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The Susquehanna County Commissioners’ September 26 meeting was filled with discussions concerning problems faced by the Rail Authority, as well as continued discussions and remarks from the public with ideas about the future involvement of Susquehanna County Commissioners regarding a stand on B & S Quarries in New Milford.
P. Jay Amadio, a concerned tax payer, brought forth information regarding an application for a loan, for the Rail Authority, to help them acquire a grant. Amadio stated that the deadline for the Authority to apply for this grant is approaching quickly, the end of October. He added that he felt the Commissioners should help the Authority get the application in, even if all the information required was not at hand.
According to Commissioners Kelly, Loomis and Warren, the required items have been asked for, for both the grant and the loan application. The information is required by both the lending institution and Harrisburg.
When asked why the necessary documentation has not been gathered previously, Janet Haulton, a former worker of Rail Authority, and Amadio stated that although they had tried to gather it, it was unavailable. Apparently, there are some leadership problems with the Rail Authority.
It is a semi-autonomous entity which makes it its own governing board. The Commissioners actually have very little, if any, “say” in Rail Authority business.
The list of information required for the grant application to move forward includes: engineering plan/site layout; capital budget language/contract reimbursement process; project description; project operations plan; real estate information; and financing plan.
The information is/has been requested by Susquehanna County Commissioners, Senator Madigan’s office, and the Economic Development Department, plus the bank from which the loan is requested.
The funds are to purchase land to “do a transloading facility,” according to Commissioner Roberta Kelly. Amadio added that if The Rail Authority and the Commissioners cannot get together with all the parties concerned, “then nothing positive is going to happen.”
He added, “County taxpayers could suffer.”
The Commissioners stated that they would like to see all parties coming together at the table, to work out as much as they could accomplish and send the application in, just to make the deadline, knowing that this documentation must be provided. “At least have it meet the October deadline.”
When asked if she felt it was the County Commissioners’ fault, Janet Haulton stated, “The Commissioners have been supportive in their endeavors.”
The question remains why the Rail Authority cannot make decisions, nor why the leadership of said Authority does not come together for the benefit of the Authority; one answer was suggested, “There needs to be a change in leadership.”
It was emphasized that without the necessary documentation, the grant application for the transloading facility will not become a reality. Amadio again requested the Commissioners get all to the table. Mr. Amadio also stated that members of the Rail Authority were supposed to be at the Commissioners’ meeting, but no one was. He added that he was not there speaking for the Rail Authority, but as a concerned taxpayer.
Commissioner Loomis stated that he would do what he could do, to make that happen. Commissioners Kelly and Warren were in complete agreement that that would be the thing to do.
Commissioner Loomis was taken to task by P. Jay Amadio regarding letters that informed certain members of the Rail Authority who had been “gone” for up to 15 months and not informing some of the current Authority members. Loomis apologized, stating that he needed to update his e-mail, as he sent many things to sets of people and his email had not been cleared out as recently as it should have been.
Another topic of sometimes “heated” concern was that of B & S Quarries located in New Milford.
New Milford residents, as well as members of the New Milford RESCUE were on hand to present their ideas, concerns, and possible solutions.
First to speak for concerns of the problem with B & S Quarry was Fred Ehmann, who thanked Commissioner Loomis for the letter Loomis wrote to DEP. New Milford RESCUE thanked Commissioner Loomis not only for the letter, but that he “felt compelled enough to check into things” and write this letter. He mentioned that “certain things done in secret without the public eye” apparently caused huge misunderstandings in the newspapers regarding the New Milford Township meetings. Ehmann suggested that supervisor(s) from the township expressed that a new amendment had been filed, and a variety of the concerns were “taken care of.” Upon speaking with DEP, it was learned “no such documentation was ever filed.”
He also alleged that B & S Quarries “does not follow the rules, like other area quarries.”
Commissioner Kelly responded, stating that slanderous statements recently made against her were “false and cowardly, at best.” She added that she had helped DEP and local entities to “get together.”
Commissioner Warren agreed that all involved needed to sit at the table and discuss the events and concerns. Commissioner Kelly added that the County Commissioners were really in a mediator position, “The right parties need to meet to discuss these challenges and struggles.”
