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Issue Home May 25, 2004 Site Home

COG: From Marathon to Sprint
SCSD Gears For Graduation
New Super Is No Stranger
President Judge Jails Nine
Court House Report
Gibson Barracks Report
Starrucca Borough Council Minutes
Hallstead Joins COG Codes
Forest City Will Adopt UCC
Susky Borough Police Report

COG: From Marathon to Sprint

What a difference a month makes.

If April’s Council of Government meetings were a marathon, the three meetings the group held last Tuesday evening were a sprint.

The meeting of the Sewage Enforcement Committee led off the evening, with Rick Pisasik presiding. He reported to members that Committee solicitor Jason Legg continues to negotiate a settlement with Hawkins Homes and that he would give members an update if they request one.

Pisasik also reported that he’s been working on a resolution for the group to use and which outlines responsibilities and various criteria should the committee decide to sponsor an individual(s) for SEO coursework and testing. The savings for the testing are significant to an individual who is sponsored by an organization such as COG.

Pisasik said he had no problem for the group paying for training and the test for an individual it expected to hire on a full-time basis. But what about individuals who might work part-time – which is a very real possibility some time down the road? He also thought paying for the part-timers training made sense. Pisasik also noted that the option is out there for the group to simply sponsor an individual, let that person take advantage of the reduced cost, but provide no funds to him or her. Pisasik noted that 85 percent of the costs would be reimbursable to the group. He looked to it for comments.

Mike Greene from Thompson Township thought it made sense to pay for the training of someone the group would hire, either full-time or part-time, and perhaps condition the hiring on certain criteria, including the input of Duane Wood, SEO, who would work with potential hires on a kind of test-basis. Pisasik also said that he was pretty certain that another full-time SEO would need to be hired next year, with the possibility of part-time work as it arose.

Bridgewater Township’s Chuck Mead asked if it were possible to limit the annual number of people the group would sponsor, say, two per year, for training. That was a good idea, and Pisasik will take it, and other comments, into consideration when he drafts a resolution for members to vote on at its June meeting.

Still, with the next SEO testing set for this-coming August, there was a situation that needed the taking care of. Adam Griffiths has been working with Wood at no cost to the group. It expects to hire him full-time to perform perc tests and, thus, it approved the payment of the $300 testing fee for him.

Before adjourning, the group also approved the purchase of two global positioning system (GPS) devices by Wood, for up to $300 each and for use by SEOs and those who help them.


President Elliot Ross opened the meeting by reporting that the large bill included in the list of those to be paid was for a really big shipment made up of 150 stop signs and 100 white, reflective blanks that will be made into signs by Ross, who is also the Street and Road Sign Committee. The stop signs, at $16.15 apiece, are a really good buy, said Ross, and he wanted to make members aware of the opportunity to purchase them. They are offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

Already he’s got a bunch of orders waiting the fulfilling, street signs in particular, from Bridgewater Township, Liberty Township, Herrick Township, Gibson, and a whopping 102 street signs from Middletown Township. The street signs are available in a variety of sizes, the largest being 8 inches by 36 inches.

Hearing all of this was a representative from new member Great Bend Borough, which passed resolutions to join COG and its Codes Enforcement Committee. COG secretary Cheryl Wellman reported that this brings the number of municipal members in the main COG group to 28. "We only need 12 more to have the participation of every municipality in the county," she said.

Rick Pisasik brought up the subject of the recent grant that will be used to purchase a new, networked computer system. The Sewage Enforcement Committee will be allocated a major portion of the cost of it, and will be submitting that cost for reimbursement to the state. In the event that part of this cost is denied reimbursement, he wanted an agreement that the amount denied would be split between the Sewage Committee and the Codes Enforcement Committee.

That was done a few minutes later when the Codes Enforcement Committee meeting started after this short COG one was adjourned.


Ted Plevinsky welcomed new member Great Bend Borough, announcing that Codes now has 23 members, one more than the Sewage committee. A year ago, Plevinsky noted, membership stood at eight, and Bill Bayne recalled that the group started out with three members.

Now, Plevinsky told this larger group about a meeting of its executive committee that addressed the make up of an appeals board for the code violation process. The committee’s recommendation was to pay a fee of $50, plus mileage, to a member of the appeals committee for every appeal he or she attended, and the group agreed with the recommendation.

Plevinsky also outlined a three-person appeals board for each appeal, with three alternates should someone have to recuse themselves because of geography or other reasons. The names of four candidates for the board have already been received, and he urged members to suggest others. Candidates should have some knowledge of building and construction code, and some experience in building, construction, mechanical, electrical, heating, or plumbing.

Also addressed was what cost to charge someone who wanted to convene the appeals board. Suggested was $500, but Bob Squire and others thought $650 or so was probably more realistic, what with court stenographer, legal and other fees. The executive committee will take these comments into consideration when it drafts the appropriate resolution upon which members will vote.

Mike Greene reported that the group wanted to get John Hudak of BUI in to address member concerns again, what with member municipalities scheduled to adopt the UCC during their meetings in June. Secretary Karen Trynoski requested that members call, email or fax in any questions they or their constituents had, to be passed along to Hudak for the answering at the meeting he’ll be attending.

