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  • The Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office announced a $1 million multi-state settlement with CarMax Auto Superstores on Dec. 1. The decision means CarMax will also be required to disclose any open recalls related to the safety of used vehicles. In a statement, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said that the investigation, meant to protect consumers before buying used cars, had been launched with 35 other Attorneys General. According to the AG’s Office, CarMax will use the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration’s vehicle identification number tool to disclose safety-related information. Prospective car buyers can also use the tool through NHTSA to check for open recalls on vehicles: https://www.nhtsa.gov/recalls
  • Stroudsburg Mayor Tarah Probst resigned from the role on Wednesday, Nov. 30.Probst was elected to serve as state representative for the 189th District, which covers Pike and Monroe counties.Stroudsburg Borough Council plans to accept Probst's resignation at their Dec. 6 meeting, which will be held at 7 p.m. in the Stroudsburg Municipal Building. They will open the floor for suggestions for the borough’s next mayor before making an appointment.Council must replace Probst within 30 days. The appointee will server until the next municipal election in 2023.For issues, contact Borough Manager Larry Kopp at lkopp@stroudsburgboro.com or 570-421-5444 x104.
  • Scranton Mayor Paige Gebhardt Cognetti along with 12 other mayors sent a letter to President Joe Biden expressing their support for a proposed rail route that would run from Scranton to New York City.The Scranton-Northwestern New Jersey-New York City Amtrak passenger rail corridor is a key to unlocking economic growth and development not just for Scranton, but throughout Northeast Pennsylvania, the Poconos and Northwestern New Jersey, says Cognetti.The Dunmore, East Stroudsburg, Moscow, Pittston, Stroudsburg and Wilkes-Barre mayors also signed the letter. The mayor of Newark, New Jersey, also signed the letter. Last year’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law included $102 billion dollars for rail service. Thirty-nine train service projects are being proposed across the country, including restoring the local route. Rail service on the local route was discontinued in 1970.Amtrak’s analysis of the corridor estimates economic impact from passenger service from New York City to Scranton at $87 million annually. Projected ridership is estimated to exceed 400,000 riders, according to Cognetti’s office.
  • Voting is now open to choose the 2023 Pennsylvania River of the Year.The North Branch of the Susquehanna River, is up for the honor. The branch of the river runs through Northeast PA. It begins at the New York State line and ends in Sunbury.The Conestoga River, Perkiomen Creek and Schuylkill River are also contestants.Nominations were based on each waterway’s conservation needs and successes.Voting is overseen by the Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers in cooperation with the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.Voting is opening until 5 p.m. on Jan. 14 by visiting pawatersheds.org and clicking on River of the Year.The award has been presented annually since 1983.
  • State Sen. John Gordner resigned from his seat Wednesday.Gordner, a Republican, announced his intention to accept a new position during Wednesday’s senate session. His term was set to expire in 2024.A special election will be held on Jan. 31 to replace Gordner, according to Lt. Gov. John Fetterman office.Gordner has held the seat since 2003. The district covers all of Columbia, Northumberland, Montour and Snyder counties and parts of Luzerne County.
  • The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation announced Tuesday that a new law will increase penalties for repeat DUI offenders. PennDOT said the law – Act 59 or "Deana’s Law" – amends the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code. Under the new law, a new DUI charge with two prior offenses is now a third-degree felony, punishable by up to 7 years in prison. A new DUI charge with three or more prior offenses is now a second-degree felony, punishable up to 10 years imprisonment. The increased charges are for repeat offenders whose blood alcohol content is measured at .16 or higher or are under the influence of controlled substances.
  • On Nov. 21, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs announced a scholarship program for aspiring mental health professionals. Students seeking graduate degrees in psychology, social work and mental health counseling could receive up to two years of funding for graduate studies, beginning summer 2023. As part of the scholarship, the graduates will then work full-time for six years at one of the VA’s 300 Vet Centers. The department has identified Vet Centers in underserved areas that need more mental health professionals. More information can be found at VetCenter.VA.gov
  • The Luzerne County Board of Elections will try again to certify the results of the 2022 general election.The board has called a special meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 30, to vote on certifying the election results. The board’s initial vote on Monday, Nov. 28, ended in a tie and could not pass.Monday was the statewide deadline to certify election results.Luzerne County's general election has been under scrutiny after polling places across the county ran out of paper used to print ballots on election day.The Luzerne County district attorney is investigating the paper shortage.The meeting is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Wednesday in the County Council Meeting Room at the Luzerne County Courthouse.
  • A new veterans resource center opened earlier this month in the Poconos. The Veteran's Hub of Northeast Pennsylvania opened on Nov. 10 at St. Luke's Lehighton Campus with a goal to address the mental health needs of former service members. Christine LeClair, Carbon County’s Veterans Affairs Director, said the center is a partnership with the Scranton Vet Center. A certified counselor from the Scranton Vet Center travels to Lehighton each Wednesday to speak with local veterans. To make an appointment at the Veterans Hub of NEPA, you can call the Scranton Vet Center at 570-344-2676. You can also reach the Veterans Crisis Line — dial 988, then press 1.
  • The Luzerne County Board of Elections will not yet certify the county’s general election results.At a meeting on Monday, two board members voted in favor and two voted against certification, but board member Daniel Schramm chose to abstain from the vote and the motion could not pass.Monday, Nov. 28 was the state's deadline to certify election results. Luzerne County's general election has been under scrutiny after polling places across the county ran out of paper used to print ballots on election day.