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By Staff | Jan 6, 2015

Homeowners from Muncy affected by the rate hikes for flood insurance as a result of the Biggert-Waters Act rallied at Trout Pond Park. . (Left to right): Jeff Waltman, Nikki Burrows, and Gary Weigel.

The Luminary takes “A look back at 2014”. Below are some highlights for the year.


The East Lycoming Education Foundation, a non-profit organization designed to benefit district students, received from the IRS notification of final 501(c)3 tax exempt status.

The Foundation supports innovative academic experiences that enrich the quality of education in the district, and a number of scholarships have been established.

Montgomery and East Lycoming students from FBLA announced competition in FBLA states for Hershey.

Montgomery Elementary School Odyssey of the Mind students solved the Structure Problem for state finals. Front row left to right: Cara Bossley, Olivia Walk, Kurrah Bohner, and Izzy Wright. Back Row left to right: Gabe Wright, Makenna Magargle, and Jessica Bohner.

Over 100 homeowners rallied against FEMA at Trout Pond Park on Jan. 25 for reform on the Biggert Waters Act of 2012 due to increased flood rate hikes. Many expressed fear of losing their homes. Congress passed the act so that FEMA could make changes to the National Flood Insurance program. Based on new flood zone maps, higher rates were issued.

A new pastor was officially installed and welcomed to Picture Rocks Baptist Church, Pastor Jerry Uppling.

The Muncy Creek Watershed Association Inc. was awarded $13,999 from DEP through the Growing Greener program to stabilize erosion at Little Muncy Creek.


A “Willow For Energy” Field Day and harvest demonstration was set up by East Lycoming School District on January 28 and sponsored in part with the NEWBio Consortium in State College to convey its economic savings and energy efficiency as heating fuel for the entire district. Other organizations are looking to the district to start their own operation using hybrid willows.

Clara Wall made over 400 wreaths for the doors at the Muncy Public Library and at the age of 92 made her last wreath in July.

Maggie Magagna retired after 30 years as postmaster at Muncy Post Office.

Extreme cold weather kept work crews and outdoor employees challenged. Red Cross addressed seniors with safety tips for winter storm emergencies during the many days below freezing temperatures.

Muncy Bank Financial Inc.’s Board of Directors authorized and approved a stock repurchase program for up to 5 percent of the company’s outstanding common stock.

Irene Colabine of Hughesville was recognized for her 8 year milestone of maintaining her 102.25 pound weight loss and proudly wears a pendant given to her for her accomplishment. She also received a trophy, tiara and a certificate.

Muncy grappler Angelo Barberio qualified at the District IV Class AA tournament with third place and advanced to Northeast Regional championships. Six other area grapplers qualified with Barberio and competed at the PIAA Class AA State Wrestling Tournament in Hershey. They were Kyle Drick, Montgomery; Dakota Nixon, Muncy; Zach Fry, Ethan Barnes and Matt Herr, Hughesville; and Isaiah Bobotas, Montgomery. Drick took 8th place, Bobotas 4th place and Nixon placed 6th.

The Hughesville Spartan wrestling team captured two titles: the District 4 Class AA Central Sectional team title and the Heartland II League title.

Residents at Susquehanna Health’s Skilled Nursing Unit in Muncy were given i-pads to use that were donated by the Montgomery Legion and Muncy VFW.


New officers were elected to the Muncy Professional Business Association and announced plans for the year with Muncy Fourth Friday as a major event to draw more visitors to the area.

SuperStars from the East Lycoming YMCA raised over $2500 in just a few short hours toward the Y’s annual campaign during their fitness challenge.

Larry Stout, president of Montgomery School Board held a book signing at the Montgomery Area Public Library for his new novel, “Nightfall” that is set in Montgomery, PA. He donated part of his book sales to the library for their new windows.

