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Issue Home April 6, 2004 Site Home

Ambulance Service In Jeopardy
Appeal Expected in Scher Decision
Hope For Peck Hill Residents?
Meeting Highlights Cooperation
Court House Report
Gibson Barracks Report

Ambulance Service In Jeopardy

The Great Bend Borough Council had an extended information session with representatives of the Hallstead-Great Bend Ambulance Service at its meeting on April 1. John Brant, President of the Ambulance Service, and a colleague came before Council to explain their situation and lay out a plan for resolving it. Great Bend Borough "fathers" the service: is its home, where its equipment is based, and manager of its workmen’s compensation insurance program. Yet membership has been gradually declining over recent years, to the point where some have begun to question its viability. According to Mr. Brant, the service now has only about 10 active members, with three active Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT). He said that, after Montrose, his group has the highest call volume of any in the county, and that two of the three qualified EMTs are carrying the entire load. A recent meeting that was advertised in the area drew only two residents who were not already members.

The local volunteers are under fire from the Bradford-Susquehanna Emergency Medical Service (BSEMS) based at the Guthrie Medical Center in Sayre, Pennsylvania, which contracts with state government to oversee local emergency service providers. According to a pair of letters addressed to the Borough Council and its members by R. Brent Meadows, Executive Director of BSEMS, the Hallstead-Great Bend Ambulance Service is not meeting state standards for response times and reporting requirements, and may be in jeopardy of losing its license when it comes up for renewal this summer. In the meantime BSEMS has put the local service under a "provisional" license. Some members of the Borough Council suspect Mr. Meadows’ motives, wondering if he might be "in cahoots with Montrose," in the words of Councilman Jerry MacConnell.

Mr. Brant concedes that his outfit "is in a lot of trouble," and "cannot function with the numbers [of volunteers] that it has." "We're not getting out the door like we should, by state guidelines," he acknowledged. Mr. Meadows of the BSEMS has arranged a public session at the Montrose 911 center for Wednesday, April 7, at 7:30 p.m. to discuss the situation, and Mr. Brant encouraged Council members to attend.

Mr. Brant is offering a plan that he thinks will solve the problems. The Hallstead-Great Bend Ambulance Service is currently negotiating a "merger" with Broome Volunteers, a much larger ambulance service based in Conklin, New York. Of the local options, the Hallstead-Great Bend group looked to Broome because they have "been there in the crunch when we needed them." According to Mr. Brant, the merger will allow the Hallstead-Great Bend group to resume around-the- clock ambulance service in its service area, and would bring back Advanced Life Support, withdrawn within the last year by the Barnes-Kasson Hospital as not economically viable. Mr. Brant said that the merger would not change the character of the local service as residents perceive it, but would allow it to continue on a local basis, rather than having to depend on a service based, say, in Montrose. "We're trying to keep it together," he said.

Council members are also concerned about losing the local character of the ambulance service, of which they are justly proud. Yet Mr. MacConnell wondered what the Broome Volunteers would get out of the deal. Mr. Brant said that he expected the final merger to involve an "exchange of assets," but some on Council couldn't see why that would be necessary. By expanding south, Broome would gain additional visibility, not to mention revenue. In exchange, they would be required to certify their personnel by Pennsylvania standards. It was explained that an ambulance service can also be a very lucrative business, although both Hallstead- Great Bend and Broome are organized as non-profit agencies. According to Mr. Brant, the merger is "definitely going to happen. We don't have a choice."

In other business, the Borough Council heard a brief report on negotiations with Barnes-Kasson Hospital for renewal of their agreement on the Blue Ridge Senior Center, which is now located at the Great Bend Borough building. The Borough is seeking higher rent to cover increased costs, or perhaps some combination of burden sharing with the hospital. Details were not released, but it appears that the talks are converging on wording of the final agreement, some elements of which were discussed during an executive session.

The Borough is also on the lookout for a secretary to replace the long-serving Mary Jean Fleming, who will be retiring at the end of April. The search committee, consisting of Council members Mike Wasko, Ray Holtzman, Jerry MacConnell and Rick Franks, has received eight applications. They will interview four candidates. Council extended the committee authority to hire a new secretary without a further vote of the full Council. The committee may also recommend a realignment of the Borough's office hours, perhaps to shrink open hours from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. five days a week, to three days a week.

