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Issue Home February 22, 2005 Site Home

County Library Holds Annual Meeting
Major Appointed As House Deputy Whip
Local Banks Help Fund Preschoolers
E- Club Discusses Local Business

Co. Library Website Is Revamped
Nathan Foster Is New Deputy Grand Master

Area Senior Resource Awareness Month
Waiting For You!


County Library Holds Annual Meeting

At the Susquehanna County Historical Society and Free Library Association's annual meeting, held on January 29 at the St. Paul's Episcopal Church Hall in Montrose, a large crowd listened to annual reports, enjoyed refreshments, and was enthralled by the stories of the Civil War Monument.

Mrs. Connie Page, President of the Board of Directors, welcomed everyone to the annual meeting. Dr. Ed Stark, standing in for Treasurer Chris Caterson, emphasized that thanks to the incredible support of the community and a remarkable staff, the drastic 37% cut in state funding did not result in layoffs and reductions in hours, as it has at other libraries. Bequests from the late Agnes Strubel and Mildred Lippert, an increase in donations and fundraising, and the support of the County Commissioners helped achieve a balanced budget.

Mrs. Page then gave the president's report, saying how much she has learned over the past year, which saw nine board members leave and seven new members join. She expressed appreciation for the staff – especially Susan Stone, the Administrator/Librarian – and the dedication of everyone involved with libraries. The challenges of 2004 began with the collapse of the front steps, but community members immediately stepped in to put things right. The Board has voted to go ahead with plans for a new library building on the lot donated by the Montrose Area School District.

The Historical Committee report, presented by Mrs. Priscilla Andre, focused on the theme of feet – how many pairs have visited the Historical Society, from the researchers to the children visiting Santa and enjoying a treasure hunt during the Christmas Open House. Mrs. Elaine Henninger, Chair of the Library Friends, described another productive year for the Friends, including the best Blueberry Festival ever, the 25th Annual.

Mrs. Susan Stone, Administrator/Librarian, expressed what she's learned about life over the past few difficult years: "It goes on." She expressed appreciation for the support of everyone in the community and highlighted some of the special programs and events that took place in 2004.

Mrs. Chiarella, First Vice-President, read a resolution honoring the late Andy Snitzer, a very valued board member whose untimely death was mourned by all. Long-time library employee Betty Marshall was honored for 15 years of service and presented with a Thomas Kinkade print.

Pictured are Jacob Horn and Elizabeth Baessler, who read letters written by soldiers to their families during the program, Stories of the Civil War Monument.

Following the business portion of the meeting, the audience of about 100 enjoyed delicious refreshments. Betty Smith, curator of the Historical Society, then introduced a program on the Civil War Soldiers Monument, which stands on the Green in Montrose. Ellen O'Malley, a member of the committee to restore the monument, narrated a fascinating presentation on the history of the Monument and some of the soldiers it commemorates. She showed photos of the Green before the Monument was built, described its construction, dedication, and evolution through the years, and told stories of some of the soldiers who gave their lives to the cause. The historic photos, letters, and information are part of the collection of the Museum. To add to the multi-media experience, Ron Albert brought historic uniforms and displays of Civil War memorabilia. The uniforms were worn by Elizabeth Baessler and Jacob Horn, who read letters from young soldiers to their families.

For more information about the Association or any of its programs and services, please visit and, or call 278-1881.

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Major Appointed As House Deputy Whip

HARRISBURG - Rep. Sandra Major (R-Susquehanna/Wayne/Wyoming) will serve as a House majority deputy whip for the 2005-2006 legislative session.

House Majority Whip David Argall recently appointed Major as one of 10 deputy whips in the Republican Caucus.

Rep. Sandra Major (R-Susquehanna/Wayne/Wyoming) will serve as a House majority deputy whip for the 2005-2006 legislative session. She is pictured here with House Majority Whip David Argall.

"I am honored by this appointment," Major said. "As deputy whip, I will have opportunity to influence the legislative agenda in a positive way for rural and northeastern Pennsylvania."

Deputy whips have a variety of responsibilities on the House floor, such as assisting in member head counts or helping promote certain tough issues that face the Caucus. They also keep Argall informed of problems that members may have, or issues that might have an effect on the legislative agenda and on the Caucus as a whole.

"Rep. Major is a diligent and effective legislator who is respected by her colleagues," Argall said. "I am certain she will contribute to a productive legislative session."

On Jan. 4, Major was sworn in to her sixth term in office.

