CMYK Church’s 2nd century, Relay for Life, Meadows Market SPORTS, 1B CLICK, 1C FOR DEAL! DAILY NEPA McIlroy captures U.S. Open in record-breaking fashion. 50 100$ $ Smile, you’re on TODAY’S DEAL the Click page ONLY @ Sign up now at nepadailydeals.com 292442 A story of glory for Rory The Times Leader timesleader.com WILKES-BARRE, PA MONDAY, JUNE 20, 2011 UGI: Rates for gas constant R I V E R F E S T 2 0 11 AID TO HOMELESS BILL TARUTIS/FOR THE TIMES LEADER Michael Smith washes a glass, a chore he welcomes because he is in his own kitchen in his own apartment. A place to call his own at last Local man escapes homelessness after more than 2 years thanks to program. By JENNIFER LEARN-ANDES firstname.lastname@example.org Michael Smith still needs living room furniture and doesn’t have much cabinet space in his one-bedroom Kingston apartment, but it’s “It brings paradise to him. tears to “It brings tears to my eyes my eyes almost to have almost to my own place again. I am so have my happy, so satisown place fied,” said the again.” 62-year-old. Smith’s emoMichael Smith tion comes of Kingston from more than two years of homelessness. He was able to get his own place in November, thanks largely to a grant Luzerne County government received to move chronically homeless people into permanent housing. The program, known as Shelter Plus Care, is designed to provide long-term housing and supportive services for hard-to-reach homeless people with disabilities or ongoing problems with drugs and/or alcohol, according to the federal government, which provided the $370,140 in funding to the county. Smith’s monthly rent is $500, and the county program pays See PROGRAM, Page 12A INSIDE A NEWS: Obituaries 2A, 10A Local 3A Nation & World 5A Editorials 11A B SPORTS: NASCAR 7B Weather 8B C CLICK: 1C Community News 2C, 4C Birthdays 3C Television 6C Crossword/Horoscope 7C Comics 8C D CLASSIFIED: 1D 6 09815 10011 50¢ Company spokesmen say natural gas is a local fuel that is better for the country. By ANDREW M. SEDER email@example.com BILL TARUTIS PHOTOS/FOR THE TIMES LEADER Drummer Patty Hughes of Wilkes-Barre leads the City of Wilkes-Barre team dragon boat River on Sunday morning. Dragon boats, ahoy! Inaugural event makes a big splash Kayaking a haul for outfitters By SARA POKORNY firstname.lastname@example.org By SARA POKORNY email@example.com WILKES-BARRE -- Yesterday, a pirate lost her pants, a woman bedecked in rubber duckies led a team to victory, and a geisha and her crew, INSIDE: See which includmore photos on ed WilkesPage 6A. Barre Mayor Tom Leighton, found themselves taking a dip in the mighty Susquehanna. It was an all-around good day for the participants of the firstever dragon boat races at RiverFest. Eight teams of 20 manned the rial Bridge. Each team kept time while rowing by the guidance of a drummer at the helm of the ship and a professional dragon WILKES-BARRE -- Every year, RiverFest gives the local community a chance to enjoy all the Susquehanna River has to offer. One of the biggest attractions of the event is the River Sojourns, trips in kayaks and canoes down the waterway. “When we first started RiverFest we did one, on that Saturday,” John Mayday, board member and a RiverFest coordinator said. “It’s grown to three trips and this year I think See DRAGON, Page 12A See KAYAKS, Page 12A Rescue workers assist a member of the City of Wilkes-Barre dragon boat team to the west shore of the Susquehanna River after their boat capsized in the river. boats, two teams at a time, for12 races. The boats were provided by 22 Dragons, a company based in Quebec, Canada, and were raced from Market Street Bridge to the Veterans Memo- But collecting those taxes from major online retailers is difficult. Internet retailers are required to collect sales tax only when they sell to customers living in a state where they have a physical presence, such as a store or office. When consumers order from out-of-state retailers, they are required under state law to pay the tax. But it’s difficult to enforce and rarely Plenty of natural gas He said so much gas has hit the market thanks to the drilling in the Marcellus Shale that there’s been a “pushback” on the gas that’s taken out of the Gulf of Mexico and piped northeast. “We’re going to be swimming