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The meeting of the Harford Township Supervisors on August 26 covered considerable territory, however briefly. These "second meetings of the month" don't bother with considering old minutes, or bills, or treasurer's reports. This one jumped right into the sewer with a briefing by Carl Shiner, representing David Klepadlo Associates, engineers for the township sewer system. Mr. Shiner presented some documents that will allow work to proceed on relocating part of the sewer main line in the village. Moving the sewer line will make room for a PENNDOT bridge project over Leslie Creek. According to Mr. Shiner, about 240 feet of the sewer pipe will be involved. He said that only about 80 feet of that will be in the state right of way, which is reimbursable by the state at 90 percent. The rest is fully reimbursable. Mr. Shiner said the bridge was a "pretty involved project," and that the sewer realignment will require some small easements from affected property owners in the village. The sewer work is expected to begin very soon.
Supervisor Terry Van Gorden reported a discussion with PENNDOT workers about the intersections in the middle of the village, and the placement of traffic control devices otherwise known as stop signs. Several times over the past few years a stop sign has been proposed for the lower side of Market Street where it meets Tingley Lake Road. No one could be found who remembered a stop sign ever being there. PENNDOT is recommending that the stop sign on Tingley Lake Road (a state road) at Market Street be removed, making that portion a "through road" to the second sign at Main Street/Route 547. They also indicated that stop signs should be placed on township roads where they meet state roads. PENNDOT also recommends removing the planters along the street edging the parking lot next to the Odd Fellows Hall. They suggest that parking only be allowed in that location on the back side of the lot, next to the building. At the last meeting the Supervisors agreed to remove some of the trees. This time Mr. Van Gorden and Supervisor Rick Pisasik agreed to allow the Harford Fire Company to take all of the plantings for its new firehouse on Fair Ground Hill. Mr. Van Gorden is a long-time member of the Fire Company.
Mr. Van Gorden also reported several complaints about bees at the Odd Fellows Hall. The building now sports a large plywood patch on one end put up several years ago to try to fix the last infestation. Mr. Van Gorden said that one outfit quoted a price of $225 to remove the bees if a ladder wouldn't be required. He also contacted the Penn State Extension Service, which recommended only one apiary in the area, which wouldn't do the job because of liability issues. Others have offered to exterminate the bees, but Mr. Pisasik asked that extermination be considered only if someone could not be found to remove the bees "for a reasonable fee."
Mr. Van Gorden also reported complaints about cars parking along the edges of Tingley Lake Road, and along Main Street in front of the Post Office, often blocking traffic on the two major routes through the village. He asked permission to request that PENNDOT consider installing no- parking signs in those locations. He noted that the stone wall along the road across from the post office is actually in the state right-of-way. Mr. Pisasik was concerned that if no-parking signs were put up near the post office, that the Postal Service would have yet another excuse to consider closing the historic little post office.
Mr. Pisasik reported that the township's health insurance carrier (Blue Cross) has announced a 15 percent increase in premium for the township's employees. He asked the township secretary to investigate a "preferred provider" plan that might save the township and its employees more money.
The Harford Township Supervisors some of them, anyway meet in public session on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month, beginning at 7:30 p.m., at the township building on Route 547.
An 18-year-old Carbondale man will spend the next two months to 12 months in the Susquehanna County Jail following his arrest for criminal incidents in the Borough of Forest City.
Harrison Carpenter will be given credit for time served but he must also pay $850 in fines plus restitution and court costs and perform 50 hours of community service. He was charged with theft by unlawful taking, simple assault and criminal mischief.
According to an affidavit of probable cause, on June 14 shortly after 5 p.m., Carpenter and several friends came to Forest City. They stopped in front of the Red Cross Pharmacy, which was closed at the time.
Carpenter and another friend got out of the car and approached the drug store where Carpenter proceeded to punch the glass door, breaking it and touching off the alarm. The pair retreated to the car and drove away. However, witnesses gave police a description of the car and the suspects who approached the drug store.
A second affidavit of probable cause states that a few minutes later the same car was observed on Dundaff Street where two juveniles were walking and one of them was carrying a pizza. The car turned around and Carpenter got out of the vehicle, approached the two youths and demanded the pizza. He then struck the two juveniles and took the pizza.
