Wednesday, July 1, 2015


Monday, April 27, 2015

Pennsylvania, one of nine states with pending legislation to legalize marijuana, took a step toward legalizing medical marijuana last week when a state Senate committee unanimously passed a bill that would create a State Board of Medical Cannabis Licensing program.

Friday, April 24, 2015

With Social Security and health care benefits commanding so much of the federal budget, the phrase "entitlement spending" will be a prime issue heading into next year's presidential election.

Many see our emergency service protections police, fire/rescue and ambulance as a "self-evident" entitlement for all Americans under our Constitution.

This week, however, a lawyer representing Luzerne County in a wrongful death lawsuit filed over a 911 dispatching error, disputed that belief.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

State. Rep Jordan Harris of Philadelphia has "brain drain" on his mind. As part of an ongoing modernization of Pennsylvania's archaic liquor laws, Harris wants to change the rules to allow some bars to serve alcohol until 4 a.m. two hours later than the current cutoff to encourage young, college-educated persons to stick around and work in the state.

"This legislation would create a more attractive Pennsylvania and further a goal of appealing to young professionals and millennials who can greatly improve our local economies," Harris says.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

An online campaign is underway to supplant the seventh American president, Andrew Jackson, with a woman on the $20 bill.

Voting on the website has reached its final round, and the four finalists are: Wilma Mankiller, the first female chief of the Cherokee Nation; civil rights icon Rosa Parks; diplomat and first lady Eleanor Roosevelt; and Harriet Tubman, the abolitionist and Underground Railroad conductor.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Last week marked the 150th anniversary of the death of Abraham Lincoln, who we regard as one of the greatest presidents in history, especially with his leadership during the American Civil War.

We're fortunate to be located within hours of some of the nation's most historic artifacts related to that champion of black freedom, known in history as the Great Emancipator.

Gettysburg, just two-and-a-half hours southwest, is home to a number of important Lincoln items, including the famous address he gave to dedicate the Soldiers' National Cemetery on Nov. 19, 1863.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Stretching the truth when it comes to military service for one's personal benefit is something not taken lightly by deserving veterans.

Last week, Pennsylvania state senators felt the same way and advanced a bill to expand penalties for people who wear decorations and medals that falsely represent their military record. It's currently a summary offense in this state for someone who falsely uses U.S. military uniforms or emblems for their personal benefit.

Monday, April 20, 2015

For local residents and firefighters, the weekend with its fairly mild weather was anything but a relaxing spring break.

The wind-whipped forest fire that charred more than 400 acres in East Penn Township drew firefighters from a wide region and forced people out of their homes.

The fire burned most of the weekend, challenging emergency response units pressed into service around the clock.

The blaze was visible from as far away as Summit Hill.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Last Wednesday was a day of dread for those Americans making their tax payment to Uncle Sam.

Although an estimated three-fourths of 150 million returns the IRS will process are expected to qualify for refunds, taxes remain a major irritant to most of us.

According to a new Pew Research poll, 59 percent of American taxpayers believe that "there is so much wrong with the federal tax system that Congress should completely change it."

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Big tobacco companies owe Pennsylvania at least $125 million, thanks to a Commonwealth Court decision that thwarted the companies' effort to reduce what they owe under the massive 1998 settlement between the companies and state governments.

Technically, a five-member court panel found unanimously that an arbitrator had exceeded his authority and misinterpreted the settlement when he reduced the companies' obligation to Pennsylvania.

Not all tobacco companies were involved in the settlement.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

The success of the local naloxone initiative has been astonishing.

Hardly a day goes by that we don't hear about a new case where a person who had overdosed on narcotics was saved because area police officers are now carrying this effective antidote.

It's wonderful.

It's also terrifying revealing the extent of the narcotics addiction problem in our community.

And a recent news story also revealed something about our community that is deeply disappointing.