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Problem Youth In Montrose
The disobedience of area youth and what can be done about it were great topics of discussion at the July 2 meeting of the Montrose Borough Council. From the park to area properties, local police are slated to increase observance and crack down on current problems.
Officer Hillard came to the meeting to discuss recent issues at the park near the borough building. She had recently expelled a child from the park for two weeks due to the physical bullying of a younger child, and reported having received other reports of similar behavior. Certain children have also been damaging borough property at that location. She came asking if that child should continue to be banned, and seeking formal penalties for misbehavior. She wanted to make the park a right, not a privilege, and to let the children know this, as well as to be able to do more than take them home and talk to parents. She said that she would be willing to monitor some children serving community service if necessary. Borough president Joel Maxey stated that the problem was with some parents not knowing how to parent, stating that they only cared if they had to pay. It was proposed that they be required to go and monitor their children's community service. The question was raised as to whether there was a code of conduct, and if so, was it posted. Once it was established that there was, and after much discussion which included talk of doing away with the park entirely, a plan of action was set. Police will start making more frequent trips through the park, and will talk with the kids about the privilege of the park, the rules, and the potential penalties. If a child violates these rules he or she will be expelled from the facility. If that child returns while banned he or she will be arrested for trespassing, will have to appear before the magistrate along with his or her parent(s). The borough solicitor, Ms. O'Malley, found that the established rules allow for a fine of up to $300 for such violations. The borough will also look into purchasing a video camera for the site, to facilitate enforcement. It is hoped that these measures will serve in the future to curb trouble.
Borough resident Marilyn Stevens also approached the council with a youth-related matter. She wanted to know what the situation was with the property on 33 High Street. She reported that people and varmints were continuously in and out of this property, and that the man who is responsible for fixing it up is not there very often. In the meantime area youth hang around the property and the woods behind it. She stated that the cops have been called, and have chased kids away from the area repeatedly. She felt this matter to be one of deadly seriousness as one day a fire might be started, and there are four other usually uninhabited properties nearby. She and her family have lived in the area since 1995, she stated, and the property has been empty all that time. It was decided that the borough solicitor, Ms. O'Malley, would look into the matter to see what could be done. In the meantime Mr. Spickerman, the zoning officer, would contact the person responsible for fixing it up directly, and inform him that something needs to be done. The police will also be spoken with, and informed that there are problems in the area.
Several matters were discussed which were not youth related. For instance, the paving bids were opened and voted upon. Broome Bituminous Products, Inc.'s bid was accepted for the pavement of the parking lot, etc., and that of Suit-Kote Corp. for the other street work.
The borough also discussed making July 26 “Go Joe” day in Montrose. Channel 16 called the borough secretary and stated that Joe Snedeker, who travels to raise money for St. Joseph's Hospital, was planning on spending the night in Montrose. They asked the borough to hold some sort of festivities to welcome him. It will be his only stop in Susquehanna County. Annette Rogers, the borough secretary, offered to spearhead the project, and is looking for voluntary support of time, money, etc. from county businesses and individuals. The event is scheduled for between 5 and 7 p.m. on that day, and the news that night will be covering it. There is no guarantee, however, that any particular person or business will be shown. Anyone interested in helping out can contact Ms. Rogers at the borough building (570) 278-2442 ext. 3 during normal business hours.
A few “thank yous” were also officially made, though one to an unknown entity. The borough wanted to officially thank Tri-County Community Options and the anonymous citizen who donated a booth for the Fourth of July festivities. The booth was to be used by the police to hand out information to children regarding gun safety, etc.
Finally, the matter of pools was broached. There is a ruling within the borough code that swimming pools 24” or deeper require a fence around them. The rule was made after a child went wandering some years ago and drowned. There are pools which fall into this category not fenced currently, and the zoning officer wanted to know if the council desired him to enforce the letter of the law or not. There was discussion regarding this; the law was pretty much designed for in-ground pools and at least one person felt that if an above ground pool had controlled access there was no point pursuing the matter. It was decided that Mr. Spickerman would use his discretion, and if he found a pool over 24” which he was concerned about he could bring it back to council.
Great Bend Park Vandalized
Ron Cranage is doing triple duty these days. He's not only Great Bend Borough's Code Enforcement Officer, but he is filling in as an employee to maintain the borough's properties. He's also a Borough Council member, and at the Council meeting on July 5 when it came time to discuss a lengthening list of code enforcement issues, he said he had acquired greater appreciation for what recently retired employee Alan Grannis was able to do. He said he has "all I can handle" just keeping the grass mowed at the town's three parks and the borough building.
