C M Y K
THE TIMES LEADER www.timesleader.com FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 25, 2011 PAGE 3A
Railroad Club open house
The Hudson Model Railroad Club willhold its annual open house beginning this weekend at 97 Martin St. in Plains Township. The 2,000-square-foot HO-scale modeltrain display is located on the secondfloor and will be open to the public freeof charge noon to 5 p.m. Saturday andSunday.It will be open during those samehours Dec. 3,10,17 and18 and intoJanuary. There is off-street parking available. The club has been around for approxi-mately 30 years, said its president, JimCerulli. There are a few new scenes this year in the display set in the anthraciteregion of Northeastern Pennsylvania.“Once the shows end, we immediatelystart preparations for the next year,” saidCerulli.
Seat belt law is stressed
The Harveys Lake Police Departmentsaid it will be strictly enforcing seat beltlaws as part of a statewide effort throughDec. 4.Drivers stopped for traffic violations will be cited for not wearing their seat-belt.Police said there will be a zero-toler-ance policy in effect during the enforce-ment effort.
Tree lighting is set Nov. 30
Mayor Carl Kuren announced that thetownship will hold its annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on Nov. 30 at 6p.m. The tree will be lit by the Romiskifamily children.Refreshments will be served and en-tertainment provided by Douglas De-lescavage on keyboard. Santa Claus isscheduled to make an appearance.
New socks to be collected
Making A Difference Ministries willcollect new socks from Nov. 28 to March9. The socks will be given to Big Broth-ers Big Sisters of The Bridge to help thechildren in need of warmth this winterseason.Drop-offs may be made at PhoenixRehabilitation Inc., 311Market St., King-ston; Fidelity Bank, 247 Wyoming Ave.,Kingston; Pennoni Associates Inc.,100 N Wilkes-Barre Blvd. Wilkes-Barre, and The Ice Rink at Coal Street, Wilkes-Barre.
Salvation Army seeks gifts
The Salvation Army of Wilkes-Barreannounced it is again providing Christ-mas gifts to local children in need thisholiday season. Through the Angel Tree program, thepublic is encouraged to help make theholidays brighter by buying a gift for achild who might otherwise be withoutthis Christmas, the organization statedin an emailed release.“We have over1,800 childrenregistered,” saidCapt. Patty Rich- wine, command-ing corps officer.“Right now, wehave over 400children’s angeltree tags that have not been ‘adopted’and our return date is Dec. 5th!“We’re hoping that a church, school orbusiness will be willing to take a fewtags and ask members to purchase a giftfor a child.” The Salvation Army says communitybusinesses, churches and schools place“Angel Trees” at their locations and askmembers to choose a tag for a child andpurchase a gift. Those who want tosponsor a tree should contact the Salva-tion Army. Those who would like tochoose a tag from a tree can go to Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club, Schiel’s Grocery Storeor The Salvation Army.Local children also can be adopted onJC Penney’s Angel Tree website. Afterchoosing a tag for a child they would liketo “adopt” this Christmas, donors shouldpurchase a gift for the child and returnthe unwrapped gift and tag to the loca-tion where they chose the tag. All giftsare due back to The Salvation Army byDec. 5 so they can be sorted and baggedfor distribution day, which is Dec. 20. The Wilkes-Barre Salvation Army islocated at17 S. Pennsylvania Ave. Formore information, contact the SalvationArmy at 570-824-8741.
I N B R I E F
WEST PITTSTON – Jim Johnson andhis10-year-oldson,Brady,gotaveryearlystartThanksgiving,anditwasn’ttogetallthe cooking done for a big family get-to-gether. Theyneededafewhourstodrivetheroughly170milesfromtheirhomeinDubois,Pa.,toWestPittstonsotheycouldserve a turkey dinnerto residents left home-less by the Septemberflood.“One of the mem-bers from our churchsaw a need to comedown and help here, I was one of the first 10 who came down tohelp” shortly after thefloods receded, hesaid.Johnson and other volunteers from The Tri-County Church of God and ClearfieldCounty CommunityChurches have maderegularweeklyvisitstohelp in the recovery,and decided a freemeal for the community would be a per-fect addition to that effort. They teamed with The Christian and Missionary Alli-anceChurchtohostthedinnerThursdayafternoon. All were welcome, and there was no shortage of food.“We deep fried 20 turkeys,” said DaveOgershok of Brockway, Pa. “We had fiveroasters going at once, one was a doubleroaster.” The volunteers packed everything intoa truck they outfitted for the journey, lin-ingtheinsidewithStyrofoamandinstall-ing a heater run by a small generator forthe whole trip. Then they set up in thechurchonLuzerneStreetandopenedthedoors.Along with turkey, diners could havemashedpotatoes,candiedyams,cranber-ry sauce, rolls, gravy and pie. More than20 of the desserts sat on a table.Gertrude Yachna sat with her familyand enjoyed the repast. They were dis-placedinSeptemberfromtheirWestPitt-ston home and don’t expect to be able tomovebackinuntilDecember.Evenwhenthey do, Yachna said, “the street isn’t thesame.” Some people have looked at theirhomes and simply decided not to moveback in.Yachnasaidsheislivinginahousethefamily owns outside the flood plain, butthat they felt too overwhelmed to maketheir own Thanksgiving dinner. “I’m sothankful they had something like this,”she said.Carolyn White had some dinner whilemanning a table where she and otherflood victims were helping families signup to get gifts through the U.S. Marine’s Toys for Tots program. White said herhouseinDuryeahad4feetofwateronthefirstfloor,andtheyhadnofloodinsurancebecausetheyhadbeentoldtheywerenotin the flood plain. “In 1972 we
TURKEY DAY MEAL FOR FLOOD VICTIMS
Giving thanks in West Pittston
AIMEE DILGER/THE TIMES LEADER
Helperstravel far toset up feast
“Thesepeople willdo any-thing. Theycleanedmud out ofmy cellar.They dowall fram-ing, theydo wiring.”
