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Interstate 81 project near airport could last into 2016

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PITTSTON TWP. — Drivers anticipating the end of construction on Interstate 81 near the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport may have to wait until the spring or summer of 2016.The project, which also includes bridge rehabilitation and construction of an access road, was scheduled for completion in November 2015. But Paul Smith, the state Department of Transportation’s project manager, told the bi-county airport board Thursday there likely would be a delay, which means the original $42 million project cost probably would increase by $600,000 to $700,000.“We’re negotiating with the contractor,” Smith told the board. “The fill from the excavation lot is rockier than anticipated.”


Eric Frein now on FBI’s 10 most wanted list

The FBI has added state trooper shooting suspect Eric Matthew Frein to their ten most wanted fugitives list, enabling additional resources for the investigation and increasing the reward for information leading to Frein’s capture by $100,000.Edward Hanko, special agent in charge of the Philadelphia Division of the FBI, made the announcements with state police Commissioner Frank Noonan at a 4 p.m. news conference today in Blooming Grove, where Frein, 31, allegedly ambushed Cpl...

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Comrades travel far to honor fallen hero

SCRANTON — Trooper Todd Zynda of Minnesota said it’s a matter of solidarity.Zynda was one of thousands of law enforcement members who attended Thursday’s funeral of Pennsylvania State Police Cpl. Bryon K. Dickson, the 38-year-old husband and father of two who was gunned down Friday as he was leaving work at the barracks in Blooming Grove, Pike County.“There’s an old saying from the Law Enforcement Memorial Association,” Zynda said. ...

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Wilkes-Barre Area Career and Technical Center plans child care center

Wilkes-Barre Area Career and Technical Center culinary arts students have a kitchen, practical nursing students have simulated patient rooms, and soon, the new early childcare management program will have a child care center for hands on learning experience.

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Lehman Twp. eyes community notification system

LEHMAN TWP. — At Monday’s Board of Supervisor’s meeting, Supervisor Ray Iwanoski, who is also the township’s representative for the Back Mountain Regional Partnership, said that the partnership is looking into subscribing to a community notification system called Code Red.The system would work like an Amber Alert, but can notify residents to sever weather alerts and other emergencies, said police chief Howard Kocher.“It could work very well ...

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Local Sports Schedule

FRIDAY, SEPT. 19H.S. FOOTBALL(7 p.m.)Berwick at Wyoming Valley WestCrestwood at Pittston AreaHazleton Area at WilliamsportLakeland at NanticokeNorthwest at GAROld Forge at Lake-LehmanRiverside at Hanover AreaTunkhannock at Wyoming AreaH.S. BOYS SOCCER(4:15 p.m. unless noted)Pittston Ar...

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Interfaith Heights shooting victim identified as Tyzheke Seward

WILKES-BARRE — City police are investigating the death of a man found in a field in the Interfaith Heights apartment complex near Coal Street Thursday morning.Luzerne County Coroner William Lisman identified the body as 23-year-old Tyzheke Seward of Wilkes-Barre.The grisly discovery was made by a tenant at about 7 a.m. who alerted a maintenance employee that a man was passed out drunk. The employee, who refused to give his name, said he attempted to wake the man di...

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American Heart Association seeks to fight childhood obesity

WILKES-BARRE — The American Heart Association is looking for child care centers in Luzerne County to participate in their Healthy Way to Grow program to combat childhood obesity.Northeastern Pennsylvania was one of six communities nationwide to implement the program in 2013. Nancy Herman, spokeswoman for the American Heart Association, said there were 13 child care centers in Luzerne County that participated in the program last year. In Lackawanna County, seven child centers ...

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Dallas Area: nearly $350,000 in education grants due

DALLAS — Dallas Area School District this week announced the receipt of nearly $350,000 in federal education grant funding through Pennsylvania’s Title 1 and Title 2 programs.Jack Wega, federal programs coordinator, said the district would receive $254,222 under Title 1 and $90,751 under Title 2 for the 2014-2015 school year. Wega cautioned the amounts would not be finalized until February.Wega said the Title 1 program was a supplemental education program tha...

