Toni Pennello, Times Leader

Toni Pennello

Times Leader

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Past articles by Toni:

Out of the Darkness Walk meant to raise money, awareness for suicide prevention

WILKES-BARRE — People from all walks of life participated in the Out of the Darkness Walk, hosted by the Greater Northeast PA chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention on Sunday. The walk began in Kirby Park and led walkers to Public Square and through a few residential streets before returning to the park. … → Read More

Student voice: Choices after college more important than major

It still hasn’t hit me. Come May, for the first time since I was 4 years old, I won’t be buying school supplies. I won’t be doing any required summer reading. I won’t choose my schedule. I won’t have homework. It also hasn’t fully hit me that this is when the real planning should start. … → Read More

As Wilkes-Barre’s Multicultural Festival concludes, mayor calls it a ‘success’

WILKES-BARRE — The city’s inaugural Multicultural festival continued Sunday for its second day of ethnic food, colorful costumes, lively dancing and appreciation for diverse cultures. A parade took place on Saturday followed by a festival on Public Square. The focus on Sunday was food and band shell performances, Mayor Tony George said. The food available … → Read More

Wilkes-Barre’s Multicultural Festival showcases diversity

WILKES-BARRE — The aroma of ethnic food from cultures from around the world wafted through Public Square on Saturday. Loud music, lively dancing and elaborate costumes could also be seen in the downtown as the city celebrated diversity with its inaugural Multicultural Parade and Festival. The parade began around 11 a.m. and went down South … → Read More

Last chance to hear jazz by the river

WILKES-BARRE — Music and nature fans will have one last chance to enjoy a performance along the Susquehanna River. “Jazz in July Along the River” will stage its final show this Thursday from 7 to 9 p.m. The concert series is organized by the city’s Riverfront Park Committee. And like previous shows, the last one … → Read More

Dallas teacher organizes drive to collect over 1M can tabs for charity

DALLAS — Regan Palfey, a Hanover Township native and third-grade teacher at Dallas Elementary, organized a drive to collect over 1 million aluminum-can tabs between Feb. 2 and June 30 to raise $400 for the Ronald McDonald House of Danville. The 1,348,800 tabs weighed 823 pounds, and were collected from students at the school and … → Read More

Visually impaired children learn life skills at day camp

DALLAS — A two-week day camp for blind or visually impaired children ages 5 to 10 aims to develop independent-living skills while building confidence. Community Services for Sight has held Camp Sight for older children for 13 years, said Lori Lesante, the organization’s president and CEO. Camp Sight Junior began four years ago as the … → Read More

Wilkes-Barre’s F.M. Kirby Center breaks Pollstar’s Top 100 at mid-year report

A mid-year report released by Pollstar, the concert tour industry’s primary trade publication, ranked the F.M. Kirby Center as No. 99 worldwide, based on ticket sales. The publication put the Kirby Center’s ticket sales at 39,806 for the first half of the calendar year, the most the center has ever sold during any six-month period. … → Read More

Dallas native works with refugees in Middle East, NEPA

“I can finally live,” Elena Habersky recalled a refugee telling her. Despite the language barrier and difficulties he was facing, he was overjoyed to be living safely in the U.S. and to be able to support his family without fear. Habersky remembers a lot of conversations with a similar theme. The 2009 Dallas High School … → Read More

County plans Tuesday ceremony on anniversary of Moules’ death

WILKES-BARRE — A ceremony at the Luzerne County Courthouse on Tuesday morning will honor the memory of Corrections Officer Kristopher Moules. The 25-year-old from Larksville died in an accident at the prison exactly one year ago Tuesday. The tragedy occurred during a physical altercation with inmate Timothy Gilliam Jr. that caused both men to fall … → Read More

Growing pet-supply firm still has jobs open in Hanover Twp.

HANOVER TWP. —, an online pet supply retailer, expects to fill over 700 job openings with local people — up about 100 positions from the original estimate last winter. The retailer opened its fifth fulfillment center in Hanover Township in early June. There are approximately 350 workers hired thus far, said the company’s head … → Read More

‘Mondays at the Market’ debuts with healthy foods in Wilkes-Barre

WILKES-BARRE — The 44th annual Farmers Market on Public Square made its Monday debut yesterday, with a theme: health and wellness. The addition, which the city calls “Mondays at the Market,” came with a movement in the city health department to increase access to healthy foods, said Henry Radulski, health director. The Thursday farmers market … → Read More

McGlynn Center children add color to courthouse tunnel

WILKES-BARRE — The underground tunnel connecting the Luzerne County Courthouse to the other side of the Pierce Street bridge got a little more colorful Friday thanks to children from the McGlynn Learning Center. The children spent the morning painting a mural there, as part of a summer program offered by the center. The donation-funded center … → Read More

Wyoming police offer training for active shooter situations

WYOMING — The public can get expert instruction on how to deal with an active shooter situation thanks to the Wyoming Borough Police Department. The free training can be conducted at a workplace or at the borough’s municipal building. The effort is part of a national, research-based program called Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training, … → Read More

President Kennedy statue to be unveiled in Pittston on Sunday

PITTSTON — One thing in particular popped into Michael Lombardo’s mind when asked about the statue of President John F. Kennedy to be unveiled in the city Sunday. Pittston’s former mayor couldn’t help but think of a quote from Kennedy’s inaugural speech in January 1961: “Ask not what your country can do for you, but … → Read More

Candy’s Place to hold annual fashion show for cancer care

WILKES-BARRE — Cancer wellness center Candy’s Place is preparing for its eighth annual fashion show and luncheon at 11 a.m. Sunday, July 16, at The Woodlands Inn. Founded in 1998, Candy’s Place is where patients, caregivers, widows and widowers can receive free physical and emotional support through therapy groups, educational workshops, massages and more. The … → Read More

Annual Old Fashioned 4th of July Celebration to be held at Kirby Park

WILKES-BARRE — The city will celebrate the nation’s independence with its 37th annual Old Fashioned 4th of July Celebration on Tuesday in Kirby Park. The event will kick off at noon. Afternoon festivities will include 26 food and craft vendors, amusement rides and games, with music and a firework display in the evening. “The city … → Read More

‘Make It Right’: Unemployment compensation amnesty program announced

WILKES-BARRE — Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry Secretary Kathy Manderino stopped by the city’s CareerLink office Wednesday to announce an unemployment compensation amnesty program. The program — its slogan is “Make it Right” — targets unemployment beneficiaries who receive overpayments and employers with delinquent accounts. They will be able to make payments at a … → Read More

Wilkes incoming freshmen help set up bazaar at St. Nicholas

WILKES-BARRE — Some incoming Wilkes University students got a chance Monday to meet their fellow students and explore their new environment all while helping out a great cause. As part of Wilkes’ freshmen orientation, students just learning their way around campus and their upperclassmen mentors gathered at St. Nicholas Church to begin preparations for the … → Read More

WNEP-TV’s backyard train controversy featured on national television

MOOSIC — WNEP-TV’s Talkback 16 segment gained national attention, being featured on HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, a satirical late-night talk show. The local segment, hosted by Newswatch 16’s Jon Meyer comprises call-ins from audience members about various controversial topics. One of those controversial topics involves the alternating toy train and trolley that … → Read More