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Times Leader 01-19-2012

Times Leader 01-19-2012

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Published by The Times Leader
The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader 01-19
The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader 01-19

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Published by: The Times Leader on Jan 19, 2012
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02/02/2013

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COLONELSTOPMONARCHS
Turning in Wilkes’ bestlong-range shooting per-formance in a dozenyears, Matt Mullins’ ca-reer-best 30 points andnine threes lifted theColonels to a 66-56 winover rival King’s onWednesday night at Scan-dlon Gymnasium. Mullinshelped thwart a spiritedsecond-half comeback bythe Monarchs, scoring17points in the final13 min-utes after King’s hadtaken the lead.
Sports,1B
SPORTSSHOWCASE
NBA
NUGGETS10876ERS104WIZARDS105THUNDER102SPURS85MAGIC83CELTICS96RAPTORS73NETS107WARRIORS100SUNS91KNICKS88
C M Y K
6
09815 10011
WILKES-BARRE, PA THURSDAY, JANUARY 19, 2012 50¢
timesleader.com
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he
T
imes
L
eader
       7        3        3        3       7        0
 
$
20
VOUCHERFOR ONLY
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State gets low gradesin fight against tobacco
NEWS,3A
Bad marksfor bad habit
Some see pros, cons in usingthe social networking site
LIFE,1C
Facebook as a reunion helper?
INSIDE
A NEWS:
Local 3ANation & World 5AObituaries 2A, 8AEditorial11A
B SPORTS:
Scoreboard 2BBusiness 7B
C LIFE:
Birthdays 3CMovies/TV 4CCrossword 7CFunnies 8C
D CLASSIFIED
 WEATHER
Abby ConnorsSun early, snow tonight.High 32. Low17.
Details, Page 8B
Applicants for two LuzerneCounty government boards hadto sit at the head table before anaudience of county councilmembers and citizens Wednes-day night to answer questionsabout why they should be ap-pointed.It’s a complete reversal frompastcountypracticebecausefor-mercommissionersdidnotpub-licly disclose the names andqualificationsof all citizens who were con-sidered forboard posts.Councilmembers planto select ap-pointees on Tuesday.SixDemocratsandfiveRepub-licans were interviewed for twounpaid county election boardseats. The council will choose onefrom each party, and those two will select a third. Ten were interviewed forthreeseatsontheassessmentap-peals board. The six Democratic electionboardapplicants:CalmanBaggs, Wilkes-Barre, a retired countytransportation scheduler/oper-ations manager; Thomas Baldi-no,MountainTop,aWilkesUni-
COUNTY COUNCIL
Board applicants in open interviews for first time
Hopefuls make public pitch
ByJENNIFERLEARN-ANDES 
 jandes@timesleader.com
Bobeck
See BOARDS, Page12A
Luzerne County Council Chair-man Jim Bobeck said the councilplans to hire the permanentcounty manager at Tuesday’smeeting.He declined to identify the per-son offered the position. It is expected to be Robert Law-ton, Rio Vista, Calif., who hasbeen principal managementanalyst for Solano County, Calif.,since January 2010.
PERMANENTMANAGER HIREEXPECTED
LOS ANGELES — In a movethatheightensthegrowingtensionbetween Silicon Valley and Holly- wood, Wikipedia and other web-siteswentdarkWednesdayinpro-testoftwocongressionalproposalsintendedtothwarttheonlinepira-cy of copyrighted movies and TVprograms. The web-based encyclopedia ispartofaloosecoalitionofdot-comsand large tech-nology compa-nies that fearCongress is pre-pared to side with Hollywoodand enact ex-treme measurespossibly in-cluding theblocking of en-tire websites—tostoptheonlinesharing and un-authorizeduseof Hollywood pro-ductions. The fight willtest which Cali-fornia-based in-dustry has themost sway in Washington.For now, Sili-con Valley ap-pearstohavetheupperhand.Sup-portersofthelegislationcalledthe Stop Online Piracy Act in theHouseandtheProtectIntellectualProperty Act in the Senate — saythe bills are aimed at protecting  jobsinthemovieandmusicindus-tries. But a campaign including techheavyweightssuchasGoogleInc.andYahooInc.hassuccessfullyportrayedthebillsasanattackonafreeandopenInternet.“Ithasnothingtodowithstolensongs or movies,” said Justin Ru-ben, executive director of MoveO-n.org,whichisparticipatingintheblackout.Rubensaystougherlegis-lation—evendirectedoverseas—couldmakedomesticculturalcom-mentators more prone to legal at-tack.Ratherthanshowingencyclope-dia articles, Wikipedia displayed ablacked-out page describing theprotestandofferingmoreinforma-tiononthebills.Manyarticleswerestillviewableoncachedpages.
ONLINE RULES
Hollywoodlights vs.Internetdarkness
Several websites go darkWednesday in protest ofproposed online-piracy bills
ByRYANNAKASHIMA 
 AP Business Writer 
The one-day outagewas timedto coincidewith keyHouse andSenatecommitteehearingsas theyprepare tosend thebills to thefull floorfor debate.
