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Times Leader 04-29-2011

Times Leader 04-29-2011

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Published by The Times Leader
The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader 04-29
The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader 04-29

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C M Y K
6
09815 10011
WILKES-BARRE, PA FRIDAY, APRIL 29, 2011 50¢
timesleader.com
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DAILY 
DEAL
TODAY’S
DEAL
STONEMEADOWS
Heavy rain threatened al-ready swollen streams andcreeks on Thursday as the Sus-quehanna River is expected tocrest just over 28 feet thismorning in Wilkes-Barre,prompting fears oflooding insome areas.Brightsunshine broke through theclouds late Thursday morning afterseveraldaysofsevereandtorrential thunderstorms top-pled trees, interrupted powerand left some roads flooded. Twotofiveinchesofrainhadfallen acrossLuzerneCounty since Tuesday, ac-cording tostorm reportsto the Nation-al WeatherService inBinghamton,N.Y.Similarrainfall totalsfell in the up-per Susque-hanna Riverbasin, resulting in higher thanexpectedriverlevelsinWilkes-Barre.According to the Middle At-lantic River Forecast Center in
SEVERE WEATHER
New flooding fears grip the region
S. JOHN WILKIN /THE TIMES LEADER
Apasser-bychecksouttherisingSusquehannaRiverundertheMarketStreetBridgealongtheRiverCommonafterheavyrainmovedthroughtheareaandacrosstheupperSusquehannaRiverbasinThursdaymorning.
River onrise from heavy rain
ByEDWARDLEWI
elewis@timesleader.com
SeeFLOODING,Page7A
Forecast fromthe NationalWeather Ser-vice:
Today
, 57,scatteredshowers.
Saturday
,67,sunny.
Sunday
, 72,partly sunny.
W E E K E N DFO R EC AST
INSIDE
ANEWS:
Local 3ANation & World 5AObituaries 2A, 8ABirthdays12AEditorials13A
BSPORTS:
Scoreboard 2BBaseball 3BBusiness 8BStocks 9B
CCLASSIFIED:
Comics16C
THEGUIDE:
Crossword/HoroscopeTelevisionMovies
 WEATHER
JillianGrahamPartlysunny,ashower.High57.Low46.
Details, Page10B
 WILKES-BARRECitingfrus-tration with the hospital oper-ator’srefusaltonegotiateingoodfaith, nurses at General Hospital will walk out Sunday morning. The Wyoming Valley Nursing Association, the union for thehospital’s nursing staff, and thePennsylvaniaAssociationofStaff Nurses and Allied Professionals(PASNAP) are planning a 24-hourstrikestartingat7a.m.Sun-day. Nurses at the hospital havebeen working under an ex-pired contractfor approxi-mately two years. The nursesunion, repre-senting morethan 400 nursesat the hospital,accused the op-erator, Commu-nity Health Sys-tems, based in Tennessee, of bad faith bar-gaining tactics.“Their poli-cies and theirbad faith bar-gaining is ac-tually driving staffoutofthearea;thathasadi-rect impact on our quality of care,” said union President FranPrusinski, a critical care unitnurse at the hospital. “Our pa-tients come first, and we need torecruitandretainthenursesthat wehave.Everyoneshouldbecon-cerned if they’re driving nursesout of the area.” The union has clashed withCommunityHealthSystemsovercontracts, bargaining practicesand company policies since theprovider purchased the hospitaland other assets of the Wyoming Valley Health Care System in2009. The strike will coincide withthe two-year anniversary of thecompany’s takeover of GeneralHospital;itwillalsomarkthesec-ond nurses’ strike since CHS as-sumed control.Nurses threatened to walk out
CO N T RACT I M PASS E
Generalnurses tostrike onSunday
Union members have beenworking under expiredcontract for two years.
ByMATTHUGHES 
 mhughes@timesleader.com
General Hos-pital spokes-man James P.McGuire saidthe hospital isprepared tobring in re-placementworkers ifnurses strike,adding thatdoctors andother medicalstaff are notinvolved inthe strike.
