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There may be a good reason why the Blue Ridge School Board tries to schedule 2 meetings each month. When there’s only one, it one can go on for hours. The meeting on June 15 didn’t set a record for length, but probably only due to a novel approach to the business agenda: do it all in one swell foop.
The evening actually began an hour early: some of the Board’s committees met beginning at 6:30 p.m.
Laurie Brown-Bonner’s Education Committee covered a number of proposals offered by High School Principal Scott Jeffery, beginning with a resumption of driver education. He hopes to be able to squeeze the classroom part of new-driver instruction into the physed, health and study hall schedules. The idea is to offer the program at no extra cost to the district.
Blue Ridge is now the only school district in Susquehanna County that does not offer driver education. The district interrupted the program a couple of years ago due to scheduling difficulties, and the cost of a behind-the-wheel segment. The committee learned that in New York State, driver education can cost families between $400 and $500 per student.
Mr. Jeffery hopes to be able to offer behind-the-wheel instruction by the summer of 2010. He said that a private instructor may be able to undertake the program, as long as it is “sponsored by” the Blue Ridge District.
The High School Principal also wants to offer 3 new elective courses next year. “Personal Finance” would be available to seniors, to teach the rudiments of budgeting, credit and generally handling money responsibly. He said that a move is afoot to make such instruction mandatory, but the committee didn’t seem inclined to go that far for now. Mr. Jeffery said that the school needs to “get [students] ready to be out there [in the world].” It was noted that sex education is already mandatory. In fact, Ms. Brown-Bonner wondered if there would be enough material for a full-year course in personal finance. There was some discussion about offering the course to earlier grades, but a teacher said that it could interfere with PSSA preparation in the lower grades.
Personal Finance would replace a business math course, but would not be part of the math curriculum. The high school does not now offer a separate course in economics.
Mr. Jeffery would also like to offer a course in digital photography. Some courses are sparsely attended; the A+ certification course that was recently dropped attracted only a few students each year. Yet he and retired technology director John Ketchur pointed out that at a small rural school like Blue Ridge, the variety of offerings virtually guarantees that some courses will appeal to only a small number of students. Ms. Brown-Bonner was only concerned that the district isn’t spreading its resources “too thin.”
The third new course would be called “Home Repair,” to be taught by Mr. VanCott, another life-prep course that would teach the basics of construction, plumbing, wiring and the like.
The Facilities and Grounds Committee heard from Matthew Button, Elementary School Principal, about a program called WeatherBug Schools. Offered by the popular WeatherBug on-line weather site, the system would involve placing a server in the school and mounting some weather monitoring equipment on an outside wall. The equipment would feed real-time weather information to classroom computers, which could then be used to teach about weather, and add features to curriculum programs in data analysis, graphing and the like. According to Mr. Button, the system would cost $8,690, of which about $4,000 would be covered by grants and in-house installation; the remainder, $4,690, would have to come out of the budget or be covered by other local volunteer sources.
Business Manager Loren Small also presented a list of major maintenance items recommended by the District’s architects. The first one, estimated to cost up to $40,000, would completely renovate the chemistry lab, and give it a new layout configuration.
The second would add an entry vestibule to the Elementary School, to provide shelter from the weather, and to prevent the doors from blowing away. It would also replace and improve sidewalks in that area that are prone to damage due to water infiltration. This one is expected to cost up to $65,000.
The third item would reconstruct one of the major parking lots, at a cost of up to $135,000. Mr. Small said that he would prefer not to bother with the parking lot work this year, since there probably wouldn’t be enough time to design, bid and finish the job before school starts in August. The others were accepted by the committee for presentation to the full Board.
Mr. Small also reported on discussions about purchasing the land at the end of the soccer field on the campus that is not actually owned by the district. He said the asking price is about $5,000 per acre and the owner would prefer to keep the mineral rights. The Board has to decide just how much land they want to buy to make the campus complete. The issue arose recently when the owner offered the district first refusal as he begins development of the area.
The full Board meeting actually opened with a pair of presentations. The first was led by Mrs. Cawley of the Guidance Department (which is expected to change its name to the Counseling Department). Backed by her 3 colleagues, she explained that guidance and counseling responsibilities would be reconfigured so that each of the counselors will follow the same group of students through their career at Blue Ridge in grades 6 through 12. Each counselor will be allocated a part of the student body alphabetically, and will have roughly the same number of students to work with, including similar proportions of the special needs children.
Board President Harold Empett asked what would happen if a parent asked for a different counselor than the one assigned. Mr. Jeffery said that, in general, reassignments would not be allowed.
The counselors said that the restructuring should provide more consistency for everybody. They pledged that all of the counselors will respond in the same way to the same situations. The new approach should be more efficient as well, reducing the need to consult among the counselors for each student.
Peg Glezen and Kathy Roe followed up with a presentation on a conference they attended in Chicago on the latest trends in literacy instruction. Calling the conference “awesome,” Ms. Glezen said they got to hear from “everybody who is anybody in reading.” They said they learned of “research-based techniques” that would help them to “know what we need to teach.”
According to Ms. Glezen, the foundation for improvement in literacy is more time focused on reading, as much as 2-3 hours per day. Her statistics show that students at Blue Ridge get less and less time daily for guided reading as they progress through the grades, from over 200 minutes in kindergarten, to less than an hour and a half by grade 5. They hope to spread what they learned among their colleagues in all disciplines in the schools, so that “all teachers [will] learn how to teach reading.”
Finally it was time to get the business meeting started. Minutes, Treasurer’s Report, Bills. Woops. Executive session, according to Mr. Empett, to cover personnel issues (“hiring and/or dismissal”) and a legal issue (a contract).
