There were no long lines, but a steady stream of patients did take advantage of Wayne Memorial Hospital's new COVID-19 testing site in Pike County on its first day, Monday, May 18th. "We saw 10 people before one-thirty, said Laboratory Services technologist Nancy O'Connell, one of two lab techs at the site. The mobile testing tent is located at the Pike County Training Center off Route 739. Situated behind the building, with cones marking the entry and exit path, the site offers privacy and efficiency. Wayne Memorial initiated the new testing location with the help of the Pike County Emergency Management Agency and the Pike County commissioners, who had requested it.
The site is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 8am – 4:30pm. A testing site at the Wayne County Fairgrounds is open the alternate days, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. As of Tuesday, May 19th, Pike County still had significantly more cases of COVID-19 – 469 – than Wayne, 110. The lab techs also offer respiratory panel testing.
Dairy farmers, now more than ever, need the support of their local communities. The Susquehanna County Dairy Promotion team is always working towards representing farmers and promoting Nature's Most Nearly Perfect Food: a.k.a. cow's milk. However, this year many of the team's promotions have been cancelled. The Susquehanna County Dairy Promotion Team won't let this stop them, and the girls are determined to continue promoting the dairy industry despite the circumstances.
The Susquehanna County Promotion team has been facing many new situations that have required the girls to find new and innovative ways to promote dairy. The girls are learning to utilize their resources so they can continue sharing their love of dairy farming and milk. For example, the team has delivered milk to local food banks, made educational posts online to support farmers and the entire dairy industry, and are trying many new ideas. One of the new ideas for a fun promotion was delivering milk to people in local towns and areas. Equipped with masks while also practicing social distancing, the girls travelled through Susquehanna County delivering milk to friends, families, and those in need. Many people were not only grateful to receive a half gallon of chocolate milk, but were also happy (even if it was from a distance) to see some familiar faces. The girls were grateful to be able to make an impact in the lives of others and brighten their days in these tough times.
The Susquehanna County Dairy Promotion team will continue to conquer and overcome the challenges that they will face this year, and will continue to work towards promoting dairy while supporting local farms, families, and communities. To see more about the team and what they have been doing, check out their Facebook page (you can find them @Susquehanna County Dairy Promotion); and remember next time you enjoy a delicious dairy product, you are helping support your local dairy farmers!
During these difficult, unbelievable times so many, many people have gone out of their way to offer to get me groceries, pick up anything I need or just to check in. Remaining at home in isolation is recommended and that is what I have done.
What could I do for these wonderful friends, neighbors and people in general? I baked them some of my famous Sour Cream Sugar Cookies in the shapes of fruits and vegetables – I thought that would make them healthy cookies or at least remind people to eat healthy.
Thanks for the opportunity to share.
Mabel Lee Lau says her husband, Kwok Chung Lau, 47, has mixed emotions these days. He survived COVID-19 after a "truly life-threatening 23 days" at Wayne Memorial Hospital, including six days of intubation. His mother, however, did not make it. Wai Lau, 69, died in the same unit. Kwok is glad to be alive, but his grief is palpable. "He doesn't want to talk too much," says Mabel, "it's a lot to process."
Neither COVID victim had a lot of symptoms, according to Mabel. Kwok had only body aches, his mother only fatigue and some difficulty breathing. Wai Lau did have some underlying medical issues, her daughter-in-law adds, including "early-stage lung cancer, even though she didn't smoke." A chest x-ray showed Wai's lungs "were filled with COVID fluid."
The Lau family – mother, son, wife and 12-year–old grandson – live in New York City and have a second home in Lake Ariel, where they self-quarantined for 14 days. Kwok is a medical transport driver in the city, but Mabel does not know where or how he contracted COVID.
"The care at Wayne Memorial Hospital was fantastic," says Mabel, "it was in fact the epitome of what hospital care should be. It was wonderful!"
