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Issue Home December 26, 2007 Site Home

MVSD Talks Tech
Quarry Not Discussed Much

Sentencing Report
Parking Issues In Hallstead Boro
Courthouse Report
Rail Authority Meeting Cancelled
COG Wraps Up The Year
Gibson Barracks Report
Tax Credit Available For Area Farmers

MVSD Talks Tech
By Melinda Darrow

The second Mountain View school board meeting since the new members took office was held on December 17. Various matters were discussed, and committee members announced. Major topics included administrative raises, school cameras, scholastic bowls, and district policies.

Each committee that was formed has three board members on it, one of whom is appointed chairperson. The list of chairpersons for this year is: Kevin Griffiths – finance, Lucrecia Jesse – personnel, Ellen Aherne – policy, Sondra Stine – education, John Beeman – building and site, Donald Twining – transportation, and James Zick – labor relations. John Beeman is the legislative representative for the PSBA, and John Halupke the Chief Negotiator.

A few staff changes were also announced. Five substitutes, both professional and support staff, were approved to begin working in the district. Jackie Bean of Hop Bottom was appointed to a part-time elementary cafeteria position, while Sarah Wilkins resigned from hers. Ernest Griffis, having served for more than 30 consecutive days in the same position, was given the pay raise and benefits which accompany that achievement.

While discussing a change in the district's Transportation Video Cameras policy, one visitor asked if it was currently videotaping students. Some drivers, it was responded, have had them on their bus for 10 years. These buses have posters on them alerting people to the camera's presence. Prior to the proposed change it was not necessary by school policy to notify parents of the cameras through other means, though this change would require that it also be put in the student handbook. Additionally, parents did not need to be notified when the tape was brought in to be viewed for disciplinary purposes. Various visitors expressed concern over the legality of children being videotaped without parental knowledge. Ms. Vagni stated that she did not know if it was legal, that it was not under her jurisdiction and was the responsibility of the transportation department. The board agreed to find out about this matter, as the policy needs to be reviewed by its lawyer anyway.

Only some of the cameras are owned by the district itself; when newer buses are purchased by the contractors these might have cameras built in. Originally, it was thought, the cameras were purchased to act more as a deterrent. Some of them were not even turned on, but it was never known which ones. The board agreed to get a list of how many cameras are owned by the district itself, though the number was estimated to be below ten. The camera policy was left unapproved, until it could be further discussed on January 14 at the next public policy committee meeting.

In his report, Dr. Chichura outlined the process for placing school policies on the website, and assured those present that the district was not trying to hide policies. The district is in the process of readopting all their policies under PSBA format. Currently approximately 20% have been adopted, with 80% still to go. Dr. Chichura said that it would not be worth the time for all of the old policies to be typed onto the website now, and altered if necessary when readopted. Currently they are only added after being readopted, and thus only entered once. For policies which are not on the site yet, people are welcome to come to the school and photocopy information from the old policy manual if they are interested.

Other administrators present had several positive items to report. The laptops and other materials from the Classrooms for the Future grant arrived, and the staff at the high school are eagerly exploring their use. Five or six staff members not involved in the grant are voluntarily doing the coursework, and the school is starting to really “talk tech.” A Flip the Switch event is being planned. It is a recommended event for grant recipients, where local legislators, etc. are invited to be there when the new technology is turned on. The staff were too excited to wait, and have already begun using the materials, but the event will still be held. Ms. Vagni expressed special appreciation for Mr. Georgetti, Mr. Stewart, and Mr. Yost for their work on the grant implementation.

Choir director, Mrs. Fargnoli and band director, Mr. Wilson were also mentioned and publicly congratulated for the success of the combined winter concert. In the spring each will hold a separate concert, and Mountain View is slated to host a district festival in the near future. (The auditorium renovations include plans for a removable stage extension, which will make the running of this festival, theater productions, etc. easier to facilitate). In other music news the special guitar class is going well, and is planning a presentation to also be held in the spring, at Arts Alive.

