Wyoming County Commissioner Judy Mead reported during the commissioners meeting Tuesday that the Weis supermarket in Eaton Township will tentatively be re-opening its doors on July 13.
Weis has been closed since the tragic shooting on June 8, in which Randy Stair, 24, of Dallas, shot and killed co-workers Terry Sterling, 63, of South Montrose, Victoria Brong, 25, of Factoryville, and Brian Hayes, 47, of Springville, then turned a gun on himself.
Mead informed fellow commissioners Tom Henry and Ron Williams that contractors have been busy at Weis, repairing and replacing floors and fixtures from the damage that occurred during the shooting.
She also commended the Weis corporation, which has kept its employees on full salary while the store remained closed. Mead said that Weis has provided counseling to the store employees following the shooting.
Henry said the county also provided counseling services which some people have taken advantage of. People desiring counseling can contact the Victim Resource Center at 570-836-5544, or the commissioners’ office at 570-996-2273 who will direct them to the proper agency.
Henry also reported that the United Way has set up a special fund help provide relief to the families of the victims who died in the incident. Anyone wishing to make a donation may send it to: Wyoming County United Way, P.O. Box 399, Tunkhannock PA 18657. People making a donation should write ‘Weis’ on the subject line, with 100 percent of the money donated going to the families.
During the visitors’ comments, Laceyville resident Celeste Kranick made a request at the commissioners, asking that more effort be made to report drug overdoses throughout the area.
Kranick, a member of the Endless Mountains Addiction Awareness Committee, explained that the public should be made aware of a number of overdoses have occurred recently in Wyoming County.
Some of these overdoses, Kranick explained, do not heroin-related. Instead they involve pills which are laced with an illicit substance.
Many people still do not realize the seriousness of drug addiction and overdoses, Kranick said.
Commissioner Henry said they are willing to do anything they can to get the word out about the problems of addictions. He also said that the state police and all the local police have been very sensitive and cooperative with the public in their fight against illicit drug use.
Kranick asked the commissioners if they could obtain yard signs providing information about where people with drug or alcohol related problems can get help in Wyoming County. These signs could be distributed to people during the addiction and overdose awareness rally scheduled in September, Kranick said. Henry said the commissioners will look into the matter.
In other business, the commissioners voted to sign an application, requesting approval from the Department of Environmental Protection to use an herbicide in Lake Winola.
Williams explained that a type of plant growing in Lake Winola has become so troublesome it is damaging motor boats traveling through it. Swimmers have become tangled in it, he said, and concerns have been raised that the situation could eventually affect the entire lake.
A citizens’ committee headed by Josette Abruzzini, Williams said, will be paying a chemist to produce the herbicide - which will not have an adverse affect on humans.
“They got lucky in that one chemist is living in Lake Winola,” he said.
Regulations require that the application be made by a government entity, Willliams said, which is why the committee sent the request to the commissioners.
Also, the commissioners voted to renew its contract with Trinity Services to provide food at the Wyoming County Correctional Facility. They also voted to hire Jessica Smith and Carl Roberts as full time correction officers at the jail.
Henry reported that a meeting of the Criminal Justice Advisory Board is scheduled today at in the large courtroom at 11:30 a.m. Representatives from law enforcement agencies from Susquehanna and Sullivan counties and other communities will meet with Wyoming County officials to discuss various challenges. The meeting will be overseen by Wyoming County District Attorney Jeff Mitchell, and is by invitation only.