Mr. Cranage especially wanted Council to consider doing something to control vandalism at Greenwood Park, noting accumulations of beer cans and other depredations to the pavilion and the restrooms in the small riverside park. When he suggested locking the park gate overnight, other Council members remembered that when locks were tried in the past, vandals had simply broken down the fences. Council president Bea Alesky was also concerned that the parks be reopened promptly in early morning for those who like to walk their dogs. Another suggestion was to add to the lighting in the park to discourage its use after dark. Mr. Cranage was asked to come up with a specific proposal.
The meeting actually opened when Ms. Alesky recognized the Reverend Don Littleton of the neighboring Methodist church. Rev. Littleton attended to request the use of the parking lot behind the Borough Building for the church's community event on July 21. He said that he wanted to use the small lot for display of some of the classic cars that will attend. He told Council that proceeds from the church-sponsored event will go entirely to the community. Some will be earmarked for flood relief, like last year. Some he pledged to donate to parks funds in both Hallstead and Great Bend boroughs.
When Council approved the request, he further noted that the Great Bend Hose Company would be holding its annual Great Bend Community Days that weekend. He offered one of the fire company's flyers advertising the event that had the notation, "BYOB." He didn't think that meant "Bring Your Own Bible." He was concerned that public consumption of alcoholic beverages implied by the common acronym was appropriate for a family-oriented affair like Community Days.
The borough's attorney, Frank O'Connor, attended the meeting and noted that "BYOB" could simply mean "Bring Your Own Beverage." As a member of the Fire Company, however, he promised to make some phone calls to see what could be done.
Council member Joe Collins reported that paving in the Spring Street area was nearly complete. "It looks pretty good," he said.
Emergency Management Coordinator, Mike VanGorden, asked Council to support a form letter that would be handed out to anyone refusing to be evacuated during an emergency. The letter would be a reminder that emergency services could not be guaranteed once a "mandatory" evacuation order had been refused, and that accepting the letter would relieve emergency services of any responsibility for what might befall someone who refuses to be evacuated promptly.
In other business, the borough received a letter and questionnaire from the Hallstead-Great Bend Joint Sewer Authority noting excess grease coming through the system. The questionnaire asked all businesses in the Authority's area to report on the use and maintenance of grease traps. The kitchen in the Borough Building that is used also for the Blue Ridge Senior Center is not equipped with a grease trap, but since the kitchen is actually used very little for cooking, it probably isn't a problem for the borough itself.
The borough received another letter and questionnaire from the Susquehanna County Planning Commission and the Northern Tier Regional Planning Commission asking for details on any transportation-related installations and projects. The two commissions are preparing a long-range transportation plan and are collecting detailed information about bridges, railroads and the like.
The borough office has received two nearly identical letters from Senator Arlen Spector's office and from the U.S. Postal Service effectively rejecting any idea of restoring full-day service to the Great Bend Post Office. The borough is continuing to press the issue, however, and Ron Cranage and Joe Collins will collect remaining petitions at various locations around town. The petitions will be sent along to the same long list of politicians and others who might help to bring full service back to the Great Bend P.O.
Attorney O'Connor is continuing work to develop an ordinance that would effectively prohibit the operation of "adult-oriented" businesses in the town. While he said the borough "can't outlaw them altogether," he said he was considering amendments to a 1982 ordinance that would restrict such businesses to areas outside of a 1000-foot radius of parks, schools, and other public properties. "We don't want that type of business in our town," he said, referring to a developer who was thought to be considering a massage parlor at a location at the north end of the village. According to Ms. Alesky, however, that developer was in a hurry to get started some months ago, and has not been seen since. "I think it's all past and gone away," she said. Nevertheless, Council wants to proceed with such an ordinance to forestall any future attempts to locate such businesses in the borough.
Ron Cranage and the borough Council are looking forward to having a new part-time employee when Dick Button starts work next month. Until then, Mr. Cranage said he would be using some "community service" youth from the Bethesda alternative education center to help keep the borough cleaned up.
The Great Bend Borough Council meets in public session beginning at 7:00 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month at the Borough Building at Elizabeth and Franklin Streets, behind the Methodist church.
Two-Sided Triangle In Harford
The village of Harford is just a little bitty place, barely 100 habitations and fewer than 300 residents. Once a crossroads in a hollow in the woods, Harford even boasted a small hotel for a spell. As recently as 60 years ago the village provisioned its citizens from three stores; two of them even had gas pumps. It had its own school.
