Search for fallen WWII soldiers family
moves to Moosic
Bob Kalinowski - Citizens Voice - Note: partial article from CV
The hunt for family of a World War II soldier missing since October
1944 has shifted and appears to be over.
Military officials initially contacted the Nanticoke Historical Society,
looking for family of Private Anthony Laskowski, believed to have
been a Nanticoke native killed in a massive explosion near Agincourt,
But some Laskowskis in the Nanticoke area knew the military was on
the wrong track their Anthony Laskowski survived the war and
died in the 1980s. After a recent story was published in The Citizens
Voice, they eventually helped track down the right family, the Laskowskis
originally from Moosic.
Delphine Krappa Mattei, 81, of Dupont, on Wednesday said the Laskowski
the military is inquiring about is her uncle, Anthony A. Laskowski.
He was the brother of her late mother, Laura Laskowski Gerlak.
Wilkes-Barre, Pittston, Hazleton, Nanticoke
mull cooperation on blight
The mayors of three of Luzerne Countys four cities met Tuesday
to discuss issues and possible partnerships to help ease some of the
financial burdens each faces and ways to grow their communities.
Mayor Tony George of Wilkes-Barre, Mayor Mike Lombardo of Pittston
and Mayor Jeff Cusat of Hazleton met for more than an hour in Wilkes-Barre
City Hall to exchange ideas and to share experiences. Mayor Rich Wiaterowski
of Nanticoke could not attend the meeting.
Lombardo said the group, for now, is called Council of Cities and
the plan is to meet quarterly or more often, depending on issues.
Tuesdays discussion centered on blighted properties and how
to deal with absentee owners and overcrowded units with numerous code
violations. The mayors goal is to find the best way to get the
buildings rehabilitated and returned to the tax rolls as soon as possible.
There was extended conversation on Act 90 the Neighborhood
Blight Reclamation and Revitalization Act which took
effect in 2011.
Act 90 expands the powers that municipalities have to reduce blighted
properties. Those in serious code violation, as determined
by local zoning officers, can have several legal actions taken against
them. Buildings that are determined to be a public nuisance
also fall under the law.
A city may take action if after six months from the date of an order
to correct violations there has been no substantial step
to correct those violations.
Some of the options available:
Liens can be placed against properties with code violations.
Municipalities can take property owners to court to seek judgments
against an owners assets.
Municipalities may deny permits to owners of buildings who
are in violation.
Municipalities may deny permits to owners who are behind in
Municipalities may deny permits to owners behind in other municipal
accounts (water, sewage, refuse collection, etc.)
Municipalities may deny these permits until all existing violations
Out-of-state property owners may be extradited to Pennsylvania
to be charged with property-related violations.
Magisterial districts may establish housing courts
additionally, judges are encouraged to attend training and
education relating to new blight laws.
George, Cusat and Lombardo will invite Luzerne County District Attorney
Stefanie Salavantis to discuss what her office can do to assist the
cities in addressing the issues covered by Act 90.
In Pittston, our focus over the next four years will be on our
housing stock, said Lombardo, who returned to office this month.
All of our downtowns are growing or have the potential to grow
and housing issues dictate where we go from here.
Lombardo hopes the mayors can share issues each city is confronting
and also discuss how they can join together to make purchases of items
and materials they all use.
In Hazleton, we certainly have a lot of issues with housing,
Cusat said. We found one apartment where eight people were living
in one room. Weve also found people living in basements with
no way out.
George agreed the four cities together have the potential to present
a stronger argument on issues.
As a group, we have a better chance at securing federal funding
for certain projects, George said.
Lombardo and Cusat agreed, saying each city acting alone would not
be as influential as a united effort by the four.|
The mayors also intend to find ways to attract developers to their
cities to help eliminate blight.
Family sought of Nanticoke soldier killed
in France in World War II
Bob Kalinowski - Citizens Voice
After more than 73 years, there is renewed hope of determining the
fate of a Nanticoke soldier believed to have been killed during World
Private Anthony Laskowski and 32 other men were thought to have been
killed in a horrific explosion and inferno on Oct. 10, 1944 near Ajincourt,
France. But the remains of Laskowski and 12 others were never recovered.
