County Living

HomeCounty Living ( August 5, 2020 )

Slanted Art To Host Daryl Sznyter

Submitted by Susan Zellner

Come join us at Slanted Art Co-op, 6:30 - 7:30pm on Friday, August 7 for an evening of poetry with Daryl Sznyter. Daryl will be reading a selection from her book, Synonyms for Other Bodies. Daryl describes herself as a writer, educator, and digital marketing professional from Scranton, Pennsylvania. Her poetry has appeared in Diode, Harpur Palate, Poet Lore, Phoebe, The American Journal of Poetry, Best American Poetry blog, and elsewhere. Daryl's first collection of poems, Synonyms for (OTHER) Bodies was published by NYQ Books in March of 2018. She is also an avid fan of horror movies and skincare. Follow Daryl's blog, The Leatherface Prevention Society.

Following Daryl's reading she will be available for a Q&A time then followed by an Open Mic. Feel free to bring a poem or two of your own to share. Please wear a mask until you are settled in your seat. We will be sure to have the chairs set at 6' apart for safe social distancing.

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Train Virtually For Master Gardener

Submitted by Kimberly Grace, Master Gardener Co-Coordinator

Have you always wanted to become a Master Gardener but never thought you had the time to attend classes? This is the year to make that goal a reality! Due to the current COVID circumstances we are happy to report that the Master Gardener Basic Training in Susquehanna County will be held virtually. You can take the training from the comfort of your home. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to become a Penn State Extension Master Gardener in Susquehanna County.

Live classes for the training begin Thursday, October 1 from 6 - 8:15pm and continue every Thursday evening until early Spring (with the exception of holidays). Trainees will need access to a computer and have reliable Internet access to take part. Trainees sign on to each class using the statewide link and watch the live webinar from their home. You will be trained by experts from across the state! Trainees will have the opportunity to ask questions directly and participate in polling questions. Sessions will be recorded for trainees as well.

After viewing the training each week, local coordinators will host a Zoom meeting for trainees to discuss the weekly topic, review take home quizzes, explain training class projects and other pertinent information, thus giving the trainees a chance to meet and bond with their fellow participants.

To become a Master Gardener, you need a keen interest in gardening, a willingness to learn more, and a strong desire to share your knowledge with others. To become certified as a Penn State Master Gardener, you must complete a minimum of 40 hours of training, score at least 80 percent on the final exam, and fulfill 50 hours of volunteer service in your first year of service.

A few of the topics you will learn are Botany, Plant Propagation, Plant Diseases, Soils, Entomology, Native Plants, IPM, Turfgrass, Vegetables, Plant ID and Diagnostics, Small Fruits, Tree Fruits, Herbaceous & Woody Plants, Pruning, Weeds, Invasive Species, and Indoor Plants. The cost of the training is $200 to cover the cost of training materials and expenses. You will receive a Master Gardener manual.

Currently, there are 45 Master Gardeners in Susquehanna County delivering educational programs to the community through gardening classes, a helpline service, and several demonstration gardens. So, come and take part in the training and join this fun, educational group of gardeners!

We are especially looking for people with skills or a keen interest in learning new skills in the following areas: photography, creating short videos, writing, graphic design, youth programming, social media and more. There is a place for everyone in our program.

The Penn State Master Gardener program is a statewide program that is administered at the county level. Recruitment, training, and volunteer service occur at the county level of Penn State Extension. If you are interested, applications are available by contacting the Penn State Extension Master Gardener program of Susquehanna County by emailing (susquehannamg@psu.edu) or vhl5027@psu.edu or calling the office at 570-666-9003. We will need your name, address, phone and email. You may also access it online at: https://extension.psu.edu/programs/master-gardener/join/master-gardener-application. You can also fill out a quick and easy online application at: https://pennstate.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_eLGIiBwImgK1SnP. We are compiling a list of interested candidates now. Beginning in early August we will review applications and set up interviews for late August and early September.

When asked why they wanted to join the program, nearly every Master Gardener cites a love of learning and a passion to share horticultural knowledge with others. If you fit that description, you too can become a Master Gardener.

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Red Cross Has A Serious Shortage

Right now, the American Red Cross has an emergency shortage of convalescent plasma, a potentially lifesaving treatment for patients with COVID-19. The Red Cross has seen demand for convalescent plasma more than double over the last month as the number of coronavirus cases increases across the US Convalescent plasma products are now being distributed faster than donations are coming in.

Individuals who have fully recovered and received a verified COVID-19 diagnosis are urged to sign up to give convalescent plasma now by completing the donor eligibility form at: RedCrossBlood.org/plasma4covid.

Convalescent plasma is plasma that is collected from patients who have recovered from an infection and have antibodies that might help fight that infection – in this case, those who have fully recovered from COVID-19. With each donation, COVID-19 survivors have a unique ability to help up to three patients recover from the virus.

