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27 Pennsylvania Counties Remain in Drought Watch

HARRISBURG — Despite the recent rainy weather, the state Department of Environmental Protection is maintaining a drought watch for 27 Pennsylvania counties — including Luzerne County — because parts of the state have below-average groundwater and, in some areas, below-average surface water levels.Acting DEP Secretary John Quigley said a very dry fall and below-normal winter precipitation contributed to low groundwater and surface water levels in northeast and cent...

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In Pittston, Casey pushes for bill to aid growing number of 'chronically underfunded' bridges

PITTSTON — In the number of structurally deficient bridges in the state — nearly 5,600 — Pennsylvania leads the nation in a category that won't be seen in its visitors' guide. Speaking in Pittston Tuesday beside the Water Street Bridge, one of 974 county-owned bridges statewide to make the list, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Scranton, pushed for a bill that would aid chronically underfunded bridges a...

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Dallas man, 86, sentenced on child pornography charges

WILKES-BARRE — An 86-year-old man who admitted to child pornography charges was sentenced Tuesday to five years in the Intermediate Punishment Program, according to court papers.Edward W. Hartman, of Ridgeway Drive, Dallas, will spend the first six months of his sentence on house arrest, court papers say. He also must pay a $3,000 fine.Hartman pleaded guilty before Judge Joseph F. Sklarosky Jr. in February to 20 counts of possession of child pornography....

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Woman’s car hit by gunfire in Wilkes-Barre

WILKES-BARRE — Shots were fired into a vehicle on Brown Street at about 3:15 p.m. today.At least three police units and about seven officers were present at the scene, with their investigation seeming to center on an apartment building located at 197 Brown St.A maroon Sentra was hit by at least three bullets, casings of which landed nearby on the street and were marked by police as evidence.Several residents, who declined identification, said the buildin...

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AG’s Office pulls former Larksville cop’s cell phone records in connection with December crash

WILKES-BARRE — The state Office of Attorney General is investigating a second West Side police officer in the alleged attempted coverup of a December crash.A state investigator in late April acquired a search warrant for cell phone billing, call and text message records of former Larksville police officer Michael Thomas in connection with a Dec. 21 crash that has ...

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Bridge repairs on Luzerne County’s West Side will cause extended detours

DUNMORE — PennDOT announced Tuesday that the replacement of two area culvert bridges will take some time and won’t be completed until the fall.In order to replace a box culvert bridge that was originally built in 1929, Shoemaker Avenue in West Wyoming was closed Tuesday and a detour is being posted.This bridge is being replaced under the same $2.23 million contract as a 90-year-old bridge on 8th Street, which is being built utilizing a temporary runaround bri...

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Four Wyoming Valley men arraigned on domestic assault charges

HANOVER TWP. — Four men were arraigned Tuesday by District Judge Joseph Halesey on unrelated domestic abuse charged.Two men were arrested by Wilkes-Barre police and two were arrested by Nanticoke police.• Jody Guitson, 36, of Hazle Avenue, Wilkes-Barre, was charged with aggravated assault, simple assault, terroristic threats and reckless endangerment after Rebecca Abel said he threatened her with a knife just before 5:30 p.m. Monday.Abel told polic...

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St. Jude students donate food to kick off International Fest in Mountain Top

MOUNTAIN TOP — “Together we make a difference.”That message was printed on a banner of a truck parked in front of the St. Jude School. One by one, students came up to the truck in single file to donate non-perishable items. Some students held a single item, while others brought plastic bags with several items like peanut butter and noodles.The small food drive was the start of the “Fill the Truck” event, and served as the kickoff for the fou...

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Luzerne man charged with kicking, biting officer

LUZERNE —A man from Luzerne was arrested twice within 24 hours on charges he allegedly attempted to bite a police officer and forced his way inside a neighbor’s residence looking for a hat, according to charges filed.Joseph Nagui Michael’s first run in with police occurred Sunday when he claimed people were chasing him with a knife. Michael called an officer “Eric Frein” and told the officer he was going to have sex with his wife, police allege....

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Our Opinion: Motorcycle safety is a two-way street involving bikers and others on the road

Motorcyclists, be smart out there.Drivers of other vehicles, meanwhile, stay on the lookout for riders of Harleys, Yamahas and similar cycles that increasingly take to the road during warm-weather months yet sometimes don’t sufficiently stand out from the rest of the traffic – with tragic, even fatal, consequences.

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