SeeSTRIKE,Page14A
PLEASANT GROVE, Ala. — Massivetornadoes tore a town-flattening streakacross the South, killing at least 281peo-ple in six states and forcing rescuers tocarry some survivors out on makeshiftstretchers of splintered debris. Two of Alabama’s major cities were among theplacesdevastatedbythedeadliesttwisteroutbreak in nearly 40 years.AsdaybrokeThursday,peopleinhard-hitareassurveyedobliteratedhomesanddebris-strewn streets. Some told of dead-ly winds whipping through within sec-onds of weather alerts broadcast during thestormsWednesdayafternoonandeve-ning.“It happened so fast it was unbelieva-ble,” said Jerry Stewart, a 63-year-old re-tiredfirefighterwhowaspickingthroughthe remains of his son’s wrecked home inPleasantGrove,asuburbofBirmingham.“They said the storm was in Tuscaloosaand it would be here in 15 minutes. Andbefore I knew it, it was here.”Heandhiswife,alongwiththeirdaugh-
AP PHOTO
JoyceHartsfieldhugsLauraGibbsinCalhounCounty,Ala.onThursday.PresidentBarackObamasaidhewouldvisitAlabamatodaytoviewdamage.
South’s whirlwind of death
Hundreds of lives are reported lostin the massive outbreak of storms.Alabama is hardest hit.
ByGREGBLUESTEINandJAYREEVE
 Associated Press
SeeSTORMS,Page6A
 WILKES-BARRE Heavyrain has caused the postpone-mentofthecity’sannualCherryBlossom Festival that had beenscheduled this weekend.Drew McLaughlin, assistantto Mayor Tom Leighton, saidtherecentrainshavesoakedthecity and caused large areas of poolinginKirbyPark,siteofthefestival.“The ground conditions inKirby Park are not optimal for
Rain washes outCherry Blossom 
CLARK VAN ORDEN/THE TIMES LEADER
RichKrzywicki,chaperoningchildrenatKirbyParkThursdayafternoon,foundthepondoverflowingitsbanks.
Some streets are flooded inthe outbreak of wet weather.Pumping stations working.
ByBILLO’BOYLE 
boboyle@timesleader.com
SeeRAIN,Page7AINSIDE:Forrelatedstory,seePage3ofTheGuide.
 WILKES-BARRE Arealeaders turned out at the Ge-netti Hotel & Conference Cen-ter on Thursday night for amemorial to honor local unionofficial Sam Bianco.Bianco, who passed away in2010, was the former presi-dent of the local InternationalLadies Garment WorkersUnion and long-time leader of the Greater Wilkes-Barre La-bor Council.“Bianco was the labor coun-cil,” said Edward Harry, thecouncil’s current president.“From the time Sam was elect-ed to head the organization in1978 until the day he died, he was tireless. He was involvedin every aspect of the area’s la-bor movement.“This tribute was originallyplanned for last October,” con-tinued Harry. “But unfortu-nately, Sam passed away
SeeBIANCO,Page14A
Union titan Bianco remembered for lifetime of service
The regional labor leader, whodied in 2010, headed ILGWUand W-B Labor Council.
BySTEVENFONDO
Times Leader Correspondent
DON CAREY/ THE TIMES LEADER
Wilkes-BarreMayorThomasLeightonreadsaproclamationhonoringthelateSamBiancoattheGenettiHotel&ConferenceCenterinWilkes-BarreonThurs-day.Biancowasknownforhead-ingtheGreaterWilkes-BarreLaborCouncil.
First reported at
6:08a.m.
timesleader.com
Major network news coverage beginsat 4 a.m., with the ceremony at 6 a.m.Live updates ontimesleader.com
Royal wedding day 
 
K
PAGE 2A FRIDAY, APRIL 29, 2011 THE TIMES LEADER www.timesleader.com
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WHOTOCONTACT
Airhart,MichaelBaldrica,AlbertButera,JohnDiamanti,MaryDobzinski,JohnGrochowski,LorettaHabgood,PeggyHornlein,ThomasSr.Klein,MurialLaw,AliceMosher,CharlesNallon,AliceOrbacz-Kubiski,SusanPavone,MassimoSuchoski,LorettaWinter-Haslin,Nancy
OBITUARIES
Page 2A, 8A
ASTORYINWEDNESDAY’S
edition of The Times Leaderfeatured three members ofthe first Challenger LittleLeague program from1991.Included was Billy Sukus, now33. Debra Myers of Kingston isBilly Sukus’ birth mother.
