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Montrose School District has enterprising fourth graders, who set out this year to study and measure water tables and the water shed. Funded by an environmental education grant program and spearheaded by their educator Mrs. Lathrop, the fourth grade class learned many things. Six girls, Evelyn Kile, Annelise Mittmann, Genna Smith, Kylie Robinson, Paige Dolaway, and Lyndsey Kerr, attended the meeting to read excerpts to the board from essays they wrote about the experience. The girls reported that they learned to read PH scales and what it meant to be neutral, basic, or acidic, tested water for iron, etc., realized that hard water isn't actually hard, and played a virtual watershed game to discern a mystery site by testing water samples. Lyndsey pointed out that less than three percent of water on the earth is usable. The program is designed to help these students discover, then, how to conserve that water. The girls and Mrs. Lathrop received the standard certificate and handshake acknowledgment. Mrs. Lathrop received a little additional acknowledgment from Mr. Addams, who stated that good schools come out of great instructors such as she.
The elementary girls were not the only students represented at the meeting. For the second time in recent months the high school weight lifting team was acknowledged. The program began a few years ago when a few student athletes began getting together to train for their sports. They discovered in time that their training could actually become a sport in and of itself. Currently, the district can boast both state and national record holders. It was said that the program, coached by Mr. Eric Stallings, has progressed farther than anyone had thought possible. This year Montrose even sponsored a meet at the high school to raise money, and hopes to do so again in the future. Every student mentioned, Antony Bistocchi, Levi Tiffany, Rachel Davenport, Jamie Bozzo, Jay White, James Wetherill, and Tyler Wipple, broke some kind of a record throughout the season, be it weight class, age, state, or American. The team took home the overall team title, and three of the students, Whipple, Bozzo, and White, qualified for upcoming nationals. This group also received certificates and handshakes, along with the additional (joking) admonition to be careful when shaking hands so as not to injure the board and administration.
Mr. Caterson reported that he had asked Mr. Ognosky how long the district could last without state funds, in light of the current Pennsylvania budget crisis. Mr. Ognosky estimated that the schools would be fine until November if necessary, though he stated that he hoped this would not stop the legislature from doing their appointed duty.
One of the board members asked about rumors of the soccer team not being in school on the first day, a question which had been directed toward her from the public. It was responded that the team had been given permission to miss school due to having already been enrolled in a tournament they historically attend. This is not the first time a particular school group has been granted permission to miss the first day, and staff normally go over the rules for the first class which will likely cut down on what team members miss.
Parents utilizing cyber charter schools should be receiving a letter to inform them of a cyber alternative. The district participates in the NEIU's V-linc program, which Mr. Owens stated he felt was now mature enough to attract and retain some of the cyber schoolers.
Students may see some changes in the cafeteria in the near future. Under the new cafeteria schedule, each period will see about forty or fifty more students being served in ten minutes less each period. Therefore another line is slated to be created, transforming the breakfast kiosk into a salad bar.
Mr. Ognosky had also asked the head of cafeteria services, Ms. O'Malley, to create a 3-4 year plan for updating the cafeteria equipment, much of which is thirty or more years old. There was some discussion over whether or not the district should help to pay for these purchases, were the cafeteria account to prove insufficient for the entire project.
The elementary summer camp has reportedly gone very well again this year. Students had been expressing which was their favorite part of the experience, it was said; some of them actually mentioned academic subjects. The camp underwent a PDE monitoring visit, being told that it was a different model than that organization was accustomed to seeing but meeting with approval overall. The district was assigned, though, to create a sustainability plan, with an a and b option.
The elementary principals also discussed a new initiative which the two schools will be piloting. Montrose was one of the districts asked to be a part of the initiative, and will be at least one of the first rural schools to implement it. The program is aimed at children who would be eligible for wraparound services, and utilizes a team of mental health professionals to provide some of those services through the school rather than having to assist parents in finding options in the community. The goal is to keep children from falling through the crack, and to give them twenty four hour access to needed help. Eligible kids will likely be identified by services they currently receive or by mental health diagnoses.
All the fall sports coaching positions have been filled except for the Junior High Field Hockey position, for which there were no applicants in the latest advertisement. This does not mean, however, that there will be no program for the junior high in this sport. Until something changes, Field Hockey will be run as one program, with the teams training together. They will not however, Mr. Ognosky emphasized, scrimmage against each other, such that the young inexperienced players would be forced to play against the older students. There are also a few people who, though unable to commit to the full-time coaching duties, have offered to assist the team as they are able. During game situations the coaching staff and these volunteers will likely split, such that at least one official coach, and perhaps a volunteer, will be at each game.
Karen Armitage, president of the Parks and Rec. committee, was present at the August 13 Oakland Boro Council meeting to give an update of the committee's plans and activities. She presented two awards that had been given to Parks and Rec., one in recognition of their participation in Susquehanna's Hometown Days and one from the PSAB in recognition of Oakland's 125th anniversary celebration that had taken place on August 8.
Soccer games are being scheduled at the boro park, and the committee has been manning the concession stand during various sporting events. Mrs. Armitage commended her fellow committee members for their efforts, and added that additional volunteers are always welcome. Council also commended the committee's work with a round of applause.
There was a detailed discussion of the improvement work that will be done at the park, largely funded by a DCNR grant, which must be completed by December. The committee is planning additional fundraisers, such as a t-shirt sale and selling of engraved bricks, which will be used to outline walkways at the park. The brick sale has been extremely successful, with about $400 raised in the ten days since it began.
Council is still in the process of trying to purchase the old trailer property next to the park.
President Ron Beavan gave a rundown of codes violations and their current status. It was noted that residents who wish to file complaints must fill out a complaint form and may be required to follow through by testifying at a hearing if necessary.
There was some discussion of a situation where a resident was apparently burning a carpet; the fire department had been called and there had been a number of complaints about the resulting smoke and odor. Because the incident had happened in the very early morning hours, no police had been on duty to investigate. Council would check with the fire department to see if they could obtain a copy of their report of the incident. This led to a discussion about the possibility of banning outdoor burning altogether, but in a show of hands, Mr. Beavan was the only one in favor.