Mrs. Voight reported on the second annual Northeast Pennsylvania High School Challenge, which was held at the school a few days before the meeting. The scholastic bowl, which was facilitated by a professional quizmaster question writer, was described as having gone very well. Mountain View, Abington Heights, Scranton Prep, Wallenpaupack, and Lakeland districts participated. Mountain view ended the day with a 2 and 2 record. It was stated that visiting students, when given a tour of the facilities, commented on how nice and clean the high school building was. It is hoped that this will become an annual event.

One visitor brought up a recent administrator raise of 13% in one year. Within two years that particular administrator had received a 25% increase in salary. She felt that this was inequitable, and an excessive use of district money. A board member replied by stating that this administrator had started the job significantly below the normal pay scale for that position, and Mr. Zick added that the board at that time thought that the raise was justified for the amount of work done.

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Quarry Not Discussed Much
By Melinda Darrow

For what may be the first time in months, the December 19 New Milford Township meeting did not have quarry concerns as a central focus. Having had a special meeting with DEP the previous week to address the quarry, this meeting touched on it, but covered many other topics as well. The supervisors and solicitor reported on actions they had taken to address visitor concerns since the last meeting, and visitors discussed these actions and expressed new concerns in a manner which was overall civil, polite, and conducive to productivity. While no longer standing room only, the meeting was still well attended by township residents. Mr. Hunter was absent throughout the official meeting, though he did make it to the gathering afterwards. Mr. Shibley presided.

Secretary Carol Smith was honored for her many years of service at the December New Milford Township Supervisors’ meeting.

One of the most notable portions of the meeting actually occurred after adjournment had already been mentioned. It was then that outgoing township secretary Carol Smith was formally recognized for her thirty years of service. The two supervisors expressed their gratitude to Ms. Smith, and presented her with a watch, a card, and flowers. All present were then invited to share in cake, coffee, and soda in honor of the occasion. Ms. Smith was asked if she remembered what the issue of the day had been when she began her service. She told the story of her employment, which occurred at a time when all three supervisors resigned and replacements were appointed. Good natured laughter erupted when she related that, ironically, the Lynncott landfill, which has been discussed again at recent meetings, had prompted those resignations and helped to begin her career.

Local camps, which were discussed at length before the quarry became a primary concern at meetings, were discussed once again. It was reported that the township was contacted by DEP regarding a complaint about the sewage facilities for Camp Oneida. The camp is currently closed for the season, but will not be allowed to open or to modify its existing sewage facilities until an investigation is held.

Talk of this camp led to a question regarding the status of the East Lake campground, which attorney Briechle described as a far more complicated matter. That campground has years of litigation behind it. The findings of an assessment hearing were appealed to the Court of Common Pleas by the Youngs, owners of the camp. The decision was affirmed by that court, so the Youngs appealed to the Commonwealth Court. A decision from this court is still pending.

One visitor used this discussion to raise concerns regarding camp signs. Although the East Lake campground is closed, a camping sign is still erected on 81, with another sign being located on a township road. The man reported helping multiple RV drivers out of bad situations this past camping season, as they followed the signs onto unfamiliar country roads and became lost or were unable to turn around. He had held off bringing up the matter due to the existence of Camp Oneida but wondered, now that this was also closed, if something might be done to remove the signs or notify travelers of its closure. Mr. Conroy replied that he had contacted the state before, and had been told that the sign would be removed, though nothing has yet been done. It was agreed that another letter should be sent.

At the last official township meeting, visitors had queried whether or not the supervisors would consider exacting an extraction tax when natural resources were taken from township land. The supervisors reported that they had, in the interim, contacted the Pennsylvania Association of Townships about the matter. They learned that townships do not have the power to impose such a tax, so this idea cannot be pursued further.

Solicitor Briechle reported that he had finally heard back from DEP regarding the matter of a resident's well water, which problem was brought to the supervisors’ attention at prior meetings. Mr. Briechle was told that the woman should send a second complaint, in more general terms. The first complaint had (perhaps unwittingly) connected her problems to the mine, thus the mine department received the complaint and not the department dealing with water problems. A second complaint might bring about more results.

