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Wednesday headlines

Apr 20, 2011 6:36 am
14-year resident plans run for super
Francesca Olsen of the Register-Star has a rare report from Stockport, the sole Columbia County town without a website, writing on how Ernie Belanger, a regular at Town Board meetings for the last two years, is seeking nominations from the county Independence, Conservative and Republican parties for Stockport supervisor. Belanger is the editor of Christian Radio Guide and Radio Guide Magazines, runs his own public relations/business development company and serves on the Hudson Elk’s Club flag day committee. He’s pledged to improve the level of communication between town government and its residents and has promised: “If Stockport still doesn’t have a website by the time I take office, we will have one within my first 30 days.” And thus, the November political season commences!

Bear safe after outfoxing 'em
Bryan Fitzgerald reports in the Times Union that the state Department of Environmental Conservation has announced that it will be removing its bear trap after six days, and dropping its edict to euthanize the first ursine that got caught in it. The trap, and announcement about deadly intentions, came after Joy Bayer-Mozynski, a 53-year-old mother of five, was pinned down by a hungry bruin in her driveway on April 13. The trap was a garbage can-like culvert on its side, "lined with a sugary smorgasbord of scented syrup, honey and snack cakes," according to Fitzgerald. DEC spokesman Rick Georgeson said the chance of the DEC capturing the bear that toppled Bayer-Mozynski diminishes as time passes. The DEC classified the incident as "a first-degree bear-human encounter," Georgeson said.

Two men charged in separate crimes with guns
Diane Valden writes in the Columbia Paper about two recent gun incidents in Columbia County. Harry Rounds, 48 of Ghent, was sent to the Columbia County lock-up on April 18 after he allegedly tried to shoot his step-brother in the head, according to a press release from the Columbia County sheriff. Following early morning reports of gunfire, deputies arrived at Rounds' Route 66 home at 8:00 a.m. and found the suspect on the back porch, after which they took him into custody without incident. "Their investigation determined that Rounds got into an argument with his step-brother, who was staying at the Route 66 residence," Valden writes of an incident involving two guns and one shot. "Just before deputies arrived, the third resident of the house, who took the first gun away, also took the second gun away and threw it into a pond behind the house to prevent Mr. Rounds from using it again." Charges included two counts of third degree criminal possession of a weapon, class D felony; two counts of fourth degree criminal possession of a weapon, class A misdemeanor, for being a convicted felon (attempted robbery) in New York and in Florida for second degree attempted murder; two counts of fourth degree criminal possession of a weapon, A misdemeanor; two counts of second degree menacing, A misdemeanor; one count of second degree reckless endangerment, A misdemeanor; and one count of discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a dwelling, misdemeanor. Rounds was sent to the county jail in lieu of $5,000 cash bail or $10,000 bail bond. The second incident, involving 53-year old Anthony J. Barlanti of Taghkanic, occurred April 17 and involved a longstanding neighbors' dispute, barbed wire and barricades at Barlanti's home, and charges of third degree criminal possession of a weapon, a class D felony; obstruction of governmental administration, second degree aggravated harassment, class A misdemeanors; and an Environmental Conservation Law misdemeanor for illegally discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a dwelling, and second degree harassment, a violation. Barlanti was arraigned in Livingston Court and sent to the Columbia County Jail in lieu of $25,000 cash bail or $50,000 bail bond.

Family Dollar to return to Catskill with new store
Doron Tyler Antrim reports that a spokesman for Family Dollar says the company will open a new store in Catskill this summer after agreeing to terms with Begnal Motors for the lease of its former dealership on Route 9W. Begnal Motors, which closed its dealership in July 2008 and consolidated its operations to Kingston, still owns the 3-acre property. Advanced Auto Parts is currently the only tenant on the property.

To cut or not to cut?
Francesca Olsen and Kate Mostaccio report in the Register-Star on the revival of a longstanding eminent domain case that would involve the cutting down of 45 Norway Spruce trees in Copake purportedly on county property. "Susan Winchell-Sweeney, who owns the property at the intersection of county Routes 7 and 7A, disputes the county’s assertion that any of those trees are on county property," the reporters write. "On April 12, the Department of Public Works sent Winchell-Sweeney a letter stating they would be pruning the trees on her property they identify as contributing to 'substandard sight distance' and that 'any trees which are on county land will be removed.' Work is expected to start on April 26 or 27.

Measure limiting demonstrations at funerals proposed
Colin DeVries of the Daily Mail reports on Greene County's recent tackling of a national issue by proposing a new county law which would ban demonstrations within 750 feet of local funerals. The measure moved through legislative committee on April 18 and has now been set for a public hearing at 6:15 p.m. on May 18 in the Greene County Legislative Meeting Room in the Greene County Office Building, 411 Main St. in Catskill, pending final legislative approval on April 20.

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