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A 21 year-old inmate, who walked off a volunteer work detail in Montrose on August 25, is behind bars again after he was picked up at a private residence in Union Dale.
Trooper Craig Purdum identified the prisoner as Joseph Lee Snedeker whose current address is the Susquehanna County Jail on Ellsworth Drive in Montrose.
In an affidavit of probable cause, Trooper Purdum said Snedeker had volunteered to help cook chickens for a barbecue planned by the United Fire Company in Montrose. Around 11 a.m., Snedeker asked a member of the fire company if he could go to the bathroom. After a period of time, the prisoner did not return and a search failed to find him in the area.
District Attorney Jason Legg said on the evening of August 29, authorities were advised that Snedeker was in a private home in Union Dale. State Police responded to the call and the suspect was taken into custody without incident.
Legg said Snedeker’s actions were not unlike other prisoners who walk away from work details. “It happens periodically,” the district attorney said.
Legg said Snedeker is being held in the jail on a theft charge. He further stated that Snedeker had previously been released on bail on a rape charge. In addition to these charges, Legg said the prisoner will now face a “stand alone charge of escape.”
The battle between the Blue Ridge School District Board of Education and the district’s six tax collectors continues despite last week’s court order advising the collectors to start collecting the taxes.
However, the order that came from Wyoming County President Judge Brendan Vanston failed to set the compensation the collectors would receive if they return to work. The tax collectors say if the compensation is 60 cents per bill, a figure set by the school board, on February 14, 2005, they will not collect the taxes.
Immediately after Judge Vanston’s ruling, Attorney Michael Giangrieco, who represents the tax collectors, said he would file an appeal with the Commonwealth Court in Harrisburg. Giangrieco said that, initially, Judge Vanston had ordered a hearing on the matter and then decided to accept arguments from both sides.
“We clearly believe,” Giangrieco said, “that our due process rights were denied by not allowing us to present testimony and evidence in support of our stand.” Giangrieco said he had subpoenaed a number of witnesses, including all members of the Blue Ridge Board of Education.
“Judge Vanston quashed those subpoenas,” Giangrieco said. “He would not allow any testimony or evidence. He never heard the entire story about how this came to be and he is wrong on the law.”
After the tax collectors balked about the 80 percent reduction in their compensation for collecting the taxes, the school board prepared a resolution exonerating them from collecting the taxes if they would sign the resolution. However, when Mrs. Drake and Miriam Page, Tax Collector in Jackson Township, signed copies of the resolution, the school board sought a court order demanding that they collect the taxes.
“The whole thing stinks from day one,” Giangrieco said. He alleged that the school district cut the pay of the tax collectors to motivate them into resigning so the district could collect the taxes. “First they tell them (Mrs. Drake and Mrs. Page) they will exonerate them if they sign the resolution,” said Giangrieco. “Then after they sign the resolution they tell them we want you to collect the taxes.”
Judge Vanston replaced Susquehanna County President Judge Kenneth E. Seamans who recused himself because he resides in the Blue Ridge School District. His decision prompted the tax collectors to meet last Friday night and reaffirm their position regarding the compensation.
“We had a good meeting,” Mrs. Drake said. “We are not sure what we are going to do pending advice from our attorney and while we did not reach a clear cut decision, we are united.”
The resolution signed by Mrs. Drake and Mrs. Page reads as follows:
“Whereas, the Blue Ridge School District Board of Education, at its regular meeting, February 14, 2005, by resolution set the elected tax collector compensation for taxes levied by the District during the period of 2006-2009 at $.60 (sixty cents) per bill handled; and, Whereas, the municipal tax collector elected in the November 2005 general election, by letter dated November 21, 2005, has refused to collect taxes levied by the District at the aforementioned rate of compensation and involved with said taxes levied by the School District.
“Now therefore, be it resolved this 13th day of February, 2006, by the Board of School Directors of the Blue Ridge District that said elected municipal tax collector for the District, (collector’s name and municipality), is hereby exonerated from the collection of any and all taxes levied by the Blue Ridge School District as well as associated responsibilities and/or liabilities during the elected term of 2006-2009, and by acceptance of this exoneration said tax collector hereby forfeits any and all compensation from the District during the elected term.