Last month Council President Ray Holtzman asked his colleagues to bring to the table projects for improvements in the Borough that could be completed within the current year and at reasonable cost. Jeff Burkett suggested some kind of recognition of the contribution of local businesses. Rick Franks would like to see concrete curbing along the streets. Mr. MacConnell is anxious about the condition of the streets themselves, freshly paved when the sewer was installed, and now showing signs of age and wear. Council asked the local Boy Scout troop, through one of its leaders, Borough solicitor Frank O'Connor, to consider a project to edge a stretch of unkempt sidewalk along Main Street this summer.

As the weather improves, activity in the Borough's parks increases, and with it, the vandalism that has plagued the town's public spaces. Borough maintenance worker Alan Grannis said that 15-16 softball-size holes have appeared in the siding on the new cinder shed. Memorial Park seems to draw the greatest concentration of miscreants, many of whom, say some, are not local residents.

And the Borough is in the market for a new lawn tractor. Several Council members expressed their preferences by make, model, engine type and appurtenances. A machine of the type being considered might cost the Borough in the neighborhood of $2,500. The tractor would complement the heavier work of the town's larger tractor, and replace aging equipment now on its last legs.

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Appeal Expected in Scher Decision

Pennsylvania State Attorney General Jerry Pappert is not ready to let Dr. Stephen B. Scher board a train to North Carolina and freedom. On the contrary, Mr. Pappert is determined to do all that is legally possible to keep Dr. Scher incarcerated in a Pennsylvania State Prison.

"I believe," Mr. Pappert said, "that Dr. Scher was properly convicted by a jury of his peers in Susquehanna County in 1997 for the brutal and senseless killing of Martin Dillon and he should spend the rest of his life behind bars."

Mr. Pappert said he is reviewing a number of alternatives and that he expects to make a decision sometime this week on a plan aimed at overruling a Superior Court decision that overturned Dr. Scher’s conviction.

Options open to the AG include a re-argument before the same panel that overturned the jury’s first degree murder conviction; a request to have all nine superior court judges hear the case instead of the customary three-judge-panel; a petition for allowance of appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and have that court hear the case; or, the final alternative, a new trial.

The Superior Court of Pennsylvania ordered a new trial because the presiding judge, Kenneth W. Seamans, did not allow a juror that he replaced while the jury was deliberating the case, to be interviewed on the record regarding her alleged incapacity.

According to the court papers, the jury had been deliberating about four hours when a court tip staff advised the court that there was a problem with the jury. The tip staff told the court one juror was in the ladies’ room and would not come out.

"Apparently," the tip staff said, "she doesn’t – she’s willing to go along with the decision, but, all of sudden, it’s hit her. She feels she can’t go on through with it, with the particular decision. I don’t know what we can do with her. Both tip staffs have talked to her."

The tip staff told the court the juror was crying profusely and shaking her head. He told the court he did not see anyway that the tipstaffs could straighten out the sobbing juror. Judge Seamans asked if anyone had any questions of the tip staff.

At this point, the state prosecutor asked the tip staff if the jury had reached a verdict. The tip staff replied that he thought the jury was on the brink of a decision when the problem began with a female juror.

Dr. Scher’s attorney told the court he saw no basis for excusing the juror and then suggested that she be brought to the courtroom and questioned. Judge Seamans said if the juror was unable to continue he would excuse her. The prosecuting attorney agreed but defense counsel objected.

"Judge," defense counsel is quoted as saying, "I think it’s one thing not to be able to participate in deliberations. I think it is another thing if you breakdown because you cannot agree to a unanimous verdict. That’s what I think."

"That has not been indicated, that they could not agree to a unanimous verdict," the judge replied.

Defense counsel quoted the tip staff as saying the juror in question could not go along with the verdict. But under questioning, the tip staff said what he meant was the juror could not go along with any of the three alternatives being discussed by the jury.

"I talked to one of the jurors who just left her," the tip staff said. He said he was advised that the juror that was crying was in "absolutely no condition to follow through as a juror." "She contemplated on wrecking her car coming in here this morning so she wouldn’t have to be part of this decision," the tip staff said. "She will not come out of the ladies’ room. And she’s on the brink of a nervous breakdown, according to Carol (the juror in the ladies’ room with her) and Carol is a caseworker for the Department of Public Welfare."

Judge Seamans expressed concern over the juror’s mental stability and denied defense counsel’s request to bring her into the courtroom for questioning.

