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Issue Home December 21, 2011 Site Home

Commissioners Take A Few Minutes

Make that eight to be exact. Susquehanna County Commissioners met from 9 to 9:08 on Wednesday, December 14, in the Commissioners Meeting Room at the Courthouse. Commissioners Warren, Allen, and Giangrieco unanimously approved 17 resolutions in what one might mistake for precision military maneuvers. Chairwoman Warren read each motion, often in abbreviated form, then looking askance asked if there was any discussion. With none forthcoming, motions were made, seconded, and approved in near-robotic fashion.

Remarkably this steady pattern was interrupted only once, but not by a commissioner. The interruption had its genesis in Resolution 2011-19, by which the commissioners proposed to comply with the provisions of Act 106 (a state law) regarding bonds for elected officials. When recognized by Chairwoman Warren, Edna Paskoff, a resident of Birchardville at this sparsely-attending meeting, fired a series of questions regarding the nature and extent of crime insurance, fiduciary responsibility, changes in bond coverage, and how broad changes were to be specifically implemented. Chief Clerk Sylvia Beamer replied that the National County Commissioners Association would be providing the insurance coverage. Treasurer Cathy Benedict stated that Act 106 represented a streamlined procedure mandated by the state for blanket issuance of bonds for elected officials, rather than the present patch-work system. Commissioner Giangrieco refused to be drawn into a detailed explanation, and ended the conversation with his authoritative statement that the county was merely adopting a resolution to comply with state law, and that the procedures themselves would be worked out later.

Among those 17 resolutions approved were a number of personnel actions, including acknowledgements of resignations and retirements, as well as hirings, promotions, and reappointments to various boards. Resolution 2011-18 established the county’s priorities for Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funds sought as a result of Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. Related Resolution 2011-20 named Charlene Moser the county’s agent, authorized to execute for and in behalf of the county for HMGP funds.

As the motion to adjourn loomed large at the seven-minute mark, Chairwoman Warren suddenly recalled that a moment for public comment should be available, though it was not listed on the agenda. With that Toby Anderson, affiliated with the Susquehanna County Library and Historical Society, addressed all present. He spoke passionately concerning the reduction of funds to the Historical Society & Library over the last two years. These reductions amount to $100,000, or a 32% decrease over the last two years Additionally, hours were cut in recent years, and the reduced hours will continue into 2012. Commissioners voiced no comment in reply to Mr. Anderson’s remarks.

There being no other public comment, this “lengthy” session adjourned and the commissioners retired smartly.

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BR Board Picks New Members

Five candidates lined up behind a table facing their inquisitors on December 12 as the Blue Ridge School Board went about filling two seats vacated by Alan Hall and Joel Whitehead.

Alan Wilmarth and Lavone R. Lewis stood for Mr. Whitehead’s Jackson-area slot. Kathy Kaminsky, Christopher Lewis and Cindy Gillespie vied for the seat allocated to the Hallstead/Great Bend area held until the close of the meeting by Mr. Hall, recently elected county commissioner.


Candidates for seats on the Blue Ridge School Board, from right: Kathy (Ashby) Kaminsky, Lavone R. Lewis, Cindy Gillespie, Christopher Lewis, Alan Wilmarth.

New board president Laurie Brown-Bonner asked each of the hopefuls to respond to 5 questions:

Why do you want to join the Blue Ridge board?

What can you bring to the board?

What 3 things would you like to accomplish on the board?

Describe some of the strengths of Blue Ridge, and some concerns you have?

In a time of reduced resources, what would your priorities be?

Each was also given an opportunity to make a closing statement.

Ms. Kaminsky, mother of 9 with 11 grandchildren offered her experience having operated 4 businesses. She stressed a need to provide appropriate education for the many students who would become farmers and quarry operators, rather than a single focus on college preparation.

Ms. Lewis, mother of 8, allowed that she had no interest in her husband’s businesses. Her primary interest is her children, and she wanted to be a part of that.

Mr. Lewis, a 2003 graduate of Blue Ridge with a degree in political science, emphasized his experience managing a business in the Binghamton area, and hoped to encourage more Blue Ridge students to stay in the area, to make a difference, as he hoped to.

Ms. Gillespie stressed her current experience as secretary/treasurer of Hallstead Borough as well as her prior service on the Blue Ridge board. Her primary interest is in keeping taxes down.

Mr. Wilmarth, a manager in a large health-care system and former president of the Blue Ridge board, wants to improve academic performance, fiscal responsibility and staff morale in the interest of the students. Mr. Wilmarth also noted the outstanding character of Blue Ridge students witnessed by their behavior during the Washington trips that he has chaperoned for many years.

All of them made a point of showing interest in fiscal responsibility, making every dollar count. Most also mentioned staff morale, how it had suffered in the past. Mr. Wilmarth said that his board may not have recognized the value of the staff highly enough.

Many noted the small size of the community, and how important it is to the school district. Several also highlighted the need to improve test scores, offer study skills, life skills, and test-taking skills.

“Not everyone will go to college,” said Ms. Kaminsky. And there seemed to be some difference of opinion on the relative value of college preparation and preparation for life after school, not to mention the allocation of resources between sports and academics.

In the end, the vote was split broadly among the candidates, and several board members clearly gave serious thought to their choices. They chose Ms. Gillespie for the Hallstead/Great Bend seat, and Ms. Lewis for the seat representing Jackson.

