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November 28, 2015
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“Sarah Hale portrait” painted by James Reid Lambdin (1807-1889) — Richard’s Free Library, Newport, NH

REGION — Most Americans know that the first Thanksgiving was celebrated by the Pilgrims in the fall of 1621, with a feast that was shared with many members of the Wampanoag Tribe of Native Americans. What’s not as well known is that it did not become a national holiday celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November until many years later.

Overnight crowd for Section 8

MONTICELLO, NY — More than 650 people—most of them members of the Hasidic community from outside Sullivan County—turned out on the evening of June 14 to apply for federally subsidized housing units, even though the applications were not available until the next morning. The people were camped in the vicinity of the Monticello Housing Authority (MHA) and their presence elicited complaints of noise and parking congestion from neighbors.  Read more

PA Caucus announces gift bill

HARRISBURG, PA — The Government Reform Caucus on June 15 expressed its support for legislation that would strengthen state law regarding gifts to public officials.  Read more

Free farmers’ market produce

MIDDLETOWN, NY — Sen. John Bonacic announced on June 15 that seniors in Sullivan, Orange, Delaware and Ulster counties will have access to free produce at local farmers’ markets, as part of New York State’s Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program. The program gives $20 coupons to low-income seniors that can be redeemed at certain farmers’ markets across the state. The funding for this initiative was included in this year’s state budget as a way to boost nutrition, and increase access to farm-fresh fruits and vegetables.  Read more

Rusty Palmer ordered to pay after defaulting

TEXAS TOWNSHIP, PA — Rusty Palmer, the owner of the flamboyant sports machine business on Route 6 outside of Honesdale has been ordered to pay $7.2 million to the Dime Bank after defaulting on the mortgage to his sprawling building on 15 acres, and after failing to file a timely response to the bank’s legal complaint.  Read more

A beautiful Main Street

NARROWSBURG, NY — Although she has classic summer plans like vacationing in Florida and swimming in the Delaware River, Narrowsburg teen Ember Cemelli is also getting her hands dirty and making her community a beautiful place to live. Ember is an intern for Sullivan Renaissance, a beautification program whose mission is to enhance the appearance of Sullivan County while building a sense of pride and community spirit. She works for pay for 15 hours a week for the entire summer doing everything from weeding and mulching, to planting and watering.  Read more

Wizard of Oz invades the Trout Parade

LIVINGSTON MANOR, NY — “Gill-Inda, the Good Fish” leads The Mountain Tones down Livingston Manor’s wacky version of the Yellow Brick Road during the annual Trout Parade on June 13. This year’s theme—“Somewhere Over the Rainbow Trout”—inspired creative costumes, music and performers from all around the region who showed up in droves to enjoy the festivities during the day. To view more photos from the parade, visit our Facebook page and read Jonathan Fox’s column “In My Humble Opinion” on page 20.

Community Choice Aggregation; Buying electricity cheaper in bulk

MOTNICELLO, NY — Residents in New York State have the option of choosing which company will supply them with electricity, but it turns out that 75% of residents don’t bother to research the issue and change suppliers, and they are left with the default choice. In much of Sullivan County, the default company is NYSEG.  Read more

Sullivan Democrats deeply divided

Democrats outnumber Republicans on the Sullivan County Legislature by a margin of seven to two, but anyone who follows the legislature knows there has been a deep divide among Democrats since the last election, which ushered in a slate of political newcomers.  Read more

Masthope wastewater operator appears before UDC

NARROWSBURG, NY — After several years of neighbors’ complaints and National Park Service testing at its outflow to the Delaware River, representatives of Aqua America last week appeared before the Upper Delaware Council (UDC) to detail their wastewater operations at the Masthope Community in Lackawaxen Township.  Read more

Honesdale faces $100 million lawsuit

HONESDALE, PA — At the June 8 Honesdale Borough Council meeting, Bob Jennings told the council he had received a call from Michael Morris, who left a voicemail message saying a lawsuit in the amount of $100 million would be filed this week against council members serving in the early months of 2014. That would include some present and some former council members alleged by Morris to have participated in improper administration of Department of Community and Economic Development funds intended for a commercial building renovation.  Read more

New brewery coming to Honesdale

HONESDALE, PA — Cheers to new beginnings. Karl Schloesser, Allaina Propst and Steven Propst will begin transforming the former Country Dawn store into Here & Now Brewing Company in early June.

