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Weekend in review

Jun 08, 2015 6:00 am
Some of the stories that made the news from Fri., Jun. 5 through Sun., Jun. 7

Chris Bragg reported at Capitol Confidential Democrat Shaun Francis of Wilton, Saratoga County, will challenge Republican state Sen. Kathy Marchione of Halfmoon in 2016. Francis is a union official and former AAA minor league umpire. He already has a "Shawn Francis for State Senate website" and has formed a campaign committed to raising money for the run. The 35-year old says he is already actively campaigning in Columbia, Rensselaer, Saratoga and Washington counties, but will formally kick off his campaign next year. Marchione, the former Saratoga County clerk, won the seat in 2012 by defeating state Sen. Roy McDonald in a Republican primary, following McDonald’s vote in support of marriage equality. Francis said, “I’m very distressed that our current state senator took a vote Roy McDonald made for equality — a vote widely respected across New York — and used it for a political opportunity.” Marchione’s spokeperson Josh Fitzpatrick responded, saying the senator was working diligently at “delivering real tax relief, making New York more affordable, and our economy more competitive, securing record funding for schools and providing a better quality of life for everyone.”

Ryan Anglim reported in The Daily Mail the Greene County Jail Task Force last week gave its first public update since its formation in April 2014, on the prospect of building a new county jail. Following a full year of monthly meetings, the task force has decided to hire an agency to perform a needs assessment, reported Greene County Legislator William Lawrence of Cairo. The legislature’s decision to construct a new facility is contingent upon the review of a number of factors. Lawrence said the assessment should be completed by the end of August when the county will bring in an architect to design the building based on the assessment results. County officials are still interested in obtaining from the state a 50-acre parcel located next to the Greene Correctional Facility in Coxsackie for the new facility.

Arthur Cusano reported in the Register Star the town of Ghent has scheduled a public hearing for later this month on whether to enact a moratorium on commercial development. The proposed local law under consideration would impose a six-month ban on business, commercial and industrial development. During that six-month period, a special committee appointed by the town board would review the zoning code. Town Supervisor Mike Benvenuto said the special committee would be created regardless of whether the moratorium was enacted, or not. The planned construction of a new, 295,000 square-foot facility for regional food distributor Ginsberg’s Foods would be exempt from the moratorium, Benvenuto said. The public hearing will be held 6:45 p.m., June 18, at Ghent Town Hall.

The Daily Freeman reported four bison were shot and killed by their owner after the bison got loose on the New York State Thruway, Sat., Jun. 6, according to state police. The police said the owner was a farmer. Initial reports said up to seven bison escaped, but after checking the area police determined there were four. No accidents or injuries to property or people resulted from the incident.

Siobhan (SHIV-ahn) Barton reported in the Register Star veteran Greenport Town Justice Robert Brenzel announced Thu., Jun. 4, he will resign after 25 years on the bench. “...My family finally convinced me it’s time to downsize. So I’m selling my home and I’m going to move south. To Livingston," Brenzel announced at a recent town meeting. Before his tenure as town justice, Brenzel worked for 33 years as a senior detective at the state police Bureau of Criminal Investigation unit in Claverack. Because Brenzel is retiring during the first year of a four-year term, a special election to fill the vacancy will be held in November.

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