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Issue 47 — Thursday, June 23, 2016
Questionnaire Seeks Input
For County Senior Services

MILFORD — Lana Romeo of the Pike County Area Agency (AAA) on aging spoke at the June 15 county commissioners meeting, and she highlighted Elder Justice Day and a new four-year State Plan on Aging that seeks input from local senior citizens. The Third Annual Pike County Elder Justice Day was held Tuesday, June 21 at St. Vincent’s Parish Hall in Dingman Township.

Elder Justice Day offered presentations for anyone who is protecting their funds, family or loved ones so they could prevent Pike County seniors from abuse and exploitation. Romeo gave an alarming statistic of 120 elder abuse reports in the past year.

Speakers included District Attorney Ray Tonkin, Sheriff Phil Bueki and a Wells Fargo presentation on protecting your money. Free shingles vaccinations were provided after the presentations. Romeo also presented information about the State Plan on Aging, which is developed from county AAA plans. In order to ensure that the Dept. of Aging provides adequate consideration of the Area Plans, final Area Plans are due by Aug. 1. The effective dates of the Area Plans are from Oct. 1, 2016 to Sept. 30, 2020.

Anyone can fill out the AAA questionnaire to provide input for the four-year plan, whether it they seniors themselves, caregivers, homebound meal clients, or concerned citizens. The questionnaire gauges concerns about senior services pertaining to financial issues, health care, medical insurance and prescription costs, affordable housing, transportation, nursing homes, power of attorney and volunteer opportunities.

You can download a PDF of the questionnaire at www.pikeaaa.org or call 570-775-5588... for complete story, get this week's paper.

Reward Now $15,000
For Tips On
Intentionally Set Wildfires

HARRISBURG — The state Bureau of Forestry last week announced an increase in the reward offered in its ongoing investigation of arson earlier this spring that scorched more than 8,000 acres of woodlands on the Monroe-Pike county line. A reward totaling $15,000 now is being offered by the bureau for information leading to arrests and convictions in what investigators say were two fires intentionally set. Labeled the 16 Mile and Beartown fires, the wildfires were discovered April 20 and burned through May 2 in Delaware State Forest.

“A private landowner affected by the 16 Mile Fire is increasing his reward to $10,000, adding $5,000 to his already offered reward,” said Michael Kern, chief of the bureau’s Division of Forest Fire Protection. “Coupled with DCNR’s standing reward offer of $5,000, we’re hoping this increased annoymous donation will spur some new leads in our investigation.”

“Circumstances in both fires led us to an early conclusion that they were the result of arson,” Kern said. “Spanning almost two weeks and burning across about 8,700 acres, these fires put lives and property at major risk, which is of great concern to us.”

Cost has been set at $2 million for the wildfires in which more than 100 bureau personnel rotated in and out of fire scenes. Federal, state and local emergency and other personnel assisted, as well as a Smokey Bear Hotshot firefighting team from New Mexico. “Intentionally setting a wildfire is arson and we take that very seriously. We are asking anyone who may have information to come forward,” Kern said.

“Any information offered on anyone or anything suspicious observed in that area will be treated with utmost importance and strictest confidence.”

Information that could lead to the reward can be forwarded to bureau Special Investigator Terry Smith, 717-362-1472; terrsmith@pa.gov; or by calling 570-895-4000. Anonymous tips also will be accepted but do not qualify for the reward... for complete story, get this week's paper.

 
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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!

Mayor Reflects On First Month In Office

MILFORD — Milford’s new mayor, Sean Strub, is still experiencing a learning curve, but he has high praise for the current makeup of Borough Council and promises to be responsive to requests and questions posed by residents. “Even though Milford Borough is small, it is complicated with many boards and appointments, state mandates and, of course, long-standing customs and ways of doing things that in some cases need to be reviewed,” Strub said. “Changing members of the Council is a lot easier than changing systems, as the latter takes time.” But, he says, the new council is realistic about the timetable to improve interaction with the townspeople.

