Trump sues PA election boards, case against local fire departments dismissed and more

What's new in the Upper Delaware July 2 to July 8

Posted 6/30/20

Court case against local fire companies dismissed

KINGSTON, NY — A Third Judicial District Supreme Court Justice has dismissed a case against four fire companies—Liberty Fire District, …

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Trump sues PA election boards, case against local fire departments dismissed and more

What's new in the Upper Delaware July 2 to July 8

Posted

Court case against local fire companies dismissed

KINGSTON, NY — A Third Judicial District Supreme Court Justice has dismissed a case against four fire companies—Liberty Fire District, Loch Sheldrake Fire Department, Grahamsville Fire Department and Neversink Fire Department. The plaintiff, whose house caught fire on February 18, 2014, alleged that these four fire companies committed gross negligence by not responding quickly enough and by not having adequate water to fight the fire.

“Although it took approximately 30 minutes for the first apparatus to reach plaintiff’s residence, there is nothing to indicate that this was due to any delay or indifference on defendant’s part,” Justice Julian D. Schreibman wrote.

Opioid seizure in Milford

MILFORD, PA — Pike County District Attorney Ray Tonkin and the PA State Police announced the seizure of a large amount of suspected heroin/fentanyl and the arrest of two individuals on June 25.  The Pennsylvania State Police vice unit, along with the Pike County DA’s Office, conducted a two-month investigation into the supplier of a large quantity of heroin to Northeast PA. The investigation revealed that Kenneth Smith of Honesdale, would be bringing a large quantity of heroin/fentanyl from Paterson, NJ to NEPA during the overnight hours of June 25. Troopers made contact with Smith at a hotel in Milford Township at 4:30 a.m. June 25. Smith and his passenger, Paul Wassel, were arrested on probable cause of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver and criminal conspiracy. 

Wayne County announces July food pantry dates

WAYNE COUNTY, PA — Wayne County has announced the following dates for food drives happening throughout the county in July. Applicants register by calling 570/253-4262.

Damascus: July 2 and 16,  1 to 3 p.m., Damascus Township Building

Honesdale: July 14 and 28, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., 216 Willow Avenue (rear of Tri-County Beverage building)  

Lakeville: July 9 and 23, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Paupack Township Building

Lakewood: July 1 and 15, 12:30 to 2:30 p.m., Northern Wayne Family Health Center

Newfoundland: July 10 and 24, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Dreher Township Building 

Wolf reminds PA: masks are mandatory

PENNSYLVANIA — Gov. Tom Wolf recently reminded PA residents and businesses that masks are still mandatory for customers and employees in PA businesses. PA is telling businesses to institute a “no mask, no shirt, no shoes, no service,” policy. Employers have also been directed to provide their workers with PPE, for which there is an online directory.

“The importance of mask-wearing to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and protect people and businesses cannot be overstated... It’s that simple and that important to continue to safely reopen the state and keep our case counts on the decline,” Wolf said.

A Facebook group, Our Community - Wayne County, PA, has created a shared Google spreadsheet where users enter information about mask policies and usage at local businesses.

SUNY Sullivan chooses not to retrench employee positions

LOCH SHELDRAKE, NY — A few days after SUNY Sullivan released a statement with plans to lay off staff due to declining revenues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the community college sent another press release saying that decision had been reversed.

“The Professional Staff Association (PSA) of SUNY Sullivan is extremely relieved that the trustees and the administration of SUNY Sullivan did not follow through on their original plan to retrench a total of 19 positions—or approximately 24 percent—of the employees covered by the contract between the PSA and the college. We are also pleased that the college very recently acknowledged their acceptance of several of our proposed alternatives instead of simply laying off all the individuals on the sizeable list that was first presented.” The PSA offered cost-saving alternatives in the form of new retirement and healthcare plans for employees.

Monticello announces 2020-21 budget

MONTICELLO, NY — The Village of Monticello Board of Trustees announced on Friday, June 26, that it has drafted an annual budget for 2020-21. It planned to adopt the budget on Tuesday, June 30. The budget includes a one-percent tax increase for the new fiscal year starting August 30.

PA grand jury probes fracking industry

HARRISBURG, PA — Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro has released a blistering grand jury report on abuses by fracking corporations, as well as the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) which “repeatedly failed” to regulate the natural gas industry.

After a two-year investigation, Shapiro described a revolving door relationship between fracking corporations and the DEP. The report also describes a “chemical cover-up” in which companies used “secret complex chemical compounds” during fracking. The investigation included hours of testimony during which residents who live near fracking sites described getting seriously ill, seeing pets and livestock perish, or become infertile.

The grand jury made eight recommendations for better regulation of the industry and more accountability from the DEP and PA Health Department.

NYS Police issue nearly 25K tickets during ‘speed week’

NEW YORK STATE — The New York State Police has announced that its troopers issued 24,980 total traffic tickets during the special “speed week” traffic enforcement campaign. Speed week, which was conducted from June 11 to June 17, targeted speeding and other unsafe driving behaviors, including distracted driving and violations of the Move Over Law. 

Troopers issued 13,131 tickets for speeding, 574 for distracted driving, 294 for Move Over law violations, and arrested 186 people for drunk and impaired driving. State police also responded to 158 personal injury crashes, including three fatal crashes.

Trump sues PA over election issues

PENNSYLVANIA — President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign is suing the PA Department of State and the state’s election boards over the commonwealth’s recent primary. The president’s campaign says that some PA counties broke state law by establishing unmonitored ballot drop boxes for the primary. It also contends that PA failed to effectively ensure ballots were mailed to correct addresses and securely delivered to voters. Gov. Tom Wolf is also involved in the legal complaint, for his eleventh-hour decision to extend the mail-in deadline in some counties.

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