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Issue Home September 6, 2005 Site Home

AAA Council Hosts Annual Recognition
All Aboard!
BEBRF Support Group Meeting
It’s A Girl!
Wedding Announced Rodriguez – Chilewski
Dance Academy Forming Classes
GBHVA Back In Service 6 Months
Tax/Rent Rebate Deadline Extended
Susky Fire Dept. 150 Club Winners

Turnpike Senior Center Update


AAA Council Hosts Annual Recognition

The Area Agency On Aging for the counties of Bradford, Sullivan, Susquehanna and Tioga held its annual Advisory Council Recognition Ceremony at the American Legion in Towanda. Each year the Area Agency On Aging recognizes its Advisory Council members for the support, guidance and time they give to the aging network.

Pictured (l-r) are Susquehanna County Advisory council members Rita Tiffany, Clara May Benning, Josephine O’Peka, Susquehanna County Commissioner and AAA Governing board Chairperson Roberta Kelly, Don Ritner, Lillie Thomas and Harold Wegman.

The role of the Area Agency On Aging Advisory Council is to represent the needs and interests of the elderly residents in their respective county. More specifically, they communicate to the AAA and the community the needs and challenges facing older persons. The AAA Advisory Council is comprised of 28 members, seven members from each county. Members attend meetings that are held throughout the four-county service area.

For more information about the Area Agency On Aging and services available to older persons and caregivers, call (570) 265–6121 locally or 1-800-982-4346 (toll-free).

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All Aboard!

La Plume, PA – Another chapter of local history is once again available to the public. The Countryside Conservancy is proud to offer for sale “The Northern Electric: A Narrative of the Dalton Street Railway Company, Northern Electric Street Railway Co., Scranton & Binghamton Railway Company.” Historian Norm Brauer’s comprehensive history of this local trolley line was first published in 1987, and has long been out of print.

The Northern Electric line ran passengers and goods from Scranton to Factoryville, Lake Winola, Nicholson, and Montrose. The service operated from 1908 to 1932, winding up during the Great Depression. The Countryside Conservancy, a local non-profit organization, has been working for several years under the inspiration of the late Rosamond Peck to develop parts of the old trolley route into a non-motorized recreational trail. Initial investigations into the history of the trolley line led to the discovery that Brauer's book was almost impossible to obtain.

Pictured (l-r) Carl Packer, the Lackawanna & Wyoming Valley Railway Historical Society, Jack Carling, Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority Contract Manager, Norm Brauer, author, Cheryl Ellsworth, Countryside Conservancy Project Manager, Attorney Russell D. Shurtleff, Countryside Conservancy Board Member, Natalie Solfanelli, Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority Executive Director, and Mary Felley, Countryside Conservancy Executive Director, display copies of the re-issued book.

The book is rich in facts and figures and in personal reminiscences of those who ran and rode the trolley in its heyday. Its 209 pages are thick with photos of the trolley line during construction and operation, trolley memorabilia, reproductions of historical documents, and foldout maps. This second edition is a faithful reprinting of the original 1987 publication, with several new photos of Northern Electric artifacts discovered since that time.

Proceeds will go to support the Countryside Conservancy’s operations, including the planning and development of the Trolley Trail. Copies can be ordered by calling the Conservancy office at (570) 945-6995.

The Countryside Conservancy, founded in 1994, is dedicated to conserving land and water resources in and near the Tunkhannock Creek Watershed for the public benefit. The Conservancy works to protect the natural and heritage value of our region by supporting the efforts of landowners, local governments and communities.

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BEBRF Support Group Meeting

The annual Blepharospasm Support Group meeting was held at the Clarion Hotel in Scranton, PA on August 14, 2005.

The meeting was hosted by Nancy Williams, Union Dale, the PA State Coordinator for the Benign Essential Blepharospasm Research Foundation, Inc. in Beaumont, Texas.

Attendees at the BEBRF support group meeting in Scranton.

Each year, the foundation recognizes six “BEBRF Outstanding Volunteers of Achievement” with an award at their annual BEBRF conference and scientific symposium. Nancy, who is the daughter of Bob and Corinne Robinson, Laurel Street, Susquehanna, received one of this year’s awards.

Blepharospasm is a neurological disorder causing involuntary muscle spasm and closure of the eyelids.

For more information on this disorder, you may call Nancy at (570) 222–4328.

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It’s A Girl!

Chad and Bobbi Jo Norris, Susquehanna, are pleased to announce the birth of their daughter, Tatum Nicole Norris. Tatum was born July 29, 2005, 11:48 a.m. at Our Lady of Lourdes Memorial Hospital.

