NY/PA news update

New York summer camps to reopen, explosion in Liberty and more

What's new in the Upper Delaware region February 25 to March 1

Posted 2/24/21

Explosion in Liberty

LIBERTY, NY — At approximately 11:55 a.m. on February 21, New York State Police responded to a report of an explosion at a residence on Lt. J.G. Brender Highway. An …

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NY/PA news update

New York summer camps to reopen, explosion in Liberty and more

What's new in the Upper Delaware region February 25 to March 1


Explosion in Liberty

LIBERTY, NY — At approximately 11:55 a.m. on February 21, New York State Police responded to a report of an explosion at a residence on Lt. J.G. Brender Highway. An investigation revealed that Christopher Pekny, 28, from Liberty, was building a device to be used at a child gender reveal party. The device exploded, causing the death of Christopher Pekny and injuring his brother, Michael Pekny, 27, also of Liberty, who was transported to Garnet Medical Center in Middletown, NY. This incident remains under investigation by the New York State Police and the New York State Police Bomb Disposal Unit.

NY accepting hemp program applications

ALBANY, NY — Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced that the New York State Department of Health is accepting applications from businesses seeking to operate as cannabinoid hemp processors, retailers, or distributors. The applications are available on the Cannabinoid Hemp Program’ts webpage, www.health.ny.gov/regulations/hemp. 

“Opening the application process for businesses looking to be part of the growing hemp industry in New York State is a critical step in the process of expanding our economy and building back better. Licensing gives processors, distributors and retailers the ability to help ensure the hemp industry’s long-term viability,” Cuomo said.

Fund launched to protect Appalachian landscapes

NEW YORK, NY — Seeking to accelerate land conservation in the eastern U.S. to counter climate change and its impacts, the Open Space Institute (OSI) recently announced the launch of its $18 million Appalachian Landscapes Protection Fund (ALPF). The fund will focus on protecting key forested sections of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York and is aimed specifically at safeguarding some of the nation’s most biologically rich and climate-resilient landscapes. The initiative aligns with the Biden administration’s recently announced plan to conserve 30 percent of U.S. land and waters by the year 2030.

“Harnessing the carbon-capturing role of forests to combat climate change, the ALPF seeks to conserve at least 10,000 acres in key portions of the three states,” according to a release. “The funding is part of the ALPF’s larger effort to conserve 50,000 acres along the spine of the Appalachian Mountains, which contain the world’s largest broadleaf forest, are responsible for the majority of U.S. forest carbon sequestration and provide essential climate refuge for plants and animals.”

Regarding ‘Aldi partial building collapse’

An Aldi spokesperson submitted this statement in response to a news brief in the February 18 edition titled, “Monticello Aldi partial building collapse:” 

“The Aldi store in Monticello was closed due to a roof leak. The safety of our employees, customers and the community are our highest priority, and we are thankful that there were no injuries reported. Out of an abundance of caution, the store remains closed and we will reopen it as soon as it is safe to do so. We regret any inconvenience or concern this situation may have caused. At this time, we do not have any additional information to share about our Monticello store.”

Sullivan looking for clinic volunteers

LIBERTY, NY — Sullivan County Public Health Services is building its volunteer reserve corps to assist with upcoming vaccination clinics, but some potential volunteers may find the signup process intimidating.

“We don’t want anything getting in the way of good people looking to do good things,” said public health director Nancy McGraw. “But it is necessary for everyone to sign up through the ServNY system.”

Medical professionals likely are already familiar with the process. But for those who aren’t healthcare professionals, Public Health offers an easy-to-follow step-by-step guide at www.sullivanny.us/departments/publichealth/COVIDvaccines.

For more information, contact volunteer coordinator Linda Squires at VolunteerMRC@sullivanny.us or 845/513-2186.

New York summer camps to reopen

ALBANY, NY — Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently announced that day and sleepaway camps in New York State can plan to reopen this summer. The reopening date has not been announced yet, and the Department of Health will be announcing more details in the coming weeks.

“Summer camps are a vital part of our communities and our economy. Sullivan and Orange counties have a multitude of camps that are eager to open for the summer 2021 season in a safe and responsible way,” Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther said in a statement. “The mental health impact of isolation on our children during the pandemic cannot be understated. Reopening camps will give children the opportunity to interact and socialize with one another, even if it may look different than in years past. I’m happy to have worked with the governor’s office on this important issue and look forward to seeing our camps open this summer.”

Gandin running for NY Supreme Court

GARDNER, NY — Ulster County resident and attorney David Gandin has announced that he is running for Supreme Court Justice in the 3rd Judicial District. Since 2013, Gandin has served as principal court attorney for Supreme Court Justice Maria G. Rosa, where he prepares legal opinions, presides over attorney conferences, manages cases, writes legal decisions and advises on the disposition of motions. The 3rd Judicial District Court has two openings this year, and includes the counties of Albany, Columbia, Greene, Rensselaer, Schoharie, Sullivan and Ulster.

Cartwright re-introduces HEAR bill

HARRISBURG, PA — U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright (PA-08) and Rep. John Katko (NY-24) recently re-introduced the Help Extend Auditory Relief (HEAR) Act to expand hearing benefits for seniors on Medicare.

Currently, Medicare Part B covers auditory examinations in the event of an accident or illness, but not routine checkups—which physicians recommend to address gradual loss of hearing—or hearing aids.

Specifically, the HEAR Act would amend the Social Security Act to include Medicare coverage for hearing rehabilitation, including a comprehensive audiology assessment to determine if a hearing aid is appropriate. It would also extend Medicare Part B coverage to hearing aid devices.

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