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Much of the May 19 Mountain View School Board meeting was taken up with discussions of budget. Dr. Chichura went through, for the board and public, three budgetary scenarios. In all three scenarios the expenditures were the same, but the mills of real estate tax varied – 33 mills, 33.5 mills, and 33.94 mills. The first scenario would be a one mill increase from the current year’s budget, and the last would be the highest allowed millage under Act 1. Once a tentative budget is adopted the millage could be reduced, but not increased. After significant discussion, the board approved a tentative general fund budget of $16,938,483, incorporating 33 mills. This decision was made by a narrow margin – 5 affirmative to 4 negative.
Prior to all the budget banter, however, was a presentation on the district's Students Are Resilient Team (STAR). Mr. Tom Sheeran (mental health liaison for the school), Mrs. Donna Porter, and Mrs. Kate Kurosky (secondary guidance counselors) attended the meeting to discuss the team, of which Ms. Vagni and Mr. Doster (Principal and Vice Principal respectively) are also members. Though the guidance counselors are involved, it was stated that this is a school function and not a guidance function. Pennsylvania mandates that every school have a student assistance system, and funds the program; the Mountain View program was stated to be rather true to form to what the state intends. It seeks to identify student barriers to learning, and to help students cope with life's unusual circumstances. This includes a referral system when parents, school staff, or other students have concerns about a particular child. The team meets once a week, and will then discuss the student, and a behavior checklist might be distributed to educators for monitoring. Parents are involved and have the right to say, when contacted, that they do not want their child to continue. However, the program is able to connect students to beneficial services. The mental health liaison comes to the school once a week to screen for mental health concerns, and a drug and alcohol liaison is involved as well. Additionally, student groups have been formed, which are not therapy groups but educational groups. Examples of group focuses have included educational stress and perfectionism, and anger. The district receives around 60 to 65 referrals a year, it was estimated. Confidentiality is maintained, with referral staff being told only that the referral was received and is being looked into, but not given particulars beyond that. Involved staff members are required to undergo a three-day training. Mr. Sheeran specifically complimented the district's program and guidance counselors, stating that it was one of the best guidance programs in the county.
Ms. Vagni brought to the board's attention changes she would like to see made in the school’s drug and alcohol policy. Currently the district is still using the 1995 policy, which discusses what a drug is, etc. The policy is kind of vague regarding consequences for drug use, however, and staff have been asking for a clear policy and common practice in this regard. For instance, should a student who has Tylenol on their person be punished in the same manner as a student with marijuana? Does this change if the student begins to give out or sell the Tylenol, or has excessive amounts of the drug? It was recommended that the high school's “return to school” policy be looked at as well. It is known that students who use drugs have a hard time when put back in their former environment, it was argued. Often these students might currently be put into behavioral programs, but may not have behavioral issues. It was decided that this could be discussed further at a public policy meeting.
The school, Dr. Chichura reported, is sending letters to the district magistrate with a list of the people who owe more than $25 to the cafeteria. There may be as many as 190 students currently in this position. At this time, the cafeteria, by policy, is not allowed to refuse lunch to students but this policy may be looked at further in the future. Graduating seniors cannot get a diploma without bringing their account current. Ivy Simons suggested that maybe if more people knew that the free and reduced lunch program is available throughout the year this problem would be alleviated, suggesting that the information might be put out in the press at some point.
As usual, several positive reports of school and student accomplishments were given. Brian Miller and Amanda Makosky were said to have placed well in the Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science. Channel 16 was slated to come and videotape one of the elementary classrooms, which conducted healthy taste testing for the school's recent Spring into Health day. This activity was reported to the news station, which decided to come film the students as they taste test organic macaroni and cheese versus regular macaroni and cheese. It was to air on a Friday, the week after the meeting. At the May 14 band concert, artist in residence Lane A. Stowe grabbed the microphone and made statements that the kids were performing at a high level. Ms. Vagni reported this comment to the board, called the concert a wonderful performance, and again commended Mr. Wilson and Mrs. Fargnoli for their work with the music program at the high school. Christine Zick was selected to be the Forest City Rotary Student of the Month for May based on high scholastic achievement, participation in numerous extracurricular activities, and her great potential for service to society. Three Mountain View Students were chosen for induction into the National Technical Honor Society at the Career and Technology Center of Lackawanna County. The students chosen were Mark Maroney for Trowel Trades, Damion Daniels for Electrical Construction, and Michael Conklin for Welding. Mark is the first person to be chosen for the honor society in that area.