B & S Quarries are not traditional bluestone or aggregate quarries, they are gravel quarries.
New Milford residents are concerned with the noise, the blasting, the weight, and wear and tear of the trucks on the local roads.
John Hoffman, New Milford Township, conjectured that B & S Quarries were not the “good” neighbors as Commissioner Kelly had suggested. He said that they allegedly billed New Milford Borough over $6,000 for work they did in the flood of 2006. He said that they received only $2,000 of that amount.
Another resident of New Milford Township, John Drann related to the Commissioners that a “sawshack" located in the B & S Quarries was never approved by the Planning Commission. Questions were raised regarding the handling of the matter, and it will be brought before the Planning Commission.
Bill Moyers offered pictures, showing the dust rising from the quarry, to the Commissioners and the audience.
The commissioners suggested that they will aid in having a meeting, “with all parties present.” The problems are actually more a Township level concern than a county step. However, the Commissioners are in agreement to “act as mediator.”
In other matters at the meeting:
County Treasurer Kathy Benedict requested a motion “to reduce the Chief Assessor’s salary by one-half, due to reduction in time for assessing from the car, and apparent lack of work as evidenced by time spent in other county offices and time spent mutilating other offices’ paperwork and lack of cooperation with other county officers and other county offices."
Commissioner Loomis suggested that the motion be held for the personnel board. The position holds a $36,414 annual salary. The current Chief Assessor began working in that position in November of 2005.
Three proclamations were passed, the first declaring the week of September 23, 2007 to be Resource Conservation & Development Council Week in Susquehanna County, to recognize the fact that during this week, across the nation, Resource Conservation and Development Councils are performing community service projects to improve their communities. The RC&D was also congratulated for its continued success in brightening the future of our communities by bringing together diverse groups of local volunteers to strengthen the spirit of community service in Susquehanna County, not only this week, but throughout the year.
The second proclamation passed was Fire Prevention Week in Susquehanna County, October 7-13. According to the proclamation, the first responders in Susquehanna County are committed to ensuring the safety and security of all those living in and visiting our county, and fire as a serious public safety concern locally and nationally. Homes are the locations where people are at greatest risk from fire, and the National Fire Protection Association has documented that home fires killed 3,030 people in the United States in 2005 – roughly eight people every day. First responders are dedicated to reducing the occurrence of home fires and injuries through prevention, protection and education, and our residents are receptive to public education measures and are able to take personal steps to increase their safety from fire. Residents who have planned and practiced a home fire escape plan are more prepared and will be more likely to survive a fire. The 2007 Fire Prevention Week Theme, “It’s Fire Prevention Week – Practice Your Escape Plan!” effectively serves to remind us all of the simple actions we can take to stay safer from fire during Fire Prevention Week and year-round. The commissioners urge all residents of Susquehanna County to heed the important safety messages of Fire Prevention Week, and to support the many public safety activities and efforts of our fire and emergency services.
The third proclamation stated that October is to be “Domestic Violence Awareness Month.”
Whereas, Domestic Violence is a serious crime that affects women, men, and children of all races, ages, income levels, and religions, and the crime of Domestic Violence violates an individual’s privacy, dignity, security, and humanity due to the systematic use of physical, emotional, sexual, psychological and economic control or abuse. In Susquehanna County alone last year, The Women’s Resource Center provided over 2,100 hours of crisis counseling and support to 269 adults and 12 children, sheltering 9 women and their 7 children for a total of 393 days of safe housing for survivors of Domestic Violence. One in three women in the world identify abuse by an intimate partner as part of their life experiences; and children are physically, emotionally and psychologically impacted by Domestic Violence as targets of the abuse and as witnesses to abuse of their parent. Domestic violence is the single most prevalent cause of injury to women in the United States, according to emergency room records. Domestic Violence costs our community thousands of dollars in medical expenses, police and court costs, hotline and crisis services, and in loss of employee time and productivity. Only a coordinated community effort will put a stop to these heinous crimes, therefore, The Susquehanna County Commissioners are designating the month of October 2007 as “Domestic Violence Awareness Month” in Susquehanna County; all citizens are urged to actively participate in the scheduled activities in October 2007 and to work toward eliminating Domestic Violence in our community. Members of the Susquehanna County Women’s Resource Center, members of Faith Alliance, Bethesda, were present to show their support. They were presented the Proclamation by the Commissioners.
