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Harford Township Supervisors opened their meeting on April 22 with an executive session, regarding a personnel matter. While they didn't explain explicitly, when the Supervisors returned to the meeting room, chairman Terry VanGorden said he would talk about the subject later.
So, later, Mr. VanGorden reported that two items of personal property left at the township garage would be removed, those being a cement mixer and a planer/joiner, one of them apparently owned by former employee Lester Thomas. More significant, perhaps, all of the township's remaining employees attended the meeting, two of them being also elected Supervisors. Mechanic Brad Fisher has resigned, so the township is "down to two people" working the roads, said Mr. Van Gorden, himself and Wayne Frederici.
The township will be advertising one of the open positions for general labor, preferably an equipment operator with a CDL license. Recognizing his loyal service for five years, the supervisors also raised the wages of Mr. Frederici.
The township just purchased a block for an engine for the loader machine. Since Mr. Fisher is no longer available, the Supervisors will contract with former township Roadmaster and mechanic George Sansky to assemble the motor and install it.
Secretary and Supervisor Sue Furney reported that she is in contact with DEP representatives trying to get issues resolved holding up the issuance of a permit so the township can proceed to find a contractor to rebuild the bridge on Pennay Hill Road over Butler Creek. The bridge was severely damaged during the flooding in the summer of 2006. A "temporary" bypass installed at that time has already washed out three times. And the township now must complete the work by the end of this calendar year in order to receive full reimbursement from emergency management authorities.
Ms. Furney also reported that a county constable had hand-delivered a letter to a son of the owner of a troublesome barn on Grinnell Road. There hasn't been a response yet, but the Supervisors briefly considered calling in the State Police, who are said to be familiar with the owner.
Newest Supervisor Garry Foltz dropped the idea of raising additional revenue by increasing the property transfer tax, having determined that the 1% the township gets now is the permitted maximum. He also dropped the notion of assessing a 5% "franchise" fee on cable television operators in the township. He said he found that the operators would simply tack the fee onto subscribers' bills, and it might have the additional effect of driving subscribers to install satellite systems.
The county Council of Governments (COG) has informed member municipalities -- like Harford -- that an ordinance would now be required to withdraw from the organization, rather than something simple like a resolution. "That's not fair," said Mr. Foltz; "I disagree with that." COG membership is currently established by ordinance. Not that they have any intention of withdrawing from the building codes and sewage enforcement consortium, although they didn't actually vote on it, the Supervisors decided to send a letter to COG disagreeing with COG's position.
Consuming more than 30 minutes of the more than two-hour-long meeting, Mr. Foltz reported in detail on the driveway permit process he has been drafting. The draft envisions a two- or three-step procedure culminating in the issuance of a "highway occupancy permit," or the right to use the driveway. This final permit will be conditioned on a number of detailed provisions which would be enforced by inspection by a township official. Some provisions under consideration include a minimum width of 12 feet for residential driveways, 22 feet for commercial operations; minimum sight distance of 120 feet in both directions; maximum 15% grade; minimum distance from a crossroads of 60 feet. Apparently many or all of these requirements can be waived on petition to the Supervisors. A preliminary design will be required in conformance with township standards to accompany a fee of $50.
Ms. Furney raised a few concerns. For example, the county requires driveway permits when it issues a permit for a subdivision, but a developer often doesn't know where the ultimate lot buyer will want to put a driveway. She also asked about "farm driveways," entrances to farm fields. Mr. Foltz was initially of the opinion that all fields that needed entrances already had them. There may also be occasions when a farmer using a field does not actually own the property.
Mr. Foltz intends to hold a public hearing on the permitting process. He would also like to get the "approval and input" of some local contractors. There will be more discussions on this topic.
A resident of the Stevens Road area attended to express some exasperation about dust. She said that when she bought her property, Stevens Road was paved. Mr. Foltz conceded that the road had been ground up to gravel, but that the township does not have the resources to re-pave it. Blacktop materials acquired from the bridge project in the village may be available to "add material" to the road if the township can find a way to get it milled into workable condition.
