Thursday, June 11, 2015

The LuLac Edition #2935, June 11th, 2015

You’ll notice that in today’s rundown of 1965 our feature year, we wrote about the car bombing death of a 17 year old Hazleton High School Senior. It was primary election day and Michael Ruggiero was killed by a car ignited by 10 sticks of dynamite.
The high school student was killed fifty years ago.
45 years ago The Hazleton Standard Speaker featured him in a story about unsolved cases. To this day Ruggerio’s killer has never been found. The bombing was on Cleveland Street between Diamond Avenue and First Streets. His father was serving as a Judge of Elections at the 14th Ward fire station. The bomb was meant for the teen’s father. There was a reason he had to get the car but that was never revealed. There were rumors it was a mob hit but that was never, ever confirmed. School children were routed home via other streets and the State Police even set up staging areas in local resident’s kitchens trying to see what they could find. The car was blown to bits and the only thing left was the chassis.
The case has been cold although there were suspects. Here is that article from the Standard Speaker from 2010.
Michael Ruggiero, 17, was killed on May 18, 1965, Election Day, by a dynamite explosion while using his father's car.
Ruggiero, of 626 Harrison St., was in the car when it exploded on Cleveland Street, between Diamond Avenue and First Street, shortly after 10 a.m. The explosion blew the car into pieces, damaged surrounding properties, cut electricity to around 3,500 PPL customers and shattered windows in the neighborhood.
It instantly killed Ruggiero, who was expected to graduate from Hazleton High School that June.
His father, Joseph, parked the car at that location before going to serve as judge of elections at the 14th Ward fire station at 7:35 a.m. His son went to pick the car up and, while inside the vehicle, it exploded.
The coroner at the time didn't believe Michael Ruggiero was the intended target.
Officials investigating the explosion, which included the Federal Bureau of Investigation, estimated between eight and 10 dynamite sticks were used.
As I was researching the year for our Thursday edition feature I was stunned to see the headline in an edition of The Wilkes Barre Record. The case is cold but one thing still stands out. Michael Ruggerio would have been 68 years old had this not happened.
My thanks to our good friends Tiffany Lukashefski, Information Services, Osterhout Free Library and Jim Reinmiller at the Hazleton Public Library.


When the Presidential campaigns start to heat up Pennsylvania gets a political inferiority complex. 60 years ago Pennsylvania never had a Presidential primary. All the candidates were picked by county chairmen, the state party and national leaders connected to the state. The very first Presidential primary for Pennsylvania was in 1972. It was slated for late April. During that year Hubert Humphrey, Henry Jackson, Edmund Muskie and George McGovern were locked in mortal combat to try to stop the McGovern bus that was headed for the nomination. As an 18 year old I was involved with the national Humphrey campaign. HHH won his very first primary ever that year. It was significant because Pennsylvania was a political player.
In 1976 there was a stop Jimmy Carter movement that was the talk of the primary. There was even talk of drafting Humphrey to get in the race. During that campaign the national press descended on Wilkes Barre Scranton. If you turned the corner on a street, you saw one member of Jimmy Carter’s family coming your way. Congressman Morris Udall made a play for the college vote hosting events at pizza parlors. In 1980 Senator Ted Kennedy ran against President Carter.
We had a pretty early start on being relevant but then events started to make Pennsylvania not such a factor anymore. .
As primaries nationally got front loaded Pennsylvania seemed to be the afterthought. In 1992 and 1996 Bill Clinton had nominal opposition. But in ’92 as a candidate he was challenged by former Governor Jerry Brown who in fact carried Luzerne County. But by 2000 and 2004, Al Gore, John Kerry and George W. Bush had their nominations locked up. Although there was a fight in 2008 between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, John McCain clinched early as well as both Mr. Obama and Mitt Romney in 2012.
So the talk now is that the Commonwealth should move up their primary to March 15th. State Representative Keith Greiner (R-43rd, Lancaster) introduced HB 1318. The legislation would move the presidential primary (and those for other offices) up to the third Tuesday in March.
By moving the primary to March, it would add Pennsylvania to a plethora of other states. We can get lost in the shuffle. Others say we could be relevant. The operative word there is “could”. Here’s what I told WBRE TV’s Jasmine Brooks on PA Live about this recent development.

Governor Tom Wolf released information via the Internet saying he is standing with Congressman Matt Cartwright on the Congressman’s efforts to raise the minimum wage in the Commonwealth. Here is part of what Wolf released: I strongly believe that nobody who works full-time should be forced to live in poverty.
That's why I'm proud to stand with Congressman Matt Cartwright and his efforts to raise the federal minimum wage while I work on getting Harrisburg to raise the wage, too.
A full-time worker earning $7.25 an hour makes about $14,500 a year, and for a family of two, that's below the poverty line.
Throughout my life, I've found if you listen to workers and treat them right with living wages, good benefits, and safe working conditions -- we all benefit.
That's why my former company pays living wages, provides excellent benefits, and shares 20-30% of its profits with the workers who help make the business successful.
Unfortunately, there are big special interests who want to keep an economy that works for them at the expense of working families.
I'm partnering with Congressman Cartwright on this issue because it's going to take teamwork to ensure no American worker is forced to live in poverty.
Here’s the link to help:

District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis. (Photo: LuLac archives).
Luzerne County District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis has released the opinion from the Office of Attorney General regarding the investigation into the Wilkes-Barre District Judge Petition matter.
Tuesday afternoon, the O.A.G. provided an opinion that it is not a conflict for the District Attorney’s Office to handle the case and, therefore, is leaving the matter to the County’s jurisdiction. D.A. Salavantis stated that in an abundance of caution, she has personally met with the Pennsylvania State Police who have agreed to assign investigators to assume the investigation.
Wednesday members of the District Attorney’s Office briefed the State Police investigators on the information received thus far. Investigators are expected to begin the probe in the coming days.


Igor Bodnar (Photo: The Irregulars)
The Irregulars Think Tank Breakfast at the Lakeside Igor Bodnar Skillet at Harvey's Lake, 9:00 a.m. this Saturday, June 13. Doors open at 8:30 AM for mingling and business card exchange. Scrumptious breakfast buffet begins at 9:00 A.M. Breakfast is over when the last person walks out the door. Presenter is Igor Bodnar, Ukrainian-American, who immigrated to America with his parents and sister in 1991. Dallas Resident Igor Bodnar was born in Ternopil, Ukraine in 1984. He grew up in Wilkes Barre and later the family moved to Forty Fort. Igor resides in Dallas with his wife, Jennifer. He will be speaking about what it was like growing up in Ukraine and what it is like to live in Ukraine today. Although Igor immigrated to America he remains in contact with family members in Ukraine. He has returned to Ukraine to visit twice since leaving during the winter of 1991.
Igor currently works at First National Community Bank, Shavertown as a Branch Manager. His work focuses on Relationship Banking and helping customers achieve financial goals. He puts a strong focus on Relationship Banking and helping customers achieve financial goals.


Rusty Fender will man the anchor chair for ECTV Live during the week of June 15th while David DeCosmo is on vacation.
Rusty's guest will be Erica Rogler of the Wyoming County Cultural Center at the Dietrich Theater who will outline upcoming Summer events. ECTV Live can be seen on Comcast Channel 19 (61 in some areas) and is broadcast three times each day throughout the week,



This Week on Sunday Magazine
Brian Hughes speaks with Sandy Deanne from the legendary 1960's group Jay & The Americans about the band's history, and their upcoming concert with The Mystics on Friday June 19th at Penn's Peak in Jim Thorpe,
And an encore of Brian's interview with Charlie Spano, Chairman of the 9/11 Memorial Committee of Lackawanna County, about a Flag Day presentation on Sunday June 14th at the Lackawanna County Courthouse in Downtown Scranton.
Sunday Magazine, Sunday morning at 5am on NASH-FM, 93.7, 5:30am on 97BHT, 6am on 97.9X & Sports Radio 590, WARM and 6:25am on Magic 93.


Tune in to Sue Henry's "Special Edition" this week as Sue recaps the week's news. Special Edition is heard Saturdays and Sunday on these Entercom stations, WILK FM Saturday at 2pm Sunday at 6 am on Froggy 101 Sunday at 7 am on The Sports Hub 102.3 Sunday at 7 am on K R Z 98.5 Sunday at noon on WILK FM 103.1.


Want to hear some great parodies on the news? Tune in to WILK Radio at 6:40 and 8:40 AM on Mondays. As Ralph Cramden used to say, “It’s a laugh riot!”


Tune in Wednesdays on WILK Radio for Karel on the Street. Hear some of the funniest and heartwarming comments on the issues of the day on Webster and Nancy with Karel Zubris.


Every Wednesday at 5PM, Steve Corbett shines the light on a Public official with his “Somebody’s Watching Me” segment. Corbett picks an alleged public servant to eye ball and observe. Batten down the lawn furniture in the driveway and that e mail machine. There is nowhere to hide when “Somebody’s Watching”. Wednesdays at 5 on WILK’s Corbett program.


Our 1965 logo.

Kinks arrive in NYC beginning their 1st US tour…….Algerian coup under colonel Houari Boumedienne, pres Ben Bella fired…. USSR launches Luna 6; it missed the Moon by 99,000 miles…. Sonny & Cher make their 1st TV appearance in "American Bandstand"…. South Vietnam Gen Nguyen Cao Ky succeeds Phan Huy Quat as premier…. Big Bang theory of creation of universe is supported by announcement of discovery of new celestial bodies know as blue galaxies… 

Cincinnati Red Jim Maloney no-hits NY Mets but loses in 11 innings, 1-0……in Pennsylvania KYW-AM in Cleveland Ohio returns call letters to Philadelphia. KYW becomes 1060 Newsradio…….in Hazleton an investigation intensifies into an Election Day bombing that killed 17year old high school student Michael Ruggerio. Sources say the bomb was meant for the teen’s father…and fifty years ago this week the number one song in America and LuLac land was Just a Little by The Beau Brummels.


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