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It promised to be long and difficult, what with a strained budget to review, and the Blue Ridge School Board meeting on April 20 didn’t disappoint. By the end of the 4-hour marathon Middle School Principal Matthew Nebzydoski, having trouble focusing on the numbers in his spreadsheet, remarked that he had been at work some 15 hours already that day.
For those who began the evening at a meeting of the Education Committee an hour before the Board convened, the debates must have seemed endless. Some 30 people attended that session to discuss a proposal to establish a “Diversity Club” at Blue Ridge. Students Amanda Rispoli and Stacy Pearson “did a marvelous job,” in the words of Board member Priscinda Gaughan, holding their own in support of the club idea against the small crowd of adults, many of whom had concerns about the nature of such a club at the school.
A survey had been circulated in the High School to gauge student opinion about the formation of such a club. What seemed to exercise most of the parents in attendance at the committee meeting was what seemed to be the focus of the survey on issues of sexuality and gender identity. In fact, the survey offered a choice of names for the club, suggesting “Diversity,” or a “Gay/Straight Alliance” (GSA), with an apparent emphasis on the latter.
High School Principal Scott Jeffery said that more than 100 students responding to the survey indicated interest in joining such a club. Parents wanted to know, however, what the school would do to mentor this club. For the School Board, that was the crux of the matter.
Students are entitled to form whatever clubs and organizations they want. The Board may choose to endorse and support student organizations, primarily by providing adult advisors to guide them. A suggestion was made that a guidance counselor be assigned to advise the club, but Mr. Nebzydoski pointed out that officially charging a guidance counselor with an advisory function would change the nature of the organization. Last month the Board tabled a recommendation to add a position to Schedule B of the teachers’ contract for advisor to a diversity club. Assigning a guidance counselor would make the “club” more a curricular activity. Yet is the Board inclined to pay someone under Schedule B to advise such a controversial establishment even on a less formal basis?
The issue was left unresolved even after further debate during the Board meeting itself. Few on the Board or among parents at the committee session argued to disallow the club altogether. Yet Board member and committee chair Laurie Brown-Bonner acknowledged that she was “not sure if there is closure on this yet.” Board President Harold Empett, concentrating on budget issues, wondered why the club needed a paid advisor; would a volunteer step forward?
The Board meeting itself opened, as it often does, with Mr. Jeffery introducing two of his outstanding seniors for recognition. This time Cassie Summers of Hallstead, and Nate Hine of New Milford ran down long lists of their activities and achievements at Blue Ridge. Each plans a career in service. Ms. Summers will attend Elizabethtown College and hopes to put her talents to use in music therapy. Mr. Hine will study elementary education at Kutztown University.
School Nurse Barbara McNamara followed with a strong pitch for more resources, especially in the form of another certified school nurse, a hard sell in a tough budget year. She was introduced by Wellness Committee chair Ms. Gaughan, who focused on a campaign to combat obesity in the schools. She said that some 128 elementary students and 146 in the middle and high schools are classified as “obese” based on body-mass index (BMI) computations required by the state; that’s 22% of the student body, vs. the Pennsylvania average of about 17%.
For her part, Ms. McNamara made a strong case for an additional certified school nurse (CSN). At the moment she is officially on leave, studying for an advanced certification. Her temporary replacement, Linda Gigliotti, is finishing her certification, but, unless the Board acts, will lose her position once Ms. McNamara returns full-time. The state requires that each school employ at least one certified school nurse; at Blue Ridge, Ms. McNamara is that one. The Pennsylvania average is one CSN for every 875 students. She said that there is a move afoot in Harrisburg to require a ratio of 1 to only 750. Blue Ridge has one for all 1,150 students
That one nurse, and a clerk, handled over 5,000 visits during the 2007-2008 school year, or about 29 each day, averaging about 15 minutes each. Among those, she distributed 4,281 prescription medications. About 200 students each year need physical examinations; there are also sports physicals. Dental and vision exams for students who have no other provider outside the school add to the work load.
Ms. McNamara said that among the current student population, about 100 are asthmatic; nearly 70 are diagnosed with “attention deficit hyperactivity disorder” (ADHD). Some of the latter are even “more medically fragile.” She has had almost 100 referrals from teachers and staff for mental and emotional health issues. Among the special education population, 37 individual education programs (IEPs) have a health component. The emotional support program that the Board is considering bringing back to the campus will add yet more to the load.
For her part, Ms. Gigliotti said that the Health Office is “so understaffed, it’s impossible to do a good job.” She had presented to Board members the results of a survey of faculty and staff that she claimed showed them “unhappy” with the level of service by the Health Office. The survey, which was acknowledged to be flawed itself, gave the 45 respondents an opportunity to provide detailed statements for each of the 8 questions. The survey concluded that “everyone complained of a stressed out environment, little or unsatisfactory services rendered and a desire for more nurses for direct care and educational purposes, as well as overall availability.”
