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Issue Home May 10, 2005 Site Home

Thompson Discusses Demolition
Loan Snafu In G. B. Borough
This, That In Great Bend

Courthouse Report
New Streets In New Milford
SCHS Holds Honor Society Induction
Forest City Seeks Bids
Flood Victims
County Approved For Disaster Assistance
Audit Finds Thompson VFRA In Compliance


Thompson Discusses Demolition

Thompson Boro Council met on May 2 with all members present as well as Secretary Diane Sheldon, Treasurer Marge Whitney, Mayor Jim Delaney, Chief of Police Tom Rivenburgh and several residents.

Council has received a list of current members of the fire police, as well as the fire police bylaws, which outlines what the requirements are to be a member. A motion carried to approve the appointment of Andrew Genneken, the newest member of the fire police.

Discussion continued about flooding problems near the fire hall, specifically damage caused in September and again in early April when the nearby creek overflowed. Emergency Management Coordinator Mark Carmody has contacted Mark Wood, director of the county Emergency Management Agency to request an inspection of the area and to discuss what options are available to get grant funding for work to prevent more flooding.

Council has received word that the county will be inspecting the bridge on Water St.; possibly the bridge’s guard rails will be moved so that trucks won’t get caught in the grates along either side of the bridge.

A motion carried to approve one-way traffic on Water Street during the fire company’s Fourth of July festivities.

The boro has received its yearly liquid fuels funds, in the amount of $5,787.10.

CEO Shane Lewis was at the meeting at council’s invitation, to discuss his findings after three structures in the boro were inspected.

The first, the old mill building, he found to be in a state of neglect that has existed for a number of years, with very little effort made to keep it secure. He found broken windows, a loose trap door, and the roof in need of replacement and other problems. His recommendation was to issue an order of demolition.

Mr. Lewis explained the procedure when such an order is issued. First, a notice of violation is sent to the building’s owner, requesting that a structure be demolished, based on an unreasonable cost of repairs (cost of repairs would exceed the structure’s assessed value). Ten days would be given for an appeal; the boro would need to have an appeals board in place to review any appeal if one were to be made. If no response is received, the matter will then be sent to the boro’s solicitor for a compliance order. Twenty days will be given for a response to the compliance order; if there is no response, it will then it go to court where the judge will make a determination.

The second structure, a concrete building above the mill received the same recommendation from Mr. Lewis, as it is a hazard.

There was some question about the third structure, an old three-story chicken coop; it was not certain who its owner is; council will check tax maps to determine ownership. This structure also has been determined to be a hazard and it, too was recommended for an order of demolition.

It was agreed to postpone any official action until the next meeting, by which time ownership of the third building could be determined and an appeals board could be put in place. In the meantime, Mr. Lewis and council will review the relevant forms  on hand, and see if any additional ones are needed.

President Price read plant operator Larry Travis’ monthly report. Mr. Travis had met with a representative of the equipment manufacturer to find solutions to some ongoing problems; an inspection did find a wiring problem. The plant’s discharge rate was slowed down to effectively treat it, which should eliminate the need to use chlorine. The system is still producing an amount in excess of what had been estimated; if the changes made do not decrease production, it may be necessary to have some of the sludge hauled away, which would cost $840 per month.

A representative of Pioneer (project contractor) was expected to be in town the next Tuesday or Wednesday to review several unresolved complaints.

Upon investigating, it was determined that recalculating tap in fees for new hookups was not included in the boro’s original contract with the engineers; the boro would be responsible for the $2,000 cost to have the engineers calculate figures. “If you don't comply (with Act 57),” Mr. Price said, “you have no basis for charging a tap in fee.” The calculations will be ready in time to pass a resolution to authorize the fee by June 30, as the law mandates.

Sending of letters to delinquent accounts for sewage fees has been temporarily delayed; a proposed form letter was received from the boro solicitor, which conforms with state and federal regulations.

Discussion continued regarding the billing of sewage fees by PAWC. There has been concern that arrears payments are divided proportionately between overdue water and sewer balances. Several council members agreed that it would be preferable if PAWC could send two separate bills, so that customers could decide which they are paying. Mr. Gardner was scheduled to meet with a representative from PAWC the following Wednesday to review billing and on-line access to the sewage accounts. He agreed to also discuss council’s concerns about arrears payments at that time.

