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July 23, 2014
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The Sullivan County Legislature on July 17 considered new election districts during two lengthy meetings and a public hearing. With little time to make a decision, Legislator Cindy Gieger asked, “With one public hearing and then a vote, at what time do we consider constituents' concerns?”

Callicoon Center man holds family captive

CALLICOON CENTER, NY — On January 6, the Sullivan County Probation Department received a tip that a subject who was on probation may have been armed and holding his family captive at 673 Hessinger Lare Rd. in Callicoon Center. Sullivan County sheriff’s deputies went with probation officers to the location and reportedly found 40-year-old Benito Lopez in a highly intoxicated state.  Read more

King defends Common Core

NEW YORK STATE — John King, the commissioner of education in New York State, spent the last months of 2013 facing hostile audiences across the state as he conducted 20 forums that drew angry and frustrated parents and educators.  Read more

Frigid temps and weather whiplash

UPPER DELAWARE VALLEY — The blast of cold from what is now commonly referred to as the “polar vortex” brought frigid temperatures causing schools to close and warming centers to open.  Read more

Governor Cuomo provides important winter safety tips for preventing hypothermia, frostbite etc.

What is hypothermia? When exposed to cold temperatures, your body begins to lose heat faster than it can be produced. The result is hypothermia, or abnormally low body temperature.

Body temperature that is too low affects the brain, making the victim unable to think clearly or move well. This makes hypothermia particularly dangerous because a person may not know it is happening and won't be able to do anything about it.  Read more

Samuelson voted in for another term as chairman

At a meeting of the Sullivan County Legislature on January 2, the legislature voted in Scott Samuelson for another two-year term as chairman.  Read more

Sullivan adopts 2014 budget

The budget for Sullivan County for 2014 was adopted on December 19 and comes in within the Albany-mandated 2% property tax cap. Although there was some disagreement previously about the need to exceed the cap, all nine legislators voter in favor of the budget.  Read more

Change for PA motorcycles

HARRISBURG, PA — A new law has been signed by Gov. Tom Corbett changing the way motorcycle riders obtain and use learner’s permits. The new law limits the number of times a motorcycle rider can reapply for a learner’s permit to three times in a five-year period.  Read more

PA pheasants to be put down

WILLIAMSPORT, PA — About 2,400 pheasants placed under quarantine following detection of avian cholera at a Pennsylvania game farm will not be released for late-season hunting. According to a press release from the Pennsylvania Fish and Game Commission (PFGC), “arrangements are being made to humanely depopulate and dispose of the affected flock at the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s Loyalsock Game Farm.”  Read more

Shrinking Pennsylvania government

HARRISBURG, PA — The Pennsylvania House of Representatives voted this week in favor of two measures that would reduce the numbers of elected state officials. One bill would reduce the number of representatives from 203 to 153. The other bill would reduce the number of senators from 50 to 38.

The senate, however, has not acted on the legislation, and in order for such a size reduction to take hold, it must be passed by both houses and signed by the governor in two consecutive legislatures, and then voted on by residents.  Read more

DV to market former elementary site

DINGMAN, PA — Following a 45-minute closed session meeting, the Delaware Valley Board of Education tentatively approved a for-sale listing of its controversial former site for a new elementary school on December 19.  Read more

Study to examine economic impacts of cold water fishing

UPPER DELAWARE VALLEY — The economic impact of recreational fishing in the cold waters of the Upper Delaware River and its tributaries is estimated to be at least $199.9 million. Believing there is potential to increase this economic contribution by as much as $66.6 million, two partners, the Delaware County Economic Development (DCED) agency and the non-profit organization Friends of the Upper Delaware River (FUDR), are conducting a survey of businesses, ranging from fishing guide services and tackle shops to food markets and convenience stores and other local businesses.  Read more

Gordon's reaction to Monticello United

Monticello Mayor Gordon Jenkins expressed disappointment that the Democratic Committee in the Town of Thompson crossed party lines to endorse Republican Jill Weyer without interviewing three candidates who are Democrats and who wished to run on the party’s ticket. They are Rochelle Massey, who is Jenkins girlfriend and who was appointed to a trustee seat last summer; Aubrey Gittleman; and Buddy Alan.  Read more

Monticello parties united

Saying the parties were responding to an “outcry” from the public, Bill James, chairman of the Town of Thompson Democratic Committee, announced that his party and three others registered in the town—Republican, Independence and Conservative—were, for the first time ever, all backing the same candidates running for office in the Village of Monticello.  Read more

A push for immigration reform

LIBERTY, NY — A handful of residents turned out in front of the Liberty offices of Congressman Chris Gibson on December 12 to urge him to support immigration reform.  Read more

Cell towers approved for Damascus

DAMASCUS TOWNSHIP, PA — The Damascus supervisors voted unanimously on December 16 to approve conditional-use applications for a corporation looking to construct two broadband cellular towers in the township.  Read more

No tax increase for Damascus

DAMASCUS TOWNSHIP, PA — The Damascus Township supervisors approved a 2014 budget with no tax increase and also decided not to adopt a special tax for road and bridge improvements.
The balanced budget of $1,130,063 was approved unanimously December 23 with the millage rate set at 2.15, the same as 2013’s budget. A mill is a $1 tax for every $1,000 in assessed property value.  Read more

Update on ag projects

At the Town of Delaware meeting on December 11, Tom Kappner, who’s worked on United Nations Development Program and is a town resident, presented his update on the Sullivan County Economic Plan.  Read more

Green Tourism Working Group announces conference

The Green Tourism Conference at Villa Roma in April will be a first-of-its-kind opportunity to unite food service and lodging facilities, tourism agencies, “eco” product suppliers and recreational activity businesses from the Catskills to the Poconos around the common cause of promoting eco-tourism.  Read more

Catskill Art Society seeks color photos

SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY — Photographers are encouraged to submit up to four color images for the Jeff Bank 2015 Calendar Photo Contest. Submissions will be accepted February 21 to April 18, 2014. Organized by the Catskill Art Society (CAS), the contest has the theme, “ Four Seasons of Nature and Landscapes in Sullivan County.”

Interested artists may submit up to four color photographs, preferably depicting each of the four seasons. Recognizable locations are preferred, but not mandatory.  Read more

Tusten bans use of fracking brine on roads

At its December meeting, the Tusten Town Board passed a resolution to ban the use of fracking brine on any town roads. The text of the resolution appears in the sidebar. All members of the board voted in favor of the resolution. Councilman Ned Lang was not in attendance.

The use of fracking brine on roads has been banned on county roads in Sullivan, and so far the Town of Tusten is the only town in the county to pass a ban. On June 21, 2012 the Sullivan County Legislature adopted Resolution 248-12, which is similar to Tusten’s resolution.  Read more