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Dallas Borough lauds festival’s success

DALLAS — At Wednesday’s council meeting, Borough Manager Tracey Carr thanked everyone who helped make the 12th annual Dallas Harvest Festival a success.“The Year of the Family Celebration,” was the theme for this year’s event, which was held last Sunday. “The volunteers did a tremendous amount of work and we had a wonderful day,” she said.A wrap-up meeting of the Dallas Harvest Festival Committee will take place at 7 p.m., Thursd...

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Auditor General says Butler Township misspent $20,010 in state money

BUTLER TWP. — Butler Township spent $20,010 in “liquid fuel tax” money on a truck but lacked proper paperwork to justify using state funds, according to a state Auditor General report.Township Manager Maryanne Petrilla said Thursday the error was caused by a mix-up with the vendor and has been fixed.The report refers to the purchase of a 2013 Ford truck and dump body for $64,396 in March, 2013. The township used $50,000 from the Municipal Liquid Fuels T...

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Argh! Five Folks speaking pirate for ‘Talk Like A Pirate’ Day

Argh! It bein’ ‘Talk Like A Pirate’ Day today, we looked for landlubbers in downtown Wilkes-Barre, pointed our cutlasses at them (not really) and asked:“Would you like to say something, like a pirate? C’mon, please?”***“Argh! Come and see the Arts Seen Gallery or we’ll be keel haulin’ you.”Piera Marotto, Pittston***Ahoy, mateys! From the psychology department (at Wilke...

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Our Opinion: Wilkes-Barre Township Volunteer Fire Department due for shakeup – or shutdown

For the public’s safety in Wilkes-Barre Township and beyond, someone in authority needs to address the deplorable situation involving the Wilkes-Barre Township Volunteer Fire Department.The department’s longtime chief, John Yuknavich, is expected on Sept. 25 to plead guilty in federal court in Scranton to theft charges, having been accused of using the organization as his personal piggy bank. Prosecutors allege that from January 2008 to December 2011 Yuknavich deposited...

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Funeral held in Scranton for ambushed Pennsylvania trooper

Hundreds of Pennsylvania state troopers and law enforcement from several states stood silently this morning as the bells of Saint Peter’s Cathedral rang out marking the burial day of fallen Cpl. Bryon T. Dickson.Dickson, 38, of Dunmore, was killed in an ambush Friday night outside the state police barracks in Blooming Grove, Pike County.Large American flags hung at either end of the block on Wyoming Avenue as the troopers with heads bowed awaited arrival of the fun...

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Dietrich Film Festival expands to three weeks

For the first time in 12 years, the annual Fall Film Festival at the Dietrich Theater in Tunkhannock will last three weeks instead of two, the better to showcase what organizers Hildy Morgan and Ronnie Harvey call “this explosion of wonderful films.”Harvey is especially looking forward to “Boyhood,” a film that followed the trajectory of a boy’s life, using the same young actor for 12 years. “I’ve heard nothing but praise about it,” h...

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Coroner identifies body found in field near Interfaith Heights apartments in Wilkes-Barre

WILKES-BARRE — City police are investigating the death of a man found in a field in the Interfaith Heights apartment complex near Coal Street Thursday morning.The body was found at about 7 a.m. in a field near a fence that separates the troubled Sherman Hills apartment complex.Luzerne County Coroner William Lisman identified the body as 23-year-old Tyzheke Seward of Wilkes-Barre.Assistant District Attorney William T. Finnegan Jr., who was at the scene, s...

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Federal arrest warrant issued for Eric Matthew Frein

SCRANTON — A federal magistrate judge has issued an arrest warrant for Eric Matthew Frein, 31, the Monroe County man accused in the slaying of state police Cpl. Bryon Dickson and critically injuring Trooper Alex Douglass outside the Blooming Grove barracks Friday night.U.S. District Magistrate Thomas M. Blewitt signed the arrest warrant charging Frein with “knowingly and intentionally move and travel in interstate commerce with the intent to avoid prosecution” rel...

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Ramirez testifies in his own defense in deadly drunken-driving trial

WILKES-BARRE — Shane Stewart wanted to fight, his accused killer said.Patrick Ramirez, 26, of Missouri, testified in his own defense this morning, telling a jury in Luzerne County Court that Stewart, 25 — his co-worker and a close friend since their freshman year of high school — jumped into a truck window three times in the morning of Sept. 9, 2013, attempting to hit him and pull him out of the vehicle.“‘Let’s throw bodies,’R...

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