Before adjourning, CEO Jim Sellitto made copies of an Oakland Township ordinance that addresses the setting up of a trailer in the township. Several members asked for it, and are interested in doing something similar in the municipalities they represent.

The next regular meeting of the Council of Governments is scheduled for June 15 at 7 p.m. in COG offices in the New Milford Borough Building on Main Street.

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SCSD Gears For Graduation

All members were present at the May 19 meeting of the Susquehanna Community School Board. Items approved were the minutes of the April 21 meeting, filing of the treasurer’s report, the general fund bills, the food service report, and filing of the activity fund and athletic fund reports.

Correspondence discussed consisted of one item, a letter from the Oakland Township supervisors in response to a concern from the administration regarding winter maintenance on specific areas of township roads. Superintendent Stone noted that the matter was one of student safety, "our utmost priority." The district will continue correspondence with the supervisors until the matter is satisfactorily rectified.

Mr. Stone reported that the district has received a 1.4% decrease in Title I funding while Title II funding will remain the same. Meetings have been held at the state level about these two programs; districts will be allowed more flexibility in funding usage. And, there are approximately 20 students to be enrolled in vocational education programs next year. The administration is in the process of submitting various grant applications, funds to be used for programs for resources. The current school year, Mr. Stone said, is ending on a strong note.

Elementary Principal Keyes reported that the end of the current year has been very busy with various activities. Spring parent-teacher conferences showed a good attendance, 83%. A sixth grade student, Andrea Walker had received a county Principal’s Award; this program has been held for the past nine years, with one student chosen by each elementary principal in the county. A luncheon is held for students and teachers where the winners are recognized.

High School Principal Lisowski has been working on a "to do" list, comprised of student-centered objectives, and will continue work on it over the summer. Goals are to improve students’ success; topics include a behavior modification program; reduction of in-school and out-of-school suspensions; a more active child study team to address problems with behavior, academics and attendance; revision of the dress code to make it more definitive; and a sports activities day for seniors to include kayaking, mountain biking and other outdoor activities.

Dean of Students Mark Gerchman reported that the final exam schedule has been set. Class Night will be on June 4; the last day for students will be June 10; graduation has been set for June 11. And, he had attended a Dept. of Education presentation, which focused on PSSA testing.

Business Manager Ray Testa reported that, on June 18, the first of two in-service sessions will be held for faculty, staff and bus drivers to teach CPR and procedures to be followed in the event a situation occurs where others could be exposed to bodily fluids through injury, illness, or incontinence. Barnes-Kasson Hospital will be working with the district for these sessions.

Each year, the Susquehanna Community Education Association holds a car show to raise funds for student scholarships. Association representative Mike Catalano reported that this year’s show was very successful, and that the district’s baseball team had completed a very successful season. Although they had lost a game earlier that evening, the opposing team was not easy to beat, as they were headed to the playoffs.

Maintenance supervisor Donny Norris reported that his staff has been busy, preparing for Class Night and graduation.

Board president Terry Carpenter commended improvements to the district’s website (; it now includes the board meeting agenda in addition to the school calendar, information on the pre-kindergarten program, sports schedules, course descriptions and homework assignments.

Board member Mary Wescott extended condolences on behalf of the district to the family of 2002 graduate Richard Watt, who had recently passed away.

During public comment, junior Laura Plant addressed the board with concerns about the dress code; it is not well defined, and there have been situations where the code has not been uniformly enforced. She gave Mr. Lisowski a copy of the code from another district, which, she said, was more clearly defined. During discussion, she noted that a dress code is a good idea; it might prevent some students from sexual harassment. Some of the other students she has spoken with would be in favor of a uniforms as a solution to the problem; a boy in the audience agreed. He said that he already wears several different uniforms for sports activities and wouldn’t have problem with a school uniform. Mr. Stone said that the code is something the administration will be looking at over the summer; a committee comprised of students, parents, faculty and staff will be working on it.

A tentative budget of $11,458,326.09 was approved for the 2004-05 school year, as well as reaffirming a $5.00 per capita tax under Act 511 and a $5.00 per capita tax under Act 679, setting the district millage at 35.75 in Susquehanna County and 172.4 in Wayne County (no tax increase). Mr. Stone explained that it had been a "great feat" not to raise taxes in light of increases in such items as health insurance costs, special ed costs, and escalating oil prices which will result in increases in heating and transportation costs. The district receives only 25% of its funding from local (tax) sources, which is considerably lower than other school districts’ rates. Impending legislation, such as the referendum discussed at prior meetings, will most likely result in tax increases. "The waters of the future look very murky," he commented.

Mrs. Wescott noted that she has, in past years abstained from voting on the budget as she holds the belief that it is unethical for the board secretary and treasurer to vote for their own salaries.

