Green technology program grant

BRIDGEVILLE, NY — The Sullivan County Partnership for Economic Development has received a $50,000 grant from NYSEG’s Economic Development Outreach Program to be used toward a Green Building Products Research Project marketing initiative. The partnership will work regionally to identify local firms with the potential to expand into the green building products industry, as well as identifying specific product niches that are not being served and which could be the source of new business attraction efforts or entrepreneurial development.

Sullivan County, Sullivan County Community College and the Sullivan County Partnership are currently working to develop a 50-acre, shovel-ready Green Technology Park aimed at those firms already in the green building products industry or related services, or new firms that might be attracted or created to meet the increasing Tri-State demands for green building products, including geothermal, photovoltaic and wind energy products and components.

Pennsylvania is number one

HARRISBURG, PA — Pennsylvania is the first state in the nation to preserve more than 3,000 farms through its farmland preservation program.

That was the claim of Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell last week. The program to date has preserved 6,854 acres on 69 farms in 23 counties, including Wayne County.

Pennsylvania agriculture, the state’s leading industry, contributes $45 billion to the economy each year, Rendell said.

The program enables state, county and local governments to purchase conservation easements (also called development rights) from owners of quality farms.

Eagle population soars

ALBANY, NY — The bald eagle population in New York has increased to record numbers, according to the New York State Department of Environmental Protection.

The Fledgling Endangered Species Program began in 1975, and a plan to restore bald eagles to New York State was developed and implemented beginning in 1976. Over the next 13 years, more than 200 nesting eagles were released by “hacking” at four locations around New York. Hacking is a process of hand rearing young eagles into the wild in the absence of parent birds with minimal human contact. The breeding population began to grow quickly during the 1980s, and by 2005, 92 pairs of eagles fledged 112 young into the sky.

This year, 172 young were counted as fledged from 110 nesting pairs in New York State during the 2006 breeding season. These results mark a 20 percent increase in nesting pairs, and a 54 percent increase in fledged young over 2005.

Biologists attribute this significant number of eaglets to very favorable mild and dry weather during the late winter and early spring, when eagles were laying and hatching eggs, as well as the state and federal initiatives in place to protect these species.

Visit www.dec.state.ny.us/website/dfwmr/wildlife/endspec/eagleprogram .html for more information.

Wayne D.A. gets broader powers

HONESDALE, PA — The United States Department of Justice has cross-designated Wayne County District Attorney Michael Lehutsky to serve as a Special Assistant United States Attorney.

Federal law provides that the United States Attorney General may appoint assistants whenever the public interest requires. The November 29 appointment authorizes Lehutsky to work directly with the office of Thomas Marino, United States Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, to pursue federal criminal prosecutions of drug, firearm and other criminal matters occurring in Wayne County.

“Being cross-designated to act as a prosecutor in the federal system gives me the ability to look at a case in terms of both state and federal law,” said Lehutsky. “There are some matters that can be prosecuted under federal criminal law even though state law limits our ability to take action.”

Lehutsky is the first prosecutor in the history of Wayne County to receive this designation.

Sullivan emergency programs receive federal funds

SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY — The federal Emergency Food and Shelter National Board Program has awarded Sullivan County $36,479 to supplement emergency food and shelter programs in the county, under its Phase 25 program.

The selection was made by a national board that is chaired by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and consists of representatives from groups such as the Salvation Army, the American Red Cross and the United Way of America, which will provide the administrative staff and function as a fiscal agent.

The local board will meet on January 16, 2007 at 10:00 a.m. to determine how the funds will be distributed. Under the terms of the grant, to receive funds, local organizations must 1) be private voluntary non-profits or units of government, 2) have an accounting system, 3) practice non-discrimination, 4) have demonstrated the capability to deliver emergency food and/or shelter programs, and 5) if they are a private voluntary organization, they must have a voluntary board. Qualifying organizations are urged to apply.

For more information call 845/794-1771.

Pike gets drug discount card

PIKE COUNTY, PA — Pike County has launched a discount prescription card under a program sponsored by the National Association of Counties (NACo) that offers average savings of 20 percent off the retail price of commonly prescribed drugs. The cards may be used by all county residents, regardless of age, income or existing health coverage, and are accepted by many of the county’s pharmacies.

The discount card offers significant savings for the uninsured and underinsured residents of the county, and even those who have prescription coverage can use the card to save money on drugs that are not covered by their health plan. Residents do not have to be Medicare beneficiaries to be eligible for this program.

There is no cost to the county taxpayers.

For more information visit https://naco.advanccrx.com or call 877/321-2652.