Mr. Gardner asked if Mrs. Sheldon and Mrs. Whitney could be compensated for the additional time that they spent on work for the sewage system (other than the usual council business). A provision for administrative costs were included in the estimates of the system’s operation costs. Mr. Price said that hours would have to be logged separately for the boro and sewage; it would be better to wait until the system has been running awhile, to get a more accurate idea of costs, etc. It will be taken into consideration when next year’s budget is discussed.

ESCP’s zoning workshop, rescheduled due to inclement weather, was to be held on May 7.

As of June 30 when Mr. Rivenburgh’s certifications expire, the boro will no longer have police protection. Letters will be sent to Ararat Township, the boro’s insurance carrier, the state police and the district attorney’s office to inform them. Coverage for a policeman and the police car will be deleted from the boro’s insurance policy, which is due to be renewed on July 11. Mr. Rivenburgh will attend any court hearings that may be still pending.

A motion carried to advertise bids for household refuse removal.

Council received an invitation to attend an open house for dedication of Ararat Township's new municipal building on May 14, and all are invited to attend the boro’s annual Memorial Day ceremony, to be held on May 29 at 2 p.m.

A motion carried to approve a contract with the boro, for the Sheldon property on Jackson St., to add an EDU. The hookup fee has been paid, and monthly billing will begin when the work is complete.

The meeting concluded with a discussion about winter cindering, specifically purchase of materials used and whether it could be done more cost effectively.

The next meeting will be on Monday, June 6, 7:30 p.m. in the fire hall.

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Loan Snafu In G. B. Borough

Some years ago, the state government made money available to municipalities to provide as grants or low-interest loans to low-income residents for home improvements. Great Bend Borough set up a program to administer the program for citizens who qualified. It has been largely successful; even Borough Mayor James Riecke was a beneficiary.

The state program has long since been discontinued, but the Borough is still receiving payments on outstanding loans – all but one. The very last loan made by the Borough, for $10,000, is now in default, and the borrower has declared bankruptcy. That would be problem enough, but now the Borough can't find the paperwork to demonstrate its interest in the money.

The Borough has so far spent nearly $400 on legal fees researching the matter. A letter from Borough attorney Frank O'Connor was not optimistic that the Borough could collect much – if anything – of the outstanding principal on the loan.

At the Borough Council meeting on May 5 Secretary Sheila Guinan reported that a search of Borough records yielded no Council minutes approving the loan. A record of the check issued to the borrower was found, as well as a contract; under the agreement, as remembered by current Council members, the borrower was permitted to act as his own general contractor. Unfortunately it appears that the contract not only did not specify a lien in event of default, but was not even signed.

Council asked Ms. Guinan to try to find out from the solicitor how much it might cost to fix the situation, as well as how much he thinks the Borough might recover.

The meeting covered a lot of other ground in two and a half hours.

An effort to improve lighting on the Main Street bridge over the railroad proceeds. Ms. Guinan told council that a work order had been issued to the electric company to install a new light, but now no one is really sure if another light is even needed in the area. There are already three street lights on the bridge.

Council member Jerry MacConnell has been trying to improve curbing on borough streets, to control water runoff. One approach might be to install asphalt curbs, as was done in some areas when the streets were paved after the sewer system was installed several years ago. Now it appears that many smaller companies no longer do that kind of work, in part because asphalt curbing doesn't hold up very well, and also because grant money is generally available only for more substantial types of curbing.

There is a significant accumulation of "anti-skid" material on borough streets laid down during the winter. The borough doesn't have its own street sweeper, and neighboring municipalities are reluctant to lend theirs. Two companies are willing to do the work, and the borough will contract with one of them to clean the streets (except for Main Street and Randolph Road) at a cost of about $64 per hour. The borough will try to reclaim the material (which is actually a type of stone gravel) for use in the parks.

Fun Day, the family event held in recent years in late May in Memorial Park, is up in the air for now. An attempt to join Fun Day with the Fancher Memorial foot race fell through. Council will try to arrange something for later in the summer as a fund-raiser for the parks.

