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Times Leader 03-14-2013

Times Leader 03-14-2013

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The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader 03-14
The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader 03-14

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Published by: The Times Leader on Mar 14, 2013
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 The leader of the RomanCatholic Church in NortheasternPennsylvania and other localobservers believe the first publicactions of Pope Francis are telling of what Catholics might expect of their new leader. The Most Rev. Joseph Bam-bera, bishop of the Diocese of Scranton, said on Wednesday thathe found some reports of PopeHARRISBURG Describing the Pennsylvania Turnpike as“cash cow” for the state Senate,a state grand jury on Wednesday issued a report that charges for-merstateSen.RobertMellowandseven other men of engaging in a“pay-to-play” scheme. The charges, announced Wednesday by state AttorneGeneral Kathleen Kane, allegeMellow and the other defendantsused their power to influence theawarding of numerous, multimil-lion-dollar contracts to politicalsupporters, even when the con-tract winners were not the mostqualified or had submitted bidsfar in excess of other contractors. The grand jury’s report notesseveral turnpike employees whoquestioned the awards were ter-minated or given poor job evalu-ations in retaliation for raising objections.
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WILKES-BARRE, PAThuRSdAy, MARch 14, 2013 50¢
09815 10011
Obits: 2A, 6A
Local: 3ANation & World: 5AEditorials: 9A
Sharks feast onPenguins.
Weather: 10A
Stocks: 8B
Birthdays: 3CTelevision: 4CMovies: 4C
Crossword/Horoscope: 5C
Comics: 10D
HARRISBURG As publicschool safety has been a con-cern, a state Senate committee Wednesday shifted the magnify-ing glass onto colleges, parochi-al schools and preschools.
 The comments and testimony came one month after severalpublic school and law enforce-ment officials from across thestate told the same Senatepanel that armed officers inpublic K-12 schools are an un-fortunate necessity. While thearming of officers was raised
Kane: Turnpike scheme steamrolled taxpayers
Pa. Senate panel hears aboutbroader school safety concerns
See SAFETY, Page 10A
LCCC to add armed cam-pus security,
Mellow, 7 others charged with bid-rigging, corruption 
Ex-state Sen. BobMellow embroiled innew scandal.
See TURNPIKE, Page 10A
ofArgentina, 76, was sworn in as the Catholic Church’sfirst pope from the Americas.
as he chose to be called, waselected on the second day of a conclave of cardinals.
Jesuit pontiff.
of a railway worker onDec. 17, 1936, in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
a priest in 1963. He becamebishop of Buenos Aires in 1998, and in 2001 wasnamed a cardinal by Pope John Paul II.
second to Benedict XVIin 2005. In that election he was among the favorites;this time around he was regarded as an outsider.
VATICAN CITY — Jorge Ber-goglio of Argentina was electedpope Wednesday, becoming thefirst pontiff from the Americasand the first from outside Europein more than a millennium. Hechose the name Francis, associ-ating himself with the humble13th-century Italian preacher who lived a life of poverty.Looking stunned, Francis shyly  waved to the crowd of tens of thousands of people who gath-ered in St. Peter’s Square for theannouncement, marveling thatthe cardinals needed to look to“the end of the earth” to find abishop of Rome.
Pope Francis speaks from the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica on Wednesday. Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio became the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church.
First pontiff from Americas
Local leaders: Name hints at change
 mguydish@timesleader.com smocarsky@timesleader.com
See LOCAL, Page 5A
Bishop Joseph Bambera shareshis thoughts on Cardinal JorgeBergoglio being elected pope.
Redeemer falls short
Girls playoff run ends.
 Who’s invited to the Friendly Sons dinner?
See FRANCIS, Page 5A
 Associated Press
Until Wednes-day, hewas knownas JorgeBergoglio.Now, he isPope Francis,a 76-year-oldJesuit whomodernizedArgentina’sconserva-tive Catholicchurch.
www.timesleader.com TIMES LEADERTHURSDAY, MARCH 14, 2013
- 6-5-2
- 5-8-5-0
- 7-7-6-5-3
03-08-12-16-24NIGHTLY DRAWING
- 3-8-0
- 5-0-7
- 7-0-5-3
- 4-3-4-1-8
HARRISBURG - No playermatched all five numbers inWednesday’s Cash 5. Thurs-day’s jackpot will be worth$500,000.Officials reported 103 play-ers matched four numbers,winning $229 each; 4,394players matched three num-bers, winning $9 each; and50,517 players matched twonumbers, winning $1 each.There was one $41 million jackpot winner from Ohioin Tuesday’s Mega Millionsdrawing. Also, 4 playersmatched the first 5 numbersfor a $250,000 prize: 1 fromCalifornia, 1 from Louisiana,1 from Maryland, and 1 fromNew York.
