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Times Leader 03-30-2013

Times Leader 03-30-2013

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The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader 03-30
The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader 03-30

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Published by: The Times Leader on Mar 30, 2013
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Weather: 10A
Birthdays: 7CTelevision: 8CMovies: 8CPuzzles: 9C
Comics: 22D
09815 10011
Tough loss
Pens fall toBruins in SO.
Five easy trips your family can take.
Mich. St.
Fla. GC
Late game
New tax credits that take effect in January could help nearly 30,000 residents in Luzerneand Columbia counties offset the cost of healthinsurance premiums through the AffordableCare Act.A report issued by Washington, D.C.-basedFamilies USA, a non-partisan group that focus-es on affordablehealth care, saidnew tax credits will be open toU.S. citizens who make upto four timesthe federal pov-erty level. Thepoverty level in2013 is $11,490foranindividualand $23,550 fora family of four,according to theFederal Regis-ter.A b o u t896,000 resi-dents will beeligible whenopen enroll-ment begins inOctober. The largest tax credits will be avail-able to those with the lowest incomes based ona sliding scale.In Luzerne and Columbia counties, whichare grouped together in the report, more than28,000 are eligible for tax credits. The vast ma- jority of those eligible 89.5 percent areemployed either full- or part-time.About 36 percent of eligible residents are be-tweentheagesof18and34.White,non-Hispan-
Creditstake stingout of act
Report: More than 28,000 in Luzerne,Columbia counties could receive aid.
Luzerne County’s private taxclaim operator plans to pitcha plan to county officials thatcould increase revenue by about$1.5 millionfortaxingbod-ies and allowproperties tobe sold soon-er if ownersdon’t pay realestate taxes. The pro-gram, whichtax claim op-erator North-east RevenueService LLCimplementedthis year inMontgomery County,wouldput liens ondelinquentproperties if owners don’tpay in full orget on pay-ment plansby Feb. 21 orsome otherdate chosenby the county each year. The liens would require delin-quent property owners to startpaying an additional 5 percentfee to cover county tax claimoperational costs — an expensecurrently covered by school dis-tricts and municipalities, saidNortheast Revenue PresidentJohn Rodgers, an area attorney. The county’s portion of this feeiswaivedaspartofitsoperation-al agreement with NortheastRevenue.Liens also allow properties tobe publicly auctioned at sheriff sales in as little as six months,as opposed to back-tax auctionsthatcan’tbescheduledforabouttwo years, Rodgers said.Delinquent tax payments in-creased $5 million at the start of thisyearinMontgomeryCounty because property owners didn’t
Back-taxstrategyproposedin county
Proponent says programwould quicken pace ofrepayment or property sales.
“Thisbringsmoney inquicker forthe tax-ing bodiesand allowsschooldistrictsand munici-palities notto absorbthe cost ofcollection,which theydo now.”
John Rodgers
President ofNortheastRevenue
‘Drug houses’ seized
under Hazleton plan
HAZLETON — In addition to potentially los-ing her freedom, a woman arrested in a drug raid Friday also could lose her home under a new initiative of the Hazleton Police Depart-ment.After police served a search warrant at 134Pine Tree Road and arrested the three peopleinside, a city official posted a dark red sign inthe front door window with the word “CON-DEMNED.”“Thenewideaactuallyhasbeenonthebooksfor quite some time — using the city’s nuisancepropertyordinance”tocleanupneighborhoods,Police Chief Frank DeAndrea said at a pressconference at City Hall Friday afternoon. “Andsince the mayor has put code enforcement andthe health department under the supervision of the police department, I thought we would at-
Police chief announces new initiative afterFriday raid of woman’s home.
Circus elephants step on scale in Nanticoketo assess their health 
 Weigh to go, ladies
Jim McIntire, right, coaxes his granddaughter, Abby Konkus, 2, of Forty Fort, into giving elephantViola a carrot during Friday’s weigh-in in Nanticoke.