The successful candidates were sworn in, and then reminded that they will have to stand for reelection in a year or two if they want to remain on the board. Ms. Brown-Bonner encouraged everyone - in particular the three who were not selected - to participate, by volunteering at the school, perhaps joining one of the board’s committees.

The single-purpose meeting was adjourned on Alan Hall’s last motion as a member of the Blue Ridge School Board. A gooey cake was available to celebrate his tenure. The next meeting is scheduled for Monday, January 9, 2012. All meetings are held in the cafeteria in the Elementary School.

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Harford Names Roadmaster

Eric Allen was appointed Roadmaster at the meeting of the Harford Township Supervisors on December 13. As Roadmaster he will plan the township’s road work and supervise the crews. He replaces Terry VanGorden, who offered a letter of resignation/retirement, effective December 27. Mr. VanGorden will also yield his seat as Supervisor to Doug Phelps in January. In the absence of the third Supervisor, township Secretary Sue Furney, Mr. Foltz moved to accept the resignation “with regret,” which Mr. VanGorden himself seconded.

Mr. Allen will assume his new duties on December 19 to assure a smooth transition. Asked if Mr. Allen is a current employee, Supervisor Garry Foltz said yes, and “a very good one.”

Mr. Foltz reviewed draft road service and maintenance agreements with Bluestone Gathering and Williams Pipeline, noting that the township is trying to model all such agreements on one signed earlier with Southwestern Energy. They signed the Bluestone agreement, but discovered that the Williams draft was an old one that didn’t conform.

Williams also offered a road-crossing agreement. Mr. Foltz said that the Supervisors are developing a model document for this as well that will allow the township to treat each crossing individually. He said that pipeline crossings would also require driveways - and driveway permits - on both sides of a proposed crossing. The Williams documents were set aside for further consideration.

Cabot Oil & Gas has requested a driveway permit off Miller Road, and a 6-month waiver of noise ordinance regulations for a well on the mountain north of that road to begin next May. Mr. Foltz recommended that the Roadmaster inspect the driveway location and ensure that it is properly flagged. He had no problem with the noise ordinance waiver.

The Supervisors approved a request from the Tax Claim Bureau of Susquehanna County to offer two properties for sale that are “no longer generating [tax revenue].” Both are trailers with no land involved.

Mr. Foltz reported that there appears to be a shortfall of some $30,000 in revenue from the township’s earned income tax levy. Ms. Furney is checking with the Central Tax Bureau to find out where the money is. He said that such a shortfall would “severely impact our budget” for 2012.

The Supervisors agreed to purchase a new truck, a 2012 Dodge RAM 5500 cab and chassis, from Hondru Fleet of Manheim, PA for $41,657.75. The truck will be set up with plow, spreader and associated equipment by Powell’s of Clarks Summit for an additional $25,000 plus, for a total cost of about $67,000. The Supervisors are negotiating for a 3-year loan with a local bank. A substantial down payment will be paid out of township funds, some of it from a gas-lease bonus. The purchases will be made under the COSTARS program.

Mr. Foltz requested that a letter be sent to the township’s auditors with notification that, since employees’ checks will be produced from the computer beginning in January, all of their concerns and recommendations have been met.

Mr. Foltz also said that he would recommend that the Supervisors begin meeting twice a month next year. One would be a “business” meeting, the other a “workshop.” The meeting schedule is usually decided at the organizational meeting during the first week of January.

Mr. VanGorden reported that new basins and pumps have been installed at the “Tin Shop” building in Harford village and at the Liberty Truck Stop on the highway. A large part of the cost of these projects will be borne by the sewer budget.

However, Mr. Foltz said that a letter had been sent to the operator of the truck stop to the effect that Liberty should bear a share of the cost either by paying half of the installation cost and a small increase in sewage rates, or a “significant increase” in quarterly sewage rate payments. The truck stop was originally allocated 15 EDUs (equivalent domestic units - 1 EDU represents the charge for a single-family dwelling). The operation has since expanded and added services, thus the need for new pumping equipment and an increase in fees.

Mr. Foltz reported that Todd Schmidt, an engineer engaged by the Supervisors to develop permit applications for a new sluice under Stearns Road at the outlet of Tingley Lake, has forwarded an application to the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). When the lake flooded last Spring because of a backup at the road, DEP issued a temporary permit for the installation of 2 24-inch pipes to relieve the flooding caused by blockage of the old sluice under the road. Under the terms of that permit, the township was required to develop a plan for a permanent solution. Thus the new application.

Mr. Foltz said that DEP had indicated that it thought a 6-foot culvert pipe would be sufficient to carry the outflow of the lake, rather than the 7.5x11-foot conduit proposed in an engineering study completed following the flooding in June 2006. Apparently Mr. Schmidt agrees. The township now awaits approval of the permit.

Mr. Foltz also said that he had no recent information about the status of the lawsuit brought against the township by some of the property owners around the lake. In July, county President Judge Seamans issued an order requiring the township to respond to a discovery motion by the plaintiffs. Mr. Foltz said that so far the Supervisors have heard “not a word” about it.

The Harford Township Supervisors will meet once more in 2011, on Wednesday, December 21, to give formal approval to next year’s budget, as well as to consider the hiring of an additional employee, among perhaps other business. The meeting will begin at 7:00 p.m. at the township office on Route 547 south of the interstate.

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Clifford Budget Raises Concerns

At Clifford Township’s December business meeting, Dennis Knowlton, president, introduced Chris Marcho, now serving on the board of supervisors. Board members then approved Bob Clementoni and Bob Dietz to serve on the Clifford Township Planning Commission. A seat on the commission is expected to open in January and will accommodate a third individual who is interested in serving on the planning commission.

