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Susquehanna Boro has long been pursuing information about when the replacement of the bridge that runs under Main St. near the Drinker Creek park might take place, and at their June 15 meeting, council president Roy Williams and Mayor Denise Reddon announced that the project has finally been scheduled. The bad news is that it will not happen until some time around the spring of 2012. Representatives from PennDOT had visited the boro earlier in the day to go over details. The third turning lane has been closed off for quite some time, and when the project begins traffic will be reduced to one lane. Work is expected to take about six months to complete, during which time additional traffic signals will be set up. One of the trees on Main St. near the site will need to be removed, but will be replaced. Mr. Williams said that he had requested a representative from PennDOT to attend council's August committee meeting to go over details of the project with boro officials, and a public meeting will be scheduled for some time after that.
In other business, there was some discussion about the bill list, particularly a $640 repair bill for the boro's white truck. As it is used primarily for codes enforcement, the bill could not be paid out of the highway fund. After discussion it was agreed that the bill should be paid out of the codes budget, as will badges purchased for the boro's two new CEO's, Mike Matis and Roy Williams, cost $80. Mr. Williams offered to pay the cost of his badge, but council agreed that they should be paid for by the boro out of the codes budget, and remain the property of the boro.
There was also discussion about a bill council had discussed at their last regular meeting for a police uniform. Although the bill had been paid out of the police supply allocation, Mayor Reddon said that it had been her understanding that the amount would be deducted from the pay of the officer in question.
Mr. Matis reported that the Chemung Valley Historical Society is planning removal of the two rail cars they have claimed ownership of by the end of the month, and that they are working on raising funding to remove the third car that the boro has offered to donate to them.
There was discussion about what to do with the property where the Capra building had been demolished, whether the boro should keep it and turn it into a parking lot, a park, or sell it. Turning it into a park would require considerable funding as well as maintenance, and its size would not allow for much parking, although it was noted that an individual has been using it as a “private” parking lot and driving up over the curb and sidewalk to do so. After discussion, a motion carried to have the property appraised in anticipation of selling it so that it can, hopefully, be put back on the tax rolls.
Mr. Perry noted that he has seen the number of water tanks at the site near the river that the boro leased to a gas drilling company increase from two to four; he asked if there was anything in the lease agreement that would limit the number of tanks, as he is concerned that the number could increase even more. It was noted that the agreement limits the amount of water that could be pumped from the river, but it was not sure if it limited the number of tanks that could be situated at the site. It was agreed to request that a representative of the gas company attend a meeting to go over the company's plans.
A total of six bids were received for drainage work on Pleasant Ave., with prices ranging from $9,775 to $25,800. A motion carried to accept the lowest bid, from J. Sparrow Excavating. Because the accepted bid was considerably lower than had been anticipated, Streets Commissioner Steve Glover will prepare separate bids for additional work on Oak and Pine Streets.
Secretary Roberta Kelly asked for council's approval to pursue obtaining the services of an Experience Works helper (at no cost to the boro) to redo the office filing system; it was given.
And, a five-person youth work crew will be made available to the boro through Trehab, for a period of twenty hours per week from July 6 to August 13. A list of projects for them to work on was discussed.
The next regular meeting will be on Tuesday, July 20 at 7:00 p.m.
With plans to refinance the Clifford Township sewer loan, the Clifford Board of Supervisors compared quotes from People’s Bank and Community Bank and Trust Company at a business meeting held on June 14. Thus far, the township has only been paying interest on the loan. The supervisors passed a motion to bank with Community for an unsecured loan at a lower interest rate than that of People’s.
Of much discussion was a Clifford Township Gas and Oil Drilling Ordinance and an Industrial Noise Ordinance, which were explained by township solicitor Joseph G. McGraw. McGraw stated that the Gas and Oil Ordinance will be approached through the Municipal Planning Code, which permits the board to pass laws pertaining to the development of township land. Water protection measures were stressed, and McGraw explained that the ordinance grants jurisdiction to the Clifford Township Sewer Enforcement Officer, Code Inspection Officer, and Police to monitor frack water disposal.
The Industrial Noise Ordinance requires industrial organizations to regulate their decibel level. McGraw stated that according to his research, 50-55 decibel levels are typical in residential areas. He added that this should not hamper everyday activities such as lawn mowing and operation of vehicles and that the ordinance is not directed at township residents. One individual wondered how the ordinance would impact agriculture and other local businesses. After discussion, McGraw stated that he could add a clause about sustained noise. A resident asserted that a 50-55 decibel level is low, but McGraw responded that technology to reduce noise is available and feasible.
The board tabled the ordinances for review. Residents who wish to view the ordinances will find them on the Clifford Township website and may offer written comments. The board will also obtain ordinances of nearby townships to consider.
Clifford Township received a grant for installing sidewalks around the township building, and the board opened bids for the project from Tim’s Construction, K&O Paving, T. Brennen, and Unique Building Systems. The bids were tabled for review.
Next, the board discussed taking over Sugar Maple Road and Hemlock Lane. Supervisor John Regan stated that records show that the township voted years ago to take the road over. However, the Penn DOT representative covering the case died, and the paperwork was never completed. “I believe we should go forward and get the proper paperwork done,” Regan asserted. “The board made a promise to the people; we have to keep it,” added supervisor Barry Searle. Liquid fuel money will be sought for the project, and secretary René Reynolds will get the paperwork in order.
Searle suggested posting minutes from township meetings for public review on the township website. (Individuals needing the minutes for legal matters would need to obtain a certified copy from Reynolds.) Knowlton and Regan requested time to consider the matter, which was then tabled.
An Elk View Drive resident stated that he wants to see his road brought up to its former condition. “To me, [the present condition is] not acceptable,” he stated, explaining that the road is slowly deteriorating over time and that the top entrance is “full of holes.” He also stated that last year’s tarring and chipping of the lower stretch was “just a band-aid” and that he wants a more permanent solution.
Searle reported that road master James Locker plans to work on the road this week. Dennis Knowlton, chairman of the board, said that he took a drive on Elk View and commented, “I didn’t think it was all that bad.” However, Knowlton promised to take another drive there. Regan stated that the tarring and chipping “might not have been perfect, but it surely helped.” “We’re gaining,” he said, pointing out that previously, the road had been neglected for fifteen years. Reynolds will research grants for repairing the road.