INSIDE:
Rep. Holden withdrawssupport for legislation,
Page12ASee DARK, Page12A
 WILKES-BARRE – The presi-dentofthecityfirefighters’unionsaid a special committee of fire-fighters wanted the city to pur-chasethreenewfireenginesfromadifferentcompanythantheoneselectedbackin2005-06.Union President Mike Bilskisaid this weekhe spoke tosome of themen whoserved on thecommittee,andhewastoldthey favoredAmerican La-FranceofSummerville,S.C.,notKME-Kovatch Organization of Nesquehoning.“These guys are mechanicallyinclined;theyknowaboutheavyequipment,” Bilski said. “Theyliked features offered by Ameri-can LaFrance, like turning radi-us. But I guess KME offered thesamethings.”Since it became known last week that a $1 million donation was used to fund the purchase,Mayor Tom Leighton has stoodby his decision to conceal thenameofthedonor.Hehasofferednoexplanationofwhyhedidnotrevealthedonationitself.Bilskisaidthefiredepartmentneverknewtheoriginofthemon-eyusedtopurchasethetrucks.“We had no clue for years,” hesaid. “It was always mentionedhow much money was being spent on the new engines. All Iknow is the committee made itsrecommendation, and some-bodyafterthatmadethedecisiontogowithKME.”
City’sresponse
Drew McLaughlin, the city’sadministrative coordinator, is-sued a response on behalf of Leighton:“Despite any firefighter’s con-tention to the contrary, seven
Union head differs over fire trucks
He says committee wanteddifferent company to buildengines using $1M donation.
ByBILLO’BOYLE 
boboyle@timesleader.com
See TRUCKS, Page12A
Bilski
 Two men who grewup in the Wyoming Valleywillhaveapublicairingofa90-min-ute documentary they are making on theKnox Mine Disaster.After graduating from Wyoming AreaHigh School, Dave Brocca was a PennState film major, moved to Los Angelesand got into the movie business.Brocca, of West Pittston, interned atIFILM.com and has been in Los Angelesever since.He and his cousin, Albert Brocca, haveteamed up to produce and direct, andeventually established their own compa-ny, Pitch Films.Over the last four years they have been working on a 90-minute, feature-lengthdocumentary titled “The Knox Mine Di-saster: The End of Anthracite.”Now, in conjunction with Mining His-
Coming soon: Knox film in the works
PITTSTON DISPATCH PHOTO
David Broccaposes withJack Scanel-la, the cine-matographerof the originalKnox MineDisasterfootage.Brocca andhis cousin,Albert Broc-ca, are work-ing on a docu-mentaryabout TheKnox MineDisaster.
Trailer of the documentary on the ’59mine disaster, being filmed by 2 Valleynatives, will be screened locally.
ByJACKSMILES 
 jsmiles@psdispatch.com
See FILM, Page12A
PROUD TO BE POLISH AND AMERICAN
CLARK VAN ORDEN/THE TIMES LEADER
N
orma Johnson, bottom right, along with others from the Kingston Senior Center sing ‘God Bless America’ at theconclusion of the Polish Festival Day on Wednesday. For more photos from Kingston and Nanticoke, see
Page 6A
.
 
K
PAGE 2A THURSDAY, JANUARY 19, 2012 THE TIMES LEADER www.timesleader.com
Febish,LeoGiles,MichaelGoble,RobertGrabosky,RichardKoons,MaryClaireLapinsky,JudithLindquist,MauriceMido,MaryMorgan,MaryPetrochko,TheodorePrehatin,GeorgeRudy,MarthaSitar,SuEllenTomasura,WilmaTraglia,AnthonyWatkins,RalphWitkoski,Florence
OBITUARIES
Page 2A, 8A
BUILDINGTRUST
The Times Leader strives tocorrect errors, clarify storiesand update them promptly.Corrections will appear in thisspot. If you have informationto help us correct an inaccu-racy or cover an issue morethoroughly, call the newsroomat 829-7242.
HARRISBURG – No playermatched all five winningnumbers drawn in Wednes-day’s “Pennsylvania Cash 5”game so the jackpot will beworth $325,000.Lottery officials said 52players matched four num-bers and won $357.50 eachand 2,183 players matchedthree numbers and won $14each.
