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May 28, 2016
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TRR photo by Fritz Mayer

BINGHAMTON,NY — The New York-Pennsylvania Joint Interstate Bridge Commission approved $37.5 million worth of replacement and repair costs targeting five Upper Delaware River bridges at its May 18 annual meeting, while agreeing to hold a public meeting locally to discuss the overall coordination of bridge projects.

Teachout returns to Sullivan

MONTICELLO, NY — Zephyr Teachout, the Democratic law professor who ran a surprisingly strong primary against Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2014 and won convincingly in Sullivan County and many other upstate communities, was back in the county on February 15, meeting and listening to voters. She’s running for the seat in New York’s 19th Congressional District, which is currently held by Republican Chris Gibson, who has opted not to run for another term.  Read more

Backlash against Highland Compressor Station; County joins towns in opposing gas infrastructure

MONTICELLO, NY — The Sullivan County Legislature will consider a resolution opposing a natural gas compressor station in the Town of Highland at a meeting on February 18. Judging from the discussion at a meeting of the Health and Family Services Committee on February 11, it seems possible the resolution will pass. The legislature, however, did issue a statement on February 12 saying “The Sullivan County Legislature has not taken a position either in support or against the proposed compressor station at this time.”  Read more

PA lawmakers consider licenses for plumbers

HARRISBURG, PA — In what they say is an effort to ensure safety of public water supplies and increase consumer protection, the House Professional Licensure Committee heard testimony on February 12 from Pennsylvania plumbers on the importance of a state licensing program for the trade, said Rep. Jim Christiana, author of a bill to establish such a program.  Read more

Lumberland fire destroys home in freezing temps

LUMBERLAND, NY — The temperature was minus two degrees when firefighters from the Lumberland Fire Department responded to a call in the Town of Lumberland on February 13.  Read more

Grover Hermann Hospital closed due to cold

CALLICOON, NY — Due to the extremely frigid weather on February 12, a pipe ruptured at the Grover M. Hermann hospital in Callicoon, and patients and staff were evacuated. The incident resulted in a number of leaks in the building.  Read more

Petition calls for repair of Skinners Falls Bridge

SKINNERS FALLS, PA — The bridge between New York and Pennsylvania at Skinners Falls was closed indefinitely by PennDOT in December 2015, with no plan yet in place about how it will be reopened. James May, a spokesman for the agency said at the time, “The public has to understand that this is not going to be a matter of days or weeks; it’s an indefinite closure.”

Now, residents in the area have started an online petition ( calling on PennDot and others to repair and reopen the 114-year-old span.  Read more

Neutering fee remains in place

GLEN SPEY, NY — A much debated plan for a town program to spay and neuter cats in Lumberland is still up in the air, as the Lumberland Town Board voted down a motion to reduce the program fee.  Read more

Solar farms in Cochecton?

LAKE HUNTINGTON, NY — The Cochecton town board was well on the way to setting an all-time record for brevity at its February 10 meeting, when code enforcement officer Greg Semenetz walked in. He told the four board members present (Anna Story was absent) that a town property owner has signed a lease agreement for a 10-plus acre solar array, and that a solar farm permit application will soon be submitted to the town’s planning board.  Read more

Compressor opposition forming ranks

ELDRED, NY — As it did successfully with the natural gas industry’s fracking efforts, the Town of Highland is preparing to take on Goliath again.  Read more

Fire at Cochecton Mills

Multiple fire companies from New York and Pennsylvania responded to a fire at Cochecton Mill in Cochecton on the afternoon of February 16. Cochecton Supervisor Gary Maas said at that point the fire may have been caused by fork lift that caught fire.  Read more

Obituary for William "Bill" Ernest Douglass

William "Bill" Ernest Douglass, 66, of Honesdale, died Saturday at home. He is survived by his wife of 33 years, the former Mary Ellen Kelly, R.N. The couple married on July 17, 1982.

Born on April 17, 1949, in Johnson City, NY, he was the son of the late Kenneth L. and Eleanor Ruth Daniels Douglass. Bill graduated from Vestal High School and studied at Hastings Boys' High School in New Zealand in a student exchange program. In 1971, he graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in geology.  Read more

Backlash against Highland Compressor Station; County may join towns in opposing gas infrastructure

Over the past week, four Sullivan County towns have passed or drafted resolutions opposing the proposed compressor station to be constructed on the Millennium Pipeline in the Town of Highland.  Read more

Green in Tusten, Gas in Highland; Energy Committee takes action

NARROWSBURG, NY — The Tusten Town Board meeting held on Tuesday, January 10 was abbreviated due to Supervisor Carol Wingert’s absence, and committee reports were the only thing on the agenda. As it turned out, the energy committee had a lot to report on.  Read more

New rule irks publishers: Are public relations people lobbyists?

ALBANY, NY — The New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE) is primarily concerned with helping those in public service understand the ground rules of governing. The JCOPE website says it promotes integrity by “helping those in public service understand their ethical obligations, ensuring transparency through rigorous public reporting disclosures, and providing accountability through enforcement actions to address ethical misconduct.”  Read more

Pike heroin battle continues

MILFORD, PA — Pike County now plans to devote a portion of the county’s annual Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) to a growing heroin-abuse problem, the commissioners announced on February 3.

The state and federally funded CDBG money has traditionally gone to community facilities or individual housing restoration benefiting low-income residents.  Read more

Wayne ponders state funding ‘rollover’

HONESDALE, PA — The Wayne County Commissioners are looking to their statewide commissioners’ association for direction in responding to an apparent state budget cut.  Read more

River panel completes reorganization

NARROWSBURG, NY — Formally beginning its 28th year of operations last week, the 13-town membership of the Upper Delaware Council (UDC) is still two towns short of its ultimate potential (Manchester and Buckingham have never joined), with two existing township members (Lackawaxen and Westfall) not in attendance at the meeting.  Read more

Liberty man charged with murder; Accused of shooting wife

LIBERTY, NY — A 65-year-old man has been charged with the murder of his wife. New York State Police say Jorge Gonzalez has been arrested and charged with shooting and killing his 33-year-old wife Ramona Gonzalez.  Read more

Honesdale hospital will grow and fly; $100 million litigation deal possible

HONESDALE, PA — The February 8 meeting of the Honesdale Borough Council started with a bang: six members voted to approve Wayne Memorial Hospital’s conditional-use application for a helipad at 1839 Fair Ave. Councilmember Mike Dux abstained, saying that his participation in helipad fundraising activities represented a clear conflict of interest. But the vote to approve the hospital’s purchase and nonconforming use of property adjacent to its visitor parking lot was unanimous, clearing the way for a planned $35 million expansion of the hospital.  Read more

Solar leases examined; Consumers advised to get legal help

MONTICELLO, NY — At a meeting at the government center on February 4, Colleen Monaghan, executive director of Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) said her organization had received hundreds of inquires from people seeking information about solar leases. Many landowners had received lease proposals in the mail, but were not sure if they represented a good deal.  Read more