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‘Fall’ing for your smile

Fall was unofficially ushered in CLICKS, 1C

r your smile Fall wa s unofficially ushered in CLICK S, 1C Under water Boulder, Co
r your smile Fall wa s unofficially ushered in CLICK S, 1C Under water Boulder, Co

Under water

Boulder, Colo., and surrounding areas devastated by flood waters


ea s de vast ated by flood waters NATION & WORLD, 4A WILKES-BARRE, PA timesleader .


Syrian official: Deal a‘victory’

Credit given to ‘our Russian friends’


Associated Press

BEIRUT — A high-ranking Syrian official called the U.S.-Russian agreement on securing Syria’s chemi- cal weapons a “victory” for President Bashar Assad’s regime, but the U.S. warned Sunday “the threat of force is real” if Damascus fails to carry out the plan. The comments by Syrian Minister of National Reconciliation Ali Haidar to a Russian state news agen- cy were the first by a senior Syrian government official on the deal struck a day earlier in Geneva. Under the

See DEAL | 8A

struck a day earlier in Gene va . Under the See DEAL | 8A Syrian medics

Syrian medics

treat wounded

children and

men, injured

from heavy

shelling, at

a makeshift

hospital in

Maaret al-

Numan, Idlib



Syria, on


AP photo

Confusion remains over ‘Obamacare’s’ impact

Co nfusion re mains ove r ‘Oba macar e’s’ impact AP pho to Wallace Cunningham, left,

AP photo

Wallace Cunningham, left, AARP South Carolina associate state director for multicultural outreach presents a workshop earlier this month on the Affordable Health Care Act in Bishopville, S.C.

Seniors get doses of reassurance


Associated Press

MIAMI — Dear seniors, your Medicare benefits aren’t chang- ing under the Affordable Care Act. That’s the message federal health officials are trying to get out to some older consumers confused by overlapping enrollment peri- ods for Medicare and so-called “Obamacare.”

Editor’s note: This is one in an occasional series by The Associated Press about the impact of the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance exchanges. Open enrollment for these exchanges, or marketplaces, begins Oct. 1.

Medicare beneficiaries don’t have to do anything differently and will continue to go to Medicare. gov to sign up for plans. But advo- cates say many have been confused by a massive media blitz directing

consumers to new online insur- ance exchanges set up as part of the federal health law. Many of the same insurance companies are offering coverage for Medicare and the exchanges.

Medicare open enrollment starts Oct. 15 and closes Dec. 7, while enrollment for the new state exchanges for people 65 and under launches Oct. 1 and runs through March. “Most seniors are not at all informed. Most seniors worry they’re going to lose their health coverage because of the law,said




Owners try to halt tax sale

Some properties on list abandoned after 2011 flooding


A steady stream of property owners headed to the Luzerne County Courthouse last week to pay delinquent taxes so they wouldn’t risk los- ing their properties in Thursday’s back-tax auc- tion. A total 350 properties were removed from the sale by Friday afternoon, reducing the auction inventory to 1,500, offi- cials said. Several property own- ers also are scheduled to appear in county court


Thursday’s tax auction starts at 10 a.m. at the county courthouse. Bidders must registered by the close of business Wednesday. A complete auction list and bidding information are available at www. luzernecountytaxclaim. com.

Tu esday and We dnesday, attempting to convince a judge to pull them out of the sale with prom- ises they will soon pay up, said John Rodgers, president of Northeast Revenue Service LLC, the county ’s tax claim operator.


Drivers are uneasy with troubled spans

Multibillion-dollar problem plagues many states


Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Motorists coming off the Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge into Washington are treated to a postcard-perfect view of the U.S. Capitol. The bridge itself, however, is about as ugly as it gets: The steel underpinnings have thinned since the structure was built in 1950, and the span is pocked with rust and crumbling concrete. District of Columbia offi- cials were so worried about a catastrophic failure that they shored up the horizon-

tal beams to prevent the bridge from falling into the Anacostia River. And safety concerns about the Douglass bridge, which is used by more than 70,000 vehicles daily, are far from unique. An Associated Press analysis of 607,380 bridges in the most recent federal National Bridge Inventory showed that 65,605 were classified as “structurally deficient” and 20,808 as “fracture critical.” Of those, 7,795 were both — a com- bination of red flags that experts say indicate signifi- cant disrepair and similar risk of collapse. A bridge is deemed frac- ture critical when it doesn’t have redundant protections and is at risk of collapse if

See SPANS | 8A






IN THIS CORNER, BLOOD: First glance at the title of the new season of “Survivor” would seem like it’s going to be a competi- tion between viscous substances. But then again, a literal translation of “Blood vs. Water,” would make for some seriously bor- ing TV. No, “Survivor: Blood vs. Water,” which

premieres at 8 p.m. Wednesday on CBS, pits former “Survivor” players and other reality TV stars against their loved ones in a shock- ing twist I just totally ruined. Enjoy.

RATED ARRRRRRR: To as sis t yo u in na vigat- ing Thursday’s “Talk Like A Pirate Day,” we of- fer you these helpful hints. The Pirate phrase, “Arrrggghh, me hearties, I be keelhaulin’ down to Neptune’s grog shoppe fer some vittles and froth o’ the ol’ oaken barrel,” can be translated to, “Would you care to accompany me to dinner?”And the phrase, “Yarrr, by the beard on Davey Jones’ craggy face, we be fixin’ fer some fresh blood on the ol’ yardarm,means, “Excuse me, can I have this dance?”

THE PARTYING DEAD: For some reason

science has not fully explained, zombies are “in” these days. They’re on hit TV shows, in movies, commercials, video games, my backyard … well, not that last one. And this weekend, they’ll be all over Scranton. It’s the three-day undead fest called Infect Scranton and it starts Friday with an attempt to break the world record for the most “zombies” gathered in one place. (That’s at 6 p.m. at the The Mall at Steamtown, if you’re undead and interested.) There’s far more than that, with a zombie pub crawl, zombie convention and zombie “survival challenge.” Luckily, there’s no zombie arm wrestling, because that could get awkward.

WELCOME ‘AUTOMPNE’: If you’re a fan of summer, you might want to give it a hug and

say your farewells for the year, because it’s out of here this weekend. Here comes the season of fall foliage, football, turtle- necks, turkey, pumpkin spice and cornucopias. Autumn makes its official Northern Hemisphere debut at 4:44 p.m. on Sunday. Did you know the word autumn comes from the Old French word “autompne,” which means “grandpa’s getting pick- led on the

hard cider again.” It’s true … sort of.

CIRQUE’S UP: So, you have a choice for yo ur ent ert ainment dollar: Yo u ca n either go see a performance of the philharmonic, or you can check out the circus. What do you do? Ahhhh, choosing is for losers! If you go see “Cirque Musica” at 7 p.m. Sunday at the Mohegan Sun Arena, you can have both. The show, from those limber Canadians who brought you Cirque du Soleil, combines beautiful music and jaw-dropping acrobatics, which if you tried them at home, would leave you in traction for eternity.

home , w ould le av e yo u in traction fo r et ernit y.


A NEWS: Local 3A

Obituaries 6A

Weather 8A


TV/Movies 4C


Nation & World 4A

Editorial 7A


Birthdays 3C

Puzzles 5C

Comics 14D

6 0 9 8 1 5 1 0 0 1 1
0 9 8 1 5
1 0 0 1 1

PAGE 2A Monday, September 16, 2013


Suspect sought in Hazleton shooting


HAZLETON — Police on Sunday night were searching for a man wanted in the shooting of another man Saturday. A “be on the look out,” or BOLO,

was issued around 8:10 p.m. by Luzerne County 911 for Fernando Torres with a last known address of Mark Drive, Hanover Township. He was being sought in the shoot- ing of 40-year-old man from Hazleton, according to police. The victim was

brought to Hazleton General Hospital around 4:35 p.m. Saturday after being shot elsewhere. The unidentified victim was flown by helicopter to a regional trauma center. Police did not identify the location of the shooting, but media reports said

police responded to a garage on North Poplar Street. Torres was considered armed and dangerous, and possibly traveling in the company of a woman and another man in a white Hyundai Sonata, according to police.

Music, motors and more, oh my!

Horsepower, tunes aim to aid area youths


Times Leader Correspondent

SCRANTON — Community organizations gathered Sunday to raise awareness and funds to help local youths at the inaugural Music, Motors and More festival at the Toyota Pavilion at Montage Mountain. Brian Fischer, one of the event organizers, said the community groups took advantage of the gen- erosity of the facility ’s owners, Live Nation, who donated use of the pavilion, to hold the festival with an overarching goal to pro- mote anti-bullying programs. The Bridge Youth Services and the Wyoming Valley Children’s Association were involved, he said. The event included eight musi- cal performers, with The Badlees performing as the final act. They all volunteered their time for the cause. In addition, the Corvette Club of Northeast Pennsylvania

brought more than 150 cars and

a long list of vendors participated.

A teacher in the Wilkes-Barre

Area School District, Fischer said bullying is a threat for stu-

dents that can have “life altering” effects. “Bullying is a major problem and we have to be ‘hands-on’ with

to stop it,” Fischer said. “It can’t

be tolerated,” he said. Fischer organized car shows at the Solomon Plains Elementary School for years and decided it was time to expand. He said he saw the Toyota Pavilion as the perfect place to do that. “This is a great place for this type of community event and we plan to make it an annual festival,” he said. He thanked Live Nation for donating the venue and the personnel. Alan Stout, who works to educate local students through The Bridge Youth Services Anti- Bullying program, stressed anti- bullying programs are becoming


increasingly important in area


He said one of the most difficult type of bullying to fight is cyber- bullying, which he called the most “cowardly” type. “It’s not like in the past where a bully pushed somebody and could get pushed back,” Stout said.

“Now bullying is done in complete anonymity and from a distance, where the victim is defenseless,” he said. Stout said he believes the anti- bullying efforts in local schools are having a positive effect, but he admits more has to be done. He emphasized involvement from the students might be the most effec- tive way to fight it. “The students are the greatest asset. If we get enough of them involved, they can make an impact on bullying,” he said. Joe Lazzaro, president of the Corvette Club, said his group was willing to partici- pate in the festival because it

wa s willing to partici- pate in the festival because it Bill Ta rutis | Fo

Bill Ta rutis | Fo r The Time s Le ader

People gather to listen to the music of Miz at the Music & Motors and More on the Mountain car show aided by the Corvette Club of Northeastern Pennsylvania at the Toyota Pavilion in Moosic on Sunday afternoon.

wants to help local youth. He hoped a large number of fes- tival-goers would appreciate the assortment of Corvettes lined up dating from the 1950’s to present. Fischer said he hoped thou-

sands of people would attend the first Music, Motors and More fes- tival by the end of the day and said he looks forward to further expan- sion of community events at the pavilion in the future.

Dallas Festival: Where best friends meet

Dallas Festival: Where best friends meet Bill Ta rutis | Fo r The Time s Le

Bill Ta rutis | Fo r The Time s Le ader

Self-proclaimed ‘best friends’ Ben Sebensli, right, and Samantha Alaimo, both second-graders at Dallas Elementary School, work on decorat- ing pumpkins at the 11th annual Dallas Harvest Festival on Sunday afternoon. Other festival activities included an open-mike talent contest, a farmers market, a competition of floral displays, the chance to ride an old-fashioned firetruck and the opportunity to watch a different theatrical skit every hour on the hour.

All aboard for charity!

All aboard fo r charity! Pit tsto n native Ca yd en Weller gets his train

Pittston native Cayden Weller gets his train ticket stamped Sunday for his first coal-powered steam locomotive train ride. Train No. 425 left Duryea Station on Sunday morning for its special fourth annual ride to help benefit Pittston-area charities. The classic steam engine and its passenger cars traveled to Jim Thorpe, where passengers were allowed to disembark and site-see in the historic town. Proceeds from this year’s trip will benefit the Pittston Memorial Library, Greater Pittston YMCA and the Care and Concern Free Health Clinic, also in Pittston.

