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Issue Home April 20, 2004 Site Home

Recalling Friends In High Places
Engagement Announced Hale – Medlar
I'm Waiting For You!
ACS Says Thanks To Volunteers
Help Stop Elderly Financial Exploitation
PARSE Meeting
POWs Should Check Their VA Benefits
May Jurors Drawn
Jim Garner Is New SCCD Manager
Susky Fire Dept. 150 Club Winners

Recalling Friends In High Places

Dr. Martin Luther King, Former UN Ambassador Andrew Young, President Jimmy Carter. Even Richard Nixon. Individuals Robert McDonald has known and worked with in his volunteer and work experiences. All in a day’s work? According to Robert, a resident of Oakland, the answer is "Yes."

Robert was born in 1915 in Columbus, Ohio. He graduated from high school in 1929, with the Depression in full swing. Like so many others, he had difficulty finding work. He eventually got a job with the WPA making improvements to cemeteries. He had the good fortune of meeting Glenna Gertrude McNeer, the Ohio State Rifle Champion and married her in 1935. Over the years, 3 daughters, Corella, Frances, and Margie, were born to the couple.

Robert served as a Surgical Technician in the Canadian Army in the late 30’s and later served in the U.S. Army in the same capacity. Among his jobs in the army was picking up AWOLs, which was a challenge.

Robert went on to work for many years for the Pennsylvania Railroad in the Chicago Yards. In the 60’s, he served honorably as a Federal Mediator for the Grievance Committee of the Pennsylvania Railroad, negotiating with the late Richard Nixon at the White House in a labor dispute. The outcome? A marked increase in salaries for the hard-working Pennsylvania Railroaders.

Several years after Glenna passed away, Robert wed Vera Mae Neuman. A son, Robbie was born to the couple in 1976. Robert did not foresee at that time that one day, daughter, Corella would serve as a caregiver for himself and for Robbie who suffers with a developmental disability.

After Robert retired in the late 1970’s, he remained very active. He continued his advocacy for others by becoming a VISTA Volunteer in Atlanta, Georgia where he worked as an advocate for Developmentally Disabled Adults who needed adequate housing. He was part of a coalition which included Jimmy Carter (then, Governor of Georgia), Dr. Martin Luther King, and Andrew Young. The individuals Mr. McDonald advocated for were being "de-institutionalized," or discharged from the institutions they had called home.

Robert now makes his home in Oakland with daughter, Corella who has become his caregiver in recent years. Corella balances caring for Robert and her half-brother, Robbie, and taking care of her own health needs.

Corella says that the Waiver Program, one of the new alternatives to nursing home care for older Pennsylvanians, has been a "Godsend," helping with her father’s prescriptions costs, funding care-giving supplies, and providing help with personal hygiene tasks and other needs. Robert says that he enjoys the help of the Personal Care Aides who visit him on a daily basis.

Corella shares that her son and his family also offer her a helping hand with Robert’s care. Robert is proud and happy to have such a devoted family.

Robert and thousands of fellow Senior Citizens in Pennsylvania will be honored in an upcoming Presidential Proclamation for May, 2004 which is Older Americans’ Month.

Individuals age 60 and older who meet income guidelines and require the level of care a nursing home provides may be eligible for the Waiver Program. For more information, contact the B/S/S/T Area Agency on Aging at 1-800-982-4346.

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Engagement Announced Hale – Medlar

Judith Lynn Hale and DeAlton Jeffrey Hale, Syracuse, New York and David and Diane Medlar, Oakland, PA are pleased to announce the engagement of Erin Marie Hale and Michael Philip Medlar.

Erin is enrolled in the Onondaga Community College in Syracuse, NY pursuing a teaching career.

Michael is employed by Knoll’s Atomic Power Laboratory, Albany, NY.

An August, 2005 wedding is being planned.

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I'm Waiting For You!

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

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ACS Says Thanks To Volunteers

Northeast Region – The month of April is truly a time to celebrate life while also raising awareness of cancer, because April is National Cancer Control Month. However, during the week of April 18 through April 24, the American Cancer Society is also taking time to thank their volunteers for a wonderful job, while also addressing cancer disparities amongst the minority populations during both National Volunteer Week and National Minority Cancer Awareness Week. "National Volunteer Week is the perfect time to inspire more people to volunteer, states Erin Gordon, Cancer Control Specialist for the American Cancer Society. "People really do get back double what they give through reaching out to others in need." For every American Cancer Society staff member, there are 600 volunteers to help forward the mission. In order to reduce cancer incidence and cancer mortality, while working to improve quality of life, the American Cancer Society needs to work with the assistance of volunteers. "We certainly could not reach out within the community without the help of our dedicated volunteers," said James Kane, Cancer Control Director for the American Cancer Society, Northeast Region.

Economic, social and cultural factors all play a role in creating cancer disparities. The American Cancer Society is committed to helping minority communities, patients, survivors and caregivers overcome these disparities not only during National Minority Cancer Awareness Week, April 18-24, but throughout the year.

