Last updated: February 19. 2013 7:14PM - 291 Views

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Obama, Congress blamed for man's lesser lifestyle

I want to thank President Obama and Congress for making my life so much easier over the past four years. I no longer have to worry about maintaining three cars, as now I have only one. I no longer need to decide which motorcycle to ride as now I have only one, and I can certainly forget about storing and maintaining my boat as I now have none.

Those pesky two employees I used to have are also gone. Planning a vacation this year was not necessary. And keeping track of my retirement fund is not needed anymore either.

Balancing my bank account has become so much easier also. Most of what I have is in my pocket.

I also get so much more mail from my friends at the gas company, the electric company, the water company; it makes good reading. It's also easier to choose a TV channel now, since I got rid of that nasty cable and changed to antennae.

So once again, thank you, President Obama and Congress. Have a happy holiday season.

Ted Priestash


One bad slip and fall, many good Samaritans

On the night of Oct. 11, I fell while running with my dog Murphy and badly broke my leg. I thank those people who have helped me and continue to help me during my recovery.

First, a grateful thank-you to my neighbor Ed from East Newport Street. He was out with his dog, Hampton, at the same time and he held on to Murphy for me until my husband arrived.

Next there was Clarice, from Ridge Street, who stopped her car. She ran over to me, placed her purse under my head as a pillow and called the ambulance. I don't know how long I would have been there or what would have happened to Murphy if not for these two caring people.

Thank you to the Hanover Township ambulance personnel, who arrived promptly. Both attendants were very kind and considerate.

After being transferred to Geisinger Medical Center in Danville for two corrective surgeries, I then spent three weeks at John Heinz Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine. Everyone there is absolutely fantastic, and they have placed me well on my way to recovery. Much gratitude to Megan, Annie, Kim, Ann Louise, Alex, Keith, Stephanie, Donna, Trish, Tonya, Lindsey, Gayle, Nathan, Kristen, Roxzann, Mary Yuknavich and so many more – I don't have room to list. You are all wonderful people, and I very much appreciate your support, kindness and friendship.

Last, but certainly not least, I want to say how grateful I am to my family, my husband, my friends and my co-workers. Your love and support is unwavering, and you are all my rocks during this long recovery. I realize how lucky I am to have such a great support system.

Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

Mary Grace Blaker

Hanover Township

K-9 unit in Sugar Notch to take bite out of crime

I was adamant about starting a K-9 unit in the Sugar Notch Police Department because one only needs to look at the news to see that drug use in this county is on the rise. Along with an increased drug problem come other crimes such as burglaries, criminal trespassing and robberies.

With the support of my family and the backing of the mayor and borough council, I began my search for a dog and training facility. I decided that the best course of action would be to contract with North East Police K-9 Academy for training. With the help of owner/trainer Paul Price, I was able to purchase a German shepherd and begin my training. At the start, I funded the cost of the dog, home equipment, veterinary treatment and the startup for the cost of training.

If not for Mr. Price's assistance, I would not be a proud handler of a new K-9 team. Besides his assistance in finding the proper dog, Mr. Price provided a well-structured and demanding course – second to none.

I had the privilege to train with K-9 teams from the Luzerne County Prison, multiple counties and local municipalities. I developed friendships and was able to obtain insight from their years of experience. I thank them all for that.

One thing I learned from the other teams is that training never stops with a K-9 unit. I especially thank Officer Al Rodriguez of the Wilkes-Barre Police Department. Officer Rodriguez would take his personal time to meet, and we would run our dogs through training exercises outside of the mandated training. His commitment to K-9 training is commendable.

When word spread of our training, several entities provided their support. I thank Chief Al Walker of the Hanover Township Police Department for his support and assistance in securing a transport unit for the K-9 vehicle. Special gratitude is extended to Craft Sheet Metal for providing its services to customize the K-9 vehicle with the transport unit.

The dog was able to practice narcotic searches of vehicles thanks to Gyle's Auto Sales, which provided training cars. I extend a special thank-you to the Luzerne County District Attorney's Office for its support, assistance and subsequent donation from the forfeited drug money account to help pay for some of the dog's training.

The following businesses also were contributors to the dog's training: Churnetski Transportation, Dr. Henry S. Bobeck, The Institute for Human Resources and Services, Paul Viti's Barber Shop, Service Electric Cable, Derff's Pizza, Zaboski Plumbing and Pasonic Inc. Also, a special thank-you is due to Tractor Supply in Hanover Township for hosting several fundraisers for the K-9 unit and to all of the people who came out to support us.

Through this process, the Sugar Notch Fire Department and residents of the borough stood strong behind us; we are grateful for that.

I thank my new partner, Mason, for the service he is about to provide to this area, and I want the community to be aware that our police department is using modern and innovative techniques in dealing with today's crimes.

I, along with Mason, look forward to serving our community.

Christopher M. Pelchar Sr.

Chief of Police

Sugar Notch Police Department

Will new county officials leave a favorable legacy?

Those we elect as president of the United States always are concerned about their legacies. What is the legacy of those people we elect to Luzerne County government?

Is this to be remembered as the most corrupt county in the state, for the kids for cash scandal? We have representatives, school administrators, school board members, a commissioner, judges, attorneys; all left their corrupt legacies.

And then we have the criminal enterprise of people who commit heinous acts against people and property – another legacy gift.

What is the legacy of Luzerne County? Let's pray it's the new county government and manager.

George J. Kochis


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