The next scheduled Commissioners’ meeting will be held on October 10, at 10:00 a.m. in the county office building.
The Harford Township Supervisors' meeting on September 25 was brief, with an agenda that was vanishingly thin, consisting of one item: Projects.
Those "projects" are likely to appear on the agenda for many months to come, since no one is prepared to estimate when the work to replace a bridge over Butler Creek or the sluice under Stearns Road might be complete. "Who knows?" remarked outgoing chairman Rick Pisasik to a question along those lines.
The township is awaiting final approval by the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Letters are passing back and forth between DEP and the township's engineers, trying to resolve some design issues.
In the meantime, the township is finalizing a half-million-dollar line of credit with People's Bank and investigating other options to help finance the projects. The full cost of the Butler Creek bridge is expected to be reimbursed by the federal and state emergency management agencies, because the washout was part of the flooding of June, 2006. The Stearns Road project at the outlet of Tingley Lake so far seems to be on the backs of township taxpayers.
The township is preparing paperwork in cooperation with the Department of Transportation (PennDOT) to submit application to the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Bank (PIB) for a no- (or low-) interest loan. The PIB "is a PennDOT-operated program that provides low-interest loans to help fund transportation projects within the Commonwealth. The goal of the PIB is to leverage state and federal funds, accelerate priority transportation projects, spur economic development, and assist local governments with their transportation needs." According to township Secretary Sue Furney, a PIB loan is usually secured using a municipality's liquid-fuel funds as collateral. Municipalities receive annual contributions – called liquid-fuels subsidy – from the state to support the maintenance of local roads based on a regular audit of road miles maintained by the municipality.
The state is also issuing new guidelines for road work, mostly to help ensure the safety of road workers. Supervisor and Roadmaster Terry VanGorden, and township employee Wayne Frederici recently sat in on a presentation about the new rules, which strengthen the requirements for clothing, hard hats, signage, equipment lighting and other safety elements that local crews and their employers will have to begin to observe.
Asked about the county-wide re-addressing program that got started some two years ago, Ms. Furney said that maps and plans are still under consideration by the United States Postal Service. The program will make road names more consistent, particularly where they cross municipal boundaries, and provide for consistent addressing of residences and businesses that should help improve the response of emergency services. Many people will receive new postal addresses as well, using house numbers related to their distance along a given road, rather than rural route box numbers.
The next meeting of the Harford Township Supervisors will be held on Saturday, October 13, beginning at 10:00 a.m., at the Township building on Route 547.
It was supposed to be a workshop. Then, two weeks ago, when some members of the Blue Ridge School Board were miffed that the administration tried to get approval for a couple of items that the Board had barely heard of, they tabled the requests and turned this week's workshop into a business meeting. So, on September 24 there was a relatively brief business meeting, and the workshop was forgotten. "Not much going on," said one Board member.
Hallstead Borough Councilman Joey Franks took advantage of the opening to present a laundry list of requests and suggestions to deepen the partnership between the borough and the school around the athletic field on U.S. Route 11 south of town.
Mr. Franks described the ballfield as "one of the nicest fields in the country," due in part to what Blue Ridge has put into it. Oh, and by the way, the school district's lease on the ballfield is up for renewal. Mr. Franks was expecting the district to meet with the borough council to discuss the renewal; Board President Alan Hall said the district would have a letter out within a week or two.
Mr. Franks and Mr. Hall agreed that the concession stand at the field is in "bad shape," cannot be used in its current condition, and needs to be either torn down or renovated.
Mr. Franks then offered some of the $5,000 or so the borough has accumulated from the proceeds of the annual Tim Fancher foot race to help rebuild the dugouts at the field. And, he said, the borough council is willing to put up as much as $1,500 toward the cost of a new scoreboard. He said he especially wanted the scoreboard to reflect the achievements of the Blue Ridge Lady Raiders softball teams, which have won two state championships in recent years.