BUILDINGTRUST
The Times Leader strives tocorrect errors, clarify storiesand update them promptly.Corrections will appear in thisspot. If you have informationto help us correct an inaccu-racy or cover an issue morethoroughly, call the newsroomat 829-7242.
HARRISBURG – No playermatched all five winningnumbers drawn in Thurs-day’s “Pennsylvania Cash 5”game so the jackpot will beworth $330,000. Lotteryofficials said 86 playersmatched four numbers andwon $216 each and 2,818players matched three num-bers and won $11each.Monday’s “PennsylvaniaMatch 6 Lotto” jackpot willbe worth at least $1,000,000because no player holds aticket with one row thatmatches all six winningnumbers drawn in Thurs-day’s game.
LOTTERY
MIDDAYDRAWING
DAILY NUMBER
6-1-3
BIG FOUR
2-7-9-9
QUINTO
0-5-8-1-4
TREASURE HUNT
08-13-18-25-27NIGHTLYDRAWING
DAILY NUMBER
0-8-5
BIG FOUR
3-8-0-4
QUINTO
0-1-7-5-9
CASH FIVE
04-13-24-29-32
MATCH SIX
06-21-22-29-34-36
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Delivery Monday–Sunday $3.50 per weekMailed Subscriptions Monday–Sunday$4.35 per week in PA$4.75 per week outside PAPublished daily by:Wilkes-Barre Publishing Company15 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. 2011-119
MoreObituaries,Page8A
 A 
lice R. Law, of Wyoming Ave-nue, Wyoming, died Thursdaymorning, April 28, 2011, at theMeadows Nursing and Rehabilita-tion Center, Dallas.She was born in Forty Fort and was a daughter of the late Isaac J.and Mary Curley Reynolds. Shegraduated from Forty Fort HighSchool and Wyoming SeminaryDean School of Business.Prior to her marriage, she wasemployedasasecretaryattheGrea-ter Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Com-merce.ShehadresidedinFortyFortuntil 1974, and then she moved to Wyoming. She was a member of Saint Anthony of Padua Church,Exeter.Preceding her in death are herhusband James B. Law Jr.; sister,Anne J. Reynolds; and brother, Jo-seph M. Reynolds.SurvivingarehernephewJosephM.ReynoldsJr.,Mountainside,N.J.;niece Marylou Beglin of Mountain-side, N.J.; stepdaughter, ElizabethM. Law, San Jose, Calif.; and step-son James B. Law III, Etters, Pa.
AMassofChristianBurial
 willbeheldat11a.m.SaturdayinSt.An-thony of Padua Church, MemorialAvenue, Exeter, with Fr. Joseph D.Sibilanoofficiating.Friendsandrel-ativesareaskedtogodirectlytothechurchfortheMass.Theinterment will be in Saint Ignatius Cemetery,Pringle. There will be no calling hours.Memorial contributions, if desir-ed,canbemadetothecharityofthedonor’s choice.Arrangements are entrusted totheHughB.Hughes&SonInc.,Fu-neral Home, 1044 Wyoming Ave.,Forty Fort.
 AliceR.La
April 28, 2011
Mary Dia-manti, age 83,of Hanover Township,died Thursday,April 28, 2011at HamptonHouse, Hanov-er Township.BorninAsh-ley, Mary was a daughter of thelate Benjamin and Helen AlexaKarboski.She liked music and enjoyedparticipating in many activities attheHamptonHouse.Sheespecial-ly enjoyed joking with the staff atHamptonHouse,whowerealways very caring and compassionate to- ward Mary.Mary was a member of HolyFamily Church, Sugar Notch.Precedingherindeath,inadditiontoherparents,wereherhusband,Pe-terDiamanti;son,OrlandoPeterDia-manti; brothers, Tony and BenjaminKarboski; and sisters, Loretta Kar-boski and Regina Garzilla.Surviving are sisters, Helen Kol-bicka and Jeanette Karboski, both of Ashley; and numerous nieces; neph-ews;great-niecesandgreat-nephews.
Funeralservices
 willbeheldat10a.m. Saturday from the Harold C.Snowdon Home for Funerals Inc.,420 Wyoming Ave., Kingston. Dea-con John O’Connor will officiate. In-terment will be made in St. Mary’sCemetery, Hanover Township.Friends may call from 9 a.m. untiltime of services at the funeral homeSaturday.
