Fatal fire is accidental
A fire that claimed the life of a woman and severely injured her husband early Sunday was ruled accidental by state police deputy fire marshal Trooper Ron Jarocha.
Florence Gosciewski, 64, died from injuries she suffered in the blaze at her home at 42 Murray St.
Her husband, John Gosciewski, 71, remained in critical condition at Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown on Monday. He suffered burns to his hands and face when he tried to save his wife.
Firefighters from several West Side communities including Hanover Township battled the blaze for several hours when flames erupted just before 2 a.m.
An investigation determined the fire was electrical due to a space heater plugged into an extension cord.
Relationships to be explored
Misericordia University will present “The Dark Side of Relationships: Why Do People Cheat?,” a lecture by social psychologist Gary W. Lewandowski Jr., April 8, from 5-5:50 p.m. in the Lemmond Theater in Walsh Hall.
The free presentation is co-sponsored by the Misericordia University Honors Program and Department of Psychology. It is open to the public.
Lewandowski is an associate professor and chair of the Department of Psychology, at Monmouth University in New Jersey.
FBI promotes area man
Wilkes-Barre native Edward J. Hanko has been named by FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III as the special agent in charge of the Philadelphia Division of the bureau.
Hanko most recently served as the chief of the special agent in charge of the Cincinnati Division and was responsible for FBI investigations in central and southern Ohio.
Hanko joined the FBI in 1986 and has been assigned field offices in Springfield, Ill., Newark, N.J., and Detroit. He also spent time at the Scranton Resident Agency, where he worked drug, organized crime and political corruption investigations. He was promoted to supervisory senior resident agent in August 2002 and managed investigations across all investigative programs.
Hanko also instructed new agents, police officers and Command Staff College attendees at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Va.
Hanko, who is married with three adult children, earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Baltimore in 1985. He served as an officer in the Baltimore City Police Department from 1981-86.
Deputy asks for bench trial
A county deputy sheriff charged with threatening to kill her ex-partner has requested a bench trial in her case.
Mary Jean Farrell, 52, of Arthur Circle, Mountain Top, appeared Monday in Luzerne County Court, where her attorney, Peter Paul Olszewski Jr., said his client has opted for a bench trial — a trial before a county judge — on charges of terroristic threats and harassment.
Farrell has been off duty for an undetermined period on a workers’ compensation claim.
According to court papers, on June 29, Johnson arrived at the Wright Township Police Department and said Farrell told their daughter that she was going to kill Johnson.
Johnson said Farrell drove by her home at least five times and began calling her on the phone, threatening to kill her.
Johnson and Farrell have been involved in a custody action for several years involving two children. Court records indicate Johnson is the natural mother of the two children.
Judge Joseph Sklarosky Jr. said he must first check his schedule before scheduling a trial. No date has yet been set.