Three elementary schools of Tamaqua Area School District were among the 12 schools in Schuylkill County which were honored by the county commissioners at their public meeting Wednesday at the courthouse in Pottsville for collecting the most used telephone books among the 12 county public school districts plus parochial schools under the county's recycling program.

Trinity Academy, Shenandoah, won top honors based on books per student. The school's enrollment is 180 students, it collected 1,192 books, which was 6.62 per student and totaled 1,550 pounds and the school received a prize of $125.

Second place went to John S. Clark Elementary School, of the Pottsville Area School District, whose enrollment totals 956 students. They collected 5,961 books, which represented 6.24 per student for total weight 7,749 pounds and received a prize of $100.

Third place went to Rush Elementary School of the Tamaqua Area School District, which has an enrollment of 273 students, who collected 1,595 books which represented 5.84 per student for total weight of 2,074 pounds and receive a prize of $75.

Honorable mentions were accorded to, Saint Nicholas School, Minersville, 137 students, 751 books, 5.48 per student, 976 pounds; West Penn Elementary School, Tamaqua Area School District, 260 students, 1,231 books, 4.73 per student, 1,600 pounds; Llewellyn Elementary School, Pottsville Area School District, 162 students, 724 books, 4.47 per student, 941 pounds; Tamaqua Elementary School, Tamaqua Area School District, 455 students, 1,523 books, 3.35 per student, 1,980 pounds; Cressona Elementary School, Schuylkill Haven Area School District,171 students, 512 books, 2.99 per student, 1,980 pounds.

Also, Minersville Elementary, Minersville Area School District, 554 students, 920 books, 1.66 per student, 1,196 pounds; Blue Mountain Elementary-West School, Blue Mountain Area School District, 372 students, 151 books, 1.38 per student, 1,041 pounds; Bluhe Mountain Elementary-East School, Blue Mountain Area School District, 690 students, 801 books, 1.16 per student, 1,041 pounds and Mahanoy Elementary School, Mahanoy Area School District, 398 students, 22 books, 0.66 per student, 29 pounds.

The three students who collected the most books were, Kelly Sullivan, of Trinity Academy, 708 books, received a prize of $150; Justin Lescavage, John S. Clark Elementary, 465 books, second prize, $125; and Sabrina Brown, John S. Clark Kindergarten, 379 books, $100.

This year's drive exceeded last year with 15,747 books collected with half being shreded for use as matting for cattle in barnes on farms.

Other business

The commissioners approved to encumber $15,000 for the project of repaving the deck of the county bridge which carries Girard Manor Road over Catawissa Creek in East Union Township, which was carried out by Schuylkill Paving Company, of Schuylkill Haven. Payment comes out of the county's liquid fuels account.

The five year plan drawn by the Schuylkill County Housing Authority for the public housing program was approved by the commissioners.

The mission of the housing authority is to provide adequate and affordable housing and a suitable living environment free from discrimination to low income families. Currently all units are filled and there is a waiting list of more than 500 applicants. The plan also identifies the capital improvements and the funds available, the housing needs of families within the county and goals and objectives.

Three members of the Office of Senior Services Advisory Board were reappointed. They were, Mary A. Labert, McAdoo; James Reiley, Pottsville; and the Rev. Paul Schaediger, Pottsville.

Contracts were approved with four providers of services to the Childlren and Youth Service Agency.

They were: Therapeutic Center at Fox Chase, Philadelphia, for community residential services at $244.09 per day; Alternative Rehabilitation, Harrisburg, for foster care dependent, $61.60 per day; pre-release, $96.91 per day and residential -special issues, $208.77 per day; All-Brite Cleaning Services, Pine Grove, for cleaning services, $15 per day; Alere Toxicology,Gretna, La., for orasure collection swabs, $3 per unit; telephone testimony, $100 per unit and expert witness testimony, $244.09 per unit.

On behalf of the Schuylkill County Prison the commissioners approved an agreement extension proposal from Globla Tel-Link Corporation, an inmate phone vendor, to extend the current three year agreement ending Nov. 20, 2015. Under the new agreement the county would get a commission increase on telephone calls made by prisoners and also new equipment to be installed at no costs.

According to Paul Straka, county financial officer, funds are placed in an escrow account received from family members of inmates which pays for their phone calls.

Court projects

The commissioners reported the county court received a notification that it will be receiving from the Juvenial Court Judges' Commission a grant-in-aid of $224,619 for the fiscal year of July 1 to June 30, 2013. It includes paying part of the salaries of 31 probation officers.

The board also approved submission of an application to the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency of a grant of $50,000 for the juvenile justice system enhancement strategy program to enable probation officers to undergo special training.

The commissioners approved renewal of the annual software license for next year with Election Systems and Software Inc. at a cost of $25,605. According to Election Director Frannie Brennan it is used to update the ballot for the coming election.

Treasurer Jacqueline McGovern gave the monthly financial report.

The beginning balance of all accounts for October was $49,689,272.01 and ending balance, $48,907,895.88. During the month deposits totaled $9,303,485.27 and disbursemenmts, $10,084,681.40.

Tax collections for the same period were, $324,365.25 for real estate and $6,106.59 for personal per capita.

Other revenues were, sale of licenses, dog, $232.90; fishing, $1; huntng, $224; bingo,$1,065 and small game of chance, $1,380; fees collected by the eight magisterial district justices, $52,489.63; 9-1-1 tariff on telephones, $58,761.24; earnings by 9-1-1 department, $628.68; hotel tax, $20,6129.56 and royalties from coal lands, $11,591.25.

Personnel matters

The commissioners acted on a number of personnel matters.

Human Resources Department - Maureen Capone, Barnesvile, retired as full time office support; and Theresa Zubris, New Philadelphia, was transferred from part time to full time office support to fill the vacancy and the salary board set her salary at $11.0905 per hour.

Domestic Relations Department - Douglas Gressens, Ashland, and John Pflueger, Pottsville, supervisors, retired.

Archives Department - Sally McShaw, Pottsville, clerk, retired.

Children and Youth Service Agency - Michael Cutler, Coaldale, hired as a social service aides 2 at $12.5369 per hour; and Travis Yeager, Cass Township, was transferred from the position of aging care manager to county caseworker 1 at $16.7612 to fill position of Sarah Snyder, Mount Carmel, who retired.

Office of Senior Service Agency - Helen Chopick, Shenandoah, clerk typist, retiring.

Rest Haven Home - Jean Quinn, Pottsville, hired as part time licensed practical nurse at $15.99 per hour; Kathleen Kimmel, Schuylkill Haven, parttime switchboard opeator; and Janelle Bohr, Pottsville, parttime nurses aide, retired.

Nine persons who passed their nurse's aide training program to become parttime nurses aide will now be paid $11.72 per hour. They are: Tiffany Black and Melanie Sears, Schuylkill Haven; Leeza Cherrbon, Minersville; Courtney Ditzler, Port Carbon; Lianne Kleiner, Valley View; Tonyua Styka, Gilberton; and Janelle Bohr, Melanie Sears, and Kimberly Cook, Pottsville.

Stephen Smulley, Pottsville, was hired as an unpaid intern in the adult probation department.