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

Fairview celebrates National Library Week

Margaretville — It’s National Library Week, April 11 through 17, a time to celebrate the contributions of libraries, librarians and library workers in schools, campuses and communities nationwide. The Fairview Public Library in Margaretville is celebrating National Library Week by giving away a free book to card-holding patrons who visit the library during the celebration.


DEC issues burning ban reminder

A statewide burning ban is in effect through May 14 due to the increased wild fire risk, the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) reminds the public. Spring has become a prime season for brush fires and the total burning ban went into effect last month.


School districts react to delay in state aid payments

By Julia Green
Following an announcement by Gov. David A. Paterson last week, the state has delayed $2.1 billion in school aid payments that were scheduled to be made April 1. The announcement came following a failed attempt between Paterson and the state legislature to agree on a budget for the fiscal year that began April 1.


Andes athletes joining Margaretville teams will be focus of public meeting

By Brian Sweeney and Julia Green
A proposal to allow Andes students to join the Margaretville boys’ varsity soccer and basketball teams next year is the subject of a public meeting on Wednesday, April 7 at 7:15 p.m. in MCS Board Room.
The plan is being presented as a means of allowing Andes students to participate in varsity athletics during the 2010-11 season. Because of low enrollment, ACS officials do not anticipate being able to field boys’ teams next year for soccer or basketball.


DEC raising a stink over Esopus pollution

By Jay Braman Jr.
Routine testing of water in the Esopus Creek allegedly shows that septic systems belonging to residents of the Hamlet of Phoenicia might be polluting the creek’s water, according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) which conducted the test.
Water from the Esopus Creek flows into the Ashokan Reservoir, which serves as a drinking water source for residents in the New York City area.


Belleayre welcomes new Hall of Fame inductees

By Jay Braman Jr.
The fourth-annual Belleayre Mountain Hall of Fame celebration was held in the ski center’s main lodge Saturday evening. The Belleayre Mountain Hall of Fame was created in 2006 to honor individuals who have contributed in extraordinary ways to Belleayre Mountain, the surrounding Catskill Region, and to the athletic discipline of snow sports.


Former area priest, diocese are named in civil lawsuit

By Julia Green
A civil lawsuit has been filed against Father James J. McDevitt, former pastor at the Sacred Heart Catholic Parish in Margaretville, and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany in connection with the alleged abuse by McDevitt of a number of area boys.
The suit, which seeks unspecified damages, was filed with the Supreme Court of the State of New York in Delaware County. The lawsuit claims negligence on the part of the diocese for not preventing McDevitt from allegedly engaging in misconduct with males between the ages of 11 and 19.


Shandaken building activity hits a lull

By Jay Braman Jr.
Every year around this time the sounds of hammers banging nails and power saws cutting wood begin to fill the air. Like pictures of Shamrocks and Easter egg hunts, these are signs that spring has arrived, and with it the building season.


Onteora District continues cuts; tax levy hike trimmed to 3.9 percent

By Jay Braman Jr.
The Onteora School Board of Education has directed the district’s administration to go back to the drawing board and prepare a new budget plan that carries a 3.9 percent tax levy hike, but maintains programming that would be in place under last week’s plan, which had called for a 4.5 percent tax increase.


Margaretville woman killed in Route 10 head-on collision

By Brian Sweeney
A 60-year-old Margaretville woman was killed Wednesday, March 24 when her vehicle was hit head-on by a car illegally passing on Route 10 in the Town of Hamden.
Sherry Bush was pronounced dead at the scene. She was killed instantly from the force of the collision, according to the investigators from the Delaware County Sheriff’s Department. An autopsy indicated that Bush died from multiple blunt trauma injuries.


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