22-Year-Old Woman Shot To Death In Susquehanna County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Susquehanna C...

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Susquehanna County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After plotting for months, a Susquehanna County man fatally shot his ex-girlfriend outside of her home early Friday and later confessed, police said.

Jonathan Kopacz, 34, 413 Jackson St., Thompson, is facing charges of criminal homicide, terroristic threats and recklessly endangering another person for the shooting death of 22-year-old Kelly Conklin of Susquehanna. He is being held without bail in the Susquehanna County Correctional Facility.William Conklin

The relationship between Mr. Kopacz and Ms. Conklin ended in May, according to police. On Friday, Mr. Kopacz followed Ms. Conklin to a local bar and then back to her home, where he opened fire with two 9-mm handguns as she got out of her car around 1:17 a.m.

Read more: http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/22-year-old-woman-shot-to-death-in-susquehanna-county-1.1772815

NEPA Gets Extra $500M For Projects

Counties constituting Northeastern Pennsylvania

Counties constituting Northeastern Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Northeastern Pennsylvania will get nearly $500 million more than expected for transportation projects over the next 12 years.

In 2012, area planners expected to spend $1.56 billion on transportation infrastructure in Lackawanna, Luzerne, Wyoming, Wayne, Pike and Susquehanna counties from 2013 through 2025, state Department of Transportation spokesman Michael Taluto said.

Gov. Tom Corbett signed the new transportation funding package in November, and transportation planners in the six counties recently allocated $2.03 billion to largely fix up the area’s roads and bridges from 2015 through 2027.

Read more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/nepa-gets-extra-500m-for-projects-1.1757716

11 State Game Lands In NEPA Have Gas Leases

Counties constituting the Endless Mountains Re...

Counties constituting the Endless Mountains Region of Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Gas leases on state game lands in Bradford and Susquehanna counties have earned the Pennsylvania Game Commission $32 million in signing bonuses since 2008.

The Game Commission signed leases on 11 parcels of game land in the two counties. No leases have been signed on game lands in Wyoming and Luzerne counties. Royalties vary from 20 to almost 29 percent. Some gas companies are deducting the costs of moving and marketing the gas from royalty payments, the same as they do for private leaseholders.

Mike DiMatteo, who oversees oil and gas development on game lands as chief of the commission’s division of environmental planning and habitat protection, confirmed that gas companies have deducted post-production costs from royalty payments, although never enough to send the Game Commission a royalty statement with a negative balance, as some private landowners have reported.

The practice has drawn anger even from Republicans supportive of the industry, including Gov. Tom Corbett and state Sen. Gene Yaw, R-23, Williamsport. Both named Chesapeake Energy Corp. as a major offender.

Read more: http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/11-game-lands-in-nepa-have-gas-leases-1.1679176

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Online Publication: Scranton Is Nation’s Most Hungover City

picture-0571Sam Bernardini had the Bog pretty much to himself Wednesday night.

The Scranton was packed with New Year’s Eve revelers the night before, but Bernardini rang in 2014 at home.

“Amateurs go out on New Year’s Eve,” he said, one of four patrons at the bar. Few city watering holes were open, and those that were had far more barstools than customers, suggesting that a study published by Business Insider might have merit.

The online publication ranked Scranton the “Most Hungover City in America” in a list of 25 communities where citizens were likely to be nursing sore heads and queasy stomachs Wednesday morning.

Read more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/online-publication-scranton-is-nation-s-most-hungover-city-1.1610427

Officials Break Ground On McGowan Center In Luzerne County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

JENKINS TOWNSHIP, PA – Officials from the Commission on Economic Opportunity broke ground Monday for a $6.4 million center in CenterPoint Commerce and Trade Park East named after the late Monsignor Andrew J. McGowan and aimed at providing healthy food for the needy.

When completed next spring, the Monsignor Andrew J. McGowan Center for Healthy Living will store and distribute healthy food products for about 80,000 low-income residents of Luzerne, Lackawanna, Susquehanna and Wyoming counties, with an emphasis on children and the elderly.

The center also will provide nutritional information, said principal speaker Sue Gin McGowan, sister-in-law of the late Monsignor McGowan and wife of the late William McGowan, an Ashley native and business leader.

Sue Gin McGowan, president of the board of the William G. McGowan Charitable Fund, a major benefactor of the new center, said the new facility will dramatically expand the reach of the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Food Bank, which already serves Northeastern Pennsylvania’s neediest.

Read more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/officials-break-ground-on-mcgowan-center-1.1538590

Pipeline Giant Putting Down Roots In Tunkhannock

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Wyoming County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Wyoming County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

TUNKHANNOCK — Two months ago, Helen Humphreys sat in her cluttered Williams Energy field office downtown in this Wyoming County borough surrounded by exhibit displays and stacks of binders.

Outside the room, clerical employees and field workers shuffled around each other in the converted credit union building. Technicians’ gear and road signs were stacked in corners neatly, but obviously out of place in the former bank.

