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In these tough economic times, the United Way of Susquehanna County is proud to report that they have reached their campaign goal of $325,000 to support local non-profit agencies. The United Way held its celebration luncheon on February 6, where Ruth Donnelly, Executive Director, announced that she is “extremely proud and grateful for the generosity of this community. The increase in funds this year will be well utilized by the non-profit agencies that we support.”
Ruth Donnelly, United Way Executive Director thanks Bob Welch of Pennstar Bank for “being an essential piece.”
Ruth continued by speaking about the communities’ involvement with the Annual Punt Pass and Kick events. “Last year’s events drew record numbers, and we are looking forward to another great year!” Donnelly said. The Tailgate Party and PPK dates for 2009 were announced. The Tailgate Party will be held June 6 at the Summit in New Milford, and the Punt Pass and Kick Contest will take place June 7 at the Montrose High School.
The United Way has other community programs that it is very proud of. “The OASIS program has really taken off,” reports Ruth. “We are proud to work with TREHAB to offer this valuable program. Many students are walking away with life-changing skills.” The OASIS program serves students in grades 7-12 in three of our county’s school districts.
Donnelly also spoke about the United Way’s Community Project. A new life was created for a low-income family in desperate need this year. The United Way was able to rally volunteers and businesses to assist with this community project. The family was living in deplorable conditions, and through the generosity of the community, they recently moved into a safe, new home.
Amy Steinberg, Executive Assistant for the United Way of Susquehanna County spoke about the many donors who helped The United Way achieve its 2008-09 fundraising campaign goal. “We have really made our mark in Susquehanna County. People are now beginning to see the increased presence in the community.”
Bob Welch, from Pennstar Bank serves as United Way’s Campaign Chairman. Donnelly and Welch handed out certificates and plaques to individuals and businesses who were vital in helping with the campaign. “Each donor is an essential piece to our success.” Donnelly added. Pennstar Bank proudly underwrote the expenses for the celebration luncheon held at the Montrose Bible Conference.
For more information the United Way or to sign up for the Punt Pass and Kick Contest, visit their website at www.UnitedWayofSusquehannaCounty.org.
“Divine Bovines in 2009” was the theme for the Pennsylvania Junior Holstein Convention held February 6-8 in Reading. Twelve Junior Holstein Association members from Susquehanna and Wyoming Counties participated in events during this year’s convention. These youth are also all involved in 4-H programs in either Susquehanna or Wyoming Counties.
Sabrina Clark of Springville and Stephanie Snyder of Greenfield Township entered the Folding Display Competition. Stephanie’s display, called, “Whey Your Options” finished second in the Intermediate Division.
Mackey Wright of Montrose placed third in the Essay Competition. Mackey’s essay was titled, “Speaking for Ourselves,” and focuses on Proposition 2 in California and the need for educating consumers about where their food comes from.
Sabrina Clark was recognized during the Junior All-Pennsylvania Awards dinner on Saturday evening during the convention, for her Senior Three Year Old Cow, Kozy Kountry Pop Stacey. Sabrina’s cow received the Honorable Mention award for this age category. The Junior All-Pennsylvania awards are given out based on an animal’s points earned at Pennsylvania Holstein Shows held during the 2008 show season. This is a very prestigious award, congratulations to Sabrina and her cow, Stacey.
In the Dairy Quiz Bowl Competition, two teams from Susquehanna County entered. In the Junior Division, team members Cassie Clark, Springville, Callie Curley, Montrose, Luke Sherwood, Meshoppen, Stephanie Snyder, Greenfield Township, and Trevor Tompkins, Montrose vied against 17 teams from across the state. The Susquehanna County Junior Team competed into the semi-final round and finished fourth overall. The Senior Team from Susquehanna County consisted of Morgan Williams-Clark, Montrose; Amos Lyon, Hallstead; Nate Oleniacz, Montrose; Chris Schuler, Montrose; and Mackey Wright, Montrose. The Senior Team won two rounds and was defeated in two rounds. Ten teams competed in the senior division. The Dairy Quiz Bowl Teams are coached by Maureen Kane, Jeremiah and Nicole Fearnley, Dr. Mike and Michelle Kowalewski, and Heidi Stephens-Pavelski.
Dairy Quiz Bowl is a team event, in which youth must answer questions on dairy-related topics. Youth must be knowledgeable of such subjects as animal breeding, genetics, herd health, nutrition, record keeping and Holstein history. Dairy Quiz Bowl challenges youth to learn life skills as they prepare for the contest – critical thinking, decision-making, problem solving, communication skills, listening skills, speaking skills, and independent thinking.
For more information about Dairy Quiz Bowl or other 4-H activities, contact the Susquehanna County 4-H office at 278-1158.
The Lenoxville Senior Center group meets every Thursday, between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. A meal reservation can be made before 10:00 a.m. each Wednesday for the following day by calling 278–7664 or 278–3751. Transportation can be arranged by calling 853–4510.
