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Issue Home October 28, 2009 Site Home

Elk Lake Taxpayers Protest Expansion
COG Police Study Delayed, Again
Sentencing Report

Courthouse Report
Gibson Barracks Report
H1N1 Rumors Impact SCSD
Silver Lake Twp. Police Report
N. M. Twp. Gets Blue Book

Elk Lake Taxpayers Protest Expansion
By Melinda Darrow

The Elk Lake and SCCTC school board meetings ran for close to four hours on October 20, even without the usual extended executive session at the beginning of the meeting (though there was a brief one partway through) and despite only a short recess between the meetings. The reason the unusually well-attended evening was of such lengthy duration lay with the dissatisfaction of a particularly voluble subset of taxpayers, in attendance to protest the proposed expansion of the vo-tech center. Apparently the public response was a reaction to the public hearing held a week or two prior, though it had not lasted as long. At the hearing, it was stated, there had not been as much room for give-and-take between the board and the visitors. (This term is used to differentiate between the two parties for, as it was pointed out, the board members are community members and tax-payers.) After the exchange that evening, some in attendance relate their appreciation that opinions had been heard.

Some in attendance appeared dissatisfied with the manner in which the initial hearing itself was conducted. One visitor claimed that the act 34 hearing had only been advertised on slips of paper and by word of mouth, and that it was neither on the school’s website nor in the newspapers. Two of the newspapers represented at the meeting, however, spoke up stating that it had been mentioned in their publications, in either an advertisement or an article.

The website itself came under scrutiny, with one visitor pointing out that even when information was on the website, there were problems with it being cut off (citing the recent emergency message regarding the dismissal of school as an example). Also, it was stated, there was no contact information listed for the board members, who, due to the recent controversy, a lot of people might want to contact. This woman claimed that, on a list which graded school websites, Elk Lake received a d minus.

At the beginning of the ensuing debate, Dr. Bush was questioned regarding a letter from a taxpayer. He retrieved the letter and his responses, reading both aloud.

It was asked how the district could be certain that the state would make good on its promised reimbursement money, especially given the recent economic situation. Dr. Bush stated that the district would, if necessary, satisfy the bank loans from its reserves until the state money came in. Although no person can ever be certain that the state or any other organization or person will honor commitments, he argued, the state does have a good record of doing so when it comes to schools. The president of a rural and small school organization recently said, he continued, that he did not know of any school ever not receiving its construction reimbursement.

The exact nature of the 1.1 mill increase was questioned repeatedly throughout the evening. The purpose of the increase would be to cover Elk Lake’s share of the tuition increase utilized to fund the project. The raise in taxes does not mean that Elk Lake taxpayers are paying for the project themselves. The SCCTC is not a taxing entity; it is entirely funded by tuition, state money, grants, etc. The expansion would mean an increase in the tuition for all of the sending schools. The board would raise taxes simply to cover Elk Lake’s share of this increase.

The 1.1 mill increase would only happen once, for the purposes of this project. It would remain in effect for the duration of the loan, however. No further tax increase, the board stated, would be made in subsequent years concerning the loan. This does not mean that there would not be other tax increases during this time, simply that any which were made would not be in relation to the loan. It was pointed out that, historically, the board had been very conservative in its tax increases, and had expressed concern for its constituents during economic uncertainty.

In relation to taxes, Dr. Bush also discussed that no increase in taxes could also hurt the district in the long run. Act 1 limits how many mills taxes can be raised, and the index changes every year. If, then, the district always chooses to have little to no tax increase, it may one day find itself unable to raise taxes when something comes up. He would like to see, he continued, millage be raised if the gas money comes in, and then give a rebate to the taxpayers.

That potential oil and gas money, as well as the money which has already been collected, was another topic of note. The letter had asked the details of this agreement. It was answered that the district had received $750 per acre with an agreed upon 12.5% royalty. This amounted to approximately $134,715 which the district received from the original agreement. The author of the letter had suggested that this money could be utilized to pay off the loan in less than twenty years, and asked, then, why the district would hit up the taxpayers.

It was responded that there had been many discussions regarding how the gas money should be used. As of yet, the two wells drilled have not produced any royalties, and the original amount was put into the general fund. The district does not know what further oil and gas monies might come in. Mr. Curly maintained that if this money goes into the general fund, in the long term it will help the taxpayers as the money can then be taken from that fund instead of raising taxes later on. He also argued that if the district tried to pay off the loan early, the Elk Lake taxpayers would end up paying more than their fair share for the expansion, as the loan amount would be distributed through all of the sending schools accordingly by means of tuition. (One woman in the audience still felt strongly that the district should endeavor to do so.) It was queried as to whether or not a mechanism were in place to allow for a tax reprieve should the wells prove a sufficient revenue flow. Dr. Bush responded that, based on the board and district’s history, he could see it, but did not guarantee that any such thing would occur.

