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July 28, 2015
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NARROWSBURG, NY — Riverfest celebrates 25 years of existence this year, and as in years gone by, a centerpiece will be the auction of Riverfest posters. The one above is a painting of a great blue heron and its reflection, painted by Sullivan County artist Philip Jostrom. It’s one of 42 posters that will be up for auction at the event, which will be held in Narrowsburg on Sunday, July 26.
For more on the festivities and a look at some of the Riverfest celebrations of the past, turn to page 20.

Mountaindale man arrested

MOUNTAINDALE, NY — The New York State Police at Ellenville announce the arrest of Dylan A. Dordal, 18, from Mountaindale on strangulation and harassment charges.

On April 12, 2015, a female victim reported to the state police at Ellenville that she had gotten into a domestic dispute with her boyfriend, Dordal, on the previous evening. The victim explained she was at his residence in Mountaindale when the domestic incident took place. She told police she was slapped, choked and bitten by Dordal during this dispute.  Read more

PA automatic voter registration

HARRISBURG, PA — State Reps. Brian Sims (D-Philadelphia) and Scott Conklin (D-Centre) plan to introduce legislation reforming Pennsylvania’s voter registration system by instituting automatic registration of all eligible voters, with provisions for opting out.  Read more

Tightening veterans’ benefit applications

MONTICELLO, NY — A year ago, the Veterans Administration (VA) made headlines regarding revelations that sick and injured veterans were waiting months for treatment, and although Congress gave the VA more than $16 billion to speed up the treatment process, things have not improved much. According to a report by the Associated Press published on April 9, the number of patients experiencing delays of 30 to 90 days has stayed about the same, and those experiencing delays of more than 90 days has doubled.  Read more

Finally flowers

REGION — After a brutally cold winter that left a lot of snow on the ground, the snow is finally mostly melted and has filled the rivers and started to replenish the reservoirs. The melt has given way to bare earth. In a growing number of spots that earth is yielding tentative batches of crocuses and daffodils. The examples shown hear poked through the soil in front of a residence on Main Street in Jeffersonville.  Read more

DA makes strong case for Naloxone; Honesdale council reverses position on overdose antidote

HONESDALE, PA — Wayne County District Attorney Janine Edwards addressed the Honesdale borough council at its April 13 meeting to make plain the seriousness of the local heroin epidemic as well as the scope of legal and health implications stemming from it, and to dispel misconceptions surrounding Naloxone (Narcan) use as an opiate overdose antidote. Following her presentation, the council voted unanimously to permit borough police use of Naloxone, reversing its earlier decision to prohibit police use of the antidote.  Read more

Dam bursts off Route 97

The Narrowsburg Fire Department responded to the scene of what appeared to be a burst dam off of State Route 97 about a mile south of Narrowsburg on the afternoon of April 13.

Highway Superintendent Glenn Swendsen said the dam was located at the town pond, and the water was headed toward Cackletown, and perhaps then down to Little Lake Erie.

Bethel awards Mysteryland permits; Neighbors object to noise

WHITE LAKE, NY — At the town meeting on April 8, the Bethel town board awarded permits to allow Mysteryland to take place once again this year over the Memorial Day weekend. In addressing some complaints from neighbors last year, there were specific limits placed on the permits.  Read more

Promoting awareness of sexual assault

HONESDALE, PA — Teal, the color for sexual awareness programs, was evident in both Wayne and Pike counties last week, as county commissioners recognized April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month with proclamations.  Read more

Jenkins attorney appeals ouster; Erik Rhulen to run for office

MONTICELLO, NY — Gordon Jenkins was ousted from office as mayor of Monticello by a referee’s report, which was confirmed by New York State Appellate Court on April 2. Jenkins said in a news conference he will appeal the decision to the state’s highest court, and his lawyer has filed for a stay.  Read more