Arnold, FlorineBabis, MaryBright, DavidCasaldi, TheresaChampi, JennieCooper, MichaelDavies, AmeliaEllard, AndrewFinn, Celia MaeGoodwin, MarjorieGraham, Mary AnnGronkowski, JosephHeffernan, GertrudeObitz, JosephRuscavage,JosephineSherwood, JoanShumbris, GaryStanell, JamesSteczkowski, ArleneZakjawski, Cecelia
Pages 2A, 6A
The Times Leader strives tocorrect errors, clarify storiesand update them promptly.Corrections will appear inthis spot. If you have infor-mation to help us correct aninaccuracy or cover an issuemore thoroughly, call thenewsroom at 829-7242.
President(570) 970-7158
VP/Executive Editor(570) 970-7249
VP/Chief Revenue Officer(570) 970-7203
VP/HR and Administration(570) 829-7113
 Jim McCabe – 829-5000jmccabe@timesleader.com
Delivery Monday–Sunday $3.60 per weekMailed Subscriptions Monday–Sunday$6.92 per week via USPSPublished daily by:Impressions Media15 N. Main St.Wilkes-Barre, PA 18711Periodicals postage paid atWilkes-Barre, PA and additional mailing officesPostmaster: Send address changesto Times Leader, 15 N. Main St.,Wilkes-Barre, PA 18711
+(ISSN No. 0896-4084)USPS 499-710
Issue No. 2013-073
Wednesday should have report-ed there are eight candidatescampaigning for magisterial dis-trict judge in the Pittston area.
Tuesday’s edition for the Mead-ows Nursing and RehabilitationCenter’s EGGstravaganza a namewas omitted for a person in thesecond row. Christina Tarbox,administrator of the Meadows,should have been included.
March 9 regarding a settlementof a copyright infringementlawsuit against Brews Brothersincorrectly described BroadcastMusic Inc. The company is aperforming rights organizationthat represents songwriters,composers and music publishingcompanies.
Theresa ‘Tina’ (Shemanski) Casaldi
March 11, 2013
heresa “Tina” (Shemanski)Casaldi, 70, of the Honey Potsection of Nanticoke, passed away Monday, March 11, 2013, at Wil-kes-Barre General Hospital.Born in Nanticoke on Oct.15, 1942, she was a daughter of the late Theodore and Margaret(O’Donnell) Shemanski.Prior to retiring, Tina workedfor Penn Footwear, Nanticoke, for36 years. Tina loved the New York Yan-kees. She enjoyed putting on her jersey and watching the game with her cat, Lucky. She was also very fond of Elvis.In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by herloving husband, George E. Casa-ldi, who passed away on June 2,2005; and two brothers, Theodore“Whitey” and Michael “Moe” Sh-emanski.Left to cherish her memory aretwo daughters, Georgene Piscotty and her husband, Ken, Hanover Township, and Justine Gugliotti,Nanticoke; three grandchildren,Emery Vojtko, Courtney Vojtkoand Brooke Piscotty; brother Ger-ald Shemanski and his wife, Mary,Honey Pot section of Nanticoke;and several nieces and nephews.
Friends and family
are invit-ed to attend a viewing on Thurs-day from 6 to 8 p.m. at KniffenO’Malley Funeral Home Inc., 465S. Main St., Wilkes-Barre. Servic-es will be held on Friday at 11:30a.m. in the mausoleum chapel atSt. Mary’s Cemetery, Hanover Township. The Rev. Joseph Ka-kareka will officiate. Anyone at-tending the services is asked togo directly to the cemetery. There will be no procession from the fu-neral home.Online condolences may beoffered at www.bestlifetributes.com.
