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The Florida Cities of Excellence Awards Program was begun in 2004, to focus public attention on the countless good things cities do to improve the quality of life in Florida. Winners of the 2007 awards were announced on November 9. A finalist for City Employee of the Year, Fire Chief Dan Scales, is a former resident of Susquehanna, PA.
Chief Dan Scales of Ponce Inlet, Florida recently received recognition as a City Employee of the Year.
Chief Scales has proven to be a valuable asset to the town of Ponce Inlet. His experience, over 23 years in the fire service has served the town well. Under his leadership, the town recently completed an ISO evaluation which resulted in a full category improvement in their ISO rating, raising it from a class 6 to class 5. The state Department of Health recently completed an inspection of the EMS facilities which resulted in an exemplary inspection report.
The average response time to calls is three minutes or less. The town’s per capita ALS skills are one of the highest countywide, despite a smaller population and lower call volume. Chief Scales also implemented a customer service survey program, which has been well received by residents and visitors alike. The Fire Department staff continuously receives high marks in patient satisfaction and level of service.
Due to a limited budget, Chief Scales has also willingly and eagerly assumed the responsibility of coordinating and handling all matters related to the town’s technology. In the past year, he oversaw the design and installation of all network components within the new Town Hall and police station. He coordinated the successful relocation of the emergency 911 system to a new dispatch center. He was responsible for the development and installation of an audio/visual system in the new council chambers. He coordinates all additions and updates to the town’s website and the town’s government access channel. Chief Scales also worked closely with the Utility Billing Dept. to establish on-line bill payment.
Chief Scales is actively involved with children’s activity functions, and participates in the Volunteer Firefighter Association and Volunteer Pension Board.
Chief Scales is the son of David and Carol Scales, Susquehanna.
The Domiciliary Care, or "Dom Care" program available through the B/S/S/T Area Agency on Aging is designed to provide a homelike living arrangement in the community for adults age 18 and older who need assistance with activities of daily living and are unable to live independently. Dom Care providers open up their homes to individuals and supply supervision, support and encouragement in a family-like setting.
Dom Care homes are smaller than the traditional personal care home; providers care for no more than three Dom Care residents. Unlike larger personal care homes, Dom Care homes are the individual providers’ homes. The homes are inspected annually to ensure they meet health and safety standards. When the home and provider pass this inspection, they become "Certified".
Dom Care residents are not so functionally impaired as to need nursing home care and must be mobile or semi-mobile. Dom Care residents must be able to vacate the home in case of fire with minimal assistance. Persons with extreme behavior problems or substance addictions are not appropriate for Dom Care placement.
Residents in the program receive much more than room and board. Residents receive supervision with self-help skills, such as personal hygiene and grooming; three nutritious meals a day; housekeeping and laundry services; assistance with medication; caring and individualized attention; and ongoing care management and monitoring, provided through the Area Agency on Aging. Most importantly, Dom Care residents become part of a stable, caring "family" and can enjoy a sense of belonging and independence.
Dom Care residents who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are also eligible for a state supplement towards the cost of Dom Care and a personal needs allowance.
The success of the Dom Care program is dependent on nurturing individuals who are willing to open up their home and willing to provide the support and care a Dom Care resident requires. Dom Care providers come from all walks of life. Some are widows or older couples. Others are families with young children, but all are willing to open their homes to people in need.
Prospective Dom Care home providers and consumers should contact the B/S/S/T Area Agency on Aging at (800) 982-4346 for more information on the program.
Residents of Bradford, Sullivan, Susquehanna and Tioga counties age 60 or older who need nursing home care and meet certain eligibility requirements have the option of remaining in their homes with in-home services to assist them with their daily activities through the Pennsylvania Department of Aging Waiver Program. Although the program does not provide 24-hour care, it does enable many older consumers to remain in their homes as an alternative to nursing home care.
The Pennsylvania Department of Aging Waiver Program, funded by Medical Assistance and offered by the Area Agency on Aging, provides a variety of in-home services for older consumers who require nursing home level of care and meet financial eligibility requirements.
