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Issue 38 — Thursday, April 19, 2018

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Military Vehicle
Convoy Travels
Through Milford

By Chris Jones
MILFORD — Military vehicle restorers and collectors have teamed up with a organization that raises awareness about veteran and first responder suicide to mount a high visibility convoy that is scheduled to travel through Westfall and Milford on Friday, April 20. The group 22Kill takes its name from the shocking statistic that each day an average of 22 veterans and first responders suffering from PTSD and traumatic brain injury succumb to suicide.
Matt Handley of A&H Recon, a military vehicle restoration firm in Falmouth, Mass., one of the organizers of the convoy, said the vehicles would travel from New England down Route 84 to raise awareness and seek donations for the 22Kill cause.
A&H is joined by Granite State Iron Cavalry (GSIC), a group of military vehicle collectors from New Hampshire in organizing the convoy, which is expected to include Army tanks on flatbed trucks, as it passes down the three-lane Route 6-209 around mid-day Friday on its way to the 2018 MTA Military Vehicle Rally at the Sussex, NJ Fairgrounds.
Handley said A&H and GSIC hope to raise a minimum of $2,500 in donations leading up to the event and seek sponsorships from local businesses. Donations can be submitted at

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!

100 Honesdale H.S. Students Enrolled In Ag Program

HONESDALE — Experiences with cows, pigs and sharks were among the reasons students gave for taking the Animal Science class at Honesdale High School. The class is part of the school's new agriculture program, introduced this year to expand career offerings in a town with farming history. But agriculture education programs, differently designed, flourish in urban schools too, says Kayla Hack, the new teacher recruited for the program.
Brianna Weist, 17, a student in Hack's class, plans to be a large-animal veterinarian specializing in cows. She grew up helping with her family's cattle.
"I get close to them, doing chores and feeding them, especially the ones who come up to me even when I don't have a feed bucket," she said, as she worked on a "bio-security" lab in class. Students dipped dirty boots in a disinfectant solution to see how that would affect bacteria growth, an issue in barns where people come and go.
Weist is among the 40 percent of Honesdale's agriculture program students heading for a farming related career. Her mother's family raises beef cattle; her father's has dairy cows. Every year a steer goes to auction to be slaughtered, but she is accustomed to the cycle and wants to support its continuance.
"I say goodbye and know next year we'll do it again," she says.
Weist also wants to be part of a community effort to save local dairy farms and was part of a Future Farmers of America effort to raise $68,000 to rebuild a barn that recently burned down.
Through FFA, revived this year in Honesdale after being absent since the 1970's, students do community service projects and internships. Those ventures have included raising chicks, wreath making, therapeutic riding, and growing plants for Here and Now restaurant.
Community involvement is part of the agriculture program, says Hack, who grew up on a Wisconsin dairy farm and was active in FFA at her high school. She studied agriculture education at Penn State and has found Wayne County to have a "community where you can have roots," with its "strong values," active sustainable agriculture and year-round farmer's markets.
Also in the class is Grace Mead, 16, who knows how friendly and smart pigs are, quickly learning their names and commands, she says.
"They follow me from pen to pen like dogs," she says of several sows among her 30 pigs, with such names as Izzy, Abby, and Chloe. She chose to take the class to better educate herself in agriculture for 4H Club, she says. With 4H, she breeds and sells pigs for shows. She sends some pigs to be butchered while keeping their piglets.
"I know that's what I have to do," she says.
She plans to go into the military.
Hooked By 'Shark Week'
Shark Week on the Discovery Channel hooked Ian Lipski, 14, on marine biology, as he watched sharks in labor being tagged to see where they go.
"I'm taking agriculture classes to expand my knowledge of animals and graduate with more science credits," he said.
"For some, agriculture is a hobby. For others, it's a way of life," says Hack.
Other agriculture program classes include forestry, horticulture, and food processing. Students learn about chain saw safety, how to make jams and jellies, and niche markets like raising bees for honey.
"Students are encouraged to enroll in the entire program, as classes build upon and complement each other, and 100 are in it now" says Hack....For complete story, get this week's issue.

