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Official: Suspect identified in police ambush

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Pennsylvania State Police have identified a suspect in the killing of a trooper and the critical wounding of another outside a rural barracks, a law enforcement official said Tuesday.An arrest warrant will be issued and state police were looking for the suspect, said the official, who was not authorized to release the information and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.An assailant killed Cpl. Bryon Dickson, 38, and critically wounded another trooper outside the Blooming Grove barracks in northeastern Pennsylvania late Friday, then slipped away.


Tax reform bill clears state senate committee

A state Senate bill that would eradicate property taxes in Pennsylvania cleared the Senate finance committee today by one vote.Senate Bill 76, the property tax reform bill, is to move along to the Senate floor.The committee voted six in favor and five against the bill that seeks to provide a revenue-neutral substitute for property taxes.Sen. John Blake, D-Archbald, who is committee vice chairman and the only committee member from the Wyoming Valley region, vot...

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More than 1,000 heroin packets seized during Butler Township traffic stop

BUTLER TWP. — State police at Hazleton said they recovered 1,073 heroin packets in a plastic shopping bag stuffed under the driver’s seat of a vehicle stopped on state Route 309 early Tuesday morning.Raheem Harris, 37, of East Orange, New Jersey, was charged with possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, false identification to law enforcement and driving without a license. He was ja...

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Teen waives assault charges to court; lawyer expected to file petition to transfer to juvenile court

WILKES-BARRE — The Luzerne County Public Defender’s Office is expected to file a petition in an attempt to transfer the assault case against 16-year-old Christopher M. Molinaro to juvenile court.Molinaro, of Hudson Road, was charged Aug. 7 as an adult for the alleged physical and sexual attack on a 14-year-old girl in a wooded area of Miners Mills in July.Molinaro appeared via video conference from the county correctional facility for his preliminary hearing ...

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State police to update Blooming Grove shooting

WYOMING — Many state police investigators from Troop P, based in Wyoming, are assisting in the intense search for the person responsible in the shooting of two troopers outside the Blooming Grove barracks in Pike County.Trooper Tom Kelly, state police spokesman, said Troop P Commander Capt. James E. Degnan, as well as Troop P troopers with the criminal investigations unit and vice and narcotics, are part of the task force.State police are scheduled to hold a news c...

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Niece charged in aunt’s death expected to plead guilty

WILKES-BARRE — Attorneys representing a Hanover Township woman accused of criminal homicide in the death of her 78-year-old aunt expect to resolve the case with a guilty plea, her defense attorney said.Isis Ann Brown, charged in August with killing Dorothy Koreny, appeared today for a formal arraignment before Judge Michael Vough.She is scheduled to plead in Luzerne County Court on Oct. 23. following testimony from a psychologist, according to her attorney Thomas C...

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Chazz Palminteri bringing ‘A Bronx Tale’ to Wilkes-Barre

WILKES-BARRE — Actor Chazz Palminteri will portray more than 20 characters on the F.M. Kirby Center stage when he brings “A Bronx Tale” to Wilkes-Barre on Oct. 3rd.At a time when he only had $200 left in the bank, Hollywood offered Chazz Palminteri more than $1 million for a script he had written and a one-man play he had been performing in Los Angeles.He refused. He wanted to turn it into a screenplay. And he wanted to play “Sonny.”...

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Average gas prices for September 16

The area’s average gas price remained the same overnight, but the national average dipped slightly.AAA Mid-Atlantic provided the following data for the average gas prices in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania and nationwide:• Wilkes-Barre area gas average is at $3.39 today, unchanged overnight and down a penny in the last week. Diesel is at $3.92 today, unchanged overnight.• Pennsylvania gas average is at $3.46 today, unchanged overnight and down 2 c...

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Dreariness will give way to sunny skies into the weekend

Despite the wet and dreary start, sunshine is predicted to return to the Wyoming Valley today.The National Weather Service indicated that it was 55 degrees as of 7:54 a.m. Mostly cloudy skies blanketed the skies this morning, along with a light drizzle that made for wet roadways.Scattered showers are predicted for after 10 a.m. today — otherwise, cloudy skies are expected to give way to partly sunny skies. Today’s high will be in the upper 60s.Part...