Josephine M.Ruscavage
March 12, 2013
osephineM.(Klimchalk)Ruscav-age, 100, formerly of Plymouth,passed into eternal life Tuesdaevening in the care of HCR ManorCare, Kingston, where she residedthe past several years.Born Dec. 17, 1912 in Plymouth,she was a daughter of the late Fe-lix and Lucille Klimchalk. She waseducated in the Plymouth schools.Until her retirement, Mrs. Rus-cavage was employed with severalof her family members at the for-mer R&K Dress Factory of Plym-outh, where she worked as a seam-stress for several years.She was a member of the AllSaints Parish community, having previously attended the former St.Mary’s Roman Catholic Church,Plymouth, where she made many of the church vestments.Mrs. Ruscavage is rememberedas being a beloved mother, grand-mother and great-grandmother who devoted her life to raising sev-eral generations of her family withloving motherly care. She was alsoanaccomplishedartistinheryouth,sharing her works with family andfriends.She was preceded in death by her husband, Joseph Ruscavage Sr.,1975; daughter, Marie, 2000; andsisters, Mamie Ruscavage, VernieBriggs, Genevieve Briggs and AnnaKlimchalk.Surviving are her devoted son,Joseph J. Ruscavage, and his wife,Joan, Bunker Hill, Wyoming; sis-ters, Clara Craig, Plymouth, andMargaret Rowlands, Nanticoke;grandchildren, including Josephand Mark Ruscavage, Joseph Ja-nuszewski, Christine Brown andElizabeth Passmore; three great-grandchildren; several nieces,nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.Her family would like to grateful-ly acknowledge the compassionatecare shown to her over the years by Dr. Joseph E. Piszczek, Plymouth,and the staff of HCR Manor Care,Kingston, in her final years.
Funeral services
for Mrs. Rus-cavage will be private and at theconvenience of her family. There will be no formal public visitation. The John V. Morris Family Fu-neral Homes Inc., Wilkes-Barre, ishonored to care for Mrs. Ruscavageand her family at this time. To sendher son and family online words of comfort, support and friendship,please visit the funeral home’s web-site at www.johnvmorrisfuneral-homes.com.
James R. Stanell 
March 13, 2013
ames R. Stanell, 85, of Feaster- ville, passed away on March 13,2013, at Capital Health MedicalCenter, Hopewell.Jim will be lovingly missed by his wife of 60 years, RomayneParks Stanell.He was raised in Shenandoah.After high school, Jim enlistedand proudly served our country during World War II in the U.S.Army, attaining the rank of cor-poral.He then enrolled at Pennsylva-nia State University, graduating in 1952 with a bachelor of arts inchemistry. He used his educationto secure a position as a chemistfor Allied Chemical Corp., from which he retired after 40 years of service.Jimwasafaithfulcommunicantof Assumption B.V.M. Church formore than 55 years.In his free time, Jim enjoyedhunting and fishing. He was very proud of being a Penn State alum-nus, and was an avid Penn StateNittany Lions and Joe Paternofan. Jim’s life was his family, andhisgreatestjoywasspendingtime with his children and grandchil-dren. He will be greatly missed.In addition to his wife, Jimis survived by his children, Dr.Laurie Anne Stanell, wife of John T. Moore, Pipersville, Pa.;James “Jay” Parks Stanell, fianceof Diana Phinney, Erwinna, Pa.,and Dr. William Parks Stanell,husband of Karen A. Giller, NewHope; sister, Phyllis Santicerma;and seven grandchildren, Kendall, T.J., James, Anthony, Catherine,Samuel and Benjamin.
Relatives and friends
are invited to call from 9:30a.m. until the time of hismemorial Mass at 10:30 a.m. onSaturday at Assumption B.V.M.Church, 1900 MeadowbrookRoad, Feasterville. Interment willbe private.In lieu of flowers, memorialcontributions may be made to As-sumption B.V.M. Church at theabove address.For information, please visit www.fluehr.com.
Jennie (Giambra) Champi
March 12, 2013
ennie (Giambra) Champi, 95,of West Pittston, passed away peacefully with her children andfamily at her side on Tuesday,March 12, 2013.Born on March 29, 1917 in Rob-ertsdale,Pa.,tothelateAntoinette(Loquasto) and James Giambra,Jennie was the beloved wife of Mi-chael Champi, who passed away in1999.She attended Pittston schoolsand was employed in the garmentindustry for more than 35 years.She was a member of the Inter-national Ladies’ Garment Work-ers’ Union; The Tops Club, WestPittston; St. Anthony’s Senior Citi-zens Club, Exeter, and the Altarand Rosary Society at ImmaculateConceptionChurch,WestPittston.In addition to her parents andhusband, Jennie was precededin death by her brothers, AlbertGiambra, Angelo Giambra andPhilip J. Giambra; infant sister,Mary Giambra; and sister Marga-ret Bucci.Surviving are her son, Louis,and his wife, Catherine, Exeter;daughter Toni and her husband,Frank Grasso, Jenkins Township;daughter Mary Clark, Erda, Utah;10 grandchildren; 18 great-grand-children; sister Grace Saito; niece,Carmella Uter, who held a specialplace in Jennie’s heart; in-laws, Jo-seph Champi and Richard Champiand his wife, Helen; and numerousnieces and nephews. The family would like to givespecial thanks to Dr. Joseph Radz- wilka, the Compassionate Carestaff and all of Jennie’s caregiversover the past year.
