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The seven-year-old was waiting with a big kiss and the next clue, to change a baby's diaper. More family members instructed her to find an outfit. As they walked to the covered bridge, her entire family was there. She heard Robert call her name, and when she turned around, he was on one knee with the ring. By including important people in my life, it made for a very emotional, four-hour engagement! She even arranged a letter from the principal signed by several board members!

Meanwhile, he planned a prank of his own. He presented Amy with an engagement ring… without the diamond. He asked me to go take pictures because, being from South Dakota, he thought the mountains were really pretty in that area, and he wanted a picture. Brian joined her and started listing all the things he loved about her. Lisa, who had her hand on his chest, asked if he was ok, since his heart was beating so fast! He got down on one knee, held up the ring and asked Lisa to marry him. They spent the rest of the hour trip to Wisconsin calling family and friends to announce the engagement.

They married June 18, and now live in Jefferson Township with their two children. Thomas introduced Leanne to Raymondskill Falls in Milford during the summer of , soon after they met. They returned there on January 15, When we got to my favorite waterfall I must have been so engrossed by the scenery that I didn't notice Tom get down on one knee! He said, "I love you so much and want to spend the rest of my life with you! Will you marry me? Bruckner from Milford married December 7, In July of , while on a trip to Mammoth Lakes, CA, Jessica returned from kayaking to see Chad and their two dogs on the lake shore.

The female dog was wearing a wedding dress, and the male dog was wearing a tux. There, Chad surprised her with a ring. While rain was an issue for days leading up to the wedding, the skies cleared thirty minutes before the ceremony, and it remained a beautiful day. The uncle of the bride, an interior decorator, designed the reception space outdoors continued on page 80 C ontinued from Page 78 with tents and dance floor near the pond.

Guests included friends from California and five kindergarten classmates of the bride. Guests enjoyed paddleboat rides on the pond and swimming in the outdoor pool, and the party went on until 2 a. The couple now lives in Chatsworth, CA. After you get the ring, your next step is to see all your options for your big day.

On January 26 from noon to 3 p. Every half hour, someone will win a door prize from one of the vendors. The grand prize is something anyone planning a The coveted Hair and makeup demonstrations by the Lodge at Woodloch will return for a second year. To RSVP, call The show drew over 11, consumers to the home showcase. The Home Showcase is a major benefit for members of the association, but nonmember exhibitors are welcome to exhibit as well. Non-member exhibitors can also take advantage of a special offer this year and. LEGOs are provided. A registration fee is charged to cover the rental cost of the LEGOs.

The contest takes place on Saturday, February 22 at 2 p. Past entries have included beach houses, ranches, farms, moon homes and modest simple homes. Local building professionals will judge the contest, and first, second and third prizes will be awarded to children in age groups 5 to 8 and 9 to Washington Ave. Cover; cook on low heat setting four to six hours or until beef is tender. Place vegetables on top, and cook on low another two hours. Serve beef and vegetables with sauce from slow cooker. Garnish with parsley. Strip Steaks, etc.

Clam special-every Wed. Open Tues. Open Monday -Saturday, lunch at 11 a. Private parties Sun. Catering services available on and off premise. Best Friends Cafe- Casual dining. All pasta, ravioli, pierogie— handmade on premises. Featuring our giant pierogie stuffed with your favorite omelet or sandwich ingredients.

Dinner specials: Thurs. We cater. We deliver. Casual fine dining in downtown Scranton. Friday Night Jazz Lounge p. Sunday brunch 10 a. Dinner dress code. Outdoor dining available. Open daily. Follow us on Facebook. Coney Island Lunch- A Scranton tradition since Taste the Texas Wieners and Texas Hamburgers that made us famous. Serving homemade soups, old-fashioned rice pudding and chili-con-carne. Enjoy our legendary chili sauce, created from a closely-guarded family recipe, eat in or take it out.

Open Mon. We offer a variety of steaks, seafood, salads, burgers, sandwiches and more! Open 7 days a week a. Pub open later.

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Route , Hawley. Request a table on the terrace for wonderful views of the Pocono Mountains or a table by the fireplace for a romantic dining experience. Gourmet dinner menu features Classical and Nouvelle French Cuisine. Proper attire required. Jackets for gentlemen. Please note: restaurant is not suitable for children under Reservations: Signature sandwiches on homemade bread. Dinner entrees- N. Strip, slow roasted prime rib, breaded haddock, chicken marsala— to name a few. Homemade bakery items. Open 7 days a week Sun. Visit us at www. Open 7 days at 4 p. Modern yet casual, cozy bar and family dining, available for any occasion.

Serving your favorite bar food and Chef's daily specials. Open daily for lunch and dinner. A unique dining experience featuring steaks, pastas, flatbreads and a variety of delicious unique chef-inspired dishes. Large contemporary wine and martini menu. Live music, outdoor patio, on and off-site catering. Join us for hand-rolled sushi on Tuesday evenings. Hours 5 p. Enjoy excellent food and outstanding service. Award-winning patio. Voted Best Chef Best Ambiance , Friendliest Bar Popular for cocktails and small plates. Wide ranging American Cuisine. Lunch Mon.

Dinner Mon. Sunday Brunch 10 a. State St. Clarks Summit. Hours: Tues. Until closing. Market St. Scranton, Monthly Wine Tasting Dinners. Serving dinner Wed. I, Exit , Rt. Bar voted "Best Happy Hour" in the Poconos. Nightly Specials, live music, seasonal lunch. Come down to the Gap…we can't wait to see you! Exit Rt. Our visit to Washington D.

Casey, Jr. During my visit, I shared my reasons for the visit and thoughts on the proposed Medicare legislation. The legislation would force Inpatient Rehabilitation continued on page 96 January Lunch Tues. Dinner Tues. Beginning at p. Brunch Buffet Sunday a.