Once the Board got to its formal agenda, the routine issues passed fairly quickly. Items:
The Board approved a licensing agreement with Music Theater International for materials related to a production of Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka Junior, for a total of about $590.
At the request of Hallstead Borough, the Board rescinded a lease agreement for the ball field so that the Borough could apply for a grant.
The Board appointed Burkavage Design Associates of Clarks Summit as the district’s “architect of record.”
The Board will provide a letter of support – and $5,000 – to New Milford Borough and the Blue Ridge Parks Association endorsing their grant application for restoration and improvements at New Milford’s main park. Of the $518,000 needed for the entire project, $318,000 is expected from the Federal and Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agencies to restore the park’s facilities damaged during the 2006 flooding. The additional money would come from a matching grant; Blue Ridge will be joining a number of other organizations and individuals contributing to the matching fund for installation of a walking track, and a community building that will serve as a concession stand, and provide restrooms and storage.
There was some discussion about a measure to compensate a staff member at a Schedule B professional rate for 5 hours to plan and coordinate “field day” activities. Some were interested to know why it would take 5 hours to plan an event of only about 4 hours. Several, including Activities Director Jim Corse, former technology director John Ketchur, and even student Board representative Nick Smith said that the event can easily take 5 hours “or more” to plan, set up and schedule. Mr. Empett was curious to know “where are the volunteers?”
Approving a routine list of coaching and activity positions, Mr. Corse was asked what training the coaches are expected to have. During his budget presentation later, Mr. Corse outlined the kinds of training that he will be offering next year to the coaching staff, noting that state organizations are moving toward requiring a certain minimum level of training and certification for coaching in the public schools. Superintendent Chris Dyer added that he would be asking for money for this type of professional development in the new budget.
After several months of ups and downs in the bond markets, the Board finally approved a resolution to refinance over $10 million in bonds left over from the renovation project almost 20 years ago. Henry Sallusti, of RBC Capital Markets, advisors on the transaction, put together a package that should save the Blue Ridge district over $190,000 in debt service, most of it next year. Mr. Sallusti had been reluctant to advise moving ahead on the refinance unless the Board could expect at least $150,000 in savings. This time he was accompanied by David Twadell of the law firm of Rhoads and Sinon, LLP, who presented the Board with a package of papers to sign to get the process under way.
According to Mr. Sallusti, the transaction will cut the rate Blue Ridge is paying on 2 series of bonds by about a percentage point, to about 2.68% over the life of the new series, which will extend out to 2017. He said the two bond series would be collapsed into one as a result of recent federal stimulus legislation that allows this type of borrowing in amounts over $10 million.
Mr. Jeffery reported that the high school archery team placed second in the state early in the month, thereby qualifying for the national competition next month in Louisville, Kentucky where they will meet 4,000 others from around the country. He also reported that the high school newspaper, the Raider Reader, won first place in scholastic journalism at the Tom Bigler Journalism Competition. He also reported that Rich Mackrell, the schools’ technology “coach,” will attend the Keystone Technology Summit again this summer at Bucknell. And he proudly thanked local businesses for their contributions to a Community Foundation fund that will provide tuition scholarships for 18 students.
Mr. Nebzydoski congratulated the “total team effort” of teachers and students who put together the Raider Jr. on-line newspaper, available from the Middle School’s pages on the Blue Ridge web site. He said the Middle School site outclassed the High School with over 21,000 hits since the beginning of the school year. Mr. Nebzydoski also exhibited an original artwork by 6th-grader Sara Osterhout that will hang with other artwork in a new gallery to be opened soon.
Board member Christina Whitney reported on a very satisfying experience with the 6th-grade trip to Washington recently, saying that it was well organized, and that the students received many compliments on their behavior. She especially noted a ceremony to lay a wreath at the World War II memorial in honor of local veteran Walt Woolbaugh. Mr. Nebzydoski asked that the Board take care not to take for granted the tremendous contribution of the C.A.F.E. (Creative Adventures For Education) group that sponsors and organizes the trip each year.
After all that, Mr. Empett allowed his colleagues yet another hour to grill administrators on their budget requests for the new fiscal year that begins in July. They started with Donna Tewes and Mike Stewart, the technology team. Ms. Tewes outlined the need to replace some 70 computers and upgrade some software to keep the level of technology at an acceptable level. Mr. Stewart, on the job only 2 months, thanked his predecessor, John Ketchur who had “done a great job putting all this together.” Mr. Stewart wants to upgrade some of the networking equipment to add more capacity and offer better performance as the district’s use of network and server resources continues to grow. The technology budget now includes many educational components like projectors and smart boards, which makes comparing budgets in this area year over year a little more difficult.