Dr. Bush and Mr. Place had done some figuring regarding what the tax increase might mean to various properties, of various sizes, with or without homestead and farmstead exclusions. One estimate was an additional $30.69 per year. The visitors stated that, while this might not sound like a lot, it would be a burden for families who were having a difficult time making ends meet. It was queried as to why the district would not put off the project until healthier economic times, but insisted upon pursuing it now. Dr. Bush answered that, having spoken with the bank, in some respects the interest rates are better now, and the project would likely cost more later on due to this reality and rising construction costs.

The voting and approval process was also dissected, as information emerged from a series of questions and answers. It was asked whether or not the final vote would occur at a public meeting. Yes, it was responded, it would, though the board and administration were as of yet unable to name the exact date when this might occur. Five votes, it was explained, have already been conducted, to bring the process this far. All of these votes have been unanimous. This does not necessarily mean, however, that all board members have made the decision to pursue the action. The ACT 34 meeting did not signify complete board intent to pursue the project, it was required by law regardless of how individual board members felt. The expansion is far from a done deal. Were it decided to proceed, the board would need a vote to approve going to bid, and then another to approve accepting a bid. When the time comes, a simple majority is all that would be required to pass the motions.

Late in the meeting a visitor asked the board members to please all state their opinion on the expansion. Due to the late hour (and the hours already spent in that auditorium), Mr. Place declined to ask all of the board members to answer, though a few chose to do so either then or elsewhere during the meeting. All who spoke up were in favor of the expansion, although one member tempered his support with a statement that he would take the feelings of his district’s constituents into account regardless of how he felt. Mr. Place, much earlier in the evening, had already said that, unless something changed he would be in favor it the move, as he felt it was important to both the district’s kids and those attending from other areas.

When it was asked why the expansion process had been begun at all Mr. Curley explained, that in his opinion, a changing marketplace provided one good reason for it. The current program runs well, he said, and runs at capacity. The sending schools were polled, and expressed their interest in other fields. If, he maintained, more room has to be made, a district might as well make both more room and more opportunities.

Another reason given for the expansion being pursued was a job market which has need of the students the SCCTC can train. This was a sticking point for some visitors, such as the woman who argued that many graduates emerge unqualified and not ready for these jobs. She wanted a follow up done of how many students received employment, certification, etc. in their field of study. Dr. Bush pointed out that this could be done, but would require someone to be paid to do so. The woman responded that she wouldn't mind paying, for something like that. A man asked if the goal of the program was to prepare them for higher education or if the training they received was the end goal. It was responded that both were the goal. This man felt that a 1.1 mill increase for the possible 42 new students that might be gained was disproportionate when compared to the Elk Lake population at large. He said that, in his opinion, the district should want students to move on to higher education to make it worth the taxpayers while, and get them into fields of study in which they will want to remain. He asked if the district really wanted to spend that kind of money on 42 students who may or may not change fields one year later. Like the woman, he wanted to be assured that the program worked. Dr. Cuomo cited a statistic which said that the average graduate today will have between 12 and 14 jobs by the time he or she is 38, apparently arguing that if a graduate changes fields it does not mean he or she did not get a quality education. Dr. Bush pointed out that only half of those pursuing a even a four year degree finish. It was explained that some of the programs allow the students to go straight into their fields, while some require more training, but upon completion of the program the students would receive a certificate, a diploma, and a list of competencies passed.

There were those at the meeting as well who proposed that, if Elk Lake owned the SCCTC facilities, then the district ought to charge the vo-tech rent, or otherwise bill them. It was suggested that if the SCCTC could not collect taxes, then it was not carrying its weight. The board and administration argued that the vo-tech center contributed to salaries and, in fact, paid its own way and more. Elk Lake does not charge rent, it was explained, because the same board makes decisions for both schools, and the same taxpayers own the buildings. If Elk Lake charged SCCTC rent, the vo-tech would have to raise tuition to pay it, and Elk Lake would have to raise taxes to pay the increased tuition.

Audience members also queried as to whether the district had yet sought grants to allay the project costs. It was explained, patiently, that grants could not be sought for a project that had not yet been approved.

A reporter at the meeting asked about the water problem which led to the emergency early dismissal on the Monday prior. Dr. Bush explained that the maintenance department had discovered, when doing their daily systems check, that there was no water pressure in the main tank at the elementary. The problem had not been a lack of water volume, simply the inability to get it to the school. After much work on the behalf of both the maintenance department and an outside company, water had been restored. The system at the elementary contained the original pumps; the thought is now that they will need to be replaced sooner than originally thought. A DEP representative had come to the school while the system was being worked on, after a concerned citizen had called out of fear that the gas and oil wells had tainted the water. A boil water advisory was put out, and students utilized bottled water and hand sanitizer temporarily (due to low water pressure), but by the night of the meeting things had returned to normal.

