The Passing of a Legend

caption: 
From providing entertainment at his teenage friends' birthday parties decades ago, to leading square dances well into his 80s, Hilton Kelly (center) — with his wife Stella and his "Sidekicks" — was a Catskills institution who helped generations appreciate and enjoy the music and dance of our culture. Hilt headed for the Tower of Song on Tuesday, March 3. He will be missed, but the legacy of his music, his wit and his commitment to mountain culture will endure. — Contributed photo

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Hilton Kelly, Catskill fiddle legend, passes away

Hilton Kelly, a lifelong resident of Red Kill outside of Fleischmanns, passed away on Tuesday, March 3, 2015, at Mountainside Residential Care Center in Margaretville. He was 89 and-a-half years old.
Hilton was born July 18, 1925, in the Red Kill Valley (also known as Bedell), to Edith Kittle Kelly and Carson Kelly.
Hilt and Stella celebrated their 66th wedding anniversary last fall.Hilt and Stella celebrated their 66th wedding anniversary last fall.


MCS lists three finalists for the superintendent post

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By Joan Lawrence-Bauer
Residents and taxpayers of the Margaretville Central School District will have an opportunity to meet and question candidates for the post of school superintendent in an open forum tonight (Wednesday, March 4) at the school.
Three finalists for the position will arrive in the community for a day-long round of stakeholder interviews, culminating with the introductions to the community starting at 6:40 p.m. at the school.

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Broadband upgrade seen as key to the region's growth

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By Joan Lawrence-Bauer
Four state officials traveled to Roxbury last week to discuss plans for a statewide upgrade to broadband services that have been announced by Governor Cuomo.
Dave Salway, executive director of the Empire State Development Broadband Program Office came from Albany along with Outreach Director Angela Liotta. Kevin McManus from Governor Cuomo’s Binghamton office and Kara Grippen, the Governor’s Southern Tier representative joined the group in Roxbury.

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Pine Hill water system is at the freezing point

By Jay Braman Jr.
Don Clark says it’s the lesser of two evils.
The Pine Hill Water District Commissioner is urging users to keep their cold water running round the clock in order to avoid the freeze up of the metal lines that feed homes and businesses, even though most are buried at least four-feet deep underground.
While doing so is sure to increase water bills this month, Clark says that’s less costly than the alternative.

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Petition drive started to re-open Key Bank in Phoenicia

By Jay Braman Jr.
With the fate of the Phoenicia Key Bank branch still uncertain following a February 16 fire, a petition is being circulated that should let bank decision makers know where the people of the community stand.
They want their bank back.
And, as it turns out, those signing are not just Key Bank­ers that want to return to the pleasure of banking locally. Its others, who live and bank elsewhere, all across the country, that believe Key’s presence on Main Street is a vital element of Phoenicia’s economy, vibe, and overall health.

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Maple syrup season off to a slow start

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By Dick Sanford
The maple syrup season is off to anything but a sweet start, according to David Hill of Shaver Hill Maple in Harpersfield. “We’re usually tapped by February 20”, Hill told the News yesterday but so far this year the Hills haven’t tapped a single tree yet. “I think we’ll start in a couple of days”, Hill went on to say, noting that deep snow would make for hard going in the woods. Asked how much snow was on the ground in Harpersfield Hill replied, “too much.”

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Building, security upgrades MCS board topics

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By Joan Lawrence-Bauer
Margaretville Central School board and staff members met with designers and architects last week to layout plans for a new entrance to the school.
The meeting, which had been scheduled to give community members a chance to weigh in and participate in the design project, drew no visitors. But school board President Terry Johnson spoke for the public after a brief presentation by Robert Proulx of King and King Architects.

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Onteora high's revamped school day proposal draws skepticism

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By Joan Lawrence-Bauer
A polite but skeptical audience met at the Phoenicia Primary School last Tuesday even­ing for a presentation about changing school day start times for high school students.
The Onteora Board of Education has been discussing later start times for secondary students, using an 8:45 – 9:00 a.m. target. Classes now start at 7:40 a.m. Paul Jenkins, superintendent of the Glens Falls School District, presented information to the OCS community on why and how a similar change was implemented there in 2012.

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News announces 2014 Best Service Award winners

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The Catskill Mountain News officially announces the winners in its 2014 Best Service Awards contest.
This year’s contest produced a record number of ballots submitted by readers who voted for their top choices in local businesses, organizations and in the public service category.
Following is a list of winners in each category. Our print edition also includes profiles on a number of the businesses that earned prizes in this year’s contest.
Congratulations to our winners and a special thanks for all who took time to submit ballots.

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Correction to RCS project story

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In a story last week about the repair project for Roxbury Central School, the News stated that taxpayers will be asked for authorization to borrow a little over $1 million. That figure was in error and the exact amount to be borrowed has yet to be determined.
From an original project of $5 million that would have seen $4 million in borrowing, board members have removed project components totaling $750,000. Removing those components will not only reduce the amount to be borrowed, but will also reduce the cost of the borrowing.

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