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Francis X. O'Connor, Esq., an attorney and sole practitioner from Great Bend, PA, has been named Vice Chair of the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania effective April 1, 2009.
"I am truly humbled that the Supreme Court Justices considered me for the position of Vice Chair," O'Connor said. "I am astonished and honored. As I conclude my second term on the Board, I can say that my experience on the Disciplinary Board has been the high point of my legal career. This appointment makes it all the more rewarding."
The Disciplinary Board is an independent agency funded by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania and consists of 14 members, of whom 12 are attorneys and two are non-lawyers, from across the state. It assists the Supreme Court in carrying out its exclusive jurisdiction over the licensing and discipline of attorneys in Pennsylvania. The members meet regularly to decide cases, policies and board administrative matters.
For over 30 years, O'Connor has been practicing law in real estate, personal injury, bankruptcy, family law and criminal law. He has spoken to many groups on lawyer discipline and legal ethics, and authored a number of articles on these topics.
In addition to serving as Vice Chair to the Disciplinary Board, he is treasurer of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, and secretary/treasurer of the Susquehanna County Bar Association.
O'Connor is also very involved in the community. He dedicates his time to working with the Boy Scouts of America, and serving as solicitor for the Great Bend Fire Company. He is also an attendant with the Great Bend/Hallstead Volunteer Ambulance Company.
He is a graduate of the University of Scranton class of 1971, and a member of its Alumni Board of Governors. O'Connor received his law degree from the St. Louis University Law School and became a member of the Bar in 1975. He is also admitted to practice in New York State.
Recently, Faith Mountain Christian Academy in New Milford participated in a two-week fundraiser sponsored by Flying J called "Education = Excellence" to help their small, private school. On Saturday, April 25, several students from the private Christian school sold pre-paid gas cards in front of the Flying J, New Milford to boost their sales. They were grateful to be able to help their school. Their school earns $4.00 for every $20 gas card sold, plus the children have an opportunity to win a contest for free gift cards to Flying J. Flying J employees and patrons bought gas cards from the two ambitious young girls. The girls were so excited about possibly winning the contest for their school that they were already shopping for electronics in the plaza! Lisa Fuentes, Mattea's mother, thanked Flying J for the opportunity to participate in such a lucrative fundraiser that would benefit their school. Flying J wishes Faith Mountain Christian Academy luck in their fundraiser.
Pictured above, Mattea Fuentes and Madison Hinkley of Faith Mountain Christian Academy sell pre-paid gas cards to Flying J patrons for a fundraiser hosted by Flying J. Mattea's mom, Lisa, overseas the sales.
The Susquehanna County Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs enjoyed a large crowd at their 62nd annual Spring Banquet held Saturday, April 25, in the Susquehanna Community Elementary School Auditorium. We thank the school officials for the use of their facilities and the cafeteria staff for serving a scrumptious dinner. Susquehanna County Federation delegate and coordinator John Ord said the program has never been better. It was great seeing so many youth interested in the great outdoors. Every youth went home with a free door prize. There were raffles, auctions, and many prizes including beautiful wildlife prints. State Representative Sandra Major (R) and Susquehanna County Commissioner Mary Ann Warren (D) were also present. The main feature was the famous Bob Young Master Falconer show.
Master Falconer, Bob Young
Bob Young is a director of the New York State Falconry Association. The birds themselves actually were quite calm, since they are so well cared for by their master. A leather hood, which fits over the bird’s head, calms the bird. The types of birds included the Harris hawk, barn owl, great horned owl, red tail hawk, and peregrine falcon. Birds have twenty percent better vision than humans do. “You can never predict what the bird will do. You are only the handler, the bird is the hunter.” Bob said. Bob and his partner Sonny spend many hours at the JFK International Airport. The presence of his falcons, through intimidation, deters unwanted birds away from the runway and potentially damaging fast flying jet aircraft. The birds are well cared for, requiring daily feeding, weighing, and outdoor exercise. Bob releases many birds back into the wild after they recover from injuries.
Few everyday individuals ever get a chance to fly a bird, or experience the thrill of a live tail chase. Falcons are birds of prey. Falcons have long pointed wings, a notched bill, and tenacious long toes with sharp hooked claws called talons used in catching game. Some of the most spectacular fliers are peregrine falcons. They can reach speeds over one hundred miles per hour in a steep diving flight to catch fast-moving prey. The birds are able hunters that can capture a variety of prey, including rabbits, birds, snakes, lizards, frogs, fish, and mice.
The birds breed once per year and have between one and six chicks. Both the male and female provide parental care, with the male providing the majority of food for the female and nestlings. They molt once per year and most falcons are monogamous breeding with only one mate during a lifetime.
The government closely regulates the sport of Falconry. It can take years to perfect the techniques used to train and make the birds perform interesting aeronautic displays. To learn the ancient sport of falconry you need to complete a permit application to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFFWS) and accompany a master falconer. Exams with years of experience qualify you to become a master falconer. The Web site www.n-a-f-a.org provides more information.
In recognition of achievement, the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants awarded Tracy Soller of Keystone College the 2009 PICPA Outstanding Senior Award. The accounting professors at Keystone College submit qualifying students based on their GPA and academic record. The PICPA then chooses a student from the list.
Peoples National Bank is proud to employ Tracy in their Accounting Department while she is finishing her education. Congratulations Tracy and keep up the good work!
Members of the Spilled Milk Dairy Goat 4-H Club held a bake sale at the 15th annual Spring Horse & Tack Auction in Clifford on Saturday, May 2. The sale was a wonderful success for the club. The money will be used to buy 4-H shirts to wear while showing goats at the Harford Fair this summer.