When asked, it was stated that the 6:30 public Educational Committee meeting regarding graduation projects was “enlightening”. While it was reported that the discussion went well, firm decisions were not apparently made, and the discussion is planned to continue on June 23.
The Susquehanna Community School Board covered a very comprehensive agenda at their May 21 meeting.
There was considerable discussion of the 2008-09 budget. With gambling revenues now being distributed, next year qualified property owners will see a tax credit of approximately $315. About 1,265 properties have been approved for a homestead or farmstead exclusion by the county (roughly fifty of those properties qualify for both exclusions and will receive credits for both). The state budget has not been finalized yet, but it is expected that the district will see a 1.5% increase in basic education funding. Unfortunately, that increase won’t cover the increases in the cost of heating oil. If the state budget passes by deadline, there is always the chance that the district’s funding could be increased by more than that 1.5% but it seems unlikely.
The proposed budget is in the amount of $13,555,178, a 2.1% increase over this year’s. Two major increases are about 33% in the cost of heating oil/electric and 59% more in retirement incentives. The motion to approve the tentative District Budget also reaffirmed a $5.00 Per Capita Tax under Act 511 and a $5.00 Per Capita Tax under Act 679 of the Pennsylvania School Code. District millage will be set at 40.79 in Susquehanna County and 13.33 in Wayne County.
Superintendent Stone reported that the district has been presented with (gas) lease information from Chesapeake Energy, with the offer at $2,550 an acre for an eight-year lease with no extension. The details will be considered at the June board meeting.
The board approved a resolution opposing high school graduation competency assessments (GCA). In a nutshell, the resolution says that the state Board of Education has approved a proposal to revise the current graduation requirements, to require students to pass a series of standardized exams in order to get a diploma. These new requirements would be the same for all students, whether they are taking college prep or vocational courses, or whether they participate in individualized programs (IEPs), and all students would effectively be required to take the same courses in order to pass this new battery of tests. Although the GCA proposal permits schools to use a local assessment option, it establishes numerous limitations, including the elimination of the ability to use various assessment strategies now available. The state Board of Education has not prepared a cost analysis, even though the GCA proposal will create a large financial impact on state and local budgets. The proposal requires school districts to absorb many new costs related to revising curriculum, professional development, test development and validation, test preparation and administration, remediation and other costs. Given the state’s funding shortfall and the Act 1 limitations on tax increases, school districts have a limited ability to fund these potential new costs.
Some of the other actions approved by the board were as follows:
- An elementary sidewalk project, to extend the bus walkway by 105’.
- A master lease purchase agreement with EBA for the Fast Forward software program, which the board approved purchasing at last month’s meeting.
- Election of Board Treasurer Martha Stanford for the 2008/2009 school year at the same, current salary.
- A memorandum of understanding with Susquehanna County Animal Response Team; in case of disaster, the garage may be used to house caged, domesticated animals when homes must be evacuated.
- A high school dress code revision; only round, crew necked or collared shirts will be allowed, no scoops or vee necks. The board is considering the possibility of implementing a uniform policy some time in the next few years.
- Appointment of Attorney James A. Kelly/Joseph Gaughn as the District Solicitors for the 2008/2009 School year at a rate of $3,500 retainer per attorney.
- Appointment of G.H. Harris Associates, Inc., Dallas, PA as the Delinquent Tax Collector for the District for the 2008/2009 School year.
- Permission for Attorney James A. Kelly/Joseph Gaughn, District Solicitors, to bid the Tax Anticipation Note in the amount of $1,000,000.00 for the 2008/2009 school year.
- One addition to the substitute list, Rachel Arrieta.
- Accepting the following resignations: Bryan Scopelliti – HS Health and PE Teacher, Assistant Football Coach, Junior High Baseball co-coach; Jeff Hall- Assistant Track Coach; Anastasia Zabielski, HS Science Teacher and Senior Advisor; Lawrence Tompkins, Junior High Football Coach and Junior High Boys’ Basketball Coach; Carol McNamara, Senior Class Advisor, Honor Society Advisor.
