HARRISBURG, PA — A committee in the House of Representatives in Harrisburg has passed the Senior Citizen Property Tax Reduction Exchange Program. The bill would allow senior citizens to volunteer in a school district, and under a program set up by the district, the senior citizen would be eligible for a property tax break in exchange for service. Read more
Criminal complaints were filed against Christa Strackbein, Jerry Strackbein and Debra Meszler, all of Honesdale, on March 19. Wayne County District Attorney Janine Edwards said the charges include numerous felony counts of identity theft and access device fraud. The three are accused of stealing identities to obtain credit cards and then fraudulently using said cards for purchases in Wayne and surrounding counties. Read more
NEW YORK STATE — The New York State Senate passed two bills co-sponsored by Senator John J. Bonacic that are intended to provide economic relief and assistance to New York State farmers. The first bill, the “Repower New York Farms Act,” reduces energy costs for farmers to promote a generation of independent farms powered by renewable energy. The legislation lowers farmers’ utility bills and expands New York’s agricultural economy by reducing fees for farms that install renewable energy. Read more
At the March 13 Town of Lumberland meeting, constable Robert Maas was recognized by chief constable Pat Cahill and the town board for going above and beyond when performing his duties as a patrolman. Maas has been a lifelong resident of the Lumberland/Highland area and has been a Lumberland constable since February of 2010. He was instrumental in solving several local crimes in conjunction with the New York State Police and Sullivan County Sheriff’s patrol. Read more
The Berlin Township Board of Supervisors was notified at the March 18 meeting that it will receive $106,837 for its liquid fuels tax fund payment. The payment from the PA Department of Transportation will be made April 1.
“It’s slightly more than we got last year,” said board chairman Paul Henry. Read more
The supervisor of the Town of Liberty asked members of the public and the town board, the planning board and the zoning board to speak out on the question of whether they wanted to stick with the zoning that was adopted in 2011, or go back to the zoning that was implemented in 1987. Read more
By unanimous vote, the Town of Cochecton Board adopted a Climate Smart Communities Pledge Resolution at its March 13 monthly meeting. The towns of Tusten, Lumberland, and Delaware have ratified similar resolutions, all of which were based on a draft resolution provided by the county. Following review by councilman Larry Richardson and supervisor Gary Maas, the draft agreement was edited to outline goals that the board considers realistic for Cochecton at this time. Read more
Pike County Advanced Life Support (ALS) will remain the primary provider for Shohola Township—for now—despite concerns by some officials about its professionalism and sustainability. Township supervisors, after a lengthy discussion at their March 14 meeting during which they considered going with a different provider, tabled the matter for a second straight month. Read more
If Governor Andrew Cuomo keeps a vice-like grip on the purse strings in Albany for the next three years, it will prove to be disastrous. That’s what superintendent Robert Dufour told a packed house at the March 15 meeting of the board of the Eldred Central School District. Dufour said that the district has tapped into $700,000 of its reserve account in an attempt to compensate for paltry state aid out of Albany in recent years. If this pattern plays out for the next two years, reserves will be tapped out and the “prognosis would not look good.” Read more
WASHINGTON, DC — U.S. Senator Bob Casey on March 19 announced his opposition to a plan that would dramatically change how Pennsylvania’s electoral votes are allocated. In a letter to Pennsylvania Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, Casey outlined his opposition to the bill SB-538. Read more
Pike County President Judge Joseph Kameen granted a special injunction on March 18, prohibiting civil disobedience in relation to the Tennessee Gas Pipeline (TGP) project in and around Milford. However, the judge also included special protections for free speech rights. Read more
ALBANY, NY — New York bear hunters took 1,337 black bears during the 2012 hunting seasons, making last year the state’s third highest bear harvest on record, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens announced on March 19. Only the 2003 harvest (1,864) and 2009 harvest (1,487) surpassed last year’s take. Read more
According to the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office a marijuana growing operation neat Swan Lake has been shut down.
On March 8 at about 12 noon a Bethel constable was investigating suspicious footprints in the snow near an unoccupied seasonal dwelling in Swan Lake when he came upon a strong odor of marijuana emanating from a residence located at 108 Hurd and Parks Road. Read more
Their smiling, expectant faces in the photographs belie the nature of the danger faced by those who comprise the 101st Airborne Division in one of the most inhospitable countries that lies half way around the world—Afghanistan.
While President Obama may have re-defined the nature of the military’s role in Afghanistan, these young men know that they must remain vigilant, aware that if they let their guard down, they can be hurt or killed. Read more
UPPER DELAWARE RIVER VALLEY — While Mother Nature dumped several inches of snow on the region on March 19, the snowfall for the season was a bit less than normal, according to the National Weather Service. The weather service keeps records on the average amount of snowfall for select cities, and for Binghamton, NY, which is the closest such city to the Upper Delaware River Valley, the average snowfall for the months of December, January and February is 57.1 inches. For the same period this year, the total was 49.2 inches. Read more
As one of the towns looking at the adoption of a local law to protect town roads, the Town of Bethel adopted a Road Use and Preservation Law at the town meeting on March 13. The law, however, has some significant differences from the model law that emerged from the Multi-Municipal Task Force (MMTF), which is a group of eight towns that were working together with a law firm and engineering firm to come up with a plan to protect town roads. Read more