In a move that lawmaker Cindy Gieger has been pursuing for some time, a press conference was held at the government center on April 2 to announce the appointment of detective Gerald Dietz to the position of chief fraud investigator serving the Sullivan County Division of Family Services. There was also the announcement of the formation of Sullivan County’s first fraud investigation team, which includes not only Dietz, but all branches of law enforcement in the county. Read more
The dam at the end of Gabriel Road has been washed out since 2005, when heavy flooding hit the area twice during the spring, and the road to repair has wended through a labyrinth of agencies and interests as the town board sought to repair the dam and let traffic flow across it once again. Read more
NEW YORK CITY, NY — Jessica Fingers, a former athletic star who attended Monticello High School, was found dead in a dorm room at Columbia University on March 31. Read more
SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY — In an effort to create a Comprehensive Economic Development Strategic Plan, Sullivan County is seeking input from potential members of an advisory committee. The potential members were drawn from the list of residents who attended public meetings in September 2012 regarding the future of economic development in Sullivan County. Read more
The U.S. Department of Labor is considering closing one of Callicoon’s greatest economic resources—the Delaware Valley Job Corps (DVJC). According to a resolution written by town clerk Tess McBeath, DVJC employs more than 145 local residents, serves approximately 500 students per year and injects $10.2 million into the local economy. The DVJC is also responsible for the paint job that rejuvenated the Callicoon Railway station. McBeath wrote, “The Delaware Valley Job Corps Center has become a valued member of our community.... Read more
REGION — A Pennsylvania State Police investigation determined that on August 20, 2012, Kristina Adams, 29, was shot and killed by Rodney Ezrapour, 56, who also shot 37-year-old Tobias Johannes, and then turned the gun on himself. The incident occurred on Cemetery Road in Damascus Township, PA. Read more
State officials are taking public comment on a new policy that would amend the rules for the installation of new septic systems. Under the proposed rules, in areas with exceptional value and high quality waters, such as Wayne and Pike counties, septic systems could not be placed closer than 150 feet from a body of water or 30 feet from a stream. Read more
HARRISBURG, PA — The Pennsylvania House on March 22 passed what Governor Tom Corbett called historic legislation that would privatize the state owned system of wine and liquor stores. He said it was the first time either chamber of the government has passed such legislation since the end of the Prohibition era 80 years ago.
The bill would ultimately give total control of the issuance of permits to sell alcoholic beverages and enforcement of the liquor laws to the state, but the retail sale of all beer, wine and liquor would be handled by the private sector. Read more
The New York affiliate of the National Rifle Association filed a lawsuit on March 21 in federal court against the recently passed gun law in New York State. Court papers say the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act (NY SAFE), runs afoul of the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which affords citizens the right to own “commonly possessed” guns for defense purposes.
On the same day, hundreds of people gathered for a rally against NY SAFE, which is primarily aimed at the sale of assault weapons. Read more
HARRISBURG, PA — A committee in the House of Representatives in Harrisburg has passed the Senior Citizen Property Tax Reduction Exchange Program. The bill would allow senior citizens to volunteer in a school district, and under a program set up by the district, the senior citizen would be eligible for a property tax break in exchange for service. Read more
Criminal complaints were filed against Christa Strackbein, Jerry Strackbein and Debra Meszler, all of Honesdale, on March 19. Wayne County District Attorney Janine Edwards said the charges include numerous felony counts of identity theft and access device fraud. The three are accused of stealing identities to obtain credit cards and then fraudulently using said cards for purchases in Wayne and surrounding counties. Read more
NEW YORK STATE — The New York State Senate passed two bills co-sponsored by Senator John J. Bonacic that are intended to provide economic relief and assistance to New York State farmers. The first bill, the “Repower New York Farms Act,” reduces energy costs for farmers to promote a generation of independent farms powered by renewable energy. The legislation lowers farmers’ utility bills and expands New York’s agricultural economy by reducing fees for farms that install renewable energy. Read more
At the March 13 Town of Lumberland meeting, constable Robert Maas was recognized by chief constable Pat Cahill and the town board for going above and beyond when performing his duties as a patrolman. Maas has been a lifelong resident of the Lumberland/Highland area and has been a Lumberland constable since February of 2010. He was instrumental in solving several local crimes in conjunction with the New York State Police and Sullivan County Sheriff’s patrol. Read more
The Berlin Township Board of Supervisors was notified at the March 18 meeting that it will receive $106,837 for its liquid fuels tax fund payment. The payment from the PA Department of Transportation will be made April 1.
“It’s slightly more than we got last year,” said board chairman Paul Henry. Read more
The supervisor of the Town of Liberty asked members of the public and the town board, the planning board and the zoning board to speak out on the question of whether they wanted to stick with the zoning that was adopted in 2011, or go back to the zoning that was implemented in 1987. Read more
By unanimous vote, the Town of Cochecton Board adopted a Climate Smart Communities Pledge Resolution at its March 13 monthly meeting. The towns of Tusten, Lumberland, and Delaware have ratified similar resolutions, all of which were based on a draft resolution provided by the county. Following review by councilman Larry Richardson and supervisor Gary Maas, the draft agreement was edited to outline goals that the board considers realistic for Cochecton at this time. Read more