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Issue Home September 30, 2003 Site Home

Blue Ridge May Get L.I.F.T.
Harford Odd Fellows Languishing
Gibson Barracks Report
Court House Report
Mt. View Presents State Of The District
Elk Hears Donation Request
Countywide Project Opposed

Blue Ridge May Get L.I.F.T.

The Blue Ridge School Board workshop on September 22 started off a little early with a colloquy on tax law for the schools' various booster clubs. It had recently come to the attention of the Board and the Administration that some of the booster clubs were sharing tax identification numbers (TIN). That's a no-no. A TIN is assigned to a corporate entity subject to the Federal Internal Revenue Code (IRS). Booster clubs would ordinarily fall under section 501(c)(3) of the Code as non-profit organizations that collect and disburse funds for the benefit of student athletes. At Blue Ridge, because the booster clubs each operate independently, they are required to have separate TINs, and the District is preparing to enforce the policy.

Board President Alan Hall handed out copies of the requirements for applying for non-profit status, along with copies of bylaws of several 501(c)(3) organizations similar to booster clubs. He and his administration offered to help anyone to fill out the applications and to draw up bylaws, a process that he said should be fairly simple for small organizations like the booster clubs. He told club members that the policy is in their own best interest, since legal or IRS action against one club could affect any other club sharing its resources (and TIN). Organizations that solicit funds from the public are required to register with the IRS and with the state of Pennsylvania, and must have structures defined in bylaw documents that include electing a slate of officers each year. Mr. Hall told the gathered boosters from a variety of the clubs that the District will begin to require regular reporting from each of the clubs, and that clubs that do not abide by the policy will "not be allowed to operate in the District." According to Lon Fisher, chair of the Board's Activities Committee, the first reports are due by October 11 of this year.

The workshop closed out an in-service day for District faculty; administrators reported to the Board some of the day's activities. Special mention was made of the "comprehensive" introduction to the District's health services provided by Mrs. McNamara. Elementary School Principal Robert Dietz also offered special thanks to Mr. Hall for his work installing new swing sets for his students.

The visit of a storm named Isabel occasioned some discussion. For one thing, the new water well was supposed to be hooked up over this period, but because utility crews have been assigned elsewhere, Business Manager Loren Small said the final details will be delayed at least a week. Some Board members inquired whether the day the schools were closed in anticipation of the storm had to be made up. According to Superintendent Robert McNamara, the school code is rigid in its requirement of a full 180 days of classes per year; there is no provision in the law for waiving lost days due to such emergencies, even when the closing is mandated by the state. The schools are designated shelters in case of area-wide disasters, but even in the case that the schools had to be used for such a purpose, the law requires that the missed days be made up somehow. He said that because Blue Ridge had developed a "relatively tight calendar" for this year, there is now only three days’ leeway between the scheduled June 6 graduation date and the end of classes on June 3.

Beginning this winter, many of those class days may see students taking part in a new fitness program. Mr. McNamara introduced Board members to something called Leadership In Fitness Training (L.I.F.T.) sponsored by the National Schools Fitness Foundation. The briefing started off with a 15-minute video about the program and led into a discussion of its potential ramifications at Blue Ridge. Under the program, the schools (the Middle and High Schools, to begin with) can acquire almost $222,000 worth of exercise equipment, along with computers and software for recording and assessing participation. There are costs, however.

Under the L.I.F.T. program, the District signs onto an obligation with a local financial institution for three years of lease payments for the equipment. As long as the District meets the program's other requirements, the lease payments are made up in full by the Foundation. At the end of the three- year commitment, the District can choose to take ownership of the equipment, or to upgrade the equipment and sign on again. The District must provide a room of at least 1,800 square feet with a rubberized floor covering, and at least 90 students must participate. Each student would be scheduled for at least three sessions per week of 20-30 minutes duration. The District will also be required to report participation and assessment data regularly to the Foundation, and at least two teachers will have to be certified to instruct and supervise students under the program.

According to High School Principal Michael Thornton, the Physical Education teachers initiated the proposal to start the program at Blue Ridge. There is a feeling that team-oriented "activities" in PE are not doing enough to ensure students' continued physical fitness and well-being. Mr. Thornton said that the program would inevitably displace some of the current activities, but that the schedule could accommodate it. Board member Harold Empett asked how such a program might affect the effort to schedule driver education during the school year. He was told that adding driver education to an already crowded schedule would still be difficult.

The plan is to bring the proposal to the Board for a decision at a meeting in October. If the Board approves, the District would lease a modular building (for about $800 per month, or about $30,000 for the three-year period) to house the wrestling program. The existing wrestling room is large enough to accommodate the equipment, and already has a rubberized floor. If the program is successful, and the Board so decides, a more permanent facility can be considered for the future.

According to Mr. McNamara, there are no nearby school districts currently participating in the L.I.F.T. program. Boosters of the program promote its potential benefits for all school students, of whatever physical size or shape, and hope it would lead to lifelong fitness among its participants. Whether or not you have a TIN, you can hear more about it from your school board when they meet in public session, usually on the second and fourth Mondays of each month, beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the cafeteria in Elementary School.

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Harford Odd Fellows Languishing

As it has for the last decade or so, the Odd Fellows Hall in Harford village was a topic of spirited discussion at the township Supervisors' meeting on September 23rd. And, as has also been the case for the last decade or so, nothing was decided about it. This time the matter both opened and closed the session.