The Harford Township Supervisors are expected to meet again in public session on May 13, beginning at 7:00 p.m.
Susquehanna County Commissioners held their April 23 meeting in the County Office Building at 9 a.m.
Commissioners accepted a number of resignations and made several appointments, as follows:
Accepted with regret was the resignation of Thomas E. Wooden, Secretary/Treasurer of The Susquehanna County Rail Authority. Wooden had served in that capacity for over seven years. Commissioners did not have a replacement at press time.
Accepted with regret was the resignation of Melissa Glasgow, Head Real Estate Clerk.
Accepted with regret was Maureen Brown Jordon, Solicitor for Services of Children and Youth.
Tiffany Lord, 911 part-time dispatcher's resignation was accepted with regret.
Jennifer Morelli's resignation from the Soil Conservation District was also accepted with regret. Morelli was named as Recycling Coordinator previously.
Deborah Gregory resigned from switchboard and accepted a position as Prothonotary Second Deputy, a full-time, open position with 37.5 hours per week range 10, rate $9.70 per hour, with a six-month probationary period, benefits as per the Court Related Bargaining Unit, effective April 28, 2008.
Brittany Ely, Montrose was hired to the open position of temporary, part-time clerk typist in the Register & Recorder's Office, effective May 20.
Joshua Atherton, Nicholson, was hired to the open, full-time position of Deputy Sheriff, 40 hours per week, Range 10, $9.79 per hour with a six-month probationary period and benefits as per the Court Related Bargaining Unit.
Bette VanWinkle was hired to the full-time position of Head Real Estate Clerk, Range 11, Rate of $10.25 per hour, with a six-month probationary period and benefits per the Residual Bargain Unit contract.
Commissioners also appointed Michele Suchnick, Kim Ross, Sandy Conklin, Greg Confer and Andy Aulakh to the Susquehanna County Tourism Committee for a one-year term.
Al Aronowitz questioned the commissioners, regarding the Tourism Committee, and asked them to please reconsider giving the Tourism Committee the money that was actually theirs, in order to allow the committee to continue to best serve the tourism in the county through promotions and advertising. Commissioner Warren stated that the amount of $4,700 was based on last year’s use. (Originally, the amount granted to the committee was approximately $8,000.) "We have nothing to work with,” Aronowitz emphasized.
In other business, reportedly, there will be extensive work done on Route 706 and Route 29 within the next 10 years.
A question was raised regarding burn bans throughout the county. Commissioners stated that 10 fire chiefs must be in agreement to impose the burn ban.
Sealed bids for the Soil Conservation truck were opened for review by the Soil Conservation office. Bids were Montrose Motors $22,952.64; HL Stevens & Sons $29,700, no trade in; and Red Hill Ford $27,311 with no trade in. Bids will be awarded at a later date.
Seminars and checks were agreed, ratified and paid.
The Salary Board motioned to change the hours of the temporary, part-time summer position of clerk typist in the Register & Recorder’s office from 21 to 35 hours per week, effective May 28 through July 31, 2008 then to revert back to 21 hours per week.
Both meetings were adjourned at 9:36 a.m.
The Susquehanna County Commissioners meet on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month, at 9 a.m. in the Emergency Management Conference Room.
Just over 38% of the county’s registered voters turned out on Primary Day; out of 28,246 registered, 10,872 cast their ballots. Many candidates won by a very wide margin.
On the Democratic side, Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton took 64.31%, Barack Obama 34.24%. Candidates for Attorney General and Auditor General, John Morganelli and Jack Wagner, garnered 9.83% and 99.20%, respectively. Of the four candidates for State Treasurer, Jennifer Mann came out on top with 38.45%.
Several candidates fared very well, and received almost all of the votes. Incumbent Congressman for the 10th District, Christopher Carney, received 98.85%. Louis Trey Casimir received 99.03% in his bid for the 23rd District Senate seat currently held by Roger Madigan (R), who is not seeking re-election. Incumbent 114th District Representative, Jim Wansacz received 99.60% of the vote.
