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HARRISBURG – In honor of their selfless contributions during the recovery effort after hurricanes Katrina and Rita, over 250 emergency medical responders from across the state, including Bradford and Susquehanna Counties, were recognized and presented with a certificate of appreciation at the State Capitol on Monday, April 24.
Pictured (l-r) are Andrew Vaccaro, Rep. Sandra Major (R-Susquehanna/Wayne/Wyoming), Justin Tyler and Nathaniel Williams in the Capitol rotunda following a ceremony on the House floor honoring emergency medical technicians and paramedics who answered the call of duty and traveled south to provide aid to the victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
"It was an honor to be part of this ceremony that recognized the outstanding medical services these men and woman provided to the residents of the Gulf region," said Rep. Matt Baker (Tioga/Bradford). "Emergency medical professionals work hard on a daily basis, and these outstanding citizens went out of their way to help those devastated by the hurricanes. For that we owe them our gratitude."
Those from our area who provided medical assistance in the Gulf region and were recognized at Monday's ceremony were Justin Tyler, Nathaniel Williams and Andy Vaccaro of the Montrose Minute Men.
Emergency medical personnel said the experience was humbling. They described the people of the Gulf region as resilient, determined, and humorous. Through this life-changing experience, they remembered what was most important to them.
According to the Pennsylvania Emergency Health Services Council, the Commonwealth was able to respond so well to the emergency because of pre-established "surge teams" that are specifically trained and equipped to respond in overwhelming or extraordinary situations. Approximately 264 providers, 59 ambulances and 12 support units provided nearly six weeks of total response.
"I am extremely proud of these men and women for their dedication in the aftermath of the hurricanes, and the work that they do on a daily basis for Bradford and Susquehanna Counties," said Rep. Tina Pickett (R-Bradford/Sullivan/Susquehanna). "Pennsylvania had one of the nation's largest emergency medical responses and for that they all deserve our deepest gratitude."
Drug and/or alcohol related violations dominated last week’s court sentencing session before Susquehanna County President Judge Kenneth W. Seamans. Of 19 defendants sentenced, 13 were involved with drug or alcohol problems.
Two Carbondale men were remanded to a state correctional facility where they will continue to receive drug and alcohol counseling as well as receiving mental health evaluation. The defendants, Michael Joseph Lawler, 19, and Ronald Grunewald, 22, were given identical sentences of one year to two years in a state prison for receiving stolen property in Union Dale Borough on September 15, 2005.
Lawler was also fined $1,000 plus $250 for DNA testing and the cost of prosecution, and will be on probation for five years after his release from prison. He was handed another year on probation and fined $300 and ordered to pay an additional $250 for DNA testing for possession of drug paraphernalia in Lenox Township on October 11, 2005.
Grunewald will also be on probation for five years after he is released from prison. In addition, he was fined $1,000, and must pay $250 DNA testing fees, plus the cost of prosecution.
Korey Dean Sorensen, 19, of Montrose, was given four jail sentences on an assortment of criminal activities including possession of a controlled substance in Montrose on May 20, 2005. Three jail sentences of 12 months to 24 months will run concurrent with an initial sentence of 15 days to one month in the Susquehanna County Jail.
Besides the drug possession, Sorensen was sentenced for institutional vandalism in Montrose on July 4, 2005; receiving stolen property in Susquehanna County on June 13, 2005; and, aggravated assault in Montrose on November 23, 2005. He was also fined a total of $1,059, plus $500 in DNA testing fees and must attend drug and alcohol classes while he is incarcerated.
Fred W. Demann, 43, of Brackney received six months state probation and was fined $300 for driving under the influence in Choconut Township on July 23, 2005. He was also fined $25 for operating a motor vehicle without official certificate of inspection, and paid an additional $25 fine for meeting a vehicle proceeding in the opposite direction. Finally, he must attend alcohol safe driving school and receive drug and alcohol evaluation.
William Smith, 34, of Montrose was sentenced to a jail term of 30 days to six months and fined $750 for driving under the influence in Great Bend Township on May 11, 2005. He was also ordered to pay $300 Act 198 fees, $100 CAT, and $10 EMS. And he was fined $25 plus $75 in related costs for driving on roadways laned for traffic in Great Bend Township on May 11,2005.
Barbara Ann Wheeler, 49, of South Gibson was sentenced to serve six months to 23 1/2 months in the county jail with work release privileges, for driving under the influence in Harford Township on March 26,2005. She was also fined $500 plus $250 CAT, $300, Act 198 fee, and $10, EMS.
Keith Todd, 36, of Montrose will spend 48 months to 12 years in a state correctional facility to run concurrent to any current sentence being served, and pay $1,000 fine for robbery in Great Bend Township on October 2, 2005. He also paid $240 DNA testing fee and was ordered to continue drug and alcohol treatment.
Dustin G. Harvey, 20, of South Montrose was fined $300 and placed on state probation for six months for driving under the influence in Springville Township on June 30. 2005. He was also ordered to pay $100 Act 198 fees, $50, CAT, and $10 EMS and must complete an alcohol highway safe driving school program.
Tammy Lynn Rodney, 28, of South Montrose, was remanded to the county jail for 90 days to 23 1/2 months for driving under the influence in Forest Lake Township on June 16, 2005. She was also fined $1,500, and must pay $300, Act 198 fee, $100, CAT, and $10 EMS and attend alcohol highway safe driving program.
Joel C. Thompson, 23, of New Milford was placed on probation for six months and fined $200 for driving under the influence in Hallstead on July 24, 2004. He also paid $300 Act 198 fee, $100, CAT, and $10 EMS and must attend alcohol highway safe driving program. In addition he must do 25 hours of community service.
Leland Glenn LaCoe, 58, of Factoryville was sentenced to a term of 14 days to six months in the county jail and fined $1,000 for driving under the influence in Harford Township on July 2, 2005. He also paid $250 DNA testing fees and must attend alcohol highway safe driving school.
Nicholas Spano, 20, of Vestal, NY, one year state probation, $300 fine plus cost of prosecution, cannot transport, consume or possess alcoholic beverages, and must perform 50 hours of community service for theft by unlawful taking in New Milford Township on November 7, 2005.