“Further, said tax collector agrees to forward all subsequent District related materials received to the District. The District agrees to reimburse said tax collector for all non labor related expenses in the forwarding of District material.”
Board President Alan M. Hall and Loren W. Small, secretary, signed the resolutions for the District. There is also room at the bottom of the resolution for the tax collector’s signature.
HARRISBURG, Pa. – FEMA and the Commonwealth want to be sure all Pennsylvanians affected by June’s flooding receive disaster assistance. That’s why FEMA has approved the state’s request to extend the deadline for Pennsylvania residents and business owners to apply for federal disaster assistance to October 3.
“With dozens of new applications coming in every day, we thought it was important to extend the registration deadline so everyone who was affected has a chance to apply,” said Federal Coordinating Officer Tom Davies. “If you or your family suffered losses and you haven’t yet contacted FEMA, please do.”
FEMA officials stressed that individuals should apply for assistance even if they do not believe they are eligible. Even if they suffered only small losses, or insurance covered some, but not all, losses, they should apply for assistance. Disaster victims often fail to register because they assume they are not eligible, only to learn after the registration period has closed that assistance may have been available to them.
Though the deadline has been extended to October 3, FEMA processes disaster assistance applications as they are submitted, so the sooner individuals apply, the sooner disaster assistance can be disbursed. Disaster assistance may include funding for temporary housing and grants for serious needs not met by other programs. The first step toward receiving disaster assistance is to call the FEMA registration number or to go online to apply.
Residents and business owners in 22 Pennsylvania counties who suffered damages should call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., seven days a week, or can register online at www.fema.gov. Individuals with speech or hearing impairments can call the TDD registration number: 1-800-462-7585.
Alan N. Evans, Wendi Evans to Michael Catalano, Nancy J. Catalano, Friendsville, in Choconut Township for $155,000.
Ihab A. Dana, Sandra A. Dana to Charles P. Rogers, Carol Rogers, RR7, Montrose, in Bridgewater Township for $259,000.
William H. Liepinis, Cindy Liepinis to Elsie Kilmer, RR4, Montrose, in Great Bend Township for $79,000.
Bonnie Westcott to Joseph Dougherty, Langhorn, in Harmony Township for $100,000.
Andrew Cizike, Rebecca J. Cizike to William R. Wayman, Jr., Brandi R. Wayman, RR3, Susquehanna, in Harmony Township for $35,000.
Federal National Mortgage Association (aka) FannieMae to David J. Malinowski, RR3, Meshoppen, in Auburn Township for $100,000.
Charles D. House to Tammy Smith, RR3, Meshoppen, in Auburn Township for $60,416.
Pauline Costa-Owens (aka) Pauline M. McConnell, Robert D. McConnell to Pauline Costa-Owens (aka) Pauline M. McConnell, RR3, Meshoppen, in Auburn Township for one dollar.
Rudolph M. Mattes, Paula Mattes to James F. Doolittle, RR1, Friendsville, Anne E. Gober, in Choconut Township for $42,440.
Hawley & Strohl Properties to Joel M. Welch, RR2, New Milford, Sandra J. Welch, in Franklin Township for $109,500.
Lonnie P. Griffiths, Stacy Ann Griffiths to Lonnie P. Griffiths, RR1, Montrose, Stacy Ann Griffiths, in Bridgewater Township for one dollar.
Keith A. Harris, Regina C. Harris, Gregory S. Harris to Gregory S. Harris, RR2, Brackney, in Apolacon Township for one dollar.
Keith A. Harris, Regina C. Harris, Gregory S. Harris to Bradford P. Harris, Vestal, NY, Gregory S. Harris, in Apolacon Township for one dollar.
Keith A. Harris, Regina C. Harris, Gregory S. Harris to Bradford P. Harris, Vestal, NY, in Apolacon Township for one dollar.
Debra Nason to Thomas Brundage, Glenolden, Catherina Brundage in Brooklyn Township for $210,000.