- Medical leave for Michael Lisowski, High School Principal, beginning July 15 and Mr. Lisowski’s intent to retire at the end of his medical leave.
- Personnel transfers, all effective July 1: Mark Gerchman to Acting High School Principal for the 2008-09 school year; Jennifer Lawson to high school office clerical; Tiffany Yoder to high school health office clerical; Tammy Stone to K-12 guidance counselor.
- Hiring of Thomas Adornato to the position of summer behind-the-wheel driving teacher; Raymond Testa, Jr. to the position of golf coach; John Salinkas to the position of Science Department head.
The next meeting will be at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 18 in the administration offices in the elementary building.
Following is the Susquehanna County sentencing report for May, 2008 as submitted by the county District Attorney’s office.
Gerald Leroy Fuller, 75, of Meshoppen, to 4 months to 15 months in Susquehanna County Correctional Facility, credit for time served, pay $500 fine, pay cost of prosecution, not to have contact with the victim in this case, not to have contact with minors under the age of 18 without adult supervision, continue with sexual abusers’ counseling, not to possess any weapons for Corruption of a Minor on August 9, 2007 in Auburn Township. The defendant also received 2 years probation to run consecutive to above sentence, pay cost of prosecution, not to have contact with the victim in this case, not to have contact with minors under the age of 18, continue with sexual abusers’ counseling, submit a DNA sample and pay the $250 fee, not to possess weapons, pay $400 fine for Indecent Assault in Auburn Township on August 9, 2007.
Edward L Bentler, 24, of Hallstead, to 2 years to 6 years in a state correctional facility, credit for time served, pay cost of prosecution, pay $1000 fine, pay restitution to the victim, submit a DNA sample and pay $250 fee, 10 p.m. curfew, not to have contact with the victim in this case, not to have contact with anyone on supervision for Burglary in Great Bend Township on September 11, 2007. The Defendant also received 4 years probation, to run consecutive to the above sentence, pay $350 fine, pay restitution to the victim in this case, not to have contact with codefendant, not to have contact with anyone on supervision, 10 p.m. curfew, not to have contact with victim, pay costs of prosecution for Receiving Stolen Property on July 20, 2007 in Lanesboro. Finally, the defendant received 4 years probation, to run concurrent with the above receiving stolen property case and consecutive to the above Burglary case, pay cost of prosecution, pay $300 fine, pay restitution to the victim in this case, not to have contact with codefendant, not to have contact with anyone on supervision, pay cost of prosecution for Receiving Stolen Property in Susquehanna on August 15, 2007.
Edward Richard Hollister, 42, of Uniondale, to 5 years to 12 years in a state correctional facility, credit for time served, followed by 5 years consecutive probation, pay cost of prosecution, not to have face-to-face contact with the victim in this case, not to have contact with anyone under 18 without adult supervision, submit DNA sample and pay $250 fee, register with Megan’s Law, receive a sexual abuser’s evaluation, pay $1000 fine, not to possess firearms for Involuntary Deviate Sexual Intercourse in Uniondale Borough from August, 2006 to June 1, 2007. The defendant also received 1 year to 2 years in a state correctional facility, to run concurrent to the above sentence, not to have any contact with the victim in this case, pay cost of prosecution, receive sexual abuser’s counseling, not to have contact with anyone under the age of 18 without adult supervision, register with Megan’s Law, pay $500 fine for Indecent Assault in Wayne & Lackawanna Counties during the Summer of 01-02.
Brent William Vanteger, 24, of Kingsley, to 15 months probation, pay cost of prosecution, pay restitution to the victim in this case, perform 15 hours community service, pay $300 fine for Theft by Unlawful Taking in Harford Township on October 11, 2007.
Kelly Ann Hannon, 30, of Factoryville, to 9 months probation, transferred to Wyoming County, pay restitution to the victim in this case, pay $200 fine, pay cost of prosecution, perform 25 hours community service, not to have contact with the victim in this case for Theft by Unlawful Taking in Lenox Township on September 1, 2007.