Mr. Corse was next up with a detailed presentation of his budget requests for athletics and activities. Major changes include new uniforms for girls’ soccer, extra money for repairs and upgrades in the fitness center, and additional resources for professional development for coaches, including training in nutrition. Asked if new certification requirements might make it harder to get coaches, Mr. Corse said that the mandates will be coming down sooner or later. Some of the training he said he could get gratis. The biggest single new request is $12,000 for a new, 20-foot, electronic score board, nominally for the soccer program. He said this model is a mid-range item, not the fanciest or the cheapest; but he did concede that in a tight budget year it could be sacrificed.
Each of the school principals then took the hot seat to justify major differences in their budgets from last year. All of them were very nearly level with last year’s budget, within a few thousand dollars at most. In the elementary and middle schools, the biggest increase was for mandated ESL (English as a Second Language) instruction, and the RTI (Response to Intervention) program that is expected to help identify problems with youngsters as early as possible.
Mr. Empett wound up the long session noting that the Board will have to consider the purchase of some acreage next door as the result of an estate sale. It seems that a small part of the track, and some of the field-event areas are actually on private property, a situation that will need to be rectified. He also said that increasing security requirements may force the district to install cameras in each classroom, possibly tied to the State Police.
Business Manager Loren Small reminded Board members that the budget must be finalized by May 11. So another long session can be expected at a special meeting to be held on Tuesday, May 5, beginning at 6:30 p.m. The major components of the budget will be hashed out at that time with the Superintendent and the Business Manager. The district is still facing a gap of $300,000 or more due largely to a sharp increase in “cyber charter” enrollments. Bring refreshments.
Following is the Susquehanna County sentencing report for April, 2009 as submitted by the county District Attorney’s office.
Brandon Thomas Scott, 37, of Montrose, to 1 month to 12 months in Susquehanna County Correctional Facility, pay $200 fine, pay cost of prosecution, pay $50 Criminal Justice Enhancement Act fee, pay restitution to the victim in this case for Theft by Deception in Lenox Township on August 21, 2008. Mr. Scott also received 7 months to 21 months in Susquehanna County Correctional Facility, to run concurrent with other cases, pay $500 fine, pay cost of prosecution, pay $50 Criminal Justice Enhancement Act fee, pay $250 DNA testing fee and submit sample, not to possess transport or consume alcoholic beverages, perform 50 hours of community service, receive and drug and alcohol evaluation for Flight to Avoid Apprehension Trial or Punishment in Harford Township on September 18, 2008. Lastly, Mr. Scott received 6 months to 18 months in Susquehanna County Correctional Facility, pay $500 fine, pay cost of prosecution, pay $50 Criminal Justice Enhancement Act Fee, pay restitution to the victim in this case for Theft by Deception in New Milford Borough on July 3, 2008
Joshua Lee Newell, 25, of Montrose, to 5 days to 6 months in Susquehanna County Correctional Facility, pay $300 fine, pay cost of prosecution, pay $100 CAT Surcharge, pay $10 EMS, pay $100 Act 198 fee, abide by Pennsylvania Interlock Law, attend alcohol safe driving school program, receive a drug and alcohol evaluation for Driving Under the Influence in Clifford Township on November 30, 2007. Mr. Newell also received 9 months probation to run concurrent with the above sentence, pay $250 fine, pay cost of prosecution, receive a drug and alcohol evaluation, not to possess transport or consume alcoholic beverages for Possession of Drug Paraphernalia on November 30, 2007 in Clifford Township.
John A Turner, 43, of Montrose, to 90 days to 15 months in Susquehanna County Correctional Facility, served 45 days incarceration followed by 45 days home confinement provided good behavior, pay $1,500 fine, pay cost of prosecution, pay $100 CAT Surcharge, pay $10 EMS, pay $50 Criminal Justice Enhancement Act fee, pay $300 Act 198 fee, not to possess transport or consume alcoholic beverages, abide by Pennsylvania Interlock Law, attend alcohol safe driving school program, receive a drug and alcohol evaluation for Driving Under the Influence in Montrose Borough on August 9, 2008.
Cody Garrett Lipka, 20, of South Montrose, to 6 months to 23 ½ months in Susquehanna County Correctional Facility, pay $350 fine, pay cost of prosecution, pay $50 Criminal Justice Enhancement Act fee, pay restitution to the victim in this case, receive a drug and alcohol evaluation for Criminal Trespass in Little Meadows on June 27, 2008. Mr. Lipka also received 5 years probation to run consecutive to the other sentences, pay restitution to the victim, pay $350 fine, pay cost of prosecution, pay $50 Criminal Justice Enhancement Act fee, not to possess alcoholic beverages, not to possess controlled substances, not to possess weapons, perform 50 hours community service, not to have contact with the victim in this case for Unauthorized Use of Automobile in Forest Lake Township on June 28, 2008. Mr. Lipka also received 3 months to 15 months to run concurrent to all sentences, pay $200 fine, pay cost of prosecution, pay $50 Criminal Justice Enhancement Act fee, pay restitution to the victim in this case, not to have contact with anyone on supervision, not to have contact with the victim in this case for Burglary in Rush Township on June 28, 2008. Finally, Mr. Lipka received 6 months to 23 ½ months in Susquehanna County Correctional Facility, to run concurrent to all sentences, pay $350 fine, pay cost of prosecution, pay $50 Criminal Justice Enhancement Act fee, have a curfew of 11 p.m., not to possess transport or consume alcoholic beverages, not to have contact with anyone on supervision, not to possess firearms for Criminal Trespass in Rush Township on June 28, 2008.
