Just after midnight today, Hazleton City Police responded to a call about a possible shooting in the 500 block of North James Street.
An 18 year old male sustained a non-life threatening gunshot wound in the incident and was transported by family members to Lehigh Valley Hospital.
Police are actively investigating this incident.
Just before 4pm Friday, Hazleton Police responded to a report of a gunshot at 736 E. 3rd Street. Officers were told that someone was shot in the arm at the residence.
Numerous units responded and upon arrival, Officer’s observed a 45 year old male victim from Hazleton with a single gunshot wound to the left arm, standing outside the residence.
Officer’s observed a male identified as 54 year old Pedro Mendoza protruding his head outside of the residence. Officers took cover and immediately gave Mendoza verbal commands to show his hands and exit from inside of the doorway.
Mendoza complied with the officers commands and was taken into custody without incident.
Police say it appears that the incident began as an argument between Mendoza and a second victim in the adjacent apartment. Mendoza attempted to shoot a second male victim as he fled into the other apartment where the victim who was shot was attempting to lock the door when he was shot by Mendoza.
Officers contained and controlled the scene and APTS arrived and transported the male victim to LVHH for treatment.
Officers D. Zapatocky and P. Bautista conducted a security sweep of the location and observed a weapon on a bed inside the location.
Detective Sergeant D. Rodick and Det. B. Green responded, obtained and executed search warrants at the location where they recovered a 9mm firearm and other evidence.
The LCDAs Office approved charges for three counts of Aggravated Assault (F1), two counts of Aggravated Assault(F2), one count of Discharging a firearm into an occupied structure (F3), three Recklessly endangering another person, and one count of Terroristic threats.
Mendoza was arraigned by MDJ Halsey who set bail at $200,000 straight.
Statement by Police chief Jerry Speziale:
"The men and women of HPD are a talented group of individuals, capable of seeing a dangerous situation for what it is and are endowed with the skills required to quickly control, handle and deescalate the incident."
Just before 10pm yesterday, a concerned parent reported to the Hazleton City Police that their juvenile son stole a firearm from the house and planned on taking it to the Pine Street Playground.
Hazleton Patrol Sergeant C. Zola handled the investigation with the Patrol Division and was provided the information and identity of the juvenile in this matter. Numerous patrol units saturated the Pine Street Playground area and upon arrival observed juveniles fleeing West on Hemlock Street. The officers pursued the individuals and detained two Juveniles and brought them back to the Hazleton Police Headquarters, whom were subsequently released.
Hazleton Officers made contact with the owner of the firearm and determined a Sig Sauer P320 was stolen from a lockbox in his home. The investigation revealed that the Juvenile's aunt was able to recover the weapon from the Juvenile and turned it over to Police. Contact was made with her and she informed the officers that she received the weapon from the Juvenile and he fled from the area. The LCDA authorized charges for Theft and Receiving Stolen Property, which are being filed. The above officers continued to search the area and observed two males in the area matching the description of the suspect.
At this time, both males began to flee and were detained by the officers for safety reasons. The one male was identified as 20 year old Daniel Scalise and the other was an adult later released. Officers recovered 1800 bags of suspected heroin from Daniel Scalise.
Scalise is being charged with Possession With Intent To Distribute and Possession of a Controlled Substance.
Scailice was transported to LCCF for overnight arraignment.
Gov. Tom Wolf today sent a letter to Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander, chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, at the senator’s request for suggestions to address the skyrocketing costs of health care and health insurance.
In the extensive letter, Gov. Wolf outlined several ways to make health care more affordable, understandable, and reliable. Read the full letter here.
“We must be bolder to address the rising cost of health care and it is imperative that Congress work towards commonsense solutions,” Gov. Wolf said. “First, we must tackle the underlying costs of health care delivery to allow for more affordable health care coverage, and second, we must work to ensure patients can reply on predictable health care costs and avoid unexpected costs when possible.”
Gov. Wolf’s recommendations include reducing the underlying costs of health care delivery by:
Gov. Wolf has made affordable, accessible health care a priority since he first took office in 2015. That same year, he expanded Medicaid and now more than 720,000 people have access to this critical health care benefit. As well, Pennsylvania’s uninsured rate is at a historic low at 5.5 percent.
“We share the vital goals of providing quality, affordable health insurance coverage while stemming the unsustainable growth of health care costs,” Gov. Wolf said. “I hope that you find my feedback to be constructive in this regard. States play a critical role in ensuring consumers have access to health insurance and security in knowing they will be protected from catastrophic health care costs, but we can’t do it alone.
“Thank you again for your interest in our feedback and the feedback of all states. I look forward to further discussions.”
