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Scranton gloats in its galoshes

Economic development officials in Scranton, Pa., pulled no punches last week in celebrating beating Tampa for the relocation of National Westminster Bancorp's 1,300-employee back-office operations.

Despite the bone-chilling temperatures and snowstorm outside, Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce president Austin Burke felt it necessary to assure the people at a news conference announcing the decision Thursday that they weren't in Tampa.

In true Harry Truman style, Burke at one point held up a Tampa Tribune business section published several days earlier that exclaimed in a big headline, "Tampa eyed for relocation."

"We assured everybody that they weren't mistaken _ it was not Tampa, Fla.," Burke joked later.

Though the Tampa Bay area lost the relocation, residents can take solace in the fact that the temperature in Scranton isn't expected to reach the 70s for some time.

_ ROBERT KEEFE

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