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Issue Home July 29, 2003 Site Home

HEADLINES:
County Man Jailed For Corruption
County Eyes Business Incubator
Gibson Barracks Report
Court House Report
Blue Ridge Has New Faculty
Great Bend Supers Patching

County Man Jailed For Corruption

A 50-year-old Susquehanna County man will spend the next 18 months to 36 months in the Susquehanna County Jail for corruption of minors alleged to have occurred in Franklin Township on Oct. 12, 2002.

Larry Viteritto of New Milford was also fined a total of $1,100, must perform 100 hours of community service, cannot have any contact with the victims or any minors, cannot transport or possess alcoholic beverages, and cannot frequent any establishment whose sole purpose is to sell alcoholic beverages.

Viteritto also received a suspended jail term of two years to five years and was placed on probation for five years on additional counts of corruption of minors.

Thomas R. Gallagher, 17, of Apalachin, NY, was given a suspended sentence of one month to 12 months in the county jail for theft by unlawful taking on Feb. 1, 2003. He was also fined $200, ordered to perform 50 hours of community service and was placed on state probation for one year.

Thomas Mongno, 56, of Springville, was given a suspended jail sentence of one month to eight months and was placed on state probation for eight months for unsworn falsification to authorities in Ararat Twp. on Nov. 14, 2002. He was fined $250, must perform 25 hours of community service, and continue treatment at the Veterans Administration Hospital.

Jesse J. Yachymiak, 18, of Hallstead, was sentenced to serve 48 hours to 12 months in the county jail, with credit for time served, for driving under the influence in Jackson on March 1, 2003. He was also fined $300, will do 25 hours of community service, and attend safe driving school.

Sherry Manning, 25, of Great Bend, three months to 15 months in the county jail, suspended, and placed on 15 months state probation for theft by deception in Susquehanna Depot on Jan. 6, 2003. She was fined $200, will do 25 hours of community service, and make restitution to her victim.

Robert Edward Young, 45, of Bronx, NY, five years probation and $1000 fine for receiving stolen property in Montrose on Feb. 9, 2002. He must also make restitution.

Tammie Cummings, 29, of Johnson City, NY, will serve 14 days to 12 months in the county jail, with credit for time served, for unsworn falsification to authorities in Lenox Twp. on Dec. 24, 2002. She was also fined $200, must do 25 hours of community service, and undergo drug and alcohol evaluation.

Francis Lee Dobitsch, 21, of Clifford, PA was placed on probation for nine months to run consecutive with any current probation or parole, pay cost of prosecution, $1,000 fine, not to transport, consume or possess any alcoholic beverages, write a letter of apology to each parent, not to enter any establishment whoes sole perpose is to sell alcoholic beverages, for selling or furnishing liquor or malt or brewed beverages to minors in Lenox on October 11, 2002.

Anthony S. Donaldson, 18, of South Montrose, 11 12 months to 23 months in the county jail, with credit for time served, for selling or furnishing liquor or malt or brewed beverages to minor in Lenox Twp. on Oct. 11, 2002.

Kelly Lynn Fox, 36, of Conklin, NY, a suspended jail term and state probation for two years for accident involving death or personal injury while not properly licensed. The accident occurred in Lenoxville on Mar. 13, 2003. She was also fined $500, must do 50 hours of community service and make restitution.

Zachary A. Davis, 31, of Binghamton, NY, a suspended jail term of nine months to five years and five years probation for theft by deception in Great Bend on Sept. 18, 2002. He was fined $500, must do 100 hours of community service and make restitution to his victim.

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County Eyes Business Incubator

Susquehanna County will begin a feasibility study into the merits of creating a business incubator in the county. A business incubator is defined as an "economic development tool designed to accelerate the growth and success of entrepreneurial companies through an array of business support resources and services."

At its meeting last week the Board of County Commissioners engaged the services of Thomas W. Mailey of Horseheads, NY, to do the feasibility study. Mailey will be paid $18,000 for the study and the money will come from a grant awarded to the Planning Commission by the US Department of Agriculture.

