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Home Improvement Special Featured In Our April, 26th Issue Of The Susquehanna County Transcript

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Issue Home April 25, 2006 Site Home

VFW Post 6223 Elects Officers
Foundation Creates Three New Funds
PNB Announces New Originator
It’s A Boy!
Wedding Announced Hayman – Tarbox
Engagement Announced Tingley – Heiman
Engagement Announced Tingley – Yutzy
Autism Program Is New Experience
PNB Announces New Originator
Local Students Picked For Poster Contes
Avoid Outdoor Home Improvement Scams
Coalition Sponsoring PreventionPrograms
Cares Celebrates Children

VFW Post 6223 Elects Officers

The following officers were elected at the April 12 meeting of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 6223, Great Bend.

Officers: Commander, Gene Rafferty; Sr. Vice Commander, John Humphry; Jr. Vice Commander, John Lawson; Quartermaster, Bob Franks; Service Officer, Clarence Brink; Surgeon, Everett Elbrecht; Judge Advocate, Tom Franks; Chaplain, Jim Soller.

House Committee: George Richardson, Clarence Brink, James Soller.

Trustees: Dennis Maloney, Dave Hughes, Steve Yeveck.

Canteen Manager: Ed Arnold.

The VFW is a very unique and prestigious organization; you must have a ribbon, commendation, citation or medal earned during an overseas campaign during wartime. All who are eligible are invited to call 879–4420 for more information.

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Foundation Creates Three New Funds

The Community Foundation of Susquehanna and Wyoming Counties recently established three new funds that will benefit the students and citizens of Susquehanna County. Two of the funds endow scholarships for graduates of the Montrose Area High School.

The John Krupinski Scholarship is for a student who has maintained at least a B average during high school, and who will enter college to study business, economics, or the business related application of technology. The award this year is $1,000.00. This scholarship is in memory of John Krupinski, himself a graduate of Montrose High School, and the first Business Manager for the school district.

The Robert Wood Scholarship will be awarded to a student who will enter college to study the medical professions, or to train to become a paramedic. The award this year is $500.00. This scholarship memorializes Robert Wood, who in the 1950s established the Montrose Minute Men Ambulance service. Both of these scholarships have been transferred to The Community Foundation from Wachovia Bank and more can be learned about Mr. Krupinski and Mr. Wood by visiting the Memorial Page section of The Community Foundation’s web site at

Additionally, the Silver Lake Ladies Club has established a fund to support various non-profit charities in Susquehanna County, as chosen annually by the members of the club. The Community Foundation has realized an average three-year rate of return on its investments of 13%, which yearly increases the disbursement of all of its funds. Anyone may contribute tax-deductible donations to the funds to provide greater help to local charities or to honor the memory of those who have passed before us and to increase the value of scholarships for generations yet to come.

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PNB Announces New Originator

Hallstead, PA – Peoples National Bank is pleased to announce the recent addition of Mr. James Mangel to its Loan Department as Mortgage Originator. Jim will be responsible for mortgages across Northeast Pennsylvania and the Southern Tier of New York specializing in first home, second home, new construction, renovation, raw land and rental property mortgages.

Jim brings 10 years of mortgage experience to Peoples National Bank.

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It’s A Boy!

Brayden Erik Reese, nine pounds, eight ounces, was born at Barnes-Kasson Hospital, Susquehanna, PA on April 4, 2006 to Brian and Brooke Reese, New Milford, PA.

Maternal grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. Les Thurston, New Milford.

Paternal grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. Ron Reese, Hickory Grove, PA.

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Wedding Announced Hayman – Tarbox

Hazel Alexandra Hayman, daughter of Claire Ceresa, Fort Walton Beach, Florida and Rupert Hayman, Somerset, England and Eric David Tarbox, son of David and Cheryl Tarbox, Lanesboro, Pennsylvania were married on March 3, 2006 in Fort Walton Beach, Florida.

Mr. and Mrs. Eric Tarbox

Hazel was born in Yeovil, Somerset, England, moved to the United States in 2001 and is currently attending Okaloosa Walton College studying for a BAS in Business.

Eric graduated from Susquehanna Community High School in 2001 and is a Senior Airman serving in the USAF, stationed at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.

The couple reside in Niceville, Florida.

