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Times Leader 12-19-2011

Times Leader 12-19-2011

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The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader 12-19
The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader 12-19

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5
THINGSYOUNEEDTOKNOWTHISWEEK
>>THEFANSOFOUR
Penguins sure like their team alot. But the Devils from Albany most definitely do not.The Devils hated the Penguins! For the whole Penguinsseason! Now, please don’t ask why. No one quite knows thereason.It could be their helmets weren’t screwed on just right. Itcould be, perhaps, they got clocked in a fight.But whatever the most likely cause of all, the teams playtonight at 7 at the arena near the mall.
>>THEGRINCHESOF
the world don’t need much of areason. They’ll stand there before Christmas, hating theseason.They’ll complain about ribbons and trinkets and bob. They’llcomplain about shopping in that sweaty store mob.But a day there exists for them to get out and vent. Stuck inthe middle, as they are, of another Advent.Wednesday, it seems, is “Humbug Day,” I’m told. To let loosethe Scrooge in all of us, be we young or very old.
>>STARINGDOWNFROM
our caveswith a sour, Grinchy frown, at the warmmovie screen in our very own town.Every Who down in Whoville looking forsomething to do, could check out a film, ifthey were a curious Who.And look at the films that have just come in,an animated feature called “The Adventures ofTin Tin.”It opens this Wednesday at a theater near youand near me. It might give us something todo, besides play some Wii.
>>ASWE’REHANGING
our stockings on a coldChristmas Eve, wiping milk and cookies from our Christmas-sy sleeve.To TV we will turn for something to see. The Yule Log chan-nel? Sounds like fun viewing to me.Even better, it seems, is some fine holiday fun. The story ofRalphie and his quest for a Red Ryder BB gun.“A Christmas Story” airs Saturday night at 8. It’s marathonviewing on TBS, running early till late.
>>ANDFINALLY,
next Sunday, the day of all days.The bestest most fun time in all sizes and ways.It will come without ribbons! It will comewithout tags! It might even come withoutpackages, boxes or bags!Enjoy yourself on this fine Christmas day.Have some roast beast and watch the kids play.And most of all, have the happiest of times.Even when reading some bad Christmasrhymes.
C M Y K
WILKES-BARRE, PA MONDAY, DECEMBER 19, 2011 50¢
timesleader.com
T
he
T
imes
L
eader
Kansas City stuns Green Bayto halt run to history.
SPORTS,1B
Packers areperfect no more
SantainJenkinsTwp.;HolidayMovie; Military Ambulance
CLICK,1C
Photos worth 1,000 words
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$
50
VOUCHERFOR ONLY
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25
HE’SSTILLTHEONEFORPSU
Of the bevy
of postsea-son awards won by DevonStill, the one that means themost toPennState’sdisruptivedefensivetackle isthe honorbestowedby hiscoaches.Throughthe highsand lows, the 6-foot-5, 310-pound Still has been a re-spected voice in the lockerroom and the disruptiveanchor on the field for thePenn State defense.
1B
SPORTSSHOWCASE
NFL
EAGLES45JETS19REDSKINS23GIANTS10PATRIOTS41BRONCOS23LIONS28RAIDERS27DOLPHINS30BILLS23CHARGERS34RAVENS14
AT THE IRAQ-KUWAIT BORDER — Outside it waspitchdark.ThesixAmericansoldierscouldn’tseemuchofthedesertlandscapestreamingbyoutsidethesmall windows of their armored vehicle. They werehushed and exhausted from an all-night drive — partofthelastconvoyofU.S.troopstoleaveIraqduringthefinal moment of a nearly nine-year war.As dawn broke Sunday, a small cluster of Iraqi sol-diersalongthehighwaywavedgoodbyetothedepart-ing American troops.“MyheartgoesouttotheIraqis,”saidWarrantOffi-cer John Jewell. “The innocent always pay the bill.” When they finally crossed the sand berm that sep-arates Iraq from Kuwait, illuminated by floodlightsand crisscrossed with barbed wire, the mood insideJewell’s vehicle was subdued. No cheers. No hugs.Mostly just relief.
