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As we receive information from the Times Leader , Citizens' Voice or any other news outlet we will post it here.
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Court fight continues over eminent domain issue in Nanticoke
Bill Wellock - Citizens Voice

An eminent domain dispute in Nanticoke is still working through county court.
The General Municipal Authority of the City of Nanticoke filed a declaration of taking for properties along the 100 block of East Main Street on Aug. 28, 2018.
On Jan. 28, attorneys for the municipal authority filed the latest motion in the ongoing dispute.
The purpose of the project is to provide affordable senior housing and public transportation, as well as to improve the infrastructure, streetscape, pedestrian safety and economic development in the city, and those are valid purposes for using eminent domain, attorneys argued. The fact that private interests may also benefit is immaterial.
The taking should not be considered excessive, attorneys argue, because it fulfills a need in the city.
In its declaration of taking, the authority said it plans to build a five-story mixed-use building on the site that will include affordable housing for senior citizens, a Geisinger center for the elderly, a parking garage and a bus station.
But Nilved Apartments, LLC, owned by Debbie Massaker, and Clifford and Mary Lou Pomicter objected to the project.
Among the complaints raised by the Pomicters and Nilved Apartments are beliefs that the project will include additional commercial space and that some of the apartments will not be used for senior citizens. There is already enough affordable housing for senior citizens in the city, their motions contend.
The motions also say they believe an older adult center could be replaced by a YMCA and that plans for an intermodal center are not finalized, and that the possibility of those changes means the project does not have a definitive plan. The basis for that belief is a news article published in The Citizens’ Voice in 2018 about the project, which quotes state and local officials.
The municipal authority denies those contentions, saying the project does not include additional retail or commercial space. The authority also denies that any housing won’t be for senior citizens in Nanticoke and says there are not adequate vacancies at three other senior housing facilities in the city, Oplinger Towers, Nanticoke Towers and Park Towers.

Leadership WB group aims to improve Nanticoke’s Quality Hill Park

A Leadership Wilkes-Barre project committee is looking to restore and beautify Quality Hill Park on Hill Street in Nanticoke.
The committee said the public park is a destination for many local families to host parties and gatherings. The project consists of various renovations and upgrades throughout the park, including:
• Replacing or repairing an existing fence that was damaged during a recent storm
• Painting of existing facilities throughout the park
• Upgrades and renovations to the community center and public restrooms
• Landscape upgrades such as shrubs, perennials, mulch and trees
• Pavement repairs for the existing basketball court
The committee will be holding a fundraiser Thursday, Feb. 21, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Sabatini’s Pizza in Exeter. Cost is $25 and includes all-you-can-eat pizza and up to three drinks. There will be raffle baskets and a 50/50 raffle with a $100 minimum guaranteed.
Tickets can be purchased prior to the event by contacting Jeff Kiluk at, or at the door the day of the event.
The committee’s goal is to raise $5,000. Every dollar that is raised will be invested in the park and will help pay for the materials needed to complete the renovations.
Donations to help support the project can be made by contacting Matt Daube at
The park includes basketball courts, tennis courts, swing sets, a merry-go-round, slides, a community center with restroom facilities, picnic tables and benches.
Besides Kiluk and Daube, committee members include:
• Candice Dutko –
• Dawn Gilliland –
• Christine Mackin –
• Tyler Salerno –
• Deb Telesz –
• Desiree Voitek –

Local school districts tightened security in Parkland massacre’s wake
Michael P. Buffer 0 Citizens Voice
Note: This excerpt was taken from full article

The Greater Nanticoke Area School District “has been very proactive in safety and security” since the Parkland shooting, Superintendent Ronald Grevera said. Greater Nanticoke hired a full-time school police officer this year, and the $39,000 cost was covered by a Safe Schools Grant.
The district added two walk-through metal detectors and metal detector wands at the high school, and they have also been used for sporting events, Grevera said. Clear backpacks are required in the high school, and they will be used at the Educational Center beginning in the 2019-20 school year, Grevera said.
“All buildings in the district now have locking vestibules, which we did not have a year ago,” Grevera added.
Visitors must now present a valid ID for a check on whether they are on the list of registered sex offenders. The district also plans to use a $7,000 grant to add communication systems to the district through “walkie-talkies” and a repeater for a district frequency through the FCC, Grevera said.

Demolition begins at shuttered St. Joseph Church in Nanticoke
Staff Report - Citizens Voice

Demolition began on the former St. Joseph Church in Nanticoke on Monday.
The church and an adjoining rectory at 107 E. Noble St., closed in May 2010 as part of the Catholic church consolidation.
Demolition is being done by Brdaric Excavating, Inc.
The Diocese of Scranton will try to find a buyer for the property once demolition is complete, according to diocese spokesman Eric Deabill.

