Luzerne County, Pennsylvania
|Luzerne County, Pennsylvania|
Topographical map of Luzerne County
Location in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania
|Country||United States of America|
|Metro area||Wyoming Valley|
|Formed||September 25, 1786|
|Named for||Chevalier de la Luzerne|
|• Council Chair||Linda McClosky Houck (D)|
|• Manager||C. David Pedri|
|• Total||906 sq mi (2,350 km2)|
|• Land||890 sq mi (2,300 km2)|
|• Water||16 sq mi (40 km2)|
|Highest elevation||2,460 ft (750 m)|
|Lowest elevation||512 ft (156 m)|
|• Estimate (2015)||318,449|
|• Density||350/sq mi (140/km2)|
|Time zone||EST (UTC−5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC−4)|
Luzerne County is a county in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 906 square miles (2,350 km2), of which 890 square miles (2,300 km2) is land and 16 square miles (41 km2) is water. It is Northeastern Pennsylvania's second-largest county by total area. As of the 2010 census, the population was 320,918, making it the most populous county in the northeastern part of the state. The county seat and largest city is Wilkes-Barre. Other populous communities include Hazleton, Kingston, Nanticoke, and Pittston. Luzerne County is included in the Scranton–Wilkes-Barre–Hazleton Metropolitan Statistical Area, which has a total population of 558,166 (as of 2015).
On September 25, 1786, Luzerne County was formed from part of Northumberland County. It was named after Chevalier de la Luzerne, a French soldier and diplomat during the 18th century. When it was founded, Luzerne County occupied a large portion of Northeastern Pennsylvania. From 1810 to 1878, it was divided into several smaller counties. The counties of Bradford, Lackawanna, Susquehanna, and Wyoming were all formed from parts of Luzerne County.
The county gained prominence in the 19th and 20th centuries as an active anthracite coal mining region, drawing a large portion of its labor force from European immigrants. At its peak (in 1930), the county's population was 445,109. By the early 21st century, many factories and coal mines were closed. Like most counties in the Rust Belt, Luzerne witnessed population loss and urban decay.
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Climate
- 4 Demographics
- 5 Government
- 6 Politics
- 7 Public safety
- 8 Healthcare
- 9 Education
- 10 Culture
- 11 Transportation
- 12 Communities
- 13 Notable people
- 14 See also
- 15 Notes
- 16 References
- 17 External links
The Luzerne County Historical Society maintains the storehouse for the collective memory of Luzerne County and its environs. It records and interprets the history, traditions, events, people and cultures that have directed and molded life within the region.
- 1769: The Pennamite-Yankee Wars began when settlers from Connecticut and Pennsylvania fought over land claims along the North Branch of the Susquehanna River in the Wyoming Valley. In the end, Pennsylvania acquired the land.
- July 1, 1778: During the Revolutionary War, Fort Jenkins (a patriot stockade in present-day West Pittston) surrendered to the British (under Major John Butler). It was later burned to the ground. In 1928, a bridge connecting West Pittston to Pittston City was constructed and named in its honor.
- July 3, 1778: A force of British soldiers, led by John Butler, with the assistance of about 700 Indians, attacked and killed nearly 300 Wyoming Valley settlers. Today, in the Borough of Wyoming, a monument marks the gravesite of the victims from the massacre.
- July 4, 1778: Fort Pittston (located in what is now Pittston City) surrendered to the British and some of it was partially destroyed. It was later restored and used until the end of the Revolutionary War.
- September 1778: Revenge for the Wyoming defeat was taken by American Colonel Thomas Hartley who, with 200 soldiers, burned nine to twelve Seneca, Delaware, and Mingo villages along the Susquehanna River in Northeastern Pennsylvania, including Tioga and Chemung.
- September 11, 1780: Reports of Tory activity in the region caused Captain Daniel Klader and a platoon of 40 to 50 men from Northampton County, Pennsylvania, to investigate. Captain Klader's men made it as far north as present-day Conyngham, when they were ambushed by the Seneca nation and by the Tories. 18 of Klader's men were killed in what is known as the Sugarloaf Massacre.
- September 25, 1786: Luzerne County was formed from part of Northumberland County. It was named after Chevalier de la Luzerne, a French soldier and diplomat during the 18th century. When it was founded, Luzerne County occupied a large portion of Northeastern Pennsylvania. From 1810 to 1878, it was divided into several smaller counties. The counties of Bradford, Lackawanna, Susquehanna, and Wyoming were all formed from parts of Luzerne County.
