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Issue Home June 28, 2005 Site Home

Two Jailed For Crime Spree
GB Twp. Has Concerns
County Joins Consortium

Courthouse Report
Gibson Barracks Report

Sheriff Benedict Visits COG

State’s First Trifecta Hits Home

Two Jailed For Crime Spree

Two men responsible for causing thousands of dollars in damages during a crime spree in Susquehanna County last August were remanded to state correctional facilities when they appeared before President Judge Kenneth W. Seamans last week for sentencing. The defendants, 19-year-old George Joseph Dziwak III of Scranton, and 22-year-old Thomas Edward Price of Montrose pleaded guilty to a number charges filed against them by State Police.

Perhaps their most disastrous acts were committed at Bear’s Den Quarry in Bridgewater Township last August 29 when hundreds of thousands of dollars in equipment was heavily damaged. An affidavit of probable cause alleges that the damage was caused when the defendants drover equipment over the quarry walls and also used some equipment to damage others.

Mr. Dziwak was sentenced as follows:

14 months to 28 months in a state correctional facility with credit for time served, pay restitution to victim, pay cost of prosecution, perform 50 hours of community service, pay $300 fine, and observe 11 p.m. curfew, for theft by unlawful taking in Bridgewater Township on August 29,2004.

12 months to 24 months in a state correctional facility to run concurrent with the first sentence, pay cost of prosecution, pay $200 fine, pay restitution to victims, perform 50 hours of community service, observe 11 p.m. curfew, for recklessly endangering another person in Bridgewater Township on August 22, 2004.

14 to 30 months in a state correctional facility, to run concurrent, pay cost of prosecution, pay $2,500 fine, pay restitution, perform 100 hours of community service, observe 11 p.m. curfew, for criminal mischief in Bridgewater Township on August 28, 2004.

Eight years consecutive probation, $500 fine, 50 hours of community service, pay restitution, pay $250 DNA cost and submit sample, observe 11 p.m. curfew, for burglary in Forest Lake Township on August 24, 2004.

Three months to 12 months in a state correctional facility to run concurrent, $250 fine, pay cost of prosecution, pay restitution, 25 hours of community service, observe 11 p.m. curfew, no contact with codefendant, maintain employment while on parole, for criminal mischief in Bridgewater Township on August 24, 2004.

Mr. Price was sentenced as follows:

Probation for 10 years, $500 fine, pay cost of prosecution, pay restitution, submit DNA sample and pay $250 DNA costs, perform 50 hours of community service, for burglary on August 24, 2004.

Six months to 24 months in a state correctional facility with credit for time served, $250 fine, pay cost of prosecution, pay restitution, for criminal mischief in Bridgewater Township on August 24, 2004.

16 months to 32 months in a state correctional facility, to run concurrent, $300 fine, restitution, community service, pay DNA testing fee of $250 and submit sample, for theft by unlawful taking in Bridgewater Township on August 29, 2004.

16 months to 48 months in a state correctional facility with credit for time served, restitution, $1,500 fine, cost of prosecution, 1000 hours of community service, no contact with victims, observe 10 p.m. curfew, undergo psychological counseling while incarcerated, no contact with anyone on probation or parole for criminal mischief in Bridgewater Township on August 28, 2004.

Additional sentences handed down by Judge Seamans included:

Mark T. Shingler, 43, of South Montrose, 12 months to 36 months in a state correctional facility, $1000 fine, cost of prosecution, four years probation to follow incarceration, $250 DNA cost and provide sample, 100 hours of community service, not to possess firearms for risking catastrophe in Bridgewater Township on February 26, 2005.

Armed with a search warrant, state police entered the Shingler residence on February 26, 2005 and found ingredients used in the manufacture of methamphetamines.

David J. Bilko Jr., 20, of Vandling, 23 1/2 months state probation, pay cost of prosecution, pay $300 fine, pay $1,800 restitution to the victim’s father, perform 75 hours of community service, continue to maintain employment, observe 10 p.m. curfew and no alcoholic beverages while on probation, for corruption of minors in Forest City on December 1, 2003.

Christopher Scott Bazewick, 21, of Johnson City, NY, one year state probation, cost of prosecution, pay restitution, 10 p.m. curfew, maintain employment, no contact with his victim, 50 hours of community service, $200 fine, for criminal attempt/theft by unlawful taking in Silver Lake Township on June 3, 2004.

