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Christmas Special December 23rd

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Issue Home December 2, 2009 Site Home

Engagement Announced Taylor - Prutzman
Wilkes Named BPW Woman Of The Year
County Programs Receive Arts Grants
Susq. Co. Farm Bureau Awaarded
Fund To Benefit Blue Ridge
Susq. Co. Farmer Receives Award
Thanksgiving Raffle Winners Announced
SCCTC Hosts Career Fair
Support Drive Underway
Susquehanna Co. Awarded Grant
You Can Give Milk For Christmas
Organization Promotes Drilling & Pipeline Safety
PARSE Update
Preservation Program Applications Available
Friends Report Successe

Engagement Announced Taylor - Prutzman

Announcement is made of the engagement and upcoming wedding of Nadine Taylor, Carbondale, PA to Jon Prutzman, Slatington, PA.

Nadine & Jon

The bride-to-be is the daughter of David and Michele Taylor, Carbondale, PA. She is the granddaughter of Albert and Barbara Taylor, Forest City, PA. She is a graduate of Susquehanna Community Junior/Senior High School. She is a cum laude graduate of Wilkes University, where she earned a degree in Elementary Education, Special Education and Early Childhood Education. She is employed by the Western Wayne School District as a special education teacher and Jr. High softball coach. She is also a Zumba Instructor at the Greater Carbondale YMCA.

The groom-to-be is the son of Erwin and Roxane Prutzman, Slatington, PA. He is the grandson of Gloria and the late Franklin Shupp, Walnutport, PA. He is a graduate of Northern Lehigh High School. He is a cum laude graduate of Wilkes University where he earned a degree in Accounting. He is employed as the Accounting Manager at Compuspar USA, Inc. in Allentown, PA.

The wedding is set for November 6, 2010.

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Wilkes Named BPW Woman Of The Year

Colleen Wilkes of Lanesboro and a member of the Nellie Jane DeWitt Business and Professional Women's Club, Susquehanna, since 1999, was selected as the club's 2009 Woman of the Year at their October meeting. She was singled out for her club activities as well as her community involvement which includes the Lanesboro Community Church, Lanesboro council, Friends of Susquehanna County, NEPA Health Care, where she holds a seat on the board, and the local Troop of the Boy Scouts of America.

Colleen Wilkes and Brenda Tiffany

Oh hand for Colleen's honor were her husband, George, Sr. and son, George, Jr.; her brother Mike and wife; long time friend Eleanor Dohnalek; Rev. and Mrs. Carl Batzel; Barb Hinkley and Suzanne Cobb from Friends of Susquehanna County; Terese McIntyre-DeLePlaine, Executive Director of NEPA Community Health Care and Millie Herbert and Judy Boerner representing the Boy Scouts.

Club member and President of Friends of Susquehanna County Alice Deutsch read a letter from that organization and presented Colleen with a citation. Barb Hinkley talked about Colleen showing up with her convertible, wearing a birthday hat (complete with candles) to take part in the New Milford Centennial parade, and Barb also mentioned Colleen's hard work for Friends. Brother Mike said their family of 9 children know they can count on Colleen at all times. Mike thanked the BPW for the recognition of his sister. Colleen's friend, Eleanor, praised Colleen for her care of Eleanor's husband during his terminal illness and the care she has given Eleanor since that time.

Rev. Batzel said he has known Colleen for a long time and she is always reaching out to help those in need. Quoting the words of Jesus as they pertain to Colleen, Rev. Batzel said, "If you have done it unto the least of these, you have done it unto me." Mrs. Batzel described Colleen as having a loving heart as she helps with Sunday School and the church's Pre-School. She also mentioned Colleen taking on the care of any child who is in need.

In the absence of Commissioner MaryAnn Warren, Chief Clerk Sylvia Beamer read the citation from Susquehanna County Commissioners. There were citations from State Representative Sandra Major and Senator Lisa Baker, Lanesboro Council, NEPA Health Care and the Montrose BPW.

