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December 25, 2014
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News in brief


Dimock residents put up water billboard
DIMOCK, PA — Dimock residents who have been living with contaminated water wells have put up a billboard on Route 29 that reads “Three Years of Contaminated Water, Fix It!” In 2008 and 2009, a number of private water wells in Dimock went bad after Cabot Oil and Gas began extracting shale gas in the area.

Negotiations by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to have a pipeline built to bring in clean water subsequently failed. The billboard features an actual photograph of a pitcher of water drawn from the Sautner well. The brownish color and the mud at the bottom of the pitcher are from total dissolved solids. The names of some the toxic chemicals in the water are displayed on the billboard; they include strontium, uranium and arsenic.

Sheriff Bueki focuses on arrest authority

MILFORD, PA— After being elected as President of the Pennsylvania Sheriff’s Association, Pike County Sheriff Phil Bueki announced he would work intensely on one of his pet peeves: the inability of sheriffs to have full arrest authority.

“It’s not a law or anything like that,” he said. “The sheriff’s authority goes back to the old common law in England, which has it that sheriffs cannot make arrests in most criminal acts unless they have actually witnessed it. They cannot begin an investigation based on evidence and then hand it over to the state police. It’s a tradition that holds as much authority as if it were law.”

“We think that provision is ridiculous,” he said. “We assist Milford PD, the Eastern Regional, the state police and the county detectives every day. Our deputies need to have it defined so they feel comfortable. It’s never been written into law and it should be.”

Tilapia hatchery shut down on Big Island

NARROWSBURG, NY — The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has shut down a tilapia hatchery on Big Island in the Town of Delaware, issuing several notices of violation to operator Lewes Wu, who had set up the operation without permits.

Representatives of the DEC visited the site on Friday, July 29 and spoke to Wu about the violations. Notices of violation were issued for water quality, mine land reclamation, inland fisheries and water resource disturbance. Wu has been asked to remove and dispose of the fish in an appropriate manner and develop a site reclamation plan by August 15, and implement the plan by August 31.

Pike Public Library moves ahead

MILFORD, PA — Rob Rohner, president of the Pike County Public Library, told the Pike County Commissioners last week that the library has all its funding in order—$2.5 million in grants.
“We intend to break ground this October,” he said.
The grants will only pay for the building and not the essential equipment, like chairs, tables, file cabinets, shelving and other. “That amount – around $500,000 – will be raised by the Friends of the Library,” he said. “We feel that now that the community sees that we are a viable board with local representation, the community will pitch in.”

Reidy to become interim extension director

LIBERTY, NY — Lydia “Lee” Reidy will become an interim executive director for Sullivan County’s Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) for the next six months. Reidy is now the executive director of the Ulster County Cornell Cooperative Extension, and plans to spend three days a week at the Sullivan office, while maintaining her position in Ulster.
The extension has made several unsuccessful attempts to get a permanent new executive director in recent years, leading to what the extension’s 2010 report described as a “rollercoaster” path.

“During the next six months, we’ll be evaluating staff, programming and board functions, and making recommendations… to increase efficiencies,” Reidy said. She will also investigate the possibilities of grant funding, as she has already done in Ulster, in the face of dwindling government funding.
Reidy is familiar with the Liberty area, having summered there as a child and more recently as an adult with family.