The school received a check from target as part if its “take charge of education” initiative, in which red card use leads to up to a 1% donation to the patron's school of choice. To participate, consumers must enroll and then use their red cards. The district received $42.68 of no-strings attached money from this service.

An Elk Lake student was named a commended student in the 2010 national merit scholarship program. Sarah-Jane Abate received this honor, Dr. Cuomo announced, for her performance on the PSATs. She is only the 2nd student, he explained, to do so in his 18 years. Although she will not continue in the 2010 competition for the national merit scholarship, Miss Abate placed in the top 5% of more than 1.5 million students who entered the 2010 competition by taking the test.

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COG Police Study Delayed, Again


The members of the Council of Governments (COG) had expected to host Greg Hostettler at their October 20 meeting. Mr. Hostettler is working through DCED to prepare a feasibility study of what would be involved for members to form their own regional police departments and had expected to present the completed report at their October meeting. But, Mr. Hostettler communicated that due to unforeseeable professional and personal events, he has not been able to complete the report, but does expect to have it completed by the November meeting. Several of those present commented on their interest in hearing the report's findings, especially with the possibility of HB1500 being enacted by state legislators. If HB1500 does get passed, municipalities will face a State Police “service fee” if they do not have full-time police coverage, whether it be by their own departments, or through a contractual agreement with a neighboring municipality.

In other business, correspondence reviewed included a copy of the 2009 PA COG directory; an invitation to a buyer/vendor day in Wellsboro; and information on stimulus funding for solar projects, information is available at

The group approved a request from the New Milford Boro Council to use the COG offices for their November 3 meeting, as the boro offices will be used as a polling place that day.

At their previous meetings, COG had discussed the possibility of changing their monthly meeting schedule to a bi-monthly schedule. It was discussed again, as no definite decision had been made, especially as the group was anxious to hear the police study report. If there were to be any activity on the progress of HB1500, the group would want to keep up on developments. And, one member noted that he preferred the continuity of monthly meetings, to keep up on COG activities and other items of interest. So, for the time being, the meeting schedule will be kept at monthly.

Ted Plevinsky, a member of the executive committee, had met with the New Milford Boro Council to continue discussion of replacing the COG office windows and having the doors resealed and an agreement had been reached. As the boro did not budget for the repairs to the building, which the boro owns, it was agreed that COG would pay for the windows which had been ordered and were expected to arrive shortly. In return, the boro will waive COG's rent for the next two months as well as deducting $50 from the third month's rent. When the windows are installed, the doors will be resealed, all of which is expected to be complete by the next COG meeting.

Two of COG's members, Jessup and Springville Townships, have enacted ordinances to withdraw from COG. In the past, when COG has been the municipality's appointed Sewage Enforcement Officer, any pending permits begun by the prior SEO were honored, with COG completing whatever work was necessary. In this case, there are open permits in both townships. The permit fee that COG charges includes the fees for subsequent inspections, which led to the question, should COG finish out the inspections on the open permits? After discussion, it was agreed that COG should complete the work, as it had been paid for. But, first the two townships will be contacted to ascertain whether or not they wished COG to complete the inspections and to notify COG in writing whether or not they wished COG to proceed. There was also a question of whether or not COG's SEO has the legal authority to do the inspections once the relationship with COG has been severed. It was agreed to contact DEP for the answer to this question.

COG Sewage

The sewage committee began their portion of the meeting by expressing regret that two members had chosen to withdraw.

As of this date, there was no news on state reimbursements for sewage enforcement. Rumors seem to indicate that if the reimbursements are reinstated, they will be at a much lower rate than they had previously been. With no reimbursements coming in, many organizations in other areas have ceased operations. The new state budget does include a line item of $3 million for reimbursements, but so far there is no definitive figure of what the rate of reimbursement will be. If the reimbursements are significantly reduced, organizations such as COG will be faced with the necessity to increase permit fees to cover expenses.

It was noted that the sewage plans for the senior housing project in Choconut has been approved.

COG Codes

There was some discussion about a subject that has been discussed from time to time, that being rumors. Sometimes those rumors blame COG for the various regulations concerning the UCC, sometimes due to contractors not understanding an architect's plans or the terminology used in plans. There have been instances when COG has been asked to “interpret” plans, when questions should be addressed to the architect. COG has always had an “open door” policy; those with questions, whether it be about sewage or codes, are more than welcome to contact COG.

There has also been good feedback from those who have had to deal with COG and/or the building inspectors. One such example was a letter read at the meeting from an individual who commended COG's building inspector for providing help and assistance as well as a positive attitude, a timely response to phone calls, and an overall very good experience. A copy of the letter was sent to BIU, COG's third party building inspector.