The program closed with President Sherry Hoopes and Colleen thanking everyone who made the evening so memorable.

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County Programs Receive Arts Grants

HARRISBURG - Rep. Sandra Major (R-Susquehanna/Wayne/Wyoming) announced today that the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA) has approved two grants totaling $2,488 for organizations in Susquehanna County.

The grants awarded include: Associate Members of Old Mill Village Museum, $1,451; Endless Mountains Theatre Company Inc., $1,037.

“The Old Mill Village Museum helps preserve the rich heritage of the area and the Endless Mountains Theatre Company brings quality community theater to the people of Susquehanna County,” Major said.

Founded in 1966, the mission of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts is to foster the excellence, diversity and vitality of the arts in Pennsylvania and to broaden the availability and appreciation of those arts throughout the state.

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Susq. Co. Farm Bureau Awarded

(Hershey) - Susquehanna County Farm Bureau won three awards, including the Overall Achievement Award for county Farm Bureau’s with up to 400 members during Pennsylvania Farm Bureau’s 59th Annual Meeting in Hershey.

The Overall Achievement Award is given to the county Farm Bureau that demonstrates outstanding performance in the six program areas evaluated by Pennsylvania Farm Bureau (PFB).

Susquehanna County also won the President’s Award for Leadership Development and the President’s Award for County Board Organization.

Susquehanna County Farm Bureau achieved numerous accomplishments. For example, it organized a successful “Out of the Ag Box” leadership project. The project enabled Susquehanna County to increase and improve the quality and quantity of volunteer leadership in the county. The project sought out non-agricultural venues to further extend their involvement with the community and build a comfortable presence with the citizens and leaders. In its recognition for County Board Organization, a membership worker training session and kick off meeting were held. The board encouraged members to attend training sessions and offered Ag in the Classroom training to seven elementary schools and six middle schools in the County.

“Susquehanna County Farm Bureau has consistently produced results in key program areas affecting farmers and others in the agriculture community. In addition, Susquehanna County Farm Bureau has created an atmosphere where farmers develop leadership qualities that help them address many challenges facing agriculture,” said PFB President Carl T. Shaffer.

Program and achievement awards were among many items on the agenda during Pennsylvania Farm Bureau’s 59th Annual Meeting. Several hundred farmers from across the state met at the Hershey Lodge and Convention Center, November 16-18, to set policy for the statewide organization on issues affecting farm and rural families.

Pennsylvania Farm Bureau is the state’s largest farm organization with a volunteer membership of nearly 47,000 farm and rural families, representing farms of every size and commodity across Pennsylvania.

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Fund To Benefit Blue Ridge

Montrose, PA - Creative Adventures for Education (CAFÉ) has established an endowment with The Community Foundation of Susquehanna & Wyoming Counties to benefit the Blue Ridge School District. The CAFÉ Educational Assistance Fund, within the Blue Ridge School District Foundation, a Community Foundation affiliate, will support unfunded projects and programs throughout the district. CAFÉ is a locally operated non-profit organization dedicated to educational improvement and access. Currently, CAFÉ organizes and helps pay for an annual 6th grade field trip to Washington, D.C., during which students tour the capital and meet legislators from the district whenever possible.

Donations to the CAFÉ Fund are tax deductible and will help increase both the long-term value of the fund and its annual giving capabilities. For questions on how to contribute to CAFÉ’s efforts, or for more information on The Community Foundation visit their website at

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Susq. Co. Farmer Receives Award

Hershey - Pennsylvania Farm Bureau (PFB) has selected Harold Ely of Susquehanna County as the 2009 recipient of the Distinguished Local Affairs Leader Award during PFB’s 59th annual meeting in Hershey.

The award recognizes an outstanding individual county Farm Bureau leader whose local affairs efforts and activities help solve local problems and improve rural living for county Farm Bureau members.