- February 11, 1808: Jesse Fell created the first iron grate in the Wyoming Valley to successfully burn anthracite. This invention increased the popularity of coal as a fuel source. This led to the expansion of the coal industry in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Throughout the 1800s, canals and railroads were constructed to aid in the mining and transportation of coal.
- September 6, 1869: A mine fire killed 110 people in Avondale, an unincorporated community in Plymouth Township.
- 1871: Wilkes-Barre, with a population of just over 10,000, was incorporated as a city.
- 1891: Hazleton, with a population of just over 11,000, was incorporated as a city.
- 1894: Pittston, with a population of just over 10,000, was incorporated as a city.
- June 28, 1896: The Newton Coal Company's Twin Shaft Mine in Pittston City caved-in and killed 58 miners.
- September 10, 1897: Sheriff James Martin formed a posse and fired on a group of unarmed miners in what is known today as the Lattimer massacre. Luzerne is infamous for being the last county whose sheriff legally formed a posse to restore order in a time of civil unrest.
- 1908–1912: The anthracite coal mining industry, and its extensive use of child labor in the early part of the 20th century, was one of the industries targeted by the National Child Labor Committee and its hired photographer, Lewis Hine. Many of Hine's subjects were photographed in the mines and coal fields in and around Pittston during this time. The impact of the Hine photographs led to the enactment of child labor laws across the country.
- 1915: A mine fire in Laurel Run, Pennsylvania, caused a section of the town to be relocated.
- June 5, 1919: An explosion at the Baltimore Colliery in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, killed 92 miners.
- 1926: Nanticoke, with a population of just over 22,000, was incorporated as a city.
- 1930s–1980s: Pittston City emerged as a national center for clothing manufacturing. Thousands of workers, mainly women, labored in many factories throughout the Greater Pittston area. Most were members of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union (ILGWU). They fought for higher wages, workplace health & safety improvements, and employee rights. The ILGWU was active in civic and political life throughout Pennsylvania.
- 1934: The right arm of Hughestown, Pennsylvania, resident Harry Tompkins was crushed by an Erie Railroad train. This resulted in the U.S. Supreme Court case, Erie Railroad Co. v. Tompkins, which laid the foundation for a large part of modern American civil procedure.
- 1945–1947: The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport was constructed in Pittston Township.
- January 22, 1959: The Knox Mine disaster in Port Griffith, Jenkins Township, claimed the lives of 12 people and essentially shut down the mining industry in Northeastern Pennsylvania.
- June 1972: Hurricane Agnes was responsible for massive flooding in and around Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.
- 1974–1989: Alleged ghost hauntings took place in the home of Jack and Janet Smurl in West Pittston. This resulted in the 1991 film The Haunted.
- September 25, 1982: George Banks killed 13 people in a shooting rampage in Wilkes-Barre and Jenkins Township.
- 1992: The opening scenes from the movie School Ties was filmed in West Pittston; it shows David Green, the hero of the movie (played by Brendan Fraser), hanging out with friends in the streets of the tiny town.
- May 21, 2000: A plane crash in Bear Creek Township, Pennsylvania, near the intersection of Bear Creek Boulevard (PA-Route 115) and the Northeast Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, killed the pilot as well as all 19 passengers.
- December 1, 2006: A tornado left a path of destruction approximately 15 miles (24 km) long (this included parts of Mountain Top).
- 2008: The Kids for Cash scandal resulted in federal convictions and sentences of juvenile court judges Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan.
- 2011: The Borough of Duryea received national attention for its role in the landmark Supreme Court case Borough of Duryea v. Guarnieri, in which the court stated that "a government employer's allegedly retaliatory actions against an employee do not give rise to liability under the Petition Clause unless the employee's petition relates to a matter of public concern."
- September 2011: Luzerne County witnessed historical flooding from Tropical Storm Lee. The Susquehanna River reached a record high of 42.6 feet (13 meters) in Wilkes-Barre. The river topped the 40.9-foot (12.5 meters) level in flooding caused by Hurricane Agnes in 1972. The Greater Pittston, Wilkes-Barre, and Nanticoke areas were hit the hardest.
- January 2, 2012: A new county government was formed. The first members of the Luzerne County Council were sworn in. The first council chair was Jim Bobeck. The following month, the council appointed the first county manager (Robert Lawton).
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 906 square miles (2,350 km2), of which 890 square miles (2,300 km2) is land and 16 square miles (41 km2), or 1.8%, is water. The highest point in the county is Cherry Ridge in Fairmount Township. The ridge is 2,460 feet (750 m) above sea level. The lowest point, of about 512 feet (156 m), can be found near Shickshinny.
