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Weekend in review

Mar 07, 2016 5:30 am
Some of the stories that made the news Fri., Mar. 4 through Sun., Mar. 6:

The undefeated Hudson High School boys basketball team won again Sat., Mar. 5 at in a game against Ogdensburg held at SUNY Potsdam in St. Lawrence County. Hudson won the Section II title last week for only the third time in its history, most recently during the 1973-74 school year. Hudson, 26 and 0 for the year, is headed to the state final four and will play Olean Fri., Mar. 11 at the Glens Falls Civic Center.

Rick Karlin reported at Capitol Confidential New York City lawyer Wendy Long on Fri., Mar. 4, accepted the state Republican party’s designation to run against Democrat incumbent Sen. Chuck Schumer in the November election. Long delivered a long address to the convention, critiquing Canada's refugee policy, calling for a simplification of the tax code and denouncing U.S. Supreme Court justices who have voted for tougher gun control. “I can’t get a concealed carry permit. I sit there in New York City hoping that ISIS doesn’t show up,” she said.

Katie Kocijanski and John Mason reported in The Daily Mail that 79 percent of Greene County residents and 74 percent of Columbia County residents do not have access to broadband of 6 megabits per second or better. Only one other county, Hamilton, has more than 50 percent of its population without broadband access. U.S. Rep. Chris Gibson places the blame on Gov. Andrew Cuomo. “I absolutely see the need for the broadband program, but [...] Cuomo’s proposal makes it hard for rural areas to gain funding. It is more for urban areas,” Gibson said. Columbia County Commissioner of Planning and Economic Development Ken Flood said that because the county's providers Time Warner Cable and Charter Communications are merging, the county will likely be ineligible for state funding. Warren Hart, Greene County’s director of the Economic Development, Tourism and Planning Department, said last month Lexington, Prattsville, Ashland, Windham and Cairo are "unserved." State Senator George Amedore, a Republican who represents Greene County said, “I already had a face-to-face meeting with the governor and am waiting to hear back from his people.”

Thomas Zambito reported in The Journal News Metro-North engineer William Rockefeller has been awarded a federal railroad retirement pension. A little more than two years ago, the Germantown resident fell asleep at the controls of a speeding Manhattan-bound commuter train, causing a derailment that killed four passengers and injured 60. Rockefeller will receive regular payments through the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board for an unspecified disability that has made it impossible for him to return to work as an engineer. He had been an engineer for nearly 11 years at the time of the crash. Rockefeller has yet to face a disciplinary hearing but has been cleared of all criminal charges. A federal probe determined that an undiagnosed case of sleep apnea, coupled with a recent shift change, caused Rockefeller to nod off at the controls. At the time it occurred, the derailment in the Bronx on Dec. 1, 2013, was the deadliest crash in the commuter rail’s history.

Jim Planck reported in The Daily Mail the Catskill school board has reduced voting hours for its annual budget vote and school board election from 15 hours to eight. The district polling location will now be open from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. The board made the decision after evidence of low voter turnout early in the day was presented at the full board meeting, Feb. 24. Board clerk Poscha McDougall said most Catskill voters come out later in the day and after work. She said, “This puts us in line with the other schools in the county. We were the only school that was still open that early.” The polling location remains in the high school gym. The Catskill district's working budget for the 2016-17 school year currently totals $39.2 million, and three board seats will be on the May 17 ballot. Candidate petitions are available at the district office and must be returned by close of business April 18.

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Fri., Mar. 4, $1.5 billion in grants for New York State health care providers, including almost $5 million for facilities in Greene and Columbia counties. Columbia Memorial Hospital in Hudson was awarded $2,550,000 for "advancing primary care capacity," and its satellite Greene County Center in Catskill got $2,192,701.

Hunter Harrison reported in the Register-Star an early 19th-century building in Hillsdale is being considered by the New York State Board For Historic Preservation for nomination later this month to the National and State registers of historic places. The Hillsdale Toll House, also known as the east gate of the Columbia Turnpike, is located on Route 23. It was built in 1799. The distance from the toll house to Hudson on the Columbia Turnpike was considered one of the longest turnpikes in the state at the time. The toll house was part of the turnpike that helped establish a commercial trade route to and from Hudson. The turnpike operated until 1907. The house has not been occupied since 1990. Once designated, the intention is to completely restore the building.

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