ScottMorrisusedtooverseefederalre-sponsetonaturaldisasterswhenhewasahigh-ranking official with the FederalEmergency Management Agency.Now, he’s helping small towns in Lu-zerne County deal with thatagencyandotherssotheycanre-cover as quickly as possible fromravaging flood waters.A disaster recovery specialist,Morris is founder and presidentof Cowbell, a disaster recoverymanagement and strategic com-munications firm.“We come in at the very begin-ning and we start working ondamage assessments, writing upthe scopes of work that are re-quiredbyFEMA.Basically,Itakethe burden off the public entities that I work with because they have day-to-dayoperations they need to worry about. Theyneedtoworryabouttheircitizens,”he said.Cowbell’s job is to work through thegovernmentbureaucra-cy to get federal reim-bursements into towncoffersassoonaspossi-ble to expedite the re-covery process. The company also will manage majorprojectsforthetowns, write new disaster plans for them andmake sure they have pre-disaster con-tracts in place so that in the event of an-other flood, they’ll be able to mobilizequickly.“They’ve been excellent,” Ply-mouth Township Supervisor JoeYudichak said of Morris and hisemployees.“They’ve been to the townshipevery day. … We’ve had a great working relationship. We justcouldn’t handle it. We have onesecretary,andourdamageismas-sive.Wejustdidn’thavetheman-power or the experience,” said agrateful Yudichak.Cowbell initially began work-ing with the borough of Shick-shinnyafterMorrislearnedofthedevas-tation there through the media. He trav-eled from his home base in Florida tomake a presentation at a council
Scott Morris helping localcommunities navigate the road torecovery after devastating storms.
To learnmore aboutMorris andhis creden-tials, visit
Former FEMA officialaiding flooded towns
With a Dec. 31 application dead-line looming for the state’s propertytax rebate program, more than33,000 eligible homeowners in the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton area have yet to apply.Supported by revenue from thePennsylvania Lottery, the rebateprogram has seen a surge in appli-cants this year.Last year, more than605,000 senior citizensstatewide received $282.3million in rebates. So farthis year, more than621,000 households haveapplied for rebates.Elizabeth Brassell, a de-partment of revenue spo-keswoman, said “year over yearwe’vecontinuedtoseerecord numbers of re-bates.”Last year, 14,332 home-owners received rebates inLuzerne County, 7,932 inLackawanna County and 940 in WyomingCounty.AccordingtodatasuppliedbytheDepartmentofReve-nue,asofNov.2,9,873ofthe24,360eligible Luzerne County homeown-ers had yet to file for the rebate. InLackawannaCounty,6,693oftheel-igible 14,630 hadn’t filed and in WyomingCounty594ofthe1,478el-igible homeowners that hadn’t ap-plied.State Secretary of Revenue DanMeuserurgesthosewhoknoweligi-ble homeowners to remind them of the program.“Whenfamiliesandfriendsgatherduring the holiday season, we hopethey’lluseitasanopportunitytoex-plore eligibility for property tax orrent rebates,” Meuser said. “Thedeadline to apply is ap-proaching, but olderresidents and those with disabilities stillhave more than amonthtosubmitclaimsfor rebates.” The rebate programbenefits eligible Penn-sylvanians age 65 andolder, widows and wid-owers age 50 and olderandpeoplewithdisabil-ities age 18 and older. The maximum stan-dardrebateis$650,andthe income eligibilitylevel is $35,000 a year, excluding half of Social Security income.Application forms and assistanceareavailableatnocostfromDepart-ment of Revenue district offices, lo-cal Area Agencies on Aging, seniorcentersandstatelegislators’offices. There is a similar rebate for rent-ers but the income limit is $15,000.
Residents eligible for tax rebates
Property Tax/RentRebate claim forms(PA-1000) and in-formation are avail-able online atwww.PaProperty-TaxRelief.com andby calling1-888-222-9190, between 7:30a.m. and 5 p.m.,Monday throughFriday.
PLYMOUTH – John Miklosiflashed an infectious, toothy grin ashe sat in his wheelchair and talkedabout his rotten luck during World War II, when he was wounded in theleg under mortar fire not once buttwice, first in Italy, then France. Whyso happy while recalling such pain?Miklosi and other veterans werebeing feted by volunteers at Amer-ican Legion Post 463.“Oh boy, I think this is great,” the88-year-old Plymouth native beamed while waiting for his helping of tur-key, ham and kielbasa (hey, it’s
). “I can’t believe it!”For the third consecutive year, thepost prepared fixings for about 35residents and staff from the Depart-ment of Veteran’s Affairs MedicalCenter in Plains Township. This wasMiklosi’s first trip for the meal. “Theguys who came last year said it wasthe best place to go,” he said with thesmile never disappearing. “They wereright.”Steve Galchefski, the post volun-teer who did most of the cooking,
AIMEE DILGER PHOTO/THE TIMES LEADER
American Legion Post puts onTurkey Day tribute to veterans