Items approved for the 2004-05 school year included bidding for supplies and giving permission to order supplies; election of Michael Kosko as treasurer for the district; Peoples National Bank as the depository for the district funds; appointment of Parente Randolph PC Accountants as auditors; Appointment of G.H. Harris Associates, Inc., Dallas, PA as the delinquent tax collector for the district; an agreement with Thomas P. Theobald, Government Software Services, Honesdale for printing of tax duplicates for Starrucca Boro; an agreement with Infocon Corporation, Ebensburg, PA for printing of (county) tax duplicates; an agreement with DeHey McAndrew Consultants, Scranton, for information service; permission for Attorney James A. Kelly to bid a tax anticipation note in the amount of $1,000,000; revision of senior subjects and graduation policy; granting Mark Gerchman permission to submit an application for Improving Literacy through School Libraries grant; changes to the 2004-05 Jr./Sr. High School Student Handbook.

One item, appointment of Attorney James A. Kelly as solicitor, resulted in some discussion. Mrs. Wescott requested that this matter be tabled, as it had not been advertised. Mr. Kosko responded that it was a point of order on the agenda and could not be tabled, and that other, related matters needed to be voted on, such as the tax anticipation note, which is done by the district’s solicitor. The ensuing vote was six in favor, three against.

Hiring of the following was approved: Tammy Stone, Elementary Guidance; Robert Goodrich, Secondary Social Studies; Kristin Potter, Band Front Advisor; Dan Demora, Yearbook Advisor (rehire).

Summer school positions approved were Math, Joe Zabielski; English, Sherry Tourtual; Science, John Salinkas. Candidates for two vacancies, for Social Studies and Special Education, will be presented for approval at the June meeting.

Two staff changes were approved, Joni Miller, Special Education Coordinator, to a full year contract and Carol McNamara, Secondary Guidance, to add five extra days to her contract year.

Two additions to the substitute list were approved, Matthew Tarbox, non-instructional/maintenance, and Dave Hall, bus driver.

Resignations were approved from Tammy Stone, Social Studies; Sherry Tourtual, school newspaper advisor; Mark McHale, co-drama advisor; Traci Corse, wrestling cheerleading advisor.

A Title I Parent Involvement Policy was approved; this is required yearly according to No Child Left Behind guidelines.

One bus contract change was approved as well as released time instruction for students in grades on through six with Child Evangelism Fellowship for the coming school year.

The board approved permission for Mr. Stone to submit a grant application for a drop-out prevention program. If awarded, the funds will be used for an after-school program to be run in conjunction with Barnes-Kasson for skilled remediation, mentoring (job shadowing) and weekend employment for at-risk students.

The board approved solicitation of bids for a cafeteria management system that will streamline efficiency. Students will be issued "swipe cards" so that lunches may be pre-paid, eliminating the need for students to carry lunch money or for lunch tickets to be issued. The cards could also be used as identification for borrowing of materials in the school library.

A list of activities, conferences and uses of the school’s facilities was approved, as was a list of fundraising requests.

The next meeting will be on Wednesday, June 16, 7:30 p.m. in the administration offices.

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New Super Is No Stranger

"I am looking forward to working with the people of Forest City to make it the best school district it can be."

The opening remark of Dr. Robert J. Vadella, who was appointed superintendent of the Forest City Regional School District. Dr. Vadella will begin his duties on July 1.

"I will be spending the summer studying curriculum," Dr. Vadella said in an exclusive interview with The Transcript.

At the present time, Dr. Vadella resides near State College with his wife, Jean, and their two children, Robbie, 15, and Katie, 14. He will be staying with his brother, Joseph, a former Carbondale mayor, while he looks for a suitable place to relocate his family.

Dr. Vadella is no stranger to the area. A native of Carbondale he was graduated from Benjamin Franklin High School in 1970. And he has relatives in Forest City.

"It makes it very exciting and very attractive to come back to the area," he said. "I have a lot of roots and family."

This will be Dr. Vadella’s first superintendency but he brings with him a solid background in education. At present he is director of technology grants and federal programs at the Bald Eagle Area School District near State College. He also served 10 years as a high school principal at Bald Eagle.

"I started substitute teaching in 1972 when I was still going to school," he said. "I have been in education ever since," the 51-year-old administrator said.

The Forest City Board of Education gave Dr. Vadella a five-year contract with a beginning salary of $93,000. He anticipates that future increments will be based upon his performance and how the board of education evaluates him.

Dr. Vadella will replace Bernice Lukus who had been the school superintendent in Forest City for the past five years. Since March 22, Mrs. Lukus has been on sabbatical leave with full pay and benefits. William Stracka, retired superintendent of the Susquehanna Community School District, replaced her on a temporary basis.

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President Judge Jails Nine

Susquehanna County President Judge Kenneth W. Seamans sentenced two men to prison terms in a state correctional facility and seven other defendants were remanded to the county jail last Thursday.

Larry James Phillips, 34, of New Milford, was ordered to serve 30 months to 60 months in a state correctional facility for aggravated indecent assault in Great Bend on June 8, 2003. Mr. Phillips was also fined $1,000 and placed on probation for five years. In addition he must perform 100 hours of community service and pay $250 for DNA testing.

Mr. Phillips, who will be given credit for time served, cannot transport, consume or possess any alcoholic beverages and cannot have any contact with his victim.

Jonathan R. Lord, 23, of Hallstead, will serve 13 months to 36 months in a state correctional facility for the burglary of Rebel’s Bar in Oakland on January 14, 2000.