Supervisor Terry VanGorden started off with an update on the bee colony that has taken up residence in the old stucco structure in the middle of town. He said that a local bee-keeper advised to leave the bees alone until February or March, when they could be removed, presumably to more suitable accommodations. Mr. VanGorden said removal might be expected to cost $400-500. Then the comb would have to be removed from the walls and the building repaired. So far, extermination is not considered an option.

The meeting then got sidetracked to consider more mundane business. The first was the placement of a stop sign on Market Street where the uphill section joins Tingley Lake Road. A study by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PENNDOT) found "no reportable crashes" at the intersection in the past 5 years. However, PENNDOT recommended the installation of the sign, and offered to reciprocate with another sign on Tingley Lake Road warning that "opposing traffic does not stop" (there are two stops on Tingley Lake Road southbound, but none northbound).

Part of the PENNDOT study recommended removing the planters along the short section of Tingley Lake Road between Market and Main Streets. The Fire Company will take the trees from the planters for relocation at the new firehouse on Fair Hill Road. In addition to giving the trees to the firemen, the Supervisors renewed their agreement with the Harford volunteers exchanging fire and emergency services for 0.75 mills of taxes from township citizens.

With Roadmaster Bob Simon still out with an injury, the Township is struggling to keep up with work on its 47 miles of roads. To help with that, and to provide for future needs, the Supervisors decided to hire another full-time employee. They were uncertain at what level they would hire, or at what wages, but Supervisor Rick Pisasik said that they would not hire a new Roadmaster from outside, and looked forward to Bob's return to work.

The Supervisors also signed on to an agreement with the county emergency management office in order to collect a grant of $500. The money must be used for emergency management supplies and operations, and the Township is required to report annually on the use of the money.

Some 10 years ago, when the bank-in-a-box moved out of town breaking its lease with the Township, the bank company settled with a payment of some $25,000, and another $10,000–$12,000 sometime later, for the upkeep of the property and the Odd Fellows Hall/Town Hall that still sits on it. Just prior to the bank's departure, the pipes burst in the old building because it wasn't kept heated; the building was never connected to the sewer system. Since then no important repairs have been done to the venerable structure, and for the past several months has been locked and unavailable to the public because the Township's insurer has refused to continue liability coverage in its current condition. Mr. Pisasik estimates that heating the building, paying for the unconnected sewer, fire insurance premiums, and other minor expenses costs the Township about $3,500 per year. The question naturally arises every so often, what is to become of the building?

The deed that transferred the property from the fire company and the Odd Fellows to the Township many years ago contains a provision that the property is not to be "disposed of" without the consent of the voters at a general election. Some in town consider the place an eyesore, especially since the last time bees were removed and the hole repaired with a sheet of plywood, and, like the insurance company, would like to have it razed. Others think of its tradition in the town, its use by many groups over the years, and would like to preserve it. Mr. Pisasik considers it a "viable building," and has not heard a "consensus" of opinion on the matter. Mr. VanGorden agrees with an opinion of the Township's solicitor that the deed should be taken to court to have the referendum restriction removed.

Sue Furney, the Township Secretary, running unopposed for a seat on the Board of Supervisors in November, said she would like to preserve the building for use by groups that can't meet elsewhere. Estimates of the cost to renovate the hall range from $200,000 to half a million dollars. The insurance company has refused to offer a list of repairs that would allow them to resume liability coverage. No one has suggested where money to remodel the building might come from. And no one has come up with a plan to use the property if it was to be torn down, at least not to the satisfaction of Mr. Pisasik, who insists that a referendum would not be practical unless a ballot question could be properly formulated to meet the desires of the consensus that he hasn't seen.

In the end, Mr. Pisasik told the meeting that he doesn't have the time to spend on the matter. He said that he was willing to entertain the idea of a volunteer committee to draft and present proposals. The Township in the end will have the final say in any case, and so far they aren't saying.

Come and have your say, when the Harford Township Supervisors meet on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of each month, beginning at 7:30 p.m.

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Gibson Barracks Report


Margot B. Leitman, 25, Matawan, NJ, was traveling north on Interstate 81, Lenox Township, on September 12 at 3:40 p.m., when a left front tire on her 1999 Ford Explorer blew out causing her to lose control of the vehicle which veered left, struck a guide rail, then crossed the roadway into the path of a 2000 Ford RV, striking it in the left front. Neither Leitman, her passenger, nor the driver of the other vehicle, Leonary G. Schrader, 60, Long Valley, NJ, or his passenger was injured.


A 1998 Ford Escort, driven by James White, New Milford, on State Route 11, Great Bend Township, struck a 1992 Plymouth Duster, driven by Donna Whitney, Montrose, on September 12 at 3:40 p.m., while Whitney was attempting to make a turn. Both drivers received minor injuries.


While Miranda Lee Decker, New Milford, was at work, her 1988 Plymouth Reliant was stolen from outside the residence at 289 Main St., New Milford Borough, between 11:00 p.m. on September 12 and 7:00 a.m. the next morning. Anyone with information is asked to contact the PA State Police at 570-465-3154.


Joseph Robinson, Meshoppen, violated a PFA order by going to the residence of Bonnie Robinson, RR1, Laceyville (Auburn Township) and having contact with her via phone, according to the police report. The incident occurred on September 15, and an investigation is to continue.


