Please visit our kind sponsors
Sewage Enforcement Committee
The monthly meeting of the COG Sewage Enforcement Committee was so efficient (12 minutes!) last Tuesday evening, its results can be summed up in this paragraph: Enforcement Officers had nothing out of the ordinary to report except to say there has been no slowdown in their work. Counsel Jason Legg is continuing to negotiate on behalf of COG about the judgment and late compliance fees owed by Hawkins Homes for some time; if a COG member wants an individual report on the situation, president Rick Pisasik will be happy to provide it. The proposed 2004 budget was distributed for members review; New Milford Boroughs Rick Ainey observed the budget assumes a 20 percent increase in activity next year and wondered if the estimate was justified; Pisasik thought it to be a fairly reasonable estimate, and asked that concerns like Aineys and other questions be brought to the December meeting. End of meeting.
Council of Governments
The highlight of the meeting presided over by Elliot Ross was request to members by PENNDOTs Randy Decker to fill out a form that lists the smaller bridges (those greater than 8 feet but less than 20 feet long) owned by their municipality. As Decker put it, the state has information on the longer spans (20 feet or more) and nothing on the smaller ones. "Its hard getting funding for smaller bridges, and the state thinks that if they know how many are out there, perhaps theres something they can do," he explained, adding that "right now they just want to get the number and eventually theyll put them on maps."
When one member asked if a pipe could constitute a bridge, Decker replied to please list box culverts "there are plenty of lines on the form." He passed out copies of the form, and requested that members complete them by the end of January, when hell take them down to Harrisburg.
Decker also shared information he gave a member prior to the meeting that concerned who puts up "School Bus Stop Ahead" signs. He outlined the procedure like this: It is the municipalitys responsibility; however, if a citizen needs a sign, Decker suggested that a municipal representative write a letter to PENNDOTs traffic engineer, tell him about the request and provide contact information. "PENNDOT might come out and look at it and give you permission," Decker explained, adding that 90 percent of time, the municipality provides and puts up the post for a sign that it gets from the school district.
Ross updated members of the Street/Road Sign Committee, reporting activity on signs for Springville and Oakland Township and addressing members questions about the size of signs.
Charlie Fahringer gave the Website Committee Report. The designers have a demo ready to go for members review, and Fahringer will provide them the information that will enable them to review it on-line. He also passed along an idea for a COG logo. Currently, there is none, and Fahringer wondered what members thought about a contest run at the school districts in member municipalities, to create a logo, with COG awarding a prize for the best one.
In business matters, secretary Cheryl Wellman reported that a recent insurance audit determined that some monies were owed, principally because of an underestimation of actual versus estimated payroll at the time the insurance was effective. Motion was also made to continue (for 2004) annual COG member dues of $100.
Codes Enforcement Committee
In whats become a good pattern, the president Ted Plevinsky began yet another meeting by welcoming a new member Franklin Township. This brings total membership as of the meeting to seventeen; last year around this time, that figure was nine.
Much of the discussion centered around how to ease, as best as possible into new Codes enforcement without any map whatsoever to guide COG municipalities and every other township or borough throughout the state.
For its members, Codes will be the ultimate, responsible party. Secretary Karen Trynoski reported that the group hopes to develop an information package, ready to hand out to homeowners, contractors and member officials. The package would be available at both COG and a municipalitys office, and anticipate and answer commonly asked questions, as well as include applications and/or other forms that need to be completed. It will also work on how to notify the Codes contacts at member municipalities, who are currently the point of reference for those applying for a permit, when to hand off the process to COG.
Trynoski told members it would be very helpful to know how they currently collect/know information on possible building permits, such as a pre-application form or other document. She also reported that the groups steering committee is working on how to address structures of less than 500 square feet, which are not covered by code. "Its a question of liability," she said, "if a town and not Codes issues a permit for such a structure." And while Codes has the liability for required state permitting, its also thinking about some kind of general permit that would be required by member municipalities for these smaller, exempt structures, to cut off liability issues before they arise.
Other discussion included a request by a member as to the process that comes into play when a violation is issued to a resident in a member municipality. CEO Shane Lewis replied that he does an on-site inspection and takes photographs, cross-references the municipalitys ordinances. If one or more violations turn up, he sends a notice of violation to the property-owner, who then has ten days to come up with a plan of compliance and, under state law, 30 days to comply. If these things dont occur, the municipality can choose to call in its solicitor or send a second notice. If the owner is still in non-compliance, the municipality represented by its solicitor can take the case to court; the CEO would take the stand as a witness only. Lewis noted that the county court usually finds in favor of the municipality, which includes recouping its fees.
However and as brought up by other member representatives, it is the decision of the appropriate body in each municipality to decide to what degree it wants to pursue the process.
In other business, members passed a motion that would see billing of work in fifteen-minute increments, down from half-hour increments. It reminded townships that have not done so already to provide the name, address and phone number of the municipalitys administrative contact for Codes purposes, along with a list and copies of ordinances to be enforced.
Codes, too, presented its 2004 budget for review and comment at the next meeting. Assumptions had to be made based on the work that will be done for the now-17-member-strong Committee a significant increase from numbers assumed for the six members Codes had at the time it presented its 2003 budget.
The next meeting of the Council of Governments is scheduled for December 16, 7 p.m. at COG offices in the New Milford Borough Building on Main Street.
A 61-year-old Bradford County man was returned to the Susquehanna County Jail jailed last week where he has been incarcerated since his arrest earlier this year on a number of sex offenses that took place in Forest Lake Township.
Susquehanna County President Judge Kenneth W. Seamans did give Harrell Walter Montonya of Athens credit for time served but it appears the defendant will spend more time under lock and key while serving his sentence in Susquehanna and Bradford Counties.
Seamans ordered Montonya to consecutive terms of 3-to-18 months for indecent assault; 3-to-18 months, also for indecent assault; 9-to-23 1/2 months for corruption of minors; and a suspended term of 9-to-36 months, also for corruption of minors. In addition, he was fined a total of $1,000 plus $750 in costs and will serve three years on probation when he is released from jail.
In another case, Daniel Keith Haggard, 18, of Susquehanna was sentenced to the county jail for a term of four months to 12 months for selling or serving alcoholic beverages to minors in Susquehanna on Sept. 3. He was also fined $1,000, must undergo evaluation for drug and alcohol abuse, and can have no contract with minors. Haggard was also given a suspended jail term of six months to two years and fined an additional $500 for criminal trespass in Oakland Borough.
In an Affidavit of Probable Cause, Police Officer Robert Van Fleet said that on Sept. 3, Haggard burglarized the Oakland Inn on River Street in Susquehanna and supplied alcoholic beverages for an under-age drinking party on Erie Street, also on Sept. 3 in Susquehanna.
Others sentenced by Judge Seamans last week include:
Joseph J. Warner, 19, of New Milford, 48 hours to 12 months in the county jail with credit for time served, $300 fine, and fees/costs amounting to $160, for drunk driving in Hallstead on April 27.
Timothy Allen Brewer, 19, of Kingsley, one month to 12 months in the county jail, suspended, one year state probation, for theft by unlawful taking in Susquehanna last February; 3 months to 15 months in county jail, also suspended and an additional six months probation, for criminal mischief in Oakland on June 1. Brewer was also fined a total of $750 plus costs and must perform 25 hours of community service.
Shane Caster, 20, of Nicholson one month to 12 months probation, $300 fine, 25 hours of community service, and an 11 p.m. curfew, for criminal trespass in Laceyville on Dec. 24, 2002.
Mark Victor Birtch, 35, of New Milford, six months to 23 1/2 months in the county jail, suspended, three years probation, 50 hours of community service, court costs, 10 p.m. curfew, for terroristic threats in Great Bend on March 23.
Kevin Lee Casselbury, 39, of Montrose, six months probation, $150 fine plus costs, and must attend AA meetings, for theft by unlawful taking in Bridgewater Twp. on Feb. 13.
Susan A. Shay, 46, of Starrucca, one month to 15 months in county jail, with credit for time served, $500 fine plus costs, for drunk driving in Harmony Twp. on March 8.
Bradford A. Page, 24, of New Milford, 90 days to 18 months in county jail, three months of electronic monitoring after parole, $750 fine plus court costs and $250 CAT surcharge, for drunk driving in Gibson Twp. on June 15
Susan M. Palmer, 37, of Oakland, 30 days to 18 months in county jail, $350 fine and costs, continue alcoholic addiction counseling, for terroristic threats in Bridgewater Twp. on June 27.
