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Hazleton strangulation homicide suspect pleads not guilty, heads to trial

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WILKES-BARRE — A Hazleton man accused in the strangulation death of his ex-girlfriend pleaded not guilty Tuesday to a criminal homicide charge.Oscar Lozano-Garcia, 37, entered the plea at an arraignment before Judge Richard M. Hughes in Luzerne County Court. A jury trial is scheduled for June 1, with jury selection set to begin May 27.Prosecutors say Lozano-Garcia in December 2012 strangled Maria Brea, 32, of Hazleton, wrapped her body in tape and plastic and stowed it in the padlocked attic of her apartment.According to a criminal complaint, Brea’s sister Wendy Rodriguez told investigators that Brea told her on Dec. 14, 2012 that she had just broken up with Lozano-Garcia and was surprised how well he had taken the breakup.


Luzerne Merchants plan all town yard sale

The Luzerne Merchants Association are planning the biannual All Town Yard Sale to be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 11, on Main Street. This year’s event will include a show of local comedians, music, DJ and vendors as well as Luzerne residents who are invited to set up along Main Street or on their own properties. Blue Chip Farms will be at the event from noon to 2 p.m. for donations of pet food or money for pet adoptions. Residents who are interested in participating sho...

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LCCC hosts children’s culinary camp

Luzerne County Community College recently hosted a culinary summer camp for children at the College’s Educational Conference Center. Campers gained hands-on culinary experience through measurement skills, reading and creating recipes, and meal preparation. Parents joined on the final day of camp for a special culinary treat. At the event, from left, first row are Gary McLendon, Shickshinny; Kushi Syed, Drums; Lydia Wrubel, Wilkes-Barre; Mallory Taney, Nanticoke; Abby Lauer, Shavertown; ...

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Luzerne County Assistant District Attorney Michael Melnick awaits disciplinary decision while on leave

WILKES-BARRE — A disciplinary conference has been held for Luzerne County Assistant District Attorney Michael Melnick, who has been on administrative leave pending a decision that could alter his employment with the prosecutor’s office.Melnick, 54, was placed on paid administrative leave shortly after it was learned in August he visited a female inmate at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility in June. Melnick’s visits to the woman were not related to his duties...

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Fitness pro brings exercise to Sherman Hills

WILKES-BARRE — Things began to move quickly when Bryant Carter started beating up a telephone pole.The 52-year-old martial arts and fitness instructor from Wilkes-Barre uses the wooden pole, riddled with flattened staples from long gone posters and fliers, in the Sherman Hills Apartments complex as a sort of punching bag during his daily exercise routine.It was during one of these sessions when Tyrell Jacobs, 24, of Wilkes-Barre’s Parsons section, passed the ...

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R Bar & Grill moving to new location

NEWPORT TWP. — The rumor mill is spinning fast in Nanticoke as patrons of the R Bar & Grill try to speculate what the new, larger, location of the local restaurant will look like, said owners Lindsey Temarantz and Lauren Maga.“The carpet installer even said people were asking him to take pictures when he came in,” Temarantz said.The R Bar & Grill, currently located at 144 East Union St., Nanticoke, had built up quite a name and following for itself over...

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In Brief

KINGSTON: The Kingston Historical Society will meet at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 25, at the Kingston Municipal Building on Wyoming Avenue.The featured speaker will be Robert Bomboy, author of “Smart Boys Swimming in the River Styx.”The meeting is open to all residents and friends of Kingston. Anyone interested in joining the society can get further information by contacting Joe Grimes, president, at P.O. Box 1702, Kingston, PA 18704.

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W-B Academy students participate in WEBS camp

Five seventh grade girls from Wilkes-Barre Academy had a fun-filled week during WEBS camp (Women Empowered by Science) at Wilkes University. They participated in scientific labs and activities such as robot programing, genetics, food analysis, solar cooking, and frog dissection. At the event, from left, are Emily Duris, Marissa Jason, Emily Urbanski, Lydia McFarlane and Sonal Garg.

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Review: Horror Hall delivers the most thrills and chills $13 can buy

When we first entered East Nanticoke’s cavernous fire hall, we knew we were in for a treat when we spotted what appeared to be a human skeleton being barbecued on a make-shift grill next to us in the ticket line.We were escorted to an auditorium where Michael Jackson’s iconic “Thriller” video played before a deranged organist welcomed us to Horror Hall in a very dramatic (and loud) way. From there, we were led upstairs, where commemorative photos are taken....

