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Luzerne County

Veteran Reflects on Time in Iraq War as America Marks 16 Years Since Conflict Began

AVOCA, Pa. -- America is marking a rather infamous anniversary on Wednesday: 16 years since the start of our war in Iraq.
Although the war ended in 2011, it still has a lasting impact on people here in northeastern and central Pennsylvania.
Newswatch 16 spoke to one veteran in Avoca who said his time in the Iraq War changed him for the better, but he realizes that is not the case for everyone.
Andrew Depew was just 18 years old when he enlisted in the Marines. He comes from a military family, but when he was deployed at age 21 to Iraq, he was nervous.

Adoptive Mother Charged in Teen’s Murder Testifies

DOYLESTOWN, Pa. -- Chilling testimony in the sentencing hearing for the man who killed a 14-year-old girl and dumped her body in Luzerne County.
Jacob Sullivan pleaded guilty last month to raping and then strangling Grace Packer at a home in Bucks County.
A jury now must decide if he deserves the death penalty.
The victim's adoptive mother is also charged in this case.
She took the stand against her ex-boyfriend Wednesday afternoon.

Troopers Using DNA Technology to Find Cold-case Killer

WEST HAZLETON, Pa. -- State police have released photos of what a killer in a 55-year-old cold case could look like. The victim was a little girl.
State police near Hazleton have a new tool to help them crack a case that has gone unsolved for five decades. They've used the killer's DNA to generate photos of what he might look like.
State police showed us those photos during a news conference Wednesday morning at the barracks in West Hazleton.
They show what the killer may have looked like in his 20s, 40s, and 60s.

Toddler Found Wandering Wilkes-Barre Street; Mother Charged

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. -- A mother in Wilkes-Barre faces child endangerment charges after police say her 2-year-old daughter was found wandering alone.
According to court paperwork, a passerby found the child on West River Street on Sunday wearing only a t-shirt; she had no pants, underwear, or shoes.
When officers went to question the child's mother, India Griffen, at her home, they found her asleep and had a difficult time waking her.
When she awoke, police say she was belligerent and smelled of alcohol.

Vegan Restaurant, Student Apartments Set to Open in Downtown Wilkes-Barre

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. -- A vacant building on Wilkes-Barre's South Main Street will soon be vacant no more.
A vegan restaurant will be opening on the bottom floor, while apartments for Wilkes University students will occupy the upper floors.
"I think offering a vegan option is going to be a huge hit for the area, especially because society is very health-focused lately, too," Wilkes student Madison Becker said. "So, I think it's going to be awesome."

Winner of Largest Cash 5 Jackpot Gets Big Payday

BRIAR CREEK TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- The winner of a historic lottery jackpot was presented with a big check Tuesday afternoon in Columbia County.
Newswatch 16 was there as the power plant worker recounted his story of hitting it big and what he plans to do next.
Luther Coleman says he plays the lottery every day at the Sheetz near Berwick before heading to work. After finding out he had a winning Cash 5 ticket, Coleman triple-checked the numbers and now plans to take care of his family with the winnings.

Family Needs New Wheelchair Accessible Van

HAZLE TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- A couple from Luzerne County are trying to raise money to purchase a handicap-accessible van for their grandson who is confined to a wheelchair.
Christofer Corra, 22, has cerebral palsy and his grandparents care for him. The family's minivan is not equipped for Christofer's wheelchair, so they're asking the public for help.
At 22 years old, Corra loves watching movies, listening to music, and hanging out with his grandparents.
"They're just so sweet and nice," he said.
His grandparents have been taking care of him since he was born.

Suspect in Wilkes-Barre Gunfire Incidents Arrested

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. -- Police in Wilkes-Barre say they've caught another man wanted in connection to a rash of gunfire in the city.
Officers arrested Onje Crowder at his home on Bradford Street Monday afternoon.
He was one of five people wanted for violence in the city.
One other suspect, Tareem McDonald, is still on the loose.
Crowder is charged with aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, and other charges.
Shots were fired four times in Wilkes-Barre in the last few weeks. Police say the violence is over drugs.

Pittston Memorial ‘Tiebrary’

PITTSTON, Pa. -- Pittston Memorial Library is no longer just a place for you to check out books. Now, you can also check out a tie.
"You would come here and select a tie or two for a special occasion or for a job interview," library director Patricia Joyce said. "You would check it out just like you would check out a book. You would have it for three weeks. If you need an extension, we would certainly offer that."
Joyce has just launched the library's "tiebrary" program.

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