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May 04, 2015
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TRR photo by Amanda Reed

REGION — For some people in the area, seeing a painted turtle basking in the sun on this bit of log that pokes above the water in Little Lake Erie in Narrowsburg is a sure sign that warmer days are here.

According to Wikipedia, this cold-blooded turtle regulates its temperature by basking in the sun after having spent the winter hibernating, buried in the mud, probably at the bottom of the lake for months without breathing.

For another look at this amphibian turn to River Talk on page 32.

Damascus approves conditions for campground

DAMASCUS, PA — At its February 16 meeting, the Damascus Township Board of Supervisors approved conditions of use for a 10-site campground on Hickory Lane owned by Hal and Gladys Kaufmann. The document outlining conditions of use for the property, which was granted a nonconforming use variance by the board in 1984, was drafted by township solicitor Jeffrey Treat and addresses most of the suggestions and concerns voiced by residents at a January 19 public hearing on the topic.  Read more

High bear yield in Pennsylvania

NORTHEAST, PA — The number of bears taken across the state of Pennsylvania continues to remain high, with the official number of bears taken by hunters in 2014 confirmed by the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC) at 3,366.  Read more

Town sets brewery hearing, tables parking

ELDRED, NY — The Highland Town Board on February 10 had two agenda resolutions concerning zoning changes on its agenda.  Read more

Bethel highway dustup continues

WHITE LAKE, NY — At the Bethel town meeting on February 11, it seemed as if Supervisor Dan Strum wanted to turn the temperature down a bit after the previous town meeting turned into a shouting match over the snow removal and overtime budget. Sturm and Councilperson Vicky Simpson said highway superintendent William Crumley was using too much salt and overtime, and was going to break the budget, while Crumley argued he was doing what was necessary.  Read more

Milk prices falling again

HONESDALE, PA — Farmers and others gathered for the 37th annual Wayne County, PA/ Sullivan County, NY Dairy/Ag Day on February 16. One attendee was Wayne County Commissioners chair Brian Smith, who recently announced he is running for office again this year, and who is also a dairy farmer.  Read more

Ukraine war hits home on Wayne’s dairy farms

HONESDALE, PA — Wayne County farms are responsible for 35% to 40% of the county’s economy, and that economy is suffering from a European war, the county commissioners were told on February 12.  Read more

Parker demands to be reinstated

MONTICELLO, NY — Randy Parker, the commissioner of the Sullivan County Division of Family Services (DFS) who was placed on paid administrative leave, says his rights are being violated. In an interview published on February 17, Parker said he is entitled to a public hearing over the matter.  Read more

Lawmakers oppose PA severance tax

HARRISBURG, PA — Several Republican members of the legislature have issued statements in opposition to Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed 5% severance tax on gas released from the Marcellus Shale.  Read more

Housing funds for Hudson Valley

NEW YORK STATE — Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand have announced $6,659,460 in federal funding for Hudson Valley housing authorities. These funds have been allocated through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Public Housing Capital Fund. Schumer and Gillibrand said this funding will help support the housing authorities in Dutchess, Orange, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster and Westchester counties to develop, finance and modernize their public housing facilities for people in the community.  Read more

Arrests in child porn cases

NORTHEAST, PA — Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane has announced that the her Child Predator Section, in partnership with several law enforcement agencies, has arrested 16 suspected child predators over the past two weeks in Northeast PA.  Read more

Port Jervis seeks housing grants

PORT JERVIS, NY — At what was to be the second public hearing on a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) application on February 16, Valerie Maginsky, the Community Development Agency’s liaison officer, reported, after a lot of research, the grant will not be pursued by the city this time, but instead the agency will seek another, more suitable housing program to address Port Jervis’ housing needs.  Read more

Confusion over Narrowsburg deck; Engineer bashes consultant’s survey

NARROWSBURG, NY — At the recent Tusten Town Board meeting held on February 10, town engineer Wes Illing was there to make a presentation about the Chazen Companies’ design for the Narrowsburg deck. During his presentation, it became apparent that the geo-technical (or geo-tech) survey that Chazen conducted under the existing deck was not sufficient, in Illing’s view.  Read more

Wolf declares death penalty moratorium

HARRISBURG, PA — Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced on February 13 a moratorium on the death penalty until a report is issued by the Pennsylvania Task Force and Advisory Commission on Capital Punishment.  Read more

County manager appoints acting DFS commissioner

Sullivan County Manager Joshua Potosek has named Joseph Todora, MSW, LMSW as Acting Commissioner of the Division of Health and Family Services and the Acting Commissioner of Social Services effective February 10, 2015.  Read more

New priest for ministry

MONTICELLO, NY — The Reverend Diana Southwick Scheide has been ordained into the Sacred Order of Priests in the Episcopal Church. She will serve a new collaboration of churches called the Delaware Catskill Episcopal Ministry.  Read more

Waymart woman sentenced for statutory rape

HONESDALE, PA — A 22-year-old Waymart woman has been sent to the Wayne County Correctional Facility for six to 23 months for having sex with a 15-year-old boy. She had previously pleaded guilty to statutory sexual assault, which is a felony.  Read more

Pike goes outdoors for economic development

MILFORD, PA — Pike County again combined tourism and economic development, with the county economic development authority’s participation at the Great American Outdoor Show in Harrisburg this week.  Read more

Gibson’s position on GMO labeling

REGION — The debate over the labeling of foods containing genetically modified organisms (GMO) continues to play out. The State of Vermont has passed a law requiring labeling of GMO foods. The law is being challenged by food industry groups who say there is no need for a law because there is “consensus” among experts that GMO foods pose no danger to public health.  Read more

M&M Ford Lincoln turns 25

LIBERTY, NY — Howard Braunstein, the owner of the M&M Auto Group in Liberty, assembled his staff to the Ford showroom on February 6 to receive a plaque from the automaker to commemorate 25 years in business with the car maker. Wendy Daley, a market representation manager for Ford, presented the plaque.

Braunstein said that with the coming of the casino about 10 miles away in the Town of Thompson he expects M&M Auto Group to expand a bit.  Read more

Sullivan whistleblower policy examined

MONTICELLO, NY — Sullivan County legislators briefly discussed a proposed new whistleblower policy, the creation of which was prompted by an investigation of complaints “by and about” Randy Parker, the commissioner of the Department of Family Services (DFS), who has been placed on administrative leave.  Read more