Dr. Seuss Day was celebrated Mar. 8 at Myers Elementary School in Muncy with Muncy Library Director, Victoria Thompson-Hess. Sixth grade classes also celebrated National Pi Day by holding a contest to see who could become the “biggest memorizer.” Jasmine Schmitt won first place with 75 digits and Nikaya DeWald won second with 71 digits.

Steve Budman, Hughesville’s head wrestling coach, was selected “Coach of the Year” by the PA Heartland Association. His team won the Central Sectional title and were the division champs.

On Mar. 24 State Representative Garth Everett spoke on PCN about his proposed legislation to help landowners get their rightful natural gas royalty payments. He introduced the bill with intention to “bolster the state’s 1979 law that guaranteed minimum royalty payments.”

Montgomery Area School Board voted to eliminate the middle school for the 2014-15 school year. The board was in favor of dividing the school district into an elementary school and a junior/senior high school.


A flea market opened in Montgomery in the old Rochelle building where the interior has been converted to look like an old western town and houses displays of antiques and collectibles.

Charles Simmons, of Torrance, California received his High School diploma after 70 long years. He was serving in World War II when his class of 1944 graduated. Simmons is the first to receive a belated diploma.

Muncy baseball coach, Chris Persing earned his 200th win.

Anne E. Holladay, certified nursing home administrator for Susquehanna Health’s Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Muncy was named to the PA Long-Term Care Commission.

New legislation was introduced to repeal Section 205’s bought and sold provision of the Biggert Waters Flood Act of 2013.

Dean Brugett, mail carrier for Muncy Post Office received honors for a fire rescue while on duty when he alerted a family of 3 of a fire in their Clarkstown home which allowed them to exit safely before it was destroyed.

Montgomery elementary students finished second in state finals for Odyssey of the Mind.

Little League opened its 67th season on Saturday, April 26.

Muncy and Hughesville FBLA teams competed nationally between April 7 and April 9 in Hershey.


James R. Ritter retired as “Minister of Music” at Trinity Lutheran Church in Hughesville after 40 plus years, and was welcomed in a celebration on Easter Sunday for his contributions.

Hughesville School District cafeteria employees known as the “Swamp Sisters” raised almost 2 thousand dollars for the American Cancer Society during the Dirty Girl Mud Run held at Montage Mountain.

Alternative studies were revealed by PennDot for the congestion relief on the intersection of Routes 220 and 405 in Hughesville.

Congressman Thomas Marino and other local legislators addressed concerned local residents at a second flood summit meeting on May 10 after attending hearings with FEMA in Harrisburg. Held at Geringer Hall in Muncy zoning and new elevation maps were some of the main topics discussed for new provisions.

A new scoreboard was donated to Muncy Little League’s first and oldest field, Brelsford Memorial Field by Muncy Bank & Trust and the Muncy American Legion Post #268.

A Town Hall Meeting took place at Geringer Social Hall on May 19 to discuss the growing heroin problem in eastern Lycoming County. Local experts and police personnel, borough and school officials attended as well as victims of drug abuse who revealed their personal challenges.

Muncy Borough Council voted unanimously to begin a 90 day trial period to prohibit parking on all of Penn Street beginning June 1.

Sunday, May 18 marked the final service at Salem United Methodist Church in Unityville, and was conducted jointly by Pastor James Sutherland and the Rev. Beth Jones, District Superintendent of the Susquehanna Conference of the United Methodist Church.

Hughesville’s Josh Fry and Mitchel Thomas advanced to states for the Spartans Double tennis team in District 4 Class AA championships.

May 3, Robert Fike started as new postmaster at Muncy Post Office.


Sunday, June 1st was the final service in the Fairview United Methodist Church where members of the Franklin Bethel UM church were also in attendance. Two congregations united to form the Franklin-Fairview UM Church that meet at the stone church at the foot of North Mountain along Route 42 near Lairdsville.

The 15th annual Relay for Life was held at Hughesville High School.

Dr. Mary Bennardi was inducted to the Academic Hall of Fame during Muncy High School’s graduation ceremony on June 6. She was the 20th person to receive such an honor.

