12/10/2017 Story does not define the great people
Citizens Voice - Letter to the Editor / Published:
December 10, 2017
This is how Nanticoke was described in a recent PennLive
story about the opioid addiction problem facing towns large and small across our
nation: If you were to knock on peoples doors here, you will get all
old people and addicts. Thats it. Thats what you get. Obviously,
the reporters didnt knock on too many doors in our community.
would have knocked on an East Union Street door, they would have met a physician
who developed a way to feed patients without having to go through their digestive
systems. His technology has saved literally millions of lives.
If they ventured
over to West Ridge Street to knock on doors, they would have met the family of
a recent high school graduate currently enrolled in the United States Military
Academy at West Point.
They could have knocked on the Slope Street door of
our mayor, who is currently battling an aggressive acute myeloid leukemia. He
would have told them of the hundreds upon hundreds of Nanticokians who have supported
him and given him hope during his ordeal.
They were welcome to knock on the
Center Street door at the House of Rhone on Thanksgiving morning, where they would
have been welcomed with open arms to help prepare and deliver hundreds of meals
to the less fortunate in our town and surrounding communities. There, they would
have been joined by professionals, blue collar workers, retirees and students
of all ages volunteering to better our area.
I would have ushered them to
a South Walnut Street home where they could have met a family who is near single-handedly
working to reform prison safety so that our corrections officers can return home
safely after protecting our communities.
They could have knocked on an East
Main Street door where they would have met students training in a state-of-the-art
medical facility so they could later provide dental, emergency medical service,
surgical and respiratory care for people throughout our region.
If they would
have spent any time in Nanticoke, the doors they approached would have been answered
by police officers, loving families, doctors, lawyers, veterans, school teachers,
community activists, fellow reporters, students, corrections officers, public
servants, doting grandparents and so much more than the old and addicts.
I do not deny that Nanticoke, like virtually every other city its size, is experiencing
a problem with drug use. But that does not define our community. We are working
to help those addicted and educate those who are not. I am confident the great
people of Nanticoke will persevere through this crisis and our city will remain
a great place to live, work and raise a family.
mayor battling leukemia
mayor Rich Wiaterowski spends most Thanksgivings smoking a turkey to prepare the
traditional meal for his family.
This year was different.
A few days before
a recent hunting trip with his son, Wiaterowski was dealing with fatigue and a
headache. The trip didnt help.
(That) Monday came, he was home.
He woke up and he really woke up feeling terrible, said his wife, Wendy
His bones were very achy, to the point where when he would
shower and hed have to lay back down, he almost felt like a heartbeat in
his bones, she said.
He went to a doctor for blood work. When the doctor
called to say he was coming over to discuss the results, Wendy knew something
Rich Wiaterowski went to Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia,
and on Monday, he got his diagnosis. He had acute myeloid leukemia, a blood and
bone cancer. He started chemotherapy that day.
It wasnt what his wife
expected. Nine years ago, Rich Wiaterowski was diagnosed with testicular cancer,
but Wendy was worried about a much less serious medical issue.
we were going to get in trouble because he didnt get his flu shot yet and
they were going to diagnose him with the flu. When youre a recovering cancer
patient, they require you to get that flu shot every year, Wendy Wiaterowski
said. He kept on saying I have to go get my flu shot. I have to go
this weekend. I thought, ah, hes going to end up with the flu; the
doctors going to be yelling at him because he didnt go. I never, never
in a million years, thought wed be getting a diagnosis of leukemia, by any
This past Monday was day one in the treatment calendar. On day
14, a test will give an update on his condition.
The care has been excellent,
Rich Wiaterowski said.
There have been side effects with other patients,
but I have not received any, he said. Its been nothing but feeling
better now than I have over past three months.
The goal of treatment
is to destroy cancerous cells so he can receive a stem cell transplant.
drugs can damage bone marrow, where new blood cells are formed, which can lead
to dangerous infections, bleeding and other problems, according to the American
Cancer Society. A stem cell transplant allows doctors to give higher doses of
His sisters are promising candidates for a match for a transplant.
There is also a national registry, the National Marrow Donor Program, with millions
more potential matches.
Rich Wiaterowski has been posting about the experience
on Facebook, and support has poured in.
The prayers, the thoughts, the
love, everything is just overwhelming, said Wendy Wiaterowski. People
are just generous. Theyre just very caring. You really realize how many
people you have on your side when going through something like this.
Wiaterowski is a sociable guy. He is a big supporter of the Greater Nanticoke
Area Trojans basketball program, and he shakes hands and chats with dozens of
people at games.
But doctors orders may change that this season, although
Wiaterowski still hopes to attend games. Shaking hands, hugging and other activities
that could cause a risk to his weakened immune system must wait until several
months after his stem cell transplant. And for the first time in more than three
decades, he wont be hunting for deer season.
His immediate goal now
is to get through the weekend without catching a fever so doctors can clear him
to go home and continue treatment there.
On Friday, he got his wish. In a
post to Facebook, Wiaterowski said doctors told him he was doing so well with
his treatment, they were sending him home.
I dont care if I have
to be three feet from someone and not shake hands, at least I can see them and
be home, he said.
And then on Monday, even though he wont be in
the woods, he wants to help his son get ready for deer seasons opening day.
Nanticoke couple opens the first distillery in Luzerne
Jonathan and Maryann Lang recently opened Lang Beverage
Co. in a former garage at 128 Lee Mine St. and the flagship product they make
and sell is vodka called 220 Shine.
It took several months of
construction, applications and inspections before Lang Beverage Co. finally opened
in the small garage, where they showed a still they use to make the vodka.
Jonathan Lang said they have ideas for other products but now they are just selling
220 Shine, a name associated with the nostalgia induced by stories of moonshiners
who risked fines and prison time to make and sell liquor.
to start out with something very simple and theres nothing more simple than
just a straight vodka, Lang said. Its very clean and crisp.
People say it has a sweet taste.
Making and selling vodka became legal
in the state in 2012 when the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board began allowing
limited distillery licenses.
Lang said their limited distillery license is
unique because they are not restricted to selling in state liquor stores.
It put distilleries on the same footing as a winery, Lang said.
There are only two active limited distillery licenses in Luzerne County and 76
statewide, said spokesman Shawn Kelly.
Licensed distillers can make up to
100,000 gallons a year and sell direct or online.
In addition to Lang Beverage,
Nick Rosati of Moosic plans to open another distillery called Miners Mill
in a century-old historic building at 93 Miller St. in Wilkes-Barre that was part
of the Miner-Hillard Milling Company.
Rosati said he plans to make and sell
rum, gin and whiskey and hopes to open in the spring of next year.
was a moonshiner decades ago and he said, I thought it would be neat to
do it myself.
He found the building so interesting and wanted to do
something to save it so he decided to open a distillery.
In addition to selling
rum, gin and whiskey, Rosati said he also will be permitted to sell wine and beer
on the premises as long as its made in Pennsylvania.
Lang said he looks
forward to another distillery opening in Luzerne County.
We need more
of us, he said. Id love to see it. It seems to be a trend throughout
the state right now.
The Langs recently began selling 220 Shine for
$27 a bottle and samples for $3 on Saturdays from noon to 7 p.m. at the Nanticoke
garage. They also will be open Sunday, Nov. 28, from noon to 7 p.m. Additional
hours can be made by appointment by calling 570-592-5937 or 570-606-9815.
They have been talking to area bars about selling their vodka and they also hope
to sell it at fairs, festivals and farmers markets.
Theres a lot
of interest in it but theres nothing out there on the shelves quite yet,
Lang said. Its getting a great reception. The flavor is good. We had
a lot of good feedback on it. It should be a hit.
Jonathan Lang works
as an electrical inspector and his wife works for a retail furniture company.
They said it was a dream come true for both of them to open their own distillery.
I still work as an electrical inspector part-time until I can make this
pay for the rest of my bills, Lang said.
He said he came up with the
idea after researching how to make beer, wine and spirits.
I got into
making beer and my wife liked making wine. We got together and we hatched a dream
of doing this, he said. Eight to 10 years later, we finally made it
to this point.
Maryann Lang said in the future, they hope to expand
into a larger location and open a tasting room.
I love to have people
coming in and buying a bottle but Id love to have that sense of community
where people can stay and have a drink, she said.
For more information
about Lang Beverage Co. or to order online, go to their website at langbeverage.org.
Science writer and Nanticoke native grateful for early
Nanticoke native and science
writer Ann Jenkins, who is grateful that her breast cancer was found at an early
stage, urges women not to postpone their mammograms.
Science writer and Nanticoke
native Ann Jenkins has a message for women.
"Please get your mammogram,"
she said in a telephone interview from Maryland, where she lives and works. "Mine
saved my life."
Jenkins, 52, had surgery for breast cancer last month
and will follow up with radiation and hormone therapy.
is good, because it was found early," she said, adding she is grateful for
the technology that made it possible for her stage 0 cancer to be found before
it had even spread to her lymph nodes.
Jenkins has been a fan of technology,
especially the space program, since childhood, and says she has a scar on her
chin to prove it.
"When I was 5 years old, in 1970, during the heat of
the 'space race,' Apollo 13 was in orbit, and it looked like it wasn't going to
get home safely. I was waiting for the capsule to splash down, and there was a
long communications blackout while it was reentering the atmosphere. I was sure
they were dead.
"Finally, the capsule came hurtling through the sky and
splashed down safely in the ocean."
Little Ann jumped up in excitement,
slipped on a throw rug and cut her chin, which started bleeding onto the floor.
She needed stitches, and eventually received six, but insisted on watching more
of the news report first.
"I wanted to wait until they popped the hatch
before I went to the hospital," she said.
Jenkins wanted to be an astronaut
herself until she realized, somewhere in her early teens, that she had more talent
for writing than for physics and math. After studying mass communications and
English at King's College, she earned a master's degree in journalism with concentrations
in sociology and public relations from the University of Maryland.
she started working at NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland,
where she became a full-time writer on the Hubble project in January 1994.
That job led to an unusual coincidence.
At the time, technology that was developed
for the Hubble space telescope to probe deep space led to technology that could
probe the depths of the human breast. Jenkins wrote a press release about how
women who underwent stereotactic biopsies with low-radiation mammograms to pinpoint
a suspicious location in a breast would go home with just a nick in their skin
instead of invasive surgery.
Working on a video to follow-up the press release,
she went to the University of Maryland Hospital, one of the few places that had
the equipment, "and they said, 'Too bad we don't have a 'patient'" to
demonstrate the use of the machine.
"I said 'I can be the patient,' "
Jenkins said, explaining how she went through the motions of having a stereotactic
"They put the needle up to my breast but didn't puncture
me and I thought, 'Oh, God, I hope I never need this.' Now all these years later,
I'm actually benefiting from this."
Jenkins would have gone home to recover
from the little nick if the suspicious area had been benign, but it did show signs
of cancer - stage 0 cancer, but cancer nonetheless. So she had further surgery
and scheduled radiation treatments.
It was helpful to return to work nine
days after her surgery, said Jenkins, who is still writing about the Hubble space
telescope, now as a senior science writer at the Space Telescope Science Institute
in Baltimore. "I love my job," she said. Though she felt tired physically,
she explained, "Emotionally, it's good to get back into the swing of things."
Her emotions have run a gamut over the past few weeks, she said.
first I didn't believe it. Then I was angry. Then I was resolute. I've got to
tell people about early detection."
Mostly, Jenkins feels grateful that
her routine mammogram found the cancer.
"It was so small and deep, it
would not have been found in a self-exam for years," she said. "By then,
God knows what it would have become."
County hometowns: In Nanticoke, a cozy cafe from the past and LCCC
Throughout the year, the Times Leader is looking at life in two dozen Luzerne
County communities in a feature called Hometowns. The series is running
in alphabetical order in print and on our website at www.timesleader.com/tag/hometowns.
Today: Nanticoke. Next up: Pittston, Nov. 19.
NANTICOKE At the Bus
Stop Cafe on Patriot Square in the center of town, owner Eli Panagakos offers
everything from chili with a fried egg on top to pancakes that helper Edie Minnelli
describes as big as a tire.
But on a recent Saturday morning,
breakfast regular Jim Cease chose his usual lighter fare.
oatmeal guy, to be truthful, said Cease, 74, of Nanticoke, whose morning
ritual includes sitting at the counter, reading newspapers and joking with the
Hey, Eli, how long have I been coming here? he asked. Ever
since you opened up, right?
The men banter with each other, offering
outrageously long-ago dates 1743 and 1805.
Finally, they agree. It was 1993.
Cease enjoys breakfasts at the cozy cafe, crammed with such nostalgic decor as
pictures of Marilyn Monroe and Elvis, because it reminds him of the Nanticoke
he knew growing up, the Nanticoke he used to miss when his 35 years of hauling
new cars up and down the East Coast took him away for weeks or months at a time.
Coming home to Nanticoke a small city of 10,189 people has always
been a great feeling, said Cease, who is happy to be retired and grateful that
his two sons were able to find jobs in the area. Nowadays he can watch his grandson
play baseball both in town and away, which reminds him of when he played the sport
himself for the old Harter High School.
He didnt get it from me,
Cease said with a laugh, hinting his grandson is more talented.
runs strong in Nanticoke, agreed another regular, Mary Ann Alapick, who came to
The Bus Stop Cafe for her usual coffee and toast.
This is my stomping
ground, she said, grinning at waitress Gia Panagakos, who is Elis
daughter. Heres my girlfriend.
Alapicks mother died
when she was very young, and her father, unable to provide child care some 70
years ago, sent his three youngsters to the former St. Stanislaus Orphanage, which
had been located just a mile or so from downtown Nanticoke in Newport Township.
The boys worked the farm, Alapick said. The girls worked in
But life at St. Stans wasnt all
work, she added. We had our space to play.
Decades after living
there as a child, Alapick regularly visits her brother, who is a resident at Guardian
Elder Care, an assisted-living facility on the grounds of the former St. Stanislaus.
It would take 15 minutes to walk there, Alapick said. But on a recent
Saturday morning she opted to wait for a bus, sitting on a bench in front of The
Bus Stop Cafe, where the Luzerne County Transportation Authoritys No. 14
and No. 15 buses make regular stops.
Panagakos, the cafe owner, wishes those
buses ran more frequently.
They should run later at night, he
said, explaining people who cant afford cars often take a bus to work but
find there is no bus to bring them home after their shift. A cab ride eats up
too much of their pay, he said, so they give up the job.
rate in Nanticoke is 6.2 percent, higher than the state rate of 4.8 percent.
There arent many jobs in Nanticoke, Panagakos said, adding that
lots of commuters drive to Wilkes-Barre, to Hazleton, to Pittston, or further
Local historian and former Nanticoke Police Chief Chester Zaremba
echoes that thought.
Its becoming a bedroom community, he
said. Everybody works someplace else and they shop someplace else.
Actually, you can still find people doing business in Nanticoke, whether theyre
making tangy tomato sauce at Nardozzos Pizza or a lean, garlic-laced sausage
at Tarnowskis Kielbasi. Both businesses are on East Main Street.
native Jim Kline, who enjoys walking his beagle, Misty, around Patriot Square
and nearby streets in the very walkable downtown, said he misses the barber shop,
the five-and-dime and Diamonds Candy where George Panagakos, Elis
father, used to make and sell hand-dipped chocolate confections. They all have
But, he said, you can still find a good place for steaks and
other meat at the Park Market on Broad Street.
And if he needed a birthday
cake, hed go to the Sanitary Bakery on Ridge Street.
boss, he said. And the icing would be whipped cream.
theres Luzerne County Community College, which brings thousands of students
and teachers to its campus for weekday classes and welcomes the public to such
special events as last weekends 28th annual Alumni Craft Fair.
crafter at the well-attended fair had an LCCC connection, but some of those who
did said they are grateful for the school and its programs.
My son studied
architecture here, said crafter Lynn Sepela, of Wilkes-Barre, who was selling
such items as Halloween wreaths and a sign that said, You say witch
like its a bad thing.
Her sons LCCC credits transferred
to the New York Institute of Technology, she said, and he now is working as an
architect in New York.
Another crafter, Darlene Pearson, of Hunlock Creek,
who was selling homemade goats milk soap, said she found it convenient to attend
LCCC and prepare for a job as a medical office assistant while she was working
as a shoe salesperson in Nanticoke.
Nursing, criminal justice and business
are among the most popular majors at the school, which also is a place where children
might attend science camp in the summer, adults might take a baking course on
a Saturday, or anyone might soak up stories of the past at the annual history
For more activities that can draw a community together, library
director Jim Welch suggests people visit the Mill Memorial Library on Nanticokes
Kosciuszko Street. Recent events have extended beyond pre-school story time to
sessions during which families were invited to bring and play their own board
games, or get together to build a birdhouse.
The birdhouse event attracted
people from well beyond Nanticoke. Some had driven about seven miles from Wilkes-Barre,
and others had traveled about 13 miles from Sweet Valley.
matter. Everyone was welcome.
Nanticoke is a friendly place, agreed Carol
Kastenbaum, who moved from Brooklyn, N.Y., to Trucksville during the 1980s. In
the Back Mountain community, she remembers, a neighbor explained to her that she
was an outsider
because I hadnt been born and raised here.
I looked at her, Kastenbaum said. I thought that was so rude.
Years later, she moved to Nanticoke and began to enjoy playing shuffleboard and
bingo or just talking with new friends at the Rose Tucker Center for Active Adults.
I have fun, she said, explaining she doesnt feel like an outsider
Retired teacher Doris Merrill, who also visits the center, has
a theory about that. She said that when she taught at then-Wilkes College and
Penn State, she could always tell which students had come from Nanticoke, because
they were so polite.
They respect people, she said, crediting
parents who make their kids listen up, or else.
a wonderful place to live, Merrill said, and a wonderful place to
say, I am a Nanticokian.
The City of Nanticoke would
like to make the residents aware of Hackers that are using some of the Citys
employees names to make an e-mail look like it is coming from them when
it is not. Our IT Staff is on it and reassures us that the Citys server
has not been affected in any way. These people are just disguising themselves
by using another name. If you are not expecting an e-mail or are not sure if the
e-mail is real, please do not open it and call the employee at City Hall to verify
if they actually sent you the e-mail that you received. We apologize for any inconvenience.
the news here about the email scam.
Stuck construction vehicle snarls traffic in Nanticoke
Sarah Scinto - Citizens Voice
A construction vehicle got stuck
and snarled traffic heading into the city for hours on Friday, fire officials
A rock crusher from Kriger Construction trying to get to the end of
Kosciusko Street got stuck on the corner of Kosciusko and Main Streets around
3:30 p.m., according to fire department Capt. Mark Boncal.
itself got stuck into the road, he said. The company brought in their
huge crane wreckers to assist with getting it freed up.
It took until
about 7 p.m. for crews to free the massive vehicle, Boncal said, so Main Street
was closed to traffic causing congestion on detour routes like routes 11 and 29.
It caused a bit of a nightmare for everybody, he said Friday night.
Everything is all opened up now.
fears cuts could put Nanticoke project in jeopardy
- Citizens Voice
The proposal to turn land next to a former gas plant
into a recreation complex may be on hold if suggested cuts to the state budget
The project site, called the Lower Broadway Recreation Complex,
would include a park with athletic fields, a playground, walking trails, a skateboard
park and marsh overlook.
The proposal is part of a state program to transform
brownfields, which are properties whose development is complicated by the presence
or potential presence of a hazardous substance, according to the U.S. Environmental
The state Department of Environmental Protection and Department
of Conservation and Natural Resources created a pilot program to clean up blighted
areas like the Nanticoke site.
Without necessary state funding, it puts
our area in a precarious situation because the site needs to be transformed from
an industrial blight area to a recreational site that we can all benefit from,
Mullery wrote in a press release. Environmental projects in my area will
suffer greatly if the House Republican fiscal plan is passed. We need to invest
in our future landscape development now.
helping police keep up with new state rule
Eric Mark - Citizens
FORTY FORT The computer screen lit up in red and a beep sounded
throughout the police interceptor sport utility vehicle.
Officer Anthony Smith
of the Forty Fort police department knew he had just passed a vehicle with an
You cant take a ride through town without
this thing going off, Smith said Friday.
Smith pointed to a screen attached
to the computer in the police SUV, on which photographs of vehicles popped up
in quick succession. Cameras attached to the patrol vehicle took photos of license
plates of almost every vehicle Smith drove past.
License plate recognition
software, connected to state and national databases, did the rest.
stopped issuing month/year stickers to place on license plates as of this year,
local police departments have been forced to find other ways to determine if a
vehicles registration is current.
Forty Fort is one of three departments
in Luzerne County, along with Nanticoke and West Hazleton, to settle on
a camera-and-software solution, according to borough police Chief Daniel Hunsinger.
Forty Fort has two vehicles equipped with the system, according to Hunsinger,
who said he learned about license plate recognition software at a police chiefs
convention in Erie.
The hardware and software combined cost about $17,000,
Hunsinger said. The first unit was paid for through a Local Share Account state
gaming grant, while the police departments operating budget covered the
cost of the second system, Hunsinger said.
The system provides useful information
for officers on patrol, Smith said.
The old sticker-based system only indicated
if a registration was expired, whereas the computer software lets an officer know
if a registration is suspended or listed as belonging to a stolen vehicle, he
It lets officers know what they are dealing with, Smith
During a 15-minute ride on Friday, the camera took 271 photos of vehicles.
