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Thursday headlines

May 05, 2011 5:27 am
Jail officer fined in hunting accident
Colin DeVries in The Daily Mail reports on his final day with the paper that the sheriff’s jail lieutenant accused of shooting at a fisher and striking another hunter’s backpack was fined Wednesday under a compromise negotiated between environmental conservation officials and his defense attorney in Halcott Town Court. Greene County Jail Lieutenant Kenneth Leis was fined $250 by Halcott Town Justice Aton Kasanof. Leis will also be required to complete a hunting safety course under the civil compromise, and a state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) hearing will be held later this year to determine if Leis’ hunting license should be revoked up to five years. The DEC’s Bureau of Environmental Crimes Investigation said that Leis had attempted to shoot a fisher, a mammal of the weasel family, while hunting in Round Top on Nov. 20, 2010, the opening day of deer and bear season. Fishers are only permitted to be trapped in New York, not shot. "Robert Warrings of Round Top, who was wearing snow camouflage while tracking a bear he had shot in the Blackhead forest on Nov. 20, 2010, said Leis had shot at him and penetrated his backpack with a bullet.... Warrings alleges that Leis fired four shots with a .300 Winchester Short Magnum rifle. After the first two shots, Warrings said he yelled out to Leis but two more shots followed. Warrings said Wednesday the bullets were so close he thought he may have been shot in the ear," DeVries wrote in the newspaper. Warrings said he did not want to pursue criminal charges but still can. Following the proceeding at Halcott justice court, Leis released a statement to the press:
“I have cooperated with New York State Department of Environmental Conservation since the onset of this incident. I could have exercised my right to remain silent but I chose to speak with all police agencies involved. I gave a truthful account of all facts as my integrity and character only allow that. I was in constant contact with and cooperated with DEC investigators.”
Read the entire story in the The Daily Mail.

Football continues to divide Ichabod Crane district
John Mason in the Register-Star reports that at Tuesday night's meeting of the Ichabod Crane School Board the recent decision to include football in the 2011-2012 budget continued to dominate discussion. Former long-time board member Landra Haber announced at Tuesday’s meeting that she would be a write-in candidate for the board election May 17 because she does not support new funding the football team when so many other budget cuts had to be made. Of the four other candidates, incumbents Andrew Kramarchyk and John Chandler and challenger Cheryl Trefzger all supported the football spending, and challenger Susan Ramos has not announced her position on the issue. “When the school year began, you were up against difficult times,” Haber told the board, according to Mason. “The board and district really rallied round and entered into a covenant to trust each other. On April 12, five members broke that trust by voting to fund an extracurricular activity that had not been funded before. To take one penny and put it in extracurricular was breaking faith.” Read the entire story in the Register-Star.

A Whiff of Camembert, From Upstate
Florence Fabricant in The New York Times tastes the Kinderhook Creek cheese from the Old Chatham Sheepherding Company in Chatham. It is the first Camembert-style soft-ripening cheese that the farm has made entirely with sheep’s milk, not a blend of sheep’s and cow’s milk. "Named for a stream on the property, it’s aged up to three weeks, and has a bloomy rind, a creamy ivory center and a border of satiny ripeness. The bouquet is fresh and lightly mushroomy, and it has a gently tangy herbal flavor, which will deepen even in the refrigerator, after another week," Fabricant writes. Read the entire story in The New York Times.

Nobody home, for now
Kenneth C. Crowe in the Albany Times-Union writes that weekend and vacation residences tilt Columbia County's census figures, which recently counted just two new residents added to the county in the past decade. "It's a result of two things: an aging population, and the number of second homes since 9/11 has really grown," said Kenneth Flood, the county Planning and Economic Development commissioner and executive director of the Columbia Hudson Partnership in the story. Crowe writes: "While the county now has 32,775 housing units, only 25,906 are occupied year-round. The remaining 6,869 unoccupied homes are either empty or are weekend or vacation residences. That's an increase of more than 26 percent in this category of housing since the 2000 census count of 5,411. There were 3,419 weekend homes in 2000, while the 2010 numbers are not yet available." Read the entire story in the Times-Union.
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