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Great Bend Township board of supervisors chair Bob Squier updated supervisors Sheila Guinan and Dave Sienko, as well as a handful who attended the board’s January 17 meeting, about the status of the township’s contract with PENNDOT to plow the parking area at the new welcome center.
Squier reported that the contract was signed in Harrisburg and the paperwork received by a local PENNDOT representative, who now has to run it past the union, which will hopefully give its ok soon.
The township plowing will fall under the Agility Program, and means that the township will be credited with $45.05 an hour for time spent in the center. Squier and PENNDOT estimated and budgeted about 200 hours in a plowing season; hours greater than 200 would be reimbursed at the hourly rate.
In return, PENNDOT will pay the township back in paving roads, and Squier said that 200 hours of township work translated into PENNDOT’s tar-and-chipping about a mile and a half of roads. He listed several roads that could benefit from the state work.
A PENNDOT foreman will notify the township’s road crew when it is needed, and will supervise its loading of sand, salt and aggregate from the PENNDOT facility on Route 11 for use in the welcome center. Asked by an audience member how the contract might affect plowing township roads, Squier reiterated the consensus expressed by the board last November, which was that it wouldn’t affect township road maintenance.
The latest roadmaster’s report included a lot of salting and cindering because of ice that covered many township roads, as well as the usual equipment maintenance. The crew also worked on filling what Squier described as a pretty bad subsidence on Haley Road. The board was also to meet in executive session on January 18 to meet with the new road crew, review their performance, and determine whether to give them permanent-employee status.
Del Austin asked to be added to the night’s agenda. A member of the board of the Hallstead-Great Bend Ambulance company, he reported on the number of calls answered by the EMTs in November and December 2005 – 36, among the township, borough and Hallstead, split between medical and vehicle calls, and representing a 90 per cent response rate.
He was also there to describe a his initiative of creating a memorial, in the form of two bluestone benches at the welcome center, to the fallen soldiers of the 109th infantry battalion of the national guard out of New Milford, and for all other servicemen and servicewomen in all the armed forces who made the ultimate sacrifice. Austin said the cost of benches was $3,000-$3,200 – about $2,375 of which he had raised as of the night of the township meeting. The benches need to be paid for before they are ordered, and Austin would like to do this by the middle/end of February. Local veterans and other groups have already contributed, and Austin reported that contributions have also been received from marines in California, Washington and Australia. He added that the state has picked up on the idea, and will put in a memorial garden at the center. Austin expects to be meeting with state representatives in March.
The township board voted to contribute $200 to the memorial, and will send its check, made payable to the “109th Memorial Bench Fund,” Peoples National Bank, PO Box A, Halstead, Pa. 18822. Others are encouraged to do so as well.
In correspondence matters, Guinan reported that she was informed that Jack Ord’s term has expired on the board of the Hallstead-Great Bend Joint Sewer Authority. The board voted to reappoint Ord. She also said the township received information from Reading Materials, which is part of Montrose Material, that it uses Costar program (formerly known as the piggyback program) and has available the superpave asphalt (the only asphalt that can be purchased with liquid fuels money) and cold patch. This was an FYI, and the board noted that Reading Materials would not necessarily be the only supplier of superpave. Former supervisor and roadmaster George Haskins was in the audience and cautioned about any change in the cold patch formula mix. He noted that the township gets this from Vestal Asphalt, which, he thought, would have a Pennsylvania-approved mix anyway, since it does a good chunk of its business in the state.
In the matter of a property owner whose junk has been an unsightly thorn in the side of neighbors in both Hallstead and the township for more than a decade, Guinan volunteered to speak with the property owner and point out what needs to be removed or cleaned up on the township property; those who had been there/done that wished her good luck. However and in addition, the board voted to begin correspondence and a dialogue with Hallstead Borough, hopefully to generate ideas on how to get the messes cleaned up and work together on it. Sienko suggested that the township contact PSATs (Pennsylvania State Association of Townships) for advice, and it will do that, too. It will also continue to pursue clean up of the mushrooming junkyard on Route 171.
Before adjourning, Guinan reminded the audience that the township will not receive mail unless it is addressed to the township at PO Box 781, Great Bend, Pa. She reported that mail sent simply to Great Bend Township, without the PO box, often goes undelivered, and the Great Bend postmaster insists that the PO box number be used.