Ms. Guinan reported receipt of a large and complex collection of documents from the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) concerning compliance with Federal storm-water management regulations. Filled with bureaucratic gobbledygook, the program is nearly indecipherable and certainly outside the means of a small town like Great Bend. Council decided to take the least onerous option and apply for a waiver along with a so-called "general" permit that would place most of the responsibility (as far as anyone could tell from the paperwork) on DEP.

All of the doors to the borough building have been re-keyed. Ms. Guinan is maintaining a record of the numbered keys, which will be issued only to organizations and individuals with a regular need to enter the building after hours. Council member Mike Wasko asked that outside organizations that receive keys be asked to sign an agreement that they will be responsible for the cost of re-keying the locks should a key be lost.

Council decided to withdraw any debit cards now in use by borough employees. They will be converted to credit cards to provide for better record keeping. Ms. Guinan also asked permission to request store accounts from local businesses so that purchases can be made on a signature, with the borough receiving a monthly invoice.

Without much additional discussion, Council moved to join the effort of neighboring communities to develop a "multi-municipal comprehensive plan." Council member Bea Alesky objected to the idea, concerned that there are already enough regulations telling property owners what they can and can't do with their property.

At the request of the local ambulance service, Council also agreed to proclaim May 15-21, 2005 "Emergency Medical Services Week." The recently revived ambulance service will host an open house on Sunday, May 15 to show itself off, and to encourage more participation.

Council has been wanting to replace the welcome signs at both ends of the borough on Main Street. An Eagle Scout candidate indicated some interest in making new signs, but may choose a different project. So Council is looking for other possibilities.

And finally, Council member Joe Collins asked that a letter be prepared and sent to the local Little League association commending and thanking them for considerable work in Recreation Park, where they have cleaned and painted the restrooms and other facilities.

The Great Bend Borough Council meets on the first Thursday of each month, beginning at 7:00 p.m., at the Borough Building (the Blue Ridge Senior Center) on Elizabeth Street.

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This, That In Great Bend

It took quite a bit of work and time to arrive at the point where the DEP approved a permit for repairs to a major slide on Graham Hollow Road, enabling Great Bend Township to finally go out for bids on the project.

All three supervisors attended a regular meeting of the Township board on May 2, when bids were opened. And the consensus is that the project will have to wait just a bit longer. Three bids were received, and their range was so broad – $14,200 to $38,225 – that supervisors wanted to do a bit more research and make sure the lowest bidders are completely aware of what the project entails before any dotted lines are signed. One of the three bidders has visited the site – a narrow cut through a gorge – and ideally, the supervisors would prefer all bidders to view it. It’s a tricky slope, and research now, the supervisors believe, will avoid surprises later on.

The trio also passed an ordinance increasing township indebtedness by issuing a general obligation note of $165,000 for capital road-improvement purposes; the bulk of the money will be dedicated to Old Route 11.

Board chair Bob Squier gave Nick Mase’s roadmaster’s report. It included patching Lovers Lane, McHugh Hill Road, Old Route 11, and others. Calcium holding tanks were built to keep the material dry and up off the ground; new signs were posted on Bogert Street and Airport Road; and various pieces of equipment were serviced or repaired or checked out for warm-weather work.

All three supervisors went over to take a look at Hall Road after their last meeting, at which several residents of the streets complained that a lot of excess stone was laid down last year when it was double tarred and chipped. Supervisor Walt Galloway thought the road looked to be in good shape; George Haskins thought only half of it did. So, they’ll revisit the scene of the stoning once again and in the meantime are looking to get hold of a vacuum sweeper that could come in and take away the remaining excess stone.

A Hall Street resident asked whether a thin layer of asphalt could be added to it, and Haskins replied that asphalt was expensive; the approximately $2,000 (out of around a total $80,000 budgeted for road maintenance) set aside for maintenance of Hall Road wouldn’t cover a whole lot of asphalting. Normal and routine road maintenance, he said, was to tar and chip every two years – meaning it would be at least another year before Hall Road was due for regular maintenance.

