LOCAL
Local Palestinian-Americans react to Trump’s Jerusalem decision

WILKES-BARRE — Sudqi Barqawi, owner of the Jerusalem Halal Market in Wilkes-Barre, and friend Samed Eid cannot understand President Trump’s thinking on Middle Eastern affairs. Both men are part of the growing Palestinian community in Luzerne County. Barqawi, who was born and raised in Palestine, moved to Wilkes-Barre in 2001 and opened his shop/restaurant three […]

Comments - 10:35 pm - updated: 11:39 pm.

Teacher pension-payment increase shrinks, saving schools some money

School district contributions to the teacher pension fund continue to soar. But there was a small bit of good news when a state agency responsible for setting the rates announced next year’s numbers: Contributions are still going up, but less than projected. The impact likely will be small. Take Dallas School District, where Business Manager […]

Comments - 10:20 pm

Mohegan Sun Pocono agrees to pay $1 million in fines for state gaming law violations

PLAINS TWP. — The operator of Mohegan Sun Pocono agreed to pay $1 million in civil fines for violations stemming from fraud and theft committed by former employees and permitting unlicensed vendors to do business with the casino. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board in Harrisburg disclosed two separate consent agreements Wednesday with Downs Racing L.P. […]

Comments - 10:09 pm

Ex-Northwest teacher cleared in court

NANTICOKE — A Northwest Area teacher who was fired for allegedly pushing a second-grader into a wall last spring was found not guilty of harassment Tuesday, according to published reports. District Judge Donald Whittaker cleared Scotty P. Kline, 56, of Benton, after a hearing where the alleged victim testified, says the Press Enterprise of Bloomsburg. […]

Comments - 9:38 pm

New courthouse filing system helps lawyers, but hinders media and public

WILKES-BARRE — Changes to the filing systems at the Luzerne County Courthouse should make things easier for attorneys, but could prove difficult for reporters and the public — at least for the time being. The first of the two enhancements is an e-filing system that will allow attorneys on both sides of a criminal case […]

Comments - 7:27 pm

Charges withdrawn in child-rape case after White Haven defendant dies

WILKES-BARRE — The case against a White Haven man accused of raping a child has been dropped after the defendant’s death. Teddy Newton allegedly had inappropriate sexual contact with a child, and he was facing four felony counts of child rape. However, in a filing by Luzerne County Judge David W. Lupas on Wednesday, the […]

Comments - 6:54 pm

Dorrance Township rejects mini-casinos, approves budget with no tax hike

DORRANCE TWP. — While enacting a $806,765 budget for 2018, supervisors this week also approved a resolution to oppose the establishment of mini-casinos in the township. Acting on information provided by solicitor Sean Logsdon, the supervisors — William Wengryznek and Kevin Gallagher — voted to enact a resolution prohibiting these casinos. Logsdon said they were […]

Comments - 6:44 pm

Months-old Luzerne County ethics complaint still in envelope

Luzerne County’s ethics commission received a complaint in July, but nobody has even unsealed the envelope to read it yet. The reason: the envelope must be opened by an outside attorney under the council-adopted ethics code. And the commission has been unable to find lawyers, even though it has posted repeated public advertisements. Due to […]

Comments - 6:13 pm

Case against alleged child rapist on hold pending competency hearing

WILKES-BARRE — It’s still unclear if a West Hazleton man who allegedly admitted to raping a 6-year-old boy will be deemed competent enough to even have a preliminary hearing. Sebastian Wardingo, 19, was in court for a competency hearing Wednesday, but the hearing was continued for the second time. Wardingo was arrested in June after […]

Comments - 3:01 pm - updated: 10:42 pm.

Family Dollar robbery suspect asks to be freed because he may lose apartment

WILKES-BARRE — Jailed and unable to post bail on robbery charges, John Ricko Jr. asked to be released Wednesday because he may lose his apartment. But Ricko, 32, was told to “stay put” because he may face additional charges related to the aftermath of an alleged robbery at Family Dollar in Ashley earlier this month. […]

Comments - 2:51 pm - updated: 11:15 pm.

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