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January is school board appreciation month, and, at the January 22 school board meeting (rescheduled to a Thursday to avoid a basketball conflict), the Elk Lake and SCCTC board had its turn at being honored. Dr. Bush, school superintendent, thanked the board for the tremendous job they did, and for their accessibility.
Other people and programs were mentioned positively at the meeting as well. Much, it was reported, has been happening at the SCCTC. The Nurses Aide training, it was announced, will be offered again in the near future. Winners of the recent Skills USA competition are slated to go and compete further in April. It is hoped that the second house project will be completed by the end of May; it has given the students their first experiences in masonry work. Mrs. Davis also reported on a meeting she had that evening with representatives from the Montrose school board and administration, to present the SCCTC to them. By the end of the meeting, it was decided that next year Montrose would send students to the school in tenth grade, and several informational sessions were being planned to orient Montrose parents and students to the center and its programs. Finally, Mrs. Davis spoke of a pre-apprenticeship program which had begun the night before the meeting. The 12-week program provides an opportunity for students to study the academics of construction, and is put on by the Northeastern Pennsylvania Labor Management Council. It is a strict program, and students must test well to qualify for it, but if they meet the requirements they can glean from the experience not only knowledge but monetary compensation.
Elk Lake was not immune to the reports of positive happenings. A letter was read from the Christmas Bureau director thanking the district for its help in this initiative, via clothing donations, etc. The district was featured on television recently, an event which various board members mentioned with obvious delight. The footage, on WNEP, surrounded the district’s arrangement allowing students to watch some or all of Tuesday’s inauguration. Board members expressed pleasure at seeing Elk Lake featured instead of larger, more urban schools, and at having the students involved in the historic event.
The new Wednesday schedule, Mr. Pirrone stated, is priceless. He spoke about the amount of staff development which has been done at the elementary school during this time period, and joked that they could probably use more Wednesdays per week. Staff attendance, he said, is up on these days. One recent program discussed behavior management techniques.
Mr. Pirrone also reported that two data teams have been created at the elementary school . The teams, he said, would analyze the results of the 4-Sight tests, slated to begin in the near future.
Mr. Mallery reported on a few impressive athletics achievements. Anthony Juicer reached his 100th win in wrestling. It was asked how many people had done this through the years, and answered that only 5 or 6 had. Juicer was given a plaque after the win, and his name was to be placed on a banner. Anna Zdanciewicz broke a record in swimming, in the 200-meter race. Also, both the boys’ and girls’ basketball teams had beaten Montrose in games that week.
Dr. Cuomo spoke of the district’s plans to enlarge its dual enrollment program in the coming year. He received compliments from the board president, who described Elk Lake as being in front of the herd in this matter. Dr. Cuomo, in turn, acknowledged other staff, calling it a team effort.
Two new posters were shown, which were to be displayed proudly in both the elementary and secondary libraries. The posters display the state championship boys’ cross-country team, holding books appropriate to the given age level. A caption reads, “State Champions @ Your Library.” The idea behind the posters is to promote academics to athletes. It was suggested that perhaps a similar poster could be donated to an area library.
The district made a few policy alterations at the meeting. Changes to the Behavior Support Policy were made in response to IDEA regulations. The new policy, which Dr. Bush described as not groundbreaking, but noteworthy, established guidelines for restraints, dictated the use of the least intrusive intervention necessary, and emphasized positive behavior support.
The Complaint Resolution policy for NCLB Programs was also an upgrade required by law. Those wishing to file a complaint regarding No Child Left Behind now need to put it in writing. A set process is then to be followed, which includes referral acknowledgement, investigation, an opportunity to present evidence, a court recommended resolution, and the right to appeal. The timeline for this is not to exceed 60 days.
Revisions to the Dress Code Policy essentially served only to codify that which had already been decided. The alteration removed the ban on gym and athletic shorts. A board member asked why the change was made. Mr. Mallery explained that the rule had originally been made when gym shorts were generally short. Currently, however, the students wear athletic shorts which meet the guidelines for length listed elsewhere in the code.