The quarry was not entirely absent from the evening's discussions. The supervisors, after discussion, have decided to have Carey Road surveyed in order to establish what, precisely, the township owns. Mr. Briechle cautioned, however, that there may not be a clear answer, as a survey will have to look into potentially contradictory records, etc. A visitor asked if this survey was being conducted with the intent of turning the road over to B&S. Mr. Conroy replied that, speaking for himself, he brought the matter up because it was brought to him by the public. Mr. Shibley officially read a statement that he would refrain from voting on any matter involving B&S, its subsidiaries, or its employers, as his own employment by H&K presents a conflict of interest.

Also revisited from the last official meeting was the matter of sewage requirements for commercial versus residential domiciles. It was confirmed at this meeting that when a single family home is converted to a multiple person dwelling with the purposes of housing staff, a new sewer module and additional planning are required.

The next public township meeting will be held, as required by law, on January 7, 2008 for the purposes of reorganization. It will be the official meeting for that month.

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Sentencing Report

Following is the Susquehanna County sentencing report for December, 2007 as submitted by the county District Attorney’s office.

Bryan Lewis Nye, 36, of Montrose, to 24 months probation to run concurrent with any current sentence being served, pay $1,000 fine, pay cost of prosecution, receive a sexual offenders assessment, not to have contact with the victim in this case for Indecent Assault in Forest Lake Township on August 12, 2006. He also received 24 months probation to run concurrent to any sentence currently being served and consecutive to the above sentence, pay $1,000 fine, pay cost of prosecution, receive a sexual offenders evaluation, not to have contact with the victim in this case for Indecent Assault in Forest Lake Township on May 12, 2007.

Ronald Grunewald, 24, of Montrose, to 9 moths to 23 ½ months in a state correctional facility, pay $500 fine, pay cost of prosecution, pay restitution to the victim in this case for Theft by Unlawful Taking in Clifford Township on September 20, 2005.

Angela Marie Grecco, 29, of Carbondale, to 36 months probation, pay $250 fine, pay cost of prosecution, receive mental health treatment, no to have contact with children under the age of 3 without Children and Youth approval for Simple Assault on December 24, 2006 in Forest City. She also received 36 months probation, pay $250 fine, pay cost of prosecution, not to have contact with children under the age of 3 without Children and Youth approval for Endangering Welfare of Children in Forest City on December 24, 2006.

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Parking Issues In Hallstead Boro
By Barbara Whitehead

With recent snows, some parking issues have arisen in Hallstead Boro, with vehicles not being removed from Main St. during plowing hours. PennDOT contacted council about the problem, as they have not been able to complete the job with vehicles parked in the business district at all hours.

Hallstead Boro Council recognized John Giangrieco for his many years of service at their December 20 meeting. Pictured (l-r) are: seated – Michelle Giangrieco, John Giangrieco, James Gillespie; standing – Mayor Willard Canfield, Joseph Franks, David Callender.

The boro does have an ordinance that stipulates that vehicles must be removed between the hours of 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. during snowfall so that the streets can be plowed. But, with no municipal police, it has been difficult to enforce. The State Police will enforce when requested to, but there is some question as to whether they would have the vehicles towed, or ticket them as the ordinance allows. A ticket would bring a fine of $100; having the vehicle towed would involve towing and storage fees, which may or may not amount to that much. One opinion was that if one or two vehicles were towed, it would solve the problem as people would think twice before ignoring the ordinance. It was agreed to contact the State Police for a definitive answer. In the meantime, the area is posted with signs stating that vehicles must be removed for plowing. Flyers will also be distributed to businesses so that they can pass the word along to their customers/tenants, as it would be to their benefit to have the snow plowed. Building owners will also be sent a letter and a copy of the ordinance, and PennDOT will be sent a letter authorizing them to contact the State Police when vehicles are not removed to have them ticketed. Council will also contact their solicitor for his opinion on whether or not the ordinance should be changed to allow for towing when necessary.

