May 31, 2011, the birthday of Dimi Marinos, Helen Steinruck and Harry Watts. This is the second anniversary of the retirement of Rev. David Diehl and his full-time service to the Benton Christian Church.Two years ago, Susan Boyle's reality show journey ended with a second-place finish in the finals of "Britain's Got Talent." Susan Boyle, who sold over eight million copies of her debut album "I Dreamed a Dream," wants to record an album of duets with Lady Gaga, Rihanna and Adele. Britain’s Got Talent recently booted one of the most promising of the show’s newest stars. Arisxandra Libantino, 9, sometimes called the "new Susan Boyle," received a standing ovation from the judges for her sensational singing voice but producers picked "rubbish acts" over the young contestant. Judge for yourself by going here or here.We watched as some brave people mounted inner tubes and zipped down the rushing and almost frigid waters of Fishing Creek on Memorial Day. It was a wonderful day for taking time to remember those who have passed on, for family gatherings, for grilling of the deck. Banks, government offices and restaurants were closed, as Father used to say, "tighter than a drum."
It was on this day in 1889 in a river valley 185 miles southwest of Back Home in Benton, PA, when a neglected dam pelted by driving rain led to a catastrophe in which 2,209 people perished and Johnstown was nearly wiped off the face of the earth.Farmers hope to soon catch up with planting and getting in the fields as warm days dry out the ground from the recent rains. More storms are possible Wednesday. We will probably be crying for rain by the time June is over. A rule of thumb for corn is to have it in the ground by May 10. After that date, harvest figures go down.
Didja hear that Pennsylvania lawmakers are talking about making trash collections mandatory across the state? Currently, there is no state law mandating trash collections. Advocates claim that mandatory trash collection would reduce open burning, litter and illegal dumping. If enacted, this law could reduce litter and increase recycling. Opponents dislike the one-size-fits-all approach to trash collection. Opponents hint about the ruckus caused when the Government dictated health care for everyone. Expect bumps in the road before this bill is enacted, but bear in mind that lawmakers in large-population centers such as Pittsburgh and Philadelphia have more clout in our Commonwealth than those of us in the back hills. Benton borough has an ordnance on the books that prohibits afternoon and evening open burning.
The Benton Women’s Club is sponsoring an eight hour AARP Driver-Safety Program on Monday, June 27, from 9 AM to 5 PM at Christ the King R.C. Church located on Mendenhall Road, Benton. Please call Barbara King, 925-6242, for information or to enroll. You must bring a current driver’s license and a check made out to AARP. The fee is $12 for AARP members and $14 for non-members.
Our thoughts go out to the Pat Hess family on the death of their wonderful mother and grandmother. Brenda Hess Paul thanks the community for all of the condolences for the loss of Pat Hess. What a family! Glenn, Randy, Brenda and Dan Hess--the Hess Family--along with the Feolas and Friends, mounted the stage for a session of bluegrass at the Sweet Valley Fireman's Carnival Sunday at 11 AM. The Hess family has a long tradition of playing Memorial Day music and in the spirit of that tradition yesterday they again celebrated the lives of Pat and Al Hess. There were two empty places on the stage and a void in the music the upper Fishing Creek valley has enjoyed for so long.
As a sign of the times, Richard Sutliff was given a note on behalf of the emergency room in Edward Hospital (his medical center), Naperville, Illinois. The note read, "Text 'ERwait' to 41411 for ER wait times sent directly to your phone." It seems to me that if one is having an emergency, we shouldn't have to wait very long for medical attention.
The Commonwealth is considering increasing fines for violation of public meetings "Sunshine Law." Officials who hold a closed meeting that should be open to the public can get a wrist slap and a fine of $100. The Senate would increase that to $1,000. The bill now goes to the House. Read more here.As of this writing, no one has volunteered to take over the two offices of the Benton Alumni Association. Volunteers are needed. If the absence of volunteers, the program may disappear. Please consider helping for a few years. Please.The well casing and piping are being pulled up at the natural-gas rig at the Encana Oil & Gas USA Inc. well pad on Route 118 adjacent to the Ricketts Glen Hotel preliminary to the plugging of the well and restoration of the site.
The Class of 1961 met for an informal reunion dinner on Friday, May 27, the first time some had seen each other since graduating. A total of 44 persons, 25 classmembers and 19 spouses and friends, enjoyed a chicken barbeque dinner prepared by the ladies of the Zion United Church of Christ, Zaners. Travelers came from Texarkana, TX; New Smyrna Beach, FL; Baltimore, MD; and Hawley, Gilbertsville, and Barto, Pennsylvania, as well as local addresses.
Many of those staying over met for breakfast on Saturday, and enjoyed a tour of the new high-school facilities Saturday afternoon. Most had not seen the 1973 renovation, let alone the 2004 addition or Martin auditorium. Alumni President Sandy Kogut introduced a group of 14 who represented the fiftieth year reunion class. Harold Ackerman spoke, congratulating the newest graduates.
The class is making preparations for another meeting this year, tentatively set for Fair Week.
L. to R.: Harold Ackerman, Sherry Yost Bardo, Lynn Strauch Shaw, Norma Houseweart Eveland, Jane Halderman Himel, J. Robert Sands, Jr., Becky Stoneham Green, (almost hidden) Ruth Hess Whitenight, Gene Bardo, Devona Hittle Albertson, Wilson Lynn, Joyce Albertson Boston, Beverly Shaw Edwards, Gloria Heath Valencik, Shirley Kille Kocher, Melvin Parks, Blanche Roberts Getz, Sharon Dodson Gottshall, Carolyn Bond Jones, Terry Griffith, Nancy Devore Ballantyne, Gerald Houseweart, Donald Good, Barbara Fausey Fuehrer, Joann King Heimbach.
Candid shots by Robert Sands "First Grade What Year?" "Not ready for prime time" "Jane and Ken" "Trading stories" "Not that one"
May 29 and 30, 2011. Remember last year at this time, we were begging for moisture.May 29, the birthday of David Slavick, David Croiter, Kevin Karnes, Leslie Townes Hope and John F. Kennedy. Expect warm and muggy weather--about 86°. The Memorial Day parade in Benton moves at noon today. It will go South on Main Street and proceed to the cemetery.May 30, the last Monday in May, the day we know as Memorial Day. It is the birthday of Tanya McHenry, Barbara Fausey Fuehrer, Nina Baker and Brandon Schupp. It is the wedding anniversary of Bill and Adele Confair. Was last winter too cold for you? Well, the next couple of days may be too warm for you. Warm, moist air is coming at us from the South and temperatures near 95° will be with us Monday and Tuesday with cooling Wednesday back to yesterday's levels. Jerilyn Haddow, Sam Futcher, Sam Pawelski, John Schultz, Linnae Powell and Nicole Wisniewski from the Benton Area Schools--representing the state's best problem solvers--are at the University of Maryland as part of the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals which conclude on May 30. Doing well won't be easy. Nearly 18,000 people, including 858 teams from 33 states and 14 countries, are on Maryland's 1,200-acre campus for the World Finals. The students tackle mind-bending challenges through the arts, performance, science, storytelling and engineering.It has long been a custom in America to clean up the cemeteries and decorate graves, followed by the tradition of gathering with the family for a family reunion and picnic. After the Civil War, America felt the need for a patriotic ceremony to honor its military dead. Monuments to fallen soldiers were funded, erected and dedicated, and ceremonies centering on the decoration of soldiers' graves were held across the nation. Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is now celebrated on the last Monday in May.Thanksgiving is a day when we pause
to give thanks for the things we have.
Memorial Day is a day when we pause to give thanks
to the people who fought for the things we have.Memorial Day was officially observed in May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. New York was the first state to officially recognize the holiday (1873) and by 1890 all of the northern states recognized the holiday. The South did not acknowledge Memorial Day, but honored their dead on separate days until after World War I when the holiday began honoring all Americans who died fighting in any war.
Moina Michael conceived of an idea to wear red poppies on Memorial day in honor of those who died serving the nation during war based on the 1915 battle of Flanders Field that was covered in poppies. She was the first to wear one, and sold poppies to her friends and co-workers with the money going to benefit servicemen in need. In 1922, the VFW became the first veterans' organization to nationally sell poppies.
An unknown World War I American soldier was buried in 1921 on the hillside overlooking Washington, D.C., and the Potomac River. The location was Arlington National Cemetery. This site, on a hillside overlooking the Potomac River, became the focal point of reverence for America’s veterans.
The Towanda Daily Review reported in its Saturday edition that the Commonwealth may be located on the largest gas reserves in the world. "The Marcellus Shale is the second largest natural gas reserve in the world," said Scott Perry, the director of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection's Bureau of Oil and Gas Management. Beneath the Marcellus Shale the Utica Shale, "potentially as productive at the Marcellus Shale, maybe even more so."
The Memorial Day yard sales and vegetable markets did a booming business locally Saturday and cooperating weather brought customers riding in Amish buggies and packed automobiles into the borough. Sales appeared to be brisk and everyone seemed to have a good time. There seemed to be a bit of frenzy with shoppers as they hurried up and down the streets of Benton. Their frenzy was minor compared with the shopping scene which you need to watch here.
Dan, Cindy and Drew Lane were present Saturday evening as the local school honored their father, Fred C. Long, Class of 1940. Drew Long, Huron, Ohio, spoke of his father's many career achievements as part of the U. S. military and as a father. Amanda Hartman, Ann Neary and Jeanette Hartman all spoke of their grandfather and husband, Dayne Hartman, class of 1946, a "pip" of a man. Bissinger Catering did a great job with the food and Sandy Kogut and Kerry Vincent with help from some very talented people pulled off a commendable alumni banquet.
Pictures of the 2011 Benton Area Schools Alumni Banquet are available as a slideshow here and are available for viewing, printing and downloading here.
Cheryl Pasukinis is looking for your help after learning Saturday night that Sandy Kogut and Kerry Vincent plan to continue as officers for the Benton Alumni Association for only one more year. They will vacate the offices of President and Treasurer. The Alumni Association does not have a Vice President. Benton Alumni members--we need HELP! People are needed now to get involved now so they can spend next year assisting and learning exactly what these two ladies do for the Alumni Banquet.
The biggest attendees come from graduating years in the 60s and earlier. These members may be willing to help out. It would be nice to get the younger classes involved, but life is extremely busy at that point. The old saying, "If you want to get something done, ask a busy person," seems to be holding true even for the Alumni Association.
Please consider stepping up to the plate to help out. Our Alumni Banquet could fall away as so many other school district have. Cheryl can be reached at cpasukinisATgmail.com . (Change the "AT" to "@.")
Dorothy Patricia "Pat" (Turner) Hess (February 14, 1937-May 25, 2011) died Wednesday surrounded by dear friends and family while listening to the music that so endeared her to the community. She was 73.
Dorothy Patricia Turner was born in Inwood, West Virginia, to parents Willis and Florence Turner. She attended early schools in Gerrardstown, West Virginia, until May 1945, when the family was transferred by Mussleman's Orchards to Scoblick Brothers Orchard, Falls, Wyoming County and two years later to Luzerne County. She continued her primary education in Mill City, Pennsylvania, and a one-room schoolhouse in Ross Township. She spent three years at Shickshinny High School, and graduated from Lehman Jackson Ross in 1954.
Pat married Albert "Al" Bruce Hess on April 22, 1961. Al was a Jonestown musician with "The Tumbleweed Ramblers," While pregnant with her daughter, she and her sons began singing as the Al Hess Family Band, and later with local musicians as "Al and Pat Hess and Friends." The group was a local favorite at carnivals, festivals, churches and nursing homes. After Al's death January 31, 2008, she continued to sing in the company of friends. She also enjoyed being outdoors, wildflowers, bird watching, gardening, baking, puzzles and reading.
Pat worked as a seamstress at Harvic Sportswear in Sweet Valley, at one time traveling to New York City to picket during the Garment Union labor strikes. She also worked for Social Security, Wilkes-Barre. She took time off to be an at-home mom, then worked for 17 years as a doctor's office assistant within the Bloomsburg Hospital system. Pat was active in the Jonestown United Methodist Church where she held many offices including teacher, administrative-council chairman, pianist and lay speaker. She was a Boy Scout leader for 20 years, including one year as Scout Master of Jonestown Troop 69. She received the Iroquois District Award in 1981, and earned her Woodbadge beads.
She is survived by brothers George Ronald Turner, Knoxville, Tennessee; Ed Turner, Dallas; sons Glenn Hess, Jonestown; Randy Hess, Nashville, Tennessee; a daughter, Brenda Paul, Edmond, Oklahoma; grandson Daniel Hess, Berwick, as well as many cousins, nieces and nephews. A brother, Charles Donald Turner, is deceased.
The family will continue their Memorial Day tradition by performing at the Sweet Valley Fireman's Carnival on Monday at 11 AM.
A viewing will be held Tuesday from 5 to 8 PM at the McMichael Funeral Home, Inc. Funeral services will be held at the Jonestown United Methodist Church Wednesday at 10 AM. Burial will be in the Jonestown Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Northern Columbia Community Cultural Center, P. O. Box 305, Benton, PA 17814. For online condolences, please visit www.mcmichaelfuneralhome.com .
Saturday, May 28, 2011, the start of the Memorial Day weekend and the birthday of Jacob Kaminski, Mary Moore Baker, Scott Wary, Pam Karnes, and twins Randy and Robby Karschner. The temperature should be about 84° this afternoon. With the warm weather and daily dose of thundershowers, the fish should be biting. Stay on track of storms so you don't get caught in the middle of a bunch of lightening. Monday is the Commonwealth's first fish-for-free event of the year. Anyone--resident or nonresident--can fish for free on Monday. The second and final fish-for-free event in Pennsylvania takes place on Labor Day. Chase Emerson Stewart was discharged from the Shriner's Hospital at 6 PM Friday following surgery on his leg Thursday. He is doing very well and has stood on his leg.The Hall of Fame inductees will be honored at the alumni banquet tonight. The yard and food sales in Benton and surrounding areas will be in full-forward motion today. Take the time to stop at the rear of 237 Market Street, Benton, from 8 AM until I get tired and quit. Mill Street is full of garage sales from the Sub Shop to the first farm south of Benton, the former Bubb Laubach farm. Both the Christian and the Methodist Churches have something special planned. In Central at Christ United Methodist Church, there is food for sale, baked items and lots of home-started flowers. Memorial Day "weekend yard/bake sale" at St. James Church, Bendertown, 8 AM to 2 PM. From 4-5 PM."Rainbows & Ripples," for youth of all ages takes place at Ricketts Glen State Park. Explore the awesome world of art and journaling through this new series at Ricketts. Create some animal diaries, after hearing the exciting story of a young bird’s migration experience. Meet at the Visitor’s Center. At 7 PM, learn "How to Tell a Man from a Turkey." You won't want to miss this one! Join the highly interesting and informative presenter, Tony Hudak. Everything you always wanted to know about turkeys but were afraid to ask will be discussed, with an added bonus of "turkey tales" that will knock your tail feathers off. To be held at the Visitor's Center Activity room.