LOTTERY
MIDDAYDRAWING
DAILY NUMBER
3-1-3
BIG FOUR
0-9-9-2
QUINTO
7-3-7-7-7
TREASURE HUNT
03-09-22-25-28NIGHTLYDRAWING
DAILY NUMBER
1-9-8
BIG FOUR
2-2-7-6
DOUBLE DRAW
2-6-7-6
QUINTO
3-1-9-4-2
CASH FIVE
13-25-34-35-43
POWERBALL
06-29-34-44-50
POWERBALL
28
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Delivery Monday–Sunday $3.50 per weekMailed Subscriptions Monday–Sunday$4.35 per week in PA$4.75 per week outside PAPublished 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. 2012-019
MoreObituaries,Page8A
R
ichardE.Grabosky,70,ofInker-man, passed away, Monday, Ja-nuary16,2012,inWilkes-BarreGen-eral Hospital.Born November 16, 1941, in Pitt-ston, he was a son of the late AlbertGrabosky Sr. and Frances ArmalusGrabosky.Richard was a 1961 graduate of Pittston High School.Heretiredafter26yearswiththeLuzerne County Courthouse mail-room. Prior to that, he was employ-ed by Potlatch Corporation.For many years, he was a ScoutMasterwithTroops285and321.Heenjoyedlifetothefullestwithfamilyandfriends.Heenjoyedfleamarket-ing, shopping and traveling.He was preceded in death bybrothers Jerome, Robert, John andDonald Grabosky; sister LorraineMusloski; brother-in-law, RobertMiller Jr.; and Godchild, CherylShager Grabosky.Richard is survived by brothersCharles Grabosky Sr. and his wife,Pat, Inkerman; Albert Grabosky Sr.and his wife, Shirley, Sebastopol;sister Bernadine Donnelly and herhusband,Ed,Lancaster,andJacque-lineMiller,Inkerman;sister-in-laws,CarolGrabosky,Inkerman,andMa-rilyn Grabosky, Pittston; and manynieces and nephews.
There will be
a private family viewing at Kizis-Lokuta FuneralHome, 134 Church St., Pittston. Afuneralservicewillfollowofficiatedby Msg. George Thomchick. Thefamily requests that there be noflowers.
Richard E. Grabosky 
January16, 2012
M
aryClaireKoons,79,ofBethle-hem, and formerly of Pittston,passed away Monday, January 16,2012, at home.BorninAvocaonAugust9,1932,shewasadaughterofthelatePeterJ. and Mary Clifford McHale.She was the wife of the late Rob-ert J. Koons.MaryClairewasagraduateofSt.John the Evangelist High School,Pittston, class of1949.She was a member of NotreDame Roman Catholic Church, Be-thlehem.Prior to retirement, she had worked for Muhlenberg Hospital,Bethlehem.In addition to her parents, pre-ceding her in death were threebrothers, Clifford McHale, Peter J.McHale and Thomas McHale.Surviving are her children,daughter,AnnKopeck,andherhus-band, Joseph, Pittston Township;sons, Robert J. Koons and his wife,Carol, Pittston Township; WilliamKoons and his wife, Marcie, Allen-town, N.J.; John Koons, Pittston Township,andJamesKoonsandhis wife, Cheryl, with whom she resid-ed;11grandchildren,RobertKoons;ReneeGiambra;Laura,MelissaandDavid Koons; Joseph and Kelly Ko-peck; Christina Koons; James, Cait-lin and Emily Koons; two great-grandsons, Michael and Bryan;brothers Robert McHale, Wilming-ton,Del.,andJohnMcHale,Bethle-hem; and several nieces and neph-ews.
Funeral services
will be held at9 a.m. Friday in the Peter J. Adoni-zio Funeral Home, 251 William St.,Pittston, with a Mass of ChristianBurial at 9:30 a.m. in St. John theEvangelist Cemetery, Pittston.Friendsmaycallfrom5to8p.m.to-day in the funeral home.Inlieuofflowers,memorialdona-tions may be made to St. Joseph’sCenter,2010AdamsAve.,Scranton,PA18509. Online condolences maybemadeatwww.peterjadoniziofun-eralhome.com.
Mary Claire Koons
January16, 2012
M
iss Judith C. Lapinsky, 84, for-merly of North Wilkes-Barre,morerecentlyaresidentofBonhamNursing Center, Stillwater, passedintoEternalLifeSaturdaymorning,January 14, 2012, in Wilkes-BarreGeneral Hospital following an ill-ness.Born January 8, 1928, in Wilkes-Barre,shewasadaughterofthelateJacob and Catherine (Modla) La-pinsky.She was a member of St. AndreBessette Parish Community, previ-ously attending the former SacredHeart of Jesus Roman CatholicChurch, North Wilkes-Barre.Astudentofparochialeducation,she graduated from the former Sa-cred Heart Slovak School, and fur-thered her education by graduating from the James M. Coughlin HighSchool, Wilkes-Barre.Judith assisted her mother withthe daily operations of the familybusiness for many years.She was preceded in death bybrothers, Joseph Lapinsky, andAdolf (Eugene) Lapinsky; and sis-ter, Regina Stillman, R.N.Surviving,arehersister,Mrs.Ro-semary Niznik, R.N. and her hus-band, Stanley, of North Wilkes-Barre; and several nieces and neph-ews.
