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Times Leader 03-01-2012

Times Leader 03-01-2012

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Published by The Times Leader
The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader 03-01
The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader 03-01

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Published by: The Times Leader on Mar 01, 2012
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Nanticoke girls get defensiveto advance to playoffs.
Trojans makereturn to glory 
Cats?Dogs?Boring!Somefolkslike their pets more exotic.
 Awww. They’reso ….. cute?
Luzerne County officials esti-mated the number of layoffs at 67during Tuesday’s county councilmeeting, but a detailed review Wednesday of documents frommultiple county officials shows atotal59employeesareactuallyim-pacted.Former interim county Manag-salaryguaranteeduntilhiselectedterm expires at the end of 2013.Home rule eliminated the post inresponsetocomplaintsitwasano-show, do-nothing job.Bonnie L. Markowski had al-readyresignedastheDemocratju-ry commissioner. The county will save $2.79 mil-lion in salaries plus benefitsthrough the layoffs and job elimi-nations, Pribula reported to coun-rule also are factored in.For example, an executive as-sistant post is cut because formercommissioner executive assistantNancy Kelly resigned lastweek af-ter obtaining other employment.Another job cut stems fromFrank Semanski’s resignation asRepublican jury commissioner ef-fective today.Semanski is giving up a $10,113erTomPribulasaidthenumberre-leased Tuesday was an estimate,buthe’scertainthetotalnetjobre-ductions will be 80 when termina-tions, resignations and the elimi-nation of row offices under home
59 county workers out
Forty of those to be laid off union members
New county managermeets officials,
Moon Lake Park to be closed onweekdays,
 WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.— Davy Jones’ moppish long hair,boyishgoodlooksandBrit-ish accent endeared him to le-gions of screaming young fansafter“TheMonkees”premieredon NBC in1966 as amade-for-TVband seeking to capitalizeon Beatlema-nia sweeping the world.Aspirationsof Beatles-like fame were neverfully achieved, with the TVshowlastingjusttwoyears.But WILKES-BARRELuzerneCountCourtofficialsarework-ing to create guidelines that will dictate how much attor-neys in court-appointed cases willbepaidinlightofadouble-billing scandal involving attor-neyAngelaStevens.Deputy Court Administra-tor Mike Shucosky said thecourtislookingtocreateasys-tem-wide standard in hopes of preventingproblemslikethoseuncovered with Stevens’ billsfromoccurringagain.Inarelatedmatter,PresidentJudge Thomas Burke saidcourt administration has com-mitted to re-examining any new invoices submitted by at-torneys for legal services per-formedlastyeartoensurerea-sonablenessandaccuracy. The action is in response toshortcomings that have beenidentified inthe over-sight of aspecial legalservicesfund from which attor-neys whorepresentedparents in Children and Youthcustody cases were paid last year. The moves come severaldays after The Times Leaderreportedtheresultsofaninves-tigation that revealed Stevenshad double billed the county for delivering fee petitions re-lated to her representation of parents whose children are inthe custody of Children andYouthServices.Stevens,ofKingston,hasac-knowledgedshechargedasep-arate fee for each payment in- voice she delivered to thecourt, even though some of manyofthoseinvoiceswerede-liveredinasingletrip.Thedou-ble billing was not caught by anyone in the court or county,however, because no one re-
County courtworking onpay guidelines
Such rules needed afterdouble-billing scandal withcourt-appointed lawyer.
 WILKES-BARRE – An at-torney ensnared in a double-billing controversy involving Luzerne County Court hasagreed to withdraw from allcourt-appointed cases ascounty officials continue toinvestigateherbillingpractic-es.President Judge ThomasBurke on Wednesday con-firmed attorney Angela Ste- vens advised the court she willwithdrawfromrepresent-ing parents in Children andYouth cases by the end of the week.Stevens was representinabout 43 people, said Deputy Court Administrator MikeShucosky. The court now is working to obtain substitutecounseltorepresentthosecli-ents, he said.Burke said Stevens’ with-drawalfromthecaseswastheproduct of a mutual agree-
Stevens withdrawsas county lawyer
Because of billing scandal,she removes herself fromcourt-appointed cases.
