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Times Leader 09-05-2013

Times Leader 09-05-2013

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Published by The Times Leader
The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader 09-05
The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader 09-05

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timesleader.com
WILKES-BARRE,PA ThuRSdAy,SEPTEmBER5,201350¢
6
09815 10011
 
September 21- 28, 2013
 visit us online at bloomsburgfair.com
NEWS
Local 3ANation & Worl 5AObitaries 10A
INSIDE
Eitorials 11AWeater 12A
SPORTS: 1BBUSINESS: 8BLIFE: 1C
Birtas 3CTelevision 4Cmovies 4CPzzles 5C
CLASSIFIED: 1D
Coics 10d
EXETER The two sides inthe Wyoming Area School Districtteacher strike have said the differ-ences at the negotiating table aresmall, yet critical questions of pay.A Times Leader review of thepotential impact from the latestoffers shows that, dollar-wise, thedifferences would be small for mostteachers individually, but are muchgreater when comparing veteranteachers to relative newcomers.Assuming that raises were spreadequally among all teachers — nota guarantee — newcomers with abachelor’s degree would see annualincreases ranging from 0.48 percentto 2.77 percent over the six-yearoffer by the school board. By com-parison, a teacher with eight yearsexperience and a master’s degreewould see increases ranging from3.86 percent to 8.64 percent.But that high rate rises from adeferral of any retroactive raise in2011-12, substantially increasing the raise teachers would get for2012-13.
Review:Vetsraisesskewnumbers
Experienced teachers would see their salaries risesignicantly more than their newer colleagues
MARK GUYDISH
gis@tiesleaer.coClarkVan Oren |TeTies Leaer
Teachers from Wyoming Area School District walk the picket line outsideMontgomary Avenue Elementary School on Tuesday, the first day of theongoing strike.
LEHMAN TWP. Youcouldn’t have asked for a fairerday. The smell of funnel cake andsimmering sausage drifted on acool breeze through the vendoraisles as food sellers braced forthe masses soon to break throughthe gates.Showing up early to theLuzerne County Fair has itsperks. You might spot JeremyEvans of Bloomsburg, a fifth-generation fam-ily business ownerwho has run hisfair-food truck onthe side for 10years, spinning up a warm batchof cotton candyand setting outhis hand-dipped candy apples inthe quiet before the crowds startswelling.Evans’ stand, the one with thetwirling cotton candy sign ontop, is near the main entranceWASHINGTON President Barack Obama’srequest for speedy con-gressional backing of a military strikein Syria advancedWednesday towarda showdown Sen-ate vote, whilethe commanderin chief left openthe possibility hewould order retali-ation for a deadly chemi-cal weapons attack evenif Congress withheld itsapproval.Legislation backinthe use of force againstPresident Bashar Assad’sgovernment cleared theSenate Foreign RelationsCommittee on a 10-7 voteafter it was stiffened atthe last minute to includea pledge of support for“decisive changes to thepresent military balanceof power” in Syria’s civilwar. It also would rule outU.S. combat operations onthe ground. The measure is expect-ed to reach the Senatefloor next week, althoughthe timing for a vote isuncertain.Sen.RandPaul,a Kentucky conservativewith strong tea party ties,has threatened a filibuster. The House also isreviewing Obamasrequest, but its timetableis even less certain andthe measure could face arockier time there. The adminis-tration blamesAssad for achemical weap-ons attack thattook place onAug. 21 and saysmore than 1,400civilians died,including at least400 children. Other casu-alty estimates are lower,and the Syrian govern-ment denies responsibil-ity, contending rebelsfighting to topple the gov-ernment were to blame. The Senate panel’s votemarked the first formalresponse in Congress,four days after Obamaunexpectedly put off ananticipated cruise mis-sile strike against Syrialast weekend and instead
Senatepanel backsstrikeagainstSyri
Measure heads tothe full Senate asObama hints he mayretaliate evenwithoutcongressional OK
DAVID ESPO
an
DONNACASSATA
AssociatePressPete G.Wilcox potos |TeTies Leaer
Zach McEntee, left, and Matt Giampietro, both 11 and both from Dallas, enjoy the Cliff Hanger ride on opening day of the Luzerne County Fair in Lehman Township onWednesday.
