September 14, 2011 —
Tusten zoning plan to expand business district
NARROWSBURG, NY — The final draft of the proposed changes to the Tusten zoning code call for an expansion of the Downtown Business District in Narrowsburg. Specifically, the district would expand to include all of Erie Avenue on both sides of the street. Currently the district includes only the lot on which The River Reporter is located, the lot of the Yard Sale building and a small stretch of the street across the street from the Narrowsburg School.
The new zoning would make it possible for developer Ilwon Kang to proceed with his plan to open an 80-bed hotel on the school property, although it is unclear if Kang will still move forward with that project. At a town board meeting on September 12, supervisor Peg Harrison noted that the proposed zoning change was significant and asked if there was any comment from the council members or residents. No one offered any comment.
Public hearings on the zoning changes, which include significant restrictions on high-impact industrial uses such as gas drilling, are scheduled for September 26 and October 10.
Wayne deputies honored for rescuing snake bite victim
MILFORD, Pa. — Pike County sheriff deputies Wesley Vigh and Danila Parks received awards at the Pike County Commissioners meeting on September 7 for saving the life of a man who had been bitten by a rattlesnake and might otherwise have died.
Dan Marchione, a reptile enthusiast from Wayne County, was hiking in a remote area between Promised Land and Skytop Mountain looking for snakes to photograph. He found one and it bit him in the hand. At first he was so excited by the find that he kept taking pictures, but soon he was experiencing blurred vision, pain and shaking and he couldn’t get himself to the main road two miles away.
Before he lost his ability to move he had called his fiancé to let her know what had happened. She ran into the deputies who followed her to the pre-arranged pick-up point with their emergency lights on, and the officers found him two hours later.
Marchione was taken by hospital to Scranton Community Medical Center with his hand swollen and purple, not sure if he would survive the incident. He spent four days in the hospital but ultimately recovered.
FEMA and state disaster aid available to renters
ALBANY, NY — New York State renters who lost their home or personal property as a result of Hurricane Irene’s flooding may be eligible for assistance from the New York State Office of Emergency Management (NYSOEM) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
“Disaster aid is not limited to homeowners,” said state coordinating officer Andrew Feeney. “Eligible residents who sustained damages in this disaster can receive assistance thanks to state and federal rental support programs designed to help them get back on their feet.”
FEMA offers funds to rent alternative housing for a limited period of time while repairs are made to their dwelling. Renters may also be eligible for a program designed to help survivors with uninsured, but necessary, expenses and serious needs caused by the disaster, such as medical and funeral expenses.
Residents can apply for assistance at www.disaster 
assistance.gov or by calling 800/621- 3362.
State and federal officials also urge those affected by the floods and storms to have their furnaces checked for damage to make sure they are ready for winter.
PA included in disaster declaration
WASHINGTON, DC — The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced on September 13 that federal aid has been made available to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and ordered federal aid to supplement commonwealth and local recovery efforts in the area affected by Tropical Storm Lee beginning on September 3, 2011.
Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured or underinsured property losses and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.
The action makes federal funding available to affected individuals in the counties of Adams, Bradford, Columbia, Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Luzerne, Lycoming, Montour, Northumberland, Perry, Schuylkill, Snyder, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Union, Wyoming and York.
It is not yet known if residents in Wayne County will also become eligible for FEMA funds.