By the time the executive session ended 20 minutes later, most of the good cookies were gone, and a lot of the best strawberries. So Board member Joel Whitehead took an innovative approach to hurry the meeting along. He offered a motion to pass the rest of the agenda - all 41 items (less one that was withdrawn) - in one swell foop. Mr. Empett thereupon asked if members would like any items excepted; 3 were tabled (designating the school physician, school-based probation services, and the district’s attorneys) and a couple of long lists of names were slightly amended.
Among the more routine personnel actions, the following were approved in the package:
Dana Bennett, Meredith Davis, Tim Hutchins, Jane McNamara, Ashley Goff and Gail Wnorowski will teach in the Middle School and High School summer programs this year. Michelle Allen and Danelle O’Neill will substitute as necessary.
Jessica Boyko, Jamie Torrence, Susan Cawley and Angel Sincavage - the entire Counseling staff - will be providing counseling services during the summer sessions at an hourly rate for 40 to 85 hours each. Jenna Stoddard, the school psychologist, was also allotted 40 additional hours during the summer sessions at an hourly rate.
Tenure was recognized for Jessica Boyko, Robert Dibble, Michelle Montague, Robin Orner, Casey Pavelski and Erin Woosman. Tenure is granted under state law; the Board simply recognizes the action.
A list of employees to be paid for compensatory time at the rate of $80 per day. The total cost is $4,400. According to Mr. Empett, this is down from some $13,000 last year.
A list of 103 items on Schedule B was accepted, totaling some $129,000 in salaries for a wide variety of positions. Schedule B is a part of the teachers’ contract which defines non-instructional positions mostly in athletics and other activities. Head coaches can earn over $5,000; a ticket taker might get $27. Some of the positions are paid on an hourly basis, and range from $21 to $28 per hour. There was some discussion about a few names listed many times. Mr. Empett pointed out that too few people come forward to handle the jobs.
A number of other scattered items approved in the package:
Dr. Alan Hinkley will continue providing dental services next year at the current rate of $7.50 per examination.
Jostens, of Minneapolis, Minnesota, will continue to provide services for publication of the Blue Ridge yearbook.
The 2009-2010 student handbooks were adopted as presented.
Child Evangelism Fellowship is granted the opportunity to solicit for “released class time” for religious instruction next year. Ms. Brown-Bonner reported that an organization had asked to be allowed to distribute bibles in the schools. Their bibles will be made available through the school library.
RGM Hardwoods of Moscow, PA will supply wood chips for heating next year as the low bidder.
Sanico, Penn Paper & Supply, Master Chemical and LJC Distributors will supply custodial materials for the next school year.
The Board approved preliminary transportation contracts for the next school year. The bus contractors have to have these contracts in hand as early as possible to allow them to plan for the schedules they will be awarded.
Some 37 Blue Ridge teachers will be involved in a series of 8 professional development sessions through the summer, totaling some 79 hours altogether. Superintendent Chris Dyer has made teacher development a priority since he arrived last fall. The sessions, some of which will be in Philadelphia, will cost a total of about $10,000, to be paid for from funds allocated from the federal “stimulus” program passed in the spring.
Additional stimulus funds are being held up by wrangling in Harrisburg between Governor Rendell and the state senate. In fact, the Board adopted a resolution opposing Senate Bill 850 that the resolution claims may provoke a “fiscal crisis by cutting the state Basic Education Subsidy.” The senate bill cuts education funding with the intention of replacing the cuts from stimulus outlays, but only to current levels, leaving no increase in education subsidy at all for the next fiscal year.
And last, but certainly not least, buried at item 24 in the agenda package, the Board gave final approval to its budget for the fiscal year to begin on July 1. The budget anticipates expenditures totaling $16,721,941, to be paid for in part by real-estate taxes set at 44 mills, one mill higher than the current rate, an increase of 2.3%. To go along with that, the Board approved the homestead/farmstead exclusion for 2009 at $8,566.14. Qualifying homeowners can exclude that amount from the assessed valuation of their properties, yielding a property-tax cut of just under $300. The exclusion is replaced in the district’s budget by funds from state gambling revenues under Act 1 of 2006. It is recalculated each year.
There was some discussion of reports on field trips by each of the schools in the year just ended, showing the cost of each trip to participating students and their families, as well as to the district. Board member Christina Whitney said that the 6th grade seems to have been especially hard hit with field trip expenses this year. Mr. Empett said that the Board and the administration are studying proposals to establish a sort of “savings account” for field trips that would be paid into each marking period by each family to help fund these things in a more rational manner. Mr. Dyer said that he would also try to ensure that parents are informed in advance of the approximate cost of “anticipated” field trips during the upcoming school year.
With the end of the 2008-2009 school year fresh in their minds, the administrators thanked the faculty and the Board for a “great year,” in the words of Middle School Principal Matthew Nebzydoski. Mr. Dyer thanked the principals for a “superlative job” in a “very solid year,” his first at Blue Ridge.
And Mr. Jeffery, who usually opens each Board meeting by recognizing a couple of outstanding seniors, this time recognized the “entire graduating class.”
This month, the Board has actually scheduled a second meeting on the 29. The Facilities and Grounds and Policy committees have scheduled meetings at 6:30 p.m. on that date, with the business and workshop sessions with the full Board to follow at 7:30. Refreshments are usually available. Be patient.
School districts throughout the state are required to have their budgets for the coming year in place by the first of July. But, as of the date of the Susquehanna Community School Board meeting on June 17, the state budget had still not been passed, which leaves more than a few questions unanswered, such as what the district's basic education subsidy will be. Two state budgets were under discussion as of the meeting date, with one allowing for a 4% increase in basic education subsidies and the other with no increase. Several at the board table described the state budget process as being “a mess,” but the district did pass its budget as required. The final total, $13,916,343 sets the millage for Susquehanna County at 41.31 and Wayne County's at 13.71, a slight difference from the budget originally proposed, due to a slight in crease in IDEA funding.
