THE TIMESLEADERwww.timesleader.com Friday,August9,2013 PAGE3A
Saturday event aims to improve image of complex
WILKES-BARRE — Pony rides, abounce house, face painting, gamesand fun will be the order of the daySaturday at Sherman Hills. The management at the apartmentcomplex and several nonproﬁt civicandChristiangroupswanttodispeltheproject’s violence-prone reputation andshow people — especially the manychildren who reside in the complex— that life can be good and fun in thecity’s Heights section.So they will hold the third annualFamily Fun Carnival on the complexgrounds and residents of ShermanHills can attend to enjoy a free dayof fun. Families from neighboring Interfaith Apartments are also expect-ed to attend.“We want people to realize it’s notall gunﬁre and nonsense that goes onhere,” Terri Kirschner, resident servic-es coordinator at Sherman Hills, said.“We have families with children andthis event is for the enrichment of theresidents.”In addition to the rides and games,hot dogs, soft drinks and Sno coneswill be served. The event runs 1 to 4p.m. Saturday.Stephen Perillo, of Wilkes-Barre, hasarranged for 10 to 12 nonproﬁt groupsto send volunteers to work the standsand help serve food. He also invitedtwo Christian bands.“Just because they live there doesn’tmean they have to have a negative viewon life,” Perillo said, referring to theresidents. “Due to the negative newsin and around that area, doesn’t meanShermanHillsisabadplaceorthepeo-ple are bad. I believe that there’s not abad kid, just a misdirected kid. Eventslike this help mold children into goodadults.”Jenn Kearney, Sherman Hills prop-erty manager for nearly two years, saidthe complex tries to do positive eventsfor the residents.“We want them to get together to gettoknoweachotherinapositive,friend-ly and fun atmosphere,” she said. “Wewant our residents to enjoy their living space. With the economy the way it is,Sherman Hills isn’t a bad place to live.” The Sherman Hills Apartments com-plex is owned by Sherman Hills Realtyand consists of 344 apartments in ninebuildings that stretch over 22 acres of property. There are 104 one-bedroomapartments in a high-rise building and240 one- and two-bedroom apartmentsin eight garden-style buildings.Kirschner, resident services coordi-nator for 12 years, said managementtries to develop activities for the resi-dents, such as “Movie Day,” a hay rideand a day camp in the summer. Severalgroups donate time to help the childrenresiding in the complex, she said.“We want people to see the positiveside of Sherman Hills — the real side,”Kirschner said.
• Ponyrides,a bounce house,games,hot dogs,soft drinks andSno coneswill be featured.•The event runs 1 p.m.to 4 p.m.
• Residents of Sherman Hills andInterfaithApartments are invited.
WILKES-BARRE – A statetrooper charged with illegallyaccessing her ex-boyfriend’s cell-phone and falsely reporting heassaulted her will stand trial onrelated charges in November, a judge said Thursday.Carrie Ann Gula, 35, of WestPittston, appeared Thursday inLuzerne CountyCourt for a hear-ing before JudgeLesa Gelb atwhich her attor-ney, JosephNocito, request-ed a jury trial.Gelb scheduledthe case on sevenrelated charges to begin Nov. 4.Gula remains suspended with-out pay from the state police andfree on $7,500 bail.She previously waived a formalarraignment in county court inMay.According to court records,state police at Wyoming allegeGula accessed the Verizon cell-phone account of Eric Thomason Aug. 1, 2012, and changed hispassword.While stationed at the statepolice barracks at Fern Ridge,she left work early that day andwent to Thomas’ residence inExeter, where, she said, Thomasassaulted her while she was inuniform. Trooper Lisa Brogan testiﬁedduring a March preliminary hear-ing that she found inconsisten-cies in Gula’s statement becausea mirror and a chair Gula saidwere broken during a strugglewith Thomas were not smashed. Thomas testiﬁed he was tak-ing a shower when he noticedsomeone was in his house. Hesaid he spotted Gula leaving hishouse with his cellphone underher arm.He said she kicked and shovedhim, causing him to fall over achair.Police said the password on Thomas’ phone was changed onAug. 1 and that Thomas had tochange the password. There were also several failedattempts to access his phone overa two-hour period, police said.Gula allegedly told police inan Aug. 2 interview she went to Thomas’ home to pick up uni-form shirts. She said she heard Thomas’ cellphone ring while hewas in the shower, so she went toanswer it. That’s when, Gula told police, Thomas came out of the showerand pushed her to the ﬂoor. Shesaid Thomas picked up a woodenkitchen chair and smashed it onthe ﬂoor next to her.Gula said she tried to run, but Thomas blocked her path.She said she locked herself inthe bathroom but Thomas brokedown the door, grabbed her bythe neck and spit on her uniform.Gula was then able to ﬂee theresidence, she said.
