The Greene Gazette Newsletter for December 2016 from the Greene County Board of Commissioners, Greene County, Pennsylvania

Greene County Commissioners on Facebook: www.facebook.com/GreeneCountyCommissioners

WAYNESBURG, PA — Wednesday, December 2016 issue (released January 12, 2017)


Greene County Commissioners
e-newsletters index
Phone: 724-852-5210
County Office Building, 3rd Floor
93 East High Street
Waynesburg, PA 15370

For Immediate Release
www.co.greene.pa.us
Ruth Thornberg, Webmaster

Compiled by Kelli Rishell
Administrative Assistant &
Ruth Thornberg, Webmaster


Edited by JoAnne Marshall
Communications Director


Approved by Jeffrey Marshall, Chief Clerk

Click here for Printable PDF


from the Greene County Commissioners


The County Commissioners would like to recognize all county employees born in the month JANUARY and wish you a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

click to enlarge



MLK Holiday Notice



Transportation MLK Holiday Notice



FMI, call 724-627-9988



FMI, call 724-943-4462



Pre-registration required

Dept of Rec at 724-852-5323


Pre-registration required

Dept of Rec at 724-852-5323


Pre-registration required

Dept of Rec at 724-852-5323


FMI, call 724-852-5323



FMI, call 724-852-5276



Pre-registration required

Dept of Rec at 724-852-5323


Pre-registration required

Dept of Rec at 724-852-5323


Pre-registration required

Dept of Rec at 724-852-5323



Message from our Greene County EMA/911 office:

With cooler temperatures expected, some may want to use their small space heaters. If so, DO NOT plug them into a power strip. These devices are not designed to handle the energy load of a space heater and can overheat causing a fire hazard.

Greene County Tourist Promotion Agency

Visitors Guide

Hot off the presses, our 2016-27 Official Visitors Guides has arrived!! This full-color, 36-page guide features events, attractions, and photos of your friends and neighbors! To request a copy (or 100), call 724-627-8687 or e-mail tourism.

Greene County Board of Commissioners
2017 Public Meeting Schedule


FMI, call 724-852-5210


Domestic Relations Locate List:
DR needs your help in obtaining mailing addresses for the several individuals, please contact the DRS Office at 742-852-5214 should you know the whereabouts or address for any of the following individuals:
  1. AMONETTE, JAMES A.
  2. BARLOW, TRAVIS, A.
  3. BARNHART, JEREMY S.
  4. BLACKWELL, DAVID ERIC JR.
  5. BATEMAN, ANDREA R.
  6. BROWNFIELD, JUSTIN S.
  7. CAIN, MATTHEW DAVID
  8. CAMPBELL, NICHOLAS A.
  9. CARDER, MITCHELL RAY SR.
  10. CONARD, ROBERT LEE
  11. CUMBERLAND, BELINDA J.
  12. DANFORTH, GARY A.
  13. DANIELS, BILLIE J.
  14. DICKEY, JEREMY M.
  15. FARRALL, WILLIAM E. III
  16. FRIEND, GERALD
  17. GREENAWALT, ALLAN A.
  18. GROF, JAMES V.
  19. HARRIS, KEVIN L. JR
  20. HAYES, MARK C. JR
  21. HILLEN, SCOTT
  22. HOGUE, DARRIN
  23. JENKINS, CODY D.
  24. JOHNSON-ABEREGG, THOMAS C.
  25. JORDAN, JOHN F. JR
  26. KING, WILLIAM A.
  27. LANDMAN, EARL E. JR.
  28. LEWIS, ANDRE S.
  29. LEWIS, JESSICA B.
  30. LOHR, WILLIAM D.
  31. MARTIN, CRAIG M. SR.
  32. MC CLAIN, BOBBY JOE
  33. MC CLARREN, MELANIE E.
  34. MC LAUGHLIN, RUSSELL E.
  35. MERRITT, JEREMY
  36. MILLER, BRETT A. II
  37. MITCHELL, GEORGE J. II
  38. NAPOLEON, MALENTION S. JR
  39. O'HARA, RYAN C.
  40. ORNDOFF, WILLIAM H. JR
  41. PATTERSON, GARY ANTHONY
  42. RENNER, DAVID M.
  43. ROGERS, MARK A.
  44. RUDNICK, TERRY LEE JR.
  45. RUSH, LATISHA M.
  46. SAYRE, EARNIE
  47. SMITH, BRIAN
  48. SNYDER, LOREL
  49. SOLIZ, JOSE ANTONIO
  50. STAGGERS, STAR D.
  51. STEWART, MICHAEL
  52. WRIGHT, MICHAEL DOUGLAS


  WCHS Fall Sports Certificates

Greene County Commissioners presented certificates of achievement at their Nov. 17 regular meeting to the Waynesburg Central High School's Boys Cross Country Team, Boys Soccer Team, Girls Soccer Team and Girls Volleyball Team on becoming section champions. Certificates of achievement were also presented to Matt Brandsetter on his coaching 11 seasons of cross country in high school and college programs, and senior Ben Bumgarner on placing second in the WPIAL Cross Country Championships and becoming the first Class AA champion from Waynesburg.