A Florida man’s checked bag triggered an alarm as it passed through the Transportation Security Administration’s checked baggage security equipment at Lehigh Valley International Airport (ABE) yesterday (March 4th). When they opened the bag, TSA officers were quite surprised to see unassembled parts of a rocket propelled grenade launcher and grenade packed inside. The checked bag contained the weapon’s barrel, trigger, sights and grenade.
The man, a resident of St. Augustine, Fla., was located at his departure gate and detained by police for questioning. Upon closer inspection, it was determined that the various components of the device could be assembled, but fortunately the device was not a functioning launcher and the grenade itself was determined to be a realistic replica.
Individuals who bring weapons and replica weapons to the airport are subject to possible civil penalties of up to $13,000.
The traveler told officials that he believed the item could be brought on the flight in a checked bag. Contrary the passenger’s belief, however, no realistic or replica weapons are permitted to be brought onto airplanes. The items were confiscated and the man was able to continue on to his flight to Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB).
Today, PA State Representative Tarah Toohil and Michelle Nutter, Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General education and outreach program manager, presented some important information about bullying, cyber-bullying, and Internet safety to students at Maple Manor Elementary/Middle School in Hazleton.
They will be at Hazleton Area Academy of Sciences (STEM) Wednesday (tomorrow) at 8:30, and then at Valley Elementary/Middle School in Sugarloaf on Thursday, March 14 at 9am.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is proud to announce that optional REAL ID-compliant driver's licenses and photo ID cards are now available for Pennsylvania residents who want one.
A federally-accepted form of identificationOpens In A New Window (whether it's a Pennsylvania REAL ID driver's license or ID card, a U.S. Passport/Passport Card, a military ID, etc.) must be used as identification to board a commercial flight or visit a secure federal building that requires ID at the door on and after October 1, 2020.There is no requirement that any resident obtain a REAL ID and PennDOT will continue to offer standard-issue driver's licenses and photo IDs.
Federal REAL ID regulations require that PennDOT verify a customer's identity, social security number, Pennsylvania residency, and name changes (if applicable), even if a customer already has a PA driver's license or ID card. More info about document requirements, including a printable document checklist (PDF), can be found on the Document Check page of the PennDOT Driver and Vehicle Services website.
Customers have three options for obtaining a REAL ID product: customers may order their REAL ID online if they have been pre-verified; they can visit any PennDOT Driver's License Center, have their documents verified and imaged, and their REAL ID product will be mailed to them within 15 business days; or they can visit one of twelve REAL ID Centers and receive their REAL ID product over-the-counter at the time of service.
When a customer gets their first REAL ID product, they will pay a one-time fee of $30, plus a renewal fee (current renewal fee is $30.50 for a four-year non-commercial driver's license or a photo ID). The expiration date of their initial REAL ID product will include any time remaining on their existing non-REAL ID product, plus an additional four years, unless the customer is over 65 and has a two-year license. This expiration date structure means that the customer won't "lose" time that they've already paid for. After the initial REAL ID product expires, the customer will pay no additional fee, beyond regular renewal fees, to renew a REAL ID product.
PennDOT has upgraded seven of its existing driver's license centers to allow for over-the-counter issuance of REAL ID (Williamsport, Wilkes-Barre, Rockview in Centre County, Erie, Altoona, Norristown and South 70th Street in Philadelphia) and added the following new locations, which are now open for business:
Today, Governor Tom Wolf announced the approval of new funding to support the development of a mobile game that will help individuals land jobs in the manufacturing sector. The grant will be provided to Catalyst Connection, an industrial resource center that supports the growth of small manufacturers in western Pennsylvania. Catalyst Connection has partnered with Pittsburgh-based game developer Simcoach Games to create the new game. The grant will come from Governor Wolf’s Manufacturing PA initiative.
“One of the biggest issues for manufacturers is trying to find qualified workers to fill their open positions,” Governor Wolf said. “This game is a truly innovative way of supporting the manufacturing sector that won’t just benefit employers, but will provide opportunities and assistance for applicants who are trying to land these family-sustaining careers.”
The grant will provide $158,735 to Catalyst Connection to support the development and marketing costs of the game. The game will enable users to practice skill concepts that are found in the National Tooling and Machining Association’s mechanical aptitude test. This test is used as the standard employment exam for a large number of manufacturers. The gaming format allows users to learn fundamentals in small amounts through game levels. Catalyst Connection and Simcoach Games will determine which areas of the exam provide the greatest challenge for applicants and determine which of these areas are best addressed in a gaming environment. Catalyst Connection will coordinate with manufacturers like Oberg Industries and All-Clad Metalcrafters, as well as hiring organizations, to promote the game.