MaryDiamanti
April 28, 2011EDINBORO — Some Pennsyl- vania universities should consid-er drilling for natural gas belowcampus to help solve their finan-cial problems, Gov. Tom Corbettsaid Thursday. The Erie Times-News report-ed that Corbett made the sug-gestion during an appearance ata meeting of thePennsylvania As-sociation of Coun-cils of Trustees atEdinboroUniversi-ty.Corbett said sixof the 14 campuses in the Penn-sylvania State System of HigherEducation are located on theMarcellus Shale formation, partof a vast region of undergroundnatural gas deposits that are cur-rently being explored and ex-tracted. The Republican governor’sproposed budget for the fiscal year that starts in July would cut$2 billion from education and re-duceaidtocollegesanduniversi-ties by 50 percent. The newspa-per said Corbett emphasized thecuts are only proposals and thatfunding for education couldchange as he negotiates the bud-get with state lawmakers. The Marcellus Shale forma-tion lies primarily beneath Penn-sylvania, New York, West Virgin-ia and Ohio; Pennsylvania, how-ever, is the center of activity, with more than 2,000 wellsdrilledinthepastthreeyearsandmany thousands more planned.Drilling for gas in deep shaledeposits is emerging as a majornew source of energy that sup-porterssayishomegrown,cheapand friendlier environmentallythan coal or oil.But shale drilling requires in- jecting huge volumes of waterunderground to help shatter therock — a process called hydrau-licfracturing.Someofthatwaterreturns to the surface, in addi-tion to the gas, in the form of ul-tra-salty brine tainted with met-als like barium and strontium,trace radioactivity and smallamounts of toxic chemicals in- jected by the drilling companies.Most big gas states requiredrillers to dump their wastewa-ter into deep shafts drilled intothe earth to prevent it from con-taminating surface water. Al-though it has moved to limit it,Pennsylvania still allows hun-dredsofmillionsofgallonsofthepartially treated drilling waste- water to be discharged into riv-ers from which communitiesdraw drinking water.
Corbett says colleges could drill for cash
Six of the 14 state campusesin Pennsylvania are located onMarcellus Shale formation.
The Associated Press
AVELLA, Pa. — Two work-ers injured in a fiery explosionduring testing at a natural gas-drilling site in southwesternPennsylvania are suing thedrilling firm and two subcon-tractors. The Observer-Reporter in Washington, Pa. says 50-year-old Richard Lancaster, of Sar-dis, Ohio, and 36-year-oldFrank Lancaster, of New Mar-tinsville, W.Va. filed the suit inthe Circuit Court of KanawhaCounty, W.Va. The men were working for atrucking firm that is not being sued, and are blaming Chesa-peake Appalachia for the fire atthe well near Avella, about 25miles west of Pittsburgh. The Pennsylvania Depart-ment of Environmental Protec-tion has said the driller failedto properly manage flammablebyproducts before the Feb. 23fire in which five 500-barrelstorage tanks of the liquid con-densate ignited, but has yet tosay if fines are warranted.A Chesapeake spokeswomandeclined comment.
Two workers sue drilling firm
The employees of a truckingfirm were injured in explosionduring testing at gas site.
The Associated Press
HARRISBURG Pennsylva-nia’stopstatesenatorsaysit’llbedifficult to find a majority of law-makers to vote for deep budgetcuts if the state does not also re-quirecompaniesdrillingforMar-cellus Shale natural gas to pay atax or fee.Senate President Pro TemporeJoeScarnatimadethecomments Thursday while describing de-tails of a bill he’s writing to col-lect fees on Marcellus Shale wells. The Jefferson County Republi-cansaystherearestrongfeelingsabout the issue in the Legisla-ture. Lawmakers have intro-duced about a half-dozen bills al-ready to require the drillers topay a tax or a fee.Gov.TomCorbettisproposing to fill a $4 billion project deficit withoutraisingtaxesandsaysheopposes a severance tax on drill-ers,butnotnecessarilyalocalim-pact fee.
