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Merry Christmas And Happy New Year From All Of Us At The Susquehanna County Transcript

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Issue Home December 19, 2007 Site Home

4-H Club News Four Seasons
Garden Club News
Green Side Up: Winter Gardening Tips
Susquehanna Fire Dept. Recognizes Member

Topics To Discuess With Your Parents
Waiting For You!
Wise Women And Men Don’t Drink And Drive

4-H Club News Four Seasons

The Four Seasons 4-H Club met on December 1 at the home of Lillian Taylor. The members discussed the different committees and who would like to be on each. Stephanie Carter offered to lead the Fundraising Committee, and Donna Benjamin and June Sienko offered to help with the Scrapbooking Committee. We decided that the Community Service Committee should only plan two or three community services a year, as it’s hard to get a service done in the winter.

Because it’s the start of a new year, we had to re-elect officers. Analyn Sears is the new President and Felicia Heads was re-elected as the Vice President. Our newest member, Lillian Taylor, is our new Secretary and Cassandra Summers is our new Treasurer. Emily Carter was re-elected as News Reporter, and Scott Sienko was re-elected as Photographer. Travis Carter was re-elected as Game Leader, and Felicia Heads is the County Council Representative, with Scott Sienko as backup.

Emily Carter provided snacks, Cassandra Summers provided drinks, and Travis Carter led the group in an endless game of Pink Toads.

The next time we meet will be a social gathering. We plan on having a game night with food and drinks provided by 4-Her’s and family.

News Reporter: Emily Carter

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Garden Club News

Mt View Garden Club held their annual holiday party at the Crystal Pines on Wednesday, December 12. Exchange gifts were passed around and everyone had a great time. Participation in the "Adopt a Family" project was very generous.

The next meeting will be held on March 18 at the Clifford Fire Hall. There will be a talk on pruning and deer control. The club welcomes anyone interested in the programs to attend, gentlemen included. Meeting nights have changed to the third Tuesday of each month, unless otherwise noted.

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Green Side Up: Winter Gardening Tips
By Maureen Kupiec, Master Gardener

Clean and sharpen lawn and garden tools and store them in a dry storage area.

Check fruits, vegetables, corms and tubers that you have in storage. Sort out any that show signs of disease and dispose of them.

Although salt does melt ice, it also can damage plant roots, so substitute sand or kitty litter to provide traction, or use one of the commercially available products made to melt ice without damaging plants. Some combine some deicing salt with sand or kitty litter.

Don’t walk on frozen grass. Without the protection of snow, grass blades are easily broken, causing dieback in your lawn that will show up next spring. Put up flagging or stakes in sensitive areas to keep visitors on the path

Mulch tender perennials, newly planted trees and shrubs, roses, and other plants that need protection. Use straw, hay, compost, evergreen boughs, leaves (except for maple which easily compact), bark chips, or whatever else may be available locally that doesn't mat down too much.

Many houseplants, including palms and cyclamen, are attacked by spider mites this time of year. They are microscopic creatures that suck plant juices, causing the leaves to look speckled or silvery. To scout for these pests, mist the plants lightly; if mites are present, the water droplets will cling to the mites' fine webbing. Control them by misting plants daily to keep the humidity high (spider mites love dryness) and by spraying plants with insecticidal soap.

When choosing your poinsettias this holiday season, make sure to pick the best that will last the longest. Check the little yellow flowers in the middle of the red or colored bracts (these are actually leaves that changed color). These tiny, inconspicuous flowers should be present, and unopened. Otherwise plants may be old, or watered improperly. If the pot has foil, pull it back to make sure the plant has good lower leaves, with none missing or diseased. A gray, fuzzy growth on old or dead leaves is a sign of the appropriately named "gray mold" disease. Look for a plant well-proportioned to the pot, and with a well-distributed show of color.

Poinsettias don't like extreme cold, so protect your plant well on the way home from the store by paper bags or special plant sleeves. And don't leave it in a cold vehicle. Once home, they don't like drafts, so keep them away from cold windows and doorways. They don't like to be over watered, as the roots will rot. To prevent over watering, if pots have foil on them, make some holes in the bottom for drainage, and place the pot in a saucer to prevent damage to furniture.

Spruces make nice Christmas trees, but their needles are the most sharp and hard to work with, and they shed their needles when dry. Pines are abundant, last a long time indoors, and do not drop their needles. Balsam fir is popular for roping and wreaths. Once the needles drop, they can be gathered and used to stuff fragrant balsam pillows for sachets.

I hope you find this information helpful. Have a safe and happy holiday season!

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Susquehanna Fire Dept. Recognizes Members

The 121st annual Susquehanna Fire Dept. Christmas banquet was held on Saturday, December 11, at the American Legion on Main St., Susquehanna. Part of the evening was given to recognition and presentation of awards to individual fire fighters.

Pictured (l-r) are members of the Susquehanna Fire Dept. who were honored at the annual Christmas banquet: Nancy Culnane, Les Schell, Sandy Battisti, Steve Glover (accepting on behalf of Todd Glover), David Scales.

Mike Iveson was recognized for seven years’ service as Assistant Chief.

Robby Hall was recognized for his many years as Fire Police Captain.

Nancy Culnane was given a special Purple Heart award for five years’ service as President.