“Catalyst Connection is pleased to be able to help job seekers prepare for manufacturing employment exams that will support the manufacturing job growth at Oberg Industries, All-Clad Metalcrafters and many other companies, not only in the region but throughout the commonwealth,” said Petra Mitchell, president and CEO of Catalyst Connection. “Working with Simcoach Games to create an innovative approach to pre-employment readiness, this project has the potential to significantly increase the number of qualified applicants for high paying, high wage jobs, and we are grateful for this funding opportunity.”
The Pennsylvania Manufacturing Training-to-Career grant is designed to provide funding for training programs to help unemployed and underemployed individuals, as well as those with barriers, to gain the skills they need to gain employment in the manufacturing sector. Eligible applicants include technical and trade schools, universities, and nonprofit organizations that develop new and innovative training programs and partner with two or more manufacturers.
The Training-to-Career grant is part of Governor Wolf’s Manufacturing PA initiative that was launched in October 2017. This initiative ensures that training leads not simply to any job, but to careers that provide higher pay and opportunities for advancement. Working with DCED’s strategic partners, including Industrial Resource Centers (IRCs), Pennsylvania’s colleges, universities, technical schools, and non-profit organizations, this initiative fosters collaboration and partnerships to accelerate technology advancement, encourage innovation and commercialization, and build a 21st century workforce.
In the 2019-2020 Executive Budget proposal, Governor Wolf is calling for an additional $4 million to help Pennsylvania manufacturers train workers and $6 million to expand career and technical education for adults.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania has asked more than 300 doctors to review their opioid prescriptions patterns, as part of its ongoing effort to combat the opioid epidemic. In a letter sent last week, U.S. Attorney David J. Freed informed each of the providers that their opioid prescribing patterns for Medicare Part D patients appears to be significantly different from peers within the same medical specialties. The U.S. Attorney refers the prescribers to educational materials on the opioid crisis prepared by the U.S, Drug Enforcement Administration; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service; and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
“Beyond criminal and civil enforcement efforts, I am committed to help educate prescribers regarding the dangers of excessive opioid use and the consequences,” said U.S. Attorney Freed. “I strongly urge prescribers to utilize all resources available, including the Pennsylvania Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP), to ensure that they are doing all they can to reduce serious prescription opioid abuse, while maintaining patient access to appropriate pain medications.”
A recent DEA report found that, in 2017, more than 5,450 people died in the Commonwealth from drug overdoses. That equates to 43 deaths per 100,000 Pennsylvanians or nearly twice the national average of 22 overdose deaths per 100,000 persons. Between 2015 and 2017 drug overdose deaths in Pennsylvania increased 65 percent. In 2017, 1,093 Pennsylvanians died due to a prescription opioid overdose and 2,065 people died from heroin overdoses. The CDC notes that 3 out of 4 heroin users abused prescription opioids before turning to heroin.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office has made no determination, at this time, that prescribers who receive these letters have violated the law. Nor is the U.S. Attorney suggesting that the prescriptions written are not medically appropriate.
On Saturday March 9th, Responsible Recycling Services is holding an electronics recycling day in Butler Township.
The event is available to anyone. Butler Township residents (With proof of residency) only pay $10 per car load. non-residents only pay $20 per car load.
Many items are accepted for free, and some require an additional fee:
Most of the items are worth dropping off. If you've already got them in your car, you might be better off taking some of the items to a local scrap yard and getting paid rather than paying someone to take them.
Cash and checks only, checks can be made payable to Responsible Recycling Services or RRS.
Restaurant Inspections, via PA Department of Agriculture Bureau of Food Safety. All establishments are in compliance unless otherwise noted:
MI TIERRA SUPERMARKET
304 E Diamond Avenue Hazleton, PA 18201
OUT OF COMPLIANCE
--Severely dented, distressed canned items observed in retail sales are and intended for use or sale in the food facility.
--Observed 9 quarts of milk dated 02/27/2019. Product was voluntarily removed from sale.
--Observed butcher knife in the meat prep area with large gouge missing from blade. Knife should be discarded.
--Meat grinder worm, a food contact surface, was observed to have food residue and was not clean to sight and touch.
--Observed rust formation on separator panel in ice machine and dirt on door of ice machine
--Food facility hot water heater is not producing enough hot water to supply all sinks at the time of this inspection. Observed temperatures did not exceed 85* at the hand wash sink and 80* at the ware wash sink in meat prep area at the time of this inspection.
--Floor drain covers missing on floor drains in meat room.
--The handwash sink in the meat prep area does not have single use towels, continuous towels, or air drying device.
--Observed 50-rodent pellets on floor in area of meat room and around trash area.
--A working container of clorox cleaner / sanitizer and glass cleaner was stored above or on the same shelf with food, equipment, and/or single service articles in the deli area. Glass cleaner was stored above the service meat case.
