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Issue 32 — Thursday, March 8, 2018

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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!

Home Away From Home For Blizzard-Weary Souls

DINGMAN — The storm shelter at the Dingman Township Volunteer Fire Dept. on Log Tavern Road started operation after the power went out on Friday, March 2, and it was still operating a week later.
Joseph DiMeo, fire department president, said that by that time Station 26 had taken care of several hundred people. Some had been there since the morning after the crippling snowstorm, and they were still there a week later, sleeping on about 30 or 40 cots set up in the meeting room and the truck bays. Others were "transients," stopping in for a hot meal, a shower, or to get any available information on the recovery operation, then heading back home after stocking up on ice and hot water, where they tried to stay warm.
Past Chief Bill Mikulak was the coordinator of the shelter, which operated on a generator until the power came back on at 2 a.m. Wednesday, March 7. In addition to feeding people, with food assistance from the Salvation Army, Red Cross and Meals On Wheels, firemen transported people who were stranded in their homes. They topped off the diesel tanks for the trucks and the propane.
"It was rough, but people managed," DiMeo said.
Susan Breitner, 64, said that on the Saturday after storm she was transported to the shelter from her home in Sunrise Lake in an ambulance because a fire truck could not get into her blocked driveway.
She said people stayed because the shelter had everything: food, showers, and EMT's who could assist the sick and elderly.
Communications Disrupted
They even had a charging station for cell phones. However, Robin Walker, who was there on March 8 with her son Wyatt Flint, said there was still no way of getting information with a cell phone.
"There's no way of getting communication. No way to know if we have power," she said. Walker came to the shelter for breakfast on Wednesday, and then stayed during the second snowstorm, because she was concerned about the safety of Wyatt, who has epilepsy.
"There are medically trained people here who can get us where we need to go," Walker said.
She said the school district was the only information source that was keeping people informed with regular posts.
"How are we supposed to SOS, with smoke signals?
"84 and 739 were fine, but this way [eastern end of Log Tavern Road] was the worst. Nothing happens till days later. If they cut trees before the storm… we're responsible to cut our trees."
School was scheduled to reopen Monday in eastern Pike County. Walker hopes the power is back on by then:
"We've run out of laundry. There's no clean clothes."

Repairs Might Take Years For Park Attractions, Trails


BUSHKILL — Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area (DEWA) staff reported that well over a hundred trees fell at Childs Park in Delaware Township during the March 2 snowstorm, causing significant damage to the boardwalk, trails and stairs.
This is only one facet of the damage throughout the park wrought by late winter storms that could take weeks to assess and possibly years to repair.
"The extent of the storm damage is both significant and widespread and it will take some time – months, perhaps even years in some cases – to repair," said Acting Superintendent Kirsten Talken-Spaulding, who is working to secure additional funds to expedite the recovery process.
"Heavy snow and high winds from the March 2 storm brought down hundreds of trees throughout the park," said Deputy Superintendent Keith Farrar. "A second storm a few days later left several additional inches of snow and further hampered efforts to remove fallen trees and clear snow from roadways. Several roads and trails remain closed in and around the park.
At this time, information is not yet available on the condition of many park trails. Assessments will continue throughout the week as employees are able to get into some areas for the first time since the storms.
"We are asking the public to refrain from hiking on park trails until we are able to get our teams out there this week to assess the damage and the risks to the public from downed trees, hanging limbs, damaged boardwalks and bridges, and accumulated snow and ice," said Farrar.
Damage assessments on the popular 32-mile long McDade Recreational Trail have not yet been completed. Information on the status and conditions of park trails will be posted on the park's website and Facebook page as it is available.
Closed Park Roads In Pa.
• River Road from Park Headquarters to the southern boundary near Hialeah Picnic Area
• Zimmermann Road
• Several township-owned roads that connect with Route 209 remain closed
Closed Park Roads In NJ
• Old Mine Road from Worthington State Forest to Millbrook Village
• Old Mine Road between Mettler Road and Jager Road
• Route 615 from Pompey Ridge to the Old Mine Road intersection
• Mountain Road and the dirt section of Old Mine Road remain closed for the winter
Trails Closed Due To Hazard
• Dingmans Falls Trail
• George W. Childs Park Trails
• Adams Creek Trail
• Hornbeck Creek Trail
These trails sustained significant damage from downed trees and hazardous conditions exist. These sites are closed to all activities until further notice.
Additional trail closures may occur as information on the extent of the damage and potential hazards to the public becomes available.
Speaking Romanian May Help, Spelling Bee Champ Finds

