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Weekend in review

Aug 07, 2017 12:05 am
Some of the stories that made the news Fri., Aug. 4 through Sun., Aug. 6:

Bill Williams reported for WCTW-FM, The Cat, nine accidents occurred on local highways over the 36-hour period from Fri., Aug. 4 through Sat., Aug. 6. A vehicle rolled over just after 10 p.m., Saturday on Mount Merino Road in Greenport. Earlier that evening, crashes in Greene County brought fire and rescue crews to Route 67 in Cairo, Main Street in Cairo, and route 81 in Coxsackie. On Saturday morning, one person was taken to Columbia Memorial, after they struck a utility pole in Germantown. Two separate one-car accidents occurred on Friday -- one in Valatie, the other in Chatham.

Melanie Lekocevic reported for Columbia-Greene Media more than a week after he went missing at Bash Bish Falls in Copake, the body of 21-year-old Aiden Campion-Pratt has been recovered. The Ghent man went missing on Fri., Jul. 28, after he slipped on a rock while hiking and fell into the falls. A massive search effort was launched in both Columbia County and Berkshire County, Massachusetts to locate him.

Daniel Zuckerman reported for Columbia-Greene Media the subject of Columbia and Greene counties sharing jail services as a possible cost-cutting measure was discussed during a meeting of the Greene County Legislature Public Safety Committee last week. “It made sense to some of us to explore the possibility to do something jointly with Columbia County,” Legislator Lori Torgersen said. “We are in some ways sharing jail services with Columbia County right now.” The exact cost savings from the two counties sharing a jail has to be researched, the Windham Democrat said. “All we are trying to do is explore the option," Torgersen said. Greene County Sheriff Greg Seeley opposes moving the county's prisoners to Columbia County. He said it would be more cost effective to build a new jail in Coxsackie, and the county would avoid potential job losses. “It should stay here in Greene County,” Seeley said. “We already gave the hospital away, we gave the college away. Are we going to give the jail away?”

Chris Bragg reported at Capitol Confidential the Manhattan U.S. Attorney's office declared its intent to retry former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver sometime in the spring of 2018, in court papers filed Fri., Aug. 4. In July, the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals vacated Silver's 2015 conviction on federal corruption charges. He had been sentenced to 12 years in prison. The appeals court ruled last week it would allow Silver's attorneys to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to end the prosecution, a decision that could delay the second trial.

The Greenville Central School District announced it has hired Amanda Greene as its new high school principal. She comes to the Greene County district from the Red Hook Central School District, where she has worked for six years as an assistant principal. Before moving into administration, Greene taught social studies in the Sewanhaka Central High School District on Long Island. In 2015, she received the School Administrators Association of New York State Outstanding Educator of the Year Award. Greene starts work on August 14.

William F. Kemble reported in the Daily Freeman a bill that would grant the state the power to closely scrutinize Hudson River anchorage proposals and passed both houses of the state Legislature, is now awaiting action by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. The bill would amend existing law to allow state Department of Environmental Conservation officials to work with the Department of State and the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation to set “conditions for petroleum-bearing vessels to enter or move upon navigable waters of the state, as well as tanker-avoidance zones” in the lower Hudson River. Ten new anchorage sites for commercial ships have been proposed between Kingston and Yonkers. In a telephone interview, a representative of the governor declined to say whether Cuomo favors or opposes the legislation. State Assembly member Didi Barrett, Democrat from Hudson, and state Sen. Sue Serino, Republican of Hyde Park, will hold a press conference Mon., Aug. 7, along with representatives of environmental group Scenic Hudson to urge prompt action. They contend that delay could lose an opportunity for the state to strengthen its position with federal agencies before a new U.S. Coast Guard review of the pending anchorage proposal begins. Three of the proposed anchorage sites are between Dutchess County and Ulster County. The northernmost would be in front of the Rhinebeck shoreline. That anchorage ground would encompass 279 acres and accommodate up to three vessels for long-term use, and would be located directly across from the river from Kingston Point Beach.

Richard Moody reported for Columbia-Greene Media tourism continues to grown in Columbia and Greene counties, according to a state survey of the economic impact of tourism statewide. Based on data from 2016, there was a 2.7 percent growth in traveler spending statewide in 2016. Columbia County saw a 7.7 percent increase in traveler spending, the largest increase of any of the six counties included as part of the Hudson Valley Region. Employment in Columbia County was also the county most dependent upon tourism in the region, at 7.6 percent. The number of visitors to Greene County in 2016, most of whom lived in lodging or second homes, increased 4.2 percent.

Emilia Teasdale reported in The Columbia Paper the Chatham Zoning Board of Appeals recently met and reviewed the application for a special use permit from Flying Deer Nature Center. Flying Deer, a not-for-profit education center, hopes to relocate to donated property on Daley Road, a dirt lane. The major issue raised at the meeting was traffic flow on Daley Road if the camp is allowed to operate there. The attorney for Flying Deer said his clients had hired a traffic engineer and a report would eventually be available for the board to review. He also said the town Highway Superintendent Joe Rickert sees no problem with the added traffic on the road. The town granted the center a waiver in April, exempting it from the two-year ban on new construction along dirt roads. The waiver allowed Flying Deer to submit applications to the ZBA for a special use permit and to the Planning Board for a site plan review and approval. A public hearing was held on the applications in June. The next joint meeting of the Chatham Planning Board and the Zoning Board of Appeals will be held 7 p.m., Tue., Aug. 8 at Chatham Town Hall, 488 State Route 295, Chatham.
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