One of the largest discussions of the evening centered around a suggestion made by Dr. Bush that retirement be included as a line item in the budget. The reason behind the recommendation, he explained, was the tendency of the state to set the retirement rate somewhat low (for instance 4.87%) when it is projected that in the not so distant future, retirement amounts will reach the double digits. The Retirement Association, he explained, is actually attempting to take action in protest of this, and to force the state to factor in what is appropriate. Dr. Bush, then, proposed that an account be created now to store up money in case the “train wreck” looming on the horizon occurs. The district already has some money to put in this account, as last year it budgeted according to PDE’s recommendation, but then they changed it to a lower rate. Mr. Emmerich said it bothered him that taxpayers be forced to pay for state underfunding. Someone else pointed out, however, that the account would prevent the tax payers from having to absorb the shock all at once should, for instance, the rate jump to 18% in the future. It was decided that the matter would be revisited.
Susquehanna Community School District has long had a dual enrollment program in place, where students can take college courses and earn credit for them while still in high school. At the January 21 board meeting, approval was given to expand the program, with courses now to be provided by both Lackawanna Community College and Luzerne County Community College. The expansion will allow for additional courses to be added, bringing the total to seven. Students can earn up to 21 college credits prior to high school graduation, at little or no cost to the student.
The board also approved appointments to the Dual Enrollment Committee, which is made up of parents and staff members to oversee the program. Those members are Mark Gerchman, Evelyn Cottrell, Margaret Biegert, Mary Ellen Jolley, John Seigle, Ryan Stalker and Bridget O’Neill.
The board also approved an agreement with Project Lead the Way for the 2009-10 school year. This will provide a more advanced engineering program, and grant funding is being sought to cover the cost.
The safety committee has met, and is planning two spring evacuation drills.
The state budget at this point does not look promising; due to the poor economic conditions, it seems certain that funding for basic education will be reduced.
As January is School Director Recognition month, members of the board were thanked by various faculty/staff members for their work on behalf of the district. Elementary students wrote letters to the board, as they do every year, thanking them for what they do.
The district budget for next year must be approved in June, and the business office is working on it. A report on the 2007-08 audit will be given at the February meeting.
Transportation is running smoothly.
Homestead exemption forms have been mailed out.
The Special Ed. department will be holding regional parent training sessions at the Blue Ridge campus, and the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation will be offering training for those (Special Ed.) students who will be going to college.
With the end of the second marking period coming up, parent/teacher conferences will be scheduled.
Items approved by the board include the following:
- A required update to the Behavior Support Policy.
- Permission to the superintendent to tentatively hire pending board approval for any vacancies that may occur between this date and the February board meeting.
- Robin Carmody as the Open Records Officer.
- An additional $30.00 payment per bus trip for ski trips (trips are usually on weekends, not school days).
- Permission for the county Tax Claim Bureau for the repository sale of a property in Harmony Twp. and one in Susquehanna Boro.
- A fence bid from Paraco Corporation for $3,993.00. Additional fencing was recommended after a safety analysis, to provide additional security to the campus.
- Substitute personnel for the 2008-09 school year: Certified Elementary Education – Jenna Kogut, Randi Iyoob and Kevin Davis; and aide Melanie Rafferty.
- The resignation of Dawn Steele, fifth and sixth grade girls’ basketball, effective December 17, 2008.
- Hiring of Nate Shay, fifth and sixth grade girls’ basketball for the 2008-09 school year.
- A contract with Maberry Consulting, at no charge to the district, to apply for an Improving Literacy Through School Libraries grant.
- A homebound request for one student.
- Re-hiring of Jeff Hall, assistant girls’ track coach.
- Permission to continue the Big Brother, Big Sister program at the high school for the 2008-09 school year, at no charge to the district.
The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, February 18, 7:00 p.m. in the administration offices in the elementary building.