Eric Seidle | For The Times Leader


WILKES-BARRE — City police reported the following:

• Daniel Harthausen of Suffolk, Va., was

cited with public drunkenness, underage

drinking and disorderly conduct after King ’s College security officers said they saw him urinating on the doorway of a building on North Main Street around 7 p.m. Saturday.

• James Snarski of Vulcan Street said his

residence was burglarized between midnight

and 4 p.m. Saturday. He was in the process of determining what was stolen.

Police found shell casings and a bullet

in the front door of a residence on Old River Road after responding to a call of shots fired on Maffet Street around 2:30 a.m. Sunday. No suspects were found after a search of the area and there were no reported injuries.

• A 23-year-old man said a 32-inch Dynex

flat-screen television, two Xbox 360 gam- ing consoles, a PlayStation and a DirecTV

transmitter box were stolen during a burglary at his residence on South Franklin Street between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. Saturday.

• A 39-year-old Forty Fort woman said

her 2000 Pontiac Grand Prix was stolen from Bowman Street. The car is gold and has Pennsylvania license plate JHJ8103. The woman said she parked the car near her

father ’s residence and returned at 9:30 p.m Saturday to find it was gone. HAZLETON — City police reported the following:

• Dennis Hall, 51, of Hazleton was arrest-

ed at 1:30 p.m. Sunday in the area of Sixth Street and Lafayette Court on outstanding

warrants from the Luzerne County Sheriff ’s Department and committed to the Luzerne County Correctional Facility.

• Amanda Dibonifazio, 32, of Sugarloaf,

was restrained by police shortly after 1:35 a.m. Sunday at Hazleton General Hospital during a disturbance. Police responded to the hospital and wit- nessed her screaming and yelling at hospital staff. She was eventually restrained and calmed. Persistent disorderly conduct and other

charges will be filed against her, police said.

Jennifer Vasquez, 28, of Hazleton was

cited with harassment after allegedly caus- ing a disturbance in the 400 block of East Diamond Avenue around 3 p.m. Saturday.

• Donan Lombert, 37, of Hazleton, was

cited with disorderly conduct and public drunkenness after he was seen urinating in

the street near a food truck on East Diamond Avenue around 2:40 a.m. Saturday. When police confronted Lombert he became aggres- sive with officers and was detained, police said.

• Several items were taken from a 2013

Honda Pilot while it was parked in the 200 block of East Elm Street between 11 a.m. Thursday and 9:30 p.m. Saturday.

• Kurt Mumie, 27, was taken into custody

on a charge of possession of a controlled sub- stance shortly after 10 a.m. Saturday in the area of Second and North James streets.

• A flat-screen television was stolen from

the residence of Linda Peifer in the 600 block of Alter Street between 7:30 p.m. Friday and 1:30 p.m. Saturday.


Regional Business Development Director & General Manager (570) 970-7158



VP/Chief Revenue Officer (570) 970-7203



Circulation Manager (570) 970-7450


Production Director (570) 829-7172





BIG 4 - 9-8-5-8 QUINTO - 3-9-4-6-3





BIG 4 - 5-5-4-7 QUINTO -6-3-9-8-2



No player matched all five numbers in Sunday’s “Cash 5” jackpot drawing. To da y’s jackpo t will be worth $325,000. Lottery officials reported 42 players matched four numbers, winning $354 each; 1,679 players matched three numbers, winning $15 each; and 20,749 players matched two numbers, winning $1 each. No player matched all five numbers in Saturday’s “Powerball” jackpot drawing. Wednesday’s jackpot will be worth $400 million. The numbers drawn were: 01-17-25-37-44 Powerball: 20


Bierbach, William Bowden, William Sr. Ford, Ralph III Gavlick, Andrew Kosich, Joan Linker, Joseph Jr. Ludden, Te rri Nevolas, Betty Randazzo, Angelo Wagner, William Welgos, Nicholas

Page 6A


Missed Paper






Advertising Billing


Classified Ads




City Editor

Daniel Burnett


Sports Editor

John Medeiros


Features Editor

Sandra Snyder


Photo Editor

Clark Van Orden




The Times Leader strives to correct errors, clarify stories and update them promptly. Corrections will appear in this spot. If you have information to help us correct an inaccuracy or cover an issue more thoroughly, call the newsroom at 829-7242.

2013-259 Wilkes-Barre Publishing, LLL
Wilkes-Barre Publishing, LLL



Monday, September 16, 2013 PAGE 3A



Goodwill Sale promotes donations

The Bon-Ton’s semi-annual Goodwill Sale, taking place Sept. 19 through Oct. 5, will reward shoppers for donating gently used clothing at any Bon-Ton location. For each donation, donors will receive a coupon to purchase the latest fall fash- ions at their local Bon-Ton, Bergner’s, Boston Store, Carson’s, Elder-Beerman, Herberger’s or Younkers stores. Bon- Tons in Luzerne County are at the Wyoming Valley Mall in Wilkes-B arre Township and the Midway Shopping Center in Wyoming. Customers will receive discounts up to 25 percent on nearly everything in the store, such as apparel, shoes, handbags, home items and luggage, and 15 percent off cosmetics and fragrances. Bon-Ton donates all items received to Goodwill Industries, where they will be sold in Goodwill stores in the communities where they are collected. The revenues will fund job training and community-based services to help people find jobs and build their careers.


Land trust offering local harvest tasting

The public is invited to a “Taste the Local Harvest” fundraiser presented by the North Branch Land Trust 5 to 9 p.m. Oct. 6 at the Huntsville Golf Club. The casual event will give attendees an opportunity to taste the harvest from local farms prepared by TV celebrity Chef Michael, try local brews and watch televised Sunday football games. The Coal Town Rounders will entertain with bluegrass music. Tickets are $50 per person and are available by going to and clicking the “Events” tab under “News & Events.” Call the land trust at 570-696- 5545 or the golf club at 570-674-6545 for more information, or email romanan- or lpross@golf-huntsville. com.


Councilman holds town hall meeting

Councilman George Brown will hold a town hall meeting at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 24 at the Firwood United Methodist Church to follow up one held in August. Brown urges residents to contact him at 570 991-1156 about the meeting or other issues that he can assist them with.


Crime watch meeting set

The regular monthly meeting of the Avoca Neighborhood Crime Watch will be held at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the bor- ough building on Main Street. Plans will be discussed for a member- ship drive in October. For more informa- tion, call Jim 457-8446, Ned 457-6109 or Gene 457-0776.


Wilkes U. honors Constitution Day

Wilkes University will commemorate Constitution Day on Tuesday with a talk by associate professor and chair of politi- cal science Kyle L. Kreider. Keider will speak on “The Voting Rights Act and the Constitution: What’s Next?” at 11 a.m. in Breiseth 107. The event is free and open to the public. Constitution Day commemorates the signing and adoption of the U.S. Constitution on Sept. 17, 1787.


Crime Wa tch group will meet

Hanover Township Neighborhood Crime Watch Meeting will be at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Hanover Township American Legion Post 609, 320 Lee Park Ave.


Speaker, author focuses on biz finance

The Keystone College Concerts and Lectures Series will feature national speaker and author Cheree Warrick for “Creating Business Plans that Actually Get Financed” at 7 p.m. Sept. 23 in Brooks Theatre. The free presentation will explain how start-up or small busi- nesses can raise capital. Warrick is a frequent speaker at business seminars and previously man- aged the Vienna Tysons Chamber of Commerce Business Expo. She holds a bachelor’s degree in international busi- ness from American University and a master’s degree in finance from George Washington University.

Karambelases donate to YMCA


WILKES-BARRE — Clayton Karambelas joined the Wilkes- Barre YMCA in 1951 and he has been a member ever since. When the South Franklin Street facility was undergoing a $15 million renovation over the last two years, Karambelas and his wife, Theresa, decided they wanted to help — they donated $50,000 to the campaign. For their generosity and long service to the YMCA, the new Clayton and Theresa Karambelas Fitness Center was named in honor of the couple’s dedication to the facility’s mis- sion to promote the importance of frequent exercise to reviving the body, restoring the spirit, and fostering friendship. “The YMCA is an integral part of the community,” Theresa said. “This is the most essential part of the downtown,”

Clayton added. The couple are life-long YMCA members and volun- teers, serving in several leader- ship positions over many years. Karambelas said the YMCA is a place for young and old to make friendships and get a good workout and to learn. “Parents who need child care can bring them here and feel safe,” Clayton said. “The people here are most trustworthy. And children can learn how to swim by certified instructors.” Theresa Karambelas said par- ents can drop their children off and have “peace of mind.” She said the YMCA has numerous programs beneficial to all ages. “And you find all nice people here,” she said. Clayton and Theresa Karambelas are former own- ers of C.K. Coffee and for years before that they operated the Boston Candy Shoppe. Jim Thomas, YMCA execu- tive director, said the men’s fit-

ness center named in honor of Clayton and Theresa has the most up-to-date fitness equip- ment. He said the generous gift to the Our Y, Your Future Capital Campaign will help to restore and renovate the YMCA’s historic 1934 building and upgrade facilities at the organization’s beautiful 1,100 acre YMCA Camp Kresge in White Haven. The Men’s Fitness Center has assigned lockers and offers members laundry and towel ser- vice, a steam room and whirl- pool, a lounge area with TV and WIFI, cardio equipment and showers. Clayton serves as a trustee and has served as board mem- ber in the past. In 2002 he received the Y’s Layperson of the Year Award. Clayton is involved with the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic and Wilkes University — the school he graduated from in 1949. He

University — the school he graduated from in 1949. He Clark Va n Or den |

Clark Van Orden | The Times Leader

Clayton and Theresa Karambelas donated $50,000 to the Wilkes-Barre YMCA recently, and the Men’s Fitness Center was named in their honor.

also started a flight squadron through the Irem Temple, flying sick children to big city hospi- tals. Theresa taught at a modeling agency and did some television work, including dance recitals for the David Blight Studio. She is also an accomplished water-

color painter. They love to travel and Theresa paints scenes from places they visit, such as Spain, Greece, France, Africa, New York City and elsewhere. The Karambelases’ home in Kingston is adorned with her artwork.

Bill Ta rutis pho to s | Fo r The Time s Le ader Holly

Bill Ta rutis pho to s | Fo r The Time s Le ader

Holly Hoffman of Mountain Top carries a sign for her late sister Chrissy during the Out of Darkness walk sponsored by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention in Kirby Park on Sunday afternoon.