EPA makes a pesticide move; Neonicotinoids targeted for restrictions

WASHINGTON, DC — A number of people who study honey bees and other pollinators have been saying for a few years that the class of pesticides known as neonicotinoids are responsible, at least in part, for Colony Collapse Disorder, in which the bees from a large number of hives—up to 80% in some cases—die or disappear in the winter.  Read more

Schumer backs Port Jervis white water park

PORT JERVIS, NY — Sen. Charles Schumer threw his weight behind the Port Jervis White Water Kayak Park project by visiting the site on April 6 and sending a message to the two federal agencies that are yet to grant the necessary permits for the project to move forward. Federal Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permits will allow the modification of the waterway where the white water park will be constructed if no environmental threat is present.  Read more

New sewage system for Camp Simcha? Neighbor continues battle with camp

GLEN SPEY, NY — Mercedes Schneider has been complaining about the noise and smell from Camp Simcha on White Road in the Town of Lumberland for about 14 years. She has contacted the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and others. So far no one has done anything to mitigate what Schneider describes as the stench that comes from the two large sewage holding ponds that are located across a ravine some 75 feet from her property.  Read more

Ineligible voters decide election; Officials call on attorney general to step in

BLOOMINGBURG, NY — A group of 27 voters, most of whom were twice deemed ineligible to vote by the Sullivan County Board of Election (BOE), were permitted to decide the vote anyway, and the candidate they backed, Aaron Rabiner, has been certified as the winner of the March 18 election for a spot as a trustee in the Village of Bloomingburg.  Read more

Recycling kicks off Pike election campaign

MILFORD, PA — Last week, April arrived with the beginning of debate for Pike County’s 2015 election campaign.

The first issue to ignite the discussion was the commissioners’ October 2012 decision to end Pike’s municipal recycling program.  Read more

Sullivan County senior volunteers recognized

MONTICELLO, NY — Sullivan County elected officials join national officials who are increasingly turning to national service as a cost-effective strategy to address local challenges. By unleashing the power of its senior citizens, Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), is making our county a better place to live, especially for our most needy and fragile populations. To spotlight the impact of national service, elected officials across the country participated in the second-annual Elected Officials & County Day of Recognition for National Service on April 7.  Read more

Bill would expand alcohol training

HARRISBURG, PA — In order to prevent tragedies stemming from alcohol abuse, Sen. Ryan P. Aument is sponsoring legislation to expand Responsible Alcohol Management Training requirements to include all servers, sellers and distributors of alcohol.

Under current law, the training is required for owners and managers of liquor-licensed establishments, as well as at least 50% of alcohol service personnel. Aument’s bill would broaden this requirement to include all alcohol service personnel.  Read more

Wayne Highlands sexual assault

LOCH SHELDRAKE, NY — Another sexual assault case has occurred involving students in the Wayne Highlands School District. The case involves a male and female juvenile and took place on a middle school bus, last fall, but only recently became public.

This marks the third sexual assault incident involving minors from the district in recent months.

Loch Sheldrake man arrested for rape

LOCH SHELDRAKE, NY — On April 6, New York State Police at Liberty arrested Michael Fisher, 21, of Loch Sheldrake, after an investigation determined that he had sexual intercourse with a 14-year-old child. The incident was determined to have occurred in December of 2014 in the Town of Fallsburg.

Fisher was charged with rape in the second degree, committing a criminal sexual act, both felonies, and endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor. Fisher was arraigned in the Town of Liberty Court and remanded to the Sullivan County Jail in lieu of $10,000 cash bail.

Heating assistance program extended

HARRISBURG, PA — The deadline for Pennsylvania residents to apply for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) has been extended to May 1.

State Sen. John Wozniak said, “I encourage anyone who believes they can be helped by this program to reach out and explore their options. This winter has been harsh and long, and through this program we can assist families in paying for heating costs.”  Read more

Damascus fills positions

DAMASCUS, PA — In just over one hour at its March 16 meeting, the Damascus board of supervisors made several key appointments and put out the word that the township needs volunteers to staff its emergency services and riverfront cleanup efforts.  Read more