Sheriff investigates camp threat, Wolf amends no eviction order and more

What's going on in the Upper Delaware Region May 28 to June 3


Route 17 arrest following pursuit 

WURTSBORO, NY — On May 20, New York State troopers from Wurtsboro arrested Sulejman Muratovic, 19, of Brooklyn, for reckless endangerment and 14 vehicle and traffic law violations. At approximately 12:45 p.m., troopers observed a blue BMW M3 traveling 111 miles per hour (mph) on State Route 17. Troopers initiated a traffic stop and the operator of the vehicle failed to comply and continued west on State Route 17 reaching a top speed of 132 mph and driving erratically and passing vehicles on the shoulder. The operator eventually complied and pulled over onto the shoulder of the highway. As troopers exited their vehicle, Muratovic sped off. He and the vehicle were located on Kukas Road in the Town of Thompson where he was taken into custody and the vehicle was towed. 

Sullivan legislature approves second retirement incentive 

MONTICELLO, NY — On May 21, the Sullivan County Legislature approved a second retirement incentive package as a further attempt to save tax dollars. County manager Josh Potosek said about 70 county employees would be eligible for the incentive, though it was not known how many would actually take advantage of the program. The program is aimed at employees who have worked enough years and reached an age where they are eligible for a state pension. County officials continue to look for ways to make up for the dramatic loss in tax revenue caused by the pandemic. Sales tax revenue has decreased by 30% percent since the state was closed down. 

Sullivan Sheriff investigates camp threat

MONTICELLO, NY — The Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office is investigating an unspecified threat that was made indirectly over Facebook regarding summer camps and colonies. Sheriff’s deputies tracked down the owner of the Facebook page on May 21 and interviewed her regarding the comments. “The owner of the Facebook page was repeating remarks made to her by several strangers that she had encountered in public the previous weekend,” said undersheriff Eric Chaboty. “We are working to identify these individuals, but at this point, the comments appear casual and do not indicate any imminent threat. Nevertheless, the sheriff’s office takes all threats seriously and investigates them thoroughly.” 

Sullivan chair, DA urge donations to food pantries

MONTICELLO, NY — With families, food pantries and nonprofits struggling to meet basic needs in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Sullivan Legislature Chairman Robert Doherty and acting district attorney Meagan Galligan are urging the county’s citizens to pitch in where possible and donate food and funds to support local community organizations. “It’s important to do more than just say, ‘We’re in this together,’” Doherty said.

 “Those of us who are able should ‘walk the talk’ and give what we can to our neighbors in need.” Galligan said.

Wolf amends no-eviction order

HARRISBURG, NY — Gov. Tom Wolf amended his executive order protecting Pennsylvanians from foreclosure and eviction to specify that the order only applies to evictions and foreclosures enacted due to lack of payment or because a tenant has overstayed a lease. “I am protecting housing for Pennsylvanians who may be facing economic challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Wolf. “My order will not affect proceedings for other issues, such as property damage or illegal activity. I encourage all Pennsylvanians to continue abiding by the terms of their lease or mortgage.” The executive order, signed on May 7 suspends evictions and foreclosures until July 10.

Pike to move to yellow phase

MILFORD, PA — Pike County will advance to the yellow phase of the state’s reopening plan effective Friday, May 29. The Pike County Commissioners say the county is prepared to open. Officials continue to work together with leaders in neighboring counties of Carbon, Monroe and Wayne; municipal officials; regional healthcare facilities; the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau (PMVB); and regional chambers of commerce to assure that Pike County has enough COVID-19 testing sites, that local businesses have access to personal protective equipment (PPE) and that the county has the proper amount of contact tracers to prevent community spread of COVID-19.

Driver under-the-influence causes another crash

WAYMART, PA — Police say that a Honesdale man caused a head-on collision on Route 6 last Friday while driving under the influence.

Thomas Frisch, 31, has been locked up on DUI and reckless endangerment charges. One month ago, Frisch was involved in another crash, in which he drifted over the line and struck a vehicle head-on. The passenger of the second vehicle, Zachary Brooks of Waymart, was killed in the collision.

Wayne DA says pandemic is ‘not a criminal issue’

HONESDALE, PA — Wayne County District Attorney A.G. Howell announced that his office shall not prosecute citations for alleged violations of the stay-at-home order, unless under “egregious, outrageous and extreme alleged violations.”

“As the governor has said time and time again, this is a health issue. This is not a criminal issue,” Howell said in a press release. “It is not the role of law enforcement and criminal courts to litigate which businesses are life-sustaining and which businesses are not.” He said that any alleged complaints should be directed to the appropriate state agency such as the Liquor Control Board, the Department of Labor and Industry and the Department of Health. The Department of Health has a COVID-19 complaint form through its website. 

“The residents of Wayne County have done an incredible job in adhering to the guidelines and restrictions to keep the spread of this virus at very low levels. I expect nothing else moving forward,” Howell said.

PA admits to inaccurate nursing home data

HARRISBURG, PA — Investigative news outlet Spotlight PA has uncovered evidence that the PA Department of Health had been “quietly making changes” to the data it has released on COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes.
“I’ve heard there were a small number of errors,” PA Secretary of Health Rachel Levine said. “We’re correcting those.”
Spotlight PA reported that “in perhaps the most egregious examples,” the state had reported 20 deaths at the Jewish Home of Eastern Pennsylvania and 32 at Saunders House in Montgomery County. One day, however, “without any notation or acknowledgment,” the state changed the data to show no deaths at either facility. The day after that, the department released another version of the list that showed the death count at the Jewish Home as “not available,” while Saunders House showed somewhere between one and four deaths.
In some other instances, the number of reported COVID-19 cases at a facility was higher than the number of residents at that facility.

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