Back Mountain American

Senator Robert P. C ontinued from Page 94 Hospitals to make crucial patient-care decisions based on admission statistics and medical diagnoses rather than on the individual needs of the patient. Inpatient Rehabilitation Hospitals provide patients with close medical supervision and an intensive rehabilitation program not available in other clinical settings. The arbitrary admission criteria enclosed in this Medicare legislation would create a. Our representatives in government have the chance to preserve patient choice and allow patients access to treatments that give them the best prospects to thrive.

This visit to Washington D. In the following. You can tie-in to the fun by voting for your favorite tie or guy! Our logo illustrates that we are joined together equally, pointing to the basic dignity of each person and his or her life's profession or purpose. Rotary is about high ethical standards in both one's personal and professional life. Monetary support has also been given to communities for items such as gazebos, benches and The North Pocono Library. We adopt three families for the holidays, and we proudly donated four scholarships to high school seniors this year.

Every year we supply dictionaries that are distributed to third graders, and we honor hard-working students with our student-of-the-month and classroom-of-the-month programs. We welcome like-minded volunteers to join us with their energy and ideas. Other ties in the background include a nonsmoking symbol tie representing our work in creating smoke-free public places, one that has bears the American flag, representing my love of country, and another tie with the cross, which represents my deep faith and purpose for helping others.

On the tie is a Christmas Seal representing our fundraising campaign, which began in This campaign was initiated to raise monies for lung disease. It opened in to treat those with tuberculosis in the Scranton area. Tuberculosis, the disease was controlled through education, proper management and treatment. The abandoned site stands as a victory over that dreaded disease which affected many, and in some cases, resulted in death.

We also have developed and facilitate Better Breathers Support groups throughout the area, as well as tobaccofree teen peer groups. Over the past fif-. It is very important that we continue to fund research that will, hopefully, one day, lead to the eradication of lung disease. If we do all this, we can expand the success we experienced in the past with diminishing tuberculosis. If we are truly successful, we will not need to change our name — we will no longer be needed! Gold is the color that represents childhood cancer, the passion that drives everything we do through Cancertacular.

I also wore my gold Fire Chief's emblem lapel pin, which is where I believe my love for community service began. If you see me or anyone with a golden tie, please say hello and a prayer for all of my golden children! We don't have a free-standing office, so,. We brought a bit of Cancertacular to Guy Cali's amazing studio and made magic happen there! There are three criteria to become a "Golden Child" and receive services: be under the age of 18, have a cancer diagnosis, and live in Lackawanna County or one of the 10 surrounding counties.

All monies raised remain in Northeast PA exclusively benefitting childhood cancer. Our services don't stop with a single child; we take care if the entire family. This may include gas, grocery, fast food cards, trips to the hospital, respite care, gifts, clothes, even trips to Chuck E. Basically, we understand what these families are going through, and making their journey just a little bit easi-.

Cancertacular was born August 18, I became involved with Cancertacular almost immediately after I completed treatment for Prostate cancer in September I began as a volunteer, but I am now a proud board member. I am proud to say that I spearheaded the inaugural Cancertacular 5K in Archbald. This year, it will be held on April 26 at the Archbald Hose Co. A strong structure with advanced materials and technology serves as the foundation for Explorer capability. Inside, the Explorer provides seating for seven. When carrying things takes priority, the rear seats fold down for cargo space on demand - up to Dakota is wearing a paw print tie which is similar to Blue Chip Farm's symbol.

Connect: www. The dogs are walked daily, usually twice a day. By walking and working with the dogs, we are able to provide them the human interaction and care they need. When they are adopted or fostered, we are able to talk with the new owners about the dog, its personality, and how to work with them. The facility does not practice euthanasia, and their goal is to provide the animals with a safe place to live, proper care, and food until they are adopted. Blue Chip Farm depends on donations and volunteers to stay in operation. We need all the support we can get! February Friday 5 p.

Saturday 10 a. Sunday 11 a. Antique, vintage, gently used, new, hand-crafted and trash-to-treasure items. Credit cards accepted. Call for hours. Bridge St. Phone or , email: jukesslots aol. Credit cards and layaway welcome. Open daily Info: or www. Open seven days a week 10 a.

Friendly dealers on-hand to assist. Always affordably priced. Experience the new face of consignment shops. Going North: right at end of ramp, then the next two rights Going South: left at end of ramps, then the next two rights. When Housebreaking Goes Wrong I have a nearly one-yearold Dachshund mix who is still not housebroken.

We've kept her on a regular schedule of walks, but she still has accidents in the house. Any tips on how to get the concept across? Are little dogs dense? Owner lapses virtually always explicate the cause. Tiny pups are so darn cute that both kids and adults vie for puppy time. Months pass before an unmistakably funky aroma motivates altered priorities. A dog sees no difference between a house and the lawn outside that house.

If a dog needs to go, she. This requires full cooperation and participation from the entire family…no softies sneaking free time for your pooch! Free time indoors will occur only immediately following successful elimination outdoors, and only while on leash under the active supervision of a family member. Your goal is to ensure that her only opportunity to relieve herself occurs while outdoors, and that a family member is present to witness and to praise her effusively.

I suggest waiting for the dog to indicate need through whines or restlessness. It accomplishes nothing to shove her out the door, hoping something happens. Praising the desired act is essential for success. No exceptions! So, be fair to her— go out with her. Assuming a successful trip outside, provide praise and a little celebratory playtime. When your attention is even slightly distracted, she must be outdoors or crated. Her freedom will be restored very gradually as she demonstrates comprehension.

