The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Montour County

August 19, 2013

Former resident funds vandalism repairs

A former Danville resident sent money to the Montour County Veterans’ Affairs Office to help pay for vandalized American flags at veterans’ graves discovered recently at Odd Fellows Cemetery.

Bob Bower, who now lives in Maryland, read about the vandalism and sent $100 to the county office, Montour County Commissioners Vice Chairman Jack Gerst said at last week’s commissioners meeting.

Gerst said Bower’s mother is buried in the Mahoning Township cemetery.

“I don’t know the mindset of a person who would stomp on veterans’ graves. Parents should know where their children are and parents should let their children know how important it is for people lying in the ground who defended their country. It’s despicable attacking their flag,” he said.

“A lot of time and effort goes into placing these flags. Thousands of flags are placed every year,” Commissioner Jerry Ward said of decorating veterans’ graves at county cemeteries.

Eagle Scout attendee

Gerst said he was very proud of Aaron Keehan, 13, who attended the commissioners meeting since he is working on his Eagle Scout citizenship merit badge.

“He’s only 13 and he’s already working on his Eagle Scout,” Commissioners Chairman Trevor Finn said.

Transit grant

The commissioners also approved a yearly $310,636 grant for the county transit program to transport people with medical assistance. This is an increase of $11,000 compared with last year, transit director Amanda Boyer said.

An agreement was approved with Geisinger Medical Center for the transit program to provide transportation for cancer patients who cannot afford it or who don’t have transportation. Geisinger applied for the grant and approached the county about this, Boyer said. “It’s a good program. Geisinger initiates it. We tell them to please call and we will help them out as much as we can,” she said.

Blood challenge

Finn asked people to support the commissioners in their challenge to Columbia County commissioners to have the most blood donated from 1 to 6 p.m. Aug. 28 at First Baptist Church in Valley Township.

Montour County won the challenge held for the first time last year.

“If we lose, we win,” said Finn of blood donations received.

“We had people coming from Columbia County to Montour County to donate last year,” Gerst said. He, Ward and county solicitor Robert Marks Sr. plan to give blood that day.

“Please donate. You never know when you or someone you know needs blood,” Gerst said. “I was really proud of both counties last year,” he said.

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