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Times Leader 08-09-2013

Times Leader 08-09-2013

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Published by The Times Leader
The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader 08-09
The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader 08-09

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timesleader.com
WILKES-BARRE,PA Friday,August9,201350¢
6
09815 10011
 
Whowatchesthefshiesswimunderthesea?Why,50,000peopledo
NATION &WORLD,4A THE GUIDE
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Local 3ANation & World 4AObituaries 8ABirthdays 10AEditorials 11AWeather 12A
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THE GUIDE
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INSIDE
Dale Garylooks at theassortmentof vodkafor sale atthe HanoverTownshipWine andSpiritsshop on theSan SouciParkway.
AimeeDilger|TheTimesLeader
Purchases in state stores rose by 3 percent in Luzerne County 
ANDREWSEDER
aseder@timesleader.com
Buoyed by the reopeig of itsMoutai Top store, sales at the 20state liquor/wie stores i LuzereCouty rose 3 percet i the mostrecet fiscal year, but gais weredampeed by the Freelad storeclosig ad the temporary closureof a Wilkes-Barre store for reova-tios.Sales i the couty’s state storestotaled $50 millio for the fiscalyear edig Jue 30, a icreaseof $1.6 millio from the prior fis-cal year. While wie ad spirit saleswere up coutywide, five retail out-lets reported a dip i aual sales,icludig a 15 percet drop for thestore alog South Mai Street iWilkes-Barre, which closed for twomoths i the late summer of 2012for reovatios. There was also a 83 percet,or $273,289, drop at the store oCetre Street i Freelad. Thatstore, which liquor cotrol boardspokeswomaStacy Kriedemasaid had see “very slow sales fora umber of years,” closed Sept. 8. The May reopeig of theMoutai Top store, which relo-cated from oe part of the WeisShoppig Plaza to a larger space othe other side of the ceter, result-ed i $329,184 i sales over a spaof less tha two moths.Lookig at stores ope durig both fiscal years, the largest sales
PLCB boasts record sales last fscalyear
Taxcollectorsseek to stopcountytakeover
SHEENADELAZIO
sdelazio@timesleader.com
WILKES-BARRE Attoreys repre-setig the Luzere Couty Ta CollectorsAssociatio have filed court papers askig ajudge to immediately schedule a hearig adprevet their positios frombeig elimiated et year.Michael Savoa adMichael Peters, attoreysfrom the Philadelphia area,filed a request for specialrelief i the form of a pre-limiary ijuctio request-ig the couty be prohibitedfrom eforcig a ordiacethat elimiates ta collec-tors effective Ja. 1, 2014. The attoreys represet the group adthe orgaizatio’s trustees ad litem, MildredLuba, Leoard Kozick ad Jacquelie Latosekta collectors from Haover, Dallas ad
See
TAx
| 12A
Young Lions
Pete G.Wilcox |TheTimes Leader
Former Wyoming Valley West standout Eugene Lewis —‘Geno’—, right, and his Penn State teammates met with the mediaThursday as Penn State prepares for the 2013 season.There are plenty of storylines from the Nittany Lions camp,as manypositions are up for grabs, including the starting spot at quarterback.At left is RB Akeel Lynch. For the story, see Page 1B.
Mayor:1strike,youreout
JERRYLYNOTT
jlynott@timesleader.com
WILKES-BARRE Alarmed by aicrease i violet crime, Mayor TomLeighto took aim at what he said was thesource ad proposed tough stadards forladlords ad teats to aid i the fightagaist the “poiso” of drugs i the city’seighborhoods.With key officials i his admiistra-tio assembled i City Coucil chambers Thursday afteroo, Leighto detailed hispla to pealize problem properties, theirowers ad occupats by shuttig dow theplaces for si moths.“I the aftermath of the homicide at 174S. Grat St., I coveed a meetig with mylegal advisers, police departmet officialsad seior admiistrative staff to review adcoceive ay ew city ordiaces that wouldaid our cotiued fight agaist crime, drugsad poiso i our city eighborhoods,” hesaid. Twelve days after that fatal shootig oJuly 7 there was aother i the city, brigig the total umber of homicides to seve sofar this year. The amedmet adds drugs ad weaposcharges to the list of violatios ad sets a“oe-strike” limit for a shutdow by the city’scode eforcemet departmet. It targetsladlords ad teats who kow of crimialactivity ad do ot alert the authorities.“We are ot lookig to puish propertyowers who are tryig to keep up their
BillTarutis | ForTheTimes Leader
Wilkes-Barre Mayor Tom Leighton, left, received support Thursdayfor his proposed legislation to fight crime by getting toughwith landlords and tenants from state Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski,D-Wilkes-Barre.
