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CMYK Picture yourself on our pages Eastern storms take out trees, power; hot temps stick around JCC Camp Reunion, Junior Achievement, 3-on-3 tourney NATION/WORLD, 4A CLICK, 1C 764979 Like hurricane with no warning The Times Leader WILKES-BARRE, PA MONDAY, JULY 2, 2012 50¢ Putting smokers on notice SPORTS SHOWCASE Monroe County to stop hiring smokers at its prison. Luzerne watching move. WOODS CLIMBS LIST AT NATIONAL One day after spectators were kept away from the golf course because of debris from a violent wind storm, they returned Sunday in full force and got what they expected — Tiger Woods in his red shirt, outlasting Bo Van Pelt in a back-nine duel, and posing with another trophy. It was the 74th win of his career, moving him into second place on the PGA Tour. 1B AMERICAN LEAGUE YANKEES 4 WHITE SOX 2 RED SOX 2 MARINERS 1 NATIONAL LEAGUE DODGERS 8 METS 3 MARLINS 5 PHILLIES 2 IL BASEBALL RED WINGS 5 SWB YANKEES 3 INSIDE A NEWS: Local 3A Nation & World 4A Obituaries 6A Editorials 7A B SPORTS: 1B Weather 6B By MATT HUGHES See SMOKERS, Page 8A Winning ticket Mayor believes parking holds potential for pretty penny W By BILL O’BOYLE ILKES-BARRE – The leasing deal is dead, but the plan to increase revenues from the city’s parking garages, lots and meters is very much alive and kicking. • Mayor Tom Leighton and his administrative staff continue to say that the city’s financial status is improving – yet they remain determined to increase the city’s parking revenues. • Last week the city’s Parking Authority decided not to go forward with Leighton’s proposal to lease the 2,113 garage spaces, 160 surface-lot spaces and 800 parking meters. • With that effort over, Leighton continues to try to capitalize on the assets. Parking Authority review First up will be to look at the makeup of the five-member parking authority. Two of the five members are serving extended time on terms that expired last year. Leighton could replace Paul Maher, chairman, and/or Ed Katarsky at any time. “We’re looking at our options,” Leighton said. “Our plan is to meet with the authority board and talk about forming a municipal authority that would oversee all of the city’s parking assets.” Currently, the city oversees the Intermodal Transportation Center See PARKING, Page 8A No big bang for our bucks For many, Pennsylvania’s fireworks legislation is a real dud. D CLASSIFIED: 1D By DAN KELLY Reading Eagle Joseph Glazenski. Partly sunny. High 85, Low 60 Details, Page 6B See FIREWORKS, Page 8A CLARK VAN ORDEN/THE TIMES LEADER Wilkes-Barre Mayor Tom Leighton, seen outside the Intermodal Transportation Center in the city, hasn’t given up on the idea of getting money out of the city’s parking assets despite recent setbacks. C CLICK : 1C Birthdays 3C Television 4C Crossword/Horoscope 5C Comics 6C WEATHER works store in Lancaster. “It’s a Catch-22.” In short, the law allows Pennsylvanians to buy only sparklers, sparkle fountains and smoke bombs, but nothing that explodes or propels itself or a projectile into the air. However, people from other states can come into Gerhart’s store and buy all of the rockets, exploding A neighboring county’s government is following a national trend in asking smokers to butt out of its workforce. Later this summer Monroe County plans to stop hiring smokers to work in its prison and to enforce the ban by adding a nicotine test to its pre-employment drug screen. The rest of the county will follow soon after. The county’s government will join a growing list of employers – in states that don’t ban the practice – who are refraining from hiring smokers to save health care costs and improve workforce health. That group includes several Luzerne County health care and insurance providers. Monroe County plans to begin implementing the policy with its prison because workers there are typically hired in groups and are subject to a pre-employment physical “I think as a major fitness test. Then the nicotine test employer we have will be standard to be concerned for all new hires. Similar policies with the wellness are on the rise in of our employees. the private sector, particularly in the That’s the most health care field, important thing, but Monroe County may be the first and if a dollar is county governsaved at the end ment in Pennsylvania to adopt of that then such a policy. so be it.” County Commissioner John John Moyer Moyer