Funeralservices
forMissLapin-skywillbeconductedat10a.m.Fri-day in the John V. Morris FuneralHome, 625 N. Main St., Wilkes-Barre,followedbyaFuneralMassat10:30a.m.intheSt.StanislausKost-ka worship site of St. Andre Be-ssette Parish Community, with theRev. Michael J. Kloton, ParochialVicar, officiating. Interment will beprivate and at the convenience of the family. Relatives and friendsmay join her family for visitationandremembrancesfrom9a.m.untilthetimeofservicesFridaymorning. To send Judy’s family online words of comfort and support,please visit our family’s website at www.JohnVMorrisFuneralHome-s.com.
Judith C. Lapinsky 
January14, 2012
M
artha “Pat” Louise Rudy, 84,diedTuesday,January17,2012,at Somerset Medical Center inSomerville,N.J.,afterabriefillness.Born in Wilkes-Barre, on Febru-ary 11, 1927, Pat attended localschoolsandgraduatedfromCough-lin High School.She was a resident of Manville,N.J., for the past 56 years.Shewasprecededindeathbyherparents, Anna and Andrew Mahal-ick; brothers, Michael, Andrew andFrancis; sisters, Anna Kaczmarek,Katherine Mahalick, Mary Gabana,Margaret Hickock, Gertrude Mack-ler and Emily Lockyer.Surviving are her husband of 64 years, William G. Rudy, Manville,N.J., daughter, Carolyn, and hus-bandThomasRogus,Manville,N.J.;son,PhilipG.Rudy,andlifepartnerDeborah Owens, Mountain Top;three grandchildren, Eric, Jeanetteand Christine; and her belovedgreat-grandchildren, William, Syd-ney, Jillian and Riley; as well asmany nieces and nephews.Energetic and spirited, Pat worked full-time for RCA and Bee-chumsPharmaceuticalsuntilherre-tirement.Inadditiontoherwork,Patwasa Tupper Ware sales lady, worked with Popular Club sales and soldher homemade chocolates at sea-sonal craft shows.Herextraincomefundedherpas-sion for shopping, which continuedunabated until her illness.Generous and active in the com-munity, she was an involved mem-ber of the Manville Seniors, Tri-County Seniors, Manville LibraryBookClubandherweeklycardclubparties.She was a member of Christ TheKingRomanCatholicChurch,Man- ville, N.J. With their children, Pat and Billspent their vacations camping throughout the Eastern seaboardand the Eastern states.After the children were grown,theyexploredtheentireU.S.intheircustom camper van, also visiting Hawaii and Alaska.She will be remembered as anavid homemaker, terrific cook,sharp dresser, devoted mother and wife, doting grandmother and a woman whom, if one wanted to seeher, had to consult her brimming engagement calendar.Her far-flung interests also in-cluded, in her youth, hunting. Sheoncebaggedaredfoxforthethen$3bounty.She also enjoyed gardening.
The viewing
will be from 2 to 4p.m.and7to9p.m.FridayintheKe-tusky Funeral Home, 1310 BrooksBlvd., Manville, N.J. Burial will beprivate.Inlieuofflowers,donationstoei-thertheManvilleFoodBankoryourfavoritecharitywouldbegreatlyap-preciated. For additional informa-tion, please visit our website at www.ketusky.com.
Martha L. Rudy 
January17, 2012
 A 
nthony Traglia, 83, of Pittston,passed away, Tuesday, January17,2012,atHighlandManor,Exeter.BorninPittstononSeptember9,1928, he was a life-long resident of this city. His parents were the lateNicola and Helen Serafine Traglia. Tony was a1946 graduate of Pitt-ston High School, and a member of  The Second Presbyterian Church,Pittston.He was employed for several years in the furniture manufactur-ing industry at Nelson’s in Wyom-ing,andlaterGoldenTechnologies.During his years at Nelson’s heserved as the treasurer of his laborunion.HewasalsoemployedbyAir-port Limousine. Tonywasanavidsportsfanandamember of the Pittston Red Devilsas a young man, and he was still ac-tive in that club.Inadditiontohisparents,hewasprecededindeathbyhisson,Nicho-las; brother, Nicholas; sister, JeanPisano;andnephewCharlesPisano.Survivingarehiswifeof58years,Erma Nafus Traglia; daughter, He-len Marie, and her husband, Tho-mas Hockley; grandson, NicholasHockley, all of Annville, Pa.; niece,Kristi Orndorf, New Cumberland;nephew Nicholas Pisano, Philadel-phia.
Funeral services
will be held at10a.m.SaturdayintheSecondPres-byterianChurch,143ParsonageSt.,Pittston. Those attending the ser- vice are asked to go directly to thechurch.Friendsmaycallfrom5to8p.m. Friday at the Peter J. AdonizioFuneralHome,251WilliamSt.,Pitt-ston. Interment will be held in the West Pittston Cemetery. Onlinecondolences may be made at www.peterjadoniziofuneralhome-.com.