A Dundaff Street resident asked about the township’s Scrapping Ordinance. He showed photos of junk in his neighbor’s yard. Paul Fortuner, township code enforcement officer, will assess the situation. McGraw advised that other matters, such as a driveway easement and a problem tree, are private matters between the neighbors. He suggested that the man consider hiring a real estate lawyer.
A bridge opening celebration in Clifford will occur on July 4. Also concerning festivities, about 200 volunteers are requested for the Clifford Carnival.
The board has refused to pay for unauthorized purchases of police uniforms by former police chief Paul Nardozzi. Of most concern to chief Donald Carroll is a police badge that is unaccounted for. Carroll stated that Nardozzi must report the matter to the state police, since the lost badge could end up in unscrupulous hands.
The final matter of the evening involved road treatments. Regan stated that he favors oil because it keeps the road from eroding and keeps dust down. “If it’s handled right, it lasts,” he added. Liquid calcium requires repeated applications. However, an oiled road cannot be reworked, Regan stated, and heavy trucks break up oil. Liquid calcium is seventeen cents cheaper per gallon than oil, Reynolds reported.
The township expects to use both oil and calcium, with calcium applied to roads with traffic from heavy trucks. “We’ll do the best job we can afford,” promised Knowlton.
Eric C. and Amy L. Powers to Eric C. and Amy L. Powers, in Franklin Township for one dollar.
Alan R. and Janet T. Wagner to Elliots World LLC, in Herrick Township for $100.00.
Kirk Matoushek and Dionisia Pande to Kirk Matoushek and Dionisia Pande, in Clifford Township for one dollar.
Robert S. and Mark S. Klemens to Robert S. and Karen F. Klemens, in Herrick Township for one dollar.
Marcus D. and Donald J., Jr. Perry and Catherine M. (estate) and Catherine Miscavage (estate) McHale to Marcus D., Donald J., Jr. and Sean B. Perry, in Forest City for one dollar.
Harry E. and Celeste T. Cramer to Timothy Folk, in Great Bend Borough for $79,500.00.
Jacob W., Jr., Jacob W., Sr. (trust by trustee) and Jonathan W. Sova to Jacob W. Sova, Jr., in Auburn Township for one dollar.
Jacob W., Jr., Jacob W., Sr. (trust by trustee) and Jonathan W. Sova to Jacob W. Sova, Jr., in Auburn Township for one dollar.
Rebecca A. Nolan and William, Sr. Bucksbee to B&D Brothers LLC, in New Milford and Franklin Townships for $325,000.00
Bonnie Carey, Valeda and Stephen Chaszar and Denise Corbett to Jeffrey R. Strohl, in Choconut Township for $100,000.00.
Bina Carey (NKA) Bina Patrick to Bina C. Patrick and Jennifer R. Stockholm, in Bridgewater Township for one dollar.
Margaret Kresge to Karen K. Jackson, Gail Houser and Marland Cannella, in Auburn Township for one dollar.
Daniel M., Jr. and Lori Jo Trivett to Daniel M., Jr. and Lori Jo Trivett, in Auburn Township for one dollar.
William J. and Susan E. Baier to Timothy A. and Brandy L. Carpenter, in Bridgewater Township for $215,000.00.
Marisol Rosales and Reyvi Castillo (by atty) to George W., III and Sheryl A. Edwards, in Forest City for $15,000.00.
Alan and Sherill Kwiatowski to Joseph and Teri Lyn Cook, in Lathrop Township for $90,000.00.
Beneficial Mortgage Co. of PA (DBA) Beneficial Consumer Discount Co. to Roy and Donna Steich, in Dimock Township for $52,900.00.
Tracy R., Betty J. and Rick (AKA) Ricky A. Whitney to Richard A. and Judy C. Jenkins, in Franklin Township for $114,625.00.
Kamel Kazan to Kamel Kazan, in Ararat Township for one dollar.
Richard and Barbara R. Terpstra to Richard (trust) and Barbara R. (trust) Terpstra, in Bridgewater Township for one dollar.
Robert J., III and Dawn Mervine to Dawn Mervine, in New Milford Township for $22,500.00.
Robert J., III and Dawn Mervine to Dawn Mervine, in New Milford Township for one dollar.
Patricia F. Arpasi to Victoria Lynn Heitzenroder, in Montrose for $78,750.00.
Tracy M. Burns to Alex S. Eastman, in Brooklyn Township for $111,000.00.
Peoples National Bank to Debbie (AKA) Debbie L. Courtright, in Lanesboro Borough for $118,000.00.
Thomas Buck (estate) to Walter and Faye Buck, in Forest City for one dollar.
Miroslaw and Jadwiga Skibniewski to David J. Delvecchio and Steven Yanisko, in Harmony Township for $60,000.00.
James S. and Donna M. Walker to Daniel J. and Peggy L. Walker, in Jackson Township for one dollar.
Kevin G. McNamara of Susquehanna vs. Theresa McNamara of Montrose, married 1991.
Rebekah Evans vs. Timothy C. Evans, both of Montrose, married 1994.
Robin A. Cronk of Thompson vs. James N. Cronk of Conklin, married 2003.
The Susquehanna County Domestic Relations Section has bench warrants for the following individuals as of 10:15 a.m. on June 18, 2010.
Antonio L. Alcantara, Erika L. Back, Harold R. Bensley, Tonya S. Birchard, David Shawn Blaisure, Devin S. Brewer, Howard A. Burns, III, Frank J. 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, Matthew S. Miller, Shane Nelson, Anthony Neri, Sheri Pabon, James E. Purse, Arthur D. Quick, 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.
A large chunk of Monday's Montrose School Board Meeting was devoted, at least in the beginning, to “good things” happening in the district. Several different groups were acknowledged as, Mr. Ognosky explained, near the end of the year it can be hard to get juniors and seniors to meetings.
