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Around The Towns 1/27/2019

January 27, 2019


At a recent meeting of the Rotary Club of the Abingtons, members of the club helped a past president celebrate a milestone.

Howard Hyde turned 100 on Jan. 20. Hyde has been a member of the club since 1970, served as president in 1979-80, and has volunteered on many Rotary projects.



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Rotary Club of the Abingtons President Ryan Campbell recently presented member and current District Governor Roger Mattes Jr. with a certificate of recognition from the Endowment Fund of the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International. Mattes has been designated benefactor and received thanks from the trustees of the foundation.



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Lackawanna County commissioners last week honored outgoing Scranton Public Library System Executive Director Jack Finnerty, who will turn the page on a more than 50 year career when he retires Thursday.

Finnerty, a lifelong city resident, started working at the Albright Memorial Library as a reference page in 1962, while still in high school. He never left, serving in various capacities before becoming executive director of the library system in 1986.

At Wednesday’s meeting, Commissioners Laureen Cummings, Jerry Notarianni and Patrick O’Malley praised Finnerty for his decades of dedication to the library system and its patrons.

“Jack, you were a driving force in helping the library grow,” Notarianni said. “I hate to see you go, but I’m sure you’ll figure something else out to do.”

Finnerty said he intends to transition from library director to library patron in retirement, and plans to make weekly library visits and “catch up on all the books I thought I was going to read over the years.” He also offered his thanks to the commissioners, calling Lackawanna County “a model for library service across Pennsylvania.”

Commissioners proclaimed Jan. 23, 2019, Jack Finnerty Day in the county.

“Thank you, Jack, and thank you for being my friend and being friends with so many people in Lackawanna County through the years,” O’Malley said.




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Former Scranton Mayor Jim Connors will be in the hot seat tonight during a comedy roast to benefit Scranton High School’s Coaches vs. Cancer campaign.

The event, from 5 to 7 p.m. at La Buona Vita, 200 Reilly St., Dunmore, will feature light fare and a cash bar.

Admission is $20 per person; tickets can be purchased at the door, Connors said in a phone interview.

The roasters include:

■ Master of ceremonies Michael Washo, a former Lackawanna County commissioner who earlier served under Connors in Scranton City Hall in the 1990s.

■ Prominent local attorney Amil Minora.

■  Sharon Quinn, member of the Lackawanna County Federation of Democratic Women.

■ U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright, D-8, Moosic.

■  Jack Connors, Jim’s brother, “who’s really the funniest one in the family,” the former mayor said. “He’s outlandish, more slapstick than I am.”

Known for his penchant for telling jokes, Jim Connors has had his funny bone burned before as the subject of a few prior roasts.

“It’s painless. The only one in pain will be me,” Connors quipped of tonight’s roast. “They’ll put me on the spit and turn me over.”

As is customary at roasts, the subject usually gets the last laugh. Connors promises to go easy.

“I won’t lay a glove on them because I don’t want to lose a vote,” he said.



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AROUND THE TOWNS appears each Sunday, spotlighting the people and events in your neighborhoods. If you have an idea for an Around the Towns note, contact the writer for your town, or the Yes!Desk at 348-9121 or yesdesk@timesshamrock.com.