Obituaries 2A, 8ALocal 3ANation & World 5AEditorials 11A
7BWeather 8B
Birthdays 3CTelevision 5CMovies 5CPuzzles 7CComics 8C
New rules
Q&A: Google’sprivacy policy
Davy Jones, the lead singerof the1960s group The Mon-kees who died Wednesday of a heart attack, was an occa-sional visitor to the Wyoming Valley.In1986, Jones and twoother Monkees – Peter Torkand Micky Dolenz – appearedat The Woodlands Inn inPlains Township for the firststop on their reunion tour.In 2008, Jones made anappearance on Public Squarein Wilkes-Barre to supportLeadership Wilkes-Barre by singing “I’m a Believer” forMayor Tom Leighton.And as recently as Friday night, Jones had a telephoneinterview on Edd Raineri’slocal radio show, “BeatleddFab Four Hour.” The Monkees started out inthe1960s as a group thatcombined pop music withslapstick TV comedy thatappealed to teenagers andadults. They evolved into a capa-ble group of musiciansadored by many and followedby millions.
 Area has seen its share of Monkee business
The Monkees frontmanDavy Jones dead at 66
The 1960s hearthrob died ofa heart attack near his homein Indiantown, Fla.
 Associated Press
NEWPORT TWP. – On two separate occa-sions,JenniferMieczkowskisaidsheidentifiedthewomanwhoslashedherfaceandneckwitha box cutter inside the Prospect Street Café inNanticoke. Withwhatshebelievestobeapositiveiden-tification of her attacker, Mieczkowski, 30, isquestioning why there hasn’t been an arrest. Two months after the vicious attack in theearly-morning hours on Jan. 1, Mieczkowskisaid her patience is wearing thin with the Lu-zerne County District Attorney’s Office.“I identified the girl two days after this hap-pened,”Mieczkowskisaidduringaninterviewat her home on Wednesday. “And I identifiedher from surveillance (video) a month after it
Slashing victim wants arrest in case
Jen Mieczkowski says she has twiceidentified attacker from Jan. 1 incident.
yle Manfre kisses his baby sister, Brynlee, on the head as her father, Wesley Manfre, and mother, Elizabeth Manfre, ofLuzerne, look on at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center in Plains Township. Brynlee was the first leap year babyborn in Luzerne County on Wednesday. For the story, see
PAGE 2A THURSDAY, MARCH 1, 2012 THE TIMES LEADER www.timesleader.com
Page 2A, 8A
executivedirector at Tracey’s HopeAnimal Rights Activist, saidWednesday a Golden Retriev-er seized by the Society forthe Prevention of Cruelty toAnimals of Luzerne Countyfrom a Duryea house on Mon-day was not malnourished asreported in a 3A brief inWednesday’s editions.
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 – One playermatched all five winningnumbers drawn in Wednes-day’s “Pennsylvania Cash 5”game and will collect a jack-pot worth $225,000.Lottery officials said134players matched four num-bers and won $127 each;3,689 players matchedthree numbers and won$7.50 each; and 37,987 play-ers matched two numbersand won $1each.
BIG 4 –
BIG 4 -
President & Interim CEO(570) 970-7158
VP/Executive Editor(570) 829-7249
VP/Chief Revenue Officer(570) 970-7203
VP/Chief Financial Officer(570) 970-7154
VP/HRandAdministration(570) 829-7271
VP/Circulation(570) 970-7202
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Joe Butkiewicz...............................970-7249
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 Jim McCabe – 829-5000jmccabe@timesleader.com
Delivery Monday–Sunday $3.60 per weekMailed Subscriptions Monday–Sunday$4.45 per week in PA$4.85 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
+(ISSN No. 0896-4084)USPS 499-710
Issue No. 2012-061
ulius (Jet) Amrowski Jr., 71, of Shickshinny, passed away Mon-day, February 27, 2012, in the Her-shey Medical Center.BornonAugust11,1940,hewasason of the late Dorothy Kwaitkow-ski Amrowski and Julius AmrowskiSr.HewasaveteranoftheU.S.Army and a member of the American Le-gion Post 495 Shickshinny.Mr.Amrowskihadownedandop-erated a plumbing company formany years.He was preceded in death by hisson Brian and his wife, Rebecca.He is survived by his wife of 52 years, the former Catherine Kivler;son Julius Amrowski III and his wife, Debby Lou, Shickshinny;daughter June Blanchek and herhusband, James, Plymouth; daugh-ter Deborah Ann Amrowski, Shick-shinny; son Keith and his wife, Ber-nadette, Town Hill, N.J.; 15 grand-children; 10 great-grandchildren;brother Charles Amrowski, Moca-naqua; sister, Barbara Strung, Dal-las; and brother Martin Amrowski,Nanticoke.During his retirement, he en- joyedhunting,fishingandtimewithhis family and friends.