Mr. Lord was fined $500, ordered to perform 50 hours of community service and will serve four years on probation after his incarceration. He was also placed on an 11 p.m. curfew.

Other sentences handed down by Judge Seamans included:

Michael Allen Freeman, 51, of Susquehanna, 48 hours to 12 months in the Susquehanna County Jail for drunk driving in Jackson Township on December 1, 2003. He was also fined $300 and must attend safe driving school.

William M. Taylor, 38, of Montrose, 48 hours to one year in the county jail with credit for time served for drunk driving in Bridgewater Township on Nov. 30, 2003. He was fined $300 and must attend safe driving school.

Jason M. Delong, 21, of Brackney, 48 hours to 12 months in the county jail with credit for time served for drunk driving in Great Bend Township on Dec. 13, 2003. He was fined $300, ordered to perform 50 hours of community service and attend safe driving school.

Robert Lee Howey, 25, of Montrose, 10 months to two years in the county jail for theft by unlawful taking in Montrose on March 10. He was also fined $500, order to make restitution, and cannot possess any weapons or have any contact with his victim.

Jesse J. Yachymiak, 19, of Browndale, 30 days to six months in the county jail for drunk driving in Susquehanna on March 20. He was also fined $750, must do 25 hours of community service and attend safe driving school. Mr. Yachymiak was also placed on probation for one year, fined $250 and must do an additional 25 hours of community service for possession of drunk paraphernalia also in Susquehanna on March 20.

Ralph Tapia Mesa, 36, of Montrose, five months to 23 months in the county jail, $500 fine, for receiving stolen property in New Milford Borough on March 21. He also received three months to 23 1/2 months in the county jail and was fined $300 for resisting arrest in New Milford Borough on March 21; and, 48 hours to 12 months in the county jail, fined $300, and must attend safe driving school for drunk driving in New Milford Borough on March 21. The jail terms are to run concurrent.

Teresa Ann Anderson, 35, of Windsor, NY, three months to 12 months in the county jail, suspended, 12 months probation, $200 fine and 25 hours of community service for theft by unlawful taking on Jan. 8.

Gregory Connors, 34, of Susquehanna, five months to 23 1/2 months in the county jail, suspended, two years probation, $300 fine, 50 hours of community service, for criminal attempt/acquisition or obtaining possession of controlled substance in Montrose on April 7, 2003.

Shawn P. Fiorentino, 28, of Montrose, nine months to 23 months in the county jail, suspended, five years state probation, $500 fine and 50 hours of community service for terroristic threats in Dimock Twp. on Aug. 15, 2003.

Jonathan Soto, 22, of Dickson City, 60 days to 15 months in county jail, three years probation, $750 fine, and 50 hours of community service for possession with intent to deliver in New Milford Twp. on Oct. 1, 2003.

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Courthouse Report


Shirley J. Pritchard to David W. Pritchard, in Gibson Township or $25,000.

Shirley J. Pritchard to David W. Pritchard, in Harford Township for $5,000.

Nancy M. Deesch (by sheriff) to Francis J. Pinkowski and J. Parker Properties, in Montrose for $36,244.

Richard L. McGuire and Lorraine B. McGuire to Michael Berko and Deborah Ann Berko, in Bridgewater Township for $166,480.

Betty Rudowsky and Stephen Rudowsky Sr. to Betty Rudowsky and Stephen Rudowsky Sr., in New Milford Township for one dollar.

Edith A. Volz to James A. Volz, in Apolacon Township for one dollar.

Elbert R. Luce and Joan M. Luce to Elbert R. Luce and Joan M. Luce, in Liberty Township for one dollar.

Robert E. Lee Jr. and Beverly B. Lee to Robert A. Morris and Marjorie Morris, in Great Bend Borough for $125,797.

Louise A. Sonnenberg to Thomas M. Maloney and Laurie K. Maloney, in Gibson Township for $4,000.

Robert Ostrosky to C. Gilbert Chapel and Dorothy J. Chapel, in New Milford Township for $20,000.

George Sorensen and Dorothy Sorensen to Chris Sorensen, in Choconut Township for one dollar.

Countrywide Home Loans Inc. to Peter A. Seman and Ilena J. Seman, in Ararat Township for $13,900.

Phyllis J. Empett (nbm) Phyllis J. Wintjen, and Robert Wintjen, to Vincent Kruse and Rita Jenney, in Great Bend Township, for $100,000.

Patricia Zujkowski to John Dapper and Janet Dapper, in Springville Township for $130,000.

Cynthia Beeman to Cynthia Beeman and Bryce Beeman, in Brooklyn Township for one dollar.

Tony J. Pickett and Patricia Pickett to Tony J. Pickett and Patricia Pickett, in Montrose for one dollar.

David R. Potter and Carol A. Potter to David R. Potter and Carol A. Potter, in Bridgewater Township for one dollar.

Roswell S. Patterson, Mary S. Patterson, and Alice Lewis to Fiddle Lake Properties, in Ararat Township for $7,500.

Kevin M. Millard and Sandra Millard to Robert S. Hutnich and Linda C. Hutnich, in Bridgewater Township, for $132,500.