IRAQ WAR ENDS:The final withdrawal was the starkest of contrasts tothe start of the war, which began before dawn on March 20, 2003
AP PHOTO
ThelastvehiclesinaconvoyoftheU.S.Army’s3rdBrigade,1stCavalryDivisioncrosstheborderfromIraqintoKuwait,Sunday.Thebri-gade’sspecialtroopsbattalionarethelastAmericansoldierstoleaveIraq.
Last U.S. troops exit Iraq
ByREBECCASANTANA 
 Associated Press
Soldiersfromthe3rdBrigade,1stCavalryDivision,attendacasingofthecolorsceremonybyhandwrittennamesofsoldiersatCampAdder,nearNasiriyah,Iraq.
See WAR, Page14A
6
09815 10011
 WASHINGTON – Don’t besurprised to see U.S. Rep. Tim Holden coming downthe street in Wilkes-Barreover the ho-lidays, andexpect theDemocratfrom St.Clair to beshakingalotof hands inthe process. Who’s Tim Holden? If the congres-sional line drawing by Penn-sylvania Republicans holds,the 10-term Democrat fromthe 17th District is the Wilkes-Barre and Scrantonarea’s new representative inthe U.S. House.Holden said in an inter- view last week that the newlines are an “incumbent pro-tection plan” offered up bythe GOP to protect lawmak-ers such as Rep. Lou Barlet-ta, R-Hazleton.
See HOLDEN, Page 7A
Holden isready fornew territory
ByJONATHANRISKIND
Times Leader Washington Bureau
Holden
Health insurance and transporta-tion are among the biggest con-cerns of some local senior citizensin a county where their numbersare the highest per capita in thestate.According to the American Com-munity Survey 2010 five-year esti-mates recently released by the U.S.Census Bureau, people age 65 andolder make up 18 percent of Lu-zerne County’s population of its320,000 residents. The nationalaverage is about 12 percent.“We have a lot of benefits,” 77- year-old Betty Lee Frusciante saidbefore enjoying a $2 lunch with herfriends at the Kingston Senior Citi-zens Center on Friday. The PACE NET prescriptionassistance program, a property taxrebate and meals and services atthe senior center were a few of theprograms the Swoyersville residentrattled off as being a big help to her.“They even bring in attorneys tohelp with anything you want tochange in your will. I think that’s wonderful,” she said. Still, “it’s ahard life, keeping up with the costof living. That’s why this place is sogreat.”
 Among top worries of area’s seniors are transportation, health insurance
Census: Local senior numbers highest per capita in Pa.
BySTEVEMOCARSKY 
 smocarsky@timesleader.com
Learn moreabout servicesand programsoffered by theArea Agencyon Aging atwww.agingl-w.org or bycalling1-800-252-1512.
U S E F U LTO YO U
See SENIORS, Page14A
INSIDE
A NEWS:
Local 3ANation & World 5AObituaries 8AEditorials13A
B SPORTS:
1B
C CLICK:
1CCommunity News 2CBirthdays 3CTelevision 4CMovies 4CCrossword/Horoscope 5CComics 6C
D CLASSIFIED:
1D
 WEATHER
Landon DietterickPartly sunny. Afternoonshower. High 42, low34.
Details, Page 6B
Still
SEOUL,SouthKoreaKimJongIl,NorthKorea’smercurialand enigmat-ic leader whose ironrule and nu-clear ambi-tions dom-inated worldsecurity fearsfor more thana decade, hasdied.Hewas69.Kim’s death 17 years after heinherited power from his father was announced Monday by thestate television from the NorthKoreancapital,Pyongyang.Thecountry’s “Dear Leader” — re-puted to have had a taste for ci-gars, cognac and gourmet cui-sine — was believed to have
KimJong Ilis dead
North Korean leader haddominated world fears withnuclear threats.