 Anthony Traglia 
January17, 2012
T
heodore B. Petrochko, 78, of Meadowcrest Drive, Nanticoke,passed away Wednesday morning,January 18, 2012 in the Hospice of Scranton.Born in Nanticoke, he was a sonof the late Wasil and Julia BobackPetrochko.He was a member of St. FaustinaParish, former St. Mary’s Church,Nanticoke.He graduated from NanticokeHigh School, class of 1951, andKing’s College, Wilkes-Barre, classof1960.HewasaveteranoftheU.S.Armyand served during the Korean Con-flictandwasamemberoftheAmer-ican Legion Post 350, Nanticoke.Prior to his retirement, he wasemployed by Thomson ConsumerElectronics, Dunmore, and pastpresidentofWestSidePlayGround.Preceding him in death were sis-ters, Rita Petrochko Kielar and Bar-bara Petrochko.Surviving are his wife, PhyllisGorski Petrochko; sons, Michael T.Petrochko, Nanticoke; James P. Pe-trochko and his wife, Ann Marie,MountainTop;nephew,JohnKielarand his wife, Mary; nieces, PatriciaKielar Gregory and Karen KielarSchaffer,bothofwhomresidedwithhimformanyyearsandwereconsid-eredmoreasdaughtersthannieces;grandsons, Steven, Matthew, KevinCollin and Derek Petrochko; grand-daughters, Nichole, Rachel andMegan Petrochko; great-nephews,John Paul Kielar and JonathanSchaffer.
Funeralservices
 will be heldat 10 a.m. Saturday in theGrontkowski Funeral Home P.C.,51-53 W. Green St., Nanticoke, withMassofChristianBurialatSt.Faus-tina Parish, alternate site at 10:30a.m. with the Rev. Raymond Devi-ney,officiating.IntermentwillbeinSt. Mary’s Cemetery, Hanover Township. Calling Hours will beheld Friday from 6 to 8 p.m.
Theodore B. Petrochko
January18, 2012 WILKES-BARRE – City policearrested a man they allegerobbed an employee of Tin-TinChinese restaurant delivering food in a garden-style apartmentbuilding in the Sherman Hillsapartment complex.Jafa Leroy McAllister, 24, a na-tive of Newark, N.J., was appre-hended when he left his resi-dence at134 Barney St. Wednes-day afternoon, city police said.McAllister was charged withassaulting and robbing the deliv-eryman inside Building 320 onJan. 2. Therobberywasoneoffivere-ported muggings of employeesdelivering Chinese food withinthe 22-acre apartment complexon North Empire Court.McAllister was arraigned byDistrict Judge Martin Kane in Wilkes-Barre on charges of rob-bery,simpleassaultandtheft.He wasjailedattheLuzerneCountyCorrectional Facility for lack of $25,000 bail.In an unrelated case, McAllis-ter was free on $15,000 bail onfirearm charges filed by state po-lice in Monroe County in Febru-ary 2011, according to MonroeCounty court records.State police stopped a vehicleinwhichMcAllisterwasapassen-ger on Interstate 80 on Feb. 13.Anassaultriflewithanalteredse-rial number and loaded maga-zines were found in the vehicle,state police allege.Accordingtothecriminalcom-plaint:RonaldSnyder,anemployeeat Tin-Tin Chinese restaurant in Wilkes-Barre Township, told po-licehearrivedatthebuildingandcalledthecellphonenumberthatplaced the food order. Snydersaid a woman instructed him toenter the building.Police traced the cell numberto Casey Hughes, a tenant inBuilding 320.Hughes told police that whenshe approached the deliverymanMcAllister ran upstairs andpulled him inside the building.Police said Hughes statedMcAllister punched Snyder,banged his head off a wall andstole money and the food.Hughes said she did not knowMcAllister was going to assaultand rob the deliveryman, thecomplaint says.Policesaidtheyarecontinuing to investigate the robberies of food delivery employees in Sher-man Hills on Dec. 26 in Building 328,Dec.27inBuilding316,Dec.28 in Building 320 and the latestrobbery on Jan. 14 in Buildin320.
Man chargedin robbery of deliveryman
Jafa Leroy McAllister, 24,allegedly robbed Chinese fooddeliverer on Jan. 2.
ByEDWARDLEWI
elewis@timesleader.com
SCRANTON A federal judge on Wednesday sentencedtwo Nanticoke men to seven years in prison each for theirguilty pleas to drug trafficking.Marcus Holder, 24, and Mi-chael F. Bruce, 23, conspired todistribute more than 400 gramsof heroin and more than 112grams of crack cocaine from2009 through April 29, 2011, ac-cording to federal prosecutors. The two men also allegedlycarried guns while dealing drugs, according to federal pros-ecutors.U.S. Attorney for the MiddleDistrict of Pennsylvania Peter J.Smith said Holder and Bruceagreed to forfeit to the govern-ment $12,469 and five gunsseized by investigators during araid on April 29, 2011.Senior U.S. Judge Edwin Ko-sik ordered the two men toserve four years probation afterthey complete their prison sen-tences. The FBI and Plains Townshippolice investigated the case.