Pictured (l-r) are: front- Katrina Compton, Alex Shiffner, Emily Carney, and Leah Noldy; back - Pam Shiffner, 4-H club leader.
News Reporter: Leah Noldy.
DES 4-H Club
The D.E.S 4-H club held their second meeting on April 27 at 7:00 at the East Rush Church. The club will be having a hoagie fundraiser. We will be making the hoagies at the East Rush Church at 12:30 on May 17. There will be a meeting at 2:00 to pick them up. Penn State cow camp will be held May 29-31. Our next meeting will be held on May 17 at the East Rush Church.
The Pennsylvania Association of Retired State Employees held its first meeting of 2009 on April 14 at the Fairdale Methodist Church, Susquehanna County. Northeast Regional Vice President, Thomas O’Neill, was in attendance and presented treasurer and former president of Chapter 15, Alton Arnold, a plaque commemorating his many years of service to the PARSE organization.
A donation in memory of former Sullivan Vice President, Anthony Barnotovich, was given by the chapter to the Mildred Ambulance Association. President Bacon read a thank you note from the Salvation Army for the Christmas benevolent fund donation.
PARSE, Chapter 15 is urging all state retirees to join the organization. It is through this membership that retirees are eligible for eye care and dental insurance. Members are also kept informed of all legislation benefiting retirees. The next meeting will be held at the Zion Lutheran Church, Dushore, on May 12. To make reservations and/or learn more about the PARSE organization, contact President Jesse Bacon at 570-265-9784 or Susquehanna County Vice President, John Benio at 570-278-2380.
Area lawmakers and other special readers demonstrated their commitment to our young children during “Week of the Young Child” April 19-25, by sharing their story telling talents at various early education and childcare facilities. State Representative Sandra Major visited Children’s Palace in Hallstead, State Senator Elisabeth Baker met with pre-kindergarten children at Forest City Regional Elementary School and Legislative Assistant to State Senator Gene Yaw stopped by Treasure House Child Development Center in Montrose.
At each location, young children were treated to a special story time featuring this year’s Pennsylvania One Book, Every Young Child selection, “If You Were a Penguin,” by Wendell and Florence Minor. The book promotes early literacy while exploring the lives of penguins in a fun and colorful way.
Children involved in other programs also had special visitors, including Penelope the Penguin. Dressed as the penguin character, Cindy G. Reynolds shared with youngsters at Elk Lake Head Start and New Milford Head Start. The children also enjoyed counting activities, penguin waddling and special bird shaped treats.
The visits were organized by Susquehanna County CARES (Childcare, Agencies, Resources and Educational Services) as a way of promoting Pennsylvania’s Promise for Children, because every child is Pennsylvania’s future.
Susquehanna County Dairy Maid, Mariah Tompkins visited the Angel Beginnings preschool to talk with the children about the importance of drinking milk. Mariah read the children a book about a baby calf being born on the farm and growing up to be a cow producing nature’s most perfect beverage, milk. Mariah then served the children milk and cookies. The best part of Mariah’s visit was yet to come. Mariah brought the children outside to find a surprise, a newborn baby calf. The children all enjoyed petting the calf and asking many questions about calves and cows.
News Reporter: Mariah Tompkins
Borderline 4-H Club News
The Borderline 4-H Club had their 3rd meeting on April 19. Everyone handed in their sold tickets for the chicken BBQ. The chicken BBQ was set for April 26. The leaders talked with us about the treatment of our animals and the consequences of wrong treatment, before and during the fair. We also discussed the community service we are doing this year. We decided that we would do roadside clean-up on the Friendsville Road on May 3. This is sponsored by the Base Camp Farms. The ethics meeting was another topic discussed, which all first year members and all 14 year olds will be required to attend, in order to go to the round-up. Ear tagging was set for Sunday the 26th for the pigs and May 15th for the lambs.
News Reporter: Nicole O’Dell
We said pledges. All of us did a clover bud activity with M&M's.
On June 7, we will plant flowers on the Veterans’ Graves. On May 16, at 11:00 we will have a Salt Springs picnic; bring a dish to pass, plates, silverware, and a drink. We will have hot dogs for lunch.
Instead of going on a train ride, we decided to go bowling. For our group project, we will make birdhouses.
Our next meeting is May 22 at 6:15. We will be weeding the Memorial Garden. The Harvatines are bringing refreshments.
News Reporter: Alyssa Clarkson
Members of the New Milford Township and Borough Historical Committee examine the “time capsule” left for them by the organizers of the 1959 anniversary celebration. Clearly marked “Do Not Open Until 2009”, the capsule will be kept sealed until August 7, the first day of the “Happy Birthday, New Milford” event.
Pictured (l-r), with the time capsule, are the members of the New Milford Township and Borough Historical Committee: standing - John Reynolds, Betty Mitchell, Jane Zick, Al Aronowitz; seated - Linda Baroni, Ken Bondurant, Joyce Cobb.
The three-day party scheduled for August 7, 8 and 9 will honor the Borough’s 150th and the Township’s 200th anniversaries. The program includes a parade, fireworks, a polka party on the 8th, a sock hop on the 9th and 3 meals a day at various locations around town. Interviews are already underway to update the towns’ Blue Book with personal histories of the past 50 years.
The Committee is still looking for sponsors, vendors and others who would like to help make this event one for the history books. For more information, check out the New Milford website: www.newmilfordpa.org. You may also contact the Committee directly by calling Ken Bondurant at 465-7527, Linda Baroni at 465-2712, or sending an e-mail to email@example.com.
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