Welcome to Scribd. Sign in or start your free trial to enjoy unlimited e-books, audiobooks & documents.Find out more
Standard view
Full view
of .
Look up keyword
Like this
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
Times Leader 09-20-2013

Times Leader 09-20-2013

|Views: 36|Likes:
Published by The Times Leader
The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader 09-20
The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader 09-20

More info:

Published by: The Times Leader on Sep 20, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less





WILKES-BARRE The cityhas levied a $33,000 fine againstSherman Hills Realty LLC on alle-gations the realty company failedto have apartments at the ShermanHills complex inspected before newtenants moved in.U.S. Housing and UrbanDevelopment personnel began a two-day inspection of the 344-unit com-plex on Monday, the same day theletter was sent to the Brooklyn, N.Y.,realty company. The city alleges 60units had new tenants, but the apart-ments were not inspected.“It has come to the attention of the City of Wilkes-Barre that sincethe last time inspections were per-formed at your facility, 60 units havechanged tenants. A change in tenantper the Wilkes-Barre City Code of Ordinances requires a rental inspec-tion,” the letter says.“The units have since been inspect-ed but your company is still account-able for the fines during this period. The complex … has been found to bein violation of the Wilkes-Barre CityCode of Ordinances entitled ‘Rental
09815 10011
Cannot be combined with other coupons or discounts. Expires 12/1/12.
plus taxplus tax
275 N Sherman St,Wilkes Barre 821-7000 normspizzaofpa.com
18 Cuts2 large pies
See more great dealS in claSSified marketplace!
Cannot be combined with other coupons or discounts. Expires 8/16/13
Cannot be combined with other coupons or discounts. Expires 10/20/13
September 21- 28, 2013
 visit us online at bloomsburgfair.com
Pee G.Wilcox phoos |theties Leaer
Wilkes-Barrehitsownersfor$33,000fornotinspecting60unitsin complex
elewis@iesleaer.coAiee dilger |theties Leaer
The ShermanHills complexhas beenplagued withreports ofshootings,robberies,assaults andnarcoticstrafficking inrecent years.
VATICAN CITY Signaling a dramatic shift inVatican tone, Pope Francissaid the Catholic Church hadbecome obsessed by “small-minded rules” about how to befaithful and that pastors shouldinstead emphasize compassionover condemnation when dis-cussing divisive social issuesof abortion, gays and contra-ception. The pope’s remarkably bluntmessage six months into hispapacy was sure to reverber-ate in the U.S. and around theglobe as bishops who havefocused much of their preach-ing on such hot-button issuesare asked to act more as pas-tors of wounded souls.In interviews published Thursday in Jesuit journals in16 countries, Francis said hehad been “reprimanded” fornot pressing church oppositionto abortion in his papacy. Buthe said “it is not necessary totalk about these issues all thetime.”“The church’s pastoral min-istry cannot be obsessed withthe transmission of a disjoint-ed multitude of doctrines to beimposed insistently,” Francissaid.“We have to find a new bal-ance; otherwise even the moraledifice of the church is likely tofall like a house of cards, losing the freshness and fragrance of the Gospel,” the pope said inthe 12,000-word article, basedon interviews conductedby a fellow Jesuit, the Rev.
Reid returns to Phillyas the big Chief
AP phoo
Pope Francis waves to the faith-ful Wednesday as he arrives forhis weekly general audience in St.Peter’s Square at the Vatican.
WILKES-BARRE—Notenough security personneland inadequate lighting on the dance floor insidethe Woodlands Inn andResort’s Club Evolution arereasons why the resort’sliquorlicenseshouldnotberenewed, the state LiquorControl Board contends. The resort on Route 315,Plains Township, is chal-lenging the LCB’s decisionnot to renewal the liquorlicense, claiming violationsunder a conditional licens-ing agreement reachedwith the board in October2011. The LCB chargedthe resort had 10 viola-tions of the liquor codedating back to 1987 and47 alleged incidents anddisturbances reported toPlains Township police. The LCB agreementrequired the resort to:
Employ a minimum
of 14 security officerson Thursday, Friday andSaturday nights.
Maintain 44 surveil
-lance cameras of the inte-rior and parking lot areas.