“Over his 55 years of involvement in Farm Bureau, Harold has played a vital role in addressing issues that negatively impacted farmers and residents in Susquehanna County. In addition, Harold has been a major player at the statewide level, helping to create projects that have benefited dairy farmers across Pennsylvania,” said PFB President Carl T. Shaffer.

One of Ely’s greatest achievements came when Harold was President of the Pennsylvania Council of Farm Organizations, where he was instrumental in bringing together dairy farm cooperatives and farm organizations to support legislation that created the Milk Producers’ Security Fund.

“Basically, the law requires milk handlers to carry bonds, so that if a processor goes bankrupt, dairy farmers get paid for milk they’d already sold. The need for the legislation was obvious, after three dairy processing plants in Northeast Pennsylvania went out of business over a very short period of time,” said Harold Ely.

The 91-year-old Ely was also involved with many decisions on dairy policies which positively affected farmers in the Northeast. He spent 18 years working for Dairylea and provided testimony that helped defeat an effort to abolish the Pennsylvania Milk Marketing Board. “The PMMB is still putting money in farmers’ pockets today,” added Ely.

Ely added that he was overwhelmed when he heard he had been selected for the award and cited the need for farmers to remain active in local activities. “With all the challenges currently facing farmers, it’s more important than ever for them to be involved with Farm Bureau,” concluded Ely.

Hundreds of farmers from across the state attended Pennsylvania Farm Bureau’s 59th Annual Meeting at the Hershey Lodge and Convention Center from November 16-18, to set policy for the statewide organization on issues affecting farm and rural families.

Pennsylvania Farm Bureau is the state’s largest farm organization with a volunteer membership of nearly 47,000 farm and rural families, representing farms of every size and commodity across Pennsylvania.

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Thanksgiving Raffle Winners Announced

Winners in the Thanksgiving Raffle sponsored by St. John’s Pro-Life Organization are: Thanksgiving basket & turkey - Anne Dooley; dinner for two at Tedeschi’s - Bob Burns; rocking chair with bears - Anna Salvato.

A sincere thank you is extended to all who participated by buying chances.

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SCCTC Hosts Career Fair

In celebration of Health Careers Week, approximately 85 students from Susquehanna and Wyoming County school districts explored careers in Emergency Medical Services, Nursing, Direct Care Workers, Medical Records, Surgical Technology, Radiology and more at the Health Career Fair held at the Susquehanna County Career and Technology Center on November 10.

"The need for health care professionals in Pennsylvania increases each year. Even in an economic recession, health care career opportunities are expanding. It is important to raise student awareness of these important and rewarding opportunities," said Sherry Felten, Workforce Program Manager at NTRPDC.

Students learn about Surgical Technology as part of Health Career Week 2009.

The Health Career Fair featured representatives from Tyler Memorial Hospital, NHS of Northeast PA, US Navy, Northeast PA AHEC, Luzerne County Community College, Endless Mtn. Health Systems, Chesapeake Energy, Caregivers America, PA National Guard, Lackawanna College, Southtown Veterinarian Hospital, and Montrose Minute Men. Students were treated to presentations from various health care professionals and were then able to interview each speaker about the aspects of their job.

Event sponsors joined the commonwealth in celebrating Health Careers Week as an effort to generate interest among youth in pursuing one of Pennsylvania's more than 200 health care careers that offer rewarding benefits such as competitive pay and opportunity for advancement.

For more information about Health Careers Week 2009, visit or contact your local Workforce Investment Board or PA CareerLink.

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Support Drive Underway

The 2010 support campaign for the Susquehanna County Historical Society and Free Library Association is in progress. Materials have been mailed and are also available at local libraries and online at

The goal is once again to get 1,000 supporters - a modest one, considering that there are almost 20,000 registered library users and thousands more who use the Historical Society and museum. Individual supporters contribute $20 or more, families $30 or more, sustainers $100 or more, and benefactors $250 and up. Support is more crucial than ever this year, as state cuts and the financial downturn are having a serious impact on services and programs.

