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Luzerne County

Truck Hauling Cars Catches Fire on Interstate 81

AVOCA, Pa. -- Part of Interstate 81 south in Luzerne County was shut down Tuesday night after a tractor-trailer hauling vehicles went up in flames.
It happened around 10 p.m. Tuesday near the Avoca exit.
Both southbound lanes were closed between the Moosic exit (180) and the Pittston exit (175A) for a time. One lane is back open.
State police are investigating what sparked the fire.
There were no injuries.
Get real-time traffic updates using the WNEP Traffic Tracker.

Caretaker Accused of Molesting Client with Mental Disability

KINGSTON, Pa. -- A caretaker has been charged with indecent assault after police say he molested a client who has a mental disability.
Police in Kingston say that caretaker, William Harry Hontz, 38, of Pittston, admitted to fondling the 24-year-old victim while on the job at a home along Church Street in Kingston.
Officers say Hontz works as a direct support professional at Pennsylvania Mentor.
Christian Budney has been working for MyCIL Center for Independent Living in Scranton for six years now. He was appalled by the news.

Animal Shelter Defends Decision to Kill Dog After Attack

FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- An animal shelter in Luzerne County is facing criticism after giving the approval to kill a dog in its care.
Blue Chip Farm Animal Refuge says it was a life or death situation that led to the decision.
Blue Chip says one of its senior volunteers now has more than 200 stitches on her arm after being attacked by a dog during a game of fetch. Some people feel that killing the dog wasn't necessary, but Blue Chip says it was the only option in order to keep everyone at the shelter safe.

Planned Parenthood Keystone Says Services Will Continue Despite Dropping Federal Funding

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. -- Planned Parenthood is pulling out of a federal program because of a Trump administration rule it calls a "gag order" and an "attack on reproductive health care."
Planned Parenthood Keystone says services will continue as usual despite this loss of funding.
Executives with Planned Parenthood feel they were forced to pull out of Title X after the Department of Health and Human Services implemented a rule prohibiting clinics from discussing abortions with patients.

Families Vow to Fight Planned Closure of White Haven Center

FOSTER TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- Families of people with developmental and intellectual disabilities continue to be outraged after the state made the decision to close the facility in Luzerne County that has been caring for them.
The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services met with parents and guardians of patients at White Haven Center to discuss the next steps.
Families we spoke with said the meeting did nothing to calm their concerns. Now, they are considering legal action against the state.

Wings of Freedom Tour Lands near Hazleton

HAZLE TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- Some folks are getting a glimpse of history at an airport in Luzerne County.
World War II-era planes from the Wings of Freedom tour are arriving Monday at the Hazleton Area Regional Airport.
Organizers tell us three of the planes are bombers and two of the planes are fighters.
For various fees, families can get a close look and tour the planes. There are also opportunities to go for a ride in some of the aircraft.

Arrest Made in Nanticoke Gunfire Incident

NANTICOKE, Pa. -- A man has been charged with firing shots in Luzerne County.
Police say Tazelle Curtis, 33, of Wilkes-Barre, got into an argument with someone living at a home on Welles Street in Nanticoke Saturday night.
Officers say Curtis then threatened the person and fired shots.
No one was hurt.
Investigators say the gun used was reported stolen back in April.
Curtis is charged with assault, endangerment, and terroristic threats in Luzerne County.

Crash Closes Part of Interstate 81 North in Lackawanna County

MOOSIC, Pa. -- A crash closed part of Interstate 81 north in Lackawanna County.
It happened near mile marker 180 just past the Moosic Exit near the split Monday morning.
Traffic was backed up into Luzerne County.
There is no word what caused the wreck or if anyone was hurt.
The wreck was cleared by 11:30 a.m., according to PennDOT.
For the latest on the traffic conditions, click here.

Kids Learn About Reptiles

FORTY FORT, Pa. -- Kids got to check out some reptiles and creepy critters in Luzerne County this weekend.
Edward's Garden Center in Forty Fort put on a reptile show for the kids Sunday afternoon.
CDE Exotic Animals educated the crowd about different snakes, salamanders, and even some spiders.
Kids were even able to win a prize by visiting all the animals.

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