WYSOX — For 21 years Wysox EMS has put on a haunted house that the whole community has come to enjoy.
This year appears no different as locals lined up to get a chance to walk through the spooky corridors lined with cobwebs and frights galore.
According to event coordinator Mary Sturdevant, this year starts with two weeks of no scare fun nights with no strobe lights for children and those who need reduced stimulation.
“I worked in behavioral mental health for close to 18 years,” said Sturdevant. “I took that and decided a few years ago to start expanding. We made some revisions in there, made it more handicap accessible and sensory friendly. It grew so much that this year we decided to break those out on their own nights.”
The event was getting busy before the doors even opened, according to Sturdevant.
“I absolutely love it,” stated Sturdevant. “Everyone has a great time. I think those that come to tour the haunted house feel that.”
A food truck, free kids’ craft table, representatives from scouts, and more were available for those who came on Friday.
The full scare fright night events will begin the week of Oct. 21 and will run through Nov. 2.
An “all hands on deck approach” to combating Pennsylvania’s opioid epidemic is helping bring statistics down, Gov. Tom Wolf said at the state’s first summit on the topic this week.
Wolf, who offered up opening remarks at the beginning of the two-day Opioid Command Center Summit, spoke to more than 200 professionals in community organizations, nonprofits, schools, health care workers, addiction and recovery specialists and families impacted by the crisis.
Pennsylvania made headlines in 2017 when it was ranked as one of the highest in the country for deaths linked to opioid-related overdoses.
Statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention pegged the number of Pennsylvania deaths in 2017 at 44.3 for every 100,000 persons. By comparison, the national average that year was 21.7 deaths for every 100,000 persons.
This past year, drug overdose statistics across the state reportedly went down 18 percent — a statistic Wolf and other state officials noted during the summit.
“We have a lot of work to do, but I think we can take great pride in the progress Pennsylvania has made,” Wolf told attendees at the summit, which was held in the town of Boalsburg. “Coming together, talking, doing what you’re doing today — it’s still so important.”
In his opening remarks, Wolf said the progress that has been forged to date has come at the hands of a multi-pronged, bipartisan effort.
“Pennsylvania has gone from doing very little with this … but we’ve actually gotten to a point where organizations such as the AMA (American Medical Association) are actually touting Pennsylvania as a place where we’re getting some things done,” Wolf said.
Under his administration, Wolf said numerous agencies have been able to take steps to combat the opioid epidemic through creative solutions.
Examples he gave in his address include the distribution of 50,000 naloxone kits to emergency medical services first responders. Naloxone, a narcotic, is a medication used to counteract the effects of an opioid overdose.
Within the past year, Wolf said more than 30,000 doses of naloxone have been administered in emergency situations across the state.
Other examples Wolf cited in his address were the expansion of medication-assisted treatment, or MAT, in state correctional facilities. By using MAT grants, Wolf said health care facilities are able to remove the need for pre-authorization from most private health insurances in the state.
Wolf said the collaboration across party lines and different professions is helping Pennsylvania turn the corner on the epidemic.
“What you all are doing with the opioid epidemic, in working together, shows what we could actually do if we did this kind of work in every issue that affects the people of Pennsylvania,” Wolf said.
Other speakers on the first day of the summit included Jennifer Smith, Pennsylvania Drug and Alcohol Secretary. She touted the decline in overdoses, but prefaced her remarks by stating, “We’re still seeing way too many deaths.”
“We’re really working in a challenging time, but we’re also working in a very exciting time for people who come passionate about this work.” Smith said.
TROY — Approximately 2,000 busy bees, Minnie Mouses, cowboys, superheroes and more gathered in Troy on Wednesday for a night of costumes, free candy, carnival games and cheer at Victory Church’s annual Hallelujah Night.
Now in its 14th year, Hallelujah Night has become one of Bradford County’s largest fall carnivals with inflatable slides and bounce houses, tons of candy, dozens of games, horse and wagon rides and food all free of charge to the community.
Hallelujah Night began as a “Christ Centered Halloween alternative” that took place during Troy’s trick-or-treating when the church was located on Fenner Avenue, told Pastor Josh Payne, and has continued to grow as one of the church’s largest outreaches.
Hallelujah Night has now been moved earlier in October in hopes for better weather to accommodate the event, which takes place both inside and outside the church, and to coincide with the peak of fall foliage.
“Hallelujah Night is an essential part of the annual calendar at Victory. We devote the entire night to creating a safe over-the-top experience where kids can come and have an absolute blast,” said Payne. “We want to overcome the perception that church is dead, boring, and lifeless. Hallelujah means praise the Lord. We show, not only the kids, but our community that living our lives to lift Jesus high is fun and exciting. All the activities begin with a 20 minute mini-service where everyone hears how much God loves them and discovers they were created for an amazing purpose.”
Payne stated that Hallelujah Night is another way for the church to better the lives of residents in Bradford County, a goal they strive to achieve in many ways.
“Serving the needs of others has always been the mission of the church. Jesus said He came to serve others not to be served,” said Payne. “As his followers engaging our community in practical, life-giving ways that bless others is what it’s all about. We constantly look for creative ways to engage our community in a way that improves the lives of others where we live, work, and play everyday. For us living for Christ should mean improvement not only in our lives but in the lives of those closest to us. We are blessed to be a blessing.”