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News Briefs 1/9/19

Break-in at Wayne library 

HONESDALE, PA — An intruder smashed a window of the Wayne County Public Library on January 5, though library officials say nothing was stolen.

 “Early this morning someone smashed our window and broke into the library,” read a Facebook post from the library.”The alarm went off (Thanks First Alarm!) and the Honesdale Borough Police responded quickly. We are extremely grateful to them for securing the site and taking such good care of us. “

The library also thanked employees at Mesko Glass, who they said arrived at 9 a.m. the next morning to install a new window. Some 37 people left comments on the post condemning the break-in and praising the responders.

“Sometimes bad things happen. We are so lucky to live in a town where people care, they pitch in to help, and they watch out for each other,” the post finished. “All is well here at the library.”

 

Sex offenders’ Halloween arrests released

MONTICELLO, NY — On January 8, the Sullivan County Welfare Fraud Task Force announced 11 arrests dating back to September. Two of the arrests were made on October 31, and according to a task force press release the suspects were charged with violating “special Halloween restrictions placed on sex offenders who are on parole.”

The task force arrested Stacey Luca, 39 of Liberty, and in separate incident also arrested Lester Morriggia, 35, of Liberty.

In New York State, registered sex offenders who are on parole are prohibited from wearing costumes and distributing candy.

They are also required to stay in their homes beginning early afternoon on Halloween day or at the end of their shift or community program until 6 a.m. the next day.

 The restrictions are part of a program called Operation Halloween, which was initiated by the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision 12 years ago.

There are currently more than 90 level-two or level-three registered sex offenders living in Sullivan County. Level-two offenders are considered at medium risk of re-offending and level three are considered to be at high risk of re-offending.

 

High poverty rates in Sullivan County schools

SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY — According to a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau, two of the most impoverished schools in the state are in Sullivan County.

 Out of about 950 school districts in the state, the Fallsburg Central School District comes in second in the state in terms of the rate of poverty among students. The poverty rate among school-age children is 48. 2%; the overall poverty rate is 28%. There are a total of 1,503 school-age children in the district, and 725 are living at or beneath the poverty level.

The Livingston Manor Central School District comes in at 29 in terms of poverty. The poverty rate among school-age children is 34.8% and the overall rate is 19.7%. Out of a total of 509 school-age children, 177 are living in poverty.

 

Sen. Lisa Baker named Judiciary chair

HARRISBURG, PA — State Senator Lisa Baker (R-20), has been named chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“This is an important and consequential committee, with broad jurisdiction and a high number of bills referred to it,” she said. “As with every committee, a strong commitment to change and an ability to drive reform through the legislative process are the keys to successful leadership. I am very much looking forward to working with Republicans and Democrats to continue the committee’s record for being productive and effective.

“The quality of justice, the fairness of state laws and policies and fundamental access to the justice system are issues of intense public interest and spirited legislative debate,” she went on. “We can look at the changes in sentencing approved in recent years to see how thinking is changing about the equality and cost of justice.”

Baker added that her work with other state and community leaders on juvenile justice reform offered insight into the challenges faced across the justice system. Baker testified in person before the state parole board, prior to its decision about releasing an offender from prison.

 “Both are good examples of how a broad coalition of groups and officials can overcome obstacles and opposition and improve our system,” she said.

 

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