There is a fund-raising event for the Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble today. The event is a yoga marathon at the Alvina Krause Theatre, 226 Center Street, Bloomsburg. Area yoga teachers will be offering a wide variety of classes from 8:30 am through 6 PM to raise funds for the Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble. Classes are $10 each and a full-day pass is $50. Those who purchase a full-day pass will receive a free, healthy lunch. Ginny Mazzei's portion of the event is from 9:50 to 10:40 AM. Ginny is calling it "Yog-AHHH!" You'll be able to fine tune your energy--guaranteed to tune your energy, one that will calm you if you're jangled and boost you if you are blah.
A Troy, Pennsylvania, man, 53, fed up and sick with the "gas industry," drove his John Deere 420 tractor into a Ford pickup and a Dodge Ram March 24. He was brought up Wednesday with charges of criminal mischief and disorderly conduct for the incident March 24 on his property in Troy Township.
At Stoney Acres, anyone today only who spends more than $50 gets a free bag of fertilizer. Anyone who purchases anything from now until the July 4 gets to put their name in for door prizes. A $300 wheelbarrow is the grand prize. The first prize is a "snowfountain" cherry tree with a value of $200. The second prize is a "Serban'Spuce" with an $80 value. Third prize is a viburnum with a $50 value.
The Benton High School class of 1961 held a dinner Friday night at Zion Church social hall at Zaners, Fishing Creek Township, to mark 50 years since graduation from Benton Area High School. Twenty-two members of the class planned to attend. Many will remain to attend the annual Alumni Association banquet which will honor the 2011 graduates. Harold Ackerman will provide the Benton News with a full account including "names of perpetrators" and a photo record.
A senior friend from Camp Hill loves his computer and is now into texting, a computer-based method of communicating using basic codes or Senior Texting Codes (STCs). Here are some of his favorites...
ATD - At the Doctor's
BTW - Bring the Wheelchair
CBM - Covered by Medicare
CUATC - See You at The Center
DWI - Driving While Incontinent
GHA - Got Heartburn Again
HASMG -Has anyone seen my glasses?
IMHO - Is My Hearing-Aid On?
LMDO - Laughing My Dentures Out
OHASM - Oh, having another senior moment
OMMR - On My Massage Recliner
MSG - My Sorry, Gas
WAITT - Who Am I Talking To?
WTP - Where's the Prunes
WWI -Where was I?
WWWJTA -What were we just talking about?
GGLKI - Gotta Go, Laxative Kicking in!
Fred Dubetski (April 28, 1936-May 26, 2011), died Thursday at his Fairmount Springs home. He was 75. He was born in Fraserwood, Manitoba, Canada. He was a son of John and Stella Dubetski. Mr. Dubetski worked as a truck driver and later as a truck dispatcher for the Winnipeg Free Press until his retirement.
He was preceded in death by his first wife, Eunice J. (Herman) Dubetski, on August 7, 2004. Surviving are his wife, Phoebe A (Harvey) Keller, sons Derrek and Rodney Dubetski, a brother, Michael Dubetski, all of Winnipeg, Canada. Also surviving are his step children Alvin R. Keller, Coplay; Mae Ann Yeager, Fairmount Springs; Kathy I. Halm, Wilkes-Barre; Patsy A. Smith and David A. Keller, Fairmount Springs, and Brian D. Keller, Ashland. There are 12 step grandchildren and 10 step great grandchildren.
Services will be private and held at the convenience of the family. Arrangements are under the direction of the McMichael Funeral Home. To sign the online register book or for online condolences, visit www.mcmichaelfuneralhome.com .
May 26 & 27, 2011. Thunderstorms are probable through Sunday.May 26, the birthday of Gary Souder, Ann Northridge, Carol Vance, Yvonne Unbewust Lenbergs, Tom Fundock, Russell Hack, Laura Gould, Linnea Holdren, Mandy Fought Singley, Connie Gardner and Lukas Hamilton. Nevin and Deb Dressler celebrate their wedding anniversary. The Benton Rodeo Association will hold its meeting at the Benton Rodeo grounds at 7 PM.May 27, the birthday of Jane Ackerman, Ron Igoe and William Sarge. It is the wedding anniversary of Hobe and Jesse Whitenight and Scott and Julie Lyons. The flea markets of the area are coming alive in anticipation of the weekend. A number of choice spots on Mill Street set up Wednesday and were doing a thriving business in the warm weather. From 2 to 3 this afternoon is part of a youth series "A Salamander's Survival." Take a casual walk to a pool areas to see just what’s “hoppening” in the woods these days! Discover why these spring pools are so important to our amphibian friends. Meet at the Visitor’s Center parking lot, Ricketts Glen State Park, with your vehicle for the drive over. You must sign up for this walk in advance. Sign-up sheet is on the bulletin board in the lobby of the Visitor's Center. At 7:30 tonight is a program at Ricketts Glen titled "Bug Out!" If you like bugs, you'll want to see this program. If you hate bugs, you'll want to see this program! Kathy Kelchner, will show you how awesome insects can be. She will take you through an incredible journey into the tiny world of creepy crawlers, and will have you buzzing in the isles before she's through! Visitor's Center Activity room, Ricketts Glen State Park.Six Benton High School students--Jerilyn Haddow, Sam Futcher, Sam Pawelski, John Schultz, Linnae Powell and Nicole Wisniewski--will compete at the Odyssey of the Mind world finals in College Park, MD, this weekend. The local team placed second in the Commonwealth at the Odyssey of the Mind finals in Williamsport. The team extends "a heartfelt thank you to the Benton community and others for supporting us so generously. The team is very excited and happy about having made it this far and doing well at the World Finals would be icing on the cake."Music for today is "Amazing Grace," sung by four men. Tap here to listen.Harold Camping, the rapture-predicting preacher, now predicts the end of the month will be May 31. In England, President Obama received the suggestion from the queen that we go back to the pre-1776 borders.Political writer Dick Morris, a former advisor to Bill Clinton, has critiqued the Republican candidates for president. You can watch these videos on YouTube, noting that readers on the web version of the Benton News may have to cut and paste the URLs into your browser if the link does not open.Mitt Romney, www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hyYmr1FsvINewt Gingrich, www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLsCVBsLGlcMichele Bachmann, www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWgTUIcY2DkTim Pawlenty, www.youtube.com/watch?v=b2ZoNBmMfxUHerman Cain, www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Fm5kdtSfR0Ron Paul, www.youtube.com/watch?v=LOA_0_gLZlAEver wonder how stuff works? You now have a web site to help you figure that out.Another explanation of the drilling process in the Marcellus Shale region is available. Watch the video here.Wednesday's Chicago Tribune had an interesting headline on page 1. The headline read, "DNA test further clouds '94 killing'." The paper should have stopped there. The subhead read, "Lawyers for 4 convicted as teens say dead man committed murder, rape." A "dead man committing murder and rape" is indeed news.Is coffee good for you or bad for you? Most of us love the smell of freshly brewed coffee in the morning. Many of us can't get the day off to a good start without a cup of coffee. Some of us love a cup, others can drink coffee before bed, others get a jolt of "coffee nerves" after a single cup. All of us will soon get a jolt from double-digit price increases. Folgers and Dunkin' Donuts have announced their increases for the second time this year. Keurig coffee for home consumption is up more than 10% for the year. Unroasted beans, known as "green coffee," gets its fair share of blame following its 77% increase last year. Smucker raised its prices on the original Folgers, Millstone and Dunkin' Donuts coffee in the retail grocery market (Dunkin' Donuts coffee in the firm's coffee shops are not made by Smuckers and are not yet increasing in price) Starbucks raised its prices 12%.A few weeks ago, a startled patron of L & K Mills watched as a thin wisp of a woman picked up litter along Route 487. The woman looked like the Energizer Bunny as she cleared the landscape of papers, cigarette butts and other foreign material. Her attire was a little strange for what she was doing. She wore very stylish clothes, mostly black, except for an orange apron and white gloves. The man watched the activity for a little, then walked to her. He knew what she was doing, and assumed that she was doing time in a community-service program. His question to the eighty-eight year-old woman was direct. "What are you from?"The woman drew up her full 5'6" frame, recognizing the tone of the question. "I'm from the prison in Danville," she replied without hesitation.The man decided that he had all the information that he needed about the situation. He turned and hurried away from this grandmotherly mass murderer or whatever she was. He retreated into the safety of L & K Mills.The woman, Zane Unbewust, Main Street, went on about her business of cleaning the southern entrance of the borough of debris. Always community minded, Zane had signed up at the Benton Christian Church to help with the project, thinking that she was going to have to make some phone calls or other contribution fitting for a woman of her age and temperament. When she reported to the church for whatever it was that she was to do, she found out that she was signed up for a work detail. Zane has never walked away from work, and didn't this time, either! The man who tried to get information out of Zane probably still wonders what "Granny" had done to warrant an assignment to a work detail.Quaker school has now begun.No more laughing, no more fun...
Wednesday night at The Center, Rev. Brad Spangenberg, Asbury, spoke on the subject of one-room schoolhouses based on his publication "Essays on the One-Room Schoolhouse." As a pastor, Rev. Spangenberg became acquainted with a number of people who in their earlier days had served as teachers in one-room schoolhouses. From them and from their students he listened to wonderful stories of "back then."
In October 1990, the Millville United Methodist Church sponsored a celebration honoring teachers of one-room schoolhouses. Several teachers presented papers at that time on various aspects of the one-room schoolhouses, especially those of northern Columbia and east Lycoming counties. Authors included Donald Bangs, writing about the Greenwood school and his wife, Lesta, writing about "Recreation in the One-Room Schoolhouse." Former Benton resident Edgar Baker wrote about "Harmony and Discipline in School," while the wife of his former business partner, Mae Bennett, wrote about geography of the schools in Pine Township. Richard Karschner's mother, H. Irene Karschner, wrote about "materials, supplies and resources." Irma Eyer, who had the distinction of playing the organ in the Millville Christian Church for 75 years, wrote about "Graduation." Students also wrote essays on the subject.Rev. Spangenberg talked about all of the essays and memories of June Hartzell, Comstock Road, were also reviewed. June was not able to attend because of health issues, but wrote that "when we moved to Light Street and attended the Scott school, Mr. Jenkins the principal there, wanted to put me in 8th grade instead of fifth. In a one-room school you learned the grades above you and reviewed the grades lower. I passed 8th grade with flying colors but father said it would make me way too young when I graduated. Miss Kile was the teacher at the McHenry School where I went. In bad weather she would drive to our house by Green Creek Mill and neighbor Kline would hook up the horses and bob sled and take us up the hill to school. We had the pot-bellied stove in the middle and Miss Kile would bring a kettle with meat and the students would bring a vegetable and we had hot lunches."June went for her third, fourth and half of her fifth year to the McHenry School in 1928-30, a building that is now gone. June lived in the house at Bowman's Mill. Her father was the miller. Her teacher, Esther Kile, lived in Greenwood. "In cold weather she drove to our house and put her car in the old horse shed. Big Elmer Kline lived across the road, hitched up the horses to the sled and took us all to school." At recess, the students played games. "Andy Over" and "Fox and Geese" were June's favorites.The school had a "pot-bellied stove. In cold weather we moved our desks in a circle around it for warmth, Miss Kile would bring a kettle and a piece of beef. The children took vegetables and we had a hot lunch. The students had to walk down the hill to the Lee farm for water." June "always got my homework done and listened to all grades and did their homework. Everyone got along and played games where everyone could join in. Everyone ate their lunches together."When June left the McHenry school, she attended the Scott school in Espy. June remembers that the "principal wanted to jump me three grades," but her parents said no because it would "make me too young when I got out and put me ahead of my sister."There were school programs for all holidays. The parents always came and coffee and cookies were served. June remembers having an auction for box lunches. She got her homework done and would help the little children with their work. The teacher had a pitch pipe to start the singing. To start the day, the students would recite the Pledge Of Allegiance and a Bible reading and short personal prayer.At the end of the year, all the one-room schools in Orange Township got together and had spelling bees, and went over their arithmetic and held geography completions.If you have memories of your one-room school days, please send them in and we'll share them with other readers. To further your reading on this subject, visit the library/museum of The Center to see its collection of material on one-room schools.
May 24 & 25, 2011.
May 24 , the birthday of Pamela Vincent, Matthew Musselman, Micah Metz, Mollie Hough, Ron Robbins and Phillip Shultz . Samuel F. B. Morse sent the first telegraph message from Washington, D.C. to Baltimore on this day in 1844. Morse sent the line, "What hath God wrought?," a Bible verse taken from Numbers 23:23. Long before "You've Got Mail!" echoed through homes, Morse devised a series of dots and dashes to represent the alphabet, and that code ended up being named after him. In 1861, the first transcontinental telegraph line was completed, signaling the beginning of the telecommunications industry. The Brooklyn Bridge opened to the public in 1883 after nearly 14 years of construction. The 1.3 mile-long bridge spans the East River of New York City. T he special meeting of the Benton Area School board scheduled for tonight at 7 PM has been canceled.
May 25, the birthday of Brenda Conrad. On this day in 1927, the Ford Motor Company announced that the Model T, known as the Tin Lizzie, would be discontinued and its replacement would be the Model A. The first Model T was manufactured in 1908 as an "inexpensive vehicle for the great multitude." It was produced on an assembly line and by 1918 half of all motor cars in the entire world were Tin Lizzies. And Ahooga to you, too! Brad Spangenberg will speak at The Center tonight on the topic of "Teaching in the One Room School." Mr. Spangenberg has written several essays on the topic based upon several years of research including many interviews with teachers from the northern part of Columbia County who spent their entire careers teaching our parents and grandparents in one-room schoolhouses. For an evening filled with history and a chance to bring your parents and grandparents for an evening of reminiscences, come to the Center on Wednesday evening at 7 PM. Admission is free. Wednesday will be sunny, but then prepare for thunderstorms through the Labor Day weekend.
Saturday night we watched as popular pitcher Cliff Lee threw eight innings against the team he led to the World Series last year as the Phillies beat the Texas Rangers, 2-0. The Pennsylvania team lost by the same score Sunday. Lefty Lee helped the Rangers get its first AL pennant last season. Lee simply was not happy with the Rangers and also didn't want the New York Yankees who came calling. He eventually signed a $120 million, five-year deal with the Phillies and immediately bought a condominium for a reported 4.5 million dollars on Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia. His new residence has floor to ceiling windows, 10 to 20 ft. ceilings and two terraces. His unit has over 4100 square feet of customizable space. There is a state of the art fitness center with sauna, massage rooms, pool, private boardroom and garden. Pretty fancy residence for only working a couple of times every other week.