Peter M. Vauter and Denise Vauter to Frank J. Rudolph, in Clifford Township for $137,000.

Alphonse L. Konchar to Louis Joseph Zefran Jr. and Patricia Ann Zefran, in Forest City for $50,000.

Christopher J. Chervanka, Dori Ann Chervanka, Dori Ann Sabatelli (nbm) to Yzette A. Isaac, in Jackson Township, for $98,000.

Marilyn Essinger to Bonnie Coles, in Lathrop Township for one dollar.

Richard C. Matteson (by atty), Roger Matteson, and Fiona M. Matteson, to Joseph Tangorra and Lorraine Tangorra, in Lathrop Township for $120,000.

Eloise D. Evans and Jill L. Degonzague to J&E Realty, in Montrose for $125,000.

Barbara Dimek to Walter W. Dimek and Carolyn Dimek, in Bridgewater Township for one dollar.

Bruce Ross (by poa), Nancy Ross, Jerilee Turner (by poa), Raymond Swingle (by poa), Lulu Swingle (by poa), James T. O’Brien (by poa), Kathleen O’Brien (by poa), Barbara Campbell (by poa), Anne B. Fleming (by poa), Judd Roberts (by poa), Marilyn Roberts (by poa), and Clarence Fleming (by poa) to David Purdy and Cindy Purdy, in Herrick Township for $38,450.

LaSalle Bank (by atty) to Shirley Sheridan, in Susquehanna for $16,500.

Frank L. Brainard, Kathleen Brainard and Roxanne C. Brainard to Kathleen Walter, in Lenox Township for $136,500.

Deborah A. Swartwood to Todd C. McCain and Barbara R. McCain, in Great Bend Borough for $59,000.

Ann Mensel to Richard Mensel and Clarence Mensel in Lenox Township for one dollar.

Frances Edward Rutledge and Margaret M. Rutledge to Timothy Empet in Harford Township for $177,000.


Jeremey B. Russell, Endicott, NY, and Katherine A. Fuller, Endicott, NY.

Jeffrey A. Shea, Cicero, NY, and Cathleen E. McClure, Cicero, NY.

Michael I. Gandy, Meshoppen, and Jedta L. Roberts, Meshoppen.

Adam David Griffis, RR 2, Montrose, and Shannon M. Robertson, Binghamton, NY.

Gary Allan Stanley, RR 5, Montrose, and Kathleen Marie Thomas, RR 5, Montrose.

Rolly Roy Brink, New Milford, and Penny Denise Martin, New Milford.

Ralph R. Comfort, New Milford, and Jacalyn Gadaleta, Jersey City, NJ.

Ryan L. Smith, Vestal, NY, and Sarah L. Tennant, Vestal, NY.

Chad Robert Foster, Binghamton, NY, and Denielle Lynn Martel, Binghamton, NY.

Michael D. Northrop, Binghamton, NY, and Elaine M. King, Binghamton, NY.

Robert F. Mastenbrook Jr., Painted Post, NY, and Wendy Kelly, Hallstead.

Eric R. Smith, Nicholson, and Tinna Marie Boyd, Nicholson.

Justin Douglas Radicchi, New Milford, and Susan Rose Falls, Carbondale.

Adam Robert Sanders, Nicholson, and Jennifer J. Benedict, Nicholson.


Megan Elizabeth Kasson, Springville, vs. Bryant Edward Kasson, Springville.

Conrad J. Gemmer, Hallstead, vs. Emilia M. Gemmer, Hallstead.

Municipal Liens

Tri Boro Municipal Authority of Susquehanna has filed the following municipal lien judgments:

Roland Sharp, single family dwelling in Susquehanna Borough, $715.68.

Stone Ridge Residential Care Center Inc., residential care center in Susquehanna Borough, $568.92.

Mark Smith and Lona Smith, single family dwelling in Susquehanna Borough, $511.66.

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Gibson Barracks Report


In mid-afternoon on May 13, John Edwards, Lanesboro, and Ben Fitch, Susquehanna, engaged in at fight on Grand Street in Lanesboro that resulted in injury. Charges were filed in district court.


On the evening of April 28, Ronald Thompson, Hallstead, was driving his 1993 Plymouth along Lower Rhiney Creek Road in Liberty Township when he veered to the right and struck Nicholas Beebe, who was riding a bicycle. Beebe received minor injuries when he then traveled into a drainage ditch. Thompson provided assistance to him at the scene.


Kevin Frey, 54, Noxen, PA, failed to yield to oncoming traffic while making a left from a private driveway onto SR 29 in Bridgewater Township in the late morning on May 13. His vehicle collided with that driven by Harry Jerauld, 85, South Montrose. Both drivers were wearing seat belts and no serious injuries were reported.


A tractor-trailer driven by Alma E. Stapleton of Niagara Falls got onto Interstate 81 North at the same time that a car driven by John W. Whitney, Thompson, was also traveling north. Police report that Whitney was sleepy and ran into the back of the trailer, which was traveling at a slower speed and had its flashers activated. Whitney received minor injuries in this incident that took place about 7:30 on the morning of May 14.