In other business, Mayor Canfield was asked to go to Montrose to sign the necessary paperwork for buyout of the Wilbur property, which was severely damaged in the June flood. Once the closing is complete, which should be some time in January, the boro will own the property. The county will see to demolition of what is left of the house. Once the deed is transferred to the boro, the property may then only be used for recreational purposes and may not be sold.

The county Department of Planning and Development had some concerns about the proposed minor subdivision for an apartment building at the Emerson Apartments site. Council was sent a form to complete to provide information, which pertained to any sewer planning required by the boro, and a request for a letter from the PA American Water Co. stating that they would service the site. The requested information will be sent to the Planning department.

There was discussion on whether or not the boro could restrict placing of political signs on the boro building property. Election law does stipulate how far such signs have to be from the door to the building, but the question was, does the boro have the right to prohibit them altogether on their property? Council will check to see if it is permissible.

Under Long Range Planning, it was agreed to look into whether or not it is time to replace the boro’s 1999 truck. It has almost 35,000 miles on it, and it was thought that it might be a good idea upgrade to a diesel truck, which would have more power and would be more fuel efficient.

The 2008 budget was adopted.

The sidewalk replacement project was discussed; information indicates that as long as bids are put out by February, the grant funds will still be available.

And, last but not least, councilman John Giangrieco was thanked for his twenty years of service to the boro, as this would be his last official meeting.

Council next meets on Monday, January 7 at 7:00 p.m. for their reorganization.

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Courthouse Report
Compiled By Lauren P. Ficarro


Ronald G. (TDBA), Ward H. (TDBA), Ronald G., Brenda J., Linda S., Ward H. and Decker Farm Realty Assoc. (FKA) Decker Farms Partnership to Wilbert A., Jr. and Amy S. Hitchcock, in Jessup Township for one dollar.

Patrick M. and Jean Sill to Derrick W. and Maryann K. Jayne, in Auburn Township for $74,222.46.

Bryce R. Williams to Bruce Sickler, in Bridgewater Township for $75,000.00.

Walter E. and Frances M. (By POA) Benedict to Walter E. Benedict, in Great Bend Township for one dollar.

Marie A. Doty to Marie A. Doty, in Lathrop Township for one dollar.

Robert F. Terchek, Sr. to Christine M. Bates, Melissa J. Terchek Woods, Robert F., Jr. and Thomas J. Terchek, in Jackson Township for one dollar.

Robert F. Terchek, Sr. to Robert F., Jr. and Thomas J. Terchek, in Jackson Township for one dollar.

Getawat Land Co. LLC to James S., Jr. and Diane Canty, in Auburn Township for $57,000.00.

Waltraut Smith to Richard M. and Sharon A. Soden, in Thompson Township for one dollar.

Carl H. Hagstrom, Jr. (AKA) Carl H. Hagstrom and Beverly S. Hagstrom to Carl H. and Beverly S. Hagstrom, in Jessup Township for one dollar.

Judith Ann Devito to Timothy M. Smith (Trust), in Silver Lake Township for $200,000.00.

Minnie L. Graves to Tina M. Graves, in Oakland Township for $10,000.00.

Truman Capital (By Trustee) to Turman Capital Mortgage Loan Trust 2004-1, in Thompson Borough for $10.00.

Turman Capital Mortgage Loan Trust 2004-1 (By Trustee) to Robert J. and Terrilyn A. Segerstrom, in Thompson Borough for $30,500.00.

Joseph Coppola (Est) to Ronald Coppola, in Ararat Township for one dollar.

Bremer Hof Owners, Inc. to John A., Melinda, Aaron and Matthew Young, in Herrick Township for $2,495.00.

Bremer Hof Owners, Inc. to Caterina L. Nino, in Herrick Township for $2,495.00.

Bremer Hof Owners, Inc. to Steven R. and Maureen T. Alberti, in Herrick Township for $3,995.00.

Curtis L. and Pamela M. Eshbaugh and John P. and Lori L. Mocniak to Curtis L. and Pamela M. Eshbaugh and John P. and Lori L. Mocniak, in Apolacon Township for one dollar.