Guinan also brought up the subject of the board’s meeting scheduled for February 21, when two of the three supervisors -- Squier and Sienko -- will be out of town. Thus, the meeting on February 21 was cancelled, and Guinan will advertise that fact as needed.
The next regular meeting of the Great Bend Township Board of Supervisors is scheduled for February 6 at 7 p.m. in the Township Building.
CORRECTION: The report on the township’s January 3 meeting noted that the township voted to change the three-signature check requirement to two signatures because supervisor Guinan is also the township’s secretary-treasurer and could not sign checks. This is incorrect. Guinan can, indeed, sign checks, and the change from three to two signatures had nothing to do with Guinan.
It took a Susquehanna County jury a little more than 20 minutes last week to return a not guilty verdict for State Trooper Glen Whitney, 35, of New Milford, who had been charged with simple assault, criminal trespass, burglary, criminal conspiracy and harassment.
But his cousin, 35-year-old Clifford H. Grosvenor, also of New Milford, was found guilty on three of the charges and will be sentenced on January 26. President Judge Kenneth W. Seamans found Grosvenor guilty of two summary offenses, criminal mischief and harassment. The jury found him guilty of simple assault.
Whitney’s attorney, Michael Giangrieco, said the next step for Whitney will be an arbitration hearing as he tries to work his way back into a State Police uniform. He has been suspended without pay since his arrest a year ago.
On January 15, 2005, John Haggerty of 25 Cobb Street, New Milford reported to State Police at Gibson that Whitney and Grosvenor assaulted him in his mobile home. He said the two defendants kicked down the door to his mobile home looking for Whitney’s wife, Christine. He said both men then proceeded to punch him with closed fists. He said the suspects then left his home but Mr. Grosvenor returned and knocked his computer to the ground and struck him with the computer keyboard.
Giangrieco pointed to a picture of the door that Haggerty alleged was kicked-in and noted that Haggerty had previously told State Police that a couple of scuff marks on it were there prior to the night of the incident.
“If these two guys kicked in the door,” Giangrieco asked, “where is the damage?”
Whitney said he was in the trailer the night of the incident. He said he observed his wife curled up on the floor like a zombie. He said when he proceeded to help his wife, he observed Grosvenor punching Haggerty. Grosvenor subsequently testified that it was he who roughed up Haggerty.
Giangrieco also pointed out other discrepancies in Haggerty’s testimony when compared to what he told State Police on the night of the incident.
Members of the State Police at Gibson testified in support of Whitney as did former Susquehanna County Sheriff Dick Pelicci.
Eric Augustine, deputy state attorney general, was the prosecuting attorney after District Attorney Jason Legg recused himself.
With all members present, the Hallstead Boro Council met on January 19 for their regular monthly meeting. Mayor Canfield was absent. Also present were secretary Cindy Gillespie, maintenance supervisor John Gordon, and several guests.
A representative of the Blue Ridge Little League addressed council; for the past seven years the league has had a lease agreement with the boro for the ballfield on Route 11. Mr. Hall related that, through the efforts of some excellent community-minded people, during those years a concession stand was built, as was a dugout, a new scoreboard was put up, and lights were installed at the field. He estimated that the cost of those improvements would have been somewhere around $200,000 if not for donations and hard work by community members. And, during the seven years, the league has diligently maintained the park to ensure that it is in good condition. He presented council with letters of interest in renewing the lease for another seven years, with the same terms as the original agreement. Council will send the proposed agreement to the boro solicitor for review before any action is taken, although it was agreed that it would be renewed.
As with many areas in the county, there was some water damage to the park after heavy rains earlier that week from a ditch that is now lower than the creek inlet it should be feeding into. President Michelle Giangrieco said that there is an effort underway to obtain grant funding to deal with the water problem, but it would take time.
Petitions/complaints included a clogged sluice pipe on New York Avenue that was plugged, causing water to run out over the road. Mr. Gordon agreed to clean it out the following day.
Next discussed was the Route 11 park, which had also been the site of flooding from heavy rains earlier in the week. Some trees were down, and stones were spread over topsoil that had been put in after last year’s flooding. It was agreed that no more funds should be spent on improvements until the water problem from the adjacent creek is resolved. At Mr. Gordon's suggestion, a gate will be put up to keep the park from being used when it is flooded, as there is a safety concern. For the time being, the grass will be mowed and the park will be maintained as well as conditions permit, but no further investment in equipment will be made.
