Wolf vetoes Pennsylvania Voting Rights Protection Act and more

What's new in the Upper Delaware region July 8 to July 14

Posted 7/7/21

Fourth drowning this season on the Upper Delaware River

DELAWARE RIVER — The fourth local drowning on the Delaware River in as many days left Town of Highland Supervisor Jeff Haas deeply …

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Wolf vetoes Pennsylvania Voting Rights Protection Act and more

What's new in the Upper Delaware region July 8 to July 14


Fourth drowning this season on the Upper Delaware River

DELAWARE RIVER — The fourth local drowning on the Delaware River in as many days left Town of Highland Supervisor Jeff Haas deeply shaken. He was one of the Yulan firefighters who performed CPR on the 28-year-old victim on June 29 at a campground near Barryville. 

“This river doesn’t play games,” Haas said. “The recent deaths have been of young, able-bodied people who drowned because they weren’t wearing PDFs (Personal Flotation Devices, like lifejackets).”

The victim was identified by Sullivan County Sheriff’s deputies as Tyre Thomas. His death marks the fourth drowning on the Upper Delaware River this season. Another drowning occured on June 27 in the river below Port Jervis, on a undesignated stretch between the Upper Delaware and the Middle Delaware River.

Tri-Valley Central School District superintendent arrested for DWI

NEVERSINK, NY — Michael Williams, superintendent for the Tri-Valley Central School District, was arrested June 25 in Neversink for DWI. 

According to state trooper Steven Nevel, Williams was driving on Clayville Road and struck a cable pole, flipping his vehicle. He was alone and sustained no serious injuries; he had a BAC of .16 at the time of the incident. 

Williams was released on an appearance ticket and is set to return to the Town of Neversink Court on July 6. 

According to a post on the Tri-Valley website, Williams has been placed on administrative leave pending further action by the board of education. The board will meet July 8 to discuss next steps. In the meantime, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction Debra Kelley and assistant superintendent for business Robert Whitaker will share superintendent duties. 

Sullivan County inks room tax agreement with Expedia Group’s Vrbo

MONTICELLO, NY — Following an agreement with vacation rental app Airbnb, Sullivan County has concluded a deal with Expedia Group and its Vrbo brand to collect room tax on every lodging unit they rent through their online platforms. 

The agreement stipulates that after August 1, Vrbo will collect room tax on every vacation rental unit and remit those taxes quarterly to the Sullivan County Treasurer’s Office. Property owners who rent through Vrbo will have the tax deducted automatically by Vrbo, rather than having to remit it themselves to the county. However, any property owner who rents rooms for vacation purposes must be registered with the county, regardless of the method or platform used. 

More information and forms are available at the treasurer’s office in the government center, located at 100 North St. in Monticello, or at www.sullivanny.us/Departments/Treasurer/RoomTax.

Wolf vetoes Pennsylvania Voting Rights Protection Act

HARRISBURG, PA — On June 30, Gov. Tom Wolf vetoed House Bill 1300. The bill would have expanded Pennsylvania’s current voter identification law to require ID be presented anytime a voter votes in person and provided ID to registered voters, required regular election audits at both the state and county levels and enhanced voter access by allowing for early in-person voting to begin in 2025. 

In a tweet made after vetoing the bill, Wolf stated, “Just vetoed House Bill 1300. I made it clear I wouldn’t sign a bill that creates barriers to voting. But that’s exactly what this bill does.”

Reps. Rosemary Brown (R-Monroe/Pike), Jonathan Fritz (R-Susquehanna/Wayne) and Mike Peifer (R-Pike/Wayne) provided the following statement: “It is absolutely disappointing that the governor chose to not stand with the people of Pennsylvania as he vetoed a bill that would have ensured that our election system was as updated and secure as possible.”

Pennsylvania passes state budget

HARRISBURG, PA — On June 26, the PA Senate approved a $40.8 billion General Fund Budget for Fiscal Year 2021-22 that supports Pennsylvania’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic while providing a financial safety net.. Gov. Wolf signed the budget on June 30. 

Senator Lisa Baker (R-20) offered the following statement: “The budget picture improved substantially over the past six months because of billions of dollars in federal pandemic relief and a good start on a bounce back for the state economy. The deficit that everyone feared for the coming year has been alleviated, primarily by federal assistance.

“This is a budget that invests in Pennsylvanians,” said Wolf. “It is a budget that will help those hit hardest by the pandemic get the support they need, while at the same time making crucial investments in our future by supporting the students and workers who will drive our economy forward in the years to come.”

Delaware River Basin Commission shares two new publications

WEST TRENTON, NJ — The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) would like to share the availability of two new publications.  

DRBC’s 2020 Annual Report is now available at www.nj.gov/drbc/public/annual-reports/index.html.  This report details the work of the DRBC during 2020, highlighting how the pandemic did not stop the commission from meeting its water resource management and protection goals.

DRBC’s FY22-24 Water Resources Program is available at www.nj.gov/drbc/library/documents/WRPFY22-24.pdf. The program details the commission’s planned projects and activities over the next three fiscal years.

Enhanced penalties for child pornography becomes law

HARRISBURG, PA — On June 30, Gov. Tom Wolf signed a law to strengthen penalties against individuals charged with possession of child pornography.

Senate Bill 87 boosts penalties in all cases of child pornography in which the child is under the age of 10 or prepubescent. The law also provides for sentencing enhancements for those who sexually abuse children that are known to them and allows the Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing to develop guidelines for these crimes.


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