Assistant principal and athletic director, Justin Stephenson, accepted the certificates on behalf of Waynesburg Central High School while thanking the Commissioners for the honor.

"It was a difficult task to attain four titles in one season," Stephenson said. "The kids accomplished a tremendous achievement."

Pictured, from l. to r., are Commissioner Dave Coder; Commissioner Archie Trader; Justin Stephenson, Waynesburg Central High School assistant principal and athletic director; and Commissioner Blair Zimmerman.


  Commissioners attend the United Mine Workers service of the 54th anniversary of the Robena Mine disaster
The county commissioners were among many who attended the memorial service marking the 54th anniversary of the Robena Mine disaster. The keynote speaker was United Mine Workers International President Cecil E. Roberts. Daniel Kane, UMW international secretary-treasurer, also will speak.

Each year, family, friends and fellow workers gather at the granite miners' memorial along Route 21 in Monongahela Township to honor the 37 men who lost their lives in the Dec. 6, 1962, explosion at U.S. Steel Corp.’s Robena No. 3 Mine.

The Robena Mine opened in 1944 and was for many years the nation’s largest underground bituminous coal mine. At its peak in 1954, the mine employed 2,981 workers. Its top production year was 1955 when it produced 4.9 million tons of coal. Production ceased in 1983.

Robena was the worst mine disaster in Greene County since an explosion at the Mather Mine on May 19, 1928. That explosion took the lives of 195 miners.

Pictured are members of the Masontwon VFW Post 4584 rifle team at the Robena Memorial site on Rt. 21 in Mon Township.   (Source: Observer-Reporter, Dec. 7, 2016 ed., Bob Niedbala)


  Phil Little Proclamation

Greene County Commissioners proclaimed and acknowledged Phil Little's work with opioid addiction during their Dec. 15 regular meeting. Little is the Education and Outreach Specialist for the Attorney General and has specifically worked with opioid addition.

The opioid epidemic has found its way into every community and socio-economic class across the country, impacting millions of Americans each year. "It takes all of us to combat the opioid epidemic," State Representative Pam Snyder said.

Little went to all five Greene County school districts and gave a presentation on opioids to the middle school students teaching them to make good choices when it comes to drugs. His presentation made an impact as students come up to Snyder and remember the visit along with the message.

Little accepted the proclamation on behalf of the Education and Outreach unit and thanked the Commissioners and State Representative Snyder for their recognition of his work.

Commissioner Zimmerman echoed the message that it effects everyone in Greene County along with the nation and that &334;it takes all of us to beat the epidemic."

Pictured, from l. to r., are Commissioner Dave Coder; Commissioner Archie Trader; Phil Little, Education and Outreach Specialist; State Representative Pam Snyder; and Commissioner Blair Zimmerman.


  This Month in Greene County Government...

Board of Commissioners:
During the commissioners' regular board meeting on Thursday, December 15, the Commissioners made a Proclamation for Phil Little's work on Opioid Addiction.

