Another year passes in the Lackawanna Valley, leaving in its wake that sorts of news stories we’re accustomed to: those of political corruption, or simple corrupt incompetence. The biggest story of the year was the arrest and conviction of erstwhile Scranton Mayor Bill Courtright on federal corruption charges, an event accompanied by a blizzard of state raids and subpoenas focusing on malfeasance in the Scranton School District.

Meanwhile, city voters elected Paige Cognetti to complete Courtright’s unfinished term (making her the first woman to hold that post), Scranton taxpayers learned the ugly details of what it will take to rescue the city’s school district, former SSD official Gregg Sunday was able to keep his pension despite a state corruption conviction, the city mulled selling its dilapidated city hall, garbage fees and property taxes continued to be ignored by landlords like Ken Bond and others, the city struggled to account for the use of its vehicles and employee gas cards, County Commissioner Patrick O’Malley was shown the door following his loss in the primary election, Dunmore residents battled Louis DeNaples’ plans to expand Keystone Landfill and a compliant state DEP, and Bob Bolus tried to con voters into throwing their mayoral votes away.