Free, retired telephone poles are available to borough residents, Barry Searle, supervisor, announced. Interested individuals may arrange to collect poles, which are located behind the township building.

Various road maintenance problems were expressed, with Elk View Drive receiving lengthy discussion. Searle stated that he had personally driven in the development and asserted, “Ninety-nine percent of Elk View Drive is better than [the state road I live on].” However, he suggested some repairs at the upper entrance to the development. It was stated that the development owner had filled some holes with concrete, and James Locker, road master, was given permission to follow suit. Locker also promised to review the road conditions in the spring, when, it was stated, heaval of the lower three sluice pipes makes the eastern entrance virtually “impassible.”

It was suggested that ditch repairs be performed on Round Hill Road, in order to accommodate water from an underground spring. Also concerning ditches, one resident stated that the ditches were not dug out at the time roads were graded this year. He named a location where, “within two weeks, [the road] is washed right out again,” asserting, “there’s a waste of money right there.” It was pointed out that ditch clearing was not in the contract for the road grading. Knowlton commented, in the future, “we do have to [specify] when we hire that out.”

However, the reigning discussion of the meeting involved the new budget, which the supervisors approved, and which does not involve a tax raise. Searle stated that the supervisors had put some “serious sweat” into writing the budget, and Marcho commented that Clifford is “one of the lowest taxed townships in Susquehanna County.” The supervisors stated that a cut was necessary to maintain taxes at the present rate. This cut came at the expense of the public safety department. Nevertheless, the supervisors cautioned, “It is not getting rid of the police.” Rather, full time and part time positions will be retained, with decreased hours among part time officers. During 2011, the police department clocked 4,000 hours on the road; for the upcoming year, the hours presently are set at 2,700. A portion of funds saved from public safety will go toward road maintenance.

Upon question, the supervisors stated that taxes were raised two years ago and not for a “long time” before that. Dietz commented, “as things go on, they cost more. …There are things we need.” The option of raising taxes by half a mill was broached, but the supervisors responded that such a small raise would be too insignificant. One resident felt that not increasing taxes gradually sets the township up for needing a more significant hike in the future. The supervisors stated that given the current economic times, they could not see raising taxes for the upcoming year.

One resident voiced concern about cutting from the public safety department when “crime rates are increasing around us.” He stated that reducing police hours “cuts into response time if you have a problem” and added, “hopefully, at some point, we’ll be able to get those hours back.”

Searle responded that if it becomes necessary to increase police hours, it will be possible to “move other [financial] resources around” to accommodate more police presence.

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Gibson Barracks Report

DUI

On December 15 at 9:39 p.m. a crash occurred on SR 4002 in Silver Lake Township. The incident occurred as Richard OBoyle of Brackney was traveling east on that road. OBoyle lost control of his vehicle, traveled off the south berm of the roadway, and drove off an embankment located roadside off the south berm. The vehicle went airborne and struck a large tree located approximately 50 feet south of the roadway, striking the tree with its roof and crushing the driver and passenger compartment. The Outback then rotated clockwise and came to a rest on its right side against a tree. Both the operator and a passenger, Joshua Capwell of Brackney, were ejected from the vehicle. OBoyle was trapped under the front right tire of the vehicle and was freed by emergency personnel. Capwell was sitting next to the vehicle upon emergency personnel's' arrival. Both OBoyle and Capwell were transported to Wilson Hospital and suffered severe non-life threatening injuries. Alcohol and speed were factors in this crash.

DEATH INVESTIGATION

On December 15 members of PSP Gibson responded to B&S Quarries located off of Jefferson Ave in Lanesboro for a report of an accident that occurred at the stone quarry. The investigation revealed that a young Binghamton man died as a result of injuries sustained when he fell into the rock crushing machine at the quarry. The investigation was continuing as of the time of report. The next of kin was notified.

FRAUD

On November 30 at noon a victim from Thompson Township received a check saying that she had been selected as a secret shopper. The victim was given a check in the amount of $1995 and told to spend $400 at the stores of her choice. The victim was told to send the remaining funds via Western Union to Barcelona Spain. Several days later the victim was notified by the bank that the check was fraudulent. If anyone has information relative to this investigation they are asked to contact PSP Gibson at (570) 465-3154.

THEFT BY UNLAWFUL TAKING

On November 29 the daughter of Yvette Glover of Susquehanna rented an apartment off of Richard Davis on South Montrose. The victim's daughter was using her 1995 red Dodge Intrepid and it was parked at the apartment. The victim helped her daughter move out of the apartment and her vehicle would not start. She allegedly informed the defendant that she was having the vehicle towed from the property. Before the victim could have the vehicle removed the defendant had the vehicle towed and scrapped. The defendant received a payment of $312.02 for the vehicle. Charges of theft and receiving stolen property were field on the defendant. The defendant was arraigned before Judge Suzanne Brainard. The defendant was released on $5,000 unsecured bail.

CRASH

On December 13 at 7:38 p.m. Shannon Vanvleck of Nicholson was traveling west on SR 2024 in Dimock Township with a juvenile male passenger. As the vehicle traveled over a crest in the roadway at a high rate of speed, it lost traction with the road. The vehicle then went out of control, impacting a tree off the south shoulder with its passenger side. Both the driver and the passenger were transported via helicopter due to injuries sustained. The juvenile was utilizing property safety equipment; the driver's use was unknown.