Under Finance & Administration, the Commissioners approved the following:
  • Meeting dates and times for the commissioners' agenda and regular meetings, along with salary, retirement, prison, assessment, sinking fund, election and CLEO board meetings and advise the Chief Clerk to advertise
  • Resolve to adopt the budgets for the County of Greene 2017 General Fund, Liquid Fuels Fund, 911 Fund, Tourism Fund and Domestic Relations Fund
  • Incorporate the Human Services, MH/IDD/D&A, Transportation, and Children and Youth Services fiscal year budgets, which were granted/adopted at the beginning of the State Fiscal Year – July 1, 2016, into the 2017 Unified Budget
  • Resolve to set the millage for property taxes within the County of Greene for the 2017 year at the following rates: Vote unanimous.
    • General Fund – 6.77 mills or 67.7 cents on each one hundred dollars of assessed valuation.
    • Debt Service - .695 mills or 6.95 cents on each one hundred dollars of assessed valuation.
    • Library Fund - .07 mills or .7 cents on each one hundred dollars of assessed valuation.
  • Allocation of Act 13 funds received in 2016
  • Consultant agreement between the County of Greene and Delta Development for community and economic development services
  • 2017 faithful performance of duty coverage through Travelers Insurance binder to satisfy criteria set forth in Act 106 of 2011 and approve the form and amount of the required security
  • Easement between the County of Greene and West Penn Power for tax parcel # 22-020016 per Columbia Gas Right of Way at Dreamer Park
  • Agreement between the County of Greene and Pennsylvania Social Services Union, SEIU Local 668 for the term of January 1, 2017 – December 31, 2020 and also sign the associated Memorandum of Agreement regarding position reclassifications
  • Agreement between the County of Greene Prison and Pennsylvania Social Services Union, SEIU Local 668, AFL-CIO, CLC for the term of January 1, 2017 – December 31, 2020 and also sign the associated Memorandum of Agreement regarding position reclassifications
  • Agreement between Greene County Court Appointed Employees and United Mine Workers of America, AFL-CIO for the term of January 1, 2017 – December 31, 2020
  • Agreement between Greene County Human Services Department and United Mine Workers of America, AFL-CIO for the term of January 1, 2017 – December 31, 2020
  • Five year lease agreement between the County of Greene and John Higgins to lease a lot for a radio tower
  • Allocation to Dry Tavern Sewer Authority in the amount of $50,000 using Act 13 funds
  • Contract for Legal Services between the County of Greene Prothonotary and Jeffrey N. Grimes, Esq
  • Modification to the lease between the County of Greene and Burns Scalo for the Airport Development Project pending Solicitor approval
Board Appointments, the Commissioners approved the following members:
  • Reappoint Jeff Marshall and Robbie Matesic to the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission for a four year term
  • Reappoint Janet Mawhinney to the Greene County Fair Board of Directors for a five year term
  • Appoint Lorinda Richardson, Lauren Stauffer, Deneen Rhodes and Ann Bargerstock to the Tourism Board of Directors for a three year term
  • Reappoint Mike Belding to the Industrial Development Authority Board of Directors for a five year term
  • Accepted John Kendralla and Suzanne Swinchock’s resignations from the Planning Commission Board of Directors
  • Appoint Johanna Knapik to the Planning Commission Board of Directors for a four year term and remove said appointment from the list of alternates to the Planning Commission Board of Directors
  • Reappoint Bryan Cole to the Planning Commission Board of Directors for a four year term
  • Reappoint Melissa Kalsey and Fred Clark, Jr. to the Tax Abatement Board of Directors for a two year term
  • Reappoint Barry Nelson to the Redevelopment Authority Board of Directors for a five year term
  • Reappoint Brett Shimek and Jennifer George or Diane Donato to the Merit Hire System Administrative Review Panel
  • Appoint William A. Cree as chairman to the Farmland Preservation Board of Directors
Under Bridges, the Commissioners approved the following:
  • Change order for the design and inspection contract with Widmer Engineering for County Bridge #98 (Gray Township) to add $22,224.62, deduct $6,016.75 for a total of $16,207.87
  • Change order for the construction contract with J5 Construction for Greene County Bridge #98 (Gray Township) in the amount of $3,160.10
Under Tax Assessment, the Commissioners approved a contract between the County of Greene and Resource Technologies Corporation to provide specialty valuation services.

Under Tax Claims, the Commissioners approved the following:
  • Greene County Tax Claim Bureau has received a bid of fifty dollars, plus fees, for the following property: control #17-262 in Morgan Township. The property has been taken to upset sale on 10-12-2011 and judicial sale on 12-16-15 and remains unsold
  • In accordance with the Real Estate Tax sale (act of July 7, 1047, P.L., 1368 No. 542), section 613, as amended, notice is hereby given that a proposed sale price in the amount of fifty dollars ($50.00), plus fees, has been received and approved by the tax claim bureau for Parcel# 17-09-102 located in Morgan Township
Under Veterans Affairs, the Commissioners approved an agreement for the care and maintenance of 39 graves in the Hutchinson Cemetery located in Springhill Township at $3.00 per grave for a total of $117.

Under Domestic Relations, the Commissioners approved the Title IV-D Contract-Private Attorney between the County of Greene, Christina Al Demarco-Breeden and the Court of Common Pleas Domestic Relations Section to maintain and improve the effectiveness of the Title IV-D Child Support Enforcement Program for the period November 1, 2016 through September 30, 2020.

Under Probation, the Commissioners approved the following:
  • Purchase of service agreement for juvenile detention services between the County of Greene and Westmoreland County
  • Purchase of service agreement for juvenile detention services between the County of Greene and Jefferson County Ohio Detention Center
Under Emergency Management, the Commissioners approved the following:
  • Grant agreement between the County of Greene and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency in the amount of $184,012.00 to be used towards the selective router project
  • Election merit system and certification of Merit System Standards County and local emergency management agencies for Emergency Management Program Grant application
Under Human Services, the Commissioners approved the following:
  • FY2016/2017 contract with Connect for Shelter plus Care, Permanent Supportive Housing and for two Rapid Rehousing Grants
  • Accept the resignation of Cindy Wilson from the Human Services Advisory Board of Directors
  • Appoint John Ealy and Janice Blair Martin to the Human Services Advisory Board of Directors
Under Children & Youth Services, the Commissioners approved the following:
  • FY2016/2017 agreement with Avanco International for CAPS Version 13 Upgrade
  • FY2015/2016 contract with Kids Peace National Centers, Inc.
  • FY2016/2017 1st quarter Act 148 quarterly report of expenditures signed on 11/22/16
  • FY2016/2017 contract with Adelphoi Village.
  • Appoint Pat Lemley, Sam Silbaugh and Laura Walters to the Children and Youth Advisory Board of Directors
Under Tourism, the Commissioners approved a Memorandum of Understanding between the County of Greene and the Greene County Tourist Promotion Agency.

