Four Shenandoah Valley High School students were honored by the Schuylkill County Commissioners at Wednesday's public meeting held at the courthouse in Pottsville for actions taken which demonstrated their pride in their hometown.
Commissioner Francis McAndrew, a graduate of Shenandoah Valley and a member of the Damato Legion Post in Shenandoah, was bursting with pride as he read the proclamation paying tribute to William Moyer, John Szczglak, Christopher Palubinsky and Brandon Swantek, who took the opportunity while vacationing in Hawaii to visit the grave site of U.S. Marine Corps Corporal Anthony Peter Damato in the Punch Bowl Cemetery. Upon their return they presented the Damato Post, named after the war hero, an album containing memorabilia and photos of the Punch Bowl Cemetery and Corporal Damato's grave site at Pearl Harbor.
The boys learned on their visit that Corporal Damato was more than a name on a football trophy which is annually contested between Shenandoah Valley and Mahanoy Area football teams. Damato was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for sacrificing his life in World War II by falling on a Japanese grenade and saving the lives of two fellow marines.
The proclamation read, "Whereas, the experience of the youths had instilled an overwhelming sense of pride in their community and a deep appreciation and realization of the sacrifices our country's veterans have made for us all." He also told the youths, 'Bring back the trophy," which was won last fall by Mahanoy Area.
Two other proclamations were adopted.
One congratulated Nicholas Shane Kunkel, a Blue Mountain High School student, on becoming an Eagle Scout. He is a member of Troop 624 and previously earned the Kittatiny Award, the Polar Bear award, 33 merit badges, 12 more than required for the rank of eagle scout. His project was refurbishing and landscaping the playground around Saint Ambrose Church in Schuylkill Haven.
The third proclamation honored Janice Johnston, of Frackville, for receiving the 2011 Outstanding New Volunteer Administrator Award. Johnson serves as Schuylkill County Director of Community Volunteers in Action.
Contracts were awarded as follows:
Office of Senior Services attorney Claude A. Lord "Cal" Shields, legal services, $90 per hour with cap at $13,500.
Jevs Human Services, Philadelphia, purchase of 1,500 hours of fiscal agent services at $15.20 per hour; final monitoring services, $85 per month for 36 months and monthly coordination fee of $277 for 12 months with contract cap at $29,164.
Home Stead Senior Care, Pottsville, purchase of 4,000 hours of personal care services at $17.72 per hour with cap at $70,880.
Aaron Healthcare Inc., Allentown, personal care services of 8,000 hours at $20.52 per hour with cap at $164,160.
Schuylkill Transportation System (STS) transportation services for demand response and fixed route with cap at $83,864.20.
Focus Health, Sunbury, purchase 1,000 hours of personal care services at $17.72 per hour with cap at $17,72.
Lori's Angels, Schuylkill Haven, purchase of 2,000 hours of personal care services with cap $120,000.
Increased contract with Diakon Lutheran Social Ministries. Allentown, for healthy steps program, extra operational days of apprise telecenter and purchase of computer equipment for apprise program, contract cap at $1,077,177.
Catholic Charities, Allentown, purchase 4,500 additional days of adult day care services at $50.12 per day and 4,500 meals at $3.34 per day to revise contract to $481,140.
Avenues, Pottsville, purchase additional 3,480 days of adult day care services at $50 per day, 3,480 meals at $3.34 per meal and 85 hours of personal care at $14.40 per hour for revised cap at $373,680.
Tamaqua Area Adult Care of Tamaqua, increase purchase of 3,500 days of adult care at $50 per day, 5,000 meals at $3.34 per meal for new cap at $383,400.
Lehigh Valley Adult Care Services of Allentown, increase contract for 500 days of adult day care services at $50 per day and 500 meals at $3.34 per meal for new cap of $53,340.
Children And Youth Services Children's Home of York, foster care 2 at $66.05 per day, independent living, $155.67 per day and residential treatment facility at $328.67 per day.
Perseus House, Inc., Erie, shelter, $187.06 for male per day and enhanced shelter, $255.23 per day.
Therapeutic Center, Philadelphia, community residential services at $255.23 per day.
Attorney James Conville, Schuylkill Haven, legal services, $3,350 per month and law firm of Lewis, Williams and Caravan, Schuylkill Haven, legal services, $3,350 per month.
Drug And Alcohol Agency Entered into contracts for fee for services with White Deer Run, Watsontown, $228.225; Gaudenzia Inc., Harrisburg, $111,370; Firetree Limited, Williamsport, $98,798; Clem Mar House Inc., $12,864; Serento Gardens, Hazleton, $10,000; Clinical Outcomes Group, Inc., Pottsville, $51,092; Pyramid Healthcare, Altoona, $124,224.
Juvenile Justice Department Purchase of service agreement with Lancaster County Intervention Center at $280.32 per day for youths housed in their detention facility and $170.94 for youths placed in their shelter care.
Rest Haven Home And Hospital contracts awarded for medical surgical supplies to Manheim Medical Supply Co., Manheim, $16,728.80; JML Medical, Lakewood, N.J., $5,524.39; Medline Industries, Sugarland, Tex., $2,080.79 and McKesson Medical, Golden Valley, Minn., $34,153.12.
A fee for service contract was entered with Demand, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., for provision of pharmacy module at $16,100; Concept Medical, Ashland, provision of pharmacy consultant services and IV therapy at $180,000 per year; and Quest Diagnostic Services, Wyomissing, laboratory services for residents for $18,000 per year.
Approved recommendations for funding from the 2011 Schuylkill County Affordable Housing projects.
They included $10,000 for countywide mortgage foreclosure diversion program; $13,000 for bridge housing program; $20,000 for Schuylkill County Housing Counseling Program; $13,614.97 to Shenandoah Borough for revitalization initiative; $40,000 to Ashland High Rise Apartment Building; and $60,000 for senior or disabled housing repair program.
Approved the court's hiring of attorney Shields as an defense counsel for criminal defendants who qualify for representation by the public defender's office but whom the office cannot represent due to a conflict of interest. Shields will also represent criminal defendants in capital cases. Payment will be $1,000 per month for 160 hours of work in the representation of defendants in assigned cases.
An amended agreement with Attorney Conville was approved to reduce the number of assigned cases per month in representing defendants which cannot be represented by members of the public defender's staff.
The new agreement calls for $1,000 per month for 225 hours of work in 2011 and $1,000 per month for 160 hours of work in 2012. He also will be compensated for representation in capital cases, $100 per hour for court time and $75 per hour for out of court time.
Approval was given to Gary Bender, grant writer, to file an application to the U.S. Department of Justice's Alien Assistance Program to obtain a grant to pay expenses of the county for housing foreign prisoners awaiting deportation.
There will be no commissioners' meeting next Wednesday because it is the fifth Wednesday of the month. The board alternates its work session with its public meetings during the month.
The next meeting will be a work session on Wednesday, July 6, at 10 a.m. at the courthouse in Pottsville.