Draft Livingston Manor-Roscoe merger report reviewed and more

What's new in the Upper Delaware region August 11 to 17

Posted 8/9/22

Cell tower goes live in Rock Hill

ROCK HILL, NY – A county-erected tower atop a Rock Hill peak is now in operation, with a public cell signal available to areas long unserved or …

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Draft Livingston Manor-Roscoe merger report reviewed and more

What's new in the Upper Delaware region August 11 to 17


Cell tower goes live in Rock Hill

ROCK HILL, NY – A county-erected tower atop a Rock Hill peak is now in operation, with a public cell signal available to areas long unserved or underserved.

“Verizon is leasing space on our tower to provide cell service. We plan to utilize it ourselves for our emergency communications network. And ultimately we’ll offer wireless broadband via this tower, with signals reaching potentially as far away as Woodridge, Thompsonville and Yankee Lake,” said legislator Alan Sorensen, whose district encompasses Rock Hill and the surrounding Town of Thompson.

PA Supreme Court upholds mail-in voting

HARRISBURG, PA — In an opinion issued August 2, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court took up the case of the state’s universal mail-in voting and determined that the General Assembly did not violate the constitution when it enacted legislation approving the measure. The act under consideration gave all PA voters the ability to receive a ballot through the mail and return it. The Commonwealth Court had previously declared this act unconstitutional, leading to the case’s appeal to the Supreme Court.

Gov. Tom Wolf made a statement following the decision, saying, in part, “Today’s court ruling definitively asserts that mail-in voting is a legal and constitutional method for Pennsylvania voters. By upholding the law, which the General Assembly approved in 2019 in a bipartisan manner, this ruling assures that mail-in voting remains in place and Pennsylvanians will be able to cast their ballot legally in person or by mail without any disruption or confusion.”

PA updates minimum wage act

HARRISBURG, PA — Jennifer Berrier, secretary for the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry (L&I), announced that changes to regulations in Pennsylvania’s minimum wage act took effect on August 5.

The final-form regulation covers five primary areas for tipped workers, including an update on the definition of “tipped employee” that increases the amount in tips an employee must receive monthly from $30 to $135 before an employer can reduce an employee’s hourly pay from $7.25 per hour to as low as $2.83 per hour. It prohibits employers from deducting credit card and other non-cash payment processing transaction fees from an employee’s tips, and employers are now required to clarify that automatic service charges are not gratuities for tipped employees.

Weekend closure of Cochecton bridge

COCHECTON, NY — The New York State Department of Transportation is advising motorists that Interstate Bridge 6 carrying Cochecton Dam Road (County Route 114) over the Delaware River from Cochecton, Sullivan County, to Damascus, Wayne County, PA. will be closed to all traffic except emergency vehicles from approximately 10:30 a.m. Saturday, August 13, until late evening on Sunday, August 14. The closures are necessary to facilitate an ongoing rehabilitation project. All work is weather dependent.
Editor's note: The time of the bridge closure was updated on August 11.

Swimming suspended at Lake Superior

BETHEL, NY — Due to an unhealthy algae bloom, Sullivan County has temporarily suspended swimming and paddleboat rentals at Lake Superior State Park in Bethel. Swimming and boating were suspended through the week of August 8, with further testing on the algae bloom to be done mid-week, weather permitting. For the most up-to-date information, visit riverreporter.com/news.

“Cyanobacteria, better known as blue-green algae, has increased to potentially harmful levels at Lake Superior’s beach, due in large part to the ongoing hot weather,” parks, recreation and beautification director Brian Scardefield said. “People and animals who come in contact with the algae may develop irritation of the skin, eyes, nose, throat and respiratory tract—or nausea, diarrhea and vomiting if they swallow any of it.”

Draft Livingston Manor-Roscoe merger report reviewed

LIVINGSTON MANOR — The Livingston Manor-Roscoe merger committee reviewed a draft of the merger study report at its final meeting on July 25, at Livingston Manor Central School (LMCS).

The report found that a merger could save four elementary staff positions without a substantial increase in class sizes, and could save two secondary positions without eliminating any of the classes. A merger could allow for the expansion of athletic and extracurricular offerings. Neither building has the space to house all of the current students in both districts. Both school buildings would be needed in the event of a merger, or a new school would need to be built. Transportation in a merged district would cost more than either district is currently spending, regardless of the routing method used.