Luzerne County consists of 76 independently governing municipalities (which includes 4 cities, 36 boroughs, and 36 townships). Wilkes-Barre is the largest city; it has a total area of 7.2 square miles (19 km2). Pittston, with a total area of 1.7 square miles (4.4 km2), is the smallest city. Harveys Lake is the largest borough; it has a total area of 6.2 square miles (16 km2). Jeddo, with a total area of 0.3 square miles (0.78 km2), is the smallest borough. Bear Creek is the largest township; it has a total area of 67.8 square miles (176 km2). Wilkes-Barre Township, with a total area of 2.9 square miles (7.5 km2), is the smallest.
The Wyoming Valley – also referred to as the Anthracite Valley Section of Pennsylvania – runs directly through Luzerne County. It extends from the northeastern border (with Lackawanna County) to the western border (with Columbia County). The valley is flat (at the Susquehanna Basin) and rises from 512 feet (156 m) to 2,000 feet (610 m) in some places. Bear Creek, on the eastern side of the valley, has a mean elevation of about 2,000 feet (610 m), while Shickshinny, on the Susquehanna Basin, is about 512 feet (156 m). The county is crossed by a series of east-to-west mountains (e.g., Buck Mountain, Nescopeck Mountain, Penobscot Knob, and Red Rock Mountain). They are all part of the Appalachian Mountain Range.
The Susquehanna River is the largest river in the county. There are several islands located within the river; for example, Scovell Island (near Pittston), Monocanock Island (near Wyoming), and Richard Island (near Wilkes-Barre). The Susquehanna drains most of the county (including Bowman Creek, Huntington Creek, the Lackawanna River, Nescopeck Creek, Solomon Creek, and many other streams). The Lehigh River, which forms part of Luzerne County's southeastern border, drains the easternmost region. Dozens of lakes and ponds are also scattered throughout the county (e.g., Harveys Lake, Lake Jean, Lake Louise, and Long Pond).
Luzerne County consists of several urban areas. The first is a contiguous quilt-work of former anthracite coal mining communities (including the cities of Pittston, Wilkes-Barre, and Nanticoke). It is located in the northeastern and central part of the county (in the Wyoming Valley). The second is Hazleton and it is located in the southern portion of the county. Other smaller urban areas – such as the Back Mountain and Mountain Top – are scattered throughout the region. Thick forests and small farming communities are located just outside the urban centers.
State parks and forests
- There are four state parks in Luzerne County:
- There is only one state forest in Luzerne County:
- Other recreational areas:
- Carbon County (southeast)
- Columbia County (west)
- Lackawanna County (northeast)
- Monroe County (east)
- Schuylkill County (south)
- Sullivan County (northwest)
- Wyoming County (north)
Luzerne County has a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfa/Dfb) with four distinct seasons. Winters are cold with a January average of 25.8 °F (−3.4 °C). The surrounding mountains have an influence on the climate (which includes both precipitation and temperature). This results in a wide array of weather conditions throughout the county. On average, temperatures below 0 °F (−17.8 °C) are infrequent, occurring 3 days per year, and there are 36 days where the maximum temperature remains below 32 °F (0.0 °C). In the Wilkes-Barre area, the average annual snowfall is 46.2 inches (117 cm) during the winter (in which severe snowstorms are rare). However, when snowstorms do occur, they can disrupt normal routines for several days. Summers are warm with a July average of 71.4 °F (21.9 °C). In an average summer, temperatures exceeding 90 °F (32.2 °C) occur on 9 days and can occasionally exceed 100 °F (37.8 °C). Spring and fall are unpredictable with temperatures ranging from cold to warm (although they are usually mild). On average, Wilkes-Barre receives 38.2 inches (970 mm) of precipitation each year, which is relatively evenly distributed throughout the year (though the summer months receive more precipitation). Extreme temperatures range from −21 °F (−29.4 °C) on January 21, 1994, to 103 °F (39.4 °C) on July 9, 1936. Wilkes-Barre averages 2,303 hours of sunshine per year, ranging from a low of 96 hours in December (or 33% of possible sunshine) to 286 hours in July (or 62% of possible sunshine).