thinks so, Monroe commissioner at least. “If we’re not, I’d certainly like to hear from whoever else did it,” Moyer said. Luzerne County has no immediate plans to follow Monroe County’s lead, and no one in county government has brought up the idea yet, according to county Director of Human Resources Andrew Check. But Check said the county government is paying attention to the move by Monroe County and area employers in that direction. “Like any employer we will continue to watch the trends that develop in the health care and employer marketplace on that particular policy front,” Check said. Moyer said nicotine tests were the “next logical step” for his county since it has already banned smoking in its buildings. It would also improve the overall health of the county work force in the long-run, as all employees would be non-smokers, and will save the self-insured county money because non-smokers generally use health insurance less often, Moyer said. READING— Since time immemorial Pennsylvanians have struggled to comprehend some of the wacky laws enacted by the Legislature. It is illegal, for example, to open a billiards room on Sundays or to charge people to tell their fortunes by feeling the bumps on their head. Then there’s the absurd system we created to sell alcoholic beverages from a variety of locations depending on the beverage type, the quantity and alcoholic content. But no Pennsylvania law strains the bounds of common sense for many like the state fireworks law. “It’s a goofy thing,” said Brian Gerhart, manager of the Keystone Fire- THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW THIS WEEK >> FORGET ABOUT IT: Today is July 2, which is … ummmm. It’s … uhhhh. Oh, yeah. I remember. And by doing that, I’ve just broken the spirit of “I Forgot Day.” Now, before you start celebrating by forgetting to pay the parking garage attendant or to put on pants, that’s really not the reason for the day. The idea is to remember things important to others that you might have forgotten. Like a birthday, or anniversary, or …. uhhhhhhh. Can’t think of it right now. he’s a magician. Yes, he has spider powers, but he also does card tricks. See him fly through the air AND guess your age! The amazingness opens on Tuesday at a theater near you. >> FOURTH RIGHT: In 1776, founding father John Adams wrote that future generations would celebrate America’s independence day with “pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations.” Leave out the guns, and it sounds like a lot of fun. If you’re in the mood for some “illuminations,” there’ll be plenty of that to go around this week. Fireworks shows are set for Tuesday night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs and the Wright Township Municipal Park in Mountain Top. But probably the biggest area celebration will be on July 4th itself in Wilkes-Barre’s Kirby Park. The bombs bursting in air starts at 8 p.m. >> A LITTLE BIT COUN>> A REAL SWINGER: In 2002, Hollywood graced us with TRY: It often seems like the 6 09815 10011 the superhero flick, “Spider-man.” Now, they’re slinging out “The Amazing Spider-man.” See, he’s not just an ordinary Spider-man, he’s AMAZING, which sort of makes it sound like most successful people to come out of TV’s reality-style talent shows are the runners-up. You’ve heard of Clay Aiken, Jennifer Hudson and Daughtry? Well, they never won on “American Idol.” Susan Boyle finished second on “Britain’s Got Talent.” And a future country music superstar came in third on 2003’s “Nashville Star.” Miranda Lambert may have that third-place trophy in a box somewhere, but she probably displays her Grammy Award and host of Academy of Country Music Awards a little more prominently. If you want to check her out, head up to the Toyota Pavilion on Montage Mountain this Saturday at 7:30 p.m. She’ll be there. >> SCREAM MACHINES: Are you a fan of roller coasters? Do you like to hurtle through the air at 80 mph until your stomach lodges in your esophagus? When you see the words “Plummeting Death Spiral” or “Metal Armageddon,” do you think, “Hey. Sounds like fun?” Then the Travel Channel has got a ride for you. “Insane Coaster Wars” debuts this Sunday at 9 p.m. It’s a show in which viewers vote on the best coasters based on various categories, such as speed, height, twists, turns and whether your socks fly off when you ride them.

Times Leader 07-02-2012

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