Tatum is the granddaughter of Debbie and Donny Norris, Pat and Byron White, and the late Robert Perry.

Tatum is also the great-granddaughter of Wayne and Joan Arthur and Jack and Bev Norris.

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Wedding Announced Rodriguez – Chilewski

Jamie Ryan Rodriguez and Chester Thomas Chilewski III were united in marriage on Saturday, October 2, 2004 at Saint John the Evangelist Church, Susquehanna, PA. Father Robert Simon officiated the noon ceremony. Georgetta Mailo preformed musical arrangements on flute and vocals were by Judith Herschel and Daniel McKinney. Cindy Chilewski, Diane Walsh and Linda Tucker gave Scripture readings. Following the ceremony, a reception was held at the ballroom of the Montdale Country Club, Jermyn, PA. Picture Perfect Band of Scranton, PA provided entertainment.


The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Rodriguez of Susquehanna, PA. She is the granddaughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Harry Ryan and Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Rodriguez both of Susquehanna, PA.

The groom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Chilewski of Susquehanna, PA and Mr. and Mrs. Keith Tucker of Lake Ariel, PA. He is the grandson of Mrs. Stella Chilewski and the late Chester Chilewski, Sr. both of Fleetville, PA and Mr. and Mrs. John Benzeleski of Scranton, PA.

Presented in marriage by her parents and escorted by her father, Jamie wore a champagne A-line gown with an embellished lace beaded jacket including train and an antique tiara with cathedral veil. Jamie carried a hand tied bouquet of ivory Gerber daisies.

Bridal attendants wore bronze beaded embellished two-piece gowns. Heather Collins Lockwood of Haines City, FL, served as Matron of Honor, Carrie DeLeon of Washington, D.C. served as Maid of Honor. Attendants included Judith Burdick Hreschel of Ambler, PA, Daniel McKinney of Lehigh Acres, FL, Morgan Seymour of Dalton, PA and Flower Girl Julianna Ayres of Sidney, NY.

Groomsmen sported Zoot Suits with matching fedoras. Steven Stracka of Pocono Pines, PA served as Best Man. Groomsmen included, Eric Herschel of Ambler, PA, Mitchell Boughton of Susquehanna, PA and Ring Bearer Carson Beamer of Susquehanna, PA.

Jamie attended Susquehanna Community School. She is the manager of a family business, Jamie’s Place, Susquehanna, PA. Chester attended Abington Heights School. He is employed by the family business Chilewski Flagstone, Susquehanna, PA.

The couple honeymooned in Las Vegas; they now reside in their new home in Susquehanna, PA.

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Dance Academy Forming Classes

The Windwood Hill Dance Academy, Susquehanna is now forming new classes for the upcoming year. Located at 18 High Street, Oakland, the studio is now in its seventh year of operations in the tri-boro area. Classes are offered in tap, ballet, jazz, hip-hop and creative movement for ages three through adult. New to the studio this year is the availability of gymnastics at several levels.

The studio is owned and operated by Ms. Bobbie Jo Kelsey. Bobbie Jo is a longtime member of the NADA and is currently serving as an officer of the local chapter. Students are instructed n the basics of dance and perform each year at an annual recital and are also available and are encouraged to perform at various community events. Advanced students are also given the option to attend competition throughout the year.

Classes will begin on September 12. Anyone wishing to sign up may do so by calling the studio at (570) 853–4882 or by contacting Bobbie Jo directly with any questions at (570) 278–2160.

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GBHVA Back In Service 6 Months
Submitted By Great Bend-Hallstead Volunteer Ambulance Board of Directors

The Great Bend-Hallstead Volunteer Ambulance, Inc. has been back in service six months. From February 18 through August 18 (182 days) the ambulance was dispatched 192 times and responded to 176 calls.

Number of calls per month: February (16 days) – 13; March – 29; April – 42; May – 31; June – 29; July – 23; August (18 days) – 9.

All in all we are doing well – with the commitment of a few new EMTs and the financial support of the communities we will be doing great by February, 2006. This will only happen if the people saying they are going to take the EMT class really take the class.

We have a long way to go, but with the dedication of the members we have now, and new members we will grow to be one of the strongest Emergency Medical Services in the county.

If you want to become a member, you do not have to be on crew to run on the ambulance, you can respond when you are available. There is no set time. You may respond when you have the time. Although we do have set crews from 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. each night, if available you are scheduled to be on a crew. Right now we only have three crews, so you are on every third night. In the near future we will expand to four, five and even six crews as before. This will make it nice to only have to be on call every sixth night, which rotates so you are not on the same night each week. If you can’t be on your crew night, you find someone to cover for you that night.

