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May 14th

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Issue Home May 9, 2006 Site Home

Chemical Scare At Flying J
Forest City Parks To Close At Nightfall
Great Bend Township Roadmaster Resigns

Courthouse Report
Susky Receives Grant Funding
Courthouse Report
County Prepares For Bird Flu
New Milford Cleaning Up
Silver Lake Twp. Police Report
The Dumpster Is Here!

Chemical Scare At Flying J

Emergency officials had quite a scare this past Thursday when a tractor trailer carrying several different chemicals started leaking at the Flying J Travel Plaza in Gibson.

Emergency responders arrive at the scene of a possible hazardous chemical leak in Gibson.

It all started around 6:30 p.m. on May 4, when a truck driver inspecting his own trailer noticed liquid leaking from the back doors. Emergency responders from several area departments rushed to the scene to find the truck leaking in the midst of a packed parking lot.

Nearly every tractor trailer was evacuated from the parking lot, and for a while, no one was allowed into the travel plaza, even though the convenience store and restaurant stayed open to customers already inside. For a short time police even blocked the Gibson entrance ramp from the southbound lanes of I-81 since traffic was nearly at a standstill in front of the truck stop.

Firefighters tell The Susquehanna County Transcript that the tractor trailer was carrying multiple chemicals, including at least one that was flammable. Emergency vehicles blocked the tractor trailer entrance while decontamination tents were put in place. Assistant Fire Chief of Clifford Township, Dan O'Rourke, stated that any officials who approached the truck would be washed down in the decontamination tents, along with all of their equipment.

After several tense hours, HAZMAT officials discovered that the leak was from a motor oil container, not from any of the chemicals. Around 10:30 p.m., tractor trailers were allowed back into the truck stop while emergency crews cleaned up the scene. No one was injured during the chemical scare in Gibson.

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Forest City Parks To Close At Nightfall

Forest City’s two parks will be closed nightly according to action taken last week by the borough council.

On the heels of a recommendation from Mayor Nick Cost, council unanimously approved a motion to shut down Kennedy Park on Route 247 and Babe Ruth Park on Higgins Street at darkness. Police Chief Paul Lukus, who attended the meeting, was told to have police patrols make certain the new rule is being followed.

Mayor Cost urged council to take the action in view of vandalism done at the parks in previous years. “The only way to stop the damage at the parks is to close them when it gets dark,” the mayor said.

The only exceptions to the new rule will be for sanctioned activities which could include family reunions or picnics, and social or civic events. Sponsors of such activities must get approval from the borough.

Mayor Cost also said portable basketball equipment will no longer be allowed alongside any streets in the borough. “They must go,” he said.

The mayor also cautioned motorists that the police department will be going after speeders. He said lines have been painted on some streets to assist the police with the use of their speed detecting devices.

And, finally, the mayor also had a word of caution for Main Street pedestrians. He noted that, while motorists must yield to pedestrian traffic, the pedestrians should only cross the street at the crosswalks.

Council President Jim Lowry said that, contrary to published reports in a local newspaper, the Dundaff Street sewer project will be started this year. Lowry said bids for the project will be sought sometime this month and work will begin about three weeks after the bids are awarded.

Lowry said the construction of new sidewalks and surface drains on Dundaff Street will not be done until 2007.

Council was advised by the Department of Community & Economic Development that its application for a $5,000 grant for updated radio equipment for the police department has been approved.

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Tax Collectors Sue Blue Ridge
By P. Jay Amadio

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.

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Courthouse Report


Gordon C. Whitney, Paula Whitney to Scott A. Lonzinski, Alyssa N. Lonzinski, Great Bend, in New Milford Township for $52,000.

Stephen M. West, Laura M. West to Stephen M. West, Hallstead, in Hallstead Borough for one dollar.

ROK Investors Inc. to 57029 Lundberg, Bensalem, in Harford Township for one dollar.

Wachovia Bank to John Harding, Forest City, Kimberly Rebernik, in Forest City for $65,000.

John J. Pompey, Barbara Pompey, Dominick G. Pompey, Judith A. Pompey, Edward M. Pompey, Marlene Pompey to Roger Fitzgerald, Dorothea Fitzgerald, Spring City, in Springville Township for $260,000.

