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Issue Home January 20, 2004 Site Home

Pete Birchard Displays Milk Bottle Collection
Creative Play Preschool Celebrates
Double Wedding In Susky Borough Hall
Four Generations
Engagement Announced Lee – Chilewski
Lee's Celebrates 100 Years
Rail Authority Holds Organizational Meeting
We're Waiting For You!
Calling All Cell Phones
Cookies Are Here!
Elder Abuse Awarenessn Project Launched
Engagement Announced Philpott – Hobart
Michael Brown In Blue Man Group
Feb. Jurors Drawn

Pete Birchard Displays Milk Bottle Collection

I recently visited Mr. Pete Birchard of South Auburn and his milk bottle collection. Mr. Birchard was a milkman for Shadow Brook and Dairylea, delivering milk for 28 years and collecting milk bottles for 40 years.

Milk bottles can be hard to find. Mr. Birchard finds them wherever he can. He goes to sales and auctions trying to find them. There is a newsletter called "The Milk Route" for collectors that advertise shows and conventions.

Mr. Birchard has between 1200-1400 milk bottles in his collection. Most of his bottles are from creameries that were located in northeastern Pennsylvania, many from Susquehanna County, some from New York and New Jersey. Mr. Birchard’s favorite bottles are the ones with tin tops. The oldest bottle he has is from Binghamton, New York, easily distinguishable by the purplish color of the bottle and no logo painted on the side. The Borden’s Dairy bottle was made in 1889 and is one of the oldest. You can distinguish older bottles by their big tops and long necks. Bottles with Hop-Along Cassidy on them are very old and very valuable. Newer milk bottles have shorter necks, plastic tops and the bottle is more of a square shape instead of round.

Pete Birchard, South Auburn shows his milk bottle collection to Susquehanna County Dairy Princess, Shana Mack.

There is a very wide price range for the milk bottles. A half-pint "Author’s Dairy" can be worth $300 and an "Author’s Dairy" quart bottle can be $500. Mr. Birchard says, "If you can find bottles for under $10 you’re doing good. Many people don’t realize the value of the bottles." A "Dairylea Girl’s Collector Bottle" can go for hundreds of dollars. There are also amber colored bottles, colored to protect the vitamins in skim milk having a reaction to the sun. The bottles sell for about $85.00.

Mr. Birchard only displays his bottles at the Gibson Grange but says there are shows and conventions all over the United States, including the Farm Show in Harrisburg.

Here is a list of some of the creameries that he has bottles from; Black’s Dairy, Cloverly Dairy, F. M. Bush Dairy, J. H. Singer, and Arnold’s Dairy, all located in Montrose; Pickett’s Dairy and Rocky Forest Dairy, Laceyville; Wilcox Dairy, Sayre; Shadowbrook Dairy, Tunkhannock; Shannon’s Farm, South Montrose; Spring’s Dairy, Wyalusing; Fox Chase Farms, Towanda; Edgewood’s Dairy, Troy; Brant’s Dairy, Great Bend; Page’s Dairy, Susquehanna; Woodbourne Farm, Dimock; and Aldrich Dairy, Norwich, New York.

I would like to thank Mr. Pete Birchard for showing me his milk bottle collection.

Milk Message: Milk group foods are the preferred source of calcium in the diet because they provide calcium and a package of eight other nutrients essential for good health. Supplements do not provide the same nutrition package found in milk group foods. So, remember to get your 3-A-Day of dairy.h.

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Creative Play Preschool Celebrates

The Creative Play Preschool celebrated the 2003 holiday season at their annual Christmas party. Over 150 people eagerly attended St. John’s Church Hall on December 18. This was the largest turnout ever! During the party, the children proudly presented their families with beautiful, handmade ornaments and cards. Along with the certificates of recognition that were awarded to each preschooler and the delicious pizza party, the highlight of the day was Santa’s visit to the festivities.

Pictured (l-r) are: Alexis Benesh, Santa (Damien Chacona), and Austin Chisek.

Every child was able to tell Santa their secret Christmas wishes and, in turn, Santa Claus lovingly gave each child a candy cane and a Christmas book. All had a most enjoyable time!

The preschool has been owned and operated by Norma Chacona since 1982.

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Double Wedding In Susky Borough Hall

With Mayor Nancy Hurley performing the ceremonies, two well known, local couples were joined in holy wedlock in the Susquehanna Borough Building on Friday, November 29, 2003.