Though this summer may feel different than summers past, one thing remains constant: The need for blood donations to help save lives. The Red Cross is urging healthy individuals to give blood to restock the shelves for patients battling disease and facing the unexpected.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, people across the country have stepped up to help by giving blood or platelets with the Red Cross. Blood donations from healthy individuals are just as essential now to meet patient needs, and those who gave this spring may be eligible to help again.

Donation appointments can be made for the coming days and weeks by downloading the free Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, calling 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.

As a thank-you for helping ensure a stable blood supply, those who come to give blood, platelets or plasma, including convalescent plasma, August 1 – September 3 will receive a $5 Amazon.com Gift Card via email, courtesy of Amazon.* Plus, come to give by August 31 and automatically be entered for a chance to win a trip for four to Cedar Point or Knott's Berry Farm, redeemable through the 2021 season!^

To protect the health and safety of Red Cross staff and donors, individuals who do not feel well or who believe they may be ill with COVID-19 should postpone their donation.

Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions – including temperature checks, social distancing and face coverings for donors and staff – have been implemented to help protect the health of all those in attendance. Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive and are required to wear a face covering or mask while at the drive, in alignment with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention public guidance.

An upcoming local blood donation opportunity will be available on August 6, 2pm - 7pm, at the New Milford Township Building, 19730 State Route 11, New Milford.

* Restrictions apply. Additional information and details are available at: RedCrossBlood.org/Together.

^ Terms and conditions apply. Additional information and details are available at: RedCrossBlood.org/CedarFair.

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Lawmakers Hail Bill's Passage

State Sen. John Yudichak and Rep. Aaron Kaufer celebrated the signing by Gov. Tom Wolf on July 16 of House Bill 732, which will allow for the construction of petrochemical facilities in Pennsylvania that will manufacture a variety of products from natural gas. Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation has been an aggressive supporter of this legislation because it will bring jobs and economic prosperity to northeast Pennsylvania, where dry gas is so abundant.

The bill was sponsored by Rep. Kaufer (Luzerne) and co-authored by Sen. Yudichak (Carbon/Luzerne), who garnered support from key labor organizations and Chambers of Commerce by including prevailing wage as criteria. A similar piece of legislation – HB 1100 – passed both the state House and Senate with overwhelming bipartisan support in March but was vetoed by the governor.

With the COVID-19 pandemic understandably taking center stage for several months, lawmakers pulled back and retooled the bill to further address concerns of environmentalists and others and worked with the governor's office to achieve a compromise that appealed to 40 of 50 senators and passed the house on July 14 by a margin of 163-38.

HB 732 amended the Tax Reform Code of 1971, allowing for an exclusion that sponsors contend will attract major corporations like Ellis Energy with millions of dollars to invest and vast experience in capturing methane and other natural gas by-products and converting them to feed stock for other commodities.

In response to critics who see the tax credit as a "giveaway," Sen. Yudichak has maintained that there will be no immediate impact on the state's budget. Corporations must commit to spending at least $400-million in the construction of new facilities and create 800 permanent jobs. So many people newly employed with family-sustaining wages plus the impact on local businesses will provide a significant boost to the tax base.

The Pennsylvania Manufacturers' Association, in fact, estimates that HB 732 has the potential to create more than 4,400 jobs and more than $1.6-billion in economic benefits to the Commonwealth. Among the products to be manufactured that Pennsylvania is currently importing are fertilizers, alternative fuels, and plastics that can be used in the production of the PPE's needed by our healthcare workers.

"The legislation is about bringing good-paying jobs and cutting-edge technology to northeastern Pennsylvania," Rep. Kaufer said at a media event held on July 23. "It's about ensuring that we will be a manufacturing hub for the foreseeable future."

"Never has the interest of business and labor worked harder for the greater good than the enactment of the Local Resource Manufacturing Tax Credit," Sen. Yudichak remarked. "It will create thousands of new jobs and set the stage for the growth of entirely new manufacturing industries."

"The Marcellus has already proven itself as a resource, and one cannot overlook the convenience of having so much natural gas available in Susquehanna County, as well as the infrastructure already in place to move it south where the petrochemical plants will be built," Cabot external affairs director George Stark offered. "The corporations will receive no tax credit until production begins. With HB 732 now established as policy, we have an unprecedented opportunity to bring manufacturing back to Pennsylvania."

"This investment in Pennsylvania's natural gas resource is especially critical now, as we recover from the devastating impact of the COVID-19 health crisis on the economy," said Rep. Tina Pickett (Bradford/Sullivan/Susquehanna).