Judson James Barnes, 28, of New Milford, six months probation, $300 fine, pay $200 Act 198 fee, 50 hours community service, for driving under the influence of alcoholic beverages in New Milford Township on August 22, 2004. He also drew three days to six months in the Susquehanna County Jail, with credit for time served, was fined $100, must pay all prosecution costs, for driving under the influence in New Milford Township on October 3, 2004.

Joanne M. Lambiase, 43, of Hallstead, 90 days to 15 months in the county jail to be served on weekends, pay cost of prosecution, pay $100 Act 198 fee, pay $100 CAT, pay $10 EMS, attend alcohol safe driving school program, continue with outpatient counseling, pay $1,500 fine, for driving under the influence in Great Bend Township on June 28, 2004.

Roderic R. Williams, 38, of Hallstead, five months to 23 1/2 months in the county jail with credit for time served, $500 fine, plus prosecution costs, pay restitution, 50 hours of community service, for recklessly endangering another person in Susquehanna Borough on September 24, 2004. He was also fined $33 for disorderly conduct on September 24, 2004, in Susquehanna Borough.

Michael Cavalone, 23, of Montrose, 11 months to two years minus one day in the county jail with credit for time served, pay prosecution costs, perform 100 hours of community service, pay $500 fine, not to be around females under the age of 16, observed 10 p.m. curfew, for corruption of minors in Franklin Township on September 4, 2004.

James Patrick Dean, 18, of Montrose, 11 1/2 months to two years minus one day in the county jail followed by eight years probation, pay restitution, pay $250 DNA fee and submit sample, perform 100 hours of community service, pay $750 fine, for burglary in Montrose on February 28, 2005. He also drew three months to 12 months in the county jail to run concurrent, pay cost of prosecution, pay $500 fine, pay $250 DNA testing fee and submit sample, do 50 hours of community service, observe 11 p.m. curfew, for criminal trespass in Montrose on February 28, 2005.

William J. Carribe, 35, of Appalachia, NY, two days to six months in the county jail, $500 fine, $100 Act 198 fee, for driving under the influence in Harford Township on May 11, 2004.

Walter Higinson, 52, of Forest City, five days to six months in the county jail, $300 fine, cost of prosecution, attend safe driving school, perform 25 hours of community service, for driving under the influence in Clifford Township on August 2, 2004.

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GB Twp. Has Concerns

A dozen members of the public were on hand for the regular meeting on June 20 of the Great Bend Township board of supervisors. Many were there in response to a report of the board’s last meeting, when it discussed a stone quarry on Graham Hollow Road and expressed concern about the safety of children in the area, and on what heavy trucks would do to the recently stressed road that’s been more than a year in the repairing.

Residents on the road asked whether a bond would be sought from the quarry owner, and supervisor George Haskins replied that the bonding procedure, which would include yet another expensive engineering study, was just too costly. Instead, secretary Sheila Guinan was exploring alternative, proper procedures, including township employees’ working out arrangements with contractors, as they have done in the past – with a Towner Road logger, for instance.

In fact, the Graham Hollow Road quarry owner was at the meeting, along with his legal representative, to listen, talk, come to some kind of negotiated settlement that would allow the owner to earn a living but be a good neighbor as well.

Haskins noted that two major problems occurred on the road; one has been fixed and the other will be quite soon – but it took a year to get the DEP to do it and $6,000 for an engineering study that had to accompany the permit. Haskins proposed a bond or guarantee in the amount of the road’s engineering study, against damages that could be attributed to heavy equipment using roads not really meant for them.

Haskins added that the road problems don’t occur at this time of year because they are relatively hard during warm weather. They do happen in the spring when the frost is coming out of the roads, resulting in heavy trucks leaving big ruts behind.

He added the township also heard reports from road residents whose quiet was disturbed by quarry equipment running well into the night.

The quarry owner noted his operation usually started at 6:30 in the morning and finished up at 4 in the afternoon. When Haskins noted a report about equipment heard running at 9 at night and all night, the owner said, “not in my quarry.” A resident also said her family was awoken at 6:30 a.m. on a holiday-day weekend, and that sounds from the quarry travel such that they sound like they’re happening in her yard. She also reported a truck from the quarry turning around in the middle of the road and scraping it as well as damaging a ditch on the side. Another of her big concerns was the safety of kids who walk to the bus stop on a narrow road with heavy equipment on it. The owner said he usually doesn’t send out more than two loads a week, and those are usually at 9:30 and 11.