Mayor Dudley reported on July's police activities, which involved additional hours due to call-outs for incidents such as stalking of minors, a motor vehicle crash, trespassing, criminal mischief, possession of drug paraphernalia, and a vehicle hitting a fire hydrant and road sign.
Mayor Dudley reported that there have been ongoing problems with minors out at night, particularly at the park after hours. One of the Parks and Rec.'s plans include posting of signs, indicating the hours when the park will be closed. A motion carried to adopt the boro's curfew ordinance; no one under the age of 18 may be out after the hour of 10 p.m., all seven days of the week.
Council is also looking into enacting a dog ordinance.
A motion carried to accept the resignation of council member Rob Pressley, and a motion carried to appoint Dave Dibble to fill the position until the end of the year. Because Mr. Dibble is also running on the ballot in November for a council seat, an additional write-in candidate will be sought to complete the remaining two years of Mr. Pressley's term.
The sidewalk project on State St. is apparently at a stalemate. PennDOT had originally approved the project, but then had required that curbing also be installed which could involve an additional cost of about $100,000. Since the project was being funded through a grant, the county Housing and Redevelopment Authority is seeking additional grant funding to secure cost of the curbing. A site meeting was scheduled for the following day with the parties involved.
And, there was some discussion about water problems reported on Prospect and High Streets.
The next meeting will be on Thursday, September 10, 7:00 p.m. at the Lanesboro Community Center.
The Susquehanna County Commissioners meeting was held on August 12, with Commissioners Warren Giangrieco and Chief Clerk Sylvia Beamer in attendance. Commissioner Leon Allen was “at a conference and also on vacation” commissioners reported.
Michelle Jerauld was recognized for 15 years of service in the domestic Relations Department, Connie Organisciak for 20 years in Soil Conservation, and Reuben Sherman for five years with the prison.
Commissioners authorized the signing of Lackawanna/Susquehanna Commission on Drug & Alcohol Provider Contracts for Fiscal Year 2009/2012 as listed: Prevention-TreHab, $80,600; Intervention-TreHab, $16,500; and Outpatient-TreHab, $150,000.
Jim Martin was on hand to introduce the new Lackawanna/Susquehanna County Drug & Alcohol Administrator, Jeffrey M. Zerechak, Dickson City. Martin informed the Commissioners Zerechak had previous experience within Susquehanna County, having worked here before.
A purchase of a service agreement between Susquehanna County Services for Children and Youth and Viaquest Behavioral Health, Reading, Certificate #302410, room and board per diem $83.35, IV-E allowable $83.34 per day, was signed and effective July 1, 2008 through June 20, 2009.
Sisters Karen and Patricia Goskowsi were removed from the Economic Development Board, per the recommendation of the Economic Development Board Director, effective immediately. Their “shared” position will be taken over by Susan E. Dean, Bridgewater Township, who was appointed to the Board following the prior action. Dean’s term will end December 12, 2010.
William Wagner, New Milford Township, was appointed to the Area Agency on Aging Advisory council, effective immediately through June 30, 2010.
Nicole Horn‘s verbal resignation as Switchboard Operator/Clerk Typist, was accepted effective July 23, 2009 per the recommendation of Chief clerk, Sylvia Beamer.
Janet DePue, Montrose, was hired to the open, full time, non union position of the above, at Range 6 Rate $7.83 per hour with a six month probationary period and benefits per the county Personnel Manual, effective August 12, 2009.
Three parcels were exonerated from collection of taxes from the Tax Bureau, one in Auburn Township, one in Choconut Township and the third in Lenox Township.
During public comment, one of the media asked if EMA Director Charlene Moser would be available to attend one of the Commissioners Meetings to speak about the Pandemic Influenza Workshop Planning Meetings she is scheduled to attend, and to keep us updated. (Moser has attended 1 of a series of 6). There have been numerous questions and concerns brought before the public health nurse and it would be beneficial to have Ms. Moser give the information first hand.
Commissioner Warren suggested to plan an interview with Ms. Moser and get the information from her directly. The reporter replied, “there are three members of the press right here” who could give better information and coverage, than if just one paper held a single interview.
There was mention of Ms. Moser attending the next Commissioner meeting (August 26) with information she has learned thus far, but no promises were written in stone.
Also mentioned was the problem with some Barnes Kasson Transportation drivers allegedly getting fired. Commissioner Warren stated that “Yes it is happening” and money constraints could be a cause. Commissioner Giangrieco stated they were looking into it. Giangrieco added that from his knowledge no monies had been cut in the program.
Commissioners were asked what was to be done with the house and property they had recently purchased. They replied that they had no specific use in mind, but that they were running out of space and that that property could be utilized for a number of things.
Jim Jennings questioned the use of the person who was examining the storage through the buildings. Sylvia Beamer told him that she was from a grant and that her “job” had been on line long before the property had ever been purchased. She added that the person is going to department heads to see what needs to be kept, stored properly and more efficiently.
The next Susquehanna County Commissioners Meeting will be held on Wednesday, August 26, promptly at 9 a.m. in the EMA Conference Room located in the bottom of the County Office Building.
Following is the list of names drawn to serve as Petit and Traverse jurors to appear in the Court of Common Pleas, Susquehanna County Courthouse, Montrose, on the 8th day of September at 9:00 a.m.
Apolacon Twp.: Thomas Gunderman, Brooke McCann, Leon Mock, Nancy Vanness.
Auburn Twp.: George Gregory, Derrick Jayne, Charles McCarthy, Timothy Newhart, Michael Siracuse, Clint Tyler, Michael Tyler.
Bridgewater Twp.: Gina Cherundolo, Lucinda Howell, Todd Latzko, Catherine McCain, Bina Patrick, Penny Singer.
