Mohegan Job Fair Draws Thousands Seeking Casino Posts

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

Editor’s note:  We got quite a few hits after posting an article about this job fair.  We are not surprised by the large turnout.  It’s certainly an employers market.

PLAINS TWP. — Students, working parents, the unemployed.

About 2,000 people from across Northeastern Pennsylvania filed through the Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs ballroom during a job fair Tuesday, having come to try their luck at an estimated 250 openings expected to be created by the opening of a $50 million hotel and convention center this fall.

If there was a common denominator throughout the crowd — whose attire ranged from business suits to shorts, T-shirts and flip-flops — it was the oft-spoken view that a job at Mohegan Sun, which already employs more than 1,700 people, means good, steady work.

Read more: http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news/610204/Mohegan-job-fair-draws-thousands-seeking-casino-posts

Report: NEPA Economy Is Turning Around

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)

The 2013 annual report by The Institute for Public Policy & Economic Development indicates Northeastern Pennsylvania is showing signs of an economic turnaround.

The eighth annual Indicators Report, to be released and discussed at a forum Thursday at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, tracks the region’s performance on an array of categories, including demographics, public safety, jobs and the economy.

“The annual Indicators Report serves as a yardstick for measuring growth and trends in Northeastern Pennsylvania,” said Patrick Leahy, Wilkes University president and chairman of the institute, which is a partnership among Keystone College, King’s College, Luzerne County Community College, Marywood University, Misericordia University, Penn State Wilkes-Barre, The University of Scranton, and is owned and managed by Wilkes.

Reports covering more than 120 indicators for Lackawanna and Luzerne counties, as well as statewide data, will be discussed next week.  And reports from the institute’s five task forces also will be provided to show data on health and health care, jobs and the local economy, education, housing, transportation and land use.

Read more:  http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news/523150/Report-NEPA-economy-is-turning-around

Wilkes-Barre Mayor Announces Changes In City Hall Aimed At Doing More With Less

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

Editor’s note:  A foreign concept in Pottstown!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WILKES-BARRE — Mayor Tom Leighton unveiled Tuesday “several significant personnel and administrative changes” that he feels will improve government efficiency and service to city taxpayers.

Leighton said he and his administrative staff have been working on the plan since September and he mentioned the consolidation and restructuring in his budget address in October.

“Basically, we have less people and we are asking them to do more,” he said, noting there are a third fewer employees at City Hall than when he took office in 2004.  Overall, then there were 300 employees in the city and now there are 265, he said.

“We’re assigning more responsibilities to less people,” he said.

Read more:  http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news/457404/Mayor-announces-changes-in-City-Hall-aimed-at-doing-more-with-less

NEPA Lagging In Bicyclist-Friendly Roadways

WILKES-BARRE — The desire for more bicycle-friendly paths in Luzerne County — from lanes on roads to other areas designated specifically for cyclists — is strong, according to enthusiasts.

The ability to implement them, many advocates have found, is not as robust.  Cycling enthusiasts say Northeastern Pennsylvania is behind the times in welcoming

Counties constituting Northeastern Pennsylvania

Counties constituting Northeastern Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

to share the road, even though they have a legal right in the commonwealth.

“We’re way behind the rest of the world as far as having the facilities to be able to ride, especially on the road,” said Louie Colarusso, a bike technician at Sickler’s Bike and Sport Shop in Exeter.  “The majority of cities in America have bike lanes, and in Wilkes-Barre and Scranton you’re taking your life in your hands every time.”

Phil Cable, store manager of Sickler’s, said he lives in the borough and bikes to work when possible.  Drivers are generally friendly, but sharing the road is a two-way street.

Read more:  http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news/444128/NEPA-lagging-in-bicyclist-friendly-roadways

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

Federal Budget Cuts Will Affect More Than Federal Programs, Officials In Scranton Say

English: Official photo of Senator Bob Casey (...

English: Official photo of Senator Bob Casey (D-PA). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The across-the-board federal budget cuts known as sequestration will hurt everything from the local barbershop to the largest manufacturers in Northeast Pennsylvania, said members of a panel at Sen. Bob Casey’s office Friday in downtown Scranton.

With no deal between Congress and the White House in sight and just hours before sequestration kicked in at midnight, the Democratic senator and a cross-section of local civic leaders struck a dire tone.

“We don’t have a full sense of what will happen,” Mr. Casey said.  “If this goes a day or week, it will have an impact.  If it goes six months, the effect will be devastating.”

As the furloughs and cuts begin, sequestration will have an immediate impact not just on the government employees, but on contractors, and the communities where they live and spend.

Read more:  http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/federal-budget-cuts-will-affect-more-than-federal-programs-officials-in-scranton-say-1.1452684

Funds Sought To Restore Wilkes-Barre Irem Temple

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

WILKES-BARRE – The 107-year-old Irem Temple building, a historic landmark on North Franklin Street, once was Wilkes-Barre‘s primary public performance venue.

Today, the once-grand building has fallen into disrepair and has no heat, lights or electricity.  But city and chamber officials are trying to save it.

During a tour by flashlight Wednesday, Ross Macarty, vice president of community development, real estate and special projects for the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Business and Industry, showed that water damage has taken a toll on the deteriorating building and thieves have stolen copper and brass inside over the past two months.

The Greater Wilkes-Barre Development Corp., an arm of the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Business and Industry, bought the building in 2005 for $992,000, using a combination of federal, state and chamber funds.  The chamber and city are seeking $2.4 million in state gaming funds to bring the building up to code and return it to use.