POSSESSION-SMALL AMOUNT OF MARIJUANA

On December 12 at approximately 10:06 a.m. the principal at Mountain View High School phoned PSP Gibson reporting that he had found a small amount of marijuana and drug paraphernalia on a 17 year old juvenile male. The boy was charged with possession of a small amount of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia. A separate report listing the same details also existed, involving a 15 year old juvenile male.

CRASH

On December 10 at 5:30 p.m. Austin Gehman of Schwenksville, PA exited the roadway in Jessup Township in his Ford Explorer, which subsequently struck a pole and rolled over. Gehman was utilizing a seat belt; he sustained no injury.

AGGRAVATED ASSAULT

Joseph Gana of Little Meadows arrived at the Redneck Taxidermy, the business belonging to William Jones of Nicholson, on the 15th of November. Gana had entered into an agreement with Jones in 2008 to mount a trophy bear, and wanted the bear returned. The two became involved in a verbal dispute that turned physical. Jones brandished a rifle, and struck Gana with the muzzle end. Gana was able to leave the scene, but was treated later for fractured ribs and an injury to his lungs. On December 12 a preliminary arraignment was held, and Jones was released on $25,000 unsecured bail. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for the 3rd of January.

COMMONWEALTH VEHICLE CRASH

On July 12 at 8:50 a.m. Nanette Pettyjohn of Montrose was traveling south on Gary Road when her vehicle came to a stop at the intersection of Gary Road and State Route 706. At that time Robert Craft of Whitney Point was traveling west on State Route 706. Impact occurred as Pettyjohn attempted to turn east onto 706 and struck Craft at the intersection of the two roads. After impact Craft's vehicle continued to travel approximately 15', where it came to final rest on the right shoulder of 706 facing east. Pettyjohn's vehicle sustained front bumper area and passenger side damage. It was towed by Peck's towing at the request of the owner. Craft's vehicle sustained damage to its front passenger side tire hub seal. Also damaged was the rear passenger axle tire and 2nd axle tire. It did not require a tow. No injuries were reported; all involved were utilizing seat belts. A citation was filed on Pettyjohn for violation of stop signs and yield signs.

CRASH

On December 12 at 2:21 p.m. Jill Mock of Little Meadows was traveling east on Canada Road in Apolacon Township with an adult passenger and two young juvenile passengers. Impact occurred as Mock was attempting to negotiate a right hand curve when she lost control on the ice and struck a tree. Mock, the adult passenger, and the rear passenger behind the passenger seat were taken to Wilson Hospital in New York State for further evaluation. Mock and the uninjured juvenile passenger were utilizing safety equipment. The vehicle sustained heavy front bumper area damage and had to be towed by Park's garage. Mock was to be cited at District Court 34-3-01 for multiple vehicle violations as of the time of report.

DUI

On December 11 at 12:25 a.m. Mark Ralston of Susquehanna was driving eastbound on SR 492 in New Milford Township when he failed to negotiate a slight left hand curve and exited the roadway off the south berm. The Ford Explorer struck an embankment and rolled onto its left side. Alston was alone in the vehicle and was not injured; he was utilizing a seat belt The vehicle was towed from the scene by Vogel's Towing. Ralston was taken into custody for DUI and transported to Barnes-Kasson Hospital in Susquehanna where blood was drawn for a BAC test. The investigation was ongoing as of the time of report.

CRASH

On December 11 at 3:25 p.m. Robert Thomas of Montrose was traveling east on SR 2024 in Brooklyn when he lost control of his vehicle on a slippery roadway. The vehicle exited the roadway and went into the embankment on the south side of SR 2024, traveling approximately 15 feet on the berm after leaving the roadway. Thomas sustained minor injury; seat belt use was listed as “none used/not applicable” in the report.

BURGLARY

Sometime between the 6th and 8th a Harford residence belonging to Charles Murray was burglarized, after an unknown instrument was used to break into a side door. A 65' Mitsubishi television was removed form within. Anyone with information is asked to contact PSP Gibson at (570) 465-3154.

CRASH

On December 8 at 9:20 p.m. Bridget Esposito of Hallstead was traveling east on SR 706 in New Milford Township when her vehicle hit black ice in the roadway, causing it to turn sideways and roll several times coming to rest off the south berm on its passenger side. Esposito was not injured; she was not wearing a seat belt

CRASH

On December 10 at 6:55 p.m. Tyler Confer of Shamokin Dam was traveling north on Three Lakes Road in New Milford Township when, while negotiating a right hand downhill curve, his vehicle lost traction. The vehicle began to slide to the left across the roadway, exiting the left side of the roadway and continuing over the embankment. The vehicle struck a tree and came to rest facing a north west direction. No injuries were reported to the trooper at the scene; a seat belt was in use. The driver was issued a citation at the scene for driving vehicle at safe speed.

BURGLARY

Between the 2nd and 4th of December, the residence of Rachel Decker of Springville was burglarized when entry was made into the rear door. A black Acer lap top valued at $527.88 was removed from within. Anyone with information is asked to contact PSP Gibson at (570) 465-3154.

CRIMINAL MISCHIEF                                     

On December 10 between 5 and 10 a.m., rocks were thrown at the 2011 Nissan Titan belonging to William Finnegan of Wiles Barre, causing dents and scratches.

BURGLARY

Between the 3rd and 10th of December the seasonal residence of James Dickson of Cherry Hill, NJ was burglarized. Nothing was reported to have been stolen.