Loved ones lost to suicide remembered

Annual walk held to prevent and to console


Times Leader Correspondent

WILKES-BARRE — Hundreds of people gath- ered at Kirby Park on Sunday afternoon to raise awareness of suicide during the seventh annual Out of the Darkness Community Walk. The three-mile walk ben- efits the Greater Northeast Pennsylvania chapter of American Foundation of Suicide Prevention for research, education and survivor support programs. Don Jacobs, host of WNEP-TV’s “Pennsylvania Outdoor Life,” said the mis- sion of AFSP, a national, not-for-profit organization, is to help people who might be contemplating suicide, and for those who’ve lost a loved one. WNEP sponsors the local chapter’s walks each year and Jacobs is one of the co-sponsors. “It’s OK to talk about what’s on your mind, what- ever you’re feeling, what- ever you’re hurting about,” Jacobs said. The chapter’s first walk was held Sept. 16, 2007, exactly one year after the 26-year-old wife of

Jacob’s colleague, Brian Hollingshead, took her life. Hollingshead is the producer of “Pennsylvania Outdoor Life,” and was married only two months when he lost Erin. Hollingshead organized that first walk as a way to help local survivors of sui- cide loss. “It would have been their first wedding anniversary,” said Louise McCabe of Kingston. “They got mar- ried on Sept. 16 and we were back in the church on Nov. 16 for her funeral.” McCabe and her daugh- ter and son-in-law, Mary and Shawn Dunn, were on hand to provide support and information about the AFSP to attendees. Shawn also works at WNEP with Hollingshead, and Jacobs and Mary had been friends with Erin for 20 years. “All of these people are here because they lost a loved one to suicide,” said Mary, who serves on the board of directors of the Greater Northeast Chapter of AFSP. “The survivors are the people that are left behind. It’s something that’s diffi- cult to talk about and this event puts them in the

diffi- cult to talk about and this event puts them in the A w oman sobs

A woman sobs as she reads the poem ‘We Remember Them’ before the start of the Out of Darkness Walk sponsored by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention at Kirby Park on Sunday afternoon.

company of other people who understand their loss,” she said. More than 38,000 Americans died by sui- cide in 2010, according to AFSP statistics, with near- ly 1,600 of those deaths in Pennsylvania. Suicide is also the sec- ond-leading cause of death for people between the ages of 15 and 24, said Pat Gainey, regional coordina-

tor for the AFSP. “People need to wake up and understand that we’re dealing with a national health crisis,” Gainey said. “Depression is the most diagnosable and treatable of all of the mood disorders and most people who die from suicide were suffering from depression,” Gainey said. For more information on ASSP, visit:

County talks with unions to begin

Closed-door contract negotiations are set to begin this week with Luzerne County’s 300-member, rank-and-file residual union, which is represented by

the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, or AFSCME. Bargaining issues will include council’s new direc- tive to convert all full-time employees to at least 37.5 hours per week. Residual members work 32.5 hours except Road and Bridge and 911 employees, who work 40 hours. The contract expires the end of this year, and the union

has the right to strike if nego- tiations fail. Four of the county’s 10 unions can strike. Residual workers discussed a strike in 2009 when its current contract was under negotiation, but a pact was approved. County officials and unions have managed to avoid strikes in recent years. Unionized Aging and Children and Youth employees had a five-day work stoppage in 2001. Former county chief clerk/administrator Eugene

Klein said the last full-scale strike was in the early 1980s involving AFSCME workers.

• Five county employees retired in

August, according to county Manager Robert Lawton’s latest personnel report: Children and Youth caseworker Sandra Moosic, pro- bation officer Brian Leighton, prison cor- rections officers Alex Rynkiewicz and Anna

Wright and assistant public defender William Ruzzo.

• Council will hold a public budget work

session at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the council meeting room at the courthouse focusing on

the judicial services and records division.

Senior auditor Brian Swetz said the

county is still awaiting final audits from two outside boards — Flood Protection and Retirement — that are needed to finish the

county’s 2012 audit, which was supposed to be competed by June 30 under home rule.

• Chief Solicitor C. David Pedri told coun-

cil he is finalizing contract negotiations with

a financial institution to handle all county banking and plans to present the proposed contract to council Sept. 24.

• Collection letters were sent last week to

more than 400 people who did not pay court-

ordered fees for protection-from-abuse cases, Pedri said. The $108 fee covers county costs

to process the PFAs.

• In an attempt to beef up revenue, the

administration has asked the county court to approve fee increases in the criminal court records department because the fees have not been raised in eight years, Pedri said.

• Councilman Harry Haas did not have

enough council support Tuesday to sched- ule a security summit on crime. Lawton

agreed to initiate discussions among workers on ways to reduce crime. Councilman Jim Bobeck said Haas can still independently gather feedback from law enforcement agen- cies.

• During the discussion on crime,

Councilman Stephen J. Urban said two youth

recently kicked in one of his apartment doors

at his Wilkes-Barre property.

• Council approved Councilman Rick

Williams’ request to the county Planning

Commission to require bike lanes, sidewalks and public transportation accommodations

in certain developments seeking subdivision

and land development approval. The com- mission must hold a public hearing on the proposed changes.

approval. The com- mission must hold a public hearing on the proposed changes. Jennifer Learn- Andes






PAGE 4A Monday, September 16, 2013



NATION/ WORLD www.timesleader.c om THE TIMES LEADER IN BRIEF AP photo A co lorful ce lebration

AP photo

A colorful celebration Revelers throw colored powders in the air Sunday during the Holi Festival of Colors in Lisbon, Portugal. The festival is fashioned after the Hindu spring festival Holi, which is mainly celebrated in some regions of India and Nepal.


Another female officer shot in Afghanistan

Gunmen shot the top female police officer in a troubled southern Afghan province Sunday, leaving her facing possible paralysis just months after her predecessor was killed, govern- ment and hospital authorities said. It was the latest in a series of attacks on prominent women in Afghanistan, where just 1 percent of the police force is female. The officer, identified only as Negar, was buying grass for her lambs outside her home when two gunmen drove up on a motorbike and fired at her, said Omar Zawak, a spokesman for the gov- ernor of Helmand province. The 38-year-old suffered a bullet wound to the neck, and the medical team treating her is trying to keep her from being paralyzed as a result of the injury, said one of the doctors who operated on her.

tiffiN, OHiO

Mobile home fire kills man, 5 kids

A fire swept through a mobile home Sunday morning, killing a man and five young children, police said. The fire was reported shortly before 8 a.m. Sunday in a mobile home park in Tiffin, about 50 miles southeast of Toledo, city police said in a release. Police did not immediately release the identities of those killed or com- ment on a possible cause.


Parts of central, NEPA get 10-digit dialing

Residents of northeastern and parts of central Pennsylvania will have to dial 10 digits in order to make phone calls starting this week. The state Public Utility Commission said customers within the 570 area code will have to dial the area code plus the phone number beginning Saturday. The area code covers cities including Scranton, Wilkes-Barre and Williamsport. The change comes ahead of the introduction of the 272 area code, which will be assigned in the region beginning Oct. 21. The area is running out of 570 numbers. Those who take a new 272 number will have to dial 10 digits, too.


2 bystanders hurt in police shooting

Two police officers fired on a man who was acting erratically and dodging cars on a busy Manhattan street Saturday night, wounding two bystanders and sending people run- ning for cover, authorities said. Police said the man made move- ments suggesting he had a weapon, though he turned out to be unarmed. The officers’ shots missed him, and he was eventually brought down by a stun gun. Authorities identified the man as Glenn Broadnax, 35, of Brooklyn. He faces multiple counts including menac- ing, riot, criminal possession of a con- trolled substance, and resisting arrest. He was in custody, and The Associated Press couldn’t locate a phone listing for his home. The encounter happened just before 10 p.m. near the Port Authority Bus Te rminal, a block away from Ti mes Square.

Floods transform ‘Gore-TexVortex’


Associated Press

LYONS, Colo. — The cars that normally clog Main Street in Lyons on the way to Rocky Mountain National Park have been replaced by military sup- ply trucks. Shop owners in Estes Park hurriedly cleared their wares in fear that the Big Thompson River will rise again. A plywood sign encour- aged residents mucking out

their homes to “Hang in there.” Days of rain and floods have transformed the outdoorsy mountain communities in Colorado’s Rocky Mountain foothills affectionately known “The Gore-Tex Vortex” from

a paradise into a disaster area

with little in the way of supplies or services — and more rain falling Sunday. The string of communities from Boulder to Estes Park, the gateway to Rocky Mountain

National Park, is a base for backpackers and nature lovers where blue-collar and yuppie sensibilities exist side by side. Now, roadways have crumbled, scenic bridges are destroyed, the site of the bluegrass festival is washed out and most shops are closed. Chris Rodes, one of Lyons’ newest residents, said the change is so drastic that he is considering moving away just two weeks after settling there. “It’s not the same,” Rodes said. “All these beautiful places, it’s just brown mud.” Estes Park town adminis- trator Frank Lancaster said it could be a month or more before things get back to some semblance of normal, and he

advised visitors who would normally flock there during the golden September days to stay away. The residents who remained or began trickling back — if they were allowed to do so —

were left to watch out for one another. Restaurateurs and gro- cers in Lyons were distributing food to their neighbors as oth- ers arrived in groups carrying supplies. Scott Martin, 25, drove the half-hour from Boulder Saturday to deliver drink- ing water and gasoline to a friend’s parents. He fled Lyons amid a torrential downpour on Wednesday night after the mountain stream that cuts through town gushed into his basement. Martin grew up tubing down the river and hiking the moun- tains, and like many residents, he still jumps in the water after work. Looking into the cotton- wood and aspen trees at the outskirts of town, he wondered when he would be able to do those things again. “Best case, it’s just mud everywhere; in everyone’s yard and all the streets,” he said. From the mountain commu-

and all the streets,” he said. From the mountain commu- AP photo A woman and little

AP photo

A woman and little girl rush into LifeBridge Church to escape the new rain in Longmont, Colo., on Sunday.

nities east to the plains city of Fort Morgan, numerous pock- ets of individuals remained cut off by the flooding. Sunday’s rain hampered the helicopter searches, and rescuers trekked by ground up dangerous can- yon roads to reach some of

those homes isolated since Wednesday. The surging waters have been deadly, with four people confirmed dead and two more missing and presumed dead after their homes were swept away.

missing and presumed dead after their homes were swept away. AP photo The Cost a Co

AP photo

The Costa Concordia lies on its side Sunday on the Tuscan Island of Giglio, Italy. An international team of engineers is expected to tr y to upright the luxury liner, which capsized in 2012.

Italy OKs Costa Concordia work


Associated Press

GIGLIO ISLAND, Italy — Authorities

have given the final go-ahead for a daring attempt today to pull upright the crip- pled Costa Concordia cruise liner from

its side in the waters off Tuscany, a make-

or-break engineering feat that has never before been tried in such conditions. The ship capsized there 20 months ago, and Italy ’s national Civil Protection agency waited until sea and weather con- ditions were forecast for dawn Monday before giving the OK to try to right it. In a statement Sunday, the Civil Protection agency said the sea and wind conditions “fall within the range of operating feasi- bility.” The Concordia struck a reef near Giglio Island the night of Jan. 13, 2012, took on water through a 230-foot gash in its hull and capsized just outside the har-

bor. Thirty-two of the 4,200 passengers and crew members died. The bodies of two of the dead have never been recov- ered, and may lie beneath the wreckage. Never before have engineers tried to

right such a huge ship so close to land.

If the operation succeeds, the Concordia

will be towed away and broken up for scrap.

Salvage experts had originally hoped to right the 115,000-ton vessel last spring, but heavy storms hampered work. Crews have raced to get the Concordia upright before another winter season batters the ship against its rocky perch — damage that would increase the chance that it couldn’t be towed away in one piece. Salvage master Nick Sloane seemed optimistic in the final hours before the operation began, saying Sunday that testing of the machinery in recent days had actually lifted the 985-foot ship up about 2.5 inches, or 0.15 degrees. There have been concerns that the rocks of the reef on which the Concordia is resting were so embedded in the hull that the ship would resist being pulled off. “We know that … she is lively enough to move,” Sloane told reporters. The operation to bring the ship verti- cal involves dozens of crank-like pulleys slowly rotating the ship upright at a rate of about 3 yards per hour, using chains that have been looped around its hull. Tanks filled with water on the exposed side of the vessel will also help rotate it upward, using gravity to pull the exposed side down. Once upright, those tanks — and an equal number that will be fixed on the opposite side — eventually will be filled

with air, rather than water, to help float the ship up off the reef so it can be towed away. Last week, the head of Italy ’s Civil Protection agency, Franco Gabrielli, said there was no “Plan B” if the rota- tion failed since there would be no other way to try again. But Sloane said he was confident the ship would withstand the stress of the rotation. The most critical time will be the first hour or so of the operation, since that’s when the ship will be detached from the reef. This weekend, tourists and locals waded and swam in pristine waters just beyond the harbor, with the hulking wreck an ugly backdrop and reminder of the harrowing night when a few thou- sand people straggled ashore. Since the Concordia came to rest on its side, visitors have come to gawk at the wreck, providing the tiny fishing island a year- round tourist season it never had before. Mayor Sergio Ortelli has asked for patience from the island’s 1,400 resi- dents during Monday’s operation, which he expected would last about 10-12 hours. Ferries linking Giglio to mainland Tuscany stop running at dawn Monday, meaning teachers for Giglio’s two schools were arriving Sunday night for classes.