As at every meeting, the old foundry property was discussed. A letter had been sent to the owners by the boro solicitor, giving thirty days to get the property cleaned up. A motion carried to authorize the solicitor to proceed with legal action as no progress has been seen. In discussion, it was thought that some time ago council had discussed their options in this situation. One would be to bring the owners before the local magistrate under provisions in the boro's nuisance ordinance where most likely a fine would be levied. Another would be to take the case to the county courts, where the judge's findings could force the issue. The third option would be to condemn the property, and put a lien on it for the cost of the boro having it cleaned up. It was agreed to contact the solicitor to determine which option would be in the boro's best interests.
There are several vacancies in the boro; a two-year auditor, a two-year assessor, an emergency management coordinator, and possibly a representative on the Hallstead-Great Bend Sewer Authority as the present term for this position will be expiring soon. Anyone interested in any of these positions should contact council.
An audience member asked about activities that could be planned to encourage community involvement, such as a Santa Claus parade that could be held some time in between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The consensus was that such events often do not come to fruition due to concerns about the costs for liability coverage. And, there have been many instances where people pledge their help but do not follow through. "People commit to help, but they're not around when work needs to be done," one council member said.
After discussion, council agreed to send a letter to the Bridging Communities beautification project, asking for an update of their activities, particularly the status of grant funding that was obtained for the project. A copy of the letter will be sent to Great Bend Boro, and will also ask about the status of the funds that have been committed by both boros for the project.
The final topic discussed was the difficulty in obtaining "no parking on sidewalk" signs, in response to complaints about the residents of an apartment building who have been doing just that. As there was some question about just who owns the building in question, some suggestions were made as to determining who the owner is so that he/she may be contacted.
The next meeting will be on Thursday, February 16, 7:00 p.m. in the boro building.
A few years ago, people would jump at the chance to get a job in Susquehanna County government. The pay wasn't bad and the benefits were fantastic. Health insurance paid in full by the county and a decent retirement program.
But that was then and this is now. Suddenly the county is having problems keeping its help. In the past week or so for instance, Michael Giangrieco, the county solicitor for the past 10 years, resigned, and Cindy Oruska, acting chief clerk, since Suzanne Brainard resigned in December, submitted her resignation effective February 1.
The county employees telephone directory is outdated almost before the ink is dry on a new one. And it is a good thing department heads do not have their names engraved on office doors. A printer could earn a nice buck if they were.
This reporter began covering Susquehanna County government in 1989. Neal Andre was the chief clerk at the time. He replaced Evan Price who was there longer than the combined years of the last five chief clerks. After Andre came Jerry Myers who was replaced four years later by Phil O'Malley.
O'Malley served two and a half years and left, opening the door for Joan Kamansky who had been runner-up to O'Malley, Andre and Price before finally getting her chance to be top dog. Commissioners Joan Stalter, who was chair of the board, and Lee Smith, selected Kamansky. Mrs. Stalter’s untimely death in office prompted Susquehanna County President Judge Kenneth W. Seamans to tap former commissioner Gary Marcho to succeed her and one of his first moves was to dismiss Mrs. Kamansky.
The three commissioners named Suzanne Brainard as acting chief clerk only to have her leave less than a year later. Phil O'Malley was brought back as chief clerk, but he suffered a fatal heart attack in February of 2002 and Suzanne Brainard again returned as acting chief clerk. Subsequently she was named chief clerk and held the position until she resigned last December.
All non-union employees serve at the pleasure of the commissioners and with employees coming and going at a near-record pace, there is a lot of nervous tension among the rank-and-file workers. While the commissioners can’t do much in offices where the department head is elected, they do manage to keep things interesting in all the county offices.
The county commissioners next meeting is January 25 and unconfirmed reports say they will name a new chief clerk at that time.
Mary A. Sturak to Philip J. Pass Jr., RR1, Union Dale, in Ararat Township for $35,000.
Mary Louise Sartell (aka) Mary L. Sartell to Mark Sartell and Judith A. Sartell, RR2, Thompson, in Ararat Township for one dollar.
Harry Donley (estate) (aka) Harry B. Donley (estate) to Carmine Monteforte, Virginia L. Monteforte, Westbury, NY, in New Milford Borough for one dollar.
Mark Hinkley and Gail E. Hinkley to Nathan Place, RR1, Hop Bottom, in Lathrop Township for $84,000.