Leonard Trust (By Trustee) and Belford Burch to Garry L. and Catherine D. Foltz, in Brooklyn Township for one dollar.

Carole K. Rose, Kathleen K. Pascoe, Christine K. Lathrop and Ethelyn B. Koeb to Carole K. Rose, Kathleen K. Pascoe and Christine K. Lathrop, in Dimock Township for one dollar.

Gary and Patricia Schweppenheiser to Gary, Patricia and Gary, Jr. Schweppenheiser, in Lenox Township for one dollar.

Paul and Rosalie Bradley to James and Melissa Locker, in Clifford Township for $106,000.00.

Peter F. Formica to Peter F., II, Marisa I. and Philip J. Formica, in Herrick Township for $250,000.00.

Antoinette Bronchella to Carol A. Bronchella, in Forest City for one dollar.

Connie L. Brunges (NBM) Connie B. Hoppe, Farnam Hoppe and Kurt Brunges to Robyn L. Darrow, in Bridgewater Township for $38,000.00.

Jane Price to Dennis J. and Kathleen M. Brannigan, in Rush Township for $25,000.00.

Denise Nelson to Rony Smith, in Jackson Township for $40,000.00.

Bradley C. Ide and Elliot Ide (AKA) J. Elliot Ide to Donald E. Ide, in Oakland Township for one dollar.

Bradley C. Ide and Elliot Ide (AKA) J. Elliot Ide to Donald E. Ide, in Oakland Township for one dollar.

Sadie Welch (By Atty) to Lanesboro Borough, in Lanesboro Borough for $37,500.00.

Paul A. Strohl, Jr. (Est AKA) Paul A Strohl (Est) to Paul A. Strohl, III, in Franklin Township for one dollar.

Carl C. Hensel to Kenneth M. and Amy J. Foster, in Silver Lake Township for $27,600.00.

Paul G. and Linda E. Montalbano to Andrew K. and Renee L. Sozio, in Auburn Township for $10,000.00.

Genevieve F. Kurosky (Estate) to Kerry and Irene A. Patton, in Bridgewater Township for $175,000.00.

James G. and Sherolyn B. Hawk to Pennsylvania Commonwealth of Susquehanna County, in Auburn Township for $232,565.36.

Brett and Elaine A. Grover to New Milford Township, in New Milford Township for $100,000.00.


Jon Peter Garcia and Stephanie Ann Pellam, both of Montrose.

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Rail Authority Meeting Cancelled
By Carole M. Canfield

The Friday, December 21 meeting of the Susquehanna County Rail Authority was cancelled due to lack of a quorum.

Present at the meeting site were: Chair Rowland Sharp, Treasurer Thomas Wooden, Joe White – Rail Authority Member, Jim Jennings, Staci Wilson of The Susquehanna Independent and Carole M. Canfield, Susquehanna Transcript.

Although no business could be carried out, Mr. Sharp offered holiday greetings and an apology for the lack of quorum to all in attendance. Tom Wooden thanked the media and Jim Jennings for their loyalty in coming to the meetings.

Sharp also gave Joe White a beautiful photograph of "Bennett Levin's PRR E-8 units 5711 locomotive" taken by Sharp.

Joseph White, member of the Susquehanna County Railroad Authority and Vice President of the New York Susquehanna and Western, is the engineer in the picture.

It was reported that "the beautiful and completely restored locomotives, built in the early 1950's by the Electromotive Division of General Motors, were the pride of the passenger fleet of the Standard Railroad of the World – The Pennsylvania Railroad.

This section of track is the last remaining section or original double track, which ran between Scranton and Binghamton, NY.

Thomas Wooden commented, “It would a shame if we didn't have land for the railroad to stop at in Susquehanna County."

Sharp said that with the upcoming year, things were looking better and was echoed by Wooden.

White also presented those in attendance with poster-size calendars depicting The New York, Susquehanna and Western Railway Corporation.

Friday, January 11 will be the next important Rail Authority meeting, with two seats to fill due to the recent resignations of P. Jay Amadio and Janet Haulton. Commissioner Roberta Kelly and the two resigning members have recommended Mr. Jim Jennings have a place on The Susquehanna County Rail Authority.