Jason D Westbrook, 24, of Montrose, to 3 months to 1 year in Susquehanna County Correctional Facility, followed by 1 year consecutive probation, pay cost of prosecution, credit for time served, pay $1500 fine, pay $100 Act 198 fee, receive a drug and alcohol evaluation, comply with Pennsylvania ignition interlock law, not to possess weapons, attend repeat offenders alcohol driving program, pay $100 CAT surcharge, pay $10 EMS for Driving Under the Influence in Bridgewater Township on November 11, 2007.
Stanley Ely, 20, of Montrose, to 9 months probation, pay cost of prosecution, pay $150 fine, pay costs of failed ARD program, receive a drug and alcohol evaluation, not to possess controlled substances without a valid prescription, not to enter any establishment whose sole purpose is the sale of alcohol, not to consume any alcoholic beverages for Possession of a Weapon on School Property in Dimock Township on January 24, 2007.
You can find these and previous sentences at www.SusquehannaCounty-DA.org.
Richard P., III and Nanci L. Larnerd to Richard P. Larnerd, III, in Rush Township for one dollar.
Joan (Trust By Trustee AKA) Joan G. Thiede to Thomas A. and Jason Thiede, in Jackson Township and Forest City for one dollar.
Roger E. Charbonneau to Eagle Claw LLC, in Little Meadows Borough for $10.00.
Earl Carpenter and Rebecca Degraw to Sharon L. Randolph, in Oakland Borough for $5,000.00.
Charles M. Tell and Dolores A. Tyneway to Charles M. Tell and Dolores A. Tyneway, in Harmony Township for one dollar.
Philip M. and Mary Hubal Avery and Eileen Avery Kerr to Philip M. and Mary Hubal Avery, in Thompson Borough for one dollar.
Peoples National Bank to Tammy and Kevin Gaughan, in Gibson Township for $95,000.00.
Philip M. and Mary Hubal Avery to Jason Skarbez, in Thompson Borough for one dollar.
Charles E. and Doris B. Morrison to Charles E. and Doris B. Morrison (Trust Agreement), in Harford Township for one dollar.
Charles E. and Doris B. Morrison to Edward B., Cindi E. and Carol F. Morrison and Cathy M. Anderson, in Harford Township for one dollar.
Joseph V. Passarelli (Estate) to Joseph V. Passarelli, Sr. (Testamentary Trust), in Ararat Township for one dollar.
Joseph V. Passarelli, Sr. (Testamentary Trust) to Cantone Asset Management LLC, in Ararat Township for $312,000.00.
Janice E. Estabrook (Estate) to Sandra Kesten Zupanovich, in Harford Township for one dollar.
Rosemary A. Lubaszewski to Rosemary A., Thomas M. and Thomas E. Lubaszewski, in Forest City for one dollar.
Richard W. and Barbara A. Wilkins to Microwave Rental LLC, in Harford Township for $355,000.00.
Timothy J. Hadlick to Corrine Igoe, in New Milford Borough for one dollar.
Corrine Igoe to Allen and Rosemarie Sydlosky, in New Milford Borough for $44,000.00.
Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. (By Atty) to Clay J. Greenway, in Ararat Township for $55,180.00.
Joann Kowalski to Judith C. Allen and Karen Farmer, in Montrose and Bridgewater Township for $180,000.00.
James M. and Rita G. Eddy to Michael, Brenda, Patrick and Holly Eddy and Katherine and Steven DeRiancho, in Forest Lake Township for one dollar.
Joseph Willy Saint-Vil to Paul Matthew Hernandez, in Jessup Township for $19,900.00.
Peter S. Watrous to Peter S. Watrous (Lifetime Trust No. 1), in Franklin Township for one dollar.
First Liberty Bank & Trust – A Div. of Community Bank to Timothy D. and Dayna M. Hornick, in Choconut Township for $390,000.00.
James Robert and Janice A. Butler to Robert R. Aton, Jr., in Forest Lake Township for $18,000.00.
Tina Hall (NKA) Tina Ferrante to Tina Ferrante, in Thompson Township for one dollar.
Dori Chervanka to Christopher Chervanka, in Thompson Township for one dollar.
Dale J. and Patricia J. Ramich to Joseph M. and Sonya D. Kelly, in Thompson Township for $128,000.00.