The Board did have other business to attend to, of course, including those tabled items from last time. Only one of them showed up again. The Board approved some corrections to the district's strategic plan, which are due to the state Department of Education by month's end. The other one, a recommendation to renew a relationship with the Northern Tier Industry Education Consortium, was nowhere to be found. Last time, Board members were skeptical that the NTIEC would be of much use to Blue Ridge students.
The Board also approved hiring a new school psychologist, Sherrie Tanguay, of Painted Post, NY. She will assume a 10-month position at a salary of $43,500 per year.
While considering a list of coaching and activity positions, the Board accepted all but one. Principal Matthew Nebzydoski was cut from the roster as advisor to the Middle School Student Council without discussion.
The Board also approved a resolution renewing the real estate transfer tax, which the district shares with other municipalities. The renewal has always been routine, but this year the district was required to pass a formal resolution to make it official.
High School Principal John Manchester reported progress developing the Classroom for the Future under a large grant from the state, including the use of something called "Study Island," an Internet-based prep program for the state standardized tests known as the PSSA. He also noted science teacher Edward Price's continuing and long-time participation in a summer physics program at Dickinson College.
New Elementary School Principal Matthew Button reported that his predecessor's plan to invest in a nature trail at the borders of the campus will be implemented soon. He hopes to recruit high school students as guides for his youngsters, and will be seeking a grant to fund the purchase of some GPS (global positioning system) equipment for the students to use.
The next public meeting of the Blue Ridge School Board will be held on Monday, October 15, beginning at 7:30 p.m., in the cafeteria in the Elementary School.
The Susquehanna County Commissioners designated the month of October, 2007 as "Domestic Violence Awareness Month" in Susquehanna County. Pictured here are members of The Women's Resource Center, as well as members of The Faith Alliance, which assists Women's Resource Center.
Photo by Carole M. Canfield
Thomas K. and Barbara E. Simpson to Valerie J. and James E. Morrison, in Montrose for $219,000.00.
Manzek Land Co. Inc. to Christian and Florentina Vasui, in Auburn Township for $68,500.00.
Manzek Land Co. Inc. to Manzek Land Co. Inc., in Forest Lake Township for one dollar.
Manzek Land Co. Inc. to Michael Morreale, in Forest Lake Township for $55,000.00.
Manzek Land Co. Inc. to Robert Sutkowski, in Forest Lake Township for $48,000.00.
John H. Sanders and Richard P. York to Steven Noyes, in Apolacon Township for $2,000.00.
John L. Heinauer to Larry Heinauer, in Herrick Township for one dollar.
Leonard John and Lorraine Susanne Hitchcock to Mark J. and Jennifer A. Hunsinger, in Rush Township for $160,000.00.
Eleanor L. Grinnell Jesse to John G., Wallace G. and Nelson K. Jesse, in Harford Township for one dollar.
Neville H. Bawden to Johnathan J. Archie, in Choconut Township for $40,000.00.
Robert Burkosky to Shawn and Kelly Turonis, in Forest City for $1,300.00.
Robert Burkosky to Shawn and Kelly Turonis, in Forest City for $1,300.00.
Karen Vandegriek to Daniel and Gretchen Platt Backer, in Montrose for $120,000.00.
Poelstra Barwick to Poelstra Barwick LLC, in Silver Lake Township for one dollar.
Leo Gadbaw (Estate) to Joseph P. Jr., Patricia A. and Melissa M. Slattery, in Liberty Township for $80,000.00.
John C. Schubert to John C. Schubert (Lifetime Trust No. One), in Little Meadows Borough for one dollar.
Barry A. (By Atty), J. Marvis, Roger B. and Ann Searle to Roland N. and Laura A. Schtz, in Clifford Township for $180,000.00.
Sheila A. Plevinsky (Estate), Karen M. and Robert V. Jr. Shaver, Joseph M., Mary and Claudia Plevinsky, Katherine A. and Daniel Wages and Martic C. Plevinsky to Robin Bebla, in New Milford Borough for $84,694.00.
Thomas P. McBride to Donald J. McBride, in Apolacon Township for one dollar.
Mary Lee Fitzgerald and J. Martin Comey to Mary Lee Fitzgerald and J. Martin Comey, in Montrose for one dollar.