She loves running t an pup is very swee and snuggling. This 4-year-old Pe Fish. He lives w kingese loves to beg for Sw ed ith Diane Love lace in Greentow ish n. The votes are in He anko. Gina Toma ss people, ca oni of Eynon says th r rides and is eating Che happy-go-lucky guy, erios in his lo spare time ves. Joeann Knehr of Pl ea behaved girl on th sant Mount says this is the best e pl always glad to ha anet! She loves everyone and is ve co couch on a cold wi mpany but finds lounging on the nter day the smar test activity. Owner d n u ro a s take walk g in the su She loves to d, eating and relaxin.

Vote for your favorite January pet at www. The winner receives a Happenings bandanna! Founded in , and with more than 14, homes built since then, the company takes tremendous pride in its made-in-America designation, says Joe Dymond, owner, vice president and board member. We believe it is important for our. They are typically building their last home or a home to get away to. The settings are typically in remote or wooded remote areas.

Jim Barna Log and Timber Homes uses local labor, so any revenue that is generated stays within the local economy. Dymond invites interested potential log home buyers to tour the company's model which is also his own home in Center Moreland, PA. The outside of our home is a light natural stain with forest green and burgundy trim. It is an open floor plan with continued on page Concerned about your hair?

Call for a free consultation today. Our main living area is open to front, back and side porches with natural light filtering through the many windows and doors on all sides. We have a neutral color palette that gives the home an open and airy appearance. We have raised or open ceilings throughout, and our master suite, mudroom, onehalf bath, open kitchen, dining and great room are all on the first floor," he explains. Barna Log Homes also offers consumers assistance in the log homebuilding process. We help them from defining the entire building process, the design process, the finance process, the budget and product research," Dymond explains.

Since many of the customers of Jim Barna Log and Timber Homes come to the company with a vision, the company translates those ideas into a concept plan. If all is still in order, then we will work with them to attain financing, permits for their home and will start the overall construction process," Dymond says. Ed Golden's estimation, age is no detriment to learning and full participation in life-long activities.

The Dunmore resident will celebrate his 90th birthday in January and plans to celebrate with his wife of 63 years, Irene Kowalski Golden, and most of his eight chil-. He attributes his longevity to healthy food, taking an active interest in life and a religious connection. Kodak that I went to war with and still own.

Golden estimates that he owns more than , pictures and may start selling some. He enjoys shooting all kinds of images and especially likes travel, landscape and sports photography. He had been a valuable photo contributor to Happenings Magazine for 13 years, and his photos had been published in Pennsylvania Athlete for 17 years. He taught his photo skills to two of his sons who had early careers in the field, including Paul, who worked as a manager for Olan Mills studios and John, who executed professional photography at the former Mercy Hospital.

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For more than 30 years, Golden has been selling used cameras in photography shows in five different states. Lately, he traveled to a camera show in Albany, NY. He has also been busy pursuing other interests including learning how to play an organ that he bought three years ago. I can play some of HappeningsMagazinePA. In, Golden enlisted in the Marine Corps and served until He was a "telephone man who laid wire from battalion to battalion and platoon to platoon. Sadly, his grandson, Marine Sgt. Patrick Dolphin, 29, was killed in Afghanistan two years ago.

Dolphin served two tours in Iraq and was on his second tour in Afghanistan when he died. Golden and his wife have 16 other grandchildren and are looking forward to his upcoming milestone birthday and family reunion. Enjoy an Independent Lifestyle at Shawnee Ridge! Physically active throughout her life, Griffiths always enjoyed tennis, golf and kayaks. She got started skiing back in while. Scranton Ski Club member is in the mids. They also give back to the community, hosting fundraisers for the Special Olympics and Wounded Warriors.

She says the yoga is a little slow for her sometimes, but it helps her breathing and keeps her muscles well stretched. According to Griffiths, the average age of a. Kristi Givens Gives Patients Her Heart When a loved one is coming towards the end of his or her life it can be a daunting and isolating experience. Before becoming an in-home hospice nurse, she worked in an inpatient care facility in Dunmore. According to Givens, it was like in-house hospice, and she experienced a lot of loss. Hospice care involves providing appropriate intervention for the patients, giving them comfort and enabling them to have a managed dignified passing.

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Givens feels privileged to provide comfort and reassurance to the families. She is more than just a knowledge base; she is a compassionate heart. It is Evaluation is another aspect; if the patient is declining more rapidly, do they require more frequent care, or have they progressed to having a continuous care nurse?

She sees 12 to 15 patients throughout the week. The number of visits a patient receives is variable to the stage of hospice they are in and the types of care they receive. It is an emotional time for the patients, the families and Givens. Loss is a frequent and regular part of being a hospice nurse. Oftentimes part of educating the families on how to care for the patient also involves preparing them to lose their loved one. They invest prudently and save, dreaming of vacations they will take, the beach house they will buy or how they will spoil their grandchildren.

Few people worry about how their golden years may be ruined by the need for long-term care, and even fewer take the time to plan for it. According to the Medicare National Handbook, at least 70 percent of people over age 65 will need long-term care services or support at some point. Because we are one of the largest groups, Mariani said, the rate for us ought to be lower than any smaller group.

The tentative agreement for lower rates in the current contract is subject to including that lan- guage. In an unrelated matter that could cost the trust millions, Mariani said there was no news on a lawsuit filed by Pittston Ar- ea and Dallas school districts. The two withdrewfromthe trust in , contending the trust built up an excess surplus by overcharging districts. They sued in to get what they claimis their part of the sur- plus.

The trust contends the agree- ment signed by all members clearly states any money paid by members stays with the trust un- less it is completely dissolved. Anon-jury trial concluded July 7 in Luzerne County Court. Both sides are awaiting Judge Lewis Wetzels ruling. Mariani said he has no infor- mation on the status of that deci- sion. He just kept on rollin, racing down his familys backyard in a wagon. Residents of Charles Street on Tuesday night brought their concerns to borough council.