It was not a scene you’d expect for an operator of some of the country’s largest pipeline systems. Williams has grown from six employees in Northeastern Pennsylvania to more than 100 in a 2 1/2 years, and the growth has inspired construction of the company’s new field office on the outskirts of town, said Mike Dickinson, a Williams operations manager.

Humphreys, a strategic outreach coordinator for the company, kicked off a ceremonial groundbreaking Monday to announce Williams’ new 30,000-square-foot field office to be completed by spring 2014.

Read more:  http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news/711932/Pipeline-giant-putting-down-roots-in-Tunkhannock

Study: Poor Health Habits Prevalent In Northeast Pennsylvania

Counties constituting Northeastern Pennsylvania

Counties constituting Northeastern Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A project aimed at establishing a benchmark of regional residents’ health reinforced something already known — Northeastern Pennsylvania residents, generally speaking, are not very healthy.

The study, conducted by the Scranton-based Northeast Regional Cancer Institute, was done so the effects of the Marcellus Shale industry on the region’s health can be gauged in the future.

“We wanted to create a baseline on the health of the community to use as a benchmark against future studies to see what effects, if any, and to what extent the industry will have had on the region’s health,” said Bob Durkin, president of the Cancer Institute.

Dr. Samuel Lesko, principal investigator for the survey, said a variety of issues related to “fracking” and other processes used to produce natural gas have contributed to community concerns about potential adverse health outcomes.

Read more:  http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news/405891/Study:-Poor-health-habits-prevalent-in-region

Minimal Losses In Lackawanna, Luzerne, Wyoming Counties In Latest Census Estimates

Every county in the region lost population from 2011 to 2012, according to new Census Bureau estimates.

Data released by the government Thursday indicates nominal population losses in Lackawanna, Luzerne and Wyoming counties.

Pike County was the region’s largest population loser by proportion – 1.15 percent – and Monroe County experienced the largest population decline, 1,188. Wayne County, the third leg of the area’s Pocono Mountains territory, lost 365 residents, or 0.7 percent.

Susquehanna County‘s population decreased by 385 residents, or 0.9 percent, according to the data.

Read more:   http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/minimal-losses-in-lackawanna-luzerne-wyoming-counties-in-latest-census-estimates-1.1458576

20 Busted In Drug Ring Allegedly Run From Wayne County Golf Course

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Wayne County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Wayne County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  If you would like to see if their face and names, click on the link below to read the rest of the article.

A golf course in Wayne County served as the hub of a trafficking ring that moved more than $1.4 million worth of cocaine from New York City into the hands of area residents, according to the state attorney general’s office.

State narcotics agents on Friday charged 20 people from Lackawanna, Susquehanna and Wayne counties, including the owner of Red Maples Golf Course, Angelo Pozza, 76, with a host of cocaine-related drug counts.

Over the course of the 2½-year investigation that was eventually nicknamed Operation Penalty Stroke, narcotics agents said they were able to trace the flow of cocaine from the Bronx, N.Y., to Mr. Pozza, who sold the narcotic out of his home on the 136 acre grounds of the nine-hole golf course.

“It’s unique because it’s a golf course, but it’s the same sort of front,” said the state’s prosecutor on the case, Deputy Attorney General Timothy Doherty.

Read more:   http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/20-busted-in-drug-ring-allegedly-run-from-wayne-county-golf-course-1.1448530

PA Marcellus Topped 2 Trillion Cubic Feet Of Gas In 2012

English: Cropped portion of image from USGS re...

English: Cropped portion of image from USGS report showing extent of Marcellus Formation shale (in gray shading). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pennsylvania’s Marcellus and other shale wells produced more than 2 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in 2012, continuing a trend of production growth despite fewer drilling rigs in the field.

New production data reported by natural gas drilling companies and released by the state Department of Environmental Protection on Tuesday showed that 1.1 trillion cubic feet of gas flowed from unconventional wells in the state during the second half of 2012.

The wells produced an average of 6.2 billion cubic feet of gas per day between July and December, or enough to fulfill about 9 percent of the nation’s daily natural gas demand.  The U.S. consumed about 70 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day in 2012, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Read more:  http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/pa-marcellus-topped-2-trillion-cubic-feet-of-gas-in-2012-1.1447325

One Dead, Thousands Without Power; Roads Remain Closed In NEPA

Locator map of the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Metro...

Locator map of the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Metropolitan Statistical Area in the northeastern part of the of . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

8-year-old Susquehanna County boy died Monday when wind from superstorm Sandy knocked a tree limb onto him north of Montrose, authorities said.

And while widespread power outages have left nearly 150,000 in the dark, Northeast Pennsylvania, for the most part, escaped the devastation Sandy left in many other areas.

“We can report back that everything is in really good shape,” Lackawanna County Commissioner Corey O’Brien said at a 6 a.m. briefing.

In Lackawanna County, eleven 911 dispatchers and two supervisors handled 1,313 calls from 3 p.m. Monday through 6 this morning, with downed power lines being the main source of problems.