Man shot in NC was former fAMU player

Associated Press

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — An unarmed man who was shot

and killed by a police officer in North Carolina after a wreck was a former football player for Florida A&M University, school officials said Sunday. Jonathan A. Ferrell, 24, played for the school in 2009- 10 and had recently moved to North Carolina. Early Saturday, he had apparently been in a wreck and was seek- ing help at a nearby house early Saturday, according to

a statement from Charlotte-

Mecklenburg police. A woman answered the door and, when she didn’t recognize the man, called 911.

Officers responding to the breaking-and-entering

call found Ferrell a short dis- tance from

the home,

police said.



him, Ferrell

ran toward

the officers

and was

hit with a Taser. Police said he contin- ued to run toward them when officer Randall Kerrick fired his gun, hitting Ferrell several

times. Ferrell died at the scene. Police called the Ferrell and Kerrick’s initial encoun- ter “appropriate and lawful.” But in their statement late

“appropriate and lawful.” But in their statement late Ferrell they Saturday, they said “t he inves-



Saturday, they said “the inves- tigation showed that the sub- sequent shooting of Mr. Ferrell was excessive” and “Kerrick did not have a lawful right to discharge his weapon during this encounter.” Police said Kerrick was charged with voluntary man- slaughter, which under North Carolina law involves killing without malice using “exces- sive force” in exercising “imperfect self-defense.” Police were not expected to further describe the incident Sunday, CMPD spokesman Officer Keith Trietley said, and a report was not available Sunday. Kerrick, 27, of Midland, turned himself in for booking

Saturday evening and was released on $50,000 bond, according to the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office web- site. Kerrick joined the police force in April 2011. FAMU Interim Athletic Director Michael Smith con- firmed Sunday that Ferrell played the safety position for the school’s football team dur- ing the 2009 and 2010 sea- sons. “Our hearts and prayers go out to his family during their time of bereavement,” Smith said in an emailed statement. A search of public records indicated that Ferrell began liv- ing in Charlotte early this year after moving from Tallahassee, Fla., home to FAMU.

Bombings kill 58 in south, central Iraq


Associated Press

BAGHDAD — A wave of car bombings and other attacks in

Iraq killed at least 58 people in mostly Shiite-majority cities on Sunday, another bloody reminder

of the government’s failure to stem

the surge of violence that is feed- ing sectarian tensions. Iraq is experiencing its deadli- est bout of violence since 2008, raising fears the country is return- ing to a period of widespread kill- ing such as that which pushed it to the brink of civil war following the 2003 U.S.-led invasion. More than 4,000 people have been killed in attacks since the start of April, including 804 just in August, according to United Nations fig- ures. Sunday’s deadliest attack was in

the city of Hillah, 60 miles south of Baghdad, where a car bomb near an outdoor market killed nine civilians and wounded 15 others,

a police officer said. A few min-

utes later, another car bomb went

off nearby, killing six civilians and wounding 14, he added. In the nearby town of Iskandariyah, 30 miles south of the capital, another car bomb hit

a parking lot, killing four civilians and wounding nine, police said. Another car bomb went off in an

industrial area of the Shiite city of Karbala, killing five and wounding 25, a police officer said. Karbala

is 50 miles south of Baghdad. In

the aftermath, security officials

inspected burnt-out cars in front

of what appeared to be a smashed

row of workshops. In Kut, another Shiite- dominated city 100 miles south- east of Baghdad, a car bomb tar- geted construction workers and food stalls, killing two and wound- ing 14, another provincial police officer said. Seven more civilians were killed and 31 others were wounded when four separate car bombs ripped through the towns of Suwayrah and Hafriyah outside Kut, police said. In Baghdad’s northern Sunni- dominated Azamiyah neighbor- hood, a car bomb that exploded near the convoy of the head of Baghdad’s provincial council killed three and wounded eight, police say. The council head escaped unharmed. Two other car bombs hit the southern cities of Basra and Nasiriyah, killing eight civilians and wounding 26, two police offi- cers said. And two more civilians were killed when a bomb hit a police patrol in Baghdad’s Sunni western suburb of Abu Ghraib. Nine other people were wounded. To the northeast of Baghdad, gunmen broke into a farm in the village of Abu Sayda and killed three Sunni farmers, police said No one has claimed responsibil- ity for the blasts, which targeted commercial areas and parking

lots in seven cities. But systemati- cally organized waves of bombings are often used by al-Qaida’s local branch, known as the Islamic State of Iraq, to undermine confidence

in the Shiite-led government.



Monday, September 16, 2013 PAGE 5A

Ala. church marks 50th anniversary of bombing


Associated Press

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Hundreds of people black and white, many holding hands, filled an Alabama church that was bombed by the Ku Klux Klan 50 years ago Sunday to mark the anniversary of the blast that killed four little girls and became a landmark moment in the civil rights struggle. The Rev. Arthur Price taught the same Sunday school lesson that mem- bers of 16th Street Baptist Church heard the morning of the bombing — “A Love That Forgives.” Then, the rusty old church bell was tolled four times as the girls’ names were read. Bombing survivor Sarah Collins Rudolph, who lost her right eye and sister Addie Mae Collins in the blast, stood by as members laid a wreath at the spot where the dynamite device was placed along an outside wall. Rudolph was 12 at the time, and her family left the church after the bomb- ing. She said it was impor- tant to return in memory of her sister, who was 14, and the three other girls

memory of her sister, who was 14, and the three other girls AP photo The Rev.

AP photo

The Rev. Julius Scruggs, second from left, leads people in prayer Sunday during a wreath laying cer- emony at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala.

who died: Carole Robertson and Cynthia We sley Morris, both 14, and Denise McNair, 11. “God spared me to live and tell just what happened on that day,” said Rudolph, who testified against the Klansmen convicted years later in the bombing. Congregation members and visitors sang the old hymn “Love Lifted Me” and joined hands in prayer.

The somber Sunday school lesson was followed by a raucous, packed worship service with gospel music and believers waving their hands. During the sermon, the Rev. Julius Scruggs of Huntsville, president of the National Baptist Convention USA, said, “God said you may mur- der four little girls, but you won’t murder the dream of

justice and liberty for all.” Later Sunday, Attorney General Eric Holder and others were set to attend a commemora- tion. Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, a Birmingham native who went to school with McNair, was among the scheduled speakers. The dynamite bomb went off outside the church Sept. 15, 1963. Of the Klansmen

convicted years later, one remains imprisoned. Two others died in prison. Two young men, both black, were shot to death

in Birmingham in the chaos

that followed the bombing. Birmingham was strictly

segregated at the time of the bombing, which occurred as city schools were being racially integrated for the first time. The all-black 16th Street Baptist was

a gathering spot for civil

rights demonstrations for months before the blast. The bombing became

a powerful symbol of the

depth of racial hatred in the South and helped build momentum for later laws, including the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. During the commemora- tion, an honor guard com- posed of black and whites officers and firefighters watched over ceremonies with mixed-race crowd, something that would have been unthinkable in Birmingham in 1963. That same year, white police offi- cers and firefighters used dogs and water hoses on black demonstrators march- ing for equal rights. President Barack Obama issued a statement not-

ing that earlier this year the four girls were post- humously awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, one of the country ’s highest

civilian honors. “That horrific day in Birmingham, Alabama quickly became a defin- ing moment for the Civil Rights Movement. It galva- nized Americans all across the country to stand up for equality and broadened

support for a movement that would eventually lead to the passage of the Civil

Rights Act of 1964,” Obama said. The Rev. Bernice King,

a daughter of the late the Rev. Martin Luther King

Jr., noted the changed city

in a prayer.

“We thank you father for the tremendous progress we have made in 50 years, that we can sit in the safe confines of this sanctuary being protected by the city of Birmingham when 50 years ago the city turned its eye and its ears away from us,” she said.

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Despite pressure, ban on gay blood donors endures


AP National Writer

NEW YORK — The U.S. gay-rights movement has achieved many victories in recent years — on mar- riage, military service and other fronts. Yet one vestige of an earlier, more wary era remains firmly in place: the 30-year-old nationwide ban on blood donations by gay and bisexual men. Dating from the first years of the AIDS epidemic, the ban is a source of frustration to many gay activists, and also to many leading play- ers in the nation’s health and blood-supply community who have joined in calling for change. In June, the American Medical Association voted to oppose the policy. AMA board member William Kobler called it “discrimi- natory and not based on sound science.” Last month, more than 80 members of Congress wrote to the Department of Health and Human Services, criticizing the lifetime ban as an outdat- ed measure that perpetuates inaccurate stereotypes about gay men. On some college cam- puses, students have urged boycotts of blood drives until the ban is repealed. Over the summer, activists orga- nized a “National Gay Blood Drive” — asking gay men to visit blood centers, take tests to show their blood was safe, and then try to donate in defiance of the ban. In the face of such pres- sure, the Food and Drug Administration — the HHS agency that regulates America’s blood supply — has been unwavering. The lifetime ban will be eased, the FDA says, “only if sup- ported by scientific data showing that a change in policy would not present a significant and preventable risk to blood recipients.” Under the auspices of HHS, a few studies are in


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Jason Cianciotto, GMHC’s public policy director, stands with a map showing international blood donation guidelines for men who have sex with men, in the organization’s offices in New York.

progress that might lay the groundwork for a review of the policy. Department spokeswoman Diane Gianelli said the studies reflect a commitment to “continuous- ly improving the safety and availability of the nation’s blood supply.” However, some activists are impatient at the prospect of a research process that’s likely to extend over sev- eral years with an uncertain outcome. They argue that the U.S. could move now to emulate Spain and Italy, where blanket bans on gay blood donations have been replaced by policies that ban

donations by anyone — gay or straight — who’s recently had unsafe sex, while allow- ing donations from gays and bisexuals whose blood is tested as safe and whose sexual behavior is deemed to pose no risk. “We do not think HHS is moving fast enough,” said Jason Cianciotto of Gay Men’s Health Crisis, a New York-based nonprofit engaged in AIDS prevention and care. Cianciotto said the ban “perpetuates the stigma that gay and bisexual men are dangerous to public health,” and thus undercuts

al men are dangerous to public health,” and thus undercuts efforts to combat HIV. The FDA

efforts to combat HIV. The FDA says its policy is not intended as a judgment on donors’ sexual orienta- tion, and instead is based on the documented risk of blood infections, such as HIV, associated with male- to-male sex. According to the FDA, men who have had sex with other men represent about 2 percent of the U.S. popu- lation, yet accounted for at least 61 percent of all new

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Public Notice

Transmission Line Construction

PPL Electric Utilities plans to add a second set of wires to an existing transmission line in Plains, Exeter, and Jenkins townships, Wyoming and Exeter boroughs, Luzerne County, to improve reliability of electric service in the region.

The new, 8.5 mile, 230 kV circuit will be added to the open side of existing transmission structures which currently carry one 230 kV Circuit. The Project is located entirely within existing PPL Electric right-of-way or on property which PPL Electric currently owns. No additional property rights are required to complete this project. The Project will begin at PPL Electric’s existing Jenkins Substation in Plains Township and terminate at PPL Electric’s existing Stanton Substation in Exeter Township.

If you would like more information on this project, please contact PPL Electric via Richard R. Beasley at


On August 26, 2013, PPL Electric Utilities filed a “Letter of Notification” with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC), which must approve the project before construction can begin. A copy of the “Letter of Notification” is available for public inspection on weekdays during business hours at the following locations:

Exeter Township Municipal Building 2305 State Route 92 Harding, PA 18643

Plains Township Municipal Building 126 North Main Street Plains, PA 18705

If you wish to participate in the process before the PUC, you should contact:

Rosemary Chiavetta, Esquire Secretary Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission P.O. Box 3265 Harrisburg, PA 17105-3265

As a reference aid, be sure to include the project’s “docket number,” which is A-2013-2380667.


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PAGE 6A Monday, September 16, 2013


JOAN J. KOSICH, 35, of Wilkes-Barre, passed away

Friday evening, Sept. 13, 2013,

at her home. Born in Toms River,

N.J., she was a daughter of Jack and Theresa Gifford Mitchell of Wilkes-Barre. Joan had formerly been employed at Rent-a-Center. Surviving, in addition to her par- ents, are her children, Brittany, Phillip, Amanda, Ashley and Eugene. She is also survived by brothers and sisters. Friends are invited to call 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Bednarski & Thomas Funeral Home, 27 Park Ave., Wilkes-Barre. Private funeral services will be at the convenience of the family.

