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Issue Home October 8, 2002 Site Home

Drugs Or Cinders In Great Bend
Send All New Business To Montrose?
Five Prisoners Charged With Rioting
Court House Report
Gibson Barracks Report

The first meeting in October for the Great Bend Borough came to order on October 3, at 7:05 p.m. Vice- president Ray Holtzman brought the meeting to order with the pledge of allegiance to the American flag.

The council dismissed shortly thereafter for an executive secession on monetary disagreements and personnel issues. According to the press release that was issued after the secession, the mayor and solicitor met with an outside council to discuss monetary problems that the borough is having. The outside council was asked to leave part way through the meeting so they could discuss the personnel issue.

During the public comment session the borough worker gave the road report. He started by saying thank-you to the borough council and to all the taxpayers that made his work so much easier with the purchase of the new tractor. He went on to discuss the problems with people loitering around the borough building, for storing equipment and road material, and in the park after hours. The council decided to contact the state police and the local crime watch to inform them of the dusk to dawn rules of the park. They discussed hearsay on drug trafficking on or around borough property. They decided they would contact the police to do a drug search on the cinder pile due to some information they have received about people digging in the cinder pile late at night. He also discussed the need for cinders and stone. The cinders will be going out to bid in the near future, but the stone falls below the dollar amount that requires a bid.

Under old business, the problem with the trailer on Orchard Road that was discussed during the last meeting was cleared up with the removal of the structure.

The code enforcement report discussed an issue over cleaning up a property, but no names were mentioned out of common courtesy to the person in violation.

The vote was taken to approve the bills and the minutes from the last meeting. One of the council members asked why the bill was so high from Lindsey Oil Incorporated; the secretary/ treasurer explained that the borough had not paid any money on their account since June of this year.

The mayor used his time to compliment the borough employee on the way that the pavilion looks in the park and to pass along a thank-you from the sewer authority to the borough and the borough worker for working on Spring Street.

Estimates from the insurance company for repairs on the borough building, after a car ran into it, totaled at $6,000 for one contractor from Wilkes-Barre and $3,000 from Mr. Conklin.

The meeting ended and council adjourned at 8:10 p.m.

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Send All New Business To Montrose?

A letter read by Jason Taylor, director of the County Economic Development Department, at it EDD’s latest meeting and reported in last week’s issue of the Transcript, was addressed by New Milford Borough council members at its October meeting. The letter – a form letter circulating around the County seat and signed and sent by, it was said, at least a dozen residents – urges Taylor to try to have a Target store move into the soon-to-be-vacated Ames Store in Montrose, adding that "we need to keep any new store and other commerce and shops all going in Montrose – not New Milford."


For his part, the Transcript reported, Taylor reminded those who attended the EDD meeting that the Department works for the County and not just Montrose. New Milford council members were pleased to hear this, but nevertheless were concerned that some Montrose-area residents, in what appears to be an organized effort, would single out New Milford as a place where no new business should go, and Montrose a place where it "all" should.

Rick Ainey summarized council’s sentiment when he said, "I don’t think any community should step on another one to go forward. As a borough, we want to improve our community by aggressively encouraging growth. We recognize that others will do the same. But we don’t intend to downgrade or slight another community to do it."

At its next work session, Council plans on putting this response in writing in a letter to Taylor that will certainly include its appreciation of Taylor’s recognition that there are a lot of places in Susquehanna County other than Montrose.

Building Codes enforcement officer Shane Lewis was also on hand to report on his activities on behalf of the borough since council last met. His inspection report on a visit back to Cosmello’s junkyard shows that a fence still has not been put up. Lewis said he spoke with Mrs. Cosmello, who told him that because the junkyard is currently crushing cars, it didn’t want to put up the required fence until the crusher left. Once it did, she said, a fence would go up. She did not say when this might be. Additionally, she told Lewis that the land Cosmello’s recently leased from New Milford’s Municipal Authority would not be used for the junkyard.

The bottom line is that the junkyard still is in violation, but, with the junkyard now leasing additional property, Lewis will need to go back to see if that part of the property is enclosed, and where, and if the part considered a junkyard is fully enclosed. When he reports back to Council, and depending on what Lewis finds, Council will then decide what to do next. According to Lewis, it has two choices – give an extension until the car crusher leaves, or continue with the legal process involved with violations.

Lewis also reported on an inspection at the proposed bakery. Council member Jim Carr accompanied Lewis. Minor violations were found – "nothing major," according to Lewis. However, it appears that the bakery will not be opening after all.