We have started a new yoga class. They will continue for the next few weeks; also, we will be having presentations on colon cancer and skin cancer in the next few weeks; Vicky from Susquehanna County Literacy will join us one Thursday and we will have word games; blood pressures are taken on the third Thursday of each month; pinochle, dominoes, Quiddler, and crafts are available.
We represent all ages of seniors from early 60s to later 90s, and there is something for everyone. We are looking to expand our group and would like to have you, if you are over 60, give us a try – you might like us! Looking forward to seeing you, and if you would like more information, call the center at 222-9550 on Thursday, between 8:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
If you have an email address, you can save the Susquehanna County Library money and time by agreeing to get notices (about items waiting to be picked up, and overdues) via email. You'll also cut down on your paper clutter. Just visit www.susqcolibrary.org/email and fill out a brief form.
Pennsylvanians have another tool to help them to be better prepared for emergencies, the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency said.
The commonwealth unveiled a new, toll-free line as part of ReadyPA, a public outreach campaign that includes a website to educate citizens about the importance of creating emergency kits and family emergency plans. ReadyPA outlines 10 potential emergencies that Pennsylvanians may face, so that citizens can be better prepared to respond quickly and appropriately.
Downloadable materials, including home and car emergency kit checklists and emergency plan templates, are available at www.ReadyPA.org and now also through 1-888-9-READYPA. Citizens can find information about getting involved in local emergency response efforts and other volunteer opportunities through the website or the toll-free line.
ReadyPA is a statewide campaign aimed at motivating Pennsylvanians to take action to prepare for a disaster. The campaign is supported by PEMA, Pennsylvania Citizen Corps, the Pennsylvania Department of Health, and volunteer organizations. It seeks to coordinate a cohesive statewide program and a call to action regarding emergency preparedness.
Information about year-round emergency preparedness and planning is available online at www.ReadyPA.org.
We have much to celebrate in our community! With over 1,400 volunteer hours dedicated to community renewal, the SCDA has been working with Trehab, the PDC and the PA-DCED to achieve many measurable accomplishments in 2008!
Neighborhood & Economics– SCDA members are advocating enforcement of existing codes in an effort to take our neighborhoods back. Have you noticed that several more blighted properties have been removed? (Broad & Main St. & Erie Ave.) And, still another on Grand St. is scheduled to be removed this spring. It is so nice not to look at these eyesores anymore! Progress continues as the SCDA works with PA “Main St.” program, which has allowed us to complete facade projects on our downtown buildings in excess of $128,000, with more funding available this spring!
What a difference the new sidewalks, curbing and shade trees have made on Erie Ave. and W. Main Street! Imagine how nice it will look when additional sidewalks and curbs are added to Franklin Ave. and lower Washington St. this spring. As a matter of fact, we have already added a new gateway welcome sign as you enter our town on Rte. 92. Along with these neighborhood improvements, the design committee assisted nine homeowners that were able to take advantage of façade funding with over $84,000 worth of improvements. In February 2009, we have applied for another $250,000 for more neighborhood improvements.
Isn’t it exciting to watch the progress at the Station House (former Perrine Bldg.) on Main St.? This $1.8 million Trehab project will totally renovate and preserve our largest downtown building to its former glory. It will include six senior apartments and ground floor commercial space to entice new business. The Station House is scheduled to open its doors in July, 2009.
Safe, Clean & Green – The garden club committee has been busy throughout the year planting, weeding and maintaining our gardens in town while adding color and warmth to our historic community. Also, a greenhouse has been purchased and erected for the greenhouse committee in hopes of getting an “edge” on the growing season for planting bulbs and seedlings for the gardens. It is located next to Owens Hardware in order to make it more accessible and visible. We are hoping to involve future youth programs with our greenhouse committee. Parks & Rec. continues their impeccable maintenance at the Frank Reddon Park, which makes it such an enjoyable amenity for our residents and their children. This year, the concession stand was re-sided by volunteers and a heartwarming dedication ceremony was held in memory of Donny Ayres, former caretaker. The selective tree cutting and a new utility road at the future river front park has increased recreational use by residents.
Promotions: If you love a party, this is the gang to see! What a terrific job they do decorating the downtown for the holidays! The Christmas tree lighting ceremony and breakfast with Santa was a festive event. Somehow it all seemed more effective this year, as the community watched in awe as the newly planted tree at the Veterans Memorial area was lit. Attendance was up considerably at both the tree lighting and breakfast with Santa, as it is becoming a family tradition for more residents in our community each year. The annual Hometown Days event was celebrated for four days this past summer, including a carnival. It was great – there was something for everyone, including a parade, bands, booths and fireworks. Each year, many former residents return to join in on the celebration. The Harvest of the Arts event, with participation of all county schools, was really enjoyable event this year. Six art scholarships were awarded, one to a senior from each of the county schools. There were constant musical and entertainment performances throughout the day, as well as demonstrations and goods for sale by local crafters. The two-day event culminated with an elegant cocktail reception and art auction held at the historic Starrucca House.