Michael Patrick Bollinger, 24, of Montrose, 18 months state probation, $400 fine, cannot possess firearms, not to possess any firearms and not to possess, transport or consume alcoholic beverages, for terroristic threats on September 17, 2005 in Montrose.
Peggy Gene Curtis, 25, of Old Forge paid a $300 fine and was placed on probation for six months for theft by unlawful taking in Forest City on April 11, 2005. She was also ordered to perform 25 hours of community service.
Jackie Lee Ross, 38, of Nicholson, was placed on state probation for one year and fined $300 for simple assault in Harford Township on December 21, 2005. He was ordered to make restitution and not to possess any firearms.
Frederick Kenneth Steffens, Jr., 21, of Binghamton, NY, one year state probation, $250 fine and must pay restitution to his victims, for receiving stolen property in Great Bend Township on September 22, 2005.
Wayne Alan Mattox, 43, of Montrose, was sentenced to serve 12 months to 24 months in a state correctional facility and was fined $500 for recklessly endangering another person in Liberty Township on May 18, 2005. He was also fined $150 for harassment and $250 for disorderly conduct, and paid $250 DNA testing fee and cannot have contact with anyone under the age of 15.
David Michael Kinsley, 24, of Hallstead, one year to 30 months in a state correctional facility followed by 2 1/2 years probation, $500 fine and 50 hours of community service for criminal use of communication facility in New Milford on September 8, 2005.
Michelle Lynn Shepard, 32, of New Milford, four months to 23 1/2 months in the county jail and $300 fine for theft by deception in Jackson Township on January 24, 2005. Also two months to 23 1/2 months in the county jail to run concurrent with first sentence, and $250 fine for retail theft in Bridgewater Township on February 10, 2005.
Three tax collectors in the Blue Ridge School District have filed a suit against the district claiming that an 80 percent reduction in their compensation for collecting the school taxes is arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable.
The plaintiffs in the suit are Vicki L. Drake, tax collector for New Milford Borough; Margo B. Merritt, tax collector for Great Bend Township; and, Miriam J. Page, tax collector for Jackson Township.
Papers filed in the Susquehanna County Courthouse by their attorney, Michael J. Giangrieco, point out that in the tax year 2005 the school district paid the plaintiffs the sum of $2.75 per tax bill for school occupation per capita and three dollars per tax bill for school real estate.
Through their attorney, the plaintiffs allege that the school district passed a resolution setting the rate of pay for the tax collectors at 60 cents per tax bill in the 2006 tax year.
In the lawsuit Giangrieco alleges that the Blue Ridge School District is attempting to financially force the plaintiffs from collecting taxes by setting a wholly unreasonable compensation plan. He said the school district is attempting to collect their own taxes in direct violation of the law.
“The proposed reduction of the compensation to 60 cents per tax bill must be overturned,” Giangrieco said. He said the proposed remuneration is “grossly inadequate for the duties and responsibilities involved in the collection of school taxes.”
The three tax collectors are asking the court to declare the resolution approved by the Blue Ridge Board of Education null and void and asks that the rate be returned to the level paid before the school board reduced the compensation plan.
An unknown white male walked to the Great Bend Sunoco April 19, just after 1:30 a.m. The man attempted to open the front door of the convenience store, which was locked. After failing to open the door, the man walked away. State Police believe this is the same man that successfully robbed the Sunoco March 24. He is described as a 5’ 11” white male, 185 lbs, wearing a black t-shirt and blue jeans.*
Kaleb Williams of Susquehanna is now behind bars after an aggravated assault April 21. He has four criminal charges against him after threatening Kitty Williams of Great Bend. After threatening and damaging Kitty’s vehicle, Kaleb hit Jamie Kelly of Hallstead in the head, knee and chest with a hammer. Kaleb Williams is in the Susquehanna County Jail; his bale is posted at $250,000.
HIT & RUN ACCIDENT
John Smith of Clifford was driving his 1995 Pontiac Grand Prix April 21 in Clifford Twp., when his car was hit by a green Chevy Blazer. Smith was turning into the Clifford Post Office parking lot at the time of the accident. The Blazer was last seen driving away from the scene on SR106.*
After 11 p.m., April 22, someone driving on Bebe Hollow Rd. in Bridgewater Twp. damaged a 2001 Suzuki GSX-R600 motorcycle, owned by Benjamin MacGeorge of Montrose. Someone had thrown a beer bottle at the motorcycle while driving by, damaging the motorcycle’s cowling.*
HIT & RUN
A 2003 Dodge Neon received minor damage April 22, after someone hit the parked car in P.J. O’hare’s parking lot in Susquehanna. The driver fled the scene after hitting the Neon.*
Carol Litronica, Bridgewater Twp, has reported that between April 19 and April 22, she lost a Liberty Bank Envelope with a large amount of money somewhere in the Montrose area.*
Sometime overnight between April 17 and April 18, someone broke into several vehicles, stealing electronics. Rebekah Lee, Bradley Goodman, Elizabeth Hand, and Scott and Eliza Fuhrey of Springville were all victims of the theft, as well as Chris Carney and Karen Faillace of Dimock. Two JVC car CD players, a Sony five disc changer, and at least 20 CDs were taken from the vehicles.*
TWO CAR CRASH
Jeremy Russell of Little Meadows was traveling southbound on SR858 in Apolacon Twp. April 22, when he nearly hit an oncoming vehicle, lost control and hit Pamela Eshbaugh of Little Meadows head on. Jeremy’s Pontiac Grand Prix spun off the roadway, while Pamela’s Pontiac Grand Am was forced backwards into a tree. Jeremy Russell, Pamela Eshbaugh, and two young girls in the back of her car were all taken to Wilson Memorial Hospital in Binghamton.