Here & Now will be a 7BBL brew café that crafts seasonal, local, and whimsical beers that are primarily served on-site alongside food the company describes as “simple and well-prepared.” The focus will be on retail sales along with growlers to go. Down the line, if laws allow, the brewery plans to expand, with distribution to local restaurants, including exclusive, custom beers.  Read more

Program to spur economic growth via tax breaks expands

MILFORD, PA — The number of Pike municipalities offering tax benefits to businesses developing LERTA-certified properties expanded by one last week.

Pennsylvania’s Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance Act (LERTA) allows local taxing authorities to provide for tax exemption for certain deteriorated industrial, commercial and other business property and for new construction in deteriorated areas of economically depressed communities.  Read more

Casino license is coming; Local contractors wanted

MONTICELLO, NY — Charles Degliomini, the executive vice president of Empire Resorts, is hearing a lot of comments these days from people who are skeptical that the state will ever grant the company a license for the Montreign Casino at the Adelaar Resort.  Read more

Free PA background checks

HARRISBURG, PA — Pennsylvania State Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-Montgomery) has drafted a House bill that would grant free background checks every three years to all current and future first-responder volunteers in Pennsylvania.  Read more

Community bulk purchases of electricity

MONTICELLO, NY — The Agriculture and Sustainability Committee of the Sullivan County Legislature will hear a presentation by Mike Gordon on Community Choice Aggregation (CCA), a program that allows municipalities to negotiate low-cost electric rates for businesses and residential customers, to be held at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 11.  Read more

Three arrests in Liberty for heroin

ALBANY, NY — Village of Liberty Police on June 7 arrested three individuals after an investigation into heroin sales. Police had begun investigating after a series of non-fatal heroin overdose incidents and one fatal suspected heroin overdose on June 2, in Liberty.  Read more

Walter to challenge Democratic candidate for legislator

GRAHAMSVILLE, NY — Kenneth Walter, a government watchdog well known at meetings of the Sullivan County Legislature and Sullivan County Community College announced on June 8 that he is seeking the Democratic Party’s nomination for the 3rd District legislative seat that encompasses Neversink, Rockland and the Parksville area of Liberty. Walter has the endorsement of the area’s Working Families Party and will be on the November 3 general election ballot.  Read more

Erratic driver hits two cars

MILFORD, PA —An erratic car ride up the busy 4th Street next to the new location of the Milford Farmers’ Market at the Grotto Restaurant grounds ended up in the arrest of the two men in the car, both the driver and the other man who is believed to be his brother. No names were released by the arresting police officer.  Read more

Backyard chickens and bird flu

REGION — For people in some parts of the country, for instance Texas, egg rationing has begun in some food store chains and the cost of eggs is soaring. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, as of June 1, the price of a dozen large eggs in the Northeast has increased from an average of $1.16 at the end of April to $2.43.  Read more

Ben Wechsler acreage to be auctioned; More than 1,500 acres in Neversink Gorge

FORESTBURGH, NY —More than 1,500 acres of forested land belonging to the estate of the late Ben Wechsler with some acreage along the Neversink River will be put up for auction on June 30 by Max Spann Real Estate & Auction Co. The auction will be held at the Westchester Marriot, 670 White Plains Rd., Tarrytown. The property is being auctioned in two parcels: a 1,051-acre tract and a 512-acre tract that has been subdivided into seven lots.  Read more