Military funeral services
 willbeheldFridayat11a.m.inthe Stanley S. Stegura FuneralHomeInc.,614S.HanoverSt.,Nan-ticoke, with Julius’s pastor, the Rev. Timothy Hall, of the Nebo BaptistChurch, Nanticoke, officiating. In-terment will be in Dodson Cemete-ry, Shickshinny. Family and friendsmay call from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday inthe funeral home.
Julius Amrowski Jr.
February 27, 2012
ohn Ennis, 81, of Philadelphia,died on February 28, 2012, sur-rounded by his family at home.Born October 26, 1930, in Ne- wark, N.J., he attended ProvidenceCollege and graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Englishfrom Seton Hall University. He re-ceived master’s degrees from Rutg-ers University and the University of Notre Dame. John did doctoralstudy at Notre Dame and the Na-tional University of Ireland.In1964,hebecameaprofessorof English at King’s College, where heserved two terms as chair of the de-partmentandtaughtuntilhisretire-ment in1999.HefoundedtheWritingCenteratKing’s,andwasafoundingmemberof the Northeastern Pennsylvania Writing Council.John loved his colleagues and heloved the students, especially those who were eager to learn.He and his wife of 39 years,Joanne, raised two sons, Eoin andConnor, in Dallas, where they wererespected members of the commu-nity.John’s kind nature, quiet intelli-genceandwrysenseofhumorwereenjoyed by friends from the BackMountaintoIreland.HefirstvisitedIreland as a college student, a copy of James Joyce’s “Ulysses” in hishand, and he returned to the coun-try again and again, making newfriendsandintroducinghiswifeandsons to the place he loved so much.Upon retirement, he and Joannemoved to Philadelphia, where Johntaught English as a Second Lan-guage on a volunteer basis.He is survived by wife; his sons;hisdaughter-in-law,Lauren;andhisgrandson, Sam; along with numer-ous extended family members.
 willbeheldonSaturday, March 31, at11a.m. at St.Malachy, 1429 N. 11th St., Philadel-phia.AtJohn’srequest,participantsare asked to bring non-perishablefood items to benefit the food pro-gram at Saint Malachy. Donationscan also be made to the Friends of SaintMalachyortheKing’sCollegeFaculty Scholarship program. Ateachertotheend,Johndonatedhisbody to medical research.
John Ennis
February 28, 2012
lizabeth (Warunek) Gruttadau-ria, 76, resident of Pittston Township,passedawayonTuesday,February28,2012inGeisingerMed-ical Center, Wilkes-Barre.Born on July 8, 1935 in Dupont,she was a daughter of the late Stan-ley and Helen (Shemanski) Waru-nek.She was married to John Grutta-dauria.Elizabeth is survived by son,John, and his wife, Helen Grutta-dauria, Duryea; brothers, Robert Warunek,Wilkes-Barre;RonaldWa-runek, Avoca; sister, Joan Jaksina,Duryea;grandson,RyanGruttadau-ria; and granddaughter, JordanGruttadauria.In addition to her parents, pre-ceding her in death are sister, IreneBreymeier.
Funeral services
are entrustedtoGrazianoFuneralHomeInc.,Pitt-ston Township. Viewing hours willbeheldonFridayfrom6to8p.m.inthe funeral home. Funeral services will begin at10:30 a.m. Saturday atthe funeral home. A Mass of Chris-tian Burial will be held at11:30 a.m.Saturday in St. Joseph Marello Par-ish (St. Rocco’s Roman CatholicChurch).