"Before she heard any of the court’s instructions today," Judge Seamans said, "she contemplated wrecking her car so she would not have to participate in this jury deliberation process. That, in and of itself, is enough for the court to exercise discretion and the court now exercises discretion and will excuse the juror and substitute the other juror."

In its decision, the Superior Court agreed with the judge that the juror at issue was in a "state of consternation." But the court also ruled that it was important to the integrity of the jury deliberations for the trial judge to have the juror testify as to "the reason that she ‘couldn’t go through with it,’ particularly since the account of the tipstaff concluded with the statement that the juror ‘will not go along with any of the three alternatives.’ In such a situation, it was imperative to hear from the juror before replacing her. Consequently, we are compelled to the conclusion that the failure of the trial judge to interview this juror on the record regarding her alleged incapacity was a fatal error and requires that we grant appellant a new trial."

A number of other points brought up during the appeal hearing by defense counsel were denied including a claim that the trial court erred in denying a request for a change of venue or sequestration of the jury panel.

"Based upon our review of the record," the Superior Court ruled, "we detect no basis upon which to conclude that the trial judge abused his discretion in denying appellant’s motion for change of venue, change of venire, or sequestration."

However, while the court found no wrongdoings in Judge Seamans’ decision to hold the first trial in Susquehanna County, the Superior Court ruling suggests that "when the case is remanded for a new trial there are a multitude of new factors to weigh before resolving issues of venue or venire."

A claim by defense counsel that the trial judge should have awarded Dr. Scher a new trial due to the "numerous instances of inflammatory and prejudicial reactions of the courtroom gallery" was disregarded. "Since we have already awarded appellant a new trial," the court papers read, "and the conduct of the gallery is not certain to reoccur in a second trial, we need not specifically address this issue." The court said the subject of court behavior and crowd reaction bears emphasis and could be asserted as a factor in any future motion for change of venue. The court further pointed out that it counted no less than 10 reprimands given by the trial judge to the gallery during the course of the trial.

In the first trial, the jury found Dr. Scher guilty of first degree murder in the 1976 shooting death of Martin Dillon at Gunsmoke, a recreational area owned by the Dillon family. Authorities filed the murder charge against Dr. Scher in 1996, 20 years after Martin Dillon’s death. Dr. Scher subsequently married Mr. Dillon’s widow and the couple moved to North Carolina where Dr. Scher established a successful medical practice.

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Hope For Peck Hill Residents?

The condition of Peck Hill Road and how it got that way has been the topic of discussion at a lot of meetings of the New Milford Borough Council over the past couple of years. At last Thursday’s regular monthly meeting, the full council and mayor Joe Taylor heard yet more complaints from those who live on the road, about not just its condition but also other issues. Council decided to take several actions.

Apparently, things started to go downhill – literally, in terms of soil erosion and subsequent uncontrolled water run-off – on the road a few years ago when the property-owner at the top of it began clearing land and timber and using the property as part of his construction business. The property-owner is currently seeking a variance from the zoning board.

A recent complaint cited a fourfold increase in traffic over the last five years on a road ill equipped to handle it. A speed limit sign was requested as well as enforcement of the limit. Council had no problems authorizing the speed limit sign and will research the appropriate speed to set, based on limits for other streets in the boroughs. Enforcement, however, is another thing, and the best hope is that drivers will pay attention to the sign in the best interests of those who live on the road.

A second issue was the bringing in of garbage by the property-owner from other construction sites, dumping it on the property and burning it. (In fact, mayor Taylor said the property-owner has acknowledged bringing in waste from other construction jobs and burning it. Taylor observed that there could be a "God-awful fire up there.") And while the borough does not have a burning ordinance, Council was concerned about not just big burning, but the allegation that shingles – and possibly asbestos shingles – were being burned.

This, they thought, was a Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) issue, and will forward the complaining letter, with Council’s cover letter, to both the DEP and to COG Codes for investigation by those who can take action if violations are found.

The latest complaint also addressed the water run-off over neighbors’ yards and taking out their driveways, exacerbated by the property-owner’s bulldozing the top of Peck Hill. Repairing Peck Hill Road has been a priority for Council for some time, but to do it properly, the source of most of the problems has to be addressed, and Council did that some time ago (2002) when it called in the DEP soil erosion folks. DEP went to the property and drew up a repair plan to address the soil erosion and water run-off problem; the property-owner has yet to do anything with or about it.