Between Sept. 12 at 8:00 p.m. and Sept. 14 at 3:30 p.m., someone entered the baseball fields off State Route 11, Great Bend Township, and pulled electrical meters off of two buildings which belong to the Hallstead Volunteer Fire Dept and the Blue Ridge School District. Anyone with information is asked to contact the PA Sate Police at 570-465-3154.


Nathan Riley, 24, S. Montrose, driving a 1992 Nissan Sentra, lost control of the vehicle and struck a tree on Township Route 723, Liberty Township. He was cited for several traffic violations according to the police report. He suffered a head injury and was treated at Tyler Memorial. Two passengers also sustained injuries: Valerie Burgess, 22, S. Montrose, had bruised ribs and was also treated at Tyler Memorial, and Chris Canfield, 25, Montroe, had a minor head injury in this September 13 incident at 1:30 a.m.


As Danielle Baker, 27, RR1, Springville, was traveling south on State Route 29, Springville, in her 2001 Mitsubishi Mirage, she stopped in the roadway to avoid striking some fowl which were crossing the road. James Edward Walker, 44, Wilkes-Barre, was traveling behind Baker in a 2000 Chevy pick-up truck. He applied the brakes to avoid a collision but struck Baker's car, on September 11 at 4:10 p.m. No one was injured.


On Sept. 11 at 5:30 p.m., a white male drove his black Audi vehicle bearing Ontario plates into the parking lot, pumped $32.18 worth of gas and drove from the scene of the New Milford Exxon at the intersection of State Route 848 and Interstate 81, New Milford Township, without paying for the fuel. Anyone with information is asked to contact the police at 570-465-3154.


Between 9:00 p.m. on Sept. 12 and 1:50 a.m. the next morning, someone entered the Jeffrey L. Bailey residence at RR3 (State Route 492), New Milford Township, and stole a digital WEB camera with tripod and various bottles of liquor. Anyone with information is asked to contact the PA State Police at 570-465-3154.


Two mountain style, 18-speed bicycles were found at Tingley Lake and Sterns Rd, Harford Township, on Sept. 11 at 1:55 p.m. Anyone with information or the owners, please contact the PA State Police.


Someone removed a door off a Caterpillar skid steer, belonging to Mike Molinko, Brooklyn, while it was parked at the Robinson residence in Harford Township between Sept. 5 at 8:00 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 7.


Benjamin MacGeorge, Harford, lost control of his 1995 Saturn on State Route 2014, near State Route 2012, Clifford Township, and struck a tree. He was not injured in this Sept. 2 incident.


On Sept. 10 William Merrell, Hallstead, reported that his vehicle, a 2000 Chrysler van was struck by an unknown vehicle while it was parked along Church St., Hallstead. The suspect vehicle was described as a primer gray Firebird or Camaro, late 70's style. The vehicle was being towed by a white pickup truck.


Someone arrived at State Route 547, in the area of April Valley, Gibson Township, between July 28 and Sept. 9 and gained access to the George Vlahos (Ft. Washington) residence and turned on a lamp in the living room and the overhead light in the kitchen, then fled the scene.


David Silva, Binghamton, NY, entered the Great Bend Sunoco, State Route 11, Great Bend Township, on Sept. 3 at 8:15 p.m., and removed 46 cartons of cigarettes from a storage room. According to the police report he placed the cartons into a duffle bag and exited the store. Silva then returned to the store while a trooper was investigating the theft and was arrested without incident. He was arraigned at District Court 34-3-03, where bail was set at $20,000. Unable to make bail, Silva was sent to the Susquehanna County Jail.


Three black males arrived at Saylor's Shop, State Route 3001, South Auburn, and kicked in the back door. Once inside, they removed numerous items from the garage, including 4 wheels and tires, front and rear bumper and side kits for a 1990 Honda Civic, several air tools, and a paint gun. Anyone with information in the August 2 incident is asked to contact the PA State Police at 570-465-3154.


Between Sept. 4 at 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. on Sept 6, someone went to the Donald Lake residence on Township Route 676, New Milford Township, and stole a 308 Remington rifle with a Tasko Scope, then departed in an unknown direction. Contact the police with any information.


PA State Police Auto Theft Task Force in conjunction with Troop R Vice/Narcotics unit executed several warrants in Liberty Township on Sept. 9 at 5:00 p.m., and recovered approximately $250,000 in stolen construction equipment such as a bulldozer, backhoe, compressor, generators and stolen vehicles. An investigation continues.


Someone entered the residence at Lake Oteyowa, off State Route 1018, Franklin Township, of Bette C. Auchinachie, Binghamton, while she was not at home and stole her wallet on August 8 between 6:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Anyone with information contact the PA State Police at 570-465-3154.


Michael Toigo, 53, Lake Ariel, was pronounced dead at the scene of an accident on State Route 92, south of the intersection with State Route 106, Lenox Township, on September 22 at 5:40 p.m. when his 1998 Honda Motorcycle traveled off the roadway after Toigo failed to negotiate a left hand curve, colliding with a tree. Lyle Smith, 40, Beach Lake, was traveling with Toigo on a 1981 Yamaha Motorcycle, and his unit also failed to negotiate the curve and ended up hitting a separate tree. Smith received severe injuries and was taken to Community Medical Center, Scranton, for treatment. Neither driver was wearing a helmet. An investigation continues.