--The Person in Charge does not have adequate knowledge of food safety in this food facility as evidenced by this non-compliant inspection.
--Observed frozen food stored directly on the floor in walk in freezer, rather than 6 inches off of the floor as required.
--Prepackaged breads from Castillo Bakery is not labeled to clearly indicate any "Big 8" allergen ingredients and / or the allergen warning statement.
--The handwash sink located in the deli and meat prep areas does not have water at a temperature of at least 100°F.
--Walk in freezer light is shattered with broken glass observed on floor area.
--Receiving door located in the grocery area of the food facility has a gap and does not protect against the entry of insects, rodents, and other animals.
--Food Employee is not using available sanitizer test strips or test kit to determine sanitizer concentration.
--Water, as observed at the rest room sink, is not under pressure during inspection.
--Unused, old equipment and miscellaneous items throughout the basement causing clutter.
--Commercially processed refrigerated, ready to eat, time/temperature control for safety food, located in the deli case, and held more than 24 hours, is not being marked with the date it was opened.
--New food facility in operation more than 90 days and has not employed a certified food employee as required.
--Waste not being removed from the food facility at an appropriate frequency as evidenced by multiple bags of trash observed in the grocery area inside the food facility.
--Soap was not available at the handwash sink in the meat prep area.
AMERICAN LEGION POST #76
305 E Diamond AVE Hazleton, PA 18201
--Observed GE refrigerated equipment, in back room area, with an accumulation of spilled food residue, debris on non-food contact surfaces.
--Temperature measuring device for ensuring proper temperature of equipment is not available or readily accessible in frigidaire refrigerated equipment kitchen area.
MELIZA SUPERMARKET II
601 Alter Street Hazleton, PA 18201
--Temperature measuring device for ensuring proper temperature of equipment is not available or readily accessible in the refrigerated equipment holding milk , deli meat raw meat and processed produce.
--Food facility does not have available sanitizer test strips or test kit to determine appropriate Quaternary and chlorine sanitizer concentrations being used in the deli and meat processing areas of the food facility.
THE CHEESE STORE & MORE
1111 W 15th ST Hazleton, PA 18201
According to the Briar Creek Township Police, 25 year old Charles Hollenbach (left) and 20 year old Chance Gibbons (right), both of Berwick, were charged for causing the damage shown below to the North Centre Naturla Park in Berwick.
The incident occurred on December 27th 2018. Hollenbach was charged with Criminal Mischief -Damage Property, and Disorderly Conduct. Gibbons was charged with Criminal Mischief - Damage Property.
Just before midnight, Hazleton City Police stopped a black Audi Q5 at the intersection of Muir Ave and Cedar Street for having an expired inspection (01/18) and expired registration (11/18).
The driver was 24 year old Deivon Amir Barlow and in the back seat was 23 year old Teshawn Devante Nelson.
Officers discovered that Barlow had a suspended driver's license.
Officers detected the odor of marijuana coming from inside the vehicle and had both occupants exit the vehicle. The rear passenger, Teshawn Devante Nelson, was found to have a silver North American Arms 22 Magnum, fully loaded Revolver, in the front right side of his pants when he was patted down.
During a check of the interior of the vehicle, police found a marijuana roach in the front ash tray along with two Jars of Marijuana elsewhere in the car. Officers also found what appeared to be a large amount of money located in the driver’s side door in a plastic bag.
Officers later counted and collected, $9,800.00 in US Currency as well as $20,400.00 in counterfeit one hundred dollar bills.
Both occupants were taken into custody, taken back to City Hall, and placed in cells. The vehicle was towed from the scene.
Police discovered that Teshawn Nelson did not have a License to Carry a Firearm and was previously convicted of a Felony that did not allow him to Carry a Firearm.
The driver, Barlow was later released and charges are being filed to include Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Driving a Vehicle with a Suspended License, Operating a Vehicle with an Expired Registration, and Expired Inspection.
The rear passenger, Teshawn Nelson was eventually processed and transported to Luzerne County Prison charges included, Persons Not to Possess a Firearm,(F-2), Firearms not be be Carried Without a License,(F-3), Possession of Marijuana (M), and Possession of Paraphernalia,(M).
The investigation is continuing on the ownership of the gun.
Today we will be looking at Amazon's "store brand" AmazonBasics paper.
Amazon, much like any other modern day retailer, has their own brand. In this case, it's AmazonBasics. AmazonBasics offers everyday items like electronics, kitchen appliances, pet supplies, office products, and more.
But is this "store brand" paper the best route?