Joshua R. Ellis, 20, of Harford, one month to 15 months in county jail suspended, 15 months state probation, $250 fine and costs, 50 hours of community service, for delivery of a controlled substance in New Milford on Dec. 30.
Joseph Angerson, 48, Scranton, three months to 15 months in county jail suspended, 15 months probation, $500 fine and costs for public welfare fraud in Montrose on April 30, 2002.
April D. Miller, 29, of Nicholson, 48 hours to 12 months in county jail, with credit for time served, $300 fine and costs, continue AA program, for drunk driving in Lenox Twp. on Oct. 9, 2002.
Marcelo Garcia, 33, of Montrose, one month to 15 months in the county jail with credit for time served, $500 fine and costs, for theft by unlawful taking on Nov. 12, 2002, in Bridgewater Twp.
Denise Angerson, 40, of Hallstead, 45 days to 15 months in county jail, 15 months probation, $500 fine and costs, for public welfare fraud in Montrose on April 30, 2002.
Joshua A. Baker, 17, of Meshoppen, 15 months to two years minus one day suspended, five years state probation, $750 fine plus costs, no contact with victim or minors, for statutory sexual assault in Auburn on April 13.
Dear County Transcript Subscribers,
Please be advised that the mail subscription price of the Susquehanna County Transcript will increase to $30.00 per year as of January 1, 2004, in Pennsylvania and $38.00 elsewhere. Newsstand price will increase as well, to 75¢ each.
Numerous increases in printing, fuel and other related costs over the last four years force us to increase fees, across the board for our publication.
We held off as long as possible and apologize for any inconvenience the increase may cause, but find it necessary to produce what we feel is an excellent product for our Susquehanna County readers.
Your continued patronage is both imperative and appreciated and we welcome any input you might have toward our goal to keep you informed of Susquehanna County affairs.
Bridge Named The Community Memorial Bridge!
Willard Canfield, mayor of Hallstead, and the Great Bend Township Board of Supervisors had a tough choice to make last week. They reviewed more than 150 proposed names for the new bridge over the Susquehanna River that were submitted by school children and members of the community who reside in Great Bend, Hallstead and Great Bend Township. (While Great Bend Borough was invited to send a representative to the selection meeting, it did not.)
To ensure total impartiality, numbers, and not names, were assigned to the proposed bridge names that Canfield and Township supervisors Jim Banko and George Haskins (supervisor Squier, who did not attend the meeting, sent in the numbers of his choices) reviewed during a time set aside for it during the townships regular meeting. (The township secretary developed the anonymous list from all submitted forms, was the only one privy to the names that corresponded to the number, and she wasnt telling.) In the event of two submissions with the same name, the one sent in the earliest would prevail. The officials narrowed down their selection by choosing a consensus winner by group elementary school, middle school, high school, and community.
From these, it chose the grand-prize-winning name they believed would best reflect the three municipalities and their spirit that are the gateway to the Northern Tier: The Community Memorial Bridge.
Some submissions honored citizens, but no one could lay claim that any one noted individual did more than another for the area as a whole and not just a single town. Others remembered veterans. This was a heartfelt suggestion, but one thought to be easily confused with the Susquehanna/Oakland Veterans Memorial Bridge. At the south end of the span, Hallstead honors its veterans with monuments in a serene setting that will only be enhanced come the spring. Other suggestions included "Endless Mountains" and "Gateway" in the proposed name.
Names of the winners from each group (who will receive $100) and the grand prize winner (a $500 savings bond) were not divulged, pending their notification by the Great Bend Township secretary. At the time of the meeting, winners from the Blue Ridge School were expected to be announced and honored the week following the meeting at a special ceremony.
Note: One tongue-in-cheek submission was The Lightless Bridge. Both Hallstead and Great Bend Township officials signed contracts for the lighting some time ago, and it appears the equipment is all set to be plugged in and illuminated. Apparently, however, the paperwork sent to Harrisburg has to finish making its rounds to other offices. Lights are hopefully expected to be on soon. However, the township will follow up, since residents of both it and Hallstead have been asking when the lights will go on.
Wilbur A. Ross Jr., 49, Lathrop Township, and Linda Lee Spickerman, 51, Lathrop Township.
Gerald Edwin Smith, 55, Binghamton, NY, and Sharon Inez Entrot, 46, Binghamton, NY.
David M. Brewer, 19, Binghamton, NY, and Jennifer L. Dawson, 21, Binghamton, NY.
John M. Brown, 48, Binghamton, NY, and Barbara Due Riker, 41, Bridgewater Township.
John Willard Lycke, 32, Clifford Township, and Rita Marie Morcom, 36, Clifford Township.
Michael R. Visakay, 31, Susquehanna Depot Borough, and Laura Ann Bailey, 32, Susquehanna Depot Borough.
Alan Arnold St. Louis, 65, St. Alturas, CA, and Jeanette Mitchell, 65, Montrose Borough.
Alice Susco Reyes by Jacquelyn Susco Freshko, Attorney in fact and Jacquelyn Susco Fueshko to Pamela S. Stark in Forest City Borough for $56,650 on October 24.
Jane Grausgruber by her attorney in fact Joan Janicelli to Fox Enterpirses (sic), Inc. in Susquehanna Depot Borough for $20,000 on Oct. 29.
James F. Evans and Roberta E. Evans to Linfort J. Wentzell and Judith A. Wentzell in Jackson Township for $73,500 on Oct. 29.
PennDOT to Gary Downer in Jessup for Highway occupancy permit on Oct. 28.
Shane T. Lewis and Margaret A. Lewis to Shane T. Lewis and Roy Williams in Susquehanna Depot Borough for $200 on Oct. 14.
Between Carol M. Masters and Joseph J. Paolucci in Harford Township for articles of agreement and quarry lease on Oct. 30.
Secretary of Veterans Affairs to Gerald L. Arthur and Lynne J. Arthur in Hallstead Borough for $39,300 on Oct. 16.
Arnold L. Larsen to Thomas M. Maloney and Laurie K. Maloney in Gibson Township for $5,000 on Oct. 15.
Beverly M. Wood nbm Beverly M. Hoyt and Roger Hoyt to David B. Wood in Bridgewater Township for $96,500 on Oct. 29.
Carol M. Master to Joseph J. Paolucci in Harford Township for bluestone mining operation on Oct. 30.
Loyellen Wilmarth Burgess and Roger Edward Burgess III to James W. Bennett, Jr. in Auburn Township for $15,000 on Oct. 2.
Washington Mutual Bank, FA, to The Secretary of Housing and Urban Develpment in Bridgewater Township for $1 on Sept. 19.
Mary B. Hewlett, Executrix of the Estate of Guest W. Perry aka Helen Guest Perry aka Helen Guest Washburn Perry to Sarah P. Correia-Eck in Choconut Township for $1 ogvc on Oct. 23.
Kenneth M. Blaisure & Erin Blaisure to Randy A. White in Bridgewater Township for $78,000 on Oct. 30.
James A. Kinsley and Jean L. Kinsley, William A. Kinsley, Jr. and Beatrice M. Kinsley, Barbara Fox Reynolds and Thomas Reynolds to John A. Price and Robin L. Price in Great Bend Township for $48,000 on Oct. 28.
Donna Fekette & Thomas J. Lopatofksy (sic) Jr. to Kenneth L. Ferger in Jackson Township for $85,000 on Oct. 31.
Anthony Cantone and Cristine L. Cantone to Brian L. Sudbrink and Monica R. Sudbrink in Harmony Township for $90,000 on Oct. 27.
Delores M. Goff to Catherine Burke in Great Bend Township for $63,500 on Oct. 31.
Chase Manhattan Mortgage Corp. to Secretary of Houseing and Urban Development in Lenox Township for $1 on Oct. 14.
Jack Oakley and Mae Oakley to Janis V. Smith in Springville Township for $89,500 on Oct. 20.
Barry McGee and Joanne McGee to Kevin Carlucci and Ruth Carlucci in Gibson Township for $160,000 on Oct. 30.
Wayne Robinson and Ann Robinson to Scott Robinson and Wendy Robinson in Rush Township for $1 on Oct. 31.
Wayne Robinson and Ann Robinson to Wayne Robinson and Ann Robinson in Rush Township for $1 on Oct. 31.
Lawrence T. OReilly and Christine M. OReilly to Robert A. Lantka in Lenox Township for $57,500 on Oct. 31.
Kevin S. Phillips and Lisa M. Phillips to Lisa M. Phillips in Jackson Township for $1 on Oct. 31.
Kevin S. Phillips and Lisa M. Phillips to Kevin S. Phillips in Jackson Township for $1 on Oct. 31.
