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DEEP STUFF — Firefighters from Grand Gorge and Hobart traveled to the Buffalo area last week to assist local communities with efforts to cope with up to seven feet of snow that buried the area from several lake-effect storms. — Contributed photo

East Branch Recreation Access Project kicks off

Margaretville — Access for recreation on the East Branch of the Delaware River will be the focus of a new effort to develop a comprehensive plan that would improve and enhance public access of the East Branch for recreational access.

Each community, from the headwaters in Roxbury to Middletown, Andes, villages of Fleischmanns and Margaretville, extending around the Pepacton Reservoir to Downsville and Colchester will be included in this project.


Wizard of Oz production filled with off-stage drama

By Pauline Liu
For two nights in a row, “The Wizard of Oz” at Margaretville Central School played to standing ovations. Hundreds turned out.


Newspaper's new look

In keeping with a national trend in newspaper page sizes, the Catskill Mountain News, as of this issue, is being printed on what’s now known in the newspaper industry as the “22-inch web.”
Other area newspapers using this page size include the Oneonta Daily Star and, as of today, the Kingston Daily Freeman. The Kingston Daily Freeman is printed at The Record in Troy, the same newspaper that prints the Catskill Mountain News.

“The new page size is one-inch narrower than our previous size,” said News Publisher Dick Sanford.


Margaretville barber marks 45-year career

By Pauline Liu
Skip Jester knows about job security. He has spent the past 45 years as the barber on Main Street in Margaretville.

“I’ve had a good life here,” he said. “I’ve got loyal patrons. If I have my health, I’m definitely going to keep going.” 

He has an easy-going way about him, but don’t ask him what his real name is, because he won’t tell you.


3 nabbed in Middletown heroin bust

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By Brian Sweeney
Three area residents were arrested April 27 on felony drug possession charges after a traffic stop in Middletown yielded 60 packets of heroin in their vehicle.

Courtney R. Williamson, 19, of Arkville, and Margaretville area residents Matthew A. Santiago, 22, and Michael V. Johnson, 19, were all charged with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a Class B felony.


Area volunteers lead Relay for Life fund-raising

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By Brian Sweeney
The Country Cutting Gallery team from Margaretville led the fund-raising for Delaware County’s American Cancer Society Relay For Life held over the weekend in Delhi.
The local team raised $21,821 to be donated for cancer research. The countywide total for the event was $122,351.

Fifty-six teams participated in the annual fund-raiser held at Legion Field.

Braving the elements


Local use of heroin and painkillers on the rise

By Pauline Liu
The headlines reflect a trend that law enforcement officials in Delaware County have known for years. Opiate abuse, including heroin and prescription drugs, is on the rise in this region.


Ulster County to redistribute legislative districts

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By Jay Braman Jr.
The Ulster County Legislature is about to change.
A commission has been charged under the Ulster County Charter with creating 23 single-member legislative districts to replace the current 12 districts, which are represented by a total of 33 legislators.

Each new district is to have 7,934 residents, plus or minus five percent, meaning districts can have between 7,537 and 8,330 residents. Among the goals of the commission is to keep legislative districts within town boundaries whenever possible.


Fleischmanns theater ownership still in limbo

By Jay Braman Jr.
The fate of the Fleischmanns Theater remains tangled up in the courts.

That is the word from Village Mayor Dave Morell, who with the village’s board of trustees took action two years ago to seize ownership of the long-vacant venue after the owners had not paid property taxes for several years.


Copper bandit hits Arkville

By Pauline Liu
High prices for scrap metal, especially copper, in this floundering economy have resulted in a major nationwide theft problem. Telecommunications firms, power companies and railroads have all fallen victim to copper thieves. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the costs of repairs and replacement total over $1 billion per year.  One of the most daring copper heists took place in Picher, OK, where thieves used chainsaws to cut down utility poles and then caused a blackout as they somehow managed to make off with 3,000 feet of copper wire without being electrocuted.


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