Court fight continues over eminent
domain issue in Nanticoke
Bill Wellock - Citizens Voice
eminent domain dispute in Nanticoke is still working through county court.
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.
Jan. 28, attorneys for the municipal authority filed the latest motion in the
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
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.
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 wont 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.
WB group aims to improve Nanticokes Quality Hill Park
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
The committee will be holding a fundraiser Thursday, Feb.
21, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Sabatinis 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 email@example.com, or at the door
the day of the event.
The committees 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
includes basketball courts, tennis courts, swing sets, a merry-go-round, slides,
a community center with restroom facilities, picnic tables and benches.
Kiluk and Daube, committee members include:
Candice Dutko email@example.com
Dawn Gilliland firstname.lastname@example.org
Tyler Salerno email@example.com
Deb Telesz firstname.lastname@example.org
school districts tightened security in Parkland massacres wake
P. Buffer 0 Citizens Voice
Note: This excerpt was taken from full article
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.
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.
in the district now have locking vestibules, which we did not have a year ago,
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.
begins at shuttered St. Joseph Church in Nanticoke
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.
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.
volunteers for Our Town Nanticoke segment
Report - Citizens Voice
Nanticoke will be featured in WVIAs
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.
discuss which landmarks, events and local stories the program should tell about
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.
to recruit 20 to 25 area residents with personal camcorders.
in being a videographer and/or storyteller for the program should contact Lisa
Mazzarella at 570-602-1164 or email email@example.com.
Nanticoke will debut April 25.
people displaced after fire in Nanticoke
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.
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.
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.
said the fire was extinguished within 10 minutes. No injuries were reported.
people in a first floor apartment were displaced due to water damage.
said the second floor apartment sustained fire damage to the bedroom and smoke
Smoke alarms were activated alerting other tenants, Hazleton said.
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.
of slain correctional officer pens historical novel
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.
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 hes 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
Its 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.
summary of Williams book, Eighteen for Mercy, says he knows the topic well,
following the death of his son. His sons killer was convicted of murder,
but spared from getting the death penalty.
He understands being compelled
to seek revenge and didnt 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 its more compelling.
The fighting described in the book wasnt
just imagined, according to Williams website. He was able to describe some
scenes from what he experienced during the Vietnam War.
the thick gunpowder and smelling feces and blood, which he described in a battle
scene in his novel, Eighteen For Mercy, wasnt 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.
BUY THE BOOK
You can purchase Eighteen
for Mercy at donaldwilliamsjr.com
or by going to Amazon.com.
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 districts 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
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 dont 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 Areas
index is the highest among Luzerne Countys 11 school districts.
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 doesnt
have to be made until June 30.
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 cant cover all the lessons a student missed
if they dont 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.
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 wont 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.
after the meeting about the person who walked out, Grevera said only that it is
a personnel matter.
swears in first female mayor
Nicole Colatosti-Mackiewicz takes the
place of Rich Wiaterowski
Kelly Choate - pahomepage.com
The City of Nanticoke has a new mayor.
Nicole Colatosti-Mackiewicz was sworn in Thursday night as the city's first female
mayor during a special ceremony at the Nanticoke Municipal Building.
taking the place of Rich Wiaterowski, who died last month after a battle with
Wiaterowski dedicated his life to this community. He also served
as a volunteer firefighter in the city for 25 years.
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."
said she'll pick up where Wiaterowski left off, attracting more businesses to
the city, paving streets, and planning more events in Nanticoke.
will serve as mayor until the end of the year, but she already plans to run for
the position after that.
selected to serve as Nanticoke's mayor
A Nanticoke councilwoman will be the citys
New Year 2019!
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.
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 citys charter allows her to
serve through 2019. Voters will choose a mayor in November to serve the remaining
two years of Wiaterowskis term. Colatosti-Mackiewicz said she planned to
run for the position.
In the meantime, she wants to continue work from Wiaterowskis
time as mayor, such as paving projects and redevelopment in the citys downtown.
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.
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
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.
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.