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Engagement Announced Tingley – Heiman

Rick and Carol Tingley of Susquehanna, PA announce the engagement and approaching marriage of their daughter, Nicole to Mr. Joseph Heiman, son of Joe and Colleen Heiman of Beaver Falls, PA.


Nicole is a 1999 graduate of Susquehanna Community High School. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Penn State University in 2003 and a Master’s Degree in Speech Language Pathology from the University of Pittsburg in 2005. Nicole currently works as a Speech Language Pathologist for the Bucks County Intermediate Unit.

Joe is a 1999 graduate of Blackhawk High School and received a Degree in Economics from Clarion University in 2003. He currently works as a District Executive for the Boy Scouts of America.

A fall, 2006 wedding is being planned.

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Engagement Announced Tingley – Yutzy

Rick and Carol Tingley of Susquehanna, PA announce the engagement and approaching marriage of their daughter, Lauren to Mr. Frederic Yutzy, son of LaVern and Kathy Yutzy of Lewistown, PA.


Lauren is a 2001 graduate of Susquehanna Community High School. She earned a Degree in Kinesiology from Penn State University in December 2005. Nicole currently works as a Speech Language Pathologist for the Bucks County Intermediate Unit.

Fred is a 2001 graduate of Indian Valley High School and a 2005 graduate of Messiah College. He is currently employed as an engineer at Electric Boat/General Dynamics in Groton, Conn..

A summer, 2006 wedding is being planned.

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Autism Program Is New Experience

Carbondale, PA – Tri-County Human Services Autism Program offers a new experience for its consumers. The agency is collaborating with Painted Acres Horse Farm to offer participants an up-close and personal encounter with their horses. To date, several children from Tri-County have participated and benefited from this partnership. Both organizations are hoping to grow and involve a greater number of children. The staff at Painted Acres is trained in the developmental delays and challenges of children and adolescents with Autism.

Painted Acres Horse Farm is a 30 stall horse boarding and training facility located on Rt. 247 in Greenfield Township. The farm, owned and operated by Brad and Lori Bilinsky, has been in operation since 2003. In addition to boarding and training, Painted Acres offers outdoor and indoor riding arenas, large pastures, and cleared trails throughout the 102 acre farm. Trainers include Mr. and Mrs. Bilinsky and Ms. Elaine Tweedy.

Pictured (l-r) are: Brad Bilinsky, Joseph Baron, Lori Bilinsky.

Tri-County Human Services Autism Program provides quality services to children and adolescents with a diagnosis within the Autism Spectrum (ex. Autism, Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Asperger's Syndrome, Rett Syndrome and Childhood Disintegrative Disorder) and their families. The Autism Program provides services through the Behavioral Health Rehabilitative Services Program. Their professionals implement the most widely recognized and effective methods of intervention and provide comprehensive skill-based interventions in family home, school and the community settings. Their primary emphasis is on skill learning, assistance in applying those skills, and mastery. Teams also help family members and school professionals become confident in supporting the development of those skills in the manner in which the child learns best.

As a non-profit agency affiliated with Maxis Health System, Tri-County Human Services provides comprehensive diagnostic and treatment programs for persons throughout the life span in need of mental health, mental retardation, and other human services. As a community based provider, they offer services in home, school, and community settings as well as site locations throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania. You can contact Tri-County at (570) 282-1732 or

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PNB Announces New Originator

Hallstead, PA – Peoples National Bank is pleased to announce the recent addition of Mr. James Mangel to its Loan Department as Mortgage Originator. Jim will be responsible for mortgages across Northeast Pennsylvania and the Southern Tier of New York specializing in first home, second home, new construction, renovation, raw land and rental property mortgages.

Jim brings 10 years of mortgage experience to Peoples National Bank.

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Local Students Picked For Poster Contest

Fourth through sixth grade students in Susquehanna County were recently invited to submit posters for the annual Alcohol Awareness Poster Contest sponsored jointly by the PA Department of Health, PA Department of Education, and the TREHAB Center Drug & Alcohol Prevention Program, along with local banks and businesses.  The contest encourages students and their families to become more aware of the consequences of underage drinking while reinforcing the positive concept that young people can reach their goals by remaining alcohol free.