First to be recognized was the scholastic team, with advisor Mr. John Kolosky. He passed around a sheet detailing the team's accomplishments and a picture. This year the team had gone on to the national bowl competition, and placed second. By finals they were seeded in first place, and competed against a team they had already beaten. The other team, however, substituted in other players, and managed to eke ahead by only three questions. This meant, Mr. Kolosky explained with pride, that the team was only three questions ahead of being the first in the nation. The first place win which qualified them for nationals was achieved at Mountain View. The students involved, at least those present, were all presented with certificates and handshakes. The team included: James Brewer, Silas Chance, Dana Deriancho, Megan Henry, Larissa Hilgner, Tyler Hollister, Christopher Jordan, Thomas Jordan, David Koloski, Anna Konstas, Renee Oleniacz, and Grant Shelp. Mr. Kolosky received a certificate himself, and also gave one to Mr. and Mrs. Jordan, supporters of the program.
Next up was Duane Benedict, the FBLA advisor. Two years ago the program had had only 13 kids in it, this year 13 kids went to states. In all, seventy were on the roster. Two students who weren't eligible for states, due to being in middle school, were still recognized at Hershey (Clayton Handsen and Samantha Bennici). David Koloski, Jason Savage, and Christopher Jordan were slated to attend the national conference in Nashville. In addition to this, Christopher Jordan had decided he wanted to run for regional president, and won. Then he decided to run for state vice president at large, and was elected as one out of three of these as well. Mr. Benedict thanked the board for all of its support. The students recognized at the meeting were: Christ Jordan, David Koloski, Chris Stevens, Jason Savage, James Brewer, Alex Charles, Samantha Bennici, Clayton Handsen, Gracee Buler, and Stacie Rihl. A certificate was also presented to Mr. Benedict. Mr. Ognoski spoke about him, calling him a little modest and explaining that three years ago no students had been in FBLA as it didn't exist. As its advisor, he said, Mr. Benedict had done an “absolutely fantastic job.”
The student newspaper was the next student group featured. Its advisor, Sandy Kaub, spoke briefly about the paper, which has been published continuously since 1985 by the journalism and advanced journalism students. The kids write two articles a week for the Scranton Tribune, in addition to the Athlete of the Week section for the Independent. The last ten years or so they have attended the Tom Biggler Journalism Conference at Wilkes University, where students pick a variety of workshops that they are interested in attending, and have their newspaper critiqued. At the meeting, for the most part, she only called up editors and advanced journalism members. These included: Eli Gere, Katelyn Spellman, Tatim Brace, Angela Short, Geena Bistocchi, Samantha Vetri, Leah Cronk, Megan Henry, Katie Hibbard, Amanda Short, Geena Bistocchi, Smantha Betri, Leah Cronk, Megan Henry, Katie Hibbard, Amanda Rebello, Clara Lattimore, Katy Swingle, Johanna Hripto, and Carmen VanNess. The classes won best overall this year, along with at least one or two individual awards. Mr. Ognosky gave Mrs. Kaub a certificate as well, and told her, as attending the meeting was the last official duty of the recently retired educator, that she would be terribly missed. Some of the girls present handed her flowers. Her husband was also acknowledged, with Mr. Ognosky saying that it took a special person behind her as she put in so many hours outside of the regular school day. Mr. Kaub was asked to stand so he could be applauded.
At this point Mr. Ognosky commented on the fact that the evening was an academic night. Athletics, he said, are in the paper every day, but the students represented that evening put in an inordinate amount of time in their activities. It takes something special, he continued, inside of students to do this.
Mr. Wilcox added to this thought his desire to make a special point of thanking the parents of the kids, who spend a lot of time getting them to activities and supporting them. That, he felt, was one of the keys behind the success and on behalf of him and the board he wished to give them a round of applause.
Mr. Wilcox then changed hats, representing McDonalds where he works part time. He stood, then, to present the Ray Croc award, given annually in memory of the chain's founder, a firm believer in supporting youth oriented programs. He felt that nothing in this world could take the place of persistence, and the award yearly honors a student who puts 110% into everything they do. The student must also have a good all around demeanor, and contribute to the school and community. This year Callie Curley received the award. She was presented publicly with a medal and certificate.
The Skills USA students were mentioned. The SCCTC has a variety of different vocational streams and, consequently, their own competitions. This year two students reached the state level, out of the fifty students sent to the SCCTC from Montrose. One of these, Silas, who was able to be at the meeting, not only went to the state level but was scheduled to be representing Montrose and the SCCTC at the national level in Kansas City. He too received the certificate and handshake treatment.
The computer competition students were the last to be recognized, which Mr. Ognosky admitted was intentional. Without a doubt, he said, they were the hardest group of kids to get to a meeting that he had ever had experience with in his life. Originally invited to the March meeting, he had then invited them to the April and May meetings, only to have a majority of them unable to attend each time. This being the fourth time he tried to get them together, he hoped at least some were in the audience, he joked, as he was not inviting them in July. These students, Mike Duncan, Chris Ralston, Chris Stevens, Konstantinos Konstas, Bryce Carlton, Aaron Cunningham, Kienan Ross-Robertson, Michael Losapio, Molly Brunner, Courtney Hinds, and Amanda Rebello, had a regular class with Mr. Clifford, from which they entered a series of competitions. The competitions spanned a two-day time period in March, the first being the intermediate stage of the Pennsylvania Computer Contest, and the second a team competition at Penn State Worthington campus. On the first day 10 students competed, with 4 placing. Michael and Chris then went on to compete at states. The second day Montrose competed against 15 other teams from IU 18 and 19, one of the teams finished first and the other fourth. The first place team earned $100 certificates for themselves, and $400 for the school. Chris Stephens received a $5000 scholarship to the New Horizon Technology School as well. The students’ success, it was said, showed the diversity of the students' and their interest.
All of these accolades took a decent amount of time, after which the board allowed the visitors a chance to leave prior to the regular meeting. Most chose to do so. When it reconvened, an employee slated to have his coaching position terminated later officially that evening stood to speak during public input time. The board asked if, it being a personnel matter, he would adjourn with them to an executive session. This lasted perhaps a half an hour more.
When finally the standard part of the meeting convened, one item on the agenda was final approval of the budget, in the amount of 24,312,611 dollars. The tax rate was set at 43 mills of assessed valuation on real estate, 7.5 mills of assessed valuation for occupation, and 1/2% for real estate transfer. There was, it was said, no millage increase in the budget. The homestead and farmstead exclusion amount was set at $351.97, a little less than the previous year due to more folks trying to become qualified. No person can, however, get more of an exclusion than they owe in taxes. Exoneration was granted, again, for taxpayers over 65 years of age, those disabled, or full-time students, when such things were proven or certified.
