James McGrath receives Spirit of the Catskills Award

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LONG SERVICE — James “Jimmy” McGrath, right, was honored with the Spirit of the Catskills Award on Saturday evening at the Belleayre Conservatory’s annual Snowball held Saturday evening at The Emerson in Mt. Tremper. The award is presented annually to someone who has performed extraordinary service to benefit the region. Jimmy was instrumental in growing the Shandaken Police Department and recently retired as police chief. Making the presentation is Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos. A packed house enjoyed the dinner-dance. Proceeds benefit the Belleayre Music Festival. — Photo by Franz Edlinger, eOneMedia.com

Local table tennis enthusiast takes silver at Empire State Games

By Pauline Liu
The complete results of the Empire State Senior Games are to be released any day now. For the record, 78-year-old Ray Sprague of Margaretville is a winner, no matter who’s keeping score.

Last weekend, the table tennis champ competed in the games for the 23rd straight year. He placed second in singles, doubles and mixed doubles competitions in the 75-79 age category and took home three silver medals. Over the years, he’s won gold in the singles category 12 times. 

Shandaken in Bloom garden tour on June 26

Shandaken — Visit six glorious gardens during the “Shandaken in Bloom” garden tour on Sunday, June 26 from 10 a .m. to 4 p.m., rain or shine. Tickets for the tour are $20 and benefit the Shandaken Democratic Committee. Advanced tickets are on sale at the Tenderland Home, Main Street in Phoenicia.

The tour starts with map/purchase ticket pick up  at the Gazebo, Main Street and Route 214 in Phoenicia and features shady woodland gardens, intensive organic vegetables, classic cottage gardens, reflecting pool, and field cutting garden.

Village merchants unite to protest dry stream

By Pauline Liu
The signs began popping up in several storefronts along Main Street in Margaretville last week. They’ve got people talking about how the once picturesque stream that ran through the village has gone dry again.

Downstate anglers on the hook for violations


Roscoe — The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced Tuesday that four Bronx men pleaded guilty to various trout fishing violations that took place on June 4 at the famous Junction Pool, where the Beaver kill and Willowemoc Rivers meet in Roscoe.

The Environmental Conservation Officers (ECO) nearest to the scene, Region 4 ECOs Vernon Bauer and Nathan Doig, responded to a complaint from an angler who noticed several anglers taking more than the five-fish limit for trout and ignoring the nine-inch minimum size limit.

Hamlet expansion on table in Roxbury and Middletown

By Pauline Liu
With the June 22 deadline looming for towns to decide on the issue of hamlet extension, town board members in Roxbury and Middletown took up the matter this week.

The Roxbury board voted on Monday night. The five-member board voted 4-1 to extend the hamlet area by 440 acres, thereby increasing the amount of land within the hamlet that cannot be sold to New York City under the Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Land Acquisition Program.

Doug Hinkley inducted into Hall of Fame

By Brian Sweeney
Margaretville Telephone Company President Doug Hinkley was inducted into the NYS Telephone Association (NYSTA) on June 7.

Doug, a Margaretville resident, was honored at the association’s 90th Annual Conference held at the Otesaga Hotel in Cooperstown. The hall of fame membership is the highest tribute that can be achieved by professionals in New York State’s telephone industry.

“It’s quite an honor,” Doug told the News.

Roxbury names top graduates

Roxbury Central School has announced its Valedictorian and Salutatorian for the Class of 2011.
Meghan Elizabeth Wallace is the Valedictorian for the Class of 2011.

She is the daughter of Sidney and Karen Wallace of Roxbury. Meghan has participated in each drama production since ninth grade. She also has been a member of the Roxbury Science Olympiad Team where she has won numerous medals.

DEC slows Belleayre decision


By Jay Braman Jr.
News broke last week that the Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) was poised to take over the operation of Belleayre Mountain Ski Center from the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC.) But this week, a spokesman for DEC said it is too soon to tell if and when that will happen. ORDA operates Whiteface and Gore ski centers in the Adirondacks and manages many of the Olympic facilities in Lake Placid.

First defendant pleads in heroin busts


By Pauline Liu
The first of three Margaretville area defendants charged with heroin possession on April 25 was sentenced in Superior Court in Delhi on Monday, while a second defendant prepared to be prosecuted by a special district attorney. Matthew A. Santiago, 22, of Fleischmanns, accepted a plea agreement and was sentenced to two years in state prison along with one year of parole.

Hospital touts achievements

By Pauline Liu
After a multi-million dollar upgrade to its facilities, an effort is now underway to attract more independent physicians to work at Margaretville Hospital. That was a key topic discussed at an informal meeting hosted by the hospital and held in the auditorium of Margaretville Central School last Wednesday. Hospital administrators explained that the session was held to keep a promise they made to the community at a public forum last September, before the clinic in Roxbury was shut down. “You asked us to stay in touch,” said Executive Director Sandra Horan. Her statement was echoed by members of the board of directors as they addressed the 30 people in the audience. “We’ve made a list of things that we’ve been able to accomplish,” Horan explained.

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