Meanwhile, Forest City police were heading east on Dundaff Street enroute to the drug store incident when the two juveniles flagged them down. Carpenter threw the pizza to the ground and ran north on Susquehanna Street. One of the police officers recognized Carpenter and the suspect was subsequently arrested.
Along with the sentence, Susquehanna County President Judge Kenneth W. Seamans ordered Carpenter to obey a 10 p.m. curfew, obtain a GED diploma, and not to transport, consume or possess any alcoholic beverages.
Judge Seamans also handed out the following sentences:
Harry Eugene Stanley, Sr., 59, of Montrose, 22 months to 44 months in the Susquehanna County Jail for aggravated indecent assault in Rush Township on Aug. 1. He was also given a one year to five year suspended jail term and will be on probation for five years when he is released from prison on another charge of indecent assault. He must also pay a fine of $2,500 and perform 100 hours of community service, cannot have any contact with his victim or anyone under 18, and must undergo treatments for sex offenders.
Joseph Anthony Fiorentino, 32, of South Montrose, suspended jail term of one month to 12 months for possession of drug paraphernalia in Dimock on March 8, 2003. He was fined $200 and must perform 25 hours of community service. He was also given a suspended jail sentence of one month to 12 months and fined $200 for simple assault in Dimock on May 25, 2003; and, he was fined $200 for possession of a small amount of a controlled substance in Dimock on June 24, 2003.
Ryan Harold Groover, 22, of South Montrose, one month to 15 months in the Susquehanna County Jail, with credit for time served, for criminal trespass of a private residence in Dimock on June 12, 2003. He was also fined $250, must pay $1,050 in restitution, and perform 50 hours of community service.
Bobby Howey, 25, of Montrose, two months to 15 months in the county jail for theft by deception in Montrose on May 10, 2003. His sentence will begin after completion of any current sentence he is now serving. He was also fined $150, must pay $248 in restitution, and perform 50 hours of community service.
Thomas A. Whipple, 23, of Montrose, suspended jail term of three months to 12 months and fined $250 for possession of drug paraphernalia in Springville on May 27, 2003. He must also perform 25 hours of community service.
Robert William Staff, 34, of Montrose two months to 15 months in the county jail for escape in Bridgewater Twp. on May 26, 2003. The sentence will run concurrent with a jail term he is now serving. He also received a concurrent jail sentence of 1 month to 12 months for drunk driving in Bridgewater Twp. on Sept. 20, 2002, fines and other fees totaling $1,050, and must do 50 hours of community service.
Amanda Burns, 21, of Binghamton, NY, suspended jail sentence of one month to 12 months and fined $150 for theft by deception in Great Bend on Oct. 13, 2002. She must do 25 hours of community service.
A Forest City man was jailed last week after he failed to post $75,000 straight bail following his arrest on numerous charges of sexual abuse.
Eugene Cintron, 38, of 508 Delaware Street, was remanded to the Susquehanna County Jail to await further court action on hundreds of counts filed against him by Forest City Police Chief Paul Lukus. Specifically, he has been charged with rape, statutory sexual assault, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault, indecent assault, endangering the welfare of children and corruption of minors. No date has been set for his next court appearance.
According to an affidavit of probable cause, on July 22, Carol Lyman of the Susquehanna County Children and Youth visited Forest City Police Headquarters and reported she had received a report of abuse of a child living in Forest City. During an interview at police headquarters, the victim alleged that the abuse had been going on for a number of years.
The suspect has maintained his innocence but he did tell Lukus that he is on medication for depression. He said he may have been under the influence of the medication and did not know what he was doing.
John Felix Rubio, 47, Hoisington, KS, and Bonnie L. Cokely, 49, Rush Township.
Gordon N. Labarre, 39, Windsor, NY, and Catherine J. Miszewski, 48, Windsor, NY.
Thomas D. Jenkins, 28, Thompson Township, and Jacqueline A. O'Donnell, 24, Endicott, NY.
Joseph A. Monteforte, 40, New Milford Township, and Linda L. Hays, 46, New Milford Township.
Edward Jason Gerchak, 19, Rush Township, and Stacy L. Chapman, 30, Rush Township.
Thomas Edward Gallagher, 50, New Milford Township, and Denise Anne Kauffman, 48, New Milford Township.
Herbert Floyd Traver, Jr., 23, Friendsville Borough, and Amber Brook Cobb, 23, Friendsville Borough.
