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Thursday headlines

Jun 09, 2011 1:43 am
Prattsville cell tower almost ready for service
Michael Ryan reports in The Daily Mail that Western Greene County might soon have better cell phone service. AT&T will flip the switch on a cell phone transmitter in Prattsville later this month, Ryan reeports, and folks in Lexington may have improved service soon too. JNS Enterprises wanted to build a cell tower in Lexington in 2007 and 2008, along Route 42 behind the municipal hall but residents living near the proposed site protested and the antenna tower was not built. Now the town has another chance. “We have very definitely given thought to developing a site south of Lexington,” Independent Tower Holdings vice-president Kory Fretto said. “It’s been identified on our map as an area of need.” Read the full story in The Daily Mail.

Stephentown ZBA meeting turns into unplanned hearing
Gail Heinsohn in The Chatham Courier reports on the Stephentown Zoning Board of Appeals meeting June 2 where Lebanon Valley Speedway outlined plans to expand its racetrack with an additional day of operation (Tuesday), a proposed camping site, a parking lot for 300 vehicles, vendors, and competitions for all-terrain vehicles. Lebanon Valley only gave its incomplete proposal to the board the day of the meeting, so not much could be done with it so far. But Lewis Oliver, attorney representing some folks opposed to the plan, and others, pointed out that the plan encroaches on wetlands, does not include times at night when racing would end, does not include where vendors, toilets, and generators will be located, and other important details. The Speedway hoped to complete the application within ten days, and Chairman Roland Barth said that if so, they will discuss the proposal at next month's meeting and hold a public hearing on the matter in August. Read the entire story in The Chatham Courier.

Ritchie sponsors 'ag-gag' measure
Brian Amaral in the Watertown Daily Times reports that secretly videotaping the abuse of farm animals would be illegal if a bill in the state Senate passes. The New York Farm Bureau says the measure will protect consumers. "The Department of Homeland Security has alerted the agricultural industry to secure their operations as much as they can," Farm Bureau spokesman Peter A. Gregg said. "This bill falls into that category." Others disagree. "The intent is to silence whistleblowers and to prevent undercover investigations," said Nathan D. Runkle, executive director of the animal rights group Mercy for Animals, based in Chicago. "We view that as a real problem." The bill is sponsored by the chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Sen. Patricia A. Ritchie, R-Heuvelton. The law would make filming on farmland a misdemeanor crime with up to a year in prison or up to a $1,000 fine. Read all about this issue in The Watertown Daily Times.