Following is the Susquehanna County sentencing report for January, 2009 as submitted by the county District Attorney’s office.
Damon James Borne, 19, of New Milford, 12 months probation, pay $250 fine, pay cost of prosecution, not to have contact with the victim in this case, not to transport, consume, or possess alcoholic beverages, maintain employment, 10 p.m. curfew, pay remaining ARD costs for Simple Assault in New Milford Borough on October 4, 2007. The defendant also received 45 days to 18 months in Susquehanna County Correctional Facility to run concurrent to the above sentence, pay $350 fine, pay cost of prosecution, pay $50 Criminal Justice Enhancement Act fee, not to have contact with codefendant, not to have contact with anyone on supervision, pay restitution to the victim in this case, pay $250 DNA testing fee and submit sample for Theft by Unlawful Taking in New Milford on October 14, 2008. Finally, the defendant received 1 month to 18 months in Susquehanna County Correctional Facility, to run concurrent to the above sentence, pay $350 fine, pay cost of prosecution, not to have contact with codefendant in this case, not to have contact with anyone on supervision, pay restitution to the victim in this case for Criminal Trespass in New Milford on October 14, 2008.
Linda Ann Bailey, 45, of Nicholson, 15 days to 6 months in Susquehanna County Correctional Facility, pay $300 fine, pay cost of prosecution, pay $100 Act 198 fee, pay $100 CAT surcharge, pay $10 EMS, pay restitution to the victim in this case, attend safe driving school program for Driving Under the Influence in Hop Bottom Borough on July 30, 2008.
Eric R. Collins, 37, of Hallstead, 30 days to 15 months in Susquehanna County Correctional Facility, pay $350 fine, pay cost of prosecution, pay $50 Criminal Justice Enhancement Act fee, attend anger management course for Simple Assault in Hallstead on November 24, 2007. The defendant also received 30 days to 15 months in Susquehanna County Correctional Facility to run concurrent to the above sentence, pay $500 fine, pay cost of prosecution, pay $50 Criminal Justice Enhancement Act fee, pay restitution to the victim in this case for Resisting Arrest in Hallstead on November 24, 2007.
Michael Allen Smith, 35, of Montrose, 6 months probation, pay $300 fine, pay $30 CAT surcharge, pay $10 EMS, pay $100 Act 198 fee, attend safe driving school program, receive drug and alcohol counseling and treatment for Driving Under the Influence in Montrose on September 23, 2008. The defendant also received 9 months to 23 1/2 months in Susquehanna County Correctional Facility, continue with anger management, pay $500 fine, pay cost of prosecution, pay $50 Criminal Justice Enhancement Act fee, not to have contact with the victim in this case, pay restitution to the victim in this case, perform 50 hours community service for Simple Assault in Montrose on December 12, 2008.
Tonya L Brown, 30, Laceyville, 15 months probation, pay $250 fine, pay cost of prosecution, pay $100 Act 198 fee, pay $50 Criminal Justice Enhancement Act fee, not to possess weapons, continue with mental health treatment, not to have contact with anyone on supervision, pay $250 DNA testing fee and submit sample for Criminal Conspiracy/Delivery of a Controlled Substance in Dimock Township on May 13, 2008.
Michael Patrick Maxwell, 24, of Binghamton, NY, 18 months probation, pay $400 fine, pay cost of prosecution, pay $50 Criminal Justice Enhancement Act fee, pay restitution to the victim in this case, perform 50 hours community service, not to have contact with anyone on supervision for Receiving Stolen Property in Brackney on April 22, 2008.
Christopher Allan Butts, 26, of Hallstead, 4 months to 18 months in Susquehanna County Correctional Facility, pay $400 fine, pay cost of prosecution, pay $50 Criminal Justice Enhancement Act fee, not to have contact with the codefendant in this case, not to have contact with anyone on supervision, 10 p.m. curfew, not to possess firearms for Theft by Unlawful Taking in New Milford Township on March 27, 2008.