Votes for drill fee, budget cuts linked
The Associated Press
WILKES-BARRE
– Citypolice reported the following:• Amanda Noll of GarnetLane said Thursday that some-one withdrew $503 from herstate debit card and that herpassword to use the card waschanged. Noll said on April 20she left her purse in a vehicle with a man known to her as“Joe.” The next day she noticedmultiple denial fees on her cardand an unauthorized withdraw-al.• Christine Myers of ReeseStreet said Wednesday that she was struck in the face by Va-nessa Gamble of Hazle Avenue while at a friend’s residence onBlackman Street. Myers saidshe sought medical treatmentand was treated and released.Gamble was charged with ha-rassment.• Mark Stritzinger of HighStreet, Plymouth, was takeninto custody Thursday for alleg-edly stealing three pairs of blue jeans valued at $90 from Bos-cov’s on South Main Street,police said. A store employeesaid she observed Stritzingerleave with the jeans through atruck delivery entrance. He waslater apprehended by police, who said Stritzinger was in-toxicated. He was charged withpublic drunkenness, and thestore will prosecute him for thealleged thefts, police said.• Police said they arrested Thomas Sosa, 21, of SouthHancock Street, on evidence of drunken driving after investigat-ing a hit-and-run crash in thearea of Lehigh Street and IvyLane at 12:20 a.m. Thursday.Sosa was spotted driving a vehicle without a front bumperon Wilkes-Barre Boulevard. He was pursued by police to SouthHancock Street, where he stop-ped.Police said Sosa was given abreath test. Charges of driving under the influence, accidentsinvolving unattended vehicleand driving the wrong directionon a one-way street will be filedagainst Sosa, police said.• A man armed with a hand-gun robbed the Turkey Hill onHazle Avenue late Tuesdaynight. Police said the man en-tered the store around 11:30p.m. and demanded money. Thearmed man fled the store withan undetermined amount of cash.• Police said they arrestedJennifer Navarro, 20, of WestAcademy Street, on evidence of drunken driving after she wasstopped traveling the wrong direction on South WashingtonStreet, a one-way street, early Wednesday morning.A passenger in Navarro’s vehicle, Jennifer Alneida, 19, of South Welles Street, was cited with underage drinking, policesaid.• Police said windows weresmashed on three vehicles onGeorge Avenue early Wednes-day morning.• Chairs and a table werestolen from a porch at 69 S.Hancock St. Tuesday night.• Police charged AntoinetteVirginia Evans, 20, with simpleassault and harassment andJavan Thomas, 32, with harass-ment after a disturbance at 324Parkview Circle on Tuesday.Police said Evans struck Tho-mas in the head with a glassashtray, and Evans claimed Thomas struck her.• Police said Lori Dopko, 33,of Plymouth, was cited withpublic drunkenness when she was allegedly found intoxicatedin the area of Carey Avenue andOak Street at 5:20 p.m. Tues-day.• Police said Chris Correll of East Northampton Street re-ported Wednesday afternoonthat a passenger-side windowon his vehicle was smashed toget inside and a stereo, a Siriussatellite radio and speakers were stolen. The total cost of the damage and loss was notavailable.
HANOVER TWP.
– Townshippolice said they charged JaredLee Beretsky, 28, of WallerStreet, Wilkes-Barre, on Tues-day with retail theft after aninvestigation of a theft at the Wine and Spirits, Sans SouciParkway, in December.
BUTLER TWP.
– Townshippolice reported the following:• Police said an Emglo paintcompressor was stolen from thepaint trade area at Keystone JobCorp.• A residence on South Old Turnpike Road was struck by yellow paintballs on April 20.• Police said money and a watch was missing from a roomat a personal care facility. Theresident discovered the theftupon return to the facility aftera hospital stay.• Police said they chargedElvis Saracinaj, 18, of Joy Lane, with criminal mischief for alleg-edly smashing a windshieldnear Carmen’s County Inn onFreedom Road on Saturday.• Several tires on a Bobcatloader and a construction truck were punctured on RiccardiDrive.• A vehicle owned by BrianEroh, of Drums, was struck byanother vehicle that sped awayafter the crash in the parking lot of Dano’s Pub on SouthHunter Highway on Monday.• A resident of St. John’sRoad reported that the pas-senger-side window of his pick-up truck was shot out while it was parked in front of his resi-dence Friday between 7 p.m.and 8 p.m.