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COG Wraps Up The Year
By Barbara Whitehead

Not too many representative members made it to the December 18 COG meeting, perhaps due to the previous day’s wintry weather, but there were enough for a quorum.


CPA Joseph Collura, who had performed 2006 audits of the Codes and Sewage accounts, sent a quote for the same service for 2007 at the same price. A motion carried to accept his offer, which includes a financial review and bank reports.

The county Planning Commission approved the subdivision plans for the parcel of land COG is in the process of purchasing for its new home. It is expected that the closing will take place shortly after the first of the year.

Members had been given the 2008 budgets last month for their review; this evening comments/discussion were welcomed.

A comparison had been made of the permit fees charged by some other local municipalities, to see if the fees COG charges are in line with those charges. In comparison, COG’s fees are only higher than what one municipality charges, but that municipality does not have a lot of building activity. COG’s fees are in line or lower than what the others charge. Information indicates that those other municipalities’ fees will be going up next year. After discussion, it was agreed that the charge for perc tests should be increased, as they require a lot of time and multiple site visits to conduct. A motion carried to approve. And, COG’s fees in relation to community systems and commercial systems are consistent across the board with what the other entities charge.

The municipal police services study has been delayed somewhat, as Greg Hostettler (DCED) has been out of the area due to a death in the family. Municipalities who have chosen to  participate in the study have been requested to send in financial information, such as real estate assessments, tax rates and fund revenues. It was noted that Rush Township has withdrawn from the study, and there were some questions about how many municipalities are actually participating in the study, as COG’s list has several more than DCED’s. Mr. Hostettler will be contacted to verify this information.

COG Sewage

The Sewage Committee is actively seeking a Sewage Enforcement Officer, no applications had been received as of this date. It was reported that Tom Button is willing to be an alternate until a permanent SEO can be found.

The committee has prepared an inspection card that will be sent out, to give applicants a better idea of what information/requirements applicants need to provide. Contractors, realtors and municipalities who regularly deal with COG for sewage permits will be sent copies.

A situation in Brooklyn Township was discussed, where a mobile home had been installed with no inspections and no frost protection. The parties concerned had been set to meet last Friday to rectify the situation. It was noted that, in this instance, the UCC was definitely beneficial to the homeowner, who may otherwise have had no recourse. It was said to be an instance that shows that the UCC regulations are working.

COG Codes

Zoning was the main topic of discussion for the Codes Committee. The Northern Tier Coalition has been working in partnership with the Eastern Susquehanna County Partnership to formulate a zoning plan for a group of municipalities. If zoning is implemented, a zoning officer would be needed. Majority opinion is that this would be best handled through COG, much the same as Codes and Sewage, and that was the intent at the outset. But, not all of the municipalities participating in the coalition’s plan are COG members, and were said not to be in favor of joining. How then would their participation in zoning be handled? This has been the subject of discussion, with some differing opinions. Should non-COG members be allowed to participate through COG, perhaps by contracting just for zoning services? Should COG contract directly with other municipalities? Would COG’s bylaws need to be changed if non-members were allowed to avail themselves of one of COG’s services?

Of the municipalities that do not want to join COG, that too, may change in the near future as there will be new supervisors/council members taking office in January. Those municipalities do not have a past history with COG, especially not a negative one, so perhaps they will reconsider and join COG. One COG member joked that he would be willing to pay the membership fees out of his own pocket if that would help; the fees are nominal and would be well worth the cost.

It was agreed that there are many details to be worked out, and the groups will continue to work on arriving at an equitable solution. If one cannot be found, it may be necessary to re-write a grant application to DCED, which has already approved funds for the planning process. That would be a considerable setback.

Standard charges for assessment permits were put in place some five years ago. But, with the implementation of the UCC, the administrative time involved has increased. So, after a short discussion it was agreed that the charges should be raised accordingly. Other codes charges will remain the same.

After discussion, a motion carried to eliminate the square-footage charge for permits for agricultural buildings, which do not require an inspection and are exempt from UCC regulations.