QUARRY STONE TABLE SAW THEFT
Sometime between April 19 and April 24, someone stole a stone table saw from Christopher Fiorentino’s quarry on SR1037 near Hallstead. The stone saw has a new 24hp Honda engine and blue exterior.*
Gerald Washburn, 64, Susquehanna and two young children were traveling northbound on East Lake Rd. in New Milford Twp. April 24, when a Ford Escort traveling southbound lost control and hit Washburn, then hit a utility pole on the side of the road. The 16-year old driver of the Escort and the two children with Washburn were taken to Barnes Kasson Hospital in Susquehanna.
ROLL OVER ACCIDENT
Byron Benedict, 25, Great Bend, was traveling southbound on I81 near the NY state border April 23, when he lost control of his car in the rain. The Pontiac spun out, hit the median and then rolled onto its roof. Benedict is now facing several citations, including driving with a suspended license.
Bernice Tracy of Hallstead was driving her 2003 Chevy S-10 westbound on SR706 in Bridgewater Twp. April 25, when she lost control of her truck trying to negotiate a turn on the wet road. Tracy was arrested for suspicion of DUI, charges are now pending.
RECEIVING STOLEN PROPERTY
State Police found a stolen ATV on Edward F. Plitt’s property on 1405 Gage Rd. in Rush Twp April 23. The orange 2005 Polaris ATV was first reported stolen to the State Police in Tunkhannock.
An adolescent male from Binghamton, NY was driving his 1998 Dodge Neon eastbound on SR4002 in Liberty Twp April 15, when he lost control of his car. After rounding a curve in the road, his car drifted off the road, went down a steep embankment, and rolled over onto its roof. The teen was not injured in the accident, but did receive a citation.
Sometime between April 15 and April 17, someone smashed the rear window Louella Collidge’s green Dodge Caravan. It happened at her home on Wellington and Dayton Ave. in Hallstead.*
TWO CAR CRASH
Diane Chase of Staten Island, NY and Carol Lastowka of Springfield were preparing to leave the northbound lanes of SR0805 in Little Meadows onto another road April 15, when their 2005 Nissan Maxima was rear ended. Jeffery Aeppli of Stevensville and two 16-year old boys were traveling northbound in a 2003 Volkswagen Passat that rear ended the Maxima. The driver of the Passat and the passenger of the Maxima were both injured in the accident. All involved were wearing their seatbelts, and both cars were moderately damaged in the accident.
*Anyone with information is asked to call the Pennsylvania State Police in Gibson at (570)465-3154.
With a full board present, Susquehanna Boro Council ‘s April 25 meeting began with some great news. Mayor Reported that the boro’s community renewal campaign, with help from the county Housing and Redevelopment Authority received funding to rehabilitate approximately 15 houses in Susquehanna Borough. A total of $300,000 in neighborhood beautification and restoration funding has been approved. And, TREHAB has assisted the borough and the SCDA in applying for additional funding through the DCED’s Main Street program; the boro has just successfully received another $30,000 to be used toward façade beautification in the downtown business district. “With state and local programs we will continue our mission of community revitalization,” she said.
Requesting time on the agenda to discuss the Agility program were two representatives from PENNDOT, assistant manager Bill White and Rick Roberts, foreman of the surface treatment crew. Mr. White gave a rundown of projects that had been discussed with Susquehanna, drainage and paving on Laurel St., and paving on Front St. and Forth Ave. After reading press reports of the April 11 meeting, it appeared that there was some miscommunication. He explained that all paving is done through an independent contractor, not by PENNDOT itself. PENNDOT would draw up a work plan, which would then have to be approved by the contractor and by PENNDOT’s union.
Mr. Williams stated that he had been told that, at a meeting held to discuss Agility projects that PENNDOT’s part of the agreement would only be for a wood chipper and would not include paving. Mr. White responded that wood chipping was a “side discussion” at that meeting, and that it would need to be done before winter assignments are finished, which they now are. He said that it could be looked into again in the Fall.
However, PENNDOT is still interested in working with the boro on paving and drainage projects. The boro would be charged the same rates that PENNDOT is charged for an excavator with an operator (by the independent contractor), at a substantially lower rate than the boro would have to pay if the work was contracted out by the boro. The boro would provide some personnel, piping and catch basins, and PENNDOT would cut the roadway and haul debris.
Mr. White reiterated that the main focus of the Agility meeting was paving, and that he did do a walk-through on April 6 to see the area in question.
Mr. Williams apologized for the misunderstanding.
Mr. White asked if the boro is still interested in proceeding with the projects discussed, pending approval by the union. Council agreed that they are.
Mr. White said that he had spoken with streets commissioner Steve Glover to discuss expanding the boro’s commitment to street sweeping, to include not only Susquehanna, but Thompson Boro, Lanesboro, and Oakland. (The agreement covers only state roads.)
Mr. White said that he would prepare cost schedule, showing the number of hours for the boro’s contribution, which would then need to be approved by the boro and by the union.
Mr. Whitehead asked if the 20-30 hours already put in for street sweeping would apply towards the Agility agreement; Mr. White said that it would not, any work done without a signed agreement in place would not count. Mr. Matis said that council had been told otherwise. It was agreed that it would be in the boro’s best interest to hold off on sweeping until a plan is approved.
Mr. White said that PENNDOT would work up an estimate and contact Mr. Williams or Mr. Matis when figures are ready.
Mr. Kelly asked about the bridge on Main Street, where the turning lane has been closed off. Council has received numerous complaints from residents, who would like to know how long the lane will be closed. Mr. White agreed to look into it and report his findings to council.
In other business, Mr. Kelly reported that the Streets Committee has been looking into more efficient use of time and equipment and the best method for pothole filling. Mr. Williams said that the best way would be to properly saw cut the area, tamp down base material, then apply base coat and top coat. Mayor Reddon stressed that residents are going to need to be patient, as it will take some time and will be an inconvenience, but it will be done right.
Spring cleanup projects were discussed. A street cleaning schedule has been set, for May 8 – 26. During this time, residents can sweep their sidewalks and driveways and leave the debris in front of the curb when their street is scheduled for sweeping so that it can be picked up. Tentative dates of June 5 – 7 have been set for metal pickup. A motion carried to approve, and to notify residents of the schedules for both once dates are finalized.
