Progress 2015: Wilkes-Barre, Pittston Lead Charge In Revamping Downtown Ecomomic Atmosphere

Shopping outside from store to store has almost become a thing of the past in some areas. But don’t tell that to downtowns in the Wyoming Valley, especially Wilkes-Barre and Pittston.

Downtown shopping in both communities is thriving thanks to the advancements each city has made over the past several years. Couple that with the excitement and enthusiasm of business owners and residents and youv’e got a recipe for success. The success in downtown Wilkes-Barre starts with Public Square.

Downtown Wilkes-Barre Business Association President John Mayday, who is a resident of South Wilkes-Barre and does all of his shopping in the downtown area, said the excitement and enthusiasm is something he hasn’t seen before. And it can only get better, he said.

“New businesses are constantly moving in,” he said. “Our mission is to create the opportunities for our customers and residents to come downtown. They’re been absolutely well-received by the public.”

Read more:

http://www.timesleader.com/news/business-home_top-local-news/152539268/Downtowns-looking-up

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Philadelphia Teen Shot In Nanticoke

A shooting in Nanticoke left an 18-year-old male injured Sunday afternoon, police said.

Mark Brown-Mathis of Philadelphia was found walking down an alleyway between Orchard and West Broad Streets by two residents around 1:30 p.m., police said.

Brown-Mathis allegedly told the residents not to call police prior to them reporting the incident to 911.

When police arrived on scene they discovered Brown-Mathis had a gunshot wound to his right upper arm, according to the Nanticoke police department.

Read more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/philadelphia-teen-shot-in-nanticoke-1.1858841

Municipalities Move To Form South Valley COG

Six communities are moving forward on formation of a Lower South Valley Council of Governments.

The success of other government councils in Luzerne County has sparked enthusiastic support for a South Valley organization, said Andy Gegaris, city manager in Nanticoke.

“By the fall, I think we will have this together,” Gegaris said.

Communities that have met and remain in contact largely via emails are Nanticoke, Newport Township, Hanover Township, Plymouth Township, Sugar Notch and Ashley. The towns hope that Warrior Run also will join, Gegaris said.

Read more:

http://citizensvoice.com/news/municipalities-move-to-form-south-valley-cog-1.1851925

Nanticoke Man Arrested For Shooting In Wilkes-Barre

WILKES-BARRE, PA — A Nanticoke man was arraigned Thursday on charges he shot a woman in the head near Gordon Avenue in South Wilkes-Barre last week.

Michael Angelo Foschini Jr, 25, of West Main Street, was charged with two counts each of aggravated assault and simple assault, and one count each of possession of marijuana and reckless endangerment. He was arraigned by District Judge Donald Whittaker in Nanticoke and jailed at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility for lack of $250,000 bail.

Foschini was arrested by city police and Nanticoke police when he began driving away from his residence at about 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Police believe the woman, a 19-year-old, was shot in the head with a .22-caliber rifle. She survived her injuries.

Read more: http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news/50888033/

Police: Meth Lab Exploded In Nanticoke

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

An explosion caused by residents cooking methamphetamine shook a Nanticoke apartment complex on Saturday, police said.

At approximately 8 p.m., the Nanticoke police and fire departments responded to a call at an apartment building on Lee Mine Street, where they discovered at least six apartments affected by the explosion.

The blast was so forceful that two doors within the apartment were blown off the hinges, police said.

Read more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/police-meth-lab-exploded-in-nanticoke-1.1777749

Nanticoke Resident Plans Community Garden

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

NANTICOKE, PA – Rebecca Seman wants to see the Nanticoke area community growing.

Mainly vegetables, but she’d like to see people grow some flowers, too.

About a month ago, Seman started the Greater Nanticoke Area Community Garden initiative with the idea of getting area residents interested in sustainable farming. She also wants to organize events to improve the community, including a cleanup and flower-planting at Patriot Square Park this Saturday.

“It’s just something I’ve kind of always wanted to do,” Seman said. “Lately I’ve seen a lot of places around the country are trying to become more sustainable. I’d like to see that in Nanticoke.”

Read more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/nanticoke-resident-plans-community-garden-1.1682779

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Nanticoke Selects A New City Manager

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

NANTICOKE, PA — Jay Zupa on Wednesday night became Nanticoke’s new city manager by appointment of Mayor Richard Wiaterowski approved by City Council at an annual salary of $55,000.

He will take over for acting City Manager Donna Wall. The previous city manager was Pamela Heard, who reportedly was paid more than $68,000 a year.

As per home rule charter, Zupa will have one year to become a resident of the city.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/local-news-news/1238662/Nanticoke-selects-a-new-city-manager

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Drugs, Guns Found Across Greater Nanticoke Area Schools

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

NANTICOKE, PA — City police and the Luzerne County Drug Task Force arrested four people and seized a large amount of heroin, crack cocaine and handguns from a house in a school zone.

The house 424 Kosciuszko St. is directly across from the Greater Nanticoke Area high school, middle school and elementary school, and the recess yard for elementary school students, according to charges filed.