Contributions of any size are welcomed. Even with the cut in state funding, the formula used to calculate how much aid comes to Susquehanna County is based on local donationsn - the more local support, the more funding received.

Supporters of the Association help provide county-wide library services and the county Historical Society. They are entitled to vote at the annual meeting (the last Saturday in January).

The money given by supporters and friends helps fund county-wide library service, provided through 4 locations (Montrose, Forest City, Hallstead-Great Bend, and Susquehanna) and by the county-wide Books-by-Mail/Books-on-Wheels service. Contributions enable the Association to purchase books, DVDs, CDs, magazines, audio books, and other materials, which are available to all residents of Susquehanna County. At each location you will find free high-speed Internet access; online databases that can also be accessed from home with your library card; workstations with the full Microsoft Office suite, free training programs, and high-speed laser printers; CD-ROM games for children; and a catalog of library holdings across Pennsylvania (which can be requested through Inter-Library Loan at no charge). Visit the library's website at for more information. "All our technology has been funded entirely through grants," notes Administrator/Librarian Susan Stone, "and we are always seeking new grants as we find out about them. Unfortunately, grant money does not help with our ongoing operating expenses."

Donations also help fund the County Historical Society and its museum, open to the public at no charge. People seeking information on their local ancestors visit the Historical Society's Genealogy Research Center. Visitors come from all over the country, bringing their tourist dollars to benefit local businesses! The Historical Society also publishes a biannual journal, available by subscription, on local history and genealogy. The Historical Society's website has a wealth of information about our county; visit

To deal with the budget shortfall this coming year, the Board of Directors has instituted cuts to hours of operations. More cuts may be necessary - but you, the residents of Susquehanna County, can help by donating generously. For more information about the support drive or any of the Association's services, please call 570-278-1881 or visit

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Susquehanna Co. Awarded Grant

HARRISBURG - Reps. Sandra Major (R-Susquehanna/Wayne/Wyoming) and Tina Pickett (R-Bradford/Sullivan/Susquehanna) have announced that the Susquehanna County Council of Governments Sewage Committee will be reimbursed more than $71,000 for costs it incurred to update the county's Act 537 plan.

Act 537 is mandated by state law and requires local municipalities to properly plan the county's sewage treatment and disposal.

"This grant will help the Council of Governments in Susquehanna County recoup the costs incurred when it updated the county's sewage treatment and disposal plan," Pickett said. "Updating such plans include engineering fees and technical expertise and are not inexpensive endeavors. I am pleased state funding permits local governments to be reimbursed for meeting state law."

"Grants such as this are designed to help local agencies fulfill their sewage planning responsibilities and protect public health," Major said. "Act 537 plans allow local governments to financially and strategically plan for system upgrades and new customers."

The grant will be used to reimburse 42.5 percent of the eligible reimbursement for performing the sewage enforcement provisions within Act 537, and was awarded under the Sewage Facilities Planning Grants Program of Act 537 of 1966.

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You Can Give Milk For Christmas
Submitted By Madeline Mitchell, Susquehanna County Dairy Maid

Every year people in America spend millions of dollars at Christmas on things we really do not need. Christmas is a fun time with friends, family, gifts and great abundance of food. However, for millions of others in the world, Christmas is just another day of hunger and suffering.

Through an organization called “Samaritan’s Purse” you can help a poor family start their own farm for a small donation. In many developing countries, poor farmers cannot afford equipment to work the land. Instead, they rely on strong animals like oxen to help with plowing and harvesting. A monetary gift can help a farmer provide for his family by giving them an oxen or a donkey to work the land.

American dairy farmers work very hard to keep fresh milk and dairy products in our stores. We take these fresh, plentiful dairy products for granted, and it is easy for us to get our nutritionally needed 3-A-Day of dairy.