Elizabeth Gruttadauria 
February 28, 2012
ita A. Heck, 86, of Avoca, for-merly of Bradford St., Wilkes-Barre, died Saturday, February 25,2012 at home.Born in Wilkes-Barre, she was adaughterofthelatePeterG.andLil-lian Reiser George.She was a graduate of GAR HighSchoolandwasaformermemberof St. Boniface Church, Blackman St., Wilkes-Barre.Prior to retirement, she was em-ployed as a sewing machine oper-ator in the shoe industry. She en- joyed babysitting neighborhoodchildren and spending time withfamily.Shewasprecededindeathbyherhusband, Bernard J. Heck, in 1984;sisters, Elizabeth Mangan and RuthHandzo.Rita is survived by sons, JohnHeckandhiswife,Faye,Avoca;KarlHeck and his wife, Jennie, WhiteHaven; daughter, Christina “Tina”Rhodes, and her husband, James, Wilkes-Barre; three grandchildren,three great-grandchildren; andbrother, Peter George, Shavertown.
 will be celebrat-ed Saturday at 10 a.m. in the Leh-man Family Funeral Service Inc.,689 Hazle Ave., Wilkes-Barre, withthe Rev. Phillip J. Sladicka officiat-ing. Interment will be in MemorialShrine Cemetery, Carverton.Friendsareinvitedtovisitfrom1to3 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m., Friday in thefuneral home.SpecialThanksisextendedtoherdaughter-in-law, Faye Heck, for herdevoted care.Memorial contributions may besenttoHospiceoftheSacredHeart,600 Baltimore Dr., No. 7, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18702. Condolences may besentbyvisitingRita’sobituaryat www.lehmanfuneralhome.com.
Rita A. Heck 
February 25, 2012
ary Margaret Maiers Kratz, af-fectionately known as Nana,87, of Sugar Notch, died Wednes-day, February 29, 2012, at Mercy Center in Dallas.BornNovember4,1924,inSugarNotch, she was a daughter of thelate John S. and Margaret Caffrey Maiers.MaryattendedSaintCharlesBor-romeoElementarySchoolandgrad-uated from Sugar Notch HighSchool in1942.After graduation, she worked forthe Department of the U.S. Navy in Washington, D.C. She later workedforFowler,Dick&Walker,TheBos-ton Store, until her retirement.Marywillberememberedasade- votedwife,mother,Nanaandloving caregiver.Shewasanaccomplishedbakerandcandymakerwhoalsoen- joyed doing needlework and cross- word puzzles.MarywasamemberoftheParishofSaintLeo/HolyRosaryinAshley.Herbelovedhusbandof50years,Nicholas J. Kratz, died June 29,1997.Abrother,JohnS.Maiers,alsopreceded her in death.She will be greatly missed by herchildren, Nicholas and his wife, Ju-liann, of Sugar Notch; John and his wife,Cathy,ofAshley,andMaryandher husband, Stan Vitale, of Glass-boro, N.J.; eight grandchildren, Ni-cholas, JoAnn, Maura (MatthewBanford), John (Carmel), Ann(Brian O’Donnell), Patrick (Jen),ChristopherandTimothy;sixgreat-grandchildren, Abbey Kratz, Mat-thew and Mary Kate Banford, Em-ma and Molly Kratz, and NorahO’Donnell; sister, Claire Karpuk of Cherry Hill, N.J.; and several niecesand nephews.Mary’s family is grateful to thestaff of Mercy Center Skilled Nurs-ing Unit and Hospice of the SacredHeart for their kind and compas-sionate care.
Celebration of Mary’s Life
willbe held Saturday at 8:30 a.m. inMcLaughlin’s – The Family FuneralService, 142 S. Washington St., Wilkes-Barre, with Funeral Mass at9:30a.m.intheChurchofSaintLeotheGreat.IntermentwillbeinSaintMary’sCemeteryinHanoverTown-ship. Visitation will be held atMcLaughlin’s on Friday from 6 to 8p.m.Memorial donations are pre-ferred, and may be made to Mercy Center, P.O. Box 370, Dallas, PA18612, or Saint Leo the Great/Holy Rosary Parish, 33 Manhattan St.,Ashley, PA 18706-2309. Permanentmessages and memories can beshared with Mary’s family at www.celebrateherlife.com.