Raymond J. Pavlovich to Joseph V. and Michael J. Pavlovich and Joanne M. Swartz, in Forest City for one dollar.
Raymond J. Pavlovich to Joseph V. and Michael J. Pavlovich and Joanne M. Swartz, in Forest City for one dollar.
Raymond J. Pavlovich to Joseph V. and Michael J. Pavlovich and Joanne M. Swartz, in Forest City for one dollar.
Nicholas A. Puza to Jeffrey J. Kunst, in Auburn Township for $137,500.00.
Leonard and Kaaren Vanputtenvink to Laura Buteric, in Herrick Township for $10,000.00.
Mario Button to Aaron and Misty S. Contreras, in Harford Township for $150,000.00.
Romayne Melnick to Romayne Melnick (Trust), in Herrick Township for one dollar.
Alice C. Dickey to John and Kelly Stipa, in Jackson Township for $59,000.00.
John H. (Trust by Trustee) and Cheryl C. (Trust by Trustee) Hart to John H. (Rev Trust) and Cheryl C. Hart, in New Milford Township for one dollar.
Charles J. Moses (Revoc. Trust by Trustee), James F. Voelzer, Joyce C. and Louis J. Neira, Ramona M. and Robert E. Auchinachie and Charles J. Moses to Moses Camp Legacy LLC, in Silver Lake Township for one dollar.
Charles J. Moses (Revoc. Trust by Trustee), Charles J. Moses, James F. Voelzer, Joyce C. and Louis J. Neira and Ramona M. and Robert E. Auchinachie to Joyce C. Neira, in Silver Lake Township for one dollar.
Charles J. Moses (Revoc. Trust by Trustee), Charles J. Moses, James F. Voelzer, Joyce C. and Louis J. Neira and Ramona M. and Robert E. Auchinachie to Ramona M. Auchinachie, in Silver Lake Township for one dollar.
James H. Devoe to Dale Howell Enterprises, Inc., in Susquehanna for one dollar.
Emma B. Hunter (Guardian) to Kenneth C. Small, in Great Bend Borough for $70,000.00.
Peter S. Watrous (Trust No One by Trustee) to New Milford Rifle & Pistol Club, Inc., in Franklin and Great Bend Townships for one dollar.
New Milford Rifle & Pistol Club, Inc. to Peter S. Watrous (Trust No One), in Franklin and Great Bend Townships for one dollar.
Donald J. and Claire Dryer to Dean A. and Valerie Johnson, in Auburn Township for $8,000.00.
Lillian W. Jayne (AKA) Lilliane W. Jayne Ball to Karl Heinz Koopman, in Auburn Township for one dollar.
Karl Heinz and Hannelore Koopmann to Lillian W. Jayne (AKA) Lilliane W. Jayne Ball, in Auburn Township for one dollar.
Karl Heinz and Hannelore Koopmann to Uwe Heinz Koopmann, in Auburn Township for one dollar.
Darrin Paul Green and Jean Marie Rafferty, both of Montrose.
Donald R. Morrison, Jr. of Homer, NY and Ashley Anne Aspling of Little Meadows, PA.
Kurt Urban Frankl and Elizabeth Ann Marean, both of Binghamton, NY.
Brian Rinker of Springville to Jaime Lynn Veina of Carbondale.
Cara S. Valentine Brady vs. Martin Brady, both of Susquehanna, married 2006.
Dolores Dougherty Wilson of Nicholson vs. Dennis G. Wilson of Montrose, married 1990.
Sandra L. Boughton vs. Daniel S. Boughton, Sr., both of Lanesboro, married 1988.
The subject of demolition was discussed at length at the September 25 Susquehanna Boro Council meeting. It began when the mayor reported complaints about demolition that was going on that day on Broad Ave. The work was going on without a flagman or any consideration for traffic, and motorists were finding it hard to get through the area, as their sight distance was affected by the activity. Mayor Reddon said that police coverage had not been requested, and she was unaware of what was going on until shortly before the meeting. Mike Matis suggested that the boro’s ordinances be amended to require safety fencing, flagmen where necessary, and proof of insurance before any demolition work is done in the boro.