WILKES-BARRE Determination paid off foradmitted gunman ClaudeJohnston.Johnston,38,thoughthis24-to-72-year sentence onchargeshe openedf i r einside then o w -defunctW h i t eH o u s eC a f ein 2005 was excessive,so he fought the pris-on term given to him
Convictedfelonsees hissentenceslashed 
| 12ASee
| 12ASee
| 12ASee
| 12A
PAGE2A Friday,September20,2013
www.timesleader.com THETIMESLEADER
Pages 8A
Sandra Snyder........................(570)970-7383
TheTimes Leader strives tocorrect errors,clarifystoriesand update thempromptly.Correctionswill appear in thisspot.If you have information tohelp us correct an inaccuracyorcover an issue more thoroughly,call the newsroomat 829-7242.
GILBERTON — Borough offi-cials said Thursday they intend tofire a police chief suspended afterhe posted online videos of himself shooting automatic weapons andgoing on profanity-laced tiradesabout liberals and the SecondAmendment.Gilberton council membersmade the decision on Thursdayconcerning Chief Mark Kessler,the only full-time member of thetown’s police force, who’s activein gun rights circles and is orga-nizing an armed, non-governmentgroup that critics call a privatemilitia.Kessler, despite insisting hewas simply exercising his consti-tutional rights in the videos, saidthe town council’s decision was“no surprise.”“We knew it was coming,” hesaid.A closed-door disciplinary hear-ing earlier in the day had dwelledon allegations including thatKessler improperly used a state-administered program to buydiscounted tires for his personalvehicle, failed to submit requiredcrime data and made derogatorycommentsaboutboroughofficials,said his attorney, Joseph Nahas.Nahas said the charges weretrumped up to conceal the town’sintent to fire Kessler over the vid-eos. He said after the vote he’llrequest a public hearing at whichboth sides can call witnesses, as isKessler’s right under due processrules. The council would thenhave to vote a second time to fireKessler.Kessler told reporters outsidehis disciplinary hearing that hehad been an excellent police chief and had nothing to apologize for.He said later he’d broken no laws:“None. I’d be in handcuffs.”“My message was to wake upthepeoplewhoareindependents,”hesaid,“tosay,‘We’vehadenoughand something needs to change,because we’re in bad shape allaround. Not only here in this littletown but across the nation. It’s amess.’”Kessler solicited donations tohelp keep his family afloat finan-cially during his unpaid suspen-sion, which he said was “reallystressful.”“ButIfeelinmyheartI’mdointhe right thing,” he said. “Yeah,I made some videos with somechoice language, but that’s myright. That’s my freedom.”Kessler’s pro-gun videos havegarnered hundreds of thousandsof views online. He acknowledgesthey are inflammatory but saysthey’re designed to draw atten-tion to the erosion of SecondAmendment and other constitu-tional rights.Council members declined tocomment after Thursday night’svote. Earlier, Mayor Mary LouHannon had said she found thepolice chief’s language offensive.Kessler, a former coal miner,often posts online radio showsabout gun rights, has spoken atgun rights rallies and created awebsiteonwhichheseeksrecruitsfor the Constitution SecurityForce, whose stated mission is todefend the constitution and thecountry from tyranny.Gun rights activists haddescended on the community of about 800 people, in SchuylkillCounty in eastern Pennsylvania’santhracite coal country, to showsupportforKessler,somecarrying flags and displaying weapons.Constitution Security Forcemember Bob Gardner traveledfrom Philadelphia.“Mark has gotten railroaded,”said Gardner, who carried a semi-automaticAK-47.“Hewasexercis-ing his First Amendment rightsby backing it up with his SecondAmendment rights.”In January, Kessler drafted aresolution the borough adoptedthat calls for nullifying any fed-eral, state or local regulationsthat infringe on the SecondAmendment.