NANTICOKE — You mightthink Viola, Kelley and Nina havea weight problem. After all, they do weigh 10,360, 8,940 and 5,900pounds, respectively.But for these three circuselephants, watching their weightis just a lot of hay — some 350pounds of it per day. The three elephants, trainedand cared for by Chip and DallasArthurs of Decatur, Ala., willperform in next week’s 64thIrem Shrine Circus at the 109thField Artillery Armory on MarketStreet.On Friday the three femaleelephants were brought to J.P.Mascaro & Sons in Nanticoke tobe weighed. Chip Arthurs likesto keep track of their weights toassess their health, he said.“Those numbers are about what I expected,” Arthurs saidfollowing the weigh-in. “I’ve hadthem for more than 30 years, andthey are all good girls.”Viola is 42 years old, Kelley is43 and Nina is 51. The averagelife expectancy of an elephant isabout 70 years.
Chip Arthurs weighed his elephants on a truck scale at J.P. Mascaro& Sons in Nanticoke on Friday to assure they are healthy. The ani-mals will perform at next week’s Irem Shrine Circus in Wilkes-Barre.
Mascaro & Sonsprovides scalefor 3 pachyderms
See ELEPHANTS, Page 10ASee TAXES, Page 10A
Employed89.5%Unemployed10.5%White89.9%Black 1.8%Hispanic 6.1%Other 2.2%
The majority of people in Luzerne andColumbia Counties eligible for healthinsurance premium tax credits are whiteand employed, according to Families USA.
Mark Guydish/The Times Leader
VATICAN CITY Pope Francishas won over many hearts and minds with his simple style and focus onserving the world’s poorest, but hehas devastated traditionalist Catho-lics who adored his predecessor,Benedict XVI, for restoring much of the traditional pomp to the papacy.Francisdecision to disregard churchlaw and wash the feet of two girls — a Serbian Muslim and an Italian Catholic— during a Holy Thursday ritual hasbecome something of the final straw,evidence that Francis has little or nointerest in one of the key priorities of Benedict’spapacy:revivingthepre-Vati-canIItraditionsoftheCatholicChurch.One of the most-read traditionalistblogs, “Rorate Caeli,” reacted to thefoot-washing ceremony by declaring the death of Benedict’s eight-year
Pope’s foot-washing rubs traditionalists the wrong way
Pope Fran-cis beginsthe GoodFridayservicewith thePassionof ChristMassinside St.Peter’sBasilica atthe Vati-can.
The inclusion of two girls duringHoly Thursday ritual irks somemembers of the church.
 Associated Press
See POPE, Page 10ASee HOUSE, Page 10ASee CREDITS, Page 10A
        8        0        7        4        9        6
Local 3ANation & World: 5AObituaries: 2A, 6A, 7AEditorials: 9A
SAN FRANCISCO It’sback. The virtual reality headset,the gizmo that was supposedto seamlessly transport wear-erstothree-dimensionalvirtu-al worlds, has made a remark-ablereturnatthisyear’sGameDevelopers Conference, an an-nual gathering of video gamemakers in San Francisco.After drumming up hypeoverthepastyearandbanking $2.4 million from crowdfund-ing, the Irvine, Calif.-basedcompany Oculus VR capturedthe conference’s attention this week with the Oculus Rift, itsVR headset that’s more like a pair of ski goggles than thosebulky gaming helmets of the1990s that usually left users with headaches.“Developers who start working on VR games noware going to be able to docool things,” said Oculus VRfounder Palmer Luckey. “Thisisthefirsttimewhenthetech-nology, software, community and rendering power is all re-ally there.” While VR technology hassuccessfully been employed inrecent years for military andmedical training purposes, it’sbeen too expensive, clunky or just plain bad for most at-home gamers. Oculus VR’sheadset is armed with stereo-scopic 3-D, low-latency headtracking and a 110-degreefieldofview,andthecompanexpects it to cost only a fewhundred bucks.A line at the conferencesnaked around the expo floor with attendees waiting for chance to plop the glasses ontheir head and play a few min-utes of “Hawken,” an upcom-ing first-person shooter thatputs players inside levitating  war machines.Attendance was also at ca-pacity for a Thursday talkcalled “Virtual Reality: TheHoly Grail of Gaming” led by Luckey. When he asked thecrowd who’d ordered develop-ment prototypes of the tech-nology, dozens of hands shotinto the air.“There’s been a lot of prom-ise over several decades withtheVRhelmetidea,butIthinka lot of us feel like Oculus andother devices like it are start-ing to get it right,” said Si-mon Carless, executive vicepresident at UBM Tech GameNetwork, which organizes theGameDevelopersConference.“We may have a competitiveand interesting-to-use device, which you could strap to yourhead and have really immer-sive gaming as a result.”Sony Corp. and MicrosoftCorp. are reportedly work-ing on similar peripherals, asare other companies. Luckey contends that the innovationsNintendo Co. made with its Wii U, Sony is planning withits upcoming PlayStation 4,and Microsoft is likely tinker-ing with for its successor tothe Xbox 360 don’t seem likeenough.“We’re seeing better graph-ics and social networks, butthose aren’t things that are go-ing to fundamentally changethe kind of experiences thatgamers can have,” said Luck-ey.A growing list of high-pro-file game makers have sung the device’s praises.