Barbara J. Bostjancic to Cheryl Ann Beres, Forest City, in Forest City for $210,000.
Edward L. Kelley, Joseph Flaherty, Gary Lupole, Darlene Lupole to Michael P. Williams, RR1, Friendsville, Kari A. Williams, in Friendsville Borough for $170,000.
William Corbett (est, aka) William H. Corbett (est) to Edward L. Kelley, RR5, Montrose, Joseph L. Flaherty, in Choconut Township for $15,000.
Jesse J. Squier, Marcella S. Squier, Edward C. Arnold, Cheryl A. Arnold, Helen A. Squier, Jesse H. Squier, to Rag Apple LLC, RR2, Brackney, in Jessup Township for one dollar.
Ronald M. Sentz, Catherine J. Sentz to Charles R. Pearce, Julia A. Pearce, Little Meadows, in Apolacon Township for $447,000.
Roy E. Grover, Tammy L. Grover (nka), Tammy L. Torch to Tammy L. Grover (nka),Tammy L. Torch, Clifford Township, in Clifford Township for one dollar.
Angelo Ventresca, Judith M. Ventresca (nbm) Judith M. Albert to Richard A. Schwab, RR3, Montrose, Sandra J. Russell Schwab, in Liberty Township for $270,000.
Margaret P. Nataline to Sean M. Hennessey, Susquehanna, in Susquehanna for $85,000.
Timothy J. Barnard to Julie A. Barnard, Hallstead, in Great Bend Township for one dollar.
Christine M. Arbour to Douglas George Arbour, Pompano Beach, FL, in Middletown Township for one dollar.
Joseph Lee Yachymiak, Kingsley and Ashley M. Cannon, Kingsley.
Troy Adams Brown, Susquehanna and Heidi L. Newberry, Susquehanna.
Justin Scott Lee, Springville and Kimberly Ann Robinson, Springville.
James W. Cantone, Montrose and Kathleen L. Kelley, Montrose.
Tim Brewer, Hop Bottom and Michelle L. Hartman, Hop Bottom.
Michael Marek Bartczak, Susquehanna and Carolyn Joy Carpenter, Susquehanna.
London Lee Kibler, Great Bend and Barbara A. Clayton, Great Bend.
Thomas A. Page, RR1, Susquehanna vs. Lois E. Page, Hallstead. Married, May 2, 2003.
Robert D. McDonnell, Meshoppen vs. Pauline M. McConnell, Meshoppen. Married, February 12, 1999.
Amy Marie Shoemaker, Montrose vs. Jamie Nathan Shoemaker, Montrose. Married, October 27, 1986.
The United State Department of Treasury has filed federal income tax liens against the following individuals:
James M. Peercy, $14,197.
Kevin A. Compton, $6,765
Once again there have been several instances of gas theft at the Lenox Township Pump and Pantry on August 20 and 28. In the former, $66.03 was stolen, and in the latter $44.35 was taken by someone driving a silver SUV.
Two men were ejected from a Ford F250 as the result of an accident on August 29 in Lenox Township. The vehicle was driving south on Route 81 when the driver, Paul Destefano, suddenly lost control of the vehicle. The truck left the highway, striking a guardrail with the right front part of the vehicle. It traveled along the guardrail until it eventually flipped over it, and proceeded to roll down a steep embankment, during which process the driver and front passenger were ejected from the vehicle. (A third passenger was not ejected.) All three passengers were taken to CMC hospital in Scranton for treatment. The driver was cited for careless driving.
On August 28, on Route 4014 in Forest Lake Township, Karl E. Chaffee of Laceyville was driving north in a 1990 Oldsmobile cutlass. He traveled into the opposing lane, and into the path of travel of a Mack dump truck, causing a collision. He was arrested for suspected D.U.I. Charges are pending.
Mihail Bizoz, on August 28, forgot his wallet at the Pen Can truck plaza in Harford Township. When he returned to collect it, it was no longer there. Collin Tallet lost his wallet at the Harford fairgrounds on August 25.
On the 19th of August, around 3:00 p.m., Russel Kyzer found a four wheeler on his property. It is described as a red and white 1986 Honda 200 FourTrax.