Leighton’s ‘get tough’ plan to fght violentcrime takes aim at problem properties
MinnesotadadtogetpartofPowerballprize
GEOFFMULVIHILL
and
STEVE KARNOWSKI
AssociatedPress
ROSEVILLE, Mi. — A Miesota maclaimed his third of a $448 millio Powerballjackpot o Thursday, wastig o time beforerevealig his good fortue to the world adsayig he had “bee waitig for this day myetire life.”Paul White, 45, a project egieer fromHam Lake, said his family ofte gave him ahard time for frequetly playig the lottery,ad he had a tough time covicig may of them that he had fially wo.“The oly perso who did’t feel I was
See
SALES
| 12ASee
POWERBALL
| 9A
UnitedWay launchesannualcampaign
 Agency raised $4.1 M with its 2012 campaign
BILLO’BOYLE
boboyle@timesleader.com
WILKES-BARRE — The Uited Waytheme for its 2013 Aual CommuityCampaig goes, “It starts with a dream,dreams become visio, visio ispireschage.”Bill Joes, the orgaizatio’s presidet/CEO, said Thursday this year’s campaigwill cotiue the missio to raise moeyto aid those i eed, but soo a ew modelwill be istalled.“Whe you give to Uited Way, it’s ot just a pledge,” Joes said at the kick-off breakfast held Thursday at Kig’s College.“By givig, you are makig a statemetthat you care about your commuity adits future.” The breakfast hosted local corporateleaders ad their employee campaig coor-diators. The 2012 campaig raised $4.1 mil-lio, but Joes did ot aouce a goal for2013.“A goal is ot the importat thig,” hesaid. “What’s importat is that the dollarswe allocated to the commuity did otdeclie last year. That’s the real success.” The UitedWay helps fud46 programsi 25 member agecies. He said the orga-izatio is more tha a fudraisig istitu-tio. The Uited Way helps fud effectiveprograms that improve may lives i thecommuity.
Philanthropic goals
Bill Sordoi, chairma of the board of directors, said corporate leadership is the
See
CAMPAIGn
| 12ASee
STRIKE
| 12A
 
PAGE2A Friday,August9,2013
NEWS
www.timesleader.comTHETIMESLEADER
DETAILS
LOTTERY 
MIDDAY DRAWING
Daily Number -
3-5-1
Big Four -
1-6-6-8
Quinto -
8-6-9-4-1
Treasure Hunt
03-10-18-28-29
EVENING DRAWING
Daily Number -
1-1-6
Big Four -
2-8-6-9
Quinto -
5-1-7-9-5
Cash 5
01-04-17-26-42
Match 6
09-16-24-35-46-49
No player matched allfive numbers in Thursday’s“Cash 5”jackpot drawing.Today’s jackpot will be worth$325,000.Lottery officials reported75 players matched fournumbers,winning $209.50each; 2,199 players matchedthree numbers,winning $12each; and 27,774 playersmatched two numbers,win-ning $1 each.No player matched allsix numbers in Thursday’s“Match 6”jackpot drawing.Monday’s jackpot will beworth $3.5 million.Lottery officials reported31 players matched fivenumbers,winning $1,000each; 1,542 players matchedfour numbers,winning $20each; and 28,615 playersmatched three numbers,winning $2 each.
