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

Lisa Tait recognized at Democrat of the Year

By Brian Sweeney
Lisa Tait was honored as the Delaware County Democrat of the Year at the organization’s annual dinner held Saturday at the Hanah Country Resort in Margaretville.

A resident of New Kingston, Lisa was cited as a tireless worker on behalf of the Delaware County Democratic Committee and the Town of Middletown Democratic Committee. She was also praised for her dedication working on campaigns for Kirsten Gillibrand, Scott Murphy and David Sager.
Lisa is a partner in Silvertop Graphics, a firm specializing in print and website creation, and has also donated a considerable amount of design work to many of these campaigns.

Central Catskills Chamber recognizes business leaders

By Pauline Liu
Roxbury was the big winner at the Central Catskills Chamber of Commerce annual awards. The region’s civic and business leaders turned out on Wednesday night to honor former Roxbury Arts Group Board President Gerry Murphy as Entrepreneur of the Year, The Roxbury Arts Group (RAG), as Cultural Business of the Year and Quarltere’s Garden & Market Place in Roxbury as the Business of the Year.  A crowd of 95 attended the event, which was held at Hanah Mountain Resort. Among the VIPs in the audience were State Assemblyman Clifford Crouch and his Chief of Staff Kathleen Mami-Moore, who is originally from Arkville. 

The Chamber’s Executive Director Carol O’Beirne explained that the 31-year-old organization has always honored at least one entrepreneur or business with an annual award for excellence. In recent years, the chamber decided to expand its awards. “We have a diverse membership and we have so many business leaders who excel,” said O’Beirne. She explained what set all three award recipients apart was their “commitment to the community.”

Olivia Todd, Catilin Kohn are top Margartville grads

Margaretville Central School has announced its Valedictorian and Salutatorian for the Class of 2011.

Olivia Todd is the Valedictorian of the Class of 2011. She is the daughter of Joseph and Brenda Todd of Fleischmanns.

As a senior, Olivia earned the Scholar Recognition Award from Otsego Northern Catskills BOCES and The Joseph P. Beck Scholar Athlete Award.

Fleischmanns Code Officer condemns firehouse

By Jay Braman Jr.
The old Fleischmanns Firehall on Main Street has been declared an unsafe structure.
According to Fleischmanns Code Enforcement Officer Carl Patrick Davis, the owner has six months to make repairs.

Davis told the News Tuesday that the damage was discovered after owner Boyd Walker applied to the MARK Project for a matching grant to rehabilitate the structure. As a part of the grant process, MARK officials had an engineer check the structure out in order to make sure that it was structurally sound and could be rehabilitated.

Village of Margaretville says no to DEP land purchases

By Pauline Liu
The Margaretville Village Board took a strong and swift stand Thursday night as its members voted unanimously to once again ban the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) from purchasing any additional land or easements within the village.

Search for missing link leads to Roxbury

By Pauline Liu
Jeanne Robinson is on a mission. In the search for answers about her genealogy, the Shelton, WA resident and her partner, Tina Florek, traveled about 2,500 miles to Roxbury.

Though it sounds a bit dramatic, Robinson’s journey was truly about finding the missing link. She believes she is a descendant of Ebenezer Robinson who was commissioned as a captain early in the Revolutionary War and was quickly promoted to major, for reasons unknown. Records show that Major Robinson married twice and had 12 children. He died in Roxbury in 1802. 

Mysterious weather knocks out power in Shandaken

By Jay Braman Jr.
No ones knows for sure what it was, but the evidence left behind suggests it was a strong weather event.

About 2 a.m. Tuesday morning something, perhaps a microburst of wind or a strong thunderstorm, touched down about one mile west of the Hamlet of Phoenicia and knocked down three large trees within a quarter-mile area. All three trees fell across power lines, knocking out power and some phone service, not only to the hamlet but in outlying areas for miles along Route 28 in the Town of Shandaken.

Towns see increase in building permits

By Pauline Liu
The construction and home improvement season is off to a wet but optimistic start since the number of applications for building permits in the Town of Roxbury have almost doubled from last year. Middletown is also experiencing an increase in building permit applications, although the numbers lag in the Town of Andes.

Restricting NYC land buys is hearing topic

Staff report
A public hearing on restricting New York City’s ability to purchase land and easements in Middletown’s hamlets will be held on Tuesday, June 7 at 7 p.m. at the town hall.
The town board will solicit comments on a proposal to preclude the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) from making land acquisitions or purchasing conservation easements within the municipality’s defined hamlets.

Adding Kelly Corners

Store swapping gives Main Street new look

By Pauline Liu 
As of next month, several well established Main Street businesses in Margaretville will be making their moves, quite literally.  Some will be heading no farther than across the street to fill empty storefronts in Binnekill Square.

As a result of the shop swap, all commercial spaces in that complex will be occupied for the first time since December. The trading of spaces promises to change the face of the village’s commercial district.

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