Pike Job Fair Buzz About
Health Care & Real Estate

WESTFALL — Home health care companies again were well represented at the third annual Working Pike Job Fair on Tuesday at the Best Western.
A strong turnout again browsed through the nearly 70 tables of job vendors. Pike County Workforce Development Agency was the lead organizer in conjunction with seven local churches. The Pike County Dispatch was one of the lead sponsors.
"It's a very strong industry," said Carolina Wheate of Bayada's Bartonsville office in Monroe County about the home health care industry. "It's very secure with lots of demand, with an employee shortage in the field. We need skilled staff."
Wheate's office has 100 workers dealing exclusively with specialty pediatric assisting care. They not only cover home care but also any needs for clients up to age 18 for their time in school and activities such as camp. Wheate said there are full- and part-time positions available. Representatives of companies from the region as well as southern New York State were on hand.
"We're very happy, excited for the employers with a good job seeker turnout," said Pike County Workforce Development Agency Executive Director Cindy DeFebo. "And we're excited for the job seekers for their job opportunities."
Mike Sullivan of the Pike County Economic Development Authority said it's a "totally different dynamic" at this year's job fair.
"Job seekers are in a position where employers are eager to hire," Sullivan said. "In past years, it was the other way around, when people were desperate to get work. The situation where employers are competing to fill jobs now will push wages up. A lot of people here are working at other jobs and looking at other opportunities that are closer to home"
Tim Knapp, Pike County Emergency Operations Coordinator, said with a shortage of volunteers, it will become "only a matter of time" before first responders' volunteer work will draw a salary. He said his table was looking for EMTs and he was there to discuss that training with his staff. There was a wide array of employers ranging from real estate, recreation-based companies like Kittatinny Canoes and Camelback Resort, to McDonald's, Primerica, Coach USA bus transportation, and the Pike County Sheriff's office and the county Corrections Department.
Real Estate Is Hot
"The market right now is extremely busy," said Liza Rombousek of Weichert Realtors in Milford. "As long as (property) is priced right, the market is moving very fast. It's an extremely good time to start a career in real estate once you complete full training to get a license."
Getting a state license is a three-month process that includes 60 hours of online training, said Rambousek, saying the spring and fall seasons are the busiest times.
"You can personalize yourself in this work," said Heather Elabdouni, who said five prospective Weichert agents recently have begun training...For complete story, get this week's issue.
Storm Post-Mortem: We Need Better Communication


LORDS VALLEY — Better coordination and better communications by utility companies can improve their response time when natural disasters strike the area.
That conclusion was reached from an After Action Review meeting that packed the Pike Training Center last Thursday. Nearly 70 representatives of state and local government and most fire departments around Pike County were joined by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and a contingent of rangers from the National Park Service, among others, to discuss efforts of local and out-of-state utility crews working to restore services interrupted by early March Nor'easters Riley and Quinn.
The input went toward a "white paper" of recommendations being drafted by the Emergency Operations Center to be sent by the end of next week to leading utility company Met-Ed/First Energy Corp, along with Pennsylvania Power & Light and Pike County Light & Power that serve the area as well as the Pennsylvania Utilities Commission.
Blue Ridge Communications cable provider and Verizon also were discussed. Follow-up meetings, including one possibly with the utility companies, are scheduled.
"This is a good start. The key is the follow through to get us prepared for the next emergency," Pocono Environmental Education Center Executive Director Jeff Rosalsky said.
Bernard Swartwood, Pike County Director of Public Safety who conducted the meeting with county Emergency Management Coordinator Tim Knapp, said of the three utility companies restoring power around the county, Pike County Light & Power had the quickest response.
"They started on Saturday and got power restored to downtown (Milford) by Saturday night," Swartwood said. "That's important for those businesses and also for the county Administration Building and courthouse to have power right away. By Sunday night, the whole borough was up. It wasn't hit as hard as other areas and then they had to go outside that area to places that were hit hard and it took longer."
Milford Borough was up before restoration work even started for the rest of the county. Knapp spoke critically of lost time by Met-Ed for a lengthy analysis and then the time taken assigning work crews from states including Ohio, Missouri and North Carolina. It held up most work until Tuesday, nearly four days after Riley hit the weekend of March 2-3. Recovery was further slowed the following day when Quinn struck.
Lack Of Communication
Knapp also cited reports of lack of communication with utility crews and 17 saw team workers dispatched by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to cut away trees that pulled down wires and, in some cases, snapped utility poles.
"They (saw crew) were supposed to go in ahead of the utility crews and that would've made it go faster," Knapp said.
Knapp acknowledged, when asked, reports among residents that they had to wait because restoration of power was moving northward from Stroudsburg and then East Stroudsburg in Monroe County...For complete story, get this week's

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