Programs available to help New Yorkers manage rising energy costs and more

What's new in the Upper Delaware region March 10 to 16

Posted 3/8/22

What's new in the Upper Delaware region March 10 to 16

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Programs available to help New Yorkers manage rising energy costs and more

What's new in the Upper Delaware region March 10 to 16


Body found in Liberty cemetery; death under investigation

LIBERTY, NY — According to published reports, a body was found in Liberty Cemetery on Cold Spring Road Wednesday, March 2. Law enforcement officials and the Sullivan County District Attorney’s office are currently investigating the death.

Sullivan County Head Start receives $1.7 million

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On March 3,  Rep. Antonio Delgado (NY-19) announced almost $3.9 million in funding for Head Start programs in Otsego and Sullivan counties. The grants were allocated through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families. Sullivan County Head Start will receive $1,776,505.

Head Start programs promote the school-readiness of infants, toddlers and preschool-aged children from low-income families. The programs are available at no cost to children ages birth to five years. Services are provided in a variety of settings, including centers, family child care and the child’s own home; and programs sometimes provide transportation to the centers so enrolled children can participate regularly. Head Start programs also engage parents or other key family members in positive relationships, according to a news release, with a focus on family well-being.

Hike in hotel tax means more money for event-marketing efforts

HONESDALE, PA — Wayne County Commissioners and the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau (PMVB) announced more than $120,000 in funding for events and nonprofit organizations in the coming year, thanks to the Tourism Project Disbursement Allocation program. “These funds are important to organizations that have been on a shoestring budget these past couple years, without traditional ways to fundraise due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Wayne County chief financial officer Vicky Botjer. “Meanwhile, overnight stays in Wayne County have provided the necessary tax dollars to increase funding to these various events and organizations in 2022.”

Applications underwent review by the Wayne County Tourism Promotion committee and the PMVB, resulting in allocations of anywhere from $1,200 for the NEPA Audubon Society to $21,000 for the Greater Honesdale Partnership. For a full list of grantees, and more information about the application process, visit

Court Appointed Special Advocate program comes to Pike County

MILFORD, PA — Pike County has established a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program to advance the well-being of children in dependency court proceedings and help them find permanent homes.

National CASA is a nonprofit organization that aims to connect children being served by dependency courts with volunteer advocates who collect pertinent information about a child’s case to help the court act in the best interest of the child. Each volunteer is partnered with one child or family to serve as the child’s advocate. A CASA volunteer gathers pertinent information about the case by talking to the child, family and foster family and relaying the information to the judge during court hearings.

Dawn Allison, a SWAN Legal Services Initiative paralegal who previously worked at Pike County Children and Youth Services, was selected to serve as the director of CASA of Pike County. The CASA office is located at 105 W. High St. in Milford.

Allison is in the process of screening applicants to serve as volunteer advocates. To learn more about volunteer eligibility or to apply to be a CASA volunteer advocate, contact Allison by phone at 570/296-9827 or by email at

Programs available to help New Yorkers manage rising energy costs

ALBANY, NY — The costs of natural gas, heating oil and propane continue to rise sharply, resulting in increases in utility and heating bills, with international geopolitical influences putting additional pressure on the price of oil and gas. As energy prices rise during the winter months, there are steps New Yorkers can take to protect against higher energy costs.  

The Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) can provide up to $751 to eligible homeowners and renters depending on income, household size and how they heat their home. The Sullivan County HEAP Office can be reached by phone at 845/807-0142 or by email at

The New York Energy Advisor can help homeowners, renters, and property managers locate programs that help them spend less on energy and create healthier and more comfortable spaces. Sponsored by NYSERDA (New York State Energy Research and Development) and utilities, qualified New Yorkers can get help paying utility bills, receive special offers on heating assistance, and more.

Visit for more information on the New York Energy Advisor. For more information on energy costs, visit

Avian influenza detected in Suffolk County flock

SUFFOLK COUNTY, NY — A small, noncommercial backyard flock in Suffolk County has tested positive for highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI). There were a total of eight birds in the flock. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) confirmed the presence of HPAI after samples from the flock were tested at the Cornell University Animal Health Diagnostic Center and confirmed at the APHIS National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, IA.

The department encourages those involved in poultry production to take extra steps to prevent their flocks from becoming infected. Poultry biosecurity materials and checklists can be found on the USDA’s “Defend the Flock” website; visit for more information. To report sick birds, an unexplained high number of deaths, or a sudden drop in egg production, contact the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets division of animal industry at 518/457-3502 or the USDA at 866/536-7593.

Deadline extended to enroll in 2022 dairy margin coverage

SYRACUSE, NY — The USDA has extended the deadline to enroll in Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) and Supplemental Dairy Margin Coverage (SDMC).The deadline to apply for 2022 coverage is now March 25. As part of the Biden-Harris administration’s ongoing efforts to support dairy farmers and rural communities, USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) opened DMC and SDMC signup in December 2021 to help producers manage economic risk brought on by milk price and feed cost disparities.

The DMC program, created by the 2018 farm bill, offers reasonably priced protection to dairy producers when the difference between the all-milk price and the average feed cost (the margin) falls below a certain dollar amount selected by the producer. Supplemental DMC will provide $580 million to better help small- and mid-sized dairy operations that have increased production over the years but were not able to enroll the additional production. Now, they will be able to retroactively receive payments for that supplemental production. Additionally, FSA updated how feed costs are calculated, which will make the program more reflective of dairy producers’ actual expenses, a news release said.

PA standards for PFOA and PFOS

HARRISBURG, PA — Pennsylvania’s proposed rulemaking to adopt maximum contaminant levels (MCLs) for highly toxic PFOA (Perfluorooctanoic acid) and PFOS (Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid) was published in the February 26 PA Bulletin. The rulemaking proposes an MCL of 14 parts per trillion (ppt) for PFOA and 18 ppt for PFOS.  

PFOA and PFOS, dubbed “forever chemicals,” are two of the most dangerous per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) found in Pennsylvania’s water supplies. The proposed MCLs are based on toxicological studies commissioned by and occurrence data gathered by the PA Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP). The public comment period is open for written comments until April 27 through DEP’s eComment system and by e-mail at  

Prison nurse arrested on sex and drug charges

FALLSBURG, NY — On March 3, New York State Police arrested Kristie Miller, 51, of Fallsburg, on charges of third-degree rape, third-degree criminal sex act, third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance-intent to sell and first-degree prison contraband, all felonies.

An 11-month investigation by the New York State Police and the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) Office of Special Investigations revealed that Miller, while employed as a nurse at the Sullivan Correctional Facility, provided buprenorphine and naloxone sublingual films to an inmate. It was also learned that she was involved in a sexual relationship with that same inmate. She was terminated by DOCCS prior to her arrest.

Miller was arraigned in the Town of Liberty Court in front of town judge Troy Johnstone and remanded to Sullivan County Jail in lieu of bail.

Liberty, death, Rep. Antonio Delgado, Head Start, Sullivan County Head Start, Wayne County Commissioners, Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau, hotel tax, marketing, Court Appointed Special Advocate, dependency courts, foster care, Pike County, Home Energy Assistance Program, heating assistance, avian influenza, Dairy Margin Coverage, farm bill, criminal investigation


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