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Christmas Special December 23rd

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Issue Home December 30, 2009 Site Home

82 Yr. Old Gets Birthday Joyride
Susquehanna BPW Celebrates Birthday
Take Advantage Of College Planning
Susquehanna Co. 4-H Starts Endowment
Save The Day With Your Gift
Clifford Historical Society Awarded
Women Of The Moose In Susky
4-H Achievement Night Successfuly
Get Big Payments As Bidding Escalates

82 Yr. Old Gets Birthday Joyride
Submitted By Kathleen Kiley

In 82 years, Pat Dube of Montrose has enjoyed many birthday surprises. But her birthday surprise on November 19 left many with a nostalgic smile. Pat, like many, has always been charmed by the Volkswagen Beetle and the memories it evoked. Even when one of her daughters, Barbara Brennan, of Montrose, PA, owned a VW Bug in the '60s, Pat was busy driving the family Volkswagen bus, that she and her husband, Henry, used to transport their large family of 14 children. Although the oldest child was married before the youngest daughter was born, the VW bus was always filled to capacity, and often the VW beetle trailed behind carrying extra children on family outings driven by daughter Barbara. Through the years, Pat expressed her fondness of the old VW bugs and often mentioned that some day she would like to take a ride in "Herbie the Lovebug."

Pat and Henry's large family included 10 daughters and 4 sons, and after many years raising kids in Voorhees, NJ, they decided that Montrose. PA, would be an excellent choice for their retirement home. Back in the early 80's, Frank J. Pinkowski of Montrose, was a young real estate agent who sold Hank and Pat ten acres of land on Watrous Corners where they built a home overlooking Wells Farm and spent many peaceful retirement years. Fast forward almost 30 years later, and it was the same Frank Pinkowski who made Pat's dream of riding in a VW bug a reality. Recently, the Dube sisters were enjoying their annual sister weekend, and rented out the entire Fieldstone Bed & Breakfast in Montrose, owned by Frank J. Pinkowski and Kim Grace. Little did they know that their host at the bed & breakfast was the same gentleman who sold their parents their land 30 years earlier. While 8 sisters and 1 sister-in-law enjoyed the scenic beauty and comforting hospitality of the B&B, daughters Theresa Thorne and Jean Cotton noticed the white VW beetle in the Fieldstone B&B garage. It had a striking resemblance to "Herbie the Lovebug." Since Jean had tried unsuccessfully to locate a VW beetle to rent just the month before, the sisters decided to approach Frank and Kim to see if they could possibly help make their mother's wish come true.

With Pat's 82nd birthday approaching, they later emailed Frank to see if he would consider escorting Hank and Pat on a birthday adventure in his 1964 classic VW Bug, which Frank fondly named "Pearl" due to its shape and color. Realizing this was the same couple who Frank earlier sold property to, and wanting to be part of making Pat's wish true, Frank graciously accepted the request. On Pat's 82nd birthday on Thursday, November 19, Pat and 88 year-old Hank climbed into the backseat of "Pearl" outside of Country Landmark Real Estate. Frank escorted Hank, Pat and their daughter Kathy Kiley, on a scenic ride to Quaker Lake and Sea Hag Antique Barn in Brackney, PA. Everywhere the VW Beetle drove, heads turned and workers stopped to watch as smiles crossed their faces. Frank noted that the nostalgia of the VW beetle often encourages total strangers to walk up to the car and tell of their VW Beetle memory. One of Frank's notable memories is driving the bug home from Idaho and having the brake peddle literally fall off while Frank was driving down the freeway. Luckily, the car coasted to a stop without mishap. Now, due to Frank's act of kindness, Pat Dube has her own fond memory to tell of her 82nd birthday joy-ride.

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Susquehanna BPW Celebrates Birthday

The Nellie Jane Dewitt Business and Professional Women's Club members celebrated the 54th anniversary of the club's founding during their dinner meeting on November 19. Held at Lakey's on Front Street, the members sang Happy Birthday to the club and enjoyed birthday cake and ice cream for dessert. Chairman Margaret Biegert, assisted by Ethel Ambagais, handed out gifts along with a completely outdated list entitled, "The Good Wife's Guide" that ended with, "A good wife always knows her place." This brought a few hoots and "you have to be kidding" from the members, all enlightened women of the 21st century.

Ethel Ambagais, Sherry Hoopes and Margaret Biegert.

On the serious side, Margaret brought to the member's attention suggested recommendations for a change in screening mammography. If this recommendation passes it would reduce the number of mammograms available to women. According to the information presented by Margaret, the recommendations were made by a board, without either an oncologist or radiologist, selected to assist with the health care reform now before Congress. Members expressed concern and suggested Congressman Chris Carney be contacted and be made aware of the club member's concerns.

During the business meeting, President Sherry Hoopes asked Brenda Tiffany to give the District Eight Fall Conference report, that included announcing new member Tina Roe was recognized as a "first timer." Donna Coleman was introduced as a new member, bringing the membership up to 22 members.

The next meeting will be the club's Christmas party with Linda Chesnick as chairman, assisted by Karen Trynoski. Anyone interested in joining BPW may call Jodi Cordner at 727-2849, Alice Deutsch at 756-2044 or Carol Dubas at 853-4410 for information on membership.

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Take Advantage Of College Planning

Harrisburg, PA - The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) is recommending that students thinking about higher education visit their career and college planning website,

Students and families should work with their school counselor for college planning and use EducationPlanner as their online resource for additional information. This comprehensive online resource offers information on choosing a major, selecting a school, applying for admission, and finding ways to pay for it. The site includes tools to compare schools and their financial aid packages, offers information and links to more than 4,000 postsecondary schools, and provides timelines for middle and high school students to keep track of activities they should engage in during their school years.

“There is so much to think about when planning for college that many times students and families don’t know where to start,” said Representative William Adolph, PHEAA Board Chairman. “EducationPlanner guides students through the entire higher education process from the convenience of their home computer or laptop and offers helpful tools to prepare students for success.” also includes: standardized test prep with practice exams for the PSAT, SAT and ACT; a student resume builder that helps students develop their first resume; free scholarship search, featuring one of the largest scholarship databases; essay writing course, helping students develop high quality college essays; comprehensive financial aid information; career assessment to help match student’s skills with career options.

“Students who plan ahead for their college experience are at a great advantage,” said Senator Sean Logan, PHEAA Board Vice Chairman. ”EducationPlanner provides the information they need to make informed decisions about their future.”

The site’s MyPlanner feature also allows students to create a free, secure account where they can store the results of their career, college, and scholarship searches that they conduct on EducationPlanner.

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Susquehanna Co. 4-H Starts Endowment

4-H of Susquehanna has established an endowment with The Community Foundation of Susquehanna & Wyoming Counties that will provide permanent annual support for various 4-H projects throughout the county. This endowment is a long term savings account from which a percentage of the fund can be withdrawn for the benefit of 4-H. In addition to The Community Foundation’s investment returns, tax deductible donations from anyone who supports the mission of 4-H can help the fund grow, thus increasing the fund’s annual grant as well as the principal, which will help future generations of 4-H members.

Peter Quigg, President of the Community Foundation, also serves on the Pennsylvania 4-H Development Council, which is working to promote understanding, awareness, and participation in 4-H in a changing rural landscape. Part of that mission is to ensure that financial support of 4-H and its missions remain secure. The state 4-H council is reaching out to supporters in the towns and communities in Susquehanna County for support of the organization that instills solid values in area youth. At a time when families are receiving financial windfalls from natural gas proceeds, a fund like the 4-H Endowment can provide helpful tax benefits while also ensuring long-term financial stability for a worthy cause.

Donations to the 4-H Endowment can be sent directly to The Community Foundation of Susquehanna & Wyoming Counties at 36 Lake Ave. Montrose, PA 18801. More information about the Susquehanna County 4-H Endowment, as well as other services of the Community Foundation, can also be found at

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Save The Day With Your Gift

MONTROSE, PA - Every 60 seconds, the life saving mission of the American Red Cross benefits 250 people. 200 times a day, Red Cross volunteers help a family who have lost everything in a house fire or other disaster. 21,000 times a day, someone receives a blood transfusion from a Red Cross donor. 475 times a day, the Red Cross connects deployed service members with their families. 43,000 times a day, another person receives life-saving Red Cross health, safety and preparedness training.

This holiday season, the American Red Cross invites you to support their lifesaving mission by giving the gift that saves the day. A gift of any size to the American Red Cross will save the day when the next disaster strikes. When a neighbor’s house burns down. If someone needs lifesaving blood, or the comfort of a helping hand. Hope. It’s the gift you give today to the American Red Cross.

For the first time ever, the American Red Cross is offering an online gift catalog where individuals can purchase gifts that save lives. To see how you can purchase a gift, perhaps in the name of your loved one, visit:

You can also support the American Red Cross this holiday season, by sending your donation to: American Red Cross, 6 Public Avenue, Montrose, PA 18801, or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS.

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Clifford Historical Society Awarded

The PA Federation of Museums and Historical Organizations has awarded the Clifford Twp. Historical Society an honorable mention award for the second year in a row. This small, rural historical society received their first award for the local history book, "Clifford Township Two Hundred Years 1806-2006" written by Sally Fischbeck and Patricia Peltz. This year's award was presented to the society in October at the National Watch and Clock Museum in Columbia, PA recognizing the efforts of members, Carol Gargan and Sandra Wilmot for the coordination and production of the 2008 Clifford Township Chautauqua.

Pictured above, right to left: Janet MacGregor, Assistant director of PA Federation of Museums and Historical Organization; Sandra Wilmot; Richard Duda, lead role in play; Desmond Corey, actor; Linda Corey, director; Fred Lyon, Society director; Carol Gargan; Frank LittleBear; First Nation presenter; and JoAnn Bogdanovicz, actor.

The two day Chautauqua featured a broad ranging program of local history in a two day series of art related venues. Performances by Frank LittleBear, Bruce Young and The Andy Biskin Jazz Quartet were complimented by the cemetery theater production "Beacon Fires" written by Dr. Carol Gargan. Over six hundred audience members were impressed by the quality of the performances and the scope of local historical information presented during these events.

A video of the play, "Beacon Fires" was distributed to local libraries and elderly care facilities. Local schools also received a copy of the video together with lesson plan suggestions for each of the five acts of the play in an effort to broaden an appreciation and understanding of local rural history.

Grants from the Endless Mountains Visitors Bureau, the PA Humanities Council and The Bradford County Regional Arts Council and contributions from the Spring Hill Foundation, Wiffy Bog Farm Bed and Breakfast and Fern Hall Inn made it possible for the Clifford Twp. Historical Society to offer all events of the Chautauqua weekend free to the public.

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Women Of The Moose In Susky

On August 14 at Moose Lodge 794, Women of the Moose Service Chapter 2390 organized numbering 38. They held a raffle for a Dell computer. On October 24, the drawing was held and Stacy Neir was the winner. The proceeds were donated to Moose Lodge 794. Another raffle for a $500 gift card to Wal-Mart was held to raise funds for community services. In December, the drawing was held and Sara Armetta was the winner. A drive for winter clothing was held and clothing was distributed in the community. Anyone with questions can contact Diana Cook at 570-853-4166 or Linda Bedford at 570-853-3584 or

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4-H Achievement Night Successful
Submitted By Susquehanna County Cooperative Extension

Penn State in Susquehanna County recently held its annual 4-H Achievement Night Program at the PA Army National Guard Readiness Center in New Milford, PA. Nearly 200 people gathered for this exciting event recognizing county 4-H’ers for their accomplishments. 4-H youth who excelled in their efforts were presented with certificates, awards, and scholarships. Over 45 youth were recognized for their outstanding 4-H achievements.

2009 Outstanding 4-Hers MacKenzie Wright and Elaine Mackey.

The evening started with a delicious covered dish dinner followed by the awards program. The program began with an informative presentation by Morgan Williams Clark and Luke Sherwood on their experiences at the National 4-H Dairy Conference. Morgan and Luke were selected to be part of Pennsylvania’s ten youth representatives at this event - quite an honor it itself. Next, 4-H’ers in the dairy and livestock project area were recognized for their project book completion and detail record keeping. Livestock winners were: Casey Christianson, Brittany Zebrowski, Dempsey Hollenbeck, Korena Kraynak, Dylan Stout, and Tyler McCauley. Dairy winners were: Eric Giangrieco, Allison Kiefer, Austin Graham, Jamie Supancik, Victoria Clark, and Peyton Jones. The awards for 4-H’ers who obtained the most sponsors and the highest total dollar donation for the county 4-H horse program were then presented to Megan Honeyford, Austin Graham, Emma Loch and Trevor Mills. Recognition was then given to 4-H summer assistant Amanda Zembrzycki for all her help she had provided this past summer. State 4-H Achievement Days’ winners Floyd “Rip” VanWinkle and Hanna Cronk were then recognized. “Rip” placed first in the shotgun completion out of 62 shooters, and Hanna place first in the State Fashion Review contest out of 64 contestants. Two youth were then acknowledge for taking and completing the most 4-H projects for the year; Austin Chisek and Brittany Zebrowski completed six projects each. Next, the 4-H club who won the window display contest for National 4-H Week was announced and the winner was the North Jackson Ag 4-H Club.

Pictured (l-r): Mary Puzo, mother of Abbey Puzo, Daisy Matulevich, Cassandra Summers, and Mackey Wright. These Susquehanna County 4-H’ers along with Stephanie Snyder, and Misty Karnack each received a 4-H scholarship from our county Youth Program Advisory Committee (YPAC).

It was then time for two more 4-H members to do presentations on 4-H/youth activities that had been involved with. Daisy Matulevich did a power point presentation on her experiences of attending 4-H regional overnight camp “Camp Brule.” Daisy served as the camp youth co-director for this past year. Jordan Noldy’s presentation was next on her experiences at the Mid-Atlantic Alliance of Cooperatives Summer Camp. This camp reinforced Jordan’s leadership skills as she learned about the cooperative business structure. The 4-H Club Spirit Awards were then presented to club members who were selected by their respective club’s for displaying the most “4-H Spirit” throughout the year. Twenty-five members were given “Club Spirit” embroidered blankets.

The presentation of scholarships came next in the program. First, the livestock members who received their scholarship during the Harford fair were announced; David Corbin, Sondra Fallon, Misty Karhnak, Daisy Matulevich, Abbey Puzo, Jessica Sheruda, Stephanie Snyder, Brittany Stankiewicz, and Mackey Wright. The Paul Baldwin Memorial 4-H Member Citizenship Award was then presented to 4-H Livestock members Caleb Traver and Casey Christianson. Then it was time for the Outstanding 4-H Dairy Members to be announced and given scholarships; Daisy Matulevich, Abbey Puzo, and Mackey Wright received this honor. The 4-H horse scholarship winners were then announced - Ashley Hoffman and Sondra Fallon. County 4-H Youth Program Advisory Committee (YPAC) scholarships were then presented to Abbey Puzo, Daisy Matulevich, Stephanie Snyder, Mackey Wright, Cassandra Summers, and Misty Karhnak. Finally the moment all had been waiting for, the announcement and recognition of the county’s Outstanding 4-H Members. Only two individuals receive this special recognition every year based on their involvement in the total 4-H County program. The 2009 Outstanding 4-H’ers were Mackey Wright and Elaine Mackey.

