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The Susquehanna County Tourism Committee approached The Susquehanna County Commissioners to reconsider their previous decision on the 2008 grant application so that The Tourism Committee could continue its positive work for tourism in the county.
According to committee representative Eleanor Lempke, spokeswoman for the group, the grant for their 2008 operating budget is vital to attracting tourism to Susquehanna County.
Lempke expressed shock and disappointment by the decision made by the commissioners, which was to grant them no marketing monies for 2008.
Lempke also pointed out that the group made $88,000 through the room tax in Susquehanna County. (The room tax is a tax imposed on travelers if they stay at one of the approved locations within the county).
“Tourism makes a substantial contribution to the county’s local economy. In fact, it is the second largest industry in our county as well as in the state,” Lempke informed those in attendance.
The state of the United States economy was also discussed, as well as the importance of protecting and strengthening each sector of Susquehanna County’s economy.
Lempke introduced the members of the committee: Kim Ross – Stone Bridge Inn, Michele Suchnick – Colonial Brick Inn & Suites, Sandy Conklin – Conklin’s Woodworking, Al Aronowitz – Endless Mountains Lodge, and of course, Mrs. Lempke – Lynn Lee House Bed & Breakfast.
Jim Jennings asked the commissioners why they decided not to fund this grant for 2008.
Commissioner Leon Allen said, “You need $8,000, and we wanted to know where it goes.” He was asked if he or the other commissioners had bothered to call anyone for that information. As the committee was appointed by the commissioners, the commissioners were also questioned if they had ever attended any of the committee's meetings. The answer was Commissioner Allen’s, “Specifics, we need specifics. We have no idea what that is used for, we never saw anything.”
Michele Suchnick reacted with, “Excuse me, sir, it was listed alphabetically, we put down everything we spent, and what it was spent for.”
Commissioner Mary Ann Warren said, “The Commissioners will take this into consideration; we would like to have an audit of where the money went.” The committee resounded again that grant deductions, etc., are all in the files, saying what it was spent for.
Al Aronowitz stated, "It's not the first time a sign-off goes and is picked apart to fit with in the grant (by the Commissioners).”
Commissioner Warren said, “We went through it.”
Mrs. Lempke added, “You were invited to attend a meeting(s) so that you could make an educated decision.”
Commissioner Warren said that she could not attend the meeting she had been invited to. The Committee’s response was, “You did not attend, nor send anyone in your place? Susquehanna County does not care about this project, nor how it works, and how it is spent.”
Commissioner Warren replied, “That is not true.”
Al Aronowitz informed everyone, “It is not county money (taxes) we are collecting; it is collected from the room tax, which is equal to 30% of 3%.”
“We are a professional, working committee, promoting this county,” Lempke added, “it is something we are proud of. We are denied the privilege of positive support of Susquehanna, and its positive visitor privileges.”
Commissioner Warren stated, “We discussed this yesterday, and we will get back to you on this issue.”
Alice Deutsch, Treasurer of the committee, stated that the three other counties are behind the project, supporting it wonderfully (Sullivan, Wyoming and Bradford). She also asked the commissioners to join them at their next meeting at the Colonial Inn, “Pease, have a representative at this next meeting to see what actually does go on. We can show you actually, at the meeting, as well as or better than putting it on paper. You can see it firsthand.”
Aronowitz told the commissioners, “We can’t spend the money unless the Visitors’ Bureau and the commissioners sign off.”
The news media questioned if it comes from general funds from Susquehanna County and was told no tax or taxpayers’ money funds this committee.
Commissioner Warren stated that another grant will be available in the fall.
The committee explained again that they have no marketing money for 2008, to advertise for the rest of 2008-2009, they need the money from this grant. “We need to be in the Regional Listings to be noticed, and in the appropriate magazines.”
Again, Commissioner Warren said they would look into it.
Two proclamations were made, proclaiming April 13 –19, 2008, as “The Week of the Young Child” in Susquehanna and also proclaiming May 22, 2008 as “Early Learning Practitioner Appreciation Day” in Susquehanna County.
Following the proclamations, a representative, Stephanie Thornton from the C.A.R.E.S. group, gave a talk about the program who are dedicated to see that young children get the best education start possible in Pennsylvania.
Thornton said, “Children are at moderate to high risk if the quality of education does not start before age five. Studies were done that prove this fact. A young child whose education began before age five was proven to have succeeded in future life.”
April 13-19 there will be artwork done by children of various ages throughout businesses in Susquehanna County, Thornton told the audience. There will also be worm races and more fun, in addition to visits from fire companies and other safety organizations. On May 22 there will be an honor of educational teachers who take part in the program, along with a magician and other interesting items.
She said, “Susquehanna has been making strides” and explained that licensed child care givers provides about half, above the state average. Care givers can earn Stars 1-4. Most providers are at about Star 1, but Thornton stated that we have three at Star 1 and two working for their Star 2, and one working for a Star 3. She added that earning the stars is not an easy project.
A resolution was adopted approving a payment in lieu of taxes on the parcel of land located on the former Oakland High School, where Susquehanna County Housing Development Corporation has developed affordable elderly housing units.
The Tax Claim Bureau was exonerated from collecting delinquent taxes on three parcels in Great Bend Township, per the recommendation of Catherine Benedict, Tax Claim Director.