ByJEANH.LEE 
 Associated Press
See KIM, Page 2A
Kim
 
K
PAGE 2A MONDAY, DECEMBER 19, 2011 THE TIMES LEADER www.timesleader.com
Bianco,JeanCunningham,TheresaCzachor,MargaretEckert,RoyFredmonski,AdamJohnson,SarahKelly,EdwardKopicki,HelenLazevnick,EdwardMcCracken,JosephMoyles,ThomasMusto,GerardParini,JuliusRock,MaryRodda,Stella
OBITUARIES
Page 8A
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.
Two players matched allfive winning numbers drawnin Sunday’s “PennsylvaniaCash 5” game and will eachreceive $112,500.Lottery officials said 82players matched four num-bers and won $197.50 each;2,376 players matched threenumbers and won $11.50each; and 29,259 playersmatched two numbers andwon $1each.
None of the tickets soldfor the Powerball gameSaturday evening matchedall six numbers drawn, whichwere:
13-28-49-51-59
Powerball:
33
Power Play:
4
Players matching all fivenumbers and the Powerballwould have won or sharedthe $91million jackpot. Theprize goes to an estimated$104 million for Wednesday.Tickets that match thefirst five numbers, but missthe Powerball, win$200,000 each, and therewere seven of those. Theywere sold in: Dist. of Colum-bia(1), Georgia(1), Idaho(1),Kentucky(1), Missouri(1), NewYork(1) and Texas(1).There was one Power PlayMatch 5 winner in Indiana(1).
LOTTERY
MIDDAYDRAWING
DAILY NUMBER –
8-9-1
BIG 4 –
5-6-7-7
BIG 4 –
6-3-8-6
QUINTO -
7-7-0-0-4
TREASURE HUNT
06-08-15-18-24NIGHTLYDRAWING
DAILY NUMBER -
4-2-0
BIG 4 -
7-6-3-2
QUINTO -
2-3-2-5-8
CASH 5
08-14-18-30-39
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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: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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THETIMESLEADER
wants to know what readers think arethe top10 stories in the region this year.Go online to http://tlgets.me/topstories today through Tues-day to rank your top10 local news stories.We’ll compile the votes, and the results will be published theweekend of New Year’s Day. The Times Leader will offer a yearin review in world news, local sports news and local news andbusiness.In addition, The Times Leader will take a look at communityleaders who have died this year and examine their contribu-tions to the region. If you have suggestions about well-knownlocal residents who made an impact in life and died this year,send their names and details of their accomplishments toaseder@timesleader.com by Wednesday.
T E L L U S YO U R TO P 10 STO R I ES
LOS ANGELES SherlockHolmes is facing his worst ene-my: declining crowds at theatersas this year’s domestic movie at-tendance dips to the lowest in16 years.Robert Downey Jr.’s sequel“Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows” debuted on top with a$40 million weekend, off 36 per-cent from the first installment’s$62.3 million opening two yearsago, according to studio esti-mates Sunday. The first movie opened overChristmas weekend, one of thebusiest times for movie theaters.Distributor Warner Bros. pre-dictsthe“Holmessequel,whichpits Downey’s detective againstarchrivalProfessorMoriarty,willmakeupthelostgroundovertheholidays.“The pattern is different,” saidDanFellman,thestudio’sheadof distribution. “What you can putin the bank those nine days be-fore the official Christmas playtime, that’s the difference be-tween our opening with a biggernumber on Christmas day andopening early this time. At theend of the holiday period, weshould be in the same place.” The “Holmes” sequel openedin six overseas markets, includ-ingthedetective’snativeBritain,andtookin$14.7milliontobrinits worldwide total to $54.7 mil-lion.After two previous weekendsthat were Hollywood’s worst of the year, overall business wasdown again, about 12 percentlower than the same weekend in2010 as Hollywood struggles tointerest audiences in its big year-end releases.PaulDergarabedian,ananalystforbox-officetrackerHollywood-.com, estimated that the numberof tickets sold domestically in2011 will come in below 1.3 bil-lion. That would be the lowest at-tendance since 1995, when ad-missions totaled1.26 billion. Do-mestic attendance in moderntimespeakedat1.6billionin2002andhasbeenonageneraldeclinesince.