Our Opinion: Unsolved deaths in Luzerne County get renewed attention they deserve

September 23rd, 2016 7:11 pm

Diamonds to state police “cold case” investigators. They intend to take a renewed look in Luzerne County at four unsolved deaths that occurred between 1970 and 1980, which, at the time, were either ruled homicides or thought to be highly suspicious. The victims’ bodies are expected to be exhumed next week from two area cemeteries, allowing for crime analysis using technologies that didn’t exist decades ago. The investigation, made possible by a National Institute of Justice grant, offers hope that the perpetrators, despite what they might have believed until now, won’t get away with murder.

Coal to the meathead, or meatheads, who recently deposited on area residents’ front lawns those despicable KKK fliers. Certain people in Wilkes-Barre Township and elsewhere reported this week that they received a plastic baggie containing an apparent Ku Klux Klan recruitment message, a lollipop and rocks. A lollipop? Perhaps the perpetrators of this campaign are trying to attract other suckers. Despite what apologists argue today, the KKK is not merely a pro-white fan club. It’s not a genealogical association. It’s a hate group with a long history of vile, misguided and murderous behavior. If you receive one of these unwanted packets, report it to police.

Diamonds to a teaching duo in Wilkes University’s pharmacy program. Judith Kristeller and Dana Manning have been awarded multiple grants, including $150,000 from the Cardinal Health Foundation, for a program intended to ease patients’ transitions from hospitals to their homes. In particular, the program targets individuals who take five or more medications, according to a university news release. The objective: Make certain those patients and their pharmacists and doctors stay on the same page, helping to stave off medication-related problems and hospital readmissions.

Coal to creepy clown copycats. A rash of reports about individuals dressed as clowns and acting suspiciously, perhaps even trying to entice children to follow them, has kept police busy in communities across the nation, including in the Wyoming Valley. Supposed sightings recently occurred in Wilkes-Barre, Hanover Township and Edwardsville. Don’t add to this hysteria by making a false report; that’s illegal. Also, all the resulting bad publicity prompts real clowns (of children’s hospital, circus and carnival fame) to put on their frowny faces.

Diamonds to autumn revelers. We’re talking about lovers of bulky sweaters, tumbling leaves, pumpkin spice, football games played on chilly nights, apple harvests and hayrides (haunted or not). It finally appears – with forecasted high temperatures this weekend not to exceed 72, and nighttime lows dipping into the 40s – that your time has arrived.

Get outdoors. Savor the season!