Commissioners motioned to authorize the signing of a grant agreement between the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency and Susquehanna County for flood mitigation assistance. The grant amount is $57,397.50. This is a Hazard Mitigation plan headed by Donna Erat.
Commissioners also signed an agreement with CECO Associates, Inc., for engineering services for bridge rehabilitation for County Bridge No. 33, Thompson Borough, Water Street – Starrucca Creek, in the amount of $5,500, which is one-third the amount originally bid. This amount is at cost to the county.
Jason Ulrich’s resignation was accepted with regret from the position of Judicial Law Clerk, effective March 21.
Commissioners ratified the hiring of Thomas Meagher, Esquire, Nicholson to the open, fulltime position of Judicial Law Clerk, effective March 24.
Sarah Conaty, Children and Youth was promoted as a Caseworker II, effective April 2, rate $16.51 per hour, in accordance with her having met the educational requirements and provisions of the Residual Professional Bargaining Unit Contract.
Commissioners accepted, with regret, the resignation of Eric Hamby, Recycling Center Coordinator, and effective April 12.
Commissioners also ratified the termination of Linda Cole, First Deputy Prothonotary, effective March 24, as per the recommendation of Susan Eddleston, Prothonotary/Clerk of Courts. Cole had been employed for 18 years by the county.
Questions were raised about the filling of board seats in both the Economic Development Committee and The Rail Authority Committee. Commissioner Warren stated that the commissioners are “still looking.”
Another question rose about the appeal for Gary Wilder’s unemployment collections and how much the commissioners thought their appealing his unemployment request was going to cost the taxpayers. Commissioner Giangrieco replied it is a litigation matter, “I will have to say ‘No Comment’ to that.”
Sylvia Beamer informed that, thus far there has been no monies taken from the taxpayers, partly due to the commissioners being members of CCAP and other associations.
When asked how much it will cost taxpayers as a whole, Commissioner Warren stated, “I can’t tell you that.’ (She didn’t know). Commissioners were also asked by the media why it was appealed, to which Commissioner Giangrieco replied “It is in litigation.”
The media persisted, “At some point it WILL cost taxpayers something.”
No response was made in answer of that statement.
The county commissioners’ meeting is held the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month, 9 a.m. in the EMA Conference Room.
What is flexible grouping? The concept was one topic of extensive discussion at the March 24 Mountain View public school board meeting. It came up when a parent complained to the board and administration about her child having been changed to a different reading group without her knowledge, at this late point in the school year. Elementary Principal Mrs. Pipitone apologized if the mother was not notified, but explained that the change would have occurred due to the elementary school's policy of employing flexible grouping for reading and math. This practice involves the ability for a child to be moved from one class to another, based on his or her mastery or difficulty with particular subjects. The change can occur throughout the year, based on assessments and educator meetings. If the child has difficulty doing fractions, for example, he might be moved to another group which addresses the concept more slowly while the rest of the class moves on. Should he master this concept and excel in another he may be moved back. Mr. Griffiths questioned the practice, asking what was the difference between flexible grouping and student profiling. He stated that he feared potential damage from a child's being moved from a high group to a low group. Someone countered this by arguing that if a child was always the lowest student in a high group he might find it difficult to move on. It was stated that this practice dealt not with a child's intelligence, but with his or her ability to master certain subjects, and that some children learned particular subjects in different ways – thus the simple move to a different educator could allow him to understand. A mother present vouched for the program, that it had helped her child. Mr. Griffiths maintained that he could see the other side of the argument, but still did not agree with the practice.
This was one of several policies questioned by the parents present. Another mother questioned her daughter's inability to take her 21-year old boyfriend to her senior prom. She stated that she knew exceptions had been made in the past, and wondered what the district would do if it ever had a 21-year old senior at the school. She asked which policy the rule was part of. Mr. Zick, the board president, responded that he did not remember the matter coming before the board. Ms. Vagni stated that no exception had been made last year, and that the rule was not predicated on policy but past practice. It would be up to the board to decide if this should be changed.
Another parent read a letter which the wrestling team had received clearing the athletes of guilt in a recent theft. The administration still could not identify who committed the crime, as the locker rooms were left unguarded. They made a commitment to supervise things more closely in the future. The parent, however, was not satisfied, as he said the team had not yet received an apology.
Mr. Doster has begun the very long process of rewriting the athletic handbook. This knowledge came in response to a query about coaches and varsity letters. A mother reported that a group of young men had gone totally unrecognized. She disagreed with the practice of the head coach deciding who earned a letter, feeling that even if a student sat on a varsity bench they deserved a varsity letter. Mr. Doster responded that two of the big changes which he would like to see in the athletic handbook were a set of requirements for varsity letters and a set of sport to sport policies.
The attendance policy also received scrutiny, as complaints were made regarding the necessity for doctor's notes after ten days, even if a child has a long illness, and the inclusion of personal field trips into this ten days (which was not practice in the past). It was responded that the policy is in its second year of implementation, that it has glitches and needs to be examined more carefully. It was also pointed out that absenteeism is figured into a school's AYP, which might effect the stringency of attendance policies.