Most of that is gone now. One resident who grew up in Harford declares that the village is "going to pot," another small town withering to a residential community near the interstate that just lost a District Magistrate's office to the village of Clifford. Today its identity hangs by a thread on the tiny local post office, surely one of the smallest in the state, if not the nation.
The “Triangle” of contention in Harford.
At the center of Harford village is a triangle formed by the junction of three roads. Anywhere else the small plot of grass – barely 6,300 square feet – would be called a traffic island. Today it sports two utility poles, a stop sign, two street markers, a sign that designates Harford's Main Street as Pennsylvania Route 547, a fire hydrant, an overlarge blue spruce tree, a small monument remembering Harford's 150th birthday, and... a gazebo.
No one living remembers seeing it, but there are pictures of a bandstand on that triangle, very similar to the one that still stands in New Milford's town square. The Harford Cornet band used to perform there. And the Harford area's most celebrated early citizen, Galusha Grow, is said to have given at least one address from the bandstand. Galusha Grow was Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives in the early part of the Civil War and is given credit as the father of the Homestead Act of 1862. He is buried in the Harford cemetery.
A Civil War cannon stood for a long time next to the bandstand on the triangle. To honor the soldiers and sailors of WWII, it was moved in 1942 to a corner of the cemetery where it remains today.
Except for a brief period as home to a barbershop, the little triangle has always been thought of as Harford's only park. In fact, however, the plot has always been and remains – private property. It is one parcel of three or four on a deed whose main property was a store on the corner of Tingley Lake Road and what is now called Market Street. The old Country Store was closed some years ago; the building was never very sturdy in its latter years. In 1941 – 66 years ago – the triangle was made over to what was then called the Sesqui-Centennial and Harford Historical Society in an "indenture" that was attached to the deed. The indenture required the Historical Society "to perpetually keep and maintain the land herein conveyed in good order and condition as a memorial park..." The contract further required "that no building, structure or edifice shall ever be constructed or erected" on the property. Moreover, it says that, "failure to fully observe the [requirements] on the part of the grantee [the Historical Society], its successors or assigns shall cause the lands herein described to revert to the grantors, their heirs or assigns."
Question: is a gazebo a "building, structure or edifice" that was "constructed or erected" on the triangle?
In 1994 a prominent village resident, the late Marion Butler, proposed to the Historical Society to put a gazebo on the triangle. The Society agreed, and, while it is assumed that Ms. Butler bore most of the cost herself, many community residents contributed to it with donations in a basket at the store. It was installed in September of 1994. The store's owners at the time, Vic and Mary Beth Tabarrini, even supplied electricity to light the tree in the triangle at Christmas time.
Enter Bronson Pinchot, an actor with credits in a wide range of TV, stage and film.
Mr. Pinchot was searching for a Greek revival home. He found one in the grandest building in Harford, perhaps in the county, variously known as the Senator's house or the Jones house, after State Senator Ed Jones, who once lived there, on Harford's Main Street, Pennsylvania Route 547, aka Senator Ed Jones Highway. Known as "Good Roads Jones," Jones served in the state capital from 1917 to 1922.
In the six or so years he has lived in Harford, Mr. Pinchot has acquired at least seven properties in the center of the village. He has restored his own mansion as well as two other old and decrepit homes on Main Street. Significantly, one of the properties includes the historic post office, which he leases to the U.S. Postal Service. He purchased the old Odd Fellows Hall from Harford Township two years ago, tore it down to the delight of many, and planted a broad greensward as his side yard. By all accounts, Mr. Pinchot's efforts have greatly improved the appearance of the little town.
Local residents volunteer high praise for his contributions. He joined the Congregational Church and the Masons. He contributed heavily to the Harford Fire Company. He even joined the Historical Society and is current on his $5 annual dues. But he apparently doesn't like the gazebo.
He has an interest in the gazebo – and the triangular piece of turf on which it stands – because he owns the old store property (the store was also razed), and is therefore the current "assigns" of the "grantor" mentioned in the indenture of 1941. And, because it seems that he doesn't care for the gazebo, and presumably considers it a "building, structure or edifice," he has instructed his attorney, Ray Davis of Montrose, to file a "Complaint in Ejectment" that seeks to re-claim the property from the Historical Society.