The mayor reported that police officer Joe DeMuro has resigned, as he is relocating out of the area, and another officer would shortly be receiving his certification and would begin working for the department.
Bids for a replacement for the 1997 truck were opened; it was awarded to Wayne County Ford for a 2008, complete with stainless steel body. The old one will be put out o bid once the new one is in the boro’s possession.
A bill for repair to the police car from Simmons Rockwell had been held back from approval at the last meeting; it had been considerably higher than what had been quoted. It was included in this evening’s bill list; although council was clearly not happy that it had to be paid, it did have to be paid. It was noted that, in future, when work was required it would be made quite clear that any work for the boro could not proceed if its cost was higher than quoted without first getting approval from council.
The boro has received the 2006 financial statements for the police pension fund, along with the January, 2007 valuation report; both are available for inspection at the boro office. The boro’s minimum municipal obligation for 2008 is $14,383.
Ron Whitehead reported that a grant application for renovating the water tower had not been submitted, as it required that the boro own the tower, which it did not by the application deadline. He asked what council’s intentions are; would the boro be proceeding with obtaining ownership of it? This particular grant would require a $6,000 initiation fee, something that has to be considered. Should an application be submitted for the next round of funding? There is interest in restoring the tower, he said, and there is money available. Would council be putting a plan in place to restore it? One “guesstimate” for its restoration put the amount needed at about $120,000.
There was also some discussion about the building next to the tower, one of the original “roundhouse” buildings and the only one left from the railroad’s heyday. Mr. Whitehead thought it would be a great idea to save one of the original Erie Shops buildings, but council needs to make a decision as to a plan of action.
President Tom Kelly said that, on the one hand it would be a shame to let the structures deteriorate, but on the other hand there are so many things council needs to do (financially). But, the structure(s) are priceless, he said, “We should go for it.” He suggested that it be discussed further at the budget meeting scheduled for the following Thursday.
Mike Matis agreed that council could come up with a plan of action, “We have to get the ball rolling.” He added that the building had been in the process of being sold, and, although it had not been, that is still a possibility.
Council approved a quote for maintenance of the trees on Main St. with J & J Landscaping, for $185, for twice a year.
Two price quotes for heating oil were obtained; a motion carried to accept Benson Brothers’.
Secretary Stewart reported receiving a number of calls from residents, requesting that trick-or-treat time be kept on Halloween, rather than on Sunday when the Lions Club traditionally hosts a parade. After a short discussion, it was agreed to keep Halloween on Halloween, from 6 to 8 p.m.
Council adopted a resolution in support of a cooperative project on behalf of the Tri-Boro Municipal Authority; the authority is applying for grant funding for a jetting unit for maintenance of storm drains and sewer lines. The project would require a $5,000 matching contribution from Susquehanna next year, as well as from Oakland and Lanesboro.
After review of the current budget, a motion carried to transfer $3,200 from the part-time streets allocation to codes, to allow Shane Lewis to stay on until the end of the year to settle some pending cases.
Council approved advertising bids for two projects at the Roundhouse Park, funding for which has been obtained through the Growing Greener II grant program. The bids are for tree cutting and road work.
PennDOT sent the boro a “Notice of Intent to Enter,” which basically says that they will be exercising their right of eminent domain to develop plans for highway improvements. Consultants may need to enter the boro’s land in order to conduct surveys, engineering studies, soil exploration, or tests to gather information.
And, with the deadline to apply for CDBG grants coming up, council will consider projects to submit. Some suggested projects were demolition of dilapidated structures, streets improvement, or infrastructure improvement. It would be discussed further at Thursday’s budget meeting
The next meeting will be on Tuesday, October 9 at the Susquehanna Community High School cafeteria, as the meeting room will be occupied by the “From Heart to Hand” art exhibition.
DUI TRAFFIC COLLISION
On September 15, at approximately 1:11 a.m., Brandy Canfield of Kingsley, PA was traveling in a southern direction on SR 0011. Ms. Canfield lost control of her vehicle, exited the Southbound lane and entered the parking lot of Cosmello's Auto Sales in New Milford. Her vehicle struck the right front area of a parked truck, pushing it into another vehicle. Both parked vehicles were damaged. DUI charges are pending on Canfield.