Under CDBG, the Commissioners approved the following:
  • Cooperation agreement between the County of Greene and Waynesburg Borough for the FY2016 CDBG program administration
  • Resolution that the County Commissioners authorize the submission of a competitive application to the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development for financial assistance through the Community Development Block Grant Program and make Chairman Blair Zimmerman sole signatory
Under the Farmland Preservation, the County Solicitor has reviewed the purchase of farmland preservations easements of the Bell Farm and Cree Farm and authorize expenditures up to $8,000 for each farm paid from the County Farmland Preservation funds.


Prison Board:
During the Prison Board meeting on Thursday, December 15, the Commissioners made the following motions:
  • Security:
    • Finishing the security enhancements for the visiting room waiting area to include the set up and usage of a walk through metal detector which was provided by the Sheriff’s office. Also, have refurbished lockers that had been utilized for facility staff members and will be using them for inmate visitor’s property prior to entrance into the facility visiting waiting area

  • Training:
    • No in service training has been conducted this month.

  • Maintenance:
    • Instances of flooding due to trap blockage have been reduced through the daily inspection of each housing unit and this will continue to be part of our daily maintenance routine.
    • The situation with the intercom system is ongoing and in daily contact with Montgomery Technology Systems trying to resolve this issue. Commissioner Coder made the motion and Marge Fox the second to allow the solicitor to review the contract with Montgomery Technology Systems and advise the board of legal rights.
    • The installation of the new camera system has been completed, however, maintaining the old system in place should there be any system failures.
    • County maintenance has taken measurements for block installation regarding the restructuring of F-unit into a holding area for detainees prior to arraignment and we have developed a design requirement for this designation.
    • Since the inception of the in house maintenance position Mr. Ziefel has completed eighteen work order requests for the month of November and currently seven (7) for the month of December. In addition to the submitted work orders we have completed numerous in house renovation projects to compliment developed procedural changes that have been implemented.

  • Treatment:
    • Women’s work detail has started back up and is conducting a cleaning detail today within the community. Have had several requests for this service at area church’s and will be attempting to complete these requests prior to the Christmas holiday.
    • Starting the installation of several new large screen television sets next week to be installed within the housing units. These new television sets will allow after bar viewing and will be placed in a central location within the housing units.
    • Received a contract for Lexus-Nexus regarding fixed pricing for their law library kiosk and at the expiration of our current contract in March 2017 with Westlaw we will be saving an average monthly cost of $300.00 plus dollars.
    • Following the holiday we will be reviewing an online demonstration of the Edovo education tablet facilitated by their vendor representative Mr. Mitchel Peterman. After a review and cost per unit assessment consideration will be given to purchasing this service for our inmates educational and program development.

  • Financial Report:
    • Fayette County owes $18,350.00 for the month of November in regards to rental fees and has paid $9,500.00 for the month of October.
    • Deposits totaling $1,440.00 have been made with the Treasurer’s Office for November’s work release and weekend inmates.

Retirement Board:
During the Retirement Board meeting on Thursday, December 15, a short form agreement between the County of Greene and Korn Ferry/Hay Group in the amount of $2,500 was approved.


Salary Board:
During the Salary Board meeting on Thursday, December 15, the following personnel actions were approved:

Miscellaneous: Increase in on-call pay for probation supervisors to $300 per week effective 05-20-16

New Hires:
  • Denice Blaker, Casual Van Driver
  • Doug Held, Causal Van Driver
  • Mark Koscheck, Casual Van Driver
  • Brandy Yekel, regular full time Fiscal Assistant, CYS
Promotions:
  • Brian Bundy to regular full time Shift Supervisor (temporary promotion)
  • Zachary Burger to temporary part time Corrections Officer
  • John Fox to regular full time Shift Supervisor
  • Zachary Howard to regular full time Deputy Sheriff 1
  • Shayla Kniha to regular part time Corrections Officer
  • Tina Smith to regular full time Shift Supervisor (temporary promotion)
Resignations:
  • Sharon Basinger, part time Deed Transfer Clerk
  • Bernie Fox, Tip Staff
  • Brittany Griest, Field Assessor
  • Tiffany Huffman, County Caseworker 1
  • Rolinda Kniha, Food Service Supervisor
  • Taylor Knisley, part time Corrections Officer
  • Danyelle Neifert, Caseworker 1
  • Michael Pavlic, Sheriff Deputy
  • Chelsea Wood, Caseworker
Retirements:
  • Mary Hager, Administrative Assistant, Jail


  County Commissioners welcome new county employees

The Commissioners would like to take time to welcome our new employees that were hired, and introduce each new hire to the rest of our county employees. Welcome to the county and we hope that you are happy in your new position. We have an open door policy for all our employees, and hope that you feel comfortable to drop in should you have any concerns.