There were two guests present at the meeting, Peter Quigg, representing the Community Foundation and Debra Dissinger, representing Peoples National Bank. The foundation and PNB had joined forces to donate $24,000 to the district, which will be used to fund project “Lead the Way,” which is a state-of-the-art industrial arts program which will begin with seventh graders. It will teach enhanced engineering skills more advanced than those currently offered. Superintendent Stone said that others, such as the Tourje family had also made contributions to the program.
During public comment, Mr. Quigg gave a rundown of some of the projects the foundation oversees for other districts in the area, many of which are endowments for scholarships and special projects. He said that he would be more than willing to sit down with the board to discuss such programs for Susquehanna.
Resignations were accepted from Mike Reavey, high school librarian, Sarah French, high school aide, and Alice Rhone, girls' track and field coach.
The board approved the permanent transfer of Mark Gerchman to the high school principal's position.
The board also approved the following positions: Michael Matis, high school technology education; Karyn Armitage, Daniel Mauer and Katherine Edwards, elementary teachers; Jaime Bollinger, speech therapist; Jami Hyndshaw, reading specialist; Elizabeth Matis, school nurse; Mary Baker, elementary aide; Katie Brown, summer social studies teacher; Denise Skogfeldt, summer special education aide; Christen Dick, 82-day guidance position; Rebecca Wood, 92-day elementary position; Denise Skogfeldt, special ed. aide.
Because the district had recently renewed its contracts with faculty and staff, appointments to a number of two-year positions needed to be approved, and they were, as follows: Matt Misiura, Math Dept. head; Pam Weiss, English Dept. head; David Lee, Social Studies Dept. head; John Salinkas, Science Dept. head; Elizabeth Updyke, Specialist Dept. head; Charlene Brieden, Special Ed. Dept. head; Pam Weiss and Charlene Brieden, senior class advisors; Carmen Maby and Pam Weiss, junior class advisors; Bridget O'Neill, National Honor Society; Mike Matis, Student Council; John Seigle, newspaper advisor and SNN advisor; Kathryn Matis, district newsletter; Roxann Lloyd and Carol Bushong, SADD advisors; Elizabeth Updyke, junior high chorus advisor; Teresa Marino, senior high chorus advisor, band advisor, summer band advisor and drama advisor; Michael Wowk, elementary chorus advisor; Hanna Barnes, Scholastic Bowl advisor; Jime Grabowski, yearbook advisor; Richard Bagnall, head football coach; Bob Goodrich, John Salinkas, Carl Zukus and Mark Wilchock, assistant football coaches; Joe Kempa and Mike Marino, junior high football coaches; Jeff Baldwin, girls' volleyball head coach; Bridgette Stone, girls' volleyball assistant coach; Susan Crawford, girls' volleyball game manager; Brent Soden, golf coach; Jeff hall, cross country head coach; Leanne Rhone, cross country assistant coach; Julie Gallo, RtI coordinator; Denise Reddon, athletic director; and Roxann Lloyd, football cheerleader coach.
Coaching positions for spring sports will be approved at the October meeting.
The district has submitted their plan for use of the federal stimulus funding, and is waiting for approval.
The updated Strategic Plan has been submitted to Harrisburg, and the committee will meet to go over the plan once more before it is submitted to the board for approval in August. It will then be made available for public review.
Both the high school and the elementary school have implemented summer reading programs, and an autistic support class is set to begin in the fall.
Other items approved include the following:
- A resolution regarding the Pennsylvania school employees' retirement system; it urges the state legislature to look at the current system and fix some flaws it currently contains.
- A VLINC letter of commitment from NEIU 19 for the 2009-10 school year.
- An Internet 2 commitment letter for service through the University of Scranton.
- RtI consultant training with Cambrium Learning/Sporis West for August 6.
- NEPA Community Health Care's medical service rates for school and sports physicals for the 2009-10 school year.
- Transportation summer rates for three contractors.
- The Homestead and Farmstead Exclusion resolution.
- Permission to hold the prom at Heart Lake Lodge on May 22, 2010.
- Stephen Nayduch's request to use the school's pole vault equipment this summer.
- A website hosting and maintenance agreement with Avant IT Consulting, Inc. at a cost of $650.00 per year (for the district's new website).
- Setting the district COBRA eligibility period to 18 months and limiting the ability, effective December 31, 2010 to purchase health insurance through the district to district employees and to COBRA eligible individuals.
- The 4th grade fundraiser request to sell Artcraft Studios candy and snacks for the 2009-10 school year, and Boxtops for Education to fund a camping trip.
- A cross country fundraiser request to sell candles, hold a car wash and host a booth at Hometown Days to fund a camping trip.
And, the board approved a change to the current attendance policy. A physician's excuse will be required for any absence after ten days, with a maximum allowance of 20 days' absence. Any student who is absent for 15 days will only receive grade credit upon approval by the board. Parents will be receiving a copy of the new policy in the mail.
The next meeting will be on Wednesday, August 5, 7 p.m. in the administration offices in the elementary building.
At their June 16 meeting, the members of COG heard an update of the regional police study from Greg Hostettler, who is preparing the report through DCED. Mr. Hostettler said that taking the county's geography into consideration, the fourteen municipalities participating in the report have been divided into two sections. The eastern section consists of Great Bend and New Milford Boros, Harford, Great Bend, Thompson, Ararat and Herrick Townships. Total population is approximately 6,324 and covers about 155 square miles. The western section consists of Little Meadows Boro, Middletown, Forest Lake, Liberty, Choconut, Franklin and Bridgewater Townships. Total population is about 8,733, square miles about 215. Mr. Hostettler has gathered preliminary information from those participating, and is still in the process of gathering statistical crime data. The final report will contain staffing options (number of officers, etc.), the costs of those options, and cost distribution recommendations. The final document, which will be about 35 pages, should be ready by the end of summer, in time for members to consider whether or not to proceed when they begin to work on next year's budgets.
