Archive for category wilkes-barre

Man in Custody after Police Chase

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HANOVER TOWNSHIP — A man is in custody after a police chase in Luzerne County.

The chase started Friday night in Kingston, went through Wilkes-Barre, and ended in a shopping plaza by the Burger King in Hanover Township near Wilkes-Barre.

At least one Kingston police cruiser was damaged in the chase.

Police took Colton Howell-Hadley, 24, of Wilkes-Barre into custody.  He faces drug charges, plus accusations of fleeing and eluding.  Kingston Police add they caught Howell-Hadley with cocaine, marijuana, plus a drug with the street name of “Molly.”

Court Action Delays Sale Of Sherman Hills

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WILKES-BARRE — The $16 million sale of the troubled Sherman Hills apartment complex in Wilkes-Barre could be put off because of a lawsuit filed against the owners.

The family of a woman shot to death at Sherman Hills last year filed a wrongful death lawsuit on Wednesday. They want $900,000 set aside in escrow for damages.

Lawyers for the family of Shantique Goodson filed the lawsuit at the same time a hearing was going on to block the sale of the property.

Salvation Army Hosts Annual Flea Market

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WILKES-BARRE — All kinds of items were for sale during the spring flea market and silent auction at the Salvation Army in Luzerne County.

More than 40 vendors set up tables looking to make a few sales on Saturday.

There were baskets and other items for silent auction and all the money raised from the auction will support the Salvation Army’s programs.

Joan Lisko of Scranton says “They always have a nice turnout and they give you enough space for the price of a table you can’t complain.”

Folks who dropped by the flea market found bargains on everything from crafts to sweets.

Wilkes-Barre Credit Union Investigation Widens

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WILKES-BARRE — A federal investigation into the Wilkes-Barre City Employees Credit Union appears to be tied to the city’s Police Department, and possibly a former towing contractor.

Sources close to the investigation say when FBI agents entered the credit union on March 9, they wanted information on car loans involving Wilkes-Barre police officers.

Four days after the federal raid, credit union director Jim Payne committed suicide.

Those close to the investigation tell us feds interviewed at least 12 police officers and credit union workers in the past two months over these loans.

According to sources, some cops would use the vehicle identification number or the title on a car that wasn’t theirs, then took that information to the credit union inside city hall, and used the vehicle that wasn’t theirs as collateral.

Action 16 Investigates has learned that at least one Wilkes-Barre officer received a so-called “target letter.” That is formal notification from federal prosecutors that he is being looked at for possible criminal wrongdoing.

Even though the investigation appears focused on Wilkes-Barre police officers, Mayor Tom Leighton says taking action would be premature.

“It’s an independent investigation that has strictly to do with a law enforcement agency and a credit union,” said Mayor Leighton.  “Other than that, we have no knowledge other than what we read in the newspaper.”

One source says the credit union investigation may also be tied to the actions of LAG Towing in Wilkes-Barre and its owner Leo Glodzik III.

The city terminated its contract with Glodzik last year when state police charged him with stealing money from inside a car he towed.  That came just after Glodzik admitted to loaning luxury cars to Wilkes-Barre police officers, an apparent violation of city policy.

On Monday, Glodzik was not at his Carey Avenue office when we tried to get a comment.

URS Fighting to Stay Open After 56 Years

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HAZLETON — An organization that offers work and activities to disabled people in Luzerne County may have to close because of a lack of funds. The advisory board for United Rehabilitation Services in Hazleton met today to discuss what can be done to save the place.

United Rehabilitation Services, or URS, has been in the area helping people with disabilities for more than 55 years. But its advisory board learned last week it could be forced to close its three locations in Hazleton, Wilkes-Barre, and Tunkhannock unless others come forward to help.

The United Rehabilitation Services building stands tall on West Broad Street as you enter downtown Hazleton. It’s a busy place, but could soon may be empty. The rehab facility that offers work to adults with disabilities is running out of funds and might have to shut its doors.

“I like work here in our community. We want to be with our friends and coworkers,” URS client Heather Miller.

Heather Miller, of Hazleton, has down syndrome. She’s been coming to URS for 14 years and works in the business office. URS allows her to come home every two weeks with a paycheck.