They said theyve con- sistently complained to Courtdale police since Memorial Day about extremely loud music. I cant go into any roomof my house to get away from it. Ive called the police three different times, and as soon as they leave, the volume is back up, said Charles Street resident John Novy. While neighborhood residents are frustrated, officer John Fronzoni urged them to be patient and wait for the due process of the law. In order to handle it, one thing we need is a victim, because without a victim there is no crime.

What deter- mines that is for residents to come to the magistrate and say that they have been affected by this, Fronzoni said. Council also updated residents on the status of the Evans Street bridge project. The project, which was slat- ed to be completed this month, has been put on hold be- cause of incorrect survey data. An estimated completion date has been pushed back to October. In other business, Luzerne County requested the borough approve several address changes on stretches of Memorial Highway. The addresses of one residential lo- cation, as well as the former Wasserotts along Route , will be altered to be numerically consecutive and more convenient for emergency responders.

Brad Huzzard, 19, of Taylor, was arraigned on three counts of rob- bery, two counts of aggravated as- sault, two counts of simple assault and one count each of criminal con- spiracy, theft and two weapons charges. Police had been unable to locate Huzzard immediately after the inci- dent. Huzzard and two other men were charged in the June 25 incident in which Pittston police say the men ordered food from the Golden Star Chinese Restaurant on North Main Street. Ronald Perschau, Jr.

Perschau recently waived his right to a preliminary hearing and is facing related charges in Luzerne County Court. According to the criminal com- plaints: Police said the restaurant re- ceived an order from a blocked phone number at about p. Saturday for three orders of General Tsos chickentobe deliveredat a res- idence on Lyons Lane, a dark alley near Main Street.

Police said that when the employ- ee, Ping Zheng, arrived in the alley Perschau, Rios andHuzzardassault- ed him. Police said the three men placeda pellet gunto Zhengs throat and struck himin the head while de- manding money. While officers were still on Lyons Lane, they learned Rios was sitting in a vehicle nearby. Rios told police, according to the complaint, he was hanging out with Perschau and Huzzard but did not take part in the assault and robbery. Police found Perschau at a resi- dence in Taylor. Police allege he told them Rios planned the assault and robbery, the complaint says. Assault suspect arraigned Brad Huzzard is one of three men charged in the robbery of a Chinese food delivery man.

First day for collections will be Saturday, July Pay- ments must be received by Sept. Hours during the rebate period at the bor- ough building are Tuesday and Wednesday, 5 to 7 p. Payers should bring the entire bill; the receipt is on the bottom of the bill. Home collections are avail- able to anyone by calling the office at In and , Toyota Scion of Scranton was recognized with the prestigious Presidents Award for excellence in each of a series of categories, including Customer Sales Satisfaction and Customer Service Satisfaction.

Finance and lease offers require tier 1 plus credit approval through Toyota Financial Services. All leases are based on 12, miles per year. No security deposit required for all leases. Available unit counts include both in stock and incoming units for all model years and trim levels for series described.

Vehicle must be in stock units Prior sales excluded. Customer must present ad at time of purchase. Corolla offers good through Tuesday, July 5th. See dealer for details. Above, Ross Kleiman digs out dirt deposited by the flooding from under an Orchard Street home in Plymouth. Below, Danielle Pisarz, right, and Zak Voitek dig out mud that washed under a porch at the same property. The event ran Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The report, commissioned by the Marcellus Shale Coalition and released Wednesday, says that production quadrupled be- tween and last year and the number of wells in production grew by 77 percent.

The studys authors estimate that this years production will be more than2 1 2 times last years figure. And in the next nine year, the report said, the Marcellus could supply a quarter of the na- tions natural gas. These are some dramatic re- sults, said Kathyrn Klaber, president and executive director of the Marcellus Shale Coali- tion, adding that the findings underscore the longevity, the sustainability of this resource in Pennsylvania for generations to come.

Another Penn State expert not involvedwiththe report said that while early production data are encouraging, long-term pro- jections should be viewed with caution. The researchers found that production jumped from million cubic feet per day to 1. My viewis that theres some rea- son for being a skeptic, said Mi- chael Arthur of Penn States Department of Ge- osciences. From what Ive seen from the Marcellus, we dont have data to effectively make ac- curate long-term projections. Arthur said the wells short- term performance is much bet- ter than expected, adding that if the Marcellus wasnt profit- able, energy companies wouldnt be forging ahead at the current pace.

Pennsylvania is the largest drilling state that doesnt im- pose a tax or fee on natural gas extraction. Klaber signaled support Wednesday for an impact fee. Acknowledging there are some unmet needs, she said: A rea- sonable, competitive impact fee that takes those dollars back to the community in which we are operating is probably the right model to move forward with.

The Penn State report esti- mated that 2, new wells may be drilled this year, and about 2, more in each of the next five years. It also claims robust employment growth, with about 60, jobs in growing to nearly , last year. The industry projects more than , will be employed this year.

The industry report suggests that the Marcellus could be- come the largest producing gas field in the U. Sharon Ward, director of the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, issued her groups state- ment in response to an industry- funded study. This is the third study con- ducted by Penn State faculty on behalf of the natural gas indus- try into the economic impact of the Marcellus Shale. We are pleased to see that Penn State has made it clear this time that the study is sponsored and fund- ed by the natural gas industry, not the university, she said.

Overall, we welcome the gas industrys contribution to Penn- sylvanias economy, but with this study, the industry contin- ues to overstate the economic benefits and underestimate the costs of increased drilling in the Marcellus Shale. Ward said the study over- states the number of jobs sup- ported by the industry at , jobs 2. She said jobs data from the state Department of Labor and Industry showthat less than19, people were em- ployed directly in core Marcel- lus Shale industries at the end of Anastasia Shcherbakova, a professor of energy economics at Penn State, said long-term production estimates are sub- ject to many variables, including price, market demand and polit- ical factors.

