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Issue 46 — Thursday, June15, 2017
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Food Pantry Schedules
Open House

MILFORD — The Ecumenical Food Pantry of Pike County, a self-sustaining ministry of Good Shepherd Episcopal Church, will hold an open house on Thursday, June 22, to celebrate moving from the pantry's old quarters in the basement of the church to new space at the former rectory at 321 Fifth St., Milford, across from the park.

This new location enhances the ability of the Food Pantry to serve families with dignity and respect in a safe and welcoming environment. Thanks to the efforts of dedicated volunteers from the community and churches in our area, and generous support from residents and businesses, the Pantry has been assisting families facing food insecurity for more than 25 years. Each week the pantry provides approximately 1,000 pounds of groceries to our neighbors in need.

Admission to the open house is free, but donations of nonperishable food are always appreciated. Tunafish, pasta, peanut butter, canned vegetables, fruit or beans are always needed. The open house is from 1 to 3 p.m. At 2 p.m. there will be a presentation on how we serve our neighbors in need. Light refreshments will be served.

Driver Registration Fee Could Help Fund Bridge Repairs
By Ken Baumel

LEHMAN TOWNSHIP — Supervisor John Sivick In his Road Task Force Liaison briefing given at last week's township Board of Supervisors meeting reported that he recommended and county Road Task Force members approved recommending the county Commissioners consider adopting an ordinance to authorize assessing a $5 fee for Pennsylvania Driver's Registration renewals. Sivick said that Mike Mrozinski, Pike County Community Planning Department director, researched Act 89, the 2013 Transportation Funding Law on the issue.

Mrozinski estimated that the county's share from the $5 fee would be about $350,000 a year, possibly slightly more. The law specifies that the revenue could be used by the county only for infrastructure projects, such as maintaining, improving and upgrading roads and bridges. Sivick said that the county owns only a small section of roads, including parts of Owego Turnpike, located off Route 6 in Dingman Township, which covers 1.9 miles. The state Liquid Fuels allocation is not enough to cover winter maintenance for the sections.

Commissioners could dedicate the bulk of the $350,000 to fix, maintain or rebuild the 18 bridges owned by the county. If commissioners choose to participate in Act 89, he would ask them to allocate a portion of the revenue to cover the Owego Turnpike annual winter-maintenance budget shortfall. In recent months, Mrozinski and Pike Planning Commission members discussed the county need for funding bridges. One funding source is Northeast Pennsylvania Alliance (NEPA), which plans and funds road and bridge projects by county in northeast Pennsylvania counties, including Pike.

That funding is not guaranteed each year. so Mrozinski reported that the commissioners are considering participating in another Pennsylvania infrastructure legislation, Act 88 (which includes the P3 program), which authorizes public/private transportation projects. Act 88 gives counties the option to contract bridge repair jobs under a long-term agreement with private contractors who could deliver, maintain and finance infrastructure projects at a cost savings.

The P3 program, however, does not actually fund road and bridge projects, according to Pike Commissioner Rich Caridi, who is the Board of Commissioners liaison to the Planning Commission. Caridi said he and fellow county commissioners are aware of Act 89 and Act 88, but commissioners are awaiting the latest county engineering report on the condition of the bridges before making any decisions... for complete story, get this week's issue.

Good Old Time Religion Just Might Be Coming To AP
By Ken Baumel

MATAMORAS — The borough's Recreation Advisory Board is weighing what to do about a request from evangelist Nicholas Baker to use Airport Park this year for a possible tent-revival meeting. Board Vice President Lynn Homer presented the request to the board at their regular meeting held last week at Borough Hall.

Homer said that Board President Ami Greiner got a message (on the board's facebook site) from Baker.
Since the borough has no rental policy covering all of Airport Park, Homer said that if Recreation refers the event the Matamoras Borough Council, there would likely be no rental fee. Homer said, "Preliminary research showed that Baker has a following of 500,000. I guess Airport Park came up on his radar. We can't stop them from gathering, but we can regulate the event."