Supervisor Walt Galloway asked the owner if he’d be willing to provide a $5,000 bond – or cash – to be held by the township for road maintenance in case of damage to the road attributable to heavy trucks from his quarry business and beyond the wear and tear of normal traffic. Any unused portion would be return at the time the owner pulled out of the quarry. The owner was agreeable to the bond.

Haskins suggested that common sense would help, such as holding back loads of stone until the road could accommodate the weight of the trucks that would take it out.

Board chair Bob Squier gave Nick Mase’s roadmaster’s report, that included working on the Graham Hollow Road lower slide and fixing a wash-out on it, obtaining prices for rip rap, grading ditches, adding material to several roads and regular equipment maintenance and repair. The capital loan project for Old Route 11 has gone through, and Haskins reported it will start near the end of July and is expected to take 4-5 days.

Some discussion occurred when Mr. MacConnell asked about a letter he requested the supervisors write to the Hallstead-Great Bend Joint Sewer Authority, about their willingness to consider a private sewer line for a new home in the Township right of way.

Galloway explained that COG’s Sewage Enforcement Officer needs to review and approve the plans for the line as well as plans for any future maintenance of it. The homebuilder thought he was getting the runaround, and Squire said this kind of thing wasn’t done years ago with another private line. Nevertheless, Galloway was intent on having things done the right way, and that included a review by a COG SEO to whom the township delegated authority to handle sewage and codes enforcement. The conversation settled down when Guinan explained that if the board agreed to write the letter within the week to the sewer authority, the home builder would then go to COG for what it has to do, quickly obtain another permit and start on what he needs to do. That worked for everybody.

The board also considered again the two bids it received for a new township building. They were $118,246 from Hall Construction, and $92,960 from Kovitch Construction. Kovitch’s last-minute bid opened at the prior meeting did not contain a bond and that was worrisome; he did send one over shortly afterwards, however.

Even the Kovitch bid was more than the board expected, but Galloway thought the township could still handle it. Anyone who’s been in the building on business or to vote knows what it’s like, and Galloway explained that the cost of construction and materials would continue to rise, and probably would be 10 per cent higher next year. The board voted to proceed with the project and award it to Kovitch Construction.

Squire reported on progress of an inter-municipal watershed project and about a meeting on it, attended by Sen. Madigan, Rep. Majors, regional DEP and County soil conservation representatives, and municipal representatives from the Township, Great Bend Borough, New Milford Borough and Hallstead. New Milford Township was absent, but Squier reported that a supervisor there told him they were interested in joining the group as well. The first priority would probably be Salt Lick Creek, and the process to obtain funding from growing greener could take awhile. However, it is a place to start.

A resident asked if there was any news about the possibility of National Pipe & Plastic in Vestal relocating to property along the railroad on Route 11 near Sumerville. The best the supervisors hear is that it’s too early for the township to get involved, that discussions have taken place with the county Rail Authority, and that the company is in preliminary stages of any kind of relocation and considering the cost-versus benefits of various sites.

In other business, Squier reported that the township received its FEMA reimbursement for damage caused by the remnants of Hurricane Ivan last October. The board will also send letters to two residents about violating an ordinance with junk on their properties and will investigate a third.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Great Bend Township board of supervisors is July 5 at 7 p.m. in the township building.

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County Joins Consortium

The Susquehanna County Commissioners approved a resolution last week accepting a joinder agreement that puts the county into a consortium with Bradford, Sullivan and Tioga counties for the administration of federal, state and county funds designated for programs for the elderly.

Known as the Area Agency on Aging (AAA), the agreement provides for a governing board consisting of all county commissioners in the four counties and monthly meetings on the fourth Friday of each month at 10:30 a.m. in Towanda. According to the resolution, the governing board shall have “the power to pass on all matters of policy with regard to the initiation of and direction of programs and projects.”

The agreement also provides for a weighted voting procedure that appears to have been formulated according to population. Since Bradford has the largest population at 62,643 according to 2003 population figures, the Bradford delegation brings to the governing board meetings 41 percent of the 51 percent needed for a favorable vote. Susquehanna and Tioga counties are next with 27 percent each and Sullivan with a population of 6,427 will have five percent.

The resolution states that a quorum of the governing board shall consist of a minimum of four county commissioners representing three of the four counties in the AAA.

