Weekend in review
Some of the stories that made the news Fri., Apr. 1 through Sun., Apr. 3:
The Hudson Area Library closed at 5 p.m. Fri., Apr. 1, for the final time at 400 State Street, its home since 1959. The library will reopen at 10 a.m. Sat., Apr. 9 at its new home, the former Hudson Armory, located at 51 N. 5th St. The library, the Hudson Senior Center, and the Perfect Ten after-school program are all moving into the Galvan Foundation building, paying “nominal, below market rates,” according to a Galvan press release. The library has entered into a 30-year lease with the foundation, paying $1 per month.
Casey Seiler reported at Capitol Confidential the state Court of Appeals Fri., Apr. 1, refused to hear an appeal of a legal challenge to Republican Presidential candidate Ted Cruz's status as a "natural born" American citizen. A state Supreme Court justice and the Appellate Division earlier rejected the petition on grounds that the complaint was filed well past the deadline to challenge Cruz’s presence on the April 19 state primary ballot. The rejection by the state’s highest court is the end of the road for the case. Similar suits in other states have likewise been rejected.
Gail Heinsohn reported in the Chatham Courier after nearly four years of applications, regulations, construction and delays, Love’s Travel Stops and Country Store in Canaan opened last week. The nearly 12,000-square-foot facility is located on Route 22, near exit B3 of Interstate 90. The store includes a visitors center, a Subway sandwich shop and a Dunkin Donuts. The official ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place Wed., Apr. 13.
Jimmy Vielkind reported at Politico New York a poll released Fri., Apr. 1, shows incumbent U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer with a wide lead over Republican challenger Wendy Long. A survey of nearly 1,700 New Yorkers found Democrat Schumer is leading Long by more than 40 points. The same poll showed 85 percent of the respondents had never heard of Long, making her an almost anonymous opponent in the November election. Long has criticized Schumer for failing to do more to oppose the recent U.S. agreement with Iran, and for supporting policies she believes have driven people and businesses out of New York state.
Greg Hudson reported in The Daily Mail Greene County officials discussed last week the possibility of shifting the focus of the county jail's programming from education to mental health counseling and improving employment opportunities. The conversation took place during a meeting of the new county jail programming committee, which consists of elected officials, mental health experts and jail representatives. Plans for the new facility are still in development, and the programming to be offered by the county will impact the final design decisions. Greene County Administrator Shaun Groden said, “You don’t build a building and then say okay, what can we do with it, you figure out what you want to do and then design a facility to deliver that.” Under state law, the jail must offer GED classes to incarcerated people under the age of 21 who do not hold a high school diploma, Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous programs and religious services. Implementing programs that would have a lasting impact could be a challenge because on average those detained in Greene County are at the jail for a period of 44 days. One idea under consideration is for the county and Questar III BOCES [Quess-tar three BOE-seez] to collaborate on a program that would transition individuals from the in-jail education program to a similar program in the community. The county is moving forward with plans to building a new jail in Coxsackie, on formerly state-owned land. The existing county jail located in Catskill holds 48 usable beds and is more than 100 years old.
John Mason reported in the Register-Star former Hudson Police Chief James J. Dolan Jr. has been hired as the Democratic election specialist for the Columbia County Board of Elections. Dolan, who led the Hudson Police Department in the late 1980s was indicted in 1991 on charges of bribery, coercion, hindering prosecution and compounding a crime, charges he denied. He was later convicted of interfering with drug investigations by other police agencies, and sentenced to five years' probation and fined $8,000 for obstruction of justice. Dolan also served on the Hudson Community Development and Planning Agency in the late 1990s, before moving out of state. Dolan recently relocated back to Columbia County, and is currently a member of the Greenport Democratic Committee. Dolan will work with Democratic Commissioner Virginia Martin who hired him, and Deputy Commissioner Hilary Hillman. Martin said among the more than one dozen applicants for the job, Dolan was the most qualified. The permanent, full-time position pays approximately $43,000 a year.