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Seashells, but not by the shore Judge releases Nixon testimony Beach, nautical themes popular in many homes President went before a grand jury about Watergate scandal AT HOME, 1C NATION & WORLD, 5A 20 $ VOUCHER FOR ONLY 10 $ 300927 CMYK The Times Leader WILKES-BARRE, PA SPORTS SHOWCASE SATURDAY, JULY 30, 2011 House yea, Senate nay 50¢ DEVELOPMENT Decrepit Sterling loses its insurance The former hotel is in poor condition, Tri-State General tells the county controller. By JENNIFER LEARN-ANDES It had been rewritten hastily overnight to say that before any additional increase in the debt limit could take place, Congress WASHINGTON – After the House GOP-crafted debt ceiling bill passed Friday evening, Republican U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta of Hazleton said Friday was “day one” of changing the way Washington works. “Today I voted for a plan with real solutions that restores spending discipline to Washington,” Barletta said. But Democrats and their allies are attacking Barletta for supporting House GOP leaders’ plans to slash federal spending in exchange for raising the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling. A liberal group and labor unions are airing TV ads on Wilkes-Barre-area stations charging that “Social Security, military pay, veteran benefits and other payments A Maryland company is yanking its insurance coverage of the landmark Hotel Sterling because of the poor condition of the structure, according to a cancellation notice received by the Luzerne County Controller’s Office Friday. CityVest, the Sterling’s nonprofit owner and developer, must insure the building at the corner of Market and River streets to comply with its county loan “They deagreement, county Com- termined it munity Devel- is not inopment Director Andrew surable Reilly said Fri- based on day. the condiInsurance coverage was tion of the one of the manstructure.” dates when the Walter Griffith county loaned County CityVest $6 milcontroller lion in community development funds for the project, Reilly said. The county will contact CityVest to determine how it plans to address the insurance cancellation, he said. CityVest representatives could not immediately be reached for comment Friday. The nonprofit is run by volunteers, and the $6 million has been spent, largely to demolish an attached structure, remove environmental hazards and to make the parcel bigger. County commissioners have rejected CityVest’s request to take over the project and determine whether the 113-year-old structure will be fully or partially saved or demolished. Commissioners agreed to try to help fund some of the estimated $1 million demolition cost, but they’ve made it clear the city would have See CDEFAULT, Page 6A See BARLETTA, Page 6A See STERLING, Page 12A NATIONAL LEAGUE PHILLIES 10 PIRATES 3 METS 8 NATIONALS 5 BRAVES 5 MARLINS 0 AMERICAN LEAGUE WHITE SOX 3 RED SOX 1 IL BASEBALL BISONS 8 YANKEES 5 ANOTHER CB GOES TO PHILADELPHIA Philadelphia has become quite the attractive freeagent destination of late. One day after acquiring Pro Bowl cornerback Dominique RodgersCromartie from the Cardinals, the Eagles stunned the NFL world, and signed another Pro Bowl cornerback, Nnamdi Asomugha , to a five-year contract. Sports, 1B INSIDE A NEWS: Local 3A Nation & World 5A Obituaries 8A Editorial 11A B SPORTS: Scoreboard 2B MLB 3B Business 8B Stocks 9B C AT HOME: Birthdays 3C Crossword/Horoscope 6C Television/Movies 7C D CLASSIFIED: 30D WEATHER Bella Buckland Moslty sunny. High 89. Low 68. Details, Page 10B 6 09815 10011 AP PHOTO Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev., steps away from the microphone after speaking to reporters during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday. A House Republican proposal went nowhere in the Senate. Dems kill GOP leader’s debt plan By DAVID ESPO AP Special Correspondent WASHINGTON — In an unforgiving display of partisanship, the Republican-controlled House approved emergency legislation Friday night to avoid an unprecedented government default and Senate Democrats scuttled it less than two hours later in hopes of a better deal. “We are almost out of time” for a compromise, warned PresiINSIDE: For dent Barack more coverage, Obama as U.S. see Page 6A. financial markets trembled at the prospect of economic chaos next week. The Dow Jones average fell for a sixth straight session. Lawmakers in both parties said they were determined to avoid a default, yet there was little evidence of progress — or even significant negotiations — on a compromise during a long day of intense political maneuvering. The House vote was 218-210, almost entirely along party lines, on a Republican-drafted bill to By JONATHAN RISKIND Times Leader Washington Bureau AP PHOTO House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio walks out of a caucus meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday. provide a quick $900 billion increase in U.S. borrowing authority — essential to allow the government to continue paying all its bills — along with $917 billion in cuts from federal spending. Amesbury bows out as judge for Selenski homicide case A judge now must be appointed for sixth time to hear preside over the trial. By SHEENA DELAZIO Barletta under fire from Dems case since Selenski was charged in May 2006 with the deaths of Tammy Fassett and MiSelenski chael Kerkowski, whose bodies were unearthed from the Kingston Township property where Selenski lived. Selenski faces the death penalty if convicted of first-degree murder in Fassett and Kerkowski’s deaths. The couple was unearthed from Selenski’s Kingston Township home in June 2003. His trial has long been delayed and no new date has yet been set. At the time, two other bodies were also identified, Frank James and Adeiye Keiler. One WILKES-BARRE – A Luzerne County judge has removed himself from the capital murder case of Hugo Selenski, saying a member of his staff has a personal relationship with a key witness. Judge William Amesbury, who was assigned to Selenski’s case in late June, filed a onepage order Friday, stating that because a member of his legal staff has had a “long-standing personal relationship” with a key witness, he is recusing himself from the case to avoid “even the appearance of bias.” Amesbury was the fifth judge assigned to Selenski’s See SELENSKI, Page 12A Merry success for food drive United Way’s annual Christmas in July collection was most successful. John Winslow of the United Way helps to unload donations of food from businesses at the Weinberg Food Bank. This year’s event was the most successful collection ever with 33 tons of edibles for families. By EILEEN GODIN Times Leader Correspondent WILKES-BARRE – Traditional fundraising methods – combined with new technology – gave the United COMING Way’s anS U N D AY nual Christmas in July The Times Leader Food Drive will look at the its most sucimpact the recescessful colsion-wracked economy has had lection ever on a downtown with 33 tons Wilkes-Barre soup of edibles for kitchen and relatfamilies in ed services. need. The United Way had set a daunting goal of collecting100,000 pounds of food for the two-week drive, July 1829. And organizers just might hit FRED ADAMS/FOR THE TIMES LEADER their mark at a time when donations are sorely needed as area food pantries are receiving unprecedented requests for help from under- and unemployed residents. To boost collections, area companies have fun with the annual event, competing with one another or even within departments. This year the United Way tapped into modern social media for the first time, said John Win- slow, director of communications and special events. The agency setup an “Event” on its new Facebook site. For every person who clicks on the “Like” button, a pound of food would be donated within their name. Winslow said about 560 pounds of food donations came from the Facebook site. The food See FOOD, Page 12A

Times Leader 07-30-2011

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