Brooklyn Twp.: Jesus Gonzalaz, Carl Kaufman.
Choconut Twp.: Gail Abramo, Patrick Mordovancey, Theodore Parks.
Clifford Twp.: David Christiansen, Anne Cicco, Beth Henn, Clifford Township Oakley.
Dimock Twp.: Margaret Dobrosielski.
Forest Lake Twp.: Art Donato.
Great Bend Boro: Joy Shurtleff.
Great Bend Twp.: Thomas Clough, Tracy Tross.
Hallstead Boro: Bobbi Heaman.
Harford Twp.: Michael Aherne, Betty Bennett, Linda Hollenbeck, Patricia Hunter, Justin Phillips.
Harmony Twp.: Susan Gallagher.
Herrick Twp.: Edward Slick, David Spellman.
Jackson Twp.: Matthew Wolf.
Jessup Twp.: Paul Oleniacz.
Lanesboro Boro: Melody Mead, Sharyl Schwartz.
Liberty Twp.: William Buckland, David Cunningham.
Little Meadows Boro: Andrew Bryant.
Montrose Boro, 1W: Doris Daly, John Daly, Etta Hoffman, Barbara Lyon, Robert Marland.
Montrose Boro, 2W: P. Henry, Kimberly Taylor.
New Milford Boro: Wendy Carey, Bernadette Harris.
New Milford Twp.: Ramsey Dalaba, Eddy Duchemin, Deborah Stalker, Jonathan Westcott, Koni Worth.
Oakland Boro: Kevin Bennett, John Klym, Robert Presley.
Oakland Twp.: Art Barnes.
Rush Twp.: Dwayne Palmer.
Silver Lake Twp.: Mark Broderick, Mark Davis.
Springville Twp.: Michelle Buczeskie, Joseph Chesnick, Micheal Morris, Margaret Sickler.
Susquehanna Boro, 1W: Brandy Carvin, Vince Delong.
Susquehanna Boro, 2W: Robin Tanner.
Thompson Boro: Gary Swartz.
Union Dale Boro: Donna Tedesco.
Bremer Hof Owners, Inc. to Thomas Fusco and Patricia Abramczyk, in Herrick Township for $1,895.00.
Bremer Hof Owners, Inc. to John R., Jr. and Wanda J. Stamm, in Herrick Township for $1,995.00.
Bremer Hof Owners, Inc. to Richard J. and Dolores A. Peterson, in Herrick Township for $2,995.00.
William and Kathryn E. Brackney to William H. and Kathryn E. Brackney, in Silver Lake Township for one dollar.
William F. and Leona M. Merrell to Matthew F. Merrell, in Hallstead Borough for one dollar.
Madelyn C. Holley to Coleen A. Graham (Estate), in Lenox Township for one dollar.
Thomas M., Jr. and Mary Jane (Estate AKA) Jayne Koes and Sherry L. Clark to Thomas M., Jr. and Anne M. Koes, in Harford Township for one dollar.
John H., Ann W. and Betsy A. Stone to Betsy A. Stone, in Montrose for one dollar.
Ronald D., Mary Jane, Shad R. and Chris M. Shad to Starrucca Acres, in Harmony Township for one dollar.
Bremer Hof Owners, Inc. to William R., Linda M. and Justin M. Bolton, in Herrick Township for $1,995.00.
Gladys M. Troup (Estate By Sheriff) to Fannie Mae, in Susquehanna for $2,212.91.
Gilbert R. and Yvonne Depew to Raymond K. and Lulu Swingle, in Herrick Township for one dollar.
Robert C. Henning and Russell L. Alderfer to RH & RA LLC, in Ararat and Herrick Townships for one dollar.
Thomas C. and Ann Marie Janezic to Thomas C. and Ann Marie Janezic, in Forest City and Clifford Township for one dollar.
Harvey H. Zelkowitz to John B. and Joan B. Eidenier (NBM) Joan B. Zelkowitz, in Great Bend Township for one dollar.
Frederick W. and Dorothy Thomas to Frederick W. and Dorothy Thomas and Sean T. Granahan, in Montrose for one dollar.
Marilyn A. Foskuhl to David Eddington, in Herrick Township for $10.00.
Jody A. Bender to ST Hamm Management LLC, in Herrick Township for $100.00.
Thomas C. and Ann Marie Janezic to Endless Mountain Sales Co., Inc., in Forest City and Clifford Township for $55,000.00.
John B. and Joan B. Eidenier (NBM) Joan M. Zelkowitz to Mark Great Bend Associates, in Great Bend Township for $106,000.00.
Anthony (Trust By Trustee) and Patricia Buglione to Michael R. Buglione, in Silver Lake Township for $145,000.00.
Anthony (Trust By Trustee) and Patricia Buglione to Michael R. Buglione, in Silver Lake Township for one dollar.
Mary Jane Nash to Stephen P. and Amy R. Smyk, in Silver Lake Township for $300,000.00.
Duane S. and Laurie L. Nolan to Joseph Franceski, III, in Forest City for $118,000.00.
Jason Michael Browning and Valissa A. Persing, both of Kingsley.
Scott W. Morrison and Amy L. Carr, both of Hop Bottom.
Thomas H. Bouman and Emily J. Wilbur, both of Brooklyn, NY.
Eric G. Putman and Kelly L. Kwitoski, both of Endicott, NY.
Steven C. Gillman, II of Kingsley and Christina M. Jensen of Montrose.
Christopher Wayne Harris and Melissa M. Bodie, both of Montrose.
Brian C. Williams of Hop Bottom and Nona A. Smith of West Nanticoke.
Shane Michael Decker and Danelle Lynn Oneil, both of New Milford.
Corey J. Sinnett and Michelle N. Reed, both of Hallstead.
Eric Atherholt and Charlotte D. Swingle, both of New Milford.
Giles H. Woodruff and Melissa A. Hillegass, both of Laceyville.
Ian William Billets and Michelle S. Ainey, both of Nicholson.
