Governor Cuomo announced that New York State has been awarded a $185.8 million federal grant to implement its State Health Benefit Exchange to make it easier for New Yorkers to obtain affordable health insurance coverage.  New York was 1 of 5 states to receive a Level 2 Exchange Establishment grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that will help develop a marketplace for New Yorkers to get affordable health insurance.  Open enrollment in New York’s Health Benefit Exchange will begin October 1st.


The 77,000 member Joint Landowners Coalition issued a statement regarding the potential for the DEC to miss the February 27th Deadline for the release of the regulations for Hydraulic Fracturing for natural gas.  Coalition CEO Dan Fitzsimmons told WCDO News that the idea of waiting for health studies before Hydrofracking starts is ill timed:


(Dan Fitzsimmons 2-5-13)


DEC Commissioner Joe Martens also was greeted by busloads of New Yorkers against Hydro-fracking, following his meeting with lawmakers in Albany Monday.  Martens said that he was not worried about missing the February 27th deadline, as he was waiting for a Health Department study on the possible effects from Gas Drilling by Hydrofracking.


Delaware County Sheriff Tom Mills announced that new defibrillators are needed for emergency responders throughout the County. The last fund-raising drive to purchase them was conducted in 2000, in 2011; Public Health donated 4 new defibrillators to replace the most outdated models. It is estimated that each new defibrillator will cost approximately $2,000. Donations can be made payable to the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office at 280 Phoebe Lane, Suite One, Delhi, 13753 and designate “Defibrillator Fund” on the reference line.


Organizers with the annual Chenango Lake Perch Derby announced that the event originally scheduled for this Saturday, has been rescheduled for February 23rd.  Registration for the derby is from 6:00 AM to 1:00 PM on February 23rd.  More information is available at oxfordlions.org or at 334-2001.


O’Connor Hospital in Delhi and Tri-Town Regional Hospital in Sidney are now using electronic medical records instead of paper patient charts.  The hospitals are now connected electronically with Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown; the end result will demonstrate improvements in care coordination, efficiency in health care delivery, medication safety. All information for each patient is securely contained in one consolidated electronic record, making that information available no matter where the patient is seen for follow-up care within the Bassett Healthcare Network.


New York Farm Bureau officials testified at a budget hearing in Albany yesterday, regarding the Governor’s proposed agricultural portion of the Executive budget.  Farm bureau supports funding for animal health programs, programs to assist farm families directly, & the Governor’s plans to follow up on the Wine, Beer and Spirits Summit from last fall.  Farm Bureau is asking for the Legislature to consider increasing funding up to $1,000,000 for promotion and marketing activities for New York’s apple growers after last years crop losses from a spring frost, and for the restoration of marketing funding for maple producers & Christmas tree growers.


The Cooperstown Art Association will be hosting “An Artistic Discovery,” High School Art Competition for Otsego County High School Students.  The competition runs from March 8th through March 29th, 6 students will be awarded ribbons and a digital image of their artwork will then be submitted to Congressman Chris Gibson’s office for final selection in the next phase of competition, 1 student’s work will go on to be displayed in the US Capitol along with 49 other high-school artists’ work from across the country.  More information is available at 547-9777.



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