Four school districts were represented in the contest.  A $50 savings bond, provided by a local bank, was awarded to the first place winner from each school, and local businesses provided prizes for the first, second, and third place winners.  One poster from each school was selected to be sent to Harrisburg to be entered on the state level. The first-place winners from each school will go on to the state level.

Penn Star Bank provided a $50 savings bond for the students with the winning entries at Mountain View and Choconut Valley (Montrose Area) Elementary Schools.  Community Bank & Trust furnished the bonds for the winners at Lathrop Street (Montrose Area) Elementary School.  First Liberty Bank and Trust provided the award for Elk Lake Elementary, and Peoples National Bank furnished a bond for the winner from Susquehanna Community Elementary School.

McDonald’s of Montrose, Brant’s Dairy Bar, and the Lenox Dairy Bar donated gift certificates for the winning poster entries.

Michele Sterner, and Leonor Maston, Prevention Specialists for the TREHAB Center, presented awards at the schools to the following contest winners:

Elk Lake: 1st – Kelsey Mitchell , 2nd – Matthew Woolcock, 3rd – Kelly Cokely.

Choconut Valley: 1st – Anneliese Hamernick, 2nd –Jessica Sivers, 3rd –Ashlee Lattner, Honorable Mention—Myra Lattimore.

Susquehanna Community: 1st – Megan Canfield, 2nd – Amber Dubanowitz, 3rd – Emily Carmody.

Lathrop Street: 1st – Brianna Sangster, 2nd – Laura Brink, 3rd – Brooke Malloy.

Mountain View: 1st – Sharon Carmona, 2nd – Kerri Jarnagin, 3rd – Alexis Oakley.

Honorable Mention – Macie Karhnak, Morgan Taylor, Angel Kester, Owen Flannery, Dominique Chadwick, Joshua Burt, Stephanie Virbitsky, Joseph Jarrow, Brandon Zentmyer,  Megan Getz

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Avoid Outdoor Home Improvement Scams

Spring is here and with the warm weather comes thoughts of outside home improvement projects. While it is exciting to begin outdoor projects, unfortunately it is common for unscrupulous contractors to try to take advantage of consumers who need work done on their yard or the outside of their home.

What are the different types of outdoor home improvement scams?

Driveway Paving

Be cautious of contractors who come to your door claiming that they are working in your neighborhood and noticed that your driveway needs to be repaired. Typically the contractor will tell you that they have left over materials and can perform the work for a reasonable price. You see their trucks, rollers, and spraying equipment, so it all seems legitimate. They quote you a low price based on linear footage (a straight line from point A to point B not taking into account the width of the driveway). It all happens so quickly and seems like a great deal, so you go ahead with the project. Once the job is done you are told the price did not include labor, and the bill is based on square footage instead of linear footage. Also, substandard materials may be used. In other instances you may only receive a thin coating of asphalt and inferior sealant that may wash away after the first heavy rainfall.

Roof Repair

Another door to door scheme to be cautious of is the contractor who says he was working in your neighborhood and noticed some damage to your roof. He alerts you of potential dangers such as leaks or a possible cave-in if it is not fixed immediately. The contractor quotes a low price and after starting the project claims that additional repairs are needed. When the work is done, you end up paying much more than the quoted price. In many cases, substandard materials are used. In some instances a mixture of paint and oil is applied giving the impression that the work was completed. Most consumers cannot inspect the work and trust that the contractor has done an honest job for the money.

Tree Pruning/Landscaping Schemes

Our office has also heard from consumers who said that they received an offer to prune trees on their property at a very low price. Upon completion of the work the bill exceeded the orally agreed upon price. The rational for the higher price included claims that the cost was based on a per branch not per tree calculation. In other complaints, consumers said that they were approached by landscapers claiming to be in the neighborhood offering to clean up their property. Their equipment and men are already there and they give you do more work than agreed upon and charge you a much higher price.


Be leery of contractors who knock on your door and claim to be experienced builders who can construct your dream deck for outdoor barbeques and parties. He may offer references from other homeowners in the area that may not be authentic. He may also say that at least half of the payment is needed in advance to buy the materials to begin working. You pay the contractor for the materials and he fails to return to your home to do the work.


A more expensive scam involves the installation of backyard swimming pools. The contractor tells you if you pay the full price for the pool in advance, which in some instances can cost more than $25,000, he will put you at the top of his list and can begin work right away. A few weeks later, you get a letter from the contractor saying he has gone out of business.

