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DRESSING FOR A CAUSE — Margaretville residents Lissa Harris, right, (a jellyfish — winner of the most creative costume) is pictured with Julia Reischel (sailor) at the annual Harvest Moon Ball on Saturday at The Andes Hotel. Proceeds from the fund-raiser benefit the ACS Dollars for Scholars program. In our print edition this week, be sure to take a peek at our full page of Hallowe'en safety tips, sponsored by local businesses.— Photo by Joe Damone

OCS budget has 3.7% tax hike

By Jay Braman Jr.
When Onteora School District voters go to the polls on May 17, they will be asked to approve the district’s first-ever $50 million budget. If approved, the spending plan, which was adopted by the board of education last week, will carry a 3.7 percent school tax hike along with it. The proposed budget includes revenue of $2 million from the school’s reserve funds.


Amber Certain new library director in Pine Hill

Pine Hill — The Morton Memorial Library has announced the appointment of Amber Certain of Margaretville to the position of director effective April 1.


Producers report sweet maple season

By Jennifer Kabat
Steam was still billowing from Roxbury Mountain Maple’s sap house last weekend. Income tax day may have come and gone but up there on the mountain they were still boiling sap.
Inside the sap house, the earthy smell of late-season commercial grade maple syrup filled the air. After betting the proverbial farm on going into the maple syrup business, Dave Holscher is thrilled with the results.


Middle School expansion under consideration in Margaretville

By Brian Sweeney
Margaretville Central School officials are considering adding sixth-grade classes to the distict’s Middle School configuration.

Administrators and the board of education are exploring this change as a means of compensating for declining enrollments and to offset reductions in State Aid. The new Middle School concept was presented at a public meeting on March 30.

More than 40 community members and staff attended that meeting to learn more about the proposed Middle School revamping.

Changing roles


Local leaders debate hydrofracking

By Pauline Liu
Some Delaware County town supervisors are going on record on the issue of hydrofracking as the debate over gas-drilling safety heats up statewide.
Hundreds of environmentalists brought renewed attention to the issue Monday as they took to the steps of the state capitol in Albany to protest natural gas drilling.

“You’re either wholly for or it or body and soul against it,” said Middletown Supervisor Len Utter. Not only is Utter in favor of hydraulic fracturing, but he says he’s willing to give it serious consideration as a landowner.


Phoenicia library finds temporary home as they face $100,000 shortfall

By Jay Braman Jr.
Less than one month after a fire destroyed its longtime Main Street location, the Phoenicia Library has miraculously risen from the ashes, maintaining regular hours at a temporary location a couple blocks away.


Water, noise, traffic top Roxbury agenda

By Pauline Liu
The Roxbury Town Board dealt with a cornucopia of issues at its regular monthly meeting Tuesday night held at the Grand Gorge Civic Center.

The Hubbell Corners sewer extension project has been completed and the process now begins to get sewer lines hooked up to area houses. Roxbury Town Supervisor Tom Hynes said that notices have already been sent out to families advising them to get connected to the system.


Lisa Tait named Democrat of the year

By Brian Sweeney
Lisa Tait of New Kingston has named “Democrat of the Year” by the Delaware County Democratic Committee.

Lisa will be honored at the organization’s annual dinner on Saturday, May 21 at Hanah Country Resort in Margaretville.


Former Margaretville priest pursues case against diocese and accuser

By Brian Sweeney
Father Robert Purcell is continuing efforts to clear his name after being dismissed from the ministry by the Roman Catholic Diocese in Albany last month.

Father Purcell was accused of sexual misconduct in an incident that allegedly occurred more than 53 years ago.

The priest, who served 25 years as the pastor of the Sacred Heart Parish in Margaretville until retiring in 2001, has vehemently denied any wrongdoing. He is appealing the decision handed down by the diocese and demanding a reversal.


New assessments out in Town of Middletown

By Pauline Liu
The results of a four-year effort to reassess the value of the 4,400 parcels of property in the Town of Middletown hit the mail last week and not everyone’s happy about it.
Some people felt relief after learning that their property taxes are going to remain the same, or may even be reduced but others, who face tax hikes as the result of new assessments, have already begun meeting with town assessors in hopes of gaining some relief.


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