There were some questions from two of the group's members about the process for a commercial building, specifically the handicap accessibility. The questions concerned the possibility that the final product may not have been according to the initial plans. It was explained that the process is that when the initial plans are received, they are reviewed and the site inspected. Some time later, the site is inspected by Labor and Industry. If there has been any change from the initial plans which does not meet code requirements, the original inspector does get written up, whether or not he is aware of those changes. Any safety issues must be corrected; if the site does not meet handicap accessibility requirements, those situations must be addressed.

The next meeting will be on Tuesday, November 17, 7:00 p.m. in the COG offices in the New Milford Boro building.

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Sentencing Report

Following is the Susquehanna County sentencing report for October, 2009 as submitted by the county District Attorney’s office.

Clifford Harvey Grosvenor, 39, of New Milford, PA to 12 months probation, pay $350 fine, pay cost of prosecution, receive a drug and alcohol evaluation and treatment, 11 p.m. curfew for Disorderly Conduct in New Milford Borough on June 27, 2008. Mr. Grosvenor also received 15 months probation, pay $500 fine, pay cost of prosecution, receive a drug and alcohol evaluation and treatment, not to possess transport or consume alcoholic beverages, not to enter any establishment whose sole purpose is the sale of alcohol, not to possess weapons while on supervision for Criminal Conspiracy/Simple Assault in New Milford Borough on June 27, 2008. Finally, Mr. Grosvenor received a $100 fine and costs of prosecution for Criminal Mischief in New Milford Borough on June 27, 2008.

James Theobald, 26, of Susquehanna, PA to 8 months to 23 1/2 months in Susquehanna County Correctional Facility, pay $500 fine, pay cost of prosecution, pay $50 Criminal Justice Enhancement Act fee, not to have contact with the victim in this case, not to possess firearms while on supervision, not to have contact with minors, receive a sexual offender assessment and treatment for Corruption of Minors in Harmony Township on September 1, 2007.

Ryan Dembroski, 18, of South Montrose, PA to 2 month to 23 1/2 months in Susquehanna County Correctional Facility, pay $500 fine, pay cost of prosecution, pay $50 Criminal Justice Enhancement Act fee, perform 50 hours community service, pay $250 DNA testing fee and submit sample, for Criminal Trespass in Forest City on July 10, 2009. Mr. Dembroski also received a $350 fine and pay cost of prosecution for Theft by Unlawful Taking in Forest City on July 10, 2009. Finally, Mr. Dembroski received $150 fine and pay cost of prosecution for Criminal Mischief in Forest City on August 8, 2009.

Dennis E Robinson, 25, of Susquehanna, PA to 18 months probation, pay $500 fine, pay cost of prosecution, pay $50 Criminal Justice Enhancement Act fee, not to have contact with the victim in this case, not to have contact with minors without adult supervision, continue with mental health treatment for Corruption of Minors in Susquehanna on April 21, 2009.

Victor Bartholmew Ceria, 48, of Saddlebrook, NJ to 6 months probation, pay $250 fine, pay cost of prosecution for False Reports in Clifford Township on August 29, 2009. Mr. Ceria also received a $150 fine, pay cost of prosecution, pay restitution to the victim in this case for Criminal Mischief in Clifford Township on August 29, 2009.

Todd C Oakley, 43, of Rogersville, TN to 23 months probation, pay $500 fine, pay restitution to the victim in this case, pay cost of prosecution for Misapplication of Entrusted Property in Auburn Township on September 10, 2005.

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Courthouse Report
Compiled By Lauren P. Ficarro


Donald L. and Nancy L. Rosenberry to Bremer Hof Owners, Inc., in Herrick Township for $100.00.

Paul J. Kelly to Paul J. and Susan L. Kelly, in Herrick Township for one dollar.

Barbara J. Staff to Gary and Donald Kozic, in Middletown Township for one dollar.

Michael L. and Shannon B. Hawley to Michael L. Hawley, in Bridgewater Township for one dollar.

Beth Ann and James P. Rielly to Andrew R. and Cinda M. Natt, in Springville Township for $128,000.00.

Charles and Debbie Canfield to Robert M. and Leticia Ellis, in Dimock Township for $5,791.56.

Alexander and Barbara Komar (AKA) Barbara L. Sartell to Alexander and Barbara L. Komar, in Thompson Township for one dollar.

Delraine and Ann Harvey to Delraine and Ann Harvey, in Springville Township for one dollar.

William A. Swanson (estate), Margaret M. and Paul Gleva to Justin M. Conrad, in Gibson Township for $12,000.00.

Marjorie L. Hill to William L. and Brenna B. Aileo, in Dimock Township for $72,000.00.

Raymond E. Whaite to Suzanne Brant, in Great Bend Township for one dollar.

Raymond E. Whaite to Suzanne Brant, in Hallstead Borough for one dollar.