Funeral services
will be heldat 9 a.m. Saturday at the Grazia-no Funeral Home Inc., Pittston Township, with a Mass of Chris-tian Burial at 9:30 a.m. at CorpusChristi Parish, formerly Immacu-late Conception Roman CatholicChurch, West Pittston. Interment will take place in St. Rocco’s Cem-etery, Pittston Township. Friendsmay call from 5 to 8 p.m. on Fri-day.For directions to the funeralhome or to express condolences toJennie’s family, please visit www.grazianofuneralhome.com.
 Amelia ‘Sis’ M. Davies
March 12, 2013
melia “Sis” M. Davies, long-time resident of Forty Fort,passed away Tuesday, March 12,2013.Mrs. Davies was born in Nanti-coke,adaughterofthelateThom-as and Martha Phillips Kniff.She graduated from NanticokeHigh School and received her RNdegree from the Allentown Hospi-tal School of Nursing. She workedas a trauma and operating roomnurse in both Allentown and Nan-ticoke hospitals, and for many  years served as school nurse forthe Luzerne County IntermediateUnit in Swoyersville.Mrs. Davies was married to Willard J. Davies, who passedaway in 1979.She was a member of the Forty Fort Presbyterian Church and its women’s circle. She enjoyed knit-ting, crocheting and traveling  with friends. Known to friendsand family as “Sis,” she was a lov-ing mother of three, grandmotherof eight and great-grandmother tonine.In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by a broth-er, Thomas J. Kniff Jr.She is survived by daughters,Peggy Jean, Lake Frederick,Va.; Barbara Jane, Herndon, Va.,and son, Willard John Jr. (Bud),Kingston. She also leaves a son-in-law, Warren Williams, anddaughter-in-law, Denise Davies, whom she loved as her own; twonephews and four nieces.
Funeral services
will be heldSaturday at 10 a.m. from Davis-Dinelli Funeral Home, 170 E.Broad St., Nanticoke, with theRev. William N. Lukesh, her pas-tor, officiating. Interment will fol-low in Hanover Green Cemetery,Hanover Township. Visitation will be Friday from 4 to 7 p.m. atthe funeral home.In lieu of flowers, donations inAmelia’s name may be sent to theForty Fort Presbyterian Church,1224 Wyoming Ave., Forty Fort,PA 18704.
Joan B. Sherwood 
March 12, 2013
oan B. (Gould) Sherwood, 82,of South Wilkes-Barre, passedinto eternal life Tuesday in the Wilkes-Barre General Hospitalfollowing a lingering illness.Born Dec. 14, 1930, she wasa daughter of the late Leon andBeatrice (Thackery) Gould. She was educated in the city schoolsand was a member of the 1948graduating class of E.L. MeyersHigh School, Wilkes-Barre. Mrs.Sherwood furthered her educa-tion by graduating from the for-mer Wilkes-Barre General Hos-pital School of Nursing. Uponattaining her registered nursestatus, Mrs. Sherwood was em-ployed as an obstetrical nurse formany years for the Wilkes-BarreGeneral Hospital.She and her husband, John W. Sherwood Sr., M.D., sharedalmost 60 years of married lifetogether.Enjoying the outdoors, Mrs.Sherwood is remembered by family for being an avid gardenerand enjoying bird watching inher free time.Surviving, in addition to herhusband, Dr. John, at home, aretheir son, John W. SherwoodJr., D.M.D. and his wife, Mary Ann, Lehighton; granddaughter,Devon Marie Sherwood, a se-nior at MMI Preparatory School,Freeland; and several nieces andnephews.