Mary M. Kratz
February 29, 2012SAN FRANCISCO — If  you’re amazed — and maybeeven a little alarmed — abouthow much Google seems toknow about you, brace yourself.Beginning today, Google willoperate under a streamlinedprivacy policy that enables theInternet’s most powerful com-pany to dig even deeper intothe lives of its more than 1billion users.Google says the changes willmake it easier for consumers tounderstand how it collectspersonal information, and allowthe company to create morehelpful and compelling ser- vices. Critics, including most of the country’s state attorneysgeneral and a top regulator inEurope, argue that Google istrampling on people’s privacy rights in its relentless drive tosell more ads.Here’s a look at some of thekey issues to consider as Goo-gle tries to learn about you.
How will Google’s privacy changes affect users?
Google Inc. is combining more than 60 different privacy policies so it will be able tothrow all the data it gathersabout each of its logged-inusers into personal dossiers. The information Google learnsabout you while you enter re-quests into its search enginecan be culled to suggest videosto watch when you visit thecompany’s YouTube site.Users who write a memo onGoogle’s online word proc-essing program, Docs, might bealerted to the misspelling of the name of a friend or co- worker a user has communicat-ed with on Google’s Gmail. Thenew policy pools informationfrom all Google-operated ser- vices, empowering the compa-ny to connect the dots fromone service to the next.
 Why is Google making these changes?
 The company, based inMountain View, Calif., says it isstriving for a “beautifully sim-ple, intuitive user experienceacross Google.” What Googlehasn’t spent much time talking about is how being able to drawmore revealing profiles aboutits users will help sell advertis-ing — the main source of its$38 billion in annual revenue.One reason Google has be-come such a big advertising network: Its search engineanalyzes requests to figure out which people are more likely tobe interested in marketing pitches about specific productsand services. Targeting the adsto the right audience is crucialbecause in many cases, Googleonly gets paid when someoneclicks on an ad link. And, of course, advertisers tend tospend more money if Google isbringing them more customers.
Is there a way to preventGoogle from combining thepersonal data it collects fromall its services?
No, not if you’re a regis-tered user of Gmail, GooglePlus, YouTube, or other Googleproducts. But you can minimizethe data Google gathers. Forstarters, make sure you aren’tlogged into one of Google’sservices when you’re using Google’s search engine, watch-ing a YouTube video or perus-ing pictures on Picasa. You canget a broad overview of whatGoogle knows about you athttp://www.google.com/dash-board , where a Google accountlogin is required. Google alsooffers the option to delete us-ers’ history of search activity.It’s important to keep inmind that Google can still track you even when you’re notlogged in to one of its services.But the information isn’t quiteas revealing because Googledoesn’t track you by name, only through a numeric Internetaddress attached to your com-puter or an alphanumericstring attached to your Webbrowser.
Are all Google servicescovered by the privacy policy?
No, a few products, suchas Google’s Chrome Webbrowser and mobile paymentprocessor Wallet, will still begoverned by separate privacy policies.
 What regulatory power dogovernment agencies have tochange or amend the privacy changes?
 The U.S. Federal TradeCommission gained greateroversight over Google’s hand-ling of personal information aspart of a settlement reachedlast year. Google submitted tothe agreement after exposing its users email contacts when itlaunched a now-defunct socialnetworking service called Buzzin 2010. The consent orderrequires Google’s handling of personal information to beaudited every other year andforbids misleading or deceptiveprivacy changes.Google met with the FTCbefore announcing the privacy changes. Neither the company nor the FTC has disclosed whether Google satisfied regu-lators that the revisions comply  with the consent order.
Google and you: Too cozy for comfort?
Beginning today, company willoperate under a new,streamlined privacy policy.