COG will next meet on Tuesday, January 15, 7 p.m. in their offices on Main St. in New Milford.

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Gibson Barracks Report
Compiled By Melinda Darrow


On December 10, at around 9:14 a.m., Mark Frisbie of Nicholson was traveling on T-401 in Clifford when he encountered ice on the road. Frisbie lost control of his vehicle, which subsequently plummeted into a creek. Frisbie was wearing a seatbelt, and was not injured.


On December 11, unknown perpetrator(s) attempted to open the front door of a home belonging to James Boman of Hop Bottom with a bobby pin. The perpetrator(s) fled the scene, however, after being frightened by the family dog.


On December 12, at around 12:20 a.m., Brent Benner of Springville was stopped for a traffic violation on SR0706 in Bridgewater Twp. He was subsequently arrested for D.U.I., and charges were filed at District Court 34-3-01.


On December 14, an incident involving terroristic threats occurred in Susquehanna. PSP Gibson was contacted by a woman reporting that her husband had threatened to shoot her and her daughter. The woman had left the house and run to a neighbor's house for safety, after telling her husband that she was going to call the police. She related that her husband was standing in the middle of the road with two rifles strapped to his back, and had sent her a text message in which he alluded to a desire to die. Two troopers arrived shortly thereafter, to see the accused sitting on a wall with the aforementioned rifles yelling, “Bring it on.” The police officers approached the defendant and ordered him to drop his weapons, and he surrendered the loaded guns and was taken into custody. He was arraigned before District Justice Gene Franklin and remanded to the Susquehanna County Jain on $50,000 straight bail. A preliminary hearing was scheduled.


On December 16, Alicia Labbe of the Rushville area was cited for underage consumption of alcoholic beverages.


On December 10 an accident occurred on SR 81 North in Lenox Twp. Shelly Wilson of New Milford was traveling north when her vehicle exited the roadway to the left and collided with the end of a guardrail. Wilson's vehicle was then deflected back onto the interstate and came to rest in the right lane facing south. Wilson was wearing her seatbelt and sustained a minor injury.


On December 2 at around 4:00 p.m., Jeremy Welch of Port Crane was traveling on SR 167 in Silver Lake Twp., going too fast for conditions. Welch lost control of his truck and exited the roadway, striking a small tree, passing over a drainage ditch, and hitting two more trees before coming to an uncontrolled stop. Welch was cited for the accident.


On December 4 at 7:40 a.m., Matthew Kilmer of Jackson found himself unable to stop his vehicle at the bottom of his snow-covered driveway and entered the adjoining roadway. Kilmer's vehicle struck one driven by Wade Snyder of Lake Ariel, which was traveling south on SR 0092. As a result of the crash both vehicles became disabled, though neither driver was injured.


On December 7, Bryant Kasson of Springville was traveling East on SR 3004 when he lost control of his truck and rolled into a ditch off the south side of the eastbound lane. The truck rolled onto its roof, and suffered severe damage, though Kasson was uninjured.


On December 9, Phillip Alverez of Bronx, NY was traveling North on I81 when he lost control of his vehicle. It exited the roadway to the east side of the northbound lane and rolled over before coming to a final, uncontrolled rest facing west. No EMS or fire responded.


On December 11 at 10:40 a.m. Rahim Khan of Jamaica, NY and Lall Ramkamawen from Trinidad were traveling southbound on I-81 when their vehicle suffered a mechanical failure, veered to the left, and went into the median. Both persons were seat belted, there were no injuries, and the airbag did not deploy.


On December 3 at around 11:45 p.m., Gregory Scarbrough of Binghamton, NY was traveling north along SR 81 when he encountered an icy spot in the lane of travel. He lost control of his vehicle and spun 180 degrees before going over the guardrail and coming to a rest facing south. Neither Scarbrough nor his two passengers were injured.