"Neighboring states have been eating our lunch when it comes to attracting jobs and expanding their economies," added Rep. Jonathan Fritz (Susquehanna/Wayne). "House Bill 732 sends an affirmative message that Pennsylvania is open for business and poised to realize a manufacturing renaissance."

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Grant Program For Fire, Rescue, EMS

State Fire Commissioner Bruce Trego and State Sen. Gene Yaw announced that the Office of State Fire Commissioner (OSFC) opened registration on July 6 for state grants aimed at providing direct financial relief to fire, rescue and emergency medical service (EMS) companies negatively impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.

"Fire, rescue and EMS companies throughout the state have struggled since the state began taking action to curtail the spread of COVID-19," said Trego. "Increased operational tempo, and an inability to raise funds through community events have hit these organizations hard. The financial lifeline these grants provide will help hundreds of companies keep their lights on."

"I'm happy to see funding dedicated to our first responders who have been on the front lines since the COVID-19 epidemic began," Senator Yaw said. "The pandemic has forced many departments to pay for more protective equipment and other supplies. These costs, coupled with the inability to raise funds due to the stay-at-home orders, puts added financial strain on these organizations."

Of the $50 million in funding set aside for this new program, $44 million will be made available to fire and rescue companies and the remaining $6 million will go to EMS companies. Grant funding must be used for operational and equipment expenses.

The funding will be calculated for individual awards in the following manner:

  • Fire/Rescue/EMS Companies that received a grant award from the 2019-2020 Fire Company & EMS Grant Program (FCEMSGP) and register for the COVID-19 Crisis grant program will receive an initial award equal to the amount they received from the 2019-2020 FCEMSGP.

  • The surplus funding in the program will be distributed to each eligible company that meets the funding criteria and that submits a completed registration, including those that did not receive a 2019-2020 FCEMSGP grant award

Eligible companies seeking a grant under the program are required to submit a completed online grant registration to OSFC by following the COVID-19 Fire, Rescue and EMS Grant Instructions.

Senator Yaw is encouraging all fire companies and EMS agencies to register for the special grants.

For more state-related news and information, visit Senator Yaw's website at www.SenatorGeneYaw.com, or on Facebook and Twitter @SenatorGeneYaw.

Additional guidance, including detailed registration instructions are available online at OSFC's website. The registration period for this grant program ends August 7, 2020 at 4:00pm.

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Apprise Program Offers Service

Submitted by Kelly Hall, Community Services Coordinator

Representatives from the Apprise program of B/S/S/T Area Agency on Aging, Inc. remain available by phone to counsel individuals regarding Medicare, Medicaid, Advantage Plans, Medigap/Supplement, prescription plans and the Pennsylvania PACE program. Information is available on the numerous medical insurance and prescription drug eligibility programs available. Assistance with the completion of various medical forms and applications is also available. These services are offered as part of the Apprise program, and by telephone only until future notice to adhere to current social distancing procedures in place to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Apprise representatives are available to discuss insurance and prescription medicine issues for Medicare beneficiaries of all ages, and to advocate for individuals as necessary. This service is confidential and offered at no cost.

For additional information or to schedule an appointment, please call the B/S/S/T Area Agency on Aging, Inc. at 1-800-982-4346.

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.

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PennDOT Announces 2020 Safety Survey

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is seeking motorists' input on traffic safety and driving behaviors through its annual online Highway Safety Survey found at www.PennDOT.gov/Safety.

"Safety is our top priority and we value continued public engagement in making our roadways safer," said PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian. "The results from this annual survey help us gauge participants' attitudes on highway safety, and potentially allow us to adjust our safety activities so we can further reduce crashes and fatalities."

The survey is available on PennDOT's website through August 17 and should take about five minutes to complete. All responses, including the "comments" fields, are anonymous.

More than 10,000 people responded to last year's survey. Notably, nearly 91 percent of respondents said they always wear a seat belt and 89 percent said they never drive while impaired. When asked which behaviors distracted them while driving in the last month, only 14 percent of respondents indicated "Using a hand-held cell phone" was a distraction. Thirty-eight percent of those surveyed indicated "Adjusting the radio or climate controls" was a distraction, while 37 percent indicated they were distracted by an object outside of the vehicle.

"Driving is a skill that requires 100 percent of your attention 100 percent of the time, and distractions are everywhere, it's not just your cell phone," said Gramian. "Don't drive distracted."

For more information on our highway safety efforts, visit www.PennDOT.gov/Safety.

Follow PennDOT on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PennDOTNews, Instagram at www.instagram.com/pennsylvaniadot/, and Facebook at www.facebook.com/PennsylvaniaDepartmentofTransportation.