Jamie Leonard Olszewski, 25, of Kingsley, to 3 ½ months to 18 months in Susquehanna County Correctional Facility, pay $350 fine, pay cost of prosecution, pay $50 Criminal Justice Enhancement Act fee, perform 50 hours community service, pay restitution to the victim in this case for receiving Stolen Property in Bridgewater Township on February 29, 2008. Mr. Olszewski also received 1 month to 15 months in Susquehanna County Correctional Facility to run concurrent to the above sentence, pay restitution to the victim, pay cost of prosecution, pay $250 DNA cost and submit sample, pay $250 fine, pay $50 Criminal Justice Enhancement Act fee for Receiving Stolen Property in Forest Lake Township on February 4, 2008.
Robert Lee Welch, 38, of New Milford, to 15 months probation, receive a Sexual Offenders Evaluation and treatment, not to have contact with the victim in this case, perform 50 hours community service, not to possess transport or consume alcoholic beverages, pay $350 fine, pay $50 Criminal Justice Enhancement Act fee, pay cost of prosecution for Indecent Exposure in New Milford Township on September 2, 2008.
Tai Davis, 28, of Susquehanna, to 15 months probation, not to have contact with anyone on supervision, have a 11 p.m. curfew, pay $250 fine, pay $50 Criminal Justice Enhancement Act fee, not to have contact with the victim in this case for Theft by Deception in Oakland Township on July 4, 2008.
Jacqueline Arlen Lewis, 30, of Montrose, to 9 months to 23 ½ months in Susquehanna County Correctional Facility, followed by 3 years probation, not to have contact with the victim in this case, not to have contact with persons under the age of 18, pay $500 fine, pay $50 Criminal Justice enhancement Act fee, pay cost of prosecution, not to be employed at day care centers for Endangering the Welfare of a Child in Liberty Township on October 1, 2007.
Susquehanna County taxpayers have voiced their concerns regarding the formation of a Susquehanna Gas Task Force. Taxpayers at several Susquehanna County Commissioners meetings have asked about the force and if the formation would include taxpayers. Commissioners skirted the issue, then later, let taxpayers know that the Force was formed and included four county employees, and that although residents could attend the meetings, they could not however be on the force. The force is available to “report” on any findings regarding gas drilling or extraction throughout the county.
Taxpayers have, on at least two separate occasions, voiced their concerns that the representatives on the force do not include a water expert or someone who could keep an eye on the water issues that come with gas drilling. Commissioners were reminded that the water issue is a large concern for each Susquehanna County resident.
Commissioners again turned and skirted the issues saying that everyone who is on the “force” could “report” what was happening throughout the county.
Jim Jennings was disappointed that the commissioners are “acting” with a report, instead of a preventative measure. Jennings cited Bradford County’s water problems as one of the reasons “commissioners should have a plan in place” and work to prevent problems with the shale drilling or the injection wells, which apparently could cause more intensified water problems due to the depth of the drilling.
Jennings also said that “there is no urgency in you people (Commissioners) with something that will affect us for a long, long time.” He thought the elected officials would be anxious to get something important done ahead of any problems for their taxpayers. Jennings said the Commissioners should be “proactive instead of reactive.”
Commissioner Warren stated that each municipality “has a plan in place through Emergency Management Agency” to identify with the location of the wells and will be able to report the problem, if/when necessary.
Again, Jennings cited problems and referred Commissioners to “Marcellus Shale, What Local Government Needs to Know,” a book put out by Penn Agriculture Extension, detailing extracting gas from wells.
Commissioner Warren stated she had read the book.
Jennings said that he moved to this county, because he loves it here and added that if safe water becomes a problem, then he will just move, but he emphasized “what about the families and the young adults who live here who have to contend with the problems down the road.”
Commissioner Warren also said that DEP has taken some of the responsibilities from Soil Conservation away from Susquehanna County and Soil Conservation’s Jim Garner.
Another topic of discussion was the implementation of taxes and who they fall on.
Commissioner Giangrieco explained that while there is no law which allows “anyone” to tax the extracted gas, there is a bill in the House, “House Bill # 10- Re-assessment regarding the taxation.”
Commissioner Giangrieco also added that there were several bills on this topic. One of the largest concerns, regarding problems, is that the gas lease companies should be responsible for 82% of the tax and the landowners only responsible for 18%. They are trying to drop the taxes on the landowners, instead of owning up to their responsibilities.
He added “make sure that 18% provision is in any lease you sign.”
Commissioner Giangrieco continued to explain and answer questions regarding the gas lease and additional governmental bills concerning the taxation.