Albert B. Sitas to James B. Waldorf Jr., Helen L. Waldorf, RR2, Meshoppen, in Auburn Township for $73,000.
Thomas G. Giordano, Katherine R. Giordano to James D. Kulp, Carol J. Kulp, Honey Brook, in Apolacon Township for $125,000.
Harry L. Ridlfi (estate) to John June Jr., Bridgeport, CT, in Forest Lake Township for one dollar.
John Bucci, Maria Bucci, Craig A. Franks, Donna M. Franks to Victoria C. Forget, RR1, Jackson Township, in Gibson Township for $72,500.
John C. Szpakowski to John C. Szpakowski, Scranton, in Herrick Township for one dollar.
Douglas Upham, Doreen Morzewski to Matthew Marx, Scranton, in Lenox Township for $60,000.
Stephen C. Pitonyak to Susan L. Onufry, RR3, Hallstead, in Great Bend Township for $95,000.
Alex T. Frantz, Karen L. Frantz to Frantz Family Trust, Brackney, in Silver Lake Township for one dollar.
Michael T. Caro, Carrie A. Troup to Michael B. Porretto, RR2, Susquehanna, in Oakland Township for $315,000.
Glade M. Hillier to Glade M. Hillier, Corrine Hillier, Hop Bottom, in Hop Bottom Borough for one dollar.
Alan G. Page, Judith T. Page to Elk View Partners, RR1, Union Dale, in Clifford Township for $399,500.
Dawn A. Gobrick, Gerald A. Roberts (estate), Raymond G. Roberts to Raymond G. Roberts, Elmira, NY, in Middletown Township for one dollar.
Thomas J. Chamberlain, Christine Chamberlain to Edward B. Greene III, RR2, Susquehanna, Penelope K. Sherman, in Oakland Township for $130,000.
Roy E. Cole Jr. to Robert M. Kadlecik, Rebecca L. Kadlecik, Montrose, in Montrose for $78,000.
Thomas Calcaine, Veea B. Calcaine to Salvatore Vetri, Jacqueline Vetri, Staten Island, NY, for $180,000.
Nicholas J. Demorato, Elizabeth A. Demorato (nka) Elizabeth A. Martorano to Kenneth Travis Jr., Denise Travis, Lenoxville, in Lenox Township for $84,800.
Martin J. Alexander, Bonnie Alexander to Martin J. Alexander, RR1, Hop Bottom, in Hop Bottom Borough for one dollar.
Eileene Ebhardt, Jeremy Ebhardt to Daniel E. Ebhardt, RR3, New Milford, in New Milford Township for one dollar.
Marie A. Brady (estate) to Andrew I. Miller, Staten Island, NY, in Susquehanna for $2,048.
Martin J. Brady, James Brady to Andrew I. Miller, Staten Island, NY, in Susquehanna for $61,552.
Matthew Ferrel, Joann Ferrel, Daniel Hollis, Krista A. Hollis to Michael Mangan, Anita Mangan, Clermont, FL, in Herrick Township for $47,000.
Diane I. Haight to Henry Rock, Joanne Rock, Philadelphia, in Forest Lake Township for $91,000.
Ronald D. Petracca to Thomas S. Friesema, Cynthia A. Friesema, Glenwood, NJ, in Rush Township for $126,000.
Francis A. Koons (by attorney), Donald F. Koons (by attorney), Kathleen Marie Koons (by attorney) to Teresa M. Marino, Thomas M. Marino, Greentown, in Oakland Township for $115,000.
John Troup Jr. to Kenneth G. Miller, Hallstead, in Great Bend Township for $4,500.
Philip J. Pass Jr., Lauri A. Pass to John Hyland, Kristin Hyland, Morristown, NJ, in Herrick Township for $308,600.
Maple Highlands to John Hyland, Kristin Hyland, Morristown, NY, in Herrick Township for $39,400.
Wachovia Bank (fka) First Union National Bank (trustee) Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency to William Boman, Kathryn Boman in Susquehanna for $6,000.
Raymond G. Sheridan Jr., Shirley D. Sheridan to Shirley D. Sheridan, RR2, Montrose, in Montrose for one dollar.
Jane J. Heekin, James R. Heekin Jr. to James R. Heekin III, Williamstorn, MA, Margaret Heekin Kensinger, Elizabeth Heekin Bartels, Timothy Jessup Heekin, in Dimock Township for one dollar.
