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I-Team Special Report: Fighting Blight In Northeastern And Central Pennsylvania

Officials from communities across Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania tackle problem properties in a variety of ways and their methods are becoming more aggressive.
Bettyanne Paoella and James Dotter say they are sick and tired of the dilapidated property next to their home on Second Street in Pottsville-- Paoella said, "There are rats in that building and I am afraid to go to sleep at night--the owner just doesn't care about anyone else!"  Pottsville City Administrator Tom Palamar says the city created a blighted property task force to take on the issue-- Palamar said, "We try to work with landlords but we will demolish homes if those talks don't work out-- We have some 390 properties on our radar and will try to get them cleaned up--" Officials in Bloomsburg and Berwick in Columbia County also tell the I-Team they too try to work with landlords but will not play games and will take legal action against those who leave their properties fall apart--- The most aggressive community thus far in dealing with blighted properties is Hazleton in Luzerne County--   The city is working with the Luzerne County District Attorney's Office and has a blueprint ready to go to arrest absentee landlords-- A New Jersey landlord cleaned up the debris on her McKinley Street home only after the city threatened to go to New Jersey and arrest her--  Police Chief Frank Deandrea said, "The threat of going to jail is something these landlords do not want to risk-"
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