Noah Wesley Goff, 37, Franklin Township, and Carol Ann Nichols, 37, Franklin Township.
Reid Anthony Whipple, 25, Rush Township, and Ashley Mae Rundell, 16, Rush Township.
John Watson to Michael R. Garrahan, Jr. in Middletown Township for bluestone mining operation.
Ocwen Federal Bank, FSB. to Richard N. Lewis and Mary T. Lewis in Bridgewater Township for $110,000.
Peter Misurea, Jr. and Christine A. Kristoff to Patrick Hadley and Jane Hadley in New Milford Township for $83,000.
PENNDOT to Donna Fekette/Thomas Lapatofsk (sic) in Lathrop Township for highway occupancy permit.
Willard R. Rockefeller to Gregory D. Rockefeller and Michael R. Garrahan in Middletown Township for bluestone mining operation.
Dale Wells and Veronica Wells and Stephen T. Wells to Stephen T. Wells in Rush Township for $1.
Kevin J. Cowperthwait & Daphne Cowperthwait to Michael T. Caro and Carrie A. Troup in Oakland Township for $265,000.
Lyle G. Place and Mary M. Place to George H. Johnson in Auburn Township for $1.
Beverly S. Raker to Boyd W. Raub and Rose Raub in Lenox Township for one dollar and other good and valuable consideration.
Edward J. Sherry and Betty J. Sherry to Angela K. Michaliga in Hallstead Borough for $102,000.
Leslie M. Evans and Joan M. Evans to Douglas L. Steen, Jr. and Jody M. Steen in Apolacon Township for $1.
North-Eastern Pennsylvania Telephone Company to United States of American at Elk Mountain for land lease off airport.
Cicifinancial Mortgage Company, Inc., FKA Associates Consumer Discount Company to Thomas Opalka in Ararat Township for $49,500.
Lance M. Benedict, Sheriff, to Washington Mutual Bank, FA, in Bridgewater Township for $2,747.55.
Thomas E. Kingston and Angela S. Kingston to Angela S. Kingston in Jackson Township for $1 ogvc.
Thomas P. Kameen and James J. Kameen to David Fitch in Forest City Borough for $35,000.
Pedro J. Munoz to Jorge L. Mercado in Lenox Township for $195,000.
Donnamarie Sexton nbm Donnamarie Black and Stephen Black to Francis Samoleski in Herrick Township for $13,000.
Byron J. Gustafson to James L. DeCoe and Rudolph J. Sumpter in Gibson Township for $310,000.
Robert J. Derby and Janice C. Derby to Glynis A. Morgan in Dimock Township for $98,000.
Louis R. Rulli and Elizabeth A. Rulli to Kevin R. Cleary and Alice S.Cleary in Ararat Township for $39,000.
Edward J. Pearsall and Brenda L. Pearsall to Edward J. Pearsall and Brenda L. Pearsall in Forest City Borough for $1.
Warren White and Sandra White, nbm Sandra White Peters to John P. Kelley in Clifford Township for $30,000.
Kenneth G. Corwin, Jr. and Aryle S. Corwin to Ralph Aspling and Carol L. Aspling in Little Meadows Borough for $95,000.
James A. McClean and Virginia A. McClean to Edward J. Snee and Stephanie J. Weber in Forest Lake Township for $46,500.
Lawrence T. O'Reilly and Christine M. O'Reilly to Peter E. Giannone and Erin C. Giannone in Silver Lake Township for $1 ogvc.
Jean Clayton Nanius to Kristin Carrea in Herrick Township for $60,000.
Jean Clayton Nanius to Kristin Carrea in Herrick Township for $25,000.
Geoffrey Lay and Ann Marie Lay to Geoffrey F. Lay and Ann Marie Lay in Rush Township for $1 ogvc.
Mildred Graham to Michael Landy and Maria Landy in Clifford Township for $9,000.
Douglas S. McKeeby and Amy M. McKeeby to Amy M. McKeeby in Montrose Borough for $1.
John Sholtis and Darleen Sholtis to Thomas J. Chamberlain and Christine Chamberlain in Susquehanna Borough for $22,500.
Dawn E. Schoner, nbm Dawn Schoner Mansfield and Kevin W. Mansfield to Dawn Schoner Mansfield and Kevin W. Mansfield in Great Bend Township for $1.