JOSEPH F. LINKER JR., 48, of Upper Darby and formerly of Wilkes-Barre,

passed away Friday at Chapel Manor, Philadelphia, after a five-year battle with a brain tumor. Funeral arrangements are pending from the Corcoran Funeral Home Inc., 20 S. Main St. Plains Township.

WILLIAM R. “BILL” BIERBACH, 63, of Upper Raven Creek Road, Benton, died Sunday afternoon at his home. Arrangements will be announced by the McMichael Funeral Home, Inc., Benton.


Sept. 14, 2013

Bill Wagner, 86, of Pittston passed away Saturday after a short hospital stay.

Born in Pittston, he was a son


Wa gner.

He was a longtime member of

St. John the Evangelist Church and a graduate of St. John’s High School in Pittston. He attended King ’s College after serving in

the U. S. Nav y during Wo rl d Wa r

the late William and Margaret

Potoski of Santa Monica, Calif.; and son, Bill, and wife Shana, of Jacksonville, Fla. Bill was also the proud grand-

father of Megan Potoski, and twins Lily and Will Wagner. His family was everything to him. He also loved his dogs. Also surviving are broth- ers, Robert and wife Judy, of Gambrills, Md.; John, Pittston, and David and wife Janet, of New


Castle, Pa.; sisters, Mary Theresa

Castle, Pa.; sisters, Mary Theresa


retired from his position as

McHugh of We st Pittston,

the editor of the Scranton Sunday Times in 1996, but continued to contribute articles to the Times along with a regular feature to the Good Times magazine. Beginning his newspaper career as a reporter at the Sunday Dispatch in Pittston, he later moved on to the Wilkes-Barre

Margaret Homnick of Sayreville, N.J., and Claire and husband John Scalonge of Pittston; sister-in-law, Ru th Wa gner of Hackettstown, N.J.; and many nieces and nephews. The funeral Mass will be at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday in St. John the Evangelist

Record. He joined the staff at the Scranton-Times in 1983, where he spent the remainder of his

Church, William Street, Pittston. Relatives and friends are invited to visit at the church


9:30 to 10:30 a.m. before the


was preceded in death


by two brothers, Charles and Michael Wagner. Surviving are his devoted wife of 57 years, the former Alice Langan; daughters, Mary and husband Gary O’Malia, Pittston, and Nancy and husband Bob

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Care and Concern Clinic, 35 William St., Pittston. Arrangements are by Howell- Lussi Funeral Home, 509 Wyoming Ave., West Pittston.


Sept. 13, 2013

Betty Nevolas, 99, a resident of Swoyersville, passed away

peacefully on Friday afternoon at the Wilkes-Barre General Hospital, surrounded by her family and friends.

Her beloved husband was the

late Stephen G. Nevolas, who passed away on Oct. 29, 1980. Together, Stephen and Betty

shared 38 beautiful years of mar-


Born on Sept. 6, 1914, in

Swoyersville, Betty was a daugh- ter of the late Frank and Rose (Moore) Gongleski. Raised in Swoyersville, Betty was a graduate of the former Swoyersville High School, Class

of 1932.

Shortly after Stephen and Betty were married, Stephen was called to serve in World

Wa r II. In an effort to support the war, Betty picked up and moved to Maryland, where she worked as a “Rosie the Riveter.” Following the war, Stephen and Betty returned to their home- town of Swoyersville, a place they truly loved. Prior to her retirement, Betty was employed as a manager and window designer for the former Globe Store, which was located

in Luzerne.

Betty was a lifelong mem- ber of the former St. Mary of Czestochowa Roman Catholic Church, Swoyersville. Following

the consolidation of her church, Betty became a member of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Roman Catholic Parish, Swoyersville. For many years, Betty was

a member of the Wilkes-Barre Women’s Business Club.

A devoted, compassionate

and caring person, Betty was always there to lend a help- ing hand to anyone who was in need, especially children. Her generosity and great love for children was evident by the many contributions she made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital throughout her life. Betty will be remembered for her kindness, understanding and her great sense of humor. Though her presence will be greatly missed, her legacy of love will forever resonate in the

hearts of her family and friends.

In addition to her parents,

Frank and Rose Gongleski, and her husband, Stephen, Betty was preceded in death by her broth- ers, Edward Gongleski, Edmund “Foof ” Gongleski and Frank

Ed ward Gongleski, Edmund “Foof ” Gongleski and Fr ank Gongleski; and her sisters Irene Kiwak,

Gongleski; and her sisters Irene Kiwak, Victoria Beky, Lillian Stone, Estelle Ganger, Frances Ziegler and Wanda Gongleski.

Betty is survived by her daughter, Beth Ann Bantel, of Swoyersville; her grand- daughter, Lori C. Bantel, of Swoyersville; her sister Jeanne Young, of Baltimore, Md.; her many nieces and nephews; and especially, her “other” daughter, Claire Morrow, of Forty Fort, who spent countless hours pro- viding Betty with love and affec- tion. The Family wishes to extend their sincere thanks to the fan- tastic staff and friends at Timber Ridge Nursing Center, Plains

Township, for the exceptional care they bestowed upon Betty while she was a resident there. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend the funeral, which will be con- ducted at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday at the Wroblewski Funeral Home Inc., 1442 Wyoming Ave., Forty Fort, followed by Mass of

Christian Burial to be celebrated at 10 a.m. in St. Elizabeth Ann

Seton Parish, 116 Hughes St., Swoyersville, with the Rev. Joseph J. Pisaneschi, her pastor, officiating. Interment with the Rite of Committal will follow in St. Mary of the Maternity Cemetery, We st Wyoming. Family and friends are invited to call 4 to 7 p.m. today at the funeral home. For additional information or to send the family an online message of condolence, you may visit the funeral home website www.wroblewskifuneralhome. com.

In Lieu of Flowers, Memorial Contributions may be made in Betty’s memory to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105.

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Aug. 18, 2013

Nicholas S. Welgos, of Wi lkes- Barre, died Sunday, Aug. 18,

2013, at Department of Ve terans Affairs Medical Center, Plains Township. Born in Hudson, he was a son of the late Steven and Anna

Ku ndrat ick Welgos. Nicholas

attended Coughlin High School and was a sign painter, working

most of his career for the former Fowler, Dick & Wa lker. He wa s

a Wo rl d Wa r II Army ve teran

and was a member of Civilian Conservation Corps. Nick was a loving and devot- ed father and grandfather who enjoyed nothing more than spending time with his daugh- ter and granddaughters, fulfill- ing their every wish. He was a kind and patient man who never

refused a request for assistance from family or friends. Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by brothers

Jo hn, Wa lter, Metro, Michael;

sisters Theresa Gazinski, Mary Kozich, and infant sister Helen.

Theresa Gazinski, Mary Ko zich, and infant sister Helen. Surviving are his wife, Helen Ulichny Welgos;

Surviving are his wife, Helen Ulichny Welgos; daughter, Jan Shoener (husband Carl); granddaughters, Melanie Shedlock (husband Paul) and Nikki Shoener; great-grand- daughter, Abigail Shedlock; sisters Dorothy Sabatini, Anne Giovannini; and brother Joseph. Funeral services were held from the Yeosock

Funeral Home with interment in Sacred Heart Cemetery, Dallas.

Home with interment in Sa cred Heart Cemetery, Dallas. ANDRE W J. GAVLICK Sept. 14, 2013


Sept. 14, 2013

Andrew J. Gavlick, 55, of Wilkes-Barre, passed away on Saturday in Hospice Community

Care at Geisinger South Wilkes- Barre. Born in Wilkes-Barre on May


1958, he was a son of Andrew


Gavlick of Wi lkes-B arre

and the late Ruth Zakaravich

Gavlick. Andrew was a graduate

of GAR Memorial High School,

class of 1976. He was formerly employed by the Pennsylvania Gas & Water Co. In addition to his father, he

is survived by his son, Andrew

Gavlick III of Wilkes-Barre, and by his daughter, Christine C. Gavlick of Wilkes-Barre; broth- er, Robert J. Gavlick, and his wife, Cathy, Wilkes-Barre; and nephews, Michael Gavlick and Robert J. Gavlick. Andy overcame adversity by recovering from a tragic auto- mobile accident that occurred on Aug. 6, 1989, where he

sustained life-threatening inju-

ries. Most of all, “Gav” enjoyed

spending time with his family, watching his two children grow up, hunting, fishing, gardening,

his two children grow up, hunting, fishing, gard ening, watching Major League Ba seball and listening

watching Major League Baseball and listening to rock music. Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. We dnesday at the Nat & Gawlas Funeral Home, 89 Park Ave., Wilkes-Barre. Deacon Francis Bradigan, from St. Andrew ’s Parish, Wilkes-Barre, will officiate. Interment will be in Holy Trinity Cemetery, Bear Creek. Friends may call 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at the funeral home. Online condolences may be sent by visiting Andrew’s obitu- ary at www.natandgawlasfuner-


Sept. 14, 2014

William D. Bowden, 82, of Larksville, formerly of the Heights Section of Wilkes-Barre, was received into the loving arms of his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Saturday at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital. Born in Plymouth, he was a son of the late John and Theresa Kreller Bowden. He was a 1948 graduate of St. Vincent’s High School (Plymouth), where he enjoyed playing basketball. He was also a member of the St. Vincent’s Alumni Association. Prior to his retirement in 2002, William was a dedicated insur- ance agent with Metropolitan Life for 51 years. While employed, he was President of the Union as well as a Union delegate on behalf of his fellow coworkers, and was awarded several accolades for outstand- ing performance. He was an avid fisherman and hunter as well as a faithful Notre Dame fan. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife of 42 years, the former Audrey M. Turner, in 2005; brothers John Bowden, Texas; George Bowden, Erie; and Harry Bowden, Dover, N.J.; and sisters Mary Muscavage and Margaret Skvarla, both of Plymouth. He is survived by his loving children, son and daughter- in-law Martin and Patricia Erickson, Virginia Beach, Va.; son and daughter-in-law Robert and Emma Erickson, Wilkes- Barre Township; daughter, Lisa Gadomski, and partner Robert Rowlands, Plains Township; son and daughter-in-law William D. “Bucky” Bowden Jr. and Maria Bowden, Slocum Township; and son-in-law and daughter, Dr. David and Kelly Maharty, Williamsburg, Va. He

daughter, Dr. David and Kelly Maharty, Williamsburg, Va. He is also survived by daughters Nancy Winnicki,

is also survived by daughters Nancy Winnicki, Scranton; Karen Duncan and husband Dale, Michigan; and Cindy Van Auken and husband Charles, Chespeake, Va.; his precious grandchildren, Marty and John Erickson, Virginia Beach, Va.; Melissa Erickson, Lenny and Gary Leco, Frank Gadomski, Jr., Michael and Matthew Gadomski, all of Wilkes-Barre Township; Evan and Andrew Bowden, Slocum Township; Morgan, Madison and Maleah Maharty, Williamsburg, Va.; Lis a Newendorff, Michigan; Matthew Winnicki, Ohio; Matthew Duncan, Michigan; Michael Duncan, Texas; and Cameron and Jordan Van Auken, Virginia; and several great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and neph- ews. Funeral services will be at 9 a.m. at Kielty-Moran Funeral Home Inc., 87 Washington Ave, Plymouth, with a Mass of Christian Burial at 9:30 a.m. in St Mary ’s Church of the Immaculate Conception, Washington Street , Wilkes-Barre. He will be laid to rest in St. Mary ’s Cemetery, Hanover Township. Friends may call 1 to 3 and 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday at the funeral home.


