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Sullivan planning for measles action, PA plastics bill announced and more in news


Sullivan animal rescue team considered

LIBERTY, NY — The Sullivan County Division of Public Safety and Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) of Sullivan County invite the public to an informational meeting about starting a County Animal Rescue Team (CART). The gathering will be held on Tuesday, April 23 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Extension Education Center, 64 Ferndale-Loomis Rd., Liberty. Representatives from the county, CCE and the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets will be on hand to gauge local interest.

A CART is an organized group of volunteers who are trained in the federal Incident Command System (ICS) and HAZMAT Awareness. They assist animals impacted by emergencies, disasters and other crises, though they do not replace local animal control officers. They may bring with them certain skills related to disaster response and the handling of animals, specifically animals involved in agricultural operations.

“The activation and management of a CART would be under my office,” public safety commissioner Rick Sauer explained. “Members would be a vital part of our response system and would be trained appropriately.”

Interested attendees should RSVP to CCE at

sullivan@cornell.edu or 845/292-6180.

Child Abuse Prevention Month in Pennsylvania

HONESDALE, PA — For the majority of parents who treasure their children, the ongoing need for recognition of a month in opposition to child abuse could challenge credibility, but unfortunately the need still exists. Last week, the Wayne County Commissioners approved a proclamation naming April for that purpose.

Staff members from the county’s office of Children and Youth Services (CYS) were on hand to accept the proclamation. Natalie Burns, intake unit supervisor provided some statistics.

CYS received 1,249 protection referrals last year.  The unit normally gets about 100 referrals a month. There were 169 mental health referrals.

All told the unit found 22 that were found to be “indicated” or valid complaints.

The vast majority of referrals are for sexual or physical abuse. Others now include emotional abuse, which, for example, may include the failure to provide medical or dental care.

Sullivan planning for measles action

LIBERTY, NY — In light of the ongoing measles outbreaks in New York City and Rockland County, Sullivan County is preparing for the summer months when there is a large influx of visitors and second home owners.

As of April 11, there are 180 confirmed reported cases of measles in Rockland County. In New York City, there have been 285 confirmed cases since the outbreak began in October 2018; 21 of those cases led to hospitalizations. Measles is extremely contagious, and about 90% of unvaccinated people exposed to the virus will become infected.

Sullivan County Public Health Services staff have been meeting with area healthcare providers, school officials, first responders and hospital staff to discuss preparations to limit the spread of measles in the coming months.

“The single most important thing we can all do to protect the community is to remain up-to-date with measles vaccinations, ensure that summer camps, day cares and schools abide by immunization requirements, and that our healthcare providers are prepared to isolate any ill patients quickly with proper infection control policies and procedures,” said public health director Nancy McGraw.

Residents can get more information about measles by calling the public health information line at 845/513-2268.

PA plastics bill announced 

HARRISBURG, PA — House lawmakers joined

PennEnvironment on April 10 to announce a package of bills aimed at addressing single-use plastics, pervasive issues of litter and the various environmental harms caused by a “throwaway” society.

Legislation in the “Zero Waste PA” package works to address issues created by a disposable society including single-use plastics such as straws, plastic bags and Styrofoam takeout food containers, electronic waste, funding Pennsylvania’s recycling programs and more.

“We can no longer ignore the growing waste problem that is threatening our environment. My colleagues and I have introduced a package of bills that, together, address this problem from a number of angles,” said Rep. Tim Briggs (D-Montgomery). “By encouraging the use of more naturally biodegradable materials, addressing issues with the way we recycle, and finding ways to support environmentally friendly practices, we can help preserve our planet for future generations.”


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