Of the eight candidates running for Delegate to the National Convention (10th District), the top four vote-getters were Mary Kate Culkin 16.28%, Mark Bufalino 15.90%, John Steve Hoffman 15.77% and Ann M. Bursis 15.19%. Julie P. Brennan received the most votes for Alternate Delegate to the National Convention, 64.29%.
On the Republican side, John McCain took almost 65% of the votes, with 64.84%. Ron Paul and Mike Huckabee each received just under 15%, 14.87% and 14.57%, respectively.
Incumbent Attorney General, Tom Corbett received 99.55% of the vote. Auditor General candidate Chet Beiler fared almost as well, with 99.43% as did State Treasurer candidate Tom Ellis, with 99.35%.
Of the two candidates for Representative in Congress, 10th District, Chris Hackett received 54.85%, and edged out Dan Meuser, who received 42.49%.
Of the four candidates for Senator, 23rd District, Gene Yaw was the winner, with 58.73% over Doug McLinko with 30.64% and Steven W. Cappelli with 10.41%.
Incumbent Representative in the General Assembly, 110th District Tina Picket received 99.51%. Incumbent Sandra Major, 111th District, received 98.85%.
The top three vote-getters for Delegate to the National Convention, 10th District were Tina Pickett with 34.99%, Cathie Maxaner with 9.12% and Pat Saylor with 9.65%. Alternate Delegate to the National Convention was Charles D. “Rusty” Flack, Jr., with 92.34%. Republican State Committee candidate Dianne L. Burman received 50.29%, and Bob Darrow received 49.18%.
Deutsche Bank National Trust Co. (By Atty) to Timothy A. and Shannon L. Madden, in Forest City for $45,000.00.
Craig J. Hall to Frederick W. and Hazel M. Howell, in Gibson Township for one dollar.
Joseph F. and Sylvia Mayers to John, Martha Terry, Joseph and Mary Elizabeth Sisko, in Herrick Township for one dollar.
Charles M. Tell, Dolores A. Tyneway and Emma May Marshall (Trust By Trustee) to Emma May Marshall (Trust), in Harmony Township for $763.00.
Mark and Emilia M. Birtch (FKA) Emilia M. Gemmer to Emilia M. and Mark Birtch, in Great Bend Township for $10.00.
Wells Fargo Bank (By POA SBM) and Wells Fargo Bank Minnesota to Paul R. and Linda J. Gustin, in Oakland Borough for $80,000.00.
James Tighe to Wayne R. and Anne Adams, in Harford Township for one dollar.
Savita Rampersaud (Estate) to Julie Hanyon, in Lenox Township for $42,000.00.
Frances Ulco (Est AKA) Frances E. Ulco to Dennis E. and Ronald Whitney, in Great Bend Borough and Township for one dollar.
Joseph P. Franceski, III to Dustin A. Menotti and Laureen M. Hazen, in Forest City for $93,000.00.
David L. Walters to Dolores L. Millard, in Lathrop Township for $10,000.00.
Richard M. Cordes to Robert and Rebecca Cooley, in Bridgewater Township for one dollar.
Ellen Abbott to David J. and Melody A. Cunningham, in Liberty Township for one dollar.
Leonard Lupini to Leonard Lupini, in Lenox Township for one dollar.
JPF Enterprises to Eric D. Bennett and Tresha L. Reynolds, in Forest City for $85,000.00.
Jeremy Paul and Ursula Dabulewicz to Jeremy Paul Dabulewicz, in Forest Lake Township for $10.00.
William T. and Shawn McNeice to Charles D. and Martha H. Denkenberger, in Dimock and Bridgewater Townships for $75,000.00.
Lilliam P. (Estate), Albert W. (Estate) and A. Frank Rowe, Jean Wilkinson and Elizabeth Ann Lowrie to Mark H. and Jeffrey D. Williams, in Brooklyn Township for $12,000.00.