Albert Bishop, Sr., 69, of Susquehanna, 10 days to 12 months in Susquehanna County Correctional Facility, pay $500 fine, pay cost of prosecution, pay $50 Criminal Justice Enhancement Act fee, pay $200 CAT surcharge, pay $10 EMS, pay $100 Act 198 fee, receive drug and alcohol evaluation, attend safe driving school program for Driving Under the Influence in Susquehanna on June 20, 2008.
Vicki Warner, 42, of Montrose, 30 days to 6 months in Susquehanna County Correctional Facility, pay $750 fine, pay cost of prosecution, pay $100 CAT surcharge, pay $100 Act 198 fee, pay $10 EMS, attend safe driving school program, continue with drug and alcohol treatment, abide by Pennsylvania Ignition Interlock program, not to possess, transport, or consume alcoholic beverages for Driving Under the Influence in Montrose on August 15, 2008.
Adam Wojnarowski, 51, of Thompson, 5 days to 6 months in Susquehanna County Correctional Facility, pay $300 fine, pay cost of prosecution, pay $100 Act 198 fee, pay $50 CAT surcharge, pay $10 EMS, attend safe driving school program, receive a drug and alcohol evaluation for Driving Under the Influence in Herrick Township on March 15, 2008. The defendant also received 90 days to 15 months, served 45 days in Susquehanna County Correctional Facility followed by 45 days home confinement, pay $1500 fine, pay cost of prosecution, pay $100 Act 198 fee, pay $50 Criminal Justice Enhancement Act fee, pay $100 CAT surcharge, pay $10 EMS, attend safe driving school program, receive a drug and alcohol evaluation, not to possess, transport, or consume alcoholic beverages, abide by Pennsylvania Ignition Interlock program for Driving Under the Influence in Ararat Township on July 5, 2008.
Douglas Wayne Reynolds, 33, of Brown Mills, NJ, 24 months probation, pay restitution to the victims in this case, continue with drug and alcohol treatment, not to possess, transport, or consume alcoholic beverages, pay $500 fine, pay cost of prosecution, pay $50 Criminal Justice Enhancement Act fee, perform 50 hours community service for Theft by Unlawful Taking in Montrose on May 24, 2008.
Olivia Brook Kellogg, 18, of Montrose, 9 months probation, pay $150 fine, pay cost of prosecution, pay $50 Criminal Justice Enhancement Act fee, pay remaining ARD costs, not to have contact with the victim in this case, not to have contact with the codefendant in this case, perform 25 hours community service, receive a drug and alcohol evaluation for Criminal Conspiracy/Theft by Unlawful Taking in Montrose on March 3, 2008.
Vonecile E Phelps, 49, of Uniondale, 90 days to 12 months, served 30 days in Susquehanna County Correctional Facility followed by 60 days home confinement, pay $1500 fine, pay cost of prosecution, pay $300 Act 198 fee, pay $100 CAT surcharge, pay $10 EMS, attend safe driving school program, receive a drug and alcohol evaluation, abide by Pennsylvania Ignition Interlock Law for Driving Under the Influence in Bridgewater Township on April 20, 2008.
James A., Thomas J. and James E. (Estate) Melan and Mary Kate Panaro to James A. Melan and Mary Kate Panaro, in Auburn Township for one dollar.
Eric M. and Jennifer J. Brown to Eric M. Brown, in Harmony Township for one dollar.
Melessia (Estate), William F. (Estate) and William A. Congdon to William A. Congdon, in Clifford Township for one dollar.
Janet and James J. Fitzsimmons to Brian P. Fitzsimmons and Maureen Franco, in Forest City for one dollar.
Gregory A. Strawn to Allen Strawn, in Montrose for one dollar.
Bremer Hof Owners, Inc. to Richard C. and Judith P. Franzen, in Herrick Township for $3,495.00.
Alberta Crandall (Est) to Norman C. Button and Mary P. Kerr-Button, in Hallstead Borough for $19,000.00.