Marcellus yield soaring, report on industry says Document was researched at Penn State and backed by the natural gas industry. It also claims robust employ- ment growth, with about 60, jobs in growing to nearly , last year. Help us to reach out to these kids before they go down the wrong path. Michael Vick The Philadelphia Eagles quarterback, who formerly served in prison for dogfighting offenses, attended a news conference this week on Capitol Hill to back legislation that would penalize those people who knowingly attend animal fights and allow minors to attend.

Tom Marino, R-Lycoming Township, is one of three main sponsors of the legislation. Steve Flood gave voice to underdogs in county W hat I liked best about former Luzerne County controller Steve Flood was he gave the little guy a chance to be heard and gave a voice to those afraid to speak up. I believe Steve Flood, like most of us trying to bring sanity to government, nev- er intended to hurt the two judges. What was exposed in Luzerne County over the last few years was the tip of the iceberg. The love of power and money has warped governments and corporations all over the United States.

Steve just tried to make things better on his small part of the planet. Now that more people are admitting Steve was right, what will come of it? Will people be more will- ing to show up when the next courageous person who stands up for them asks for their backing? Thank you, Steve, for showing us the way. You are sadly missed. Al Rende Cranberry Writer urges opposition to forced pooling policy T he Times Leader printed an article titled Corbetts gas panel calls for payments July The subtitle sum- marized: The advisory group approves pooling, a measure used when landowners hold out.

Tom Corbetts panel wants to ex- tend an un-American policy called forced pooling to natural gas drilling, which is used to force holdout landowners to lease their below-ground gas rights under cer- tain conditions. This would prevent a homeowner from refusing a drilling com- pany that wants to access natural gas via private property. Forced pooling violates the first article of Pennsylvanias constitution, which un- alterably grants the inherent right to ac- quire, possess and protect property.

Forced pooling benefits corporations bottom lines, not residents of Pennsylvania. Oppose forced pooling. Dont allow the government to revoke our rights. Nicole Karr Benton Reader decries funding for mosque in Egypt C an anyone in government from Capitol Hill to the White House explain to me, especially in our current economic conditions, why in the blue blazes we are funding renovations to the sewer system in Cairo in order to preserve a 1,year-old mosque?

Or any of these other types of projects being funded by U. How much more do Americans not know about? Charlotte Hendershot Plains Township Representative says bill unfair to utility customers I t should come as no surprise that in his June 26 letter to the editor, Terrance Fitzpatrick, president and CEO of the Energy Association of Pennsylvania, ad- vocates for legislation to allow utilities to automatically raise their rates.

He is, after all, head of an organization that refers to itself as the Voice of the Electric and Natural Gas Utility Industries in Harris- burg. Fitzpatrick wrote his letter in re- sponse to my June 17 guest column on Rep. Robert Godshalls House Bill , which would allow the Public Utility Com- mission to approve requests of natural gas, electric and wastewater utility companies to automatically increase their customer rates without having to prove that these increases are necessary.

Fitzpatrick naturally wrote his letter in support of H. Godshall also has responded with a guest column of his own. One thing the three of us can agree on is that utility companies must repair and replace their aging infrastructure. Howev- er, I stand by my original statement that H. Once utilities obtain the right to raise rates automatically, they would no longer have to prove they need to increase rates on an overall basis that their increased costs to update or expand their infrastructure outweigh any cost savings or revenue increases.

Neither Mr. Fitzpatrick nor Rep. God- shall disputes this fact in their recent com- ments on the bill. They have managed to ex- pand and replace infrastructure while saving customers money through the use of new technologies, increased sales, oper- ational mergers and other efficiencies. Fitzpatrick and Rep.

Godshall are correct that water utilities have been al- lowed to place automatic surcharges on customer bills for 15 years now. However, that has not prevented water utilities from filing base rate cases for more revenue as Mr. Godshall seem to suggest. These companies continue to file for base rate increases about every two years. Assuming that the water company were to save that money, howev- er, those savings do not have to be reflect- ed in their automatic charges on your water bill.

I agree that ratepayers must pay percent of what it costs to repair or replace utility infrastructure, but they should not have to pay any more than that. State Rep. Phyllis Mundy Kingston Hart Medical Center marks 25th anniversary T oday marks the 25th anniversary of the opening of my offices for the practice of family medicine, the Hart Medical Center.

At this time, I extend a sincere thank- you to our patients for allowing us the privilege of serving as their provider for complete family health care for a quarter of a century. The confidence and support we have received is both humbling and overwhelming. On behalf of the center and its staff, I am truly grateful.

I also extend both gratitude and recog- nition to my hardworking and dedicated staff: Susan, Barbara S. Ve- luswamy, medical director, of the Wyom- ing Valley Health Care System for allowing me to serve as a staff physician for the Wilkes-Barre General Hospital, and I thank the nursing staff of the General Hospital for the excellent care you have given my patients. I thank my fellow physicians for allow- ing me to serve as medical staff president. I extend my appreciation to all health care providers and agencies I have worked with over these 25 years. Finally, I would like to publicly dedicate this achievement to my Aunt Elizabeth Loftus, to my mother, Mrs.

Catherine Loftus-Kerrigan, for her sacrifices and help, and to my father, Patrick J. Kerrigan Sr. Navy, who gave his life for this country. Thank you for these past 25 years of The Hart Medical Center.

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I hope we have made a difference in your lives for the better. Patrick J. Letters should be no more than words. We reserve the right to edit and limit writers to one published letter every 30 days. E-mail: mailbag timesleader. That shouldnt surprise any- one. Abig surprise is that Mex- ican migration appears to have fallen to a trickle because of several factors, not the least of which is an improving job mar- ket south of the border. Exhaustive academic re- search suggests multiple, over- lapping circum- stances are affecting the migration de- cline, creating a per- fect storm of good news for both sides of the border.

