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December 06, 2016
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Copyrighted photo by David B. Soete

RIVER VALLEY — As many people know by now, founding father Ben Franklin thought more highly of the American Turkey than the American Bald Eagle and wrote as much in a letter home from France in 1784.

PA representative proposes gift ban

HARRISBURG, PA — Rep. Rick Saccone has proposed a total gift ban for state lawmakers. This comes after governor-elect Tom Wolf said he will impose an absolute gift ban on members of his transition team and members of the executive branch once he takes office.  Read more

Honesdale train to resume operations

HONESDALE, PA — Delaware Lackawaxen & Stourbridge Railroad Company (DL&S) has filed an application to operate a train on the 24-mile rail line between Lackawaxen, Hawley and Honesdale. DL&S has worked out an operating agreement with Stourbridge Railroad Company (SBRR), the owner of the line.  Read more

Sullivan sheriff warns of utility scam

MONTICELLO, NY — Sullivan County Sheriff Mike Schiff says scam artists have been targeting customers of the Orange & Rockland Utilities (O&R) service area, calling customers to say their electricity is about to be shut off because the utility did not receive the most recent payment.  Read more

Solar in Town of Delaware?

HORTONVILLE, NY — At the Town of Delaware board meeting on November 12, Mav Moorhead talked about her recent findings regarding the town adopting a solar program. She came to the previous meeting as a guest, and as a result, was asked to explore the available options. At the meeting, the council appointed four members to the newly formed energy committee. They include Moorhead, Rich Winter, Isaac Green Diebboll and Ginny Boyle.  Read more

Cochecton adopts 2015 budget, imposes grease fines

LAKE HUNTINGTON, NY — The opening talk at the November 12 Cochecton town board meeting was all about the November 5 public hearing held to review the town’s proposed 2015 budget. Board members agreed that the presentation they gave was interesting, detailed and accurate in every respect. Town residents will have to take their word for it. No one but the board attended the advertised hearing.  Read more

Open house at Sullivan Sheriff’s office; historic building gets attention

Sheriff Mike Schiff and Undersheriff Eric Chaboty thought it would be a good idea to invite the public in to meet some of the detectives, and see some of the operations involved with running the sheriff’s office.  Read more

Neighbors object to DOT plan; retaining walls, guardrails to be installed

Panther Rock Creek and the Callicoon Creek, which converge in Youngsville, have flooded numerous times over the past decade, and now the state is moving to address the issue at Panther Rock.
At a public hearing on November 12, a representative from the NY State Department of Transportation (DOT) said the creek floods so often because the space below the bridge over the creek is too small. Root balls and trees get stuck in the opening and the water backs up and floods the surrounding buildings.  Read more

Vets’ discount cards lead to health checks

HONESDALE, PA — Discount cards at local stores are available to Wayne County military veterans, and Veterans’ Affairs Director Tom McDonnell says the program has helped him provide other services for veterans who would be unlikely to seek them out otherwise.  Read more

Sullivan manager recommends $6.3M infrastructure; Roads and bridges have fallen behind

MONTICELLO, NY — As in countless municipalities across the country, the roads and bridges in Sullivan County have depreciated more rapidly than they could be maintained and repaired, especially in the years following the Great Recession.  Read more

Deconstructing Corbett’s loss

HARRISBURG, PA — Election night was a good night for Republicans across the country, and it was also a good night for a majority of Republicans in Pennsylvania. Voters gave the GOP three more seats in the state Senate, bringing their majority to 30 to 20 Democrats, and gave them eight more seats in the House, bringing the Republican advantage to 119 versus 84 Democrats—the highest number of Republicans since the 1950s.  Read more

Wayne group battles Citizens United

HONESDALE, PA — The advocacy group Wayne Citizens to Reclaim Democracy issued a press release pointing out that there were dozens of ballot measures across the country in this past election that supported a constitutional amendment to reverse the impact of the Citizens United and other decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) that allow unlimited spending by corporations to influence elections.  Read more

Sullivan fraud investigation update

MONTICELLO, NY — The initiative in Sullivan County to attack welfare fraud began in March 2013 with the hiring of Gerald Dietz to the position of chief fraud investigator, initially working in the Sullivan County Division of Family Services (DFS). Dietz and the fraud team were ultimately moved into the Sullivan County District Attorney’s office, and the team is now comprised of three investigators, who work exclusively to prevent and prosecute welfare fraud.  Read more

Community grieves for murdered shopkeeper

PORT JERVIS, NY — In the city hall full of grieved faces and sadness, Port Jervis Police Chief William Worden announced that the combined efforts of law enforcement agencies across the Tri-State area had swiftly caught up with the perpetrator of the brutal beating that led to the death of Josef Kucher, an older, beloved Port Jervis shoe store owner, within 24 hours of the crime. Flanked by a line of police officers and city and county officials, Worden spoke first, followed by Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler, and Port Jervis Mayor Kelly Decker.  Read more

Sullivan, Delaware reject Cuomo

REGION — Although Gov. Andrew Cuomo was easily elected to a second term on a statewide basis, locally he didn’t fare as well with voters in Sullivan and Delaware counties. In Sullivan County, Cuomo, a Democrat running on several lines, received 7,881 votes; Astorino, the Republican challenger received 17,433 votes; Howie Hawkins, running on the Green Party ticket, received 686; Libertarian candidate Michael McDermott won 119 votes; Steve Cohn, running on the Sapient line, received 35. There were 731 blank votes in the race for governor.  Read more

New invasive insect in PA

HARRISBURG, PA — An invasive insect new to the United States that has the potential to impact grape vines, fruit trees and the hardwood industries has been discovered in Berks County, prompting the immediate quarantine of two townships.  Read more

Couple arrested for using deceased mother’s debit card

ROSCOE, NY — A man who pleaded guilty in 2009 to keeping his dead mother in a freezer so he could cash her Social Security checks, has been arrested again.  Read more

Pike to receive transportation funds

MILFORD, PA — Pike County will receive $461,725 for the construction of the Mott Street Pedestrian Bridge to connect Milford with the National Park Service’s McDade Trail, Milford Knob and the Pinchot Trail.  Read more

Safety cages and belt-tightening for Honesdale

HONESDALE, PA —A minor traffic accident in an alleyway last week sparked action at the November 10 meeting of the Honesdale Borough Council. Although no explosion or fire resulted when a gas meter was struck by a vehicle, the council decided to take the gas company up on its offer to install safety cages around gas meters wherever requested.  Read more

Not enough bats in U.S. belfries

NARROWSBURG, NY — Long villainized in horror movies, bats mean big money to the U.S. economy, and their numbers are being depleted by disease and technology, according to Howard Whidden.  Read more

Commissioners won’t press reversal of terrorism law

MILFORD, PA — After a second round of appeals to the Pike County Commissioners last Wednesday, members of Newfoundland’s Sanctuary Church got a formal response to their requests, but not the one they sought.  Read more