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Issue Home February 3, 2004 Site Home

Pickett Honored By Sheriffs Association
Thompson Postmaster Retires Position
Earle Wootton Chairs Comm. Foundation
Dead Battery Eye Safety
Good News For Area Senior Community
ED Board Discusses County KOZ Program
N. Y. Life Supports N. W. C. Library
Parmalat Milk Co. Pays Area Producers

Pickett Honored By Sheriffs Association

Rep. Tina Picket (R-Bradford/Sullivan/Susquehanna) was recently recognized as 2003 Legislator of the Year by the Pennsylvania Sheriffs Association. The lawmaker is pictured with Bradford County Sheriff Steve Evans as she displays her award. Evans, a resident of Pickett’s district, served as the 2003 president of the state association.

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Thompson Postmaster Retires Position

On January 2, 2004, Gwen Poltanis (right), Postmaster, Waymart, PA presented to Mary Jo Hart (left), Postmaster, Thompson, PA her "Certificate of Retirement" and appreciation for 25 years of dedicated service to the United States Postal Service. Ms. Hart started her honorable, dedicated career in the Postal Service as a clerk in the New Milford Post Office (1978). She was appointed Postmaster at Harford, PA in 1980, and then in 1984 was appointed Postmaster at Thompson, PA, where she has faithfully served for the past 20 years.

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Earle Wootton Chairs Comm. Foundation

Financial advisor William Lewis ended a remarkable six year term as Chairman of the Board of the Community Foundation of Susquehanna County (CFSC) this week. He will be replaced in that role by Earle Wootton, a Montrose publisher, former banker and present Vice Chairman of the Board.

William Lewis (left) and Earle Wootton (right) change roles on the CFSC Board of Directors.

Since its beginning in 1998 the Foundation has grown from $50,000 to $525,000 in assets which in 2003 generated grants surpassing $45,000 for Susquehanna County charities. Today the Foundation’s portfolio comprises 25 funds, drawn up and administered according to donor wishes. Most donors prefer that their contribution remains invested but untouched, with only the income being distributed. This allows their gifts to flow forever.

Wootton’s goal for 2004 will be to see the foundation’s assets and bequests surpass $1 million. The independent, locally controlled not-for-profit foundation is run cost effectively with one paid President and a volunteer board and staff. Its 36 Lake Avenue, Montrose location is also donated, keeping costs to a minimum.

The Foundation provides local, turnkey philanthropic leadership for people wishing to accomplish self-directed charitable results of great importance. It allows donors to get swiftly and surely to the point of enjoying their giving, while the Foundation navigates the legalities, paperwork, administration and expense required to make donor dreams for their community come true.

In 2003 the Foundation accomplished its first major project to establish a United Way of Susquehanna County. Its United Way endowment has the goal of making that agency’s operation self-funding and able to channel every donated dollar to county needs. The Foundation’s next major project is to develop an Educational Improvement Tax Credit Scholarship program with the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development.

Besides Chairman Earle Wootton and Vice Chairman William Lewis, the CFSC Board of Directors includes President Joseph Burke, Thomas Chamberlain, Agnes Jones, Secretary/Treasurer Betty Kwader, and James May.

For more information call (570) 278-3800.

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Dead Battery Eye Safety

Incorrectly jump-starting a dead battery can cause eye injuries or blindness. Statistics show that thousands of eye injuries occur each year from accidents resulting from exploding batteries.

North Central Sight Services, a United Way agency, stresses the importance of battery safety and recommends the following battery jump-starting procedures to prevent serious eye injuries.

For maximum eye protection, wear safety goggles. Anyone working with car batteries or standing nearby should wear protective eye wear to keep fragments and chemicals out of the eyes should an accident occur.

Before attaching cables, extinguish all cigarettes and flames; make sure cars cannot touch. Set both cars’ parking brakes and automatic transmissions to park (manual transmissions to neutral) – turn off ignition; add battery water if needed – replace caps; cover battery with damp cloth if available; do not jump start unless both batteries are negatively grounded and the same voltage – American cars are either 12-volt or 6-volt – check your owner’s manual; never jump-start a frozen battery!

Attaching the cables (do in order listed): clamp one jumper cable to positive (+) pole of dead battery – then clamp cable’s other end to positive (+) pole of good battery; at good battery, clamp second cable to negative (–) pole – then clamp cable’s other end to dead car’s engine block – keep jumper cables away from carburetor, fuel line, any tubing, or moving parts; stand back from both vehicles – start car with good battery first – then start the disabled car; remove cables in reverse order starting with the engine block and other car’s negative pole – then remove cable from positive poles.

Should an accident occur and battery acid gets into the eyes, flush them immediately with water continuously for 15 minutes. Consult a doctor immediately.

North Central Sight Services offers a free vinyl adhesive backed sticker listing step-by-step safety instructions that can be placed under the hood or in the glove compartment. This sticker tells a stranded motorist with a dead battery how to jump-start the car safely. For a free sticker, send a self-addressed business size envelope to: North Central Sight Services, Inc., 901 Memorial Avenue, Williamsport, PA 17701.