Mailey’s professional experience in the area of business incubators stretches from New York’s southern tier into Northeastern Pennsylvania. One of his more successful projects is the business incubator established a few years ago by the City of Carbondale in Lackawanna County.

"The main objective of a business incubator," said Justin Taylor, director of the county’s economic development program , is to teach prospective business men and women the do’s and don’ts.

"They may not have enough business or money to open a store but we help them grow and, hopefully, in three years they incubate into the community. The key to making an incubator program super successful is to have KOZ designation so that these new businesses will not have to worry about paying taxes for a while."

According to the National Business Incubation Association, a basic principle of business incubation is that an incubator itself be "a dynamic model of a sustainable, efficient business operation."

The NBIA points out that the financial self-sustainability is essential to an incubation program’s long-term survival; its ability to grow strong, lasting companies; and its ability to have a significant impact on its community.

Taylor said the prime purpose of the feasibility study is to determine whether a business incubator can succeed in the county. While a vacant building in New Milford has been mentioned as the site of the incubator, Taylor emphasized that the second objective of the feasibility study would be to determine the best possible site.

According to Taylor, the building in New Milford needs work in order to bring it into compliance with today’s building codes. He said no building would receive any type of tax relief until it is brought up to code.

In another matter, the commissioners fired Erik Knifer, who had been suspended with pay since June 20. Knifer and Everitt Setzer worked in the Management Information Services Department and both of them have now been terminated.

Commissioner Gary Marcho said the commissioners received information alleging that Knifer and Setzer participated in questionable Internet activities after their computers were impounded by State Police.

The following motions were approved by the commissioners:

-Enacting a resolution designating the Susquehanna County Department of Economic Development to represent the county in all matters relevant to and for all purposes of the Industrial Development Assistance Law.

-Ratifying the hiring of Adrian Kinney, Amber Jesse, and Stacey Benedict to part time positions in the county treasurer’s office for the purpose of processing doe permits.

-Hiring John Sopko, Ed Millard and Morgan McDonald to the part time positions in the Tax Claim Office.

-Ratifying the hiring of Rita Driscole as a temporary part-time clerk in the Tax Claim Office.

-The Salary Board approved the following hourly rates for part-time help in the treasurer’s office and the Tax Claim Bureau: Adrian Kinney, $5.35; Amber Jesse, $5.35; Stacey Benedict, $6.02; John Stopka, , $8.73; Ed Millard, $8.00; Morgan McDonald, $7.48; and, Rita Driscole, $8.00.

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Gibson Barracks Report

TRAFFIC CRASH

Michael Dewey, 51, Kingsley, was driving a PENNDOT truck and backed it into another vehicle operated by Jacob Beautz, 17, Uniondale, while in a work zone. The incident occurred on July 9 at 2:05 p.m. on State Route 2040, Uniondale Borough. There was minor damage and no injuries.

CRIMINAL MISCHIEF

Bernard June, 75, Susquehanna, had his mailbox damaged by an unknown person on July 10 between noon and 6:00 p.m. on State Route 1009, Harmony Township.

HIT & RUN TRAFFIC CRASH

An operator in a red vehicle crashed into a fence belonging to John Stellabott, State Route 267, Rush Township, then left the scene without notifying the resident. The incident occurred on July 8 at 9:30 p.m., and anyone with information is asked to contact the PA State Police at Gibson at 570-465-3154.

MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT

On July 18 at 10:20 a.m., Donald Stephans, Jr., 17, Jermyn, took his eyes off the road and traveled off the road. His 1987 Jeep Wrangler then struck a culvert and rolled over, coming to rest on its roof. Stephans was transported to CMC, Scranton for minor injuries, and released.

HIT & RUN COLLISION

An unknown vehicle struck a 1995 Ford Ranger while it was legally parked in the parking lot of the Mountainview Plaza, State Route 11, Great Bend Township, on July 19 at 1:30 p.m.

