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Weekend in review

May 11, 2015 6:00 am
Some of the stories that made the news Fri., May 8 through Sun., May 10

Michael Ryan reported in the Windham Journal, the forest fire that burned in the mountains of Greene County for four days has been contained. According to Department of Environmental Conservation Lieutenant Robert Morse there is active fire within the 110-acre scorch zone, but the flames are not running. As of 6 p.m., Sun., May 10, one dozen DEC rangers were on site, west of Route 214 in the notch between the town of Hunter and the town of Phoenicia, in Ulster County. The rangers replaced local volunteer firefighters who, for two days,  used rakes, chainsaws and leaf-blowers to thwart the fire's advance. In lieu of rain, a state police helicopter continues to be used to dump thousands of gallons of water on the area.

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="226"] Dr. Alan McCartney
(Source: www.rcscsd.org)[/caption]

Melanie Lekocevic reported in The Daily Mail Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk Superintendent Dr. Alan McCartney died this weekend at the age of 67. The announcement was made via the school district's website. McCartney battled a brief illness before succumbing to a heart attack Fri., May 8, at his home in Voorheesville. McCartney served as RCS interim superintendent for less than three years, but came to the district with more than 35 years of experience as a teacher and coach, an administrator and educational consultant. During his time with RCS, McCartney supervised the installation of solar panels on district buildings, developed a $30.1 million facilities improvement project and implemented a school security system. Until a replacement has been named, Capital Region BOCES will assist in the short term with district operations.

Jimmy Vielkind reported at Capital New York embattled state Sen. Dean Skelos is threatening to resign his seat if he is forced from his leadership post, according to published reports. Skelos, a Long Island Republican, is clinging to his position as Senate majority leader as he fights federal corruption charges. The threat would deprive Republicans of the 32-vote bloc they need to control the 63-seat chamber outright. According to the New York Daily News Skelos has a plan that would force the GOP to enter into some kind of power-sharing coalition with either the Democrats or a group of five breakaway Democrats. Under the scenario Skelos would resign, at the same time, Sen. Simcha Felder, a Democrat who sits with the GOP and is loyal to Skelos, would switch allegiance to the Democrats. One GOP source hopes Skelos ultimately does what is best for the conference and steps aside. The source said, “At this point, he is at the angry stage. Hopefully that will pass to the acceptance stage.”

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="287"] Sheen observed off Verplanck Point, Sun., May 10.
(Source: riverkeeper.org)[/caption]

The Associated Press reported a portion of the Indian Point nuclear power plant remained offline Sun., May 10, after a transformer fire at the facility caused thousands of gallons of oil to leak into the Hudson River. At an afternoon briefing Sun., May 10, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said emergency crews were out on the water near Buchanan, in Westchester Co.,  trying to contain and clean up the transformer fluid that leaked from Indian Point 3. The transformer at the plant failed Sat., May 9, causing a fire that forced the automatic shutdown. State Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Joseph Martens said measures were taken to keep the oil from spreading. He said booms were set up over an area approximately 300 feet in diameter in the water. The governor said the cleanup should take a day or two.
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