Sean McVeigh, MD, chief pulmonologist at Wayne Memorial, oversees the COVID unit, where, since March, 27 patients have been admitted and treated. Kwok is one of many survivors, according to Dr. McVeigh—"we have more who survive this terrible disease than not."
Meanwhile the Lau family is moving forward. Mabel reports Kwok is definitely on the mend. "He's gained back 10 pounds already, this is a good sign."
On Saturday, May 16th, Honesdale Rotary collected almost 40 bags of trash off its dedicated section of Route 191 North, about double what it does usually. Why? Well, partly because Rotarians missed the last pickup date due to snow and partly because more Rotarians showed up to help pluck. COVID-19 may have inspired masking but it also encouraged "finally getting out!" said one Rotarian, only somewhat jokingly! The Rotary, whose motto is "service above self," tries to clean up a roughly five-mile stretch of Route 191 twice yearly. Quite a few drivers honked their horns and yelled "thank you!" to the Rotarians on the side of the road.
Pictured (l-r) are: Stephen Moulton, Richelle Stephens, Mike Uretsky, Rory McGhie, Jessica Juckett, Rotary volunteer, Andy Chapman (President), Diane Keen, Denise Sepesi, Warren Schloesser, Karen Houshultz, Maureen Beilman. Missing but on task: Kay Reynolds, Sherry Grandinetti, Gus Reynolds, Lisa Champeau (photographer)
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation traditionally gathers up the trash bags, but this year COVID-19 put a crimp in that, so Wayne Memorial Hospital agreed to dispose of the trash – which even included an old vacuum cleaner and car fenders. Honesdale Rotary, part of Rotary International, helps fund local and international projects, from food pantries in Honesdale to ending polio worldwide. Its latest fundraiser ends May 24th. Win a raised flower bed delivered and assembled at your house. Chances are only $10 each. Visit Honesdale Rotary on Facebook for the online raffle or sign up at https://go.rallyup.com/319106.
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the availability of $900,000 for local governments to host a Community Compost and Food Waste Reduction (CCFWR) pilot project for fiscal year (FY) 2020. The cooperative agreements will support projects that develop and test strategies for planning and implementing municipal compost plans and food waste reduction plans. The agreements are offered through USDA's Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production.
"Food waste shouldn't end up in landfills when options like food recovery and composting are available," Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation Bill Northey said. "Such options not only benefit communities and the environment, they can also provide farmers and urban gardeners with exceptional, nutrient dense planting material."
"We are tapping into the creativity of communities across the nation to rethink the lifecycle of food in ways that minimize waste and maximize use." said Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Greg Ibach. "We look forward to highlighting the innovative practices of selected pilot projects."
USDA will accept applications on Grants.gov until midnight June 26, 2020.
Projects should span two years with a start date of October 1, 2020 and completion date of September 29, 2022.
Cooperative agreements support projects led by local governments that: 1) generate compost; 2) increase access to compost for agricultural producers; 3) reduce reliance on, and limit the use of, fertilizer; 4) improve soil quality; 5) encourage waste management and permaculture business development; 6) increase rainwater absorption; 7) reduce municipal food waste; and 8) divert food waste from landfills. USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service will provide assistance for conservation related activities.
Priority will be given to projects that anticipate or demonstrate economic benefits; incorporate plans to make compost easily accessible to farmers, including community gardeners; integrate other food waste strategies, including food recovery efforts; and collaborate with multiple partners.
A webinar, which will be held on June 4, 2020, from 2 to 4pm Eastern Daylight Time, will provide an overview of the cooperative agreements' purpose, project types, eligibility and basic requirements for submitting an application. Information on how to register and participate in the webinar, or listen to the recording, will be posted at farmers.gov/urban.
Comments can be sent to UrbanAgriculture@usda.gov within 90 days, with the subject line "Community Compost and Food Waste Reduction Project."
Questions about this cooperative agreement opportunity can be sent to UrbanAgriculture@usda.gov.
The Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production was established through the 2018 Farm Bill. It includes representatives from many USDA agencies, including Farm Service Agency and Agricultural Marketing Service, and is led by the Natural Resources Conservation Service. Its mission is to encourage and promote urban, indoor, and other emerging agricultural practices, including community composting and food waste reduction. More information is available at farmers.gov/urban.
Additional resources that may be of interest to urban agriculture entities include AMS grants to improve domestic and international opportunities for US growers and producers and FSA loans.
Around the nation, older adults make their marks every day as volunteers, employees, employers, parents, grandparents, mentors and advocates. They offer their time, talents and experience to the benefit of our communities.
For 57 years, Older Americans Month (OAM) has been a special time to recognize these contributions. Led by the Administration for Community Living (ACL) each May, OAM also provides resources to help older Americans stay healthy and independent, and materials to help communities support and celebrate their citizens.
This year's OAM theme, Make Your Mark, highlights older adults' unique and lasting contributions to their communities – everything from sharing a story with grandchildren to leaving a legacy of community action. In the spirit of this theme, here are a few ways to make your mark this May and all year long:
Volunteer your time. Local schools, shelters, food kitchens, and hospitals always need support. Help a neighbor by prepping a meal, picking up groceries, or giving them a ride. Or, take time to pass on your knowledge. Why not tutor a student who could use extra help in math, music, or science?
Share your story. There are so many ways to do this, from showing your grandkids around your old neighborhood to writing a book. Take a class and learn how to express yourself with the arts. Or, assemble a photo album of important moments in your life.
Get involved in your neighborhood. Join a homeowner or resident association, organize a block party, or sign up for a book club or other social group. Have a green thumb? Small projects like planting flowers in your yard or cleaning up the community park have a big impact.
Communities that support and include all their members are stronger. Please join B/S/S/T Area Agency on Aging, Inc. in strengthening our community – volunteer, share your story, and get involved.
Need OAM resources or want to learn more? Visit the official website, acl.gov/oam, and follow ACL on Twitter and Facebook.
The B/S/S/T Area Agency on Aging, Inc. is funded in part by the Pennsylvania Department of Aging; the United Way of Bradford County; the Lycoming County United Way serving Wellsboro and southern Tioga County; and the United Way of Susquehanna County. For additional information on Area Agency on Aging services, please call 1-800-982-4346.
Spring planting season is in full swing, and as you spruce up your outdoor spaces, the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) shares a few important reasons for putting the right plant in the right place. It's more than selecting full-sun or full-shade varieties of foliage. By choosing the right plants for your climate and lifestyle, and you'll be rewarded with a beautiful green space your entire family will enjoy.
Do you have long, hot summers? Are you in an arid region or a wet one? Understanding your environment will help you select climate-appropriate plants that will thrive with minimal input from you. Check out the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map to learn which plants, grasses, shrubs and trees are most likely to succeed in your location.
Your grass, flowering plants and trees expand the living space of your home. Without our living landscapes, our backyards, patios, fire pits and pool areas would be hotter and less enjoyable overall. Determine how you use your yard, and then plant accordingly. Do you need a shade tree to sit under during hot summer days? Do you travel a lot in the summer, or will you be home to care for your plants? Do you need a grassy area for your kids and pets to play?
Speaking of pets, you'll want to keep their needs in mind when you're mapping out your planting plans. Consider planting a hardy grass like buffalo or Bermuda, which is more likely to withstand pet traffic. When pets are in the picture, you'll want to keep resilient plants and flowers in heavily-trafficked areas of your yard and save the delicate varieties for raised planters on your porch or patio. Finally, know which plants are dangerous to your pets by downloading the ASPCA's list of poisonous plants.
Your living landscapes aren't only for your enjoyment. They are also vital to pollinators (bees, butterflies and birds) and other backyard wildlife who rely on the certain plants in your backyard ecosystem for food and shelter. Planting nectar and pollen-rich flowers that are appropriate for your climate (see #1) will help nourish pollinators. Let a pile of grass clippings decompose on your lawn (rather than bagging) to shelter insects, worms and other backyard critters. Dead tree branches can create nooks for butterflies, bees, birds and other wildlife.
