Front Page News...

Issue 16 — Thursday, November 15, 2018
Visit us on Facebook
Send your event listings to
Don't forget to include:
who, what, where and when!
Official Paper More Than
Forty Years

MILFORD — Although it has been publishing much, much longer, the Pike County Dispatch has been the newspaper of record for the County of Pike for more than 40 years. That means the Dispatch is the place to go to find out about public meetings, estate notices, bids, public hearings, real estate sales and transactions, and Sheriff sales.

The Pike County Commissioners listed the Dispatch as an official newspaper for legal notices during their opening meeting of 2014, and once again, during their annual reorganization meetings on the first business day of the New Year, most of the other municipalities in Pike County followed suit. So far, Milford and Matamoras Boroughs, and Westfall, Dingman, Delaware, Shohola, Blooming Grove. Milford and Lehman Townships have made it their business to have the Dispatch as an official newspaper.

So make it your business to keep up with all the news in Pike to print, including official business and legal notices from your town.

To find out where to buy your copy of the county’s official newspaper or to subscribe for home mail delivery, click here.

The Voice Of Pike County
Since 1826

The Pike County Dispatch is not only Pike County's largest circulation weekly newspaper, it is also the oldest.

Founded as the Eagle of the North, it has been in continuous operation reporting news and covering local events since 1826. It is, and always has been, the mainstay in keeping the local citizenry informed. Today, subscribers are as far afield as California and Florida

The Dispatch has covered the historic events that have shaped Pike County for almost as long as that history has been in the making.

Over the years, hometown news has shared pages with national and world events, and world events were sometimes right here in Pike County, Pennsylvania.

Its pages carry news of joy and sorrow, homespun advice, births, deaths, marriages, spats, feuds, political controversy, scandals, murders, heists, social affairs, dedications--in short, all the news in Pike to print.

Look for the Pike County Dispatch at local news dealers, and read all about it!


Shohola Might Close Police Dept., Roll Cost Over To ALS

SHOHOLA — Compelling factors recently converging are prompting Shohola Township Supervisor Chairman Greg Hoeper to propose terminating the township Police Department and rolling that budget item over into a new Advanced Life Support/paramedic budget line.
Hoeper spoke about the factors and his proposal at the regular township meeting held last week at the township building on Twin Lakes Road.
One factor is that Township and Police Dept. negotiations on renewing the police contract that had been ongoing since February recently broke down over scheduling and remuneration matters, noted Hoeper.
Township officials spoke after the meeting about the history of the department, which was formed in the 1980s, when the National Park Service's Upper Delaware Wild and Scenic Rivers unit subsidized the department, which originally only patrolled the unit's river corridor in Shohola and Lackawaxen Township.
When the NPS pulled full department funding, Shohola supervisors opted to continue the department and expanded its patrol area to all of Shohola and Lackawaxen, if Lackawaxen wanted to participate, but Lackawaxen balked at cost sharing and pulled out.
The department continued to get some NPS funding, but a few years ago even that partial funding ceased.
According to Township Secretary/Treasurer Diana Blume, the past few years, the Shohola budget for the department fluctuated between $84,000 to slightly more than $90,000 a year.
Since becoming a standalone department, the only one in Pike County exclusively serving one township, the department has shared patrol duties each week with the Pennsylvania State Police Blooming Grove Barracks.
Shohola patrols weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and the state police patrol nights and weekends, noted Hoeper. The Township Police Committee has assembled statistics that showed that in recent years the bulk of calls came after hours and on weekends when state police responded. Ideally, supervisors would like the township department to patrol part of the evening and weekend hours.
The department, which was aided in its negotiations by Fraternal Order Of Police evaluated the options and township proposals and considered the package unacceptable in its current format.
Meanwhile, supervisors are close to entering a possible contract with an ALS provider that would serve seven eastern Pike municipalities, including Shohola.
Although pending provider would not charge the municipalities for the first six months, if enough ambulance bills are not paid to the provider, billing the municipalities would be likely after the six-month test period, noted the regional ALS study group, co-chaired by Shohola Supervisor Keith Raser.
With the group estimating potential total ALS service cost to be as high as $600,000 a year, Shohola is willing to set aside enough to cover its share.
Shohola wants to keep a no-tax-increase budget, noted Hoeper and Blume. Rolling over and earmarking the police budget line to be set aside for ALS could then be a wash from a budgetary point of view, noted Hoeper. That way, there would be no tax increase.
Supervisors adopted a no-tax-increase 2019 budget that has a police line, but if they opt to close out the department, could replace it with an ambulance line in January by amending the budget, according to Supervisor George C. Fluhr. ......For more information pick up a copy at a local vendor or subscribe.



