Local News

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - Another new chapter and a new face for the Allentown School District: the new acting superintendent introduced herself to parents Wednesday night at a public forum held at Hays Elementary. Read moreASD acting superintendent introduces herself to community, holds interactive forum

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WILKES-BARRE — The Luzerne County Board of Elections certified the results of the county’s Nov. 8 general election on Wednesday. Read moreLuzerne County election board certifies results of Nov. 8 election

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WILKES-BARRE — The Luzerne County Board of Elections certified the results of the county’s Nov. 8 general election on Wednesday. Read moreLuzerne County election board certifies results of Nov. 8 election

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U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright filed a lawsuit Tuesday to force the Luzerne County Board of Elections to certify Nov. 8 election results. Read moreCartwright will withdraw election certification lawsuit

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Dorothy Rutstein, 85, of Harding, passed away Monday, Nov. 28, 2022, at Allied Hospice Care, Scranton. Read moreDorothy Rutstein

A family-owned business known for its tacos, enchiladas and other south-of-the-border staples is making moves in the Lehigh Valley. Read moreBethlehem's Cactus Blue Mexican Restaurant moving to new Lehigh County location

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In the week that included Thanksgiving, new COVID-19 cases rose only modestly statewide and regionally, according to an analysis of the state Department of Health’s latest case data released Wednesday. Read moreNew COVID-19 cases rise slowly through Thanksgiving week

The original tentative agreement reached in September offers a nearly 25% raise. However, the major sticking point has been sick leave.  Read moreLocal expert discusses House vote to avert rail strike

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WILKES-BARRE — The Luzerne County Board of Elections certified the results of the county’s Nov. 8 general election on Wednesday. Read moreLuzerne County election board certifies results of Nov. 8 election

The Senate passed the federal protections for same-sex and interracial marriages in a 61-36 bipartisan vote. Read moreLehigh Valley residents weigh in after Senate passes same-sex marriage bill

US and World News

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Rose Bowl game organizers have cleared the way for the College Football Playoff to expand to 12 teams starting in the 2024 season. They've told CFP officials they are willing to alter agreements for the first two years of the larger playoff. A person with knowledge of the discussions between game organizers and CFP officials told The Associated Press that the Rose Bowl is prepared to be flexible and wants to continue to be part of the College Football Playoff beyond 2025. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the presidents and chancellors who oversee the playoff still needed to give final approval on expansion plans. Read moreAP source: Rose Bowl agrees to clear way for CFP expansion

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Giannis Antetokounmpo had 37 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists, then Grayson Allen made the tiebreaking 3-pointer with 30 seconds left after his superstar teammate fouled out to lead the Milwaukee Bucks to a 109-103 victory over the New York Knicks. Allen made only one 3-pointer — a game after going 7 for 7 behind the arc in the first half of a victory over Dallas. But it was the only one the Bucks needed after Antetokounmpo had carried them for so long. He fouled out with a minute left and the Bucks leading by two. Read moreAllen, Bucks hang on after Giannis fouls out to edge Knicks

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The White House says Thursday's state dinner for the president of France is meant to highlight the ties that bind the United States and its oldest ally. First lady Jill Biden and White House staff previewed the arrangements on Wednesday. Maine lobster poached in butter, beef with shallot marmalade and a trio of American cheeses are on the menu. Dessert is orange chiffon cake, with roasted pears and creme fraiche ice cream. A glitzy White House state dinner is a high diplomatic honor reserved for only the closest U.S. allies. Thursday's affair will be the first one of the Biden administration. Read moreRed, white, blue theme for French White House state dinner

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Patrick Peterson’s war of words against his former team now includes barbs aimed at quarterback Kyler Murray. The Minnesota Vikings cornerback — who played his first 10 seasons with the Arizona Cardinals — said on his “All Things Covered” podcast that “Kyler Murray don’t care about nobody but Kyler Murray.” The Cardinals quarterback took to social media to fire back at Peterson, saying “if you really felt like this as a “big bro” or “mentor” you supposed to call me and tell me, not drag me so your podcast can grow…” Peterson and Murray were teammates during the 2019 and 2020 seasons, which were Murray’s first two in the NFL. Read morePeterson critical of Cardinals QB Kyler Murray in podcast

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A judge has declared a mistrial at the rape trial of “That ’70s Show” actor Danny Masterson. Jurors told Los Angeles Judge Charlaine Olmedo that they were hopelessly deadlocked and could not come to unanimous verdicts on any counts.  The judge declared a mistrial Wednesday afternoon. Masterson is charged with the rape of three women, including a former girlfriend, between 2001 and 2003, when he was at the height of his fame as a star of the Fox sitcom “That ’70s Show.” Masterson pleaded not guilty. His attorney argued that the acts were consensual. A retrial is scheduled for March, but Masterson's lawyer says he will seek to dismiss the case before then. Read moreMistrial after jury deadlock in Danny Masterson rape case

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Hong Kong publisher Jimmy Lai broke into the media industry about 30 years ago armed with the belief that delivering information equates with delivering freedom. Lai now is accused of endangering national security with his now-defunct pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily. Lai, 74, faces up to a life sentence if he is convicted under a sweeping National Security Law that Beijing imposed on the former British colony in 2020. His high-profile trial is slated to begin Thursday. Lai's decision to hire a British defense lawyer is another area of controversy. Hong Kong leader John Lee has asked Beijing to issue a ruling that could effectively block the veteran barrister from representing Lai. Read moreHong Kong rags-to-riches publisher facing Security Law trial