The highlight of the evening was special recognition for Les Schell and Sandy Battisti. They were each presented with special, engraved plaques depicting the original Erie Hose Fire Station, with the 1947 Ward LaFrance fire truck and the 1937 LeSalle ambulance in the doorway.

Les Schell was the first Fire Chief of the consolidated fire department of the Erie Hose and Chemical Engine Co., which created the Susquehanna Volunteer Fire Dept. Les held many offices in his 65 years of service, and still serves as a member of the Advisory Board.

Sandy also held many offices in the department, including First Assistant Chief and President, as well as a member of the Advisory Board, from which he retired earlier this year. Sandy has 60 years of service in the department.

A Life Saving citation and medal was presented to Todd Glover, for preventing the potential loss of life to a brother fireman. While responding to a fire in April, Todd and John Ball entered a structure that was involved. When they entered the building, they unexpectedly encountered a covered swimming pool. John fell into the pool, which had a cover on it, and began to fall to the bottom of the pool. Todd grabbed John and pulled him out before the cover could envelope John.

Les Schell, acting as a Past Senior Chief, presented David Scales with a citation for saving the life of a seven-year-old girl in a fully involved house fire on Christmas Eve morning in 1972. Chief Schell stated that the acknowledgement of David’s actions was long overdue; David had gone into the second floor of the building, searched, and found the lifeless body of the child. He revived her; after she was breathing, David placed his air pack mask over the child’s mouth and nose, and handed her to the crew on the ladder outside of the building. The citation was a total surprise to Mr. Scales and affected him deeply.

After the awards and dinner all had a good time.

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Topics To Discuss With Your Parents

It is said that love is the greatest gift of all. As many families gather together during the holiday season, it may provide a good opportunity to express how much we care through a frank and open discussion with older relatives about their well-being. As we age and live longer, financial, legal, health care and long-term living issues affect families, not just older individuals. The Area Agency on Aging strongly encourages families to understand the following issues to help prevent and deal with potential challenges that can arise with later life needs:

Find out what financial benefits are covered by your parents’ Social Security and pension. Determine if they are eligible for other programs. Know where all your parents’ insurance policies, wills, trust documents, tax returns, and investment and banking records are located. Understand that Medicare generally does not cover long-term care (ex. nursing home or extended home care), and Medicaid pays only for low-income individuals. Investigate what type of long term care insurance coverage may be best for your parents and for yourself. Identify what community services are available that can help your parents maintain independence in the home for as long as possible. Learn what housing options are available to meet their changing needs.

The Area Agency on Aging is a local resource for older citizens and family members. Staff is available to answer questions and provide information on available services, community resources and entitlement programs. All conversations are confidential.

For more information on aging services, contact the Area Agency on Aging at their toll-free number, 1-800-982-4346, Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. or visit

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Waiting For You!

This is Paws. He is a three-year old neutered tiger and white domestic short-haired tabby. He is very friendly and loving. He is litter box trained. He has lived with kids and other cats.

To see Paws, stop by the Susquehanna County Humane Society, 278-1228.

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Wise Women And Men Don’t Drink And Drive
Submitted by The Susquehanna County Drug And Alcohol Commission

The holiday season is often packed full of parties and celebrations which often include the consumption of alcoholic beverages. In 2006, according to the PA Liquor Control Board and the PA Dept. of Transportation, 47% of holiday deaths were alcohol related. Statistically, this is one of the most deadliest times of the year on our roads and highways. Driving under the influence, impaired, or aggressive driving is a direct link to this problem.

These are alcohol related incidents – not accidents. There is nothing “accidental” about driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. These incidents are preventable and predictable. Knowing the truth about alcohol and driving this holiday season is vital to enjoying quality time with family and friends. Don’t fall victim to the many common myths about drinking and driving.

Myth: “Drinking coffee sobers me up.” Fact: The BAC, or blood alcohol level stands for the amount of alcohol in your blood expressed as a percentage. What calculates this percentage is a person’s body weight, gender, amount of food in the stomach, and rate of consumption. Coffee cannot rid your system of alcohol. Only time and metabolism reverses the impairment.

Myth: “Alcohol is a stimulant.” Fact: Alcohol is a powerful depressant. It lowers the activity of your brain. Alcohol reaches the brain almost immediately after it is consumed. Possible results include poor judgment, slowed reaction time, loss of concentration and visual problems.

Myth: “I always stay away from the hard stuff, so I’ll be okay.” Fact: Alcohol is alcohol. Beer has the same effect as straight whiskey. One 12-ounce beer has just as much alcohol as a 1.5 shot of whiskey or a 5-ounce glass of wine.

Fact: There is no home remedy (splashing water on your face, rolling down the car window, driving slow or taking the back roads) which can counteract or reverse the effect of alcohol or drugs. Your body just needs time to metabolize the intoxication. Time varies depending on the person’s size, rate of metabolism, rest, food intake, and amount/rate of the alcohol consumption.

Plan ahead if you decide to drink at your next holiday celebration and designate a non-drinking driver. If you are a host this season, be responsible by providing alternative non-alcoholic beverages, serving food, controlling the amount of alcohol served and asking impaired guests to stay overnight or arrange transportation with a friend or family member.

Know the Facts vs. the Myths about alcohol and enjoy the festivities of the holiday season. Above all… remember to be wise, don’t drink and drive.

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