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Most municipalities in Pennsylvania reorganize themselves on the first Monday in January, unless, like Great Bend Borough, they want to meet earlier. The borough council has been meeting on the first Thursday of each month for as long as anyone can remember. They kept to that schedule on January 3, and decided to continue it.
In addition to the meeting schedule, Council selected new officers. Incumbent Council President Bea Alesky said that she wanted to continue on Council, but would not accept another office. Her colleagues nominated Rick Franks and Jerry MacConnell to chair the body, so Mayor James Riecke collected ballot slips and announced Mr. Franks the winner with a vote of 4 to 3.
Four incumbents were re-elected in November and Borough solicitor Frank O'Connor administered the oath of office to Patricia Thatcher, Jerry MacConnell, Joseph Collins and Ron Cranage.
Mr. Cranage was nominated to continue as Code Enforcement Officer but immediately "respectfully declined" the office. During the business meeting following the reorganization, Mr. Cranage said that he would follow through on two cases that will come before the District Justice on January 11, but then would gladly turn over materials on other cases to his successor. Nobody else stepped up to take the unpleasant job, so the choice was tabled, perhaps indefinitely.
Mr. MacConnell accepted the post of Council Vice President, and everything else will stay the same: Sheila Guinan will remain as Secretary/Treasurer (bonded at $300,000), Joe Collins will continue as Roadmaster and Parks commissioner; mileage will be reimbursed at $0.505 per mile; Mr. O'Connor will continue as borough solicitor, Peoples National Bank will continue to hold the borough's funds, and Carol Galloway of H&R Block will continue as the borough's auditor. Ms. Alesky said that Council was "comfortable" with Ms. Galloway, and Mr. Franks said that she "has been very good to the borough."
The position of tax assessor will also remain open indefinitely. Nobody could remember when the borough last had a named assessor. Since most agree that the job doesn't pay enough to cover expenses, many municipalities in the area do without.
A normal business meeting immediately followed the reorganization and, considering the weather, the hottest topic was also the coldest: ice.
Great Bend Borough has tried for the past several years to winter over without using salt on its streets. Conditions now are such that Council will look into acquiring a supply to mix with the anti-skid material now being used. Mr. Cranage said that the "anti-skid isn't doing anything" to keep the streets safe. Ms. Guinan will attempt to locate a supply of salt, even if that means in bags from Stone’s Hardware.
Mr. Collins reported on a "pretty bad" condition with water on Washington Street following the heavy rains of a few weeks ago. A contractor has been hired to try to clean out some affected drains, at least for a temporary fix.
The borough has received one quote of just over $1,000 to install gutters and downspouts on the garage. Council directed Ms. Guinan to try to get a couple more quotes before proceeding.
With somewhat milder weather expected in the following days, Kevin Shibley expects to begin work re-roofing the structures in Greenwood and Recreation Parks. He asked for and will receive half of the estimated cost of about $6,650 so that he can purchase materials.
The borough will soon receive title to a lot that may become yet another park. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has purchased a property in the flood plain that was damaged during the flooding of June, 2006. The property will be cleared and turned over to the borough with the proviso that nothing be constructed on it that could result in a future claim from another flood.
Mr. MacConnell said that he was approached by a resident who wanted to use a part of what had been Grant Street to move a piece of equipment. Only small parts of Grant Street are still in use, but it was thought that the middle section in question had been "abandoned, but not abandoned." That is, the area at the borough boundary is still claimed by the borough, but is not maintained as a street.
Will zoning come to Great Bend? New Council President Rick Franks is known to favor it. Attorney O'Connor raised the issue again with respect to a request by Mr. MacConnell for a draft ordinance to control the installation of "trailers" in the borough. Mr. O'Connor asked for a count of the number of available lots in the borough. At most, 3- 5 buildable lots were identified. Is that enough to warrant the trouble of creating an ordinance? Council will look at zoning materials from nearby municipalities and "multi- municipality" coalitions such as the Northern Tier Coalition of Townships.
Since the meeting schedule didn't change, the next public meeting of the Great Bend Borough Council will be held on February 7, beginning at 7:00 p.m. at the Borough Building at Elizabeth and Franklin Streets.
Gary Gray, President of the Board of Directors Barnes-Kasson Health Center, Inc., announced that Terese A. DeLaPlaine has been selected as the new Executive Director for the Barnes-Kasson Health Centers. “In choosing a new executive, the board looked for a dedicated, patient-oriented person with a keen sense of future direction for the Health Center,” said Gray. “We are fortunate to have found that individual with Terese DeLaPlaine."
Terese, a lifelong resident of Susquehanna, PA, graduated from Susquehanna Community High School, University of Scranton and Syracuse University College of Law. Terese has 12 years of experience with the Barnes-Kasson Health Care System.