Joan Saunders (Trust By Trustee) to David A. Saunders, in Montrose for one dollar.
Harvey Wayland (AKA By Atty) Harvey W. Bateson, Jr. to Robert Merrill, Jr. and Karen Lynn Owens, in Montrose for $79,000.00.
James L. and Rosemary Castellano to Daniel A. and Lynne Graham, in Jessup Township for $26,104.00.
James L. and Rosemary Castellano to Marilee C. Beyer, in Jessup Township for $45,896.00.
Brian L. and Rita C. Allis to Brian L. Allis, in Silver Lake Township for one dollar.
Ward H. and Linda S. Decker to Wilbert A. Jr. and Amy S. Hitchcock, in Jessup Township for one dollar.
Thomas S. Nagle to Frank and Donna Nagle, in Springville Township for one dollar.
William James and George, Jr. Humber to Gregory and Martha Renyard and David Obbink, in Bridgewater Township for $135,000.00.
Timothy D. and Dayna M. Hornick to Dale Howell Enterprises, Inc., in Auburn Township for $112,000.00.
Robert Mannion to Richard Gorel, in Forest City for $70,000.00.
John R. and Jane W. Upham to Richard E. and Lisa M. Upham, in Middletown Township for one dollar.
Jeffrey T. Haberle (T/D/B/A) and Neway Homes to WLP Family Limited Partnership, in Liberty Township for $198,000.00.
Phyllis Konstas to Phyllis Konstas, in Montrose for one dollar.
Gerald and Tammy Ellis to Dominic J. and Lynne Daleo, in Dimock Township for $145,000.00.
Brian David Thomas (Estate AKA) Brian Thomas (Estate) to Andrew J. Thomas, in Rush Township for one dollar.
Eric P. and Cynthia M. Hamby to Lisa Dean, in Montrose for $100,000.00.
Austin Alex Price of South Gibson and Miranda S. Grady of Kingsley.
Lori A. Cole vs. Randall S. Cole, both of Brackney, married 1978.
Kevin Joseph Little of Brackney vs. Cynthia Ann Sparrow of Midlothian, VA, married 2001.
The May 21 New Milford Township meeting opened with a presentation by the township's insurance representative, Jeff Kyle. After an outline was given of the renewal plan, the supervisors voted to accept the policy, with the addition of adding replacement costs and contents coverage for the supply shed. The insurance company representative went over what coverage for events like the planned bicentennial celebration might look like, and explained that coverage of staff was occupation specific for coverage outside of the office.
The supervisors opened the liquid calcium bids mentioned last month. Two companies bid and the supervisors opted, on the recommendation of Jack Conroy, to accept both bids, and use whoever has the materials available at a given time.
As usual roads, repairs, and quarry permits were topics of discussion. It was announced that flood damage regarding a bridge on Bailey Road is progressing per a meeting with engineers, PEMA, & FEMA on May 9. A water problem across from the summit, where a driveway connects to a public road, has been mentioned to the owner and is reportedly going to be dealt with. Notification of the approval of a small non-coal mining permit for Joseph Cicon in the highlands was sent to the supervisors, as was notification that Scott George applied for the same near Blueberry Road. Not much information was available regarding the latter permit; it was only a preliminary notification.
The township supervisors were contacted to make sure that they were following up on posting and labeling all public roads for 911 purposes. It was stated that the supervisors have spoken to companies who are supposed to be submitting bids to finish this work. A visitor queried if people having private roads and wanting a sign could contact the township about it, and get a price. Mr. Conroy answered in the affirmative, stating that it might be a good idea to do so.
On the topic of signs, Mr. Drann asked about signs on the Highlands road, as there are no identifying road signs on either end, only in the middle. He also expressed concern regarding the loss of the guardrail protecting the edge of a steep drop-off on the right side of that road. It was responded that the signs should be taken care of as part of the 911 project, and that bids had been sought for fixing the guardrail. The township does not know who caused this damage in the first place.
A visitor to the meeting requested an update on the supervisors' earlier statement of some months ago, regarding acquiring a surveyor to discover the boundaries and ownership of Sutton Road. (There had been some debate over whether the upper sections belonged to the quarry or the township.) It was responded that the township solicitor, Mr. Briechle, was handling this matter, and as he was absent from the meeting an answer could not be given. The visitor publicly requested that information be given then at the next meeting, to which the supervisors acquiesced. It was also queried as to whether or not the supervisors had spoken of turning over Carey Road to B&S, which question received a negative reply.
