Mayor Petykiewicz faces criminal charges of severely injuring a citizen while driving under the influence and a maximum serving of 10 years in prison.
Saturday around 1 p.m., deputy Gordon Slivovitz responded to a call for a traffic accident in Schuylkill County.
Slivovitz found Robert Doane, 42, profusely bleeding from the head and called an ambulance. Doane’s car did not have airbags, but he was wearing his seatbelt.
When the paramedics arrived they were concerned that Doane had spine injuries so they had to call for a helicopter.
Doane was taken on Flight For Life to Northeast Pennsylvania Hospital and Trauma Center in Wilkes-Barre where he was treated for several broken ribs and scratches and bruises to the head, chest and abdominal area.
Doane was going northbound on state Highway 117 when the mayor hesitated at a stop sign on Fonebone Road then proceeded to hit Doane’s car.
Petykiewicz was not wearing his seatbelt and his airbags deployed.
Slivovitz found a half-empty bottle of vodka in the mayor’s car and could smell the alcohol odor. He asked Petykiewicz if he was drinking.
“You’d be drinking, too, if you were me. “Do you think we could just keep this quiet? I’m the mayor of Kittatinny,” Petykiewicz said.
The mayor’s blood alcohol level was .14. The legal limit for intoxicated driving in Pennsylvania is .08. He failed a sobriety test, falling to the ground numerous times.
After the paramedics examined him, he was handcuffed and arrested. Petykiewicz was taken to Schuylkill County Jail where his wife released him on $500 bail.
A witness, Alice Magarian, was driving northbound on state Highway 117 behind Doane’s vehicle. She was able to pull over safely.
Magarian reported that Doane’s car was “proceeding northbound in a prudent fashion, approximately 55 miles per hour” when the mayor came from the west on Fonebone Road and “appeared to hesitate at the stop sign, then pulled into the intersection, crossing into the road.”
When asked, his wife had no comment on the situation.
The mayor also did not answer to reporters at the door late Saturday, although the lights were on.
The hearing will be held Tuesday.
The Schuylkill County District Attorney, Robert Morgenthau said, “Petykiewicz will face a charge of causing great bodily harm by intoxicated use of a motor vehicle. Which carries a maximum prison term of 10 years.”
Shopping for school clothes became awfully selective for students at a catholic high school in Milwaukee.
What use to be a strict dress code became even stricter after the Pius XI administration decided to tighten up.
The old dress code consisted of shirts having to be up to your collar bone, no rips or holes in jeans, no sweatpants or yoga pants and skirts have to be down to your knees to name a few. After students disobeyed the rules year after year, the administration decided it would be easiest to resort to polo shirts and jeans only.
According to Pius’ handbook, the dress code states, “As a Catholic institution, it is expected that students will dress in a modest and respectful way. Pius XI High School balances the student’s need for self-expression with recognition of the link between appearance, attitude and behavior.”
Karen Earle, dean of students and assistant principal believes this is the easiest way to get students to cooperate.
“The rules are simple. If you don’t have a polo on, you get a demerit taken away and a detention,” Earle said.
Many Pius students have expressed their opinions and tried to take a stand against the administration.
Senior Briana Cross led a group of anti-dress code students to a meeting with the administration demanding change with a signed petition to rule out polo shirts with over 200 signatures.
“I think it takes away from our freedom of expression. How can we express ourselves if we wear the same polo and jeans everyday? We aren’t able to be who we are,” Cross said.
Schools make dress codes to prevent distractions and to prepare students to dress properly for the future.
“Us girls are getting punished for being a ‘distraction’ to boys and I think it’s totally unjust,” Cross said.
Earle argued it’s not appropriate for students to dress in a manner that is revealing because “it causes disruptions and is unethical for our private school setting.”
“We are a catholic school and want our students representing who we are,” Earle said.
Junior Katie Gardner thinks the dress code is being taken too far and feels victimized by the administration. She was one of the signatures on the petition to change the dress code.
She recalled going into the meeting with Cross and arguing their beliefs on why the dress code is wrong.
“I told them it was wrong to accuse me of distracting boys because of my scoop neck shirt. I am not an object and it is not my fault that boys have trouble focusing,” Gardner said.
Cross believes the school cares more about dress code than their education. She argued it should be a school where “education comes first.”
The meeting did not go as planned because the dress code still stands as is. They are both hopeful there will be change in the future, not just at Pius, but also with strict school dress codes across the country.