DUI/HIT AND RUN

On December 9 at 11:00 p.m. Linda Miller of Montrose was traveling east on SR 706 when the Donald Goble of Lawton failed to stop at a properly posted stop sign, making a left turn into her path. Miller struck Goble. Goble took off from the scene, obtaining a ride to the Pump and Pantry in Montrose. Montrose Police were able to respond and detain Goble. Upon arrival, Goble displayed signs of being under the influence and was arrested for suspicion of DUI. He submitted to a bleed test. Charges were pending for DUI at the time of report; upon results of the blood test. Charges for leaving the scene of an accident, driving while DUI suspended, and several other charges were also pending as of the time of report.

CRASH

On December 2 at 8:15 a.m. Kenneth Welborn of Dallas, TX was traveling south on SR 29 in Franklin Township when he lost control of his vehicle when it started to slide on an icy patch caused by water run off. The Ford F350 started to fishtail and struck the embankment with the front portion of the truck. It then traveled up the embankment striking a couple of trees before flipping onto its right side, sliding back onto the roadway. It came to an uncontrolled stop facing south in the center of both travel lanes of the road. Welborn was utilizing a seat belt; he sustained minor injury.

BURGLARY

Sometime between December 3rd and 9th the residence of Robert Moyer of Warminster, PA was burglarized, after the main door was pried open. Numerous tools, a water heater, a Wii, and a phone were removed form within the residence.

BURGLARY

On December 9 the residence of Adam Briggs of New Milford was burglarized when the garage and basement doors were kicked in. A flat screen television and a laptop computer were stolen from within.

CRASH

On December 9 at 1:04 p.m. Sean Knapp of Brackney was traveling south on SR 4002 in Silver Lake when, while negotiating a left turn in the roadway, the vehicle exited the right side of the roadway and struck a utility pole. Knapp was utilizing a seat belt; he refused medical treatment at the scene. Citations for roadways laned for traffic and driving vehicle at safe speed were issued to the operator at the scene.

CRASH

On December 9 at 8:12 a.m. Trevor Gowin of Meshoppen was traveling east on SR 3001 when, while negotiating a left downhill curve in the roadway his vehicle exited the left side of the roadway and impacted with a ditch and an embankment. The mustang then continued in an eastern direction and impacted with a utility pole coming to rest in a northerly direction. Gowin reported no injuries to the trooper. He was cited at the scene for driving on Roadways Laned for Traffic.

COMMERCIAL VEHICLE

On December 9 at 3:10 a.m. Bilal Akbar of Sicklerville, NJ was traveling north on I 81 in Great Bend Township at the same time as Norman Evans, Jr. of Virginia Beach, VA. At this time Evans was in the driving lane as Ackbar was in the passing lane attempting to pass him. Akbar struck the driver's side of Evans' vehicle. The vehicle continued to jackknife, striking the guide rail off the west berm before coming to a final rest facing east on the west berm. Bilal was cited for a safe speed and roadways laned for traffic.

CRASH

On December 7 at 11:40 p.m. Bonnie Freeman of New Milford was east bound on SR 706 in Bridgewater Township just east of SR 167 when she failed to negotiate a left hand curve on the snow covered roadway, exiting the road off the south berm and striking a utility pole. Freeman was not injured; she was utilizing a seat belt. The vehicle was towed form the scene by Liggett towing to their facility in Montrose.

THEFT OF MOTOR VEHICLE

Between the 6th and 7th of December the black 1999 Audi A4 belonging to Jessica Mendez of Hallstead was stolen from the front driveway where it was parked overnight. The vehicle had tinted windows and silver wheels.

CRASH

On December 2 at 7:30 a.m. Amanda Jesse of Montrose was traveling east on SR 706 in Bridgewater Township as Martin Weiss of Grove, OK was traveling west. Jesse lost control of her vehicle as she traveled over ice and on a curve. The Ford F150 began to fishtail and struck the vehicle of Weiss. Weiss pulled into a parking lot after impact. Jesse's vehicle continued to travel east, hitting a deep ditch and an embankment before flipping onto its side, and striking a small tree with its undercarriage. Both drivers were utilizing seat belts; only Jesse sustained a minor injury.

RETAIL THEFT

On December 5 at 12:05 p.m. Dennis Hall of Springville is accused of going to Andre and Son's True Value store in Bridgewater Township and sealing drill bits that were listed for sale. Andre's had installed a state of the art surveillance system which captured Hall committing the crime. Hall was charged with retail theft.

HARASSMENT

On December 4 at 5:30 p.m. Thomas Horrex of Springville is accused of arriving at a location in Springville Township and grabbing another man, from Merril, Wisconsin, around the neck with both hands, falling back into the storm door and causing damage to the door's piston. Horrex then departed the scene, only to return 10 minutes later to apologize. He was told to leave and not to return.

HARASSMENT

On December 3 at 11:45 p.m. Shaun Greylock of Tunkhannock is accused of arriving at the property of a Brooklyn man and attempting to engage him in a fight. A non-traffic citation was filed against Greylock at District Court 34-3-03 for Harassment.

BURGLARY

PSP Gibson is investigating a burglary in which an unknown person stole 5 game cameras from a Jackson Township residence, forced entry into an unattached garage, and stole several power tools. Anyone with information is asked to please contact the police.

CRASH

On December 2 at 6 p.m. Joseph Russel of Kirkwood, NY was traveling north on SR 167 in Silver Lake Township when, for no apparent reason, he traveled off the west berm, striking a tree. Russel was gone prior to the trooper's arrival, and was in route to Wilson Hospital via Silver Lake Ambulance. Charges were pending at the time of report, upon completion of the trooper's investigation.