PHILADELPHIA — A recov-ering drug addict with a lonrap sheet was hailed as a herofor jumping onto subway tracksto rescue a man who walked off a platform.Christopher Knafelc, 32, was waiting for a train in north Phil-adelphia on Thursday afternoon when he saw a man fall on thetracks.Hejumpeddowntohelp,knowing that a train would bearriving in a few minutes.“I had a plan: If a train came,I was going to roll him under-neath,” Knafelc told WPVI-TV,“or if I couldn’t, I was going toask someone to jump down andhelp me roll him.”He held the man’s head andneck stable until firefighters ar-rived. Train traffic was halted.Knafelc told the Philadelphia Daily News he has battled sub-stance abuse since he was inmiddle school in Baden, a smalltown outside Pittsburgh, andspent years in and out of rehab.Southeastern Pennsylva-nia Transportation Author-ity spokeswoman Jerri Williamssaid she spoke with Knafelcsoon after his heroics.“Hes clean and sober forabout 2 1/2 years but still try-ing to get his life together,” shesaid. “I think by doing this goodSamaritan deed he’s kind of sur-prised himself.”She saw that as Knafelc re-counted the incident on thetracks, “I could see the light gooff, the a-ha moment” when herealizedthatafterhewashelpedby many people in his past, he wasabletofinallyhelpsomeoneelse in return.“Thisalmostinstinctivemoveto save this guy made him see‘I am a good person,’” Williamssaid. “It’s amazing. This inci-dent may be the start of really good things for him.”Online court records showKnafelc pleaded guilty in 2010in Pennsylvania to charges of theft, driving under the influ-ence, child endangerment anddriving without a license.He came to Philadelphia, where his mother and a cousinlive, two years ago to get a freshstart, he said. A telephone mes-sage left at what was believed tobe his mother’s home was notimmediately returned Friday.Investigators don’t know what caused the man to fall onthe tracks. Surveillance videoshows him walking slowly to- ward the platform’s edge andthen over it. He was taken to a hospital and listed in stable con-dition.“He didn’t thank me, but Iknow he was thankful,” Knafelctold the Daily News.
 Jim McCabe – 829-5000jmccabe@timesleader.com
Delivery Monday–Sunday $3.60 per weekMailed Subscriptions Monday–Sunday$6.92 per week via USPSPublished daily by:Impressions Media15 N. Main St.Wilkes-Barre, PA 18711Periodicals postage paid atWilkes-Barre, PA and additional mailing officesPostmaster: Send address changesto Times Leader, 15 N. Main St.,Wilkes-Barre, PA 18711
+(ISSN No. 0896-4084)USPS 499-710
Issue No. 2013-089
www.timesleader.com TIMES LEADERSATURDAY, MARCH 30, 2013
- 7-3-0
- 3-4-1
- 8-4-6-1
- 2-7-0-4-4
10-20-23-24-27NIGHTLY DRAWING
- 2-0-9
- 6-7-4-8
- 8-7-0-9-9
No player matched all fivenumbers in Friday’s “Cash5” jackpot drawing. Satur-day’s jackpot will be worth$500,000.Lottery officials reported 74players matched four num-bers, winning $344.50 each;2,987 players matched threenumbers, winning $14 each;and 38,701 players matchedtwo numbers, winning $1each.