The consumer undergoes an assessment by a Care Manager or Assessor from the Area Agency on Aging to determine whether he or she needs the level of care a nursing home provides. The individual must also apply for and be eligible for Medical Assistance (or Access card), which helps pay medical expenses. To be eligible for an Access card through the Waiver program, a consumer must have a monthly income below $1,911 and have less than $8,000 in financial resources i.e. savings, stocks, bonds.
When the consumer has been approved for the Waiver program, a Care Manager with expertise in issues of concern to older consumers works with him or her to complete a care plan addressing his/her specific needs. Services can include: home-delivered meals; personal care; caregiver respite services; homemaker services; registered nursing services; medical supplies and equipment; home environment modifications; emergency response systems.
The care manager maintains regular contact with the Waiver consumer and makes adjustments in the consumer’s care plan according to any changing needs.
For further information on the PDA Waiver program and other available programs, please call the Area Agency on Aging toll-free at (800) 982-4346.
In 2006, 58 Pennsylvania counties experienced flash flooding from tropical storms Frances, Ivan and Jeanne. “Pennsylvania is one of the most flood-prone states in the country,” said Susquehanna County Emergency Management Coordinator Mark Wood. “In fact, floods claim more lives than any other weather event, not just in Pennsylvania, but across the nation.”
Flash floods can occur in mountain valleys, in normally dry stream beds, and where communities have been built close to streams. Sometimes flash floods strike even where it is not raining. A wall of water can rush down a valley following a severe storm that dumped a large amount of rain many miles upstream.
“Flash floods are very dangerous,” said Wood. “They give very little warning and can be extremely powerful.”
There are two different stages to alert the public to possible flash flooding, and the National Weather Service monitors conditions to issue the appropriate cautions.
A flash flood watch means that flooding may occur. Stay alert. Watch for thunderstorms. Keep an eye on rivers and streams. If they rise, don't wait. Get to higher ground fast!
A flash flood warning means there is actual flooding. Act at once! Go to a safe area on higher ground.
Children should not play in ditches or other waterways if flash flooding might occur. The water can become deep very quickly and the current can become very strong.
Campers should be careful selecting campsites and parking recreational vehicles.
Drivers should watch for flooding at bridges and dips in the road. It only takes a few inches of water to move a vehicle, and rapidly rising water can carry the car away, or the road may already be washed out, but that might not be immediately visible to a motorist. Any time a vehicle becomes trapped in water, occupants should get out immediately and move to high ground.
Finally, the coordinator says there may not be time for a watch or warning message to be given over the radio or television. Citizens should monitor weather reports during severe weather in order to anticipate the possibility of flash flooding, and then be ready to act independently if it happens.
Pennsylvania officials urge residents to identify the types of severe weather that could happen where they live, and to develop a family emergency response plan before a disaster occurs. This plan describes what to do and where to go if severe weather occurs. It should be in writing, and should be discussed and reviewed with all family members on a regular basis.
With spring just around the corner, Mt. View Garden Club is looking forward to a new year.
Pictured (l-r) are members of the Mt. View Garden Club and the first recipient of the club’s Hometown Pride Award: Donna Caputa, Helene Tingsley, award winner Louis C. Parise, JoAnn Hall, Meg Suraci.
The first meeting for 2008 will be held on March 18, 7 p.m. at the Clifford Fire Hall. Donna Zagrapan, Penn State Master Gardener, along with Colleen Bobrovcan, a member of the Garden Club and also a Master Gardener, will tell how to prune trees and shrubs, and also how to protect them from foraging deer. The public is welcome to attend the demonstrations and discussions. Gentlemen are also welcome and encouraged.
Louis Parise of the Shiffler-Parise Funeral Home in Clifford is the first recipient of the club’s "Hometown Pride Award." This award recognizes businesses or organizations for upgrading the appearance of their business establishment's exterior, improving the appearance of their neighborhoods, and beautifying the region. Look for details and judging criteria on the club’s website, mountainviewgardenclub.org and click on Hometown Pride Award.
Long-time, local ballroom dance couple, Dan and Sheri Wolfe, along with newcomers Brian and Becky Lewis, were featured in showcases on a recent taping of WVIA Ballroom, which airs on Saturday nights at 7:00.
