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The Pittston Dispatch 07-31-2011

The Pittston Dispatch 07-31-2011

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Published by The Times Leader
The Pittston Dispatch 07-31
The Pittston Dispatch 07-31

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Published by: The Times Leader on Jul 31, 2011
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02/02/2013

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WILKES-BARRE, PA $1.00Sunday, July 31, 2011
New Wyomingfacility named forslain police chief.
>> PAGE 3
Free concerts asmusic workshopcomes to a close.
>> PAGE 4
Police annex dedicationMaking a  joyful noise
COUPONSAVINGSINSIDEWORTH$620.09
PHOTO BY BILL TARUTIS
 
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Call Karen Fiscus at 970-7291
Advertising deadline is Thursday at 3 P.M.Impressions Media
Tom Gorman well remem- bers the birth of his brother Johnny. Tom was in the fifthgrade at O.B. Pettebone ele-mentary school in Forty Fortwhere every teacher and everystudent in the school – not tomention just about everyone inthe small town where it waslocated – was quite familiar with the Gorman family make-up: Tom and his seven – count‘em,
seven
– sisters. “Judy,Kathy, Mariel, Susan, Beth,Joanie, and Margaret, fromoldest to youngest,” Tom willrattle off if asked.And now there was babyJohnny.One of the teachers at theschool made Tom go fromclassroom to classroom to pro-claim the good news: “I have a brother.”Tom recalls reluctantly com- plying with the request butmaking his mumbled announ-cement with head down fromthe doorway of each room rath-er than in the front of the classas the teacher had envisioned.“And a few of my younger sisters were in those classes,which didn’t make it any eas-ier” Tom said as he re-lived theexperience, now more than 50years old, during a conversationwe had Friday night.First off, Tom was surprised Iremembered the story which hetold me about17 or18 yearsago when we first becamefriends. Tom, a printer by tradenot to mention by genetic en-dowment with a Masters De-gree in Printing from the Roch-ester Institute of Technology,had been hired to run a printing program at the communitycollege where I had been teach-ing journalism for a few years.If you ever became friends withsomeone within the first fiveminutes you met them, thenyou have some idea of howTom and I hit it off.Tom didn’t stay at the collegelong. He soon discovered heliked 
doing 
printing better thanhe liked 
teaching 
printing. Ialways suspected Tom missed having ink under his finger-nails. So he left what manywould call a dream job and opened a small print shopwhere, to this day, he’ll still runa press into the wee hours of the morning to meet a deadlineand enjoy every minute of it.Tom’s love of ink and paper is no surprise to those whoknow him. He is the son of thelate John Gorman and the ne- phew of the late Joe Gorman,two names that are synonymouswith printing in NortheasternPennsylvania. His Uncle Joefounded International Color Printing Company in the Par-sons section of Wilkes-Barre inthe1920s and for the better partof the next 60 years it printed color comics that were read allaround the world. Tom’s dad worked there all his adult life asdid many, most of whom would say it was one of the best jobsin the area and the Gormanswere the best folks to work for.I remember everything Tomever said about Johnny becauseit seemed to me that no big brother ever loved a little broth-er more. He’d tell me about theway Johnny would field agrounder on the baseball dia-mond, or the way Johnny would turn the heads of all the girls, or the way Johnny would makeeveryone laugh. Tom just plainloved his baby brother.That Johnny wound up fol-lowing Tom into a career in printing and later teaching printing indicates the feelings between them were mutual.That’s what is making it sohard for Tom to see his brother Johnny today. During theThanksgiving weekend of 2009Johnny suffered what was firstthought to be a stroke and waslater diagnosed as an AVM(arteriovenus malformation),something he was probably born with. He underwent sixhours of surgery and remained in a coma for five months. Hewas 50 years old with a lovingwife and two kids in college.Johnny was hospitalized for ayear and, while now back home, has not worked since and  perhaps never will.A bunch of guys – one of them Jerry LaMark, originallyfrom Pittston – who knowJohnny as a longtime LittleLeague umpire, manager and former president of the FortyFort Little League, want to dosomething to help him and hisfamily. They are planning a benefit at the SwoyersvilleAmerican Legion on Sept.17.There will be music, food, beer and the like for a $20 ticket butthey are hoping to raise somereal money via a raffle. Rightnow they are collecting dona-tions and raffle items. One of their goals is to get a jerseyautographed by all the Philadel- phia Phillies. You can help bymaking a donation to the Bene-fit of John Gorman Fund set upat Wells Fargo bank or by send-ing donations in care of JerryLaMark at 26 Pomona St.,Forty Fort, PA18704.Truth is, no matter who weare we have a brother. Some-times it’s one person, some-times it’s a thousand. Rightnow, it’s Johnny Gorman.
Ed Ackerman, optimist
eackerman@luzerne.edu
‘I have a brother’
Wyoming Annex................................................3Local Chatter....................................................8Matters of Faith...............................................10Editorial /Letters.............................................14Maria Heck........................................................15Nutrition............................................................15Picnic Pics.........................................................16Peeking into the Past......................................17Polkaholics......................................................28School News..........................................Social 2Town News......................................................34Sports..............................................................40Obituaries.......................................................54Weddings.................................................Social1Birthdays................................................Social 3
         I         N         S          I         D         E
VOL. 65, NO. 25
 