James J. Oshse, June D. Oshse to June D. Oshse, Montrose, in Jessup Township for one dollar.

Karen Frances Higgins, Thomas G. Holleran, Christopher T. Tracy, Cathleen A. Tracy to Thomas G. Holleran, New Milford, Catherine M. Holleran, Karen Frances Higgins, in New Milford Township for one dollar.

Richard J. Alfieri (by sheriff), Laura A. Alfieri (by sheriff) to Fannie Mae, Philadelphia, in Auburn Township for $4,977.

Rag Apple to TNT Partnership of PA, Montrose, in New Milford Township for $500,000.

Lawrence T. O’Reilly, Christine M. O’Reilly, Thomas J. O'Reilly to Joseph Digirolamo, Gloria M. Diglirolamo, Dimock, in Dimock Township for $50,000.

Barbara S. Kovacevic to Peter E. Giannone, Erin C. Giannone, Brackney, in Auburn Township for $75,000.

Clyde J. Tims, Mary Ann Tims to Clyde J. Tims, Mary Ann Tims, Little Meadows, in Apolacon Township for one dollar.

Lawrence Ellis, Denise E. Ellis to Lawrence Ellis, Brackney, in Silver Lake Township for one dollar.

Robert F. Little Jr. (by US Marshal) to Nikolaos Nikolaidis, RR2, Montrose, in Montrose for $67,101.

Steven Woody (by sheriff) to JP Morgan Chase Bank (trustee) in Forest City for $2,302.

Selina M. Kidney (nbm) Selina M. Swedrek, James J. Swedrek to S&K Stone, Meshoppen, Glenn Smith (dba), Patrick Kipar (dba), in Auburn Township for $32,000.

Christopher Lee Wilcox (by sheriff) to Theresa E. Gogolen, Ringwood, NJ, in Clifford Township for $131,328.

Ann E. Hotz to Anthony Critelli, Union Dale, Helen Critelli, in Herrick Township for $5,000.

Betty Glemboski to Joseph Patti, Sussex, NJ, Marie Patti, in Lathrop Township for $150,000.

Paula Costello to Gerald David Costello, Mary Margaret Costello, Philadelphia, in Jessup Township for one dollar.

Kerri Darrow, Steve Darrow to Bonnie Balmer, Hallstead, in Hallstead Borough for $53,000.

Candy M. Keris to Candy M. Keris, Meshoppen, Frank Keris, in Auburn Township for one dollar.

Jeanne M. Estep to Jeffrey A. Kirk, Long Beach, NY, Nancy F. Kirk, in Choconut Township for $125,000.

Byron D. Lesjack, Carol J. Lesjack to Byron D. Lesjack, Carol J. Lesjack, Hallstead, in Great Bend Borough for one dollar.

Byron D. Lesjack, Carol J. Lesjack to Byron D. Lesjack, Carol J. Lesjack, Hallstead, in Hallstead Borough for one dollar.

Byron D. Lesjack, Carol J. Lesjack to Byron D. Lesjack, Carol J. Lesjack, Hallstead, in Hallstead Borough for one dollar.

Byron D. Lesjack, Carol J. Lesjack to Byron D. Lesjack, Carol J. Lesjack, Hallstead, in Hallstead Borough for one dollar.

Byron D. Lesjack, Carol J. Lesjack to Byron D. Lesjack, Carol J. Lesjack, Hallstead, in Hallstead Borough for one dollar.

Byron D. Lesjack, Kristian B. Lesjack to Byron D. Lesjack, Hallstead, in Hallstead Borough for one dollar.

Dean L. Baker, Patricia A. Baker to Michael Ksenich, Kathryn A. Ksenich, Frazer, in New Milford Township for $160,000.

Robert K. Bretzger Jr. to Robert Stezar, Lisa Stezar, Fountain Hill, in Liberty Township for $80,000.

Carol M. Masters to Joseph Keller, Perkasie, Patti R. Keller, Joseph M. Keller, in Hop Bottom for $229,000.

Susan M. Yarnall to Kirk Yarnall, Audubon, in Apolacon and Choconut townships for $43,680.

Susan M. Yarnall to Kirk Yarnall, Audubon, in Apolacon and Choconut townships for $40,320.

