PORT JERVIS, NY — At the November 24 council meeting, Raymond Zukowski, a member of Empowering Port Jervis, a volunteer organization that aims to help the most vulnerable citizens of the city, stood up and made a surprising connection between two events. He tied the announcement of the arrest of Dennis McBee, who is accused of killing the beloved shopkeeper Joseph Kutcher, with the recent city decision to move the county offices that provided social services, public health and probation service, to Middletown. City officials have described the moves as being mandated by the state in response to serious budget deficit issues. Read more
POND EDDY, NY — When Ana Arvela, the owner of the newly opened 97 Bar and Grill, heard that one of her customers had lost his house in a fire on November 14, she wanted to do something to help. She said, “I want to thank all the locals for coming in my restaurant. It’s been wonderful meeting my neighbors, a great experience, I really enjoy it. I’ve established new friendships.” Among those is Kenneth Van Tuyl of Van Tuyl Road, Pond Eddy who narrowly escaped the fire with only the clothes on his back, and without shoes—a big deal for the almost seven-foot-tall man whose shoes have to be replaced by special order because of the unusual size. Read more
ALBANY, NY — College students seeking to become farmers may be able to avoid paying back up to $50,000 for college loans under the New York State Young Farmers Loan Forgiveness Incentive Program, which is intended to bring more young people into the farming business. Applications for the program must be made by December 15.
The program is available to individuals who obtain an undergraduate degree from an approved New York State college or university and agree to operate a farm in New York State, on a full- time basis, for five years.
Applicants must: Read more
PIKE & WAYNE COUNTIES — Well-water tested in Pike and Wayne counties contains low-to-moderate concentrations of naturally occurring methane, according to new studies by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Read more
CHERRY RIDGE, PA — Brian and Ryan Wayne (father and son) were arrested for fighting with each other. Brian, the father, told police that Ryan and his wife wanted him to sell his rifles to buy marijuana, which he refused to do. Read more
ALBANY, NY — The New York Gaming Facility Location Board is expected to make a decision about which four proposed casino projects in the state will get licenses to operate. The board has received 16 applications, with one license allocated to the Catskills/Hudson Valley Region, one to the Capital Region, and one to the Eastern Southern Tier Region. The fourth license may go to any of the three regions, although the prevailing view has been that it will go to the Catskills/Hudson Valley Region; it is possible, however, that only three licenses could be awarded. Read more
REGION — Santa is going to be ubiquitous over the next several weeks, showing up at stores and in towns all over the country. The modern Santa Claus has a connection to the real-life Saint Nicholas, who lived in the third and fourth centuries in what is now Turkey, and whose reputation was repeatedly enhanced over the centuries. Eventually, Nicholas was credited with performing all kinds of miracles, such as bringing new life to children who had been murdered. He also, of course, gave gifts to children. Read more
LAKE HUNTINGTON, NY — At the November 20 meeting of the Sullivan West Central School District Board of Education, a contingent of 35 to 40 senior veterans, some with World War II service, presented an eloquent plea for adoption of the Alternative Veterans’ Tax Exemption (AVTE) law. Read more
REGION — The dictionary definition of “confluence” is “1. a place where two rivers or streams join to become one or 2. a situation in which two things come together or happen at the same time.” So it’s fitting, then, that a group whose mission is to collect and share stories from local artisans to unite and promote tourism on both sides of the Delaware River would call itself the Confluence Project. Read more
ALBANY, NY — Michael Mulhern, a blind veteran with other disabilities who lives in Glen Spey, has around-the-clock companionship through what is called Consumer Directed Personal Assistance (CDPA), and this assistance allows him to stay in his home rather than in a facility such as a nursing home. For decades, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) had interpreted the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to say that people providing this sort of assistance or companionship are exempt from the FLSA. Read more
LONG EDDY, NY — The plan for an expanded access area to the Upper Delaware River in Long Eddy is a hit with at least some of the public. Fishing enthusiasts and others pitched in with $5,381 on a crowd-source funding website (www.indiegogo.com/projects/improve-the-long-eddy-river-access) to help pay for the project. Then, on November 20, the Sullivan County Legislature unanimously agreed to give $5,000 towards the project. Read more
HONESDALE, PA — Sustainable Energy Education and Development Support, or SEEDS, is a community-based organization in Northeastern Pennsylvania committed to developing local renewable energy infrastructure and promoting more sustainable living in our area. Out of SEEDS, the Clean Energy Co-operative was recently formed. Jack Barnett, the president of the co-op and a member of SEEDS, said one of the things they wanted to do was take what they are doing at SEEDS and increase its scale by expanding to commercial and bigger businesses. “We wanted to do it in a way that would benefit the community,” Barnett said, “especially all the non-profits and other community organizations that really make our place here in Northeast Pennsylvania what it is and why we love it.” Read more
STERLING FOREST, NY — Former New York State Gov. George Pataki said in a statement issued on November 21 that he is opposed to a plan for a casino to be constructed in Sterling Forest in Orange County, which is the proposal put forward by Genting Inc., and is the largest of the 16 projects seeking one of four casino licenses to be awarded soon. Read more