What's new in the Upper Delaware Region September 2 to 8
MONTICELLO, NY — The Sullivan County Legislature will be accepting applications for the 2022 Legislative Discretionary Contract Program, intended for not-for-profit agencies to apply for consideration for legislative funding. Resolution No. 327-16, unanimously passed on July 21, 2016, adopted program guidelines for analyzing annual requests for funding.
The application deadline is October 1. Applications must be completed and submitted in one of the following ways: by completing a PDF form on the Sullivan County website, by submitting the application and supporting documentation as email attachments to Michelle Huck at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by mailing or hand-delivering the printed application and supporting documentation to the Office of the Sullivan County Manager, c/o Michelle Huck, County Government Center, 100 North Street, Monticello, NY 12701.
WASHINGTON, DC — On Thursday, August 26, U.S. Reps. Antonio Delgado (NY-19), Tracey Mann (KS-01), Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11), and Mariannette Miller-Meeks (IA-02) announced bipartisan legislation to improve the Veterans Crisis Line (VCL). Sens. John Tester (MT) and Jerry Moran (KS), the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, introduced the REACH for Veterans Act in the Senate.
The REACH for Veterans Act would: require an outside evaluation of VCL’s current training curriculum; direct the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to issue re-training guidance for call responders; increase the quality review and management over VCL calls and processes; improve responder guidance for high-risk callers; and establish pilot programs to improve VCL services. The bill would also facilitate the transition to 9-8-8 as the national suicide prevention hotline, with more guidance from veterans service organizations and other stakeholders.
HARRISBURG, PA — Pennsylvania’s opioid disaster declaration ended Wednesday, August 25, after the Republican-controlled General Assembly declined to extend it. Gov. Tom Wolf first signed the opioid disaster declaration in January 2018 to help the commonwealth fight the deadly opioid and heroin epidemic and renewed the declaration 15 times, most recently on August 4.
“When I first signed Pennsylvania’s opioid disaster declaration in 2018, it was an important tool in our fight to save lives,” said Wolf. “The disaster declaration allowed us to work together more effectively to reduce overdose deaths and help Pennsylvanians obtain treatment and pursue recovery… The General Assembly has determined that a disaster declaration is no longer our most effective tool against the opioid epidemic, and has declined to extend it. But our fight is not over. We have an obligation to support individuals desperately in need of substance use disorder services and supports. With or without a disaster declaration, this will remain a top priority of my administration.”
DEERPARK, NY — On Monday, August 23, at approximately 9 p.m., the New York State Police were contacted by the Town of Deerpark Police Department for assistance after locating an unoccupied motorcycle on the shoulder of State Route 97 at the Hawk’s Nest. A search was conducted that night using state police aviation and State Police Unmanned Aerial System (a drone). The search was stopped due to heavy fog.
On Tuesday, August 24, at 9 a.m., state police along with Sparrowbush Fire Department, Port Jervis Fire Department, Lumberland Fire Department, Port Jervis EMS, Deerpark Police Department, Orange County Technical Rescue Team, and U.S. Park Rangers resumed the search for the missing motorcycle operator. The missing individual was located deceased in the area. This is an ongoing investigation.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Friday, August 27, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced it will begin sending invitations for supplemental awards for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (VOG) program. Per the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Non-profits and Venues Act, SVOG supplemental awards are to be provided to those who received an initial grant and have illustrated a 70 percent loss when comparing 2021’s first-quarter revenues to the same in 2019.
Thus far, approximately $9 billion has been awarded in initial SVOGs to more than 11,500 venues, providing a critical lifeline for theaters, live venue spaces, and other entertainment and cultural hubs.
WASHINGTON, D.C.— On Tuesday, August 24, U.S. Rep. Antonio Delgado (NY-19) voted to pass H.R. 4, the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, to restore critical protections of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VRA) and keep the promise of our democracy for all Americans, a statement said. Amid the most coordinated state-level efforts to restrict the right to vote in generations, H.R. 4 would prevent states and localities with a recent history of voter discrimination from restricting the right to vote by requiring these jurisdictions to obtain federal preclearance before changing their voting laws.
For decades, the VRA prevented states and localities from restricting the right to vote. However, in its Shelby County v. Holder decision in 2013, the Supreme Court invalidated Section 4 and struck down the formula used to determine which jurisdictions are subject to federal oversight. In July 2021, the court further weakened the law in its decision in Brnovich v. DNC which made it more difficult to challenge discriminatory voting laws under Section 2.
Named for the late congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis, H.R. 4 restores Section 4 of the VRA by establishing a modern-day formula that requires states and localities with a recent history of voter discrimination to seek approval from the U.S. Department of Justice before making changes to their voting laws.
GLEN SPEY, NY — The Sullivan County Public Health Department is advising residents that if they worked at or their child attended Camp Veritas at Lake Champion, 247 Mohican Lake Road, from August 14 to August 19, they may have been exposed to COVID-19. Multiple cases of COVID-19 have resulted from exposures there during this timeframe.
Public health director Nancy McGraw advises residents to consider any public site in Sullivan County a potential site of COVID-19 exposure, due to a persistent increase in newly diagnosed COVID-19 cases throughout the county. According to McGraw, the best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 continues to be adhering to proper safety measures such as wearing your mask, being vaccinated, avoiding unnecessary contact with others, and practicing basic personal hygiene. This includes washing your hands frequently and thoroughly, refraining from touching your face and avoiding unnecessary contact with others.
“Should you feel ill, contact your healthcare provider,” she advises. “These simple steps will help prevent the spread of the virus and protect you and your loved ones.”
HARRISBURG, PA — With federal unemployment benefits ending for 558,000 Pennsylvanians on Saturday, Sept. 4, other support programs are available to provide help, Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) Secretary Jennifer Berrier and Department of Human Services (DHS) Deputy Secretary for the Office of Income Maintenance Inez Titus announced during a press conference on Monday, Aug. 30.
Resources offered through DHS include the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP), Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, and Child Care Works subsidized child care. Applications for ERAP, Medicaid, SNAP, and other public assistance programs can be submitted online at www.compass.state.pa.us. SNAP and Medical Assistance applications can also be submitted over the phone by calling 866/550-4355.
HARRISBURG, PA – PA Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding announced on Monday, August 30 a free webinar series to connect military veterans who are considering starting or expanding an agricultural business with resources, funding and planning tools they need to succeed.
The series, which begins Sept. 14, is offered by the PA Preferred® Homegrown By Heroes program in partnership with the Pennsylvania Small Business Development Center. Sessions will highlight opportunities for veterans, especially those created or expanded under the PA Farm Bill—historic, bipartisan legislation through which Pennsylvania has invested more than $50 million in growing the state’s agriculture industry since 2019.
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