Q & A
 AP Technology Writer 
HARRISBURG — A Republi-can-sponsored bill in the stateHouse to mandate ultrasoundsforwomenseekingabortionswasput on hold Wednesday to ad-dress questions that have arisensinceasimilarmeasureinVirgin-ia ran into fierce criticism.A spokesman for Majority Leader Mike Turzai, R-Alleghe-ny, said concerns about the bill within the medical community  will also be fully vetted before it will be advanced.Sponsors of the Pennsylvaniabillsaiditwouldrequireanultra-sound, but a woman would nothavetolookattheprintout.Ital-so would require that all ques-tions about the fetus’ health andgestationalagebeansweredcom-pletely, establish guidelines forhandling the ultrasound man-date,andsetminimumstandardsfor those who perform them.DemocraticcaucusspokesmanBillPattonsaidtheHouseshouldinsteadbeaddressingjobs,trans-portation, education and healthcare.“The decision to put aside thisdivisiveandill-conceivedbillcre-ates an opening for both partiestoworktogetherproductivelyontheissuesthatmattermost,”Pat-ton said.Virginia’s Senate on Tuesday passed a bill to require noninva-sive ultrasounds after stripping outaprovisionthattheexamsin- volve a vaginal procedure.Aphonemessageseekingcom-ment was not immediately re-turned by the prime sponsor,Rep. Kathy Rapp, R-Warren. ButshetoldThePhiladelphiaInquir-er for a story published Wednes-day thatmostultrasounds wouldbe performed through the wom-an’s belly.“Any doctor who wanted toproceed to transvaginal ultra-soundwouldhavetohaveagoodreason,” Rapp told the paper.After the bill passed out of committee in early February,Rapp issued a statement casting it as a matter of “informedchoice.”“At the most fundamental it’sabout respecting women by trusting her with all the facts tomake a truly informed decisionregarding the human life she iscarrying,” Rapp said.
Pa. House GOPputs brakes onultrasound bill
 Associated Press
THE TIMES LEADER www.timesleader.com THURSDAY, MARCH 1, 2012 PAGE 3A
Cops’ convictions upheld
he 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Ap-peals on Wednesday affirmed theconvictions of former Shenandoahpolice officers Matthew Nestor and William Moyer charged with obstruct-ing an FBI investigation of the fatalbeating of an illegal immigrant in July 2008.A jury in federal court Wilkes-Barrefound Nestor, the former police chief,guilty in January 2011of falsifying police records. The jury also foundMoyer, a former lieutenant, guilty of making false statements to federalinvestigators looking into he death of Luis Ramirez who beaten by a groupof teenagers.Last June a federal judge sentencedNestor to13 months in prison andordered Moyer to serve a three-month prison sentence.
Food drive set for March
In recognition of National NutritionMonth in March, and noting that13percent of people in Luzerne County live in poverty, Geisinger’s ClinicalNutrition team is hosting a food drivebeginning Friday through March 23.Collected food items will be donated to theUnited Way of Wyoming Valley.All non-perishableitems will be accepted at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center’sEast Entrance,1000 East MountainBlvd., Plains Township, and its Geis-inger South Wilkes-Barre campus inthe reception area of the main lobby,25 Church St., Wilkes-Barre. The public is asked to donate do-nating healthy items, such as bakedsnacks, brown rice, fruits in juice,microwavable popcorn, natural pea-nut butter, reduced-sodium products,sugar- or fat-free products, whole-grain cereals (no sugar added), whole-wheat pasta and yolk-free noo-dles.
W-B recycling reports due
Mayor Tom Leighton reminds allcommercial, institutional and govern-mental establishments located in thecity that their annual recycling re-ports are due by March14.State law man-dates that theseestablishments mustreport the amountof aluminum, corru-gated paper, high-grade paper and leaf  waste separatedfrom the waste stream. Those in need of a recycling reportform should contact Mark T. Barry at208-4247 or mbarry@wilkes-barre.pa.us.
Natural gas prices lower
UGI Penn Natural Gas reduced itscharge for purchased gas today. As aresult, the average residential custom-er’s bill will decrease about 4.5 per-cent, to $94.42 from $98.83.By law, utilities cannot make aprofit on natural gas they purchase fordelivery to customers. Their earningscome from the distribution portion of the bill. Purchased gas rates are ad- justed quarterly. The expansion of natural gas drill-ing in the Marcellus Shale region thatincludes northern and western Penn-sylvania has contributed to the lowercosts, said Vicki O. Ebner, a UGIspokeswoman.
Disabilities awareness set
 Today marks the beginning of Intellectual & Developmental Dis-abilities Awareness Month, and TheArc of Luzerne County will be joining  with individuals across the country toraise awareness about issues facing people with disabilities. To celebrate the month, The Arc of Luzerne County will be hosting aseries of events and activities in thecommunity. On Tuesday, at11a.m. inthe Luzerne County Courthouse Ro-tunda, the public is invited for a brief ceremony in which the newly electedcounty council will declare MarchIntellectual & Developmental Dis-abilities Awareness Month in thecounty.