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Good News For Area Senior Community

The B/S/S/T Area Agency on Aging is pleased to announce that the income criteria have risen for two new programs which are alternatives to nursing home care for Older Pennsylvanians. These new programs will now be able to serve more adults, age 60 and older who reside in the counties of Bradford, Sullivan, Susquehanna and Tioga.

The new income guidelines apply to the Bridge and Waiver Programs which provide In-Home Services to nursing home eligible older Pennsylvanians, enabling many of them to remain at home as an alternative to receiving care in a nursing home setting.

Following are the income criteria for the Bridge and Waiver Programs.

The Bridge Program (funded by Tobacco Settlement Dollars): monthly income – $1692 for nursing home eligible individual; financial resources (like savings, stocks, bonds): $8,001 to $40,000 for individual – burial plots exempt; individual cost-shares at 50% of cost of in-home services; in-home services may include home-delivered meals, emergency response systems, personal care, caregiver respite services, home environment modifications, medical supplies and equipment, and other services.

The Waiver Program (funded by Medical Assistance): monthly income – $1692 for nursing home eligible individual;

Financial Resources (like savings, stocks, bonds): $8,000 or less – burial plots exempt; no cost-sharing or other fees; individual receives Medical Assistance Access Card; in-home services may include home-delivered meals, emergency response systems, personal care, caregiver respite services, home environment modifications, medical supplies and equipment, and other services.

For more information on the Bridge and Waiver Programs, call the B/S/S/T Area Agency on Aging at 1-800-982-4346.

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ED Board Discusses County KOZ Program

Department of Economic Development Board members met for their regular monthly meeting on January 22. Board chairman Jack Ord welcomed Commissioners Kelly, Loomis and Warren to the meeting. Commissioner Chairperson Roberta Kelly expressed confidence in the board and offered the support of the commissioners for their activities.

Department Director Elizabeth Janoski informed the board that the state legislature has voted to re-open the Keystone Opportunity Zone (KOZ) program to include additional properties. This round of nominations will begin with a pre-qualification process through the state’s Department of Economic Development (DCED). Following pre-qualification by DCED, the department can then obtain the necessary local resolutions in support of the property’s inclusion to the KOZ program. The deadline for submitting properties to DCED is February 16.

The KOZ program provides tax abatements to businesses locating or renting facilities located on properties included in the program. There are twelve Susquehanna County properties currently enrolled in the KOZ and KOE (Expansion)Z program.

Board members moved to develop a list of potential nominations. Chairman Jack Ord noted that the list should be guided by the program’s intent to rehabilitate blighted areas, adding, "We don’t want to see prime real estate removed from the tax rolls."

For more information on the KOZ/KOEZ program, visit the county’s official website,, or contact the Susquehanna County Department of Economic Development at (570) 278-4600, ext. 558.

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N. Y. Life Supports N. W. C. Library

The Northern Wayne Community Library has been awarded a grant of $500.00 for general operation support through the New York Life Foundation’s Local Volunteer Action Program. This program encourages and supports the volunteer involvement of New York Life employees, agents and retirees in community-based, nonprofit organizations.

John Kirkman, a retiree of New York Life, volunteers for the library and helped with the grant proposal. Mr. Kirkman feels the library "makes a real difference" in his rural community and is proud to help support its mission with his volunteer efforts.

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Parmalat Milk Co. Pays Area Producers

According to a survey taken by the Progressive Agriculture Organization on Monday, January 26, it appears that all independent dairy farmers shipping milk to Parmalat Milk Company have been paid. According to Arden Tewksbury, Manager of Pro Ag, farmers in ten counties have received their milk checks. The checks were due on the 26th. Dairy farmers were extremely concerned about the checks, because the checks that were due on the 20th were received by the dairy farmers up to three days late.

When the milk checks were late to the dairy farmers, many people figured the financial problems experienced by Parmalat in Europe had reached the United States and many dairy farmers exited from Parmalat to other markets.

Pennsylvania has a law that states if a producer is going to leave a private milk handler, then the producer is required to give his existing handler a 28-day notice. The law also requires a milk handler to give dairy farmers a 28-day notice before he can drop the producer. However, when Parmalat producers were not paid by midnight on the 20th, the PA Milk Marketing board did not intervene with the producers’ departure.

Tewksbury said, "Some people still think the board waived the 28-day notice" (since no action was taken). Now that Parmalat is no longer in default with the dairy farmers, the Pro Ag leader said the board will have to decide if they will enforce the 28-day notice in the future. Tewksbury said, "Not only did the remaining Parmalat producers receive their payment on the 26th, we know of producers that left Parmalat who received their checks as well."

One thing is for sure, this bad situation illustrates the need to improve the milk bonding laws in Pennsylvania. Tewksbury said, "We have been talking to key people in Pennsylvania about improving the bonding laws." State Senator Roger Madison is expected to take the lead in attempting to amend the bonding laws.

Officials of Pro Ag stated that financial conditions are tough enough on dairy farmers and the industry certainly does not need bankruptcies.

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