Haskins also reported on the Bridging Communities project, noting that Plan B, the engineering firm that submitted a proposal, would be trimming some of its estimates, principally for landscaping. Haskins said that Debbie Dissinger, project director, felt a bit of “sticker shock,” as did Haskins, when the estimate was received. Haskins continues to follow up on the project.

The supervisors reported on the recent meeting they attended, along with representatives from Harford, New Milford Borough and Township, and Great Bend Borough, about getting together to develop an intermunicipal comprehensive plan. Commissioner MaryAnn Warren was also on hand. Haskins noted that the group has but one more meeting, by which time they will either agree – or not – to work together to develop a comprehensive plan that looks forward about 20 years to determine how to best guide growth and development. By banding together, the bulk of the cost of developing a comprehensive plan, expected to take a couple of years, is funded with grants, with the remainder from participating municipalities. Haskins thought the two-year cost for the township would be $7,000-$8,000.

Squier reported on his research to date on watershed associations under the state’s Growing Greener program. He’s spoken with both a district soil conservation representative as well as folks from Choconut Township. The latter formed a watershed association some time ago, and received $130,000 to control Choconut Creek; the group recently received another $400,000 that it will apply to another two miles of the creek.

A watershed association would be a nonprofit corporation, and the chances are pretty good that funds would be forthcoming when an association represents several municipalities. Squier noted that he spoke with people in New Milford, and they appear to be in favor of going along with the formation of an association. New Milford has had serious flooding with its creek; in particular, flooding of Salt Lick Creek has been a problem in New Milford, the township and Hallstead borough. Other creeks have also damaged roads, property and homes.

Nick Carter, proprietor of an auto repair and restoration business on Route 171, attended the meeting to respond in person to a letter he received from the township about junk cars. Carter reported that he has a businesses license and an auto inspection license, and has already weeded out cars that his business doesn’t need for parts. He wanted to be a good citizen and obey the law and told supervisors that he’d be happy to do what’s necessary, including putting up a fence to shield from the road any cars that he uses for parts.

In other business, Norm Darrow was reappointed as the township sewer authority representative. COG reported that permits in the township were issued to Charles and Phyllis Sanders, Bilo Foods, Titomado LLC (Dunkin Donuts), Robert Rowe, Hinkley Real Estate and Grace Wrenloyds. The board approved a minor subdivision for Hugh and Margaret Coombs; and reported that Dollar General received its driveway permit.

The next regular meeting of the Great Bend Township board of supervisors is scheduled for May 16, 7 p.m. in the township building.

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Courthouse Report


Eric Sidney Kilmer, Tina Marie Kilmer to Tina Marie Kilmer, in Silver Lake Township for one dollar.

John Halupke Jr. to Roger D. Bennett, in Clifford Township for $15,000.

Diane Moreck to John Henry, Frank Henry, Robert Stark, Bernard Toporcher, in Rush Township for $15,000.

Mary R. O’Neil to Shelly M. Travis, in Hallstead Borough for $66,000.

Rose Paulin to William Paulin and Mary Paulin, in Herrick Township for one dollar.

Michael Delaney and Sharon L. Delaney to Fowler Oil Company Inc., in Thompson Township for one dollar.

Sommerville Land Development Inc. to Dawn Mervine, Robert E. Lee Jr., Beverly B. Lee, in New Milford Township for $22,200.

Sommerville Land Development Inc. to Robert E. Lee Jr., Beverly B. Lee, in New Milford Township for $16,320.

Sommerville Land Development Inc. to Great Bend Limited Partnership, in New Milford Township for $14,160.

Sommerville Land Development Inc. to Robert Mervine III, Dawn Mervine, in New Milford Township for $13,680.

Karl C. Kleinbauer (estate) to Gale L. Johnson, in Clifford Township for one dollar.

Anna Hobbs (trust) to Frederick W. Hobbs, Sandra Hobbs, in Thompson Borough for one dollar.

E. Wayne Steele, Brigita B. Bishop to Wendy S. Boice, in Auburn Township for $187,665.

Judy A. Bailey to Edward R. Chidester, Barbara Sturdevant, in Harford Township for $91,000.

Stephen A. Shumaker Sr., Susanna B. Shumaker to Joseph Ofalt, Ruthann Ofalt, in Dimock and Brooklyn townships for $130,000.