Warren G. Handy and Maureen Diane Mellor, both of Denison, TX.
The Susquehanna County Domestic Relations Section has bench warrants for the following individuals as of 10:11 a.m. on August 14, 2009.
Michael A. Argust, David P. Atherholt, Jr., Erika L. Back, John W. Barber, Sr., David Shawn Blaisure, Joseph Bonavita, Michael P. Bradley, Jr., Devin S. Brewer, Howard Burns, Robert B. Carrier, Beverly A. Carvin, Tony R. Clark, Mark T. Conklin, Edward J. Dickson, Jr., Jeremy M. Dixon, James W. Donahue, III, Deborah L. Drish, David J. Fischer, Ryan M. Forder, Kelly Fox, Dominick M. Franklin, Tiffany M. Groover, David Haines, Jr., Suzanne R. Hansen, Ann Hightower, Jeremy C. James, Steven L. Jones, Kenneth M. Kintner, Kevin D. Klein, Eric C. Kohlhepp, Erik E. Krisovitch, Amber Kuns, Charlie J. Legere, Carlos L. Leiser, Christopher Locke, Patricia J. Marrero, Jason Marshall, Zada A. McDonald, Nancy McGillis, Rollin E. Miller, Jr., Joseph C. Moore, Anthony Neri, Benjamin Newell, Tanya M. Novak, Todd M. O'Hara, Donald Palmer, Gary Perico, Timothy W. Rogers, Troy Rohmann, David J. Shiner, Garrett M. Thomas, Jozsef M. Varga, Keith W. Vroman, Steven G. Warner, Joseph Watkins, Jamie L. Williams, Kenneth L. Wilmot, Jr.
Please contact the Domestic Relations Section at 570-278-4600 ext. 170 with any information on the location of these individuals.
Montrose keeps insisting that municipalities each appoint an emergency management coordinator. What if nobody wants the job? That question faced the Harford Township Supervisors at their meeting on August 11, and there was no clear answer.
Harford’s last emergency management coordinator, Ted “Poppy” Batzel, passed away recently, leaving behind many good friends, 2 deputy coordinators, and his own post unfilled. The township needs someone to step forward, but, as Supervisor, Roadmaster and fireman, Terry Van Gorden said, the township “can’t get anybody to volunteer to take it because there’s no money attached to it.”
The meeting covered a lot of ground in barely an hour. To start off, Garry Foltz voted against the bill list, an unusual step that he had pledged last month if the sewer engineers didn’t improve performance on promised work at the sewer plant. “I cannot support the bill list this month,” said he. Nevertheless, Mr. Foltz was observed signing a lot of checks, as he was presumably obliged to do since the bill list was approved anyway, by the other two Supervisors.
Mr. Foltz reported that the new blower that was purchased for the plant still has not been installed, although David Klepadlo, whose company is paid $1,800 per month to manage the plant, urged the need for the blower at the Supervisors’ meeting in June.
Mr. Foltz and Supervisor and Township Secretary Sue Furney met with state DEP officials recently to review procedures for assessing the output of the plant, particularly during the week of the Harford Fair, when water quality is most commonly in jeopardy. In the meantime, the Supervisors will ask to see the log of the sewer plant operator each month before approving payment of the bill.
DEP was also contacted about someone burning material that was releasing a large volume of black smoke in the center of Harford village. Mr. Foltz forwarded a complaint to DEP, which in turn contacted the property owner. No burning has been seen since.
The township was notified by its fuel supplier, Mirabito Oil, that future shipments of gasoline will contain 10% ethanol. Mirabito provided instructions for assessing the suitability of township equipment to handle the fuel mixture.
Mr. Van Gorden reported that his crew is finishing up the roads. A particularly nasty stretch of Oliver Road is being worked this week. Four sets of blades on the grader have already been consumed this summer. Susquehanna County’s notorious rock ledges protruding from a road surface can really punish a grader. Mr. Foltz will be assuming the Roadmaster job temporarily while Mr. Van Gorden is laid up.
The barn that is threatening to collapse into Grinnell Road looks like it may soon be demolished. The Township gave the owner 60 days to do something about the safety hazard. Mr. Foltz said he had recently seen signs that work is in preparation.
Mr. Van Gorden reported some holes appearing in the road surface at both ends of the new bridge on Pennay Hill Road. Mr. Foltz requested that the contractor who installed the bridge be asked to fix the problem; it shouldn’t have deteriorated so quickly after the bridge work was completed, he said.
Ms. Furney told the meeting that the township’s reimbursement for the bridge project is being held up by the budget impasse in Harrisburg. The cost of the new bridge was to be fully reimbursed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), but FEMA makes its payments through the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA), which is stuck like everything else, in the budget battle.
The Harford Township Supervisors meet on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of each month, beginning at 7:00 p.m., at the Township building on Route 547.
The months-long debate over surveys continued at the Blue Ridge School Board meeting on August 10. Last winter some students surveyed their schoolmates about a proposed “diversity club.” The poll actually focused on attitudes toward gay culture and the upset felt by some parents reached the Board, which couldn’t prevent the formation of a student club, but might have some control over the distribution of survey materials.
The Board has been trying for several months to formulate a sensible position for its policy manual. The most recent effort was to have been formalized at this meeting, but some members still thought it needed reworking. Specifically, Board member Laurie Brown-Bonner moved to separate the survey policy from two other less controversial policy revisions (on summer school and non-resident eligibility). The Board was to have been consulted before students could be polled by an “outside” entity. The policy continues to require that parents give consent before students are surveyed in any of 8 subject areas, including “sexual behavior or attitudes,” political opinions, religious practices, etc.
This time the Board decided to make it policy that the schools’ administrators review and approve any surveys issued to students. The Board could not define what would constitute a “survey,” nor did it want to be so closely involved with such activities. The incident that sparked the controversy, after all, was not an “outside” survey, which administrators acknowledged were rare in any case. The public will have another 30 days to review and comment.