James T. Stiles, Judith Stiles to Daniel J. Zaleski, Nicole L. Zaleski, Kingsley, in Brooklyn Township for $130,000.

Kevin P. Meehan to Barbara D. Diamond, Plumsteadville, in Harford Township for $22,000.

George C. Stone Jr. to Ryan J. Kipar, Montrose, Megan E. Larue, in Montrose for $120,000.

William D. Lohmann to Daniel Diaco, Dallas, PA, John R. Schake, Robert J. Law, in Brooklyn Township for $69,000.

J. Parker Properties to Ronald J. Jacoby, Susan M. Jacoby, RR4, Montrose, in Jessup Township for $69,900.

Lawrence M. Grasso (rev living trust by trustee) to Kurt A. Frey, Amanda J. Frey, RR3, Montrose, in Silver Lake Township for $13,000.

Lawrence M. Grasso (rev living trust by trustee) to Kurt A. Frey, Amanda J. Frey, RR3, Montrose, in Silver Lake Township for $14,000.

Mark Schweppenheiser, Carolyn R. Schweppenheiser to Mark Schweppenheiser, Carolyn R. Schweppenheiser, Nicholson, in Lenox Township for one dollar.

D. A. Burns (aka) Donald A. Burns, Mary A. Burns to Pennsylvania Thermal Bluestone Company, South Gibson, in Great bend Township for $45,000.

Walter Buehring, Natalie Buehring to Cecilia T. Dangelo, RR2, Montrose, in Forest Lake Township for $120,000.

Buddy J. VanLuvanee Jr., Brenda K. Miner (nbm) Brenda K. VanLuvanee to John H. Stahl, Souderton, Diane L. Westcott, in Brooklyn Township for $102,000.

Helen W. Petroski to Martin T. Petroski Jr., RR1, Jackson, in Gibson and Jackson townships for one dollar.

Martin T. Petroski Jr. to Thomas M. Petroski Sr., RD2, Thompson, in Jackson Township for one dollar.

James L. Olin, Margaret B. Olin to 44 Church Street Building, Dallas, TX, in Montrose for $80,000.


Derek Michael Cordilione, Endicott, NY and Laura Lee Ferencik, Endicott, NY.

Henry E. Martin, Hallstead and Diana M. Brady, Binghamton, NY.

Charles M. Haley, Susquehanna and Tonya M. Cramer, Susquehanna.

Mark A. Henninge, Hallstead and Andrea Lee Trimble, Hallstead.

Ronald Edwin Lawrence, Montrose and Linda Gay Mitchell, Montrose.

Victor M. Reyes, Meshoppen and Brenda L. Welch, Meshoppen.

Donald James Carroll, Susquehanna and Katie Michele Treadway, Susquehanna.

Edward Charles Johnson, Hallstead, Shelly M. Travis, Hallstead.


Arthur M. Trynoski, Susquehanna vs. Diane J. Trynoski, Susquehanna. Wed in 2005.

Denise E. Ellis, Whitney Point, NY vs. Lawrence W. Ellis, Brackney. Wed in 1982.


The Bureau of Internal Revenue Service has filed federal income tax liens against the following:

Daniel J. and Cheryl L. Purtell, Little Meadows, $61,511

Michael Lepre, Hop Bottom, $37,516 and $21,142.

Joseph Purtell, Purtell Builders, Little Meadows, $353.

Judy M. Homan, Little Meadows, $12,413.

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County Prepares For Bird Flu
By Bill Liepinis

The possibility of an avian flu pandemic in America has been in national headlines for months. Government and State officials say that they are preparing for the worst; will Susquehanna County be ready?

The avian flu is a contagious disease that passes from bird to bird. There are many strains, most of which don’t affect humans. Health officials are most concerned with the latest strain, H5N1, which can transfer from birds to humans. Officials are also worried that the H5N1 strain may mutate into a new strain, which would allow the virus to pass from person to person. This would be extremely devastating, since our immune systems have never encountered this type of flu strain.

Although the bird flu hasn’t reached America, health experts believe that it will by the end of the year. Officials warn that it doesn’t matter where you live or what you do, everyone will be at risk.