A cut-off date for leaf pickup was set at May 27. Mr. Williams suggested that, in the fall when there would be more, council consider charging a nominal fee for leaf pickup, with proceeds used towards constructing a compost area. Once the leaves are composted, the material could be offered to residents. In the meantime, council can look into grant funding for a containment system.
Mr. Kelly stressed that no more dumping of debris of any kind under the bridge would be tolerated. Mr. Matis added that fines would be levied, and Mr. Whitehead suggested that signs be posted. It was noted that during a recent cleanup of the area coordinated by Ace Cuevas, an individual showed up and attempted to dump in that area. Mr. Cuevas and his group of volunteers were commended for their efforts. Mr. Cuevas said that another cleanup would be needed to dispose of metal and tires; all garbage has been picked up.
New Codes Enforcement Officer Sean Burns has amended the checklist used for rental inspections; a motion carried to approve it with some allowance for “tweaking” if necessary. Mr. Kelly asked council to consider a possible waiver on rental inspections (for a year or two) for landlords who have consistently kept their properties in good order. Copies of the ordinance were made available to review for possible amendments.
During public comment, two residents had complaints about a broken sluice pipe on West Main causing runoff down the hill to Front St., and a catch basin on Front that needs to be cleaned. Mr. Cuevas noted that a ditch on Front St. is plugged with garbage dumped there, particularly a couch. And, there was a question about broken blacktop on Front. St.; Mr. Kelly said that there are plans to pave it.
Margaret Biegert had some questions about the railroad cars that were donated to the boro; this would be discussed in detail at the rail committee which was set to meet the following evening.
At their last meeting, council had tabled a request from the county Tax Claim Bureau, to authorize accepting minimal bids for several properties in the boro. It had been determined that any orders of demolition or to bring the properties up to code that were attached to these properties would still be in force even if the property changes hands. A carried to allow the bureau to proceed.
A motion carried to put out bids to have the lampposts at the Drinker Creek park re-installed.
A motion carried to obtain prices for rental and purchase of a tar buggy, needed for patching and sealing. Once prices have been obtained, council will make a decision on whether to rent or to purchase and how to finance the purchase if that is what is decided.
Mr. Kelly reported that Ron Dubas had inquired about having the Shops Plaza parking lot swept (with the street sweeper). He would be willing to make a donation, Mr. Kelly said and noted that Mr. Dubas always allows use of the lot for parking for public functions and has made many contributions to the community. A motion carried to approve.
A motion carried to accept a resolution naming the National Incident Management System as the basis for all incident management in the boro. All council members may be required to take a NIMS course; Mr. Williams recommended that a class offered by the county would be more beneficial than an on-line course that is offered.
Permission was given to put up banners at the end of the Veterans Memorial Bridge and at the Drinker Creek park advertising a benefit for the family of Wayne Merritt that will be held at Legion Post 86 on May 20.
Lastly, Mayor Reddon reported that Chris Maby, Lanesboro’s mayor has invited representatives from Susquehanna and Oakland to attend an information session on zoning that will be held on May 3.
The next meeting will be at 7 p.m. on May 9 in the boro building.
Clarence B. Carpenter (aka) Clarence E. Carpenter, Martha J. Carpenter to Clarence E. Carpenter, Danbury, TX, Martha J. Carpenter, in New Milford Township for one dollar.
Byron D. Lesjack, Carol J. Lesjack to Richard K. Hacker, Ava J. Hacker, in Great Bend Township for $224,000.
Tanya Grover, Kurt Grover, to Shirley A. Crowell, Carbondale, Charles E. Crowell Jr., in Lenox Township for $202,500.
Reese C. Foster, Dolores V. Foster, to Christopher R. Foster, Townsent, DE, Eileen M. Foster, in Brooklyn Township for one dollar.
Linda L. Painter, Ronald Painter to Paul F. Stanley, Apalachin, NY, in Rush Township for $3,000.
Rudolph J. Kovalefski (aka) Rudolph J. Kovalefsky, Marlene L. Kovalefsky to Keith Roettenbacher, Montrose, in Franklin Township for $2,500.
Keith Roettenbacher to Keith Roettenbacher, Montrose, in Franklin Township for one dollar.
Elizabeth H. Bialy (aka) Elizabeth H. Bialey, Kevin C. Bialy to Richard C. Higgins Jr., East Aurora, NY, Robert W. Higgins, in Harford Township for $43,000.
Roger J. Hall, Mira S.F.T. Hall to Simon T. W. Greenshields (family trust), Wilton, CT, Julene M. Greenshields (family trust) in Harmony Township for $180,000.
Cassford Management to Shawn R. Burns, Susquehanna, Julie D. Burns, in Susquehanna for $47,500.
Wladimir Zarski, Lisbeth Zarski to Edward T. Kurz, Hop Bottom, in Brooklyn Township for $15,000.
Patrick J. Skelly, Anne Skelly to Habitat for Humanity of Susquehanna County PA Inc., Montrose, in Susquehanna for one dollar.
Patrick N. Skelly to Habitat for Humanity of Susquehanna County PA Inc., Montrose, in Susquehanna County for one dollar.
Katherine Lynn Williams (estate), Katherine L. Williams (estate) to Thomas H. Williams, Brackney, in Silver Lake Township for one dollar.
Kevin D. Mack, Anna M. Mack to Bonnie L. Swanson, New Milford, in New Milford Township for $132,000.
United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development to Robert Mannion, Sarasota, FL, in Forest City for $49,400.
Anthony A. Kromko, Dorothy Kromko to Anthony A. Kromko, Hop Bottom, in Lathrop Township for one dollar.
Sandra L. Yarosh, Willard J. Yarosh to Sirva Relocation Credit, Philadelphia, in Great Bend Township for $170,000.
Carol Ruth Whiteley Hallam (revocable trust by trustee) to Carol Ruth Whiteley, Montrose, Hal James Hallam, in Bridgewater Township for one dollar.
Sirva Relocation Trust to Karen Frazzetta, Great Bend, in Great Bend Township for $170,000.
Harvey F. Slack (estate), Nancy M. Hladky, Frederick T. Slack, Amy L. Garrison, David Slack to Nancy M. Hladky, Susquehanna, in Jackson Township for $52,140.
