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Issue 17 — Thursday, November 27, 2014
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Child With Rare Disease
Now Attends CDD
By Ken Baumel

MILFORD — Four-year-old Saige Fohl of Lords Valley is one of 500 children in the nation with non ketotic hyperglycinemia (NKH) who survived their first year of life, but she still faces development challenges, such as the inability to talk, according to her parents, Kurt and Robin Kukelka Fohl of Milford Borough.

The couple recently acquired a house in Milford so that Saige could be nearer her school, the Center of Development Disabilities (CDD) in Milford Township. CDD helps children with special needs. Saige previously commuted daily from Hemlock Farms in Lords Valley.

CDD had one slot open last year for a program that was a perfect fit for Saige. School was a big leap for Saige since so few children with NKH survive. NKH is a genetic affliction that hinders a victim’s ability to metabolize glycine, an amino acid.

For those who survive the first year, many are prone to seizures or suffer developmental and learning delays that profoundly affect basic brain functions needed to use utensils, eat, sit, walk, talk, watch TV, or do tasks needed to function in school.

So, school is typically not an option for NKH victims.
Fortunately, Saige doesn’t get seizures. She walks, but is not yet talking.

CDD is giving Saige a one-on-one teacher-student program. This program extends not only during the normal school year, but also year round. On Wednesdays, she gets physical, occupational, and speech therapy.

CDD and the Fohls are working intensively with Saige to improve her communicating skills using an iPad, while awaiting a developmental breakthrough regarding talking. Meanwhile, she is getting proficient tapping on objects or photos on the iPad and scrolling... for complete story, get this week's issue.

Patrick Kiesendahl
Receives United Way
Leadership Award

HAWLEY — At the Annual Chef’s United Dinner, the United Way of Pike County presented the 2014 Leadership Award to Patrick Kiesendahl. Matthew Osterberg, Pike County Commissioer and UWPC Board Member presented the award.

He explained to the crowd that Patrick has served on the United Way Board of Directors for 6 years and currently is the Board President.

“We are very fortunate to have Patrick as our Board President; he has been a great leader for our organization and he is a great motivator. Patrick is very committed to the United Way mission to alleviate hunger and homelessness here in Pike County. His willingness to help others in need really shines through at all of our events. On behalf of the United Way Board Members, we thank Patrick for his many years of service.” stated Matthew Osterberg, Pike County Commissioner and UWPC Board Member... for complete story, get this week's issue.

County Gets More Money For Water Quality Monitoring

MILFORD — At the County Commissioners meeting last Wednesday, Nov. 19, Sally Corrigan and Vinny Cordoba of the Pike County Conservation District shared that the PCCD was awarded a grant to increase the number of water quality monitoring wells in Pike County. They applied for $250,000 and were awarded $188,000 by Pennsylvania’s Dept. of Community and Economic Development and funded through the Commonwealth Financing Authority’s Marcellus Legacy Fund.

The baseline monitoring study was the only one funded in the state by the competitive grant program, and the U.S. Geological Survey will more than make up the deficit, bringing the total of the project up to $325,000.

Cordoba said they would add 60 new monitoring and quality control wells. Corrigan said potential wells need to have construction information available, and USGS would assist with well selection in January and February next year. Landowners interested in having their wells added to the project should call 570-226-8220.

This is the third groundwater study by the Conservation District, with the first, which took place in 2007, focused on water quantity. At the Aug. 20 Commissioner’s meeting, Corrigan and Cordoba presented the results of the previous water quality study, which provides a baseline comparison in the event of drilling or fracking contamination in the future.

Earlier in the meeting, Peter Helms and Michael Mancino were reappointed to the Pike County Conservation Board for four-year terms as Public Director and Farmer Director, respectively. County Commissioner Rich Caridi was also reappointed for a one-year term as Commissioner Director... for complete story, get this week's issue.

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