The new Main Street pizza shop also got a visit from Lewis. He reported that it hopes to open in 2-3 weeks and is waiting for an occupancy permit from Labor and Industry. When it does, Lewis will do an inspection.

Before he left, Lewis noted that Borough guidelines seem to state that a complaint of possible Codes violation must be made in writing. He sometimes gets calls about possible violations, but thinks that when he tells callers that they need to go down to the Borough office and fill out a report, some never get made. Verbal complaints from residents and taxpayers, he said, can sometimes be just as important as written ones, and can be acted upon. Lewis noted that he believes New Milford is one of just a handful of municipalities that require a written complaint.

Council president Scott Smith thought that it was time that the Borough put together a written policy, rather than guidelines, about this and other Codes enforcement policy, and will address it further at its work session.

In other business, Council noted that a variance hearing is scheduled for October 10 at 7 p.m. in the Borough Building regarding the Baptist Church property. A Youth Advocate program is planned for the facility, which will need a variance for this kind of quasi-public use.

Bids were opened for the old cinder spreader for sale by the Borough, because a new one came with its new truck. Harvey Rosenkrans, whose $375 bid was the higher of the two received, will be notified.

And, with Halloween decorations on residents’ lawns, the topic of Christmas lights arose. Council member Jane Zick stated that the "lights we have are in bad shape and need rewiring," and other council members agreed. Talk ensued about lighting all of Main Street or just the park, but with wiring being an issue, the decision was made to do what needed to be done to light up the park and revisit the issue more broadly after the holidays.

Ainey reported on economic development and the Rail Authority, stating "there’s a company, Cooperative Feeds, that is looking to come to New Milford," and that the county "will fund a feasibility study for both passenger and freight service, with the New Milford site included in this review."

Council member Jim Carr received bids from Treebusters to remove stumps in Midtown Park as well as next to the parking area at the Borough Building. Treebusters also provided him with an estimate to remove stumps from around the church which is owned by Old Mill Village. After last month’s council meeting, some discovery was done, and the land on which the church rests is owned by Old Mill Village and not the borough, as some – including Old Mill Village – assumed. Council will ask Old Mill Village representatives if they want Treebusters to remove the stumps on their property, at their cost and not the Borough’s.

Council president Scott Smith reminded members that budget-making time was coming up. Looking to have a budget ready for the advertising, Ainey asked that members give Borough secretary Amy Hine their "wish list" for next year and for budget discussions.

The next regular meeting of the New Milford Borough Council is scheduled for November 7 at 7 p.m. in the Borough Building on Main Street.

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Five Prisoners Charged With Rioting

Five inmates of the Susquehanna County Correctional Facility will probably have more jail time tacked on their sentences following their arrests for participating in a Labor Day incident at the correctional facility.

The suspects, all of whom are listed as residents of the jail, include Mark C. Wagner, 21; George Louis Valentin, 31; Eric John Rogers, 19; Frank J. Cielieski, 21; and Michael Scott Cavalone, 20. A sixth suspect was also cited but the charges against him were dropped.

Trooper Ben Clark of the criminal investigation unit at Gibson said the complaints he signed against the defendants range from riot by participating in a course of disorderly conduct to criminal attempt to commit arson and causing or risking catastrophe.

Warden Bill Brennan said the incident, which he described as minor, occurred when a request by the prisoners in E-Block for a one-hour extension of the 10 p.m. lock down was denied. The lock down time is when the prisoners must leave the cell block and return to their individual cells.

Mr. Brennan said that on special occasions, such as the World Series or the Super Bowl for example, he might let the prisoners stay in the cell block until 11 p.m. On the night of September 2, he turned down their request. He said that after the prisoners were ordered from the cell block to their jail cells, they shouted profanities, kicked the cell doors, flooded toilets and tossed burning magazine pages and other items out of their cells.

There were six staff members on duty and they managed to squelch the brief uprising with no injuries and no monetary damages to the facility. At the time of the incident, there were 28 inmates in E-Block and 79 prisoners in the entire facility.

Mr. Brennan said he contacted State Police and they launched an investigation into the incident. He said troopers conducted interviews at the jail and advised him that charges would be filed.

In affidavits of probable cause, Trooper Clark said the five defendants were all incarcerated in E-Block. He said several inmates were yelling that they were not going to lock down and attempted to enlist others to resist the guards.

Trooper Clark noted that corrections officers entered the cell block to make certain the inmates entered their cells. Besides shouting profanities, Trooper Clark’s report indicates that a female corrections officer was cursed and verbally threatened.