Someone driving a late 1980s Pontiac or Oldsmobile, light blue or silver in color, pumped $20 worth of unleaded gas, then drove away before paying at the Pump n Pantry, State Route 706, Bridgewater Township. The incident occurred on September 5 at 7:45 p.m.

ONE VEHICLE CRASH/NO INJURY Florence Wester-Simons, Montrose, was traveling in a 1996 Buick on September 19 at 1:01 p.m. on State Route 1037 (Dubois St.), Great Bend Township, and stuck a downed tree in the roadway. Wester-Simons was not injured.


Izzy S. Greenberg, 21, Harford, was attempting to make a 3-point turn on State Route 1010, 1/10 mile east of State Route 11, Great Bend Township, on September 20, and backed too far, causing the 2002 Toyota truck to go down an embankment and strike a tree. Greenberg was not injured.


On September 19 at 1:01 p.m., Brittany White, 16, Brackney, lost control of her 1992 Nissan while rounding a curve in the rain, and struck a tree on State Route 267, Choconut Township. She received minor injuries.


Someone arrived at a hunting cabin on Tower Rd., approximately 200 yards south of the NYS line in Harmony Township, between September 17-19, and cut the padlock. Once there, they went to a stone quarry about a quarter mile from the cabin and removed 1.5 pallets of bluestone which belonged to Zoran Cupic, Houston, TX. Anyone with information is asked to contact the police.


John W. Lezinsky, 48, RR1, Hop Bottom, is wanted for his involvement in an assault which occurred at a stone quarry on State Route 2096, Lathrop Township on August 19 at 5:00 p.m. He is also an escaped inmate from Luzerne County Correctional Facility, Wilkes-Barre. Anyone with information about Lezinsky, please contact the PA State Police at Gibson at 570-465-3154.


Someone pumped $13.87 in gas into a red vehicle and failed to pay at the Pump and Pantry, Bridgewater Township, on September 17 at 7:45 p.m.

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Court House Report


Floyd Eugene Manzer, 43, Browndale, and Sharon Marie Bishop, 42, Browndale.

Lynn Kirk Hadaway, 53, Silver Lake Township, and Valerie Jean Gilg, 39, Silver Lake Township.

Eric James Robinson, 22, Rush Township, and Sara Ruth Canfield, 20, Rush Township.

Harry DeJesus, 46, Bloomfield, NJ, and Mary Bridget Okoren, 30, Bloomfield, NJ.

Scott Eric Irwin, 28, Harford Township, and Laura Lin Millard, 26, Harford Township.

Heiti Allan Narma, 51, Oakland Township and Nancy Lynn Glasgow, 50, Oakland Township.

Seth D. Muck, 22, Wilson, NY, and Andrea Lynn Garner, 24, Montrose Borough.

David Fitch, 44, Clifford Township, and Sandra Mabel Benitez, 32, Clifford Township.


Cindy J. White nbm Cindy J. Owens to Cindy J. Owens and Byron J. Owens in Liberty Township for $1.

Rocco R. Promutico and Lori K. Promutico to Joseph Principato and Kathleen Principato in Middletown Township for $75,500.

James R. Lewis, Executor of the estate of Robert E. Lewis to Duane T. Bayle and Kristy L. Bayle in Jackson Township for $58,000.

Kimberly L. Wells to Paul R. Wells in Bridgewater and Brooklyn Townships for $1 ogvc.

Paul R. Wells and Kimberly L. Wells to Paul R. Wells in New Milford Township for $1 ogvc.

Paul R. Wells and Kimberly L. Wells to Paul R. Wells in Bridgewater Township for $1 ogvc (two parcels).

Frederick J. Farrell and Rosemary K. Farrell to Rosemary K. Farrell in Hallstead Borough for $1 ogvc.

Lance M. Benedict, Sheriff, to LaSalle Bank National Association in Susquehanna Depot Borough for $7220.50.

Marc E. Yoskowitz & Stacy Nier-Yoskowitz to William P. Mulholland & Sharon Mulholland in Thompson Township for $5,500.

Guy Bleau tdba Small Business League of America to A. S. Diamond Family Limited Partnership in Hallstead Borough for $3,800.

Carl Konzman, Sr. and Jean Marie Konzman to Eleanor J. Konzman and Carl F. Konzman in Clifford Township for $1.

James V. Brady and Renee J. Brady to Christen Brady and Jack Beamer in Lanesboro Borough for $89,900.

Francis E. Lake Jr. and William T. Lake as Co-Executors of the Estate of Francis E. Lake Sr., to Fox Enterprises Inc. in Susquehanna Borough for $8,800.

Edwin H. Shafer II and Anne D. Shafer and George C. Shafer, Jr. and Louise H. Shafer to Township of Liberty in Liberty Township for $1 for easement.

David Dorman and Karen Dorman aka Karin Dorman to J. Parker Properties, LLC and Francis J. Pinkowski in Lenox Township for $17,000.

Nellie G. Howard to Susan A. Mulvey and Gerald F. Murphy in Forest Lake Township for $1 (transfer tax paid on $85,000).

Mary J. Doerr aka Mary J. Jackson to Corey C. Bryant in Thompson Township for $90,500.

Lawrence M. Grasso, Trustee of the Lawrence M. Grasso Revocable Living Trust to James W. Whitman, Sr. and Reta M. Whitman and Jason B. Whitman in New Milford Township for $34,900.