The resolution is subject to review every four years by all four boards of commissioners that constitute the governing board. The initial resolution goes into effect July 1 and will terminate June 30, 2009.

There is a provision in the resolution that allows for the appointment of an advisory council by the respective boards of commissioners and maintained by reappointments. The advisory council will consist of seven representatives from each of the four participating counties.

And there is a clause in the joinder agreement that gives the AAA Board of Governors the right to appoint and remove an administrator. Among other duties, the administrator will be responsible for all budgetary matters approved by the governing board.

The AAA office will be located in Bradford County although a different county may be selected by a majority vote of the governing board.

Additional resolutions approved by the county commissioners at last week’s meeting include-

– approval of a municipal waste disposal capacity agreement with Taylor Garbage Service Inc. as required by the Municipal Waste Planning, Recycling, and Waste Reduction Act (101) and the county’s Waste Management Plan.

– acceptance of a lease agreement between the Northeastern Pennsylvania Telephone Company and the commissioners for a portion of improved property consisting of a 9-foot-by-9-foot building on property on Elk Mountain leased by the phone company at a cost of $1,800 a year.

– approval of a referral agreement that allows Susquehanna County Children and Youth Services to utilize the facilities, personnel and services for TREHAB in order to provide specific services to their clients with grant money for Drug and Alcohol Services.

The following motions were approved by the commissioners:

Purchase of a 2005 Chevrolet Colorado Crew Cab Truck from Tom Kerr Chevrolet at a bid price of $19,825. The four-wheel-drive vehicle will be used by the Soil Conservation District.

Hiring Barry Abbott of Liberty Township to the open part-time maintenance position at a starting hourly rate of $8.80 for a 24-hour workweek; and, Ann Decker of Rush Township to the fulltime position of clerk-typist/switchboard operator at a starting rate of $7.87 an hour..

Reappointing Michele Suchnick of Great Bend to the Endless Mountains Visitors Bureau.

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Courthouse Report


Stephen Wikoski to Frederick J. Spickerman Jr. and Deborah Ann Spickerman, in Springville Township for one dollar.

Helen G. Hyde (by attorney) to Ronald J. Lewis, Janice E. Lewis, in Forest Lake Township for one dollar.

David P. Hunter, Mary R. Hunter to Ferdinand Lavergne and Ada E. Lavergne, in Great Bend Township for $85,000.

Borden-Gerber Inc. to Stephen M. Dietrich, in Herrick Township for $22,500.

Matthew Ferrel, JoAnn Ferrel to Matthew Ferrel, JoAnn Ferrel, in Herrick Township for one dollar.

Charles H. Hooker, Elaine Erthal to Bernardino Varallo, Karen Varallo, Robert A. Ruppert, Terry L. Ruppert, in Rush Township for $45,000.

Kendall D. Bryden, Cindy Bryden to Cindy Bryden, in New Milford Township for one dollar.

Citifinancial Services Inc. to Robert A. Pissott and Mary Ann Possott, in Lenox Township for $18,500.

John M. Gurski and Sandra M. Gurski to Jeffrey J. Davey, in Thompson Township for $58,000.

Mary Ann Knowles, John Knowles, Carol Jean Snyder, Jeffrey B. Snyder, Kathleen Ensor, James Ensor to Viola C. Demyan, in Springville Township for one dollar.

Viola C. Demyan (by attorney in fact) to Carl Hatcher, Elizabeth A. Hatcher, Margaret P. Princenthal, in Springville Township for $160,000.

Dorothy E. Hreben (estate) to Richard W. Bedell Jr., Alicia L. Bedell, in Rush Township for $105,000.

Richard E. Taylor, Lois Q. Taylor to Benjamin L. Rutherford, Amy S. Rutherford, in Silver Lake Township for $160,000.

Shelly A. Lay to Jennifer K. Morelli, in Forest Lake Township for $50,000.

Joseph P. Demuro, Anna Demuro Hibbard to Michael J. Hongach, Ruth S. Hongach, in Auburn Township for $27,000.

Joseph B. Watrous Jr. (Lifetime Trust Number One by Trustee) to Peter S. Watrous , in Franklin Township for one dollar.

Peter S. Watrous to Peter S. Watrous (Lifetime Trust Number One), in Franklin Township for one dollar.

Allen A. Cadavero to Joseph L. Ciccone, in Ararat Township for $105,000.