A bit of grooming and care will keep your flower gardens looking their best throughout the hot summer months and into fall.
Remove the flower stems of salvias, veronicas and similar flowers as the blooms begin to fade. Use a pruner or sharp garden scissors and cut just above the first set of leaves or above the side shoots where new flower buds are forming.
Cut back flopping perennials like Walker's Low catmint, veronica and Salvia that have finished their second flush of flowers. New growth will be sturdier, more compact and eventually covered with blooms.
Removing spent flowers on many perennials will encourage additional bloom and keep gardens looking their best (Photo By Melinda Myers, LLC)
Plants like daylilies and balloon flower require a bit different care. Remove the individual blooms as they fade for maximum beauty. Once all the individual flowers have bloomed out, you can cut the flower stem back at the base.
Keep coral bells tidy and many varieties blooming longer with a bit of deadheading. Remove the whole flower stem, once blooms fade, back to the leafy base where it arises from the plant. And cut a few flowers to enjoy indoors in a summer bouquet.
Remove faded flowers for a neater and tidier appearance, but no additional bloom, on peonies, lamb's ear and bergenia. Removing the seedpods of peonies as they form, back to a healthy set of leaves, helps keep stems upright and makes for a tidier plant throughout the summer.
Deadheading won't extend the bloom for columbine, but it will prevent reseeding - if that's a concern for you. Prune the flowering stems back to their base in the foliage.
Removing spent flowers on perennials like bee balm, purple coneflower, salvia, veronicas, garden phlox and many others will encourage additional bloom. You may want to skip deadheading of any late blooming varieties. This allows them to form seed pods for a bit of winter interest.
Pruning your flowers can also impact the appearance, size, and flowering of plants. Prune Russian sage and upright sedums, like Autumn Joy, subject to flopping back halfway in mid-June to encourage sturdy growth. Pruning coneflowers and other late blooming perennials once, early in the season, can result in shorter plants that flower a bit later. Pinch asters and mums back to 6 inches throughout June and into early July in southern regions for compact plants and an attractive fall display.
Further improve your garden's beauty by removing or trimming back discolored foliage with sharp scissors or a hand pruner.
Stake taller perennials in need of a bit of support. Use bamboo stakes and ties, twigs woven into stems or other attractive or virtually invisible supports. Then make a note on next year's calendar as a reminder to put stakes in place in spring as plants emerge.
Spread a layer of shredded leaves, evergreen needles or other organic mulch over the soil surface. This conserves moisture, helps suppress weeds and improves the soil as they break down.
A bit of pinching and pruning now as various flowers fade will extend the beauty and your enjoyment throughout summer and into fall.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Melinda Myers is the author of more than 20 gardening books and is the host of The Great Courses' How to Grow Anything DVD series. Her website, www.MelindaMyers.com, offers gardening tips and videos.
Following are April, 2020 sentences as handed down by Susquehanna County Court.
Derek Joshua Lezinsky, 35, of Hop Bottom, PA to 1 months to 23 months in Susquehanna County Correctional Facility, pay a $500 fine, pay cost of prosecution, pay $50 Criminal Justice Enhancement Act fee, not to utilize any controlled substances or alcohol while on supervision, not to enter any establishment whose principle purpose is the sale of alcoholic beverages, obtain a drug and alcohol evaluation, perform 10 hours of community service for Fleeing or Attempting to Elude a Police Officer on May 28, 2019 in Brooklyn Township. Mr. Lezinsky also received a $500 fine and was ordered to pay the cost of prosecution as well as $100 Act 198 fee for Possession of a Small Amount on May 28, 2019 in Brooklyn Township.