Lola J. Stephens (FKA) Lola J. Logue to Michael A. and Lola J. Stephens, in Apolacon Township for one dollar.
Elizabeth S. (AKA) Elizabeth J. and Paul R. Valentine to Elizabeth J. and Paul R. Valentine, in Ararat Township for one dollar.
Dean A. Johnson to Valerie Johnson, in Herrick Township for one dollar.
Valerie Johnson to Harry and Eileen Harsin, in Herrick Township for $150,000.00.
George B. and Susan G. Stephens to George B. Stephens, in Franklin Township for one dollar.
Herbert R. Dewey to Michael J. Dewey, in Bridgewater Township for one dollar.
Kathryn C. Schroeder to Joseph and Helen A. Castronova, in Jackson Township for one dollar.
Joseph and Helen A. Castronova to Joseph and Helen A. Castronova, in Jackson Township for one dollar.
Kathryn C. Schroeder to Kathryn C. Schroeder, in Jackson Township for one dollar.
Frances M. Gerchman to Guy E. Gerstel, in Forest City for $1,000.00.
Guy E. Gerstel to Guy E. Gerstel, in Forest City for one dollar.
Willard J. Hurley to Tammy L. Carlson, in Thompson and Ararat Townships for one dollar.
Michael D. Vaughn to Frank Czyzewski, in New Milford Township for $125,000.00.
Michael D. Vaughn to Michael D. Vaughn, in New Milford Township for one dollar.
Carmela and Joseph Nowalk to Tanya Nowalk Rudock, in Brooklyn Township for one dollar.
Shaindy Meisels to John J. Munley and Amy S. Alexander, in Forest City for $85,000.00.
Edward R., Jr. and Heather A. Shingler to Aleksandr Dizik and Florentina Vasui, in Auburn Township for $75,000.00.
Marilyn J. Ace to Molly E. Sayre, in Auburn Township for $97,000.00.
John and Kimberly Proch to John Proch, in Lenox Township for one dollar.
William E. (AKA Estate) William Edward Black (Estate) to Howard A., Jr. and Eleanor B. Jarnagin, in Hop Bottom Borough for one dollar.
Me-Shanna Recreation Club to Kathleen M. Larkin and Vincent L. Meder, in Auburn Township for one dollar.
Robert J. and Carol A. Hoffmann to Mario Button, in Oakland Borough for $47,000.00.
Mildred A. (Estate), Allen C., Carolyn M., Kyle and Robert Wolf to Allen C. and Carolyn M. Wolf, in Susquehanna for one dollar.
Perry L. Whitney (Estate) to Robert Gerald Whitney, Leon Ben Whitney, Donald Allen Whitney, Alice Louise Whitney Potter, Jean Irene Whitney Richard and Helen Jane Whitney Smith (Estate), in Thompson Township for one dollar.
Helen Jane Whitney Smith (Estate) to Bradley R. Smith, in Thompson Township for one dollar.
Millington H. Delia (Family Trust Number One) to Millington H. Delia, in Silver Lake Township for one dollar.
Gerald D. (AKA) Gerald and Sally A. (AKA) Sally Ann Whiteman to Gerald D. (Rev Trust) and Sally A. (Rev Trust) Whiteman, in Jackson Township for one dollar.
Brenda Rockwell Halesky vs. Scott A. Halesky, both of Thompson, married 2003.
The Susquehanna County Domestic Relations Section has Bench Warrants for the following individuals as of 10:56 a.m. on January 23, 2009.