A woman in Hop Bottom recently notified the police of an apparent burglary at her home. The police, upon arrival at the scene and further investigation, discovered that the family dog appeared to be the culprit. The dog had ripped off the molding around a window inside the house, and left teeth marks in a plastic fan inside the same window. The window was never opened.
On August 16, between the hours of midnight and 1:30 a.m., someone borrowed a car from the Forest Lake Inn on Rt. 267. The perpetrator(s) took possession of the vehicle after, without the owner's knowledge, acquiring the keys from a counter inside the bar. The vehicle was then driven an unknown route and eventually abandoned, facing in the direction of the inn, on Nagle Road within a mile of where it had been stolen.
A Hallstead mother contacted the police regarding her 14-year old son who has been residing in the Binghamton area and refusing to come home. He has ties to the Binghamton area, and may be frequenting parks with skateboarding facilities.
Sometime between August 28 and 29, after business hours, Mountain View School District was vandalized. Dumpsters, an old truck, and the parking lot were spray-painted.
THEFT OF PROPERTY
On August 27, between 1:00 and 4:00 a.m., several wrecked demolition derby cars were stolen from the Harford Fairgrounds. The cars were of various makes and models, belonged to Brent W. Vanteger of New Milford, and had a value of $550 as scrap.
THEFT OF PROPERTY
Between 1:00 and 6:30 a.m. on August 24, Jason James Carrol of New Milford had his stone cutting saw stolen from his property on the Tingley Lake road. The saw was valued at $1,600.
Between August 21 and 28, the cabin of David E. King of Little Meadows Borough was entered without authorization and burglarized. The investigation is ongoing and charges are pending.
On August 20, between 6:00 and 8:00 p.m., someone invaded the home of 88-year old Carolyn Taylor of Kingsley. Someone only described as a white male entered her home, began a conversation, and then walked out. She does not know what he said, and did not report having any items stolen. The investigation is continuing.
*If you have information regarding any of these incidents, please call the Gibson police barracks at (570) 465-3154.
On Saturday, September 2, a tractor trailer hauling a load of quarry stone was traveling north on SR 92 (Franklin Ave.), towards Susquehanna Depot Borough. The driver was unable to stop at the Main St. intersection and the truck traveled uncontrolled onto Main St. The truck struck a parked vehicle, causing it to travel over an embankment; it landed on its side in the Shops Plaza parking lot, some twenty feet below Main St. The truck continued on and struck a third vehicle, causing a chain reaction involving five other parked vehicles. Only one injury was reported, a 13-year old who had been sitting in the back seat of the third vehicle. He was treated at Barnes-Kasson Hospital and released.
The County Transcript is pleased to announce it will be celebrating 120 years of service to Susquehanna County with an anniversary issue on September 27, 2006.
We have a lot of history, old photographs, articles, etc. to present in this issue, but are asking “you” for your input. If you would like to have your opinion published on how your local newspaper has impacted “life in the country,” make sure you get your Letter To The Editor to our offices by WEDNESDAY, September 20 (please note the early deadline for these letters).
If you are a local business who would like to offer congratulations or advertise your wares, please contact Andy at 1-800-372-7051 to set up an appointment.
Following are the August 1 minutes of the Lanesboro Council meeting, as submitted.
Roll Call: Dan Boughton, Regina Dilello, Myles Limbert, Bob Mireider, Bill Roberts, Colleen Wilkes. Also present: Gail Hanrahan, Mayor Chris Maby. Absent: Stan Rockwell.
Minutes of previous meeting approved with change made to indicate Maby’s attendance.
Visitors: Will Potter, Cora Cameron, Sandy and Jerry Benson, Jeannine Keefer, Todd Glover visiting, no comments.