Richard McGarvey, Spokesperson of The Pennsylvania Department of Health, tells The Susquehanna County Transcript that Pennsylvania is in the midst of preparations for the possibility of a bird flu pandemic, with hopes that every county will be prepared, if and when it happens. McGarvey says that it is important that every community be prepared, since if the bird flu becomes a pandemic, communities cannot rely on one another’s help, since everyone will be affected.

Since Susquehanna County is mainly rural and has plenty of wild and migratory birds, we are at risk if H5N1 reaches America. People in direct contact with any type of bird, whether domestic or wild, would be at risk, such as chicken farmers or hunters. The Pennsylvania Department of Health says that the most effective ways to avoid H5N1 infection are washing your hands frequently, staying home when sick and covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze.

Pennsylvania recently held a Statewide Pandemic Summit in Pittsburgh, and plans on having a regional meeting in the northern tier sometime soon. McGarvey believes that hospitals are well informed of the possibilities in the future, but that businesses and schools are currently at risk most.

Although Pennsylvania leads the nation in its ability to monitor poultry flocks for outbreaks, we are not yet prepared. There are still major concerns about America’s stockpile of drugs, including how The United States only has enough Tamiflu for 2.3 million Americans, less than 2% of the nation’s population.

For the latest on bird flu preparations in Pennsylvania, along with information on regional meetings and advice for farmers and hunters, you can log onto Pennsylvania’s brand new website, or call 1-877-PA-HEALTH.

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In last week’s County Transcript we inadvertently reported that Michael Patrick Bollinger, Montrose received 18 months state probation for terroristic threats on September 17, 2005 in Montrose. In fact, Mr. Bollinger received 18 months “county” probation for terroristic threats on September 17, 2005 in Montrose.

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New Milford Cleaning Up
By Bill Liepinis

The New Milford Borough Council began their meeting May 4 with some updates on last month’s main concerns. The meeting was called to order just after 7 p.m., with all members other than Teri Gulick present.

Council reported that PENNDOT has been contacted concerning graffiti along Susquehanna St. in the borough. PENNDOT agreed to clean up the graffiti through a contract which will expire July 1.

Council was also updated on the Bickell residence, 159 Main St. There are still several people living in the residence, which has been in violation of several codes for weeks. The borough is still preparing for court, although a date has not yet been set.

Other concerns addressed at last month’s meeting included a property with several “junk cars”, residents parking on sidewalks and several new signs put up without proper permits. All involved have been contacted, yet still have the remainder of the thirty day period to correct their violations.

So far, there have been no developments with the possibility of Lackawanna College creating a satellite school in Susquehanna County. The college in Scranton already has three satellite schools in Hazelton, Honesdale and Towanda. The college still plans on having a satellite school in Susquehanna County up and running for Fall, 2006 classes.

The next council meeting will be held June 1, 7 p.m. in the New Milford Borough Building.

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Silver Lake Twp. Police Report

Following is the Silver Lake Township Police Report for March and April, 2006 as submitted.


On or about March 24, small firecrackers put into the boxes destroyed several mailboxes in Silver Lake Township. In some incidents mail was also burned in the boxes. This is a Federal violation and these incidents are still under investigation.


On Fri. March 31, at approximately 8:00 p.m., George Elmy of Brackney crashed his Chevy Cavalier on SR 4002 at Quaker Lake. Investigation revealed that the vehicle was traveling westbound at an unsafe speed when the driver lost control before striking a ditch and rolling the vehicle. Elmy was uninjured and released. The vehicle sustained severe damage.


On or about April 4, a burglary was reported at the Roman residence on State Line Road in the Township. Investigation showed that someone had broken a window and entered an unattached garage on the property. It was evident that several items had been tampered with, but nothing was taken from the property.


On April 14, three juveniles were charged with Disorderly Conduct and traffic citations after they were stopped in a vehicle for traffic violations. The vehicle was secured and they were turned over to a responsible adult.


On April 18, Sue Harvey of Silver Lake Township reported that she had been receiving threatening and harassing phone calls. She stated the caller had an Asian accent and used profanity. These calls are under investigation by the phone company.