Boston, WilliamCiotola, DavidCohen, SheldonDavis, SandraDeBiasi, IdenaDrevenik, FranklinDymond, NormanGillis, RobertIsaacs, HelenKaminski, TheodoreKepics, StevenKozak, BarbaraMagda, JohnMcDonald, Charles IIIPappas, JohnPetkoff, EleanorReisenbach, BarbaraShimshock, JeanTemprine, DorothyTkaczyk, Leonard
Pages 2A, 6A, 7A
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The Times Leader strives tocorrect errors, clarify storiesand update them promptly.Corrections will appear inthis spot. If you have infor-mation to help us correct aninaccuracy or cover an issuemore thoroughly, call thenewsroom at 829-7242.
President & CEO(570) 970-7158
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dena “Dena” DeBiasi, 89, of Duryea, went home to be withthe Lord on Tuesday evening,March 26, 2013, at CMC Hospice,Scranton, surrounded by her lov-ing family.Born in Wetumpka, Ala., onSept. 19, 1923, she was a daugh-ter of the late Foster and RoseEtta Penton Emfinger.She enlisted in the WomensArmy Corps on Oct. 16, 1944 andcompleted basic training in Tal-lahassee, Fla., where she workedin the motor pool. Pvt. Emfingermet her husband, Sgt. Carmen, while both were enlisted in theU.S. Army. They celebrated 65 years of marriage prior to hisdeath in May 2010.Dena operated her own busi-ness, Dena’s Lunch, on MainStreet, Duryea, for more than 20 years and enjoyed serving her cus-tomers great home cooking until1984.After retirement, she enjoyedtending to her vegetables andflowers in the garden. She lovedthe numerous trips to family re-unions in her beloved hometownof Wetumpka.She was a devoted member of Nativity of Our Lord Parish andserved with the Holy Name So-ciety for many years. She oftencommented on all the fun she hadpreparing food and working at its yearly picnic.Dena was a loving sister, wife,mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. Her greatest joy  was spending time with her fam-ily and she especially loved theprecious time she spent with hergreat-grandchildren, Isabella andJason Jr.Dena’s warm, Southern hospi-tality made everyone feel right athome.Her outgoing personality and wit made her the life of the party.She enjoyed hosting family andfriends around her kitchen tableor on the patio, where she de-lighted in an occasional margarita as she reminisced about the good-old days.She was preceded in death by her husband, Carmen; sisters,Rosie Bell, Laura Mae, Thula andLee Verna; and brothers, Herman,Cecil, Clarence and Bennett.She will be missed by her chil-dren, Jennie, Carmella, Louis,Darlene and Dino; six grandchil-dren, Jason, Tori, Autum, Nico-lette, Tyler and Madelyn; twogreat-grandchildren, Isabella andJason Jr.; and many dear friends. The family thanks all of those who cared for her during herlast years, especially LIFE Geis-inger (Living Independently forElders) at Marywood University.She spent almost every day withthe wonderful staff who cared forand loved her. Many thanks to Dr.Eisner and Dr. Collier who gaveher their undivided care and at-tention.
Funeral services
willbe held Tuesday at 9 a.m.from the Bernard J. Pion-tek Funeral Home Inc., 204 MainSt., Duryea. A Mass of ChristianBurial will follow at 9:30 a.m. inSacred Heart of Jesus Church,Duryea, with the Rev. AndrewSinnott officiating. Interment willbe in St. John’s Cemetery, Duryea.Friends may call Monday from 4to 8 p.m. at the funeral home.If desired, memorial contribu-tions may be made to LIFE Geis-inger, 2300 Adams Ave., Scran-ton, PA 18509, or Nativity of OurLord Parish, 127 Stephenson St.,Duryea, PA 18642. To leave the family an onlinecondolence or for further infor-mation, please visit the funeralhome’s website, www.piontekfu-neralhome.com.
