Broken clouds, light snow
Broken clouds, light snow
17.6 °F
December 13, 2017
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Copyrighted photo by David B. Soete

RIVER VALLEY — As many people know by now, founding father Ben Franklin thought more highly of the American Turkey than the American Bald Eagle and wrote as much in a letter home from France in 1784.

Liberty budget has no tax increase

LIBERTY, NY — The Liberty Town Board has adopted a budget for 2017 with no tax increase for residents. The budget was adopted at the board’s meeting on October 17. Despite rising costs and a reduced tax base, the board was able to hold the line on taxes thanks in part to its implementation of cost-saving initiatives. The town has also been the recipient of almost $4 million in grant money over the last six years.  Read more

Record reservoir boating season

NEW YORK STATE — The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) on November 7 announced that a total of 1,668 boats were used in 2016 through its recreational boating program in the Catskills, another all-time high for the program since it began in 2012. This year also marked the first time that kayaks and canoes rented from local businesses in the Catskills accounted for the majority of boats used on the four reservoirs, a trend that underscores the program’s support of local tourism and outdoor recreation economies.  Read more

Film tax credit expanded; Orange, Ulster, Sullivan included

ALBANY, NY — Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed legislation that expands the New York State Film Production Tax Credit to counties where it was previously not available, and that includes Orange, Ulster and Sullivan counties. The bill was signed on November 4.  Read more

Sullivan, Pike, Wayne vote for Trump

In the surprise election that ended up with reality television star and real estate developer Republican Donald Trump winning the White House, Sullivan County voters voted heavily for Trump. The unofficial count in the county was 10,983 votes for Democrat Hillary Clinton and 14,626 for Trump.

In the statewide race, Clinton bested trump by a margin of 60% to 35% of the vote.

In the 19th congressional district, with unofficial votes counted, Republican lobbyist John Faso bested Democratic law professor Zephyr Teachout by about 25,000 votes.  Read more

NY Farm Bureau joins lawsuit regarding collective bargaining

ALBANY, NY — The New York Farm Bureau (NYFB) has been granted intervener status in a case brought by the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) on behalf of two workers’ rights groups and farm worker Crispin Hernandez. The lawsuit claims that Hernandez was fired from Marks Farms near Watertown in September 2015 after trying to organize co-workers to address unfair working conditions.  Read more

Water failure leads to evacuation of Sullivan West Elementary School

LAKE HUNTINGTON, NY — More than 500 students, faculty, and staff from Sullivan West Elementary School were evacuated to the high school campus after the Village of Jeffersonville lost water again and forced the school’s closure for two days.  Read more

Rules for city-owned houses discussed

PORT JERVIS, NY — Common Council member and Code and Legislative Committee Chairman David Bavoso at a council meeting on October 24 suggested a resolution requiring anyone who wanted to buy city-owned property would have to prove not only that they have the money, but also that the residence would be occupied by a single family who’s committed to bringing it up to code. Some council members raised objections.  Read more

McGinty inches ahead of Toomey

PENNSYLVANIA — In the race for the Senate seat in Pennsylvania, Democratic challenger Katie McGinty has pulled ahead slightly of incumbent Republican Sen. Pat Toomey.  Read more

Pennsylvania doctors support fracking ban

PENNSYLVANIA — The 300-member House of Delegates of the Pennsylvania Medical Society voted unanimously on October 23 to vote for a ban on hydraulic fracturing (fracking). The resolution ( sited various health and environmental impacts of fracking, and it was critical of the drilling industry and the state legislature.  Read more

Early student strip searches questioned

LAKE HUNTINGTON, NY — A revised policy setting the circumstances under which school administrators may strip-search students caused rare dissension at the Sullivan West Central School District Board of Education October 20 meeting.  Read more

County chair invites Legoland to Sullivan

MONTICELLO, NY — With numerous residents in Orange County protesting loudly against the development of the Legoland® Theme Park in Goshen, the chair of the Sullivan County Legislature thought it would be a good idea to invite the company behind the proposed park to Sullivan County.  Read more

Grant for Hurleyville sidewalks

HURLEYVILLE, NY — A $1000,000 grant has been secured for the hamlet of Hurleyville, which will go toward construction of new sidewalks and curbing along Main Street.  Read more

Baker to host disability advocate in Hawley

HAWLEY, PA — Disability advocate Bob Fox, from the Northeast Pennsylvania Center for Independent Living (CIL), will be available by appointment only at Sen. Lisa Baker’s Hawley office on Wednesday, November 9 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to assist individuals with disabilities, ages 18 and over. Information on a variety of services will be available including attendant care, transportation, employment, skills training, peer counseling, home modification and community integration. Appointments can be made by calling Baker’s office at 570/226-5960.  Read more

Bethel approves town budget

WHITE LAKE, NY — The Bethel Town Board on October 26 approved the budget for 2017 and Supervisor Dan Sturm sent a letter to residents saying the town stayed within the Albany-imposed tax cap, which this year was 0.6%. He wrote, “We are also lowering our town tax rates for next year. I want to thank the town board, and all departments and our staff for being fiscally responsible this year, which allows us to budget more economically next year.  Read more

Punishment increased for home invasion burglaries

HARRISBURG, PA — The Pennsylvania State Senate this week approved legislation sponsored by Republican Sen. John Rafferty that would strengthen penalties for burglaries that involve home invasions to better reflect the seriousness of these violent crimes. The measure now goes to the governor for his signature.  Read more

Senators seek to join fracking lawsuit; A challenge to DRBC

HARRISBURG, PA — Three Republican Pennsylvania senators, including Sen. Lisa Baker, have filed to join a lawsuit challenging the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) and its authority to prevent hydraulic fracturing within the Delaware River Basin.

In May a group of landowners called Wayne Land and Mineral Group LLC (WLMG) filed a lawsuit against DRBC over the fracking ban and the organization’s refusal to issue a permit for an exploratory gas well.  Read more

Election season flying by

REGION — From U.S. president to state senate seats, a raft of offices are up for grabs around the country when voters go to the polls on November 8.

Among the surest bets is the probable outcome of the New York contest for the seat of Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer, who is being challenged by Republican Wendy Long. A recent Siena College poll showed Schumer with 66% of likely voters to Long’s 27%.  Read more

Wayne makes change for upcoming election

HONESDALE, PA — Despite Donald Trump’s talk of rigging at the polls, Wayne County isn’t expecting any controversy on Election Day, and officials took one step on October 27 to make sure.  Read more

Help us beta test our new website

REGION — The River Reporter has been working for months on an updated website with greater flexibility in engaging, informing and entertaining our readers. A beta version of the website is now live online at You'll find the new site much more mobile-device friendly, and there are integrated social media buttons for Facebook and Twitter to foster improved communication with our readers and their friends. Updates will allow us to upload more photos to share with you in slideshows, like the ones Ted Waddell is now taking of local school sports.  Read more

Butterfly bike ride

BARRYVILLE, NY — About 25 bikers and a dozen or so hikers who are also butterfly lovers took a trip along the scenic Upper Delaware River to toss seed pods along the roadside for milkweed plants, which monarch butterflies feed on when they’re in caterpillar stage.  Read more