Community briefs

4-H Horse Lovers triumph, the Aktion Club gives to those in need, and more

What's going on in your community, December 1 - December 7


4-H Horse Lovers competed at state horse show


HARRISBURG, PA — Several members of the Wayne County 4-H Horse Lovers club qualified to compete at the state horse show, which was held October 27 to October 30. 

The competition is the highest-level horse show in the state. Members of 4-H clubs qualify from every county in the state to compete in various riding disciplines. 

It is not uncommon for there to be 30 or more competitors in each class. 

Only the top 10 competitors are placed

The Horse Lovers members who qualified were Paige Fiume, Elektra Kehagias, Leah Salzameda, Audrey Rutherford, Penelope Henwick, Parker Brown and Adelynn Henderson.

Two members placed in the top 10. Elektra Kehagias, with Hot Night on the Range, placed ninth in Western Horsemanship and ninth in Western Pleasure Riding.

Paige Fiume, with Hot Shots Lucky Charm, placed seventh in Ranch Riding, seventh in Novice Reining, ninth in Showmanship and 10th in Horsemanship.

Elektra Kehagias was also a finalist for the McAllister Outstanding 4-H Member Award. Four finalists are chosen from throughout the state. The award recognizes an outstanding 4-H member active in the 4-H horse/horse science program. The emphasis is on participation, leadership and impact on the club, county and the community in general.

Cooke Elementary second grader becomes an author

MONTICELLO, NY — Albi Hajdaraj might only be in second grade, but he might have found his niche—writing books.

The Cooke Elementary student is the author of “Life of a Police Officer,” a story about the responsibilities of police officers and why they are valuable to communities.

The book features Albi as a police officer, performing daily tasks that real-life law enforcement officials do each day.

The boy was inspired to write the story after reading several books in the Cooke Elementary library on what police officers do. He was fascinated by how many obligations police officers have, and the different types of situations they encounter on a daily basis. 

Albi was so excited about what he learned that he decided to share his book with his classmates.

With the help of his teacher, Kate Morgan, Albi gathered his classmates one day at school to read his book to them. His story was a class hit, said a school district spokesperson; the children enjoyed hearing the story and were proud of what he created. Albi’s classmates even learned new facts about police officers. He also shared his story with the school resource officer.

With the success of his first book, Albi might write a sequel, the spokesperson hinted.

‘Show and Tell’ at the SRHS

SHOHOLA, PA — The next meeting of the Shohola Railroad & Historical Society (SRHS), to be held at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, December 7, features “Show and Tell.”

The meeting takes place at the Shohola Township building, and “Show and Tell” is the members’ turn to show each other antique items related to the area.

“We’d love to hear about your prized item from the past,” said a club spokesperson.

One of the contributions will be a group of toys from the 1950s.

What do you have around your house?

All SRHS members are asked to bring some Christmas cookies to share for the evening’s refreshments.

The Shohola Township building is located at 159 Twin Lakes Rd.
Santa will be at the caboose next to the convenience store in Shohola on Saturday, December 17 from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., to hear children’s gift wishes. Parents, the spokesperson said, be ready to take a photo.

Learn more about the Shohola Railroad & Historical Society on the group’s Facebook page of the same name.

Fundraising while you float

HONESDALE, PA — It was a chance to travel, and a chance to support the local library.

In late October, 26 library lovers returned from a cruise to Bermuda, arranged by the Honesdale-based Rockwell Travel.

Each person joined the cruise aware that a portion of the proceeds would go to support the Wayne County Public Library.

After the cruise, Mike Dux, the owner of Rockwell Travel, stopped by the library, bearing a check for $2,600.

He presented the check to board president Amanda Kerna and library director Tracy Schwarz.

Both library representatives talked about how grateful they were to both Rockwell Travel for the donation, and to the community members who supported a local business and nonprofit with their travels.

A check like this one helps the library pay for heat, provide technology and above all, enrich the lives of children and adults through the purchase of books, e-resources and DVDs, said Schwarz.

The library raises about 49 percent of its budget through private donations each year. This sort of partnership with a local business helps the library sustain its ability to provide quality programs, staff and collection, according to a press release.

As a next-door neighbor to the library and a parent who has seen the power of the library’s programs, Dux said, “I personally feel strongly about supporting the library. As a business owner, collaborating just made sense. People associate the library with fun and learning. Travel is all about fun and learning. We were happy to help.”

The partnership between Rockwell Travel and the Wayne County Public Library will continue. Details on the 2023 cruise will be announced in January 2023.