POLICE BLOTTER
WILKES-BARRE
– A Scran-ton man charged with sexuallyassaulting a then-9-year-oldgirl was sentenced Thursdayto seven to14 years in stateprison.Mark Juice, 29, of NorthMain Street, was sentenced ona single count of aggravatedindecent assault of a child byLuzerne County Judge DavidLupas. Juice pleaded no con-test to the charge in October.Lupas said Juice must regis-ter his address under Megan’sLaw for his entire life andundergo a mental health eval-uation.He is to have no contact with the victim in the case orany other minors or placesthey frequent.According to court papers,on Nov. 8, 2009, police weredispatched to a Pittston homefor the report of a girl being sexually assaulted. The girlsaid the assaults occurredbetween July 2007 and Novem-ber 2009.
WILKES-BARRE
– A Larks- ville man pleaded guilty Thursday to assaulting a juve-nile male and taking money.Alan M. Kocher, 20, of PackStreet, pleaded guilty to onecount each of robbery andsimple assault before LuzerneCounty Judge Chester Mu-roski.
PLAINSTWP.
- An indecentexposure charge against Wil-liam Marvin Altman, 57, of  Waldorf, Md., was dismissedduring a preliminary hearing before District Judge DianaMalast on Thursday.State police gaming enforce-ment unit had charged Altman with exposing himself to anemployee at Mohegan Sun atPocono Downs casino on Feb.25, according to the criminalcomplaint.
PITTSTON
– A man accusedby Avoca police of loitering outside an occupied housepleaded guilty during a prelim-inary hearing before DistrictJudge Fred Pierantoni on Thursday.John Kachinsky, 43, of Pitt-ston, pleaded guilty to loiter-ing and prowling at night.Police withdrew charges of flight to avoid apprehensionand defiant trespass againstKachinsky.Police charged Kachinskyafter he was spotted looking into an occupied house in the800 block of North Main Streeton April15, according to thecriminal complaint.Kachinsky told police he was looking for a place toingest bath salts.
COURT BRIEFS
MOMANDDAUGHTER
AP PHOTO
 A 
n Asian elephant calf born at the Oklahoma City Zootwo weeks ago walks with her mother, Asha, a16-year old Asian elephant, Thursday.
 
C M Y K
THE TIMES LEADER www.timesleader.com FRIDAY, APRIL 29, 2011 PAGE 3A
L
OCAL
timesleader.com
HARRISBURG
Pocono solar farm honored
A solar farm at Pocono Raceway inLong Pond, Monroe County, on Thurs-day was honored with one of13 stateEnvironmental Excellence Awards. The winners were selected from apool of applicants by the state Depart-ment of Environmental Protection andthe non-profit Pennsylvania Environ-mental Council and include programsfocusing on abandoned mine drainagereclamation, solarpanel installation,and reducing theenvironmentalimpact of glassprocessing. The solar farm was funded without state incentivesand offsets the racetrack’s operating costs. It also provides enough surpluselectricity to power1,000 homes anddisplace the production of more than3,400 tons of carbon dioxide each year.
LUZERNE COUNTY
Drug collection is set
Expired, unused and unwanted pre-scription drugs may be turned in at anyof the nine collection sites in LuzerneCounty from10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sat-urday. The service is free and anonymous.Syringes will not be accepted.Collection sites are located at theButler Township Police Department,415 W. Butler Drive, Drums; DupontPolice Department, 600 Chestnut St.,Dupont; Duryea Police Department,315 Main St., Duryea; Harveys LakePolice Department, state Route 415,Harveys Lake; Kingston TownshipPolice Department,180 E. Center St.,Shavertown; Luzerne County DistrictAttorney’s Office at the Wilkes-BarrePolice Department,15 N. WashingtonSt., Wilkes-Barre; state police at Hazle-ton, 250 Dessen Drive, West Hazleton;state police at Wyoming, 475 Wyoming Ave., Wyoming; and the Wright Town-ship Police Department, 321S. Moun-tain Blvd., Mountain Top.
 WILKES-BARRE
Paralegal may aid Selenski
A paralegal requesting to be appoint-ed to assist in the case of double hom-icide suspect Hugo Selenski does notneed the permission of the court, aLuzerne County senior judge said Thursday.Senior Judge Chester Muroski saidin a court filing that a motion filed byGerald P. Deady ask-ing to be appointed toassist in Selenski’scase does not needpermission from thecourt because Muroskipreviously said incourt papers defenseattorneys can appoint whomever they wishto the case.Selenski, 37, is charged with hom-icide in the deaths of Michael Kerkow-ski and Tammy Fassett after their bod-ies were unearthed from his Kingston Township property in June 2003.Defense attorneys previously re-quested they be allowed to have sup-portive services in January, which wasgranted by Muroski. Prosecutors laterfiled court papers asking if Deady washelping defense attorneys.
 WILKES-BARRE
Rhee to speak at Wilkes
Michelle Rhee, founder and chief executive officer of StudentsFirst andthe former chancellor of the Washing-ton, D.C., public schools, will deliverthe 30th annual Max Rosenn Lecture inLaw and Humanities on Sunday at Wilkes University.Rhee will speakabout educationalreform at 7:30 p.m. inthe Arnaud C. MartsCenter on South Fran-klin Street. Admissionis free and the event isopen to the public.Local educators areencouraged to attend.Featured in the award-winning docu-mentary “Waiting for Superman,” Rheehas worked for18 years to give childrenthe skills and knowledge they will needto compete in a changing world. Shebegan her career as a third-grade teach-er in the Baltimore schools beforemoving into roles as an administratorand education reformer.On June12, 2007, Rhee was appoint-ed to lead the District of ColumbiaPublic Schools, a school district serv-ing more than 47,000 students in123schools.
I N B R I E F
RheeSelenski
 WILKES-BARRE It’s CommunityDevelopment Block Grant Week andMayor Tom Leighton Thursday an-nouncedthatthecity’sannualallocationhasbeencutby16.2percent,or$342,610.“Thesecutswillnegativelyimpactrealpeople,” Leighton said at a press confer-ence at the Hollenback Fire Station onNorth Washington Street that was built withCDBGmoney.Leighton said the cuts will affect thenumberofstreetstobepavedanddemo-lition of blighted properties. He said thecitydonationstocommunitygroupslikethe Osterhout Free Library and the YM-CASummerCampalsowillbeaffected.“This is a tragic situation,” Leightonsaid, adding that futureCDBG allocations are un-certain. “We hope Wash-ington realizes they mayhave made a mistakehere.” The CDBG program isfundedbytheU.S.Depart-ment of Housing and Ur-ban Development and isspent on a variety of different projects.Brian Sullivan, spokesman for HUD in Washington, said the CDBG cuts cameasaresultofthe11th-hourbudgetagree-ment several weeks back that Congressapproved and President Obama signedandavertedagovernmentshutdown.“Municipalities like Wilkes-Barre willseea16to17percentcutinCDBGfund-ing,”Sullivansaid.Leighton highlighted the impact thecutswillhaveonthecity,notingthatthe$1.75millioninCDBGfundingappropri-
B LO C K G RA N TS
Cuts may impact street paving projects, emergency services and community programs
Wilkes-Barre receives less funding
S. JOHN WILKIN/THE TIMES LEADER
Wilkes-BarreMayorTomLeightonannouncescutsintheCommunityDevel-opmentBlockGrantProgramattheHollenbackFireStationThursday. BehindLeightonareNicoleFerence, left, communitydevelopmentoffice; KurtSauer,directorofcommunitydevelopment; MarieMcCormick, cityadministrator.
Leighton says $1.75 million in CDBGfunding appropriated to the city for2011 is its lowest amount since1990.
ByBILLO’BOYLE 
boboyle@timesleader.com
SeeFUNDING, Page14A
To seevideo, visit
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DUPONT – Former Luzerne Coun-ty Judge Ann Lokuta said she was ap-proached by persons within the Re-publican Party to launch a write-incampaign for district attorney, but de-clined the offer to focus on re-estab-lishing a private legal practice.Lokuta, 57, of Dupont, said shehopestoopenherpracticebythesum-mer.Shewillfocusonthe general practiceof law, including civiland criminal work.Lokuta was re-moved from officeDecember 2008 bythe state Court of Ju-dicial Disciplinebased on its findingsthat she brought dis-repute to the judici-ary. The ruling fol-lowed a disciplinarytrial at which cour-thouse employeesand attorneys por-trayed Lokuta as a ju-dicial bully. The order preclud-ed Lokuta from everagain serving as a judge, but it did notimpact her ability topractice law. The decision to re-establish her legalpractice does notmean she has given up on her effortsto regain her seat on the bench, Lok-uta said.She is currently working on a re-quest that will be filed with the U.S.Supreme Court – known as a writ of certiorari – that asks the justices tohear her appeal of the PennsylvaniaSupreme Court decision that upheldher removal.“I have to have a source of income,”Lokuta said. “I’m certainly not aban-doning my appellate rights.”Lokuta previously served as an as-sistant district attorney from Januaryto May 1988 before resigning follow-ing a dispute with then-district attor-ney Correale Stevens. She was elected judge in November 1991 and took of-fice in January 1992.Incumbent District Attorney Jac-queline Musto Carroll, a Democrat, isrunning unopposed on that party’sticket in the May 17 primary election. There is no Republican candidate,meaning Musto Carroll virtually is as-
Lokuta saysRepublicanseyed her asDA write-in
The former county judge makes theclaim as she speaks of returning toprivate law practice.
ByTERRIEMORGAN-BESECKE
tmorgan@timesleader.com
SeeLOKUTA, Page14A
“I have tohave asource ofincome.I’m cer-tainly notabandoningmy appel-laterights.”
AnnLokuta
Former judge
 WILKES-BARRE Genetti’s onMarket Street was awash with a sea of red hats and purple frocks on Thurs-day when the NEPAQueens Council held itsseventh annual Red HatSociety red hat day lun-cheon. More than 400 women donning brightred hats came from allover NortheasternPennsylvania to attendthe event. TheRedHatSociety’smembers, called “Red Hatters,” are womenover50seekingasocialoutlet.Membersattendhighteas,pajamapar-ties and Halloween parties, among other events.“We look for activitiesthat would be fun for wom-en our age,” said NEPAQueens Council Vice Pres-ident Romaine Stout of PlainsTownship.“We’reallabout sisterhood andfun.” TheRedHatSo-ciety is a nationalorganization with branches allover the U.S. Six-ty chapters are ac-tive in NEPA. The first Red Hat Society was founded in1998 when SueEllen Cooper of Fullerton, Cal-if., gave a friend a red hat forher birthday, along with a copy of thepoem “Warning” by Jenny Joseph. The poem reads, in part: “When Iam an old woman I shall wearpurple/ With a red hat thatdoesn’t go and doesn’t suitme.Forthisreason,women wear red hats and pur-ple clothes to theevents. Women young-er than 50 may jointhegroup,butmust wear pinkhats. On the monthof their birthdays,members over 50 canswitch the colorsthey wear to a purplehat and red clothing.
RED HAT SOCIETY
BILL TARUTIS PHOTOS/FOR THE TIMES LEADER
SharonSmitsofBartonsville, left, buyscashraffleticketsfromMarilynBurtonofAuburnCenterattheNEPARedHatQueensCouncil seventhannual RedHatDaycelebrationatGenetti’sHotel &ConferenceCenter, Wilkes-Barre,Thursday. Below, LoraineRisleyofKingstonwalksdowntherunwayatafashionshow. ForClicks, seePage9A.
 A red-hot hat day 
 WILKES-BARRE City Council Thursday unanimously approved anordinance banning the sale and con-sumptionofsyntheticdrugsinthecity,especially the chemicals commonlycalledbathsalts. The ordinance, approved on its sec-ond reading, will take ef-fectin10daysandwillsu-persede the emergencyordinance passed onApril14. The penalties outlinedintheordinancecallforafineupto$500and/orincarcerationof upto30days,uponconviction. The action comes three days after aLuzerne County judge issued an in- junctionpermanentlybanningthesaleof bath salts in Luzerne County. Presi-dent Judge Thomas Burke signed theinjunction after a hearing MondaymorningthatwasrequestedbyDistrictAttorneyJackieMustoCarroll.Also Thursday, Fred Heller, a homeimprovement contractor from Moun-tainTop,addressedcouncilforthesec-ond consecutive month, asking thatthecitybecome“morebusiness-friend-ly.”At last month’s meeting, Hellerasked council to look into the oper-ationsofthecityandreviewallpoliciesandfees.Hesaidthecurrentsystemisunfairandmakescompetitiondifficult.
W-B outlaws bath salts, other synthetic drugs
Ordinance supersedes emergencymeasure; also, council is told thatcity is unfair to contractors.
ByBILLO’BOYLE 
boboyle@timesleader.com
SeeSALTS, Page14A
Society provides social outlet forwomen over the age of 50.
ByDAWNDRUMIN
Times Leader Correspondent
SeeREDHAT, Page14A
To seevideo, visit
www.timesleader.com

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