Don’t want to respond to ambulance calls? No problem. No matter what your age, we have a spot for you. If you are able to cut the grass, wash an ambulance, sweep the floor, do minor maintenance, paint, shovel snow, even wash windows, we could sure use your help. If you have the time we have a job for you. The more people we have the less everyone has to do. Remember, it’s for the betterment of the communities you live in. Help us help you!

The members and the Board of Directors of the GBHVA, thank each and every one for their continued support and confidence in us as we strive to be one of the best Emergency Medical Services in the county.

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A chicken barbecue was held on July 12 at the Green Gables, New Milford, by the Pennsylvania Association of Retired State Employees.

The August 9 meeting was held at the Zion Lutheran Church, Dushore. It was announced that the annual State PARSE meeting would be held on September 26, at Camp Hill. President Alton Arnold appointed the following delegates: Alton Arnold, John Benio and Jesse Bacon, with alternates, Joe Plonski and Norma Bacon.

Legislative Chairman, Jesse Bacon advised the membership that Representative Tina Pickett was invited to both the August and September meetings. She would not commit to either date due to possible committee meetings in Harrisburg.

Since the legality of the legislators’ pay raise has been challenged statewide, Bacon advised the group to exercise patience in pursuing an annual COLA (Cost of Living Adjustment) until the pay increase legislation had been resolved. Several House Bills, including HB 131 and HB 161 promoting an annual COLA for state retirees, are still in motion.

The next meeting will be held September 13, at the Towanda Gun Club. President Arnold said he has invited Senator Roger Madigan to that meeting.

For more information or to make reservations, contact John Benio, Susquehanna County Vice President, at (570) 278–2389.

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Tax/Rent Rebate Deadline Extended

HARRISBURG – Rep. Sandra Major (R-Susquehanna/Wayne/Wyoming) reminds residents that the application deadline to file for the 2004 Property/Tax Rent Rebate has been extended from June 30 to December 31. By extending the deadline, the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue expects an additional 40,000 applicants to apply for the rebate program.

Eligible participants can receive a rebate of up to $500 based on their rent or property taxes paid in 2004. The 2003 Pennsylvania Department of Revenue Property Tax/Rent Rebate report shows that more than 331,000 claims were paid for that year.

The program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians who are 65 years or older, widows and widowers 50 years or older, and those 18 years or older with disabilities.

The household eligibility income limit is $15,000, excluding 50 percent of Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, and Railroad Retirement Tier 1 benefits.

The Property Tax/Rent Rebate program is one of four programs supported by the Pennsylvania Lottery, which dedicates its proceeds to support programs for older Pennsylvanians. Since the program began in 1971, more than $3.09 billion has been paid to qualified applicants.

Residents are reminded to provide all the necessary income, property tax or rental information required to process claims quickly and accurately.

Property Tax/Rent Rebate claim forms are available by contacting Major's district offices at (570) 278-3374 in Montrose or (570) 836-5888 in Tunkhannock or by visiting the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue Web site at

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Susky Fire Dept. 150 Club Winners

Following are the August 150 Club winners of the Susquehanna Fire Dept.

8/6: Harold Hartt, Sharon Glover, Rachael Burns.

8/13: Diane and George Wilcox, Chris Kane, Tim Orr.

8/20: Jack Arnold, Les Schell, Sandy Battisti.

8/27: Rachel Adornato, Larry Hanrahan, Janet Denny.

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Turnpike Senior Center Update

Greetings from Turnpike Terrace. Not much going on up here. Of course we have our domino games three evenings a week and our bingo games on Monday at one o’clock and Tuesday and Thursday evenings at six o’clock. We have a good time and you are welcome to come and join us.

Ellen Kelly, Marsha Testa and Agnes Roy worked the Senior booth at the Harford Fair on Saturday. We have 50/50 raffle tickets to sell as well as a doll donated by Ellen Kelly to raffle also. We will have these two raffles at Schneider’s Market on September 7.

No brown bag days on Friday until further notice. A craft and bake sale will be held on September 21 from 1 to 4 in the community room. Come and see what we have up here.

I missed a few days here because I went to Chicago to see my daughter and son-in-law. I had a great time, but now back to business. We have line dancing here on Tuesdays at 1:00. Seniors come and join us.

We have been getting rain lately from hurricane Katrina. We needed it but we don’t want to overdo it. There is a holiday weekend coming up and school is open. Please drive carefully. It is good to hear the children out on the playground.

A representative from Social Security will be here September 16 at 12:15 in our community room at the Terrace speaking on the new prescription benefit for Medicare. Hope you can come up and get the information you may need.

See you next time.

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