THEFT BY UNLAWFUL TAKING

Someone removed two construction items (Wacker Brand Jumping Jack Model # BS604 and a Wacker Brand Plate Tamper), belonging to Albert M. Vosburg, Tunkhannock, from inside the former Ames building, State Route 706, Bridgewater Township, between July 11 at 3:30 p.m. and July 14 at 7:10 a.m.

THEFT

Someone took a Honda motor and pump station from Jeff Castorina, Tinkerbrook Rd., Nicholson, on June 1 between 1:00 and 4:00 p.m.

CRIMINAL MISCHIEF

Someone smashed a 1997 Chevy Cavalier with a sledge hammer, broke off the mirror, scratched the paint and sprayed silver paint on the hood and right side. The vehicle belonged to Rhonda Hollbrook, Cudo Rd., New Milford Township.

THEFT BY UNLAWFUL TAKING

Someone stole a moneybag from Raymond E. Swanson, RD3, Susquehanna. It contained approximately $800 cash and several insurance claims checks, approximately $4000 worth, from a desk located in Swanson's body shop/garage. The incident occurred between July 15 at 10:00 p.m. and 9:30 a.m. the next day on State Route 1011 at Township Rd. 771, Barton Rd., Harmony Township. THEFT/CRIMINAL MISCHIEF

On July 15 between 1:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m., someone took Floyd F. Manzer's 1987 log truck for a ‘joy-ride' causing damage to it, and also stole miscellaneous tools from inside the truck. The incident occurred at Township Rd. 574, Howell Rd., New Milford Township. Anyone with information is asked to contact the PA State Police at 570-465-3154.

CRIMINAL MISCHIEF

Someone drove by Tyler Nelson's parked vehicle and shot it with green and pink paint balls. The suspect might have been on a SUV. The incident occurred on June 28 between 12:30 a.m. and 1:00 a.m. on Township Rd. 853, Nova Rd., just off Dubois St., Great Bend Township. Anyone with information is asked to contact the PA State Police.

RETAIL THEFT

On June 22 at 1:55 a.m., someone pumped $15 worth of gas into a two-tone brown Ford Bronco and fled north on State Route 11 without paying. The incident occurred at the Great Bend Sunoco, State Route 11, Great Bend Township.

MOTOR VEHICLE COLLISION

Raymond Cobb, Jr., Carbondale, was driving on State Route 2467 in a 1997 S10 Chevy Blazer. He swerved to avoid a deer, then exited the roadway and struck a utility pole in this July 4 incident.

RETAIL THEFT

The driver of a gray SUV drove off without paying $12.45 in gas at the PennCan Service Station on State Route 547, Harford Township, on May 15.

BURGLARY

Someone gained entry to the Hinds Oil HO Mart, New Milford, going through the front door and setting off the alarm. This incident occurred on June 21 at 3:55 p.m.

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Court House Report

MARRIAGES

David A. Webster, 32, Silver Lake Township, and Mary Elizabeth Allen, 22, Silver Lake Township.

Paul Jeanard Trudeau, 27, Oviedo, FL, and Elizabeth Margaret Thompson, 22, Montrose Borough.

John Fitzgerald, 31, Cedar Knolls, NJ, and Laura A. Dean, 29, Cedar Knolls, NJ.

Kevin J. Robbins, 40, Binghamton, NY, and Donna M. Patak, 50, Binghamton, NY.

DEEDS

Lance M. Benedict, Sheriff, to Homeq Servicing Corp. in Susquehanna Depot Borough for $4,120.29.

Barbara Wenner to Peter R. Nurse and Jane O. Nurse in Springville Township for $169,500.

Charles E. Mills and Elizabeth G. Mills and John C. Mills and Deborah Lynn Mills to John C. Mills and Deborah Lynn Mills in Dimock Township for $1.

Albert Oleksza & Jennifer Oleksza to Albert Oleksza & Jennifer Oleksza in Middletown Township for $1.

Amy Tinklepaugh nbm Amy Collins to Amy N. Collins and William J. Collins in Oakland Township for $1.