Martin Johnson to J. Parker Properties, RR1, Montrose, in Jessup Township for $39,500.
Geraldine N. Woodsinger to Keith Woodsinger, Endwell, NY, in Clifford Township for one dollar.
Adams CATV Inc. to Michael R. Krzan, Christine Krzan, Forest City, in Forest City for $10,500.
Richard Graf to Department of Transportation, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, in Harford Township for one dollar.
Tina M. Vanostrand, Alton J. Vanostrand to Tina M. Vanostrand, RR2, New Milford, in New Milford Township for one dollar.
Frank E. Novitch to Frank Ernest Novitch, Nicholson, Mark W. Novitch, Michael F. Novitch, in Lenox Township for one dollar.
Victoria A. Yurkovic, Albert B. Yurkovic to Victoria A. Yurkovic, Dickson City, Albert Yurkovic, Michael A. Yurkovic, in Gibson Township for one dollar.
Alfred J. Gervaise, Cathy Gervaise (aka) Catherine E. Gervaise to Richard A. Jindra, Endwell, NY, in Forest Lake Township for $130,000.
John M. Stahl Sr., Diane T. Stahl to John M. Stahl Jr., Dickson City, Rachel A. Stahl, in Franklin Township for one dollar.
John M. Stahl Sr., Diane T. Stahl to John Stahl Sr., Diane T. Stahl, RR1, Montrose in Franklin and New Milford townships for one dollar.
John W. Leonard Jr., Helen R. Leonard to John M. Stahl Sr., Diane T. Stahl, Montrose, in Franklin and New Milford Townships for one dollar.
John W. Leonard Jr., Helen R. Leonard to John M. Stahl, Rachel A. Stahl, Dickson City, in Franklin Township for one dollar.
Shirley D. Sheridan, Raymond G. Sheridan to Shirley D. Sheridan, Montrose, in Brooklyn Township for one dollar.
Shirley Sheridan, Raymond G. Sheridan Jr. to Raymond G. Sheridan Jr., RR2, Montrose, in Montrose for one dollar.
Shirley D. Sheridan, Raymond G. Sheridan Jr. to Shirley D. Sheridan, Montrose, in Susquehanna for one dollar.
Shirley D. Sheridan, Raymond G. Sheridan to Raymond G. Sheridan Jr. Lenoxville, in Hallstead Borough for one dollar.
Shirley D. Sheridan, Raymond G. Sheridan Jr. to Raymond G. Sheridan Jr., Lenoxville, in Lanesboro Borough for one dollar.
Shirley D. Sheridan, Raymond Sheridan to Raymond G. Sheridan Jr., Lenoxville, in Great Bend Township for one dollar.
Boyd Strickland to Albert E. Noble, Tunkhannock, in Springville Township for $100,000.
William Norton and Dawn A. Fry, both of South Gibson.
Stanley Meheltz Jr. and Kimberly Joy Stani, both of Forest City.
Millard Leon Hall, New Milford and Pamela Janine Ross, Hallstead.
Martin John Brady and Cara S. Valentine, both of Susquehanna.
Joseph Carl Roy and Susan Rose Nicholson, both of Susquehanna.
David Andrew Cicon and Cynthia H. Peters, both of New Milford.
Andrew P. Claussen and Amber L. Neild, both of Montrose.
Acton J. Vanostrand, Factoryville vs. Tina M. Vanostrand, New Milford.
Stephen A. Sceranka, RR2, Susquehanna vs. Bobby Jo Sceranka, Great Bend.
James Cook, Carbondale vs. Wendy Cook, Forest City.
The Forest City Regional School District will participate in the Pennsylvania Youth Survey that is designed to collect information from students on risk factors that may lead to violent behavior or substance abuse.
Dr. Robert Vadella, superintendent of schools, told the Board of Education last week that the school district will be sending letters to all parents of students in grades 6, 8, 10 and 12 asking for permission for the students to take part in the survey.
“When the survey is administered,” Dr. Vadella said, “no names are attached and no answers can be traced to the individual students.”
The research-based survey is the recommended at-risk survey by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency. It is designed to not only address the prevalence of alcohol, tobacco and other drug use, but more importantly, it measures a comprehensive set of risk and protective factors that affect a community’s adolescent population. These factors impact academic performance and positive youth development as well as problems that inhibit development.