Funeral services
will be con-ducted on Saturday at 11 a.m.from the Wilkes-Barre Heightslocation of the John V. MorrisFamily Funeral Homes Inc., 281E. Northampton St., Wilkes-Barre. Interment will follow inOaklawn Cemetery, South MainStreet, Hanover Township. Rela-tives and friends may join theSherwood family for visitationand remembrances Saturday from 9 a.m. until the time of ser- vices.In lieu of floral tributes, me-morial contributions are request-ed in Mrs. Sherwood’s name tothe St. Jude Children’s ResearchHospital, 262 Danny ThomasPlace, Memphis, TN 38105, orto the Luzerne County SPCA,Fox Hill Road, Plains Township,PA 18705. To send Dr. Sherwood and hisfamily online words of comfort,support and friendship, please visit the funeral home’s websiteat www.johnvmorrisfuneral-homes.com.
Marjorie H.Goodwin 
March 13, 2013
arjorie H. Goodwin, 85, Beau-mont, passed away Wednesdamorning.BorninBeaumont,shewasadaugh-ter of the late Verna and Clarence Hil-bert. She was a graduate of BeaumontHigh School and Wyoming Seminary Dean School of Business.Marjorie was formerly employed inthebookkeepingdepartmentofFowlerDick and Walker, The Boston Storeandasateacher’saidebytheTunkhan-nock Area School District.Preceding her in death was her hus-band, Herbert Goodwin.Surviving are children, SandraGoodwin, Beaumont, and CurtisGoodwin and his wife, Elizabeth,Shavertown; and granddaughter, Sar-ah Goodwin, Swoyersville.
 willbeheldattheconvenience of the family at Nulton-Kopcza Funeral Home, 5749 SR 309,Beaumont, Monroe Township. Inter-ment will be in Memorial Shrine Park,Carverton. Friendsmaycall 5to7p.m.Friday.
Joseph Gronkowski
March 13, 2013
J o s e p hGronkowski,92, of Wilkes-Barre, passedaway Wednes-day, March 13,2013, at Com-monwealthHospice at St.Luke’s Villa, Wilkes-Barre.Joseph was born in WestNanticoke on July 19, 1920, ason of the late Frank and RoseGronkowski.He was employed for 45 yearsas a mechanic as well as a body-and-fender man at Motor Twinsin Wilkes-Barre, prior to his re-tirement.Joseph was a devoted memberof St. Nicholas Church in Wilkes-Barre.He was preceded in death by his wife, Gertrude R. GebhardtGronkowski, 1985; son JohnGronkowski, 1998; great-grand-son, Jacob Swiderski Middaugh,2002; sisters, Lottie Gronkowski,Julia Medura, Anna Krasnav-age, Pearl Wishnefski and VioletVisocki; and brothers, Edward,Benjamin, Stanley, Leon andFrank.Surviving are his children Ar-thur Gronkowski and his com-panion, Elaine Turner, Ashley;Joseph Gronkowski and his wife,Debbie, Wilkes-Barre; RichardGronkowski and his wife, Fran-ces, Ashley, and Martha Mid-daugh and her husband, Charles,Ashley; eight grandchildren; 16great-grandchildren; sister, Hel-en Powell, Hanover Township;and nieces and nephews.
Funeral services
will be heldFriday at 9 a.m. from the Nat& Gawlas Funeral Home, 89Park Ave., Wilkes-Barre, with aMass of Christian Burial to fol-low at 9:30 a.m. at St. NicholasChurch, 226 S. Washington St., Wilkes-Barre. Interment will bein St. Mary’s Cemetery, Hanover Township. Friends may call to-day from 5 to 8 p.m. at the fu-neral home.Online condolences may besent by visiting Joseph’s obitu-ary at www.natandgawlasfuner-alhome.com.
NUANGOLA — According to commentsat Monday night’s sewer authority meeting there are still some people who have not“bought in” to the sewer system — eventhough the project is in its fourth month.Chairman Ray Shirk said there are sevenhomeowners who have not responded toeasement letters distributed by the author-ity. An easement is needed in order for thecontractor,Wexcon,togoontoanindividu-al’s property to install piping and a grinderpump. These property owners could face legalaction by borough council, Shirk said.In addition, Dan Loughren, project en-gineer for the Quad3 Group, said a groupknown as the Pine Association won’t allowthecontractortopositionheavyequipmenton land owned by the members of the as-sociation. This has resulted in at least fourproperties on Vandermark Avenue being bypassed during this installation phase,Loughren said.Loughren said he is hopeful that prevail-ing issues can be resolved through negotia-tion.Otherwise the authority conducted rou-tine business, including:* Approving the payment of a $236,464invoice to Wexcon and $236,401 (for grind-er pumps) to Environmental One.* Discussing the need to adopt a policy toremove,ordisable,septictanksoncethesystem goes into service.*
Hearing comment by authority trea-surer Ted Vancosky that the assistanceplan for the financing of connection feeshas increased to 105 homeowners. Pay-ment of $258 to Corcoran Printing of Wil-kes-Barre for payment booklets was alsoapproved.