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The former CEO of the failed cryptocurrency exchange FTX says that he did not "knowingly” misuse customers' funds. He also says he believes his millions of angry customers will eventually be made whole. The comments from Sam Bankman-Fried came during an interview with Andrew Ross Sorkin at conference put on by The New York Times. Bankman-Fried has done a handful of media interviews since FTX collapsed in mid-November, but Wednesday's was his first video interview since it filed for bankruptcy protection on Nov. 11. FTX failed in the cryptocurrency version of a bank run. Read moreEx-FTX CEO says he didn't 'knowingly' misuse clients' funds

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Amazon CEO Andy Jassy has said the company does not have plans to stop selling the antisemitic film that gained notoriety recently after Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving tweeted out an Amazon link to it. Pressure has been mounting on Amazon to stop selling the film or add a disclaimer to the documentary and the related book that it sells on its site. Jassy addressed the company's handling of the issue at the New York Times’ DealBook Summit in New York City. He says Amazon is a retailer of content to millions of customers with different viewpoints, and it has to allow access to those viewpoints even if they're objectionable. Read moreAmazon CEO says company won't take down antisemitic film

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A campaign to vaccinate older Chinese has sparked hopes Beijing might roll back severe anti-virus controls that prompted angry protesters to demand President Xi Jinping resign. But the country faces daunting hurdles before “zero COVID” can end. Global stock markets rose after Beijing announced the long-awaited campaign Tuesday. A low vaccination rate is one of the biggest obstacles to ending curbs that confine millions of people to their homes. Health experts and economists warn a vaccination effort will take months. They say China also must build up its hospitals and work out a long-term virus strategy, so “zero COVID” is likely to stay in place until mid-2023 and possibly as late as 2024. Read moreChinese vaccine plans spark hope for end of 'zero COVID'

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Mickey Joseph, Nebraska’s interim football coach for nine games after Scott Frost’s firing, was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of strangulation and third-degree domestic assault. Police went to a Lincoln residence in the afternoon after a report of a domestic disturbance. Following an investigation, the 54-year-old Joseph was arrested at another location in the city. He was being held at Lancaster Country Jail. Further details weren’t released. Matt Rhule was introduced as the Cornhuskers’ head coach Monday. Athletic director Trev Alberts had said Joseph was among candidates he spoke with about the job. Read moreFormer Nebraska interim coach arrested in domestic case

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The world’s largest volcano is oozing rivers of glowing lava and drawing thousands of awestruck viewers who jammed a Hawaii highway that could soon be covered by the flow. Mauna Loa awoke from its 38-year slumber Sunday, causing volcanic ash and debris to drift down from the sky. On Wednesday, a main highway linking towns on the east and west coasts of the Big Island became an impromptu viewing point. Thousands of cars jammed the highway near Volcanoes National Park. Anne Andersen left her overnight shift as a nurse to see the spectacle. She was afraid that the road would soon be closed. Read moreViewers flock to watch glowing lava ooze from Hawaii volcano

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The National Christmas Tree is now blazing with bright color. President Joe Biden led a crowd on the Ellipse near the White House in lighting the tree Wednesday evening in a tradition that dates back a century. Biden led the crowd in a countdown — “five, four, three, two, one”— and the lights burst to life. The tradition dates back to 1923 when President Calvin Coolidge walked from the White House to the Ellipse to light a 48-foot fir tree decorated with 2,500 electric bulbs in red, white and green. The current tree, a 27-foot-white fir, was planted just last year. Read moreNational Christmas Tree blazes to life with Biden lighting

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has called for a major political conference before the end of the year to talk about key state affairs, where he’s expected to address his increasingly tense relations with Washington and Seoul over the expansion of his nuclear and missile programs. North Korea has ramped up missile testing to a record pace this year, dialing up pressure on Washington and Seoul. But Kim has also been struggling to improve a heavily sanctioned economy made worse by pandemic border closures. That's an issue he may also address during the year-end meeting. In recent years, Kim has used political conferences in late December or early January to reveal his most important goals. Read moreNorth Korea's Kim calls for meeting to review state affairs

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Some $3.1 billion was donated to charitable causes in the U.S. in the 24 hours that are called Giving Tuesday. The movement to donate on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving started as a hashtag in 2012 and 10 years later has become a staple of fundraising for nonprofits. Asha Curran is the CEO of the organization GivingTuesday, which grew out of the hashtag. She said despite a difficult economic year, people we as generous as they had the capacity to be. Read moreGivingTuesday raises $3.1B for charities in tough economy

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Jurors have convicted a man in the killings of eight people from another Ohio family after weighing his denials and other testimony against the word of witnesses including his brother and mother, who previously pleaded guilty for their roles. Thirty-one-year-old George Wagner IV was found guilty Wednesday of all 22 counts he faced in southern Ohio’s Pike County, including eight counts of aggravated murder in the 2016 shootings of seven adults and a teenager from the Rhoden family. Wagner sat motionless as the verdicts were read, closing his eyes or looking down. Prosecutors say the slayings, which initially spurred speculation about drug cartel involvement, stemmed from a dispute over custody of Wagner’s niece. His father awaits trial in the killings. Read moreJury convicts man in killings of 8 from another Ohio family