The American Cancer Society is dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by saving lives, diminishing suffering and preventing cancer through research, education, advocacy and service. Founded in 1913 and with national headquarters in Atlanta, the Society has 14 regional divisions and local offices in 3,400 communities, involving millions of volunteers across the United States. For more information any time, call toll-free 1-800-ACS-2345 or visit

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Help Stop Elderly Financial Exploitation

Financial exploitation of the elderly is a form of elder abuse which is much more prevalent in Pennsylvania than the statistics show because it is under-reported. It is estimated that the reporting rates for this crime are only between 3% and 8%. The lack of reporting of financial exploitation by the general public results in significant financial loss and other unresolved problems for older citizens.

Often, victims of financial exploitation are unable to ask for help, think nothing can be done to recover their money, are unaware they are being victimized, or are dependent on the very person who commits the financial exploitation for help.

The following are the most common forms of financial exploitation which should be reported:

Taking money or property without the knowledge and consent of the older individual (theft).

Signing checks of documents without the elder’s consent. For example, withdrawal slips are forged or altered by the perpetrator.

Misusing the elder’s money without his or her knowledge. In this case, a son or daughter may become co-signer on a bank account and use the money for their own expenses.

Charging excessive fees for rent or services: caregiver or other individual may charge the elder excessive fees for rent, transportation, meals, care, or other services.

Using threats, intimidation, or other fear tactics to obtain money or property from the elder. The perpetrator may coerce the elder by withholding food, medication, isolating the elder, confining the elder or physically assaulting the elder.

Reporting suspected financial exploitation of the elderly is essential to stopping it. A reporter may be anyone who suspects that a family member, caregiver, or other acquaintance of an older individual is financially exploiting the elder. A reporter may be the local bank teller, the clinic nurse, the postal carrier, a neighbor, a landlord, or even another family member of the elder.

The reporter should call the Adult Protective Services Unit of the B/S/S/T Area Agency on Aging, toll free at 1-800-982-4346, a phone number accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week. All reports are confidential and individuals do not need to give their name when making a report to the Area Agency on Aging.

The Adult Protective Services Unit will investigate the report and attempt to help the older individual file charges against the perpetrator, to regain control of his or her finances again, and, if possible, to recover the money or property lost.

For more information, contact the B/S/S/T Area Agency on Aging at 1-800-982-4346.

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PARSE Meeting

The Endless Mountains Chapter of the Pennsylvania Association of Retired State Employees (PARSE) met on Tuesday, April 13 at the South Montrose Methodist Church with 34 members and guests present. Bernice Landmesser gave the invocation and Tony Barnatovich led the Pledge to the American Flag. The ladies of the church served a delicious ham dinner, including homemade pies for dessert.

President Alton Arnold called the meeting to order by inviting the speaker for the day, Jim Kessler, Forester for Susquehanna and Wyoming Counties with the Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry. Mr. Kessler gave a very interesting and informative talk on the planting, replanting and care of trees. Mr. Kessler stressed that early April is the best time to plant, or transplant trees. He spoke that it is important to keep all roots on the tree and to be sure all are covered. He said that three planting is a good way to involve children and grandchildren and this will teach the importance of reforestation to them. Also, the planting of trees increases the value of property.

Clara Smith, Northeast Region Vice President gave a very informative report on happenings on the state level. She stressed it is important that members contact their Representatives to press for them to vote for cost of living increase in retiree pensions. Mrs. Smith also reported that State President, Art Schwartz is doing very well after having eye surgery.

The vice presidents from each of the three counties stressed the importance of state retirees to join the organization to support the benefits for retirees and also the cost of living increases in their pensions. It also helps keep them informed of changes in health benefits. Membership information may be gotten from Helen Benio, at (570) 278–2380.

The May PARSE meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 11, at the Zion Lutheran Church in Dushore. Anyone wishing to attend the meeting should make reservations with Susquehanna County Vice President John Benio, (570) 278–2380.

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POWs Should Check Their VA Benefits

The Department of Veterans Affairs Regional Office and Insurance Center has a special message for a special group of veterans – America’s former prisoners of war (POW).

"We’re telling former POWs to check their VA benefits eligibility now and make sure they’re receiving the benefits they’ve earned," said Fred Johnson, Philadelphia VA Regional Office former POW coordinator. "Former POWs are eligible for special compensation and health care benefits many may not know about."

More than 21,000 former prisoners of war (POWs) already receive compensation from VA. This year, VA mailed information about benefits to another 4,700 known ex-POWs across the country not on its rolls. However, VA estimates there could be as many as 11,000 more POWs for whom it does not have an address.

Johnson said former POWs not receiving VA benefits should call the department at 1-800-827-1000 or check with a local county or veterans service organization benefits counselor.

Johnson explained that VA has expanded policies to cover increasing numbers of former POWs as new illnesses have been found related to wartime captivity. Even former POWs already receiving compensation from VA may be eligible for additional benefits. He said VA was particularly concerned about World War II and Korean War former POWs now in their eighties.