Alfred E. Pollak and Bonnie Pollak to William O. Wilson and Eunice F. Wilson in New Milford Township for $76,000 on Oct. 24.
Mark S. Scanlon to Robert K. Volk in Jessup Township for bluestone mining operation for Oct. 23.
Between Joseph A. Gawron, Mary L. Gawron, Alexis Martin and Donald F. Martin, (Gawron/Martin) and Dennis and Donna Robinson (Robinson); and Joseph A. Gawron, Mary L. Gawron, Alexis Martin and Donald F. Martin in Susquehanna Borough for boundary agreement on Oct. 16.
Walter C. Frystak to James Frystak in Forest Lake Township for bluestone mining operation on Nov. 3.
Lina Lake Evans and Douglas Evans to Patricia A. Wolfe in Harmony Township for $55,000 on Nov. 3.
James D. Tyler and Connie J. Tyler to James D. Tyler in Rush Township for $1 on April 24.
James Weber and Maureen D. Weber to Eric Wilhelm and Marie Wilhelm in Herrick Township for $38,000 on Oct. 21.
Evelyn Wood and Floyd Wood, Jr. to Evelyn Wood & David Steele in Bridgewater Township for $1 on Oct. 31.
Edwin Sweetman and Emma A. Sweetman cka Emma M. Sweetman to Paul Jones and Florence Jones in Thompson Township for $65,000 on Oct. 31.
Mary A. Kleinbauer, nbm Mary A. Payne and Paul Payne to James F. Shields and Moira A. Shields in Herrick Township for $185,000 on Oct. 31.
James A. Hinds and Lisa J. Hinds to Richard M. Cordes in Bridgewater Township for $77,000 on Oct. 10.
Lance M. Benedict, Sheriff, to Delwyn Speth in Lenox Township for $23,000 (transfer tax paid on fair market value of $52,998) on (no date given).
Michael Janicelli and Christine Janicelli to Gloria J. Biegert in Susquehanna Borough for $65,000 on Oct. 31.
Janice M. Biggs and Robert C. Biggs and Rolf Diedrich Griemsmann and Inge Griemsmann to Rolf Diedrich Griemsmann and Inge Griemsmann in Lenox Township for $6,702.50 on Oct. 8.
Robert A. Festa and Patricia Festa and Michael L. Festa and Jane Festa to Blanche E. Kauffman in Clifford Township for $5,000 on Oct. 17.
Charles Sanders and Phyllis Sanders to Hycin P. Thatcher and Toni Ann Thatcher in Bridgewater Township for $114,900 on Oct. 24.
Irene Pierson and Randy Pierson, Administrator of the Estate of Laurence Pierson aka Lawrence W. Pierson to Charles E. Miller and Terry L. Cordner in Silver Lake Township for $44,500 on Oct. 17.
Richard Kossack to Patrick Carey and Ronald W. Carey, Jr. in Herrick Township for $17,000 on Oct. 22.
Marilyn J. Ace to Gerald Parkhurst, Jr. and Colleen Parkhurst in Auburn Township for $50,000 on Oct. 27.
Jennifer Elizabeth Coombs Megivern and John T. Megivern to Garry A. Gelatt in Brooklyn Township for $120,000 on Oct. 30.
Esther A. Avery nbm Esther Avery Marcy to Randy J. Worobey and Diane L. Worobey in Ararat Township for $265,000 on Oct. 31.
Richard Fissler and Jean Fisher to Wilma Katherine Schuler in Rush Township for $102,000 on Nov. 3.
Kerrie A. Taylor to David N. Carlson in Silver Lake Township for $44,500 on Oct. 31.
Donald Carbone to Donald Carbone and Marie T. Mastrosimone in Susquehanna Borough for $1 ogvc (transfer tax paid on half of the fair market value of $62,543) on Oct. 15.
Eric Nicholas Jordan, John F. Kanavy, III and Norma Kanavy aka Norma Unitis-Kanavy to John F. Kanavy, III and Norma Kanavy aka Norma Unitis-Kanavy in Clifford Township for $20,000 on Oct. 22.
William C. Folger and Joan M. Folger to William E. Folger and David M. Folger in New Milford Township for $1 on Oct. 24.
David B. Conklin and Susan J. Conklin to Vinay Convenient Fuel, LLC in Great Bend Township for $1,375,000 on Nov. 3.
Leslie James Palmer, Jr. and Beverly Brooks-Palmer to Joseph Calamari and Laurie Scott in Harford Township for $218,000 on Nov. 3.
Borough of Montrose to David Warner in Montrose Borough for $36,660 on Oct. 31.
Water Easement Agreement between Warren D. Long and David Eddleston in Great Bend Township for $1 ogvc on July 1.
Jeffrey A. Page and Thomas A. Page to Pennsylvania Electric Company in Jackson Township for easement on Nov. 3.
Martin J. Gallagher and Ruth P. Gallagher to Pennsylvania Electric Company in Jackson Township for easement on Nov. 5.
Charles J. Yonkin and Dawn Yonkin to Daniel Kelly in Silver Lake Township for $3,000 on Sept. 23.
Esther French to Linda Evans and Douglas Evans in Great Bend Township for $55,000 on Nov. 3.
Hulda M. Cole to Randall L. Cole in Gibson Township for $1 on June 26.
Arthur Carman and Elizabeth M. Joy-Carman to Frank J. Gibilante, Jr. and Maureen J. Gibilante in Choconut Township for $89,500 on Nov. 4.
Arthur Carman and Elizabeth M. Joy-Carman to David Schmitt and Sharon Schmitt in Choconut Township for $32,250 on Nov. 4.
Arthur Carman and Elizabeth M. Joy-Carman to David R. Cooper, Jr. and Terri L. Cooper in Choconut Township for $33,250 on Nov. 4.
Lasalle Bank, N.A. to Chester T. Goldyn, Nancy L. Goldyn and Nicholas A. Puza in Auburn Township for $52,000.
Jamieson E. Grubb and Karen M. Grubb to Karen M. Grubb in New Milford Township for $1 on Oct. 22.
Lawrence T. OReilly and Christine M. OReilly to Debora A. Crisman in Dimock Township for $36,000.
Joanne Pretto, nbm Joanne Kolar and Robert Kolar to Joanne Pretto, nbm Joanne Kolar and Robert Kolan in Franklin Township for $1 on Oct. 30.
Dennis R. Perry and Esther M. Perry to Marvin Travis and Shirley Travis in Susquehanna Depot Borough for $3,000 ogvc on Oct. 2.
Richard Stica and Bonnie Stica to Stephen T. Groover, Jr. and Stephen T. Groover, Sr. in Silver Lake Township for $80,000 on Oct. 29.
Andrew Condon to Andrew Condon and William Phalen in Middletown Township for $1 on Oct. 22.
Timothy J. Haeselin, Sr. and Kathleen A. Wilcox, nbm Kathleen A. Haeselin to Timothy J. Haeselin, Sr. and Kathleen A. Haeselin in Auburn and Rush Townships for $1 ogvc on Oct. 30.
Estate of Olive S. Sterling aka Olive Sterling, by James Snover and Ruth Snover as Executors and individually to Montrose Bible Conference Association for $1 ogvc (transfer tax paid on fair market value of $44,800) on Nov. 4.
Ruthann Gillman and Buddy J. VanLuvanne, Sr. as Co-Administrators of the Estate of Bertha VanLuvanee to Julie Gillman in Brooklyn Township for $1 ogvc on Sept. 28.
Barbara Taroli to Kathleen M. Estabrook in Hallstead Borough for $70,000 on Nov. 6.
Ireno Monteforte and Mary Monteforte to Paul E. Meglathery and Kathe L. Meglathery in New Milford Township for $65,000 on Nov. 4.
Melinda P. Cox and Denise L. Cox to Judith E. Cox in Clifford Township for $1 on Oct. 20.
Stanley Schacter to Ewald Haeusser in Great Bend Borough for $34,000 on Nov. 6.
Ewald E. Haeusser to Terry L. Seachrist and Felisha A. Saylor in Susquehanna Borough for $58,000 on Nov. 7.
Carlo Paccile to Pennsylvania Electric Company in Gibson Township for easement on Nov. 1.
Robert J. Keene and Sandra K. Keene to Gerald F. Keene and Susan Keene in New Milford and Harford Townships for $1 on Oct. 31.
John R. Schake and Richard H. Casterline and Ruth R. Casterline and Robert J. Law to John R. Schake and Richard H. Casterline and Robert J. Law in Harmony Township for $1 on Sept. 3.