Shawn Anthony Winn, 27, of Conklin, NY to 90 days to 23 months in Susquehanna County Correctional Facility, pay a $250 fine, pay cost of prosecution, pay $50 Criminal Justice Enhancement Act fee, following through with inpatient treatment, not to utilize alcohol or controlled substances while on supervision, not to enter any establishment whose principle purpose is the sale of alcohol for Possession of a Controlled Substance, Contraband/Inmate on January 8, 2020 in New Milford Township. Mr. Winn also received 12 months of probation, pay a $100 fine, pay cost of prosecution, pay $50 Criminal Justice Enhancement Act fee, pay restitution to the victim in this case, not to possess controlled substances or alcohol while on supervision, not to enter any establishment whose principle purpose is the sale of alcoholic beverages, obtain a drug and alcohol evaluation, perform10 hours of community service for Receiving Stolen Property on December 11, 2018 in Great Bend Township. Mr. Winn also received 12 months of probation to run concurrent with the above sentence, pay a $100 fine, pay cost of prosecution, pay $50 Criminal Justice Enhancement Act fee, pay restitution to the victim in this case, not to possess controlled substances or alcohol while on supervision, not to enter any establishment whose principle purpose is the sale of alcoholic beverages, obtain a drug and alcohol evaluation for Receiving Stolen Property on December 11, 2018 in Great Bend Township. Mr. Winn also received 12 months of probation to run consecutive to the above sentence, pay a $100 fine, pay cost of prosecution, pay $100 Act 198 fee, continue with drug and alcohol treatment, not to utilize controlled substances or alcohol while on supervision, not to enter any establishment whose principle purpose is the sale of alcohol, perform 25 hours of community service for Possession of Paraphernalia on June 25, 2019 in New Milford Township.
Dalton Gary Angevine, 23, of Binghamton, NY to 6 months of probation, pay a $100 fine, pay cost of prosecution, pay $100 Act 198 fee, obtain a drug and alcohol evaluation, not to utilize alcohol or controlled substances while on supervision for Possession of Drug Paraphernalia on April 15, 2017 in Hallstead Borough.
Elliot David Colwell, 22, of Hallstead, PA to 6 months of probation, pay a $300 fine, pay cost of prosecution, pay $100 Act 198 fee, pay $75 PA Transportation Trust Fund fee, not to utilize alcohol or controlled substances without a valid prescription, not to enter any establishment whose principle purpose is the sale of alcoholic beverages, complete the alcohol highway safe driving school program for Driving Under the Influence on September 9, 2018 in New Milford Township.
Phillip John Petersen, 34, of Montrose, PA to 3 months to 23 ½ months in Susquehanna County Correctional Facility, pay a $100 fine, pay cost of prosecution, pay $50 Criminal Justice Enhancement Act fee, not to utilize alcohol or controlled substances while on supervision, not to enter any establishment whose principle purpose is the sale of alcoholic beverages for Unsworn Falsification to Authorities on November 26, 2029 in Montrose Borough. Mr. Petersen also received 2 months to 23 months in Susquehanna County Correctional Facility to run concurrent to the above sentence, pay a $300 fine, pay cost of prosecution, pay $100 Act 198 fee, pay restitution to the victims in this case, not to have contact with the victim in this case, pay the PA Transportation Trust Fund fee, not to utilize alcohol or controlled substances while on supervision, not to enter any establishment whose principle purpose is the sale of alcoholic beverages for Accident Involving Damage to Attended Vehicle on November 26, 2019 in Montrose Borough. Lastly, Mr. Petersen received a $250 fine and was ordered to pay the cost of prosecution for Recklessly Endangering Another Person on November 26, 2019 in Montrose Borough.
Bisa N Minton, 36, of New Milford, PA to pay a $10 fine and cost of prosecution for Harassment on December 5, 2019 in New Milford Township.
The following were accepted into the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition Program: Ronald Joseph Perry, Sr., XC Dana Riggall, Carrie Lynn Allen, Michael Larios Carr.