A barn fire on Hartwell Road in Berkshire on Saturday night remains under investigation by county fire investigators. The fire was first reported by a passing neighbor at about 8pm on Saturday, and remained burning for approximately five and a half hours. At the height of the blaze, approximately 50 firefighters were on scene from various fire departments across Tioga and even parts of Broome County. No humans or animals were injured as a result of the fire. The barn has been declared a total loss.
The search for the missing Berkshire man has been put on hold following the discovery of a deceased male body in a field. 58-year-old Harold Benjamin has been missing since early Monday morning. The body of the male was found yesterday morning in a field off of Turkey Hill Road in Berkshire, where Benjamin lives and was last seen. Investigators have yet to positively identify the body as Harold Benjamin. An autopsy was scheduled.
Authorities are continuing their search for a missing Berkshire man. 58-year-old Harold Benjamin of Turkey Hill Road has been missing since 2am on Monday. Benjamin didn’t take his keys, or wallet, and is presumed to be on foot. A picture of Harold Benjamin can be seen on our facebook page. If you have any information on his whereabouts, you are asked to contact the Tioga County Sheriff’s Office at 687-1010.
Several fire departments were called to the scene of a structure fire on Wilson Creek Road in Newark Valley this morning. The fire was reported to 911 just before 2:30am. Newark Valley crews were first on scene. Soon after the Weltonville Fire Department, Maine Fire and EMS, Richford Fire, Berkshire Fire, and the West Corners Fast Team responded as mutual aid. A fire investigation team has been called in to determine the cause of the fire. No additional information is available at this time.
The Newark Valley Central School District has received the results of a state audit out of the New York State Comptroller’s Office. The audit was held from July 1st, 2014 to October 13th, 2015. In the audit’s look the district’s financial management, it described the district as being adequate in its continued efforts in areas such as: budget planning, monitoring, and controlling, as well as, in both capital and financial planning. Auditors recommend that the district now use their long-term projections as a long-term financial planning tool. The Newark Valley School District is comprised of 10 towns across Tioga, Broome, Cortland, and Tompkins Counties. A link to the full audit report can be found here: https://www.osc.state.ny.us/localgov/audits/schools/2016/newarkvalley.pdf
Polling places in Newark Valley and Berkshire have been moved for the upcoming election. Voting will now be held in Berkshire at the Berkshire Town Hall on Railroad Avenue. In Newark Valley, voting will now be conducted in the Nobel Room of the Newark Valley Municipal Building on Park Street. The Presidential Primary is being held on April 19th in New York, and on April 26th in Pennsylvania.
As of January 1st, Northern Tioga EMS, formerly known as Berkshire EMS, will cease operations. The EMS service provider covers the areas of Newark Valley, Berkshire and Richford. The inability to keep the service adequately staffed is said to be the cause of the shut down. Maine EMS out of Broome County is said to be stepping in to fill the soon-to-be lack in coverage for Northern Tioga County. Maine EMS plans to staff this area with paid EMS providers.
A structure fire in Berkshire broke out just after 9 last night. At about 9:10 scanner reports indicated a possible chimney fire or fire in a wall at 12489 Route 38 in Berkshire. At approximately 9:15 the fire was upgraded to a structure fire. The dispatcher requested that multiple departments have crews assembled and to be on standby for possible mutual aid. The Berkshire Fire Department responded to the fire, with some departments including the Newark Valley Fire Department on standby.