Silver Lake Township Police will be doing random seat belt checks throughout the township from May 15 through June 4. On behalf of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PENNDOT) and Buckle Up PA, all agencies are asked to support the mission of improving the percentage of Pennsylvanians who still do not buckle up – Click It or Ticket! Restraint use can be much lower at night than during the day, and 80% of nighttime fatalities in our state are unbuckled.

Any information or questions for Silver Lake Township Police, please call 278–6818 or 663–2760, or e-mail

All information will be held strictly confidential.

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The Dumpster Is Here!
By Ted Brewster

Great Bend Borough Secretary Sheila Guinan announced to the Borough Council at its meeting on May 4 that a dumpster is in place at the Borough garage to receive deposits of waste metals, to help residents clean out their garages and basements, as decided last month. Borough maintenance worker Alan Grannis is concerned that, even though a sign on the dumpster says that it should be used for metals only, residents might use it as a convenient place to be rid of other things as well. The Borough is providing this as a service to its residents at minimal cost because the metals collected can be salvaged. Borough residents are encouraged to leave cast-off metal items at the dumpster - metals only, please.

The meeting actually opened with a discussion of the re-dedication of Memorial Park as the Lee Wiegand Memorial Park, in honor of a local National Guard volunteer killed in Iraq in September of 2005. A large sign and a smaller plaque will be placed at the park at a ceremony tentatively scheduled for Saturday, August 8. Organizers are accepting donations to help defray costs, and hope to have many of Specialist Wiegand's friends and family members attending.

Council had another long debate about the fence along the river bank in Recreation Park. Mr. Grannis raised the issue last month when he reported the deterioration of the existing fence and offered prices for replacing it. Mr. Grannis and Council member Ron Cranage are especially concerned for the safety of small children, who might wander off and down the steep bank into the strong river current.

This time Mr. Grannis reported a formal quote from a fencing company. At just under $1,000, the quote covers posts, post caps, top railing and other hardware. Mr. Grannis said he thought the Borough already had enough chain- link fencing material for the rest of the project. Some Council members were concerned that another heavy Spring flood would just wash away the new fence (despite the fact that the existing fence has been in place for many years). Expense doesn't seem to be a problem, since the parks fund is flush at about $4,400, according to Ms. Guinan. Other options were discussed, but in the end Council voted unanimously to go ahead, since the recreation season is just now beginning.

The Borough has been having some difficulty convincing certain homeowners to clean up their property in compliance with town ordinances. At least two situations have gone to the District Justice, but that court can only impose a fine, which may or may not be paid, and which may or may not act as an effective deterrent. Borough solicitor Frank O'Connor reminded Council that in particularly egregious cases involving especially recalcitrant property owners, the Borough can file suit at the courthouse that could impose a lien on the property. After all, Council is only trying to keep Great Bend looking nice.

And one way they'll be doing that is by putting up American flags along Main Street for the summer. Council voted to spend up to about $500 to purchase 25 flags, poles and hardware. Councilman Rick Franks said that about $200 in donations has already been received, and hopes are high for additional contributions, perhaps in kind, in the form of the flags themselves.

Council member Jerry MacConnell reported that the Pennsylvania-American Water Company (PAWC) will be installing additional water mains in the Borough this summer, along Franklin and Maple Streets. A section along Franklin Street was completed last year, and the Borough was especially pleased with the paving job that finished the project, including the curbing. Council agreed to make some space available for the contractor to store materials. They also decided to send a polite letter to a resident on Franklin Street who removed a section of the curbing affecting his driveway. The low curbs are to remain as is, please.

The long-defunct municipal police department is still hanging over the landscape. New Milford Borough, one of the original collaborating communities, seems to think that Great Bend Borough may have some information relating to residual pension dollars that might have become available since the only retiree, Chief Charles Martell, has died and the pension program did not apparently provide for survivor benefits. There is some suspicion, however, that the state might have an interest in the matter. Council has agreed to make available any information that might be of use to New Milford.

At the end of the meeting, in a spirit of volunteerism too little seen these days, Ron Cranage, the newest member of the Borough Council, told his colleagues that, to help save some money, he will make himself available to help Mr. Grannis as "an extra pair of hands" when needed during the summer. That's the spirit!

The Great Bend Borough Council meets at 7:00 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month at the Borough building at Elizabeth and Franklin Streets.

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