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June 27th, 2015 1:55 am

First Posted: 2/10/2013

Sunday Dispatch Editor Ed Ackerman once told me my approach to writing the Avoca and Duryea news had a spirituality about it. He said it was as if writing these columns was a vocation for me. While I cannot be the judge of his sentiments, I do know that I have always tried to use this column as a vehicle for good.

That is why announcing this is the very last Avoca News column I will write is so tough for me. With over 1,000 columns to my credit, I viewed each of them as an opportunity to try and make our towns better by delivering you not only important meeting dates and times for the many fine community and civic organizations that call Avoca home, but also sharing the joys and concerns all of us have experienced over the years.

I always hoped by doing this, we could build one another's happiness or help carry one another's crosses. And I sure hope I did.

Although you will no longer see me in this space on Sunday, you will still see my byline pop up in the paper from time to time. In my new role, I, along with my fellow town columnists, have been invited to write stories about what is happening in each of the towns we currently serve.

You can also still count on The Sunday Dispatch publishing your community news briefs, too.

Those can be submitted any of the following ways: by phone to 655-1418, by e-mail to by fax to 602-0184 or by mail to 109 New St., Pittston, PA 18640.

With that said, I would like to thank my husband, Jim, my mom, Lorraine and my brother, Tom, for their support. Together, they formed a team that I bounced news ideas off, listened to me proofread to make sure what I was writing had a nice flow and they are just generally the best people I know.

I would also like to thank all of you for allowing me to share in your lives and for also sharing in mine.

It has truly been my honor to transform the happenings in your life into news for our community. May God bless you.


Happy belated birthday to Mr. and Mrs. John and Bev Rogalski who both celebrated their birthdays on Jan. 27.

Happy belated birthday to Gene Mustage who celebrated his special day on Jan. 28.

Little League sign ups

Avoca/Dupont Little League will have a sign-up session from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 11 at the upper Avoca Little League field clubhouse, 700 Mill St.

The registration fee is $60 per player and $75 for a family of two or more children.

The teener baseball fee is $60 per player. A fundraising fee must also be pre-paid at the time of registration.

Registration is open for the following divisions: tee-ball (4 to 6 years old), coach pitch (7 to 8 years old), minor softball (8 to 10 years old), major softball (10 to 12 years old), minor baseball (8 to 10 years old), major baseball (10 to 12 years old), junior teener baseball (13 to 14 years old) and senior teener baseball (15 to 16 years old).

Players need three proofs of residency, and new players need a copy of their birth certificate.

Apostles Parish notes

Queen of the Apostles Parish will have Ash Wednesday services on Feb. 13 at St. Mary's Church, 715 Hawthorne St., at the following times: 8 a.m., noon and 7 p.m. – Mass and distribution of ashes; 5 p.m. – distribution of ashes only.

The parish will gather at 7 p.m. on Fridays during Lent to pray the Stations of the Cross at the church.

Congratulations to the following children who will receive the Sacrament of First Penance at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 16 in the church: Alexandria Brody, Nicholas Brajakowski, Riley Evans, Madison Karuzie, Alexis Kostoff, Carrie Kozak, Nicholas Lettieri, John Long, Patrick Pucilowski, Tyler Purkey, Jordan Shearer, John Sudol, Danielle Whitman, Faith Williams and Emily Williams.

Due to circumstances beyond the parish's control, the Night at the Races on Saturday, Feb. 23 has been cancelled.

The parish will have its annual spring chicken dinner from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 10 in St. Mary's School auditorium, 742 Spring St.

The dinner includes half a chicken, mashed potatoes, vegetable, homemade cole slaw, rolls and butter, homemade dessert and beverages. Takeouts will be available beginning at 11 a.m.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $6 for children 12 and younger. To purchase dinner or raffle tickets, call the parish office at 457-3412.

Council meeting Thursday

The Avoca Borough Council will have its regular monthly meeting and work session at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 14 in the Avoca Municipal Building, 752 Main St. Council President Joe Satkowski will preside.

Crime Watch meeting

The Avoca Neighborhood Crime Watch will have its monthly meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 19 in the Avoca Municipal Building, 752 Main St. Guest speaker will be Avoca Borough Building Inspector Jeff Pisanchyn. For more information, call Jim at 457-8446 or Ned at 457-6109.

Tax reminder

Avoca Tax Collector Therese Wrubel reminds residents the 2013 Luzerne County/Avoca Borough taxes have been mailed. The rebate period ends April 1. Taxes can be paid at the Avoca Municipal Building, 752 Main St. The office will be open from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays and from 5 to 6 p.m. on Fridays.

Garbage sticker fee schedule

The fee schedule for purchasing the window garbage sticker in order to have up to three bags collected weekly is as follows: $160 if purchased by Feb. 20, $165 if purchased between Feb. 21 and March 20, $175 if purchased between March 21 and April 20, $185 if purchased between April 21 and May 20 and $195 if purchased between May 21 and June 21.

Delinquent accounts will be referred to district court after June 21. All Avoca homeowners and renters are obligated to purchase a garbage sticker.

Extra stickers for additional bags of garbage may be purchased for $3 each.

Residents unable to stop by the municipal building to purchase a garbage sticker can mail a check made payable to Avoca Borough and a self-addressed stamped envelope to Avoca Borough, c/o Therese Wrubel, 129 Factory St., Avoca, PA 18641.

For more information, call Wrubel at 457-4891.

Sanitary Authority rate schedule

The Lackawanna Valley Sanitary Authority 2013 rate schedule is as follows: residential users per unit is $70 per quarter, residential yearly per unit is $280 and the yearly rate is $266 if paid by March 31.

With the 10 percent senior citizen discount, the quarterly rate is $63.

The senior citizen yearly rate is $238 if paid by March 31.

Individuals applying for the senior citizen rate must present a copy of a valid photo ID or driver's license with their first quarter bill when they submit it either via mail or at the office, Coxton Road, Duryea.

A senior citizen discount is available to anyone 62 years of age or older, who owns and resides in their home and whose accounts are paid in full.

Businesses and tenant-occupied units do not qualify for the discount.

St. Michael's Byzantine