Bremer Hof Owners, Inc. to Stanley E. and Susan E. Elinsky, in Herrick Township for $2,995.00.
John H. and Marjorie A. Scott to Richard M. and Maureen Brown Jordan, in Silver Lake Township for $96,000.00.
Mary Ann and Joseph W. Poole to Charles A. and Stephanie Westgate, in Herrick Township for $145,000.00.
Frank Bajkowski to David and Karen Grizzanti, in New Milford Township for $265,000.00.
US Bank to Sean P. Burke, in Susquehanna for $18,000.00.
Felice Borgonsoli to Nicola Borgonsoli, in Ararat Township for one dollar.
Carol Hallion and Robert F. and Richard Miller to Carol Hallion and Robert F. and Richard Miller, in Harford Township for one dollar.
Thomas D. (AKA) Thomas, Patricia A., Timothy C. and Christina J. Button and Sue Ann Furney to Thomas D. and Patricia A. Button, in Harford Township for one dollar.
Thomas D. (AKA) Thomas, Patricia A., Timothy C. and Christina J. Button and Sue Ann Furney to Sue Ann Furney and Thomas D. (AKA) Thomas Button, in Harford Township for one dollar.
Timothy C. and Christina J. Button to Timothy C. and Christina J. Button, in Harford Township for one dollar.
Thomas (Estate) and Michelle Heller to Rachelle and Elizabeth Heller, in Uniondale Borough for one dollar.
Eugenia M. (Estate), Wade J., Yevgeniya, Stephen G., Kathy, Merrill E. and Laurie Miller and Lynn M. and John Salerno to Merrill E. and Laurie Miller, in Harmony Township for one dollar.
Mary C. Cosgrove to Margaret Peters, in Choconut Township for one dollar.
Dean Y. Regan to Susquehanna County Council of Government, in Bridgewater and New Milford townships for $50,000.00.
Darlene B. Pfeister vs. Richard L. Pfeister, Jr. of Harford, married 1985.
Bruce F. Taylor of Susquehanna vs. Sherry L. Taylor of Uniondale, married 2003.
Steven M. Cudo vs. Susan R. Cudo, both of Montrose, married 1983.
Following is the Susquehanna County sentencing report for April, 2008 as submitted by the county District Attorney’s office.
Robert C. Hockberg, 28, of Ames, IA to 5 months to 23 ½ months in Susquehanna County Correctional Facility, credit for time served, pay $300 fine, not to possess weapons, receive a sexual offenders evaluation, not to have contact with anyone under 18 years of age, pay cost of prosecution, pay $250 DNA testing fee and submit sample, for Corruption of Minors in Gibson Township on April 3, 2007. The defendant was also sentenced to 2 years’ probation, transferred to IA to run consecutive to the above sentence, pay $300 fine, receive sexual offenders treatment, not to have contact with anyone under the age of 18, pay cost of prosecution for Indecent Assault in Gibson Township on April 3, 2007.
Courtney Dros, 31, of Montrose, to 11 months to 23 ½ months in Susquehanna County Correctional Facility, credit for time served, followed by 5 years probation transferred to NY, pay $500 fine, not to have contact with co-defendant, pay restitution to the victim in this case, 11 p.m. curfew, not to have contact with anyone on probation or parole, pay $250 DNA testing fee and submit sample, pay cost of prosecution for Criminal Conspiracy/Robbery in New Milford Borough on January 26, 2006.
Beau Jerald Baker, 18, of Montrose, to 12 months to 24 months in Susquehanna County Correctional Facility, perform 15 hours of community service, receive GED, not to have contact with the victim in this case, pay cost of prosecution, pay $350 fine, receive a drug and alcohol evaluation, receive anger management for Simple Assault in Jessup on February 28, 2008. The defendant also received 12 months to 24 months in Susquehanna County Correctional Facility to run concurrent to the above sentence, pay cost of prosecution, pay restitution to the victim, not to have contact with the victim in this case, not to have contact with anyone on supervision, perform 50 hours community service, pay $350 fine for Recklessly Endangering Another Person on February 28, 2008.