OBITUARIES
Barber, EleanorBudzinski,GenevieveCarswell,AnnaCobb,Tauriede Ben, KathleenHaydu,JohnLiparula, BerthaLopez,AngelMartin, EdwardMarvin,ThomasMilitano,VincentMill, Herbert
Page 8A
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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. 2013-170
 
2013-221
WILKES-BARRE Citypolice detained one person andseized a Ford Taurus while inves-tigatinggunfireonDarlingStreetearly Thursday afternoon.One shot was heard on Darling Street just after 12:30 p.m.As police converged on theneighborhood, a witness said,two men drove away in a silverFord Taurus.Police spotted the Ford threeblocks away in front of 153Madison St., where two menabandoned the car and ranthrough yards toward NorthWashington and Wyoming streets.Several officers armed withservice revolvers and shotgunssearched the rear yards of housesalong Wyoming Street.One person was detained onMadison Street. His name wasnot released. The Ford was towed byFalzone’s Towing.No injuries were reported.Police were not seen onDarling Street about 45 minutesafter a shot was fired. Childrenwere seen playing catch with aball in the middle of the street.
Policecheckgunre,givechaseinW-B
EDWARD LEWIS
elewis@timesleader.com
PlainsTwp.addssecurit formeetin
PLAINS TWP. Commissionersopened Thursday night’s regular meeting with a moment of silence for the victimsof Monday’s shooting at a public meeting in Ross Township, Monroe County, wherethree people were killed.Commissioners also acknowledgedadded security at their meeting. At leastonepoliceofficerwillbepresentatallmeet-ings from now on.Because themeeting hall ishoused in one of the township firehalls, firefight-ers are regularlypresent, but they were much more visible Thursday night outside of the building.Citing an extremely disruptive Junemeeting, board Chairman Ronald Filippiniannounced the existing five-minute timelimit for public comment will be strictlyenforced. Residents requiring more timewillbeadvisedtoattendthemonthlypublicwork sessions.In public comment, each of the six resi-dents who spoke Thursday voiced theirdispleasure with operations at the twoarea rock quarries. They complained aboutspeeding drivers in overloaded trucks filledwith rock, the litter and debris from thosetrucks and the various problems associatedwith dynamite blasting within the quarries. Those residents said the trucks loudlyspeedthroughneighborhoodsintotheearlyhours of the morning. The bulk of the criticism was leveledat the Wilkes-Barre Materials quarry,and trucks coming from various compa-nies associated with the H and K Group.Residents also noted dissatisfaction withoperations at the quarry owned by PoppleConstruction Inc. in neighboring Laflin. The issue was also acknowledged byCommissionerRobSaxinhisopeningcom-ments. He said police patrols for speeding trucks will be stepped up in the area. Township officials say they can do littleelsebeyondspeedcontrols,sayingthestateis responsible for noise and operationalhour enforcement.Filippini said he intended to press stateofficials for additional action and urgedconcerned residents to continue to do thesame.
Commissioners noted measurewasin response to shooting in RossTwp.
B.GARRETROGAN
TimesLeaderCorrespondent
 Among the appointees at Thursday’s meetingare two elementary teachers and school nurse
HANOVER TWP. The HanoverArea School Board voted Thursday onpersonnel matters. The board appointed the following teachers effective Sept. 3:
• Nicole Flaherty and Courtney Paden
as special education teachers, both atsalaries of $42,728.
Michael Weaver as elementary
teacher at a salary of $43,228.
Gerald Stefanoski as elementary
teacher at a salary of $42,728. The board also appointed:
• Stacy Malia as a fourth-grade teach
-er at a grant-funded salary of $42,728,plus benefits for the 2013-14 school year.
• Michael Grifth as long-term math
substitute teacher at a salary of $42,728,effective Sept. 3.
• Megan McCabe as certied school
nurse at a salary of $42,728, effectiveSept. 3. The board also reassigned WilliamJones as elementary school assistantprincipal at a salary of $72,495 with astipend of $3,700 for additional duties. The district garbage and hauling con-tractwasawardedtoSolomonContainerService, the lowest bidder, for the 2013-14 school year. The daily rate is $115;the as-needed summer pickup rate is $40and the as-needed stadium pickup rateis $35.Superintendent Andrew Kuhlannounced the first day for students isSept 5. The next school board work sessionis set for Sept. 3 and the next regularmeeting is scheduled for Sept. 5.