R & J Marcho LLC to Rachelle L. Bergey, Julie A. Yoder and Martha G. Marcho, in Gibson Township for one dollar.

R & J Marcho LLC to Rachelle L. Bergey, Julie A. Yoder and Martha G. Marcho, in Gibson Township for one dollar.

R & J Marcho LLC to Rachelle L. Bergey, Julie A. Yoder and Martha G. Marcho, in Gibson Township for one dollar.

R & J Marcho LLC to Rachelle L. Bergey, Julie A. Yoder and Martha G. Marcho, in Gibson Township for one dollar.

R & J Marcho LLC to Rachelle L. Bergey, Julie A. Yoder and Martha G. Marcho, in Gibson Township for one dollar.

R & J Marcho LLC to Rachelle L. Bergey, Julie A. Yoder and Martha G. Marcho, in Gibson Township for one dollar.

R & J Marcho LLC to Rachelle L. Bergey, Julie A. Yoder and Martha G. Marcho, in Gibson Township for one dollar.

R & J Marcho LLC to Rachelle L. Bergey, Julie A. Yoder and Martha G. Marcho, in Gibson Township for one dollar.

R & J Marcho LLC to Rachelle L. Bergey, Julie A. Yoder and Martha G. Marcho, in Gibson Township for one dollar.

R & J Marcho LLC to Rachelle L. Bergey, Julie A. Yoder and Martha G. Marcho, in Gibson Township for one dollar.

R & J Marcho LLC to Rachelle L. Bergey, Julie A. Yoder and Martha G. Marcho, in Gibson Township for one dollar.

R & J Marcho LLC to Rachelle L. Bergey, Julie A. Yoder and Martha G. Marcho, in Gibson Township for one dollar.

Dennis N. and Janis E. Bunnell to Kristopher G. and Allison M. Bunnell, in Jessup Township for one dollar.

Ann Marie Strawn (NKA) Ann Marie Tierney to Adam Wolf and Rebecca Netherton, in Great Bend Township for $125,000.00.

Kenneth L., Carol M., Kenneth Franklin and Catherine N. Rauch to Adam and Rebekah Rauch, in Bridgewater Township for one dollar.

Kenneth L., Carol M., Kenneth Franklin and Catherine N. Rauch to Kenneth Franklin and Catherine N. Rauch, in Bridgewater Township for one dollar.

Kenneth L., Carol M., Kenneth Franklin and Catherine N. Rauch to Kenneth L. and Carol M. Rauch, in Bridgewater Township for one dollar.

Joseph R. Griffin (estate) and Doris Mary Keasler (estate) to Donald, John, Bernard, William and Robert Griffin, Catherine Hardy and Barbara Winnie, in Apolacon Township for one dollar.

Christopher and Anne F. Acker to Christopher and Anne F. Acker, in Bridgewater Township for one dollar.

Walter S. (by Sheriff) and Karen M. (by Sheriff) Sosnowski to Bank of New York Mellon Trust Company and JP Morgan Chase Bank, in Forest City for $1,501.33.

Karen D. Anderson to Karen D. Anderson and Dewayne K. Holcomb, in Auburn Township for one dollar.

George C. and Pamela A. Overmeyer to Tiffany N. Tanner, in Susquehanna for $100,000.00.

Charles H. and Michelle Snyder to Chann Investments, Inc., in Susquehanna for $50,000.00.

Bremer Hof Owners, Inc. to Dawn Mack, in Herrick Township for $100.00.

Richard D. (estate) and Pamela Anne Cirzeveto to Pamela Anne Cirzeveto, in Choconut Township for one dollar.

William H. Combs (estate) to William H., III, Jerome J., George M., Sr., Suzanne S. and Thomas B. Combs, Lucia C. Geraci, C. Noel Garapola and Edmee C. West, in Clifford Township for one dollar.

Lucille E. Grzankowski to Michael C., Sr., Michael C., Jr., Jennifer L., Chester S., Jr. and Christopher S. Grzankowski, in Oakland Township for one dollar.

Lucille E. Grzankowski to Michael C., Sr., Michael C., Jr., Jennifer L., Chester S., Jr. and Christopher S. Grzankowski, in Oakland Township for one dollar.

Lucille E. Grzankowski to Michael C., Sr., Michael C., Jr., Jennifer L., Chester S., Jr. and Christopher S. Grzankowski, in Harmony Township for one dollar.

Frederick Scott and Amy L. Knauer to Frederick Scott and Amy L. Knauer, in Bridgewater Township for one dollar.

Gary C. and Terry Davella to Mark and Mary Davella, in Choconut Township for $20,000.00.

Patrick J. and Anita Burke to Scott R. and Mark R. Bradley, in Auburn Township for $131,250.00.

JT Spano LLC to Donald and Tarah Evans, in Forest City for $74,722.00.

Dominic Larusso (by Sheriff) to HSBC Bank USA, in Herrick Township for $2,736.00.


