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City parking enforcement officer charged with theft of meter funds

WILKES-BARRE — A city parking enforcement officer was charged Wednesday with stealing nearly $4,400 in parking meter funds from the city’s tax office.Alfonzo Walker Jr., 59, of Wilkes-Barre, was arraigned by District Judge Martin Kane in Wilkes-Barre on charges of theft and receiving stolen property. He was released on $10,000 unsecured bail.Walker has been suspended without pay, city spokeswoman Liza Prokop said.A student at King’s College a...

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Copper pipes stolen from several Wilkes-Barre houses

WILKES-BARRE — City police reported copper pipes stolen during burglaries this week:• Copper pipes were stolen from an unoccupied residence in the 100 block of New Alexander Street and a house in the 300 block of Stanton Street on Tuesday.• A rear basement door was forced open at a house on North River Street and copper piping stolen. A neighbor reported hearing noises at 12:30 a.m. Wednesday and found the rear door open.• Copper pipes ...

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Talks advance for state to take over two Luzerne County parks

The state is interested in taking over Moon Lake Park in Plymouth Township and other Luzerne County-owned recreational holdings, county Manager Robert Lawton told council this week.Lawton also presented some of the conditions the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) has tentatively agreed to accept if the county transfers ownership. Council may vote on these conditions Dec. 9 so the administration could advance negotiations.In addition to Moon La...

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City to recycle telephone books

WILKES-BARRE — Beginning Dec. 2nd, the City of Wilkes-Barre will participate in the telephone book recycling campaign sponsored by Luzerne County.Collection containers will be available at the following locations through Jan. 21:• DPW Garage, 3 Conyngham Ave.• South Fire Station, 313 High St.• Hollenback Fire Station, 1020 North Washington St.

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Luzerne County attorney fails to appear for DUI hearing, a court document says

WILKES-BARRE — An arrest warrant issued for a Wilkes-Barre-based attorney will be lifted, according to a judge’s office spokeswoman.Elizabeth J. Bartolai, 48, of Bear Creek, was charged with DUI and possession of marijuana in early April, and did not appear for a Tuesday hearing in the matter, court papers say.Luzerne County Judge Hugh F. Mundy issued a failure to appear warrant, which would have been effective 9 a.m. Dec. 3, according to court documents. How...

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Food drive sets inauspicious record

WILKES-BARRE — More families in need than ever before have been served by this year’s food distribution at the Commission on Economic Opportunity’s Weinberg Food Bank.The inauspicious record of the agency’s 35th annual Thanksgiving Project set a new record for food distributed in the Wyoming Valley in advance of the holiday by the largest and longest running holiday food drive in the region.

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Average gas prices for November 26

Commuters hitting the road today for holiday travels will be greeted by low gas prices, as Wilkes-Barre’s average continues to trickle below the $3-mark.AAA Mid-Atlantic provided the following data for today’s average gas prices in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania and nationwide:• Wilkes-Barre area gas average at $2.95 today, down a penny overnight and down 3 cents in the last week. Diesel at $3.65 today, unchanged overnight.• Pennsylvania ga...

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Our Opinion: Donating to charity? Do so wisely and with results in mind

Give from your heart, but run every charitable impulse past your brain before writing that check or dropping dollars into a donation box.Too many of us who make holiday and end-of-year donations between Thanksgiving and Christmas – considered prime charitable-giving season – do so based on spur-of-the-moment decisions rather than on a well-conceived plan. That’s too bad, because it sometimes means our money gets squandered by legitimate groups or, in other instanc...

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Small Business Saturday highlights Wyoming Valley businesses

WILKES-BARRE — In the rush of holiday buying, the Downtown Wilkes-Barre Business Association invites shoppers to slow down and shop local on Small Business Saturday.Developed in 2010 by American Express, Small Business Saturday traditionally follows Black Friday to benefit locally owned and operated retail stores who contribute to the local economy.According to Bloomberg Business Week, in 2013 consumers spent nearly $5.7 billion in locally owned businesses, nationw...

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Coughlin calculus teacher hired as national consultant

WILKES-BARRE — Coughlin High School calculus teacher Gerald Gillis already nabbed a bit of fame thanks to a string of years in which all his students aced their Advanced Placement tests — including last year’s group, making it four years running. Now he’s been tabbed by The College Board, the organization behind AP classes, as a calculus consultant.“Only four teachers nationwide were chosen this year,” Gillis said during a short brake from his AP...

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