In initial discussions between Mr. Davis and Ken Adams, Vice President of the Historical Society, Mr. Pinchot, through his attorney, offered to build a gazebo elsewhere for the Society. His offer was summarily rejected by the Society, whereupon he filed suit to "[claim] right to possession of the premises," that is, to the triangle. In addition to the claim that the gazebo represents a violation of the terms of the 1941 indenture, the complaint also claims a dangerous traffic situation results from parked cars during "prayer meetings" and "bake sales." The local church sponsors the National Day of Prayer at the triangle each year, and the Sunday School has held a fund-raising bake sale there. The Historical Society was given 20 days to respond to the suit. Its board of directors felt it necessary to hire an attorney, to whom it paid $1,000 to get started with a defense.
The triangle represents the only public "park" in Harford (except perhaps for the ball field, which is maintained by the local Little League association). When Harford had more commercial activity, clerks at the store, the Magistrate's secretary and others often ate their lunch in the gazebo. At least one local school student has been known to do her homework there. A flagpole donated some years ago by the New Milford Rotary Club was removed while the bridge over Leslie Creek was under construction; it has not yet been reinstalled because of the unresolved status of the triangle property.
One local resident insists that the triangle was designated as a "memorial park," and memorial parks often have gazebos or bandstands in them, as do both Montrose and New Milford. In any case, for one, he does not consider the gazebo a "structure," since it is not attached to the ground. He said that the Historical Society has always maintained the "village green" as a memorial park, and said he "couldn't believe that Pritchard had [a gazebo] in mind [as a `structure']," when he made the property over to the Historical Society. George Pritchard owned the store in 1941.
Another long-time resident noted that the Historical Society may be the closest thing Harford has as an unincorporated community to a city council, a representative body of local people. She is concerned that the property in the hands of an individual would cease to be a community resource.
For his part, Mr. Pinchot would not comment directly on questions about the ongoing litigation. He did hint, however, that he is negotiating with the U.S. Postal Service about the status of the post office, and is hopeful of a positive outcome. When he purchased the last store to operate in Harford – known as the Deli Llama – he hoped to reopen it under local management. He is still open to offers. "[I]f someone knows how to run a successful store, let them step forward," says he. He also said that he had been preparing a proposal to keep the Magistrate's office in Harford when the county made a decision to move it to Clifford.
As for the triangle specifically, he said, "When 2007 recognizes the right of... 1941... to have the original framers' intentions respected, there will be ample time to have what may well prove to be creatively energizing discussions about how public function might be accommodated in a village center lacking in publicly held land." In other words, there will be time enough to talk about a public park for Harford after the suit is settled.
Mr. Pinchot felt "rebuffed" by the curt rejection of his offer to build a new gazebo, and he apparently was confused when – as he saw it – restrictions on the use of the triangle were not observed in the same way that he was bound by requirements imposed on his purchase of the old Odd Fellows property.
Some are concerned that Mr. Pinchot may be jeopardizing the good will he has earned in the community by his litigious approach to the issue of the triangle. Residents claim that he was "welcomed with open arms" when he first arrived. They feel miffed that he would not try to resolve his concerns with a more personal approach. "Why did he hire an attorney to begin with?" asked one. "That's not the way we've done things in this community... I don't know why he couldn't just meet with us." Mr. Pinchot believes that he did make a good-faith effort at the outset, and was summarily dismissed.
It's tragic that all of the good things that a new resident has brought to the little community of Harford should dissolve into such a dispute. The two sides now have their backs up, ready to fight. One hopes that the issue can be resolved amicably in some way that will preserve the respect of all, and the dignity and amity of the little community of Harford.
Diana Evans Slick, Robert T. Slick to J.D. McVey, Jr., Lake Ariel, PA, P. J. Langan, in Lenox Township for $207,000.
Giles Fike, Linda Fike to Peter Serfilippi, Palm Harbor, FL, Janice Serfilippi, in Ararat Township for $50,000.
James A. Craft to William P. Mazikewich, Susquehanna, Elizabeth J. Mazikewich, in Thompson Township for $140,000.
Laford F. Coons (estate) to Marjorie A. Whitney, RR2, Thompson, Robert G. Whitney, in Jackson Township for one dollar.
Betty Glemboski to Lee James Toussaint, Milford, in Lathrop Township for $177,500.
National Loan Investors LP to Edward J. Kozlowski, RR1, Union Dale, Lisa Kozlowski, in Lenox Township for $145,000.
John Susla, Melba Susla, Dolores Canfield to John Susla, RR4, Montrose, Melba Susla, Dolores E. Canfield, Larry A. Davis, Kimberly A. Davis, in Jessup Township for one dollar.