The board approved the modified school health program, as it does regularly at the June meeting. This is basically just because the district does more screenings for scoliosis and hearing than is required by the department of health. The district, Mr. Ognosky explained, has the nurses to do it, and feels it is beneficial to the students.
The resignations of Suzanne Bennici as drama club advisor and Heather Winn, as junior high cross country coach and Kevin Kloss as head cross country and assistant track coach were accepted with regret. Mrs. Bennicci was at the meeting, and explained that her resignation was for no other reason than that the program had grown and was too much now. Heather Winn was appointed as the drama club advisor and Dean Brewer as the head cross country coach.
The summer camp was approved again. One of the requirements of the grant is to solicit parent feedback, and overwhelming feedback was that the camp was too long at six weeks. The decision was made, then, to go back to five days a week, for five weeks, between July 6 and August 5. It was said that they were trying to cap attendance at eighty, but it is close to ninety right now.
During the administrative reports, both elementary principals spoke of the success of their respective school's end of the year events, and the impending implementation of the School Wide Behavior Support programs slated for all. Mr. Ognosky said that all three graduation ceremonies had gone very well. He quipped that the elementary spent three weeks on the 6th grade graduation at Lathrop Street, while the high school students practiced for a few hours and then ate hot dogs. Mr. Adams thanked the PTO for their work at Lathrop Street, and Mr. McComb gave kudos to the 6th grade parents who served the same function at Choconut Valley School.
Mr. Ognosky gave the board a report on the new administration building. The biggest decision, he said, made at the building and grounds meeting was that it would have gray siding and maroon shutters. It is within 100 square feet of the other building, in size, and will house the special education offices, the superintendent's office, and the business office. At the meeting, earlier, the board had agreed to pay 10% of the architect fee, which in turn was to be 10% of the total project. The project, then, was estimated to be around $600,000, maybe less. This cost was slightly higher than the last time they attempted the project, but things had been “tightened.” The plans include a glass enclosure connecting the administrative building to the high school. The building is slated to be close to where the current administrative structure is located. The current building will be demolished, and replaced with a parking lot. Another meeting with the architects was scheduled for the following week to finalize the specs, so that the architects could begin to build them. A form, which the board had also earlier approved submission of, was to be sent to PDE for permission to send the project out to bid once the specs were established. If all were to go according to plans, the request for bids would be posted the day after the fourth of July holiday, and advertised for three weeks. The hope then would be to be in a building by the first of November. There are currently, apparently, bunnies residing under the standing administration building, which, those present were assured, would be relocated safely.
A letter had been received from the Susquehanna Literacy Program, stating that their funds had been cut and their GED program might subsequently also need to be cut. Therefore, they had written seeking donations. Mr. Ognosky provided his opinion that this is one of the most important programs they do in this county. He suggested that the board look in the current budget to see what kind of money was in it (so as not to effect next year's budget), and then consider what sort of donation the school might provide. Mr. Caterson said that he felt the board should be very specific about how the money is spent.
The 6th grade class, it was reported, had made a special donation as their legacy. A bronze statue of three children on a slide was placed in Choconut Valley, in honor of Mrs. Quinn.
Between May 24 and June 4 unnamed juveniles took money and gas from Taylor Rental in South Montrose. Charges were being filed as of the time of report.
On June 15 at approximately 7:40 p.m., Brittany Resseguie of South Gibson swerved to avoid a deer while traveling on Route 2063 in New Milford Twp. She subsequently lost control of the vehicle. She was utilizing a seatbelt; minor injury was sustained.
On June 14, Robert Johnson of the Kingsley area was traveling south on SR 3020 in Dimock Twp. when, while negotiating a curve in the roadway he exited the road and impacted a fence. Neither Johnson nor a passenger were injured. The investigation was ongoing as of the time of report.
Between the 11th and 12th of June, overnight, a flower box was driven over in the rear of Yeisley's Funeral Home in Hallstead, PA.
POSSESSION W/INTENT TO DELIVER/CRIMINAL CONSPIRACY
On June 2 at 12:10 p.m. McKalla Hardy of Binghamton was driving a 2004 Chevrolet Trailblazer on Interstate 81 northbound in Harford Twp. when it was stopped for a motor vehicle violation. Evidence of criminal activity was present within the vehicle, including the odor of raw marijuana emitting from its inside. Consent to search was denied. A K-9 trained in narcotics detection was summoned. The K-9 alerted to the presence of illegal narcotics. The vehicle was impounded and search warrant was obtained. The search of the vehicle produced nearly 55 pounds of raw marijuana in the cargo area. On June 11 arrest warrants were obtained at District Court 34-3-03 for both Hardy and a male, Darnell Robinson also of Binghamton. Both were charged with Criminal Conspiracy, Possession with intent to Deliver, Possession of a Controlled Substance and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Both have been entered nationally as wanted.
Between the 9th and 11th of June, a juvenile female elected to be indifferent to parental authority and ran away from a home in Bridgewater Twp. The girl is described as being 5'4” tall, 168 pounds, with brown hair and eyes.
On May 27 four tires were punctured on a 1993 Mitsubishi Eclipse belonging to Donald Fisher, as it was parked outside his residence in Hallstead borough.
On June 13 at 8:17 p.m., an unknown person driving a Blue Doge Caliber pumped $29.20 worth of gas from the Liberty Exxon station in Harford Twp., and then fled prior to paying.
Between the 11th and 12th of June, the drivers side window of a vehicle belonging to Nicole Gergerson was damaged, while in Auburn Twp.
FRAUD AND FORGERY
On June 9 a Jackson Twp. resident received a letter stating that he had won a second chance lottery drawing in the amount of $450,000 total. The victim called the number on the letter and was advised that he needed to cash the check and then send two cash amounts to an address in England totaling $3750 via Western Union. On June 10 the victim received another phone call saying the check was being held up in customs and that he needed to send an additional $1900 via Western Union, which he did. When the prize money never came the victim phoned PSP. The public is reminded of the many scams circulating, and to be cautious.