Dorothy M. Temprine
March 26, 2013
orothy M. Temprine, 77, of Larksville, passed away Tues-day, March 26, 2013, at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital.She was born Oct. 3, 1935 inDuryea, and spent her childhood years growing up in Avoca. Doro-thy was a daughter of the lateJohn Morris and Lottie PitcavageMorris. At age 16, Dorothy wassinging and dancing for an area broadcasting company. She alsomade several records of popularsongs.Dorothy attended Sacred HeartSchool and graduated from Avoca High School as the class valedic-torian. She achieved a bachelorof science degree from CollegeMisericordia in education and a master’s degree in reading fromLehigh University. She was em-ployed as a reading specialist by the Wyoming Valley West SchoolDistrict, Main Street Elementary,retiring after 30 years of teaching.Dorothy always was actively in- volved in the lives of her childrenand grandchildren. She was very family-oriented and shared herencouraging nature with thoseshe encountered, whether in aneducational setting or as memberof the community. Dorothy was very artistic, loved playing the pi-ano and enjoyed putting togetherpuzzles, planting flowers and cre-ating culinary delights.She was a member of All SaintsParish, Plymouth, and the Altarand Rosary Society of St. Vin-cent’s Church, which is currently All Saints Parish, Plymouth.Dorothy was preceded in deathby her husband, Mayor John J. Temprine Sr., with whom she en- joyed 44 years of marriage untilhis passing in 2001. In addition toher parents, she was preceded indeath by an infant brother.She is survived by her daugh-ter, Dorothy Brush and her hus-band, Ted, Mountain Top; son,John Temprine Jr. and his wife,Joanne, Avoca; son, Jim Tem-prine, Larksville; daughter, MarieO’Boyle and her husband, Pat,Mountain Top; grandsons, Joey  Temprine, Patrick O’Boyle, Jason Temprine, William O’Boyle, JohnO’Boyle, Theodore Brush andLonnie O’Boyle; sisters-in-law,brothers-in-law and numerousnieces and nephews.
Funeral services
will be heldat 9:30 a.m. Tuesday from Kielty-Moran Funeral Home Inc., 87 Washington Ave., Plymouth, witha Mass of Christian Burial at 10a.m. at All Saints Parish, Wil-low Street, Plymouth. The Rev.Robert Kelleher will officiate. In-terment will be in St. Vincent’sCemetery, Larksville. Relativesand friends may call 5 to 8 p.m.Monday at the funeral home.
Unlikely hero rescues man in subway
Recovering drug addict withlong rap sheet is hailed forheroics in Philadelphia.
 Associated Press
In this image taken from security video, Christopher Knafelc jumps off a subway platform in north Philadelphia to help aman who fell onto the tracks Thursday afternoon.
Virtual reality, goggles and all, attempts return
Headset drawing interest atthis year’s Game DevelopmentConference in San Franciso.
 AP Entertainment Writer 
This publicity image pro-vided by Oculus VR shows avirtual reality headset.