Gerald Hine, 23, of New Milford, to 28 days to 15 months in Susquehanna County Correctional Facility, served on weekends, pay cost of prosecution, pay $100 Act 198 fee, pay $350 fine, receive a drug and alcohol evaluation, pay $250 DNA testing fee and submit sample, not to possess weapons for Delivery of a Controlled Substance in New Milford Borough on July 8, 2007.
Earl Carpenter, 21, of Meshoppen, to 15 months probation, pay restitution to victim in this case, pay cost of prosecution, pay $350 fine, perform 50 hours community service, not to have contact with the victim in this case, not to have contact with anyone on supervision for theft by unlawful taking in Oakland borough on September 8, 2007.
Denise Freeman, 43, of Montrose, to 9 months probation, pay $100 fine, pay restitution to the victim in this case for Theft by Deception in Bridgewater on May 3, 2007. The defendant also received 9 months probation, pay $100 fine, pay restitution to the victim in this case for Theft by Deception in Montrose on June 6, 2007.
You can find these and previous sentences at www.SusquehannaCounty-DA.org.
Susquehanna County will bring closure to its flood mitigation planning process with one last public meeting, to be held Wednesday, May 7 in the Emergency Management Conference Room, located in the basement of the County Office Building, 31 Public Avenue, Montrose. The meeting will begin at 7:00 p.m. Parking is available in the lot behind the building.
Last year, the county completed a similar planning process that identified all hazards that threatened the county and its boroughs and townships. This planning effort builds off that process, but focuses solely on flooding. Floods strike the county and its municipalities more than any other hazard, including severe winter storms and droughts, with 22 major flood events over the last 40 years.
The flood mitigation plan currently being developed will serve as an annex to the county’s all hazards multi-jurisdictional plan that was passed and adopted last year. While the all-hazards plan is required by Congress as a condition of receiving most forms of federal disaster assistance, the flood mitigation planning process is voluntary, but opens the possibility to applying for and receiving annually funded federal grants for projects or studies that reduce the impacts of flood events in the county.
A second draft of the flood mitigation plan will be circulated via email to all municipalities on Monday, April 28 as well as posted to the Emergency Management section of the county’s website. Comments are due back to Mark Wood, Susquehanna County Emergency Management Coordinator, by 4:00 p.m., Monday, May 5. All comments will be reviewed and incorporated as appropriate into final draft of the plan, which will be shared at the May 7 meeting and acted on by the Susquehanna County Commissioners at its next meeting, Wednesday, May 14.
All members of the community are welcome to attend the meeting.
A bicycle was found on April 22 on Church St. in New Milford Borough. This bike is a Lynx, 21-speed mountain bike.
RECOVERED STOLEN VEHICLE
On March 23, a 2007 black Chevrolet Avalanche was found in School House Swamp in Lenox Twp. The vehicle, belonging to Mark Baldoni of Dalton, was reported stolen from Scranton at an earlier date. The incident is being investigated.
Some time overnight on April 22, unknown perpetrator(s) smashed the passenger side window out of a truck parked in the Holiday Inn parking lot in Gibson. The truck belonged to Christopher Bryant of Newcomerstown, OH. A mud lit, Sony playstation, HP printer, and a Texas Instrument calculator were removed from the vehicle.
On April 20, one or more unknown person(s) broke into the rectory of the St. Francis Catholic Church in Friendsville. The perpetrator(s) entered the rectory while the priest was at the 11:00 Mass, smashed the glass on the front door, entered and ransacked several rooms, and stole the priest's heart medication.
