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Luzerne is a county in the Commonwealth of Susquehanna. It occupies the western portions of the former Luzerne County minus a section that is now Wyoming County.
The land which would become Luzerne County was the site of a war between Connecticut and Pennsylvanian settlers who both claimed the land as their own. During the American Revolution, it was the site of a massacre by the Tories and Native Americans.
On September 25, 1786 Luzerne County was formed out of Northumberland County. A mine fire and collapse killed several miners in the late 1900's.
The county is led by an elected County Commissioner, as well as a three man Board of Supervisors, who each serve a term of six years. Commissioners serve for four years, and elections for the Board of Supervisors is staggered every two years. All members are elected by the people.
The county only operates a sheriff department with a sheriff and four deputies. They patrol the entire county, and rely on support from the State Police and the Columbia County Sheriff for help if needed.
The county courts are responsible for basic crimes such as larceny, custody disputes, signing marriage and divorce papers, and registering people to vote. There are two judges and ten assistants who help with paperwork and various office duties.
Luzerne County receives two Senate members and two House members.
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- Boroughs: Population (2015)
- Nescopeck: 1,327
- New Columbus: 195
- Shickshinney: 344
- Townships: Population (2015)
- Conyngham Township: 104
- Fairmount Township: 207
- Hollenback Township: 143
- Huntington Township: 213
- Mountaintop Township: 186
- Nescopeck Township: 556
- Ross Township: 157
- Salem Township: 518
- Union Township: 176
The economy is mainly agriculture based, but there is some light industry. A small amount of concrete is manufactured at the Susquehanna Steam Electric Station to perform repairs. There is small amounts of bituminous coal mined, and limestone quarried in the central part. The drilling companies are doing exploration in the northern parts for natural gas.
Most of the population works in the fields, growing mostly corn, barley, and lettuce.
As of 2015 Susquehanna has not set up a school district for the county, with students simply attending the nearest school. There are discussions with local leaders of starting the Luzerne School District so the children have an easier time attending classes. Most choose to attend Berwick School District because it is close by. Many who go on to college attend Columbia County Community College, and finish their degree at Hazleton University.
Local and federal governments have been working in conjunction to open schools and form a local school district. The proposal started in 2011, and is most of the way complete. This new district would utilize abandoned buildings that were formerly occupied by the Northwest Area School District prior to Doomsday. Local contractors have begun renovations on the buildings, and teachers from Hazleton are being brought in to teach temporarily until local individuals can be trained in this area. Plans are to open the schools by the start of the 2015-2016 school year.
National Registry of Historical Places
There are three buildings and one bridge on the registry in Luzerne County. They are the George W. Search House, Luzerne County Fresh Air Camp, and the Benjamin Evans House, as well as the Bittenbender Covered Bridge.