Martin H. Fela, Gyl G. Fela to Kurt W. Paschke, Holbrook, NY, Colleen A. Paschke, in Ararat Township for $15,000.
Cheryl L. Lobdell to Dale A. Sandt, Perkasie, in New Milford Township for $117,500.
Leigh S. Rockwell, Lynn S. Rockwell to Rockwell Family Cabin Trust, Wyomissing, in Harmony Township for one dollar.
Julia A. Clarke (aka) Julie A. Clarke to Thomas E. Clarke, Portland, OR, in Montrose for one dollar (corrective deed).
Thomas E. Clarke (aka) Thomas E. Clark, Julia A. Clarke to Clarke Family Trust, Portland, OR, in Montrose for one dollar.
Frederick W. Knowlton to Frederick W. Knowlton, RR1, Union Dale, Cody J. Knowlton, in Lenox Township for one dollar.
Wayne Magnot to Joseph S. Toczydlowski, Archbald, Lori E. Toczydlowski, Benedict Sebastianelli, Shirley Sebastianelli, in Lenox Township for $98,500.
Eric J. Glemser, Patricia A. Glemser to Eric J. Glemser, Springville, in Auburn Township for one dollar.
Eric J. Glemser, Patricia A. Glemser to Eric J. Glemser, Springville, in Auburn Township for one dollar.
Kenneth T. Viall, Sally A. Viall to Kenneth T. Viall, Jr., RR1, Hallstead, in Liberty Township for one dollar.
Kenneth T. Viall, Jr., Sally A. Viall to Sally A. Viall, RR1, Hallstead, in Liberty Township for one dollar.
Warren W. Weeks, Laurie J. Weeks to James R. Tuttle, RR1, Hallstead, in Liberty Township for $145,215.
Dean A. Johnson, Valerie Johnson to Joseph Cort, Forked River, NJ, Anna Marie Cort, in New Milford Township for $39,000.
James P. Barbaretta, Louise W. Barbaretta, Michael J. Barbaretta, Mary Jo Barbaretta to Patricia Ann King, Jamison, in Herrick Township for $174,500.
Bruce R. Mcaulliffe, Susan V. Mcaulliffe to Richard S. Fritsky, RR1, Great Bend, in Great Bend Township for $184,500.
Daniel S. Cochran (estate) to Jeffrey Hopkins, Langhorne, PA, Maureen Hopkins, in Dimock Township for $65,000.
Daniel W. Cochran to Jeffrey Hopkins, Sr., Langhorne, Maureen Hopkins, Jeffrey Hopkins, Jr., in Dimock Township for $100,000.
Howard Colwell, Jr., Merna Colwell to Daniel Laude, RR1, Great Bend, Emily J. Laude, in Great Bend Township for $50,000.
Peter G. Prenderfast, Barbara L. Prenderfast to John T. Dixon, Friendsville, in Forest Lake Township for $160,000.
Eva M. Lathrop to Mary Jane Ackley, Dimock, in Dimock Township for one dollar.
Dale J. Baker, Marian R. Baker to Chad E. Crawford, Susquehanna, Shannon M. Crawford, Oakland Borough and Oakland Township for $35,000.
Marion Naylor to Marion Naylor, RR3, Meshoppen, Alan D. Naylor, Elizabeth Naylor in Auburn Township for $85,000.
Lillian Anderson (by US Marshal), Skip Michael Tracey, New Milford, in Hallstead Borough for $5,901.
Francis E. Gleason, Stephanie G. Gleason to Andrew Wyzykowski, Clifford, in Clifford Township for $150,000.
Richard H. Fraser to Stephen H. Fraser, Fresh Meadow, NY, Kara Passarella, in Bridgewater Township for $183,520.
James M. Lowry to Joseph M. Sterchak, Collegeville, in Union Dale Borough for $185,000.
James M. Lowry to Joseph M. Sterchak, Collegeville, in Union Dale Borough for $60,000.
Audrey M, Malinowski to Joseph M. Sterchak, Collegeville, in Union Dale Borough for $52,500.
Caesar Madrid, Joseph M. Sterchak to Joseph M. Sterchak, Collegeville, Caesar Madrid, in Union Dale Borough for $100 (easement).
Getaway Land Co. LLC to Henry J. Cittone, South Orange, NJ, Laura L. Payne, in Auburn Township for $42,000.
Cheryl D. Wagner to Brandon S. Shisler, Pelford, in Jessup Township for one dollar.