The SCDA operates with volunteer efforts, community support and partnerships with Trehab, PA-DCED, the local government, SCHRA and county and regional agencies. With your support, we can continue to make progress towards a brighter future and improve the quality of life in the Susquehanna Community. For information on how to volunteer, call 853-5016
Let’s continue to work together to put Susquehanna “Back on Track.”Look for our membership pledge form in this week’s newspaper.
1. Gather your records…now! It’s never too early to start getting together any documents or forms you’ll need when filing your taxes: receipts, canceled checks, and other documents that support an item of income or a deduction you’re taking on your return. Also, be on the lookout for W-2s and 1099s, coming soon from your employer.
2. Find your forms. Whether you file a 1040 or 1040-EZ, you can download all IRS forms and publications on the IRS website, IRS.gov.
3. Do a little research. Check out Publication 17 on IRS.gov. It’s a comprehensive collection of information for taxpayers highlighting everything you’ll need to know when filing your return. Review Pub 17 to ensure you’re taking all credits and deductions for which you’re eligible.
4. Think ahead to how you’ll file. Will you prepare your return yourself, or go to a preparer? Do you qualify to file at no cost using Free File on IRS.gov? Are you eligible for free help at an IRS office or volunteer site? Will you purchase tax preparation software or file online? There are many things to consider. So, give yourself time to weigh them all and find the option that best suits your needs.
5. Take your time. Rushing to get your return filed increases the chance you will make a mistake and not catch it.
6. Double-check your return. Mistakes will slow down the processing of your return. In particular, make sure all the Social Security numbers and math calculations are correct, as these are the most common errors made by taxpayers.
7. Consider e-file. When you file electronically, the computer will handle the math calculations for you, and you will get your refund in about half the time it takes when you file a paper return.
8. Think about Direct Deposit. If you elect to have your refund directly deposited into your bank account, you’ll receive it faster than waiting for a check by mail.
9. Visit IRS.gov often. The official IRS website is a great place to find everything you’ll need to file your tax return: forms, tips, FAQs and updates on tax law changes.
10. Relax. There’s no need to panic. If you run into a problem, remember the IRS is there to help. Try IRS.gov or call the customer service number at 800-829-1040.
Members of the TOPS chapter in Montrose decided they would not sit idly by while the food bank pantry in our community was running low, due to an increased demand and a drop in donations. They decided to have a “Give our Pounds A-Weigh” challenge.
Members of the Montrose TOPS chapter had a “Give our Pounds A-Weigh” challenge and collected 312 pounds of food for the TREHAB Food Bank.
On January 26, the TOPS members each brought in bags and boxes of food. Each one was responsible for bringing in food equivalent to the difference in his or her weight from the beginning of last year through December 31, 2008. This resulted in 312 pounds of non-perishable food.
This food will be given to the TREHAB food bank in South Montrose. The food bank helps families in emergency situations, and they have a senior citizen supplemental food program. If you are interested in organizing a food drive, all donations are welcome. To receive additional information they can be contacted at (570) 278-9218.
TOPS (Taking Off Pounds Sensibly) Chapter 463 is part of an international, non-profit weight loss support group. While TOPS doesn’t have any one diet they promote, club meetings do emphasize nutrition and provide exercise education focused on supplementing members’ efforts in their quest to manage their weight. TOPS 463 meets at the Claverack building in Montrose every Monday at 6:30. If you are interested in learning more about us, stop in any Monday evening or contact Bev at (570) 289-4353.
The Susquehanna Branch the Quality Deer Management Association, in cooperation with one of the oldest rod and gun clubs in Susquehanna county, the Canawacta Rod and Gun Club, held a mini field day on Saturday, January 24.
Over 20 people, including four kids, showed up with their pruning tools to learn how to help improve wildlife habitat by improving the quality of the wild apple trees and the area around them.
Pictured at left is QDMA youth member Carlos Cuevas, with the four Lewis children from Montrose at the Winter Habitat Field Day held at the Canawacta Rod & Gun Club.
Members of the QDMA Branch and the Canawacta Club talked about, demonstrated and then helped attendees prune, apple and pear trees on the club’s hunting land. Participants were also able to learn about whether to, how much to, and when to put down lime and fertilizer around these trees. As an added bonus activity, the children were provided a chance to go tracking and identifying animal tracks with QDMA youth member Carlos Cuevas.
The tracking team tracked three deer to within 100 yards of the bedded deer, then closed to within 65 yards before the deer started making tracks again.
Early winter in the outdoors can be a difficult time for wildlife, especially if the snow is deep, the ground is coated in ice, or it is extremely cold. Animals use up their reserves of fat at a faster rate when the aforementioned conditions exist. This time of year is when outdoorsmen/women, landowners, and habitat managers can help out wildlife while improving the habitat conditions and the health of existing wild/semi wild apple trees and other fruit and nut producing trees by pruning and removing suckers, dead wood and cross branches from these trees. The downed wood will supply some food for rabbits, deer and birds.
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