HanoverAreahiresteachers,schoolstafers
CAMILLE FIOTI
TimesLeaderCorrespondentAimee Dilger |TheTimes Leader
Police search fora man in the areaofWyoming Streetand Madison StreetinWilkes-Barre onThursday after areport of a gunshoton Darling Street anda suspect who fledfrom a vehicle.
Motorcyclist injured in crash onW-B Blvd.
The driver of a Dodge Magnum SXT stands with his vehicle after it was apparently struck from behind by a motorcycle on Wilkes-BarreBoulevard,Wilkes-Barre,near the Cross-Valley Expressway ramps at about 4:45 p.m.Thursday.Both vehicles were traveling southbound whenthe accident occurred.The driver of the motorcycle,who was not wearing a helmet,was treated at the scene and taken to an area hospital.
BillTarutis |ForTheTimes Leader
WASHINGTON TWP.
— Statepolice on Thursday said BenjaminLawrence 33, of Tunkhannock, wascharged with rape and other charges inthe sexual assault of a child dating backto 2006.Lawrence was arraigned by DistrictJudge John Hovan and committed tothe Wyoming County CorrectionalFacility for lack of $100,000 bail.
NOXEN TWP.
— State policesaid Delmar Eugene Penny, 76, wastaken into custody around 4:45 p.m.Wednesday on an warrant for allegedindecency with a child-sexual con-tact from the Bowie County Sheriff’sDepartment in Texarkana, Texas.
NICHOLSON
— State police areinvestigating a burglary at the AlmontHotel & Bar that occurred in the over-night hours of Aug. 1 and 2. Moneywas taken from a cash box, state policesaid.
NORTHMORELAND TWP.
State police said a 15-year-old girl wascited with harassment after a complaintmade by her father around 2 a.m. July25 at Ripple Brook Road.
HANOVER TWP.
— Hanover Township police are investigating anassault that occurred Tuesday on LeePark Avenue.Police said Joseph Coleman, 19, of Hanover Township, said he was walk-ing on Lee Park Avenue when he wasassaulted by several males. Colemansaid her walked to Luzerne Street andcalled 911.Coleman was taken to GeisingerWyoming Valley Medical Center byHanover Township Medic 9 where hewas treated for injuries.Police ask anyone with informationto contact Hanover Township Police at570-825-1254.
LARKSVILLE
— The Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement said itcited Rob’s Pub, 232-234 Nesbitt St.,with two violations that occurred onJune 29. The agency said the establishmentsold, furnished and/or gave or permit-ted alcoholic beverages to a minor andused or permitted to be used a loud-speaker or similar device that could beheard beyond the licensee’s propertyline. The charges will be brought beforean administrative law judge who couldimpose penalties ranging from $5 to$1,000 for minor offense and up to$5,000 for more serious offenses. The judge can also impose a license suspen-sion or revocation and mandate educa-tional training for the licensee.
NANTICOKE
— City policeare investigating a hit-and-run thatoccurred Tuesday at 1:53 a.m. in the1000 block of South Market Street.Police said the fleeing vehicle is anolder model, white Jeep Cherokee withheavy front-end damage. Anyone withinformation is asked to call police at735-2200, or call 911.
Apage2AarticleinThursday’seditionregardingthebidamountsreceivedbyDallasBoroughCouncilforastreetandstorm-waterimprovementprojectonWellingtonAvenueshouldhaveprovidedtheseguresforthesixproposalsthatwerenotawarded.Theguresincludenotonlythebasebidforthestorm-waterimprovements,butalsoasecondalternateproposalforpavingtheentirelengthoftheroad:LatonaTrucking,$123,747;PikesCreekSiteContractors,$120,866;PoppleConstruction,$87,647;StellEnterprises,$98,862;FehlingerConstruction,$94,862;andSmartRecycling,$144,830.
