Guilty plea announced in Bethel tax collector pension fraud case and more

What's new in the Upper Delaware region November 11 to 17

Posted 11/9/21

What's new in the Upper Delaware region November 11 to 17

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Guilty plea announced in Bethel tax collector pension fraud case and more

What's new in the Upper Delaware region November 11 to 17

Posted

Jeff Bank to close Narrowsburg branch

JEFFERSONVILLE, NY — Jeffersonville Bancorp, Inc., the parent company of Jeff Bank, announced on November 3 it will close its branch offices located in Narrowsburg and Loch Sheldrake effective February 11, 2022. The Narrowsburg accounts will be transferred to the bank’s Callicoon branch and the Loch Sheldrake accounts will be transferred to the bank’s Liberty branch. Customers will be receiving a letter in the coming days outlining the details of the transition.

“After examining branch profitability through our strategic planning review, we decided it was prudent to close the Narrowsburg and Loch Sheldrake offices. We are optimistic, based on our extensive branch network in Sullivan County, as well as the availability of online, telephone, mobile, and ATM banking, that we will retain many customer relationships from the affected branches” said George Kinne, president and chief executive officer.“

Guilty plea announced in Bethel tax collector pension fraud case

BETHEL, NY — Former Town of Bethel tax collector  Debra Gabriel, of Bethel, pleaded guilty before Judge Peter Feinberg in the Town of Rockland Justice Court to second degree offering a false instrument for filing, in connection with a scheme to defraud the New York State and Local Retirement System. Gabriel, 62, resigned her public office and retired in August 2020.

An investigation of Gabriel’s records of activity, conducted by the New York State comptroller’s office and the New York State Police, revealed that from April 1, 2009 to August 31, 2019, she falsely claimed credit for full-time work for the Town of Bethel, when her actual hours were far less. Her claims increased her service credit toward retirement by more than seven years, according to Thomas DiNapoli, state comptroller. Gabriel turned over a certified check in the amount of $6,377.46 to prosecutors from the Orange County District Attorney’s Office as restitution to New York State for the amount of pension benefits that she was overpaid.

Firearms season for deer and bear hunting begins

NEW YORK STATE — Regular firearms season for deer and bear in New York’s southern zone begins on Saturday, November 20, and runs until December 12. Hunters are encouraged to review new safety regulations and changes this season that will enhance their hunting experience.

Following the regular deer and bear seasons, late bowhunting and muzzleloading seasons run from December 13 through December 21, and again from December 26 to January 1, the latter of which is an extension from past years. Hunters taking part in these special seasons must possess a hunting license and either bowhunting or muzzleloading privileges.

Peak water demands have likely occurred in Delaware River basin

WEST TRENTON, NJ — The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) recently published “Water Withdrawal and Consumptive Use Estimates for the Delaware River Basin (1990-2017) with Projections through 2060.”

The data show that peak water withdrawals in the basin have likely already occurred. Further, despite a continued increase in population, water demands are projected to decrease through 2060. That more people are using less water overall is indicative of the benefits of water efficiency. The data also show that water for consumptive use (meaning water that is permanently removed from a water resource rather than recycled) is projected to remain relatively consistent. One reason is a change in technology for generating power; newer recirculating technology withdraws less water overall but results in higher rates of evaporation.

Discussion of predatory vultures

NARROWSBURG, NY — On Thursday, November 18, Kenneth Preusser, a federal wildlife biologist with the USDA, will come to Tusten to answer questions about and discuss issues concerning the black vultures in the town. Anyone who has suffered damage from these vultures or has questions about them can come to the house of Lorraine Bodens at 229 Bridge St. in Narrowsburg, between 10 and 10:30 a.m., to meet with Preusser.

Tusten Repair Café returns

NARROWSBURG, NY — The first Tusten Repair Cafe since the start of the pandemic will be on Saturday, November 20 at The Tusten Town Hall, 210 Bridge St., from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Both proof of vaccination and masks required.

To date we have the following repair coaches: two mechanical/electrical (always the busiest station), woodworking, machine sewing, bicycle repair, and stringed instruments re-strung and adjusted. There is a limit of two items per person. For more information, call Jill Padua at 845/252-6783.

Sullivan County auctioning surplus vehicles and equipment

MONTICELLO, NY — Those interested can bid on surplus vehicles and equipment from now through November 21. On offer are more than 35 items, including assorted pipes, equipment, cars, trucks, parts, a tractor and a grader. All are up for auction by the Sullivan County Division of Public Works.

Bidding on all lots starts at just $1, rising in increments, with a 10 percent buyer’s premium. Some items may be lightly used or in operable condition, but all are being sold as-is through Absolute Auctions and Realty, with a full catalog, including photos, at https://bit.ly/3EUYcQV. Live previews are available, by appointment only, on November 18 and 19 between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. Call John Schultz at 845/807-0304 to schedule.

The auction closes on November 21, and payment is due by Wednesday, November 24 at 1 p.m. All lots are subject to seller approval.

Correction

In the November 4-10 issue of the River Reporter, the article “Let the people decide” written by Liam Mayo misidentified Bernie Lohmann as Bernie Creamer; Bernie Creamer did not attend the public hearing described in the article, and it was Bernie Lohmann who attended and spoke.

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