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Issue Home October 29, 2008 Site Home

First Liberty Contributes To Scholarship Program
Ararat Honors Donald Stone
It’s A Boy!
Susquehanna County Reads Is A Tremendous Success
Peoples Financial Declares Dividend

First Liberty Contributes To Scholarship Program

For the second consecutive year, First Liberty Bank & Trust, a subsidiary of Community Bank, NA of DeWitt, New York, has provided a $10,000 contribution toward the K-12 Scholarship Program administered by The Community Foundation of Susquehanna & Wyoming Counties. For the current school year, this contribution will help provide tuition assistance to more than 150 students from low and moderate income families in The Community Foundation’s service area. The Community Foundation has provided these scholarships for six years, and in that time has assisted more than 470 students. In combination with its Pre-School Scholarship Program, more than 800 scholarships have been awarded since 2003.

Pictured (l-r) are Peter Quigg, Director of Development, The Community Foundation; Robert Matley, President & CEO, First Liberty Bank and Trust.

These scholarships are funded by corporate tax credit donations from businesses showing a concern for the education of local students. According to Peter Quigg, Director of Development for The Community Foundation, “Due to recent economic conditions we have seen an increase in the number of scholarship applications, and this donation from First Liberty Bank & Trust will help us assist our local families. We appreciate the bank’s continued support very much.” More can be learned about The Community Foundation at

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Ararat Honors Donald Stone

Donald M. Stone, Supervisor of Ararat Township, for more than 44 years has chosen to retire. The township and area have benefited through his efforts. An event to commemorate his dedication to the township was held on September 28 at the Gibson Grange.

Donald Stone, an Ararat Township Supervisor for more than 44 years, was recently honored for his dedication and service to the township.

Donald was instrumental in the creation of the Council of Governments (COG) in Susquehanna County. COG is a voluntary group of approximately 30 municipalities which have joined together to address common municipal problems and to share expertise, services, and related costs. Donald was an active member of COG from its beginning and Chairman of the Sewer Enforcement Committee for many years.

In Ararat Township, Fiddle Lake is the most densely populated area. With the increased regulations in regard to the use and repair of septic systems, it became apparent that Fiddle Lake needed a sewer system. Donald led the way in achieving the goal of a comprehensive sewer system. In the last seven years of operation, the effectiveness of the sewer is reflected in the improvement of the water quality of Fiddle Lake and the homes around it.

Donald believes in fiscal responsibility for the township as well as himself. The spending of township revenue was always carefully scrutinized. He believes in planning ahead and saving for future expenses. It was a long-time dream to have a municipal building where equipment can be stored and worked on regardless of the weather. The result of the years of saving excess funds was the building of the Ararat Township Municipal Building in 2005. All the township equipment can be stored and serviced there. The township office and municipal records are located there. The meeting room provides a place for elections to be held as well as any necessary meetings.

Donald helped to develop and was active in the Ararat Township Planning Commission and the Eastern Susquehanna County Partnership. He was also active in the County Association of Township Officials.

Although retired, Donald continues to help the township. He is still pursuing the establishment of official rules to insure a fair distribution of realty transfer taxes between townships and school districts. He is working with one of the supervisors in overseeing the operation and maintenance of the Fiddle Lake sewer system.

The current Ararat Township Supervisors extend their appreciation and thanks for all that Mr. Stone has done and continues to do for the township. His years of dedication, foresight, and friendship to the township have benefited all in Ararat.

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It’s A Boy!

Daniel Reese Powell, son of Shane and Danielle Powell, Montrose, was born May 15, 2008. He was welcomed home by big brother Cody, 17, and big sisters, Chelsea, 17, and Sami, 16. Paternal grandparents are Lynn and Barb P. of Forest Lake. Maternal grandparents are Char M., PA; Bob and Deb V., AK, and H. Cook, PA.

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Susquehanna County Reads Is A Tremendous Success

Susquehanna County Reads To Kill a Mockingbird, the one-county/one-book program sponsored by the Library and Literacy, was a fantastic success, with almost 400 registrants. Thanks to an outpouring of support and ideas from the community, a range of fascinating programs drew hundreds of participants.

A crowd of 226 attended the Mock Trial in the historic Susquehanna County Courthouse courtroom on October 17, filling the balcony for the first time in more than a decade. District Attorney Jason Legg (Atticus Finch), Mark Darmofal, Esq. (prosecutor Horace Gilmer), Patrick Daly, Esq. (Judge Taylor), William Strong (Sheriff Heck Tate), Andrew Vaccaro (Robert E. Lee Ewell), Margaret Vaccaro (Mayella Violet Ewell), Philip Crisp (Tom Robinson), and Rev. Canon Charles Cesaretti (Link Deas) enacted the courtroom scene from the novel. Mr. Legg and Mr. Darmofal then argued the appeal that would have taken place had Tom Robinson not died, and Hon. Thomas I. Vanaskie, the real-life United States District Judge of the Middle District of Pennsylvania, ruled on the case (favorably for Atticus). Finally, Rev. Cesaretti moderated a Q & A session, which drew many interesting questions from the audience. The refreshments committee served Lane Cake in the hallway of the courthouse. The audience gave the performance a standing ovation and an outpouring of praise in the survey comments which will be passed along to the Pennsylvania Humanities Council, sponsor of Susquehanna County Reads. If you missed the program or would like a souvenir, the proceedings were taped and will be released on DVD. Each county library will have a copy to lend, but you can order a copy to keep for $10 (deadline 11/1; pre-payment required). A few copies of the novel are still available. If you registered but did not get a copy, please stop by the Main Library in Montrose (or call 278-1881 to arrange pickup at a branch library). You can also still register for $3 and receive a copy.

The final event was a panel book discussion on October 23. Moderator Hilary Caws-Elwitt gave a brief biography of the author Harper Lee and introduced panelists Dr. David Elliott, Elizabeth Gordon, and Peter Quigg, who each spoke about aspects of the book and its themes. The audience then participated in a lively discussion, ranging from humorous touches in the narrative to serious issues of racism and class distinctions. The discussion was well-attended, as were the other Susquehanna County Reads events, which included a Family Fun Day, screenings of the movie at the Montrose Theatre (sponsored by the District Attorney's office), and more.

Susquehanna County Reads is a joint program of the Susquehanna County Historical Society & Free Library Association and the Susquehanna County Literacy Program. It was supported in part by the Pennsylvania Humanities Council, the Federal-State Partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Plans are already in progress for the 2009 program. The easiest way to stay informed is to join the email list. For more information, visit

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Peoples Financial Declares Dividend

A regular quarterly dividend of $0.19 (nineteen cents) per share was declared on October 1, 2008. The dividend will be paid November 14, 2008 to shareholders of record as of October 31, 2008. Peoples Financial Services Corp., Hallstead Pennsylvania, is the parent company of Peoples National Bank, an independent community bank with ten community offices.

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