“These low-attendance num-bers are taking the gas out of thetank,” Dergarabedian said. “Allthe momentum we had kind of came to a dead stop.” The 20th Century Fox familysequel “Alvin and the Chip-munks: Chipwrecked” did even worse than “Holmes.” “Chip- wrecked” opened at No. 2 with$23.5million,abouthalfthebusi-ness the first two “Chipmunks”movies did on their debut week-ends. Thestudiohadexpectedabig-ger debut, but with schools shut-ting down for the holidays, Foxexecutives hope business willpick up. Tom Cruise and Paramounthad good news. Their action se-quel “Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocolgot off to ahealthy start at No. 3 with a $13million weekend playing exclu-sivelyathuge-screenIMAXthea-ters. “Ghost Protocol” goes intogeneral release Wednesday.
No killing at box office for ‘Holmes’
“Sherlock” sequel opens ontop, but numbers are off aspoor movie turnout continues.
ByDAVIDGERMAIN
 AP Movie Writer 
SEATTLE — As the first signsof an economic recovery makethe news, many of the nation’snonprofit organizations are dig-ging in for another three to four yearsoffinancialdistress,accord-ing to researchers who keep aneye on the charitable world.Somelargernonprofitsaresee-ing donations start to rise again,but most report their income isholding steady at lower, post-re-cession levels or is still going down, according to a new studyfromtheNonprofitResearchCol-laborative. Thecollaborativefound59per-centofnonprofitsreporttheirdo-nation income is flat or lowerthan in 2010, which was anotherdown year for most charities.Among those that receive somegovernment dollars — long con-sideredasafetynetforcharitableorganizations — more than half arereportingadeclineinincomefor the year.Forty-one percent of nonprof-its have seen their donation in-come go up in 2011, but most of the nation’s smaller charities with less than $3 million in totalspending saw donations dropagain this year.Food pan-tries and home-less sheltersacross thecountry havereported fund-ing crises this year because of an increase inneed coupled with a drop indonations.Siena House,a women’s shel-ter in Wau-kesha, Wis.,briefly shutdown this past summer becauseit didn’t have the money to con-tinue operations. A fall fundrais-ing drive brought in $60,000 andSiena House was able to reopenin December. The First Baptist Church of Danville, Ky., in Novemberclosed its small food bank thatfed up to 200 families a year be-cause of volunteer and donationshortages. The food bank de-pended entirely on donations forits operation and volunteers torun it and just couldn’t keep up with demand, said Tom Butler, achurch volunteer.About 8 percent of the char-ities included in the report saythey are in danger of closing forfinancial reasons, while among smallercharities,thatfigureis20percent.“Nonprofitsarestillfacingverychallenging circumstances,” saidUna Osili, director of research at The Center on Philanthropy atIndiana University, one of six or-ganizations in the Nonprofit Re-search Collaborative.Fewwillactuallygooutofbusi-ness, Osili said, but cutting pro-gramsandlayingoffstaffareare-alpossibility.Manyareusingvol-unteers to do jobs previouslycompleted by staff.“The good news is that non-profits are starting to look aheadandthinkaboutwaystoadjusttothe new environment we’re in,”she said.Because most nonprofitsspend money the year after theyearn it, or budget according to athree-year average, even whentheeconomydoespickup,there-covery for charities will takelonger, she said.Osili said it could take donorsasmanyasfouryearstoreturntopre-recession giving levels, inpart because it takes a while forindividuals and corporations toregainconfidenceintheirownfi-nancial stability.Jon Fine, CEO of the United Way of King County, Wash., saidthe nonprofit groups his organi-zation supports through its fun-draising have had at least threedown years because of the reces-sion.Infiscal2011,theSeattle-basedUnited Way experienced its firstupyearsincefiscal2007,withdo-nationsof$119millioncomparedto $100 million in fiscal 2010. That’sstillbelowthe$124milliontotal for 2007.