The system registered 12 hits, with one suspended registration and
11 expired registrations.
Borough Mayor Andy Tuzinski credited state Rep.
Aaron Kaufer and state Sen. Lisa Baker for supporting Forty Forts efforts
to obtain the state grant and get the system up and running.
Nanticoke Area fills vacant board seat
Michael P. Buffer - Citizens Voice
Mark Cardone became the ninth member
of the Greater Nanticoke Area School Board at Thursdays meeting.
had owned the Pizza Mill restaurant in Kingston for 25 years and is a secondary
teacher for the Wilkes-Barre Area School District. He lives in Nanticoke.
The school board appointed Cardone to a vacant board seat. He replaces Ryan Verazin,
who resigned from the board last month.
Also at Thursdays meeting, Superintendent
Ronald Grevera gave an update on the Kennedy Early Childhood Center building project.
The new school facility is expected to open for the 2018-19 school year for Pre-K
through second grade.
Exterior work involving structural steel will take place
over the next two months, and interior work will continue during the winter, Grevera
On March 28, the school board voted to accept project bids with a total
$8.8 million. A change order for classroom modifications was expected
to increase the cost by $33,800, but it ended up only costing $4,382, Grevera
Students lacking shots may
be barred from school
Michael P. Buffer - Citizens Voice (Note:
Edited for website by Nanticoke webdesign)
The Greater Nanticoke Area
School District may have to exclude about 40 percent of high school seniors from
attending school Friday because they failed to get meningitis booster shots, Superintendent
Ronald Grevera said Monday.
A new state law requires students in grade 12
to have a second vaccination against meningitis by the fifth day of school.
I am concerned that many students particularly seniors will be missing some
time due to the change in the immunization rules, Grevera wrote in a email.
But the new law provides some exemptions. Students can stay in school by submitting
medical notes that vaccinations are scheduled, state Department of Health spokeswoman
April Hutcheson said. Students who have a religious or medical reason for not
getting immunized are also exempt.
About 170 students are typically enrolled
in 12th grade at Greater Nanticoke Area.
with a Heart raises funds for families of sick children
annual event raises funds for families of sick childrenZ
Kester - For Times Leader
James and Heather Shaw were preparing to start
their new lives in Shanghai, China, this past October when the unthinkable happened.
The Swoyersville family was about to leave the country for Heathers new
job across the world when one morning something was terribly wrong with their
We sold our house, got rid of everything we had, donated
to the church, moved in with family for a couple weeks, and then with plane ticket
in hand, my daughter essentially woke up one day and could not walk, James
said. No warning, no illness, nothing like that.
She went from
walking around and being a normal kid to I had to pick her up and put her in a
Joanna was one of three children chosen to be this years
beneficiaries of Sundays 17th annual Valley with a Heart benefit.
at the St. Faustina Grove, the benefit has become a large draw to motorcycle enthusiasts
and those wishing to better the lives of sick children through a fun-filled day
of live entertainment, raffles, food and a scenic motorcycle ride throughout the
After emergency room visits and a plethora of testing, the
Shaws were told to immediately travel to Danville to resume testing and treat
Joanna. After two weeks in the hospital, the 13-year-old began to walk again,
although doctors still arent completely sure of what exactly happened, Heather
said. Nevertheless, the plan to relocate to China was put on hold, as the family
is now working on finding stability locally as they continue to travel for tests.
The organization assisted the Shaws by providing free gas cards to ease travel
expenses, and funds from Saturdays benefit will assist in paying for medical
bills for all three families.
Valley With a Heart started in 2000 after a
group of concerned friends and motorcycle enthusiasts banned together, creating
a benefit to aid the family of Elise Harrison, an 11-year-old cancer patient.
The event was a success, and the Valley with a Heart annual benefit was born.
Since then, Valley with A Heart has raised over $500,000 dollars for seriously
ill children and their families.
Rick Temarantz, the organizations president,
said it was easy to decide on the benefits name, which is supported through
the Luzerne Foundation.
We decided to put our name with something thats
already recognized within our area, that tells about our community, he said.
We are not a motorcycle group. We are people that ride that decided to help
While Sundays weather dealt a blow to the organizations
fundraising efforts and ultimately caused the cancellation of the annual motorcycle
ride for safety reasons, Valley With a Heart treasurer Ricky Taddei said he was
hopeful that the public would still come to show their support and enjoy other
features the benefit offers. At least 15 bands were scheduled to play throughout
the daylong event, with dozens of local vendors, food and nearly 70 raffle baskets
for public enjoyment.
Whatever we raise based on the generosity of the
people here, thats what we care about, he said.
While Joanna was
busy volunteering her time in the kitchen, Lisa Mosley sat in a chair with her
two and-a-half year-old daughter, Callie, in her lap. Surrounded by family members
all donning matching pink tee shirts, the Bear Creek resident shared her daughters
story, and what the organization and local community means to them.
has taken care of Callie since she was 4 weeks old, formally adopting her last
year. She has undergone multiple surgeries, just having heart surgery a mere 10
We knew something was wrong, but we didnt know what
was wrong, she said of when she first took Callie in.
When Callie turned
7 months old, the family discovered that Callie has a chromosomal problem, and
is missing an X chromosome and 157 genes, she said. Callie also suffers from Cerebral
Palsy, sensory disorder and more. Callie cannot walk or talk. She uses a variety
of machines, including oxygen and a feeding tube. However Mosley says she is a
very strong and happy girl, which was abundantly clear as she bopped around in
her mothers lap, interested in what she saw around her.
she first heard about Valley with a Heart through a friend in December and decided
to put in an application for gas assistance, as Callie goes to Hershey for treatment
up to 4 times per week. The organization responded to her call for help, later
offering to make Callie one of the events beneficiaries.
a huge surprise, a great blessing that were getting help like this. Its
just great to know that were not alone, and theres other people out
there to help us, she said. Traveling is a big, big part in taking
care of her. The benefit is going to help tremendously with helping out with our
I just want to give a big thank you. These people, the Valley
with a Heart - these people have hearts of gold, she said while tearing
As dozens of members and volunteers started selling tickets and dishing
up everything from hamburgers and hotdogs to haluski and pierogies to hungry patrons,
Amber Morgan and Tara Hewes were taking shelter from the rain under the kitchens
canopy. Morgan said she attended last years benefit and ride, and was hoping
that the rain wouldnt affect the event negatively.
Hewes said this was
her first time attending the event. The Millville resident said she was excited
for the ride, but was happy to still come and support such a great cause even
though it was cancelled.
We were interested in the ride, but of course
the weather kept us from riding, she said. But were still here
for the kids.
As the afternoon approached with more cars and motorcycles
pulling in, Brett Kennedy and his girlfriend, Bryana Sudul stood under the pavilion
while they watched over Bretts 7 month-old daughter, Emma. The third beneficiary
of the event, Emma was born with a heart condition, and requires regular trips
to the Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia as well as Geisinger Danville.
Emma was born with a VSD, which was a hole in her heart. We ended up getting
reached out to by (Swoyersville Mayor) Chris Concert that told us about Valley
With a Heart. He told us a little bit about who they are, we filled out the application
and they got in touch with us immediately, Kennedy said. They were
a great help right from the very beginning, I couldnt thank them enough
for everything theyve done.
Besides providing gas cards, the Hunlock
Creek resident said that Valley With a Heart assisted in paying for hotel rooms
when Emma had to stay in the hospital overnight, and is also helping to lower
the cost of medical bills. Today, Kennedy said that Emma is doing much better,
but will remain on breathing treatments for an unknown amount of time.
doing absolutely amazing now. Were finally on the right track.
To donate or apply for assistance for a child or family in need, visit www.valleywithaheart.com.
Event raises money for ailing children
Scinto - Citizens Voice
Lori Trapane of Hunlock Creek never
expected to wear a pink shirt to Valley With a Heart benefits annual ride
and family picnic.
Pink shirts identified family members of those who would
benefit from funds raised at the event for sick children in the Wyoming Valley,
and this year, Trapane came to support her granddaughter, Emma Kennedy.
wonderful, she said. Weve been involved for years ... they do
wonderful things for the valley.
Seven-month-old Emma was born with
a ventrical septal defect, or a hole in her heart, according to her father, Brett
Kennedy. Emma was named one of the poster children for this years
benefit, the 17th Valley with a Heart Benefits has hosted.
really grateful, he said. We cant thank them enough for everything
Morning rain canceled the scheduled motorcycle ride,
but plenty of people showed up for the bands, food and vendors at St. Faustinas
Grove throughout Sunday afternoon, Valley With a Heart Benefits president Rick
Once the sun came out, people would be here, he
Temarantz expected the event to raise $750,000 to help children in the
community, especially the poster-children like Emma, 2-year-old Callie Moseley
of Bear Creek, and 13-year-old Joanna Shaw of Swoyersville.
All of the
profits go back into the community, Temarantz said.
After watching a
performance by her husbands band, Big Country, Trapane got a chance to observe
the crowd enjoying the event and helping the benefit.
warming to know youre part of such a great community, she said.
Nanticokes Bob Bertoni helping the Little League
World Series get calls right
By Tom Robinson - For Times Leader
Bob Bertoni looks at the monitors and is one of the guys who officially
decides when a fellow umpire has been incorrect.
And when he does, Bertoni
said he has a reaction that is opposite of what might be assumed.
has just made me realize how much harder it is to umpire a game, said Bertoni,
the Nanticoke resident who, along with Chris Thomas from Old Forge, will be in
the replay room Sunday for the Little League Baseball World Series championship
game. Even when we overturn an umpires call, nine times out of 10,
I say to myself, I would have made the same call he did, because its
just that bang-bang.
We have the luxury of looking at it a few times
at a few different angles, whereas they are making a split-second call right then
As a fellow umpire, Bertoni who doubles as a local Little
League administrator, has an understanding of the game from perspectives both
on and off the field.
Bertoni and Thomas are among the six veteran umpires,
three at a time, who have worked the replay room in games throughout the series,
which began Aug. 17 and concludes at 3 p.m. Sunday with Lufkin, Texas, taking
on Kitasuna from Tokyo, Japan, on ABC.
Over that time, Bertoni said the on-field
umpires and those officiating the game with the aid of video learn to understand
and appreciate each other.
I give them a ton of credit. The umpires
take it, said Bertoni, a former Crestwood High School softball coach. We
sit down and tell them, Hey look it, its nothing personal. Our job
is to make sure we get it right.
And, by the end of the week,
the (reviews) are not uncommon for them. If its a bang-bang play, they know
its going to get challenged. If a manager has two challenges, hes
going to use them because he cant take them home with him.
League uses video review at just the regional level the last stop before
Williamsport and the World Series once ESPN and its partners have crews
in place to broadcast games. Managers can ask the video to be checked on reviewable
plays up until the point they are wrong twice in the same game.
Series final represents the end of a long three-week stretch for Bertoni, who
has worked the Mid-Atlantic and New England Regionals in Bristol, Conn., the last
The job is a natural for Bertoni. He has developed a passion
for umpiring and Little League through decades of involvement in both, often at
the same time.
Bertoni has spent 37 years in Little League Baseball, 26 of
them on the staff of Pennsylvania Districts 16 and 31, based in Luzerne County.
For the last three years, Bertoni has been the district administrator, the top
organizational position, for Districts 16 and 31.
As an umpire, Bertoni worked
his first district tournament games in 1982 as an 18-year-old. He has been on
the field for Eastern Regionals (combined Mid-Atlantic and New England) in both
baseball and softball and worked the 1999 Junior Little League Baseball World
Series for 13- and 14-year-olds in Kirkland, Wash.
That experience helps all
the umpires in the review room get to work, at times, before a video review becomes
We have headsets on so theyll say, the manager
is challenging this play, Bertoni said. Well, before he gets
to us, we know pretty much if hes going to challenge something, so were
already looking at the replay before he even gets to us.
of the three-man crew asks ESPN for the replay to get the process started. Although
there is a technician on hand to assist if needed, the umpires are all trained
on the equipment, so they can quickly look at what they want, the way they want
to view it.
Instead of groups of three rotating, all six will be in the room
for the finals today.
Bertoni said that will not create any difficulties.
He said the three-men crews are not voting 2-1 on decisions. Theyre generally
I cant think of one time weve disagreed because
its right there in front of us, he said. We get better views
than you get on TV and we have the equipment to stop it and start it and look
at it from different angles that the public doesnt have.
disagree because we have the facts right in front of us.
And, when the
facts provide enough conclusive evidence to overturn the calls their on-field
colleagues have made, the video reviewers do not hesitate to overturn decisions
and get it right.
Students face new drug policies
Citizens Voice - Exerpt
Greater Nanticoke school district plans to have the life-saving drug naloxone
in schools this year to deal with the opioid crisis and possible overdoses in
District policy addresses the proper storage and administration
on Narcan in the event its ever needed, said Ronald Grevera, superintendent
at Greater Nanticoke Area. This is a proactive step with the hope that it
will never need to be utilized.
Greater Nanticoke expects to receive
Narcan in September from the state, which will provide a set amount and is not
providing a monetary grant for the district to buy Narcan, Grevera said.
School districts this year are required to implement new
state-mandated attendance regulations and must now hold conferences with parents
after a student has a third unexcused absence.
At the conference, district
officials and parents will discuss truancy and develop an attendance improvement
plan. A fourth unexcused absence will result in referral to a district magistrate,
and districts also must report additional unexcused absences to either the magistrate
or the county children and youth agency.
This year marks the 50th anniversary
of the Greater Nanticoke Area School District, and throughout the year, the district
will be recognizing the founding of the district through athletic events, Grevera
The first event was at Fridays football game, and alumni who played
football for Nanticoke between 1967-2017 were admitted for free, Grevera said.
The district unveiled a new state of the art lighting system at the alumni night
The LED system was a project through Musco Lighting, which has provided
sports stadium lighting at Clemson University, Auburn University, the Mercedes-Benz
Superdome in New Orleans, Notre Dame Stadium, Petco Park in San Diego and Ford
Field in Detroit, Grevera said.
Kennedy Elementary School will remain under
construction this year and will reopen for 2018-19 as the Kennedy Early Childhood
Center for Pre-K through the second grade.
The new school will be equipped
with a multipurpose room which will serve as a gym and full service cafeteria,
special education offices, nurses suite, numerous classrooms including two pre-K
classrooms and a large group instruction room that will be utilized as a media
center and a room for special programs, Grevera said.
is taking place this year, the road into the high school across from Noble Street
will be shut down as construction is expected to continue through June 2018.
The high school this year will offer a career exploration course, which is new
to the high school curriculum, Grevera said.
In addition to examining
numerous areas of careers, students will have an opportunity to complete job shadows
to determine a career path, Grevera said.
artist Leonardo Davenport, known for storefront art, dies at 63
Leonardo Davenport, a local artist known for
his splash art mainly painting storefront windows for Christmastime
and other occasions died Tuesday. He was 63.
Anne Carmody, receptionist
at Geisinger Health System on Public Square in Wilkes-Barre, said staffers were
sad when they learned of Davenports death.
He was such a gentleman,
we just fell in love with him. Hes been here 10 years painting our windows
for the holidays. Carmody said, adding that Davenport helped bring attention
to Valley Santa when he painted a waif-like child that represents
the charity on the Geisinger windows.
A lot of our employees dont
live in the Wyoming Valley and didnt know about Valley Santa. His paintings
led people to ask about it, Carmody said.
Mary Rossi, director of administration
at Joyce Insurance Group in Pittston, said shes known Davenport for several
years, since she called and asked him to paint the agencys windows.
Rossi, a founder of the Miles for Michael charity, which is named for the late
Michael Joyce and assists families of cancer patients with travel expenses, said
Davenport sought help from the charity when his daughter became ill. Every holiday
season since, he painted something about Miles for Michael on the agency windows.
He just came up last week to (paint the windows for) the tomato festival
for us, Rossi said, noting he didnt appear in very good health and
wasnt his usual talkative self. I dont know what
were going to do for Paint Pittston Pink without him.
told the Times Leader in 2015 that his first name wasnt always Leonardo.
Id tell people my name was Leonard, and theyd forget it,
he said. I added the o and now they remember.
was a kind, gentle, and very happy man and hell be missed so much,
Ryan Davenport, of Tipp City, Ohio, wrote of his father on Facebook.
for funeral arrangements were not available.
a talent: Local artist Leonardo Davenport remembered
Allabaugh - Citizens Voice
Leonardo Ray Davenport, an artist well-known
for painting business windows throughout Northeast Pennsylvania, died Tuesday.
He was 63.
Davenport, owner of Paintings by Leonardo in Nanticoke, posted
on Facebook earlier this month that he had suffered a heat stroke, has been feeling
exhausted and fatigued and his painting business suffered.
As a painter for
more than 30 years, Davenport was known for his unique style and the joy he brought
to people who enjoyed his artwork. He often wore a beret and colorful outfits
as he painted.
John Maday, president of the Downtown Wilkes-Barre Business
Association, said Davenport was a major force in downtown Wilkes-Barres
annual Window Wonderland project.
During the holidays, Davenport
volunteered to paint windows at some downtown Wilkes-Barre businesses for free.
Among them, he painted Valley Santa on Geisinger Health Plans building on
Public Square in honor of the charity that ensures children in need throughout
Luzerne County have Christmas presents. He also volunteered to paint the F.M.
Kirby Centers windows for free and completed paid jobs painting holiday
scenes on windows throughout the area at businesses such as Curry Donuts on Public
Square and The Citizens Voice.
His artwork enhanced our building
for the holiday season, said Stephen Parulski, marketing and events coordinator
at The Citizens Voice.
Davenport also painted windows at The Citizens
Voice book sale held at the Wyoming Valley Mall, he said.
Maday said he could
tell just by watching Davenport paint that he really enjoyed what he was doing.
The thing that always impressed me was how quick he did what he did. He
was unique and unconventional in his technique. He was absolutely a free spirit.
He was such a unique individual, Maday said. After I saw his style
of work, every so often I would be driving around and I would notice his paintings
on other businesses and I said, Thats Leonardos. His work
was all over the valley. He had that unique way of doing what he did.
Recently, Davenport painted windows to celebrate the Pittston Tomato Festival
at many Pittston businesses, including Joyce Insurance Group.
the businesss windows for at least 10 years, said Bill Joyce, who owns the
business with his brothers.
In addition to the Tomato Festival, Davenport
also painted the businesss windows for St. Patricks Day, Christmas
and Paint Pittston Pink.
He would do all the windows in town. He was
very creative. He did a great job with it and it was always something different,
Joyce said. We didnt even have to call him. He just came. Were
going to miss him.
Roseann Chaump, who owns the Hair Station in Pittston,
said she always admired his artwork in downtown Pittston so she called him a few
months ago to paint her salon window. She called him in the morning and he showed
up a few hours later, she said.
I just got a kick out of him,
Chaump said. He was the nicest, sweetest guy. He parked in front of the
salon and he had 100 different colors of paint. He had a little transistor radio
and he put his little beret on and he went to town painting my window. It was
very entertaining to watch him. I thought, What a talent.
When Davenport returned to remove the paint from her window, he completed the
job in exchange for a haircut, Chaump said.
Davenport painted windows in several
other communities. Brenda Bartlett, owner of Village Pet Supplies & Gifts
in Hanover Twp., said Davenport was the window artist for her business for many
years. His beautiful artwork helped tremendously in drawing attention
to her businesss grand opening after the flood in 2011, she said.
creativity was constantly complimented by customers, Bartlett said. He
was an extremely talented artist and a gentle kind and sweet man. He will be greatly
missed by our entire staff.
board president resigns
Greater Nanticoke Area School Board voted Thursday
to appoint Len Olzinski as board president to replace Ryan Verazin, who has resigned
from the board.
The board has 30 days to appoint someone to Verazins
board seat, solicitor Vito DeLuca said. The board will seek interested applicants
through an advertisement.
Verazin said he resigned from the
school board because he is taking a job as executive director of the Nanticoke
Housing Authority, which receives federal funding. Verazin was first elected to
the board in 2009 and became board president in 2013.
It has been an
absolute honor to serve my alma mater on the school board, Verazin said.
There has been a lot of change for the better.
Also at Wednesdays
meeting, the board approved a new policy establishing procedures on storing and
using the life-saving drug naloxone in district schools. The drug is also known
by the brand name Narcan and is an overdose-reversal agent used in cases of opiate
The district will obtain a state grant to buy Narcan and should
have the drug in schools sometime in September, Superintendent Ronald Grevera
The school board also voted to appoint retired state police Trooper
Raymond Whittaker as school resource officer for $40,000 a year. The district
last year paid Nanticoke around $60,000 to station a city police officer at the
school campus, Grevera said.
Nanticoke Area board president steps down
Nanticoke Area School Board President Ryan Verazin has resigned, citing a
new job as executive director of the Nanticoke Housing Authority.
this week voted to appoint member Len Olzinski as president.
Under state law,
the board has 30 days to appoint someone to fill Verazins seat. If the board
cannot agree on a replacement, the choice would be turned over to a Luzerne County
District solicitor Vito DeLuca said the board will advertise to seek
candidates interested in the job.
The next regular board meeting is set for
Sept. 14, which is more than 30 days.
If necessary, the board will move up
the meeting or schedule a special session to vote on Verazins replacement.
Verazin was elected to the board in 2009 and became president in 2013. His tenure
as president covered some high-profile moves, including replacing long-time Superintendent
Anthony Perrone with current Superintendent Ron Grevera; removing Perrones
name from the campus parking lot; and launching the expansion and renovation of
Kennedy Elementary, converting it to the Kennedy Early Childhood Center.