Rex Gregory and Lorrie Walter, both of Bridgewater Township, reported they have received hundreds of phone calls from a female in Maine whom Gregory met over the Internet.


On the afternoon of April 27, Andrew McGraw, Brackney, and Nathan Shinn, Springville, were at the Montrose Car Wash in Bridgewater Township when two men approached them, stating they were special investigators for the Montrose area and investigating a hit and run. They flashed some type of badge and asked McGraw and Shinn for their driver’s licenses to run them. The so-called investigators took the licenses into their vehicle and fled from the scene along with the licenses. One of the men is described as mid-20s, 6’, 145 pounds, dark hair with a beard, wearing yellow pants, a white shirt and white baseball hat. The other is described as mid-20s, 5’ 5", 145 pounds, reddish hair, and wearing blue jeans, a black shirt and red baseball hat. They were driving a white Ford Taurus with a spotlight on the driver’s door. Anyone with information is requested to contact the state police at (570) 465-3154.


Randall Petrochko, 17, Kingsley, was not injured when the 1993 Chevy he was driving on Route 106 in Lenox Township went off the berm to avoid a vehicle in his lane. He lost control of the car and spun into an embankment. In an update to this April 21 incident, state police report that Wayne Williams, Acre Lake, Kingsley, has been cited for violations of the PA Vehicle Code in relation to this collision.

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Starrucca Borough Council Minutes

The Starrucca Borough Council conducted its May meeting at the Starrucca Community Hall on May 3, starting at 7:04 p.m. Council president Pete Downton presided.

Other council members present were Andy Bennett, Mary Ann DeBalko, Lou Gurske, Helen Haynes and Robert Weldy. Council member Paul Everett was absent. Also present were Mayor Frank Mroczka and Borough Solicitor Warren Schloesser.

Audience members included Joseph Bohannan, Don Haynes, Art Kopp, Charlie Levchak, Robert Nikitopoulos, Fred Rhone, Kirk Rhone, Jeffrey Schuler and Kent Swartz.

The minutes of the April 5 council meeting were approved with a correction: Lou Gurske became chair of the Road Committee at the meeting, succeeding Pete Downton.

The motion to approve the corrected minutes carried unanimously.

The treasurer reported that since the April meeting the borough had received bills totaling $1,657.68 and revenues totaling $17,425.57, including $16,287.23 from the state Liquid Fuels Tax Fund and $525 from advertising signs on the recreation field fence.

A motion that all the bills be paid was unanimous, and the treasurer remarked that with those payments all borough accounts would then be current.

The borough secretary reported that the completed version of the proposed Comprehensive Plan had arrived from planner Carson Helfrich and that the Borough Council now had to conduct a public hearing on the plan and consider its adoption and to advertise that hearing in advance.


The borough secretary reported receiving a letter from Gale Williams concerning the plan to change the locks on the Community Hall and reports that the council intended to restrict access to the hall by such groups as the Girl Scouts, the Starrucca Civic Association and the Starrucca History Group. The secretary said he had written back to Mrs. Williams assuring her that the council had expressed no such intention.

The secretary also read a message e-mailed to him the night before by council member Paul Everett, who had to be out of town that evening on business. In his note, Mr. Everett asked a series of questions about the ongoing audit of the borough's 2003 finances, including whether the audit had been completed, why the auditors had sought the advice of the borough solicitor and whether they were keeping from the Borough Council information that should be discussed in public session.


Kent Swartz repeated a request he made informally after the March meeting that the council consider renaming the recreation field in honor of his father, the late Mayor Wendell Swartz.

Mrs. DeBalko remarked that before the Swartz family request could be considered the council would have to determine whether there were any restrictions in the deed that conveyed the property to the borough.

Art Kopp reported that potholes on Fairmount Road had been repaired by three public-minded citizens, and the Borough Council joined Kopp in thanking those citizens for their efforts.


The council unanimously approved building permits for:

a. Sunrise Custom Modulars for Robert Nikitopoulos for construction of a home on Jacob's Ladder Road. The permit was approved contingent upon the filing of an on-site sewage disposal permit and of a driveway permit application.

b. Jeffrey Schuler for roofing over a porch and over a doorway and for other renovations.

c. Don Haynes for addition of a sun room.

d. Mary Ann and George DeBalko for an addition at the rear of their house. Motion by Mr. Bennett, seconded by Helen Haynes; Mrs. DeBalko abstained from voting.

e. Addie Hazelton for enlarging an entranceway deck.


Kirk Rhone, one of the three auditors conducting the 2003 audit, reported that the auditors had issues they wanted to discuss with the council in executive session. Mr. Gurske offered a motion, seconded by Mr. Weldy, to meet with Mr. Rhone in executive session after the council had completed its regular business for the night. The motion carried unanimously.

The council decided to replace the entrance locks on the Community Hall with high-security locks with identical keys that cannot be copied lawfully without council's permission. The expected cost will be $100 for the locks and $24 for three keys. Carried unanimously.

Council president Downton remarked that examining the minutes of earlier meetings had not produced a record that the council had adopted the borough tax millage for 2004. Mr. Bennett offered a motion to set the millage at the previous year's level, 15.00 mills. The motion carried unanimously.

