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Weekend in review

Aug 22, 2016 6:00 am
Some of the stories that made the news Fri., Aug. 19 through Sun., Aug. 21:

Katie Kocijanski reported in the Register-Star a 56-year old New Jersey woman died Fri., Aug. 19, after falling 100 feet off of a ravine near the Kaaterskill Creek. Greene County Coroner Richard Vigilo confirmed the accident occurred near Route 23A and the town line between Hunter and Catskill. The woman was pronounced dead at the scene. The accident was reported to Greene County 911 at approximately 5:30 p.m., Friday. New York State Police, Hunter Ambulance, Greene County Paramedics and the Tannersville Rescue Squad responded to the scene.

Emilia Teasdale reported in The Columbia Paper in addition to looking for a new superintendent, the Ichabod Crane Board of Education is now also looking to fill a board vacancy. Board vice president John Chandler submitted his letter of resignation last week, effective immediately. Chandler's term is scheduled to expire in June 2017. District residents interested in being considered for the appointment are asked to submit a letter of interest to the district clerk by the close of business, September 1. The board hopes to fill the vacancy in October. Board President Anthony Welcome said, “Anybody can express an interest in the board.” Following word of Chandler's resignation, the board appointed Cheryl Trefzger [TREZ-gur] vice president. At the same meeting, Ichabod Crane senior Alexis Hoffmann was welcomed to the board as its new student member. The board is currently in the process of initiating a search for a new district superintendent. George Zini announced last month he will not return after his contract expires in June 2017. The board will engage the services of Questar III BOCES [BOW-ceez] to conduct the search.

Rick Karlin reported at Capitol Confidential attacks on utility workers, terminal cleaners and process servers statewide now carry tougher penalties. Governor Andrew M. Cuomo Fri., Aug. 19, signed legislation that elevates assaults on utility workers, station and terminal cleaners and process servers from a misdemeanor to a D felony. “These workers perform tasks that are vital to the operation of New York institutions and have increasingly become the targets of aggression and assaults,” Cuomo said in a press release. Laws were previously enacted to extend protections to employee classes similarly prone to attacks, including other MTA employees, emergency medical service providers and emergency medical service technicians.

Victoria Addison reported in the Register-Star Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo recently announced the historic district in the hamlet of Ancram as one of 27 properties recommended for the New York State and National Register of Historic Places. The properties were recommended by the New York State Board for Historic Preservation. The Ancram Hamlet Historic District is located around the intersection of Routes 7 and 82 in the town of Ancram, and consists of 56 properties. Now that the historic district has been established, certain grants will become available for homeowners. The grants would support repair the interior of the home, such as repair to walls, floors, chimneys, doors, windows, roofs, mechanical systems, electrical wiring and plumbing.

Katie Kocijanski reported in The Daily Mail Columbia-Greene Community College has been named one of the top 10 community colleges in New York state by the Utah-based, school ranking site, Ed Smart [dot] org. The Greenport college ranked third overall among more than 120 community colleges on retention, transfer and graduation rates, and net price to attend. College President Jim Campion said, “We’re pleased to see our standing as the third best community college in the state. The data supports other studies and demonstrates why Columbia-Greene has earned a solid reputation as an institution of excellence.” Guttman Community College, the newest of CUNY’s community colleges, was ranked number one.

The Daily Freeman reported the Dutchess County Fair opens at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds Tues., Aug. 23, and state police have issued traffic reminders and advisories to fairgoers. Police said those traveling from the north and south should use U.S. Route 9 and state Route 9G to reach the fairgrounds. Those traveling from the east are advised to use state Route 308 to U.S. 9 North. Visitors arriving from the west should use 199, to 9G South, to 9 South. The heaviest traffic usually occurs between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m., and following the stage shows from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m., police said. Officials predict the fair will draw about 75,000 people a day to Rhinebeck from Tuesday through Sunday.

Scott Waldman reported at Politico New York the city of Newburgh is seeking guidance from the state Department of Environmental Conservation on how to handle the rising water level in its contaminated public water source. Officials believe Lake Washington could soon overflow. The lake is located a few miles to the west of the city, and is contaminated with elevated levels of PFOS. City officials alerted the DEC to the rising water levels two months ago, and the water has been steadily rising since. If it gets higher the integrity of a dam could be threatened. The city’s fire chief says the water must be lowered now. City manager Michael Ciaravino [CHAIR-ah-veeno] wrote to the DEC, “The dilemma we face is that we cannot allow the water to overtop the dam...and possibly undermine the integrity of the dam itself and the city of Newburgh water treatment plant. On the other hand, we are reluctant to release water possibly contaminated with PFOS to the Moodna Creek or Quassaick [kwa-SAY-ick] Creek and put downstream surface water and groundwater users at risk.....” Earlier this month, the DEC declared the Stewart Air National Guard Base in Orange County a state Superfund site. The DEC found the U.S. Department of Defense potentially responsible for the PFOS contamination, as well. The state health department has been asked to conduct blood tests for Newburgh residents who drank the tainted water. U.S. Sen. Kirsten [KEER-sten] Gillibrand [JILL-ah-brand] has requested that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention assist with those tests.

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