Joseph Rybnick Jr., Jean A. Rybnick to Brian Komora, Christina Komora, in Lenox Township for one dollar.

Robert J. Millen, Charlotte A. Millen to Robert D. Staats, Elizabeth A. Staats, in Franklin Township for $99,000.

Lawrence T. O’Reilly, Christine M. O’Reilly, in Silver Lake Township for $27,900.

Harry S. Abess (trust by trustee), Lucy A. Abess (trust by trustee) to Harry S. Abess, in New Milford Township for one dollar.

Harry S. Abess to Norman Paul Abess, in New Milford Township for $335,000.

Norman Paul Abess to Norman Paul Abess (trust), in New Milford Township for one dollar.

Jackson Baptist Church (by trustees) to Gary W. Haskell Jr., Joan E. Haskell, in Jackson Township for $25,000.

Eugene L. Price, Ruth C. Price to Kevin Matthew Price, Raymond Mark Price, Rachael Gilleran, Susan M. Price, in Susquehanna for one dollar.

Blanche Trusky to Richard Trusky Jr., William Trusky, Regina Kubus, Dorothy Svecz, in Forest City for one dollar.

Charles G. Speicher to Carl J. Speicher, Jacqueline L. Speicher, in Silver Lake Township for one dollar.

William M. Lopatofsky, Claudia Jean Lopatofsky to Martin F. Barhite and Michael P. Barhite, in Clifford Township for $260,000.

Rose Marie Stone to David Joe Maloof, in Bridgewater Township for $30,000.

Banner of Truth Ministries Inc. to David Joe Maloof, in Bridgewater Township for $45,000.

George T. Meekins, Helen Meekins to Joseph E. Hoban, Dorothy M. Hoban, in Ararat Township for $260,000.

Arthur M. Lucarelli, Cheryl L. Lucarelli, Wayne Volpe, to Wayne Volpe, in New Milford Township for $125.

Arthur M. Lucarelli, Cheryl L. Lucarelli, Wayne Volpe, in New Milford and Great Bend townships for $125.

Brenda L. Walker (by sheriff), John M. Walker (by sheriff) to Citimortgage Inc., Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc., in New Milford Borough for $1,898.

John Sklarsky and Ann Sklarsky to William Lloyd, in Clifford Township for $36,000.

Gorham Enterprises to Bronson Pinchot, in Harford Township for $60,000.

Paul W. Towers, Marian L. Towers to David D. Hare, Renee M. Hare, in Forest Lake Township for $40,000.

Kenneth Smith, Helen Smith to Patterson Revocable Trust, in Liberty Township for $75,000.

Gail George-Cobb to Gerald W. Remick and Frances M. Remick, in Hallstead Borough for $2,500.

Robert H. Vohrer and Connie L. Vohrer to Robert H. Vohrer Jr., in Auburn Township for one dollar.

Robert H. Vohrer and Connie L. Vohrer to Robert H. Vohrer and Connie L. Vohrer, in Auburn Township for one dollar.

Norine Kimmell to Betty Campbell, in Hallstead Borough for $57,000.

Kintner Modular Homes Inc. to William Conklin, Elizabeth A. Conklin, in Springville Township for $70,000.


Stanley John Rockwell and Alice Anne Mills, both of Susquehanna.

Clayton Michael Marcum Jr. and Elizabeth Arellano Tanueco, both of Susquehanna.

Deron Lee Vandeventer and Marci Marie Sheffler, both of Montrose.

William Joseph Brennan and Trudy Kay Botts, both of Montrose.

Martin Jeffrey Johnson and Erica Maureen Latini, both of Montrose.


John Schrader vs. Cheryl Ann Schrader, both of Montrose.

Deborah A. Davis vs. Ronald E. Davis Jr., both of Nicholson.

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New Streets In New Milford

At last month’s regular meeting of the New Milford Borough council, bids were opened for paving the streets in the town in three-phase plan. Between then and last Thursday’s regular meeting, PENNDOT’s Randy Decker reviewed each bid based on specifications written by PENNDOT. At its latest meeting, council awarded the job to lowest bidder and Pennsylvania –certified Contour Construction out of Binghamton.