The subject never was of much interest to me until brother Dayne found out that the southern approach to Benton was going to change at the borough line and that because of eminent domain the state was going to take the family home that Father and Mother and I had lived in and the home that Dayne and Ruth Kline and their five children occupied. The barnyard on the property would suddenly be too close to Route 487 to be safe to take cows in and out of the barn. Life on the farm came to an abrupt end. The power of eminent domain.
We all know of examples of eminent domain where for the "public good" government says what was yours will soon be theirs. The government gives you a "fair price" for what it acquires.
An easement across your property is often known as a "right-of-way" agreement. Easements for the purpose of transporting natural gas from Marcellus-drilling sites to transmission pipelines are currently a hot subject of conversation. A new easement that is signed is usually permanent, traditionally 50 feet wide, specific as to its use and prohibits the landowner from building or planting anything on it. Other easements follow existing right-of-ways along power lines or roads. Most landowners will take the money and run--to the bank. A few landowners are saying no to pipeline easements on their property. A detour around that landowner's land is then necessary--an inconvenience for the drilling company.
Until there is a contamination incident locally, everything will be fine. Landowners get their money from the gas leases and hope that well drilling takes place "down the road" rather than on their property. They point to the bucks that will roll in from royalties if drilling actually takes place. And most aren't overly concerned about the installation of "gathering lines" because landowners can simply decline.
Looming on the horizon for the past year was the possibility that pipeline-gathering companies could apply to be registered as a public utility by going to the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. Laser Marcellus Gathering Company, LLC (Laser Marcellus) did exactly that.
Intrastate gathering lines have not been subject to eminent domain. Transmission lines (interstate) utilize eminent domain. The taking of private land "for the public good" for gas-gathering lines from the wells to the transmission lines has up to this point not been a concern. Transmission lines carrying gas interstate have eminent domain going for them, but the gathering lines (intrastate) in Pennsylvania required negotiations with property owners.
Condemnation is the term used for the process of taking private property under the power of eminent domain. Government and utility companies have the right to take private property or have an easement on private property--so long as the taking is proven to be for the public's "greater good." The 5th ( protects against abuse of government authority in a legal procedure) and 14th Amendments ( No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws) of the U.S. Constitution kicks in here. Just compensation is due the landowner for losses of both property and damages caused.
The state Public Utility Commission by a 3-2 vote now says it will declare natural gas pipeline company Laser Northeast Gathering a public utility, giving it the power to condemn private property by eminent domain. The commission told Administrative Law Judge Susan D. Colwell to stick her recommendation to deny Laser's application for a "certificate of public convenience," which would grant utility status and the right to wield eminent domain. Expect a significant impact in the local area as lines begin crossing property owner's land in order to connect with the transmission pipeline North of Benton. This ruling is significant to parties requiring the service and to individuals who do not want their land uprooted by gas companies. This action is not a "done-deal" until Laser answers a couple of basic questions, but is not expected to have any problems in doing so. Additional information on this subject is available on the Laser website .
There is a bright side to all this. The Benton area is in the action of natural-gas drilling--but out of the action for getting benefits of the usage of natural gas. The gathering lines now being built could reshape the future of energy in our valley. As gathering lines are built to take the gas from the wells to the transmission line running East and West a few miles North of the borough, similar lines could follow parallel routes to provide natural gas to Benton and surrounding areas. In order to do that, a gas company would have to step up and see if there were enough customers to eventually provide natural gas to fuel our homes. That may be years in the future, but we suspect it will eventually happen.
With all the rain the area has been having, earthworms are everywhere and with the good supply of food comes the birds feeding their young ones. There is a video of a four-week period in the lives of a mother robin that quickly moves from her nest of four eggs through the time she becomes an "empty nester."Sandy Fritz is planning the activities for "Summer Dance Camp" at The Center. Camp for each age group will run Monday through Friday, 10:30-2. If you are not able to pick-up or drop off your student during these times, The Center has a very affordable day camp that your child may attend before and after dance camp. Camp dates for ages 5-8: June 20-24; ages 9-13: June 27- July 1. The session price is $90, which includes lunch. Call The Center at 925-0163 for more information.
Didja ever notice that most of what we worry about never actually happens?
Watching the devastation in Joplin, Missouri, from Sunday's tornadoes is horrible. While not directly related, we should all be prepared for rising insurance premiums. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. says it increased homeowners rates 7.3% on average in 18 states. Insurer Pure Risk Management raised premiums in Florida 11% this year. Fireman's Fund Insurance Co. increased premiums for some Pennsylvania homeowners by 33% last year. The increases come on the basis of the cost of rebuilding, not on the declining value of the structure. We are paying more to protect that which is worth less! Expect that premium increases will continue based on the number of natural disasters taking place. The Federal flood-insurance is running at an $18 billion deficit from Hurricane Katrina. Federal flood insurance is of questionable value locally, but is required if there is a mortgage on a property that is located in certain flood-prone areas. What you should not do is switch to a small, under-funded insurance company to save money. Some of these companies would not be able to withstand the disaster which occurred in Joplin Sunday.
Pennsylvania’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 7.5% in April. The national unemployment rate is at 9%.
The unusually wet, cold and long winter brought out cracks in highways and potholes in streets this spring. The front ends of cars are getting ripped apart. The spike in oil prices has raised the price of asphalt. New York state, for example, is paying $576 a ton for asphalt this spring, compared to $485 last year. The Maine Better Transportation Association has resorted to holding "Worst Roads in Maine" contests on Facebook. Steuben County in New York state and Calhoun County in Michigan are resorting to letting some of their asphalt roads revert to gravel roads. Benton's North Street has "speed-dips" galore and although repairs to these potholes are planned because of the continuing rainfall these repairs cannot be made until we have a spell of nice weather. The holes must be completely dry in order for the repairs to work. Cracks are appearing in route 487 and PennDot has no plans in the next three years to fix these cracks in the borough. PennDot in 1991 recast the main street in Benton and at that time paved from Route 487 to the approximate inside line of sidewalks. Benton's North Street had a huge speed-dip at Main Street, which should be PennDot's responsibility to repair. Now with money tight, PennDot seems to be saying that it is up to the local municipality to effect repairs in locations immediately adjoining roads under its responsibility. No funding was transferred to make repairs that previously was the state's responsibility. Resolution is underway. In the meantime, drive defensively and watch for potholes.A state Department of Environmental Protection study found no negative impact on short-term air quality for Marcellus Shale gas operations in Bradford, Lycoming, Sullivan and Tioga counties.
The state Department of Public Welfare Secretary announced that women in its department are not to wear open-toed shoes, but must wear panty hose. Men are required to wear suits and ties. I endured 31 years of that in Washington, D.C. during my working years. Now I own a suit in which to be buried and for those sad occasions when I am forced to attend a wedding or a funeral.Local finalists for the First Columbia Teen Star performance Sunday did very well. Millville freshman Keeyan Zimmerman came in second as he pounded away solo on his drums. Benton junior Leah Bergstrom sang "Stormy Weather and received high marks from the judges." James Stigerwalt, Benton, went solo on his bassoon with "Ode to a Toad." Benjamin Ikelerand Keeyan Zimmerman, Millville Area High School, made the finals. Benjamin Ikeler, Millville, did an original composition, "You Are My Home." First prize went to the Berwick area.
We all need to save a buck or two. On-line coupons are a way of doing that. A hint: check that your supermarket will accept downloaded internet coupons. Coupons.com offers as wide a range of coupons as does the Sunday paper. It is easy to browse and print. Simply enter your zip code. CouponCabin.com shows you its "most-used coupons" and "favorite deals" and provides a weekly email newsletter each Monday. CouponMom.com lists online-coupon codes, printout coupons and free samples. You can sign up for email alerts on sales at favorite retailers or on favorite items. You can buy discounted gift certificates for restaurants at this site.
May 20, 21 and 22, 2011. Keep Sherri and Robert Strachen in your prayers. They were involved in an accident on Route 118 in which two local people were killed. The next edition of the Benton News will be distributed during the day on May 23. Now it is off to a river ride on the Delaware and watch some Phillies baseball and generally take the weekend off.May 20, the birthday of Walt Dietz, Robyn Travelpiece Hack, Ed Vandergrift, Susan Janney, Lauren Marinos and Joe LaBonte. Beginning today and continuing through Sunday, if you can drive it or ride it, bring It! Live bands, parts vendors, food vendors, games and competitions every day, flea market, cruises. trophies, drawings, giveaways. On site camping. Friday and Saturday 9 AM to 10:30 PM. Sunday's events begin at 9 AM. Bloomsburg Fairgrounds, 620 West Third Street, Bloomsburg, 570-380. "Mystery Fyre" will be back in their hometown at The Lightstreet Hotel from 9 tonight. Kiri Hordnes will attend the National Youth Leadership Forum on Law and CSI. He is trying to raise some money and will sell discount cards at the First Columbia Bank, Benton, today from 2:30 to 4:30.
May 21 Today is Armed Forces Day and the birthday of Ruth Buckwalter, Colleen Bender, Chris Reimard and Darl Bender Haines. Dean and Laura Christian celebrate their wedding anniversary. The official start of summer is in 30 days. Farmer's market from 10 AM-1 PM at Forks Farm Market, 299 Covered Bridge Road, Orangeville, PA 17859, 683-5820. Eggs, cheese and pasture-raised meats and poultry. Fish Supper (honest to goodness this time), 3-7 PM at the Sugarloaf School Memorial Building, off Route 118, Grassmere. The Center is sponsoring a chartered bus trip to Baltimore's Inner Harbor in Baltimore. Today and Sunday is the KJRA Rodeo at the Benton Rodeo grounds.May 22, the birthday of Mark Fritz, Chris Sholley, Cindy Spangler, Patty Young, Britt Bartel, Hiram Brewer and Jenna Nicole Deitrick. It is the anniversary of Tim and Shelly Charles. The KJRA Rodeo finishes up today at the Benton Rodeo grounds. The Orangeville Fire Co. holds a basket bingo at the firehall. Doors open at 12:30 and games begin at 2 PM. The Benton Volunteer Firemen's Breakfast, from 7 AM. At the firehall, 150 Colley Street, Benton. A tribute for veterans will be held Sunday at 10:45 AM at Hamline Church Fellowship to honor all veterans at a church service and a special luncheon. Please RSVP by calling 925-2601. The Memorial Day service takes place at the Benton United Methodist Church. Light refreshments will be available. Finalists for the First Columbia Teen Star musical event at 2 PM on Sunday at Haas Auditorium on the campus of Bloomsburg University includes Leah Bergstrom and James Steigerwalt of the Benton Area Schools and Benjamin Ikeler and Keeyan Zimmerman of the Millville Area High School. As far as weather is concerned, this will be the best day from Friday through Monday.The Northern Columbia Community & Cultural Center is a featured player on YouTube thanks to Megan DePoe's video posted at www.youtube.com/watch?v=DR2FNk8FRPA (You may have to cut and paste).
Auditions for "To Gillian on her 37th Birthday" will be held at The Center on June 26 from 5-7 PM and June 27 from 6-8 PM. Director Kevin Hickman needs two teenage girls, three women and two men. Audition scripts can be picked up at the desk later this week.
Sandy Lehet did not have her knee surgery Monday as planned. Sandy was "totally prepared to go through the big double doors," and doctors decided to do an injection for pain which would last approximately 15 hours." Somehow, they missed the vein and the injection went directly into her blood and caused seizures. Sandy passed out, but revived after shots were administered. The doctor would not then do the surgery. Other doctors are being consulted to determine the exact cause of the seizures. Hopefully, the "double doors" will swing open soon.
You may not have heard of Gilt Taste, but it is an online market with direct access to artisan products and ingredients that are generally only available to professional chefs. The on-line magazine provides direct access to farmers and artisans who make and grow the products, discover where food comes from, learn how to prepare it for the best results and buy it. The site has original recipes, stories and contributions from chefs, photographers, filmmakers and tastemakers. The current edition includes an article, www.gilttaste.com/stories/327 , entitled "What Will Fracking Do to Your Food Supply?" The thrust of the article is that fracking is tainting water. Your food might be next.
Today's "How Did They Do That?" segment is available here . The 3-D light show was projected on the face of a building in Portugal. The lighting engineers who developed the show and technology are under age 25.
Max Hartman told me about a program that detects and installs missing security patches for your PeeCee. It is the Personal Software Inspector (PSI) 2.0 or "Secunia PSI." The Secunia PSI is a free security tool designed to detect vulnerable and out-dated programs and plug-ins which expose your PC to attacks. Attacks exploiting vulnerable programs and plug-ins are rarely blocked by traditional anti-virus and are therefore increasingly "popular" among criminals. After trying the program, I agree with Max. This is a program your computer probably should have. Download it here.
Simply Sullivan County is a new Morris Press Cook Book release compiled by Connie Hatch, Forksville. Recipes are from many Sullivan County residents, old and new, flatlanders and ridgerunners alike. For more information on how to order, contact Connie via email at wbsc62AThotmail.com. Please indicate "cook book" in the subject of your email. The cook book is soft cover with wire binding so pages can lay flat on counter or book prop or fold easily. The cookbook is $10.
Didja see where 513 undocumented migrants from Latin America, Japan, China, India and Nepal were crammed into two trucks bound for the United States? Police found the migrants in inhuman conditions in the southeastern state of Chiapas, near the Guatemalan border. Police stopped the trucks, carrying 240 and 273 people after they accelerated through a vehicle scanner at a police checkpoint.
Calling it "big news," state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary Michael Krancer announced Tuesday in Troy the DEP's fine to Chesapeake Energy of $1,088,000 for violations related to natural gas drilling activities in Pennsylvania, $900,000 of which is for violations in Bradford County.