Individual charges filed against the defendants include: Mark Wagner: riot by participating with two or m ore officers in a course of disorderly conduct with intend to commit or facilitate the commission of a felony or misdemeanor; criminal attempt to commit arson; causing or risking catastrophe; recklessly endangering another person; and disorderly conduct; George Louis Valentin: intent to prevent official action and disorderly conduct; Eric John Rogers, Frank J. Cielieski and Michael Scott Cavalone, riot with intent to commit a felony.

At press time, no arraignment dates had been set for the five suspects.

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Court House Report


William James Roy Jr., 33, Susquehanna Borough, and Patricia L. Payne, 30, Susquehanna Borough.

Kevin Benjamin Visavati, 32, Springville Township, and Tammie Rae Johnson, 37, Springville Township.

George Mark Payne, 46, Gibson Township, and Dawn R. Latwinski, 37, Gibson Township.


Thomas Pennay and Evelyn Pennay, Stephen Pennay and Robyn Pennay and Robert Powers and Barbara Powers to Robert A. Pennay and Rosalie B. Pennay in Harford Township for $1.

Llewellyn L. Ellis, as attorney in fact for Joann C. Ellis, aka Joann Ellis and Llewellyn L. Ellis to Terry L. Severcool in Choconut Township for $1.

Phyllis Wellerson aka Phyllis M. Wellerson and Theodore R. Wellerson to Michael Downend and Karen Blomain in Herrick Township for $108,000.

Gloria Gomez to Christopher Conrad in UnionDale Borough for $30,000.

Joseph M. Perillo to Patrick J. Clark & Patricia H. Clark in Jackson and Ararat Townships for $125,000.

Jeffrey D. Hoal by his Attorney in fact Leslie Ann Hoal aka Leslie Ann Hoal to Erin Blaisure in Bridgewater Township for $25,000.

George Dale Howell to Joyce Meder in Auburn Township for $57,000.

Mary Ann Martin to Theron Page, Sr. and Lee Ann Page in New Milford Township for $84,000.

Ella L. Darrow and Robert E. Darrow to Sammuel Finch in Franklin Township for bluestone mining operation.

Scott R. Legg to Karen T. Deasy in Choconut Township for $68,000.

Richard J. Fiechtner and Vivian D. Fiechtner to Fiechtner Family Living Trust in Herrick Township for no consideration.

Ray O. Hardic and Carol J. Hardic to Ray O. Hardic and Carol J. Hardic and Lawrence Hardic and Donald Hardic in Rush Township for $1.

Violet R. Behler to Charles Gilbert and Patricia Gilbert in Dimock Township for $10,000.

Dawn M. Puorro and John J. Washburn, Jr. in Clifford Township for $1.

Earl L. Rosenkrans, Sr. to Roger A. Finker and Kathleen T. Rinker in Forest Lake Township for $22,000.

Lawrence M. Grasso, Trustee of the Lawrence M. Grasso Revocable Living Trust to Thomas I. Aldrich and Rita D. Aldrich in Jackson Township for $45,000.

Eugene F. Berardo and Audrey L. Berardo and Richard G. Berardo and Joan Berardo to Robert L. Aumack and Jessica M. Aumack in Thompson Township for $25,000.

Marie Lahoda to William R. Lahoda in Clifford Township for $1.

Michael C. Soloman aka Michael C. Solomon and Mary Louise Soloman aka Mary Louise Solomon to Michael C. Solomon and Mary Louise Solomon in Jackson Township for $1.

John F. Hinkle to Scott D. Johnson and Mary Beth Johnson in Silver Lake Township for $22,000.

Peter S. Andre and Michelle M. Andre to Rolanda Port in Liberty Township for $270,000.

Walter Wartman to Frank Payne Excavating in Franklin Township for bluestone mining operation.

Lawrence T. O'Reilly and Christine M. O'Reilly to Robert W. Diehl, Jr. and Melanie L. Diehl in Oakland Township for $160,940.

Lance M. Benedict, Sheriff, to Altegra Credit Company in Harmony Township for $86,000.

Michael B. Davenport and Kimberly A. Davenport to Robert C. Wert and Grace E. Wert in Montrose Borough for $67,000.

Gary E. Lewis and Judy L. Lewis to Kenneth G. McGrath and Louise A. McGrath in Great Bend Township for $106,000.

Leonard V. Ingrando and Suzanne Ingrando to Margaret E. Roach in Bridgewater Township for $120,000.

Joan S. Walworth and Richard L. Walworth to Richard L. Walworth in New Milford Township for $1.