Sept. 14, 2013

Angelo G. Randazzo, of

Kingston, passed away Saturday

in Wilkes-Barre. He was born Oct. 11, 1939, in

the Oregon section of Pittston,

a son of the late Anthony and Rosalie (Alu) Randazzo. His wife is Elaine (Dante) Randazzo. He graduated from Pittston

High School, Class of 1957. He entered the U.S. Marine Corps

in 1958 in Paris Island. He was

a member of the San Cataldo

Society in Pittston. He was extremely generous and hardworking, a loving hus- band, father and grandfather. He was a dreamer, a motivator and an eternal optimist, always smil- ing, always happy! Angelo was as entrepreneur and owned many businesses

with his lifelong friend and part- ner, the late Louis Tomasetti. Angelo was also a musician and enjoyed playing the accor- dion as a boy. He simply was the


Surviving, in addition to his wife, are the mother of his chil- dren, Angela Randazzo; son, Angelo Randazzo, and spouse Jordi Sabate, Collingswood, N.J.; daughters, Rose and husband Geoffrey Pizzuto, Scranton, and Donna and husband William Cabrera, Trucksville; stepdaugh- ters, Christine Marie Hallas and fiancé Eugene Mizenko, Exeter, and Kimberly Throop and

fiancé Eugene Mizenko, Ex eter, and Kimberly Throop and fiancé Duane Evanoski; step- son, Gerard, and

fiancé Duane Evanoski; step- son, Gerard, and wife Beverly Hallas, Laurel Run; grand- sons Rocco Cabrera, Carmen Cabrera, Geoffrey Pizzuto, Jamie Davison; granddaughters, NisaWelles and Evalynn Hallas; brother, Anthony Randazzo; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by a grandson, Anthony Cabrera. Services have been entrusted to Graziano Funeral Home Inc., Pittston Township. Viewing hours will be held at the funeral home 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. A blessing service will be held at the funeral home following viewing hours at 7:30 p.m. Interment will be at the convenience of the family. To express your condolences to Angelo’s family or for further information, please visit www.

information, please visit www. RA LPH HARRISON FO RD III Sept. 15, 2013 Ralph Harrison


Sept. 15, 2013

Ralph Harrison Ford III, 69, of Huntington Township, was called home to the Lord on Sunday morning at Hospice Community Care Unit at Geisinger South Wilkes-Barre

surrounded by his family, follow- ing a year and a half battle with cancer. Born Dec. 25, 1943, in Bryn Mawr, Pa., he was a son of the late Ralph H. and Emma Riddell Ford Jr. He was a graduate of Marple Newtown High School. He retired from Wise Potato Chips, Berwick, where he was employed as a truck driver. He was a member of Huntington Valley Volunteer Fire Company

fo r 37 ye ars, Te amsters

Union Local 401, and Benton Horseshoe League. He was a DJ on occasion for country western music. He loved being a member of the fire company, woodworking, motorcycle riding and walks on the beach. He was a loving grandfather to all his grandchil- dren. He liked gardening and WWE professional wrestling. He also liked monster trucks and had one that he took to the Bloomsburg Jamboree. He was preceded in death by an infant daughter, Melanie Ford, and a brother, John Thomas Ford. Surviving are his wife, the former Nina Kratky, whom he married June 6, 1973; three sons, Ralph H. Ford IV and his

married June 6, 1973; three sons, Ralph H. Ford IV and his wife, Nikki, South Carolina,

wife, Nikki, South Carolina, John Thomas Ford and his wife, Autumn, Shickshinny, and Michael Jason Ford and his wife, Claire, Hershey; two daughters,

Sherri Ford, Shickshinny, and Julie Parr and her husband, Tony, Benton; 10 grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; a broth- er, Thomas Ford, and his wife, Patricia, Newtown Square; a sis- ter, Kathleen Henrich, and her husband, Manfred, Coatesville; and several nieces and nephews. Visitations will be held 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday and 11 a.m. to noon Friday at the Mayo Funeral Home Inc., 77 N. Main St., Shickshinny, followed by funeral services at noon with the Rev. Raymond Purdy Jr. of Living Word Baptist Church, Red Rock, officiating. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to his widow to help defray expenses. For additional information, or to send condolences, please visit


Sept. 11, 2013

Te rri A. Lu dden, 30, of Exeter, passed away unexpect- edly on We dnesday at her home. Born in Wilkes-Barre, she was

a daughter of Gerard Ludden,

Exeter, and Endora Vihroski. She was a graduate of Pittston Area High School and was an avid animal lover. Preceeding her in death were her paternal grandparents, Ronald and Eva Alba Bulford . Surviving, in addition to her parents, are a brother, Gerard A. Ludden, Exeter; aunts, uncles and numerous nieces and neph- ews. Relatives and friends may call 7 to 9 p .m. We dnesday at the Gubbiotti Funeral Home, 1030

to 9 p .m. We dnesday at the Gubbiotti Funeral Home, 1030 Wyoming Av e., Ex

Wyoming Ave., Exeter. To send the family an expres- sion of sympathy or an online condolence, please visit www.

To view Legacy obituaries online, visit

Oldest man dies at age 112

The Associated Press


— The world’s oldest man,

a 112-year-old self-taught musician, coal miner and gin rummy aficionado from western New York, has died. He was 112. Salustiano Sanchez- Blazquez died Friday at

a nursing home in Grand

Island, according to Robert Young, senior gerontology consultant with Guinness World Records. Sanchez-Blazquez became the world’s old- est man when Jiroemon Kimura died June 12 at age


Born June 8, 1901, in vil- lage of El Tejado de Bejar, Spain, he was known for

his talent on the dulzaina,

a double-reed wind instru-

ment that he taught himself and played at weddings and

village celebrations. At 17, he moved with his older brother Pedro and a group

of friends to Cuba, where

they worked in the cane fields. In 1920, he came to the United States through Ellis Island and worked in the coal mines of Lynch, Ky. Ultimately, he moved to the Niagara Falls area of New York, where he worked in construction and in the industrial furnaces. He mar-

ried his wife, Pearl, in 1934. A spokeswoman for Sanchez-Blazquez’s family did not immediately return a phone message Saturday. In a statement provided

by Guinness World Records

earlier this summer, Sanchez-Blazquez — whose nickname was “Shorty” — said he was humbled by the attention, saying he didn’t feel he accomplished any- thing special just because he has lived longer than most. “He says, ‘I’m an old man and let’s leave it at that,’” his daughter, 69-year-old Irene Johnson, said at the time. Sanchez-Blazquez lived with Johnson in Grand Island after his wife died in 1988; he moved to a nurs- ing home in 2007. “We did our best,” Johnson said. “We weren’t going to put him some- where just because he was old.”



The Times Leader publishes free obituaries, which have a 27-line limit, and paid obituaries, which can run with a photograph. A funeral home representative can call the obituary desk at 570-829-7224, send a fax to 570-829-5537 or email to ttlobits@ If you fax or email, please call to confirm. Obituaries must be submitted by 7:30 p.m. for publication in the next edition. Obituaries must be sent by a funeral home or crematory, or must name who is handling arrangements, with address and phone number.


ANGELELLA — Magdalene, funeral Mass 11 a.m. Saturday in Prince of Peace Parish, St. Mary’s Church, West Grace Street, Old Forge. Friends may call 10:30 a.m. until Mass. BIROS — Joann, funeral 9 a.m. to day at Ya naitis Fu neral Home Inc., 55 Stark St., Plains Township. Mas s of Chris tian Burial 9:30 a.m. in St. Benedict’s Church, 155 Austin Ave, Parsons, Wilkes-Barre. BOYD — Mary Rose, memorial visitation 5 to 7 p.m. today at George A. Strish Inc. Funeral Home, 105 N. Main St., Ashley. CASTELLINO - Carmella, funeral 9 a.m. today at Graziano Funeral Home Inc., Pit tston Township. Mass of Christian Burial 9:30 a.m. in St. Joseph Marello Parish, William Street, Pittston.

CHIPELESKI — Thomas Sr., funeral 9:30 a.m. Tu esd ay at Harman Funeral Homes & Crematory Inc. (East), 669 W. Butler Drive, Drums. Mass of Christian Burial in Good Shepherd Roman Catholic Church, 87 S. Hunter Highway, Drums. Friends may call 5 to 8 p.m. today at the funeral home. GRANTEED — Mary, funeral 8:45 a.m. today at Peter J. Adonizio Funeral Home, 251 William St., Pittston. Mass of Christian Burial 9:30 a.m. in St. Monica’s Parish, West Eighth Street, West Wyoming. KRUEGER Edythe, memorial service 10 a.m. Sept. 21 in Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, South Main Street, Wilkes-Barre. LEVENDUSKI — Edward, funeral 9:30 a.m. Tu esd ay at Ke arney Funeral Home Inc., 173 E. Green St., Nanticoke. Mass of Christian Burial 10 a.m. in St. Faustina

Parish, Nanticoke. Friends may call 6 to 8 p.m. today. MORGAN — Dennis, funeral 9:15 a.m. today at Kiesinger Funeral Services Inc., 255 McAlpine St., Duryea. Mass of Christian Burial 10 a.m. in St. Ann’s Basilica, St. Ann Street, Scranton. NEVOLAS — Betty, funeral 9:30 a.m. Tu esd ay at the Wroblewski Funeral Home Inc., 1442 Wyoming Ave., Forty Fort. Mass of Christian Burial 10 a.m. in St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish, 116 Hughes St., Swoyersville. Friends may call 4 to 7 p.m. today at the funeral home. NICHOLSON — John, funeral 11 a.m. today at Howell-Lussi Funeral Home, 509 Wyoming Ave., West Pittston. Friends may call 5 to 8 p.m. today.

NORCONK — Raymond, funeral 10:30 a.m. today from the P. Dean Homer Funeral Home, 206 Water St., Dushore. Service 11 a.m. in St. John’s Chapel, Wilmot. OLIVER — Linda, funeral 11 a.m. Tu esd ay at the Wi lkes -B arre Heights location of the John V. Morris Family Funeral Homes Inc., 281 E. Northampton St., Wilkes- Barre. Friends may call 5 to 8 p.m. today. PARULIS — Albert, funeral 9:30 a.m. today at Gubbiotti Funeral Home, 1030 Wyoming Ave., Exeter. Mass of Christian Burial 10 a.m. in St. Barbara Parish in St. Anthony of Padua Church, 28 Memorial St., Exeter. PAWLASKI — Stanley, Mass of Christian Burial 10 a.m. Tu esd ay in All Saints Parish, 66 Willow St., Plymouth. Friends may call 5 to 8 p.m. today at S.J. Grontkowski Funeral Home, 530 W. Main St., Plymouth.

RHOADS Dorene, memorial services 11:15 a.m. Sept. 28 in Trucksville United Methodist Church. Friends may call 10 a.m. to services.

SCHARTZER — Mary, graveside services 11 a.m. today at St. John the Baptist Cemetery, Dallas. SURWILLA — Joseph, funeral

9 a.m. Tu esd ay at the Ko picki

Funeral Home, 263 Zerbey Ave., Kingston. Mass of Christian Burial 9:30 a.m. in St. Ignatius Church, North Maple Avenue, Kingston. Friends may call from 6 to 8 p.m. today.

TRABISH — Charles, funeral

8 p.m. today at the Corcoran

Funeral Home Inc., 20 S. Main St., Plains, followed by military honors by the Plains American Legion Honor Guard. Friends may call 6 to 8 p.m. at the funeral home.



Monday, September 16, 2013 PAGE 7A


Hesitancy is hallmark of Obama foreign policy

A dozen years after 9/11, Barack Obama’s address on Syria provided a sobering insight into US strategic hesitancy. It underlined the extent to which prevarication and weakness have become the hallmarks of the president’s administration in dealing with the chal- lenges of jihadist extremism and global terrorism. As a reluctant belligerent, he has clutched, understandably, at Russia’s proposal to place Syria’s chemical weap- ons under international control. He has used this to delay the congressional vote on a retaliatory strike against the Assad regime. No one can reasonably criticize Obama for that: a diplomatic way out would be better than military action. But what he could not disguise is the extent to which Syria, like so many current security and strategic issues, is bedeviled by Obama’s penchant for lead- ing from behind. His case for a retaliatory military strike against Syria is well made. It was indeed the “worst chemical weapons attack of the 21st century.” But the case against Bashar al-Assad has been compelling for two years (long before the Syrian rebels were infiltrated by al-Qaida-linked militants). In that time, 100,000 Syrians have been slaughtered.


