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Schuylkill court news

Published April 21. 2010 05:00PM


Thomas Mark Chaplick, 45, Saint Clair, on a charge of driving while his operating privileges were suspended was placed by Judge D. Michael Stine in the Intermediate Punishment Program (IPP) for 90 days, with the first 60 days under house arrest with electronic monitoring with the remainder of the total sentence under probation supervison. He also must pay a fine of $500 plus $50 costs and continue with current treatment program. His sentence begins Wednesday, April 28.

Daniel Gordon Whitesell, 32, Schuylkilll Haven, who had entered a guilty but mentally ill plea last Dec. 28 was sentenced by President Judge William E. Baldwin to serve 11 1/2 to 23 months in the county prison, however, because of his physical condition he will serve the sentence under house arrest except for attending counseling, doctor appointents and other necessary travel approved by the adult probation department; including those pertaining to his medications. Also, he shall enroll in an intensive outpatient program. Whitesell was also ordered to pay $50 to the Criminal Justice Enhancement Account, pay a $50 monthly supervision fee and court costs.

On a charge of simple assault he was given a concurrent sentence of six to 12 months confinement but on a charge of impersonating a public servant was given an additional l2 months probation to be served. He also must stay away from the property of Claudia Fulmer, 135 Hemlock St., North Manheim Township. He was charged with taking items from a garage.

Tax appeal

The Blue Mountain School District filed an appeal from a decision of the Schuylkill County Board of Assessment pertaining to the property of Randy and Nicole Lesher, 559 E. Second Mountain Road, North Manheim Township, claiming it was assessed below the value.

At the court hearing the board presented testimony showing the property had been purchased in 2005 for $400,000 but the assessment bureau had it listed at a fair market value of $210,580. The taxpayers presented evidence by an expert realtor who set the market value at $354,000.

Judge John E. Domalakes handed down a decision recently and set the fair market value of the property at $354,000, ruling in this case the owners had overcome the presumption of validity of the board's tax determination and produced reliable testimony to fix the value of the parcel at $354,000. Domalake fixed the assessment for 2008 taxes at $135,228; for 2009 taxes at $132,042 and for 2010 at $141,246.

Seek compromise

Sharp Mountauin Plaza, LLC, owners of a commercial shopping center in Pottsville, filed an appeal to court from the assessment levied on their property by the Schuylkill County Board of Assessment on a suit filed by the Pottsville Area School District, which was fixed at $1,100,000.

The plaza is asking the court to approve a compromise it has reached with the school district. It is requesting the court to set the assessed valuation for $550,000 for tax year 2010, pointing out it is $310,475 greater than the 2009 assessment but $88,400 less than the new assessment.

Divorces granted

Liane M. Bennett, 225 Railroad St., Delano, was granted a divorce from Richard A. Bennett Jr., 115 N. Gilbert St., Shenandoah. They were married Sept. 22, 2003.

Gavin M. Billbe, 139 W. Pine St., Mahanoy City, was granted a divorce from Natasha L. Billbe, 267 Brown St., Tamaqua. They were married Oct. 31, 2005.

Robin L. Brode, 417 E. Union St., Tamaqua, was granted a divorce from Michael T. Brode Sr., 167 Orwigsburg St., Tamaqua. They were married Sept. 13, 1994.

Heather W.Butz was granted a divorce from Jeffrey Butz, both of Orwigsburg. They were married Aug. 14, 2004.

Jamie M. Davis, Hegins, was granted a divorce from Gene D. Davis II, Millersburg. They were married Dec. 22, 2007.

File for divorce

Norma Secara started a divorce action against Ralph Scott Winterburn, both of 327 Railroad St., Tamaqua. They were married Aug. 10, 1990.

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