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PA officials warn of new scam, Woodstock 50 targets Vernon Downs and more

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PA officials warn of new scam

HONESDALE, PA — State officials warned of a new fraud scheme on June 24 that targets senior citizens and people with disabilities who receive property tax and rent rebates checks.

The scan consists of unsolicited calls from a person claiming to work for the Department of Revenue. The caller starts by saying the recipient’s application for the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program has been approved. The caller then asks if they would like the rebate directly deposited into a bank account and asks for the account information.

“We want the public to be aware of this scam and know that the Department of Revenue does not make unsolicited calls requesting banking information,” Revenue Secretary Dan Hassell said. “We know that criminals are always looking for new ways to take advantage of Pennsylvanians, which is why it is critical for everyone to protect their financial information and be extremely cautious when they receive unsolicited phone calls.”

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Funding available for planning and blight programs

MONTICELLO, NY — Select municipalities across Sullivan County will soon be launching projects under the county’s Business-Friendly Zoning & Permitting and Remove Unsafe Structures (RUSt) programs. Participants were awarded funding to improve their zoning and permitting processes and remove hazardous structures from their communities. The Division of Planning and Community Development has funds still available for municipalities who wish to do the same.

RUSt recipients include the Town of Forestburgh and the Village of Bloomingburg.  Forestburgh has been awarded $7,500 to revise the town’s zoning code to create commercial districts that facilitate commercial development in certain corridors. Bloomingburg has been awarded $8,500 to upload the village’s code to eCode and make it readily accessible online.

“Both projects exemplify the program’s purpose,” said District 9 legislator Alan Sorensen, chair of the Legislature’s Planning Committee, “by making their local development regulations and review procedures more conducive and hospitable to business and economic development through increased clarity and transparency.”

For more information, contact Shannon Cilento at Shannon.Cilento@co.sullivan.ny.us or call 845/807-0529.

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Senate Democrats ask governor for gun disaster

HARRISBURG, PA — Members of the Pennsylvania Senate Democratic Caucus jointly sent a letter to Governor Tom Wolf Tuesday requesting a disaster declaration for gun violence in the Commonwealth.

“We believe it is necessary to raise the public’s awareness of the massive loss of human life and the suffering inflicted on affected family, friends and neighbors where this tragedy is unfolding daily,” they wrote.  The caucus cited an average of 1,400 Pennsylvania residents killed by guns each year.

 “Just as you have signed six disaster declarations to provide every tool at the commonwealth’s disposal to combat the opioid epidemic, the death toll and impact from illegal guns should merit immediate and coordinated attention.”

Specifically, the senators said, a disaster declaration could do the following: establish a task force led by the Department of Health to create and implement a public health framework for addressing gun violence; establish a command center in the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency to coordinate state and local law enforcement response; enhance the Joint-Local State Firearm Taskforce through additional personnel and increase funding to take illegal guns off the street.

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Woodstock 50 targets Vernon Downs

VERNON DOWNS, NY — After being turned down for a permit to hold a Woodstock anniversary concert at Watkins Glen, the producers of Woodstock 50 have now applied for a permit to hold the event at Vernon Downs, a facility that features a horse race track, racino and hotel in Oneida County.

The Poughkeepsie Journal quoted the Town of Vernon supervisor as saying the producers have applied for the permit, but the scale is reported to be less than previously planned.  The event is now expected to attract 45,000 to 50,000 festival goers, far fewer than the 150,000 initially envisioned.

Promoter Michal Lang and his partners have suffered major setbacks with their attempts to stage the 50th anniversary concert, with the main financial backer pulling out in May, followed by Watkins Glen race track pulling out as a venue.

Woodstock 50 organizers say they have dozens of entertainers lined up to perform, who have all been paid in advance. Still, tickets, which were supposed to go on sale in April, are not yet available.

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