Georgianna Muriel Carpenter and Scott Michael Darling exchanged vows in the office of Mayor Hurley. Matron of Honor was Karen DeWitt; best man, Brinton Cresse; flower girl, Shirley Decker; ring bearer, Ed Graves, Jr.

Frances Cole and Roger Williams also were married in the mayor’s office. Matron of Honor was Barb Glover; best man, Butch Kelsey; ring bearer, Matt Williams.

Pictured (l-r) are: Fran and Roger Williams and Georgianna and Scott Darling.

A reception was held in the American Legion Memorial Hall, Susquehanna, which was beautifully decorated for relatives and friends.

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Four Generations

Pictured (l-r) celebrating four generations are: Teresa Whitney; granddaughter, Sara Swartz; great-granddaughter, Kendra Ravonia Swartz; and daughter, Barbara Ballard.

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Engagement Announced Lee – Chilewski

Tom Chilewski, son of Chester and Stella Chilewski, Clifford, PA and Cindy Lee, daughter of Irma Crissell, Thompson, PA would like to announce their coming marriage, February 14, 2004.

Tom and Cindy

Tom is owner of Chilewski Flagstone and Cindy is a cashier at Benson Brothers in Susquehanna.

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Lee's Celebrates 100 Years

As the calendar turned to 2004, Lee’s Store in Montrose, now listed simultaneously as Lee’s Fine Home Furnishings, Lee’s Furniture and Appliances and Lee’s Radio Shack Dealership, began its 100th year in business. Third generation co-owners Jay and Craig Reimel reminisce as they also look forward to the future.

The Lee Brother’s furniture business was opened in Springville, in 1904 by brothers Harry and Charles. By 1938, with a successful business well underway, they assessed the surrounding area and realized there was no furniture business in Montrose. They rented a small area from Anna Kittle on South Main Street, where the tack shop is now located, saying, "We’ll try doing business in Montrose for three months. If we make a profit, we’ll stay."

Having succeeded in that endeavor, in 1940 they moved to their present Montrose location on Church Street, which had been a Pontiac Garage, damaged by fire. For twenty years they rented there from George Starzac, sharing the building with Max Parke, who operated a farm equipment business there. In 1949 Parke moved to another location and Lee’s now rented the entire building, where they did considerable remodeling at their own expense because Starzac’s rent was so reasonable. In 1960, they bought the building, which along with the business, has undergone several changes.

What started out as a brothers’ partnership had became two separate businesses in the late 1940’s; Charles selling in Montrose and Harry remaining in Springville. At the close of World War II, ownership of the Montrose store was passed on to the next generation. When Robert Lee and Frank Reimel (husband of Betty Lee Reimel) came home from the service, they took the reins and began the necessary changes to keep up with the times.

Craig and Jay Reimel take a moment from their busy day to pose for the County Transcript.

The postwar era was a boom for business. With returning servicemen marrying and starting families, Lee’s saw an upturn, not only in furniture sales, but also in the developing appliance market. General Electric touted, "Better things for better living" and the consumers snapped up their products.

In the 1970’s the business passed to the third generation as children finished college and headed back to Montrose. Jay Reimel, Larry Lee and Karen Lee now came into the business. Several years later, Larry would sell his interest to Craig.

Each generation has done its part to keep up with the times. The big Hallmark section came into being when the Montrose Department Store went out of business. A year ago, after extensive research by Craig, the Radio Shack department was added. They believe that for a business to stay viable, it must keep up with the times, and Radio Shack equipment is an important part of what furnishes homes today. Lois Reimel has also been doing business from Lee’s Store for the past twenty years as Susquehanna County’s authorized Xerox sales agent.

With decorators on board in each era, the well-stocked store is also visually pleasing. Their concept of accessorized room settings for display has given the store character rather than a superstore look. With three floors of display space, there is much decorating to do and stylists Betty Reimel, Karen Lee Leonard and Carol Brown have been up to the task. The business is so visually appealing that some of us go there just to walk through and revive our senses.

One can be sure that a business is doing something right when employees are loyal for many years. Carol Brown has been working at Lee’s for eighteen years, Edward Frystak for twenty-four, and Carol Stankiewicz for thirty-seven years! Also working in the store are Ron Leonard, Shelby Riker and Debbie Reimel.

In an earlier interview, Robert Lee had said, " With the exception of Andre’s (Farm and Home Supply Store), this is the oldest family-owned and operated retail store in the area."

In today’s business climate of large chain stores driving out the Mom and Pop establishments, the Lee family is to be congratulated on their courage and business acumen that allows them to continue serving Montrose and the surrounding areas.

