Archive for category wilkes-barre

Court Appearance For Bad Checks Leads To Child Sex Charges

Posted by

WILKES-BARRE — In Luzerne County court, a man who showed up for a hearing for bad checks ended up being charged with child rape.

William Wunner, 28, of Wilkes-Barre is accused of sexually assaulting a 5-year-old girl several times earlier this year.

Wunner is now locked up in the Luzerne County jail.

New Bar Opening in Wilkes-Barre

Posted by

WILKES-BARRE — A new bar is hoping to attract the college crowd in downtown Wilkes-Barre.

Newswatch 16 found a “coming soon” sign for a bar called “Stir” along South Main Street.

The website for the bar said it’s hiring new employees and expects to open sometime this fall.

The bar in Wilkes-Barre has had several names and owners in recent years, most recently Joe K’s Brew House.

Getting Inked at a Festival in Wilkes-Barre

Posted by

WILKES-BARRE– Folks came out to an annual festival in Luzerne County.

The second annual Northeastern Pennsylvania Tattoo Arts Festival is taking place this weekend in downtown Wilkes-Barre.

Nationally known tattoo artists are on hand all weekend for those who want to get some new ink.

Other activities include live music, competitions, and seminars on painting and tattooing.

The festival runs through Sunday.

New Policies, Leadership Coming To Credit Union After Indictments

Posted by

WILKES-BARRE – An attorney for the Wilkes-Barre City Employees Federal Credit Union wanted to reassure members about improvements, one day after five people were indicted on fraud charges.

Attorney Dominic Pannunzio said a new CEO should be hired next month, and new policies have already been added to prevent people from taking out fraudulent loans.

“The 2,300 members of our credit union are the victims in this case,” said Pannunzio. “There is no chance of anyone losing any money, if there are loses, the credit union is fully bonded… we’ve implemented new policies to make sure that nothing like this ever happens again in the future.”

Officials at city hall told Newswatch 16 that the credit union pays $750 a month to rent the space on the first floor and that the lease expires at the end of October 2016.

The Marching Colonels Ready for Debut

Posted by

WILKES-BARRE — For some students, the idea of attending Wilkes university is starting to sound a little sweeter. The school in Luzerne County is getting ready to debut its first ever marching band.

Wilkes University football players are making huge strides getting ready for the season ahead, but something has always been missing from the field. There’s nothing like some good tunes to get pumped up for a game.

“It just ups everybody’s game. It’s a wonderful opportunity for all of us,” said band director Dr. Phil Simon.

Dr. Phil Simon is the new band director of the new and first ever marching band at Wilkes University, the Marching Colonels.

“I think it’s awesome. We have our names on the inside of our uniforms and everything because we’re legacy players, and I think it’s really cool being the first,” said Wilkes freshman Elizabeth Jensolowsky.

The school’s new president approached Dr. Simon about the idea last year.  Simon used the year to recruit band members.

“They came here partially at least because we now have a marching band,” said Dr. Simon.

The band is what brought Elizabeth Jensolowsky to Wilkes.

“I was trying to decide between two colleges, and it just so happened that this college is starting a marching band, so that was my deciding factor of going here,” said Jensolowsky.

For those who already attended Wilkes, like senior James Daly, it simply offered a new opportunity.

“I was pretty excited. It’s definitely something that was missing from campus,” said Wilkes senior James Daly.

The band only has 32 members, but that’s 32 members more than any other college in Luzerne and Lackawanna Counties since no others have a marching band. The band won’t compete but it will play during half time at Wilkes home games.

“It’s kind of fun to know that you’re part of the group that’s really getting it up on its feet,” said Daly.

The band will perform at the first home game against Muhlenburg College on September 6.

Over 400 Athletes Take Part in Annual Triathlon

Posted by

HARVEYS LAKE– Folks lined up for an early morning race in Luzerne County.

The 33rd annual Wilkes-Barre Triathlon kicked off today around 7 this morning.

