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June 30, 2016
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TRR photo by Fritz Mayer

REGION — The sides of the roads are filled with pink and white blooms as mountain laurel is blooming in the shade of the forests that cover the hills here. Mountain laurel is the state flower of Pennsylvania and Connecticut, and its range runs from southern Maine to northern Florida.

Upgrades for Wayne Memorial Hospital

Wayne Memorial Hospital (WMH) CEO David Hoff, right, and hospital bonding attorney Brian Koscelansky appear before the Wayne County Commissioners on March 17 seeking approval of a guaranty declaration for the Wayne County Hospital and Health Facilities Authority’s $41 million revenue bond. The commissioners approved the required ordinance, which will fund what Hoff said was a “major addition,” to feature a Level-Four trauma unit, which will reduce trauma patient transfers to the larger and more distant Geisinger–Community Medical Center in Scranton. Groundbreaking is anticipated next spring.  Read more

Voters choosing sides for Presidential primary

HONESDALE, PA — Pennsylvania voters shopping for candidates may change their party affiliations up to a month before the state’s April 26 primary, and for varying reasons many have done so again this year.

Wayne Elections Director Cindy Furman reported last week that Republicans gained 458 adherents, while 171 others became Democrats between January 1 and March 16.  Read more

The craters of March

BEACH LAKE, PA — “It’s like a cavity. You go to the dentist when it’s small and he fixes it. But if you do nothing about it for years, you’ve got big trouble.” Addressing Berlin Township supervisors at their March 15 meeting, John Marshall of Marshall Machinery was talking about Cosgrove Road.

“It could be a tank trap or Ho Chi Minh Trail,” said Marshall, who added that the situation hadn’t developed overnight. Marshall went on, “[Supervisor and former roadmaster] Charlie [Gries] and I have gotten into it before about the condition of Cosgrove Road.”  Read more

Edwards voted in five to four; Alvarez casts deciding vote

MONTICELLO, NY — In one of the more dramatic votes at the government center in Monticello in recent days, Luis Alvarez, chair of the Sullivan County Legislature, cast the deciding vote approving the appointment of Cora Edwards to the post of Democratic Election Commissioner on the Sullivan County Board of Elections.  Read more

Planning board approves 10-family apartment; Former seasonal hunting camp project opposed by neighbors

NARROWSBURG, NY — A building that was a former seasonal hunting cabin is now set to become a 10-family apartment building off Route 97 in Narrowsburg, near the intersection with Route 23. The project has been before the Town of Tusten Planning Board since August 2015, and on the evening of March 21 the board issued a special-use permit for the project to go forward.  Read more

Sullivan West faces negative tax cap

LAKE HUNTINGTON, NY — While the Sullivan West Central School District (SWCSD) anticipates having to figure the impact of a projected -2.8% tax cap into its proposed $36,403,209 budget for 2016-2017, officials say they have a plan that will avoid cutting essential programs.  Read more

Smokey Robinson to play Bethel Woods

BETHEL, NY — Smokey Robinson will play Bethel Woods Center for the Arts on August 20. Robinson founded the group The Miracles while still in high school. The group was Berry Gordy’s first vocal group, and it was at Robinson’s suggestion that Gordy started the Motown Record dynasty. Their single of Robinson’s “Shop Around” became Motown’s first #1 hit on the R&B singles chart.  Read more

Sheriff warns of IRS scam

MONTICELLO, NY — With tax season in full swing, Sheriff Mike Schiff is warning county residents of a continuing telephone scam. Citizens across Sullivan County have received phone calls from scammers pretending to be IRS agents. The callers are aggressive and threaten to arrest their victims in order to get them to make a payment on a non-existent tax bill. The callers sometimes “spoof” the telephone number of the sheriff’s office or other law enforcement agency, which appears on the victim’s caller ID.  Read more

No hunting hunters with drones

HARRISBURG, PA — State Rep. Gerald Mullery on March 15 introduced legislation that would prohibit individuals and organizations from using drones to interfere with lawful hunting, fishing and boating activities.  Read more

SEEDS wins environmental award

HARRISBURG, PA — Gov. Tom Wolf on March 21 announced that 17 organizations involved in 14 projects from across the Commonwealth will receive the prestigious Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence. These award winners represent the best in using innovation, collaboration and public service to improve and protect Pennsylvania’s environment.  Read more

FERC says ‘no’; Delaware Riverkeeper Network takes note

COOS BAY, OR — The Delaware Riverkeeper Network (DRN) often describes the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) as a rogue federal agency that always sides with industry and since the 1980s has never rejected an application for a pipeline project. DRN will now have to alter that claim just a bit, because on March 11, FERC finally did deny an application for a project, and it was quite a large one.  Read more

Labor conflict at Murray’s Chickens

SOUTH FALLSBURG, NY — There was a brief demonstration outside of Murray’s Chickens on the morning of March 22. Employees from the facility, many of whom are Hispanic, protested and held up signs to passersby along Route 42 in South Fallsburg.  Read more

Past, present and future meet in Honesdale

HONESDALE, PA — As Honesdale prepares to boldly go where it has never gone before, preparation to celebrate what has gone before met with resistance and constraints.  Read more

Edwards voted in five to four; Alvarez casts deciding vote

In one of the more dramatic votes at the government center in Monticello in recent months, Luis Alvarez, chair of the Sullivan County Legislature, cast the deciding vote which approved the appointment of Cora Edwards to the post of Democratic Election Commissioner on the county’s Board of Election.  Read more

Vandals strike Cochecton

LAKE HUNTINGTON, NY — It was where it should be on Saturday evening, March 5, gone the next morning. Witnesses present at the March 9 Cochecton Town Board meeting, Supervisor Gary Maas and Highway Superintendent Kevin Esselman among them, testified to that. Said Scenic Byway liaison Larry Richardson, “It had vandalism-proof bolts designed to make it immovable. Someone had to work hard to steal it.”  Read more

Supervisor eyes the prize; Bethel competes for $100,000 grant

WHITE LAKE, NY — The beautification group Sullivan Renaissance announced this year that, come August, five municipalities will be in the running for a $100,000 grant secured by Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther. The five competitors are the towns of Liberty, Fallsburg, Bethel, Thompson and the Village of Monticello.  Read more

Hanson is paying it forward

GLEN SPEY, NY — When he was little and complaining about not feeling good—perhaps to get out of school—J.J. Hanson said that his dad, who worked on the railroad, used to tell him, “You can’t hurt steel” to get him moving.  Read more

Health study for compressor; County applies for inclusion in NIH study

MONTICELLO, NY — The proposed construction of a compressor station along the Millennium Pipeline in the Town of Highland has sparked health concerns among residents in the area. As the shale-gas boom has lead to multiple new gas lines and compressor stations in the region, the concern about possible negative health impacts have emerged in many communities.  Read more

Wayne formalizes welfare funding complaint

HONESDALE, PA — The Wayne County Commissioners on March 10 approved a resolution opposing the state’s pay-you-later decision to withhold 15% of approved human services funding.

In January, the state Department of Public Welfare notified the county that its fiscal 2015-16 budget amount of $5.62 million was approved—kind of.

Gov. Tom Wolf on December 29 signed Act 92 into law, which allowed fiscally strapped PA to roll forward about 15% of the 2015-2016 state child welfare budget, $171.3 million, into the 2016-17 budget.  Read more

Sullivan drug ring taken down

MONTICELLO, NY — Some 27 people were arrested as local, state and federal authorities apprehended subjects who are accused of distributing heroin and cocaine and other drugs in Sullivan County.  Read more