Walter E. Wisniowski and Eris A. Wisniowski to Jason Pappanastasiou in Harford Township for $46,000. Scott A. Weida and Manday L. Weida to Scott A. Weida and Manday L. Weida in Lenox Township for $1.
Janice M. Biggs and Robert C. Biggs to Scott A. Weida and Mandy L. Weida in Lenox Township for $41,759.04.
Sharon A. Perry nbm Sharon A. Glover and Todd M. Glover to Roy Williams in Susquehanna Borough for $5,000.
Marie Delaney and James D. Delaney to Marie Delaney and James D. Delaney and Marel A. Delaney in Thompson for $1.
Janice M. Biggs and Robert C. Biggs to Orval D. Page and Rose C. Page in Lenox Township for $70,320.
Janice M. Biggs and Robert C. Biggs to Janice M. Biggs and Robert C. Biggs in Lenox Township for $1.
Janice M. Biggs and Robert C. Biggs to Ruth A. Taugher in Lenox Township for $1.
George Petrak and Louella A. Petrak to Frank Scarola and Providence Scarola in Montrose Borough for $79,500.
Thomas G. Statzell to Thomas G. Statzell and Patricia Betz in New Milford Township for $1 (transfer tax paid on 50 percent of fair market of $92,820).
Thomas J. O'Reilly to Robert S. Ackley and Suzan M. Ackley in Dimock Township for $70,000.
Stanley S. Godshall and Rebecca Godshall to Lisa Welsher in Liberty Township for $212,800.
On August 21 at 6:00 p.m., Brandon Decker's (19, South Gibson) vehicle was stopped in the roadway by two separate vehicles, by boxing in his vehicle. Decker was assaulted by Darryl Barney, 27, Carbondale, and several others, at State Route 106, Lenox Township. Decker was pulled into the passenger side of his own truck and Barney entered the driver's seat of Decker's vehicle and drove Decker to a business in Carbondale. In the rear of this business, Decker was assaulted by Barney and several others with their fists and a baseball bat. Decker was then released. Barney was arrested by warrant at his residence in Carbondale on August 23, and arraigned before District Justice Watson Dayton on the following charges: kidnaping, robbery of motor vehicle, theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property, simple assault, terroristic threats, false imprisonment and conspiracy to commit theft from motor vehicle. Bail was set at $200,000 and Barney was incarcerated in the Susquehanna County Jail, after he was unable to post bail, to await his preliminary hearing. A second arrest was made on August 26 on the kidnapping/assault case. Frank Beader, 23, Carbondale, was charged with criminal conspiracy to the following: kidnaping, robbery of motor vehicle, theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property, false imprisonment, and was also charge with aggravated assault, theft from a motor vehicle, receiving stolen property, and simple assault. Beader was incarcerated in the Susquehanna County Jail on $10,000 bail. An investigation is continuing by PA State Police, Gibson.
On August 21 between noon and 7:15 p.m., someone entered Norman Jensen's (Kingsley) garage on State Route 106, a half mile west of State Route 92, Lenox Township, by pushing open a locked wooden door and, once inside, scattered Jensen's belongings about the inside. Anyone with information is asked to contact the PA State Police, Gibson, at 570-465-3154.
On August 23 at 7:50, a white male operating an unknown make and model pickup truck, possibly blue in color, stopped at State Route 106, approximately one quarter mile west of State Route 92 at the Edgewood Orchards business, Lenox Township, then proceeded to a wood-constructed sign, and removed it from its mooring posts. This person then placed it into the back of the pickup truck and drove east on State Route 106. The sign has "Edgewood Orchards" printed upon it, three apples pictured at the bottom, a winter scene at the top and below this, with the name of the victim, Edward Everett (RD#1, Kingsley) printed within a banner. Anyone with information pertaining to this crime is asked to contact the PA State Police at 570-465-3154.
Randley Gonzalez, 26, Palisades Park, NJ, lost control of his 1993 Mazda Miata at the intersection of State Routes 2046 and 1001, Gibson Township. The vehicle traveled off the roadway and struck the rear of a parked 1991 Mercury Sable owned by Harold Daniels, Thompson. No one was injured in this accident which occurred on August 23 at 4:20 p.m.
