Southern Columbia teens make deal to keep driver's licenses

Published: 5/19/2017 10:00 AM
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BY MARK GILGER

THE NEWS-ITEM mark_g@newsitem.com

CATAWISSA — Fourteen teens cited for underage drinking in connection with a March 19 party at the home of a Southern Columbia Area High School teacher have agreed to plea deals that will prevent them from having their driver’s licenses suspended.

Locust Township police agreed to reduce underage drinking charges to disorderly conduct citations in exchange for the students’ successful completion of the Youth Offender Program for first-time alcohol law violators.

The two-day, 16-hour weekend alcohol education program offered by the Danville-based CMSU Drug & Alcohol program cost the students $175 each to enroll. They also are required to each pay a fine and costs totaling $454.50 for pleading guilty to disorderly conduct.

In addition to keeping their driver’s licenses active, the teens have an opportunity to have the charges expunged from their records if they stay out of trouble for the next five years.

Students also received suspensions ranging from 20 to 45 days, according to Southern Area Superintendent Paul Caputo. The superintendent said the suspensions were applied to extracurricular activities such as athletics rather than in-school or out-of-school academic penalties.

Police cited 17 teens for underage drinking after raiding the party at the home of Southern Columbia Area biology teacher George Henry, of 312 Lake Glory Road, Cleveland Township. Henry was not home at the time of the party and has not been charged, police said.

On Wednesday, police filed charges of underage drinking, corruption of minors and possession of drug paraphernalia against Henry’s son, Garrett R. Henry, 18, who allegedly hosted the party.

Pleading guilty May 12 to disorderly conduct before Magisterial District Judge Craig Long and successfully completing the Youth Offender Program were Zachary Joseph Consentino, 18, of 2014 Mill Road, Catawissa; Nathan Daniel Kehoe, 18, of 44 Mensch Road, Catawissa; Jacob Daniel Lawton, 18, of 10 Turners Way, Bloomsburg; Aliyah Morgan Wilk, 19, of 259 Overlook Boulevard, Shamokin; a 17-year-old male, and a 16-year-old female.

Pleading guilty Thursday to disorderly conduct and successfully completing the Youth Offender Program were Nicholas Michael Kuzo, 18, of 484 Hemlock Lane, Elysburg; Nicholas Boyd Bedford, 18, of 400 Airport Road, Shamokin; Anthony John Girardi, 18, of 124 E. Center St., Elysburg; Marc Andrew Malkoskie, 18, of 2464 Mountain Road, Catawissa; Hunter Nathaniel Thomas, 18, of 142 Horvath Drive, Elysburg, and three juveniles.

Garrett Louis Sosnoski, 20, of 152 Birchwyn Drive, Elysburg, was found guilty of underage drinking during a hearing Thursday before Long and was ordered to pay a fine and costs totaling $454.50.

Locust Township Police Chief Allen Breach said the party was attended by 30 to 40 teens. The police chief said most of the teens at the party are students at Southern Columbia, while some others are from the Bloomsburg area.

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