in natural gas here in the United States,” Westbrook said. “Oil is extremely affected by what happens in the Middle East. Natural gas is not,” Brominski added. Brominski said that as oil and electric prices have climbed, they have caused customers who rely on electric and oil heat to convert to natural gas to heat homes and businesses. That ex- See BUDGET, Page 12A See UGI, Page 12A States look to Net taxes to fill budget gaps Web retailers are required to collect sales tax only when selling in a state where they have a presence. ducing health care services, but there is one place they could get $23 billion if they could only agree how to do it: Internet retailers such as Amazon.com. That’s enough to pay for the salaries of more than 46,000 teachers, according to the By CHRIS TOMLINSON U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In CaliforAssociated Press nia, the amount of uncollected taxes from AUSTIN, Texas — State governments Amazon sales alone is roughly the same across the country are laying off teachers, amount cut from child welfare services in closing public libraries and parks, and re- the current state budget. 5 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW THIS WEEK >> SUMMER’S LEASE BEGINS: The American author/philosopher Sam Keen once said “Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability.” Which is a good life lesson for this time of year, because summer officially begins this week. That means, as of 1:16 p.m. Tuesday, you can dive head first into the big ol’ swimmin’ hole of laziness and come out dripping wet with respect. >> IF YOU GROW IT, THEY WILL COME: If little piggies could actually go to a market (and not as a main course), then a piggy lucky enough to find itself in The combination of increased natural gas supplies and high electricity and oil prices are keeping rates for UGI gas customers in check and should for years to come, according to company officials. During a recent stop at The Times Leader, UGI spokesman Joe Swope, business development director Don Brominski There are and vice presi59,340 UGI dent of marketing Allen West- Penn Natural brook touted Gas customnatural gas and ers in Luzerne said the more County. reserves are found in the United States, the better it is for the country and natural gas customers. “Not only is natural gas a domestic fuel, it’s a local fuel,” Brominski said, alluding to the Marcellus Shale formation that some estimate could supply enough natural gas to power the nation over the next century. That formation stretches from New York state south and southwest into Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia. Northeast Pennsylvania counties where drilling is taking place include Wyoming, Susquehanna, Bradford, Tioga and Lycoming. downtown Wilkes-Barre this Thursday would be squealing “wee, wee, wee” with delight all the way home. Why? No, pork hasn’t been outlawed. It’s the opening day of the Farmers Market and any discriminating piggy can find him or herself some tasty eats on Public Square. >> GARY NUMAN’S FAVORITE MOVIE: Pixar Studios is Hollywood’s new gold standard as far as quality moviemaking in concerned. The animation studio’s latest offering is a sequel to the 2006 hit “Cars.” The new flick, opening this Friday, is the aptly named, “Cars 2.” You can follow the continuing adventures of Lightning McQueen and Mater at a theater near you. You can follow the extensive marketing of the same characters just about everywhere else. >> A ‘RUFF’ DAY ON THE JOB: With the weekend’s siren song calling you to Saturday, working on a Friday can be a trying experience. This Friday, though, you can have your furry best friend help you get through the day. It’s “Take Your Dog to Work Day.” So “Fido,” “Rover,” “J. Edgar Hoover” or whatever you name your dog can help you do your paperwork, file those reports or chew the boss’s expensive leather shoes. >> ALL’S FAIR: What would summer be without carnival rides, cotton candy, funnel cakes, clowns and farm animals? Well, it would be a lot less messy, but a lot less fun also. The very first fair of the summer comes our way this week when The Northeast Fair puts down stakes at the fairgrounds off Route 315 in Pittston Township. The fun starts on Tuesday and runs until Sunday.