State Route 92, Jackson Township, was the location of an accident on August 21 at 7:30 p.m. Camille Conaway, 65, Philadelphia, was driving northbound and pulled onto the shoulder of the roadway to avoid two southbound tractor trailers and was struck from behind by Daniel Enyant, 45, Windsor, NY. Donald Carroll, 25, Susquehanna, then struck Enyant's vehicle from behind. No injuries were indicated.
THEFT BY UN LAWFUL TAKING/RECEIVING STOLEN PROPERTY/THEFT BY DECEPTION
On August 3 at 10:00 a.m., Jeffrey Lynn Braman, Kirkwood, NY, removed a metal utility trailer from the Maureen Warren property, Creek Rd., Harford Township. Braman backed into the Warren property and hooked up to the trailer using his 1989 maroon Chevy pick-up truck, then drove to State Route 171 and sold the trailer to John Park, Susquehanna. Braman then fled the area. On August 12, Braman was taken into custody by the Broome County Sheriff's office where he waived extradition and was returned to Pennsylvania, and arraigned before District Justice Gene Franklin. Bail was set at $30,000, and failing to post bail, Braman was committed to the Susquehanna County Jail, with a preliminary hearing set for Sept. 3 at 9:30.
MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT
Marie Laguerre, Hempstead, NY, lost control of her 2003 Ford Taurus, Hertz Rental Co., and struck a guide rail on Interstate 81, New Milford Township, on August 20 at 3:17 p.m. No injuries resulted.
Someone arrived at Township Route 510, Dimock Township, on August 9 and damaged a shed belonging to Lewis Marlin, Perkasie. Anyone with information is asked to contact the PA State Police at Gibson at 570-465-3154.
TRAFFIC COLLISION HIT & RUN
A 4-door, Ford pickup truck, dark in color, struck Ronald Malinchak's (RR1, Carbondale) vehicle parked in Chet's parking lot, Township Route 582, Herrick Township, then the driver left the scene. Anyone with information is asked to contact the PA State Police at 570-465-3154.
Between August 7 - 14, someone entered a residence on Washburn Rd., New Milford Township, belonging to Donald Lake, Sr, and removed two firearms, a Ruger Super Red Hawk stainless steel .44 mag and a Remington model 7600 rife, .280 cal. Anyone with information is asked to contact the PA State Police, Gibson at 570-465-3154.
Jeffrey Branning, 46, Susquehanna, suffered head injuries in an August 24 accident on Westfall Ave, Oakland Township, in a 1989 Chevy S-10. An investigation is continuing.
On August 21 between noon and 7:15 p.m., someone broke into a garage, belonging to Norman Jensen, on State Route 106, about a half mile west of State Route 92, Lenox Township. Removed were a wide assortment of hand tools, a Sony CD AM/FM player, 52 CDs plus several ladders, an air compressor and many other items. Anyone with information is asked to contact the PA State Police at 570-465-3154.
On August 27 at 6:30, Raymond A. Barney, 60, Brackney, was found dead in his residence in Silver Lake Township. The incident is currently under investigation by the PA State Police and the Susquehanna County Coroner.
HIT & RUN COLLISION
Peggy Wagner, RR1, Lawton, had her Pontiac Sunfire parked (unoccupied) off the east berm of State Route 858, about a half mile north of State Route 706, Rush Township, on August 13. An unknown driver of an unknown vehicle exited the roadway and struck Wagner's car, then fled the scene. Anyone with information please contact the PA State Police at 570-465-3154 and refer to RO5-0510185.
Brian Davies, Binghamton, NY, was taken to CMC after an uninvolved vehicle pulled out from a stop sign, causing Davies to swerve, hit a bank and his 1990 Chevy went over onto its side. The incident occurred on August 2 at 2:20 p.m. on State Route 29 at Liberty Park Rd., Liberty Township.
Lake Waiting On Repairs
Elk Lake School Board held a meeting last week, with school scheduled to open the next day. Among things still not ready for students were the tennis courts which were to be done a few weeks ago, but which the company now said would be completed by the end of the week. Yet to be done is painting and fencing.
Near the gym, the lift is still not functional for those with disabilities. The district is still waiting for parts, and for Labor & Industry to come and do their inspection. Superintendent Bush said that a call to Labor & Industry determined that the agency is two months behind schedule in their work.
The boiler replacement still has not been given a shipping date, nor have the cafeteria parts or new steamer been received yet. All are on order.