In other business, members heard that there are Growing Greener grant funds available in several categories. So far, there have been few applications for the funding; if this year's allocation is not used up, there is the possibility that the county will not receive the funding next year. Information and applications are available through Jim Garner at the county Conservation office. Deadline for applications is July 17, so those interested are urged to apply soon.
The sewage committee reported that things are starting to slow down, perhaps in response to the current economic recession. The office has been receiving an increased number of inquiries about systems on properties involved in bank foreclosures.
At last month's meeting, the group had discussed the possibility of the state discontinuing reimbursements to municipalities for the costs of sewage enforcement. Members had been asked to send letters in support of continuing the funding to our legislators; those who had sent letters were thanked. Those who have not yet done so, were asked to do so. A copy of a sample letter is available by email from COG's secretary Cheryl Wellman. If the reimbursement funding is discontinued, the only recourse will be to significantly raise permit fees.
At last month's meeting, the group had discussed rumors that seem to proliferate about COG and what it does. At this meeting, the group discussed rumors that have been circulating about the Uniform Construction Code, specifically about the costs of insulating a structure. The UCC has divided the region into climate zones, with different specifications for insulation in each zone. A cost comparison shows that the cost for a structure of a specific size in Susquehanna County would be somewhat higher than in more southern zones, but only about $366, not the “thousands” of dollars the rumors have claimed.
And, approval was given for use of the COG offices on June 29 for a meeting of the Township Officials' Association executive committee to meet, to plan for their fall meeting.
The next meeting will be on Tuesday, July 21, 7 p.m. in the COG offices in the New Milford Boro building.
The July 17 New Milford Township meeting was short and amicable, lasting only about fifteen minutes. All supervisors and a small contingent of visitors were present.
It was announced that F.S. Lopke, the company which won the bid when the job was advertised, had completed the assigned crushing work at the site. The job yielded close to 6,000 yards, enough to carry the township through this year and into the next.
The location of two quarries was clarified, small mine permits for which were filed with DEP by Scott Baldwin. Both are located on Carey Road.
The township received a notification from DEP that a letter had been addressed to that organization expressing a sewage complaint at Oneida Campground. The supervisors stated that the SEO was notified of this situation, as well as the township solicitor. The issue was first brought to mind, it was said, six years ago, and the SEO had previously been to the site.
Further discussion was held between the supervisors and Mr. Bondurant regarding portable restrooms for the bicentennial celebration. The restrooms may be spread throughout the town, to accommodate events held in locations outside of the park. One dumpster will also likely be utilized.
This led to a discussion of the event in general. The schedule, while still flexible, is beginning to coalesce as the point where materials must be printed approaches. There is still, Mr. Bondurant wished it to be known, room for vendors to reserve. He assured those present that lighting and overnight police protection would be in place for the festival.
One visitor publicly expressed her appreciation for the work done on the roads, stating that whoever did the work had done a fantastic job. The supervisors explained that they had been receiving complaints about roads not yet done, but that they tried to rotate the schedule such that the same person was not always the first or last to have his road completed.
National Residential Nominee Services, Inc. to Anthony J. Rezykowski and Amanda L. Dein, in Auburn Township for $195,000.00.
Chann Investments, Inc. to Chann Family Investments, LLC, in Great Bend and Oakland Townships for $100,000.00.
William Dean and Alan Thomas Zewan to William Dean Zewan, in Lenox Township for one dollar.
US Bank to Rebekah J. Fisk, in Oakland Borough for $31,000.00.
Richard B. Himko to William R. and Joanne A. Himko, in Bridgewater Township for one dollar.
Richard A. Osterhout (By POA) To Curtis C. and Dominique M. Ross, in Great Bend Township for $132,500.00.
Stephen Kaminsky to Kathleen Ashby, in Jackson and New Milford Townships for $50,000.00.
Edmund A. (AKA) Edmund and Michalene Zack to Edmund M. Zack, in Thompson Township for one dollar.
Allan and Kristina Strasser to Victor, Terry and Scott Freundlich, in Ararat Township for $90,000.00.
Derek Daniel Longo to Derek Daniel and Constance Mari Longo, in Forest Lake Township for one dollar.
Ante, Mirjana, Mark A. and Peter Vidaic and Vanessa Bulic to Vidaic Family Realty, LLC, in Rush Township for $10.00.
Gloria Grinley (By POA) to Frederic, Catherine L., John and Joseph Conte, in Silver Lake Township for $105,000.00.
William M. and Claudia Jean Lopatofsky to Ronald and Annette L. Zrowka, in Clifford Township for $145,000.00.
Eleanor A. Tesoriero to Eleanor A. and Matthew A. Tesoriero, in Thompson Borough for one dollar.
Edith A. Wilbur to Carol M. and Glen A. Mead, in Bridgewater Township for one dollar.
Thomas G. and Maryann V. Gehman to Gregory J. Infante, in Harmony Township for $206,000.00.
Richard Arnold to William M. and Becky Arnold, in Dimock Township for one dollar.
Michael G. Wilcox to Gary T. and Joan Wilcox, in Choconut Township for one dollar.
Marlene Mazzocchi (Estate) to George Heiss and Lisa Jones, in Gibson Township for $195,000.00.
James R. and Christine M. Baker to Stephen J. Baker, in Montrose for $114,900.00.
Kristal M. Steele of Hallstead vs. Jonathan B. Steele of Binghamton, married 1999.
Tricia A. Smith of Kingsley vs. Larry Smith, Jr. of Tunkhannock, married 1995.