Now, when buying printer paper there are a few things to look at. Weight refers to the thickness and durability of the paper. 20 lb. is the standard weight and most common paper used. Brightness refers to how bright the paper is. This determines how crisp letters, images, and colors are.
Prices can vary based on the weight and brightness, so we are only comparing 20lb. 92 brightness papers today. Paper is also sold by ream (500 sheets). We will be looking at 5 ream cases today.
AmazonBasics has a case for $24.99. Under $5 per ream on Amazon.
Hammermill has a case also for $24,99, also under $5 per ream on Amazon.
HP Also sells a case for the same price on Amazon.
Georgia Pacific has a case for just $16.43. Just over $3 per case at Walmart.
Coming in as our top pick for every day printer paper, Georgia Pacific blows the competition away.
If you're looking to save some cash, definitely skip the Amazon Basics and pick up a pack of Georgia Pacific next time you need some printer paper.
In my house I use a LOT of little gadgets. Most of these gadgets use batteries.
Batteries are pricey, and rechargeable batteries are even more expensive, but in the long term they can save a lot of cash.
I've used various Energizer and Duracell chargers and batteries and charging docks in the past, but you can easily wind up paying over $4 per battery. Don't get me wrong, $4 rechargeable batteries can save money in the long run, but two remotes and one video game controller will set you back over $20 for 6 batteries and you still need to buy backups for when these are charging!
Speaking of charging, the docks I've used in the past have only charged 2-4 batteries at a time. So, hopefully you don't have two kids playing Xbox and both controllers die at the same time.
Recently I picked up EBL batteries with an 8 bay charger for my home on Amazon for under $20.
Along with the above bundle of the 8 bay dock, 4 AAs and 4 AAAs, I also picked up an additional pack of 8 AAs for another $17. (The original 4 AAAs were 1100mAh. The original 4 AAs and the additional 8 AAs were 2800mAh, meaning the AAs hold way more juice and cost a bit more)
I've been using these batteries and dock for a few months now, and here is the breakdown:
The dock is sturdy and doesn't feel cheap at all
The batteries have a vinyl type feel to them that I inexplicably enjoy...
8 bay charger is more than enough to make sure every battery is charged
The batteries last a LONG time
Charging is quick and reliable
Batteries come with cases, which keeps charged batteries organized
Batteries must be charged in pairs, but they're usually used in pairs and there are 8 bays in the dock
For under $40 I was able to convert the entirety of my household AA and AAA items to rechargeable batteries and still have a few charged and ready to replace any dead ones.
That's months of not needing to buy batteries for a little over $2 invested per battery.
If you're interested in transitioning to rechargeable batteries without breaking the bank, I'd highly suggest the EBL 8 bay charger with 4 AAs and 4 AAAs along with the 8 back of AAs.
he Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and PA Turnpike are advising motorists that the agencies are tentatively planning to implement varied vehicle restrictions during a storm expected to impact the state on Sunday.
The agencies continue to monitor the forecast and an update on anticipated restrictions will be issued later Saturday afternoon.
Tentatively, at 10:00 AM Sunday, a full commercial vehicle ban (including buses) may be implemented on the following roadways:
• I-70 full length;
• PA Turnpike (I-76) from New Stanton to Carlisle;
• I-79 from West Virginia state line to I-90;
• I-80 (I-376 to I-81);
• I-99 full length;
• I-180 full length from Route 220/U.S. 15 to I-80;
• I-279 full length; and
• I-376 south of I-76.
Also at 10:00 AM Sunday, the agencies may prohibit only empty, straight CDL-weighted trucks; all Large Combination Vehicles (double trailers); tractors hauling empty trailers; any trailers pulled by motorcycles, passenger vehicles, pickup trucks or SUVs; all motorcycles; and all recreational vehicles and RVs on the following roadways:
• PA Turnpike (I-76) (Ohio state line to New Stanton);
• I-80 (Ohio state line to I-376); and
• I-376 (I-80 to I-76).
Tentatively at noon on Sunday, the agencies may implement a full commercial ban (including buses) on additional roadways:
• I-78 full length from I-81 to the New Jersey state line;
• I-80 from I-81 to the New Jersey state line;
• I-81 from I-78 to the New York state line;
• I-84 full length from I-81 to the New York state line;
• I-380 full length from I-81 to I-80;
• I-476 (PA Turnpike, Northeast Ext.) north of I-78;
• Route 22 from I-78 to the New Jersey state line; and
• Route 33 from I-78 to I-80.