Olympics create pledge to end reactor leaks

Yet Washington has allowed itself to be outmaneuvered by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Now Obama is behold- en to Mr. Putin to get him off the hook. Apart from giving the orders that led to the killing of Osama bin Laden, Obama has failed to provide the firm leadership the post-9/11 world needs. During his re-election campaign, Obama pronounced al-Qaida “decimated” and “on the path to defeat.” … Obama has sometimes bordered on apologetic about America’s global role, sending all the wrong signals to the likes of Iran and North Korea. No wonder governments from Riyadh to Seoul are worried about their reliance on the US. There should be no shame in wisely asserting American power. Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi rapidly surrendered his WMDs when he saw what happened to Saddam Hussein. Military force must always be a last option, but we need more decisive leadership from Washington. Former president George W. Bush had to work assiduously to muster backing from allies and instill fear into enemies after 9/11. Yet, in deriding the legitimacy and success of the US in Iraq, Obama increased his challenges on Syria.

The Australian

The International Olympic Committee has chosen Tokyo as the host of the 2020 Summer Olympics and Paralympics. It is hoped that Tokyo’s hosting of the once-in-four-year global games will help dispel the “locked in” feeling prevalent in Japanese society — which has been primarily attributed to difficult economic conditions — and help to enhance the level of sports in Japan. But government leaders must realize that their promise to end the leaks of radioactive water from Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant has now become an international pledge. The government must mobilize all available resources to quickly solve the leak problem so that not only people in and around Fukushima Prefecture but also participants in the Olympic and Paralympic Games will not have to worry about radiation problems. … Madrid, Istanbul and Tokyo, the candidate cities to host the 2020 Summer Olympics and Paralympics, all had strong and weak points. Madrid, which sought to hold the games in a less extravagant way, is suffering from Spain’s serious economic problems. Istanbul, which could have become the first city in the Islamic world to host


Core standards come with costs

Pennsylvania — and the nation — needs to improve the education process. As the state this week moved one step closer to final implementa- tion of Common Core Standards, we wish those standards came with a projected cost or projected funding. Pennsylvania on Thursday joined 44 states and the District of Columbia in adopting regulations grounded in the Common Core State Standards, a framework developed by the National Governors Association and Council of Chief State School Officers. The state Board of Education approved a set of regulations that included these Pennsylvania Core Standards with a 13-4 vote. The Common Core does not dictate

the games, had its image tarnished by clashes between government forces and demonstrators earlier this year. Tokyo, whose marketing campaign stressed, “You’re in safe hands with Tokyo,” had the festering radiation problem. It appears that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s speech in Buenos Aires, the venue of the IOC’s convention — in which he stated that the situation at Fukushima No. 1 is under control and that the “effect” of contaminated water is fully contained within the 0.3 sq. meter har- bor adjacent to the nuclear power plant — helped to convince the IOC to award the games to Tokyo. … Japan’s campaign to win the right to host the games had a very regrettable aspect to it. Princess Takamado gave a speech at the outset of Tokyo’s presen- tation in Buenos Aires, in which she thanked the international community for the help it extended to Japan in the aftermath of the 3/11 disasters. This smacks of the use of an Imperial Family member for a political purpose, and even the Imperial Household Agency expressed its discomfort. The Diet should question the government on this point and ask it to refrain from similar actions in the future.

The Japan Times

a national curriculum. Local school

districts will retain control over their own lesson plans and methods to teach the standards. While officials are correct to push standards that challenge our kids on an equal basis, leaving the financial weight of how to reach those stan- dards on area school districts and teachers is a heavy load. We wish the process st arted at the bottom and outlined the financial burden and requirements for each school district as they relate to the eventual goals and standards. At least

a best-guess, a sample spending plan

or proposed financial aid should be on offer.

The Sentinel, Carlisle, Pa.

aid should be on offer. The Sentinel, Carlisle, Pa. CO MMENTAR Y: MICHAEL MACDOWELL Stat e,


State, not national, strategy for colleges

President Obama’s recent visit to Scranton, Pa., and other cities in the northeastern United States highlighted a concern of many Americans: the price of a college education. He outlined a national plan to keep college prices rea- sonable but said little about why the cost of college has risen at a rate that surpass- es the Consumer Price Index (CPI). During his multi-city tour, the president referenced the percentage increase in public college education and also criticized Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett for reducing support for colleges and universities. In so doing, he did not mention the Great Recession that resulted in reduced tax revenue and cuts to higher education. In 2009 and 2010, federal stimulus funds were used by former Gov. Ed Rendell to bolster reduced funds flow- ing to colleges and universities in the Keystone State. When the stimulus funds ended, the new governor was faced with significantly less financial support for higher education. To understand this dilemma, it is important to understand what drives the cost of a college education, includ- ing tuition increases above the CPI. Education is a labor-intensive industry, and labor costs tend to rise faster than other costs. With more than 70 percent of most college budgets earmarked for salary and benefits, a significant increase in health care costs alone can put tuition hikes beyond the CPI in any one year. Colleges also do not buy goods and services in the same marketplace as consumers. The cost of scientific equip- ment, sophisticated computer systems and facilities maintenance, for example, are subject to price increases that all far exceed general increases in the market- basket of goods and services that com- prise the CPI. One culprit for tuition increases – and one the Obama administration must share some of the blame for – is the tremendous increase in regulations that are designed to enforce compliance with rigorous, and sometimes arbitrary, stan- dards. The Association of Governing Boards, a Washington, D.C.-based group that identifies trends in college gover- nance, identified a number of new rul- ings. The additional regulations created

additional work for colleges, thereby

necessitating increased expenses on the part of colleges and universities. The U.S. Department

of Education and the Justice Department have increased regulation enforcement, including the determination of how many handicapped accessible dorm rooms are available on college campuses. While no one disagrees with the intent of the regulations, the costs become significant and sometimes unneces-

sary. During most of my presidency at Misericordia University, the campus had 27 rooms in residence halls for the disabled. Oftentimes, less than half those rooms were occupied by handicapped students. Despite the excess availability of these specially ret- rofitted rooms, the university was forced to incur significant additional costs of adding another handicapped accessible room to a home close to campus that was being converted to a residence hall. Other regulations, including extensive reports on campus crime, gainful employment and many other statistical and written reports are required annually. Together, they take thousands of hours to produce. The reports also have to be submitted in different formats to state agencies. In addition, regional accrediting agencies that accredit entire institutions and various national accrediting associa- tions which review specific academic departments require arduous reports that are time consuming and expensive to produce. In addition, institutions of higher education are responsible for all of the costs associated with the visiting accrediting teams which often require five or more people. To his credit , Gov. Corbett quickly recognized the cost of college was a deep concern for many Pennsylvanians, so he organized the Commission on Post-Secondary Education. Most of the suggestions made by President Obama appeared in the state commission’s report long before the president’s recent media tour. The 31-member commis- sion also recommended that the com-

The 31-member commis- sion also recommended that the com- Michael MacDowe ll Contributing Columnist YO UR






Most important thing in life

Does anyone wonder how long America has left? If you want to know what America will look like soon, all you have to do is look at Detroit and you know the rest of the country is following right behind. You have unions demanding more pay, better benefits for the teachers. Yes, yes, I know, it is for the children! No! Remember the money that goes to the teachers and their nice retire- ment packages comes from the taxpay- er; you know, the person who goes to work every day, struggles to make their house payment, the person who is on

the verge of losing their house. That is right; the person who is on the brink of losing their house because their taxes keep going up. How many more people in Luzerne County are going to lose their houses because you need more. We all need more. It is about surviving another year and keeping what you have. Teachers, I know, we all want raises, but what about the families that mom or dad have lost jobs and cannot meet their financial obligations? What about the person who is putting off a necessary surgery because they cannot afford the deductible that their insurance says they must pay out of pocket? The list goes on and on, and what it boils down to is: What about ME? You lost your focus… . It should be,

monwealth review its many regulations and try to eliminate or consolidate those that are redundant with the federal gov- ernment. The commission, upon which I served, included presidents and other decision makers from major state- owned and -related universities, private institutions, community colleges and for-profit colleges, as well as business and government leaders. Like President Obama, the commission stressed life- long learning. We recognized that not all high school graduates should attend college immediately. Those who don’t should receive encouragement to obtain an advanced degree later in life. Commissioners realized the cost of a public college education is heavily subsi- dized by taxpayers and that even private colleges receive some support from the government through the financial aid their students receive and in a few other ways. Colleges that keep tuition increas- es relatively low should be recognized and rewarded for doing so, the commis- sion recommended. Furthermore, the commission emphasized state support of colleges and universities should be allocated based upon important criteria, such as on-time graduation rates, stu- dent satisfaction and the employability of graduates or their success in entering graduate or professional programs. With these thoughtful and Pennsylvania-grown recommendations already on the table, it isn’t difficult to see why so many in Harrisburg and Washington have trouble with the presi- dent’s plan. It is especially true when the president’s proposed program also includes arbitrary and expensive regula- tions that have, in the past, only served to increase college costs for the nation’s 21.8 million college students and 4,495 colleges and universities. It would be much sounder if the impe- tus for increasing higher-education effec- tiveness and efficiency resided within the states and not in Washington.

Michael A. MacD owe ll se rved on Gov. To m Corbett’s Commission on Post-Secondary Educa- tion while serving as president of Misericordia University in Dallas, Pa., before his retirement in June 2013. He is also a former economics professor and managing director of the Calvin K. Kazanjian Economics Foundation. He is a resident of Harveys Lake.

What about HIM (Lord)? Our leader of this country wants to attack a nation that will continue to kill it’s fellow citizens whether we attack or not. They just do not get it. They are killing innocent children! You allow our country to kill children every day in America under the name of women’s health. The rebels you want to arm are killing Christians and children every day. If you want to know what’s wrong with America, you left the most impor- tant thing out of your lives. That would be God. America is being destroyed from within. If you want to know where the story ends you need to pick up a Bible.

Maure Devers

Dorrance Township

PAGE 8A Monday, September 16, 2013


Lawmakers debate whether Syria outfoxed US


Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Lawmakers assessing the agreement on Syria’s chemi- cal weapons argued Sunday about whether President Barack Obama was outfoxed by the Russians and had lost leverage in trying to end the civil war, or whether his threat of military action pro- pelled the breakthrough. Obama said the turn to diplomacy had laid “a foun- dation” toward political set- tlement of the conflict. The deal announced Saturday in Geneva by U.S.

and Russian diplomat sets an ambitious timetable for elimination of Syria’s chemi- cal weapons by mid-2014, with rapid deadlines includ- ing complete inventory of its chemical arsenal within a week and immediate access by international inspectors to chemical weapons sites. The agreement came in response to an Aug. 21 chemical weapons attack near Damascus, the capital, that the U.S. believes was carried out by the govern- ment of Syrian President Bashar Assad. Republican lawmakers said that committing to

remove or destroy Syria’s chemical weapons was laud-

able, the agreement fell short by not mandating military action should Assad fail to comply. Rep. Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said the U.S. is “being led by the nose by” Russian President Vladimir Putin. “So, if we wanted a transi- tion with Assad, we just fired our last round, and we have taken our ability to negoti- ate a settlement from the White House, and we’ve sent

it with Russia to the United

Nations,” Rogers, R-Mich.,

said. “That’s a dangerous place for us to be if you want an overall settlement to the problems.” Russia, which already has rejected three resolutions on Syria, would be sure to veto a U.N. move toward military action, and U.S. officials said they did not contemplate seeking such an authoriza- tion. Obama said Saturday that “if diplomacy fails, the United States remains pre- pared to act,” and Secretary of State John Kerry warned during a visit to Israel on

Sunday that “the threat of force is real” if Assad fails

to live up to the terms of the

agreement. Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations

Committee, said the threat

of force “is still very much in

Russian hands.” “That’s the most impor- tant element, is the veto

piece, Corker said. “So in many ways, our credibility

in the region, and certainly

relative to the chemical war- fare, is very much driven by Russia, which has its hands firmly on the steering wheel.” Democrats insisted that

while the agreement itself doesn’t commit the U.S. to using force, the option of acting independently of the U.N. remains. Democratic Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan, chair-

man of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Russia’s primary aim has been to force the U.S. to give up that option. “Russia has failed in that goal,” Levin

said. To Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the threat of American military action is “the only reason we’ve got-

ten to this point, even to this possibility.” Obama said in an inter- view with ABC’s “This Week” that if Syria can be stopped from using chemi- cal weapons, “then we may also have a foundation” to begin the process of reach- ing a political settlement to civil war. The president’s interview aired Sunday but was taped Friday, before the chemical weapons deal was reached but while Secretary of State John Kerry was engaged in intense talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.