The total bid on the three phases is close to $250,000 – significantly less than the $325,000 council expected the major project to cost. The borough has been setting aside money for quite some time, and dedicated it to the paving project. This now-$110,000 fund, plus $140,000 it will borrow and pay back to Peoples National Bank over 15 years at an attractive rate, will pay for the project.

PENNDOT will inspect the paving, scheduled for completion by mid-September. The project will be coordinated with restoration work by the sewer contractor, and that must be done by June 30.

The town is certainly spiffing up. In addition to soon-to-be-paved streets, Midtown Park along Main Street will also see new sidewalks. Council hopes this work will be done for Memorial Day weekend. A new sugar maple tree will also replace one lost in the park. Representatives of a mental health awareness group of out Montrose – Step by Step – attended the meeting and told council that once a year, they plant a tree in a local municipality. This year, the group chose New Milford. The town will dig the hole for the six-foot tree and plant it on the morning of May 31.

Where the office of district magistrate Peter Janicelli will relocate is still up in the air. Latest word is that it’s either the borough building or the orange roof, but not at its current site. In response to a report about COG moving out of its current space in the borough building, Council member Teri Gulick reported that she spoke with COG secretary Karen Trynoski to let her know that moving Janicelli into COG space was never an option for the borough. She also spoke with COG member Dave Darrow, who told her the organization was very happy with the borough as its landlord; the main problem was one of COG outgrowing its current space.

Council wanted it made known that COG is a valued tenant; its rent basically bought the borough building for the town. It is open to discussions about renovating the building to accommodate their needs, and council member and COG representative Jane Zick will make this known to them.

In other business, council okayed donating $150 to the Blue Ridge Recreation’s summer adventures program; read an invitation from the Pennsylvania Army National Guard to attend the May 12 grand opening of its readiness center in the town; appointed volunteer Michael McCain as deputy emergency management coordinator; and sold its older and smaller dump truck for $3,550 (council received 19 bids for the truck).

Gulick, who’s also on the town planning commission, reported approving a request to change the zoning map and designate Main Street from the borough building north to Union Street as commercial, from residential. The county planning commission also sent a letter recommending approval of the change (to include three properties, versus the town commission’s four properties) so long as council determines the change is consistent with its comprehensive plan.

No decision will be made about the map change until a hearing on the matter that’s scheduled within a week or so.

Council discussed a request by a borough businessman to hold a bike rodeo on the tennis courts on May 21 from 10 a.m. to noon. A Methodist Youth Festival will be held in the park that same weekend. Council will inform the Methodists about the request and so long as there’s no conflict, the bike rodeo will be fine. If it’s a go, the rodeo will have representatives of AAA, the Boy Scouts and the State Police.

Borough secretary Amy Hine also distributed a letter from David Ayres, Morgan Stanley in Binghamton, in response to hers, asking for information about the police pension plan of which the borough was a co-sponsor. It has been trying for more than a year now to obtain a copy of the pension plan document and certain termination or resolution of excess plan assets documentation. Ayres was listed as an investment adviser and fiduciary to the plan. He wrote Council that since 1995 all instructions about the pension plan account were to come from the president of the municipal police authority, James Riecke, and information about the account can only be disbursed to Riecke. The municipal police authority was disbanded some years ago. Council will ask its solicitor for guidance.

The next regular meeting of the New Milford Borough council is scheduled for June 2 at 7 p.m. in the Borough Building on Main Street.

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SCHS Holds Honor Society Induction

“I pledge to maintain my high scholastic standing, to hold as fundamental and worthy an untarnished character, to endeavor intelligently and courageously to be a leader, and to give of myself freely in service to others. In so doing, I shall prove myself worthy of a place in the National Honor Society.” – The National Honor Society Induction Pledge.

Several hundred proud family members, friends and faculty gathered on the evening of May 4 to honor this year’s Susquehanna Community High School inductees into the National Honor Society. Each year, a banquet is held to recognize the students’ outstanding achievements; the faculty committee members are Mr. Charles Fuller, Mr. David Lee, Mr. Michael Lisowski, Mrs. Carol McNamara, Mr. John Seigle, and Mrs. Corinne Sohns.