Marie Volz (estate) to Skip Tracy, New Milford, in Lathrop Township for $5,500.
Brian and Liz to Raymond G. Sheridan Jr., Montrose, in New Milford Borough for $80,000.
Matthew Gardoski, Ronalyn Corbin to Matthew Gardoski, Nicholson, in Lathrop Township for one dollar.
Rexford P. Bowman II (aka) Rexford P. Rexford Jr., Mildred P. Rexford Jr., to Rexford P. Bowman Jr., Butler, NJ, Mildred Bowman, in Lathrop Township for one dollar.
JP Morgan Chase Bank (by power of attorney) to Judith C. Keepers, Bristol, in Thompson Township for $54,500.
John R. Martin IV, Elizabeth L. Martin to John R. Martin IV, Kingsley, in Brooklyn Township for one dollar.
John June Jr. to Joseph June, Swoyersville, Peggy June, in Forest Lake Township for $6,000.
Michael Anthony Vidmosko to Joseph June, Swoyersville, Peggy June, in Forest Lake Township for $8,450.
Franceski Lumber Company to L&F Realty Co. Inc., Forest City, in Forest City for $100.
L&F Realty Co. Inc., Forest City to Franceski Lumber Company, in Forest City for $100.
Clark A. Cable to Margaret Gorton, Union Dale, in Union Dale Borough for one dollar.
James Franceski, Dorothy Franceski to Franceski Lumber Co., Forest City, in Ararat Township for $1,000.
Frank A. Kwader, Elizabeth Kwader to Virginia Betley, Blakely, Craig Yost, in Bridgewater Township for $165,000.
Patricia J. Oleson, Bert J. Olechnowicz, Fred J. Oleson to Malcolm Reid, Brooklyn, NY, Shalhevet Goldhar, in Herrick Township for $210,000.
Stefania Hnatchenko (by Tax Claim Bureau), Susquehanna County Tax Claim Bureau to O.K. Shaffer, Forksville, in Thompson Borough for $9,000.
Francis J. Murphy (by Tax Claim Bureau), Susquehanna County Tax Claim Bureau, to Thomas J. Lopatofsky Jr., Union Dale, Donna Fekette, in Brooklyn Township for $4,700.
Anthony J. Kruttel (by Tax Claim Bureau), Susquehanna County Tax Claim Bureau, to Thomas J. Lopatofsky Jr., Union Dale, in Clifford Township for $950.
Arkadi Dechillo (by Tax Claim Bureau), Susquehanna County Tax Claim Bureau, to Molenko Inc., Brooklyn Township, in Brooklyn Township for $1,706.
Helen Wizbicki (by Tax Claim Bureau), Susquehanna County Tax Claim Bureau, to David M. Rockwell, Susquehanna, in Forest City for $9,000. |
Erica G. O'Brien (by Tax Claim Bureau), Dorothy V. Yates (by Tax Claim Bureau), Susquehanna County Tax Claim Bureau, to Donna Fekette, New Milford, Thomas J. Lopatofsky Jr., in Herrick Township for $1,848.
Leo Samuel Clapper Jr. (by Tax Claim Bureau), Susquehanna County Tax Claim Bureau, to Mary E. Snyder, Susquehanna, in Lanesboro Borough for $2,448.
Calvin Gleeson (by Tax Claim Bureau), Patricia Gleeson (by Tax Claim Bureau), Susquehanna County Tax Claim Bureau to Matthew R. Brand, Montrose, in Liberty Township for $5,252.
Ada H. Malkemer (by Tax Claim Bureau), Susquehanna County Tax Claim Bureau, to John A. Boner, Springville, in Springville Township for $6,100.
Joyce A. Bell (estate by Tax Claim Bureau), Susquehanna County Tax Claim Bureau, to William A. Burke III, Meshoppen, in Auburn Township for $900.
Frederick Follette (by Tax Claim Bureau), Lillian Follette (by Tax Claim Bureau), Susquehanna County Tax Claim Bureau, to David Hackett, Montrose, Michele Hackett, in Bridgewater Township for $1,108.
Kenneth Thompson (by Tax Claim Bureau), Alleta Thompson (by Tax Claim Bureau) to Roger Thompson, Montrose, in Liberty Township for $1,451.
Diane M. Montross (by Tax Claim Bureau), Susquehanna County Tax Claim Bureau, to O.K. Shaffer, Forksville, in Ararat Township for $7,000.
William J. Selby (by Tax Claim Bureau), Emily Selby (by Tax Claim Bureau) Susquehanna County Tax Claim Bureau, to Group W. Furniture Inc., Union Dale, in Ararat Township for $3,600.
Anthony J. Kruttel (by Tax Claim Bureau), Margaret Kruttel (by Tax Claim Bureau), Susquehanna County Tax Claim Bureau, to Thomas J. Lopatofsky, Union Dale, in Clifford Township for $1,100.
Michael P. Bollinger and Melissa Sue Voorhees, both of Montrose.
James R. Holbert, RR5, Montrose and Jessie Ruth Smoker, Montrose.
Darwin Paul Raymond and Nicole LaFrance, both of Endwell, NY.
Sarah VanVleck, Lenoxville vs. Shawn VanVleck, Tunkhannock. Wed in 1996.
Edward James Osborn, Montrose vs. Michelle J. Osborn, Montrose. Wed in 2001.
The Mountain View School District board convened Monday, April 24 and efficiently executed business. Recently tables were purchased for the elementary cafeteria. The board displayed two new tables for the public to review. Everyone expressed pleasure with the purchase. The Administration expressed its corporate gratitude on behalf of the students. The board expects many years of good use from the tables.
One of the new tables purchased for the elementary cafeteria.
The Personnel Committee submitted a substitute list for which approval was received. The Summer School program is to be held at the high school.
The Policy Committee had a second reading for the Dress & Grooming Policy.
A first reading was given for the following three policies: Use of Facilities; Purchases Not Budgeted; and Student Wellness. Mr. John Halupke questioned as to who will actually enforce the Wellness policy. It was confirmed by the board that the Wellness Policy will prohibit withholding a child from recess as punishment. Physical activity will be encouraged, even at home which is a “loophole” due to lack of jurisdiction on enforcement.