Trudy K. Brennan vs. William Brennan, both of Montrose, married 2005.

Joseph M. Bognatz vs. Penelope J. Bognatz, both of Forest City, married 2001.

Susan L. Zukosky vs. Joseph Zukosky, both of Union Dale, married 2001.

Raymond E. Whaite of New Milford vs. Suzanne Brant of Hallstead, married 1986.


The Susquehanna County Domestic Relations Section has bench warrants for the following individuals as of 10:05 a.m. on October 23, 2009.

Antonio L. Alcantara, Duane Aldrich, David P. Atherholt, Jr., Erika L. Back, John W. Barber, Sr., Keith B. Beach, Neeko A. Beahan, David Shawn Blaisure, Joseph Bonavita, Robert B. Carrier, Jason James Carroll, Beverly A. Carvin, Darryl M. Chaffee, Christopher J. Clark, Tony R. Clark, Edward J. Dickson, Jr., Deborah L. Drish, David J. Fischer, Ryan M. Forder, Kelly Fox, Racheal L. Frisbie, David Haines, Jr., Suzanne R. Hansen, William N. Hendrickson, Ann Hightower, Steven L. Jones, Kenneth M. Kintner, Corey J. Koch, Eric C. Kohlhepp, Erik E. Krisovitch, Lee Labor, Charlie J. Legere, Carlos L. Leiser, Patricia J. Marrero, Nancy McGillis, David N. Miller, Joseph C. Moore, Anthony Neri, Rodney Alan Oakley, Donald Palmer, Scott Pensak, Gary Perico, Jesse R. Rhinebeck, Jr., Timothy W. Rogers, Amy Shelp, David J. Shiner, Darin Sink, Duane Spencer, Robert J. Sterling, Garrett M. Thomas, Charles VanWinkle, Jr., Keith W. Vroman, Donald L. Welch, 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.

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Gibson Barracks Report
Compiled By Melinda Darrow


Between the 16th and 20th of October one or more person(s) stole 15 pieces of blue stone (approximately) from Sarah Marks of Hallstead. The stone was valued at approximately 150 dollars.


A 12-volt car battery was removed from a surveying site in Auburn Township. The incident occurred on October 19 between 7 and 8 a.m. The battery belonged to the Energy Management and Services Company out of Sayre, PA.


On October 18 at 9 p.m. an unnamed 16 year old juvenile form the Appalachian, NY area removed Red Man tobacco from the retail portion of the State Line plaza in Little Meadows. Charges were pending for violation of PACC at the time of report.


On October 15 at approximately 11:45 p.m., a 17 year old was traveling on Griffis Hill Rd. in Jessup when his vehicle exited the roadway from the east berm. The Dodge 2500 traveled approximately 60' along the edge of the roadway before hitting a tree. The youth was not apparently wearing a seatbelt; he sustained moderate injury. He was transported by Montrose Minutemen to Wilson Memorial Hospital in NY for treatment.


On October 18 at approximately 11:30 a.m., one or more unknown person(s) caused damage to the house of William Tell of Forest City. The house was in Clifford Twp.


Between October 6th and 17th a 25 hp Mercury Outboard motor was removed from a boat at Tingley Lake. The owner and location were not listed in the report.


On October 17 at 3:28 an unknown driver was traveling north on SR 11 in Lathrop Twp. when he or she veered off the right shoulder and struck a parked vehicle. After impact, the offending vehicle continued to travel north on that road until, for unknown reasons, it crossed into the opposing lane and exited the roadway, striking the guard rail. After this second collision, the driver was able to regain control of the unidentified vehicle, and continue north without stopping. The vehicle, based on physical evidence, probably had heavy front bumper area damage. The parked vehicle, a Ford Windstar, had damage to its passenger side rear quarter panel and bumper area, as well as the driver’s side mirror.


On October 10, a red Chevrolet Cavalier with Pennsylvania plates drove up to Lockhart's Service Station in Bridgewater Twp. The unknown operator(s) of the vehicle pumped $20 of gas into it, then left without paying.


Between September 23 and October 5 prescription drugs were taken from the residence of Kristina Kubscnk of Meshoppen.


On October 15 at 7:03 p.m. a crash occurred at the Price Chopper parking lot off SR 706 in Bridgewater township, where a Dodge Ram was parked. When the owner of the Ram came out, she noticed that her vehicle was damaged, and that the other vehicle had taken off.


On October 10 at 4:55 Brian Rogan was traveling south on SR 247, a 2-lane paved roadway. At this time an unnamed driver was traveling north, pulling into her driveway. Rogan veered to the right to avoid striking her, causing his vehicle to hit a ditch, a mailbox, and a stone wall. The woman pulled into the driveway, and was not actually struck. Rogan and his passenger were utilizing seatbelts; they were not injured.