Nanticoke men get7 years each fordrug trafficking
Times Leader staff 
EXETER -- Debt refinancing could pro- vide one way for the Wyoming Area SchoolDistrict to make up some of the nearly $2million shortfall in the 2012-13 budget, theschool board learned Tuesday.Representatives from PNC Financial andthe district’s business manager, Tom Mel-one, explained options for refinancing a2005 bank note that could net the districtsavings of $78,000 to $90,000 or more, de-pending on market conditions at the timeof the refinancing.Some additional amounts of savingscould be realized over the remaining termof the refinanced debt, which would be re-tired in 2012, the board was told. The discussion came as part of the latestin a series of budget meetings for the cash-strapped district. In this session, Melone walked the board through the district’s non-salary and benefit expenses, such as suppli-es, utilities and non-staff professional ser- vices.During the 1 ½-hour budget discussion,the board member’s questions centered onunderstanding which areas of the budgetare required and rigid and which areas canbe targeted for cuts.“I’d like the administration and the staff tolookforareasthatcanbecut,”saidboardPresident Frank Casarella. “Where can welook at alternatives, like reconditioning sports equipment instead of buying new, or whatever.” The board also held its regular monthly work session and discussed revisions to thehiring policy for professional staff. Severalnewly elected board members ran on ananti-nepotism platform and moved quicklyto rework the hiring procedures and policyfor teachers.Discussion centered on whether all rela-tives should be completely excluded or whether some provision should be made tohire a relative if they are clearly the bestcandidate.“There needs to be enough confidence onthe board that we have a tight enough pol-icy that nepotism becomes a moot point,”said newly elected board member Carl Yori-na.“If that person is truly the best person forthe job, I don’t care if it’s (SuperintendentRay) Bernardi’s kid,” he said, adding thathe “personally won’t vote for a relative.”Personnel Committee Chairperson MaryLouise Degnan noted that panel will craftan actual nepotism policy, but revising thehiring policy is the first step.Degnan also said all employment policies will be reviewed in time and her committeealso intends to create a section on the dis-trict’s website for potential employees toreview openings and complete applications.
WA explores refinancing debt
District, bank officials say tens ofthousands of dollars can be saved ineffort to close a $2 million shortfall.
ByJANINEUNGVARSKY 
Times Leader Correspondent
The board will hold another budget sessionand its regular monthly meeting Jan. 24beginning at 6:30 p.m.
WHAT’S NEXT
KINGSTONTWP.
– Town-ship Board of Supervisors isaccepting applicants to fill twonon-paying vacancies on theKingston Township RecreationCommission. The commission meetsmonthly and is a volunteercommission. Township resi-dency is required and membersare appointed to serve a three- year term. Letters of interest will be accepted until 3:30 p.m.Feb. 3, and should be sent to:Kingston Township Board of Supervisors, Attn: Townshipmanager,180 E. Center St.,Shavertown, PA18708, or byemail at infor@kingstontown-ship.com. The commission plans andconducts activities for town-ship residents. For more in-formation, call 696-3809 during regular business hours.
MUNICIPAL BRIEF
 
C M Y K
THE TIMES LEADER www.timesleader.com THURSDAY, JANUARY 19, 2012 PAGE 3A
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OCAL
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NANTICOKE
Shirt design winner named
 The law firm of Fellerman & Ciarim-boli named Kaitlyn Grey, a sophomorefrom Greater Nanticoke Area HighSchool, winner of its Safe Prom Pledge T-shirt design contest.Grey received a $500 check and her winning design will appear on the 2012 T-shirts.Fellerman & Ciarimboli instituted The Safe Prom Pledge last spring.Students were asked to commit to anight free of drinking and driving bysigning the pledge.
DANVILLE
Geisinger in top 15 ranking
Geisinger Health System was rankedamong the top15 health care systemsin the United States by ThompsonReuters, based on data collected frommore than 300 organizations. Geisinger was one of five systems in the $750million to $1.5 billion total operating expenses category.In its fourth year, the study found winning systems held post-dischargemortality rates steady and had fewerdeaths than expected, as well as short-er hospital stays.
 WASHINGTON, D.C.
Pa. gets $13M disaster aid
 The U.S. Department of Agriculturehas awarded $13.875 million to Penn-sylvania for disaster assistance to helpfarmers, land owners, communities andothers recover and rebuild after a yearof natural disasters. This will fund financial and technicalassistance to help rebuild and repairland damaged on account of flooding,drought, tornadoes and other naturaldisasters. Pennsylvania will receive $12million from the Natural ResourcesConservation Service’s Emergency Watershed Protection and $1.875 mil-lion from the Farm Service Agency’sEmergency Conservation Program.