Cross said, “I know we didn’t get the change we wanted, but I know sometime in the future Pius will be accepting of girls’ expression with their clothes.”
Telling a story about life, death, love and loss, Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer and Pixar Animation Studios, advised graduates to live their dreams because time is limited.
On June 12, 50-year-old Jobs joined the Stanford graduates in a graduation gown to tell them how he managed to get through his hardships and become successful. His first story that he told was about “connecting the dots.”
Jobs was put into adoption, but needed a family that had to promise his biological mother that he would attend college. He attended Reed College for a semester after dropping out and discovering it was not for him. Because he dropped out, he now could take classes that he was interested in. He enrolled in a calligraphy class where he was intrigued by the different lettering.
Jobs explained that the class was not at all relevant to his life until 10 years later when he began designing the first Macintosh computer. If he did not drop out of college, he would not of been able to take the calligraphy class and give the Macintosh the beautiful typography it has today.
“So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future,” Jobs said.
He explained to the graduates that connecting the dots are about everything playing out in life. By doing this approach, it will lead to great success in the future and trust what happens next in life.
Jobs second story was about love and loss.
He loved his career early in life when he started Apple in his parents’ garage with his partner, Steve Wozniak, who Jobs refers to him as “Woz.” They were only 20.
10 years later, Jobs was fired from Apple. He was devastated and questioned, “How can you get fired from a company you started?” The falling out turned in Jobs’ favor and goes back to his reference of “connecting the dots.”
“I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me,” Jobs said.
During his time away from Apple, Jobs started two companies, NeXT and Pixar. Pixar is the most successful animation studio in the world and Apple later bought NeXT so Jobs returned to the $2 billion company he started.
While away, Jobs found the love of his life, Laurene, who he later married. He is convinced all this happened because he was fired from Apple.
“You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers,” Jobs said.
Jobs concluded his second story by telling the graduates they will be great by loving what they do in life.
In his third story about death, Jobs reveled his struggle with pancreatic cancer last year. When he was diagnosed, the doctors told him he had less than six months to live. Later, the doctors discovered his form of pancreatic cancer was rare and is curable with surgery.
“No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there,” Jobs said.
Jobs educated the graduates on how precious time is. He says don’t waste it being anyone but yourself and “have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”
His experiences in life taught him a lesson that he shared with the graduates. Time is limited so people need to pursue what they love and it all will workout in the end if you trust yourself and “connect the dots.”
High school homecoming for Pius XI was a time to celebrate alumni and all students with tradition of football, dancing and other activities this past weekend.
On Friday, the football team won against Cudahy High School 20-7 at Raabe Stadium. The next day was followed by a dance in Pius’ field house for current students to attend.
*Homecoming is a tradition of welcoming back alumni and celebrating current students. It consists of a football game and a dance following the next day.
Before the football game, fans participated in the traditional blue and yellow paint slip-n-slide to represent Pius’ school colors. Senior Olivia Freckmann came prepared to get painted on wearing all white.
“The best part of it was everyone showing their school spirit. The worst part was trying to get the paint off my skin and out of my hair,” Freckmann said.
Many alumni joined cheering on the “Pius Popes” and showed they still had their school spirit in them. Angie Brown, an alumnus from class of 1990, led the cheers for the parent’s section of the game, including the school’s fight song that she still remembered.
She celebrated homecoming cheering on her son who is on the football team. Many of the alumni think it is great to send their child to their alma mater to “be apart of the tradition,” Brown said.
The next day, students gathered at Elm Grove Park to take pictures before they headed to the dance at the school. Freckmann made sure to take pictures with all her senior friends for one last time.
“I’m sad this is our last homecoming dance at Pius, but I know we’re all going to make it the best night ever,” Freckmann said before the dance.
Many faces of Pius were at the dance, including alumni and teachers chaperoning. Later in the night, a former homecoming King announced the court.
The homecoming court was announced earlier in the week, but students did not find out who were king and queen until the dance. As they were announced and walked down the “red carpet,” queen Grace Kosmaka was so overjoyed with her crowning.
“I did not expect to win queen at all. I was so happy I started crying,” Kosmaka said.
After her tears were wiped and make-up was fixed, Kosmaka enjoyed the rest of her night dancing to all her favorite music with all her senior friends.
Homecoming is one of Pius’s greatest traditions celebrated with alumni and current students who come together to celebrated as a family for one school. Everyone enjoyed it, especially the seniors for one last time until they become alumni.
“This weekend was truly the highlight of my senior year,” Freckmann said.