The Education Committee submitted and received approval for field trips and conferences. A Program of Studies for seventh and eighth grades was approved. Approval was given for the Endless Mountain Theatre Group for August 11-13, to use the building. Finally, the board approved the disciplinary action for a student as adjudicated.
The Building & Site, Transportation and Negotiation Committees had little or nothing to report.
For new business a request was made to adjust the flashing lights for a 7:00 a.m. start time. May 5 and 6 are the dates for the school play, which will be held at 7:00 p.m.
Clifford Township is making history.
Not only are township residents enthused and excited about the forthcoming Bicentennial celebration, but some of them now feel it is time to blend the current events with highlights of the township’s 200-year history. The bottom line is the birth of a new organization dedicated to making sure that Clifford Township will not be forgotten.
The Clifford Township Historical Society Inc. held an organization meeting recently and selected a couple of officers and five directors. Sandra Wilmot will go down in history as the first president of the society and Mary Hoehing is the first treasurer. The Board of Directors includes Kim Bostjancic board chair; Larry Wilson, John Swetter, Sandra Wilmot, and Carol Gargan.
The society is incorporated and has filed paperwork for tax purposes making it eligible to receive grants and tax deductible contributions. A set of bylaws is already in place.
A membership drive is underway. Anyone interested in becoming a charter member is invited to consider any of the organization’s membership categories. Annual memberships are as follows: individual, $10; family, $25; lifetime, $100; and, corporate memberships, $250. Membership dues are tax deductible and may be purchased by sending a check made out to The Clifford Township Historical Society, to Linda Shuma, 9 Elkwood Lane, Forest City, PA 18421.
The society has already secured a home, having negotiated a 25-year lease with Tom and Dawn Brozonis, owners of the Hoover District one-room schoolhouse. Plans to renovate the building are on the drawing board and the society hopes to restore it to its original condition. After the Bicentennial, the society will open the building to the public and it will become a permanent home for items donated for the bicentennial.
The Historical Society’s involvement with the bicentennial includes the book, “Clifford Township – 200 Years” and the making of a two-hour DVD by the same name. Information on purchasing the book or the video can be found on the Internet at www.cliffordpa.com.
The society will also have special booths at the bicentennial featuring an assortment of unique items and will host an antique auction.
Actually the group responsible for creating the Historical Society started with a bicentennial project, a 2006 calendar based on the 12 school districts that were once scattered throughout the sprawling township. “Our first project was well received,” said Kim Bostjancic, chair of the society. “If we keep getting responses like that we will be able to reach all our goals. Wouldn't that be wonderful?”
For the first time in well over a year, the Odd Fellows Hall was not on the agenda at a meeting of the Harford Township Supervisors on April 25. Before the meeting opened, however, the Supervisors were deliberating with Mark Tunis, attorney for Bronson Pinchot, the property's recent purchaser. Supervisor Rick Pisasik said the discussions concerned wording in some legal documents pertaining to the transfer of the property, and, although the results would ultimately become public documents, Mr. Pisasik declined to reveal the details of the negotiations.
The first order of official business was to consider bids for dust-control materials from Pennsy Asphalt and Vestal Asphalt. The latter was awarded the business for low bids on 30,000 gallons of calcium chloride at $0.832 per gallon, delivered; and 30,000 gallons of AEP oil at $0.896 per gallon, delivered.
The Supervisors then recognized Connie Breese, who, with Linda Bonham and Bob DeLuca, had finished auditing the township's books. Ms. Breese reported that the auditors had found the township's books in order, and thanked township Secretary, Supervisor Sue Furney, for her efficiency in making materials available.
Ms. Breese said that all township accounts are now computerized except payroll. The auditors hoped that payroll would soon be standardized in the township's accounting system. The auditors also questioned the township's practice of payroll withholding for employees' "personal obligations." Mr. Pisasik declined to explain what such withholdings might be for, saying that they were matters personal to the employees. But he said that withholding for personal reasons is common practice, and the township will ensure that what it is doing for the employees is proper.
The Supervisors next considered two quotes for summer lawn care on township property. They selected Graf Lawn Care, primarily because Graf could provide evidence of insurance, and because Graf has done the work acceptably for several years.
The annual Harford Township Cleanup program is scheduled for the week of June 5-9. The popular program offers residents a way to be rid of virtually any kind of unwanted materials. The major focus is to collect metals – old cars, appliances, lawn furniture, some building materials – that can be sold to salvagers.
Last year the township collected a record 114 loads. The township generally runs the program at a slight loss to the taxpayers, but, as Mr. Pisasik said, it's "still a good value." With costs rising for dumpsters, fuel and advertising, the Supervisors raised the per-load fee this year to $38 (from $35).
Details on the township cleanup program are available at the township office. Ms. Furney said that scrap wood is discouraged, since it increases volume without salvage value. In addition, she is asking residents to collect smaller materials such as nails in containers so they don't accumulate in the trucks. Household garbage will not be accepted. For cleanup purposes, a "load" is a full-size pickup truck with a staked body. Tires are accepted, for an additional $3 apiece (passenger car tires only). Ms. Furney said that she is encouraging residents to dispose of tires through the county recycling program, where the cost is lower and larger tires may be accepted.
The Supervisors will publish notice of an ordinance that "re-establishes" Harford's membership in the county Council of Governments (COG). For some reason, COG is asking all of its members to renew their vows through ordinances. Supervisor Terry VanGorden objected to a 150% increase in annual dues for COG membership; Harford will now pay $260. The new membership fees are based on population. Mr. Pisasik, a former official with COG, said that, while the COG Sewage and Codes Committees had their own sources of funds, the COG organization itself relies on membership fees from municipalities to operate.
All municipalities nationwide are being asked to participate in something called the National Incident Management System (NIMS), an initiative out of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) of the Department of Homeland Security that hopes to ensure a consistent response across the country to emergency situations. All emergency response personnel (firefighters, etc.) are expected to be trained in NIMS procedures. Others – such as Harford Township Supervisors – who may have to interact with others outside of their own jurisdiction during an emergency, are encouraged to participate by taking one or more courses prepared by FEMA. Mr. VanGorden (who is also a member of the Harford Fire Company), Ms. Furney, and two other township employees have already taken the introductory four-hour course (which can also be taken on-line).