Aktion Club of Sullivan County donates Thanksgiving baskets

SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY — During the month of November, the Aktion Club of Sullivan County collected non-perishable food items from club members, agency reps and Kiwanis co-advisors. The members had fun decorating and filling five baskets, a spokeswoman said.

Baskets were distributed to families in need in the Liberty, Monticello and Fallsburg school districts, as well as to the Federation for the Homeless and the United Way of Sullivan County.

It was a busy evening, but the Aktion Club members enjoyed helping to make Thanksgiving special and enjoyable for some families in the community.

The club, which is co-sponsored by the Kiwanis Clubs of Monticello and Woodridge, NY, is composed of individuals affiliated with ARC the Greater Hudson Valley, New Hope Community and the Center for Discovery.

Learn more about Aktion Clubs at

Theme tree exhibition at the Sullivan County Museum

HURLEYVILLE, NY — The Sullivan County Historical Society will hold its open house and launch its annual display of themed holiday trees on Saturday, December 3.

It’s all part of the Holiday in Hurleyville celebration in the community.

The museum will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Main Street will bustle with family activities, including live music, craft and food vendors, a visit from Santa, a Rail Trail hike, a scavenger hunt, a Grinch walk and decorated snowpeople.

At the museum, the Sullivan County Historical Society will offer many different holiday displays, which are made by individuals and local organizations. Visitors can purchase holiday gifts such as history books, gift shop items and photographs by Frederick Cook.

Refreshments, including cookies, cider and coffee will be available. The museum is located at 265 Main St. For more information call 845/434-8044.

Herd the Curd race raised money for the Michael J. Bryant memorial fund

HONESDALE, PA — The families of Calkins Creamery distributed $21,000, the race proceeds of the 10th annual Herd the
Curd 5K, to the Michael J. Bryant Memorial Fund.

With this year’s contributions, Herd the Curd sponsors and runners have raised $135,000 since the race began in 2013.

Nearly 300 runners and walkers participated in the race at Highland Farm.

Joe Murray of Honesdale was the male 5K winner, with a time of 22:08; and April Rutledge of Equinunk, PA captured the women’s 5K crown with a time of 22:46.

Sean McWilliams of Lake Ariel, PA won the male 10K title with a time of 45:31; and Pao Mei Fisher, from Hopewell Junction, NY, was the female 10K winner, with a time of 47:20.

Sponsors contributed to the event’s success. Several individuals and businesses have donated to the cause for 10 years. For the sponsor list, visit

The Michael J. Bryant Memorial Fund was established in 2008, in memory of the Calkins Creamery co-owner. Since reaching endowed status, the fund has awarded grants to Wayne County residents and nonprofit organizations with documented needs.
The Wayne County Community Foundation manages the fund.

The 11th annual Herd the Curd 5K and 10K will be held Saturday, September 2, 2023 at Highland Farm. Find more race details and virtual runner pictures at

Learn more about the Michael J. Bryant Memorial Fund at

Penn State Extension launches online dairy skills courses

UNIVERSITY PARK, PA — Penn State Extension recently launched an online course focused on the basics of bovine reproduction and safe, efficient reproductive management practices and protocols.

One of several dairy skills courses planned, “Dairy Skills: Reproductive Management” is designed for dairy farm workers inexperienced with the subject, as well as dairy farms that want to provide introductory video training for entry-level workers.

Course developers note that effective and efficient reproductive management practices are essential for dairy profitability. “The establishment of healthy pregnancies in a timely manner is critical with mature heifers and the lactating cow herd,” said a spokesperson for the Penn State Extension.

In this self-paced course, dairy farm workers can watch educational videos and complete knowledge-check questions to learn the basics of cow reproduction, how to recognize cows in heat, how hormone treatments and artificial insemination work, safe reproductive management practices and other topics. Learners can download and print a list of reproductive management terminology, as well as a summary of reproductive management goals for dairies.

Dairy farm workers will learn how to identify important parts of the female cow reproductive system, describe the estrous cycle, how to recognize and interpret estrus—“heat”—behavior, safely perform reproductive protocols and more.

There will be six quizzes. The course will take about four hours to complete.

The registration fee is $49. Learn more and register at

Cooke School, 4-H, Horse Lovers, Elektra Kehagias, Shohola Railroad and Historical Society, Wayne County Public Library, Rockwell Travel, Aktion Club, Sullivan County Museum, Holiday in Hurleyville


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