Commissioners provided a complaint line to DEP(814-332-6839), regarding problems they may be having or may have. Apparently you can leave a message and your concerns may be answered.
In other business, seven bids for custodial (contracts ) were opened and will be organized and placed on a spread sheet by the Deputy Chief Clerk, for the Commissioners to review and pick the lowest bidder at the next meeting.
EMA Director Charlene Moser was designated as “the Applicant’s Agent for Susquehanna County HNGP” grant which is awarded under DR-1684-PA (November 2006 Flood) and she can execute for and in behalf of the county all the required forms and documents for the purpose of obtaining financial assistance under The Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act.
Resolutions 2009 through 2019 were adopted regarding agreements between the five school districts within Susquehanna County, The Susquehanna County Chapter of the American Red Cross and Susquehanna County EMA for the use of each schools facilities as mass care centers during disasters. The five school districts are: Blue Ridge, Elk Lake, Forest City, Montrose, Mt. View and Susquehanna.
Resolution 2009-20 was adopted as an agreement between Susquehanna County EMA and the Susquehanna County Chapter of the American Red Cross to update the County Emergency Operations Plan as required by PEMA.
Commissioners also signed an agreement between CobraHelp, Denver CO and Susquehanna County in which CobraHelp will provide to the County all services related to COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1986) compliance at a cost of $18.00 plus the government allowed 2% of the premium for each qualifying event. (The 2% is recovered form the insured). This agreement aids in making insurance available for a specified period of time to county employees or retired employees.
Darren Myers was terminated form Custodial/Maintenance position effective April 25.
Rolly Brink was hired to that position effective April 27, at a range 8, rate $8.67 per hour, 40 hours per week, with benefits per the Residual bargaining unit contract. Questions were raised regarding payment retroactive to Brink from the period he previously left the position until the April 27 date. There was no reason listed for Myers termination, as it was said to be a “personnel” decision.
Janet Depue, Montrose was hired to the open, fulltime, temporary, non-union switchboard operator/clerk typist position, in the Commissioners office , 35 hours per week, range 6, rate $7.83 per hour, with no benefits. The effective date will be determined by Chief Clerk Sylvia Beamer and the position will end no later than September 30, 2009.
Toby Anderson, Esq. And Lawrence Newhart were appointed to the Board of Library for a one year term beginning April 1, per the recommendation of the board of Library.
The resignation of Fred Benson from the Northern Tier Region Planning and Development Commission-Rural Transportation Advisory Committee was accepted with regret and effective immediately.
Commissioners appointed Leonard Wheatley, Hop Bottom, to that position to fulfill Benson’s term effective immediately through June 30, 2009.
A member of the audience requested a copy of the County Budget and was advised that it would be on line at no cost rather than the gentleman having to pay per page for the printed copy, under Susquehanna County’s website.
The next Commissioners Meeting will be held on May 13 at 9 a.m. in the Susquehanna County EMA Conference Room.
Reporter’s Note: The Marcellus Shale Book is available on line at www.naturalgas.psu.edu. There is also another reference link regarding “What A Community Can do” on this site.
Matters pertaining to the Susquehanna County Career and Technology Center were prominent at the April 21 Elk Lake and SCCTC board meeting. The vo-tech center recently received various accolades, and potential expansion is in the works.
Business Education instructor Dan McGrath attended the meeting, along with student Cody Bennet, to report on recent success at the state FBLA competition in Hershey. Of the eleven students taken to the event, six placed within the top ten in their competitions. Cody Bennett and Katelynn Chambers met with particular success, placing 3rd and 4th out of eighty-four, and becoming alternates for the national competition. When the second place student couldn’t make it to nationals, a position opened for Cody to compete in the event held in Anaheim, California. Those present congratulated Cody, and Dr. Davis acknowledged the work of Mr. McGrath and Lisa Smith in working with the students.
Building instructor Craig Good and student JJ Stewart also attended the meeting. JJ took first place in cabinet making at the Skills Usa state level competition, where students were given five hours to build a cabinet without knowing the details of it in advance. JJ was the only student to finish in the allotted time. Both he and Mr. Good expressed their appreciation to the board and administration, and Mrs. Davis complimented Mr. Good for his efforts with the students. The national competition is to be held in Kansas City Missouri.
The second house project is ready for an open house, which has been scheduled for Saturday May 30 between 10:00 and 4:00 p.m. It is hoped that it will be able to be put on the market in June; some interest has already been expressed. Mrs. Davis spoke about plans already being made for the third house, in which as many building green practices as possible will be incorporated.