Richard J. Blazer to George Loubet and Branda Loubet in Springville Township for $60,000.

Lance M. Benedict, Sheriff, to Altegra Credit Company in Apolacon Township for $4,259.87.

Gerald R. Pennay, Jr. to Michael J. Norton and Deborah Lynn Norton in Hop Bottom Borough for $85,000.

Thomas P. Woychio to Skip M. Tracy in Jackson Township for $10,500.

Patrick M. Sill and Jean Sill to Derrick William Jayne in Auburn Township for $74,222.46 for agreement for the sale of land.

Edwin H. Sonabend as Grantor-Trustee of the Edwin H. Sonabend Declaration of Trust to Richard T. Matthews and Theresa M. Matthews in Silver Lake Township for $205,000.

Donald Haley to Kenneth W. Bitler and Sandy L. Bitler in Harmony Township for $22,000.

Larry G. Carlson and Katherine M. Carlson to James B. Farrell in Herrick Township for $20,500.

John Valinski and Ann Valinski to Gary J. Weber and Mary C. Weber in Clifford Township for $139,000.

David West, POA for Alice West to Jerome Michael Washo, Sr. and Dawn Llewellyn Washo in Montrose Borough for $59,000.

Warren D. Long to Dolores Goff in Great Bend Township for $1 for easement for water line.

George W. McClure, Executor of the Estate of James E. McClure to Russell E. Leichliter and Ruth H. Leichliter and Daniel Leichliter in Lanesboro Borough for $35,000.

Naomi Wenzel to Diane Milne in Hallstead Borough for $53,000.

David B. Humbert and Connie F. Humbert to James D. Thomas, Jr. and Carrie A. Thomas in Hallstead Borough for $80,000.

Gregory C. Hellmuth and Karen L. Hellmuth to Stephen A. McCormack in Forest Lake Township for $152,000.

Ellis C. Kent, by his attorneys-in-fact, Janet Rozell and Judy D. Inman to Janet Rozell and Judy D. Inman in Bridgewater Township for $1 ogvc.

Herbert J. Darch and Bruce Carey, Executor of the Estate of Ellsworth R. Carey to Todd W. Smith and Heather A. Smith in Bridgewater Township by court order.

Bruce Carey, Executor of the Estate of Ellsworth R. Carey, aka E. R. Carey to Todd W. Smith and Heather A. Smith in Bridgewater Township for $1 ogvc.

Jason R. Holgate and Carlie E. Holgate to Kenneth F. Perry, Sr. in Gibson Township for $43,500.

Bradley L. Marcy and Joy J. Marcy and Mark A. Marcy and Lori A. Marcy to Matthew D. Marcy in Lenox Township for $50,000.

Gregory C. Hellmuth and Karen L. Hellmuth to Eric Hellmuth in Forest Lake Township for $1.

Warren D. Long to David Eddleston and Susan Eddleston in Great Bend Township for $33,500.

David P. Butler and Jackie G. Butler to Douglas J. Campbell in Jessup Township for $24,900.

Dawn Lehoczky to George Lehoczky Sr. and Carol R. Lahoczky in Jackson Township for $1.

Doris E. Washburn to Doris E. Washborn and Caren E. Henry in Oakland Borough for $1.

Doris E. Washburn to Doris E. Washburn and Connie R. Henry-Groover in Oakland Borough for $1.

Fred C. Lyon to Michael J. McGuigan in Lenox Township for $47,900.

James Kernan to Matt Vandemark in Auburn Township for bluestone mining operation.

Edwin G. Lawrence and Joan A. Lawrence to Winding River Grove Sportsmans Club, Inc. in Great Bend Township for $16,500.

Kevin Reuss to Kevin Reuss and Diane M. Von Ahnen in Harford Township for $1.

Werner Bohmert, Executor of the Estate of August W. Menke to John E. Knight and Denice Knight in Jackson Township for $18,000.

Frances M. Tomlinson to Diana Lemchak in Middletown Township for $110,000.

M. Kimbel Harwood and Kathleen L. Harwood to Kenneth Newman and Joan Newman in Jessup Township for $145,000.

Lance M. Benedict, Sheriff, to Merrill Lynch Mortgage Capital in Thompson Township for $40,000.

Mickey A. Powers and Sharyn L. Powers to Eric C. Powers in Franklin Township for $26,096.36.

Rita A. Powers, trustee of the Ronald W. Powers and Rita A. Powers Revocable Trust to Charles P. Kaskey in Middletown Township for $24,900.