Dan Botts, Carol and Harold Houghton are concerned about the debris and vegetation growing in the raceway on Viaduct Street, between Viaduct Street and their residence. This area has been flooding more frequently than expected, and they wanted to know if Lanesboro could do anything to help. Maby informed them that multiple conversations between DEP, PennDOT, a majority of the council and himself were fruitless. Roberts and others explained that Lanesboro cannot do any work itself, as the issue is on private property. PennDOT will not do the work, as it is only responsible for keeping the portion that crosses its road clear. DEP is a regulatory agency only, which puts the burden of keeping this clean on the property owner. Maby offered to write a letter to the property owner regarding the matter, if council approved. Council approved, letter will be sent in the next couple of days.
Correspondence and resolutions:
Apology letter from juvenile #1 involved in last year’s Community Park vandalism. Maby noted that he has met with the youngster on several occasions during his community service work effort and is impressed with the transformation the juvenile has gone through. He was very courteous and showed up for work on time. Council appreciative of the letter and is glad to hear the individual is straightening his life out.
Letter from Broome Volunteer Ambulance, withdrawing from Susquehanna County.
Letter of interest from Jerry and Sandy Benson on cannon property purchase. Offer made of $1,500. Council tabled letter for discussion later in meeting.
Police (June report): 43 regular patrol hours plus another 37 for flood, plus time for Oakland patrols. 13 incidents, 1 felony arrest, 3 traffic citations, 1 court hour. Chief Record donated a vehicle lock set, and Susquehanna Chief Thomas Golka donated a breathalyzer unit. Council expressed surprise and gratitude for donations, asked Maby to send thank you letters immediately.
Mayor: garbage truck in for inspection and misc. work (fast idle throttle, ignition switch). Battery box will be fixed in the next week or so, and block heater will be installed (there wasn’t one on the new motor, and the old one was put on by Cleveland’s Garage).
Code Enforcement: 28 hours, 26.5 of which are flood related, multiple inspections and calls, 2 building permits.
Community Center: Boughton purchased a window mount air conditioner, using funds from the Community Center account. Council very appreciative of installation prior to council meeting. Discussion ensued on possible purchase of a second unit. Decision made to not purchase another unit, as the outlets are all on the same circuit. The circuit will most likely fault if another a/c unit and the new coffeemaker were all running at the same time.
Sale of cannon property: In addition to the Bensons’ interest, Maby stated Dale Rockwell was interested. Discussion ensued about how to handle, as the property should probably be advertised so that all who may be interested in it would be informed. Matter tabled for further discussion until September meeting.
Zoning: discussion on whether to enforce 1971 zoning ordinance and map. Maby stated that he had discussed matter with Shane and Solicitor Dewitt. The zoning can be enforced, but existing farm animals, horses, etc. would be considered “grandfathered” in. This is based on several court decisions in Pennsylvania regarding the same issue elsewhere. If enforced, the zoning would limit where additional animals could be brought in. The zoning map lists the Kaiser, Selke, and Barnes properties as special use, allowing for animals. All other properties will not be allowed to harbor additional animals. Also discussed were businesses and the zoning map. Mireider and Maby reviewed the map – all current businesses are on properties zoned for business. Maby noted that exceptions can be made through a variance, if council deems appropriate for the activity. Roberts and Boughton stated they believe some zoning is needed, and that Lanesboro’s needs are met by the 1971 zoning ordinance. On a roll call vote, unanimous decision to begin enforcement of the zoning immediately. Maby will inform Shane and Solicitor Dewitt.
New municipal building:
Loan: Maby is still gathering information, will have ready for the September meeting. He is working on getting finalized offers from four different funding agencies, each with different rates and terms and requirements.
Proposal for design: Delta Engineers PC submitted a proposal to do a programming study for the new building, which is the first step in developing and designing a new structure. The cost of this proposal has a Not-To-Exceed limit of $11,155. Maby noted that Lanesboro may need to borrow money to cover this cost, but its options are limited, given the state of the existing building. This programming study will then be carried forward into the actual design, of which a building loan should cover the costs along with construction of the new building. Discussion ensued about other possibilities. Jerry Benson asked about building at the current site. Maby stated that would cost more than constructing elsewhere, as a temporary structure would be needed to house the borough facilities, and more importantly, the Post Office. Temporary sewer, water, and electric connections would be required. All of these costs, including a temporary structure, would add cost to the project and be unrecoverable, in that once the temporary structure was gone, there was no way to recoup the costs. Prior to a motion made on this, a letter was read from Jeannine Keefer and Bill Roberts, who would like to donate an empty lot on North Main Street across from the Starrucca Viaduct, with the caveat an appraisal is done on the property and provided to them. Maby stated in conversations with Solicitor Dewitt, the council can accept property donations if a resolution regarding the same is drafted and approved. Motion carried to accept the property, pending the drafting of resolution by Solicitor Dewitt. A motion then carried, accepting Delta’s proposal and giving them notice to proceed.