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Traffic report for September 16

Aside from some wet roads from morning drizzle, the morning commute looks to be an easy ride to work and school.Free-flowing traffic is reported on Interstate 81 and 38. There are spots of light and heavy congestion on Interstate 476 outside of Avoca.Varying degrees of traffic are also being reported on Route 209 near the Wyoming Valley Mall in Wilkes-Barre. Traffic was also reported on Wilkes-Barre Boulevard and North River Street.Wyoming Avenue in Kingston i...

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Leighton appoints Robert Hughes as acting Wilkes-Barre city police chief

WILKES-BARRE – Mayor Thomas M. Leighton on Monday appointed police Commander of Operations Robert Hughes as acting chief.“I am confident that Commander Hughes will provide the leadership needed to maintain police department operations as acting Chief,” Leighton said of the 25-year department veteran.Hughes is the interim replacement for Chief Gerard Dessoye, who resigned effective Sunday to take a position at King’s College.Liza Prokop,...

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Missions of Mercy

The Nigerian mother was hopeful, so hopeful that her child would be chosen for surgery.When the visiting doctors said yes, they would repair the 9-year-old girl’s umbilical hernia, the mother’s gratitude soared.“She got on her knees and waved her hands in the air, saying ‘Oh, thank-you, thank-you,’ ” said Dr. Karen Schneider, a pediatrician and Religious Sister of Mercy who will deliver a talk titled “The World Needs Mercy, You C...

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Police: Rifle used in trooper ambush

The gunman who ambushed two Pennsylvania State Police troopers outside their barracks, killing one, used a rifle and might have had formal firearms training through the military or law enforcement, authorities said Monday.Releasing a profile of the killer, Lt. Col. George Bivens said investigators are focusing on the possibility that he had an “ongoing issue with law enforcement or the government” and was targeting the Blooming Grove barracks specifically.

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Coughlin’s ‘Pink Game’ has special meaning

WILKES-BARRE — In the final seconds of Monday afternoon’s field hockey game, Brigid Wood of Coughlin and Holy Redeemer’s Greta Ell shared a hug.Though opponents that day, the two have played sports together since they were little kids and the simple gesture was enough to finally bring Coughlin head coach and Brigid’s mom, Colleen Wood, to tears.It was the annual pink game for Coughlin field hockey. The event, which is held to raise funds for breas...

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Luzerne County Council Chairman Rick Morelli compelled to testify in divorce proceeding

WILKES-BARRE — For nearly 40 minutes inside a Luzerne County Courtroom on Monday, county Council Chairman Rick Morelli testified about his five-year relationship with Deana Pickett.Morelli, 43, of Sugarloaf, said the relationship with Pickett, 36, of Dallas, was sexual at a time when they were both married to other partners. Morelli’s divorce from his wife became final earlier this month.Deana Pickett filed for divorce from her estranged husband, Paul Pickett...

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Vets: Staffing key issue at local VA

PLAINS TWP. — The Veterans Affairs Medical Center currently has no veterans on its electronic waiting list and 95.5 percent of appointments are scheduled within 30 days, the medical center’s director, Dr. Michael Adelman said Monday at a veterans town hall at the hospital.But Adelman admitted there is room for improvement, and several veterans provided examples of that, including claims that employees ignore veterans waiting in line for service to inaccuracies in reimbu...

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Kingston police: thefts from unlocked vehicles on the rise

KINGSTON — Kingston Police are advising residents of a recent increase in thefts from unlocked motor vehicles throughout the municipality.Residents are asked to lock their vehicles and remove all valuables from the vehicle to avoid a theft.Police advised residents to contact 911 if they see any suspicious people near their homes or vehicles, especially during the nighttime hours.

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Maday assumes helm of Downtown Business Association

WILKES-BARRE — It’s good when you have Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, Shivers the River Cat and an Irish leprechaun all on your team.It’s even better when one person is all of those characters — and then some.John Maday, the affable, tireless downtown advocate, was named interim president of the Downtown Wilkes-Barre Business Association, replacing John Chaump, who reigned last week to take a promotion with Barnes & Noble that requires him to relo...

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