|Climate data for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Int'l Airport, Pennsylvania (1981–2010 normals,[a] extremes 1901–present[b])|
|Record high °F (°C)||69
|Mean maximum °F (°C)||55.4
|Average high °F (°C)||33.2
|Average low °F (°C)||18.5
|Mean minimum °F (°C)||−0.8
|Record low °F (°C)||−21
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||2.37
|Average snowfall inches (cm)||14.2
|Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)||12.0||11.0||11.8||12.3||13.2||12.8||11.2||11.3||10.2||10.7||11.2||11.5||139.2|
|Average snowy days (≥ 0.1 in)||9.3||7.7||5.0||1.7||0||0||0||0||0||0.1||2.1||7.1||33.0|
|Average relative humidity (%)||70.1||67.5||63.3||60.4||64.6||70.5||71.1||73.8||75.2||71.6||71.8||72.5||69.4|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||130.3||143.7||185.7||210.5||246.9||269.7||285.7||257.2||200.2||173.3||104.3||95.9||2,303.4|
|Percent possible sunshine||44||48||50||53||55||60||62||60||54||50||35||33||52|
|Source: NOAA (relative humidity 1964–1990, sun 1961–1990)|
As of the 2010 census, the county was 90.7% White, 3.4% Black or African American, 0.2% Native American, 1.0% Asian, 3.3% other race, and 1.5% were of two or more races. 6.7% of the population were of Hispanic or Latino ancestry.
According to the census of 2000, there were 319,250 people, 130,687 households, and 84,293 families residing in the county. The population density was 358 people per square mile (138/km2). There were 144,686 housing units at an average density of 162 per square mile (63/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 96.63% White, 1.69% Black or African American, 0.09% Native American, 0.58% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.43% other race, and 0.57% from two or more races. 1.16% of the population were Hispanic or Latino. 22.2% were of Polish ancestry, 15.6% of Italian ancestry, 13.8% of Irish ancestry, 12.1% of German ancestry, and 5.3% of Slovak ancestry according to the 2000 census. Luzerne County is the only county in the United States with a plurality of citizens reporting Polish as their primary ancestry; the plurality of Pennsylvanians report German or Pennsylvania Dutch.
There were 130,687 households, out of which 48.80% were married couples living together. 11.50% had a female householder with no husband present. 35.50% were non-families. 31.30% of all households were made up of individuals. 16% of those age 65 years and older lived alone. The average household size was 2.34 and the average family size was 2.95.
In the county, the population consisted of 21% under the age of 18, 8.10% from 18 to 24, 27.20% from 25 to 44, 24% from 45 to 64, and 19.70% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females, there were 93 males. For every 100 females (age 18 and over), there were 89.50 males.
The median household income (in 2015 dollars) was $45,897. 15.1% of the population lives in poverty. 60.4% of those 16 years of age or older are in the civilian labor force. There are more white collar jobs in Luzerne County than blue collar jobs. In total, there are 91,801 white collar jobs and 62,813 blue collar jobs. The mean travel time to work (for those 16 years of age or older) was 22.1 minutes. In terms of education, 88.9% (of those 25 years of age or older) are high school graduates or higher. 21.4% (of those 25 years of age or older) have a bachelor's degree or higher. In terms of healthcare, 10.8% (for those under the age of 65) are living with a disability. As of 2015, 25,317 veterans are living in Luzerne County.
The two major languages spoken in Luzerne County are English and Spanish. 5.8% of the population speaks Spanish at home. Most of the Spanish speaking population can be found in and around the City of Hazleton.
59.27% of the people in Luzerne County are religious, meaning they affiliate with a religion. 43.77% are Catholic; 0.28% are LDS (or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints); 0.51% are Baptist; 0.55% are Episcopalian; 1.05% are Pentecostal; 3.11% are Lutheran; 4.40% are Methodist; 1.95% are Presbyterian; 2.33% are of some other Christian faith; 0.78% are Jewish; 0.00% are of an eastern faith; and 0.51% practice Islam.
Luzerne County voters rejected home rule proposals in the past (once in 1974 and again in 2003). However, from 2008 to 2010, corruption plagued the county government. Three county judges, a county commissioner, a clerk of courts, a deputy chief clerk, and a director of human resources faced criminal charges. These events persuaded the voters of Luzerne County to adopt a new form of government. On Tuesday, November 2, 2010, a home rule charter was adopted by a margin of 49,343 to 40,394.
The following year (in 2011), the first election for the new government was held. On Monday, January 2, 2012, the previous government (the board of county commissioners) was abolished and replaced with the new form of government (council–manager government). The first members of the Luzerne County Council were sworn in that same day. The first council chairperson was Jim Bobeck. The assembly consists of eleven elected members. They appoint and work alongside a full-time manager. The manager runs an executive branch of county government. The first manager was Robert Lawton.