Crestwood greets961
WRIGHT TWP. — Crestwood High Schoolwelcomed 961 students for the new schoolyear, it was announced at Thursday night’sSchool Board meeting.It was also announced that as part of theYoung Scholars program, 106 students arebeing provided with the opportunity to attendclasses at King’s College, Wilkes Universityand Luzerne County Community College. The board also approved the following professional substitutes for the 2013-2014school year: Jeremy Carl, general science, biol-ogy; Kristen Smolenak, elementary K-6; MikkiShalata, Spanish K-12, social studies 7-12; andKyley Henry, mathematics 7-12.Approved for student teaching in the dis-trict during the fall semester are, from theUniversity of Scranton, Kelly Kondrash, schoolcounselor, and from Drexel University, BrennaM. Wyatt, social studies 7-12.An agreement with Speech Path P.C. toprovide speech/language services along withevaluating services for assistive technologydevices was also approved. The cost to the dis-trict remains at the same cost as last year at$60 per hour. The Crestwood High School Marching Bandunder the direction of Joseph Ziegler is sched-uled for competition in the Tournament of Bands and Cavalcade of Bands competitions. The School Board also approved the follow-ing changes in routes for the following buses:(A.)BusNo.4–PMDroppingoffatNuangolaRoad from Nuangola Fire Hall to Blue Ridge Trail(includingWillowGroveandFawnLane).Drop off Blue Ridge Trail to Lily Lake Road toSchmidt’s Road, Slocum Road from Schmidt’sRoad to Grosz’s Road, and back to Lily LakeRoad, Church Road to Rice Elementary.(B.) Bus No. 12-PM Dropping off stu-dents at Nuangola Road from Rule’s Garageto Blythburn Road. Nuangola Fire Hall thento Fisher’s Corner on Blythburn Road, on toChurch Road to Rice Elementary. The next meeting will be on Oct. 17 at 6:30pm.
Wilkes-Barre Publishing, LLC
RegionalBusiness DevelopmentDirector
DeLay acquitted afer conviction overturned 
AUSTIN, Texas — A Texasappeals court on Thursdayoverturned the money-laun-dering and conspiracy convic-tions that ended the politicalcareer of former U.S. HouseMajority Leader Tom DeLayseven years ago. The Texas Republican wasfacing a three-year prisonsentence before the Texas 3rdCourt of Appeals’ majorityopinion ruled that there was“legally insufficient evidence”at DeLay’s 2010 trial before aTravis County jury. The court, which split 2-1alongpartisanlines,acquittedDeLay of all charges. He hadbeen free on bond, pending the appeal.DeLaywasataWashington,D.C., prayer meeting whenhe learned of the decision,according to media reports.“We were all basically onour knees praying, and ourlawyercallsandsays,‘You’reafree man,’ ” he said at the U.S.Capitol, where he was attend-ing the weekly Texas congres-sional delegation lunch.Brian Wice, DeLay’s appel-late lawyer, said he told hisclient: “When I see you, I’mgoing to dump a Gatoradebucket over your head.We won the Super Bowl.”However, Thursday’s victoryfor DeLay doesn’t end thelong-running case dat-ing to the 2002 electionsbecause Travis CountyDistrict Attorney RosemaryLehmberg said she would askthe Texas Court of CriminalAppeals to review the deci-sion.“We are absolutely going toappeal it,” said Lehmberg, aDemocrat.“We are concerned anddisappointed that two judgessubstituted their assessmentof the facts for that of 12 jurors who personally heardthe testimony of over 40 wit-nesses over the course of sev-eral weeks and found that theevidence was sufficient andprovedDeLay’sguiltbeyondareasonable doubt,” Lehmberg said in a written statement. The politically chargedcase has frequently split along partisan lines as it woundthrough the courts for years. Thursday’s decision was nodifferent.Justice Melissa Goodwinof Austin wrote the major-ity opinion, joined by visit-ing Justice David Gaultneyfrom the Beaumont court of appeals.BothareRepublicans.Chief Justice Woodie Jones, aDemocrat, dissented.DeLay was accused of con-spiring to launder corporatedonations into campaigncontributionstostatelawmak-ersduringthe2002legislativeelections. State law prohib-its corporations from giving campaign donations to can-didates, although companiescan give money to politicalcommittees to pay overhead.Prosecutors argued thatDeLay’s motive was to electa Republican majority inthe Texas Legislature toredraw congressional dis-tricts and tighten his grip asa leader in the U.S. House of Representatives. The heart of the criminalcase was a $190,000 transac-tion in the waning weeks of the 2002 elections. Texans fora Republican