Collins: An inspiring return to the ballpark for Kreitzer
There had to be part of Aaron Kreitzer that wondered what he
was doing in that room. There were TV cameras in front of a podium, a couple of
reporters standing in front of it, scribbling as fast as they could write into
notebooks and recording what they missed onto their smart phones. Hes such
a big baseball fan, chances are he has read or watched their reports.
at that press conference at PNC Field on Tuesday, and his eyes moved around the
room like a kid waking up on Christmas. The guy at the podium was David Abrams.
He owns the team Aaron has come to love. The guy standing off to his right is
Josh Olerud, that teams president and general manager. In the back of the
room, taking it all in, stood Randy Mobley. Hes the president of the entire
Aaron is just a kid proudly sporting his official RailRiders
jersey. A kid who has been through his share of difficult times. More, actually.
A kid very much at the center of everything guys like Abrams and Olerud talked
about that day as they updated reporters on events planned around the Sept. 19
Triple-A National Championship Game at PNC Field.
Weve known something
since Abrams went public with his own cancer battle in June.
He and the RailRiders
were pushing to make the title game as much a fund-raiser for cancer research
and a vehicle for building awareness as it is a baseball game. On this day, Abrams
introduced two area natives who will be among 15 game ambassadors
who will try to drum up support for the game in local communities around Northeast
One is Aaron. To Aaron, its a chance to give back to those
who have given him so much.
Hi, Im Aaron, he said quietly,
standing behind the lectern. Ever since I was diagnosed, the whole community
has really been behind me, and Im just really excited for the game.
The team that hopes to play in that game is just as excited for him.
Back in March, Aaron looked every bit like a typical 18-year-old.
He opened his final baseball season at Nanticoke Area High School, practicing
to secure his starting spot in the outfield. Prom beckoned. So did graduation.
But three months before that, and just one week before his first scrimmage with
the Trojans, he and his family received devastating news.
He hadnt been
feeling quite right, and after tests, doctors diagnosed him with acute myeloid
leukemia, an aggressive cancer that starts in the bone marrow but can move quickly
into the blood and possibly other parts of the body.
A fight for his life
was on, and Aaron put up his dukes. But what hurt him as much as anything, he
said, was that baseball season came and went without him.
Aaron loves the
game. He rooted for the Yankees from such a young age, he cant even remember
why he started. His most vivid memories of childhood revolve around a baseball
diamond. He smiles when he talks about his team back in the Newport Little League.
It went winless one year, then played for the championship the next, he said,
nodding his head proudly. Same kids both years, too. He still counts them among
his best friends.
Aarons first job even came at the ballpark. He helped
his uncle, Pat Revello, prepare pizza dough at the Revellos Pizza stand
at PNC Field the last two summers.
When he went to the hospital to start treatments,
his baseball teammates were there. They were there, too, when he was bedridden
and struggling to eat and drink, when his health deteriorated in mid-June. When
they graduated from high school and he was too sick to attend the ceremony. When
he needed a major surgery to help him later that month.
Aaron fought leukemia
in a hospital bed, and many in the community were rallying around him outside.
There were softball tournaments and golf classics and raffles to benefit his family.
A player for rival Hanover Area, pitcher and shortstop Matt Clarke, even helped
organize a charity exhibition between the schools in Aarons honor.
happy as that made him, Aaron still felt the sting of not being able to play in
a game like that.
It was just ... weird, he said. To hear
about (Nanticoke) playing, and to not be there? It was weird not playing, because
this was the first year I didnt play any baseball. I was in the hospital,
but I knew it was spring, and it was summer, and I wasnt on the baseball
So, the RailRiders brought the baseball field to him.
As part of their annual HOPE Week work in June, the RailRiders were
scheduled to visit Aaron in the hospital. They sent him a video message instead,
wishing him well with the surgery. But in the six weeks since, his bonds with
the team have only strengthened.
One player who stood out, he said, was Tyler
Austin, who got called to the big leagues right around the time Aaron got wheeled
toward the operating room. Austins fight with cancer is well-known. He was
diagnosed with testicular cancer when he was 17, and he has since made a full
When he heard about Aaron, and what he was going through, it hit
home for Austin. He made sure Aaron received an autographed bat, and he stayed
in as close contact as he could with him through Twitter, a kid at Childrens
Hospital of Philadelphia and a big leaguer striving to carve a place in the Bronx.
Its always good when you see someone fighting like he is, Austin
said. This is a lot of stuff to deal with. Its not like youre
going to wake up one morning and this is going to be gone. Its a good story,
and I pray for him every day. I pray, every day, for his recovery.
is doing well now. Since the surgery, he said, he has begun to feel much better.
He can eat and drink pretty much what he wants. Sitting in the sun for extended
periods still bothers him, but he anticipates hell be able to be back at
the ballpark more as the summer proceeds. He still has a few treatments left,
but hes confident. Hell fight cancer. Hes ready.
becoming a big RailRiders fan, Olerud said, but were bigger
Its funny the power an athlete has. Knowing guys like
Austin and the rest of the RailRiders supported him made a world of difference
for Aaron Kreitzer. Such a difference that the best way he can think to repay
the RailRiders is by rallying the community behind them, by bringing them to PNC
Field to watch a championship game in September with the hopes theyll be
playing in it.
If not, so be it. Aaron will be where he always wants to be
anyway, the place to which he fought so hard to return.
Hall welcomes 12 new members
Voice - Staff report
Williams graduated from
Nanticoke Area in 1969, followed by graduation from Wilkes College in 1973 with
a B.A. in physics, physical science and math.
He began teaching in Greater
Nanticoke Area in 1973 and was head golf coach from 1978 to 1982, sending four
players to states.
He was head softball coach from 1991 to 2012 and finished
with 330 wins, six league titles, six District 2 titles and two PIAA Championships.
Gary is married to the former Ann Zubritski. They have twin daughters Kelsey and
Hollie, who with their husbands Blair Cannon and Dennis Williams have three daughters,
Emerson 7, Quinn 5 and Elyse 4.
build birdhouses together at Mill Memorial Library in Nanticoke
Families share craft time at Mill Memorial Library
If you wondered where families had gathered
to build birdhouses on a recent Tuesday evening, all you had to do was follow
the sound of hammering at the Mill Memorial Library.
we didnt get a finger squished, Audrey Urban, of Wilkes-Barre, happily
reported after she and her daughters, 6-year-old Xena and 3-year-old Isis, took
turns nailing wooden boards together.
As the girls painted their birdhouse
red, teal and purple, Urban said she might install it outdoors, attached to the
family clothesline pole. If that doesnt work out, she said, it will
find a home in my father-in-laws yard.
Members of the Lombardi
family, meanwhile, were getting ready to dip their brushes into the paint activities
director Dena Bobbin was doling out, with 4-year-old Gabrielle voting for purple
and 5-year-old Ella voting for pink.
Each daughter would get her wish, Dana
Lombardi said, explaining their multi-color birdhouse would be pink, purple and
in keeping with the preferred color of her son, Jake red.
see quite a bit of animals, Dana Lombardi said. Were living
in Sweet Valley, and we have deer and bears and squirrels and birds.
I found a birds nest, Ella Lombardi said excitedly, adding there
werent any birds in it.
Maybe birds will come to the new birdhouse.
Ella and Gabrielle hope so.
Seven-year-old Garrett Makowski, of Wapwallopen,
also hopes birds will come to the birdhouse he built with help from his parents.
Melanie and Lee Makowski have spotted and helped their son identify many birds
around the area, including hairy woodpeckers, cardinals, yellow finches,
blue buntings and blue jays, Melanie Makowski said.
For the Makowskis,
the recent birdhouse-building session, which was part of Build a Better
World Week, marked their first visit to the Nanticoke library. They came
because their relatives David and Michelle Vnuk, of Newport Township, brought
their 7-year-old son, Nathan, and invited the Makowskis to join them.
I made brown, Nathan said as he dipped a paintbrush into a jar
of water and watched it turn darker.
Im having a blast,
said his father, David, whose affinity for carpentry comes in handy in his job
as an instructor at the Wilkes-Barre Area Career and Technical Center.
other parents, the carpentry aspect of birdhouse building was more of a novel
Audrey Urban, for one, said she brings her children to the library
primarily for the reading opportunities.
These two get tons of books
out of the library, she said. It must be, like, 50 a week.
The chance to make a craft or join the LEGO Club only adds to family fun, she
And, the crafters efforts might end up sheltering some families
Theres a mommy bird, a daddy bird
and an uncle bird, Michelle Vnuk said with a nod toward 7-year-old
Nathan. Thats how he describes them.
event lets kids meet animals that were given a second chance
Gibbons - For Times Leader
Jessica Exley once got pulled over for swerving
a bit before pulling her car to the side of the road.
Looking behind her,
Exley saw flashing lights and then a policeman making her way over to her car
When the policeman asked what was going on, she responded, I
was securing my alligator.
At first, the officer thought she might have
been drinking until she rolled down her back window.
an alligator, he said.
Yes, it is, said Exley.
asked why she had an alligator in her car, Exley told the officer they were returning
from a reptile beauty show.
She took first place at that show,
Exley, who owns Endless Dreams Animals, was quick to share this
and other stories with attendees young and old at a presentation at the Mill Memorial
Library on Saturday.
Endless Dreams Animals specializes in bringing animals
to you and your event, and exists as an educational rescue and retreat.
Exley, several volunteers and about 15 animals were on scene at the event providing
information and inspiration to attendees.
Each animal, Exley said, has a story,
has a personality and deserves a second chance.
For example, Heidi, an alpaca,
was brought to the rescue because her previous owners said she wasnt show
At first, Exley couldnt figure out why. The beautiful animal
with soft, clean fur and a good spirit seemed to be the perfect fit for interacting
with an audience.
Then we took her to a nursing home, Exley said.
After an hour, she decided she was done. She laid down and made the residents
come to her.
Tiffany Mears, of Nanticoke, attended the event, which
was part of a library summer series, with her children, Michael, 7, and Destiny,
Mears said both of her children love animals and are always excited when
they get a chance to see them up close.
We come every time the annual
rescue is at the library, she said. My son always chooses the zoo
for his birthday.
Michael, she said, had some limits when it came to
being in close proximity to the animals.
Destiny will pet anything,
she said. Michael doesnt do snakes.
Donna Exley, Jessicas
mother and a rescue volunteer, said about 100 animals live at the rescue in Benton.
Exley, who instilled a love for animals in her daughter, introduced Heidi to the
children, encouraging them to pet her or even give her a hug.
reminded attendees that animals need to be respected.
want to come up behind an animal suddenly, she said. That will spook
Also part of the presentation was Cocoa, a cockatoo who doesnt
like being alone.
I got a job when I was gone about 14 hours,
said Jessica Exley. She wasnt used to me being gone that long. She
pulled out many of her feathers.
Joe Bobbin, of Nanticoke, attended
the event with his daughter, Lilly, 7. The activity, he said, has become a tradition.
We come here all the time, he said. We were just here the other
day building a birdhouse.
To Jessica Exley, being the director of Endless
Dreams Animals for over 10 years has been much more than a job, its a life
Ive loved animals for as long as I can remember,
she said. I take in animals that might have been neglected or perhaps their
owners are sick and could no longer take care of them.
Endless Dreams Animals depends solely on donations of money, other items and volunteer
I dont focus on money, Jessica Exley said. I
just want these animals to have good quality lives.
Everyone, she said,
deserves a second chance.
class provides creative outlet for children
Amanda Hrycyna | For
Nearly two dozen children learned how to turn a liquid
mixture of clay into some beautiful ceramics Saturday at the Mill Memorial Library.
Lori Duda, 39, of Nanticoke, and her daughter Emily, 8, explained the process,
which begins with a batch of slip a liquid mixture of clay particles.
I dont think a lot of people understand how long it takes to make
ceramics, said Duda, adding that she and her daughter make ceramics and
pottery in their garage.
Dipping her finger into the gray, milky liquid the
consistency of heavy cream, she asked a few kids to help her pour it from a large
measuring cup into two holes in a wooden mold. After the mold was filled, she
tapped it on the table a few times to get the air bubbles out.
an air bubble, the piece will explode in the kiln, she said, pointing out
that a kiln is an oven that fires pottery.
Duda then inverted the mold onto
a bucket to catch any excess liquid. After a few minutes, she cleaned off the
excess clay near the openings of the holes with a plastic scraper. In about 24
hours, the mold would be safe to open and the shapes inside would be intact.
Cracking open another mold, which was identical to the one she used for the demonstration,
Duda carefully pulled out two round, gray balls called greenware, which she passed
around for the kids to feel.
Each child was given a finished replica of the
demonstration ceramic to paint. Since the theme of the event was Christmas
in July, the ceramic piece given to the children was in the shape of an
It doesnt have to be an ornament, Duda said. It
can be turned sideways and you can put little feet on it and make it a pig.
Emily also showed how the ornament can become a tiny lantern by poking holes and
cutting off the top before firing. You can put a tea light in it.
With a palette of yellow and black, 11-year-old Ryan Kenney, of Plymouth Township,
said he wanted to make his ornament look like a smiley face. Its fun
how you can just paint whatever you want, he said.
Ryan joined several
of his good friends at the table as each one painted one-of-a-kind pieces. Im
going to make mine a sort of Pokémon theme, added Connor Kosicki,
12, also of Plymouth Township.
The boys, who are cousins, said they and their
friends attend a lot of events at the library. My mom usually goes on the
page to see whats going on, said Connor. Its pretty
fun. You can really express your creativity.
The library will host a birdhouse making event on Tuesday, and a visit from animals
of the Endless Dreams Animal Shelter next Saturday.
Kreitzer takes part in game
pre-game introductions likely were more memorable than a senior all-star baseball
game that lasted all of seven outs Thursday.
A fierce thunderstorm rolled
through the Mountain Post 781 baseball field in the top of the second inning,
marking an early end to the Wyoming Valley Conferences senior all-star game.
The conferences East team led 3-0 and had just put two runners on board,
while only four West players had at-bats.
What could have been chalked up
as a wasted car ride to the field for some was still worth it for at least one
member for the East team, though. Nanticoke Area graduate Aaron Kreitzer got to
don a jersey, walk the dugout and line up on the first base line for the national
anthem with the rest of the players from his graduating class.
first time Kreitzer, who is battling leukemia, got to do any of those things with
high school teammates this season. So, the washed out game still had meaning for
Kreitzer, who at one point wasnt even sure hed be back in the area
by summers end.
It just made me feel happy to be back there, that
I was able to get back there this year, said Kreitzer, who was named the
games MVP. Being back for the summer for a little bit and being there,
I was grateful to be back.
Kreitzer was introduced as a member of the
Easts coaching staff. It was far from the first gesture sent his way since
word of his fight got around.
His Trojans and Hanover Area held a doubleheader
of exhibition games between their softball and baseball games on April 30. Proceeds
from the game went to the Kreitzer family.
A golf event in late June at Blue
Ridge Trail Golf Club was formed to benefit the family, too.
More signs of
support came last month when the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders gave him a hospital
visit and let him throw a first pitch, and when he was named an honorary captain
for the WVCs side of the Field of Dreams all-star game, which pits the conferences
top seniors against the Lackawanna Leagues.
The shows of support seemed
to come one after another. They hardly had to pick up Kreitzers spirits,
because the last event had lifted him just days or weeks before.
thanked everyone for what he called a ridiculous amount of support
that he couldnt have imagined.
Its just a constant reminder
that everyones behind you, he said. There was no point that
I felt it was just me an my family. I felt like my whole community was behind
Complications recently sent Kreitzer to the Childrens Hospital
of Philadelphia, and hell return there for further treatment. Things still
seem to be looking up, though.
I feel like the worst is behind me,
Kreitzer said. I feel great, almost back to normal.
lost strength since being in the hospital, he was still healthy enough to attend
He watched as Wyoming Areas Mike Bonita and Meyers
Colin Pasone led off with a single and double, eventually scoring runs along with
Dallas J.D. Barrett. Tunkhannocks Brian Muckin made the defensive
play of the game, laying out on his way to the warning track to snag a fly ball
by Hazleton Areas Livan Reinoso to end the Wests first inning.
The storm that came minutes later didnt put a damper on Kreitzers
Just being in the dugout and talking to the guys was amazing,
Influential doctor honored in Nanticoke
Staff report - Citizens Voice
Nanticoke city and state officials recognized
Wednesday as Dr. Dudrick Day in the city and unveiled a historical
marker to be placed outside Standley Dudricks childhood home on West Union
The descendant of Nanticoke coal miners, Dudrick invented the intravenous
feeding method known as total parenteral nutrition, or TPN, which is considered
one of the most important breakthroughs in modern surgery.
Known as the
father of intravenous feeding, Dudrick is constantly ranked among
the most influential doctors in world history for his pioneering work, which he
unveiled in July 1967 at age 32.
His work is credited with saving millions
of lives. This month marks the 50th anniversary of Dudricks invention.
invented TPN while a surgical resident at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital
in Philadelphia. He always intended to return to the Wyoming Valley, but after
his invention, his skill level was too far advanced for what was being practiced
in local hospitals.
He became a professor of surgery at Penn. He helped
launch the surgery department of the University of Texas Medical School and became
chief of surgery at the universitys hospital.
He was named chairman
of the surgery department at Pennsylvania Hospital, the oldest in the nation.
Later, he was tapped as surgery department chairman at the Yale University School
Dudrick, 82, is now the director of the physician assistant
program at Misericordia University and is a professor of surgery at Geisinger
Commonwealth School of Medicine.
7/16/2017 Influential area doctor to be celebrated
Bob Kalinowski - Citizens Voice
As a rookie
physician in the early 1960s, Dr. Stanley Dudrick was so frustrated with his patients
dying he nearly switched specialties. Instead, the Nanticoke native revolutionized
the medical world.
The descendant of Nanticoke coal miners, Dudrick invented
the intravenous feeding method known as total parenteral nutrition, or TPN, which
is considered one of the most important breakthroughs in modern surgery.
as the father of intravenous feeding, Dudrick is constantly ranked
among the most influential doctors in world history for his pioneering work, which
he unveiled in July 1967 at age 32. His work is credited with saving millions
This month marks the 50th anniversary of Dudricks invention
and his hometown is planning a big honor for him this week.
very simple and obvious now, but at the time it terrified the medical profession,
Dudrick said. A lot of people said it wouldnt work and youre
going to kill people. I had to convince doctors not only that it would work,
but it would be safe. Soon, it took the world by storm. And the rest is history.
Nanticoke City will recognize Wednesday as Dr. Dudrick Day. A historical
marker will be unveiled at the monthly city council meeting that night at Luzerne
County Community College. The plaque will eventually be erected outside Dudricks
childhood home on West Union Street, which his grandfather built during evenings
after long days working underground in the mines.
Dudrick invented TPN
while a surgical resident at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia.
He always intended to return to the Wyoming Valley, but after his invention, his
skill level was too far advanced for what was being practiced in local hospitals.
He became a professor of surgery at Penn. He helped launch the surgery department
of the University of Texas Medical School and became chief of surgery at the universitys
hospital. He was named chairman of the surgery department at Pennsylvania Hospital,
the oldest in the nation. Later, he was tapped as surgery department chairman
at the Yale University School of Medicine.
But Dudrick always longed to come
back home. And in 2011, he did.
Dudrick, 82, is now the director of the physician
assistant program at Misericordia University and is a professor of surgery at
Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine.
All these years later, I
still wanted to come back home to kind of pay back the people who helped me grow
up and support me and allowed me to go off and get a great education, Dudrick
said. I had this emotional draw to come back to the area.
Steven J. Scheinman, president and dean of the Geisinger Commonwealth School of
Medicine, called Dudrick a mythical character whose contribution to
medicine ranks in importance with the development of open heart surgery and organ
I think its fitting that Stans monumental
contribution has been to nourish people. Thats what true philanthropists
do they find ways to sustain and uplift people and never forget that all
the technological wizardry in the world cannot replace simple caring, nurturing
and compassion, Scheinman said.
Scheinman noted Dudrick developed hundreds
of scientific and technological advances to invent TPN, but never sought to patent
any of his work.
Had he done so, and licensed and profited from them,
he would today be a billionaire, Scheinman said. But he felt that
to do so would limit access to these advances by patients and their doctors, and
limit their benefit, so he intentionally did not do that. So Stan is not just
humble and brilliant, he is absolutely selfless.
On July 19, Nanticoke
will honor city native Dr. Stanley Dudrick, who is considered one of the most
influential doctors in history.
Dudrick, then a 32-year-old surgical resident
at University of Pennsylvania Hospital, invented an intravenous feeding method
in July 1967 that has been credited with saving millions of lives.
the city will host Dr. Dudrick Day. A historical plaque in Dudricks
honor will be unveiled at 6 p.m. Wednesday during the monthly city council meeting,
being held at Luzerne County Community Colleges educational conference center.
The marker will eventually be erected outside Dudricks childhood home at
414 W. Union St.
About Dr. Stanley Dudrick
Childhood home: 414 W. Union St., Nanticoke
Scranton; Naugatuck, Connecticut; and Eaton Center, New Hampshire
Nanticoke High School, Class of 1953
Family: Dudrick and his wife, Theresa,
a Pittston native, have been married 59 years. They have six children, 16 grandchildren
and one great-granddaughter.