The 3 1/2-hour session began with committee meetings. The Facilities and Grounds and Finance Committees, meeting jointly, considered a number of items that were subsequently referred to the full Board. The main gymnasium will be undergoing renovation over the next year or so. A leak in the roof has caused water damage to the floor. The floor will be repaired in time for use in the new school year, but will probably have to be completely replaced. The contractor responsible for the recent re-roofing will be asked to pay for the damage, with the help of the district’s solicitors. As long as the floor is to be replaced, the committee is considering replacing the bleacher seating as well.
Alan Hall reported that Hallstead Borough has received a grant to help pay for a new concession stand and dugouts at the girls’ softball field. He asked the school board, through the committee, to pay for 7 yards of concrete and 6 steel poles for the dugout work, for which Stone’s Hardware is to supply the forms and re-bar. He said that Rob’s Market donated a score board. The men’s league, which also uses the multi-purpose field, will provide the extra courses of block that will raise the ceilings of the dugouts when the floors are brought to field level. In short, he said, “everybody that uses the field has something to contribute.” And local businesses, too.
The committee recommended, and the Board approved, the low bid to seal and stripe one of the parking lots. Unfortunately, the bid of a local contractor was more than $1,000 higher than the bid that was accepted.
The biggest item recommended by the committee and accepted by the Board was the expenditure of over $20,000 of unbudgeted funds from capital reserves to install a backup system for the servers supporting the district’s computer and network infrastructure. The system will be provided by Unitrends, a company headquartered in South Carolina that is trying to break into the schools market in Pennsylvania. Donna Tewes, Technology Director, and her assistant, Mike Stewart, presented data showing the present cost and difficulty involved in restoring data when a server is disabled. They told the committee that updating the current backup system would cost slightly more than the Unitrends package, which is being offered to Blue Ridge at a 35% discount. The discount is available only if the system is purchased this month, said Ms. Tewes. Local businessman Byron Sands, retired from research and development at Hewlett-Packard, joined the committee as a technical resource. Mr. Sands’ wife is a Blue Ridge graduate.
The Board also got a briefing from Special Education Director Mark Fallon on an audit report by the state Department of Education that found a few shortcomings in the Blue Ridge Special Education programs. The auditors would like to see Blue Ridge increase the participation of special ed students in regular classrooms, both the number of students and the share of the school day that they spend in “regular education.”
Blue Ridge now counts some 20% of its student body in special education programs. Most of them are furnished with Individual Education Plans (IEPs) that define individualized goals for a student’s achievement. According to Mr. Fallon, the state average is about 15%. At small schools like Blue Ridge, one or two students can account for a noticeable shift in statistical tables. For example, the auditors would like to see a higher graduation rate among students with IEPs. Mr. Fallon said that 15-20 such students graduate Blue Ridge each year; the one or two who do not can easily boost the failure rate over the state guidelines.
Mr. Fallon has begun an effort to “prevent ‘over-identification’” of students with special needs. Children with minor “articulation problems” (slight speech defects) perhaps should not be identified as “special needs.” And “students receiving a minimal amount of service many not need an IEP.” The overall objective of the audit was to improve the district’s performance in providing a “less restrictive environment” for students with special needs, and to minimize the impact of special education on the district’s educational objectives with regard to state standards.
The Board approved several contracts and agreements at the meeting.
The contract with NHS Human Services of Carbondale was renewed at a cost of $365 per day, or almost $11,000 for 30 days. NHS provides counseling and assessment services for “at-risk” students and others with difficulties at school.
The Board approved an agreement with the Children’s Service Center of Wilkes-Barre for educational services for students placed at the BridgeView Residential Treatment Facility at a rate of $75 per day. According Mr. Fallon, this is only one institution that may be used only upon referral by a psychiatrist or other similar professional for hospitalization. He said 2 students were so referred last year.
The Board accepted an agreement with the Susquehanna County Emergency Management Agency for the use of the schools as a “mass care center” during a disaster declaration. In June 2006 Blue Ridge functioned as a disaster relief center for the American Red Cross during the flooding. Business Manager Loren Small said that the district had received “some compensation” from the Red Cross for the use of the kitchen and other facilities during that event.
The Board approved an agreement with Dr. Sarah Armstrong for consulting services for a series of professional development workshops for a total cost of over $20,000 (services plus expenses). The funds for these sessions are to come from “stimulus” money.
Hartt Dairy was the low bidder for dairy supplies for the new school year. Butter Krust Baking and DiRienzo Brothers will supply bread products. Worldwide Sport Supply, First to the Finish, M-F Athletic, Gopher Sport, Medco and Battaglia’s Sporting Goods will split just over $18,000 to supply athletic equipment and uniforms.
Mandy Miller and Jenna Kogut attended the meeting to accept the Board’s welcome to the Blue Ridge faculty. Ms. Miller will become a 3rd grade teacher. Ms. Kogut will act as a long-term Title I math teacher
The Board hired Doreen Smith for two situations: alternative education at 30 hours per week; and for occasional “behavioral observations” as necessary. Ms. Smith is known to be certified in several areas, and will provide an on-campus supplement to the Bethesda Day Treatment center for disruptive students. Ms. Smith will make classroom observations at the request of teachers and administrators, perhaps 5-10 times a year.
Other personnel actions included payments for summer activities for the technology staff and special education support.
Administrators report progress in gearing up for the start of the new school year at the end of the month. High School Principal Scott Jeffery commended Activities Director Jim Corse for the comprehensive new coaching manual, and for the professional development sessions he continues to provide for his coaches.
Middle School Principal Matthew Nebzydoski announced that the state has told him that his school is no longer in “warning” status in the state standards program, that his teachers and students worked hard last year to achieve AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress). He also warned the Board that he will ask for members’ support when his school wants to create a greenhouse. He claims that the greenhouse will be self-supporting and will not cost the district extra dollars.