poliTiCAl briEF
Clarence Lewis, of ButlerStreet in Shickshinny, who wasrecently appointed to serve onthe Shickshinny Sewer Author-ity, said he has filed his petitionto run for mayor.He is seeking the Republicannomination in the May 21 pri-mary election. Lewis will be vy-ing for the post held by Beverly Moore.Besides the sewer authority,Lewis said he is active with theShickshinny Forward group andseveralothercommunityorgani-zations.Lewis has lived in the Shick-shinny area since 2000, and hisfocus is on revitalizing the com-mercial and recreational func-tions of the community, he said.Inaddition,hesaid,hewillworkto restore an atmosphere of co-operation between the mayorand council.
Seven hmewnes shun Nuanga sewe system wk
Times Leader Correspondent
They have not responded to easementletters distributed by sewer authorityand may face legal action, official says.
 WILKES-BARRE — What was origi-nally planned as a one-time fundraiserfor kidney cancer research is now shap-ing up to be an annual event.
 The Renal Race will include a one-milefunwalkanda5krun,bothstarting from Public Square at 9 a.m. Saturday.Erin Rebo Pikul, 35, of Wilkes-Barre,organized and co-founded the inauguralevent last year as a way to support kid-ney cancer research after her husband,Frank, was diagnosed with the disease.
About 500 people turned out for anevent that Rebo Pikul thought woulddraw a few dozen. She said she wasamazed and thankful for the turnoutand support the event received butdidn’t envision it as an annual fundrais-er. But people kept asking her about asecond go-around, and the more shethought it about it “the more it madesense,” she said.“It was a no-brainer. We had to. Westarted something,” Rebo Pikul said.Last year’s event raised $20,000 forcancerresearchandwasdonatedtotheKidney Cancer Association and Memo-rial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center inNew York, where Frank received can-cer treatment.
Rebo Pikul said the recipients of this year’s proceeds have not been deter-mined, only that it will be sent to orga-nizations that promote cancer researchand advocacy. She said she was also ex-ploringkeepingsomeofthemoneylocal. When Frank, now 39, was diagnosed with kidney cancer on Dec. 31, 2010,the couple were not overly involved incharitable donations. If a friend or fam-ily member made a request, they wouldcontribute, but for the most part, “we were never overly active in charitablecauses,”ReboPikulsaid.Whenthetimecame that the couple found themselvessupporting a cause and touched by can-cer, they were unsure just what kind of help and support they would get.
“Whywouldanyonehelpus,because we’re not out there helping anyoneelse,” Rebo Pikul said. But when they saw the response and support the com-munitygavetothem,theybegantopait forward.“We’re in everything now,” Rebo Pi-kul said, noting that while they aren’tbigonparticipatinginthe5kruns,thedo go to events and other fundraisers.
Saturday, with registration at 8a.m. at Rodano’s on Public Square
Run and walk start on PublicSquare
$20 for race day registration
Kidney cancer research causes
Participants that preregisteredget a T-shirt, those who register the dayof the event get a backpack. There will bea DJ, but, please, no pets permitted.
Renal run is on pace to be a yearly event
An ongoing battle over Lu-zerne County Public Defend-er’s Office staffing levels washighlighted in a front-pageUSA Today article published Wednesday. The article, which focusedon the 50th anniversary of aSupreme Court ruling grant-ing the indigent the consti-tutional right to a lawyer, de-scribed county Chief PublicDefender Al Flora as a “rebel”for suing the county — hisemployer seeking morestaff to fulfill this mandate.Governments across thecountry are struggling to fundan increasing demand for in-digent representation sparkedby rising criminal cases.A Luzerne County judgeultimately will decide if addi-tional employees are warrant-ed in the local Public Defend-er’s Office. A court hearinisn’t expected for monthsbecause both sides must havetime to gather information tosupport their positions, a pro-cess known as discovery.John Dean, the county’soutside attorney, said a con-sultant reviewed prior courttranscripts in the case and“already believes the office isproperly staffed.” The Public Defender’s Of-fice has a $2.7 million budgetthis year, compared to $2.5million in 2012. The budgetprovides funding for 40 posi-tions, including 24 full-timeand part-time assistant publicdefenders.As part of discovery, Deanplans to collect depositionsfrom all the office’s assistantpublic defenders, interview-ing them about their case-loads, schedules and workprocesses to determine if theoffice is “efficiently run.”
