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The Montrose Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution paid tribute to those Pilgrims who came to the New World on the Mayflower. Five of their eight local descendants presented brief biographies of their respective ancestors at a recent DAR meeting.
Pictured (l-r) are local descentants of the Mayflower Pilgrims: Ruth Johnson, descendant of Richard Warren; Joyce Bevan and Myrtle Carlson, descendants of John Billington; Marleta Shadduck, a descendant of William White; Marion Darrow, a descendant of Richard Warren.
Mrs. Carlson told of her visit to the American Pilgrim Museum, located in an old house in a narrow alley in Leiden, Holland, where some Pilgrims lived between 1608-1620, after leaving England and before making the arduous journey to the New World. There she met with Dr. Jeremy Bangs, director of the museum and curator f the Leiden Pilgrim Documentation Center.
St. Peter’s Church, where the Pilgrims worshipped, is just over a little pedestrian bridge near the museum, and nearby is the cemetery where the Leiden Pilgrims, including the English Pastor Robinson, are buried.
Thanks to the Scranton District Library Center, the Susquehanna County Historical Society & Free Library Association now has access to two valuable genealogy and family history databases: Ancestry and Heritage Quest. Heritage Quest is available at all four library locations (Forest City, Hallstead-Great Bend, Montrose, and Susquehanna) and also from any Internet-enabled computer. Simply go to www.susqcolibrary.org, click the Heritage Quest logo, and type in the 14-digit number on your library card.
Ancestry has been purchased only for a few locations in the Scranton District. The only Susquehanna County location which has been subscribed to Ancestry is the main building in Montrose, so you must be in the library or Historical Society to use it (this is due to the terms of Ancestry's agreement and to the high cost of this service). You can use one of the six Internet stations or connect to the wireless network with your own laptop.
These two databases join the huge array of high-quality information available through POWER Library and Learning Express. All you need to access hundreds of thousands of articles, maps, illustrations, photos, practice exams, poems, essays, stories, even car service bulletins is your library card. For more information, visit www.susqcolibrary.org.
Susquehanna County is still recovering from the June, 2006 Flooding and United Way is there to help.
The United Way of Susquehanna County brought some relief to 100 families in the form of a food distribution on October 7. A generous donation by the Gannett Foundation and The Press and Sun Bulletin in the amount of $2,000.00 enabled the United Way to provide two grocery bags full of cereal, noodles, and other staples to some of the many victims of the flooding. Ruth Donnelly, Executive Director of the United Way of Susquehanna County said, “It’s amazing, the devastation that still exists in this county. I guess I knew, but until you see the conditions people are living in, you don’t really realize.” Mrs. Donnelly saw for herself the conditions that some are still living in as she went door-to-door handing out information about the food distribution. Meanwhile, staff and other volunteers were busy on the telephone, contacting flood victims and inviting them to take part in the event. Amy Steinberg, Administrative Assistant of the United Way, was one of those calling families. “I feel so badly for these people, she said. “Many are depressed and living in cramped government trailers, while others are staying with friends and relatives because their homes are uninhabitable.”
Ruth Donnelly, Amy Steinberg and two board members, Thomas Chamberlain and Debra Dissinger were there handing out groceries to families at Rob’s Market in Great Bend. Many of the recipients couldn’t say thank you enough. Just the fact that someone still cared about them meant a lot to these families. Many organizations have been working to supply and care for their immediate needs. The American Red Cross provided over $500,000.00 in assistance. Susquehanna County Interfaith has been working with families to help them get back on their feet. Over the years, the United Way of Susquehanna County has focused support on basic needs; food, clothing, shelter, health and safety, and is proud to support both of these organizations.
Many families are still in need of assistance, and The United Way is committed to support those agencies which continue to serve Susquehanna County residents. The United Way is doing what matters.
For more information on how you can be part of the support network, contact the United Way of Susquehanna County, 36 Lake Ave Montrose, PA 18801 or call (570) 278-3868.
A Bi-Centennial quilt made by the Hallstead-Great Bend Civic Club in 1976 has been returned to the area, 30 years after leaving. The committee of Daisy Donohue, Eleanor Rood, Mary Tuttle and Rose Mary Tuttle, assisted by Lois Virtue, Helen Meagley, Ada Alexander, Sharon Tanner, Katherine Battisti, Pat Burd and Helen Schoner completed the quilt in time for it to be displayed on a float in the Firemen's Bi-Centennial parade. The float, entitled "Colonial Women at a Quilting Bee," won first prize. It was then raffled off as a fundraiser and won by Bobby Kime, who kept it all these years.
Recently, through a bit of bartering, the quilt was returned to the Civic Club where the benefactors, Rose Mary Hazen, Beverly Tierney, Betty Foote and Bobbi Lupo presented it to the Hallstead-Great Bend Branch Library during the November meeting of the Civic Club. There the quilt will be displayed in a glass case for all to enjoy.
The Hallstead-Great Bend Civic Club has been improving the communities it encompasses and assisting people and other organizations since 1929, and welcomes interested women from the Hallstead-Great Bend area. They meet on the second Tuesday of each month at various places. Contact any member for information on the December meeting.
On October 10, 2006, a disaster was declared in the Pennsylvania counties of Bradford, Susquehanna and Wayne, due to damages and losses caused by excessive rain, flooding and flash flooding. Eligible family farmers may quality for Farm Service Agency Emergency loans for damages and losses caused by these disasters. Emergency loans are available at a reduced interest rate to provide financial assistance to farmers so they can return to normal farming operations.
Emergency loan applications will be accepted through close of business as follows: Designation Code S2412 for Bradford, Susquehanna and Wayne – 6/11/2007; Designation Code S2387 for Wayne – 5/14/2007.