On October 12 at 2:30 a.m. one or more unknown burglar(s) forcibly made entry to Schwalm's Deli in Gibson Twp., by means of a rock thrown through an eastern side window. Once inside, the burglar(s) attempted to remove cash from within, all without authorization or consent.


On October 2 at 2:55, Donald Koch of Barre, VT was traveling north along SR 81 in Lenox Twp. in the right lane. He was operating a 2007 International Harvester. At this point an unknown driver, who had been traveling in the left lane, attempted to get ahead of Koch prior to the start of a construction zone. This driver made a lane change to the right and collided with the trailer of Koch's truck, striking the outside left tire on the first axle. He or she then pulled off into the left lane behind the barrels and left the scene prior to the arrival of psp.


On October 10 at 4:24 p.m., Oscar Zuniga-Miranda of Susquehanna was traveling north on SR 29 in Franklin Twp. when his vehicle exited the roadway and struck a ditch and an embankment. The Imprezza then rolled over twice before coming to a final rest on its roof. The vehicle sustained considerable damage due to the impact and roll. Zuniga-Miranda was utilizing a seatbelt and was not injured. It was later determined that he was an illegal alien. Immigration customs enforcement was contacted and he was detained in the Susquehanna County prison on immigration violations.

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H1N1 Rumors Impact SCSD

The H1N1 virus has been a main topic in recent news, but some of that “news” has had a negative impact on the day-to-day operations of the Susquehanna Community School District. At the October 21 board meeting, Superintendent Bronson Stone reiterated that the district has taken a proactive stance against infection, keeping the school as sanitary and clean as possible, urging practical steps like hand washing, and making information available to staff and students. However, the district has been facing a pandemic lately, not from the illness itself, but from fear. The last few days had seen a sharp decrease in attendance, due to the proliferation of rumors and misinformation about the virus. Mr. Stone urged parents to determine the accuracy of the information floating around, and to be aware that much of it is comprised of misinformation. He said that children should be kept home if they have a fever, but not due to speculative information, which has been having a negative impact on the education of students. The district has registered to receive vaccine inoculations, which were expected to be delivered shortly, and a meeting was scheduled for the following day with health care professionals to discuss the steps the district has taken to prevent spread of the virus and to see what further steps can be taken.

The maintenance crew has been working hard to keep the buildings clean and sanitized, supplies of hand sanitizers and wipes have been placed strategically throughout the buildings, disposable cup dispensers have been placed at water fountains, and reusable water bottles have been made available for students.

Most of the “information” parents have been hearing about the virus is causing panic, Mr. Stone said; the state Department of Health has determined only one confirmed case in Susquehanna County. He urged parents not to get involved in rumors, but again, to determine their accuracy before reacting.

In other business, Mr. Stone reported that there had been a bomb threat at the high school recently. Although the threat had proved not to be credible, all such threats are taken seriously; the building had been evacuated and the State Police response team had been immediately called in. The building had been searched twice with the help of a bomb-detecting canine.

Board member Erin Mazikewich was thanked for her term of service, as this was her last meeting, and the board noted the passing of Clifford Tinklepaugh, who had been a tax collector for the district for 51 years.

Two first-year members of the district's cross country team were commended for their recent performance at an invitational meet at Forest City Regional School. Both had set course records and placed in the top five.

The elementary school will again be participating in Red Ribbon Week, with many activities planned to promote the non-use of drugs.

With many students, both elementary and high school taking part in after-school tutoring, a 5:15 bus has been added to the schedule so that students can get home earlier than they would on the traditional late bus.

Although the state budget had finally been passed, so far the district has not seen an influx of state subsidies. Of an estimated $2.5 million due the district, so far only $3,000 had been received.

Other items approved were as follows:

-A revised junior/high school Improvement Plan for the 2009-10 school year.

-Granting John Kropcho Jr. and Associates permission to create bid specifications and seek qualified service providers for a high school roof repair project and parking project.

-A resolution pertaining to financing a capital project; this will “roll over” an existing bond to finance the roof and parking projects as well as replacing the elementary building boiler and updating lighting, and will not result in an increase to the tax millage.

-Permission to the superintendent to tentatively hire pending board approval for any vacancies that may occur between October 21 and the December board meeting.

-Permission to the business office to pay bills that may occur between October 21 and the December board meeting.

-District transportation contracts for the 2009-10 school year.

-Gary Kiernan as an authorized contact for any and all information pertaining to the Lampazzi Fiaschi Nursing Annuity (scholarship) account.

-Donating $50 to the Susquehanna Fire Department's annual fund drive.

-Homebound instruction for four students.

-Two resignations (Special Ed. Aide and wrestling game manager).

-Hiring personnel for a list of two-year coaching/game manager positions.

-Hiring for two elementary aide positions.

-A list of district substitute personnel for the 2009-01 school year.

