September 21st, 2015 9:24 pm

First Posted: 12/30/2012


Recent Dallas High School graduate Sarah Bilski learned that she was the recipient of the Roy W. Piper Charitable Trust Scholarship, which awards her $60,000, or $15,000 each for four years, when she attends Penn State University. Piper was a Wyoming County businessman who died in 2007. He set up scholarships for high school seniors in Wyoming, Luzerne and Lackawanna counties six years before he died. Trustees administering the scholarships take into consideration financial need, community service and citizenship.

A zoning hearing for the Dallas Area Municipal Authority's application to create a compost facility at the State Correctional Institute at Dallas was cancelled due to DAMA's application withdrawal. At a supervisors meeting earlier in the month, residents had expressed concerns about noise, traffic and security at the proposed site.

Andrew Duda, of Maryland, told a group of volunteers that all 17 lots had been acquired for a proposed wildlife sanctuary, which has been named Woodland Springs, but zoning requirements may be an issue.

The Dallas High School Student Leadership in Civics group unveiled its most recent project – a military honor wall. The wall features two plaques with name plates – one for Dallas-area military personnel who have earned the Purple Heart and one for families of service men and women who have received the Gold Star.

The 66th Annual Back Mountain Memorial Library Auction came to an end when local artist Sue Hand's painting of the auction grounds went across the auction block and garnered $4,600 for the library.

Friends and family of 22-year-old Paige Selenski weren't exactly surprised when the 2008 Dallas High School graduate was recently named to the U.S. Olympic Field Hockey Team. For Selenski, a University of Virginia senior majoring in English, making the team was a long time coming.

The Lake-Lehman School Board approved a raise for the superintendent and his assistant. The board approved a 3.5 percent raise for Superintendent James McGovern which changed his annual salary to $116,763.53. A $0.60 per hour raise was approved for Assistant to the Superintendent Mary Jo Casaldi, increasing her salary to $40,081.60.


PVR Partners, formerly Chief Gathering LLC, donated a Polaris Ranger 800EF all-terrain vehicle to Dallas Fire & Ambulance Inc. The vehicle will be fitted with equipment that will enable responders to reach wooded areas.

The Collie Club of Northeastern Pennsylvania donated three pet oxygen masks to the Jackson Township Volunteer Fire Department.

The Back Mountain community mourned the loss of a young man considered by many of his friends as the strongest person they know. Corey Ehret, 18, of Dallas, died July 22 after a three-year battle with embryonal rhabdomyo sarcoma.

After four months of construction, Hillside Road in Jackson Township was about to reopen to the public but officials warned nearby residents that the bridge replacement project does not mean the area is no longer prone to flooding.

The Back Mountain continued to rally around Paige Selenski, a native of Shavertown and 21008 graduate of Dallas High School, who was playing on the United States Olympic field hockey team in London, showing its support in many ways. Employees at The Lands at Hillside Farms created The Paige sundae, consisting of vanilla ice cream, strawberry and blueberry topping, whipped cream and a cherry on top.

The former Castle Inn was sold to the Triangle 24 Hour Club, Inc. and would serve as a meeting space for recovering alcoholics, addicts and their families. According to county property records, the historical landmark located on State Route 415 was sold to the non profit recovery group for $307,000.

Dallas Township supervisors continued discussion about whether to contribute toward the Kingston Township-run D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program. Kingston Township asked Dallas Township to donate $2,500 toward the program. The program cost is divided between Kingston, Dallas and Franklin townships, Dallas Borough and the Dallas School District.

The life of 22-year-old Kelci Gibbons was celebrated at the Harveys Lake Beach Club by those who knew her and loved her. A 2008 graduate of Dallas High School where she was a member of the 2007 state championship soccer team, Gibbons was killed in an automobile accident on July 24.

Dallas Township supervisors unanimously adopted a resolution to appoint a committee to begin drafting a new comprehensive plan for the township's anticipated growth over the next few years.

Schools opened on Aug. 28 for students in the Lake-Lehman School District and on Aug. 29 for students in the Dallas School District.


The Luzerne County Fair, held every year at the fair grounds on Route 118 in Lehman, enjoyed its 50th year.

The long-awaited news that the senior center in Dallas was scheduled to reopen in the Twin Stacks Center on Memorial Highway came. After receiving several responses to its latest request for proposals, the Luzerne & Wyoming Counties Area Agency on Aging presented and gained approval for the lease of the new senior center at the Twin Stacks Center from the Luzerne County Council.

The largest private team in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Scranton consisted of about 35 Back Mountain residents, including breast cancer survivors Chris Ostroski and Kathy Bufalino, both of Shavertown.

The Dallas Harvest Festival, the annual block party held along Main Street in the borough, celebrated its 10th anniversary. Eighty vendors from all over the Back Mountain took part in the event that also hosted special guests Cherie and Dave, clowns from the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.

Members of the Harveys Lake Borough Council scrapped pans to build a new police station on Little League Road when the motion to open bids for the project was made but not carried. All council members except Vice president Francis Kopko carried the motion made by councilwoman Michell'e Boice.

The Dallas School Board adopted the Pennsylvania Department of Education's career mentoring program as part of the district's curriculum. The program is based on area business professionals volunteering as mentors to work with students, giving them early exposure to what they mind find upon entering the work force.


A mixer on the deck at Metro Bar & Grill in the Twin Stacks Center, Dallas, introduced the Back Mountain Young Professionals Association, a new branch of the Back Mountain Chamber. The intention of the new group is to attract younger professionals to the community to gather and share ideas while working together to build an environment for both families and businesses.