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Rail Authority Holds Organizational Meeting

The newly formed Susquehanna County Railroad Authority held its organizational meeting on Friday, January 9, at the Susquehanna County Courthouse. The members elected the following officers: Rowland Sharp, chairman; Sam Merrill, vice-chairman; Janet Haulton, Secretary-Treasurer. Susquehanna County Commissioners Roberta Kelly, Jeff Loomis, and MaryAnn Warren also attended the meeting.

Pictured (l-r) are: front row – Sam Merrill Vice-Chairman, Commissioner MaryAnn Warren, Tom Wooden, Rowland Sharp Chairman; back row – Janet Haulton Secretary-Treasurer, Commissioner Jeff Loomis, Commissioner Roberta Kelly, Joe White, Ed Tourje. Rick Ainey is also a member of the authority but was unavailable for the picture.

Chairman Rowland Sharp noted that the authority’s organization represents the culmination of over three years of effort by a number of forward-thinking people and that Susquehanna County is in a very good position to capitalize on regional rail efforts.

Commissioners Kelly, Loomis and Warren indicated their intention to be actively involved with the authority. "We support the railroad authority’s efforts and look forward to working with them on future projects for the benefit of the county," said Commissioner Chairperson Roberta Kelly.

The authority will meet on the second Friday of each month, 10 a.m. at the Susquehanna County Office Building, 31 Public Avenue, Montrose. For information, contact the authority through the Susquehanna County Department of Economic Development at (570) 278-4600, ext. 558.

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We're Waiting For You!

Hi! I’m Bubba, a one-year old, male, housebroken Shepherd/Rotti mix. I’m a big, lovable guy who can’t wait to have some wonderful family or person play with me and love me forever. Please come see me!

I’m Snowflake! I’m a beautiful, white, eight-month old female cat who, together with my friend, Ebony (a gorgeous black male) is waiting for some wonderful cat lovers to take us home. We have oodles of purrs just waiting to be used so please come and give us a good home.

Please come see us at the Susquehanna County Humane Society Shelter, in Montrose, (570) 278–1228.

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Calling All Cell Phones

In a report released by Inform Inc., a New York based national environmental research group, Americans will retire 100 million cell phones this year, about 50,000 tons of waste. Disposing of hundreds of millions of phones in landfills or incinerators will release toxic materials such as arsenic, lead and cadmium, according to the same report.

In an effort to help prevent some of those phones from going to the landfills, the Susquehanna County Recycling Center is participating in a collection program for recycling non-functioning cell phones. All brands, models and services are accepted. You may bring your old cell phone to the Recycling Center and place it in the barrel marked "cell phones" that is located outside the office door. The phones will be sent to a company that will refurbish them.

In addition to cell phones, the Recycling Center is accepting pagers, two-way radios and PDAs (personal data assistants). These items may be placed in the collection barrel with the cell phones. A local company, Envirocycle, located in Hallstead, is also a drop-off location for these items. Their phone number is: (800) 711-6010.

The Susquehanna County Recycling Center is located at 5 Ellsworth Drive, South Montrose. Phone: 278-3589. E-mail:

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Cookies Are Here!

As American as mom’s apple pie and baseball, it’s time for the annual Girl Scout cookie activities throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania.

What began as a grassroots event featuring simple, home-baked cookies has evolved into a great American tradition. The evolution continues with the introduction of a new cookie for 2004. Piñatas are an iced oatmeal cookie filled with strawberry jam topped with cinnamon crumbs and a vanilla glaze. Piñatas are joined by all of the old favorites including Thin Mints, Caramel deLites, Animal Treasures, Peanut Butter Patties, Lemon Pastry Cremes, Shortbreads, and Peanut Butter Sandwich.

The eight varieties of cookies are available January 17 - February 17 from Girl Scouts in your neighborhood, at a booth sale near you or by calling toll-free 1-888-6KOOKIE.

As with any event of this magnitude, volunteers are the driving force behind the cookie sale’s success. "We are extremely fortunate to, once again this year, have an extraordinary group of committed Girl Scout volunteers helping ensure the success and smooth operation of our cookie sale," noted Kathy D. Fisk, council development specialist.

Beverly Knopick is serving as this year’s Cookie Sale chairperson in the Endless Mountain service unit which encompasses Montrose and the surrounding communities. Kristin and Donald Potter are this year’s Cookie Sale chairpersons in Hallstead, Clifford, Harford and the rest of the Mountain Ridge service unit. These dedicated volunteers donate countless hours of their own time in organizing the sale and helping provide support to the more than 500 troops throughout the Council’s geographic service area.

