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October 31, 2014
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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.

LaBuda backs Thompson, Liberty in casino race

MONTICELLO, NY — Legislator Kathy LaBuda supports a casino in the Town of Thompson and also perhaps in the Town of Liberty, but she does not support the effort in the Town of Mamakating, which she represents, to obtain a casinos license.  Read more

Bill would create Pennsylvania public financing for political campaigns

HARRISBURG, PA — Pennsylvania State Sen. Daylin Leach on April 7 announced plans to introduce a bill that would create a public financing option for state political campaigns. Specifically, the legislation would create a Clean Elections Fund to provide participating candidates with public money to finance their election campaigns.  Read more

PA lawmakers observe Equal Pay Day

HARRISBURG, PA — State lawmakers sponsoring pay-equity bills on April 7 joined with advocates at the Pennsylvania Capitol to call for action on the legislation.  Read more

Watershed groups get $35 million

DELAWARE RIVER WATERSHED — An extensive list of nature, environment and land preservation organizations in the Delaware River watershed will share a $35 million grant from the William Penn Foundation (WPF) aimed at protecting high-quality water resources and restoring water quality where needed. Over 15 million people rely on the watershed as their source of drinking water.  Read more

Alternative court plan proposed

MILFORD, PA — One of the critics of Pike’s plans for an addition to the county courthouse last week offered to submit an alternative.  Read more

Thompson wants two casinos; Liberty would like one

SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY — Now that the New York State Gaming Commission (SGC) has sent out requests for applications (RFA) for one of the four casino licenses that will be available this year, local officials have begun to adopt positions on which projects they support.  Read more

Judge: ‘This was an attempt to stuff the ballot box;’ developer walks away from voting battle

Judge Stephan Schick had expected lengthy testimony and legal arguments; he told the lawyers he would be available for the entirety of the four days leading up to the swearing in of newly elected officials in the Village of Bloomingburg.  Read more

Eldred board election coming

ELDRED, NY — On March 13, the Eldred Central School District (ESD) announced it will hold an election for one seat on the school board to take place on May 20. The seat is filled by Carol Bliefernich, who has been appointed as the district’s representative to Sullivan County BOCES, and who is running for re-election to the five-year seat.  Read more

Peifer says education construction funding a priority

HARRISBURG, PA — Rep. Mike Peifer says that funding for school construction projects that have been approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) will be a priority as the budget process moves forward in Harrisburg.  Read more

Two named to seven-county alliance

HONESDALE, PA — The Wayne County Commissioners conducted some surprisingly important business during their 14-minute meeting of March 30.  Read more

Sullivan West: it takes a state to raise a child

LAKE HUNTINGTON, NY — The March 13 Sullivan West Central School Board meeting was all about the kids. From superintendent Nancy Hackett, to the board members, to faculty and staff, to parents and public, there was universal agreement that the student musical, “Beauty and the Beast,” presented March 7 to 9, was nothing less than a triumph of talent, spirit and hard work. Cited by all as an example of what students can accomplish when properly motivated, it serves as testament to what Sullivan West is doing right.  Read more

Sullivan next to last in health; Wayne and Pike fare better

UPPER DELAWARE RIVER VALLEY — The fifth annual County Health Rankings, which measure the health outcomes and impacts of practically all of the counties in the United States, were published on March 16, and once again Sullivan County is second from last in New York State. Sullivan placed 61 out of 62 counties, ahead of only Bronx.  Read more

Delaware Valley moves on career tech planning

DINGMAN, PA — Following a lengthy executive session on March 20, the Delaware Valley (DV) Board of Education approved a $17,000 appropriation to fund a feasibility study for a new Career Technology Education and Workforce Development (CTE) facility, to be done by Burkavage Design Associates and educational consultant Clyde K. Hornberger Ed.D.  Read more

Tax breaks in NY budget

ALBANY, NY — The state budget agreement announced in Albany on March 31 includes $1.5 billion in tax credits that will go to homeowners. According to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the property tax relief package is designed to incentivize local governments and school districts to share services and reduce their financial burden on the taxpayer. In the first year under the reform plan, New Yorkers will receive property tax relief if their local governments stay within the property tax cap.  Read more

PA League of Women Voters opposes mine drainage bill

HARRISBURG, PA — The League of Women Voters is among more than 50 environmental organizations and community groups that have co-signed a letter requesting that Pennsylvania legislators not take action on a mining drainage bill before an environmental impact assessment has been completed, and if a vote is taken before that, urging elected officials to vote “no.” The League believes that while this bill started with good intentions in October 2011, it is now extremely dangerous.  Read more

State senator pushes for severance tax

HARRISBURG, PA — Pennsylvania State Sen. John Yudichak, on March 27, joined leaders in education, environmental protection and business at the Northeastern Pennsylvania Industrial Resource Center to unveil details of a plan to enact what he called a fair and reasonable severance tax proposal on the Marcellus shale industry.  Read more

Bonacic announces $40 million for potholes

ALBANY, NY — Senator John J. Bonacic announced on April 1 that the New York State 2014-2015 budget agreement includes $40 million in funding to help fix the many potholes that are left after a rough winter throughout the state.  Read more

Fighting colon and rectal cancer

HONESDALE, PA — The numbers are getting better, but Northeastern PA counties still have colon and rectal cancer incidence rates 15% or 16% higher, and mortality rates 16% higher, than the national average.  Read more

Pure heroin in Woodridge

WOODRIDGE, NY — Jeffrey Hershewsky, 30, of Woodridge, and 20-year-old Alison Killian of Liberty have been arrested in connection with the sale of uncut heroin.  Read more

The growing heroin problem

SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY — Signs of the heroin epidemic in Sullivan County and beyond are everywhere. The police agencies in the county send a seemingly endless stream of notices about heroin-related arrests to local media outlets. At a recent Town of Liberty meeting, resident Terry Bauer sought support for addiction treatment programs and said she was providing shelter to a friend who is dealing with heroin withdrawal; state Sen. John J. Bonacic announced that he is part of a joint task force, which will examine the “alarming” rise of use of heroin and other opioids in New York.  Read more