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Get Big Payments As Bidding Escalates

UNIVERSITY PARK, PA - As legislators, environmentalists and others strive to balance the many interests involved in developing the natural gas deposits contained in the Marcellus shale formation, a fierce bidding war has doubled the prices being offered for leases in Pennsylvania. The resulting competition could be a boon for landowners, according to experts in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

The nation's economic troubles may have slowed development of natural gas wells for the last year, but energy companies seem to be returning to the state and buying up drilling leases with a vengeance. Joann Kowalski, Penn State Extension economic development educator in Susquehanna County, said the proven performance of existing wells may have companies competing to lock up prime properties in the state's Northern Tier.

"Word hit the street in September that Fortuna Energy was going to be paying the Friendsville Group $5,500 an acre for a five-year lease, with 20 percent royalties for producing wells," Kowalski said. "That was probably about twice the rate that had been offered up to that point. Fortuna had not been buying leases in Susquehanna County before this - they were doing most of their work in Bradford County."

A second company, Chesapeake Energy, is reported to have offered a higher lease rate to area landowners who had not yet signed with Fortuna, according to Thomas Murphy, energy development extension educator in Lycoming County. While actual offers are unconfirmed by the companies, he says the implications are clear: energy companies are making directly competitive bids to the same landowners, hoping to wrap up lease rights in several counties along the Northern Tier.

"Companies have become very competitive to acquire leaseholds that are still available by offering these higher rates," he said. "A lot has to do with the acreage that they can tie up. The Friendsville Group was offering 37,000 acres in Bradford and surrounding counties and lower New York.

"Companies are drilling more wells in north-central and northeastern Pennsylvania and are proving the geology for its potential for gas yield. This certainly impacts the amount being offered for leases."

Murphy said since energy companies are hoping that they'll be drilling in the area for decades, they try to establish the longest leases possible.

"Once a company knows what gas is there, there's a sense of urgency to acquire as large a foothold as possible," he said. "Other players are moving into the broader Appalachian region and acquiring or expanding some very large footholds, and with that amount of money flowing in, companies interested in getting a foothold are feeling a greater sense of urgency to capture the remaining pieces. Some other landowner groups are still negotiating with companies, and other groups probably will be forming, but that's hard now because so much of the ground in north-central and northeastern Pennsylvania has been leased."

Kowalski explained that most of the negotiating to acquire lease rights has been with landowner groups as opposed to individuals - a process that benefits both sides.

"Large groups that negotiate as one can raise the bar for price; then others can benefit from that, as well," she said. "It's also advantageous for the company because there's less effort required to make the deal happen. The group has already gone through the steps of formation, so it makes it easier and less costly for a company to acquire a lot of foothold in one fell swoop instead of going to all the individuals independently. And a landowner group often can provide more contiguous acreage, which is valuable for an energy company."

No one knows how high lease rates could go. But, Kowalski says, there may not be much unleased land left on which to bid.

"This is probably the tail end of the initial leasing wave, which has lasted for more than two years," she said. "The amount of land available now is probably pretty small, but this could be repeated as the leases terminate over time. It'll be interesting to see what happens when these leases are up in five years, since the companies will have better well-production records. I believe the companies have found that the wells are producing more than they'd expected, so this could go on for decades."

Kowalski says because of Extension's long-term involvement in educating residents about Pennsylvania's Marcellus shale deposits, her office gets lots of questions about the best steps in negotiating the natural-gas-rights leasing process.

"There's an incredible demand for information," she said. "Northern Pennsylvania has turned into wildcat country - there's no precedent for how to handle these assets, and people want to learn more. Penn State Extension has held more than 250 public meetings since 2001, so the community knows of our experience and expertise with natural-gas leasing issues."

Free extension publications, podcasts and webinars on natural-gas leasing and exploration are available online at

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