There have been many versions of how Lopez acquired its name, but they all come back to a man by the name of John R Lopez (sometimes spelled Lopaz) who lived in the area during the construction of the Susquehanna & Tioga Turnpike. Without dignifying other versions, the Sullivan Review in its edition of December 1, 1887, notes that Lopez was a laborer for the construction company and with his wife moved as the road building slowly progressed. Mrs. Lopez ran boarding houses for the workers. At what is now known as Lopez Hill, Lopez attempted to disarm a blasting cap that had been placed in a large rock. The charge suddenly detonated and he and the rock were thrown backwards. The location of the blast became known as "Lopez rock" or "Lopez Hill." The town name was "Tar Bridge," a town of about 1,000 people, and in 1889 the name "Lopez" was adopted in lieu of "Tar Bridge." The village of Lopez took its name from the Lopez creek.As the population increased thanks to the "Berwick Turnpike," company stores sprung up financed by the Trexel & Turrell Lumber Company and by Jennings. There was a clothespin factory, a silk mill, the Chesonis Hotel (which some readers will know as the former Grid Iron Hotel). There were two barber shops and both a general and a hardware store, a theatre, a saw mill and a kindling-wood factory. You could play pool in the pool hall or eat ice cream in the ice cream store., there were at least two hotels, a barber shop and a drug store. There were Greek and Russian churches.To learn more about the village of Lopez, pay a visit to the Sullivan County Historical Society and Museum, Meylert Street, Laporte. Call 946-5020 or 924-3027 for an appointment or email email@example.com. Summer hours begin June 2: Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 1 to 5 PM.Didja know that the USA has created as much national debt for our country in the last 7 years as we created in our country’s history up to 7 years ago. As of April 30, 2004, the total debt of the US government was $7.13 trillion. As of April 30, 2011, the total debt of the US government was $14.29 trillion.
May 18 & 19, 2011. With gas prices at $3.699 within 15 miles of Benton, be assured that you can get gas with no waiting at either of the Benton gas stations as long as you are willing to pay the premium that the local stations are charging. There will be a special meeting of the school board of the Benton Area Schools at 7 PM May 24 to discuss budget issues. Keep Sherri and Robert Strachen in your prayers. They were involved in an accident on Route 118 in which two local people were killed.May 18, the birthday of Ronnie McHenry, Cecile Davis and Jill R Kupsky. It is the wedding anniversary of Don and Betty Miller and Jeff and Brenda Hubler. The local Red Hats meet at the Sub Shop at 2 PM.
May 19, the birthday of Bob Milnarik, Joyce Letteer, Michelle Lee Faux, Marvin LeValley, Christopher Kile, Paul Newhart and RoseAnn Marie Sirolli.Voters Tuesday cast ballots to determine the candidates in November for municipal, school board and judicial elections. On the statewide level there is one vacancy on the Superior Court and one vacancy on the Commonwealth Court to be filled. Some voters were turned away from local polling places because as "Independents" they could not cast their ballots for either Republicans or Democrats. This really is a two-party nation! Results of the May 17 primary election results will be displayed at www.columbiapa.org/voter/results.php .
Fans of American Idol will love the show Thursday, May 19, when Italian teenagers Piero Barone, 17, Ignazio Boschetto, 16, and Gianluca Ginoble, 16--the singing group Il Volo--will perform. Their newest album was released Tuesday. The three have incredible voices which they proved on Italian television when they sang "O Sole Mio," www.youtube.com/watch?v=lw3c5d3aBSE&feature . They will appear on CBS Early Show's Second Cup Cafe on Saturday, May 21. Today's beautiful music segment on the Benton News comes from Il Volo. Watch, listen and enjoy at www.interscope.com/artist/player/default.aspx?meid=6314&aid=1200 .
The L.R. Appleman Elementary School is holding its annual May Day at 1 this afternoon with the theme "The Beatles." Lee Remley, who predates the Beatles by a number of years, recently reminisced about winding the May pole many years ago, but his memories were most vivid about a game that he and his fellow male classmates played during the "down time" of the activities. What the boys of that era did on school grounds would be a "no-no" in today's world and would lead to immediate expulsion.Many simple games were popular in Benton over the years. We vaulted, we jumped, we ran. The most popular game at the school house on Market Street, a school which predated the present location on Park Street, was "Red Rover." The sport involved throwing a ball over the roof of the school to friends on the other side. Girls liked to "jump rope." Finding a horse chestnut tree provided lots of opportunity for play. Some played marbles. We built rafts from scrap lumber to float on Fishing Creek and nested the lumber on inflated truck innertubes. We fished for suckers, played with our BB guns and our Lightening Guiders, ran through sprinklers, built tree houses and had secret clubhouses that in size and cleanliness resembled dog houses. We communicated in "Pig Latin," had secret oaths and passwords, did everything we could think of to keep girls out of our secret locations until we got old enough to realize that this wasn't where the fun was.The game the boys played to pass the time, back when knives were as common in schools as baseball caps, bubblegum and sneakers, was called "Mumblypeg," a game usually played with others and almost always with a minimum of adult supervision. As I remember the game, a boy would throw his Scout knife down to see if it would stick straight up when the awl blade lodged in the ground. Some of the "farm boys" had special knives that always seemed to land "blade down" and sometimes these smart alecs would throw their knife over their shoulder to see if it would land blade down. Some boys flipped their knives off their shoulder, some off their elbows and some off their wrists.There were multiple variations of the game, including tossing the knife near another boy's feet, but stories of close calls threw a wet rag on that activity. "Spank the Baby" was a variation of the game. In that game, the knife went in the left hand with the blade pointing toward the right hand. The blade was smacked with the index finger of the right hand so it flipped up and over. Another variation was "Johnny Jump the Fence," where the knife was stuck in the ground to begin (this was the "Johnny" part). You put your left hand down on the ground; that was the fence. To make Johnny jump the fence you hit the knife handle with the same two fingers you used to Spank the Baby. The knife flew up in the air, (hopefully) over your hand and into the ground. Johnny had jumped the fence. This is how we "did nothing all alone by ourselves with nobody around."A version of mumblypeg, which I actually never played, required a matchstick to be stuck in the ground--or as one reader played the game, in the floor of a chicken coup. If the tossed knife ended blade down, you could tap the matchstick into the ground. The person getting the knife to land correctly the least number of times had to dig the peg out of the ground with his teeth. The person losing would lightly tap the match stick. The person who was ahead pushed the match as far as possible into the ground. The name of the game, so I have been told, came from the mumbling of the loser as he tried to get the match or peg out of the ground with his teeth.The only version I actually played had a single flip from my fingertip, then from my elbow and then my shoulder on one side moving to the shoulder on the other side, etc. The first to go "round the world" won. If we missed a single flip, we had to start over.You couldn't be a boy "back in the day" without having your own knife. We carved wood, we cleaned catfish, gutted trout, dug in the ground for fish worms, used them to eat food at campfires and later at night used them for protection when we slept overnight in the woods. We used a knife to shave for the first time when we discovered that certain parts of our body was growing hair.Out in the orchard'Neath the apple trees,Plucking scrumptious fruit,Fighting off the bees,Lolling in the grass,Tumbling in the hay,A boy's life is a pleasureOn a summer's day.Driving cows to pasture,Feeding little "peeps,"Playing mumbly peg,But not playing for keeps,Swimming in West Creek,Out of the way of harm,On hot days it's niceTo be back home on the farm.
The Sullivan County Council on the Arts will present Diamonds and Coal at 2 PM for its fifth production at the Roving Historical Theater at St. Francis Hall, Route. 487, Mildred. Diamonds and Coal is an original play celebrating the glory days of mining and baseball in the Bernice-Mildred area of Sullivan County. The mountain community was the scene of a prolonged and bitter contest between capital and labor. On one side was the State Line and Sullivan Railroad Company which first reached the town in 1871 and operated the Bernice coal mines. On the other side were 300 men employed in the mines. As time went on, bitterness on both sides grew until the superintendent of the mines needed a guard of special officers to protect him from threatened violence, while each day the miners and their families braced expecting to be evicted from their homes by the sheriff at the command of the company. Bernice had only one industry--the mines. The town was practically owned by the state Line and Sullivan Railroad Company. If that industry shut down, all business in the town would be paralyzed. Somehow the town continued to grow through World War I, supplying a unique grade of semi-anthracite coal to heat homes throughout the northeastern United States. Output fell from its peak following the war, but the mines continued to produce at varying levels during the depression and into the 1950s.
During much the same period, the semi-pro Ber-Mil baseball team--known as the "Reds"--ruled as a sports tiger of the Northern Tier, producing a team feared inside and outside its local league–-even going undefeated in 1946. The team played teams like the "Temperance Team, Brookside and the Lopez Giants,
Diamonds and Coal highlights not only the railroads, the mines and baseball, but the overall history of a community that rose from almost nothing to a peak population of approximately 1,200. The play documents the miners at work and at home, the illegal speakeasies of Prohibition, a rousing battle between rival railroad gangs, and the ravages of the dreaded Spanish Flu of 1918–-the most deadly epidemic in human history.
The Roving Theater is unique in its dedication to bringing alive the history and industries of individual communities in Sullivan County. Each play covers a specific community and is held in that community. Over the past four years it has highlighted the founding of the county at Laporte, the lumbering industry of Hillsgrove, the mercantile background of Dushore, and the Quaker roots and farming base of Elkland and Fox Townships.
The production will be held at 7 PM on June 4 and 10, and 2 PM on June 5. Tickets are $7 in advance for adults, $8 at the door, $1 for students and free for pre-schoolers. For more information on this and other Arts Council programs, visit www.sullivanarts.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 570 928-8927.
Tina M. Crist (February 19, 1985-May 15, 2011), Jonestown, died Sunday as the result of injuries sustained in a motor-vehicle accident on state route 118 in Fairmount Township, Luzerne County. Two people were killed and two seriously injured in the accident near the entrance to Ricketts Glen State Park. Tina was 26.
Tina was born in the Berwick Hospital. She was a daughter of Clayton W. and Rita C. (Naugle) Crist, Jonestown. Tina was a graduate of Benton High School and Allied Medical School, Forty-Fort. She worked in the health-care field and provided in-home care for area residents.
She enjoyed spending time outdoors and especially loved fishing and camping. She also enjoyed doing crafts, scrap books and collages. The joy of her life, however, was the time that she spent with her daughter, Ashlyn Rose Houseweart. Surviving, in addition to her parents are her daughter and her maternal grandmother, Emily Naugle, Jonestown.
A visitation will be held Thursday from 11 until noon at the McMichael Funeral Home. Graveside services will be held Thursday afternoon at 1 at the Maple Grove Cemetery, Pikes Creek. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent to First Columbia Bank and Trust Co., Benton, PA 17814 for a fund to be set up for her daughter, Ashlyn Rose Houseweart. For online condolences, visit www.mcmichaelfuneralhome.com .
Joseph E. "Gumba" Reabuck II (October 29, 1982-May 15, 2011), Stillwater, died Sunday from injuries sustained in a motor-vehicle accident on state route 118 in Fairmount Township, Luzerne County. Two people were killed and two seriously injured in the accident near the entrance to Ricketts Glen State Park. Joe was 28. He was born at the Bloomsburg Hospital. He was a son of Joseph E. Reabuck and Yvonne C. Kingsbury, Stillwater. Joe attended Benton High School. He worked as a mason and was employed by Roger Young, Derrs. He previously was employed by Karschner's Tree Farm.
Surviving, in addition to his parents, are his step-mother, Susan (Janney) Reabuck; brothers Jorden N. Reabuck, Mifflinville; Thomas E. Reabuck (B. J.), Benton; Timothy E. Reabuck, Benton; his maternal grandmother, Beverly Kingsbury, Hagerstown, Maryland, and by nieces and nephews Kayla, Tyler, Jake, Alex and Ashley.
Private services will be held at the convenience of the family. Arrangements are under the direction of the McMichael Funeral Home. For online condolences, visit www.mcmichaelfuneralhome.com .
May 16 & 17, 2011. Lee Remley reported that .62 inches of rain fell in the borough Sunday. The upcoming forecast is for thunderstorms, rain and showers.May 16, the birthday of Jeri Bandell, Ron Strauch (his 70th), Cecile Steiner Martin, Marlene Harvey, Ethel Horne and Harold Hess. Harold is 95. Keep Sandy Lehet in your prayers today as she goes through a knee replacement.May 17, the birthday of Tina Posey, Franklin Newhart, Emily Terri Marie Notestein and the wedding anniversary of Robyn and Dean Hack. With our rainy weather, it will be hard to see, but tonight is the "Full Flower Moon," named in honor of the flowers that are now appearing. Some Algonquin tribes called this full moon the Corn Planting Moon or the Milk Moon.Tuesday is primary election day, the day to cast your ballots. Didja know that "ballot" means "a little ball?" The word had its origins in the days of the Greeks and the Romans when secret societies "balloted" by using black and white balls dropped into a "ballot" box. The white was used for the good guys; the black showed rejection. The word "bullet" has the same origin--and much more severe consequences.The race to replace retiring District Judge Ola Stackhouse has given rise to more signs along our highways than spring flowers. Candidates include Judge Stackhouse's former office manager, Wanda L. Allegar (R), and land surveyor and construction manager, Jim Wood (R). From the business world comes Doug Brewer (R) and Jim Klinger (R), former owner of Fireside Video, Benton. Jeremy Reese (R) is a Life Flight dispatcher for Geisinger Medical Center and a Millville school director. Bill Beitz (R) is a Montour County deputy sheriff and John Flick (D), superintendent of horse racing at the Bloomsburg Fair, is an attorney who serves as an arbitrator. The race is important in the upper Fishing Creek valley because the judge has jurisdiction over our entire area in matters of small claims, landlord-tenant disputes, traffic cases and minor criminal matters. Democrats and Republicans will each pick one nominee who will then duke it out in November for the seat. Judge Stackhouse served 18 years but must step down as she reaches the mandatory retirement age of 70.
You can look at sample ballots as follows:
• Republican ballots for all districts: www.columbiapa.org/voter/11PPACOLREP.pdf
• Democratic ballots for all districts: www.columbiapa.org/voter/11PPACOLDEM.pdf
Results of the May 17 Primary Election will be available at www.columbiapa.org/voter/results.php .
Doug and Roxann Deitrick have great news to share. Their son, Zachary, graduated from Pennsylvania Collage of Technology Saturday with a 4.0 average for the semester in his field of business and HR. Doug's younger brother, Rod Deitrick, and Zac's grandfather, Richard Boyer, were able to be present for the happy occasion. Doug's daughter, Dr. Danielle Deitrick, is "saving lives every day in her profession." Brother Rod Deitrick is looking after our country's security. Zac will soon be heading out anxious to be a successful business person. Doug said he felt "truly blessed" as a pancreatic cancer survivor for more than five years. "Being able to witness these successes are truly a blessing to me. I am a thankful man."
If you did not receive an invitation to the alumni banquet, the school probably does not have your current address. Email me and I'll get it to the right people.
In June 1995, Dean Kriner donated microfilm and bound copies of the Argus to the custodial care of the Columbia County Historical & Genealogical Society. The extensive collection covered the years 1910 to 1969. Dean made the newspaper available to the public as a memorial to the Percey Brewington family, owner and publisher, and Martin Appleman, a long-time employee of the newspaper. This collection is an important resource of Columbia County history. The collection is housed at 225 Market Street, Bloomsburg. The phone number of the society is 784-1600.