CORRECTION
NEXTMEETING
7:30p.m.Sept.12
POLICE BLOTTER
 
THE TIMESLEADERwww.timesleader.com Friday,August9,2013 PAGE3A
INBRIEF
LOCAL 
ShermanHillscarnivalfocusesonpositive
Saturday event aims to improve image of complex
BILLO’BOYLE
boboyle@timesleader.com
WILKES-BARRE — Pony rides, abounce house, face painting, gamesand fun will be the order of the daySaturday at Sherman Hills. The management at the apartmentcomplex and several nonprofit civicandChristiangroupswanttodispeltheproject’s violence-prone reputation andshow people — especially the manychildren who reside in the complex— that life can be good and fun in thecity’s Heights section.So they will hold the third annualFamily Fun Carnival on the complexgrounds and residents of ShermanHills can attend to enjoy a free dayof fun. Families from neighboring Interfaith Apartments are also expect-ed to attend.“We want people to realize it’s notall gunfire and nonsense that goes onhere,” Terri Kirschner, resident servic-es coordinator at Sherman Hills, said.“We have families with children andthis event is for the enrichment of theresidents.”In addition to the rides and games,hot dogs, soft drinks and Sno coneswill be served. The event runs 1 to 4p.m. Saturday.Stephen Perillo, of Wilkes-Barre, hasarranged for 10 to 12 nonprofit groupsto send volunteers to work the standsand help serve food. He also invitedtwo Christian bands.“Just because they live there doesn’tmean they have to have a negative viewon life,” Perillo said, referring to theresidents. “Due to the negative newsin and around that area, doesn’t meanShermanHillsisabadplaceorthepeo-ple are bad. I believe that there’s not abad kid, just a misdirected kid. Eventslike this help mold children into goodadults.”Jenn Kearney, Sherman Hills prop-erty manager for nearly two years, saidthe complex tries to do positive eventsfor the residents.“We want them to get together to gettoknoweachotherinapositive,friend-ly and fun atmosphere,” she said. “Wewant our residents to enjoy their living space. With the economy the way it is,Sherman Hills isn’t a bad place to live.” The Sherman Hills Apartments com-plex is owned by Sherman Hills Realtyand consists of 344 apartments in ninebuildings that stretch over 22 acres of property. There are 104 one-bedroomapartments in a high-rise building and240 one- and two-bedroom apartmentsin eight garden-style buildings.Kirschner, resident services coordi-nator for 12 years, said managementtries to develop activities for the resi-dents, such as “Movie Day,” a hay rideand a day camp in the summer. Severalgroups donate time to help the childrenresiding in the complex, she said.“We want people to see the positiveside of Sherman Hills — the real side,”Kirschner said.
ShERmaNhILLSFamILYFuNCaRNIvaL
• Ponyrides,a bounce house,games,hot dogs,soft drinks andSno coneswill be featured.The event runs 1 p.m.to 4 p.m.
Saturday.
• Residents of Sherman Hills andInterfaithApartments are invited.
Troopertobetriedincaseinvolvingex-boyfriend
ShEENaDELaZIO
sdelazio@timesleader.com
WILKES-BARRE A statetrooper charged with illegallyaccessing her ex-boyfriend’s cell-phone and falsely reporting heassaulted her will stand trial onrelated charges in November, a judge said Thursday.Carrie Ann Gula, 35, of WestPittston, appeared Thursday inLuzerne CountyCourt for a hear-ing before JudgeLesa Gelb atwhich her attor-ney, JosephNocito, request-ed a jury trial.Gelb scheduledthe case on sevenrelated charges to begin Nov. 4.Gula remains suspended with-out pay from the state police andfree on $7,500 bail.She previously waived a formalarraignment in county court inMay.According to court records,state police at Wyoming allegeGula accessed the Verizon cell-phone account of Eric Thomason Aug. 1, 2012, and changed hispassword.While stationed at the statepolice barracks at Fern Ridge,she left work early that day andwent to Thomasresidence inExeter, where, she said, Thomasassaulted her while she was inuniform. Trooper Lisa Brogan testifiedduring a March preliminary hear-ing that she found inconsisten-cies in Gula’s statement becausea mirror and a chair Gula saidwere broken during a strugglewith Thomas were not smashed. Thomas testified he was tak-ing a shower when he noticedsomeone was in his house. Hesaid he spotted Gula leaving hishouse with his cellphone underher arm.He said she kicked and shovedhim, causing him to fall over achair.Police said the password on Thomasphone was changed onAug. 1 and that Thomas had tochange the password. There were also several failedattempts to access his phone overa two-hour period, police said.Gula allegedly told police inan Aug. 2 interview she went to Thomashome to pick up uni-form shirts. She said she heard Thomascellphone ring while hewas in the shower, so she went toanswer it. That’s when, Gula told police, Thomas came out of the showerand pushed her to the floor. Shesaid Thomas picked up a woodenkitchen chair and smashed it onthe floor next to her.Gula said she tried to run, but Thomas blocked her path.She said she locked herself inthe bathroom but Thomas brokedown the door, grabbed her bythe neck and spit on her uniform.Gula was then able to flee theresidence, she said.