Councilman/Matamoras Recreation Advisory Board member Dave Clark said, "Let's find the facts. What is the name of the organization, how many people are they expecting, and what is the event date... for complete story, get this week's issue.

Local Doctor Donates To A Worthy Cause

MILFORD — On June 10, 2017 Dr. David Garrison donated some of his equipment to Images of Hope, a not for profit organization working in Honduras. Local United Methodists including Pastor Luana Cook Scott of the Milford United Methodist Church assisted by disassembling and loading the donated equipment, which will be transported to Honduras in the coming weeks. Garrison has served the Milford area for 21 years and had an office located in the Milford Health and Wellness Center. Recently he signed a contract to move into the Community Health Center, which provided a perfect opportunity to donate equipment to Images of Hope.

The founder of Images of Hope, David Kerr, has known Garrison for many years, and the two have been in discussions about donating a DEXA bone density scanner for quite some time. Kerr has a long history of working with doctors around the U.S. A radiologist, Kerr, who is also a local resident, has been building a network of volunteer doctors and radiologists to support his mission in Honduras for approximately five years. He has brought his talent and dedication he built through a lengthy career as a hospital administrator to Honduras to build hospitals, improve the quality of care throughout the country, and introduce new technology that helps save lives every day.

Honduras is a Central American country that suffers from immense poverty. Approximately 65 percent of the population lives on 45 cents a day. Their healthcare system struggles under the weight of inadequate training and a lack of specialists. It can take anywhere from six to eight weeks to have a radiology scan read and interpreted for treatment. Images of Hope attributes approximately 35-40 thousand deaths per year to the lack of radiologists.

The goal of Images of Hope is to establish a Picture Archiving and Communication System/ Radiology Info System (PACS/RIS) to enable remote readings of radiology scans by U.S.-based doctors and to teach Honduran doctors to interpret the scans, reducing hospital wait time to about an hour. Through his networking efforts, approximately 300 U.S.-based radiologists have pledged support to Images of Hope. Eventually Kerr would like to expand his operation into El Salvador, Guatemala, and Nicaragua.

Images of Hope will be shipping the donated equipment to three hospitals: Hospital El Carmen, a brand-new facility in Siquatepegue, and a Methodist Clinic in the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa. Garrison is considering joining an Images of Hope mission this December that aims to travel to Olancho, Honduras to treat a community of about 4,000. For more information, Images of Hope has a Facebook page listed under nonprofit organizations.

Newest Senior Center To Hold Grand Opening

MATAMORAS — Pike County's newest of its four senior centers will have its grand opening on Friday at noon. The Eastern Pike Senior Center, moved from its makeshift sessions in the Pike County Public Library to the Matamoras Fire House at 506 Ave. Q, has drawn twice as many visitors from its previous, smaller location to more than 50 people a week. It averaged about 40 a week back in late April when it had a soft opening.

The center is open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesdays and Fridays under director Janice Palma. A $2.50 lunch is offered, which is the only expense for anyone who comes. Volunteers and part-time worker Palma run the center. There also is a federal ombudsman, monitoring program serving Pike and Wayne counties staffed by local volunteers to check that there are no conflicts in the center.

"It serves well the people in that area who don't want to travel to Blooming Grove or Lackawaxen," said Pike County Area Agency on Aging Executive Director Robin LoDolce, who made a presentation to the Pike County Commissioners at their meeting last week and pointed out the need for volunteers.

The other three Pike County senior centers are the Dingmans Center in Delaware Township at the American Legion Post 85 on Ball Park Road from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays, the Blooming Grove Center at the 911 Training Center on 150 Pike County Boulevard in Lords Valley from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays and the Lackawaxen/Shohola Township Center at the Lackawaxen Fire Department on Beisel Beck Road and Route 590 on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

There also is a county AAA resource office at the Westfall Senior Apartments. "The population in Pike is continuing to age from my own experience," Pike Commissioner Steve Guccini said. "The seniors can't figure out where to make the first call on some issues.".. for complete story, get this week's issue.

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