The annual cookie sale helps provide the Girl Scout experience for nearly 6,5000 Girl Scouts in the Scranton Pocono Council’s geographic service of Lackawanna, Wyoming, Susquehanna, Wayne, Monroe and parts of Pike counties as well as providing financial support for the Council’s facilities and services.

Approximately two-thirds of the $3.00 selling price of a box of cookies goes directly to support Girl Scouting locally in the Scranton Pocono Council, according to Mrs. Fisk. In addition, girls earn credit for summer program opportunities, and a portion of the proceeds goes directly back to the Troop which then decides how to best utilize its funds. "For just $3 per box, you are helping to fund the future and make an investment in a girl who is growing strong and learning about herself, her community and the people around her," observed Mrs. Fisk. "And you’re getting some delicious cookies in the process!"

While certainly an important fund-raiser, the Girl Scout cookie program is about a lot more than raising money. "We focus on cookie activities not just as a fundraising tool, but as a unique program experience for girls and a great way to spread the extraordinary message of Girl Scouting," noted LaMarr Schneider Coe, council executive director.

Synonymous with Girl Scouting for years, the Girl Scout cookie sale is an essential piece of the informal educational activities of Girl Scouting.

"The cookie sale is a wonderful opportunity for girls to practice setting goals and achieving them. When a girl sells a box of cookies, she learns to deal with the public, manage money, keep accurate records, market a product and work with the girls in her troop to successfully reach their objectives," Mrs. Coe said.

As with any undertaking in Girl Scouting, the cookie sale is firmly rooted in the four essential program goals at the heart of the Girl Scout movement. "When a girl participates in the cookie sale, her self-confidence increases, she learns and practices her ‘people skills,’ she learns integrity and financial responsibility and develops her skills in cooperatively working with others," Mrs. Coe noted.

As local Girl Scouts gear up for their annual cookie activities, Mrs. Coe says, "This year – more than ever – girls are relying on the accepting and nurturing environment that Girl Scouts provides. We want girls – all girls – to know that Girl Scouting will be here for them no matter what." Adding, "We hope the community continues its long-standing tradition of strong support of the Girl Scout cookie program."

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Elder Abuse Awareness Project Launched

The B/S/S/T Area Agency on Aging has been awarded a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Aging for an Elder Abuse Awareness Project focusing on the problem of financial exploitation of adults age 60 and older who reside within the counties of Bradford, Sullivan, Susquehanna, and Tioga, Pennsylvania. The goal of the Elder Abuse Awareness Project is to increase public awareness about this important subject and to provide information on how to identify financial exploitation and what can be done about it.

Those who financially exploit an older individual may steal or mismanage money, property, savings, or credit cards. In other instances, the older person may be forced by a family member or another individual to sign a will, or to turn over assets.

Trula Hollywood, Adult Protective Services Supervisor of the B/S/S/T Area Agency on Aging says that the problem of financial exploitation of older citizens in the area is much more prevalent than is known by the general public. The problem is often unreported due to lack of knowledge regarding this issue. There are many remedies available to assist an older individual who has been exploited. Ms. Hollywood is hopeful that the Elder Abuse Awareness Project will get the word out that concerns should be reported to the Area Agency on Aging to prevent the abuse from continuing.

The Elder Abuse Awareness Project will include an outreach of information to area banks and bank consumers about financial exploitation of the elderly and what can be done about it. A series of informational segments will be featured on the Senior Notebook Program (WENY TV, Channel 36, Elmira, NY) and Public Service Announcements on the subject will be released to area radio stations.

In a series of newspaper articles, the subject of financial exploitation of older adults will be explored in depth. The series will include information about how to identify financial exploitation, how to get help for an older individual who is being exploited financially, Pennsylvania Elder Abuse Law with regard to financial exploitation and other forms of Elder Abuse, the role of Adult Protective Services in investigation and resolution of financial exploitation cases, and preventative measures which should be taken by an older adult to avoid the possibility being exploited financially.

To report a concern about financial exploitation of an older adult or for more information on the Elder Abuse Awareness Project, contact the B/S/S/T Area Agency on Aging at 1-800-982-4346.

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Engagement Announced Philpott – Hobart

Announcement is made of the engagement of Deirdre Deanne Philpott, Susquehanna, PA to David Ellis Hobart, Thompson, PA.