Two new backboards were donated to the Muncy Pool by Susquehanna Health. They were presented to Jamie Brelsford by Ron Reynolds, President of Muncy Valley Hospital.

Muncy Valley Hospital was also named one of the Health Strong Top 100 Critical Access Hospitals in the United States for the second year in a row and the only one named to the list by iVantage Health Analytics in the state of Pennsylvania.

Muncy Rotary Club member Susana Falck was honored at Rotary District 7360 Conference with one of the highest awards, The Rotary Foundation Distinguished Service Award.

On Monday, June 16, more than 120 individuals gathered to pay tribute to Civil War soldiers interred at the Old Lairdsville Cemetery 150 years ago.


Clara Wall, age 92, wrapped up her tradition of placing wreaths at the Muncy Public Library since 1985. Over the past 30 years she has created over 400 custom made wreaths.

The Muncy Historical Society introduced the Heritage and Underground Railroad Barn Quilt trail. Several barn quilts were hung in the Muncy/Pennsdale area to start the official trail.

On Saturday, July 6 a groundbreaking ceremony was held for an addition to the Fireside room at the Hughesville Friends Church. The expansion is needed for social events and community organizations according to Rev. Dan Kale.

The East Lycoming 10 and 11 year old softball team made history Friday, July 11 when they captured the first ever District 12 and section 3 title at Volunteer Stadium.

On Friday morning, July 18, PA Game Commissioners assisted by PennDot banded two peregrine falcon chicks that nested under the Muncy/Montgomery bridge on Rt. 405, a first in Muncy history according to Wes Egli from the Lycoming Audubon Society. The eggs hatched near the end of June. One was male and one was female.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held July 25 for an expansion project of administrative offices covering 12,000 square feet on the grounds at Ashler Manor, Inc. in Muncy Township.

Bodine Park in Hughesville was awarded with a new scoreboard donated by Woodlands Bank. A dedication was given on July 29 at the park.


Amy Kile-McPhail, Dr. Christina Steinbacher-Reed and Nate Messner were added to the Muncy High School Athletic Hall of Fame.

Former Little League pitchers from Montgomery celebrated 75 years during Little League season. They were James Stahl, Harry Riddell, Glen Shadle, Phillip Hartranft and Don Bergerstock.

Muncy Valley Hospital received a grant of $650,000 from the First Community Foundation for the renovation and expansion of the hospital’s emergency department.

Montgomery held their first wine festival on Aug. 9 at Montgomery Park and donated proceeds to “Lifting Little Lives”, a non-profit organization in West Milton that supports disabled children in the local community.

Muncy Borough applied for a competitive communities grant for $25,000 seeking designation as a Susquehanna Greenway River Town. The goal is to bring resources into the community to make it more greener and flood resilient.


The Muncy Historical Society hosted a traveling exhibit from Canada “Passage to Freedom” that was viewed during the month of September at the Lycoming Mall. It portrayed the hardships of slavery during the Underground Railroad and the dangerous routes undertaken for freedom.

Pastor Robert Berger was commemorated for 33 years of service on Sunday, Sept. 14 at the Hughesville Baptist Church.

A state museum site for the Pennsylvania Eagle Grange is in the process and was introduced during an open house tour on Saturday, Sept. 6.

Also on Sept. 6 the Montgomery Historical Society sponsored a tour of the Old Stone Church in the federally owned gated community of Alvira, where residents gathered in 1942 for their last service and were told they would no longer have their homes. Over 8,000 acres of farming land was purchased to construct a TNT plant.

The Muncy Professional Business Association learned of streetscape plans for two intersections in the Muncy borough. The intersection on Water and Washington Streets will begin first which will include a high pedestrian crossing, new curbing and siding. The intersection of Water and Main Streets is contingent on funding according to borough manager, Bill Ramsey.

