Wilkes-Barre Among Nation’s ‘Cheapest’ College Towns, According To New Study

WILKES-BARRE, PA — Tuition, books and direct spending aside, Wilkes-Barre is among the 30 cheapest places to go to college nationwide, according to a new analysis. The big reason: Housing is dirt cheap — about 30 percent of the national average.

Wilkes-Barre was 26th in the list, which was topped — or bottomed, cost-wise — by Memphis Tennessee, where the overall cost of living is 26.7 percent less than the national average. Don’t bother asking for the college town with the highest cost of living; the website that devised the list is, after all, cheapestcolleges.org.

Wilkes-Barre’s overall cost of living was 79.8 percent of the national average, But a look at the numbers under that percentage show we aren’t all that cheap in most categories.

Of six categories used to judge the cost of living, Wilkes-Barre is higher than the national average in four — miscellaneous, transportation, utilities, and groceries — and just under the national average (97 percent) in health costs. But, boy, do we make up for it housing.

Read more: http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news-news/151499742/

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Top 12 College Towns For Commuting On Foot

Editor’s note:  Number 3 is a Pennsylvania university!

On his several-days-a-week walks to and from work in Ithaca, NY, Tom Knipe breathes in the scent of lavender plants during temperate months. Along his ¾-mile route between work and home, Knipe also spots creatures like otters, mink, turtles, ducks and heron. Or he stops to chat with friends and neighbors. During the winter, Knipe notices the “beautiful” changes in the ice patterns in Cascadilla Creek as the water freezes and thaws.

“I typically walk when the weather makes it uncomfortable or less practical to ride my bike. So, during the winter months when there is lots of snow on the ground, I tend to walk to work on average three out of five days a week,” said Knipe, the tourism coordinator for Tompkins County, NY.

In Ithaca, a college town with about 30,000 residents in upstate New York’s Finger Lakes region, Knipe is part of an army of walkers. Ithaca, the home of Cornell University and Ithaca College, ranks first among U.S. college towns for the percentage of workers who commute on foot, according to the U.S. Census Bureau analyzed by The SpareFoot Blog. It also leads the American Institute for Economic Research’s list of thetop college towns in the U.S.

Read more: http://blog.sparefoot.com/6684-top-college-towns-for-commuting-on-foot/

In Search Of Progress, Downtown Wilkes-Barre Evolves

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

WILKES-BARRE, PA —In South Main Street’s first block, several storefronts are empty on the east side and recent demolitions on the other side have a dress shop waiting to reopen and a jewelry store working to re-establish itself.

Further down, the building that houses a longtime retailer has been sold and the former Bartikowsky’s building is expected to be soon owned by Wilkes University.

Changes have come to South Main Street — the city’s main retail artery — but sustained progress has remained elusive.

Jim Bellezza, owner of Bell Furniture at 95 S. Main St., purchased the building that houses the Outlet Army Navy Store at 113 S. Main St. for $159,000 on Jan. 3. An empty lot separates the two buildings and Bellezza plans to renovate the building and expand his business.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/news/1112993/In-search-of-progress-Downtown-W-B-evolves

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