Minnette W. Perkins to Thomas J. Perkins & Emily Perkins in Liberty Township for $80,000.

Carlton R. Hawley and Nadene L. Hawley to Pennsylvania Electric Company in Forest Lake Township for easement.

Wayne L. Faigle and Deborah A. Faigle to Charles F. Restaino and Priscilla F. Restaino in Springville Township for $350,000.

Wayne L. Faigle and Deborah A. Faigle to Charles F. Restaino and Priscilla F. Restaino in Springville Township for $30,000.

Thomas V. Fargo to Peter Bombar in Choconut Township for $103,000.

Holly S. Kinsey, nbm Holly Lloyd to Robert Hansen and Pamela Hansen in New Milford Township for $28,000.

William Bordages and Mary Pierson to William Bordages and Mary Pierson in Silver Lake Township for $1 ogvc.

Naomi Wenzel to Mark S. Maston and Leonor Maston in Hallstead Borough for $24,000.

Charles F. Zamorski and Janice Zamorski to Roger R. Gardner and Sandra G. Gardner in Forest Lake Township for $30,000.

Camilla Plutino to Robin Murray in Susquehanna Depot Borough for $10,000.

Shirley Hawk Derrick and Andrew D. Derrick to Mark S. Tewes and Donna D. Kintner in Great Bend Township for $70,000.

Dorothy M. Toner to Joseph E. Toner, III, in Herrick Township for $1.

Geraldine I. Nelson and Harold J. Nelson to David Verdetto and Jodya L. Verdetto in Thompson Township for $25,200.

Rebecca S. Warner to Christopher Rockwood in Bridgewater Township for $69,000.

Douglas Lare to Charles F. Zamorski and Janice Zamorski in Forest Lake Township for $150,000.

Edward J. Warner and Linda R. Warner and Sherney A. Knutson and Alice G. Knutson to Sherney A. Knutson and Alice G. Knutson in Franklin Township for $1.

Sherney A. Knutson and Alice G. Knutson to Margaret Gray-Bailey in Franklin Township for $70,000.

Sengson & Son, Inc. and Fox Enterpirses, Inc. to Rebecca S. Warner in Bridgewater Township for $17,000.

Richard D. Sopko & Sharon L. Sopko to Joseph Schatz-Uggliano & Amy Schatz-Uggliano in New Milford Township for $29,000.

Lance M. Benedict, Sheriff, to Mary E. Snyder in Thompson Township for $1,282.80.

Ralph Grecco and Marie Grecco to Joseph Grecco and Lori Grecco in Clifford Township for $1.

David Hart and Ann Hart to Nathan D. Taylor in Bridgewater Township for $84,000.

Robert D. Solomon and Helen F. Solomon to John Wilkerson and Barbara F. Wilkerson in Silver Lake Township for $150,000.

Michael A. Morningstar and Joseph R. Kelleher to Dominion Exploration & Production Inc. in Apolacon Township for lease.

Ronald Verne Smith aka Ronald V. Smith to Ronald V. Smith and Mary Susan Smith in Forest Lake Township for $1.

Jeffrey E. Williams and Rosanne G. Williams to Dominion Exploration & Production Inc. in Apolacon Township for lease.

Gerald O'Hara and Margaret O'Hara to Jeffrey Lee Kier and Patricia O'Hara Kier in Little Meadows Borough for $1.

John Grab and Mary D. Grab, Joseph M. Grab, Sr. and Beverly A. Grab to Scott P. Rieger and Gerard Rieger in New Milford Township for $36,000.

Edward J. Gaydula & Ruth L. Munro Gaydula to Barry Ruane in Gibson Township for $115,000.

Richard Derenzis and Kathleen Derenzis and Salvator Noto and Helen Noto to Raymond Fournier and Linda Fournier in Springville Township for $130,000.

Eileen Cantor to William Mark Atkins in Forest City Borough for $60,000.

Lance M. Benedict, Sheriff, to Wachovia Bank, in Hallstead Borough for $3,050.15.