That preparation probably won't help Election Judge Maureen Warren, who needs to squeeze more space out of the tiny Harford Township office, which will serve as a polling place for the May 16 primary election. Ms. Warren said that an electronic voting machine will have to be available for handicapped voters. It requires sufficient space to accommodate wheelchairs and such, and it must be placed in such a way that the screen cannot be viewed from behind the voter. Ms. Warren and the Supervisors considered a number of changes to the room's configuration, and, while something will be worked out for this election, it is clear that another polling place will have to be found for the future. The Supervisors agreed to work with Ms. Warren to find another, more suitable location.
The Harford Township Supervisors meet twice a month in public session, once on the second Saturday, at 10:00 a.m., and once on the fourth Tuesday, beginning at 7:30 p.m. All meetings are in the current township polling place on Route 547.
The numbers are premature. So much so that the Board of Education has not voted on them. But if by any chance they are in the ballpark, taxpayers in the Forest City Regional School District can expect a sizeable increase in their school tax bills to finance the 2006-2007 school year.
One thing is just about certain. The school district’s next budget will exceed $10 million for the first time in the school’s history. If that happens, the total cost per student in the 2006-2007 school year will exceed $10,000.
Early figures show Vandling Borough getting socked with a tax increase of 11.6 mills; Forest City, Union Dale and Herrick Township, plus 3.6 mills; and, Clinton II and Pleasant Mount, an increase of 1.4 mills.
If the numbers are not changed, school taxes in Vandling will increase by $129, in Clinton II and Pleasant Mount the increase will be $126; and, in Forest City, Union Dale and Herrick Township, taxes for school purposes will increase by $103. Based upon average assessments provided by Mrs. Price, estimated school taxes for the 2006-2007 school year will average $1,107 in Clinton II and Pleasant Mount, $945 in Forest City, Union Dale and Herrick Township; and, $919 in Vandling. However, the Board of Education has not had its turn at trimming the budget and when it did last year, the changes reduced the initial tax estimates.
Carolyn Price, the board’s latest financial wizard, unveiled the proposed school budget at last week’s board meeting. Her slide show presentation revealed that taxpayers in the six participating municipalities could end up pumping the same amount of money into the district budget as the state. An alternative plan using $327,289 of the fund balance would push the local revenue higher than the combined revenues from the state and federal governments.
Mrs. Price pointed out that the state income budgetary items reveal increases of $150,972 in basic education subsidy and $12,010 in special education subsidy. The district is also hoping it can secure an accountability grant of $149,957, and an educational assistance grant of $48,762.
Included in new developments for the 2006-2007 school year is a proposal to add an art/gifted teacher who will serve students from kindergarten to the 12th grade; the addition of another guidance counselor; and, continued curriculum development. Also in the next school year are allowances for salary increases as per negotiated agreements, an increase of 1.77 percent in pension contributions, and an increase of nine percent in health insurance.
Mrs. Price also pointed out that technology costs will soar to $220,000; $64,000 will be used to purchase textbooks; the cost of special education will increase 20 percent; and, natural gas costs will increase by 33 percent.
In another matter, the Board of Education accepted a donation of $7,500 from the PTO to be used, along with a matching state grant, for equipping a playground for pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students.
Other motions approved by the board included:
Approving the pre-K/Headstart agreement between Forest City and the Scranton/Lackawanna Human Development Agency for the 2006-07 school year.
Naming Marianne Lewandowski as board secretary pro tempore effective April 10 and extending through August, 2006.
Approving the use of school facilities for soccer clinics that will run on Sunday evenings from May 1 through August 15.
Approving the use of school facilities for the Tri-County Human Services Center to conduct its annual summer camp program from June 26 through August 18.
Susquehanna County lost a loyal and dedicated employee last week when Linda Hollenbeck, who ran the county’s voter registration bureau for more than 27 years, retired.
Mrs. Hollenbeck left the county courthouse on April 21 leaving a group of weeping co-workers behind.
“It’s sad to see her leave,” said Teri Gulick, who works in the county assessment office. “Such a nice person.”
“A total class act,” were the words Roberta Kelly, chair of the Board of County Commissioners used to describe Mrs. Hollenbeck. “It was a pleasure to know her and fun to work with her.”
“I’m certainly going to miss her,” Minority Commissioner Mary Ann Warren said. Mrs. Warren worked with Mrs. Hollenbeck in the voter registration office before she became a commissioner.
While Mrs. Hollenbeck will be missed by most who knew and worked with her, Mrs. Kelly said the county is well prepared to introduce its new voting system in the May Primary Elections.
“We expect to hit some bumps, but we'll be okay,” Mrs. Kelly said.
In another matter, the Salary Board rejected a request from Susan Eddleston, county Prothonotary/Clerk of Courts, to create another second deputy for the Clerk of Courts office. The commissioners said they would like to see more information on the issue before they would approve the request, an indication it may only be a temporary setback.
Mrs. Eddleston told the board she needs another deputy clerk to assume the responsibilities of collecting payments and maintaining an accounting of fines levied in court by Susquehanna County President Judge Kenneth W. Seamans. The position was shifted to the Clerk of Courts Office when Donna Goff retired from the Probation Department a few weeks ago.
The commissioners approved a resolution designating the National Incident Management System (NIMS) as the county’s standard for incident management.
According to the resolution, the NIMS standardized procedures for managing personnel, communications, facilities and resources will improve Susquehanna County’s ability to utilize federal funding to enhance local and state agency readiness, maintain first responder safety and streamline incident management processes.
A second resolution passed by the commissioners authorizes the recycling of unusable computer equipment at a fee of 12 cents a pound for computers and five dollars per monitor.
Other motions passed by the commissioners completed the following business:
-the presentation to Mark R. Wood of his basic certification as a county EMA Coordinator.