The Luzerne County Council is the governing body of the county. The council meets at the Luzerne County Courthouse. There are eleven members on the assembly. The Democrats control a majority of seats (with seven members). The council also consists of three Republicans and one Independent. The chairperson is the highest-ranking officer on the council. When the group is not in session, the officer's duties often include acting as its head, its representative to the outside world, and its spokesperson. The chairperson is appointed by his or her fellow council members. He or she sets the agenda for the council and administers the meetings. The current chairperson is Linda McClosky Houck. The following members have been duly elected to the county council by the voters of Luzerne County:
|Council member||Time in office||Party||Notes|
|Linda McClosky Houck||2012–present||Democratic||Chairperson|
|Tim McGinley||2012–present||Democratic||Vice Chairperson|
|Stephen A. Urban||2012–present||Democratic|
|Jane Walsh Waitkus||2016–present||Democratic|
The following is a list of former and current chairpersons:
|List of chairpersons||Time in office||Party||Notes|
|4||Linda McClosky Houck||2015–present||Democratic||First female chair|
The executive branch is headed by the Luzerne County Manager. He or she is appointed by the Luzerne County Council. The manager directs the county's organizational, operational, management, budget, and administrative operations and activities. The current manager is David Pedri.
Other county officials
- Controller: Michelle Bednar
- Director of Human Resources: Angela Gavlick
- District Attorney: Stefanie J. Salavantis
- Chief Public Defender: Steven M. Greenwald
- Sheriff: Brian M. Szumski
|2016||57.9% 78,688||38.6% 52,451||3.5% 4,762|
|2012||46.7% 58,325||51.5% 64,307||1.8% 2,213|
|2008||45.0% 61,127||53.3% 72,492||1.7% 2,349|
|2004||47.8% 64,953||51.2% 69,573||1.1% 1,502|
|2000||43.8% 52,328||52.0% 62,199||4.2% 5,059|
|1996||37.3% 43,577||51.5% 60,174||11.2% 13,066|
|1992||38.8% 49,285||44.5% 56,623||16.7% 21,238|
|1988||50.0% 59,059||49.6% 58,553||0.4% 480|
|1984||53.5% 69,169||45.2% 58,482||1.3% 1,640|
|1980||50.2% 67,822||44.4% 59,976||5.4% 7,282|
|1976||44.2% 60,058||54.9% 74,655||1.0% 1,296|
|1972||60.9% 81,358||38.3% 51,128||0.8% 1,120|
|1968||39.8% 57,044||55.1% 79,040||5.1% 7,296|
|1964||28.9% 43,895||70.0% 106,397||1.2% 1,779|
|1960||40.6% 70,711||59.1% 102,998||0.3% 562|
|1956||58.2% 92,458||41.0% 65,155||0.8% 1,207|
|1952||54.8% 88,967||44.7% 72,579||0.4% 715|
|1948||52.9% 71,674||45.6% 61,869||1.5% 2,068|
|1944||47.8% 67,984||51.8% 73,674||0.4% 541|
|1940||43.8% 79,685||55.9% 101,577||0.3% 622|
|1936||43.3% 81,572||55.7% 105,008||1.1% 1,997|
|1932||45.4% 52,672||52.6% 60,975||2.0% 2,281|
|1928||48.0% 67,872||51.9% 73,319||0.2% 220|
|1924||53.2% 46,475||23.4% 20,472||23.4% 20,449|
|1920||65.4% 49,419||31.1% 23,473||3.6% 2,683|
|1916||53.7% 25,348||42.4% 19,999||3.9% 1,832|
|1912||12.0% 4,970||32.6% 13,461||55.4% 22,907|
|1908||56.2% 24,594||39.7% 17,379||4.0% 1,760|
|1904||64.8% 27,809||31.5% 13,518||3.7% 1,568|
|1900||54.9% 21,793||41.5% 16,470||3.7% 1,454|
|1896||55.1% 22,718||42.0% 17,305||3.0% 1,225|
|1892||45.2% 14,118||50.4% 15,734||4.4% 1,377|
|1888||49.3% 15,543||48.2% 15,218||2.5% 797|
As of November 2008, there are 187,849 registered voters in Luzerne County.