Sheena Bolles vs. Adam Bolles, both of South Montrose, married 2007.
Robert N. Smallacombe of Great Bend vs. Deborah J. Smallacombe of Endicott, married 1986.
Joseph M. Bognatz vs. Penelope J. Bognatz, both of Forest City, married 2001.
The Susquehanna County Domestic Relations Section has bench warrants for the following individuals as of June 19, 2009 at 11:00 a.m.
Michael A. Argust, David P. Atherholt, Jr., Erika L. Back, Donna Bednarczyk, David S. Blaisure, Joseph Bonavita, Michael P. Bradley, Jr., David M. Brant, Howard Burns, Robert B. Carrier, Christopher Clark, Tony R. Clark, Mark T. Conklin, Mary Dallasta, Edward J. Dickson, Jr., Paul H. Donovan, Deborah L. Drish, Christina Elmy, Jonathan Fathi, David J. Fischer, Thomas Fisher, Nesbitt W. Fitch, Jr., Ryan M. Forder, Kelly Fox, Dominick M. Franklin, Tiffany M. Groover, Richard F. Hadlick, David Haines, Jr., Suzanne R. Hansen, William N. Hendrickson, Ann Hightower, Steven L. Jones, Kenneth M. Kintner, Kevin D. Klein, Eric C. Kohlhepp, Erik E. Krisovitch, Charlie J. Legere, Carlos L. Leiser, Christopher Locke, Joseph Malloy, Jr., Tanika Marazzani, Patricia J. Marrero, Jason Marshall, Zada A. McDonald, Rollin E. Miller, Jr., Joseph C. Moore, Anthony Neri, Benjamin Newell, Tanya M. Novak, Todd M. O'Hara, Donald Palmer, Gary Perico, Amy S. Pompey, James E. Purse, Jeffrey A. Ransom, Timothy W. Rogers, Troy Rohmann, Brian Visakay, Keith W. Vroman, Steven G. Warner, Joseph Watkins, Glynn Wildoner, III, Jamie L. Williams, Kenneth L. Wilmot, Roy J. Yanvary.
Please contact the Domestic Relations Section at 570-278-4600 ext. 170 with any information on the location of these individuals.
HIT AND RUN
On June 17, at around 9:54 p.m., a vehicle driven by an unknown person was traveling west on Rt. 0167 in Bridgewater Twp., while Kasandra Whitney of Montrose was traveling east. The unknown vehicle came into Ms. Whitney's lane of travel, striking her vehicle and then continuing to travel west. No description of the unknown car was obtained. Anyone with information please contact PSP Gibson at (570) 465-3154.
On June 17, at approximately 4:43 p.m., Kari Niemi of Apalachin was traveling South on Stanley Lake Rd. in Choconut Twp. when she lost control of the vehicle. It exited the roadway, entered a ditch, reentered and crossed the road, traveled over an embankment, and came to a final rest after striking a tree. No EMS or Fire responded. Ms. Niemi was wearing a seatbelt; she was not injured.
Sometime between June 8 and 9 a property in Herrick Twp. on SR 2038 was burglarized, where Edward Bocan of Throop has a residence. Items removed from within included: a 20 HP John Deere Lawn Tractor with a 48” mower, a rigid portable air compressor, 2 rigid framing nail guns, 2 rigid shingle nail guns, an aluminum brake, a drywall lift, 200' of orange air hose, a weed wacker, 2 drywall screw guns, a 30 gallon Craftsman air compressor, and a power washer.
The video drive up box of the Video Stop store in Great Bend Township was vandalized between the dates of June 16 and 17.
THEFT OF A MOTOR VEHICLE
On June 15 at 8:00 p.m., a 2003 blue four door Chevrolet Blazer was removed from the driveway of Roger Sherman in Springville.
On June 12, at approximately 8:50 p.m., Grant Smith-Gary of Wyalusing pulled out onto SR 267 in Choconut Township, exiting from the Sunoco parking lot. In doing so he pulled out in front of a vehicle driven by Richard Rosa of Hallstead, resulting in a collision. Smith-Gary's vehicle then struck a third vehicle, driven by Todd Arnold of Vestal. No serious injuries were reported, and belts were worn. Smith-Gary was cited for causing the crash.
On June 15 at approximately 1:40 a.m., an unknown perpetrator demanded money at knife point from staff at the Pump and Pantry in Lenox Twp. The investigation was continuing at time of report.
On May 30 an unknown person operating a red pick-up truck stopped next to the gasoline pumps at the Montrose Pump and Pantry, fueled the vehicle, and then fled the scene. Anyone with information regarding this vehicle is asked to call PSP Gibson at (570) 465-3154.
On June 14, 61 spindles were smashed out of a gazebo owned by Amish Made Sheds in Hallstead. The incident occurred at the Exxon Service Station in Great Bend.
On June 5, at approximately 6:49 a.m., Scott Walton of Jackson and Martin Seidel of Susquehanna were both traveling south on SR 92. Seidel went to pass Walton, but while he attempted to do so Walton's vehicle drifted into the passing lane, causing a collision. Both vehicles began to spin. Walton's left the roadway, entered a ditch, rolled onto its side, and rolled back onto its wheels. Seidel's vehicle spun and came to a rest on the roadway. Both drivers were wearing seatbelts; no injuries were reported. Traffic citations were to be filed in District Court 34-3-02 at the time of report.
On June 13 at 1 a.m. unknown perpetrators drove to State Route 3023 in Dimock Township, approaching a Jeep Compass parked along the roadway. A blunt instrument was then used to smash the windows on the vehicle. The jeep belonged to Michael Decker of Montrose.