Franklin and Marshall College (1957)
M.D. University of Pennsylvania School
of Medicine (1961)
Residency: University of Pennsylvania Hospital
total parenteral nutrition: July 1967
of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, professor of surgery
University of Texas
Medical School, founding chairman of surgery department and chief of surgery at
Pennsylvania Hospital, chairman of department of surgery
Yale University School of Medicine, professor of surgery and later chairman of
chairman, head professor and medical director of the physician assistant program
Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine: professor of surgery
of surgery at Yale
About total parenteral nutrition
WHAT IS TOTAL PARENTERAL
Total parenteral nutrition, or TPN, is a method of feeding that
bypasses the gastrointestinal tract. Fluids are given into a vein to provide most
of the nutrients the body needs. The method is used when a person can not or should
not receive feedings or fluids by mouth. TPN delivers a mixture of fluid, electrolytes,
sugars, amino acids (protein), vitamins, minerals, and often lipids (fats) into
the veins. TPN can provide a better level of nutrition than regular intravenous
feedings, which provide only sugars and salts.
HOW IS TPN GIVEN?
IV line is often placed in a vein in the hand, foot, or scalp. A large vein in
the belly button, the umbilical vein, may be used. Sometimes a longer IV, called
a central line or peripherally-inserted central catheter line, is used for long-term
SOURCE: MEDLINEPLUS, THE U.S. NATIONAL MEDICAL LIBRARY
Q&A with Dr. Dudrick:
1. As the grandson and son of a coal miner
from Nanticoke, what has it been like to have gone on to become one of the most
influential doctors in world history?
My dad and three uncles all
had to work in the mines as a condition for my grandfather to keep his job. They
worked from age 13 to 21. They started as breaker boys. My family was devoted
to keeping me out of the coal mine. My family on both sides supported me getting
an education. When I left Nanticoke, I left specifically to try to become a doctor.
No one else in town gave me much encouragement. Most doctors said it was going
to be a tough, long ride. I think they were preparing me to not make
it. That energized me to work hard. I went to Franklin and Marshall College and
they were the most influential years in my life. They converted me from a kid
from Nanticoke into a scholar. It all started there. The thought of becoming one
of the most influential physicians in history never would have crossed my mind.
I am still in awe of that honor.
2. You are called the Father
of intravenous feeding. How did you recognize the need for it and how did
you invent it?
When I was a medical student at Penn, as an intern
working with surgical patients, we had a lot of patients who were the most critically
ill. The smaller hospitals would send their most challenging patients to Penn.
It was life and death every day. I got frustrated. Even though they had good operations,
they still died. The chief of surgery said Stanley, its not your fault
they died. He said they died primarily because they are malnourished. I
was like, Why dont we feed them better? He said because of the
nature of their problems, we cant feed them. Im like, Why dont
we feed them intravenously? I thought, as physicians, we could do better.
I spent two years working extra hard studying nutrition. After that period of
time, I told him I was ready to go into the laboratory. I took a year in the lab
and tackled the problem and I was fortunate enough to be successful. It seems
very simple and obvious now, but at the time it terrified the medical profession.
A lot of people said it wouldnt work and youre going to kill
people. I had to convince doctors not only that it would work, but it would
be safe. Soon, it took the world by storm. And the rest is history. Im still
humbled by the results we got.
3. You once said you always
intended to return home to the Wyoming Valley after medical school, but the type
of work you got into was too advanced for local hospitals. Was that difficult
for you? And what made you decide to return home in 2011 to start working at Misericordia
and the regional medical college?
I was just a kid from Nanticoke
who wanted to be as good of a doctor as I could possibly be. I wanted to come
home back to Nanticoke to take care of my people. I wanted to do the IV work to
be a better doctor. I had no concept it would develop into what it became. Once
I got into it, it took over my life. It took me a year or two to realize that
I wasnt going to be able to come home. I had mixed emotions about that.
At the University of Pennsylvania, they said, Youre not going back
to Nanticoke. You cant just walk away. I had to change my career goals.
I became a servant of my own ideas and innovations. I became totally immersed
in it. It ran my life. All these years later, I still wanted to come back home
to kind of pay back the people who helped me grow up and support me and allowed
me to go off and get a great education. I had this emotional draw to come back
to the area.
4. What was it like growing up in Nanticoke?
was a pretty positive and pretty idyllic. We were poor, but we didnt know
we were poor. And it didnt matter. We were happy. We just did what we did.
We had fun. We went to school. We tried to grow up and hope to be something special
if we could. If I had to live my life over again there, I would do it in a New
York minute and Id love it. My grandfather had seven kids. He built two
double-occupancy homes on West Union Street. One had four separate apartments.
Another had three, and one for him and his wife. So, he provided housing for all
seven kids if they wanted it. I had good friends and neighbors all around. We
grew up together. We are able to run around in the fields and work and play. Families
were very self sustaining. You learned what you had to do. My grandparents had
chickens and turkeys and rabbits. We made things like kielbasa, butter and cheese.
We made our own beer and wine from what was right there in the backyard. The biggest
negative at the time was the second world war. I could tell you precisely where
I was when Pearl Harbor happened. Nanticoke had a great sense of loyalty to the
country. After that, all the young men wanted to go serve in the Army, Navy and
5. What do you think about the city declaring Dr.
Dudrick Day and creating a historical marker honoring you?
hoping we could stimulate and demonstrate to the young people in Nanticoke they
could do anything. I am so humbled by it. I would never have thought the mayor
and council, the senators and other legislators would be involved. I didnt
even think Id be in their line of vision or if they even knew about me or
cared. I look upon it not so much as a personal kudos to me, but evidence of accomplishment
of the community. I am a product of the Nanticoke community. I am beholden to
family and neighbors and teachers who worked to teach me, nurture me, and mentor
me to get me where I am. Its acknowledging Nanticoke is a great place to
be from and you could accomplish substantial things in your life if you want to.
I hope it will be a stimulus to the youngsters.
6. How are
things going at Misericordia and the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine?
Misericordia, we have made great progress and theres great potential. We
have a brand new science building we are going to build. They have a bit of that
Wyoming Valley caring and compassion that a lot of the country has lost. You meet
people in the Wyoming Valley and they are the best health care professionals around.
They bring more than education and cognitive abilities. The medical college has
grown and developed beyond my expectations. Medical schools cost money. They are
very expensive to operate. They started the school with a visionary initiative.
They did it against all odds. In the last year or two, I started to get worried.
I could see we were going to run out of money. I thought we were going to have
to merge. When the Geisinger organization decided to invest in the medical school,
that was the most significant advancement that we could have anticipated. Its
a new, idealist young school. Now the school has everything it needs. Success
at the school is now guaranteed. Now, its how great are we going to
be, not are we going to make it? We are going to bring in and
attract talent from all over.
7. Are you ever planning to
No. I keep pretty busy for an old guy. I dont know what
I would do. I would maybe write. Theres a lot of things I want to write
down. I hope I live long enough to do that. But to stop doing what I am doing,
I dont know why I would want to do that. I am still able to do it. As long
as people still think Im useful, I want to be as useful as I can for as
long as I can. I stopped operating seven years ago, but I still enjoy helping
young people achieve their God-given maximum potential. If I could do something
to make a young person be as good as they possibly could, that gives me great
satisfaction and purpose in life.
eyes Nanticoke property for potential growth
Bill Wellock - Citizens
Frank Cawley has seen Pittstons Main Street where
he has a location for his physical therapy practice improve during the
He foresees the same thing happening in Nanticoke.
plans to develop the site of a former nursing home to hold a location for his
business as well as a pharmacy, a fast food restaurant and other tenants.
He is negotiating with the Nanticoke Municipal Authority to purchase the old Nanticoke
Villa property, which the authority recently bought for $825,000 from Arm 3 LLC.
The facility is in the citys downtown, across Arch Street from a Weis Markets
grocery store. A parking lot on the site is on the corner of East Main and North
Cawley plans to move a location of his practice currently
at 160 S. Market St., Nanticoke, to the facility, and add a pool for aquatics
therapy. Future tenants will include Nockley Family Pharmacy and a fast food restaurant,
he said. He is also talking to two other potential tenants.
had a location in Nanticoke, and at the time that we went there, the main street
was not developed but was looking to be developed. Its starting to come
a long way, Cawley said.
The development will renew a building that
has been vacant since an assisted living facility at the site closed in October
That facility closed after the state Department of Public Welfare opted
not to renew the license of its owner at the time, Constantinos Mallios. The department
said practices there risked exposing residents to hepatitis B.
the facility a few months earlier in May 2014, when state regulators refused to
renew the license of the previous owner, Ron Halko, after several residents contracted
hepatitis B. This occurred after employees used the same blood glucose equipment
to treat several patients.
The new use for the property might qualify the
authority for state grants, said Mark Grochocki, chief of staff for state Sen.
John Yudichak, D-Newport Twp.
Were hoping that this gets the ball
rolling in general in Nanticoke, said authority solicitor Lawrence Moran.
The municipal authority has a lot of big plans to improve and revitalize
and redevelop a lot of the downtown.
Cancer event raises money to help patients
Marcella Kester - Times
Hundreds filled Quality Hill Park in Nanticoke on Saturday, having
fun and pucking it out for a worthy cause.
Puck Cancer held its fifth annual
fundraising event at the park Saturday, offering a foot-hockey tournament, basket
and 50/50 raffles, games, childrens activities and more.
the event help the Medical Oncology Associates of Kingston Prescription Fund.
The organization has raised roughly $13,000 for the fund since it began six years
ago. This year, organizers are hoping to collect $10,000.
possible, which is pretty awesome, Lauren Myers said of the goal.
and her husband, Shawn, began the organization with the help from Dr. Bruce Saidman
of Medical Oncology Associates. Shawn grew up playing hockey with his friends
at Quality Hill Park, so it made sense to bring the event back to where it all
started, and include some type of hockey tournament.
mother passed away from cancer. She was a patient of Dr. Saidmans at Medical
Oncology, so its his way of giving back, Lauren explained.
started out as just a few players has grown into a much larger event, and the
duo hopes it will get even bigger with time.
Fifteen teams of five players
each battled with pucks and sticks on the tennis courts, vying to win their game
and advance to the next round. Those crowned hockey champions earned a trophy.
Dave Warren, of Nanticoke, has been playing hockey for 10 years, and has participated
in the event for the past three years. This year, he played on the team Just
the Tip. While he enjoys the games, Warren said being supportive of the
mission is what matters most.
Its for a good cause. My buddys
mom passed away from cancer, so hes been doing this event to raise money
for breast cancer, and youve got to contribute, Warren said. Its
about doing the right thing.
This years game had a special importance
to the team, however. On the back of their blue team shirts, #AK4TheWin
was printed, which was a reference to Aaron Kreitzer. Hes a local 18-year-old
who is battling leukemia.
Nearly 100 raffle baskets were donated, including
everything from pet supplies to home goods and tailgate gear. Chances to win a
gift card or free items from local restaurants and businesses were also available.
Perhaps the most popular raffle was the Wheelbarrow of Cheer, which
included a wheelbarrow full of various liquors to be raffled to one lucky winner.
As teams played on, attendees enjoyed picnic-style meals and desserts while children
crowded a face-painting tent, bounce house and games. One game adults and children
alike gathered around involved a very wet outcome for one willing volunteer.
Standing in front of the dunk tank, Ken Thompson took a ball and handed it over
to his son, Christopher. Together, they tried to throw the ball at the round metal
target and dunk the volunteer inside the tank. After a number of tries, neither
hit the mark. But Thompson decided to try again, handing the ball over to Christopher
one more time.
The 10-year-old baseball player finally hit the target.
Aside from dunking volunteers, the family also took time to visit and contribute
to the memory board. Patrons were able to buy and decorate a ribbon in honor of
someone whos fought, passed away or survived from cancer.
the food tent, Clem Krzynefski said hes now seven years cancer-free. The
Nanticoke resident had esophageal cancer, and attends Puck Cancer yearly.
Very precious is every breath of air I take, he said. And I
would do anything to help someone who had cancer.
Id be right there
for anyone who needed it.
native, globally known physician to get street honor
The Nanticoke native and world-renown physician
known as the Father of Intravenous Feeding will have a city street
named after him July 19, officials say.
In addition to the street distinction,
Dr. Stanley J. Dudrick will be honored by Nanticoke City Council with a historical
plaque dedication near the house he grew up in, said Elizabeth Zygmunt, of Geisinger
Commonwealth School of Medicine.
Dudrick, 82, was raised on West Union Street
and was once named one of the 50 most influential physicians in history by Medscape.com,
according to his biography. Medical professionals credit his development of intravenous
feeding, or tube feeding, with helping save countless lives over the years. IV
feeding allows ill patients who cannot eat to get nutrients through their blood
instead of their digestive system.
The feeding technique is one of the four
most significant accomplishments in the history of modern surgery, ranking with
the discovery and development of antibiotic therapy, anesthesia, and antisepsis
procedures to ensure a sterile surgical environment, according to the Journal
of the American Medical Association. Many sources also consider Dudricks
work as one of the three most important advancements in surgery over the past
century, along with open heart surgery and organ transplantation, according to
information from Geisingers Commonwealth School.
Dudrick still serves
as a professor of surgery at the Scranton school.
Previous roles include associate
chairman of the Department of Surgery and Director of the Program in Surgery at
St. Marys Hospital, a Yale-affiliated teaching hospital in Waterbury, Connecticut.
Other notable work includes serving as a professor of surgery at Yale.
will be a reception immediately following the July 19 city council meeting, which
will be held at Luzerne County Community Colleges Educational Conference
Center, 1333 S. Prospect St., Nanticoke.
Zygmunt said reservations for the
reception are required by Monday, July 10. To register, call 570-504-9065; or
Watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5V41MUsKGYY
Fireworks event in Nanticoke benefits the community
Sarah Scinto - Citizens Voice
Lilly Makowski couldnt wait to see
I love the colors, the seven-year-old Alden resident
said. I love all of the colors.
Lilly waited with family and friends
for the start of the show at Nanticokes fourth annual Big Bang
at Nanticoke Area High School.
Shed come running back to her parents
campsite from the football field where vendors sold food, drinks and game tickets
all to benefit community nonprofits like the football team, cheerleading squad,
marching band and others.
Nanticoke mayor Rich Wiaterowski sold tickets for
raffles and event T-shirts under one of the vendor tents. He said the whole event,
from the venue to the fireworks, was paid for by the vendors and does not cost
Nanticoke taxpayers a cent.
We get about 2,500 people, he said.
The fireworks started at dusk, but the event opened at 4 p.m. Wiaterowski said
many people showed up even earlier to claim prime parking spots to view the evenings
Ryan Verazin and Mark Baron of Nanticoke were a few of the early-birds.
Baron said he parked his car in the lot overlooking the baseball field by 9:30
a.m. on Sunday and Verazin arrived by 10:30 a.m.
The two combined campsites
with other friends and waited for the show. Verazin said the group has been coming
to the event since it started four years ago.
Its right in town
and it benefits the local community, he said.
Wiaterowski said the event
has grown over the last four years and he hopes to see it expand even more.
Im an entertainer, he said. The goal is to get this bigger
and go down to Lower Broadway.
He thanked the school district for allowing
the city to use the facilities free of charge.
Its just getting
everybody out, he said. Its friends and family having a great
'Family Fun Night' brings
out builder in kids at Nanticoke library
Marcella Kester - Times
Children let their imaginations soar as they cut, glued and
taped their way to the top of a box-building contest at the Mill Memorial Library
The event was part of the library's "Family Fun Night,"
which is held monthly. Working together as a team, each family must construct
a particular object using cardboard boxes, egg cartons, duct tape, paper-towel
rolls and similar items. At the end of the event, each project gets displayed
and judged. A winner is crowned, collecting a Barnes & Noble gift card as
More than two dozen boxes filled a corner of the children's section,
including a table that had an array of craft supplies one could ever need for
such a creative challenge.
As the families scattered and began stacking boxes,
activities director Dena Bobbin told them the event's only rule: You must make
a building or structure.
Bobbin said the event stems from a nationwide summer
program initiative called "Build A Better World." She hopes free events
such as "Family Fun Night" will bring more patrons into the library
"Our goal is once a month to do a family event," she said.
"It's just a fun thing for kids and the whole family to do."
at a table, 3-year-old Skye Percival was busy pushing her gluestick along a piece
of colored construction paper. Meanwhile, her 8-year-old sister, Juliana, was
preparing to complete a bull's-eye on one side of their house. The sisters were
joined by their parents, who were happy to help assemble the boxes to their children's
Sara Percival said her children love the library, as Skye comes
in with her grandfather on Tuesdays for a toddler program. A lifelong library
patron herself, the Nanticoke native says the free events not only help the children
socialize with others their age, but also aids development of other needed skills.
"It helps with their dexterity and fine motor skills, and just togetherness
with family," said Sara.
Behind them, Stephanie Gatrell helped her two
daughters put the finishing touches on their castle. Using five boxes varying
in size, the sisters tiered them on top of another and were busily cutting apart
an egg carton to use as people. Gatrell said she, too, started bringing her children
for the toddler program about six years ago and has since become a library regular.
"They always have fun stuff for the kids," she said of the various events,
noting a "Book Bingo." "They really like that because they get
to go home with a bunch of new books to read."
Now placing her egg carton
cut-outs inside the castle, 10-year-old Olivia Cromer said she wants to continue
making things from old boxes at home. Her sister, Sophia, agreed.
cool things about boxes," she added. "I like building and recreating
things that aren't that useful."
The next Family Fun Night is set for
July. Participants will be building a birdhouse.
aids Greater Nanticoke Area athlete with leukemia
- Times Leader
Over 500 people packed the Nanticoke Armory on Saturday
evening for a benefit to support Aaron Kreitzer, a Nanticoke area senior who is
Dozens of orange and white balloons were clustered on tables
and over 100 raffle baskets lined the perimeter of the huge hall.
a starter in the outfield on the schools baseball team and also plays varsity
Many of those in attendance, including members of his baseball team,
wore yellow football jerseys because Aaron is a huge Michigan fan,
said his cousin, Kelly Krietzer, who also helped organize the event.
wanted to focus on something other than the leukemia, she said. The orange
balloons represent the color of the leukemia ribbon.
Plans to put together
the benefit began in March, soon after Aaron was diagnosed, Kelly said. I
knew we had to do something to help.
The $20 admission included food,
beer, soda, dessert and live entertainment by the band Oz. A giant poster of Aaron
in his varsity baseball uniform hung on the wall above the band.
town really rallies together and surrounds anybody whos going through a
tough time, Kelly said, adding that several smaller fundraisers were held
prior to Saturdays event. Countless people donated trays of food and
there are over 100 raffle baskets. We have a huge family and word of the event
spread fast through Facebook, flyers and word of mouth.
opened at 4 and at least 40 people were in line, said Kelly. Its
so overwhelming to see how many came out to show support for him and his family.
Hes doing very well, she said, adding that Aaron couldnt attend
the event because he was out of town getting treatment. He has a great attitude
and all of the support is really keeping him going.
such a great kid, Kelly said. If it were somebody else going through
a hard time, hed be one of the first ones to help.
Nanticoke police secure grant for drug collection
With the help of a program offered by CVS Pharmacy,
Nanticoke police will be able to provide a safe place to dispose of medication.
In a Thursday press release, state Rep. Gerald Mullery, D-119, Newport Twp., announced
the Nanticoke Police Department received a grant for a drug collection unit through
the CVS Health Medication Disposal for Safer Communities Program.
will be located in the lobby of the Nanticoke municipal building and provide "a
safe and environmentally responsible way to dispose of unwanted, unused or expired
medication, including controlled substances ... with no questions asked,"
according to the release.
The site will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Monday through Friday.
will clean up mine-scarred sites in county
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded $800,000 in brownfield
grants to the Earth Conservancy for job training and cleanup of mine-scarred sites
in Luzerne County.
Acting EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Cecil Rodrigues
announced the grants Thursday at a press conference held on a parcel of formerly
mine-scarred land across from Luzerne County Community College.
totaling $400,000 will go toward cleaning up two land parcels at "Bliss Bank"
near LCCC. The properties sustained damage from several years of coal mining.
"The money will be used to assess the property and clean up the property
and hopefully it will lead to further redevelopment," Rodrigues said.
Nanticoke, Newport Twp. and Hanover Twp. come together at one point at Bliss Bank,
said Mike Dziak, president and CEO of the Earth Conservancy.
a nonprofit dedicated to addressing the impact of coal mining in Northeast Pennsylvania,
has been working in the area for years, Dziak said.
"This continues the
operation to continue reclaiming land in the area," Dziak said. "Our
hope is that (the location) will become a new industrial development in the future."
Another $200,000 grant will go toward restoration work on 6,200 feet of Espy Run
in the Nanticoke Creek watershed. The area lost its stream bed due to mining activity
and is affected by acid mine drainage.
By restoring the stream, "They
not only restore habitat and clean water, but they also stop the discharge of
the ugly orange stuff you see in the creek," Jeff Barnett, EPA brownfields
project officer, said,
An additional $200,000 will go toward an environmental
job training program for local unemployed residents and veterans.
Conservancy will work with Penn State University and other partners to create
a program to assist unemployed residents in getting the training needed to seek
jobs in areas impacted by hazardous waste.
The grants were among those awarded
to 172 organizations and communities across the country
for brownfield site
"This is a great day for the Earth Conservancy and the
community," Dziak said.