One SCCTC topic which led to significant discussion was the approval of a financing plan for the potential expansion project. Dr. Bush explained the reasoning behind the proposed expansion by asking whether the district was preparing students for “our past or their future”. The project, which would augment current facilities as well as creating a new structure, is estimated to cost around eight million one hundred thousand dollars. Over 42% of that would be reimbursed by the state, the rest would be financed through a bank over 20 years. A tuition increase on the part of all of the sending schools, including Elk Lake, would cover the payments on that loan, with no additional fee being required. A conservative estimate is that the increase in tuition will be $650 per student per year. Some visitors present seemed concerned about the idea, asking how cost of maintaining the additional programs which would be created was to be met. It was asked whether or not taxes would be raised. The SCCTC, it was responded, is not a taxing institution, and is entirely paid for by the sending schools. The proposed payment plan is for the construction alone; grants would be pursued for equipment. The approval at the meeting was only for the financing plan; it did not mean that the expansion would continue. The board reiterated that a public meeting would be held prior to the final decision being officially made. If it does proceed, however, various new programs are being planned, to perhaps include: auto body collision repair technician, small engine, electrical and electronic and communications technology technician, health information medical records technology technician, and criminal justice police science. The plan would be for students to move into the new facility during the 2010/2011 school year.
It wasn’t merely individual students who have won acclaim at the SCCTC. The school itself recently was selected and recognized for excellence by an organization which chooses, each year, to honor a school that makes a difference in rural communities. This is, it was said, the first time a vo-tech program has been chosen. Finally, the pre-apprentice program graduation was scheduled for the Saturday after the meeting, it was said. The students were to receive, aside from the honor of graduation itself, a bonus for not missing class. The program was talked of positively overall.
The vo-tech was not the only school discussed at the meeting. Various activities and accolades were announced from Elk Lake as well. Seventeen youth from the district raised money for World Vision through participation in the 30 Hour Famine with their youth group. They wrote to the school to express appreciation for the use of school facilities. The drama club sent board members two free tickets each for the spring play, The Bachelor King, scheduled for the weekend after the meeting. One visitor who had seen a preview spoke highly of the production. High School student Brent Salsman was chosen artist of the month for March, and was written up in the Times Tribune.
The middle school plans, next year, to participate in a six year long longitudinal study. The study will begin with ninth grade students and follow them after graduation, noting the paths they choose to take.
The special education department underwent an audit, and received positive feedback. Looking forward, the Special Olympics is slated to be held at the school at the end of March.
In the elementary a sixth grade graduation is being piloted, scheduled for June 8. The completion of sixth grade was referred to as a milestone, and the district wants to acknowledge it. Elementary students also recently received an internet safety course, put on by the district attorney’s office.
Changes have been made, it was announced, to Cabot Oil and Gas’s original proposal for the district. Originally the plan was for a single well to be drilled; the current plan is to drill three wells, all horizontal, on one site. The company is looking to drill June through October.
Melvin R. and Constance J. Ely to Melvin R. and Constance J. Ely, in Bridgewater Township for one dollar.
Richard A. Osterhout to Diane M. Crandall, in Great Bend Township for $82,500.00.
Thomas Teneralli to Frank and George Teneralli, in Bridgewater Township for one dollar.
Fiddle Lake Properties LLC to Thompson Living Trust, in Ararat Township for $1,000.00.
Fiddle Lake Properties LLC to Margaret A. Sampson, R. Boyd and Robert P. Betson, Elizabeth B. Perez and Price-Betson Lake Legacy Partnership, in Ararat Township for $1,000.00.
Alec W. and Erin G. Mazikewich to Alec W. and Erin G. Mazikewich, in Oakland Township for one dollar.
Olin F., Eleanor B. and Alan Miller to Alan Miller, in Harford Township for one dollar.
Mark E. and Marie A. Warner to Mark E. Warner, in Dimock Township for one dollar.
Bruce (By Sheriff) and Marie (By Sheriff) Wheaton to Deutsche Bank National Trust Company, in Hallstead Borough for $2,311.23.
Dale J. and Cheri L. Stone to Karen D. Anderson, in Auburn Township for one dollar.
Guy A., II (By POA) and Courtney L. Erceg to Rowan Tree Developments LLC, in Great Bend Borough, for $58,000.00.
Robert E., Jr. and Annette H. Watkins to Christina T. Curran, in Herrick Township for $305,000.00.
Sidney and Anna Marcy to Bradley L., Joy J., Mark A. and Lori A. Marcy, in Lenox Township for one dollar.
David D. Rodriguez (By Sheriff) to Deutsche Bank National Trust Company, in Springville Township for $1,756.36.
William J. Phillips to Patricia Ann Freestone Phillips (FKA) Patricia A. Phillips, in Silver Lake Township.
Robert A. and Rosann Fields to Kathryn A. Fields, in Forest City for $53,000.00.
Bessie A. Rozell (By Sheriff) to Federal National Mortgage Association, in Montrose for $2,022.12.
Robert F. Young to Margarete R. Young, in Forest Lake Township for one dollar.
Kenneth and Angel Kublo to Deborah and David Slentz, in Silver Lake Township for one dollar.
Eleanor A. Holloran (AKA) Eleanor A. Woolard (Estate) to Theodore R. and Patricia J. Woolard Wolff, in Bridgewater Township for one dollar.