Between the 7 and 10 of June, a vehicle belonging to Kevin Roe of Susquehanna was entered and a radio, speakers, and a stainless steel muffler were removed. The vehicle, a 1996 Plymouth Neon, had been parked on Mr. Roe's lawn in Harmony Township and was for sale.
Between the 13 and 14 of June one or more person(s) scratched a black 1995 Mercedes-Benz belonging to Andrew Anthony of Montrose. The vehicle was in Rush Twp. at the time. About $2000 worth of damage was done.
THEFT FROM A MOTOR VEHICLE
On June 13, at approximately 7:55, an i-phone belonging to Francisco Marin of Corona, NY was stolen from a passenger bus parked in Arby's parking lot in Great Bend.
Between the 9 and 10 of June, the front door of the Great Dragon Chinese Restaurant, located in the Lake Montrose Mall in Bridgewater Twp., was smashed. At this time $250 in rolled quarters was removed from the scene.
Lance Youket of Chenango Forks was arrested for DUI after failing to use the required turn signal when turning from SR 706 to T729. Youket was arrested for additional charges that were discovered after the initial stop. Charges were filed at District Court 34-3-01.
On June 10, at approximately 6:48 a.m., James Dixon of Forest City was traveling west on State Route 2046 in Gibson Twp. when, for unknown reasons, he laid down tire marks and dumped his 2005 Harley-Davidson FLHRS 1 on its side. Dixon was not utilizing safety equipment, and sustained head injuries, requiring medical treatment. Thompson Ambulance responded and transported Dixon to Marion Community Hospital for further evaluation. The bike had minor damage to its saddle bag area on the right and a dent in the gas tank. Dixon related that he swerved to miss a deer that was in the roadway. No charges were filed.
An unnamed nine year old girl was struck while attempting to cross SR 92 in Gibson Twp. on June 9 at approximately 8:55 p.m. The driver was an unnamed 17 year old male operating a 1990 Buick Century. The investigation was continuing at the time of report.
TERRORISTIC THREATS/SIMPLE ASSAULT
On June 9, at approximately 7:47 p.m., David Chiveral, Jr. of Gibson came home drunk, got into an argument with James Seese, and threatened to severely hurt him with a knife. Chiveral was arraigned at District Court 34-3-03, and was unable to post bail. Chiveral was taken to the Susquehanna County Jail.
On June 9, between 9 and 11:30 a.m., an unknown person stole approximately $50 worth of small bills from a plastic container located at the librarian's desk of the Hallstead Library.
PROPULSION OF MISSILES AND CRIMINAL MISCHIEF
On June 8, at approximately 9:10 p.m., Bruce Johnston of Quebec, Canada was driving his tractor truck under the Randolph Rd. Overpass in Gibson. Johnston's truck tractor windshield was struck and smashed by an unknown object at this time.
On June 8 at 5:20 p.m., Michael Mccan of Harford was traveling on T479 in Harford Twp., and was turning left onto School Rd. when he lost control of his vehicle on loose gravel and began to fishtail. The vehicle exited the road off of the right berm and struck a utility pole, severing a guy wire.
On May 29, at approximately 5:40 p.m., an unnamed juvenile male arrived on the property of Two Stone Quarries off SR 92 in Oakland Twp., and proceeded to start and move machinery within the quarry, causing damage. He was caught on the scene by a quarry employee and charged in juvenile court.
On May 23, at approximately 5:25 a.m., Michelle MacDonald of Dimock was traveling northbound on SR 29, negotiating a right hand curve in the roadway, when her vehicle exited off of the right hand berm and continued up an embankment. The vehicle proceeded to roll over to the left hand side several times before coming to a rest on its wheels facing south east. MacDonald was wearing a seatbelt; she was not injured.
On June 6, at approximately 12:09 p.m., Amanda Bass of Forest City was traveling west on State Route 371 when she left the roadway for unknown reasons. Impact occurred as Bass's vehicle crossed over into the opposing lane and left the roadway, striking an embankment. Upon impact with the embankment the 2002 Chevrolet Cavalier went airborne, subsequently returning to the roadway where it slid on its roof to a final resting position. The vehicle sustained considerable damage, especially to the roof area. Bass was transported to Marion Community Hospital for further evaluation. She was to be cited for driving on roadways laned for traffic at District Court 34-3-03 at time of report.
HIT AND RUN
On June 6, an unknown driver was traveling South on Williams Rd. in Jessup Twp. when he or she lost control of a 1996 GMC Jimmy and struck a tree off the East side of the Northbound lane. The operator of the vehicle fled the scene at this time. Montrose fire responded to the scene, and Forces towed the SUV from the scene.
THEFT BY UNLAWFUL TAKING
On June 5, it is believed that a license plate was removed from a 1999 Pontiac Grand Am. The vehicle was at the Montrose Terrace Park in Bridgewater Twp. at the time, and belonged to Cheri Penny of Hallstead.
If you have information regarding any of these incidents please contact PSP Gibson at (570) 465-3154.
Following is the Susquehanna County sentencing report for June, 2009 as submitted by the county District Attorney’s office.
George Frederick MacNamee, 60, of Montrose, to 90 days to 18 months in Susquehanna County Correctional Facility, pay $1500 fine, pay cost of prosecution, pay $300 Act 198 fee, pay $50 Criminal Justice Enhancement Act fee, pay $100 CAT surcharge, pay $10 EMS, attend alcohol safe driving school program, abide by Pennsylvania Ignition Interlock Law, not to possess transport or consume alcoholic beverages, continue with drug and alcohol counseling for Driving Under the Influence in Bridgewater Township on December 6, 2008.