C.C. Coleman Jr., Genevieve Ann Coleman to William P. Coleman in Rush and Middletown townships for one dollar.

Helen C. Hewitt (nbm) Helen C. Lee, Harold J. Lee to Harold J. Lee and Helen C. Lee, in Bridgewater Township for one dollar.

Lauren C. Hertzler Sr., Margaret F. Hertzler to James LaGreca and Jody LaGreca, in Bridgewater Township for $100,000.

Paul L. Reposa, Kathryn J. Reposa to John F. Durante, Antoinette Durante, in Springville Township for $30,000.

Sharon Carey, Ronald H. Carey to Sharon L. Carey, Ronald H. Carey, in Thompson Borough for one dollar.

Kenneth A. Flint, Carol Tompkins Flint to Keith W. Hoflund, Jeannette M. Hoflund, in Apolacon Township and Little Meadows Borough for $211,900.

Robert J. Fleming, Bonnie E. Fleming to Robert R. Starr Jr., in Great Bend Township for $13,000.

James H. Merwin, Lucia Merwin to Gerard K. Setzer, Shirley M. Setzer, in Susquehanna for $140,000.

Janice M. Steeg to Luz Martinez, in Great Bend Township for $137,000.

William A. Adams, Barbara E. Adams to Jeffrey L. Adams, Maureen Adams, in Forest Lake Township for one dollar.

David M. Brasche to Paul S. Nanni and Carol A. Nanni, in Forest Lake Township for $7,000.

Judy Price, Marvin Price, Connie Stern, Frederick Michael Stern to Garrick L. Hicks and Cheryl L. Hicks, in Lenox Township for $105.000.

David L. Bean Jr., Amy Gavern (nbm) Amy Bean to David L. Bean Jr., Amy Bean for one dollar.

Nicola Borgonsoli, Laura Borgonsoli, Vincent Borgonsoli, Margaret Borgonsoli (nbm) Margaret Farrell, Robert Farrell to Felice Borgonsoli, in Ararat Township for one dollar.

Nicola Borgonsoli, Laura Borgonzoli to Felice Borgonsoli, in Ararat Township for one dollar.

Felice Borgonsoli to Double U. Properties Management, in Ararat Township for $350,000.

Pearl Warner (estate), Mary Lou Warner, Joy M. Livingston, Richard L. Warner Jr., to Robert T. Walz and Christine H. Walz, in Forest Lake Township for $250,000.

Francis J. Klemensic, Francis Klemensic (estate), Mary Ann DeMark, Joseph F. DeMark, Anne O’Neill-Klemensic, Jean M. Zebrowski to David C. Roczkowski, Laurie Ann Roczkowski, in Herrick Township for one dollar.

Donald Kovacic to Joseph E. Kovacic Jr., Lynn Harvey Kovacic, Roberta E. Kovacic, Lee A. Morehouse, William Evan Kovacic, Kathryn Marie Fenton, in Herrick Township for $320,000.

Donald Kovacic to Frances Kovacic, in Herrick Township for $75,000

James W. Bennett Jr. to Thad D. Petersen, in Auburn Township for $37,621.

Tammy Artley (nka) Tammy I. Ayers to David B. Ayers, Tammy I. Ayers, in Lathrop Township for zero dollars.

Warren A. Ditzel, Juliana T. Ditzel to Warren A. Ditzel, Mary J. Clinton, William H. Ditzel, Edward A. Ditzel, in New Milford Township for one dollar.

Slobodanka Velikic, Vladimir Velikic to Slobodanka Velikic, in Lenox Township for one dollar.


Gary A. Lockwood and Deborah J. Price, both of Binghamton, NY.

John Merle Johnson III and April Uhlig, both of Hallstead.

Christopher Michael Stephens and Angie Jean Pickering, both of Laceyville.

Casey Christopher Didas and Lisa Marie Seavey, both of Montrose.

Raymond L. Hedden Jr. and Xenhua Zhong, both of Susquehanna.

William Francis Pratt II and Jocelyn Morgan Klem, both of Union Dale.

Nicholas John Molyneux and Tina Louise Herman, both of Montrose.

Richard E. Begliomini and Amanda J. Tator, both of Montrose.

Edward Wayne Harris and Gloria Jean Marie Cook, both of Montrose.

Michael S. Dolaway and Robyn Renee White, both of Brackney.

Edward Robert Chidester, Harford, and Barbara Ann Sturdevant of Dalton.