Marie V. Kachadourian (estate), David Swawola to Peter Kachadourian, New Milford, in New Milford Borough for one dollar.
Benjamin E. Hibbard and Kristen M. Vodzak, both of Conklin, NY.
The Bureau of Internal Revenue has filed federal liens against the following individuals or companies for failing to pay income tax:
Matthew Harris, RR1, Forest City, $3,433 for income tax period ending December 31, 2002.
Donald Dean & Sons Inc., Montrose, $8,394 for income tax period ending December 31, 2006.
Quality F&B Inc., RR1, Kingsley, $30,636 for income tax period ending December 31, 2006.
Joshua A. Robbins, Springville, $41,642, for income tax period ending December 31, 1998, and $165 for income tax period ending December 31, 1999.
Subject: FC Council Council Reimburses Snow Blower Cost
The Forest City Borough Council agreed last week to reimburse developer Jim Spano the $700-plus dollars he paid for a snow blower he donated to the borough last winter.
The move came after an appeal from Paul J. Amadio, a former councilman, who told the council that accepting the gift from a man who intends to sponsor some residential and commercial projects in the community is illegal.
Council President Jim Lowry reminded Amadio that he was a councilman when the snow blower was purchased by Spano. Amadio acknowledged that he was a council member at the time but that he had been absent from the meeting when Spano’s offer to buy the snow blower for the borough was accepted by Lowry and Mayor Nick Cost.
The vote to reimburse Spano the cost of the snow blower was 4-0, with Lowry abstaining but offering no explanation for the abstention. Councilman Pat Coles was absent and at the start of the meeting, a letter of resignation from Amadio was read and accepted. Council appointed Barbara Mihelc to finish out his term.
Amadio also cautioned the governing body to move slowly on any application that Spano may submit for multi-family condominiums on Main Street. He said singling out one of Spano’s buildings could constitute spot zoning that is illegal in Pennsylvania.
Borough Solicitor Paul Smith said Spano could apply to the Zoning Board for a variance or request a change in the borough’s zoning ordinance that would allow condominiums on Main Street. Earlier this year, Spano told the council he intended to construct 15 two-bedroom apartments and 12 one-bedroom apartments in a Main Street building he purchased recently from Kartri Sales.
Smith told the council that Spano would also need an off-street parking plan that would include access and egress driveways.
Kids playing in the streets continue to be a problem in the borough. However, one parent said the lack of sidewalks in most residential areas of the borough forces the kids to walk in the streets when they are heading to Kennedy Park or the Babe Ruth Playground.
Council acknowledged the receipt of some complaints from parents regarding kids playing in the streets.
“Do 'Children at Play’ signs mean the kids are playing in the street?” one person asked.
“We do have laws,” Smith said. “Kids are not allowed to play in the streets.”
Mayor Cost was also absent from the meeting.
Gibson Barracks Report
ACT 64 VIOLATION
On July 3 Robert Smith, Rosanna Smith, and Jessica Coulombe were charged with possession of drug paraphernalia at the Smith residence in Susquehanna. Numerous pipes and bongs were located at the scene by Susquehanna County Probation officers and seized by the State Police.
On July 3 one or more unknown persons damaged a mailbox belonging to James McIntyre of Springville, PA by placing fireworks in it.
On July 4 at around 4:00 a.m. an accident occurred on SR 106 in Harford Twp. An unknown person, driving a 1996 red Ford truck (PA reg#yrf5314) was traveling eastbound on that road when he or she exited the roadway to the north of the travel lanes, came back onto the road, crossed both east and west lanes of travel, and struck guardrails, before overturning onto the passenger's side and coming to a final rest in the eastbound travel lane. The driver left the scene prior to police response.
On the 3rd of July Stanoje Silkovic of Cuyahoga Falls, OH was observed urinating in the parking lot of the Flying J in Gibson. He was arrested for Disorderly Conduct.
Gary Casselbury of Hallstead has been charged with violations of PACC for damage done to the doors of property belonging to David Anderson of New Milford.
On June 26 Billy Patchell of Northeast, MD struck the concrete bridge barrier located at Exit 206 of SR 81 in Lenox. He fled the scene, and did not notify police or 911. It is unknown if Patchell was wearing a seatbelt or sustained injuries. He has been cited for failure to report an accident.
On June 25, an unknown person fired a BB gun and struck the window of a residence belonging to Ann Barnes, on Kellum Rd.