Conservancy lands federal grants for local projects
Nonprofit group Earth Conservancy is receiving $600,000 in federal grants
for environmental projects in Hanover Township and Nanticoke, officials announced
The same group, based in Ashley, is also getting another grant -
for $200,000 - for a workforce training program aimed at helping veterans.
The Environmental Protection Agency announced the grants during a ceremony at
an abandoned mine site in Nanticoke.
The $600,000 is for brownfield site revitalization.
Brownfields are former industrial or commercial sites - including old mine land
- where future use is affected by environmental contamination.
is a great day for Earth Conservancy," said Cecil A. Rodrigues, acting administrator
for EPA's Mid-Atlantic Region. Rodrigues said days like Thursday are vital because
it illustrates how the EPA collaborates with non-governmental organizations "to
make a better place to live."
The Hanover Township project will cover
two Bliss Bank parcels, 200 acres of former mining land. The reclamation will
move northeast below the Wilkes-Barre Mountain. When completed, the area could
be home to mixed-use development, including recreational sites.
grant award for the Hanover reclamation project is $400,000. The total projected
cost is $1.4 million.
The Nanticoke work will focus on restoration of a segment
of Espy Run, a stream which feeds into Nanticoke Creek. Espy Run has been tainted
by acid mine drainage.
The total grant award was $200,000. The total cost
for the project is expected to be $273,000.
Elizabeth Hughes, director of
communications for Earth Conservancy, said the projects won't begin until October.
While the EPA is known for its environmental programs,
it actually does much more.
For instance, officials also announced a $200,000
grant for a workforce training program tailored to veterans.
The grant comes
via the EPA's Environmental Workforce and Development Job Training Program. Since
1998, more than 16,000 people nationwide have gone through the program, with 12,000
landing full-time jobs.
Earth Conservancy, working with Penn State Wilkes-Barre,
plans to send 40 students though the curriculum, which includes land surveying
techniques. The program begins in the fall.
"For displaced workers, especially
veterans, it offers a new pathway to help secure meaningful employment,"
said Michael Dziak, president and CEO of Earth Conservancy.
WWII Vet to celebrate 93rd birthday on Memorial Day
Sarah Scinto - Citizens Voice
Henry Rishkofski never leaves home without
his World War II veteran hat.
Im just a proud veteran, the
92-year-old Nanticoke native said.
Hell don his hat as always on Monday,
but his day will go a little differently than his normal routine. Not only will
Rishkofski turn 93 on Monday, hell spend his birthday as grand marshal of
the West Side Veterans Memorial Day Parade.
he said. Memorial Day, thats more or less to remember all the ones
that made the supreme sacrifice like two of my best friends.
keeps a map of the course he charted with the second infantry division during
World War II.|
We traveled with them all through the war, he said.
Rishkofski vividly remembers the day his unit lost two of their own: their first
sergeant and staff sergeant.
They were both killed on Christmas Day,
1944, he said.
They were in Belgium, staying in Elsenborn, where part
of the famous Battle of the Bulge would take place. The pair of soldiers were
leaving headquarters when a shell struck the building, killing them, Rishkofski
He said the rest of the unit was enjoying a turkey dinner with the family
that had taken them in when the second lieutenant got a call informing them of
what had happened.
We were having a good time, he said. All
of a sudden, the telephone rings and he said he had to go back to headquarters
... that was a heartbreaker.
Rishkofski will keep the fallen members
of his unit in his mind when serving as parade grand marshal this Memorial Day.
He said he wears his hat out and about in the hope of having a chance to talk
to people about what soldiers go through. He wears it when he goes bowling at
Chackos every Monday and when he heads to the lake to go fishing.
me Memorial Day its ... a celebration and then again its a sad day
for me, he said. You have to remember the ones that paid the supreme
The West Side Veterans Memorial Day Parade steps off
at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, rain or shine, and will follow a route from Kingston
corners along Wyoming Avenue to the Forty Fort Cemetery.
displaced after fire in Nanticoke rekindles
A fire that broke out at a Nanticoke home on Saturday morning rekindled in
the afternoon, displacing three people.
The Nanticoke Fire Department was
dispatched to the fire at 7:52 a.m. at 131 Orchard St. It started in a second
floor bedroom, Fire Captain Mark Boncal said.
We had the fire under
control within 10 to 15 minutes, Boncal said.
The fire rekindled at
about 12:30 p.m. as a result of a hot spot. A couple and their daughter were displaced
but were not injured, he said. Firefighters also rescued the familys cats
A firefighter Boncal did not identify was taken to a hospital
for heat exhaustion.
The fire was ruled accidental and was caused by an electrical
malfunction as a result of wiring in the bedroom, Boncal said.
Twp. Fire Department assisted Nanticoke firefighters on the scene.
French Quarter brings Cajun-styled food to Nanticoke
Charlotte L. Jacobson - Citizens Voice
In less than two months, Nanticoke
residents welcomed their newest neighbors at the French Quarter restaurant with
Owner and chef Kelli Fritz worried that opening a restaurant far
away from her Berwick home might be a disadvantage to the business, but the locals
proved her wrong.
"I know my people (in Berwick) will follow me here
to eat, but I don't have many friends up here," she said. "But through
word of mouth, we've been busy."
The restaurant hugs the corners of South
Walnut and East Union streets, which sat vacant for four years prior. Customers
who enter the establishment are immediately greeted by the scent of Cajun spices
and a cozy atmosphere. A menu full of variety sits on the chalkboard wall with
different options written in brightly colored chalk, and Mardi Gras-themed decor
covers the restaurant in the signature green, purple and gold color scheme.
Fritz said after so many years working for other people she decided it was finally
time to open her own restaurant, with her style of food.
"I lived in
New Orleans until I was eight, and my uncle had a restaurant down there,"
Kelli Fritz said. "For years, people told my mom and I to open a New Orleans-styled
restaurant, but we'd been busy working for other people, making them money."
In November, an opportunity to lease the restaurant on South Walnut Street presented
itself to Kelli Fritz and her husband, Larry, and they couldn't pass it up.
"It was a long time coming," Kelli Fritz said.
But she couldn't
do it alone. With help from her family and friends, they opened the restaurant
after five months of revamping the interior and decorating it to their liking.
Now, the restaurant specializes in various New Orleans- and Cajun-styled cuisine,
from the famous Po'Boys - both hot and cold - to crawfish etouffee and jambalaya.
But most notably, the French Quarter serves alligator bites as an appetizer, to
really bring something new to the area.
"We allow people to have samples
of gator before ordering," Kelli Fritz said. "And 90 percent of people
"It's like a fishy chicken with a steak texture,"
Larry Fritz added.
Although they are still a budding restaurant, the food
spoke for itself when it came to Facebook reviews, which have been mostly five-stars.
Kelli Fritz said she fears the day they receive a bad review, but said, "you
can't please everyone."
Even with the more unique dishes, the couple
said locals keep returning to the restaurant to try new things. Within the few
months they've been open, they said many people are repeat customers, from the
911 call center employees that order lunch to the neighbors across the street
that eat dinner at the restaurant several times a week. "The best part is
meeting all of the new people, from the people across the street to any new customer
that walks in daily," Kelli Fritz said.
For now, the restaurant is closed
on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, but Kelli Fritz said they hope to open Wednesdays
after they have some time to get into the swing of the business.
Location: 701 S. Walnut St., Nanticoke
Cuisine: New Orleans-styled
sandwiches and dinner entrees
Owners: Kelli and Larry Fritz
10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Thursday: 10:30 a.m. to
Friday: 10:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Saturday: noon to 11 p.m.
noon to 8 p.m.
Contact: 570-258-2795 or the French Quarter on Facebook
Decision means no federal aid for
email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
Luzerne County municipalities won't be getting any federal money to help
offset the cleanup costs from March's record-breaking snowstorm. The March 14-15
storm dropped more than two feet of snow throughout Luzerne County in a 24-hour
Gov. Tom Wolf today announced that President Donald Trump has denied
his request for a federal disaster declaration that would have meant federal money
to help cover the costs of the storm.
"This disaster declaration would
have provided much-needed financial assistance to hard-hit communities in Northeastern
Pennsylvania," Wolf said.
Wolf received a letter from Robert J. Fenton,
acting administrator for FEMA, which said "the damage from this event was
not of such severity and magnitude as to be beyond the capabilities of the commonwealth
and affected local governments."
Ted Wampole, city administrator for
Wilkes-Barre, took issue with the sentence.
"How they could say that,"
he said, "defies any kind of logic from anywhere even from Washington."
Hazleton Mayor Jeff Cusat agrees.
"It's a tremendous burden to the city,"
Cusat said, noting the city submitted close to $200,000 in receipts. "It's
Nanticoke submitted just over $50,000 for their most
expensive two days, interim city Manager Donna Wall said. But still, it will be
a hit for the community.
"We're all suffering," she said. The city
will have to cut planned projects, Wall noted.
In his request letter sent
to the Trump administration on May 2, Wolf cited costs to local municipalities
that significantly exceeded their snow removal budgets, transportation issues
such as preemptive road closures including major interstates, record-breaking
snowfall in nine counties and storm conditions that generated significant life-safety
issues requiring a variety of critical resource and support needs, such as rescue
and evacuation of stranded motorists, wrecker service with recovery staff, generators
and transportation of emergency workers.
The denial may be appealed within
"We'll most likely appeal," said Ted Wampole, city administrator
for Wilkes-Barre. The city spent approximately $1 million for the storm cleanup.
Wall, who said she had a "bad feeling" about getting funds refunded,
but said she's going to look into getting a group effort together for an appeal.
"Numbers speak volumes," she said.
Cusat said he'll be using
his weekend to reach out to other municipalities to see if he can get a "strength
in numbers" response.
"If more than one appeals, they will see it's
a disaster," he said. "Not just one (municipality) crying wolf."
Wolf made the request earlier this month in order to provide federal funding to
local, county and state governments, as well as certain eligible nonprofits in
Bradford, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Susquehanna, Wyoming, Northumberland, Pike, Wayne
and Montour counties through the Public Assistance program.
The program provides
reimbursement of up to 75 percent of the costs incurred on eligible expenses for
the eligible 48-hour time period.
officials: Woman broke her leg jumping out of burning residence
Officials say a woman broke her leg when she jumped
out of a window of her residence that was on fire early Thursday morning.
Officials were dispatched at 5:20 a.m. to the residence at 18 Ross St. in the
Honey Pot section of the city for a report of a residential structure fire.
Capt. Mark Boncal of the Nanticoke Fire Department said crews arrived to find
smoke visible from the front of the structure.
And there was a good
amount of fire, he said.
Boncal said a woman jumped from a rear window
to escape the residence, resulting in a broken leg. The woman was transported
to a local hospital for treatment of her injuries.
A man was also treated
at the scene for minor injuries, and a dog was also rescued from the residence,
according to Boncal.
Boncal said the fire was under control and fully extinguished
within 20 minutes. He said the structure sustained moderate fire damage, but believed
that the structure was salvageable.
The cause of the fire is under investigation
by the Pennsylvania State Police fire marshal.
Area breaks ground for school project
Michael P. Buffer - Citizens
The Greater Nanticoke Area School Board had a groundbreaking ceremony
to officially kick off the Kennedy Early Childhood Center addition and renovation
The project is expected to finished by May 2018, Superintendent Ronald
On March 28, the school board voted to accept project bids with
a total cost of $8.8 million about $1.3 million less than bids opened last
In December, the board voted to re-bid the project without a project
labor agreement, which provided collective bargaining terms for building project
workers hired by district contractors and subcontractors and included a preference
for Nanticoke Area residents.
Nanticoke Area youngsters breaks ground for early childhood center
Aimee Dilger - Times Leader
There was a table full of real adult hard hats
and big black shovels, and one with toy plastic hard hats and little red shovels.
When it came time for some ceremonial groundbreaking outside Kennedy Elementary
School in Nanticoke, the little shovels got used first, though Benjamin Wisnosky
balked at participating.
As Kennedy Elementary Principal John Gorham called
the names of several pre-school and kindergarten students to join in the digging,
Benjamin pouted, buried his head in his mothers dress, and slapped the little
yellow hard hat away. Fear not, though. As more children stepped to the table
to get their gear, Benjamin took to the notion and started lining up with the
Greater Nanticoke Area officially broke ground for the expansion and
renovation of the school to create the Kennedy Early Childhood Center. The project
is expected to cost about $8 million, with $3 million reimbursed by the state.
After its done, K.M. Smith School will be closed and all district students
will be taking classes at a single campus along Kosciuszko Street.
the brief ceremony, Superintendent Ron Grevera said the Kennedy school was among
the first elementary schools in the nation named for President John F. Kennedy
following his assassination. He also said Kennedy had been a staunch supporter
of education as a means to move people from poverty to prosperity.
By the time the adults were done talking and the kids got to dig into a pile of
fresh brown dirt on the lawn outside the front of the school, Benjamin was practically
beaming, and like most of the youngsters, didnt stop with a single shovel
By comparison, the adults were, well, boring in their posed smiles
and scant real shovel action.
The youngsters, who either already attend kindergarten
in the district or like Benjamin are expected to attend in the expanded
school, also got to release red and white balloons into the air.
But the real
They got to keep the hats and shovels.
planning gas line projects
Denise Allabaugh - Citizens Voice
UGI will spend more than $170 million to replace natural gas mains and
complete a variety of system enhancement projects, according to company press
In Northeast Pennsylvania, infrastructure projects will be completed
on North Wyoming, North Vine and East Chestnut streets in Hazleton; Railroad
Street in Nanticoke; Taylor, North Cameron, Webster and Crown avenues in Scranton;
Inman Street in Hanover Township; Walnut Street in Luzerne; and Fourth Street
In all, about 64 miles of cast iron and bare steel mains are
targeted for replacement. Communities where the projects will occur will receive
advanced notification of UGIs construction schedules. For more information,
go to www.ugi.com/construction.
Nanticoke Historical Society gives
citizens virtual tour
the power of a projector and over 10,000 photos, a few people were able to be
transported back into Nanticokes past, when gas was 30 cents a gallon and
Woolworths was the biggest name in department stores.
On Sunday, interested
residents were able to visit the St. Faustina Cultural Center at 38 W. Church
St., Nanticoke, to check out a presentation put on by the Nanticoke Historical
Society. This was the second such display put on by the society, with the first
occurring about a year ago at Nanticoke City Hall.
Dubbing the event a virtual
tour, the society claimed to have somewhere around 10,700 photos of the
city of Nanticoke available for viewing. Chester Zaremba, 71, of Nanticoke, the
societys vice president and secretary/treasurer, was manning the projector,
pulling up various photos.
We have a few photos that we want to start
with, Zaremba said. From there, we just let the audience dictate what
they want to see as the photos start to bring back their memories.
come back their memories did. Zaremba started with a handful of photos of newspaper
ads from Nanticoke businesses some closed and some still open. But soon,
the discussion turned to particular businesses and city buildings from various
parts of town, with the crowd calling out what they wanted to see next.
that way, the display slowly grew to just short of two hours in total run time.
Zaremba also had a special segment organized of before-and-after photos, showing
a few buildings around Nanticoke as they look now and how they appeared previously,
with years of renovations and changes stripped away. Zaremba told the crowd that
these photos would eventually become part of a then-and-now style
book to be published by the Historical Society.
John Dubik, 65, of Hanover
Township, said he came to the event after seeing an ad for it at Gerritys
supermarket. What he likes about events like this is getting the opportunity to
see things again that have been long changed or demolished.
all this stuff that you took for granted, and then it suddenly disappeared,
Dubik said. I was young when a lot of it went, so I didnt get to walk
around and see it myself, so its good to see it now.
One of the
things that most impressed Dubik about the display was the quick growth in Nanticokes
They built a high school, and then 20 years later they outgrew
it and had to build another one, Dubik marveled.
Donna Henderson, 70,
of Nanticoke, was raised in the city but spent about 25 years away. Now, having
moved back after retirement, she enjoyed the opportunity to be reminded of her
There are lots of things I forgot, and the visuals serve as a
good reminder, Henderson said.
Zambera said that the goal of events
like this one is twofold: besides helping people remember the past, they also
want to get people involved with the Historical Society.
to see some younger people get involved, he said. Theres still
so much work left to be done in preserving Nanticokes history, and we hope
someone continues to do it.
Area, Nanticoke Area teaming up on field for a good cause
Bennett - Citizens Voice
When Nanticoke Area and Hanover Area had their
exhibition baseball game postponed prior to the start of the season, it figured
to be just another game lost to poor weather conditions.
But Hanover Area
junior Matt Clarke had an idea, and it showed that when times are tough, positive
things can come out of the most heated rivalries.
Not long after Nanticoke
Area senior Aaron Kreitzer was diagnosed with leukemia in March, Clarke approached
Hanover Area coach Mike Zapotoski about playing a game to benefit Kreitzer and
his family. Zapotoski called Nanticoke Area coach Joe Yudichak, and Yudichak didnt
From there, Nanticoke Area athletic director Ken Bartuska thought
it would be a good idea if the softball teams from both schools became involved.
And next Sunday, a doubleheader will be held at Hanover Area with all proceeds
from the event going to the Kreitzer family. The Nanticoke Area and Hanover Area
softball teams will play at 1, with the baseball teams scheduled to play at 2.
Both games are exhibitions.
He was going to be one of my senior leaders
and a starting outfielder, Yudichak said of Kreitzer, who is receiving treatment
at Geisinger in Danville. It is tough to put into words. This never happened
to me with a player in 30 years of coaching. It shook up the whole team. The whole
team is battling through it with him.
The connection between the two
schools goes well beyond the rivalry. There are friendships that have been forged,
and Aarons father, Brian, is a health and physical education teacher at
Hanover Area. He teaches alongside Hanover Area softball coach Kathy Healey. And,
to take it a step further, Aarons cousin, Kyle, is an assistant baseball
coach at Hanover Area.
Once Clarke came up with the idea of the game, Kyle
Kreitzer took the ball and ran with it, mainly to keep the pressure of putting
together something like this off the kids.
When Kyle asked if the softball
team wanted to play, we said we absolutely would, Healey said. The
Hanover kids love Mr. Kreitzer, and they said they would do anything for him.
A lot of our players know Aaron; they definitely want to help.
sold shirts for the game at a cost of $15, and the shirts the players will wear
are donated by Senator John Yudichak and Joe Yudichak Sr. A limited number will
be sold at the games on a first come, first served basis.
The team brought
it up, and I took it upon myself to take charge of it, Kyle Kreitzer said.
Aaron is my cousin. We are pretty close. I grew up with him; we spend all
the holidays together. We would hang out, go over his house swimming and all that.
Kyle Kreitzer came up with the design for the shirts.
I wanted to do
something simple, he said. His jersey number (17) will be on the jersey
and the word Fight is across the back. Just a way of everyone coming
together to fight for him and with him. Everybody will be wearing the number 17.
Reality kind of sets in and you put all the rivalry stuff behind you. Especially
with (Aaron) being a family member. It is nice for both communities to come together.
Both communities are connected to him. It is nice we can all come together and
have a game for him.
Pat Revello from Old Forge, another relation to
the Kreitzer family, is donating pizza for the event. There is also a contingent
from Old Forge that will be traveling by bus to the games. They will be wearing
similar shirts to the players only theirs will be gold. Also, baked goods
will be available, and there will be raffles and a 50-50 drawing. There is no
admission fee to attend the games, but fans will be asked to donate money for
Its a great thing, it shows that two rivals can come
together and do something for a kid that is in need right now, Yudichak
said. It is amazing that (Clarke) could come up with an idea like that.
When (Zapotoski) called me to see if I wanted to set something up, I was thrilled.
I am happy that the kids care. You see the heart in a lot of people when something
like this happens.
Yudichak said players from Nanticoke Area are constantly
in touch with Aaron Kreitzer via text message. The Trojans wear a ribbon on their
hat and a patch on their jerseys as a way to honor him.
stress enough what a good kid he is, Yudichak said.
Taxpayers face expense to reduce Susquehanna River pollutants
Municipalities serviced by the Wyoming Valley Sanitary
Ashley, Courtdale, Dallas, Dallas Township, Duryea, Edwardsville,
Exeter, Forty Fort, Hanover Township, Harveys Lake, Hughestown, Jackson Township,
Jenkins Township, Kingston, Kingston Township, Laflin, Larksville, Lehman Township,
Luzerne, Nanticoke, Newport Township, Pittston, Pittston Township, Plains Township,
Plymouth, Plymouth Township, Pringle, Sugar Notch, Swoyersville, Warrior Run,
West Pittston, West Wyoming, Wilkes-Barre, Wilkes-Barre Township, Wyoming and
Property owners in Wilkes-Barre, Pittston, Nanticoke and 33 other
Luzerne County municipalities must shoulder the massive expense of an unfunded
federal mandate to reduce the amount of sediment, nitrogen and phosphorus deposited
into the Susquehanna River from stormwater.
The Wyoming Valley Sanitary Authority
is pitching a regional approach, saying the 36 municipalities it services for
wastewater treatment would spend far more developing and implementing required
stormwater plans on their own.
This group approach will save even more money
if the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approves the authority's proposal to make
the giant Toby Creek impounding basin off Division Street in Pringle the main
component of its pollution reduction plan.
This basin holds water that drains
from 30 square miles in the Back Mountain to prevent flooding in Pringle, Kingston
and other municipalities on lower ground.