Members of Boy Scout Troop 381 in Dallas honored the memory of Eagle Scout Thomas Lynch who was killed in an automobile accident on his way to school on Feb. 3. Lynch had left behind an unfinished Scout project and fellow Scout Casey McAndrew dove in to finish building information kiosks at three locations on the Back Mountain Trail.

Seniors from the Back Mountain greeted one another with excitement and hugs at the opening of the new Senior Center in the Twin Stacks building in Dallas.

Children of all ages enjoyed the array of equipment and vehicles on display at the first-ever Dallas Township Fall Roll Out held on the municipal grounds on Route 309.

The Dallas School Board approved a trial agreement for cyber services with Seneca Valley School District. Dallas would pay Seneca Valley $8,750 for 25 part-time seats and unlimited full-time seats in a cyber school program.

Kingston Township supervisors approved a request from Fabcor Inc. for a time extension on the East Center Street Bridge project. Township Manager Kathleen Sebastian stated that Fabcor planned to have the bridge open to the public in December.

Residents of Harveys Lake Borough expressed their concerns about the possible moving and renovation of the police station. Council informed the public that the current building would be assessed by an engineer as was discussed at a previous meeting.

Michael Novrocki, Social Studies teacher and National History Day coordinator at Lake-Lehman High School, received the Centennial Medal Award for Excellent in Education from Philadelphia University. The award is presented to educators for their dedication in preparing their students for college.


Scouts from Boy Scout Troop 155 led a group in the Pledge of Allegiance at a candlelight vigil and prayer session at The Meadows Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Dallas. Reverends Dr. Robert Zanicki and Gideon Gaetano led the audience in prayer and song.

The Back Mountain Community Partnership discussed emergency trailers that were being purchased. The partnership purchased equipment with previous grant money for emergency response crews and was looking to make accessibility to that equipment quick and easy so emergency crews can be on scene as fast as possible.

The Dallas Foundation announced results of its contest to determine the location of a Dallas School District sign. There were 2,134 votes cast and 62.5 percent of the people voted to replace the existing sign at the intersection of Route 309 and Hildebrandt/Upper Demunds Road. The new sign is expected to arrive in January 2013.

Dallas Township residents were invited to participate in a series of public visioning sessions. As the next step in a process begun in 2008, township officials would work to complete the Comprehensive Plan over the course of the next several months.

Thousands of Back Mountain residents were left without power in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. Downed trees and power lines made clean up and repair a non-stop job for utility crews and families throughout the area. The most devastating storm in decades left millions or people across the country without power as thousands fled their water-damaged homes.

Two Dallas artist had their work chosen for display during the nation's largest juried exhibit and sale of works by artists with cognitive, physical, hearing and visual disabilities. The Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital's Annual Art Ability Exhibit selected 33-year-old Billy Sukus for his piece entitled 26 Fe Iron and 35-year-old Pat Cleary for his piece entitled Beadweaver.

Dallas High School announced plans to open a student-operated store called Mountaineer Market. The store would serve as a fundraising tool for the school and a hands-on classroom where students could learn job skills such as keeping inventory, practical math, cash handling and work-related social skills.

Ross Elementary School in Sweet Valley hosted a Dads Day, a day for fathers to volunteer part of their day to participate in fun activities with their children's class. Fifty-three fathers took part in the day, some of them multiple times for multiple children.

The Back Mountain saw its first taste of snow on Nov. 27, causing the Dallas School District to call for a two-hour delay while the Lake-Lehman School District remained on its regular schedule.


Thanks to Facebook, the Chinikaylo family from Church Road in Lehman Township was able to find Lillie, its 3-year-old Border Collie/Labrador mix that had become frightened by firecrackers and ran out of the family's backyard. A posting on Facebook by someone who had found Lillie got her back to her family without incident.

Cross Creek Community Church on Carverton Road in Trucksville participated in Operation Children Child, a shoebox collection whereby participants filled a shoebox or small plastic tote with items for children ages 2-14 in countries all around the world.

A special meeting was held by the Harveys Lake Protective Association to hear both sides of the police move issue. County President Larry Radel gave the position to move the department while Councilwoman Michell'e Boice took the opposing postiion, saying the police department should remain at the borough's main entrance. A straw poll of residents who attended the meeting was taken. The unanimous decision was to keep the departmetn at its present site.

Residents of Dallas Township and members of the township's planning board met with Jack Varaly from Varaly Associates to begin the process of building a comprehensive plan for the township. Varaly was hired by the township to help prepare a plan to map out a vision for the future.

Fashion designer Jay McCarroll, a native of Lehman and winner of the first season of Project Runway, returned to the Back Mountain to participate in a holiday-themed fashioned show at Misericordia University.

Dallas Borough Council approved the proposed -013 budget of $1,140,000 and authorized its advertisement.

At the Dallas School Board reorganization meeting, Dr. Richard Coslett was elected president and Dr. Bruce Goeringer was named vice president. Mark Kornoski was re-elected president by one vote over Andrew Salko on the Lake-Lehman School Board while Walter Glogowski was named fist vice president and Dr. Kevin Carey was elected second vice president.

Dallas Elementary students got an early start on their seasonal shopping lists during an annual holiday shopping event at the school. Youngsters and their parents perused the various wares and vendors at the event, which included items for everyone in one's family from brother to godmother.

Furry friends and their owners flocked to Dymond's Farm in Orange to have their photos taken with Santa Claus and raise money for animals in need. The event was organized by Blue Chip Farms Animal Refuge, located just down the street from the family farm.

The Kukuchka family in Tunkhannock revived its Christmas holiday display, setting up more than 18,000 lights at the family business, Creekside Gardens.

The Dallas School District's board of directors discussed alternative approaches to updating Dallas Elementary School which is in need of maintenance and repair. A water main break at the school earlier in the year prompted a study to determine the state of the building and possible options for rehabilitating it.