Taco Bell, Pizza Hut: Artificial ingredients getting booted

NEW YORK — Taco Bell and Pizza Hut say they’re getting rid of artificial colors and flavors, making them the latest big food companies scrambling to distance themselves from ingredients people might find unappetizing.Instead of “black pepper flavor,” for instance, Taco Bell will start using actual black pepper in its seasoned beef, says Liz Matthews, the chain’s chief food innovation officer.The Mexican-style chain also says the artificial d...

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Sen. Casey to push for increased funding for bridges owned by counties, municipalities

PITTSTON — Sen. Bob Casey says that Pennsylvania leads the nation in structurally deficient bridges.In Luzerne and Lackawanna counties, he adds that there are nearly 200 structurally deficient bridges.Casey (D-PA) will push for passage of a bipartisan bill that would increase funding for bridges owned by counties and municipalities. Casey will talk more about his legislation at a news conference at 2 p.m. in Waterfront Park later today.Termed “off-...

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Police: Edwardsville woman stole nearly $400 in goods from Walmart

WILKES-BARRE TWP. — Township police arrested a woman after they allege she stole $364 worth of merchandise from the Walmart Supercenter in Wilkes-Barre Township Marketplace.Police apprehended Shayla Owens, 22, of Edwardsville, in connection with the theft that they say happened on Friday. Police did not indicate what merchandise was allegedly stolen, or exactly when the alleged theft occurred.Owens was jailed at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility on an unrela...

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Average gas prices for May 26

Average gas prices held the line overnight, but the national and state averages are up by a few cents from last week.AAA Mid-Atlantic provided the following figures for today’s average gas prices:• Wilkes-Barre area gas average at $2.80 today, unchanged overnight and unchanged in the last week. Diesel at $3.23 today, down a penny overnight.• Pennsylvania gas average at $2.85 today, unchanged overnight and up 2 cents in the last week. Diesel a...

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Iraq launches operation to drive IS from Anbar

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq on Tuesday announced the launch of a military operation to drive the Islamic State group out of the western Anbar province, where the extremists captured the provincial capital, Ramadi, earlier this month.Iraqi state TV declared the start of the operation, in which troops will be backed by Shiite and Sunni paramilitary forces, but did not provide further details.A spokesman for Iraq’s Shiite militias said the operation will “not last...

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To your health: Why does food cooked outside taste better?

In the Casale household, one of the most reliable signs that spring is here is when Mary tells me it’s time to clean the grill. We have a gas grill built into a nice brick and slate island in the yard and taking it apart for a good cleaning is an awful, dirty, time consuming job. But boy is it worth it! Not much can compare to sinking your teeth into your first meal fresh off the grill. And nothing says spring and relaxation quite like sitting outside under an umbrella with a gentle bre...

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Police: 3 children hurt when waterspout uproots bounce house

MIAMI (AP) — Two of the three children tossed onto a South Florida beach from a bounce house sent flying by a waterspout have been sent home from a hospital with minor injuries, hours after the inflatable was sent airborne above palm trees and a four-lane road, police said.Authorities said the two children were sent home Monday and a third child was in stable condition and being held overnight for observation after the waterspout lifted up the bounce house from the beach....

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Crash involving motorcycle in Wyoming County results in fatality

NOXEN TWP. — A Monroe Township man was killed in a fatal crash involving a motorcycle at approximately 5:30 p.m. on Monday.Police say that Robert Ray Hughes, 31, was traveling east on a motorcycle on Maple Street in Noxen Township, Wyoming County, and began taking a left curve in the roadway. At this time, police say that Jacklyn Keithline, 21, of Monroe Township, was traveling west on Maple Street taking a right curve.Police say that at that point, Hughes, entered...

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Scattered showers, thunderstorms possible throughout the week

After a sunny Memorial Day weekend, the chance for rain and thunderstorms will return to the Wyoming Valley this week.The National Weather Service indicated that it was 67 degrees as of 6:54 a.m. at the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport, with partly cloudy skies kicking off the day.Isolated showers will be possible before noon today, followed by scattered showers and thunderstorms into the afternoon hours. Less than a tenth of an inch of rain is expected, but h...

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Traffic report for May 26

The ride into work and school after the Memorial Day weekend should be an easy one this morning.Free-flowing traffic is reported on Interstates 81 and 476 this morning. Routes 315 and 115 are also free of congestion, along with the North Cross Valley Expressway.Downtown Wilkes-Barre is virtually traffic-free, with no traffic congestion reported. Kingston is also not reporting any traffic congestion.For up-to-date traffic information, including traffic cams, vi...

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