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Avoca swears in fire police District Judge Alexandra Kokura Kravtiz recently swore in seven people to serve as active duty fire police for Avoca Borough in the event of an emergency. From left, are Kokura Kravitz, Richard Szumski, Collin Halagarda, Fire Police Captain Gary Halagarda, Stan Spagnuolo, Ray Shafer, James Patterson and Keith Patterson.

It’s sad to write this sentence, but crime is a real problem in our town. It used to be a place where people could leave their cars and homes unlocked at night and never lose a minute of sleep worried that someone would steal from them. Today, you not only need to lock your house and cars, but even your mailbox.

If you would like to learn more about what’s occurring in our community each day, make it a point to attend the upcoming Crime Watch meeting.

Avoca Neighborhood Crime Watch will meet at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 20, at the Avoca Municipal Building, 950 Main St. District Magistrate Alexandra Kokura Kravitz will be the guest speaker and present an overview of the type of criminal activity in and around our area.

For information, call Jim at 570-457-8446, Ned at 570-457-6109 or Gene at 570-313-3079.

Queen of the Apsotles news

Congratulations to the following children who received the Sacrament of Reconciliation at Queen of the Apostles Parish: Allie Becker, Eugene Canfield, Emery Dommes, Anthony Dorsa, Mia Ferranti, David Homschek, Bella Maria, Isabella Orr, Connor Posluszny, Ellasyn Priebe, Zachary Ramirez, Lucas Russomano, Christian Sakulich, Colter Sienkiewicz and Ethan Winburn.

Queen of the Apostles Parish will host a Night at the Races on Saturday, Feb. 17, in the parish hall, 742 Spring St. The doors open at 5 p.m. and the races begin at 7 p.m. Admission is $5 per person and includes food and beverages. Horse sponsorships are $10 each. The sponsor of the winning horse wins $50. Sponsorship registration forms will be available the night of the event.

The parish will pray the Stations of the Cross at 7 p.m. Fridays during Lent in the church, 715 Hawthorne St. Prior to the Stations, the Our Lady of Sorrows prayer group will recite the Our Lady of Sorrows rosary at 6:30 p.m.

As part of the Diocese of Scranton’s The Light is on for You Lenten reconciliation program, the parish will offer the Sacrament of Reconciliation from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Mondays during Lent. The sacrament will still be available from 3:15 to 3:45 p.m. Saturdays.

The parish announces the following meetings: word committee, 5 p.m. Monday, Feb. 19, rectory, and worship committee, 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 19, rectory.

Four-Boro Ministerium

The Four-Boro Ministerium of Avoca, Duryea, Moosic and Old Forge will have its weekly ecumenical Lenten service at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 20, at the Bethel United Methodist Church, 532 Main St. The Rev. Phillip Sladicka, pastor of Queen of the Apostles Parish, Avoca, will be the guest preacher. A weekly collection will be taken to support the food pantry at the Moosic United Methodist Church.

Garbage fee

Avoca Borough has sent 2018 garbage fee bills to homeowners and rental property owners. Rental owners are responsible for telling their tenants they must pay this fee, too.

The fee schedule to have up to three bags collected weekly has not increased this year. It is as follows: $160 if purchased by Feb. 20; $165 if purchased between Feb. 21 and March 20; $175 if purchased between March 21 and April 20; $185 if purchased between April 21 and May 20, and $195 if purchased between May 21 and June 21. After June 21, all unpaid bills will be turned over to the magistrate.

Residents can pay their bill 9 to 11 a.m. Tuesdays in the Avoca Municipal Building, 950 Main St. Residents can also pay the fee via mail by sending a check made payable to Avoca Borough, c/o Therese Wrubel, 129 Factory St., Avoca, PA 18641. You do not need to include a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Window stickers are not necessary and will not be issued.

Residents can get a 2018 recycling calendar at the municipal garage or the municipal building.

Hibernians meeting

Avoca Ancient Order of the Hibernians will hold their monthly meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 22, at the West Side Social Club, 711 McAlpine St. All members are urged to attend.

Little League registration

Online registration for the 2018 spring Avoca/Dupont Little League season is currently available on the league website, www.tshq.bluesombrero.com/adll. The final online registration date is Sunday, Feb. 28. Any player from last year can register for the upcoming season online. New players to the league must register in person. Current players can, too. New players must supply three forms of residency and a copy of their birth certificate. In-person registration will take place from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays in February, at the clubhouse, 700 Mill St.

