NY & PA Updates

House explosion in Hawley, concerns with SUNY trustees and more

What's new in the Upper Delaware September 24 to September 30

Posted 9/23/20

House explosion near Hawley

PAUPACK TWP, PA — Last Sunday around 6:20 a.m., Lakeville Fire Department and others responded to a house explosion in Paupack Township. One victim was located …

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NY & PA Updates

House explosion in Hawley, concerns with SUNY trustees and more

What's new in the Upper Delaware September 24 to September 30

Posted

House explosion near Hawley

PAUPACK TWP, PA — Last Sunday around 6:20 a.m., Lakeville Fire Department and others responded to a house explosion in Paupack Township. One victim was located outside the home, conscious and suffering from second- and third-degree burns. She was life-flighted to Lehigh Valley Burn Center. An ongoing investigation has revealed that the explosion originated in the basement, but an ignition source has not been established. The victim recently had her 500-pound propane cylinder filled, and officials believe a build-up of gas caused the explosion. House debris was located 200 yards from the scene. “There is no reason to believe foul play was involved.”

SUNY Sullivan union concerned with trustees

LOCH SHELDRAKE, NY — The union representing faculty and professional staff at SUNY Sullivan released a statement on Sunday expressing grave concern with the Board of Trustees’ “lack of urgency in addressing a multitude of administrative, financial and procedural issues that [the union] believes will negatively impact the future of the college.”

The Professional Staff Association (PSA) cited declining student enrollment, a deficit that has grown to several million dollars deep, a “lack of transparency in decision-making” and an “increasingly toxic” work environment among its concerns. Though the Board of Trustees’ president has turned down a meeting with PSA, the college’s president Jay Quaintance invited PSA president Tim Redman to a meeting, which Redman will accept “in the hope it will lead to the much-needed meeting with the Trustees that the membership overwhelmingly believes is crucial at this juncture.”

Wayne Memorial celebrates 100 years

HONESDALE, PA — Wayne Memorial Hospital turns 100 this year. To commemorate the milestone, the hospital commissioned local artist Juan Espino to paint a mural depicting Wayne Memorial’s century-long history. Last Saturday, hospital administrators, joined by state and local officials, unveiled the mural for the first time. PA Sen. Lisa Baker and  Rep. Jonathan Fritz attended the small, socially distant ceremony over the weekend. Fritz told a story about being in a terrible skiing accident in high school, and how the staff at Wayne Memorial saved his life. CEO David Hoff asked those in attendance, “Can you imagine this area without Wayne Memorial Hospital?”

Cuomo announces charges for Johnson & Johnson

ALBANY, NY — Gov. Andrew Cuomo last week announced that the Department of Financial Services (DFS) has filed charges and initiated administrative proceedings against Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiaries. These charges are the fourth set to be filed against opioid manufacturers arising from the ongoing DFS investigation into the creators and perpetrators of the opioid crisis.

The DFS Statement of Charges alleges that the Johnson & Johnson had a “long-standing, multi-faceted, leading role in originating, supplying, facilitating and actively creating a dangerous market for opioids for chronic pain treatment.” The company produced a large number of opioid products and also controlled a large portion of the raw opioid supply chain through its patented “Norman Poppy,” which at one point was responsible for up to 80 percent of the global supply for oxycodone raw materials.

GOP calling on Wolf to sign PIAA bill

HARRISBURG, PA — Dozens of House Republicans joined together last week in urging Gov. Tom Wolf to sign House Bill 2787, legislation that will “enshrine in law that decisions about school sports and spectators can be made at the local level.” Republican lawmakers claim that the House and Senate passed the bill with enough support that a veto from the governor can be overridden if necessary.

The bill came in response to Wolf recommending that schools cancel their fall sports season. However, Wolf and his administration have repeatedly clarified that decisions on school sports ultimately fall to the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) and individual school boards.

Two cases of COVID-19 at Delaware Valley school

MILFORD, PA — Delaware Valley School District Superintendent John Bell sent a letter last week notifying parents that two confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been detected within the district—one from the high school and one from the middle school. Both were in school last on Monday, September 14. Bell said these are the two first two confirmed cases within the district. The classrooms and spaces used by the infected individuals have been cleaned and disinfected multiple times, Bell said. The district will remain open.

Nikolados leads Monticello mayoral election

MONTICELLO, NY — According to unofficial election results from last week’s mayoral election in Monticello, George Nikolados has a substantial lead over incumbent mayor Gary Sommers. Nikolados won 401 votes to Sommers’ 161. In the race for two trustee seats, Michael Banks led with 342 votes, followed by Mike Greco with 240 votes, Carmen Rue received 222 votes and David Komatz won 157. These results do not include absentee ballots, of which there were around 250, and, at press time, have not been publicly tallied.

While the results are not official yet, Sommers and Rue have filed a lawsuit against the Sullivan County Board of Elections and its commissioners for allegedly not sending out absentee ballots to all who applied.

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