-A change to bus contract #18.

-Hiring Mary Weaver for the girls' assistant track coach position.

-Accepting Timothy Tell's intent to retire effective September 29, 2010.

-Approving Corina Nier as a food service substitute.

-The customary list of activities and fundraisers.

The next meeting will be on Wednesday, December 2, at 7:00 p.m. in the administration offices in the elementary building, at which time the board will also hold their annual reorganization.

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Silver Lake Twp. Police Report
Submitted By Silver Lake Twp. Police Department


On September 4, a routine traffic stop attempt on SR29, Franklin Township, resulted in a vehicle illegally passing several vehicles and speeding away. The vehicle was stopped and resulted in multiple charges filed against the driver, Brian James Welch.


On September 10, a suspicious vehicle was reported near a private residence on S. Bailey Road in Franklin Township. On September 15, another suspicious vehicle was reported at the same area and residence. Each call resulted in a search and patrol of the area.


On September 15, SLTPD responded to an assault in progress on SR167, Silver Lake Township. Investigation at the scene resulted in charges being filed against Thomas Kennerup of Brackney. This incident is still under investigation.


On September 17, a routine traffic stop for speeding on SR29, Franklin Township, developed into charges against Michael Decker of Montrose, PA, for multiple vehicle code violations as well as substance possession charges which are still under investigation.


On September 17, SLTPD responded to a two-vehicle mva at the intersection of School Road and Melhuish Road in Franklin Township. One vehicle was driven by Jacqueline Cook of New Milford, PA and the other by Phillip Clapper of Whitney Point, NY who had several passengers in his vehicle. One passenger suffered only minor injuries and both vehicles were taken from the scene.


ATV and other vehicle complaints, including careless driving of passenger vehicles, have been reported throughout the Township. Several stops have been made and these concerns have been addressed. Citizens should continue to report any major traffic or other issues in a timely manner with as much information as possible.

Any information or questions for Silver Lake Township Police, please call 570-278-6818 or e-mail All information will be held strictly confidential. You can look at the Silver Lake Township Website at, to see all of Silver Lake Townships’ news, profiles and resources, including the police reports.

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N. M. Twp. Gets Blue Book
By Melinda Darrow

At the October 21 New Milford Township meeting Ken Bondurant presented to the supervisors an original blue book and program, taken out of the time capsule opened during the bicentennial celebration. Mr. Bondurant explained that five of the books were in the capsule, and the committee had decided to donate one to the borough, one to the township, one to the Pratt library, one to the Blue Ridge library, and to keep the last. He also offered the township dvd versions, which offer was accepted.

The township, it was announced, would be putting out bids for a gas lease. It has 11 acres, though there had not been interest in them the last time bids were put out. If any are received, they will be opened at the November meeting.

The supervisors have been working on the budget which, it was stated, would be available for the November meeting. Mr. Hunter explained that he did not think the township would have to raise taxes for township expenses, but that a letter had been received from the fire company which might alter the situation. Many of the area municipalities had been raising taxes up to 1 mill, for fire protection. The supervisors, then, decided to do the same, allowing for the .61 increase required to reach the 1 mill, and a little extra money for the fire company. It was estimated that this increase would represent less than 5 dollars more a year for the average home owner.

The supervisors had no objection to two subdivisions, for Ireno and Mary Monteforte and Sharon Warren, provided they meet the sewer guidelines. They held off, however, on agreeing to a subdivision for TNT Limited Partnership on Carey Road, to develop a plot with a stone shop and stone yard. They wanted to double check with DEP first, to ensure that the subdivision was filed with them and that all was up to par.

Letters had been written, it was announced, to senators and congress people regarding the proposed police bill. The legislation would require municipalities not having adequate police protection of their own to pay for state police coverage. The township had received a letter back from Lisa Baker who stated that she was against the legislation. Mr. Hunter explained that he was against it as well, pointing out that the township already pays state taxes. Ms. Baker, apparently, wrote in the letter that she felt this legislation could overtax rural communities unfairly. Mr. Hunter also pointed out that the township has 70 miles of road, which would be difficult for a police force to consistently monitor. It was proposed that perhaps the sheriff's office ought to be given more power, as has been done in other areas. One visitor pointed out, however, that this move can come with its own attendant problems. Still, it was said, were the move to be made county wide, the cost could be distributed throughout the county rather than sitting with any particular municipality.

Mr. Bevans asked again about the situation at the camp at East Lake. It was responded that a letter had been received form the township's solicitor, Mr. Briechle, who spoke of having a meeting with DEP to discuss tanks. Mr. Bevans asked who requested that the township measure the tanks, rather than making the camp’s owner do so. He also stated that a big Halloween party had been held on the site, and that it was definitely not closed. It was asked if Mr. Young had ever requested permits, and responded that, according to the township, he had.

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