Read more:  http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/business/funds-sought-to-restore-wilkes-barre-irem-temple-1.1434055

Ono, Lennon, Sarandon Tour Susquehanna County Gas Drilling Sites

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Susquehanna C...

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

MONTROSEYoko Ono, Sean Lennon and Susan Sarandon spoke out against fracking Thursday during a tour of natural-gas drilling sites in Northeast Pennsylvania, warning about what they view as the danger to air, water and human health.

The celebrities boarded a tour bus in New York City and headed to rural Susquehanna County to see gas wells, compressor stations and other evidence of the Marcellus Shale drilling boom, and to visit with residents who say they have been negatively impacted by drilling.

Tom Shepstone of Energy In Depth, an industry group, trailed the sleek silver Mercedes tour bus – which had trouble negotiating an icy hill at one point and had to creep back down – and declared the celebrity visit to be a publicity stunt.

“They don’t pay mortgages here, they don’t have to get jobs here, they don’t have to pay taxes here, they don’t have to support their families here.  They just come up here to pick on this area and use it as part of their trendy cause,” he said.

Read more:  http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/gas-drilling/ono-lennon-sarandon-tour-susquehanna-county-gas-drilling-sites-1.1431533

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

Restaurants, Residences Planned For Former Whistles Pub In Scranton

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County

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

A downtown developer’s plans for a vacant building on Franklin Avenue promises to bring more business and foot traffic to what just a year ago had been a neglected block of downtown.

This week, Art Russo of Scranton purchased the Bittenbender Building, which formerly housed the popular Whistles Pub and Eatery.  His rough plans for the building call for 15 apartments on the third and fourth floors, possibly offices on the second floor, and a restaurant, deli and possibly a third ground-floor tenant.

“The first floor space is too big for one restaurant, and we’d like to create space for two or three different business,” Mr. Russo said.

He’s talked to a potential operator of a deli that sells prepared foods and some groceries as a potential tenant.  The restaurant and kitchen side, which has equipment in place, is a turnkey operation, Mr. Russo said.  The former Whistles had a sizable back room, which could have potential as a third entity.

Read more:  http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/business/restaurants-residences-planned-for-former-whistles-pub-1.1382682

Blue Cross Sues Scranton After City Defaults On $2 Million Note

Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania filed a lawsuit Wednesday against Scranton seeking $2.05 million owed by the city in a promissory note from last fall.

The city executed a note on Oct. 27 promising to pay Blue Cross $2 million in unpaid bills by Jan. 5, the lawsuit states. But the city failed to pay and that constituted a default, the lawsuit states.

As of Wednesday, no payment had yet been made and the lawsuit seeks the principal amount of $2 million as well as 5 percent interest that accrued to $58,904 from Jan. 6 to Wednesday, for a total amount sought of $2,058,904, according to the complaint.

Blue Cross has been one of the city’s largest vendors with bills that have gone unpaid under the city’s financial crisis. As such, the lawsuit was not necessarily unexpected, said Mayor Chris Doherty, adding that he is in contact regularly with Blue Cross about the situation and the firm is continuing to provide health care coverage for the city’s employees.

Read more: http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/blue-cross-sues-scranton-after-city-defaults-on-2-million-note-1.1356343

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

Scranton Mayor Cuts City Workers’ Pay To Minimum Wage

A fiscal and political crisis in the nearly-broke northeastern Pennsylvania city of Scranton deepened Tuesday as public employee unions sought to have the mayor held in contempt of court after he defied a judge and slashed workers’ pay to minimum wage.

Unions representing firefighters, police and public-works employees also filed a pair of federal lawsuits against Mayor Chris Doherty and the city that alleged violations of labor law and due-process rights.

Doherty last week ignored a court order and cut the pay of about 400 city workers to the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. The Democratic mayor said it was all the cash-strapped city of more than 76,000 could afford, promising to restore full pay once finances are stabilized.

“It’s incredible,” the unions’ attorney, Thomas Jennings, said Tuesday. “I’ve never had a public official just say, `I’m not going to obey a court order. I’m not even going to try. He can’t tell me what to do.'”

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=398160

More Stupid News

These just get better!  For some unknown reason, a 41-year-old Wilkes-Barre man shot a toilet, inside of a Wilkes-Barre bar, at 12:36 a.m on Tuesday morning.  Was the toilet armed and dangerous?  Maybe he thought it was big game and wanted a trophy for the wall?

In any event that’s not the end of this stupid story.  The toilet-shooting pistol was stolen from the Edwardsville Police Department.  A 34-year-old Wilkes-Barre woman was also involved and arrested along with the “shooter”.

The elephant in the room here is how did a pistol get stolen from a police department and end up in the possession of two people who have no license and no business possessing one?

Hopefully the Edwardsville Police Department is conducting an investigation on how this happened and will hopefully put protocols in place to keep anymore drunks from getting pistols and firing them…..just sayin’,,,

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Metropolitan Area Ranks Second Highest In Nation For Smokers

Lit cigarette

Image via Wikipedia

According to The Daily Beast, a news website, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Metro Area has the second highest percentage of smokers in the United States.  23.5% of area residents smoke 16.8 cigarettes a day.  One pack contains twenty cigarettes. 

Only Tulsa, Oklahoma has a higher percentage of smokers than Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.  Memphis, Tennessee ranked third.  Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania ranked 14th.  No other Pennsylvania metropolitan areas made the top 30.

To see the full story and the Top 30 list, click here:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2011-01-03/30-cities-with-worst-smoking-problems-from-memphis-to-honolulu/