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Fireworks business booming, neighbors awake in Wilkes-Barre

You might think it's a little early to start celebrating the Fourth of July but some folks in Luzerne County disagree.

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. — You won't see the rocket's red glare in the skies above Kirby Park in Wilkes-Barre this Fourth of July, but you might hear it in your neighborhood. With so many fireworks displays getting canceled due to the pandemic, many people are trying to make their own fun.

"Shows for their families, for their neighbors, they're just trying to have a good time, and it just sucks that everything was canceled," said Dakota Zyskowski, a worker at Keystone Fireworks.

Business is booming at Keystone Fireworks in Hanover Township. The customers we spoke to say they're stocking up on Fourth of July supplies so their kids can have something to look forward to.

"We're just doing something to have something for the kids for Fourth of July. There's not too much they can do. They can't go anywhere, so just to have something for the kids, to be able to put a little show on for them, that'll be nice," James Johnson said.

"I'm just doing sparklers. It gives them joy, and it's not too unsafe," Jim Maze said.

But not everyone is waiting for the Fourth to put on a show. Some Wilkes-Barre residents are getting treated to a noisy display they didn't ask for.

"July Fourth, Memorial Day, New Year's Eve, I don't have a problem with. But this is every single night," Janet Koval said.

Koval says she hears the loud booms until 3 or 4 a.m. Her dog Gizmo is terrified of the noise and is up all night barking. It keeps her elderly parents up, too. Her mom is coming home from open heart surgery tomorrow. 

Setting off fireworks within 150 feet of an occupied building is against Pennsylvania state law, but Koval says that law has definitely been violated near her house.

"I did not call the police because I didn't want to be burdensome, calling 911. I think maybe if there was another option or another outlet in place to call just for reports of fireworks, I believe more people would call, and maybe something would get done about it."

The Wilkes-Barre City Police Department posted a reminder on its Facebook page about the city ordinance regarding fireworks. You can't set them off on any city-owned property, including streets and sidewalks.

NATURE OF INCIDENT: DUI IRC NUMBER: 200109265 DATE: 06-13-2020 TI... ME: 1104pm LOCATION: E. Northampton St and S. Grant St SUSPECT: Peter Rojo INCIDENT DETAILS: Police stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation, upon speaking with the driver, Rojo, he exhibited several signs of intoxication. Rojo was taken into custody without incident.

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