Census count extended, new Monticello mayor
Local census-takers thought they were days away from being finished with this year’s Census Count, until this past Friday when a federal judge …
Local census-takers thought they were days away from being finished with this year’s Census Count, until this past Friday when a federal judge ruled that the count must continue until October 31. The ruling came as a result of evidence from Census Bureau officials, who believed ending it earlier would seriously endanger its accuracy. This region has suffered low response rates, with Sullivan County in second to last place in New York, and Wayne and Pike counties both in the bottom five of Pennsylvania.
In Sullivan County, a homicide investigation has led to an arrest. Last Wednesday, Acting District Attorney Meagan Galligan announced that an 84-year-old man named Thomas Montanya had been arrested and charged for a homicide in the Town of Forestburgh. The charge alleges that he deliberately caused the death of the 74-year-old woman he lived with when he fired his double-barrel shotgun at her. He has been remanded to the Sullivan County Jail without bail pending further court appearances.
And the Village of Monticello has a new mayor. George Nikolados defeated incumbent Garry Sommers by 192 votes last week. And Michael Banks Jr. and Carmen Rue won a four-way race for two trustee positions. Sommers and Rue originally planned to challenge the Sullivan County Board of Elections in court, claiming that many residents never received the absentee ballots they requested. They have since dropped the suit, citing legal advice.
Northeast PA made national headlines this week, after the FBI joined an investigation into "potential issues" with nine military ballots in Luzerne County. These ballots, which all cast votes for President Donald Trump, were allegedly improperly opened and discarded, before getting discovered by the County’s Elections Director. The investigation is ongoing, but President Trump has already used it as evidence that mail-in voting threatens the integrity of elections. He referred to the potential incident as a scam in a recent interview with a FOX radio host.
In the race for Pennsylvania’s 8th Congressional District, a debate between incumbent Rep. Matt Cartwright and Republican challenger Jim Bognet has been announced for October 18 in Pittston, Pennsylvania. Bognet challenged Cartwright to a total of 5 debates… the congressman agreed to just this one.
In Wayne County, residents voting from home in this year’s General Election should receive their ballots soon. Bureau of Elections director Cindy Furman says voters can expect their mail-in ballots to arrive by Wednesday of next week.
And the Wayne Pike Workforce Alliance will be the recipient of a 270,000 dollar award through the USDA Rural Business Development Program. The Alliance will use these funds to address low employment in the hospitality and leisure industry, which is the largest sector in both Wayne and Pike counties, and an industry hit hard by COVID-19.
NEPA election updates
Census extended, new Monticello mayor