Judson Towner, Administrator of the estate of Robert J. Towner, and Evah L. Towner, nka Evah L. Kapella to Thomas J. Chamberlain and Christine Chamberlain in Susquehanna Depot Borough for $5,000.

Brian Fallon to Timber Lane Stone, Inc. in Lenox Township for surface mining activities.


John D. Gregory, 43, Binghamton, NY, and Jennifer Lynn Dovin, 30, Choconut Township.

Christopher O. Skal, 32, Little Falls, NJ, and Dominica R. Felici, 28, Jackson Township.

John Arthur Schell Jr., 33, Susquehanna Borough, and Sheri M. Wayman, 21, Susquehanna Borough.

Ronald Anthony Konczyk, 36, Dimock Township, and Christina Ann Edwards, 25, Dimock Township.

Thomas Francis Ross, 43, Dimock Township, and Mary Marlene Layton, 31, Dimock Township.

Neil D. Ayers, 33, New Milford Borough, and BettyJo Wayman, 29, New Milford Borough.

Kevin C. Bialy, 52, Lenox Township, and Holly H. Tyler, 51, Lenox Township.

Richard J. MacDonald II, 37, Lanesboro Borough, and Bobbi Jo Mower, 38, Lanesboro Borough.


Samuel Charles Little aka Samuel C. Little, Denise Sharon Little aka Denise S. Little to Samuel C. Little in Franklin Township for $1.

Nicholas Jubinski, Jr. to Joseph C. Chernesky and Michele C. Chernesky in Union Dale Borough for $100,000. William J. Clark to John J. Daniels in Clifford Township for $9,000.

Bruce Ross & Nancy Ross, Raymond Swingle & Lulu Swingle, Jerilee Turner, James T. O'Brien & Kathleen D. O'Brien, Barbara Campbell, Clarence Fleming & Anne B. Fleming, Judd Roberts & Marilyn Roberts, by and through a Power of Attorney granted to Nancy Ross "or" Jerilee Turner to Tvaryanas Family Irrevocable Trust in Herrick Township for $38,000.

Earl R. Forwood and Charlotte V. Marlin to Earl R. Forwood and Charlotte V. Marlin in Lenox Township for $1.

Sharen E. VanGorden to Sharon E. VanGorden in New Milford Borough for $1.

Arvin F. Hibbard and Milan Hibbard to Milan & Arvin Hibbard in Dimock Township for bluestone mining operation.

Russell E. Leichliter and Ruth H. Leichliter to Ronald Dean and Cynthia C. Dean in Auburn Township for $41,900.

George Brookes and Shirley Brookes to Little Meadows Borough for deed of dedication.

Lackawanna Valley Rod and Gun Club to Little Meadows Borough for deed of dedication.

Pavlo Metritikas to Little Meadows Borough for deed of dedication.

Cynthia A. Baldwin to Little Meadows Borough for deed of dedication.

Andrew J. Bryant to Little Meadows Borough for deed of dedication.

Russell A. Dewing and Ruth G. Dewing to Little Meadowns Borough for deed of dedication.

Robert Bizon to Arnold Kasuba & Donna Kasuba in Herrick Township for $6,500.

Vincent P. Daley & Dariss C. Daly to Warren A. Gormley, Jr. & Denise M. Gormley in Jackson Township for $185,000.

Leonard Bartkus and Mary Jane Bartkus to Edward F. Brown, Jr. and Barbara R. Brown in Jackson Township for $16,500.

The Borough of Forest City to Michael Newak and Patricia Newak in Forest City Borough for $2,400.

John Lezinsky & James Lezinsky to James Lezinsky in Lathrop Township for $1.

Cheryl L. Weldon and John B. Weldon to David J. Weldon and Erin E. Weldon in Clifford Township in $1.

Between Deer Park Lumber, Inc. and Maple Highlands LLC in Herrick Township for real estate title affidavit.

Olga Maresca and James Maresca to David D. Florance and Lynette S. Florance in Auburn Township for $125,000.

Keith W. Skinner and Christie V. Skinner to Michael J. Koscelnak and Amy R. Burchell in Herrick Township for $120,000.

Elizabeth Ann Wedeman nbm Elizabeth Ann Osborn to Elizabeth Ann Osborn and Peter Osborn in Clifford Township for $1.

Nancy E. Button and Dennis Dressel to New Milford Township for $40,000.

Kevin M. Gage and Terri L. Gage to Kevin M. Gage and Terri L. Gage in Rush Township for $1.

Richard D. Millen, Executor of the estate of Jeanette T. Moser, to Thomas J. Flynn and Renee M. Flynn in Great Bend Township for $85,000.

Richard E. Demarest to Bruce C. Rossman in Liberty and Franklin Townships for $65,000.

Mary Ann Saranchuk and Barry Saranchuk to Harold K. Benner and Beatrice L. Benner, Theodore H. Benner, Kerry M. Benner and Brett Benner in Dimock Township for $55,000.

Blair H. Purdy and Janet L. Purdy to Blair H. Purdy in Auburn Township for surface mining activities.

GMAC Mortgage Corp. to Secretary of Housing and Urban Development in Forest City Borough for $1.

David Prezelski and Richard Prezelski to Prezelski Family Irrevocable Trust, Richard Prezelski and David Prezelski, Trustees, in Herrick Township for $1.