Sunday morning I noticed that Rodney Pennington walked with his head about five inches in front of his body and tilted toward the ground as if he had spent much of life lifting milk cans from a milk cooler. I casually told Rod that he was "stove up," a term Father often used following his long hours on the farm, riding in the car from delivering mail on R.D. 3 and from shoveling sand and gravel from the "gravel bars" we had on the farm. Rod's son, Doug, didn't understand the term "stove up." Someone else said that was understandable because "stove up" isn't in the dictionary.
Going to the dictionary will never teach anyone the true meaning of "stove up." Riding a horse, walking the trail at Ricketts Glen or tilling the garden will teach the true meaning of the term. Heck, there are lots of things that aren't in the dictionary. You wouldn't look in the dictionary to learn the meaning of "Firebelch 500." There isn't any point in putting a term like that in the dictionary when everyone knows what it means before it is looked up. One fellow did try to look it the term on his smartphone, but got a lot of gobblygoop; i.e., "Infinitif, to stave. Prétérit, stove. Participe passé, stove. Participe présent (et gérondif)." We didn't spend any more time looking up the term on the internet. Webster would have been much better. When Webster defines something, you don't have to look up the meaning of ten other long words.
The discussion of "stove up" then turned to contributions from people who were long on theory, but short on actual experience. "Stove up" ranks right up there with precise American sayings like "done up" and "jiggered up," "pooped, "shot," and "done to a frazzle."
People who are "done up" or "worn to a frazzle" are worn out. People who "cork out" sneak out for a five-minute nap in the middle of the day, even if they haven't done any work to warrant the nap. "Flaking out" is "corking out" as done on a boat. Again, these terms are so understandable that there isn't any need to include them in a dictionary. And the same with someone who is "stove up," a person who just "crips" around.
The next step past being "stove up" is having no teeth so that the chin and the end of the nose meet. Usually the eyes have gone by this time, so squinting when working into a glare is common. Hair will be all but nonexistent by this time. A favorite expression is "Whatdidja say?"
May 15, the 135th day of 2011, and the birthday of Cheryl Kelsey, Charles Dewey Harris, Donna Sutton Deeter, Lorraine Feola and Shawn Barrett. The official start of summer is in 37 days. Do you like rain? You are in the right part of the world for most of the coming week.Two weeks ago, the space shuttle Endeavour's launch was postponed due to electrical problems. Monday morning it is finally a go! Mark Kelly commands the Endeavour's final mission. The astronauts will deliver a $2 billion particle physics detector and conduct four space walks.
Army engineers slowly opened the gates Saturday of the 4,000 foot-long Morganza spillway to divert water from the Mississippi River around Baton Rouge and New Orleans by flooding the Atchafalaya River, basin and swamp. Floodwater began rising around homes and farms owned by about 25,000 people. Opening the spillway could submerge about 3,000 square miles under as much as 25 feet of water in some areas. Can you picture water 25 feet deep submerging the Fishing Creek Valley? The water is expected to flow 20 miles south, through Morgan City and eventually into the Gulf of Mexico. Columbia County farmers are working 24/7 to get their crops in the water-drenched ground. Think of the unfortunate farmers in Alabama who will have water covering their houses, barns and fields for the next two or three weeks.Richard Sutliff pointed out the ditty played on the Grand Ole Opry Friday night,"When They Operated On My Daddy, They Opened My Momma's Male." This could become as popular as the timeless "Drop Kick Me Jesus Through the Goalposts of Life."
First Columbia's Online Banking will not be available on Monday, May 16, from approximately 12:01 AM until 7 PM. The system will be down for scheduled maintenance.
The 81st Millville Fire Company Carnival runs from July 1-9. Food includes the famous caramel corn, French fries, cheese steaks, cotton candy, hot sausage, hamburgers, hot dogs, popcorn, peanuts, sno cones, ice tea, ham sandwiches, clam chowder, wings, chicken sandwiches, Nachos, rib sandwiches, ham and bean soup, ice cream, pizza and ice-cold Catawissa Sparkling Beverages. Shuttle bus service is available nightly from the parking lot at Woolcock Oil. The daily schedule for the carnival is shown on the Upcoming Events page of the Benton News.
In 2005, a bluegrass group known as "Cherryholmes" was a headliner at the O.A.T.S. Festival in Benton over the July 4th weekend. "Cherryholmes" (the group) has officially disbanded as of May 7. The young musicians in the group can now follow their own dreams and goals for the future. We want to add to the chorus of voices who wish Jere and Sandy Cherryholmes and the entire Cherryholmes family the best there is in the coming years.
The snowbirds are mostly back, including the feathered ones. Ever wonder about their spring migration maps that show the winter range, the migratory path, and the dates when you might expect to see the first arrivals in your area. Go here to see arrival dates in your area.
Susan Sedlins, Plymouth MN, and her two sisters are coming to the Benton area, probably May 16-17. The three trace back to families with familiar names like Kent, Stiles, Albertson and McHenry. Susan's grandfather was Melvin Boyd Stiles, son of Russell Boyd Stiles, a man born in the Benton area, grandson of Josiah Stiles and Beulah Albertson, and great grandson of John Stiles and Martha McHenry. Russell's second wife was Rhoda Ikeler whose mother was a Laubach. The interest of the three is in their great grandparents Josiah Stiles and Beulah Albertson Stiles.
Susan's younger sister, Barbara Dewey, is the Dean of Libraries for Penn State University. Susan and her older sister, Ann Dobon, are retired teachers. The women will spend some time in Benton, spend time with cousin Ann Sutliff Ganshaw, Mifflinburg, and do research at the Columbia County Historical and Genealogical Society. They are particurly interested in the "Stiles house" on Cemetery Hill, now the home of Mr. and Mrs. Joe Goode. Mr. Goode has promised them a tour of the historic house. Professor George Turner will also spend time with them.
Susan's mother, Barbara Stiles Kent, 90, is in very good health. She is the motivation for continuing research on the Stiles family. When Beulah, and later Josiah, died in the mid 1860s their seven children went their separate ways. Barbara knew her great grandfather, Russell Boyd Stiles, and his second wife, Margaret Ikeler, but not any of his brothers and sisters. The "Fishing Creek Confederacy" controversy could have played a big part in the Stiles "exodus" from Benton. Richard Stiles, brother of Josiah Stiles, was the local enlistment officer for the Union Army and Susan suspects that he could be "the one who started the whole incident." Richard eventually moved to Bloomsburg, then Philadelphia and finally to Delaware County. He returned to Benton in 1885 to visit a son and got attacked by two men who tried to "tar and feather" him until he was rescued by Lloyd Freas who happened along.
Josiah Stiles returned to Benton after the Civil War in 1866. His wife, Beulah, had died and he died soon after returning home, leaving his children as orphans. Susan's great grandfather, Russell Boyd, was sent to the orphanage at Orangeville. He eventually left Pennsylvania and ended up in Iowa. His son, Melvin Boyd Stiles, was Susan's grandfather. Susan recalls that Melvin "often used odd phrases, like "Ach Du lieber!" This term literally means "O thou dear" as in "Ach Du lieber Augustin." It often indicates that the speaker begins to declare an oath, as in swearing about some circumstance.
To best understand who Stiles was, revisit the article entitled "William Appleman's Petition to Congress" by Professor George Turner.
Hiram Everitt, a lumber dealer born in Northampton county, one of 16 children of James and Mary Everitt, became a large land owner in the Benton area. He was reared on a farm outside Orangeville. He was a carpenter until he became a store keeper and later got into the lumber business. A Borough street was named in his honor. He married Hannah Stiles in 1854 and together they had seven children. Mr. Everitt was drafted in the $300 draft during the Civil War. He was arrested at his home on the night of August 24, 1864, during what is now often referred to as the "Fishingcreek Confederacy," held for four months at Bomb Proof No. 3 in Fort Mifflin and was discharged without ever being told the reason for his confinement. After his wife died, he married a daughter of Benjamin McHenry and had a daughter, Tressie.
Many readers will remember the Baker & Baker building on the east side of Main Street just north of the town square. The building occupied a combination of several buildings and land that included the former Pennington & Sealy store building. The land was the former site of the home of Mrs. Oliver Hess and the J. J. Stubbs Hotel which stood on the site until 1860. The Stiles Hotel was once located where Pennington and Seely built their store. When the store building was built, the Stiles Hotel building was moved back of this store. The former hotel was a two-story budding which was connected to the store.
Charles W. Hess moved to Benton in 1909 and bought the meat market of Henry Unbewust which was in a building on the square which at that time housed the offices of the Benton Argus, a barber shop and a butcher shop. On the second floor of this building were the offices of the Congressman John G. McHenry. In the Benton fire of July 4, 1910, the building burned and as soon as possible after the fire, Mr. Hess built a meat market on what later became the site of the Baker and Baker Building.
When Susan last came to Benton, she found the grave of Josiah Stiles, and other family members on Cemetery Hill.
If any readers have any knowledge of the Stiles family, please let me know so I can pass the information to Susan and her sisters.
May 13 & 14, 2011. Expect seasonal weather and possible showers from tonight through Monday.• May 13, the birthday of Libby Lewis, Nancy McClure, Kathi Taylor, Bob Conner, Charles Wodrig, Paul Eric Gochenour and Sandra Baker Fritz. Karl and Mary Myers celebrate their wedding anniversary. Help finish building the new Bloomsburg Toddler Playground. Flexible shifts available from building to spreading mulch to feeding workers.• May 14, the birthday of Bryan Getz, Borough Maintenance Supervisor, Eugene Bardo, Jr., Starlett Grassley, Erin O'Handley, Chuck Wodrig and Jackie Davis. The Fairmount Springs United Methodist Church will hold a ham supper from 4 to 6:30 PM. The Orangeville Fire Company Car Show on Mill Street is from 10 to 3 with "Trophy Prizes," live DJ entertainment, food/ice cream, 50/50 drawing, $15 to register. All are welcome to come show off your vehicle. More information is available at 683-5076. Your Loving Choices crisis pregnancy center, Bloomsburg, is having its 20th year celebration at the Bloomsburg Town Park. This is a family-event fundraiser with refreshments, music and carnival activities for the kids. The walk through the park is two miles. Registration starts at 9 AM and at 9:30 the festivities begin. This is a rain or shine event. All participants receive a free water bottle. By supporting Your Loving Choices, lives are changed within our community by allowing the staff to reach out to women and men facing an unplanned pregnancy. There is an indoors yard sale at the Benton Assembly of God, Route 487, Stillwater, from 9 AM to 2 PM. There is a yard sale as you head South out of town sponsored by the Stillwater Christian Church.Today's music comes from the Library of Congress and its free "National Jukebox." The National Jukebox features more than 10,000 78rpm disc sides issued by the Victor Talking Machine Company between 1900 and 1925. Your computer can now function as a new Gramophone purchased for family and friends to enjoy in your home parlor. Audition popular recorded selections of the beginning of the 20th century years--band music, novelty tunes, humorous monologues, hits from the season's new musical theater productions, the latest dance rhythms and opera arias. Give it a whirl by going here.Didja know that more than 24 hours of content is being uploaded to YouTube every minute? Every 18 days, YouTube is sent enough video to fill every minute of a 70-year lifespan.Ticketing distracted drivers moves ever closer to passage. The state Senate Transportation Committee voted for S.B. 314, which would make distracted driving a secondary offense. Patrol officers would have to stop a driver for another offense, such as speeding or weaving across lanes, before issuing a distracted-driving citation under the proposal. The bill heads to the Senate for consideration.The news on ABC television about Congress holding hearings concerning sexual violence against Peace Corps volunteers raised the hair on the back of my neck. ABC maintains that "hundreds of female Peace Corps volunteers have been raped or sexually abused overseas." High-level representatives of the Peace Corps then blamed the victims for what happened and forced them to quit. What is happening to our country? The government steps up to help rehabilitate evil doers, but offers the victims a hard time. We have sympathy for a woman whose two-year old daughter goes missing and the mother not only doesn't report it for a month, but spends her nights in nightclubs. Those of us who work hard get our money taken to give to those who don't want to work. We encourage the lazy to stay lazy. We define how we interpret the Constitution to make something work for us. We send 28,000 troops to patrol the 38th parallel from incursions from the North Koreans, but can't close the border to keep Mexicans from illegally entering our own country. The U.S. has about 47,000 troops in Japan, a country with which we have cordial relations. We aren't allowed to use the word "God" in the classroom, where open discussions of homosexualilty are permitted. We have vigils for mass murderers who face the death penalty, but abortion clinics abound. We pawn our kids off to television, Ritalin and video games. We take out mortgages we can't afford on houses that are overpriced from lending institutions that immediately sell the mortgage to a company that could care less about our welfare to be overseen by a government that encouraged all of the foregoing. We think that as an American we are guaranteed material wealth and happiness, forgetting that it is the "right of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" which is guaranteed. We want outrageous pay and benefits. And what is with these gas prices where a local station went from $3.929 to $4.099 to $3.999 in two days? Where is this country headed? What is happening to our country? As Mother used to say, "What is becoming of us?"Someone asked how the MerleFest went this year. More than 90 artists played bluegrass and blues, gospel, country and Americana on 14 stages. Doc and Richard Watson were there, along with The Kruger Brothers, Randy Travis, The Doobie Brothers, Lyle Lovett, Zac Brown Band, Robert Plant and Band of Joy, John Hartford String Band, Nashville Bluegrass Band, Tim O'Brien, Sam Bush, Tony Rice, Peter Rowan, Cadillac Sky, Balsam Range, Sarah Jarosz, Crooked Still, Sonny Landreth, Jerry Douglas, Alison Brown Quartet with Stuart Duncan, Del McCoury Band, Tut Taylor, Scythian, The Emmitt-Nershi Band, The Wailin' Jennys, Roy Book Binder and many more. The festival promoted "traditional-plus" music--one of Doc Watson's terms. The festival also featured heritage-crafts demonstrations, instrument-picking lessons and jam sessions, dancing, instrument contests, music education workshops, and the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest. On Thursday of MerleFest, more than 20 of the artists at MerleFest gave performances at local schools. On Friday morning, 3,200 school children from Wilkes and surrounding counties attended the festival and flooded the event ground much as local children do for the Bloomsburg Fair. Like the success of the Northern Columbia Community & Cultural Center, an estimated 4,000 volunteers help at the MerleFest. Please join us for next year's twenty-fifth anniversary of the MerleFest April 26-29, 2012.