On April 22, at around 11:10 p.m., a woman arrived at the Pump N Pantry in Bridgewater, pumped $25.00 worth of gas into her vehicle, and fled the scene without paying. The suspect is a 30- to 40-year-old blond woman, driving a silver Chrysler sedan with gold wheels. On April 16, at around 8:32 a.m., a man described as heavily built, in his forties with gray, curly hair pumped $25.00 worth of gas from the Lenox Pump N Pantry before driving away in a blue Chevrolet extended-cab truck.
THEFT FROM MOTOR VEHICLE
Between the 13th and 14th of April, one or more persons stole a fire extinguisher and broke the window of a John Deere Leader at the Auburn Twp. shed.
POSSESSION WITH INTENT TO DELIVER AND STOLEN WEAPON
On April 13, at around 10:05 a.m., a vehicle on Interstate 81 in Harford Twp. was stopped for valid reasons. A search of the vehicle yielded the following: one handgun reported stolen from Maryland, one tactical shotgun, 215 tablets of Ecstasy, 13 individual baggies of marijuana, and two rings. The accused, passenger Ricardo Garriques of Baltimore, MD, was arraigned before District Justice Hollister on charges of Possession With Intent To Deliver, Possession Of A Controlled Substance, Possession Of Drug Paraphernalia, Receiving Stolen Property, and Firearms Not To Be Carried Without A License. District Justice set bail at $500,000 or $50,000 cash. The accused was unable to post bail, and was sent to the Susquehanna County Prison. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for April 22 at District Justice Brainard in Clifford.
On April 8, a crash occurred on State Hwy. 171 in Great Bend at around 7:50 a.m. The incident occurred as Mary Mudge and Larry Green were both traveling on that roadway, with Mudge driving in front of Green. Mudge started to pull onto the east berm, and Green began to go around her; Mudge then attempted to pull into the driveway on the west side of the road. Green struck the driver's side of Mudge's vehicle and both came to uncontrolled stops partially in the oncoming travel lanes and driveway. Mudge was transported to Wilson Hospital in Binghamton, NY.
THEFT - STANDING TIMBER
On April 3, at around 9:18 a.m., it is reported that someone came onto the property of Matthew Castrogiovanni of Montrose and cut down trees. The perpetrator then proceeded to dice the timber into firewood sized pieces near the road of his property.
On April 9, at around 1:18 a.m., Frank C. Staten of Charleston, SC entered upon the access limited property of the PSP Gibson Barracks parking area in New Milford Twp. Staten was driving a white 2007 International Truck.
On April 18, at around 2:00 p.m., Patricia Harrop of Exton, PA was traveling south on SR 0081 in New Milford Twp. when her 1991 Toyota 4-Runner caught fire.
TRAFFIC VIOLATION - DUI
On April 20, at around 2:07 a.m., Jessica Kinsel of the Kirkwood, NY area was stopped by the Pennsylvania State Police on SR 11 in Great Bend Twp. Finsel exhibited signs of intoxication and was transported to Barnes-Kasson Hospital for BAC testing.
POSSESSION OF MARIJUANA
On March 23, Joel Lehr of Hallstead was found to be in possession of a small amount of marijuana while at the Frisbie residence on Lower Rhiney Creek Road in Liberty Twp.
HINDERING APPREHENSION OR PROSECUTION
Bobbi Jones of Great Bend is accused of concealing the presence of an individual that was wanted by the police on April 10, after being advised numerous times that the individual was wanted.
On April 13 Jeffrey McDonald was traveling east on SR 2014 in Clifford when he stopped his vehicle in the roadway after it filled with smoke. McDonald exited the 1985 Pontiac before it was engulfed by fire.
On April 11 Jeffrey Norton of Susquehanna was cited for underage consumption of alcoholic beverages.
HIT AND RUN
On April 5, at around 11:30 p.m., Daniel Brasch of Montrose was traveling north on SR267 when he lost control of his Mercury Cougar, struck the guide rail on the right side of the roadway, veered to the left, crossed both lanes of travel, and struck a concrete bridge on the other side. Brasche then fled the scene, continuing north.
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