What's new in the Upper Delaware region December 23 to 29
BUSHKILL, PA — The most heavily travelled section of the most heavily travelled road in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area is about to receive a major upgrade, made possible by the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA). Work on a $6.5 million project to completely rehabilitate a seven-mile section of US Route 209 will begin in the spring of 2022 and is expected to be completed by the end of next year. It will be the first phase of a $21.5 million project to improve the park’s primary north-south route on the Pennsylvania side.
In this phase of the Route 209 project, the entire stretch of road between mile marker 0 in Middle Smithfield Township, Monroe County and mile marker 7 in Lehman Township, Pike County will be rehabilitated. The project is being financed through GAOA’s National Parks and Public Lands Legacy Restoration Fund.
MONTICELLO, NY — On December 16, Sullivan County District Attorney Meagan K. Galligan disclosed that multiple students from area schools had been arrested and charged with making a terroristic threat in connection with social media posts that had occasioned school closures and increased police presence at schools throughout the week. That charge, under state penal law, is a class D violent felony offense.
“The intent of these students was to cause alarm and school closures rather than to actually physically hurt students, teachers and staff,” stated Galligan. “Nonetheless, these threats are legally prohibited and these students will be held responsible and accountable for their actions in court.”
On December 17, Galligan announced two additional arrests in connection with school violence threats, both for making a terroristic threat. One person arrested is Lavel Fingers, 30, of Liberty, who was arrested by the Village of Liberty police; he is accused of making threats in a voicemail message to the Liberty Central School District. The second arrest was of a minor in connection with a social media threat to the Monticello School District.
ALBANY, NY — On December 15, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced the award of $216.2 million in enhanced assistance for 88 local governments to rehabilitate and replace bridges and culverts. This funding, provided through the state’s BRIDGE NY initiative, supports projects that reduce the risk of flooding, improve resiliency of structures, facilitate regional economic competitiveness and prioritize projects that benefit environmental justice communities.
Sullivan County received funding for two bridge replacement projects, receiving $4.477 million for the replacement of the County Route 49 bridge over the Neversink River and $4.727 million for the replacement of the Beaver Brook Road bridge over Beaver Brook.
HARRISBURG, PA — State Representative Michael Peifer (R-139) has announced that 2022 will be his final year in the PA state House of Representatives.
With the petition process only months away, Peifer is informing his constituents that he will not seek to serve beyond the current term, which ends on November 30, 2022. Peifer has served portions of Pike and Wayne counties in the PA House of Representatives since 2006.
“I can’t express enough how grateful I am to my constituents who have given me the opportunity to serve as their voice in Harrisburg. I am truly humbled and honored to have served the 139th House District,” said Peifer.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — At the December 16 meeting, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) vacated the Certificates of Public Convenience and Necessity it had issued for the PennEast Pipeline, officially ending the pipeline project. This vacature is subject to leave from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, which currently has jurisdiction over the orders issuing PennEast’s original certificate and the 2019 amendments to that certificate authorizing route changes in Pennsylvania. FERC also dismissed PennEast’s application to construct the PennEast Pipeline in two phases, which was pending before FERC.
“We knew this would not be over until FERC rescinded its certifications given to the PennEast pipeline. We still need the court to allow it all to be finalized but it truly feels at this point like we are getting there” said Maya van Rossum, the Delaware Riverkeeper and leader of the Delaware Riverkeeper Network.
ALBANY, NY — Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther recently released a constituent questionnaire, asking residents of Assembly District 100 for their thoughts and concerns on issues that may come before the legislature in 2022. The questionnaire asks about mandates for the COVID-19 vaccine, parole hearings for inmates 55 years and older, and the prohibition of tenant eviction without “good cause.” To complete the survey, visit https://nyassembly.gov/mem/Aileen-M-Gunther.
HONESDALE, PA — The Wayne County Commissioners are asking people to consider applying for open positions in county government. With more than 30 vacancies, Wayne County has plenty of career opportunities for those looking for work, according to a news release. In many cases, health benefits, a pension and paid time off are available.
“These job opportunities range from entry-level positions to highly trained professionals, and offer a chance to serve your friends and neighbors,” said commissioner Brian Smith.
Interested candidates can email resumes and letters of interest to email@example.com, or peruse available jobs by going to https://www.waynecountypa.gov/jobs.aspx. For more details, call the Wayne County jobs hotline and leave a message at 570/253-5706.
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