During presidential elections, the county is considered a bellwether of the state. It voted for the presidential candidate who carried Pennsylvania in every election since 1936. While the Democratic Party has been historically dominant in county-level politics, on the statewide and national levels, Luzerne County leans toward the Democratic Party only slightly. During the 2000 U.S. presidential election, Democrat Al Gore won 52% of the vote to Republican George W. Bush's 44%. In 2004, it was much closer, with Democrat John Kerry winning 51% to Republican George Bush's 48%. Democrat Barack Obama carried the county twice (once in 2008, and again in 2012). During the 2016 presidential election, Republican Donald Trump won the county with 58% of the vote, the largest margin since President Richard Nixon in 1972. It was the first time a Republican presidential candidate carried the county since 1988.
In recent years, Luzerne County has witnessed mixed results in U.S. senate elections. In 2000, 2004, and 2016, the Republican candidates for U.S. senate won the county. However, Democratic candidates for U.S. senate carried the county in 2006 (with 60.6% of the vote), 2010, and 2012.
Democratic candidates for Pennsylvania governor won Luzerne County in 2002, 2006 (with 67.5% of the vote), and 2014. In recent years, the county voted for a Republican gubernatorial candidate only once (in 2010).
United States Senate
United States House of Representatives
- Lou Barletta, R, Pennsylvania's 11th congressional district
- Matthew Cartwright, D, Pennsylvania's 17th congressional district
- John Yudichak, D, Pennsylvania's 14th Senatorial District
- Lisa Baker, R, Pennsylvania's 20th Senatorial District
- John Blake, D, Pennsylvania's 22nd Senatorial District
- John Gordner, R, Pennsylvania's 27th Senatorial District
State House of Representatives
- Tarah Toohil, R, Pennsylvania's 116th Representative District
- Karen Boback, R, Pennsylvania's 117th Representative District
- Michael B. Carroll, D, Pennsylvania's 118th Representative District
- Gerald Mullery, D, Pennsylvania's 119th Representative District
- Aaron Kaufer, R, Pennsylvania's 120th Representative District
- Eddie Day Pashinski, D, Pennsylvania's 121st Representative District
There are many fire and police departments scattered throughout Luzerne County. Each individual community (city, borough, and township) determines the boundaries of each department. The firefighters provide fire protection for its citizens. Most fire departments are headed by a fire chief and are staffed by a combination of career and volunteer firefighters.
The police provide full-time protection to its citizens, visitors, businesses, and public property. Most departments are headed by a chief of police and operate out of their local municipal building. The Luzerne County Sheriff's Office operates out of Wilkes-Barre's Luzerne County Courthouse. The sheriff is an official who is responsible for keeping the peace and enforcing the law throughout the county. After Luzerne County adopted a home rule charter, the office of sheriff became an appointed position (and was no longer an elected one). The Pennsylvania State Police also have a presence in the county. Troop P operates out of the northern half of Luzerne County and is headquartered in Wyoming. Troop N operates out of the southern portion of the county and is headquartered in Hazleton.
- First Hospital in Kingston, an affiliate of Commonwealth Health
- Geisinger South Wilkes Barre Hospital (GSWB), formerly Mercy Hospital
- Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center (GWV) in Plains Township
- Hazleton General Hospital (Lehigh Valley Hospital)
- Nanticoke Special Care Hospital, an affiliate of Commonwealth Health
- VA Medical Center in Wilkes-Barre
- Wilkes-Barre General Hospital, an affiliate of Commonwealth Health
Public school districts
- Berwick Area School District (also in Columbia County)
- Crestwood School District
- Dallas School District
- Greater Nanticoke Area School District
- Hanover Area School District
- Hazleton Area School District (also in Carbon and Schuylkill Counties)
- Lake-Lehman School District (also in Wyoming County)
- Northwest Area School District
- Pittston Area School District
- Wilkes-Barre Area School District
- Wyoming Area School District (also in Wyoming County)
- Wyoming Valley West School District
- Bear Creek Community Charter School, Bear Creek Township
Public vocational technical schools
- Graham Academy, Kingston
- Holy Cross High School, located in Lackawanna County; it serves Luzerne County residents
- Holy Redeemer High School, Wilkes-Barre
- Jenny Lynn Ferraro Academy, Kingston
- Milford E. Barnes Junior School, Wilkes-Barre
- MMI Preparatory School, Freeland
- New Story School, Wyoming
- Wilkes-Barre Academy, Wilkes-Barre
- Wyoming Seminary, Forty Fort and Kingston