Todd D. Cowperthwait and Shelly D. Cowperthwait to Richard T. Pelicci in Oakland Township for $110,000.

Arden L. Martenz and James G. Smith, J/T/R/S to Arden L. Martenz in Hallstead Borough for $1.

James A. Hinds and Lisa J. Hinds to Teddy L. Cady and Christine Cady in Bridgewater Township for $1.

Walter Kaufelds and Barbara Eilene Ettenger, nbm Barbara Eilene Kaufelds to Kevin J. Canfield and Rusty K. Canfield in Franklin Township for $37,500.

Patrick T. Capwell & Suzanne M. Capwell to Edward F. Townsend & Faithann Townsend in Liberty Township for $1.

Mary Gowen to Marie Doty and Robert Berube in Gibson Township for $30,000.

Manzek Land Company Inc. to John J. Lawler and Kelly A. Lawler in Middletown Township for $28,500.

Edward C. Montross, III, to Christopher A. Best and Melody R. M. Best in Silver Lake Township for $244,000.

Thomas C. Hermida to PPL in Herrick Township for right-of-way agreement.

Richard Arrowsmith and Dorothy F. Arrowsmith to Richard D. Arrowsmith in Dimock Township for $1.

Richard D. Holgash Jr., Administrator of the Estate of Richard D. Holgash, Sr. aka Richard Holgash to Richard D. Holgash, Jr. and Tracy L. Holgash in Silver Lake Township for $1 ogvc (3 parcels).

Phillip T. Delsordo and Tinamarie Delsordo to Little Meadows Borough for deed of dedication.

Edgar E. Holbrook, Administrator of the Estate of Esther E. Shimer, to Brian E. Muirhead and Linda M. Muirhead in Franklin Township for $70,000.

Jody R. McCourt and Denise M. McCourt to Angela C. Taylor and Michael P. Taylor in Bridgewater Township for $29,500.

Paul S. Frisbie and Rita A. Frisbie to Paul S. Frisbie and Rita A. Frisbie in Liberty Township for $1.

Robert J. Horbey and Margaret R. Horbey to Robert D. Alspaugh and Marilyn P. Alspaugh in Silver Lake Township for one dollar (transfer tax paid on $290,000).

Gladena V. Tompkins and Thomas C. Tompkins to James Brady and Renee J. Brady in New Milford Township for $105,000.

Roberta A. Thomas to Roberta A. Thomas and Karen Thomas Franklin in Auburn Township for $1.

Kim Zimowski nbm Kim C. Mills to Kim C. Mills and Travis E. Mills in Clifford Township for $1.

Gaetano Molisse to Samuel Desist and Therese F. Desist in Clifford Township for $68,000.

Chester Kilmer, Jr. to Robert Dinning and Karen M. Dinning in Ararat Township for $11,000.

Lance M. Benedict, Sheriff, to the Bank of New York in Clifford Township for $1,588.87.

Lawrence T. O'Reilly and Christine M. O'Reilly to Thomas C. Klechner and Shirley A. Klechner in Choconut and Apolacon Townships for $70,000.

William J. Cioffi and Patricia Ann Cioffi to William J. Cioffi in Ararat Township for $10 ovc.

Mary Julia Hutton Earnshaw to Pamela A. Kelly in Bridgewater Township for $1.

Gary Alan Campbell and Susan Golis Campbell to Most Reverend James C. Timlin in Montrose Borough and Bridgewater Township for $15,000.

Sommerville Land Development, Inc. to Robert E. Lee, Jr. and Beverly B. Lee in New Milford Township for $92,320.

Dorothy Demmer to John Demmer and Helen Demmer in Brooklyn Township for $1.

Joseph Schatz-Uggiano, aka Joseph Uggiano and Amy Schatz-Uggiano to Joseph Uggiano and Amy Schatz Uggiano in New Milford Township for $1.

Roger E. Stewart to Roger E. Stewart and Erin K. Stewart in Forest Lake Township for one dollar.

Ronald Teets, Randall Teets, as Trustees of the Roy W. Teets Revocable Living Trust to Randall W. Teets in Bridgewater Township for $1.

Dennis W. Hayes and Pamela J. Hayes to Donald Zaleski and Patricia P. Zaleski in Choconut Township for $11,500.

Mel Martinez, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development by Lew Carlson, their attorney-in-fact, to Kenneth G. Miller in Hallstead Borough for $42,000.

Darren J. Garges and Tonya K. Garges to Darren J. Garges and Tonya K. Garges in Jessup Township for $1.

Jacqueline Neely to Thomas Romanofski in Susquehanna Depot Borough for $1.

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Mt. View Presents State Of The District

Present at the September 22 Mountain View School Board meeting were James Zick, Sondra Stine, Bryce Beeman, John Beeman, and Ronald Phillips. Administration present included Arthur J. Chambers, Superintendent, L. Colin Furneaux, High School Principal, Eliza Vagni, High School Assistant Principal, Margaret Foster, Elementary School Principal and Carolyn W. Price, Business Manager and Board Secretary.

There were no comments during the first hearing of visitors. Under financial reports, amount approved for project cost payment was $40,362.55. L. Colin Furneaux, Patrick Heaton and Carolyn Price were authorized to endorse checks and orders for the payment of money or otherwise withdraw funds on deposit in the Athletic Fund Account at Community Bank and Trust Co. There was no legislative report given this evening.