If you have information regarding any of these incidents please contact PSP Gibson at (570) 465-3154.

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Courthouse Report

DEEDS

Tracy J. and Tanya L. Kromko to Robert J. Wallace, Sr., in Lathrop Township for $143,406.31.

Rebecca Peck Peterson to Farm Owners Group LLC, in Lenox Township for one dollar.

Richard Paul and Nina Robinson to Dawn M. Walworth, in Liberty Township for one dollar.

Marjanie P. Hellman to Marjanie P. Hellman, in Clifford Township for one dollar.

Jessica E. and Joseph M. Burchell to William M. Weber, in New Milford Borough for $125,000.00.

Richard N., Paula E., David H. and Suzanne R. Breese to David H. and Suzanne R. Breese, in Montrose for one dollar.

Deustche Bank National Trust Company to Jeremy D. Heiber, in Susquehanna for $18,000.00.

Tina L. Bennett to Jerry W. Clapper, in Dimock Township for one dollar.

Frances R. Attewell to Theodore P., Jr. and Marie A. Malinchak, in Brooklyn Township for $140,000.00.

BENCH WARRANTS

The Susquehanna County Domestic Relations Section has outstanding bench warrants for the following individuals as of 10:00 a.m., December 16, 2011.

Craig J. Anderson, Sharon Baker, Tonya S. Birchard, Christopher Brenner, Douglas Buckman, Bradley C. Button, Jonathan Fathi, David J. Fischer, Jeremy J. Grick, Nichole M. Jones, Charlie J. Legere, Carlos L. Leiser, Derrick J. Lezinsky, Michael Maryasz, Erica Y. Mead, Matthew S. Miller, Donald Palmer, Jeremy Presson, Perry Rohan, Mark Salsman, David J. Shiner, Peter S. Showalter, Sinon C. Smith, Sr., Eric J. Snell, Robert J. Twilley, Kurtis L. Vogler, Steven G. Warner, Jamie L. Williams, Sr., Kelly L. Yarbrough.

Please contact the Domestic Relations Section at 570-278-4600 ext. 170 with any information on the location of these individuals.

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January Jurors Drawn

Following is the list of names drawn to serve as Petit and Traverse jurors to appear in the Court of Common Pleas, Susquehanna County Courthouse, Montrose, on the 3rd day of January at 9:00 a.m.

Apolacon Twp.: Katherine Ackley.

Ararat Twp.: Kitty Price, Matthew J. Stone, Antoinette Zdon.

Auburn Twp.: Michael Newhart, Marissa Smith.

Bridgewater Twp.: Shirley Collins, Joseph Cross, Cindy Estell, David Tyler.

Clifford Twp.: Robert Baker, Joyce Belcher, Ruth Knighton, Brad McAlla, Marie Peterka, Corrine Ross, Leona Wasileski.

Dimock Twp.: John Baker, Albert Bennett, Annette Depew, Carole Rose.

Forest City, 1W: Evelyn Stager.

Forest City, 2W: Dorothy Holibaugh.

Forest Lake Twp.: Edward Ramirez, Greg Smith.

Franklin Twp.: Herbert Flavell, George Schreck.

Gibson Twp.: Susan Robinson.

Great Bend Boro: Lawrence Braungard.

Great Bend Twp.: Lynn Bayly, Cheryl Lobdell.

Hallstead Boro: April Mroz.

Harford Twp.: Christina Ross, Christina Swan.

Harmony Twp.: Terry Rockwell.

Herrick Twp.: Nancy Harvatine, Haydn Samuel, Thomas Templeton.

Jackson Twp.: Edward Reddon.

Jessup Twp.: Ronald Jacoby.

Lanesboro Boro: Floyd Fisk, Arnold Terpstra.

Lenox Twp.: Edmund Poplawski, Denise Skurnowicz, Wayde Williams.

Liberty Twp.: James Atkinson, Jane Clague.

Little Meadows Boro: Ralph Aspling, Carol Aspling.

Montrose Boro, 1W: Julia Gaines, Leo Shreiber.

Montrose Boro, 2W: Curtis Keihl.

New Milford Boro: Christopher Bronson, Ellen Brown, Chad Drumm, Shirley Scott Moytka.

New Milford Twp.: Sylvia Aldrich, David Cicon, Chris Cramer, Lauren Darrow, Rita Hyde, Judith Simpson, Lisa-Anne Uhlfelder, William Ulrich, Robert Yoder.

Oakland Boro: Diane Dunn.

Oakland Twp.: Valerie Abramowicz.

Rush Twp.: Gerald Case, Kevin Gage, April Kelley, Lyndon Larue, Edward Warner.

Silver Lake Twp.: Leslie Casey, Melinda Conning, Peter Giannone, Jennifer Montgomery, Richard Rosenkrans.

Springville Twp.: Amy Hand, Diane Whipple, Ruth Williams.

Susquehanna Boro, 2W: Larry Cavanaugh.

Thompson Twp.: Joseph Ayotte.

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Sentencing Report

Following is the Susquehanna County sentencing report for December 2011 as submitted by the county District Attorney’s office.

John Stephen Frisbie, 21, of Jermyn, PA to 30 days to 15 months in Susquehanna County Correctional Facility, supervision may be transferred to Lackawanna County, pay a $100 fine and a $500 fine, pay cost of prosecution, pay $30 CAT Surcharge, pay $10 EMS fee, not to have contact with anyone on supervision for Fleeing or Attempting to Elude Police Officer in Forest City Borough on May 7, 2011.

