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

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

Corrections Officer Killed At Federal Prison In Wayne County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Wayne County

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

A corrections officer from Nanticoke was killed by an inmate at a federal prison in Wayne County last night, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

Eric Williams, 34, was killed by an inmate who used a homemade weapon at the U.S. Penitentiary, Canaan, a federal prison for male inmates.  He was transported to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead about 11:30 p.m.

“This is clearly the darkest day in our institution’s short history, and we are in shock over this senseless loss of a colleague and friend,” Warden David Ebbert said in a statement.

Bureau of Prisons spokesman Chris Burke said the prison remains in lockdown and that the FBI is investigating the attack.  He referred comment on potential charges to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Read more:  http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/corrections-officer-killed-at-federal-prison-in-wayne-county-1.1450249

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

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

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

Record-Setting Rains Hurting NEPA Farmers

 

Editor’s Note: This is a good awareness story during Farm Show Week!

JEFFERSON TWP., PA - Will Keating looked at the depleted hay stockpile in his barn and thought about the impact on his dairy farm.

“It will cost us another $15,000 to $18,000 to get through the winter,” Mr. Keating said as his herd of 38 milking cows lounged in theMountCobbbarn. “The hay took a big hit and quality is down. It’s very frustrating.”

Drenching summer rainfall severely diminished production of forage crops, such as feed corn and hay, on many regional dairy farms. Months after the record-setting rains ceased, the shortfall forces dairy farmers to buy hay and feed they would not need after a normal growing season.

“My hay crop was the worst I ever had,” said Joe Davitt, a Waymart-area dairy farmer. “It’s going to cost me probably $2,000 a month to feed my cattle. In a normal winter, I don’t have any added expenses.”

Read more: http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/record-setting-rains-hurting-area-farmers-1.1255054#ixzz1iygMGUIF

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.