Majority, a polit-ical action committee led byDeLay, exchanged $190,000of its corporate donationsfor the same amount of legaldonations to candidates froman arm of the RepublicanNational Committee.In her opinion, Goodwinconcluded, “The fundamen-tal problem with the state’scase was its failure to proveproceeds of criminal activ-ity.” She noted that the juryon two occasions asked trialJudge Pat Priest whether the$190,000 was “illegal at thestart of the transactionor“procured by illegal meansoriginally.” Goodwin saidprosecutors didn’t prove thatpoint a critical elementto conspiring to laundermoneyandthejudgeneveranswered the jurors’ ques-tions. Instead, Priest referredthem to the jury charge.Dick DeGuerin, whorepresented DeLay at thetrial, speculated that the jurymight have acquitted his cli-ent had the judge answeredthe questions.“It’s hard to second-guesswhat a jury does,” DeGuerinsaid. “But clearly, the jurywas asking the right ques-tion.The majority opinionalso noted that the corporatemoney and the campaigndonations were kept in sepa-rate accounts, never mingledand thus “not tainted.Likewise, the opinion saidthe evidence showed thatall parties to the $190,000transaction were attempting to comply with the ElectionCode, as opposed to conspir-ing to break the law.And, finally, Goodwinwrote that corporatewitnesses all testified thatthey intended their donationsto be used legally.Jones disagreed in hisdissent: “A rational juror hear-ing the evidence presentedin this trial could have foundthat the relevant corporatecontributions to TRMPACwere made with the intentthat they be used to supportindividual candidates or beput to other purposes notauthorized” by the state elec-tion laws.Wice said that DeLay andhis legal team are gratifiedand relieved by Thursday’sdecision.“What happened today isfair, right and just,” he said.Wice said the legal casewas an ordeal for his client,now 66, who retired fromCongress in 2006 because of the indictments.Since then, Wice saidthat DeLay has worked as aconsultant and occasionallylectures.“Tom was supposed to beliving his golden years,” Wicesaid. “They ruined his life.”
AP photo
Gilberton Police Chief Mark Kessler listens as Gilberton Mayor Mary LouHannon makes a recommendation to suspend himThursday in Mahanoy Plane.
• Copper pipes and other
items reportedly were sto-len during a burglary at Ss.Peter and Paul LutheranChurch on Alter Street some-time between Monday andThursday. A separate loca-tion next to the church alsowas burglarized and copperpipes stolen, police said.
• Copper pipe reportedly
was stolen during a burglaryof a residence in the 500block of South Poplar Street.
• A dirt bike and a wallet
containing numerous creditcards, cash and a driver’slicense were stolen from agarage in the 1300 blockof East Broad Street some-time Wednesday night intoThursday morning, policesaid.
— Citypolice investigating a report-ed armed robbery arrested aman hiding under a parkedcar on West River Streetearly Thursday morning. Thomas Howard, 43, of Wilkes-Barre, was arraignedon charges of flight to avoidapprehension, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct,false identification to lawenforcement and publicdrunkenness. He was jailedat the Luzerne CountyCorrectional Facility for lackof $20,000 bail.Police investigated areported armed robbery inthe area of Carey Avenue andAcademy Street at about 1a.m. Howard was found inthe area and matched thedescription of the gunman,police said.PolicelearnedHowardwaswanted for false identifica-tion and public drunkennesssince Sept. 13. The man who reported thearmed robbery never provid-ed police with a statement.
—Fourvehicles were reported stolento city police since Saturday.Frank Cardamone, of Wyalusing, reported Tuesdayhis white 2005 ChevroletAveo, Pennsylvania licenseGDS-8537, was stolen fromtheparkinglotnexttoCareerLink on East Union Street.A 44-year-old woman onChase Lane told police hergold 1997 Oldsmobile van,Pennsylvania license HYT-8767, was stolen from thefront of her house at about12:30 a.m. Wednesday. Thewoman left the vehicle idling.A 52-year old womanreported her silver 1999Nissan Sentra, Pennsylvanialicense HXV-666, was stolenfrom the 200 block of SouthFranklin Street at about 9p.m. Sunday.A 39-year-old woman fromForty Fort reported on Sept.14 that her gold 2000 PontiacGrand Prix, Pennsylvanialicense JHJ-8103, was stolenfrom Bowman Street.Statistics from the statepolice Uniform Crime Reportshow there have been 76vehicles stolen in Wilkes-Barre from Jan. 1 throughAug. 31.