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Misericordia University hosts welcome back barbecue

Misericordia University students Ileana Santana and Chabely Espinal, Hazleton; Karlee Naylon, Sugarloaf, and Emily Betterly, Hazleton, took part in a Welcome Back Barbecue hosted by the Misericordia University Office of Multicultural Education. More than 50 students attended the event that was coordinated by the Multicultural Club and Maria Cabrera, multicultural student outreach coordinator. Music was provided and there was a display of cultural artifacts representing the many ethnicities of...

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Holy Redeemer High School welcomes freshmen class

Holy Redeemer High School welcomed the Class of 2018 during its annual freshmen orientation activities. Freshmen were hosted by members of the school’s Student Leadership Council for a day of presentations and group activities. New students were introduced to school programs and policies, got acquainted with schedules and the school building, and were treated to a picnic lunch. Students also attended their first Mass as Holy Redeemer students. Student leadership ambassadors and incoming...

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King’s students will study abroad for semester

Ten King’s College students will study in foreign countries for academic credit during the fall semester. Erin Dempsey will study at the University of Limerick in Limerick, Ireland.Kayla Havens, and Christina and Francesca Varvaglione will all study at John Cabot University in Rome, Italy. Elizabeth Hoover, Amanda Kotch, and Alison Schug will study at the University of Manchester in England. Alexandria Jamilowski will study at the Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona in Barcelona, Spain. J...

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Viercinski golf tournament benefits St. Joseph’s Center

The seventh annual John Viercinski Memorial Golf Tournament was held at the Edgewood in the Pines Golf Course in Drums.The proceeds from the tournament will benefit St. Joseph’s Center and will be used towards the cost of renovations to the community home in Swoyersville, where John’s son, Jimmy, resides. A check in the amount of $11,500 from the event was presented to St. Joseph’s Center at the Swoyersville home. At the event, from left, are Paul Hiller, Joe Tabit, Kurt Kie...

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Disaster aid legislation sponsored by state Sen. Lisa Baker advances to House

HARRISBURG — The Pennsylvania Senate recently passed legislation sponsored by Sen. Lisa Baker to create a state disaster assistance program.The program would provide grants to public entities to cope with uninsured losses caused by flash floods, fires, snowstorms, tornadoes, landslides, hazardous material spills, and other emergencies, but that fall below the state’s $17.5 million threshold for federal aid, according to press release from her office Tuesday.A...

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Sister of Mercy Karen Schneider tells Misericordia University students of medical mission abroad

DALLAS TWP. — Karen Schneider thought she was in trouble. There she was, alone in the middle of a jungle in Guyana, South America. The plane which had taken her there had flown off, and now all she could see were trees.Until a young boy appeared and led the fourth-year medical student to a village, banging his stick on the ground along the way to scare off snakes. When they arrived, Schneider saw thatched huts on stilts with no running water or electricity.“I...

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Drug charges filed against SCI-Dallas guard Carl Dohl

A correctional officer from the State Correctional Institution at Dallas is scheduled to appear Wednesday at a preliminary hearing on felony drug charges.Carl Dohl, 36, of Shickshinny, tried passing a counterfeit prescription in July to obtain painkillers from a CVS Pharmacy in Nanticoke, police said.He faces four felony counts, including forgery and attempting to acquire a controlled substance by misrepresentation, according to court papers filed in the case....

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Filmmaker: Eric Frein was in my documentary

CANADENSIS — The manhunt for the survivalist accused of ambushing a state police barracks has narrowed to the rural area where he grew up and his parents still live, but the suspect has managed to elude capture despite the efforts of hundreds of law enforcement officials.State police Tuesday brought in an armored tactical vehicle outfitted with robotic video cameras. The vehicle, called The Rook, can deliver officers to the second story of a house without having to approach f...

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Council chairman’s harassment charge assigned to new judge

Conflicting harassment complaints between Luzerne County Council chairman Rick Morelli and a boyfriend of an ex-girlfriend will be heard by District Judge Joseph J. Carmody.The case was transferred earlier this month from District Judge Ronald W. Swank, according to court papers.Police cited Morelli with harassment in July after an exchange between the chairman and David Fey outside a Mountain Top pizzeria. Morelli in turn filed a harassment complaint against Fey....

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