"Arctic Outbreak" prompts some schools to open late

Above: Forecasted windchill temperatures for Thursday, Jan. 8, from the National Weather Service's Binghamton office.

Several Catskills school districts have announced delays for Thursday, Jan. 7 because of frigid temperatures expected on Wednesday night and Thursday morning.

In Greene County, the Greene, Catskill and Cairo-Durham schools have all announced two-hour delays, according to CBS 6's StormWatch page.

In Sullivan County, Sullivan County West is also on a two-hour delay, according to the school's website  Read more

Church strips accused priest's name from parish center

Above: Robert Purcell's name was removed from the sign in front of the Purcell Parish Center in Margaretville on Jan. 4, 2015. Photo by Julia Reischel.

For four years, the name of a priest found responsible for sexually abusing minors has adorned the front of his parish's community center in the Delaware County village of Margaretville. Even after the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany removed Robert H. Purcell from the ministry and forbade him from using the title “Reverend,” the imposing metal letters that spelled out “Very Rev. Robert H. Purcell” remained set in stone.

Until Sunday, Jan. 4, six months after Purcell’s death, when church officials announced the sign would be removed. Steven Scarmozzino, the current priest, made the announcement at Mass on Sunday morning at the Sacred Heart Parish in Margaretville. By the end of the day, the letters were pried off, leaving only a rusty shadow on a blank stone behind.

Church officials did not give a specific reason for the sign’s removal, and have not linked it directly with Purcell’s stained legacy.

Six years, two sex abuse scandals  Read more

Chris Gibson won't run again for Congress in 2016

As Republican Congressman Chris Gibson was sworn into his third term in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, Jan. 6, he announced that it would be his last.

In a statement, Gibson said that he will step down from the U.S. House of Representatives at the end of his current two-year term:

"As I stated shortly after retiring from the US Army and first pursuing a seat in Congress in 2010, I planned to self-impose term limits. Accordingly, after much reflection and consultation with my family, this will be my third and final time taking the oath of office as a Representative in the US House. I thank the voters of Upstate NY for this privilege to serve and pledge to continue to work tirelessly on their behalf in this final term."  Read more

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Winter is about to get serious

Above: Catskills icicles. Photo by Mark Zilberman, via the Watershed Post Flickr pool. 

Hello 2015! We're back after a holiday break, just in time for winter to really sink its teeth into the Catskills.

The National Weather Service is warning that high winds will batter Greene, Schoharie and Ulster counties throughout the day on Monday, Jan. 5, that downed power lines and outages are possible, and that "loose objects may be propelled:"  Read more

Will 2015 be the year of the Catskills?

Above: Barnes Hill on a sunny fall day in 2014. Photo by Dennis Schevjda, via Flickr

If the national travel press has anything to do with it, the Catskills will be flooded with tourists in 2015.

Two separate publications, Fodor's and Travel + Leisure, have put the region on their lists of the best places in the world (the world!) to visit next year.

Fodor's Go List 2015 lumps "The Hudson Valley and the Catskills" together, and lists them as #2, right after "The Arctic" and before Namibia and Guatemala:  Read more

Wednesday, January 7th Show: Meet Private Forester – Chris Tcimpidis

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year! CFA’s show – From the Forest – will not be airing for the next two Wednesdays. When we return next year in January on the 7th, we will be interviewing private Consulting Forester – Chris Tcimpidis. Chris has been managing private forest land in the Catskills since 1995. Although he hails from Livingston Manor, Sullivan County, he reaches out over most of the Catskill Region. We’ll ask Chris about how he helps landowners meet their forest management goals & objectives and his opinion on how forestry is going in the region. Tune in at 91.3 FM or stream online @ www.wioxradio.org to learn more.

It’s almost Christmas and the end to another year. We just wanted to say thank you for listening. Jim & I love doing the show and talking about forestry and forest-related topics. If you have any topics or people you’d like us to interview, please let us know. We’re looking forward to another year, “in your ears.”

May the forest be with you,
Ryan Trapani
Education Forester
Catskill Forest Association

A Christmas flood watch (and other weather warnings)

Above: A Flood Watch is in effect for the eastern Catskills until the day after Christmas. Image via the National Weather Service in Albany.

It's going to be a rainy Christmas in the Catskills. The National Weather Service has issued multiple weather warnings for the region, including a flood watch that goes into effect at 1 p.m on Wednesday, Dec. 24 for Greene, Schoharie and Ulster counties and lasts through Friday, Dec. 26:  Read more

Constitution Pipeline files 55 eminent domain lawsuits against Catskills landowners

Above: The proposed route of the Constitution Pipeline in 2013. Via the Constitution Pipeline's website.  

Since Dec. 12, the Constitution Pipeline has filed formal eminent domain proceedings against 55 landowners along the pipeline’s proposed 124-mile route through Schoharie, Delaware and Chenango counties, federal court records show.

The pipeline, which received conditional approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Dec. 2, has wasted no time in using the power of eminent domain to force people to allow the 30-inch natural gas pipeline to cross their land.

On Wednesday, Dec. 3, the pipeline’s law firm sent a letter to resistant landowners offering them a chance to accept compensation in exchange for an easement on their property. The letter gave the landowners until Dec. 11 to make up their minds.  Read more

Crash on Route 6 and Margaretville Mountain Road

Above: A crash at the intersection of Route 6 and Margaretville Mountain Road on Dec. 22, 2014. Photo by Julia Reischel.

Two cars collided at the intersection of Route 6 and Margaretville Mountain Road in the Delaware County town of Middletown around 12 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 22. A first responder at the scene told the Watershed Post that one person was injured. Ambulances were on the scene and the road was closed to traffic after the crash.

12/26/14 update: The Catskill Mountain News has more info about the crash, including the fact that four people were treated for minor injuries and later released.

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