• A burglary was reported
on the 400 block of WastWalnut Street on Wednesday. The victim told police sev-eral items were stolen fromthe home. Police ask anyonewith information to call 570-459-4940.
— Citypolicereportedthefollowing:
On Wednesday, the
department’s anti-crimeunit and the patrol divisioninitiated a drug trafficking investigation at 32 Irving Place. Officers seized heroinand crack cocaine from theresidence that were attrib-uted to the defendant, DarrelKendrick, 45, of 68 CliffordSt., East Orange, N.J.He was arraigned pending further court action. It wasdetermined that Kendrickhas multiple felony arrestsrelated to drug trafficking.Hisbailwassetat$20,000onvarious drug-related charges.
On Thursday, ofcers
from the department’s tac-tical patrol unit conductedoperations in and aroundPublic Square to coincidewith the weekly FarmersMarket. During the day they:Cited Tyrone J. Pearson,of Scranton, and JeffreySaintpreux, of Jersey City,N.J., with selling items with-out a permit. Both men werewarned multiple times byofficers earlier in the day tocease their actions, policesaid.
The co-defendant of murder suspect Hugo Selenski has been sched-uledtoappearforapretrialconferenceinadvanceofhisOct.7trial.Paul Weakley, 43, is serving life in prisonon federal racketeering charges related to the2003 deaths of Michael Kerkowski and TammyFassett. He previously has been scheduled to goto trial in Luzerne County, but his case has oftenbeen delayed because Selenski has not yet beenbroughttotrialonrelatedcharges.Weakley is a witness in the case. Selenski’scase is on hold due to a grand jury investigationsurroundingthecase.Police said Kerkowski and Fassett’s bodieswere unearthed on the property where SelenskilivedinKingstonTownshipinJune2003.
— A search warrant filedbypoliceafterabicyclistdiedinanaccidentearli-erthismonthseekstoobtainhismedicalrecords.Richard Swartz, 33, of West Ross Street,Wilkes-Barre, died from injuries after beinstruck by a vehicle while riding in the areaof Boston Hill Road and East Main Street onSept.5.Swartzwasstruckatabout8p.m.Hewaspronounced dead at Geisinger Wyoming ValleyMedical Center in Plains Township just before 9p.m.
THETIMESLEADER www.timesleader.com Friday,September20,2013 PAGE3A
HARRISBURG ALuzerne County man wascharged Thursday in connec-tion with a drug traffickinring being prosecuted by stateAttorney General KathleenKane’s office.A grand jury determinedevidence is sufficient to chargeDarryl Elliot, 27, of SouthGrant Street, Wilkes-Barre,and 15 others with drug traf-ficking and conspiracy.Of those charged, JuanCarlos Alvarez, was alreadyserving time in LackawannaCounty Correctional Facility. The grand jury found Alvarezsupplied other suspects withdrugs from the DominicanRepublic and Puerto Ricoto be distributed in NewYork City and Pennsylvania. Thirteen suspects are fromNorthumberland County.Prosecutors do not knowwhere one suspect, JosephGalgocy, isfrom, accord-ing to a pressrelease fromthe AttorneyG e n e r a l ’sOffice.After a year-long investigation, prosecutorsallege the suspects acted asdrug mules. They swallowedlarge balloons full of heroinand cocaine to get the con-traband across the border toNew York City and then intoPennsylvania. Suspects werepaid as much as $10,000-pertrip to move drugs in bulkacross bor-ders, therelease said. The grand jury identi-ed one of A l v a r e z ’sm a i nPennsylvania contacts asJarred Derck of Shamokin.Derck is awaiting trial ondrug trafficking and posses-sion charges filed in 2012. Theother associates allegedly flewto the Dominican Republic tomeet with cocaine and heroinsuppliers, the release said. The carriers made stops inNew York City on their wayto Pennsylvania where drugswere sold out of an Elysburg pizza shop, a Shamokin garageand a home in Mount Carmel,the grand jury found.Undercover agents and localpolice identified multiple play-ers in the ring by purchasing hundreds of bags of heroinand ounces of cocaine fromthe dealers. Agents estimatethe group moved over $2 mil-lion worth of drugs during theinvestigation.Attorney General KathleenKane said in a press releaseshe anticipates more arrests.