Former election chief wants vote act probe
Former Luzerne County elec-tion director Leonard Piazza hasasked the U.S. Election AssistanceCommission to investigate his com-plaint alleging the county is not incompliance with requirements of theHelp America VoteAct, or HAVA.Piazza, who wascounty electiondirector from April2004 until his termi-nation in April 2012,said polling placesare not fully acces-sible to the disabledas required.He also allegedthe county failed to provide fund-ing for the office as promised tobe eligible for the receipt of HAVAfunding.Piazza said the county should be“taken to task” and forced to return$3.6 million in HAVA funding.Election Director Marisa Crispell-Barber said she instituted a plan tomake polling places accessible to thedisabled for the May 2013 primaryand said she is in the process of reviewing HAVA paperwork with thestate to ensure the county is compli-ant.
Governor’s Residencegardens to be open
The Governor’s Residencegardens will be open to the public1-4 p.m. Sunday for the “Creaturesof the Garden” open house as partof several free “Second Sunday”events scheduled throughout thesummer. The family-friendly event willshowcase creatures of all shapesand sizes that inhabit gardens inPennsylvania.Visitors will have an opportunityto observe live animal demonstra-tions, hear educational presenta-tions and participate in hands-onactivities.At 2 p.m., Jack Hubley, host of “A Wild Moment,” will offer aneducational program titled “CrittersBeyond Your Back Door.” It willfeature mammals, birds of prey andsnakes that are native to CentralPennsylvania. The final “Second Sunday” eventwill be on Sept. 8.For more information, visit www.pa.gov/firstlady
Crime watchmeeting set
The next meeting of theAvoca Crime Watch will be at6:30 p.m. Aug. 20 at the AvocaBorough building with guestspeaker Luzerne CountyDetective Charles Balogh talking about keeping citizens’ propertysafe.Residents are encouraged toattend these group meetings andhelp keep the town safe and clean.For more information, callJim at 457-8446, Ned at 457-6109or Gene at 457-0776.
Huber Breakerauction set Aug. 22
An auction for bids to purchasethe Huber Breaker and adjacentproperty from No. 1 Contracting is scheduled for 10 a.m. Aug.22 inside the Max Rosenn U.S.Courthouse on South Main Street,Wilkes-Barre.No. 1 Contracting of South MainStreet filed for Chapter 11 bank-ruptcy in March 2010 and was con-verted to Chapter 7 in Novemberof that year, requiring the businessto liquidate its assets, including thebreaker.Bankruptcy court recordssay Paselo Logistics, of 22112th St., Philadelphia, submitted abid of $1.275 million for theproperty, which has an appraisedvalue of $750,000, according to anappraisal conducted in September2005. The property consists of oneoffice, three garages/warehousesand two breakers, including theHuber Breaker that has anestimated 900 tons of steal valued at$85,000, court records say.Before the auction, a hearing isscheduled on a petition filed by No.1 Contracting objecting to the auc-tion.