John W. King & Jill A. LaRose nbm Jill A. King to David J. Miller & Janeen S. Miller in Bridgewater Township for $1 on Oct. 24.
Robert R. Jones, 38, Liberty Township, and Cynthia A. Beebe, 36, Liberty Township.
Michael Stuart Berry, 37, Clifford Township, and Diana Lynn Bennett, 39, Clifford Township.
David B. Eddleston and Susan F. Eddleston to Darlene A. Dawson in Great Bend Township for $7,000 on November 6.
Edward Colwell and Dorothea Colwell and Paul L. Colwell to James L. Kimble and Amber J. Kimble in Great Bend Township for $10,000 on October 24.
George S. Hellyer to David G. Wood in Franklin Township for $75,000 on November 7.
Neil A. Durso and Barbara Durso to Kalman S. Durso in Susquehanna Depot Borough for $1.
David A. Clutz and Theresa R. Clutz to Gail Westover and Robert Westover in Choconut Township for $13,500 on November 4.
Joseph Drop and Dorothy Drop and Ann Marie Drop Barrett to Timothy Frenchko in Lenox Township for $30,084.15 on October 20.
Joseph Drop and Dorothy Drop and Ann Marie Drop Barrett to Edward Gates in Lenox Township for $33,915.94 on October 20.
William Byrnes, Phyllis Byrnes, Arlene Byrnes Geocos and Jimmy Geocos and Virginian Formisano Basile and Robert Basile to Thomas F. Mack and Eileen L. Mack in Lenox Township for $20,000 on September 25.
Thomas J. Lopatofsky, Jr. and Donna Fekette to Richard Hobbs & Linda M. Handschin-Hobbs in Harmony Township for $105,000 on November 4.
Shane S. Quinn and Stacie L. Quinn to Derrick James Wood in Hallstead Borough for $62,500 on November 6.
Rupert J. White and Patricia A. White to Rupert J. White in Herrick Township for $1 on December 15, 2002.
Alfred M. Bravo and Mildred V. Bravo to Matthew C. Maciuska in Union Dale Borough for $82,900 on November 6.
David E. Baltzey to Terry B. Hunsinger in Rush Township for bluestone mining operation on November 4.
Angelina G. Nicolosi to David L. Torrey and Jean M. Torrey in Bridgewater Township for $160,000 on September 26.
Elmer Graham and Joan Graham to Charles H. Fisk in Thompson Township for $89,500 on November 7.
Conseco, NKA Green Tree Servicing LLC to U.S.A.A. LP in Susquehanna Borough for $1 (transfer tax paid on fair market value of $11,050) on August 25.
Terence W. Repine and Susan K. Repine to Terence W. Repine and Susan K. Repine in Friendsville Borough and Choconut Township for $1 on November 6.
Daniel S. Hitchcok (sic) and Linda A. Hitchcock to Daniel S. Hitchcock in Bridgewater Township for $1 on July 16.
Michael P. Hanyon and Susan L. Lewis, nbm Susan L. Hanyon to Michael P. Hanyon in Auburn Township for $1 on October 29.
Scott Reese to Harry J. Reese, Sr. and Patricia K. Reese in New Milford Township for $85,000 on October 29.
Robert Mireider, Jr. and Darlene Preston to Pennsylvania Electric Company in Great Bend Township for easement on November 10.
Margaret Kupinewicz, Elizabeth Ann Hall and William L. Hall to Elizabeth Ann Hall and Margaret Staskiel in Auburn Township for $1 on September 16.
Matthew D. Greenley and Deborah A. Greenley to Amy R. Sands in Silver Lake Township for $74,000 on November 10.
Harold Newberry and Benjamin Newberry to Chad L. Towner in New Milford Township for $59,000 on November 7.
Willard Dyson and Susan-Bennett-Dyson to Willard Dyson and Susan Bennett-Dyson in Springville Townshp for $1 on November 10 (two parcels).
Mary Verboys to Brett J. Spoor in Ararat Township for $1 on October 24.
Deborah M. Oakley, joined by Wayne Oakley, to Deborah H. Oakley and Wayne Oakley in Lathrop Township for $1 on October 30.
Joyce Farkas to David J. Kozma and Susan J. Kozma in Springville Township for $115,000 on November 5.
Barbara L. Stockbridge to Kenneth J. Hodge in Auburn Township for $78,280 on October 30.
Lawrence T. O'Reilly and Christine M. O'Reilly and Thomas J. O'Reilly to Lawrence T. O'Reilly and Christine M. O'Reilly and Thomas J. O'Reilly in Oakland Township for $1 ogvc on October 29.
Joseph & Cora Cameron to Pennsylvania Electric Company in Lanesboro Borough for easement on November 12.
Francis L. Carden to Patrick T. Liuzzo and Sharon M. Liuzzo in Clifford Township for $5,000 on November 10.
Hollis G. Belcher to The Palma Gun Club, Inc. in Gibson Township for $28,576 on September 9.
Alan Daugevelo and Debra L. Daugevelo to Alan Daugevelo and Debra L. Daugevelo in Forest City Borough for $1 on November 11.
Edward Anthony Dunleavy to Steven D. Whritenour in Oakland Township for $89,000 on November 10.
Sommerville Land Development, Inc. to Michael D. Rychlewski and Terry Rychlewski in Great Bend Township for $63,650 on November 13.
Rexford T. Tiffany and Beverly H. Tiffany to Rex E. Tiffany and Karen L. Tiffany in Harford Township for $1 on November 12.
Daniel S. Hitchcok (sic) to Ellen Fuhrey in Bridgewater Township for $92,500 on November 12.
William Burrill and Karen Burrill to Paul D. Welliver and Janet L. Welliver in Dimock Township for $500 on November 8.
John Onysko to Joseph J. Hendricks, Jr. in New Milford Township for $12,500 on October 29.
Frank Kenny to Marian J. Dewitt and Mildred P. Dewitt and Thomas F. Dewitt in New Milford Township for $30,600 on October 29.
Georgory R. Greene, Sr. and Nancy J. Donovan nbm Nancy J. Greene to Dennis S. Foltz, James F. Kaeser and Leo M. Ryan in Forest Lake Township for $85,000 on November 12.
Dale C. Brown, Jr. to Daniel Brown in Dimock Township for $1 on October 17.
Daniel Brown and Gail D. Brown to Jane A. Switzer in Dimock Township for $35,000 on November 11.
Walter E. Jagger and Eleanor R. Jagger to Richard G. Jagger and Ellen M. Jagger in Lathrop Township for $1 on July 31.
Walter E. Jagger and Eleanor R. Jagger to Tracy M. Flynn and Katrina D. Flynn in Lathrop Township for $1 on July 31.
Robert M. Shelly and Barbara L. Shelly Trust to Helen E. Galow and Kent W. Galow in Oakland Township for $109,900 on November 7.
Alexander G. Sparks, II and Jane H. Sparks to Alexander G. Sparks, III and Robert H. Sparks in Bridgewater Township for $1 ogvc on November 12.
Lance M. Benedict, Sheriff, to Secretary of Veterans Affairs in Gibson Township for $2,223.16 on August 4.
Craig Nelson Klie and Marilyn Klie to Carol A. Collins in Choconut Township for $55,000 on November 12.
William Eckert and Carol Eckert to James G. Lai and Theresa M. Lai in Choconut Township for $55,000 on November 14.
Timothy A. Babcock and Lori A. Babcock to J. Thomas Hinton and Kathy A. Corey in Great Bend Township for $25,000 on November 14.
William S. Robinson and Patricia C. Robinson to Roger Oliver and Ellen Oliver in Clifford Township for $200,000 on November 13.
Harry L. Osborne and Helene E. Osborne to Richard H. Osborne, Harry C. Osborne, Gary L. Osborne, Shirley A. Osborne, Susan K. Martel and Sandra M. Skiba in New Milford Township for $1 on November 17.
Jesse Hyde and Lois Hyde to Eric Hyde and Cindy L. Hyde in Silver Lake Township for $1 on November 14.
Mary Cerra to Nancy A. Stafferoni in Clifford Township for $1 on October 10.
Premier Equity Scranton, LLC to Mark Antinnes and Michelle Antinnes in Dimock Township for $50,000 on November 7.
John Michael Phillips and John Phillips to John Michael Phillips and Wanda Phillips in Great Bend Township for $1 on November 14.
Doris Befumo, as surviving Trustee of the Paul J. Befumo Trust and surviving Trustee of the Doris Befumo Trust and Doris Befumo, individually, to Edward J. Sherwood and Carol A. Sherwood in Clifford Township for $275,000.