The County Employee Handbook can be accessed through our intranet website for employees only, or you can obtain a copy of the handbook at the Human Resources office at any time. We expect all of our employees to abide with the rules and regulations stated in the employee handbook; but should you have questions, please contact Becky Harris, our HR Director at 724-852-5200.
 
Mark Koscheck
Van Driver
Casual
Transportation
Department of Human Services
Appointment eff. Dec. 5
 
Doug Held
Van Driver
Casual
Transportation
Department of Human Services
Appointment eff. Dec. 5
 
Denice Blaker
Van Driver
Casual
Transportation
Department of Human Services
Appointment eff. Dec. 5
 


  Deer Season — Bragging Rights!

"What a Buck — what a great surprise!"   "Commissioner Archie Trader's 12-yr old grandson Wyatt, got his buck on the first day of deer season (Nov 28) on Archie's farm in Ruff Creek; with a 28-inch inside rack span,", and it's the biggest rack span Archie has ever seen!

Plus the week prior, two of his grandson's were hunting in West Virginia where they both got a buck and a doe. I guess there'll be having a venison feast at the Trader's! Congratulations!



Commissioner Blair Zimmerman bagged a 7-pt buck on a farm in Franklin Township (December 5). (pictured on the right)

According to the PA State Game Commission, the annual deer harvest involves hundreds of thousands of hunters, harvesting hundreds of thousands of deer over 4 months of deer hunting seasons across 45,000 square miles. Read more at: www.pgc.pa.gov


  Little Children make Christmas special!

The following Christmas photos are children/grandchildren (family members) of some of our employees. Thanks for sharing!

Breakfast with Santa

Amelia (7 yrs) & Toufie (4 yrs)
children of Ginelle Michael, County Purchasing Clerk

Kaiden's 1st Christmas

son of Kelli Rishell, Administrative Assistant
Commissioners Office

Abigail Blaker
(almost 2)
With a twinkle in her eyes
grand-niece of Ruthie Thornberg, County Webmaster

Lilly and Layla Kozlowski

daughters of Lindsay Kozlowski, Environmental Program Specialist,
Conservation District


Hailie Kelley
(3 yrs)
Daughter of Nathan Kelley,
Food Service Worker, at the Greene County Prison and granddaughter of Scott Kelley, IT Director


Kash Michael Brummage

Infant son of April Brummage,
Environmental Program Specialist,
Conservation District

 
Lindley Reed
(6 yrs)
(pictured on left) performing in the Waynesburg Christmas parade, dancer with the Moschetta's Performing Arts Center and (pictured on right) she was also caroling at the County Office Building on Dec. 15th with her school (Open Door Christian School), and pictured with her "Pappy" Lanny Hewitt.
Lindley is the daughter of Rachel Gillispie, Department Clerk in our Elections Office


Robert Odum, 2 yrs old

"Not a happy camper"
Grandson of Pam H. Blaker, Transportation Specialist, HS; nephew of Tammy Henderson, Admin Assistant, HS; and grand-nephew of Ruthie Thornberg, County Webmaster

 
Ellie Nehls
(1st Christmas)
She turned 11 months on Dec. 26 & loves Santa, is fascinated with his beard.
Ellie is the young daughter of Amie Nehls, Administrative Assistant, Elections Office


Santa has his arms full

with the Tennant brothers: Ross (8 yrs), Blake (7), Reed (4), and Ty (2 yrs),
young sons of Greene County Sheriff Brian Tennant's


  Christmas Carolers stop by county office building

Commissioner Blair Zimmerman and Rep. Pam Snyder enjoyed greeting and listening to the young voices of Christmas carolers as they sang in the County Office Building on Thursday morning (Dec. 15).

The carolers were students from the Open Door Christian School located in Lippencott, PA. Among the carolers/students was the daughter of Rachel Gillispie, Department Clerk in our Elections Office, and the grandchildren of Vicki Rankin, Auditor in the Controller's Office.

 


  County Relay Team - Christmas Cookie Raffle
Our County Relay for Life Greene Team of county employees, sweetened Santa's plate with a cookie raffle just in time for Christmas. Raffle tickets were sold by each of our departments, with the drawing scheduled for December 20, raising $298 toward this years Relay team total; GREAT JOB Team!!