A discussion was also held regarding graduation project mentoring, again at parental behest. A mother was disgruntled about her 10th grade son's graduation project mentoring meeting, and felt that the children needed to receive more mentoring than was currently provided. She felt that if a student failed it meant that the mentor failed the student. It was responded that sometimes a student fails due to an unwillingness to work, and not through the fault of the staff. The school also holds assemblies twice a year with all the students to give them information on the projects. Still, a visitor asked what could be done if a student felt he did what was required and still failed. She felt someone was needed who would be on the kids' side.
Not everything in the meeting revolved around parents questioning school practice. Ms. Pamela Burt was appointed to a part-time Family and Consumer Sciences position, reflecting a curriculum change in the last year. Part of what had been previously covered within the 10th grade Family and Consumer Sciences curriculum, a segment dealing with child development and personal finances, will now be covered in the 11th grade health curriculum. Ms. Burt, who was recently the district's full-time F&CS instructor, will be focusing on this material. Both the elementary and secondary schools are giving attention to health as well. The secondary school incorporated a cancer day and a health and wellness assembly. The school was to show a school-appropriate version of the movie Supersize Me the week of the meeting, and had the entire high school complete a survey on cafeteria food. The elementary school had Spring Into Health Day, and the different classrooms created individual programs for this event. One had a healthy colonial meal, another conducted a food test, and several went on health walks.
Mrs. Pipitone also highlighted the kindergarten's Easter parade. She stated that the parents did a wonderful job with the bonnets, and that there were lots of smiles.
Many students have recently received accolades at the secondary school. Twenty-one students will attend the FBLA leadership conference; two will definitely be on the stage, having won their competition. Josh Jarnagin was the Forest City Rotary Club student of the month, an award he received on March 3 at a dinner. The Odyssey of the Mind team also recently placed highly at a competition. Mrs. Voigt commended them for doing a great job in combining creative problem solving with skits.
Garry Foltz, newest of the Harford Township Supervisors attended two workshops for new supervisors recently, and came back with "a lot of information," and "a lot of good ideas" that he introduced to his colleagues at their meeting on March 25. One of them was zoning, which Mr. Foltz said could help the township avoid the development of things like landfills, half-way houses, 20-story apartment houses and the like, and give the township control over the protection of agricultural land and historical sites. "Our township has no protection now," he said.
Zoning implies planning, and several years ago Harford was invited to join a collection of municipalities along the Route 11/Interstate 81 corridor in Susquehanna County to develop a "multi-municipal" plan. That idea died when New Milford Township elected not to participate, which effectively broke up the proposed coalition. And zoning in general has not been a popular notion in conservative rural areas like ours. Even Mr. Foltz allowed that the process could take "a year or two" and cost some money to implement.
Another idea that Mr. Foltz brought back was the possibility of collecting up to five percent of subscriber fees paid to a cable TV service. Many Adams Cable subscribers in Harford have shifted to cable service offered by their phone company, North-Eastern Pennsylvania Telephone Company, which also provides broadband Internet service over the same lines; others have elected to install dish/satellite TV systems. Some at the meeting wondered if the law that allows municipalities to license cable service and collect a percentage of fees would apply to these services as well, and, if so, how.
Still looking for new sources of revenue, Mr. Foltz learned that it might be possible for the township to boost the real-estate transfer tax rate collected for local use. The transfer tax is now generally 1% on each of buyer and seller in a real-estate transaction. The township already gets half of that (but it wasn't clear whether the township gets half of both sides, or just half of one percent of the selling price). But might it also be possible for the township to impose an additional transfer tax exclusively for its own use?
At the last meeting Mr. Foltz also broached the idea of redesigning the process of issuing driveway permits. At first he proposed a two-stage process that would give the township more control over the design and construction of driveways, in particular the part where a driveway joins with a township road. Proper construction might help avoid damage from water, ice and heavy traffic to township roads.
The discussion this time broadened to the consideration of two or three different types of driveway permits: one for residential driveways, one for commercial operations that could expect heavier use, and perhaps another for temporary use, such as logging and quarrying. The current driveway permit also has no expiration date: once issued, what happens if the driveway isn't installed before new regulations are developed? It was thought that in such cases, property owners might be required to follow the newer requirements.
There was also a lengthy discussion of requirements for "line of sight" at the point where a driveway meets a public road. Should it be 400 feet, as recommended in some state publications, or the 90 feet or so that has generally been the case in the township, or maybe somewhere in between?
None of these issues was decided at the meeting. The supervisors also tabled a decision on the purchase of pipe for the year, and the purchase of a new 11-foot plow, both awaiting additional quotes. There was also considerable discussion about replacing or repairing the engine on the Case loader, and the lengthy wait for parts for one of the township's trucks.
The supervisors also tabled a decision on installing a new Internet broadband (DSL) line while they consider the purchase of a couple computers to use it. The township might save $12 per month on telephone service, but the computers could cost up to about $2,000, depending on grant money that might be available.
The supervisors did pass one resolution at the meeting, a revision of the "Open Records" policy. The new policy will require residents requesting information from the township to fill out a form and pay for any services the request might require. Research time will be billed at $25 per hour; copying will cost 50 cents per page, duplicate tax bills will cost $1.