“I’d like to get more money to keep this job open because we are the clients. We love this job, and we want to work here,” said Miller.

However, State Representative Tarah Toohil said URS is running out of government money. The state Department of Public Welfare, which oversees URS is reviewing funds now. Toohil met with the URS Advisory Board to see what can be done to keep the doors open.

Toohil said there are about 1,000 rehab facilities for disabled people across the state, but this is the only one having this problem, and that’s why she hopes they’ll be able to reach a solution.

“They get reimbursed by the treasury or they get some state funding and then they get money from the people that they work for as well. So we’re trying to figure out how can they make more money,” said Rep. Tarah Toohil.

If it closes, about 100 employees would be out of work, plus clients like Chad Wallace, many of whom need supervision.

“I know if I had to, I could stay home for a little bit, but I really can’t. I’m being a part of it and I’m giving money, making money for people, and also, I’m doing my part,” said URS client Chad Wallace.

The URS reached out to Newswatch 16 and released a statement, saying its parent organization told the URS Board its doors will not close. The URS board said it will do everything it can to stay open.

Interstate 81 Interchange Seeing Big Changes

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PennDOT says it has a plan to improve the traffic flow in and around Wilkes-Barre Scranton international airport and Avoca.

Part of that is the elimination of an exit ramp.

The changes are scheduled to take place Tuesday evening.

Exits 178 A and B in Avoca will be combined in to one. The change affects both the North and South bound lanes.

The ramps that have been here for decades will be replaced by round-a-bouts.

The construction project also involves widening the bridges, and building a road that connects Navy Way to the near by Grimes Industrial Park.

PennDOT thinks that new road will ease truck traffic through this part of Luzerne County.

The $42 million dollar construction project began last summer and is scheduled to wrap up in the fall of 2015.



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Turkey Hill Robbery in Wilkes-Barre

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WILKES-BARRE — Police are looking for a pair of robbers after an early morning robbery in Luzerne County.

Authorities say a man and woman hit a Turkey Hill on Hazle Street around 3:00 a.m. Tuesday morning.

Officers have not said how much was taken.

Train For A New Adventure Before Summer

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If you have the urge for tackling a new outdoor adventure this summer like rock climbing, but it’s still too chilly outside to train, a place in Luzerne County could help!   Newswatch 16′s Ryan Leckey shows us where.

Indoor Rock Climbing

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To learn more about the Wilkes-Barre Rock Climbing  Gym as seen on Newswatch 16 This Morning, click here.

In Central PA., there’s a location in Milton, click here.

Upcoming Hobby Moves into Luzerne County

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HANOVER TOWNSHIP — A new facility held a grand opening for their business in Luzerne County.

Mann Lake is one of the largest beekeeping companies in the country and on Saturday, they opened a new home in the Hanover Industrial Park in Wilkes-Barre.

This new location will be the shipping point for equipment and bees for the entire east coast and Europe.

The manager at Mann Lake says hundreds of thousands of people in Pennsylvania are picking up beekeeping as a hobby and it continues to grow.

“We’ve had people come and say ‘I’m the only beekeeper in the area’ and after that happens I have 10 more come in and say the same thing. They all end up being within two miles of each other, so it’s amazing,” said manager Frank Licata.

The manager of the facility says the most frequently asked questions among beekeepers is “do you get stung.”

He says the answer… is yes.

Million Dollar Boscov’s Renovation

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WILKES-BARRE — For the first time since the 1980s, renovations will be made to the Boscov’s store in downtown Wilkes-Barre.

Officials with the department store tell us $1 million will be spent to update the floors, walls, and lighting on all five floors.

Work is expected to start in May and last at least a month.

Boscovs in Wilkes-Barre will remain open during renovations.

Million Dollar Boscov’s Renovation

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WILKES-BARRE — For the first time since the 1980s, renovations will be made to the Boscov’s store in downtown Wilkes-Barre.

Officials with the department store tell us $1 million will be spent to update the floors, walls, and lighting on all five floors.

Work is expected to start in May and last at least a month.

Boscovs in Wilkes-Barre will remain open during renovations.