Fairoferscountryavor
JON O’CONNELL
joconnell@tiesleaer.co
PITTSTON Twomen who Luzerne Countyprosecutors believe wereinvolved in the shooting of two girls at theSherman Hillsapartment com-plex last monthare jailed at theLuzerne CountyCorrectionalFacility on unre-lated charges.While prosecu-tors would not disclosethe name of the suspectedgunman, alleged accom-plice Jamal Alford wasin court Wednesday fora preliminary hearing oncharges that he attemptedto prevent the capture of afugitive in June.Alford,24,ofPittston,is jailed for lack of $100,000bail, which his attorney,Assistant Public DefenderJoseph F. Saporito Jr.,called “outrageous” afterthehearingbeforeDistrictJudge Andrew Barilla inPittston.A law enforcementsource close to the inves-tigation saidAlford is “Flea,” astreet name listedin search war-rants filed in lastmonth’s shoot-ing in ShermanHills of 5-year-oldJaniya McFarlaneand 2-year-old Gabriella Morris.McFarlane suffered a gun-shot wound to her neck
ShermanHillsshootingsuspectsarelockedup
Two men jailed forreasons unrelated to August incident in which girls, ages 5and 2, were injured
EDWARD LEWIS
elewis@tiesleaer.co
Alford
IsitallGreektoo?
Prosanconsofafraternit
LIFE, 1CBUSINESS, 8B
How is our area businesslandscape changing?
See
SUSPECTS
|12A
WYOMINGAREATEACHERS’STRIKE
Obama
See
TEACHERS
| 12ASee
SYRIA
|12A
Jeremy Rabe, 15,of Tunkhannockleads hisHolstein cownamed Deploreback to the barnafter giving hera wash at theLuzerne CountyFairgroundson Wednesday.Rabe was thererepresentingTraver’s Dairy inTunkhannock.
Luzerne County event a slice of tradition
See‘Oropinion’ontecontfair,
page 11A.
See
FAIR
|12A
 
PAGE2A Thursday,September5,2013
NEWS
www.timesleader.com THETIMESLEADER
DETAILS
LOTTERY 
MIDDAY DRAWING
Daily Number -
9-8-5
Big Four -
1-0-8-5
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8-1-5-7-5
Treasure Hunt03-05-15-17-30
EVENING DRAWING
Daily Number -
1-6-1
Big Four -
4-5-6-3
Quinto -
1-2-5-6-9
Cash 5
02-04-22-32-43
Powerball
02-09-26-45-47
Power Ball
11
No player matchedall five numbers inWednesday’s“Cash5”jackpot drawing.Today’s jackpot will beworth $325,000.Lottery officialsreported 61 playersmatched four numbers,winning $283.50 each;2,187 players matchedthree numbers,winning$13 each; and 28,654players matched twonumbers,winning $1each.
OBITUARIES
Andrews,JoanBlaszczak, MaryBoroski, LeonardHebda, RichardHmenanski,LeocadiaKeiper-Qinn,LindaKotz, FlorenceKovach, ElizabethParker, CharlesPrevznak,BernardSimklak, BrianSitler, LemelWall, Harold Jr.Zibck,Arlene
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TheTimes Leader strives tocorrect errors,clarifystoriesandupdatethempromptly.Correctionswill appear inthisspot.Ifyouhaveinformationtohelpus correct aninaccuracyorcover anissuemorethoroughly,call thenewsroomat 829-7242.
