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This week: Fatal car crash, robocalls and more

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Bloomingburg man killed in crash 

WURTSBORO, NY — State Police in Wurtsboro are investigating a fatal crash that occurred on March 24. At 10:48 p.m., troopers responded to Burlingham Road in the Town of Mamakating for a report of a motor vehicle crash involving two vehicles. 

The preliminary investigation revealed that a 2002 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, driven by William R. Truex, 24, of Bloomingburg, was traveling northbound on Burlingham Road and crossed over into the southbound lane, striking a 2009 Sierra pick-up truck traveling south. 

Both occupants were transported to Orange Regional Medical Center. Truex was pronounced deceased upon arrival to the hospital. The operator of the pick-up truck, Melissa Delrosso, 36, of Pine Bush, NY, was airlifted to Westchester Medical Center with multiple fractures.


Mamakating adopts Community Choice Aggregation

WURTSBORO, NY — On March 19, Mamakating became the first town in Sullivan County to enact a local law permitting Community Choice Aggregation (CCA), a program that has the potential to supply consumers with both lower electric rates and greener energy supplies. At the public hearing prior to the vote, Mike Gordon, principal architect of New York State’s first CCA in Westchester County, told the board that the 110,000 customers participating in the Westchester program have saved $17 million over the past three years—or about 10% on the electric usage portion of their utility bills.

The bargaining power derived from a large customer base can enable CCAs to provide 100% renewable energy below the benchmark rate for so-called “brown” energy, which is what happened in Westchester. Twenty-five of the 26 participating municipalities now offer customers 100% green energy produced in New York State.

Mamakating board member Christine Saward, who is leading the effort to bring CCA to Mamakating, read a statement from state Sen. Jen Metzger noting that legislation does not commit a town to set up a CCA, but “positions you to participate in a program if you so choose.” Metzger, a longtime proponent of CCA, went on to say, “our communities can benefit most from CCA if it supports local clean energy development, such as community renewable projects, which create local jobs and provide stable lower-cost energy.” 


PA Senate targets robocalls

FRAZER, PA — At the request of state Sen. Andy Dinniman, the Senate Democratic Policy Committee held a public hearing on March 21 on ways to curb robocalls.

The panel discussed legislative solutions to restrict and reduce robocalls, which are automated, recorded phone advertisements.

“Of the estimated 47.8 billion robocalls made in the U.S. in 2018, 17.7 billion were scam robocalls, perpetuating well known scams around topics like health insurance, interest rates, student loans and IRS debts,” said Sarah Frasch, director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection in the Office of the Pennsylvania Attorney General.

Dinniman has introduced legislation (SB 306) that would enable consumers to opt-out of robocalls, prohibit such calls on holidays, require telemarketers to give consumers easy opt-out options, and crack down on scams and deceptive technology that enables telemarketers to mimic local phone numbers.


Municipal government involvement program

MILFORD, PA — A workshop on how to get involved in local government is planned in Pike County at the beginning of May. This program is prompted by recent news stories regarding the workings of Pike County townships and boroughs, which have raised awareness of just how much local power and influence reside in boards of supervisors and the various commissions that serve them. Their actions can affect not just whole communities, but individuals. Unfortunately, most taxpayers hardly know that these boards and commissions exist until there is controversy. To alleviate this lack of knowledge and to give insight to individuals on how to participate, particularly for newcomers to the county, the Pike County League of Women Voters in collaboration with Penn State Extension will be conducting a “Getting Involved in Your Local Government” workshop on Monday, May 6 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Pike County Training Center in Lords Valley. 

Peter Wulfhorst of the Penn State Extension will make the presentation and act as moderator for a panel discussion that will include current supervisors, commission members and solicitors. Wulfhorst has been in Economic and Community Development with Penn State Extension in Pike County since 1999. 

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