"This may be their last chance to insure they and their spouses are receiving the benefits they have earned," Johnson said.

Nine out of ten former POWs are veterans of World War II whose service predates the use of Social Security numbers as a military identification number. That, coupled with the decades since their service, makes it difficult for VA to track down those who have not opened a file with VA in recent years.

"We are asking veterans and all Americans who know of a former POW to help spread the word that benefits and services may be just a phone call away," Johnson said.

The most recent expansion of VA benefits for former POWs was the addition of cirrhosis of the liver to the list of diseases to which entitlement to disability compensation is presumed for former POWs. Similar policies making it easier for former POWs to obtain compensation have been enacted for POWs who develop other specific illnesses. While most of these diseases have a 30-day minimum captivity requirement, Congress has eliminated the requirement for cold injury, traumatic arthritis and certain mental illnesses.

Former POWs have special eligibility for enrollment in VA medical care and are exempt from making co-payments for inpatient and outpatient services. They re also exempt from co-payments for medications. Free VA dental treatment is also available to former POWs.

More information about VA services for former POWs is available at or call 1-800-827-1000.

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May Jurors Drawn

Following is the list of names to be drawn to serve as Petit and Traverse jurors for May, 2004 to appear in the Court of Common Pleas, Susquehanna County Courthouse, main courtroom, Montrose, on the third day of May, 9:00 a.m.

Apolacon Twp.: William Bennett.

Ararat Twp.: Steven Bianco, Tammy E. Stone.

Auburn Twp.: Charles R. Bullock, Larry Lyne.

Bridgewater Twp.: Jennifer Birtch, Rebecca Groover-Jenson, Robert E. Kamansky, Amy Robinson, Phillip C. Winn.

Brooklyn Twp.: Suzanne A. Bosco, Chris Hadnagy.

Clifford Twp.: Linda Carpenter, Robert B. Genevich, Jr., James Lynch, Edward R. Moriarity, Mary Joy Oakley, William E. Owens, Robert N. Parry.

Dimock Twp.: Judy Vanerson.

Forest City Boro 1W: Diane K. Svecz.

Forest Lake Twp.: Sheila I. Birchard.

Franklin Twp.: Lawrence E. Newhart, Jr., Larry W. Ogline.

Friendsville Boro: James M. Golden.

Gibson Twp.: Melanie S. Kavetski, Janice Major, Ruth M. Zeck.

Great Bend Boro: Michael G. Wasko.

Great Bend Twp.: Dorothy Marie Chobot, David R. Hack.

Hallstead Boro: Geraldine Decker.

Harford Twp.: Louis F. Alquist, Daniel S. Bonham, Paul Kester.

Herrick Twp.: Stephen Stackun.

Hop Bottom Boro: Barbara J. Corey.

Jackson Twp.: Lisa Granick, Linda R. Joines.

Lanesboro Boro: James Donahue, Jr.

Lathrop Twp.: Robert L. Dougherty, Sr.

Lenox Twp.: Robert W. Cook, Ryan Peoples.

Liberty Twp.: Robert R. Decker, Maureen M. Jagel, Earl Thompson, Sr.

Little Meadows Boro: Joan L. Middendorf.

Middletown Twp.: William G. Davis, Cynthia Erickson, Sean P. Kelly.

Montrose Boro 1W: Catherine M. Roberts.

Montrose Boro 2W: Robert F. Clark, Kathryn A. Smith, Elmer A. Taylor.

New Milford Boro: Mindi L. Carr.

New Milford Twp.: George W. Kenyon, Duane Woodruff.

Oakland Boro: William R. Lawrence, Mark Sheriff, Michele Tanzini.

Oakland Twp.: Gregory Swank.

Silver Lake Twp.: L. William Argetsinger, Thomas W. Cameron, Kim Alan Snyder, Dana Wood.

Susquehanna Boro 1W: Glenn L. Collier, Rebecca Kutney.

Thompson Boro: Ralph W. Lee, Lisa Staros.

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Jim Garner Is New SCCD Manager

The Susquehanna County Conservation District is pleased to announce Jim Garner as the newly appointed Manager. Jim has worked for eight years as Program Specialist. Jim’s experience in all aspects of day to day operation of the District insures the future success of District programs for residents of Susquehanna County.

Jim and his wife, Kay reside in Montrose, PA. They have three grown children and enjoy working with their herd of registered Holsteins. Jim and Kay have applied many practices on their operation that are promoted by the Conservation District.

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Susky Fire Dept. 150 Club Winners

Following are the March, 2004 150 Club winners of the Susquehanna Fire Dept.

March 6: Pat Frederick, Lois Murch, Michelle Taylor.

March 13: Ron Crawford, Chris Herbert, Ron Whitehead.

March 20: Arlene Travis, Kara Culnane, Jason Glover.

March 27: Ken Fisher, Mary Lou Butts, Roger Holleran.

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