The council approved by motion that the Starrucca History Group be allowed to use the Community Hall on July 18. The vote was unanimous.

Returning to the comprehensive plan, the council decided that it would conduct the hearing and consider adopting the plan at the June 7 meeting. Motion to authorize the borough secretary to advertise the hearing carried unanimously.

Discussion of the Pennsylvania construction code ordinance was tabled until June.


Council president Downton reported that what the council had believed was a bid by contractor Frank Zaczek for summer roadwork in the borough was an informal price quote that had been sent to a third party and conveyed to the council. The council had approved this purported bid at a special meeting April 22 only to hear from Mr. Zaczek that he was not certain whether he wanted to do any further work in the borough.

Mr. Gurske said Mr. Zaczek had told him he thought the roads should be graded flat, without a crown, as he had been directed to do in past years by Mayor Wendell Swartz, and that he did not think that the state specifications, which call for a crowned road surface and which were stipulated by the council, were a good idea.

Mr. Downton remarked that Mr. Zaczek had told him that he did not have a grader operator at the moment and couldn't do the work in any case. Mr. Gurske remarked that someone other than himself and Mr. Downton evidently had called Mr. Zaczek to discuss road work in the borough and that Mr. Zaczek had indicated he was not at all pleased with such calls but would not say who the caller had been.

Regarding road work, the borough secretary reported that he and Mr. Weldy had completed and submitted to the Wayne Conservation District an application for a grant to pay for drainage work along Jacob's Ladder Road.

Council members then discussed the issue of winter road maintenance and decided to begin the process of seeking bids for that work in August.

The regular business completed shortly before 9:00 p.m., the council went into executive session which continued to 9:43.

Briefly resuming the regular meeting, the council requested the auditors complete their work by May 17 to spare the council from having to take some other action to see to the completion of the audit before the current deadline extension expired May 31.

There being no further business, meeting adjourned.

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Hallstead Joins COG Codes

In the first order of business, a motion carried at the May 20 meeting of the Hallstead Boro Council to approve work at the pavilion at the Route 11 park to address an erosion problem. Concrete pads will be installed on both sides, and gutters to redirect water runoff from the roof, which has been creating trenches on either side of the structure.

Council will check to find out who is the owner of record of a Church St. property where the grass is overgrown. The owners of three other properties will be contacted (again) to inform them of the provisions in the boro’s nuisance ordinance, particularly pertaining to junk; if necessary, the boro can have the properties cleaned up and liens placed for the cost of the cleanup. And, there have been several complaints about unregistered vehicles, two of which are on the street and one on boro property at the park near the tennis court. There was some discussion as to whether they could be towed, with the owners held responsible for the costs. Council will contact the owners and request that they be moved.

Continuing discussion regarding the state’s new Uniform Construction Code and its inspection regulations, it was agreed to join COG’s Codes program. Several options had been looked into; an independent inspector had sent a proposal, which entailed basically the same (initial) fees. COG has contracted with a third party inspector; this agreement includes a basic, flat fee for inspections. The inspector who supplied the proposal would also charge about the same fee, but would charge per visit, including additional fees for subsequent inspections if problems were found. As the cutoff date had passed to be included in a "blanket" advertisement by COG for member municipalities it will be up to the boro to advertise that it has joined the COG Codes program. Council did have the option to allow the state to conduct inspections, but there was concern about how timely those inspections would be.

There was some discussion about the river beautification project, which includes extending the new sidewalks on Route 11; it had been thought that the project was to have begun in conjunction with the later stages of PENNDOT’s bridge replacement project. It was agreed to contact a member of the beautification committee to request an update, either by a representative attending the next council meeting, or by correspondence.

A letter from PENNDOT was reviewed, concerning a review of the parking situation on Main St. near the newly completed bridge. PENNDOT recommends that, in order to minimize the amount of parking spaces that must be removed to improve sight distances at the Harmony Road and Susquehanna Street intersection, a crosswalk be installed. The crosswalk would require that twenty feet of parking be removed on either side. After discussion, which included a concern about how this would affect businesses in that area of Main St., council members John Giangrieco and James Gillespie arranged to meet the following day to take measurements to determine whether the crosswalk would be a viable option.

Council President Michele Giangrieco had attended a meeting, held on April 26 in Great Bend Boro to discuss concerns with the Great Bend/Hallstead Ambulance. Since then, the VFW has expressed interest in creating a board of directors to assist the ambulance company; the VFW had started the ambulance service in the 1950’s. It had been requested that a resident/business owner from Hallstead be asked to serve on this board. But, a meeting scheduled for May 24 to further discuss the issue had subsequently been canceled.

A letter from the county District Attorney’s office was reviewed, concerning a rehabilitation/work release program that would utilize defendants sentenced to perform community service. A list of possible projects was discussed. Council will complete forms provided to participate in the program.

A request from the county Planning Commission, regarding approval for a subdivision for the Frailey property was reviewed; as there were no objections, the paperwork will be completed and returned to the Planning Commission.