COMMONWEALTH VEHICLE CRASH
On May 18 at 8:17 a.m., Theresa Nicholson of Hop Bottom was traveling with three passengers on US Hwy 11 in New Milford Twp., when she momentarily paused in the lane of travel to wait for a deer to leave the road. Donald Kelley of Nicholson, operating a Mack vehicle, collided with the rear of Nicholson's Durango when he failed to stop. All occupants of the Durango were transported for medical treatment and released. PSP was assisted on the scene by members of the New Milford Fire Department and various ambulance companies. Kelley was to receive citations for the traffic offenses as of the time of report. All involved were utilizing seatbelts; Nicholson and her passengers sustained minor injuries.
On May 28 at 2:10 p.m. a 1985 Honda Elite cycle was recovered from SR 374 in Herrick Township. Anyone with any information/proof of ownership needs to contact PSP Gibson at 570-465-3154 or 800-506-0372.
On June 8 at 1:00 p.m., PennDOT found a chainsaw on SR 2077 and SR 2046 in Ararat Township. The owner may claim the same from PSP Gibson.
A 2” sludge pipe was stolen from the property of Cooley Stone between the 11th and 12th of June.
On June 12 at 6:15 a.m. an unnamed person operating a Peterbilt 5000 was traveling northbound on SR 2009, a narrow roadway. At this same time a second unnamed driver was stopped on Mackey Rd. at the intersection with SR 2009, preparing to make a right turn. This person, in a Chevrolet Silverado, pulled out and struck the left rear tires and bumper of the other vehicle.
On June 6 at 12:38 a.m., Michael Ely, Jr. of Springville was traveling west on SR 3004 in that town, approaching the stop sign at the intersection with SR 29 as a second vehicle, driven by Zachary Feulmer of Shelocta, PA was traveling south on it. Ely failed to stop for the stop sign prior to turning left, and was hit by Feulmer. After being hit, Ely's Honda Civic was spun off the road and struck a utility pole with the front end. Ely was knocked out of his seat due to the impact; he was not utilizing a seatbelt. The civic came to rest in the northbound lane of SR 29. Feulmer's vehicle, a GMC CJ5500, came to reason the southbound berg. Ely was life-flighted to CMC hospital in Scranton. He was not utilizing a seatbelt; he sustained major injury. A passenger of his, Dylan Ely of Dimock, sustained minor injury; he was utilizing a seatbelt. No one in the other vehicle was injured; all but one was utilizing safety equipment. Located within Ely's vehicle were eight empty cans and fourteen unopened cans of Bud Light. Springville VFD and Montrose Ambulance responded.
On June 6 at 7:30 a.m., Stephen Andujar of Susquehanna was traveling west on SR 1008 from SR 92 in Jackson Twp. When its driver fell asleep, the vehicle left the left side of the roadway, impacting with four headstones and knocking them off their bases. The vehicle came to a rest facing a westerly direction against the last headstone. No injuries were reported to the trooper; the driver was utilizing a seatbelt. Citations were issued at the scene.
Between the 3rd and 4th of June the mailbox belonging to Danny Brown of Little Meadows was smashed.
In the commission of this crime, rubbish was scattered on Huntsinger Rd. near the Rod and Gun club between the 19th of May and the 3rd of June during unknown hours.
On June 3 a New Milford Borough woman reported that at approximately 1 a.m. a group of youth drove by her residence and threw rocks at her house. The rocks struck and damaged her siding. Anyone with information is asked to contact PSP Gibson at 570-465-3154.
on June 2 at 5:12 Mark Maroney of Susquehanna was traveling south on SR 171 when, failing to negotiate a curve, his vehicle exited the right edge of the road and sideswiped a utility pole. The incident occurred in Oakland Twp. The vehicle was disabled and needed to be towed from the scene. Maroney was uninjured; he was utilizing a seatbelt. PSP was assisted at the scene by Susquehanna fire and ambulance.
On May 24 at 1:27 p.m. Allen Lasco of Rawlins, Wyoming was attempting to turn left onto Township Road 400 in Springville Twp. from a private road owned by the Russo Family but leased to Cabot Oil when it rolled over onto its side. Upon rolling over, the Kenworth T600 came to rest. Lasco was taken by helicopter to Geisinger Hospital for further evaluation for injuries of unknown severity. He was utilizing a seatbelt. The truck had considerable damage to the truck tractor and was towed by the company. Springville Volunteer Fire Company responded to provide assistance. PSP weight and inspection team was called. Numerous citations were filed to company and operator at District court 34-3-01.
If you have information regarding any of these incidents, please contact PSP Gibson at (570) 465-3514.
Asked to present his outstanding seniors to the Blue Ridge School Board at its meeting on June 14, High School Principal Scott Jeffery congratulated the “entire graduating class of 2010.” And then the Board set about preparing for summer school and the following new school year, by hiring several new faculty and awarding contracts.
Board President Alan Hall expedited the 55-point agenda by moving to approve most of them in a single vote; one that was deleted was replaced by 3 more in an addendum.
A couple of board committees met prior to the scheduled business session. And Laurie Brown-Bonner led a group discussing how the 4 candidates for Special Education Director would be interviewed. No one was criticizing the current director, Mark Fallon. His job is on a 1-year contract, for which he must reapply. Mr. Hall said later that even continuing the position at all is still an open question. With tight budgets everywhere, school boards are looking to cut expenses, and Blue Ridge is no exception.
In fact, during the business meeting, a full-time Title I teacher was repositioned at half-time for each of Title I and pre-kindergarten (so-called K4). And a health room technician position was eliminated entirely.
John Ketchur’s Technology Committee met early as well. Mr. Ketchur recognized the contributions of Nicole Farrell, who has served as “coach” for the Classrooms For the Future (CFF) program, and got his committee to agree to recommend that the full board make her position full-time and permanent. The CFF grant under which Ms. Farrell was hired will run out next Autumn. The committee would like to retain her services, and suggested that it might be paid for in part by encouraging some students attending so-called cyber-charter schools to come back to Blue Ridge. Mr. Ketchur broached the subject at the board meeting; later Mr. Hall indicated that requests for new staff positions would have to be paid for somehow. Ms. Brown-Bonner reported that her committee’s interest in a speech therapist may not be supported by the budget; “the numbers don’t look good,” she said.
With the recent decision of Barbara McNamara to retire after 10 years as the school nurse, the board took a collection of measures for the nursing staff. Andrea Cranage, Karrie Phelps, Kathy Prusack and Kathleen Andusko are hired as part-time nursing assistants starting immediately. Mary Hull and Ms. Cranage will be allowed 10 additional hours to train the new nursing assistants, who each will be allowed 3 hours of training before summer school opens. Ms. Cranage was assigned to work in the health office during summer school, assisted by Ms. Adusko, Ms. Phelps and Ms. Prusack.