Al Flora poses in his office with files of cases before him.He contends his department is overextended.
PITTSTON State po-lice Commissioner Col.Frank Noonan will be theprincipal speaker at theGreater Pittston Friendly Sons of St. Patrick dinnerSunday at The WoodlandsInn & Resort, Plains Town-ship.“It’s a real thrill for meto come back to the North-east where I worked for somany years and still live,”said Noonan, the 21st com-missionerof the statepolice anda nativeof ClarksS u m m i t .“It will bea real plea-sure to be with somany good friends on thisspecial day.”Jimmy Clancy, presidentof the Greater PittstonFriendly Sons, announcedparticipants for the 99th an-nual St. Patrick’s Day Ban-quet: Noonan, James “Jay”Duffy, grand marshal; Wil-liam “Billy” Anzalone, gen-eral chairman, and attorney Jarrett J. Ferentino, toast-master.M a r kCasper willbe honoredas the orga-nization’sMan othe Year”and Andy Ashby, for-mer Phila-delphia Phillies’ pitcher, willreceive the Swingle Award.As commissioner, Noonanoversees a budget of morethan $876 million and com-mands a statewide comple-ment of more than 6,000troopers and employees.He began his career in1971 as an FBI agent, in- vestigating bank robberies,kidnapping, public corrup-tion, white-collar crime andnarcotic violations. Afterhis retirement from the FBIin 1998, Noonan was ap-pointed Northeast regionaldirector for the Attorney General’s Bureau of Narcot-ics Investigation. He waspromoted to chief of crimi-nal investigations for the Of-fice of Attorney General inJuly 2009.Ashby, 45, played for fiveteams during his 14-sea-son career. He now enjoysretirement with his family,his wife Tracy and their fourdaughters.Since retiring, Ashby hasspenttimewithU.S.military troops. In 2008, he becamepart of the Heroes of theDiamond Tour and traveledoverseas to Iraq.
See FLORA, Page 10A
TIMES LEADER www.timesleader.comTHURSDAY, MARCH 14, 2013
Film company to get $4.1M
A federal judge has awarded a default judgment of $4.1 million to a Scran-ton film company for money it said itis owed from a Los Angeles-based dis-tributor.Revere Pictures, 515 Center St.,Scranton, filed suit on June 13 againstMaya Corp. Entertainment Group foralleged breach of contract and unlaw-ful enrichment for profits gained fromthe movie “Forged.” The feature-lengthmovie was filmed in February 2009 inlocations across Northeastern Pennsyl- vania.Citing box office returns from 2011to 2013, Revere claimed in court doc-uments from March 4 that the filmgrossed $4,140,358. The full amount of box office returns was awarded March 11 by U. S. Dis-trict Court Judge Robert D. Mariani forMaya’s “failure to answer, plead or oth-erwise defend against” Revere’s claims.“Forgedstarred Manny Perez asChuco, a man returning to the outside worldafterservingeightyearsinprisonfor killing his wife. The film was an of-ficial selection at several film festivalsin 2010 and 2011 and earned the BestPicture Award at the 2010 HBO NewYork Latino Film Festival.
Homicide trial postponed
Luzerne County Judge RichardHughes on Wednesday continued thehomicide trial of two Hazleton men who are accusing each other in last year’s fatal beating death of AaronReznick.Hughes said he expects the trial forBreon Judon, 19, of North LafayetteCourt, and Mitchell Dedes, 17, of WestHemlock Street, to be held in late sum-mer.ItwasscheduledtobeginApril29.Hughes continued the trial as pros-ecutors said they have not received re-sultsofDNAtestingbythestatepolice,and to give prosecutors and defenseattorneys more time to exchange docu-ments, called discovery.Reznick, 29, was found unconsciousintheroadnear10thandCarsonstreetsin Hazleton just after midnight on Aug.4.HediedninedayslateratLehighVal-ley Hospital. An autopsy revealed hedied from multiple blunt force traumato the head.