Congratulations to the following winners of the Relay for Life Cookie Tray Raffle:
  • Grand Prize (approximately 13.5 dozen cookies):
    • Donna Tharp, Register & Recorder

  • Medium Trays (approximately 7.5 dozen cookies):
    • Bill Guappone, Enforcement Officer, Domestic Relations
    • Jeff Novak, Buildings & Grounds Director
    • Jenn Rizor, Probation Office, Juvenile Probation
    • Kathy Deynzer, Intake Officer, Domestic Relations

  • Small Trays (approximately 6.5 dozen cookies):
    • Tammy Tarquinio, citizen
    • Greg Leathers, EMA/911 Director
Thank you to everyone who supported this fundraiser in any way (donating cookies, selling/buying tickets and assembling the trays, etc.)   — Jenifer Jones, Team Captain


  Santa Visits Greene County Fairgrounds

More than 80 local children attended the Greene County Department of Recreation's "Breakfast with Santa," held from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, at the Greene County Fairgrounds.

Children in attendance had the opportunity to sit with Santa Claus, discuss their Christmas lists with him and have their pictures taken. Mrs. Claus was also on hand to assist Santa with the guests.

Each child received a Santa Helper Hat, a special treat from Santa and a bag of reindeer food to help guide his sleigh team on Christmas Eve.

Other activities included cookie decorating and a cookie Christmas ornament craft.

Available again this year, the children had the opportunity to write letters to Santa and place them in the Department of Recreation’s "Official North Pole Mail&334; mailbox that was on display at the breakfast. More than 100 letters have been received, and the department’s elves will bundle all letters and ship them straight to the big guy at the North Pole.

The Department of Recreation would like to thank Santa and Mrs. Claus, Chef Dan Wagner and students of the Greene County Career & Technology Center, and everyone who attended.

The holiday activities were sponsored by Chapman Corporation and presented by the Greene County Commissioners and the Department of Recreation.

For more information on "Breakfast with Santa," or "Letters from Santa," call the Department of Recreation at 724-852-5323.

Pictured with Santa is Shane McNamara, age 9, of Carmichaels.


  2016 Waynesburg Christmas Parade

Photos courtesy of the Waynesburg Chamber of Commerce — 2016


  Conservation District honors five at annual awards ceremony

The Greene County Conservation District honored five recipients during its annual awards ceremony Tuesday, Dec. 13, at Thistlethwaite Vineyards in Jefferson.

Each year, the Conservation District honors those within the county who have shown an outstanding commitment to soil and water conservation. Honorees for 2016 included Rick and Annette Thistlethwaite of Thistlethwaite Vineyard, recipients of the Special Recognition Award for Agriculture Excellence; Waynesburg Borough Council and staff, Special Recognition for Urban Forestry; Morgan Township, Dirt Gravel and Low Volume Road Program Municipality of the Year; Curt Hughes, recipient of the Special Recognition Award for Excellence of Agriculture Education; and MaKayla Henary, recipient of the Conservation Speaking Award.

Rick and Annette Thistlethwaite were recognized for their active role in Greene County Agribusiness and success of their award-winning winery. Thistlethwaite Vineyard, located in Jefferson, has the distinction of being the county's first vineyard and the district was pleased to honor the mixing of farming and business success which is far from the traditional paths that the land once was utilized for. The board recognized Rick and Annette knowing that true hard work, perseverance and forward thinking played a major role in the success of the award-winning winery.

Waynesburg Borough Council and staff were recognized for their vigilant care and management of "The Commons" park situated on the north side of the borough. For the past 28 years, the borough has managed the planting of over 200 trees that has allowed "The Commons" to become the place of recreation and scenic beauty utilized by countless Waynesburg and Greene County residents.

Morgan Township was recognized for enhancing municipal roads with environmentally sensitive maintenance practices that protect water as developed by the Center for Dirt and Gravel Roads. Since 2011, Morgan Township has sought to improve Beagle Club Road located near Stoney Point. The township installed 14 cross drains, two stream crossings and the placement of 2587 tons of Driving Surface Aggregate over a one-mile section of road along with the application of a sealant known as Ultra Bond.

The township has worked diligently to complete their projects in a timely manner and worked closely with the district to improve their road system. The Conservation District would like to commend them on their hard work, time committed to the program and willingness to think creatively.

The Conservation District takes pleasure in recognizing those dedicated to fostering and mentoring of our local students in the knowledge of agricultural sciences. Curt Hughes, an agriculture science teacher at West Greene High School, was recognized for his commitment to the agriculture community through his years of teaching Greene County youth the importance of agriculture sciences during his 29-year career.

Hughes' fostering, mentoring and dedication to local students with the West Greene FFA program, West Greene High School and other youth agricultural organizations is an inspiration to both young and old. Current and past students have become the voices for the community and environment, and are shining stars of Greene County.

MaKayla Henary, a 2016 graduate of Waynesburg Central High and current freshman at West Virginia University, was recognized for her outstanding speaking skills and for placing first at the county speaking contest. Henary continued through the regional competitions to the State FFA Conservation Speaking Contest at the Pennsylvania FFA State Convention. She placed seventh overall. Henary is the daughter of Jim and Kim Henary of Mt. Morris, and is pursuing a degree in Energy Land Management.

For more information on the Conservation District awards, call 724-852-5278.