They also signed papers for a $500,000 loan from the state through PennDOT to help with the Pennay Hill and Stearns Road projects. The township already has a half-million-dollar line of credit from a local bank which they haven't used. However, the so-called "infrastructure" loan from PennDOT will be free of interest payments for the 10- year term of the note, which is secured by the state's payment of liquid fuel subsidies each year.
Only part of the payments on the loan are budgeted because the bridge replacement project on Pennay Hill Road will eventually be fully reimbursable by the Federal and State Emergency Management Agencies (FEMA and PEMA) under the disaster declaration originally issued when the bridge was initially damaged during the flood in the summer of 2006.
Speaking of which, the bridge project must be completed by the end of this year, but the township is still awaiting a permit from the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Mr. Foltz said that he had contacted the office of state Senator Lisa Baker to try to get this expedited so the project can be bid and get under way.
Supervisor and Roadmaster Terry VanGorden asked his colleagues to approve some workshops for the township's maintenance and road crew. He will take all four shop employees to Tunkhannock for an all-day seminar on "spring maintenance," and two of them will attend another seminar on drainage at Silver Lake. He also asked permission to take the whole crew to a breakfast at Silver Lake put on by Vestal Asphalt.
Mr. VanGorden is also a member of the Harford Fire Company, and once he and his colleagues approved the list of fire police submitted by fire police captain Wayne Frederici (who also works for the township - this is a small community), he signed their cards. Of the eleven names, Bob DeLuca and Ted Batzel were honored for over 30 years service each with the fire company.
Gary L. (AKA) Garry L. and Catherine D. Foltz to Garry L. and Catherine D. Foltz, in Harford Township for one dollar.
Loomis Real Estate Management Company, Inc. to Adam and Julie Diaz, in Bridgewater Township for one dollar.
Adam and Julie Diaz to Loomis Real Estate Management Company, Inc., in Bridgewater Township for one dollar.
Joel and Kellie Trotter to Clyde H., Jr. and Teresa J. Webb, in Herrick Township for $117,000.00.
Jess S. and Jeffrey K. Hyde to Jess S., Renee L. and Jeffrey K. Hyde, in Silver Lake Township for one dollar.
Manuel, Jr. and Betsy Jo Diaz (By Sheriff) to IB Property Holdings LLC, in New Milford Borough for $3,938.70.
Charles Lozosky (Estate) to Robert C. and Cheralynn Ewing, in Clifford Township for $599,000.00.
Maple Highlands LLC to Scott T. and Judith R. Page, in Herrick Township for $439,557.00.
Edward Warren and Lillian Marie Millard to Ronald and Tracy Millard, in Bridgewater Township for one dollar.
Maple Highlands LLC to Scott T. and Judith R. Page, in Clifford Township for $35,443.00.
Philip J., Jr. and Lauri A. Pass to V. James and Bethann Robertiello, in Herrick Township for $72,000.00.
Carolyn Vogt, Joyce Linderman, Joseph and Charles Gilliotti (Estate) to Joel D. and Kellie M. Trotter, in Clifford Township for $165,000.00.
Catherine D. and Amy M. Larue and Paul Johnson to Massimiliano and Marisa Amato, in Montrose for $46,000.00.
Gerard Gantert (By Sheriff) to Fannie Mae, in New Milford Township for $2,844.33.
Katharine C. Watrous (Trust By Trustee) to Peter S. Watrous (Trust), in Franklin Township for one dollar.
Vena I. Blossom (Estate) to Elizabeth May Carpenetti, in Lathrop Township for one dollar.
Timothy A. and Brandy Carpenter to Curtis and Joann Rudock, in Hallstead Borough for $110,000.00.
Patricia M. Doolittle (Estate) to Patricia A. Hill, Arthur C., Jr., Vincent A. and Eric F. Doolittle, in Lenox Township for one dollar.
John, Barbara, Dominick G., Judith A., Edward M. and Marlene Pompey to John J., Dominick G. and Edward M. Pompey, in Springville Township for one dollar.
Ronald D., Cathy L., John R. and Beverly Severs to Raymond A. and Cheylyn B. Adams, in Auburn Township for $90,000.00.
Unadine Wiseman to Marcellus Partners LLC, in New Milford Township for $45,000.00.
Donna M. Sterling to Jessica L. Wiegans, in Great Bend Township for one dollar.
Donald M. and Debra E. Dissinger to Anthony B., Sr. and Katrina L. Dissinger, in Great Bend Township for one dollar.
John, Jr. and Helen F. Casmer to Lorraine Casmer, in Forest City for one dollar.
Lloyd Robinson to David and Annalisa Beiler, in Dimock Township for $60,000.00.
Bremer Hof Owners, Inc. to Marilyn S. and Roger Y. Grumbine, in Herrick Township for $100.00.
Peoples National Bank to Shaun A. and Dawn M. Pellew, in Brooklyn Township for $51,000.00.
Edward S. Chmara and Lisa R. Moody to Robert E. and Kathleen V. Moyer and Richard L. and Sheryl A. Powell, in Gibson Township for $28,500.00.
Pamela J. Walker to Peter S. Watrous, in Franklin Township for one dollar.
Pamela J. Walker to Peter S. Watrous, in Franklin Township for one dollar.