LUZERNECOUNTY
Former election chief  wants vote act probe
Former Luzerne County elec-tion director Leonard Piazza hasasked the U.S. Election AssistanceCommission to investigate his com-plaint alleging the county is not incompliance with requirements of theHelp America VoteAct, or HAVA.Piazza, who wascounty electiondirector from April2004 until his termi-nation in April 2012,said polling placesare not fully acces-sible to the disabledas required.He also allegedthe county failed to provide fund-ing for the office as promised tobe eligible for the receipt of HAVAfunding.Piazza said the county should be“taken to task” and forced to return$3.6 million in HAVA funding.Election Director Marisa Crispell-Barber said she instituted a plan tomake polling places accessible to thedisabled for the May 2013 primaryand said she is in the process of reviewing HAVA paperwork with thestate to ensure the county is compli-ant.
HARRISBURG
Governor’s Residencegardens to be open
 The Governor’s Residencegardens will be open to the public1-4 p.m. Sunday for the “Creaturesof the Garden” open house as partof several free “Second Sunday”events scheduled throughout thesummer. The family-friendly event willshowcase creatures of all shapesand sizes that inhabit gardens inPennsylvania.Visitors will have an opportunityto observe live animal demonstra-tions, hear educational presenta-tions and participate in hands-onactivities.At 2 p.m., Jack Hubley, host of “A Wild Moment,” will offer aneducational program titled “CrittersBeyond Your Back Door.” It willfeature mammals, birds of prey andsnakes that are native to CentralPennsylvania. The final “Second Sunday” eventwill be on Sept. 8.For more information, visit www.pa.gov/firstlady
AVOCA
Crime watchmeeting set
 The next meeting of theAvoca Crime Watch will be at6:30 p.m. Aug. 20 at the AvocaBorough building with guestspeaker Luzerne CountyDetective Charles Balogh talking about keeping citizens’ propertysafe.Residents are encouraged toattend these group meetings andhelp keep the town safe and clean.For more information, callJim at 457-8446, Ned at 457-6109or Gene at 457-0776.
ASHLEY
Huber Breakerauction set Aug. 22
An auction for bids to purchasethe Huber Breaker and adjacentproperty from No. 1 Contracting is scheduled for 10 a.m. Aug.22 inside the Max Rosenn U.S.Courthouse on South Main Street,Wilkes-Barre.No. 1 Contracting of South MainStreet filed for Chapter 11 bank-ruptcy in March 2010 and was con-verted to Chapter 7 in Novemberof that year, requiring the businessto liquidate its assets, including thebreaker.Bankruptcy court recordssay Paselo Logistics, of 22112th St., Philadelphia, submitted abid of $1.275 million for theproperty, which has an appraisedvalue of $750,000, according to anappraisal conducted in September2005. The property consists of oneoffice, three garages/warehousesand two breakers, including theHuber Breaker that has anestimated 900 tons of steal valued at$85,000, court records say.Before the auction, a hearing isscheduled on a petition filed by No.1 Contracting objecting to the auc-tion.
