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Issue Home February 7, 2006 Site Home

Bend Scholarship Available
Courthouse Report Compiled By P. Jay Amadio
Newmans Arrested For Animal Cruelty

Bend Scholarship Available

At the Great Bend Borough Council meeting on Groundhog Day, February 2, Borough Secretary Sheila Guinan reported that the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs (PSAB) is offering $1,000 scholarships to residents of member boroughs, of which Great Bend is one. High school seniors are selected for this award in each of the PSAB's six districts. Applicants must have been accepted at a two- or four- year institution as a freshman. Ms. Guinan said that applications are available at the Borough office and must be submitted by May 12.

Tim Fancher was a student in this area. He tragically died while running in 2001 and an annual run/walk event is staged out of Great Bend's Greenwood Park to honor his memory. Proceeds of the race are distributed to local municipalities for their parks. Great Bend Borough has accumulated some $4,300 in its parks fund at least in part due to these contributions. A movement is now afoot to create a new park to honor Tim Fancher.

Councilman Rick Franks told the meeting that a local group is trying to acquire property (he would not disclose the location) to build a park with facilities for running and walking. Mr. Franks suggested that at least some of the money in the Borough's parks fund might be used to support this effort, which would be a cooperative venture with Hallstead Borough and the surrounding Great Bend Township.

The parks fund also receives infusions from the borough's annual Fun Day event, usually staged in Memorial Park. For several years the program was headed by current Borough Council President Bea Alesky who usually tried to schedule it for Memorial Day weekend. Ms. Alesky has said that she would work on the project again, but did not want to be in charge. At the meeting she asked council members to begin thinking about when and how to do Fun Day again this year. There was a notable lack of enthusiasm around the table. Last year it was suggested that Fun Day be coordinated with the Tim Fancher race, but that didn't work out. Attorney Frank O'Connor suggested combining Fun Day with the annual sidewalk sale day and fire company fireworks celebration, but others said that too many events might detract from others. So, for lack of a consensus, the general mood was to put it off, perhaps until Fall.

In the meantime council wants to put up American flags along Main Street, but they're having trouble collecting funds or material donations. Each flag and pole would cost about $52, and, according to Mr. Franks, there are about 25 lighted telephone poles along the town's main thoroughfare. Some suggested sharing the parks fund on this project, but the matter was not immediately resolved.

The flags, of course, would be an effort to spruce up the town, particularly between Memorial Day and Labor Day. But there seem to be some residents who don't care about the town's appearance. There are at least three properties that are under scrutiny for excessive trash and/or inappropriate collections and parking of vehicles. So far Council is hoping to depend on letters of its own, or from its attorney, to nudge owners and renters into more considerate attention to their property. The discussion on this issue went on for some time and generated a little warmth -- not to say heat -- among council members. Yet, in the absence of clear ordinances or enforcement potential, members seemed frustrated at how little they could do.

What they can and must do is ensure that building codes are enforced. For the past several years at the cost of $100 per year, they have left that to the county Council of Governments (COG). At the very beginning of the meeting, Councilman Jerry MacConnell introduced a Mr. Myron Rosh, of Commonwealth Code Inspection Services of Manheim, Pennsylvania. Mr. Rosh is a certified electrical inspector who lives in Athens, PA and conducts code inspections for several municipalities covering many counties in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

Mr. Rosh's company competes with COG to provide building inspection services required under the relatively new uniform statewide requirements. New Milford Township recently signed on with Commonwealth and Mr. Rosh; Susquehanna Borough signed up only a couple of weeks ago.

For a borough like Susquehanna which had employed its own code enforcement officer, contracting with a private firm like Commonwealth (or even COG) can cut costs to taxpayers. Property owners requiring inspections pay all fees themselves.

The fee structure is of most interest to Great Bend Borough. Ms. Guinan listed only seven permits issued by COG for borough properties in 2005; her analysis showed that the fees COG charged were lower than what might have been charged by the private inspectors.