Francis J. Haslach, Jr. to Francis J., Jr. and Patricia Sira Haslach, in Bridgewater and New Milford Townships for one dollar.
Judith J. Manasek to Lloyd Elwood Anderson, in Lenox Township for $68,000.00.
Justin D. Radicchi of Great Bend vs. Suziee Radicchi of Carbondale, married 2004.
Heidi M. Parmelee vs. Eric J. Parmelee, both of Montrose, married 1995.
Jaroslaw Kusznir of Nicholson vs. Jessica Mae Kusznir of Virginia Beach, VA, married 1998.
Nathan Todd Newhard of Hallstead vs. Stephanie Diane Newhard of Culpeper, VA, married 2002.
Christina L. Dorunda of New Milford vs. Michael G. Dorunda, Jr. of Hallstead, married 1993.
Several visitors at the March 25 Susquehanna Boro Council meeting came to complain about a vandalism spree that had taken place the night before. Damage was found in the area of Grand Street and Willow Ave., with most of it at the Laurel Hill apartments, and spread over several blocks. Cars and buildings had been egged and spray-foamed, and some large items of ladies’ lingerie had been strewn about. When the damage was found that morning, there were no boro police on duty, but two of the victims had filed a report for the police. It was also thought that some of the (other) victims had called the state police the night before. Council was asked what the outcome of the report was, since the boro police had yet to contact anyone. One resident said that, several months prior, a complaint had been made about illegal dumping in a dumpster, which had been witnessed; a report had been made to the police, complete with a license plate number of the perpetrators, but the police had yet to make contact about that incident. Council promised to contact the mayor, either that evening after the meeting or the next morning, and ask her to follow through on both complaints.
Other residents who were present had a concern about a serious water problem on Prospect St.; they were asked to attend a streets committee meeting on Tuesday (April 1) to discuss it.
A motion carried to adopt Ordinance 452, which deals with disturbances caused by excessive noise.
A motion carried to advertise an ordinance regulating utility companies that may run lines through the boro and levying taxes on those companies. This is in the event that the proposed NYRI power line should be located within the boro.
Council has been trying to set up a meeting with the boro’s neighboring councils to discuss topics of interest to Susquehanna, Lanesboro and Oakland, but so far it has been difficult to set a date where as many council members as possible can attend. A tentative date of Saturday, April 5 was set, but not definite.
Motions carried to approve purchase of a dump body roll tarp for the streets department truck (cost less than $300); repair of a water line at the boro garage ($300-$350); and purchase of eight “permits required” signs as requested by the Codes department, approximately $67 each.
Mr. Matis and Mr. Perry had done some research on the boro’s ordinances relating to sidewalk maintenance, more specifically removal of snow. There is one, No. 23, which was enacted in 2004 and allows up to 48 hours for removal of snow. Mr. Perry said that he would like to see that timeframe lowered to 24 hours, and requested that the other council members review the ordinance and see what changes, if any, they would like to recommend. The Codes department will also be asked for their input.
Council approved a $200/year membership for a website auction site. The boro’s Jeep and 1994 truck will be posted for sale, with minimum bids of $1,000 and $5,000 respectively. As with any item put out to bid, council does have the right to refuse if it is too low and to seek alternate means of advertising.
And, Mr. Matis was nominated to be the boro’s representative to the county’s stormwater management plan advisory committee; all county municipalities were asked to participate.
The next regular meeting will be on Tuesday, April 22, 7 p.m. in the boro building.
HARASSING PHONE CALLS
A Springville resident reported recently receiving harassing phone calls. The victim was advised about considering having caller ID installed, and about the ability to utilize *57 through the phone company. This number is an option provided by telephone carriers that will trace the last incoming call to the subscriber's telephone line.
On March 20, between 1 and 1:50 a.m., Joseph Haley of Binghamton, NY was traveling south on SR 4006 in Silver Lake Twp. when he failed to negotiate a slight curve. Haley crossed the double yellow lines, passed through the northbound lane, and went off the east berm. The vehicle then traveled approximately 50 feet, hit a mailbox, went over a slight embankment, and traveled approximately another 20 feet before coming to a rest facing southbound in the creek. Haley was arrested at the scene for DUI.
On March 22, at around 7:25 a.m., unknown perpetrator(s) entered property leased by Richard Phillips near Susquehanna Borough. Once on the property the person(s) smashed the side and front windows of a Caterpillar excavator, and appear to have entered the stone quarry.
ONE CAR CRASH - ROLL OVER
On March 23 at around 10 p.m., Mary Jo Leonard of Little Meadows was traveling on SR 848 about one mile south of Maple Street in that town. Leonard apparently swerved to avoid a deer, lost control, entered a ditch, and rolled the vehicle, which came to a final uncontrolled rest on its roof off the west edge of the southbound lane. Little Meadows Fire and EMS responded and transported Leonard to Lourdes Hospital in Binghamton. She was wearing her seatbelt and sustained minor injuries.