Also at noon on Sunday, PennDOT and the PA Turnpike may prohibit only empty, straight CDL-weighted trucks; all Large Combination Vehicles (double trailers); tractors hauling empty trailers; any trailers pulled by motorcycles, passenger vehicles, pickup trucks or SUVs; all motorcycles; and all recreational vehicles and RVs on additional roadways:
• PA Turnpike (I-76) from Carlisle to Valley Forge;
• I-81 from the Maryland state line to I-78;
• I-83 full length;
• I-176; and
Governor Tom Wolf visited Waynesburg Central Elementary School to highlight the need for statewide broadband access to increase educational opportunities for Pennsylvania’s students.
“For Pennsylvania to succeed we must close the digital divide to ensure every citizen has the access it needs to connect to the ever-expanding digital world in which we live and work,” said Governor Wolf. “Our students, parents, and teachers deserve better, and we can provide that through Restore Pennsylvania.”
To achieve these goals, Governor Wolf announced a bold infrastructure initiative, Restore Pennsylvania, funded by the monetization of a commonsense severance tax. Restore Pennsylvania will invest $4.5 billion over the next four years in significant, high-impact projects throughout the commonwealth to help catapult Pennsylvania ahead of every state in the country in terms of technology, development, and infrastructure.
Encompassing new and expanded programs to address five priority infrastructure areas including High Speed Internet Access, Storm Preparedness and Disaster Recovery, Downstream Manufacturing, Business Development, and Energy Infrastructure, Demolition, Revitalization, and Renewal, and Transportation Capital Projects, Restore Pennsylvania projects will be driven by local input about local needs. Projects identified by local stakeholders will be evaluated through a competitive process to ensure that high priority, high impact projects are funded and needs across Pennsylvania are met.
In Greene County, the governor outlined how Restore Pennsylvania will help school districts by expanding broadband access to all Pennsylvanians. Nearly a million Pennsylvanians today lack access to robust, reliable, high-speed internet.
“The Central Greene School District is proud to embrace Governor Wolf’s proposal to expand high-speed internet in rural communities,” said Superintendent Helen McCracken. “We owe our children and our school community broadband internet access, which should not be a function of who you are or where you are from; it should be a rite of passage to academic achievement, communication and future success. It’s what our students and community deserve so that we may compete equally now and in the future.”
Restore Pennsylvania will provide funding to completely bridge the digital divide in every community in Pennsylvania, making Pennsylvania a better place to work, do business, and live. Grants will be available to support the installation of infrastructure to bring high speed internet to every corner of the commonwealth. Funding will support every phase of the process from feasibility testing to connection.
On Thursday February 20th at approximately 1:37PM, a retail theft
occurred at the Rush Township Wal-Mart.
The Rush Township Police are trying to identify the individual who committed the offense. A male took a television valued at approximately $450.00 and fled the store without paying for the item.
The male was accompanied by a female and a child at the time of the offense. The offender left the scene in a vehicle was similar to a Jeep Grand Cherokee or Ford Escape.
Anyone with information to help identify these actors are asked to contact Rush Township
Police at (570) 668-4242 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All calls will be held in confidence.
Rush Township Police are searching for a male and female who allegedly faudulently used the credit account of a person in Texas to purchase items at a business in Rush Township.
The incident was reported on Thursday February 28th around noon. The Rush Township Police are trying to identify the individuals. Anyone with information to help identify these actors are asked to contact Rush Township Police at (570) 668-4242 or email at email@example.com.
All calls will be held in confidence.
Patronizing a Hazleton business during the month of March will benefit the Hazleton City Fire Department.
Smoke Rings Cigar Bar at 1008 North Vine Street in Hazleton plans to donate to a local organization each month. March will benefit the Hazleton City Fire Department.
Any time a Moscow, Cranberry, Vanilla Lime, or Kentucky mule is purchased, Smoke Rings will donate to the Hazleton City Fire Department. Donations will be doubled on Friday March 29th.
Smoke Rings posted the video below on their Facebook page yesterday to announce the donations.
THE MOMO CHALLENGE AND YOUTUBE VIDEOS
The Pennsylvania State Police has been made aware of reports of videos intended for children in which images of a character known as "Momo" have been inserted, as well as encounters with Momo over social media platforms such as WhatsApp, YouTube, and Facebook. However, while there have been numerous reports of such encounters in the press and on social media, there has been almost no direct evidence that such a challenge exists, no verified reports of children harming themselves or anyone else following the demands of the challenge, and therefore, it seems likely that the Momo Challenge is less of a threat and more of a phenomenon that has simply taken on a life of its own.
In the case of the Momo Challenge, an image of a woman with distorted features allegedly instructs viewers to commit acts of violence against others and ultimately, acts of self-harm under threat of a âcurseâ or that Momo will injure them.