The authority wants to make the
path of water more meandering inside the basin to slow it down and reduce the
amount of sediment that ends up leaving the basin and ending up in the Susquehanna.
Deep-rooted shrubs also would be planted on the basin floor to soak up nitrogen
These and other details about the proposal were presented
to the county Flood Protection Authority this week because the basin is part of
the Wyoming Valley Levee system.
According to a two-hour presentation by sanitary
authority consultant Herbert, Rowland and Grubic Inc.:
The mandate stems from
the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Chesapeake Bay plan requiring states
to reduce the amount of nutrients and sediment in waterways that feed into the
In response, the state Department of Environmental Protection is requiring
all municipalities that drain water into the Susquehanna to submit stormwater
permit plans by September, citing how they will reduce sediment 10 percent, phosphorus
by 5 percent and nitrogen by 3 percent over the next five years.
face fines if they don't comply with the requirements, which include detailed
maps of all stormwater systems and annual progress reports.
If a regional
plan is submitted, all participating municipalities will receive credit for meeting
sediment and pollutant reduction targets through larger projects outside their
The Toby basin work would satisfy 70 percent of the 10-percent
sediment reduction requirement.
Other proposed work in the sanitary authority
o Pollution reduction alterations in a detention basin
near Washington Street in Plymouth along with a "stormwater park" explaining
the project, which would satisfy another stormwater public education requirement.
o Sediment reduction and other enhancements at Abrahams Creek near the county
recreational complex in Forty Fort and another water collection area in Hanover
o Stream restoration along Solomon Creek on the east side of the
The total cost of the project would be about $33 million.
expense would be covered by a fee estimated to range from $3 to $4.50 per property
per month. Nonprofits and other entities that are exempt from real estate taxes
would have to pay the fee.
Another monthly fee of up to $1 per month may be
proposed to fund half of the cost pollution reduction projects municipalities
want to complete within their borders.
The fee for each property would be
based on the estimated percentage of stormwater runoff it generates. For example,
the fee would be higher for a lot that is mostly paved, which is considered an
"impervious area," because it holds less water when it rains and snows.
Municipalities that want to go solo would have to spend an estimated $20,000 to
$30,000 to complete the plans and additional costs to implement corrective measures,
the consultant said.
The sanitary authority would handle the billing, maintenance
of most of the pollution reduction solutions and stormwater system mapping.
The authority estimated its regional approach would save the 36 municipalities
a combined 60 percent over the next five years and another 30 percent if Army
Corps clearance is granted for the Toby basin work.
Bill Finnegan, the sanitary
authority's solicitor, said Wednesday a meeting will be held next week with representatives
of the 36 municipalities to present documents they must submit if they want to
participate in the regional plan. Public information sessions also are planned,
"The public has to understand this is another unfunded mandate,
and either their municipality is going to do it or the Wyoming Valley Sanitary
Authority," Finnegan said. "If the sanitary authority does it, it will
be a fraction of the cost."
The regional project would mirror the decision
of municipalities to band together under the authority umbrella in 1962 for sanitary
services, he said.
"We're basically looking to do something similar,
but dealing with stormwater mandates," he said. "It would really be
a historic project."
After sitting through the flood authority presentation,
Kingston resident Brian Shiner said he's frustrated the federal government "pushes
it on the back of property owners."
"I understand and accept we
have to take care of our natural resources. The problem is it's so easy for these
federal agencies to make mandates and not provide the cash to back it up,"
Shiner said many property owners will struggle to pay the fee amid
other rising expenses. He supports a regional approach but reserved opinion on
the proposed plan until he receives more detailed breakdowns on the project costs
and administrative expenses.
"It bothers me how rushed this is,"
Officials in municipalities outside the sanitary authority coverage
area also must develop compliance plans. Most Luzerne County municipalities are
in watersheds that drain into the Susquehanna, which flows over 400 miles from
its origin near Cooperstown, New York, and empties into the northern part of the
Chesapeake Bay in Maryland.
travel programs broaden horizons
By Madelyn Bugdonovitch, Newspaper
In Education student columnist
Traveling can open minds,
giving a new sense of responsibility and a new sense of self to the traveler.
The Greater Nanticoke Area High School gives its students the chance to step outside
the mere walls of the classroom and take advantage of opportunities to get out
of town, out of state, and even out of the country.
is so personally enriching; you get to see how other people live and think. As
a teacher, it is amazing for me to see students so engaged in such a different
environment, said Linda Kelchner, Spanish teacher at GNA and chaperone for
many of the international excursions.
of its programs, Greater Nanticoke Area affords students the opportunity to experience
new places and cultures, to talk with people of other nationalities, to try foods
different from that which they are used to, and to really step outside of their
comfort zone and explore the world around them. They also get the chance to meet
students who are traveling from other areas, and in some cases, to form lifelong
friendships. By choosing to travel, students are allowing themselves a chance
to grow and change in many positive ways.
For many students at GNA, this is
their first time traveling alone without their families. This environment provides
a chance to develop essential life skills such as decision-making, self-sufficiency,
and money and time management.
Studying abroad and traveling internationally
can help bring about a sense of independence that is essential for life after
high school. These unique opportunities have been offered thanks to teachers who
know and understand both the personal and educational value of international travel.
GNA has teamed up with WorldStrides to educate and make
dreams of travel come true.
WorldStrides has more than 50 years of travel
experience, taking more than seven million students all over the globe.
is not just a travel company but an actual accredited school. Its just like
other schools, but without the walls. They have a curriculum and an academics
department that offers official academic credits to student travelers. Student
travelers have the chance to complete online courses regarding the location they
have travelled to and the things they experienced while there. By completing these
courses, students can earn free high school credits and/or three college credits,
truly making the most of their international travel.
Costa Rica trip
year, students from GNA traveled to Costa Rica. It was a nature-based trip that
included time spent in the rainforest where students observed and studied the
bats that inhabit the area. The travelers tested the waters of the Sarapiqui River,
ran various experiments, and participated in many exciting activities, such as
ziplining through the jungle.
I watched students grow and begin to take
risks. I watched them learn and become willing to try new things. Seeing these
children develop, I find, is more rewarding than the trip itself. It was amazing
to watch them discover a whole new side to themselves, said Kelchner.
Everyone who attended this trip experienced something profound and returned with
a new perspective and an improved self-confidence. We had a student who
absolutely did not want to zipline and, on the way up inside of the tramcar, he
was second guessing his decision. Later on, that particular student was ahead
of me. I called out, Hey, are you liking it? and his response was,
No, Im loving it! This brought tears to my eyes because here
was a student who was dead-set on not participating. He took a risk and then had
an amazing life-changing experience, stated Kelchner.
This year, Peru
For the 2016-17 school year, students from GNA will travel to South America and
spend 10 days exploring the country of Peru. This is a cultural and historical
based trip where students will visit several sights and museums in Lima including
the Lima Cathedral, the Plaza de Armas, the Presidential Palace, and the famous
Larco Museum, where more than 4,000 years of Peruvian history is showcased.
After sightseeing around the City of Kings, students will fly to the
Sacred Valley of Cusco, the heart of the ancient Inca Empire. There, they will
follow the Inca Trail and visit several historic sites, such as the ancient ruins
and temples, and the Inca baths of Tampu Machay. Travelers will participate
in a full day excursion to explore Perus most famous destination, the Lost
City of Machu Picchu, which sits high up in the Andes Mountains. They will also
be spending a few days exploring the Amazon Rainforest. Additionally, unique educational
experiences will await them in Peru, where students will be visiting an Incan
Tribe to learn about, watch, and participate in one of their ancient rituals to
honor and give thanks to Mother Earth. Students will be spending time at a Peruvian
School where they will have the opportunity to interact with Peruvian students.
These are just a few of the incredible places and exciting things the students
at Greater Nanticoke Area will be fortunate enough to experience.
Next year, students will be given the rare opportunity to visit Iceland
for an entire week of nature and science based experiences and experiments. Students
will find themselves face to face with opportunities to view some of the most
amazing sights in the world and can explore Icelandic life and visit numerous
museums and villages in and around Reykjavík. Iceland is known as the Land
of Fire and Ice due to the many volcanoes and glaciers that cover the country.
GNA students will study volcanoes, climb massive glaciers, explore ice caves,
observe geysers in action, and hike to breathtaking waterfalls. The trip will
conclude with a swim in the Blue Lagoon, a natural geothermal spring. It is sure
to be an adventure that students will not soon forget.
The Greater Nanticoke
Area School District also offers a variety of travel opportunities within our
country as well. Members of the chorus enjoy a trip to New York City every spring
where they sightsee and attend a Broadway show. The Marching Band embarks on an
annual trip to various locations where the days are filled with fun and interesting
events, sights, and activities. In past years the GNA Marching Band has visited
Boston, Virginia Beach, Williamsburg, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, New York City, and
even ventured across the border to Canada to visit Toronto and Niagara Falls.
Seniors at GNA have the chance to visit Washington D.C. with their American Civics
classes and also travel to Florida every spring to spend a week in Disney World
and at Universal Studios. All of these opportunities provide the students at Greater
Nanticoke Area with affordable, once in a lifetime experiences and unforgettable
memories they can carry with them throughout their entire lives.
can undoubtedly help shape the students at Greater Nanticoke Area, giving them
a sense of purpose and place in the world, as well as helping them establish lifelong
values, priorities, independence, and confidence. Lessons learned while
traveling definitely transfers into students lives when they return home
as well. I think they gain a lot of patience but, most of all, an opening of their
world view, said Kelchner. The benefits of travel are endless and students
can gain invaluable perspective of the enormous and diverse world around them.
Former First Lady Michelle Obama summed it up best when she said: ...studying
abroad isnt just an important part of a well-rounded educational experience.
Its also becoming increasingly important for success in the modern global
economy. Getting ahead in todays workplaces isnt just about the skills
you bring from the classroom. Its also about the experiences you have with
the world beyond our borders with people, and languages, and cultures that
are very different from our own.
Madelyn Bugdonovitch is a sophomore
at Greater Nanticoke Area High School. Student columns are published Wednesdays
during the school year.
taxpayers have a little more time
Bob Kalinowski - Citizens Voice
When accountant Karen Hazleton is going full bore at work during her busiest
time of year, she hangs a sign on her office door that reads, Tax season
in progress. Do not disturb.
That sign comes down in a few days.
Todays date usually is tax day, but this years deadline for Americans
to file their income taxes has been extended to Tuesday, April 18, because federal
offices are closed on weekends and Monday is recognized as the Emancipation Day
holiday in Washington, D.C.
With the end so near, Hazleton and her staff of
nearly a dozen have been hard at work completing tax returns for clients and trying
to accommodate those who waited until the last minute, like several who showed
up unannounced on Friday.
Its all hands on deck today, Hazleton
said from her Nanticoke office.
The certified public accountant, who also
has offices in Sugarloaf Twp. and Clarks Summit, said she hoped to be done by
8 p.m. Friday so she could enjoy the Easter holiday weekend with family. She said
a little break in the action is needed.
Its funny. Ive been
working 14-hour days consistently for 115 days, Hazleton said. It
takes a couple days to adjust.
Those who have yet to file their taxes
still have time.
H&R Block, which bills itself as the largest tax preparer
in the world, is open every day through Tuesday, including Easter Sunday, the
H&R Block offices will be open on Easter, giving
taxpayers who havent filed their returns an extra day of assistance,
the company said.
The regional office for the U.S. Postal Service advised
residents to check Tuesdays final pick-up time for the post office they
plan to use to send their taxes.
Please remember that mail must be deposited
before the last collection time at the post office or collection box on April
18 to receive an April 18th postmark, the postal service said.
prosecutors and the IRS also had warnings for people to make sure they were honest
in filling out their taxes.
During this time of the year, IRS will receive
millions of tax returns from honest taxpayers who file their returns on time and
pay all the taxes they owe, said Bruce D. Brandler, U.S. Attorney for the
Middle District of Pennsylvania. Todays warning is not for them; it
is for tax cheats who break tax laws and abuse our tax system. If you belong in
this category, pay close attention. My office will hold accountable anyone who
participates in a tax fraud scheme that puts an added tax burden on honest taxpayers
and drains our public finances.
IRS Criminal Investigation Acting Special
Agent in Charge Gregory Floyd had a similar message.
With the 2017 tax
deadline looming, it is important for people to have confidence that when they
pay their taxes, their neighbors and co-workers are doing the same, Floyd
said. IRS Criminal Investigation will vigorously investigate those individuals
who knowingly and willfully evade their tax obligation.
Families left to wonder when homicide cases remain unsolved
Sarah Scinto - Citizens Voice
Website designers note: This section is an excerpt
from the article in the Citizens Voice on Sunday, 4/9/2017
Attorney Stefanie Salavantis said she could not offer any updates on the progress
of that investigation and several other unsolved cases.
They include the unsolved
homicide of 97-year-old Gertrude Price.
On Thanksgiving in 2013, Price was
home in Nanticoke after spending the day in Dallas with family. In what police
have called a random attack, the woman was beaten to death during a home-invasion
robbery that night.
Prices family searched tirelessly for answers after
her son-in-law found her dead in her bed the morning after that Thanksgiving.
Local residents pledged more than $10,000 as a reward for information through
a fund at PNC Bank in Nanticoke.
Charges have yet to be filed in the case.
Price would have celebrated her 100th birthday in June of last year. Her daughter,
Carol Belmont, said she had no doubt Price would have lived to be 100. She said
her mother had looked forward to the milestone.
She was vibrant and
full of life, Belmont said.
As far as Belmont knows, the reward the
family offered in 2013 still stands.
I dont think its enticing
anyone, she worried.
Belmont said she remains in contact with Pennsylvania
State Police investigators working on her mothers case. They call her every
three to four months, but rarely have any new information to share.
know theyre still active on it, she said. Thats what keeps
my hope up.
Belmont and her family remember Price at every holiday
Price would never miss one, Belmont said. She said theyll think of Price
at Easter, remembering how shed always sit at the head of the table.
Nanticoke Police Chief Thomas Wall said Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Ed Urban
has taken over the investigation into Prices death. Urban did not return
a request for comment on the case.
Area junior aims for archery title
Andrew Watkins - Citizens Voic
Kassie Rinker's decision to take up archery came, more or less, on a whim.
The Nanticoke Area junior asked her father, Jason Rinker, for a bow of her
own in September 2014. Kassie said her interest in the sport was born largely
from her father's influence. He's an avid archer himself.
But archery has
grown to become more than just a hobby for Kassie. In fact, it's a sport that,
in less than three years time, she's proven to be remarkably good at.
list of championships that Kassie's won during her short time competing is considerable.
After earning a couple of top-three finishes in various tournaments, Kassie took
home gold for the first time in the 2015 Pennsylvania State Archery Association's
(PSAA) northeast regional outdoor target championships.
It would be the first
of several. In 2016, Rinker claimed the PSAA's northeast regional indoor championship,
as well as a Pennsylvania Field Archery Association state championship.
impressive, though, was her triumph in the PSAA's 2016 indoor state championships.
That's a feat Rinker will attempt to repeat this weekend at the Pennsylvania Farm
Show Complex & Expo Center in Harrisburg.
Much of Rinker's preparation
comes at Lonesome Road Archery in Taylor, but she's also a familiar face at Archery
Zone in Larksville and the Berwick Archery Club.
Rinker did shed some light
on how she's preparing for her repeat bid.
"I'm practicing a bit more
than usual and making sure my bow is working properly," Rinker said. "I'm
making sure my technique is good and my routine is the same for each shot, especially
since a few fractions of an inch can mean the difference between another state
title or going home empty-handed."
While Rinker's accomplished a great
deal in her young archery career, she admits that her successes still surprise
her at times.
"You never expect to win so much so soon. I never would
have dreamed of being this successful at any point, let alone in my first few
years," Rinker said. "It feels incredible. It feels like the practice
and hard work has really paid off."
Jason, expressed a similar feeling
of surprise at his daughter's early successes. Of course, her accomplishments
bring him a feeling of pride as well. Even if they do come with a bit of competitive
"I figured it would be years before she got to the level I am
at and I figured there would be years of her trying to beat me when we shoot together,"
Jason said. "Now, it's the opposite. When we go shooting, I'm the one hoping
to have a chance at the better score."
Rinker's also involved in the
marching band at Nanticoke Area.
She doesn't hunt, instead saying that the
time she gets to spend outdoors with her father is part of what keeps her invested
in the sport.
She plans to attend college after high school and said that
she'd like to wind up at an institution with an archery team.
It seems safe
to say that, if she can find that school and that team, it'd be happy to have
Authority approves dozens of grants for county
Bill Wellock - Citizens
The Commonwealth Financing Authority approved nearly five dozen
grants for Luzerne County at its meeting Wednesday.
The authority approved
58 grants ranging from $20,000 for the rehabilitation of a Veterans of Foreign
War building in Wyoming to $1 million for acquiring and renovating a new corporate
headquarters for Berkshire Hathaway GUARD Insurance Companies in Wilkes-Barre.
"The LSA grants remain an integral part of northeastern Pennsylvania's revitalization,"
said Sen. John Yudichak, D-Plymouth Township, in a press release. "In every
corner of Luzerne County, we are investing in infrastructure, public safety and
most importantly, in creating good jobs."
Other major projects include
$400,000 for construction on a public works building in Butler Township, $500,000
for reconstruction of a retaining wall along Solomons Creek in Wilkes-Barre, more
than $478,000 for a Main Street revitalization project in Nanticoke.
view the complete listing in the 3/30/2017 of the Citizens Voice.
Nanticoke Main Street Revitalization Project, $478,198
The Commonwealth Financing
Authority also approved projects through its Small Water and Sewer Program. In
Luzerne County, those projects included:
o Nanticoke: City of Nanticoke West
Main Street sewer replacement, $200,000
work will close Middle Road in Nanticoke, starting in April
Construction will cause detours and slow-moving traffic in Nanticoke
for the foreseeable future.
Utility work on Kosciuszko Street will slow traffic
this week, and Luzerne County Community College posted on Facebook that Middle
Road will be closed to traffic due to construction of a roundabout.
Department of Transportation notified the college that Middle Road will be closed
from Kosciuszko Street to the Lower Askam section of Hanover Township as early
as April 3, according to the post.
This is a major part of the
South Valley Parkway Project which will eventually connect the college to state
Route 29, the post states.
According to PennDOT, the schedule for
road closures is:
Middle Road will be closed and a detour
will be in place beginning April 3. The road will reopen in November.
Kosciuszko Street will be closed July 6 and be reopened in November.
Prospect Street will be closed in the summer of 2018 and reopen in November 2018.
opened the first of six roundabouts at the intersection of Espy Street and Middle
Road on Dec. 2, 2016.
When the project is completed, Nanticoke will have three
single-lane roundabouts, at Middle Road and Prospect Street, Middle Road and Espy
Street, and Middle Road and Kosciuszko Street.
Hanover Township will have
two single-lane roundabouts and one two-lane roundabout. The two single-lane roundabouts
will be at the South Valley Parkway and the northbound on- and off-ramps at the
new state Route 29. The parkway and the new state Route 29 south bound on/off
ramp will be the two-lane roundabout.
In addition to the the delays, PennDOT
said routine blasting will occur throughout the area. There is also a single lane
closure of state Route 29 for the project.
PennDOT advises drivers to use
hope to recoup some costs from historic snowstorm
- Citizens Voice
Note: Taken from article in paper concerning Nanticoke, and
not the full article.
Nanticoke is in relatively good shape after
getting walloped by the storm, according to Mayor Rich Wiaterowski. Crews from
the city department of public works as well as private contractors worked around-the-clock
for more than 48 hours after the storm, then resumed cleaning city streets at
7 a.m. Friday, Wiaterowski said.
Hiring private contractors to help remove
snow was essential, but will cost Nanticoke a significant amount of money, Wiaterowski
said. On Friday he gave a rough estimate of $30,000 to $40,000, but cautioned
he did not have figures in front of him to refer to and that the total cost could
increase by the time the work is finished.
Nanticoke will seek reimbursement
for those costs from state and federal emergency management agencies, based on
an emergency declaration Wiaterowski issued Tuesday, the mayor said. The city
still has a large supply of salt on hand, thanks to relatively mild weather this
winter prior to Tuesdays huge storm, Wiaterowski said.
the citys police officers, firefighters and public works employees, as well
as the private contractors the city hired, for their efforts under extreme circumstances
Parents blame social
media bullying for teens suicide
The parents of a local teenager who killed herself this week in Nanticoke say
they believe the girl took her life after being bullied on social media.
E. Zendarski, a popular freshman at Greater Nanticoke Area High School, committed
suicide at a relatives house Wednesday, her mother Patti said Friday.
The 14-year-old Glen Lyon girls parents addressed the bullying in her obituary,
ending the death notice by saying Social media can be dangerous. Please
be kind to one another.
Patti Zendarski, 51, said her daughter was a
happy kid who gave no warning signs anything was seriously wrong. She said Nina
sometimes mentioned receiving insults online, but nothing that seemed deeply concerning.
Zendarski said she has learned much of the social media taunting was done on platforms
where the messages erase after being sent.
Everybody is shocked. My
heart is broken and I will never be able to fill that void. This kid was the light
of my life, Zendarski said.
Zendarski said she and her husband decided
to make their daughters suicide public to encourage parents to better monitor
their childrens social media habits.