On September 14 Jason Penny, Jeffrey Sherman, Amanda Vinsko, and Brian Abbott, all of Susquehanna, were engaged in a fight in that town. The four people took this fight into the street, awakening surrounding neighbors. Penny and Vinsko had PFA's against each other and Sherman was wanted by the NYPD. Appropriate charges were filed on all actors.
FUGITIVE FROM JUSTICE
Brian Abbott of Susquehanna was taken into custody on September 14 for being a fugitive from justice, after being involved in a disturbance at 202 Grand St. in that town. Abbott was incarcerated at Susquehanna County Correctional Facility, while awaiting extradition to New York City.
On September 23 four juveniles (aged 13-14) entered a barn belonging to Mary Glenn of Lenox Twp. The youth damaged various items within and around the barn. Charges will be filed for criminal mischief and criminal trespassing.
On September 23 an unknown truck driver pumped 100 gallons worth of diesel fuel into a black Freightliner and departed the scene without paying for the $318.69 worth of fuel. On the 17th of that month, another drive-off occurred dealing with $424.04 worth of diesel fuel.
On September 10 unknown culprit(s) removed and stole a section of metal chain link fence from alongside the railroad tracks behind the Church of L.D.S. Monument in Oakland Twp.
THEFT OF ATV
On September 18 Kenneth Grover's son is reported to have driven an ATV from his house to the park. When the boy prepared to leave, he discovered that the ATV was missing. It was reportedly seen in the area of Old Route 11 near the Blue Ridge School the next day. The ATV in question is a black 2007 Suzuki Quad Sport LT2400ZK7 with red and silver striping and a red frame. A helmet was also stolen at that time, black and red with a silver design on it.
On September 19, one or more unknown persons removed two tubular cattle gates from the property of James Zick of Kingsley.
On August 31 an accident happened on SR 0081, MP 218.3, in Harford Township. The incident occurred as Anna Lasker of Staten Island was attempting to pass Dale Beach of Wapwallopen, PA while traveling south on this road. Lasker was driving a Toyota Camry and Beach was driving a Sterling truck, pulling a Monon trailer. In the process of passing, Lasker lost control of her vehicle, traveled off the roadway, and traveled across the right lane in front of Beach. She then proceeded up a slight dirt embankment before rolling back off it and ending underneath the trailer portion of Beach's truck. The trailer axles of the truck rolled over the front portion of the Camry.
On September 16 John Fetsko of Philadelphia was traveling south along SR 171, when he moved to the right to allow room for an oncoming commercial truck. Fetsko got caught up in loose gravel on the shoulder of the road, lost control, and spun into a tree. Fetsko was wearing his seatbelt and was not injured.
On September 16 one or more unknown persons entered the property of James Hollawell at the Village of Four Seasons near Elk Mountain. The perpetrator(s) took Hollawell's Arctic Cat snow mobile, as well as the trailer it was on, before fleeing the scene by means of Vauter Rd. The chain securing the rear gate of the development was cut.
On September 17 Daniel Manginelli was traveling north on SR 0081 near MM #217 in Harford Township when he fell asleep and lost control of his tractor trailer. The vehicle exited the roadway, entered the grass median, and overturned.
On September 23 Kathleen Aurda of Susquehanna was traveling southbound on SR 2073 in Gibson Township when her vehicle exited the roadway, impacted with an embankment, and overturned. Aurda left the scene prior to police response. She was later located, and reported that she was not injured during the collision. Charges are pending at this time.
Several issues were addressed at the September 24 Mountain View school board meeting including, at length, the dress code. While there were the usual slew of criticisms against the district by parents and board members, positive items were presented as well.
For sheer volume of name-calling, accusations and insinuations, recent Mountain View meetings may pale in comparison to recent New Milford township meetings – but perhaps, at times, not by much. Instead of visitors and supervisors doing battle over a quarry, however, the strife involves district residents (and at times board members) attending meetings prepared to do battle with the district powers that be. The second September meeting exemplified this pervading recent us-versus-them mindset.