Six professionals attended the meeting to accept the welcome of the board on their appointments: Tonya Wood will become a full-time kindergarten teacher; Jenna Kogut was hired as a full-time 2nd-grade teacher; Matthew Treible accepted appointment as full-time 5th-grade teacher; Brandi Felkowski will become a learning-support teacher for kindergarten through 2nd grade; Adele Kryger was hired as the high school learning-support teacher; and Elizabeth Gaughan will take over the ESL (English as a Second Language) and gifted programs (board member Priscinda Gaughan abstained from the vote for her daughter).
In other personnel actions, Adam Palmatier resigned as a special needs aide to take a position in Binghamton, NY. And Brandy Pitcher was replaced by Robert Dibble as 3rd-grade PAC representative for the remainder of this school year. Two “personal care” assistants and 3 “PreK Bus Aides” were given 1-year appointments for next year. In addition, Dawn Mansfield and Tamara Ragard were hired as “para-educators” for next year.
The board also made some changes to benefits for employees in benefit classes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 7. According to Mr. Hall, the major changes involved eligibility for health-plan buyout when both spouses are employed by the district and one remains in the plan; para-educators were made eligible for the district’s health plan for the first time; and most staff will begin contributing to health-plan premiums at 1%-2%, depending on the benefit class.
The board approved an undisclosed compensation plan for Business Manager Loren Small, as well as salary schedules for non-instructional employees.
The board approved compensation for an additional 20 days of work this summer for school psychologist Jenna Stoddard. She will be completing evaluations required for compliance with state regulations that could not be finished before the school year ended. Technology Director Donna Tewes will also be allowed up to 320 hours of paid service during the summer. The special education secretary will also be allowed an additional 10 days during the summer to complete some required clerical work; her salary is covered by the state Medicaid program known as ACCESS.
The guidance office had requested additional summer hours also. The original agenda item was replaced by 3 items on an addendum that would have allowed 50 hours for one counselor, and up to 120 hours for two others. The extra time was said to be needed to work on schedules and course availability, rather than actual student counseling. The board balked at the size of the request, particularly since the total such time allowed in recent years hasn’t exceeded 50 hours altogether, and now this, at a time when enrollments are going down. In the end they cut the hours permitted in half for the two, to 60.
The board approved substitute-teacher pay rates at $85 per day, or $90 per day for consecutive days over 30 days.
Tenure was noted for Barbara McCain, Jennifer Trusky and Amy Zakarauskas.
The board approved a number of agreements and contracts, including:
An agreement with Youth Advocate Programs will provide autism training to the Parent Council for $125.
An addendum to the district’s contract with Pennsylvania Treatment and Healing (PATH) lists the new daily tuition at $53.52. PATH provides “alternative education” services for students who are disruptive to normal classroom activity.
An agreement with First Hospital Wyoming Valley, Behavioral Health Services, for in-patient special-education services for students diagnosed with certain psychiatric problems; the per-diem charge will be $60. Mr. Fallon said only one student in the current school year was placed with this service.
An affiliation agreement with Marywood University that places Marywood students into pre-student and student-teaching opportunities at Blue Ridge.
A memorandum of understanding between the district and the State Police, outlining procedures for handling incidents on school property, or involving activities sponsored by the schools.
An agreement to participate in a partnership with Lackawanna College, Everhart Museum and the Northern Tier Industry & Education Consortium (NTIEC) supporting the Museum’s application “to become a state-approved ‘Educational Improvement Organization’ under the guidelines of the [Department of Community Economic Development - DCED]’s Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program.”
The board adopted the following additional arrangements:
Sweet, Stevens, Katz and Williams will continue as district solicitors.
The district will continue participation in the PA Joint Purchasing Program, PEPPM and Costarts Purchasing Program; these programs provide efficient purchasing services through the state, usually at significant savings.
Sanico, Penn Paper & Supply, Master Chemical, Master Craft and LJC Distributors will provide custodial supplies for the next year.
Kurtz Brothers will provide general supplies for the next year.
RGM Hardwoods will supply wood chips for heating for the next school year.
Lewis Bussing, Inc. won the contract for activity transportation through June 30, 2013.
Once more there was some debate over new definitions in the school handbooks regarding fighting and assault, and punishments for such infractions. Ms. Brown-Bonner distinguished between a fight, involving two or more people, and an assault, which might be an unprovoked attack by one upon another. She said she thought a fight should be considered a less serious offense, yet they are treated essentially identically in the high school handbook. Mr. Jeffery disagreed, saying that he brooked no tolerance of either fighting or assault, however they were defined, and wanted stiff punishments for both. In the end, Mr. Jeffery’s argument stood, as did his handbook.
Middle School Principal Matthew Nebzydoski reported that, for the first time in memory, 100% of his 8th-grade students are deemed eligible for promotion to high school. He said that some were encouraged to attend summer school for a little extra help, but was proud of his school’s accomplishment.
Mr. Small told the board that construction on the summer projects is under way, which was easy enough to tell, considering the rubble at the entrance to the Elementary School, which is to get some refurbishing, and some missing segments of a cafeteria wall: the kitchen is undergoing renovation.
Ms. Gaughan announced a program that she said had no drawbacks whatsoever. Chair of the Wellness Committee, Ms. Gaughan distributed some information about something called “Strengthening Families,” a 7-session program offered to parents and their 10-14 year-old children. She asked to have support for the program placed on the agenda for the next board meeting.
Offered by Penn State Cooperative Extension, Strengthening Families is funded by a grant through the county. It hopes to develop problem-solving skills, improve communication within families, and “decrease risky behaviors, like teen drug and alcohol abuse.” There would be a “family-style” supper at each session, prizes, and even child care for younger kids. According to Ms. Gaughan, the district is asked only for space, some limited staff and custodial time, and perhaps food service.
The next scheduled meeting of the Blue Ridge School Board will be on Monday, June 28, beginning at 7:30 p.m. It will be a workshop; a business agenda is frequently appended to the workshop, and committees may meet as early as 6:00 or 6:30 p.m. All meetings are held in the cafeteria in the elementary school.