Dr. Vadella said results of the survey help identify the need for programs that schools and/or communities might implement to assist students in combating the risk factors. He said it is also a helpful took in obtaining grant funds for school and community programs.
The Conemaugh Health System Office of Community Health’s Child and Adolescent Health and Wellness Council developed the Pennsylvania Youth Survey. The Council said the survey has three goals: (1) To provide an accurate measure of young people’s rate of use and attitudes about alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs; (2) To provide an accurate measure of a community’s risk and protective factors, particularly as they impact positive youth development; and, (3) To provide a framework for building stronger, safer, and healthier communities.
In another school/community project, Dr. Vadella said Patty Galvin, a teacher in the school district, is the “driving force for bringing a regional reading competition to the area. She has been working on this project since last November,” Dr. Vadella told the board. “The competition requires students to form teams and read a vast number of books between now and April when these students will be tested on their knowledge of these books.”
Ms. Galvin said Forest City will be sending 10 teams, totaling approximately 100 students, to the competition. The Forest City Rotary Club is supporting the program.
Also in scholastic achievements, Anthony Rusnak, high school principal, reported that 14 students won awards at the area Future Business Leaders of America competition and eight of them will advance to the state competition.
Two Forest City students took first place honors, Ashley Fitzsimmons in public speaking II, and Mike Zack, banking and financial systems.
Other winners included: Lindsay Coleman, second place, marketing; Georgia Galvin, Danielle Nebzydoski, Heather Cook, second place, emergency business issues; Jonathan Chesnick, Justin Pisarcik, Matt Sibio, second place, entrepreneurship; Andrew Seaman, second place, business procedures; Mark Melvin, third place, computer concepts; and, Randi Schwartz, third place, economics.
Also, Kent Corey, Michael Forsette, Adam and Briana Salve, third place, parliamentary procedure; Krisen Majdic, third place, business math; Jeff Majdic, fourth place, business procedure; Mike Dyno, fifth place, accounting II; and, Robyn Powell, fifth place, economics.
Elementary Principal Ken Swartz reported that the elementary school has been awarded the Keystone Achievement Award for the second year in a row. State Senator Robert Mellow sent the school a letter of congratulations.
Motions approved by the board included:
Adjusting the federal mileage rate from $.485 to $.445.
Approving the high school trip to Maryland and Virginia on May 17-21.
Accepting the resignation of Dawn McAndrew, instructional assistant.
Appointing Jennifer Decker as the long term substitute for high school science.
Accepting the resignation of Kristen Blancato, long term substitute for the elementary reading specialist.
Approving Denise Kowalick as a substitute instructional assistant at the hourly rate of $6.25.
Approving Ashley Foster as a van driver for J.D. Transportation.
Approving Personal Services Contracts for David Homish and Carolyn Price.
MONTROSE—Congressman Don Sherwood recently announced that he had secured federal funding for three key transportation projects in Susquehanna County. At a January 11 press conference, Sherwood discussed the funding allocations for bridge and highway projects.
The recent SAFETEA-LU federal highway act contains $1.6 million for the reconstruction of the Route 706 corridor in Susquehanna County. Sherwood indicated that this project will enhance safety and promote economic development along the transportation corridor. He noted that the first portion of the project will involve reconstruction of Route 706 in the area of Montrose.
Congressman Don Sherwood during the press conference.
Also included in this legislation is $800,000 for the replacement of a bridge over Tunkhannock Creek. This bridge is located along Route 106 in Clifford Township.
Sherwood noted that a very positive element of the SAFETEA-LU legislation is that Pennsylvanians will see a high return on their money. For every tax dollar spent in the state, Pennsylvania taxpayers will see approximately $1.08 to $1.13 in highway spending as a result of this legislation. Sherwood complimented the collaborative efforts of Senator Rick Santorum and other Pennsylvania legislators who were able to ensure that this could happen.
Sherwood also highlighted a project in Susquehanna Borough, where a bridge over Drinker Creek will be replaced. Sherwood had been instrumental in securing approximately $1 million in previous federal appropriations legislation.
Joining Congressman Sherwood in making the funding announcements were Susquehanna County Commissioners Roberta Kelly, Jeffrey Loomis, and Mary Ann Warren and Robert Doble, Assistant District Engineer for PENNDOT Engineering District 4-0. These projects were all advanced through the work of the local Rural Transportation Committee.