But that may be a function of the size of the town. Great Bend Borough has only about 700 residents and very little, if any, remaining building lots. A resolution or signed contract would be necessary to bring in a private firm. Council was at least happy to have an alternative to consider.

This is the time of year when the borough usually begins thinking about raising the rent on the borough building to Barnes-Kasson Hospital, which operates the Blue Ridge Senior Center there. So members were mildly shocked when Councilman Mike Wasko proposed that the borough send a letter thanking the hospital for the positive collaboration between the town and the senior center and for the contribution the center and the hospital make to the town. "They've been very good to us," said Mr. Wasko. Given the current difficulties facing Barnes-Kasson, a good word from its constituents can't be unwelcome.

The Great Bend Borough Council meets on the first Thursday of each month beginning at 7:00 p.m., at the borough building on Elizabeth Street.

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Courthouse Report Compiled By P. Jay Amadio


Elizabeth M. Lewandowski (by POA) to Norman G. Lewandowski, RR1, Union Dale, Patricia L. Lysak, in Clifford Township for one dollar.

Joann J. Himka, David Himka, Dorothy L. Davis, Robert Davis, Leona J. Hartland to Peter J. Antidormi Jr., Brenda J. Antidormi, South Canaan, in Forest City for $30,000.

Jeffrey R. Eshelman, Melissa Eshelman to Melissa G. Eshelman, Green Lane, in Brooklyn Township for one dollar.

Mahlon D. Tyler, (estate) aka Mahlon Donald Tyler (estate) to Jason Sternik, Montrose, in Great Bend Township for $25,000.

Harold S. Davenport, Janet Dunn-Davenport to Alfonso R. Troianello, Kenvil, NJ, in Franklin Township for $170,000.

Barbara A. Rudolf to Adam Heitzenroder, Cynthia L. Heitzenroder, Springville Township, in Springville Township for $180,000.

Silver Lake Volunteer Fire Company to Michael L. Hester, Tina J. Hester, Brackney, in Silver Lake Township for $1,000.

John M. Murphy Jr. to Carol Ann Murphy, Thompson, in Union Dale Borough for one dollar.

Montrose Area School District to Susquehanna County Historical Society and Free Library Association, Montrose, in Bridgewater Township for one dollar.

Robert C. Barnikow, Denise E. Barnikow to John M. Gorsline, Flushing, NY, in Brooklyn Township for $26,500.

Eleanor R. Churchill, Rena L. Orchard, Elba M. High, Roberta R. Monis (estate), Robert R. Ross Jr., Shelley M. Ross, Frances A. Simms, Wesley H. Ross, Ellen L. Ross, Janet M. Davis, Laura R. Price-Kutzko, John J. Kutzko, Lawrence J. Ross, Patricia V. Ross, Ruth B. Ross (estate) to Janet R. Madani, San Jose, CA., in Lenox Twp., for $100,000.

Ye Olde Whispering Pines Rod and Gun Club to Mary E. Snyder, Charles H. Snyder, Susquehanna, Pa., in Thompson Township for $30,000.

Guy A. Erceg II, Courtney L. Erceg to Guy A. Erceg, Courtney L. Erceg, Stafford, VA, in Hallstead Borough for one dollar.

Kenneth R. Ely to Ray Hubert Sr., Dimock, Victoria Hubert in Dimock Township for one dollar.

Margaret E. Mulhollen (estate) to Khakhan LLC, Moosic, in Great Bend Borough for $20,000.

Jennie Shiel to Nicole Matisi, Stacy A. Matisi, Endicott, NY, in Silver Lake Township for one dollar.

John H. Glenning to Buddy Russell, Montrose, Cathy Allis, in Middletown Township for $110,000.

James Christian, Laurey Christian to Philip T. Maynard, Montrose, Lindsey Bonnice, in Montrose for $18,500.