Theyve been considered missing in action ever since.
The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency recently recovered remains in
that area and are trying to link them with the missing through family
The organization recently reached out to the Nanticoke Historical
Society to help track down relatives of Laskowski.
Chet Zaremba, the groups vice president, said hes been
having little luck.
He did live in Nanticoke at one time, so we owe him something,
Zaremba said. Theres lots of Laskowskis around here, but
I cant make any connection.
Military officials have told Zaremba that Laskowskis enlistment
paperwork indicates he was from Nanticoke and his mother, Stefania,
lived in the Sheatown section of Newport Twp.
News accounts from January 1945 reported on his suspected death and
says he was the brother of Mrs. John Gerlak of Dupont and the husband
of Evelyn Laskowski, of Center Avenue, Newark, New Jersey.
The militarys missing persons website has Laskowski listed under
those unaccounted for from New Jersey.
Military officials provided the historical society with a summary
about the incident that likely killed Laskowski.
Members of Laskowskis unit the Armys 35th Infantry
Division, 60th Engineers Combat Battalion were laying anti-tank
landmines at night on Oct. 10, 1944 during a period intermittent artillery
and mortar fire. Truck after truck was loaded with fused mines.
A big explosion from the leading truck caused the systematic detonation
of other trucks and mines on the ground, causing more than 1,500 mines
The entire area immediately became an inferno of exploding mines,
small arms ammunition and burning, according to an after-action
report by the 60th Engineers Combat Battalion. The night was
very dark and there was a heavy fog, which made rescue work most difficult
Zaremba is hoping Laskowski still has some local relatives so the
military can determine if his remains have been found.
They are trying to identify them so they could bury them properly,
Relatives can contact the Armys Past Conflict Repatriations
Branch at 1-800-892-2490.
Missing in action
Name: Private Anthony Laskowski
Branch: U.S. Army
Missing since: Oct. 10, 1944
Location: Near Ajincourt, France
Unit: 35th Infantry Division, 60th Engineers Combat Battalion
Marital residence: Newark, N.J.
Are you a relative?
The military is seeking relatives of Private Anthony Laskowski in
order to provide a DNA sample that could help identify remains found
in the area where Laskowski went missing during World War II. Relatives
can contact the Armys Past Conflict Repatriations Branch at
Winning lottery ticket sold in Nanticoke
will expire soon
Bob Kalinowski - Citizens Voice
Time is running out for someone to claim a $50,000 winning
lottery ticket purchased at a Nanticoke convenience store last year.
Someone correctly matched the Pick 5 numbers the evening
of Jan. 12, 2017 in a ticket purchased at Turkey Hill Minit Mart at
460 W. Main St.
The winnings will be forfeited if the ticket is not claimed by Friday,
Jan. 12, as winning tickets expire after one year, lottery officials
The winning numbers, in order, were 8-1-0-5-8.
Turkey Hill in Nanticoke has a sign up near its lottery register advising
residents to Please check your tickets as a big winner sold
here is set to expire.
This is a $50,000 winner and is unclaimed, the sign reads.
Allen Zieglar, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania Lottery, encouraged
people to check old tickets in hopes they have the winner. If its
not claimed by next Friday, the $50,000 will be returned to the lotterys
fund that benefits older Pennsylvanians.
We want players to check every ticket every time. We dont
want them to miss out on a prize. Thats why we are here. We do
our best to notify the public and players that there are winning tickets
out there, Zieglar said. Unfortunately, if its not
claimed in time, the money goes back to the lottery fund.
While some state lotteries give players only 90 or 180 days to claim
a prize, Pennsylvania Lottery prizes expire one year from the drawing
date, Zieglar noted.
In the past year, $18.8 million in lottery prizes have gone unclaimed,
Happy New Year 2018!