Elementary School Principal Matthew Button called on Peg Glezen to report on the summer session. She said that for the first time the schools had completed evaluation measurements of the effectiveness of the program. Not unexpectedly, the students who attended most frequently made the most progress. One major objective was to help ensure that kindergartners did not slip over the summer, and that they were fully prepared for first grade.
Perhaps Mr. Nebzydoski’s greenhouse will grow native blueberries, some of which found their way into a coffee cake provided by the Food Service for the delectation of the meeting’s attendees. With apple season coming up, who knows what refreshments await you at the next board meeting, scheduled for Monday, September 14. Most official business meetings begin at 7:30 p.m. in the cafeteria in the Elementary School.
Road-related concerns abounded at a Clifford Township meeting on August 11. Brown’s Farm Enterprises provided the single bid for black cinders. Clifford supervisors voted to accept the bid of $10.20 per ton, including hauling, and will purchase 100 tons to start.
Road bonding is still a matter of consideration. Cecco Associates and Milnes Engineering provided cost estimates for surveying and photography but stated that signs will be a separate expense. “How’s [bonding] going to impact the local guys?” Dennis Knowlton asked. He suggested that the supervisors “talk to some of the townships that are already into it.” The matter was tabled until the September meeting.
A township resident asked for an update on the 911 addressing. “We don’t know where we stand on that,” responded secretary René Reynolds. She promised to follow up on it for the September meeting.
Reynolds announced that as of October 1, the cliffordtownship.com website will cost $9.95 per month. Prior to this, the website was free. Reynolds agreed to research the number of recent hits for the next meeting to determine the value of the website.
Trent Turner of the Volunteer Fire Department thanked individuals who volunteered at or attended the Clifford Picnic. "We feel that it was a success despite two nights of rain," he commented. Turner also thanked those who helped solve flooding problems on Main Street. Tickets for the annual gun raffle may be purchased at various local businesses at a cost of $20 each.
With the August 14 grant application deadline approaching, township supervisors agreed to set $10,000 as matching funds to replace the windows on the front of the Township Building with thermal windows. Forty thousand is the estimated cost of the overall project. It was unclear whether any of the matching funds could be work in-kind.
Concerning the Mud Road Bridge Project, paperwork was submitted for engineer fee reimbursement.
Regan sought volunteers to supervise the next township recycling day. Knowlton agreed to call to determine if the baseball team could do it. Solicitor Joseph McGraw volunteered for the month of September. Recycling occurs on the third Saturday of each month from nine to noon.
Regan thanked the Department of Public Works for assistance with weather-related problems, stating, "I appreciate what they do."
Penn-DOT will provide advice on a washout on Willenberger Road that left a gorge approximately 18 feet deep.
Finally, Regan asked Dennis Knowlton and Randolph LaCroix to consider a Winter Maintenance Agreement with Penn-DOT. The matter will be voted on at the September Clifford Township meeting.
The Starrucca Borough Council met for their regular monthly meeting on July 1, at 7:00 p.m., at the Community Hall in Starrucca. President (Kirk) Rhone, Mr. Arthur Kopp, Mr. Donald Haynes, Mr. Peter Frank, Mr. Fred Rhone, Mr. Robert Buck, Mr. Anthony Palonis and Mayor (MaryAnn) DeBalko were present.
President Rhone called the meeting to order and the minutes from the previous meeting were read. Mayor DeBalko corrected the minutes to reflect “flag” not flag poles. The motion to approve carried.
The Treasurer’s report was given and the motion to approve carried.
The bills were presented and the motion to approve payment carried.
The following Correspondence was received:
A letter from Penn dot urging coordination and cooperation between municipalities and Penn dot concerning the HOP (Highway Occupancy Permit process.
A “thank you” for the use of the Community Hall from the folks at Saint Paul’s, was read.
A deadline (July 15) for the Dirt & Gravel grants was received from the Wayne County Conservation District.
In New Business:
Mayor DeBalko presented a letter from Penn dot notifying the Borough of their plans to replace the first State bridge off of SR 4012 heading North on Maple Grove Rd. SR 4014, around April 2012. An enclosed questionnaire was read and will be returned to the District Office.
Mr. Rhone questioned if the Council had contacted Engineer (Stephen) Knash about Stephano Bridge Project and suggested setting up a meeting with him to review the project. A motion to have the Bridge Committee hold a work session prior, to list questions to ask Mr. Knash and then set up a meeting with him to work out the details of the project, carried.
Mr. Frank asked if the Wind Mill Ordinance has been sent to the Solicitor and Mayor DeBalko stated she thought it was already done. President Rhone stated some changes have been made, but believed more were needed before it can be sent. The motion was made to send the Ordinance to the Solicitor with the changes already made and get his professional opinion. Mayor DeBalko suggested sending a copy of the State Ordinance for comparison. The motion carried.
The secretary suggested the purchase of a copier and or combination fax machine from the UCC account and a motion was made to gain prices of available machines including supplies for next meetings review. The motion carried.
In Public Participation:
Mr. Jack Downton asked to use the tables and chairs from the Community Hall on July 25. There was a brief discussion as there are other persons already on the schedule. Mr. Kopp will check the schedule to be sure.
Mr. Downton then asked “when are we gonna get the roads worked?” President Rhone stated the in climate weather and the availability of equipment have been major issues this year. Mr. Downton continued about how bad the potholes are and it’s unfair to have to drive around them. Mr. Buck volunteered his services to patch the potholes and asked Mr. Downton for his help. Mr. Downton did not offer to help.
No further business to come before the Board, the motion to adjourn carried.
The Starrucca Borough Council met for a special meeting on July 21, at 7:00 p.m., at the Community Hall in Starrucca. President (Kirk) Rhone, Mr. Peter Frank, Mr. Fred. Rhone, Mr. Robert Buck and Mayor (MaryAnn) DeBalko were present. (Mr. Anthony Palonis, Mr. Donald Haynes Jr. and Mr. Arthur Kopp were absent).