Mary Berg was hired as an emotional support associate at $6.40 an hour. Three teachers received permanent contracts (tenure): Darin Garges (math), Fred Hein (social studies) and Doug Sterner (chemistry). The new part time job of substitute caller (to call subs to replace teachers unable to show up for work) will be done by Sue Heed with a $3000 stipend.
Some of the items within the school that are being worked on due to a consultant's recommendation are the linking of fire alarms with the Susquehanna County Emergency Management Center (9-1-1). Security systems will be strengthened for better safety, and location of defibrillators will be reviewed in an attempt to make them more accessible for every part of the school and grounds within three minutes of an incident.
The attendance policy that was reviewed at the last meeting was passed with a minor change. Students that get to school after 9:30 or leave before 1:30 will be considered absent for a half day. Those with unexcused absences above 10 days will have letters sent to parents, with a mandatory parent conference with the principal. Additional unexcused absences may result in 16 years and younger students going before the district justice, while 17 year olds can be suspended and with further violations can be withdrawn from the school rolls.
One student was approved as a tuition student (one was not), and two as guardianship students.
Rates for the teachers in the summer learning academy, which had only four students this season were set at $25 an hour. It was held for three hours a day, for three weeks. Three teachers were on the payroll, which is paid for through a federal program. Next year the program will be expanded, to coincide with summer school.
Substitute salaries will remain the same as last school year, with $70 for subs who work 1-90 days, while those with 91 or more days will received $110 a day.
The senior "corn" fund-raiser is still in progress. As of the board meeting, students had sold over 300 dozen ears, with more expected to be picked and sold on Friday afternoon in time for the Labor Day weekend. Board member Chuck Place supplies the land and seed for the project.
Board member Kevin Pierson asked what the policy was regarding AP courses. High School Principal Ken Cuomo said that students need an A in the subject area, with an overall 90 average. This is mainly for juniors who wish to take junior AP courses, but once in AP classes, then students can choose to continue or not.
Susquehanna County's United Way wants to make a presentation before the board to try to get donations through payroll deduction. Discussion focused on how hard/easy it might be to do it through the payroll office. Business Manager Kim Hollister thought a one time donation might be better, so that things weren't changing all the time, because as she said, you always have to allow for changes if they have a regular deduction.
During the Career & Technology Center meeting, Bush gave an update on the building project, since Director Alice Davis was not present. He said that the next question is whether the storage building should be insulated. It has plumbing, bathrooms, and so should probably be insulated. However, Place noted that he'd like to see something with more information, like costs, because insulation implied a heating system, sheet rock, and overhead doors that are insulated. One board member said he also wanted more information because this building is "nickel and diming us."
Candace Jones, a classroom associate with the food service production was given a 4-month unpaid medical leave. Consultants Ken Kirk and Jackie Stash, were approved for re-hire for the school year. They work with the school to maximize grant applications and to work the state system for the benefit of the district. The are hired on a per diem basis with a cap on the number of days.
The next regular meeting is scheduled for September 22 at 7:00 p.m.
Center Is Coming
Susquehanna Countys much anticipated and long awaited Welcome Center on Interstate 81 in Great Bend finally appears to be leaving the drawing board and inching closer to the construction stage.
The center will provide tourists with information about the Endless Mountains including places of historical significance, food and lodging, lakes and leisure, year around recreational facilities, and could feature available sites for industrial, commercial and residential development.
Frank Kane, press secretary for the Pennsylvania Department of General Services, said the $1.6 million project will be let out for bids on September 10. He said the bidding process could take a month and a project calendar or schedule of construction dates will be prepared at a job site conference after the bid is awarded.
Kane concurred with the opinion of Susquehanna County Commissioner Calvin Dean who said last week that the construction will probably start next spring.
The news from the Department of General Services sets aside fears that the project would be scrapped and the site would become a Department of Transportation Weigh-in station.
At last weeks meeting of the county commissioners, Al Aronowitz, owner of the Endless Mountains Lodge in New Milford, said he was told of a television news report that said the proposed Welcome Center would be scrapped and replaced by a truck weigh-in station.
Commissioner Cal Dean said he met with Gov. Ed Rendell a few weeks ago and was assured the center will be built. In fact, Dean said it will be the first center in the state to be built entirely with state funds.