Madeline Talamelli to Nello Joseph and Jean Talamelli and Albert ad Linda Talamelli Hardiman, in Silver Lake Township for one dollar.
David S. and Karen K. Traver to Aspiring LLC, in Choconut Township for $55,000.00.
Lyle and Nelda Leonard to Scott and Analise Farrell, in Jackson Township for one dollar.
Charles and Mandy Bunnell to Leroy and Judith Spadine, in Bridgewater Township for $50,000.00.
Henry D., III and Beverly A. Kinsey to David and Pamela L. Bonnice, in Jessup Township for $49,000.00.
David and Carol Coolbaugh to James A. Griffiths, in Dimock Township for $165,000.00.
Mary Sue Sutton and Kelly Ann Devita to Kelly Ann Devita and Lauren Michelle Weiser, in Gibson Township for one dollar.
Muriel Petrie (By POA) and Steven M. and Linda S. Landgraf to Michael J. and Annmarie Hegarty, in Ararat Township for $85,000.00.
Lynn H., Barbara, Dennis E. and Patricia Abbott to Marvin D. and Cheryl A. Fetterman, in Great Bend Township for $120,000.00.
Seymour Family Trust (By Trustee) and Elise Dubois Seymour (Trust By Trustee) to Jack Murray, Jr. and Marshall M. Seymour, in Great Bend Township for one dollar.
Seymour Family Trust (By Trustee) and Elise Dubois Seymour (Trust By Trustee) to James Dubois Seymour, in Great Bend Township for one dollar.
James Dubois Seymour (Rev Trust By Trustee) and Sharon M. Seymour to James D. Seymour (Revoc Trust), in Great Bend Township for one dollar.
James Klein vs. MaryJo Klein, both of Brackney, married 1999.
The Susquehanna County Domestic Relations Section has bench warrants for the following individuals as of 11:12 a.m. on April 24, 2009.
David P. Atherholt, Jr., Erika L. Back, Lucas W Barton, David S. Blaisure, Joseph Bonavita, Michael P. Bradley, Jr., David M. Brant, Kenneth G. Burgess, Jason J. Carroll, Tony R. Clark, Mark T. Conklin, James J. Corridoni, Jeffrey A. Craig, Mary Dallasta, Edward J. Dickson, Jr, 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, Dominick M. Franklin, Tiffany M. Groover, David Haines, Jr., Suzanne R. Hansen, William N. Hendrickson, Ann Hightower, Timothy M. Holmes, Carl M. Kelder, Kevin D. Klein, Erik E. Krisovitch, James R. Lee, Charlie J. Legere, Carlos L. Leiser, Howard J. Linder, Christopher Locke, Joseph Malloy, Jr., Tanika Marazzani, Patricia J. Marrero, Jason Marshall, Zada A. McDonald, Joseph G. Mershon, Joseph C. Moore, Anthony Neri, Benjamin Newell, Tanya M. Novak, Todd M. O'Hara, Harriet Pabst, Donald Palmer, Gary Perico, Amy S. Pompey, Jonathan R. Powers, James E. Purse, Jeffrey A. Ransom, Duane Spencer, Earl H. Thompson, Jr., Christopher Trayes, Anthony M. Vaow, Keith W. Vroman, Steven G. Warner, Joseph Watkins, Glynn Wildoner, III, Jamie L. Williams, Roderic R. Williams, Louis 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.
On April 19, at around 8:10 p.m., an unknown person pumped $40.14 worth of diesel fuel then fled the Great Bend Exxon station without paying.
Tedd Morrison of New Milford reported that, between the 15th and 16th of April, damage was done to the front fender of his truck with a BB while it was parked outside of his residence.
On April 8, reportedly, three small bags of trash were dumped onto the property of Andrew Whitehead of Susquehanna.
Between the 12th and 15th of April a tire was slashed on a vehicle belonging to Patricia Barney of Kingsley.
On April 13, at approximately 3:00 p.m., Macrina Fancisco of Montrose was traveling east on T-600 in Jessup Twp. The road at that location is rural and dirt covered. For unknown reasons, Francisco lost control of her vehicle which exited the side of the roadway and began rolling over. She was transported to the hospital by private vehicle, and was ticketed for driving without a license and failing to maintain control of her vehicle.
On April 18, at approximately 4:45 p.m., an unnamed 16 year old juvenile was traveling south on T-470 driving a Honda CRF150 motorcycle. At this time Karen Kochmer of Nicholson was traveling west on SR0374. The juvenile failed to stop at a posted speed limit sign and struck Kochmer's vehicle. He was transported to Community Medical Center for treatment of injuries sustained in the collision; Kochmer was not injured.
THEFT BY UNLAWFUL TAKING
Between the 16th and 17th of April, it was reported, a 2001 GMC Safari Van was stolen from Jerry's Garage in Clifford Twp. The vehicle belonged to Jerry Halstead of Scott Township.