The primary election takes place May 17. You can look at sample ballots as follows:
• Republican ballots for all districts: www.columbiapa.org/voter/11PPACOLREP.pdf
• Democratic ballots for all districts: www.columbiapa.org/voter/11PPACOLDEM.pdf
Sign up for the Fishing Creek Players acting workshops this summer. There is a class for kids and one for adults. Check www.fishingcreekplayers.com to sign up. Places are limited.The annual McHenry reunion will be on Sunday, July 24, at 1 PM at the Benton Fire Hall. Vinniedee Hippensteel continues her work in updating the McHenry family history. She would appreciate any information regarding the McHenry family. Please call her at 752-7467.
Didja ever think that politics is nothing more than listening to a constituent with money or influence, applying the answer supplied by the constituent and coming up with the wrong remedy for the general population? The political process is now working its magic in our Commonwealth as the legislative-redistricting process redraws the boundaries for state Senate and state House districts to reflect population changes over the past decade as measured by the federal census. There is a five-member state Legislative Reapportionment Commission to redraw the cockamamie legislative districts we now have. States have to redraw legislative lines every 10 years to reflect population changes reported in the federal census, the latest being the 2010 census. The LRC consists of three members from Allegheny County (think Pittsburgh; a county with a population of 1,223,348), one from Chester County (the county with the highest-income in Pennsylvania; a population of 498,894). A Superior Court Justice serves as chairman--a man who never ran for office, was appointed to both the bench and the commission. His salary is $9,450 a month. The constitution requires that the chair of the LRC be a citizen of Pennsylvania who does not hold a local, state or federal office to which compensation is attached. All those who think these guys will straighten out the legislative redistricting in our area, please raise your right hand.The goal of the blood drive for May 11 at The Center was 55 units and 60 was attained. It was another successful blood drive put on by the Benton Lions, the Benton Women's Club and The Center.
Didja know that in 1947 the Kozy Korner Restaurant also operated as a lending library? Roy McHenry was the proprietor at the time.
There will be a tour and demonstration of the Swedish Bucket Lime Sand Doser from 10 AM to noon on May 17. Meet at the Game Commission Gate (directions below) and hike ¼ mile to demonstration site. As part of Fishing Creek Watershed Association’s ongoing effort to restore the East Branch of Fishing Creek, the Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC) is working with Lime Doser Consulting to install a Swedish bucket limestone sand doser in the headwaters. Three water monitoring sondes have already been placed by SRBC to collect data. On May 16, the sand doser will be installed for a trial period to evaluate its effectiveness in improving the water quality. Lime Doser Consulting is providing this equipment free of charge for the trial period. Four-wheel drive is strongly recommended. From Elk Grove, go five miles to right on Cherry Ridge Road. Travel another 5 miles and take a right on Grassy Hollow Road. PGC parking lot 3/4 mile down Grassy Hollow Road.
May 11 & 12, 2011. Expect mid to upper 80s through Saturday.May 11, the birthday of Steve Letteer, Janet Whiston, Cheryl Ostrowski Kass, Autumn Grenewich, Monica Morris and Karen McHenry. There is a Bible study today at 10 AM at the Waller United Methodist Church. The group is "journeying through Hebrews." A second Bible study today at 7 PM is at the Benton United Methodist Church, where the group is "journeying through Romans." If you are available, please attend. All are welcome. This afternoon until 7 is the Blood Drive at Community Center sponsored by the Benton Women's Club, the Benton Lions and the Northern Columbia Community & Cultural Center. The donation of blood is in memory of Rev. Vernon McDormand. The sixth annual Bloomsburg Fire Department Carnival begins tonight at 6 and continues through Saturday. There is a chicken BBQ today at 6 PM. Bloomsburg Fire Department, 911 Market Street, Bloomsburg. Eileen Chapman, retired Marine Corps lawyer, will speak at The Center tonight at 7 PM on the history of AGAPE--a local charity that she founded. AGAPE serves a variety of needs in the area. It helps addicted individuals by providing referrals to local and national resources; it also provides furniture and services to those who have suffered fire loss. Come and hear her story about how she chose to found a charity and give back to the community after serving 30 years as a military lawyer. The lecture is free and open to the public.
May 12, the 48th birthday of Daniel W. Mitchell, "who claims Waller as his hometown on Facebook." It is also the birthday of James Kaminski, Jack Schupp, Carolyn Watson, Patti Malhoyt, Ron Kelsey and baseball player Yogi Berra. It is the wedding anniversary of Bill & Barbara Repko. The Benton Rodeo Association's annual meeting will begin with dinner at 6:30 PM and the meeting will follow. Anthony Brooks, the executive director of the Luzerne County Historical Society will speak on "Brothers from Wyoming Valley Fighting on Opposite Sides of the Civil War" at the Wyoming Valley Civil War Round Table at 7 PM. The meeting is held in the lower level of the Daddow-Isaacs American Legion, 730 Memorial Highway, Dallas.
We are having a pop quiz today, only for Pennsylvania residents. Readers who are not from our Commonwealth may flunk the quiz and are exempt from the test. Here it is. The music at www.youtube.com/watch?v=I9U98trV80s (you may have to cut and paste this link into your browser) is the official Pennsylvania State Song. Listen to the music and name the title of the song written by Eddie Khoury and Ronnie Bonner and made the pride of Pennsylvania by Pennsylvania Statutes, Title 71. Answer at end.There was a stampede for gas Tuesday afternoon in the borough as one gas station charged $3.92 for a gallon of unleaded, while the other gas station charged $4.09 for the same blend. One station sold record amounts of gasoline; the other sold virtually nothing. One Berwick station charged $3.89 and Larry Paul reported that one station yesterday in Nescopeck charged $3.75. At the southern end of the borough, there was a frenzy of activity as the Stillwater Christian Church set up a tent to house their huge garage sale planned for Saturday in front of the home of Bob and Margie Kline.There are some excellent auctions coming up, including the one by Letteer Bros Auction Company on May 15 at 112 Pine Street, Orangeville, which includes two volumes of Columbia/Montour Counties history, service for 6, Noritake china w/many support pieces, tools & ladders, 50s toys, craft and sewing items and furniture! A second auction by Letteer Brothers will take place May 22 at 6 Old Green Creek Road, Benton. This auction will feature a one-owner 2000 GMC Sierra extended cab 4x4 pickup with 25,000 miles; Massey Ferguson tractor; Cub Cadet HD 2544 lawn tractor; Agway 22 ton horizontal/vertical log splitter; Craftsman 7500 watt generator; Danuser hydraulic post pounder; Remington M722 in 222 w/Leupold 4x scope; Remington Nylon 66 w/Weaver scope; clean furniture and accessories! These and all upcoming auctions are available in greater detail on our upcoming events page.
Didja know that Pennsylvania is one of only eleven states that do not limit the amount of money that individuals can give to candidates? The natural gas industry gave $7,175,234 to Pennsylvania candidates and Political Action Committees (PACs) from 2000 through the end of 2010, according to a free download from MarcellusMoney.org .Here are the words and music to the Pennsylvania State Song, simply titled "Pennsylvania."Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania,
Mighty is your name,
Steeped in glory and tradition,
Object of acclaim,
Where brave men fought the foe of freedom,
'Til the bell of independence filled the countryside.Chorus
May your future be filled with honor everlasting as your history.Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania,
Blessed by God's own hand,
Birthplace of a mighty nation,
Keystone of the land.
Where first our country's flag unfolded,
Freedom to proclaim,
May the voices of tomorrow glorify your name.Chorus
May your future be filled with honor everlasting as your history.The song, "Pennsylvania", was presented to the Pennsylvania General Assembly in 1989 on House Bill 200 and adopted by the Pennsylvania General Assembly on November 19, 1990. Want to hear "Pennsylvania" with words? Go to www.youtube.com/watch?v=gtQo-clsP3U&NR=1 (You may have to cut and paste)
What led a man to drive an ancient panel truck 200 miles to die, shot through the chest, in the parking lot of Marilyn's Cafe? Sullivan County resident Derek Davis knows and tells all in his first novel, "Gifts of a Dead Man." Published by Star Publish, it unfolds a mystery surrounding a mystery. Who was this determined driver, where did he come from and why has his death brought a renewed sense of purpose to the inhabitants of a tiny Missouri town on the edge of Business I-44?
Meet Pete, the baritone, and Millie, the soprano, of The Heavenly Choir, eight times winner of the Habernine County Choral Contest, as they ride the back roads of Kansas and Oklahoma in search of answers. Meet Ben Maline, the amateur detective (and Marilyn's husband), paralyzed from the neck down, who directs their search. Meet the Grey Man, who recovers small, ingrown worlds from the holes he digs near his lean-to; Jasper, the world's most accomplished short-order cook; alcoholic FBI agent Philbrick; guilt-wracked trucker Big Dave Westerphal; Walter Thunderclap, Native American shaman; The Spirit, who wanders in from Will Eisner's comics masterpiece; and others--many others.
Davis, originally from Philadelphia, is former editor of the alternative weekly now known as The Philadelphia Weekly. He has published more than 60 short stories and was commissioned to write a book-length history of the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He is presently collaborating on a screenplay with his daughter, Caitlin, working on a screenplay of his own and has two novels in progress.
You can order a copy of “Gifts of a Dead Man” online from Amazon or Barnes and Noble, or directly from the author, with a money order for $16.50 (which includes shipping and sales tax) to Derek Davis, PO Box 63, Dushore, PA 18614. For those with a Kindle, Nook, Sony or other electronic reading device, the ebook will soon be available for $4.99.
Linda Mae (Hinchcliffe) Hamilton (June 24, 1951-May 7, 2011), a retired elementary school teacher with the Benton Area Schools, died Saturday at her home in Shunk after a brave battle with cancer. She was 59. She was a daughter of John A. and Madge Hinchcliffe. She was a graduate of the Benton High School class of 1969 and graduated from Bloomsburg University in 1973.
She was preceded in death by her father, John A. Hinchcliffe; nephew, Christopher Miller, and father-in-law, Richard Hamilton, Sr. She is survived by her husband, Richard, Shunk; her mother Madge Hinchcliffe, Benton; mother-in-law Patricia Hamilton, Shunk; daughters Cheryl (Randy) Fry, Danville; Crystal (Brian) Woodruff, Bloomsburg; stepdaughters Michelle (Scott) Dangle, Cogan Station, and Stacey (Anthony) Zaikoski, Texas; sisters Nancy (William) Fricke, Benton, and Carol Ann Lore (Bob Puterbaugh), Millville; nephews: Eric Fricke and Mark Fenstermacher; nieces: Melanie Miller and Michelle Hess; grandchildren Gavin and Gabriel Fry, Korin and Kelsea Dangle, and Patrick Zaikoski; and special cousins Charles Kline Jr. and Vicki Mast.
A celebration of Linda's life will take place Wednesday, May 11, at 1 PM at the Millville United Methodist Church. The family suggests that memorial contributions be directed to the American Cancer Society, 1948 E. Third St., Williamsport, PA 17701. Professional services were handled by Morse & Kleese Funeral Home, Canton.
Sally Aurene (Letteer) Meyer (March 20, 1944-May 6, 2011), Dixon, Missouri, died Friday in the Ozark Riverview Manor, Ozark, Missouri. She was 67. She was born in Bloomsburg. Sally was a daughter of Jack Vincent Letteer and Josephine (Chamberlain) Letteer. She graduated from Benton High School in 1962, then went to work for the FBI in Washington D.C. as a budget clerk, where she worked for eight years before transferring to the FBI office in Saint Louis. In 1973, she went to work in the Director of Resource Management office at Fort Leonard Wood where she worked for 20 years before retiring in 1993.
Sally and Marvis "Marv"Meyer married in Bloomsburg in 1969. They owned Meyer Tree and Berry Farm and Pumpkin Patch, near Dixon, for more than 20 years. As a result of selling blueberries and strawberries, Sally earned the title of "Blueberry Lady." In the fall she welcomed many children and adults to the pumpkin patch and drove them to the fields to pick their own pumpkins. Mrs. Meyer was a Mary Kay Beauty Consultant for 39 years and a member of the Church of Christ, Dixon.
She was preceded in death by her parents and one niece, Lori Morgan. Those left to cherish the memories of Sally include her husband, Marv Meyer, Dixon; sister and brother-in-law, Peggy (Ronald) Morgan, Bloomsburg; nephews, nieces, and many other relatives and friends.
Funeral services will be conducted at 11 AM Friday, May 13, 2011, with visitation preceding, at the McMichael Funeral Home. Interment will follow in the Benton Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in her memory to the Benton Cemetery Association, c/o Robert Hess, P. O. Box 171, Benton, PA 17814. For online condolences, visit www.mcmichaelfuneralhome.co
May 9 is the birthday of Dixie Hummel Reabuck, E. Lee Remley and Ethel Hack. There is a clothing giveaway from 10 AM to 3 PM at the Stillwater Christian Church. Last year on this day we had a frost. The online banking system of First Columbia Bank will be down for maintenance from 2 this afternoon through 2 PM on Tuesday. Please note that times are approximate.
May 10 is the birthday of Audrey Schupp, Joe Savage and former U. S. Senator Rick Santorum.
On May 10, 1910, in Huntington Mills, twelve members of the junior and senior classes at the private Huntington Mills Independent School prepared for an afternoon of boating at Paper Mill dam. Some of them would graduate the following week and this was their final outing as schoolmates.
Ruth Bonham, 17, was a talented musician and a senior anxious to pursue a musical career after leaving school. Ruth's friend, Maud Sutliff, 18, had also passed her examinations and would be part of the graduating class of 1910. Robert Minnich, 19, the senior-class president, was going to exchange gifts at commencement with Carolyn Koons, 17. They became sweethearts during the last term at school.
The dam was owned by the Koons brothers. At the turn of the century, it was 100 feet wide and 20 feet deep. Its idyllic setting and close proximity to the school made it a popular picnic and boating sport for local children. The boating party met shortly after lunch that May afternoon and boarded a scow and a rowboat.
The scow, carrying six of the students, sprang a leak and began to take on water. One of the girls began to bail it out with a small can. They were near shore and could row in easily. Things were going well until the boy rowing said jokingly, "Look out or we'll all drown." This frightened one of the girls so badly that she fainted. The people in the rowboat brought their craft alongside the scow to remove her, and the five others boarded as well.
The overcrowded boat sank to almost water level, became unbalanced, capsized and the young people were thrown out. The boat shot away from them and they were left helpless in the water. Only half of them were able to swim. The girls, weighted down by the heavy skirts and petticoats that were the fashion of the day, sank quickly. The boys tried to help but were themselves dragged down. Robert Minnick made it to shore safely, but went back to try to save Carolyn Koons. He reached her and held her above water for a while, but one of the other desperate girls clung onto him and all three went down. They were later found together at the bottom of the creek.