Colleges and universities
- Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine, Wilkes-Barre
- King's College, Wilkes-Barre
- Luzerne County Community College, Nanticoke
- McCann School of Business & Technology, Wilkes-Barre
- Misericordia University, Dallas
- Penn State Hazleton, Hazleton
- Penn State Wilkes-Barre, Lehman Township
- Wilkes University, Wilkes-Barre
The Luzerne County Library System includes the following locations:
- Back Mountain Memorial Library, Back Mountain
- Hazleton Area Public Library, Hazleton
- Hoyt Library, Kingston
- Marian Sutherland Kirby Library, Mountaintop
- Mill Memorial Library, Nanticoke
- Osterhout Free Library, Wilkes-Barre
- Pittston Memorial Library, Pittston
- Plymouth Public Library, Plymouth
- West Pittston Library, West Pittston
- Wyoming Free Library, Wyoming
- Bear Creek Village Historic District, Bear Creek Village
- Bittenbender Covered Bridge, Huntington Township
- Dorothy Dickson Darte Center for the Performing Arts, located on the campus of Wilkes University (in Wilkes-Barre)
- Eckley Miners' Village, Foster Township
- F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts, Wilkes-Barre
- Frederick Stegmaier Mansion, Wilkes-Barre
- Giants Despair Hillclimb, Laurel Run
- Kingston Armory, Kingston
- Little Theatre of Wilkes-Barre, Wilkes-Barre
- Luzerne County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Wilkes-Barre
- Luzerne County Museum, Wilkes-Barre
- Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza, Wilkes-Barre Township
- Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, Plains Township
- Public Square, Wilkes-Barre
- River Street Historic District, Wilkes-Barre
- Stegmaier Brewery, Wilkes-Barre
- Swetland Homestead, Wyoming
- Wilkes-Barre station, Wilkes-Barre
- Wyoming Monument, Wyoming
- Wyoming Valley Mall, Wilkes-Barre Township
The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area is the 55th-largest U.S. television market. Local television stations include: WNEP-TV (ABC affiliate), WBRE-TV (NBC affiliate), WYOU-TV (CBS affiliate), WVIA-TV (PBS affiliate), WOLF-TV (FOX affiliate), WQMY (MyNetworkTV affiliate), WSWB (CW affiliate), WQPX (Ion Television affiliate), and WYLN-LP (Youtoo TV affiliate).
The Times Leader and The Citizens' Voice are the two largest daily newspapers in the Wilkes-Barre area. Wilkes-Barre's radio market is ranked No. 69 by Arbitron's ranking system. There are news, adult alternative, and music radio stations which are receivable in the area.
|Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins||AHL||Ice Hockey||Mohegan Sun Arena|
|Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders||IL||Baseball||PNC Field|
- Canadian Pacific Railway (CP)
- Delaware and Hudson Railway (DH)
- Luzerne and Susquehanna Railway (LS)
- Norfolk Southern Railway (NS)
- North Shore Railroad (NSHR)
- Reading Blue Mountain and Northern Railroad (RBMN)
- Hazleton Municipal Airport
- Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport
- Wilkes-Barre Wyoming Valley Airport
Luzerne County contains the second highest number of independently governing municipalities in the state of Pennsylvania, with 76; only Allegheny County has more. Under Pennsylvania law, there are four types of incorporated municipalities: cities, boroughs, townships, and, in the case of Bloomsburg, towns. The following cities, boroughs, and townships are located in Luzerne County:
- Bear Creek Village
- Forty Fort
- Harveys Lake
- Laurel Run
- New Columbus
- Penn Lake Park
- Sugar Notch
- Warrior Run
- West Hazleton
- West Pittston
- West Wyoming
- White Haven
† county seat
|Rank||City/Borough/Township||Municipal type||Population (2010 census)|
|40||Bear Creek Township||Township||2,774|
|50||Black Creek Township||Township||2,016|
|73||Penn Lake Park||Borough||308|
|74||Bear Creek Village||Borough||257|
- Luzerne County Transportation Authority
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania
- Pennamite–Yankee War
- USS Luzerne County
- Mean monthly maxima and minima (i.e. the expected highest and lowest temperature readings at any point during the year or given month) calculated based on data at said location from 1981 to 2010.
- Official records for Avoca/Wilkes-Barre–Scranton kept at downtown Scranton from January 1901 to 17 April 1955 and at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport since 18 April 1955.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- Tice, Joyce M. "History of Bradford County PA, 1770–1878 by David Craft – Chapter 9". www.joycetice.com.
- "Wyoming County Historical Society". pawchs.org.
- "Home". archive.org. February 5, 2007. Archived from the original on February 5, 2007.
- "Luzerne County : History of Luzerne County". www.luzernecounty.org.
- "History of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania". u-s-history.com.
