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April 17, 2014
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TRR photo by Amanda Reed

REGION — According to the website www.project snowstorm.org, which is concerned with snowy owls, every few years, “for reasons that are not entirely understood,” a number of the raptors leave their winter ranges in southern Canada, and migrate down into the United States in an event known as an “irruption.”

Sullivan County nearly most unhealthy; Pike and Wayne fare better on nationwide health ratings

UPPER DELAWARE VALLEY — In the latest County Health Ratings issued by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, Sullivan County in New York came in as nearly the least healthiest in New York, ranking 61 out of 62 in terms of health outcomes.
Across the river in Pennsylvania, Wayne County had a slightly better position, coming in at 54 out of 67 counties; and Pike County had the best ranking of the three, with a ranking of 12 out of 67.  Read more

Callicoon draft Comprehensive Plan unveiled; gas drilling cited; public work session scheduled

Unlike the Towns of Bethel, Highland, Tusten and Lumberland, officials in the Town of Callicoon think there may be a place for industrial activity and gas drilling in the town’s future.  Read more

NPS tackles emergency response in river valley

National Park Service (NPS) officials have taken on the important task of improved coordination of emergency response throughout the river valley, following a series of drownings and other incidents last year that highlighted the need for better communications.  Read more

Baker bill requires lawyers for juveniles

HARRISBURG, PA — The Pennsylvania Senate last week unanimously passed Bill 815, which was sponsored by Senator Lisa Baker. The bill has been sent to Governor Tom Corbett, who signed it on April 9.  Read more

Commissioner Smith returns to the barn; the return will support the next generation of dairy farmers

Unexpectedly, Brain Smith, chairman of the Wayne County Commissioners, announced that he was returning to the barn and the milking of cows. The announcement came at the commissioners meeting on March 29.  Read more

Hawk’s Nest repairs resume

Those who breathed a sigh of relief when repair work concluded last fall on the snakelike stretch of NYS Route 97 known as the Hawk’s Nest, must now hold their breath to see when the recently resumed activities will conclude.  Read more

Crematorium gets state air permit

It looks like all the controversies have been resolved for the proposed crematorium to be built outside of Milford on Route 6.
Milford funeral director Kevin Stroyan has been granted an air quality control permit from the state Department of Environmental Protection. This is the last step on the way to final construction.  Read more

Sullivan West budget proposed; board speculates on the price of diesel fuel

The sour economy and actions in Albany are making it painful for officials to create the 2012/13 school budget. At a meeting of the Sullivan West Central School District (SWCSD) Board of Education on April 5, superintendent Dr. Ken Hilton presented the proposed budget.  Read more

Skinners Falls Bridge closed for emergency repairs

MILANVILLE, PA — A detour is in place for motorists who will temporarily be unable to cross the Skinners Falls Bridge connecting Milanville, PA with Sullivan County, NY. During a routine inspection, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) officials recently identified the need for emergency closure of the bridge in order to repair the structure’s truss member cord.

PennDOT hasn’t yet determined when the bridge will reopen, but repair time is estimated to be three to four weeks, according to safety press officer, Mike Taluto.

UDC & NPS Host Workshop On River Management Plan

NARROWSBURG, NY – Working with the River Management Plan for the Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River was the subject of a recent training workshop targeted to town and township officials in New York and Pennsylvania.

The Upper Delaware Council, Inc. (UDC) and National Park Service Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River (NPS) co-sponsored the March 24 program held at the Tusten Town Hall meeting room in Narrowsburg.  Read more

Read the stories that netted TRR its top-five spot

SYRACUSE, NY — The River Reporter was judged one of the five top single-flag newspapers in New York State in the New York Press Association’s annual contest at its spring conference last weekend.
The categories that netted the newspaper its top spot are listed below. Where applicable, you can click the links to read the award-winning stories.

BEST NEWS OR FEATURE SERIES: On the Hessinger building, Fritz Mayer
“Hessinger Building slated for demolition”   Read more

Addenda proposed to Tusten zoning rewrite

At its meeting on March 28, the Tusten zoning rewrite committee unanimously voted to recommend that the town board approve the re-opening of the SEQRA process, including a public hearing, to make some additional changes in the ordinance passed late last year.  Read more

Common Waters announces new round of grants

UPPER DELAWARE REGION — The Common Waters Fund has announced that an additional dozen landowners on 8,000 acres across three states will share more than $140,000 in Common Waters Fund grants to develop forest management plans and implement sustainable management practices that protect water quality in the Upper Delaware River Basin.  Read more

Port wastewater treatment upgraded

The NYC Department of Environmental Protection (NYCDEP) has completed a $12.5 million project to modernize a wastewater treatment plant located on the Neversink River at Port Jervis. Modernization work will help protect the water quality of both the Neversink River and the Delaware River immediately downstream.  Read more

UDC announces 2012 awards

The Upper Delaware Council, Inc. (UDC) will honor those that have enhanced the quality of life or protected the resources of the Upper Delaware River Valley at its 24th annual awards ceremony on Earth Day, Sunday, April 22, at The Carriage House located at 3351 NYS Route 97.  Read more

Gas at a glance

Explosion at PA compressor station under investigation
Emergency personnel from three counties responded to an explosion at the Lathrop gas compressor station in Springville Township, PA that shook homes a half-mile away.  Read more

Honesdale hires temporary zoning officer

The Honesdale Borough Council has hired a temporary replacement for Wayne Earley, who was fired on March 12. The replacement is Robert Bates of Honesdale.  Read more

Tusten heritage garden planned for Narrowsburg

If Tusten councilwoman Andrea Reynosa is successful, there will be a new garden in Narrowsburg very soon. Called the Tusten Heritage Community Garden, the objective of the project is to “foster, develop and strengthen ties among the various existing groups” in the Towns of Tusten and Cochecton and the Township of Damascus in Pennsylvania.  Read more

Park Service endorses PPL power line plan; environmental groups cry foul

NEW JERSEY & PENNSYLVANIA — In a major win for two utilities that want to build a $510 million power line, the National Park Service (NPS) has backed a route that would take the line through the Delaware Water Gap National Recreational Area, the Middle Delaware National Scenic River and the Appalachian National Scenic Trail.  Read more

QR codes: promoting the scenic byway and more

UPPER DELAWARE REGION — They appear everywhere these days, those small squares of black and white patterns that are portals to information troves of varying types. Called Quick Response (QR) codes, the squares are two-dimensional matrix barcodes encoded with data and designed to enable mobile device users to obtain easy access to additional information linked to the code.  Read more