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First Posted: 9/29/2014

Pot reform rally in Kirby Park burns with passion

Activists in favor of legalizing medical marijuana peacefully demonstrated last weekend. The event was organized by the Keystone Cannabis Reform Rally, a newly formed nonprofit group, with the help of the Northeast Pennsylvania Cannabis Network.

Activists said the bill in its current form is no longer a medical cannabis bill, but a cannabis product bill and insisted it needs to be passed without restriction or distortion.

KCC executive director Les Stark, of Berks County, said he wants the rally to “teach, inspire, educate and motivate” people to create the change his coalition believes Pennsylvania needs.

Kingston cops crash ATVs; 1 taken into custody, 1 injured

• A Kingston police officer was taken into custody and another was taken to a hospital after they crashed ATVs early Monday morning, according to state police.

The crash occurred as Jonathan Karasinski and John Sosnoski were traveling south on Zerbey Avenue near High Street at about 1:20 a.m., state police at Wyoming said in a news release.

Karasinski, 35, of Exeter, was taken to Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center in Plains Township for treatment of injuries. Sosnoski, 24, of Ashley, allegedly showed signs of driving under the influence and was taken into custody on suspicion of drunk driving, police said.

Luzerne County sheriff seeks to destroy hundreds of confiscated guns, weapons

• Hundreds of handguns, rifles, shotguns, swords and a pair of battle axes may be destroyed if the rightful owners don’t come forward to reclaim their weapons.

Luzerne County Sheriff Brian Szumski recently petitioned county court to obliterate all weapons that were either confiscated or surrendered in protection from abuse cases. Some cases date back to The early 1990s, meaning the sheriff’s department has stored a few weapons for more than 20 years.

Szumski, through the county solicitor’s office, has petitioned the court to get permission to destroy the weapons that have not been reclaimed or returned to the rightful owners.

Hanover Township tries its hand at Oktoberfest

• The township fire department is holding its first-ever Oktoberfest as a fire company fundraiser from 1 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 4 at the Breslau Hose Company grounds on First Street. Now, with all of the township fire companies working as one department, the volunteers hope they will have enough help to run the festival. The department has 50 to 70 volunteers, Halecki said.

Money raised during the event will go toward the new fire department headquarters that will be built along the Sans Souci Parkway.

The department will use a $1 million gaming grant, along with $1 million from the township and $600,000 from the fire department, to construct the new $2.6 million building, he said.

Church emphasizes building relationships despite differences

• The Restored Church in Wilkes-Barre concluded its month-long series of sermons dealing with sex with a service that included an invitation to the area’s LGBT community on Sunday.

Approximately, 175 people turned out for Pastor Dan Nichols’ sermon, including members of the LGBT community.

“Disagreement does not equal hatred,” Nichols told the group.

He presented a video featuring Dr. Ravi Zacharias in response to the question, “Can one truly live as a gay Christian?”

The film seemed to answer yes to that question, but also said that “as people grow in their Christian faith, they will be increasingly motivated to live by the Biblical standard of sex being limited to the marriage relationship between a man and woman.”

Crestwood routs Wyoming Area

• Crestwood had the ball for only five plays Saturday night, yet had a 28-point lead.

It was that kind of game for the unbeaten Comets. And that kind of game for Wyoming Area.

An offense that needs little help received plenty from the defense early as two interceptions for touchdowns created a snowball effect as Crestwood rolled to a 71-13 victory in a Wyoming Valley Conference Division 3A game.

Defensive back Andrew Chang put Crestwood (5-0) on the board on the game’s third play from scrimmage with a 40-yard interception return for a touchdown. After running back Tanner Kahlau ran for a 52-yard TD on the Comets’ second offensive play, linebacker John Macri returned another interception for a touchdown, this one from 42 yards out.

An 18-yard touchdown catch by Lance Blass on Crestwood’s fifth play built the lead to 28-0 at 1:31, setting up a historical night for both schools.

‘Paper levee’ goes up in West Pittston

• It might not be able to stop the flood waters of the mighty Susquehanna River, but, in the long run, a “paper levee” can help West Pittston residents and officials get their point across.

A “levee” has been set up along Susquehanna Avenue and the surrounding areas in West Pittston in hopes of getting people to realize the need for a permanent levee to the Susquehanna River. Black and red signs proclaiming “Levee Now” and “Save Our Town” were going up all over West Pittston Saturday morning.

Organizers hope the signs will demonstrate the need to fill the 1.4-mile gap in the Wyoming Valley Levee System. This is part of a long-term project started by West Pittston Tomorrow, a group that was formed as a flood recovery group following the destruction of Tropical Storm Lee in 2011.