“The new council... has gone about their task in an orderly and logical fashion,” he said. “They’ve reorganized the council committee structure, for example, and retained a firm to organize, digitize and make accessible the borough code and ordinances. Some of the work isn’t necessarily visible to the public in the way filling a pothole is, but it is important.” While some have questioned the lengthy council meetings, Strub said his first meeting “was substantive, with a productive discussion amongst council members and with members of the public.” He joked about expectations this early in his term.

“In terms of the mayor’s job, it hasn’t even been a month yet!” he said. “I’m mostly focused on understanding the various aspects of borough governance. I read through the comprehensive plan that Milford Borough and Milford Township created jointly in 2006 and that gave me perspective; it was written at a different time, in a booming economy and when the population growth in the area was dramatic.” Because of his newness to the job, Strub said, “I can’t say there is anything specific yet that I am working on, other than trying to be responsive to requests from Milford residents, as well as business and property owners, and getting a thorough understanding of how our police department operates.

“Chief Jack DaSilva, Assistant Chief Sal Pinzone and Borough Secretary Pamela Ahlstrand have all been helpful and patient as I’ve asked many questions and requested copies of many documents.” Among his early interests, though, the mayor cited recycling, sewer expansion and promotion of the commercial district.

He said he is trying to understand better the various challenges in implementing a recycling program in Milford Borough, as well as “the status of prospective expansion of the sewer from the three-lane into Milford, how we can more effectively promote Milford and strategies for maintaining and enhancing the viability of our commercial district... for complete story, get this week's paper.

Delaware Valley Crowd Supports Popular Band Director

WESTFALL — It was standing room only at the Delaware Valley School Board meeting, Thursday, June 16th, as parents and students poured in to show their support for keeping Lance Rauh as the DVHS concert band director. For almost an hour, supporters expressed their concerns over the recent administrative decision to have Rauh moved from his Delaware Valley High School concert band director position to teaching jazz band and general music. Their comments were filled with emotion as both parents and students shed tears over the loss of Rauh and asked the Delaware Valley School Board to reconsider.

Superintendent John Bell explained to the public that the school board did not decide on matters of transfers, but that he, as Superintendent did. He went on to explain that since becoming involved with the situation involving Rauh, he had placed his transfer on hold and would take the next two weeks to decide on the matter. Bell stated he had received a flurry of emails, had read the petition with almost 500 signatures requesting Rauh to remain as concert band director and had also read the hundreds of comments at www.change.org. When Bell was asked why the decision was made to transfer Rauh, Bell explained “We were lucky enough, thanks to the Board if they vote yes tonight, to get an extra band teacher, because our numbers specially at the middle school have grown tremendously and we have been stretched across the music program, so we added another band teacher A) to help; because it’s hard to do all the lessons as the band gets bigger and also 2) we wanted to add an elective next year for guitar… so we went out to look for an instrumental person who could do instrumental lessons, who can teach guitar and then also who can pick up to general music classes.” He also explained that he was not allowed by law to give personnel specifics.

A parent, who identified himself as just Carlos, expressed his concern for the new generations considering music in high school, “…the result could really affect our community and our children. I have a 15-year-old, who’s going to be a sophomore next year. He’s already questioning whether he should be in music and that’s happening everywhere else. We have one of the best music departments in the country, we do, in the public education system. To change that is not just personnel, it is taking a major part of an engine that is working perfectly and we think it’s a mistake. Furthermore, and it is a lesson for people to think about; it’s that the kids see it as a demotion… and that is the word that is being used. We haven’t used it here, but it is the elephant in the room. The demotion of a man who has proven that he holds his own and more.”

Joan Rogers, a grandmother of three students in band referred to band as a family, “You’re not just talking about losing a man, you’re talking about breaking up a family. You don’t break up families.” Comments also noted Rauh’s extensive credentials, his ability to inspire students and help them through life’s challenges.

Bell concluded public participation by making a promise. “I promise you, I’ll do what I think is right by the kids... for complete story, get this week's issue.

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