To be eligible, an applicant must have suffered a loss that was the direct result of the damages mentioned above. An applicant must be the operator of an established family farm at the time of the disaster and must certify that they cannot borrow money at a conventional lending institution. In addition, an applicant must have the ability, experience, and cash flow needed to repay the loan.
Loan funds may be used for a variety of purposes including refinancing debt, purchase of livestock, equipment, or for annual operating expenses.
Anyone interested in more information on the program should contact their local FSA Office.
The Susquehanna County Historical Society & Free Library Association was presented with a check for over $1,500 by Ken Papocchia of ABC Market. This amount – a whopping $1,519.83 to be precise – was accumulated pennies at a time by shoppers at ABC and Rob's Market (Hallstead) who registered their Gold Cards to benefit the Library and Historical Society. For each Shur-Fine and Western Family product purchased, three cents is donated to the Association at no cost to the shopper.
Pictured (l to r) are: Shannon Gregory-Smales – Library Secretary, Cornelia Page – President of the Board of Directors, Ken Papocchia – ABC Market, Susan Stone – Administrator Librarian.
“Ken said it’s the largest check they have ever cut – and that’s just over a six-month period!” says Administrator/Librarian Susan Stone. “We are so grateful for the support of the ShurSave program, ABC, and Rob’s Market, as well as the hundreds of Gold Card users who have registered!” If you have a Gold Card but haven’t registered it, you can stop by any county library or visit www.susqcolibrary.org/goldcard to fill out a form.
A new slate of officers and directors were elected at the October meeting of the Susquehanna Branch of the Quality Deer Management Association. The newly elected officers are: President - Jack Sorber – Little Meadows; VP – Al Cuevas – Susquehanna; Treasurer – Ron Hollenbeck – Franklin Forks; Secretary – Bob Wagner – Fairdale. Directors: Dave Taylor – Montrose; Dave Wilcox – Montrose; Jim Dovin – Richmondale; Donna Salko – Whites Crossing and Ed Grasavage – Pittston. Three other directors will continue to serve their terms: Dave Sienko – Hallstead; Art Lucarelli – Old Forge and John Butler – Little Meadows.
During 2006 the local branch of QDMA has been providing information on quality deer management via sportsman’s events such as the Springville Sportsman’s Dinner in March and Andres Sportsman’s Seminar in August. The group also held mini field days in February, April, June, and August. Youth involvement such as the annual Shooting Event for Youth is sponsored by State Rep. Ed Stabak. The local branch will continue to host educational events as stated above and habitat improvement projects on several state Game Lands during the upcoming year.
USDA Rural Development announced a decrease in the home mortgage rate for its Section 502 Homeownership Direct Loan program. Effective November 1, the new interest rate has been reduced to 6%, down from the 6.25% rate that had been in effect. This rate decrease provides an excellent opportunity for eligible low-income families to purchase a home through the USDA Rural Development program.
The Section 502 Direct Loan program is available to eligible, very-low and low-income households to purchase an existing home or build a new home in rural areas. Financing under this program is available for up to 100% loan-to-value, and no down payment is required. Eligibility is based on household size, income, acceptable credit histories and debt-to-income ratios. Depending on household incomes, mortgage payments may be subsidized to as low as 1% interest rate. Eligibility requirements and the area’s income limits may be seen by visiting http://eligibility.sc.egov.udsa.gov. Call 836–4157 for more information on this and other programs offered by USDA Rural Development.
Volunteers are needed to ring the Salvation Army Bell in Susquehanna during this holiday season. Club members or individuals are invited to join the fun! All money collected goes to support programs in our county that the Salvation Army sponsors all year round. Call Lynn at 853–4692 if you can spare an hour or two to help a worthwhile program.
Applications for this year’s Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) are now available at the Susquehanna County Assistance Office, Thomas Kurosky announced.
LIHEAP is a federal program that assists low-income individuals who cannot pay their heating bills. Eligible households can receive assistance through a direct payment to energy vendors that supply their fuel, or through a crisis component during weather-related emergencies, such as a broken furnace, leaking pipes, or terminated utility service. Homeowners, renters (including those whose rent includes heat), roomers and subsidized housing tenants may be eligible. Any type of fuel may be used.
The program opened for both the cash and crisis components on November 6, with the cash and crisis components closing March 22, 2007. Besides household income, grants are based on the type of fuel used and the county of residence. Susquehanna CAO Executive Director, Thomas Kurosky, urged county residents to apply early for the program.
To be eligible for the program, household income cannot exceed 150 percent of the Federal Poverty Income Guidelines: $14,700 for a one-person household, $19,800 for two persons, $24,900 for three persons, $30,000 for four persons, $35,100 for five persons, and $40,200 for six persons. For larger households, the guidelines increase by $5,100 for each additional person.
Help for families with a heating emergency is available 24 hours a day by contacting Susquehanna CAO at 888-753-6328.
Great Bend Video King owner, Jim Wilson officially opened his new store on November 14, in the BiLo Plaza in Great Bend.
The flooding of this past summer inundated homes and businesses throughout the Great Bend and Hallstead areas, including Video King, making it impossible for the store to carry on its movie and game rental business.
“If it were not for the Hinckley family, I don’t know what we would have done,” said Mr. Wilson. “They approached us with an opportunity to open a new store directly across the street from our old location. They have been very supportive, and I just cannot thank them enough for the help.”
Video King/Great Bend is not seeking the returns of any DVDs or games rented prior to the flood, and is canceling all flood-related late charges.
“I’d really like to thank my past customers, many of whom lost their homes and belongings in that tragic flood,” Mr. Wilson said. “Canceling fees and returns is a small way we can welcome our friends back.”