Peek-a-Leaf

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FALL BEAUTY — With spectacular weather predicted right through the end of September, leaf peepers might be well served to visit the Central Catskills this coming weekend. Leaves are changing quickly and the fall color could peak within the next several days. Margaretville’s annual Cauliflower Festival will be held Saturday in the village park from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will feature lots of good food, music, local history, and the always-popular Tractor Parade at 11:30 a.m. —Photo by Dick Sanford

Priest investigation is moving forward

By Brian Sweeney
Delaware County Sheriff’s Department officials are continuing their investigation of a Margaretville priest who is suspected of endangering the welfare of children.
The Very Rev. James McDevitt is being investigated in connection with alleged inappropriate behavior toward children after several complaints were made against him in recent weeks.


Margaretville priest investigated for endangering welfare of children

By Brian Sweeney
A Margaretville priest is being investigated for possibly endangering the welfare of children.
The Delaware County Sheriff’s Department executed a search warrant Monday on properties owned by the Sacred Heart Catholic Church Parish to gather potential evidence against the subject of the investigation, the Very Rev. James McDevitt, pastor of the church.
Sheriff’s deputies were seen removing numerous boxes and bags from the church’s rectory and adjacent garage on Monday morning.


Halcottsville Grange work gets boost from bank bucks

By Julia Green
NBT Bank of Margaretville Vice President Caroljean Finch presented a $1,000 check to help fund the Halcottsville Grange Hall Restoration Project, an ongoing fund-raising effort to support renovations to the Wawaka Grange Hall in Halcottsville.
The hall, which has been a focal point of the Halcottsville hamlet for more than 100 years, was the first home of the Halcottsville Grange #350, established in 1875 as a local lodge of the National Grange of the Patrons of Husbandry, an educational and political action society for farmers.


Shandaken Board mulls mid-year spending requests

By Jay Braman Jr.
The Shandaken Town Board heard a plan last week from a group of Phoenicia parents asking for some town support to install a large piece of playground equipment in the Phoenicia Park behind the post office.
The $12,000 “Star Climber,” according to the group’s spokesperson, Heather Roberts, would be a great addition to what many consider an under equipped park.


Burn ban proposal revised by DEC

By Jay Braman Jr.
After a one-year review, the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has released a revised plan for regulating open burning.
In an effort to reduce the impacts of pollutants such as dioxins, particulate matter and carbon monoxide and to limit the risks of wildfires, the DEC announced plans last June to extend a ban on open burning statewide beyond the current ban for any municipality with a population of 20,000, a law in effect since 1972.


Margaretville cop submits letter of resignation

By Julia Green
After only a year on the job, Harold Fox, the police officer hired by the Village of Margaretville, submitted a letter of resignation this week to the village board. The board has yet to accept his resignation.
“We received a letter of resignation on June 4, and since it’s a personnel issue it’s something that I’m going to bring before the board on Monday evening (June 15) in executive session to discuss,” said Margaretville Mayor John Van Benschoten.


Margaretville native Max Finberg named to Obama administration post

By Julia Green
In 1988, Max Finberg was walking the hallways of Margaretville Central School, preparing to graduate and head to Tufts University near Boston. Now, 21 years later, he’s walking the streets of Washington, D.C., as the newest appointee to a post within the Obama administration. Finberg, the son of Mike and Joanne Finberg of Margaretville, was recently named Director of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.


Dollar General store planned for village

By Brian Sweeney
Work is set to begin on a Dollar General store adjacent to the Margaretville Post Office.
Special permits and a sign variance have been issued by the Village of Margaretville allowing for the project to commence.
The Dollar General is being constructed on a parcel that was originally proposed as the site for a Family Dollar store, a competing chain.


Construction delays expected from Mt. Tremper bridge work

By Jay Braman Jr.
New York State Route 28 corridor travelers should plan an extra few minutes to their commutes for several weeks. Work crews assembled a temporary traffic light early Monday morning in Mount Tremper on the state-owned highway.


Phoenicia Hotel neighbor irked by lingering mess

By Jay Braman Jr.
The owner of the property behind the site of the former Phoenicia Hotel has had enough of the waiting and hoping for a clean up of the rubble next door. She wants to build an oversized fence between her land and the heap of debris that was the former hotel.
Trouble is, the law only allows for a fence to be six feet tall, and Lawrence Webster, who bought her property just one month before the historic hotel went up in flames two years ago, told the Shandaken Zoning Board of Appeals that she needs one to be eight feet high to shield the unsightliness.


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