HIT AND RUN
On March 22, at 4:40 a.m., John Wittenberg, Jr. of Hallstead was traveling southbound on SR 29 in Liberty Twp. Edmund Kraft of Hallstead was traveling northbound on that road at that time. Wittenberg attempted to pass another vehicle and impacted with the driver's side of Kraft's vehicle, which traveled 220 feet after impact, crossed the southbound travel lanes, and came to a final rest facing north. Wittenberg continued south for approximately 240 feet, crossed the northbound travel lane, and came to rest on the shoulder of the road. Wittenberg then fled the scene prior to police response, leaving his vehicle where it was. Kraft was transported from the scene to Montrose Emergency Health Systems for treatment prior to police response.
It is reported that sometime during the night of March 17, one or more person(s) broke into the Chinese restaurant in Susquehanna PA.
RECEIVING STOLEN PROPERTY
On March 18, unknown offender(s) took a 1996 Toyota Camry from Kentucky (belonging to a Bradley Morgan) and a registration plate from Mississippi (belonging to a Nellie Byard). They then drove the vehicle to Choconut and left it there.
HIT AND RUN
On March 19 at around 12:40 a.m., David Bishop of Forest City area was traveling west on SR 2023. Bishop lost control of his vehicle, exited the south berm of the roadway, and struck a tree with the front end of his vehicle. This vehicle then spun in a counter clockwise direction and struck a tree with its right rear, before coming to a rest on the shoulder of the roadway.
On March 16 between 7 and 10 a.m., unknown person(s) dumped an old hot tub on the side of Fairhill Rd. Anyone with information is asked to contact PSP Gibson.
On March 18, at around 1:30 a.m., James Yadlosky, Jr. of Kirkwood, NY was driving a 2006 Freightliner tractor trailer on I-81 northbound when he encountered four horses and a donkey in the roadway. Yadlosky's truck struck three of the horses, and they were killed. The fourth horse and the donkey were not injured, and were removed from the area by a local animal rescue (CART Rescue) Yadlosky was not injured, though his vehicle required towing. The owner of the horses was unknown at this time.
An unnamed woman contacted PSP Gibson by phone, and stated on February 22 she was en route to upstate New York during a snow storm when she became too frightened to drive any longer. She stopped at a Sunoco gas station at exit 211. Rather than driving to a hotel at exit 219, she got a ride with a female worker from the Sunoco station back to her residence at the Clifford hotel, located approximately five miles away. The victim stated that she stayed in an extra apartment which the girl and her fiancé were remodeling. She said that she had a pull string bag containing jewelry in her duffel bag, and that she slept with the duffel bag by her head. She reported that she awoke in the morning, and was given a ride back to her car by the girl, after which she continued on her way to New York. She did not realize that the jewelry was missing until she got to her destination. She first related that the bag contained approximately $1,500 to $2,000 in jewelry, and that it was all gone.
Rory Maginley of New Milford reported that someone used his personal information to obtain electric utility at a house in Old Forge. It was also used to open three separate Verizon accounts. The total value of the open accounts is $1,417.43. Maginley suspects he knows the perpetrator, however the investigation is continuing before any suspects are named.
On March 15, at around 9:50 p.m., Heather Smith of New Milford, PA was arrested for suspected Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol, as the result of a traffic stop on SR 0011 in Great Bend Twp. Charges are pending.
PUBLIC DRUNKENNESS & DISORDERLY CONDUCT
On March 15, at around 10:15 p.m., Trenten Smith was cited for Public Drunkenness and Disorderly Conduct after being highly intoxicated and disorderly on SR 0011 in New Milford.
Adam Gregerson of Laceyville, PA was recently accused of growing marijuana plants in his residence on SR 367 in West Auburn.
THEFT OF A MOTOR VEHICLE
On March 12, unknown perpetrator(s) are reported to have entered the parking lot of Shamrock Auctions and stolen two vehicles. The cars in question, a 1978 Mercedes Benz and a 1985 Buick LeSabre, were parked in the parking lot of that business between the dates of 3/07 and 3/12. It is believed that the vehicles were removed from the premises with the assistance of a tow truck.
On March 3, an unknown thief removed various tools from the property of Robert Dougherty of Nicholson while he was running errands. Dougherty reports that a snap-on 1/2” impact gun, two axes, and a Husquavarna 18” bar chainsaw were stolen.
THEFT - MOTOR VEHICLE
Sometime between February 15 and March 7, a John Deere 2755 Farm Tractor was removed from a pole barn located on the farm belonging to Linda Magill of Hop Bottom. The tractor had an enclosed cab and an attached bucket loader at the time of the theft.
AGGRAVATED INDECENT ASSAULT
A New Milford man is accused of sexually assaulting a 13-year old female between January and March of 2008.
On February 28 and 29, two white males stole vehicle batteries and copper pipes from the home of Arthur Marvin, Sr. On the 28th, one of the men engaged Marvin in conversation and offered to pay him for the old batteries. He loaded several of the batteries into his sedan and fled the scene without paying Marvin. The men returned the next day and again took batteries, one of which belonged to Gary Marvin of Susquehanna, as well as some copper pipe. They then fled the scene, once again without paying. The men arrived in a dark, possibly green, Dodge sedan on both days. One was described as a white male, approximately 5'10” tall with a medium build.
One or more unknown person(s) went to the Choconut Inn between the afternoon of March 15 and the following morning, and slashed the tires of a vehicle belonging to Rebecca Raimondi of Endicott, NY, which was parked in the parking lot. The vehicle in question was a blue 1991 Toyota Corolla.