Swimmers Support Brain Cancer Patient

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WILKES-BARRE — A swim meet in Wilkes-Barre turned into a show of support for a boy battling cancer.

Nathan Tindell, 12, hit the water on Sunday for the first time since being diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2012.

He has undergone two surgeries and radiation treatment.

Swimmers taking part in the 39th Annual Saint Patrick’s Invitational at the YMCA in Wilkes-Barre swam for Nathan.

Wilkes-Barre Shooting Suspect Headed to Trial

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WILKES-BARRE — A magistrate has ruled there is enough evidence to send a man to trial for a deadly shooting in Wilkes-Barre. Another victim who survived the shooting testified on Wednesday in court.

Not only did Jordan Stevens not talk as he left a magistrate’s office in Wilkes-Barre, but he left yawning.

The magistrate ruled there’s enough evidence to send him to trial for a shooting that left 18-year-old Chris Narainasami dead. The shooting happened in September at Boulevard Townhomes in Wilkes-Barre. Police say Stevens shot at three men, killing Narainasami and injuring another.

“These boys appeared to have been in the wrong place at the wrong time. They appeared to have been a random target of Mr. Stevens who was looking to raise hell that night,” said Luzerne County Assistant District Attorney Jarrett Ferentino.

Neighbors testified Stevens was drunk and arguing with people earlier that night. They say Stevens threatened to kill someone.

Victim Alexander Torres was shot in the leg. He testified that he hadn’t even realized he was shot.

Torres said he heard gunshots and started running. He testified he found Narainasami on the ground, not moving. He says he was bleeding and they started panicking.

Surveillance video of the shooting was played in court, but Torres wasn’t able to identify the man in the video as Jordan Stevens.

“When no one identifies our client as the shooter and the DNA is suspect, we felt that even at this stage, the charge of criminal homicide should have been evaluated a little closer,” said defense attorney Joseph Yeager.

When Stevens was arrested last month, he was already locked up on a parole violation for an armed robbery. Friends and family of Narainasami and assistant district attorney Jarrett Ferentino feel sure the case against Stevens is strong.

“It’s clearly the individual that leaves the residence just prior to the shooting. We have witnesses that corroborate that as well as compelling DNA evidence that puts Mr. Stevens there,” said Ferentino.

Stevens remains locked tonight in Luzerne County without bail.

We spoke with Chris Narainasami’s mother off camera. She told Newswatch 16 he was a good son who was hanging out that night with people he normally didn’t spend time with.

81 Year Old Bingo Game Coming To An End

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After 81 years of hosting a popular game of chance, it was last call for bingo for a parish in Wilkes-Barre.

Saint Nicholas Catholic Church has held its bingo game since 1933 but due to falling attendance, church leaders say the games can no longer go on.

In the basement of Saint Nicholas Saint Mary`s Elementary School in Wilkes-Barre, folks came out for one final night of an 81 year old tradition.

Monsignor Joseph Rauscher believes this could be the longest running bingo game in the country with church records showing bingo started here at Saint Nicholas Parish back in 1933.

“And the story is they called something else out when they had a winner but someone was so excited they yelled ‘bingo’ and it got to be called bingo and they had been running it here ever since 1933,” said Monsignor Rauscher.

But as the saying goes; all good things must come to an end.

Tuesday night’s game was be the last time bingo will be hosted by the parish.

The monsignor says over the years the crowd has dwindled from the hundreds to a now just a handful and the parish is actually losing money hosting it.

“At one point, coming to the bingo, I was one of the younger people,” said Pat Matus from Swoyersville. “Unfortunately I`m one of the older people and there`s nobody behind me coming to play bingo.”

But for Matus and most others here, they are losing more than a game of bingo.

“It`s a family, everybody knows everybody, it`s going to be a sad night tonight,” said Matus.

Many have been coming here weekly for decades, some to play; some to volunteer as workers.

Gerry Maley of Wilkes-Barre has been coming here for 60 years to do both.

“My heart is broke, this is very important to all of us, sitting here. We`re looking at each other thinking, what are we going to do?” said Maley.

Rick Wolsieffer has been volunteering here since high school and has a lifetime of memories.

“You see them once a week, you get good hello`s, conversations, stories, and that will be gone,” said Wolsieffer.