 WILKES-BARRE Sur-rounded by friends and family in a packed community room,89-year-old Sara Mayers saidshe wasn’t expecting such agrand send-off.“I was expecting to maybego out for dinner and instead Igot this big celebration,” saidMayers, who was honored at aspecial luncheon Wednesday at the Wilkes-Barre JewishCommunity Center for hermore than 60 years of volun-teer service. Mayers is leaving the Wyoming Valley to stay  with family in suburban Phila-delphia.In the six decades at theJCC, rarely did a day pass thatMayers wasn’t helping out insome capacity.“For most of my life it was ahome away from home,” shesaid.Mayers’ days at the JCClargely were spent organizing and maintaining groups andactivities. She also performedin bands and sang.After her husband, Lou,died, Mayers started a singlesgroup for widowers and wid-ows to come together forshared support. ThenthreeyearsagoMayersstarted the Laughing Club.A light-hearted assembly,theLaughingClubgatheredtotell jokes and share funny sto-ries.Mayers even had stand-upcomedians come in and per-form at the JCC.Also involved heavily in mu-sic, Mayers and the JCCscrooners group performed arenditionof“IGotRhythmas Wednesday’s celebration gotunderway.Mayerskeptthatrhythmgo-ing by immediately switching fromsingingtoplayingthevio-lin.Anavidviolinist,MayershasbeenapartoftheJCC’sKlezm-er Band since its inception. Atype of Jewish music, Klezmeris traditionally played during  weddings and other celebrato-ry events.Mayers’ family said she was
Sara Mayers, 89, honored for service as she plans to leave the area 
Mazel tov to JCC volunteer 
Times Leader Intern
Sara Mayers, a longtime JCC volunteer, plays the violin onWednesday as she was honored at a special luncheon.
NANTICOKE LuzerneCounty Community CollegePresident Thomas P. Leary saidhe believes the college has ad-dressed the issues that led to itsbeing placed on probation by anaccrediting commission.“There’s no doubt in my mind we’ve made a great deal of pro-gress. We are confident we havemet the requirements,Learsaid on Wednesday, just beforethe school sent a report to theMiddle States Commission onHigher Education explaining  what the college has done in thepast nine months to justify hav-ingitreleasedfromprobationarstatus. The approximately 30-pagedocument, filed electronically aday before today’s deadline,spellsouthowthecollegehasad-dressed concerns and made im-provements since the commis-sionsJune2011decisiontoplacethe school on probation. The decision came after thecollege failed to demonstratecompliance in four areas -- ad-ministration, institutional as-sessment, general education andassessment of student learning,according to the commission’s website.Leary said that in addition tocurriculum issues, administra-tion staffing has been addressed.He said Deborah Vilegi-Petershasbeenhiredasdeanofnursinand health sciences, and thesearchprocesshasbegunfortwoother positions – dean of enroll-ment management and studentdevelopmentanddeanofinstitu-tional effectiveness and assess-ment. The commission places an in-stitutiononprobationwhenitbe-lievesaninstitution’snoncompli-ance with accreditation stan-dards is “sufficiently serious, ex-tensive or acute” and raisesconcerns about the adequacy of the education provided by an in-stitution, the capacity to makeappropriate improvements in atimely fashion or to sustain itself inthelongterm,accordingtothecommission website.Middle States accreditation isa stamp of approval required forthe institution to operate and re-ceive government subsidy. With-out it, credits and degrees fromthe institution are not recog-nized by other schools, said Ri-chard Pokrass, a commissionspokesman. The Philadelphia-based orga-nization accredits colleges anduniversities in the Mid-Atlanticregion.In a prior interview, Pokrasssaid “It appears the institution istaking the matter very serious-ly.”A committee from the com-mission, composed of educatorsledbyacommunitycollegepresi-dentatapeerinstitution,willvis-it the campus on March 12 and13. None of the committee mem-bers would be from Pennsylva-nia, Pokrass said. The group will verify what thecollege said it has done and then willfileareporttoMiddleStates. Thecommissionwillfurnishafi-nal report to the college by June28withitsfindingsanddecision.Pokrass noted five possibleoutcomes ranging from the re-moval of LCCC from probationto the worst and most unlikely option, having accreditation de-nied.“It’saseriousmatter,butnoth-ingthatshowsthelossofaccred-itation is imminent,” Pokrasssaid.
LCCC’sproblemsaddressed,chief says
Middle States Commission onHigher Education had put theinstitution on probation.