LONDON RichardGriffiths was one of the greatBritish stage actors of his gen-eration, a heavy man with light touch, whether in Shake-speare or Neil Simon. But formillions of movie fans, he willalways be grumpy Uncle Ver-non, the leastmagical ocharacters inthe fantastical“Harry Potter”movies.G r i f f i t h sdied Thurs-day at Univer-sity Hospitalin Coventry, central Englandfrom complications following heart surgery, his agent, SimonBeresford, said. He was 65.“Harry Potter” star DanielRadcliffe paid tribute to theactor Friday, saying that “any room he walked into was madetwice as funny and twice asclever just by his presence.”“I am proud to say I knewhim,” Radcliffe said.Griffiths won a Tony Awardfor “The History Boys” and ap-pearedindozensofmoviesand TV shows. But he will be most widely remembered as a pairof contrasting uncles — Harry Potter’s Uncle Vernon Dursley and Uncle Monty in cult film“Withnail and I.”Griffiths was among a hugeroster of British acting talentto appear in the “Harry Pot-ter” series of films released be-tween 2001 and 2011.His role, as the grudging,magic-fearing guardian of or-phaned wizard Harry, wassmall but pivotal. Griffithsonce said he liked playing Un-cle Vernon “because that givesme a license to be horrible tokids.”But Radcliffe recalledGriffiths’ kindness to the young star.“Richard was by my side dur-ing two of the most importantmoments of my career,” saidRadcliffe, who in 2007 starred with Griffiths in a Londonand Broadway production of “Equus.”“In August 2000, before offi-cialproductionhadevenbegunon ‘Potter,’ we filmed a shotoutside the Dursleys’, which wasmyfirstevershotasHarry.I was nervous and he made mefeel at ease.”
‘Potter’ actorGriffithsdies at 65
He is best known for playinggrumpy Uncle Vernon,least magical of ‘HarryPotter’ characters.
 Associated Press
Idena ‘Dena’ DeBiasi
March 26, 2013
TIMES LEADER www.timesleader.comSATURDAY, MARCH 30, 2013
Administrator pleads guilty
A Mountain Top woman who worked as Nanticoke’s city adminis-trator and then was placed on leaveafter a driving-under-the-influence-related crash pleaded guilty Thursday to a DUI charge.Holly Cirko, 39, entered the plea ata hearing before Senior Judge HughMundy. Cirko will be sentenced onMay 9, Mundy said. She faces an18-month driver’s license suspension,according to court papers, and alsopleaded guilty to a summary chargeof careless driving.Cirko had worked as Nanticokecity’sadministratorbutwasplacedonpaidleaveaftercrashinghercarintoa  wall at about 3 a.m. June 26. Her lastday of employment with the city wasAug. 3.CirkowasdrivingaVolkswagenJet-ta that struck a retaining wall outsidethe 24-hour Coco Hut ConvenienceMart in Nanticoke, police said.After hitting the wall, Cirko got outof her car and went into the store,said police, who reported she thengot back into her car and drove away.Cirko was located a short time laterby police.
Man’s death ruled suicide
 Thedeathofamanwhosebodywasfound below a train trestle at Dagob-ert Street and Firwood Avenue on Thursday was a suicide, police said. The body was found by a child justafter 12:30 p.m. The man jumped off the trestle, po-lice said.Luzerne County Acting Coroner William Lisman and Deputy CoronerDan Hughes removed the body fromthe scene. Lisman would not releasethe man’s name because he was un-certain if all of the man’s family mem-bers had been notified.
Daniels to read poetry
In celebration of National PoetrMonth, the Keystone College Con-certs and LecturesSeries will presenta poetry reading by acclaimed poet JimDaniels at 7 p.m. Thursday in EvansHall, Hibbard Cam-pus Center. Theevent is free and thepublic is invited to at-tend.Daniels has been on the faculty of the creative writing program at Carn-egie Mellon University for more than30 years and is the author of 14 booksof poetry, including “Birth Marks,” which is to be published this year.
Warning on bogus mailing
Secretary of the CommonwealthCarol Aichele is warning Pennsylva-nia corporations about a bogus mail-ing some firms have received, leading businesses to believe they must send$125 and file an Annual Meeting Dis-closure Statement by a certain date,or risk being listed in “bad standing” with the state. The mailing comes from a com-pany called Pennsylvania CorporateCompliance Company and, near thetop of the letter, includes a direct cita-tion from the Pennsylvania BusinessCorporation Law regarding corporaterecords. Despite the suggestive lan-guage and official look of the mailing,there is no filing called an AnnualMeeting Disclosure Statement re-quired in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania Corporate Compliance Company hasnoassociationwithstategovernment.Forinformation,contactthebureauat: 717-787-1057 or ra-corps@pa.gov.