National Weather Service Warning Coordination meteorologist DavidNicosia, right, presents Ji Evans, president of mountain Productionsin Wilkes-Barre, the StorReady Supporter award for the proceduresestablished to protect individuals who attend events at venues acrossthe country.Gula
WILKES-BARRE —When attendees are at a con-cert, sporting event or otherbig-budget productions, seri-ous weather events shouldnot be a concern. One localcompany’s efforts to makesure that’s the case wererecognized Thursday by theNational Weather Service.Mountain Productions,the largest staging companyin North America, receivedthe distinction of being aStormReady Supporter. It’s agrass-roots program intend-ed to help schools, venues,communities and businessesestablish severe weathersafety plans.Dave Nicosia, the warn-ing coordination meteo-rologist for the NationalWeather Service’s forecast-ing ofﬁce in Binghamton,N.Y., travelled to MountainProductions headquarterson New Frederick Street tohand company ofﬁcials a cer-tiﬁcate and sign commemo-rating its accomplishment.Nicosia said the businessis the ﬁrst staging companyto earn the distinction, andsaid it’s appropriate becauseso many lives are at risk atevents the company helps toset up — from giant musicfestivals to papal visits to iceskating at Rockefeller Plaza.Jim Evans, president of Mountain Productions, saidusing weather indicatorreports and designing plansthat dictate when to lowercurtains or screens based onwind speeds give his com-pany an advantage to makesure shows go on withouttragedies. While it might notmean additional business,Evans said, the new honorwill be used in sales pitches.In the days before cell-phones, modern warning systems and the Internet,when weather was closing in on an event, it was oftena situation where productioncompanies would have toscurry to move into action.But thanks to early-warn-ing systems and improvedweather-detection equip-ment, crews can get a headsup when dangerous weatheris closing in.By using this technologyand preparing stages andsets with weather factoredin, it makes for a safer showfor all involved.“Enormous amounts of people in a small area thatcould be very vulnerable tosevere weather” must beaddressed, Nicosia said. The attention to weatherand safety cannot be over-stated, he said.He noted there was a dead-ly lightning strike at PoconoRaceway in Long Pond lastyear. Mountain Productionshad no involvement in thatevent.“With all the severe weath-er we’ve been getting, thisis very important,” Nicosiasaid. “They’ve taken thisstep to ensure they’re pro-tecting the people thatattend their events.”
Police ask drivers to avoid W-B Boulevard andEast Market Street until signals can be xed
Roger DuPuis|TheTimes Leader
The front end of a car is wrapped around a pole at the southwest corner ofWilkes-Barre Boulevard and East market Street after a crashThursday.
WILKES-BARRE — Trafﬁc aroundone of the city’s busiest intersectionswas disrupted for hours Thursdayafter a car slammed into a utility pole,sending one man to the hospital andputting signals out of commission.A silver Buick Regal came to a stopwith its front end impaled on a pole atthe southwest corner of Wilkes-BarreBoulevard and East Market Street atabout 1 p.m., damaging a trafﬁc signalcontrol box. The name and condition of a mantaken away in an ambulance was notavailable later Thursday, as city policeand ﬁreﬁghters said they had no fur-ther updates.Southbound trafﬁc on Wilkes-BarreBoulevard brieﬂy came to a standstilland cars were backed up for at least ablock on East Market Street as emer-gency crews tended to the injured manand cleared the wreckage. Trafﬁc continued to move at a stop-and-go pace throughout the day, asthe signals remained dark and citycrews set out temporary stop signs torestore order.Ofﬁcials later issued a travel advi-sory, cautioning drivers to “avoidthis intersection if at all possible, oruse extreme caution when proceed-ing through the intersection this eve-ning,” according to an email from cityspokeswoman Liza Prokop. The stop signs were still up Thursday evening, with two policeofﬁcers stationed at the intersectionto monitor trafﬁc ﬂow.Workmen at the scene said theywere trying to repair the trafﬁc lightsas quickly as possible, hoping to getthe signals working on ﬂash mode.Part of the delay stemmed from theneedtoobtainpartsfromPhiladelphia,workers said.