Toohil speaking at banquet
State Rep. Tara Toohil, R-Butler Township, will be the guest speakerat the annual Freeland Sons of Erin St.Patrick’s Day banquet at 6 p.m. Satur-day at the Freeland Event Center. Toohil will present a citation fromthe state House to Antoinette Kluck of Drifton who will be honored as CitizenoftheYear.Toohilandherstaffalsowillmarch in the parade to begin at 4 p.m.
Phillie Phanatic will parade
 Who said being green isn’t easy? It isfor the Phillie Phanatic, especially onSt. Patrick’s Day. The mascot of the Philadelphia Phil-lies will appear in the Wilkes-Barre St.Patrick’s Day Parade starting at 2 p.m.Saturday on South Main Street. It’s hisfourth consecutive appearance in theparade.
Church to dish ham, cabbage
 Wyoming United Methodist Church will hold a ham-and-cabbage dinnerfrom 4 to 6:30 p.m. Saturday at thechurch, 376 Wyoming Ave. Cost is $9for adults and $5 for children ages 5 to12. Tickets will be sold at the door, andtake-outs are available. For info, call693-2821.
Kindred Hospital benefit set
Kindred Hospital Wyoming Valley  will hold a Celebrity Bartending Nightat Rodano’s, Public Square, Wilkes-Barre, from 5 to 11 p.m. March 21. Theevening will have a March Madnesstheme with three to four bartenderseach hour. The event will include a DJ,a raffle and drawings for gift baskets.Kindred Hospital is a national hospi-tal system that specializes in caring forpatients who are chronically critically ill. Kindred Hospital Wyoming Valley has a 36-bed unit located on the sev-enth floor of Wilkes Barre General Hos-pital and is the gold-whistle sponsor forthe Fight for Air Walk.
USA Today focuses on county PD
Chief Public Defender Floracharacterized as rebel fordefying county officials.
Physicianchargedin allegedgun firing
Mark Anthony Gonsky, ofMountain Top, faces chargesincluding terroristic threats.
FAIRVIEW TWP. -- A Moun-tain Top physician accused of firing a gun in his front yardafter a drunken altercation withneighbors and employees at anarea market is facing charges of terroristicthreats,recklesslyen-dangering another person anddisorderly conduct.Police say Mark Anthony Gonsky, 60, a longtime family physician with a practice at 111S. Mountain Blvd., was highly intoxicated when they first en-countered him after they weredispatched to Carone’s Marketfor a report of man harassing employees on Feb. 24.According to an arrest affida- vit:As police spoke with Gon-sky, of Loop Road, he becamebelligerent and was taken intocustody after he refused to obey orders to calm down. He contin-ued to yell and curse at the of-ficers as they drove him to hishome, at one time threatening that he was going to “put a bul-let” between the eyes of officerDennis Monk.Gonsky was allowed to gointo his house and was advisedtostaythereandnotdrive,orhe would be arrested. Police thenspoke with Gonsky’s neighbor, who reported Gonsky had dam-aged the vehicle of her Realtor. The Realtor also reported Gon-skyhadthrownan“openhouse”sign the Realtor had placed onthe neighbor’s property into the woods, and had tried to run himover with his vehicle.Police left the scene after tak-ing the reports, but were sooncalled back after neighborsreported Gonsky was outside,firing a gun in his front yard.Gonskywasthentakenintocus-tody and placed in the LuzerneCounty Correctional Facility.He was later released after post-ing bail.Gonsky’s attorney, Anthony Moses, said Wednesday thatGonsky is embarrassed by theincident and plans to do “every-thing he needs to do” to put thematter behind him.“He is somebody with a goodreputation in the community  who has dedicated his life tohelping others,Moses said.“He plans to do the right thing at the end of the day and moveon with his life.”
Pittston Friendly Sons announce banquet guests
State police head, formerPhillie to attend area St.Patrick’s Day dinner Sunday.
Erin Rebo Pikul and Frank Pikul with their son, Jaxon, 3, were on Public Square this week to promote their second an-nual race fundraiser. The event will be run Saturday before the St. Patrick’s Day Parade to benefit the Kidney CancerAssociation. Frank Pikul is recovering from kidney cancer.
Renal Race will include one-milefun walk and 5k run, both startingSaturday from Public Square.

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