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HARRISBURG A judgeromised to rule as quickly asossible after hearing argumentsednesday about whether a sub-rban Philadelphia court clerkhould be forced to stop issuing arriage licenses to same-sexouples.Commonwealth Court JudgeanPellegrinisaidacentralissues “how power is allocated in theommonwealth of Pennsylvania.”“What’s before us today isenerally, ‘Who decides?’”ellegrini told the full courtroomn Harrisburg at the start of oralrguments.Pennsylvania is the only north-eastern state that does not allowgay marriage or civil unions.A 1996 state law says a mar-riage must be between a manand a woman, and it says same-sex marriages performed else-where cannot be recognized inPennsylvania.D. Bruce Hanes, the electedregister of wills in MontgomeryCounty, defied the ban in lateJuly by issuing licenses to same-sex couples, as part of his dutiesas the orphan’s court clerk. Hisaction followed the U.S. SupremeCourts decision to throw outpart of the federal Defense of MarriageAct,andastatementbystate Attorney General KathleenKane that the same-sex marriageban was unconstitutional. The state Health Department,which is seeking a court order tostop Hanes, said it must ensurethat marriage registrationsare “uniformly and thoroughlyenforced throughout the state.”It said his actions have interferedwith the proper performance of its powers, duties and responsi-bilities.“Heisissuingmarriagelicens-es that the law clearly does notallow,” said Greg Dunlap, repre-senting the Health Department.“The Department of Health hasan interest in the integrity of the record keeping system.”By the close of business Tuesday, Hanes had issued 164licenses.Pellegrini said he was notweighing the constitutional-ity of the same-sex marriageban. But questions about itsconstitutionality arose repeat-edly, and Pellegrini said he wasconcerned about the potentialeffect of his ruling on variouslevels of government. The lawyers discussed howa sheriff might decide it wasunconstitutional to deny gunpermits to felons, or a zon-ing officer might think set-back property line rules are anunconstitutional taking of pri-vate property.“There’s a lot of constitu-tional officers in this common-wealth,” Pellegrini said. The judge has to determineif the Health Department haslegal standing to pursue what’sknown as a mandamus actionto force a government officialto follow the law. He also hasto decide if Hanes qualifies asa judicial officer; if he does, thestate Supreme Court may haveexclusive jurisdiction.Pellegrini allowed a lawyerfor some of the people who havereceived licenses to participatein the argument. Afterward, onecouple said they were not surewhat to make of the session.Kevin Taylor, of Havertown,who got a license from Hanes onthe second day they were avail-able, said seeking to intervenein the Department of Healthcase may be just the start of hislegal efforts.“We’ll probably continue tosign onto lawsuits until this isresolved,” Taylor said.
JudgevowsquickPa.same-sexmarriagecaseruling
Montgomery County ofcial has been issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples
MARK SCOLFORO
ssociatedPress
Newsroom
829-7242jbutkiewicz@timesleader.com
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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
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MuNICIPALBRIEFS
DURYEA
BoroughCouncil will hold a public worksession at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday inthe borough building, with themonthly meeting immediatelyfollowing. A special meetinwill be 6 p.m. Sept. 18 to openbids for the renovations of theborough building.
WARRIOR RUN
Residents are reminded therebate period for 2013 HanoverArea school taxes ends Sept.12. If making installment pay-ments, the first payment is dueSept. 12.County and borough taxesare in penalty and can be paidat the tax office until Dec. 31.Collection hours are 2 to 4p.m. Monday and 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday. For an appointment,call 570-825-4043. The taxoffice will be closed Sept. 20through Sept. 27.
BUTLER TWP.
AnOklahoma man was killed in aone-car crash on Interstate 80early Wednesday morning, statepolice in Hazleton said.Michael Ray Mitchell, 34, of Tulsa, was headed east near milemarker263justbefore6a.m.whenhis 2009 Honda Civic drifted off the roadway into the grassy cen-ter median and struck two trees.He was killed upon impact andpronounced dead at the scene byLuzerne County Deputy CoronerGerald Jones, police said. The cause of death was deter-mined to be multiple traumaticinjuries and the manner of deathappears to be accidental, policesaid, adding that the case remainsopen pending further investiga-tion.Valley Regional Rescue,Valley Regional Ambulance andKisenwether’s Towing assisted.
WILKES-BARRE
Citypolice reported the following:
• A window was smashed at a
residence on South Welles Streeton Tuesday.
Abrickwasthrownthrougha
window at a residence on GeorgeAvenue on Sunday.
Police cited Anthony Paul
Lizzi, 20, of Wilkes-Barre, withpublic drunkenness and underagedrinking when he was allegedlyseen intoxicated on North MainStreet on Aug. 25.
Police arrested David S.
Carpenter, 24, of Hillside Street,Wilkes-Barre, on Monday afterhe allegedly threatened a womanwith a gun while they were riding an ATV. The woman said she toldCarpenter he was driving too fastwhen he allegedly threatened her,according to the criminal com-plaint.Carpenter was charged withterroristic threats, simple assaultand harassment. He was jailed atthe Luzerne County CorrectionalFacility for lack of $10,000 bail.