Paul McNamara and Shirley McNamara to Nelson L. Gould, Sr. in New Milford Township for $1 (transfer tax paid on fair market value of $5,304) on August 27.
Jane D. Ellis to Dana L. Daugherty and Jennifer H Daugherty in Herrick Township for $97,500 on November 14.
James J. Cleary and Mary Joan Cleary to James J. Cleary and Mary Joan Cleary in Gibson and Ararat Townships in Susquehanna County and Preston Township in Wayne County for $1 on November 14.
Frank Bach, IV to Frank Bach, IV in Auburn Township for $1 on November 13.
Paul A. Strohl, 20, Montrose, was traveling south on State Route 167, Silver Lake Township, and failed to negotiate a right curve causing his 2000 Acura to travel off the roadway and strike two trees. Strohl suffered cuts and abrasions in this November 9 incident at 5:05 a.m.
Sarah Ann Kozak, 19, Port Crane, NY, fell asleep while traveling on November 9 at 5:35 a.m. on State Route 267, Choconut Township, and went off the roadway, striking a utility pole. She sustained a broken arm.
Between 11:00 p.m. on November 8 and 7:00 a.m. the next morning, Joyce Belcher, Tennessee Gas Pipeline Rd., Clifford Township, reported that her mailbox was damaged.
Between November 7, 2001 and November 7, 2003, a seasonal cabin belonging to Thomas J. Staff, Sumersville, NJ, was broken into, on Angus Jones Rd., Middletown Township. Guns were stolen.
At 1:15 a.m. on November 9, at the Pump & Pantry, State Route 171, Great Bend Township, a male about 20-years old, drove off with $20 worth of gasoline.
No injuries were received after Kathryn E. Burke, 22, Archbald, collided with a deer on Interstate 81, Harford Township on November 8.
On October 31 at 11:00 p.m., Svetwana Goerlivcova, Philadelphia, collided with a deer on Interstate 81, Great Bend Township. There were no injuries.
As Paul Marcotte, 47, Friendsville, was traveling at the intersection of Camalt Rd. and State Route 267, Choconut Township, on October 16, Marcotte traveled into the path of Sheila McMahon, 58, Brackney, causing a head-on collision. Marcotte had serious injuries and was life-flighted from the scene. McMahon had minor injuries and passenger Emmit Hogan, 87, had serious injuries, and both were taken by ambulance from the scene.
STATE POLICE VEHICLE COLLISION
Trooper R. Warner, PSP Gibson, was traveling on State Route 848, New Milford Township, on November 1 at 9:00 p.m., and struck a deer. Warner was not injured, but the deer was killed.
During the night of October 31-November 1, someone dumped about 10 bags of garbage and other trash on property belonging to Steven W. Esposito, River Rd., Great Bend Township. Please call the PSP Gibson at 570-465-3154 with any information.
On October 13 at 8:21 a.m., John B. McGillvray, Lowville, NY, reported that someone crashed into his 2002 International 9400i truck while he was patronizing the Flying J Restaurant, New Milford Township.
Between October 12-19, someone entered a garage owned by Michael Jay Williams, Blake Rd., Choconut Township, and removed 4 Primax aluminum wheel rims.
MOTOR VEHICLE COLLISION
Dawn M. Williams, Windsor, NY, was leaving the Ho-Mart parking lot, Route 171, Susquehanna Borough, and struck a utility pole which was in the parking lot. She was not injured.
MOTOR VEHICLE COLLISION
James P. Girton, Sr., Greene, NY, struck a deer in the roadway on Interstae 81, Great Bend Township, on November 4 at 4:40 a.m. No injuries occurred.
Francis X. OConnor, Great Bend, reported that his law office on Main St., Great Bend Borough, was struck by paintballs on October 20 between 9:00 p.m. and midnight.
ATTEMPTED THEFT BY DECEPTION
On October 9, Jennifer Whitbeck, Great Bend, received a phone call advising that she can be part of a class action suit and receive $500. However, the callers fee for putting her on this list was $400. Caller had all the personal information of the victim. The caller related that he was employed by her bank. Whitbeck did not continue the conversation and reported it immediately to her bank and the police. An investigation continues.
Someone broke into a storage trailer and vandalized wedding gowns that Jamie Lynn Masters had in storage on Bendix Rd., South Montrose, on November 4. Call PSP Gibson with any information at 570-465-3154.
Someone broke a drain pipe for a pond and damaged an oil lamp at the Warholic residence on Township Route 356, Springville, on November 2 at 2:00 a.m.
Tools are missing from the basement and garage of the Brown residence on Juliet Rd., Hallstead. The incident occurred on October 31.
On November 4 between 12:35 and 12:40 a.m., a white female drove a red Ford Mustang with a white top to the Pump & Pantry, New Milford Borough, and pumped ten dollars worth of gas, then fled the scene without paying for it. Call PSP Gibson with information at 570-465-3154.
John DeRose, Susquehanna, allegedly harassed a 14-year old juvenile by punching him about the head, back and side, at State Route 92, Susquehanna Borough. Charges were filed, according to the report of this October 20 incident.
Someone sprayed foam insulation into the gas tanks of Susan Edwards Ford Explorer and Ford pick-up truck on State Route 2020, Kingsley. Contact the PSP Gibson with any information on this November 3 incident.
CORRUPTION OF MINORS/FURNISHING TO MINORS
Michael Hunsinger, 21, Rush Township, is being charged with Corruption of minors, and Furnishing alcohol to minors after it was learned by State Police through a call to an Underage Drinking Hotline that Hunsinger was hosting a party at which underage drinking was taking place. Member from the PSP Gibson arrived on the scene and issued citations to five persons under the age of 21 for consuming an alcoholic beverage. It was learned that the accused had provided the alcoholic beverage at this November 2 incident.
On October 25, someone smashed a 1985 Ford Crown Victorias windshield at Emerson Apartment Parking lot. Also the hood and trunk were dented. Call PSP Gibson at 570-465-3154 with any information.
Andrew Banko, Jackson Township, had several cords of firewood stacked for sale near his residence along State Route 1019. Someone stole 3-4 cords during the night of October 13. Call the PSP Gibson with any information at 570-465-3156.
Someone entered the BK Norris Distributors, Susquehanna Borough, between 5:30 p.m. on October 2 and 9:00 a.m. the next morning, by going through the roof. Taken were numberous cases of beer and two computer components. Call PSP Gibson with information.
TRAFFIC ACCIDENT INVOLVING PEDESTRIAN
On November 15 at 8:20 p.m., Terry Matthews, 50, no known address, was standing in the middle of the southbound lane of State Route 11, Great Bend Township. James Carlsen, 50, Hallstead, was driving a 1998 Mazda 626 south, also on State Route 11. Carlsen observed Matthews standing in his path of travel and tried to avoid striking him by applying the brakes, but failed and struck Matthews sending him approximately 10 feet from where he was struck. Matthews, who was apparently intoxicated, according to the police report, was taken to Wilson Memorial Hospital with head trauma injury. Carlsen and passenger were not injured.
A verbal argument started in the Main St. Cafe, State Route 11, New Milford Borough, and then several people went outside. Someone punched Gary C. Gorton Jr., Montrose, in the face one time on November 8 between 2:00-2:10 a.m.
Michael T. Grubbs, Baldwinsville, NY, struck a deer with his 1997 Saturn SL-2, on November 16, while traveling south along Interstate 81, Harford Township. No injuries occurred.
FUGITIVE FROM JUSTICE
Jose Justo Reyes, RR1, Susquehanna, was wanted out of North Carolina for a probation violation. He was taken into custody on November 3 at 11:00 a.m. at Oakland Sand and Gravel, State Route 171, Oakland Township, and arraigned before District Justice Peter Janicelli, then released ROR. An extradition hearing was scheduled for November 6.
Gibson Exxon, New Milford Township, had a drive-off by someone who pumped $33.65 in gas on November 15 at 5:30 p.m.
MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT
David Blow, 18, Hallstead, lost control of his 1991 Ford Explorer on ice covered roadway. His vehicle left the road and struck a tree. No injuries were reported in this November 15 incident on State Route 4002, Liberty Township.
Eric J. Darde, 17, Montrose, was traveling south on State Route 29, Franklin Township, when he struck a deer and then a utility pole. He was not injured but his passenger, Cora Edwards, 17, Binghamton, NY, received injuries in this November 15 incident.
Elizabeth Evans, Thompson, was traveling along State Route 171, Herrick Township, and slid off the road into a tree, on snow covered roads. She was treated for minor injuries at Marion Community Hospital on November 14 at 4:59 p.m.