“I am most grateful for having been selected for this important position and am excited to continue providing quality medical care in Susquehanna County,” said DeLaPlaine.
Barnes-Kasson Hospital and Barnes-Kasson Health Centers are two separate but codependent corporations. The Health Center provides physician services including staffing of the emergency room and outreach offices. The hospital provides diagnostic testing, surgical and obstetrical care, inpatient care including long-term residential care, outpatient therapy, home health care, and 24 hour emergent care.
On December 19, at around 1:30 p.m., Barbara Clark was traveling on Forks Hill Rd. in Franklin Twp. when she slid on an icy spot in the road and collided with a Franklin Twp. vehicle. Both vehicles were driven from the scene. Clark was issued a citation for no insurance coverage.
ONE VEHICLE CRASH
On December 27 at around 2:45 p.m., Abraham Gallagher of Clifford was traveling southbound on SR 171. He lost control of his vehicle after cresting a knoll, the vehicle slid off of the right side of the roadway and rolled over. Gallagher was cited for driving a vehicle at safe speed.
On December 14 Kathleen Decker was exiting a driveway onto SR 29 in Dimock Twp. This action put her into the path of a southbound pick-up truck driven by Robert Manning of Montrose. The two vehicles collided. Manning pulled off the road to the right. Decker's vehicle crossed the road and went into a snow bank; she backed out of the snow bank and fled north. She was later located at P.J.'s Bar, and was charged with multiple traffic violations.
On December 27, Matthew Parsons of Susquehanna was traveling on SR 1004 in Jackson Twp. when he lost control of his vehicle on the icy roadway, striking a tree along the left side of the road. He was wearing a seatbelt and was not injured.
On December 28, at around 12:30 a.m., an unknown man pumped 10 gallons of unleaded gas worth $31.65 and left the store without paying. The suspect was described as being a white male, approximately 5'8”, with gray hair and glasses. He was driving a purple colored Jeep Grand Cherokee.
On December 22 at around 3 a.m., PSP Gibson received numerous calls in reference to an erratic driver traveling northbound on SR0081. The accused was located and stopped near exit 219 in New Milford Borough. As a result of this, John McCarthey of Radnor, PA was arrested for DUI. DUI charges were filed at District Court 34-3-02.
On December 3, at around 4:35 a.m., Amber and Jacob Martin of Springville returned to their home to find that it had been burglarized while they were away. The incident appears to have been a daytime burglary.
On December 20, in the middle of the night, an accident occurred on SR 3001 in Bridgewater Twp. The collision occurred as Victor Vlachos of Montrose was traveling southbound on SR 3001. While negotiating a curve in the roadway, Vlachos exited the travel lanes and impacted with a series of guard rails, coming to a final rest partially in the travel lanes. He left the scene prior to police response.
On December 22 one or more unknown perpetrator(s) entered an exterior shed belonging to Lawrence Meyers of Susquehanna and stole a weed trimmer and two plastic cans of gasoline.
BURGLARY (AND ATTEMPTED BURGLARY)
Sometime between November 25 and December 29, unknown persons attempted to break into a cabin on Crescent Lake in Auburn Twp., but failed to gain entry. During the same time period, another cabin located on the same lake was broken into. The perpetrator(s) apparently used the cabin for a night and removed a 15” flat screen television from it.
HIT & RUN
On December 10 a Blue Ford Ranger extended cab pick-up truck struck a 2003 Jeep Liberty on John St. in Great Bend Village. It then proceeded to strike a 95 Chevrolet S-10 on Church street, before fleeing the scene. The operator of the vehicle is described as a medium build white male in his late 20's, who was wearing glasses.
Sometime between 9:30 p.m. on December 30 and 2:30 a.m. the following morning, two vehicles parked at Maloney's Restaurant had tires slashed with an unknown object. The vehicles belonged to Deano Six and Kelly Vangaasbeck. The perpetrator(s) left the scene without being caught.
On January 1 at around 1:54 a.m. Kelly McLaughlin of Hop Bottom was traveling Northbound on I81 in the area of MM207.8 in Lenox Twp. when she lost control of her vehicle, began a rollover maneuver, and came to rest partly within the northbound travel lanes. McLaughlin exhibited signs of intoxication and was transported to Marion Community Hospital for BAC testing. Charges are pending the findings of these tests. McLaughlin was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the collision and suffered minor injuries.
On January 1 at 1:45 p.m., Robert Luce of Montrose was standing alongside a road when he was struck by a 2003 Subaru driven by an unnamed 17-year old juvenile. The investigation is continuing regarding this matter. Luce was transported to the hospital. The incident occurred on SR 4002 in Silver Lake Twp.
