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User: mdessoye Time: 06-19-2012 15:28 Product: Journal PubDate: 06-20-2012 Zone: Main Edition: Main_Run PageName: news_f PageNo: 1 A

THE ABINGTON

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JOURNAL

Meet the future Area high school and college graduates are featured in a special commemorative section. INSIDE

An edition of The Times Leader

Wilkes-Barre, Clarks Summit, Pa. Pa.

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JUNE 20 TO JUNE 26, 2012

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A high pressure natural gas pipeline, owned by UGI Corporation, protrudes out of the creek that runs through Bud Stann’s property on Dark Region Road, Clarks Summit.

Ransom creek exposes pipeline

Spokesman for UGI said the company is “conducting an investigation.”

ABINGTON JOURNAL/ELIZABETH BAUMEISTER

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lison Treat adjusts Adrian Treat’s hat for a perfect fit while strawberry picking at Pallman Farms, Clarks Summit. June 14 was a busy day at Pallman Farms, Clarks Summit, with the strawberry field full of people filling their buckets. This year’s strawberry season in Northeastern Pa. is almost over, however, according to Brian Pallman, who co-owns the farm along with his brother, Bruce Pallman. He said the season began early and is turning out to be a short one, largely due to last year’s wet weather. For additional photos and information, see Page 3.

S. Abington might face loss from Comcast INSIDE

The Abington Journal

Please enclose this label with any address changes, and mail to The Abington Journal, 211 S. State St,, Clarks Summit, PA, 18411

ArtsEtc...............................10 Calendar.............................2 Classified ...........................15 Crosswords.........................4 Obituaries...........................9 School................................6 Sports................................13

BY CORY BURRELL Abington Journal Correspondent

SOUTH ABINGTON TWP. – A legal petition from Comcast Cable regarding the company’s franchise fee could potentially cost South Abington Township $72,000 annually, and the township’s board of supervisors took initial steps to deal with the issue at their June 11 meeting. The planning of a major project also came closer to completion at the meeting, with PennDOT construction of a pumping station by Shady Lane Road set to begin in 2014. The drafting of a property maintenance code and discussion of burn permits and the potential banning of burning in the township were discussed as well. Township Manager David O’Neill announced Comcast had issued a legal petition concerning a contract done between Comcast and the municipalities of the Abington Council of Governments. The deal gave the township a yearly cable television franchise fee, a rental charge Comcast paid to the community in exSee Comcast, Page 9

ABINGTON JOURNAL/ELIZABETH BAUMEISTER

The construction of Countryside Community Church’s new building on Orchard Drive nears completion.

New building, new opportunities

Duncan is most looking forward to having more space at the new building esidents in the Abingtons will and property. soon have a new place to wor“We will be able to fit all of our ship. people in the sanctuary,” he said. “It According to Pastor JP Duncan, will be a more versatile place with construction of the new Countryside more room for our educational departCommunity Church on Orchard Lane, ment and we’ll be able to feed more Clarks Summit is currently in propeople at out Turkey Supper.” gress. He anticipates completion of all Duncan said plans are in the works major parts of the project by mid July for a prayer path outside the building and the opening of the new building and a place for people to sit outside by the end of August, if not earlier. and pray overlooking the West Moun“I’m very pleased with the progress tains. of the project,” he said. “We fell beDuncan said the project was funded hind in a few places, but the weather by the combination of a Capital Camwas kind over the winter and we paign, a bank loan and a lot of people caught up a bit. Some things are mov- dedicating time, labor and money, ing slower than we hoped, but good See Opportunities, Page 7 things are happening.”

BY ELIZABETH BAUMEISTER lbaumeister@theabingtonjournal.com

RANSOM TWP. - Concern among Ransom Township residents is growing, along with the piles of trees, logs and other debris collecting in local creeks. Heavy rains and flooding over the past six years caused several problems in the area, including an exposed high-pressure gas main in a creek near Dark Region Road, a sliding bank on Ledge Drive, and a significant loss of depth in many parts of the creeks. Residents and township officials fear these issues may create dangers. Bud Stann, of Dark Region Road, said when the waters of the creek running through his property are high, trees speed down it. But it’s not just trees that come “ripping” through the water, he said. It’s rocks, firewood and “whatever gets in the way of the creek.” He said during extreme conditions, he’s even heard the sound of boulders clunking together on the creek bed. Stann’s neighbor, Brad Steckel, said he also knows what can happen when the creek fills up. “Stuff comes down there that normally wouldn’t even move,” he said. This is why he and Stann are concerned about a high-pressure gas pipeline protruding out of the creek on Stann’s property. Both said they dislike the thought of what could happen if a large log were to get caught underneath it and act as a lever, or if a heavy object were to slam into it at high speed. According to Stann, the pipeline, which is owned by UGI Utilities and runs across a large portion of his property before heading toward Pittston, was unearthed by flooding in 2006. He said when he first noticed it, he contacted UGI regarding the problem, and representatives from the company came twice to investigate, promising to return in two weeks. Now, about six years later, the pipeline remains exposed for a length of at least 15 feet, with logs and other debris collecting around it. See Creek, Page 7

