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Man files complaint over arrest

SHICKSHINNY – A resident of a senior high-rise told Borough Council on Tuesday night that he has filed a criminal complaint before District Justice John Hasay against the borough police after he was arrested on July 25 for alleged public drunkenness and harassment.

James Sternick, 60, of 19 W. Vine St., alleged he was handcuffed illegally and his driver’s license was stolen.

A police report, however, states that Sternick was intoxicated and yelling at persons in a public park adjacent to the apartment complex. The report states police responded to pleas from people at the park who stated an older man was yelling and pointing a laser beam at them.

Police said Sternick used obscenities, smelled of alcohol and initially refused to provide identification to them when they approached him at his apartment.

He was arrested and criminal complaints were filed against him.

Since a criminal complaint had also been filed by Sternick, council, at the advice of Solicitor Jeffery Malak, declined to make any comment on Sternick’s allegations.

Council on a 3-1 vote, with only four members present, gave final approval to a brake retarder ordinance. Francene Tearpock-Martini cast the dissenting vote based on a report from state Transportation Department that stated the grade on Butler Street is too steep to ban brake retarders. Otherwise, the ordinance is in effect for the major arteries including Main Street (Route 11) and Union Street (Route 239).

Martini said that because the ordinance wasn’t universal throughout the borough, she was opposed to it.

During a work session before the public meeting, council heard a presentation from Rick Harmon of Bloomsburg who has applied for the code enforcement position. Harmon outlined his credentials, including doing work in the Hazleton area. Martini questioned why the position was advertised when the borough already has a code officer. “Are we going to have two officers?” she asked.

Councilman Mike Steeber replied, “No. The current person doesn’t fit into our plans.”

Jake Baluta commented that the sesquicentennial will be marked with a giant parade on Saturday, starting at 3 p.m.. He said it will include bands, military personnel, floats, politicians, Scouts and firefighters from 46 companies. The parade will form in the area of Shickshinny-Mocanaqua Bridge and will proceed north on Main Street.

Traffic will be detoured off Main Street (Route 11) during the parade.

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