Piazza
BillTarutis|ForTheTimes Leader
National Weather Service Warning Coordination meteorologist DavidNicosia, right, presents Ji Evans, president of mountain Productionsin Wilkes-Barre, the StorReady Supporter award for the proceduresestablished to protect individuals who attend events at venues acrossthe country.Gula
WeatherhonorblowsintoMountainProductions
aNDREWm.SEDER
aseder@timesleader.com
WILKES-BARRE When attendees are at a con-cert, sporting event or otherbig-budget productions, seri-ous weather events shouldnot be a concern. One localcompany’s efforts to makesure that’s the case wererecognized Thursday by theNational Weather Service.Mountain Productions,the largest staging companyin North America, receivedthe distinction of being aStormReady Supporter. It’s agrass-roots program intend-ed to help schools, venues,communities and businessesestablish severe weathersafety plans.Dave Nicosia, the warn-ing coordination meteo-rologist for the NationalWeather Service’s forecast-ing office in Binghamton,N.Y., travelled to MountainProductions headquarterson New Frederick Street tohand company officials a cer-tificate and sign commemo-rating its accomplishment.Nicosia said the businessis the first staging companyto earn the distinction, andsaid it’s appropriate becauseso many lives are at risk atevents the company helps toset up — from giant musicfestivals to papal visits to iceskating at Rockefeller Plaza.Jim Evans, president of Mountain Productions, saidusing weather indicatorreports and designing plansthat dictate when to lowercurtains or screens based onwind speeds give his com-pany an advantage to makesure shows go on withouttragedies. While it might notmean additional business,Evans said, the new honorwill be used in sales pitches.In the days before cell-phones, modern warninsystems and the Internet,when weather was closing in on an event, it was oftena situation where productioncompanies would have toscurry to move into action.But thanks to early-warn-ing systems and improvedweather-detection equip-ment, crews can get a headsup when dangerous weatheris closing in.By using this technologyand preparing stages andsets with weather factoredin, it makes for a safer showfor all involved.“Enormous amounts of people in a small area thatcould be very vulnerable tosevere weathermust beaddressed, Nicosia said. The attention to weatherand safety cannot be over-stated, he said.He noted there was a dead-ly lightning strike at PoconoRaceway in Long Pond lastyear. Mountain Productionshad no involvement in thatevent.“With all the severe weath-er we’ve been getting, thisis very important,” Nicosiasaid. “They’ve taken thisstep to ensure they’re pro-tecting the people thatattend their events.”
Crashsnarlsbusyintersection
Police ask drivers to avoid W-B Boulevard andEast Market Street until signals can be xed
Roger DuPuis|TheTimes Leader
The front end of a car is wrapped around a pole at the southwest corner ofWilkes-Barre Boulevard and East market Street after a crashThursday.
ROGERDuPuIS
rdupuis@civitasmedia.com
WILKES-BARRE — Traffic aroundone of the city’s busiest intersectionswas disrupted for hours Thursdayafter a car slammed into a utility pole,sending one man to the hospital andputting signals out of commission.A silver Buick Regal came to a stopwith its front end impaled on a pole atthe southwest corner of Wilkes-BarreBoulevard and East Market Street atabout 1 p.m., damaging a traffic signalcontrol box. The name and condition of a mantaken away in an ambulance was notavailable later Thursday, as city policeand firefighters said they had no fur-ther updates.Southbound traffic on Wilkes-BarreBoulevard briefly came to a standstilland cars were backed up for at least ablock on East Market Street as emer-gency crews tended to the injured manand cleared the wreckage. Traffic continued to move at a stop-and-go pace throughout the day, asthe signals remained dark and citycrews set out temporary stop signs torestore order.Officials later issued a travel advi-sory, cautioning drivers to “avoidthis intersection if at all possible, oruse extreme caution when proceed-ing through the intersection this eve-ning,” according to an email from cityspokeswoman Liza Prokop. The stop signs were still up Thursday evening, with two policeofficers stationed at the intersectionto monitor traffic flow.Workmen at the scene said theywere trying to repair the traffic lightsas quickly as possible, hoping to getthe signals working on flash mode.Part of the delay stemmed from theneedtoobtainpartsfromPhiladelphia,workers said.

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