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The Formula That Caused All These Problems

Submitted by Arden Tewksbury, Manager of Pro-Ag

Dairy farmers all across the USA shook their heads when they looked at their recent milk check stubs. This is the same formula that John Hathaway and I drove to testify against at a hearing in Alexandria, Virginia before Order Reform took place. It's the same formula that Gerald Carlin, Donna Hall, Linda Broyan and Brenda Cochran joined me to testify (for 2.5 hours) against the continuation of the provisions of the new Federal Orders. When we left Virginia, I said we will never obtain a fair price for our dairy farmers through the hearing process. We must have a new dairy bill passed by Congress or we will see the demise of our family dairy farms. Consequently, that's why the Specter-Casey bill (The Federal Milk Marketing Improvement Act) was conceived.

We also labeled the new pricing formula a dairy farmers' nightmare and a processor's dream. The PPD (Producer Price Differential) that raised its ugly head on your milk check stub did not directly affect your price. It did not lower your price, nor did it raise your price. The PPD simply states the difference between Class I, II, and IV prices from the Class III price. Actually, I don't even believe the PPD should appear on the dairy farmer's milk check stub. It is completely misleading and misunderstood. If you want to blame someone for this formula, then I feel you should blame some of the dairy co-ops and IDFA, as they were the ones that supported that proposal. Remember, the total value of all four classes of milk determines how much money will be available to pay the dairy farmers.

Yes, what happened to the value of all milk in June was the result of the worst topsy-turvy milk event that you will probably ever see. When you have a Class I price of only $14.67, a Class II price at $12.99, and a Class IV price at $12.90, and then a Class III price of $21.04, you can only expect the dam to break, somewhere along the way.

Adding to this miserable situation was the fact that different dairy cooperatives depooled a large amount of milk across the country. Who ever thought that the upper Midwest farmers would receive the highest pay price of any Federal Order for their milk in June at $17.23 per cwt. (hundred pounds) and only with a Class I utilization between 8 and 10 per cent, and at the same time, see the price paid to dairy farmers in the Florida market of $16.83 at a Class I utilization between 82 and 84 per cent.

The reason the price in the upper Midwest was higher than the rest of the country is because of so much cheese being produced in that area. Actually, I'm glad that their price was $17.23, but $17.23 is still not a satisfactory price. Please remember that in Order #1, the Class I price for July's milk will be $19.81 per cwt. and if the Class III price stays somewhere near June's level, then the dairy farmers pay price for July's milk could go to nearly $17 per cwt. However, as I have said many times, the only ones that don't make mistakes in predicting milk prices are the ones who don't estimate milk prices. Please watch for Pro-Ag's news release regarding the Specter-Casey bill.

Pro-Ag can be reached at 570-833-5776.

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Small Businesses & Farmers Offered DEP Grant Funds

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced the availability of $1 million in grant funding to Pennsylvania small businesses and farmers for energy efficiency, pollution prevention, and natural resource protection projects through the Small Business Advantage grant program. New to the program this year is the opportunity for farmers to install solar pumping systems for their agricultural operations.

"Pennsylvania is committed to assisting those small business owners who want to become energy efficient, increase their profitability, and help the environment," said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. "This funding will support projects designed to reduce operating costs and boost competitiveness, while simultaneously protecting the environment."

Eligible projects include adopting or acquiring equipment or processes that reduce energy use or pollution. Examples of eligible projects are HVAC and boiler upgrades, high-efficiency LED lighting, solvent recovery and waste recycling systems, and auxiliary power units deployed as anti-idling technology for trucks.

Last year, 233 small businesses were awarded grants for their projects. Natural resource protection projects may include planting riparian buffers, installation of streambank fencing to keep livestock out of streams, and investing in agricultural storm water management projects, with the goal of reducing sediment and nutrient loads in our waterways.

"We are excited to expand the program to help lower energy bills through the use of solar energy," McDonnell said. "Encouraging businesses to embrace alternative energy projects helps clean our air, reduces greenhouse gases, and give small business owners a sense of satisfaction on making smart choices."

Pennsylvania-based small business owners with 100 or fewer full-time equivalent employees are eligible. Projects must save the business a minimum of $500 and 25 percent annually in energy consumption, or pollution related expenses.

Businesses can apply for 50 percent matching funds of up to $7,000 to adopt or acquire energy-efficient or pollution prevention equipment or processes. Only costs incurred between July 1, 2020, and June 30, 2021, are eligible.

Applications will be considered on a first come, first served basis, and will be accepted until fiscal year 2020-21 funds are exhausted or April 12, 2021, whichever occurs first. All applications must be submitted through the Commonwealth's Single Application for Assistance. Printed, faxed, and mailed applications are not accepted.

The complete grant application package, which includes step-by-step instructions and instructional videos for completing the online application, is available by visiting the DEP Small Business Advantage Grant.

To contact the Small Business Ombudsman's Office, call 717-772-5160 or email epadvantagegtrant@pa.gov.

