Jennifer D. Wade Journal

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Catching Up

When last we spoke, the Phillies were finished, the Eagles were terrible and the Flyers were off to a good start. One month later, the team that sent the Phillies packing is the World Series champion, the Eagles are still terrible (witness today's come from ahead loss) and the Flyers aren't as good as those first three games led me to believe. I think pitchers and catchers report in about three months, so I'm looking forward to that.

A lot of other stuff has happened, too.

Election night came and went on November 8th. We reported results from 145 races around the viewing area and around the state. Our live efforts were focused on Luzerne and Lackawanna counties as there weren't that many contested races of note outside the metro. Of the races we highlighted, the most interesting one proved to be the race for District Attorney in Luzerne County. It went down to the wire, but upstart Republican newcomer Stefanie Salavantis scored a narrow victory over incumbent Democrat Jackie Musto Carroll. Salavantis won despite the fact that she's not quite 30 years old and despite the fact that she has never come close to prosecuting a case. Salavantis had money behind her (I received at least two fliers which were paid for the the state GOP) and I think Musto Carroll was hurt by the so-called "Kids for Cash" scandal that has left many voters feeling the need to clean house at the courthouse. The Salavantis campaign took full advantage of this sentiment.

The repercussions of the outcome in the DA's race are already being felt. Notorious murder suspect Hugo Selenski was FINALLY scheduled to go on trial the week after the election (which would be this week) for the murders of a pharmacist and his girlfriend. They disappeared in, I think, 2000, and their remains were among those found in Selenski's backyard in 2003. Musto Carroll planned to prosecute the case herself and Selenski planned to act as his own attorney. But, the day after the Salavantis victory, Selenski asked for a delay so he could hire an attorney to represent him. Now the trial is delayed until sometime next year - at the earliest.

Another race of note took place in Northumberland County, where the three commissioners (two Democrats and a Republican) were on the ballot. Also running were a second Republican and an Independent. What made this race interesting is that the two Democrats do not get along and their battles have been well publicized. Consequently, they did not run as a team. Neither did the two GOP candidates. In this race, it was every man for himself. In the end, one of the incumbent Democrats won re-election, the Republican newcomer won a seat, and the Independent candidate also won a seat. It's the first time in the county (and maybe in the state) that there are no majority commissioners. It will be interesting to see if the configuration can restore civility and be effective.

Friday night, I went to see Trans-Siberian Orchestra with my mother and sister. My sister has seen them several times before, but it was a first for my mother and me. I think my mother got it right when she summed up the performance by saying that the technical aspects of the show - and there were many - were better than the music.

Of course, the election and just about everything else that happened this past week or so has been overshadowed by the child sex abuse scandal surrounding Penn State University and its former football defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky. It's so big and so far-reaching that it deserves a separate post. So, that's what I'll give it.

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