WVIA seeking volunteers for ‘Our Town Nanticoke’ segment
Staff Report - Citizens Voice

Nanticoke will be featured in WVIA’s “Our Town” series.
“Our Town Nanticoke” will be a “day-in-the-life” one-hour video scrapbook focusing on the people, places and happenings of Nanticoke, as seen through the eyes of its residents.
Nanticoke residents are invited to attend the first “Our Town Nanticoke” community/volunteer meeting at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 31 at the Nanticoke City Municipal Building.
Residents will discuss which landmarks, events and local stories the program should tell about their town.
A second community/volunteer meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 7 at the same location.
During this meeting volunteers will participate in a whiteboard session to determine the stories to be told in the program and which stories each volunteer will videotape to create the show.
WVIA hopes to recruit 20 to 25 area residents with personal camcorders.
Anyone interested in being a videographer and/or storyteller for the program should contact Lisa Mazzarella at 570-602-1164 or email
“Our Town Nanticoke” will debut April 25.

Five people displaced after fire in Nanticoke

Five people have been displaced due to a fire at an apartment building on East Washington Avenue that could have been much worse early Wednesday morning.
Fire Chief Kevin Hazleton said a woman was awake in her second floor apartment at 5 E. Washington Ave. when she smelled smoke just before 5:30 a.m.
The woman grabbed her son and called 911 while escaping the building.
Hazleton said the woman did the right thing by closing doors, which prevented the fire from spreading.
“On her way out, she closed the bedroom door and closed the apartment door,” Hazleton said. “It starved the fire of oxygen and kept the fire to the bedroom. We ran a line and nailed this fire. She did the right thing by closing the doors.”
Hazleton said the fire was extinguished within 10 minutes. No injuries were reported.
Three people in a first floor apartment were displaced due to water damage.
Hazleton said the second floor apartment sustained fire damage to the bedroom and smoke damage.
Smoke alarms were activated alerting other tenants, Hazleton said.
Hazleton said there were no issues with the cold temperatures that was around 25 degrees at the time of the fire.
“We did have the street department come up and spread salt around,” Hazleton said.
Fire departments in Hanover Township and Kingston assisted at the scene.

Father of slain correctional officer pens historical novel

Don Williams of Nanticoke has written a historical novel dedicated to his son Eric, a correctional officer killed nearly six years ago in a federal prison.
While the novel is based on a real event at the end of the Revolutionary War in 1782, a common theme of the book deals with a topic he’s thought a lot about in recent years: revenge.
“It mostly surrounds revenge for the murder of family members,” Williams said.
Williams, who advocated for the death penalty for the inmate who killed his son, said the book is based on a little-known event at the end of the war, the Gnadenhutten massacre, also known as the Moravian massacre.
“It’s an occurrence very few people know about,” Williams said. “It was an unbelievable tragedy.”
The massacre was the killing of 96 Christian Moravian Indians by a colonial white American militia from Washington County, Pennsylvania on March 8, 1782. Survivors of the dead vowed revenge.
The summary of Williams’ book, Eighteen for Mercy, says he knows the topic well, following the death of his son. His son’s killer was convicted of murder, but spared from getting the death penalty.
“He understands being compelled to seek revenge and didn’t just write about those things; he lived them,” the summary says. “As the characters in his book had to do, Donald also had to move forward and continue to live this life and hopefully experience some joy here and there among the struggles.”
Williams said he wrote the book previously, but it ended up like a history book. This time, he wrote it as a novel and he thinks it’s more compelling.
The fighting described in the book wasn’t just imagined, according to Williams’ website. He was able to describe some scenes from what he experienced during the Vietnam War.
“Breathing in the thick gunpowder and smelling feces and blood, which he described in a battle scene in his novel, Eighteen For Mercy, wasn’t something he read somewhere,” the book summary says. “The smells, the confusion, dryness in the mouth, and the inability to swallow experienced in battle, was something Donald had experience during his time in Vietnam.”
You can purchase Eighteen for Mercy at or by going to

Greater Nanticoke Area votes to limit taxes, narrow kindergarten registration window