The cost to register is $65 for one player and $80 for two or more players from the same family. Payment for online registration can be completed using a credit card or by cash or check in person.

In other news, the league’s third annual cash bingo fundraiser will take place Sunday, April 29, at the Queen of the Apostles Parish Hall, 742 Spring St. Doors open at noon and games begin at 1 p.m.

There will be 15 regular games worth $100 each, three special games worth $150 each and a coverall game worth $250. Also, there will be a basket raffle and food available for purchase.

Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. To purchase tickets, call Gary at 570-540-0649, Lori at 570-877-4361 or Denise at 570-589-1426. Tickets are also available at all league events.

Softball registration

Softball registration for the spring Little League season is available at www.pallsoftball.com. All girls ages 7-14 within the boundaries of the Pittston Area School District are eligible to play. The divisions are minors, majors and juniors. A senior division for girls ages 14-16 is tentative. The number of teams depends on the number of players registered.

The cost is $100 per child with a $150 maximum per family. This fee also includes one ticket per family to a future Pittston Twp. purse bingo fundraiser.

The registration deadline is Thursday, March 1. For more information, call 570-212-2347.

West Side Social Club St. Patrick’s Day party

West Side Social Club will hold its inaugural St. Patrick’s Day celebration on Saturday, March 17, at the club, 711 McAlpine St.

The event will begin at 1 p.m. with a blessing at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Cemetery Street, Avoca, followed by a procession from the cemetery to the West Side Social Club. There will be a ham and cabbage dinner along with live entertainment from 2 to 6 p.m. A $20 donation per person is requested and can be made at the door.

During the celebration, lifelong Avoca resident and retired businessman Michael “Mike” George will receive the Man of the Year award.

George graduated from Avoca High School in 1959 and started his first car repair business on South Main Street, Avoca, in 1961. In 1969, two Avoca community leaders convinced George to purchase a gas station and car repair business located at 935 Main St. George, who retired this year, operated the business for nearly 50 years, and it was the only gas station in Avoca for more than 30 years.

George is a founding member of the Avoca Jolly Boys and was the past president of the Avoca Lions Club. George initiated the annual Lions Club Christmas light project along Main and McAlpine streets. He is also a member of the Avoca West Side Club, Rainbow Rod and Gun Club, a former automobile repair instructor, a former member of SS. Peter and Paul’s Church, Avoca, a current member of Queen of the Apostles Parish, Avoca, and a sponsor of numerous non-profit organizations.

George is the son of the late David and Mildred George. He has been married to the former Kay Sroka for 56 years. They have been blessed with three children: Janice, Christine and the late Michael Jr.

Langcliffe egg hunt 5K

Langcliffe Presbyterian Church will sponsor its third annual Easter egg hunt 5K Saturday, March 24. Check-in begins at 9:30 a.m., and the race begins at 11 a.m. at the Avoca Municipal Building, 950 Main St. Participants can park in the church parking lot directly across the street.

Registration, which can be completed online at runsignup.com/easteregghunt, is $20 until March 10 and then increases to $25. Race day entries are $30. The fee includes a T-shirt and a post-race pasta lunch. The lunch will also be available to the general public for $5 per person.

This year’s event will include a challenging 3.1 mile course and a 1 mile fun run/walk around Avoca collecting Easter eggs along the course. At the end of the race, runners open the eggs they collected to see how much time gets taken off of their finish. This is one of Scranton Running Company’s featured races. There will be appearances by Alt 92.1, Tux the Penguin and the Easter Bunny.

All proceeds will benefit the Avoca Hose Company and Ruth’s Place women’s shelter, Wilkes-Barre.

For race, volunteer or sponsorship information, contact the Rev. Alex Becker, at 570-457-4477 or pastor@langcliffeavoca.church.

Alcoholics Anonymous

Alcoholics Anonymous meets at 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays in the basement of the Queen of the Apostles Parish rectory, 715 Hawthorne St. Please use the sunroom entrance.

Happy birthday

Happy birthday to Avoca Council President John Boone, who will celebrate his special day Saturday, Feb. 24.

That’s about it for this week, my friends. Thanks for reading and have a great week!

Jackie Borthwick-Galvin writes about Avoca every week. To list a news item, email her at jborthwickgalvin@pittstonprogress.com or call 570-301-2171 by 5 p.m. Monday.