Following is the Susquehanna County sentencing report for March, 2008 as submitted by the county District Attorney’s office.
Jeffrey Harold Herbert, 29, of New Milford, to 3 months to 23 ½ months in Susquehanna County Correctional Facility, credit for time served, pay $1500 fine, pay $100 Act 198 fee, pay $100 CAT surcharge, pay $10 EMS, attend alcohol highway safe driving school program, receive a drug and alcohol evaluation, pay cost of prosecution, not to transport consume or possess any alcoholic beverages, not to enter any establishment whose sole purpose is the sale of alcohol for Driving Under the Influence in Great Bend Township on September 16, 2007.
Anthony Roberts, 24, of Brooklyn, NY to 18 months to 5 years in a state correctional facility, credit for time served, pay cost of prosecution, pay $1000 fine, receive a drug and alcohol evaluation, pay $250 DNA testing fee and submit sample, pay $100 Act 198 fee, continue with drug and alcohol treatment upon release, not to have contact with codefendants, not to have contact with anyone on supervision for Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Deliver in Susquehanna on October 26, 2007.
Alex Jon Gaskill, 18, of Montrose, to 5 months to 23 ½ months in Susquehanna County Correctional Facility, pay restitution to the victim in this case, pay cost of prosecution, not to have contact with codefendants in this case, continue with drug and alcohol rehabilitative treatment, perform 75 hours community service, not to possess, transport or consume alcoholic beverages, 10 p.m. curfew, pay $250 DNA testing fee and submit sample, pay $500 fine for Forgery in Bridgewater Township on October 14, 2007. The defendant also received 5 months to 23 ½ months in Susquehanna County Correctional Facility, to run concurrent to the above sentence, continue with drug and alcohol education counseling, not to possess transport or consume alcoholic beverages, 10 p.m. curfew, pay cost of prosecution, pay restitution to the victim in this case, write a letter of apology to the victims, not to have contact with codefendants, pay $500 fine for Theft by Unlawful Taking in Thompson on October 14, 2007.
Matthew James Matis, 45, of Susquehanna, to 90 days, 45 served in Susquehanna County Correctional Facility, upon good behavior 45 days served as home confinement, pay cost of prosecution, pay $300 Act 198 fee, pay $1,500 fine, pay $100 CAT surcharge, pay $10 EMS, receive drug and alcohol evaluation, receive drug and alcohol education offered at the correctional facility, attend alcohol safe driving school program, no to utilize controlled substances without a valid prescription for Driving Under the Influence in Lanesboro on September 29, 2007.
April Marie Jennings, 31, of Susquehanna, to 14 days to 23 ½ months in Susquehanna County Correctional Facility, 14 days to be served on weekends and served within 3 months, perform 50 hours community service, not to possess, transport or consume alcoholic beverages, not to utilize controlled substances without valid prescription, pay $250 DNA testing fee and submit sample, credit for time served, continue with outpatient treatment, pay cost of prosecution, pay $300 fine for Forgery in Bridgewater Township on August 2, 2007.
Louis Grisafi, 53, of Montrose, to 9 months to 23 ½ months in Susquehanna County Correctional Facility, followed by 3 years probation, pay $1,500 fine, pay restitution to the victims in this case, pay cost of prosecution for Theft by Failure to Make Required Disposition of Funds in Ararat Township on June 1, 2005.
You can find these and previous sentences at www.SusquehannaCounty-DA.org.
Endless Mountains Technology Center’s spokesperson, John Kukowski and Margaret Biegert brought their proposal and information for developing a catalyst for both young and adult people via a learning curriculum to light at the Susquehanna County Planning Commission Meeting held Tuesday, March 26.
Kukowski told the full house in attendance, that although he was the speaker, he was only one in a team of people. He said he was at the meeting “to get the input of a lot of people,” meaning that if the people wanted the Technology Center, the Center needed to know. This knowledge would allow E.M.T.C. to move forward with the plans and seek area advisors to help get the positive word to other people throughout the county. Kukowski also added that the program would partner with the six school districts in Susquehanna County, including teachers, administration and youngsters and adults who want to improve their skills or even learn new ones.
He also said, “There is a real chance for the program to succeed within Susquehanna County.”
Forest City School District is already using some of the training, skills and expert teaching knowledge through Cornell University. There is even a moving Cornell Learning Museum, which comes or is sent to the schools to help with hands-on learning for re-education of adults.
The world is moving fast in economics and Kukowski believes that the future belongs to the fastest learners, as technology is becoming more and more involved in the economy and daily life. “If we give these students a good education through Cornell and Rochester’s help, we are making an investment in our future as well.”
School Districts within Susquehanna County would have to agree to utilize the teaching elements and professionalism from the free efforts of Cornell University and Rochester's RIT College.
The mission of E.M.T.C. is to partner industry and academia to establish economic growth, through education access. Rochester and Cornell University are willing to work with Susquehanna County to provide teachers with better skills, as well as use their technology and educational expertise.
There are rising needs for technology and they will continue to grow. “Our students, whether adult or young, need to be able to meet those needs,” or they may not find a job Kukowski said.
“The goal here is to partner with industry and academia to establish a ‘Best in Class’ Technology Center in Susquehanna County, which will foster economic growth and education excellence.
