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April 20, 2015
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TRR photo by Fritz Mayer

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.

PA controlled substance bill signed

HARRISBURG, PA — Legislation containing language authored by Rep. Matt Baker to combat prescription drug abuse was signed into law on October 27 by Gov. Tom Corbett. The new law expands the state’s prescription-drug monitoring program to include Schedule II through V controlled substances that are prescribed and dispensed in Pennsylvania. The database will help improve patient care and prescribing practices, uncover drug diversion, and identify “doctor shopping.”  Read more

2,500 pounds of debris collected at NYC reservoirs

UPPER DELAWARE WATERSHED — The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) on October 28 announced that 171 volunteers from across the Hudson Valley and Catskills collected an estimated 2,500 pounds of debris during this year’s Reservoir Cleanup Day. The effort to remove debris, litter and recyclables across dozens of miles of reservoir shoreline was led by school groups, business leaders, local nonprofits and watershed citizens. The event was also co-sponsored by the Catskill Watershed Corporation (CWC), which provided gloves and bags for the volunteers.  Read more

New helipad at Grover Hermann Hospital

CALLICOON, NY — On October 7, the staff at Grover M. Hermann Hospital held a helipad dedication ceremony honoring hospital donor Thomas W. Rooke and his family. Hospital employees, board members and community members were in attendance. The helipad is Grover M. Hermann Hospital’s newest enhancement, attributed to the support of the Rooke Family. Catskill Regional’s board of directors chairman, Darrell Supak; CEO and CMO Dr.  Read more

Last-minute win for NRA; No vote on pigeon shoots

HARRISBURG, PA — The National Rifle Association (NRA) won a victory at the end of the legislative session, when the Pennsylvania House avoided a scheduled vote on a bill that would have banned pigeon shoots in the state.  Read more

The season of the witch

UPPER DELAWARE VALLEY — According to many experts Halloween, or All Hallows’ Eve, is a feast which became a Christian festival, but may have started as a Celtic festival. It is said to have been specifically influenced by the Gaelic Samhain, a festival to mark beginning of the darker half of the year, and the end of the harvest.

Other experts believe that it was not influenced by these pagan rituals and was strictly a Christian festival.  Read more

Eldred Central School District to cancel remainder of football season amid hazing reports

The Eldred Central School District will be forfeiting the final game of the 2014 football season amid reports of widespread and pervasive hazing amongst members of the Football team.  Read more

Ira Cohen, Sullivan Treasurer, dies

Ira Cohen, the Sullivan County treasurer and former county attorney, has died. Cohen had been battling pancreatic cancer for several years, but had been working at the government center in recent weeks.  Read more

Bethel tackles nonconforming uses; bungalow colonies impacted

The Bethel town board has adopted zoning changes that prohibit the expansion of nonconforming uses; a nonconforming use is one that in previous years was allowed but has since been banned because of zoning updates – for instance a summer camp in a residential neighborhood.  Read more

New solar array at Catskill Farms

ELDRED, NY — The brutal winter of last year and its associated heating costs is one of the things that inspired Charles Petersheim to install a solar panel system at his business, Catskill Farms (www.thecatskillfarms.com). Petersheim began Catskill Farms in 2002, a business that designs, builds and sells new cottages, farmhouses and mini-houses in the Catskills. Petersheim’s business model is based on sustainability, and all of the homes the company builds are insulated with spray foam, and often include sustainable features such as an on-demand water heater.  Read more

Pike to PA: Don’t mess with gas fees

MILFORD, PA — With both gubernatorial candidates now suggesting new taxes of various sorts to replace the natural gas “impact fee” that Gov. Tom Corbett signed into law, Pike officials last Wednesday voiced their objections.  Read more

Elementary and career tech building issues at DV

WESTFALL, PA — Things are running a bit behind schedule, but officials of the Delaware Valley (DV) School District are moving on a busy construction schedule.

