Exempt property

Norwegian Township Supervisors won an appeal in court to have a property they own declared tax exempt.

The township purchased a lot located at the southwest corner of Seltzer Road and Norwegian Woods Drive and is 0.9 of an acre. The township purchased the vacant lot from the Community Banks, N.A. in 2007 and the tax assessment bureau had it set at a market value of $49,010. The county opposed the exemption claiming that even though the township may have no plans to utilize the property for public purposes in he future that would not qualify for a tax exemption.

The township argued it should be exempt because the land is currently available as recreational area for township residents and currently the property is under construction as a park or playground area.

In granting the exemption Judge James P. Goodman ruled, "Even if the township efforts to build a playground near two new housing developments, Norwegian Woods and Heritage Heights, has been delayed because of lack of funds, there is no evidence to suggest that the land in question has been used for a non-public purpose and under these circumstances, taxation is neither compelled nor intended by the Pennsylvania Constitution or the County Assessment Law. We believe the land will be used to benefit the public."

Mixed verdict

Kyle C. Kent, 32, of Mount Carmel, was found guilty by a jury of simple assault and recklessly endangering his ex-wife, Melissa Kent, of Girardville, but not guilty of the more serious charges of aggravated assault, kidnapping to inflict injury or terror, criminal trespass, stalking and unlawful restraint.

Judge Cyrus Palmer Dolbin, who presided over the trial, deferred sentencing to a later date, ordered a pre-sentence investigative report prepared by the adult probation department and released Kent on $5,000 unsecured bail.

Kent denied on the witness stand that he did anything to hurt his former wife and that he only "smacked" her on the arm when she brandished a gun. The wife had testified he beat her and drove her to Aristes and that she suffered facial injuries.

Absent from trial

Joseph Pangonis, 65, Pottsville, was tried in absentia and Judge Charles M. Miller found him guilty of possession of drug paraphernalia. The charge was brought by Pottsville Patrolman Brian J. Reno.

Divorces granted

Christopher Stilitino, 43 W. High St., Coaldale, was granted a divorce from Jessica Stilitino, 244 W. Ridge St., Coaldale. They were married Feb. 11, 2006.

Paul S. Fegley II, Schuylkill Haven, was granted a divorce from Florence Fegley, 119 E. Schmaltzdahl Road, New Ringgold. They were married Oct. 19, 1979.

Kathy A. Burda was granted a divorce from Joseph R. Burda Jr., both of Frackville. They were married May 31, 1980.

Kimberly A. Kufro was granted a divorce from Richard J. Kufro, both of Ashland. They were married Nov. 20, 1995.