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Issue 43 — Thursday, May 26, 2016
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Cleanup Nets Dumpster-Full Of Electronics
By Kenneth Books

DINGMAN — The township spring clean-up day May 7 garnered a boatload of electronics and batteries, according to Zoning Officer Chris Wood at the May 17 meeting of Dingman Township Supervisors.

Collected were 57 televisions, 20 CD/DVD/game system units, 26 computer monitors, 27 desktop and three laptop computers, two tablets, 21 printers, 19 radio and stereo systems and 32 speakers.

In addition, Wood said, enough batteries were collected to fill three five-gallon buckets. In all, the collected electronic items filled a 30-yard dumpster.

Wood also announced that he accompanied government and private soil scientists to Sunrise Lakes to test the section 9 soils. The goal is to permit absorption areas to correct a problem with the community sewage system.

“I expect to see a sketch plan of the proposed corrective action within the next two weeks,” Wood said. After the plan is reviewed, it will be determined how to proceed to rectify the problem.

A contingent of Mount Haven residents addressed the supervisors, asking for help in obtaining information and relief over the pending sale of the restaurant and lodging area, but they were told that nothing could be done at the supervisory level at this time.

“The township doesn’t get involved with changes in ownership,” said Township Solicitor John Klemeyer. He said only changes in use would be of concern to the government and may require a conditional use permit... for complete story, get this week's issue.

Garden Club
Secret Garden Tour

MMILFORD — This year the Milford Garden Club’s annual Secret Garden Tour will be held on Saturday, July 16. Gardeners and non-gardeners alike eagerly await this self-guided tour each summer.

Tickets are on sale now at the Willow, 317 Broad Street, Milford, PA, (570-409-6866,) at the Artisan Exchange, 219 Broad Street, Milford, PA, (570-296-5550,) or you may also contact Karen at (570-296-6345) to purchase your ticket. You can also purchase your ticket by mailing a check payable to the Milford Garden Club, PO Box 764, Milford, PA, 18337, not later than July 9th. Pre-event tickets are available.

Tickets will be available to purchase on the day of the tour at Remembrance Place, Elderberry Alley and West Ann Street, Milford, PA, (behind Stroyan Funeral Home,) or at Rotary Circle near the property of the Community House on the corners of Broad and Harford Streets, Milford, PA, (at the traffic light) – look for a tent!

Like us on Facebook! You’ll love seeing all that we do as a Club. New members are always welcome!!

Two Convicted In Election Fraud

MILFORD — Pike County District Attorney Ray Tonkin announced today that Dmitry Kupershmidt, 42, and Myron Cowher, 53, were found guilty on numerous charges related to a scheme to fix an election in the private community of Wild Acres Lakes in Delaware Township. The convictions came after a four day jury trial that ended on May 23.

The jury composed of six women and six men deliberated for approximately six hours. Cowher was found guilty of all 217 counts charged against him relating to Forgery, Identity Theft, Criminal Attempt, Criminal Conspiracy, Tampering with Records, and Criminal Use of a Communication Facility. Kupershmidt was found guilty of 190 counts relating to acting as an accomplice and co-conspirator. At the time of the offenses, Cowher was the Secretary on the Board of Directors and Kupershmidt was the Chairman of the Board.

The charges were the result of an incident occurring in May of 2014. At that time an employee for Wild Acres called the District Attorney’s Office expressing concern over a possible scheme to fraudulently fill out ballots in the community’s election that was to be held in June of that year. Upon the direction of District Attorney Ray Tonkin, the employee was put in contact with the Pennsylvania State Police. The election was for five positions on the community’s board of directors.

As with many private communities the board of directors serves as the governing body for the community. Wild Acres is a registered non-profit Corporation registered through the Pennsylvania Department of State.

The employee informed the State Police that Cowher had wanted to meet with him to pick up a collection of ballots that were to be mailed out to individual lot owners. Cowher had directed the employee to select the ballots of lot owners who owned vacant lots that were not suitable for building. Cowher admitted to the employee that he selected these people because they rarely voted in elections.

A meeting took place between the employee and Cowher that was monitored by the State Police. During the meeting Cowher filled out 9 of the ballots and took the remaining 62 ballots to fill out at a later time. Upon leaving the meeting Cowher was arrested by the State Police.... for complete story, get this week's issue.

PMVB Exec Spots Poconos Tourism Trends

MILFORD — Energy, agriculture, and tourism might be the top industries in Pennsylvania, according to Pocono Mountain Visitors Bureau (PMVB) Executive Director Carl Wilgus, but in the Poconos, tourism is king. Wilgus spoke about tourism and PVMB’s mission of destination marketing in the Poconos (Carbon, Monroe, Pike, and Wayne counties) at Belle Reve in Milford Borough last week. The Pike County Chamber of Commerce presented their Third Thursday of the Month Breakfast Seminar featuring Wilgus.

According to Wilgus, PMVB surveys show that the Poconos are a short-term getaway venue rather than a primary vacation destination. The bulk of visitors come from commutable distances, most from the greater New York City metro area, for a weekend or a few days. Nevertheless, these short-term stays are lucrative to hotels, motels, resorts, and bed and breakfast venues and support the economy of the entire region. Proof of that support is that one of three jobs in the Poconos are tourism-related, And, half the total income earned by workers in the region comes from tourism.

Two thirds of the PMVB annual budget comes from PMVB’s share of the county Hotel Tax collected at the destination venues. PMVB tweaks its marketing each year after analyzing its survey findings. Surveys in recent years showed that most visitors come to enjoy the outdoors, skiing, water park/theme parks such as Kalahari, Delaware River activities, and to enjoy food. For business visitors, conferences are big because there is so much to do while visiting. Wilgus noted that decades ago, the Poconos region was marketed as a honeymoon destination. Even though bridal parties still seek to hold weddings at attractive Pocono resorts, the main marketing is now geared to match the demographic trends identified through surveys.

Wilgus said, “We have a new strategic plan. Part of that plan is brand building to show that the Poconos is an outdoor, environment-rich experience. It’s the best of nature and the best of convenience [commutable]. Our website, www.poconomountains.com is the most visited website in the four counties. We get more than 6 million hits a year... for complete story, get this week's issue.

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