SHICKSHINNY
Shooting charges forwarded
A formal arraignment has beenscheduled for a Huntington Townshipman who police allege shot his wife inthe stomach Jan. 9.Patrick John Baran, 38, waived hisright to a preliminary hearing Wednes-day on charges of aggravated assault,simple assault, terroristic threats, reck-lessly endangering another person,disorderly conduct and harassment.A formal arraignment has beenscheduled for 9:30 a.m. March 23 inLuzerne County Court.State police at Shickshinny allegeBaran shot his wife, Sundee Baran, 37,during an altercation inside their houseat1528 Mountain Road early Jan. 9.Baran remains in custody at thecounty prison for lack of $25,000 bail.
 WILKES-BARRE
Selenski court dates set
Luzerne County Judge Fred Pieran-toni scheduled a hearing for Feb. 3 fordefense attorneys to argue why prose-cutors should not be permitted to pre-serve the testimony of witnesses in thecapital homicide case of Hugo Selenski.Prosecutors are seeking to preserve thetestimony of two witnesses they sayare ill.Selenski, 38, is facing the deathpenalty if he is convicted in the deathsof Tammy Fassett and Michael Kerkow-ski, both 37. Investigators allege Selen-ski killed Fassett and Kerkowski onMay 3, 2002. Their bodies were foundon June 5, 2003, buried outside thehome on Mount Olivet Road, Kingston Township, where Selenski lived.Pierantoni also issued an order slat-ing Selenski’s trial to begin on April 23at 9:30 a.m.
I N B R I E F
SUBMITTED PHOTO
KaitlynGreyholdsherwinningSafePromPledgeT-shirtdesignwithat-torneysEdCiarimboli,left,andGregFellerman.
If Pennsylvania were a student andthe American Lung Association itsteacher, Pennsylvania’s parents wouldsurely be called in for a meeting aboutthe state’s grades.According to the Lung Association’sState of Tobacco Control 2012 reportcard, an annual account that tracks keytobaccocontrolpoliciesatthestateandfederal levels, Pennsylvania earned two“C” grades and two “F’s.” The C grades were for “smokefreeair” and “cigarette tax” categories. TheF’s were given for the state’s “tobaccoprevention and control spending” and“cessation coverage.” They were thesame grades the state received in the2011report.“What they’re saying is that nothing much has changed since last year,” saidAlice Dalla Palu, executive director of  Tobacco Free Northeast, who blamed alack of increased state funding for thestall. But it’s not just Pennsylvania thathas scaled back on prevention efforts,the report says.“Today’s report calls out states for
ANTI-SMOKING
State receives F’s for ‘tobacco prevention and control spending’ and ‘cessation’
Report: Pa. failing tobacco fight
ByANDREWM.SEDER 
 aseder@timesleader.com
SeeTOBACCO,Page4A
CLARK VAN ORDEN/THE TIMES LEADER
Whilethispersonstillsmokes,astateHealthDepartmentreportissuedlastyearshowsthatcigarettesalesaredownstatewidesince2002.Between2002and2010,percapitasalesofcigarettesdeclined36per-cent,thestatereportshowed.
To see a copy of the report, go to http://tlgets.me/smokingreport.
TO BACCO R E P O RT C A R D
NANTICOKE – Angry about the lackof an arrest even though an alleged sus-pectinthebrutalslashingattheProspectStreet Café has been identified, friendsand family of the victim spoke out at Wednesdaynight’scouncilmeeting.Supporters of Jennifer Mieczkowskipeppered council with questions and ventedtheirfrustrationswiththepaceof theinvestigationoftheJan.1attack.“What more information does anyoneneedtoknow?”askedAshleeMieczkow-ski,25,duringthepubliccommentperi-od at the end of the regular monthlymeeting.“We want something done,” said the youngersisterofthevictim.City police, the Luzerne County Dis-trict Attorney’s Office and the state po-liceBureauofLiquorEnforcementarein- vestigating the early-morning slashing insidethecrowdedbar.Mieczkowski,30,identified her at-tacker from a photolineup within 24hours and in a civilsuitfiledagainstthebar and its ownernamed 20-year-oldMelanieFigueroaasthepersonwhocutheraboutthefaceandneck.Figueroaadmittedbeinginsidethebarand said she voluntarily went to speak withpolice,butdeniedattackingMiecz-kowski.Severalpeoplecalledforclosingdownthebartheysaidhasbeenatroublespot,andarepresentativeoftheGuardianAn-gelsofferedtoassistpolicetoprovidean“extra set of eyes and ears” to them tomakethecityasafeplace.City Solicitor William Finnegan triedto explain to the people calling for theclosure there is a procedure in having abardeclaredanuisanceinordertoshutitdown. He asked for their assistance anddirectedthemtofilloutcomplaintformsavailableinthebackofthemeetingroomtoprovidetotheD.A.“If no information is provided, they’regoingtobehardpressedtodoanything,”saidFinnegan. With her face still bandaged, Miecz-kowski spoke out, saying she willingly wentintothebartogeta12-packofbeertotakeout. The business owner said she knowssheisresponsibleforwhatgoesoninsideherhairsalon.“It’sabouthowyourunthebusiness,shesaid.Shesaidtheissuewasnotaboutsome-one seeking vengeance against the bar.“It’s about the violence coming in,” sheadded.Council president Steve Duda agreed withher.“Jen, you hit the nail on the head. Itstartswiththebusinessowner.Theygottokeeporder,”hesaid.