Summer M. Swackhamer, 25, Montrose, was traveling east on State Route 3029, Bridgewater Township, on November 14 at 6:15 p.m., while Archie J. Ellsworth, 50, Montrose, was traveling west. Swackhamer failed to negotiate a left curve in the road, causing a collision. Swackhamer reported injuries.
Someone cut several trees and removed logs on property owned by Edward D. Zajaczkowski, Mitchell Rd., Meshoppen, between November 8-10. Contact PA State Police, Gibson with any information.
Donald Jayne, 49, RR2, Meshoppen, was driving a 1990 International school bus and was slowing down at the intersection of State Route 3023 and Township Route 482, Rush Township, on November 14 at 5:30 p.m., when he was struck from behind by Zeke W. Warner, 17, RR4, Montrose. The bus had 11 passengers from Elk Lake School. No one was injured.
G. H. Richardson, Great Bend, traveled through a red light striking Melissa Whitney, Montrose, on November 13 at 11:55 a.m. The incident occurred on State Routes 11 and 171, Great Bend Township. No injuries were reported.
On November 11 someone stole a mailbox from the Jim P. Teetsel residence in Auburn Township.
Teresa M. Ely, 22, Perth Amboy, NJ, was traveling west on State Route 106, Lenox Township, and swerved to miss a deer standing in the roadway. This caused her to lose control of her 1996 Honda Acura which then spun, hit an embankment and flipped onto its right side. Ely was not injured.
ONE-CAR CRASH, NO INJURY
Stacy Oakley, RR1, Thompson, lost control of a 2003 Suzuki XL7, on November 11 at 10:30, and hit an embankment, then rolled over.
On November 1, someone smashed a mailbox at the Warren Smith residence, Township Route 751, McHugh Hill Rd., Great Bend Township. Call police with any information.
ONE-CAR CRASH--NO INJURY
On November 11 at 9:30, Justin Christiansen, RR3, Uniondale, lost control of his 2000 Ford Focus while rounding a curve on Tennessee Gas Rd., Clifford Township, and hit a tree.
James Matthew Wooster, 46, Harmony Rd., Great Bend Township, was discovered dead in his bedroom on November 12 at 2:06 a.m. The cause of death was a gunshot wound to the head. The manner of death will be determined pending further investigation and an autopsy.
Denise Vega, 24, Harford, reported she was hit by Ramone Anthony Vega, 31, Harford at their residence on Township Route 563, Harford Township, on November 12 at 2:45 p.m. Charges of harassment were filed at District Court 34-3-03, according to the police report.
ONE CRASH--NO INJURY
A 1994 Ford Ranger pickup left the right side of State Route 167, Bridgewater Township, on November 10 at 3:30 p.m. and hit a pole when the driver, Scott Snow, 17, Montrose, became distracted.
HARASSMENT BY COMMUNICATION
On October 20 at 3:24 p.m., Jennifer O'Malley, Harford, reported receiving a harassing call from an acquaintance.
HARASSMENT BY COMMUNICATION
On October 23 at 9:55 a.m., Guy Vandermark, Montrose, reported receiving a harassing call from an acquaintance.
Ridge Gets Clean Bill
Considering that it hadn't met in public for more than a month, the Blue Ridge School Board's official agenda on November 17th was fairly short. The Board managed to make a night of it anyway, with discussions ranging from audits, to school colors, to curriculum.
Board President Alan Hall kicked off the meeting by presenting Board member Priscinda Gaughan with a certificate from the Pennsylvania School Boards Association (PSBA) recognizing her 10 years of service to Blue Ridge.
Next up was Michael Dougherty, the District's independent auditor, presenting his report covering the fiscal year that ended last June 30. Mr. Dougherty had no criticisms and no recommendations for the Board, a rare result from an auditor. He had nothing but praise for administrators for their cooperation in the audit, and for their management of the District's finances. He said it had been "a great year for the school district," which ended "on solid financial ground." Compared to the situation five years ago, Mr. Dougherty said the District's financial position is a "credit to the Board and the Administration to turn it around."
The audit report was considerably larger this year, due to changes in state reporting regulations. The Board accepted the report unanimously, although some admittedly hadn't read the document, which had been available for about two weeks. According to the report, the District's "fund balance" on July 1st was nearly $2 million, up almost a half million from the year before. The "fund balance" is a reserve of accumulated annual surpluses that are generally used for capital improvements or large unforeseen events or requirements. According to Mr. Dougherty, the state recommends a fund balance between 7 and 12 percent of the gross annual budget. Mr. Dougherty suggests that Districts try to be on the high side of that range. Blue Ridge, with a budget of just over $13 million, fits comfortably within those guidelines.
The major financial problem right now lies in Harrisburg, where the Governor and the Legislature have locked horns and failed to issue a budget that will release funds for local school districts. The Blue Ridge Board had to approve a bridge loan, here called a "revenue anticipation note," through Community Bank, to ensure that funds would be available until the state's elected officials can get their act together. The $2 million loan, which may actually be more like a line of credit, will carry interest charges of 1.15%. The credit is available in case the state fails to come through in time, although, according to Board President Alan Hall, the District should not have to use any it before the first of next year. Legislators have indicated that local boards will be reimbursed for costs associated with such bridge loans, but so far such a promise hasn't been written into legislation or signed by the governor. If the full $2 million has to be borrowed, the cost to Blue Ridge District would be about $11,500 in interest by the end of the current fiscal year, by which time the loan must be paid off. By some accounts, school districts statewide are accumulating as much as $1 million in additional costs per month because of the late budget.
The Board was treated to a presentation led by teachers Dede Tersteeg and Suzanne Seamans describing a fifth grade "integrated unit" they are using to teach skills from a variety of disciplines by focusing on one subject matter area, in this case, native American (Indian) culture. Their approach brings together reading, writing, art, music and other areas of the curriculum by engaging students in the many aspects of a culture different than their own. The presentation was supported by the contributions of three students, Scott Lobdell, Marissa Kotar, and Rhonda Lynch.
Among routine personnel matters, the Board hired Mary Ellen Reese as a full-time teacher in the Elementary School, and Rhonda Levine as a long-term substitute, both of whom were present to accept the Board's welcome. Another teacher had asked for an extended leave of absence, but there was some confusion about the request. Apparently the teacher wanted the full calendar year 2004 off. The Board approved the leave through the end of the current school year; after that the teacher would have to renew the request for the remaining time.
The Board approved a formal agreement with First Hospital Wyoming Valley for its services educating Blue Ridge students enrolled at the Wyoming Valley facility. According to Superintendent Robert McNamara, Blue Ridge has had a relationship with First Hospital for some time, and has been regularly charged for students attending there. Because of recent budget constraints, First Hospital found it necessary to formalize the arrangement. First Hospital enrolls students from participating districts on a daily basis for up to 30 days. Mr. McNamara said that First Hospital provides services for children with "severe emotional problems" under "home-bound instruction" guidelines. Currently there are no Blue Ridge students enrolled in the program.
The Board purchased a new pickup truck from Sherwood Chevrolet.
The Board reviewed a proposal from a student who is a candidate for Eagle Scout to install bluebird houses on the Blue Ridge campus. While generally encouraging, the Board would like to see further details, particularly what the birdhouses will look like, and where they will be placed.
The Board approved the expenditure of up to $18,000 for a comprehensive study of district demographics, educational facilities, and infrastructure by Burkavage Design Associates. According to Mr. Hall, many funding opportunities require a "certified feasibility study" like this to accompany applications.
Ms. Gaughan reported a successful excursion to the Gettysburg battlefield sponsored by Creative Adventures for Education (C.A.F.E.) a private, non-profit corporation that promotes such trips - including the annual sixth grade Washington trip. She said that more than 95 students participated.
Each of the principals presented his school's "report card" to the Board, a document required of each school and each district under the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA), the standards-based program run by the state Department of Education. These report cards, which must be made public, include a lot of statistical information about a school's performance on standardized tests, as well as narratives describing programs offered in the school, special achievements and concerns, and a statement of the school's mission. Michael Thornton's report card for the High School is nine pages long and is clearly crafted to meet state requirements under PSSA.
High School Principal Michael Thornton reported that three students, Annette Conigliaro, Alison McNamara, and Joseph Pipitone, have been awarded McKelvey grants of up to $10,000 per year for their college education. The scholarships were created for rural public school districts in Pennsylvania by Andrew McKelvey and his wife. Mr. McKelvey is the founder of the on-line job-search company, Monster.com. Winners of McKelvey scholarships attend private colleges in Pennsylvania.