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Trail Riding Grants Are Now Available

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn announced the department soon will begin accepting applications for grants aiding snowmobile- and ATV-related projects.

"These grants are designed to add to the enjoyment of snowmobile and ATV riding enthusiasts throughout Pennsylvania," Dunn said. "In previous years they have supported land acquisition, trail maintenance, education and so many other worthy endeavors."

No match is required for this funding, however, applications providing matching funding will be given additional consideration.

Proposed projects eligible for DCNR grants include planning, land acquisition, development, rehabilitation, maintenance, purchase of equipment for maintenance and construction, and development of educational programs related to snowmobile and ATV trails and facilities.

With a few limited exceptions, all snowmobiles and ATVs in Pennsylvania must have a registration issued by DCNR. Statewide, Pennsylvania has about 26,600 active snowmobiles registered, and slightly more than 172,500 ATVs. Grants are administered by DCNR with funding provided from registrations.

Applications will be accepted beginning August 3 through September 30. Applications only will be accepted electronically through DCNR's online grant application system. Learn more about Pennsylvania's snowmobile and ATV riding opportunities.

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WMH Has Closed COVID Testing Site

As of Friday, July 31st, the COVID-19 testing site at the Pike County Training Center in Lords Valley operated by Wayne Memorial Hospital has officially shut down. Its last day was Thursday, July 30th. The hospital's alternate site at the Wayne County Fairgrounds in Honesdale will, in turn, move from three days a week to five days a week, Monday – Friday, 8am – 4pm.

Hospital officials say the number of tests being done in Pike, which hovered around or less than 10 a day, was not enough to warrant the staff. At the same time, the uptick in elective procedures at Wayne Memorial, such as surgeries and cardiac catheterizations, called for more testing availability in Wayne. Anyone who is admitted to the hospital for surgery or otherwise must undergo a COVID-19 test prior to admission.

The Pike Center was initially opened at the request of the Pike County Commissioners, who said, "We are grateful to Wayne Memorial Health System for having provided this important service to the people of Pike County during a much needed time. Local COVID-19 testing sites remain available at Dingmans Medical Center and Wal-Mart (as well as the Wayne County Fairgrounds). We are also grateful to Pike County residents and businesses who are continuing to practice proper health guidelines to help prevent the virus."

Wayne Memorial Hospital requires a prescription for all COVID-19 tests. Wayne Memorial Laboratory Services offers analysis at the hospital and through an outside service, LabCorp. For more information, visit www.wmh.org.

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Ombudsman Having Steadfast Advocacy

Submitted by Kelly Hall, Community Services Coordinator

Like so many during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ombudsman Program of B/S/S/T Area Agency on Aging has been adapting to make sure the needs of residents of long-term care facilities are met. The ten local Volunteer Ombudsman serving the program have been asked to call at least one resident in their assigned long term care facility weekly. They call to see how the residents are doing and hear about concerns they may have. This information is related back to the staff Ombudsman and recorded in a state database to make sure concerns are addressed as they arise.

Volunteer Ombudsman were also asked by the Volunteer Task Force and the PA State Office of the Long Term Care Ombudsman to gather stories from residents in long term care. These stories are meant to capture the feelings around the COVID-19 pandemic from a resident's point of view.

While everyone is looking forward to connecting face-to-face once again, for now local meetings are held virtually to keep volunteers safe while still allowing for communication and fostering understanding.

Staff Ombudsman Carol Dieffenbach said, "the B/S/S/T Area Agency on Aging Volunteer Ombudsman have continued to show their care and commitment to serving the residents of long term care in these trying times."

The Volunteer Ombudsman Program of B/S/S/T Area Agency on Aging is currently looking for more dedicated advocates. Please call 1-800-982-4346 for more information.

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.

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Support Native Bees And Enjoy Benefits

By Melinda Myers

Pollinators are responsible for about 75% of the food we eat. The European honeybee is the most well known but our native bees are also critically important.

We can help our native bees and gardens by reducing or eliminating the use of pesticides and providing shelter as well as food and water.

About 70% of our native bees are ground nesting. Reduce the risk of conflicts with ground nesting bees. Create an inviting habitat away from prime gardening areas. Leave warm south facing spaces open for bees to establish their in-ground nests.

Wood and cavity nesting bees, like the leaf cutter bee, make up about 30% of our native bee population. Others nest in hollow plant stems so leave these, their homes, stand for winter.

Bumblebees nest in abandoned animal burrows, tree cavities, grassy areas, or under fallen leaves. A colony usually contains a few hundred bees. All members of the colony die in fall except the fertilized queens. The queens look for new homes the following spring.

Support our native bees by planting a variety of bee attracting flowers. The plants provide food and shelter and help attract the native bees to your landscape and bee houses.