It began with swimming in Harveys Lake, then athletes took to their bikes and pedaled their way through the area to the Penn State Wilkes-Barre campus in Lehman.

After that, an 11-K run that wove through the campus.

More than 400 athletes took part in the triathlon.

Troubled Apartment Complex Now under New Ownership

Posted by

WILKES-BARRE — An apartment complex that’s been plagued by violence over the years is under new ownership in Wilkes-Barre.

On Saturday, Newswatch 16 got a first look inside Sherman Hills along with the so-called Sherman Hills Task Force as the new owners look to improve the situation there.

Both inside and outside Sherman Hills Apartment Complex in Wilkes-Barre, task force members got a look at how its new owners are taking steps to make this a safer place to live.

“What’s the answer? They have to do a better background check before they let people in.”

Congressman Matt Cartwright sat down with some residents to hear their side of things, after years of problems with violence and drugs here.

“It was a gripe session, and sometimes you have to engage in those to find out what the truth is,” said Cartwright.

The new owners, Treetop Management, are in the process of making changes including having a state-of-the-art video surveillance system.

The owners have made it clear there’s not enough money in the budget to have round-the-clock security.

“A work in progress. Going to take a long time. We’re here next 15 years. We are here for long term,” said John Van Metre.

Last year, the feds came down hard on Sherman Hills which was under former ownership and received government money to provide low-income housing.

One resident told Newswatch 16, it’s taken a long time to see something done about the problems.

“And now? After all this? All these shootings. People killing each other, he should have showed up earlier,” said Jean Bayyoud, resident.

While there may be new blinds on the windows at Sherman Hills, task force members believe it’s a change in culture that’s needed helping people who live here with more than just security.

“We have to support these endeavors just as much as we do concerns about fences, the cameras, this is just as important. If not the problem just continues to get worse and the community will suffer from it,” said Angel Jirau, task force member.

As far as the violations the Department of Housing and Urban Development found last year, task force members said Sherman Hills is on its way to fixing those problems but did not give Newswatch 16 the specifics.

Wilkes-Barre Man Facing Child Porn Charges

Posted by

WILKES-BARRE — A man is behind bars accused of having child porn on his computer in Wilkes-Barre.

According to court papers, Scott Savage, 40, was arraigned in Luzerne County Court on Friday on more than 100 charges of child pornography.

Published reports said a search warrant uncovered the videos on Savage’s computer.

Savage was unable to post bail and is locked up in the Luzerne County Correctional Facility.

Properties To Be Green Space For King’s College

Posted by

WILKES-BARRE — Newswatch 16 found contractors using an excavator to pick up debris along West North Street in Wilkes-Barre, from three homes that were demolished this week.

King’s College bought the properties.

One of the homes torn down was the home where Kevin Miller and his family attended a Christmas party and left moments before he was hit and killed.

King’s College says it’s still figuring out plans but will likely use the room as green space to add to campus.

“Gives You the Chills”, Neighbors Upset After Truck Drags Dog

Posted by

WILKES-BARRE – Residents said they are upset and disgusted, after they found a trail of blood on the asphalt from a pickup truck that was reportedly dragging a dog.

Neighbors say the blood trail was seen on Elm and Madison Streets Thursday morning, and it ended on Sunrise Drive.

Rob Barkus told Newswatch 16 that he and some of his neighbors believe it was an accident.

“It gives you the chills. It’s not good,” said Barkus. “It gives you a queasy feeling to think of the poor dog.”

Other people who live in the north Wilkes-Barre said they don’t understand how this could happen, and they believe the incident was not an accident.

“There’s no way that you can make this be a mistake,” said John Perrins. That’s no accident. That’s like putting a child in a back seat and you know, forgetting about it and leaving the car all locked up and everything. There’s no way.”

Wilkes-Barre police said it’s unclear if this case was intentional or accidental, but they’re asking anyone with information to call investigators.