From page 1A

agreement, Syria will pro- vide an inventory of its chemical arsenal within one week and hand over all of the components of its pro- gram by mid-2014. “We welcome these agreements,” Haidar was quoted as saying by the RIA Novosti agency. “On the one hand, they will help Syrians get out of the crisis, and on the other hand, they averted a war against Syria by removing the pretext for those who wanted to unleash one.” He added: “These agree- ments are a credit to Russian diplomacy and the Russian leadership. This is a victory for Syria, achieved thanks to our Russian friends.” There has been no official statement from the Syrian government, and it was not clear whether Haidar ’s comments reflected Assad’s thinking. The deal, hashed out in marathon negotiations between U.S. and Russian diplomats, averts American missile strikes against the Assad regime, although the Obama administration has warned that the mili- tary option remains on the table if Damascus does not comply. President Barack Obama said last week the U.S. Navy will maintain its increased presence in the eastern Mediterranean Sea to keep pressure on Syria and to be in position to respond if diplomacy fails. “The threat of force is real, and the Assad regime and all those taking part


need to understand that President Obama and the United States are commit- ted to achieve this goal,” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Sunday in Jerusalem, where he briefed Israeli leaders on the agree- ment. He also said the agree- ment, if successful, “will have set a marker for the standard of behavior with respect to Iran and with respect North Korea and any rogue state, (or) group that tries to reach for these kind of weapons.” French President Francois Hollande said in a televised address to his country that he has not ruled out the “military option,” either. Otherwise, he said, “there will be no pressure.” The U.S. accuses the Assad government of using poison gas against rebel-held suburbs of Damascus on Aug. 21, killing more than 1,400 people. Other death toll estimates are far lower. Syria denies the allegations and blames the rebels. The suspected chemical attack raised the prospect of U.S.-led military action against Syria that the rebels hoped would tip the civil war in their favor. But as the strikes appeared imminent, the Parliament of key U.S. ally Britain voted against military action and Obama decided to ask Congress for authorization first, delaying an armed response. Russia then floated the idea of Syria relinquish- ing its chemical arsenal to avert Western strikes, and the Assad regime quick-

ly agreed. On Saturday, Moscow and Washington struck a framework agree- ment to secure and destroy Syria’s chemical stockpile. For Syria’s opposition, the deal is disappointing in many ways. It defers any U.S. action for the foresee- able future and does nothing to address the broader civil war or the use of conven- tional weapons, which have been responsible for the vast majority of the more than 100,000 deaths in the con- flict. With that in mind, the main Western-backed Syrian opposition group called Sunday for a ban on the use of ballistic missiles and air power by Assad’s forces in addition to the prohibition on chemical weapons. “Chemical weapons attacks are a part of a bigger scheme of crimes against humanity committed by the Assad regime, including using the Syrian air forces

and ballistic missiles on resi- dential areas,” the Syrian National Coalition said on its official website. While a ban on air power and ballistic missiles would likely curb the bloodshed in some areas, it’s unclear how such a measure would be imposed or enforced. Western powers have shown little appetite for setting up

a no-fly zone in the country,

a costly and potentially dan- gerous endeavor. The U.S.-Russian agree- ment has won broad backing around the world, including from China, which is a per- manent member of the U.N. Security Council. France

also welcomed the deal, but French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius cautioned during a visit Sunday in Beijing that it was only the “first stage.” In Cairo, the Arab League also supported the agree- ment. The deal was greeted with cautious optimism in Israel, where leaders expressed sat- isfaction that Syria, a bitter enemy, could be stripped of dangerous weapons but also pessimism about whether Assad will comply. Standing next to Kerry in Jerusalem, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stressed his belief that the Geneva agree- ment would have deep repercussions for Iran, Syria’s close ally. “The world needs to ensure that radical regimes don’t have weapons of mass destruction, because as we have learned in Syria, if rogue regimes have weapons of mass destruction, they will use them,” Netanyahu said. “The determination the international commu- nity shows regarding Syria will have a direct impact on the Syrian regime’s patron, Iran.” The U.N. said its chief chemical weapons inspector had turned over his team’s report on its investiga-

tion into the suspected gas

attack to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Sunday. U.N. spokesman Martin Nesirky said the secretary- general will brief a closed session of the U.N. Security Council on its contents this morning.

From page 1A

Dr. Chris Lillis, a primary care phy- sician in Fredericksburg, Virginia. “I try to speak truth from the exam room, but I think sometimes fear dominates.” Next month, roughly 50 million Medicare beneficiaries will get a handbook in the mail with a promi- nent Q&A that stresses Medicare benefits aren’t changing. Federal health officials have also updated their training for Medicare counsel- ors, and are prepping their Medicare call center and website. “We want to reassure Medicare beneficiaries that they are already covered, their benefits aren’t chang- ing, and the marketplace doesn’t require them to do anything differ- ent,” said Julie Bataille, spokeswom- an for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

an for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. AP photo Ida Gall, right speaks to

AP photo

Ida Gall, right speaks to a customer at the Connecticut Women’s Expo earlier this month about the new federal health care law in Hartford, Conn.




call centers

for the state

exchanges are

already fielding questions from Medicare recipients and rerouting

them to the Medicare line. Bob Roza attended several meet- ings trying to figure out exactly what the Affordable Care Act means for him and his 69-year-old wife Gail, who has diabetes. “At that time, I didn’t know if Medicare would be secondary to some Affordable Care Act option. It was just a myriad of concerns and not knowing,” said the 72-year-old Roza, a retiree who lives in Oakdale, Calif., and is recovering from hip replacement surgery earlier this year. He now knows that his Medicare coverage won’t change, but says he’s now worried about the impact on the $614 a month he pays for Medicare supplemental insurance. Federal health officials said seniors will not be able to purchase Medicare sup- plemental insurance or Part D drug plans through the state exchanges.

Tax Sale

From page 1A

“We’re seeing more go to court — a lot arguing financial hardship,” Rodgers said. Properties are listed for auction after two years of nonpayment, and the owners have until the morning of the sale to pay and avoid sale. Rodgers doesn’t expect a high number of properties to sell because the “upset” auc- tion is a first-stage sale, where buyers are on the hook for back taxes and other liens. Unsold properties will advance to a popu- lar free-and-clear sale next year, when liens are forgiven. Northeast Revenue representatives say some of the properties in Thursday’s sale belong to area residents who walked away from damage caused by record Susquehanna River flooding in September 2011. For example, the preliminary auction roster included Solovey’s Service Station, a former gas station on River Street in Plains Township, which shut down due to flooding. The property is listed for auction at $12,353. The sales roster includes dozens of com- mercial properties that are vacant or house operating businesses throughout the county, including:

• The Ugly Mug restaurant, Main Street, White Haven, owned by Pantheon Real Estate Investments LP; $23,584 starting bid; $298,800 assessment. • A commercial warehouse on state Route 315 in Plains Township owned by Highway 315 Properties Inc.; $87,132


starting bid; $875,000 assessment.

• A former veterinary clinic on the

Pittston Bypass in Pittston Township owned by East Mountain Enterprises LLC; $58,142 starting bid; $665,000 assessment.

• A former bowling alley at 102

Washington St. in Nanticoke owned by

Ellis Investment Inc.; $32,570 starting bid; $365,900 assessment.

• A brick warehouse cooperative building

on Kennedy Boulevard in Pittston owned by

John and Angela Cooper; $115,931 starting bid; $796,300 assessment.

• The shuttered Academy Super Market

building, 121 Academy St., Wilkes-Barre, owned by BSE Properties LLC; $12,228 starting bid; $51,900 assessment.

• A retail property at 257 S. Main St.,

Wilkes-Barre, owned by Then You Win Inc.;

$45,545 starting bid; $389,400 assessment.

• A motel near the former Mountain

Laurel Pool on state Route 309 in Hazle

Township owned by Nilkanth Inc.; $51,570 starting bid; $693,500 assessment.

• The former Blue Comet Diner on state

Route 309 in Hazleton, owned by Louis Pantages; $18,327 starting bid; $218,800 assessment. The tentative auction inventory also includes several apartment buildings in vari- ous municipalities. One of the largest is a three-story apart- ment building at 89 Carey Avenue in Wilkes- Barre owned by Patricia Kolesar. This prop- erty, assessed at $346,300, has been listed in prior sales. Bids start at $44,000.

From page 1A

a single, vital component

fails. A bridge is structurally deficient when it is in need

of rehabilitation or replace-

ment because at least one major component of the span has advanced dete- rioration or other problems

that lead inspectors to deem

its condition poor or worse. Engineers say the bridg-

es are safe. And despite the ominous sounding classi- fications, officials say that even bridges that are struc- turally deficient and frac- ture critical are not about

to collapse.

The AP zeroed in on the Douglass bridge and others that fit both crite- ria — structurally defi- cient and fracture criti- cal. Together, they carry more than 29 million drivers a day, and many were built more than 60 years ago. Those bridges are located in all 50 states, plus Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, and include the Brooklyn Bridge in New York, a bridge on the New Jersey highway that leads to the Lincoln Tunnel, and the Main Avenue

Bridge in Cleveland. The number of bridges

nationwide that are both structurally deficient and fracture critical has been

fairly constant for a num- ber of years, experts say. But both lists fluctuate fre- quently, especially at the state level, since repairs can move a bridge out of the deficient categories while spans that grow more dilap- idated can be put on the lists. There are occasional data-entry errors. There also is considerable lag time between when state trans- portation officials report

data to the federal govern- ment and when updates are made to the National Bridge Inventory. Many fracture criti- cal bridges were erected in the 1950s to 1970s during construction of the interstate highway sys- tem because they were relatively cheap and easy to build. Now they have exceeded their designed life expectancy but are still carry- ing traffic — often more cars and trucks than they were originally expected to han- dle. The Interstate 5 bridge in Washington state that collapsed in May was

fracture critical. Cities and states would like to replace the aging and vulnerable bridges, but few have the money; nationally, it is a multibillion-dollar problem. As a result, high- way engineers are juggling repairs and retrofits in an effort to stay ahead of the deterioration. There are thousands of inspectors across the coun- try “in the field every day to determine the safety of the nation’s bridges,” Victor Mendez, head of the Federal Highway Administration, said in a statement. “If a bridge is found to be unsafe, imme- diate action is taken.” At the same time, all that is required to cause a fracture critical bridge to collapse is a single unantici- pated event that damages a critical portion of the struc- ture. “It’s kind of like try- ing to predict where an earthquake is going to hit or where a tornado is going to touch down,” said Kelley Rehm, bridges program manager for the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.



y and Transportation Officials. SEVEN-DAY FORECAST TODAY TUE HIGH 69° LOW 39° WED Partly sunny with









with a



TUE HIGH 69° LOW 39° WED Partly sunny with a shower THU Sunny and Mostly comfort-

Sunny and



sunny and





69° 42° 73° 51° 75° 56°




Partly sunny 69° 42° 73° 51° 75° 56° FRI SAT SUN A thunder- storm pos- sible

A thunder-

storm pos-


Chance for



79° 61° 77° 57° 73° 54°

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AccuWeather, Inc. ©2013

ALMANAC SUN & MOON ACROSS THE REGION TODAY Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport through 7 p.m. Sunday
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport