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As such meetings go, the May 17 Mountain View school board public budget hearing, steeped in controversy and emotion, passed quite cordially and uneventfully. Devoid of the yelling and swearing which often accompany divisive issues the board, administration, and visitors all comported themselves with dignity, patience, and understanding. Multiple students, current and former, politely waited their turn to be heard; the young voices heard throughout the evening, perhaps outweighed those of the adult population. The issue which brought a crowd large enough to be the largest some board members had seen, was one both simple and complex in nature. The district is going into the 2010-2011 school year with a proposed budget deficit of around a million dollars. The controversial question was what to do to remediate this.
The meeting opened with two presentations, one by business manager James Mirabelli, and one by superintendent Andrew Chichura, regarding the reality of the district’s plight and each man’s ideas for decreasing the deficit. Mr. Mirabelli went first, explaining clearly how the situation arose.
In the 2009-2010 school year the board approved a zero percent tax raise, due to sympathy for economic conditions. Additionally, the decision was made to try and retain all staff. It was projected that it would take $350,000 of the fund balance money to keep all staff and programs, and though the district did slightly better than this it was still projected that as of the time of the meeting there was less than two million dollars in the fund balance account. At the same time, the state budget crisis has affected the money received from the state. Salaries are expected to increase by $307,776, a 3.5% increase. Benefit increases however, largely due to the pension matter, are projected to increase $458,945 or 22.79% overall. As two thirds of the budget is salaries and benefits, it is not surprising that such an increase poses difficulties for the district. Between this and a 22.79% increase for purchased services, totaling $95,945 (largely special education services), a number is created which, when combined with last year’s deficit of $862,365, over a million. For the 2010-2011 school year, it was expected that there will be 17,944,558 dollars worth of expenses, with only $16,975,778 worth of revenue to compensate for it. Cuts had already been made, Mr. Miarabelli said, to bring it even below a million at all. Additionally, student enrollment is estimated to continue to decline, and the average cost per pupil has increased by more than double. Grants are dying up, and federal money reduced due to the country's recession. Declining student enrollment will only increase this decrease. Add into the mix the cost of paying for cyber school education and the crash of the stock market, and a recipe for disaster was created. The cost per cyber students is around 8,707 dollars for a regular education student, with only 38% being reimbursed by the state.
One of the largest causes of the schools current situation is a mandatory increase in the retirement contributions set by PSERS. This is set by that agency, not by the district. By the year 2012-2013, the increase will be up to 29.22%, which will only escalate the district's current budget difficulties. If nothing is done, over the next five years the district will be facing a 4.18 million dollar deficit, which will require a 25 mills tax increase. The fund balance will, if nothing changes, be wiped out by the middle of the 2011-2012 school year. Mr. Mirabelli also explained how the pension crisis came about. When the stock market was doing well, the legislators had decided to increase staff benefits. After the crash, the districts became responsible for still helping to pay off the debt.
A survey was put out to the community to see which of the several actions under consideration they would favor. Among those positively favored were: reducing field trips, restricting travel for professional development, and offering additional retirement incentives.
Mr. Mirabelli and Dr. Chichura each presented their own ideas for alleviating the deficit. These included eliminating the wrestling program (saving over $16,000), making students pay for sports physicals (saving $2,000), and reducing field trips, athletic tournaments, and travel distances. Also proposed was a reduction in the amount of substitutes, restricting substitute use to only when staff is absent. Currently the district may have around 17 substitutes a day, and at times they are called in to cover staff development, meetings, or IEP work. A change in long-term disability insurance was approved at the last meeting, saving 8,000 dollars. More services could be performed in-house. Charging for participation in sports could save the district between $2,000 and $15,000, but this was unpopular with the public. Eliminating the CFF sub could save the district $50,000, and clerical staff could be reevaluated or reduced. Dr. Chichura proposed the possible elimination of 13 professional staff: 1 from kindergarten, 1 from first grade, 1 from fifth grade, 2 from the secondary English department (using dual certified staff from other departments to cover the English courses left open), 1 from the secondary business education and technology department, 1 from the art department, 1 from the music department, 2 from the special education department, the par room worker, 1 guidance counselor, and 1 school nurse. Also, were all of his ideas enacted, the culture shock program, the Latin program, the driver's ed programs, and the elementary autism program would be curtailed or eliminated. Staff would be scheduled for 6 or 7 periods a day, and paras would be laid off or reassigned, perhaps to study hall duty and cafeteria monitoring. Classes with fewer than 10 students enrolled would either be canceled or combined with other classes.
Dr. Chichura was given permission by PDE to affect changes, with board permission. The board made it clear prior to opening the hearing up the meeting to public input, however, that these are all only options. Nothing, save the insurance change, has been acted on yet, or is guaranteed to be acted upon. The board members spoke of how difficult the decision would be on which actions to pursue. Mr. Griffiths opined that no one on the board really wanted to do this.
To reiterate what each of the multifarious persons said during the three hour plus meeting would be onerous to both the writer and readers of this article. The recurring theme, as was noted by some staff at the meeting, was somewhat surprisingly not an increase in taxes however. Only a few people even mentioned this. Overwhelmingly those visitors who spoke, each limited to fairly brief statements, appeared more concerned with potential cuts to staff and programs than increased taxes. It did not appear as if the board and administration were under attack, overall, with some community members even acknowledging what a difficult situation the board was in. The money has to come from somewhere, this reality seemed to be accepted by all, but repeated cries were made for it not to come at the expense of the arts, music, or special education.
Person after person came up to tell their personal stories of what staff and courses of study had meant to them. One student was moved to tears, while another shared his opinion that a loss of staff would be a change in the climate of the school in total.
In fact, the overall feeling toward instructive and paraprofessional staff seemed very high, as person after person spoke in their favor. Mention was made of specific staff in the areas in danger of cuts, of the importance of paraprofessionals in the lives of special needs students and the skill and devotion of the general education staff. Particular mention was made of Mrs. Lombardi, Mrs. Fargnolli, the guidance staff, and Mr. Wilson, as anecdotes were shared of the difference they've made in individual lives.
On the other hand, Mr. Collins pointed out that the district has 110 instructors, a 1 to 11 ratio. This is hard to find, he said. Currently there are small class sizes, and some staff instruct only 4 or 5 periods.
Dr. Chichura explained that the idea was not to take away one on one paraprofessional services, nor to do away with courses. The classes might be combined, he said, so that, for example, AP English and Honors English met at the same time in the same room. As for paraprofessionals, they might be reassigned, and what would be curtailed would be the presence of paras unattached to a particular student in a regular classroom. He said that the district has 20 paras as it is, perhaps twice as many as some others.
Various people suggested that perhaps the staff could make concessions on their salaries or benefits, to alleviate the problem. One woman didn't seem to think it fair that all of this was put back on the taxpayers. A staff member, however, stood up in their defense, stating that they had learned about this issue through the newspaper the same as everyone else, and had not been given the opportunity to discuss concessions. She could not speak for the staff or the union, but personally seemed to feel it worth at least discussing. A source after the meeting explained that the staff were already paying into their medical benefits.
A staff member asked when, if positions are to be cut, the staff will be informed. She expressed concern over being able to find a job if the application deadlines passed.
Someone did ask whether or not it had been considered for the administrative staff to be cut. Dr. Chichura responded that no, this was not being explored at the time. He also said that he did not feel the district has excessive administrators, and spoke highly of their success and efforts.
One of the options which was more popular among survey respondents was the offering of an early retirement incentive. If the position wasn't replaced, and a top tier instructor retired, it could save perhaps $77,000 in the first year. Over 10 years the savings would be over a million dollars. If the spot was filled with a tier one employee, over 10 years a $475,000 savings could still be realized. Dr. Chichura explained, however, that while this could save significant amounts of money, the district currently only has one instructor who will have accrued 35 years at the end of this year. There are only five more who would reach that benchmark over the next few years. Currently, he said, it would be foolish to retire with less than this number.
One staff member, from the learning support department, couched her concern in worry over the elementary students. They need to be reading by the end of grade three, she stated, so cutting staff in kindergarten and first grade is problematic. Also, she said, there are children being assessed for the autism spectrum, who may not need an all day program but could use services.
A Ms. Mason, and various others present wondered if cutting the autism program might not be counterproductive as the children would then have to be sent out. She quoted a statistic that 1 in 7 boys have autism, and felt that the safety of these children could not be ensured in other programs. These programs, she added, could cost $25,000 for a child to be sent to them. Ms. Williams, from the autistic support room, related a story she used when she gave a program on this condition for the faculty, wherein the first thing an autistic girl said when given expression was a desire to go to school with the other students.
Various people present felt that the district should do what it could to bring students in, not send them out. This seemed especially true regarding the cyber school issue, a significant cause of district cost. These visitors gave the opinion that if programs were cut it would only encourage declining student enrollment, and exacerbate the situation. One businessman pointed out that if a business wants to make money it expands services, not cuts them.
Another common comment was fear over what could happen with a reduced nursing staff. Although Dr. Chichura explained that there would be an assistant to the nurse in the district, several visitors queried if this would be sufficient were there ever two emergencies at the same time. Several people doubted it would.
A music certified substitute spoke up, having subbed for all of the music staff. She provided her opinion that these instructors do have full schedules, and when they have free time it is often because students cannot or do not make it down for lessons. Even then, she maintained, this free time was not wasted, as score studies are performed and music arranged. Motioning to the corner of the auditorium, she pointed out $20,000 of new steel drums, which music boosters, etc. had paid for, as an example of how valued the program was in the district.
There were those at the meeting who questioned the use of money for the elementary roof and the track and soccer field renovations. It was explained that this money was being taken from the capital reserve account, and had been accrued over a ten-year period for that purpose. It could not, then, be taken back out of that account. The gas and oil lease money was planned for this purpose as well, and it was responded, when questioned, that not all of this money had to necessarily go toward the renovations. Putting some toward the budget could be considered.
Mrs. McHenry, from the business department, requested that Dr. Chichura, when looking into the curtailment of programs, base decisions not on the current enrollment but enrollment for next year, using two classes as examples. She also pointed out that, as the advisor of the FBLA which charges dues, she felt charging for extracurricular activities would not curtail involvement as long as something was in place to assist disadvantaged children.
One mother, who stated that while Mountain View might not do as much as other districts it does them better, requested that the board keep the dialog open. Mrs. Yarrish, amongst others, in turn pointed out that this was the largest turnout she'd ever seen, and encouraged greater attendance on a more regular basis.
Prior to the meetings official adjournment, Dr. Chichura addressed the repeated suggestions that the staff be willing to make concessions to keep positions. He stated that in order for this to happen, as MVSD has a contractual agreement with the unions, negotiations would need to be held. He did not feel, however, that the first move should be the school’s. He felt that the staff should contact the board and administration with its interest.
Correspondence reviewed at the May 19 Susquehanna Boro Council meeting included a letter from Cub Scout Pack 81. This year marks the 100th birthday of Scouting, and the pack would like to celebrate the birthday by planting a tree in honor of boro resident Ira Reynolds, America’s oldest Boy Scout, who is 108 years young. The Pack requested council’s approval of the plan, as well as an appropriate site to plant the tree. There was no question about approving the request, just a question of where the best site would be. It was agreed that the site should be in the downtown area, where it would be visible to all. Some possibilities were discussed; and will be discussed further at the next committee meeting.
There were some questions about the bill list, particularly one received for a uniform shirt and pants for a police officer, as there is no budget allocation for uniforms and there was no purchase order for the items. Payment of the bills was approved with the exception of this one, and the officer involved will be contacted.
The Chemung Valley Historical Society plans to remove their two railroad cars by Memorial Day, but there was still no word on whether or not they will also take the third that the boro owns.
The final draft of the employee handbook was presented for a vote, and a motion carried to approve it.
Council members and representatives from the Susquehanna County Housing and Redevelopment Authority were scheduled to attend an on-site inspection last Friday where the Capra building had been demolished.
Council noted that the contractor installing sidewalks and curbing on Washington Street has been doing an excellent job, and has been very accommodating to the residents in the area of the work.
Trimming of the trees on Main St. was tabled for the time being; council will contact an arborist to determine when the best time is to have it done. There was also discussion about bidding out to have fallen trees removed from Drinker Creek.
A list of per capita tax exonerations of fulltime students was reviewed and approved. Council discussed whether or not, in future, it would be legally allowable to also request a copy of the students’ transcripts to ensure that applicants are actually attending school. It was agreed to check into whether or not that would be allowable.
Bids for drainage work were approved. The project includes 1,108 feet of 12-inch pipe and 13 inlet boxes to be installed on Pleasant Ave. and Pine St. Bids are due on June 15 and will be opened at that evening’s council meeting at 7:00 p.m.
And, according to the minutes of the May 4 committee meeting, a motion had carried to hire Roberta Kelly as the boro secretary.
The meeting adjourned to an executive session to discuss a personnel issue.
Methodist E. Church of Bridgewater (by trustees) to Methodist E. Church of Bridgewater (FKA) Fairdale Methodist Church, in Jessup Township for one dollar.
Phyllis Flynn to Irene and Justin Deangelo, in Forest City for one dollar.
Franklin Gerald and Janet S. Belcher to Jennifer S. Belcher-Macavoy and Susan Macavoy, in Gibson Township for one dollar.
Kenneth and Maureen Zebrowski to Richard S. and Madeline E. Field, in Lenox Township for $75,000.00.
Mario C. Bocchino (estate) to Joel and Kim Anthony Bocchino, in Rush Township for one dollar.
Alexander M. and Kelly C. Hawley to Hawley Enterprises LLC, in Silver Lake Township for $42,534.00.
William Jason to Scott A. Lonzinski and Danielle M. Goerlitz, in Clifford Township for $640,000.00.
Joan R. Bendock (estate) to Edward T. Bendock, Jr. and Vicky A. Roth, in Auburn Township for one dollar.
Arthur R., Sr. (by sheriff) and Linda J. (by sheriff) Tyrrell to Deutsche Bank National Trust Co., in Susquehanna for $6,766.92.
Edward Yachymiak, Jr. to Joseph Lee and Ashley Marie Yachymiak, in Brooklyn Township for one dollar.
Dennis and Susan Federico to Richard Stone, in Herrick Township for $210,000.00.
Rose Konzman and Rose Obrian to Gerald Konzman and Carol Suponcic, in Clifford Township for one dollar.
Anthony D. Desanto to Alfa Farms LLC, in Bridgewater Township for one dollar.
Paul J. Litchfield and Sandra J. Lasalandra to Distant Ventures LP and Amcrest LLC, in Rush Township for $1,300,000.00.
Frank N. and Diane M. Picciano to Robert A. and Patricia L. Brainard, in Apolacon Township for $75,000.00.
Charles M. Watkins to Charles M. and John C. Watkins, in Clifford Township for one dollar.
Lorraine Bennett to Donald E. and Maria D. Heffner, in Bridgewater Township for $35,500.00.
Carolyn Mae Whitney to Karl and Jane P. Barrows, in Lenox Township for $68,000.00.
Mark and Eileen R. Kern to Eileen R. Kern, in Lathrop Township for one dollar.
Grace G. Bell to Stephan E. and Linda J. Bell, in Springville Township for one dollar.
Danny E. and Jennifer Very to Danny E. Very, in Lathrop Township for one dollar.
Julie A. Hanyon of Nicholson vs. Gary R. Hanyon, Jr. of Jermyn, married 1993.
Elizabeth Susan Spickerman vs. Kevin Joseph Spickerman, both of Montrose, married 1991.
Amelia L. Heath vs. Troy R. Heath, both of Susquehanna, married 2001.
The Susquehanna County Domestic Relations Section has bench warrants for the following individuals as of 10:00 a.m. on May 21, 2010.
Antonio L. Alcantara, Erika L. Back, Tonya S. Birchard, David Shawn Blaisure, Devin S. Brewer, Howard A. Burns, III, Darryl M. Chaffee, Frank Deriancho, Deborah L. Drish, David J. Fischer, Racheal L. Frisbie, George Graham, David Haines, Jr., Ceejay B. Halstead, James Karhnak, Erik E. Krisovitch, Charlie J. Legere, Carlos L. Leiser, Jason Lindquist, Kimberly L. Mershon, Connie M. Mitchell, Shane Nelson, Anthony Neri, Sheri Pabon, James E. Purse, Arthur D. Quick, Jesse R. Rhinebeck, Jr., David J. Shiner, Richard D. Shoemaker, Duane Spencer, Garrett M. Thomas (aka Staudinger), Justin Thompson, Christina L. Trayes, Keith W. Vroman, Jamie L. Williams, Kenneth L. Wilmot, Jr., Karl D. Zantowsky.
Please contact the Domestic Relations Section at 570-278-4600 ext. 170 with any information on the location of these individuals.
TRAFFIC STOP (DUI)
On April 3, while on routine traffic monitoring, SLTPD stopped a vehicle for speeding on SR4002 near Quaker Lake. The driver was ultimately arrested for suspicion of being under the influence of alcohol after failing several sobriety tests.
On April 5, an ATV was being operated on Quarry Road, Franklin Township, by a non-resident seismic testing employee. The driver was cited for no insurance and registration for the ATV. The ATV was impounded and the operator, being a nonresident, was taken into custody until the fines were paid.
On April 6, a two vehicle MVA was reported 1 mile north of Franklin Forks. One unit was following too closely as traffic was stopped north bound. The vehicle struck the unit in front of it causing minor damage to that unit and severe damage to its own. The two occupants in the damaged vehicle were taken to Montrose EMHS and charges are pending.
SLTPD responded to a disturbance on Stone Street, Forest Lake Township, late the evening of April 6. An intoxicated resident was yelling at innocent neighbors over damage done to his mailbox and long ago events. The resident was advised of his condition and suggested consequences and he retired for the night.
On April 7, a Forest Lake Township resident reported Lopke trucks speeding up and down Steward Road. The area was patrolled and PSP and carrier enforcement units were notified. Subsequently, the enforcement units have periodically without notice, worked the area. This is an on-going problem and concern throughout the general area.
On April 9, a local quarry worker reported that his pallets of stone had been taken from a staging area at the work site, Silver Lake Township. After Investigation of the incident it appears to be a civil matter. This incident is still under investigation.
On April 9, a Conklin, NY resident was arrested and charged with DUI after he was observed swerving back and forth on the roadway in a very erratic fashion on SR4002 at Quaker Lake, Silver Lake Township.
On April 10, SLTPD was dispatched to a structure fire on SR4008 at approximately 1830 hrs. at a property in Silver Lake Township. The officers controlled the scene and SR4008 was closed to traffic for several hours. The structure was heavily damaged and may be a total loss.
On April 15, it was reported that traffic was speeding regularly on SR4014 near Kinny Road, Forest Lake Township. Patrols and speed monitoring have been increased in the area.
On April 29, a Franklin Township woman was bitten by a neighbor’s dog as her dog was attacked by two dogs as she was walking along side SR4008.
TRAFFIC STOP (DUI)
On April 19, after a routine traffic stop for speeding on SR4002 near Brady’s Beach, Silver Lake Township, an Endicott, NY resident was arrested for DUI.
On April 19, SLTPD responded to a two vehicle MVA near the intersection of SR4002 and Sweeny Road, Silver Lake Township. After the investigation at the scene, it was determined that a Ford Mustang, driven by a Brackney, PA resident, was traveling East on SR4002 at a high rate of speed. A Binghamton, NY resident was driving a Ford F-150 West on SR4002 and attempting to make a left turn onto Sweeny Road when the Mustang crashed into the front of the pickup truck without braking. The pickup driver and one of her passengers were taken to Wilson Hospital, Johnson City, NY and treated for minor injuries. The Mustang driver was charged with DUI, an unregistered vehicle, no insurance and other traffic violations.
TRAFFIC STOP (DUI)
On April 24, a Montrose man was charged with DUI and traffic violations, after being stopped for speeding on SR29, Franklin, Township.
On April 26, a Brackney resident lost control of her 2004 Olds sedan on John C. McNamara Drive and rolled up on the driver side and into a ditch. She was not injured but the vehicle was damaged and towed.
On April 29, a Forest Lake Township resident reported that an ATV was repeatedly running up and down Hamlin Road and onto SR267. A unit responded and patrols were done in the area for several days.
Hallstead Boro has been participating in discussions with Great Bend Boro, Great Bend Township and Susquehanna Boro to form a regional police department, in response to the impending enactment of HB1500 or a similar bill, which would require municipalities to have some sort of police coverage, whether it be their own departments or through contracting services from another municipality. At their May 20 meeting, council discussed whether or not the elections earlier in the week would impact the passage of HB1500, as a new administration may not be in favor of it, especially since many municipalities could not afford fulltime coverage. After discussion, a motion carried to put any action on hold until such time as it may be necessary.
In other business, a resident was present to ask if it would be possible to purchase playground equipment for either the Chase Ave. park or the one next to the boro building. Council’s answer was that, over the years, a significant amount of money has been spent on equipment which had subsequently been destroyed. They said that they would support any efforts to form a committee to fund the purchase equipment, whether it be by soliciting donations or pursuing grant funding. One thing to be aware of, though, is that many grant opportunities require that matching funds are required on the boro’s behalf, whether it be through donations or other means.
A repair estimate for work on the boro’s truck came in at $1,225.00. After discussion, a motion carried to approve. The new truck that the boro has ordered was to have been ready for delivery the previous week, but had not yet been delivered.
The sidewalk project was to have started on May 17, but so far there were no reports that it had begun. The project is to be completed within 60 days of May 17.
And, as they always do, a motion carried to donate $200 to Blue Ridge Recreation, which hosts a summer recreation program for local children.
The next meeting will be on Thursday, June 17 at 7:00 p.m.
Following is the Susquehanna County sentencing report for May, 2010 as submitted by the county District Attorney’s office.
Walter H Derose, 32, of Montrose, to 11 1/2 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 for Simple Assault in New Milford Township on April 4, 2009. Mr. Derose also received 3 1/2 years consecutive probation, pay $750 fine, pay cost of prosecution, pay $50 Criminal Justice Enhancement Act fee, not to have contact with the victim in this case, receive a Sexual Offenders evaluation and treatment for Indecent Assault in New Milford Township on April 4, 2009.
James Procter Rosemergey, 52, of Montrose, to 11 1/2 months to 23 1/2 months in Susquehanna County Correctional Facility, followed by 3 years probation, pay $1,500 fine, not to have contact with anyone on supervision, receive drug and alcohol counseling, perform 50 hours community service, pay cost of prosecution, pay $250 DNA testing fee and submit sample, pay $100 Act 198 fee, pay $50 Criminal Justice Enhancement Act fee for Manufacture/Delivery/Possession of a Controlled Substance in Bridgewater Township on March 27, 2009.
Nicholaus Lynn Baker, 28, of Susquehanna, to 5 days to 6 months in Susquehanna County Correctional Facility, pay $300 fine, pay $100 CAT surcharge, pay $10 EMS, pay $100 Act 198, pay $50 Criminal Justice Enhancement Act fee, pay cost of prosecution, receive a drug and alcohol evaluation, attend alcohol safe driving school program for Driving Under the Influence in Montrose Borough on August 22, 2009.
Todd Michael Wagner, 34, of Clifford, to 30 days to 6 months in Susquehanna County Correctional Facility, pay $750 fine, pay $100 CAT Surcharge, pay $100 Act 198, pay $10 EMS, pay cost of prosecution, attend alcohol safe driving school program for Driving Under the Influence in Forest City on January 1, 2010.
Shane P. Nicholson, Jr., 25, of Susquehanna, to 46 days to 6 months in Susquehanna County Correctional Facility, pay $100 CAT surcharge, pay $10 EMS, pay $100 Act 198, pay $750 fine, pay cost of prosecution, not to possess transport or consume alcoholic beverages, perform 50 hours community service, attend alcohol safe driving school program for Driving Under the Influence in New Milford Borough on September 20, 2009.
Andrew Richard Honnick, 29, of Endicott, NY to 10 days to 6 months in Susquehanna County Correctional Facility, pay $300 fine, pay $100 CAT surcharge, pay $10 EMS, pay $100 Act 198 fee, pay cost of prosecution, attend alcohol safe driving school program, receive a drug and alcohol evaluation for Driving Under the Influence in Apolacon Township on July 11, 2009.
Patrick L Yachymiak, 46, of Nicholson, to 6 months probation, pay $300 fine, pay $100 Act 198 fee, pay $50 CAT surcharge, pay $10 EMS, pay cost of prosecution, attend alcohol safe driving school program, receive a drug and alcohol evaluation, receive a CRN evaluation for Driving Under the Influence in Lenox Township on April 3, 2009. Mr. Yachymiak also received 3 days to 6 months in Susquehanna County Correctional Facility, pay $1,000 fine, pay $50 CAT surcharge, pay $300 Act 198, pay $10 EMS, pay cost of prosecution, receive a drug and alcohol evaluation, attend alcohol safe driving school for Driving Under the Influence in Clifford Township on July 24, 2009. Finally, Mr. Yachymiak received 18 months probation to run concurrent to the above sentences, pay $750 fine, pay $50 Criminal Justice Enhancement Act fee, pay cost of prosecution, perform 50 hours of community service for Flight to Avoid Apprehension or Prosecution in Lenox Township on February 11, 2010.
Joseph A Fiorentino, 39, of South Montrose, to 12 months to 30 months in a state correctional facility, pay restitution to the victim in this case, pay $350 fine, pay $50 Criminal Justice Enhancement Act fee, pay cost of prosecution for Receiving Stolen Property in Dimock Township on November 5, 2009. Mr. Fiorentino also received 12 months to 30 months in a state correctional facility to run concurrent to the above sentence, pay restitution to the victim in this case, receive a drug and alcohol evaluation, pay $350 fine, pay $50 Criminal Justice Enhancement Act fee, pay cost of prosecution, not to possess weapons for Theft by Unlawful Taking in Dimock Township on October 27, 2009. Mr. Fiorentino also received 12 months to 30 months in a state correctional facility to run concurrent to the above sentences, pay $350 fine, pay $50 Criminal Justice Enhancement Act fee, pay cost of prosecution, receive drug and alcohol counseling for Theft by Unlawful Taking in Rush Township on October 26, 2009. Mr. Fiorentino also received 12 months to 30 months in a state correctional facility to run concurrent to the above sentences pay $350 fine, pay $50 Criminal Justice Enhancement Act fee, pay restitution to the victim, pay cost of prosecution for Theft by Unlawful Taking in Dimock Township on October 10, 2009. Finally, Mr. Fiorentino received 3 1/2 years probation to run consecutive to the above sentences, not to have contact with anyone on supervision, perform 50 hours community service, not to enter any establishments whose sole purpose is the sale of alcoholic beverages, not to possess weapons, pay $350 fine, pay $50 Criminal Justice Enhancement Act fee, pay cost of prosecution for Theft by Unlawful Taking in Springville Township on October 24, 2009.
Between the 19th and 20th of May, approximately $1,715 worth of tools were stolen from the property of Robert Conrad of Kingsley, at the Jack Wanatt Quarry in Oakland Twp. Among the things removed were 4 chainsaws, an air hammer, gasoline, and car batteries.
On May 8, at 1:13 a.m., Joseph Waldowski of New Milford was arrested for a DUI after being stopped for erratic driving on SR 81 near the 228.7 mile marker.
On May 18, at 9:00 p.m., John Kernan of Hallstead got into an argument with his girlfriend and was told to leave. He then broke into the residence by breaking the front door jam and damaged a gas grill, prior to leaving the scene. Charges were filed against him at district court 34-3-02.
ACCESS DEVICE FRAUD
Between the April 30 and May 3 unauthorized charges were made to the credit card of Charles Vullo of Montrose, on Carter Rd. in Auburn Township. The investigation was continuing as of the time of report.
Between the 13th and 17th of May, a burglary occurred at the Summit T-tag and Notary on Summit Street in New Milford Borough. The approximate value of the loss was 900 dollars.
On May 17, at 8:22 p.m., Kyle Durko of Forest City was traveling north on SR 2023, traveling at a high rate of speed while en route to an ambulance call for assistance at a motor vehicle crash. Durko lost control on a curve, went off the road, and struck a utility pole. He was transported by ambulance, but was not injured. He was utilizing a seatbelt. Power was interrupted. PSP was assisted at the scene by Clifford Fire Company and Clifford Twp. police department.
On May 17, at 8:27 p.m., Derek Ladden of the Kingsley area was traveling east on SR 106 in Lenox Twp. While negotiating a curve in the roadway, he exited the road and impacted a ditch. He was not injured during this collision. The investigation was ongoing as of the time of report.
A fugitive from Massachusetts, hailing from New Milford, was apparently discovered on SR 11 in Great Bend Twp. on May 6 in the morning. Little other information was available in the report, and the reporter had difficulty deciphering the accused's name.
On May 15, at 2:30 p.m., Alex Gaskill was backing out of a parking spot at the Lake Montrose Mall parking lot, when he backed into a 1997 Jeep Cherokee parked behind him. He then fled the scene.
Well drilling equipment was stolen between April 1 and May 1, at a site on Darrow Street in Uniondale. The victim was John Murphy of that town.
On May 12, at 6:49 a.m., a person unnamed in the report was traveling southbound on SR 171 when he or she struck a deer in a 2003 Hyundai Sonata. This caused the driver to lose control of the vehicle, and exit the roadway off the east berm, becoming stuck on an earthen embankment. The vehicle was removed form the embankment via a tow truck from Paul's Garage of Waymart. It was then driven from the scene; the driver was not injured.
On May 8th, at 7:52 p.m., Anthony Reed of Laceyville was traveling south on Baldwin Road, when he lost control of his 2002 Dodge Stratus and struck a guide rail. Reed then fled the scene. There were two female passengers, Kayla Payne of Friendsville and a second juvenile from that town. Both passengers were transported by Montrose EMS to Tyler hospital in Tunkhannock. It was unknown if either Reed or Payne were utilizing seatbelts, and unknown if they were injured. The juvenile was not utilizing a seatbelt; she was injured. The vehicle was towed from the scene by Force's.
On May 10, at approximately 9:45 a.m., Gregory Walker of Denver Colorado was an employee of a casing crew working at a Cabot Gas drilling site on SR 29 near Dimock Corners. He sustained injuries during the course of his assigned duties and was transported via ambulance and life flight to two separate area hospitals. The injuries proved fatal.
On May 10, at 2:25 a.m., Daniel Brown of Great Bend was arrested for Driving under the Influence after troopers responded to a one-vehicle non-reportable crash on SR 0171 in Great Bend Township. After Brown drove off the roadway, his vehicle became stuck. Charges were filed with District Court 34-3-02 for Driving Under the Influence.
On April 24, at 12:48 a.m., Jason Helvig of Montrose was traveling East along SR 706 when he failed to safely negotiate a curve in the road due to traveling too fast. The 2006 Dodge SLT traveled into the embankment on the north side of the road and flipped onto its roof after striking the embankment. The driver was transported to Montrose hospital for treatment of minor injuries; he was utilizing a seatbelt. Charges with multiple traffic violations were to be applied as of the time of report.
On May 7, at 9:00 p.m., Jeremy Hunsinger of Meshoppen was arrested for Burglary.
BURGLARY (FORCED ENTRY)
Between the 5th and 7th of May the secondary residence of Joseph Staab of Philadelphia was broken into, causing damage to an entrance door. The residence was in Brooklyn Township, on SR 0167, and is thought to be connected with a known crime pattern.
The Pennsylvania State Police at Gibson are currently investigating several daytime burglaries that occurred within Susquehanna County between April 28 and May 5, with items taken including jewelry, money, electronic equipment, and guns. If anyone has any information concerning the break-ins, they are asked to please contact the State Police at Gibson. Oftentimes daytime burglars will knock on the victim's door in an attempt to ascertain if someone is home. If anyone at the residence answers the door, the would-be burglars will provide a fictitious reason for their presence, such as asking for directions, etc. Anyone providing information may remain anonymous. The telephone number for Gibson is (570) 465-3154.
If anyone has information regarding any of these incidents, please call PSP Gibson at (570) 465-3154.
For the second month in a row, New Milford township had no subdivisions or permits come in for approval. Mr. Hunter commented on how unusual this was, for the second month in a row.
The supervisors again opened the cinder shed bids. The month prior, the bids had been rejected, as one of them did not factor bonding into the figure. This time there were two bids, from Yoderway Buildings and Unique Building Systems. Yoderways’ bid came in at $56,000, Unique’s at $68,500; the lower bid was accepted.
Also opened that evening were the bids for liquid calcium. Sutkote’s bid on $1.02 for the liquid calcium and $1.25 for oil; Vestal Asphalt’s offer was $1.05 for the calcium ($1.13 delivered and applied) and $1.31 for oil. As has been done in the past, both were accepted, with Sutkote being the primary. When a visitor asked how calcium related to road footage, it was responded that about 100 ft. equaled 20 gallons. It is used for dust control.
The bridge culvert project on Bailey Road is actually being worked on, it was stated; it should be done shortly. It was flooded out in 2006.
An executive session was held before the meeting, for litigation matters. When pressed, Mr. Briechle did say that it was for sewage matters.
A visitor wanted to comment from Sutton Road, expressing his appreciation to the supervisors. About a month ago, he had sent a letter to the township about the condition of the road, and it had been worked on. It appeared, he said, to flood less when it rained, and Mr. Conroy agreed with this, stating that he had been watching it. Mr. Hunter suggested that they should also have less truck traffic up there over the last few weeks, and that they shouldn’t be running on Sundays, with which statements the man agreed. It had apparently been suggested that they go out another way, but Mr. Hunter cautioned that by the time they go through with all of the permits it might be awhile. The visitor then asked about them owning the road, which fact was confirmed.
Ken Bondurant asked about the two house bills under consideration, whether or not the supervisors had any feedback on them. The first was HB2141, which, he thought, discussed the elimination of all local governments in favor of county governments. That was about as much as they knew about it, Mr. Hunter responded. The second was the legislation which would punish municipalities for not having full time police. Via PSAATS the supervisors had heard that so much had been added to the legislation it was unlikely to pass.
Mr. Bondurant also asked about newspaper reports that a company had bought land from the Lyncot corporation for 177,000 dollars. The supervisors replied that they hadn’t heard anything about it, but it would be run through waste management anyway. The borough’s solicitor, Mr. Briechle, suggested, though, that it wasn’t a sale of land but of mineral rights. Typically, he stated, that company looks just to buy the rights. Mr. Bondurant felt, he said, that it was worth checking into, as he wasn’t certain it would be wise to be putting a drill bit through that land.