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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

Pancake supper raises money for Walton church burned by arsonist

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By Pauline Liu
The congregations of two churches in Andes have come to the aid of the First Baptist Church of Walton, which was leveled by an arson fire in January.  Members of the Andes Methodist Church joined with the Presbyterian Church of Andes for a pancake supper and managed to raise more than $1,000 for the Walton church’s reconstruction project.


RCS budget includes two non-instruction layoffs

By Pauline Liu
The Roxbury Central School District’s 2011-12 draft budget calls for about $9.5 million in spending and despite the projected loss of $420,000 - $430,000 in state aid, the district is not seeking to layoff any teachers. Also, the tax levy hike, originally projected to be as much as 10.5 percent, has been scaled back to two percent. That’s the good news. 

On the flip side, the proposal does call for the layoffs of two workers in “non-instruction” positions. 


Andes plans one layoff as part of budget cuts

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By Pauline Liu
The Andes Central School District’s 2011-12 draft budget seeks to keep the tax levy increase to just under two percent and calls for the layoff of one elementary-level teaching position.
As with all districts statewide, Andes is being forced to make tough choices due to a $101,822 reduction in state aid.

The tiny school district has a K-12 enrollment of 110 with only one student in kindergarten.


Outcry spurs change in bus driver policy

By Jay Braman Jr.
For David Moraca, superintendent of transportation for the Onteora School District, it seemed so obvious that he couldn’t believe it wasn’t there already. Moraca was reviewing the laws that cover school bus drivers and discovered that in New York State one would be allowed to operate those yellow shuttles even if they were a convicted sex offender or a rapist.

This bothered him so much that he wrote a letter about it in the Kingston Daily Freeman.
State Senator John Bonacic (R-Mt. Hope) saw the letter. He could not believe it either.


Internship program launched in Margaretville

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By Pauline Liu
The 2010 Census numbers are out and they don’t look good for Delaware County.
Out of 62 counties in New York State, the data shows that Delaware has the dubious distinction of having the second highest percentage of population loss in New York State since the 2000 census.  
Only Hamilton County in the Adirondacks fared worse in the survey, but it has fewer people to begin with. Estimates show that in the past decade, 6.84 percent or 3,288 residents have left Delaware County, leaving behind a population of 44,767.


Eastern mountain lion declared extinct

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By Brian Sweeney
The eastern cougar or mountain lion was officially declared to be extinct this month by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Many wildlife biologists have long believed that native populations of these large cats have not lived in the eastern portion of the United States for more than a century.

The declaration by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service follows a lengthy review. Ultimately, federal officials concluded there are no breeding populations of cougars in the eastern U.S. The cats are also known as pumas, panthers, mountain lions and catamounts.


Man subdued by police after tense struggle

By Pauline Liu
A tense, half-hour-long drama took place on Sunday evening at Freshtown Marketplace in Margaretville between a male patron of the store and law enforcement officers.

Witnesses say the man, Thomas Craig, 54, of Big Indian went on a rampage in the supermarket, during which he knocked over shelves, grabbed one employee and attacked both the store’s assistant manager as well as a state trooper.

Following the incident, Craig was transported to Kingston where police say he is being treated at a mental health facility.  


Fleischmanns mayoral race to be decided next Tuesday

By Brian Sweeney
One local mayor faces a challenge, while a former mayor is seeking his old job in village elections on Tuesday, March 15.

In Fleischmanns, five-year Trustee Fred Woller is running against incumbent Mayor Dave Morell.
Mayor Morell was elected to his current post two years ago.

Also on the ballot in Fleischmanns will be two incumbent trustees, Todd Pascarella and Benjamin Fenton. They are both running without opposition.


Roxbury School district mulling cuts to offset aid losses

By Brian Sweeney
The Roxbury Central School District is considering staff and program cuts as officials try to cope with anticipated state aid reductions.

Superintendent Tom O’Brien said current aid projections under Governor Cuomo’s budget proposal would leave district residents facing a 9-10 percent tax levy increase.

The RCS Budget Committee, which is comprised of school and community representatives, has been examining options for offsetting anticipated state aid reductions.


Future of farm questioned after purchase by Korean company

By Pauline Liu 
With the recently completed sale of the Richard Bouton farm on Route 30 in Roxbury, area residents are wondering what’s to become of it.

The farmhouse and barn, located on 210 acres, sold for $535,000 to Korea Shipping Company Limited, based in Seoul, South Korea. The company paid cash.


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