Yes, a growing an- ti-illegal immigrant sentiment across the United States is one ingredient, but this is no cause for hardliners to claim victory. Much bigger, yet sub- tler, economic andsocial forces are at play. A major factor is the droop- ing U. If migrants cant find jobs, the higher expense of life in America cancels out any mea- ger economic benefit from be- ing here.

All of the sudden, life inMex- ico is looking a lot better. At the same time, Mexicos economy is taking off, having reached a 5. The cost and risk of migrat- ing illegally also has reached all-time highs, largely because Mexicos drug cartels have tak- en control of the routes and smug- gling businesses previously run by small-time free- lancers. Accord- ing to one aca- demic study, the cost of getting across the border has risen 66 per- cent since None of this diminishes the need for comprehensive immi- gration reform. Americas economy eventually will re- bound, as will the lure of U.

I F THERES ONE key les- son from the growing pains of closing mental hospitals around the country, its that community- based care for the mentally ill only works when patients re- ceive their medication and other treatment. So a proposal to halt free rides to rehabilitation centers for psychiatric patients in Pennsylvania thankfully, now being pulled back for re- view clearly was the wrong way to go.

Driven in part by Gov. Tom Corbetts austere state budget, the policy generated an under- standable uproar frommental- health advocates, providers and patients alike. With thousands of individu- als relying on weekly rides to recovery centers where they learn job and life skills, the im- pact of halting transportation funding for county agencies and providers would have been immediate. For some patients, it could have represented a setback on their road to recovery as well as posed dire challenges for families and caregivers trying to cope with someone suffer- ing from illness.

The hope is that the review of the policy will result in its quickly being scrapped alto- gether. Ineither case, the reprieve is a welcome indication that Cor- bett aides are willing to recali- brate their approach to spend- ing issues when presented with a compelling set of facts. Of course, state officials need only have checked the relatively recent history of deinstitutionalization. Dec- ades ago, failing to provide critical community assistance such as rides to clinics swelled the ranks of the home- less with mentally ill individu- als discharged from state hos- pitals.

ALLERGIC ASTHMA Symptoms, Causes & Treatments

Theres no needto learnthat painful lesson all over again. High hu- midity will push the heat index so that it feels in excess of de- grees on those days. To help vulnerable older citi- zens, the Area Agency onAging of LuzerneandWyomingCountiesis extending hours at six senior cen- ters through Sunday. Id be in my house with the fan on. For Jeannette Guest, air condi- tioning at the Wilkes- Barre center is practically a lifeline.

Guest, original- ly of Denver, Colo. She said the Social Se- curity Administration is working to rectify the matter and she thinks she shouldhavehousinginan shehasbeenonthestreet, wheretheoppressiveheat of late has aggravated her heart condition and threatened her health. Thehumidityisgone,shesaid as she looked through housing ad- vertisements at the center Wednesday.

So my respiration is improving and my heart has calmed down. Its a lot better; Im glad they have this. Heat watch issued The National Weather Service issued an excessive-heat watch to- day that calls for prolonged high temperatures. Based on that re- port, the Luzerne County Emer- gencyManagement Agencyhasal- so issued an excessive-heat warn- ing effective from noon to 8 p. It just means the heat and hu- midityforecastedfor today is go- ing to reach levels that could be- come dangerous if youre exposed to it for long period of time, said EMAcoordinator Steve Bekanich.

Anyone working in the heat construction workers, road work- ers, for example should make sure they drink lots of water. If at all possible, take breaks in the shade, get out of the heat for a while and into air conditioning if you can, keep hydrated, wear looser-fitting, light- er clothing that doesnt absorbheat asmuch, like cottons, Bekanich rec- ommended.

And if youre not feel- ingwell, seekmedical at- tention, he said. The Wilkes-Barre Health Department is- sued a similar advisory, with director Ted Kross noting that heat exhaus- tion and heat strokes may cause serious life- threatening health issues. Field Of- fice, saidtheheat wavewascaused by a dome of highpressure forcing the jet streamnorth and holding a mass of air over the plains from eastern New Mexico to the Ohio River Valley. When you have a feature like that that sits over a traditionally dry area like the plains insummer, it builds upalot of heat, Padivido- na said, and its just going to slide eastward now and affect us for a fewdays.

For area farmers, the hot weath- er has actually been a boon, said farmer Larry OMalia of Plains Township. Cooler nights earlier in the summer slowed the ripening of his corn and tomato crops, OMalia said, but muggy night- time conditions have sped up that process. My grandfather always used to say the nights that you and I cant sleep, those hot, muggy nights, those are the nights that the toma- toes and the corn love, OMalia said.

He spent Wednesday in his fields, harvesting crops to sell at todays Farmers Market in Wilkes- Barre. Im a third-generation farmer, he said. Even when I was in school I spent the summers work- ing in the fields, and now at 52 years old Im used to it. We deal with it. Tips for gardeners OMalia said home gardeners worryingabout their crops wilting in the heat should resist watering more than the usual once or twice a week. If theyre really wilting and the ground is parched dry, you can give them a little extra, he said, but dont all of a sudden get into the habit of over-watering.

The heat has increased demand for power on the PJM Intercon- nect, the power transmission grid that serves Pennsylvania and oth- er mid-Atlantic states. Power de- mand peaked Wednesday at , megawatts, close to peak summertimedemandgridmanag- ers had predicted but well shy of thegrids,megawatt capac- ity, spokeswoman Paula Dupont- Kidd said. Amegawatt is about the energy required to power 1, homes. PPL recommends keeping win- dow shades and blinds drawn, checking air-conditioner filters to maintain optimal air flowand effi- ciency, using a programmable thermostat tocontrol temperature settings, keeping doors and win- dows in rooms with an air condi- tioner closed, only using lights as needed, and minimizing use of heat-generating appliances such as dishwashers, ovens, stoves, washers and dryers during the warmest hours of the day.