Include plants with different colors and shaped flowers. Grow lots of purple, blue, white, and yellow flowers that are favored by bees. Plant flowers in mass. You will enjoy the display, the garden will require less maintenance, and you will get the attention of the bees you are trying to attract. Plus, bees use less energy when they can gather lots of food from a smaller area.

Make sure you have something in bloom throughout the growing season. Spring bulbs, wildflowers and perennials provide essential food that is often in limited supply early in the season. Fall flowering plants provide needed energy supplies as the bees and other pollinators prepare for winter.

Bigger flowers are not always better. Double flowers may be showy, but they have less nectar and pollen. The multiple layers of petals hinder access to what nectar and pollen they contain.

Grow some herbs in the garden and containers for you and the bees. Let some go to flower and watch for visiting bees on thyme, borage, oregano, and other herb flowers.

Grow native plants whenever possible. They are a richer source of nectar and pollen than cultivated plants. Native bees and other beneficial insects have evolved with these plants, providing a mutual benefit.

Leave leaf litter in place and healthy perennials including grasses stand for winter. These provide homes for some bees and other beneficial insects. Wait as long as possible in spring so you don't interrupt their hibernation.

Increase living quarters by making your own native mason bee houses. Just be sure you provide a properly designed, clean home with needed winter protection. Do your homework first to make sure you are not harming the native bees you are trying to support.

The easiest method uses a bundle of hollow sticks such as bamboo, reeds, or sumac. Cut them into short segments and remove three to five inches of pith with wire or a drill. Consider painting the front to make an inviting entrance for the bees. Bundle the stems together with wire or place in a bucket or can.

Or create a solitary bee house from a block of untreated wood. Drill holes into, but not through a block of untreated wood. The holes should be three to five inches deep and about 5/16 of an inch in diameter for mason bees. Nesting tubes inserted into the holes makes for easier cleaning and storage that prevents debris and disease from building up one season to the next.

Mount the bee house on the southeast side of a post, fence or building. Make sure to provide a nearby mud puddle the bees will use to seal off the individual development chambers in the holes.

Creating a bee friendly landscape not only increases your garden's productivity but also the number of songbirds and beneficial insects that visit your garden. That means fewer garden pests and a more beautiful garden for you to enjoy all season long.

Melinda Myers is the author of more than 20 gardening books, including Small Space Gardening. She hosts The Great Courses "How to Grow Anything" DVD series and the nationally-syndicated Melinda's Garden Moment TV & radio program. Myers is a columnist and contributing editor for Birds & Blooms magazine and her web site is www.MelindaMyers.com.

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Landscape Looking Good Without Effort

By Melinda Myers

Keep your garden looking its best and reduce your workload by enlisting practices that provide multiple benefits. Your garden will flourish and you'll have more time to enjoy its beauty.

Put your yard waste to work in your garden. You'll save time hauling plant debris to the recycling center and money spent buying bagged material. Use shredded leaves, evergreen needles, herbicide-free grass clippings or other pest- and weed-free organic material as mulch. Spread a one to two-inch layer of these materials over the soil around annual and perennial flowers and vegetables.

Use woodchips and shredded bark to mulch pathways, trees, and shrubs. Consider joining forces with your neighbors, renting a chipper, and turning brush into mulch for your landscape. Maintain a two- to three-inch layer of mulch around these plants. And keep the mulch away from tree trunks and the crowns of the plants.

Organic mulch helps conserve moisture, reduce weeds, and improve the soil as it breaks down. So, you get multiple benefits from this one task while burning a few calories and strengthening your muscles.

Water plants thoroughly and less frequently whenever you irrigate the garden. This encourages deep roots, making your plants more drought tolerant and pest resistant. Water early in the day to reduce water lost to evaporation. And consider using drip irrigation or soaker hoses to deliver water right to the plant roots where it is needed.

Check container gardens daily. Water thoroughly until the excess water runs out the bottom. Or enlist the help of one of the many container irrigation systems. Consider using a slow release fertilizer when needed to keep plants thriving with less effort. These types of fertilizers provide a slow, steady release of nutrients for balanced growth without sacrificing flowers or burning drought stressed plants.

Don't forget your trees and shrubs. Proper watering will also improve their health. Water new plantings and moisture lovers whenever the top few inches of soil are dry. Even established trees and shrubs need a helping hand during extended periods of drought. Always water thoroughly to encourage deep, drought-resistant roots.

Keep mowing your lawn as long as your grass is actively growing. Mow high since taller grass is better able to out compete the weeds and forms deeper roots, making it more drought tolerant. Minimize the stress by removing no more than a third of the total grass height each time you mow.