On November 26, a Ford Taurus owned by Ashley Porter of Hallstead was stuck in a ditch on the eastbound side of Hunsinger Rd. Porter had become stuck, facing west, after sliding on the ice covered road. As she was trying to make arrangements to remove the vehicle from the bottom of an ice covered hill, a box truck driven by John Stackowitz came over the hill, slid on the ice, and impacted with the unoccupied Taurus.


On December 19 at around 5:10 a.m., an unknown male was traveling southbound on SR 11 in Hallstead Borough while Ray Cole, Jr. of Montrose was traveling north on the same road in a 2006 Mack Truck. The jeep left its lane of travel, crossed into the truck's path of travel, and made driver-side impact. The driver of the jeep then fled the scene. The investigation is ongoing at this time.


On December 16 at around 9:40 a.m., Kyle Dumond and a passenger were traveling west on SR 370 in Ararat twp. Their vehicle went through a downed pine tree and struck the rear of a PennDOT dump truck driven by Samuel Long of Uniondale. Dumond and his passenger were wearing seatbelts and sustained minor injuries. The SUV they were driving was totaled.


On December 17, Lisa Rouse of New Milford was traveling on SR 1061 near New Milford Twp. when she lost control of her vehicle on the snow covered roadway and struck an embankment. The vehicle flipped onto its roof, and came to an uncontrolled stop.

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Tax Credit Available For Area Farmers

HARRISBURG - Applications for a state program that will provide as much as $10 million in tax credits to farmers who promote sustainable farming practices are now available, Rep. Sandra Major (R- Susquehanna/Wayne/Wyoming) announced.

The Resource Enhancement and Protection Program (REAP) was created by Act 55 of 2007, providing tax credits for private investment in the implementation of a variety of proven and cost-effective Best Management Practices (BMPs). Those BMPs may include improvements to barnyards, pastures and riparian corridors, development and implementation of nutrient management plans, and remediation of legacy sediments.

BMPs are designed to promote environmentally friendly farming by abating storm water runoff, minimizing loss of sediment and nutrients, and reducing runoff of other pollutants from raising livestock.

REAP allows farmers to receive between 25 percent and 75 percent of project costs resulting from the implementation of approved BMPs.

To be eligible for up to $150,000 in tax credits through the REAP program, farmers must meet certain criteria such as having a conservation plan, an agricultural erosion and sedimentation control plan and, in some cases, a nutrient management plan.

Applications will be accepted beginning January 2, 2008, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. by the State Conservation Commission. Funding in the amount of $10 million will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis, making timely applications all the more important.

More information regarding eligibility requirements for the REAP program and applications are available by logging on to Major's Web site at

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Local Communities To Receive DCED Grants

Rep. Sandra Major (R-Susquehanna/Wayne/Wyoming) announced the awarding of three grants from the state Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) for Susquehanna and Wayne counties. The Montrose Cemetery Association will receive a $32,500 grant, New Milford Borough will receive a $41,000 grant and Starrrucca Borough will receive a $20,000 grant.

“The cemetery association will use the grant to make improvements to roads and the drainage system,” Major said. “Many of the driveways are seriously deteriorated and drainage problems have made access to grave sites and finding viable ground for new grave sites difficult.”

The association has not been able to raise enough revenue to keep pace with escalating maintenance costs.

The cemetery houses a key piece of history and genealogy in northeastern Pennsylvania.

Major said New Milford Borough will use its grant to rebuild the municipal parking lot. The June, 2006 flood washed away the former lot and crumbling gravel and dirt are all that remain.

The borough office building adjacent to the parking lot houses municipal offices, the New Milford Authority and several businesses. Athletic and civic groups also meet in the building.

In addition to the new parking lot, sidewalks and curbs at the entrance to the building will be replaced to look uniform with the Main Street sidewalks.

Starrucca Borough will receive a $20,000 grant to help finance replacement of the Stephano Road Bridge.

“The original bridge was built in the 1920s,” Major said. “The new bridge will greatly improve the infrastructure of the borough of 216 residents by restoring the load capacity.”

In addition to the DCED grant, Starrucca has received Community Development Block Grant funding for the project.

The grant program, through which these grants were awarded, is administered by DCED.

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