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CMYK SAVE $206.79 with coupons Miseri sweep 50 $ Men’s, women’s teams head to NCAA tourneys SPORTS, 1C VOUCHER FOR ONLY 25 $ 740988 INSIDE The Times Leader WILKES-BARRE, PA TA X E S SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2012 $1.50 Owners of property in 17 Luzerne County municipalities to get hit with tax hikes on two fronts this year Some face higher county and local rates 37.9% Source: Luzerne County Assessor’s office $15 18.6% $10 $107.8% 22.2% 25% $10 $5 4% $3 7.6% $2 3.4% Mark Guydish/The Times Leader p. 6.2% 14% $17 in Tw $20 Fran kl $21 ton Twp . 9.9% $25 12.8% p. Edw ards ville Hug hest own Den niso n Tw p. Butl er T wp. Jen kins Twp . Hun lock Twp . Pen n La ke P a rk $25 Pitts ton Tw $28 18.1% Twp . ke King ston Twp . tico Nan t Tw p. 10.2% $28 port 20 $34 New $38 40 See TAXES, Page 14A Dollar Increase (property value of $100,000) Percent increase (from 2011 to 2012) $60 Haz leto n 60 Tax increases for 17 municipalities ting 80 ship needs that money to buy new $3,000 emergency response radios made obsolete by a government radio bandwidth change, he said. “We buy what we afford, and what we can’t we make do without,” Herring said. 100% 82.4% Hun 88.5% King ston 100 Lafl in INSIDE: Chart of tax millage rates by municipality, school district, 14A oun Property owners in 17 Luzerne County municipalities will pay higher local taxes this year in addition to the county’s 2 percent tax hike, a review of 2012 millage rates shows. Taxes in the remaining 59 municipalities will stay the same. Slocum Township retains its status as the only county municipality with no local property taxes. Township officials have forced the municipality to survive on state liquid fuel and wage tax revenue. “It’s the people’s money, not ours,” said township Supervisor Charles Herring. Herring provided an example of this frugality. The township had installed a base for a pavilion in the municipal park with plans to construct the pavilion this year, but the project was postponed because the town- Fair m By JENNIFER LEARN-ANDES OIL SPILL CLEAN INDOOR AIR ACT MCT FILE PHOTO A feather is shown among tar balls that washed ashore in Long Beach in 2010. BP lawsuit could be mega-case It encompasses 72 million pages of documents, 20,000 exhibits and 303 depositions with 120,00 plaintiffs. AIMEE DILGER/THE TIMES LEADER Dominick Ardo stands in his Plains Pub near a ‘No Smoking’ sign. The Plains Pub is a smoke-free establishment, but Ardo says his competitors should also have to abide by the state’s Clean Indoor Air Act, intended to make public places in Pennsylvania smoke-free. Excuses up in smoke? Owners and patrons differ on smoke ban State senator looks to eliminate loopholes that allow smoking to continue in some public places. By ANDREW M. SEDER By ANDREW M. SEDER and STEVE MOCARSKY Dominick Ardo is a non-smoker, and he appreciates the smoke-free atmosphere inside his Plains Pub on Carey Street. But he wishes all his competitors would play by the same rules and be required to prohibit smoking. More than three years after the state’s Clean Indoor Air Act went into effect, Pennsylvania smokers are still puffing away inside nearly 3,000 bars and social clubs and every one of the state’s 10 operating PETE G. WILCOX/THE TIMES LEADER casinos. A state senator instrumental in Jay Fetor of Wilkes-Barre Twp. smokes a cigarette at Gonda’s Elbow crafting the 2008 Clean Indoor Air Room Bar in Wilkes-Barre on Thursday. Despite the Clean Indoor Air Elbow Room tavern owner Joe Gonda, a non-smoker, would love to see all bars go smoke-free, including his own. But, he said, the bar business reality is that smoking means more business. To the chagrin of the downtown Wilkes-Barre businessman, the arguments over loopholes in the Clean Indoor Air Act continue more than three years after it became law. Amy Christie, the executive See SMOKE-FREE, Page 14A See DIFFER, Page 14A Act, Pennsylvania has permitted some smaller bars to continue to allow smoking. By RICHARD FAUSSET Los Angeles Times NEW ORLEANS — Spill 4.1 million barrels of oil into the ocean, and this is what you get: the lollapalooza, labyrinthine, mega-mother of all lawsuits. "There’s It encompasses 72 million pages of documents, enormous 20,000 exhibits and 303 pressure depositions — the collective effort of hundreds on BP to of lawyers and legal settle.’’ workers. David Uhlmann It involves the Justice Director of the Department and about environmental 120,000 plaintiffs: angry law program at fishermen, restaura- the University of teurs, state governments Michigan and condo owners who say their beach-side property is not worth what it once was. The trial phase, set to begin Feb. 27 in a New Orleans federal courtroom, could go on for nine months. That is, unless it is averted by the megamother of all legal settlements. It goes by the formal title "In Re: Oil Spill by the Oil Rig Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010." And much like the disaster itself, the litigation is startling in its impact and scope, involving billions of dollars of potential fines and damages, arcane matters of maritime law and Space Age details of deep-sea engineering. There are a host of corporate defendSee OIL SPILL, Page 11A INSIDE A NEWS Obituaries 2A, 7A Local 3A Nation & World 5A Joe Palooka Honoring a local legend ETC, 1F B PEOPLE Birthdays C SPORTS Outdoors 9B 12c D BUSINESS Motley Fool E VIEWS Editorial 6D 2E F ETC. Puzzles Books G CLASSIFIED 2F 5F 6 09815 10077

Times Leader 02-26-2012

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