Always use a sharp mower blade. Sharp blades cut more efficiently, saving you time whenever you mow. You'll consume 22% less fuel and the lawn will use up to 30% less water when using sharp blades. Plus, the clean cut will be less noticeable and the wound will close quickly, helping you grow a healthy, better-looking lawn.

Be sure to leave grass clippings on the lawn. They add nutrients, moisture, and organic matter to the soil. A season's worth of clippings is equal to one fertilizer application. So every time you mow you are fertilizing the lawn and improving the soil.

Finish every garden chore with a bit of cleanup. Sweep clippings, plant debris and fertilizer off walks, drives and patios, so it won't wash into storm sewers. Keeping plant debris out of our waterways is good for us and the environment.

Melinda Myers is the author of more than 20 gardening books, including Small Space Gardening. She hosts The Great Courses "How to Grow Anything" DVD series and the nationally-syndicated Melinda's Garden Moment TV & radio program. Myers is a columnist and contributing editor for Birds & Blooms magazine and her web site is www.MelindaMyers.com.

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Courthouse Report

BENCH WARRANTS

The Susquehanna County DOMESTIC RELATIONS Section has outstanding BENCH WARRANTS for the following individuals as of 9:00am on JULY 31, 2020. Antonio L. Alcantara, Brett F. Barnes, James L. Bradley, Ryan T. Brooks, Jason J. Carroll, Lee M. Carter, Ward Deska, Reed Guzy, Jeremy W. Hall, Robert W. Hobbs, Timothy M. Holmes, Jessica Lobdell, Vincent J. Miller, Charles Perry, Kelly A. Skinner, Anthony Tanzini, Charity L. Turner. Please contact the Domestic Relations Section at 570-278-4600 ext. 4050 with any information on the location of these individuals.

DEEDS as of 08-05-20

Crowley, Andrew P and Coar, Stanley and Coar, Larry and Dolly, Marilyn and Green, Catherine and English, Nancy to Crowley, Andrew P and Coar, Stanley and Coar, Larry and Dolly, Marilyn and Green, Catherine and English, Nancy and Jackson, Mary Aileen for $1.00 in Herrick Township.

Janofsky, Thomas W (AKA) and Janofsky, Thomas and Janofsky, Jennifer L (AKA) and Janofsky, Jennifer to Janofsky, Thomas W (AKA) and Janofsky, Thomas and Janofsky, Jennifer L (AKA) and Janofsky, Jennifer for $1.00, two locations in Jackson Township.

LSF8 Master Participation (Trust By Trustee) to Tiffany, Donald Scott and Tiffany, Janette M for $25,300.00 in Liberty Township.

Goodman, Leonard Harold (Estate) to Rogers, Karen Margaret for $1.00 in Jessup Township.

Tremblay Living Trust (By Trustees) to Kowalewski, Ben Richard for $1.00 in Hallstead Borough.

Hobbs, Frederick W and Hobbs, Sandra to Mangin, Joseph Q and Mangin, Amanda J for $75,000.00 in Thompson Borough.

Freitag, Connor to Freitag, John for $1.00 in Susquehanna.

Adornato, Catherine Ann to Freitag, Connor C for $74,500.00 in Oakland Borough.

Andre, Neil S (Trust By Trustee) and Lee, Sonji (Trust By Trustee) to Andre, Neil S and Lee, Sonji for $1.00 in Bridgewater Township.

Andre, Neil S (Trust By Trustee) and Lee, Sonji (Trust By Trustee) to Andre, Neil S and Lee, Sonji for $1.00 in Bridgewater Township.

Rick, Joseph D II and Rick, Angela to Jaget, Darryl and Jaget, Dawn for $50,000.00 in Herrick Township.

Keepers, Judith C to Cebular, Raymond E for $61,000.00 in Thompson Township.

Cottrell, Richard G and Cottrell, Evelyn A to Cottrell, Richard G and Cottrell, Evelyn A for $1.00 in Ararat Township.

Cottrell, Richard G and Cottrell, Evelyn A to Cottrell, Richard G and Cottrell, Evelyn A for $1.00 in Ararat Township.

Oil & Gas Mineral Deed: LPR Energy LLC to Auffenberg, Daniel P (Trust) for $10.00 in Springville Township.

LPR Energy LLC to Auffenberg, Daniel P (Trust) for $10.00 in Springville Township.

Myczewski, Jan W and Myczewski, Teresa E to Myczewski, Jan W for $1.00 in Choconut Township.

Grater, Edward R to Barlow, Jeffrey R and Barlow, Crysandra L for $1.00 in Lathrop Township.

Biggica, Joseph and Biggica, Elaine to Biggica Living Trust for $10.00 New Milford Township.

Biggica, Joseph and Biggica, Elaine to Biggica Living Trust for $10.00 New Milford Township.