Dairy cows and goats furnished by Samaritan’s Purse can supply an impoverished family with income. In Uganda, there is a dairy cooperative through Samaritan’s Purse which works with the local people to teach them how to raise their cows to produce wholesome milk they can sell as fresh milk or make into cheese.

A glass of milk to us is common in our refrigerator; however a glass of delicious, nutritious milk is rare to most living in poverty. A glass of milk is rich in calcium, protein and vitamins which help children grow tall and strong. For a gift of $4.00 to “Samaritan’s Purse” you can provide milk for a child for a week. For $70.00 you can buy a dairy cow or goat for an impoverished family.

Is there someone you know who is difficult to buy for at Christmas? If there is, would you consider making a farm related donation as a gift on their behalf? When my family donated a dairy animal last Christmas we received a nice card letting us know that a donation had been made. This year for Christmas think about sending a child in need a gift so they can also know the joy of fresh farm milk and cheese. I believe it will make their holiday so special to know that someone cares.

For more information about making a donation to “Samaritan’s Purse” go to and click on gift 14 for a dairy animal; gift 19 for milk or click on gift 13 to purchase an ox or donkey. If you do not have internet service call Samaritan’s Purse at 1-828-262-1980 to make a donation.

Have a Merry Christmas and enjoy your milk and Christmas Cookies.

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Organization Promotes Drilling & Pipeline Safety

The Smalley Foundation, a Texas based non-profit organization that promotes oil and gas drilling and pipeline operations safety, recently hosted an informational session in Montrose for interested first responders from around Susquehanna County.

With the advent of gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale throughout the region, the Smalley Foundation seeks to bring important information to rural area first responders and public safety officials.

About 30 fire company members and emergency management representatives attended the October 21 event which gave an overview of what the Foundation offers in educational outreach. They, in turn, provided input on the needs of individual companies and county responders for the best reaction to any oil and gas drilling and pipeline incidents. Such events, while having a low probability, can lead to high consequences, and impact people and property beyond any easement area.

Susquehanna County Emergency Management head Charlene Mosier commented, "I think it went really well. It sparked a lot of interest among our firemen and first responders. I got good feedback from those who attended," she said. "The Smalley Foundation has a lot to offer, and when we get to the actual training there is going to be a lot of interest. We may have had some pipelines in the county for years, but now, with a massive number of pipelines going in the county, we need this information and training. It's going to be a good fit, working with the foundation," Mosier said.

Susquehanna County Sheriff Lance Benedict found that the session gave a good overview of what the county will need to respond to an event. "We definitely need this resource," he said "If this organization is willing to reach out to these gas companies and find funding for training and gear, we'll be able handle a situation. Our local firefighters are trained mainly in structural fire response. This is something completely different," Benedict continued. "Some of our land is similar to the Texas hill country. We might find ourselves with a plume of gas in a valley, and the consequences to lives and property would be great," he said. "I think those who attended took a lot away from the meeting and there's more to learn. I attended from a law enforcement point of view, as we need to know evacuation procedures, and more - we've got to be prepared," the sheriff stated.

While the majority of the drilling is presently in the western part of the county, the training will be offered to all responders across the county.

The Smalley Foundation attains its goals of partnering, protecting and empowering, by working with gas companies for increased awareness, training the general public, first responders and school systems, and providing people knowledge with which to make safe choices.

Immediate plans are to present an analysis of area needs and a proposal to develop project cost sharing to the gas operators. Following that, public awareness events and first responder training will be scheduled. For more information visit

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PARSE Update
Submitted By Cynthia P. Sims

The Pennsylvania Association of Retired State Employees, Endless Mts., Chapter 15 met at the Zion Lutheran Church, Dushore, on November 10. In remembrance of Veterans Day, Lamar Kipp gave the prayer honoring all veterans, as did John Benio, who led the salute to the flag.