At the very end of the meeting, Board members, led by Mr. Hall, debated recent stiffening of requirements on school booster organizations with a representative of the Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO). At a session a month ago, Mr. Hall outlined what will be required of groups that organize to sponsor events and other activities in the schools. Each group will have to be organized and registered as a non-profit under chapter 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Their activities will have to be vetted by the Board's Activities Committee.
In this case, the PTO alleges that they were not given fair warning of these changes. And the issue actually arose over the color of some shirts the PTO wants to sell to raise money and outfit the students. It seems the ruckus began when the Elementary School wanted to make appropriate clothing available for its students on School Pride day. The PTO came up with some lettered shirts, but the color scheme was red on gray. The official Blue Ridge colors are red and white. According to some, the bright white is difficult to keep clean and, when soiled, can present a poor image. Others, including Board member Harold Empett, wonder whether pride is expressed in the colors, or in the wearing of something that identifies with the school, whatever the color scheme. It was noted that the successful and spirited girls' volleyball team wear black shorts, and that the band uniforms have some black trim.
Board President Alan Hall seems to get quite exercised about such things, and repeatedly emphasized that Blue Ridge school colors are red and white. He did say, however, that decisions like this properly belong to the Activities Committee. For his part, Activities Committee Chair Lon Fisher noted that groups needing his committee's review need to submit their plans well in advance. He said that the form describing the PTO's shirt was submitted well into November, hardly time to give his committee time to consider it by the time the PTO wanted to distribute the shirts. In the end, Mr. Hall assured the PTO that their shirts would be allowed this time, but it was clear that he intends to enforce these rules.
Rules or no rules, the Blue Ridge School Board meets in the cafeteria in the Elementary School, usually (but not always) on the 2nd and 4th Mondays of the month, beginning at 7:30 p.m. The only announced meeting in December will be a reorganization meeting on the 2nd.
Holds The Line
It was a very busy agenda that was tackled by Brooklyn Township supervisors on November 20. After the report from the Treasurer/Secretary, Linda Spinola, Dan Anthony, Graham Anthony and Jacky Thomas pushed up their sleeves to get to business. Spinola reported that there is $58,458.28 as the balance in all funds. Later in the meeting the supervisors reviewed the balanced township budget for the next year. They announced there will be no tax increase for this period. The budget will be advertised and voted upon at the December meeting of the supervisors. Spinola also reported that she has finished her training for basic certification as an Emergency Management Coordinator. Spinola was congratulated by all in attendance.
Donna Williams presented a clear and concise report from Brooklyn's Agriculture Security Area Advisory Committee. Her report stated that, as of that evening, there are 8,295 acres in the plan to maintain farmland against developments and other matters that will impact on agriculture. Williams noted that there would be higher numbers as a second mailing revealed that interested parties are still getting back to her. The supervisors approved the paperwork with resolution. Information will be posted in five public places in Brooklyn Township and will be advertised in this paper. Dorothy McPherson will be reimbursed for expenses incurred while preparing this report with Donna Williams.
Historical society signs will soon be placed in the township. In other news about signs, vandalism and malicious mischief have accounted for damage to at least 12 road signs in the township during the last six weeks. Dan Anthony reported that perpetrators will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law and will participate in community service.
Road information included the work that Thomas is completing for Lathrop Township, cutting brush on Creek Road. PENNDOT has added one mile of road to the winter maintenance agreement with the township. The township grader is having welding work and the old dump truck has been stripped down after a recent accident that immobilized it. It will be sold for $400 to a local contractor for parts. Regarding the need for a heavy-duty dump truck, the supervisors will accept bids for a good used dump truck at a special meeting, 7 p.m. on December 5. Bids will be opened at that meeting in the municipal meeting. The supervisors are seeking a time clock for purchase. Portable radios are still sought for EMA work.
A $435 donation has been accepted in memory of Emma Corbin to be used for flowers in the park. A letter of thanks will be sent to the family.
A yearly COG report was read and will be filed. Approval was given for a minor subdivision to Dan Capron. Township equipment will be reviewed for possible sale. Dan Anthony reported that the boundary line with Bridgewater Township has been clarified.
The next monthly meeting of the supervisors will take place at the municipal building on Maple Street, 7 p.m. on December 18.
Munley Asks To Be Reinstated
Clifford Twp. Police Chief Tom Munley, who has been out on injury leave for more than three years, wants to be reinstated.
Munley told the township supervisors that his doctor has given him the OK to return to work. Actually he has been telling them for the past six months but apparently they had been reluctant to welcome him back into the fold perhaps because he had filed suit against the township for benefits under the Heart and Lung Act.
In March, 2000, Munley made a claim for benefits under the Heart and Lung Act contending that he suffered a period of disability due to an injury sustained in the performance of his duties as a township police officer. The township denied the claim and last March a hearing officer also rejected it.
Susquehanna County President Judge Kenneth W. Seamans recently put that suit to bed when he affirmed an arbitrators decision denying Munley any benefits. After a review of hearings on the subject, Seamans concluded that Munleys challenge of the arbitrators decision lacked merit.
Last week, Munley made his request for reinstatement during the public portion of the supervisors meeting. This time, Chairman John Regan said the supervisors will meet with him and his attorney.
Munley has been a full-time member of the Clifford Twp. Police Department for 13 years and has been police chief for many of those years. Shortly before he went on medical leave, working on a number of occasions with state police, he was instrumental in several drug arrests.
Since his departure, the police department has been manned by part-time help. In recent years, many part-timers have come and gone and those who remain work on sort of a "when time permits" schedule. Munley was paid for a 40-hour week but he was on 24-hour call and was often observed on duty beyond an eight-hour day. He rarely submitted time sheets for extra hours.
In another matter, a resident told the supervisors that a mobile home that was ordered to be removed from the Snedeker property at RD 1, Union Dale, was issued a building permit and has instead been enhanced by the addition of a garage next to it.
Permit Officer Paul Fortuner said the law allows the issuance of a building permit under a hardship clause that states a family is entitled to a place to live while their new home is under construction. He also said the boundary lines at the site are questionable, implying that the garage may be on a different lot than the trailer.
Tax Collector Harry Phillips said he collected $598 in October and has only $6,023 outstanding in taxes. He said delinquent notices will be sent out and cautioned that property owners who pay their taxes after January 1 will be assessed an additional $15 process fee by the Susquehanna County Tax Claim Bureau.
Receives Fancher Donation
Hallstead Boro Council met on November 17, with vice president John Giangrieco presiding in the absence of president Joseph Franks. Also present were members Martin Brown, David Callender, James Gillespie as well as secretary/treasurer Cindy Gillespie, Mayor Willard Canfield and several guests.
The guests were members of the Tim Fancher Memorial committee, who presented a check to the boro, proceeds from an annual race run in memory of Mr. Fancher. Presenting the check were Mary Fancher (Tims mother), Tammy Brant, Joe Monteforte, and Tom Hamlin, race director.
The proceeds are donated to be used towards park equipment or improvements. All funds are deposited into a special account; the evenings donation will be added to those received previously, and used for improvements to the boros parks. As the boro has three parks, it had been decided to allow the funds to accumulate as equipment is rather costly. Council will discuss how the funds can best benefit the boros residents before a decision is made as to how to spend it.
In other business, a special meeting had been held on November 10 to work on the 2004 budget; a motion carried to accept the budget, which will be adopted at the December meeting.
Concerns discussed included a complaint about parking on Main St., too close to an intersection, limiting sight distance and a catch basin on Route 7, which was said to be too low, causing a problem with oncoming traffic when drivers attempt to drive around it. The state will be contacted to see what can be done, as both of these situations involve state roads.
Mayor Canfield agreed to look into another complaint, about a resident who has placed rocks in the road, to prevent people from parking in front of her home.
There was some discussion about the lights on the new Route 11 bridge, connecting Hallstead with Great Bend Township. Mr. Giangrieco reported that there had been additional paperwork to be signed, concerning which lights each municipality is responsible for. And, Mr. Giangrieco had contacted Penelec to see why the lights were not turned on yet, as there had been a pedestrian accident, reportedly fatal, the previous Saturday on the bridge. He was told that it was expected to take about two weeks, as a work order from PENNDOT needed to be processed before the lights could be turned on.
A meeting was scheduled in Great Bend Township, later that evening, to determine the winning submission in a contest held to name the new bridge; Mayor Canfield agreed to attend.
Maintenance supervisor Gordon was reported to be in the process of putting up the boros new Christmas lights, which will be turned on after Thanksgiving. Mr. Gordon had to put in two new connections to accommodate two extra lights that had been purchased.