Under Policy, Mr. Bryce Beeman made the motion to approve the District Computer Acceptable Use Policy. It was approved that it will be sent to the PSBA to format for the policy manual.

Ronald Phillips announced that a negotiation session was held with teacher on September 11, and negotiation was held with the support staff on September 18; all negotiations are ongoing.

Albert Wildenstein of Pleasant Mt. was approved as a bus driver substitute. Several bus contracts were amended and approved. Two road signs that can be obtained from PENNDOT will be acquired for the school district for the cost of $1400 after local municipalities sign off on the application. There was no building and site report.

Conference requests were approved as follows: Carolyn W. Price, Constance W. Schulte, Sue Benedos, Melanie Lasher, Robin C. Phillips and Diana Lombardi. For field trips on the elementary level the 2003-2004 field trips as presented were approved.

Textbooks adopted include World History by Jack Spielvogel for grade 8. There was no capital projects committee report. Supplemental positions were approved for Cindy Reynolds, Charles Wilson, George Barbolish, Marilyn Jackson, and Amy Seasons. Added to the substitute list were Karen Bell, Sharon Kress, Donna Jacoby, Elizabeth Broberg, Corey Gesford, Julanne Skinner. School volunteers approved included Winter Parsons, and Susan Davis. Andrea James was appointed as a reading specialist teacher.

Arthur Chambers presented the District’s State of the District report with Furneaux and Foster coming on board in their areas of expertise.

In general, the presentation encompassed the District’s Blueprint for Success which included Purpose, Results, Culture, Capacity and Persistence. Concepts presented under Purpose included vision, direction, clear goals and the commitment to goals. District goals were delineated as, "We will achieve learning results that exceed all similar and Pennsylvania public schools and we will develop school and class classroom environments that nurture respect and responsibility." Results included clear targets, specific targets and targets that reflect ever high expectations. Culture covered teamwork results, connectedness, recognition, choices versus risk and satisfaction. Capacity included resources, staff skills and knowledge, instruction process and constancy of action.

Measurements include AYP, PSSA, Local Targets for 2006 and identified adequate yearly progress, the PA system of School Assessments and local targets. Math targets for the 2004 PSSA Scores were presented as students in grades 8 and 11 will exceed the AYP goal of 35% and achieve a local goal of 45% scoring at proficient or above on 2004 PSSA Math exams. The Target goal for 2003 is 34.2 % and for 2004 it is 45%. In reading, the target for 2004 PSSA should hit 68.9 for 2003 and 70% for 2004. Reading targets for 2004 PSSA has a target goal of 60% scoring at proficient or above for 2004.

For grades 8 and 11, the target for Math for 2004 is 45% at proficient or above on the PSSA Exam. The writing target in grades 9 and 11 for 2004 PSSA is 62% as a local goal. Key to these scores will be increasing student achievement. It is expected that all teachers will impact on increased student achievement in a culture of respect and responsibility.

On the elementary level, with each grade level establishing wide benchmarks and goals and action plans within each level, it is anticipated that student progress will be marked through the year. To make the criteria of 65% of all students in grades 1 through 6 scoring proficient or advanced on the PSSA Reading assessment, the following must happen. Kindergarten will lay the groundwork for literacy and phonemic awareness instruction, and guided reading will continue to be implemented in grades 1 and 2. Further, grades 3 and 4 will be trained in balanced literacy and the implementation of guided reading and literature circles. Finally, grades 5 and 6 will continue to focus on the comprehension of literature and reading in the content areas. The major goal in writing will be to get back to the writing process using PSSA writing rubric in daily assessment of student work, connecting writing with curriculum and accept only the students’ best work in all subjects, not just writing. The elementary cultural goal, therefore, is to live by the professional compact, modeling respect and responsibility and expecting the best from our students and ourselves. In conclusion, a climate will be created to foster an organization where a sense of connectedness, belonging, achievement, recognition, freedom, choice, satisfaction and fun are commonplace.

There can be no doubt that this is heady information and it demonstrates clearly that the Mountain View School District is guided by a serious success model.

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Elk Hears Donation Request

At last week's regular meeting of the Elk Lake School Board, Joe Burke of the United Way of Susquehanna County, asked for the support of the Board to solicit donations from the employees of Elk Lake School District. Information had been introduced by Superintendent William Bush at a prior meeting, and Burke came to personally ask for their support.

Since schools are the largest employers in the county, Burke has been visiting each of them, and has, so far, secured support for the payroll deduction method of donating from Montrose, Mountain View, Blue Ridge, and Susquehanna Community. Only Elk Lake and Forest City have not yet joined the program.

Payroll deduction is the method of choice for the United Way and is done nationally, being used in a lot of industries and organizations. A payroll deduction of a couple of dollars each pay period is easier on most people than a $50-100 one time amount, and donors can designate specific agencies if they wish.

Twenty-two agencies benefit from this one donation, and this year's goal (only the second year under a separate United Way for the county) is $150,000. Previously, those who worked outside the county, which is half of the 18,000 working people, could not designate their donations to go to their own county. Now they can. "Give where you live," Burke said, while indicating that those who work in Broome County, for instance, and donate to a United Way through their work, can designate that it come back to Susquehanna County.

Those benefiting for these donations include youths who are at risk, homeless people, those living in poverty, teen pregnancies and the unemployed.