The bride-elect is the daughter of Kelly Balmer and Jason Heeman, Lanesboro, PA. She graduated magna cum laude from Susquehanna Community High School, class of 2001. She is attending Kutztown University, where she plans to graduate in May, 2005 with a BA in Clinical Psychology. She is currently employed by Flying J, for the summer months.

The prospective bridegroom is the son of David and Patricia Hobart, Thompson. He is a graduate of Susquehanna Community High School, class of 2001. He currently owns the family business, DRB Stone Supply and Plowing. He also works at Gentex Optics, in Simpson, PA.

Deirdre and David currently reside in Susquehanna, PA.

A September, 2006 wedding is being planned.

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Michael Brown In Blue Man Group

Michael Brown, Jr., former resident of Susquehanna, was recently named a permanent member of Blue Man Group. Founded in 1987, the group first made waves in the underground performance art scene in New York City. Dressed in identical black jumpsuits, skullcaps and vivid blue greasepaint, the trio performed regularly in Central Park. By the end of 1991 they had moved to the Astor Place Theatre where they currently perform. Blue Man Group now operates in four US venues with theaters in New York City, Boston, Chicago and Las Vegas. A fifth troupe opened in Berlin, Germany in 2003.

Michael is the son of Francy (Grausgruber) and Don Wiggs of Virginia Beach, VA and Susan and Michael Brown of Newport News, VA. He graduated in 2001 from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA with a BA in Theater Arts. He then moved to New York City in search of work in his field. He worked as a technical crew member for several theaters and cultural events and performed in two off-Broadway productions before landing a job with Blue Man Group as a stage hand. He subsequently auditioned and was selected as a Blue Man trainee.

Following an intensive training regimen, Michael made his debut at the Astor Place Theatre. He spent the summer performing with the troupe in Chicago and is now a permanent performer in Boston, MA where he resides.

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Feb. Jurors Drawn

Following is the list of names drawn to serve as Petit and Traverse jurors for February, 2004, to appear in the Court of Common Pleas, Susquehanna County Courthouse Main Courtroom, Montrose, on the second day of February, 2004, at 9:00 a.m.

Ararat Twp.: Gladys P. Cobb, Mark Sears, Evelyn McCarthy, Timothy D. Newhart.

Bridgewater Twp.: Donald Cronk, Marsha Jones, Elizabeth R. Kaminski, James V. Proof, David Thomas, James A. Williams.

Choconut Twp.: Karen M. Hadaway, Richard L. Striley, Sr.

Clifford Twp.: Holly K. Griffin, Carol L. Kaufman, Luba Kilmer, Francis G. Lesniewski, Lynn M. Neal, Nancy Sutton.

Dimock Twp.: Mary S. Spering.

Forest City Boro 1W: Margaret Furdock.

Forest Lake Twp.: Carrie L. Axworthy, Ricki Ann Millen, Mary Beth Weaver.

Franklin Twp.: Catherine T. Torka.

Gibson Twp.: Donald M. Arthur, Barbara A. Vernovage.

Great Bend Boro: Paul R. McCain, John M. Ord.

Great Bend Twp.: Edgar L. Harden, Theresa A. Hillard, Mary E. Sienko.

Hallstead Boro: Paul R. Fields, Michael K. Hinkley, Irene M. McCarthy.

Harford Twp.: Lawrence P. Bodt, Linda Hausser, Glen Smith.

Harmony Twp.: Thomas A. Gall, Timothy Tell, Carol J. Vail.

Jackson Twp.: Joel F. Whitehead.

Jessup Twp.: Kristina Truman.

Lenox Twp.: Donald Allen, Marty Giles Evans.

Liberty Twp.: Pamela H. Conrad, Stacey M. Phillips, Linda Rowlands, Mark Smith.

Little Meadows Boro: Rebecca L. Cooper.

Montrose Boro 1W: Amy L. Proof.

Montrose Boro 2W: Greg Myers.

New Milford Twp.: Kathleen M. Estabrook, George R. Tyler, Jr.

Oakland Twp.: Ronald P. Rowe, Bernard Smith.

Rush Twp.: Gerald N. Daly, Kevin Gage, Mary Pool, Samuel J. Tesluk.

Silver Lake Twp.: Douglas K. Lattner, Thomas M. Shelp.

Springville Twp.: Beatrice Chervenitski.

Susquehanna Boro 2W: M. Jean Kosko.

Thompson Boro: Steve W. Winner.

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