New elementary school

In June, DV Superintendent John Bell had hoped that by the October meeting most of the planning preparations for the $30 million Delaware Valley Elementary School (DVES) project adjoining Matamoras Airport Park would be completed and the board would be “talking turkey,” about the new $6 to $10 million Career Technology Education (CTE) addition adjoining the south side of the high school.  Read more

Managing tributaries, cooling trout and finding funding; Fifth WWE conference seeks to better the Upper Delaware

HANCOCK, NY — Constructing and funding a plan to manage and restore the tributaries of the Upper Delaware watershed, promoting water releases to avert thermal emergencies that threaten trout, a fairer apportionment of water releases from the New York City (NYC) reservoirs and improving transparency in water-release decision-making were among the focuses of the Friends of the Upper Delaware River’s (FUDR) fifth annual Water, Water Everywhere (WWE) conference, held two days last week at the West Branch Angler Resort.

A plan to manage tributaries
  Read more

Damascus seeks new tax fund for road building projects

DAMASCUS, PA — A new tax fund dedicated to large scale road building projects moved one step closer to becoming a reality, when a resolution supporting its establishment was adopted at the October 20 Damascus Board of Supervisors meeting. Originally envisioned by Chairman Jeffrey Dexter and operations manager Steve Adams as a potential solution to the township’s urgent need for money to rebuild roads washed out by hurricanes Irene and Sandy and buckled by last year’s extreme winter weather, no portion of the new fund would be used for routine road maintenance. Instead, it would be used exclusively for major road-building and rebuilding projects, Jurgenson and Chicopee roads among the first to be undertaken.  Read more

Monticello Casino and Raceway bans patrons under 18

MONTICELLO, NY — Earlier this month, Monticello Casino and Raceway (MCR) announced it would no longer permit anyone under 18 years of age to enter the facility. Before that the policy was that people younger than 18 were allowed in some non-gaming areas of the facility.  Read more

Sullivan launches new charter commission; To recommend changes to the legislature

MONTICELLO, NY — The last commission to examine the Sullivan County Charter was convened in 2005. It met twice a month for two years and ultimately recommended changes to the county.

This process is scheduled to occur every 10 years, so the county legislature is beginning the process of forming a new commission, and the co-chair of the previous commission, Robert Green, met with the legislature to give his input on how the process might play out.  Read more

Narrowsburg men arrested

LUMBERLAND, NY — On October 19, New York State Police at Liberty were called to a disturbance at a residence in the Town of Lumberland. Upon arrival, troopers learned from the occupants that two men had forced their way into the home, displayed and threatened the use of a firearm, and assaulted one of the occupants. One occupant sustained minor injuries.  Read more

Blood tests negative for Frein

BLOOMING GROVE, PA — On October 16, two separate homeowners at two locations in the Cresco area reported finding blood at their residences. One residence had what appeared to be blood droplets on the deck of a covered porch. The other location was a residence in close proximity to the first. That residence had what appeared to be blood on the inside of a rear door of an enclosed porch.

Samples were collected and lab analyses were conducted. The blood droplets on the first home were confirmed to be human blood, but DNA testing was negative for Eric Matthew Frein.  Read more

PA marijuana bill put off

HARRISBURG, PA — Rep. Ed Gainey (D-Allegheny) said he’s disappointed the state House of Representatives avoided a vote on his amendment that would legalize medical marijuana in Pennsylvania.

“We had the opportunity to improve the lives of Pennsylvania families suffering from cancer, multiple sclerosis and other horrible conditions who would benefit from a medical marijuana prescription. Unfortunately, the Republicans decided that other matters are more important than this critical health care issue, which has overwhelming support from people across Pennsylvania,” Gainey said.

Death in car accident

DYBERRY TOWNSHIP, PA — Wayne County Coroner Edward R. Howell was called to the scene of a one-car accident in Dyberry Township on October 20. The victim was 20-year-old Joshua Florance of 73 Stevenson Spur Rd., in Honesdale.

A press release from Pennsylvania State Police says Florance was driving a 2000 Volkswagen Jetta south along State Route 191, when he lost control of the vehicle. The car spun around clockwise, “and left the roadway along the west berm and impacted with a utility pole, coming to final rest.”

Howell later pronounced Florance dead at the scene.

Milanville man dies in fire

MILANVILLE, PA — Wayne County Coroner Edward R. Howell said that Gary Tyler Sr., 54, died of carbon monoxide poisoning in a fire that broke out in his home on October 19.

More than 100 firefighters from Wayne County and Sullivan County in New York arrived to battle the blaze at 54 Atco Rd. in Milanville on Sunday evening.

Gary Tyler, who at one point had a well-drilling business, was well known in the area.

The cause of the blaze is under investigation.