The purpose of the meeting was to review the Stephano Bridge Project with Engineer (Stephen) Knash.
Engineer Knash explained what the old structure consisted of and the flow hydraulics that determined the new structure’s span. He stated the existing abutments will be left as additional scour protection for the new bridge and he spoke about the H-Beam construction. He said the life span of the new structure would be more than fifty years and explained the weathering steel versus galvanized dipped steel. He also explained that he is the person in charge of the process and as such will be the overseer on the construction and that service is included in his engineering. He told of his plans to work up the Bid packages and aid the Redevelopment Authority in the bidding process of the project. He told the Board of their responsibility once the work commences to notify 911 that the Road will be closed. He believes it should take one to one and a half months from start to finish.
No further business to come before the Board, the motion to adjourn carried.
On August 12 at approximately 7:40 p.m., Janis Captain of Hop Bottom was traveling east on SR 2041 in Lenox Twp. when, failing to negotiate a left curve in the roadway, her vehicle exited the road, struck a tree, rolled over, and impacted a tree.
On August 11 at 7:20 p.m., Frank Connors of Susquehanna was traveling south on SR1010 in Oakland Twp. when his vehicle exited the roadway, struck an embankment, and rolled over onto its left side. Connors, who was intoxicated, began to walk toward Susquehanna, where he was found and arrested for DUI. Susquehanna fire and ems responded. French's towed the Ford F250 from the scene.
On August 8 at 2:02 a.m., Holly Strohl of Montrose was stopped for careless driving and failing to signal when making a right hand turn, as she was driving on SR 3029 in Bridgewater Twp. She was asked to perform field sobriety tests and performed in a manner indicative of someone under the influence of an alcoholic beverage. Strohl was transported to Endless Mountain Health System to determine B.A.C. Charges were to be filed at District Court 34-3-01 at time of report.
On August 10, at 3:45 p.m., Dustin Angerson of Hallstead was traveling northbound on SR 1033 in Hallstead when he failed to properly negotiate a right hand curve in the roadway. The Grand Am traveled off the left side of the roadway and struck a wooden fence, which penetrated the windshield and caused injury to the driver. Strohl's vehicle then continued to travel in a northeasterly direction and struck a wooden sign post, shearing it off before veering left and striking a tree at the edge of a creek. Angerson sustained major injuries; he was apparently not utilizing a seat belt.
On August 10, at 3:05 a.m., Thomas Grausgruber of Windsor was traveling southbound on SR 1029 in Great Bend Twp. during a rainstorm. While attempting to negotiate a right hand curve in the roadway, Grausgruber lost control of the Ranger, crossing the northbound lane, impacting a length of guardrails and a series of roadside trees, traveling over an embankment, and making impact with a shed on the northern side of a yard at 113 Halls Road. Grausgruber was wearing a seatbelt; no injuries were sustained.
Between the 7th and 9th of August, an unopened vehicle belonging to Zbigniew Skurzok was entered, and 2 CO2 powered nail guns and a Milwaukee angle drill were removed from within. The incident occurred at a location in New Milford Twp., on SR 848.
HIT AND RUN
On August 8 at 7:15 p.m., Stanley Wood of Montrose was backing out of a parked position in Bridgewater Twp. when he struck the front of a Buick Regal. He was seen getting out of the vehicle and observing the damage before getting back in and fleeing the scene.
Sometime between October 9 and August 8 a residence on Lake Lowe in Herrick Twp., belonging to Michael White of Brick, NJ was entered by means of a door. A Toro weed wacker and a guitar were removed from within. A shed on the property was also broken into, and a cub cadet riding lawn mower removed.
HIT AND RUN
On August 7 at 2 a.m., an unknown person was traveling east on SR492 in New Milford Twp. when he or she lost control of the vehicle, left the roadway to the right, struck a building causing damage, and fled the scene east on SR 492. The vehicle appeared to “be a red SUV with big aggressive tires.”
Between the 6th and 7th of August, one or more unknown perpetrator(s) went to the work site of Dusty Cartrette at Dimples and Dents in Jackson Twp. A John Deere log skidder belonging to Cartrette was set on fire.
HIT AND RUN
On July 31st at 10:30 p.m., Wesley Bennett of Rushville was traveling west on SR 706 when he lost control of his vehicle and struck a guardrail. The Ford F-250 was disabled. Bennett fled the scene.
On August 4 between eleven and twelve o'clock in the morning, an unknown person took possession of a bottle of Kapali liquor valued at $8.99 and left the Wine and Spirit Shop in Montrose without paying for it.
On August 2 at 10:52 p.m., Bruce Glosenger was arrested on SR 0081 in Harford Twp. for D.U.I. and another traffic violation. Glosenger was driving erratically when he passed another vehicle using the shoulder, in a construction zone. His vehicle became disabled after running over a rock on the shoulder. The vehicle he passed happened to be driven by an off-duty State Trooper, who contacted PSP/Gibson. This trooper stayed with the accused until members from that station arrived at the scene. Charges were filed at District Court 34-3-03.
POSSESSION OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE
On July 31 Roy Yanuary of Hop Bottom was found to be in possession of the controlled substance Lorazepam without a prescription from a doctor.
On August 1, at 5:58 p.m., William Giangrieco of Hallstead was traveling south on State Route 11 in Great Bend Twp. An unnamed juvenile was stopped at a red light at that time, on a private road at the intersection of State Route 11 and State Route 171. Impact between the two vehicles occurred as Giangrecco proceeded through a red light and struck the girl's vehicle as it was attempting to turn left onto eleven. Upon impact, both units came to a final rest. Both vehicles sustained damage to their front bumper area. There were no injuries reported; each was wearing a seatbelt. Giangrecco was cited for running a red light at the intersection; charges were filed at District Court 34-3-02.
On July 30 at 5:10 a.m., Bobbie Vangorden of Meshoppen was traveling southbound on SR 3009 in Auburn Twp. when, swerving to avoid a tree that was across the road, she lost control of her vehicle. The Cavalier exited the roadway off the west berm, struck an embankment, and rolled over. Vangorden was not injured; she was wearing a seatbelt.