Biggica, Joseph and Biggica, Elaine to Biggica Living Trust for $10.00 New Milford Township.

Oil & Gas: Bakaysa, Michael III to Bakaysa Family LLC for $1.00 in Springville Township.

Oil & Gas: Bakaysa, Michael III to Bakaysa Family LLC for $1.00 in Springville Township.

Oil & Gas: Bakaysa, Michael III to Bakaysa Family LLC for $1.00 in Springville Township.

Sheriff's Deed: Button, Mario (AKA By Sheriff) and Button, Mario A (By Sheriff) to Amos Financial LLC for $1,858.20 in Oakland Borough.

Taylor, Samantha A (By Sheriff) to Freedom Mortgage Corporation for $1,249.87 in Jessup Township.

McDonald, Nancy to McDonald, Nancy (Trust) for $1.00 in Thompson Township.

Cioffi, William J Sr to Cioffi, William J Jr for $10.00 in Ararat Township.

Seamans, Sandra Jean (Estate) to Seamans, Clyde for $1.00 in Clifford Township.

Lorenzo, Frank (AKA) and Lorenzo, Frank J Jr to Lorenzo, Frank and Lorenzo, Frank III for $0.00 in Bridgewater Township.

Zick, Gerald E (Estate AKA) and Zick, Gerald Edward (Estate AKA) and Zick, Gerald (Estate AKA) and Zick, Jerry (Estate) to Zick, Christopher L and Zick, Brad E for $1.00 in New Milford Borough.

Bradley, Jay S and Bradley, Veronica L to Bradley, Timothy Jameson for $1.00 in Hop Bottom Borough.

Amendolia, Pasquale J (Estate) to Jenson, Brad M and Jenson, Roxanne M for $289,000.00 in Silver Lake Township.

NBT Bank (Succ In Int) and CNB Realty Trust (Assignee Of) to Henry, Leo Charles II for $18,000.00, one location in Susquehanna and one in Susquehanna 2W.

Kurus, Ronald M II and Willner, Bethanie to Penley, Gayle and Penley, Jerry E for $167,000.00 in Clifford Township.

Recklitis, Anthony T to WDD Real Estate LLC for $79,900.00, one location in Susquehanna and one in Susquehanna 2W.

Grover, Gregory S to Thatcher, Ashley for $150,000.00 in New Milford Borough.

Travis, Michael R and Travis, Virginia L to Cebular, Raymond E for $69,000.00 in Great Bend Borough.

Giamanco, Andrea (FKA) and Nelson, Andrea to Icenogle, Derrick Paul and Icenogle, Jamie Ann for $260,000.00 in Silver Lake Township.

Int No 46 Unit No 45: Ciavarelli, Daniel G and Ciavarelli, Pamela to Bremer Hof Owners Inc for $100.00 in Herrick Township.

Woodsey Dell Dairy Farm LLC to Brooks, John William for $1.00 in Springville Township.

Kachur, George A (Estate) to Arthur, Douglas A and Arthur, Scott M for $1,000.00 in Oakland Borough.

Millard, Ronald and Millard, Tracy to Maxey, David R Jr and Maxey, David Rexford and Maxey, Christine M for $111,300.00 in Bridgewater Township.

Wallace, Andrew D and Wallace, Nan Beth to Monappella, Richard Jr and Monappella, Kelly A for $165,000.00 in Jackson Township.

Brown, Randy L and Brown, Jocetta E to McCauley, Corey R and McCauley, Arlena N for $238,875.00 in Auburn Township.

Kanna, Mark and Kanna, Bernadette to Stephens, Rodney M and Stephens, Shannon M for $1.00 in Silver Lake Township.

Matson, James A and Matson, Janice A to Matson, James A and Matson, Janice A for $1.00 in Apolacon Township.

Matson, James A and Matson, Janice A to Russell, Terry L and Russell, Ellen M for $1.00 in Apolacon Township.

Rostedt, Denise and Mancini, Darlene to Mancini, David and Mancini, Katrina and Wilson, Rodney Jr and Wilson, Dawn for $1.00 in Jackson Township.

Bartashus, Dorothy M (By Sheriff) to Mowry, Cody C for $41,000.00 in Auburn Township.

Pennymac Loan Services LLC to Frey, Rodney E for $31,000.00 in Hallstead Borough.

Rhoades, Robert (Estate AKA) and Rhoades, Robert E (Estate) and Rhoades, Joanne to Romberger, Stuart for $40,000.00 in Herrick Township.

Alexander, Marie to Keisling, Carrie and Westgate, Jason for $1.00 in Herrick Township.

Reilly, William C to Bates, Michael Lynn and Bates, Cheryl Ann for $230,000.00 in Rush Township.

Bohan Family Trust to Bohan, Edward M for $1.00 in Silver Lake Township.

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