Because teachers have an average salary of $45,000 in Susquehanna County where the overall average salary is $21,000, schools can be a big help in meeting the goals for the community organization. When asking for payroll deductions, "more people give that way," said Burke. "It is proven across the country.

"I ask right now for your support," Burke told the Board, adding he didn't want to leave and wait for a reply. But wait he will have to do, as no motion was made to enable the process to begin. Normally, Burke said, the Superintendent recommends that the program be approved by the board, but Bush remained silent. Some board members asked the Board Secretary who is also the Business Manager, how complicated it would be to take regular deductions. After some discussion, Bush said that he'd get back to Burke with an answer.

Graduation requirements will be tighter starting with the Class of 2005. Currently, a student may participate in the graduation exercises if he owes two credits, which theoretically can be made up during the summer following graduation. Beginning with next year's class, however, the new policy states, "no student may participate in the commencement ceremony if he/she owes any credits required for graduation." Bush indicated to this reporter that all juniors (Class of 2005) were informed of this possible change at the start of the year, giving them time to meet the minimum requirements.

Other items of interest:

* Dr. Bush has been elected into the Northeast Pennsylvania Hall of Fame for his various activities in high school, college, and coaching of soccer. The ceremony will be held at Shadowbrook, Tunkhannock, on October 11. Call the school if you'd like information on attending.

* Additional monies will be given to those appointed as department and grade level chairpersons. At $800 each, a total of $14,400 will be paid to current teachers for this additional responsibility, which should help push the "Making School's Work" program. Mrs. Williams in the elementary school will receive and additional $800 for advising the elementary Robotics group, while Mr. Regal and Mr. Phillips will get $1350 and $1150 respectively for their work on the secondary (US First) Robotics projects. These last two have volunteered their time up until now.

* Mr. Felice, is getting, that is. His graphics program will be forced to squeeze into the one shop room, without the "classroom" across the hall which is now needed for the increased number of students in the cosmetology program. The "classroom" was only on loan to Felice until needed, yet it will be difficult with a more limited setting. This information caused Jack Sible to ask about starting the process of an expansion program which he said would take a minimum of 3 years if everything went right. However, no motions were made.

* The senior class raised $1574 from its fund-raiser, the sale of corn. Thank yous were voiced for Chuck Place (who was absent from the meeting) and family for donating their land and equipment to get the planting done.

* A transportation policy was changed whereby buses can carry a minimum capacity of 70 percent rather than 90. Comprehensive Consulting was hired to do the Drug & Alcohol testing of all drivers for the district and the Career & Technology Center.

The next meeting is scheduled for October 20 at 7:00 p.m.

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Countywide Project Opposed

A long-range proposal to establish standards for the naming and posting of all streets and thoroughfares in the county and assigning addresses to all addressable structures ran into its first snag last week. Apolacon Twp. Supervisor Joseph Tim told the county commissioners the idea is not welcome in his community.

When it is finished in about three or fours years all county emergency service agencies will have reliable location information to aid in making efficient responses in times of emergencies. The project was suggested by the county’s Emergency Management Department and most of the cost involved will be paid with grant money.

Last October the county commissioners endorsed the project and approved a resolution of support for it.

"The township doesn’t want it," Tim told the commissioners. "In our township, we do what the people want. The township belongs to the people."

The program could impact on residents in slightly bothersome ways. There may be some address changes particularly in communities where there are duplicate street names; and, there could be some postal changes that may impact on rural mail delivery routes.

But not everyone is opposed to the plan.

"I am highly in favor of it," said Herrick Twp. Supervisor Elliott Ross. He said it would eliminate duplicate road names and that implementing the program should not be a hardship.

"I do believe," Ross concluded, "that ultimately an extra minute could save lives."

Marcho pointed out that the commissioners were not able to field all questions on the issue. He suggested that a meeting be set up with Emergency Management officials present to answer questions.

In another matter, a new municipal alliance in the county was welcomed by the commissioners who viewed it as a step in the right direction.

Known as the Eastern Susquehanna County Partnership (ESCP), the organization includes the townships of Ararat, Gibson, Herrick, and Thompson, and the boroughs of Thompson and Union Dale.

Besides words of encouragement for the new group, the commissioners passed a motion committing the county as lead agency for the purpose of applying for grants for the partnership.

"I am very happy to make this motion," Commissioner Lee Smith said. "We know this organization will work well."

"We are happy to see this undertaking," Commissioner Gary Marcho added.

The ESCP is seeking a grant for the purpose of preparing and implementing a multi-purpose plan to manage the development and growth of the eastern portion of Susquehanna County.

In another matter, the commissioners held for review bids for the development of a user-friendly, informational road map and attraction guide for the county.

The idea was presented to the commissioners by the county’s Tourism Committee. Members of the committee said the purpose of the map is to increase overnight stays in the county, to increase tourism traffic, and to list available services and attractions of interest in the county.

The cost of the project has been estimated at more than $10,000. The money will come from the county’s share of a three percent hotel/motel room tax instituted by the county last year.

The commissioners accepted with regret the resignations due to retirement of Gerald and Joyce Lathrop effective Dec. 10, 2003. Lathrop is employed as a field appraiser in the county assessment office and Mrs. Lathrop works in the Tax Claims Bureau.

Byran Yulke was hired as a part-time employee in the MIS Department at an hourly rate of $10.

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