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September 03, 2015
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TRR photo by Fritz Mayer

REGION — There’s no question that last year’s winter was one for the record books, with temperature records falling all across the eastern United States and here in the Northeast, while most of the rest of the planet experienced above-normal temperatures. In fact, temperatures were so far above normal for most of the planet that by the end of August climate scientists were projecting that 2015 will be the warmest year since record taking began in 1880. Coming in right behind this year is 2014, which will then become the second warmest year on record.

Gas at a glance

Health impacts of Marcellus Shale drilling to be studied in PA  Read more

Cochecten anti-drilling petition

On the issue of fracking, where agreements about facts are scarce, there is never a shortage of passion and emotion.  Read more

Hawley zombie attacker faces charges

A man who, according to a police report, “gnawed” on a woman’s head while naked and covered with blood, was released from a Scranton hospital on September 16, and charged with various crimes including assault and indecent exposure. He was being held on $100,000 bail as of the next day.  Read more

PA voter ID law punted back to lower court

HARRISBURG, PA — In a four-to-two decision, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on September 17 threw the case against the Voter ID law back to the lower court, and told the judge, Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson, that in order for the law, which is also known as Act 18, to be implemented, the court must make a couple of determinations.  Read more

Gas well fees to be distributed in block grants

PENNSYLVANIA — Block grant distribution of the funds from Pennsylvania’s gas well fees will be implemented by the Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission around December 1 to county conservation districts, according to Peter Tarby of the Department of Environmental Protection Water Management Program.  Read more

New speed zones in Port

The Port Jervis Police Department and Port Jervis School District have implemented a new 20 mph school zone near the entrance to the schools located on Route 209, to help provide safer routes for children who walk to school.

The new school speed zone consists entirely of lower Hamilton Street from the city line, located at Cold Brook (entrance to high school property) at the base of Hamilton Street, to the traffic signal located on Hamilton Street at the Kingston Avenue intersection.  Read more

School lunch nutrition to improve

New national lunch standards this year require schools to offer fruits and vegetables every school day, only fat-free and low-fat milk options, and more whole grains. Calorie limits for students will also be set based on grade level.  Read more

PCCD questions new permit process; haste, prioritization and politics at issue

A new Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) permit review process and the draft policy for implementing it met with criticism at the September 17 board of directors meeting of the Pike County Conservation District (PCCD) in Blooming Grove. Specific concerns were cited about the hasty process involved and the potential for “politicizing” the prioritization of permits.  Read more

New face for a county landmark; The Sullivan debuts as boutique hotel in Rock Hill

Some of the top political and business leaders in the county turned out for the ribbon-cutting ceremony at The Sullivan, a facility that was purchased and renovated by developer Butch Resnick and is billed as the county’s only “boutique hotel.”  Read more

Sullilvan legislature passes tax cap override; sustainable energy project in doubt

The Sullivan County Legislature voted on September 20 to approve an override of the 2% property tax increase imposed by Albany. The vote was six to three, a supermajority of the legislature, which is necessary for the override to go forward.  Read more

Opponents to gas line hold another demonstration; emergency meeting cancelled

Opponents to the 6.1-mile loop pipeline around Milford, which is being pursued by the Tennessee Gas Pipeline (TGP) Company to deliver Marcellus gas to markets in New York and New Jersey, held a demonstration on Saturday, September 15. The protest is the latest in a series of demonstrations by residents and friends of the Cummins Hill Road community, where the pipe line will cut through the area.  Read more

Echoes of 9/11 in Highland

The events of September 11, 2001 echoed in the Town of Highland Town Hall in two disparate ways at its September meeting, which this year fell on that date’s exact 11th anniversary. On a positive note was a discussion of the Heroes Park, a public space centered around a mounted fragment of the World Trade Center dedicated to all veterans and public safety providers. A more dubious legacy was some controversy regarding the maintenance and upgrading of emergency communications equipment around the county, generated by a national Homeland Security Department that may not be sufficiently sensitive to real local needs.  Read more

Bandolero confab pitched for Bethel; young racers are welcomed at the track

A Bandolero is a small race car that is meant to be raced by drivers as young as eight years old and up to 16. The cars and the drivers are an important part of the seasonal racing program at Bethel Motor Speedway, and INEX, the organization that sets the rules for Bandolero races, as well as for cars in other classifications, has asked the operators of the Bethel track if they would be interested in hosting a national Bandolero event next summer.  Read more

Partnership announces new Sullivan County, NY hiking website

UPPER DELAWARE RIVER REGION – The Delaware Highlands Conservancy (DHC) and Catskill Mountainkeeper, in partnership with Sullivan County Division of Planning & Environmental Management, the Sullivan County Visitors Association and Morgan Outdoors announce the launch of TrailKeeper.org.

TrailKeeper.org is a one-source outlet for hiking trails and public lands in Sullivan County, NY with easy-to-read, easy-to-access maps and facilities information and guides to hiking safety.  Read more

In Tusten, it’s Reynosa vs. Lang; drilling, waterfront project are issues

The race for a seat on the Tusten Town Board will be between Andrea Reynosa, the board member who was appointed to the seat by the other board members last year, and Ned Lang, who was a member of the zoning board of appeals before resigning last year.  Read more

Lang wins Tusten primary

According to unofficial results from the Tusten Republican Primary held on September 13, businessman Ned Lang has won with 85 votes, while town clerk Kathy Michell garnered 53 votes.  Read more

Cuomo: ‘no pressure’ on fracking decision

ALBANY, NY — New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo is reported as saying that there are no immediate plans for a decision on whether to allow hydraulic fracturing in New York. He also noted that whatever is decided, he expects lawsuits will further delay the process. For the past few months there have been rumors circulating that final regulations from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) could be expected shortly after Labor Day. Cuomo’s latest comment casts some doubt on that speculation.  Read more

Nurse’s aide charged with stealing narcotic patches

The Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office has concluded a two-month investigation into the theft of narcotic pain patches from patients at the Sullivan County Adult Care Center in Liberty.

Sheriff’s detectives have arrested 37-year-old Robin Nash of Neversink, a nurse’s aide, and charged her with larceny, criminal possession of a controlled substance and tampering with evidence. Supervisors at the county’s nursing home alerted deputies in late June when they noticed Fentanyl patches missing from several patients.  Read more

Primary switched to Thursday

NEW YORK STATE — The second Tuesday in November is traditionally election day for Primary Races in New York State, but this year the day would fall on September 11, the day the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were attacked in 2001, and a third plane crashed into a field in Pennsylvania.
Because of the timing, the New York State Senate and Assembly decided to move the voting day to Thursday this year. Voting will take place from noon until 9 p.m.

DEP to study aqueduct leak solutions

NEW YORK CITY — New York City Environmental Protection (NYDEP) Commissioner Carter Strickland has announced the start of a year-long pilot study to evaluate a new method of sealing cracks in concrete water pipes that could eventually help stop leaks and maintain the Delaware Aqueduct, an 85-mile water tunnel that conveys approximately half of the drinking water from four upstate reservoirs to more than eight million people in New York City, and one million people in Ulster, Orange, Putnam and Westchester counties. A Syracuse University lab test, funded in part by DEP, demonstrated that introducing lime and other chemicals into water flowing through concrete pipes can effectively seal hairline cracks and reduce leaks.  Read more