Mr. Bevan presented to those gathered a letter he had received regarding road conditions, where quarry dirt and mud makes state or township roads slippery. The letter also contained a statement that Todd, an engineer from B&S, had told DEP that he offered to give materials to the township to fix the road, and was awaiting township response. This discussion led to other visitors expressing concerns regarding two dangerous situations on Sutton Rd. and Bailey Rd., where quarry activity meets 848. This, the residents stated, has led to ditches (into which one man had been forced by a truck), difficulty getting into one driveway due to swales, and slick conditions. Additionally, trucks over 20 feet are supposed to be banned from the road, but they continue to travel on it. It was responded that plans were in place to tar and chip the bottom of Sutton Road in the next several weeks, which should mediate some of these difficulties, or at lease alleviate dust. The trucks being on the road and problems on 848, however, are actually outside the jurisdiction of the township, and ought to be reported to the state police, PennDOT, etc. Those present reported that they had spoken to these organizations, but received no assistance. They entreated the supervisors to take action on their behalf, feeling that this might prove more fruitful than individual pleas. The supervisors agreed to send a letter, or to have their solicitor do so.
Mr. Bevan also asked the supervisors why they had not joined the Northern Tier Coalition of Townships, and asked if they had attended COG meetings. Other local townships, he said, are members of the coalition. The supervisors replied that they had chosen not to join this due to the expense of doing so. Also, they had attended the COG meetings, but made no statement of being interested in joining. They stated that the way they were handling things currently is more cost effective, though Mr. Bevan expressed his concern that not enough was being done, and that there was insufficient protection for landowners regarding zoning matters and what new residents or businesses might choose to do on their land. The supervisors reiterated their statement from previous meetings that they have a building code and a sewer code, and that zoning matters must go through the county planning commission, adding a level of protection.
Propane tanks are reported to have been stolen from the property of Karen Werdann, aged 74, in Dimock Township. The tanks were 100 lb. tanks, valued at $170 each.
On May 11, at around 10:30 p.m., a call was received from a juvenile victim stating that he had been grabbed by a cook at his place of employment the day before. He stated that the cook didn't like him, and that when he had tried to be friends the man had come at him, grabbed him by the throat, and pushed him. An officer went to the Summit Tea Room and spoke with the restaurant manager, who stated that he was not there when the incident occurred but that there were cameras in the kitchen area. The video was reviewed in the presence of the manager and there was no evidence of any physical contact between the victim and suspect. Due to a lack of evidence the investigation was unfounded.
A gallon container of gasoline was stolen from an outdoor shed belonging to Stacey Stover of Holicong, PA recently. The shed is located on Cottrell Rd. in Ararat Twp.
MOTOR VEHICLE THEFT
Between the 3rd and 5th of April, one or more unknown person(s) removed a 5-speed, 1990 Black Ford Mustang GT from a residence on Dubois St. in Hallstead. The vehicle belonged to Robert Williamson. It did not run.
On May 15, at around 9:30 p.m., Stephen West of Hallstead is accused of striking Gene Rafferty, also of Hallstead, in the eye while inside the American Legion in Great Bend. Rafferty then allegedly exited the building and damaged the victim's 2008 Mitsubishi Galant by smashing the rear taillights, breaking both mirrors, and denting the left passenger's door. The accused departed the scene prior to police arrival. Charges were filed at District Magistrate 34-3-02.
POSSESSION OF WEAPON AT SCHOOL
On May 13 an unnamed 10-year old male is accused of bringing a Swiss army knife to Mountain View Elementary School.
STATUTORY SEXUAL ASSAULT
Richard Morrison, Jr. of Thompson PA is accused of having sexual intercourse with an unnamed 15-year old juvenile in 2007.
PSP Gibson is accused of investigating a burglary that occurred at the above location on May 8 at around 3:30 am at the VFW Post 6223 in Great Bend Borough. During the crime, a cash register was damaged and a window was smashed. The approximate value of the loss is $500.