Brandon Clifford Alee and Amy Marie Roe, both of Susquehanna.

Damon John Sisler and Melanie Rose Schran, both of Susquehanna.

Gary Wayne Buck and Deborah Ann Davis, both of Nicholson.

Mark Elliot Masker and Tracey Grunzo, both of Friendsville.


Susan M. Christos, Springville vs. James R. Christos, no address.

John J. Liepinis III, South Gibson vs. Teresa Marie Liepinis, South Gibson.

Stephen Sicovitch, Thompson vs. Donna Sicovitch, Richmondale.

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Gibson Barracks Report


Sometime between May 30 and June 21, the following were taken from the home of Brian Watts, 44, New Milford Township: a Thompson 50-caliber flintlock, Mossberg 835 20-gauge youth model shotgun; Daisy BB gun with plastic stock; Benjamin Sheriden .177 pellet gun; Marlin .22-caliber, bolt-action rifle with scope; 20-inch color television; and a VCR and DVD player. The means of entry was not reported and the perpetrator is presumed to be unknown.*


Someone kicked in the front door and entered the home of Erica M. Thorn, New Milford, sometime between 9:30 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. on June 21 and left without taking anything.*


Sometime between the evening of June 21 and the following morning, someone damaged low voltage lighting belonging to Delores Brown, Great Bend Township, by tearing the lighting out of the ground, resulting in a loss of $45.


An unknown person(s) cut seat belts and removed other items from old cars on the Gibson Truck Tire property in New Milford and owned by Kenneth Tingley.


On the evening of June 12, Michael Koscelnak, 31, Uniondale, lost control of his vehicle on SR 374 near Dimock Four Corners in Herrick Township, hit an embankment and flipped onto its roof. Koscelnak was wearing a seatbelt and was not seriously injured.


Herman Young, Endicott, was driving his 1996 Plymouth on Route 1 in Great Bend Township on the afternoon of June 20, and tried to pass on the berm a 2002 Chevrolet driven by Lorraine Lewis, Hallstead. Lewis turned right into Young’s path. No injuries or damages were included in the state police report.


At about 8 on the evening of June 1, a 17-year-old juvenile male shot a 16-year-old juvenile male in the face with a .22-caliber pistol. The assault occurred on State Route 374 nearby State Aggregate in Lenox Township. Additional arrests are pending.


Between noon on June 4 and 8 in the morning of June 6, unknown person(s) damaged a mailbox belonging to William E. Soper, Montrose.*


This accident happened when a 1994 Toyota Celica driven by Earl Granville, 21, Scranton, was traveling south on State Route 171 in Thompson Township when Granville suddenly pulled into a driveway while attempting to make a u-turn to travel north. He turned in front of a 1991 Ford Explorer driven by Stacy Yoskowitz, 39, Thompson, which then struck Granville’s Toyota in the south lane.


At Montrose High School, Matthew Estes was found to be in possession of a marijuana pipe and a small amount of marijuana while on school property on the morning of May 31. Charges are pending.


Zindalue Liford, 31, South Gibson, called police late on the afternoon of June 18 to report someone behind her house, shooting. An investigation determined that both Frank Lenza, 52, and Catherine Lenza, 55, both of Clarks Summit, were at a target range located some distance behind Liford’s residence. There was no evidence to indicate that the Lenza’s were close to Liford’s house or that they were doing anything in an unsafe manner. However, it was determined that Liford had tampered with the Lenza’s vehicle, causing two flat tires. The Lenza’s declined to prosecute in this matter.


A 2001 Chrysler Sebring driven by Sean Swetter, 24, Clifford, was headed north on State Route 247 approximately 1 mile south of Dundaff when Swetter failed to fully make a left-hand curve in the road. The Sebring went off the right side of the road, struck a drainage ditch, continued along the ditch and struck a dirt embankment and finally rolled over onto its roof. Clifford Fire and Ambulance provided assistance at this accident, which occurred on the night of June 12.


This crash occurred as Juliane D. Moskowitz, 33, Montrose, was making a left turn from State Route 706 onto Route 11 in New Milford Township. Her 1998 Ford Contour failed to yield the right of way to a 1991 Chevy Cavalier driven by Jeffrey Holbrook, 38, Hallstead, who was traveling south. Moskowitz’s Ford struck Holbrook’s Chevy in the northbound lane as Holbrook attempted to avoid Moskowitz’s car.