BY ROBERT TOMKAVAGE rtomkavage@theabingtonjournal.com

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ABINGTON JOURNAL/ELIZABETH BAUMEISTER

The peaceful setting of ‘Stann’s Grove’ at Bud Stann’s property on Dark Region Road, Clarks Summit, is a stark contrast to another spot a short walking distance up the creek, where logs, roots and other debris collect around an exposed high pressure natural gas pipeline protruding out of the creek.


User: mdessoye Time: 06-19-2012 15:33 Product: Journal PubDate: 06-20-2012 Zone: Main Edition: Main_Run PageName: news_05 PageNo: 7 A

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 20, 2012

THE ABINGTON JOURNAL♦CLARKS SUMMIT, PA

OPPORTUNITIES Continued from Page 1

ABINGTON JOURNAL/STEPHANIE ELKO

As the creek bank across from Creek Road slides, it takes part of Ledge Drive with it.

CREEK

Continued from Page 1

Stann said the waterway belongs to the state, and it is difficult to obtain permission to work on it. But after the flooding in 2006, he was issued a permit to clean it out. Since then,more flooding occurred and the situation worsened. “It just keeps accumulating.”

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neer and contractor the week before last, but has not yet received an estimate on how much the job will cost, which will eventually be put out for bid. Bird brought up the issue of the creeks needing to be cleaned out at a supervisors meeting May 30, where he explained the problem to Lackawanna County Community Relations Coordinator Rick Notari. Bird suggested since other townships in the county are also having problems with the creeks, it may be beneficial to get a program together for them to pool resources to get some work done. Notari said at the meeting he would bring the concerns back to county officials and check into the matter further. As of June15, he said the County is searching for ideas and looking into different possibilities.

struggling with post office Also discussed was waste addressing but is trying to management from the Solid resolve the problem. CLARKS GREEN - . In Waste Authorities. O’Dea Clarks Green will sponsor a 2004, Abington Council of Palmer said that the 10- year health and safety event July 14 Governments signed a 15contract is running out and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Clarks year contract with Comcast cautioned the municipalities Green Borough Building lothat allowed the council to about renewing it for another pay a franchise fee, a rental 10 years. She believes that five cated at 104 North Abington Road. The event will feature charge Comcast paid to the years should be a maximum water, bike and skateboard community in exchange for for any contract. the cable provider’s occupaNews from South Abington safety, fire prevention in the tion and use of public proper- Twp. included the construction home, hearing screenings, free finger-print analysis for chilty. According to members of of a new municipal building. the council at the June 7 Factoryville said that they will dren, information about childhood lead poisoning and South meeting, Comcast seeks to be getting a new field and dissolve the agreement with restrooms in the park. Ransom Abington Police will demonstrate the use of their police seven years remaining. Bill Twp. is in need of money to Montgomery, the Dalton fix their creek and Waverly is dog. Borough representative, suggested that the council hire Cohen Law group, which would cost an estimated $1,600. If all 14 municipal& Burger Joint ities agree, it would cost each municipality approximately 303 N. Keyser Ave. Scranton, PA $100. Marnie O’Dea Palmer, secretary of ACOG, moEarly Bird BOGO Dinner Specials tioned to have the expenditure of $1,600 approved. The Buy one entree, get one ½ off motion was seconded by Coupon valid Tuesday - Thursday 4:30 - 7pm Dennis Macheska, council president. A meeting might Eat-in or Take-out be held in July to finalize the (570) 207-3627 agreement between Cohen Law Group and the rest of Like us on facebook for more specials the municipalities. BY STEPHANIE ELKO Abington Journal Correspondent

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“washed everything away again.” She said a more permanent fix is needed, and she hopes it will come soon. Ransom Township Road Master David Bird said after last year’s flooding, the township received a grant from Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to fix a large crack on Ledge Drive, but the task can’t be completed without first securing the sliding bank. He said the township received a donation of stone for the project from Alliance Landfill, but he doesn’t know where the township will obtain the money to complete the work. Although he said much more work needs to be done on the creek, including the removal of debris, straightening, and digging about four feet below the bed, his hope for this year is simply to secure the bank. He said he met with an engi-

