergency shelter from 8 p.m. until 7 a.m. each night and will be run by Keystone Mission.
  • A nonprofit based in Scranton received a funding boost today to help senior homeowners.
  • Reading-based Alvernia University unveiled a new location in downtown Pottsville this week.Pottsville CollegeTowne at 500 Progress Avenue spans 17,000 square feet of classroom, office, lab and community space.The location offers bachelor’s and master’s degree programs along with certification programs. According to a statement from the university, Alvernia’s School of Graduate and Adult Education will use the Pottsville campus to address the needs of Schuykill County’s adult student population, including 23.5% of county residents over the age of 25 who started college but did not earn a bachelor’s degree and the 12.6% of residents who started college and did not earn any degree.
  • On Jan. 18, the Lackawanna County Commissioners approved a contract to expand internet access in low-income housing developments. Icon Technologies, an IT and internet company in Carbondale, was awarded $620,445.20 for the “Housing Authority Wi-Fi Project.” The goal is to increase internet access to residents at housing developments across Lackawanna County. The Community Development Block Grant is expected to fund construction of internet access points.
  • A fundraiser for a Lycoming County school nonprofit will take place next month. The Harlem Wizards will be playing to support the Williamsport Area School District Education Foundation on Thursday, Feb. 9 at 6:30 p.m. The basketball team, which has been performing since 1962, will show off their talent with acrobatics and trick plays. The fundraiser benefit game will be held at Williamsport Area High School. Tickets and more information can be found at WASDeducationfoundation.org.
  • A man incarcerated in a state prison in Northeast Pennsylvania died last week. The institution announced his death Tuesday. Thirty-seven-year-old Matthew Boyer was found unresponsive in his cell at State Correctional Institution Dallas on Jan. 13, according to the Department of Corrections. In a release, prison superintendent Kevin Ransom reported that Boyer had been at Dallas in Luzerne County since August 2021 on a third-degree murder conviction. The DOC said state police have been notified and will conduct an investigation, and the Luzerne County Coroner's Office will determine the cause of death.
  • A group in the Poconos is working to provide more access between Honesdale and Hawley along the Lackawaxen River.
  • “We’ve largely had a law enforcement approach to treating patients with opioid use disorder,” said Dr. Arthur Robin Williams. Later this year, clinicians will have fewer barriers to writing prescriptions for people in recovery for opioid use disorder. Medical experts say that could prevent relapses and overdose deaths.
  • Making progress on a cold case can be a costly endeavor for law enforcement. In Luzerne County, a nonprofit organization has established a fund to help investigators pay for the DNA testing and other expenses closing a case might require.