Shortly after midnight on the morning of June 13, Sherman Jennings, Hop Bottom, was driving west on State Road 2041 in his 1988 Lincoln Town Car when he swerved to miss deer crossing the road and hit a tree. No EMS or fire company responded to the scene. Moderate damage was done to the front of the Lincoln which was towed from the scene by Kozlowski’s. Jennings was wearing a seat belt.


Anthea M. Fulkerson, Clifford, reported that shortly after 6 on the morning of June 15, James F. Tiffany, Clifford, violated the terms of his PFA by having contact with her. The accused fled the Fulkerson residence in Lenox Township before police arrived. Charges were filed with the county court. Anyone knowing the whereabouts of James Tiffany is asked to contact the state police.*


This crash occurred on the night of June 10 when a 1989 Pontiac driven by Corey Koch, Lake Ariel, was heading west on State Route 706. A 1996 Dodge Neon driven by Jamie Palmer, Montrose, was traveling east on the road in front of the Pump and Pantry. Palmer was turning left into the store and Koch didn’t see him coming. Both cars collided, both were wearing seatbelts, no injuries, both cars received minor damage and Koch’s was towed.


An unknown person(s) took a 200-pound propane tank belong to Warner Propane, Vestal, from a Choconut Township property owned by Albert Stickney, Mt. Laurel, NJ.


An unknown person(s) entered a vacant mobile home owned by Teresa Rogers, Forest City, in Tripps Trailer Park, Lenox Township, and stole the bathtub faucet. The theft was reported on June 6.


This crash occurred on Route 11 in Lathrop Township on the afternoon of June 7. Christa Stockinger, Kingsley, lost control of her 2002 Ford Escape, hit a guide rail along the east berm, flipped over the rail and came to rest on its side, facing south. She received moderate injuries.

* Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the State Police at 465-3154 or 800-506-0372.

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Sheriff Benedict Visits COG

The handful of COG members who attended its June meeting wondered aloud and tongue-in cheek why – given a warm and sunny day – more members didn’t show up?

Vice president Rudy Mattes filled in for Sewage Enforcement Committee chair Harvey Rosenkrans who was unable to attend, and efficiently went through the agenda.

Secretary Karen Trynoski reported that changes to the Dunn Lake project have been approved all around and are ready to be sent to the DEP for it to do what it does. The Hawkins Home hearing has been rescheduled, and Trynoski reported that COG solicitor Jason Legg passed along that they were going to file for dismissal of finding from a June, 2003 hearing. That’s not going to happen, and the hearing is scheduled for July 11.

Sewage Committee members approved a change to its fee schedule for DEP-permit systems that reduced the application fee for one EDU system from $300 each, to $300 for the first EDU and $10 for each full or partial EDU.

SEO Duane Wood suggested to members that, to avoid any potential problems down the road, COG be sent any municipal maps the planning commission might send them when it has questions about sewage. COG will review them with the municipality to help ensure the questions are properly responded to.

Wood also noted he has been busy recently checking out complaints throughout the county about people living in campers with no running water, using the woods, etc. Most, he said, were unfounded.


President Elliot Ross introduced the evening’s guest, Sheriff Lance Benedict, who was there to inform members about what to look for, and what to do, when they suspected a meth lab was in their municipalities.

Benedict brought plenty of handouts that were real eye-openers for some. They listed some ingredients that go into meth production, and they are all easily available items that most households know about or have. He said the recipe continues to change, which makes it more difficult for law enforcement to catch up with producers. Some ingredients, he noted, are used in such quantity and/or not available in the immediate area, that they are being stolen, north in Syracuse and south in Lancaster.

Most municipal representatives like COG members, he noted, are seeing remnants of meth production along their roads – particularly the dirt roads. A meth lab, he said, is nothing more than soda bottles with tubes in them. The finished product is not left behind, but the debris of making the stuff is, and some was found in Salt Spring State Park.

His best advice to COG members was to immediately report their suspicions of possible meth production by calling 911, which would then contact Benedict and the state police who would determine if a clean up of the suspicious site is required. Every pound of meth, he noted, leaves 5-6 pounds of contaminated residue behind and that needs to be cleaned up by the people who know how and who wear the proper gear, including state HAZMAT teams.

“We are finding stuff. It’s out there,” he said.