“The education challenge is to provide our students with the knowledge and skills they need to compete in a high-tech, international economy, while at the same time increasing their internal desire to learn.”
Kukowski continued, stating that the education solution was that “the educators of Susquehanna County turn out the most important product for our success.”
In explaining Cornell University’s Outreach program, K-12 teachers are trained to implement hands-on education into the classroom. The fields include Science, Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Math. The teachers are trained by Cornell professors.
There is a free lab library. Cornell ships labs to and from schools at their cost.
Academia, combined with a Technology Center can provide this county with “Best in Class” through a student body that will be the inventors of tomorrow; faculty to conduct science and engineering curriculum for K-12 and adult education; a teaching factory; curriculum development and competitive technology events, as explained in the EMTC brochure.
The message was well received by the audience of around 100 people and included superintendents, principals, and teachers from five of the six schools.
Planning Commission Chairman Pat Ahern said that he thought the presentation was very good, and he wished the group the best of luck.
Members of the Planning Commission echoed these positive comments, wishing the group good luck and stating what a good idea they thought it was.
The Planning Commission’s actions began with a communication from Chesapeake Bay Commission, looking for response on their grant application. They pointed out that a switch to cellulosic ethanol would remove many of the negative environmental effects of grain. Ethanol and the region have the potential for excellent sustainable sources of cellulosic feedstock, including switching grass and fast growing trees. The committee provided several reports of regional and national importance regarding cost-effective water quality improvements and new practices to reduce nutrients and estimate that it will be operable in five to eight years.
In other business, two lots in Great Bend Township were given final approval from the Planning Committee (Mervine Mobile Home Park and Endless Mountains Carwash).
Conditional preliminary approval was given to Choconut Creek Apartments. Vida Finlon subdivision requested final approval contingent on waiver on sewer planning and driveway permit for SR 3001; after discussion and examining the maps, the Commission granted the request.
Act 170 properties were as follows: Norman and Dorothy Turner, Liberty Township received favorable comment with recommendations; Joseph Passerelli Estate received favorable comment on two locations in Ararat Township and Thompson Township.
Allyn Carey of Bridgewater Township also received favorable comment under Act 537 – Component 4B.
In Brooklyn Township under minor subdivision-additions, Donald Diehl was approved on March 6, 2008; Michael Hamara, New Milford Township, was approved on March 20, 2008.
Under Minor subdivision – New Lots, approval was given to Lloyd Robinson in Dimock Township on March 7, and Thomas and Timothy Button, along with Sue Ann Furney were given approval on two lots in Harford on March 20.
Sponsored primarily by the office of county judge Kenneth Seamans, the District Attorney's office, the county probation office and the county Sheriff, the Blue Ridge School District hosted the fourth annual Kid Safe night on March 27, featuring information of all kinds to help parents keep their families safe.
Families learned about law enforcement from the county Sheriff's Department at Kid Safe night at the Blue Ridge School District.
The parking lot was full, but the turnout seemed a little thin in the big gymnasium where 20 or more organizations set up tables with all kinds of pamphlets and brochures, including the county literacy program, the women's resource center, neighborhood watch, alcohol and drug abuse information, and gun safety. Many organizations were offering give-aways, including trigger locks for handguns, children's books, smoke alarms and toys. There were even two computers donated by the school to be raffled off.
Craig LeCadre, Special Agent for Education and Outreach with the Pennsylvania Attorney General's office, offered a comprehensive presentation in the school auditorium concentrating on computer-based crime and focused on children in middle school. Mr. LeCadre emphasized the need for parents to be aware of what their children are doing on-line to protect them from predators and bullies.
The Scranton Vet Center is pleased to announce that it will now be offering free counseling services to all combat veterans and their family members. These services will be located at the VFW Post 8488, Elk Mountain Post, Lenox, Every third Monday of each month. To make an appointment, call David Ulkoski, LCSW, at 1-866-776-1516.
Veterans who served in any combat theater since December 7, 1941 through the present, including the Korean War, Viet Nam War, Lebanon, Grenada, Panama, Somalia, and the Former Yugoslavia, the Gulf War and the Global War on Terrorism and their families are eligible for Vet Center services. The Vet Center assists veterans by providing assistance and counseling in utilizing their veteran's benefits and existing VA medical facilities and by offering readjustment counseling to facilitate a more positive adjustment to civilian life. Care includes general mental and psychological assessment, mental health services (if appropriate), and readjustment counseling (individual, group, and family).
The Vet Center, a branch of the Department of Veterans Affairs, initially specialized in readjustment counseling for veterans of combat hostilities in Vietnam and Vietnam Era veterans with readjustment problems. Begun as "storefront," community-based counseling centers, Congress initially intended this program to operate for two years, but due to its overwhelming success, the program was extended and continues to expand. The Scranton Vet Center opened its office on October 10, 1985, and relocated to the present site at 1002 Pittston Avenue, Scranton, Pennsylvania on May 8, 1998. The Scranton Vet Center has established a strong place in the community and has the support of federal, state, and local government as well as veteran service organizations including the Susquehanna County Department of Veterans Affairs, the state job service officers for employment, the Governor’s Veterans Outreach and Assistance Center, the American Legion, and other Veterans Service Organizations.
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