Mr. Seigle began by welcoming all and introducing two board members who were present, Mary Wescott and Johnine Barnes. He spoke of what a great honor it is for a student to attain Honor Society status, and how proud they can be of their accomplishments. He noted that this year, for the first time, instead of faculty and board members senior Society inductees sat at the head table and organized the event.

Invocation was given by Mr. Mark McHale.

The guest speaker for the evening, SCHS Senior Kevin Lee was introduced by Tiffany Tanner. Miss Tanner gave a brief history of Mr. Lee’s accomplishments, some of which are being a High Honors student since fourth grade, a member of the Junior Honor Society, involvement with the school newspaper, student council, drama club, church and community, and excelling in several sports, especially basketball.

Mr. Lee’s remarks noted that “honor” has different meaning to all of us, from parents, to faculty, to students. The Society is about scholarship, he said, but also about citizenship, leadership, and character. He urged his fellow students to pass on the Society’s values. “An important component of character is integrity,” he said. “How can we expect others to follow if we don’t practice what we preach? Only with integrity can we find the courage to overcome obstacles.” He cited Franklin Delano Roosevelt as a role model, as he had led our nation through the Great Depression and other difficulties. “Follow the spirit of this great man. Maintain honesty. Continue to support one another.”

The Honor Society pledge was led by the senior class members (pictured above), who explained each of the tenets of the Society’s pledge; knowledge (the centerpiece), scholarship, citizenship, service, leadership and character.

Certificates were presented to each of the inductees by Mrs. McNamara, Mr. Moore and Mr. Lisowski, with new members also receiving shirts, compliments of the faculty in recognition of their outstanding achievements.

Senior class inductees and their plans following graduation are as follows: Paula Freitag, Notre Dame, Chemistry; Kevin Lee, DeSales University, Political Science and Pre Law; Carolyn Severs, Texas A & M, Zoology; Melanie Stark, Cosmetology; Abralyn Stone, Clarion University, Molecular Biology; Heather Stone, Penn State, Speech Pathology; Tiffany Tanner, Broome Community College, Nursing; Denise Walker, Penn State, Nursing; Matthew Wolf, Kutztown University, Accounting.

Class of 2006 inductees were Christopher Balliet, Daniel Brinton, Kimberly Frechen, Katie Lawrenson, Ryan Lee, Melissa Leet, Jeremy Travis, Curtis Walker.

Class of 2007 inductees were Sarah Biegert, Melanie Biesecker, Andrew Crawford, Carla Gehman, Meghan Gilleran, Kristin Gumaer, Timothy Haynes, Ashley Hubal, Kirsten Kemmerer, Jessica Lee, Carrie Lewis, William McHale, Nicole Ransbottom, Ellen Reavey.

Closing remarks were made by Mr. Lisowski, who urged the students to continue to make their lives extraordinary, and by Superintendent Bronson Stone, who congratulated the students for their tremendous accomplishment. He also commended the students’ parents for giving the “push” necessary for success. He joked that, once they go off to college, “Students love early morning phone calls to see if they’ve done their homework.” He ended by commending the faculty for a “tremendous exchange” of their values, thoughts, ideas, and knowledge. “We are blessed with a healthy school community, and the success that occurs because of these three groups.”

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Forest City Seeks Bids

The Forest City Borough Council agreed last week to advertise for bids to repair some deteriorating borough streets.

Streets under consideration for repaving include Maxey Street from Susquehanna Street to Delaware Street; Maple Street from Dundaff Street to Lackawanna Street; North Street from Railroad Street to Hudson Street; Susquehanna Street from Dundaff Street to a designated point marked by PENNDOT engineers; Lackawanna Street from Dundaff Street to North Street; and, Babe Ruth Field Road from Higgins Street to a designated point marked by PENNDOT engineers.

Council also set June 7 as the start of a borough-wide clean-up week. There will be no charge but refrigerators must be ticketed with evidence to show any Freon in it has been properly removed. Also items such as motor oil and tires will not be picked up and lose items such as wood or tree branches must be bundled and tied.

Money to pay for the clean up will come from the per-bag-cost of weekly trash removal. While the clean-up may extend for three or four days, residents are cautioned that they can only leave material at the curb once. There will only be one visit per household.