Nanticokepressed todo somethingabout bar
Friends and relatives of Jan. 1 barslashing victim want pace ofinvestigation quickened.
ByJERRYLYNOTT 
 jlynott@timesleader.com
City Council willnext meet at 7p.m. Feb.1
WHAT’SNEXT
KINGSTON Edwards- ville police charged a man Wednesday with assaulting his 6-week-old son, leaving theinfantwithmultiplebro-ken bones and bruises.Kevin Lee Getz, 25, of Herman Street, Edwards- ville, was arraigned beforeDistrict Judge Paul RobertsJr., Kingston, on two countseach of aggravated assault,endangeringthewelfareofachild, simple assault andrecklessly endangering an-other person.GetzwasremandedtoLu-zerne County CorrectionalFacility in lieu of $50,000cash bail. A preliminaryhearing has been scheduledforJan.25at1:30p.m.inRo-berts’ court.Edwardsville police offi-cer Michael Lehman saidthe infant survived the at-tack and is now 6 monthsold. The child is being heldin protective custody by Lu-zerne County Children andYouth Services. Police saidthe alleged crimes occurredat 501Roosevelt St.According to court docu-ments: The child was takento an area hospital with aswollen leg on Aug. 25 and wastransferredtoGeisingerMedical Center, Danville,fortreatment.Thechildsuf-fered multiple fractures toboth legs, multiple brokenribs and bruises, and a med-icalprofessionaldeterminedthat the injuries were non-accidental and the result of child abuse, police said.Edwardsville police inter- viewed Getz on Sept.1witha Luzerne County detectiveand a state police corporal.Police said they planned toadminister a polygraph, orlie-detector,testduringthatinterview,butbeforethetestbegan Getz stated he wasthe person who caused inju-ries.
AIMEE DILGER/THE TIMES LEADER
KevinLeeGetz,25,ofHermanStreet,Edwardsville,left,wasarraignedWednesdaybyDistrictJudgePaulRobertsJr.,Kingston,onseveralcountsinconnectionwithinjuriestohisthen6-week-oldson.
Cops: Man assaulted baby son
Kevin Lee Getz, 25, left6-week-old with multipleinjuries, authorities say.
ByMATTHUGHES 
 mhughes@timesleader.com
SCRANTON The owner of a Wilkes-Barre pizzeria said he gotmixed up with “street people” whenhe knowingly sold stolen merchan-dise valued in excess of $75,000 oneBay.com for money to help pay billsin a struggling economy.Angelo Ricci Jr., 58, of Ashley,owner of Ricci’s Pizza on Park Ave-nue, apologized for selling $75,000to $100,000 in stolen goods throughhis eBay account.Federal prosecutors allege Riccisold the stolen merchandise from Ja-nuary2007toMarch2009.Heplead-ed guilty to a single count of mailfraud for mailing a drill bit he sold toa man in Maryland in January 2009.Ricci was notcharged with steal-ing the items.His lawyer, BillRuzzo, said he didnot know if there were any chargesfiled against those who stole the mer-chandise.Prosecutors alleged the merchan-dise was stolen from Target, TheHome Depot, CVS pharmacies, Wal-mart, Bon-Ton, Rite Aid Pharmacy,Kohl’s and Oreck, according to courtrecords.U.S. District Court Judge RichardP. Conaboy sentenced Ricci to 15months in prison followed by three years of supervised release. He wasordered to pay $55,973 in restitu-tion.Ricci could have faced a sentenceof 21 to 27 months in prison. Cona-boy told Ricci to report to prison byFeb. 12.“I’m guilty, I did get stuff I boughtfrom illegitimate people,” Ricci toldConaboy before he was sentenced. “Ireally did make a big misstep here. I was doing fine until some street peo-ple got a hold of me. I made a big mistake when I got tangled up withthese people.”Ricci said he began selling itemson eBay to help pay bills when hisbusiness slowed with the struggling economy.“Nobody here got you in troubleexceptyourself,”Conaboysaid.“Youshould have known better than toget caught up with street people. These people knew they could cometo you to get rid of this stuff.”“He understands his wrongdoing and he has taken responsibility,”said Ruzzo, who along with attorneyBasil Russin represented Ricci. “Hecomes from a family of hard-working people.”Ricci’s familyhas beeninthepizzabusiness for 50 years.
W-B man gets 15 months prison on mail fraud charge
Pizzeria owner allegedly soldmerchandise stolen by otherpeople on eBay.
ByEDWARDLEWI
elewis@timesleader.com
Ricci

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