ONE VEHICLE CRASH
On July 1, Anna Schmuck was driving southbound on SR 2022 when she lost control for an unknown reason, veering first to the left and then to the right. The vehicle went off the right side of the road and off an embankment, rolling over before landing in a dry stream bed on its room. Schmuck was not wearing a seatbelt and sustained some injury.
HIT & RUN ACCIDENT
On June 30, an unknown person driving a black Jeep Wrangler was traveling South on SR 171 when, for unknown reasons, the vehicle came into the northbound lane and struck a 2007 Cadillac STS driven by Carole Motsko of Thompson. The Wrangler then continued South in the direction of Forest City Borough, and did not stop at the scene as required. No injuries were reported in this incident.
ONE VEHICLE INCIDENT
On June 29 at 5:25 p.m., Robert Williamson of Windsor, NY was driving his 1990 Mack truck and trailer northbound on SR 81 in New Milford Twp. A blue Dodge Dakota Pickup truck bearing unknown NY registration plates suddenly veered into his lane in front of him, causing Williamson to apply his brakes in an effort to avoid a crash. Doing so allowed him to avoid the collision, but caused him to lose control of his combination unit which then jackknifed, slid across the highway, and struck an embankment. The operator of the Dodge kept traveling north and failed to stop at the scene.
TRAFFIC COLLISION – FATAL
On June 29 a Crusader II Limousine Style Omni Bus, driven by Carl Fowler of the Mt. Morris, NY area, was traveling Southbound on Interstate 81 at 4:05 a.m. Fowler attempted to exit the Interstate onto Exit 210, whereat the bus traveled through a series of concrete barriers and across the ramp in its entirety before coming to a final rest partly upon the roadway. Fowler was pronounced dead at the scene. Twelve of the bus's 18 passengers were transported by 5 local ambulance companies to Scranton Community Medical Center, Endless Mountains Health Systems, and Wilson Memorial Hospital. This investigation is ongoing at this time.
THEFT/THEFT BY DECEPTION
Daniel Williams of Friendsville was recently charged with Theft by Deception and Theft by Unlawful Taking regarding an incident with an ATV. Williams had an ATV belonging to Susan Birchard (also of Friendsville) at his house, due to its having been broken while he and Birchard's son were riding. Williams then told Shawn Isby of Great Bend that the ATV was for sale by the owner when it was not, and subsequently sold him the ATV under false pretenses.
On June 26 two tombstones were tipped over at the First Presbyterian Church on Pine Street in Hallstead. The unknown perpetrator(s) also wrote “love and summer 07” on the driveway with chalk before fleeing the scene. Anyone with information please contact PSP Gibson at (570) 465-3154.
ONE CAR CRASH
On June 26, Mark Taylor was making a right hand turn from SR 2041 onto Taylor Road (in Lenox Twp.) when he lost control of the vehicle on the dirt at the beginning of the road. His vehicle left the roadway, struck one tree with its left rear and then continued into another tree with its right front. Both Taylor and his passenger, Renee Oleniakcz, were wearing seatbelts, sustained only minor injuries, and were transported to CMC in Scranton for treatment by Montrose and Harford EMS.
On June 25, Wade McDonald of Susquehanna went outside his residence after hearing noises from the area near where he parks his Ford F-150. McDonald observed four youths standing in and around his pickup, and later discovered that they had damaged the vehicle. The young people fled in different directions upon seeing McDonald; he was unable to catch them.
On June 25, a vehicle driven by Demarieo Hames of Buffalo, NY was stopped for speeding near mp 219 of 81 in New Milford Twp. James Thomas, also of Buffalo, was in the vehicle at the time as well. The Susquehanna Co. K-9 Unit assisted the police, and alerted upon the suspects' vehicle. Approximately 197 grams of cocaine and a small amount of marijuana was found inside. The two men were arrested and remanded to Susquehanna Co. Jail. Bail was set at $50,000 each.
On June 1 Edward Hollister of Uniondale, PA was charged with having sexual intercourse with a juvenile female at his residence.
ONE VEHICLE CRASH
On June 25 Anthony Baker of Kingsley was driving southbound on Dump Road near SR 2015. Baker failed to safely negotiate a right hand turn onto SR 2015 and lost control of his vehicle, which fishtailed and went off the eastern side of the road. The front end of the truck struck a small tree, and the vehicle rolled after going over a small embankment. Baker and passengers Ben Baker and Don Whitmire, both also of Kingsley, were all belted and sustained no injuries. Baker was cited for Driving Too Fast For Conditions.