On May 10 at around 6:46 a.m., David Matthews of Binghamton, NY was traveling north on SR 267 in Choconut Twp. when he drifted to the right and started to leave the lane while negotiating a left curve in the road. He then swerved to the left, and lost control of his vehicle. The vehicle entered a counterclockwise spin as it crossed over the southbound land of SR 167, and struck an embankment with the right front of the unit. It continued to spin at this point, and traveled north on the roadside before coming to a rest just off the road. Matthews failed field sobriety tests at the scene and had the strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on his breath. He refused to submit to a blood test to determine his blood alcohol content when at the hospital. Charges were to be filed. He was transported to the Endless Mountains Health Systems in Montrose by the Silver Lake Twp. Ambulance, for treatment.
COMMERCIAL VEHICLE CRASH
On April 18, at around 7:20 p.m., David Wall of Kirkville, NY was traveling north along SR 81 in Lenox Twp. At this point vehicles were converging into a single lane due to road construction. Wall allowed a truck tractor to merge in front of him, then reports that another unit tried to squeeze in as well. Wall attempted an avoidance maneuver and inadvertently failed to observe that traffic had momentarily paused. Wall struck the rear trailer of a truck tractor, which continued on, apparently having no idea that a collision had occurred. There was no contact between Wall and the alleged vehicle squeezing into his lane. Wall was not injured in the crash and the truck tractor was not located. Anyone with any information is asked to contact PSP Gibson.
HIT AND RUN
On April 26 at around 9:34, Lori Adleman was reportedly traveling west on SR 3004 in Springville Twp. Another vehicle, driven by an unknown person, was traveling east on that same road, and allegedly under-steered the unit for a curve in the road, striking Adleman's vehicle and disabling it. The driver then fled the scene in the direction of Springville. Adleman was not injured in the collision. Anyone with any information is asked to contact PSP Gibson; the vehicle driven by the unknown person should have front driver side damage.
On May 16 at around 8:25, Lauren Darconte of Commack, NY was traveling southbound on SR 11, and slowed to turn left into the parking lot of Hallstead Plaza Storage. David Bishop of Forest City, also traveling southbound, attempted to pass Darconte on the left, and was struck as she continued her turn. Impact occurred in the middle of SR 11, which is three lanes at that point near Airport Rd. Bishop's vehicle was struck in the right rear tire area and began spinning after impact, coming to rest on Airport Rd. Darconte drove into the lot at the self storage. The accident took place during a rain storm, and there were no street lights illuminating the scene. The lines marking the lanes were thus difficult to see.
On May 17, Angela Rossi-Coppola of Wayne, NJ stopped at a stop sign at the intersection of T748 and SR 171 in Ararat Twp., then proceeded to cross the intersection traveling east on T748. In doing so she drove her vehicle into the path of a vehicle driven by Donna Bender of Thompson, who was traveling south on SR 171. Bender braked, attempting to miss Rossi-Coppola's vehicle. This attempt was unsuccessful, and her vehicle struck the other on the driver's side door. After impact Bender could not regain control of her vehicle, which proceeded into a ditch on the south side of T748 and turned onto its driver's side.
FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH REGISTRATION OF SEXUAL OFFENDERS REQUIREMENTS (MEGAN'S LAW VIOLATION)
Edward Kalaf was recently arrested by the Pennsylvania State Police Fugitive Unit and the United States Marshals when it was discovered that he was living in Pennsylvania and had not registered with Megan's Law as he was required to do. The accused was arraigned before District Judge Jeff Hollister in Montrose, who set bail at $100,000. He was remanded to the Susquehanna County Prison when he could not post bail. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for May 19.
It is reported that on April 21 an unknown perpetrator entered the property of State Aggregates Inc. and rifled through the company vehicles, stealing various tools for scrap metal.
On May 11 at around 5:40 a.m., Patrick Ninely of Buffalo, NY was traveling northbound on SR 81 in Harford Twp., along with three passengers. Ninely fell asleep and lost control of the vehicle, which exited the roadway, traveled up an embankment, and rolled over. The car came to rest on its roof. One of the passengers was flown to Community Medical Center in Scranton, the other passengers and the drivers were taken there by ambulance. Ninely will be charged with Careless Driving, which is a summary violation of the PA Vehicle Code.