Stanley Allen Penny, 52, of Montrose, to 90 days to 23 1/2 months in Susquehanna County Correctional Facility, served 45 days incarceration followed by 45 days home confinement, pay $1500, pay cost of prosecution, pay $100 CAT surcharge, pay $10 EMS, pay $300 Act 198 fee, attend alcohol safe driving school program, receive a drug and alcohol evaluation, not to possess, transport or consume alcoholic beverages for Driving Under the Influence in New Milford Township on November 29, 2008.
Raymond F. Butts, Jr., 44, of Susquehanna, to 90 days to 18 months in Susquehanna County Correctional Facility, served 45 days incarceration followed by 45 days home confinement, pay $1500 fine, pay cost of prosecution, pay $100 CAT surcharge, pay $10 EMS, pay $300 Act 198 fee, pay $50 Criminal Justice Enhancement Act fee, attend alcohol safe driving school program, not to possess, transport or consume alcoholic beverages for Driving Under the Influence in Susquehanna Borough on November 6, 2008.
Aaron M. Smith, 37, of Hop Bottom, to 90 days to 18 months in Susquehanna County Correctional Facility, served 45 days incarceration followed by 45 days home confinement, receive drug and alcohol counseling while incarcerated, pay $1500 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, not to enter any establishment whose sole purpose is the sale of alcohol, abide by Pennsylvania Ignition Interlock Law, attend alcohol safe driving school program for Driving Under the Influence in Lenox Township on August 29, 2008.
Tory Tyler Lamb, 19, of South Montrose, to 1 month to 18 months in Susquehanna County Correctional Facility, pay restitution to the victim in this case, remain responsible for ARD costs, pay $400 fine, pay cost of prosecution, pay $50 Criminal Justice Enhancement Act fee, perform 50 hours community service, receive drug and alcohol evaluation for Simple Assault in Auburn Township on May 31, 2007. Mr. Lamb also received 1 month to 15 months in Susquehanna County Correctional Facility, pay $250 fine, pay cost of prosecution, pay $50 Criminal Justice Enhancement Act fee, receive a drug and alcohol evaluation, complete 12 Lesson Course at Susquehanna County Correctional Facility, for Unauthorized Use of Automobiles in Lenox Township on September 5, 2008. Lastly, Mr. Lamb received 1 month to 12 months in Susquehanna County Correctional Facility, pay restitution to the victim in this case, pay $150 fine, pay cost of prosecution for Theft from a Motor Vehicle in Lenox Township on September 5, 2008.
Joseph James Campbell, 47, of Montrose, to 4 1/2 months to 15 months in Susquehanna County Correctional Facility, pay restitution to the victim in this case, not to have contact with the victim, pay $350 fine, pay cost of prosecution, pay $50 Criminal Justice Enhancement Act fee, perform 25 hours community service, obtain GED for Theft by Unlawful Taking in Forest City Borough on April 18, 2009. Mr. Campbell also received 4 1/2 months to 15 months in Susquehanna County Correctional Facility, pay $300 fine, pay cost of prosecution, pay $50 Criminal Justice Enhancement Act fee, perform 50 hours of community service, pay restitution to the victim in this case for Theft by Unlawful Taking in Forest City Borough on April 18, 2009.
Kevin Gene Cook, 33, of Meshoppen, to pay $200 fine, cost of prosecution and $50 Criminal Justice Enhancement Act fee for Theft by Unlawful Taking in Springville on August 23, 2008.
Frederick James Bentler, 28, of Susquehanna, 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, attend alcohol safe driving school, continue with drug and alcohol counseling, prepare a 250 word essay “Why I should not fight with law enforcement” for Driving Under the Influence in Susquehanna Borough on October 14, 2008. Mr. Bentler also received 12 months probation to run concurrent to the above sentence, pay $300 fine, pay cost of prosecution, perform 25 hours community service, continue with mental health treatment and take medication for Disorderly Conduct in Susquehanna Borough on October 14, 2008.
Mark Joseph Kohler, 24, of Montrose, to 3 months to 18 months in Susquehanna County Correctional Facility, pay $300 fine, pay cost of prosecution, pay $50 Criminal Justice Enhancement Act fee, pay restitution to the victim in this case, not to possess, transport or consume alcoholic beverages, not to enter any establishment whose sole purpose is the sale of alcohol for Simple Assault in Harford Township on January 25, 2009.
Richard James Ackley, 56, of Montrose, to 15 months to 4 years in a state correctional facility, pay $500 fine, pay cost of prosecution, pay $50 Criminal Justice Enhancement Act fee, pay $250 DNA testing fee and submit sample for Criminal Trespass in Clifford Township on March 6, 2009.
Cindy Mae Clayton, 45, of Meshoppen, to 23 months probation, pay $450 fine, pay cost of prosecution, pay $50 Criminal Justice Enhancement Act fee, pay restitution to the victim in this case, perform 25 hours community service, for Identity Theft in Harford Township on July 11, 2008.
Kitty Williams Petriello, 30, of Montrose, to 4 months to 23 months in Susquehanna County Correctional Facility, pay $300 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 possess transport or consume alcoholic beverages, obtain GED for Receiving Stolen Property in Hallstead on March 27, 2009.
Christopher Lee Bellmore, 35, of Windsor, NY to 1 month to 23 months in Susquehanna County Correctional Facility, pay restitution to the victim in this case, pay $500 fine, pay cost of prosecution, pay $50 Criminal Justice Enhancement Act fee, pay $250 DNA testing fee and submit sample for Theft by Failure to Make Required Disposition of Funds Received in New Milford Borough on January 17, 2008.
Terry Dean Sanauskas, 52, of Nicholson, to 15 months probation, pay $350 fine, pay cost of prosecution, pay $50 Criminal Justice Enhancement Act fee, not to have contact with children under the age of 18 without adult supervision, not to have contact with the victim in this case for Endangering the Welfare of a Child in Hop Bottom Borough on October 25, 2008.