These are just a few examples of how consumers can become victims. Remember, all of these schemes can also be used to gain entry into your home, by luring you outside to inspect the work or to ask questions. Also, many unscrupulous scam artists will target older consumers living alone and unable to do their own outdoor work.

How Can I avoid being scammed?

Be suspicious of anyone who comes to your door soliciting work or pointing out problems with your home. Hire contractors that you contact directly or who are recommended by a friend or family member.

* Never enter into a repair or home improvement project without a written contract that includes a start and finish date and a three-day-right to cancel notice.

* Never sign a blank contract or one that does not include all the costs and supplies.

* Never hire a contractor that does not have a business card or local phone number and address.

* Ask around to see if the company is reputable and stable.

* Ask for references and check them. If the contractor refuses to give you references do not give him the job.

* Never make your final payment until you are satisfied with the work.

* Never do business with contractors that pressure you with "special" or "limited" price offers.

What should be in my contract before the work begins?

Before you sign a contract, shop around for at least three written estimates for the same work. Your estimates should include the following:

* A three-day-right to cancel notice. This is notice is required for all contracts exceeding $25 and are entered into as a result of a contact at your home, either in person or by telephone. This notice allows you to cancel the contract within three business days following the date of the contract.

* The type, quality, and available warranties on any materials to be used.

* All financial terms and payment schedules. Don't pay for the entire job up front, no matter what is promised. Be sure to include a penalty clause in the contract for failure to complete work on time.

* Full description of the work to be performed and confirmation that all debris will be removed from the job site.

* All necessary permits are secured by the contractor and they have proper liability and compensation insurance.

If you think you have been the victim of an outdoor home improvement scam, be sure to file a complaint with the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General's Bureau of Consumer Protection at or call 1-800-441-2555. Also, do no be afraid to call your local police.

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Coalition Sponsoring Prevention Programs

Susquehanna County Coalition For The Prevention Of Child Abuse

Susquehanna County has always had Child Abuse and Neglect Reports above the state average, which keep the children of the county at high risk.

Childhood sexual abuse is a particularly disturbing occurrence and a serious crime against children. The effects on a child from this type of abuse can be permanent and lifelong. Physical injury may go away, but damage to the psyche usually causes scarring that lasts forever. The children affected either become withdrawn or act out to the point that they become perpetrators to their siblings or other children. These children have feelings of uncontrolled anger, extreme guilt, they feel unworthy because their self esteem is so low, and all too often suicide becomes an answer to their mental anguish.

Perpetrators of this crime take away a child's innocence and destroy their dignity to the point where the child feels less than human.

The Susquehanna County Coalition For The Prevention Of Child Abuse will be sponsoring programs throughout the summer and fall, geared to the education of children and adults on the detection and prevention of childhood sexual abuse. Various concerned professionals and organizations have taken on the task of educating the public.

They are: The Pennsylvania State Police, who are presently putting together an educational program to be presented to children in schools; the medical community have a program that will be presented to adults; a representative of Children, Youth and Families have a program geared to adults and the prevention of child sexual abuse.

This summer, The Susquehanna County Coalition for the Prevention of Child Abuse will sponsor a workshop for clergy, youth ministers, choir directors and other members of the church community. The program will be presented by Reverend Gerald Sofko of Montrose.

More info will be available at a later date.

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CARES Celebrates Children

Youngsters from across Susquehanna County gathered to celebrate a week dedicated to them. About 100 children participated in Susquehanna County CARES (Childcare, Agencies, Resources and Educational Services) “Children’s Fair,” April 8 at the recently opened CARES Family Resource Center in Hallstead.

The event, in honor of “Week of the Young Child,” featured special arts and crafts, music by the Blue Ridge Middle School Jazz Band, a fishing pond where youngsters hooked fun treats, and special story times. Adults also had the chance to learn about quality childcare and health issues. Many were also able to take advantage of the childcare identification program thanks to the Freemasons and get child safety seats checked by the Pennsylvania State Police.

When looking for a tasty break, everyone had the opportunity to enjoy hot dogs or pizza thanks to donations from local businesses.

The CARES “Children’s Fair” would not have been possible without the help of dozens of volunteers, including members of the Blue Ridge National Honor Society.

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