Her district offices are at Route 706 Lake Montrose, RR 7 Box 7186, Montrose, PA 18801 (telephone: 570-278-3374) and 130 N. Bridge Street, Tunkhannock, PA 18657 (telephone: 570-836-5888). She visits the Wayne County portion of the district for regular offices hours on the second Thursday of each month.

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Local Banks Help Fund Preschoolers

Fourteen local families have received preschool scholarships thanks to generous donations from Peoples National Bank and PNC Bank to Community Foundation of Susquehanna County education programs. Appreciative parents of students from Children’s Palace of Hallstead, Angel Beginnings, Creative Play Preschool of Susquehanna, and Endless Mountain Learning Center of New Milford received over $37,660 for tuition.

Preschools receiving the grants were required to meet academic standards of the school districts which accept their graduates. Children’s Palace owner Linnette Ryman has an elementary teaching degree and saw the need for working families to have a convenient, trusted environment where children can learn socialization and kindergarten readiness. Parents agreed. Since opening in August she has enrolled 20 children ages 9 months to 12 years. Ms Ryman employs four other professionals to teach in her school which is located above the Hallstead Public Library, making the school an economic as well as an educational asset. She is hoping to add up to eight more students. The school aspires to earn Pennsylvania Keystone Stars recognition as she enhances her staff training.

Getting down with the kids: (from left) George Stover of Peoples, Community Foundation Director Joe Burke, and Peoples executives Debra Dissinger and Jack Ord join parents and preschoolers in celebrating their scholarships.

Families who received the scholarships had been either unable to enroll children at all in preschool, or only able to enroll them for one or two days per week. That situation limited their ability to work. One father, Bob Reynold who has a life threatening illness reports that the scholarship has freed up dollars for him to establish a TAP college savings account for his son. “What better way to tell my child I want him to go to college than to provide money for him to do just that.” Others parents thanked bank and foundation executives for “helping my son to be a better human being,” “giving me the opportunity to do a lot of things that needed to be taken care of,” and providing the assurance that “when I’m at work she’s learning.”

In addition to some before and after-school day-care services, approved preschool programs teach children name and letter recognition, counting, the alphabet, songs and stories and independence exercises such as hand washing and table setting.

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E- Club Discusses Local Business

The Susquehanna County Entrepreneur Club highlighted Smiley Hollow Bed & Breakfast. They also discussed marketing strategies and how productively those strategies worked for various businesses.

The next meeting of the Entrepreneur Club is Tuesday, March 1 at 6:30 p.m. Joe Kulyeshie will present information on his marketing firm, JK Bedrin Marketing Group, LLC. Joe will also lead the group in discussion of various topics of interest.

E-Club meetings are held at the Administrative office of Peoples Bank, in Hallstead. New members are welcome. For more information, contact the E-Club Coordinator, Lori Martin at (570) 853-0940.

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Co. Library Website Is Revamped

The Susquehanna County Library's website,, is being changed to be even more useful. "We're keeping a similar look, but using a different method--a Content Management System--to maintain it," says Systems Librarian Hilary Caws-Elwitt. The new web interface, which will be rolled out this week, includes a convenient way to search not only the local library catalog, but also Scranton Public Library and statewide. It will be easier for librarians to feature new events, lists of newly-added items, questions about library policies, links to useful websites, and so forth. "Mambo, the content management system we're using, is completely free," says Caws-Elwitt, "so this upgrade has cost only some staff time and will save more time down the road."

The library's catalog and circulation system are handled through a state program, which allowed the Susquehanna County Historical Society & Free Library Association to provide state-of-the-art services, including on-line requests and renewals, without any up-front costs. The public on-line catalog will also be getting a facelift around the same time. "We don’t have control over exactly when that will happen," says Caws-Elwitt, "but the basic functionality will be the same--only the look will change."

The Library welcomes feedback and comments. You can call 278-1881 or e-mail

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Nathan Foster Is New Deputy Grand Master

During an official visit to the 15th District of Free and Accepted Mason of Pennsylvania on January 21, Right Worshipful Grand Master William Slater, II of Pittsburgh presided over the installation of Nathan A. Foster as the new 15th District Deputy Grand Master . The installation of the DDGM, which took place at Mount Hermon Lodge, Union Dale, the home Lodge of the new DDGM, was conducted by the outgoing DDGM, Martin W. Migliori of Factoryville Lodge. There are nine Lodges in Susquehanna and Wyoming Counties that make up the 15th District.

Pictured (l-r) are: Past District Deputy Grand Master Martin Migliori, Right Worshipful Grand Master William Slater, II and District Deputy Grand Master Nathan A. Foster.