Fire ruled arson
A fire that damaged a vacant houseat 29 N. Sherman St. on Wednesday night was intentionally set.City firefighters responded to theblaze just after 10 p.m.Fire Chief Jay Delaney said thebuilding had utilities and sustainedheavy fire, smoke and water damage.An investigation into the cause of the blaze by city fire inspector Capt.Alan Klapat determined the fire wasintentionally set. Police are investi-gating.
argaret Welki, of Pringle, kisses a cross held by the Rev. Michael Zipay during the Veneration ofthe Cross ceremony on Good Friday at Holy Family Parish, in Luzerne.
Swoyersville Borough Councilman Christopher Concert explains how flierssoliciting donations are being circulated for the shuttered SwoyersvilleVolunteer Hose Co. No. 1, a company that is widely believed to be closed.
SWOYERSVILLE — Borough offi-cials are raising questions about a fli-er soliciting donations for a fire com-pany that they thought had closedmonths ago due to the talleged theftof $700,000 in bingo proceeds.Council member Chris Concertsaid Friday he had been approachedby a number of concerned residents who are asking why they received fliertodonatetotheSwoyersvilleVol-unteer Hose Company No. 1.Borough officials said they believedthe fire station had ceased operationafter two fire company officers, CarolGamble and her mother, CatherineDrago, had been charged in 2008 withtaking the money from bingo fund-raisers over a three-year period. Theftcharges against them are pending inLuzerne County Court.Borough coordinator Gene Breznay said he hasn’t seen anyone going inor out of the fire station for monthsand is aware that the hose company’sfire truck has been on loan to a West Wyoming station since the Septem-ber 2011 flood.“Is (Hose Company No. 1) oper-ating?” Breznay said. “I really don’tknow. (The borough) has tried to getthem to clarify their position … but we don’t have an answer for people.”Both Breznay and Concert saidthey are unsure who holds officer po-sitions within the hose company.Concert has no problem with West Wyoming borrowing the fire truck, hesaid. But he’s bothered that the bor-ough is unclear on whether the firestation is open and, more important,
Fire company solicitation draws concern
See FLIERS, Page 4A
SCRANTON – A hearing will be heldnext week at Marywood University togive area residents a chance to voicetheir stance on the governor’s proposedliquor store privatization plan.State Rep. Marty Flynn is hosting theApril 2 hearing for the House Democrat-icPolicyCommitteeaftertheHousevot-edlastweekinfavoroftheprivatization.“The issue of liquor store privatiza-tion has ramifications on jobs, tax rev-enue and what kind of state we wantPennsylvania to be,” Flynn, D-Scranton,said in a press release.Flynn said he believes House Bill 790 was “rushed through” by Republicanleaders without public hearings and thatthebillislikelytoreturntotheHouseina “new form.”According to House Bill 790, oncethe bill becomes law, the PennsylvaniaLiquor Control Board will begin issuing licenses to grocery stores, conveniencestores, pharmacies and “big box” stores.
Grocery stores:
For an initial li-cense fee, plus an annual renewal fee of $25,000, stores can sell two 6-packs of beer and up to six bottles of wine percustomer.
Convenience stores
: For an initiallicense fee and annual renewal fee of $10,000, stores can sell one six-pack of beer.
Big box” stores:
For an initiallicense fee and annual renewal fee of $35,000, stores can sell beer by the caseand up to six bottles of wine.
For an initial licensefee and annual renewal fee of $17,500,pharmacies can sell two six-packs of beer and up to six bottles of wine.
Beer distributors:
For an initiallicensing fee of $150,00 and an annualrenewal fee of $10,000, beer distributorscansellunlimitedquantitiesofwineandcan have the ability to break a case of beer and sell a minimum of 42 ounces.Hours of operation also may vary:
• Wine and spirits licensees will be
permitted to be open from 9 a.m. to 11p.m. Monday through Saturday; and 9a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays, if a Sunday salespermit is purchased annually for $2,000.
• Wine and spirit wholesale licenses
can sell between 2 a.m. of any Monday and midnight of the following Saturday. The plan will close about 620 state-owned stores and auction off 1,200 wineand liquor store licenses. In addition,about 5,000 people will be put out of  work; but the plan calls for them to begiven extra points toward a state CivilService Exam, be eligible for other state jobs or receive a two-year educationalgrant of $1,000 or $500.