THEFT BY UNLAWFUL TAKING
Victor Santarelli, III of Scranton is accused of exercising unlawful control over property belonging to Louis Grisafi of Montrose. Santarelli allegedly would not return two pieces of construction equipment left on his property, and was subsequently arrested for theft. The incident occurred at the Shady Rest Campground in Gibson Twp.
BURGLARY/THEFT OF A MOTOR VEHICLE
On April 5, one or more unknown perpetrator(s) allegedly entered the residence of Tara Humphry of Hallstead, removed her vehicle keys from within, and stole the vehicle from where it was parked in a lot to the rear of the building. The vehicle was later discovered wrecked in Kirkwood, NY.
COLLISION- TRAFFIC- HIT AND RUN
On April 17, at 3:40 a.m., an unknown perpetrator was traveling north on SR 171 in Great Bend Twp, approximately 1⁄2 mile south of the intersection of SR 1025. At this point the driver exited the travel lane and impacted a series of guardrails, then continued to drive north on SR 17 1 for approximately another 1 1⁄2 miles before abandoning the car in the northbound lane and fleeing the scene prior to police response. The vehicle in question was a 1994 Maroon Saturn with PA Registration #HFG8827, registered to Brian Phillips of Susquehanna. The investigation was continuing at the time of report.
TERRORISTIC THREATS/SIMPLE ASSAULT
On April 14, between 4:50 and 5:10 p.m., Darsey Vogel of Hallstead observed a man and woman fighting in the middle of the road and stopped to try and assist. The man, later identified as Anthony Jackson, approached Vogel yelling that he was from Queens, NY. He then produced a handgun, held it to her head, and told her that he was going to put a cap in her, and she had until the count of three to leave before he was going to blow her **** up. Vogel was able to leave the scene and called police. Jackson was located, as was the handgun. He was charged with terroristic threats and simple assault by physical menace.
On April 16, at approximately 1:30 a.m., damage was done to the apartment of Juston McGregor of New Milford. The damage involved a BB gun being shot through the glass and screening panes of the victim's northern window. The investigation was continuing at the time of report.
On April 8, at approximately 2:50 a.m., Richard Oboyle IV of Brackney was traveling northbound on SR 4002. After negotiating a right hand curve, Oboyle’s vehicle crossed into the southbound lane. Oboyle overcorrected, causing the Jetta to exit the roadway off the east berm, strike an embankment and a boulder, overturn, and come to rest on its roof. Oboyle was not injured.
On April 15, at approximately 3:51, Paul Formosa was traveling south on SR 11 in Hop Bottom borough. While negotiating a curve in the roadway, Formosa's motorcycle drifted off the roadway onto the berm, causing him to lose control in the loose gravel and strike a guard rail. Formosa was wearing a helmet; he was not injured. He was to be cited as a result of the crash.
Mark Starner of Easton, PA reported that someone damaged a motorhome that he uses as a hunting cabin between December 1 and April 9 of this year. The motorhome, which was on property off Dropp Rd. in Jackson Twp., had the windshield and driver side window smashed out.
Between April 10 and April 11, one or more unknown person(s) smashed a mailbox belonging to John Meager of Forest City.
On April 12, at approximately 2:19 a.m., Kathleen Studer of Conklin was operating a 1990 Buick Century in Hallstead Borough when she was stopped for motor vehicle violations of PA Title 75. Upon making contact with the defendant, the trooper noticed the strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on her person. Field Sobriety tests were performed, which she failed. Studer was taken into custody based on suspicion of DUI. A breath test was performed at PSP Gibson where the defendant exceeded PA state limit of .08%. The defendant was charged with DUI and other related charges at District Court 34-3-02.
Between the 11th and 12th of April, the right rear tire of a 1989 GMC belonging to Nathan Stark of Susquehanna was slashed in Oakland Borough.
A fiberglass, fifth wheel style tailgate was stolen off of a truck belonging to Camille Cloutier of Quebec, Canada while it was parked in the Flying J Parking lot overnight between the 10th and 11th of April.
Between the 11th and 12th of April the rear window was smashed out of a car belonging to Annie Chaffee of New Milford.
On April 12 a Kingsley 18 year old male was issued a non-traffic citation for underage consumption at a location west of Gun Hill Road in Lenox Twp.
CONTEMPT OF COURT ORDER
On April 3, at 3:55 p.m., a woman in Rushville alleges that a man in that town called her on the telephone, thus violating the PFA order that each has on the other. The accused was arrested, arraigned before the District Judge, and released ROR.
Shawn Brown of Montrose reported that while on a business trip to Washington, D.C., he had a hand gun stolen from his vehicle. Due to the fact that he is unsure exactly where it was stolen, PSP-Gibson entered it into the National Crime Information Center to alert other law enforcement agencies if the weapon is discovered.
If you have information regarding any of these matters please contact the Gibson State Police at (570) 465-3154.
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