James Dobson, 23, of Great Bend, to 6 months to 23 1/2 months in Susquehanna County Correctional Facility with credit for inpatient treatment, pay $100 Act 198 fee, pay $350 fine, pay cost of prosecution, pay $50 Criminal Justice Enhancement Act fee, continue with drug and alcohol evaluation and treatment, complete Susquehanna County Drug Program for Manufacture, Delivery or Possession with Intent to Manufacture or Deliver in Great Bend Township on August 31, 2010. Mr. Dobson also received 6 months to 23 1/2 months in Susquehanna County Correctional Facility with credit for inpatient treatment to run concurrent to the above sentence, pay $350 fine, pay cost of prosecution, pay $100 Act 198 fee, pay $50 Criminal Justice Enhancement Act fee for Manufacture, Delivery or Possession with Intent to Manufacture or Deliver in Great Bend Township on August 31, 2010. Finally Mr. Dobson received 18 months probation to run consecutive to the above sentences, pay $100 Act 198 fee, pay $40 Criminal Justice Enhancement Act fee, pay $350 fine, pay cost of prosecution for Manufacture Deliver or Possession with Intent to Manufacture or Deliver in Great Bend Township on August 31, 2010.

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Silver Lake Twp. Police Report

MEDICAL EMERGENCY

On November 1, SLTPD responded to assist EMS with a medical emergency on Kitchen Road in Forest Lake Township.

ANIMAL COMPLAINT

On November 5, SLTPD responded to a call from a Silver Lake Township resident regarding suspicion of illegally killed deer. Upon investigation, the PA Game Commission was requested and responded. The investigation continued and this incident is still under investigation by the PA Game Commission.

LITTERING/SCATTERING RUBBISH

On November 8, SLTPD investigated a report of littering in Silver Lake Township on Kane Road. This incident is still under investigation.

ANIMAL COMPLAINT

On November 8, Silver Lake Township residents reported two lost golden retriever dogs in the vicinity of Hawleyton Road.

DRUG ACTIVITY

On November 9, a call from a New York, NY resident started an investigation into drug activity taking place in Silver Lake Township. This incident is under investigation.

MEDICAL EMERGENCY

On November 10, SLTPD responded and assisted EMS at the scene of a medical emergency on SR167 Silver Lake Township, for a possible stroke victim.

SUSPICIOUS PERSON

On November 14, a Forest Lake Township resident reported a suspicious vehicle at the bottom of her remote driveway. The investigation determined that the vehicle was a disabled service vehicle.

ASSIST OTHER AGENCY/DOMESTIC

On November 17, SLTPD was requested to assist Montrose PD with a domestic in progress in an apartment on Public Avenue, Montrose, PA.

CRIMINAL MISCHIEF

On November 16, someone stole a 3 wheeler in Silver Lake Township. A resident saw it going up the road past his residence. The vehicle was recovered abandoned a short distance away.

ASSIST OTHER AGENCY

On November 18, SLTPD was requested to assist with the scene and traffic control at a structure fire on SR167 Silver Lake Township.

ATTEMPTED B&E (VEHICLE)

On November 18, SLTPD responded to a residence in Forest Lake Township for a possible vehicle break-in. The investigation showed that the vehicle could have been entered by a door which was ajar. At this time nothing has been discovered missing.

MEDICAL EMERGENCY (ASSIST)

On November 18, SLTPD responded to a medical emergency in Forest Lake Township for a person ill from overexposure to propane gas. SLTPD assisted and prepped patient until Montrose Minutemen arrived.

DOMESTIC DISPUTE

On November 23, the C.C. received a call concerning an on-going domestic dispute between a husband and wife in Forest Lake Township. SLTPD responded and intervened. The situation has been on-going and is only rectified for this current crisis.

MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT/REPORTABLE

On November 25, SLTPD responded to a MVA on SR4007 (North Road), for a vehicle disabled and off of the roadway. At the scene the vehicle had bumped into the corner of a private garage after it left the roadway. There were no injuries and the vehicle was towed by Molenkos’.

ALARM/SECURITY

On November 29, SLTPD responded to an alarm on Silver Lake which resulted in contractor’s incidental tripping of alarm.

Any information or questions for Silver Lake Township Police, please call 570-278-6818 or e-mail silverlaketwppd@epix.net. All information will be held strictly confidential. Visit silverlaketwp.org to see all of Silver Lake Townships’ news, profiles and resources, including the police reports.

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Starrucca Borough Council Minutes

The Starrucca Borough Council meeting was called to order on Monday, November 7, at 7:00 p.m. at the Starrucca Community Hall. The meeting opened with the Pledge of Allegiance.

Council members present were President Jack Downton, Vice President Robert Martin, Barbara Glover, Arthur Kopp, Louis Gurske, Paul Everett and Mayor Mary Ann DeBalko. Council member Anthony Palonis was absent.

The audience included Brigitte D’Agati, Paul D’Agati, Dan Kramer, George DeBalko, Peter Frank, Roland Buck, Kathy Downton and Dee Martin.

The minutes of the meeting held on October 3 were presented. Motion to accept the minutes passed. Paul Everett abstained due to his absence at the October 3 meeting.

The minutes of the special meeting held on October 13 were presented. Motion to accept the minutes passed. Paul Everett abstained due to his absence at the October 3 meeting.