Council decided to do a few things. It will send a letter to the zoning board (which is considering a variance request by the property-owner) making it aware of the erosion/run-off situation and its effects on and burden to neighbors on Peck Hill and including the DEP recommendations that have yet to be implemented. It will also request that if the board grants a variance, that it be conditioned on the property-owner’s implementing the soil and erosion recommendations. The borough’s Codes officer will also receive copies of this correspondence.

The last issue in the latest complaint was the smell of sewage and wet spots on the property. Council will ask its sewage enforcement officer to inspect the property.

The borough has applied for a grant to address the problems on Peck Hill Road itself, and is still waiting to hear if it got the funds. However, if the source of the problems is not addressed, a long-lasting road repair solution would be difficult.

And for a group that recognizes its good neighbors, Council spent a lot of time hearing complaints about others. In addition to addressing the Peck Hill problems, it will request that its codes officer inspect another property that has had 4-5 vehicles sitting on it for at least a year. It could be that this property-owner will need a junkyard permit and fencing, depending on the CEO’s report.

A safety issue was next addressed, and this is the intersection of Church Street with Route 492, a situation Council has also addressed several times. Thus, it was no news to them when Taylor reported that a tractor-trailer is regularly parked on the street, with its rear wheels just about out on 492. Several residents have complained to him about the lack of visibility this causes them, and council member Teri Gulick, who also sits on the planning commission, said that she and they have looked into it several times and continue to do so.

It seems there used to be a "no parking here to corner" sign on the street. Someone removed that sign. Gulick said that the commission is researching state regulations about the parking distance from an intersection and hopes to have a sign up soon that they hope the State Police will enforce because of state route 492.

New CEO Jim Sellitto gave council his report on activity since the group last met. This included following up with state Labor and Industry about both the Youth Advocate and Plevinsky buildings, both of which have been waiting to hear from L & I per guidance given by the last CEO. According to Sellitto, an L & I representative told him that no paperwork has ever crossed its desk about the properties. Sellitto will arrange for representatives to visit the properties and tie up matters.

Sellitto’s follow-up was well received by the group; however it did have concerns about being billed in the past by its former CEO for work that it thought was perhaps not followed through on. Council member Jane Zick is the borough’s COG representative, and she will look into the borough’s old COG bills as they relate to L & I, the two properties and charges for activity on them.

In other Codes businesses, council anticipates a presentation in May by a representative of BUI, its third-party inspector for new UCC codes. It also approved advertising with other COG Codes members that the borough will be voting on an ordinance to opt in, or not, into enforcement of the UCC code.

Also presenting at the meeting was Ron Latz, assistant fire chief. Council recently was copied in on a letter to the Fire/EMS department regarding delinquency of its loan payment. He gave a full report on the situation, which basically came down to this: the department has never been late on its loan payment. In fact, because of the way the payment recording cycle runs, it sends its payment in a month early. One of those payments was credited to the loan’s principal, and not as its regular monthly payment. Thus, it was considered to have a late payment, and the system automatically generates a letter of delinquency not just to the department, but also the municipality in which it is located. Because the department is now paid up a month in advance, it doesn’t expect to see any more delinquent letters.

Latz also reported that the local department is doing well in terms of complying with changes in state requirements on how its ambulance runs. And despite requirements that call for more hours for training and recertifying, and changes to the kinds of personnel that must be in an ambulance before it can go out, Latz reported that the department is moving along well. The group has 20 certified EMTs right now, with 7 or 8 first-responders. He noted that a lot of younger people are joining up, and that’s always a good sign.

Representatives from St. Mark’s Church were also in the audience to accept April’s good neighbor recognition. The building is the oldest church in the borough, and is just beautiful. So is the work its members do – its thrift shop, blood drives, Good News luncheons – and it was formally recognized and thanked for all of it on behalf of the community.

In other business, Council:

– Decided to contact its solicitor for the quickest way to abandon/turn over a piece of property on Maple Street to its adjacent property owner (and which was bisected about 40 years ago by Interstate 80 and now goes nowhere).

– Donated $150 to Blue Ridge Recreation, a summer program for more than 200 area kids.

– Gave the go-ahead to advertise for sale a tractor and the yellow dump truck, both of which are no longer used or needed.

