A Year in Review: 2019

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(WBRE/WYOU) — The clock is ticking.

The last hours of 2019 are winding down and will soon be history. Eyewitness News reported on the many highs and lows of the year that was 2019.

It was quite a year. A year that saw public corruption investigation bring down a mayor, a nationwide manhunt that started in northeastern Pennsylvania, the 2020 presidential election once again focusing on our region and history made by two local high school football teams.

An ongoing public corruption investigation in Lackawanna County brought about the resignation of Scranton mayor William Courtright. Courtright pleaded guilty in connection with an alleged pay-to-play scheme in the Electric City. Federal investigators say Courtright strong-armed individuals for cash in exchange for work in the city.

A well-known Pottsville businessman was murdered in New Orleans. Police say Patrick Murphy was stabbed to death in February by 25-year-old Megan Hall. The investigation into his murder is ongoing.

A McAdoo man was the focus of a three-month nationwide manhunt that spanned six states and Canada. Shawn Christy was wanted for allegedly threatening to kill President Trump. A federal jury found him guilty of 12 charges in November.

The mysterious disappearance of 59-year-old Bill Morse from Luzerne County ended with the arrest of his son, 28-year-old William Morse IV. Investigators say the younger Morse beat his father to death and then burned his body at their Sugarloaf Township property in June 2018. A search of the property turned up human bones. State troopers say Morse killed his father in part for financial gain.

In central Pennsylvania, eight premature babies were infected by a potentially deadly bacteria while being treated in the Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville between July and September. Three of the infants later died. Geisinger officials said the source of the bacteria was found in the equipment used to prepare donor breast milk. A new process has since been set into place by Geisinger.

Eyewitness News spoke exclusively to President Trump when he made a campaign stop for then-Congressional candidate Fred Keller in Lycoming County in May. Political analysts say Pennsylvania can expect to see additional visits from the president as the 2020 election draws near. The Keystone State helped then-political candidate Trump win the White House in 2016.

In Scranton, history was made when Paige Cognetti was elected mayor. She is the first woman to capture the mayor’s office in the city’s history.

History was also made on the gridiron in high school football. The Wyoming Area Warriors won their first-ever state title by defeating Central Valley 21-14. And Southern Columbia Tigers captured their third straight title, trouncing Avonworth 74-7. It’s the Tigers’ record-setting 19th state title.

Eyewitness News is ready to once again cover the story that is northeastern and central Pennsylvania in 2020.

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