Charley Hall, Collette Carpenter McGruder, and Corey Mowrey were inducted into Montgomery’s Athletic Hall of Fame prior to the Montgomery-Hughesville Football game on Friday, Sept. 19.

Muncy Volunteer Fire Association introduced a yearly contract for their budget to the Muncy Borough for coverage for 2015 in the amount of $42,000 and a one percent increase after that for a cost of living.


Main Street Hughesville got some improvements. Woodlands Bank restored the exterior of their building on the corner of Main and Water Streets to expose the original brick, and Susquehanna Valley Sportswear purchased the historic building that once housed Ace’s Hardware Store and the former Haag General Store on 67 N. Main Street.

Superintendent Dr. Portia Brandt announced her retirement from Muncy School District and the district hired Craig Skaluba from Sullivan County School District to begin his term on January 1, 2015.

State Legislator Garth Everett held a Town Hall Meeting at the Volunteer Fire Company in Clarkstown on Oct. 1st to explain issues on the state budget, education funding, pensions, medical marijuana and the heroin epidemic.

Jeff Gray, Greg Sullivan and Chad Michael were inducted into Hughesville High School’s Athletic Hall of Fame.

Single stream recycling was introduced to the area and in Montgomery. A 5.3 million dollar project is now underway at the Lycoming County Resource Management Center that will include a new 60,000 foot facility using the latest technology to sort and bale commingled materials.

Muncy captured the “Old Shoe Trophy” following their win over the Red Raiders on Oct. 24.

The mayor of Montgomery, Andrew Onufrak II has initiated a program at Montgomery High School on state and local government and conducted a survey with the students on what residents would like to see in the borough.

After 30 years, Merl Babb retired from the maintenance department at Muncy School District. Friday, Oct. 31st was his last day.


Montgomery was recognized as the first Little League team chartered outside Williamsport, and will celebrate its 75th anniversary in 2016 as the second oldest in the world.

Farm to School month was celebrated at Myers Elementary School with a potato harvest from their open garden. 4 classes of kindergarten students delivered them to the Son-Light House in Muncy. Representatives from the State Dept. of Agriculture assisted and walked with the students as they carried the potatoes in their backpacks.

Muncy Bank & Trust reached out to area high schools to teach students about credit and personal finance. The bank also pledged $150,000 towards Susquehanna Health’s Capital Campaign to help expand Muncy Valley Hospital’s emergency department.

The Life Center closed at the Lycoming Mall and relocated to the new YMCA building across from Susquehanna Health’s Regional Medical Center.

The Hughesville Spartan football team ended their regular season with a 6-4 record and qualified for playoffs for the first time since 2010.

The first snowfall of the season came on Nov. 26, the day before Thanksgiving with 6 inches of wet snow.

On Nov. 29 a ceremony and plaque were given at the East Lycoming Historical Society to honor Pauline and George Montgomery for their donation of the building that was built in 1850 and the site of Hughesville’s first Lutheran church.


PennDot resurfaced Lycoming Mall Drive and Route 220, a 7 mile project that was completed this month and began in early summer for a total cost of $2.6 million.

The Pennsdale Meeting House held a candlelight service on Dec. 21 after a renovation that took almost a year to complete. The project was underwritten by the Margaret Waldron Fund and supported by congregation and community members.

The Lady Spartans captured the 17th annual Muncy Rotary Girls Basketball Classic defeating Wellsboro in the championship game, 52-40.

Velva Myers from Hughesville won this year’s “5 to Drive” car, a jeep, sponsored by the Greater Hughesville Business Association and donated by Fairfield Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram in Muncy.

On Saturday morning, Dec. 20, a special plaque was presented to Carol Savoy by Commander Gary Jenney Sr. and Connie Jenney for donating space at the Silk Mill Complex in Hughesville for the past 25 years for the annual Toys for Tots program.

Ruth Houseknecht, a retired Hughesville grade school teacher, turned 101 on Friday, Dec. 26.