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U-R-S Closes Its Doors For Last Time
By Andy Mehalshick
Chad Wallace cried as he hugged Heather Miller of Hazleton as they left the U-R-S center for the last time Wednesday. U-R-S, United Rehabilitation Services in Hazleton, Wilkes-Barre and Tunkhannock, closed their doors today for the final time. Wallace said, "I get choked up when I even think about it. This day did not have to happen." Heather Miller added, "We are like family here. This is a tough day for all of us." The C-E-O of U-R-S Joe Pierangeli told this reporter today, "We did what we cold to keep it open. It just was not in the cards. I feel bad for our clients." Pierangeli says State funding cutbacks and payments to pension plans as the major reasons for the nonprofit agency's financial troubles. U-R-S has been working with officials from Luzerne and Wyoming Counties to find other agencies to provide services for the clients. U-R-S contracts with local companies to provide work for their clients who have special needs. Some State Lawmakers, such as Representative Tara Toohil from the Hazleton area have questioned how U-R-S could be in such poor financial shape.