Commissioner Lee Smith said he attended a ribbon cutting ceremony on Aug. 25 at the completion of a bridge replacement project along Route 267 in Rush Township and no one said the Welcome Center project would be scrapped. The $471,000 bridge construction project involved replacing an old bridge over a branch of Deer Lick Creek with a new, wider structure. The work also included new pavement on the roadway approaching both sides of the bridge, new guide rail and drainage improvements.
Other projects currently underway in Susquehanna County include a bridge replacement and intersection improvement at Routes 706 and 3023 in Rush Township and on Route 11 in Great Bend Township where a bridge replacement has been completed and work continues on the roadway approaching the bridge.
In other happenings at the commissioners meeting, the resignation of Lillian Theophanis, director of the Soil Conservation District, was accepted with regrets. Theophanis has work for the county a total of 29 years.
Motions approved by the commissioners completed the following business:
-Hired Christine Kilmer to fill the temporary part time position in the Register and Recorders Office effective Aug. 29. The Salary Board set her hourly rate of pay at $7.50 with no benefits.
-Adopted a resolution designed to place the county in compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. The county contacted with Ray Woronowicz of Alliance Management Group, to serve as HIPPA consultant.
The Salary Board agreed to create a full-time Correction Officer position in the county jail at a starting rate of $10.54 an hour. It is the first new full-time position created at the jail since 1994.
Board Declares Vacancy
The Forest City Regional Board of Education finally declared Director Ken Gobens seat vacant after residents of Forest Citys Region Eight advised the board at two meetings that Goben had sold his home and no longer resides in the region.
The clincher came from Director Tom Heller who said his sister had bought Gobens home and assured the board that Goben is no longer living there.
At the boards regularly scheduled meeting on Aug. 12, President Joseph Lucchesi said he had been advised that Gobens letter of resignation was in the mail. At a special meeting on Aug. 25, he said he had not received the letter prompting Heller to ask to see the postmark date it was mailed when the letter is received.
According to Section 319 of the Pennsylvania School Code the Board of Education has the right to remove a board member who fails to attend two successive regular meetings of the school board, unless detained by sickness or prevented by necessary absence from the district. Moving from the district is not mentioned as a legitimate excuse for missing meetings.
One paragraph in Section 318 of the school code reads, "any person removed from the office of school director shall not be eligible again as school director for the period of five years."
Lucchesi and Director Tom Baileys refused to acknowledge that a deadline on when Gobens replacement is named could affect the length of time the replacement will serve. The school code indicates that if the appointment is 60 or more days before the next general election, the term will expire on the first Monday in December after that general election. This would mean the appointment must be made on or before Sept. 4. If the appointment is made after Sept. 4, Gobens replacement would serve until the first Monday in December after the November, 2005 election. Asked whether they were playing politics with the appointment, Lucchesi said the board is not smart enough for that.
In another matter, the district lost one of its longtime employees, Janice Joyce. She has been employed by the district for 24 years and has been elementary school principal for the past four years.
Joyce has accepted a position as curriculum coordinator for grades K-12 at Lackawanna Trail School District.
"It is the type of job every school district should have but doesnt," she said. "Forest City may never have this."
Motions approved by the board are as follows:
Appointed Amy Lesek of Pleasant Mount as secondary English teacher at a salary of $34,900 (Step II, Masters) effective Aug. 26.
Accepted the resignation of Joseph Malicky as girls varsity soccer coach and appointed Lorne Elliott to replace him. Elliott had been serving as junior varsity coach.
Appointed Mary Lee Martines as fifth and sixth grade girls basketball coach for the 2003-2004 school year.
Accepted the resignation of Donald Natishak as a cafeteria worker.
After the meeting, Barbara Mihelc, a resident of Region Eight, submitted a letter to the board seeking to replace Goben. She indicated that it is her intention to be a candidate for the position whether or not she is appointed by the board.
View Fills Positions
All members of the Mountain View School Board were present at their meeting on August 25. Administration in attendance included Art Chambers, Superintendent, Carolyn Price, Business Manager, Margaret Foster, Elementary School Principal, and Colin Furneaux, High School Principal.
Kevin Griffiths presented $29,914.61 for payment approval for the August, 2003 General Fund Bill, Cafeteria Fund Bill and Capital Reserve Bill lists. In addition, he presented $4,429.00 and $1,640.50 for project costs. A milk bid was awarded for current pricing on milk products available at the school, as well as shuttle bus quotes for various vendors.