Treasurer’s Report as of November 4 - motion to accept the Treasurer’s report passed unanimously.

November 2011 bills to be paid - motion to hold the pending October bills payable to Thompson Boro Hose Co. and payable to Briechle & Gelsoe, LLC as well as the November bills payable to HA Thomson Co. and payable to Briechle & Gelsoe, LLC. Further, Mr. Everett specified paying check numbers 1275, 1276, 1278 and 1279. The motion passed unanimously.

Correspondence Presented

Auditor General re. 2011 allocation for Vol. Firefighters Relief Fund - filed.

Thompson Hose 2012 Fire Protection Contract - motion to sign and mail the contract to Thompson Hose Co. passed unanimously.

H.A. Thomson - Treasurer’s Bond Renewal - motion to sign and file the Treasurer’s Bond renewal passed unanimously.

Freddy’s Refuse 2012 contract - motion to sign and mail the contract to Freddy’s Refuse passed unanimously.

DCED & PennDOT Annual reports - to be completed and submitted.

Solicitor Briechle correspondence to Atty. Powell - The secretary read this correspondence concerning Darl Haynes and Kellogg Road. Mr. Everett asked if a bill had been presented by Solicitor Briechle for the court case. To date, a bill had not been received.

Old Business

Opening of bids for winter road maintenance - The only bid received was from Como Construction. Motion to accept the bid from Como Construction to do the winter maintenance passed unanimously.

President Downton reported that the 3-year contract with Scott Township for the maintenance of Fairmount Road and Kellogg road is in its 3rd year.

Kellogg Road/Penn Hill Road/PennDOT - President Downton commented that at the meeting held in October a motion was made to request Scott Maciak and Christian Goetz (PennDOT) to inspect Kellogg Road and set the mileage to the original maps. President Downton suggested that Penn Hill Road should also be included at the same time with Kellogg Road to reset the mileage for the Liquid Fuels allocation. President Downton further commented that both roads are dead-end roads. Motion to have the secretary contact Scott Maciak and Christian Goetz to inspect Kellogg Road and Penn Hill road to reset the mileage for the Liquid Fuels allocation passed unanimously.

Executive Session - President Downton called for Executive Session. The regular meeting continued at 8:25 p.m.

New Business

Budget 2012 - The Budget was presented and it was noted by President Downton that the Solicitor’s fees were increased significantly due to the Darl Haynes court case. The Pennstar loan payment due in June 2012 is $8905.00. Motion to advertise the proposed budget for 2012 passed unanimously.

A discussion began regarding Borough’s responsibility for reimbursing $18,000 to the Liquid Fuels account. Following is the text of Mr. Everett’s comments as presented:

“As a councilman serving on the Starrucca Borough Council, I would like to thank both the PA Ethics Commission and the PA Auditor General for their investigations into the Starrucca, PA-Buck Road Bridge renovation project.

On 8/4/2009, the PA Auditor General Office of Special Investigations found that the Starrucca Borough Council approved the Buck Road Bridge renovation project, which resulted in substantial benefit to two members of Borough Council, without regard to other pressing needs of the Borough and cost to the citizens of the Borough. The actions of the two members of Borough Council may constitute a conflict of interest under state law.

On 10/20/2009, the PA Auditor General conducted a review of Starrucca Borough’s use of 2008 Liquid Fuels Tax funds. The findings included:

The Borough failed to receive prior approval of Department of Transportation before expending $18,000 for the renovation of the Buck Road Bridge.

The Borough’s payment of $18,000 for the renovation of Buck Road Bridge resulted in substantial benefit to two members of Borough Council, without regard to other pressing needs of the Borough and cost to the citizens of the Borough.

On 12/14/2010, PennDOT informed the Borough that it should reimburse its Liquid Tax Fund in the amount of $18,000. Future Liquid Fuels allocations would be contingent upon proper reimbursement.

(In May 2011, this was modified by PennDOT to yearly payments of $3,600 for 2012-2016).

On 11/4/2011, the PA Ethics Commission made public two consent decrees with former councilmen, Robert Buck (Ruling 1590) and Kirk Rhone (Ruling 1591). These two consent decrees will return $18,000 dollars to the Starrucca Borough Liquid Tax Fund and an additional $17,000 to the Starrucca Borough General Fund.

This repayment is only a start, still leaving Starrucca in a financial hole. The Borough currently has five yearly payments of $8,907 remaining on the Buck Bridge Loan. The decisions and spending of the 2006-2009 Borough Council have left the current Borough Council in financial distress; in need of raising taxes to increase revenue.”

Motion that copies of Robert Buck’s Ruling 1590 and Kirk Rhone’s Ruling 1591 should be placed in the Borough files passed unanimously.

Ordinance to increase Borough taxes - The secretary read the proposed Ordinance to increase real estate taxes by 1 mill. The fire tax will remain the same at .14 mill. The real property tax rate for 2012 will be 1.89 mills. The tax rate is being increased to support the annual loan payment to Pennstar Bank for the Buck Road Bridge. Motion to advertise the Ordinance passed unanimously.

Committee Reports

Vice President Martin reported that he removed the State and POW flag due to wear and replaced the rope on the flag pole.

Mayor DeBalko and Paul Everett attended a meeting on October 17 regarding disaster preparedness.

President Downton reported that Como Construction completed work on the Borough Roads.

There were no comments during public participation. The meeting adjourned at 8:55 p.m.

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Last modified: 12/19/2011