-Hired Larry Delong of Montrose to the open part time position of correction officer at the Susquehanna County Jail. The Salary Board set his pay at $11.57 an hour as per union contract.
-Rehired Anthony DeSanto of Binghamton, NY to the open position of part time 911 dispatcher effective May 3. The Salary Board set his hourly rate at $8.50 in accordance with the union contract.
-Hired Brittany Ely of Montrose to the open position of part time clerk typist in the office of Register and Recorder effective June 9 at a salary of $7.33 per hour.
-Sold a 1994 Chevrolet Caprice to Mary M. Valone of Friendsville for $1,450; and a 1992 Chevrolet Truck and an equipment trailer to Petak Trucking of Simpson, for $5,100 and $700 respectively.
-Awarded the bid for paving the cul-de-sac in the Oakland Township Industrial park to Contour Construction of Binghamton, NY in the amount of $44,160. It was the lowest bid submitted.
The only Blue Ridge School Board meeting for April on the 24th began with a brief presentation by Food Service Director Linda Cole-Koloski, who showed the board a video produced by the state Department of Education about the Summer Food Service Program for Children. Last summer Blue Ridge participated in a pilot program for rural communities, fully funded through the state, that offers free lunches and a mid-morning snack to virtually any child who shows up. The state sponsors monitored the program at several locations around the state, taping some of the activities and comments by people involved, ultimately developing a short video.
Blue Ridge will participate again this summer. The pilot program serves rural communities, 40% of whose children are eligible for free or reduced-cost school lunches, a more liberal rate than similar programs which require a 50% level. The U.S. Department of Agriculture supports the program through the state.
According to the video, virtually any community organization can apply to operate a summer lunch program for children, including churches, camps, and even private businesses. In some places meals are delivered – and even served – aboard school buses. The meals are balanced and nutritious and are intended to serve children who otherwise might not have regular and ready access to healthy food. The title of the video was "Hunger Doesn't Take a Vacation."
Ms. Cole-Kolosky said that anyone aged 0 through 18 can eat for free. She operates the meal service at Blue Ridge in cooperation with the New Milford Summer Adventures program. Ms. Cole-Kolosky and Sallie Lewis of Summer Adventures were featured in the film.
The pilot program has been a tremendous success, yet still only about 10% of needy children in rural Pennsylvania are served. Ms. Cole-Kolosky said they hoped to "boost our participation" this year by advertising more widely. She said that if the pilot program is ever discontinued, she hoped that the school board and the community would find a way to continue it anyway.
Most of the rest of the meeting covered a list of personnel items. Resignations included Lisa Smith, Assistant Technology Coordinator Lisa Kowaleski, Anna Mack and Linda Cramer. Antoinette Shraga, Sharon Wolfe and Alice Whitney announced their intention to retire at the end of the school year. Lauren Konik and William Arthur were present to accept the Board's welcome as new hires. Ms. Konik will be a High School Learning Support Aide. Mr. Arthur will coach boys varsity basketball.
Resignations and retirements create openings, and during the brief workshop that followed the business meeting, Superintendent Robert McNamara listed a number of positions that will need to be filled over the summer. He said competition for staff will be high this year, as neighboring school districts are also filling many open slots. He invited board members to the annual retirement party on June 2, to be held at Inn of the Abingtons.
In other business, the board approved the High School summer school schedule, which will run from June 21 through July 20, as well as teachers for the program, Jennifer Kaub, Jane McNamara, Richard Mackrell and Alicia Ross. The summer driver-education program was also approved. Tuition will be $25, assuming a suitable instructor can be found.
Not long ago the Board accepted a recommendation to create a position to oversee graduation and related activities. Ms. Deborah Slater will earn an additional $600 to make sure that events proceed smoothly, and that the many scholarship donors and recipients are matched up and managed properly.
The board renewed its contract with Bethesda Day Treatment Center for next year. Bethesda operates a facility that tries to bring disruptive students back from the brink. The program is known as "alternative education" and is an attempt to help youth get out of trouble before they become entangled in the criminal justice system. The contract does not specify tuition because the operator has yet to finalize its budget. But Mr. McNamara said that the service is used on an as-needed basis; if the costs are too high, "we just won't participate," he said. He did say, however, that the program has "worked very well for the High School and the Middle School."
The Board approved another contract with the Scranton- Lackawanna Human Development Agency to help run the new kindergarten for 4-year-olds next year. Under the agreement, Scranton-Lackawanna will operate a Head Start program for up to 25 needy children, fully funded by the government. Blue Ridge will support the rest of the children enrolled. According to Robert Dietz, Principal in the Elementary School, some 51 children have already been signed up. He told the board that enrollments for age-5 kindergarten are running ahead of last year; so far 64 children are expected.
Mr. Dietz also reported that the local Masons will be sponsoring an ID program in the elementary school. Parents who wish to participate will receive DNA identification information on their children. Neither the Masons nor anyone else will retain the information.
High School Principal John Manchester described some pre-Prom programming for his charges. Local emergency personnel will stage a mock DUI crash at the school, that will feature participation by the county coroner, and even a helicopter. That will be followed by a mock funeral in the gym, and a session that will try to impress upon the young people the dangers of drinking and driving.
Middle School Principal Matthew Nebzydoski tried something new this year to get his charges motivated for the Spring PSSA tests. Instead of the standard pizza party (that was Mr. Dietz's bribe this year), students who had clean records for the month of March, and who put out extra effort in preparation for the tests, were treated to a trip to an ice-skating party in Scranton.
Achieving students weren't the only ones treated to a trip. Board members Priscinda Gaughan, Dawn Franks and Denise Bloomer attended the four-day National School Boards Association conference in Chicago earlier this month. Except for the weather (San Diego last year was much better), Ms. Gaughan said the conference was very interesting and worthwhile, and she thanked the Board for the opportunity to attend. A keynote speaker at the convention was former Secretary of State Colin Powell. Other notable speakers included Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, and Illinois Democrat Representative Jesse Jackson, Jr.
The Blue Ridge School Board will next meet in public session on Monday, May 8, beginning at 7:30 p.m., in the cafeteria in the Elementary School.
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