Offer your input on Pa. liquor privatization
HARRISBURG — After a record-setting year in Pennsylvania, morethan two dozen counties, includinLuzerne and Lackawanna, are seeing a boost to their state grants to control West Nile Virus this year. The Department of EnvironmentalProtection awarded nearly $2.2 mil-lion in West Nile Virus Control pro-gram grants to 26 counties, which areslated to begin surveillance activitiesin early April. That equates to about$20,000 more per county than thefunds allocated in 2012 — with theadditional grant funding to be usedto cover the costs of new spray equip-ment.“This grant funding will help thecounties that are most affected by  West Nile Virus to monitor and con-trolmosquitoes,”DEPSecretaryMikeKrancer said in a news release.Because of the mild winter andearly spring, 2012 proved to be a re-cord year for the virus in Pennsylva-nia. The first positive mosquito wasdiscovered May 4, the earliest everon record. That kicked off a year thatbrought 3,656 positive tests for the vi-rus, the highest recorded numbers of human, bird, mosquito and veterinary positives since 2003.In Luzerne County there were 139positives and the virus led to thedeath of four people statewide, in-cluding retired Wilkes-Barre policeofficer Joseph Krawetz, who died inAugust at age 82 after being bitten by a virus-carrying mosquito.In humans, the virus can cause West Nile fever and encephalitis, aninfection that can cause inflammationof the brain and death. Most peoplebitten by an infected mosquito willnever develop any symptoms, andonly one person out of 150 people with symptoms will develop the moreserious West Nile encephalitis. The 2013 West Nile Virus Controlgrants announced for local countiesare: Luzerne, $79,500; Lackawanna,$55,411; and Monroe, $30,000.Aaron Stredny, the Luzerne County coordinator for the West Nile ControlProgram, said: “This year our season-al staff returns on April 15 to beginpre-emptive larviciding. The larvicid-ing will focus in and around mappedhistorical breeding habitats through-out the county.”Stredny said: “This early larvaltreatment is paramount in reducing the adult population of mosquitoesthrough the summer months and intoautumn. In turn, this early attack alsoaids in lowering the infection rate of  WNV carrying mosquitoes within themosquito-breeding season, keepinthe public’s risk low.”
DEP increases West Nile-prevention funding for counties
 WILKES-BARRE — The 82-year-old woman at the center of price-gouging allegations directed atthe city’s towing contractor hasdeclined the offer of a free vehiclefrom an area auto dealer after hercar was stolen, returned in dam-aged condition and junked.America’s Choice Cars & CreditInc. on Blackman Street had a gold2002 Oldsmobile Alero with a book value of $9,995 ready for NatalieAleo.She appreciated the gesture, buton Friday said she could not acceptthe car because of her financialsituation. The insurance coverage— coupled with the cost of taking care of the house she lives in andone she’s trying to sell — would betoo much.“I just can’t do it,” Aleo said.For transportation, she’s been re-lying on family and friends. The offer of free wheels stillstands if she changes her mind,however. Robyn Smith, sales man-ager at America’s Choice, saidAleo’s case attracted the attentionof company owners Ronald Small-comb and Gary Debise. “If no onehelped by now, someone needs to,”Smith said, explaining the owners’interest. They had helped out a customerfrom the Bloomsburg area a few years ago whose house was de-stroyed in a fire just before the startof the school year. “They basically  just tore up the loan,” Smith said.It’s been nearly four months sinceAleo’s 1993 Oldsmobile Sierra wasstolen in Wilkes-Barre and found inPlymouth. LAG Towing, which hasthe city’s towing contract, trans-ported the car to its lot off Carey Avenue.It sat there until Leo Glodzik III,
Car theftvictim
turns down
free auto
See ALEO, Page 4A
The hearing will be held at 2 p.m.Tuesday in the Nazareth Room atMarywood University, 2300 AdamsAve., Scranton.

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