ONE VEHICLE CRASH
On June 29 William Allen of Montrose was driving on SR267 in Forest Lake Twp. when he applied his brakes to avoid striking a deer in the roadway. This attempt was successful, however the vehicle veered right and struck a concrete bridge abutment in the right front area. It then traveled north on the shoulder of the road and struck a speed limit sign and a tree before eventually coming to rest.
PROPULSION OF MISSILE
On June 23 Michael Lamoureux of Blackstone, MA reported that his vehicle was struck with coffee. The incident occurred as he was traveling southbound on Rte. 81 near the Randolph Street Bridge in Great Bend Twp.
Great Bend Super Urges State Support
Supervisor Bob Squier attended the recent flood summit in Montrose. He reported that it had been very informative, and some new ideas had been presented. He also gave a recap of an earlier meeting he had attended at Keystone College. At this one, Mr. Squier himself made a presentation, and urged state officials to help with training expenses involved in certifying emergency responders. Emergency workers have to deal with so many impacts in our area, he said, such as the rivers, streams and railroads. Fire and ambulance companies are finding that they do not have sufficient personnel to properly look after all they are expected to. Qualifying involves rigorous, expensive training. He feels that the state should help fund the expenses involved in that training, which should alleviate the burden on fire companies and could encourage more people to join.
In other flood-related business, it was reported that Hawk Engineering has submitted the requested paperwork to DEP for the Brants Crossing permit; once it is obtained CDG Excavating will replace the pipe.
The supervisors have been looking into applying for grant funding for work on lower Towner Road. It was thought that there would be a good chance of getting approved for a smaller amount, as there is a good amount of competition for the grant funds. With that in mind, the operator of the quarry on Towner Road will be asked if he would be willing to supply crushed stone for the base, and the application will be submitted for the expense of getting a roller and other materials. Application deadline is July 31.
Bids were opened for tar and chipping (Lovers Lane, Bogart St., Old Route 11, Nova Road) and binder work on Old Route 11; the township will provide the stone, purchased through the state piggyback program, and the bidder will provide the equipment and manpower. The tar and chip bid was awarded to Pennsy Asphalt, and the binder work bid was awarded to ProSeal.
One price quote has been received for rock salt, at $46.87; the supervisors were awaiting a second quote. The township generally uses about 120 tons during the winter plowing season.
Quarry operators who use the township’s roads and do not fix the damage caused by heavy equipment were the subject of discussion. There is one operator in particular who was the cause of this discussion, he will be approached by the supervisors about the damage; enacting an ordinance to deal with such situations was also discussed.
DEP has provided information to the township, brochures that list some frequently asked questions and their answers, dealing with such subjects as municipal waste, demolition, floodway, watercourses and wetlands.
The state sent the supervisors a questionnaire, requesting their input for development of long-range transportation projects. Some sites of concern were discussed, and will be included for submittal.
Mr. Squier spoke with the owner of a property where there had been complaints about an accumulation of tires. Some of them had been removed, he said, and documentation was supplied to prove it. Mr. Squier will continue to check on it.
There was no response from a letter sent to Lee Allard, requesting that a dangerous pit be fenced in. DEP will be notified of the situation.
Dixie Russell, the township’s emergency management coordinator, reviewed the county’s emergency operations plan and recommended that it be adopted, as the county plan encompasses more than the township’s plan. A motion carried to do so.
The Joan Long case is scheduled for a hearing in the county court on August 23.
Public comment included favorable comment on work done on Emerson and VanVleck Roads; a question about the status of the brush cutter (it was damaged by flood water and has been repaired); the need for brush trimming on McHugh Rd. and Jackson St. (it was scheduled for shortly after the meeting date); and favorable comment on the cleanup of a property on Old Route 11.
A suggestion was made that the township look into purchasing a roller, as it seems one is needed fairly often. The supervisors said that one is available locally for short-term rental, which works out well. Buying one would entail needing equipment to move it from one place to another, renting is more economical.
Another suggestion was about what to do with properties the township acquires after the emergency buyout. One resident felt that at least one of them would make an excellent site for a walking park, and there are grants available for such purposes.
There was a complaint about the Reynolds property on Randolph Rd. It was said that it is a disaster, and looks worse than it has since the flood. The supervisors will look into it.
And, the supervisors will look into a complaint about a water problem near New York Ave.; the township did dig a ditch, but someone apparently filled it in.
The next meeting will be on Monday, August 6, 7 p.m. in the township building.
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