Heidi S. Stone to Hilary S. Brown and Eric M. Brown in Auburn Township for $89,000.

Robert D. Ragard & Kathleen M. Button nbm Kathleen M. Ragard to Robert D. Ragard & Kathleen M. Ragard in Great Bend Township for $1.

Delwyn G. Speth and Shirley Meyer-Speth to Kenneth H. Schmidt and Lisa J. Schmidt in Harford Township for $61,000.

James C. Brownlow II and Sheryl D. Brownlow to James C. Brownlow II and Sheryl D. Brownlow in Ararat Township for $1.

Marie Delaney and James D. Delaney to James D. Delaney and Marel A. Delaney in Thompson Township for $1.

Roderick Grosvenor, Jr. and Laura E. Grosvenor to Harry H. Thatcher and Mary H. Thatcher in Gibson Township for $26,250.

Scott J. Romatowski and Melony Romatowski to Scott J. Romatowski and Melony Romatowski in Auburn Township for $1.

Donald M. Stone, Richard Cottrell and Arthur M. Straway, Sr., Board of Supervisors of the Township of Ararat to the Township of Ararat in Ararat Township for $4,000.

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Blue Ridge Has New Faculty

Blue Ridge School Board President Alan Hall is giving his troops a break this summer with only a single public meeting in July and another in August. When the Board does get together there is plenty to do, as the schools prepare facilities and staff for the next school year, not much more than a month away now. At the meeting on July 21, the Board welcomed two new full-time faculty in person: Erin Scott will teach in the Elementary School, and Benjamin Orner will teach social studies in the Middle School. Stephanie Ogeka will be added to the staff as a new Title I reading teacher. Her salary will be covered from Federal grant funds, which support enhanced educational opportunities for disadvantaged students. The Personnel Committee's recommendation for a fourth teaching position was tabled until the next meeting. High School Principal Michael Thornton reported that he still has one business position to fill on his roster.

The Board also made a big dent in its budget for the new fiscal year, approving major expenditures in a number of areas. The High School will purchase some $40,000 worth of new textbooks in business, literature, Spanish, French, health and "independent living." According to Principal Michael Thornton, each of the new books have been revised to reflect Pennsylvania standards. Superintendent Robert McNamara said that the District spends a total of about $80,000-$90,000 each year on textbooks.

The Activities Committee submitted a list of 72 positions to be filled by 43 different people for a total cost of about $85,500. These are coaching positions, class advisors, department heads, band and chorus instructors and the like. By contract with the teachers' union, the Board annually fills these extracurricular positions primarily from the faculty, at a cost of over $100,000.

The Board also approved measures for transportation, including a policy defining how bus contractors can be replaced, and a new contract with the bus operators. According to Mr. McNamara, transportation contracts for the 2003-2004 school year will total $619,426.

The Board accepted a bid from Kurtz Brothers to provide general supplies for the District at a cost of just under $21,000.

Major work on the physical plant at Blue Ridge this summer will include blacktopping by ProSeal, a new water heater provided by Wilcox Services, a dish washer from Singer Equipment of Reading, and a second water well, drilled by Drake. All of this work is budgeted and will cost a total of over $148,000. Curiously, while the Board accepted the well-drilling bid only at this meeting, Business Manager Loren Small reported that the well had already been installed.

The Board renewed an agreement with Bethesda Day Treatment Center, Inc. for "alternative education" services at the company's location in South Montrose. Under the arrangement, troublesome students are placed in the program in an effort to help them work out problems short of expulsion, so that they might eventually return to school. Mr. McNamara said that as many as eight students were in the program at any one time last year. Middle School Principal John Manchester reported that results of the program for those students are being evaluated this summer. For next year, Bethesda will charge Blue Ridge $37.00 per day for each student enrolled.

