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News announces 2014 Best Service Award winners

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The Catskill Mountain News officially announces the winners in its 2014 Best Service Awards contest.
This year’s contest produced a record number of ballots submitted by readers who voted for their top choices in local businesses, organizations and in the public service category.
Following is a list of winners in each category. Our print edition also includes profiles on a number of the businesses that earned prizes in this year’s contest.
Congratulations to our winners and a special thanks for all who took time to submit ballots.

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Correction to RCS project story

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In a story last week about the repair project for Roxbury Central School, the News stated that taxpayers will be asked for authorization to borrow a little over $1 million. That figure was in error and the exact amount to be borrowed has yet to be determined.
From an original project of $5 million that would have seen $4 million in borrowing, board members have removed project components totaling $750,000. Removing those components will not only reduce the amount to be borrowed, but will also reduce the cost of the borrowing.

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Three Shandaken fires keep volunteers hopping

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By Jay Braman Jr. and J. Lawrence-Bauer
Any firefighter’s nightmare is having too many blazes to put out at once, but that is just what was happening in Phoenicia Thursday evening when the Phoenicia Fire Department was dispatched to handle the rekindling of the Monday night blaze that damaged Key Bank on Main Street and were called to a dwelling fire that left a school bus driver and her family homeless temporarily homeless.
STARTING OVER — Firefighters were called to douse a rekindle at Key Bank in Phoenicia on Thursday evening. The bank had been heavily damaged by a fire last Monday night. The blaze was ruled accidental. — Photo by Jay Braman Jr.STARTING OVER — Firefighters were called to douse a rekindle at Key Bank in Phoenicia on Thursday evening. The bank had been heavily damaged by a fire last Monday night. The blaze was ruled accidental. — Photo by Jay Braman Jr.

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Shandaken town employee charged in illegal vehicle ID case

By Jay Braman Jr.
Pine Hill resident Tracy Longhi was arrested at Shandaken Town Hall last Thursday by New York State Police and charged with illegal possession of a Vehicle Identification Number, otherwise known as a VIN, a class E felony.
The VIN is a traceable number that is used to keep track of all vehicles. It is attached in various locations to cars, trucks and trailers. It is also printed on the registration and inspection stick­ers glued to the windshield.
Troopers had little to say on the matter Monday as they are continuing their investigation.

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Flood hazard mitigation applications to be released

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By Joan Lawrence-Bauer
The Catskill Watershed Corporation (CWC) is expected to make Flood Hazard Mitigation Improvement Program (FHMIP) applications available next week, using a set of rules approved in May 2014 and revised in October of last year.
The rules, as written, contain language excluding projects featuring “structural flood control practices such as flood walls, berms and levees” as well as “stream dredging or channelization,” to the dismay of Margaretville Village officials. But CWC Director of Communications Diane Galusha and Environmental Engineering Special­ist Nathaniel Hendricks, CFM said the program as outlined is not a flood buyout program and will provide a variety of options to individuals and communities.

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Fire rips through Phoenicia's Key Bank building

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SMOKEY SCENE — Firefighters were able to limit the damage to the Key Bank building in Phoenicia after a fire broke out on Monday night. — Photo by Andrea CabaneSMOKEY SCENE — Firefighters were able to limit the damage to the Key Bank building in Phoenicia after a fire broke out on Monday night. — Photo by Andrea Cabane
By Jay Braman Jr.
Phoenicia firefighters saved the Key Bank Building on Main Street after it suffered severe interior damage by a fire of unknown origin Monday evening.
At about 9:30 p.m., several 911 calls were made to alert authorities that smoke was billowing out of the small, mostly brick and concrete block building.

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Margaretville officials push back on DEP response to flood prevention programs

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By Joan Lawrence-Bauer
In comments this week that continued a dust-up over two programs being proposed by the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Margaretville village officials reiterated their charge that DEP response to flood prevention is unacceptable and called for support from other municipalities in seeking more creativity from DEP planners.

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RCS project to come before voters for the third time in May

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By Joan Lawrence-Bauer
Roxbury Central School District voters will get a third vote on a school repair project when they vote on their school budget in May.
Board of education members meeting last Wednesday night amended the repair proposal they plan to put before the voters, following a public hearing on the project.

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Shandaken police officer resigns unexpectedly

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By Joan Lawrence-Bauer
A Town of Shandaken police officer resigned last week, creating some speculation over changes in the department. Officer Michael Ennist submitted a resignation letter and though both Police Chief Chad Storey and Town Supervisor Robert Stanley acknowledged receipt of the resignation, neither would say more about it.

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Water main freezes in Phoenicia hamlet

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By Jay Braman Jr.
Parts of the Phoenicia Water District were still without water Monday after a six-inch main line froze up Saturday afternoon.
The matter remained unresolved as of press time. The entire district was placed on a boil-water alert as a safety precaution and gallon jugs of fresh water were made available for residents at the Phoenicia Fire House. While most of the 300 or so users of the system did not see any disruption, many in the High Street and Station Road area had no water.
PHOENICIA FREEZE UP — A temporary water main made out of a fire hose and installed in Phoenicia Sunday was no match for the frigid temperatures that night. Once the mercury fell below zero it froze solid, just like the water main underneath, which suffered a full freeze up the day before. — Photo by Jay Braman Jr.PHOENICIA FREEZE UP — A temporary water main made out of a fire hose and installed in Phoenicia Sunday was no match for the frigid temperatures that night. Once the mercury fell below zero it froze solid, just like the water main underneath, which suffered a full freeze up the day before. — Photo by Jay Braman Jr.

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