On April 5, one or more perpetrator(s) entered a residence in Auburn Twp., belonging to John Cuttle of Croydon, PA. The cabin was entered forcibly, and numerous tools and fishing gear were removed. Also stolen in the burglary was a Marlin .22 rifle with a scope.
On May 10, between 5:00 and 5:30 p.m., an unknown person stole a 1000” coil of orange seismic cable used in natural gas exploration from the roadside of SR 267 in Auburn Twp. The cable, belonging to Great Lakes Geophysical, Inc., was valued at approximately $6,000.
On May 9, one or more unknown person(s) broke into the residence of Stephen Bianco in Ararat Twp. and damaged items inside. No items were reported missing from the residence.
On May 4 a window was broken out of the Springville baseball field concession stand.
COG members moved through a number of subjects at their May 20 meeting.
A committee of volunteers worked through a list of (street) sign orders, using up the supplies on hand. New, retro-reflective material was ordered. Chairman Elliot Ross, who usually handles the sign-making by himself, reported that the new material is much more difficult to work with. It is designed to reflect light more directly back to a motorist, instead of away. It had been ordered because the state will be enacting uniform traffic control regulations and it was thought that it would be more economical not to have to replace relatively new signs made between now and then, as they are intended to have a healthy lifespan. Guide signs must be replaced with the new material by 2015, and street name signs must be replaced with it by 2018. The new material is somewhat more expensive than the old, and it was agreed that a new price schedule should be drawn up based on the newer price.
The closing has been held, and COG now has possession of the deed to their new site.
Applications have been received for a new zoning officer; the executive committee planned to meet the following week to go over them.
A motion carried to amend the bylaws to read that withdrawal from COG must be effected by ordinance; as joining is done by ordinance (rather than resolution), withdrawal must also be done by ordinance.
A committee met with representatives of New Milford Boro and reached a mutually acceptable agreement to continue COG’s lease of its present location. COG’s rent will increase by $50 a month. The lease is for a five-year period but it does allow an “escape clause,” so that when the new building is ready, if it should be before that five years is up, the lease can be canceled. COG will also make a cash contribution for heating oil; the old agreement called for one tankful of fuel. A motion carried to accept the new lease.
COG’s errors and omissions insurance will be up for renewal shortly. As they have been with DGK for five years and are satisfied with its cost, a motion carried to renew the policy rather than put it out to bid.
John Watts has completed his SEO certification and began working full-time the same day as the meeting.
Activity has been busy, things have picked up with the warmer weather.
No sewage reports were available for members, as all information as of January 1 was in the process of being transferred into a new database. Reports should be available at the next meeting.
With the recent addition of a new member, there was a question as to what COG’s policy was on accepting “old work,” or cases that had been in progress before the municipality became a member. The policy is to request copies of prior verifications for any cases that were in progress, and COG’s SEO would finish any inspections, etc. that needed to be taken care of.
The Codes committee reported that things have been busy, but going well.
There was some discussion about the soon-to-be-implemented zoning by the members of the Northern Tier Coalition (NTC). It was reported that at a recent meeting (to discuss gas leasing), flyers on zoning had been passed out that contained many assumptions. One member said that some people have been against the idea of zoning in general, without having an accurate perception of what is involved.
Another said that some residents had shown up at their township meeting with concerns about zoning, and had been requested to make a list of their concerns that would be presented to the NTC; no list was ever drawn up or presented to the supervisors.
One comment was that the problem seemed to be the word “zoning” itself, not what it actually entails. For example, there were rumors that a large farm would be closing because of zoning once it is put into effect; that is just a rumor, not a fact. Zoning involves land use as it pertains to development; it would not involve minor items, such as what kind of window shutters you can put up or what color you could paint your house.
Another member said that his township has had zoning in effect since 1989. At that time, there were some who were dissatisfied with the fact that it was going to happen, but here, too, the dissatisfaction was based on misconceptions more than what was actually involved. Once it was in place, those who had initially opposed it eventually embraced the idea.
There was another comment that those opposing zoning were resorting to scare tactics rather than using the facts, to try to get more people to oppose it.
The next meeting will be on Tuesday, June 17, 7 p.m. in their offices in the New Milford Boro building.
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