Administrators reported normal summer progress on all fronts. Mr. Thornton expressed pride in three of his students who had scored four or five in math advanced placement exams, which could be worth as much as six credits in a college program. Mr. Manchester offered a brochure on his school's "behavior support" program that will be sent home with students early in the Fall term. He also said that plans are under way for a school "store," that will sell pencils, T-shirts and like items with a Blue Ridge theme to raise money and support school spirit. He said he will be spending some time this summer analyzing discipline, grades and attendance to try to identify trends and patterns.

Mr. McNamara reminded the Board that all Districts are "still watching Harrisburg" for news on a budget and taxes. He said that there may be a referendum coming proposing an increase in the state income tax, at least in part to help support funding for public education, and that everyone involved in education needs to help promote awareness of the need for additional state support.

The next public meeting of the Blue Ridge School Board is scheduled for August 18, beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the cafeteria in the Elementary School. For the past few years, the Board has also met with staff and faculty in the auditorium on the day before classes begin for the new school year.

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Great Bend Supers Patching

The July 21 meeting of the Great Bend Township came to order with Chairman Squier, Supervisor Haskins, and Assistant Secretary/Treasurer Guinan. Supervisor Banko and Secretary/Treasurer Sheldon were not in attendance due to weather conditions.

With only a small number of the general public in attendance the items that appeared on the agenda were worked through at a brisk pace.

Will Yarosh requested time on the agenda in order to voice his opinion regarding the condition of Emmerson Road. According to Mr. Yarosh the road is functioning as a ditch, and the large number of potholes is making it impassable.

The Roadmaster’s report briefly discussed the repairs that were made to Old Route 11 by Proseal. Using the $4,000 allocated by the supervisors, Proseal was able to patch many of the potholes, and in some places skim coat the roughest sections of blacktop.

The Bridging Communities Organization received a donation from People’s National Bank to help pay for the engineering work that is being completed by KBA Engineering, as they redesign traffic flow patterns for the Hallstead Plaza area.

The commercial permit that has been ongoing with Donna Fekette has come to a head after over a year of waiting. The supervisors ordered that a letter be drafted informing her to either tear the sign down, or obtain proper commercial permits. The permit for Tara and Douglas Parker II will be left as an ongoing issue until more information is received on whether or not they want to continue their building process. Randy Fuller and Andy Derrick, Jr. received permission to expand their residences in Great Bend Township. Alan Tompkins was granted a permit to construct a storage shed, and Carl Benedict was given permission to add on to his residence.

The DEP National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit to discharge storm water from Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) is ongoing.

KBA Engineering briefly discussed many sewage projects that they have been involved with in Great Bend Township. During this time period they also discussed the need to put an alternate SEO, which is not retained by them, on the books in order to finish the Chauncey Estate, due to the fact that KBA represented the Chauncey family during their issues with Fortner.

The Susquehanna County Planning Commission sent information regarding the County’s Comprehensive Development Plan. The supervisors were asked to review this information and send any comments back to the county. The supervisors in attendance agreed to postpone this review until all board members are present.

Under old business the Hallstead/Great Bend Boundary line is still an ongoing issue. Robert Hornish, Armetta Slocum, and William Dixon are code issues that continue to plague the residents of Great Bend Township. The Township Emergency Operations Plan is still a work in progress. No repairs have been made to the storage barn roof. Improvements were made to the Old Lackawanna Trail, but there are many more that need to be completed. No new information was received in regards to the salt storage structure. The supervisors are inquiring into the plans for the Silver Lake Township Building as arrangements are being made for the new Great Bend Township Building. The talks between State Representatives and the supervisors are still ongoing as they request further liquid fuel tax proceeds to help with road repairs. Agway Energy Products will be contacted with the request that a bid be made to install a new furnace in the current township building. Jake Romain’s junkyard ordinance violation is still ongoing.

Under new business, plans were made to send the new assistant secretary/treasurer to a grant writing seminar in Wilkes-Barre. Revisions were made to the building and driveway permits that currently serve the township, and plans were made to create a cost study allowing the township employees to vest in the pension plan in 5 years, instead of the 10 that they currently are required to wait.

Public comment covered lack of road signs at several work zones, the quality of the mowing that is being done, and damage from the storm.

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