The Wolfe’s performed an elegant waltz choreographed to the song “Sprint.” The Lewis’s performed a delightful foxtrot choreographed to Michael Buble’s rendition of “Call Me Irresponsible.” Both selections were choreographed under the direction of Cheryl Fitch, well known ballroom dance instructor in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area.
The increased popularity of ballroom dancing in this country is evident in our local area, as more and more couples have taken up the activity. Two other area couples, George and Pam Overmeyer and Louie and Barb Stone, recently joined the WVIA Ballroom family.
For the third year in a row, Community Bank & Trust has donated $25,000 to the Pre-School Scholarship Program for low to moderate income families administered by The Community Foundation of Susquehanna and Wyoming Counties. To date, for the current school year, 75 students are attending 12 pre-schools in The Community Foundation’s two-county service area, and a total of $70,000 in scholarship assistance has been provided.
Pictured (l-r) are: William Farber, President and CEO, Community Bank & Trust and Peter Quigg, Director of Development, The Community Foundation.
In the five years The Community Foundation has administered pre-K and K-12 scholarships, nearly 600 students attending 40 schools have received over $500,000.00 in tuition assistance. More information about this and other projects of The Community Foundation may be found at www.community-foundation.org.
The Community Foundation expresses gratitude for the generosity and commitment the bank’s directors and staff have again shown toward local families striving to educate their children. Foundation Director of Development, Peter Quigg, states, “The dependability of Community Bank & Trust has helped us to consistently fund these scholarships, and the families have been very appreciative. In some cases children might not be able to attend school without this assistance.”
This is Timmy. He is a three-year old, orange and white domestic, shorthaired tabby. He is very friendly and lovable. He loves to be petted and given lots of attention. He is litter-box trained.
To see Timmy, stop by the Susquehanna County Humane Society, 278-1228.
Tornadoes are most likely to strike in Pennsylvania during the spring and early summer months, according Susquehanna County Emergency Management Coordinator Mark Wood.
However, the first recorded tornado in Pennsylvania hit Bradford County in August, 1854. Since then, hundreds of tornadoes have touched down in the commonwealth, with the deadliest outbreak occurring on May 31, 1985, when 41 tornadoes swept across the northwestern and central sections of the state, claiming 65 lives and giving Pennsylvania the unfortunate distinction of leading the nation in tornado-related deaths that year.
Wood said that it’s not clear what exactly triggers the formation of a tornado. They often develop when a warm, moist air mass collides with a cooler one – a weather pattern that can also lead to the formation of thunderstorms.
“Citizens need to know that the severe thunderstorms that bring heavy rain, strong winds, and hail can also trigger tornadoes,” the coordinator said. “If severe storms are in the area, everyone should be alert to the possibility of tornadic activity, understand the difference between a tornado watch and a tornado warning, and know what to do to protect themselves and their loved ones in the event a watch or warning is issued.”
The National Weather Service (NWS) will issue a "Tornado Watch" if climatic conditions are such that tornadoes are possible. Residents should watch for threatening weather and listen to a
radio station for updated weather information.
The National Weather Service issues “Tornado Warnings” when a tornado actually has been sighted on radar or by a ground spotter in the vicinity. When a warning is received, anyone close to the storm should take cover immediately. There is often very little time to react before a tornado could strike.
At home, residents should go to the basement or to an interior room on the lowest level and stay away from windows. If possible, use a mattress or heavy blanket to protect yourself from flying debris.
Larger buildings, such as offices or schools, usually have pre-designated shelter areas. Interior hallways on the lowest floor provide the best protection.
Buildings with flat roofs, such as shopping centers or mobile homes, are quite dangerous. If possible, it is better to leave those areas and seek shelter in a safer location.
Motorists who hear a tornado warning while driving should leave the vehicle and go to the nearest shelter. If that’s not possible, exit the vehicle and lie flat in a ditch or depression in the ground and shield the head from flying debris.
The county coordinator urged residents to develop a family emergency response plan, which should include what to do if a tornado is reported in your area. The plan should be reviewed regularly to ensure that family members are familiar with it.
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