The challenge apparently started in Latin America in 2018 and spread to the United States via Facebook, but it has never been established who is behind it or what his or her intent was. In February 2019, new warnings about the challenge made the rounds through social media. In a CBS News story, one mother claimed that her daughter, who is on the autism spectrum, began to display unusual behavior and ask unusual things. The girl turned on a gas stove without letting it light, which created a potentially explosive situation. The girl later revealed that she was encouraged by the character to do dangerous things.
These claims have not been verified.
Additionally, there are credible reports of videos on YouTube Kids, a platform designed to be safe for children, that have content that may be inappropriate for minors. This content includes self-harm, suicide, sexual abuse, human trafficking, and gun violence.
In the last few years, social media challenges and pranks have emerged that encourage Internet users to replicate viral trends via livestreaming or by the posting of results online. While some social media challenges have promoted charitable giving or educational awareness, a variety of challenges and pranks have also inspired users to participate in activities that can result in serious injuries or death. Adolescents are often the most vulnerable to partake in dangerous online games in order to seek the approval of friends, associates, and general Internet users from around the world. Individuals who participate in unsafe challenges or pranks often fail to measure risk appropriately and focus on the recognition and attention obtained from completing each challenge successfully. Posting the video or photo on social media platforms, such as Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook, often encourages additional individuals to take part in the activities.
Keeping Children Safe Online
The Pennsylvania State Police recommends the following tips to help keep children safe online:
Use the parental controls available through your Internet service provider, device, and apps to minimize the risk
of your children's access to inappropriate content. Parental controls and filtering software are not perfect, so your presence while your children are using the Internet is still necessary.
Bookmark favorite sites so your children can find them easily and directly.
Start a conversation around appropriate online behavior, including what to do if your children find content that is
frightening or that makes them feel uncomfortable. Make sure they know who they can talk to if they encounter
a situation they do not know how to handle.
Ensure your children know not to share personal information of any kind with anyone. The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) restricts what a commercial website can collect and requires a parent’s consent,
but that does not mean that an individual cannot ask personal questions.
Make sure your children (and you) know that clicking on random links or downloading unfamiliar or unexpected
attachments is how malware is spread.
Hazleton Police Chief Jerry Speziale and Officer Eric Hernandez entered Biagio's in Hazleton to ask someone to move a vehicle but wound up playing some salsa!
"Who said the Hazleton Police do not love salsa" the video caption read on social media.
"Embracing culture while building trust and legitimacy." Chief Speziale wrote about the video.
"Love it bravo for our chief Jerry Speziale that's what we want unity", Carmen Yulenny Rojas commented on the video.
"What a wonderful Chief. Your are the best. Keep up the good work.", Susan Rivera wrote.
Watch the video here:
On February 13, at approximately 2:30pm, Hanover Township Police took 34 year old Amanda Lynn Provinzano of Pocono Lake into custody during a joint operation involving the Luzerne County District Attorney’s Drug Task Force and the Hanover Township Narcotics Unit.
Provinzano was taken into custody on the Sans Souci Parkway, Hanover Township, and arrested on Felony narcotics charges stemming from a delivery of crack cocaine in Hanover Township.
Provinzano is currently on Lackawanna County Adult Probation and a detainer was placed on the subject due to the new charges.
A delay in the arrest was due to ongoing investigations Hanover Township Police say.
Provinzano was charged with the following:
Delivery of a Sch II Controlled Substance, Crack Cocaine
Possess with the Intent to Deliver Sch II Crack Cocaine
Possession of a Controlled Substance, Crack Cocaine
Criminal Use of a Communication Facility
Provinzano was arraigned before District Judge J. Halesey and bail was set at $100,000.00 straight cash. She was transported to the Luzerne County Prison.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced that the Wilkes-Barre Driver License Center, 1085 Hanover Street, Hanover Industrial Estates, Hanover Township, will change its hours of operation for driver licensing and photo services effective February 19, 2019. The new hours of operation for the Wilkes-Barre Driver License Center will be Tuesdays through Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. – 4:15 p.m. Photo center hours will be Mondays through Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. – 4:15 p.m., with photo hours extended to 6 p.m. on Thursdays.
Please note there will be traffic issues in downtown Pittston on Saturday, March 2, 2019 for the Annual Saint Patrick’s Day Parade. Please be advised that state and local police will be out patrolling for impaired drivers. Drivers are also reminded that additional pedestrians will be out attending the parade.
SR 4024 in Fairmount will be closed with detour starting on Monday, March 4 until the end of the summer for a bridge deck repair. Detour will be posted.
UPDATE: A recent inspection has shown that the pipe that carries the creek under SR 92 has sustained damage due to the water main break & collapse of the road. As a result State Route 92 will be closed for a few weeks. State Route 92 is closed in Exeter due to a water main break under the road. Large portions of the road have been washed away, so there is no anticipated day for reopening at this time. Crews are on scene and will be establishing a detour shortly.