If this could save one person,
I did my job. I feel like I failed as a mother because I didnt know,
Zendarski said her daughter was a sweet, kind person who used
to like to play sports but has been battling seizures the past few years which
caused her to faint frequently. Nina really loved Disney World and the family
last went there on a trip in October 2015, she said.
Zendarski provided various
photos of Nina, including one from Disney with her wearing Minnie Mouse ears.
When you see these pictures you will not believe she was this down on herself,
Zendarskis funeral is slated for Monday at noon at the
main site of St. Faustina Parish in Nanticoke. A viewing will be held Sunday from
4 to 7 p.m. at Davis Dinelli Funeral Home, 170 E. Broad St., Nanticoke.
Nanticoke couple married nearly 60 years pass away a
They were born less than a year
apart and shared nearly 60 years of marriage.
This week, Joseph and Bertha
Brodowicz left this world a day apart.
The 81-year-old residents of Birchwood
Nursing and Rehabilitation Center had been in declining health for some time before
Bertha Brodowicz passed early Sunday, followed by her husband a day later, family
members said Thursday.
Bertha Brodowicz suffered from Alzheimer's disease,
and her husband - who had health problems including chronic obstructive pulmonary
disease - was heartbroken to see her failing health, said their son, Joseph Brodowicz
"I think just seeing her fade away, slowly but surely, it gave him
no more will to want to move forward," he said.
"He was doing OK,
but as she got worse, he got worse," said his wife, Sylvia. "It wasn't
very healthy for him to see her the way she was because it did bother him. He
Born in Nanticoke in April 1935, Joseph Brodowicz Sr.
was a factory worker at Penn Footwear and CertainTeed, retiring after a 64-year
career. Bertha Brodowicz was born in Scranton in January 1936 and was a factory
worker for Penn Footwear as well as American Cigar.
Joseph Brodowicz Jr. described
his father as a good man who would go out of his way to help others. He loved
fishing and the outdoors - a passion not shared by his wife, who preferred spending
time with family and playing bingo, family members said.
"He was by himself
a lot. They lived, not separate lives, but she wouldn't go with him - and he was
going. He'd go for two weeks, come home for two weeks and take her shopping all
over the place," Joseph Brodowicz Jr. said. "She was happy for him to
go, and she was happy for him to come home."
But Bertha Brodowicz's deteriorating
condition caused her to be placed in the nursing home about a year and a half
ago, the family said.
"It just broke his heart that she was there,"
Sylvia Brodowicz said.
Joseph Brodowicz Sr. had been in and out of the facility
a few times, and was back as a resident for his wife's birthday in January, she
said. He decided to throw her a birthday party, she said.
"Did she know
what was going on? We don't think so, but he still wanted to give her a birthday
party," she said.
Then about 1:30 a.m. Sunday, Joseph Brodowicz Jr. got
the call that his mother had passed. He went to see her and contacted family members,
agreeing to get together Monday morning to break the news to his father.
told him and everything, and he just basically closed his eyes," Sylvia Brodowicz
said. "A few minutes later he asked, 'What time?' We told him the time and
then that was it. He just laid there."
The next morning, the family got
another call: Joseph Brodowicz Sr. had passed.
In addition to Joseph Brodowicz
Jr. and Sylvia, the couple is survived by son Michael and wife, Marie, of Elmhurst;
daughter, Cynthia Dickshinski and husband, Richard, of Nanticoke; five grandchildren
and seven great-grandchildren.
Friends and family are invited to join the
immediate family at 10 a.m. Monday, March 20 for a Memorial Mass in St. Faustina
Parish Church, 520 Hanover St., Nanticoke.
No bedbug infestation at Nanticoke High School
Officials at the Nanticoke School District say that, despite rumors circulating
among parents, there is no bedbug infestation at the high school.
Leader received several tips about a potential infestation at the Greater Nanticoke
Area High School.
Officials, however, maintain that only a single bedbug was
found inside the building.
Building and Grounds Director Frank Grevera said
an insect was found in a classroom on Tuesday. It was taken away, and determined
to be a bedbug.
An exterminator came to the school at 5 p.m. Tuesday and sprayed
the room. Grevera added that as a precaution, desks and all areas within the room
were also sprayed.
When asked if there was an infestation, Grevera replied
"We didn't even see one of them from that
point," he said. It was not known how the bedbug made it into the school.
"It could have come from absolutely anybody. We have no idea where it came
Grevera stressed that bedbugs have not been reported in any other
classrooms in the high school.
Rich Colwell, owner of Colwell Termite &
Pest Control in Wilkes-Barre, said the sighting of one bedbug is not reason for
"Finding one sporadically and not finding anything else is no
reason for concern whatsoever," he said. "It could be a reason to start
monitoring, but that would be about it."
In a voice note sent to parents
Wednesday, superintendent Ronald Grevera cited posts on social media that have
caused "a lot of havoc and problems" at the high school as a result
of the incident.
"There is no need for concern, and there is no reason
for parents to pull kids out of school this afternoon (Wednesday) contrary to
many of the text messages and phone calls they may be getting from students,"
Grevera said in the note.
Parents called after bed bug found at Nanticoke
Greater Nanticoke Area Superintendent Ronald Grevera said he issued
an automated call to parents Wednesday afternoon explaining there was no reason
to be concerned about bed bugs and no reason to pick up students early. One bed
bug was found at the high school, and the district closed down the room and sprayed
it as a precaution, Grevera said. Rumors of a bed bug infestation were spread
on social media Wednesday.
of a postman: Nanticoke's Joe Lloyd touched lives for 40-plus years
Daniel Flatley - Times Leader
They hand-deliver information in the internet
age and are the only contact some people have with the outside world. They can
seem faceless and nameless - blue-suited representatives of an unknowable system.
Or one of them can be your friend.
That often was the case with postal worker
Joe Lloyd, 69, of Nanticoke, who was buried in his uniform earlier this winter,
a bottle of whiskey at his feet - a gift from a friend on his route.
Lloyd was honored for 45 years of service to the post office. He was known as
"the mayor of West Nanticoke" because he saw more of the area each day
than most people see in their lifetimes, and he always knew what was happening.
Appropriately, this story started with a letter.
'One of its best'
Spencer was a mail carrier in the Nanticoke Post Office from 1990 until 1996,
when she broke her ankle and became a clerk. She retired in 2010. Shortly after
learning of Lloyd's death, she emailed a letter to the editor to the Times Leader.
"The United States Postal Service has lost one of its best," the letter
began. "I worked with Joe Lloyd for 20 years and never knew a more dedicated,
Lloyd died Jan. 25 at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital.
According to his obituary, he was preceded in death by his wife, Irene (Judge)
Lloyd, and his infant twin brother, John, and is survived by three siblings: Maryalice
James of Edwardsville, John Leo Lloyd of Pittston, and Barbara Walton of Larksville.
"His whole life was the post office," James said. "And it showed.
He didn't take care of himself, obviously. He took care of everybody else."
A consistent refrain about her brother from all who knew him was that "he
had one foot in the bed, one foot on the floor and his hand on the telephone,
ready to answer the call."
"He was definitely dedicated," said
Frank Rafalko, the Nanticoke postmaster. "He would be here in like 15 minutes
ready to go. He really loved his job."
Rafalko said Lloyd's co-workers
began noticing he was losing weight at the start of last summer. In November,
around the time he received his award for 45 years of service, he began leaving
his route early and missing work, the latter of which had happened only once before,
In early January, Lloyd complained of a "bad chest cold"
and asked for an ambulance one day while he was home, James said. He was taken
to the hospital, where doctors confirmed he had colon cancer. On Jan. 23, he suffered
a series of three heart attacks, was resuscitated and put on life support.
Two days later, he was gone.
his job and did it well, but more than that, he impacted the people around him,
according to those who knew him best.
We make so much of accomplishment and
success in life that those who don't aspire to fame and wealth are said to live
"ordinary lives." We forget that to be human is to be given opportunities
to be kind, to nourish life, to make another's burden easier to bear.
peel back the layers, you discover some interesting things about Joe Lloyd.
He was born in Kingston and went to Larksville High School, where he excelled
in football and basketball and made the honor roll. One story recounts that, after
games, his liked his shower water so cold that others didn't go near him for fear
of being hit by the chilly spray.
When Joe was 14, his mother died, leaving
him and his sister Maryalice in charge of their younger siblings. Their alcoholic
father was physically present but functionally unavailable, according to Walton,
"The old man wasn't around too much," John Lloyd said.
"(Joe) was an all-scholastic basketball player his junior year and couldn't
even go out for the team his senior year because he had to go out and get a job
because he had to support us."
John said his brother "could've been
a doctor, a lawyer, or anything."
Joe could have gone to college but
instead stayed behind to help take care of the family before enlisting in the
Army. After he left the military he joined the post office.
During his first
two years on the job, in Hazleton, Lloyd delivered mail to the home of Jack Palance,
the actor known for his portrayals of cowboys, gangsters, vampires and Curly Washburn
from the "City Slickers" movie series. Famously, Palance dropped down
and did a set of one-handed push-ups on stage when he won the 1992 Oscar for best
He was 73 at the time.
"He did say he was a nice
guy, down to earth," James said of her brother's interactions with Palance.
Lloyd cared for his wife, Irene, during a protracted illness and for his mother-in-law
in recent years, something his sister said was further evidence of his patience
"Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom
of night," goes the unofficial motto of the U.S. Postal Service, taken from
the James A. Farley Post Office on Eighth Avenue in Manhattan, a nod to the mail
carrier's unwavering consistency.
The quote, which was translated for the
building, comes from an account of the Persian Wars by the Greek historian Herodotus.
The Persians operated a system of mounted couriers on horseback, a basic concept
that continues today. Despite the advent of modern vehicles and high-tech sorting
machines, people still carry the mail, often on foot.
Karen Mazurkiewicz has
worked for the Postal Service for 30 years, most recently as the public relations
officer for Central Pennsylvania. She said the mail carrier's job has changed
in subtle ways over the past 10 or 15 years.
Today, sorting mail takes much
less time with the help of machines. As a result, carriers spend more time on
their routes, especially delivering packages - a part of the job that has increased
exponentially with the growth of online retailers.
"The boom in packages
means that carriers have taken on a lot more physically than even 10 years ago,"
Postal workers can "bid" on routes based on their
seniority. The longer a carrier has been in the service, the more options he or
she has. Some routes are easier than others. But some postal carriers elect to
stay on the same routes for virtually their entire careers. When that happens,
those carriers become a part of their communities.
birthdays, anniversaries, they get invited to these events," Mazurkiewicz
said. "They become not just a public servant but a part of your life."
After his two years in Hazleton, Lloyd delivered mail in Nanticoke for 40 years,
including the final 30 years of his life in West Nanticoke. His military service
counted for three years of postal work.
The comments section of Lloyd's obituary
is filled with stories about his interaction with customers, including memories
of him sitting on the steps and talking with them, as well as his requests for
pumpkin cookies at the holidays.
Many of Lloyd's friends and acquaintances
described him as a George Bailey-type figure from the film "It's a Wonderful
Life." The only difference is that Lloyd never complained about staying in
his hometown, according to Walton.
"I didn't realize it was to that extent
until the funeral," she said. "These people were crying their eyes out
like he was family. I didn't even know who my mailman was."
the woman who wrote the letter to the Times Leader about Lloyd, said their relationship
began rather inauspiciously. Lloyd was known as a jokester and often would tease
Spencer, especially in his early days on the job. But after she saw how dedicated
he was to his profession, she grew to appreciate his consistency and to understand
his sense of humor.
"He knew how to get under people's skin, but you
could set your clock by him," she said. "I really came to admire that."
His consistency was outdone only by his humanity.
According to his sister
Maryalice, Joe would ring a customer's doorbell if he was delivering medicine;
he wanted his folks to know immediately that the potentially life-saving package
The great beyond
Judith Nowak is a former nurse and grief counselor.
She and her husband, Edward, reside in the same development where Joe Lloyd lived.
She is responsible for the bottle of whiskey in his casket.
There's a story
behind that, too.
Lloyd began delivering mail to Nowak's family on East Grove
Street while she was in nursing school. On the morning of her wedding, Lloyd brought
the results from her state board examination. He continued to deliver mail to
the Nowaks through all 44 years of their marriage, until this past Christmas,
when he didn't show up for his appointed rounds.
Several years ago, Nowak
began a tradition of giving Lloyd a present for Christmas, often a bottle of wine
or liquor. She already had purchased his latest gift when she found out he had
passed away. She asked Lloyd's sisters if she could leave the bottle with him.
Nowak said it brings her comfort to know that Lloyd is holding it in the great
beyond, a party favor for whomever he meets there.
"They'll say, 'Hey,
Joe brought the good stuff,'" she said.
displaced after fire ravaged apartment building in Nanticoke
Two people were displaced as a result of a fire that ravaged an apartment
building Monday night.
Crews were dispatched to the building on East Broad
Street at 9:25 p.m. for a report of a commercial structure fire. Fire Chief Kevin
Hazleton said the building is part of Birchwood Rehabilitation and Nursing Center
and housed up to 4 apartments.
Hazleton said crews arrived to find fire blowing
out of the rear and side of the structure.
It was blowing, but the (fire)
members made a good hit on it, he said.
The apartment where the fire
originated sustained heavy fire damage, and the rest of the building sustained
smoke damage, according to Hazleton. Only two people were living in the building.
No injuries or pet deaths were reported. Hazleton said a Pennsylvania State Police
Fire Marshal is expected to look into what caused the blaze.
Denise Allabaugh - Citizens
He's taking a shot on downtown Nanticoke.
32, the former general manager at Johnny Rockets at Mohegan Sun Pocono in Plains
Township, has opened Cool Beanz, his first business, at 71 E. Main St.
bistro features specialty brewed coffee and tea, smoothies, breakfast and lunch
fare, including panini sandwiches, hot dogs, salads, soups and sweets like pies,
muffins, cookies and cupcakes.
Rodriguez, who has worked in the food industry
since he was 15, said starting his own business was something he always wanted
"It is a risk, but I needed to take it to see if I can succeed,"
he said. "If I didn't take the risk, I would never know and I would regret
it. I took a big risk, something that I never did before, and I'm putting all
my chips in it and hopefully it pays off in the long run for me and my family."
When he was looking for a place to open his new business, he stumbled on
the location in Nanticoke, the former Coffee's Coffee owned by Kim Coffee.
It is located across from Luzerne County Community College's Health Sciences Building
and Geisinger's family practice facility and near Weis Market.
are a lot of students here," Rodriguez said. "There's the doctor's office
and there are patients here and people from the supermarket."
vacant storefronts are located next to Cool Beanz, but there are plans to revitalize
downtown buildings in the future as part of a streetscape project, said Interim
City Manager Donna Wall.
A sewer project was recently completed and a new
water main will be put in the downtown area, Wall said. New street lights are
planned in the future and Nanticoke received a $5.6 million federal grant for
the project, she said.
"Overall, I think there's a lot of progress that
will be made downtown," Wall said. "Anybody who wants to get on board
and bring businesses here, the city welcomes them here."
he hopes to see other vacant buildings in Nanticoke filled.
to see other stores and different things to bring more of the community out,"
he said. "I hope they revitalize downtown and a lot more foot traffic comes
by. Without customers, I won't be open."
The eatery is
open Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to
3 p.m. Delivery is offered 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For information, call 570-258-2315.
Nanticoke saves $2,000 by tax bill
The city is saving over
$2,000 by switching to a private sector company to print and mail tax bills, officials
The decisions to switch to Berkheimer Tax Office was brought before and
agreed on by council in May 2016. The official start date was Jan. 15, 2017.
Jennifer Polito, the citys finance director, said the city is saving $2,104
by having Berkheimer mail real estate tax bills.
Berkheimer is doing
it for less, said Donna Wall, the interim city manager. Previous Times Leader
reports show Berkheimers $2.25 rate per bill and $1.25 reminder mailings
saves the city 25 cents per bill.
We are getting same services that
the county was giving for less, Polito said.
Wall also said the county
wouldnt separate out municipal tax from the county tax when they billed
We separated it to make it easier for the taxpayers to pay
since they are now separated and due at different times, Wall noted.
School taxes, also handled by Berkhimer, are mailed in August while the city taxes
are mailed in March. The countys tax will be issued in February.
city didnt raise taxes in 2017. Mayor Richard Wiaterowskis budget
kept the millage rate at 5.93. A mill is a $1 tax for every $1,000 of assessed
value. The breakdown of millage includes general purpose millage at 4.75, debt
services at 1.15 and .0194 for the Mill Memorial Library.
Hazleton is the
only other county municipality which issues a separate city tax bill.
Nanticoke native bestowed Congressional award posthumously
A Nanticoke native has been posthumously honored
for his service with the Civil Air Patrol during World War II.
who died on Sept. 18, 2015, was presented a certificate of Special Congressional
Recognition on Nov . 15, 2016. He was 87.
The certificate reads:
recognition of the Congressional Gold Medal Award for invaluable contributions
in the United States Civil Air Patrol during World War II, when they forged the
path the organization and its volunteers still follow today.
sister, Julie Golanoski, of Nanticoke, said she was very happy that her brother
received such a prestigious honor.
Its belated, but he finally
was recognized for his service, Golanoski said. Im very proud
of my brother. He started his aeronautical career as a teenager even before
he drove a car, he was flying an airplane.
Golanoski said Testaguzza
and his two friends joined the Civil Air Patrol, calling themselves The
His loyalty was always strong to his home town
of Nanticoke, Golanoski said. We grew up on West Church Street, where
I live now.
According to the Civil Air Patrols California Wing,
after two attempts to get the Congressional Gold Medal awarded to the Civil Air
Patrol World War II era veterans, the medal was finally authorized by Congress
and President Barack Obama in May 2014 and the medal awarded on Dec. 10, 2014.
The CAP said while over a replica hundred medals have been awarded to date, the
organization continues to search for living members and the families of deceased
members who are eligible for the award to ensure they are recognized for their
One such recipient was the family of Testaguzza, who served as a
cadet in the Pennsylvania Wing during World War II, attached to the Wilkes-Barre
Squadron, near Scranton.
Testaguzza soloed in a Piper J-3 Cub at 17 years
of age and then enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps seven days after graduating
from Nanticoke High School, and he served as an aircraft mechanic.
he was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps, but later joined the California
Air National Guard and was commissioned a second lieutenant after completing flight
training and earning his pilots wings from the U.S. Air Force in 1953, where
he flew P-51 Mustangs and F-86 Sabre jets.
Testaguzza graduated from Northrop
University in 1955 with a degree in aeronautical engineering and began his civilian
career in the burgeoning California aerospace industry, eventually landing at
Lockheed. In 1962, 2d Lt. Testaguzza was recalled to active duty during the Cuban
Missile Crisis and was later promoted to the grade of major and placed in command
of the 938th Communication Squadron.
He was again recalled to active duty
in 1968 during the USS Pueblo crisis. In 1969, Maj. Testaguzza retired from the
Air Force after more than 22 years of active and reserve service.
continued to work at Lockheed while attending law school at night and after graduation,
was admitted to the California State Bar, Federal District Court and U.S. Supreme
Court. He retired from Lockheed in 1989 with over 30 years of service, but remained
active as an aviation consultant for McDonnell Douglas.
active in aviation and became a certified flight examiner in 1988 at the age of
60 and continued to give check flights until the age of 85. Testaguzza passed
away at the age of 87 on Sept. 18, 2015 in Palo Alto, California.
Gold Medal was presented to Testaguzzas widow, Marlene, and his son, Brett,
at John J. Montgomery Memorial Squadron 36 in San Jose by California Wing Commander
Col. Alan Ferguson and assisted by Squadron 36 Commander, Capt. Steven Angus.
More than 60 CAP members were in attendance.
Testaguzza was born in Nanticoke
to Italian immigrants Dominic and Mary Testaguzza. His father worked in the coal
mines and his mother ran a boarding house.
Testaguzzas obituary noted
that he lived his life to the fullest, and he always said Life
is not a rehearsal, live it up!
Civil Air Patrol California Wing Commander
Col. Alan Ferguson presented the Congressional Gold Medal of Maj. Louis Testaguzza,
a native of Nanticoke, to his widow, Marlene, and his son, Brett, during a ceremony
on Nov. 15, 2016, in California.
About the Civil Air Patrol
alone tell a story of heroic sacrifice: At least 59 CAP members were killed in
the performance of their missions, with nearly half 26 dying during
the coastal patrols. Those patrols alone accounted for 86,685 missions involving
244,600 flight hours and more than 24 million aerial miles.
CAP was founded
Dec. 1, 1941, a week before the bombing of Pearl Harbor. The coastal patrols began
within three months, after the Petroleum Industry War Council requested protection
for oil tankers falling prey to German torpedoes. Over the next 15 months, members
used their own planes to watch for U-boats, sometimes dropping bombs when they
spotted one of the submarines.
The Congressional Gold Medal marks the first
major recognition CAPs members have received for their World War II service.
Fewer than 100 are believed to be alive today.
family crazy about Patriots
Felici family of Nanticoke keeps their Christmas tree up every year until the
New England Patriots football season is over.
They like when its still
up in February, like this year. That means their favorite team made the Super
Over the years, the familys Christmas tree shed traditional
ornaments to become what it is today a shrine to the Patriots. This years
tree a white pine with lots of red, white and blue flair has held
up remarkably well as the Patriots prepare today to play in their seventh Super
Bowl in 16 years.
