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Weekend in review

Apr 13, 2015 12:02 am
Some of the stories that made the news Fri., Apr. 10 through Sun., Apr. 11

Chris Bragg reported at Capitol Confidential U.S. District Court Judge Valerie Caproni Fri., Apr. 10, rebuked U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara for a “media blitz” in his corruption case against former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. At the same time, she denied Silver’s motion to dismiss the criminal indictment. In a memorandum and order, Caproni wrote "criminal cases should be tried in the courtroom and not in the press." But, Caproni wrote, dismissal of the indictment was not appropriate. There is no evidence the U.S. Attorney's comments substantially influenced the grand jury's decision to indict, she opined.

John Mason reported in the Register Star on some anticipated changes to Hudson's voting district boundaries and to the Common Council weighted vote calculations. Under the planned changes large groups of voters will be shifted from one ward to another. It was recently determined the Crosswinds development on Harry Howard Ave. is, in reality, located wholly within the 5th Ward. Until now those residents have been voting in the 4th Ward. The more challenging scenario is presented by the Firemen's Home, long believed to be located completely within the city's 4th Ward, it actually sits on the border, split almost equally between the 4th and the 5th wards. County Democratic Election Commissioner Virginia Martin said she and Republican Election Commissioner Jason Nastke will make a decision on where the Firemen’s Home residents will register and vote, but resolving the problem of the Common Council’s weighted vote is ongoing.

Conor Skelding reported at Capital New York the union that represents professors at Bard College is calling on the school to go into arbitration with a professor they say was unfairly stripped of a department chair. An internal Title IX [NINE] complaint was filed against chemistry professor Craig Anderson in August 2013. Title IX protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance. An internal investigation led to Anderson's removal as chemistry department chair after eight years. On Fri., Apr. 10, the union filed a complaint in federal court asking that the school be compelled to arbitrate its dispute with the professor. The complaint filed alleges the college never shared a copy of the original internal investigation report, thereby denying Anderson the opportunity to fully defend himself. College president Leon Botstein said the college will not proceed to arbitration unless ordered to do so by a court.

Gordon Block reported in the Watertown Daily Times Chatham resident U.S. Army Capt. Michelle L. Kelly is one of 12 women to qualify for Army Ranger training. The Ranger School training scheduled to begin this month at Fort Benning is the first ever to include women. The upcoming course follows the 2012 decision to lift the ban on women in U.S. combat roles. Kelly has served in the military for 13 years, including a 2009 deployment to Iraq. She is with the 10th Mountain Division stationed at Fort Drum, Jefferson Co.

Ryan Anglim reported in The Daily Mail the Catskill Village Board last week enacted a local law governing the use of scaffolding within the village. The law restricts to six months the length of time a scaffold or other temporary equipment used for construction may remain in place. Any additional time would require permission from the village building inspector. Scaffolds can be maintained and operated in the village only after a valid building permit is in place. In other business, the village board also authorized the construction of an addition to the Catskill Fire Department. The expansion plan includes the addition of a 40-by-55-foot free-standing structure. The $350,000 construction cost will be financed with the issuance of serial bonds. Repayment to the Bank of Greene County will occur over a 20-year period.