PORT JERVIS — For his 40th year in a row, Jim Burnett acted as "word pronouncer" for top spellers from area schools. They gathered for the Tri-State Spelling Bee on Sunday, this time at Port Jervis High School. The Bee, along with Burnett's role in it, began in 1978.
"The Bee really hasn't changed," Burnett said. "Three years ago, we had the shortest bee. Four years ago we had the longest. We had to take a break and use a second set of words. You never know who will dominate."
As 23 students from five schools in three states competed, they succeeded with such words as "newfangled" and "prattle;" strudel, salami, anchovy, and croquette; spritz and sitzmark; cosmos, crochet, and macron, among other words they may or may not normally encounter.
But after "democracy" stumped one of the last few contestants, William Mackin, 12, of Port Jervis, misspelled "ductile." Then Evan McDermott, of Delaware Valley Middle School, erred with "lithe," leaving Lucas Tusinean, of Dingman Delaware Middle School, to triumph by spelling "giraffe" correctly.
The bee concluded in less than an hour, not the shortest, which Burnett recalled as about 20 minutes, nor close to the longest, which went on for over two hours.
"I wasn't nervous," said Mackin, third place winner. "I practiced twice with my father, once with my grandmother."
He used the list of possible words contestants receive three weeks before the bee. But, as is typical with spelling champs, he reads abundantly, two 300-400 page books a week, often fiction based on Greek mythology.
Tusinean too is a reader.
"We say, 'Put the book down at the dinner table,'" his mother, Mella Tusinean, laughed.
"During free time I read sci-fi, but I just finished "The Giver" with my class," said Lucas.
Plus, he just read "Fahrenheit 451" and reread Harry Potter, his mother said. "He's a nerd," she joked, adding quickly that he also swims and skis.
But one advantage Lucas may have that his competitors probably lack is that he speaks Romanian, the native language of both his parents.
"He recognizes the root in words," said Mella, who said she insisted that he practiced. However, she conceded that practicing with her, with her Romanian accent, could be a challenge. "Lucas would say I was wrong 'because you pronounced it wrong.' "
Lucas is also studying German, and, with his mother, French. They started two years ago. "It's bonding time," she says.
Lucas will represent the Tri-State region at the National Spelling Bee in May, at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center near Washington.

Propane Trucks On Overdrive During Blizzard

MILFORD — Dingmans Ferry, Dingman Township and Lehman were ground zero for blizzard Riley, which knocked own trees and power lines, leaving more than 99 percent of the residents in the dark with no power, phone, or cell service, including propane provider Combined Energy Services' (CES) main office on Route 739, according to CES owner Mike Taylor.
Taylor said, "We were down [from Friday, when the first storm started] to noon on Sunday]. Over the weekend, we transferred our staff of 125 people from our four offices in the area to Monticello, New York.
"We normally deliver in Pike, Monroe, and Wayne counties. At first, we could not deliver in Conashaugh, Wild Acres, and the Woodlands [in Pike County] because our delivery trucks could not get through roads because of downed trees and power lines [even when the roads were plowed].
"Within a few days we were able to make 95 percent of our deliveries [including Bushkill]. Some people were so happy to see us that they came out and hugged us. Some also gave our crew water.
"During the emergency, Delaware Twp. Fire Dept had a problem with their heating system at the substation on Route 2001 that went down. Their gas supplier wasn't able to help them due to the storm.
"We immediately brought them a temporary heater and propane tanks and coordinated with Rinker Generator who replaced the generator during the storm to get them back up and running.
"We also delivered gas [and diesel] during the storm to Shohola, Blooming Grove & Dingman fire departments.
"I worked double shifts, sometimes until 6 a.m. Even my 15-year-old daughter came with me to help. Our dispatchers [part-time and some full-time] and managers helped make deliveries. We worked double shifts [through two weekends].
"We were better prepared for this emergency because we learned lessons from the Hurricane Sandy disaster.
"During the first two days [when Riley hit] we transferred all calls to Monticello. We got 500 calls from our residential customers [and fire departments] on Saturday. By Monday, we got 1,100 more calls for delivery to fill tanks.
"We got a tractor trailer delivery at our Monticello office to fill our delivery trucks. We normally field three delivery trucks per shift. For this emergency, we used seven trucks.
"Some people abandoned their homes, but called us to make a delivery. The only places we couldn't deliver had so much snow [up to two feet in Wild Acres, for example] that our trucks couldn't get in.


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