Mayor Petykiewicz of Kittatinny was responsible for a drunk driving incident that occurred in Frontenac this past weekend.
The incident occurred at the intersection of Highway 117 and Fonebone Road just after 1 p.m. Saturday.
Petykiewicz, 56, could face 10 years in prison as a result.
Petykiewicz struck the driver’s side of the vehicle of Robert Doane, 42, when he was crossing Hwy 117 going Eastbound on Fonebone.
According to the witness on scene, 33-year-old Alice Magarian, Petykiewicz never came to a full stop on Fonebone before entering the intersection when he struck Doane’s vehicle.
Doane was flown from the scene by Flight for Life to Northeast Pennsylvania Hospital and Trauma Center in Wilkes-Barre. He is currently in stable condition but suffered several broken ribs, a broken jaw, and various abrasions to the head, chest, and abdominal area.
Approaching Petykiewicz’s vehicle at the scene, police could smell alcohol. An open, half-empty bottle of vodka was found on the floor of the passenger’s side.
When asked if he’d been drinking, Petykiewicz responded by saying, “You’d be drinking, too, if you were me.” He then asked the officer if they could keep the incident quiet.
Petykiewicz consented to a breathalyzer and was found to have a blood alcohol content of 0.14 percent, which is 0.6 percent over the legal limit. After failing a sobriety test, he was examined by paramedics and placed under arrest at the scene.
Petykiewicz was booked at Schuylkill County Jail in downtown Kittatinny. His wife, Gloria Petykiewicz, posted cash bail for $500 and he was released.
According to Robert Morgenthau, Schuylkill County district attorney, Petykiewicz’s preliminary hearing will take place Tuesday morning at 9 a.m. Petykiewicz will face charge of causing great bodily harm by intoxicated use of a motor vehicle.
When a call was made to the mayor’s home, his wife answered but had no comment. There was no response at the door of their home.
UW-Whitewater students, faculty, and staff joined together earlier this month in response to an incident of hate the occurred near campus.
According an article on the incident in the Oct. 8 edition of the Royal Purple, sophomore Jordan Gittens was walking home that Friday night when a group of four men attacked him, physically harmed him, and yelled sexually derogatory terms at him.
While the official Whitewater police report has not been released, Gittens told the Royal Purple he believes the incident should be reported as a hate crime.
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation website, Congress defines a hate crime as “criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, ethnic origin or sexual orientation.”
In response to the alleged hate crime, the UW-Whitewater Greek community implemented the #WHOiAM initiative. The initiative included the gathering of students, faculty, and staff to take a photo that resembled a rainbow and the use of the hashtag WHOiAM on social media outlets.
The event aimed to “to make a statement and take united pictures with any and all other supporters of safety, justice and equality,” according to the event’s description on Facebook.
Attendees were directed to wear a solid-colored shirt and report to the University Center at 12:20 on Wednesday, Oct. 15.
The response was impressive, with an estimated number over 200 attending the photo, according to Associate Director of Career and Leadership Development Jan Bilgen.
For Bilgen, it was exciting to see a lot of non-Greek individuals participate in the photo as well as people who are not always seen at the forefront of LGBT and ally happenings around campus.
“The reason why I’m happy with the response is because it was totally student driven,” said Bilgen. “90 percent of the work was totally student driven and to me that makes all the difference.”
Bilgen was witness to the formation of the initiative at a joint council meeting of the Greek community in which the executive boards from each of the three councils come together.
According to Bilgen, the students discussed not feeling safe as a result of this alleged hate crime and another incident of violence that resulted in a student ending up in the hospital.
The students at the meeting brainstormed several ideas and eventually the discussion led to the idea of the photo in support.
James Sheets, president of IMPACT, the LGBT student organization on campus, participated in the #WHOiAM photo.
“I believe [initiatives like this] are effective in reaffirming the notion that our campus stands together, regardless of the issue,” said Sheets. “Anything negative that does happen is so miniscule to the greater population that it doesn’t matter.”
After the incident, Sheets said he and the other members of the organization took the time to discuss the incident with one another and how they would best address the questions and conversations that could result from it.
Being a member of the LGBT community himself, Sheets has found himself being more wary and cautious when walking alone since he found out about the alleged hate crime.
The incident even has students who do not identify as LGBT concerned. Senior Amanda Jouett lives within several blocks of where the incident occurred and she finds herself questioning her safety, as well.
“It’s unnerving,” said Jouett. “I don’t want to have to feel unsafe in my community, but the recent events have made me rethink leaving the house by myself these days.”
When the university announced the incident, they urged students to be more cautious about their personal safety and never to hesitate to call the police if they ever feel unsafe at any time.
Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer and Pixar Animation Studios, addressed Stanford’s graduating class of 2005 this past weekend.
“Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick – don’t lose faith,” said Jobs.
Jobs stressed to the graduates the importance of finding your passion and trusting in the choices you make. While he never graduated from college, dropping out led him to where he is today.
Jobs dropped out of Reed College six months into his career, but continued to drop into classes for over a year after that. What he didn’t know at the time was that the calligraphy class he had dropped into led to all of the different typefaces on the first Macintosh computer.
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connecting them looking backwards,” said Jobs. “So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”
Jobs was lucky to find his passion early in his life. Apple Computer was created by Jobs, now 50, and his partner Steve Wozniak, or “Woz”, in his parents’ garage when Jobs was only 20. Apple grew quickly and 10 years later was a multi-billion-dollar company.
As Apple Computer grew, the company brought in some reinforcements. John Sculley, former Vice President and President of PepsiCo, was hired to help Jobs run the company in April of 1983. After the first year or so, Sculley and Jobs began to have different visions for the company and the Board of Directors sided with Sculley.
At 30-years-old, Jobs was fired from him own company.
The first few months, Jobs was devastated. He felt as if he let down previous generations of entrepreneurs. He felt like a failure.
Being fired from Apple, he would discover, was one of the best things that could have happened to Jobs. His love for his work was rejuvenated.
“I had been rejected, but I was still in love,” said Jobs. “The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of a beginner again, less sure about everything.”
During his time away from Apple, Jobs started the computer company NeXT, the animation company Pixar, and fell in love with his wife, Laurene. Pixar is now a vastly successful film company and Apple bought NeXT and Jobs returned to the company he started.
Jobs took the opportunity to tell students that only way to be successful is if you do what you love.
Jobs reminded listeners of how short life can be when he told of his diagnosis for pancreatic cancer about a year ago. While Jobs was lucky enough to be cured with a surgery, he does not take that near-death experience for granted.
Jobs emphasized how important is to live your life for you and to always have the strength to listen to your instincts.
“Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose,” said Jobs. “You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”
UW-Whitewater students were educated on the importance of closing the achievement gap between low income and affluent students during a lecture given this past week.
Dr. Goldy Brown III, who is a Whitewater alumnus himself, spoke to a crowd of about 100 students and faculty about his research in the field of elementary education.*Brown discussed the importance of knowing that low-income students have different needs than affluent students.
He studied two schools in the same city that were receiving equal achievement statistically, but one school was filled with low-income students and the other affluent students. In order to learn how the low-income students were succeeding so greatly, he looked at initiatives put in place by the principals.
Dr. Brown’s major finding was that the low-income school made up for certain reinforcements that may have not been occurring in the homes of the lower-income students. These practices included an after-school program and a positive behavior intervention system.
According to Dr. Brown, the low-income students are not as likely to receive time and attention for school-work in their home lives due to parents’ work hours or house-hold responsibilities.
Josh Hintz, sophomore accounting and finance major, was in attendance at the lecture. “It is a call to action for educators in what we need to do to improve and help those future students,” said Hintz.
Dr. Brown’s lecture was the first of several in the African American Heritage Lecture Series. This series is sponsored annually by multiple departments across campus, including Multicultural Affairs and Student Success, Career and Leadership Development, and several academic colleges.
Other lecture series offered include the Latino Heritage series, the Southeast Asian Heritage series, and the Native Pride series.
Mai Yer Yang, Intergroup Relations Coordinator in the Career and Leadership Development office, is a large contributor to the organization of these lectures.
“These lectures help develop a greater sense of identity among our multicultural students and to educate our majority students on the involvement and contributions of people of color to the American society,” said Yang. “They help prepare out students to be more sophisticated when addressing issues to pertaining to diversity.”
The topics and lecturers are chosen by a committee for the following school-year. Yang is the chair of the African American Heritage Lecture Series Committee.
For more information on events around the UW-Whitewater campus, visit http://events.uww.edu/MasterCalendar/MasterCalendar.aspx.
The city of Kittatinny faces potential loss of police protection with Mayor Petykiewicz’s proposed 2015-16 budget.
The budget proposal was discussed at a press conference on Monday and several city officials addressed their concerns.
In the proposed budget, no Kittatinny police officers will be staffed from the hours of 4 a.m. to noon. During that time, emergency calls will be handled by Schuylkill County sheriff’s deputies. The deputies responding to the calls will be paid on a contract basis, saving the salary cost that would have been used to cover this eight-hour time period.
Petykiewicz is not happy about the prospect of making cuts of any kind, but with the “serious economic trouble” the town is facing, it is a reality. The mayor is aware of the slower response time and potential safety issues this change will create.
Other city officials are not as willing to sacrifice police coverage.