Times Leader staff writer Steve Mocarsky contributed to this re- port. Adams Senior Center. Saturday and Sunday to act as cooling stations. Transportation to centers may be arranged by calling Adams Senior Center cooling off. To see video, scan this QR code into your smartphone or visit www. Although his huge Caterpillar excavator has air conditioning, he couldnt entirely es- cape. When youre done for the day, youre ready to eat, drink and hit the couch. The oppressive conditions extend from the northern Plains states to Texas and from Nebraska to the Ohio Valley.

And theyre expanding east- ward. When a high pressure system devel- ops in the upper atmosphere, the air below it sinks and compresses because theres more weight on top, causing temperatures in the lower atmosphere to heat up, said Eli Jacks, a meteorol- ogist with the National Weather Ser- vice in Silver Spring, Md.

The dome of high pressure also push- es the jet stream and its drier, cooler air, farther north its now well into Canada while hot, humid air from the Gulf of Mexico circulates clockwise around the dome, traveling farther inland than normal. Combined with generally clear skies and the suns higher summertime an- gle, it gets really hot, Jacks said.

That also explains why temperatures in, say, North Dakota this week arent all that different from temperatures in Houston, he said. The big difference is that people in Houston are accustomed to hot weather, while those in the north are not. In places where the highest temper- ature you ever expect is in the 80s and youre at , there are big health con- cerns, because fewer people have air conditioning or fans, Jacks said.

Heat is the No. Whats more, because of the humid- ity, even nighttime brings little relief. Its been degrees at 11 oclock, lately, at night, said Curtis Mark, who was servicing air conditioners Tuesday at the Greer County Courthouse in Mangum, Okla.

Stay indoors is about all I do. Fellow Oklahoman Norma Lauer of Granite said she puts cold water on her hands and arms before going to bed and then lies down without covering up on the bed, under the fan and with the air conditioner running. Thunderstorms can develop around the perimeter of the dome called the ring of fire bringing temporary relief to some areas, said Kevin Birk, a National Weather Service meteorol- ogist in Illinois.

But this dome is so large that the heat rebuilds quickly, Birk said. While heat domes arent uncommon, this one is unusual because of its size and duration. It began three days ago and may last seven to 10 days in some locations. And its moving eastward, with temperatures expected to reach degrees in Washington by today. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration records show that the United States broke 25 local high re- cords for the date on Monday, includ- ing degrees in both Edgemont S.

On Tuesday, it was in Manhattan, Kan. The mercury rose to in Joplin, Mo. And in some cities it will be even hotter Wednesday: Chicago reached 93 degrees Tuesday, with 97 forecast for Wednesday. They met at Bishop Hoban High School. Vinsko shares office space at S.

Paula Vinsko works for the firm as its business manager. Bill Vinsko also serves as assistant city attorney for Wilkes-Barre, as part of the administration of his third cousin, Mayor Tom Leight- on. Vinskomadehisannouncement not knowing what the 11th Dis- trict will looklikeafterthestatere- aligns the boundaries of congres- sional districts. Every 10 years after the U. Census, states are required to re- define congressional districts.

Pennsylvaniaisexpectedtolose one seat in Congress, necessitat- ing the realignment. The state currently has a Republican major- ity inthe state House of Represen- tative and Senate, and Gov. Tom Corbett is a Republican. After the redistricting, whether there will be more Republican or Democrat- ic registered voters in the district wont change Vinskos mind. We have to provide a good quality of life for all of our resi- dents, regardless of political par- ty, Vinsko said.

He said Northeastern Pennsyl- vania is a unique place and a great place to raise a family. He said he wants to help small-busi- ness owners, senior citizens and the hard-working people of the middle class. This area needs a strong voice in Washington, Vinsko said. I will work had for all people of my district, andI will listentotheir is- sues and concerns.

I never ask my clients if they are Democrat or Re- publican and I would never ask that of my constituents. Vinsko has named Kyle Dona- hue of Dunmore as his campaign manager. Donahue has considera- ble campaign experience, having beenonthestaff of formersenator, nowVice President Joe Bidendur- ing his campaigns, he said. Vinskosaidheis puttingtogeth- er a committee and will be an- nouncing fundraising events in the near future.

He said he will make constituency services his top priority and, if elected, he in- tends to open district offices the first dayheassumes officeandwill stagger the hours to allow work- ingpeople tomeet withhis staff in the evening. People shouldnt have to take time off from work to meet with their congressman, Vinsko said. Party: Democratic Website: billvinsko. The person said there was agreement among representa- tives of all 32 clubs onwhat items needed to be resolved before any offer would be accepted.

A sec- ondperson, alsospeakingoncon- dition of anonymity because the talks are supposed to be secret, said those players gave what was termed conditional approval of the proposal as it stood Wednesday. We still have a lot of work to do, said Pro Bowl offensive line- man Tyson Clabo, who played for the Atlanta Falcons last season.

The meeting at the NFL Play- ers Association headquarters lasted nearly10 hours and includ- ed the groups executive commit- tee and the team reps. The party at the pitching mound was well deserved for Plains. The team had just beaten Back Moun- tain for the second straight game on Wednesdayafter droppingfiveina rowto the same team earlier this season.

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But in the bigger picture, Plains won the Region 5 championship for the first time since Plains entered the day needing to beat Back Mountain twice, and it did just that, winning the first game then taking the second to win the regional crown and advance to the state tournament.