The new tenant for the boro building has not yet begun to operate her daycare facility; council will contact the boro solicitor to draw up a rental agreement. In the meantime, approval was given to renovate the building’s rest room, to make it handicap accessible. Expense for the project had previously been included in the budget.

A motion carried to adopt a resolution to participate in the county’s policy to standardize street addresses and map roadways.

Council authorized secretary Cindy Gillespie to obtain price quotes for the boro’s insurance policy, which expires in July.

The last item discussed was the bill for the lights on the new bridge; the boro is committed to responsibility for 20% of the costs. But, as of the date of the meeting, no information had been received from Great Bend Township as to the exact dollar amount, or how often payments should be made to the township, which will receive the billing for the lights from Penelec.

The next meeting will be on Thursday, June 17, 7:00 p.m. at the boro building.

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Forest City Will Adopt UCC

At a special meeting last week, the Forest City Borough Council agreed to pass an ordinance adopting the Pennsylvania Uniform Construction Code (UCC). The code is intended to insure uniform construction standards and regulations throughout the Commonwealth.

Council delayed action on employing a municipal code official to inspect and enforce codes and regulations incorporated in the UCC. Council received an application from one individual who has been certified to enforce certain sections of the code but intends to meet with the countywide Council of Governments to obtain information about a professional firm COG has employed to enforce the act.

Council elected to have the UCC enforced by employing a state-qualified code official rather than have the code enforced by the Commonwealth. Councilman Paul J. Amadio said he would prefer local enforcement so that compassion could be blended with the law.

According to the UCC, its purpose is to "provide standards for the protection of life, health, property and environment and for the safety and welfare of the consumer, general public and the owners and occupants of buildings and structures."

In another matter, Council President Jim Lowry reported that the state Department of Transportation will resurface Dundaff Street with a temporary pavement. He said the project should be completed in the near future.

Mr. Lowry said the temporary pavement will improve the road while the borough awaits word on grant applications intended to correct sewer problems on Dundaff Street. He said PENNDOT will cover the street with a more permanent bond when the sewer project is completed.

Council was advised that Dollar General, which is planning to construct a new store on South Main Street, needs municipal action by the Planning Commission and a variance from the Zoning Board of Adjustment. Council agreed to contact both agencies to expedite the borough’s required action so it does not delay the company’s construction plan.

On a recommendation from the personnel committee, council added Thomas Heller of Union Dale to its list of part-time police officers. Mr. Heller is a full-time officer in the City of Carbondale and is a member of the Forest City Regional Board of Education.

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Susky Borough Police Report

Following is the Susquehanna Borough Police Report, as submitted, for April, 2004.


On April 4, a 2003 Pontiac owned by Nickie Craig of 802 West Main St. was struck by an unknown vehicle while parked at 801 West Main St. On April 12, Police cited Adam Baker of 702 West Main St. after an investigation revealed he had hit the vehicle with his 1994 Chevrolet, then fled.


On April 7, Ann Cindrich of Susquehanna reported being harassed by Lloyd Westbrook, Sr. via telephone. Warning issued. No further incident.


On April 10, a juvenile on Prospect St. was cited for allegedly shooting paintballs at a vehicle and house on 507 Washington St., Susquehanna.


On April 10, Police responded for a suspicious person outside of the Video King around 9 p.m. Upon arrival Police spoke with the person from Great Bend, PA who was allegedly threatened by an irate motorist. No charges filed.


At 11:30 p.m. on April 10, Police found Daniel Bentz, Charles Perry, Brian Hyrd and Frances Muchanic at the Benson Bros. property on Front St. All were warned and made to disperse after cleaning up.


On April 15, William Towner of Susquehanna was made to cease calling and stay off property of Lakey’s for threatening phone calls he allegedly made.


On April 23, at 11:50 p.m., Police stopped three underage males for curfew violation on Main St. Two were drinking. Investigation led to Joyce White of 317 Grand St., Susquehanna being charged with two counts of Furnishing Minors and one count of Corruption of Minors.

Also on an unrelated investigation, White has been charged with one count of Furnishing and one count of Corruption of a Minor in a separate incident.


On April 23, someone slashed tires on two different vehicles between 7:30 p.m. and 2:30 a.m. at the Hilltop Bar. Anyone with information is asked to call Police at 853-3147.


On April 24, it was reported of three juveniles throwing rocks at the scoreboard in the Reddon Park, leaving damage. Police have a suspect and are working with juvenile authorities on restitution and/or charges.


Sonya Argust of Great Bend was charged for a bad check to Schneider’s Market, written in February with a closed bank account.


On April 27, Police seized a dog from the property of Elsie Proppe at 517 Grand St. for animal neglect/cruelty.


On April 29, Michael Groover of First Ave. allegedly assaulted Thomas Gallagher of Apalachin, NY in the Schneider’s parking lot. Groover further caused damage to Gallagher’s vehicle. Investigation led to charges on Groover for assault, criminal mischief and disorderly conduct.


On April 30, the United Methodist Church on Main St. reported holes in their stained glass windows from a BB Gun. Anyone with information is asked to call Police at 853-3147.


Please note that effective May 11, 2004 the new curfew in Susquehanna Borough is 10:00 p.m. for anyone under the age of 18 years old.

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