There was no news to report on the foundry property; Mr. Giangrieco said that he had attempted to contact one of the property owners, Jim Mulligan, without success. But, he said, he will keep trying to contact him.
Correspondence reviewed included minutes of the October meeting of the HallsteadGreat Bend Sewer Authority; a newsletter from the Susquehanna County Historical Society and Free Library Association; information from the PA Environmental Council regarding the North Branch of the Susquehanna River Conservation Plan; and, notice that the county Emergency Management will hold a Basic Incident Command Course.
The next meeting will be on Monday, December 15, 7:00 p.m. on the boro building.
Township Taxes Increase
"Theres nothing that bothers me more than the thought of raising taxes, but I dont know how we can do all that needs to be done without doing something like this," is how supervisor George Haskins placed on the table the fact that taxes will be increasing for Great Bend Township property owners in 2004. "Of course," he added, "were going to be the bad guys. Everybody else raised taxes and has been raising them," pointing out as well that the last time taxes the township increased taxes was in 1998. During that time, Haskins said, "our budget has more or less stayed the same while costs have gone up dramatically, for fuel, for blacktop and other materials."
Thus, he made a motion to implement a capital improvement fund with a 1 mil tax increase, to 5.25 mils, which was seconded by supervisor Jim Banko. Supervisor Bob Squier was not in attendance.
When the supervisors were asked what the 1 mil translated to in terms of a percent increase, Banko replied that an increase to 1.5 mills would result in a 22 percent increase. When asked if this meant that a 1 mil increase was around 15 percent, no one replied. (A quick and nonscientific calculation by this writer shows a tax increase of 14.652 percent resulting from the 1 mil increase: 66.6% ((the percent 1 mil is to 1.5 mils)) multiplied by 22 ((the percent increase if it were a 1.5 mil increase equals 14.652%.))
"It breaks my heart to do this," said Haskins. "Its not the reason I got into office. I thought Id cut taxes. But our roads our old, our equipment is old, the grader needs repair, and now we have to get the truck feeds inverted before we can put in crushed stone [to spread on and take care of the roads in the bad weather.] If we put this off, then we wont get anything done next year, and theres lots to do." Haskins mentioned the repaving of Old Route 11, McHugh Hill Road, Lovers Lane, and others.
A resident asked about cutting expenses. Banko replied that the township has been cutting expenses every year for the past few years, and theres nothing left to cut. The resident said she didnt believe it.
Another asked about grants. Haskins replied that township secretaries regularly research what grants are out there. Assistant Secretary Sheila Guinan recalled information shared by a PSATS representative at a workshop she attended about writing and obtaining grants. The representative said that a lot of grants awarded lately were made to municipalities working together. A lot of times, the PSATS guy told her, a grant written by a municipality for its infrastructure will be put towards the bottom of the pile if it does not show that it is working with another municipality. The wave of the future, Guinan was told, is working with groups.
Haskins also relayed a conversation with Brian Hinkley that perhaps a bit of budget relief could come from bartering with, say, PENNDOT through the states Agility Program whereby municipalities take over some PENNDOT responsibilities (such as mowing) in exchange for materials, supplies, or other trade-off. Hinkley will address the state of the townships roads at a work session scheduled for 7 p.m. on December 29.
Haskins reported Hinkley told him that repairing the roads the way the township would prefer to see them done would cost an unaffordable $400,000, and that perhaps this number could be brought to around $250,000. However, it would not include taking Old Route 11 down to nothing and starting from scratch, the way it should be and which would cost in the neighborhood of a quarter million dollars. But Hinkley wants to share some alternatives to Old Route 11 that would cost around $100,000 and would last quite a few (about 7) years.
Getting back to the budget, newly elected but not-yet-sworn-in-as-supervisor Sienko was in the audience, and asked about using a bond versus borrowing funds. He thought bonds were cheaper. Haskins replied they are not _ the interest paid being the same because of tax exemptions that come into play. Haskins added, however, that Sienko has the right to reopen the budget when he takes office as of January 1.
Notice to the county of the budget is due in January, following an opportunity for the public to review the 2004 proposed budget, which will be advertised shortly.
Haskins roadmaster report included getting ready for winter. He patrolled the roads on a recent stormy evening and found a few slick ones that were quickly cindered. Two trucks are ready to plow, and work is continuing on getting the plows themselves ready. The crosscuts on Old Route 11 have been paved, and the little spreader purchased last year has proved to be a high maintenance item; even though it was put away in good condition during the warm months, this years especial wetness contributed to rust and crystallization that need to be cleaned up.
Supervisor-elect Sienko asked if some cold patching should be done before the trucks are tied up with plows and spreaders. Haskins replied that obtaining patch on an as-needed basis meant that it flowed smoothly, came off the truck nicely, didnt get contaminated while it was sitting waiting for use and was overall more efficient. Sienko noted he was just trying to save money, and said the reason patch was ruined last year was that it wasnt covered.
Haskins also noted that a lot of stone chips were ordered, more than the shed can accommodate. However, the provider will deliver up to the order amount when supplies on hand become low.
He also spoke with Dave Edleston, an on-call driver in the past and who will continue to be one going forward. "In some of the snowstorms," Haskins said, "it really pays to have the three trucks on the road because the job gets done a whole lot faster. Dave did a good job for us last year."
The centerpiece of Haskins roadmaster report, however, was the praise for and thanks to the Great Bend Fire Department. During the recent and lengthy power outage, Haskins reported they manned the traffic light all day, and had a shelter for those who needed it. When the firefighters left in late afternoon, Haskins himself went down and put up two stop signs at the corner to replace the traffic light until the power came back on.
A resident asked why township workers didnt help. "If youre paying them, might as well make them work," she said. Haskins replied that the phones were out. Cell phones? Sometimes its difficult to get a signal. The resident said she was just trying to save Haskins work.
He sure worked on a plan of what to do should the power go out again, like it did recently. Haskins recommended that, under emergency management, the township purchase two folding stop signs that could be mounted on posts and unfolded when the situation requires them. On the advice from the Great Bend fire chief, he suggested that red blinker lights mounted on the signs would draw peoples attention to them.
After some discussion, it was decided that the mounts for the signs be installed and maintained; the signs themselves would be stored in the garage and brought out during emergencies. Thus, the supervisors voted to purchase two folding stop signs with red strobe lights, using up to the townships $500 grant for emergencies and an amount, if any, between their cost and the grant amount.
In other township business, supervisors will research on what date benefits begin to accrue and on what date vesting begins for Mike Mullen, a part-time employee who is now full-time.
There were no developments on the ongoing Fekette commercial sign permit. A property-owner is appealing the revised market value on his property. A permit was granted to Mary Jane Dixon for a new garage so long as the new structure, which replaces an old garage, maintains a distance with her neighbors boundary which is equal to or greater than the distance of the old structure, which plans show it appears to be.
The next regular meeting of the Great Bend Township Board of Supervisors is scheduled for December 1 at the Township building.
For those who are interested, the following recap was taken from the approved minutes of the townships meeting on November 3, which was unable to be covered by the Transcript:
KBA Engineering, the townships sewage inspectors, can no longer bill by the hour for sewage work completed. The Ashley Anti-Skid contract was rescinded due to their default on delivery of contracted cinders. Mike Mullens employment status was changed from part-time/on-call employee to full-time salaried, at annual pay of $24,960. Ditch-cleaning on Graham Hollow Road was completed; Tarzan Road has deep ditches that still need to be filled with stone; Locust Hill Road has been graded; Airport Road was patched; the rental grader was returned to FiveStar equipment and the backhoe taken there for routine maintenance. The subdivision requested by Clarence and Florence Colwell with a minor/addition and lot line was accepted. The Flood Plan Report was completed and will be returned. ProSeal was the only one of five companies to provide a quote to repair four crosscuts and the subsidence on Old Lackawanna Trails and was awarded the business. Supervisors will become pension plan fiduciaries, and set target investment allocations for fund assets at 75 percent equity (65 percent domestic, 10 percent international), 20 percent bonds, 5 per cent cash and cash equivalents with a target annual rate of return of 6 per cent. Public comments included: If McHugh Hill was going to be tar and chipped [a resident] would like Emerson Road to be tar and chipped, too. Are we paying the secretary the same salary to work one day as when she worked two? The depth of the ditches at the end of McHugh Hill and Emerson Road are pretty deep, and the street sign at their intersection needs to be straightened. Would the township ask PENNDOT to evaluate the ditches on Route 81?
News | Living | Sports | Schools | Churches | Ads | Events
Military | Columns | Ed/Op | Obits | Archive | Subscribe