Plains will see Region 2 winner Boyer- towninthe openingroundof states when the tournament begins Tuesday at West Lawn. Back Mountains a hell of a team, Plains manager Don Stark said. We knew wed have our work cut out for us andwe knewwe were goingtohave tohit to win, and the kids came out like gang- busters. Marriggi closed out the tournament with the save, pitching 1 2 3 scoreless in- nings while striking out four.

But the big- gest pitching performance for the newly crowned regional champs was by Cough- lin grad Anthony Grillini. The right-hander, who will play Divi- sion I ball at Binghamton next year, start- ed both games of the doubleheader. As he slid into third, Brett Mallee went for second and Back Mountain third baseman Michael Luksic triedtoget himout on the steal. In a heads-up decision, Warwick then sent Nehring home as the ball went to second. Nehring safely cross- ed the plate for one of four first-inning runs for Warwick. It was a hole that Back Mountain couldnt climb out of, as Warwick earned a win in the on Wednes- day in the opening round of the Penn- sylvania Little League minor baseball tournament at the Mary F.

Byers Me- morial Sports Complex in Milton. Back Mountain is still alive in the dou- ble-elimination tour- nament and will face Tri-Valley at 5 p. An early deficit is nothing that Back Mountainhasnt seenbefore this year. But each time Back Mountain chipped away at the deficit, Warwick took it right back. I think the tack-on runs is what killed us. We crawled within in bottom of fifth, gave them two right back, Back MountaincoachJeff Dog- gett said.

Kerry Collins thought about calling it quits at the end of last season on- ly to give himself plenty of time before finally announcing his un- expected retirement earlier this month. In the end, going out on his ownterms matteredmost toa year-old quarterback still eager to play on Sunday but not ready for all the other work anymore. I didnt win a Super Bowl, and that is going to be one of the things that bugs me, I know it will, Collins said Wednesday in his first public comments to four reporters.

Not with Anthony Grillini on the mound. Not with redemption on the minds of the Plains players. And not with unbending belief where theres a will, theres a way. Thats the way Plains pulled off what just about everyone believed was im- probable. It beat a Back Mountain team it couldnt beat all season. And as if to prove that was no minor miracle, Plains upended Back Mountain again. By winning that Region 5 champion- ship doubleheader Wednesday, Plains put itself in the Pennsylvania American Legion state tournament, which opens Tuesday in West Lawn.

Best feeling ever, Grillini said. His presence as a pitcher gave Plains a sudden shot of hope. Because Grillini not only started both games in the same day against Back Mountain a tremendously rare task in itself he earned the victory in the first game and left with a lead after four innings in the second. Anthonys been with us for seven years, Plains coach Don Stark said. I know what that kid is capable of.

If he tells me he could go get it, he can go get it for sure. But not even the supremely confi- dent Grillini could help feeling Plains was faced an uphill battle when it ar- rived at the Central Columbia High School baseball field to face its season- long tormentor Back Mountain, which had been victorious all previous five times the teams met. Oh yeah, Grillini agreed. Everybo- dy knew we lost to them five times. I had no fear, though. Neither did the rest of his team- mates. They were buoyed by the knowledge an unbeaten tournament favorite can indeed lose twice in a double-elim- ination final it happened to Plains in a league championship that got away against Greater Pittston last season.

A lot of these guys were on that team, Stark said. Everybody had that pit in their stomach for a year. They took back what they know was taken from them last year. That was then, this was now. Plains took a victory over Back Mountain in Wednesdays first game, then won the second game and the championship by a score.

Plains did it with torrid hitting from leadoff man Jordan Bone and RBI ma- chine Jimmy Graziosi, who drove home seven runs on the day from the seventh spot in the order. Mainly, Plains pulled off its shocking sweep behind Grillini, who allowed just four earned runs over a combined nine innings and struck out 11 during his twinbill brilliance. We played them five times. I didnt get one appearance against them in any one of them, Grillini said.

To come out and shut them down for two games feels great. He felt a little lost through his senior high school season at Coughlin and in the early part of American Legion play, struggling to find the form that made him such a feared pitcher last year. But after a little break from pitching for Plains and a lot of work with Plains pitching coach Jason Tribbet, Grillini tweaked his mechanics a bit and re- gained his pitching success.

He also changed his motion for Wednesdays second game, delivering pitches to the plate from a three-quar- ter angle as opposed to his normal overhand motion. It wound up to be something Back Mountain, and most Legion baseball fans, never saw coming. The league will be limited to 14 teams and the games will be played on weekends at OHara Field in Swoyersville beginning August All teams must have a Little League affil- iation and travel teams are not eligible.

For more information please e-mail kffll yahoo. Teams with players ages are eligible. For information call Nick at Play starts Au- gust 20 and players must be ages For more information or to register, please contact Alb at or Leighton Fall Sunday Softball League still has applications available. Any team interested can contact John Leighton at for details. Deadline for entry will be August 7, league play begins August Mountain Top Area Little League is once again offering its very pop- ular Fall Baseball program for boys and girls ages 8 though Ages based on regular season.

Season runs late August through mid October. Sign-up dates are as follows: Thursday, July 21, 6 p. Tuesday, July 26, 6 p. Saturday, July 30, Noon 2 p. Thursday August 4, 6 p. All sign ups are at the Alberdeen Complex. For information call or visit www. Proceeds will benefit Fallen Officers Remembered. If you have a team or can put one together to take part in this event, contact Neil Murphy at Hours will be Friday 6 p.

Anyone interested in playing can contact John Zyla at Registrations will be taken on a first con first basis. The league bowls on Tuesday nights at p. Around the World in 80 Days by Dalmatian Press - - pages. Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne - - 60 pages. Around the world in 80 days by Jules Verne - - pages. Towle - - pages. Arrow by R J Anderson - - pages. Arrowhead and the Hardigons by Richard Markheim - Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer - - pages.

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