The Elk Lake School Board re-scheduled their meeting from January 17 and moved it to Wednesday, the 18th due to anticipated severe weather. This reporter was not able to attend because of schedule conflicts but spoke personally with Board Secretary Mrs. Hollister after the meeting to get a brief update on the business of the district.
Approval was given to exonerate tax collectors from collecting delinquent taxes. Procedures were authorized establishing dates for collectors to turn in and send out notices.
A bid committee consisting of Superintendent Dr. Bush, Mrs. Hollister, Mrs. Rogers and Mrs. Travis was approved. This committee was authorized to open all bids for the 2006-2007 school year, and to tabulate them in preparation for the Board’s review. Bids for the next school year were authorized.
The Special Education I. U. 19 contract and the 2005-2006 Youth Advocate Program contract were both approved.
Bus contract revisions were approved to account for extra mileage and new students and a special education student.
Mary Berg was approved for the Boys Volleyball Coach.
The Board adopted the Revised Safe School Plan as well as a resolution to ensure some accountability for Charter Schools. Costs kept rising for some cyber- schools while the number of students served decreased. The policy on Blended schools was reviewed and will be approved at a later meeting.
The PSBA Code of Conduct was approved for the district. This is professionally encouraged to standardize practices, and behaviors of the board members to ensure they serve their community fairly.
Auditors were not present to review their report and present findings to the board.
Children in Head Start through grade six were invited to participate in a crime prevention program known as CHIP which is an abbreviation of Child Identification Program. Parents are asked to agree to have their children recorded on video, fingerprinted as well as to submit DNA sample to include hair, fingernails and saliva samples. All items generated are to be given to the parents of the children. This is sponsored financially in part by the Grand Mason Lodge of Pennsylvania and Warren Lodge of Montrose. The event is scheduled to be held January 24-26, from 9:00 to 2:30 p.m.
The Career and Technology Center held their board following the full district board.
A grant was received for the purchase of a defibrillator and training mannequin. Dues for FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) were shared. Lisa Smith was approved for the FBLA advisor and Joe Cimino received approval as the VICA advisor (Vocational Industrial Clubs of America).
Following is the list of names drawn to serve as Petit and Traverse jurors for February, to appear in the Court of Common Pleas, Susquehanna County Courthouse large courtroom, Montrose, on the sixth day of February, 9:00 a.m.
Auburn Twp.: Denise Delamarter, Nancy l. Fernald, Kevin Gates.
Bridgewater Twp.: Allison Hollister.
Choconut Twp.: Edward Leonard, Carroll C. Stanford.
Clifford Twp.: Lisa A. Kozlowski.
Dimock Twp.: Danette R. Fuller, Shannon M. Pratt, Delberta Steele.
Forest Lake Twp.: Frances D. Cook, Michelle Y. Gregory, Diana E. Ormsby, Shirley D. Tator.
Franklin Twp.: Frank M. Fischer.
Gibson Twp.: Elizabeth A. Nicholson.
Great Bend Boro: Collette A. Decker.
Great Bend Twp.: Keith E. Brant, Susan G. Decker, Robin George, Patricia P. Ord, Harold E. Stockholm, Diane Williams.
Hallstead Boro: Roxanne A. Connelly, Laurie R. Frailey, Brenda Pruitt.
Harmony Twp.: Troy Brown.
Herrick Twp.: Brian P. Jenkins.
Jackson Twp.: Virginia L. Schroeder.
Lanesboro Boro: Jeffrey Fisk.
Lathrop Twp.: Richard Carpenetti, Tracy Traver.
Lenox Twp.: George P. Bennett, Susan L. Breese, Connie R. Natichak.
Liberty Twp.: Dene Rounds, David Wells.
Montrose Boro 1W: Gail A. Golden.
Montrose Boro 2W: James J. Christian, Larry A. Williams.
New Milford Boro: Milton G. Darrow, Jr., Ruthann K. Flewelling.
New Milford Twp.: Austin F. Freeman, Arthur Keck, Florence M. McCabe, Brenda J. Nichols.
Oakland Boro: Emmett Sheptock, Jr.
Oakland Twp.: Doris Shanley.
Rush Twp.: Sheyn R. Cook, Sandra J. LaRue, Jenny L. Proof, Harry M. Sutton.