Council was advised by the Susquehanna County Housing/Redevelopment Authority that it will receive bids for the demolition of a rundown home at 613 Delaware Street. The authority will pay for the demolition.

Police Chief Paul Lukus reported his department responded to 317 calls in April and made a total of 30 arrests. The department also cited four motorists for speeding and three for equipment violations.

Council is considering the purchase of used parking meters from the Borough of Montrose. The meters would provide 30 minutes of parking for five cents; one hour for 10 cents; and, two hours for 25 cents. In addition there are some meters that will provide up to 10 hours of parking.

Garbage collection will be one day behind schedule on Memorial Day weekend. The regular pick up will be done on Saturday, June 4.

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Flood Victims

If you were forced out of your home or apartment as a result of the April rain and flooding, and you had to stay in a hotel or make other housing arrangements, FEMA may pay your lodging tab. If you live in one of the declared counties of Bradford, Bucks, Columbia, Luzerne, Monroe, Northampton, Pike, Susquehanna, Wayne or Wyoming, call FEMA at 1–800–621–3362 for information on help with temporary housing needs and other programs.

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County Approved For Disaster Assistance

Harrisburg – Disaster assistance has been made available for Susquehanna County to help residents and business owners recover from the effects of the rain and flooding that began on April 2, announced the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Susquehanna County was added to the list of eligible jurisdictions based on a review of damage data gathered by federal and state disaster recovery officials. The previously designated counties include Bradford, Bucks, Columbia, Luzerne, Monroe, Northampton, Pike, Wayne and Wyoming.

“The April 2 storm brought unusually heavy rains to several Pennsylvania counties triggering flooding that destroyed homes, businesses, roads and bridges and other essential community infrastructure,” said Director King. “FEMA’s approval of the Commonwealth’s federal aid request will now provide grants and loans to help eligible residents and businesses in Susquehanna County contend with and recover from this natural disaster.”

Stricken residents and business owners are eligible to apply immediately for a wide range of state and federal disaster assistance programs including disaster housing and rental assistance; U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA) low-interest loans for individuals and business owners to repair or replace real or personal property; help in meeting disaster-related needs and expenses not covered by insurance or other assistance programs; crisis counseling; and disaster unemployment assistance.

“We remain committed to ensuring that eligible families and businesses receive the help they need as quickly as possible,” said Tom Davies, federal coordinating officer.

Affected residents and business owners in Susquehanna County may apply for assistance by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) between the hours of 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. seven days a week until further notice. Those with a speech or hearing impairment may call TTY 1-800-462-7585. Registration is also available at the FEMA website,

Callers are advised to have the following information available when they call: their current phone number; their Social Security or Business ID number, if available; a general list of damages and losses suffered; if insured, the insurance policy number, or the agent's and company name; general financial information; and their bank account code to speed up assistance with direct deposit.

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Audit Finds Thompson VFRA In Compliance

Harrisburg – Auditor General Jack Wagner released an audit of the Thompson Volunteer Firefighters’ Relief Association (VFRA), in Susquehanna County, finding the local VFRA in compliance with tested laws and regulations from January 1, 2001 through December 31, 2003.

“The proper management of funds in Thompson ensures that the VFRA will continue to support local volunteer firefighters who bravely put themselves at risk to help protect their neighbors’ health and property,” Wagner noted.

VFRAs are nonprofit organizations established to afford financial protection to volunteer firefighters who suffer misfortune as a result of their participation in the fire service. VFRAs receive state aid from a two-percent state tax on fire insurance purchased by Pennsylvania residents from insurance companies located outside of the Commonwealth. These funds are used to purchase fire equipment and to cover volunteer training expenses. VFRAs are distinct separate legal entities from fire companies.

The Department of the Auditor General is responsible for auditing VFRA funds to make sure they are spent according to state law. The department also conducts workshops to help local firefighters comply with VFRA regulations.

Wagner’s strong support for first responders and commitment to public safety issues date back to his own experience as an Emergency Medical Technician, working his way through Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

“I understand firsthand and have a deep respect for what volunteers do for our communities across the Commonwealth,” Wagner said.

The Commonwealth distributed more than $58 million to 1,981 local VFRAs last year.

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