The study found that a merger would generate cost savings as well as additional revenue over the 15-year period following the merger. Any additional costs of merging would be outweighed by increased savings and revenue. LMCS and Roscoe staff earn different salaries depending on experience and education levels, and “leveling up” salaries would cost $312,000 more than the two districts are currently paying. Staffing efficiencies could save a merged district more than $1 million in salaries, if the merged district allows for “attrition”—leaving certain positions unfilled if and when people resign or retire.

Senate passes climate & inflation act

WASHINGTON, DC — On August 7, the U.S. Senate passed the Inflation Reduction Act, a reworked version of the Build Back Better Act that gives Medicare the power to negotiate for lower drug prices for seniors, puts in place a 15 percent corporate minimum tax and invests $369 billion to address the climate crisis.

“The compromise legislation makes critical investments to address the climate crisis through investments that will lower utility costs for everyday New Yorkers and spur renewable energy production needed to meet our emission reduction goals. Under this legislation, New Yorkers will also see lower healthcare costs and an extension of critical subsidies to ensure insurance remains affordable,” said New York Gov. Kathy Hochul.

“The Inflation Reduction Act will take pressure off of working families and provide more stability for our economy, right now. It also looks ahead—providing a better future for our children and our world by fighting the climate crisis and lowering energy costs,” said PA Gov. Tom Wolf.

Text for Teens launches in Sullivan County

MIDDLETOWN, NY — Access: Supports for Living has launched a free, confidential text line to support youth in Sullivan County struggling with mental health and substance use challenges, bullying, self-harm, homelessness, problems at home, relationship issues/violence, divorce, physical health and more. Starting immediately, teens ages 12 and older can text 845/637-9486 from 4 to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 5 p.m. to 12 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday to access trained community members to listen, respond, and provide connection to community resources.

In partnership with Sullivan County, Sullivan 180, and numerous community partners, Sullivan Text for Teens hopes to remove barriers by connecting mental health supports to young people through a familiar, comfortable communication tool—text. “Text for Teens is coming to Sullivan County at an incredibly important time,” says John Liddle, Sullivan County Commissioner of Health and Human Services & Commissioner of Social Services. “Our kids are still recovering from the isolation and trauma of the COVID-19 pandemic, and this service will ease access to mental health care for many children and families.”

Chamber of commerce holds candidate forum

ROSCOE, NY — The Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce, in collaboration with the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce, will host a NY-19 congressional candidate forum with a question and answer session, featuring Republican candidate Marc Molinaro and Democratic candidate Pat Ryan. The candidates are vying to fill a vacancy created by the appointment of former congressman Antonio Delgado as New York’s Lieutenant Governor, in an election that will be held August 23. The winner of the election will fill the seat through January 1, 2023.

The forum will occur on Thursday, August 18 at 10 to 11:30 a.m., at the Roscoe Beer Company Garden, 145 Rockland Road, Roscoe. Anyone who has questions for the candidate but is unable to attend in person can send questions to president@catskills.com and the chamber will present them during the forum.

Hear about the ‘Battle of Ink & Ice’ from local author and researcher

HURLEYVILLE, NY — On Thursday, August 18, at 6 p.m., author Darrell Hartman will talk about his forthcoming book, “Battle of Ink and Ice,” which tells the story of the 1909 North Pole Controversy, with a focus on the New York City newspapers that turned the polar dispute between Sullivan County native Frederick Cook and Robert Peary into one of the century’s greatest news stories. The talk will take place at the Sullivan County Museum in Hurleyville and is being sponsored by the Frederick Cook Society.

Born in Brunswick, ME, Hartman currently lives part time in Sullivan County and part time in Brooklyn. He graduated from Yale with a B.A. in Literature and has worked extensively as a freelance travel and leisure writer, and occasionally as a film producer.

Rock Hill, cell tower, broadband, Pennsylvania Supreme Court, General Assembly, mail-in voting, minimum wage, tipped workers, Cochecton bridge, closure, Lake Superior State Park, algae bloom, Livingston Manor, Roscoe, school merger, Inflation Reduction Act, Build Back Better Act, Text for Teens, Access: Supports for Living, mental health, Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce, congressional candidate forum, Darrell Hartman, 'Battle of Ink & Ice'


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