Slater addressed the newly installed DDGM by saying, “You have been installed and it will be up to you to make the tough decisions necessary.” He continued by saying, “Our work is far from finished and it is up to you to reach out and make a change.” He complimented the 15th District members on their participation in the Children’s Identification Program (CHIP) by their donation of $1,400. The Pennsylvania Foundation for Children through the Right Worshipful Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania will administer the CHIP program.

Wayne Williams, Robert Klenk, Gordon Glover and James Soden were presented 50 year pins and received congratulations from Slater.

The Right Worshipful Grand Master was accompanied by Ronald A. Aungst, Right Worshipful Deputy Grand Master; Stephen Gardner, Right Worshipful Senior Grand Warden; Thomas K. Sturgeon, Right Worshipful Junior Grand Warden; Walter F. Lindemuth, Acting Grand Marshall; Allen J. Henninger, Grand Steward; Earl Trygar, Grand Tyler; And the Aid to the Grand Master John G. Richards.

Present District Deputy Grand Masters, besides the outgoing Miglioni, in attendance were Alvin Hollister, 14th District; Gordon M. Conniff, 13th District; Hugh E. Williams, 12th District; Victor J. Capooci, 59th District.

Past District Deputy Grand Masters attending were A. Ralph Taylor, Edward Tourje, Clinton Shrive, William J. Davis, Alfred W. Kotula.

Nathan resides with his wife, Mary at Pop’s Hobby Lake in Brackney. Mary, along with other family members, Nathan’s mother, Charlotte Foster; his daughters, Peg and Debbie, and her family, husband, Doug, children, David and Danielle; brother, Gary and wife, Mary; aunt, Helen Foster and Willa Mitzel were able to attend the open session of the Lodge. Nathan’s brother, Keith is an officer of Mount Hermon Lodge and was seated in that chair for the installation.

Nathan is one of a long line of Fosters of Mount Hermon Lodge No. 472. The Foster Era began with Merritt and his brothers, C. Garfield, Alford and Wilford. It continued with a second generation that included Ronald E, Nathan A., Gary W, Keith L, and Thomas B. Foster . The third generation members are Merritt’s grandsons, Rennie Merritt Cross, James Ronald Foster and Patrick Philip Foster. Included in the Foster family are Merritt’s son-in-law, Robert Cross and a cousin, Luvard Clarke.

The evening concluded with a buffet supper served at the Union Dale United Methodist Church.

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Area Senior Resource Awareness Month

February 2005 has been proclaimed as Senior Resource Awareness Month in honor of older citizens residing in the counties of Bradford, Sullivan, Susquehanna, and Tioga. County Commissioners in all four counties have issued a Proclamation calling upon all citizens to learn about different resources of assistance and opportunities for older citizens.

Since word of mouth has traditionally been a very effective means of sharing information, county residents are asked to let their older relative, neighbor, or friend know about the Area Agency on Aging, and other resources of help. Older citizens are encouraged to learn now about the help available in order to plan ahead for a future that will best suit their needs.

Individuals in the community are also being asked to be aware of the many opportunities for Seniors to share their expertise and time through Volunteering with the Area Agency on Aging and other sources and also to take advantage of Employment Services for income-eligible individuals who are age 55 or older.

To promote Senior Resource Awareness Month, the Area Agency on Aging is offering a free gift to the general public, an “Important Numbers” refrigerator magnet. The magnet has the Area Agency on Aging’s toll free number, website address and spaces to write in important phone numbers, like doctor, Pharmacy, friend, and relative. The magnet will be available at most doctors’ offices and libraries in the four county area, while supplies last. This free gift is also available at the Area Agency on Aging Offices of Susquehanna County, 35 Spruce St., Suite 1, Montrose, PA, weekdays between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

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Waiting For You!

Here are some of the wonderful dogs waiting for you at the Susquehanna County SPCA.

Shepherd mix, male, two years old, brown/black.

Dalmatian/Lab, female. Sasha is eight months old and housebroken. Black/white.

Greyhound mix, female, brown/white. Found in Fairdale.

Lab/Dalmatian mix, male, black/white. Found in Meshoppen.

Boxer mix, female, four months old, brindle. Found in the Oakland Trailer Park.

Golden Retriever, female, six years old.

Rottweiler/Shepherd mix, male, one year old. Found in Great Bend Township.

Beagle, male, one year old. Found in Auburn.

They’ll be waiting for you at the Susquehanna County Humane Society Shelter, in Montrose, (570) 278–1228.

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