Roy Dodson, 16, the only other boy who drowned that day, had been afflicted with a crippling condition for many years and had never been able to go in the water. His brother, George, was able to make it to the shore, but wasn't strong enough to help the others. Madeline Good, 16, almost saved herself. She came close to shore, her head well above water, when either from fright or exhaustion, she fainted and fell backwards. Iris Davenport, 17, and Rachael Thompson, 16, couldn't be rescued in time.
The screams and shouts of the terrified young people attracted the attention of Derr Klinetob who was working in a field near the dam. By the time he reached the scene, only Maud Sutliff's body was on the surface of the water. The other seven victims had disappeared from view. Maud's body was still warm when Klinetob pulled her to shore. He worked to revive her until a doctor arrived, but the effort was in vain. By the time the other boats and grappling hooks could be brought to the dam, all that remained to be done was to recover the bodies and take them to their homes. The tragedy shocked and devastated Huntington Mills and surrounding communities. Nearly everyone had a friend or relative among the victims.
The week following the drownings, the week that would've seen the graduation of Ruth Bonham, Maud Sutliff and Robert Minnich, the week that Carolyn Koons would've presented her beau with a pair of gold cufflinks and a scarf pin, was instead a week of mourning and funerals.
The spring flowers that would have been presented to proud high-school graduates and their friends were instead heaped on their coffins.
The Paper Mill dam is long gone from the banks of Huntington Creek. The dam disappeared during a 1975 flood.
Linda Hinchcliffe Hamilton, Shunk, a member of the Benton Class of 1969 who taught for 36 years in the local school system and was a lay Methodist minister, has died. An obituary will be provided when available.While it is true that it is not the business of the United States to go into another country and kill an unarmed person, let it be clear that I have no problem with that in the case of Bin Laden. But times have changed. It was only three short years ago when the administration charged and attempted to court marshal three Navy Seals from Seal Team Six because members bloodied the nose of a terrorist in an incident involving the Fallujah bridge. Essentially, the action made the administration look bad. Now the same seal team is a hero because people are happy that Bin Laden is history.
Forgetfulness is a wonderful gift in that it prevents worry. The keys to the motor home disappeared following our recent trip from Florida in the motor home while towing a car. The keys were not to be found anywhere. Accusations were hurled back and forth. "You put those keys somewhere. I know you did." "Can't you remember where you put the keys?" "Please think what you were doing." "What do you mean, the locksmith only works five days during the week?"For three days, Kay and I went round and around over a set of lost keys. To be honest, we arrived in Camp Hill a week ago Monday about 9 at night--dog-tired, blurry eyed, sleep deprived, wound tight as an unopened can of potato chips. I took the keys out of the motor home, put them in my pocket and started unloading the rig. Dirty clothes went here, clean clothes for me went there and clean clothes for Kay went yet another place. Food from the camper was piled on the counter-top until refrigerator room was available. Months of accumulation of papers got piled on the table. In the frenzy, the motor home keys disappeared. It wasn't a big concern that night. Tuesday morning was characterized by low-level mutterings. Tuesday afternoon, a search began by me without a lot of announcement of what was going on. By Tuesday night, the cat was out of the bag, so to speak, and Kay asked for the vanished keys. An awkward moment is how I would describe it. "Give me the keys," is the way Kay put it, using her "Mother" voice--or as a member of a U.S. Seal Team might put it, " Hand over the keys before I give you -what-for'." Wednesday morning was hell. The keys had vanished, and I was in my second round of searching. From well-seasoned bags of kitchen garbage to partially climbing under a fold-out couch, the day was not pretty and the heat coming off Kay's face was intense.It was mid-afternoon on Mother's Day when I accidentally came upon a pair of shorts hanging in my closet with a telltale bulge in one of the pockets. They looked like the pair of shorts that I put on after my shower when I got to Camp Hill Monday night. But I thought that the shorts were the ones I found on a chair in the guest bedroom. That is why I didn't look in pants pockets. Like greeting a long-lost friend, there were my keys. The chill that had settled over the house went away very quickly. Buster and Chloe raced to Kay's side, as if to say "I thought there was going to be a chance that he was going to tear you apart."So the keys have been located and I was solely responsible. The drive to Benton can begin this morning. One good thing that came out of this episode is that I found lots of nice things that we haven't used in the last year and so we decided to join the Memorial Day yard sales in Benton. The motor home and the car are filled with garage sale items--a number of things that I would buy myself if I hadn't remembered that I own them.
May 7, the birthday of Gerald McHenry, Mike Geary, Barbie Lynn and Leona Bardo--and Jenny Joseph, a woman who wore pur ple when she got old. Today is an excellent time to pick up your herbs, vegetables and flowers at the Benton fire station during its flower sale from 9 to 6. The Center holds its Indoor Flea Market from 9 AM to 6 PM. There will be many plain baskets and small items children might enjoy purchasing for Mom. There is a dresser and mirror, a buffet, a rustic small table and a serviceable lawn mower. The Center Snack Shop will provide food and drinks. The Zion UCC will hold their chicken barbecue from 4 PM today in Forks, off Route 487. Takeouts are available. Van Wagner will give a free concert tonight at 6:30 at the Jerseytown United Methodist Church, Route 42. A discussion about coal mines in Jerseytown will follow. The event is free and open to the public.
May 8 is the birthday of Randy Hess, Alexa McCourt and Mariah Krygier. The 33rd president of the United States, Harry S. Truman, was born near Lamar, Missouri, on this day in 1884. The Benton Rodeo Association hosts the KTPA Fun Show at the rodeo grounds today. President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation in 1914 asking Americans to give a public expression of reverence to mothers through the celebration of Mother's Day. Carnations have come to represent Mother's Day following President William McKinley's habit of always wearing a white carnation, his mother's favorite flower. What are you planning to do to celebrate all of the mothers in your life today?The moon never beams without bringing me dreamsOf that wonderful mother of mine;The birds never sing but a message they bringOf that wonderful mother of mine.
--Clyde Hager, lyricsDidja know that oil and gas exploration in the Commonwealth is strictly regulated under a string of laws, including Pennsylvania’s Oil and Gas Act, the Coal and Gas Resource Coordination Act, the Oil and Gas Conservation Law, the Clean Streams Law, the Dam Safety and Encroachments Act, the Solid Waste Management Act and the Water Resources Planning Act. There is a rule for each day of the week. Plus a couple thrown in for good measure. And things continue to go wrong...
Quote of the Day:
"I don't know. I was always told not to answer that until you've had one."
-Jessica Simpson, on being asked how many kids she'd like to have.
The darling of investors--gold and silver and a few other commodities--didn't have a good week on Wall Street. Silver had its worst rout in a five-day period since 1980 as it dropped 27% in five days. Silver ended the week at $35.29 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gold settled under $1,500 an ounce. "When the paddy wagon comes," Father used to say, "it takes the good girls with the bad." The downturn in silver spread to oil prices on May 5, which fell below $100 a barrel for the first time since March. Copper also slid down the hill.
On Wednesday, May 25, Pastor Brad Spangenberg will speak at The Center on the subject of "One Room Schools." This subject is addressed on the Benton News under FEATURES. One of the stories of one-room schools was about former Benton merchant and resident, Edgar Baker.
Edgar once wrote a report entitled Harmony and Discipline in School, written for Pastor Brad Spangenberg as part of a project involving former teachers who were parishioners and friends of Rev. Spangenberg at the Millville United Methodist Church.
Edgar taught in the one-room school at Upper Pine, where each day the Scriptures and the Lord's Prayer were read in unison as the school day began. Songs were sometimes sung, and poems, sometimes religious in nature, were read. At Upper Pine, Edgar never had more than twenty pupils in any one year, and one year had only thirteen. Edgar's own one-room school days were very different, with about fifty students and prior to Edgar's school days about 90 students in the same school.
At Upper Pine, of the students Edgar had in school there were more than half of them that were first, second, or third cousins. Edgar and his wife, Helen, owned the Tamar country store in the same community, and all the parents were customers during the last three years that he taught. During the depression years, mandated by state law, Edgar was asked to go back to the eighty-five dollars from the one hundred dollars he had been receiving.
Edgar recalled that n 1927 during his senior year of high school, George Gordner, a school director in Pine Township, asked Edgar to teach the next year. Edgar was not interested, as he intended to go to State College. An uncle, Benton Young, also asked Edgar to come to Upper Pine to teach. Edgar's father thought it might be a good thing to teach a year or two and decide what he really wanted to take at college. Edgar finally acquiesced to teach at Upper Pine, beginning in the fall of 1927 and four or five others of his class at Millville High School began teaching in Greenwood and Madison Townships at the same time.
Edgar wrote that the appointment of teachers was nearly always made by school directors, although the County Superintendent of Schools also had a voice in these decisions.
When asked about discipline, Edgar responded by saying that restrictions on punishment were not regulated by state law in those days, except that teachers were encouraged not to use excessive punishment. Common sense was the rule. Edgar recalls that he never inflicted punishment with a whip or strap, but does recall other types of punishment: making students stay in their seats during recess or at lunch time, or making them write something a number of times.
The movie at The Center tonight is the James Stewart classic, "Harvey." It will be shown at 7 PM. Elwood P. Dowd (James Stewart) is a grown man with an imaginary friend, Harvey. However, Elwood is convinced he is real and doesn't understand why no one else can see him. This imaginary friend, Harvey, is a rabbit as tall as Elwood. Naturally concerned by the conversations Elwood has with Harvey, his sister Josephine Hull (Veta Lousie Simmons) has doctors over to the house to observe her brother's behavior. They recommend that Elwood be committed to an insane asylum. Yet the doctors are no match for the wit and wisdom of Harvey as Elwood reports his brilliant retorts to the doctor's questions. Elwood is harmless and Harvey has such sage advice for how to treat others with kindness and without prejudice, the doctors are the ones left looking crazy.We have a fun pop quiz today on identifying automobiles. Go here to see how you make out.
The Sit 'n Fit group at The Center pledged Monday to donate $1,000 toward the purchase of a 12' x 16' gazebo for the end of "Memory Walk" near Fishing Creek. This generous pledge was followed by another series of more than $100 in pledges from the volunteers at the Thrift Shop who took a break from their busy schedule to have lunch at Strevigs Wednesday afternoon. The Center now has more than $1,100 toward the $3,500 purchases price. Rich Iddings volunteered to do all necessary excavating and oversee construction of the project and will donate all of the material and labor to build the platform on which the gazebo will reside. The approximate cost of that is more than $1,000 in time and materials. Donations in excess of $2,100 have been received since Wednesday morning. Anyone wanting to get in on the fun by pledging whatever they can afford can do so at the Center, or by calling Chuck or Kay Chapman, 925-6972. In the meantime, don't forget to purchase your brick for the "Memory Walk." A brick would make a great Mother's Gift.
The drilling rig is now erected near Bear Fuel on Route 118 and natural-gas drilling there has begun. Be extra cautious in driving and looking out for the other guy in that area.
Didja know that of the 117 state parks in Pennsylvania, 61 are on top of Marcellus Shale?
The state owns mineral rights on about 20% of its total parkland, with the bulk of its283,000 acres open to some sort of extractive process.
Quote of the Day:"I haven't had anything to eat since yesterday, and tomorrow it'll be three days!"
--Hope Merrill in Jamison City, as quoted by Roy Davis
You will be able to get an advance look at one of the major attractions of the Bloomsburg Fair this fall by driving around the Commonwealth during the coming months as part of the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War (2011-2015). The Pennsylvania Civil War Road Show is a traveling exhibition developed for the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. The exhibition travels in an expandable 53-foot, 1,000 square-foot trailer to all 67 counties in Pennsylvania during the four-year anniversary. Inside the trailer, artifacts and memorabilia are mixed with high-tech displays. Interactive exhibits, animated videos and a booth where visitors can make their own oral histories are part of the display, which is divided into four "arcades." The Road Show will collect stories of Pennsylvania's Civil War history in a "Share Your Story" recording booth where the public is invited to share their own Civil War-era photographs, artifacts and stories which will then be uploaded to www.pacivilwar150.com .
The schedule for this year includes four counties within easy driving distance of the upper Fishing Creek valley.
• May 13 to 15. the show will be on display in Scranton at the Everhart Museum at Nay Aug Park.
• May 27-30. The show will be on display in Lycoming County thanks to the Muncy Historical Society & Museum in partnership with Muncy School District. The trailer will be on site at the Muncy Junior/Senior High School.The show will be on display in Warrior Run-Fort Freeland Heritage Society in partnership with Northumberland County Historical Society. The trailer will be on site at Warrior Run-Fort Freeland Heritage Society, Turbotville.
The show will arrive in Columbia County September 24-October 1 at the Bloomsburg Fair, hosted by the Columbia-Montour Visitors Bureau and the Bloomsburg Fair Association. Columbia County's part in the history of the Civil War is important for what many called the "Fishing Creek Confederacy." No part of the state was untouched by the Civil War. Through images, sound, words, objects and interactive multimedia, the Road Show will convey stories of the many different ways Pennsylvania’s men, women, children and communities experienced the Civil War, both on the battlefield and the home front.
You can read more about the Civil War trailer during its first stop in Pittsburgh by going here.
May 5, 2011. It is Cinco de Mayo, a date of great importance for the Mexican and Chicano communities, the day that celebrates the victory of the Mexicans over the French army at The Battle of Puebla in 1862. The Mexicans were outnumbered two to one, but they inflicted an estimated 1,000 French casualties and forced a retreat to the gulf coast. The city was renamed Puebla de Zaragoza after the Mexican general that led the effort. It is the birthday of Keith Gilbert, Andrew Russel and Irene Yorks. The Benton Volunteer Fire Company begin its three-day flower sale today at the fire hall. Expect a sunny and windy day.
Enid S. Hines, 945 Bethel Hill Rd., Shickshinny, celebrated her 102 birthday Wednesday night at the Brass Pelican restaurant. Enid was the oldest of 11 children of Harland A. Talcott and Nellie Stevens Talcott. She was born on May 4, 1909, on the Steven’s farm in Broadway. She did not attend school until the age of 8 because of rheumatic fever. She attended the Pleasant Valley one-room school for seven years and the Bloomingdale School for one year. During her first eight years of school, Enid "skipped" two grades. Enid graduated from Shickshinny High School in 1928 in a class of 20 boys and 10 girls. She then proceeded to work and put herself through Bloomsburg Normal School, now Bloomsburg University. She began teaching in 1929 at the Pleasant Valley School and continued teaching in many one-room schools in the area including the Green Valley School, Frisby School (near Sweet Valley), Fairmount Springs School, Red Hill School, and Bethel Hill School--all one- room schools with grades one through eight in the same room. This changed to grades one to six in 1951 while at the Bethel Hill School. After the jointure in 1956, she taught a year in Garrison School, Shickshinny, then finished her teaching at Huntington Mills School with only one grade in a room. She retired from teaching in 1974. Many readers have experienced her in the classroom.
