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Thursday headlines

Sep 22, 2011 12:03 am
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="610" caption="Photo from Prattsville Hose Company's website."][/caption]
House Democrats, tea party Republicans block GOP leaders on federal disaster aid
The Daily Freeman reports the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday, Sept. 21 rejected a measure providing $3.7 billion for disaster relief as part of a bill to keep the government running through mid-November by a vote of 230-195. The AP reports that the Federal Emergency Management Agency only has a few days' worth of aid left in its disaster relief fund. FEMA currently has emergency relief centers in Greene and Columbia counties. Read the full story in The Daily Freeman.

Prattsville Hose on the web
The Prattsville Hose Company is a volunteer fire and rescue company, and like much of the rest of Prattsville, it was hit hard by flooding. The company has just set up a new website, enabling folks to donate directly to the Prattsville Hose Company. Go to www.prattsvillehosecompany.org, or 14563 Main Street, Prattsville, or call 518-299-3288 for more information. The New York Post reported Sept. 18 that Benjamin Ellis Freedland posed online as someone collecting donations via Paypal on behalf of the Fire Department in Prattsville, and the state Attorney General's office is investigating, according to the Watershed Post.
Click here to listen to the Watershed Post's weekly "Half-Hour News Hour" that airs Wednesdays at 3 p.m. on WGXC.

Zerega's reopening
Patricia Morrow and Jay Fink at WRIP (97.9-FM) report that Zerega's Restaurant in Windham expects to be open by the Columbus Day weekend, but take-out pizza only. "The dining room is being completely rebuilt and enlarged," Fink reports.

Hurricane Irene recovery grants
The National Endowment for the Humanities Chairman’s Emergency Fund is allowing the New York Council for the Humanities to offer small grants to help arts organizations recover from damage from the recent storms. Grants of up to $1,000 are available from the Council for tax-exempt cultural groups in New York State whose buildings or collections were damaged by Hurricane Irene. These grants are to be used to defray salary costs for professional staff members’ work associated with storm clean-up and recovery. Organizations must be tax-exempt and have at least one paid staff member. Organizations that have already received Council grant support in 2011 may still apply for a Hurricane Irene Recovery Grant. Questions about eligibility and the application process for these special grants should be emailed to grants@nyhumanities.org or you can call 212-233-1131. Applications for these special grants will be accepted on a rolling basis until December 31, 2011.

Storm refuse cleanup in Catskill
Friday will be the last day for storm-related refuse pickup in the Village of Catskill, according to Department of Public Works Superintendent Lewis O’Connor. Residents should place the refuse on the curb, according to a report in The Daily Mail.

Poll: New Yorkers support gambling
Jimmy Vielkind in Capitol Confidential reports that a poll released Wed. Sept. 21 by the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, shows a plurality of support statewide for natural gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale and clearer support for legalizing casino gambling. The poll found slight support, 45-41, just outside the margin of error, in favor of high-impact hydraulic fracturing. "Voters in New York City are divided 41-41, upstate voters oppose drilling 47-43 because of concerns about the environmental implications from drilling. Voters in the New York City suburbs support drilling 56-31," Vielkind writes. On gambling, voters support 56-37 the creation of casinos they have in Atlantic City and Las Vegas. Quinnipiac surveyed 1,016 registered voters, and its results have a 3.1 percent margin of error. Read the full story in Capitol Confidential.

WAMC goes digital
Northeast Public Radio's two local frequencies, WAMC 90.3-FM in Albany and WAMK 90.9-FM in Kingston, both upgraded to digital HD Radio technology with grant support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting Digital Radio Conversion Fund. The station claims the stations now have, "a stronger digital coverage," according to a press release.