One mother brought her daughter with her to the meeting, and her daughter's pants. She wished to clarify what sweat-pant type material meant, as her daughter had been sent down to the office for dress code violations three times since the commencement of the school year. This is the ruling within the dress code, that sweat-pant type material is forbidden. She stated that her daughter did not wear jeans, that some of the pants seemed acceptable, but that others in different colors but the same design were not. She and other parents in the audience argued that these pants were the style, and it could be difficult to find clothing which didn't violate the dress code anymore. Also included in this category of hard to avoid clothing were hoodies. It was stated that cuffed sweat-pant bottoms and hooded sweatshirts were forbidden due to the possibility of a weapon being concealed within them. One educator in attendance offered a possible explanation for why the girl's black pants were acceptable but her gray pants not. He pointed out that in homeroom staff may not notice a student's clothing unless it draws attention, and the gray looked like sweatpants and were more likely to draw attention. The same staff member stated that his children attend a school with a stricter dress code, and that particular clothes can be found, though it might mean frequenting the Salvation Army and thrift stores. It was agreed by various people present that this uncertainty about dress distracts from education. Some at the meeting felt the answer to this situation was to institute school uniforms. Others seemed to be in favor of loosening the restrictions now in place.
Talk of student dress led to discussion of staff attire, and whether or not they were or should be held to the same standards as students. Currently staff are only expected to dress professionally, not being required to follow the student regulations. This includes the ability to wear open-toed shoes. Mr. Halupke had heard of unprofessional dress amongst staff, however, and expressed his opinion that it was inappropriate for some people to dress like slobs. Mrs. Pipitone, the elementary principal, stood up to demonstrate through her own attire the ability to wear open-toed shoes while maintaining a professional look, and stated that she had not, herself seen inappropriately dressed staff.
Two sports matters also incited concern of the part of parents. A recent improperly supervised cross-country meet was one of these. A cross-country team had attended the meet at McDade park without a coach, and with a supervisor who did not have access to emergency contact information. Mr. Doster, the high school vice-principal, attempted to explain the situation. The coach of the team had called during the week to alert the school that he might have a conflict on that day. He was told to let them know if this was the case by Friday. When no notification was received, it had been assumed that he would be in attendance. Mr. Doster assured parents that there would be a coach at the next meet, and that the matter would be investigated.
The second issue involved the in-school suspension of two soccer players who received a red card at a recent match, after using profanity to an official. A visitor asked if this was written in a policy, that a red-card would result in a suspension, and if so, where. Mr. Doster responded by reading the coach's rules which stated that the regulations which applied in school applied for the team as well. He stated that the suspensions were given for the students using profanity toward the official, not for them receiving a technical. The offense was treated the same way it would have been had the students sworn at an educator in the classroom. He also pointed out that the punishment was scheduled in such a way that the whole team was not punished; the students were still allowed to play in the next match. If, he explained, a certain number of ejections were reached the district would be put on probation and could eventually lose PIAA membership.
Three positions were filled at the meeting, though there was at least a little controversy about two of them. Lynda Koviak was appointed to the Family and Consumer Sciences position at the high school, and Andrea Aten, who was a long-term sub in the district the previous year, was appointed to the secondary English position. Danielle Scott was approved for the Study Hall/Lunch Monitor job.
Not everything at the meeting was negative or controversial, however. The high school has started its breakfast program, and is advertising it throughout the building. It was arranged that students could get off the bus at 8:00 now if they are going to breakfast. Mrs. Pipitone spoke of plans to ensure that children who need instructional support services continued to receive the help they need despite the loss of a staff member. The school plans on holding grade-level meetings and working more on response to intervention. Research, she said, has shown the importance of early intervention, that for every year a problem is not remediated it becomes harder to do so. The elementary school had a record number of parents attend the open house. It had a bus safety program for the younger students, and is planning an impending visit from a children's author. The high school also reported a successful parent night. The safety bug, a vehicle designed to deter drunk driving by simulating the experience of doing so, had been at the school that day.
Ms. Vagni announced the amount of money the school should be receiving from the Classrooms of the Future grant. The secondary school is slated to receive $162,577, and has big plans for this money. It is hoped that it will be used to outfit six classrooms: one math, one social studies, two science, and two English. The district plans on purchasing 171 student laptops, eight educator laptops, eight promethean boards, new projectors, and some digital video and still cameras.
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