Weekend in review
Some of the stories that made the news from Fri., Mar. 10 through Sun., Mar. 12:
Robert Down reported in the Times Union a Coxsackie man died Fri., Mar. 12, after driving his car into the Hudson River in an attempt to flee a state police officer he allegedly assaulted only minutes before. The body of Jeffrey Dean, 48, was recovered from the Hudson River and sent to the Greene County Coroner for an autopsy. His car was also recovered. Police say Dean was stopped Friday night at the intersection of routes 81 and 93, after which he allegedly assaulted the officer. After fleeing the scene, Dean drove off a boat ramp at Riverside Park. In the water, he left his vehicle and attempted to swim to shore. An investigation of the incident is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to contact the state police in Catskill at (518) 622-8600.
Jimmy Vielkind and Colby Hamilton reported at Politico New York after Preet Bharara announced in a tweet Sat., Mar. 11, he had been fired as the top federal prosecutor in New York, the first reply came from New York City Public Advocate Tish James. Her message: “Run, Preet, Run.” Bharara's high-profile investigations included probes into Wall Street and ongoing political corruption cases that touched the administrations of Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, and took down the Republican and Democratic leaders of the state legislature. “For him to continue working for this president would have been beneath him. ... He should remain in public office; otherwise it would be a disservice to New Yorkers,” James told Politico. There is speculation that he may run for mayor of New York this year, or possibly pursue statewide office in 2018. Steve Greenberg, a pollster for the Siena Research Institute said Bharara is still unknown to most New York voters. “The last time Siena polled on him was in June and two-thirds of New Yorkers didn’t know who the heck he was,” Greenberg told Politico. In a statement released Saturday, Bharara said, "serving my country as U.S. Attorney here for the past seven years will forever be the greatest honor of my professional life, no matter what else I do or how long I live.
Amanda Purcell reported in The Daily Mail the Coxsackie Community Food Pantry has opened at its new location, 117 Mansion Street, in the village. The pantry is now housed rent-free behind the village offices. Construction of the 840-square-foot facility began in mid-October and finished in January. Money raised by community residents paid for building materials, as well as a couple of new freezers and refrigerators. The pantry serves approximately 100 families once or twice a month, Director Charlotte Carter said. During the past decade, roughly 3,600 families and 40,000 meals were served. “About a quarter of the people who visit us come just once and we don’t see them again. About 62 percent come [anywhere from] two to five times. ... [We] are an emergency food pantry. We are not a social relief agency,” Carter said. The shelter helps residents of Coxsackie, West Coxsackie, Hannacroix, New Baltimore, Medway, Earlton and Climax.
The New York State Department of Labor announced Fri., Mar. 10, the top five trending jobs in the Hudson Valley Region for 2017 are physical therapist, registered nurse, accountant and auditor, biochemist and biophysicist and electrician. Those five job titles are likely to see greater than average growth during the coming year. They were selected by labor market analysts based on occupational survey data and the projected needs of the region.
The National Weather Service in Albany, the Daily Freeman and Associated Press are reporting a winter storm watch has been issued for the region by the National Weather Service, with a coastal storm expected to bring more than seven inches of snow, beginning overnight Mon., Mar. 13, through Wed., Mar. 15. The watch area includes portions of eastern New York and adjacent western New England. Dangerous travel conditions are possible. A blizzard watch is in effect for coastal regions including New York City and Boston, from Monday into Tuesday. Please stay tuned to WGXC 90.7-FM for regular updates and weather-related closings and delays.
Victoria Addison reported in the Register-Star Columbia-Greene Community College has the highest completion rate among community colleges statewide at 31.4 percent, according to a report by the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System. The report ranked 35 community colleges in the state based on the number of first-time, full-time students to complete a two-year program during the three-year period from 2011 to 2014. Among 341 freshman who started full-time in the fall of 2011, 107, or 31.4 percent, finished their respective programs by August 2014. Returning and part-time students were not included in the 31.4 percent completion rate. In August, the college was named to the Best Community Colleges in New York list, ranking third based on completion, retention and transfer rates, and the net price to attend.
Columbia-Greene Media has announced it is folding the 160-year-old Windham Journal into the Thursday edition of The Daily Mail, beginning in April. The Journal will now appear inside an "enhanced version" of the paper. In the announcement published in the Journal and online Thu., Mar. 9, Columbia-Greene promised it would continue to cover the same territory, and publish regular mountaintop columnists as well as community and school events. Columbia-Greene made a similar change to the 150-year-old Chatham Courier in December. The company ceased publication of the Greene County News and River Chronicle last year, and sold the 34-year-old Mountain Eagle to the Schoharie News. In early 2016, the company also closed its Catskill printing operations, sold the building and began printing at The Daily Gazette in Schenectady.