Enid married Delbert Hines, another schoolteacher and lay-minister, on August 17, 1934. They had one child, Joan, who blessed them with children Leo, LeRoy, Rise, Lenn and Lonny. These children then blessed her with seven great-grandchildren, who in turn have blessed her with four great great grandchildren
.She is the oldest member of the 11 Talcott children. Those deceased included Alva Talcott Franklin, Forrest Talcott, Iloe Talcott Harvey, Anson Talcott, Leta Talcott Dildine, Augustus Talcott, Lenn Talcott and a baby. Only Travila Talcott Snyder Gregory, and Mary Talcott Mincavage Balliet still are living.
Finalists for the First Columbia Teen Star musical event at 2 PM on Sunday, May 22, at Haas Auditorium on the campus of Bloomsburg University includes Leah Bergstrom and James Steigerwalt of the Benton Area Schools. Benjamin Ikeler and Keeyan Zimmerman of the Millville Area High School are also finalists. Lance Diehl of the First Columbia Bank & Trust Co., sponsor of this event, noted that the contest will showcase the musical talent of the high-school students in Columbia County. General admission tickets are available for purchase for $3 at any of First Columbia Bank’s 14 community banking locations. Proceeds from the show will be donated to a local charity.
Didja know that the majority of the American voting-age population is 45 or older according to the 2010 Census? If we round the figures off, 119 million people 45 and older make up 51% of the voting-age population. Americans 55 and older are a large bulk of that group. With this group of voters, don't expect a lot of Social Security changes.
It is good to be back in Pennsylvania. After chicken and waffles for lunch and buckwheat cakes and sausage for supper, I don't plan to eat until the next meal. Here are some random thoughts about being back in Benton...
Not much has changed. While some will disagree, I see little progress on gas drilling. The well at the Martin site looks almost vacant, with only a couple of large holding tanks on the premises. A large expanse of blue plastic "drop-cloths" surround the bore hole, which has moved a lot of water into the swampy adjacent land since the plastic keeps water from penetrating the earth. It seems surprising that this plastic was not removed after drilling completed, but what do I know! Fracking has not begun at this site--which is another surprise to me. When I left the area, Larry Hess was convinced that a gas well would be drilled near his house. By the time I returned to Benton, not only was the well not drilled, but the lessor had let the lease expire.
Chevron Corp. has agreed to acquire 228,000 acres in the Marcellus Shale from Chief Oil & Gas LLC and Tug Hill, Inc. in southwestern Pennsylvania. Chevron will gain 5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves in its Marcellus leasehold. Tug Hill will be left with about 125,000 acres in Bradford, Susquehanna, Tioga, Sullivan and Wyoming counties. Seems like the little players in the natural-gas drilling business are getting bought out and the "biggies" remain. Those who raise their environmental ears over gas drilling will feast on the story about the Towanda hairstylist who suddenly found the family water well contaminated with Barium, Chloride, Strontium, Manganese, Lead, Methane, Radiological material, and Radon from the drilling of the natural gas well 1,200 feet from their property--the water that the family had been drinking, cooking with and showering in. Read the story here.
The state Department of Environmental Protection did away with its five-week-old directive requiring Marcellus field-enforcement actions be approved in Harrisburg by political appointees. Oil and gas field inspectors are now allowed to write violation notices as they did prior to a March 23 internal department memo that directed them to take no action on violations until they received "final clearance" from DEP Secretary Michael Krance
The House Transportation Committee is making it tough on drivers caught with a Big Mac or other piece of food, or with a cell phone in their hands. Stiffer penalties are around the bend under new legislation passed Tuesday concerning "distracted driving" by the House Transportation Committee. It would become a primary offense with a possible fine of up to $100 with an additional $100 fine if the offense occurs within a school zone. Other legislation would add penalties for careless driving if the driver was distracted by a phone call, food, drink or personal grooming. Text messaging would be prohibited although making a traditional phone call would still be legal, unless it causes the driver to be pulled over for driving carelessly. New legislation will make the state’s seat-belt law a primary enforcement for drivers and passengers under 18 years. The current state law is that all drivers must wear a seat belt, but can only be ticketed for failing to do so if they are pulled over for another offense. Final vote is expected next week.
The special meeting of the Benton Area School Board of Directors "for budget issues scheduled for Thursday, May 5, in the middle/senior high school cafeteria at 7:30 PM is cancelled.
The Benton Odyssey of the Mind team is planning a spaghetti dinner on Monday, May 9, from 4:30 to 7:30 at the Benton United Methodist church. The cost is $5 and is all you can eat. Take outs will also be available. Proceeds from the dinner will go towards the cost of the trip to World Finals at the University of Maryland, May 27th-31st. There will be several baskets filled with items that will be raffled off at the dinner, as well as a lottery board that people can buy chances for.
Your Loving Choices crisis pregnancy center, Bloomsburg, is having its 20th year celebration on May 14 at the Bloomsburg Town Park. This is a family-event fundraiser with refreshments, music and carnival activities for the kids. The walk through the park is two miles. Registration starts at 9 AM and at 9:30 the festivities begin. This is a rain or shine event. All participants receive a free water bottle. By supporting Your Loving Choices, lives are changed within our community by allowing the staff to reach out to women and men facing an unplanned pregnancy.
Pictures of Lady Satin at the Benton Airport are available for viewing here.Today's music comes from Carrie Underwood and Vince Gill's performance of "How Great Thou Art" on the CMA award show. See it at www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLLMzr3PFgk&feature=youtu.beMay 7-15 is National Tourism Week. The Columbia-Montour Visitors Bureau (CMVB) invites members of the community on Thursday, May 12, between the hours of 11 AM and 1 PM, to stop at the Bloomsburg Welcome Center, 121 Papermill Road, or the Danville Welcome Center, 316 Mill Street, to learn about the attractions and events that are hidden in our own backyard, pick up a new road map and grab some snacks. Bloomsburg will have light refreshments including free hot dogs. Danville will be scooping free ice cream cones, compliments of Brennan’s Big Chill. Both CMVB Welcome Centers, with help from Knoebels Amusement Resort, will also be giving away $1,000 in Knoebels Ride Tickets ($10 per family) to the first 50 families at each Welcome Center.Quote of the Day:"In America any boy may become President and I suppose it's just one of the risks he takes."-Adlai Stevenson
The Junior/Senior prom will take place in the high school cafeteria at the Benton Area Schools on Saturday, May 7, at 7 PM. Every year many from the community come to watch kids arrive and check out the decoration. The public may enter the school between 6 and 6:30 to see the decorations. If people would like to see the students enter, gather at the front entrance near the flag pole. Crowning will take place at 9:30.
I recently "stepped in it," as Farmer Father used to say. McDonald's apparently has a lot of supporters and several of them took me to task for coming down hard on attorneys when I said that it didn't matter if the person was right or wrong--it depended on the quality of the attorneys hired. I maintained that a reasonable person should know that coffee is "hot." Sure, there are degrees of "hot," but a country boy like me knows that a few degrees either way is still "hot." But for those who maintain that there is "hot" and then there is "hot," please read more about the McDonald's lawsuit at www.caoc.com/CA/index.cfm?event=showPage&pg=factsGladys Kile decided to sell her house and move and she has been working on it since December. There will be a public auction May 7 at 545 Zaners Bridge Road, Stillwater, starting at 10 AM, with previews beginning at 8:30 AM. There will be antiques, primitives, furniture, glassware, clocks, a blue dockash cookstove, lighting, household goods, tools and much more. The real estate includes a house with kitchen, living room, dining room, family room with Alaska stoker stove, full bath and pantry down stairs, three bedrooms and full bath upstairs. There is a front porch and side closed-in porch. There are two out-buildings. The property is on 1.75 acres w/fruit trees and blueberry bushes. The lot is on a corner with a good view. Youngs Auction Service, 435-0459 or 322-5625, will provide details. I get lots of inquiries from people who want to move to the Benton area. Here is your chance for a nice property.
Fishing Creek Watershed members will meet May 9 at 7 PM in the downstairs meeting room of the Columbia County Conservation District, 702 Sawmill Road, Bloomsburg, to hear Dr. John Hranitz, PhD, Bloomsburg University Biology Department. Dr. Hranitz will present a general education talk on toxicology and stress in model organisms in the food web of our watershed. He has a honey bee (terrestrial pollinator) model and a blackworm (freshwater invertebrates) model that he will discuss and emphasize the need for comparative studies of streams, with particular importance of Fishing Creek to serve as a an ecological control for comparison against streams like Catawissa Creek.You were expecting that in less than two weeks--May 16, 2011--the U.S. government would bump into its debt ceiling; i.e., run out of funds and not be allowed by law to borrow a penny more. But wait! Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner plans to borrow money from a pension fund from federal workers and suspend a Treasury program that helps state and local governments manage their debts. Geithner pushed the deadline for raising the debt limit back to August 2. Isn't math wonderful...
Don was employed as an underwriter for the Bendix Corp., Tunkhannock, for 20 years before becoming a self-employed contractor during the period 1975 to 1988. He served as Benton Borough secretary for four years, retiring from that position in 1992. He served as an auditor in both Lake Township and Sugarloaf Township. He also served on the Columbia County Planning Commission for 15 years.
He was a member of the former Benton Lodge 667 F&AM for more than 25 years. He was a member of Oriental Lodge 460 F&AM, Orangeville, the Benton Christian Church, the Northern Columbia Community & Cultural Center; and a charter member of the Benton Rodeo Association where he served as secretary for many years. He was a charter member of the Benton Lions Club, was its first president, served as secretary for many years and became a district officer. He was awarded the Melvin Jones Fellow Award by Lions International in recognition of his tireless work and dedication to Lions.
Don became a "folk celebrity" after he personally designed, excavated and built a segment of Cole's Creek Mill Road which improved traffic flow and diverted the "old road" from in front of his house. His road building was of a quality that Sugarloaf Township then took over the maintenance of the road. His efforts resulted in the Associated Press, CNN and newspapers as far away as England's "London Daily News" asking for interviews.
Don was preceded in death by a son, Alan B. King, in 1977, and by brothers John W. King and Roy H. King. Surviving are his wife, the former Barbara R. McNinch, with whom he celebrated his 35th wedding anniversary on June 14, 2010; sons Donald L. King (Pat), Harveys Lake, and Kenneth M. King (Melissa), Haltom City, Texas; stepdaughters Susan E. "Soozie" Hummel, Port Orchard, Washington; Kay Hummel Wright, Lancaster, and Kathy A. Hummel, at home.
"Grandpa Don" had three grandchildren, seven step-grandchildren, one great-grandson and nine step-great-grandchildren. He is also survived by a sister, Dorothy Wadas, Shavertown, and brothers Richard E. King, Harding; Lyle K. King, Dallas; and E. Theodore King (Lorraine), Centermoreland.
Funeral services will be held on Thursday at 11 AM in the Benton Christian Church, Third and Church streets, Benton., with friends gathering preceding the services. Military honors will be provided by the combined VFW group. The family will provide flowers. Memorials may be sent to either the Columbia Montour Home Hospice, 410 Glenn Ave., Bloomsburg, PA 17815, or the Benton Lions Club, P.O. Box 193, Benton, PA 17814. Arrangements are by the Dean W. Kriner Funeral Home. To sign the guest book or to send a message of condolence, go to www.krinerfuneralhomes.com.
Bob Laubach, Syracuse, New York, returned yesterday from a reunion at Wyoming Seminary, Kingston. Bob, son of World Missionary Dr. Frank and Effa Laubach, was the oldest one at the reunion. Bob was a member of the class of 1936. Bob was astonished to meet Virginia Rivers at the reunion. Virginia's husband, Dick, was not from Bob's class, but lives at Ganoga Lake. It is always nice to run into a new friend with Benton as the common thread.
We keep adding pictures to the MerleFest collection. You can view the pictures here.A reader asked if pictures were available of son David's ill-fated motorcycle ride in Mexico in which he broke his femur. Pictures of the ride and the aftermath are available here.
The Sunday edition of the Press Enterprise reviewed the latest Census report and reported that "Benton Borough has dropped from 955 residents to 824, losing nearly 14% of its population." The borough lost 131 residents from 2000 to 2010.Remember when McDonalds got sued (and lost) for serving hot coffee? Well now comes a lawsuit about as stupid. Twitter, MySpace and Facebook are being sued for sending confirmation messages to a cell phone. The plaintiffs chose to activate the text-message feature within the service. The people later changed their mind and replied with “stop” so that they would no longer receive the communications. The three services then sent back a confirmation message. The opportunity to make a few bucks was too overwhelming, and the plaintiffs charged a violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. This Act came along to prevent unsolicited communications to cellular devices. The plaintiff received one confirmation notice and got sued. Now it won't make much difference what is right and what is wrong. What will matter is how good the attorneys are for both sides. I would love to spill a hot cup of McDonald's coffee on some attorney's lap about now.
Sunday morning church services in the foothills of the North Carolina mountains takes on a religious fervor that I don't see on Sunday mornings Back Home in Benton, PA. It isn't that here in North Carolina they use tongues in their services that I have attended or that they read the Bible passages any different than in Pennsylvania, but they do testify with a deeper conviction about their personal experience with Jesus and with the love of the Bible with a conviction of backwoods, God-fearing people.
I actually haven't had many church experiences within the walls of an established church in North Carolina, but I have attended a good number of outdoors services as part of Sunday morning services, which is a far cry from the ritual I always thought was part of the norm in the Deep South. The parishioners don't sing or drink, they don't bring with them any hoop snakes, they believe in heaven and hell and precisely what the Bible says, and they believe it necessary to have an up-close and personal confrontation between Jesus and the soul.
The person who presides over the Sunday morning church services doesn't have a "DDs" or "LLs" after their names, but they know what the Bible says from generations of family reading the Bible and discussing it. At bluegrass festivals that I have attended in the south, the church services begin with a reading of the Scriptures and praying with the church parishioners made up of teetotalers and nonsmokers. Those who dance seemed to get special dispensation to attend, because most of them dance to the melodic music found in these hills.
Some of the prettiest music I have heard in the Carolinas came Sunday morning at church services held by the Wilkesboro Fire Department in which Bridget Allen and R. B. and George Powell, Lewistown, sang and played. R. B. and Bridget provided a concert at The Center about a year ago. Pictures are provided here.