The group decided to hold off on approving changes to COG bylaws. Secretary Cheryl Wellman has been researching history of the organization and how it was set up. It seems that the original bylaws stated that members joined by ordinance; all, however, have joined by resolution. She has contacted the local governor’s office to find out what COG would need to do to remedy this situation. Wellman said Legg thinks COG would probably have to have an ordinance adopted by all members. The discrepancy does not affect members of the sewage or codes committees.

In other business, Wellman announced that, as anticipated, Starrucca Borough has sent a letter withdrawing from COG and was sent a refund of their membership fee.


Chair Ted Plevinsky began the meeting by noting that permit number 353 was just issued for the year – a good indication of how busy the group has been.

He reported that it’s especially busy because of the work that has to be done for every property owner in New Milford because of the borough’s new sewer system. Inspections of electrical and plumbing are required for every hookup. Trynoski noted that most requests by contractors in the town for an inspector are accommodated within 24 hours – some in 2-3 hours – and added that Jim Carpenetti from the borough has been very helpful.

Plevinsky asked whether anyone was interested in removing manufactured housing from their assessment ordinances. Mike Pasticka, the group’s BIU representative, passed along information that the state is going to change requirements to include adding frost protection, effective sometime next year. Currently, UCC permits are required for plumbing, electrical and foundation work, and that won’t change. As an information item, Plevinsky noted that Bridgewater Township decided to take trailers out of its assessment ordinance because people weren’t paying it.

Herrick Township representative Elliot Ross noted that the township issues a zoning permit before a building permit and noted some have gotten the building permit from COG without the zoning permit. Could COG work out something where COG first has a copy of the zoning permit before it issues the building one? Secretary Karen Trynoski said she’d research what can be done, and pass the information along to BIU inspectors.

The next meeting of the Council of Governments is scheduled for July 19 at 7 p.m. in COG offices in the New Milford Borough Building on Main Street.

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State’s First Trifecta Hits Home

The Commonwealth’s first tri-county inter-municipal cooperative was successfully completed last Friday with representatives from the state handing out checks to three Northeastern Pennsylvania communities for residential reinvestment improvements.

The projects are part of a multi-county Community Action Team (CAT) initiative aimed at creating significant community and economic impacts. Participating communities and the amounts of money going to each includes $461,000 to the Borough of Forest City in Susquehanna County; $450,000 to the Borough of Vandling in Lackawanna County; and, $150,000 to Clinton Township in Wayne County.

“Be happy because you came here and got checks,” said Ken Klothen, deputy secretary of the Department of Community and Economic Development. “But walk away with more than the money. Walk away with pride for the first tri-county effort in the state.”

Mr. Klothen said the projects in the three counties are a part of a multi-county Community Action Team (CAT) created by Gov. Ed Rendell.

“We are beginning to see how community can benefit from better packaging of the state’s technical and economic assistance,” Mr. Klothen said. “And we now have the ability to offer help to communities on a much larger and more efficient scale.”

Forest City received $364,000 in HOME Program funding for housing rehabilitation of 18 owner-occupied units in the borough. The overall goal is to bring these houses, many of which were built in the 1960s, up to code with new roofing, plumbing and heating systems. The borough also received $97,000 for streetscape improvements in the 100-200 blocks of South Main Street. The total cost of the sidewalk project has been estimated at $131,000 with the matching funds coming from Susquehanna County’s Community Development Block Grant money.

Vandling Borough, which is Forest City’s immediate neighbor received $250,000 for streetscape improvements to North Main Street. The grant will be used primarily to install concrete sidewalks and curbs along Main Street from Ash Street to the Forest City border. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation also kicked-in $200,000 from its Transportation Enhancement Program fund for the project.

Clinton Township will use its $150,000 for housing rehabilitation of five owner-occupied homes in the Village of Browndale. The funds will bring the five units up to code. The Wayne County Redevelopment Authority will administer the program.

Roberta Kelly, chair of the Susquehanna County Board of Commissioners, said she was pleased to see Forest City as a participant in the tri-county cooperative. She called the borough a “jewel.”

The project was the brainchild of William J. Coleman, deputy director of the Lackawanna County Office of Economic Development. He presented his idea to representatives of Vandling and Forest City and Karen Allen, director of the Susquehanna County Housing and Redevelopment Authority. “This will have a huge impact on Vandling and Forest City boroughs,” Mr. Coleman told The Transcript. “I was glad to be a part of it.”

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