Bill would provide vets free licenses
State Sens. Lisa Baker,R-Lehman Township, and and ScottHutchinson, R-Oil City, have intro-duced legislation tohelp more disabledveterans receive freehunting and fishing licenses.Baker, whoserves as chair-woman of the SenateVeterans Affairsand EmergencyPreparedness Committee, andHutchinson, who serves as a mem-ber of that committee, acted as soonas they learned that many disabledveterans who are considered “unem-ployable” under a federal rating system are being denied free hunt-ing and fishing licenses, a benefitaccorded to 100 percent disabledveterans under state law.Senate Bills 1090 and 1091 clarifythat a veteran who is deemed tobe 100 percent disabled by theU.S. Veterans Administration dueto unemployability will be able toreceive a free hunting and fishing license in Pennsylvania.
Lions Club food bank open Oct. 3
 The Avoca Lions Club will holda one-day food bank event 4 to6:30 p.m. Oct. 3 in Bethel UnitedMethodist Church, Avoca. Those who need food assistanceneed only to show up to receive amixed box of goods portioned basedon family size. The club needs volunteers start-ing at 1:30 p.m. to unload boxes of food.
State AG stressesno-texting message
In the Scranton school gymnasiumfilled with high school seniors, stateAttorney General Kathleen Kane on Thursday reminded all drivers thattexting while driving not only isagainst the law in Pennsylvania, itcan be deadly. The state’s top law enforcementofficer joined students and educa-tors, community leaders and offi-cials from AT&T to drive home themessage that texting can wait.As part of the event, studentswere able to “drive” a specially out-fitted texting-while-driving simula-tor in an actual vehicle, exposing them to the dangers of texting whiledriving. Kane herself took a spin inthe vehicle. The event was part of a nation-wide effort spearheaded by fournational wireless service providers,to urge people to share their com-mitment to never text and drivewith others on Drive 4 PledgesDay. In Wilkes-Barre, the mayorand city council issued resolutionsin support of Drive 4 Pledges Day.And the Pennsylvania TurnpikeCommission agreed to include “itcan wait” messages on electronicsigns along the toll road.
Bill would providehearing coverage
U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright,D-Moosic, and eight other congress-people, introduced the Help ExtendAuditory Relief (HEAR) Act.According to the NationalInstitute on Deafness and otherCommunication Disorders(NIDCD), one thirdof individuals overthe age of 65, andnearly half of thoseover 85, reportsome degree of hearing loss. WithinPennsylvania,1,601,000 residentsreport some degreeof hearing loss, which represents12.9 percent of the state population. The HEAR Act would provideMedicare coverage for hearing reha-bilitation services, including a com-prehensive audiology assessment todetermine if a hearing aid is appro-priate. The bill would also extendMedicare coverage to hearing aids.
 AG charges 16 in drug ring
 W-B man among those facing drug tracking andconspiracy counts
Philadelphia resident Roland Oris purchased 28properties at Thursday’s Luzerne County’s back-taxauction for $191,238. The inventory he acquired with this investment:22 houses, a mobile home on 1.23 acres, three vacantlots,anapartmentbuildingat385ScottSt.inWilkes-Barre and the former Choice gas station and ciga-rette mart on state Route 309 in Hazle Township. These properties have a combined assessed valueof $2.5 million, records show.Veteran county tax auction bidder Glenn Kellerof Jim Thorpe, who assisted Oris with the bidding  Thursday, said Oris plans to straighten out titleissues and outstanding liens and address repairs sothe properties can be sold or rented. The homes purchased by Oris include a1,200-square-foot, three-bedroom home built around1980 on South Ridge Court in Hazle Township anda 1,800-square-foot home built in 1985 on 3 acres inButler Township.Minimum bids at the first-stage upset sale were sethigh enough to cover all back taxes and municipalutility liens, which makes it less popular than thefree-and-clear auction when all taxes and liens areforgiven.Keller had been the lead buyer in the previousyear’s September upset sale, purchasing 54 proper-ties.Edwardsville resident Keith Scott, a regularat county back-tax auctions, bid around $39,000 Thursday to acquire six residential properties inWilkes-Barre and said he plans to fix them up.His new holdings are at 562 N. Main St. , 12 S.Meade St., 291 Madison St., 80 Wyoming St. and468 and 524 N. Washington St.Scott said his intervention will return the proper-ties to the tax rolls.“I try to help the community wherever I can,” hesaid.A total 65 properties sold Thursday out of 663up for grabs, generating $477,668 in transfer taxes,recording fees and property tax revenue for the coun-ty, school districts and municipalities.Another 60 properties were removed from thesale. The owners of four properties entered intoagreements to pay their debt in installments withina year. Sixteen paid their debt, and three filed forbankruptcy protection. The remaining 37 will belisted in the Nov. 14 sale if their outstanding tax billsaren’t resolved by then. The county’s Tax Claim Office, operated byNortheast Revenue Service LLC, was swamped inrecent days with people who paid to keep their prop-erties out of the sale.Around 1,850 properties were eligible for the saleon Sept. 9 because they carried back taxes dating back at least two years. The looming threat of the sale prompted propertyowners to pay $2.56 million in taxes from Sept. 9until the day before the sale, said Northeast Revenuerepresentative Sean Shamany.School districts, which make up the largest shareof tax bills, will receive $1.5 million of these pay-ments, while $606,814 will go to the county and$419,720 will be forwarded to municipalities, hesaid.Five properties prompted bidding competition Thursday, including a 1963 brick, one-story onBelair Drive in Salem Township that is assessed at$149,500 and sold for $41,000.
