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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 email@example.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“Holmes”sequel,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$14.7milliontobring its 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 Protocol” got 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.
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.
Nonprofits can’t recover
Most report their income isholding steady or going down,according to a new study.
“Nonprof-its are stillfacing verychallengingcircum-stances.”
The Center onPhilanthropy atIndianaUniversity
– 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.
– 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.
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“greatmentalandphysicalstrain”onSaturdayduringa“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 Jong Un, 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—evenashispeoplesufferedfromaprolongedfamine—andbuilttheworld’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