THEFT OF MOTOR VEHICLE
On December 19 at around 10:54 p.m. Larry Fike of Springville reported that his 700cc, 2007 Yamaha Raptor ATV was stolen. The ATV was reported to be orange and black in color. It was allegedly stolen from his property while he was on vacation.
If you have information on any of these incidents, please contact PSP Gibson at (570) 465-3154.
Edwin F. Shinn (AKA) Edwin F. Shinn, Sr. to Edwin F. Shinn (Revoc Living Trust) and Cecilia T. Shinn (Revoc Living Trust), in Forest Lake Township for one dollar.
Elizabeth A. Gudaitis to Elizabeth A. Gudaitis (Trustee), in Forest City for one dollar.
Jack L. Bishop, Sr. (Sheriff) and Lisa M. Yachymiak (Sheriff) to Peoples National Bank, in Brooklyn Township for $2,700.48.
Laura E. Showalter and Ronald E., Jr. and Beth E. Carlton to Ronald E., Jr. and Beth E. Carlton, in Forest Lake Township for $24,000.00.
Laura E. Showalter to Anita L. and Eric C. Fagerberg, in Forest Lake Township for $24,000.00.
Bremer Hof Owners, Inc. to James M. Talarico, in Herrick Township for $100.00.
Ronald E. and Della R. Whitaker to Beverly Rose, in New Milford Borough for $73,000.00.
Albert H. Cleveland to Charles T. Cleveland, in Lanesboro Borough for one dollar.
Robert L. and Ann S. Fox to Corporation Of The Presiding Bishop Of The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints, in Oakland Township for one dollar.
Keith A. and Sue E. Sutton to John E. Sutton and Kim L. Gray, in Jackson Township for one dollar.
George W. Belcher to Frank and Mary Ellen Mela, in Gibson Township for $48,000.00.
Larry and William Cassidy and Bonnie Swanson to Fiddle Lake Road LP, in Ararat Township for $800,000.00.
Thomas G. Czachor to Peter Joseph, III and Lillian Theresa Senko, in Thompson Township for $8,500.00.
Robert A. Kilgore to Nancy W. Ross, in Herrick Township for one dollar.
Nancy W. Ross to Robert A. Kilgore, in Herrick Township for one dollar.
Trehab (FKA) Trehab Center, Inc. to Endless Mountains Community Development Corporations, Inc., in Susquehanna for one dollar.
Fred M. and Julie A. Brand to David P. and Nicole Y. Wood, in Liberty Township for $90,000.00.
Willard F. Weisel (AKA) W. F. Weisel and Marion C. Weisel to Harry E. Squares, Jr., Stephen J. Hedenus and Damian P. Larosa, in New Milford Township for $350,000.00.
Joseph and Judith Adams to Gregory P. and Robyn Adams, in Silver Lake Township for one dollar.
Bruce A. McNaught and Nancy K. Wottrich to Christina Christensen, in Bridgewater Township for $3,200.00.
Richard Patrick and Mary L. Donnelly to Nick L. and Paula J. Holofchak, in Silver Lake Township for $55,000.00.
John H. (Trust By Tr) and Cheryl C. Hart (Trust by Tr) to Ronald S. and Charlotte Sherwood, in New Milford Township for $22,000.00.
James Merrit (Estate AKA) James M. Welch to Chad H. Hollenbeck and Scott A. Adams, in Harmony and Thompson Townships for one dollar.
Robyn E. Ogden (NKA) Robyn E. Adams and Gregory Adams to Robyn E. and Gregory Adams, in Silver Lake Township for one dollar.
Michael V. Cisek (By Sheriff) to Chase Home Finance LLC, in Great Bend Borough for $1,109.36.
Phyllis (By Sheriff) and James R. Pedley (By Sheriff) to Federal National Mortgage Assoc., in Forest City for $1,581.61.
Vena I. Blossom (Estate) to Scott Carpenetti, in Lathrop Township for one dollar.
Lorraine Twilley (By Sheriff AKA) Lorraine M. Twilley (AKA) Lorraine M. Orehek to Wells Fargo Bank, in Forest City for $2,279.77.
Robert R. and Robert W. Rounds to Robert R. and Claire E. Rounds, in New Milford Township for one dollar.
Joseph Cardona, Jr. to Samuel J. and Donna M. Cosmello, in New Milford Township for one dollar.
Nick L. and Paula J. Holofchak to Nick L. and Paula J. Holofchak, in Silver Lake Township for one dollar.
George F., Sandra and George L. Hayes to Julie A. Hayes and James W. Cole, in Forest Lake Township for $48,000.00.
Clayton D. and Elaine Rutt to Randall W., Jr. and Roseanne M. Good, in Harmony Township for $665,000.00.
Thomas M. Sampson and Jo A. Dearie, both of Uniondale.
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