ClarkVan Orden |The Times Leader
Luzerne County back-tax auction was held on the second floor of the Luzerne County Courthouse Thursday morning.
PITTSTON TWP. — The idea tobring an air show back to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airporttook off Thursday when the govern-ing bi-county board board unani-mously approved a motion directing the administrative staff to look intoit.LackawannaCountyCommissionerCorey O’Brien, after giving an impas-sioned speech on all the region hasto offer minor league baseballand hockey, large concert venues,golf courses, festivals and casinos —asked that a study be done to returnthe air show in 2015. O’Brien saidthe event doesn’t have to be heldannually and could just be held everyother year or every three years.“Instead of thinking why we can’tdo things, let’s start thinking of wayswe can,” O’Brien said. The airport last hosted an air showin 2000, said Barry Centini, direc-tor. That was just before the airportunderwent a massive renovation proj-ect.“We have to see if logistically wecan handle it,” he said. “We have atotally different airport now. Parking,for instance, could be a major issue.”Centini said the airport hosted 18air shows. Some were profitable, hesaid, and others lost money. He saidthe airport would have to come upwith about $300,000 up front, butO’Brien said he is hopeful corporatesponsors would offset the cost.O’Brien noted the Lehigh Valleyairport hosted an air show and hadseveral major sponsors.“If Lehigh Valley can do this, wecertainly can,” he said. “It will taketime and effort, I realize that. But thepeople of this region look forward toit and they will support it.”O’Brien said parking areas can bedesignated off the airport side “with-in one exit off I-81” and the airportcan find a partner to offer transporta-tion back and forth.LackawannaCountyCommissionerPatrick O’Malley suggested to startsmall and grow the event.“It’s a great way for us to showcaseour new airport,” he said.With that, O’Brien made a motionto direct Centini and the airports staff to review the possibility of hosting anair show in 2015. O’Brien, O’Malleyand Luzerne County members TimMcGinley, Rick Williams and RobertLawton approved the action.Centini cautioned the board it mayprove difficult to find sponsors tocover most of the costs of an air show.“We’ll contact some companiesthat manage these events and seewhat they think about having one atthis site,” he said. “The configurationof the airport is totally different thanit was in 2000.”Centini said the air show was dis-continued when major constructionprojects began, including the addi-tion of a new terminal building, aparking expansion, new air trafficcontrol tower and a roadway expan-sion project. He noted that in the 18years, the air shows grossed about$500,000.Centini said military fliers suchas the Navy’s Blue Angels and AirForce Thunderbirds have also scaledback because of federal budget cuts.Without military aircraft to drawfans, Centini said, the shows wouldstruggle.
boboyle@timesleader.comTimes Leader file photo
A young boy gets a first-hand view of the cockpit of a Rutan Defiant, ExperimentalAmateur Aircraft during the 6th annual Aviation Exploration Day at Wilkes-Barre/ScrantonInternational Airport.
Elliot AlvarezBakerCartwright
Boardexplorespossibilityofbringing backanairshowin2015

You're Reading a Free Preview

/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->