Read more: http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/one-dead-thousands-without-power-roads-remain-closed-1.1395736

Serious Crimes In Lackawanna County Jumped 5.3 Percent From 2010 To 2011

Locator map of the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Metro...

Locator map of the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Metropolitan Statistical Area in the northeastern part of the of . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Serious crime in Lackawanna County is on the rise, including the number of reported murders and rapes, according to new crime statistics released by state police.

Crimes in Lackawanna County, including murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft and arson increased 5.3 percent from 4,815 incidents in 2010 to 5,071 in 2011, the Pennsylvania Uniform Crime Reporting System figures show.  Statewide, these types of crimes increased just 2.1 percent.

Lackawanna County was home to five murders in 2011 – three of them in Scranton – and 48 reported rapes, a jump from just one murder and 38 reported rapes in the county in 2010.  Of the 48 rapes, 34 were in Scranton last year.

“I don’t think there’s any single factor that you could point your finger at and say this is the reason crime is up,” Acting Scranton Police Chief Carl Graziano said.

Read more:  http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/nepa-911/serious-crimes-in-lackawanna-county-jumped-5-3-percent-from-2010-to-2011-1.1379629

Marcellus Shale Yield Skyrockets In Allegheny County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The amount of Marcellus Shale gas produced in Allegheny County more than doubled in the first half of 2012, with nine online wells concentrated in Frazer and Fawn producing more than 3.6 billion cubic feet of gas, according to new data released by the state Department of Environmental Protection.

Even with the increase, the county still contributed a pittance to total statewide production figures.

Gas production across the state climbed from January to June, with 704 billion cubic feet of gas produced, up from the 630 billion cubic feet reported from July to December 2011.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/marcellusshale/county-marcellus-shale-yield-skyrockets-649379/#ixzz246GMjMrr

Nearly 7,000 Still Without Power In NEPA

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Wayne County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Wayne County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Nearly 7,000 PPL Electric Utilities in Northeast Pennsylvania are still without power this morning due to Thursday’s thunderstorms.

A total of 6,737 PPL customers in Lackawanna, Wayne, Pike, Monroe, Susquehanna and Luzerne counties were still without power as of 8:30 a.m., according to the utility’s outage website.

Wayne County had greatest number of customers still without power this morning with 2,701 customers out, though an additional 1,040 had already been restored.

Read more: http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/nearly-7-000-still-without-power-in-nepa-1.1349415

Related story: http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/storms-cause-damage-power-outages-throughout-nepa-1.1349069

Balki’s Back! Bronson Pinchot Has Pa.-Based Show

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Susquehanna C...

Image via Wikipedia

HARFORD, Pa. (AP) — For more than a decade, Bronson Pinchot has spent much of his downtime in the picture-book Pennsylvania hamlet where he found a dream home far from the stressful clamor of New York or L.A.

Pinchot likely remains best known as the endearingly naïve, quasi-Mediterranean immigrant Balki Bartokomous from the TV sitcom “Perfect Strangers.” But unlike Balki, Pinchot is by his own admission “fiercely private” and an “introvert that does a pretty convincing performance as an extrovert.” Still, he has decided to open his doors to America via “The Bronson Pinchot Project,” which premiered Feb. 11 on the DIY cable network. In all, eight episodes were shot over 13 weeks at the end of last year in Harford, a village founded in 1790 and nestled in the Endless Mountains of Susquehanna County near the New York state line.

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/article/20120221/ENTERTAINMENT03/120229941&pager=full_story

As Gas Drilling Boom Slows, Worry Sets In

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Bradford County

Image via Wikipedia

TOWANDA, PA – Vince Arena has a commanding view of Route 6 from Moore’s Auto Showroom. Since 2006, he has seen the traffic on the two-lane road swell with the region’s gas boom until it is bumper-to-bumper, light-to-light for miles just about all day.

Every few seconds, a tractor-trailer hauling water or massive pumps to or from drill sites rumbles past. For the last few weeks, however, Mr. Arena has been able to pull out from his lot without relying on the kindness of other motorists to let him out.

In January, one of the region’s largest gas drillers, Chesapeake Energy Corp., announced it would reduce its rig count in the region. Its rig count will go from 75 to 24, drilling fewer new wells and reducing the flow from existing wells. Other companies made similar announcements.

Read more: http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/as-gas-drilling-boom-slows-worry-sets-in-1.1273569#ixzz1mrJwxXny

Friday’s Storm Causes Widespread Damage in NEPA

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Wayne County

Image via Wikipedia

Friday’s wicked thunderstorm carried a punch in Lackawanna, Susquehanna and Wayne Counties

The National Weather Service issued a preliminary report that an EF-1 tornado touched down near Honesdale, Wayne County.  There was significant tree damage along Route 6 and buildings were damaged.

In Montrose, Susquehanna County, straight-line winds were responsible for damage from the same storm.  Straight-lines winds are non-tornadic in nature and are sometimes called microbursts or downbursts.

Scranton experiences widespread damage from straight-lines winds Friday evening as well.

Wind speed estimate information should be available Sunday.