On and Off The Mountain

We are in a midsummer night’s dream. Well that includes the days of July 2014 too. Just about every day is warm and beautiful. There are showers now and then, but mostly we are thankful for the days at hand.

Our little ones are busy with day camp, Boy Scout camp, and this week soccer camp. Kids are lucky to have so many choices. I went to CYO sleepover camp once when I was 11 years old. Oh how I wanted to go again but my mother said once was all she could afford.

The things we did all summer 50 and more years ago were simple. Playing in the woods building forts or clearing space for a “garden” were favorites. Riding our bikes from sun up to sun down even though there weren’t very many nearby destinations that we wanted to visit. We had a dog, a couple of cats that came by and adopted us. There was swimming in Lake Washington, always cold and rather murky. Occasionally we picked berries or apples and then our mother would make lots of jam and applesauce for use year round.

The best part of summer is enjoying the outdoors. I know we can do that year round, but July is my favorite. The garden is robust and giving forth the fruits of my labors. No tomatoes until August but there are other choices. The Mountaintop Sunday Farmer’s Market in the parking lot at Crestwood High School is from 9 to 2 p. m. Soon I hope we can purchase corn there.

Magistrate Hearings

Preliminary magistrate hearings for Nicholas Durst charged with Felony Attempted Homicide and Aggravated Assault in connection with a shootout on Heslop Road on July 3, 2013 has been continued for the 10th time until September 17, 2014. Durst and his father Robert John Durst, Jr, who was charged with three misdemeanors -possession of controlled substances, marijuana, and drug paraphernalia in September 2014 have not yet had their initial day in court. Both are represented by Scartelli Olszewski PC, 411 Jefferson Ave, Scranton, PA 18510-2412.

Rice Township Police charged Nicholas Durst and Robert John Durst, Jr. was charged by Pennsylvania State Police. A confrontation between the Dursts and two Heslop Road neighbors, Larry Papach and Harry Kemmerer ended with guns drawn and shots fired. Papach was hit and treated and released.

I have followed the shooting case since the day it happened checking with Rice Police Chief Bob Franks on a regular basis for updates. Last week I thought the wait was over. It had now been more than a year since the incident. But no, that hearing was put off again until September and other scheduled hearings were also continued. The wheels of justice move very slowly, which is not a bad thing. In the classic western movies the shooters were often hung as soon as they were caught. Our current system hangs them out to wait.

Another Rice Township crime that has yet to come to conclusion is Gina Tombasco’s theft of more than $30,000 from the Rice Township Volunteer Fire Company. Tombasco’s case, which includes four felonies, was transferred to Luzerne County Court in April. No disposition or restitution has been made or arranged to date.

Each District Magistrate Court in Pennsylvania has a steady stream of criminal, traffic, non-traffic, landlord tenant and civil dockets. The filings are public information.

The Mountaintop Eagle regularly reviews the magistrate filings and reports them in the paper. Occasionally a law enforcement agency will send out a press release on their case and we dig deeper to fill in more details. There really is no such thing as a crime free town. If we are informed citizens we can be the eyes and ears for our communities.

Fire Company Tradition Mountaintop Hose Co. No. One

had three days of rain free weather. The Hose Company bazaar has been held for 41 years. Our family joined the festivities on Sunday night and the crowds came to play games of chance, eat picnic food and socialize with neighbors and friends. The Dicus children won a few prizes and tickets were hopefully placed in the basket raffle boxes. Patrick Dicus tried hard to win the GoPro HERO3+, but his 13 tickets amoung hundreds (maybe thousands) were not picked. I put two tickets into the Breaking Bad Complete Series Boxed set, which had far fewer deposits and got the call Monday morning that I had won. Breaking Bad also BrBa to fans is a thoroughly entertaining and award winning cable series about a simple high school chemistry teacher who becomes the meth kingpin of his drug world. Great donation and great prize!

There were money trees, lottery ticket boards, restaurant gift certificates, power tools, a gas barbecue, a small flat screen TV— many imaginative themes that will bring in cash for the fire company The fire company organizers had their annual auction Sunday night with lots of hot items for their fundraiser. Our kids always like a turn or two in the “bouncy houses” furnished by the Moonwalk Guy who is Harold Fisher of South Main Road.

I saw many familiar faces manning the stands, many from Mountaintop’s civic associations including the Rotary and Welcome Club. The bazaar had major sponsors and dozens of items were donated for the auction and the raffle drawing. My thanks goes out to Dave Hourigan and his army of volunteers for working so hard to make their event a success.

Maintaining a local volunteer fire company requires dedication and time. The cost of maintaining equipment is a huge responsibility. In Mountaintop all of the local fire companies assist each other on calls, especially structure fires. They are called out for car accidents and can also assist on ambulance calls. Donations to the fire companies, either through their annual solicitation or by supporting the bazaar fundraisers is crucial.