Bernice Alsdorf to William T. McNeice, Meshoppen, in Great Bend Township for $35,000.

Karen Hellmuth, Greg Hellmuth to Edward I. Johnson Jr., Judy E. Johnson, in Montrose for $5,000.

Kenneth Bostwick, Pamela Bostwick to Herbert Floyd Traver Jr., Amber Brook Traver, Friendsville, in Choconut Township for $137,000.

Michael J. Beddoe Jr., Carol C. Beddoe to Paul E. Belch, Debra Ann Belch, Scranton, in Gibson Township for one dollar.

Fred Huggler (estate) to Matthew McClain, Tunkhannock, in Brooklyn Township for one dollar (corrective deed).

John P. Deleon to Scott A. MeGivern, Susquehanna, in Harmony Township for $120,000.

Gordon Woodbury, Anitra K. Woodbury to Gordon Woodbury, Anitra K. Woodbury, New Milford, in Harford Township for one dollar.

Gordon Woodbury, Anitra K. Woodbury to Gordon Woodbury, Anitra K. Woodbury, New Milford, in Harford Township for one dollar.

David Garcia, Linda Garcia to Ralph Valentin, Krystyna T. Valentin, Hopatcong, NJ, in Liberty Township for $69,500.

Thomas G. Purdy, Stephanie Purdy to Thomas G. Purdy, Laceyville, in Auburn Township for one dollar.

Paul A. Kelly, Pamela E. Kelly to Cynthia Oruska, Montrose, in Dimock Township for one dollar.

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Newmans Arrested For Animal Cruelty

On January 12, 2006 Susquehanna County Humane Society Police Officer Chad Weaver, with the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, removed 73 animals from the property of Linda Jones-Newman and Kevin Newman, Brownhill Road, in Thompson Township. Assisting officer Weaver were Barbara Balsama, Stroudsburg, Joe Fellencer, Danville and Reba McDonald, Clarion, all Humane Police Officers of the PSPCA.

Pictured is one of the horses seized on the property. Other pictures available for print were too disgusting for us to publish.

Linda and Kevin Newman were read their rights about 10:30 a.m. on January 12. State Trooper Bushta assisted in the search warrant, along with State Dog Warden Ray Smith, and ten volunteers. Doctor Ellen Johnson was called in for her veterinary services, to help assist with examinations of the animals. Dr. Johnson also had to perform euthanasia on one of the horses, because of its extremely poor condition.

It took until 5:30 p.m. to gather all the animals on the property and take them to humane societies or foster care  homes. Some of the animals removed included horses, ponies, a donkey, llamas, sheep, goats, dogs, cats, ducks, geese, chickens, guinea hens, and exotic birds.

The animals, overall, were in poor condition. Most of the animals were underweight and many didn’t have access to fresh water or food. The living conditions the animals had to endure were very poor as well. The animals in the house, the barns, the milk house and the pastures had to face very unsanitary conditions. One pony had an open wound that has been unattended to for close to one year, still draining from an infection. There were four dogs in cages full of feces and urine. Many animals were kept in stalls that were filled with feces and urine. A dead goat lay in the stall with other live goats.

It was overwhelming to see so many animals in such poor condition and in such poor surroundings.

Since removing the animals, many of which required immediate veterinary treatment, we have asked if Linda or Kevin would like to surrender any animals to the custody of the PSPCA. We did not receive a response as of February 2.

27 chares of Animal Cruelty have been filed at Magisterial District Judge Peter Janicelli’s office, New Milford.

The PSPCA  has had, and continues to have the task of caring for all the animals, as well as the foster care homes. All together, the veterinary bills alone are in the thousands of dollars.

We have had to pay for all the feed and services to bring the animals back to good condition.

The Humane Society in Montrose is looking for donations of feed, jay and money to help I caring for these neglected animals. If you would like to help, please contact the PSPCA, Montrose branch, at 278–1228.

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