(Pictured above: Rick and Annette Thistlethwaite of Thistlethwaite Vineyards received the 2016 Special Recognition Award for Agriculture Excellence at the Greene County Conservation District's annual award ceremony on Tuesday, Dec. 13.

Michael Simms, Waynesburg Borough Manager, accepted the 2016 Special Recognition for Urban Forestry on behalf of the Waynesburg Borough Council and staff at the Greene County Conservation District's annual award ceremony on Tuesday, Dec. 13.

Dominick Barbetta, Morgan Township Supervisor, accepted the 2016 Dirt Gravel and Low Volume Road Program Municipality of the Year on behalf of Morgan Township at the Greene County Conservation District's annual award ceremony on Tuesday, Dec. 13.

Curt Hughes received the 2016 Special Recognition Award for Excellence of Agriculture Education at the Greene County Conservation District's annual award ceremony on Tuesday, Dec. 13. Pictured is Hughes (right) with District Treasurer Thomas Headlee.

MaKayla Henary of Mt. Morris received the 2016 Conservation Speaking Award at the Greene County Conservation District's annual award ceremony on Tuesday, Dec. 13.]


  Continuation of the Halloween Spooktacular

Our November Gazette featured an article on the 9th annual Halloween Spooktacular, but we didn't have all the pictures of our county employees who participated. So we're focusing on additional employees who participated. We appreciate all who enjoyed the Chamber's Spooktacular event.

Pictured above left to right: Crystal Simmons, as Aphrodite; Mimi Ritenour as Igor; Rosanna Burris as a Saloon Madame; Zabryna Karnes - Mystery Me; Vickie Steinmiller as a Biker Chick; and the group picture of "Ladies of the Decades": Candace Buchanan, Crystal Walters, Janice Lehew, Lisa Murdock, Megan Goodwin

(Click on any image to enlarge photo) — Photos courtesy of the Waynesburg Chamber of Commerce.


  Road construction at airport nearing completion

The airport road construction that began on June 1, is progressing and nearing completion of this development stage. The traffic light (pictured) at the intersection is now operational.

Commissioner Blair Zimmerman was there for the initial excavation and has been monitoring the progress on the project, which involves construction of a new driveway entrance to the Greene County Airport at the intersection with SR0021 and Murtha Drive. In addition, widening and improvements to SR0021 will occur for future development.

The contract was awarded in February 2016 to A. Folino Construction, Inc. in the amount of $768,719.30.   (Photo courtesy of Commissioner Blair Zimmerman)



  Rec Department — Friday night Skate & Dance

This season, every Friday will feature a "Skate & Dance" from 7 to 11 p.m. with skating from 7-9 p.m. and dancing from 9-11 p.m. Open skating will be held from 7 to 10 p.m. on Saturdays. Admission for all attendees will be $8 on Friday nights and $5 on Saturday nights. Times and prices may change.
Following general maintenance and the holidays of November and December, the rink will reopen at 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 27, for the first 2017 "Skate & Dance." Mon View will continue to be open Fridays and Saturdays and will close for the season Saturday, April 8.

Mon View is available to rent for private parties at a rate of $120 for two hours. The price covers admission and skate rental for 20 people. A fee of $3 per additional person will be charged. Skate lessons are also available by appointment only.

Click here for Friday night (with dates) flyers, and here for General rules brochure (with dates). For more information, call Mon View Roller Rink at 724-943-3440, or the Department of Recreation at 724-852-5323.
  Recreation offers Craft Classes
Come in out of the cold and get inspired with Crafty Creations. The Greene County Department of Recreation is offering a series of craft classes with a different project each time including two "Mommy and Me" activities.

All classes will be held at the Greene County Fairgrounds. The cost of materials and supplies are included in the registration fee. Participants must pre-register and pre-pay for each class a week in advance unless otherwise noted.

Classes may be canceled due to participation or inclement weather. Announcements will be made on WANB Radio and the Greene County Commissioners Facebook page.

For more information or pre-registration, call the Department of Recreation at 724-852-5323, or visit www.co.greene.pa.us.


  Greene County Veteran's Affairs Office:

Public Notice: The Veterans Affairs Office of Greene County is looking for part-time van drivers for the van that transports the veterans to the Pittsburgh VAMC hospitals. The van goes 4 days a week - Monday thru Thursday. Only exception is the county holidays then we follow that schedule. You may be working only one or two days a week. Must not have following medical problems: diabetes, high blood pressure, hearing problems and will need a background check with DUI checks. Click HERE for printable notice. Contact the veteran’s affairs office between 8:30 AM and 4:30 PM at 724-852-5274.

  Note of Thanks: The turkey and food give away in November was a great success and the Veteran's Affairs Office was very appreciative for the donations of food and giant eagle cards to help with the food distribution for the veterans and their families. Around a hundred veterans were able to be in receipt of this distributions.