Authorities said they found five handguns in which three were loaded, ammunition, 450 heroin packets in a shoe box, crystal methamphetamine, a digital scale, nearly 50 heroin packets scattered in different bedrooms, two marijuana grinders and smoking pipes, marijuana, and nearly $6,000 throughout the house late Thursday afternoon.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/local-news/1148299/Drugs-guns-found-across-Greater-Nanticoke-Area-schools

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Local Tax Hikes Add To Burden Around Luzerne County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

At least 11 of Luzerne County’s 76 municipalities are increasing real estate taxes this year, according to statistics compiled by the county treasurer’s office.

These increases are on top of an 8-percent tax hike for all county property owners, which amounts to $42 more on a $100,000 property.

White Haven has the highest percentage increase — 31.6.

The owner of a $100,000 property in the borough will pay $60 more, with a tax bill increasing from $190 last year to $250 in 2014.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/local-news/1138044/Local-tax-hikes-add-to-burden-around-county

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Geisinger Health System Gives Nanticoke $3M Booster Shot

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

NANTICOKE, PA — Another Geisinger health care site in Luzerne County also is a shot in the arm for Nanticoke’s revitalization.

Patients have been coming in to the Geisinger-Nanticoke family practice center since late November. On Thursday, the health care system and local officials made it official with speeches, a ribbon-cutting and an open house.

State Sen. John Yudichak, who was among the speakers during the brief ceremony, characterized the nearly $4 million center at 128 E. Main St. as another part of the plan to aid Nanticoke’s ailing downtown.

He said local officials came together 10 years ago to put together a plan to revitalize the city. The health care facility joins Luzerne County Community College’s adjacent Health Sciences Center and the nearby Joseph A. Paglianite Culinary Arts Institute in the city’s downtown.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/local-news/1113901/Geisinger-gives-Nanticoke-$3M-booster-shot

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Luzerne County Interested In West Side COG

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

The West Side Council of Governments could soon expand into a dramatically different political body.

Luzerne County and the City of Nanticoke have voiced interest in joining the COG that was created by 12 West Side communities.

Eileen Cipriani, COG president, said COG members have agreed to allow Nanticoke to join the police equipment project and the COG will vote on the membership request at the next meeting.

Robert Lawton, county manager, attended the recent meeting held at Kingston fire headquarters and said he would like to look for ways for the county to work with the COG. He expressed interest in the county joining the COG.

Read more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/county-interested-in-west-side-cog-1.1605533

Woman Found Dead Inside Nanticoke Home

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

NANTICOKE, PA — The body of a 97-year-old woman was found Friday inside her East Grand Street home where she lived for decades. Authorities are treating her death as a homicide.

Police Chief William Shultz called the investigation “a major case” with the state police at Wyoming, Luzerne County Detectives and Coroner’s Office involved.

Authorities identified the woman as Gertrude Price, who lived alone.

Trooper Martin Connors said Price was last seen at about 10:20 p.m. Thursday and neighbors reported seeing lights on inside her house at about 11 p.m., which neighbors said was “unusual” for that time of night.

Read more: http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news/1020433/Woman-found-dead-inside-Nanticoke-home

Mother Says Victim’s Life Was On An Upswing

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Northampton C...

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

The mother of a woman slain in Northampton County Sunday remembered the time her daughter helped deliver a baby goat about two years ago on the family farm in Hunlock Creek.

“The goat needed help and, as gross as it was, she reached in saved that animal,” said Elaine Smith, who lives in Nanticoke.

Amanda Stratford, 28, of Wilkes-Barre and Nanticoke, was found dead around 11:30 Sunday night in a pickup truck in Easton. The Northampton County coroner ruled her death a homicide after she was shot multiple times.

Smith and her husband did not get word of her death until Wednesday when the coroner called. Unanswered questions swirl around the woman’s death. Run-ins with the county judicial system speckled her past, and Easton police say her death was drug-related. Smith knows her daughter had trouble with the law years ago, but she said things seemed to be on the upswing.

Read more: http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news/866319/Mother-says-victims-life-was-on-an-upswing

Police: Easton Slaying Victim Connected To Drug Trade; Won’t Comment On Motive

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Northampton C...

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

Four days after a 28-year-old woman was found shot to death in the West Ward, Easton authorities identified her and said she is linked to the drug trade, though they would not comment on a motive.

Authorities said Thursday they had no current address for Amanda Stratford, but online searches link the victim of Sunday’s homicide to the Wilkes-Barre area, where she lived for several years.

Easton police Lt. Matthew Gerould would not comment on a motive in the slaying, nor say if authorities have any suspects in custody, but said she likely knew her killer or killers. He said investigators were releasing Stratford’s street nickname, “Money,” in hopes that anyone who knew her may come forward with information.

Stratford was involved in drug trade “in and around” Easton and other areas, Gerould said.

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/news/breaking/mc-easton-homicide-victim-identified-shooting-20130926,0,2668397.story#ixzz2g6mGOcX0
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Community Health Systems Changes Name Of Scranton Hospital

For-profit hospital corporation, Community Health Systems (CHS) has changed the name of Mercy Hospital in Scranton.  The new name is Regional Hospital of Scranton.  The other two Mercy locations will be called Tyler Memorial Hospital (Tunkhannock) and Special Care Hospital (Nanticoke).  Mercy Health Partners was a private, Catholic-based hospital system that operated in the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton metropolitan area.

CHS also owns Wilkes-Barre General, making it the dominant health care provider in NEPA.

CHS owns Pottstown Memorial Medical Center and Phoenixville Hospital in the western Philadelphia suburbs.