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Issue Home December 5, 2007 Site Home

Pre-K Welcomes Center Director
Waiting For You!
Big Read A Big Success
PARSE #15 Update
Local Finalist In Harley Contest
Property Tax/Rent Rebate Application Deadline
4-H Club News Rough ‘n’ Ready

Pre-K Welcomes Center Director

Treasure House Child Development Center in Montrose is welcoming a new Center Director. Ashley Rittle was named to the post earlier this month. Those who know Ashley describe her as a caring person who has a natural ability to work with children.

Stephnie Thornton (left) Susquehanna County CARES, and Mary Lee Salerno (right) Pre-K Counts Coordinator, welcome Ashley Rittle (center) Treasure House Child Development Center Director.

As Center Director, she will oversee the latest educational opportunity at Treasure House, a five day a week pre-kindergarten curriculum. The program is open to 17 children, thanks to Pennsylvania’s Pre-K Counts initiative. The center, along with Forest City Regional School District received grant funding to provide high quality pre-k for children at risk of school failure.

Ashley joined the Treasure House Child Development Center team last year as a preschool assistant and is excited to continue to help youngsters grow through this new opportunity.

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Waiting For You!

These two girls are 4 1/2 year old beagles, Baby and Duchess. They are housebroken and know some commands. They are shy, but once they warm up are very friendly and playful. They are best suited for a home without any small children.

To see Baby and Duchess, stop by the Susquehanna a County Humane Society, 278-1228.

The Susquehanna County Humane Society along with A New Leash On Life will be offering obedience classes. Call 278-1228 for more information.

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Big Read A Big Success

With jazz music in the background provided by Rick Pedro, and a buffet table spread with a variety of hors d’oeuvres, including caviar, Susquehanna County celebrated the success of the Big Read. The county has been engaged in reading F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby since September 8. Many of the participants arrived in period costume at the event held on Sunday afternoon, November 4 in the Parish Hall of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, New Milford, hosted by the board of the Pratt Memorial Library.

Pictured (l-r) are: Susan Stone, Susquehanna County Library’s Administrator/Librarian; Marilyn Morgan, Executive Director of the Susquehanna County Literacy Program; Betty Mitchell, and Librarian of the Pratt Library in New Milford; Father Charles Cesaretti, in period costume, a member of the Steering Committee and Priest-in-Charge of St. Paul’s, Montrose.

“What an incredible two months it has been,” reports Marilyn Morgan, Executive Director of the Susquehanna County Literacy Program. “The response by people all over our county has been outstanding. Not only did they sign up to read the book, but also they joined book discussion groups, attended special viewings of the movie versions, and even learned the Charleston. Not only did we have a wonderful response among our readers, but we had an outpouring of talent to assist with the many activities. It was a pleasure to welcome and thank all who made the Big Read such a success at the reception on November 4.”

The Big Read program is a nationwide effort by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to promote literary reading by engaging communities to read and discuss one book. The Susquehanna County Literacy Program and the Susquehanna County Library were awarded a grant from NEA, and Susquehanna County.

“We are thrilled that 717 readers in Susquehanna County joined in a myriad of programs centered on one of America’s classic novels,” opined Sue Stone, Susquehanna County Library’s Administrator/Librarian. “Many of the activities were generated by readers around the county. Many were intergenerational, which brought readers of all ages to one of the most challenging books on the Roaring ‘20s, as Peter Quigg pointed out in his perceptive essay. Some joined in book discussion groups, but others joined in activities that allowed young people to experience one of the most frantic times in U. S. history.”

As if to underscore Stone’s comment, Rick Pedro at the piano launched into the Charleston at the farewell celebration. Immediately, four “flappers” took to the dance floor, including one 12 year-old girl. The Susquehanna revelers burst into applause as the dancers responded to the exuberant music.

“We all had our doubts about the response to the Big Read,” commented Betty Mitchell, Librarian of the Pratt Library in New Milford, “however, I think we are all excited to find out what our selection will be for next year.”

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PARSE #15 Update
By Cynthia Sims, Secy.

The Pennsylvania Association of Retired State Employees (PARSE) met on November 13 at the Zion Lutheran Church, Dushore. Ways to increase membership in the organization was the main topic of the meeting. Discussion was held on how to reach all state retirees with information about PARSE. Changes in medical benefits and a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) were the issues that are most important to retirees. The state PARSE organization is dedicated to making sure that retirees keep all benefits.

According to the newsletter for retired and active members of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania State Employees Retirement System, there are ample funds for a COLA, “The $34 billion Pennsylvania State Retirement System had a return on investment of 11.4 percent in the first six months of this year, and 22.2 percent over the 12-month period ended June 30; once again placing SERS among the top performing pension funds in the country.”

PARSE, Chapter 15, consisting of Bradford, Sullivan and Susquehanna Counties, invites all state retirees to join our organization. Our next meeting will be held on December 11 at the Towanda Gun Club. For more information and/or to make reservations, contact Susquehanna County Vice President John Benio at 278–2380.

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Local Finalist In Harley Contest

Six inspiring finalists in Harley-Davidson’s Get Down to Daytona contest have been chosen and posted online at for online viewer voting to begin. Visitors to the site can view each video and vote on their favorite to help send that woman rider and a guest to Daytona Bike Week ’08. Voting will end December 12, and three winners will be announced December 14.

More than 200 videos were submitted from a variety of women, all with interesting stories to tell. The six finalists’ videos show an assortment of experiences. Among the six finalists is Kimberly Ryon from Harford.

The three women with the most votes will receive an expense-paid road trip for two from Atlanta to Daytona with Karen Davidson, great-granddaughter of William A. Davidson, one of the company’s founders, as well as three nights’ stay in Daytona, just in time for Bike Week.

Men and women are allowed to vote once per day, so pick your favorite and help her win a road trip to remember!

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Property Tax/Rent Rebate Application Deadline

Rep. Sandra Major said that the latest figures from the PA Dept. of Revenue show that more than 540,000 older and disabled Pennsylvanians have received rebates this year through the expanded Property Tax/Rent Rebate (PTRR) program.

"Nearly 3,000 eligible residents from Susquehanna, Wayne and Wyoming counties have yet to apply for the benefit," Major said. "With new income limits for the program going into effect this year it is possible individuals may not be aware that they are eligible."

With the December 31 deadline looming, the state Department of Revenue reports that, statewide, more than 216,000 eligible residents have yet to apply.

Eligible participants can receive a rebate of up to $650 based on their rent or property taxes paid in 2006. This amount is up from $500 in previous years.

The program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians who are 65 years or older, widows and widowers 50 years or older, and those 18 years or older with disabilities.

The household eligibility income limit has been raised for homeowners from $15,000 to $35,000, excluding 50 percent of Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, and Railroad Retirement Tier 1 benefits.

To receive a Property Tax/Rent Rebate application, contact Major's offices at Route 706 Lake Montrose, RR 7 Box 7186, Montrose, PA 18801 (telephone: 570-278-3374) and 130 N. Bridge Street, Tunkhannock, PA 18657 (telephone: 570-836-5888). Information is also available at her website,

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4-H Club News Rough ‘n’ Ready

A 4-H meeting for the Rough ‘n’ Ready Riders 4-H Club was held at Unity Stables on November 16. Eleven members attended, as well as two guests who are considering joining.

Topics that were discussed: fundraising ideas, a possible Christmas party, and club office elections for 2008.

Everyone congratulated Liana Stinson on qualifying and competing in the State competition in Harrisburg. She came out successful, with a third in a Trail class and was awarded a jacket. Members will be notified of the date and time of the next meeting by mail.

News Reporter: Meghan Honeyford

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