John Martin Murphy, Jr., 48, of Uniondale, to 5 months to 23 1/2 months in Susquehanna County Correctional Facility, pay $150 fine, pay cost of prosecution, pay $100 Act 198 fee, abide by Pennsylvania Ignition Interlock Law, attend alcohol safe driving school program, receive a drug and alcohol evaluation, not to possess, transport or consume alcoholic beverages for Driving Under the Influence in Herrick Township on December 15, 2008.
Ronald J. Conlon, 54, of Corbettsville, NY to 15 months probation, pay $400 fine, pay cost of prosecution, pay $50 Criminal Justice Enhancement Act fee, receive a drug and alcohol evaluation, perform 50 hours community service for Recklessly Endangering Another Person in Hallstead on January 22, 2009.
Andrew Donald Johnson, 21, of Windsor, NY to 18 months probation, pay cost of prosecution, pay $500 fine, pay $250 DNA testing fee and submit sample, pay $50 Criminal Justice Enhancement Act fee, pay restitution to the victim in this case, not to have contact with the victim in this case, not to have contact with the codefendants in this case for Burglary in Great Bend on October 17, 2008. Mr. Johnson also received 18 months probation to run concurrent to the above sentence, pay $400 fine, pay $50 Criminal Justice Enhancement Act fee, not to have contact with the victim in this case, not to have contact with codefendants in this case for Criminal Trespass in Great Bend on October 17, 2009.
Arthur W. Ball, Jr., 22, of Tunkhannock to 3 months to 23 1/2 months in Susquehanna County Community Foundation, receive a Sexual Offender Evaluation, not to have contact with the victim in this case, pay $500 fine, pay cost of prosecution, pay $50 Criminal Justice Enhancement Act fee, pay $250 DNA testing fee and submit sample, not to have contact with anyone on supervision, not to possess, transport or consume alcoholic beverages for Indecent Assault in Laceyville on October 1, 2008.
Vincent James Petriello, 33, of South Montrose, to 12 months probation, pay $150 fine, pay cost of prosecution, pay $100 Act 198 fee, receive drug and alcohol counseling for Possession of a Controlled Substance in Great Bend Township on January 12, 2009. Mr. Petriello also received 12 months probation to run concurrent to other sentences, pay $150 fine, pay cost of prosecution, pay $100 Act 198 fee, receive drug and alcohol counseling, not to possess, transport or consume alcoholic beverages for Possession of a Controlled Substance in New Milford Borough on December 17, 2008. Mr. Petriello received 6 months to 2 years minus 1 day in Susquehanna County Correctional Facility, pay $300 fine, pay $50 Criminal Justice Enhancement Act fee, pay cost of prosecution, pay restitution to the victim in this case, not to possess, transport or consume alcoholic beverages, perform 50 hours community service not to possess firearms for Receiving Stolen Property in Great Bend Township on April 4, 2009. Finally, Mr. Petriello received 2 1/2 years probation to run consecutive, pay $350 fine, pay cost of prosecution, pay $50 Criminal Justice Enhancement Act fee, not to possess, transport or consume alcoholic beverages, receive drug and alcohol counseling, not to possess weapons, pay restitution to the victim in this case for Theft by Unlawful Taking in Great Bend Township on December 17, 2008.
Lisa Ann Visavati, 36, of South Montrose, to 90 days to 18 months in Susquehanna County Correctional Facility, served 45 days incarceration followed by 45 days home confinement, pay $1500 fine, pay cost of prosecution, pay $100 CAT surcharge, pay $10 EMS, pay $300 Act 198 fee, pay $50 Criminal Justice Enhancement Act fee, attend alcohol safe driving school program, continue with drug and alcohol counseling, abide by Pennsylvania Ignition Interlock Law for Driving Under the Influence in Bridgewater Township on February 25, 2009.
Michael Thomas Martin, 44, of Philadelphia, to 5 days to 6 months in Susquehanna County Correctional Facility, pay $300 fine, pay cost of prosecution, pay $200 CAT surcharge, pay $10 EMS, pay $100 Act 198 fee, not to possess, transport or consume alcoholic beverages, receive a drug and alcohol evaluation, attend alcohol safe driving school program for Possession of a Controlled Substance in Harford Township on October 11, 2008. Mr. Martin also received 12 months probation to run concurrent to the above sentence, pay $300 fine, pay cost of prosecution, pay $100 Act 198 fee, receive a drug and alcohol evaluation, not to possess, transport or consume alcoholic beverages for Driving Under the Influence in Harford Township on October 11, 2008.
Tyler G. Singleton, 23, of Dickson City, to 23 1/2 months probation, pay $500 fine, pay cost of prosecution, pay $100 Act 198 fee, receive drug and alcohol evaluation, not to possess transport or consume alcoholic beverages, not to have contact with anyone on supervision for Manufacturing, Delivery or Possession of a Controlled Substance in Montrose on May 17, 2008. Mr. Singleton also received 6 months probation, to run concurrent to the above sentence, pay $300 fine, pay cost of prosecution, pay $10 EMS, pay $50 CAT surcharge, receive a drug and alcohol evaluation, not to possess, transport or consume alcoholic beverages, attend alcohol safe driving school program for Driving Under the Influence in Montrose on May 17, 2008.
Brian C. Swan, 37, of Montrose, to 90 days to 15 months in Susquehanna County Correctional Facility, served 45 days incarceration followed by 45 days home confinement, pay $1500 fine, pay cost of prosecution, pay $100 CAT surcharge, pay $10 EMS, pay $300 Act 198 fee, pay $50 Criminal Justice Enhancement Act fee, attend alcohol safe driving school program, receive drug and alcohol counseling, abide by Ignition Interlock Law for Driving Under the Influence in Silver Lake on August 9, 2009.
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