- Administrator. "History – Life – Life". www.hazletoncity.org.
- "Twin Shaft Disaster Marker". Hmdb.org. August 19, 2008. Retrieved July 21, 2009.
- "GenDisasters ... Genealogy in Tragedy, Disasters, Fires, Floods – Events That Touched Our Ancestors' Lives". www.gendisasters.com. Archived from the original on November 21, 2008.
- "history". www.nanticokecity.com.
- Mandatory Evacuation of Wyoming Valley by 4 p.m., Times-Leader, September 8, 2011
- Eckert, Paul (September 9, 2011). "UPDATE 3-Pennsylvania hit by huge flooding, towns submerged". Reuters.
- Luzerne officials issue mandatory evacuation in footprint of Agnes flood, Times Tribune, September 8, 2011
- "Luzerne County Council members sworn in – The Times Leader reports". YouTube. 2012-01-02. Retrieved 2017-02-22.
- "Luzerne County Manager Robert Lawton Resigns". pahomepage.com. November 26, 2015.
- "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved March 9, 2015.
- "Pennsylvania County High Points". Peakbagger.com. 2004-11-01. Retrieved 2017-02-22.
- Susquehanna Warrior Trail, PA – Google Maps. Maps.google.com (1970-01-01). Retrieved on 2013-07-23.
- "Station Name: PA WILKES-BARRE INTL AP". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2016-09-11.
- "Local Climatological Data–Annual Summary with Comparative Data: Wilkes–Barre/Scranton" (PDF). National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved September 30, 2015.
- "NowData - NOAA Online Weather Data". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2017-02-25.
- "NOAA". NOAA.
- "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017.
- "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 9, 2015.
- "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved March 9, 2015.
- Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 24, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 9, 2015.
- "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved March 9, 2015.
- Census data, USA Today
- US Census Bureau. "2011 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates." American FactFinder <http://factfinder2.census.gov>.
- "Luzerne County Demographics & Statistics â€" Employment, Education, Income Averages, Crime in Luzerne County â€" Point2 Homes". Point2homes.com. Retrieved 2017-02-22.
- "Luzerne County Pennsylvania QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau". Census.gov. Retrieved 2017-02-22.
- "Languages in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania (County)". Statistical Atlas. 2015-04-17. Retrieved 2017-02-22.
- "Luzerne County, Pennsylvania Religion". Bestplaces.net. Retrieved 2017-02-22.
- Voters say 'yes' to home rule – News. Standard Speaker (2010-11-03). Retrieved on 2013-07-23.
- By Michael P. Buffer (Staff Writer) (2012-07-31). "Luzerne County Council divided over next chairperson – News". Standard Speaker. Retrieved 2017-02-22.
- "Council". Luzerne County. Retrieved 2017-02-22.
- "County Manager Open Position". Luzerne County. Retrieved 2017-02-22.
- "County Manager". Luzerne County. 2013-10-29. Retrieved 2017-02-22.
- "Home". www.dos.state.pa.us.
- "Luzerne County : Police and Fire Departments". www.luzernecounty.org.
- "Definition of SHERIFF". www.merriam-webster.com.
- Pennsylvania Department of Education (2011). "Licensed, Private Academic Schools in Pennsylvania".
- "Wilkes Division of Performing Arts". Wilkes University. Retrieved May 12, 2014.
- "The F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts". Kirbycenter.org. Retrieved May 12, 2014.
- "The Frederick Stegmaier Mansion". Stegmaiermansion.com. 2011-05-26. Retrieved May 12, 2014.
- "Little Theatre of Wilkes-Barre". Ltwb.org. Retrieved May 12, 2014.
- Luzerne County Historical Society. "Welcome to the Luzerne County Historical Society website | NEPA Luzerne County Pennsylvania history". Luzernehistory.org. Retrieved May 12, 2014.
- "Nielsen Local Television Market Universe Estimates" (PDF). Nielsen. Retrieved 2015-05-26.
- "Wilkes Barre – Scranton Television Stations". Station Index. Retrieved 2011-08-29.
- "Pennsylvania Municipalities Information". Pamunicipalitiesinfo.com. Retrieved August 16, 2012.
- "2010 Census". Census.gov. Retrieved 2017-02-22.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Luzerne County, Pennsylvania.|
- Official Luzerne County website
- "Luzerne County Library System". Archived from the original on February 12, 2008.
- Tournepa.com: Luzerne County Convention and Visitors Bureau
- The Luzerne Foundation — the county's Community Foundation.
- Luzerne County Community College website