AVOCA – Walk in, put yourstockingfeetontheyellowfootshapes and raise your hands. Withinasecondorso,magnetic waves will scan to, but notthrough, your skin. A genericoutline of a human – a sort of gingerbreadmaninahold-up-- appears on ascreen, with yel-low shapes not-ing where youmay have left yourcellphone–or a gun, or aplastic explo-sive. The full-body scanner, offi-ciallycalled“advancedimaging technology” has come to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Inter-national Airport. The scannerhasbeeninuseforafewweeksas Transportation Security Ad-ministration workers wentthrough 30-hour training ses-sions, TSA spokeswoman AnnDavis said, but it was shown tothemediaatapressconference Wednesday morning. The scanner uses “harmlessmagneticwaves”thatscanonly outside the body to detect po-tential metal and non-metallicthreats,Davissaid.Thatmeansit will not go off if you have anartificial joint, something thattriggerstraditionalmetaldetec-tors. It also means the scanner will detect items the metal de-tectormisses,soifapersongetsa clean scan, there is no patdown. And if something is de-tected,theTSAscreenerknowsexactly wheretocheck.Usingthescannerisoptional,Davissaid,thoughtheonlyoth-er choice is to walk through ametal detector
be patteddown. Removing shoes andemptying pockets is still re-quiredbeforeenteringthescan-ner. The device has been in usefor testing and tweaking since2007, when it was first intro-duced in Phoenix and evokedangry responses from people whofelttheimagesofindividu-al bodies were too detailed andrevealing. New software wasadded that replaces the actualbody image with the genericone and turns the image of po-tential threats into rough yel-low shapes todenotelocation.Asseveralemployeeswalkedthrough the scanner to showhow it works, the TSA officerpushedabluebuttonforamalepassenger and a green buttonfor a female passenger. If noth-ingwasdetected,nothingcameup on the screen other than“OK”on agreen field.If something is detected, theimage appears, but Davis saidonce the officer presses a but-tontoclearthescreen,the“im-age is gone, it cannot bebrought back, it’s not storedanywhere.”About 500 scanners havebeen put into use across thecountry, with another 500 ex-pectedtobedeployedthisyear,Davis said. They cost between$130,000 and $150,000 each,and the tab is picked up by the TSA. For the airport, the scan-nerwas free.
Pre-flight check for area fliers
Scanner at W-B/ScrantonAirport uses magnetic wavesto search for threats.
The TSA demonstrated a new passenger screening equipment known as advanced imagingtechnology Wednesday at the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport.
To seevideo, visit
PLAINS TWP. – When infantBrynlee Manfre came into this world Wednesday, she joined anelite club, one more exclusivethan even the celebrated NewYear’s babies.Born at10:53 a.m. at Geis-inger Wyoming Valley MedicalCenter to Elizabeth and Wesley Manfre of Luzerne, Brynlee wasthe first baby born in LuzerneCounty on Leap Day 2012.Hazleton General Hospitalspokeswoman Leigh Ann Wie-dlich said a woman in laborarrived at that hospital around3 p.m. and was expected todeliver a second Leap Day baby later that evening.“It’s exciting, because it’sdifferent,” Wesley Manfre said.“There’s a slogan: leap yearbabies; forever young.”Because Feb. 29 occurs only once every four years – anaddition to account for the factthat a solar year is actually 5hours and 48 minutes longerthan a standard calendar year –Elizabeth Manfre said the fam-ily will celebrate Brynlee’sbirthday on March1in non-leap years.“Our birthdays go like that,”Elizabeth Manfre said. “Wesley is January, (son) Kyle is Febru-ary, Brynlee would be Marchand mine is April.”Statistically speaking, LeapDay babies are pretty rare. Theextra day occurs once every 1,461days, and the Honor So-ciety of Leap Year Day Babies –an organization claiming nearly 10,000 members from aroundthe world, all born on Feb. 29 –estimates there are about 5million “leapers” on the earth.Area hospitals couldn’t pro- vide statistics about children
Babies take leap into life
Unique birthday a gift to newborns
See LEAP, Page 9A
“It’s excit-ing, be-cause it’sdifferent.There’s aslogan:leap yearbabies;foreveryoung.”
Wesley Manfre
Brynlee’s dad

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