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The February 22 meeting of the Mountain View School District included a moment of silence for three members of the district community. They will be missed.
The district did pick up some census enumerators. More are still needed, Dr. Chichura stated, so that the district can once again get its concentration grant.
The pre-k program, Mrs. Pipitone explained, recently had some distinguished visitors. A representative from Senator Baker’s and Representative Major’s office paid the program a visit, and rather than having them read a book they were invited to join the children at center time play. That way, it was said, they could hear the value of the program straight from “the mouth of babes.”
The elementary and high school student government clubs collaborated together with the Red Cross to raise money to help out with the Haiti crisis. Red ribbons were sold, along with the ability to wear a hat or pajamas to school. The high school raised around 600 dollars, and the elementary school around 900 dollars.
The scholastic team seniors went to Waverly to compete in the Scholarship Challenge and beat Sayre. On Saturday March 20, a home meet was scheduled for them, which the board was invited to.
Brian Kelley and Brad Murray attended the meeting to present the audit report from the time period ending in June of two-thousand and nine. The school received the highest opinion it could, “unqualified,” meaning that nothing out of the ordinary was discovered. Overall, the district only spent about 97% of its budget, and ended with a positive variance. The cafeteria fund, however, was negative.
The board approved the acceptance of a Title II D/EETT NCLB Grant, in the amount of 50,000 dollars. Dr. Chichura expressed publicly his appreciation for those who worked on this grant, citing Karen Voigt in particular.
At the end of the meeting an elementary school “administrative procedure” was discussed. (It was being referred to as a policy, but Mr. Griffiths corrected the misnomer.) A parent brought up the situation of her 5th grade child, who did not make the honor roll due to an unsatisfactory comment on her report card (she had not been prepared for gym a few times). Mrs. Pipitone stated that this was the current procedure, and while it could be changed in the future she could not change it just for this child now. She had met with the girl and explained the situation to her, and had sent out surveys to the staff as she did not desire to change the procedure without staff input.
Susquehanna County Commissioners appointed numerous members to several County organizations/committees at the February 24 meeting.
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Susquehanna County Commissioners, Central Bradford Progress Authority and Susquehanna County Railroad Authority, agreeing to have a feasibility study conducted to OnTrackAmerica for the sum of $6,000, to determine if a transloading facility would be useful and affordable in Susquehanna County. The funds for the costs of this study are being provided by the Regional Investment Marketing Grant from DCED to Central Bradford Progress Authority through an application approved by the Susquehanna County Commissioners. The Rail Authority will provide the necessary data to OnTrackAmerica for the study. Commissioner Michael Giangrieco voted no to the memorandum for financial reasons. The motion for the agreement passed with yes votes from Commissioners MaryAnn Warren and Leon Allen.
Twenty-seven local Emergency Planning Committee 2010 members were appointed along with 32 members for the Susquehanna County Task Force Members 2010.
The Rail Authority’s Ken Bondurant, Donald Button and Joe White were each re-appointed to the Authority.
Commissioner MaryAnn Warren was appointed as a delegate to The Endless Mountains Resource Conservation and Development Council, along with the reappointment of James Garner and Thom Helmacy as first and second alternates, respectively.
The Children and Youth Advisory Committee’s three-year term (beginning immediately and ending December 28, 2013) appointees are Thomas Kurosky, Shirley Rifle, and Jamie White who will share a vote with Kathleen Farrell.
Jerry Fives, Jim Kurpinski, Trent Turner, Sheriff Lance Benedict, Chad Wallace, Charles Daly, Richard Hennessey, Art Donato and Charlene Moser were appointed to the Susquehanna County Emergency Advisory Committee, through December 3, 2010.
Resolution 2010-01 authorized the Board Chairperson ,MaryAnn Warren, to be the official directed to execute all public transportation grant agreements with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation on behalf of the Commissioners.
The Coordination Technical Assistance Grant between the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Transportation and Susquehanna County, is used for the costs of analyzing and improving the administration and coordination of service among the County and its subcontractors for the Shared Ride Program. It also will aid in the transition to TreHab as the Shared Ride subcontractor. The total grant for the project is $42,329.00, with a June 30, 2010 completion date.
Chad Weaver of South Montrose was hired to the open, full time caseworker position at Children & Youth at 37.5 hours per week, $15,27 per hour, with a six-month probation period and benefits per the Residual Professional Bargaining Unit Contract, starting on March 1, 2010, per the recommendation of Susan Adamec.
A purchase of Service Agreement dated July 1, 2009, through June 30, 2010 between Susquehanna County Children and Youth and Keystone Community Resources, Inc, for Certificate 217150 Unit DD, contracted per diem at $283.44 was signed.
The Susquehanna County Tax Collectors were exonerated from collecting 2009 Delinquent County Returns in the amount of $782,127.43.
The Security Proposal from ADT for the installation of the security system at the County Office Building in the amount of $10,060, plus $1,150 for a one year maintenance agreement which begins 90 days after installation, per the recommendation of Sheriff Lance Benedict, passed. Just what security measures will be used was unavailable in order to keep the security measures in line for their use.
Jennifer Hibbard, recycling, was appointed as the Project OF Officer, who, on the County’s behalf shall constitute its primary contact with the Department of Environmental Protection during the completion of the scope of work for Program 902-036-3009, A Recycling Department and Implementation Grant for Susquehanna County in the amount of $46,053. The County match for this grant is $5,117.
A member of the 2010 Census Recruiting Committee was on hand to remind the Commissioners and the general public that there are still jobs available for the Census Bureau and asked that interested persons call the Census 2010 or get more information on line.
The next Susquehanna County Commissioners meeting will be held at 9 a.m. sharp on March 10.
Paul Scott Baldwin, Jr. to P. Scott and Deborah Baldwin, in Lenox Township for one dollar.
Arden L. and Karen MacGeorge to Jeremiah and Yvonne Johnson, in Auburn Township for one dollar.
Richard D. and Martha Fries to Craig G. Fries, in Thompson Township for one dollar.
Harold L. and Joan M. Brobst to Shirley Delmar, in Forest Lake Township for one dollar.
Carl E, Jr. and Virginia L. Stauffer, in Prudential Relocation, Inc., in Susquehanna for $79,000.00.
Mary J. and John Butler, Francis J., Suzanne S., Dennis J. and Stephanie Murphy, Brian and Teri A. Gardner and Jodi and Scott C. Daniels to Mary J., Francis and Dennis J. Butler, Brian Gardner and Jodi Daniels, in Silver Lake Township for one dollar.
Edward M., Sr. and Sally M. Tierney to Edward M. and Jeffrey Tierney and Julie Tierney Barnard, in Great Bend Township for one dollar.
Josephine Maxson to Patricia Krupinski, in Montrose for one dollar.
Michael J. (rev trust by trustee) and Judith A. (rev trust by trustee) Vaccaro to Andrew and Anne B. Vaccaro, in Bridgewater Township for one dollar.
Andrew and Anne B. Vaccaro to Michael J. (trust) and Judith A. (trust) Vaccaro, in Susquehanna for one dollar.
Eastern Overhawk LLC to Diane and Peter Dellane, in Forest Lake Township for one dollar.
Michael W. Timek (estate) to Sandra Timek, in Rush Township for one dollar.
James E. Gilleran to James E. and Beth L. Gilleran, in Thompson Township for one dollar.
Kondaur Capital Corporation to Gerald B. Franceski, in Forest City for $45,000.00.
Warren and Rose Marie Obrien to James H. and Denise M. Coy, in Herrick Township for $128,000.00.
Peoples National Bank to Timothy D. and Stephanie J. Thomas, in Jackson Township for $3.00.
S. Louise Williams (estate) to Bridgewater Baptist Church, in Bridgewater Township for $275,000.00.
Allen and Sherry Decker to Mark J. and Stephannie N. Richards, in Harford Township for $200,000.00.
McCosar Minerals, Inc. to Milestone Minerals LLC, in Great Bend Township for $10.00.
Clay J. Greenway to Walter Meany and Keith Rotsaert, in Ararat Township for $40,000.00.
Clay J. Greenway to Clay J., Rebecca L., Richard and Theresa Greenway, in Ararat Township for one dollar.
Robert and Charlene McLain (AKA) Charlene Castorima to Joseph and Lori Hunt, in Bridgewater Township for $45,000.00.
Daniel T. (trust by trustee) and Shirley R. (trust by trustee) Blount to Karen Kendall, Christina Lynn and Dale Bruce Blount and Kathy Blount Snyderwine, in Franklin Township for $10.00.
Dennis and Sherri Silvestre to George and Colleen Wilkes, in Jackson Township for $24,000.00.
Dolores A. Swetland to Eugene, Dawn, James, Norma, Roger and Priscilla Swetland, Sally and James Pepper and Sandra and Charles Williams, in Rush Township for one dollar.
Brian T. Hall to Brian T. and Lynn M. Hall, in Harmony Township for one dollar.
Norman E. and Dorothy Turner to Buck Hill Group LLC, in Liberty Township for $140,000.00.
Dunn Lake LLC to Daniel J. and Patricia A. Maisano, in Ararat Township for one dollar.
Tobey L. and Karen M. Smith to Tobey L. and Karen M. Smith, in Choconut Township for one dollar.
Sarah Louise Williams (estate) to Bernice S. Mead (estate), in Bridgewater Township for $75,000.00.
Trudy Stallings, Richard A., Chris, Tamara and Eleanor (estate) Rood and Shelly and Bruce Cassity to Michelle Frailey, in Great Bend Township for $89,040.00.
Mark H. Steinhoff to Merrion Oil & Gas Corporation, in New Milford Township for $100.00.
Sharon K. Kim (by sheriff) to Peoples National Bank, in Lanesboro Borough for $4,383.01.
Kristin Broussard of Great Bend vs. Jonathan Broussard of Baton Rouge, LA, married 2007.
Bradley R. Jones of Susquehanna vs. Anna M. Jones of Thompson, married 2003.
Bryant K. Beach of New Milford vs. Lisa A. Beach of Montrose, married 2006.
The Susquehanna County Domestic Relations Section has bench warrants for the following individuals as of 12:15 p.m. on February 26, 2010.
Antonio L. Alcantara, Duane Aldrich, Michael A. Argust, Erika L. Back, David Shawn Blaisure, Lisa D. Bollard, Joseph Bonavita, Shane Bonavita, Howard A. Burns, III, Darryl M. Chaffee, James W. Donahue III, Deborah L. Drish, David J. Fischer, Racheal L. Frisbie, Deborah E. Gould, George Graham, David Haines, Jr., John J. Hall, Dirk Heiser, Amanda L. Hendrickson, William N. Hendrickson, Erik E. Krisovitch, Lee Labor, Charlie J. Legere, Carlos L. Leiser, Jason Lindquist, Patricia J. Marrero, Bradley W. Megivern, Joseph Mershon, Kimberly L. Mershon, Ronald N. Mitchell, Joseph C. Moore, Robert A. Muzzy, Steven Nannie, Shane Nelson, Anthony Neri, Jeffrey A. Norton, Sheri Pabon, James E. Purse, Jesse R. Rhinebeck, Jr., Michael S. Rieman, Timothy W. Rogers, Robert A. Ryman, Richard D. Shoemaker, Darin Sink, Duane Spencer, Donald Louis Stocks, Christina L. Trayes, Keith W. Vroman, Steven G. Warner, 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.
The Blue Ridge School Board meeting on George Washington’s birthday had a little of everything. The long evening began with committee meetings at 6:30 p.m., followed by a business session at 7:30 p.m., and then a workshop.
The Technology Committee, chaired by new board member - and recently-retired Blue Ridge Technology Director - John Ketchur, reviewed its budget one last time before formal presentation during the later workshop.
The Curriculum Committee, under Laurie Brown-Bonner, hashed over proposals to bring behind-the-wheel (BTW) driver training back to Blue Ridge. Six hours of BTW experience is required to become eligible for most insurance premium-reduction programs, but it can be an expensive undertaking.
High School Principal Scott Jeffery canvassed other area school districts for information for the committee. His report shows that most other districts have their own cars for BTW training. Some charge students a fee; some are offered at no cost to students; some districts offer it in the summer, some during the school year. At Elk Lake it is even a course requirement in the 10th grade.
Board President Alan Hall said the committee probably shouldn’t recommend making BTW training mandatory. But he said that the most difficult issue at Blue Ridge would be scheduling.
During the brief business meeting, the Board welcomed Christen Dick to the staff as a long-term substitute guidance counselor; and Nicole Farrell as the “coach” for the Classrooms For the Future (CFF) program, at least through the remainder of the current school year. They were both present to accept the warm applause.
The Board also approved a recommendation of the Technology Committee to contract with Verizon Business for a 3-line T1 Internet connection. The district’s Internet service suffers significant slowdowns during the day due to increasing demand. The contract will triple the district’s available bandwidth. It will also triple the cost, to about $1,800 per month.
Most of the workshop was devoted to various parts of the budget that is currently under development for the fiscal year that begins on July 1.
First up, Mr. Jeffery said that his request was about $8,000 higher for next year. A large part of that would cover expenses related to state and national archery competitions. The archery coach has been filling the role gratis so far; when the team went to nationals last year, the unbudgeted money was found elsewhere. He also said that physics and advanced biology texts are scheduled to be replaced, but he hoped to be able to cover this with money from a grant.
He was then engaged in a lengthy discussion about the annual yearbook. In recent years, the cutoff date for inclusion in the book was in March, so that the books would be available for graduating seniors before the school year ends. The last 3 months of the school year were then covered in a “supplement” published by the following class’s yearbook staff. There was never money budgeted for the supplement, and the staff were clearly less interested in the product, beginning the year already over budget. The consensus was also that the quality of the supplement has been low.
Mr. Jeffery said that the current purchase price of the yearbook is $65, which doesn’t cover the full cost of production. And there are always a number of extra copies produced in a run, which are collected in the library.
He was asked to consider moving back to a single-book distribution, with no supplement, and to survey how other area districts handle the yearbook (much like he did for the driver education program for the Curriculum Committee). Mr. Hall remarked that the yearbook program was due for an “overhaul.”
Athletics and Activities Director Jim Corse being absent, Mr. Hall presented Mr. Corse’s preliminary budget, which looked to be some $20,000 higher than the current year. About $15,000 of that would be used to replace all of the track and field uniforms. There is also a “huge increase” for volleyball officials, who apparently had not been equitably treated compared to their counterparts in other sports.
This is the first year that the special education director, Mark Fallon, has had a seat at the table at board meetings, so he had the pleasure of defending his budget requests for next year himself, the first of its kind at Blue Ridge, and thus difficult to compare with prior year figures. He started off trying to list 9 areas of interest, but that was cut short by board members asking questions about specific items. He said that the “Life Skills” program would be up about $5,000 from what it probably was before, largely for specific devices required by specific students, a requirement that is difficult to predict in advance. Additional amounts would also be available for psychological testing materials. Asked about the amount allocated to the director himself, he said that part of his duties involves attending each Individual Education Plan (IEP) meeting, resulting in a fair amount of travel.
Mr. Fallon was quizzed about a request for $125 that was approved under the business agenda, for a professional development presentation to the Parent Council by Michelle Miller on autism, scheduled for early March. The relatively new Parent Council is a more-or-less unofficial association that was represented at the meeting by co-chair Vicki Drake. Ms. Drake concedes that the turnout for the Parent Council meetings has been “light” so far, and board member Laurie Brown-Bonner wondered if it is “money well spent” if so few attend to hear the presentation.
Mr. Fallon said that the district counts 5 students diagnosed as autistic; he said that there are others that are not officially so designated, but that autism is an important topic in the schools these days, and Superintendent Chris Dyer said that he expected to have several more professional development sessions on autism for the faculty in the future.
Technology Director Donna Tewes let her assistant, Mike Stewart, handle most of their budget defense, a budget that has become ever larger as the schools become more and more dependent on computers and other high-tech gear and expertise. They claimed that their requests for the new year total approximately the same amount as for the current year. Certainly that appears to be true for the replacement and upgrade of classroom computers, even including the addition of some new devices that they want to experiment with.
The tech staff is also recommending a one-time upgrade of the core MMS system used throughout the schools. The upgrade would cost just short of $25,000, but they expect the new features to result in higher efficiency overall, for staff and faculty. They were also asked to research the possibility of replacing the current e-mail system with one of the free offerings available to the educational community from companies like Google and Microsoft.
Mr. Dyer continued his focus on professional development with a discussion of the “in-service” days scheduled for the few days before classes begin in August. He said there would be considerable attention given over the summer to training in the new FOSS science curriculum. Mr. Hall reiterated his request that the administration look beyond acquaintances and the IU for professional development opportunities. Mr. Dyer also expressed a desire to add a “curriculum coordinator” to the staff.
The public meeting adjourned when Mr. Hall led his charges into an office for an “Act 93” session. Act 93 requires school boards to negotiate compensation packages with non-union administrators. But before they disappeared, Mr. Hall announced that the next board meeting on March 8 would feature a focus on PSSA scores. And Harold Empett said that his Facilities & Grounds Committee would be meeting that same night beginning at 6:30 p.m. Board meetings usually begin at 7:30 p.m., and all meeting are held in the cafeteria in the Elementary School.
CORRECTION: In a report on the January 27 meeting, Vicki Drake told the board that the Blue Ridge Parks Association had received a grant of $80,000, which the report said was “more than 4 years of local fundraising.” The Association does not raise $20,000 a year. The report should have said that the grant represented about 40 years of fundraising.
THEFT BY UNLAWFUL TAKING OR DISPOSITION
On February 12 at 11:20 a.m., Christopher OBrian of Berwyn, PA is accused of removing a Burton Air snowboard with Burton Mission bindings from the rack in front of the lodge at the Elk Mountain Ski Resort in Herrick Twp. The board belonged to Ian ONeill of Middletown, DE, who stood at the lift line until he found the accused in possession of his snowboard. The snowboard was then surrendered to the victim. Charges were to be filed at District Court 34-3-03 as of the time of report.
On February 12, at 3:20 p.m., Elk Mountain Security caught Christopher OBrian of Berwyn entering the ski lift without a lift ticket. Security was then informed that the accused had earlier stolen a snowboard. PSP Gibson was contacted, and Tpr. Glen J. Whitney and Tpr. John Szuch responded. While interviewing the accused, drugs and drug paraphernalia were discovered in the possession of the accused. Charges will be filed at District Court 34-3-03.
On February 19, at approximately 8:19 p.m., a traffic stop was initiated on a blue Ford Focus displaying a NY registration, as it traveled on I 81 southbound in Lenox Twp. Upon making contact with the suspects, Jahi Fatiu and Harley Rooney of Binghamton, indicators of criminal activity were present. A search performed revealed $7,280 in US currency in various denominations. A cash scan was performed by K-9 trained narcotics detection, and the K-9 hit on the currency. The money was seized pending forfeiture.
HIT AND RUN
On February 24, at 12:05 p.m. Pamela Noble was traveling east on SR 2012 in Springville Twp. when her vehicle failed to negotiate a right curve in the roadway. The Pontiac Bonneville traveled off of the roadway and struck a mobile home/trailer.
On February 24, at 6:45 a.m., Justin Wagner of Montrose was traveling north on SR 2011 in Bridgewater Twp. when, failing to negotiate a left curve in the roadway, his Buick century exited the road and struck an embankment, rolling onto its roof. Wagner was utilizing a seatbelt; he was not injured.
On February 17 at 6:10 a.m., Thomas Engel of Montrose was traveling east along T 570 (Phillips Rd.) and failed to safely negotiate a right curve in the roadway. His Saturn Sl-2 was traveling too fast for the then existing snow conditions, according to the report, causing Engel to lose control of the vehicle which exited the road to the left. It then struck a tree, which it came to a rest against, until it was removed by Rod's towing of Montrose, PA. Engel was utilizing a seatbelt; he was not injured. He was cited for the traffic violation of driving too fast for the conditions.
On February 21 at approximately 8:00 p.m., an unknown man entered the house of Judy Daly of Montrose. When Daly's daughter came home, she noticed a man leaving her house. He is described as being approximately 6' tall, with a black hoodie and a brown hat. He fled the house and ran in an unknown direction. Anyone with information is asked to please contact PSP Gibson at (570) 465-3154.
INVOLUNTARY DEVIATE SEXUAL INTERCOURSE
On February 7 it was reported to PSP Gibson that Ralph Johnson from Gibson had sexually assaulted a boy who was, at the time of the incident in 2001, only 14 years of age and suffering from a mental disability.
On February 3, at 2:09 p.m., Stephen Depew of Uniondale was traveling west along SR 374 in Clifford Twp. when, at the intersection with SR 2033 he lost control on the snow covered road surface and crashed subsequently into a tree. Depew was not on the scene at the arrival of PSP, thus his injuries were unknown at the time of report. PSP was assisted at the scene by members of PennDot and Kozlowski Towing Company.
On February 16, at approximately 12:10 a.m., Tara Pooler of Susquehanna was traveling north on SR 171 when she lost control of her vehicle. It slid of the west shoulder of the road and hit a stone wall with the right side, rolling over and coming to a rest on the driver's side. As a result of hitting the wall, the Ford Ranger rolled over, coming to a rest on the driver side. Pooler was utilizing a seatbelt; she sustained minor injury. The vehicle was removed form the scene by French's Auto, in Susquehanna, PA.
On February 17, at 6:30 p.m., Jeffrey Hatch of Whitney Point was traveling on State Hwy 4002 in Liberty Twp., with four passengers. A crash occurred as Hatch was traveling downhill on that road, approaching a stop sign, and could 't stop because he was traveling too fast for conditions. The Cavalier traveled across SR 29, striking a telephone pole with the vehicle’s front passenger side, before spinning clockwise before coming to a final rest. One passenger was not utilizing a seatbelt; he and one other passenger were transported to Wilson Hospital via Montrose ambulance. Snake Creek Fire Dept. assisted on the scene. A citation was filed on Hatch at court 3403001 for roadways laned for traffic.
Sometime between January 29 and February 4, Barry Berkowitz of Fort Washington, PA reported, someone unlawfully entered his residence in Bridgewater Township. Anyone with information is asked to please contact PSP Gibson at (570) 465-3154 regarding this matter.
A crash occurred on private property located at the Exxon Service Station parking lot in Great Bend Twp., on February 16, at 11:15 a.m., when Harry Zablotsky of Montrose was backing a Commonwealth of Pennsylvania vehicle out of a parking spot and struck the trailer of a second vehicle, damaging the rear drivers side light. The truck was in a parked position at the time. No injuries occurred; the truck sustained very minor damages.
THEFT/ACCESS DEVICE FRAUD:
It has been alleged that Annette Rogers of Montrose opened numerous accounts and made purchases for herself while working as the Montrose borough secretary. She then paid the accounts with borough funds. The purchases were valued in excess of 5,300 dollars. The incidents allegedly occurred between March of 2009 and January of 2010; the investigation was still continuing as of the time of report.
On February 9, at 5:03 p.m., Cecil Turner of Fayetteville, AR was traveling south on Main Street in New Milford Borough, in the area of the Parkview Hotel. The Ford Windstar left the right side of the roadway and struck a shrub, also striking the front porch of a house, glancing off and striking another shrub before coming to a rest. No injuries were reported at the scene; the driver and passenger were utilizing seat belts. Citations were issued to the driver.
DRUG POSSESSION/CRIMINAL CONSPIRACY:
On February 13, at 11:35 p.m., a traffic stop was conducted on a vehicle at I-81 in Lenox Twp. Further investigation revealed that Josue Larrieux of Syracuse, NY, the driver of the vehicle, was in possession of vicodin which was obtained illegally. A K-9 responded and $10,293 was located hidden near the airbag compartment in the vehicle. The money was seized and Larrieux was charged with illegal possession of narcotics.
HIT AND RUN
On February 10, at approximately 11:05 a.m., an unnamed person was attempting to make a right turn form SR 11 onto SR 0492 in New Milford Borough when his or her vehicle slid on the snow covered roadway, went over a curb, and struck a fire hydrant with its front end. The driver then fled the scene in the vehicle, without contacting the police or the property owner. Anyone with information is asked to call PSP/Gibson at (570) 465-3154 and reference the incident.
If you have information regarding any of these incidents please contact PSP Gibson at (570) 465-3154.
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