For yet another month there were no subdivisions or quarry permits at the New Milford Township meeting to be approved. The meeting itself, per the general norm, was short.
Work has been done on the culvert at Bailey Road. Although it is getting close to the time limit by which it must be done, the project was described to be doing pretty well.
Other business occurred as well. The Blue Ridge School District sent down a bunch of blueprints for building codes. Cinders were again donated by Mike and Wendy Keklack, as occurred last year.
The cinder building, it was said, was becoming a pain in the neck. The Yoderway bid was withdrawn, as it was actually only 96 feet long and the bid had asked for it to be 100 feet. The other company, which bid against Yoderway, did not like this. The supervisors decided, then, that they would cancel all other bids because they were unwilling to pay that much money. The project, ostensibly, will be rebid again in the future at some point.
A permit point was clarified. A building permit only requires a $25 land use permit if it is less than 1,000 feet. There is no use, at that size, for a building permit. The land use permit can be filed directly through the township office. This fee has been increased, but the increase was the state's decision (it was thought), not the township's. A person would have to come in to the township office, and the secretary and building codes worker would write the permit. In response to questions Jules offered to research and find out when that went into effect. The land use permit fee does belong to the township, though the information is turned into Montrose.
The supervisors had received a letter form Susquehanna County 911 in order to make sure that all of the roads had been named, to ensure that the roads were the same as the addresses they were assigning. Mr. Conroy explained that, within the township, this had been done. A visitor said that Washburn road didn't have signs up yet on one end, but Mr. Conroy responded that there had been one, and it had perhaps been stolen.
Mr. Bevans asked about the solicitor's salary. In the course of clarifying a misconception, Mr. Hunter explained that basically the only thing they had used him for recently was the culvert and the sewer situation at a camp (not the East Lake camp). There had been a complaint on this camp, and Mr. Hunter explained that the owners had been working very diligently with the seo and dep to correct the problems and get everything in line.
Mr. Bondurant had been invited to attend a Customer Advisory board meeting, put on by PennDOT for Susquehanna and Wyoming County. He highlighted a few interesting items which had been discussed. The budget currently is almost evenly split between personnel and operations right now. However, this is a change form the past, where materials outweighed personnel. If the trend continues, there will be less money for materials. There were perhaps 20 roads scheduled for oil and chip maintenance. The budget, however, is declining and road use and damage is increasing. The plan is to pave 28 miles of roads, but there are over 800 miles in the county. There was some discussion regarding what sort of anti-ski material should be used in the winter, salt or spray. The decision had also been made to bond all four digit state highways for over ten tons with local liberty exclusion. It was said that they had had good luck so far with the gas companies, but the bonding of the road was in response to the gas companies on the roads. Such meetings were slated to convene every six months. Penn dot, Mr. Bondurant said, was very open about the issues and the fact that the budget just isn't there.
Since 2001, the Claire Williams O’Neil Foundation has awarded annual scholarships up to $80,000 ($20,000 per year) for undergraduate study to a student from the Susquehanna Community School District. It was set up by the extended members of the Williams family in honor of the contributions of Claire Williams O’Neil, who was a former district teacher. The scholarship entails an application process that includes numerous interviews with foundation members, faculty, family and students. Candidates must show determination and strong character, and must be willing to contribute back to the community. Through the end of 2008, the foundation has made grants totaling over $410,000.
At their June 16 meeting, the Susquehanna Community School Board presented the SCSD Service Award to Carolyn Flanagan in recognition of her outstanding service to the district in conjunction with the Claire Williams O’Neil Scholarship. Superintendent Bronson Stone remarked that Mrs. Flanagan’s work with the students, faculty, parents and students had been wonderful, and that it was a pleasure for the district to be involved with the foundation. Mrs. Flanagan was very gracious in her acceptance of the award, and said that it has been a pleasure for her to be involved.
In other business, Mr. Stone noted that the state budget had still not been passed, which left the district’s amount of basic education subsidy “up in the air,” but preliminary reports seemed to indicate that there would be, at best, a one percent increase in what the district will receive. He also noted that the district’s budget will decrease by $54,000 this year, due to a reduction in federal stimulus funding. And, there is a bill presently being processed through the legislature to address the impending PSERS (Public School Employees’ Retirement System) crisis, to address expected budgetary shortfalls. The bill proposes a solution to take effect by 2014. As they have been, the district will be keeping an eye on further developments.
Correspondence included a letter from the district’s long-time solicitor, James A. Kelly, notifying of his intent to resign as of July, and acknowledging the district’s approval of Joseph F. Gaughan as their new solicitor.
Summer school was set to begin on Monday, with about twenty students registered.
Preliminary PSSA scores were received, with favorable results indicated. Individual result reports will be mailed to students when the final results are available.
End-of-the-year activities were said to have gone well, and included, among other things, a “Spring Fling” barbecue. Students participated in a “Miles for Miles” (Crawford) fundraiser and donations of hair were given to Locks of Love in Miles’ honor.
The budget for the 2010-11 fiscal year was approved, in the amount of $13,863,437. Millage for Susquehanna County was set at 42.31 and 14.16 for Wayne County.
The staff has conducted extensive research to find a more affordable vendor for the district’s yearbooks, which included information compiled from student surveys. Past sales of the books have been sparse, due to the high cost of the book. A motion carried to approve Friesen’s as the yearbook provider at a more affordable cost.
Other business approved by the board included the following:
- A memorandum of understanding between SCSD and the Education Association related to a professional educator dress code.
- One bus contract change for #14, effective May 12.
- An employee computer and internet acceptable use policy.
- Brian Kelly’s proposal for three years of auditing service.
- Transportation summer rates for three contractors.
- The Homestead and Farmstead Exclusion Resolution.
- A memorandum of understanding and agreement for a school-based probation officer for the 2010-11 school year.
- A quote from Paraco Corporation to install a bottom rail to the fence around the tennis court.
- A quote from Chad Norris to repair a tile wall in the high school shower.
- Removing the Special Education Director position from the Act 93 Management Team Contract. The position will be provided for under a separate agreement, and will be advertised for a coordinator, not a director.
- The resignation of Brent Soden, varsity golf coach, effective May 24.
- Hiring to fill a list of positions.
- Adding Cecilia Wayman to the food service substitute list.