 S  UNDAYDI    S A C H
 , S  UNA , J  U 3 1    , 0 1   1   A G 
 3 
Inflationhasincreasedthecostof constructing a town hall inWyoming Borough a wee bitover the last110 years.On Friday the ribbon was cuton a new two-story, 3,200-square-foot, $600,000 buildingwhich replaces one built in1905for $5,600, not including $126for a vault door and $96 for twosteel cells.Theeventdoubledasamemo-rialforRalphDaleyandEdward Brennan, the chiefs of police of West Wyoming and Wyomingwho were shot and killed 93years ago on July 28 and 29,1918.Thenewbuildingwasded-icated the Chief Edward Bren-nan Public Safety Annex. Theribbon was cut by FlorenceJumper, 98, a niece of Chief Brennan, the only officer in bor-ough history killed in the line of duty (see story below.) Jumper still lives in Wyoming near thespotwhereherunclewasgunned down.Given that the old buildingwas the oldest active municipal buildinginthecounty,olderthanthe county courthouse by eightyears, some consideration wasgiventopreservingit,butathor-oughinspectionshowedthatres-toring the building and bringingit up to code would have costthree to five times more thandemolition and new construc-tion.The old building was demol-ished last year, but to preservesome of its structural integritysome of the original stone, in-cludingthecornerstone,wasre-used on the first floor and win-dow sills. The cornerstone is in-set into a corner of the buildingnext to the entrance to the policeheadquarters on Breeze Street.Thenewbuildingalsofeaturesastoneinlaidwithasilhouetteof the Wyoming Monument in thecenterofthefrontofthebuildingfacing Wyoming Avenue. Theornamental spire, or pinnacle,atopthecenteroftheroofwasin-spired by the original bell tower.Money for the old buildingcame from a voter-approve bond issue. Money for the new building came from the Mohe-gan Sun Casino.TheDepartmentofCommuni-tyandEconomicDevelopment’s
New Wyoming ‘cop shop’ honors slain chief 
Building replaces oldest active municipal building in county
By Jack Smiles 
 Associate Editor 
 PHOTO BY BILL TARUTIS 
Florence Jumper, niece of Chief Brennan, cuts the ribbon during the Chief Edward Brennan PublicSafety Annex as Wyoming Police Capt. Chris Mercavitch, left, school board member John Marianac-ci, Mayor Robert Boyer, and Police Chief William Ragantesi assist.
See ANNEX, Page 26
Patrolling on foot on the nightof July 28 in1918, West Wyom-ingpoliceChiefRalphDaleyen-counteredagroupofyoungmenloitering outside an ice cream parlor blocking the sidewalk onWest Eighth Street between 10and 11 o’clock. As he had beenordered by the borough’s bur-gess, or mayor, to crackdown ongangsblockingsidewalks,Daleyasked the men—described as“Italians” in police reports and newspaper articles – to move.When they refused Daley“gently”,asdescribedinonever-sion of events, pushed one themenwhowasidentifiedasLouisMancino, 24. Mancino either  pushed back or punched Daley.Daley hit Mancino either in thehandorheadwithhisnightstick.At that instant the ice cream parlor lights went dark and twoshots rang out. One of the .32caliber steel-tipped bullets fired hit Daley just above his shield, passed through his heart and outhis back. He fell to the sidewalk and bled to death in minutes, asthe group of men scattered intothe darkness.The police immediately iden-tified Mancino as a suspect and learnedhewasonthelamwithafriend, Antonio “Tony” Rizzo,20. Three hours later around 3a.m. on the morning of the 29th,Wyoming Police Chief Edward Brennan and Officer HiramLongwerestoppingvehiclesand teams on Wyoming Avenue as part of theinvestigationintoDa-ley’s slaying, when they weretoldthesuspecthadbeenseeninthe area of First Street.Telling Officer Long to con-tinue the road block, Brennanwenttoinvestigate.Minuteslater two shots were heard. WhenBrennan did not return to theroad block, Long thought Bren-nan had fired the shots and waschasing the suspects. But Bren-nan may not have been armed.His niece Florence Jumper, 98,was five then. She said Brennanhad been rousted out of bed by a phonecallafteradayofblueber-ry picking and hurriedly left hishouse on Fourth Street withouthis gun and holster.Meanwhile a posse of all 45statepolicemenfromtheWyom-ing Troop P, private policemen(what we would call securityguardstoday),countydetectives,and hastily deputized citizenswere scouring the area in auto-mobiles, on horseback and onfoot, while borough police inExeter and West Pittston set up perimeters. One of the state po-licemen found Brennan dead in bushes along the avenue. LikeDaley he had been shot throughin the heart and neck.Into the early morning hoursthepossesearchedtheWyomingflats through corn fields, cab- bage fields and swamps, whereStateTrooperMcGeefoundRiz-zo near the river’s edge around 6a.m. and subdued him with hisnight stick. He was described ashaving a “bedraggled appear-ance.” His pants were wet to theknees and his shirt torn. He wasnot armed. Mancino was notwith him. Rizzo said he was vis-itingfromBuffaloandwasinthecornfield because he had no-where to sleep.In the light of day Mancino’sshirtwasfoundbytheriverlead-ing police to theorize he swamacrosstherivertoPittstonwherehe was being harbored byfriends.That evening Rizzo, after anintense grilling, confessed tokilling Daley and was arraigned for murder. Mancino’s “comely”16-year-old wife Grace Manci-no, testifying through an inter- preter, said she was at home not
The strange case of the murdered police chiefs
By Jack Smiles 
 Associate Editor 
Former Wyoming BoroughChief of Police Edward Bren-nan, who was shot and killedon duty in1918. The newWyoming Borough Police Sta-tion was dedicated in his nameFriday.
See BRENNAN, Page 33

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