– Heard from secretary Amy Hine on the difficulty she’s having about getting information about the assets in the police pension plan; Hine will contact officials of other municipalities which, along with New Milford, sponsored a police presence some years ago, to hopefully gather more information.

– Approved a request for the Youth Festival Parade and 5K Walk-a-Thon on May 22.

– Noted that a preconstruction conference on the sewer would be held on April 5 and at which winning contractor James O’Hara (whose bid came in under budget) would discuss where and how the project will proceed; the contractor bill have nine months from April 5 date to complete the project.

Lastly, in what is a sure sign of spring, Taylor announced that one of the cannons is being spruced up and will be out of its winter storage and in the park this week, with the other to follow shortly.

The next regular meeting of the New Milford Borough Council is scheduled for 7 p.m. on May 6 at the Borough Building on Main Street.

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Meeting Highlights Cooperation

The idea of municipal governments working together for a common good is catching on in Susquehanna County. When the County Planning Commission met on March 31, Planning Director Robert Templeton reported that the Northern Tier Coalition, which has been in existence since 2001, has a proposed comprehensive plan, and the Eastern Susquehanna County Partnership will kick off its program for developing a comprehensive plan on April 13. Other governments contemplating joint ventures will benefit from a July 14 community forum by 10,000 Friends of PA, an organization that actively promotes multi-municipal planning. Templeton will make an all-out effort to entice all municipal officials, as well as the general public, to attend the forum.

According to Templeton, he gets inquiries from county residents on how they can get their elected officials to cooperate in multi-municipal planning. Templeton says that the July 14 Forum would be a good place to start. Also the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors will present "Implementing Your Multi-Municipal Plan" on May 10, 6:30 PM at the County Office Building.

The Planning Office has announced that the County Comprehensive Plan brochure has been reformatted to a 12-page booklet, which summarizes all the main topics in the Comprehensive Plan update of 2003. It will also contain a map of the designated growth areas in the county as well as photos. These will soon be available to the public.

A good portion of each Planning Commission meeting is dedicated to making decisions on proposed plans to property. In most cases the motion is to "concur with staff action". Longtime Planning Commission member Frank Kwader explained that because the Commission meets only once a month, people looking for action on their plans could be forced to wait several weeks until the Commission met, so the Planning Commission allows the office personnel to check the plan against ordinances, and make a decision allowing the petitioner to get on with the project. When the Planning Commission meets, they either concur with that action, or make necessary requests.

According to Deputy Director Eleanor Kurosky’s monthly report, she reviewed sixteen subdivision plans; reviewed and commented on four other plans. She had conferences with twenty-six owners, attorneys and consultants, as well as answering 185 calls for information. This is one small part of the work that crosses her desk.

The fourth Community Forum will be held on May 19, 7:00 p.m. downstairs in the County Office Building. It is an open meeting and will be exploring the cost of development versus the cost of not planning. All are welcome to this Forum as well as to the regular meeting of the Planning Commission, which is held the last Tuesday of each month.

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Court House Report



James W. Holbert & Agnes E. Holbert to Agnes E. Holbert in Bridgewater Township for $1 on Mar. 19.

Herbert L. Baker by Sheriff to 2004-EQR1 in Lathrop Township for $4,046.26 on Mar. 9.

Joseph Clary and Annette Clary to Joseph Clary in Bridgewater Township for $1 on Feb. 2 (2 parcels).

Joseph Clary and Annette Jean Clary and Anthony Paul Bartok and Wendy Ann Bartok to Joseph Clary in Bridgewater Township for $1 on Feb. 2 (2 parcels).

Duane D. Slocum and Rita R. Slocum to Leda Joy Stern and Jay Kenneth Goldsmith in Thompson Township for $120,000 on Mar. 18.

Kadhum Al-Shiraee to Paulette F. Stewart in Forest Lake Township for $40,000 on Mar. 19.

Roberta D. Turner to Norman E. Turner in Liberty and Silver Lake Townships for $1 on Mar. 9.

Amanda Pitcford and Roy Pitchford to Mary Francis Caples in Forest Lake Township for $99,000 on Jan. 23.

James F. Fink by US Marshall to Kevin Stone in Montrose for $7,500 on Mar. 15.

C & C Realty by Thomas P. Cummings, Sr. to Nelson Downend and Jacqueline H. Downend in Thompson Township for $100,000 on Mar. 22.