The Greater Nanticoke Area School Board voted Thursday on several major issues:
• To limit any potential tax increase in 2019-20 to a state maximum of 3.5 percent;
• To classify e-cigarettes and “vaping” equipment under the district’s tobacco policy (thus banning them on school grounds);
• And to limit kindergarten registration to no later than Sept. 30 unless a child is transferring from kindergarten in another district.
The tax-limit vote will be common among school boards this month. Under the state law known as Act 1, which legalized gambling, some money from that gambling is used to reduce school property taxes. But districts are restricted in how much they can raise taxes without a voter referendum or state approval under a limited number of exemptions.
If districts vote to stay within the limit this month, they need not approve a preliminary budget until the end of May. If they don’t vote to stay in the limit, they must prepare a preliminary budget in February. The limit, known as the “Act 1 Index,” can vary year to year and district to district. This year, Greater Nanticoke Area’s index is the highest among Luzerne County’s 11 school districts.
Asked if the vote meant the board would raise taxes, President Tony Prushinski said it does not, and that under state law a final decision on any increase doesn’t have to be made until June 30.
K registration
Superintendent Ronald Grevera said the change in kindergarten registration policy was aimed at those who register children later in the year for kindergarten when they were not attending school anywhere else. He said teachers can’t cover all the lessons a student missed if they don’t start school until, say, November. Those who are transferring from another district can still register mid-year because they were getting their lessons at the other district.
Grevera also praised high school administration and teachers for getting the district on the 9th annual “Advanced Placement Honor Roll.” The title is given by the College Board — which oversees the AP program — to districts in the United States and Canada that increase access to AP courses while maintaining or improving the rate of students scoring 3 or higher on AP exams, which are scored on a scale of 1 to 5. Some 373 districts made the honor roll this year.
Aide terminated
The board also voted to terminate a paraprofessional, or teacher aide, identified only by employee number. The vote apparently prompted a person to leave the room, which in turn prompted Prushinski to make a criticism he said he has done in the past: Urging people to stay for the whole meeting.
Noting the board takes actions based on the advice of Grevera and Solicitor Vito Deluca, Prushinski said all were present “for the students” and “the taxpayers,” and that while he won’t attempt to stop people from leaving, he will continue to comment when it happens.
“Do they have a right to walk out? Absolutely,” he said. “But it is rude.”
Asked after the meeting about the person who walked out, Grevera said only that it “is a personnel matter.”

Nanticoke swears in first female mayor
Nicole Colatosti-Mackiewicz takes the place of Rich Wiaterowski
Kelly Choate -

The City of Nanticoke has a new mayor.
Councilwoman Nicole Colatosti-Mackiewicz was sworn in Thursday night as the city's first female mayor during a special ceremony at the Nanticoke Municipal Building.
She's taking the place of Rich Wiaterowski, who died last month after a battle with leukemia.
Wiaterowski dedicated his life to this community. He also served as a volunteer firefighter in the city for 25 years.
Colatosti-Mackiewicz said she was fortunate to call Wiaterowski her close friend.
"We did a lot of things together besides the political things in the town," said Colatosti-Mackiewicz. "We had a great time, and I love every memory of it."
Colatosti-Mackiewicz said she'll pick up where Wiaterowski left off, attracting more businesses to the city, paving streets, and planning more events in Nanticoke.
Colatosti-Mackiewicz will serve as mayor until the end of the year, but she already plans to run for the position after that.

Councilwoman selected to serve as Nanticoke's mayor

Nicole Colatosti-Mackiewicz

A Nanticoke councilwoman will be the city’s next mayor.
Council chose to take the seat at a meeting Wednesday. She is the first woman to serve as mayor in Nanticoke, solicitor William Finnegan said.
Colatosti-Mackiewicz fills a seat previously held by Rich Wiaterowski, who died Dec. 9 after a battle with acute myeloid leukemia. Along with his duties as mayor, Wiaterowski served as a volunteer firefighter in the city. He worked for Laborers International Union of North America before his illness.
“They are big shoes to fill, for sure,” Colatosti-Mackiewicz said.
The city’s charter allows her to serve through 2019. Voters will choose a mayor in November to serve the remaining two years of Wiaterowski’s term. Colatosti-Mackiewicz said she planned to run for the position.
In the meantime, she wants to continue work from Wiaterowski’s time as mayor, such as paving projects and redevelopment in the city’s downtown.
“I’d like to continue with his legacy and see everything that he wished and wanted to go through,” she said.
Among those projects is the ongoing development of the “Hanover 9” industrial site in Nanticoke and Hanover Twp., the Nantego Development Project along East Main Street, and infrastructure improvements she hopes will attract more business to the city.
Colatosti-Mackiewicz was one of six people who submitted an application ahead of the deadline. Council received another application at the meeting. The council members reviewed each application and were able to have one-on-one conversations with each other about the applicants.
“It is great to see this many people have an interest in Nanticoke to make this city better than what it is right now,” council President William Brown said.
The vote for her nomination passed with three yes votes and two abstentions. Colatosti-Mackiewicz and council vice president Kevin Coughlin abstained.
Colatosti-Mackiewicz is a human resources director at Guardian Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in Newport Twp. She was the only council member to apply for the seat. Because she had to resign in order to become mayor, council will now have to fill her seat. They will advertise the position, collect applications then vote on someone to fill the seat, Finnegan said.
The business of choosing a mayor to fill a vacant seat is the kind of housekeeping municipalities everywhere must complete from time to time.
But this time, in Nanticoke, it meant much more.
Replacing a beloved mayor is not how council expected to start the new year, Finnegan said.
“(Wiaterowski) was my friend and he was a remarkable man,” Colatosti-Mackiewicz said. “I sure am going to miss him and so is this city.”

Happy New Year 2019!