State-Mandated Dam Inspection Results In Dead Fish

DINGMAN — A routine state-mandated lake-draining permit required to visually inspect a spillway/dam drainage pipe at Pocono Mountain Woodlands Lake has morphed into an apparent "ecological disaster" at Pocono Mountain Woodland Lakes Homeowners Association in Dingman Township, according to irate resident Diana Blume.
The drainage that took place in mid-September killing many fish and damaging the supporting eco-support system, an outcome that has Blume and some property owners that are avid anglers on the lake fuming and seeking answers.
When one of those residents called State Representative Mike Peifer's office, his legislative assistant Jill Gamboni reached out to state regulatory agencies. She asked if such permits had ever before led to such damage of a fishery and supporting system. State officials informed her that they could not recall anything of that magnitude reported in recent memory.
Meanwhile, Blume said, "I've been [fishing] on the lake for 17 years. It has bass, pickerel, perch, panfish, and other fish species. I regularly caught bass that are 20 inches or more."
Blume said that she fears that the lake might never recover its ecosystem and array of trophy fish. She commended the Herculean efforts by a tiny handful of volunteers, such as Dustin Smith, who were at the dam/spillway (as the lake was being drained) trying to save as many fish as they could.
They saved a few hundred, but thousands of fish did not make it, according to Smith. He said that someone with a drone recorded the draining and aftermath.
Smith said, "We took the fish to a nearby pond and hoped that the large and smallmouth bass might survive there. But by the time the water drained out, the lake was too shallow for the rest of the big fish to survive."
Smith said that he saw the predator birds such as eagles, osprey and herons having a field day as they carried the big fish away for food.
Blume said, "There was a pair of nesting eagles at the end of the lake. Where will they go to get food? The community board told us that they were draining the lake only a few days before it happened. I don't think the community had any plan to save the fish.
"I secured the documents related to the permit from the Fish and Boat Commission, it does mention that fish could be's in the paperwork and [they, the board, apparently] ignored it.
"[The commission gave us a window of] opportunity to [relocate] the fish, but [they] missed [an] opportunity to save them...after seeing this I am truly disturbed."
The community secured a Drawdown permit from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, according to commission records.
The Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) Dams and Waterways division mandates an inspection every 10 years for pipes and culverts used to drain dams and spillways attached to lakes and large ponds, according to Gamboni. The mandate includes a follow-up inspection two years after each 10-year inspection......For more information pick up a copy at a local vendor or subscribe.




On To State College Rematch
After Warriors Win Districts

By Wayne Witkowski


WESTFALL — Delaware Valley High School's football team returns to the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association 6A playoffs 7 p.m. Friday against a familiar opponent and at a familiar place.
The Warriors, who qualified for the state playoffs for the first time against State College High School, will play a rematch at Hazleton Area High School's Harman-Geist Memorial Field.
The Warriors punched their ticket for the rematch by beating Hazleton, 35-13, on Saturday at Warrior Stadium for their fourth straight District II championship in what coach Olsommer called the "best" game of their 9-3 season. It was Delaware Valley's seventh straight win and its 20th straight home field victory, dating back to the 2015 season.
Delaware Valley also routed Hazleton last year at home, 31-3, in the district finals to make their first-ever venture into the state playoffs. State College handed Delaware Valley its first loss of that season, 21-14 in Danville, scoring all three of its touchdowns in a two-minute stretch in the third quarter.
The Warriors play Hazleton every year in a game that helps decide the seeding for the district playoffs and the two teams alternate home field from season to season. The Warriors beat Hazleton earlier in the season, 42-31, at Warrior Stadium in a game that many players regarded as their best effort of the season until the district championship game when they dominated for nearly the entire game.
"I think our guys are playing pretty well. They're a confident group," Olsommer said. "They have a daunting task ahead but they're willing to take on the challenge."
Delaware Valley junior quarterback Zach Scillia is looking forward to playing State College in Hazleton.
"We'll have more fans since it's not so far away," said Scillia of the ride that takes about 90 minutes from Milford. "We're not sitting on a bus for so long (to go to the game)."
Scillia ran for two touchdowns and threw for another, and Josh Balcarcel scored the other two while the Warriors' defense continued its top-notch play. ...For more information pick up a copy at a local vendor or subscribe




















© 2017 The Pike County Dispatch, all rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part of the format or any content without express permission is prohibited.