- The resignation of Tracy Bergen.
- Authorization for the superintendent to approve any change orders to the roof and paving projects with an amount limit; the change orders were agreed upon prior to the meeting, but official documentation had not been received as of that date.
- And, permission for the business office to pay bills from June 17 through August 2.
The next meeting will be on Wednesday, August 4 at 7:00 p.m.
On April 25, SLTPD investigated a MVA on SR29 north near Booth Road. After the initial investigation, a Montrose man was charged with DUI and several traffic violations. This MVA is still under investigation.
On May 5, it was reported by a passer by that stone trucks were running with no lights on the trucks and trailers while hauling stone on SR4008 around midnight Friday night May 4.
On May 6, two Scranton residents accused a local resident of physically assaulting them at a family holiday gathering. One individual suffered a broken nose and damaged eye socket. This incident is still under investigation.
On May 13, SLTPD was informed by a Friendsville, Forest Lake Township resident, that a Vestal, NY businessman took several parts off of his motorcycle. The investigation showed that there was a disagreement over parts and labor. Charges were filed and this activity is still under investigation.
On May 13, a Montrose man lost a wheel on his van and pulled off of the Forest Lake Road without causing further damage.
On May 25, it was reported that a Kawasaki ATV- Mule had been stolen from a seismic testing site in Forest Lake Township.
On May 25, a resident on Hawleyton Road, Silver Lake Township, reported that two black Labrador dogs had killed or injured several of her chickens while they were on her property. This incident is under investigation.
On May 28, SLTPD was dispatched to the site of a theft on Lake Roy Road, Franklin Township. A property owner stated that he had three vehicles stolen from his storage garage on Lake Roy Road. One 2002 Polaris Sportsman 500 Quad, camo in color. One Can Am 110 children’s model quad and a Yamaha YZ 100 dirt bike, blue/white in color. This incident is still under investigation.
On May 30, SLTPD observed what was thought to be the destruction of a street sign. After an investigation, it was reported that several youths had been to a party on Patton Road when a fight broke out. The stop sign noise was a disgruntled youth doing harm to his hand vs. the sign. The party was investigated and it was determined that some of the youths had been uninvited which led to the dispute. This incident is still under investigation.
On May 30, a Binghamton, NY man reported several people were at his cottage, including a son, on Cranberry Lake. All were there without the owner’s permission. All parties were required to pack up all belongings and leave the property. The owner and his son have legal matters to resolve in civil court.
On May 3, a one car MVA was reported on State Line Road near Hawleyton Road, Silver Lake Township. A young women lost control of her van while heading west, spun out and struck a tree. Vestal PD units arrived and handled the accident reporting.
On June 1, a burglary was reported in Franklin Township. The actor or actors broke into a trailer on Eb’s Corners Road and cut a water heater and copper tubing from the plumbing within the structure. PSP investigative units were called in to assist and this incident is under investigation.
The Starrucca Borough council meeting was called to order by President Jack Downton on May 7, at 7:00 p.m. at the Starrucca Community Hall. Pledge to the Flag. The following members were present: Pres. Jack Downton, V. Pres. Robert Martin, Barbara Glover, and Michael Martin. Unable to attend: Mayor Mary Ann DeBalko, Arthur Kopp and Robert Buck. Absent: Anthony Palonis.
The minutes were read from April 5. Jack Downton addition to minutes, Tony Palonis motion to assess people for the cost of the investigations is nothing less than a continuation of retaliation and slander. The motion to accept the minutes, with corrections and addition to Anthony Palonis motion, carried unanimously.
The May bills were presented and the motion to pay the bills carried unanimously.
Representatives from Hess Corporation attended the meeting introducing themselves and explaining what they would be doing in regard to gas drilling.
Ordinance was presented for Elective Auditors. The motion to accept the Ordinance for Elective Auditors carried unanimously. The motion for the Ordinance to be singed by Mayor Maryann DeBalko by the June 7 council meeting carried unanimously.
Letter from Solicitor Jeffrey Treat on his opinion on the issue of the quorum requirements suggested to the council to re-do monthly council meeting due to lack of quorum.
The motion to pay Daniel Boughton, for lawn maintenance of 5 installments at $340.00, first monthly installment carried unanimously.
The motion to have sewer tank pumped, if needed, at the Community Hall carried unanimously.
Ball field: It had been brought to J. Downton’s attention that there are some holes and ruts on the ball field. Ball teams would volunteer their time. The motion for a truck load of top soil to be brought in to fix the holes and ruts on the ball field carried unanimously.
Liquid Fuel Reports On-line: The motion to fill out paperwork for R. Baldwin to do liquid fuel reports on-line carried unanimously.
Petty Cash: The motion for $100.00 of petty cash for Borough business carried unanimously.
Borough Records: The motion to get Starrucca Borough records and copies of paperwork back from Attorney Bugaj carried unanimously.
2004-2009 Bound Minute Books: The motion that 2010 Council will not take on any responsibility for 2004-2009 minute books bound by Barry Anthony due to numerous issues and being unable to verify that they are the correct minutes, as minutes did not have the borough seal, carried unanimously.
Michael Martin would like to resign from the Wall Committee. The motion to accept M. Martin’s resignation from the Wall Committee carried unanimously.
Discussion was held on parking down at the ball field. Check to see if Borough has signs.
Mrs. Everett would like wall committee or council to check on minutes that are missing.
No further business, the motion to adjourn the meeting carried. Meeting adjourned at 8:30 p.m.
Hallstead Boro Council took care of business in their usual, efficient way at their June 17 meeting.
During approval of the bill list, it was noted that the electric bill for the street lights has increased by about $100 per month, due to a rate increase.
Some time ago, council had discussed changing their administrator of building permits; after discussion, it was agreed to continue with the process to withdraw from COG and to contact the company that had made a presentation to council some time last year.
There is only one dirt road in the boro, which circles the cemetery and opens onto Chase Ave. Although potholes had recently been filled, council received a request from a resident to make further improvements. After discussion, it was agreed to get prices for having stone ships applied.
Also approved was advertisement of sale of the boro’s 1999 F350 truck, complete with plow and spreader. Bids will be accepted at the next meeting.
And, the boro will be receiving the services of a community service worker for forty hours.
The next meeting will be on Thursday, July 15, at 7:00 p.m.
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