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investigation,” but he was unable to comment further or say how long the investigation will take. Steckel said in the past, he has found UGI to be a “phenomenal” company to do business with, and he hopes the matter will soon be resolved. Residents in other parts of the township hope the rest of the problems with the creek will soon be resolved as well. Roger and Helen Doty, of Creek Road, said the creek washed away several yards of land from their property, which sits across from Ledge Drive, where the bank is sliding and taking part of the road with it. Helen Doty said the bank first started to slide after the flooding in 2006, and was repaired shortly after with concrete and large stones. But then in 2010, so much water came rushing through, the creek

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some very significant. “It has been very, very helpful,” Duncan said. “We’ve been blessed.” Duncan added that the land was given to the church and the excavation is being done gratis by another person from the community. Church Council Chair Keith Eckel is excited for the fresh start the new building will provide. “The great thing about the new building is that we will all be new to it,” he said. “The churches came together to reach out to the community and make everyone feel welcome to come to Countryside Community Church. It’s a great opportunity to build a new congregation.” Eckel also hopes the new building helps create an opportunity for the church’s youth programs to grow. “Our Sunday School has been growing and our leaders are doing a great job, but I think there is much more opportunity for growth in the future. I hope the new construction will be inviting.” Countryside Community Church was established on July 1, 2008 from the merger of four local United Methodist churches near Clarks Summit (Milwaukee, Newton, Ransom and Schultzville). “Once the churches decided to merge, it was clear that this was a new church and needed an entirely new name,” Executive Assistant Karen Rickaby said. “The congregations had the opportunity to suggest their ideas for a new name by writing them on a paper and placing them in a box. Once the suggestions were collected, the top 10 or so were placed on a sheet of paper and each person got to vote for their favorite. Once the votes were counted, it was clear that ‘Countryside Community Church’ was the winner.” The church is a member of the Susquehanna Conference of the United Methodist Church, formed two years ago, after the Wyoming and Central Pa. Conferences combined. A groundbreaking service was held May 22, 2011.

He followed up with the natural gas company via telephone at least eight times since the initial contacts, he said, but without result. He presented the issue at a Ransom Township Board of Supervisors meeting March 5, explaining, “I had the gas people here several times, and they weren’t concerned about it. And the one comment the one inspector made was, ‘If it blows, it’s only going to go150 feet in the air.’ Well, my neighbor’s [Steckel’s] front door is150 feet off the creek.” At that meeting, the supervisors agreed to send an official letter from the township to UGI. According to Supervisor Dennis Macheska, the letter was sent a short time after, but a response has not been received. As of June15, Don Brominski, spokesman for UGI, said the company is “conducting an

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THE ABINGTON

Last blast? Rotary Club seeks support to continue its annual fireworks display. Find out how to help and where to view this year’s event. Page 2.

Wilkes-Barre, Clarks Summit, Pa. Pa.

JOURNAL www.theabingtonjournal.com

Working together for change

’Sir’ Damien Howard wields a sword atop his horse at Camp Create at the Waverly Community House.

BY KELLY MCDONOUGH Abington Journal Correspondent

Rosey Holmes displays her artwork at Camp Create. .

The Abington Journal

Please enclose this label with any address changes, and mail to The Abington Journal, 211 S. State St,, Clarks Summit, PA, 18411

ArtsEtc...............................10 Calendar.............................2 Classified ...........................15 Crosswords.........................4 Obituaries...........................9 School................................6 Sports................................13

JUNE 27 TO JULY 3, 2012

50¢

EPA, DEP program to inform

Glenburn residents will hear about well testing, cleanups after recent settlement with Precision National Plating Services BY CORY BURRELL Abington Journal Correspondent

GLENBURN TWP. – Supervisors told residents at the Glenburn Twp. board of supervisors meeting June 18 that the DEP, Department of Environmental Protection, and EPA, Environmental Protection Agency, are developing a program to help better inform residents about well testing and cleanups in the area. EPA’s recent settlement with Precision National Plating Services, Inc., concerning cleanup in the area and continuing discussions with the Delaware and Hudson Railways over a proposed communication tower were also discussed. Solicitor Malcolm MacGregor said supervisors were shown a demo of a site-viewing program during a June 4 meeting with DEP and EPA. The program aims to provide extensive information on cleanups and well tests. MacGregor said some features displayed included access to test results, links to data and details of action plans and more features may be added before the program is officially See DEP, Page 3

UGI to replace Ransom pipeline ABINGTON JOURNAL PHOTOS/ELIZABETH BAUMEISTER

Eddie Horgan poses with a lightning bolt prop in front of a castle-in-the-making at Camp Create at the Waverly Community House.