The renewal of voluntary student accident insurance and interscholastic sports coverage were approved through Mid-Penn Insurance Associates, Inc. Sunbury, PA.
Lunch prices were amended to $.40, Elementary Breakfast Program was amended to $.30 and the Cafeteria Budget for 2003-2004 was amended to reflect these changes.
There was no legislative report from John Halupke. Neither did Ronald Phillips present a negotiations report. However, Bryce E. Beeman and his committee were busy with drafts of the first section of the manual rewrite. All the drafts will be reviewed before they are sent on for official acceptance.
Car/Van contractors for the district were approved. Frank Ridgeway was approved as a Car/Van substitute. There was some discussion regarding the site and construction of the sand volley ball court and play area. This area will be covered through a large donation made to the district for this purpose.
A new teacher was hired for Math, as well as Katie Hughes as a Learning Support Teacher. Corrine Ross was approved as a new elementary computer teacher.
Numerous supplemental and instructional aide positions were announced and a cafeteria position was approved for Ginger Compton. Dora M. Andrew of Forest City was approved as a Volunteer Assistant. Added to the substitute list were Nicole Chidester, Karen Kiesinger, William Whitney and Ronald Barankovich. Positions were filled for a 10 month and 11 month secretary in the High School.
John Beeman read the guidelines for board member duties and suggested all the board members read them as they were quite informative.
During the second hearing of visitors, Maria Diaz asked about a bill for dividers in a classroom in the elementary school. Foster commented that these were acoustical dividers for confidentiality in that classroom which will be devoted to Guidance. Regarding the new volley ball area, Chambers shared with her and all present that the cost to the district will be zero because of a donation noted earlier. She noted that the number of instructional aides now stands at 20.
A few remarks were made at this time about coaching basketball during the summer. It was noted by the board that anything of that nature would have been voluntary.
The next meeting of the school board is scheduled for September 8 in the Elementary School Board Room at 8:00 p.m. It is open to the public.
Plan Presentation Slated
The updated Susquehanna County Comprehensive Plan will be presented for public comment in the large courtroom of the courthouse on September 9th at 7:00 p.m. A PowerPoint presentation to highlight various sections of the Plan has been developed by Planning Commission Director Robert Templeton and Secretary/Planner Amy Payne. The leaders will define what the Plan is and how it will be used. They will further describe the process of developing the Plan, including the public input that was gathered early in the process. The League of Women Voters volunteered to host the presentation that will allow the general public to comment on the Plan. If there are no substantial changes to be made, the County Commissioners will be asked to adopt the Plan at their regular public meeting on September 10 at 10:00 a.m.
Regarding other planning activities, Templeton reported on meetings held at Rush, Silver Lake, and Bridgewater Townships for the purpose of reviewing the results of the recent survey done by the Northern Tier Coalition. Because many of the people were not familiar with the activities of the Northern Tier Coalition, much explanation was needed and further meetings may be held. While reaction to the survey varied from township to township, there was a general consensus that the majority of those who returned the survey want no increase in taxes to fund any type of improvements. The Northern Tier Coalition consists of several county municipalities who are working together for a greater benefit to all.
Templeton reported that the County Commissioners held a public meeting on July 30, concerning the establishment of a County Rail Authority. With no objection it was decided to advertise a resolution to establish a County Rail Authority and to take formal action at an upcoming meeting, yet unannounced. Templeton had great praise for the leaders and participants of the Youth Leadership Camp held August 48 at Montrose High School. Twenty-four students took part.
Secretary/Planner Payne reported on the meeting of the House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee, including a Public Hearing on House Bill 657 and Clean and Green issues. House Bill 657 is promoting the elimination of tax forgiveness on the base acre of lands not enrolled as agricultural use. If this bill were to become law, the base acre on agriculture reserve and forest reserve land would be taxed at the regular rate. Northern Tier counties have suffered great revenue shortages because those Clean and Green reserve lands with houses are not paying regular property tax rates on that base acre. Several Susquehanna County supervisors attended the meeting to offer their support for the bill. If this legislation passes, those lands being used for agriculture would still get preferential treatment.
Present Planning Commission members remembered former Planning Commission member Hubert Murphy who died recently. The Commission will memorialize him with a book in the county library.
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