Heroin addiction is sweeping through the Catskills, taking lives with it. (Here at the Watershed Post, we write more crime stories about heroin than about any other drug.)
In 2013, 89,269 people enrolled in heroin drug-treatment programs in New York state; in 2014, that number jumped to 118,000, according to data from Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office. Heroin abuse is growing the fastest among the young, among ages 18 to 34. Politicians are worried; the governor launched a statewide campaign to battle heroin abuse last fall.
Locally, the toll is growing. A doctor at Catskill Regional Medical Center calls heroin a "public health crisis." Delaware County's undersheriff says that despite record heroin busts, "more people are using drugs, overdose deaths have accelerated and jails are crowded." Communityforums on the topic are being held around the region.
The Kingfisher Project, a collaborative storytelling and reporting initiative based at WJFF 90.5 FM in Jeffersonville, is digging deep into the heroin epidemic in the Catskills and beyond.
A snow plow and two tractor trailers were involved in a series of accidents caused by "speed and poor decisions" at exit 96 on Route 17 in the Sullivan County town of Rockland on Wednesday, according to the New York State Police.
One tractor-trailer driver fled the scene and was trailed by an off-duty New York State Department of Transportation employee for miles into Delaware County before being caught in the town of Hancock, police say.
On Wednesday, March 4, "at the beginning of the morning commute," a tractor trailer hauling garbage attempted to pass a snow plow while heading west on Route 17, a press release states. While trying to pass, the truck side swiped the plow, and both vehicles stopped. Read more
Above: New York State Broadband Program director David Salway, left, talks with Greg Henderson, middle, the owner of the Roxbury Motel, and Angela Liotta, right, the state's Broadband Outreach Director, on Wednesday, Feb. 25. Photo by Julia Reischel.
Above: "Finn Does Not Like Bowling," by Elinor Hills, one of the works being exhibited in the Art.Write.Now.Tour 2014-15. Image used with permission from the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers.
Over 100 teenage artists from around the country will exhibit their work in Livingston Manor beginning this weekend when the national Art.Write.Now.Tour comes to the Catskill Art Society. The month-long show features the young winners of the the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, an annual national competition that has been running for 92 years.
The Catskill Art Society is the last stop on a three-city tour for the exhibition, which features a stunning array of visual art and a selection of written works, including works by five national student poets. You can see all of the visual works in this photo collection on Flickr -- but they'll be better in person. Read more
A neighborly dispute ended with an assault charge in Roscoe yesterday after 23-year-old Roscoe resident Jeremy Davis allegedly attacked his neighbor with a "small piece of lumber," according to the New York State Police.
The argument took place on Church St. in Roscoe on Tuesday, Feb. 17, police say. The neighbor reportedly sustained "lacerations to the face," and Davis is being charged with felony assault and misdemeanor possession of a weapon (presumably the piece of lumber). He is being held in the Sullivan Count Jail on $7,500 cash bail.
Just when we desperately need a celebration to take the edge off the cabin fever and the late-winter blahs, here it is Valentine’s Day. What could be lovelier? In the Catskills, love is something that’s celebrated year round, but this weekend it’s the star of the show. Come out and create and play and feast and dance. All events are happening on Valentine's Day itself -- Saturday, Feb. 14 -- unless otherwise indicated.
Schools and offices are closed around the Catskills on Monday, Feb. 9 as the National Weather Service predicts 8 to 14 in inches of snow for the region. All five Catskills counties -- Delaware, Greene, Schoharie, Sullivan and Ulster -- are under Winter Storm Warnings throughout the day on Monday. The snowfall is forecast to be heavier in the eastern parts of the Catskills.
(What is is about snow and Mondays? This is the thirdMonday in a row we've had a big snowstorm in 2015.)
Above: A promotional video for the Catskill Park, produced by Catskill Mountainkeeper.
The squeaky wheel gets the grease, at least in Albany. And until recently, the Catskills were pretty quiet when it came to asking New York’s legislature and governor for money.
That changed in 2013, when a group of organizations working together as the Catskill Park Coalition began heading to the Capitol in person for a formal lobbying effort called Catskill Park Awareness Day. The idea is to knock on the doors of legislators and let them know, in person, that the Catskill Park exists, and that it needs support in the state’s budget.
“Our goal is to encourage Catskill stakeholders to become advocates for the resources needed to make the Catskill Park more accessible and to increase NYS's commitment to fund capital improvements and stewardship,” wrote Alan White, the executive director of the Catskill Center, one of the Coalition’s founding members, in an email to the Watershed Post. Read more
The National Weather Service is warning that temperatures ranging from negative 5 to negative 10 degrees will blanket parts of the Catskills tonight, Thursday, Feb. 5. A special weather advisory for Delaware and Sullivan counties states:
Widespread Readings Of 5 To 10 Below Are Expected overnight...With The Normally Colder Spots Even Lower.If You Will Be Outside This Evening And Overnight...Be Prepared To face The Cold. Dress In Layers And Leave As Little Exposed Skin As possible. Also...If You Will Be Driving Remember That Road Chemicals are Much Less Effective At These Temperatures So Any Snow Or Ice On roads Is Unlikely To Melt Despite Being Treated. Roads May Be slippery. Read more