Judith M. Hackett to Stanley M. Hackett and Elizabeth A. Hackett in Silver Lake Township for $1 ogvc.

Sharla B. Lewis to Randy K. Lewis and Sharla B. Lewis in Franklin Township for $1 ogvc.

Irene Romeo to Irene Romeo in Clifford Township for $1.

Ruthann Gillman and Buddy J. VanLuvanee, Sr., Co-Administrators of the Estate of Bertha VanLuvanee to Julie Gillman in Brooklyn Township for $1 ogvc.

Raymond L. Rudolph and Frances J. Rudolph to J. Parker Properties, LLC in Oakland Borough for $21,000.

Richard Hadlick and Corina Hadlick to Janet Rosenkrans in Hallstead Borough for $24,000.

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Gibson Barracks Report


The American Legion Post 357, Great Bend Township, was entered forcibly on September 29 at 2:50 a.m. An alarm was sounded as entry was made. Stolen items are yet to be determined during the continuing investigation.


A wooden door at the rear entrance to the New Milford Market, New Milford Borough, was damaged as someone attempted to pry open the door, but no entry was made. The incident occurred on September 23 between 1:00 and 2:00 a.m. Anyone with information is asked to contact the PA State Police at 570-465-3154 and refer to Incident # R05-0482765.


Heather Carter, 22, RR 1, Laceyville, drove her 2000 Dodge Avenger through a posted stop sign at the intersection of State Routes 3001 and 3005, Auburn Township, and into the path of a 1997 Suzuki Samuri driven by Hope M. Smith, 30, Laceyville. Smith was turning onto 3005 from 3001. Carter received a minor injury, while Smith had moderate injuries and was transported to Tyler Memorial Hospital, Tunkhannock.

Carter was cited for a stop sign violation and Smith was cited for not having valid insurance for her vehicle. This incident occurred at 2:30 p.m. on September 29.


No injuries occurred when Minor R. Peterson, 79, Collindale, driving a 1998 Chevy, was traveling south on State Route 171, Harmony Township. He turned left in an attempt to reach a driveway across the road, and drove into the path of Carl L. Hennmann, 33, Starrucca, who was passing Peterson at the time. The accident occurred on September 27 at 1:15 p.m.


Ruth Kennedy, 78, Kingsley, failed to negotiate her 2000 Mitsubishi Galant around a curve and her vehicle left the roadway on September 26 at 2:20 p.m. The vehicle struck a wire guide rail and rolled down an embankment off State Route 106, Lenox Township. Kennedy sustained moderate injury.


Someone entered the Village of Four Seasons, State Route 374, Herrick Township, through the rear gate off Bunnell Farm Rd. and entered three homes removing items from each. The burglars then fled the scene in a blue vehicle in this incident which occurred between 4:00 p.m. on September 18 and 7:00 a.m. the next morning. Anyone with information is asked to call the PA State Police at 570-465-3154.


A windshield was damaged in a 2002 Volvo tractor-trailer when Clifford Russell, 54, Farmingdale, NY, was traveling south on Interstate 81, Lenox Township, on September 23 at 4:49 p.m. A turkey flew into the windshield and smashed through it, causing minor scratches to the driver.


Craig James Anderson, 22, RR #3, Hallstead, was arrested on September 25 at 10:20 a.m. along the railroad tracks north of State Route 1033, Great Bend Township. He was arraigned before District Justice Watson Dayton who denied bail for Anderson, who was committed to the Susquehanna County Jail.


A press release, dated September 24, from the Dunmore office, announced the arrest of Sara Betsy Schlegel, 52, Carbondale. At approximately 10:40 a.m. an employee of the Endless Mountains Pharmacy, Clifford Township, noticed a woman (Schlegel) walk past the front of the store wearing a mask. The woman then began entering the store and pointed a white plastic bag, which appeared to contain a handgun, toward the employee.

The employee then pushed the woman out of the store and began to pursue her on foot. She subsequently tackled the woman and solicited assistance from other citizens who assisted in detaining Schlegel until PA State Police arrived.

A subsequent interview revealed that Schlegel was attempting to obtain the pain killer oxycondin. According to the press release, she is charged with criminal attempt/robbery, a felony 2, which carries a maximum ten years imprisonment.


An unknown driver in an unknown vehicle lost control of a vehicle on State Route 4007, Choconut Township on September 15, sometime between midnight and 11:54 a.m., and collided with a parked vehicle belonging to Deloes Quinn, Friendsville. Quinn's 1989 Plymouth sustained minor damage. Anyone with information is asked to contact the PA State Police at 570-465-3154.

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