Lawsuit filed by two Wilkes-Barre police officers over injuries settles

WILKES-BARRE — A lawsuit filed by two Wilkes-Barre police officers against a man they arrested during a violent domestic disturbance was settled out-of-court last week.Sgt. Duane Price and officer Stephen Freeman filed the three-count suit in Luzerne County Court in May 2012, against Christopher Norton, 36, over injuries they sustained while arresting Norton inside his residence on Leonard Street.Price suffered a broken wrist and Freeman dislocated his elbow. Both ...

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Jersey Mike’s Subs opens in Wilkes-Barre Township

WILKES-BARRE TWP. — Opened less than a week, Jim Sirotnak, owner of Jersey Mike’s Subs in Wilkes-Barre Township, has already seen repeat customers.Jersey Mike’s Subs joined restaurant row in Wilkes-Barre Township as the business opened its doors on Dec. 17 in Bear Creek Commons, off Bear Creek Boulevard.Summing up his first weekend in business, Sirotnak, of Dunmore, said, “We were very busy.”.Jersey Mike’s Subs, based out of...

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Wilkes-Barre General Hospital razes vacant homes

A wrecking crew is seen working on the demolition of a home on West Chestnut Street in Wilkes-Barre on Monday. This and two other homes, owned by Commonwealth Health Wilkes-Barre General Hospital, were removed for safety and cleanliness reasons, hospital spokeswoman Renita Fennick said. There are no plans for the site where the houses were located, Fennick added.

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British singer Joe Cocker dead at age 70

LONDON — British singer Joe Cocker is dead at age 70. His London-based agent, Barrie Marshall, said Cocker died early Monday of lung cancer in Colorado, where he has lived for the past two decades.Cocker was known for a memorable Woodstock performance and cover of the Beatles’ “With a Little Help From My Friends.”The ballad “You Are So Beautiful,” with Cocker’s voice cracking on the final emotional note, was a Top Ten hit in 1975...

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Our Opinion: Hey, Harvard ethicists: Why not make Luzerne County your case study?

If the people at Harvard University’s ethics center want a real education on the state of corruption in America, we invite them to visit Northeastern Pennsylvania.Even a brief foray outside the ivory tower, to talk with people in Luzerne County about the bizarre and lawless behavior of certain local and state elected officials, might challenge some of the academics’ most basic assumptions. Among them: “corruption is not endemic in America.”

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Bank robbery in Hanover Township

HANOVER TWP. — Township police are investigating a robbery at Crossroads branch of M&T Bank on the Sans Souci Parkway at about 1:30 p.m. today.Police said a white man, about 5 feet 8 inches tall and 200 pounds, brandished a silver handgun while demanding money.The suspect was last seen walking toward Crossroads Plaza where he may have entered a vehicle.Police said the suspect wore a black jacket, a grey hooded sweatshirt and white sneakers.

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Pharmacist gets prison time in federal fraud case

An Old Forge pharmacist will serve 15 months in prison and must pay back more than $166,000 in a health care fraud case, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced.Peter J. Capitano, 58, was sentenced last week by U.S. District Judge Malachy E. Mannion in Scranton. In addition to prison time, Capitano will have to serve three years of supervised release.Capitano, who previously pleaded guilty in the case, also was also ordered to p...

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Superior Court upholds sexual assault sentence for Hazleton man

HARRISBURG — The state Superior Court upheld the lengthy prison sentence and designation of a sexually violent predator for a Hazleton man.Lanning Vagts, 49, formerly of Hollywood Boulevard, pleaded guilty Feb. 14, 2013, for sexually assaulting a girl for nearly eight years until 2004, when she turned 16.The abuse intensified in later years, police said, occurring two or three times each week starting in 2003.State police at Hazleton said Vagts frequentl...

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Boback announces district outreach events for January

DALLAS — In order to address questions and concerns of residents of the 117 Legislative District, Rep. Karen Boback (R-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Wyoming) announced her legislative and veterans outreach hours for the month of January.In an effort to address federal and state issues across Boback’s district, U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta (R-11) hosts a monthly casework day at her district office in Dallas, located at 1108 Twin Stacks Drive.

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Man who helped subdue Pocono gunman among Carnegie Heroes

PITTSBURGH — The parks director of a Pennsylvania township who helped subdue a gunman charged with killing three people at a municipal meeting last year is among 19 people being honored with medals and cash from the Pittsburgh-based Carnegie Heroes Fund Commission.Bernard Kozen was the 56-year-old parks director of Ross Township when he tackled, disarmed and subdued 60-year-old Rockne Newell on Aug. 5, 2013. Newell is awaiting trial and faces the possible death penalty for al...

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