"Trucking" with Santa

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FIREHOUSE CHRISTMAS FUN —Over 100 kids brought their parents to visit Santa at the Roxbury Firehouse on Saturday including Trevor, Derek, and Jordan Fronckowiak.  Photos were taken by Catskill Images and refreshments were abundant. Fire Chief Allen Hinkley was so impressed with the turnout that he decided to make it an annual event. Planning for next year is already in the works. — Photo by Jill Ribich, Catskill Images

Afghanistan war casualty has family in Phoenicia

By Jay Braman Jr.
When Pfc. Douglas Cordo, assigned to the 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division out of Fort Wainwright, Alaska, died in Afghanistan Friday of injuries sustained in the roadside detonation of an improvised explosive device, the shock was felt locally. Then it was felt statewide.

Cordo, who was 20, has roots in Phoenicia, where his grandmother, Helen Cordo, still resides.


Binnekill could be full by this weekend

By Pauline  Liu
Work to restore the flow of water in the Binnekill could begin as early as this weekend.

After consulting with village attorney John Fairbairn III, the Margaretville Village Board voted to spend up to $1,500 to excavate the gravel that has collected downstream from the bulkhead, blocking the flow of water from it.

The property owner, Lauren Davis, attended the regularly scheduled village board meeting last Thursday.


Updated budget approved for Arkville water project

Staff report
An updated spending plan for the Arkville Water District upgrade project was approved by the Middletown Town Board last Monday.

The board passed a resolution authorizing the issuance of an additional $556,625 in serial bonds to help fund the project.

The total price tag for the water system upgrade is $2,344,000. The town has secured $1,492,000 in grant funding to offset project costs. Water district residents will repay the anticipated balance of $852,000 through loan-interest loans over a 38-year period.


Nolan to face Stanley in Shandaken Supervisor race

By Jay Braman Jr.
It’s official. Election season has begun in Shandaken.
The Republicans have chosen the following candidates.

Supervisor Rob Stanley, now in the last few months of his first term, was not challenged in his bid to seek a second term.

Another incumbent, Conservative Vince Bernstein, was granted the Republican endorsement.
And now there is a new face on the political front. Al Higley, who owns the controversial farm stand in Mount Tremper, has thrown his hat into the ring and will run for a council seat on the Republican ticket.


Tremors from VA earthquake felt throughout region

By Pauline Liu
An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.9 centered in Virginia sent tremors across the northeast and was felt locally on Tuesday.

It’s not clear how far the quake spread, but reports of tremors came from as far away as Ontario, Canada. Buildings in the nation’s capital, including the White House and the Pentagon, were evacuated.


25th Annual Street Fair this Saturday

Margaretville — Celebrate 25 years of late summer fun at the annual Margaretville Main Street Fair that will be held on Saturday, August 27 from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.

There will be live music at Summerfields Restaurant, wine tastings at the Margaretville Liquor Store on Main and loads of vendors selling lawn ornaments to designer jewelry filling Main Street with lots of choices. Don’t stop there. Visit the “Marvelous Margaretville Merchants” shops and enjoy a day of shopping and eating “local” in the time-honored tradition of Margaretville’ s Street Fair.


Fracking forum set for Friday in Andes

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By Pauline Liu
In response to requests from several residents, the Town of Andes will hold what Supervisor Marty Donnelly calls “a natural gas drilling forum” on Friday, August 19 at 7 p.m. at Andes Central School.
For those who wish to be heard, there will be a sign-up sheet at the school. Each speaker will be given up to three minutes to either express their views or ask questions.


Middletown agrees to template plan for assessing wastewater plant

Staff report
The Town of Middletown has agreed to a template to be utilized in determining tax assessments on the Margaretville Wastewater Treatment Plant.

The agreement signed by the town board at its August 9 meeting effectively ends many years of legal wrangling over the proper assessment of the plant, which is operated by the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).
The city has pending litigation in which it challenges the assessments on the Margaretville plant from the years 2006-2010.


Black bear boom in the Catskills

By Pauline Liu
If it seems as though there are more black bears in the Catskills than ever before, that is the case. Their numbers are soaring in this region. Not only are residents experiencing more close encounters with bears, but some have endured property damage and lost livestock. Matthew Merchant, who is a wildlife biologist for Region 3 of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), explained that his office has received between 200 and 300 calls this year from people asking for help in dealing with bears on their properties. He offered some bare facts to make living with bears more bearable.


Fleischmanns wins control of theater

By Jay Braman Jr.
The last bit of red tape has been cut through and the Village of Fleischmanns is now the owner of the theater building on Main Street.
At least that is what it looks like.

Last week in United States Bankruptcy Court Bankruptcy Judge Diane Davis decided that the village did indeed properly take over the property when it was seized in a foreclosure action that started back in 2008.


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