This is the best one weve had. Weve had
ones where all the needles fell off and it was like a stick, Kelly Felici,
Her husband, Pete, 39, convinced her to become a Patriots fan when
they started dating in the 1990s. She was a Raiders fan who converted at the right
time. Soon after she made the switch, the Patriots developed into a dynasty under
head Coach Bill Belichick and star quarterback Tom Brady.
Some accuse her
of jumping on the bandwagon of a winner.
I get called it.
Hes not. Hes an original, she said.
But Pete Felici said
hes not immune to the taunts when people see him decked out in Patriots
attire. He recalls a particular time about a decade ago when an elderly man was
giving him a hard time at a gas station after seeing him in his Patriots jacket.
Hes like, Did you just jump on the bandwagon? I said,
Ive been a fan for as long as I could remember, Pete Felici
Pete Felici said he became a fan as a kid while visiting relatives
in Connecticut. It was cold out and they got him a New England Patriots sweatshirt.
Ever since then, he has been rooting for the Patriots.
After converting his
wife, they have been to about 15 Patriots games over the years in Foxborough,
Massachusetts. Their daughters, Lexy, 13, and Brook, 10, are backers of the Patriots
Even they get teased by classmates about supporting the mighty Patriots,
They always bring up Deflategate, Lexy
said, referring to accusations New England deliberately underinflated footballs
used for their offense to suit Bradys preference.
All this ribbing
most of it good-hearted comes with the territory for backing a team that
has been on top of the game so long, the family says.
Over the years, Pete
Felici said hes tried not to brag about how good his team has been, but
his buddies love to tease him when they falter.
Especially with all
the Steelers and Eagles fans, he said.
Pete Felici said it has been
a great time to be a Patriots fan because he realizes the team isnt
going to be great forever.
Its been a great run. The Belichick-Brady
combination, they have it figured out, Peter Felici said.
Family fearful with man's alleged killer still at large
As Tina Letavish laid on her living room
couch in the early morning hours of Jan. 18, she watched her son walk out the
front door to meet someone.
Almost immediately, she heard a scuffle erupt.
A flurry of gunshots followed.
"I got up from the couch. By the time
I got to the door Brandon was coming back to the door saying someone shot him.
It was like two seconds," Letavish recalled Thursday. "He was running
back and forth in the house screaming that he didn't want to die. I replay it
every day all day in my head. All I see is my son begging for his life."
Smith, 20, died a short time later at the hospital from multiple gunshot wounds.
More than two weeks later, the man police identified as the killer, convicted
drug dealer Antoine McNeal, remains at large.
Letavish said her family - which
includes her husband and Smith's three younger siblings - is fearful with the
killer still on the loose. It adds to the unease of having to live in their apartment
at 185 W. Church St. where Smith took some of his last breaths, she said.
"I really wish they would catch the guy," Letavish said.
police Chief Tom Wall said the U.S. Marshals Service is hunting for McNeal, who
was last known to live in Wilkes-Barre.
Wall wouldn't reveal how McNeal, 32,
was identified as the suspect, but confirmed drugs had something to do with the
"There was drug activity involved, but the motive is unclear at
this time," Wall said.
Smith's sister, Destiny Crooks, said her brother
used marijuana for anxiety, but never dabbled with other drugs.
47, said Smith, one of her nine children, didn't tell her a lot about his personal
business and she didn't ask a lot of questions. She said he was a kind, good kid
who never got in trouble.
Unlike the suspect, Smith had no criminal history,
according to a search of court records.
Smith and McNeal knew each other from
working at Kappa Graphics in Hughestown, though Smith hadn't worked there for
months, his mother said. A company official declined comment.
family friends that worked there. They had told us this guy was watching Brandon
and was envious of Brandon. They would tell Brandon, 'Don't trust him.' Brandon
didn't trust this kid. He was warned about him," Letavish said.
baffles Letavish is how the suspect ended up outside their house. She said Smith
was very private and didn't let a lot of people know where they lived.
can't believe Brandon would let him near our house," she said.
aftermath of Smith's death, Letavish said the family was disheartened to hear
people online assume he was adopted because he was the only black person in the
"It really hurt me to read that he was a foster child. He was
my son - my biological son and I never raised my children to think they were 'step'
anything. We are a very close family," Letavish said.
she said, were erroneous reports that her family was a longtime neighborhood nuisance.
She said they had just moved there in November and had caused no trouble.
Letavish moved her family to Pennsylvania from Binghamton, New York, about 10
They lived in the Tunkhannock area for a while before moving to
Nanticoke. They moved to Ohio for a short time, then returned to Nanticoke.
"We have a lot of friends here," Letavish said.
went to Tunkhannock Area schools, but later was moved to the Alternative Learning
Center in Plains Township for some disciplinary reasons, his mother said.
After dropping out of school, Smith worked as a garbage picker for J.P. Mascaro
& Sons, which was also the first job for several of her older sons who now
live on their own.
"I gave him a lot of credit for that. He stuck it
out," Letavish said.
Smith was injured on the job and had to quit after
he hit his head off a utility pole one day during trash pickups, Letavish said.
Most recently, Smith was looking to return to school, his mother said. Instead
of planning to help him in his next chapter in life, they had to plan for a funeral
they couldn't afford, she said.
Smith's family has sent up a fund online to
pay for the $2,000 they still owe in funeral costs. To donate, go to www.gofundme.com/3boa8v4.
On Sunday, they will be thinking of Smith a lot as his beloved New England Patriots
play in the Super Bowl.
"We are all rooting for the Patriots for Brandon,"
HUNT FOR SUSPECT
Authorities continue to search for Nanticoke
homicide suspect Antoine McNeal, 32, last known to live in Wilkes-Barre.
with information about McNeal's whereabouts is asked to call state police at Wyoming
DONATE TO FUNERAL COSTS
The family of Nanticoke homicide
victim Brandon Smith, 20, is trying to raise money to pay for $2,000 they still
owe in funeral costs.
To donate, go to www.gofundme.com/3boa8v4.
Suspect named in Nanticoke murder
Mark - Citizens Voice
Police have named a suspect in the murder of
a Nanticoke man early Wednesday morning.
Antoine McNeal, 32, of Wilkes-Barre,
shot and killed 20-year-old Brandon Smith outside Smiths home on West Church
Street in Nanticoke at 2 a.m. Wednesday, police allege.
Police obtained an
arrest warrant against McNeal on Thursday. He had not been located as of Thursday
night and is considered armed and dangerous, police said.
According to police,
Smith and McNeal got into an altercation that resulted in McNeal shooting Smith
An autopsy conducted Thursday morning determined that Smith
died of multiple gunshot wounds inflicted during a homicide, according to the
Luzerne County Coroners Office.
McNeal faces charges of homicide, illegal
weapons possession, criminal use of a communication facility and evidence tampering,
according to court records.
Anyone with information about McNeal or his whereabouts
is asked to call state police at Wyoming at 570-697-2000.
Neighbors question safety after Nanticoke fatal shooting
Gunshots rang out on the west side
early Wednesday, leaving one man dead and some neighbors questioning their safety
in an era of absentee landlords.
The victim, Brandon Smith, 20, was shot repeatedly
outside a home at 185 W. Church St. about 2 a.m. following an altercation with
a person with whom he appeared to be acquainted, according to state police.
We do believe that its possible that it can be (drug) related, but
right now all of the evidence isnt in, said Nanticoke police Chief
Thomas Wall, whose department is jointly investigating the slaying with state
police. We have some leads but we dont have anybody in custody at
Witnesses reported hearing gunshots break the early morning
quiet in an area that has had recent problems.
I heard two, possibly
three, gunshots, said a witness who did not want to be identified for her
safety. And then about two seconds later I heard the guy scream.
Police rushed to the scene and arrived to find Smith outside the home, suffering
from multiple gunshot wounds. He was taken to Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical
Center in Plains Township, where he was pronounced dead about 3 a.m., according
to the Luzerne County Coroners Office.
An autopsy is planned for Thursday
Smith did not appear to have a criminal history in Pennsylvania based
on the birth date state police provided.
But neighbors of the home where he
died say the location was known as a troubled property.
Desiree Deitz, 35,
said the tenants Smith, a woman and a young girl have only lived
at the property a few months but have already earned a reputation for disrupting
Theyre constantly fighting, they got their window smashed
out a couple weeks ago, Deitz said.
The house has seen high turnover
in recent years, as has another nearby property she said has been causing problems
Deitz blamed the neighborhoods problems on absentee landlords
who only care about collecting the rent.
Thats the problem in
this town. The absentee landlords, they dont care. They rent to whoever
and then we are affected, Deitz said. Its sad because Im
trying to raise a family. Theyre trying to raise a family. Our neighbors
have been here for years. Our friend across the street, she lives there alone.
Shes lived there her whole life. Its terrifying. It really is terrifying.
I dont like to come home and see police crime-scene tape down the street
from my house.
The shooting caused police to close West Church Street
down for hours as they processed the crime scene. By Wednesday afternoon, the
street had been re-opened to traffic.
While a reporter was on the scene, state
police investigators returned to look for evidence that was mentioned in an interview,
Right now, were just doing some interviews and following
up on some leads that we have, he said.
The shooting is the second Nanticoke
has experienced in recent weeks.
Kenneth Powell, 30, was shot in the back
after allegedly confronting an unidentified man who broke into his East Spring
Street home the morning of Dec. 8.
Powell and his girlfriend, Courtney Padden,
26, were presented with felony drug-trafficking charges after police say they
found a large bag of marijuana, drug packaging materials and nearly $13,000 in
cash inside the home.
Smiths death is the second homicide of the year
for Luzerne County following the Jan. 11 slaying of Brock Earnest, 40, of Montandon.
Keith Williams, 40, is charged with criminal homicide after prosecutors say he
shot Earnest, who was sitting on a couch, following a fight between the men at
Williams home in Fairmount Township.
forum focuses on safety
Eric Mark - Citizens Voice
forum Tuesday on the potential closure of State Correctional Institution at Retreat
focused on the potential danger to corrections officers and inmates.
takes that issue personally. His son, Eric Williams, was killed in the line of
duty as a corrections officer at U.S. Penitentiary-Canaan in Wayne County in 2013.
On Tuesday, Don Williams led the forum at Luzerne County Community College devoted
to keeping SCI-Retreat open. He implored Gov. Tom Wolf not to close SCI-Retreat
Newport Townships largest employer or other state prisons
as a cost-cutting measure.
The state Department of Corrections on Jan. 6 issued
a list of five state prisons, including SCI-Retreat, two of which could be closed
to cut expenses from the state budget.
Closing prisons and moving inmates
to other correctional institutions with empty beds would put more corrections
officers and inmates at closer quarters where bad things can happen, Williams
Weve established there is going to be overcrowding,
he said. Its a formula for disaster.
Williams noted that
when his son was killed by an inmate wielding a home-made weapon, three things
stood out: He was alone, he was unarmed and the prison was overcrowded.
greater the number of inmates a corrections officer must supervise, the greater
the chance of an inmate attack on an officer, according to Williams, who is president
of Voices of Joe, an advocacy group that lobbies for improved working conditions
and safety for corrections officers.
Altering the staff ratio by 1 percent
will increase assaults by 30 percent, said Shane Fausey, vice president
of Voices of Joe.
Fausey asked the many corrections officers in attendance
if they had ever been attacked by an inmate. More than a dozen hands instantly
shot up into the air.
What do you think the end result will be?
if state prisons fill to capacity or beyond, Fausey asked.
Fausey and Williams
questioned whether closing state prisons would save as much money as Wolf projected
or even save anything at all, after the final accounting is done.
it would take is one riot for the prison consolidation plan to wind up costing
more than it saves, Fausey said.
He cited the days-long riot at Camp Hill
state prison in 1989 as a bad precedent. It cost $14 million to repair the damage
and clean up after the disturbance, he said.
Thats a far cry from
the pennies they are going to save by closing prisons, Fausey said.
There could be a societal cost as well, Williams said. If prison populations reach
or exceed maximum, parole boards might release some inmates early to ease overcrowding,
One of my biggest fears is they are going to release people
into society with no plan for how to deal with them, Williams said.
Prison consolidation and overcrowding would impact the many inmates who require
mental health treatment, according to Tuesdays panel which included
state Rep. Gerald Mullery, D-Newport Township, state Sen. John Yudichak, D-Plymouth
Township, Luzerne County District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis and county Manager
How many of these inmates are going to get this treatment,
which we are required to give them? Salavantis asked.
that denying inmates mental health treatment could be cause for federal authorities
The panel unanimously supported Yudichaks call for Wolf
to delay making a decision on closing prisons. As of now that decision is scheduled
for Jan. 26, with the affected prisons to close by June 30.
been driven by the budget, not driven by safety, Yudichak said.
Officials: SCI-Retreat closure would devastate Nanticoke
will be bad news for Greater Nanticoke Area School
District if State Correctional Institution at Retreat closes as part of a
state prison consolidation.
That was the message hammered home at a Friday
press conference by state lawmakers, district officials and corrections officers
who work at SCI-Retreat, which houses 1,100 inmates and employs more than 400
workers on the prison grounds off U.S. Route 11 in Newport Township.
of SCI-Retreat, and possibly SCI-Waymart in Wayne County or SCI-Frackville in
Schuylkill County, would have a devastating impact on the economy
of Northeastern Pennsylvania and especially communities in the Greater Nanticoke
Area, said state Sen. John Yudichak, D-Plymouth Township.
The three prisons
are on a list of five state correctional institutions targeted for possible closure
as a cost-cutting measure, the state Department of Corrections announced last
Gov. Tom Wolf has said he wants to focus on education rather than prisons,
The senator, speaking in a conference room at his alma mater,
Nanticoke High School, described that concept as a false choice.
is not that simple, Yudichak said. Crime still exists. Drugs remain
Taxpayers should not be forced to choose between safe streets
and quality schools, Yudichak said.
Yudichak and state Rep. Gerald Mullery,
D-Newport Township, on Friday continued their week-long rally in support of SCI-Retreat,
noting that Wolf and state Secretary of Corrections John Wetzel overestimate the
cost savings that closing prisons would realize.
According to Yudichak and
SCI-Retreat is the second-largest employer in Greater Nanticoke
Area, behind only Luzerne County Community College.
If the prison closes,
the school district would lose about 90 families and 200 students, resulting in
a loss of about $100,000 in tax revenue.
The losses could force district
officials to cut programs and services, such as a pre-kindergarten program that
district Superintendent Ronald Grevera said the district would like to expand
rather than eliminate.
About 350 SCI-Retreat employees live in Luzerne
County, so most school districts in the county would be impacted if the prison
I am not sure how we would overcome the loss of revenue,
Four corrections officers at SCI-Retreat, all fathers of children
who attend district schools, sat next to the officials gathered at the conference
The men and their families face harrowing uncertainty about their future,
said Mark Truszkowski of the PA State Corrections Officers Association.
Department of Corrections has guaranteed jobs somewhere in the state to corrections
officers who currently work at prisons that will close, but that will require
officers to either relocate or commute long distances, Truszkowski said.
will affect the officers children and families, according to Truszkowski.
We are hurting the developmental stages of these children, he said.
Mullery questioned the timetable established by Wolf to decide which prisons will
That decision will be made on Jan. 26, Wetzel said last week.
is no magic to (that) date, Mullery said.
He and Yudichak urged the
governor to extend the deadline and make decisions on potentially closing prisons
as part of the state budgeting process, which will last throughout the first half
All we are asking is to extend the deadline, Yudichak
The fight to keep SCI-Retreat open will continue for the 12 days until
that deadline arrives.
The state House of Representatives Northeast Delegation
will send a letter to Wolf expressing dismay at the governors
plan to close prisons, Mullery said.
The letter will urge Wolf to delay the
decision until public hearings are held, at which those affected by potential
prison closings may testify, according to Mullery.
Also, busloads of corrections
officers plan to attend a hearing in Harrisburg on Jan. 23, at which three Senate
committees will review the plan to potentially close state prisons, according
We are going to pack the place, he said.
Yudichak, Mullery say closing SCI Retreat would hurt
education at GNA
State Sen. John
Yudichak said Friday if Gov. Tom Wolf cares more about schools than prisons, he
should consider the adverse impact closing the State Correctional Institute at
Retreat would have on the quality of education in the Greater Nanticoke Area School
Yudichak, D-Plymouth Township, and state Rep. Gerald Mullery, D-Newport
Township, held another news conference on the governors plan to close two
state prisons this time, the two legislators were at their alma mater,
the districts high school. SCI Retreat is on a list of five state prisons
from which two are scheduled to be chosen for closure on Jan. 26.|
and Mullery and other state legislators have been asking the governor and Department
of Corrections Secretary John Wetzel to extend the deadline to allow for more
time to gather information, such as the economic impact any closing would have
on the host communities.
Gov. Wolf wants to invest in schools, not prisons,
but that is a false choice, Yudichak said. Pennsylvanias taxpayers
want to invest in both. Closing SCI-Retreat will jeopardize $1.6 million in funding
for the Nanticoke School District and threatens important educational programs
like Pre-K instruction.
Joining Yudichak and Mullery were Dr. Ronald
Grevera, superintendent of the Greater Nanticoke Area School District, district
school board members, and five members of the Pennsylvania State Corrections Officers
Association who work at SCI Retreat and whose children attend school in the district.
A closure of SCI-Retreat means we could lose 90 families and more than 200
students, Grevera said. We cannot absorb such a staggering exodus
of families and students, as well as the second largest employer within the district.
It is simple math if the prison closes, secure funding for our schools
will be undermined.
Yudichak and Mullery stressed that the prison is
integral to the entire community, both as an employer and as an important part
of the criminal justice system.
The 139 heroin overdoses in Luzerne
County demonstrates that drug abuse remains a problem in the county and crime
remains an issue in our community, Yudichak said.
Mullery said no one
knows when the dominoes will stop falling if the governor closes prisons
I have yet to hear a compelling reason why this decision
needs to be made on Jan. 26, let alone a compelling reason to target three prisons
in Northeastern Pennsylvania, Mullery said.
Yudichak said closing SCI
Retreat would result in a loss of $100,000 in tax revenue to the school district.
He said the pre-K program at Nanticoke costs approximately $190,000 per year.
He said the loss of revenue would not only have an immediate effect on the program,
it could be lost.
Grevera said any cuts to the pre-K program would have a
significant, measurable negative effect on the quality of education in the district.
He said elementary students have been found to be better at reading and math because
of the pre-K program.|
We should be expanding our pre-K program, not
cutting it, Grevera said. With a potential loss of $1.6 million in
funding, Im not sure how we would ever recover from that.
DOC and Wolf Administration has been holding meetings to determine the economic
impact closing a prison would mean to each of the five possible areas. Yudichak
and Mullery have estimated closing SCI Retreat would see a $57.3 million hit to
the regions economy.
The legislators have asked that Wolf delay a decision
on prison closings and resume budget talks, with the hope that enough cuts can
be found to avoid significant measures, such as closing two prisons. Some 2,500
inmates would have to be relocated and about 800 employees reassigned if two prisons
are shut down.
Yudichak cited Northeastern Pennsylvanias 6.3 percent
unemployment rate, stating that closing SCI Retreat would see that number rise
Yudichak and Mullery said they feel state legislators have
been shut out of the decision-making process.
These are tax dollars,
Yudichak said. We should be a part of this process.
there are some 2,000 to 2,500 state inmates currently housed in county correctional
facilities. He said those inmates, if returned to state facilities, would eliminate
the need to close prisons.
If this is a numbers issue, as Secretary
Wetzel has stated, then that would resolve that, Yudichak said. There
has also been talk of the state accepting federal inmates. We will have a new
president on Jan. 20. We should allow for more time to see if that agreement can
police chief responds to criticism of department
A discussion about illegally parked commercial vehicles during Wednesday's
city council meeting caused police Chief Tom Wall to question if some city residents
have negative attitudes.
"It's been brought to my attention that nothing
happens in Nanticoke." Wall said during the meeting. "Have you read
the papers lately?"
Wall said some of the complaints aired at council
meetings are "very minuscule" on the police scale and pointed to the
number of heroin deaths in the county - 140 in 2016 - as an example of one of
the problems his department is forced to face.
Wall did reassure citizens
that anything called in to him or the police department will be addressed, but,
in some instances, it may be low on the police's radar.
He was answering complaints
from John Telencho and Lou Gianuzzi about illegally parked commercial vehicles.
"I know this isn't the most important thing in the world," Gianuzzi
said. "But there has to be something flowing."
Gianuzzi is upset
that tractor-trailers park on conservation land near the bridge connecting Nanticoke
with Plymouth Township. It wasn't the first time Gianuzzi has complained about
the trucks. Minutes from as early as June show him questioning interim City Manager
Donna Wall about them.
"You don't know what they're hauling," Gianuzzi
said, claiming they could be hauling explosives or dirty soil.
Finnegan said he had tried to make contact with the owners of the land to buy
the parcel because it sits next to a larger property the city owns. Finnegan said
he's reached out "twice in writing and once by phone" to the owner,
who has yet to respond.
"It's a grey area," the police chief said
about citing the owner of the property.
"It's private property. We don't
own it," Donna said.
Gianuzzi was also concerned with the loss of a
$40,000 contract between the police department and Warrior Run to patrol the borough.
Finance Director Jennifer Polito said the appropriate revisions to the department's
budget have been made.
"We did pull the $40,000 from the budget.
We're going to hopefully try to increase revenue in the police department,"
The next council meeting will be held 7 p.m. Jan. 18 in council
chambers, 15 E. Ridge St.