Our Opinion: Hey, Harvard ethicists: Why not make Luzerne County your case study?

If the people at Harvard University’s ethics center want a real education on the state of corruption in America, we invite them to visit Northeastern Pennsylvania.Even a brief foray outside the ivory tower, to talk with people in Luzerne County about the bizarre and lawless behavior of certain local and state elected officials, might challenge some of the academics’ most basic assumptions. Among them: “corruption is not endemic in America.”

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Bank robbery in Hanover Township

HANOVER TWP. — Township police are investigating a robbery at Crossroads branch of M&T Bank on the Sans Souci Parkway at about 1:30 p.m. today.Police said a white man, about 5 feet 8 inches tall and 200 pounds, brandished a silver handgun while demanding money.The suspect was last seen walking toward Crossroads Plaza where he may have entered a vehicle.Police said the suspect wore a black jacket, a grey hooded sweatshirt and white sneakers.

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Pharmacist gets prison time in federal fraud case

An Old Forge pharmacist will serve 15 months in prison and must pay back more than $166,000 in a health care fraud case, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced.Peter J. Capitano, 58, was sentenced last week by U.S. District Judge Malachy E. Mannion in Scranton. In addition to prison time, Capitano will have to serve three years of supervised release.Capitano, who previously pleaded guilty in the case, also was also ordered to p...

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Superior Court upholds sexual assault sentence for Hazleton man

HARRISBURG — The state Superior Court upheld the lengthy prison sentence and designation of a sexually violent predator for a Hazleton man.Lanning Vagts, 49, formerly of Hollywood Boulevard, pleaded guilty Feb. 14, 2013, for sexually assaulting a girl for nearly eight years until 2004, when she turned 16.The abuse intensified in later years, police said, occurring two or three times each week starting in 2003.State police at Hazleton said Vagts frequentl...

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Boback announces district outreach events for January

DALLAS — In order to address questions and concerns of residents of the 117 Legislative District, Rep. Karen Boback (R-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Wyoming) announced her legislative and veterans outreach hours for the month of January.In an effort to address federal and state issues across Boback’s district, U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta (R-11) hosts a monthly casework day at her district office in Dallas, located at 1108 Twin Stacks Drive.

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Man who helped subdue Pocono gunman among Carnegie Heroes

PITTSBURGH — The parks director of a Pennsylvania township who helped subdue a gunman charged with killing three people at a municipal meeting last year is among 19 people being honored with medals and cash from the Pittsburgh-based Carnegie Heroes Fund Commission.Bernard Kozen was the 56-year-old parks director of Ross Township when he tackled, disarmed and subdued 60-year-old Rockne Newell on Aug. 5, 2013. Newell is awaiting trial and faces the possible death penalty for al...

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Wyoming Valley could get some rain heading into Christmas

It looks like it’s going to be a rainy week in the Wyoming Valley, but it should clear by Christmas.The National Weather Service indicated that it was 31 degrees as of 6:54 a.m. at the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport. Mostly cloudy skies kicked off the beginning of the short school week.Cloudy skies will linger around today, with a chance of light rain after 4 p.m. Today’s high will be in the upper 30s.Light rain will become likely afte...

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Average gas prices for December 22

Average gas prices saw large drops over the last week, with the local average nearing the $2.50-mark.The national average, however, could break the $2-mark soon if averages keep dropping.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 $2.62 today, down 4 cents over the weekend and down 12 cents in the last week. Diesel at $3.45 today, down 3 ...

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Traffic report for December 22

It should be an easy ride into work and school on what is probably the beginning of a short week for most.Free-flowing traffic is reported on Interstates 81, 476 and 380 this morning. Routes 115 and 315 are also free of traffic congestion, along with the North Cross Valley Expressway.In Wilkes-Barre, some minor traffic is reported on Wilkes-Barre Township Boulevard and North and South Wilkes-Barre Boulevard. Some minor congestion is also reported on North and South River...

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Ambreya L. Pambianco

Ambreya Lynn Pambianco, daughter of Kristin Pilcavage and Gerald Pambianco, Swoyersville, is celebrating her fourth birthday today, Dec. 22. Ambreya is a granddaughter of Karen Andrews and the late Richard Andrews, Wilkes-Barre; Richard and Caroline Haddick, Swoyersville; and Paulette and Raymond Pambianco, Plains Township. She is a great-granddaughter of Anna Mae and Charles Haddick, Swoyersville, and Janet and Gerald Pambianco, Plains Township. Ambreya has a half-sister, Audrey, 6.

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