Robert G. Arthur, David P. Atherholt, Jr., Erika L. Back, Keith Beach, David S. Blaisure, Joseph Bonavita, Michael P. Bradley, Jr., David M. Brant, Ryan T. Brooks, Kenneth G. Burgess, Joshua D. Calby, Mark T. Conklin, Kevin Cowperthwait, Jeffrey A. Craig, Thomas J. Croghan II, Mary Dallasta, John J. Deakin, Jeffrey L. Decker, Amanda Dedonis, Paul H. Donovan, Deborah L. Drish, Jonathan Fathi, Kristoffer B. Fazzi, David J. Fischer, Thomas Fisher, Nesbitt W. Fitch, Jr., Ryan M. Forder, Kelly Fox, Yvette Glover, Angela M. Grecco, Jeremy J. Grick, David Haines, Jr., Suzanne R. Hansen, Keith G. Harms, Jamie E. Heaman, Ann Hightower, Holly N. Holbrook, Timothy M. Holmes, Lyle J. Hugaboom, Roy M. Huntley, Robert M. Jenkins III, Carl M. Kelder, Erik E. Krisovitch, James R. Lee, Charlie J. Legere, Carlos L. Leiser, Howard J. Linder, Debra J. London, George D. Lowery, Joseph Malloy, Jr, Tanika Marazzani, Patricia J. Marrero, Jason Marshall, Fred C. Materese, Mark C. McCarey, Joseph C. Moore, Anthony Neri, Todd M. O'Hara, Ivy U. Oropallo, Donald Palmer, Gary Perico, Jonathan R. Powers, Jeffrey A. Ransom, Kim Read, Nathan Rosene, Donald L. Rousseau, Jr., Neil D. Shaffer, David J. Shiner, Frank Siglin, Duane Spencer, Amy M. Squier, Andrew J. Survilla, Earl H. Thompson, Jr., Christopher Trayes, Anthony M. Vaow, Keith W. Vroman, Robert C. Walter, II, Glynn Wildoner, III, Patrick L. Yachymiak, Karl D. Zantowsky.
Please contact the Domestic Relations Section at (570) 278-4600 ext. 170 with any information on the location of these individuals.
At last month’s COG (Susquehanna County Council of governments) meeting, members had discussed the state mandate for every municipality to have an appointed records officer, who would be required to take training to familiarize themselves with the laws regarding which records may be given out, and to who, and which ones cannot. COG had agreed to try to set up a training session at a central location, Montrose, but as it turns out the meeting room at the Courthouse complex is unavailable until March 30. Aside from regularly scheduled events, the room is being used for census training. After a short discussion at their January 20 meeting, the group agreed to try to set something up sooner at the COG offices, as their meeting space would certainly be available on any number of dates sooner than March 30. The state will provide the training free of charge, with a minimum number of attendees.
Also discussed was the fee schedule that municipalities must adopt concerning requests for records; there is a minimum/maximum fee that may be charged to those requesting records. A motion carried to charge 25¢ per copy, and $5.00 per certified copy. It was noted that the fee schedule does not allow for any administrative fee, such as the time it would take to research specific information in a municipality’s records.
COG has received word that the police study has been delayed somewhat due to (other, unrelated) legal proceedings, and some information from individual municipalities that was apparently lost in transit. Those municipalities who need to re-submit information will be notified.
The sewage enforcement committee is currently working with the solicitor on some ongoing situations, and reported that activity is unusually busy at this time of year.
The codes committee reported that the building inspector who usually covers this area has been out, and a substitute has been filling in.
A new commercial inspector has also been familiarizing himself with activity in the area, as any inspector who had been “grandfathered in” to do commercial inspections may no longer do so as of April, unless they have taken the necessary courses and been certified.
There are, at this time, several appeals cases pending.
One case involves a commercial property in Great Bend Township, where the owner is appealing the UCC requirements for a sprinkler system in a commercial building. The hearing will be held today at 3 p.m. in the COG offices. Members of the public may attend, but will not be allowed to comment. The appeals board will preside, and both the property owner and COG will be represented by legal counsel. The plan reviewer from BIU, COG’s third-party inspector, will also be present.
And, the committee reported that there had been a recent case that had been taken to the magistrate. The proper building permits had not been applied for, and a stop order had been issued. Work continued without the permits, and the case was taken to the magistrate. The individual(s) had been ordered to apply for the permits and had done so, but as of this date the permits had not been obtained. The individual(s) were also liable for double the cost of the permits, as they had begun the work without them.
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