Ronald Childress and Dawn Y. Childress to Ronald E. Childress and Dawn Y. Childress in Auburn Township for $1 ogvc on Mar. 23.

Donna Fekette, Paul A. Kelly and Pamela E. Kelly, Lawrence T. O'Reilly and Christine O'Reilly and Thomas O'Reilly to Stephen T. Wells in New Milford Township for $34,00 on Jan. 14.

Donald B. Keefer and Mary L. Keefer by Sheriff to Robert E. Aiken and Patricia O. Aiken in Bridgewater Township for $17,000 on Mar. 25.

George A. Brown, Executor of the Estate of George John Brown aka George Brown to George A. Brown in Dimock Township for $1 on Mar. 25.

Ruth Monks to William C. Swope, William E. Swope & Charles E. Swope in Jackson Township for $1 on Mar. 25.

William A. Dube and Patricia Dube to Michael Wilkinson and Nancy Wilkinson in Bridgewater Township for $21,000 on Mar. 25.

Albert R. Johnson and Donna E. Johnson, Trustees of the Johnson Trust to Albert R. Johnson and Donna E. Johnson in Jessup Township for $1 on Mar. 5.

Graham E. Rena to Kendall L. Mitchell and Lorraine P. Mitchell in Rush Township for $1 on Mar. 25.

Delaware and Hudson Railroad Company, Inc. to Theodore C. Hirsch and Jean S. Hirsch in New Milford Borough for $19,750 on Dec. 8.

Theodore C. Hirsch and Jean S. Hirsch to Theodore C. Hirsch and Jean S. Hirsch in New Milford Borough for $1 on Mar. 18 (2 parcels).

Susan Thompson and David Thompson to Barbara Hammell in Ararat Township for $30,000 on Mar. 20.

Edward E. Hook and Nadine Hook to Paul S. Zaun and Martha A. Zaun in New Milford Township for $86,500 on Mar. 23.

DeWitt Darrow and Marguerite Darrow to Vincent R. Montone in Silver Lake Township for $248,000 on Mar. 24.

Mitsu H. Sterling to Jack H. Sterling in Brooklyn Township for $1 ogvc. on Mar. 26.

Alan J. Lewis to Roger Gelatt and Donna Gelatt in Silver Lake Township for $40,000 on Mar. 25.

Lois Felici to Christopher Skal and Dominica Felici-Skal in Jackson Township for $1 on Mar. 27.

Dale Payne and Kim Payne to Dale Payne and Kim Payne in Harford Township for $1 ogvc on Mar. 18.

Donna M. Fekette and Thomas J. Lopatofksy (sic) Jr. to David C. Geiger & Janet L. Geiger in Lathrop Township for $54,000 on Mar. 24.

Raymond J. Moran, Jr. and Judith C. Mueller to Raymond J. Moran, Jr. in Silver Lake Township for $1 ogvc on Dec. 19, 2003.

Paul McGavin to Paul T. McGavin and Martin J. McGavin in Auburn Township for $1 ogvc on Mar. 22.

Donna A. Coleman to Christine M. Alefantis and Timothy G. Alefantis in Clifford Township for $120,000 on Mar. 26.

James T. Farside and Alesia M. Farside to Eric N. Jordon in Clifford Township for $116,500 on Oct. 29, 2003.

James L. McGinniss, Jr. and Darlene M. McGinniss to Edward David Roche and Alice W. Roche in Forest Lake Township for $55,000 on Mar. 26.

Lyle Leonard and Nelda Leonard to Lanny Leonard and Joanna Leonard in Jackson Township for $75,000 on Dec. 29, 2003.

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Gibson Barracks Report


Meagan Martel, New Milford, reported that someone removed a Sony car CD player, Alpine speakers, and a 1200 watt amplifier from her vehicle between 9:30 p.m. on Mar. 21 and 7:50 a.m. the next morning.


A 1995 Chevy school bus from the Elk Lake School was parked legally along State Route 3009, Auburn Township, near Creek Rd. Another vehicle struck the front of the bus then left the scene. It was possibly a 4-door purple car.


James R. Canfield, S. Gibson, lost control of his 1999 Dodge 3500 while rounding a curve on snow covered road at the intersection of State Route 374 and Township Route 401, Clifford Township, and struck a utility pole, on Mar 19 at 4:40 p.m.