Thunderbolt of inspiration

See President, Page 7

INSIDE

Get all the details on a recent Olympic day held locally. For photos and a story, see Page 13.

An edition of The Times Leader

MEET THE PRESIDENT

GLENBURN - Erin Osterhout is a Glenburn stay-at-home mom who believes in everyone working together for change. This only enhanced her abilities as president of the Waverly Elementary School PTA. She follows through to make a difference in the community. The former DJ, who once owned her own business, elected to stay at home. From there she chose to give her children’s after school activities a boost. “Club Waverly was my idea, and it built on the foundation of after school. I just wanted to see a more complete Osterhout course than a fast five-week program, so we made it a year course so they could really grow,” Osterhout explained. She made it clear that all of the things she spearheaded were not possible without help from others. “All of these things were not me alone,” she said. “None of it could have happened without the board and everyone. It’s completely the group.” Osterhout wanted to start a glee program for the children and realized that its planned time frame was too short to achieve any goals. So, she expanded it. Then she invited willing professors to come in as guest players and help train

Big on BMX?

Aidan Fick tries on his dragon hat at the Waverly Community House.

“Knights, Princesses and Dragons” was the theme at last week’s Camp Create, a day camp at the Waverly Community House designed to engage children with special needs.

The real McCoy One man making a difference

recognize them in print. Diane Vietz, Abington Area Joint Dictionaries define a hero as Recreation Board vice chair and Clarks Green Board repanyone who can and does resentative nominated as a make a difference in his or her community hero her fellow community and a positive role board member, Tim McCoy, model for others. of Glenburn Township based Within the Abington community are individuals admired on his numerous contributions for brave deeds, noble qualities through projects at the Abington Area Community Park. and selfless contributions and McCoy accepted an inThe Abington Journal aims to vitation to join the Abington Area Joint Recreation Board in 2011, because, as he explained, “I thought these guys are really doing a lot here… out of the goodness of their hearts. I respected that from the beginning.” McCoy, a construction manager and estimator for E.W. McCoy Inc., a commercial and residential construcABINGTON JOURNAL/JOAN MEAD-MATSU tion company said, “I really Glenburn Twp. resident Tim like building and designing McCoy volunteers hours leading things…it’s my hobby. community projects. BY JOAN MEAD-MATSUI Abington Journal Correspondent

Upcoming themes include “Mount Olympic,” August 6 to 10 and “It IS Easy Being Green,” August 13 to 17. For more info, visit www.waverlycomm.org.

Nominate a hero The Abington Journal celebrates heroes in the community and highlights the strengths of those individuals who make the world a better place. Send a suggestion, including your name and contact information, full name of nominee and 50 words about his or her community contributions. Email to Editor Kristie Ceruti at kgrier@theabington journal.com or mail to The Abington Journal, 211 South State Street, Clarks Summit, PA 18411 Attn: Community Hero

BY ELIZABETH BAUMEISTER lbaumeister@theabingtonjournal.com

RANSOM TWP. - Natural gas company UGI Utilities plans to replace a high-pressure gas pipeline protruding out of a creek in Ransom Township, according to company spokesperson Don Brominski. The pipeline runs through a large portion of Bud Stann’s property, crossing the creek that runs alongside Dark Region Road. According to Stann, it was first unearthed by flooding in 2006. He said since then, he was in contact with UGI several times regarding concerns over dangers the exposed section could cause, should heavy objects jam into it during high waters. Stann said he looks forward to the problem being fixed, and is hopeful it will stay that way. Brominski was unable to estimate how long the process will take, but said the company is currently in the designing stage and seeking the permit required to work in the creek.

Demystified misnomer BY JOAN MEAD-MATSUI Abington Journal Correspondent

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I was surprised to be nominated. I do that type of work because I like to be outdoors and if I could help people out, help preserve our resources and make it easier for others to enjoy it, it is a win -win situation.” Vietz described McCoy’s demeanor as calm, efficient and resourceful.

ewton Township resident David Kveragas, a history buff with a wealth of local knowledge, shared insight about Newton and Ransom townships. He pointed out that many outsiders inaccurately refer to the two townships as one. “(The) bottom line is: Newton and Ransom are akin to Scranton and Wilkes-Barre. They are often linked, but have little in common beyond geography.” “The two are linked historically and geographically, but they are separate entities,” said Kveragas. “Unlike Wilkes-Barre, the names are not based on two people’s names. Newton is

See McCoy, Page 3

See Misnomer, Page 8

“The two are linked historically and geographically, but they are separate entities. Unlike Wilkes-Barre, the names are not based on two people’s names…. You can always tell if someone is not from the immediate area, as they will use Newton-Ransom as if both are one township.” David Kveragas Newton Township resident and local history buff


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