Silver Lake Twp.: Barbara Ellis, Mark Fraser, Karen L. Leonard, David B. Mosch, Lori Villanella.
Springville Twp.: Raymond John Farley, Kelli L. Traver.
Union Dale Boro: Charles H. Barnes.
With all members present, the Susquehanna Community School Board met on January 18.
The Strategic Plan Committee meetings have been ongoing; among other topics being covered, a development plan will be drawn up in keeping with Act 40. In-service days are being planned for the spring, under Title IIA. And, with no changes in the mandated No Child Left Behind program, districts are anxiously awaiting changes in funding by Congress for Title I. According to Superintendent Stone, there is a very real possibility that in the near future school districts will be facing the same expectations, with less funding forthcoming.
As January is School Director Recognition Month, Mr. Stone commended the current board for their commitment to the community and being advocates for its children. "Our children are privileged to have such fine directors,” he said. Also in recognition of the board, there was a display of "thank yous" from first and second graders, written as part of the Kid Writing program. Several commented on how well written the notes were; the language and penmanship were on a par with what would be expected from older students.
The budget process for next year is being started somewhat earlier than usual, in anticipation of changes expected to be enacted by the legislature next year.
An audit of the district's food service has been completed with "tremendous" results; the meals provided were found to be nutritious, which ties in nicely with the district's fitness and wellness plans.
37 elementary students, from grades three and five, have had their work chosen for publication in a Creative Communications poetry contest. Copies of the book will be available in the elementary library once it is published.
As in past years, elementary students have been taking part in a Kindness and Justice Challenge, in recognition of Dr. Martin Luther King, with students keeping a record of the acts of kindness they perform.
Parent-Teacher conferences for both the elementary and high schools will be held on February 1, in conjunction with the All Curriculum Expo, which will be held the same day from 6 - 8 p.m. During the All Curriculum Expo, students will be holding a "Mocha Moose Café" in the high school cafeteria with live entertainment, a book fair, free refreshments and door prizes.
On December 20, a ceremony had been held in memory of the county military personnel who had lost their lives in Iraq. The ceremony was to dedicate a plaque that is being displayed near the gym, as well as to show appreciation to the parents of those soldiers for the sacrifices they have made. Principal Lisowski commented that it had also been a learning experience for students, a great opportunity to educate them about what freedom is all about. Several of those present had attended and commented on how well the ceremony was conducted.
Programs on Internet safety are being planned, at no cost to the district. They will be age-related, covering topics that may be faced by students in different age groups. Another program is being planned through the State Police; different ones will be offered to students and their parents, with the one geared for parents giving tips for monitoring their children's Internet activities.
The Special Ed department is working on updating policies and procedures, working on their six-year plan, conducting early intervention evaluations in conjunction with NEIU 19, and working with the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, which helps students with disabilities find funding for ongoing education.
Leaves of absence requests were approved as follows: Anastasia Zabielski, March/April, approximately 30 days; Eve Baker-Schwartz, January/February, approximately 6/8 weeks; Bill Jenkins, January/February, Approximately 6/8 weeks.
Two requests for Homebound Instruction were approved.
The board approved 15 extra paid days for Carol McNamara, Secondary Guidance for the period of January 23 2006 through the end of the first semester of 2007; Mr. Stone explained that this was due to Mrs. McNamara filling in during George Moore's sabbatical leave.
The following additions to the substitute list were approved: Joseph Ignatovich, Health/Phys. Ed.; Richard Bagnall, Science; William Moser, English; Stacy Nier-Yoskowitz, Bus Driver; Angelo Marchiano, Bus Driver; Jessica Stone, Emergency; Mary G. Iveson, non-Instructional; Suzanne Luniewski, Non-instructional.
Four Bus Contract changes were approved.
Resignations were approved from Sarah French, Girls Junior High Co-Basketball Coach and Sue Cook, Girls Varsity Softball Assistant.
The following hiring/transfers were approved: Secondary Guidance, second semester 2005/2006 and first semester 2006/2007; Secondary Math; Senior Class Advisor; Math Mentor; Girls Junior High Co-Basketball Coach, 2005/2006 only; High School Office; High School Office.
Also approved was volunteer Wilbur O’Dell, Elementary Wrestling.
The customary lists of activities, workshops and fund-raisers were approved.
The meeting adjourned to a work session.
The next meeting will be on Wednesday, February 15, 7:30 p.m. in the administration offices in the elementary building.