• It was reported Tuesday that
someone stole copper wiring andtubing from a vacant building onNorth Fulton Street.
• Nolen Miles was cited with
harassment after he allegedlystruck his girlfriend in the face,causing minor injuries, during anincident in the area of 98 S. MainSt. late Monday afternoon, policesaid.
Seara Peterson, 21, was
charged with a felony count of retail theft after she allegedlyconcealed two t-shirts and leftBoscov’s at 15 S. Main St. with-out paying for them on Monday,police said, adding that she hadtwo previous retail theft convic-tions.
Javon Isaac, 18, was cited
withharassmentafterheallegedlystruck a female in the head witha closed fist in the area of HuberStreet Park and South ShermanStreet on Monday afternoon,police said.
• Ryan Eckhart, 34, was arrest
-edandtransportedtotheLuzerneCounty Correctional Facilityafter police found him passedout in his vehicle at South Mainand Academy Streets Tuesdayafternoon and discovered he hadnumerous warrants for his arrest,police said, adding that a subse-
quentsearchrevealedthatEckhart
was in possession of marijuana.
• Police on Tuesday picked up
Justin Mausteler on an arrest war-rant while they were investigating a fight at 145 N. Sherman St. on Tuesday afternoon, police said,adding that Mausteler was alleg-edlyinpossessionofasyringeanda crack pipe.
• A woman reported Tuesday
at someone opened credit cardaccountsinhernameandaccruedcharges on them totaling morethan $7,500.
NICHOLSON
— State policeat Tunkhannock captured CarlJohn McNeal, 35, who is wantedby the Alabama Department of Probation and Parole.McNeal was captured whilestate police investigated a domes-tic dispute at a house on StateStreet on Friday. Police alsocharged McNeal with simpleassault and harassment afterCrystal Jackson, 28, of Nicholson,reportedthatMcNealgrabbedherand banged her head on the floor.She was taken to CommunityMedical center in Scranton fortreatment, police said.
BUTLER TWP.
— A WhiteHavenmanfacesaslewofchargesafter he allegedly had illegal andprescription drugs in his systemandwasinvolvedinacrash,policesaid.Police allege that Steven K.Koch, 31, of Old Route 940, ini-tially denied driving when police
responded to a crash on East
Butler Drive on Aug. 7, but lateradmitted to driving the vehicle.His passenger, Nikki Bertolette,was injured and had told policeshe couldn’t remember what hap-pened.Police said they found a mari- juana pipe, a hypodermic needleand empty heroin bags on Koch,and allege he discarded an emptypill bottle containing heroin pack-ets and more needles. A foren-sic examination of Koch’s blooddetermined that he was under theinfluence of Alprazolam, marijua-na, heroin and cocaine the day of the crash, police said.Koch was charged with twocounts of driving under the influ-ence of drugs, recklessly endan-gering another person, posses-sion of heroin, possession of drug paraphernalia, driving with a sus-pended license, reckless driving,careless driving and false reportsconcerning an accident.Charges were filed withDistrict Judge Daniel O’Donnellin Sugarloaf Township. A hearing willbescheduledlaterthismonth,police said.
PLAINS TWP.
Township
police charged Eric Landolt, 46,
of Laflin, on evidence of drunkendriving after he allegedly strucka building housing GeorgettiPaintingCo.onWestCareyStreeton Aug. 17.Landolt drove away and wasstopped by state police after hefailed to stop for a red trafficsignal at North River Street and
Exit 3 of the North Cross ValleyExpressway.
Landolt was charged with twocounts of driving under the influ-ence of alcohol and one counteach of failure to use a seat belt,failure to stop at red traffic signaland careless driving.
HANOVER TWP.
 Township police reported the fol-lowing:
Police arrested Darryl
BernardTaylor,34,ofRidgeStreet,on charges he assaulted a womanin his residence Friday morning.Amanda Lopez told police Taylorstruck Neisha Merrill in the facewith a rechargeable flashlight asMerrill was sleeping, according toa news release. Taylor and Merrill left the resi-dence in a vehicle. Taylor wasstopped on Hazle Street, Wilkes-Barre, where he told city policehe was taking Merrill to the hos-pital but she got out of the vehiclebeforetheygotthere.PolicefoundMerrill on North WashingtonStreet and took her to Wilkes-Barre General Hospital. Taylor was charged with sim-ple assault and harassment. Hewas jailed at the Luzerne CountyCorrectional Facility for lack of $5,000 bail.