On July 31, between 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., damage was done to two vehicles located on the property of David Durko, Sr. of the Uniondale area. The incident occurred in Herrick Twp. Damage was also done to Durko's yard. The investigation was ongoing at the time of report.
On July 30 a 15 year old male elected to be indifferent to parental authority and ran away from his home in Oakland Township. On July 31 he was located and charged with violations of PACC.
On July 31 approximately $60 in cash was stolen form a vehicle belonging to Nichole Pinch of Scranton. The theft occurred between 2:05 and 4:00 p.m., while the vehicle was parked in the Susquehanna County Jail Parking lot.
POSSESSION WITH INTENT TO DELIVER
On July 30 at approximately 6:45 p.m., Selwin Allicock of Harrisburg was operating a 1998 Lincoln Navigator on Interstate 81 in Great Bend Twp. when he was stopped for a motor vehicle violation. A search of the vehicle produced 30 pounds of marijuana, three ten pound blocks wrapped individually. Allicock was arrested and is currently incarcerated in the Susquehanna County Prison on $100,000 dollars bail.
Between the 14th and 24th of July, the residence of Howard and Michael Hentrickson in Friendsville Borough was entered, and several guns stolen from within.
If you have information regarding any of these incidents please contact PSP Gibson at (570) 465-3154.
On May 5, Kurt Frey of Franklin Township, rolled his business pickup truck over a steep bank on Kane Road when trying to miss a deer. The vehicle was severely damaged, but Frey was not injured.
HARASSMENT BY COMMUNICATIONS
On July 13, Jeff Rosenkrans reported that people involved with his private business service were harassing him.
On July 17, Bill Scanlon reported that 3 speed bump strips had been stolen from Arrowhead Lake’s private road. The lake association purchased the bumps in an attempt to slow traffic on the dusty road during the busy season.
On July 19, Matthew Bossard crashed his 2001 Audi into a large tree on SR4007 North Road in Forest Lake Township. Investigation at the scene indicated that speed and alcohol contributed to the accident. SLTPD were requested to handle and investigate this incident by the PSP at Gibson.
Robert Wilkes, Jr., who lives at and has land at Quaker Lake, reported instances of littering and dumping at his property. Items, including raw garbage, have been left in his driveway and into his fields along Patton Road.
On July 27, Melody Tereska of Brackney, reported that her mailbox had been painted during the night.
On July 28, Jeff Dibble reported that he is being repeatedly harassed by the owner’s son at the quarry he is working at the Mike Shuta, Jr. farm in Silver Lake Township.
On July 28, Heather Shroder of Brackney, reported that she was being followed or stalked by an unidentified man while she was shopping and conducting normal errands in NY and near her home in Brackney.
Any information or questions for the Silver Lake Township Police, please call 570-278-6818 or e-mail email@example.com. All information will be held strictly confidential.
Visit the Silver Lake Township website at silverlaketwp.org, to see all of Silver Lake Township’s news, profiles and resources, including the police reports.
A Forest City Regional School District meeting held on August 10 began with a video clip demonstrating how easily weapons can be concealed in loose-fitting clothing. Board members hoped the clip would increase awareness about the importance of a dress code.
Although Forest City Regional made Adequate Yearly Progress on PSSA scores for 2009-2010, it remains in the School Improvement 1 phase for at least another year. Dr. Zefran asked what steps will be implemented to improve PSSA scores. Dr. Robert Vadella, superintendent, highlighted some of the steps that have been or will be implemented at Forest City, including reducing class sizes in the primary grades and providing differentiated instruction lessons for teachers. A new math series will be introduced, and the entire high school math curriculum will be revised. Additional math time will be provided for grades five and six, with daily intervention for in-need students. Students will be taught test-taking strategies, and more reading competitions will be offered to promote books.
Zefran asked whether the school needs a curriculum coordinator. Vadella responded that although the board has considered hiring a curriculum coordinator, “It’s a tough sell in a small district.” At present, the faculty and administration work together to set the curriculum.
Zefran asked about Advanced Placement courses, stating, “There is not one [other] school [in the NEIU] that does not have AP or honors courses.” Vadella responded that the school has one student enrolled in a distance-learning AP course and pointed to the introduction of accelerated programs at Forest City. “I think our gifted program here is growing,” he added.
Weighted grades were also a hot topic of discussion. “I think there are some students [at Forest City] who are being cheated,” said Zefran. He asked Vadella if, potentially, a “non-gifted IEP student” could become a valedictorian or could bump an academic student out of the top ten percent of the class. Vadella responded, “Anything is conceivable…I don’t see it happening.” He stated that a student who is limited in one area can still be “exceptional in other areas…and should not be excluded from [the honors] process.” In reference to weighting grades, Vadella continued, “It’s nice for class rank. …It looks real good locally, [but] I wonder if it’s worth the upheaval it causes.”
Dr. Henry Nebzydoski said, “It’s never gonna be totally fair: everything in life isn’t perfectly fair. We’re trying to do the best we can for the most kids.” “I think we’re making strides in the direction that you want,” Vadella told Zefran.
At Forest City Regional, ten faculty and staff members received 3.6 percent raises, and three received a 3 percent raise.
Classes at Forest City will begin on Wednesday, August 26 for the 2009-2010 school year, and on Tuesday, September 15 at 7 p.m., the first PTO meeting will be held in the Elementary Library.
Kenneth Swartz, Elementary Principal, announced an after school reading tutoring program, which will be held every Tuesday and Thursday, from September 1 through December 22, from 3:30 to 5 p.m. A math tutoring program will occur later in the year. Parents will be notified by letter if their child is eligible for the programs.
Board members reported that fourteen applications were received for the high school principal position; however, the board cannot guarantee that a new principal will be instated by the start of the school year. Vadella announced that if needed, he will temporarily fill in.
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