AP PHOTO
TaliyahGarrett,3,looksatabookasshegetshelpinlearningtoreadbyacoordinatorfromtheParentChildHomeProgramduringavisitinSeattle.
Nonprofits can’t recover
Most report their income isholding steady or going down,according to a new study.
ByDONNAGORDONBLANKINSHIP 
 Associated Press
“Nonprof-its are stillfacing verychallengingcircum-stances.”
UnaOsili
The Center onPhilanthropy atIndianaUniversity
HAZLETON
– Hector Berbe-rena-Soto, 29, of Hazleton wasarrested Saturday on an out-standing warrant for failure toappear at a hearing in Schuyl-kill County on driving underthe influence charges. Policeapprehended him while respon-ding to a report of vandalism inthe 600 block of Carson Streetaround 2:30 p.m. He was heldin the Luzerne County Correc-tional Facility for transfer toSchuylkill County.
HANOVERTWP.
– Twotownship people were arrestedafter a domestic disputearound 6:30 p.m. Saturday onMain Road, police said.Mark Karpovich-Merca-dante,19, of Main Road, andAmanda Reese,19, RutterStreet, were taken into custodyand arraigned on charges of simple assault and harassment.District Judge Paul Roberts of Kingston released them on$5,000 bail. They have a pre-liminary hearing at 9:30 a.m.Dec. 27 before District JudgeJoseph Halesey of Hanover Township.
POLICE BLOTTER
had diabetes and heart disease.NorthKoreahasbeengroom-ing Kim’s third son to take overpower from his father in the im-poverished nation that cele-brates the ruling family with anintense cult of personality.South Korea put its militaryon “high alert” and PresidentLee Myung-bak convened a na-tional security council meeting after the news of Kim’s death. The two Koreas remain techni-callyinastateofwarmorethan50 years after the peninsula’sCold War-era armed conflictended in a cease-fire.In a “special broadcast” Mon-day, North Korea’s state mediasaidKimdiedofaheartailmentonatrainduetoa“greatmentalandphysicalstrainonSaturdayduringa“highintensityfieldin-spection.”Kim is believed to have suf-feredastrokein2008buthehadappeared relatively vigorous inphotos and video from recenttripstoChinaandRussiaandinnumerous trips around thecountry carefully documentedby state media.Kim Jong Il inherited powerafter his father, revered NorthKorean founder Kim Il Sung,died in 1994. He had beengroomedfor20yearstoleadthecommunist nation founded byhis guerrilla fighter-turned-poli-ticianfatherandbuiltaccording to the principle of “juche,orself-reliance.InSeptember2010,KimJong Il unveiled his third son, thetwenty-something Kim JonUn, as his successor, putting him in high-ranking posts.Even with a successor, therehad been some fear among North Korean observers of a be-hind-the-scenes power struggleor nuclear instability upon theelder Kim’s death.Few firm facts are available when it comes to North Korea,one of the most isolated coun-triesintheworld,andnotmuchisclearaboutthemanknownasthe “Dear Leader.”North Korean legend has itthat Kim was born on MountPaekdu, one of Korea’s mostcherished sites, in 1942, a birthheraldedintheheavensbyapairof rainbows and a brilliant newstar.Sovietrecords,however,in-dicatehewasborninSiberia,in1941.Kim Il Sung, who for yearsfought for independence fromKorea’s colonial ruler, Japan,from a base in Russia, emergedas a communist leader after re-turningtoKoreain1945afterJa-pan was defeated in World WarII. With the peninsula dividedbetween the Soviet-adminis-tered north and the U.S.