Motion carried to adjourn.
HARRISBURG, Pa. – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) continue to provide assistance and work towards recovery for the counties affected by the storms and floods that impacted the commonwealth in late June. Over the past two months, more than $50 million in disaster assistance has been disbursed to homeowners, renters, businesses, and local government entities and institutions.
22 counties have been designated to receive Individual Assistance (IA). IA designation allows for federal funds to aid disaster-affected households in the form of grants and loans. Berks, Bradford, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Columbia, Dauphin, Franklin, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lebanon, Luzerne, Monroe, Montgomery, Montour, Northampton, Northumberland, Pike, Schuylkill, Susquehanna, Wayne, and Wyoming counties have been designated. The IA registration deadline is October 3, 2006.
25 counties have been approved for Public Assistance (PA) funds. The program provides assistance for work including debris removal, emergency protective measures, and the restoration of infrastructure to pre-disaster conditions. Adams, Armstrong, Berks, Bradford, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Columbia, Franklin, Indiana, Lackawanna, Lebanon, Luzerne, Monroe, Montour, Northampton, Northumberland, Perry, Pike, Schuylkill, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga, Wayne, and Wyoming counties are eligible for the program.
4,264 Pennsylvania residents have sought information at Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) throughout the affected areas. All DRCs are closed, but residents can still call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) to ask questions about disaster assistance and to receive updates.
More than $55,676 in Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) has been approved for 173 eligible applicants. Although the deadlines to apply for DUA have passed, information is available by visiting or calling your county’s Pennsylvania CareerLink Office.
FEMA has completed 9,857 housing inspections. Inspectors record all disaster-related structural damages to homes and document damages to personal property.
11,637 Pennsylvanians have registered for disaster assistance by calling the FEMA toll-free registration number at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362); TTY 1-800-462-7585. The registration deadline is October 3, 2006.
FEMA has approved a $228,273 Crisis Counseling grant for Chester, Columbia, Franklin, Lackawanna, Susquehanna, Luzerne, Wyoming, Schuylkill, and Wayne counties. Flood victims living in these counties can call their county mental health office or hotline for assistance. Crisis Counseling helps disaster victims recognize normal stress reactions and emotions caused or aggravated by a disaster, and regain control over themselves and their environment.
More than $2.7 million in federal dollars has been obligated for Public Assistance (PA) projects. FEMA awards grants to assist state and local governments and certain private non-profit entities with their response to and recovery from the disaster. FEMA pays seventy-five percent of the costs of PA projects while the commonwealth has committed to pay the non-federal share, which is the remaining twenty-five percent.
FEMA has provided more than $17.6 million directly to Pennsylvania flood victims for housing and other needs assistance through the Individuals and Households Program (IHP).
7,951 assistance checks, totaling more than $15.5 million, have been disbursed in the form of rental assistance and home repair or replacement grants.
More than $2.1 million has been disbursed to 2,538 Pennsylvanians under the Other Needs Assistance program (ONA). ONA grants provide assistance to disaster victims to pay for serious, disaster-related needs.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved more than 865 disaster assistance loans to homeowners, renters, and businesses totaling more than $31.7 million; over $25.8 million to homeowners and renters, and nearly $5.9 million to businesses.
FEMA’s temporary housing assistance and grants for public transportation expenses, medical and dental expenses, and funeral and burial expenses do not require individuals to apply for an SBA loan. However, an applicant must complete an SBA loan application to be eligible for assistance that covers personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and storage expenses.
FEMA manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates mitigation activities, works with state and local emergency managers, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program. FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003.
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