Paulette Crockett, Meshoppen, was traveling south on State Route 3001, Auburn Township, and when she rounded a curve, struck a deer. She was treated at Tyler Hospital for complaint of pain in her wrist. The incident occurred on Mar. 15 at 1:14 p.m.


Timothy and Noel Priest are husband and wife living at State Route 2008, Clifford Township. On Mar. 18 at 9:40 p.m., Timothy Priest was intoxicated and assaulted Noel Priest. He was arrested on simple assault charges and arraigned before District Justice Gene Franklin, then incarcerated in the Susquehanna County Jail being unable to post the $25,000 bail. Victim was treated for minor injuries then released.


Two vehicles were in the parking lot of the Pump n Pantry, Bridgewater Township. One vehicle, unoccupied, began to roll down a slight grade about 70 feet and hit another vehicle belonging to Daniel Totino, Kingsley. The incident occurred on Mar. 17.


Ethel Mae McMillen, Nicholson, reported that someone stole her 1981 Datsun 280ZX from her previous residence on State Route 2009, Lathrop Township, on Mar. 2 at 5:03 p.m. The stolen vehicle had an orange hood, flowing into yellow, then white and a blue trunk. It was a Datsun with 100,000 miles, with a tan leather interior. The rear windshield was smashed out. Call the state police with any information.


An investigation continues into a reported fraudulent use of a credit card belonging to Andrew Cizike, Hallstead, on Mar. 10.


Jennifer N. Line aka Jennifer Braunsteine, 28, Montrose, was traveling west on State Route 492, New Milford Township, when she observed another vehicle approaching from Township Route 690. Braunsteine hit the brakes and lost control, crossing both lanes of 492 and hitting a wooden fence. Minor injuries were noted.


James Rarrill, Florence, SC, is accused of depositing household waste between Oct. 15 and Mar. 1 on property belonging to Richard Demi, Stevens Rd., Harflord Township. Charges have been filed with District Justice Gene Franklin.


Lynn Powell, Montrose, reported that unknown persons entered the basement of his apartment house on State Route 29, Franklin Township, between Mar. 5-12.


Suzanne Wood, Montrose Terrace Park, Bridgewater Township, reported that her door window was damaged between 4:00 and 7:00 p.m. on Mar. 12.


Shawn Moody, 33, Hallstead, was not seriously injured when he lost control of his vehicle while negotiating a curve during a snow event. His vehicle traveled into a field and struck a tree off State Route 106, Lenox Township on Mar. 16 at 2:15 p.m.


Sean Fenescey, Montrose, reported that his vehicle was damaged by eggs between 9:00 p.m. on Mar. 6 and 6:00 a.m. the next morning.


Terry R. Trapani, 60, Endwell, NY, was taken to Lourdes Hospital, Johnson City, after an accident where she lost control of her 1994 Ford Taurus, crossed the right lane of Interstate 81, New Milford Township, hit a guide rail, then bounced back off the rail and hit a 2002 International Tractor (with two semi-trailers) driven by Robert L. Peterson, 54, Horseheads, NY. The incident occurred on Mar. 17 at 12:52 a.m.


Joshua R. Neer, New Milford, was not injured when he lost control of his 1988 Chevy S-10 pickup on Johnson Street, New Milford Borough, and struck the bridge on Mar. 8 at 12:40 p.m.


Someone took three lobster tails and a bag of shrimp from Rob's Market, Hallstead, on Mar. 10 at 8:23 p.m. and left without paying for it.


Robert Staff, 35, Meshoppen, was traveling south on State Route 267, Forest Lake Township, on Mar. 27 at 3:28 p.m., and failed to negotiate a curve, crashing into an embankment with his 1993 Ford Taurus. He was arrested for suspicion of DUI, and was remanded to the Susquehanna County Jail for violation of his parole.


Between December 2003 and Mar. 25, someone forcibly entered a cabin on Little Ireland Rd., Thompson Township, belonging to Regis Magnus, Harvard, MA, and stole four buck head mounts, one mounted fish and one stuffed squirrel. Magnus is offering a $500 reward for any information leading to an arrest. Call 570-465-3154.