SR 309 Northbound from River St., SR 2004,at Exit #3. The on ramp bridge from River St. (SR 2004) to the North Cross Valley Expressway (SR 309 NB) was open to traffic on Jan. 6, 2019.
Up Coming Work-Phase 2
The off ramp bridge from the North Cross Valley Expressway (SR 309 SB) to River St. (SR 2004) is scheduled to be closed early spring 2019 through Summer of 2020. The off ramp bridge deck and parapets will be removed and replaced. The beams and girders will be inspected and painted.
A signed detour will be in place Spring 2019 for the duration of the off ramp construction. The signed River St. detour will follow the North Cross Valley Expressway south (SR 309 south) to Wilkes-Barre Boulevard at Exit 2 where temporary signals have been installed. A left turn on the green signal may be made onto Wilkes-Barre Boulevard northbound. Follow the River St. detour signs to the on ramp of the North Cross Valley Expressway to SR 309 north. Vehicles can access River St., SR 2004, from SR 309 NB at Exit #3 via the off ramp, Ramp D-D.
SR 2045, (South Main Road), bridge closed on Thursday, December 27, 2018 due to an emergency bridge repair. The project will include replacing a pipe that has deteriorated underneath and has left the bridge unsafe. The bridge tentative completion date for this project is late September of 2019. A detour will be placed during this time. The detour will be Nuangola Rd (2042) to Church Rd (2047) and back to South Main Rd (2045).
South Valley Parkway Project
The Prospect Street roundabout is being re-engineered due to unforeseen conditions. The Department did not want to inconvenience the public, so the area was opened up. Once the re-engineering is completed, construction of Prospect Street will resume. The Prospect Roundabout will be not be completed in 2018, but will opened during winter months, and closed again in late
Auditor General Eugene DePasquale visited The Hometown Pharmacy in New Castle this week to release his new special report on how manufacturers’ rebates artificially inflate the prices people pay for prescription drugs.
The new report is a follow-up to his December special report, “Bringing Accountability and Transparency to Prescription Drug Pricing,” which called for legislative action to reduce Medicaid prescription costs by increasing the transparency of how pharmacy benefit managers do business.
“Rebates can actually drive up the cost of your prescription drugs by as much as 30 percent, meaning your brand-name heart medication, for instance, is likely almost a third more expensive than it needs to be,” DePasquale said.
Why consumers may not notice, DePasquale said, is because rebates are passed behind-the-scenes between drug manufacturers, pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) and insurance providers – never reaching consumers’ hands, or their wallets.
“In short, manufacturers who are required to offer a rebate on a drug simply set a higher starting list price in order to maintain their profit,” DePasquale said. “It’s practically the same thing as a store marking up the price of an item before putting it ‘on sale’ – the actual savings are illusory, at best.”
Making matters worse, the situation may actually keep pharmacy benefit managers from placing lower-priced medications on insurers’ approved drug lists, meaning only higher-priced drugs are covered.
“Part of the problem is that instead of getting a flat fee per prescription, pharmacy benefit managers get a percentage of the total cost of the drug,” DePasquale said. “This means that the more expensive the medication, the more profit the pharmacy benefit manager gets to keep. No wonder they aren’t exactly rushing to add lower-cost drugs to their approved lists – they’re rewarded for doing the opposite, and patients are paying the price.”
“Being in a community pharmacy, our pharmacists often hear concerns from our customers about the rising costs of the medications they take to stay healthy,” said Ron McDermott, senior vice president of pharmacy operations at Hometown Pharmacy Solutions. “I applaud Auditor General DePasquale for shining a light on the role that rebates play in spiraling drug costs.”
DePasquale stopped short of calling for rebates to be discontinued, noting that they were originally designed to help government insurance programs such as Medicaid save money — which does happen. In 2017, Pennsylvania spent nearly $3.5 billion for outpatient Medicaid prescriptions and received just over $2 billion back through rebates.
“Without federally mandated rebates, taxpayers could be spending nearly twice as much to help Pennsylvania’s 2.8 million Medicaid recipients get their medications,” he added. “But, for those with private insurance, rebates do not save money and ultimately increase the cost of prescription drugs.”
DePasquale suggested the following remedies:
In 2017, Pennsylvania taxpayers paid $2.86 billion to PBMs for Medicaid enrollees, according to the state Department of Human Services. That marked an increase of 100 percent in just four years, up from $1.41 billion in 2013.
“It’s time to rein in the companies that are raking in tens of billions of dollars in profits each year as millions of hard-working people struggle to afford the medications they need,” DePasquale said.
The special report on pharmaceutical rebates is available online at: www.PaAuditor.gov.