—Thanks, Dalene Watson, VA Director (724-852-5274)
  January VA events to remember:


  County Parking Policy

This is a reminder about the County policy that prohibits Employees from parking on the streets. The parking along the street is for the general public and shoppers frequenting the local merchants. This issue has again come to our attention as Christmas shoppers are having a hard time finding parking when visiting our local stores.

Employees are to be parking in the lot that the County has paid for and provided to you. Employees who violate this policy will be subject to the disciplinary process.

Your cooperation and compliance is greatly appreciated.


EMPLOYEE NOTICE: Travel Reimbursement Rate Change.   Please be advised that the Greene County Travel Reimbursement Rate has changed to fifty-three and a half (.535) cents per mile, effective January 1, 2017. This change is equal to the published rate by the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA). (Click HERE for memo).

— Thanks, Becky Harris, HR Director (724-852-5200)


  PRESS RELEASE:   Community groups come together after local flooding

Greene County Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) | Press Release with full information (Dec 2016)

Representatives from Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) and the Greene County Emergency Management Agency have gathered together local agencies, churches and other community organizations to address the needs and issues facing those affected by the flooding which occurred December 18th. Greg Leathers, Greene Co. EMA Director, briefed the organizations on the situation following flooding that affected dozens of homes and families across Greene County. The United Way, Community Action Southwest, Salvation Army, Greene Co. Human Services, Catholic Charities, United Methodist Church, Greater Waynesburg Christian Outreach, Lions Club, and others were among those present. >>




Calendar OF Events
Be sure to check out the many upcoming events Greene County has to offer!


January 6, 13, 20, & 27 | Skate & Dance — at Mon View Roller Rink from 7 to 11 pm with skating from 7-9 pm and dancing from 9-11 pm. Mon View is available to rent for private parties at a rate of $120 for two hours. The price covers admission and skate rental for 20 people. A fee of $3 per additional person will be charged. Skate lessons are also available by appointment only. FMI, call Mon View Roller Rink at 724-943-3440, or the Department of Recreation at 724-852-5323.

January 7-14, 2017 | Pennsylvania State Farm Show — held each year in Harrisburg, PA.


January 7, 14, 21, & 28 | Open Skating — at Mon View Roller Rink from 7 to 10 pm. Admission is $5 on Saturday nights. FMI, call Mon View Roller Rink at 724-943-3440, or the Department of Recreation at 724-852-5323.

January 8 | Intro to Exercise — at the Greene County Fairgrounds from 2-3 pm, the Greene County Department of Recreation’s winter exercise session kicks off on Sunday, Jan. 8 at 2 p.m. with a free Intro to Exercise class. Certified instructors will demonstrate each of their class formats for ten minutes allowing participants to learn more, try each format out and discover their favorites. FMI or pre-register, call the Dept of Rec at 724-852-5323.

January 8-29 | Yoga class — at 3 pm; Zumba class at 4:30 pm. FMI, click HERE for the Get Fit in 2017 brochures or call 724-852-5323.


January 15, 2017 | No Sew Sock Snowmen — (ages 8+) held at 2 pm at the Greene County Fairgrounds with instructor Katy Misechok ($20). Click HERE for Crafty Creations brochure. FMI Call Dept of Rec at 724-852-5323.

January 16, 2017 | County Holiday — county government offices will be closed on Monday, January 16, 2017 in observance of Martin Luther King holiday. Note that the Greene County Transportation Office will also be closed, click HERE for additional information. FMI, call the individual offices.

January 22, 2017 | Snowman Mason Jar Candle Holder — (ages 9+) held at 2 pm at the Greene County Fairgrounds with instructor Katy Misechok ($20). Click HERE for Crafty Creations brochure. FMI Call Dept of Rec at 724-852-5323.

January 29, 2017 | Wintery Heart Wreath — (adult class) held at 2 pm at the Greene County Fairgrounds with instructor Ashlee Granstrand ($35). Click HERE for Crafty Creations brochure. FMI Call Dept of Rec at 724-852-5323.

February 12, 2017 | Valentine Heart String Art — (Mommy & Me class) held at 2 pm at the Greene County Fairgrounds with instructor Katy Misechok ($20). Click HERE for Crafty Creations brochure. FMI Call Dept of Rec at 724-852-5323.

January 1-December 1, 2017 | Cache Me if You Can (Geocaching) — involves eight recreation sites across Greene County. Geocaching is an outdoor treasure-hunt game using GPS software. Click HERE for brochure with pass code application and/or HERE for event flyer. FMI, call the Department of Recreation at 724-852-5323.

February 26, 2017 | Cabin Fever Chili Cook-off — 10 am-5 pm. Shoppers purchase a wrist band at any participating business for $5, which enables them to visit all participating businesses in downtown Waynesburg and sample a different chili at each location. Shoppers vote for their favorite chili after tasting each recipe.



If you would like to submit an article to the "Greene County Gazette," please email Ruth Thornberg or phone 724-852-5384.

Click subscribe button below and receive our monthly E-Newsletter

 
to our E-Newsletter