Police Chief Roman Hruska refuses to accept this change as a possible solution. “I cannot stand idly by and watch a city of this size deprived of regular police protection for a third of each day,” said Hruska.
Hruska was the first to confidently say he would take a pay cut for the year, as opposed to the pay freeze suggested currently. “If the mayor is willing to take a 10% pay cut, I would…I think we all should,” said Hruska.
The proposed budget also includes the dismissal of two Kittatinny police officers.
Another major point of the proposed budget is the implementation of a small tax increase. This tax increase will raise residence taxes about $30 on average.
President of the city council, Denelda Penoyer, doesn’t think that increase is enough. Penoyer expressed that her number one concern is the change in police protection. She suggested that a higher tax increase would be enough to save the police shift that Petykiewicz is currently proposing gets cut.
Penoyer also agreed to a pay cut and said that option would be discussed with the other members of the city council.
Martha Mittengrabben, president of AFSCME Local 644 government union, also spoke at the press conference. When asked if she would be willing to reopen contracts to renegotiate wages in order to prevent some of the cuts proposed, she agreed.
“There must be a spirit of shared sacrifice here,” said Mittengrabben.
Another obvious change in the budget revolves around garbage pickup. In the mayor’s proposal, there will be no city spending on garbage removal.
Garbage removal will still happen on a weekly basis. Fees for garbage pickup will now be an added bill to be paid monthly. According to Petykiewicz, this will amount to about $200 over the course of the year.
The source of Kittatinny’s financial trouble revolves around the decommissioning of a blast furnace at Susquehanna Steel Corporation in August. This change decreases Susquehanna Steel Corp.’s assessed property value by over $1 million. About 600 employees have been laid off because of this set back.
The proposed budget includes other small changes, including a slight raise in city parking fees and police citations.
No changes proposed in this budget are final. The members of the city council must discuss and approve the budget before it will be implemented. Decisions must be made and finalized by December 1.
Mayor Petykiewicz and members of the council are open to suggestions outside of those proposed here.
For more information, visit www.kittatinny.gov.
“They’re in their little bubble that they don’t want to get out of.” For international student Shirin Bouzari, one of the most frustrating things about being at UW-Whitewater is the resistance she feels from a majority of the American students.
Bouzari, junior, is from Tehran, the capitol of Iran. She is beginning her second year at Whitewater and is the secretary of the International Student Association (ISA).
“My family here is international students,” says Bouzari. While she loves her “family”, Bouzari wishes more American students were willing to reach out to her and others like her.
“I feel there are a lot of people who don’t know where you’re coming from,” she says. “Some are really willing to get to know you, but some, the majority are not.”
One way Bouzari and other international students receive support is through the Global Ambassadors Program, a program that pairs American students and international students together in hopes to help them adjusting to life in the United States. While she was happy to meet the ambassadors, Bouzari would have liked to be introduced to more American students and make more connections through them.
Despite the resistance she experiences with some students, Bouzari feels she has adjusted to life in the United States very well. She has studied the English language her whole life, so speaking it was not a concern of hers. Now, Bouzari says she finds herself thinking in English, which is a different level entirely.
“It’s what I aimed for!” she says. “I wanted to be able to think in English…but when I go home, I had to stop thinking in English.”
When Bouzari went home for three weeks over the summer, switching back to constantly communicating in Farsi, the Persian language spoken in Iran, was more difficult than she anticipated.
“I don’t forget my own language,” says Bouzari. “But it was hard to speak my language because I don’t speak it here with anybody! My mom even texts me in English!”
While the language was not a barrier of hers, Bouzari did have to adjust to the different school system in the U.S. In Iran, students choose their majors when they are 15 and they study only in that area from then on. So, when Bouzari came here and had to take more math classes, she was not prepared.
“Math is way gone,” she says. “I’m too old for studying math.”
The day-to-day homework assignments are another practice that Bouzari was not prepared for.
Despite the difficulties, Bouzari feels she has made a family out of other international students. She tries to keep herself busy to distract from the fact that she is thousands of miles away from home.
Bouzari is an International Studies major with an emphasis in Political Diplomacy. She has aspirations to work for the United Nations in the human rights field.
The Milwaukee Brewers involved their fans in their efforts to raise awareness for breast cancer at their game against the Cardinals this past Saturday.
Taped to every seat in the park was a sheet of either pink or white paper that fans were instructed to hold up in front of their faces at the end of the fourth inning. The result was a flood of support in the shape of several pink ribbons.
Several local cancer fighters were involved in the game, as well. Eleven women took the filed with the Brewers’ starting line up and the first pitch was thrown by local survivor and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel publisher.
In addition, a check for over $57 thousand was presented to benefit breast cancer research efforts.