-admin-isteredsouth,Kimrosetopoweras North Korea’s first leader in1948 while Syngman Rhee be-came South Korea’s first presi-dent. The North invaded the Southin 1950, sparking a war that would last three years, kill mil-lions of civilians and leave thepeninsuladividedbyaDemilita-rized Zone that today remainsone of the world’s most heavilyfortified.In the North, Kim Il Sung meshed Stalinist ideology withacultofpersonalitythatencom-passed him and his son. Theirportraits hang in every building inNorthKoreaandonthelapelsof every dutiful North Korean.Kim Jong Il, a graduate of Pyongyang’s Kim Il Sung Uni- versity, was 33 when his fatheranointed him his eventual suc-cessor.Even before he took over asleader, there were signs the youngerKimwouldmaintain—and perhaps exceed — his fa-ther’s hard-line stance.SouthKoreahasaccusedKimof masterminding a1983 bomb-ing that killed 17 South Koreanofficials visiting Burma, nowknownasMyanmar.In1987,thebombing of a Korean Air Flightkilled all115 people on board; aNorth Korean agent who con-fessed to planting the devicesaid Kim ordered the downing of the plane himself.KimJongIltookoverafterhisfather died in 1994, eventuallytaking the posts of chairman of the National Defense Commis-sion, commander of the KoreanPeople’s Army and head of theruling Worker’s Party while hisfather remained as North Ko-rea’s “eternal president.”He faithfully carried out hisfather’spolicyof“militaryfirst,”devoting much of the country’sscarceresourcestoitstroops—evenashispeoplesufferedfromaprolongedfamineandbuilttheworld’sfifth-largestmilitary.Kim also sought to build upthecountry’snucleararmsarse-nal, which culminated in NorthKorea’s first nuclear test explo-sion, an underground blast con-ducted in October 2006. Anoth-er test came in 2009.Kimcutadistinctive,ifoftrid-iculed, figure. Short and pudgyat 5-foot-3, he wore platformshoes and sported a permedbouffant.Histrademarkattireof  jumpsuits and sunglasses wasmocked in such films as “TeamAmerica: World Police.”pseudonym Kenji Fujimoto, was
KIM
ContinuedfromPage1A
 
C M Y K
THE TIMES LEADER www.timesleader.com MONDAY, DECEMBER 19, 2011 PAGE 3A
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OCAL
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ASHLEY
Police: Fight closes bar
N
early 20 police officers from10area departments responded to areport of a fight early Saturday morn-ing involving several hundred peopleat Bentley’s nightclub on state Route309.One officer was injured and dis-orderly conduct charges are pending against two people, including a juve-nile, said Ashley Police Chief PhilCollotty.He said the night club was clearedand shut down around1:30 a.m.Saturday “because it got out of con-trol.”Officers from Hanover Township,Sugar Notch, Wilkes-Barre Town-ship, Fairview Township, Wright Township, Rice Township, Newport Township, Nanticoke and the Penn-sylvania State Police responded, saidCollotty.
 WEST PITTSTON
Library holds caroling
A number of area residents cameout on Sunday in support of theflood-damaged West Pittston Li-brary’s annual Christmas Caroling excursion.“We’re trying to keep an old-fash-ioned tradition alive,” said AnneBramblett-Barr, West Pittston Li-brary director. “Tradition is partic-ularly relevant, given the recentflooding. Many of our residents won’t be back in their homes thisholiday.”Bramblett-Barr said the librarysuffered losses to building and con-tents totaling more than $900,000. The library is currently in a tempo-rary storefront location in the In-salaco Shopping Center on Wyoming Ave.“We lost over half of our books –11,500. We have our work cut out forus.”Families from throughout the arealeft their warm homes to go caroling through flood-ravaged neighbor-hoods.“We’ve been watching a lot of Christmas programs on TV andcaught the holiday spirit,” said Tracy Thornton of Harding, who broughther daughter, Katelyn. “We wantedto spread a little Christmas cheer.”Library board member Amy Hetrosaid the organizers decided to holdthe caroling event this year to showthat “the library is still here despitethe tremendous damage.“Even though many of our resi-dents are struggling with their ownflooding issues, they have still beengenerous to us with donations,”added Hetro. “All of our currentshelving and computers have beendonated. It’s truly amazing.”
 Steven Fondo
NORTHEASTERN PA.
Blood drives scheduled
 The American Red Cross BloodServices of Northeastern Pennsylva-nia Region will hold a series of blooddrives on Jan.11. The drives will be held from11a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Waterfrontbanquet facility in Plains Township,the Clarion hotel in Scranton, theBest Western Genetti Inn and Suitesin Hazleton and the Fairlane VillageMall in Pottsville.Donors will receive a Chef CatCora soup mug and recipe card andbe eligible to win a $111Visa gift cardto be given away at each location.Eligible donors are asked to call1-800-733-2767 or visit redcross-blood.org to make an appointment. To be eligible to donate blood anindividual must be17, meet heightand weight requirements and be ingenerally good health. Parental per-mission is required for16-year-olddonors. Positive identification isrequired at the time of donation.
NEWS IN BRIEF
It’s merely a recommenda-tion, but what the National Transportation Safety Board issuggestingaslawisalreadynotsitting well with some localdrivers.“Are they going to tell me Ican’t drive with my kids in thecar, too?” Lisa Haines, 44, of  Wilkes-Barre said. “It’s prettymuch the same thing, right? They distract me.” The NTSB last Tuesday tookthenotionofdrivingcellphone-freetocoveritswidestareayet,suggesting the first nationwideban on non-emergency use of portable electronic devices. While this may come as no sur-prise to most, and is also famil-iar to city residents due to theApril 2010 Wilkes-Barre ban of motorists from dialing, talking,texting,orbrowsingthewebontheirphoneswhiletheirvehicle was in operation, it’s the inclu-sionofthebanonhands-freede- vices that’s really stirring thepot. The action, as a whole, wasprompted by an accident thatoccurred in Missouri in August2010 that involved several vehi-cles, including two school bus-es, two deaths and 38 injuries,seemingly the result of a driverdistracted by text messaging. The NTSB is choosing to fo-cusonhands-freesetsaswell,asit’sdeemedthatusingsuchade- vicestillcarriessignificantrisk, just like the use of a hand-helddevice.In an article published in the Washington Post on Thursday,AnneMcCartt,seniorvicepres-ident for research at the Insur-anceInstituteforHighwaySafe-ty, said scientific research sup-ports this notion.“There is a large body of evi-denceshowingthattalkingonaphone, whether hand-held orhands-free, impairs driving andincreases your risk of having acrash.”
Proposed ban not popular with locals
Agency proposes banninguse of portable electronicdevices while driving.
BySARAPOKORNY 
 spokorny@timesleader.com
PETE G. WILCOX/THE TIMES LEADER
This motorist was seen using a cell phone while driving byPublic Square in Wilkes-Barre on Sunday.
See BAN, Page 8A
GIVINGSANTASOMELAST-MINUTEHINTS
PETE G. WILCOX/THE TIMES LEADER
T
he conversation between 8-year-old Amanda Federici of Jenkins Township and Santa Claus probablyincluded a question about whether she was a good girl this year. St. Nick paid a visit to the JenkinsTownship Fire Department on Sunday to make last minute adjustments to wish lists of Federici and otherchildren.
PITTSTON TWP. Family andfriends recalled former Pittston AreaSuperintendent Gerard Musto as easy-going, compassionate and intelligent. The father of Luzerne County Dis-trict Attorney Jackie Musto Carrolland the youngerbrother of formerstate Sen. RaphaelMusto died Sunday atthe age of 77.He is survived byhis wife, Domenica,three daughters and ason, five brothers anda sister.His older brother Raphael, 83, de-scribed him as “compassionate” andsomeone who “took his work and hiscareer very seriously.”Gerard Musto served as superin-tendentfrom1982to1993, whenhere-tired, culminating a career that beganmore than 30 years earlier as a teacherinNewJersey.HereturnedtoPennsyl- vania in 1963 to the former NortheastSchool District where he was a teach-er, counselor and coach.At Pittston Area he also served asdistrict psychologist, director of curri-culum,principalandsupervisorofcur-riculum.“Ireallythinkhemadequiteadiffer-ence during his tenure at Pittston Ar-ea,” said Raphael Musto.JoeKeatingandMartyQuinnsharednot only a professional relationship asformer school board members but alsoknew him on a personal level, having grown up with his family.“Our families go back a long, long time,” said Keating, a former Pittstonmayor who was on the board for six years.“He loved Pittston Area,” said Keat-ing.Quinn, who replaced Keating on theboard and recently retired after 22 years of service, said he and Musto were born and raised on Cork Lane inPittston Township.Quinn added that he went to firstgrade with Musto’s wife, “Mickey.”“He’s going to be missed,saidQuinn.
RetiredPA supermourned
Gerard Musto headed Pittston AreaSchool District from1982 to1993.
ByJERRYLYNOTT 
 jlynott@timesleader.com
Musto
EDWARDSVILLE – Police said Sa-muelSynotookabankcardofan87-year-old woman to buy a television he traded with other items he stole from her fornearly $300 worth of crack cocaine onSaturdaynight.Syno, 35, whose last-known address wasMainStreet,JenkinsTownship,alsotookthewoman’scar,aniPadand$60incash,policesaid.He was arrested at the Jenkins Town-shipresidenceandadmittedtothefts,po-licesaid.Accordingtopolice:SynowenttothehomeofRuthAquaintheGatewayApartments,saidhisvehiclebroke down and needed to use her car.Aqua,whoknewSyno’smother,allowedhim to use her 2003 Chevrolet Malibuandtoldhimtoreturnitimmediately.More than an hour passed and Synohadnotreturnedwiththecar.Aquacon-tacted police around 9:30 p.m. after shenoticedheriPadwasmissing.Whenshelookedinherwalletforvehicleidentifica-tion information for police she discov-eredherbankcardandmoneyalsoweremissing.Police put out an alert through Lu-zerneCounty911forthecar.OfficerMichaelLehmancontactedthebank that issued the card and was in-formed it was used to make a $950 pur-chase at the Walmart in Wilkes-Barre Township.LehmanalsocontactedSyno’smother,Carol,whosaidhersonwasstay-ing at a residence in Jenkins Township.Police from the township and PittstonmetLehmanandOfficerRyanMahovichat the residence, where Syno was takenintocustody.SynohadAqua’sbankcardonhim.He was advised of his constitutional rights,agreed to waive them and provided astatementtopolice.Syno said he left the car in South Wilkes-Barre,wherehetradedtheHPtel-evision bought at Walmart and the iPadtaken from Aqua’s kitchen table for ap-proximately$300worthofcrackcocainehe smoked earlier. He received a ridehomefromapersonhewouldnotidenti-fyforpolice. The car was located in Wilkes-Barreandtowed.Police charged Syno with burglary,theft, access device fraud, unauthorizeduseofamotorvehicleandtheftbydecep-tion.HewasarraignedandcommittedtotheLuzerneCountyCorrectionalFacilityforlackof$25,000bail.
Cops: Man stole from senior to buy drugs
Samuel Syno borrowed but neverreturned car, and took iPad andbank card, then purchased cocaine.
ByJERRYLYNOTT 
 jlynott@timesleader.com

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