Tania Garcia, 27, Rochester, NY, was traveling north on Interstate 81, Great Bend Township, on Mar. 28 at 4:35 p.m., when the rear left tire of her Mazda MPV blew out. She lost control and slammed into an embankment. The vehicle then flipped twice and ended up on its roof. Four of the five occupants of the vehicle were taken to Wilson Hospital. The fifth was life-flighted. The northbound lane was closed for 35-45 minutes.


David J. Ayers, 48, Tripp Lake Rd., Liberty Township, reported that someone damaged his mailbox between 9:00 p.m. on Mar. 26 and 7:00 a.m. the next morning.


James R. Bowman, Las Vegas, NV, broke down on State Route 92, about a mile south of State Route 106, Lenox Township. A "Good Samaritan" stopped to assist and offered to go to an auto store to get a part for Bowman. Bowman gave him $100 which was the only money he had left to get to Tennessee. The "Good Samaritan" never returned. He drives a slightly customized Toyota pick-up, silver in color, raised 4 X 4 with "Fear This" across the rear window. Anyone with information is asked to contact the PA State Police at 570-465-3156.


Someone driving a late model Jeep Grand Cherokee on State Route 106/Clifford Hotel parking lot, Clifford Township, struck a legally parked 1990 Acura Integra owned by Kevin Steele, Clifford. The incident occurred on Mar. 27 at 2:20 a.m.


Someone pumped 21.54 gal. of gas at the Penn-Can Truck Stop, Harford Township, on Mar. 24 at 8:20 p.m., and left without paying. The driver was in a black Infiniti station wagon with New York registration.


Eric Stephen Henry, 17, Montrose, had his wallet stolen by two other students at Montrose High School, Bridgewater Township, on Mar. 22 at 1:34 p.m. Juvenile petitions were filed against the two accused juveniles.


A tow dolly was reported stolen from the parking lot of the A & S Auto Parts Store, State Route 706, Bridgewater Township, between Mar. 21-22. It was on the lot on Sunday afternoon and discovered missing on Monday morning upon opening. Call 570-465-3156 with any information.


Jonathan Taylor, Bushkill, reported that someone had gone onto his property on Calan Rd., Middletown Township, between Feb. 10 and Mar. 22 and cut the padlock to his storage trailer. Call 570-465-3156 with any information.


March 24: PA State Police served three search warrants after an investigation on three "meth" labs. The first warrant was served at a Jessup Township barn silo. The second and third were served at a Bridgewater Township home trailer and a truck that was at the trailer. Hazardous chemicals associated with the illicit manufacture of methamphetamine were removed and disposed of by a private hazardous material company contracted by the State Police. The following were accused of manufacturing a controlled substance--methamphetamine: Norman Fasett, 43, Mehoopany ($100,000 bail); Marvin Brotzman, 24, Montrose ($150,000 bail); and Brian Brown, 45, Laceyville ($100,000 bail). All were arraigned before District Justice Watson Dayton, and failing to post bail, were remanded to the Susquehanna County Jail.


Richard Niederberger, 65, Hallstead, was not injured when his 2000 Chevy Blazer traveled off of Booth Rd., Franklin Township, on Mar. 17 at 1:15 p.m. The road was icy. He struck a telephone pole, shearing it in half.


Christopher Bonavita, 32, no address given, was not injured when his 2000 Ford F-250 caught fire on Township Route 388, Dimock Township, on Mar. 22 at 8:45 p.m.


Between 7:00 p.m. on Mar. 15 and 6:00 a.m. the next morning, someone removed the doors from a 2002 Jeep Wrangler at Johnson's Motors, State Route 374, Lenox Township. The doors are white and brown in color.


Eric Stephen Henry, Montrose, had his wallet stolen from his person. Robert Hutchinson Rose III, Brackney, had the wallet in his possession and then disposed of it, knowing it was stolen. Hutchinson was charged with receiving stolen property, regarding this Mar. 22 incident at 2:00 p.m. at Montrose High School, Bridgewater Township.


A 15-year old female received minor injuries when the operator of a 2001 Honda, Roy Erickson, 45, Uniondale, lost control, due to excessive speed, on snow covered State Route 106, Lenox Township. The incident occurred on Mar. 16.


Daniel C. Oakley, 32, Hallstead, and Bernard Ryan, 40, Montrose, were both traveling south on State Route 29, Franklin Township, on Mar. 17 at 8:00 a.m. when Oakley struck Ryan who was driving a PENNDOT plow, in the rear. Neither was injured.

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