Mayor Petykiewciz seeks to renew the city of Kittatinny with his proposed budget after the Susquehanna Steel Corp. decommission.
Early this morning the mayor proposed his budget of over $3 million for 2015 to the City Council and has declared a “financial emergency.”
Because of the recent shut down of the steel corp., $100 million was lost in tax property. The city is in a crisis and the mayor proposes some changes to help make revenue.
A couple major changes included a reduction in police shifts, policies on garbage tax and city tax increases.
The police force will lay off two officers. Aside from that, the 4 a.m. to noon shift will not have any police officers stationed in Kittatinny. An on-call deputy will handle emergencies.
The Chief of Police, Roman Hruska, was not pleased with the mayor’s proposal.
“I cannot stand idly by and watch a city of this size be deprived of regular police protection for a third of each day,” Hruska said.
Majority of officers have homes 20 minutes away or further. This makes it difficult to get to emergency situations.
“We are running the risk of someone being killed,” Hruska said.
Crime is not the only issue for the city. Denelda Penoyer, the president of Kittatinny City Council is concerned with traffic accidents.
“I think we need to keep officers on the streets not just for domestic violence but for traffic accidents. They happen at all hours of the day,” Penoyer said.
Kittatinny residents may have additional concerns along from this that may require action.
Garbage payments will be added to city water bills. People of Kittatinny will now be paying a bothersome bill for their garbage.
“Homeowners will be asked to pay for this separately on a different bill,” the mayor said.
Weekly garbage pickups will continue as usual.
The mayor is also calling for a tax increase from 4 to 4.3 percent. The average Kittatinny resident will be additionally paying around $30 a year in tax bill.
President Bjarne Westhoff of the Pennsylvania Police Association Local 34 does not believe this will be the finalized budget plan for next year.
“I am confident that the mayor’s proposal will not go through as planned,” Westhoff said.
The mayor is open to ideas from citizens. Many are encouraged to contact the mayor to suggest changes to the budget plan.
A copy of the proposed budget can be found at www.kittatinny.gov.
Katie Fischer experienced hardships that college students do not typically experience in their lifetime.
Being pregnant at the age of 18, Fischer was forced to leave Carroll College where she hoped to complete the nursing program.
“It was extremely hard for me because I had a lot of scholarships and grants so I felt like they were going to waste. I thought my life and dreams were over at the time,” she said.
In January of 2013, Fischer married her baby’s father, and then later in April gave birth to a healthy girl, Anabel. She did everything she could to provide for her new family.
She moved out with her husband and daughter in a small apartment. It may not have been the nicest of places, but it was all they could afford with a brand new baby to care for.
“I worked two jobs. I wanted to give my daughter everything. I would go some days without feeding myself so I could give her dinner,” Fischer said.
Working everyday to provide for her daughter, Fischer experienced other hardships later on.
In June of 2014, Fischer filed for divorce after a collapse in the marriage. From then on, she continued to support her daughter and decided it was time for her to go back to school.
Fischer enrolled in classes online to pursue her nursing career.
“It’s important to me to finish school so in the future I can have a stable job and give my daughter what she needs,” she said.
Fischer, who is now living with her parents, has found a flexible job. She is able to save money while living at home and still continues to watch her daughter grow.
“Being so young with a daughter definitely has its challenges, but I was able to make it all work out in the end and wouldn’t change anything about my life,” Fischer said.
She has applied for jobs at local hospitals as a nursing assistant. Her first interview is in a couple weeks.
“My daughter is my motivation everyday. I do everything for her. When everything is going wrong, I look at Anabel and everything is better,” Fischer said.
Over the summer, I was able to have fun even though I worked my two jobs most of the time. I went up north with my family for our annual camping trip and got to go fishing, tubing and swimming. This summer I also was able to visit Six Flags a few times. I did ride their new record-breaking wooden roller coaster, “Goliath.” It’s safe to say it is now my new favorite ride there! Additionally, I visited the Wisconsin Dells with my best friends and spent the day at Mt. Olympus.
When I wasn’t doing these fun activities, I was at one of my jobs. Even though work wasn’t the most fun thing to do this summer, I looked at the positives. I was able to enjoy free pizza all the time at the best pizza place around, Ned’s Pizza. Smelling like pizza grease 24/7 was definitely worth it. I also was fortunate enough to meet many of the Milwaukee Brewers players and THE Donald Driver at Carnevor, my other job. On top of all that, I was bringing in the cash. It turned out my summer wasn’t all that bad.