Whitney Catizone, of 
Diamond Avenue, reportedMonday several items were stolenfrom her residence during a bur-glary.
Police are investigating a
three-car crash that occurred atabout 12:42 p.m. Tuesday andsenttwodriverstothehospitalfortreatment of minor injuries.
• Lori Sabol, of Knox Street,
reported someone damagedher screen door using a pelletgun sometime between 10 p.m.Monday and 7:30 a.m. Tuesday.
FlorenceJablowski,ofCharles
Street, reported that someoneshot a hole through her bedroomscreen and into her bedroom wallwith an unknown caliber weaponon Aug. 29.
• Charges are pending against
a juvenile after police investi-gated a report by Scott Griffithof Knox Street that someonesmashed the rear window of his2005 Mitsubishi Outlander some-time between 12 and 4:15 p.m. Tuesday. The juvenile is believedto have shot out the window witha BB gun, police said.
EricSantiago,ofKeithStreet,
reported that he started his white2001 Mazda 626 at about 6:10a.m. Wednesday, returned insidehis house, heard a noise outsideand saw two males get in his vehi-cle and drive away. The vehiclebears Pennsylvania license plateJGL3563. Anyone with informa-tion should call police at 570-825-1254.
FREELAND
Michael
E. Salko, 25, of Ridge Street,
Freeland, was arraigned Tuesdayon charges he stole a .22-caliberrifle from a residence on HemlockStreet on Friday. Police allegeSalkosoldtheriflefor$40,accord-ing to the criminal complaint.Salko was charged with twocounts of theft and a single countof receiving stolen property. Hewas jailed at the Luzerne CountyCorrectional Facility for lack of $10,000 bail.
POLICE BLOTTER
PITTSBURGH APennsylvania congressmancaught a cutting-edge ride to theairport on Wednesday.U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster, aRepublican from Altoona, madea 33-mile trip from CranberryTownship to PittsburghInternational Airport at about 11a.m. in a computer-operated car. The so-called driverlessCadillac SRX was designed byCarnegie Mellon Universityresearchers who have been work-ingontheprojectsince2008.Thecar uses inputs from radars, laserrangefinders, and infrared cam-eras to maneuver in traffic.Shuster is the chairman of the House Transportation andInfrastructure Committee,and he was accompanied byBarry Schoch, secretary of thePennsylvania Department of  Transportation.Shuster saw a Carnegie Mellontest vehicle about five years ago,and he said it was crammed sofullofequipmentthattherewasn’teven room for a person inside.Now, the 2011 Cadillac is basi-callyastandardmodelwithallthesensors and electronics discreetlyhidden. It didn’t look out of place on the drive to the airport,which began in a suburban areawith stop-and-go traffic and thenreached speeds of about 65 mphon a major highway. A CarnegieMellon engineer was in the driv-er’s seat as a safety precaution.Shuster said he can now imag-ine a future where such vehiclesenter the mainstream, potentiallyreducing accidents, fatalities andcongestion on roads. But there’salso a military angle.“It’s going to be great for ourmilitary to able to send vehiclesinto combat without people inthem,” Shuster said. The U.S. Defense AdvancedResearch Projects Agency beganholding competitions for driv-erless vehicles in 2004, and aCarnegie Mellon team won the2007race,alongwith a $2millionprize.Raj Rajkumar, the leader of theCarnegie Mellon project, said thebiggest design challenge for driv-erlessvehiclesismanagingunpre-dictable events.“It takes a long time to betaught all the things we know”about driving, Rajkumar said of the software. “You can build asystem that works correctly today— how do you know it’s going towork well tomorrow? Because it’sa new set of conditions, and youare unable to test all possible con-ditions. It’s an infinite number.”Rajkumar thinks some driv-erless cars may reach the mar-ketplace by 2020, though someexperts say it will take longer.GM, Nissan and Google are allworking on projects, as are otheruniversities.For now, engineers are stillgathering data and running tests.A camera on the car recordedShuster’s trip and streaming video is available online.Carnegie Mellon also let locallaw enforcement know about theroad tests, and one officer imag-inedapossiblefuturewhereDUI’sno longer exist.“It’s very intriguing,” Lt. KevinMeyeroftheCranberryTownshipPolice Department said as hewaited for Shuster to depart.
Who’sindriver’sseat?Noone?
AP photo
u.S. Rep. Bill Shster, the chairman of the Hose Transportation andInfrastrctre Committee, gets into a self-driven Cadillac SRX in Cranberry,Pa.,onWednesday.
KEVIN BEGOS
AssociatedPress
Pa. congressman takes a ridein a computer-operated car
 
THETIMESLEADER www.timesleader.com Thursday,September5,2013 PAGE3A
HAZLETON Pennsylvania “is closertofinalizing a plan to reform itsMedicaid program, the statesecretary of public welfare saidWednesday during an areavisit.Beverly D. Mackereth out-lined the plan during a presen-tation to the Hazleton RotaryClub at Best Western Genetti’sInn. Her office has been work-ing with the federal govern-menttodrawupaplanthatwillbe sustainable, Mackereth said“Gov. (Tom) Corbett chal-lenged us to come back to himwith a plan to assure increasedaccess for Pennsylvanians,” shesaid, adding that a final planmight not be ready until 2015.Corbett’s goal is for allPennsylvanians to have accessto affordable, quality healthcare coverage, Mackerethsaid. “To do this, meaningfulmodernization of the exist-ing Medicaid program mustbe achieved if we are to cre-ate a sustainable option forPennsylvania taxpayers,” shesaid.Medicaid is “an entitlementprogram,” said Mackereth, jointly funded by the federaland state governments thatprovides health care coverageto low-income children andadults,theelderlyanddisabled. The Pennsylvania MedicaidProgram is known as MedicalAssistance because it includesboth the federal MedicaidProgramaswellasstatefundedonly programs.Pennsylvania MedicalAssistance comprises 68.6percent of the total DPWbudget and more than 17.4million claims are processedannually. One in six state resi-dents, or 2.2 million people,are on Medicaid, representing nearly 30 percent of the state’sgeneral fund budget, she said.Pennsylvanias Medicaidprogram is unsustainablewithout changes, Mackerethsaid. Some proposed reformsinclude: increasing options forlong-term care, rolling out awork-search requirement andtrimming the amount of ben-efits offered.Pennsylvania remains oneof the states yet to expand theMedicaid program as part of the federal Affordable HealthCare Act.Mackereth said DPW is thelargest human services stateagency in the United Stateswith a budget of $28 bil-lion — $10.9 billion in statefunds, $14.5 billion in federalfunding and $2.5 billion fromother sources. The depart-ment employs nearly 17,000people, she said.Mike Zimmerman, chief executive officer at FamilyService Association of Northeastern Pennsylvania,based in Wilkes-Barre, said hewas astonished to learn howbig the DPW is and how muchof the state’s budget it repre-sents, especially in MedicalAssistance.Zimmerman asked the sec-retary if more money wouldbe available for his agency’sFamily Finding program andher answer was “no.” TheFamilyFindingprogramrecognizes the role of familiesand their ability to care formembers by using communitysupport resources and serviceproviders, Zimmerman said. The program offers fami-lies the opportunity to cometogether as the best possiblepeople to make decisions onkeeping their children safe, hesaid.“Our numbers have beengrowing,” said Zimmerman. “Iwas hoping to hear that morefunding would be available.FamilyFindingutilizeskinshipcare instead of foster homes,and we find that approachsaves money because familiesget involved.”
HAZLETON
Funfest selectsparade marshal
Curtis “Turk” Mattern — a man whohasriddenhismotorizedwheelchairdec-orated with mummer string band-stylefeathers in Hazleton’s Funfest paradesfornearlyadecade—willleadthisyear’sparade Sunday as grand marshal.Mattern, of Fritzingertown SeniorLiving Community in Butler Township,has been a musician since grade school.He joined the Keystone Mummers’String Band from Pottsville in 1987 and,in later years, when he needed a scooterto get around, band members outfittedit with feathers, and he led the band inperformances until it disbanded in 2002.HisfavoriteeventwasalwaystheFunfestParade, he said.“His obvious love of the event and hisenthusiasm make him a crowd favorite,sothecommitteewasunanimousintheirvotetogivehimthishonor,”saidFunfestpublic relations coordinator Julie Ferry.Instead of riding in a special vehicle,the World War II veteran will be in hisscooter. Keeping with this year’s Funfesttheme, “A Totally 80s Weekend,” he willbedressedasa“seniorrocker.”Mattern’sdaughter will drive a car behind himwith signage identifying him as grandmarshal. The parade is set to begin at 2:30p.m. Sunday near Citizens Bank inWest Hazleton and will move east along Route 93, ending at North Pine Street inHazleton. Funfest runs 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.Saturday and Sunday.
LUZERNECOUNTY
Coalition recapsood recovery 
 The Disaster Recovery Coalition of Luzerne County will present a Reportto the Community on Monday, whichmarks the second anniversary of flood-ing from tropical storms Irene and Lee. The coalition will host a receptionfrom 4 to 6 p.m. at the Luzerne CountyManagement Agency building, 185Water St., Wilkes-Barre.Michael Zimmerman, chief executiveofficeroftheFamilyServiceAssociationof Northeastern Pennsylvania, calledtheevent“anextremelyimportantgath-ering for our community to speak aboutthe past, present and — most impor-tantly — future responses to large-scaledisasters that may strike our commu-nity. For any organization, municipalityor entity that gets involved in disasterresponse and/or recovery, this shouldbe a mandatory attendance.”
SCRANTON
Bank promotesEverhart access
Bank of America’s “Museums on Us”program offers free weekend access toBank of America and Merrill Lynchcardholders at select museums acrossthe country, including the EverhartMuseum of Natural History, Science &Art in Scranton. The promotion applies to cardhold-ers only; guests are not eligible for freeadmission. The program excludes fund-raising events, special exhibitions andticketed shows. Learn more at http://museums.bankofamerica.com.
HARRISBURG
Holiday crasheskill at least 11
Eleven people were killed and 262others were injured in the 661 crashesinvestigated by the Pennsylvania StatePolice during the four-day Labor Dayholiday weekend driving period of Friday through Monday. Those figuresdo not include crashes investigated bylocal police.Duringtheholiday,trooperscited819individuals for not wearing seat belts,111 for not securing children in safetyseats and 9,149 for speeding. Theyarrested 351 operators on suspicion of driving under the influence. Of the 661crashes investigated, 77 of them, includ-ingtwoofthefatalcrashes,werealcoholrelated.
Aimee Dilger|TheTimes Leader
A reform plan for the state’s Medicaid program is in the pipeline, but per-haps won’t be ready until 2015, Department of Public Welfare SecretaryBeverly Mackereth told attendees at Wednesday’s Hazleton Rotary Clubluncheon.
MedicaidreformsinpipelineforPa.
Secretary of Public Welfare Beverly D.Mackereth says plan to increase accessfor state residents
BILLO’BOYLE
boboyle@timesleader.com
 Areamanaccusedofmakingdeaththreats
HANOVER TWP. Wearing a T-shirt that read “Got Blood,”57-year-old Wayne Harding wasarraigned late Tuesday nighton charges he threatened to killFreeland police officers and offi-cials and burn the borough to theground.Harding’s threat was taken seri-ously; borough officials postponedtheir monthly council meeting.Mayor Tami Martin and councilPresident RobertQuinn did notreturn messagesfor commentWednesday.Harding wasarraigned byDistrict JudgeJoseph Haleseyin Hanover Township on a single count of ter-roristic threats. He was jailed atthe Luzerne County CorrectionalFacility for lack of $25,000 bail.Quinn contacted Freeland policeat about noon Tuesday, alerting them to the alleged verbal threatby Harding.According to the criminal com-plaint:Quinn told police Hardinapproached a borough main-tenance employee, who is notnamed, on Monday in the FreelandPark on Front Street. Hardinallegedly told the employee, “I’mgoing to burn the town of Freelandto the ground, then I’m going tokill the code officer and his fam-ily, and then I’m going to kill thepolice.”Harding told the employee thereason he was going to kill CodeEnforcement Officer Brian Masoand police officers was becauseof his recent arrest for allegedlythreatening Maso.Maso had cited Harding with acode violation in recent days.Court records show policecharged Harding on Aug. 21 withterroristic threats and two countsof disorderly conduct. Thosecharges were withdrawn, permit-ting Harding to be released fromthe county prison, where he hadbeen jailed for lack of $5,000 bail.Police then cited Harding witha summary charge of disorderlyconduct for alleged threats towardMaso.A preliminary hearing is sched-uled on Sept. 11.
 Wayne Harding, 57,charged for allegedstatements aboutFreeland ocials, police
EDWARD LEWIS
elewis@timesleader.com
 William Gronosky says he was at a mall when the Carousel Lounge was robbed in 2012
WILKES-BARRE Two BB gunsused in the robbery of a Plymouth Township strip club were his, WilliamGronosky testified Wednesday.Gloves used in the robbery alsobelonged to him, but Gronosky saidhe wasn’t there. He told the court hewas shopping at the Wyoming ValleyMall with a friend, identified only as“L Money.”Gronosky, 30, of Nanticoke, testifiedWednesday at his jury trial on chargesthat he and another man robbed theowner of the Carousel Lounge along Route 11 at gunpoint on March 15,2012 and got away with $3,500.Attorneys will present their closing arguments today.But, Gronosky said, the woman whoclaims she was driving the getawaycar is wrong. Courtney Sadusky is a“six-bag-a-day” heroin user who, atone time, had a relationship with him,Gronosky said. That, he said, is why Sadusky, 24,fabricated the story of Gronosky andKevin Williams robbing the club.Sadusky framed him, he said, andstole the BB guns and a pair of glovesfrom his home to doso. “I didn’t do this,”Gronosky said.He admitted hewas at the CarouselLounge the day of therobbery, but not untilmuch later in the daywhen he went there topurchase drugs.Hesaidhevisitedthestripclubthreeto four times a week and even playedpool with owner Julius Greenberg. That’s how, Gronosky said, he knowsGreenberg and how he is familiar withthe club — not because he was thereto rob the club.Gronosky said it’s simply a coinci-dence that he was picked up by policenear Berwick in a gas station bathroomafter the robbery with Williams. They were running, Gronosky admit-ted, but only because they were scarednot because they committed anycrimes.Sadusky told a different story earlyWednesday, saying she drove Gronoskyand Williams to the Carousel Loungearound 9 a.m. on March 15, 2012.Gronosky and Williams had ski maskson, Sadusky testified, and she said theywore gloves and were armed with guns.About 15 minutes later, Gronoskyallegedly told Sadusky that they pushedthe owner of the strip club to the floorand took about $3,500.Sadusky testified she then took thetwo men to her parents’ home in BearCreek, where they counted the money.She said the two men then asked herto drive them to the Wyoming ValleyMall in Wilkes-Barre Township, whereshe later picked them up with a num-ber of shopping bags.Sadusky pleaded guilty Wednesdaymorning to a criminal conspiracycharge relating to the robbery beforealso testifying in an unrelated crimi-nal conspiracy charge in a burglary ata Laflin home she participated in withGronosky.County Judge Michael Vough saidSadusky will be sentenced on Nov. 7.Carousel owner, Julius Greenberg,was the first witness to testifyWednesday. The club owner said the door of hisbusiness was unlocked because he hadbeen in and out to his car that morn-ing, and that two men entered his officearound 9 a.m., pushed him down andtook money and items in Greenberg’spockets before fleeing.Williams was convicted of relatedcharges in May and sentenced in Julyto 10 to 20 years in prison.
BillTarutis | ForTheTimes Leader
Rabbi Roger Lerner,ofTemple B’nai B’rith in Kingston,plays the shofar,or ram’s horn,Wednesday before the start of religious servicesat the synagogue celebrating Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year.Today marks the first day of the year 5774 in the Hebrew calendar.TheshofarisusedonlyduringcertainservicesduringtheholiestofJewishholidaysincludingthenewyearandwillbeblown100timeson Rosh Hashana.
 Allegedstripclubrobbertestieshewasframed
SHEENADELAZIO
sdelazio@timesleader.com
IN BRIEF
LOCAL 
Submitted photo
Funfest public relations coordinator JulieFerry poses with Curtis ‘Turk’ Mattern, whowill be grand marshal for Sunday’s FunfestParade.
Harding
Gronosky
RingingintheJewishNewYear

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