Membership Chairman reminded the membership that dues are now payable for the year 2010. She also stated we have ten new members. It is important that all state retirees join PARSE, as the organization is always working for an annual Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA).

Reports on the new health program were given by various members who attended regional meetings on the Retired Employees Health Program (REHP) Medicare health care changes.

The next meeting will be held December 8 at the Towanda American Legion. To learn more about the organization and/or make reservations, contact President Jesse Bacon at 570-265-9784 or Susquehanna Co. Vice President John Benio at 570-278-2380.

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Preservation Program Applications Available

The Susquehanna Country Agricultural Land Preservation Board was established by the County Commissioners in 1989 to help preserve farmland in Susquehanna County by administering a program to purchase agricultural conservation easements from landowners in the county. Local funding comes from an annual allocation by the Susquehanna County Commissioners. These county funds are then matched by the State program.

Agricultural Conservation Easement is defined as: A legal agreement the property owner makes that restricts the land to agricultural production in perpetuity while retaining private ownership. As the private ownership changes, the restrictions remain with the land.

To date 26 farms containing 5,563 acres have been preserved in Susquehanna County. The Susquehanna County program is part of the Pennsylvania Farmland Preservation Program. Pennsylvania’s program is first in the nation in number of acres preserved and is continuing to preserve farmland at a faster rate than any other state. Currently 3,897 farms consisting of 425,376 acres have been preserved in Pennsylvania.

To be eligible, farms must be located in an agricultural security area (ASA); be contiguous acreage of at least 50 acres; 50% of soils available for agricultural production must be class I through IV; the land must contain 50% harvested cropland, pasture or grazing land and must be part of a normal farming operation.

The application period for the Susquehanna County program started November 15 and ends January 15. Each application is ranked against all other eligible applicants. A farm’s rank is based on the quality of the soils, stewardship, and the likelihood of the conversion of the farm to non-agricultural uses.

For an application and/or more information, contact Marlene Bailey at the USDA-NRCS office in Montrose at 278-1011 extension 101.

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Friends Report Success

The final figures are tallied, and the Friends of Susquehanna County Inc. Harvest Fest, held September 26 in Hallstead, was a resounding success. The sale of apples, cider, mums, delicious homemade jams and jellies, pies and refreshments, along with a gigantic rummage sale, earned $2,855. Generous donations from area businesses and residents added $4,350, for a to-date total of $7,205. "It's amazing to see how many people just opened their hearts, and contributed, even with the economy as it is," said Finance Chair Barb Hinkley.

Pictured (l-r): front - Paulette Rafferty, Finance Chair Barb Hinkley, Sandy Llewellyn, Chairman Alice Deutsch, Sharon Kinsley, Membership Chair Colleen Wilkes, Michele Sutnick; back - Carrie Hinkley, Theresa Hinkley, Mary Lou Dayton, Treasurer Suzanne Cobb, Beverly Updyke, Secretary Susan Gesford, Kathy Ofsharick and Co-Chairman Carol McNamara.

Alice Deutsch, Chairman of the "Friends," thanked members for contributing their talents and resources to a successful year. "We attained designation as a stand-alone non-profit entity this year, assisted the NEPA Community Health Center with their fund-raiser, "Taste of Summer," - a very successful evening, and established a Community Volunteer Award for area schools," she said. The Board of Directors of the Friends, along with input from members, will be determining the distribution of funds in compliance with its mission in the county. Several county non-profit organizations attended the meeting, detailing their present needs.

The passing of a member of the Friends of Susquehanna County Inc., Agnes Jones, was noted at the group's October meeting. The group will give a donation in Agnes' memory to the New Milford United Methodist Church. Agnes played organ at the church for many years.

Friends of Susquehanna County welcomes new members at anytime. For information on becoming a part of the Friends, contact Colleen Wilkes at (570) 853-3448 or Alice Deutsch at 756-2044.

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