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Weekend in review

Feb 22, 2016 5:00 am

Some of the stories that made the news from Fri., Feb. 19, through Sun., Feb. 21:

Coalition Against Pilgrim Pipelines reported that at least 15 municipalities have objected to the joint proposal by the state Department of Environmental Conservation and the New York State Thruway Authority to share the role as lead agency in the state environmental review of the proposed Pilgrim Pipeline project. The objections were made during a second round of public comment intended specifically for municipalities located in the direct path of the project. The list of objectors included the towns of Athens, Catskill, Saugerties, and Albany, Greene and Ulster counties. In the first round 29 cities, towns, villages and counties protested the plan. Objection to the Thruway Authority's status as co-lead are based on the belief that it would be a conflict of interest for the authority to share responsibility for the review, since it stands to potentially profit from the pipeline construction. Also the Authority's very narrow expertise in highway use policy and regulation does not provide an adequate basis for it to meaningfully assist in an environmental review. If constructed, the pipeline would move Bakken crude from Albany to Linden, NJ, through Albany, Greene, and Ulster counties, and send refined crude back to Albany, largely along the I-87 corridor. According to the Coalition, the project, as proposed, would include five laterals, four pump stations, seven construction staging areas, 35 permanent access roads, an estimated 100 temporary access roads, and cross 232 waterways -- drilling under the Hudson River twice.

WRWD 107.3-FM reported the Columbia County Courthouse in Hudson was evacuated Thu., Feb. 18, after the fire alarm went off. The Hudson Fire Department responded. It turned out to be an alarm malfunction. Staff and visitors were out in the cold for nearly 30 minutes, as a result. The 109-year-old historic building was reopened in November after extensive renovation work.

The Daily Freeman reported that pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is on the rise in Dutchess County, according to the county's Department of Behavioral and Community Health. The increase is especially acute among adolescents, with more than 20 cases reported since January 1. Pertussis is a highly contagious respiratory disease, and it can be fatal in infants and young children. Initial symptoms include sneezing, runny nose, low-grade fever and a mild cough. The cough becomes more severe, and can last for several months. The best way to prevent whooping cough is by getting the vaccine.

Emilia Teasdale reported in the Columbia Paper the landmark Bartlett House located in the hamlet of Ghent may soon be connected to the Chatham village water system. The village water line on Route 66 provides water to 134 houses in the town of Ghent that are outside the village limits, but that line currently stops just short of the historic building. After standing empty for several years, the Bartlett is now undergoing an extensive renovation, with the new owners planning to open a bakery and coffee shop in the space sometime this year. The new owners requested the connection be made. The Chatham board approved the water line connection, pending an agreement with the developers. Mayor Tom Curran said the town needs an agreement with the Barlett people, and said he would contact their representative directly about the matter.

Jim Planck reported in The Daily Mail an injured Pennsylvania man was saved by local first responders from freezing to death in Kaaterskill Clove, Sun., Feb. 14. The Greene County Sheriff's Office patrol located the man more than 50 feet down an embankment. Officials said the incident began shortly after 1 a.m., Sunday, when the temperatures were hovering around 8 degrees above zero. Sheriff's personnel heard Gerard J. Boyle III, of Collingdale, Pennsylvania, calling for help along Route 23A, just below the Molly Smith curve. Boyle had fallen approximately 25 to 30 feet, and then rolled an additional 30 feet further down the embankment. He was found wedged between two boulders and some trees. Boyle suffered multiple fractures in the fall. It took the rope team approximately two hours to extract him, before he was transported to Columbia Memorial Hospital in Hudson, and later on to Albany Medical Center.

Michael Ryan reported in the Windham Journal the town of Prattsville has received a $1.45 million grant from the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund to improve its municipal water system. The work to be done will include digging a new well, and implementing improvements to an existing well. The initiative will allow the town to establish a much needed backup well. Prattsville town supervisor Kory O’Hara said the news was “well worth the wait."

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